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Apr 17, 2013

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013 Howard Barkin

Theme: Baby Steps - the theme clues all begin with something which is commonly found in a nursery.

20A *“Jolene” singer: DOLLY PARTON. Is the Pope Catholic? Does a bear sleep on its back? Is Bill G. going to comment on this?



50A *Rush hour jam spots: BOTTLENECKS. We've got our fair share of these in SoCal. I particularly like the one in Orange County at the confluence of the 5, 22 and 57 freeways which is nicknamed "The Orange Crush".

11D *Residence in a park, often: MOBILE HOME. Those pesky 9D phenomena always seem to seek out these places.

29D *Rickety wheels: RATTLETRAP. My BMW falls into this category at the moment - the rear struts need replacing and they're squeaking like a 17th-century chuck wagon, and the engine idle is too low and making every panel inside rattle when I'm at a stop light. I'd better call my mechanic.

37A Illicit exam aids, and places where the first parts of the answers to starred clues can be found: CRIBS. Those books of log tables that we were allowed to carry into math exams back in the Stone Age were handy places for cribs (mine, of course, was pristine).

Happy Wednesday everyone - Steve here with what I believe might be Howard Barkin's debut puzzle for Tribune - if that's the case congratulations! (I couldn't anagram anything "Rich Norris"-related!)  (Note from C.C.: Howard Barkin finished 13th in this year's ACPT. )



Left to right: Dan Feyer, Howard Barkin Anne Erdmann, 2010 ACPT

Four fun theme entries with a unifier and some nice fill too - lots of high-scoring Scrabble letters in the grid - missing only a Q and an F for the pangram. Let's check out  the rest, including a back-reference to the theme at 61A.

Across:

1 Insectivore’s meal: BUGS. And Bizarre Food presenter Andrew Zimmern.

5 Toppled tyrant: TSAR. Alternatively CZAR, so I wait for the crosses.

9 Circus chairman?: TAMER. I liked this one. Some might quibble about the lack of "LION" but I'm good with it.

14 The “Aeneid,” for one: EPIC. It is quite an epic, it took Virgil 10 years to write.

15 Squeegee, e.g.: WIPE

16 Layer to worry about: OZONE

17 Cutting-edge brand?: ATRA. Gillette razor blades from the 90's now manufactured in India.

18 Yoked team: OXEN

19 Spa wear: ROBES

23 Tax shelter, briefly: IRA. Topical subject for Tax Week.

24 Place for a date: PALM. I was trying to figure if this was a fair clue/answer as you can put your calendar entries in any organizer, not just a Palm, then the food-related penny dropped.

25 Hibiscus plant’s family: MALLOW. The State Flower of Hawai'i


27 Once in a blue moon: RARELY.

30 Little bit: SMIDGE

32 Weight Watchers meeting need: SCALE. Not a strengthened floor?

33 Software with crop and marquee tools: PHOTOSHOP

36 Vintner’s vessel: VAT. I love the alliteration.

38 Egg cells: OVA

39 Baked snacks often dipped in hummus: PITA CHIPS. A friend of mine named one of her bichons Pita, which is an acronym for Pain In The Ass. She was prescient as well, the poor dog is on Prozac.

42 Bond-Bond link?: JAMES. "My name is Bond. James Bond".


44 Easter flowers: LILIES

45 Death Valley, for example: DESERT

46 Oscar winner Charlize: THERON

48 Salty seven: SEAS. I tried naming them, and came up with a lot more than seven.

49 Though: YET

56 Medicare insurance segment: PART B

58 Breakfast chain: IHOP. The International House Of Pancakes is not really international, and serves more than just pancakes, but hey, why spoil a good name.

59 Many a blog post: RANT. Not me, mine are always reasoned and balanced. Really.

60 Backspace through text: ERASE. When I was a computer programmer, I was a very fast but highly inaccurate typist. I was given the nickname "Backspace". You could always tell which was my keyboard - that key was worn blank.

