Jan 31, 2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013 Paul Hunsberger

Theme: Drag Queens

17A. Illusionist's effect : PUFF OF SMOKE. "Can I have a drag of your cig?"

31A. Major bore : SNOOZE FEST. "This play is a drag!"

37A. County fair competition : TRACTOR PULL. "My Deere can out-drag your Deere!"

47A. Many towns have one : MAIN STREET. "Let's check out the main drag."

And the unifier:
60A. 1967 #1 hit for The Buckinghams, which can describe 17-, 31-, 37- or 47-Across : KIND OF A DRAG. Immediate ear worm warning. 2:02

Marti here, in my comfy Thursday nook. This seemed much easier than a typical Thursday, with mostly straightforward clues. With three 11-letter theme entries and two 10-letter entries, there is not much leeway in grid design. And this grid has stacked 10-11-7-7-letter words as well. Very impressive.  The downside is a lot of three-letter fill, with plenty of abbr. Let's see where it goes.


1. Treehouse feature : LADDER. Because "No girls allowed sign" wouldn't fit...

7. Matured, as cheese : AGED.   Immature cheese. 0:31

11. Some condensation : DEW.

14. For one : A PIECE.

15. One who's all action : DOER.

16. Eggs in a clinic : OVA. This answer made me automatically write "DONATE sperm..." for 11-Down.

19. Bushranger Kelly : NED. To some Aussies, Ned Kelly was somewhat of a folk hero, while others just thought of him as a cold-blooded killer. Kazie might know more about him.

20. Novelist Wiesel : ELIE. A Holocaust survivor, Nobel Prize winner, and author of "Night," which recounts his experiences at Auschwitz and Buchenwald.

21. "Days of Thunder" org. : NASCAR. The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. Not to be confused with DRAG racing, which comes under the National Hot Rod Association.

23. Duck : SHUN.

26. Diplomat's forte : TACT. Tinbeni's Thumper link is the height of diplomacy!

28. Feeds without needing seconds : SATES.

30. Arrive : LAND.

33. Pull (for) : CHEER.

35. Kicked oneself for : RUED.

36. BBQ heat rating : BTU. Because Scoville wouldn't fit. British Thermal Units.

41. Flooring wood : ASH.

43. Busy time for a cuckoo clock : NOON. Cute clue!

44. Italian soccer star Maldini : PAOLO. Yowza, he's a keeper!

51. "Voulez-___": 1979 ABBA album : VOUS. Have I heard this one before? 5:03

52. Big name in foil : ALCOA.

53. Make a fine impression : ETCH.

54. Outer limit : EDGE.

55. Discipline involving slow, steady movement : TAI CHI. C.C. thinks this exercise is only for old people.

57. Toppled, as a poplar : HEWN.

59. Goose egg : NIL.

65. Traditional London pie-and-mash ingredient : EEL. It doesn't look very appetizing...

66. New newts : EFTS. Another nice clue.

67. Stereo knob : TREBLE.

68. Funny, and a bit twisted : WRY. The state of Virginia had a special "Kids First" license plate to help prevent domestic violence against children.  You might find some wry humor in this one. The Virginia DMV, not so much...

69. One way to run : RIOT.

70. Nine-ball feature : STRIPE.


1. Slurp (with "up") : LAP.

2. "Who Needs the Kwik-E-Mart?" singer : APU. You don't really want me to link that, do you?

3. "Makes no ___" : DIF.ference.

4. Lawyer, at times : DEFENDER.

5. Renewable energy subj. : ECOL.ogy.

6. Equips afresh : REFITS.

7. Nelson, e.g.: Abbr. : ADM.iral.

8. Hit the road, musically : GO ON TOUR.

9. "___ mouse!" : EEK! A. Not to be confused with eekanomics.

10. In one's Sunday best : DRESSED UP.

11. Make a bank deposit? : DONATE BLOOD. (Not sperm...)

12. Top of the world : EVEREST. It is named for Sir George Everest. However, he pronounced his name EEV'-rist, not ev'-rest.

13. Lump : WAD.

18. He played James : SEAN. Connery. Bond. James Bond.

22. Half-___: coffee order : CAF.feine.

23. 2002 Olympics host, briefly : SLC. The XIX Games at Salt Lake City.

24. "As if!" : HAH.toolah. She always has a great QOD for us...

