Dec 31, 2012

Monday Dec 31, 2012 Gail Grabowski and Bruce Venzke

Theme: Oh Oh, No Unifier (Argyle's title) - Each two-word theme  answer start with O* O*.

 17A. Now and then : ON OCCASION

 21A. Quick look : ONCE-OVER

 39A. Lived in by the seller : OWNER OCCUPIED

 58A. Vinaigrette dressing ingredient : OLIVE OIL. I like Balsamic vinaigrette, drizzled over Romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, slices of cucumber & avacodo, pieces of green onions. No cheese!
 64A. Presidential workplace : OVAL OFFICE

C.C. here. Dear Santa will be back tomorrow. He worked extra hard last week. I think a rest is needed. It's such a comfort that Argyle is there whenever I'm in trouble. Day or night. He is always there!

I'm also pleased to blog a Gail & Bruce collaboration. I picture this:

1) Gail came up with theme (Her brain is full of wonderful ideas); 

Gail Grabowski

2) Bruce said "Great idea!". Then they worked on the theme set together.

Left to Right: Bruce Venzke, Byron Walden & Rich Silvestri
3) Bruce designed the grid. 5 theme entries are always tricky, esp with a middle 13 (grid-spanning 15 or a shorter 7 are easier to maneuver). Since they had a couple of 8's, relatively short, Bruce decided to overlap the theme entries. This actually made filling easier.

4) Bruce filled the grid. Solid corner work! No cheaters! I have a sense that he did not even want the black squares before (20A IS TO) and after LATE (61A). Because he's Bruce!

5) Bruce sent the filled grid to Gail. Gail liked the result, then she clued the grid. There was also a possibility that Gail "nitpicked" on a few entries in Bruce's first draft and those entries were removed.

6) Today's puzzle was born.

Many of you can solve Monday puzzles under 10 or even 5 minutes. But Monday puzzles are the hardest to make, in my opinion. Of course, Sunday grids are bigger and more work. But a few obscure entries (like yesterday's TCHR) can be slipped in and forgiven.

No such thing on Mondays. Fill has to be common and Monday friendly. Theme has to simple but fresh.

1. Elementary lessons : ABCs

5. When Juliet drinks the potion : ACT IV. Sure happy I know the crossing VINCE (9D. Immortal coach Lombardi).

10. Sailing or whaling : ASEA

14. "Sommersby" actor Richard : GERE. He's a Buddhist.

15. Thérèse's thanks : MERCI. Xie Xie in Chinese. Very scrabbly.

16. Hot streak : ROLL. Have you ever had sweet potato "hot streak"? Delicious.

19. Ye __ Tea Shoppe : OLDE

20. Ratio phrase : IS TO

23. Apt. coolers : ACs

24. Bumped into : MET

27. One of 100 members of Cong. : SEN. They all have amazing egos.

28. Repairman's initial fig. : EST

29. Young socialite : DEB

30. Pre-med subj. : ANAT

32. Game with sharp projectiles : DARTS

34. Siouan speakers : OTOS

36. Dutch Renaissance humanist : ERASMUS. Wiki said he's "generally credited with originating the phrase "Pandora's box".

43. One more : ANOTHER

44. Botch : FLUB

46. Dance movements : STEPS

49. Fly in the ointment : SNAG

51. Eclectic musician Brian : ENO

52. Like the Oz woodsman : TIN. Hi there Tinbeni!

53. Baseball arbiter : UMP

56. "Xanadu" rock gp. : ELO

57. Shares an email with : CCs. My C.C. stands for Chow Chin, Cantonese for Zhouqin, my Mandarin name.

61. After the buzzer : LATE

63. '70s Russian gymnast Korbut : OLGA

68. Emeralds and pearls : GEMS

69. Delaware's capital : DOVER

70. "__ Almighty": Steve Carell film : EVAN

71. Part of Q.E.D. : ERAT

72. Deer dads : STAGS. Fun clue, Gail!

73. Had a good cry : WEPT

1. In the past : AGO

2. Treat with courtesy : BE NICE TO. Are you familiar with "Minnesota Nice"?

3. Medieval arrow shooter : CROSSBOW

4. Religious offshoot : SECT

5. GP's gp. : AMA

6. These, to Thérèse : CES. Plural of "Ce" (m) or "Cette (f).

7. Duo plus one : TRIO

8. Computer symbols : ICONS

10. Buck suffix : AROO

11. Crossword fan : SOLVER. For us.

12. Sibling who usually baby-sits other siblings : ELDEST. I am the oldest. You? I have a younger brother, who still lives in Xi'An.

13. Tips off : ALERTS

18. Unresponsive state : COMA

22. Ultimately become : END UP

23. Big fuss : ADO

25. Juan's January : ENERO. Happy New Year, Juan!

26. Mystic's deck : TAROT

31. RPM gauges : TACHs

33. "I highly doubt that!" : AS IF!

35. Lose one's cool : SNAP.  I bet Jayce doesn't snap easily. He's always so mellow. So are Spitzboov & D-Otto.

37. Play division : SCENE

38. Picture on a ceiling : MURAL. Look here. Surreal!

40. Happen next : ENSUE

41. Course that's not required : ELECTIVE. I wish those Marx/Lenin/Mao/Socoialism stuff were elective in our school. Wasted too much time reciting the principles.

