Dec 23, 2012

Sunday Dec 23, 2012 Erik Agard

Theme: "Secret Agent" - REP spans across each common phrase.

 23A. *Scenic souvenirs : PICTURE POSTCARDS. My youngest sister-in-law still sends us postcards wherever she travels.

 36A. *Acupuncturist's target : PRESSURE POINT. Painful to watch, but acupuncture does work, for some.

 59A. *Nonconformist, idiomatically : SQUARE PEG

 67A. *Cookies sent from home, say : CARE PACKAGE. What's your favorite Christmas cookie?

 77. *Repair shop item : SPARE PART

 95A. *Tense subject? : FUTURE PERFECT. Grammar.

 115A. *British Sunday meal staple : YORKSHIRE PUDDING. Yellowrocks' & TTP's Christmas meal. I never had it. They don't look like puddings to me.

 15D. *Protected area : NATURE PRESERVE

 51D. *Smokey Bear's bailiwick : FIRE PROTECTION

 125A.  Agents "hiding" in the answers to starred clues: REPS

Nicely designed grid. It takes skills (and luck) to intersect theme entries. At times, intersecting results in compromises in fill. But for theme dense grid, whether weekday or Sunday grid, intersecting actually makes smooth filling possible.
I think this is Erik Agard's first Sunday puzzle. Congratulations! He's the young kid in black T-shirt.


1. To be, to Balzac : ETRE. Balzac sure knew love and cheats.

5. Perfume oil : ATTAR

10. "It __ to me ..." : SEEMS

15. Classic pop favorite? : NEHI

19. Number on le menu : PRIX. Price.

20. "Next week on ..." ad : PROMO

21. It's blocked by sunblock : UV RAY

22. Gives the sack : AXES

26. Slow roller on a baseball diamond? : TARP. What were you picturing?

27. Cuddle, in a way : SPOON

28. Delivered a sermon : PREACHED

29. Little green man? : GUMBY

30. Place for a pin : LAPEL

33. "Eww, more than I need to know!" : TMI

34. Take exception : DEMUR

41. One way or another : SOMEHOW

45. "Malcolm in the Middle" dad : HAL

46. Get rid of : LOSE

47. Egyptian Christians : COPTS. Chickie's son-in-law is one.

49. Prefix with cab : PEDI. That guy over there has no chance.

50. Flips (through) : RIFFLES

53. Oscar-winning foreign language film based on a Fugard novel : TSOTSI. No idea. Oscar 2005.

56. Sap : DRAIN

57. Fesses up to : ADMITS

58. Memorable tumbler : JILL. Jack and Jill.

62. Browns quickly : SEARS

63. To-do list items : DUTIES

65. Aptly named fruits : UGLIS. It's actually quite juicy.

66. Shore flier : ERNE

69. "¿Cómo __ usted?" : ESTA

73. Apt to mope : POUTY. What happened, baby?

75. Sofa cushion concerns : STAINS

76. Legal right : DROIT. Also new to me. Quite similiar to French "right". A droite.

81. Old-style "once" : ERST

82. One just starting : NOVICE

83. Intense passion : ARDOR

84. Van Gogh masterpiece : IRISES. Van Gogh loved yellow.

86. Totals : COMES TO

87. Fall guy : GOAT

88. Three-star mil. officer : LT GEN

90. Wheel with a knife nearby : EDAM. Tricky clue.
92. __ de Cologne : EAU
93. Seventh-inning ritual : STRETCH

100. Space __ : CADET

102. Zip : NIL

103. "It's the Hard-Knock Life" musical : ANNIE

104. Singer LuPone : PATTI

107. Didn't go along : RESISTED

110. Guitar parts : NECKS. I see the necklace, not the pendant.

114. Et __ : ALII

118. O'Brien predecessor and successor : LENO. Jimmy Fallon is the funniest. Talented too.

119. Video game plumber : MARIO

120. Looks for a vein : MINES

121. Pierre's South Dakota? : ETAT. Awesome clue!

122. Eight-legged team : OXEN. I felt stupid!

123. Rhett's last words : A DAMN

124. Actress MacDowell : ANDIE. Long time L'Oréal spokeperson.

1. "House" actor : EPPS (Omar)

2. Voyage : TRIP

3. Puerto __ : RICO

4. Lauds : EXTOLS

5. Earth Day mo. : APR

6. Afternoon ora : TRE. Ora = Hour. Italian.

7. Brings down : TOPPLES. I really like Xi Jinping, China's new president. Every time I look at Hu Jintao, I see my old boss, who had me tailed for a week after I left Shanghai. Jerk!

8. Love of Latin : AMOR

9. Faced head-on, as a challenge : ROSE TO

10. To the point : SUCCINCT

11. Cole Porter's "Well, Did You __?" : EVAH

12. Put one's foot in it : ERRED

13. Most miffed : MADDEST

14. Part of MS-DOS: Abbr. : SYs

16. Teacher's handout : EXAM

17. Rosemary, e.g. : HERB

18. "__ with my little eye ..." : I SPY

24. Señor's "some" : UNAS

25. Author Hoag : TAMI. Again, learned from doing Xword.

29. Mess (up) : GUM

31. Whines : PULES. I think I'd have whined too if I were Jordan (Bill's grandson). I sure do not want to play tennis or anything when it's cold and dark.

