Mar 21, 2013

Thursday, March 21, 2013 Alex Bajcz

Theme: Covert OPs

20A. Hot sauce ingredient : TABASCO PEPPER.

27A. Vox populi : PUBLIC OPINION.

43A. Genre artist of mid-18th century Europe : ROCOCO PAINTER.

49A. Stinger? (and what's literally found in 20-, 27- and 43-Across): UNDERCOVER COP.

I missed Alex's debut puzzle on February 1st, since I was on the beach in Florida with no Wi-Fi. There are not many ways to split a three letter word, but all three phrases are in the lingo, so it felt pretty easy for a Thursday. And even though there were several unknown names, the crossings were all solid.  Marti here for your regular Thursday programming.


1. ___-minded : CIVIC. Nice palindromic word.

6. Skating team : PAIRShen Xue and Zhao Hongbo of China won the pairs competition at the 2010 Olymics. This is why. Performance around 5:30, then the judging. Total 10:58

10. Strong desire, with "the" : HOTS. What screen idol do you have the hots for?

14. Caught this morning : FRESH. Fresh clue!

15. "Look ___ when I'm talking to you!" : AT ME.

16. Auth. of many snarky blog somments : ANON. Don't feed the trolls.

17. "Scrubs" head nurse : CARLA. Played by actress Judy Reyes.

18. Nurses : SIPS. So was your mind still on Carla?

19. "___ 911!": police series parody : RENO. Never saw the show.

23. Beret-sporting revolutionary : CHEGuevara.

25. Operation Overlord vessel, for short : LST. Code name for the invasion of Normandy, where many Landing Ship, Tanks were put into service.

26. Concerto standout : SOLOIST. I don't think this one has been linked before. For you, Jazzbumpa!

30. Monstrous : OGRISH. Yes, it's a real word. So is ogrism, which leads me down a whole different path...

31. Off ___: sporadically : AND ON.

32. NBAer who tweeted "I'm about to retire" in 2011 : SHAQ. Shaquille O'Neal. And he did.

33. Wrinkly toy : PUG. Awwww...

34. Silver-tongued : GLIB.

38. No later than : UNTIL.

41. British blame game? : CLUEDO. Never heard of the British version of Clue.

45. Men's department fixture : TIE RACK.

47. Vessel near the desserts : URN. Coffee urn.

48. Droop : SAG.

52. Produced fiction? : LIED.

53. Say and mean : AVER.

54. Slapstick sidekick : OLLIE. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were probably the best slapstick comedy team, ever.

57. "House," in Inuit : IGLU.

58. Suckling spot : TEAT. I feel sorry for the little guys on the bottom.

59. Favors, with "toward" : LEANS.

60. Fanfare : POMP...and circumstance.

61. Woody's son : ARLO.

62. "Tearin' Up My Heart" band : 'N SYNC. They officially broke up about eight years ago, but live on in crosswords.

1. Compound once used as aerosol propellant: Abbr. : CFCChlorofluorocarbon.

2. NPR's "Science Friday" host Flatow : IRA.

3. Anatomical column component : VERTEBRA.

4. Land in el agua : ISLA.

5. Dry French wine : CHABLIS. I prefer Sauvignon Blanc.

6. Target in the end zone : PASS TO. Now that Wes Welker has defected to the Broncos, Tom Brady will have to find someone else to PASS TO in the end zone.

7. System ending? : ATIC. Systematic.

8. Eliciting awe : IMPOSING.

9. Plead in court, say : RESPOND.

10. Whaling weapon : HARPOON GUN.

11. Bowler's target : ONE PIN. Boomer!

12. Strengthens : TONES. Does anyone use an XBox for exercising? My personal trainer in the video is a real b*tch...

13. Sound from the bull pen : SNORT. Well, I guess it would depend if they were winning or losing the baseball game...(^0^)...snort

21. "The Nazarene" author Sholem : ASCH.  Sholem Asch (1880-1957) seems to have offended Jewish people everywhere with the trilogy, which also included "The Apostle" and "Mary."

22. Belgian prime minister Di Rupo : ELIO. Never heard of him.

23. Coast Guard noncoms : CPOs. Chief Petty Officer (s).

24. Jackman of "Les Miserables" (2012) : HUGH.

28. Sloshed : LIQUORED UP.  You should have 18-Acrossed those drinks!

29. São ___ : PAULO.

33. Examine, as produce : PICK OVER.

35. "Game on!" : LET'S PLAY.

36. Coconut product : IDEA. HaHa, "coconut" as a slang term for "head" here.

37. McEnroe rival : BORG. John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg.

39. Tar Heel St. : N. CAR. North Carolina Tar Heels.

40. Improvisational piece : TOCCATA. From the Italian "to touch." Here is a famous one, attributed to Bach.

41. Gideon Fell creator John Diskcon ___ : CARR.  Subject of more than 20 detective stories by Carr.

42. Apt vehicle in a presidential motorcade? : LINCOLN. Nice clue.

43. Furniture wood : RED ELM. It is beautiful wood for cabinetry.

44. ___ Rico : PUERTO.

