Dec 12, 2012

Wednesday Dec 12, 2012 Marti DuGuay-Carpenter and Don Gagliardo

theme: a dime a dozen

17a. 12 : BIG TEN TEAM COUNT. Big Ten has 12 teams.

30a. 12 : NOTES IN AN OCTAVE. here's a visual, from C to C (little shout-out to CC):

maybe some of our musical musical commenters will chime in here with more info, my head was spinning reading about the technicalities.

49a. 12 : CENTURY BEGUN MCI. 1101.

62a. What this puzzle's three identical clues can represent : DAY MONTH AND YEAR

melissa here.

i am reminded of this august puzzle. except, to make it even better, today is 12/12/12, i love timely puzzles! i wonder how long this has been in the pipeline? and how lovely to see our own marti and don hard-g team up, another dynamic duo, congratulations!

finals week for me, so i'm gonna knock this out and get back to it ...


1. Life and Risk : GAMES. board games.

6. Pkg. markings : UPC'Suniversal product codes. 

10. Yoda trainee : JEDI

14. Lacking a point : INANE

15. __-dieu : PRIE. french for pray to god, which is what this kind of bench is called:

16. Nativity scene animals : OXEN

20. ID theft target : SSNsocial security number.

21. __-Aid : KOOL. ew.

22. Memo lead-off : IN RE. latin for in the matter of.

23. Our Gang word spoken with a hand signal : OTAY. the little rascals.

25. Garage type : TWO CAR

28. Spring growth : BUD

33. Detective Wolfe : NERO

34. Room with a remote : DEN

35. Yet again : ANEW

36. Norwegian throne name : OLAF

39. Color like aqua : TEAL

41. 1990s Expos manager : ALOU

44. __ long way: help considerably : GO A

46. Shooter ammo : PEAS. haha.

54. Pointe balancing point : TOE. ooch.

55. Versatile veggie : POTATO

56. Go another way : TURN

57. Set up a Titleist, say : TEED

59. "Vamoose!" : SHOO

61. Collector's objective : SET. anyone else watch market warriors?

66. Ex-Dodger Hershiser : OREL

67. Revival meeting shout : AMEN

68. Prefix in skin care brand names : DERMA

69. Rapids phenomenon : EDDY

70. Cool one's heels : BIDE. wait.

71. Full of spunk : SASSY


1. Martini with a onion : GIBSON. gin martini for me, please.

2. Cox sitcom co-star : ANISTON. courtney and jennifer, from friends.

3. Influential businessperson : MAGNATE. "an entrepreneur who has achieved wealth and prominence from a particular industry."

4. Tolkien creature with branches : ENT. lord of the rings.

5. Car radio button : SEEK

6. City area associated with affluence : UPTOWN

7. Install beforehand, as software : PRE-LOAD

8. Org. with moles : CIA. a mole is an informant within an organization.

9. Th.D.-issuing school : SEM. a doctorate of theology is issued from a seminary school.

10. "Benny & __": Depp film : JOON. sweet movie.

11. Like many commuter towns : EXURBAN. 

12. "Indochine" Oscar nominee Catherine : DENEUVE

13. QB's flub : INT. interception.

18. Innocent's claim : NOT I. said the fly.

19. Publication sales fig. : CIRCulation

24. Bad news upon arriving at home? : YER OUT. hee.

26. Website with gadget reviews : C-NET

27. Super-duper : A ONE.

29. Morning moisture : DEW

31. South-of-the-border sun : SOL. spanish for sun.

32. Gift : TALENT

37. Soil-related prefix : AGRO. agrochemical.

38. Racer A.J. : FOYT

40. Kwik-E-Mart proprietor : APU. the simpsons.

41. Do one's part? : ACT. great clue.

42. Bodysuit named for a trapeze artist : LEOTARD. made famous by french acrobatic performer jules leotard.

43. Like the jack of hearts : ONE EYED

45. Chagrined : ABASHED

47. Ones who make you chuckle : AMUSERS

48. Ones who make you guffaw : SCREAMS. scream in the sense of something funny - a guffaw is a hearty laugh.

50. Prom hairstyle : UPDO

51. Natural gas component : ETHANE

52. "Continue ..." : GO ON

53. Where work piles up : IN TRAY

58. "Little" girl in "David Copperfield" : EM'LY. playmate of david copperfield.

60. Vegas figures : ODDS

62. Fawning critter : DOE

63. Catch red-handed : NAB

64. "I didn't need to hear that," in texts : TMI. too much information.

65. Senator's assent : YEA



fermatprime said...


