, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: Thursday, September 27, 2012 Alex Boisvert


Sep 27, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012 Alex Boisvert

Theme: "You've got a lot of balls!"

If you are like me, you probably glance at the down clues as you solve on Thursday-Saturday, just to get a toe-hold. So I bumped into the unifier early on. (Didn’t help!)

Here it is:
7D. Diamond gambit, or a hint to a different concealed word found in each answer to a starred clue: HIDDEN BALL TRICK. When I saw “diamond”, my heart sank.  “A baseball theme?  I’m doomed!!” It took me all the perps to come up with the answer.  But from there, I could go back and find all the balls hidden in the starred entries. I have highlighted them in red for your convenience.

17A. *America's most popular dining-out occasion: MOTHER'S DAY. I remember the smell in my mémé’s closets!

28A. *Place setting item: DINNER FORK. The only “ball” that spans two words. “Nerf” is actually an acronym for “Non-Expanding Recreational Foam”. Who knew?

33A.*Last chance in court: CLOSING ARGUMENT.  A Wal-Mart staple.

42A. *Where some plates are made: STEEL MILLS . Foul!  TEE ball is a kid’s baseball game…

58A. *Political propagandist: SPIN DOCTOR . You knew I would have to link music at some point!! 2:55

Marti here, because it's Thursday. So, let's get to the rest. 


1. Map site : ATLAS

6. Senate figure : WHIP

10. Brash : BOLD

14. Winner of the 2005 Best Picture Oscar : CRASH. Not my taste. Trailer. 2:25

15. Verdi title princess : AIDA. More my taste. (I won't torture you with more opera links this time!)

16. Rapier cousin : EPEE

19. Flavorful plant : HERB. I grow my own dill, thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, chives, basil and tarragon. In the fall when I bring them in to dry, the aromas are heavenly!

20. Spot : EYE. "I spy with my little eye..."

21. Shows the way : LEADS

22. Heaven-sent food : MANNA

23. Academy freshman : PLEBE

24. Give way : FALTER. Because "blink" was too short.

25. Chess announcement : MATE. I like to say "check mate", better.

30. One way to sing : ALONG. Fun clue! I almost started filling "in tune" before I ran out of room...

32. Smack on the head : BONK. Anyone else have "conk"? (Anyone?)...(Anyone??) (With thanks to TTP!!)

40. Semitic deity : BA'AL. Meaning "Master" or "Lord".

41. Frigid : POLAR

48. Vodka in a blue bottle : SKYY. Gimme!! Shaken over ice, with a squeeze of lime.

49. Rug often groomed : TOUPEE. Funny!

50. Honor, in a way : TOAST. With SKYY, of course!

52. "...but I could be wrong" : OR NOT...maybe with Scotch?

53. Wear slowly : ERODE

54. ___-mo video : SLO

57. Old stage line? : REIN. This one had me going in circles, until I realized they were talking about the reins of a horse on an old stage coach!

60. Department store founder Rowland Hussey ___ : MACY. Appropriate clue for a Thursday.  "'Miracle On 34th Street' store owner " would have been too easy...

61. Asian staple : RICE. Anyone else want "sake"? (Anyone?)...(Anyone??)

62. Standard : USUAL

63. Arise : STEM

64. Gross : ICKY

65. Swing era dance : LINDY


1. Fictional corporation that sells earthquake pills and portable holes : ACME. In old Looney Tunes Road Runner cartoons. Yes, earthquake pills. 5:49 (Go ahead, watch the whole thing- we could all use some cartoons in our lives!!) And 46D. ___ Tunes : LOONEY

2. Hector's home : TROY

3. Behind schedule : LATE...which is what I am getting to be. So I'd better move this along!

4. Flooring wood : ASH. Anyone else want "oak"? (Anyone?)...(Anyone??)

5. Yellow-and-red gas station symbol : SHELL.

6. Sushi condiment : WASABI. Great for the sinuses...

8. Lupino and others : IDAS. Go ahead, name another famous one...

9. Salary : PAY

10. Sake : BEHALF. I wanted "Asian staple" for the answer...

11. Not against trying : OPEN TO.

12. Loewe's partner : LERNER. Of "My Fair Lady", "Camelot", "Brigadoon"and "Paint your Wagon" fame.

13. Get off at the pier : DEBARK

18. Clarinetist's need : REED

22. Retail price component : MARKUP

23. Writers : PENS. I dunno..."pens" with "writers"?

24. ___ shui : FENG

25. Scot's nickname, maybe : MAC

26. Tide rival : ALL. Detergents.

27. As well : TOO

29. "___ any drop to drink": Coleridge : NOR. From "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner":

"Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink."