45. Dutch export : TULIP.  Tulip service?

46. Covent Garden architect Jones : INIGO. Oh my, I just got INIGO Montoya etched into my brain, and now there's another one?

50. Scaloppine meat : VEAL. I like VEAL piccata, too.

51. Fútbol cheers : OLES.

55. Resting place : INN. "Mausoleum" just wouldn't fit...

56. "I didn't mean to do that" key : ESC.ape.  Time for me to slip out the back door. See you next week!



Dennis said...

Good morning, gang - I love a puzzle with fresh clues/answers, and this one certainly filled the bill. And I learned two new words, CLUEDO and TOCCATA, which should stay in the memory bank for at least a few hours.

I needed a fair amount of perp help to get through it, especially around the two words above. And how many of us knew the Belgian Prime Minister? Certainly not me. The theme reminded me of the recent one C.C. and I did, "Inside Jobs", where jobs were embedded in the theme answers; COP was one of them. Favorite clues were 'Coconut product?' and 'Sound from the bull pen'.

From last night: Lois, we can compare anything you like.

Had a small spot on my forehead that a routine dermatology exam caught. Turned out to be basal cell carcinoma, which is the least onerous form of the big C. So today they cut it out, along with enough surrounding tissue so there was none of it left. I haven't seen the resultant product yet, but I've got a pressure pad taped on my forehead that looks like something out of a cartoon, it's so big. One more scar for the collection.

Shouldn't be anything further, but it's enough of an attention-getter that I'll be more diligent about sunscreen. Thanks for the notes and posts of concern; means a lot.

Marti, excellent write-up, as always.

Do something fun today; the clock's ticking...

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I'm afraid this one didn't do much for me. Aside from the underwhelming theme (a three-letter hidden word?), there was just so much stuff like CLUEDO, LST, IGLU, ELIO, CPOS, etc., that it really wore me down.

Take care of yourself, Dennis!


Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Not much struggle today, but there was a WTF moment when Cluedo filled in. Had Cayenne before Tabasco. I guess I don't know jack about pepper. :-)

I see that Scrubs got a mention. I haven't seen every episode, but for the most part I think that program was brilliant TV.

Morning Marti, and thanks! Belated Happy Birthday to Spitz from yesterday.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Marti and friends. I was SO on Alex's wavelength today. What a fun puzzle with lots of new "Caught This Morning" FRESH clues.

Operation Overlord Vessels was a new take on the crossword staple of LST.

I also liked Vessel Near the Desserts = URN.

TABASCO Sauce is manufactured in Avery Island, LA.

16-Down was an appropriate clue for the blog. Let's hope we don't have any today.

QOD: Music is moonlight in the gloomy night of life. ~ Jean Paul (Mar. 21, 1763 ~ Nov, 14, 1825)


desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I'm with Barry on this one. It didn't do much for me, and I DNF'ed to boot! Didn't know CARR or CLUEDO and wagged a B.

I don't remember ever hearing about RENO 911, and didn't know who sang Tearin' Up My Heart, but I had --Y--, and that gave it away.

I've got one nit. "Bowler's Target" is not the ONE PIN. Yes, you've gotta knock it down to get a strike, but if you aim at it you're likely to wind up with a 7-10 split.

TTP said...

Good morning all !

After first pass, 14 words across and 15 words down.

Baseball season is getting closer, as "Sound from the bull pen" reminded.

No offense intended, but I know more Belgian beers than prime ministers. Perps named him ELIO.

I had a Wayland (a "near Natick") at "Scrubs head nurse" (never watched it) and NPR Science Friday host (never listened to it). But the only logical answer could be an A. I don't think Wayland will catch on as a "Near Natick"

Another Wayland at intersection of "Covent Garden designer Jones" and "Inuit word for house." Wait, no, that's not the clue. It's "House, in Inuit". I_LU. Hmmm, what could it be. G, I wish I could parse this.

I wasn't going to be happy with vague "Slapstick sidekick", but it is Thursday and perps gave me 80 % of the answer. What a great clue for "56D." I will start using that.

Don't know why I didn't think of TULIP immediately for Dutch Import. I was still stuck on beer, so I was looking to fit in Heineken, Amstel or Grolsch.

I had to tun on red letter assist. My HARPOON was a GAF. It was missing an F. Taking out the F made PAINTER appear. I like some Rococo furniture pieces.

Time for me to make coffee and then read Marti and the writeups.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the shout out!

Barry G. said...

I don't think Wayland will catch on as a "Near Natick"

I would have gone with Framingham, personally, but Wayland works just as well... ^_^

61Rampy said...

I thought this was an easy puzz for a Thursday, yet I still had a DNF, thanks to that "C" belonging where I had a "B" for bARR and bLUEDO. Never heard of either. Knew CFC right away. Also knew RENO 011. Hysterically funny show on Comedy Central several years ago.
Wouldnt have sussed the theme without getting the unifier answer. Any puzzle that has verteBRA, TEAT, and SAG will hold my interest.

desper-otto said...

