Sep 26, 2012

Wednesday, September 26th 2012 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: Pluralised Apostrophe Mayhem

18A. "Gotta hit the hay" : I NEED SOME Z's

23A. Elementary school fundamentals : THE THREE R's

37A. Mom's behavior warning : MIND YOUR P's AND Q's

 49A. Marks to brag about : STRAIGHT A's
 57A. Canned pasta brand: SPAGHETTI O's

Oh goodness - Steve here and what a wonderful Wednesday to walk into. I've spent way more time than is good for me wondering how to punctuate today's theme entries to the point of downloading the style guides for the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post and the (UK) Guardian. I'm none the wiser, so I'm going with my own instinct and I'll take the knocks if I'm wrong. Thanks to Jeff for a fun puzzle and a head-scratcher of how to write it up!


1. Stir-fry additive : MSG. Monosodium Glutamate. Sounds nasty, but it's all natural - distilled soybeans. I use a lot of it. Food!

4. [frog lands in pond] : PLOP [big smile]

8. Remote control battery : AA CELL [small frown]

14. Baba of folklore : ALI. He of the magic phrase and 40 thieves.

15. Bindle carrier : HOBO. So funny - I looked on Wikipedia last night for the definition of a "duffel bag" that I used to carry my stuff to school in back in England, and there was a link to other bags - including the bindle. Awesome.

16. "Zip your lip!" : STOW IT! I think there might have been a derogatory noun after the STOW IT command. We have military readers of this blog who can confirm.

17. Diarist Anaïs : NIN 

20. Future snakes, perhaps : EGGS. Hmmm

22. Regards highly : ESTEEM. I loved this. I've not seen the verb form before. Do we ever use it?

25. Cut from the same cloth : AKIN 

29. Lemon and lime : TREES. OK, I guess they are. Grade: D-

30. Swift means of attack? : SATIRE. Jonathan Swift. Super, super clue and answer. Grate: A++. Made up for 29A

32. Put into words : SAY 

33. Poe's "ungainly fowl" : RAVEN. I wanted CHICKEN or TURKEY. Ravens don't seem so ungainly to me. Maybe Poe had some drunken ones.

36. D.C. athlete : NAT.  A Washington National baseball player. C.C., much more expert in these matters than I, might explain why the Nats just shut down their best pitcher going into the post-season when all he'd done was win games.(From C.C.: Wiki has a good explanation. In short: "It's a good conversational piece, it's a good debatable subject. But most of the people that have weighed in on this know probably 10 percent of the information that we know, and that we've made our opinion based upon.")

41. __ of Good Feelings : ERA. Being a Notre Dame fan, I prefer Ara of Good Feelings - a national championship with Parsegian.

42. Gives the heave-ho : OUSTS 

43. Rap's __ Wayne : LI'L. Apostrophe-challenge again. With or without?

44. With-the-grain woodworking technique : RIPCUT. Now, this is odd. I learned at rip-cut was across the grain, that's why the wood rips. UK- USA difference again?

46. Theater sections : LOGES 

48. Canadian pump sign : ESSO. Funny how Standard Oil of Texas became Canadian (or UK) with ESSO.

54. "Why bother?" : NO POINT 

56. Color property : TONE

61. "Characters welcome" network : USA 

62. Receive, as a radio signal : TUNE IN 

63. South American country at 0 degrees lat. : ECUA. Ouch. Way to wait until the end of the clue for an abbreviation hint and then arbitrarily lop off the last three letters.

64. Looney Tunes collectible : CEL

65. Structural threat for many a house : DRY ROT 

66. Gels : SETS 

67. Towel lettering : HIS


1. "The Balcony" painter : MANET. Do you think Monet and Manet used to high-cinq and discuss how confused art collectors would be a hundred years hence?



2. Insult : SLIGHT 

3. Cookies with a bite : GINGER SNAPS 

4. Chi preceder : PHI. Hand up for TAI. Took me a while to fix that.

5. Solitary sorts : LONERS 

6. Beyond zaftig : OBESE.  Zaftig should be enshrined in the Awesome Words Hall of Fame.

7. Baudelaire, par exemple : POETE. Bein sur

8. Evaluates : ASSESSES 

9. Quark's locale : ATOM. Not so fast - doesn't a quark also appear a zillion miles away from it's original location pretty well instantanously? Or is that some other particle? I'm confused.

10. Global networking pioneer : COMSAT 

11. Girl in a pasture : EWE. Dejeuner sur l'herbe. Got a nice theme working here :)

12. Gossipy Smith : LIZ 

13. OCS grads, usually : LT's Another apostrophe challenge! We know Officer Candidate School graduates are Lieutenants, but are they LTs or LT's?

19. "__ Rosenkavalier" : DER 

21. Bed or home ending : STEAD 

24. "Over here!" : HEY YOU 

26. Reader with a sensitive screen : KINDLE TOUCH. Aw. So cute!

27. Modern site of Mesopotamia : IRAQ. "Site" seems a little small for an entire country, and the birthplace of written language, but hey, I'm just Kindle-ly today.

28. Keeps after taxes : NETS. Don't get me started.

31. Like Big Ben : ANALOG. Ahhh - now, the clock is analog, but it's the bell which is actually called Big Ben, so not a really accurate clue/answer. I know, splitting hairs but ...

The clock is acually just "The clock" in St. Stephen's Tower ... you can't actually see Big Ben, it's inside the tower ...

33. Big chunk of Eur. : RUS. Funny, Russia used to be a big chunk of the United Soviet Socialist Republics. Not any more, it's European now.

