Sep 20, 2012

Thursday, Septermber 20, 2012 Steven J. St. John

Theme: Grand Crus

SJSJ gives us a homophone puzzle today:

20A. GM compact that replaced the Cobalt : CHEVROLET CRUZE. Here is the 2012 model.

25A. Teams of fliers : AIRLINE CREWS. Your trusty servants.

41A. "Vanilla Sky" actress : PENELOPE CRUZ. Your trusty actress...beautiful!

48A. Ocean holiday : PLEASURE CRUISE. Ahhh, Old man rhythm! 2:46

Well, if the theme isn't self-evident by now, I don't know if I can expand any more!

Marti here, to expound on the rest of this one...


1. Former Astros, A's and Mets manager Art : HOWE. Art Howe, this guy.

5. Arabian Peninsula title : EMIR

9. Nonpaying rail rider : HOBO

13. "Skip me this time, thanks" : I PASS

15. Princess once allied with Hercules : XENA. Yes, quite "allied".

16. Each : A POP

17. Mattress brand : SERTA. "Sealy" or "Serta"? Always a WAG...

18. Finished : PAST

19. Laugh-a-minute type : RIOT

23. Soft spreads : OLEOS

24. Asserted : CLAIMED

28. Loss by #1, say : UPSET

29. Opposite of 1-Down : HERS. Arrgh...cross-referential clue that doesn't give you a chance. And 1-Down. Opposite of 29-Across : HIS

30. B.C. Lions' org : CFL. "Canadian Football League". "British Columbia Lions".

33. School-to-be? : ROE

34. Does some impromptu singing : SCATS. Nobody does it like Ella! 6:36

36. Mineral in a wall, perhaps : ORE

37. Super Bowl highlights, for many : ADS. I love this kid!

38. Dortmund's region : RUHR. Map. And 31-Down. 38-Across spouse : FRAU

39. It's a wrap : SARAN

44. Prepare for a bath : DISROBE

47. Hobbyist's cutting brand : X-ACTO

51. Student aid : LOAN

52. Beatles meter maid : RITA.  You remember this one? 2:43

53. Stirs up : ROILS

55. DOD branch : USMC. Department of Defense. United States Marine Corps. Semper Fi!!

56. D'back, for one : NLER. "National Leaguer". Diamondback, Arizona Major League Baseball team.

57. Diplomat : ENVOY

58. Eyelid concern : STYE

59. Part of CBS: Abbr. : SYST. Central Broadcasting System. (updated @ 8:00 AM: It is the Columbia Broadcasting System)

60. Email button : SEND


2. The UAE has been a member of it since 1967 : OPEC. United Arab Emirates. Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

3. Cavalry carriers : WAR HORSES. Have you seen the movie? Outstanding!

4. George's mom on "Seinfeld" : ESTELLE. Funny clip. 

5. Make public : EXPOSE. Like this?

6. Dessert preceder : MEAL. Barry G., were you looking for something Saharan? and 8-Down. Desert dangers : RATTLERS. They don't usually eat dessert!

7. How backroom deals are sealed : IN SECRET

9. Ed of "Apollo 13" : HARRIS. Great movie - after all these years, this scene still makes me choke up! 3:24. And 21-Down. "Apollo 13" director : RON. Howard.

10. ___ den : OPIUM

11. Drink in a belt : BOOZE. Have a "belt" of booze. Do you think the explanation here makes sense?

12. Chose : OPTED

14. "Don't throw that away" : SAVE IT. Are any of you married to pack rats?

22. Sounds near the ears : CAWS. "Ears" of corn, that is!

25. ___ of invincibility : AURA

26. Song-holding gadget : IPOD

27. 2011 Masters champ Schwartzel : CHARL. Great finish: birdie-birdie-birdie-birdie!