32. Oldest of the gods, in Plato's "Symposium" : EROS. No idea. I don't believe it.

35. Cal. pages : MOs

36. Put into words : PHRASE

37. Takeover engineer : RAIDER

38. Composer of the "Beetlejuice" score : ELFMAN (Danny). Impressive filmography.

39. Diminutive : PETITE. Don't google. Guess what's the height of average American women?

40. Chuck : TOSS

42. Rattletrap : HEAP

43. Garfield's pal : ODIE

44. Building addition : WING

48. Agreeably sharp-tasting : PIQUANT

52. NYPD ranks : LTs

54. Typos and such : SLIPS

55. Fatty-acid esters : OLEATES. This word looks very unhealthy.

56. Soft & __: Dial product : DRI

58. MacGyver, so to speak : JURY RIG. We had MacGyver discussions long time ago.

60. Trendy fleece-lined boots : UGGs. Not trendy any more.

61. Malt beverage : ALE

63. It's often raw : DATA

64. Goosebump raiser : SCARE

67. Target on the green : CUP. Golf.

68. Mouth : KISSER

70. "Evidently" : SO I SEE

71. "Fresh entertainment" mint : TIC TAC

72. Eschewed cooking : ATE OUT

74. On top of, to poets : O'ER

76. Abbey title : DOM. So is FRA.

77. Yields to gravity : SAGS. Don't you wish the excess fat will only go to your boobs?

78. Bapt. or Meth. : PROT

79. Feast of Esther month : ADAR. Their "June".

80. Nonkosher : TREF. Learned from doing Xword.

82. Certain club restriction : NO MEN. Ladies' club.

85. Together : IN UNISON

86. Cereal box title : CAP'N. Crunch.

88. HDTV feature, often : LCD
89. Pulitzer-winning Cormac McCarthy novel : THE ROAD. Was made into a film, starring Viggo Mortensen.

91. Like a McJob : DEAD END

94. Mai __ : TAI

96. Wednesday's mom, to Gomez : TISH. "The Addams Family".

97. Last syllable : ULTIMA. New word to me also.

98. Fruit discard : RIND

99. Thing out on a limb : FEEDER. Bird feeder. Really "on a limb".

101. Caesar's land : TERRA

104. __ Alto : PALO

105. Michael's "Family Ties" role : ALEX. Michael J. Fox.

106. Pea piercer : TINE

108. Milk choice : SKIM

109. Leprechaun's turf : ERIN. I tried to find a simple sterling four-leaf clover pendant in early summer. No luck. What the stores had were all too fancy or pricey for me. I ended up with a pretty butterfly.

111. Mention : CITE

112. Sack opener? : KNAP. Knapsack.

113. Boot camp NCOs : SGTs

115. Soprano Sumac : YMA

116. I.M. with plans : PEI. He was born in Guangzhou, but grew up in Hongkong & Shanghai.

117. Employ : USE



HeartRx said...

Good morning C.C. et al.

Cute theme, but I didn’t catch the elegance of the intersecting entries until you mentioned it, C.C. You always have a keen eye for grid design! I didn’t recognize Erik Agard’s name, but I looked him up and realized we had one other puzzle from him back in March of this year. I liked that one, too.

My only slow-down was in the mid-west. I did not remember ELFMAN, Malcolm’s dad HAL, and PHRASE just wasn’t coming to mind for “Put into words.” But with PRESSURE POINT and FIRE PROTECTION (I had “prevention” at first) in place, I finally made a couple WAGs to finish it.

The house is decorated, stockings are hung, and a batch of my favorite cookies (oatmeal raisin) is in the cookie jar waiting for Santa. So nothing to do today but relax and enjoy a cozy fire!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Decent Sunday puzzle, although not particular exciting. The theme itself seemed a bit underwhelming to me, but I really appreciated the fact that REP spanned across each phrase and that all of the theme answers were common phrases (well, except for FIRE PROTECTION, perhaps).

I was surprised to see LTS and LT GEN in the same grid, but that's a minor quibble. And TSOTSI was a complete and utter unknown. Everything else was pretty straightforward, though.

Thanks (again) to those who expressed concern about my noggin. In addition to the CAT scan, the nurse verified that I didn't have any symptoms of a concussion (no dizziness, no blurred vision, no blackout, etc.) so I think I'm good.

desper-otto said...

Good morning, Sunday soldiers!

This one took me longer than usual. I just wasn't on Erik's wavelength. I suspect Abejo will be less than happy with the smattering of French, Italian and Latin in this one. So is it jury rig or jerry rig? I've seen it both ways. And my FEEDER hangs from a shepherd's crook. Out on a limb it would all go to the squirrels.