34. Framed work : ART 

35. No. twos : VP's Apostrophe for plural Vice Presidents as Number Twos or no?
37. Nothing more than : MERE. I always felt sorry for the majestic lakes in the UK which are "meres" and insprired wonderfu poetry - Windermere, Grasmere, Buttermere, Thirlmere. I never thought of them as "mere" puddles.

38. Eye part : IRIS 

39. Surpassed in extravagance : OUTSPENT 

40. Elie Wiesel work : NIGHT 

45. Large eel : CONGER. I wanted MORAY and could not let it go, in spite of the fact it was one letter short and I already had the "E".

46. Took it on the lam : LIT OUT 

47. Grandchild of Japanese immigrants : SANSEI. My Nisei friend would be mad that I wanted to spell this SENSEI and messed up "Straight E's" for quite some time

50. Little one : TOT 

51. Traditional doings : RITES 

52. "That has __ ring to it" : A NICE 

53. Elite Navy group : SEALS 

55. Kent State's home : OHIO.  I wanted Kent. And kept wanting Kent. Finally - penny drops. Ohhhhhh - O-High-Oh. I'm a dummy.

57. Norm: Abbr. : STD 

58. Water filter brand : PUR 

59. Whichever : ANY 

60. Airline to Oslo : SAS  Scandinavian Air Services. I flew them many years ago between London and Stockholm. Very pleasant.

Well, that's it from me. I have no idea if I've incurred the ire of the apostrophe police, or if I was having a good day. Enjoy yours!

Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to Dennis. Hope it's your best one yet.


docfixit said...

Across the grain cuts are cross cuts. Hence cross cut saws.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Fun puzzle. I got the theme early on, which helped (especially with SANSEI which I wouldn't have gotten otherwise). Apart from SANSEI, I wasn't familiar with RIPCUT, but everything else was pretty straightforward (although the cluing was a bit obscure in spots).

I must have been eating the wrong type of gingersnaps all my life, since I never noticed they had any sort of "bite" to them.

As for using apostrophes to pluralize, the general rule that many people still follow is that it is never done. The use of an apostrophe to pluralize numbers (the 80's) and single letters (P's and Q's) has been gaining acceptance in recent years, however, and I expect it to be considered standard usage in the near future.

Montana said...

I had to use red letters for this puzzle. Boarding plane in 10 minutes to fly to NYC to get to CT.


Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Hand up for finding this puzzle fun. I'm glad Steve pointed out that Big Ben is the bell, not the clock; I knew what the clue meant, but it's just wrong.

HBTY Dennis.

TTP said...

Thank you Jeffrey Wechsler and thank you Steve.

22 Words Across, 23 Downs (and a whole lot of partials) at 23:18. Total time 44:38.

At 4D had taI (CHI) instead of PHI which made that the last region to fall. Had LONERS going down and that was the only possible fill there, so PHI must be wrong. Didn't know what bindle, zaftig or Baudelaire meant. Red letter help told me it was not taI CHI.

30A - Got it but didn't "get" it intil your explanation. Thanks.
54A Why bother - similar to the Don't Know, Don't Care, Whatever comments the other day ?
62A Traditional doings - I sense that many families are lacking in traditions these days.

35D No. twos - First time I've ever seen that clue.

Manet and Monet "Hi cinq." That's funny.

windhover said...

Happy Birthday, Dennis.
(from a hormonal ram with a bruised head).

TTP said...

Happy Birthday Dennis !

TTP said...

I'm going back to bed.

This should have said, "At 4D had taI (CHI) instead of PHI which made that the last region to fall. Had LONERS going down and that was the only possible fill there, so TAI must be wrong. "

kazie said...

have a good one! the how many-eth is it?

IMHO, You did a great job n the apostrophes!--and the rest too. those photos seem more vibrant than usual today too.

I actually got all of this with no slips, although much of it was WAGS. I got the theme early, and that helped but wa also fun, waiting to see what letters would be featured for each one after the first. Nice to see NICE as something other than the city on the Mediterranean. Lots of plurals, but then at least I get one letter without much effort.

Never heard of bindle before. I know it as a swag, or Matilda, as in the Oz song--Once a jolly swagman, camped by a billabong...

kazie said...

I must have dropsy today, judging by the number of missing letters in the above. Oops!

HeartRx said...

Good morning Steve, C.C. et al.

And a best exotic wonderful happy birthday, Dennis!

Thanks for a great write-up, Steve. I got a big smile out of [frog lands in pond], too! I was hoping we were going to have a story puzzle, with the frog getting into all sorts of mischief along the way. But alas, it was not to be...

But the puzzle did not disappoint, because the theme entries were fun, and there was some awesome long fill, like GINGER SNAPS and KINDLE TOUCH. The ECUA clue/ans didn't bother me, because we have seen it a lot. Besides, the correct abbreviation of "EC" could never be used in a crossword puzzle, anyway.

For the Big Ben clue, I wanted "iconic". Perps quickly disavowed me of that notion...

Finally, "DER Rosenkavalier" celebrated its 100th anniversary last year. I bought a copy of it on CD last time I was in Vienna. The last duet is particularly beautiful, if anyone is interested. 8:16

Happy hump day, everyone!

thehondohurricane said...

Hello everyone.

This was a toughie today, and it took me about an hour to fill in all the squares. To my surprise, they were all correct.

I too went with TAI and that section was the last to fall.