42. Quaint headgear for a class clown : DUNCE CAP

45. Red Sox home: Abbr. : BOS. Did you see "Fever Pitch"? I bet Linda did.

46. Unwitting victim : STOOGE

47. Rudder control : TILLER

48. Puzzle : ENIGMA

50. Game with holes : GOLF. Do you know who started the Pebble Beach Pro-Am?

54. Frames of mind : MOODS. My mood ring is now blue, so I'm happy.

55. Turn on an axis : PIVOT

59. Seemingly endless : VAST

60. Volcanic flow : LAVA

62. Some : A FEW

65. Drumstick, e.g. : LEG. Guess who this girl is.

66. Surg. facilities : ORs

67. Tonsillitis M.D. : ENT



Al Cyone said...

Good morning from the beautiful, brisk, mid-Hudson valley with pre-dawn temps in the upper teens, the coldest (but just barely) of the season so far.

Not much to say about a pretty typical Monday puzzle. [4:19]

Have a great DAY (and remember, it's not New Year's EVE until 6:00 pm). See ya next year!

Montana said...

Couldn't get puzzle on my iPad. Almost 2, grandson came to wake me. I asked his dad, my son, to get it on their computer. Being unfamiliar with Macs and mouse that is a touch pad, I had more trouble with the hardware than the puzzle!
Thanks Gail for a nice start of a week and CC for the review.

Happy New Year's Eve to all. My daughter is going to NYC for tonight. I am going to stay curled up by the fireplace in CT.


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Pretty smooth Monday offering, but I did think there was an obscure entry or two. ERASMUS, anyone? Fortunately, the perps were all solid, so it didn't even rate as a speed bump...

Hope everybody has a happy and safe New Years Eve!

Lemonade714 said...

How nice to see C.C. on a Monday. Puzzle was fun. Not familiar with "Minnesota nice"

Do not recognize the legs or which late night talk show it was. Nice legs, Splynter?

I was thr youngest of three.

Happy New Year all

Anonymous said...

"Vinaigrette dressing ingredient : OLIVE OIL. I like Balsamic vinaigrette, drizzled over Romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, slices of cucumber & avacodo, pieces of green onions. No cheese!"

Hand up, but with cheese in hand.

""Sommersby" actor Richard : GERE. He's a Buddhist"

And a gerbilist.

"Red Sox home: Abbr. : BOS. Did you see "Fever Pitch"?"

No. I was busy sticking forks in my eyes.

"Drumstick, e.g. : LEG. Guess who this girl is."

Someone in dire need of a porterhouse steak.

TTP said...

Good morning CC. Nice to see you pinch hitting for Argyle. You get to close out the year.

I always enjoy Gail's puzzles and Bruce's puzzles. And I like the collaboration as with you and Don. As you said, the theme is simple, fresh and friendly. Very good.

27A, yes, I agree with you. We are at - what will be - a notable point in American History. I just don't see, on either side, any current examples of the great minds that debated opposing points of view that had far more significance of how this country would be governed. People like Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison, Jay. But the current crop does have amazing egos.

Minnesota Nice ? Ole, Sven and Lena ? I like Wisconsin. I would retire there if it weren't so far north.

12D 6 of 6. 45D No. 65D. Don't know, but nice gams. I'll swag Angelina.

I saw this and thought some of the math minded members would like it.
Divide 1 by 998001, and group the numbers to the right of the decimal in threes. Neat.

Update - may not work if your calc responds in scientific notation... At least that's what I think is happening.

thehondohurricane said...

Good morning everyone,

Easy start to a Monday. Thank you Gail and Bruce.

Barry, ERASMUS had me scratching my head too.

52A... shout out to TIN. Will today's toast be at Sundown, midnight, or both? Mine will be sundown. When midnight arrives, I'll likely be ZZZZZZZZZZZing.

For 27A, really tried to make ASS work. For 45D, I tried to squeeze in either THE CELLAR or LAST PLACE.

Happy New Year to all.

kazie said...

A really fun and easy Monday that I thought was made for me when I hit the two French clues right at the top.

Nice to see C.C. on a Monday morning too. I hope Argyle gets his strength back in time to enjoy NY's Eve tonight!

I took a while after finishing trying to find more significance to the "OOs", but I guess that's all there is to it.

Have a great and safe night tonight everyone!

desper-otto said...

Good morning, all!

Nice, easy solve for a Monday. I paused a moment trying to parse BENIC ETO, but otherwise it was a speed run.

C.C., thanks for the shoutout. I was surprised to see that you were blogging, but I was equally surprised that Argyle didn't like cheese on his salad. I'm the youngest of five, and we're all five years apart, so we don't have a lot in common. I hope you're going to explain Minnesota Nice.

VINCE reminds me of a street here in my town. I'm sure they meant to name it DA VINCI to keep with the Roman theme, but they actually named it DA VINCE. They also thought Parthenon was Roman.

Avg Joe said...

Good Eve morning to all. Enjoy the day off, Argyle. You've earned it. Nice to see you this morning C.C. and thanks for the review.

I thought this had more crunch than typical, but no major hangups. Yup, Erasmus was all perps.

No clue who's legs those are, but I'll piggy-back on the comment by Anon @6:39 and suggest she needs some Sensible shoes.

Yellowrocks said...

