Dec 11, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 Steven J. St. John

Theme: Not anyone else - Inside the themes is the word SELF.

17A. Eponymous son of auto pioneer Henry : EDSEL FORD

30A. Truck stop purchase : DIESEL FUEL

46A. Colorful coral reef dweller : DAMSELFISH

62A. True nature, and, literally, what can be found in 17-, 30- and 46-Across : INNER SELF

Argyle himself here. All the themes have an ELF hiding inside. Oops, that is SELF, the ELF is out in the open. This like a Monday solve/Tuesday construction. Nice vertical stacks in two corners, with some long and sparkly fill. Plenty of clechoes (clue echoes).


1. “Now!” in the ICU : "STAT!"

5. Rm. near the ICU : EMER.

9. Topping enjoyed after blowing out candles : ICING. It gets tasted while putting on the candles. You can't help but get some icing on your finger tips, right?

14. Something made before blowing out candles : WISH

15. Actress Olin : LENA. IMDb

16. 1976 Olympics star Comaneci : NADIA. and crossword favorite.

19. Easy gaits : TROTS

20. Overexercise, as a privilege : ABUSE and 21A. Like a right not exercised : WAIVED

23. It’s everything, so they say : TIMING

25. Kind of warfare or fighter : GUERILLA. Also with two R's.

29. Leaf part : STEM

32. Catalog biggie : SEARS. Still?

34. Otherwise : IF NOT

35. Lively Irish dance : JIG. Rare footage of Yellowrocks and Irish Miss in their younger days. Clip.
 38. Legislative assent : AYE. We had NAY yesterday. We'll have ABSTAIN tomorrow.

39. Prohibit : BAN

41. Year, in Spain : AÑO

42. “__ directed”: medication warning : USE AS

44. Hockey disks : PUCKS

49. Shoreline protection gp. : USCG. (United States Coast Guard)

53. Handshake words : "IT'S A DEAL"

54. Magazine bigwig : EDITOR. Crossword bigwig, too.

56. In exactly this way : JUST SO

58. Open-air lobbies : ATRIA

59. Ancient storyteller : AESOP

64. Insurance spokeslizard : GECKO. If you haven't seen the Geico gecko before, you don't need to see him now but it's a sheltered life you lead.

65. Lo __: noodle dish : MEIN. [Yum!]

66. Run into : MEET

67. Not from around here : ALIEN Link. Even the Russian Prime Minister has met them.

68. Performing __ : ARTS

69. ORD postings : ETD's. (Chicago's O'Hare Airport)


1. Gym duds : SWEATS

2. Snippet of gossip : TIDBIT

3. Presuppose : ASSUME

4. Game with virtual suburbanites : THE SIMS. Any players here?

5. Munchkin kin : ELF

6. Cat’s complaint : MEOW. A purr would be a compliment.

7. Makes really angry : ENRAGES

8. Half a diameter : RADIUS

9. Connect, as chain parts : INTERLINK

10. Capital of Wales : CARDIFF

11. Altar oath : "I DO"

12. “Picked” complaint : NIT

13. Nitrogen or helium : GAS

18. Sportscaster Berman : LEN

22. Geese flight formation : VEE

24. Aussie greeting : G'DAY

26. Roman moon deity : LUNA

27. Ponce de __ : LEON. He came to Florida looking for the Fountain of Youth (or was that Dennis?).

28. Voice below soprano : ALTO

31. Wrath : IRE

33. Gave more freedom to : EASED UP ON

35. Dench of Bond movies : JUDI

36. Words before stake or risk : IS AT

37. Precious stones : GEMS

39. Train alternative : BUS

40. Throb : ACHE

43. Facetiously : AS A JOKE

44. Pale lager beer : PILSNER

45. “No problem with that” : "SUITS ME"

47. “__ Misérables” : LES

48. Daughter of Muhammad : FATIMA. Strange it wasn't clued to Our Lady of Fátima, a more Tuesday friendly clue.

50. “Sesame __” : STREET

51. Like a Slinky : COILED

52. Skin transplants : GRAFTS

55. Patriotic women’s org. : DAR. (Daughters of the American Revolution)

57. Handling the job : ON IT

59. Turkish bigwig : AGA

60. Electric swimmer : EEL

61. Poli __ : SCI. Oh oh. I thought of Polident first.

63. USN rank : ENS. (Ensign)



fermatprime said...

Hi there!

Well, this one sure went fast! Thanks for the break SJSJ! Cool expo, Argyle.

Seems that there has not been a Sears catalog in umpteen (precise math term) years. No?

Just have to go to bed! Don't know where the time went. Harv and I were watching Homeland. This was after his looong Masonic meeting. Then Harvey wanted me to duplicate some DVDs for him. When is it OK to make comments? A real stunner. This Sunday is last episode for season. Will miss all of the excitement and super-fine acting.


Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Another bit of fine craftsmanship from SJSJ. Easy Tuesday-level solving, the only speed bump involved waiting for enough perps to guess at Fatima.

Morning Argyle, I agree - you'd have to be pretty isolated not to have been subjected to the Geico gecko somehow.

Cheers All!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Brain is fuzzy today from lack of sleep, but totally worth it to watch the Pats play last night. Despite that, I blew through today's puzzle with little hesitation. Much easier than yesterday's puzzle for me.

Thought IS AT was a bit of a clunker, but everything else was spot on. I was wondering if all the clechos were part of a theme, but I guess it was just the constructor (or Rich) having fun...

