Aug 15, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 Kurt Krauss

Do these pants make my theme look fat?

Oh my gosh - Steve here with one of those questions for the ages. Just as there are no polite answers to certain questions ("Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot to cook the mushrooms - would you have liked some?") we have the MOAQ (the Mother Of All Questions). I'll leave it to you all to deal with that one, I have no good answer.

Let's get on with the crossword!

17A. Support, as a cause : GET BEHIND

23A. Inside scoop : SCUTTLEBUTT I think one word, and a lovely word at that.

36A. Washington neighborhood that's home to the State Department : FOGGY BOTTOM. A restaurant close to where I live serves a Foggy Bottom Burger, which is a beef patty with Peanut Butter and Jelly. I must ask them for the back-story.

49A. Position of advantage : CATBIRD SEAT This probably involves a huge amount of explanation around what is a catbird, why a cat bird has a seat, and why it's advantageous. This might be one phrase that we all accept we know, understand what the intention is, and move on.

59A. Ran into on the road, or an apt description of 17-, 23-, 36- and 49-Across : REAR-ENDED. The only issue I have with this unifier is that we all have a horrible memory of being the rear-ender or the rear-endee, and neither was pleasant.

So a nice theme - it really helped me, some of the fill was tough for me. At one point I was going to call this puzzle a MOAN (Mother Of All Naticks) but the theme really helped out. Let's see what caused the trouble.


1. When repeated, a Samoan city : PAGO. Bora Bora. No wait - city, not island.

5. "Fernando" foursome : ABBA. What an earworm! Maybe that didn't help going forward.

9. Hustle tickets outside the stadium : SCALP

14. Hardly snow-colored, to Keats : EBON. Loved the clue here. Needed white, then not white - so OK - black, or Ebony, then Keats, then the answer.

15. Campus bigwig : DEAN

16. Long-legged bird : WADER. One day we'll see Flamingo.

19. Flared dress : A-LINE

20. Take a shot at : TRY FOR

21. Naval forces : FLEETS. Or Navies, or Armadas, or Task Forces. Fleets are somewhere in the middle of that lot.

22. "Lord, is __?": Matthew : IT I. Did he ever get a straight answer that night? I'm not sure he did. It tends to ruin a Last Supper when you go home muttering about being a betrayer when all along you aren't.

26. Pinot noirs, e.g. : REDS. Got one right here. Alma Rosa 2008, Santa Rita Hills CA. Cheers!

28. USS Enterprise counselor : TROI. Here's one of my close-but-not-quite Naticks. I had to look at the cross (25D) very carefully before I make my pick of the O.

29. Great Lakes' __ Canals : SOO. Wow - never heard of them. Now I have.

30. Hebrew name for God : ADONAI. I was muttering about Yahweh for a while. Apologies - never heard of this name either.

33. German surrealist : ERNST. Something about Germans and surrealists don't really go together. I expect Mercedes, Audis and BMW's, not melting clocks and experimental dances.

39. Far from original : BANAL

40. Like some icy weather : SLEETY. Could do with some sleety weather here in LA. 100+. Nice and toasty.

43. Photo __: media events : OPS. Thank goodness they're not called Photographic Opportunities any more, otherwise the tabloids would run out of ink.

46. City on Utah Lake : OREM.

48. De Matteo of "The Sopranos" : DREA. My confession Natick - missed this one letter - gambled on "I" and it didn't work. I didn't watch "The Sopranos" and I've never lived in Jersey, so DRIA and TIANECK sounded fine to me. DNF for this one letter.

54. Scoff at a scarecrow? : CAW. Loved, loved this clue.

55. Vehement speech : TIRADE

56. Deep serving bowl : TUREEN. I'm going to market a wider, shallower tureen and see if anyone objects.

58. Pop up : ARISE

62. The "'em" in "Put 'em up!" : DUKES - You know I'm a Notre Dame fan and can't possibly let this one go by!

63. __ breve: 2/2 time : AL'LA

64. "Eeew!" : YECH

65. Broke down into letters : SPELT

66. Forest growth : MOSS

67. Pops the question : ASKS. If the pants/theme question was navigated successfully, this might be the next challenge.


1. Pin for hanging : PEG

2. Cased the joint, perhaps : ABETTED. The criminal charge is usually "Aiding and Abetting". I always wonders where you stopped aiding and started abetting, and which was the worse of the two. If I was a Defense Attorney I'd claim my clients only aided for a while, and stopped short of abetting when things started to get out of hand. No?

3. Eradicated : GOT RID OF

4. "Walk __": Dionne Warwick hit : ON BY Awesome! I can stop listening to ABBA now.

5. Specialized, committee-wise : AD-HOC. This was intriguing to me. I'd never thought of "ad-hoc" meaning anything other than off-the-cuff, but then thought maybe I was confusing "ad lib". I still think of ad-hoc as unscripted.