-Happy Monday, solvers. In some places today is called New Years Eve Day, often shortened to just New Years Eve. The same goes for Christmas Eve Day. A group of us friends who often take trips together have attended a dinner party on New Year's Eve for many years. Lots of fun. I am looking forward to it.
-CC, your salad sounds delicious, but. like ANON @ 6:39, I would have cheese in hand. Rachel Ray's EVOO in many of her recipes mystified me until I Googled it. Extra Virgin OLIVE OIL.
-Doesn't it make you cringe when someone says, "That's A whole NOTHER story."?
-Has anyone ever seen a real DUNCE cap, except in pictures and movies?
-ERASMUS comes to mind first when I think of Renaissance humanism. He was a Roman Catholic cleric who chose the middle ground between the abuses of the church at that time and Martin Luther’s reforms. He tried to reform the Church from within.

Razz said...

Happy New Year's Eve CC, DFs, DFettes, and lurkers.

Great fill in for Santa CC, really enjoyed your write up.

Thanks for cool puzzle Gail & Bruce.

Be sure to eat your peas and greens tomorrow for good luck and fortune in the new year.


Middletown Bomber said...

easy speed run for the last puzzle of the year. Happy New Year all.

Barry, I can't explain how I knew Erasmus as my only reference to Erasmus is "on NPRs Car Talk the head of the working mother's support group "Erasmus B. Dragon" But I had most of the perps and Adding the Us at the end made sense and the AHA and oh yeah moment clicked as well.

Great write up CC great puzzle Gail and Bruce.

Tinbeni said...

C.C. Great Pitch-hitting for Argyle.
As for the LEGS ... they look like Gal-Pal's.

Hondo: I already started "toasting" ...
Auckland, New Zealand (at 6:00 am our EST) ... then
Sydney, Australia (at 8:00 am our EST) ... then
Brisbane, Australia (at 9:00 am our EST).
You get the picture; I;m "toasting" my way around the world.
(Sorry Al, but IT IS NEW YEARS EVE all day.)
I'll be lucky if I make it to my lucky Zagreb, Croatia "toast" (@6:00 pm our EST).

Hope everyone stays safe tonight.
Remember: "Dignity is one thing that can't be preserved in alcohol."

Cheers !!!

Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - Argyle, a well-deserved break -- your consistency is beyond admirable.

Smooth puzzle today, with just the perpacious ERASMUS providing a slight snag. Never heard golf referred to as a "game with holes", but that might explain my sudden attraction to it, blisters aside.

YR, my industrial arts (shop) teacher in HS had a dunce cap made out of poster board and appropriately labeled. It would reside on the head of anyone who couldn't complete the simplest of assignments (my proud accomplishment was making a lamp out of a bowling pin).

Check out the google home page today - it'll keep you busy for a while.

I hope everyone stays safe tonight on this, the ultimate amateur night for drinkers.

LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

Enjoyed the puzzle and loved your take on the construction, C.C. I'm always amazed at how much goes into turning out these creations!

I didn't catch the theme right away and was first looking for different sounds for the initial "O." So that didn't work and I finally saw the O-O.

I am the ELDEST of five - two brothers and two sisters, and I was the sibling to baby-sit the others. They tell me now they thought I was a bit bossy ~ :-)

'Fever Pitch' was OK but I was so disappointed to learn that Jimmy Fallon is a Yankees fan. UGH. And Hondo ~ I guess I have to agree that the Red Sox "home" may very well be the cellar - again. :-\ At least things shouldn't be any worse than last season.

Hope everyone has a safe and fun New Year's Eve!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone. Thanks C.C. for your intro and your take on how the puzzle was cobbled together.

Easy Monday as expected. No serious unknowns. Got ERASMUS from the perps. Liked seeing TACHS. Nice shout-out to the TIN man at 52a. No lookups or strikethroughs were needed.

Being the ELDEST of two, I would try hard not to SNAP at my younger sibling.

When a gun mount PIVOTs in the horizontal plane, the act of rotation toward a target is called 'training'.

Happy New Year, everyone.

Unknown said...

Hi everyone! I had a few problems today, but not because the puzzle was difficult. No, just me. I couldn't for the life of me parse BENICETO even after I realized they had to be the right letters. I've never heard of ERASMUS and I thought the plural of OTOE was OTOES.

Those aside, the rest fell into place quickly. I really enjoy the difficulty progression through the week, so thanks to whoever came up with that formula.

Wishing everyone a safe and prosperous New Year. For many of us, it HAS to be better than this year.

Yellowrocks said...

TTP @ 7:00 AM said,
Divide 1 by 998001, and group the numbers to the right of the decimal in threes. Neat.

Really neat! Mathphobes,if you haven't tried it, get out your calculators.

Anonymous said...

"As for the LEGS ... they look like Gal-Pal's."

Is that after you inflate her?

Husker Gary said...

A very nice Monday puzzle by Bruce and Gail and good info on puzzlery by C.C.

-OTOE/OTOS was my only self correcting pause
-An OLIVE grower told me that kids hired to pick the fruit only eat a raw one once. Eck!
-Shortest Bible verse - Jesus WEPT
-Husker fans stand and cheer the other team, win or lose, as they leave the field. Nebraska NICE too.
-My car runs so quietly, I sometimes look at the TACH to see if the engine is running.
-Nice Drumsticks!
-I’m the ELDEST of 4. My daughter really lightened up on her second after being such a helicopter mom with the first.
-Tinman, are you looking for heart like the Tin Woodsman ;-)?
-Next few weeks will see a very crowded YMCA as a result of resolutions.
-What famous actress sought relief using Tom Ewell’s apt. AC?