31. Kind of gravy : GIBLET. Thanksgiving is fast approaching!

34. Tag information : NAME

35. Moo goo ___ pan : GAI. Yumm.

36. Lion's share : MOST

37. Caribou cousin : ELK

38. Disagreeing word : NAY

39. Give it a go : TRY

42. Leaves in a huff, with "out" : STORMS

43. Attacked eagerly, as a wrapped gift : TORE AT. Or, as your wife's clothes?

44. Kennedy who married Sargent Shriver : EUNICE. Being from MA, this was a gimme.

45. Euclid vis-à-vis geometry : EPONYM

47. Road safety gp. : SADD. Students Against Drunk Driving.

51. Han River capital : SEOUL

53. Large in scope : EPIC

54. Floor : STUN

55. Truck filler? : LOAD

56. Airport south of Paris : ORLY

58. ___ Lanka : SRI. Map. Just below India.

59. TV franchise since 2000 : CSI. Crime Scene Investigation. One of the most popular dramatic series on TV. Me? I prefer TBBT, with a season premiere tonight!

Answer grid.

See you next week!



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Well, this one ended up being a bit of a disaster for me. I couldn't make any sense of the theme and ended up needing red-letter help to finish the thing. These two problems were related, however, since my one error was putting in CONK instead of BONK. That gave me HIDDEN CALL TRICK, which made enough sense that I didn't question it, but was totally unhelpful...

thehondohurricane said...

Howdy folks,

All went well until the mid east where I crashed and burned. SKYY is a Vodka I have never heard of. For 38D I knew NAY made sense but so did NAE and that gave me SKEY.Oh well! Guess I'll try SKYY Saturday evening when we go to dinner at the Barnsider in Albany, NY.

For 47D I began with MADD, but 42A gave me SADD.

Got the themes and unifier relatively easy, but the common thread never came to me. Thanks for "splaining" it Marti.

Fun puzzle Alex and your usual excellent write up Marti. Thank you both.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

I think I hit every small trap - MADD for SADD, conk for bonk, oak for ash.

Interesting coincidence: just last night while in Macy's I tried to recall the founder's name. Wasn't successful.

I have no idea what a hidden ball trick is.


Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Marti and friends. Wow! What Thursday run! Great write-up, Marti. I'm running really late this morning.

QOD: Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. ~ Helen Keller

desper-otto said...

Happy Friday Eve, all!

Well, I had to WHIP my PAGE and TOAST my ROAST, but like the Cable Guy, I got 'er done.

Marti, HO is another one. And I had no problem with Writers = PENS. It's the noun, not the verb.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Alex Boivert, for an excellent puzzle. Thank you, Marti, for an excellent review.

Well, my puzzle had no circles as I got started early and used Cruciverb. So, I never got the theme.

Got a couple up north to get me started. REED, EPEE, IDAS, and PAY. MOTHERS' DAY came easily. Then was able to fill in almost everything in the top. Had DINNER WARE for a while. Late in the game changed that to DINNER FORK.

I also entered CONK for 32A. When I had most of 7D I changed that to BONK.

Had STOMPS for 42D. After EUNICE and EPONYM I entered STORMS. That was my final corner.

Initially had MADD, then fixed that to SADD once I saw a plural was involved across.

Great puzzle, except for the theme, but once I saw i needed circles I did not look too hard. Actually thought this was more a Wednesday level puzzle.

See you tomorrow.


Abejo said...

One more comment. I remember we had a puzzle from Alex before. I recall his last name, Boisvert, because I have a friend, who is a doctor, with the same last name. Originally from Massachusetts, now in Michigan.


HeartRx said...

Abejo, I was also working at a disadvantage because the site that I use did not have circles, either. But I think they would have been distracting to me, and actually enjoyed the "treasure hunt" for all the hidden balls after I finished solving!

D-otto @ 6:53...(Ida) HO, funny!!

PK said...

Hi Y'all, I started out so well until I got to line 30a where I sang ALONe then cONK! I STOmpS out and TOREin and had STEamMILLS. My gravy was full of strange unfathomable letters. I needed a vodka! Had MOre/MOST, NAe/Nay which fouled up TOAST big time. REIN, MACY, STEM, & EPONYM didn't show up. But hey, I knew EUNICE! I knew BAAL but didn't write it down because I was sure it was wrong.