C.C., I'd guess the average woman is 5'4" -- guessed, not googled. And why did your former boss have you tailed?

ULTIMA reminds me of that old Limelighters song, Have Some Madeira, M'dear: Then there flashed through her mind what her mother had said with her antepenultimate breath, "Oh my child, should you gaze on the wine when tis red, be prepared for a fate worse than death!" Lou Gottlieb, we miss ya.

Al Cyone said...

A nice "Goldilocks" Sunday puzzle (not too hard; not too easy). I didn't get the theme (I rarely do) and, failing to hear the "TaDa!" after I "finished", I had to spend a couple minutes looking for my mistake (I had PEQUANT instead of PIQUANT since TSOTSE looked okay and I didn't know the film or the novel). I suppose I should check all the perps as they're filled in but I don't. [24:44]

TTP said...

Thank you Erik Agard and thank you CC. CC, I hope you found the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame link I posted amusing. Did it fool you or did you notice the missing S ? I do have to work on my Yorkshire pudding presentation. I like the look of them made in muffin tins, but they just don't taste the same as when I just make it in the big pan. I would guess 5'4". Both my sister and niece (her daughter) are at the 5' mark, and both are forces that are not to be messed with. Big things come in small packages.

Erik, I enjoyed your puzzle but got the dreaded DNF because I had to turn on red letter help. I really liked Andie McDowell in Groundhog Day.

Abejo, Channel 7 ABC had a brief clip on Tuba Christmas at the Palmer House on the 6Am news. It's starting again right now. Couldn't find it at their website, but found these on YouTube. Where are you ?
Tuba Christmas 2012 at the Palmer House Hilton

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, C.C. and friends. With the name of Secret Agent, my first thought was some sort of spy, and so i thought 18-D might be a "bonus" clue/answer.

Is it okay to have the abbreviation for Lieutenant appear twice in the same puzzle? 88-A: LT. GEN and 52-D: LTs?

Eight-legged team = OXEN was my favorite clue.

I come it at 5 feet. I never knew I was short until people felt compelled to tell me so. It comes in handy in my profession, though, since opposing counsel often tend to underestimate me. Much to their dismay!

A belated Happy Birthday, Misty.

QOD: Perseverance is my motto. ~ Madam C.J. Walker (Dec. 23, 1867 ~ May 25, 1919).

Anonymous said...

Tremendous Sunday offering. Really, really good. Thank you.

"Decent Sunday puzzle, although not particular exciting."

Hand down.

"Oldest of the gods, in Plato's "Symposium" : EROS. No idea. I don't believe it."

What don't you believe?

"Fatty-acid esters : OLEATES. This word looks very unhealthy"

Without oleates, we'd all be dead.

"QOD: Perseverance is my motto."

Hear, hear.

Husker Gary said...

Dang, I wasted a lot of time looking for SPY, CIA or some such before REP came at the reveal in Erik’s charming Sunday puzzle. I had to bear down to git ‘er done but had fun on the trip. Loved – Tumbler, Slow roller, Totals, O’Brien (I don’t get him!), Pierre’s South Dakota ROCKS!,

-Instead of POSTCARDS, we text actual pix of where we are to our family
-My PT niece touched a PRESSURE POINT on my sore neck and I could turn my head again
-Alas, I am that SQUARE PEG so often because I don’t Go Along. To thine own self be true!
-Eddie Murphy made a great GUMBY
-Times are dangerous for COPTIC Christians these days
-I had POUTS for PULES and when POUTY showed up, I knew I had made a SLIP
-Consumption of grape juice is not allowed on Grandma’s sofa cushions
-Baseball needs to shorten its 4 hour games and not STRETCH them
-I remember ANDIE from Ground Hog Day
-I once saw a commercial from Australia that EXTOLled trays that would not TOPPLE and of course were called Toppleless trays and were being used by a topless woman stumbling around with the tray hiding her assets.
-Did you EVAH, Dahling? – staple words from TCM movies?
-I remember MacGyver from SNL
-Only song I know with Knapsack as a lyric – a lotta boys sang this in HS chorus.

Husker Gary said...


-The father of my oldest daughter’s best friend just died. There were no McJobs when he was a boy but he told me of a lot of menial things he did before his drive and ambition helped him found the nation’s largest truck auctioning firm here in Fremont and made him a multi-millionaire. The family sent the corporate jet out to Denver to pick up the aforementioned daughter and her two dogs and bring them back to Fremont.

I’m comfortable but far from a millionaire, and I delivered newspapers, picked strawberries, hoed weeds, redeemed bottles, etc. Some of my former detasselers are now doing very well too. Any other such experiences/jobs out there?

desper-otto said...

Now that I think about it, I found today's theme to be REPetitive.

One of our neighbors down the street has a blow-up Mickey Mouse in a Santa suit in their front yard. Mickey was sagging badly. Question -- does that make him deflater-mouse?

desper-otto said...

