Oct 24, 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 Gareth Bain

Theme ALL ABOUT A's.   I sometimes worry that constructors might someday use up all the theme ideas, but perhaps there is no bottom to that well.  Today, Gareth came up with a new twist - each theme entry, indicated with a starred clue, has two or more words, and contains exactly three vowels - all of which are A's.  A bit on the abstract side perhaps, but as far as I know, it's quite original.

17 A. *"Ditto!" : BACK AT YA.   A slangy response.

19 A. *1955 Communist defense treaty : WARSAW PACT.  Back in 1955, at the height of the cold war, this was a Russian organized and dominated military alliance involving the Soviet Union, Albania (withdrew in 1968), Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany (withdrew in 1990), Hungary, Poland, and Romania.

 37 A. *"I can answer your questions" : ASK AWAY.  Would you like to debate me?

 58 A. *Momentarily forget : DRAW A BLANK.  Maybe I shouldn't have had this debate.

But wait, there's more:

 10 D. *"Wheel of Fortune" host : PAT SAJAKHe loves baseball.  Who knew?

 36 D. *Space cadet's home? : LALA LAND.  Someone who's "out there" and the place he might be from.  I always wondered if this was a reference to Los Angeles.

 And the unifier --  60 A. Like the best bonds, and a hint to the answers to starred clues : AAA RATED.   From the world of high finance.  Or were you thinking of Barry, James, and Ward?

Wow - 6 stacked or crossing theme entries, plus a unifier in an unusual, rather open grid with horizontal and vertical 6-stacks in two corners.  Hi Ho, gang, JazzBumpa here.  Let's see if Gareth's effort is AAA RATED.


1. Brains : SMARTS.  If I had more, I wouldn't have drawn that blank.

7. Like many a reply env. : PPD.  Pre-paid.  (Let me get back to you on that  .  .  .)

10. Low-tech missile : PEA.  Just like the Warsaw Pact, this takes me back to to 50's.  A soda straw makes a decent launcher. 

13. New Age physician : HOLIST.  Holistic medicine.  No half-way measures here.

14. Zeno's home : ELEA.  This town, now called Velia, is in Italy, but Zeno was a Greek philosopher famous for his paradoxes.  He also might have invented the method of proof called reductio ad absurdum.

15. Namibia neighbor: Abbr. : ANGola. Map.  To the best of my knowledge, there is no Namibia, Indiana.

16. Florida export : ORANGE.   A citrus fruit, and eponym for the color.  They ship them out like clock work.

21. Old Russian dynast : TSAR

22. Pulitzer playwright Rice : ELMER.  Awarded for his 1929 play, "Street Scene."

23. The tiniest bit : ONE IOTA.  Used for measuring SMARTS.

25. __ Moines : DES. The capital of Iowa, and home of the caucus, is 487 miles (784 Km) from Angola.

26. Sink, as a snooker ball : POT.  My last fill.  Gareth snookered me with this one.  It is more commonly used in England, perhaps. 

28. Flattering deception : SNOW JOB.   The referent is probably overcoming resistance by burying someone with flattery or false arguments, as they would be buried in a snow drift.

31. Daddy-o : POP.  The paternal parent?  Back in the 50's this was an informal form of address. From the Urban Dictionary we get: "Somewhat equivalent to today's "dude" or "man" but with a much cooler zen-bohemian and/or streetwise hipster attitude."  Also a 1958 (back to the cold war era again) B-movie, accompanied by John Williams' first film score.

33. Marsupial sometimes called a bear : KOALA.  Cute, with a cool zen-bohemian hipster attitude.

34. Friction reducer : OIL.   When it's not on fire.  (Cf 41A.)

40. Map reader's aid : KEY.   Like this.

41. Firefighter Red : ADAIR.  From Wikipedia:  "Paul Neal 'Red' Adair (June 18, 1915 – August 7, 2004) was an American oil well firefighter. He became world notable as an innovator in the highly specialized and extremely hazardous profession of extinguishing and capping blazing, erupting oil well blowouts, both land-based and offshore."

43. Gaming console with a fitness component : WII.  From Nintendo.

44. County in eastern Ireland : KILDARE.  Just to the West of Dublin.

47. R&B's __ Hill : DRU.  Beats me.

49. Peoria hrs. : CSTCentral Standard Time.  Peoria is 218 miles (351 Km) from Des Moines.  Don't you wish you were there?