OK, I've thought it over, and I'm withdrawing my nit. If a bowler knocks down 9 pins on the first ball, he would then have just ONE PIN (any position) to aim at.

Off to do taxes for the third time this week....

Anonymous said...

if dont taregt the one pin on the first roll, you will never get a strike.

Mari said...

I'm going with Barry and Desper-Otto. This one just wssn't in my wheelhouse. Way too many formal names for me: 32A, 43A, 61A. 2D, 21D, 22D, 24D. 37D, 41D, and 46D. I'm not good with names and there were way to many in my weak spot to make this a keeper.

I liked
- 52A: Produced Fiction: LIED
- 36D: Coconut Product? IDEA (very clever!)

43D looks like a catch phrase from The Shining: REDELM! REDELM!

Nice shout out to Anon.

Mari said...

I'd be lucky if I even hit ONE PIN.

TTP said...

Thank you Alex Bajcz and thank you Marti. I noticed a couple of other words filled by perps as I read your write up. Like Asch. And the C at CARR and CLUEDTO was a total wag.

Doesn't matter anyway, as I had to turn on red letter assist as stated earlier.

I should have written "Dutch EXport' above.

Barry, that's funny because I thought about "Framingham" for a moment as well. If near Natick means less obscure, then perhaps Framingham would be the better fit.

Anonymous said...

learning(spelling) moment for today:

Sao Paulo-- I wanted to spell it Paolo, but that is Italian spelling not Portugese.

Yellowrocks said...

It took me at least 10 minutes to get going on this. I finally got a small strip completed down the east side which included COP. Guessing there was a COP in each theme answer helped. I then was on Alex'x wave length and finished in 20 more minutes. I.too, missed the C in Carr and CLUEDO.

Dennis, I wish continuing good health. I'm glad you caught the spot in time.

Alex Bajcz said...

Hey everyone. Thanks for giving this crossword a try! This was the first puzzle I wrote with serious intents of submitting it anywhere, so the fill isn't up to the standards I now hold myself to. Still, I hope you had fun with it, and I'm very happy with what Rich did to some of my clues haha

kazie said...

Glad the spot was caught in time, Dennis. Now you're in the sunbelt, be careful!

This took me quite a while due to naticks and names I didn't know.I started with BULBS for TULIP, and wanted LIQUID---/LIQUORED UP. Also couldn't come up with GUN after HARPOON, and had guessed BURR/CARR, so had BLUE--, until reading the interview gave me a hint to that and a couple of other missteps.
Very challenging for me.

pjmugs said...

DNF here today as I too missed the C in CLUEDO. Many answers came due to wags as I was also having some kind of bizarre I Can't Spell Today disease. Some answers I had to revisit because I filled in the wrong letters from the start even though I knew the word. I finally sorted it all out but gave myself a headache. I guess that's what happens when you don't pay attention.

Favorite clue: Wrinkly toy, PUG for the obvious reasons. Thanks for the cute pic!

Anony Mouse said...

I GOT It - I Got it - i got it .... a Thursday. By the skin of my teeth. It was somewhat fun, but I wouldn't want to do it again. That's just me. Thank you Alex Bajcz. Thank you Marti for your witty blog - and all the music interludes. I finally found out what a trombone sounds like, and I am awespired that a person could spend a lifetime, specializing in that instrument. I am humbled by my ignorance.

CPOs and Ogrish were my 2 difficult words. I have to read up on what a Rocaco is.

I've been reading up on the crisus, er crisis, in Cyprus. What happens when a nation goes bankrupt - Do the people get repossessed - like cars ? JazzB may have an opinion. Some pundits say the Euro is over valued by 44 %. Lets see. European nations are spending money like they are all 'liquored up', with no accounting in sight, as if they are America (!).

A local old lady died, last year, and they found $ 42,000 dollars in 14 cookie jars, in her basement. She grew up during the depression, and never trusted the banks. The money, in wads of old notes, was worth over 600,000 because the notes were numismatically valuable, and in such 'good' condition. She left no heirs. Anybody here who doesn't trust the banks, or 'their' banks ? Mari, do you keep an account at the bank where you work ? That could cause a serious loss of privacy, since your entire life can been 'seen' through your account.

Good day, all.

Lemonade714 said...

John Dickson Carr, who also was published as Carter Dickson was a displaced American who wrote the best locked room mysteries of all time. Despite being a Pennsylvania native, his style is of the classic British mystery. He also brought great humor to the mystery story, and his other main hero. Sir Henry Merrivale is a modern Falstaff.

He also contributed with many other mystery writers to the war effort, writing and producing radio plays.

Thanks you Alex and marti for a fun morning romp.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Once again, thanks to all those who wished me well on my birthday yesterday. (Which I now have to share with John28man). What are the odds of that? 1/365, BillG? You are all great people.

