Mar 10, 2013

Sunday March 10, 2013

Theme: Spring Forward - DST (Daylight Saving Time) is hidden inside each theme entry.

23A. Booze : HARD STUFF. Have you heard of Maotai? So-called China's National drink. Really hard stuff. High price too.

25A Furrier's service : COLD STORAGE

41A. Ron Howard, once : CHILD STAR. Opie.

47A. Chris Evert forte : GROUND STROKE. Or GROUNDSTROKE, one word.

70A. "On the Waterfront" actor : ROD STEIGER. Watched the movie long time ago.

74A. Beef often braised : ROUND STEAK

97A. One roaming on the range : WILD STALLION

100A. News grabber : LEAD STORY

121A. Circulatory system component : BLOOD STREAM. Or BLOODSTREAM as one word.

123A. Economical heater : WOOD STOVE
133A. Annual cause of losing an hr.'s sleep hidden in this puzzle's 10 longest answers : DST

Very consistent, all in the pattern of ?D ST*.

Ten theme entries is a lot, actually 11 if you count the short DST. We often see 7 or 8 entries on Sundays, occasionally 9. Luckily most of them are relatively short. When theme entries have 9/11 letters, or 10/10 letters, Gail and Bruce can put two in one row, which makes gridding easier.

I like that all the theme entries are placed in Across, visually they make all the DST stand out.

Also nice to see SOCK clued as "38. Argyle, for one". Has to be a shout-out to our Argyle.

1. Badge bearer : COP

4. Ancient: Pref. : PALEO. 

9. English : C :: Greek : __ : GAMMA

14. "The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?" playwright : ALBEE (Edward)

19. Rah relative : OLE

20. Like basic switches : ON/OFF

21. "__ Gold": 1997 film : ULEE'S. Hard life.

22. Fine partner : DANDY

27. Not under wraps : OVERT

28. "30 Rock," e.g. : SITCOM

30. Pasha in the Nixon White House, and others : YORKIES. I only know Checkers.

31. Salacious stuff : SMUT

34. Holiday dishes? : CHINA. You were picturing food!

35. Salmon yield : ROE

36. Spots in a Senate race, say : ADS

39. Most golf pencils lack one : ERASER

51. Coll. helpers : TAs

52. Port, e.g. : WINE

53. Env. contents : ENCS

54. Private club, briefly? : USO. Oh, soldier.

55. Uses an acetylene torch : WELDS

57. Took a little off : PARED

58. "Okey-__!" : DOKEY

60. Get via scheming : WANGLE. Only know "Finagle".

62. Word on an "evacuation route" sign : TSUNAMI

64. Mischief-maker : RASCAL. Hi there Spitzboov!

67. Tending to arouse : SENSUAL.Or Sensuous?

69. Annoying noise : DIN

76. Equal : ARE

77. Herbal brew : SAGE TEA. Never had it before.

79. Exchange worker : TRADER

80. Some Broadway performers : DANCERS

82. Game opener : ANTHEM. Not coin toss.

84. Big name in game shows : SAJAK (Pat)

88. Former TWA owner : ICAHN (Carl). I can never remember his name. Weird spelling.

89. Where glasses may be raised? : OPERA. Another great clue.

90. Cooler cooler : ICE

93. Stroll in the shallows : WADE

94. 32 years elapsed between his first and most recent Emmys : ALDA. Click here. His recent one is for "The West Wing" 2006. Shouldn't it be 34  then?

95. Slice of history : ERA

103. __ del Fuego : TIERRA

104. WWII carrier : LST

105. Vegas opening : LAS

106. Can't get enough of, in a way : OGLES

109. Cristie Kerr's org. : LPGA. Boomer likes Cristie Kerr a lot.

111. Relief : RESPITE

115. Lumber problem : DRY ROT

117. Felt sore : ACHED

126. Put out : ISSUE

127. __-Whirl : TILT-A

128. Connecting points : NODES

129. Hall of Fame quarterback Dawson : LEN

130. Holds, as an arena : SEATS

131. Clampett player : EBSEN

132. Stingray relative : SKATE


1. Silver salmon : COHO. I looked. It's not Dennis!

2. Patron saint of Norway : OLAV

3. Euro pop? : PERE. French. Mon père, ma mère.

4. Drivers of red-white-and-blue vans : POSTMEN

5. Colony member : ANT

6. Teammate of Babe : LOU (Gehrig). Do you think the film of  "The Pride of the Yankees" was flipped? Gehrig was left-handed. Gary Cooper was right-handed and never learned how to hit/throw properly left-handed.