Husker, I set pins for 10 cents a line at the bowling alley and clerked in the drugstore for 85 cents an hour -- a buck and a quarter on Sundays. That was enough to keep gas in my '53 Pontiac. Of course, gas was only 30 cents a gallon back then.

Irish Miss said...

Good morning:

I guess I'm Oscar the Grouch this morning as I didn't really enjoy this puzzle. I certainly admire the craftsmanship and complexity of the construction, but it just wasn't my cup of tea.

I finished but needed help in the NE corner. Who is Gumby? Also, never heard of pules or Tsotsi. Nice job, Erik, and thanks, CC, for your informative expo.

Re height, I would guess 5'5". No favorite Christmas cookie, CC, as I am not a sweet lover.

Happy Sunday.

Irish Miss said...

Having just read over my post, I should have said, " I am not a sweets lover."

DO @10:40 LOL at deflater-mouse!

Yellowrocks said...

I enjoyed this Sunday outing. When I saw REP repeated twice that helped me with the theme clues.

I had PEI , but missed the connection to I.M. V-8 can, please. The only answers I never heard of were TSOTSI, all perps, and ELFMAN, perps and wag.

TTP, I prefer the Yorkshire pudding whole, too. It is much moister and tastier than those made in muffin tins. If you bring it directly from the oven to the table, all can see the beautiful "puff" before it deflates. There are many other kinds of puddings beside dessert puddings,

Good thought, Marti. I still have wrapping to do. I will build a fire and sit there listening to music and wrapping away. I think tonight I will make the vichyssoise because I will have company tomorrow. If stir it on Christmas and add a dollop of heavy cream it will seem just made

Lucina said...

Greetings, weekend solvers! C.C., you are charming when you are frank about your opinions which is most of the time I imagine.

My granddaughter is 5'6" and she is taller than most of her classmates, so I would guess the average is 5'4".

I really liked this puzzle, thank you, Erik Agard. It took a slow, easy pace and I was delighted when I saw REP in the first two long answers, that helped with the others.

Then my puzzling was interrupted with a 45 minute telephone conversation but coming back helped me see the puzzle in a fresh way and I finished it.

Pierre's South Dakota, ETAT, was brilliant as was wheel with a knife nearby, EDAM. What a fresh clue!

JILL was also cleverly clued. NOVICE is also a step in the Roman Catholic Sisterhood. It's a two year preparation before vows.

Otto and HG, you are two funny guys! I enjoy your humor.

Hahtoolah, I would love to see you in action!

Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone! I hope your shopping and preparations are complete.

CrossEyedDave said...

The center region really had me going, how do you DNF with red letters on? (I had practically nothing for "care package", & held down the "R" key while saying "there has to be a freakin R here somewhere!)rrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Space (blank) = cadet was on my wavelength.
Wheel with a knife nearby, not so much!

Pea Piercer reminded my of that classic scene where Stan Laurel chases it around the plate, but i could not find the clip. Maybe because it might have been an olive chased by a spoon?

HG, I also regret i could not find the toppleless trays ad!

Valderi, Valdera! So thats where it came from!

For Irish Miss, Gumby ( i am sure there will be sidelinks if you want to pursue it...)

CrossEyedDave said...

CED Prolix Corner....

I know i went a little obsessive with the Inca Stonework the other day, but it has been vexing me of late. I have been studying YouTube videos about Solar Cutters. It turns out you can heat objects to over 3000 degrees just using the the Sun. (i will spare you the video links) & the Incan High Priest would start the ceremonial fire to their Sun God by using a a gold bowl as a parabolic mirror. Another video about a solar bottle cutter intrigued me because they would heat the glass using a crystal to focus the sun, & then shock the glass in cold water, which would cause it to separate cleanly. (more video's i am sparing you from...)

When i get intrigued, i like to bounce ideas off my neighbor. So i explained my findings & discussed the possibilty of thermal shocked stone being easier to work with, & without skipping a beat, he replied:

Dave, the answer is not written in stone, so don't take it for granite...

(He always has a way of putting things in perspective.)

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Took me a long time to solve this puzzle today, but I did it without having to look anything up. At first I thought the "secret" agent was REPO, but the REPA in CARE PACKAGE disabused me of that notion. What EVAH was I thinking!

My guess at the average height of an American woman is also 5'4".

I am glad my excess fat did not all go into my boobs.

I also do not believe that EROS is/was the oldest god; I thought Chronos or somebody like that was. Having studied philosophy and read Plato's works, I should remember, but I don't recall. Maybe Plato said that simply to make a point. Now I'm gonna go look it up.

My favorite Christmas cookie has always been Springerle, a traditional German cookie. Second place goes to Pfeffernüsse. They are even better with a big glass of fresh milk to wash them down. Part of the fun was helping mom make them.

I learned a lot at my mother's knee. Or maybe is was at some other joint.

Best wishes to you all, tall, short, or average. What would be your guess as to the height of the average American man these days?

Lucina said...

The link warned that it contained malware.

River Doc said...

Happy Sunday to all.