Enjoyed Alex' offering today. Finally got the whole thing except for 41d, CARR, which I looked up in my NYT dictionary. The unifier helped with the last 2 acrosses. Liked the LINCOLN clue. (I have a 2002 Town Car.) Liked seeing TOBASCO and ROCOCO. Had to wrack my brain a little to remember CFC. Overall a solid opus with a good solving cadence.

Shoutout to ANONs today. Here is Grimmy trying to be an Anon. (In the panels leading up to today, Grimmy, as is a male dog's wont, defiled someone's lawn gnome, which was video taped and went viral on the Internet.)

Zelig came up yesterday. The Dutch word 'gezellig' means pleasant, cosy, or gregarious.

Off to play some bridge.

Have a great day.

Mari said...

Anony Mouse @ 9:18 am: Yes, I do have an account at the bank where I work. I have no access to personal checking or savings accounts, so I couldn't "accidentially" earn a little extra interest. My last mortgage was here as well. The main reason I do banking where I work is that employees get discounts and perks that aren't available to the general public. We get a slightly higher interest rate on savings, and a slightly lower interest rate on mortgages. Plus we have no ATM fees, etc.

My great grandmother lived through the Depression. When she passed away they found money EVERYWHERE! They couldn't figure out why her ironing board was so heavy...the legs were stacked with quarters.

My 2 grandmothers were very cheap with their money, and one of them was a hoarder (as bad as you see on TV).

I can't imagine what they lived through. It must have been terrible.

doral said...

enjoyed this puzzle. some wags (cluedo). glad your spot is gone D. jealous you are someplace warm.

AnnieB8491 said...

Good Morning All - Great puzzle Alex, great write-up Marti. Thanks to you both.

Had to skip around a lot to start and had quite a few unknowns. Some filled in with perps, some not - ROCOCO/TOCCATA, CLUEDO/CARR, CPOS/OGRISH. Wanted PASSEE instead of PASSTO (makes more sense to me) but after TOBASCO (wanted POBLANO at first) filled in, I got the message.
My sister spent a summer in Sao PAULO during high school so that's always a pretty easy fill-in for me when it's clued.
After I saw my first COP in that last themed answer, that helped with the others.
In the end, a DNF for me, but still enjoyed it. Seems like the more difficult days are getting a little less difficult. :)
Favorite clue was 'Coconut product'. Favorite fill-in was 'LIQUOREDUPI'

Dennis - Praying all tests come back clean and for your continued good health.

Happy Thursday to all!


AnnieB8491 said...

Java Mama - If you have time on your southern trip - visit Savannah while you are in the area. (2 hrs from Charleston). Our son went to college (SCAD) there so we visited often. It’s a beautiful city, beautiful architecture (the college has taken over a many of the historic buildings for their classes and renovated them) lots of parks and history. Great restaurants on the River.
But don't go around St. Patrick's Day unless you like to "P A R T Y'. They have quite a reputation for that time of year.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

I, too, must agree with Barry. Plus, way too many proper names. Also too, it's the HEAD PIN not the ONE PIN.

OPEN and CLOSE before CIVIC.

DEL before ESC.

I actually had __ BEVERAGE in 49A for a while. It fit with 3 consecutive perps.

This looked like a huge DNF for a long time, but aside from having PAOLO/POG in the middle, made it through, with a struggle.

I haven't see the word CHABLIS on a wine bottle in at least a decade. And I haven't been LIQUORED UP in far longer than that.

VERTEBRA was a gimmie, since I had just returned from the chiropractor

Marti - thanks for the Rimsky shot. He plays that very nicely. I've played that piece - in the ensemble, not as SOLOIST.

Dennis - glace you got a good cure, and welcome back to the head of the table.

Much to do today, so IMBO.

Cool regards~

PK said...

Hi Y'all, Easiest thursday for me in a long time. Thanks Alex, I was on your wavelength. Fewer red letters than yesterday. I typed in CARR & ASCH and wondered how I knew those. I did have trouble getting started with 1A & 1D but backed in with perps. I even saw the COP in the first two theme answers before I got the unifier. Very satisfying.

Great expo, Marti! Enjoyed the Tocatta & trombone.

I always want to spell Bjorn BjORG.

C.C., You said Boomer was bowling the other day. How did he do?

I knew INIGO Jones for some reason. Think that Covent Garden question was on Millionaire or some game show. The name always sounds DF to me.

Never heard of RED ELM. Here we have native & Chinese Elms.

Dennis: May that be your last brush with big C.

PK said...

I tried "dirty" minded first off and got red lettered.

My MIL had such a hard time during the depression on the farm with four little kids to feed and livestock, garden etc. Her frugalness was inbred into my husband. I had to go through everything when he died because he stashed cash in all his private home areas. Found over $2,000 tucked in old socks and new clothes he had never worn.

My bank reported a huge loss last year from a developer that went bust. I've thought maybe I should resort to some cash tucking myself. It's supposed to be gov. insured, but is the government stable enough to cover it?

JJM said...