30. Like and etcher's aid : CORROSIVE

32. Emmy winner Kay : LENZ. Old picture that is more recognizable to me...

34. Aloe targets : SUNBURNS

35. With a smile on one's face : CHEERILY

38. Speed Wagons, e.g. : REOS. The band members, or the cars?

39. Stable : SECURE

40. Lawsuits : ACTIONS

41. Frolic : PRANCE

42. Vehicle pulled by bovines : OXCART

43. 72 for 18, often : PAR. On a golf course. How often do you make that number, Husker G.?

44. Passing grade that won't please parents : D-PLUS

45. Words of defeat : I LOST

46. Sordid : SEAMY

49. Seine summers : ETES

50. North Carolina school : ELON. Any graduates here at the corner?

54. Pink Floyd guitarist Barrett : SYD. And we finish with one of his worst nightmares...

Answer grid.

'Til next week!


Note from C.C.:

Click here and here to see 2 photos of deer taking their afternoon "break" in Spitzboov's backyard yesterday (9/19/11), after the rain stopped. No deer in our yard, only squirrels.


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

This one seemed about 95% pure gold and 5% dross. The good was very good, and the theme was very enjoyable (plus, it helped immensely that I figured it out early on). The bad, though, was really bad. Or maybe just really annoying...

HOWE was a complete unknown at 1A, which wouldn't have been so bad by itself except that it crossed 1D. I really, really, hate cross referential clues that provide no information other than the cross reference. Seriously.

Elsewhere, CHARL crossing RUHR was brutal. The former looks like its missing a letter, but fortunately I've at least heard of the latter (even if the clue was meaningless). And, of course, we then had 31D cross referencing RUHR, which just added to the joy. Fortunately, this cross reference at least provided some additional information ("housewife").

The CFL/LENZ crossing proved to be my undoing in the end. No idea whatsoever who Kay LENZ is. And all I could think of for "B.C. Lions" was Boston University (I thought maybe it was their volleyball team or something). I ended up trying every letter until I finally got the *tada* at "Z".

Oh -- and while I'm sure there are plenty of weak acids out there that aren't particularly CORROSIVE, I still thought it was an overly specific clue. Why not just say, "like some acids"?

Ah well, as I said, it was mostly a wonderful puzzle. I'm just easily annoyed, I guess...

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Marti and friends. Fun Thursday puzzle. It seemed a tad easier than most Thursdays, though.

My favorite clue was School-to-Be = ROE.

Will a couple who tats together stay together with a HIS and HERS like this?

I wanted Undress instead of DISROBE. Both words fit into the spaces provided.

OPEC was originally formed on September 14, 1960. There were originally just 5 countries: Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

I am not married to a pack rat, but my husband is.

Nice deer photos, Spitzboov.

QOD: Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. ~ Oscar Wilde

Dennis said...

Good morning, Marti, C.C. and gang - I had a pretty good fight with the puzzle today and had to bounce around quite a bit to get any traction, and the one clue that really faked me out was 'Sounds near the ears', where I confidently put in 'coos'; outstanding cluing. Needed perps to see 'warhorses' and 'rattlers', and to see if 17A was gonna be Serta or Sealy. 'Xacto' was of course a gimme, as was a shout-out to my brothers, 'USMC'. Overall, nicely done with some very clever cluing, as we've come to expect from SJSJ.

Marti, great write-up, great links. Spitz, cool pics -- it's unusual to see them that comfortable in the open.

Thanks for all the well-wishes with the house. Lemonade, I don't think there'll be a problem with hitting the house; there's a 10-foot hedge bordering the back of the property. However, the current homeowner says he gets about a bucketful of balls from the hedge monthly. Might have to expand my business to "Balls and Boobs". Or not, now that I look at it.

desper-otto said...

Nice offering today from SJ2. HOWE, XENA, CHARL, CFL were unknowns, but everything perped out just fine.

I remember Kay LENZ best for her performance as Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter -- at least I think that was Kay Lenz.

Dennis, congrats on the house deal. I agree -- just stick with Jiffy Boob and keep the balls at home.

desper-otto said...

See, there I go thinking again. It wasn't Kay Lenz, it was Sissy Spacek! D'oh!