Initially had Bunt for slow roller on a baseball diamond, but the first of the theme answers, Nature Preserve, nixed that idea.

Also had minute instead of petite, theme answers also stopped that nonsense.

5’5” is my guess for the average height of American women.

I’m 5’8”, which was average when I was growing up, but the average for American men is now a little taller.

Nice to see Elfman as an answer so closed to Christmas….

I have a friend who we nicknamed Gumby, because the flat top haircut he just got wasn’t so flat….

BTW, Gumby refuses to sing Take Me Out To The Ballgame during the 7th inning stretch.

My first job was peddling paint at Montgomery Wards. For what my mom called “coolie wages.” SEARS was our nemesis.

Favorite clue – wheel with a knife nearby – very clever!

Lucina said...

Did you find it?

I also read Plato's dialogues long, long ago but don't recall. Just now I researched it and according to Sparks notes, in the first dialogue, Phaedras tells that "love {EROS} is the oldest god . . .

Yellowrocks said...

Sorry I didn't see the advisory. Now what?

maregrant said...

Can someone please tell me why my Sunday puzzle is never the one shown here? All the othet days of the week match, but never Sunday! Mine today is called Never Mind! All take offs on the Mayan calendar. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Go here for the puzzle Today's puzzle

Avg Joe said...

Late to the party today due to work demands, but did the puzzle earlier. Agree that it was quite challenging and had some fantastic clueing. Lots to like any very few clunkers. Especially enjoyed the fill piquant and the clue for cadet. Alas, in the end it was a DNF since I couldn't decide on O or E at the head of Oleate and Tsotsi was a complete unknown. Nerts!

I would have guessed the avg ht of women to be 5'5", but I see that the majority were correct at 1" less. My BH is even 5'4", but what do I know? I'm pretty avg myself as I was 5'10 1/2" at my peak. Gravity has erased 3/4" and a crushed vertebrate another 3/4", so I'm now a very standard 5'9". Looks like it's all downhill from here:-)

The week old NYT puzzle was equal in difficulty today, and I did prevail over that one. So, I'd call the day a success.

Jayce said...

Lucina, I finally found it, as you did. In Plato's Symposium (as asserted in the clue) "Phaedrus opens the discussion by citing Hesiod, Acusilaus, and Parmenides for the claim that Eros is the oldest of the gods, with no parents." Wikipedia.

Later myths say that Eros was the son of Aphrodite.

I think I didn't remember that particular fact because it was a minor statement, made in passing, in support of the major arguments being made in the dialog.

Anyway ...

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, I don't usually do the weekend puzzles, but I wanted to wish a wonderful holiday to everyone on the Corner. Whether you celebrate Hannuka or Christmas, the best of the Holiday season to you all.

With nine family members staying here with us, it will be very busy and I won't be able to read thea blog for a few days.

I'm busy today, getting all the bedrooms ready, doing some more cooking, and generally doing those housekeeping chores that fall into my hands.

Have a great rest of the evening and enjoy your families and friends.

Jayce said...

Avg Joe, I had to peek at the answers for last week's NYT puzzle today.

I've been 6'1" tall since age 18, which back then was really really oh so tall, but nowadays is not at all unusual. I meet many people who are taller than I am. I'd guess the average height of an American man now is 5'11"

By the way, I like much of Danny Elfman's music, especially the music he wrote for the movie Batman, which is almost Wagnerian in its mood and scope. (I'll swear at one point he almost plagiarizes the theme where Erda, the Earth Mother, rises up out of the earth to caution Wotan, the Chief of the Gods, in Wagner's opera Das Rheingold.) I have to smile, though, when I hear how he trots out his toolbox of boilerplate techniques and uses them over and over again. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Heck, Beethoven did it a lot. I dare say writers and painters do it, too. There are standard, tried and true ways to evoke certain emotions and paint certain mental images. Crescendos, for example, and sequences of rising notes build tension.

Chickie said...

Just had to answer Husker's question about little jobs we had while growing up.

Being from our valley, at one time filled with fruit trees and truck farms, our jobs almost all centered around the farming in the area. Picking prunes (on your knees) was the hardest job, but picking beans was a close second.

I cut cots for 25 cents a tray starting at age 12. Then on to the cannery, canning peaches, apricots, and pears.

Later I learned how to pack pears for cold storage--wrapping in paper and sizing as they rolled down the belt.

Those were all summer jobs, so baby sitting, and housekeeping helper were the jobs that teen-aged girls during my era could do.

However, with each job, a new skill was learned and the work ethic was instilled. I'm sure others of you have had the same experiences.

My Dad always said that no job was too small and every job was worth doing well. He was right.

Tinbeni said...

Welcome back, I was missing your QOD this last week.

I also was looking for a spy, then we had the 18-D, I-SPY.
Maybe the spy is still there and we just can't see them.
(A good spy wouldn't be out in the open. Trust me!)

My height guesses would be:
Men ... 5'10"
Women . 5'6"
Wait, what a surprise, that's mine and Gal-Pal's heights.