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, SJSJ, for a swell puzzle. I like that nickname, Fermatprime. Thank you, Argyle, for the swell write-up.

I think today's and yesterday's puzzles could have been switched.

Fermatprime. Tell Harvey "Hello" for me. Yes, I have been to a few of those looooong meetings myself. Worth the time, however.

Theme came easily as well as the three theme answers.

Did not know LEN Berman. But it appeared with perps.

I remember SEARS catalogues quite well. Maybe they should come out with an on-line catalogue. Might help them. Maybe they have and I just do not know it. I have always liked Sears. I still go there for tools and appliances. But, when I buy something I always check where it is made.

Never saw THE SIMS, or heard of them. I don't get out much. Or maybe I get out too much. OK with me.

PILSNER. Glad to see a beer word. Even though that is not me favorite type.

I think Ali is FATIMA's husband. If I remember correctly. Naming a boy Ali is very popular in Islamic-related countries. I think it means strength.

Off to my day.

See you tomorrow.


Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Argyle and friends. Finally, a easy puzzle! Much easier than yesterday. Feel like I have my brain back again. Running late, so will have to provide more comment later.

QOD: How can you expect a man who’s warm to understand one who’s cold? ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Dec. 11, 1918 ~ Aug. 3, 2008)

Montana said...

Good morning. Thanks for a great puzzle, SJSJ, and the write-up, Argyle.

Finally, a puzzle I could finish. I have had DNFs since last Tuesday, I think. This one was almost too easy. I even got the theme before coming to the blog! And I was able to do it on the iPad this morning. All is good!

Welcome, Ironriteguy.
Husker, if Ironriteguy lets you put him on your map, he lives 90 miles west then 110 miles southwest of me. It is just over a 400 mile round trip to go to Great Falls to shop or for medical appointments. That is everyday distance in Montana. I don't feel so isolated now. Qli is 600 miles away in ND.

I wasn't able to get on computer last week, but as you were discussing security--I live in a town where most people still don't even lock their doors. As oil field environment moves toward us from ND, sheriff is urging people to learn to lock up. Probably most pickups parked on business blocks have keys in their ignitions. If any of you are ever driving across Montana, go ahead and stop in.

Our co-op telephone company is how we access Internet. So, to the fellow with wi-fi suggestions--everyone's password has been their 10-digit phone number. Real secure, huh? I live across the street from our high/middle school. When Internet access was first available, I substitute taught and realized that kids were not able to connect to the school's wifi (on purpose) but the end two classrooms could pick up my signal, I called the phone company to get them to change my password. Students told me that whenever you saw a car of kids parked on a residential street, it was often because they could get on the Internet with their laptops using that person's signal.
Just this past summer, my town was wired with fiber optics. The phone company guys went house to house to put routers in each home with a computer, AND gave each a random generated password that seem quite secure. We are finally joining the 21st century.

Sorry for the long post. Have a good week everyone,


Montana said...

I forgot to ask. Do any crossworders live near New Canaan, CT? I am going to spend two weeks before and after Christmas there.


Avg Joe said...

There's the Monday puzzle! Speed run, but a pleasant one. Thanks SJ2 and Argyle.

Couldn't help but succumb to an ear worm with 32A: Ode to the Little Brown Shack. Funny how a sick mind works. I haven't heard this song in over 40 years.

Richard said...

I think the icing clue may be referring to the frosting you taste when you pull the candles out of the cake after blowing them out. Icing sticks to the bottom of each candle and provides a nice "appetizer" before cutting into the cake!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Wow, SJSJ has made me as happy as a slinky on an escalator. Can you spell speed run? Argyle, folks of a "certain age" would think of Polident before PoliSci. I'm certain.

This was a smooth downhill run. I just waited for perps to decide on the could-be's BAR/BAN, LOPES/TROTS, ETAS/ETDS/ARRS.

AT&T installed a fiber optic main line through our town a couple of years ago. Is fiber an option here? Not! You can't even get DSL in my neighborhood.

Montana, I had a shirttail cousin who hailed from Miles City. We visited once when I was a kid. I was surprised when I learned that her brother was a bank officer, and he commuted to Glendive every day. That's quite a daily trip, but in those days the speed limit was "reasonable and prudent." Maybe it still is.

Mari said...

Waaaah! That was over way too fast! This puzzle was very easy for me, mySELF and I.

LIked seeing INTERLINK and TIDBIT.


Anonymous said...

Another sleepwalk through the park. Thanks.

"Cat's complaint: MEOW."

Also a declaration of affection.

"QOD: How can you expect a man who’s warm to understand one who’s cold?"

The warm man has an imagination.

"THE SIMS. Any players here?"


Steven J. St. John said...

I may check back in later but it is awesome seeing the early comments. Fascinating to me that many have commented that the puzzle was a breeze - as a matter of fact, it was scheduled to run as a Monday (yesterday) but was a late switch to Tuesday. Based on this feedback, my guess is that many Monday-level clues were kept in place.

Middletown Bomber said...

Nice Puzzle not a speed run but it was not to difficult either. Like argyle caught part of the theme I noticed "SEL" in the three theme clues. In the reveal clue I sussed out the F and finally noticed the Self.

Montana: Distance is relative where as you travel 400 miles with no problem; here on the east coast that is a substantial distance. I know that I am at about 3 hours south of New Caanan, CT and I will be 4 hours north of there for the holiday week.