6. Lebanon's capital : BEIRUT. This was such a beautiful city.

7. Outlaw : BAN. Verb, not noun.

8. "What else?" : AND.

9. Low-lying wetland : SWALE. I knew this from playing golf - a swale is a low-lying area next to the green - think a bunker with no sand in it.

10. Biblical spy : CALEB. My name is Bond. Caleb Bond.

11. Farewells : ADIEUS. I first learned this word in an old British sea shanty

"Farewell and Adieu to you fair Spanish Ladies
Farewell and Adieu to you ladies of Spain
For we're under orders to sail for olde England
And we never will see you fair ladies again".

And I thought it odd the sailors weren't happy to be going home to their brunette wives! Funny how you learn!

12. Let use for a bit : LENT TO. I thought this was pretty cool as "Let" could be present or past tense, which would make either "Lend" or "Lent".

13. Magician's word : PRESTO

18. Affluent couple? : EFS. Hmmm. I thought F was spelt EFF?

21. Spark-producing stones : FLINTS

22. Roth plan, briefly : I.R.A. Please don't confuse your Individual Retirement Account with the Irish Republican Army.

24. Multiplies by three : TREBLES. Hand up for TRIPLES first.

25. Mower maker : TORO. See close Natick-avoidance.

27. Nose-in-the-air sort : SNOB

31. Turk's title of honor : AGA

32. Slight : IGNORE

34. Arch city: Abbr. : STL

35. __ the line: conformed : TOED. I think you did this when you were in the ...

37. Prison area : YARD

38. Luxury car biggie : MERCEDES

41. New Jersey township bordering Hackensack : TEANECK. Natick fail for me.

42. Veer from a course : YAW

43. Groups of eight : OCTADS. Hand up for OCTETS first

44. Group in twos : PAIR UP

45. X in an alley : STRIKE

47. Iron and zinc : METALS. Had a real problem with this, I put in ALLOYS first when I knew (KNEW!) that Iron and Zinc are elements. I fiddled around with it and finally gave it up.

50. Swiss city on the Rhine : BASEL. Alternate spelling is BASLE, so always wait for the crosses.

51. Clarifying Latin phrase : ID EST. I love how you clarify a point in English using a Latin phrase which isn't exactly daily usage.

52. Glowing emanations : AURAS

53. III, in modern Rome : TRE. Hand up for reading "ill" as in "sick" and wondering how you spell "Excuse me, I'm not feeling quite myself this morning" in Italian and three letters.

57. New Ager with four Grammys : ENYA.

59. Hull-cracking projection : RAM

60. "Telephone Line" rock gp. : E.L.O. E.W.T. (Ear Worm Three)

61. Players who only bat, briefly : D.H.s. There seems to be no consensus about how you spell and punctuate the abbreviation for "Designated Hitters", so I'm going with my own transatlantic best guess.

Answer grid.

That's it from me. I hope you had as much fun with this as I did for a Wednesday - thanks to Kurt for a good mental workout midweek.



Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Zoomed through today with nary a speed bump, other than having OCTETS first.

Steve, your sense of humor was right in line with mine this morning! Thanks for the chuckles. Oh, and I'm with you about AD HOC - to me it suggests "improvised".

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Delightful theme today. Very nice solve overall with a few minor hiccups:

* Wanted a specific bird name for 16A, so I resisted putting in WADER even as the perps made it evident.

* Put in TRIPLES instead of TREBLES at 24D and had to fix it later.

* Almost put in OCTET at 43D, but my experience with TREBLES made me wary. I waited to see what the perps would reveal and correctly went with OCTADS instead.

* Not crazy about SPELT. Is that archaic, English, alternate or just a type of wheat?

* Technically, I don't think ADONAI is the Hebrew name for God. God's name cannot be written down in Jewish tradition and ADONAI translates to "My Lord".

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Steve and friends. I found this puzzle to be so amusing! SCUTTLE BUTT was my first theme answer, and, even though I am very familiar with the word, seeing "BUTT" made me laugh. Then when I got to FOGGY BOTTOM, I knew we were looking for alternatives to Tush.

We now know that ADIEUS are the final farewells.

I never heard of the SOO Canals, but apparently these canals have made the top 10 list of Historic Canals in the US.

I was sure that a Low-Lying Wetland was a Swamp and not a SWALE. Unfortunately, the first three letters of my answer were correct!

Hand up for Octets instead of OCTADS. I liked seeing the Groups of Eight, Group in Twos and Multiplies by Three all in the same puzzle.

I love your reference to CALEB Bond, Steve!

Max ERNST's work looks a lot like Salvador Dali's work.

TOED the Line made me think of this song.