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Steven St. John, for a very good puzzle. Thank you, Marti, for the excellent review.

Got started in the North fairly well. Did not know HOWE off the bat. Of course I put in SEALY for 17A. HIS and HERS were about my last entries. Not tickled about those kinds of Clue/Answers. But, that's the name of the game, a little variety.

Easily got CHEVROLET. Not so easily CRUZE. Once I had CAWS for 22D that fixed CRUZE.

BOOZE was easy. It's termed BELT ONE DOWN, Marti.

OPIUM den was easy, even though I have never been in one.

All the themes appeared. They were good.

No SUNBURNS for me this year. I watch that stuff now. Of course, at my age it probably does not matter.

I still call all food wraps SARAN wrap. Just like I call all photocopiers Xeroxs.

Did my walk for leukemia and lymphoma in Erie Tuesday night. I was able to raise $705.00 for the cause. Great event.

See you tomorrow.


TTP said...

Thanks SJSJ and thanks Marti.

I too though this a bit easy for a Thursday. 26 words across and 28 down on the first pass.

Love sports clues. Always makes puzzles easier to solve. For me anyway. Art Howe today was as much a no-brainer as was Tris Speaker yesterday.

As to BEG yesterday, I agree with Argyle. Beg off = Avoid. And I've never heard anyone order a RYE, per se.

Today's poser for me was Drink in a belt. My GI "canteen" was too big and swig was too small. BOOZE was just right, but I don't care for it.

Nice deer pics Spitz ! Such pretty animals. Used to hunt morels and often kicked up deer. Had to quit due to all the deer ticks.

HeartRx said...

Spitzboov, great pics of the deer - and right in your backyard! I assume you have a lot of woods in your area? We live in the middle of town, so the only thing we get are squirrels, skunks and gophers!

Mari said...

What a great puzzle! Steven always gives us such clever clues. So much to love here.

- 25A: Teams of Fliers: AIRLINE CREWS
- 22D: Sounds near the ears: CAWS (I didn't get this one until Marti helped me out. Very clever!)
- 43D: 72 for 18, often: PAR
- 39A: It's a wrap: SARAN

Wasn't there a brief period, after filming Vanilla Sky, where PENELOPE CRUZ dated Tom Cruise? I seem to recall that. I also seem to recall not liking that movie. It was very odd and a bit boring IMHO.

Week 3 of NFL football already, I can't believe how time flies.

Mari said...

Spitz: Great photos! The deer look so gentle and docile. I've had the usual birds, squirrels, opossoms, skunks, and stray cats in my yard. Once I spotted 3 young foxes playing together in my yard. We've had our house sprayed by skunks a few times. An awful nightmare that stinks up the house for days.

However, I've never been blessed with the graceful beauty of deer in my yard. Thanks for sharing.

Yellowrocks said...

Fun puzzle and great expo and clips. I liked the theme. Clever of you to think of Grand Cru(s), Marti.

I usually don't care for cross referenced clues, but I didn’t mind because HIS and HERS were easily gotten with a perp or two. I often wonder why they don't give a definition for one of the cross referenced words? Otherwise, no nits. I thought this was a Tues. or Wed. level.

CFL was almost a sure thing type of wag. Lions had to be a team and BC had to be a place. I had CF from perps , so it had to be British Columbia and Canadian Football. We know NFL, so CFL.

Spouse with 4 letters: FRAU came to mind first. There’s wife in English. Do you know of any others? Then I had the H as a perp for RUHR, nailing that one.

For drink in a belt, I took both drink and belt for nouns. What kind of drink is in a belt? BOOZE.

CHARL was the only totally unknown, but gotten from all perps.

I liked CAWS and ROE.

thehondohurricane said...

Hello all,

The sport clues, (1A, 30A, 56A, 27D) were gimme's & gave me a good start in their sections.

Figured out the theme early on and it helped.

Had USAF before USMC. Sorry Dennis, but I always think of the fly boys first, because they were a big income source to the company I spent 30 years with,

DRINK IN A BELT/BOOZE not unfamiliar to me, but the cluing was pretty vague/catchy.