HeartRx said...

Good morning Argyle, C.C. et al.

Argyle, I had the same thought as you about Our Lady of FATIMA, instead of the clue “Muhammed’s daughter.” I really wanted “Leila” as a Tuesday answer for that.

Fun puzzle and nice execution from SJSJ today. But for 4D I wanted SIM CITY, which is what I thought the game was called? Ah well, I’m not really up on my computer games. Must add them to the list of “gotta learns” for crossword solving.

Have a great day, everyone!

kazie said...

Definitely a nice Tuesday puzzle after some we've had lately. Only unknown was LEN, but as someone already said, perps got it easily. all theme answers fell in fast too.

Thanks, Steven!

Finally got the newsletter off to print yesterday. Now I can concentrate on the Xmas letter till it's done and off.

Tinbeni said...

Argyle: Nice write-up, enjoyed the JIG link (and the others, too).

SJSJ: Thank you for the FUN Tuesday.
Always like a puzzle with some booze (PILSNER).

BTW, Who is this "FAT,IMA" ???
(Isn't it rude to call her that???
I can see "pleasingly plump" or
Rubenesque ... but FAT seems a bit Non-PC.)

A "toast" to all at Sunset.
Cheers !!!

thehondohurricane said...

Good morning everyone,

Successful run today with only a couple of hold ups.

Like Marti, I was thinking LEILA for 48D too. DAMSELFISH was an unknown as was THE SIMS, but I was sure about them because the perps were solid.

Couldn't remember if JUDI ended in a I or Y. Guessed right.

Montana, New Canaan home to many celbs, living in their gated residences. If you are on your own for room and board, don't leave home without "you know what" or bring lots of money.

Lemonade714 said...

Really fun SJSJ.
Liked the extra Elf and the clechoes.
No nits just self absorbed

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone. Nice intro, Argyle.

Always enjoy (SJ)²'s puzzles. Sussed the theme early with DIESEL FUEL which helped with DAMSEL FISH and brought the solve home. CARDIFF was a gimme. On 49a, I was looking for some connection with the US Army Corps of Engineers, but USCG is ok, too. No searches nor erasures were needed. Kudos to Steve.

39d train alternative. Last week Dudley took the BUS and we took the train to NYC. Saw a wonderful play - "War Horse". Afterwards we walked all the way to Rockefeller center to see the beautiful Christmas tree. Then had to walk several more blocks to Madison Avenue to hail a cab back to our digs.

ENS - Back when I served, the newest (fresh caught?) Ensign in the ship's wardroom was dubbed "George". Don't know if they still do that.

Enjoy the day.

Anony Mouse said...

Thank you SJSJ for an nice and easy puzzle, and thank you, Argyle for your interesting comments. I was trying to identify Yellow Rocks and Irish Miss, in your link, among the two Highland-Irish Jig dancers, until I realized your comments were made 'Facetiously'.

I got the 'Self' theme, and kept wondering why 'Guerilla' and 'Its a deal', did not have 'self' in them, as well .... (Duh !).

Abejo, I think the name 'Ali' is more common among Shi'ites ( Shi'atu 'Ali - followers of Ali - M's SIL and cousin.) Thus the name 'Ali' incorporated into the name of a person, is more common in Iran (98% Shi'ite, where you spent some time - ), Iraq, and to some degree in Pak. and India.

Spitzboov, Your link, yesterday, on the Osprey fishing, was fantastic. Made my day.

Have a nice week, you all and best wishes.

Husker Gary said...

Argyle’s assessment works for me!

-Dopey old me saw FORD, FISH and FUEL at first and tried to get a theme. Oops!
-If you don’t want to go the huge EMER room in town, we have a small Urgent Care across the street
-My treadmill time at the Y can see me doing some TROTS but no gallops
-In 1775 we were a GUERILLA band fighting a large, formal army. Now we are on the other side.
-We love the BAN on indoor smoking in public places but now some of that smoking is done in the outside entrance
-Feliz Navidad, Prospero ANO y Felicidad
-As I see PUCKS fly over the glass, it’s hard to imagine how more people aren’t hurt
-Our gym duds were SHORTS in the 60’s
-Last week Modern Marvels, showed how INTERLINKed chains are made. I love watching that kinda stuff
-Problems at plants in Qatar, Algeria and Australia have led to a current shortage of Helium
-Old joke –“Why are there more geese on one side of their VEE formation than the other?” Answer, “More birds on that side.”
-Fat’ ih muh or Fuh tee’ mah?
-Montana, I’d be glad to do that but my criteria has always been that the blogger be “blue” and have his email and location on his blogger site. I turned down 3 requests for maps from what seemed to be nice “self-proclaimed lurkers” because of those conditions. I’d be glad to add Ironriteguy since he meets two of those requirements and has posted on the site if he emails me to be put “on the map” out there in Big Sky Country! Just trying not to upset anyone.

Ironriteguy said...

Hello all,

Nice to learn that a fellow "Big Sky-er" is on the blog (hello Montana). Please include me in the map. I too do not lock my house--only when I go out of town. I do however lock my vehicles.
I found the puzzle today very delightful and easy (mostly).
I have two ink spots today:
I always wore gym SHORTS, not sweats...
And INTERLOCK and ORNOT worked, until CARDIFR made me change my evil ways...
I do have one technical nit...
Botanically speaking (I do have a biology degree with an emphasis in botany), the "stem" of a leave is not called a stem, it is called a petiole. Plant parts are mainly classified by the tissue structure and arrangement of cells. The petioles tissue structure disqualifies it from being a stem.
Query: What do susses, and WAG mean? Also, I assume that PERP means to fill letters to an unknown answer by writing in known answers that are PERPendicular to the unknown—is this correct? one more question, how do I add an html link?