7. Pair of duffers? : EFFS

8. Cop : OFFICER

9. Big name in leather bags : GUCCI

10. Crazy as __ : A LOON

 11. '40s-'60s dinnerware brand : MELMAC. Never heard of the brand.

12. Sweatshirt size: Abbr. : MED

13. Ancient empire on the Tigris : ASSYRIA. Gimme for JD.

14. Liked loads : ADORED

15. Carefree diversion : LARK

16. __ B'rith : B'NAI

17. Benefit of one-upmanship : EDGE
18. Seeing things : EYES. I like this clue a lot.

24. HMO members : DRS

26. Level and bevel : TOOLS. Rhyme time.

29. Confused : THROWN

32. Language of Pakistan : URDU. Written from right to left.

33. Sputnik reporter : TASS. Now Itar-Tass.

36. Started to pucker up? : AGED. Not ready to be kissed!

37. Reclusive 1962 film villain : DR NO

40. Longshoreman's chore : STOWAGE

42. Nos. on driver's licenses : HTS. 5'4'' for me, the height for average American women.

43. It's depicted by a cello melody in "The Carnival of the Animals" : SWAN. No idea.

44. Angry outburst : TIRADE

45. Lack of vigor : ANEMIA

46. It's bad for business : RED INK

48. Tech callers : USERS. Our Qwest support is based in India.

49. Places for 61-Downs : KEGS. 61. Kind of collectible handle : ALE TAP

50. "Oklahoma!" aunt : ELLER

56. Signify : DENOTE

57. Vital signs : PULSES

59. China's Sun __ : YAT-SEN. Father of Modern China. He helped overthrow Qing, the last imperial dynasty in China.

62. Treat for Tabby : TUNA

63. Teen safety org. : SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions). I thought it's Students Against Drunk Driving.

65. Barely burn : SEAR

66. They may be bummed, briefly : CIGS

68. Infer : SURMISE

70. Bias-ply alternative : RADIAL

71. Ancient prophet : ORACLE

72. "Gracias" reply : DE NADA

73. Agree to more issues : RENEW. Magazines.

75. Netful of shrimp, say : TRAWL

78. Abruzzo town in a Longfellow poem : ATRI. "The Bell of Atri".

81. Libya neighbor : CHAD

83. Bit of horse show gear : HALTER

85. Barred room : JAIL

86. Hullabaloos : ADOS

87. Margate's county : KENT. What's so special about Margate?

89. Stroked tool : OAR

91. SW corner key : CTRL

92. Frontier lawman : EARP

95. Dakota du Sud and Floride, e.g. : ETATS. South Dakota & Florida, in French.

96. Floral ornament : ROSETTE

98. Renounces : DISOWNS

99. "Louisiana Real & Rustic" chef/author : LAGASSE (Emeril). Who's your favoirte TV chef?

101. Arrives home safely, perhaps : SLIDES. Baseball. 111. 12 of these is the single-player record for an MLB game : RBIs. Guess who held the record? And 113. 1998 N.L. MVP : SOSA

102. Alpine melodies : YODELS

107. Prepare, as pizza cheese : GRATE

108. The "L" in L. Frank Baum : LYMAN. Oh, I did not know this.

110. One way to enjoy being in a cast : ACT

112. Other than this : ELSE

114. Mope : POUT. Hi Baby!

116. Helped oneself to : TOOK

118. Believe : HOLD

119. Pre-holiday periods : EVES

120. Ding, but not dong : DENT. Ha ha.

122. Umbrella part : RIB

124. Harem room : ODA

125. "Law & Order" title: Abbr. : DET. Learned a lot about NY from Detective Lennie Briscoe.

Happy Birthday to our no-nonsense guy Avg Joe, who posted one of the best comments (What if, 4:26pm) I've read in this blog. What's on the stove today? Or are you eating out??


Barry G. said...

Morning, all {and Happy Birthday, Mr. Joe)!

Appreciated the reminder to set the clocks forward, but fortunately didn't need it. The theme reveal let me go back and stick DST in a lot of empty spaces, though.

Real hit or miss feeling today. Lots and lots of good stuff, but I struggled with GROUND STROKE (not even sure if we're talking tennis or golf here, to be honest). ALE TAG meant precisely nothing to me as well. Like C.C., I wanted FINAGLE at 60A, but I was willing to accept WRANGLE. Sadly, that didn't ti, either. I knew WRANGLE was a real word, though, so I guess the puzzle was using an alternate spelling and went with RANGLE since STORAGE seemed to work nicely at 40D. Never heard of WANGLE, sorry.