I liked the theme clues. I found them the easiest part of the solution. A lot of the North were wags or swags. I found the Central and South a bit easier.

Dennis, Happy birthday ... the first of many in your new environs.

Yellowrocks said...

Fun puzzle and witty blog. SATIRE was my first entry. I thought that if it wasn't used here, it surely would have made a great clue/answer.

I know bindle in the sense of a cloth bag-shaped bundle tied to a stick carried over the shoulder by a bindlestiff. It is AKIN to swag, as Kazie said.

I use and have heard ESTEEM used as a verb quite often. Some people esteem wealth over love and character.

We had a rip saw that cut across the grain when I was a kid, so RIPCUT seemed reasonable.

RAVEN is the bird most associated with Poe. "Quoth the raven, nevermore."

I have a print of Lady with Umbrella (Woman with Parasol). It is said to picture Monet's wife and son.

Sensei would mean teacher. SANSEI, literally the third generation, is used in N. America, S. America, and Australia. I was surprised when DIL said it is not usually used in Japan. Ichi, ni, san, is 1,2,3 in Japanese.

Yellowrocks said...

Here is the part of Poe's long poem, "The Raven" which has the expression "ungainly fowl."

Then the ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore--
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning--little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door--
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as "Nevermore."

Link The Raven

desper-otto said...

Good morning, group!

Before I forget, HBD to Dennis. That sure doesn't look like a Florida photo.

IMHO the most confusing use (or non-use) of apostrophes is its vs it's -- no apostrophe for the possessive, but there is one for the contraction. Hard to remember.

And yes, you rip a board to width and cross-cut to length.

I think naval OCS grads come out as ENS rather than LTS.

Sfingi said...

Like @TTP had taI before PHI.

Had a Natick at COMSAT crosses STOWIT, neither of which I ever heard.
Explanations welcome,

Mari said...

Great puzzle today. A little tough, but that's what creates my learning moments. And I had a lot of learning moments with the Down cludes in the NE.

At first I thought GINGER SNAPS was one of the main clues, because it was so long.

I had TWIN at 25A instead of AKIN.

I liked 35D No. twos: VPS because it was so bizzare. I didn't see VPS coming.

28D Keeps After Taxes, I wanted to use ZERO. WHY BOTHER?

Happy Birthday to Dennis! I'd ask for some cake, but I don't want to end up too zaftig. (I have no idea if I used that word correctly.)

PK said...

Hi Y'all, Fun puzzle although I spent a lot of time erasing my first choice of words: soy/MSG, shut up/STOW IT, tai/PHI (what the heck is PHI chi, anyway?), all of the theme lines, etc. Ended up with everything filled right.

I KINDLEd Elie Wiesel because I couldn't remember the name of his book. I was shocked to see what a large body of work he has. I hadn't heard of him until he got that prize. Haven't read him yet. Has anyone here?

Happy Birthday and first day of the rest of your life, Dennis. (Nice legs!--from a non-hormonal old EWE who isn't entirely dead.)

Windhover: LOL and I thought no one read those late-night posts.

Can't find my trusty "Elements of Style" handbook, Steve, to see what it says about the apostrophes. Thanks for your efforts. Looks okay to me.

Anony-Mouse said...

Thank you Mr. Wechsler, for a nice, fun and challenging puzzle - it was fun. Thank you Steve,the foodie-king, for a fun commentary - though some of the french comments were indecipherable. Though a Brit, your french is fantastic.(if I may say so - ).

The puzzle went easily, though I didn't know what a Bindle was - I thought it was a brother of Kindle. 'Hobo' seemed to be a strange answer.

HBTY to Dennis, and many, many more. I hope your new business is 'handling' well.

Thank you YellowRocks, for Poe's poem, and your expertise and explanations of the Japanese. I thought that Sansei was also the brand name of a stereo system.

Steve, thank you for your endorsement of MSG, ... I have read a lot about it, and try to add it to all and any dishes whenever I can - maybe it is just psychological, but I think the dishes do seem to taste better. BTW, there is a book out by a gourmet, just on the pleasures and benefits of using MSG. The only time, I avoid using MSG, is so my wife can't use it as an excuse for a headache to avoid ...(old, hoary joke, lol).

ALT QOD:- Religion is the one thing that gives people hope in a world that's been disjointed by religion. ~ Jon Stewart.

Where's Hahtoolah ? ... maybe she's atoning, fasting, reflecting, repenting, praying.

Anonymous said...

Barry G is right - apostrophes are for possessive and contractions only. Thus:

The boardroom is full of VPs.
The senior VP's bonus is way too high.
The three junior VPs' company cars are brand new.

Some say it should be VP's because president is being contracted, but if that's the case, it would have to be V'P's to be consistent.

Qli said...

Hi, all,

Thanks to this puzzle, I learned a new word today: bindle. Fabulous commentary , Steve. High cinq!

Now I have a picture in my head of a ginger cookie taking a bite out of something, kinda like a pac-man! GINGERSNAPs are one of my favorite cookies. My MIL used to make the best; at 96,she can't see well enough to bake anymore:(.

Fun to see the KINDLETOUCH as an answer. Two techie answers with COMSAT. or three if you count AACELL. Also nice to see CELL and CEL in the same puzzle.

windhover said...

I not only read 'em but I read between the lines as well. I don't need the LOL to tell that you have a well developed and farm-honed sense of humor. And what's more, you were right.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Jeffrey Wechsler, for a great Wednesday puzzle. Thank you, Steve, for the excellent review, as always.

First, Happy Birthday, Dennis. May you have many more.