Rather chewy Wednesday! Thanks Don, Marti and mb!

Tough time with EM'LY and some others but no cheats!

Time to go to bed!

Happy 12/12/12! Do you realize that this is the last such date until 3001. How sad!

Kevin Ajax On said...

Hi everyone. I don't know how but I whipped through this puzzle with ease, yet when I was done and looked it over it sure looked like it should have been tougher. I guess it's better than stewing and fretting over a Wednesday offering. Have a good day.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all (and Happy 12/12/12)!

Struggled with this one. The fill itself was fine, but the theme answers just killed me. I thought ______TEN TEAM COUNT was going to refer to a specific sport with twelve members. And then I was thinking there were only eight NOTES IN AN OCTAVE (obviously I wasn't including the black keys), so that took awhile. And CENTURY BEGUN ___ was a nonstarter.

And then, of course, I got to the theme reveal and completely lost it as it crossed EMLY. EMLY? Really? I had ETHENE instead of ETHANE because I thought the theme reveal had THE in it. Even when I switched it to ETHANE, I stared at DAY_ONTHANDYEAR and couldn't figure it out without help...

Lemonade714 said...

How cool, a tribute to the last daymonthyear synchronicity of this century. marti are you going to try to create all seven puzzles one week? all that and four grid spanners. thanks all and mb. great

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, melissa and friends. What a clever puzzle! It wasn't until I finished the puzzle that I remembered today is 12/12/12!

I wanted Suburbs instead of EXBURBS for the commuter communities.

I also wanted the Collector's Objective to be Art instead of SET(s).

Org with Moles was one of my favorite clues. I was headed in the wrong direction, however, because I was thinking of the Moles as used in Chemistry.

I also liked the Fawning Creature = DOE.

I think of Cooling One's Heels to be an impatient sort of waiting, while Biding One's time to be more of a patient wait.

I'll have to brush up on my Dickens. I read, or should have read, David Copperfield in High School, but don't remember much about it other than the title of the book.

QOD: Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything. ~ Gustave Flaubert (December 12, 1821 ~ May 8, 1880)

Anonymous said...

Don't we do the numbers thing again in 2101???

thehondohurricane said...

Good morning everyone,

A lot of today's clues were out of my wheelhouse and that made for a difficult solve. In the end, my wags were lucky guesses. I also had a few misdirections which did not help either.

21A Started with RITE before KOOL appeared.
28A Started with (flower) BED, but 12D gave me the U. Started with AGRI for 37D so it hid POTATO which I never think of as a veggie.

10A No clue so I entered YOGI. but 12D got me straightened out. Still, JEDI was a wag because I wasn't sure about EXURBAN or JOON.

Favorite clue was 24D YER OUT. Would have expected from CC.

I never have Gibsons, need my 3 olives so I stick to martinis. Not an onion person.

Have a GREAT Hump day.

Seldom Seen said...

The UPC barcode uses 12 digits to represent each product. I wonder if Marti and Don worked it into today's puzzle knowing that.

The first scan using UPC's occured in Troy, OH for a pack of gum. My personal store, Stump's, had the machines installed shortly thereafter. It was a testing site for the crossword-friendly NCR.

fermatprime said...

Can't sleep. Thanks for correcting me Lemon! (Still sad though.)

OK. When are the next two palindromic years?

(Ever get so tired that you can't sleep?)

From yesterday: JD-- Can't talk about Homeland 'til the entire season is over? Fortunately that's this coming Sunday.

Bill G: Got a bang out of the triangular number puzzle!

Anonymous said...

Stimulating puzzle. Thank you.

"Collector's objective : SET. anyone else watch market warriors?"


Seldom Seen said...

Ooops, forgot to thank Marti and Don for the puzzle. Were GROSS or DOZEN on the cutting room floor?

Always appreciate baseball in a puzzle. SHOO had me reliving the Reds trade from last night even though his name is Shin-Soo Choo. Still digesting that one.

What? 21a couldn't have been NOOL? ;)


Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Marti and Don G, for a swell Wednesday puzzle. Thank you, Melissa Bee, for the very good review.

So, a new combo here. Congratulations! Two heads are better than one.

I first spotted 1D. It kind of crunched in my head. "Martini with a onion" Should be "Martini with an onion" Then I entered GIMLET. Fixed that to GIBSON later on.

Had BAND for 21A for a while. Then KOOL popped up after SEEK appeared.

Got BIG TEN TEAM COUNT first for the themes. That was pretty easy.

NOTES IN AN OCTAVE was easy as well once I had a few perps. I always go from B flat up the scale being a bass clef guy. Or B flat and down the scale.

