Jan 9, 2013

Wednesday, Jan 9 2013, Gerry Wildenberg

theme: partly cloudy

lenticular clouds over mt shasta

18. The money follows it : (SILVER) DOLLAR SIGN

23. Olympic hero : (SILVER) MEDAL WINNER

35. Treat like a child : (SILVER) SPOON FEED

50. Rapid rail transport : (SILVER) BULLET TRAIN

57. Actor's tryout : (SILVER) SCREEN TEST

2. With 47-Down, proverbial cloud feature, and a hint to the starts of 18-, 23-, 35-, 50- and 57-Across : (SILVER)

47. See 2-Down : (SILVER) LINING

melissa here. 

WOW (all caps, even). what a stunning, theme-heavy grid. SEVEN theme entries, five acrosses and two downs. just gorgeous. quite a challenging solve for a wednesday, which makes for a satisfying finish - the silver lining, as it were. 

clouds are a popular philosophical symbol. both alan watts and thich nhat hanh have waxed poetic about them. van morrison's tune, alan watts blues, is in reference to a poem by chia tao (777-841), cloud hidden, whereabouts unknown, which watts used as the title of a book, published shortly after his death.

lots of other tunes about clouds, too - performed by the stones, carly simon, joan baez, and django reinhardt, among others. 


1. "World Series of Poker" channel : ESPN. yawn. 

5. Improve : AMEND. not always an improvement.

10. Japanese noodle : SOBA. japanese name for buckwheat.

14. See 17-Across : NILE. 17. Queen of the 14-Across, familiarly : CLEO

15. Hawk's weapon : TALON

16. Neatness analogy ending : A PIN. neat as a pin.

20. Gardner of film : AVA. frank sinatra's second wife, and 28. Conductor André : PREVIN. mia farrow's second husband (mia was sinatra's third wife).

21. Lacking embellishment : BARE

22. Missouri tributary : OSAGE

27. Duty : TAX

29. __ which way : ANY

30. Suffix with phon- : EME. smallest contrastive unit in the sound system of a language. had no idea. if you're interested.

31. River project : DAM

32. Create, as words : COIN

34. ''__ Death'': Grieg work : ASES. from the ibsen play, peer gynt.

38. Sense : GIST

41. Lincoln et al. : ABES. the et al. indicates a shortened name.

42. __ gratia: by the grace of God : DEI

44. Italian article : UNA. yesterday it was acapulco article.

45. "Now I understand!" : OHO

46. Fin de __: end of the century : SIECLE. drew a blank here.

49. Approximate no. : EST. estimate.

53. Tokyo-based watchmaker : SEIKO

55. New Haven collegians : ELI'S. yale students.

56. Columbus-to-Cleveland dir. : NNE

60. Do bar work, perhaps : STIR. bartend.

61. British weapon of WWII : STEN. submachine gun.

62. Down Under soldier : ANZAC. australian and new zealand army corps.

63. Basic video game : PONG

64. __ buco : OSSO. italian dish, literally bone with a hole.

65. Grind, as teeth : GNASH

66. Old-fashioned sort : FOGY


1. Spend a night on the trail : ENCAMP. what's the difference between the verbs encamp and camp?

3. Begged : PLEADED

4. "The Matrix" hero : NEO

5. Early in the morning : AT DAWN

6. Native New Zealanders : MAORI

7. Former "Idol" judge with Simon, Kara and Randy : ELLEN. degeneres. just keep swimming.

8. Lon of Cambodia : NOL. prime minister. another unknown for me.

9. Genetic letters : DNA

10. Smart talk : SASS

11. Poppy products : OPIATES

12. Super Bowl, e.g. : BIG GAME

13. New wings, maybe : ANNEXES

19. Golf star McIlroy : RORY. blues fans may prefer this rory:

21. Super Bowl sight : BLIMP

24. "Stop, ya swabs!" : AVAST

25. Innocents : NAIFS

26. -trix relative : ENNE. feminine suffixes - trix from latin, enne from french. aviatrix, comedienne.

32. Early computer language : COBOL

33. Maître d's "Are you by yourself?" : ONE?

34. Run like __ : A DEER

36. Obama's birthplace : OAHU

37. Prepares for print : EDITS. i first read this as 'prepares for a pint,' and thought a priest walks into a bar ....'

38. "I suppose" : GUESS SO. i suppose.