ADONAI is a "substitute" word for G~d, but is also sometimes used in modern Hebrew to be a polite word for Mr. or Sir, when you don't know the person's name.

In honor of Julia Child's 100th birthday, here is today's QOD: In department stores, so much kitchen equipment is bought indiscriminately by people who just come in for men's underwear. ~ Julia Child

Anonymous said...

Barry, you are right! Adonai is Lord (in small letters after L). God is all caps (LORD). YAHWEH is also acceptable (but wouldn't fit).

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Kurt Krauss, for an enjoyable puzzle. Thank you, as well, Steve, for the excellent write-up, as always.

Good to be home. Had a great trip, even though we did not win. However, Harvey's team won first place in their class. I met Harvey and he is a very nice gentleman.

Steve: The 22A question "Is it I?" was asked by Judas Iscariot. The answer was by Jesus, who said, "Thou hast said." Written in the book of Matthew.

SCALP was easy for 9A. See the scalpers at Wrigley Field each time I go.

FOGGY BOTTOM was my first theme answer. I was just near there and saw the name on the Metro Map.

SCUTTLEBUTT came next.

CATBIRD SEAT was kind of a wag. It fit.

TUREEN was easy. At our church back in Erie, we had Tureen Dinners. Out here we call them Potlucks. In Indiana they are called Pitch-Ins. Anyhow, I love them all. People always bring their best dishes to serve at these events. Yum!

I had to bounce around to to get all the answers. But with a letter or two they all appeared.

TROI was not familiar to me. Perped it.

Two more days on my medicine and then I can have a beer. Get my stitches out on Monday. My hand seems to be healing. I'll let the doctor make that final decision.

See you tomorrow.


HeartRx said...

Good morning Steve, C.C. et al.

Great write-up, Steve, as always I loved your humor. You cracked me up with your "aiding and abetting" defense tactic. And some lovely ear worms to get me through the day! (Thanks for getting rid of those with "Draggin' the Line", Hahtool!!)

I had a few hesitations that needed perp checks before filling in, like ADONis before ADONAI, and yes - hand up for triples before TREBLES and octets before OCTADS at 43D. At 16A I wanted a specific bird, like egret or heron or stork. Unless they were referring to the actual bird called a WADER, but which is called a "shorebird" in the US....

But when I got to the unifier, I had a good chuckle. Except for the painful memory of that rear-ender I was in that ruined my lovely little sportscar (I was the rear-endee...)

Overall, the fill seemed really nice with nary a nit in sight. Even the clue for ADIEUS was spot-on! Thanks for a fun hump day puzzle, KK!

Anony-Mouse said...

Thank you Mr. Krauss for a very nice and doable puzzle ... the long answers were easy enough, that I could get through my personal naticks. And thank you Steve, the foodie-king, for your subtle and charming Brit humour.... and thank you for explaining Id Est, and DH's.

'Aiding and abetting', are such simultaneous actions, like 'Breaking and entering',- you cannot have one without the other - , that (I think ) the two(s) are paired to remove all doubt in the minds of the jurors (?)...

I thought it ironical that 'Got rid of' crossed 'Adonai'. ... On a strictly semantic level, if there is a word that is an alternate, to an alternate, to a word ( that you cannot / should not mention -)... doesn't the third alternate still mean God (?) .... If religion is indeed a creation of different groups of mankind, we have certainly have had some creative and convoluted ideas to create awe in the rest of us. The best religion would be that which allows us to live our lives in peace and bliss, without impinging on the rights of others, which is a tall order in this overcrowded world. There are numerous published studies, where cockroaches, kept in a confined space, with a limited amount of food, will sense 'overpopulation', and stop breeding .... now, if we could only learn from them.

Please note, this tirade is not against any particular religion, organized or otherwise...

HeartRx said...

I forgot to mention that EBON appeared in the exact same spot in today's NYT puzzle. It caused a senior moment for me as I thought, "Didn't I just solve this puzzle"???

Yellowrocks said...

We came home yesterday from a lovely week in WV accompanied by my older sister. The weather was perfect, breezy, fair, and not too hot, except for one day of light drizzle. The scenery is awesome. We always rent a cottage in the state parks. In the past 40 years we have visited the various parks maybe 30 times.

There I copied the LA puzzles from the lodge computer and skimmed the blog, with no time to comment. I will second the choice of Louis L'Amour's The walking Drum, and all his other writing. Also, as a major Streep fan, I second the choice of the movie, It's Complicated.

It was fun to be on vacation and it’s good to be back home.

Yellowrocks (hugs) from Kathy

PS Grumpy, I miss you. You often wrote just what I was thinking.

TTP said...