ONE EYED jack took me a minute, but then I remembered. Used to play a lot of cards. Sometimes one-eyed jacks were wild.

Had JURY as a part of 49A. Then YER OUT fixed that to TURY. Had the CI at the end. Then got MCI with AMUSERS. Then I had it CENTURY BEGUN MCI.

DAY MONTH AND YEAR came easily. I already knew that this is the last time in our lives that we will experience the same three numbers for the date. Kind of sad, but that is reality.

My new word for the day was EXURBAN for 11D. After the puzzle I looked it up in my Webster. EXURB is the root word. OK. Now I know.

Off to my day. Visit with my new best friend. My eye doctor.

See you tomorrow.


desper-otto said...

Good morning, all!

Nice offering from Marti and Don Hard-G. Good expo, Melissa. This one had some nice misdirection. Yoda's trainee wasn't Luke. Those animals in the nativity scene weren't cows. (I was quite old when I learned it wasn't an activity scene. Forty, I think.) And YEA wasn't AYE -- interesting that they're anagrams of each other. EMLY just looked wrong!

Marti, isn't it risky writing a puzzle which can only be published on one certain date? I like this puzzle's ENT clue better than the one the other day.

HeartRx said...

Good morning all, and thanks melissa for the fun write-up! I wanted to do a 12-12-12 theme, and asked Don to brainstorm. He is so creative, and a joy to work with! So I'm glad we were able to put together this one in time. We sent our last revision at the end of October, and just squeaked under the deadline.

We had many entries that were on the cutting room floor, because we wanted only three entries that could be clued ironically as "12." How many teams in the big TEN? How many notes in an OCTave? And What century is 1100 AD ?

Don did most of the fill, and we both clued the answers, so it was a genuine team effort on this one. Thanks Don!

HeartRx said...

Desper-otto @ 7:35, we submitted the idea to Rich before we ever designed the grid. He liked it, so that's when we got to work. Rich doesn't usually accept theme queries for weekday puzzles, but this wasn't a typical weekday!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone. Nice intro, MB.

Before forgetting any further, I want to bid welcome to Ironriteguy.

Nice puzzle today in recognition of 121212. I got 62a early on and then worked my way back to the top. DENEUVE was an early WAG. Eight vertical sevens in doublets plus two more. Favorite fill was YER OUT. Looked up JOON in my puzzle dictionary.

Have a great day.

Mari said...

Great puzzle today, really had me scratching my head. Hands up for GIMLET.

I didn't know DENEUVE or FOYT, but got ALOU and OLAF with no trouble.

The only thing I collect are books, and I only get a whole SET if the author and series are superb. DH is more of a collector/pack rat than I am.

I guess I'm an EXURBANite and never knew it.

Enjoy your 12.12.12! Now if we can just make it past 12.21.12 (just kidding).

Yellowrocks said...

I loved the theme for this puzzle. I noted before I started the puzzle that today was 12/12/12, but didn't connect the 12s in the clues to that until I got the reveal, partly from perps. Duh! Very clever of you, Dynamic Duo.

I thought right away the Dickens' girl was EMILY, but the spelling just seemed wrong until I got the reveal.

I didn't know JOON, a very odd spelling. I had to go through the ABCs to get the O in COUNT.

Very busy day today, preparing for company and a big party, then more company coming for Christmas.

Tinbeni said...

Marti & Don G. THANK YOU for a FUN, timely puzzle.

Solved from the bottom-UP. (My norm about half the time).
So the theme reveal: DAY-MONTH-AND YEAR was the first to fall.
Then I got yer CENTURY-BEGUN-MCI (very good!!!) And it relates to YEAR.
So for the first two themes I was looking for something that related to DAY and MONTH.

Oh, well, the BIG-TEN-TEAM-COUNT got me off that path.
And this non-musical gnome took a few V-8 head-can-smacks at your NOTES-In-AN-OCTAVE.
(Which I thought was 8 not 12) and became my learning moment of the day. Always a PLUS !!!

I later wondered why you wanted that GOON to continue. LOL

And who is this guy LEO TARD?
(Is it OK to call his family "a bunch of Tards? Seems a bit Non-PC to me).

All-in-All, this was my favorite solve of the year.

A "toast" to all my "blue" friends at Sunset.
Cheers !!!

John said...

When did Marti and Don become 'the dynamic duo'? It's been C.C. and Don for as long as I've been here, which is well over a year now. This group is too clever to keep using the same name.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

D'Oh! I completely forgot today was 12/12/12 until it came to figuring out the reveal. Thanks for such a timely puzzle, Marti and Don. I imagine it was tricky to fit in four grid spanners!

