Jun 7, 2012

Thursday, June 7, 2012 Donna S. Levin

Theme: Shock and Awe (overwhelming power and spectacular displays of force...)

16A. Four-legged comfort giver : THERAPY DOG. Golden Retrievers are great dogs for this job. SHOCK THERAPY. Nurse Ratched, revisited entry? (I believe the link is Jack Nicholson in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)

23A. Budget-friendly fast food offering : VALUE MEAL. A McDonalds offering is one of the main causes of obesity in this country. Now also a huge concern in Europe. SHOCK VALUE: How to provoke a reaction of disgust. (You can provide your own link here...)

37A. Coming trend : WAVE OF THE FUTURE. And we have an atomic SHOCK WAVE.

49A. Locker room laundry item : JOCKSTRAP. The one theme entry that is a compound word. Visions of dirty jockstraps..."Eeew". SHOCK JOCK like (warning: offensive language!!) this guy.

60A. Seismic phenomenon, and where you might find the starts of 16-, 23-, 37- and 49-Across : AFTERSHOCK. So the first words of the theme entries can follow (come "after") the word "shock".

Marti here, so let's see what else we have on the plate today...


1. Play the court clown? : JEST

5. "Mad Men" subject, familiarly : AD BIZ

10. Rapper ___ Def, now known as Yasiin Bey : MOS. Why do rappers feel they have to change their names all the time? Born Dante Terrell Smith...

13. Use copperplate, perhaps : ETCH

14. Mountain, on Hawaii : MAUNA. Loa, Kea, Lani, Lai...

15. Four-sided fig. : RECT.angle.

18. The "merry" part of a "merry game" : ALAI. From the Basque for "jai" = Celebration, and "Alai" = merry. My uncle was doing some genealogy research and found that grandfather's ancestors came from the Basque country in France. He was excited to discover this, and wrote to my mother "I never knew we were all basquards!"

19. Domingo et al. : TENORS

20. Old-time desk accessory : INKWELL

22. "Spartacus" setting : ARENA

25. Low spirits : GLOOM

27. Inventing initials : TAE. Thomas Alva Edison.

28. Compete : VIE

31. "Heidi" setting : ALPS

33. Pertaining to birth : NATAL

41. Empty-headed Mortimer : SNERD

42. "And ___ bed" : SO, TO. From Samuel Pepys Diary?

43. "Today" rival, briefly : GMA. Good Morning America.

44. Cheer syllable : SIS...boom...baa!

46. Out in the sticks : RURAL

53. Retro beer : PABST. Retro? I think it is still sold in stores, right?

57. Indian spiced drink : CHAI TEA

58. Sell out : BETRAY

59. Gift from the god Jupiter Pluvius : RAIN. From the Latin "pluvia", meaning rain.

63. Sea eagle : ERNE

64. Half of a classic comedy team : MEARA. Other half was Stiller, in the '60s-'70s.

65. Raison d'___ : ETRE. "Reason for being". Mine is to do this write-up every Thursday...

66. Itsy-bitsy : WEE

67. Overseas misses: Abbr. : SRTAS. Spanish señoritas.

68. "100" symbols, in Greek numerals : RHOS. Link to Rho.  Derived from the Phonecian "Res" which looks like this:


1. Beetle relative : JETTA. Volkswagen model. And 28-down: 1-Downs, for short : VWS

2. Out-of-use anesthetic : ETHER

3. Big fuss : SCENE

4. Big crowd : THRONG

5. Tour Bus cargo : AMPS. Rock star tour bus, that is. Not to be confused with these.

6. Light interval : DAY

7. Pal : BUD. Not to be confused with this.

8. How anchovies are packed : IN OIL

9. Hershey's peanut butter bar : ZAGNUT. Never had one.

10. Brawl : MELEE

11. City on I-75 : OCALA. Florida. Map.

12. Moonshiner's apparatus : STILL

15. Steak tartare, primarily : RAW MEAT. My ultimate surf and turf: tartare and raw sushi tuna!!

17. Shrinking sea : ARAL. But it is growing again, thanks to conservation efforts.

21. He played Kevin in "The Devil's Advocate" : KEANU. Reeves.

23. Battery count : VOLTS

24. Two-handled Greek vase : AMPHORA. These would be called "amphorae".

26. Lummox : OAF

29. First name of the swimmer dubbed the "Thorpedo" : IAN. Thorpe. Australian.

30. Night to party, maybe : EVE

32. Frame : SETUP

34. Harbor helper : TUG

35. "Long" legal weapon? : ARM. Like the long arm of the law?

36. Pasture : LEA

38. "Tobacco Road" writer Caldwell : ERSKINE

39. One writing to things, perhaps : ODIST

40. Pro : FOR

45. Gently unwrinkles : STEAMS

47. Sci-fi planet inhabitants : APES

48. Agitated state : LATHER. "Don't get all in a lather."

49. L.L. Bean competitor : J CREW

50. Midway alternative : O'HARE. Chicago airports.

51. Queeg's command : CAINE

52. '50s-'60s decathlete Johnson : RAFER. Rafer Johnson. Hands up for those who remembered him, without perps?