25. How shysters practice : UNETHICALLY.

27. Small crown : CORONET.

29. Onetime Beatles bassist Sutcliffe : STU. Because we just had our daily dose of "The Simpsons" at 2-Down. Otherwise, we might have been subjected to "The Simpsons disco guy" for the clue.

32. Led ___: "Stairway to Heaven" group, to fans : ZEP.pelin.

34. One who turns a place upside down : RANSACKER.

38. Foldable sleeper : COT.

39. Blasted : TORE INTO.

40. Purple hue : LAVENDER.

41. Org. with an oft-quoted journal : AMAAmerican Medical Association.

42. More racy, as humor : SALTIER. Like Salty Shakers?

45. Tote : LUG.

46. Sugary suffix : OSE. Sucr-, gluc-, fruct-.

48. "Oh ___ won't!" : NO I.

49. Tunnel effect : ECHO.

50. Five-finger discounts, so to speak : THEFTS.

56. Audiophile's setup : HI-FI.

58. Witch costume stick-on : WART. At first, I was wondering where you would stick the broom, but you don't want to go there...

59. Wet behind the ears : NEW.

61. "Spring forward" letters : DSTDaylight Savings Time.

62. One of four in a grand slam : RBIRuns Batted In. Yay! A baseball clue that I could figure out!

63. Wildspitze, for one : ALP. I believe it is the highest peak in this photo that I took at Obergurgl a couple years ago, but I'm not 100% sure.

64. "___ willikers!" : GEE. Are we done already??  OK, see you next week, then!


Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to dear Bill G, who always brings us fantastic links, esp those animal slides.

Bill G & Grandson Jordon, Oct 18, 2012


Hungry Mother said...

I had "SLC" and still didn't know what it was.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thelma et al,
Thanks for the feedback. No more testing is needed now. TTP and D-Otto have identified our problem and we're in the process to get the November 2012 link reviewed by Google.

HeartRx said...

Good morning C.C. et al.

Happy birthday Bill G.!! Jordan is one lucky little guy to have you for a grand-dad. Or is it the other way around? Either way, I hope you get to enjoy your day and do lots of fun things with him!

C.C. I'm so glad to hear the problem was found. You deserve a medal for your tireless efforts to get the blog straightened out. And TTP and desper-otto, you guys are da bomb for joining in the fray with all your tech savvy!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Al Cyone said...

I think Thursday's might just be my favorite puzzle of the week though I agree this one tended a tad towards the Wednesday level. Favorite clue? "Busy time for a cuckoo clock". [8:29]

Barry G. said...

Morning, all (and happy birthday, Bill G)!

Tore through most of this puzzle easily enough, but then hit a total brick wall in that little section in the west where SLC, SHUN, HAH and LAND intersected. I had DEFENDER and (eventually) CHEER and UNETHICALLY, but those four little squares just refused to fill themselves in.

After finishing the rest of the puzzle and staring at that blank spot for a few minutes I finally remembered SLC, but still struggled a bit to accept SHUN as a synonym for "duck." Plus, I really wanted COME instead of LAND and NOT instead of HAH. Once I finally accepted SHUN, the rest came as well (or did they LAND?)

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Marti and friends. Your commentary was quite inspiring, Marti. Thanks for the Shout-Out!

I found the long down answers more fun than the theme answers.

I found the Virginia license plate quite amusing. Somehow it must have passed the censors at the DMV.

Earlier this week it was near 80F, today, we're in the 40s.

QOD: A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives. ~ Jackie Robinson (Jan. 31, 1919 – Oct 24, 1972)

Hahtoolah said...

Bill G: I hope you have a very happy birthday surrounded by your wonderful family.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

This was a fast, easy romp for a Thursday. Marti, I chuckled out loud at your broom comment.

Don't remember seeing UNETHICAL in a cw before. Nice. As soon as I saw the clue, I filled in KIND OF A DRAG -- popped right out of nowhere. Still didn't help me see the theme, though.

Why is it that some events, the Olympics and Super Bowls come to mind, are designated with Roman numerals. Is that supposed to make them classier?

Obergurgl reminded me of Oberammergau and Unterammergau. I suspect there's probably also an Unteroberammergau and an Oberunterammergau. But no Ammergau.

desper-otto said...