CanadianEh! said...

Have been reading Crossword Corner for ages but finally decided to post. Enjoy all the comments. Did crossword online today as our newspaper doesn't get delivered until late afternoon. We have snow and maybe more coming today. Husband was happy for Boxing Day snow to take granddaughter out on the sleigh. Happy and safe New Years Eve to all.

CanadianEh! said...

I am a youngest child but I have an elder sister and my daughter is an eldest sister. I call it "eldest sister syndrome" because they organize the world!!

Argyle said...

Is it Welcome or Bienvenue?

Tinbeni said...

Husker: (my WAG to your ?)
Was that Katharine Hepburn in the movie Adam's Rib?

CanadianEh! Glad you joined us.
(Great moniker, BTW!)

Anon @9:21
I wouldn't steal your actual "girlfriend." Blow Away!

Pinto said...

Thanks for posting Jennifer Aniston's legs.

Argyle said...

Husker: Tom Ewell is only one choice.

Dennis said...

Husker, I'm looking forward to a great game when my guys (Georgia)play yours tomorrow.

Pinto, thanks for THAT picture - jeezus.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Gail Grabowski and Bruce Venzke, for a great Monday puzzle. Thank you, C.C., for the fine write-up.

I am the eldest of five. My avatar shows the five of us.

Started North and worked my way South. Wrote in TRES for 7D, without checking. Fixed that to TRIO.

Also, wrote in ERS for 66D, then fixed that to ORS. My only two write-overs for the day.

Always like ENIGMA in a puzzle.

Not sure who the legs belong to. I will study it for a while.

OLIVE OIL is my favorite dressing. Paul Newman's OLIVE OIL and Vinegar is the best.

The Bears stunk yesterday, but lucked out and won anyhow. The Packers played a better game but lost. That Viking's Peterson is something.

Hope Argyle is OK. Sure miss him on Monday.

Happy New Year's Eve!

See you in '13.


Splynter said...

Hi there~!

Oh, too late - yep, Jen on Letterman. Thanks C.C.~!!!

I am the oldest of two boys.


Husker Gary said...

Addendum from the last few days
-Chefwen, I did get your recipe but have been under the weather and haven’t been able to get at it. Thanks!
-Blue Iris, the KC Royal’s AAA farm team is still in Omaha but they have built a new stadium 10 miles further west out in the blurbs and are now the Omaha Storm Chasers.
-TTP, my nephew had Frankie Solich as a position coach at UNL and thinks he walks on water. Frankie was Tom Osborne’s handpicked successor but his personality never lit up the faithful and he was fired. Getting blasted 62 – 36 by Colorado and then 37 – 14 by Miami in the Rose Bowl didn’t help him. Solich is doing well at Ohio and has a lot of kids and coaches from Nebraska.
-Dennis, I hope the Huskers can be respectable tomorrow.
-Tin, no on Katherine Hepburn. I never saw that movie.

Irish Miss said...

Good morning:

A nice, easy-peasy end to the year. Everything just fell easily into place, even Erasmus. Thanks for your fine efforts, Gail and Bruce, and, as always, thanks to CC for a great expo. Have a good rest, Santa.

Cruciverb is down (AGAIN) so had to solve on paper which I really don't mind, especially when there are no write-overs.

I am the youngest of ten and, occasionally, stil referred to as "the baby.". And, no, I wasn't spoiled; at least not to my mind.

Those " legs" could be Jennifer Anniston's?

Have a safe and fun-filled New Year's Eve.

hahtool said...

Good Morning, C.C. and friends. Fun and easy Monday puzzle. I rather enjoyed all the Os in today's puzzle.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy new year.

Irish Miss said...

Husker-Marilyn Monroe in the Seven Year Itch?

Tree Stooges said...

From Reuters news report: 12/31/2012.

Montana police arrested a woman who reported a man stuck in her tree. She was arrested for making a false report. It was actually her cat. Firefighter there don't rescue cats from trees because of safety issues.

thehondohurricane said...

Husker Gary,

Marilyn Monroe (from Some Like It Hot)

thehondohurricane said...

Forgot to add my guess to last post:

Be it you?

Abejo said...


I cannot figure the legs out. All I know is that it is on the David Letterman Show.


Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

All the ease expected from a Monday. As I saw Erasmus unfolding, I doubted it because it didn't seem Dutch enough. I see Middletown Bomber beat me to the Car Talk reference involving Erasmus B. Dragon.

Morning, CC or ZQ if that works! Nice to see your style on a Monday, it's ben ages. I'm the youngest of 5, my oldest brother being 15 years my senior. Ours was not a tight-knit family, given the age spread. I find I envy those families with close sibs who really like one another.

I was guessing Jennifer Anniston too. She has nice legs, and, well, everything else.

Anony Mouse said...

Thank you Gail and Bruce for a nice and wonderful puzzle. Enjoyed it very much. Thank you C.C. for your very interesting commentary.

Let all pray for a safe, happy, healthy and prosperous New Year, and the year to come, for everyone.

Beast wishes for the Season.

Anony Mouse said...

Ooops, a Freudian slip ??

CrossEyedDave said...

Erasmus was easy for me, it is the name of my old High School, Flatbush & Church Avenues, Brooklyn.

Funny O's






Misty said...