In that same general area I had ATLI instead of ATRI and couldn't for the life of me think of a "stroked" tool, even with _AR in place. CAR? BAR? As a result, I never could figure out OPERA with _PELA in place.

Oh, let's see. Had SINGERS instead of DANCERS at 80A and YET SEN instead of YAT SEN at 59D (the latter making RASCAL impossible to get at 64 and the former making RADIAL impossible to get at 70D, which wasn't helped by the completely impenetrable clue).

Should have skipped setting the clock ahead and slept in an extra hour this morning, I guess...


Barry G. said...

Sorry, make that ALE TAP. And "that didn't fit, either."

[I gave up previewing my answers ever since the whole captcha thing was initiated...]


Yellowrocks said...

-Happy birthday. Avg Joe. I always rebel when I see your screen name. You and your posts are certainly far above average.
-After completing the top third I dropped to the bottom and found the reveal, DST, too soon. It made all the rest of the theme answers easy. I love the extra hour of sunlight in the evening.
-I found no arcane (to me) words or names in this puzzle. MELMAC used to be made very nearby here. I pass the old plant quite often. I realize that many solvers will not have had this experience.
-WANGLE seems quite common. People say they WANGLED a raise or WANGLED passes, etc. Wrangle is to argue persistently or to herd animals. Sometimes supervising a three year old's outdoor birthday party is like wrangling cats.
-I recited the alphabet to find the G in KEG which suggested ALE TAP.
Fun puzzle. Interesting write up.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, C.C. and friends. Fun puzzle and very timely for this weekend.

Nice shout out to our own Argyle!

I liked seeing 1-Across and 8-Down: Badge Bearer = COP = OFFICER.

We also had Put Out = ISSUE and Agree to More ISSUES = RENEW.

Some of my favorite clues included:
Holiday Dishes = CHINA.
Barred Room = JAIL.

The word on Evacuation Routes in my area is not TSUNAMI, but Hurricane.

Here's the Swan in the Carnival of the Animals.

Lou Gehirg had ALS and now there is a possible breakthrough in a treatment for the disease.

Happy Birthday, Ave. Joe!

QOD: I drive with my knees. Otherwise, how else can I put on my lipstick and talk on my phone? ~ Sharon Stone (Mar. 10, 1958).


desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I'd read the title, and HARD STUFF gave me the "gimmick." From there is was pretty straight-forward.

I remember Melmac dishes from my ute. Mom had a set in solid colors, about four different colors. Melmac is also the home planet of the alien Alf, remember him?

Wow, we had PUT OUT in this puzzle! C.C., I was hoping you'd link something for HALTER. Maybe CED will find one. My favorite TV chef is Bridget Lancaster. She not only shows the how of cooking, she explains the why.

Do they still make BIAS PLY tires for automobiles? I haven't seen one in years.

OK, I won't keep you in suspense any longer; I know you've been concerned. My "atomic" wall clock realized its error and corrected itself at 4:45 yesterday afternoon. It successfully made the leap forward overnight.

And finally, I have to admit to a dreaded DNF this morning. I had TILTO Whirl and LYMON Frank Baum. Both looked/sounded OK to me.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Loved today's puzzle, for all the crafty construction reasons that C.C. pointed out.

Hahtoolah, I couldn't get your Swan link to work. One of my favorite CDs is a YoYo Ma collection, which includes a track of The Swan. Just lovely! YoYo is on the short list of those famous people with whom I'd love to have a few beers.

The Tilt-a-Whirl was one of my favorite rides as a kid.

Cheers all!

Lemonade714 said...

Good morning all, our melmac was pink. We boys tried our best to test their claim they were unbreakable.

I thought it was cool to have CHINA and MELMAC both in the grid.

HBDTY and many more AJ.

Got to sleep at 3 (4) so I am ready for a nap in the sun.

Hahtoolah said...

Let's see if this Swan works.

Hahtoolah said...

The ALS treatment didn't work either. it's in Hebrew with English subtitles.

emjay said...

The Swan and ALS both worked, Hahtoolah. Lovely music and wonderful news.
Thank you

LaLaLinda said...

Hi Everyone ~~

Well, I slept an hour later this morning, so I can't blame lack of sleep for not seeing the theme sooner. After getting HARD STUFF, COLD STORAGE, and GROUND STROKE, I was looking for something relating to going from winter to spring ~ 'hard cold ground' would be changing to something more spring-like. Sigh. Not even close.