Hand up for uncertainty at Em'ly - haven't read Copperfield in years. And how did the Big Ten end up with 12 teams? Didn't know Joon, that was all perps.

Morning MB, thanks for clarifying.

Cheers, All!

Qli said...

What a great way to incorporate the special date, Marti and Don! John at 8:37, good point. I thought of C.C. when I saw YER OUT. Hang in there, MB, finals week is half over. My last day was yesterday. (woohoo!)

My cousin and I played RISK; you don't want to bump the board in that game.

Horrible feet in TOE shoes. I know a 23 year old who is having her first foot surgery due to the darn things.

I had Olav for OLAF until perps fixed it.

I always wondered how the word LEOTARD came to be. Wonder what the one Jules wore was made of? I'm thinking it was invented in pre-Spandex days.

LaLaLinda said...

Hi Everyone ~~

So ~ a new duo - now we see why C.C. had a new boyfriend with her last puzzle collaboration! ;-) Loved this puzzle, Marti and Don - so perfect for today.
Sailed through with no problems after having to change 'Gimlet' to Gibson as others have mentioned.

~ On 32D - Gift - I couldn't get off the 'present' track and then TALENT came through - clever!

~ Favorite was 24D - Bad news upon arriving at home' / YER OUT. Again, the misdirection for "home" was fun.

~ On 10D - JOON - I thought of Joon Pahk - our puzzle guy.

~ For 52D - 'Continue...' / GOON - I smiled remembering Matthew Perry's (Chandler Bing on "Friends") new sitcom "GO ON" which I thought was GOON when first hearing about it.

Thanks for an enjoyable write-up, Melissa - loved all the graphics, especially Buckwheat ~ OTAY!

Have a great 12-12-12!

grams said...

What a puzzle. Thot it was going to be a breeze, even tho I kept thinking insurance for one across.

Had suburb till oxen fixed that. Had to look up joon, never know yoda clues.

Sun shining here. Hope to make headway on Christmas shopping. Happy Hump Day. Thanks for write-up!

Husker Gary said...

What a great way to celebrate this day of numerical symmetry! Grid spanning answers and theme reveal and clever, crunchy cluing by Marti and Hard G! Wow, how do you do dat?

-Rutgers and Maryland will soon make the Big 10 number 14. Athletic conferences and geography have nothing to do with each other anymore – e.g. Missouri is now in the Southeast Conference.
-The lyric “…where OX and ass are feeding” in What Child Is This elicited some snickers in my youth
-Gimlet preceded GIBSON here because I don’t know either one
-You know you’re “out there” when the SEEK button takes you all the way around with only one result
-Everyone’s fav song with UPTOWN title?
-When you buy a new computer, you forget how much is NOT PRELOADed.
-When I taught in Omaha, the 20 mile drive made me an EXURBANite
-The Little Red Hen heard NOT I until it was time to eat the bread. Are you a Little Red Hen?
-I hope the CIRC figures for my Omaha World Herald stay high enough to keep publishing. Some aren’t.
-I have never put A ONE or any other condiment on a good steak. The one time my grandmother made me eat liver, I buried it in A ONE. Yuk!
-Liza Doolittle said “Gawn” instead of “GO ON”, much to ‘enry’s Chagrin.

Anony Mouse said...

Thank you Marti and Don G. for a very challenging and appropriate puzzle .... now, I'll never forget this date. 12/12/12.

Thank you melissa b for some very nice explanations.

This was well beyond my ken .... I had 'blunt' for 'lacking a point', and then it was downhill, from there on. But I appreciate the cleverness of the puzzle. I kept looking for a 'dozen' and a 'gross', but alas. The theme answers in sports and music, both of which I am happily unaware of, were my undoing. I have a baby grand in my drawing room, which my kids supposedly played, ( or, should have - ), in middle school, but since they've left town, it sits forlorn, as a piece of unnecessary furniture. Maybe, its time to give it away.

Have a happy week, you all, and best wishes.

Hahtoolah, while 'Moles' in chemistry, one gram-at.wt. or molecular wt., ( for solutions, per l. of solvent.) .... brings back fond memories, I would think, the 'M' would have to be capitalized. Or, .... maybe not, .... conventions have changed.

Montana said...

Marti and Don, I loved doing this puzzle and melissa, I enjoyed your write-up, thoroughly!
It is Wednesday and I was able to solve the puzzle. I got all the theme answers AND the theme! Like others, I did have to change gimlet to GIBSON. I will remember 12/12/12 for awhile.