54. Challenge for a surplus of cooks? : BROTH. "Too many cooks spoil the broth."

55. Prefix with iliac : SACRO

56. Moppets : TYKES

58. '60s bonfire burnings : BRAS. OK gals, 'fess up: did you ever burn one?

61. Make lace : TAT

62. Diamond stat : ERA. Earned Run Average: I learned from C.C.'s puzzles!

Answer grid.

That's all for this week: "And SO, TO bed..."


From C.C.:

Here is Part II of Kazie's travel to Spain. The last one reminded me of my hometown Xi'An, another walled city.


Dennis said...

Good morning, Marti, C.C. and gang - how 'bout Donna?? Jockstraps and bras in the same puzzle! (There's another DF one, but I'd get kicked off the blog).

This one went surprisingly easy for a Thursday, and that's unusual for me with Donna's puzzles, although I didn't get the theme until the unifier. I did manage to temporarily screw up the name of Hershey's peanut butter bar (Magnum vs Zagnut), and it took me a while to get J Crew -- to me, R.E.I. is more of an L.L. Bean competitor. Also needed the perps to get Ian Thorpe, who I'd never heard of. Overall though, a most enjoyable puzzle; favorite clue was 'Challenge for a surplus of cooks'.

Marti, great blog as always - got a kick out of the tour bus pic. And yes, I remember Rafer Johnson, but more so for his association with RFK's campaign/assassination than as an athlete.

I was really hoping the Kings would win at home last night, and give my buddy that Stanley Cup championship he so richly deserves, but hopefully they'll wrap things up Saturday.

Have an outstanding day -- do something FUN!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Really had fun with this one. Wonderful smooth solving experience throughout... until I got to the SE corner and things totally went off the rails for awhile, that is.

Never heard of RAFER. Didn't realize that PABST was a "retro" beer. The Greek symbol for "100"? It's all Greek to me (sorry, couldn't resist). Cute clue for BROTH, but even though I was on Donna's wavelength all I could think of was SOUPS. And SACRO?

In the end, what saved me was the theme reveal for a change. I actually looked at all the theme answers carefully, which let me guess AFTERSHOCK, and that gave me just enough of a toehold that, with the help of some WAGs, I could get the job done.

Hahtoolah said...

Good morning, Marti and friends. I do love the Donna Levin puzzles. I lightly wrote in JOCKSTRAP, but didnt think it could possibly be correct. I then got AFTER SHOCK, which helped with the rest of the theme answers.

I really liked Challenge for Surplus Cooks = BROTH.

The Beetle Relatives = JETTA and VWs was a nice combo.

I misread Queeg's Command as Queen's Command. To much Diamond Jubilee excitement, I guess.

QOD: To cure jealousy is to see it for what it is, a dissatisfaction with self. - Joan Didion.

Lemonade714 said...

Speaking of retro, a Donna Levin puzzle with Dennis on top. Classic. I remember when the Olympic decathletes were a big deal in the media from Jim Thorpe, Bob Mathais, Rafer Johnson and our plastic hero, Bruce Jenner. I bet none of us could name the 2008 winner, even though he is an American. Anyway, the London Olympics are coming which to me is a lot more exciting than the jubilee.


desper-otto said...

Good Morning!

Only a couple of missteps today. My JETTA was JETSA (I thought Domingo would be a SENOR) and I was thinking insects...until I hit VWS followed by the V-8 can. And my RAWBEEF turned to RAWMEAT so that FETAL could become NATAL.

I don't think I've ever seen JOCKSTRAP in a cw before.

Even so, it was a quick solve today. I found it to be much easier than yesterday.

Do something fun today? Well, I've got my quarterly trip to the periodontist. Does that count? NOT!

Argyle said...

The Greek symbol for "100" is not showing up on my IE browser. I followed a link and it showed up though.

Hand up for Rafer, probably more for the Sirhan Sirhan takedown than the Olympics. Even tried spelling it RAPHER but still like the name.

HeartRx said...

Argyle, I just added a link to the Greek RHO. Actually, the symbol in the write-up was the Phonecian "res", from which the Greek Rho is derived.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Donna L., for a great Thursday puzzle. Tough, but doable. Thank you, as well, Marti, for the excellent write-up.

Well I remember the Bobby Kennedy shooting too. I remember Rafer Johnson and Roosevelt Greer catching Sirhan B. Sirhan. I think Rafer chased him and Roosevelt sat on him. What a team!

My first answer was ARAL. Easy Crosswordese.

I think STILL came next.

Got the Theme answer before any of the others, AFTER SHOCK. That helped with the other four.

Do not remember MEARA for 64A. I was not much into TV back then and, am still not. Trying to think of Laurel and Hardy, or similar.

OHARE was easy for 50D, since I live here.

Wanted RAH for 44A. Eventually SIS became logical.

Remember the ZAGNUT bar. Not sure if it is still around. I should have checked when I was in Hershey, PA, three weeks ago.

Much work to do today and tomorrow outside. I am off to North Dakota on Saturday.

See you tomorrow.


Anony-Mouse said...

Thank you Donna for a wonderful puzzle and Marti for a lovely, lovely write up. Your wit is so enchanting ... Basquards indeed. BTW, its a miracle that that language has still survived, in that small pocketed area.

Because of my hypermyopia, and the small print for the clues, I read '...a surplus of cRooks' , which set me back, a little. A 'heist' perhaps ?