Usually I try to avoid the unifier but in this case it would have helped. I worked most of the puzzle before reaching the DST clue and then the light dawned. DUH.

~ Write-overs: 53A - Env. contents - Ltrs /ENCS and 24D - HMO members - Mds/DRS.

~ Tricky for me - 76A - 'Equal' - ARE.

~ Liked the baseball SW corner - RBIS-SOSA-SLIDES.

~ ODA is crosswordese I remember from many moons ago.

~ At 38D - Argyle, for one - I wanted 'Boss.' ;-) You da man!

~ Favorites: 'Seeing things' - EYES and 'Ding, but not dong' - DENT.

~ Loved your write-up, C.C. I had no idea about SADD ~ I wonder if that's a recent change.

~ Happy Birthday, (not so) Avg. Joe! Hope you have a wonderful day!

Enjoy the extra hour of daylight!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Happy Birthday, Ave Joe. Here is a birthday YODEL.

Then there is this.

Not too much else to say; the puzzle was well commented on by C.C. Just a few asides:

64a - Yeah, Hi C.C. In addition to RASCAL, Spitzboov can mean imp, rogue or bandit. In our home it had an affectionate nuance to it.

11d - BH had a whole trove of MELMAC in her hopeless chest when we got married.

89a - OPERA; great clue.

99d - We have dined at two of LAGASSE'S restaurants in New Orleans. Our favorite was NOLA'S.

104a - LST - I cannot help remembering the USS Greer County (LST-799) on which I had temporary duty for a few days without recalling the harbor seal that liked to rest on the bottom platform of the ship's boarding ladder while anchored near Long Beach, CA.

Have a great day.

Lucina said...

Hello, all. So nice to hear from you, C.C. and your informative blog.

Happy birthday, AvgJoe! You are anything but average.

This was a lovely stroll through the park except WBS about wrangle so I finally left it at RANGLE/STORAGE and also had ALETAN so missed OPERA completely. That was clever for where glasses are raised.

Otherwise fairly easy with many known and familiar crosswordese like ALBEE, PALEO and the tricky SKATE which is a sea creature.

I liked seeing TIERRA DEL FUEGO which means land of fire and DE NADA, the equivalent of no problem.

I am without wheels today as the mounts have to be replaced in mine as well as the transmission fluid. A friend is picking me up and soon, so ta, ta.

Have a wonderful Sunday, my friends!

Anonymous said...

Dennis! Where are you? Stroked tool???? Really?

Husker Gary said...

OMG, we made the hour drive home from Lincoln in an hour and fifty minutes on ice and snow packed roads with my big RADIAL tires doing a nice job, changed the 10 clocks we have in this house to DST and then enjoyed Gail and Bruce’s puzzle!

-STORAGE buildings of all descript are abounding here. Do we have too much stuff?
-OPIE probably never knew Aunt Bee used to be hot
-One network’s LEAD STORY can be omitted on another network
-I miss my WOOD STOVE but Joann hated the mess, ash and soot everywhere
-Ultimate OFF/ON Switches
-One person’s SMUT can be another’s SITCOM
-I have found it is easier to WANGLE with honey than vinegar
-All the games we saw at the state tourney were down to the wire and the DIN was incredible
-A little girl from a very small Nebraska town nailed the ANTHEM before last night’s game. Oh my!
-Has anyone made more money with less talent than Pat SAJAK whose emotional range is from A to C?
-TILT A WHIRL’s are staples of county fairs but when one EYES their operators you are leary
-POSTMEN may be parking their vans on Saturday soon
-We ate off a lot of cheap MELMAC for years
-Was Aunt ELLER a yenta?
-HBD Joe, I was glad I made it home today from your neck of the woods.
-What Neil Simon play/movie had a deserted woman trying to come back to B’way as an older DANCER?

Irish Miss said...

Hi Everyone:

A fun and clever Sunday offering from Gail and Bruce; thanks. I didn't get the theme until the unifier and I didn't get the TADA because I had Legasse/tierre, so FIW. Nice expo, CC, and a nice shout out to Argyle and to Tinman with 90A, cooler cooler=ICE!

Happy Birthday, Avg Joe; hope you have something special planned. CC asked what's cooking today: I am going to make a chicken stir-fry with mushrooms, snow peas, red pepper, and scallions, over rice.

Happy Sunday.

desper-otto said...

Happy Birthday, Avg Joe! While you're still dealing with winter in NE, the trees are busy leafing out here in the southland. Everything will be green by St. Pattie's day.