Oops. HBD Bill G. Are we going to have a puzzle today to figure out how old you are?

HeartRx said...

desper-otto, there's an Obergurgl, Untergurgl and a Hochgurgl. But no Gurgl...

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Paul Hunsberger, for a very good puzzle. Thank you, Marti, for the swell review.

Went through this pretty easily for a Thursday.

At first I thought the theme was going to be a street or road theme. As in Drag. Oh well.

Had BAG for 45D for a while. LUG surfaced.

I also had a problem in the West. Had STEER for a while for 33A. After I fixed that to CHEER, the rest fell together.

Liked ADM for 7D. Admiral Nelson was a British hero, for sure.

Took me a while to get DONATE BLOOD. Should not have, I have given gallons.

The long verticals were pretty good. A challenge, but not that bad once you got a few letters. I used my bird's eye view technique on this puzzle. Stand up and look down at the table and puzzle. It helps me.

Happy Birthday, Bill G. Nice photo. Hope you have many more.

Last week it was down to zero, then went up to the fifties, and last night into the teens. Typical NE Illinois weather for the winter.

See you tomorrow.


Anony Mouse said...

Thank you Marti for explaining everything, in your` gentle, happy, witty way. When I visited Switz. I saw Jungfrau, but no Frau mt. peak, as such.

Happy Birthday, Bill. G., with your wonderful family. May you continue to give us nice videos and puzzles.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Marti et al,
Now try November archive again. Any warnings?

thehondohurricane said...

Good morning everyone,

Thanks for the informative and witty write up Marti. Happy birthday BillG. Rumor has it Jordan will keep you pretty busy.

This puzzle turned out to be a Jekyl & Hyde. The west & central, top to bottom were quickly solved, but the East was barren for some time. Eventually got it though, working from the bottom to the top.

Had many mis-steps throughout. 14A Started with Single before APIECE. 41A Oak then ASH. 62D Run then RBI. 69A Amok before RIOT. Still don't get this one.

Favorites were 8D GO ON TOUR & 39D TORE INTO.

We were very fortunate again with last nights wind and rain. 55K out of power in Ct and so far, our lights are still on. Temp is 61 and will be in the 30's by nightfall.

New avatar was our Xmas card this year. Riley had just turned two when the pix was taken. He's a great dog , but I still call him Hell On Four Paws. It's appropriate. The Santa is 62 years old.

thehondohurricane said...


Finally, no warnings in November.

Mari said...

I really liked this puzzle, there were some great long words and some catchy theme answers.

My favorite "drags" were MAIN STREET and TRACTOR PULL. But I loved seeing SNOOZEFEST!


Enjoy your Thursday - the weekend's almost here.

Mari said...

What, no references to DRAG Queens?

Really cute card Hondo.

kazie said...

Yes there is an Ammergau, as per Wiki:
The Ammergau Alps (German: Ammergauer Alpen or Ammergebirge) are a mountain range in the Northern Limestone Alps in the states of Bavaria (Germany).

My puzzling today was similar to WBS. I had NAH for HAH so couldn't see SHUN either. LAND and CHEER came fairly easily. I also wanted RAW for NEW, so RIL made no sense, and though I have heard of goose egg in that context before, it didn't occur to me today.

Other that that it did seem easier than a normal Thursday.

Thanks Marti for your erudition. I think I've spoken of Ned Kelly here before, but you're right, he is still a sort of tongue-in-cheek hero to many in Oz. I seem to remember he was blamed for a murder he was nowhere near to begin with, and the Irish were always being blamed for something at that time, so with that reputation and nowhere to go but downhill, his fate was sealed. They say he robbed people who could afford it and helped the locals with the proceeds, then they in turn helped to shelter his gang from the authorities. He must have actually been quite resourceful though to last as long as he did, and finished up in a wild shootout using home-made armor. When being ripped off now, many will remark out of the side of their mouth, "Ned Kelly is alive and well today!"

Argyle said...

Somewhat related and hilarious. Clip(2:44)

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Happy Birthday BillG. Hope you have a great special day.

Interesting clever theme today. Finally sussed it with the reveal. Found the SE daunting at first, but then, when it came together, I thought it was cleverly composed. I liked the TREBLE, STRIPE/RBI ALP clueing. I WAGged the shoutout clue wildSPITZe as ALP. Only other alp with spitz I had heard of was Zugspitze in Germany. Only lookup was for the 'S' in SLC.

re: SATES - As a young fussy eater, when I had had my fill of, say, yellow wax beans, ie, one, I would inform my mother"Ich bin satt" (I'm full). It usually worked.