Thanks, Marti, for making sense of my muddle.

The good news is we've been getting rain.

The bad news is I've developed a cough that keeps me awake, but don't think sleep would have helped on this puzzle. Cute theme though.

Anonymous said...

comforting write-up today, Marti, every time you put Anyone? anyone? that was me. But I had the circles which made it easier to do the long clue as I had "hidden" and "moth" and "nerf" as I headed into the southern half.

TTP said...

Good Morning, Good Morning which is indicative of how I feel this morning after completing this puzzle and reading the write up. Thank you Alex Boisvert and thank you Marti !

I couldn't find the hidden answers but both grid spanners came early. Oh, and I must confess. I'm now in the habit of staring with the downs Wed through Sun, and using the across words to validate. Is that legal ? Or frowned upon ?

1D, Great clue & answer. Me meep ! Set the tone of my day. Loved the link Marti. Fictional ACME has been replaced by non fictional They also sell everything. At 2D Hector, Elizondo popped in and wouldn't depart. The feel-good movie "Tortilla Soup" was on the other night. Well, I enjoyed it. At any rate, good thing for the across words.

Plenty of second or third defs and misdirection in today's puzzle. And some where the obvious answer is not the answer. I wonder if I can start mapping the daily patterns ? Hmmm.

NFL Pro Refs return to work tonight. Tomorrow, the Ryder Cup starts, and Jimmy Hoffa may be dug up. Stay tuned.

Hope everyone had a wonderful day !

Mari said...

Great puzzle today. I got the theme early on, but stumpled in the SW. It finally came to me.

I went with MADD before SAD, and had SLAP before BONK, which just didn't work. I guess I've been watching too much NCIS with all of Gibbs' head slaps.

I couldn't figure out what REIN had to do with anything, until Marti explained it. I hated that clue, but now I love it.

I can't wait to see Shellie and the gang tonight!

Yellowrocks said...

I was on Alex's wave length from the start. Very many of the answers were my first choice. I don't work either across or down first. I work in clusters, reading across and down for each clue as I go. When I get blocked I start a new cluster. So online solving is out for me.

My first 2 answers were TROY and MOTHER'S DAY. I soon had HID, then HIDDEN BALL. So I had the theme early on which helped a lot. I had the circles, too. Added TRICK much later.

Thought of OAK, but the H asked for ASH. Had the B in BALL, so BONK was a gimme. Thought MADD first, but the perp was a plural, so SADD. We have had SKYY often.

SPIN DOCTOR- Spin goes with the territory, but when they know they are lying it drives me up the wall.

MOTHER'S DAY is my least favorite day to dine out. Expensive, crowded, hectic. Better food and service any other time.

Here the pitcher pretends to throw the ball, but actually holds it.

Link hidden ball trick

Spitzboov said...

Good morning Marti and all.

Other than entering EPEE in the wrong line because my eyes were blurry, I had no real problems. I knew about the HIDDEN BALL TRICK, but had to wait for some perps to make sure I got the phrasing right. Didn't really help with the circled fill, except for the E's in STEEL MILLS, which had a real clever clue. Also liked the cluing for REIN and TOUPEE which has become a railroad intermodal cargo term.
When a cargo container car is further loaded from single to double height, it is called TOUPEE. When the carloads are made single height from double height so the train can go through tunnels and other restricted height areas, it is called a FILLET. Cute. Waiting to see these clues in a crossword some day. I enjoyed the puzzle very much; it had a nice cadence to it. Kudos to Alex.

Have a great day.

Sfingi said...

To me, this was Monday easy. Must have had lots of oldster stuff and no real sports.

Did have oak before ASH (most floors around here are oak, what we call Rochester floors); and STOmps before STORMS.

When I went to the Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx to find my grandfather, Fritz, buried in a modest common grave by his church, I saw the graves of Macy and J.C. Penney. I recommend searching findagrave, ny, bronx, woodlawn, and famous, for an hour or entertainment. There are photos of the deceased and their monuments, as well as comments. At one point I took some photos of graves up here on request.

Yellowrocks said...

OOPS, it wasn't the pitcher who played the hidden ball trick. But any player might work it.

Husker Gary said...

Internal OOO’s along with the fun cluing makes for a great puzzle!