61 Word heard in 37-Across: MAMA

62 Low card: TREY. I was going to grumble that the deuce is lower, but then realized "A low card" not "THE low card".

63 On the say-so of: AS PER

64 Furry sci-fi creature: EWOK

65 Glasses, in ads: SPEX. Do pubescent boys still want a pair of X-Ray Spex?

DOWN

1 Abacus slider: BEAD

2 __-the-minute: UP-TO

3 Miss: GIRL

4 “Grey’s Anatomy” prop: SCALPEL

5 Like more absorbent paper towels: TWO-PLY. I often have trouble reading the downs, and could not figure out what on earth this word was until I realized it was hyphenated.

6 Workday alarm hr.: SIX AM. My Pilates trainer was knocking on my door at 6AM today. I like to start the day with pain and suffering.

7 Copycat: APER

8 “La Vie Bohème” musical: RENT

9 Carrier to Oz: TORNADO. I wanted "QANTAS" here, very nice clue/answer

10 __ dye: food-coloring compound: AZO. Learning moment for me.

12 Start of el año: ENERO. The Spanish year starts with this month.

13 Sat through again: RESAW. This one got a "hmmmmmmm, not really" from me today.

21 New Haven’s biggest employer: YALE. I posted a pic of West Point last time out, so here's one of Yale - it looks flooded to me!



22 Skips: OMITS

26 Some cellphones: LG'S. Cellphone manufacturer with the slogan "Life's Good"

27 Invitation abbr.: R.S.V.P. The "s'il vous plaît" part of this phrase is an alternate to the clue at 33D - a fun tie-in

28 Trendy berry: ACAI. When did berries get trendy? They undoubtedly are in L.A. - people claim almost mystical results from adding Goji berries to their smoothies.

30 Uses FedEx: SHIPS

31 “Flash” gatherings: MOBS. There have been bigger, longer and more musical flashmobs, but this was one of the first and my favorite - at Grand Central Terminal in New York.

33 “Je vous en __”:“Please”: PRIE. A more pleading way of saying please in French than "s'il vous plaît" - this translates more literally as "I pray of you .."

34 CBer’s “Your turn”: OVER

35 Former time: PAST

37 Sturdy material: CHINO. I had no idea the reason my pants are chinos is because of the fabric - I thought it was the cut and color.

40 Go public with: AIR

41 Knock into next week: CLOBBER. Great word!

42 Composer Sibelius: JEAN

43 Strongly maintains: ASSERTS

45 “Spiritual Solutions” author Chopra: DEEPAK. Are there any other Chopras?

46 Go-go personality: TYPE A

47 Pays heed to: HEARS

48 NFL highlight reel technique: SLO-MO

51 Hourglass figure?: TIME

52 Deice?: THAW. I had to look at this clue a dozen times before I saw what it was - I thought it was a misprint at first.

53 Beef, or a fish: CARP. Nice one!

54 Joint with a cap: KNEE

55 Netherworld river: STYX. And an earworm which is a favorite of classic rock fans everywhere

57 “Cats” initials: T.S.E. T.S.Eliot. Did you know that T.S. stands for Thomas Sterns? I didn't.

And that's it! I'm cutting my teeth in my first competitive crossword competition out here in Sherman Oaks this coming Sunday in aid of the Brain Research Foundation - Four NYT puzzles from Will Shortz - I promise to tell you all if I make an unholy mess of it! If any other left-coasters are interested, here are the details.

Have a good Wednesday. Hug your family and appreciate your friends.

Steve

62 comments:

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Fun puzzle today. Mostly smooth solving experience, and I really enjoyed the clue for PALM.

Got waylaid a bit at the crossing of PLIE and LILIES, partially because I was completely unfamiliar with the former and partly because my brain coughed up a hairball and told me that the latter was spelled LILLYS. It didn't help matters that CHINO didn't exactly spring to mind, either.

[rgeolat]

desper-otto said...

Good morning! Where is everybody?

Today's puzzle was a fun romp. Nice job, Steve. Your CZAR/TSAR conundrum could also include AMIN and maybe SHAH. I agree that AZO was a learning moment. Ditto, CHINO. And why is there a question mark in the "Deice?" clue?