Husker Gary said...

Nothing to add to Marti’s assessment! Staring at 48D clue for 46D fill for 3 min didn’t expedite much!

-Our clergy preside over many a SNOOZE FEST
-TRACTOR PULLs have graduated from the family Deere to corporate sponsored behemoths
-Hudson had a perfect tree house locust but mom wasn’t letting Papa build!
-NASCAR, of course, was an outgrowth of moon shining
-The corollary to Tin’s Thumper admonition is, “If you can’t say something nice, come sit by me!”
-We find we can become SATED by ordering one item at a restaurant and sharing. My goodness the portion sizes today!
-Most home buyers on HGTV rave about hardwood floors like ASH. We prefer carpet.
-“Steve, you can have my EEL!”
-Men love watching Jeannette Lee play 9 Ball!
-I know it’s a TV show and everyone is entitled to a vigorous defense but some of the DEFENDERS on Law and Order disgust me! Yeah, I know, they’re supposed to but still…
-Over 200 people have died trying to summit Everest. Here’s the the list and causes of death
-The police told my friend that the RANSACKERS who burglarized his house were pros because he could see they pulled the bottom drawers of the dressers out first
-“Oh, NO I won’t”, “Oh, yes you will!” is not a productive dialogue
-HBD, Bill! I’ve enjoyed our conversations here and on gmail!

LaLaLinda said...

Hi Everyone ~~

A very enjoyable Thursday puzzle ~ as others have said, it seemed a bit on the easy side. I finished with no real problems but did hit a few snags. Like Barry, I had trouble withe the connections on 'Duck' - SHUN and 'Arrive' - LAND, but the crosses gave me what I needed.

~ Loved your write-up, Marti ~ and thanks for the peek at PAOLO. Nice. (actually, I agree - YOWZA!)

~ I can never remember if it's 'Tae' or TAI ~ but I guess it's TAI CHI and 'Tae Bo'

~ I'm amazed, that as a baseball fanatic, on 62D - 'One of four in a grand slam' that I was actually thinking of tennis! DUH. It took the B in TREBLE for me to see the light. Wow.

~ I thought of Abejo on 11D - 'Donate BLOOD' - and on 9D - "EEK A Mouse" I thought of C.C. ~ have you caught the little critter yet?

~ Hondo - what a great photo of Riley - he's beautiful!

~ Happy Birthday, Bill G. ~ I hope you have a wonderful day! I'm always entertained by your posts.

Avg Joe said...

G'Morning from sunny 11 degree SE NE. Fun romp today. Not speed run, but the only snag was the oft mentioned Oregon area. Could not figure out SLC, but everything else seemed solid enough that I ran with it.

Happy Birthday Bill!

Marti, I already had BTU in place, but my mind went the same route as yours on the "donation".

Tinbeni said...

Marti: Wonderful write-up & links. Really like the VA license plate.

Paul: Thank you for a FUN Thursday. Your themes were not a DRAG.

Bill G. Happy Birthday. Hope you have a nice bike ride.

Argyle: If I'm going to have "an-ear-worm" your link was perfect.

Thought SHUN for Duck was clever.
Though RIOT for One-way-to-run was a stretch.

A "toast" to ALL at Sunset.
CHEERs !!!

Irish Miss said...

Good morning:

Happy Birthday, Bill G. Have a super, super day, but please, please no math quizzes! :-)

To all the cat lovers who may have missed it, I posted a cute link yesterday at 6:49. Enjoy.

i had a few stumbling blocks but, overall, it was a normal Thursday offering. Only write-over was oak before ash. Thanks, Paul, and thanks, Marti, for your witty comments.

Have a great Thursday.

Irish Miss said...

PS-Hondo, Riley is beautiful. (So is the 62 year old Santa!)

windhover said...

Happy Birthday, BillG.
When I think Drag Queen, I think of Shirley Muldowney. Plenty hot, just not in "that" way.

Lucina said...

Hello. Fine blogging, Marti, thank you.