Thank you Kurt and thank you Steve. Got the TA DA inside of 38 min, BUT, had to turn on red letter help at about 35 min. Not eins, not dos, but tre letters appeared in red. 43D had OCTAls, 65A SPELl, and 51D IDEaL. OK, not octals, but can't be octets with a from arise, hmmm. would d fit ? What the heck does 62A clue mean ? Put em up ? Bank robbery ? What ? 65A is that odd feeling word again. SPELT. So now 51D makes sense with ID EST, so back to 43D groups of eight and 62A Put em up. Put up your dukes. I get it. That was painful.

Hand up for TRIples ere TREBLES and Hand up for being sick in modern Rome. Fell briefly into a potential trap at 12D with LENdTO. 28A TROI was filled with perps. Crossing A at 30A, 31D was purely a lucky guess. 48A DREA perped with highly probable YAW and "makes reasonable sense" TEANECK. I will have to google TEANECK. Should I know of this township for some reason ?

All in all a very challenging and fun puzzle. Gave me a few more things to go read about as well. Time to post comments and see what everyone else is saying.

kazie said...

I had many of the same unknowns/missteps and naticks as the rest of you.

I didn't know/never heard of SOO, TROI, ADONAI, FOGGY BOTTOM, DREA, TEANECK or CATBIRD SEAT. I also fell for OCTETS and TRIPLES before perps told me otherwise. The theme helped considerably with my WAGS.

I went looking in my Latin dictionary to get the original meaning of HOC, but had to go to AD to get the whole phrase, which was given as "besides". In my experience, it's a sub-committee that deals with a special problem in addition to the normal board activities. Usually it functions only for however much time is needed until the problem is dealt with.

The phrase ID EST is normally shortened to i.e., and literally means "that is", hence introducing an explanation.

Enjoy hump day! That reminds me: recently my DIL wrote me a note mentioning Bergfest--literally mountain festival/party. I'd never heard of it before, but since she said it would be at noon last Wednesday, I have to assume it's German for hump day!

End of daily language class for today.

Yellowrocks said...

I enjoyed this puzzle and witty write up. It seemed to be about a Monday level. The only unknown was CNS, all perps.

As a member of various organizations, I have been on several AD HOC committees designed for a specific one time need. From Wiki, Ad hoc is a Latin phrase meaning "for this". It generally signifies a solution designed for a specific problem or task, non-generalizable, and not intended to be able to be adapted to other purposes.

Wiki also has a good article on CATBIRD SEAT and a picture of an actual catbird. I often hear this idiom.

I enjoy Steve's Farewell, Adieu sea song. It was used by the Royal Navy before sea shanties were developed.
Link song

TTP said...

Hahtoolah ! Tommy James link. Thanks ! Hadn't heard that one in a long time. All those great songs by Tommy James and the Shondells. Crystal Blue Persuasion, Crimson and Clover, I Think We're Alone Now. There were more, and so many were great.

Mari said...

My comments keep disappearing (?)

Mari said...

OK, last try...

TROI pops up a lot in these puzzles. If you didn't watch Star Trek: The Next Generation (which has been off the air for several years) you wouldn't know of her.

WEES on TREBLES and OCTADS. ID EST didn't clarify anything for me.

I liked the clues for 45D: X in an Alley: STRIKE, and 18D: Affluent Couple: EFS (even though I agree it should be EFFS).

Have a great day!

Spitzboov said...

Good Morning everyone. Good commenting, Steve.

Highly 'visual' theme today. Rest of the cw was fun, too. Did not know ADONAI. Vowel rich. Several nautical clues today - FLEETS, YAW, and 'hull' ..... Basel is at the head of navigation on the Rhine. The SOO locks and canals permit commercial navigation between L. Superior and L's Michigan-Huron, about a 20' drop. EFS was clever.

Enjoy the day.

desper-otto said...

Steve, you had me chuckling all the way through today's write-up. Good job.

I was not tricked by OCT__S or TR__LES. I knew enough to wait for the perps to decide. ADONAI, however, was a learning moment.

The first 'E' in TEANECK was a wag, but it somehow sounded familiar.

The city of Sault Ste Marie (pronounced Soo Sehnt Muh-ree) is at the very northern point of lower Michigan. The SOO locks (probably named so people don't pronounce it as SALT) are located on the Saint Mary River to allow shipping traffic to make the level drop from Lake Superior down to the level of the lower great lakes. They've been in operation since the mid-1800's. TMI?

Have a great hump day!

desper-otto said...

Correction: Sault Ste. Marie is actually on Michigan's UPPER peninsula...just north of the northern tip of LOWER Michigan.

Anonymous said...

Fun puzzle.

Argyle said...

Mari, due to some unknown quirk, your first two posts went to the spam filter. Since I see the third time was the charm, I left the other two where they were.

Husker Gary said...

I solved this at my “free” breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express and wonder how the proprietors know if people coming in to eat are actual customers.