39. Flies, for example : INSECTS. gotcha. noun, not verb.

40. Send-ups : SATIRES

43. Playground response to a challenge : I CAN TOO

45. Reed instrument : OBOE

46. Sewer line : STITCH. another gotcha, sew-er as in one who sews, not sewer as in ew.

48. Benefit of some bars and drinks : ENERGY. 

51. TV host Gibbons : LEEZA

52. Schiaparelli et al. : ELSAS. fashion designer. yet another unknown for me.

54. Lotto-like game : KENO

58. Racehorse, to a tout : NAG. had to look this up - a tout is one who spies out racing information for betting purposes. nag is slang for racehorse.

59. Spike TV, formerly : TNN

60. Coppertone letters : SPF. sun protection factor.



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I thought this was a very easy Wednesday puzzle... except for the parts that weren't ^_^.

The theme was nice, although I'm not sure how LINING applies to the theme answers.

Struggles today included ASES, LEEZA and ANZAC. In fact, the crossing of the latter two kept me from getting the final *tada* since I had LEEsA and ANsAC. Should have remembered LEEZA, but just didn't. Ah well...

Favorite misdirection was "Sewer line" for STITCH. Took me an embarrassingly long time to get my mind out of the gutter, so to speak...

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Just the right pepper for a Wednesday. Nice symmetry in the two down-going theme answers!

Hand up, and jaws wide, for yawning at the World Series of Poker. ANZAC came slowly from some cranial fold. Nice to see my old friend Seiko - my oldest watch dates to about 1983, and despite one tough life, it still works perfectly.

Morning MB, I plan to return later for your links.

Cheers all!

Anonymous said...

This is Gerry W the composer of today's puzzle writing.

My thanks to Melissa for her complimentary review.

When I submitted this originally, I had "silver" as the theme revealer. Rich wrote back that this was a type of theme they no longer accepted and that I had to use "silver" in a phrase such as "silver lining". I was fortunate to be able to get that phrase in without rewriting the whole puzzle.

Dudley said...

Unrelated comment: some of you will recall the appearance of Agawam, MA in a puzzle many months ago. I was recently reminded of an interesting bit of trivia about that town. It has the lowest Zip Code in the country, 01001. I presume that alphabetical order has something to do with it.

Nearer to Boston is the town of Sudbury, with its Zip Code 01776. That was considered enviable back when Bicentennial fever was at its peak.

We now return to our regularly scheduled program. :-)

Dudley said...

Hello Gerry! We must have been typing at the same time. Glad you stopped by.

Now that I know you had to add Lining, I'm even more impressed with that symmetry. Send more!

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, MelissaBee and friends. I was initially put off all the cross-references at the beginning of this puzzle, but once I figured out the SILVER, I rather enjoyed this "Before and After" with the precious medal.

The Grieg work is sometimes spelled as Aase's Death. It's a beautiful piece.

I initially tried Babes in lieu of NAIFS for the Innocents.

I knew that the "-trix" referred to a feminine ending, but my initial thought was "-ette" instead of "-ENNE" You could also add Dominatrix to your list of -trix words.

We are experience severe flooding and rain today. Many schools and businesses are closed due to the vast amounts of rain. My office is open, though.

Thanks for stopping by Garry!

QOD: Society cares for the individual only so far as he is profitable. ~ Simon de Beauvoir (Jan. 9, 1908 ~ Apr. 14, 1986)

Argyle said...


Al Cyone said...

A nice mid-week puzzle with an old familiar word (COBOL) and a favorite phrase (fin de SIECLE). [6:34]

Here in the beautiful mid-Hudson valley, the "January thaw" is struggling to get under way with afternoon temps rising to the mid-40s but pre-dawn temps still in the mid-teens. By the weekend we might get a string of days where the overnight temps don't drop below freezing.

thehondohurricane said...

Good morning folks,

I try to practice not saying anything about something unless I have something good to say. "Nuff" said for today.

Computer going to Apple today for upgrade to Operating System. Were only two behind.

On my way to the territory of Irish Miss this weekend, so I expect I'll be back on board Monday.
Of course, knowing Apple, which Monday is anybody's guess.

TTP said...

Good morning all. Thank you Gerry Wildenberg and thank you Melissa. I too will have to read the write up later. The battery on this laptop is not charging, so I'll have to go fire up the desktop in a bit.

Thought I was going to fail in the NE and SE. In the NE, I finally saw the X in TAX, which gave me ANNEXES, leading to SOBA and ASES. I never would have got the last two if it had to come from knowledge. Ditto with nearby ENNE. TG for perps.