-I saw a HIDDEN BALL TRICK once in a Triple A game and the victim had to be physically restrained and hauled off the field. We tried it once in Legion ball but no one was fooled.
-I think the penny GUM ball machines are over there by the buggy whips
-SPIN DOCTORS are not only out in force now but are shameless when they get caught in a lie
-It’s the WHIP’s job to get votes lined up using a lot of quid pro quo. Statesmanship? Give me a break.
-Dill is a HERB that took over our garden and took years to eradicate.
-Mitch Miller made a career with schlocky sing ALONGs
-Great Seinfeld line about toupees;
"What? Was it something I said?"
"She's a virgin. She just told me."
"I didn't know."
"Well, it's not like spotting a TOUPEE."

-What other 4-letter department store is it gonna be?
-My usual on the way to the course is large coffee and an Egg McMuffin. Mickey D’s now has the number of calories on the menu board - Egg McMuffin Info
-There are some better ways to bring tears to my eyes than WASABI
-Another musical REED
-Eunice Kennedy’s Special Olympics work was wonderful! Bummer of a son-in-law.

Qli said...

Lots of fun today, both the puzzle and Marti's great answers! I had HIDDEN and TRICK with two LLs (LL's?). A WAG filled in the BA, which gave me the rest of the circles.

I tried for Valentine's Day instead of MOTHER'S DAY.

I was also trying to fit "booze" in for 10D. Guess I was thinking Asian like Marti.

Looking forward to TBBT tonight!

Mari said...

Sfingi @ 8:35 AM: I love In fact, I'm a findagrave volunteer photographer.

kazie said...

Like YR I work in clusters, starting in the NW. But today that got me stuck until the very end when I finally saw ATLAS and ACME. never having heard of CRASH didn't help either. The first ball I got was MOTH and then the ball theme was easy.

My only mistake was SKHY, as I though NAH for NAY and am not familiar with SKYY. But I also made no sense of REIN even though it perped itself.

I also don't see EYE as an exact equivalent of SPOT, which seems more like (e)spy than eyeing, which is more like ogling.

Montana said...

Greetings from New Canaan, CT for a few weeks.
Fun puzzle and great write up by Marti.
I couldn't solve yesterday's puzzle, so thought about not even trying today's, but I did fine.
My experience was just like Yellowrocks, so what she said.

Have a good day, everyone,

kazie said...

I forgot to say bois vert means green wood, also a common enough name in English. Alex gets my vote for a good puzzle too, since Thursdays don't always work out so well for me.

Steven J. St. John said...

Another nice puzzle - a long down revealer which crosses all 5 theme answers is a constructing feat!

Not sure why, but I got the theme very early after MOTH appeared and I read the clue for 7-Down. That might have taken some of the fun out of it, because with the circles, the puzzle became very easy.

Anyone know why the clue for 55-Across needed a question mark? I would think a LOAD is a truck filler, nothing misdirecting there. I actually thought LOAD from the clue, then hesitated to write it down because of the question mark.

TTP said...

SJSJ, hmmm

Do you think it could be resolved either way ? Truck ender ? A LOAD versus a TRUCKLOAD ?

Steven J. St. John said...

Hidden ball trick video.

We tried this as kids too. I think we were successful at least once.

HeartRx said...

YR @ 8:30, if you click on HIDDEN BALL TRICK in my write-up, you will see the same link. But I like the one SJSJ just posted - that kid was really sneaky!!

Anonymous said...

I agree that today's puzzle was much easier than the usual Thursday puzzle. But I could not "see" all the hidden balls until I read Marti's write-up. I think "DINNERFORK" has TWO hidden balls: Marti's "nerf" and "fork". A forkball is a type of pitch thrown in baseball. I wonder if the constructor intended that?

buckeye bob

Anonymous said...

Preferring oak to ash flooring cost me a rare chance at a full Thursday run-through. Fun puzzle. Maybe I'm finally getting better at this! MamasitaM

HeartRx said...

Thanks buckeye bob. I tried to read about a FORKBALL here, because I had never heard of it. But after the first sentence, my eyes stared glazing over, just like the kids' in the Ferris Bueller clip!

Anonymous said...

Saw Norm Cash, Det Tiger 1st baseman pull off a Hidden Ball Trick once.Walked to the mound, to return the ball after a close call
at 1st,kept it, tag runner out when
the pitcher went into his "motion"

Cash also once went to bat against Nolan Ryan (Who was pitchin a no-hitter)with a table leg. Tellin
the ump "What's the difference,I'm
not goin hit him today anyways!)