HeartRx said...

Good morning Steve, C.C. et al.

I'm listening to STYX right now in the background. Great song! I also had the TSAR/CZAR/AMIN/SHAH conundrum at 5-Across. Perps to the rescue! I ran through this one so fast, I didn't even see some of the great clues/answers going down until I read your write-up.

Loved "Carrier to Oz" for TORNADO and "Knock into next week for CLOBBER. And who doesn't love a baby-themed puzzle?

Good luck at the tournament, Steve, and have fun!!

Diane said...

Is everyone sleeping in? I kept trying to fit in hot air balloon for 9 down--but that was from Oz not to. Other than that hiccup it was a very enjoyable puzzle. Sunny but still chilly here in Michigan. Where oh where is spring?

Mari said...

It looks like not everybody's alarm was set for SIX AM this morning! Unfortunately, I did not get the memo, so here I am at work.

Nice puzzle - CRIBS came together late on my grid, so I was confused what DOLLY, RATTLE, etc. had to do with eachother. I couldn't figure out how to cheat on a test with them, but then again kids are pretty creative these days.

I liked 53D: Beef, or a fish: CARP.
I also liked 51D: Hourglass figure? TIME. I had TI_E and the only figure I could think of was TIRE - as in spare tire!

Well I hope you all have a great day. Especially those of you not enjoying your snooze alarm!

kazie said...

There was certainly a lot to like in this one: CARP, PALM, JAMES for starters. I didn't know AZO, and that NE corner was last to fall for me. Took a while to think of OZONE and then the rest fell in. I also wanted QANTAS/TORNADO, but I already had the N from PARTON so that wasn't going to wash.

Happy hump day to those of you who notice.

AnnieB8491 said...

Good Morning all - Finally able to enjoy my puzzles in the morning. Company has gone home and we're back to just hubby and myself. Had an enjoyable long weekend with my sister and BIL who ran the race 'with' me on Saturday. A 10K which I completed in 1:21:58, taking more than 2 minutes off last years time, running the entire race. BIL was 2nd in his age group (50-54) and 55th overall out of over 600 runners. There was a mistake in my posting - they had me listed as a male - lol, but I even managed to come in ahead of 2 of them. Just happy to finish. Back to comfortable 5K's for the summer.

is4Town

AnnieB8491 said...

Thanks Howard for a fun Wednesday puzzle. Thank you Steve for a great write-up and fun links. My favorite freeze was the guy tying his shoe. I love flash mobs. Best of luck on your upcoming competition, I'm sure you'll do great!

Only 1 little problem today. I was pretty sure 55D was STYX, but was unfamiliar with SPEX (was thinking SPEC).
WEES about TSAR, I think SHAH had same clue not too long ago.
Any unknowns - AZO, MALLOT and JEAN - were helped with perps. Didn't know was 'Deice' was - with or w/out the '?', but again perps came to the rescue.
I questioned the 'Pays heed to' clue with HEARS for fill-in. I was thinking to heed is to listen and obey, not just listen.
Did not need the theme to complete puzzle, but it was cute.

Have a great day everyone!

AnnieB8491 said...

I hate it when I read what I THINK I wrote and not what I ACTUALLY wrote - twice!
"Didn't know what 'Deice' was...."

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

No problems today. Nice puzzle from Howard. Agree with Steve and Kazie about wanting Qantas at 9d. Too many letters needed and TORNADO quickly loomed from the perps. Nice misdirection. Thanks Steve for explaining the nuance at 33d. I learned 'S'il vous plait', too.
25a, Hibiscus. Nice showy flowers. We have 'Hardy Hibiscus' at our back patio. Nice lush blooms through much of the later summer. Seem to attract hummingbirds, too.

Kathy B said...

International House of Pancakes originally just had pancakes with international themes. French pancakes (crepes), Belgian (crepes), Russian (blinis) etc. I remember when they started in the late 1950s and the international theme was a big hit. It seemed very sophisticated to me then as a teenager.