52. Score tempo : ALLEGRO.  Like the previous link.

54. Opposite of neo- : PALEO.  From a Greek root, meaning "long ago."

56. Fr. miss : MLLE.  Mademoiselle.

62. Dumpster fill : REFUSE.  Nasty, evil smelling stuff, which is why I would refuse to go there.

63. Reunion attendees : KIN.  Nothing could be stated for certain at my last reunion.  It was all relative.

64. Goes down in the west : SETS.  This is referring to the sun.  Now, shall I turn this over to Tinbeni, or the DFers?  Vexing problem.

65. Done for the first time : MAIDEN.   Oh, DF .  .  .  or maybe not.

66. Sew up : END.  Nope - I have all these downs ahead of me.

67. __ de deux : PAS.  A dance for two.

68. Trusty mounts : STEEDS.  Horses.


1. Made an appearance : SHOWED up.

2. Team captain's concern : MORALE.   Keep those spirits high.

3. Morning janglers : ALARMS.  Oh, boy, am I dreading that,

4. Teeth-cleaning step : RINSE

5. Title writer in a John Irving novel : T S GARP.   From "The World According to Garp," John Irving's 4th novel.  I read this many years ago, and still have some vivid memories of certain details, some of which I would like very much to forget.

6. Hasenpfeffer, for one : STEW.  Rabbit stew.  I've never had it.

7. Director's cry : PLACES, everyone.

8. Jam thickener : PECTIN.  Any of a group of water soluble high molecular weight carbohydrates found in ripe fruits that forms a gel with sugar.  Remember that if you're ever in a jam.

9. Black Hills terr. : DAKota.  Also a Dodge pickup truck.

11. "A Day Without Rain" New Ager : ENYA.  Seems as if Eithne Ní Bhraonáin SHOWED up just about every time I blogged.

12. Culture medium : AGAR.  Another vegetable based gel, this time extracted from red algae, and used to grow bacteria.

14. Israeli diplomat Abba : EBAN.  An Israeli diplomat and politician who was born in So. Africa.

18. When one might have a late lunch : AT TWO.  That's just about when we had our lunch on Tues. after running a bunch of errands.

20. "The Chosen" novelist Chaim : POTOK.  That was the first novel of this American  author and rabbi.

24. "The Addams Family" adjective : OOKY.   This stumped me until I got it from perps, but now I think I remember that they're all together OOKY.

27. Special __: military force : OPS.  Operations.  My older step son in in A. F. Special Ops.  I have no idea what he does.

29. Flamenco shout : OLE

30. Shoreline indentation : BAY.  More than an indentation, I'd say.

32. Print maker : PAW.  Not like a back-woods Daddy-o, like that thing at the end of a dog leg.

34. Wine barrel wood : OAK.

35. Dictator Amin : IDI. Nasty fellow.

37. Inland Asian sea : ARAL.   Is it still shrinking?

38. Lehár operetta "The Merry __" : WIDOWLehar's first big success.

39. Breathable gases : AIR.  78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 1% argon, and smaller amounts of lots of other vapors. (Cf 62 A.)

42. Car at a long light, say : IDLER.  The longest minute of your life.

45. Herbal brew : RED TEA.  Never heard of it, but it's caffeine free, high in antioxidents, and kosher

46. Everglades birds : EGRETS.   Do egrets have regrets?

48. Cheerful : UPBEAT.  Like allegro music.

49. Painter Monet : CLAUDEHere is a gallery.

50. Had an inkling : SENSED.  I had a feeling this would SHOW.

51. Small gifts : TOKENS.

53. Extremists, for short : RADS.  Radicals.

55. 2004 remake starring Jude Law : ALFIEWhat's it all about?

56. Fabricate : MAKE

57. Rested : LAIN.

59. Venus de Milo's lack : ARMS.  Other than that, she seems to be in pretty good shape.  She is a Greek statue from about 130 B.C. and at 6'8' is as tall as Doug Fister, who has an excellent ARM. 

61. Egyptian snake : ASP.  In PALEO times this referred to varieties of venomous snakes in the Nile region.  Traditionally, it was believed that Cleopatra committed suicide by ASP bite.   German researchers have recently concluded that she did herself in with a mixture of hemlock, wolfsbane and opium.

Well -quite a meaty puzzle with rich themeage, lots of learning opportunities and high quality fill.  I'll rate it AAA, and that's no SNOW JOB.  How about you?


Notes from C.C.:

Here is a beautiful street scene JD took during her visit to Italy. Click here to see the big lake. 