This will be brief because my sister is already up and we have things to do and places to go. She actually helped me with TRACTOR PULL and remembered KIND OF A DRAG.

WEES. Fairly easy for a Thr. puzzle but quite clever. Stumped me at Voulez-Vous. I had Vouz and I know that album, too.

Happy, happy birthday, BillG! I know your lunch will be something special. Tell, tell.

Have a lovely Thursday, everyone!

Yellowrocks said...

Happy birthday, Bill, i love the photo of you and Jordan. What a great pair! That's love.

I had two hang ups: The SLC, HAH, LAND section. When I thought of LAND, I landed that whole little section.

Then in the NE I thought DEW and wrote DOW. Top of the World is OVER ??? Finally I saw the E in DEW and EVEREST topped off that section.

Did anyone notice yesterday that the theme answers could be sports headlines?

CC, when my sister had a serious mouse problem ultrasonic screamers saved the day.

Misty said...

I got a Thursday puzzle--Yay! Well, I filled in all the answers correctly, but "got" the DRAG theme only in relation to TRACTOR PULL. The others kind of eluded me. I probably just didn't want to remember my early smoking years, or living on Main Street next to a gas station, or all those boring lectures I sat through at one or another time in my life. But this puzzle sure was no DRAG--so many thanks, Paul. And Marti, your write-ups are always a delight. Eekanomics! LOL

Bill G., have a wonderful birthday! That little Jordan sure is a sweetie.

Learned I'm pre-diabetic and so am trying to learn how to tweak my diet without messing up the meals of husband and his caregiver. Bit of a challenge.

Have a great Thursday, everybody!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Yay! What a struggle!

Nope. We've tried peanut butter & bacon, no results. The little mouse is way too clever. Boomer said we need fancy mouse traps.

OK, I'll see if I can find any ultrasonic screamer.

Sfingi said...

Don't get duck = SHUN.

And, as usual, from me DIF is an abbrev. and should be so noted.

Never heard of NED Kelly.

Theme was unique and pretty good.

I once got upset when I saw the NYS plate LATSOPOG. In my rear view, that spelled GO POSTAL, which I though was bad advice.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I want to thank TTP & D-Otto again for helping me remove the trouble link in one of our November posts.

D-Otto helped us narrow down the date, then TTP (a real tech whiz) identified the link & guided me through the whole removing process. Both have been extremely patient with me and very generous with their time.

Thank you so much!

JJM said...

If I hadn't gotten KIND Of A DRAG immediately I would shot myself. The Buckinghams are from Chicago, I've seen them many times since I was a kid, and they play all at all the suburban Taste of ... food fests every summer. Great 60's band.

61Rampy said...

Easy puzzle today. My first fill was Kind Of A Drag, which then made the rest fall into place. Only problem was One of four in a grand slam. I thought it was Run, but getting TREBLE fixed that.

kazie said...

Sorry, I forgot to say Happy Birthday, Bill! Great photo with your grandson too!

Yellowrocks said...

I just finished reading "Plain Truth" by Jodi Picoult." I found it very interesting and a real page turner. The story seemed very plausible except forthe last chapter where I had a few reservations. I will not state them on the blog as it would reveal the outcome. Does anyone who read it agree?

Irish Miss said...

A little humor for the last day of January. KIDS

AnnieB8491 said...

Hello - Thanks Paul for a challenging but doable Thursday puzzle and Marti for your comments.
Happy Birthday Bill G - aren't grandkids the best! Hope you have an enjoyable day.
Couldn't think of the Olympics city so had to look it up since I drew a blank on SHUN and LAND, had the C but that wasn't any help.
Had VOLUME first but changed it to TREBLE with help from the perps. (did I get it right? - perps are up and down, crosses are left to right? gotta make sure I have the lingo correct lol)
Have a good Thursday everyone.

fermatprime said...


Could not finish this in the wee hours, but managed to get the Ta Da in daylight. Thanks for interesting offering, Paul; superb expo, as usual, Marti!

Meditated overly long finding SHUN and LAND.

Stomach problems abated somewhat yesterday. I had Harv throw away the old salad mixes! (Will live w/o salad if necessary.)

Have a super birthday, Bill G! (Cute picture!)

hondo: Riley appears to be a spectacular dog! (Lots of grooming necessary, I suppose. Do you do this yourself?)


Anonymous said...

Good afternoon everyone.