Not only a great player (5time All Star..271 lifetime avg)but a player who made the game fun to watch

Argyle said...

The online Flash Player didn't have circles but Cruciverb did. What about YOUR paper?

Bill G. said...

I haven't read the writeup or comments yet. I thought this puzzle was exceptionally good. I found all the balls early on, had no circles and didn't need red letters. The clues were clever and fresh. I had trouble with STEELMILLS, SAAD, DEBARK and BAAL but got them as the rest of the letters got filled in. "Fictional corporation that sells earthquake pills and portable holes" was very clever.

Now let see what everybody else has to say.

Yellowrocks said...

Sorry, Marti. I somehow missed that link. I did enjoy your Road Runner link. No matter whwther Coyote gets BONKed with a telephone pole or boulder, blasted by a huge firecracker or falls 100s of feet he immediately recovers.
Thanks for a fun write up.

desper-otto said...

Argyle, my paper had the the hidden (undescended?) balls circled. I just checked, the LAT puzzle via Shortyz (Android App -- thanks, Marti) also had the circles.

Lucina said...

Happy day, MATEs! Wonderful penning as USUAL, Marti.

A TOAST to Alex Boisvert for an amusing and quickly solved puzzle. I had the circles but didn't do much good as I blithely put CONK and didn't think twice about it.

Hand up for OAK before ASH and MARGIN then MARK UP.

I didn't know Mr. MACY'S complete name, so that was a learning moment. Interesting that MACY and EPONYM cross.

I've been to Paris but not to ORLY. We reached France via ferry from the U.K. Speaking of which, I enjoyed seeing the P.M., David Cameron, on David Letterman. An interesting and articulate gentleman as well as a ham!

Enjoy your Thursday, everyone! I'll record episodes this week but don't know when I can watch them. No spoilers, please.

Anonymous said...

Had a little problem in the north east. I didn't know who Loewe's partner was right away, and didn't catch on to the theme until I was finished. I would put this in the medium difficulty category. A pleasant time waster.

Seldom Seen said...

Husker: I couldn't find your great Seinfeld scene. I did come across the other funny TOUPEE episode.

My paper had the circles. They recently changed the format so that the grid is skewed. Its not a perfect square. Seems awkward

Tinbeni said...

Marti: Nice write-up & links.

I'm NOT a big fan of puzzles with circles. Even when they are easily solved.

Fave today was 57-A, Old stage line, REIN.

My TOAST at Sunset will be Pinch (never SKYY, that would be ICKY).

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon everyone.

This was fun to solve, but I DNF. The SW did me in, partly because I had STOmpS rather than STORMS. And cONK too.

Enjoyed the puzzle and the write up.

I may have mentioned before, but DH and I sent our golfer sons tee shirts with IT TAKES A LOT OF BALLS TO PLAY THE WAY I DO. Don't know if either of them wore them. Gerry's son said that he had to explain to his young daughters why everyone was laughing. Don't know how he explained it.


Misty said...

Oooh circles! I always get excited when I see a puzzle with circles and this one was a lot of fun, though certainly not easy, to my mind. But very clever--so thanks, Alex. And Marti, thanks for giving us the "Rime'!

In the end I goofed only by having STOMPS instead of STORMS which gave me nonsense instead of REIN and PACY instead of MACY. Duh! My bad. I should have gotten MACY both because I love "Miracle on 34 th Street" and because I was so grateful that we finally got a MACY's in our area.

Have a great Thursday, everybody.

Lemonade714 said...

Thank you Alex and marti for Thursday playtime; D-O, your "undescended" comment was precious.

Trying to readjust to work after the holiday, so my other thought is:

IDA MCKINLEY, U.S. First Lady in the 19th Century
IDA APPLEBROOG, American contemporary artist
IDA BOY-ED, writer
IDA C. HASKELL, 20th century artist
IDA CANNON, published author
IDA EHRE, actress
IDA FINK, writer
IDA GERHARDI, 20th century artist
IDA KOHLMEYER, American painter and sculptor
IDA LANDSBERG, Jazz artist
IDA LATHROP, American Romanticism artist
IDA LEE, writer
IDA LUPINO, actress
IDA MARCUSSEN, 2008 Olympic athlete - Norway - Athletics
IDA MARKO-VARGA, 2008 Olympic athlete - Sweden - Swimming
IDA MAZE, writer
IDA METCALF, renowned mathematician
IDA RATH, published author
IDA TACKE, Pioneering Physicist
IDA TARBELL, published author
IDA WAUGH, writer
IDA WELLS, published author

Seldom Seen said...