Ironriteguy said...


I forgot to mention that I was hoping for a car theme at first (edsel and diesel), then when I got to DAMSELFISH I was sure the theme was ELF/christmas related, but the only connection I saw was D-S-ELF then the unifier set me straight...


Irish Miss said...

Good morning:

Thanks, SJSJ, for a nice, breezy Tuesday offering. Got the theme before I read the unifier. Never heard of The Sims but perps solved that. Nice shout-out, Argyle, in your excellent expo. (I may be Irish but my dancing days never included the Irish Jig!)

Here we are almost halfway through December and still no sign of snow. I'm not complaining; it's just unusual. Oh well, it'll happen sometime.

Glad that Cruciverb is up and running. Does anyone who uses an iPad have trouble with YouTube? When I tried viewing the Irish Jig clip, the screen was totally black but yet the music played. This has happened more than once. I was able to see it it okay on my laptop.

Have a terrific Tuesday.

Husker Gary said...

Ironriteguy, I am very happy to, uh, put you on the map and will be glad to send you a copy if you send me your email address!

If any of you other "blue" posters would like to be added to the map and receive a copy, just let me know. I will send out the new map soon.

Montana said...

Here is a road sign the Montana Department of Transportation has started putting along highways to help people find a place to make/receive calls.

desper-otto said...

Ironriteguy, welcome aboard. Suss means to figure out something. There are links on the main blog page which explain how to post a link, and define many of the abbreviations used here, WAG included.

Lucina said...

G'DAY puzzlers. Thanks SJSJ for a very amusing speed run today and Argyle for your quirky write up.

Loved the attribution to Irish Miss and YR for the JIG!

This went so fast I have to scan it for review. FATIMA is a crosswordese favorite and how I learned it.

CARDIFF is a quaint and ancient city.

Very interesting to read the comments about ALIENS from former presidents.

You all have a superb Tuesday!

Lucina said...

Welcome, Ironiteguy!

Lemonade714 said...

Part I:

In 1953, the bones of the real Santa Claus -- Nikolaos of Myra, a fourth-century Greek Bishop of Myra (Demre, part of modern-day Turkey) in Lycia -- were disinterred for examination. In 2004, a three-dimensional digital reconstruction of his face was made. His modern name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas, itself from a series of elisions and corruptions of the transliteration of "Saint Nikolaos":

"Luigi Martino could not have known what he would see on that day in May 1953 when he peered into the open crypt, which reportedly contained the bones of the real Santa Claus, St. Nicholas of Myra. Since 1087, when they had been removed by force from Myra, a town on the southern coast of Turkey known today as Demre, the bones of Nicholas had rested undis¬turbed here in Bari, a seaside city on the southeastern coast of Italy. They were interred inside a sarcophagus constructed of huge blocks of reinforced concrete for safekeeping. Then, some three hundred years after the bones had been brought to Bari, a Serbian tsar named Uros II Milutin donated a large quantity of silver that was molded to cover and decorate the rather plain and somber tomb. In a four-year renovation process begin¬ning in 1953, Milutin's silver covering was removed in order to restore the original, gray, Romanesque design of the tomb. The Vatican made a special request to examine the bones of the saint during the restoration. Enter Luigi Martino, anatomy professor from the University of Bari.

Lemonade714 said...

Part II

"Just an hour before midnight on May 5, 1953, with bands of visitors and pilgrims keeping candlelit vigil outside the Basil¬ica di San Nicola, Martino, the Archbishop of Bari, and mem¬bers of a specially appointed pontifical commission descended the granite steps leading into the underground, lamp-lit crypt. The contents of the tomb were more than a matter of histori¬cal reckoning -- they were a matter of civic pride and religious devotion. In just four days, Bari would host its largest and most important annual celebration, La Festa di Bari, to com¬memorate the relocation of the bones to Bari. There would be parades and parties and pilgrims from Russia, Greece, France, and England.

"Martino must have wondered what would happen if he did not have good news to report. When the heavy slab capping the tomb was lifted, he found to his relief human bone remains. A skull had been carefully placed at one end by Pope Urban II himself, instigator of the First Crusade, when he consecrated the tomb just two years after it arrived in Bari. The rest of the bones were scattered about the rectangular enclosure in no particular order and submerged in 'a clear liquid, like water from a rock.' Pilgrims referred to this liquid as the manna or myrrh of Nicholas; once a year Dominican priests bent low to a small opening in the sarcophagus to collect the liquid in a vial. Martino took thousands of detailed measurements and x-ray photographs. Some sketches were made of the measure¬ments of the skull and frame. But an authentic reconstruction of Nicholas would only come 50 years later, as advancements led to technology far more sophisticated than what was avail¬able to Martino.

Lemonade714 said...