Great Monday speed run--thanks Gail and Bruce for ending my year with an easy and delightful puzzle. After getting ON OCCASION and ONCE OVER I was clued into the O O pattern, and that let me just move right down from top to bottom.

C.C., I enjoyed hearing that easy Monday puzzles were difficult to construct and why. Until I came to this blog I never thought about the challenges of constructing.

Your surreal mural image is amazing!

So what is "Minnesota Nice" again?

I got ERASMUS but didn't know he was Dutch or much about him. Helpful explanation, Yellowrocks.

My usually incredibly patient husband woke up with a melt-down this morning which almost made me call an ambulence. He's always in danger of another hemorrhagic stroke and I feared this might be it. He seems okay now but I'm still shaken and sorry to have this otherwise good year end with a scare like this.

But have a good time sharing Tinbeni's toasts, everybody.

Lucina said...

Good day, SOLVERS! Hey, C.C., great to see you on Monday. It's wonderful that you gave Argyle the day off.

It's fascinating to read how the puzzle was constructed as I have often wondered how that works when two collaborate on it.

I'm surprised so many people don't know ERASMUS as he was vastly influential in his time. Of course that was about 500 years ago and so much has happened since then.

There is so much I loved about this puzzle: GERE, OLIVE OIL, BE NICE TO, ENERO to name a few.

I am the ELDEST of seven siblings and I guess I do have that syndrome. I received a mug inscribed "Queen of Everything" if that tells you something. Yes, I have a tendency to organize things.

Everyone, have a safe New Year's eve!

Tinbeni said...

Happy New Year, Jakarta !!!
(They're getting slower ... LOL !)

CED: You never cease to amaze!

Cheers !!!

Anonymous said...

Pretty easy for a monday. Only 11, count them, only eleven abbr. Questions??? On a monday?????????????? Wow. Stil pretty easy.

Pinto said...

From my research yesterday, TILLER has something to do with the naming of cockpits.

windhover said...

Silly Texans. I thought everyone knew that the Parthenon is in Nashville.

Anonymous said...

Minnesota nice: These videos might help to explain it...

What about saturday's game?

'end of story' ..not funny for many but puts me on the floor..

not funny but informative

Pinto said...

forgor to sign my name to that previous post...Pinto

desper-otto said...

Anon@12:15 -- looks like somebody has dropped some malware on the Youtube site. When I try your links, Chrome refuses to go there.

Windy, I think the Texans probably meant to write Pantheon, but couldn't spell it. But then, we've also got an Athens Drive, so maybe they were just geographically challenged.

Java Mama said...

Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone! Thanks to Gail and Bruce for a nice-n-easy Monday offering. Did not know ERASMUS, but the perps filled it; thanks to YR for the additional enlightenment. It takes great patience to try to change an institution from within, rather than abandon it. Swell expo, C.C., especially your “behind the scenes” look at puzzle construction. Those sweet potato hot streak rolls look scrumptious!

Welcome to Jimmy Graham and CanadianEh! Looking forward to getting to “know” you.

Husker G., I vote with Irish Miss for Marilyn Monroe in the Seven Year Itch. Her character also reveals that she beats the heat by keeping her panties in the icebox.

I’m the second-oldest of four girls. My older sister was already married when Mom, a widow, went back to work. So from age 14 on I was responsible for younger siblings after school and all summer. (Favorite birthday card to youngest sister reads: “Happy Birthday … from the sister who let you live to see this day!”)The four of us are very close and vacation together every summer.

Good luck with your globe-hopping toasts tonight, Tin Man! And to the rest – have fun and be safe however you chose to celebrate!

Billy said...

Isn't it interesting that DUNCE CAP crosses OVAL OFFICE? So, which corner does one sit, while wearing the dunce cap, in the oval office?

I won't link any pictures so as not to offend either side of the aisle.

Wait! GOLF also crosses OVAL OFFICE. 'I keep my clubs over there in the corner, with the dunce cap.'

Yellowrocks said...

OOOH!! This new Kindle Fire only feeds my addiction to reading. To have a book always available, any day and any time of day is heaven. Now I can't force myself to buckle down to work by putting off a library run. And I don't have to stop reading so I'll something left to read in bed
My New Year’s resolution has to be to stop reading long enough to do what needs doing. LOL

TTP said...

Desper-otto, were you able to get to the links that Pinto posted ? Had no problem with Firefox...

Three things that should not be broken:
1) Hearts
2) Condoms
3) Your Browser

An optimist stays up to see the New Year come in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old one goes away. - Steven Wright

Billy said...

Ok, Ok. Here is that DUNCE CAP. If you look closely you actually can see two of them.

Husker Gary said...

-Yeah, Wind, we saw that Parthenon on the Vandy campus. It was right after our gentle tour guide told us that the difference between Vanderbilt football players and most other college football players is that Vandy players have to be able to read.
-And yes, that was Norma Jean Baker, aka Marilyn Monroe, who sought cool air in Tom’s apt. after she left the subway grating where one of the most iconic pictures in motion picture history (notice that like C.C.’s picture, her face is not shown) was taken.

Argyle said...

Pinto, It's about time to turn blue, bro.

desper-otto said...

TTP: I could probably over-ride the warning, but this is what it says:
Danger: Malware Ahead!
Google Chrome has blocked access to this page on
Content from, a known malware distributor, has been inserted into this web page. Visiting this page now is very likely to infect your computer with malware.
Malware is malicious software that causes things like identity theft, financial loss, and permanent file deletion.