Being the dork that I am, I had to measure my newspaper's grid. Its 4.5" tall by 3.25" wide.

Let me add a little class to today's discussion with some music by AC/DC.

Bill G. said...

Marti and others, a fork ball is also called a split-finger fastball or splitter. It's thrown by gripping the baseball between ones index and middle finger split apart. The ball has much less backspin and tends to drop more than usual making it hard to hit. Old time pitchers used to accomplish the same thing much less sanitarily by spitting on the ball or their fingers and throwing a spitball.

Lucina said...

Do you just know that off the top of your head? What a remarkable list of IDAs.

Mari said...

Argyle @ 11:11 AM: The Chicago Tribune printed the circles.

Dennis @ yesterday:
Here's looking at you: (o)(o)

Mark S said...

My first ever Thursday solve without red letter help! And then to see that Barry needed them just made my day, once in a lifetime.

Thought fork ball but fork wasn't really hidden. My version doesn't have circles so I never saw nerf 'till Marti pointed it out

TTP said...

Checking back in. Another great example of the hidden ball trick SJSJ. Thanks.

SEEN @11.53. Couldn't find a clip of the Seinfeld scene the Husker Gary referenced, but found (pretty sure) it was episode # 50 of season 4. Jane Leeves (Daphne on Frasier) played Marla, the virgin.

Husker Gary - I tested the back with 9 holes yesterday afternoon. Second time out this year, which is a shame for someone that played three times a week for such a long time. Got to par (and then some) on every hole. Not good. However, one in our foursome was so tediously slow that I imagine it takes him 90 minutes to watch 60 Minutes.

And that reminds me. Along with yesterday's STOW IT, and others that I heard as a youth (pipe down, simmer down) was another that comes to me now:
"Dry it up" = Quit whining.

Perhaps an appropriate Corner rejoinder from time to time, but then again, perhaps too much of a natick.

Wish my back would heed those words today. Back to the salt mines.

Anonymous said...


Seldom Seen said...

TTP: Thanks for the tip. Here it is @ 0.55.

Lemonade714 said...

No, the list comes by way of the researcher part of my brain, and I left off my favorite,

Montana, what are you doing in the rarefied air of New Canaan? I hope they are paying you lots as they can afford it.

Irish Miss said...

Good Afternoon:

Late to the dance today- not feeling up to par this morning, so I went back to bed and caught some more ZZZ's. Feeling better but not ready to do a jig!

A+ to Alex for a clever and fun puzzle. Two write-overs: bonk and stomps, both quickly corrected. Loved the clue for toupee and loved Marti's expo.

HondoH @ 6:20 - Enjoy your meal at The Barnsider; it is one of my favorite restaurants. Fantastic salad bar, especially the cheddar cheese wheel. How long of a drive is it from where you live?

Montana @ 9:03 - You are in a beautiful area at this time of the year; enjoy the autumn leaves changing colors.

I, like so many of you, am looking forward to TBBT tonight; it's been too long since I have a good Shellie-belly laugh!

Happy Thursday.

Ron Worden said...

Good afternoon and happy Thursday . Thanks Marti for your musings, and Alex Boisvert for a fun puzzle. No smudges or write overs for me and on a Thursday no less. My paper had the circles and I waited for the long down to get bonk.
I got to meet Eunice and Sargent Shriver back in the 90's when I worked with special Olympians. I still have the certificate and plaque they gave me.
Have a great day to all! RJW

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. I think this puzzle has a lot to like and almost nothing to dislike. Very well constructed, I think.

Likes: Clue to ALONG. Brilliant! And the clue for TOUPEE, which is pretty fun fill, too. I loved Writers=PENS, too, once I figured out a "writer" is something that writes.

Dislikes: As Marti asked, do you know any other famous IDAS?

Good to see PLEBE spelled that way.

Marti, thanks for your fun writeup. I enjoyed your SAKE comments.

I love the roadrunner cartoons. Earthquake pills indeed.

Steven J. St. John said...

Anonymous at 11:08AM:

Liked your Norm Cash story, but it couldn't have gone down exactly the way you said. The pitcher may not step on the rubber, much less start his motion, without the ball (that's a "balk").