Part III

"By 2004 the imaging technology was ready. Caroline Wilkinson, a facial anthropologist with the University of Man¬chester, England, used the measurements taken by Martino in the 1950s and some luminous sound probes of the tomb to generate a three-dimensional digital reconstruction of St. Nicholas' face and head for a one-hour BBC documentary [see above and below]. His skin was given an olive complexion, reflecting his Mediterra¬nean ancestry; his hair and beard were colored white, signify¬ing the fact that the bones in the tomb belonged to an elderly man, well over the age of sixty. Approximately five feet ten inches in height, his most distinguishing features were his heavy-set jaw and a broken nose. Wilkinson comments, 'It must have been a very hefty blow because it's the nasal bones between the eyes that are broken.' In the media coverage of the story, this detail quickly became the most tantalizing tid¬bit. How did it happen? Wilkinson shrugs her shoulders and conjectures, 'I heard he once punched a bishop,' referring to a legendary altercation between St. Nicholas and Arius, an infa¬mous heretic, at the Council of Nicaea in 325. Others specu-lated about a hitherto unknown rough and rowdy past or an incident that might have occurred when he was arrested dur¬ing the great persecution of Christianity in 303. No conclu¬sions can be reached with absolute historical certainty. What is more, Martino had earlier reported that nearly all the bones were chipped or broken, reflecting the fact that they were hast¬ily gathered by sailors and roughly transported from the south¬ern coast of Turkey to the port of Bari in 1087. The break in the nasal ridge might be similarly explained.

"But the bones present other clues about the man. From his study, Martino observes that Nicholas probably suffered from chronic arthritis and perhaps pronounced cephalic pain, evi¬denced by an unnatural thickening of the inside of the skull bone. Of course, it must be remembered that he died at an old age, so it is unknown whether the arthritis and head pressure were natural ailments of an elderly man or untimely pains that he carried in his body for years."

Author: Adam C. English

Title: The Saint Who Would Be Santa Claus
Publisher: Baylor Press
Date: Copyright 2012 by Baylor University Press

Yellowrocks said...

SJSJ, pleasant, easy puzzle. I saw SEL and ELF as possible themes. I got DAMSELFISH by thinking it might be a SEL word. Then i got the satisfying unifier. Argyle, thanks for your always amusing post. BTW now I see SELFISH in DAMSELFISH

Thanks, too, for the Irish jig attribution. Irish Miss and I are two of the invisible retired ladies we discussed last night. Didn't you see us dancing with the two young ones? It seems PK's theory must be true.

HG,@9:37. I have often had that same thought about GUERILLA warfare, then and now.

I got FATIMA, right off. I think it is because I really don't care for that name and so it is memorable. Why? See Tinbeni @ 8:36

I know of LEN Berman. I watch snippets of sports here and there. Although I am not a big sports fan, I watch just enough to have some idea what sports fans are talking about and to suss many of the sports clues in puzzles.

PK said...

Hi Y'all, Really enjoyable puzzle, SJSJ! Great expo, Argyle!

Enjoyed the jig! Wonder if YR wears that kind of skirt to square dance (some do) and still flips it to show that much leg? You go, girl!

Hands up for expecting Leila.

HG, hope your "TROTS" aren't to the porcelain throne.

QOD: So true. And vice versa.

46a could also be parsed as DAM SELFISH with a reference to Scrooge for the holidays. Okay, I know it needs an "N" on the end.

My kids and I finally got our plans made for Xmas gathering. Sure gets complicated with inlaws and job schedules. I just go with the flow. My house is too small to feed the 16 people so I just need to know where and when in time to go to the bank drive-thru and hope they let me have my money for cash gifts.

creature said...

SJ2- Thks for the fun puzzle. The only unknown for me
was THE SIMS and I had already filled in SEARS as "pears".

Yes- pears. We get a big box of pears from a cousin every Xmas out of a catalog.

I'm not operating on all cylinders today; otherwise, great write-up, Argyle.

I remain "The Simp".

Have a nice day everyone.

Ironriteguy said...

leaf parts

Misty said...

I love SJSJ puzzles and this one was no exception--so many thanks, Steven. And always enjoy your write-ups, Argyle.

I got stuck only because I never heard of THE SIMS. Also don't understand why they say STAT in the ICU? I spent many hours of 18 days in one after my husband had his stroke, but don't remember ever hearing STAT. But that was such a traumatic time, I might have blocked it out.

Loved the ICING and WISH reference because we just had a double birthday dinner last night at a friend's home (husband and I both have December birthdays). Got to blow out candles on the fabulous pecan spice cake with white ICING and make a WISH.

Fascinating St. Nick history, Lemonade.

Have a great Tuesday, everybody.

Anonymous said...

If I wanted to promote a new book about Santa Claus I would just use this link:

Lemon's promo

Qli said...

Many thanks to SJSJ and Argyle this morning.

I've always wondered why TROT would be called an "easy gait". Easy for the horse or the rider? It's darned hard to stay on a trotting horse when you're riding bareback, IMHO.

Hand up for wanting Leila as the daughter.

I love that little Geico gecko!

Interesting story on St. Nick. I was waiting for a link to the actual picture they came up with, though.

So true about New Caanan; most of CT has a very high cost of living. Our son makes way more money than either of his parents, but it goes half as far. It's a lovely area out there. Enjoy your visit, Montana.

The oil boom is bringing more crime to ND as well as MT. It is now dangerous to go to Wal-Mart alone after dark. (Which is after five pm these days). Two attempted kidnappings there this year. That's unusual for this neck of the woods.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, A real speed run for me today. Even the unknowns: The Sims and Len Berman filled in nicely with the perps. So much easier than yesterday's puzzle.