Twice in the last 10 days we get INIGO ! I'm only smart enough for the Princess Bride clue. CLUEDO was a bit of a stretch... but I got it. Overall, a little tricked up, but certainly doable. Took me a few min longer than usual.

Anonymous said...

oc4beach here.

Not too bad for a Thursday, but CLUEDO was a total unknown. Perps did the job today.

Dennis: On Criminal Minds the character David Rossi said "Scars remind us where we've been. They don't have to dictate where we're going."

Marti: enjoyed the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor

Irish Miss said...

Good morning:

On the first pass through, I thought this would be a toughie but with perps and a couple of WAGS, I finished but no TADA. The reason: like some others, I had Paolo/pog. Was wondering what a wrinkled toy pog was!

Overall, I thought it was a tad easy for a Thursday. Thanks, Alex, for your fine effort and thanks, Marti, for your fine expo.

Our local newspaper invested millions of dollars in a new, state-of-the-art printing press made in Germany which was going to greatly improve the quality of the printing and, most importantly, the sharpness and focus of pictures and colors. The debut edition was Tuesday and it was quite impressive. I didn't get my paper this morning, so I called my carrier and was told there was no paper yet: the press broke down. You know what they say about mice and men..........

Have a terrific Thursday.

Anony Mouse said...

Mari, thank you for your response. I have friends in Investment and Commercial banking who don't keep the majority of their money in their 'own' employer banks, because of privacy concerns. They also don't use their 'own' bank credit cards, for the same reason. Phobias of a kind, I guess. BTW, even keeping 'old' pre-1963 quarters, in a mattress, can be 'profitable'. The quarters, 90% silver, used to be worth $ 1.25 in 1990, now they are worth ~$ 5.00. Many people in most other countries, especially those, without the generous welfare programs and safety nets, or even unemployment services, keep money 'in hand', especially as precious metals, as an insurance against the downturn of the economy.

I was personally involved in an arbitration case, where a broker, at Wachovia, (illegally - ) converted ALL of a client's liquid funds, into the Wachovia savings money market fund.... without the client's knowledge ! .... when Wachovia was seriously at risk of going bankrupt. (November - December 2008). The client could have lost ALL his money, since there is no FDIC insurance on money market funds. Fortunately, Wachovia was sold to Wells Fargo, at the last minute, on Dec.31, 2008, at $ 1.00 per share, and the client was able to recover all his funds. Phew ! That was close.

Moral of the story is - your financial assets can still be subject to great risk of loss, in this so-called technologically savy economy !

C.C. Burnikel said...

Boomer finished 5th in the Midwest Senior Classic.

Weird Abbrs there: ROG = Real Old Guy. SDS = Super Duper Senior.

HeartRx said...

Thanks for stopping by, Alex. I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed your puzzle. I did learn the Belgian Prime Minister's name (but already have forgotten it.) But I did read up on him a little bit, and found there is more to his story than just being Prime Minister...

Most of the other unknowns were easily accessible through the perps, so that's always a very good thing!

Dennis, so glad to hear the good news about your "spot of trouble." Keep slathering on that SPF!!

Jazz - glad you liked the trombone piece. I thought of you immediately when I stumbled across it.

fermatprime said...

Hello, all!

Really chewy puzzle, Alex! But, fun. Great writeup, Marti! Love the music, especially the(Was disappointed that I did not inherit a great organ, once.) Am now listening to the Poet and Peasant Overture from the same page.

I, too, screwed up with SAO PAoLO. Bummer!

Glad you are okay, Dennis. Those are no fun! Been there, done that, more than a few times.

Only had 2 hours' sleep. Worked on taxes until very late. Have about 15k clams in medical expenses. 8k is due to holistic dentist. I buy almost everything recommended by Dr. Oz and Dr. Mercola.


Anonymous said...

I didn't think of baseball, but what the bull does in his pen when the cows are nearby! (Snort!!)

AnnieB8491 said...

Another thought - for 56D "I didn't mean to do that" key I was thinking DEL like jazzbumps. Thinking a better clue for ESC would be "I didn't mean to go there". IMHO

Anony Mouse said...

Spitzboov at 9:23. and John28man. Happy Birthday(s), for yesterday. (again).

The chances of 2 people having a common birthday, in a room of people, say, is remarkably quite HIGH. It is nowhere, near as bleak as 1/365 x 2/365 etc.

The statistical math is somewhat involved, and TMI for this blog ( see Link below - ).

But, sufficeth to say, in a 'room' of merely 27 people, the probability that 2 of these persons will have a common birthday, is 50% !

If a 'room' has 57 or more persons, the probability of 2 persons sharing a common birthday is close to 100 %.

So, in blog, with over 200 persons, the probability of 'common' birthdays - is, so to say, QUITE COMMON ....

Link Birthday Problem

GarlicGal said...

Thanks Alex and Marti. I enjoyed the interview, too.

I thought this was more of a Wednesday level puzzle myself. But as we all know, what's in the "wheelhouse" for some isn't in others. Liquoredup = fav fill.

Hey Dennis, glad you had that spot taken care of. As we say in sunny CA, Grease For Peace!