That's why no one should ever fall for the hidden ball trick. A wise runner will not take his lead (will not leave his base) until he sees the pitcher step on the rubber, at which point a hidden ball trick becomes impossible.

Lemonade714 said...

JAYCE you hurt my feelings....

Anonymous said...

Lemony, like Marti and Jayce said, any FAMOUS Idas!

Btw, did You notice D-O already told that joke? Hmmmm?

HeartRx said...

Misty @ 12:17, I forgot to mention: if you want to read all 626 lines of this epic poem, you can do it online here. The oft-quoted couplet occurs at line 121 and 122...

Jayce said...

Yep, hand up for CONK, STOMPS, and OAK.

San Jose Mercury News shows the circles, but like Seen's paper, they squish the puzzle so that it is taller than it is wide. It makes the circles into ovals, and a tad clumsy to write in. They squish the Jumble and the Sudoku, too. The whole puzzle page looks as if it was designed by El Greco or Modigliani.

Jayce said...

Sorry, Lemonade. I wrote my comment before I saw yours.

Jayce said...

Old joke:

Why did the dumb blonds wear shoulder pads?

So she wouldn't hurt her head when she shrugged and said, "IDA know."

Lucina said...


There's an ad at the bottom of this page! Is that new?

Lucina said...

Oops. Jayce@3:26
El Greco or Modigliani. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Pretty simple for a thursday. Never heard of ga'al. Understood 42a clue, but kind of weak answer, was looking for some kind of prison, where we ass u me lic plates are made. Or not, but I could be wrong??? weak weak weak. Love ball theme that was awesome!!!!!!

Husker Gary said...

-Montana, I’d like to hitch along with your many travels!
-Seen, I remember the line where Jerry calls George’s toupee a “hair hat”.
-Lemon, IDA never known there were so many.
-TTP, it’s gotta be killing you to not play as much as you’d like. We used to say, “Ah dry up (and blow away)” and not “dry it up”.
-If this wasn’t a perfect day for golf, it’ll have to do until one comes along (72°, Sunny, light NE breeze)! Played 18 with our group of 15 other retired teachers) and just got back.
-Maybe I'll wear my BAZINGA T-shirt tonight to watch it on the DVR. HS volleyball at 7!

Yellowrocks said...

40A Ba'al (not Ga'al) is often referenced in crosswords and the Bible.

Steel plate is a common product of steel mills, so the clue was absolutely spot on.

TTP said...


If you have a standing group of players, you might consider League Manager for next season. It's an easy to use program for setting up a golf league. Has great flexibility for number of golfers and different courses.

I ran two leagues for years using the software. Had 28 in one league and 24 in another. They offer other products, but League Manager is all I ever bought. No annual fees. One time charge, although they enhance it every year.

It has an easy to use handicapping system with options. It makes being in a league fun for players at all levels. It will automatically determine who gets (or gives) strokes on which holes. You can print scrore cards on stock printer paper as we do.

It has a nice tutorial and is easy to run. You can even post scores and standings to the web, though I never did that.

Check it out at:
League Manager

BTW, I just like the program and thought that you might be interested as you have a group of players. I have no affiliation or financial interest in the firm.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone,
Same problems as others today. Oak, Conk, and stomps. All were quickly fixed as the other words around them filled in.

I was on Alex Boisvert's wave length today and buzzed through the puzzsle rather quickly.

I thought the clue for rein was great. I also enjoyed Rug often groomed. Both gave me a chuckle.

The last of our apples are now in the dryer and in an apple crisp for the freezer. I spent most of day peeling and slicing. But we'll enjoy the dried apples all winter.

Have a lovely evening, everyone.

Dennis said...

Mari, thanks for the mammaries.

CrossEyedDave said...

Great write up, as always marti.

I must find one of those tee shirts that say it takes a lot of balls to play the way i do:)

Why does "hidden ball trick" make me think of the Harlem Globe Trotters?

Anyway, the hidden ball trick is not for old guys like us...

Husker Gary@8:37

Re: Egg McMuffin Calories, this is what i think of those calorie counts!


Seen Seen Seen,,, my 1st thought was how to complain that "Sponge Bob" is an icon, & it is sacrilegious to parody him with foul language! (then i watched the clip) Then i checked out one of the side bar links!

Then i thought, i have to post this obscenity, maybe if i tell everyone to follow Seen's link to this link, i can blame him?

Oh what a dark web we weave when 1st we practice to deceive!