-Lovely/learned write-up Steve.
-I saw the theme and really wondered what theme Kurt was going for. I wonder if he liked RUMP roast.
-SCUTTLE BUTT was seldom correct at our school.
-Baseball broadcaster Red Barber was very famous for saying a team or player was “sittin’ in the catbird seat” when they were doing well.
-I had a brief Natick until I saw ‘em meant dukes. I thought there was an esoteric grammar name for words shortened like ‘em at first.
-I love ABBA and could not understand how people hated disco. Hey, it’s only music. Even rap is fun if you don’t get the songs with violence and misogyny.
-I know something about the early edition of Star Wars and Star Trek but after that, not so much. I knew TROI from here and have never heard Sheldon mention her.
-Not SLEETY here but tomorrow is going to have a high in the 70’s with stiff north winds
-Lovely cities like BEIRUT have fallen prey to religious and political idiocy over the years.
-When I sing at church my tempo is PRESTO not LARGO.
-TORO’s personal pace mowers are very cool. Is that what they use in the prison YARD?
-A space vehicle can YAW and still stay on course in a side-saddle sort of way.
-No idea on ADONAI.

Papa Cass said...

To the question:
"Do these pants make me look fat?"

I believe in the honest answer:
"No dear" with the mumbled addition:
"It's your fat ass that's does it"

Fun puzzle today!

Happy hump day to you all!

Irish Miss said...

Good morning:

WEES re octets and triples. Didn't understand TROI until Mari explained it. (Never watched Stark Trek in any way, shape, or form. Sorry, Sheldon.)

Had Naticks at 59D and 60D so this was my first DNF in a while. Enjoyed the theme and the cluing. Nice challenge, KK! and super write-up, Steve. Go Irish!

Happy Wednesday to all.

Mari said...

Argyle @ 9:55 am: Thank you sir. For a minute I thought I was exiled.

Ron Worden said...

Good morning and happy hump day to all. Fun puzzle and great humor, thanks Steve. Hand up for triples and octets first,but dukes and Ernst made the right bulb go off.
To Tin all the candidates I selected are moving on so I am happy today.
Have a great day to all. RJW.

Lucina said...

Greetings, puzzlers. Steve, you are so funny! Thank you for the amusing commentary. I appreciate the links, too, as I love ABBA amd Dione Warwick.

And thank you, Kurt Drauss, for the entertaining crossword today.

Hand up for BORA but Walk ON BY opened my eyes and changed that to PAGO. After that it was a romp and sashay all the way through.

TRIPLES momentarily tripped me, too, but not for long though OCTAD was my first choice. ADONAI emerged from the FOGGY recesses though I wanted YAHWEH but couldn't IGNORE that it didn't fit.

Alas! I did not know ALLA and wrote ENO for the band however, I now have ENYA firmly embedded.

From yesterday's conversation, I may have to learn to do crosswords online as my newspaper is increasing to $24 a month. Still undecided about it.

Someone asked me if I had seen It's Complicated and of course, I forgot to answer yes. Meryl Streep movies are always at the top of my list.

Have a marvelous Wednesday, everyone!

Tinbeni said...

Nice, FUN, Wednesday offering. Thanks Kurt (What is your Middle Initial?) Krause.

I see NATICK being thrown about a lot here lately.
Per Rex Parker (who coined the phrase).
NATICK PRINCIPLE — "If you include a proper noun in your grid that you cannot reasonably expect more than 1/4 of the solving public to have heard of, you must cross that noun with reasonably common words and phrases or very common names."
[For complete explanation: Go to the REX PARKER site, click on FAQ tab at the top, scroll down.]

As such, DREA crossing TEANECK, NJ, I don't believe "actually" qualifies.

Something isn't a NATICK simply because it is something you don't know.

Example: ADONAI was my learning moment today but the crosses (perps) got it for me.
As such ... not really a natick.

Ron: Only ab out half my candidates advanced ... oh well.


Misty said...

Fun puzzle, fun write-up--many thanks, Kurt and Steve! Made a few goofy mistakes: got fancy with 'Farewells' and so put in ADIEUX, which gave me XOO instead of SOO for those canals. Then put in YECK instead of YECH--since I would personally say YUCK for 'Eeew.'

Also had SWAMP before SWALE, and still can't believe SPELT is a past tense of SPELLED. But loved the references to Max ERNST, my favorite surrealist, and to BASEL, a wonderful Swiss city where I lived for a year.

So, a great Wednesday morning, all around. Have a good one, everybody!

Sfingi said...

Shema Yisroel, adonai eloheinu, adonai echad.(Hear, O Israel, the lord thy god, the lord is one; the statement that Jews are monotheistic.
So many ways to spell it in English.

I prefer SPELT as a type of wheat.