My favorites were BIG TEN TEAM COUNT AND NOTES IN AN OCTAVE. How do constructors come up with such wonderful, misleading clues? You guys are great!


Al Cyone said...

Great puzzle though the right third took awhile. And, despite knowing today's date, DAYMONTHANDYEAR was the last to drop (I was looking for a phrase). [16:16]

I had birthdays on 6/6/66 and 06/06/06 but can't remember anything special about them. My sister thinks I'm treading on thin (apocalyptic) ice.

Montana said...

Answers to yesterday’s comments:

desper-otto: that road between Glendive & Miles City is now an interstate, so drive time is about an hour.

Chicki: there is a whole lot of rural Montana that has neither cell service nor Interenet availability. (unless you can affort satellite access.)

Jayce: almost everyone has an engine block heater in their vehicle. I need to figure out how to open the hood of my Subaru to get the plug-in out for the winter. I have a garage, but when I go out of town, I will need it. Subaru is still too new to me. The 2-lane highway from Great Falls to Billings you traveled was probably better then than now, however, there has been lots of construction on it the last year, so should be better next summer.

Speed limit in MT is 70 mph, daytime, on 2-lane highways and 75 on Interstate. Had to set a limit or lose federal highway funds. Most people don’t drive that slow out in the country, though. Fine used to be $5 for wasting a natural resource so speeding never went on your driving record and insurance companies couldn’t use it against you. Unsure now.

Middletown Bomber and hondohurricane: I will be staying with son and family, so my only expense is plane ticket to LGA. I am not a ‘hick-from-the-sticks’ but I do try to pay attention and not embarrass them in their rich surroundings.

Qli: How true. My son makes more money in two years, than I made in my entire teaching career. He did get a good basic education in Montana.


CrossEyedDave said...

The Dynamic Who?-Oh!

Very enjoyable puzzle, with lots of things i had circled to complain about. But after reading the write up, & reviewing the clues/answers, I find no nits that will stand up under scrutiny!

Again, just a puzzling puzzle that = learning experience! Thanks!

Perhaps my Angst is that i left the crossing of 9D & 15A blank because nothing in the entire alphabet seemed to fit. Is that a DNF? Should i have WAGed a "U" for a FIW??? Oh Well...

Oh, & while 10A Jedi is a perfectly acceptable answer, technically, a "Trainee" cannot be called a "Jedi."

Copied from a fan site: (SIC)
Jedi start out as a child that gets taken to the jedi acadamy. They are then taken to tranning in classes. They are at this time cald younglings or learners(This is what you would call a trainee Jedi). Then they are taken as a apprentice of a master jedi they are called Padawans. Then the padawans then have to take trials to become a jedi knight. If they show there skill in the force they are to be a jedi master which the High council is made up of.

HeartRx said...

Husker G. @ 9:21, Don and I had a moment of panic when it was announced that the BIG TEN would be increased from 12 to 14...but we dodged that bullet, and as of this date it remains at ten.

And why does The Big Twelve have only ten members? Sheesh!

CED, younglings and padawans are the first levels of Jedi training, but there are also three levels of training after they earn the title "Jedi": Jedi Knight, Jedi Master, and Jedi Grand Master. So Jedi could be "trainees" as they seek to achieve the highest title.

Montana said...

Thank you, Husker, for the latest map. I have printed it out and will keep it near my computer as I read the daily posts.
I do like to see where people are from as they write about their local events.
I also really like seeing those north states that border Canada filling up with names!


CrossEyedDave said...

I stand corrected...

Husker Gary said...

Marti, That change of going from 12 – 14 does not occur for a while and does NOTHING to detract from yours and Don’s wonderful puzzle. It doesn’t even qualify as a minor NIT. Experts think that eventually there will be four big boy football conferences with sixteen teams each that are independent of the NCAA and a true national champion will be crowned from a four team playoff after conference play is finished.

BTW, the Big 10’s new logo is B1G that incorporates a numeral and a letter since the Big 10 is the Big 10 in name only.

Lucina said...

Happy day, you all! Wow 12/12/12 and it all fits across the grid. How cool is that? Great job Marti and Don G. AMEN to that!

Melissa, you shine! Thanks for your expo.

I found this a bit crunchy and certainly no sashay. Had to skip around, fill in here and there until the whole picture emerged. Nice!

Started with LUKE instead of JEDI but that soon changed and thought of the beautiful Catherine DENEUVE and I'm sorry but no OXEN appear in any nativity scenes I know. Sheep, camels, even cows, but no OXEN.