DNF, which is no surprise. Same problems as already noted, and I did not get most of the theme answers.

Had bag for LUG (tote), but at least it didn't mess up EDGE.

Happy birthday Bill G., and I hope it's with cutie Jordan among others.

CC., desper-otto, and TTP: thank you for the time and expertise spent on figuring out the latest wrinkle in this wonderful blog.


Awol said...

Jordon clearly thinks Grandpa Bill is a keeper. HBD !
Five finger discounts was a new expression for me.
And, oddly unexpected "lavender" was fun to see.
A satisfying Thursday solve.
Enjoy the day, be it thirty degrees below or above "normal".

Anonymous said...

AnnieB8491: perps and either up/down or left to right. No need to try to separate them.

Anonymous said...

Ok puzzle. 62 d did not have abbr in clue so i put run. So that threw me off. Makes no dif is kind of stretching it. Never heard of hewn. Other than those....pretty easy.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Unlike some, I found this to be typical Thursday fare. Not too hard, but a few stubborn yields made it interesting.
Last to fall? DONATE BLOOD. "Deposit" didn't seem to go with "donate" until the blood bank usage entered my bean.

HeartRx said...

C.C. @ 7:52, sorry I'm late to the party. November comes up fine now - no warning message. Whoo-hoo!!

Husker G. @ 9:20, interesting link to the Everest deaths. I learned a new word today: SERAC. Or maybe I just re-learned it? (Ain't if fun gettin' old?? I should be able to hide my own Easter Eggs by next year...)

AnnieB @ 12:03, no "Lingo Nazis" here, so enjoy!

Bill G. said...

Good puzzle. I sure didn't suss out the theme until coming here. I thought the RBI clue was really tricky.

Thanks to TTP and D-Otto for fixing the problem. CC (or others), could you explain what it was about the link in the November archive that was causing the problem?

Wow! Thank you all very much for the kind birthday wishes. I was a little later than usual getting here. I was finishing breakfast when Barbara asked to explain an algebraic concept she was worried about because of an upcoming tutoring session this afternoon. I got so busy explaining it that I forgot my coffee and was sleepy all morning. So I took a nap, got up and discovered my undrunk coffee. I'm feeling a bit more awake now. We are heading a few miled north, driving along the Pacific, to a little restaurant in Playa del Rey for a birthday lunch. I'm looking forward to my usual sanddabs in lemon-caper sauce. I hope they're still on the menu. I'm guessing we will go for lunch again with the two local kids and Jordan this weekend.

BTW, Tin, good job yesterday on the pyramid puzzle. Did you find it easy or hard?

Heh heh, Marti, good one about hiding your own Easter eggs. If my CRS doesn't get any worse, maybe I'll remember it for future use.

Bill G. said...

Since CC said she enjoyed the Animal Tracks slide shows, this is especially for her. Animal Tracks Thanks for all you do.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Click here. It's the cached version of our original Nov 26, 2012 write-up. Scroll down to 70A, notice the EDY link there? It has a "Reported Attack Page" warning when you click on it and the culprit is

When we linked it on Nov 26, the site is and it's safe and secure. But Couponaholic was later infected by, and we were subquently infected on Jan 23, 2013.

TTP might provide you with more information. He identified that specific link and we removed it from the post & asked Google to review the page & remove the warning. They did and we're now healthy again.

Pookie said...

C.C. TTP and D-Otto:
"D-Otto helped us narrow down the date, then TTP (a real tech whiz) identified the link & guided me through the whole removing process."

I just read 3 days of comments.
Pardon my asking, but please tell us what it was that threw a monkey wrench into the blog.
Was it something someone linked?
I notice there aren't many Anons lately.
I remember seeing something from an Anon that was about their business or blog, ??? but it got removed.
Well anyway, I don't get RIOT as one way to run.
Other than that, I liked the puzzle but got stuck at SLC.

Happy Birthday to you, Bill!*****
Happy Birthday"bills"

Pookie said...

I was typing as C.C. was explaining.
As Roseanne Roseannadanna would say,
"Never mind"
Thanks for 'splainin", C.C.

HeartRx said...

"Run Riot" means to run out of control. Scroll down on this link to see the idiom defined.

Anonymous said...

"Run Riot"
Definition #14, and an idiom.
Well that's pretty straightforward cluing.