For no particular reason, I always liked Kay Lenz.

My wife is a Phi Beta Kappa in the world of pack rats. I fear the day that we decide to move back to civilization.

Thank you Steven for a nice workout. Marti, always look forward to your Thursday contribution.

Anonymous said...

"Deer. Such pretty animals. I used to kill them. Had to stop, though, because I found getting my blood sucked by parasites slightly less rewarding than the prehistoric thrill of killing something beautiful for no other reason but to maintain the delusion that I am a man. That delusion, however, has long since been smashed to bits. I think now it's time to go take a half bottle of Viagra so my domineering wife can laugh at me some more."

Dennis said...

Might want to consider some other medication while you're at it there, Sparky.

PK said...

Hi Y'all, I aced a Thursday? How'd that happen! Thanks, SJSJ. Thanks Marti. Great comments & links.
OOOOeee! I wanna go on that sea CRUISE!

CHARL was a gimmee. He's the only guy I know with that name not being plural. Think about it: why does Charles always seem plural? Nobody else is.

Nice deer! I went to Washington Olympic Peninsula to visit a friend and wondered why he clipped his high hedge so strangely--short along the bottom and bushy up higher. Woke early and saw deer doing the trimming.

My friend just got a new Chevy Cruz so a gimmee!

All my years using a X-ACTO knife and I had to come here to find out it didn't begin with an "E".

BC could be either British Columbia or Baja California. When I was in Baja, I wondered why so many cars were there from British Colombia. DUH!

Notice how DISROBE is above PLEASURE intersected by SEAMY and SUNBURN. What was on SJSJ's mind?

Spitzboov said...

Good morning Marti and all.

About a Thurday level for me. Forgot to try to swuss the theme, so learned it here. Just enough 'anchors' to keep from getting ROILed.
Was pretty sure about RUHR, and had seen CHARL play; had to wait on the perps to SECURE the spelling. I think PRANCE is one of those delicious English words. Great clue for ROE. USMC is part of the Navy Department branch of DOD. (The Marine Corps Commandant reports to the Secretary of the Navy). Semper Fi. No lookups needed. Great puzzle (SJ)²

Mari, Marti and others - You're welcome on the deer. We keep our distance because of the ticks, etc, but some of the neighbors 'encourage' them. We have quite a few woods in our town, but it doesn't seem to make a difference anymore. Monday night on the way home from playing bridge, I saw a deer running beside a house in the middle of Utica.

Enjoy the day

CrossEyedDave said...

WBS. Sorry i didn't do this in pen, i am sure it would have kept me busy all day!

I would not mind cross ref. clues so much if i did not need them to "BE" perps! is it ons/offs? No? Aha! 1D 2nd letter "i", must be Hi's,,, so 29A must be "lows". (@#$&*%)

16A Apop,,, i really hate this,,, i really hate it because now i have to remember a 4 letter answer for each! (@#$%&*)

hands up for undressing!

38D Speedwagons, hmmm, Oh, so that's what a Reo looks like! Tx Marti!

36A Mineral in a wall,,, GYpsum, it's gypsum dang it! how am i gonna fit gypsum in 3 spaces!!! (@#$%&*)

I IMDB's Kay Lenz, an impressive list of shows that i never saw...

5D What? no pic? ( i must rectify this malfunction...)

(now, if only i could figure out how to carry beer on my belt without the can exploding in my face... hmmm,,,)

PK said...

Strange dilemna here. I had my air conditioner taken out because it was less than a foot from my sewer line cleanout trap which was to be replaced. After the new sewer went in, I have about six inches of dirt mounded over the trench where my a/c sat. I'm going to have to let the dirt settle into the hole until spring before hooking up the a/c again. The unit is sitting on my patio. Everyone tells me what I was thinking myself: cover it up or someone will steal it. A/C's are hot theft items here.

Thank heavens, the weather cooled down. Fan is enough.

Dennis said...

"USMC is part of the Navy Department".