Of course my faves today were ALE and the Mai TAI. (I does love my drink!)

YR @3:23 ...
1) You could have copied your answer (without the link).
2) Deleted (using the trash can Icon at the end of your @2:11 comment).
3) Then re-posted the @2:11 comment with a clean google link.
Like this one:
Average heights

Cheers to Christmas Eve, Eve !!!

Avg Joe said...


I'm watching the Giants/Ravens game and Chevy just ran ad that featured the Mayan scare. Check it out. It's gotta be on YouTube within the hour. Best ad I've seen in at least 10 years.

Al Cyone said...

Chickie @ 4:30 PM:

I just have to ask: You picked prunes???

Dennis said...

Avg Joe, I thought the Twinkies offer was a brilliant touch to it.

Jayce said...

Chickie, I agree with you that your dad was right. Interesting you mentioned picking beans; I did that too one year, in Tomah, Wisconsin. Pole beans. I've also had paper routes, which were totally horrible and a job I wouldn't wish on any kid, especially in winter and with a bunch of customers who continually welched on paying. I've also pumped gas, which was actually quite a pain because I could never find where the damn gas fillup openings were located on those 60's cars; sometimes nice and visible on a fender, but often under the swing-out license plate and sometimes even under a taillight that you had to turn a quarter turn to reveal the gas cap. Impatient customers would yell at me, "What are you doing?" as I tugged and twisted their taillights, license plates, and whatever, in search of where to put the damn gas in. I think you can tell I hated that job.

Manac said...

OK I'll post it Chevy

Avg Joe said...

OK, here's the ad: Chevy .

It turns out it was in last year's Super Bowl. I must have missed it. But it's a hell of a lot funnier this weekend than it was nearly a year ago. And Dennis, I gotta wonder if the Twinkies were in there last year. If yes, how "insightful". If not, it was a great edit-in.

Manac said...

That reminds me. The world didn't end!
Now I have to go get my son and start my xmas shopping. He's driving!

Lucina said...

Oh, yes, childhood jobs. After our Dad died in 1948, our mother made tamales, hundreds of dozens of them, on weekends and we would load them onto my youngest brother's red wagon to sell in the neighborhood. All six of us went, ages 2 to 10, so we could knock on multiple doors.

By the time I was 13 I started babysitting.

It's difficult to estimate the average male height because of the vast differences. My two sons-in law, one an ex, are over 6 feet. The present one is 6'4", the ex is 6"1" but the men in my family are/were about 5'2" except one brother who measured 6 feet.

In Minnesota I noticed numerous very tall men, many more than I've seen in other places except Finland and Sweden where tall is the norm. So heritage determines it in many places.

Manac said...

Too eerie!
Great minds think alike!
Off to the stores.

windhover said...

In 1957, at the age of 11, I started a lawn mowing business in my home town of 350 people. I paid $46 for a Lawn-Boy mower. It took 2 weeks to pay for it. The average lawn was about $1.50, but they ranged from $1 to $5 (that one took 4 hours. I hated it. In 1958 a new highway cut off over half that lawn and I was very happy to cut the price to $2.50. I made over $600 net that summer, which was pretty good money for a kid. I saved most of it, but among the things I bought was a Frank Thomas signature baseball glove that I paid $20 for. In 1992 I sent it to the Glove Doctor in Oakland, Ca. and paid $56 to have it rebuilt. I still have it, and it comes out at family reunions, etc. When all the 40 something cousins (my children's generation ) are nursing their beers in lawn chairs, I'm playing baseball with the kids.
I'm 5'9" (down from 5'10" when I got my first driver's license) and the Irish is 5'7".

e.a. said...

happy holidays folks. thanks for solving.

Husker Gary said...

Great story Windy! My first big purchase was also a ball glove (catcher's mitt). I loaned it to my cousin and never saw it again.

I also enjoyed all the other McJobs others had! There is honor in all honest work!

kazie said...

I eventually got all of this except for seven letters that my WAGs got wrong.

Late arrival due to other duties today!

Our kids detassled corn and pulled weeds while still at middle school and early high school, but then worked in local stores. My DH worked on the family farm, and I worked in a store in the hosiery department from the age of about 15.

Have a great Monday everyone!

Argyle said...

Who is e.a.? Duh! pass the V-8.

Good of you to stop by.

GarlicGal said...

To Al Cyone: Yep, Chickie said "picked prunes". It was something most kids in Santa Clara county probably did at one time or another. I earned 35 cents a box. The "big" bucks were in cutting apricots! haha

The Merl Reagl puzzle was fun today. It was easiest enough that I even got all the puns and finished.

I had some errors in the LAT...TOOTSI - okay Dustin Hoffman was great in in...HA, not so much. I had JERYRIG. Wrong on so many levels. HA #2. Obviously missed the JILL fill. And couldn't even wag DUTY.

Rainy, rainy rainy here. No recess today.

Merry Merry. Happy Happy from usually sunny California!

Bill G. said...