Pookie said...

Thank you Marti!
I seem to remember my Mom using that expression.

CrossEyedDave said...

WBS, except i got shun before SLC.

Must post an FIW, as i had sugary ending=ese making paolo, paole. (maybe i was thinking Pele?)

Irish Miss, loved the January kids!

Happy Birthday Bill G!

I could not decide what motif to use...



or Animal Lover

Marge said...

Hi all,
Bill G, Happy birthday. What a cute grandson! They are lots of fun, aren't they?

Thanks to all who work on this blog, the constructers, CC, those who explane it all. It is so much fun.

DH and I managed to get most of this Thursday puzzle except a couple letters in the SE.

Anon 12:21: think Chop down a tree-hew and add an N. Riot was the one I couldn't understand until Marty explained 'run riot.'

Really cold today, 10 degrees as high. I'm glad I don't have to go outside.

Have a good evening!

Pat said...

Thank you Paul for a fun puzzle. Thank you Marti for your entertaining write-up.

I thought this puzzle was a Jeckyl/Hyde one. The eastern half came easily. The western half; I got 4 answers and 2 were wrong. I had to come here for a jumpstart.

Happy Birthday BillG! And many more.

aka thelma said...

Well of course I am late as always... and have only read as far as your try again message.... and no.. no warning today.. :)


Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, Not too many problems today. All of the missteps were finally corrected with either an aha or a perp.

I put in Oak for Ash as our floors are red oak. Also had steals for thefts. Hands up for Bag instead of Lug, and Come instead of land. The old eraser was used quite a bit today.

Thanks so much to D-Otto, TTP and C.C. for all of your hard work to iron out the bugs so we don't get knocked off the blog again.

Happy, happy birthday to Bill G. What a great picture of you and your grandson. I think both of you are the lucky ones to have each other.

My lunch today was with our retired teacher's group. The local Sonoma Chicken Coop was the venue. Good food, good friends, and good fun.

have a great day everyone.

Bill G. said...

CC, thanks for the explanation.

Once again, thank you all for your nice comments and good wishes. I feel so fortunate to have found this group of friends I can enjoy being with each day.

Lucina, lunch was really good. It's a little restaurant about five miles north of here gotten to with a pleasant drive overlooking the blue Pacific. Barbara had lamb. I always enjoy trying something new but I couldn't help myself and got my usual sanddabs, lightly breaded with a lemon-caper sauce. Also, cream of celery soup, zucchini, carrots and brown rice. They even took Barbara's hint and brought me some chocolate stuff with whipped cream, a sliced-up strawberry and a candle.

Barbara was clever and asked for a table in an adjacent room. The main little dining area had a table with seven women enjoying themselves and making about as much noise as an air-raid siren. (Dang, Chickie -- maybe that was you and your group in the next room making so much noise.)

PK said...

Hi Y'all, Great puzzle, Paul! Great comments, Marti!

Happy birthday, BillG. You enhance our lives.

WEES! I'm not struggling long online with red-letters.

Marti: chuckled at sperm donation. Kansas welfare department (can't remember the oft-changed title) is suing a man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple. State wants reimbursement of money paid for the child to the mother who now can't work and has seven kids. Guy refuses to pay. He has no kids but prefers paying legal fees rather than helping the child with his genes. Supposed to be a landmark case for all sperm donors. More twists and turns revealed as time passes so the whole thing is like a bad soap opera.

C.C. Tai chi isn't for this old person! I tried the warmup and was so exhausted, I gave up. I think you need to start when young and train the body.

Re cutie Paolo: my former sis-in-law would have said: "He can eat crackers in my bed anytime."

YR: It has been too long since I read "Plain Truth" to remember for sure, but I think I had the same reaction.

Avg Joe said...

PK, I've read about that case (or one very similar). The biggest wrinkle is that the people involved did not go through a fertilization clinic, which offers legal indemnification from financial responsibility to the donor. Instead, they resorted to more basic methods, including a turkey baster. It really should be an interesting case law study.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Neat-o puzzle! Some of the niftiest, cleverest bunch of clues I've seen in a while. The clues were so good they made even the 3-letter abbreviations fun to fill.

Happy birthday, Bill G.

thehondohurricane said...


Dog goes for grooming every 6 to 8 weeks. Would never attempt it myself.