Yes it is. The Men's Department.

Sorry, Spitz, couldn't resist. We're truly all brothers with a common goal.

TTP said...

Sounds like someone's been anchored in Sot's Bay too long...

HeartRx said...

CED @ 8:54, I laughed when I read your take on the puzzle. I did (almost) the same thing with 1D when I got HIs--but for 29A I put "BYES"!!

I also was wondering what kind of mineral was in plasterboard - talc? asbestos?

Sfingi said...

Lots of unknowns to me. Wired Magazine said the second-most commonly watched video on the internet (after pron) is cat hi-jinx. So, when will I see MARU instead of some Canadian sports or rock n roll drummers? How about ETSY? That's common to many women, and I won't tell you what it is.

Had IquiT before ILOST and SARee before SARAN.

Also never noticed theme. Maybe it would have helped.

Don't see how FRAU is a spouse of a region. Maybe a denizen of the region.

desper-otto said...

PK, in my part of the world you need the AC year-round, every day April-thru-September, and at least a couple of days per month in the other 6. Being without A/C would be a **major** inconvenience.

CFL reminds me of WCFL in Chicago, original home of the white-winged warrior Chicken Man! Bawk-bawk-bawk-bawk! The CFL originally stood for the Chicago Federation of Labor -- maybe still does.

Great photos, Spitz. We've had a doe with fawns visit our back yard several times this year. During last year's drought deer came by daily to drink out of our birdbath. Coons and squirrels visit our patio every day, and possums come around once in a while. Our cats ignore them all.

Irish Miss said...

Good morning:

Thanks, SJSJ, for a nice Thursday challenge and thanks to Marti for a neat expo. Had I quit before I lost and seedy before seamy. Kay Lenz looks familiar but I can't place her. Was she in a series?

Spitz, beautiful pictures of beautiful creatures.

Have a great Thursday.

desper-otto said...

For those of you unfamiliar with Chicken Man, here's the first episode. That'll probably be one episode too many for most.

Anonymous said...

For some reason thought 1a was Dowe. That made 1d
Dis--therefore 29a--dat. Really?!?!

Anony-Mouse said...

Very Nice puzzle SJSJ, and a delightful, witty, 'cheerily' commentary, Marti. I got the theme very early on, but couldn't figure out the type of cruise - Pleasure - perhaps because I've never been on one.

Reminds me of an old joke...

Prospective Boss ( to steno- applicant ) :- Miss Green, what are you expecting for your salary ?

Miss Green:- I would like to ask for 5 Dollars an hour ...

Boss:- With pleasure ...

Miss Green:- Oh No, with pleasure, I shall expect 8 Dollars an hour ....

Aaah, the good ole days, when sexual harassment was the norm.... Recently, a chief of Urology at a major hospital system here, was fired because he put his arm around a female CFO's shoulder, on their trip to the airport, in a limo ... lets say, there was more to it, than meets the eye....

ALT QOD:- Here's a driving tip. Never hit the lead car in a funeral. I've never seen that many people in so ugly a mood. ~ Phyllis Diller. ( In Memoriam).

Zcarguy said...

Add George to your list , it's spelled Georges in French
with a silent " S "

Anony-Mouse said...

Thank you Marti, for explaining 'caws' ... I got it, without getting 'it'.

The only true 'Mineral in a wall', would be Opal. The Australian citizens in southern Australia, actually build homes, and live, underground, (because of the heat - ), and find Opals, in the walls of their homes. BTW, Coober Pedy, the opal capital of the world, in Southern Australia, is a corruption of the aboriginal lingo,' Kupa piti', ... which means 'white man in a hole'.

For a moment, I also thought of the mineral'gypsum' for a mineral in a wall. I recently observed a dry-waller (DW) install a ceiling in a new home. Most drywallers work alone - there is not enough money in it, for two ... and the DW has to balance a 40 to 50 lb. wt. of a sheet of drywall, on his head, while he uses his 2 hands to hammer nails into the studs. It is a very tough operation... I could never do it.

have a nice week, you all.