I would never have got FIN DE SIECLE either, and like Barry, I wasn't thinking of Sewing with Nancy or Sew Easy.

Yes, we see COBOL again. That was a good fit. FORTRAN would have been too much. Wonder if we will ever see RPG ?

Have to run. Battery fading fast and can't get it to charge. See you all later.

Anonymous said...

Pleasant Wednesday walk in the park. Thanks.

"Hand up, and jaws wide, for yawning at the World Series of Poker."

Hand up, and jaws wide.

"what's the difference between the verbs encamp and camp?"

Two letters.

"Sewer line : STITCH. another gotcha, sew-er as in one who sews, not sewer as in ew."

Great clue/answer.

"I initially tried Babes in lieu of NAIFS for the Innocents."

Hand up.

"QOD: Society cares for the individual only so far as he is profitable"

...and only so far as he is not inconvenient to care for.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Nice offering, Gerry. Thanx for dropping by. And Melissa Bee, great writeup. I learned a lot today.

Like Barry, my stumbling block was anZac. But I figured it had to be an initialism. (Is that what you call it? Maybe it's an acronym. What's the difference? Time for another cup of coffee...) and NZ would make sense.

Mari said...

Good morning all,

WBS. Easy but hard. My hang ups were SIECLE, ANZAC, ASES, and EME.

I liked 46D: Sewer that I get it. I also liked 48D: Benefit of some bars and drinks: ENERGY.

Great theme. Speaking of silver, check out this fellow. Nature never ceases to amaze me.

Anony Mouse said...

Thank you Gerry Wildenberg for a charming and a very challenging puzzle. I was able to finish but what a stressful exercise ! I swear, this is the limit of my C.I.Q. . I loved some of the clues, especially for 'Stitch', 'Energy', 'Opiates' and 'Coin'. In fact, I did not understand 'Stitch' at all, until Barry G.'s notes pierced into my cloudy thinking.

Gerry, it is grand that you have come here and commented, .... and so early in the game ! It gives great prominence to this blog .... has C.C.'s creation has become the Zagat guide for LA crosswords ?

All, you bloggers, who follow - Beware, Be Nice and Be Respectful - for the Creator, himself, will be reading your ramblings !!!

melissa b, Thank you, for a profound blog. I realized, early on, that it was being written by a discerning philosopher, expounding on deeply felt, esoteric and mysterious connotations.

The song you provided on Alan Watts Blues was so abstuse, so sagacious, reflective and erudite, that I am still shaken by the experience. You must be a truly enlightened being.

(To tell you the truth, I couldn't make head nor tail, of the song, but that's just me - like 'beauty' - I'm just superficial and skin deep.)

But my compliments to you are very sincere.

Have a good week, you all and best wishes.

kazie said...

WEES except for ANZAC, which dates from the April 25, 1915 storming of the shores of Gallipoli by ANZAC troops, sent there as a distraction so the British could sneak in and do damage elsewhere. It was a massacre, since the Turks were positioned atop the cliffs and were picking them off as they tried valiantly to crawl onto the shore.

The date has since been a true "public" holiday--unlike here, meant for everyone in Oz every year. I liked that when I lived there since it is also my birthday, but it is treated like Veterans Day here. Old soldiers meet and join in parades through the city, and wreaths are laid on cenotaphs throughout the country.

kazie said...

When I said "unlike here" I was digging at all the so called public holidays that nobody gets here unless they are in a government department.

Nice to see Gerry stop in. This was quite a challenge for me due to crossings of names, and some unknowns and acronyms which always escape my brain when I need them.

'Siècle' literally means 'century' in French, so that posed no problem for me, especially as it's a common phrase referring to the end of the 19th century, I think.

My Seiko bought in 1971 gave up the ghost after about 10 years, but it may have been a knock-off, since I was told by the guy who sold it that it had "fallen off a truck". He was a janitor at the school where I taught after returning to Oz from Europe, and he often had "interesting " things to sell to the staff.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Gerry Wildenberg, for a great puzzle. Thank you, Melissa Bee, for the great review.

Enjoyed the Mt Shasta cloud photo. I have been to Redding many times in years past and have enjoyed the scenery up there.

Had to jump around on this puzzle and get a word here and there. Finally got SILVER LINING. One of my favorite sayings, and one in which I adamantly believe in, is "There is a Silver Lining in Every Cloud." I kind of lead my life based on that.

I remember ANZAC from some books I have read, etc.

STITCH was a tough one, as others have said.