Well, I wanted OIL for 1A, but held off until I had a crossword. Then with ALI and NIN I got GINGER SNAPS, which gave me MSG.

My first theme answer was MIND YOUR PS AND QS. The others came quite easily.

Took me a while to get ANALOG for Big Ben. I enjoyed the write-up regarding the bell. Thank you, Steve.

65A DRY ROT reminds me of work I must do in Pennsylvania on a garage and a barn. Both are suffering from some DRY ROT.

Zaftig/OBESE was a tough one. Perped it. POETE along side of the OBESE was also tough. Perped it too.

Had fun with this puzzle. As I recall, we had one recently from Jeffrey Wechsler.

See you tomorrow.


Anony-Mouse said...

Mari, Zaftig means ... healthily plump female, sexually attractive figure, voluptous, full bosomed, pleasingly plump,...'juicy'- Middle High German.

-almost, always a compliment. I may be wrong, but I don't think you can 'too' zaftig.

Razz said...

Happy Hump Day to CC, Steve and the gang.

Happy Birthday Dennis - thanks for being our pillar of strength and providing fun jabs, and entertaining innuendo (really enjoyed the repartee between you and Lois)


Spitzboov said...

Good morning all. Nice write-up, Steve.

Happy birthday, Dennis.

Got the theme cadence early. Mostly STRAIGHTforward fill, but KINDLE TOUCH was a long time coming. The clue for SATIRE was oblique for me and I needed a li'l help with LIL.

Zaftig = plump. Die dicke Frau. We used 'pummel' at home.

Second the SAS comment. Have flown Newark-Oslo and Newark-Stockholm. Best flight was Helsinki-Stockholm when we were bumped up to 1st class served wine at 10 in the morning, and had a beautiful view of the Åland Islands, a gorgeous archipelago, at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia.

Enjoy the day.

Steven J. St. John said...

Beautiful pictures in today's write up!

Another good puzzle. Almost didn't finish in the N part but made some correct guesses.

Swift means of attack was my favorite clue. Cookies with a bite was nice too - clues are usually visual, but this one was gustatory.

For some weird reason I started in the E today, and IRAQ was one of my first words. That really helped crack the theme for me, because a Q just can't be the second to last letter in a 15-word answer unless something's up.

Qli said...

Thanks for all the good wishes. I survived my shower yesterday, and plan to do it again today!

PK: I simply stepped off the curb and fell on my way in to work. I hobbled around in pain for almost a week, thinking my knees were just bruised. Then one knee swelled up like a balloon, so went in and found out about the broken patella. On my good knee.

Oof dah! (as all the Norwegians in town for the Hostfest would say).

Steven J. St. John said...

Oh, and here's a really fun link for you:

Apostrophe Abuse

It's a blog where people send in pictures of mis-used apostrophes (apostrophe's?!) with biting commentary.

Anonymous said...

In the Greek alphabet phi comes right before chi.

Qli said...

also, happy birthday to Dennis, and may it be the beginning of a great year.

Anony-Mouse said...

I kept forgetting -

PK, Thank you for your kind wishes, yesterday. I hope you too have such happy moments to relish and enjoy.

Qli, there are some bandages available that are plastic-cloth, soft and supple, and yet waterproof, so that it can enable a bather to have a shower, while covering up the inflamed joint. Hope it heals soon.

Argyle said...

Dennis, still old enough to know better but still too young to care?

chin said...

Fun fun fun one today.

Russia was the big part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, not "united".

I first learned the word bindle during the first OJ trial. The investigating personnel used it to refer to the packets or envelopes in which they preserved or transported evidence.

I like my ginger snaps with a "bite" of ginger on my tongue.

Argyle said...

I will continue to use an apostrophe with initials because it seems clearer. (as vs. a's)

Now what is the reason for putting the period inside the quotation marks if the quote is part of a longer sentence?

Tinbeni said...

Steve: Nice write-up & I enjoyed the paintings.

Dennis: Happy Birthday.
The first "toast" at Sunset is to you. Cheers!

Jeffery: Thank you for a FUN Wednesday. (Glad my "perps" were along for the ride).

I'm in the "How-the-hell-is-a-bell" ANALOG crowd.

Fave clue today was Swift=SATIRE.

PK said...

Qli: Oh ouch!

Russia is partly in Europe and the larger part (Siberia) in Asia with the continental division being the Ural Mountains. I learned this doing crosswords research.

My first thought was that bindle was the Crocodile Hunter's daughter, but I think that's Bindie, isn't she?

Irish Miss said...

Good morning:

A very nice Wednesday offering, Jeffrey, and a witty expo, Steve. (Go Irish!). Loved the clue for satire and loved Mari's answer for Keeps after taxes: zero! Found this a quick and easy solve.

Happy Birthday to Dennis and Happy Anniversary to Anony- mouse. Let us know what your celebration plans are.

Did anyone watch Vegas last night? I watched it because I like Dennis Quaid a lot and also Michael Chilkis (sp?). I thought it was well done, even if the plot was a little thin. Tomorrow night starts the new season of Sheldon and friends. Yah!

Happy Wednesday to all.

Tinbeni said...

oops ... forgot to plug my FAVORITE Discovery Channel show.

Tonight at 10:00 pm is PART 2 of "HOW BOOZE BUILT AMERICA"

Hope y'all will join Mike Rowe on the ultimate bar crawl through America's booze filled past.
He'll show us how alcohol helped push this great nation WEST.
Where mountain men and Johnny Appleseed pave the way for liquored up cowboys to shoot each other at the OK Corral.