Jerome said...

Marti- Perhaps you should write a puzzle with the theme entry "SNAKE IN THE SAND". Heaven knows they never lurk in the grass!

Anonymous said...

Good morning everyone.

DNF for me. Hate cross references with no clue. Don't even try. And never got the theme. But I did get all my answers correctly. That's a D PLUS.

Great pix Spitzboov. Thanks.

And I am married to a pack rat. Can't get either car into the garage. Can barely walk through it!


Misty said...

This was a bit of tough--especially the top middle. But that makes it all the more satisfying when it all finally falls into place with a lot of work. So many thanks, Steven, and you too, Marti, for explaining CAWS to us. Like others, I 'got' it without 'getting' it.

I'm a big animal lover and think deer are lovely. But it's tough to go to bed at night with all your roses in glorious bloom, and wake up in the morning to find your garden totally ravaged. Yet I understand that in our dry summers the deer have to forage for any moist foliage to stay alive.

Have a great Thursday, everybody!

Yellowrocks said...

I think mineral in a wall speaks of mine walls, not building or house walls. It made me think of my visit to the Sterling Hill Mining Museum in Ogdensburg, NJ. Here is a quote from their brochure:

For many visitors the most anticipated part of the mine tour is the Rainbow Room, where brightly fluorescent zinc ore is exposed in the mine walls, exactly as it was in other parts of the mine where ore was produced

Lucina said...

Greetings, Marti and all. Witty as always, Marti.

WEES since it is much later here in the desert where RATTLERS and the D'Bks reside.

Initially this offering from SJSJ looked daunting, and in fact when confronted with 1A & 1D, I scuttled like a scared rabbit to the bottom.

There I discovered the CRUISE, CRUZ homonyms and life was good again in puzzle land. Such clever though obscure cluing from Steven but it was fun to grok. I like it when I have to think beyond the obvious.

My car overheated last night so I'm off to the wizard of engines.

Have a terrific Thursday, everyone!

Tinbeni said...

SJSJ Thank you for a FUN Thursday.

Last night the Discovery Channel aired my "new" favorite show. (Wed.@ 10:00 pm):
"How BOOZE Built America!"

They covered the time from the Pilgrims until Lexington.
Turns out ... I must be a Patriot.

(Next week it's about How BOOZE built the West ... oooh, I can't wait.)


HeartRx said...

Jerome @ 10:51, I'll only do it if you collaborate on it, LOL!!

Good luck with your car, Lucina. I was away for the weekend when DH's car battery died. Why does it always happen when there is no spare car around?

Bill G. said...

Fun puzzle. I got the theme after the second answer and it sure helped with the solving.

Big day hereabouts tomorrow. The space shuttle Endeavor will be landing at LAX after flying over the area. I would love to get close enough to see it but I'm sure parking will be at a premium. The police will be ticketing people who stop on the freeway to gawk and take photos. If I still had my motorscooter I could squeeze in somewhere with a good view. Oh well... I'll probably be stuck with watching it all on TV.

Pookie said...

There is nothing more humbling than staring at a finished crossword and STILL not getting it. Never saw the theme either. Disliked that booze clue altogether. I just guessed at a lot of it.
And CAWS still has me riled.#&!@*!

desper-otto said...

Pas de Chat, there's no CAWS for getting riled. ,)

First time automotive experience: After getting my pickup back, after it had taken up residence at the dealership, I noticed that now it was hard to shift. It's a manual transmission cheapo pickup. I took it back in for service expecting another hefty bill. Surprise! The service manager says the mechanic forgot to tighten a couple of bolts the first time around, so it's fixed at no charge. Did you read that, NO CHARGE! Even got an apology for the hassle.

Spitzboov said...

Several have questioned the clue for 22d. "sounds near the ears". This gave me pause, too. But being an old farm boy, I took ears to mean corn ears. In a corn field who hangs out near corn ears? Crows among other creatures such as raccoons. Crows make the 'caw' sound. Had to work with that one a little.