Do not own a SEIKO watch. As a matter of fact, I do not wear a watch. Never have. Used to carry a pocket watch (electronic) until they came out with cell phones. My cell phone is now my time piece.

Did not know ENNE for 26D. Perps fixed that.

My toughest area was the North and the NE. Had NFL GAME for a while Finally fixed that to BIG GAME.

Also had MEDALIST --- for 23A. Finally got AT DAWN and then MEDAL WINNER appeared.

ANNEXES appeared after I fixed the rest of that corner. I was looking for something that flew.

OK. Fun puzzle. Off to my day.

See you tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

This is a great blog site. Today's extras - keep on swimming and Van Morrison were fantastic. I learn something new every time that I visit your site. I will be sending a donation to help support your efforts.

Irish Miss said...

Good morning:

Nice offering, Gerry, and thanks for stopping by. Didn't get the TA-DA because of oha instead of oho. Great theme and fill throughout. Thanks, Melissa B, for your neat expo.

HH - Hope your trip includes a meal at The Barnsider.

Our temps for the next week or so will be in the 40's, but there is a prediction of some mighty cold weather coming soon from our Canadian friends.

Happy Wednesday.

Husker Gary said...

TNN came from somewhere, ELSAS was a wag and I still have no idea what ANZAC is. Oh well, even a blind squirrel find some acorns and I’ll take a “got ‘er done”. I also had my usual wrestling match with vowels DEO/DEI, SEIKO/SIEKO, UNA/UNE, et al and so some assembly was required in Gerry’s fabulous puzzle. Great “inside baseball” comment about themeing too.

-The SILVER LINING of this retirement has been getting to know how good a person I married
-ESPN’s wonderful 30 for 30 series had a feature the other night about when Ben Johnson was disqualified for doping in the 1988 Olympics and Carl Lewis moved up from a SILVER MEDAL to a gold.
-AMEND? How ‘bout Ilsa jumps off the plane and runs back to Rick?
-Granddaughter is not neat as A PIN. While cleaning her room last week, she found a $100 bill she had been given for her birthday months earlier and a pair of shoes she had never worn and she hadn’t seen they had been purchased.
-Hoover DAM is one of the most incredible structures I have ever seen or entered.
-When people get an EST of $2,000 on American Restoration to restore a tricycle, ya gotta wonder.
-I have been to Orlando by myself several times. ONE? is an embarrassing question. If I’d only know Tin then.
-Sewer and number still get me sometimes
-We are in the 40’s here too but it would be much warmer if the sun didn’t have to melt the snow first
-Who was the man with the SILVER BULLET?
-Name song with this lyric, “I begged and I PLEADED like a natural man and then, O Lord, she gave me her hand.”

Yellowrocks said...

Lovely puzzle. I got SILVER LINING almost right off, which helped with all the theme answers. Everything was in my wheelhouse, except for NEO. It seemed all wrong, but the perps had to be correct: ESPN, NILE, CLEO.
-ANZAC was mentioned frequently in the Iraq war accounts and in WW II reporting, as Kazie said.
-My son treated me to delicious OSSO BUCO at a pricey restaurant in Tribeca, NYC.
-Fin de SIECLE was also an artistic and literary movement of the turn of the century characterized by decadence, decay, and perversion. Coming after the Victorian Era it rubbed sensibilities raw. This movement includes many of Oscar Wilde's novels. One of my favorite Wilde novel s of this type is Picture of Dorian Gray. Have you read it or seen the movie. .Edith Wharton and Poe are other contributors. The movement includes many French writers, but I am not acquainted with them. The cross word standby, NANA by Emile ZOLA is another example.
-Lovely music:
Link Death of Ase, Grieg

Avg Joe said...

WEES, especially about ANZAC. Had it all except the N from perps, and even knew TNN and Spike, but had no idea that one had changed to the other. After two full mental alphabet runs, I settled on N and called it a day.

Fantastic QOD, Hahtollah.

Thanks for the Alan Watts Blues link MB. That's from what I consider Van's 2nd best album, "Poetic Champions Compose". While he's never done many, that offering has 2 very fine instrumentals:

Celtic Excavation.

and Spanish Steps.

Heavy on sax, and very very bluesy. Two wonderful tunes.

desper-otto said...

Husker, the song is Kisses Sweeter Than Wine. Oh, and the Lone Ranger had the silver bullets.

In 1987 I received a Seiko watch with our company logo on the face for my 5 year anniversary with the company. It's still in the box it came in. I've never worn it. I prefer my "atomic" wrist watch -- clunky, but super accurate.