Something about this show just seems to hit home for me. LOL


ARBAON said...

Dennis: HBTY! and "uhhh-yaah" or "ooh-rah!"
Hope the citrus blight doesn`t get in your trees. We will probably have to cut down and burn all of ours. :(

Ron Worden said...

Good afternoon and happy hump day to all. Great write-up Steve I am in total agreement and always like it when you opine.
Happy birthday Dennis what a great wat to celebrate with new digs.
Have a great day to all. RJW .

Misty said...

Perfect puzzle for a Wednesday--a bit challenging in the South, but still doable, with a fun theme. Thanks, Jeffrey. Now Steve, I could have sworn that we're not supposed to use apostrophes in plurals--unless they're also possessives (the miner's daughters, the miners' daughters--or is it the miners's daughters). But in the end, I don't care. Whatever you do is fine with me, especially on a day when you give us both a MANET and a MONET. Now if I could only learn to tell the difference between those two Impressionists.

Loved getting "The Raven"--many thanks! And PK, I too thought of that clever little girl, Bindie.

Finally, Happy Birthday, Dennis--and have a great Wednesday, everybody!

HeartRx said...

Argyle @ 10:25, I agree with you in the circumstance you mentioned. If you wrote, "Dot the is and cross the ts," it wouldn't be quite as clear as writing, "Dot the i's and cross the t's."

Hmmm...that could have been a theme entry, too!

Notice my punctuation was tucked firmly inside of the quote marks. The reason (in American usage, anyway) is that when type used to be set by hand, the tiny type pieces like a comma or a period could get knocked out of alignment or get bent when typesetters moved the rack to the press. So printers started putting them inside the final quote mark, which is a bigger piece of font. But that was just a matter of convenience, and is not followed in other countries. But look at this article from Today's "London Times." They seem to be confused about just where to put the dang period. ("Clegg vows veto...")

Blue Iris said...

Happy birthday, Dennis! Hope you have a carefree day!

Theme came quickly for me today. Had THE THREE RS right away. When saw QS at the end of 37A I knew that fill easily. Remember hearing "MIND YOUR..." as a child, but didn't ever using this phrase with my children to my knowledge. I will have to ask if they ever remember that phrase. Anyway, the rest of the theme fell into place.

Is STOW IT primarily used in the military? Wanted "shut up" no matter how rude.

Think of RITES as being religious in origin and traditions as being the warm fuzzies that create family memories.

Don't like the words OBESE or zaftig. Seems like my life-long struggle.

I went to one Chinese restaurant that must have tripled MSG in the entree. I was so ill that I considered going to the emergency room. I was told by local Chinese chef that it is mostly used in brown sauces.

Captain Obvious said...

Have a great day Dennis!

desper-otto said...

Marti, how did you ever notice that? Plus, I didn't know that Andy Williams was dead.

Back in the 80's (or is it 80s?) I was on long distance with a British expat working in Singapore. I was trying to dictate a DOS statement that he needed to type into his computer.
"What's a bloody PEER-EE-ODD?"
"It's what you put at the end of the bloody sentence!"
"Oh, you mean the stop!"
Learning moment.

Lucina said...

Good day to all! Excellent analysis, Steve, thank you. I love the MANET and Monet art work.

Happy, happy birthday, Dennis! May only zaftig clients visit you today!

Fun puzzle today from Jeffrey Wechsler though I was partially asleep doing it as I rose at 7:00 for an early doctor's appointment.

KINDLE TOUCH completely escaped me as I thought cut from the same cloth was TWIN and did not review.

I loved the Swift means of attack, SATIRE clue and fill.

MSG has been banned from restaurants here because of its serious negative effects on some people.

Have a great Wednesday,everyone!

Blue Iris said...

No. twos-VPS may not be a part of historical memory. Charles Curtis was the vice president to Calvin Coolidge. He was three-quarters Native American Indian and raised on the KAW reservation. His "adult" home has been restored in Topeka, KS. Interesting article on "Wiki"...sorry I don't know how to link.

Tinbeni said...

Andy Williams, Thanks for the memories ...

Moon River

Anonymous said...

Where was abbr. in clue for 1a? Loved needing some Z's! Spaghetti O's was cool!! Didn't get "The Threers", I guess I was sick on those days! Stow it? Must be an east coast saying. This should have been thurs or even fri., puzzle. Good job though! awesome!!!

kazie said...

As to apostrophes, my personal preference is to use them only when there are omitted letters or when needed for possession. However, it seems that common practice includes use when digits are substituted for complete words for numbers. Thus I commiserate with Steve's dilemma this morning, but if he did all that research and came up empty, I think we should just sigh and accept what we find, unless it's a nightmare like on that picture of a sign someone linked some time last week.

Barry G. said...


I can't believe I forgot to wish Dennis a very healthy and happy birthday!

Mea culpa, Dennis.

Blue Iris said...

OOPS... Curtis was Herbert Hoover's vice president. Guess I forgot history also.

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon everyone.

Have a most happy birthday, Dennis.

Desper–otto: I have read "full stop" to indicate a period in British usage. Then it seemed to come up frequently once I saw it. Probably read it before and just didn't understand it.

Steve, glad you had fun with all your apostrophes. They're one of my "hate to see used incorrectly" idiosyncrasies. Probably because of my years as an English teacher.
But its and it's isn't hard to remember. You must know if you mean it is or something that belongs to it. It's time to quit, or the car had lost its license.