Wow! I got 'er done but I found this pretty hard and time consuming. I agree with Barry; not a very exciting theme but a fun puzzle nonetheless.

I ventured out for a last shopping foray. Luckily I didn't have to get angry at anybody fighting over a parking spot.

CC mentioned sagging and that it was sad that the excess fat didn't go to ones boobs. That reminded me of Sofia Vergara on the Ellen show. Ellen noticed that Sofia had blonder hair in some earlier photos and she asked her who had more fun; blondes or brunettes. Sophia answered with a sly grin, "In my opinion, it's the one with the bigger boobs."

Dennis said...

In chronological order: Bicycle newspaper delivery, neighborhood lawn cutting, neighborhood car washing, supermarket bag boy/stock boy, drugstore soda jerk (girls drank free, of course), nursery (the tree and bush kind) helper, where the tin can containers routinely shredded my hands, and finally, hod carrier for a small construction company, then the service.

e.a., fun theme, nice puzzle, and thanks for dropping in.

Lucina, from the other night, have patience, I have to work my way up to a task of those proportions.

Windhover, I still have my J.C. Penney Richie Ashburn model glove; wouldn't sell it for any price. And like you, I've gone from 6'1" to 6'. Hey, height, I don't mind.

Lucina said...

I have complete confidence in you!

chefwen said...

Other than the usual babysitting that most teens did, my first "real job" was at the Colonial Manor Nursing Home in Milwaukee. My claim to fame was that I got to give Woody Herman's dad baths. Was let go when they moved me to the health center and I was too little to lift the patients. It was one the most rewarding jobs I ever had.

This puzzle was very time consuming for me, the NYT's took about half the time. Both were most enjoyable.

Bill G. said...

YR, I LOVE vichyssoise! Do you serve it cold?

I was responsible for about 1.5 acres of lawn mowing at our house. In the summer, I had several clerical jobs with the Federal government. After Cornell but before moving to California, I had to finish a summer school class at night. In the days, I worked on a construction crew as a lowest-level laborer building a Montgomery Wards department store. I just had to follow directions from the foreman. I would get in trouble when I tried to think about whether what he told me to do was logical or not.

I came across an old Lone Ranger movie on TCM. It was fun to see Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels again.

Hahtoolah said...

Thanks, Tinbini. I have been ill and not up to doing crosswords.

E.A., thanks for stopping by. I hope to see more of your puzzles in the future.

Bill G. said...

I just came across this and laughed all over again. Achmed the Dead Terrorist.

windhover said...

Remember "Tonto to Toronto for Esperanto, and Pronto"?
Google Carson and Jay Silverheels. Classic J. C.

Chickie said...

Al Cyone, Yes prune picking was done in the late summer. When the fruit was ready the trees were shook, prunes fell to the ground, and everyone on the prune work force went down on hands and knees (in the orchard with dirt clods and rocks) and picked up the prunes one by one to fill our buckets. I can't remember what we got per bucket, but it wasn't much and was a back breaking knee scraping job. The farmers would hire youngsters so we made money for school clothes which was a real incentive.

Jayce, the beans in our area were bush beans. Wish they had been pole beans. This was another really back breaking job. They weighed our full sacks and I was amazed that mine never weighed what I thought it should. I really, truly think the foreman cheated us youngsters because we couldn't do anything about it.

And, Oh yes!, I'm 5'11". I haven't lost any height--yet! I was this height in 8th grade and hated it with a passion. I was the tallest one in my whole 8th grade including all the boys. I didn't think boys were taller, until I reached college. My hubby is 6'1".

Lucina, heritage and genes have a lot to do with height. My grandmother was 6'1" and my grandfather 6'4". So, I come by my height naturally.

Bill G. said...

Windy, I hadn't ever seen that or even heard of it. Really good stuff though. Thanks. I think of all the late night shows, Carson was my favorite but I think Craig Ferguson is the funniest comedian on late and I think Ellen has the best talk show these days.

Abejo said...

Good evening, folks. Thank you, Erik Agard, for a swell Sunday puzzle. Thank you, C.C., for the swell review.

Desper-Otto: Yes, some of the foreign words got me, but I got them with perps. 6D stifled me, TRE, plus the clue, Ora. 24D UNAS. Perps fixed. ADAR with perps. I knew EAU at 92A. ETAT came easily. I have that one figured out. Thought the clue was excellent, Pierre's South Dakota. EROS was easy. I have seen that enough that I know it.

TTP: Thanks for the U-Tube links. I did find myself in one link. It was entitled TubaChristmas 2012 by Saxonbanddad. It was taken by someone in the balcony. I am on the left side as you are looking at the film. The shooter kind of scanned back and forth. I am sitting about half way back and my horn has a front facing bell, instead of an upright bell. Mine is the one that is not shiny. It has a pretty dull finish. I have a red hat on. My tuba is circa 1925, 87 years old. Thanks for checking this out.

I was able to solve this pretty easily. Took me a while because I was busy with lots of stuff today. Got most of the North and then headed South.