Steady 80 said...

Got a dozen golf balls for Christmas from grandsons. They assure me this bunch will go straight.
Had mixed emotions over Bears Win, Packers loss--goodbye Bears for the year. The result will probably be lower stress. Can anyone imagine a professional football coach named "Lovie"? One grandkid went to Slovakia to give his girl an engagement ring. Tradition for Christmas dinner: place a live carp in the bathtub for 3 days and give someone the honor of clobbering it for dinner. Any other unusual Christmas dinner menus out there?

Pookie said...

"Minnesota Nice"
When you are served lutefisk and you don't throw up


CrossEyedDave said...

Anon @ 12:15 (aka pinto?)
I'm using Chrome & did not receive any malware warning???

New York City nice is when they do not step on you when you fall down...

LOL Lutefisk! I saw a history channel show on the making of Lutefisk,,, i decided never to try it when they said you had to soak it in Lye until the Ph is between -11-12...

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Fun puzzle today. Good to read you this fine morning, C.C.

ERASMUS was one of several gimmes for me today. For some reason SNAP and SNAG caught my attention, as did ENO and ELO.

At first I thought the theme had something to do with O followed by two letters that are the same, as in OCCasion, OCCupied, and OFFice. Turns out I obviously over-thought it.

I don't know whose legs those are, but I'll happily accept that they are Jennifer Aniston's. Damn pretty legs, whose-ever (whosever?) they are.

I'm the third child of four children, and the eldest son. I have two sisters who are older than I am. My brother was always called the "baby." He was skilled at learning from my mistakes so he wouldn't make the same ones, the little squirt.

YellowRocks, I know what you mean about the Kindle.

Best wishes to you all for today, next year, and years to come.

TTP said...

The discussion of Erasmus as "Dutch" brought back one of those lingering questions I've had about Holland, the Netherlands, and the Dutch. Great you-tube video on it by CGP Grey.

Here's another that he did that I thought this group might find interesting.
The Difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England Explained

He's a teacher and has a number of videos that I found very interesting.

TTP said...

Desper-Otto, I think you may be getting redirects. You might want to do a scan. Sounds like Chrome caught the redirect, but you should have went to YouTube with that link Pinto provided. I did check that b.localpages site and Google is reporting it as currently has suspicious content as of today. You'll have to find out why you are getting the redirects.

I see that CED just said he is using Chrome and did not get the warnings. ie, no redirects.

You can test any site using Google's Safebrowsing Tool.

Paste the website url you want to check after the = sign. Here is an example I just ran on the Corner.

Interested parties can copy the link and post it to their browser to see what the report looks like for a clean site, and then do the same using the site D-O ref'd to see what Google reports for a bad site (

Pookie said...

My cousin lives in MN.
She was born in SoCal, so I have no idea how she stands the cold.
We had a chat about lutefisk and lefse the other day.
Our local paper ran a story about the "white-haired" lovers of lutefisk.
Her husband was born there and he doesn't eat it.
ERASMUS and ENO total unknowns for me.
I'm not working tonight. Haven't played on NYE for ages, by choice. Turned down a lucrative gig at a house party that my booker asked me to do. It's one thing to do NYE at a club, but a private party is hell. You can't get away from everybody on your break. Staying home.
Tin must be sloshed by now. LOL
Happy New Year, Everyone.
THANK YOU C.C. for the Corner.
I have so much fun here and learn
so much. You are a great bunch of SOLVERS!!!!

Chickie said...

Hola Eaveryone, A fast, easy breeze through for me today. Just like a Monday puzzle usually is. However, as C.C. pointed out an easy puzzle is probably a harder one to construct.

Thank you C.C. for your writeup today with all the links. It was nice to see you today. I don't usually do the Sunday puzzle, so don't get to read your very entertaining Sunday offerings.

Unlike Kazie, the French words weren't down my alley. The perps were kind, though, and all filled in with no problem. I'm more prone to filling in simple ABC's.

Did anyone in any of your classes wear a Dunce Cap? I've never even seen one, much less use one. I think this was a very old practice--maybe even fiction as far as I know.

We usually ring in the New Year at home, so those of you who are out and about, be safe and have a very Happy New Year.

Lucina said...

Well, I just finished dismantling the Christmas tree, packing it and storing it in the shed. Now the clean up begins.

For a couple of days now I have been getting that malware warning when accessing the Corner. Should I be worried?

I also received a mischievous e-mail demanding my personal information or it would be shut down.

Perhaps imps are doing some dirty deeds.

Chickie said...

I'm the oldest of two sisters. Java Mama, I received a card similar to yours for my birthday last year. Two little girls sitting side by side--the caption was,"You were always the favorite and never let me forget it".

Lucina, I'm also the organizer in our family. I've always thought it came from being a teacher. But, my sister had to be the pupil all of her life! LOL! Maybe it comes from being the oldest. My sister and I fought as children, but are now best friends.

In looking at the comments there are a good number of "Eldest" here in our group.

Welcome to CanadianEh! and Jimmy Graham. We'll look forward to you joing in the banter. We all have a great time.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Lemonade et al,
Pinto & Splynter & are correct. Here is the original picture.

Pinto's links all work great in my computer (Firefox) and explain very well what Minnesota Nice is. The first link is hilarious. Basically Minnesotans are just nice people, very friendly and eager to help their neighbors or strangers.

PK said...