EMLY held me up for a while as I'm unfamiliar with it but OREL and EDDY (R.I.P. Eddy) were solid.

Great entertainment today! You are all AMUSERS.

Have a wondrous Wednesday, everyone!

Zcarguy said...

Rumor has it Mel was drinking Gibson when he got arrested for DUI , how ironic is that ?

Vairnut said...

Nice, easy, fun Wednesday puzzle. As soon as I saw the "12" clues, I knew this was about 12/12/12. My only hang-up was CENTURY BEGUN MCI. Didnt quite understand the MCI til I came to the blog here. Nice job, Marti & Don!

buckeye bob said...

Seemed about right for a Wednesday. After the first pass, had about half the puzzle filled in. Got the theme answer first, then tried to figure out how the three theme answers fit DAY – MONTH – YEAR. Not! Had to rethink that one! Good job Marti and Don!

Besides YER OUT, another shout-out to C.C. is 41A ALOU. Felipe Alou was the first Dominican to play regularly in the major league baseball, was an All-Star, and a member of the first all-brother outfield along with his brothers Matty and Jesus. He was later named NL Manager of the Year.

And of course another shout-out to C.C., that crossword staple 66A, OREL Hershiser,

Can baseball spring training and opening day be far behind? Yea!

34A DEN is a relatively common crossword answer. But I wonder how common it is nowadays. We had one in the 1960s. Now people have family rooms or great rooms, but I never hear den anymore.

58D EMLY just looked wrong, but the perps said yes, and MB confirmed it. A learning moment.

Good job Melissa! Good luck with finals!

buckeye bob said...

@ SEEN 7:16 a.m.

“Always appreciate baseball in a puzzle. SHOO had me reliving the Reds trade from last night even though his name is Shin-Soo Choo. Still digesting that one.”

My first reaction to that trade was: Great! At last a good lead-off hitter with power. Then I heard his contract is up in a year. So this may turn out to be an expensive proposition when the Reds negotiate a contract extension, or he turns out to be a one-year rental and goes the free agent route. Time will tell. Meanwhile, I think this will put the Reds over the top in 2013. I am looking forward to another exciting season of Reds baseball!

Oh, and I am wondering about the pitching rotation - is another trade in the works? Six starting pitchers won’t be the plan! Will the Reds say buh bye to Leake? Or someone else? Or return Chapman to the bullpen?

Anonymous said...

Technically a DNF for me. And on a WED no less! Never got the MCI at the end of CENTURY BEGUN.
Catherine Deneuve... one of the most beautiful women ever to appear on screen!

Misty said...

Much harder than a usual Wednesday puzzle, but once I realized why it ran today of all days, I totally understood and appreciated it. So many thanks, Dynamic Duo II. And you too, Melissa, for the great visuals.

I goofed just about everywhere on this. Had JUNE instead of JOON. Had OKAY instead of OTAY and so of course wondered who the heck ANISKON was? And worst of all, had NELL instead of EMLY even though I finally got around to reading "David Copperfield" just this year! Makes me wonder about those little grey cells of mine.

One tiny, tiny nit: shouldn't that be 'Martini with an onion' rather than 'a onion'? Just asking, because if this is another stupid assumption on my part, I want to know.

Tinbeni, hope you'll include me a an honorary "blue" in your toast.

Have a great 12/12/12, everybody!

2poodles said...

Loved this puzzle! Here in Wisconsin, today is officially proclaimed "Aaron Rodgers Day." I chugged along pretty well till I got to the southeast corner and then I came here to learn. Thanks for the lessons! I read the blogs from Monday and Tuesday, too, and was relieved that I wasn't the only one who thought Tuesday was easier than Monday!

Montana, my best friend and my stepdaughter and I traveled through Montana a couple of summers ago. I never understood "Big Sky Country" till I was actually there. Gorgeous!

John Lampkin said...

Brilliant, you two. Brilliant.

Lucina said...

Montana and Ironiteguy:
Like 2poodles, my sisters and I traveled to Montana two summers ago and were greatly impressed driving those vast distances between Billings and Great Falls and on to Yellowstone Park. Big Sky indeed!!

Irish Miss said...

Good afternoon:

Hats off to Marti and Don for a clever and timely salute to 12-12-12 and to Melissa for a fine expo. This was a little crunchier than a typical Wednesday and I needed help in the southeast.

Had at a loss before abashed and fee before set. Liked the clues for yer out and peas.