Thanks Argyle for another great posting and SJSJ for an almost Monday puzzle on Tuesday. I enjoyed both.

Montana, So glad you are joining the 21st century with secure passwords, and a faster internet. I had to laugh at the car load of kids parked on a street to conncet to the internet. How many areas are still doing this in the US?

Welcome, Ironriteguy. The banter and comments are always fun. Glad you joined the group.

Today is my Women's group fund raiser. I've been baking up a "cookie storm" and have four large cellophane wrapped plates with 4 doz. cookies each for my share of the auction. Our money all goes for scholarships for young women's college educations.

Have a great day, everyone.

Anonymous said...

Why not just this link to


Anonymous said...

Thanks. This one was a gift, no brain drain. Could do as I am cleaning for Xmas.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Fun puzzle today. When I got DAMSELFISH and DIESELFUEL I thought the theme was "DF." And even after getting EDSELFORD some sort of dyslexia kicked in and I saw ED as DE, reinforcing my foregone "DF" conclusion. Funny how sometimes we what we want to see rather than what's really there.

I lived in Great Falls for a little over a year many long years ago, and thought nothing of driving to Billings (hundreds of miles away) to see my girlfriend there on weekends. Man oh man, fond memories of engine block heaters.

SJSJ, great job. You too, Argyle.

Yellowrocks said...

PK, yes, about 30% of the time I wear a square dance skirt like that, maybe a little shorter but no apron. I still flip it to show some leg. When we twirl our skirts whirl out and so we wear matching ruffled pettipants which often show. What I can't do these days is flip my legs like that.

Thank you, Ironriteguy and Michele for your comments on my Plutarch quote yesterday, "The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled." It's great that you use puzzles with your students and patients to teach vocabulary and wake up their thinking. It’s an interesting way to learn.

In addition to the processing of vocabulary that puzzles engender, the discussion here on the Corner, including the posters’ research and my research , adds much to the experience.

I think that, for me, my lifelong reading and curiosity on a wide variety of topics has done the most for my vocabulary. I frequently read with a paper or computer dictionary handy. In addition to the gleaning the plot and/or concepts and facts, I enjoy the author’s use of language and savor the words. Every good book leads me to some kind of research.

Java Mama said...

Good afternoon, everyone! This was a thoroughly enjoyable SJSJ offering with nary a 12D in sight. Only saw the “SEL” commonality in the theme answers, and did a little head-slap when I got to the reveal. But no real bumps in the road – it was interesting to see the constructor’s comment that this was originally scheduled as a Monday puzzle.

Thanks for a nifty write-up, Argyle. Liked the picture of Dame JUDI Dench looking suitably stern as Q. Fans might enjoy catching her as Jean Pargetter in “As Time Goes By”, a Brit-com that ran from 1992-2005; our local PBS station airs episodes now and then and it’s always fun.

I didn’t get a chance to read yesterday’s blog until it was too late to post, but wanted to say “Amen!” to PK’s comment about turning into The Invisible Woman after age 40.

Lunch break’s over – nose back to the grindstone. Have a great day, all!

Pinto said...

Speaking of a sick mind...did anyone else take pause at GAS ending in TROTS? So much for the breakfast table test.

Lucina said...


Thank you for that fascinating info on St. Nicholas. Since he is my birthday saint I have always been interested in his story and there is more than one out there. I hadn't heard the one you cited, however.

My mother related to me that the priest who baptized us in Concho, AZ, always gave an additional name and mine is Nicolasa, from, of course, Nicholas.

CrossEyedDave said...

Just read yesterdays late comments, Pas De Chat, LOL, Cats Rule!

HG, I would love to go back to being just invisible. Today i was in the Short Hills Mall (very upscale) in my rolled up jeans & dirty sneakers, when i saw a gorgeous young girl. High boots & slinky one piece stretch skirt! I swear i didn't stare, but i know she saw me, because all of a sudden, she got real self conscious, & desperately tried to make that one piece stretch skirt skirt look longer, (but it kept rising back up!) (Ah, to be invisible again!!)

Which brings us to todays theme:

image is

I found a book that i think will help with my self image!

Ironriteguy, great input on leaf structure, Tx!

How to hot link (html)

Comment Section Abbreviations

Steady 80 said...

The slinky commercial is O.K. but can't stand the Gallagher smashing watermelons commercial. Also, I hit the mute button for the endless catheter commercials and any commercial involving FLO.

Agree this was more of a Monday, and Monday was more of a Tuesday. Looking forward to Wednesday.

PK said...

Not only do women of a certain age become invisible, no one wants to believe anything they say.

Personal security is a case in point:

Lovely May night at 2 a.m. Couldn't sleep because important papers were scheduled to be signed that day and I wasn't sure it would happen. I got up, put on my glasses and shoes to go down for a glass of milk. Heard the front door open and close. Then someone was coming up the stairs.

I grabbed the shotgun from under my bed and pumped the action. The distinctive sound caused the intruder to duck into the bathroom at the head of the stairs. I crossed the bedroom and turned on the light so I could see who I was shooting. "Who's there," I asked. No answer, but I could hear the familiar floorboard creaking in the bathroom.

I closed & locked the bedroom door & pulled a chest of drawers in front of it. Then I picked up the phone to call my sheriff's deputy neighbor. NO DIAL TONE.

CrossEyedDave said...