Happy New Year Y'all! Chow Chin, very interesting expo. I find fascinating the little comments on your former life! Thanks for sharing.

Great puzzle and fun to see pictures of the constructors.

Richard Gere is a favorite actor of mine. I loved "Sommersby".

For some reason, I knew Erasmus though I thought he was a Greek transplanted.

An abundance of "A" words today. Ago, Ado, Asea, AMA, Another, Anat, Afew, ABCs, ActIV, Alerts, ACs.

Montana, I'd rather stay home with that cutie 2 yr. old than go to New York, too.

I was the oldest of five and was held responsible if any of them did stupid stuff. The youngest boy was almost 14 years younger than I and very ornery. I just realized that is probably why I am still anxious to help everyone avoid all pitfalls. My dad was mean. I'm very close to my three brothers.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I'm sorry about your scary experience this morning. I hope you have help on hand when things go awry again.

Lucina @3:16pm,
You get the warning when accessing the blog or when trying to open a link in the blog? What browser are you using?

Lucina said...

I use both Chrome and Firefox. The warning comes from Chrome.

This time when I opened the blog there was no warning.

Bill G. said...

That was a very nice Monday puzzle though I didn't find it as easy as some.

Yes, I've heard of Minnesota Nice. And yes, I love the dialogue in "Fargo." "Fever Pitch" was fun too.

Barbara had lunch planned with Bonnie and a couple of friends but it fell through. So she and I headed out to battle for a parking place. We sat outside on the patio under a blue sky. Lunch was good including the soup of the day, white bean with sausage. An excellent Caesar salad with anchovies added. We split a really good chocolate mousse for dessert.

It's amazing how such impractical shoes can made already nice legs look even sexier.

Hahtoolah said...

Misty: I hope all is going well now and that your husband is doing better.

Avg Joe said...

Now what's wrong with lutefisk? I've only had it once, but liked it a lot ( I dated a Young Swedish lass in a former life). I still buy potato sausage at every chance due to that exposure to good, but off the beaten-path food.

I was the youngest of 6, and the next youngest sister was over 4 years older than me. I was called "the baby" by my siblings most of my life and despised it. However, life has a way of evening things out....Now that I'm the only one in my 50's, I gloat mercilessly. Vengeance is best served cold indeed.

Blue Iris said...

WEES. I don't play beat the clock when doing crossword. Today I was eating late breakfast made by DH. After finishing cwd, I glanced at time elapsed and was surprised it said 14 min. Probably a record time for me.

Welcome Canadian Eh ! Do you still live in Canada? If so, C.C.'s blog has now become international. (Not including our well-traveled bunch.)

I am the ELDEST in my family. I have a biological sister and brother. My parent were foster parents. We had 20 foster brothers/ sisters come and go. My parent raised 3 boys from 6 yrs old until adulthood. They had my little sister since birth and adopted her when she was 4 yrs old. She is 18 yrs younger than me. If I've told you this info earlier, please forgive me. My husband is the baby of five sibling.

We are spending a quite night at home. May watch a movie. Any suggestions on Netflix??? Praying 2013 is a safe and healthy New Year.

Blue Iris said...

Oops... quiet night

Qli said...

Hi all,

A nice Monday puzzle, and another good post by C.C. Glad to know what C.C. stands for. Are the Cantonese and Mandarin names pronounced similarly? I appreciate the work that goes into making these enjoyable puzzles for us, and it's fun to see pictures of those responsible.

I am a little worried about Tinbeni, though. Like another Tin Man, he may be looking for a heart now, Husker @09:25, but after all that toasting, he'll be looking for a new liver :-) Just in case, I will gladly drink a glass or two of wine for him. Call it "North Dakota nice".

I'm the eldest of five, unless you count the twin
half-sisters that we just found out about A FEW years AGO. ( I always wondered why I didn't fit the stereotype of an eldest; not very bossy or assertive ).

Welcome, CanadianEh! Have a safe, but still fun, New Year's Eve, everyone!

Yellowrocks said...

Happy New Year, dear puzzle friends. I'm off to my dinner party. I will stay over and return tomorrow.

Tinbeni said...

Blue Iris:
There's nothing wrong with spending "quite a night, at home" tonight.

Happy New Year, Zagreb, Rome, Berlin, Paris, et al.

Note: It's fun celebrating "New Year's" around the world ...
But after 13 of these, I'm kinda getting tired of singing another chorus of ...
Auld Lang Syne .

Ya'all be safe tonight.

Cheers !!!
and Happy New Year! (whenever you celebrate it ...)

Marge said...

Hi all,
Yes,this was a fun puzzle,I was able to finish in one stab at it. Thank you C.C.,Bruce and Gail. Bruce,I used to know Venzkes when we lived near near Milwaukee.

I tried to make one word out 2D. I didn't get it until I read the blog.

I am the youngest of 3,I have 2older brothers. I always taged along with them when we lived on a farm. When we moved to a town,I had my own friends. One of them is a pharmacist and one is a farmer both are retired now.

Tommorrow we are having company. On NY day we get togather with some friends and watch a ball game(this year it is the Rosebowl as Wisconson is in it). The woman who usually has it lives on second floor and I can't get up the stairs. So they are coming here. They are bringing all the food. There are only 5 of us.

Have a wonderful new year ALL!

chefwen said...

Husker Gary - Happy the you are feeling better. You need to drink more of Tinbeni's Avatar. Gotta kill all them nasty germs.