JD said: " This was where we were the 1st 3 days of our tour, Lake Como. We stayed in Como, but water taxied over to the beautiful village of Bellagio, probably the most tranquil and dramatic place on the lake.  (George Clooney lives in another area on the lake... He has 4 homes.) We also took a day trip to Lake Lugano in the Swiss alps. This area did not look at all like I thought Switzerland would look like."


TTP said...

Oh no. Too many literary clues. Where are the sports clues ? TSGAR_ ? and PO_OK ? As a result, 26A Sink as a snooker ball remained _o_, and I couldn't wag it. Even if I had, I wouldn't have aced this test, as I had 15A ALG rather than ANG. Despite the failure, much fun.
17A von Spice Girls

A story based on an American Hero, played by an American Hero Hellfighters and a quick timeline Red, Boots, and Coots

Venus, "Estos Ojos", 2nd line Long to Hold You Again No crying for lost love in the Corner.

Talk about a SNOWJOB, as far as 60A, realize that the ratings agencies all testified that "They Are (just, only, our) Opinions" ?

One for the season I promise, it is NOT another "Call Me Maybe" parody.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I have to say I was a bit underwhelmed with the theme. It may be original, but "words with 3 A's" seems a bit lame to me, sorry.

What does it say about me when the first answer I was able to get was ELEA?

HOLIST was a complete unknown, but eventually inferrable. I've heard of holistic medicine, but had no idea there was an actual profession called a HOLIST.

ELMER was another complete unknown.

Hand up for not knowing POT in this context. Makes sense, though.

Had __OWJOB and was really worried about where it was going...

thehondohurricane said...

Good morning folks,

What a great puzzle with so many fresh and challenging clues. I thought i'd slept through the week and Saturday was was upon us. But once i started , it slowly began to come together.

So many great clues. I can't mention all of them, but 17A, 28A, 36A, & 37D are a few. Other than 47A DRU, to my way of thinking, there wasn't a clunker in the entire puzzle.

Jazz, thanks for the informative write up and Gareth thanks for a truly enjoyable challenge.

Have to run, busy day ahead for Hondo....Happy hump day.

fermatprime said...


Nice chewy puzzle, Gareth. Swell amusing expo, Jazz.

Took a bit to finish but no cheats. Most problems due to spelling.

No workmen this week. However, a man was sent over to write down what needed to be done. I cannot express how rude that he was. Tried to shame me because I cannot walk. Said that demolition work involved throwing away everything that was removed--glass shelves, toilet paper holders, towel bars, etc., etc., etc. I told his boss how unhappy I was. He wanted to fire the guy. I would be afraid of retributions, though.

Harvey returning tomorrow. We can sit down and watch Homeland, our favorite show. And, hopefully (I know that isn't a legal word) he will bring more food!


Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Jazzbumpa and friends. I rather liked today's offering. DRAW A BLANK was my Rosetta Stone. The theme make me think of the AAA Batteries, that we never seem to have enough of.

Morning Janglers = ALARMS was my favorite clue. Unfortunately, I always awaken long before my alarm goes off.

A shout out with the PAS de Deux to our Pas de Chat!

The first time we were in France where the manager of the hotel demanded, "Give me the monet!" when we checked in. Oh, he wanted to be paid up-front.

Chaim Potok is one of my favorite authors. In his honor, here is today's QOD: As a species we are always hungry for new knowledge. ~ Chaim Potok

unclefred said...

7d "Director's cry" I discovered "places", "lights", "camera", and "action" all have six letters! Who'd a thunk it?

TTP said...

Tripe A Write Up there JzB. I did not know those 5 things about Pat Sajak. Could not view your egrets link. Said I required permission. Others worked fine. What's it all about ? Carpe Diem.

Yea, Fister is a strong arm on a strong staff. His motion and consistency makes it tough to pick up a clue as to what's coming. However, Scutaro is on fire, and Pence can hit the ball three times on one swing. I've never seen that before. Pence At Bat Slo Mo. Am looking forward to the series.

Gareth, thank you. It was very challenging, and good thing for the perps. ELEA filled completely by perps, and _RU just needed the only possibility of D. Would have liked to have been able to perp in POT. I was going to have a late lunch AT ONE, but the Marsupial told that it would be better AT TWO.

Nice pictures yesterday and today, JD. Looks like you had fun. I think you need to see the German side of the Alps rather than the Italian side. :>) I think they would better fit your mind's eye.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I got the theme, but didn't need it. I did have to WAG the "T" in POTOK. Otherwise, it came together quickly.