Husker Gary said...

Musings
-If April Showers bring May Flowers, FTD can fill their trucks from my backyard next month!
-Between PHOTOSHOP and the SCALPEL, the lovely Dolly has everything as flat or inflated as she likes.
-Two MOBILE HOMES sitting alone on the prairie a few miles from here were on their way to Oz after the high winds last week. Their residents seemed surprised.
-I have always given open-note exams. Anything crammed into short term memory goes away quickly and so I tried to reward understanding – e.g. Can you recognize Newton’s First Law, not just write it out?
-A squeegee guy outside Yankee Stadium scared my girls
-Sean will always be 007 to me
-DESERT/DESSERT mnemonic – you always want more dessert (2 S’s) but not more desert. Others?
-I had to call Medicare (PART D) yesterday. I now know what I must do, but do I understand it? No way.
-My Backspace key gets a rest if I type slowly, but my brain races ahead of my fingers
-We all hope the next UP-TO-THE –MINUTE bulletin is the capture of the Boston perpetrator
-Does anyone else never have to use an alarm clock?
-OMITS – A superintendent friend of mine once told me, “Never say more than what the question requires”
-We’ve stayed in a lot of hotels in the last few years and they all have LG TV’s
-I love the video of the musical flash MOBS but some malls have had some other not so nice such groups
-“That’s a big 10 – 4 on that county mountie at the chicken coop, catch you on the flip flop, OVER”
-My MAMA used to say, “If you don’t stop that, I’ll knock you into the middle of next week!”
-You delicate flowers that don’t ever fly north might not be familiar with DEICING an airplane ;-)
-BTW, answering a question I posed last week, Joe Boyd did sell his soul to win a pennant in Damn Yankees but he also got to be with Lola who “gets whatever she wants”
-Name the song with this lovely lyric, “Surely I could always be that way again and YET…”

Husker Gary said...

The only silver lining to the dark cloud of the Boston tragedy is that it exposes the good and decent nature that most all of us possess even in the face of such evil. The heartwarming stories of people running toward the explosions to help, tearing up clothes for tourniquets, giving more blood than needed, eschewing silly athletic rivalries, etc. reinforces my faith in human nature and puts the real value and tenuousness of life in perspective.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Howard Barkin, for an excellent puzzle. Thank you, Steve, for the great review.

Enjoyed today's puzzle.

Very happy that the tyrant was not the Shah. He was no tyrant. The ones that took over are the tyrants. Not sure if the TSAR was a real tyrant. Those that followed him for the next 90 years were indeed tyrants.

Liked the theme. I even had the starred clues on my IPad. It works great now that I deleted 258 puzzles.

I do not have much time today. Much to do in PA. Leaving for Illinois tomorrow.

Abejo

(niobium)

Howard B said...

I created this one sometime last year when my daughter was a few months old, hence the theme inspiration.

I originally clued the center answer in relation to the MTV show, but this was altered by the editor. As I was hoping to create a puzzle that was simply a friendly, relatable experience to enjoy over a cup of coffee, that was probably a wise move.

Steve: Hey, you even dug up that old ACPT picture of us from the finals! :)
As I'm kind of new at this, rest assured that I did not prefer having RESAW in there. It's one of those words that I'd rather not see when solving, and yet there it was, stuck in the grid. Creating these things is tougher than it seems! Hopefully I can improve on that.

Anyway, enough of that stuff. The goal here was for all of you to sit back, relax, think a little, and take your minds off of things for a bit. If I can accomplish that for one day, then it's a good thing.
Thanks to all of you solvers out there, and have a good week.

AnnieB8491 said...

Husker Gary - After reading your expo of DEICE - it was a DUH for me. My biggest fear flying in the winter! I was not looking at it as DE-ICE but maybe a word like deuce/deice. Of course NOW I see it. lol
Howard B - Mission accomplished!

Deana said...

Hello everyone, I'm a bit new at this but I absolutely adore crosswords so imagine my delight in finding whole blogs dedicated to it. :) I don't think I'd have ever guessed MALLOW. I did quite enjoy this one though, especially AENEID, JAMES, APER, EWOK. By the way, great review! I really cannot wait to see more. :)

Argyle said...