'Chai Tea' seems redundant. Its like saying 'Cappuccino coffee'.

I remember Rafer Johnson like a superman, which the abilities of a decathlete seem to call for.

I have a problem with 'Pabst', I don't drink beer, but isn't it still around ? Whats so retro about it ?

Never saw a 'bra-burning', in real life or on TV, just heard about it. I think MOST women are too smart for that sort of nonsense....(not lol, meant seriously - ).

Yellowrocks said...

Isn't it interesting how different we solvers are. Yesterday it was a walk in the park for me and today I had to eke it out bit by bit. For others of you it was just the reverse.

I needed perps for ADBIZ and RAFER.

At 1D I couldn’t think of any insect type that begins with J. Then getting VWS provided the Aha moment.

Marti, TATARE and sushi both! Tsk, tsk. You will be warned.

When I was a kid the desks in my elementary school had holes for inkwells, but we used only pencils. There were no ball point pens then. In college we used ink from a bottle. Remember the pens which required you to fill an ink bladder inside so that you didn’t have to dip in the ink constantly?

Anonymous said...

Trey Hardee, Louisiana native, from Austin TX, is the current reigning Decathlon world champion.

Mari said...

Fun puzzle today. Much easier than yesterday - maybe there was a flip-flop in the publishing?

Favorite clues: 39D: One writing to things, perhaps: ODIST, 47D: Sci-fi planet inhabitants: APES, and 6D Light interval: DAY.

47D reminds me of the episode of the Big Bang when Sheldon gets sick and the guys hide from him at an all day Planet of the Apes movie marathon....all wearing ape masks!

I wanted OLLIE as my half of a classic comedy team.

Learning moment: AMPHORA. Although I may find it hard to use this in a sentence unless I go to a museum.

Dennis: Thanks for the great idea! I'm going to take a rain check and save my fun for Saturday.

desper-otto said...

YR, I remember the inkwell holes in the desks. We mostly used Parker fountain pens -- the kind which took an ink cartridge. They came in a box of several cartridges. At least once during the lifetime of that box you were guaranteed that the pen would leak ink all over your shirt pocket.

Middletown Bomber said...

Good thursday Puzzle. Nice write-up marti. Like Dennis I would not call LLBean a competitor of JCrew I always think of Eddie Baur as a JCrew competitor. I never went to a bonfire where bras were burned did not remember that zagnut and clark were hersheys. enjoy thursday all.

Argyle said...

I remember some bras where I got my fingers burnt if I got too close to them.

Bur like a moth to a flame ....

Anonymous said...

Byran Clay from Hawaii is the 2008 Olympic gold medal winner in the decathlon.

Dennis said...

Argyle, still worth it though, wasn't it?

My wife just found out she has to go to New Delhi next month for a couple weeks. The only good thing about it is that in return for enduring the 17-hour flights, the shots, and the plethora of paperwork, the company's getting her a tour of the Taj Mahal and accommodations at a 5-star hotel.

Have any of you been to India? Any tips?

HeartRx said...

Kazie, I forgot to mention how beautiful the second installment is! But it shows you how blog-oriented I am, because I clicked on the pic of the guy playing a pipe while smoking, expecting a you-tube video to pop up so I could hear him...d'oh!!

YR, haha, I know - I will die of some loathsome disease by eating all that raw stuff !

Spitzboov said...

Good morning Marti and all.

Nice Donna Levin puzzle today. Seemed a little easy for a Thursday. Had a little misdirection - MIDWAY. (Was wondering if the Japanese had alternate attack plans) ,but cHaitea and eRne focused on O'HARE. I ended up in the W and liked the clueing for VWS. I didn't know PABST could be termed a retro beer, either. I had the same experience with INK WELLS as others. Also had raw meat before RED MEAT.

Enjoy the day.

Mark S said...

Enjoyable puzzle. Challenging, but I was able to finished without help so "PBR me ASAP".

Pabst was easy (I'm from Milwaukee). Pabst doesn't brew Pabst Blue Ribbon anymore, I think Miller brews it. Maybe that's why it's considered retro?

Expected some bra burning, jock strapping links today...

kazie said...

My CW performance was less than stellar today, despite usually being in sync with Donna's offerings. The theme answers took forever to get, and several names were unknowns. I guessed SNEAD for SNERD, still don't think I've ever heard SIS for what I was sure would be RAH, never sussed the AFTERSHOCK unifier because I didn't know RAFER and thought a place you'd find something would be SHOPS, which of course screwed up TYKES and SACRO as well.

Everything else appeared eventually, and Marti, Thanks for the therapy dog pic--the one on the right looks a lot like our Trudi a few years back before her face got even whiter than that one. They are indeed very loving and lovable dogs, but oh so hairy!

kazie said...

PS. My DH drinks PBR all the time and loves it. He felt vindicated when our German visitors said it was better than other American beer they tried.

Glad Avila reminded you of home. We actually saw a lot of city walls, some partial, and some complete like Avila. Is Huyen Khong Tu Temple/Hanging Monastery familiar to you? Another tour participant sent me a PowerPoint about it, but I can't find a way to link it. She was comparing it with the hanging houses in Cuenca. I thought it was really amazing.