Ironriteguy, i spent a couple of years studying Flora hoping to find edible plants. This was the one that got me started!

I gave it up because i realized i was never going to find a roast beef hero in the woods! (Chicken of the woods maybe!)

PK said...

Part II:

I sat on the bed with the shotgun on my lap. Later I thought I heard the door again. Then an old pickup went by changing gears but without lights. At the top of the next hill the pickup lights came on.

I sat there with the gun until after dawn when my bladder insisted I get up. No one was in the house.

Just when I begin to think I'd dreamed it all, I found the downstairs telephone receiver off the hook--why I couldn't call out. I had talked to my son on the upstairs phone earlier and hadn't been downstair after that.

No forced entry. Nothing was taken. They walked right by my purse with a large amount of cash in it.

I didn't report it because a friend who had reported a burglary was told she probably just misplaced the diamonds that were taken. I bought new locks and installed them. I bought a cell phone.

I was more angry than scared during the incident, but I haven't slept much before 2 a.m. since.

CrossEyedDave said...


Dont do that!!!!!!!!!!!!

(what happened!)


CrossEyedDave said...

Timing is everything,

Argyle, any chance you can put my 2:07 post ahead of PK part II?

Argyle said...

Timing is everything, Time travel; not so much.

JJM said...

Actually, easier than yesterday's. Never got the theme until I read the blog though.

Bill G. said...

I'm with the crowd that found this puzzle easier than yesterday. I enjoyed it. Thanks to (SJ)^2 and Argyle.

Never do this to a book!
I noticed an unusual thing about a book. (This book had no redeeming features except to provide this puzzle.) I tore out one page and noticed that the sum of the remaining page numbers was exactly 10,000. How many pages did the book have originally, and what page did I tear out?

Ironriteguy said...

When I read the term Clecho I think of these rivets that are used to hold sheet metal together during the assembly of large projects such as the building of airplanes...(spelled cleco)

Ironriteguy said...

Bill G.

The book had 10,001 pages and you tore out the last page. Since page 1 begins on the right side when you opened the book, it had page two on the back. Every "sheet" until the last would consist of 2 pages. The only way you could have removed only one page is if you tore out the last page #10001, which does not have a page on the back.

Tinbeni said...

Bill G.
Why did you tear out page 5 (and 6) from the 142 page book (that had no redeeming features) ???

Tinbeni said...

The SUM of the pages equaled 10,000.

After all, any book that had 10,000+ pages could NEVER be described as having "no redeeming features" ... LOL !!!

(Just a note, Bill G. has these math questions very often ... and the solution is never the obvious.)

Cheers !!!

Gauss said...

Tinbeni, Ain't google wunderful?

desper-otto said...

Tin, I got 141 pages with 5&6 missing.

desper-otto said...

I guess there would have to be a 142nd page on the reverse of page 141, but that one can't be numbered. Is that right?

Anony Mouse said...

Thank you Tinbeni and Desper-Otto for the solution. I tried to reason it out, as thus,

If n is the number of pages, in arith. progression,

Then summation, Sigma (1,n) = 10,001

n(n + 1) / 2 = 10,001

n*2 + n - 20,002 = 0

( Quadradric equation formula applies - )

n ~ -141.929 or + 140.929

Hence n = 141 ( next full integer - )

Sigma 141 = n(n + 1) /2 = 141 x 142 / 2 = 10,011

hence page(s) 5 & 6 = which total to 11 must have been removed, to leave a 10,000 even summation number.

Is that the way you worked it out ?

Gauss said...


Argyle said...

"no redeeming features"? Not if you're in that little brown shack out back!

Hahtoolah said...

PK - true story? Youch!! That's scary! I hope you are safe. You should at least report the incident even if the sheriff doesn't do anything. Maybe there are other such break-ins. Or, if something should happen at your place in the future. Please check in here every day so we know you are safe.

the librarian said...

I am not amused...

Anonymous said...

Hahtoolah, "Check in here every day so we know you are safe"? Let's not be overly dramatic. It happened at least 6 months ago if it even happened this May.

desper-otto said...

Actually, I cheated. I wrote a computer program to sum the integers starting at 1 and to stop once the sum exceeded 10000. It reached 10011 at step 141, so I concluded that the sheet containing pages 5 and 6 must have been removed.

Husker Gary said...

-PK, What a horrible story. I’m glad you are okay and sad you were not believed
-Dave, you present the conundrum of looking at a provocatively attired woman or just trying to sneak a peek or ignoring her. She knows her attire is going to solicit looks (ogles?) but feigns modesty when they occur. I don’t know if she would be more upset if you stared (all of a sudden you aren’t invisible) or didn’t look at all. There is a Seinfeld episode where George gets in trouble for staring too long and gets “caught” by Russell Dalrymple.

xyz said...

v. NYT PILSNER from Plzn CZ is spelt properly. Rather an easy one here today.

Still today no LAT from yesterday in a-lite at


Bill G. said...

It seems that some of you lot are as good at Googling as you are at solving math puzzles. :>)
Mr. Gauss (Geez, your name sounds familiar), I can see I'm going to have to reword some of these older puzzles from my column to make Googling less rewarding.

It does seem like some women show up on TV talk shows wearing a fetching miniskirt and then spend the next 10 minutes tugging at it and tucking it under. I say, with regard to good-looking legs, if you've got 'em, flaunt 'em.

PK said...