I saw another theme in this puzzle - expressions ending in prepositions:

@Husker - I like disco. As they used to say on American Bandstand, "It's got a good beat and you can dance to it." Polkas, too.

Nice, non-Googly puzzle for me.

CrossEyedDave said...

DNF, between foggy & catbird, i was stumped. I asked my daughter for help since we are driving her to George Washington University in a couple of weeks, right away she said "Foggybottom!" That's my home!

Anonymous said...

Agree with Kazie, WTF is a catbirdseat? 2d abetted? Kind of stretching it huh? I see the standard Enya, ELO just became a standard clue. Did like strike in an alley, but that's a Thurs or Fri stump the chump clue isn't it?

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Hand up for entering OCTET and TRIPLES at first. Knew ADONAI from the initial A. The hardest part for me was in the YECH / DHS area.

Steve, thanks for your witty writeup; I like your sense of humor.

There was a guy where I work who couldn't say a complete sentence without saying "I.E." at least once. "Blah blah blah, ie, blah blah blah, ie, blah blah blah." He would put entire roomfuls of people asleep in a few minutes. I hate to say it, but I was glad when he got fired. Meetings got finished in 1/3 the time after he was gone.

Sfingi, good catch on the expressions ending in prepositions.

Every time I hear the term Foggy Bottom I think of George Shultz.

I liked Drea DeMatteo in the TV show "Joey," the "Friends" spin-off starring Matt LeBlanc. Jennifer Coolidge was awesome in that show, too.

Does Kate MOSS gather no rolling stones? Wait. that's not it...

Bye for now.

Anonymous said...

ANON @ 11:59. Look it up. It is common.

Yellowrocks said...

Speaking of rears, "Man Shoots Himself in the Butt." How embarrassing!
Link Butt Shot

Butt Shot reminds me, I thought this DF crowd might show a little beefcake or cheesecake.

Spitzboov said...

The hurrieder I go the BEHINDER I get.

I use CATBIRD SEAT all the time in daily conversation. Good to see in the puzzle.

There's a Sault Ste. Marie on each side of the US - Canadian border at the SOO; in MI and ONT. Years ago I took the ferry across; they are now connected by a bridge.

FOGGY BOTTOM is a listed Washington DC subway stop. It is next to George Washington Univ.

tampagirl said...

I really enjoyed the puzzle today and especially Steve's comments. All the references to rearends was too funny. Catbird seat was one of Yogi Berra's clever remarks. Alng with It's not over till it's over. Now if I can stop singing Fernando I can get on with my day. Enjoy hump day.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Definitely not on Kurt's wavelength today, but right on Steve's.

Steve - your theme made me LoL - literally.

Evidently, Red Barber brought "sitting in the CATBIRD SEAT" into the lexicon, and James Thurber made it popular.

Anon @ 11:59 - you need to read more and work more puzzles. Hanging around here will also help.

My neighborhood has no storm sewers. Drainage is via a system of culverts and SWALES. Adjoining YARDS slope to a common SWALE that drains toward the street. During a heavy rain A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT describes my front YARD.

I still put in SWAMP.

SCUTTLEBUTT is a strange word with Link texta colorful history. Looks like it ought to be a verb, meaning [in keeping with the theme] to GET RID OF adipose tissue from the gluteal region.

Tigers-Twins in a rare Wed. afternoon game. Scherzer makes games too exciting. Walked the first two in the second, then struck out the side.


Lemonade714 said...

Actually, it is the announcer Red Barber who is credited (by James Thurber among others) with the origin of the CATBIRD SEAT.

Lemonade714 said...

You think you know the inspiration for the SOGGY BOTTOM BOYS?

Sfingi said...

Re: my favorite sport, The Triple Crown, because it lasts 2 min. and because it is about horsies - SWALE won the Derby and the Belmont and dropped dead 8 days later. Seems like yesterday.

Max ERNST is not cute and cuddly like Dali, Miro, Tanguy or Magritte, but in keeping with German sadism, note MAry spanking Jesus, etc. Not something I'd want to hang in my house. So, sell, sell, sell.

Mari said...

Lemonade714 @ 1:40 pm: I love the Soggy Bottom Boys! What a great movie!

JD said...

Good afternoon all,

No time last evening to report on our fun outing yesterday. G.G. and Chickie said it all.Dodo is wonderful, so upbeat and all smiles.Hopefully we can get together with CA before too long. Her hip was giving her a problem.
Got home just in time for the grandsons' soccer; a gorgeous warm evening to have a family picnic.

Steve, I loved your title today. Although I have not heard of foggy bottom, or catbird seat, I could fill in all the tushes. I had the same problems as most of you and did leave a blank: dre-/y-w. sigh, but felt good about completing the rest, filling a letter at a time at the end. Can U spell MOLASSES?

BTW, spelt sounds awful to me..always has.Swale is not such a pretty word either.

