Sep 15, 2013

Sunday September 15, 2013 Amy Johnson

Theme: "No-win Situations" - All possible combinations of letters XXO (except XXX & OOO) are hidden in each theme entry.
23A. Wonka's starting hockey team? : SIX OOMPA LOOMPAS. Oompa-Loompas work for Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Six player on ice during a hockey game.

37A. Much "Sanford and Son" banter? : REDD FOXX ONE- LINERS

66A. Rockport knockoffs? : FAUX OXFORDS. Maybe Famous Footwear has Rockport. Never paid attention to that brand before.

96A. Rusty, the Iron Man? : SUPERHERO OXYMORON. Funny clue.

16D. Artistic place for tiny letters? : MAILBOX ORIGAMI

50D. Non-conforming Marvel mutants? : UNORTHODOX X-MEN

Reveal entry:

116A. Three-letter combinations hidden in this puzzle's six other longest answers : TIC TAC TOE LOSERS

Amy covers all the possible 6 arrangements, correct? X'es are tricky to deal with in filling, she had 10 of them!

1. Casserole holders : MITTS

6. Flood barrier : DIKE

10. Santa __, aka "devil winds" : ANAs

14. Tut's home, now : TOMB

18. Online payment : E-CASH

19. OS X basis : UNIX. Mac OS X.

20. Guns : REVs

21. At full throttle : AMAIN

26. Say "I do" : UNITE

27. 2006 Verizon acquisition : MCI

28. Dutch pottery city : DELFT

29. Nonstick cookware brand : T-FAL.  Great quality.

30. Clown's props : STILTS

31. Early philosophical hot spot : ELEA. I know this place only as  Zeno of Elea. He's a philosopher, so it could be a hot spot. MN is a hot spot for crosswords. George Barany told me that  "...Will said that besides New York and California, there is no other state with such a concentration of constructing talent (maybe he forgot about Maryland?)".

33. Island gift : LEI

34. Home of the Green Wave : TULANE

36. Civil War nickname : ABE

42. Eugene's st. : ORE

44. Cousin of a bald eagle : ERN

45. Bygone TV knob : HOR

46. High points : CLIMAXES

48. Grammy winner Cole : PAULA. "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?"

51. Alley cries : MEOWs

53. Org. with Pirates and Sharks : AHL. No idea. American Hockey League.

54. Black hues, to Chaucer : EBONs

55. Traditional fourth-anniversary gift : LINEN. See here. Boomer and I will celebrate our 13th year next May.

56. Fed. workplace monitor : OSHA

57. Hot state : IRE

58. Bob or bowl : HAIRDO

59. Game with Skip cards : UNO

60. Hawaii's coffee capital : KONA

62. Half the taijitu symbol : YANG

64. "__ Went Mad": Riley poem : ERE I

65. Cellists' sect. : STR (String)

70. Styling stuff : GEL

73. Us opponents : THEM

76. Certain slip-on : MULE. Shoes.

77. Catch some rays : BASK

79. Crest letters : ADA

80. Like sailors on leave : ASHORE. I wanted something drunk related. Sorry, Spitzboov/D-Otto!

82. Lucrative : FAT. OK, a fat year.

83. Epitome of thinness : RAIL

85. High points : ACMES

87. Polynesian language : MAORI. I think Steve used this image last time. Stick your tongue out. How low can you go?

88. ABO designation : POS (Positive)

89. High : TIPSY

90. Venerated one : SAINT

91. Skating on thin ice : IN DANGER

93. Holiday chuckles : HOs. Santa!

94. 21st, e.g.: Abbr. : CEN

95. Tokugawa shogunate seat of power : EDO

104. Scripts that may be hard to read : RXS

106. Part of ASAP : AS SOON. One 6-letter partial is OK.

107. Old-fashioned show of affection: Abbr. : LTR. My sister-in-law Barbara always writes us letters.

108. Project Mercury org. : NASA

109. Actress Meredith __-Birney : BAXTER

111. Coll. major involving an observatory : ASTR (Astronomy)

112. Calligrapher's line : SERIF

114. Rotation meas. : RPS (Revolutions per Second)

115. Skilled pitchers : ADMEN. Not baseball.

119. Hardly certain : LEERY

120. Natural soother : ALOE

121. Bengay, e.g. : BALM. This might work if you have mild arthritis pain or muscle pain. You local Asian store should have them. The stuff stinks though.