CED - Loved your O's. You find the best pictures.

pas de chat - Mother made lutefisk one year, almost threw up just from the smell, had to vacate the premises. We never let her make it again, although she threatened to every year.

Great end of the year puzzle. One write-over BE kInd TO before NICE TO.

chefwen said...

Gary - How about THAT you, not the?

Pookie said...

AvgJoe @ 4:41 I don't know, I've never tried it, but I LOVED my Mom's fruitcake and everybody makes jokes about fruitcake.
chefwen @6:18 LOL this is my story...

Dad was in the Navy, and survived Pearl Harbor. Mom used to make SOS, and (canned) creamed asparagus on toast. (White sauce and the asparagus)
I got it just about 3 inches from my mouth and would start to HEAVE.
Tried a few times, but could NOT ingest it. And Mom was a good cook!!!
Making shrimp tonight and staying home.
Tin @ 5:12
At least you didn't have to play
"Linus and Lucy" for 3 weeks!
Cheers, Tin and All

TTP said...

I took the advice I gave to D-O and ran a full system scan on my laptop.

Results ? I had an exploit. A Trojan.

Alert level

Unspecified vulnerability in the Java Runtime Environment component in Oracle Java SE JDK and JRE 7 and 6 Update 27 and earlier allows remote untrusted Java Web Start applications and untrusted Java applets to affect confidentiality, integrity, and availability via unknown vectors related to Scripting.

Encyclopedia entry
Updated: Dec 06, 2012 | Published: Dec 22, 2011


Java/Agent.EM (Command)
Java/Exploit.NQ (AVG)
Java/Exploit.CVE-2011-3544.Q (ESET) (Kaspersky)
Troj/JVExp-A (Sophos)
Exploit.CVE-2011-3544.H (VirusBuster)

Alert Level (?)

Antimalware protection details
Microsoft recommends that you download the latest definitions to get protected.
Detection last updated:
Definition: 1.141.2856.0
Released: Dec 31, 2012 Detection initially created:
Definition: 1.117.1554.0
Released: Dec 22, 2011

TTP said...

Whether or not it was the link that "Pinto", or a spoofing "Pinto" posted, I would recommend that all users update to your antivirus program to the latest virus definition level and run a full system scan from your antivirus program.

It may take a few hours. I only have 1.7M files on my laptop and it took about 2.5 hours to run a full system scan. You can let it run overnight.

If you do not have an antivirus program, I might suggest Microsoft Security Essentials. It is free at

If you have also picked up the Trojan, follow the links from your antivirus program to remove the malware and update your java.

Bill G. said...

After the 'legs' photos and comments, I must have been sensitized to that subject. I went for a short bike ride (too cold) to the Hermosa Beach Pier Avenue Plaza. I saw two young women. One of them was wearing black, lacy, thigh-high stockings with black stiletto heels. Quite a fetching sight. It didn't seem quite the appropriate attire for that vicinity and time of day. You don't suppose she was taking the Ho Ho idea literally? No..., couldn't be. Could it?

PK said...

BillG: I can't tell from this distance what the gal in the lacy black tights was up to. Why didn't you ask her?

Misty said...

C.C., Hahtoolah, many thanks for the kind support. Husband is okay, I'm a bit depressed (rare for me, since I'm always just thankful for everything). But tomorrow is both a new day and a new year, isn't it--and my first resolution is to regain old cheer! So I'll drink a toast of Merlot to the blog tonight!

JD said...

Good evening C.C. and all who have decided to remain in the comfort of your home tonight,

Wow, CC on a Monday was a real treat! It takes us back a few years. As always, I enjoy your take on every word, and especially enjoyed your information on puzzle construction.

I agree with you and Dennis that we could not do without Argyle. He has been our rock, and mentor.

Gail and Bruce, your puzzle was perfect for a monday..smooth sailing..perped when needed.

Misty, my heart goes out to you and hope that you are able to find some joy in the New Year.Life is full of ups and downs, but somehow there is always something to grab onto and it makes us stronger.On most days you bring us a lot of cheer.

Dunce has to be just a comic thing. Never in 45 years have I ever seen such a thing. I had a cozy corner in my room that I called Australia. It had a table full of shells, books, and other things a student could touch or play with if they were having a bad day.( Kazie, I've never been but would love to go. CA loved her trip)

Bill G. said...

Misty, I'm glad to hear your husband is OK. I hope you and Merlot are doing well too. Keep your spirits up as usual!

PK, I couldn't think of a PC way to get more information from the leggy girl. Maybe she was on her way to a New Year party and was dressed to impress. .

Manac said...

Happy New Year Everyone!!

DW is already asleep and I'm next.
Guess that bottle of Champagne will have to wait another year.
Best wishes to all for the upcoming New Year!


PK said...

Misty, So sorry you had a bad scare but glad your husband is okay. Having a bout of low spirits can be a natural reaction. As I told my mother once, if you aren't a little depressed, it's because you didn't understand the situation. May the new year bring you some relief and much happiness!

Bill G. said...

I just watched the ball drop on CNN. Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper make an unlikely but inspired pairing. I loved the music too; Auld Lang Syne, New York NY by the Chairman of the Board, America the Beautiful by Ray Charles, etc.

Misty said...

Thank you, JD, Bill G., and PK, and others for your understanding and generous support! It's huge! Have a wonderful New Year's Eve celebration tonight, everybody! You deserve the best!