Hi Deana!

Howard, if Splynter was here, he'd remind you to measure twice, cut once, then you won't have to resaw.

Howard B said...

Felt the same way myself back when i discovered so many people also enjoyed my pastime. It's a great community of really friendly people, and there is plenty to learn. Enjoy, and glad this puzzle was good to you.

Michael Barrett said...

Ah! Only snag a misspelling of LILIES, CHINO hard to get as thinking along the lines of the structural. Deice? took a while, is this a foreign number I wondered!
Fun puzzle.

desper-otto said...

Husker, how 'bout I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face from My Fair Lady.

Howard B, thanx for dropping by. It's always nice to hear from the creators.

Deana, are you real? You're blue, but your profile leads to a commercial site.

Misty said...

Fun Wednesday puzzle--not a speed run, to be sure, but perfect for the day. So, many thanks, Howard, also for checking in with us. And Steve, your PITA story is hilarious. I'll have to remember to call my doxie that the next time she barks uncontrollably, rather than scandalizing the neighbors with my coarser name for her.

Ah, DATE PALMs. When I first came to California I lived in Riverside, and saw a postcard in a store that advertised the town of INDIO as "The DATE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD." Since I was in my forties and single, I told my friends I planned to visit Indio to find me a date. They've never let me forget that naive little mistake.

Welcome, Deana! And thank you for the positive message about Boston, Husker.

SL Zalameh said...

With Dolly Parton fresh in my mind , I went with Melons at 25 across , which resulted in getting booby trapped in that corner :-)

Enjoy your day!

Husker Gary said...

Musings 2
-Howard, thanks for the fun puzzle and the drop-in with the inside baseball info!
-If you thought I was kidding about rain here, check out our forecast. Drought, drought go away.
-Misty, your Indio story was great.
-Of course, Otto, Professor ‘iggins did lament that he had grown Accustomed to Her Face and the word YET provides a dramatic pause in the lyric.
-Hibiscuses (Hibisci?) did not show their lovely faces when we were in the South two weeks ago but Augusta was beautiful on TV last week
-Russia has given us cwd peeps, NYET, DACHA, BELUGA, DUMA and TSAR/CZAR. Others?
-Off to the Y to “hang out with all the boys” (and the, uh, coeds)

Blog Police said...

20 lines in Preview mode.

Why is Husker Gary an exception?

Argyle said...

We may need to change that. The Preview mode seems to be much narrower than it use to be. Twenty lines in the comment section was the goal, I believe.

As to Deana's profile, she used her URL and that is acceptable. It doesn't count as spam because she didn't ask you to go there.

CrossEyedDave said...

Hey guys, running late today. Puzzle was a breeze. I just read Steve write up (LOL Steve, good stuff!) & wanted to thank AWOL for making my day with the Totem on last nites late comments.

I have not read todays comments yet as I have something I must do 1st, but I noticed the Blog Police Comment. Pls note that HG may go over sometimes, but never gets anywhere near 5 posts, so it all balances out. So Anonymous Heckler, This Clip Is For You

Oh yes, re: theme... Cheating has become very hi tech these days, but I still prefer the method shown at around 4:30...

Tinbeni said...

Steve: Excellent write-up & links. The MOBS was a hoot!
Howard: Thanks for dropping by. This is my "new" favorite puzzle of the year.

Really liked the CRIBS (items) theme with the bonus MAMA.

TWO-PLY crossing WIPE and TYPE-A crossing PART-B. Great positioning!
Layer to worry about; OZONE. Bond-Bond link? JAMES. Great clues!

Everybody knows I hate "Deice" ...

Well ... "It's Five O'clock Somewhere!"
Sooooooo .... Cheers!!!

Irish Miss said...

Good morning:

I really enjoyed this because it had everything I look for in a puzzle: a clever theme, good cluing, fresh fill and a fun-solving experience. So, kudos, Howard, and thanks for dropping by. Steve, your wit and humor are always welcome. Good luck on Sunday.