Montana said...

This was an enjoyable puzzle today. I needed the explanation of the theme; thanks. I set the iPad to show red letters, but was surprised by how few I needed. Perps were helpful.
Love the pictures, Kazie.

I remember the inkwells in elementary and the advent of fountain pens followed by ball-point pens. Ball point pens were terrible for left handers—very, very messy. A couple teachers had us keep using fountain pens. Even with all the advances in writing implements, I had a physics professor in college who required us to write up all lab reports with India ink! The lab work was hard enough without having to deal with rewriting pages many times when the ink would smudge or smear. He took points off for that. Awful memory.

“Out in the Sticks” is where I live. There is now a federal (education) designation for areas with fewer people than RURAL. We are now considered FRONTIER.

Have a good day,

kazie said...

As a fellow leftie, I hear you on using ink. We had to switch to ink in 2nd grade, when they started us on cursive writing. At that stage it was dip in the inkwell pens--right up through 6th grade. I had a terrible time all those years. Once in high school (7th grade) we could switch to fountain pens, which still hadn't developed into the bladder type, and they were no better. As a result, my writing has never been good, always looks messy and no two letters are ever parallel in slope, because I'm always changing my writing style according to how I'm sitting.

I often wonder how it came about that our writing goes left to right, which is fine for right handers, but so many other cultures don't. Surely their right handers have the same problems writing from right to left. Pushing a pen is harder than pulling it.

desper-otto said...

Dennis, I went to India a couple of times back in the '80's, but to Mumbai (Bombay) rather than New Delhi. We did stay in a top-rated hotel there, but learned that bottled water was just tap water served in a bottle. As a result I drank beer with every meal and avoided all fresh vegetables. I never got sick while in India, but as I've mentioned before, I got sick on the return trip before the plane even left Bombay airport. But all this was 25+ years ago, so things may be quite different now.

PK said...

Enjoyed Donna Levin's puzzle! I'm usually on her wave length. JOCKSTRAP was an early morning SHOCK to the staid world of crossword.

Great commentary, Marti. I would never burn my BRA unless it let me down. My BRA is my friend--in the most supportive way.

Why do rappers change their names? Maybe their mothers don't want their friends to know it's their kid.

My SACRO ileac has been giving me fits this week ever since I carried in groceries. Stretching and proper exercise are easing the pain.

Anne MEARA and her Stiller partner are Ben Stiller's parents.

Yay, OKC Thunder! Western Conference NBA champs!

Tuttle said...

Jester-ing is grueling!

*David* said...

I found this one, a harder then usual Thurday/Levin puzzle for me. The cluing was trickier on easy fil. I had a bunch of mistakes in the fill as well that slowed me down but also there were things that I didn't know like APHORA smack in the middle and that ZAGNUT bar.

Mark S said...


My wife has traveled to Delhi for work a few times recently.

The trip from Delhi to Agra (we all know that clue) is long (3-4 hours each way) but well worth it.

The 10 1/2 hour time difference is interesting. India wants just one time zone so their time is a half hour off from the rest of the world.

Trunks up!

Argyle said...

What's with "Trunks up!"

Seldom Seen said...

Love having ZAGNUT in the grid. Isn't that what Gonzaga Univ. fans call themselves?

It always reminds me of Beetlejuice.

But my favorite SCENE has SHOCK VALUE because of the TUG of his JOCKSTRAP at the end. Beetlejuice2

Did you notice the L.L.BEAN inspired outfits of Alec and Michael? (Not so much J. CREW)

Overall, I give it a Zagnut rating of 48.

Tinbeni said...

Marti: Thank you for a FUN Write-up & links.

Donna: Thank you for a FUN puzzle.

First fill was that BROTH ... then the moonshiner's STILL and PABST beer.

Queeg's command was a gimmie since The CAINE Mutiny was just on TCM last weekend.

Learning moment: The Two-handled Greek vase, AMPHORA.
Also, never heard the term THERAPY DOG before, though it makes sense.
Both were all perps.

Ron Worden & I probably both "thought of Tampa" as the I-75 City . But I waited for OCALA to emerge.

Currently receiving Jupiter Pluvius gift of RAIN.
Hope it ends by Sunset.

Cheers !!!

Yellowrocks said...

Almost everywhere I look I find that bra burning was a myth. However there were plenty of young women who went braless.
Link Bra Burning

It seems some also went panty-less. My ex was a high school teacher in the 60's. Some of the girls removed their panties when they got to school. Because girls wore skirts then, depending on how they sat they gave all, included the teacher, what we used to call a "free show."

Seldom Seen said...

Trunks up?

Mark S said...

"Trunks Up" is an expression of good luck.

An elephant with its truck up is a sign of good luck, or so I've heard. My wife has a few Indian elephant souvenirs, all with their "trunks up".

Seldom Seen said...

After re-reading the "trunks up" article I linked, I have one question.

Racoon Penis Bone??

CrossEyedDave said...

Challenging today. Took a while with several breaks. the entire south took the longest, i could not remember the name of Queeg's ship, but after a break i remembered the name of the movie. (go figure!)

I even understood the theme, after puzzling over it. Bra was filled by perps. Somehow, (maybe "60's" designation) made me think it was an abbreviation, like Symbionese Liberation Army, so i came to the blog to find out what group the B.R.A. was?