So here it is,,, forgive me!

Note: foul language & disrespect to SpongeBob, Teachers, students & just about everything else....

Patient Wanna-be said...

o o o
o o o o
o o o o
( o 0 o ) ( o 0 o )
o o o o
o o o o
o o

You're Welcome.

Hahtoolah said...

Here are the real Spin Doctors in action.

thehondohurricane said...

Irish Miss @ 1:42PM

Albany is a 2 1/2 hour drive. My main purpose of going to Albany is a Sat/Sun card show at the Best Western on Wolf Rd. I'll be dining with a couple of the other dealers. Should be fun with good Grog and good Eats.

Care to suggest something from the menu? I've been told the beef dishes are above average.

PK said...

True IDA story: My MIL's parents were German immigrant farmers who married in 1897. Nine months later my MIL Emma was born. Ten months later another girl Anna was born. Ten months later the third daughter was born.

The father was so disgusted at having three daughters instead of sons to help with the farming that they didn't name her--called her "the little one" in German. No birth certificates then, only baptismal records which they didn't get around to doing.

When it came time for her to go to the one-room country school, they sent her walking off across the section with Emma & Anna. The teacher started to enroll her and asked her name. Emma was stumped but she finally said, "Well, Papa thought about naming her IDA after his sister."

So she was enrolled as IDA and called that the rest of her life. She resented not being important enough to name to her dying day.

Irish Miss said...

Hondo @ 8:18 - I am not a steak lover, per se, but everyone who orders the steaks always raves about them, no matter which cut they order. I think their Prime Rib is good, also. I like their Baked Stuffed Shrimp and an appetizer for two which I order as my entree. I don't remember what it is called but it has crab stuffed mushrooms, clams casino, shrimp, scampi style, and a couple of other items. They have an extensive menu so I am sure something will strike your fancy. Enjoy.

Blue Iris said...

I'm checking in late, but have read Marti's write-up ( very informative since I didn't get the theme ) and everyone's comments.

PK, i found your MIL's story,about her little sister, very sad. My adopted sister had the same birth name as my biological sister. When my parents adopted her they ask her what name she would like and she got to pick her own name at age 4 yrs old. No, it wasn't IDA.

Thought I tell you a story about a NERF ball. A mother got tired of her boys hurting each other all the time. She bought them a NERF ball and said, " now you won't hurt each other." The boys took this as a challenge. They soaked the ball in water, then froze it, and threw it at each other.

Bill G. said...

Sad story, PK...

Blue Iris, that sure sounds like boys all right. There are some large ornamental stones next to where I used to play tennis. One day some kids were in the area. Two or three girls were sitting on the stones talking. A few boys of the same age were jumping from stone to stone and trying to push each other off.

Irish Miss, you encouraged me to look up the meaning of 'per se.' I've heard it used often and it always makes sense in context. I've probably said it myself without really knowing what it means exactly.

A local high school math teacher was honored with an Outstanding Teacher Award and was written up in the local newspaper. She was quoted as saying she got an infinite amount of pleasure from her teaching experiences and thought that there were an infinite number of other teachers deserving of recognition also. To paraphrase Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride, she keeps using that word. I do not think it means exactly what she think it means.

Irish Miss said...

PK, that is a sad story. Naming children can be a bone of contention in many families. When my sister Eileen was born, my father wanted her name to be Noreen as his mother's name was Nora. Well, my mother didn't like Noreen so they fought and she was named Noreen Eileen but was never called Noreen. But, legally, she has to sign everything as N. Eileen. On the other hand, I was supposed to be Kathleen and ended up as Agnes. What can I say?

PK said...

Blue iris: Enjoyed your posts. My thought on your adopted sister choosing her name at age 4 was, boy, that's every little girl's dream if she doesn't like her name. My name was beautiful if my grandmother said it. But I hated the way it came out of my mother's mouth. Mostly I would have liked another name. Now I'm reconciled to it.

You are right about family difficulties in naming. We had trouble naming my first son. My husband wanted to name him with his own name. I wanted to use his name as a second name. We stalled out for three days. Finally, he went past the nurses station and was asked if we had decided. He said yes and gave his own name with a second name I hadn't considered. Later the nurse informed me by bringing in the filled out hospital certificate. Oh well!

I hadn't wanted him as a "junior" so he wasn't. When my son became a teenagers all his buddies started calling him "Junior" anyway which he liked. Go figure!