Got PICTURE POSTCARDS easily. That is like my hobby. I send postcards constantly when I go places. Could not catch the theme until I got a few of the themes. Then I finally got to 125A, REPS.

Never heard of DROIT. Perped it.

Anyhow, fun puzzle.

Hahtoolah, glad you are back. Certainly missed you, your blog comments, and your QOD's.

See you rtomorrow.


Abejo said...

I forgot. I feel the average woman in the USA is 5' 4". I am 5' 9", used to be 5' 10 1/2". I shrunk. My wife is 5', period.

Last year I went to the doctor, for the first time in decades. They measured my height, and told me I was 5' 9". I told them their device was not calibrated. Next time I came in I brought my 6' ruler and checked it. They were right. Bummer. Now I drink a glass of milk each day.

For me pork and sauerkraut on New Year's Day. Tradition for as long as I can remember.


Abejo said...


I looked at the film again. I am a little farther back than I thought. I am just to the left and a couple rows in front of the pink sousaphone that is in the back row.


Argyle said...

Tuba Christmas 2012

Argyle said...

Tonto and Carson. Audio only with a slide show. Second half of the clip is Bette Midler.

Irish Miss said...

Chickie @ 4:30 - Your father's statement about no job being too small and every job being worth doing well reminded me of a rhyme my Mother would recite to me whenever I tried to get out of doing a chore or postponing it:

If a task is once begun,
Never leave it till it's done.
Be it great or be it small,
Do it well, or not at all.

Needless to say, the pots and pans were washed and dried and put away, rather than just left to soak in the sink!

Seldom Seen said...

Gotcha Abejo! That was fun following the clues. Gives me an idea for the family's gift exchange. The nephews will love it.

Bill G. said...

Abejo, I'm sure I found you too. Good directions, especially with regard to the pink sousaphone.

Yellowrocks said...

Bill G. I serve my vichyssoise cold at Christmas and most other times. When my son hosts Christmas he always asks for it. Very occasionally I serve it hot in place of regular potato soup.

I worked part of every calendar year from age 14 to age 72. From age 14 until college graduation: babysitter, potato picker, chamber maid at a resort, camp counselor, settlement house worker and waitress. As an adult I was a waitress, TV picture tube welder, teacher, virtual office assistant, and tutor.

In my post which I took down I gave a shout out to Blue Iris, in re the Monet iris painting. I love irises, too. I hope you are well Blue Iris.

Blue Iris said...

YR, thanks for remembering me. My husband and I did this Sunday puzzle together. Needed duel brains to finish it.

My twins are home from college. My DH and son cleaned the house while my daughter and I cooked and baked.
We will celebrate on Christmas Eve with a candlelight lasagna dinner and presents. We will have daughter in Florida on the phone while opening presents. We now all sleep in on Christmas morning and have brunch.

I'm 4'10" and assume everyone is taller than me, so average height is mute. My husband is 5'11".

My sister and I sold "Grit" newspaper and sacks of homegrown tomatoes door to door. Babysat a bunch for 50 cents an hour. I started working nights at the hospital as a nurse's aide at age 17.

Good night all.

downtonabbey said...

Thank you C.C. for your excellent blog on this puzzle. Finally got to it. I am completely off schedule. This puzzle didn't take me as long as a typical Sunday puzzle. WEES about the unknowns.

My wish is for everyone to enjoy their time with family the next few days.

I would have thought avg female height to be 5'6" and male at 5'10"
...I used to be 5'8" before spinal fusions and age.

C.C. Burnikel said...

The jerk was worried that I would join a rival firm. I was embarrassed that I did not even notice being followed until I was shown pictures a few months later.

I did not notice the missing S at all. But I knew it was not the Rangers I had in mind immediately after I clicked your link. Do they continue to induct more people into the Hall?

Anonymous @9:15am,
At least Aphrodite is older than EROS. I've been enjoying your posts. You should go blue or pick a black name.

Irish Miss,
Ha ha on your "Sweet lover".

C.C. Burnikel said...

Jayce @4:22pm,
Great comment!

TTP said...

Good morning CC. Yes, I'm sure they would. I think many people have a misled view that a Texas Ranger is a Chuck Norris "Walker, Texas Ranger" type. That show is a real stretch. After all, Chuck Norris doesn't do pushups. He pushes the Earth away. :)

Abejo, you are quite welcome. What an event !

Looks like some more You Tubes were posted after my original google query. There were just 5 early in the day and that 32 minute one was not yet there. There was a new one just added 8 hours ago... Jingle Bells, also in HD... from the opposite end of the room. Cute kid.

Thank you to Argyle for posting the link to the one by SaxonBandDad

xyz said...

I wanted to offer constructor congratulations as the LAT Sunday is usually done on Saturday for me as I get it early in the local paper.

I never got on this constructor's clue wavelength so I struggled my a$$ off. It was a very well-done puzzle minimally marred a few funny little answers, but I gave up finishing this one - for me too much work, it happens, especially in the 23 grids, I get tired of doing it. Still job well-done.