C.C., noticed that picture of Larry Ellison above TRAWL. Did you mean to say TROLL? (Sorry, Steve.) I was gonna say something about Oracle software, but I'll let the Thumper rule prevail.

klilly said...

The goodby girl..

I have a story about this. My mom born in the 30 raised her kids in 60's and 70's. she had not gone to a grown up movie in a long time. She went to see the goodbye girl and could not believe how messy and real everything was. She was used to seeing everything neat and perfect like in the Doris day movies.

I wonder if goodbye girl holds up.. I have not seen it in a while. My book club just watched the movie Rebecca after reading the book.

Thanks for the write up.

Avg Joe said...

Thanks for all the birthday wishes, kind thoughts and yodels. I wish I could say it's a beautiful day here, but as Gary noted, it's highly unpleasant. Not quite a blizzard, but the only element missing is heavy snow. Oh we'll, it'll be 50 by the end of the week.

With this being a true soup day, dinner is our old favorite, ham and bean soup. Then my wife made a very tasty looking cheesecake for dessert.

I had some tough spots in the puzzle, and FIW with the oft mentioned crossing of sto(r)age and (r)angle. Lots to like though, so it was a fun effort. Goodby daylight wasting time.

61Rampy said...

ACK! A one-letter DNF today. Had STOrAGE instead of STOWAGE. Thought it was kinda weird that storage would be in there twice. I also wondered about rANGLE. In general, WEES. Some easy answers, some toughies.
My atomic clock, which has been an hour off all winter, now reads correctly!


TTP said...

Good day all.


Did the puzzle early at the webcrosswords site. Couldn't get the Mensa site to load.

Thank you Bruce and Gail. Perfect puzzle for the day. Thank you for the excellent write up CC.

Managed to lose my notepad notes that I jot down as I do the puzzle. I know I typed in Prada instead of GUCCI, bit SITCOM made me pull that back out. CHINA was tricky, and I was looking for food again.

Most of the puzzle was DE NADA, but I had a couple of the aforementioned trouble spots. Not at ROUND STEAK, because my DW makes rouladen and braises the stuffed round steak rolls.

I've been cooking for the last hour or so. I'm making braised country style pork ribs. What a coincidence, eh ? DW requested them and took them out of the freezer last night. I arranged everything mise en place, but don't have the parsley flakes to adorn when done. I'm using my modified Emeril LAGASSE recipe. It's at the Food Network website. Just put them in the oven. Glad we have natural gas and I didn't have to fire up a WOOD STOVE.

Hope everyone has a great day !

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. I enjoyed this puzzle, and took my time savoring it. The only truly unknown to me was ODA; everything else I knew but didn't know I knew until I solved it.

Happy birthday, Avg Joe. I hope you can have a good day in spite of the unpleasant weather.

I think we should declare DST to be standard time and keep it in effect all year.

I, too, thought of kissing for "pucker up." I think that was the intent of the clue. I love to kiss.

Oracle software really is bad. We in high-tech generally agree that the likes of Larry Ellison do not deserve to have gotten so rich from such a poorly implemented, bug-ridden product.

Best wishes to you all.

CrossEyedDave said...

Have not done the puzzle yet, it's 3:19 EST?dst?edt,,,here & the Mensa site still will not open.

Happy Birthday Avg Joe! I am having trouble finding a cake with your name on it. & I don't know if you are into golf.

This would work if it had a HBD bumper sticker on it.

I guess I will go with this one.

Desperotto @ 8:50
I found pictures of halters, & I have found pictures of halters, but I cannot seem to find a picture combining the two... Just exactly what were you looking for?

Oh Nuts, I guess after reading the comments, I might as well skip the puzzle today.

PK said...

Hi Y'all, Enjoyed this puzzle, Gail & Bruce. But I would not have ever figured out the DST theme. I got the DST with perps and never read the clue!

Thanks, C.C. for all you do!

Happy birthday, Above AvgJoe! Wish you joy today!

I wanted MELMAC but bought another brand which was so durable the set lasted from 1959 to 1998 when I was given some Corningware everyday dishes. The kids were tired of seeing the old ones. I was going to throw the plastics out, but my son was getting married and his roommate was going to his own apartment and needed dishes. So they lived on. Not one ever broke or cracked.

Fortunately, we are still having rain and not the frozen stuff you got, AvgJoe & Gary. With over two inches of rain, we would have had a big pile.

I don't watch TV food shows. They make me gain weight.

HeartRx said...

My brain is fried - didn't even attempt the Saturday Silkie or today's. Too bad, they both looked awesome! Thanks for all the support, but in the end - I just had fun with it.