Great otters!

Lucina said...

Hello, Peeps. Marti, I laud your upbeat blogging. Thanks.

Kazie: This is a familiar cheer to us who attended school here in the States. SIS boom bah! Rah! Rah! Rah!

And that's how I feel about Donna Levin's puzzles. Her puzzles are fun and full of JEST.

RAFER came to mind instantly for all the reasons already mentioned. Not only do I recall using the INK WELLS but they still existed when I started teaching. My classroom had the old type desks that were connected and the top lifted.

I believe JCREW has been popularized by Michelle Obama who famously buys clothes from there.

My Domingos were SENORS, too, until JETTA changed it to TENORS..

Great cluing for DAY, APES, BROTH.

JOCKSTRAP and BRAS, hmm sounds like a SETUP. MEARA and Stiller would have us in a LATHER with that, I'm sure.

Great pics, Kazie, Your trip sounds just wonderful.

Have a fantastic Thursday, everyone!

Misty said...

I love Donna Levin puzzles--tough, but doable! And a great write-up, Marti, thanks!

Never burned a bra--just dumped them all in the sixties and didn't return to them until . . . well, never mind.

Dennis 8:53, I think your wife would love "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," playing in theaters right now. It's about a group of elderly Brits who can't afford a decent retirement and so travel to India to live in what they expect will be a luxury resort. Surprise! The wonderful cast includes Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, and the kid who starred in "Slumdog Millionaire." If we could still travel, I think India would be my first destination!

Have a great Thursday, everybody!

PK said...

Seen: did you click on Racoon Penis Bone? Sounds like a bunch of baloney, but probably isn't. A walrus penis bone (oosik) is mentioned. I've actually seen one which a retired navy officer had on display. He couldn't understand why I didn't want to hold it in my hand. Don't know why--I just didn't. I told him it was probably an ingrown tusk. Didn't fully believe it was what he said.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Thanks to Donna Levin for a fun puzzle and to Marti for a witty and interest-filled writeup.

The last letter to fill was the Z in ADBIZ and ZAGNUT, since I do not know the latter and had a hard time parsing the former.

Every time I see the word PABST I think of electric motors.

I read somewhere that MAUNA is pronounced Ma-oo-na, which makes sense.

Never heard of MOS Def or any of his other names. When I see the word MOS I think of Metal Oxide Semiconductor.

Favorite clue, at which I guffawed out loud, was challenge for a surplus of cooks.

Terrific photos, kazie. Thanks.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Mixed feelings about this puzzle. I guess BRA is standard fare now. But JOCKSTRAP was cause for pause. Never heard of a THERAPY DOG. Looked at THE RA_Y DOG for a long time. Having LAUNA for MAUNA did me in. ALPS for tour bus cargo makes no sense. Finished, but with an error. Maybe I could play for the Tigers.

INKWELL, RAW MEAT, the clue for BROTH - all good stuff.

But CHAI TEA is redundant and city on I-75 is a serious contender for worst clue ever. That road extends 1876 miles from Sault Ste. Marie to Hialeah. An AMPHORA was NOT a vase!

I wanted to put Captain Queeg on the Pequod, but that was AHAB.

Ray Bradbury passed away yesterday. Mars will never be the same. Did you know he wrote the screen play for the 1955 Moby Dick movie?

Cool Regards!

Ron Worden said...

Good afternoon to all and happy Friday eve. Thanks for the write-up and links Marti,and hand up to Donna L. for a good puzzle. WDS(what Desparado said) also yes Tinman thought of cigar city first, but inkwell came to me so Ocala fell into place. Have a great day to all even though we are dodging rain drops we need it!

Rube said...

I look at an answer like RAFER and ask myself how could young'uns possibly know that outside of xwords? Me? I remember holes in desks for inkwells although we never used them. I also remember TV adds for BB roll-rite pens, ("Look for the redhead...")-- ball point pens, that is.

I agree with the redundancy of CHAITEA.

Doing a little research reveals that there is nothing special about using RHO for 100. Apparently, all the Greek letters were used to represent numbers, e.g. α = 1, β = 2, κ = 20, σ = 200 etc. (That's alpha, beta, kappa, & sigma.) It got pretty complicated for larger numbers! Roman numbers are pretty simple in comparison.

With nary a write-over, this was way too easy for a Thursday puzzle.

Jazzbumpa said...

Ooops. BRA link failure.

Oh, well - this one's better, anyway.


Yellowrocks said...

According to the dictionary definition vases are used to hold flowers or for ornamentation.
The amphora is vase shaped with two handles and a long neck narrower than the body. Amphorae were used in vast numbers to transport and store various products, both liquid and dry, in the ancient Mediterranean world and later the Roman Empire.

I became interested in amphorae by reading historical novels about the ancient Romans and especailly about their shipping. Later I began enjoying documentaries showing the rescue of ancient ships. These almost always contained amphorae.

Bill G. said...

Thanks Donna and Marti. Both the puzzle and writeup were very enjoyable.

Yes I remembered Rafer Johnson. Quite the all around athlete.