Hahtoolah, enjoyed the information about the canals. It sparked my interest , so I checked out canals in CA.; they are mostly called ditch, drain, flume, aqueduct... not too exciting, but Venice does have canals that are lovely. They remind me of the ones in Naples, FLA.There is an 80 mi. aqueduct called the All American Canal which carries water to the Imperial Valley via the Colorado R.

Argyle said...

Ron Palillo, who played Horshack, died yesterday. We were just talking about him yesterday, too.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, This was a DNF for me as I put in Stripe for X in an Alley, so that made it Dupes instead of Dukes in Put 'em up. That just didn't compute today.

I had Catbird Seat, but I have never heard that expression before. Where have I been?

I thought the theme was very clever and I had to laugh at all the meanings for rears!

I loved your sense of humor today, Steve.

One of Margaret Truman's Mysteries was entitled, The Murder in Foggy Bottom. I wouldn't have had the answer to that clue if I hadn't read her book.

In case you missed my late posting yesterday, the CA Coven had a great visit, even though CA was unable to come. She just wasn't up to the drive. However, we had a lot of good conversation, lots of laughs, and Dodo sends her love to everyone on the blog.

Have a great day!

PK said...

Wow, what a great musical group we are today! I could hardly get through Steve's great blog because of my detour through ABBA land. Like potato chip, one ABBA song is never enough. The other song offerings were also enjoyable.

Fun, fun puzzle, KK! You weren't scraping the bottom of the barrel with this one. WEES!

I got most everything straightened out except for the "K" in the STRIpE/DUpES cross. Oh, bowling...I was thinking X marks the spot where a body lay in the alley. Watching too many crime shows!

I had heard of TEANECK but failed to put anything in the square.

With all those rears I wanted "Pinch" hitter at 61D.

Wouldn't a CATBIRD sit on a tree limb where it could see everything and screech comments?

My grandson Aaron is 10-years-old today. My DIL sent a handsome picture from OK. Several bloggers have 10y-o grandsons, it must have been a loving Nov.-Dec. 2001. Aaron's bro Levi is 8 tomorrow.

Lucina said...

Thank you for linking the Soggy Bottom Boys! I love that movie, too.

Irish Miss said...

Lucina @ - 11:04 - Don't feel too bad about the increase in cost for your newspaper; I pay $70.00 for 10 weeks for our local paper. But I can't imagine not having a morning newspaper to pore over at my leisure. Reading it online is just not the same. I have the same bias towards ereaders versus a hardcover book.

Tinbeni @ 11:26 - I did use Natick incorrectly. I just didn't know Elo or alla.

Misty said...

Well, Max Ernst did have a satirical edge, but some of his paintings protested bombing in World War I, and he was arrested by the Gestapo in Paris at the beginning of World War II and escaped only with the help of Peggy Guggenheim, whom he later married--although the marriage lasted only for a year (according to Wiki). He and Dorothea Tanning eventually lived in Sedona, I believe, before returning to Europe.

CrossEyedDave said...

OK Yellowrocks, you asked for DF

Manac said...

O.K. This is only for the DF crowd here. Just remember, CED started it!
Bottom's up

Manac said...

Sorry, should have said Yellowrocks started it. CED got the ball rolling

Bill G. said...

A couple of days ago, I pulled up too close to a stone retaining wall at the front end of our driveway and slightly dinged up the front bumper and license plate holder. It's one of those things that would have annoyed me every time I got in my car (a year-and-a-half old Camry). I called the Customer Relations lady at the dealer and she said she would have 'her guy' take care of it for me. He took off the bumper, sanded it, repainted it and put on a new license-plate holder. It looks like new again. It was well worth $175 to avoid the constant reminder of my carelessness.

I too prefer newspapers and books but I've given in to the digital age. Our newspaper cut corners. They even reduced the physical size of the paper to save money such that it became harder for me to read. My kids bought me a Nook last Christmas. I'm almost finished reading "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" on it. I like the reader OK but the book has left me cold. The last 20 percent of it will have to be spectacular to convince me I haven't wasted my time.

Manac, I enjoyed your link. (Also thank you to Yellowrocks and CED.) I wonder if the cameramen need an assistant? Twenty dollars an hour would be OK... It's all that I can afford right now.

CrossEyedDave said...

Ack! Don't mention my name! I'm still in hot water for last weeks post i had to delete!

(I hope my PC doesn't get a virus...)

Oh well, what the heck! My PC is 10 years old anyway, & lived a happy life. ( i think i will watch it again!)

LOL BillG!

PK said...

Jayce, Talk about disappointing books reminded me. The book I was reading and left in the middle is "Potboiler" by Jesse Kellerman. I have always liked everything by his parents Jonathan and Faye Kellerman and will continue to buy them.

CED: butt that's too funny!