As a "Rookie" (first time entry in the tournament,) they didn't even give me any handicap. Husker G, I think they should make it more like a golf tournament so us newbies could actually compete with the Dan Feyers of the world. What think you?

I got perfect grids for two of the puzzles, missed 2 letters on two of the puzzles, and one letter on the last (Sunday-sized) puzzle. The other two? Totally DNF! # 5 was especially brain wrenching (mine still aches from that one!) But what a great weekend, and most wonderful to finally meet Rich.

Now to catch up on my chores, and back to reality.

PK said...

Marti, they may call you Rookie, but you are a MASTER or Guru to us. I'm very impressed that you even dared to try, so whatever scores you got are irrelevant.

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, Gail and Bruce, for an excellent puzzle. Thank you, C.C., for the swell review.

Got started a little before church then finished after I got home.

Started easily in the NW with COP, OLE, COHO, and OLAV. Got most of the whole NW part of the puzzle, including some of the theme answers. Then headed South.

Got the SE with DST and then I knew what to look for.

Bounced around all over and got the gimmies, with most of the themes. The DST helped.

Had a hangup with 115A. I thought the clue was Lumbar problem. I was looking for a back injury or something. Then I saw Lumber problem after a while and DRY ROT appeared with a couple perps.

TSUNAMI was tough. I was looking for road sign and TS just did not make sense. ANEMIA and RED INK helped.

ROUND STEAK came after a little thought. I cooked round steak this past Wednesday for our Commandery and I did braise it first, then baked it. turned out great, IMHO.

MELMAC was easy. I certainly remember those dishes. Ours were blue. I believe my first wife and I had some. She might still have them (I hope so).

Liked ALE TAP and KEGS. The only tap I own is Genesee. I used to run a keg, but gave that up. I like craft beer now, by the six pack.

My favorite chef was that cajun guy, who always drank a glass of wine after he prepared his meal. Cannot remember his name.

Happy Birthday to Avg Joe. Always enjoy your posts, as well as your avatar.

Now I am going to my backyard and am going to pump the water out. I rained and the snow is melting. I have a lake.

See you tomorrow.



Bill G. said...

I always enjoy Gail's puzzles and this was no exception. I certainly didn't figure out the theme until the reveal. Did anybody else suss out the theme first? CC, did you figure it out early on or is there any way you and the other team members can get a clue about a non-obvious theme? Are there ever any themes without a reveal that you can't figure out? Then what?

Barry, you don't need to use Captcha to use Preview but maybe you already knew that...

The older I get, the harder it is for me to adapt to the time change.

A very happy birthday wish for our above-average Joe! Bean soup! I love bean soup!

CED, I certainly like one of your halter photos better than the other. I wonder why the second one got the name?

The Lakers game has started. Their last two have been nail-biters.

Husker Gary said...

Congrats on your effort, Marti! If you ever compete against me, you’ll have to spot me two acrosses and three downs! What was the biggest barrier to doing the puzzles?

1. Esoteric terms
2 Ungodly names from the arts (that’d be my worse but sports would be for some our friends here)
3. Unfathomable or unhelpful themes
4. Grid tricks (e.g. two letters per cell or “falling water” from a few days ago)
5. Puzzles requiring a lot of crosswordese beyond our normal ken
6. Overly cutesy clues
7. Consumption of beau coup vino ;-)
8. Or…

Also, did you notice any cultural bias that might have hampered a person of a different culture (except for our resident genius and mistress of ceremony here who seems to know so dang much)?

Did there seem to be a clique of veterans that were standoffish and did not try to make you feel welcome?

Did Rich give you any insights on how to get published or do you think that hug helped ;-)?

Inquiring minds (all right, maybe just mine) want to know!

Yellowrocks said...

Friday afternoon I drove Alan to a Getaway Weekend in a hotel a half hour away and I was to pick him up late this afternoon. They planned to bowl, swim, go to the movies and a craft fair. They eat every meal out .(Alan’s favorite part.) He went to these Getaways several times years ago and loved them.. The program died and is now being revived. This time Alan was fairly nervous about it because it seemed so new and different. He is going to have to get used to change and being with non family so he will survive when I am gone.
Last night I was in my jammies snuggled on the couch with a Sierra Nevada reading my Kindle before a lovely fire. The program called me at 9:30 pm to tell me the entire hotel complex was without power for the past several hours. A generator was providing only meager light, so they were closing the program and I had to come to take Alan home. He was very disappointed, but I was happy he enjoyed it and wanted to return.