Nice link JzB! Regarding bralessness; when the trend was still in its early stages, I was shopping at the local supermarket when I came upon another shopper, both pretty and braless. I tried to be cool and acted as if I really wasn't interested. I thought I'd pulled it off pretty well until I got to the checkout line where I discover several items in my cart that I had never remembered getting.

Life magazine used to have a one-page spread of some beautifully prepared food item along with a pretty photograph. One of them featured steak tartare with a description of the ingredients and how to prepare it. The next week, there was a letter to the editor where the writer complimented them on the delicious-sounding recipe but mentioned they hadn't explained how to cook it. They answered back that if you cooked it, you had hamburger.

Dennis said...

Hey guys, thanks for the advice on India, and Misty, we'll check out that movie; 'preciate the tip.

Racoon Penis Bone would be a good name for a rock group.

Bill G., I would've bet anything you were gonna say that when you got to checkout, you had a cart full of melons...

Lemonade714 said...

Regional cultural bias at work; to think I made it to this age never knowing of RACCOON PENIS BONE as an amulet. The field of RPB study seems wide open though I guess research must be conducted in the areas where the mountain williams live. If for no other reason than this expansion of my education, I thank the world for puzzles and blogs.

desper-otto said...

CED (from Tuesday) -- thanks for the link to the FreeJukeBox. My name is now proudly posted among those who solved the "1960's Easy To Recognize Pop Tunes". I also thought I nailed the 1950's challenge, but apparently I missed one of 'em. #7 was the only one I wasn't absolutely sure about.

2poodles said...

Lots of nostalgic Wisconsin references for me in the puzzle and in these comments. I witnessed a bra burning in 1970 on the UW-Madison campus. When I was a kid, the Pabst signs were the most amazing things I'd ever seen -- they MOVED! And both grandmothers worked for Parker Pen in Janesville. I'm new to crosswords, so Thursday puzzles are still way beyond me, but I have learned a lot here. Thanks to all the bloggers!

Dennis said...

Confession time: I am a bra burner. And an inveterate one. Can't stand 'em, any of them, from single-hookers to five-hookers, front-loaders, back-loaders, athletic ones, they all suck. They're unnecessary impediments to happyland, plus they get in the way in my new part-time profession.

Think I've milked this one enough?

placematfan said...

Lovely puzzle. Didn’t get the clue for BROTH till Marti ‘splained it. Wagged the MEARA/RAFER cross, which seemed an unnecessary Naticking time bomb, as MEARA could so viably be MENSA, e.g.

I started in the South and ended up feeling uncomfortably voyeuristic after the puzzle showed me its JOCKSTRAP and BRAS while standing there in LATHER and STEAMS, so I made it close the door to its room; and when it finally got dressed it came out holding an AMPHORA in its hand, which, having never seen the word, my imagination parsed as some sort of amphibian diaspora and I was unable to let go of the image of zookeepers unlatching frog-exhibit cages; then I was a little underwhelmed by both the obscurity of AMPHORA and the mundaneness of its clue until Google Images helped me grasp the very unmundane fact that this was, of course, a Grecian urn, the subject of an ode in which lies the greatest line in all of poetrydom, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.” And, anyway, not much other than AMPHORA can satisfy the A??H??A pattern necessitated by the theme-entry placement.

placematfan said...

Back in the days when I was happily broke all the time, but frustrated about the inconduciveness of being broke and having a girlfriend, I once received relationship advice to the effect of, “If you can’t do the big things, the little things become big.” Similarly, if longer nontheme entries aren’t possible--usually because of heavy themeage--then the shorter longfill assumes the responsibility of maintaining Sparkle, in this case the awesome entries INKWELL, RAWMEAT, ERSKINE, and CHAITEA.

Rich allowed JOCKSTRAP in an LA Times puzzle; and wasn’t it earlier this year that the NY Times had that MIDASSTOUCH entry?--The School Board of Crossword County are rewriting the Breakfast Test.

Omg what is a therapy dog? Are there therapy cats, too?

Loved the QOD. Nothing has enabled me to overcome dysfunction more than has the realization that perspective is a choice.

Ever tried to write a paragraph using as many candy bar names as possible? Fun exercise, though it’s hard to do without being dirty. But, of course, maybe that’s why it’s fun.

Lemonade714 said...

Mark B. There are therapy dogs, and therapy bunnies and therapy birds but no therapy kittens- that would be obscene.

I in fact never even considered writing a paragraph using cnady bar names.

Thank you

Marge said...

Hi all,
A fun puzzle, good for a Thursday. I didn't expect to get many but as I poked it,I actually got most of it.

I got three of the theme answers but 18A never came. I tried to get the dog in at the begining and that didn't work.

I remember the movie "Tobacco Road" it was so long ago, and somehow the author's first name popped into my head.

In the late 80's our daughter lived in Tampa. When we drove down we were on I-75 and Ocala meant we were getting close. I was always admiring the beautiful white fences and horses we went by. Otherwise, I didn't think Florida was especially scenic. Of course, it has Disney World and all its different theme parks, and the oceans

2Poodles: I'm not sure what you mean about Wis. references in the puzzle. Do you live in Janesville now? I am about 40 miles north of Madison. Welcome to the world of crosswords

Have a nice evening!

Irish Miss said...