HeartRx said...

Stunning write-up, melissa - I agree with everything that Anony Mouse said about you!

And thanks for stopping by, Gerry! I loved, loved, loved this theme. I filled in SILVER LINING right away, and smiled as each piece of silver appeared. Elegant!

Thanks Avg Joe @ 3:39 yesterday for posting the video with a hilarious comment by Ellen during the show. Otherwise, I never would have known who Simon, Kara and Randy's co-judge was!!

Don't forget this -trix !

Happy Hump Day, everyone!

desper-otto said...

YR, Poe died in 1849. How can he be part of the fin de siecle movement?

Bumppo said...

Aren't we glad the answer to 36D was not KENYA?

And wouldn't this answer have been more fun: NOTKENYA

Anony Mouse said...

To Dudley,

So, the zip code of Agawan, MA - you said was 01001. That would be the number '8' in the binary code. ( I wonder if putting that 'one' number would make the P.O. more efficient ...)

You raised my curiosity, and I found out that the 'official' highest zip is 99950 in Ketchikan, Alaska. The town was the first hen farming operation, so all the nearby residents came there, to 'get chicken' ... hence the name. The Aleuts had a problem with their spelling. (lol)

Since the IRS has postboxes ending in '99' .... I'm sure, the Alaskan IRS audit dept. probably has a (private, governmental - ) zip code of 99999.

More to the point, there is a marine, floating post office, for mail delivered to ships, while 'underway' and enroute, under the Ambassador Bridge, in Detroit, MI. Since you are a nautical expert and a marine engineer, by skill, you should read about the J.W. Westcott II, a floating marine post office in Detroit MI 48222.

Lucina said...

Hello, Peeps. Always happy to see you, Melissa, with your spicy commentary. Thanks.

Great puzzle, Gerry, and thank you for visiting us.

This was a lovely sashay and I managed to find the theme quickly and that helped with SCREEN TEST and BULLET TRAIN.

Laughed when I saw STITCH and realized the clue was one who sews.

I once had a TAX preparer named Mr. FOGeY though he was anything but that; sharp as a tack.

In Gallipoli, Turkey a huge monument has been erected to commemorate and thank the ANZAC soldiers. It's one of those places which like the AZ memorial in Hawaii, is shrouded in stillness with the memory of the thousands who died there.

At first I though SIECLE would stump me but the perps took over to complete it.

This was a lovely time today. I hope your Wednesday is wonderful, everyone!

River Doc said...

Happy Wed Morn everyone!

Close but no cigar for me this a.m. It was nice to see both Maori and ANZAC in the same puzzle. I had the pleasure of working on the North Island of En Zed for a couple of months in 1984 – wonderful people there.

Desper-otto at 9:54, my watch experience is similar to yours, but with the watch brands switched. I received a Rolex after 25 years with the same company, but rarely strap it on. It’s too clunky for my tastes, and since it does not have a battery, it stops after a day of non use. They sell a device you can put the watch on that “shakes” it to keep it running when it’s not on your wrist, but it’s super expensive. So I just wear the reliable old Seiko instead.

Re ESPN, I see that Brent Musburger is in hot water for excessively fawning over AJ McCarron’s girlfriend during the BCS championship game - here’s a link to the story

Yellowrocks said...

DO @ 9:57. you are technically correct, but Poe is sometimes listed because his Gothic novels and his sometimes decadent subjects were a strong early influence on the fin de siècle movement..
Link Poe
See first paragraph under Decadense.

Anonymous said...

@GerryW - great puzzle, I personally (brain fart) dragged near ANNEXES because of 27, 30 & 34 A-crosses.

The theme density is commendable.

Well done!

Husker Gary said...

Musings 2
-Yup, The Lone Ranger used that Silver Bullet and in my favorite version of Kisses Sweeter Than Wine, Jimmy Rodgers PLEADED like a natural man.
-I have worn this Timex for 20 years. It screams nerd but it is very accurate and has a stop watch and alarm. Utility trumps fashion in my world.
-The area code at Kennedy Space Center is 321. Now if the Zip was 54321…
-Ellen’s career has always been delightful to follow as wit trumps profanity. I have read that she could never be snarky enough for American Idol. Not surprising.
-OSSO BUCO always sounds like I’d be eating a bone and Italian food is down my list for favorite eating places. American (meat and taters), Asian, Mexican, Hawaiian (due to Chefwen), then Italian.
-ESPN must have thought Brent crossed that fine line between EYEING and LEERING. Those comments and when the Bama center shoved his own quarterback were two of the most interesting events of the night. Man I wish we could have seen Bama play Oregon.
- On another note, before halftime Brent did say, “If this was a prize fight, they’d stop it!”
-Links to POE have led me to find out he was not addicted to drugs (although his characters seemed to) but did have a drinking issue that may or may not have led to his death. My Dad said “Nevermore” to drinking from 1971 when he almost died of alcoholism to his death in 2008. Congrats to Splynter on his anniversary.