Speaking of sunny, we expect another nice day today. I really feel for all of you still shoveling that white stuff. My daughter in Michigan is wondering if it will ever warm up.

It's almost Friday.....YAY!

Misty said...

Well, I found this a bit of a toughie for a Thursday, although in the end I got all but the ASCH/LST Natick. Had PASS GO instead of PASS TO--guess I thought Monopoly instead of football. But using the same logic I did get CLUEDO, even though I've never heard of it. But I liked the theme and found lines like ROCOCO PAINTER impressive (maybe even IMPOSING). Great expo, Marti, as always.

Had SOPRANO for the longest time, before I got SOLOIST. Happy I got IGLU even though I've never seen "House" and don't know Inuit. Never heard a head called a COCONUT, but sussed it anyway. And my favorite clue, since I'm a dog lover, was of course the PUG.

Would never have gotten ANON without this blog--so thanks, guys.

Off to HR Block this afternoon. Luckily we have a terrific person to help us with our complicated return with all the medical, care-giver, and other stuff.

Have a great Thursday, everybody!

Lucina said...

Greetings, Word Warriors!

Thanks, Marti,for your GLIB analysis and thank you to Alex Bajcz for a challenging puzzle.

For the most part I was on his wave length but then he threw in some road bumps with some obscure (to me) authors, ELIO, CARR, and ASCH.

Finally, I came to the blog to fill in the blank C on Carr which could have been Parr, Darr, Farr or any other letter and I never made the connection with CLUE. CLUEDO? Really?

Often the perps help but that one was a complete Natick.

I have had the HOTS for Sean Connery, Antonio Banderas and a few others.

Loved the cluing for IDEA and look at that, a fresh clue for CHE Guevara, crossword's favorite revolutionary.

Dennis, it's good you caught that "small spot" before it became a big problem.

Have a terrific Thursday, everyone!

Tinbeni said...

Marti: Wonderful write-up & links.
Alex: Thank you for a FUN Thursday.

IRA, ASCH, ELIO, CARR, INIGO & N-SYNC were an "all-perps" workout.

I really wanted 35-d, "Game on!" to be "Play Ball!" before "Let's Play" appeared.

Thought the BORG were a fictional alien race from Star Trek.

Avatar is only consumed (by me) in SIPS.
As such, LIQUORED-UP is rarely (if ever) a problem here at Villa Incognito.

It's "Five O'clock Somewhere!"

Mari said...

Lucina @ 12:05 pm: "Word Warriors"...I like that!

I also like it when the puzzle constructor stops by. (It makes me feel like I know somebody who's famous.)

Anonymous said...

This was not it for me. It was easy but a let down. Maybe thats why it was easy. Doesnt every department have a tierrack? Ogrish and cluedo? Wtf are these? Iglu or igloo? No pomp. Might as well get liquared up with many sips of chablis in my response to this puzzle. Its my civic duty.

Bill G. said...

Good morning (or good afternoon to the east coasters),

That was a perfectly pleasant puzzle for a Thursday. It's surprising how consistent Rich is about determining the difficulty of a puzzle. You's expect a Thursday puzzle to have some tough parts and it did. Right on target by my estimation.

Spitz, Anony Mouse at (11:12) linked the birthday puzzle that I was thinking of. Their explanation looks very difficult because of the notation they chose but it's not so bad. Think of the chances of just two people on this blog NOT having the same birthday, you and me say. There are 364 days for my birthday NOT matching yours, so (364/365); very likely our birthdays won't be the same. Now let's add in CC's birthday. Now there are 363 days where her birthday wouldn't match either of ours, so (364/354)x(363/365) or about 99.2 percent that the three of us wouldn't have the same birthday. Now let's add in Marti. There would be 362 days for her birthday that wouldn't match any of the three of us. So now the probability of none of the four of us having the same birthday is (364/354)x(363/365)x(362/365) or about 98.4 percent of none of the four of us having the same birthday. If you keep going, as Anony Mouse said, once you pass 27 people, the probability of all of them having different birthdays is less that 50 percent or the probability of two of them having the same birthday is more than 50 percent. Hmmm, maybe TMI after all...

CrossEyedDave said...

and then he gives me a ticket for not stopping for a school bus when he was behind me the whole time!!!

pas de chat said...

DNF today. Thanks Marti, I would have never seen the theme.
Cayenne, not TABASCO
To do, not POMP and
Delft, instead of TULIP
Had PAINTER and OPINION but couldn't get any further.
Would have NEVER sussed the OGRE word....
see I forgot it already.

CED, I don't get it.
Maybe my brain is still tired.

Bumppo said...

We've hadda lotta fun with drunks in the last two weeks – SOUSE, SOT, LUSH and now LIQUORED UP for "sloshed" (28D).

CrossEyedDave said...

Sorry pas de chat@2:16, I think my brain is getting tired too. The pic is a bit blurry, & is an undercover police car with school bus sign on top for some silly reason.