AnnieB - Congratulations on finishing your race!

BTW, Steve, I can't imagine a Bichon being a Pita as ours was Miss Perfect. She even " wrote" a column (The Canine Corner) in our condo community's newspaper which covered all of the de"tails" of the numerous resident dogs' antics. She was even nominated for a Pawlitzer Prize!

Happy Wednesday.

pas de chat said...

Hi, missed all of you over the weekend and Mon. and Tues.
Puzzle a little tough in a few places, but it all worked out.
Thanks Howard. Fun puzzle.
Out the door AGAIN today.
Things will slow down tomorrow. Have a safe day, everyone.

Lucina said...

Hello, friends. Nice blog, Steve. I enjoy your wry humor.

This was finished in a short TIME although the NE gave me fits because I had TOWELS at spa wear and was adamantly opposed to changing it, but finally did then TORNADO and ROBES appeared. I'm surprised MOBILE HOMES took me so long because of their proliferation in this area and throughout the county.

Great clues:
place for a date, PALM
salty seven, SEAS
joint with a cap, KNEE
I also liked seeing CHIPS and SHIPS.

It was a fun fill, thank you, Howard Barkin. Are you any relation to Ellen?

Have yourselves a wonderful Wednesday, everyone! Life is short, enjoy the ride.

desper-otto said...

Our Maine Coon is not a bichon -- more of a bichette. DW refers to her as HRH-BOS (pronounced Bahs -- stands for the big orange spot on her head). She can complain louder, longer and more often than all of our other cats combined.

Husker, there's also the fun-to-drive LADA.

Irish Miss, Pawlitzer Prize -- cute.

Bill G. said...

I enjoyed the puzzle. Thanks Howard and Steve. Lots of original fill I thought.

Since Steve thinks I might have something to say about Dolly Parton, here are two quotes from her: “I have got little feet because nothing grows in the shade” and "It costs a lot of money to look this cheap."

Gary gave a desert/dessert mnemonic. Did you know that the expression "Just desserts" should be "Just deserts"? I didn't until recently when I read it somewhere.

Song lyric: I've grown accustomed to her face.

Marsellus Wallace said...

So we have a suspect in custody?

Get me a pair of pliers and a blowtorch...I've got some questions I want to answer.

Howard B said...

Lucina, You're welcome. Glad you had fun.

No relation at all to Ellen - although it is a relatively uncommon surname.
I am, however, frequently mistaken as "Occupant" (or the previous resident's name) by junk mailers, despite bearing no resemblance to either.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Howard, great puzzle! I did the puzzle at 1 a.m. and wrote in my notes that you must have little ones. Fun to be right!

Very amusing and clever links & comments, Steve. Good luck on the tourney!

Chairman? Oh, man who uses chair to tame lion!

I thought Deice was a fish. Oh, that's "dace".

AnnieB.: Congrats on finishing your race. I'm glad it was not as dangerous as some were.

JD said...

Good morning Steve, C.C.,et al,

Knew this was going to be fun starting with bugs!Made many WAGs from seeing it before reading the clue,like photo shop.Always love the perps... had forgotten je vous en prie..or did I ever hear it?

Was puzzled about deice until I got to Annie's comments, and then...A HA!

Loved place for a palm and joint with a cap.

Howard, loved that you dropped by. Our blog has become pretty savy on the difficulties of creating these gems. C.C. and others have taught us well.A fun Wednesday-thanks.

Steve, great write-up. Good luck, but more importantly , have fun.

Bill...oops- interesting spelling error on my part. LOL

LG? my town.
azo? a new one

Tinbeni said...

CNN & FOX both said (@2:00ish) that an arrest has been made ...

MSNBC has held off ... says an arrest has not YET (always like to get "a crossword answer" in my comment) been confirmed.

Just thinkin' ... it has been less than 48 hours since the "dirt-bag" made this attack.

I'll wait for the "Actual Confirmation" ...
But there will be a lot of "toasts" for the "good-guys" when it happens.