Anonymous said...

Barry G., please stop using the word "dross". You're not that good to trash someone's work like that. That's a very disparaging word.

Husker Gary said...

Fun theme and nice Thursday fill. Cool and beautiful on the plains today! RUHR/CHARL crossing made sense after I wagged it. No nits here!

-I hope to get Joann on a CRUISE someday.
-What song had a HOBO in the “third boxcar, midnight train, destination Bangor Maine”?
-I subbed for grade school kids yesterday. What a RIOT!
-Those student LOANS are killing some kids. Why don’t those occupiers complain about the cost of college going up constantly?
-Our ENVOY was the best car we ever owned. Being an ENVOY is risky business these days.
-ESTELLE was George’s mom and ESTELLE Getty played Dorothy’s mother.
-Every piece of prairie we trod upon (upon which we trod?) last month had signs warning of RATTLERS
-No pack rats here. It’s on a garage sale and then at Goodwill the next day if it doesn’t sell.
-With Tiger in a slump, golf events are up for grabs every time. CHARL took his turn at the ’11 Masters
-I had 7 PARS today, Marti!
-QOD Corollary
-Off to Lincoln to watch VB for granddaughter and back on Friday for soccer and Saturday for golf. Dang those kids are expensive ;-). How ya gonna spend your money better?

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, I'm at least earlier to the blog today. I figured out the theme with Pleasure Cruise, and most everything else fell into place after that. I went back and put in the different Crews, Cruze, and Cruz words to finish off what I already had in.

Cross referenced clues give me a headache. Especially since Howe was unknown, so the guess came after I had is in with other answers in that area. CFL and Lenz were the last two to fall. I also had a lucky guess as I have a good friend with the last name of Lenz. Just made sense. Luckily I was correct.

Spitzboov, great pictures of the deer in your backyard. They look quite at home!!

The "caws" were loud and raucous yesterday as a crow flew just a few feet from my head. He was chasing a sparrow hawk that was after a smaller bird and they all three landed in a tree very close to where I was standing. All three erupted from that tree and flew in three different directions. The crow landed at the top of another nearby tree calling very loudly. Protecting his territory, no doubt. I thought at first that my neighbor and I had been the targets. Rather exciting for a time.

Lucina said...

Thanks, Marti. As it turned out, the problem seemed to be some corrosion on a hose which was affecting the thermometer and simply required a cleaning. All at, are you ready for it? No charge!

Of course, that mechanic has had oodles of business from me this year.

Here, too, A/C runs until mid October. both at home and in the car.

Anoa Bob said...

Could swear I've seen this theme before because I commented that Penélope Cruz is a Spanish actress and the pronunciation of the Spanish name "Cruz" would not be a homophone for the other theme endings. It would have more of sound like "Bruce" rather than "brews".

Maybe it was in another venue and I commented on another blog site. Just checked XwordInfo and this homophone theme with Penélope Cruz as one of the entries has run in '04 and '06 in the NYT, but I'm remembering something more recent.

CrossEyedDave said...

HG @ 3:25

Old worn out suits and shoes,
I don't pay no union dues,
I smoke old stogies I have found
Short, but not too big around

Anyone know the next verse?

HeartRx said...

HG @ 3:25, LOL at your alt girlfriend has a bumper sticker that says "Nice girls seldom make history..."

(7 pars, huh? Were all the others birdies?)

Chickie, sounds like quite a ruckus! We have some bluejays in the yard that terrorize the cats like that, instead of the other way around. Go figure...

Dang you CED @ 4:03, now I have that earworm going!! The next one is easy:

"I know every engineer on every train
All of their children, and all of their names
And every handout in every town
And every lock that ain't locked
When no one's arouuuund...."

Bill G. said...

The reference to CAWS and ears reminded me of a little joke from Ellen.

Little joke; very little joke about right for grandkids...

What did the baby corn say to the Mommy corn?

Where's Pop corn?

Anonymous said...

I smoke old stogies I have found
Short..but not too big around...
I`m a maaaan of means, by no means..
King of the road.