Hahtoolah, yes, it was a true story, but I guess I failed to say that it happened years ago when I still lived on the farm. But it really scared me after the fact and made me even more wary than I already was. I cringe knowing some of these ladies live alone and are not security conscious. That is the only reason I told the story today. I don't want to scare anyone, just make them take common sense precautions.

As for telling the sheriff, he isn't my problem anymore, thank goodness. But he was one of the reasons I didn't stay on the farm. Then he was so incompetent that I had campaigned against him. He couldn't find a clue if it bit him. He's still in office
with about 6 unsolved murders in his files over a period of a dozen years.

CrossEyedDave said...

The earlier reference to Sears Catalog usage vis a vis outhouses, got me internet surfing...


Really Scary!!

Really Really Scary!!!
Bottom line

(& No,,,, i don't know any French!)

Marge said...

Hi all,
Well, this puzzle was fun, so much easier than yesterday.

I had shorts for 1D until I realized it didn't fit and eventually got sweats.

Sears hasn't had a catalog for several years. You can order on line, same as you can for Lands'End and most other companies.

There are not many buses left to travel on the way you can on trains, although there are thousands of tourist buses.

Stat means now! Immediately! It is from the Latin word 'Statum' and is used in medical emergencies.

We had about 3 inches of snow Sunday night but it will melt in a few days as it will be warmer.

Thanks SJSJ for a nice puzzle.

Good evening all!

CrossEyedDave said...

Actually, i am a little concerned that we are fast approaching 12/21/12

& DW will only buy no fat milk!
Oh The Horror!

Avg Joe said...

I hate to quote Paul Harvey, but "Now you know the rest of the story."

Thanks for sharing your story PK, I know that had to be a difficult decision to do so. The saddest aspect is living in a jurisdiction where law enforcement is so inept that it wasn't worth reporting for fear of credibility. But it also illustrates, amply, the issues associated with due caution. It can happen to you, so exercise at least a reasonable amount of care in every action you take.

Thank you.

Pookie said...

Hi Kids,
Really enjoyed the puzzle, SJSJ.
Always enjoy Argyle's links and "splaining".
Pretty much WEES except the math,
because I don't know what you number wizards are talking about.
Have a nice evening all.

Lucina said...

Your saga is quite frightening and shocking to think that the law enforcement officer is that incompetent.

I now understand your fears. An experience like that would cause me to worry.

Bill G. said...

I'm so silly! I could be saving a bunch of money but I keep turning it down. Some program just got passed in California giving homeowners rebates for going solar. I've gotten about eight calls today alone. Maybe going solar might be a good idea for us but I'm not going to do business with a telemarketer.

Lucina, are you going to make Christmas tamales?

I've been seeing slide shows on MSNBC about the snow in the Twin City area. CC, how are you doing with the snow? OK I hope. Any good photos?

~ I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day, but I couldn't find any.

HeartRx said...

Bill G., I totally enjoyed the math puzzle. I didn't read any comments after you posted it, until I had solved it. Then I checked to see if anyone else had done it, and realized that my answer was wrong, anyway (duh, who'd 'a thought??)

CED, loved all your links! But the self image ones were a real hoot!!

JD said...

Good evening all, and welcome ironrite guy,

After PK's scary tale(SO GLAD YOU ADDED PRT 2), and Bill's brillant quiz (pas de chat, I have no clue either),it's rather silly for me to add my addiction story to the Sears Catalog.No, we did not have an out house. I think I cut out a perfect family of paper dolls every day of my 7th year.The end.

T'was a most enjoyable puzzle, SJSJ, and Argyle you always add the nicest little tid bits.

As soon as I changed interacts to interlink,and bouncy to coiled, I flew. No, I have no clue about The Sims. Ord's postings had me thinking about Fort Ord.

Hope to visit Cardiff one day, as that is where my sweet s-i-l lived before being swept away by my daughter.

JD said...

Fermatprime, don't give away anything about Homeland. I have to wait til it's over to be able to view it. Love that show!

Bill G. said...

Marti, I'm glad you tried it. It's a clever one I think but not super difficult.

I've got another one that's a bit easier and fun about a tortoise race. I'm going to try to make it less Googlable.

downtonabbey said...

Good evening all,
Argyle, thanks for your concise write up of today's puzzle. I liked this SJSJ work quite a bit and learned what PILSNER means. I had heard the term though. My partner is mostly German and knew it right away. So I guess I cheated. It was an easy work other than that.

PK, I am glad you are okay. I had a very scary experience as a newly divorced 19 yr old. I slept on a pull out couch in living room which when open was right next to the front door. One night I heard someone walk up the front porch steps late at night. But no one knocked. While I was lying there the door knob began to turn. I froze, unable to move with my heart pounding. I didn't have a telephone then. It was the 70's and money was tight. I waited thinking whoever it was would shove the door open.

downtonabbey said...

But they didn't, they slowly turned the handle back and walked off the side of the porch. (the foot steps were in the snow) As soon as I felt safe I got up and went next door to the neighbor's house where I called the police.
The officer took a report but they never knew found anyone! I made sure I always locked the door after that incident.

Lucina said...

We already made our Christmas tamales. They are in the freezer and I'll have my first dinner party on Monday, the 17th for the HOA Board.

We made them the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Those are some funny links!

Lemonade714 said...


I did not link Delancyplace because when I did that before, I learned the link reverts to the day it is clicked, so the reader will get the random story not the one I found interesting