Hi everyone:

I am very late today as I had several errands and was out all day. Just finished the puzzle and had to read the comments, which took a while,

The puzzle was much fun and just right for a Thursday, so thank you Donna L. And thank you, Marti, for a wonderful write-up. Got hung up in a few places but perps came to the rescue. Never heard of a Zagnut bar but know what Mad Men is about so that worked out okay. Liked clue for broth but wanted Abbot for the comedy team.

Kazie, your pictures are lovely; what a wonderful trip you had.

Marti, I have been making end eating Steak Tartare for many, many years and no one has ever had any Ill effects. If you would like the recipe, let me know.

For all the Sheldon fans, he is presently starring in the play, Harvey, in the Jimmy Stewart role. I'm not sure if it's on Broadway but it is in NYC. He will probably be at the Tony's on Sunday night.

Have a good evening everyone.

kazie said...

C.C. helped me get to this hanging monastery that I mentioned earlier. She linked this article about it, and from there I found this series of photos with explanations, which are taken from the powerpoint that was sent to me. I guess I needed to look for it in English, rather than trying to spell the Chinese in all the different ways it shows in the slide show.

Once more, thanks to all for comments on the pictures.

Crossword girl said...

Dennis @ 3:33,

You mean milkyway ed it? Be a sweetheart and lose the butterfingers, they are worth zero. Jiffy Boob can mean payday for you, maybe a 100grand! gotta rolo

later kit kats

P.S. Loved your puzzle C.C. Congratulations!

mtnest995 said...

Loved this puzzle and agree with you that thought it was easier than yesterday's offering. Thanks Donna and Marti for tons of fun.

Dennis, welcome back. Your confession reminds me how much we've missed you and your wit!

Beg to differ, Lemon. There are therapy cats. We saw one several years ago while waiting for the tram in Portland. I wish I could remember the breed. She was on a leash and perched on a young man's shoulder. We asked him about his companion and he explained that she keeps him calm and that without her he would never be able to leave the house. She was beautiful and friendly. Google has some links to therapy cats.

Dennis said...

Crossword girl, your comments gave me the Chuckles. As to the Boob&Lube, it's not exactly on 5th Avenue, but I'm in a good location. Lots of Airheads around, none of them Chunky. Maybe a few Goobers, though. So the prospects here are Good & Plenty, with the requisite Mounds. Oh, and trust me, no Butterfingers here when it comes to hook release; just snap 'n go.

Ok, I've given myself a headache with all that. Now I know how Lois feels...

mtnest995, thank you; very kind. Nice to be somewhat back.

Blue Iris said...

I'm always so late to the game and usually don't feel like I have much to add.

Shock Therapy- I attended nursing school in the dark ages. Remember observing patient(called clients now) having shock therapy for DX-Depression. Seemed so cruel. Now it seems cruel that we essentially have no help for mentally ill and they end up homeless on the street.

Shock Jock- Never listened to Imus but his rep precedes him.

Never knew Jai Alai meant " merry celebration."

My son has a Jetta. Are all VW 's called beetles? He likes his car, but repairs are still a big deal.

Mari, you wanted Ollie. I wanted Hardy.

Marti, tour bus picture is more my style. LOL

24D was learning moment... Greek vase= amphora

Kazie, your pictures of Spain are beautiful! Are locals welcoming and helpful?

Argyle said...

Ya know, Dennis, I'd love to know how Lois feels.

Lucina said...

Why, Dennis, you Big Hunk. I'm sure no one Snickers but rewards you with Kisses.

Blue Iris said...

We are going to Riverfest in Salina, KS this week-end. My son is in college there and works for park and rec in summertime. They have a beautiful park system built by WPA. I'm hoping I can find a wheelchair to rent,etc. Otherwise' I'm going to be spending a lot of time on park benches :( Unfortunately, I fell in my backyard while potting some plants in the garden last week.

Dennis said...

Well I'm sure you're a Hot Tamale yourself.

LA CW Addict said...

Great puzzle except I got hung up in the north central. Never knew that "mad men" referred to ADBIZ, thought it was a movie or something. Did not know that darn Zagnut candy bar. Now I've got to go buy one, because I love coconut.

Nit: 5D was clued as Tour Bus Cargo. I originally had Mauna for the hawaiian mountain, which left amps, emps, imps omps or umps for possibilities. I was thinking the tourist bus that Marti showed, and so thought it was maps. Also, I was not looking for an abbreviation. Amps is short for amplifiers... so was a bit disappointed with that.

And no... I never burned my bras. Those who did will be sorry now, because the quality of what you can buy in the stores today ain't what it used to be!

And yes, PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon) is still sold, at least in NYS, as far as I know.

HeartRx said...

Lemon, re: RPB, so glad we are here to support your education!

Dennis @ 3:33…”milked” it enough?? Why, you are just getting started!

placematfan @ 3:36, to further elucidate about Therapy Cats, they are very effective in cases of both autism and PTSD., stroke victims (as physical therapy), heart patients (for lowering BP)…the benefits are innumerable! But the patients who benefit never have to vacuum up all the hair, or scoop the litter, or clean up the hairballs!!

Anony-Mouse said...