Thanks for a puzzle that was fun to do, Jeffrey. (NOT a fun puzzle! But that's a rant for another day.)


Dennis said...

Good afternoon, Steve, C.C. and gang - thanks to all for the BD wishes. Tempus is certainly fugiting.

Fun puzzle today and a most entertaining write-up, Steve. Learning moment for me was 'sansei' -- although I spent a fair amount of time over there, I wasn't familiar with the word. Of course, I basically knew "Hello", "Goodbye", "How many drinks will this buy?" and "How much is your sister?".

My wife pointed out that the 'born today' horoscope in today's paper mentioned a change in living arrangements next month, which I thought was timely. However, it also mentioned a 'new addition to the family'. Since I've had a vasectomy (and insisted on triple-redundancy), any 'new addition to the family' is going cause a change in living arrangements, alright, but only for one of us...

Argyle, I'm still not old enough to know better, nor am I old enough to care.

Kazie, this would be the magical 69th.

Razz, thanks, and good to hear from you again.

Lucina, from your lips to God's ear.

Hope it's an outstanding day for everyone. Thanks again.

Seldom Seen said...

Happy Birthday Dennis, from a fellow librarian. ;)

Are apostrophes and ac'cent marks the same now?

Speaking of Apostrophe' .

We here in OHIO will TUNE-IN when the Reds OUSTS* the NATs, without Strasberg and HIS ERA, from the nlcs.

HEY YOU, the above was typed while tongue was firmly planted in cheek.

*Is this grammatically correct?

Spitzboov said...

Anon @ 1205

MSG is usually called that - MSG. Sort of like DDT or TNT.

Re: 's, - My book on technical writing acknowledges the trend is to omit the apostrophe. However, with a single letter or number the advice is to include the apostrophe to prevent confusion. - There are two c's and two m's in 'accomodate'. - If anyone has the LA book of style, they may want to add their 2¢.

TTP said...

Blue Iris,
"Sounds like" Stow It came from the military.

The three I knew from my youth were:
1) Pipe down = You are too loud, or be quiet(er).
2) Simmer down = You are too excited.
3) Stow it = Shut up.
Which was kind of like the last warning...

Desper-Otto, that's funny. "It's what you put at the end of a bloody sentence."

Now we can just email or instant message across the globe. Beats the days of 1400 baud.

Anonymous said...

Probably about his French ex-wife who was accused of murdering her live-in boyfriend

Mari said...

Irish Miss @ 10:46 am: I can't wait to welcome Shellie back into my home. Do you think Amy Farrah Fowler is really going to dump him?

Anony-Mouse @ 9:12 am: Your definition of Zaftig doesn't sound so bad. Maybe I will take a piece of Dennis' birthday cake.

Spitz @ 9:23 am: I think I better hold on that cake. EWWWW!

Mari said...

Tin @ 10:32 am: In honor of Dennis, let's make it a Birthday Cake Shot!

That's enough out of me. Back to work!

Warren said...

Happy birthday to Dennis! Many more I hope.

My wife and I teamed up on today's puzzle, I thought of the

4 dead in Ohio song for Kent State.

Dennis said...

Mari, good move, anony-mouse is correct. My part-time job, which is also a bit of an 'outreach' program, encourages good health in certain areas.

Barry, thanks; no worries.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

HBD, Dennis and Anony-mouse. Many happy more.

Sterling write up, Steve.

I'm mostly in disagreement with most of you regarding the puzzle. I stumbled all around with it. Had particular difficulty with the downs in the SW corner. To me the theme is MEH! There's some good fill and some bad. On balance, a mixed review.

Had MIND YOUR MANNERS for 37A, which made BMS a grotesque possibility for "No. twos." Sorry.

LIT OUT crossing LOGES is pretty awkward.

OTOH, "Swift attack" is excellent.

This is probably it for me this week. Too much other stuff going on. Some of it is actually good. I have gigs on Sat. and Mon.

Cool regards!
JzB (actually has pretty good TONE)

Yellowrocks said... uses fun as an informal adjective.
My huge unabridged paper dictionary lists fun as an ordinary adjective, as in a fun night or a fun time.

The times and the language are a changing.

Happy birthday, Dennis. It's wonderful that you can enjoy it in your new home.

fermatprime said...


Neat puzzle, Jeffrey; interesting expo, Steve!

A very happy birthday to you, Dennis!

My idea for a title was "Alphabet Soup."

MSG and other excitotoxins make me really sick.

Feel better Qli! Can really sympathize.

Favorite also SATIRE. No cheats but took longer than usual Wednesdays. Let the perps solve the tai/PHI conundrum.

Nice Apple tech finally solved email problem. Sorry if I missed anyone's letter.

Have always gotten a kick out of Vincent Price and "The Raven."


Bill G. said...

Marti, great apostrophe example. I was going to write something similar but your example was better. I learned to put periods inside quotes when I first got my Mac computer. I bought a book called "Your Word Processor is not a Typewriter" that contained several gems including "In American English, a period ALWAYS goes inside quotation marks. Yes, ALWAYS."

Happy birthday Dennis!

Sallie, do tell me more about "Fun puzzle." I need a learning moment. Using 'Fun' that way seems informal, not wrong, but I'm willing to learn.

I learned a new Yiddish word yesterday. It's "Kvelling." It means to be bursting with pride.

Argyle said...

"when type used to be set by hand"

It isn't anymore and so MY stops are outside the quotation marks. Stay in the last century if you like.

Irish Miss said...