122. "Have a look!" : GO SEE

123. Lombardy Castle city : ENNA. In Sicily. Splynter might know Lombardy Castle. Not me.

124. Surfer, perhaps : USER. Internet surfer.

125. Old dagger : SNEE

126. Mythical lover of wine and women : SATYR


1. "Animal magnetism" coiner : MESMER. He gave us "Mesmerize".

2. Frozen drip : ICICLE

3. Rolled on a runway : TAXIED

4. Menu general : TSO. Chicken.

5. Sporting heels : SHOD

6. Two-floor apartment : DUPLEX

7. Up the creek : IN A FIX

8. Highland wear : KILT

9. Skeletal prefix : EXO. "Outer".

10. Carrying limit : ARMFUL

11. Himalayan native : NEPALI. Sherpa's life is actually very hard.

12. Ski area concern : AVALANCHE. Sherpas encounter this often.

13. Snake's "Back off!" : SSS

14. Ready to snap : TAUT

15. __ vincit amor : OMNIA. Do you believe in "Love conquers all"?

17. What some fight to, with "the" : BITTER END

22. Video game console : NES

24. Cantaloupe, e.g. : MELON

25. Aquatic rompers : OTTERS

30. Pak of the LPGA : SE RI. She opened the door for all those Korean LPGA players. 

32. Mr. Rochester's ward : ADELE. Jane Eyre.

35. "Gimme a Break!" star Carter : NELL. And 49. "__ Misbehavin'" : AIN'T

38. Ballpark buy : FRANK

39. "This could be a problem" : OH OH

40. Trouble for the hopelessly trapped : NO WAY OUT

41. Nasty race tactic : SMEAR

43. Manitoba pump sign : ESSO

47. Irish Rose's guy : ABIE. Learned from doing Xwords.

48. Grade refinement : PLUS

51. "__ Lisa" : MONA

52. Biblical barterer : ESAU

53. Ship protected by Hera : ARGO. Otherwise, no woman on that ship.

57. Lower-ranking : INFERIOR

58. Company with toy trucks : HESS

61. "All __": 1984 film : OF ME

63. Rocker Rose : AXL

67. Adman's yuletide : XMAS

68. Aaron's MLB record 2,297 : RBIs

69. Longtime "What's My Line?" host : DALY (John). I should borrow Splynter's BMT (Before My Time).

71. Original sin site : EDEN

72. __ resort : LAST

74. Israeli folk dance : HORA

75. Actress Moran et al. : ERINs

78. "Casey's Top 40" host : KASEM

80. French girlfriend : AMIE

81. 1959 Gidget player : SANDRA DEE. Hey, a full name.

82. Jibs, e.g. : FORESAILS

84. Lhasa __ : APSO

86. Church law : CANON

88. Spices (up) : PEPS

89. Powerful D.C. lobby : THE NRA

92. __ gum: thickening agent : GUAR

94. Ritchard who played Hook on Broadway : CYRIL. Stranger to me. Captain Hook. Wiki said he was born in Australia. Not Russia as I thought.

97. Gun, in old slang : ROSCOE. I forgot. But we had this clue before.

98. More spicy : HOTTER

99. Soccer stadium shout : OLE OLE

100. Limit-pushing, in adspeak : XTREME. The bowling center in Treasure Island is called Island Xtreme Bowl.

101. Most limited : RAREST

102. Fish-eating hawk : OSPREY

103. 1952 Egyptian Revolution leader : NASSER. The guy who's in control now is General Sisi. No government can survive in Egypt without the military backing. Morsi is a good example.

105. Tough : STERN

109. Statement no. : BAL (Balance)

110. Mononymous New Ager : ENYA

112. Asian country suffix : STAN. Meaning "Land".

113. London forecasts : FOGS

116. Sigma follower : TAU

117. Letters next to an eye : CBS. Great clue.

118. "__ man walks into ..." : SO A

I mentioned last week that George Barany (The genius behind the Alan Turing tribute puzzle)  & Friends made the fun puzzle inside the program for "An Evening with the Puzzle Master". Everyone was busy solving the grid while waiting for Will to start the presentation.

George kindly provided me with the puz file. I thought you might enjoy it. You don't have to be an Minnesotan to solve the grid. 

Click here for the PDF file. Click here for the puz file. 
Spoiler alert:

Click here to read how the puzzle was created & George's thoughts on several entries. I bet TTP & PA Don enjoyed reading his remark on 51-Down. There is also a great picture of the MN constructors with Will Shortz at the bottom. 