Maybe this cop in hiding might be easier to see

I also found this bizarre news report while I was looking around...

Keith Fowler said...

35 minutes.

NW corner was hardest. I didn't recognize "Flatow" in the clue for 2D until I sounded it in my head. I'd listened to him for years on NPR but thought his name was "Plato." Once I could "hear" it, I recalled his first name as IRA.

Nice theme - one of the few times that it helped me to figure out the theme (UNDERCOVER COP) first.

Manac said...

A lot of WAGs today. My misstep was spelling 3D VertAbra and misreading the clue for 23 A and looking for a group not the man.

If you gotta get arrested I can't think of a better way Undercover Cop

pje said...

Not only was this a DNF, it was a DNS (did not start)! I only got 4 or 5 answers the first time through. I'm going to Michigan tomorrow so I've got things to do, and puzzling isn't one of them.

Anony Mouse, interesting about people having birthdays on the same day. DH and I were born on the same day, same year. I'm about 8 hours older than he. We know another couple that are born on the same date we were but a couple years before us. She is also older then he. We make remembering birthdays a bit easier.

Have a great weekend.


CrossEyedDave said...

Hmm, I just checked my 2:33 post on my daughters laptop, & the pic I posted titled "cop in hiding" has been redirected to something I did not intend. Most annoying is that on my PC I still see the correct image of a helicopter hiding behind a speed checked by aircraft sign.

This is the direct link if you want:

Are there any computer savy people out there who can tell me how to know if a link is going to be hijacked?

Tony Michaels said...

I finished with "CLUETO" and that gave me "ITEA" and those left me scratching my COCONUT in complete vexation until I gave up and came here. And it was all going together so swimmingly until I came up short at the finish line. Dagnabbit! (g)

Dennis said...

Dave, I still get the same thing with the new link.

HeartRx said...

Dave @ 2:33, I see the helicopter hiding in the bushes - very funny!

Anonymous said...

don't worry dennis you aren't missing anything but a photoshopped image. copy the address to a google(images) search and wah-lah there it is.

PK said...

When my kids were growing up, a family moved to town. The mother had the same birth day & year as I. She also had four children as did I, three of them born in the same years as mine. Two of our girls were best friends and we did a lot of fun things together. When they left school, her family moved out west and I haven't seen her for 30 years. I still hear from her a couple times a year.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, A really fun puzzle today. A few unknowns, but filled in with the perps. Hands up for never hearing about "Cluedo". I also have heard about Inigo Jones, but that name has not stuck in my little grey cells. Maybe after I've seen it a few more times?

I loved the clue for Idea/Coconut product? This was a really a fresh clue for idea.

I thought about Boomer when I got the One Pin answer. Bowling was never one of my sports activities.

Red Elm for furniture wood was a surprise. Walnut and Cherry and Oak are the choices for the furniture at our house. I don't think I ever seen a piece made from Red Elm.

Have a great day everyone.

Dennis said...

Ok, well that's pretty weird. anon, thanks, that did it.

Thanks again for all the good wishes. GarlicGal, "Grease for Peace"? Funny line.

oc4beach, that's a good saying. I just tell people they're character lines. I think I've got a bit more than my share...

manac, it's a damned shame the poster doesn't say where that cop's from. I'd become a career criminal. "Yes, officer, I'm carrying a concealed weapon".

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. I didn't like this puzzle much. Best wishes to you all.

Yellowrocks said...

To those who enjoyed visiting the exquisite city of Savannah-- Have you read "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," a true, though somewhat fictionalized, murder mystery? It describes the many real characters that lived in that city, the ethos of the city and many of the buildings. If you have visited Savannah you can just picture the scenes in the book. The city actually runs a tour that takes the visitor to the sites mentioned in the book. I loved the book and was intrigued by the true murder mystery.

Chickie said...

Dennis, ALWAYS wear a hat and sunscreen out on the golf course. Take care of yourself. I'm glad that you caught things in time.

I know about Tabasco sauce and where it is made, but didn't realize that there was an actual pepper named Tabasco? Is there?

Our money story was over $50,000 dollars stowed in a commercial cracker tin. (think big). A friend's husband didn't trust the bank when they left on an extended tour of Europe--therefore the tin. It was stuffed with money, moth balls, and an accounting of what was inside. We kept the tin to show to people when we tell the story. It was really fun to find all of this on our friend's garage loft, sealed and wired shut. But Oh! the smell when we opened it up.

PK said...

C.C. Thanks for letting us know about the tournament. Good for Boomer! We all knew he was a SDS, didn't we? I thought the tournament was at Treasure Island in Las Vegas though.

Argyle said...

I visited the library today and looked in their hard cover copy of the OED, 2nd Edition, and did not find AREEL. But...I forgot to look in the three volumes of additions. So until the next time I'm at the library (and if they have the additions), I wouldn't be certain areel isn't a word.

Lucina said...

My maternal grandfather, whom I never met, didn't trust banks after the depression either and so stowed all his cash in trunks and chests throughout the house. Even after the house was sold many years later the new owners found one trunk full of dinero.