Red ADAIR was a gimme. LALA LAND reminds me, anybody heard from LALA Linda lately? She's conspicuous in her absence.

Today we're off to the Dallas Arboretum to see a Dale Chihuly glass exhibit. Could be interesting. Or not.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Fixed the EGRET link.

Up early today for a chiropractor appt, then off to T-town.

I'll say if you aren't thrilled with the concept of a theme, then have a look at the execution. All it needs is something common to hold the puzzle together.

Cool regards!

Jazzbumpa said...

Pence looks like a mad man. If anyone would hit the ball 3 times, he would be that guy.

The key is to keep him from hitting it once.

Tonight I hope the Tigers score some quick runs and Verlader keeps the pitch count low in the early innings.


grams said...

Nice puzzle! Had sae for 7a. Blk hills Terri quickly fixed that. First thot theme was all those ks!

As always, good write up. Happy hump day!

Anonymous said...

Decent Wednesday puzzle, with the following exceptions:

"Sink, as a snooker ball : POT."

A tad weak.

"Like many a reply env. : PPD"


PK said...

Hi Y'all, good puzzle. Witty stuff, Jz!

My MORALE dipped when I didn't know 14A. I ended up with sdK at 9d. I always DRAW A BLANK on 56a--had MmLE.

BACK AT YA was a gimme after seeing Ellen Degeneres say that yesterday.

Best chuckle was Barry wondering where his __ow job was going. 2nd best chuckle: low tech missile. PEA not SAM.

RED TEA? Really?

I went to KILarny before getting on the right road.

FERMATPRIME: Don't you wonder what happened to "The customer is always right"? You'd think in this economy with everyone out of work, you'd get more respect from someone wanting you to pay them. Good luck on the finish of the project.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone. Nice write-up, JazzB.

A nice bright AAA puzzle from Gareth. BZ. POP was my last fill, too, after looking up POTOK in my crossword dictionary. Everything else filled in nicely including the A³ theme words. Wondered about whether late lunch time was 1 or 2, but SNOW JOB indicated it would be AT TWO. RSA, which we've had a lot, was a candidate for Namibia's neighbor, but AGAR pointed to ANG. Nice nudge from Gareth to the harder cw's coming up later in the week.

@ Marti on naming your cat. We had a wonderful calico cat named Sneaky who stayed with us for 20 years. Loved to lay decapitated mice and birds at our front door mat as if to say "Mission accomplished".

Enjoy the day.

Mari said...

Yikes - A lot of tough ones today. I didn't know ELEA, ELMER Rice, EBAN Abba, POTOK Chaim, or Amin IDI (even though some of these are crosswordese).

My favorite clue was 32D: Print Maker: PAW, and my favorite word was OOKY. Try to use that one in a sentence today.

Have a good one!

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Gareth Bain, for a tough Wednesday puzzle. Thank you, Jazzbumpa, for a very good write-up.

I could not get started in the NW, so I headed to the center. Bounced around and got a few then spread to the NE and SW. I left the large corners until last.

Got 60A AAA RATED first. That helped a lot with the other theme answers. WARSAW PACT became obvious. BACK AT YA fell after I got AGAR.

Had ADD for 7A, then I remembered PECTIN, for some odd reason. That gave me PPD (postage paid).

ARAL is always an easy one. Crossword constructors use it a lot.

My last word was POT for 26A. I wagged it and lucked out. I still do not know what it refers to. ??????

Fermatprime: Good luck with your projects. say hello to Harvey for me.

See you tomorrow.


HeartRx said...

Good morning Jazzbumpa, C.C. et al.

Fun puzzle today, stellar write up, Jazz! You had me chuckling all the way down.

Neat theme, and well executed by Gareth. Loved the clue for PAW, "Print maker." And the new meaning for POT that I never heard of, so I learned something today. Yay!

Spitzboov, L.C. caught a mouse this morning. The other two cats were just sitting there under the coffee table, doing nothing. I imagine they were thinking,"Aw geez, not only is she maddeningly cute, but she caught the mouse we've been hunting for a week."

Lovely pictures, J.D.! It sounds like you had a wonderful vacation, with lots of memories.

Have a happy hump day, everyone!

Anonymous said...

Interesting puzzle today. I didn't know Elmer and Potok but got Pea and paw right away and as soon as TS was filled in I knew it had to be garp. It was an annoyingly dark book. The TS stood for Technical Sargent.