Misty said...

Terrific Wednesday puzzle, Gerry--many thanks! And Melissa, writing all the SILVER reference in silver color was totally brilliant! A wonderful way to start the day.

However, like others, the ANZAC/LEEZA cross kept me from a perfect finish. But the clever clues made up for it. I too loved the SEWER LINE mislead, and also ANNEXES for NEW WINGS. I was thinking birds, of course, and then airplanes, when it was clear birds don't get new wings. So ANNEXES came late in the game.

But I got PHONEMES, having taught Linguistics at my first teaching job, a kazillion years ago.

Have a great Wednesday, everybody!

Tinbeni said...

Melissa: Nice write-up & links. Had a laugh at your 'et al' comment.

Gerry: Thank you for a FUN Wednesday offering. Hope to see more of your work.

Strange solving experience. 87.6% seemed like a Monday. The other 12.4% like a Friday.
You know who I'm talking about; ASES, SIECLE and ANZAC. (My "perps" need a rest).

45-A,"Now I understand!" had AHA before OHO, only write-over.

Fave today was SATIRES for 40-D, Send-ups. Very clever!

"It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" ... Cheers !!!

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Wow is right. Impressive technical construction.

TAX - ANNEXES cross was elusive.

Troublesome names.


ETTE for ENNE, of course

I appreciate this puzzle finished [even with a DNF] more than I did while working it.

Mari - your link is kraken me up.

Like / love Composer pianist PREVIN?

Fighting a headache. That didn't help. Nor did entering CIECLE, which prevented STITCH, which I didn't get anyway.

My chore today is to clean the bathrooms. No, it isn't punishment. I volunteered.

Cool regards,
JzB [not likely to GoPro]

buckeye bob said...

Felt about right for a Wednesday, challenging, but not too tough.

Nice puzzle, Gerry, and excellent expo and links, MB!

46D threw me. Guess I was in the gutter too! Got it but didn’t understand it until I read MB’s write-up.

Got 30A EME and 34A ASES via perps but never heard of them. Learning moments.

42A – have heard deo gratia but never DEI gratia. Again, got it via perps, but another learning moment.

Knew 62A ANZAC from somewhere.

Favorite clue was 27A Duty: TAX. Misdirection! Was trying to think of a 3 letter synonym for “responsibility”.

Bill G. said...

OK, I admit it. I fell for 46D hook, line and sinker.

The Long Ranger and Jimmie Rodgers. It turns out the song was written by my first folk music love, The Weavers.

Clear and cool here today. Clouds and rain heading in.

Today, between 10 and 11, is the noisiest day of the week with neighbors on both sides having gardeners with mowers and blowers. Before I retired, I never noticed that stuff.

I didn't think Brent Musberger did anything so wrong. The girl didn't seem embarrassed by his gushing.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, I thought today's puzzle was a bit harder than most Wednesday puzzles. Lots of misleading clues. I thought that Seicle, and Anzac were especially difficult. I hadn't either of those words in my memory bank.
If I had remembered how to spell Leeza (I used and s for the Z) I might have been able to finish without looking up the answer for Anzac. A Technical DNF for me today.

I love the word, Gnash. In reading Sendak's "Where The Wild Things Are" I loved saying, "They gnashed their terrible teeth".

Stitched was a long time in coming as I read it Sewer, as in pipe line, instead of sewing. Duh! Is there another word for a sewer pipe?

Lots to do today. Have a great Wednesday everyone.

Bill G. said...

This is some of the most beautiful photography of flowers, hummingbirds and insects I've ever seen. The Beauty of Pollination.

HeartRx said...

Bill G. I watched the video in HD, full screen on my iMac. The hummingbirds were absolutely breathtaking, and the bats in the desert - stunning! Wow - thanks for posting.

CrossEyedDave said...

Being a Wednesday, i thought i could do the puzzle in ink. That misconception kept me puzzled all day...