Does anyone have a Pandora bracelet? I went online
last night to buy a charm for one of my sister's, for her Christmas present. She is crazy about anything purple and all of its various shades. I found a four-leaf clover with fuschia stones. How perfect a gift is that? The rest of my online shopping was Macy's gift cards and favorite- restaurant gift cards. Christmas shopping

Have a great Wednesay.

PK said...

Hi Y'all, When I saw Marti & Don had paired, I too had a near panic attack. Two tricky team mates. I dub them the Devious Due since nothing in their theme lines are quite what they would seem to be.

Octave means eight. Beginning musicians are taught there are eight. Granted there are 12 KEYS on the piano in an octave, but the black keys were taught to me as half-steps while white keys were whole steps. My mother was a piano teacher. I was her worst student, but this clue/answer threw me.

Despite my fears, I managed to fill every square correctly! YEA! Unbelievable! I had noticed the 12/12/12 when I read the names so that helped.

I got GAMES right away and plugged in GImlet & MAnager so got inane, but the rest were a struggle.

I wanted aid not ACT. 43D since the suit was hearts (yea, Hearti) I thought jack would be ___rED.

"Benny & Joon" was a very unique movie. Very disturbing, I thought.

HeartRx said...

2poodles @ 11:49, funny you should mention Aaron Rodgers. My original idea for a 12-12-12 theme was a tribute puzzle to him. His name has twelve letters, his Jersey number is 12, His home turf (Lambeau Field) has twelve letters, and the Superbowl when he was elected MVP has twelve letters (Super Bowl XLV). But if you are not familiar with football, it would be a real slog. So I chucked it, asked an expert, and the rest is history.

PK said...

Tinbeni: Be elitist with your "blue" friends. See if I care. I can't go blue and I can't drink, so wouldn't be able to toast you back anyway. I do enjoy sunsets every evening they show up.

thehondohurricane said...

Buckeye Bob@ 11:17AM

Indeed you should be concerned about Choo and his contract. It's 99% probable that he will go the free agent route and be looking for the BIG bucks. His agent is Scott Borasl, according to an article on

I hope Cincy didn't give up too much in the trade.

PK said...

Thanks, Melissa B for taking time in such a busy week to help us with this puzzle.

Jerome said...

Perfectly apt puzzle from a priceless pair! Much enjoyed CENTURYBEGUNMCI because it looks goofier than hell... that's a compliment.

If ballet directors hired taller ballerinas they wouldn't have to stand on their toes.

Pookie said...

Hi Kids, Tough SE corner for me. DNF.
Gibson is my FAVE. Toast!
Good puzzle, though...Marti and Don.
Otay, Spanky, gottat run.

Seldom Seen said...

I welcome all e-mails concerning the Reds or any other baseball topics so as not to hijack the blog.

Choo is a one-year Red. Cleveland included 3.5 mil to help pay his salary and his contract ensures a high draft pick from any team that signs him as a free agent. Billy Hamilton, the record setting base stealer, will most likely be the center fielder in 2014.

My only concern is if Choo can play center half as well as Stubbs did. If so, see you in October!

2poodles said...

Heart Rx @ 1:02 pm: I'm VERY impressed! I never worked out all the 12s related to Rodgers! Good job!

Bill G. said...

That was a pleasant Wednesday puzzle; thanks Marti and Don.

I just starting watching a 1935 version of "David Copperfield" from TCM. But I didn't know Little Em'ly.

Fermatprime, I'm glad you liked the triangular number puzzle. They are interesting, aren't they? They are easy to find in Pascal's triangle. Fibonocci numbers are harder to locate there.

Tinbeni said...

Misty, in your honor:

Misty Blue (3:27)

Misty said...

My goodness, Tinbeni, what a lovely treat! I can't believe I've never heard "Misty Blue" or Dorothy Moore, and the song is wonderful! I also loved the blue hues of the background. You will certainly get a toast of Merlot from me at sunset!

creature said...

Marti and Don- So wonderful! This is definitely on my all-time favorite list and it may be THE one- all things considered-12-12-12. Thought of it from time to time all day.

MB super job!

Really enjoying today's comments too. Ending with Misty Blue.

Have a nice evening everyone.

Bill G. said...

Listening to the car radio, I just heard an advertisement for BMW. The announcer kept pronouncing the name as Bee Em Dubbayu. Do you pronounce the L in W? I don't know if I do in casual conversation but I think I would if I were being paid to read the copy for an advertisement.

I just had blackened fish tacos for lunch. Very tasty.

Macchiato coming up. So is rain apparently. I hope it doesn't disappoint.

Manac said...