Jazzbumpa said...

POT is perfectly fine. It means sink a billiard ball in a pocket. My unfamiliarity with it doesn not make it weak.

Garp's father, a literal basket case from WW II, was the Technical Sgt.

His mother gave him those initials. Yes, it is a dark book. You don't go to Irving for light romantic comedy.


Seldom Seen said...

I liked how MAKE/ENDs meet.

Husker Gary said...

I missed the theme by over-thinking it on this fun Gareth puzzle but had a good time. BTW, Is anyone now wondering which clues are Rich’s and not the author’s? Great info about that yesterday.

-Is BACK AT YA a good response to “I love you”?
-Can’t you think of situations where presidents should have said ASK AWAY instead of giving a SNOW JOB?
-I never shot a pea but used many a paper WAD
-Would you bomb as badly as I would on putting the names of countries on an African map?
-I never heard the word POT used as a verb in all my time in pool halls but I learned something today
-Now archaic Daddy O was once so hip. Ah, the 50’s
-I once neglected to check the OIL on a riding mower and CLUNK, there went the engine right in the middle of the football field. They didn’t fire me.
-Hard to believe that Pensacola, FL is on CST time just like we are here in eastern Nebraska. However our sun SETS almost an hour later.
-Can an elite land fill refuse REFUSE?
-Woody Allen said, “80% of success is just SHOWing up.”
-I haven’t needed an ALARM for many years. Curse or blessing?
-I drive a DAKOTA and just got back from DAKOTA’s Black Hills last month. Both great!
-Some cities have traffic lights sequenced so you don’t have to IDLE very much.
-Otto, the Dale Chihuly exhibit was in Omaha years ago and it was fabulous.
-Marti, hooray for LC! She’s already earning her keep!
-What TV series had HASENFEFFER in its theme song?

Spitzboov said...

Marti re: they were thinking, maybe 'showoff' or 'hot-dogging it' or 'WTF' ?

Unknown said...

Definitely got stumped by a few. such as POT - I had no idea about a snooker ball or novelist Chaim. ADAIR was a new one for me, as was T S GARP, and DRU Hill. Most of the other toughies I figured out with perps.

Got stymied in the bottom left quadrant by MLLE and the fact that I had KINSALE rather than KILDARE. Which totally threw my ALLEGRO out of whack.

JJM said...

Good Puzzle for a Wed! I liked Garp. I thought it was a bit tough to get through, but a good read nonetheless. Have you ever noticed all his books have a high-school wrestler in them? Irving himself was a HS wrestler and believed it throughly prepared him for life.

miss beckley said...

LaLa Land definitely refers to Los Angeles.

The Chihuly exhibit should be absolutely wonderful. If they have a video about him I'd say it's worth the time to watch it. They had a small exhibition of his work at the Art Museum at Pepperdine University. I was seeing something at the Smothers Theatre, so had to leave before I finished the video, and actually went back on another day to see it. Pretty amazing guy. Pretty amazing glass!

Tinbeni said...

Jazz: Nice write-up. Good luck to your Tigers.

Gareth: Thank you for a FUN offering.

Not what I think of when I hear the word POT.

I'm always 'overwhelmed' by the themes in Barry G. puzzles. lol

Cheers to all when my Florida Sun SETS later.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -


John Irving was a professor at nearby Mount Holyoke College about the time Garp got published. I heard his 1979 commencement speech - it was long and odd.

chin said...

Husked Gary, so what was the TV show?

Misty said...

I can't believe I got the whole thing! Well, except for one detail of the theme. Without JazzB pointing it out, I wouldn't have noticed that the theme words had only A vowels--no others. Now that is darn clever. So many thanks for a great start to our morning, Gareth!

JD, many thanks for the photo of Bellagio. My husband and I spent a month there once on a Rockefeller grant--one of the happiest months of our marriage. He still has a photo of Lake Como as his screen-saver. Your trip sounds wonderful!

Have a great Wednesday, everybody!

kazie said...

Wonderful fun blog today Jazz!

I have been occupied with having DH home this week, "doing things" as a test run to see if he'd like retirement. However has a fluey cold today so is not up to much.

My worst area was the POT/TSGARP/POTOK crossing, due to my usual ignorance. But in general it was fun run everywhere else with just enough challenge.

Tinbeni said...


Laverne and Shirley

Lucina said...

Greetings, all. Jazzbumpa, it's always fun to read your witty commentary!