It was worth it though to get sewer line = stitch, & ANZAC made it possible. In Australia they celebrate ANZAC Day every April 25th & commemorate a famous retreat from Gallipoli. Scroll down to 4.4 to read about the invention of a self firing gun to make the enemy think they were still there while they retreated. The next most famous retreat after this would be Dunkirk!

Anyway, i have to go dig the puzzle out of the trash, because i must know what i put for 12D. (I know it wasn't "biggame."

Loved the lenticular cloud! Here's more strange clouds!

JJM said...

Read Melissa's write-up and saw the link to Van Morrison's video of "Cloud Hidden". Is there a better voice in the rock era (or bigger bastard to his audience) than Van Morrison?. Sometimes I'll just turn off the light, put on my headphones and listen to "Astral Weeks" or "Moondance". What I wouldn't give to have that talent. Truly unbelievable. And he's Irish!
BTW, good Wed puzzle. Easy but fun.

JD said...

Good afternoon Melissa, C.C. and all,

Another great write-up Melissa. Thanks for the real theme. I thought I hit the jackpot with silver lining right away. Zipped thru the top 1/2 and asked myself, "Is this Wed?", somehow filling osage,& ases(strange words both).The lower portion took much longer with clever misdirections, like sewer line.Then there was siecle, anzac, cobol and Elsas. Wed's are always fun and this was no exception, but a DNF with a few holes.How does Barry say it all in one perfect sentence?

JJM, that is the cutest kid ever!

melissa bee said...

jjm, you are right on both counts - van is both a phenomenal talent, and a phenomenal jerk. i have nearly all his cd's and never tire of them. saw him live once - despite his ... lack of warmth, shall we say ... still got goose bumps. hearing tupelo honey live was almost more than i could take. his a night in san francisco double cd is a masterpiece - and includes this this duet with brian kennedy.

Get real said...

"How does Barry say it all in one perfect sentence?"
He doesn't.
And if you'll notice, he will NEVER admit to a DNF either.

PK said...

Hi Y'all, Great puzzle, Gerry! Very good, Melissa!

DNF in the SE corner because I was thinking that alcohol served in a bar is a relaxant and depressant so how could the answer possibly be ENERGY? Duh! I think maybe I better get some of those ENERGY bars. (Congrats, Splynter!)

I came up with "Aussie" for 62a and erased the "Z" I'd entered. When I got STITCH & ELSAS, I didn't go back and correct.

I also persisted with "psf" instead of SPF. Groan! Lack of patience does me in again.

I'm surprised no one mentioned the old Judy Garland song "Look for the SILVER LINING whenever clouds appear in the sky. You know that somewhere the sun is shining..." It was a favorite of my mother who sang it with a trio I can remember practicing at our house. Depression/WWII era Jerome Kern song.

PK said...

CED: Great cloud pictures. Made me think of the Israelites following the "pillar of cloud by day" during 40 years in the wilderness.

BillG: Great pollination pictures! Did you notice the one bat had a baby attached and apparently nursing. Those wings must have great lift to carry almost a double load. I hadn't thought about a bat having mammalian glands, but I Googled and they do. ARE. Strange world, nature!

Manac said...

Evening boys & girls,
This one almost did me in with the same problems as everyone else.
But "Endeavor to Persevere" and TaDa!

Argyle, Re: What the Vet Said.. It went right to my spam folder and I just saw it today. Thanks for the chuckle! Didn't see it coming.:)

Bill, We attract many Humming birds in the summer and enjoy watching them, I have noticed that they don't play nice together at the feeder and have no fear. I've had to duck many times sitting on the porch when two or three meet.


CrossEyedDave said...

I dug the puzzle out of the trash, & i cannot believe that for 12D, Super Bowl e.g. i put "pageant."???

Mystified, i tried to retrace my steps, & realized it all started in the beginning when i put "span" for 16A Neatness analogy ending : A PIN. neat as a pin. (you know, spic & span, neatness analogy ending?)

Looking at the rest of it, the NE corner was pretty tough, with country rivers & foreign noodles, weird suffixes & plays i never heard of...

Actually, i am pretty proud of myself! I don't think anyone but me could have got it that wrong!

Avg Joe said...

Chickie, "Is there another name for sewer line?"

The only thing I can think of is "effluent conduit"

But that could also describe a lot of people I've met in my life as well:-)

Hahtoolah said...


Lucina said...

You really crack me up!!!

creature said...

yes,CED, me too!

Hahtoolah said...

Creature: how good to see you. I have missed you. I hope all is well with you.

chefwen said...