HeartRx said...

PK, I did not mention in the write-up, that I have recently taken up Tai Chi. If it is done correctly, it can be extremely intense! So, don't give up - it is great balance / muscle strengthening / core building exercise. I think I am liking it just as much as my yoga!!

And I agree about Paolo:
"Paolo want a cracker???"

aka thelma said...

C.C., D-Otto, and TTP..
Thank you for all your time and effort getting the blog problem solved.

Muldowney had a good teacher and a good crew... :)

Bill G..
Hope your birthday has been grand and that your evening is even better.. tho.. lunch in Playa sounds pretty good to me.. :) have had many good times and meals in Playa.. very nice picture of you and your grandson..



TTP said...

Thank you Paul for the puzzle, and thank you Marti for the great write up !

Didn't get a chance to blog earlier. Thank you all for the appreciation, but it was truly a team effort.

I'd rather not get into the details; you never know who is listening.

Carry on.

TTP said...

And a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Bill !

CrossEyedDave said...

Bill G, i had to Google sanddab, never heard of it before. Thanks for another learning experience.


Why don't they call it a flounder?

How do you eat it? It looks like it's all bones?

Bill G. said...

CED, I'm guessing there are a lot of people who haven't eaten or even heard of sanddabs though I don't know why. It's a smallish flat fish, as you said, like flounder, sole, turbot, plaice, and halibut. (It's smaller than a flounder.) The bones must be easily removed because they are not to be found in the end product. So for lunch there were two pieces of fish on my plate, nicely prepared with no bones in sight. Like most white fish or flat fish, there is no strong taste or odor. I've seen chicken breasts and veal prepared similarly; with a light breading and with lemon-caper sauce. A common name for that style of preparation is called "piccata."

Sfingi said...

So, the problem was an infection, not something we did. I had 2 last year, including the Estonian.

Like @Chickie, also had oak before ASH, and for same reason. Those narrow oak pieces are called Rochester floors, and are made in Upstate NY.

Wildspitze reminds me of Roland mit den spitzen Knien. Grampa Fritz spent the early part of his life in Bremen where the statue of Roland stood with armour which included pointy knees to give the enemy a knee in the... Anyway, Spitzen are points.

Bill G. said...

Probably the most unusual short video love story you've seen. I loved it! (Scroll down half a page for the video itself.) Paperman

PK said...

AvgJoe: That's the same case. The latest installment, some ne'er-do-well was interviewed who says two of the children are his using the old-fashioned method. He says they won't let him parent the children. The lesbians have broken up but still co-parent the kids.

Makes one wonder about the turkey baster story.

Could it have repercussions for sperm bank donors eventually? Who knows.

Marty, I think tai chi will always be beyond this old body. Walking is a challenge some days, but I do keep that up.

PK said...

BillG: cute! Paperman!

TTP said...

Call me old fashioned. Turkey basters ?

Oberammergau. Drove to Garmisch and went to Oberammergau. Unfortunately, wasn't there in a year ending in 0. Search it if interested.

Reminiscing the last few days for some reason. Started reading some personal narratives from those that served.

Here's a couple of paragraphs from, "I am a soldier too: the Jessica Lynch story"

"She bought it. They all had, pretty much: all the soldiers around her, the sons and daughters of endangered blue-collar workers, immigrant families and single mothers-a United States Army borrowed from tract houses, brick ranchers and back roads. The not-quite beneficiaries of trickle-down economics, they had traded uncertain futures for dead-certain paychecks and a place in the adventure that they had heard their ancestors talk of as they'd twisted wrenches, pounded IBM Selectrics and packed lunches for the plants that closed their doors before the next generation could build a life from them."

"The military never closed its doors, and service was passed down like a gold pocket watch. Sometimes it was a good safe bet, all beer gardens and G.I. Bills, and sometimes it was snake eyes, and the soldiers found themselves at a Chosin Reservoir, or a Hue, or on a wrong turn to An Nasiriyah."

More from that book here:

I think that's where I read that "twisted and turning like a snake on fire" line.

Time to hit the hay. Good night all.

Steve S said...

Actually, Paolo Maldini is NOT a keeper, he was a defender. Just kidding, I know what you meant. He IS quite handsome.

ricky said...

i just first time visit your blog. really unique content..good job and happy birth day Bill G!

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