I don't know if it's been said here that Inigo is pronounced Inyigo with a tilde over the n. I don't know how to do that on this computer.

crossword girl said...

in my Webster's, it is listed under A--prefix --on: in: at: (abed) ,in such a state (afire)

hope this helps

Avg Joe said...

Busy day. Not much to say that hasn't been said. Took a complete wag at that C in Carr/Cluedo to finish up, but it was a long shot.

Ree said...

Tough puzzle today, much was filled by perps, not unexpected for a Thursday. Did not know many formal names! Dennis, best wishes for the future, both my parents have had the same diagnosis, one a sun worshiper and the other not at all. Wish they would follow your precautions, just seem to be waiting for a recurrence in sunny Florida, hope not!!! Loved the interview with Alex and that he took the time to comment!

HeartRx said...

YR, yes, I have read “Midnight in the Garden…” Last time we were in Savannah, DH and I went to a cemetery that had the statue that was featured on the cover. Did you see the movie with Kevin Spacey and John Cusack (directed by Clint Eastwood)?

Chickie @ 3:53, yes, there is a “Tabasco pepper.” I had to look it up when I wrote up the puzzle today, because I always think of Tabasco sauce as the brand name, not the pepper.

Lucina, Iñigo. In "System Preferences" on my iMac, I can choose Spanish under "Language and text," and pull up a Spanish keyboard. So all I have to do is type the n with the tilde, and it pops into my post.

Spitzboov said...

Señora Lucina - Are you using a Mac?

Yellowrocks said...

HeartRx, I enjoyed the movie as much as the book, rare for me. Savannah is so green and beautiful. I took many long walks there.

Lucina,to type the tilde ñ in Windows, I have on the number lock. Then holding down ALT I type 0241 on the number keypad. Don't use the numbers across the top.ñ

Blue Iris said...

This puzzle was difficult for me because i didn't suss out names.

My daughter found a job in Florida after 5 months of unemployment. Hoorah!
I was just talking with a former student who has his law degree now and has been 8 months without a job. He has been in a wheelchair since birth and very gifted. Hope someone sees his potential.

Dennis, glad your surgery is over and hope your minor brush with the C-word will be your last. Our age group certainly lived through many sunburns as children.

Bill G. said...

Lucina, Spitz asked the same question I was thinking of. Marti explained one good way to type an N with a tilde on a Mac. What I do on my iMac is to type an N while holding down the "Option" key. That leaves a blank waiting for the next letter. Then type an N and the tilde will magically appear. Also, an Option E and then E will type an accent mark over the E. An Option Shift Question Mark will type an upside down question mark.

¿Señora René?

Bill G. said...

Here's another good slide show from MSNBC of Spring photos. I especially liked number 3, 9 and 16 of crocuses. Spring slide show.

Two jokes from Prairie Home Companion:

1) Don't make fun of a large woman with a lisp. It's not very nice and she's probably thick and tired of it.

2) A store that sells new husbands has open in New York City, where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates, you may visit this store ONLY ONCE!

There are five floors and the value of the products increase as the shopper ascends the stairs. The shopper may choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up the the next floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!

So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband. On the first floor, where the sign reads: Floor 1 - These men have jobs and love kids. "That's nice," she thinks, "but I want more." So she continues upward, The second floor sign reads: Floor 2 - These men have jobs, love kids and are extremely good looking."Wow," she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going. She gets to the third floor and the sign reads: Floor 3 - These men have jobs, love kids, are drop-dead good looking and help with housework. "Oh, mercy me!" she exclaims, "I can hardly stand it! Still, she goes to the fourth floor and the sign reads: Floor 4 - These men have jobs, loves kids, gorgeous, help with housework and are rich. She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the next floor, where the sign says: Floor 5 - You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.

Manac said...

Bill, Re: Joke #2 UH OH! ;-)

Bill G. said...

After my feeble attempt at humor (abetted by Prairie Home Companion), I will attempt to redeem myself with this really touching (and hugging) video.
I'll bet you will enjoy this video!

Lucina said...

Thank you all for your suggestions. My computer is a PC and I tried Yellowrock's suggestion but that didn't work so I'll try again to see what I may have done wrong. You are all so sweet and helpful. Thank you.

Does anyone watch New Tricks on PBS? I really like that show and preceding that was Murder in Paradise. That also was very good. Obviously I don't watch the bssketball.

fermatprime said...

Here is a chart for typing all special characters on a Mac.


Available with others from Washington State University.

Bill G. said...

Fermatprime, I love that chart. Thank you very much.

Montana said...

A PC chart is here:


Abejo said...

Good Friday morning, folks. Thank you, Alex Bajcz, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Marti, for the fine review.

Well I am checking in a day late. Got home late last night and was tired.

The puzzle was not easy, but doable. My last entry was CARR and CLUEDO. The C. Wagged it.

Theme appeared with COP.

Also never heard of a RED ELM, but it fit.

Off to my Friday day.

See you Saturday.