Mari @12:55 - Is your question about Amy dropping Sheldon based on something that happened in the last show or is it just hypothetical? I hope I didn't miss any of the story line vis a vis Amy and Sheldon. I think Amy's character is a very important dynamic of the show, more so than Bernedette's.

RIP, Andy Williams, one of my favorite singers.

HeartRx said...

Argyle, if I were writing in Europe, I would put the stops outside as well. Unfortunately, the American standard is for them to be inside. "When in Rome..." LOL!

Husker Gary said...

Fun offering for a Tuesday. BTW, what character promised “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for hamburger today.” Spectacular weather has lured me to the golf course in the mornings I am blogging with 68 comments in the barn so…

-The NATS are the talk of a town that is desperate for some pro athletic success. The NATS are the transplanted Montreal Expos. L.A. is like a vulture perched on a wire to see what NFL team they will get once they get stadium issues settled.
-Were our teenage idols as disgusting as LIL Wayne?
-On the way back from the course I was at a light next to an extremely OBESE 20-something woman who had a cigarette in her mouth.
-British pronunciation of lieutenant
-Steve, I knew that about Big Ben and at NASA the airplane parts that everyone wants in their museum are actually the Orbiters and the entire program is the Shuttle. Splitting hairs?
-HBD and Semper Fi Dennis!
-Read y’all later, I have to help clean windows..

CrossEyedDave said...

Excellent puzzle, had to cheat hard!
(not really,)
(If i put a comma inside the brackets, at the end of "not really," do i have to capitalize the "N" in not?)

Oh well, i did it in ink, & only had to google "zaftig" & "Bindle," & that was only because if it"'"s a 3 letter greek letter i always guess in order: eta, rho, chi, then psi. What do i know,,, greek is french to me!

Anyway, DNF! Because... i thought i could get my cookie fanatical daughter into crosswords with 3D. But in 0.00000001765 seconds, she blew me away with "gingersnaps." Even Google is not that fast.

Happy Birthday Marine Style Dennis!

Also, HBDY CED Style.

Mari said...

Irish Miss: You didn't miss anything with "SHAMIE". I saw commercial about tomorrow night's show and Amy expressed some displeasure with Shellie. We'll have to anxiously wait. I'm also curious how Howard made out in outer space!

Pookie said...

Feliz cumpleanos Dennis. And many more. I learn so much from all of you, and laugh a lot too. Had twin for "cut from the same cloth" too. Akin seems only similar, not like two p's in a pod :)This is off the subject, but akin to the grammatical debate. WHY OH WHY am I hearing "My sister, she..." or "The Dodgers, they..." I hear it on TV, radio,etc. from people who should know better. And what is that called? Double pronouns? Maybe Sallie or Yellowrocks knows.The learning part I mentioned...I woke up with vertigo a week ago. NEVER had it EVER. Guess what? Had Chinese food night before that had brown sauce,egg fu young. Bet that's what did it. Thanks all of you smart bloggers!

Jayce said...

Happy happies, Dennis.

Mari said...

Birthday Boy Dennis at 1:02 pm: What do you do at your part-time job? I'm curious about the good health outreach program, as I've done some work with ANAD.

Dennis said...

CED, outstanding links; thanks.

I can tell you that the 'cherry belly' bday present is not one you want. Happened to me one year, and my stomach stung like a bitch for a good two days. It pales, however, in comparison to some of the other 'presents' we gave (and received), most of which shouldn't be discussed in mixed company.

Dennis said...

What do you do at your part-time job? I'm curious about the good health outreach program


Jayce said...

Man oh man, I saw AKIN and immediately thought of the Senator. I hate myself! LOL

Saw "Swift" and "attack" and immediately thought of Taylor.

Entered PSI for 4D and then wondered what a SOBO is. Didn't wonder long enough to take the time to figure it out.

Steve, I loved your writeup and agree with your opinions and understand your point of view. Thank you for being frank, Steve.

Mari said...

Dennis @ 3:08 pm. DUH! I forgot about your "side business"! :)

desper-otto said...

Mari, I think that's a "front" business.

CrossEyedDave said...

A couple more "musings" about the puzzle today... ( spellchecker would not let me type "today's" or todays' puzzle...)

16A zip your lip, i wanted "stifle."
& try as i might, i could not find a clip of Archie bunker saying that to Edith!

17A (i knew Nin from previous puzzles, woohoo!)

26A funniest video's had the best clip of the "snake eggs in an envelope gag," but i cannot find it.

25A hands up for "twin" b/4 akin.

9D Quarks locale is Deep Space Nine!

I also thought if i Google Image search "zaftig" i would find artistic portraits, but this was the least offensive i could find.

Ditto with Elie Wiesel & "night."
I thought i would find a beautiful painting. Boy was i wrong!

windhover said...

They're on the side now? Must be all those chemicals in the food supply I keep hearing about. We eat only organic, and Irish's on still on the front. Mine too, for that matter.
Did I place that apostrophe correctly?

windhover said...

"Are" still on ......
Damned autocorrect!

Spitzboov said...

Todays travelogue: Atlantic Highway - Norway. It's on the Atlantic coast WSW of Trondheim.

"The sea was angry that day my friends. Like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli."

CrossEyedDave said...

Oh Wow! Spitzboov, that was awesome, & i have only ever seen that roller coaster overpass in still pics before!

I just sat down to dinner & watched one of my favorite M*A*S*H* episodes, "Dear Sigmund." In it, Maj. Sydney freedman writes, "Anger turned inward is depression, anger turned sideways is CrossEyedDave! (um, er,, i mean Hawkeye!)