Yellowrocks said...

-Marti, you are so brave and so talented. To get to the tournament at all you have to be an excellent solver. I think a rookie handicaop would be a good idea.
-I am very surprised that Melmac was such a common denominator among us. I now have Corelle for everyday dishes. My best china is so delicate and thin that the cups are translucent. It was my mother's. She had Alzheimer’s and said an seemingly understood very little. Mom and Dad had offered the dishes to me previously. . The day dad brought them I was washing them and putting them away while Mom watched. She suddenly said, "I had dishes like these." I replied, "These are yours. Thank you so much for giving them to me." She replied, "I hope you enjoy them." And then she lapsed back into inarticulateness. So sad and yet so loving.

LaLaLinda said...

Marti ~ Congratulations on completing your first ACPT ~ I can't even imagine the stress of such a competition ~ ya done good!

Abejo @ 3:09 ~ I don't know why, but I got a good chuckle out of your comment on MELMAC - "I believe my first wife and I had some. She might still have them (I hope so)." Funny.

Bill G. said...

YR, it's so sad about your mother. My mother was much the same in her last couple of years. After my father died, we brought her out here from Virginia. She hated it at first but there was nobody left back east to take care of her. Those were the saddest and most stressful years of my life for sure. I'm guessing several others of us have experienced something similar with their parents.

Irish Miss said...

This is for all the cat lovers.
Although I am more of a dog person, this brightened a gloomy March day.

Barry G. said...

Barry, you don't need to use Captcha to use Preview but maybe you already knew that...

Yep, knew that. But when you hit the preview button it resets the capcha and I'm always afraid I'll end up with one even worse than the current one....

BTW, isn't MELMAC the planet where A.L.F. came from?


Hahtoolah said...

Congratulations, Marti on your first ACPT. Good, to you got to meet Rich and i am sure other constructors.

HeartRx said...

I just got caught up on all the comments. First of all, a happy, happy birthday hug to the blog's own Sean Connery. ("Avg Joe?" No way!!!)

Bill G., I'm sure that your son appreciates the help. And you are right, finances in such situations can make the stress level skyrocket.

Irish Miss, even the most heartless person would be suckered into adopting those two pathetic little things. (Ask someone who just did the exact same thing a few months ago!)

Husker G., the two puzzles that I didn't finish had 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7. But no "tricks" (rebus, missing clues, etc.) The most difficult was a puzzle titled "Take Five." In it, you had to remove the five vowels a,e,i,o and u from each theme entry - but only the first instance of each vowel. So if a theme entry had two A's in it, you would only remove the first one for the answer. So WITCHES CAULDRON became WTCHSCLDRN in the grid. I was absolutely sure of the crossing perps, but could not suss the gimmick at all. I must have used four erasers on that one!

HeartRx said...

Here is a link that might put things into perspective...

Husker Gary said...

Marti, that “Take Five” was not a trick?! You’re a better solver than I am Gunga Din. I would have figured that out about the time the next Mayan Apocalypse came around.

I have put dozens of kids on various theme park roller coasters that were very apprehensive at first but so glad when they tried. That’s why I admire what you did – you overcame your misgivings and gave it a shot. I hope the entire experience was enjoyable and the other kids were nice and let you have a turn on the swings.

Oh, I just now saw the picture of the torture chamber, uh, competition room. Why are the chairs arranged in pairs – to accommodate left-handers? Did you have proctors? BTW, I couldn’t make out the wine bar ;-). Any tapas or noshes?

HeartRx said...

HG, everyone was absolutely super - I have never met a more diverse and friendly group in one place! There was only water in the room. Wine was much later. And yes, there were many proctors, and we had pasteboard "protectors" to hide our grids from other competitors. (Ha, as if my answers would have been of help to my neighbors...) In the front of the room, on stage, was a huge digital clock that ticked off the seconds for each puzzle...tick...tick...tick...

Avg Joe said...

Again, thank you all for the birthday wishes and kind thoughts.

So many of you have paid sincere compliments in questioning my chosen moniker that I feel compelled to explain. It's not an attempt at self-deprecation. It's a self-portrait. I grew up in a small town as a farm kid in a family of very modest means....(I'm fond of saying "I was born with nothing and still have most of it."). While I haven't lived in that small town since the 70's, one constant in my life he's been getting to know hundreds of people with similar backgrounds, many of which have become friends. But in all too many instances, I've watched these folks rise through the ranks during challenging careers that were genuinely earned, then adopt the attitude that they were born to aristocracy..... now too good to associate with the riff-raff that were peers not that long ago. It absolutely blows my mind!