(Yeah, there will be many "Cheers!" at Villa Incognito!)

pje said...

Thanks, Howard, for the puzzle. I got most of the answers and even got the theme for a change. Steve, I appreciate your helping me understand those clues I didn't get.

czAR/TSAR, towel/ROBE, sends/SHIPS. Wanted ringmaster for 9A but it didn't fit.

I'm a Lifetime member of Weight Watchers. I'm a bit over goal but I refuse to change the habits that keep those pounds on me. My choice and I'm OK with it. I'm a heck of a lot slimmer than I used to be.

I've also heard that an arrest has been made. I hope so. May the bastard(s) burn in hell.

Anonymous said...

CNN has now backed off too - "no arrests have been made".

It's ok, they'll get him/them.

Yellowrocks said...

Fun puzzle, Howard. Cute clues. Hug your inspiring "little one" for me.
Annie, congrats on finishing the race. You rock. Right now I doubt I could even WALK 10K, but am getting stronger.
We had a fund raising dessert event at church featuring "a cuppa" and all kinds of fantastic desserts. It was billed as Just DESERTS. awfully dry cakes and cookies. It was too late to change it so I bit my tongue.
In re an earlier discussion, today I discovered a book written by a former geisha who says geisha were prostitutes. It's only fair to present both sides of the question. In the quest for knowledge let the chips fall where they may.
Link Autobiography of a Geisha

Lucina said...

YR:
The synopsis of Autobiography of a Geisha sounds closer to Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha. Makes me wonder if his research was centered in the same type of resort area.

(thepuz)

Mari said...

Maybe no arrests, but I just read they evacuated a Boston court house.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, With the crossing of prie and lilies I had the same problem as Barry. I also didn't know AZO for dye. I put in Red to begin with and that threw everything in the NE corner way off.

I chuckled at at Circus chairman?/Tamer. That was an aha moment for me.

The clever theme for cribs was carried out very well and the Mama word heard in a crib topped it all off. This was an enjoyable puzzle all around.

My one problem in the mid bottom area was deice? I thought to myself this must be a foreign word--well it wasn't!! I usually see it spelled de-ice so couldn't figure out what in the world this could possibly be. French? Spanish? Portuguese? None of those--English, duh!

I just planted an hibiscus to replace one we lost to frost this past winter. They have such beautiful showy flowers

Howard Barkin, Thanks for stopping by and giving us a little peek into why your crib puzzle was constructed.

Have a great day everyone.

Lemonade714 said...

Howard B., thanks for stopping y. Are you by any chance related to Howard the Duck? Howard Stern? Howard Cosell?

Lovely fun puzzle, massaged and explained well by Steve, a fine midweek.

Still coming to terms with Boston, want to go there and I do not know what good it would do. Instead, I am going to go visit my son, dil and granddaughter and be happier.

CrossEyedDave said...

Howard B @9:23, Tx for stopping by! I take back my "it was a breeze" comment, I was in a rush. It was definitely a Wednesday level puzzle, & I had every difficulty that everyone else mentioned. But the best part was that I eventually was able to get thru it! Re: "resaw",,, yes I would have preferred rerun, but resaw does make some kind of sense to me, & besides, it gives Argyle a chance to show his marvelous wit!

HG@9:07 re: Sean will always be 007 to me,,, Roger Moore will always be The Saint to me.

(Oh Nuts!) I was looking for the original opening.

Oh boy! A side link to the above said The Saint with Fireball XL5, one of my favorite shows growing up!

Hey wait a sec, what a ripoff! That is not Fireball XL5! It looks more like something the girl next to him would get excited about!!!

HeartRx@7:37, Who doesn't love baby puzzle? I would say "this guy."

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Irish Miss perfectly expressed what I would say: "I really enjoyed this because it had everything I look for in a puzzle: a clever theme, good cluing, fresh fill and a fun-solving experience." Thank you for saying it so well. Best wishes to you all.

Ree said...