Fun puzzle today from Gareth Bain. I sashayed through the East very quickly. My first fill was also ELEA! Good old Zeno.

Red ADAIR's exploits fascinated me and it seems there were so many oil fires in the 70s and 80s.

Chaim POTOK was slow in coming but I recalled he was Hahtoolah's favorite author.

A county is not what I think of when I see KILDARE but a handsome doctor!

JD, wonderful photos. They bring back memories and I agree about Lugano. It's more Italian looking but the mountains are on the other side.

Have lovely Wednesday, everyone!

Anonymous said...

This comment pertains to Monday's puzzle. Sorry, I was late in following up and Monday's comments board has been disabled.

I believe "Might and Main" is a bastardization of "Might and Mien"; mien being appearance or demeanor. In other words, being strong and keeping up appearances of strength.

Jerome said...

Good job, GARETH BAIN- A BRING THE A puzzle

CrossEyedDave said...

Well, i got the theme ok, but my WAGs on the fill were more WA than G! 9D Black Hills Terr., i knew it was Dak, but which one? NDK or SDK? (it never occurred to me that it was just "DAK") So i put PPS for 7A thinking it was an extra reply or something...

I refused to believe that 5D could start with "TS," & 20D/26A was a Natick for me. After much WAGing i put "TOP" for 26A, & now that i look at it, i am kinda proud that i got it exactly backwards!

Egret regret?

How Venus De Milo lost her arms...

Hasenpfeffer @5:34, the full Bugs cartoon!

Snowjob! (do not click unless you like DF!)

Pookie said...

Hi all you cats.
JazzB, nice writeup. Liked the puzzle, but got nowhere fast in NW.
Anyone else think LAIN for rested odd?
Red tea news to me. Thought the "a" as only vowel clever. Never would have seen it without this blog.
Hi Hatoolah! Thanks for the shout out!
Never heard of Dale Chihuly, but just googled and then clicked on images. Holy cow, what beauty! Need to see more of his work.
Here is the pas de deux from Don Quixote.
Saw Natalia Osipova & Ivan Vasiliev in person. It's kinda long, but worth it, if you're interested. Have a fabulous day, everyone.

pas de deux

Anonymous said...

hasenpfeffer was in the Laverne and Shirley opening theme. "Schlemiel, shlmozzle, hassenpfeffer, incorporated."

Lucina said...

I am certain you will ejoy the Chihuly exhibit. He does amazingly wondrous work! I saw it in San Francisco at the Young Museum and was completely awed.

I can't imagine where you find all those links!

Bill G. said...

I hope everybody is having a pleasant Wednesday. I was whelmed by the three A's theme until it was pointed out that the theme answers had no other vowels. That makes it more interesting I think. I agree with Pas that the clue for LAIN seemed a bit off.

Boiling an egg:
A boiled egg is hard to beat! A good hard-boiled egg takes exactly nine minutes. There is an electric power outage but you do have a four-minute hourglass and a seven-minute hourglass (Sand glasses?). How do you measure exactly nine minutes?

Pookie said...

Hatoolah re: Give me the Monet!

A thief in Paris planned to steal some paintings from the Louvre.
After careful planning, he got past security, stole the paintings, and made it safely to his van. However, he was captured only two blocks away when his van ran out of gas.
When asked how he could mastermind such a crime and then make such an obvious error, he replied, 'Monsieur, that is the reason I stole the paintings.'
I had no Monet
To buy Degas
To make the Van Gogh.
I figured I had nothing Toulouse.


Irish Miss said...

Good afternoon:

Very late to the dance today due to appts. and errands. Had a bit of trouble early on with SDK instead of DAK and same here instead of back at ya. And, really straying with triple A's instead of AAA Rated. Over- confidence by Miss Smarty Pants!

Thanks, Gareth, for a great Wednesday challenge and thanks, JazzB, for your warm and witty write-up.

Happy Wednesday.

kazie said...

Great pix of your trip! Sometimes our preconceived notions of a place can be quite off, especially when the landscape has such variety as Switzerland does. Yet we only hear about the more unique aspects of it, like the Alps, rather than the lakes, and picturesque villages.

HeartRx said...

BILL G. @ 2:53, Well, if I had a power outage, I wouldn't be able to boil an egg at all, since my stove is electric, LOL!!

pas de chat @ 1:47, lovely Pas de Deux from Don Quixote! I watched the whole thing - that was the dance that launched Natalia Osipova's career. And Vasiliev is just too incredible for words...
(and a big grooaaaann @3:05!!)