Evening all,
This one was a head scratcher from the get-go. Marti and Don G. Huh?
Big ten = 12? Octave = 12? Century I got but it took a while. After I got the reveal was looking for the damn day and month somewhere. DOH!!!
Nice puzzle you two!

Anonymous said...

Big 10 now has 14 teams but who's counting
Was puzzle constructed befor Rutgers and Maryland joined?

Anony Mouse said...


Anony Mouse said...

Aside from the fact that I need to lose some weight, already ....

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Greetings this late evening. Wonderful puzzle, you two. A nice combination of plenty of difficulty and chuckle-inducing humor. Thank you. This was one of those puzzles where the answer "could be anything" until a few perps reveal what it is. A pinot noir toast to you all tonight, and best wishes to you, Melissa Bee, for good grades and, more importantly, good understanding of the subject matter you are studying.

Manac said...

Just a personal observation,
I drive by a small ski resort everyday
and mother nature has not been kind to it this year. Snow making is a lot
different now than thirty years ago.
A brown barren slope yesterday to the sno-cat grooming it today. Gonna have to start bringing my gear with me cause they offer night skiing.


Yellowrocks said...

One of the Jeopardy contestants tonight told us she says, "Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit," on the first of the month before arising and then gets out of bed on the wrong side and goes down the stairs backwards. Do you? I learned this rabbit, rabbit habit from the Corner.

One foreign born contestant pronounced "participle" (a part of speech) as (par TIS uh pl.) Is that British?

We have had a whole crew with heavy equipment working eight hours a day all week clearing fallen trees and limbs from our woods and they are not nearly done. It is a relief not to have to see the utter devastation caused by the hurricane, but the woods sadly is much sparser. Can you imagine what our assessment for this will be?

Don G. said...

Hi Gang,

I was out of town today, and finally got a chance here at the computer.

When I came up with BIG TEN TEAM COUNT, Marti noticed how ironic it was, and how maybe we could expand on the idea. So Marti deserves credit for that insight. She also deserves a lot of credit for CENTURY BEGUN MCI. We needed a 15, and she nailed it. I had previously come up with FIVE IN BASE THREE, but Rich was concerned that too many solvers would not understand the math. The musical one, NOTES IN AN OCTAVE, was a natural (A NATURAL?) for me, since I am a piano technician. We were lucky to pull this one together.

Thanks for the kind comments, and I am always especially delighted when great constructors like John and Jerome pay tribute. BTW John and Jerome, let's see some more from you!

Don G. said...

I forgot to add, Rich came up with DAY MONTH AND YEAR, which is a nice touch to tie it all together. We can't always assume solvers see what seems obvious to us. Rich likes to spell it out, and that is always a good idea.

downtonabbey said...

Good evening everyone:
Melissa, you performed a great service writing up this puzzle and good luck with exams. Marti and Don thank you for so cleverly constructing a puzzle.

It had me on my TOEs the whole way. I had WINS before ODDS. Also, AYE before YEA and these two errors held me up for a bit.

I had to WAG EMLY because I read that book when I was 13 and didn't remember the name. Liked the baseball clues.

Daughter has a birthday today. We ate lunch at a nice Italian spot near here. Those fish tacos sound great.
Goodnight to EDDY.

downtonabbey said...

HG, Thanks so much for the new map. Your hard work is appreciated.

Bill G. said...

Gary, I second Michele's thanks. It's nice to see the area where people live. I'm guessing those folks near Lake Erie have gotten some snow. We are due for some rain this weekend. I always enjoy that. Only very seldom does it rain enough here that I get tired of it.

I took a small chance and ordered an old original Hardy Boys book for my Nook. I just read the first chapter with Jordan. He seemed to like the idea of reading a more adult book than he was used to.

downtonabbey said...

That's great re the Hardy Boys book. I was thinking my 10 yr old grandson would enjoy those books the other day. I will have to get make a run to book store tomorrow!
Does Jordan like the Magic Tree House books? My grandson really enjoyed it when I read him The Enormous Egg. You might check it out.

Bill G. said...

Michele, re. the Hardy Boys, I've found out that many of the books were rewritten to 'modernize' them and, in a few cases, to make them more PC. The rewritten books lost a lot in the translation according to what I read. So I purposely picked out one of the books that was the older 'classic' version. It seems to still have that old-fashioned tone to it.

I don't know anything about The Enormous Egg but I'll check it out for sure.

ARBAON said...

Marti and Don G. Yesterdays 12-12-12 puzzle was awesome. Now, who created the one to appear December 22, the day after the Mayan calendar ends?
Hope you got your money early, just in case. :)