River Doc said...

Happy Sunday everybody!

Well, TDNF because I ran out of time during the lunch hour at work. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Did manage to get all the theme answers, after scratching my head in amazement at the prolific use of “X”s in the puzzle (even in the non-theme answers UNIX and EXO)….

Failures were holding onto SANDY-something instead of SANDRA, and not knowing either HESS or ERE I…. Embarrassed at not grokking the “R” in RX in the former’s cross….

Learning moments = TFAL, GUAR, CYRIL, ELEA, MESMER, DELFT, ENNA, PAULA (COLE), SERI, and OMNIA, all solved by perps….

Favorite answer = SIX OOOMPA LOOMPAS, for the mental image alone….

DALY at 69D was filled entirely by all crosses. I kept wanting to fill GARY, since I was thinking of Garry Moore from I’ve Got A Secret….

I’ll be moving to the land of Santa ANAS later this month….

There sure is a saturation of words like XTREME, X-this, X-that, in marketing these days. Knew the AD MEN had finally jumped the shark when I saw an ad for Extreme Milk – come on now, really…?

Ah, yes, the old HORizontal and vertical “hold” knobs. Takes me back to the days when Dad would have to take all the vacuum tubes out of the TV, testing them one-by-one at the local Woolworths to see which one was bad…. Never ceases to amaze me that no one “fixes” anything anymore, because it’s easier and even cheaper just to replace the whole dang thing….

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Fun puzzle today, with lots of fresh theme answers.

A bit too heavy on the odd abbreviations (CEN, LTR, HOR, ASTR, RPS, POS, STR, ORE) and a couple of obscure names (CYRIL, DALY), not the perps saw me through to the end.

Learning moment of the day -- I had no idea that King Tut had been reburied...


Barry G. said...

Sorry, make that "but the perps saw me through to the end."

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Hard one. Got the theme too late to help with the fill. Some cute stuff though! thanks, Amy! Thanks, C.C.!

I did see all those Xes and any square I didn't know how to fill, I just plunked an X into. By golly, it worked several times such as for UNIX. I have a Mac OSX why didn't I know UNIX. I just don't speak computer.

Tut's home now? I thought they took him out of the tomb long ago. I tried Tate museum.

Never heard of Taijitu Symbol, but had a Y & G so it had to be YANG. Alas, I don't read Marvel Comics so didn't get those except with perps.

I'm so old I saw the first Sandra Dee movie!!! I'm not so much lucrative as FAT.

Bob or bowl: I was thinking apple dunking with my teeth and watching Boomer. TULANE was a WAG. MESMER was all perps. Last to fill was square 22, the N in AMAIN/NES. Still don't understand those.

Love conquers all? Nope. Unfortunately, money does a better job. It ain't fun, but you can live without love.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Montana said...

Good morning from New Canaan, CT!
Two young grandsons are keeping me busy. Haven't seen the 2-year old since Christmas and other one is 3-months old.
Interesting that a 2 hour time zone difference unsettles the 'solving' hour. I worked the puzzle early today before I came downstairs. iPad is only in my bedroom.

Typical Sunday puzzle for me. DNF but I knew most of the clues and got the theme without problem, so it was fun.

Have a good day,

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

This one took the full time allotment. The S in MESMER was the last to fall when I had an "Aha" moment stepping through the alphabet. I've never watched Willy Wonka, so that theme answer was all perps. I got ROSCOE, but don't remember ever hearing a gun called that. Otherwise, the puzzle was pretty straight-forward with not a lot in the way of misdirection.

I may have mentioned this before... FAUX OXFORDS reminds me of my former boss. He was waxing eloquent one lunch hour about the FAUX PAS wall finishes in a house he'd visited. We all tried desperately not to laugh. Nobody had the temerity to point out his error.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Wow, that must have been a toothy bear to construct! Well done, Amy Johnson! Very imaginative concept. It would be interesting to learn where the inspiration came from.

Morning, C.C. - I'm looking forward to doing the puzzle from your recent program. Need breakfast first, though. :-)

john28man said...

I would like to update my fellow puzzlers as to what solved my problem of the puzzles being replaced by a little box witha red "x" in it.

I had to uninstall Adobe Flash Player and reinstall it.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, C.C., and friends. Interesting puzzle. I noted some many Xs as I was solving this puzzle. REDD FOXX ONE-LINERS actually has two possible combinations of the No-Win Situation.