A very nice Wednesday puzzle , thank you Howard ! I love it when constructors comment ! It was nice to hear your stories & to know you check in with the blog . Welcome Deana ! Bill , I want you to know this is the only place I comment online, no Facebook , etc. I prefer to keep my profile private. It took me years to finally comment at all ! Hope you can understand.

Anonymous said...

Ree, I agree with you regarding privacy, especially in this day and age.

Jerome said...

Nice debut, Howard. I enjoyed the theme entries... most pretty fresh. Most of the fill very well done. CLOBBER, DEEPAK, SIXAM, PHOTOSHOP, SMIDGE, AND TWOPLY are top-notch. RESAW could easily be changed to RESET by making OMITS,OBITS and MALLOW, BALLOT. But in truth, RESAW is quite a common word among us carpenters. It didn't bother me a bit, though it wasn't clued in that context.

Looking forward to the next one!


Java Mama said...

Happy Hump Day everyone! Thanks for a really enjoyable mid-week puzzle, Howard; and it’s always nice when the constructors stop in to say hello. Fun write-up, Steve. Good luck in the crossword competition this weekend.

This was a Goldilocks puzzle – not too hard, not too easy, but just right. Favorite clues/answers include: Carrier to Oz = TORNADO; Beef, or a Fish = CARP; Circus Chairman = TAMER; and Place for a Date = PALM. Loved Charlize THERON as the adorable Rita on “Arrested Development”.

SL Zalameh @ 10:37 – LMAO at your Dolly Parton / melons / booby-trap riff!

Have a lovely evening, all.

fermatprime said...

Thanks, Howard and Steve! Excellent work! Nice of you to drop by, Howard!

Am changing TV providers so have to clean off the good stuff by Friday. Somewhat of a chore.

Am told that big toe hurts because nail is ingrown. Yuck. (I cannot get up close and personal with my toes--they are a long distance call away.) Must I find a podiatrist???

Cheers!

Irish Miss said...

Jayce @ 4:37 - You are most welcome. You and I are usually on the same wave length vis a vis crosswords. (Remember the "gimmicky" NYT's we both complained about?)

Blue Iris said...

I did yesterday and today's puzzle this afternoon . I've also read both write-ups(very informative and witty). For some reason, I have been unable to link You-Tube sites mentioned.

Yesterday,I applied for my passport, bought material for a quilt, and ate out. I needed respite from Boston coverage. I'm still praying for victims and investigators. I agree with HG @9:09. Great evil seems to release our greater good.

Has anyone watched "The 80's" on NatGeo? We taped it since it was the decade all my children were born in. That decade is a blur to us. I know we were having children, paying bills, and buying our first home at incredibly high 12% interest rate, in 1983.

Kansas and Dorothy's TORNADO was easily my first thought. I always thought living in a MOBILE HOME in Kansas was risky.

Howard, thanks for dropping by to see us. I enjoyed your creation very much. I'm glad COLIC wasn't a part of your theme:)

Happy Birthday, Dot and Irv!

Steve said...

Thanks everyone for the edification and clarifications! A good day on the blog :) Irish Miss - slainte!

Steve said...

Like! Melons!

Manac said...

Re:50A
The best way to ease a traffic jam.
Bottleneck

Manac said...

Just finished reading all the posts and wanted to say to the Blog Nazi, um.. police, that reading HG's Musings is as enjoyable as doing the puzzle. If he accidentally exceeds the line limit once and a while, he's not posting a RANT and no one else is complaining! So no big deal.

Bill G. said...

Boston did the National Anthem proud tonight. Anthem!

Manac said...

Bill, Thanks! I did not see that tonight. Boston does everything with pride. Our spirits will never be broken!

Anonymous said...

As much as they would like us to believe it stands for "Life's Good", after my experiences with their cell phones, I'm convinced that LG actually stands for "Lousy Garbage." Good puzzle otherwise, though!

Bill G. said...

I've heard Matt Lauer's name mentioned unfavorably here a couple of times. I just saw where he is number six on a list of disliked celebrities. I've always liked him OK. What is there about him that people dislike so much?