Anyway, Spitzboov, one of the side links to your Angry Sea clip was this. I dare you to watch the whole thing while thinking "how many people since Icarus have died trying to do just this!"

Note: it is better to watch it full screen by following Spitzboovs' link to the end & clicking on the lower left pic of switchback roads...
(did i put the apostrophe in the right place?)

Dennis said...

Had to share this: I went on Google a couple minutes ago to check out a restaurant I wanted to try, and when the main Google screen came up, the logo across the top was done in birthday cakes, cupcakes, streamers, candles, etc., and when I moved my cursor over the logo, it said "Happy Birthday, Dennis".

Pretty cool.

Yellowrocks said...

CED Here is a clip of Edith turning the tables.
Link stifle

Jayce said...

Wow, Dennis, pretty cool indeed!

Sfingi said...

PK - read The Golem. It's only about 100 pp. long.

Zaftig is fat in the right places. "As round above as she is round below."

@Dennis - maybe a new pet?

CrossEyedDave said...


Thanks, i looked for hours & could not find "stifle." One thing is bothering me though, around the 8 minute mark, Archie gives Edith a battery powered fan to get her through the next 2 weeks of menopause. I bought one for for myself 5 years ago... (& i still use it!)

Anonymous said...

Bill G. As I am an old retired English teacher, I tend to keep to the accepted ways of speech of a few years back.
This is what my Apple Dictionary says: "USAGE The use of fun as an adjective meaning ‘enjoyable,’ as in : we had a fun evening, is not fully accepted in standard English and should only be used in informal contexts. There are signs, however, that this situation is changing, given the recent appearance in U.S. English of comparative and superlative forms funner and funnest, formed as if fun were a normal adjective. The adjectival forms funner and funnest have not 'arrived' in all the dictionaries, however, and if employed at all, they should be used

JD said...

Happy Birthday Dennis ♪♩♬♫•*¨*•.❤.•*¨*•♫♪•.¸¸.•´♫♪♩♬*¨*`•.♥.•´*♫♪♩♬

Anonymous said...

Bill G. rest of quote:
sparingly and not in formal written English."

PK said...

Sallie: Much depends on what you are writing and why. Sometimes when writing for publication, I depart from standard formal English for effect. Usually this is to connect with the reader or make a point or just be silly--an attention-getting device.

Spitz: I almost went into panic attack just watching that road trip. How on earth did they ever build that sucker? And that bridge looks like something out of Dr. Suess. Looked cold and slick and definitely a Suicide Drive with the sea that angry.

YR, re: Marine happy birthday and my post to you last night. See what I mean about macho men? You didn't see anything like that in a female teachers' lounge.

Bill G. said...

Thanks Sallie. I agree with you as I am somewhat of a grammar and usage traditionalist. Since I think much of what I write here is informal, I imagine I will still write 'fun puzzle' from time to time. For sure though, not 'funner' or 'funnest' under any conditions that I can imagine.

As you know, I really like the Animal Tracks slide shows on MSNBC. I thought this one was especially good. Animal Tracks

PK said...

Windhover, How many classy city folk would eat "organically" grown vegetables if they realized "organic" means "fertilized with animal poop"?

In the preceding sentence, I placed the question mark outside the quotation marks because it relates to the entire sentence rather than only the words inside the quotation marks.

Bill G. said...

PK, as I understand it, that is correct in American usage but the period always goes inside quotes no matter what.

I just found this on the Internet:

When it comes to commas and periods, though, logic doesn't enter into the equation, at least not in the United States. Universal American usage places commas and periods inside the quotation marks, regardless of logic.

~"Diane," she said, "put the book down and go outside for a little while."

~"I will in a minute," she replied, "as soon as I finish this chapter."

This rule applies even when the unit enclosed at the end of the sentence is just a single word rather than an actual quotation:

~To get to the next page, just press the little button marked "Enter."

The only exception is when that last little item enclosed in quotation marks is just a letter or a number, in which case the period or comma will go outside the closing quotation marks:

~The buried treasure was marked on the map with a large "X".

~The only grade that will satisfy her is an "A".

~On this scale, the highest ranking is a "1", not a "10".

windhover said...

Just walked in after spending the evening at "the best little bar in the world", Al's Bar in Lexington, Kentucky, and enjoying the 52nd renewal of the Holler Poets Series. (You can Google that)
I need to think about your question before I answer. My first take is that most people who buy organic, the so-called "foodies" are fairly knowledgeable about and interested in the source of their food. We grow most of ours, but of course there is a little condition here called "Winter". We freeze and can, but we buy, too. We do produce all our own meat. But you may be right about the "poop" thing. Most of the organic growers I know (including ourselves), use compost, not raw manure, though.
Hope I used those quotation marks properly. :)

Argyle said...

To ignore logic is "X".

PK said...

Windhover, When I was gardening, about every other year my husband would scrape the well-rotted manure from the cattle feeding pen and bring a load to spread on my garden in the fall. The cattle had been out to grass all summer and not in the pen for about six months. He'd till the load into the ground and we'd leave it dormant all winter. The next spring when I planted the garden, it was rich and loamy and grew things wonderfully. It wasn't what I think of as compost but probably about the same.

I did have one woman out to the house who was horrified about what was being put on the garden while she was there. She had been buying organically grown produce (not mine) and talking snobbily about how much better it was. And she did not know what it meant.

I was told not to put new manure on the garden because it would "burn" the plants.