I wanted the initials of the Egyptian Museum for Tut's home, since that is where he, or at least his burial mask, is now located.

I recently read a book entitled Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abby, which was about Lady Carnarvon, whose husband, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, provided the financial support to Howard Carter for his archeological digs and discovery of King Tut's TOMB.

QOD: Evil is not something superhuman, it’s something less than human. ~ Agatha Christie (Sept. 15, 1890 ~ Jan. 12, 1976)


Hahtoolah said...

Funny story about the FAUX Pas walls, Desper-Otto!

Lemonade714 said...

Happy Sunday.

What a fun theme, and impressive finding all the X words. All of the theme fill was well done.

My problems were AMAIN which I did not know, PAULA Cole, and ERE I went mad.

I appreciate the ARGO reference and like many others remember JOHN CHARLES DALY and CYRIL RITCHARD all too well. I was fascinated by the casting of a woman to play a boy.

DOHA when is the move?

C.C. and Amy thanks.

desper-otto said...

C.C., I solved Cryptic Tribute and Crosswords with Friends puzzles while waiting for the dryer to beep. That Alan Turing tribute puzzle is a masterpiece! I can't begin to imagine how George Barany went about creating that one. I thought the CWF puzzle was pretty easy. I would have expected something "silkier" for a group of crossword experts.

River Doc said...

Lemon, "I'm leavin' on a jet plane" Wednesday morn. Supposed to show up at the new job on the 30th, so I have a few days to recover (from jet lag), reunite (with Vegas friends), and reconnoiter (a new place to stay)....

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

The craftsmanship and originality of crossword constructors continues to amaze me. Very nicely done, Amy, and fine expo, CC. Before the reveal, I thought the XX's and OO's were in the vein of hugs and kisses. Silly me.

Alas, it was a FIW. When there was no TADA, I went back and checked, but found nothing wrong. But the error button showed the culprit: eco and unic instead of exo and unix. Otherwise, a satisfying Sunday solve.

Can't wait to hear about tomorrow's lunch get-together with Montana, Marti, and Dudley. Hoping for some pictures, too! Have a great time, you three!

Have a relaxing day.

Husker Gary said...

I’d never have gotten the fabulous theme without the title but loved when I did get it. I’ve played that game many times with grandchildren on restaurant placemats and they, uh, won quite a few of them. I’ll take only two bad cells from going too fast and move on.

-2013 Huskers are neither great nor horrible. They’re just irrelevant.
-How quaint that REDD FOXX’s record used to be thought “dirty”
-Loved my Rockport’s but now wear pricey, comfy, indestructible SAS’s
-Our 10 year old OS X iMac shares the adjectives above
-Have you ever heard a TFAL pitcher?
-Eugene, ORE has the most entertaining college football team in America
-My hearing is shot because I did this without ear protection in pre-OSHA days
-1964 song with ERE I in lyric (2:44), ah college!
-The Mercury/Redstone rocket was just an upgrade from the V2’s von Braun made for Hitler
-Edmund Hillary’s Sherpa Norgay got second billing, if he was every mentioned
-Creep Anthony Weiner stayed ‘til the BITTER END and got 4%
-Nat King singing MONA LISA is my favorite COLE
-What movie had the lyric “Look at me I’m SANDRA DEE, lousy with virginity”?

PK said...

D-O: too funny about the wall finishes! However, my
experience hanging gold foil wallpaper turned into something of a FAUX pas. It had a texture appearance when it was supposed to be smooth.

HG: wasn't it "Grease"?

PK said...

HG: I watched the New Christy Minstrels and remembered how popular they were. What? No flashing lights, no gyrating girls, no fireworks or large band? How primitive! How quaint! How enjoyably restful!

Lucina said...

Greetings, friends!

This morning started without the puzzle section in my newspaper. Horror of horrors! I resorted to looking for a printable one online and they are not easily found.

Finally I got one and sashayed through it rather quickly but had no idea about the theme until 116A. Aha! Further, my copy was missing clue 126A but luckily SATYR emerged out of FOGS and other perps.

It's a very nice offering from Amy Johnson and brilliant expo by C.C. Thank you both.

Now I'll solve the puzzle you graciously provided for us, C.C.

Interesting but true observation about LOVE CONQUERS ALL.

Have a splendid Sunday, everyone!

George Barany said...