Desper-otto, I hope you liked Chihuly. I am fascinated by glass art, and especially love the work of Josh Simpson, one of our local artists from Shelburne, MA.

LaLaLinda said...

Hi Everyone ~~

I'm crawling out from under my rock - it's been a while. I guess in a way I've been in "LaLa Land." ;-) As others have said, sometimes life gets in the way. So right now things have smoothed out a bit. I'm dealing with two sick kitties - one almost died in July - but I'm happy to be tending to both of them with their daily meds/injections and special food. They appear to be very happy and seem to be doing well. Fingers crossed.

I've been keeping up with the puzzles and blogs pretty much and have read of the good and bad times. I was so sad to read of eddyB and ClearAyes. They'll be missed.

An enjoyable puzzle today - I realized each theme answer had three As but didn't realize they were the only vowels. Thanks for a great write-up, JazzB. I'll be cheering on the Tigers tonight (my husband's team) - it's been an exciting post-season!

Desper-otto - thanks for the shout-out ~ I hope to stick around!

CrossEyedDave said...

Lucina @2:40

Where do i find them?

I dunno, i just keep looking. I think the most important thing is what Not to link!

I tried funny AAA rated, nothing!
LaLaland ( boring!)
AAA Land/LaLa rated ( ridiculous! )
Zeno paradox had some possibilities, but i could never get more than half way there...

64A Goes down in the West = sets, Hmm,, funny sunsets,,, Hmmmmmm...




& thinking of Tinbeni... ( DW still will not let me open the Scotch!)

Bea from Fargo said...

Fun puzzle, favorite clue was morning janglers. Didn't get the theme until Jazz's write-up,so thanks. JD, beautiful photos of a beautiful country. Desper-otto, I echo the recommendations of Chihuly's work. Amazing,and amazing how it's created. He had an exhibit at our Plains Art Museum, and I also saw one at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus OH, where his glass was intermixed with the plants. Gorgeous. Enjoy.

Bill G. said...

Marti, mine too. But suppose you were helping out your friend who has a gas stove...?

Pookie said...

Bill G

I myself would sit at the piano and play Chopin's Minute Waltz 9 times.
I could use the practice.

WAG ...once for the 7-minute and half for the 4 minute???

PedantTheBrit said...

POT was a gimme if you're British - there was a TV snooker show called "Pot Black".

Do you think there are multiple anonymouses (anonymice?) who keep leaving snide comments, or is it the same one? I'm sure we'd be very grateful to see a crossword that YOU have compiled Sir, or Madam, so we can see how it SHOULD be done!

Do not miss a chance to see Dale Chihuly's glass! You will be awed. We are now lucky enough to have a permanent exhibition of his work in St. Pete.

Are you sure the perfect boiled egg is 9 minutes? I can get just about every other time by flipping the timers in tandem except 9!

CrossEyedDave said...

OK Bill,,, you made me Google it!
& actually, the answer, once you know it, is really rather obvious...

But the real question is:

How do you peel all those hard boiled eggs!

Spitzboov said...

BillG @ 2:53:

Start both timers, when the four minute timer is done, there will be 3 minutes of sand left in the top of the seven minute timer.

Restart the four minute timer, while letting the remaining (3 minutes) of sand to drop from the 7 minute timer. (this is your 1st 3 minutes of your nine minute measurement)

When the 7 minute timer is done the 4 minute timer will now have 3 minutes of sand in the bottom. Flip the 4 minute timer (when this runs it will be your second 3 minutes of time). At the same time flip the 7 minute timer.

When the 3 minutes of sand run on the 4 minute timer, restart the 7 minute timer by this time 3 minutes worth of sand will have gone to the bottom of the timer, resetting it will give you the last 3 minutes of sand for you last 3 minutes of time measuring the 9 nine minutes.

Forgot to say: Nice pictures of your trip, JD.

CrossEyedDave said...

63A Reunion, reminded me of a recent reunion of High School friends that my DW set up. Because we live in NJ, & the reunion was in Brooklyn, i was the designated driver.

I really did not want to meet all my DW friends from 30+ years ago, but i could not resist the free food & drinks. Because they had not seen each other in 30+ years, name tags were mandatory. Trying to remain inconspicuous, i thought my real name would lead to a lot of questions, so i put "No-one you need to know."

Well, i made a lot of friends! it's amazing what happens when you put people at ease!

Never heard of Dale Chihuly till now...

Montana said...