Seldom Seen said...


Jayce said...

Hello everybody. As soon as I saw 1D I almost just stopped right there. Several nits to pick on this puzzle, but I won't.

Yeah, I did come back to it later in the day and work it, but FIW because I put in ENVOI and SID instead of ENVOY and SYD. By then I didn't care any more.

The theme gimmick was okay, though.

Best wishes to you all.

TTP said...

Heart and HG

Billy Joel said, "I'd rather laugh with the sinners than die with the saints. The sinners have much more fun."

I wonder, did he write that for Christie ?

PK said...

D-Otto & Lucina, I lived on the Texas Gulf coast for a year without A/C in my apartment so know what you mean. I could have used a/c last night when I had to shut the windows because the lovely cool breeze sucked in smoke from the patio fire next door. However, being "cured" of the danger of raw sewage backing up into my bathtub has me forgiving this a/c inconvenience. That "danger" had me taking the quickest showers on record. I couldn't take a shower if I had done a load of wash on the same day. I made sure all five of the plumbers in the back yard knew I thought they were heros.

Husker Gary said...

7 pars, 0 birdies (close doesn't, does it?), and various other scores.

Steven J. St. John said...

Mari -
It may have been the Cruz/Cruise coupling after Vanilla Sky that inspired the puzzle, not sure.

For those commenting it was easier than the usual Thursday I had thought, with a homophone theme, it might run on a Monday.

For those commenting on the clever cluing, thank you, but I've been on the road all day and haven't had a chance to compare the published puzzle to my submission. I like to do that to learn as much as I can about the editing process, and I inevitably discover that Rich is responsible for at least some of the clever clues!

Marti - I always like to find a title for my puzzles even when they won't run with titles... but your idea was brilliant and one I never would have thought of!

Thanks to all for the comments. I always look forward to them.

Lemonade714 said...

SJSJ, welcome back.

I had a busy day so am very late but I had to say hi for a fine puzzle and write up.

The comments ar are also wonderful, thank you all for the entertainment. SJ, stop by and say hi!!

Jerome good to see you

CrossEyedDave said...

I have never seen this, & did not know they even had music video's when King of the Road was a hit.

Another King of the Road.

You didn't think i could let 5D "expose" combined with wardrobe malfunction slip by do you?

Ah, where was Manac when i needed him?

& i guess in this day & age of political correctness, i must show the opposing view.

TTP said...

Just so there are no misunderstandings, my comment at @9:08 was to the earlier poster whose comment has since been deleted. It was rude, crude and unattractive. I have come to understand how you all feel about the snark attacks.

Manac said...

Bill G.'s little joke reminded me of the one I told at the dinner table once. Mind you, my kids were all teenagers at the time..

Little Johnny went out trick or treating dressed up like a pirate. The lady answering the door exclaimed "Oh my! What a cute pirate, but tell me, where are your buccaneers?" Little Johnny replied " Under my bucking hat!"

Argyle said...

CED, what were you doing in the spam filter?

HeartRx said...

SJSJ, "Grand Crus" just seemed like a fitting title for this one. I'm glad you liked it!

Manac said...

CED, that wardrobe link was just soooo wrong in many ways. I still can't stop laughing! I'm ticked I didn't find it first.

CrossEyedDave said...

Oh my gosh!, how long was i in the spam filter?

I should have known that King of the Road video was too risque!

Argyle said...

Just 45 minutes.

thelma said...

Roger Miller

King of the Road...

Thank you all for the many smiles....


fermatprime said...


Great puzzle, SJSJ! Superlative expo, Marti!

Got the theme quickly. Faster than yesterday's puzzle!

Dennis: Ditto about X-ACTO.

Floor tile for guest bath came in in three different shades! (I mentioned that the first time it came in in pieces, I think.) Another 10 days? No way. I am busily searching all of the blue tiles on google!

Walk in tub turns out to be a disaster in many ways. (Finally got the nerve to try it.)

Back to googling.