Tinbeni - Met @Rube for lunch the other day and on the way back to the car I spotted a It's 5 O'clock Somewhere T-shirt. Laughed out loud and said "Tinbeni would love that". Husband said "What the hell is a Tinbenni? Had I known your size I probably would have bought it.

The S in SIECLE almost did me in until I saw TITCH and said, Oh that kind of a sewer. Ta Da!

Tinbeni said...

Too funny!
It's not easy being the "Otis" of the blog ... but I sure feel fine. lol
BTW, My best friend gave me that T-shirt a few years ago.
Needless to say, it has seen better days.

Time for Jeopardy. Cheers !!!

Manac said...

Otis, Thanks!
Something to link tonight.
Otis 1
and Otis 2

JD said...

Get Real, this was the sentence I was referring to:
"I thought this was a very easy Wednesday puzzle... except for the parts that weren't" - loved it! And, I think Barry finishes all of the puzzles. Are you an unhappy person?

CED, I also enjoy your comments. I have a VERY hard time finishing, but your humor is refreshing and honest.

Always glad to see you Creature!

Chickie said...

Avg Joe--LOL. Effluent Conduit would not have fit into the space we had, though, would it?

Bill G. and Manac, Our hummingbird feeder is still up--they need lots of food in the cold weather--It is right outside our kitchen window. And yes, the birds are not nice to each other or to me if they are in a feeding frenzie.

Manac said...

Almost forgot about this Otis

TTP said...

Hi sports fans ! Great job Melissa. Get well Marge, and Abejo and CED and anyone and everyone else under the weather or ailing. Hondo, hope your Mac comes back better than ever. I have 5 pcs, but only 2.5 are working right now. Makes it hard to mutiplex.

It's been a long couple of days at work, and tomorrow will be more of the same, but getting up to 60 on Friday in Chicago, so I'm thinking about taking the day off. Golf courses will probably be packed.

Time to catch up a bit on this avocation. First, great blogging by all. You all make it so enjoyable !

Marti, I had heard Elvis came from very humble beginnings. Did you ever get to see him ? Or had he already left the building ? :>)

D-O, re Big Thicket. Not everyone's cup of tea, but diverse. Don't have to go to South America to find carnivorous plants. They are there. Since you frequently mention walking and biking, thought I would bring it up if you haven't taken any hikes through there. Also meant to mention that my buddy that lived in Hitchcock off the inter coastal by Galveston moved to New Caney.

JD, was that a Dennis the Menace episode where everyone waited for Mr Wilson's plant to flower ?

Manac, saw your dog and the pics. Nice ! Love the porch and accent gable. I would put a wrap around porch on mine (with the same roof line as yours) but no can can do due building code and setbacks. Helped a lead carpenter buddy up here tear off his ranch roof and rafters, and then get it framed in and under roof for a second story. Did most of his electric. Then helped him and his brother, the plumber / pipe fitter, do the same on his ranch, plus siding. Called in the chits 5 or 6 years ago when it was time for my 30 x 30 addition. All's well that end's well, and we are all happy.

JzB, loved the GoPro video ! Really looked like he was getting closer and moving away. An amusing perspective.

Bill G, nice video on the hummingbirds and pollination.

I'm sure I missed other points I intended to mention, but have to wind down now for the evening, Have a great evening and see you all tomorrow.

Tinbeni said...

Manac: Otis 2 would be proud ...
"Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers;
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked;
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?"

Guess I need more Avatar
Cheers !!!

GarlicGal said...

Really late to the blog tonight.

I just wanted to say that all the time I have spent hanging out at coffee joints finally paid off. I have seen countless ANZAC cookies for sale - "a treat from down under". I never tried one - they looked a little too healthy for me. Not "treat-y" enough!

Anyway, fun puzzle today.

BillG - oh boy - a new Modern Family tonight. "I'm Billy Dee Williams. I'm Gloria de wife"....HAHAHAHAHA

G'night all.

Dudley said...

Anony Mouse 10:23 - that's interesting info about the other end of the Zip Code scale, plus the floating office. By the way, I'm not a maritime expert - perhaps you're thinking of somebody else here at the corner. My area is aviation.

Manac said...

Tin Man,
Heh, Heh!

Bill G. said...

Ooh, a new Modern Family!

Miss Otis Regrets ...

Barbara and I saw Elvis in person once. I bought two tickets for an anniversary (birthday?) present and I wouldn't tell her where we were going. She knew something was up when we got to the Long Beach Arena and there was a line around the building. It was a good concert.