I just came across a QUOTE OF MY DAY .... that made me laugh so hard, I jiggled my socks off.... and, surprise of surprises, my wife found it really funny too ...... Here goes ,

I'm not put off by all the dumb-blonde jokes because I'm sure I'm not dumb.
I also know I'm not a blonde.

--- Dolly Parton

Anonymous said...

...and the award for quip of the day goes to Argyle! Clever stuff (you naughty Santa!)

placematfan said...

Short interview with Jim “Sheldon” Parsons about the very singular role of Elwood P. Dowd in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Harvey”. Wikipedia says, "The Roundabout Theatre Company production of the Broadway revival opened in previews on May 18, 2012 (officially on June 14) at Studio 54. Directed by Scott Ellis, Jim Parsons stars as Elwood, with a cast that features Jessica Hecht, Charles Kimbrough, Larry Bryggman and Carol Kane."

Bill G. said...

We have Time Warner cable. My computer is hooked directly into the modem but Barbara connects wirelessly downstairs with her iMac, iPad and iPhone. She has been having trouble getting a reliable signal. So far, the Time Warner techs haven't been able to the problem. A new guy, Bolivar, came by today and immediately thought of moving the modem from a lower shelf to the top of a bookcase. Everything is now working great. Muchas gracias Bolivar para todo.

Seldom Seen said...

lol HeartRx. RPB me, ASAP!

Unfortunately anyone who googles "raccoon penis bone" from now on will be sent here!

That is until I get the band back together and launch our new website,

JD said...

Hi all,

Donna always gives us a fun run, and with Marti explaining alai and rhos, it was a double delicious. I've never seen a Zagnut!?

Did this in three sittings while scrubbing off left over wallpaper paste.Not a fun job. Each time I filled in a little more as I caught on to some clues that hadn't clicked the 1st time. Maybe I should do end of week puzzles like this more often, as I finished with only having to check out the Thorpedo.

Lemonade, you gave me the laugh of the day..plastic hero! I'm laughing again.

Kazie, lovely pictures.

Ray Bradbury will be missed.If you like children's lit., this is a good one, All Summer in a Day

Dennis, beautiful sunset. Thanks for giving our blog a little spark today.

Anonymous said...


Victoria's Secret Model said...

In keeping with today's theme, here is the c-string.

Dennis said...

anon, JD's right - the new avatar's a sunset.

Unknown said...

I agree about the movie! It was great. Great puzzle today.

lois said...

Good evening Marti, CC, et al., What a great DAY..a Donna Levin puzzle, Dennis on top, and Santa baby workin' the bras. LOVE IT!

I thought it might be my lack of practice that made this puzzle challenging. Decided it was more my RECTal glaucoma that BETRAYed me along with the lack of a PABST in my left hand. Thought of Fallflat, I mean Falstaff, as a retro beer but it didn't fit. PBR is still a favorite around here.. as is BUD, moonshine and STILLs. And Holy Hotwick!!Loved that RAW MEAT and JOCKSTRAP are here together - my Raison d'ETRE -a WEE one would be just a VALUE MEAL. I love this DAY! Thank you Donna and Marti for lifting the cloak of GLOOM from around here.

You guys are killing me! My DD's bring 'al-men joy', well at least to those who have some finger dexterity and a lot of savoir faire. As for burning bras? Just ditch the contraptions. Why waste the match and the time?

Dennis: "I have a headache" has NEVER been 'udder'ed from any of my lips at any time. Why waste an opportunity?

Santa baby: I would love for you to know FIRST HAND how I feel...Do you want to come early this year?

fermatprime said...


Great work, Donna and Marti!

Rafer Johnson came to our house years ago as the date of a very rich, white student. He held my daughter on his lap. For the life of me, I cannot find the picture I took!

All aches and pains today. Swam anyway.


Anonymous said...

sorry JD, i assumed it was an east coast shot. great picture Dennis.

CrossEyedDave said...

I was looking to see if maybe there was a 60's political group called the B.R.A. (no such luck) when i stumbled across this curiosity. Apparently it is called The Cardrona Bra Fence.

Also, if you have never had Cat Therapy, you don't know what your missing. (But sometimes sessions can be interrupted by very sharp claws!)

(& tipping with seafood is expected)

Dennis said...

anon, it is an east coast pic, taken at sunset. The sun was going down behind me and lit up the eastern sky as you see.

Lois, I would never suspect you of going the 'headache' route. Part of that, yes.

Lemonade714 said...

Day thoughts

PBR and RPB are anagrammatical initialisms.

C-strings? really? And when do we get to see the Victoria Secret Models model them?

Lois your humor touches me.

I was not being serious about cat therapy.

Sheldon as Elwood with Carol Kane, damn I wish I were up north

Anonymous said...

lemony, glad you pointed out that PBR/RPB relationship. we would have never figured that one out.

Bill G. said...

I almost ran off the bike path into the sand a few years back when a pretty young woman in a thong bathing suit was sunning herself right next to the bike path. If any of them show up wearing C-strings, that might be a worse distraction than texting while driving. If it starts happening, I better just walk my bike.

kazie said...

Blue Iris,
Yes, they did seem to be friendly. At least those we met were, and we observed no altercations among any of the locals anywhere. We actually had minimal contact other than those working in tourist areas.

2poodles said...

Marge, I live in Madison now. Both parents grew up in Janesville.