Throughout our lives my wife and I have worked, given up indulgences and practiced thrift to the point where we have a small degree of security, but we have never "graduated" from the working class. And I sincerely hope we never do. That is the sense in which I use the term average. It's nothing more than that, but also nothing less.

And besides all that, my name really is Joe:-)

Lemonade714 said...

Can we keep marti here on the farm now that she has been to the big city? Will she now send her puzzles to Will instead of Rich? Stay tuned.

BTW, I tired the HOBO Parade's End series, and could not follow the words, or care for the people. It did prompt me to watch some of the original Upstairs, Downstairs the 70's series which ran when I started law school, and I am sure inspired Mr. Fellows. Again, the characters were not as fully developed or compelling as DA.

Sadly, every newspaper now gleefully prints DA news, ruining much of next season's surprises, even before they run in England in December.

Everybody on time today?

PK said...

Avg Joe: Been there done that too. Boy, do I appreciate what security I now have.

pas de chat said...

Happy Birthday Joe!!!
Marti is our hero.
C.C. is the greatest!
Total DNF and DNC (did not care)
on yesterday's Silkie.
Think he sits in his tower and says
"Bwaahahaaa" ?
Wanted RANGLE (duh, it's not even spelled right)
STOrAGE and thought 97 A was something about in like a LION for March.
Those French states don't fool me anymore.
Pucker up clue I think means when fruits or vegetables go bad.
I inherited three complete sets of Melmac (one was grandmother's and two were Mom's)One is exactly like this.

Lemonade714 said...

To me the most amazing thing about melmac was how high the plates would bounce when careened into the patio

AnnieB8491 said...

Good evening all - Worked for a looong time on the cw this morning. Finished unassisted with 3 WAGS - two were right, 1 was wrong. However - had a few errors. Misspelled ULIES, MILMAC and PALIO (My son works for a company Palio) and I missed EFFS. Plus a couple of other misses. But all in all I was pleased I solved as much as I did w/o help.
Loved ALF. Still have the stuffed animal that was my sons - I save everything!
I didn't 'get' the DST theme, but got all the fill-ins anyway - eventually.
The TILTA Whirl was also my favorite ride when my family spent a week at Caroga Lake when I was young. They had an amustment park and I spent HOURS trying to get the stupid round ring over the prizes on the square blocks.
Marti - Enjoyed your link and reading your bio. You’ve led a very busy and interesting life. Many wishes for your continued success.
Happy Birthday Avg Joe. Hope you had a great day!


Webster said...

A word worshipper, huh?

Sfingi said...

Melmac is a brand once owned by Oneida Ltd. The company was neither in Oneida, NY, nor Oneida County, but in Sherrill, Madison County. The kid's dishes were especially cute. My dad worked there 37 years.

My mom has advanced Alzheimer's. She's 93. She doesn't say much, but sings, and especially likes church and Lawrence Welk. She takes no meds.

Anonymous said...

Just curious if all you folks are from California. ThIs puzzle also appears in the Chicago Tribune.

Argyle said...

Heavens, no. We are from all over.

Bill G. said...

Re. resetting Captcha, as maybe everybody doesn't know, you can click the recycle icon underneath the Captcha as many times as you choose until you get an easier one.

Anon 9:30, by my quick count, we've got about eight active Californians, about equally divided between north and south.


Sallie said...

Good night everyone.

Just stopped in to say Happy Birthday to Avg Joe. I too enjoy your comments.

That's all folks.

Argyle said...

Renault Tierra del Fuego

Blue Iris said...

How do they decide what date to start DST? Remember losing an hour on my honeymoon, April 24, 1976:(

Favorite fill was DENADA.

We had Melmac when we first got married. That stuff never dies. Finally gave to rescue mission. We then used Corelle for many years and gave that to grown children. We now use antique blue Currier and Ives for everyday. Haven't broke one yet.
Sfingi, I still have my kiddie Peter Rabbit melmac dishes in my cedar chest.

Adv. Joe, I love your philosophy on life and also love the name Joe. My grandfather was Joseph and I remember my grandmother lovingly calling for Joe. Our son's middle name is Joseph now.

We just felt worn out today.(possibly DST??) My DH drove to town brought home sub sandwiches. We had homemade vanilla and chocolate pudding parfaits for dessert. ( Well, made with instant diet pudding. )

Goodnight all!

Blue Iris said...

Oops... forgot to say Happy Birthday, Joe!!!