Husker: Can an elite landfill refuse refuse?
Yes it can. My sister-in-law lives on Couer d’ Alene Lake in ID. She is a year-round ID resident.
When she hauls ‘refuse’ to the landfill, she can only dump there if she has that ID county license plate. Others who spend only summers there, must go buy a permit or they are refused entrance to the landfill. It is manned at the gate.


Tinbeni said...

CED @various times
Thank you for all your links.
As for that Bottle-of-Scotch, here at Villa Incognito, its been long gone. lol

Bill G. @2:53 and @4:40
We had steaks instead.
Plus, it takes me EXACTLY nine minutes to properly "toast" a Sunset.


thehondohurricane said...

La La Linda,

From one Ct Yankee to another, glad to hear from you. Appreciate the emotional swings the cats have given you; my dogs have caused the same angst for me from time to time. Sounds like things are improving and truly hope it continues.

Won't even mention the REd Sox now, will save my comments for now.


Sal M. O'Nella said...

That hard boiled egg peeling technique is disgusting! I hope no one I know utilizes it for my deviled eggs.

Irish Miss said...

Spitzboov@5:28 - After reading your answer, instead of the perfect hard-boiled egg, I ended up with a "scrambled" brain! |:)

Spitzboov said...

Irish Miss - Full disclosure. I found the solution on the web; it seemed right, but my brain got a little scrambled, too, while I was auditing it to see if it made sense. Only effort on my part was an edit/paste and voilà.

JD said...

Always late to the party...from the land of THE GIANTS :-)

This was tough for me, but how can anyone not like a xwd with OOKY? I started humming that theme song from Laverne and Shirley ,but had no clue as to what hasenpfeffer was. Thx Bumpa! Lots of learning moments.

TTP, you are right.I must return and see the other side of the mountain.

Would love that Chihuly exhibit.We have the rose bush named for him.

LaLaLinda, hi! I've been MIA too.

Fermatprime, we don't get Showtime, so I put Season 1 on my ipad for travel. Recently discovered I can get season 2 on my computer for free.Am I behind the times, or what? Good show!

JD said...

CED, funny story

CrossEyedDave said...

Sal M. O'Nella @ 6:40

If you think the fast egg peeling trick was disgusting, then you obviously do not know where eggs come from...

A little mayo, celery, onion, salt, pepper, on toast,,, yum!

Sneeze guard lover said...

That is exactly why we boil them and then try not to spit on them!

Anonymous said...

...which reminds me of an old story: A woman sat down to a meal with some friends and asked what they were eating. They replied that they were enjoying tongue sandwiches. The woman said, "EEEEWWWWW! I`d NEVER eat anything that came out of an animal`s mouth...I think I`ll have an egg salad sandwich!

Anonymous said...

My dear Lucina: You can google just about any topic and come up with a link...try it!

Anonymous said...

BillG: All the seven minute glass and half the four minute glass, of course!

Anonymous said...

Use the 7-minute timer and then count to 120. Seems alot easire than spitzboov's/internet soution!

Pookie said...

BILL G I like my answer better. After all, hard-boiled eggs aren't exactly Brain Surgery!!!LOL


Lucina said...

I think I know that since it's neither brain surgery or rocket science. Fun clip!

My point in asking is that it must take a great deal of time to find all those clips and CED always finds appropriate ones.

Blue Iris said...

I have been in KC, MO at a hemophilia retreat for women. My daughter has a bleeding disorder. I'm still trying to catch up on finishing cwds and haven't read any comments since last Friday.

My 26 yr old daughter called me an hour ago from Michigan. She was in so much pain that she had difficulty speaking. She's on her way to ER via friend. Her Daddy and I are on pins and needles. She is 12 hours away from us!!

Bill G. said...

Blue Iris: Geez, I can only imagine how concerned you must be. Let's hope for good news from the hospital. Good luck wishes for all of you.

downtonabbey said...

Cant sleep! Thanks so much for the write up and to the puzzle creator for an interesting time.

Blue Iris, please let us know how your dtr is doing.

I fell behind when I didn't get the paper here on Tuesday. Then not a single store had an actual
paper. I just like doing the puzzle "in hand" I guess.

Dennis those are some pretty fruit trees. Interesting how people are getting back to planting things again. I like it. Well, I am off to slumber land.

downtonabbey said...

I forgot to ask, Desper-otto, do you receive the Chronicle? Seems like you live north of me.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Oh, Dave, that poor hen.

C.C. Burnikel said...

So nice to see you back.