Bill G: that link was not all it was cracked up to be.

PK said...

OOps! my message to BillG. should have been for Manac, naughty boy!

Yellowrocks said...

Thanks Maniac and CED. CED, I'm sure you aced TEANECK.

On the last day of our vacation the printer at the lodge would not print the LA light Monday puzzle. I had only 10 minutes and would have finished easily before we had to leave for home. I tried doing the puzzle on line, but found the navigation terrible. I like to glance at any clue I wish for a split second and move on. Kudos for all who solve online. No wonder you do all the across clues and then all the downs. I don't like online newspapers and so have hesitated to get a Kindle or other reader. I read in the bath tub, at impossible lying down angles and whatever.

I do love being able to look up any curiosity of mine instantaneously instead of finding a book. I had so many questions on vacation that I could not satisfy without a computer or a book.

To newbies at puzzle solving, I recommend looking up anything you find odd or unknown. It will implant the idea in your consciousness for future solving. The computer has tremendously improved my solving success. Although I like to read in print, the computer is irreplaceable for learning.

Jayce said...

I, too, prefer to read real print on paper, but I confess I have been reading a lot more than I otherwise would have been because of my Kindle. My wife wants to cancel our subscription to the newspaper but so far I have been successful in convincing her that the print version still has advantages over the on-line version, especially since she tried to access the on-line version and found it difficult to navigate and to read.

I also miss Grumpy 1.

PK, thanks for the heads-up.

Yellowrocks, I'm trying to imagine you in impossible lying down angles in the bathtub.

Spitzboov said...

SCUTTLEBUTT - The origin of the word "scuttlebutt," which is nautical parlance for a rumor, comes from a combination of "scuttle" -- to make a hole in the ship's hull and thereby causing her to sink --- and "butt" -- a cask or hogshead used in the days of wooden ships to hold drinking water. The cask from which the ship's crew took their drinking water -- like a water fountain -- was the "scuttlebutt". Even in today's Navy a drinking fountain is referred to as such. But, since the crew used to congregate around the "scuttlebutt", that is where the rumors about the ship or voyage would begin. Thus, then and now, rumors are talk from the "scuttlebutt" or just "scuttlebutt".

Lucina said...

That's an appalling price! But it does make the AZ Rep sound like a bargain. Fortunately, I believe they cater to older readers, imo, since we are likely their largest subscription base. Some years ago they sent a questionnaire and have since made changes reflecting our responses and suggestions including a larger format of the crossword puzzles.

I'm sorry you are not riveted by TGWDT. I was! What drove my interest is the search for the missing granddaughter.

Jayce said...

Spitzboov, thank you for pointing out that scuttlebutt is a nautical term. The ol' water cooler, source of so much, um, scuttlebutt, ID EST, gossip :)

Anonymous said...

anonymouse: "No man is an island"
Therefore, we can`t live our lives separate from one another. Every action we take causes consequences to others, for good or evil. It has also been called "The Butterfly Effect." BTW: Religion is mentioned favorably only once in Scripture. Adonai, Lord, Yahweh, Jehovah, what ever you call Him must not think well of it either!

Manac said...

PK, I'm glad to see that you have a great sense of humor.
Bill G, That was a good one. Btw, $175
to fix anything at the dealer ( called stealer's around here ) seems like a good deal.
And to the person who wishes to not be mentioned, That pic still shows up when you google bloop. Don't know why?

Argyle said...

Now that the kids are in bed...Tush.

Hahtoolah said...

PK: I agree with your assessment of Jesse Kellerman. One of my book groups read Trouble a few years ago. None of us liked it. I have read many of Faye Kellerman books from her Peter Decker series and found them charming.

Bill G. I wasn't keen on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, either. We seem to be in the minority, though.

Argyle: You put the kids to bed early!

Irish Miss said...

Bill G and Hatoolah - I join you in the minority corner re TGWTDT. While the story was an interesting premise, it was overshadowed, IMO, by the extreme violence and sadistic sexual scenes. I finished it and later started The Girl Who Played with Fire which I gave up on very quickly because of the same sex/violence overkill. I didn't bother with The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. (I hope I have these in the right sequence.)

Lucina, I believe when I started receiving the newspaper 10 years ago, the 10 week rate was either $35.00 or $40.00, so, the price has doubled and the size of the paper has been greatly reduced. A sign of the times, I guess.

fermatprime said...


Fun puzzle, Kurt; super expo, Steve!

PK: Harvey is a good friend who is ten years older than I. At one time he was my student!

Sorry to hear about CA. I wish her the best.

The construction people have been making terrible noises on the other side of one feeble door. Had the electricity off for several hours (no air conditioning). It is still over 100ยบ here. (Swimming friend indisposed.)

Have not read this blog yet. Perhaps another comment even later!