Hi everyone, It's been a pleasure getting to know C.C., who turns out to live a reasonably short distance from our house, via e-mail and in person at a couple of our Minnesota constructors get-togethers ( A couple of comments about the "Crosswords with Friends" puzzle that accompanied Will Shortz's presentation a few days ago (and there's more in my "midrash" that C.C. already linked to). The presentation was sponsored by a group called Friends of the University of Minnesota Libraries, so it was important to get some of "their" words into the puzzle. Hence "Hathi Trust" which turns out to be rather interesting. There were over six hundred people in attendance, over a wide range of ages and backgrounds, by no means all dedicated crossword solvers. It was meant as an activity for people to work on in their seats, as the excitement built waiting for the program of the evening to begin. I hope you like it! GB

Lemonade714 said...

Real music TRIVIA……

Yellowrocks said...

I really enjoyed this puzzle, because it didn't have too many gimmees. I had to "puzzle out" the answers. I missed one cell. I knew it was Casey Kasem, but didn't spell it with an E. Didn't think of CEN. Still prefer this one to a cut and dried, slap down the first word that comes to mind type.
My son wore Rockports for years.
I enjoyed the movie, Abie's Irish Rose. It is often repeated on TV.
I had MAILBOXORIGAMI. Now hours later I finally "get" it. Box ORIGAMI is a well known creation.. So the pun is you can put tiny letters (correspondence) in the origami box.

Pookie said...

This was the worst I've ever done on a Sunday.
So many things I didn't know:
OS X basis,philosophical hotspot,singer Cole, taijitu, etc. I just quit.
C.C.,interesting that the wedding gift for 90th is "engraved marble". Anyone else catch that?


Yellowrocks said...

When I was a kid I used to love Robert Louis Stevenson's, A Child's Garden of Verses. There I learned the word AMAIN. In this poem the narrator imagines that he is concquering foreign lands while he romps in his garden.


Dear Uncle Jim, this garden ground That now you smoke your pipe around. Has seen immortal actions done And valiant battles lost and won.

Here we had best on tip-toe tread, While I for safety march ahead, For this is that enchanted ground Where all who loiter slumber sound.

Here is the sea, here is the sand, Here is simple Shepherd's Land, Here are the fairy hollyhocks, And there are Ali Baba's rocks.

But yonder, see! apart and high, Frozen Siberia lies; where I,With Robert Bruce and William Tell, Was bound by an enchanter's spell.

There, then, awhile in chains we lay, In wintry dungeons, far from day; But ris'n at length, with might and main Our iron fetters burst in twain.

Then all the horns were blown in town; And to the ramparts clanging down, All the giants leaped to horse And charged behind us through the gorse.

On we rode, the others and I, Over the mountains blue, and by The Silver River, the sounding sea, And the robber woods of Tartary.

A thousand miles we galloped fast, And down the witches' lane we passed, And rode AMAIN, with brandished sword, Up to the middle, through the ford.

Last we drew rein—a weary three— Upon the lawn, in time for tea, And from our steeds alighted down Before the gates of Babylon.

Spitzboov said...

Good afternoon everyone.

I thought this was tougher than the usual Sunday fare. Most of it was fun, but aside from not grokking the theme, the abbreviations seemed to lack ORTHODOXY. JMHO. Did not know about the Lombardy Castle in Enna. (Lombardy itself is in NE Italy.) At least I remembered and nailed NASSER.
80a; ASHORE. Most sailors on leave are probably ASHORE. But i would venture that the sailors one sees ashore during a port visit or in a home port city are all on Liberty. Liberty is time off after normal working hours when not in a duty status. Leave is the equivalent of earned vacation credits in civilian life.

Lucina said...

When I printed the tribute puzzle it did not contract, that is, reduce its shape for printing as is normally done. The entire right side was left off. Do you have any suggestions?

Thank you.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Two questions:

1) Can you print the "Crosswords With Friends" PDF file OK?

2) When you tried the Tribune puzzle, which link did you try? Will this work?

Spitzboov said...

Problems with accents and voice recognition.

Lucina said...

Thank you! Your link worked perfectly.

Bill G:
Since you first started mentioning Sunday Morning on CBS I have been intrigued and finally today remembered to record it. Thank you! It's really interesting. I enjoyed all the topics and have it set to record every Sunday since normally I don't rise until 8 and it starts at 7. Thanks, again.

desper-otto said...

Spitz, that was hilarious! I laughed out loud at least eleven times!

desper-otto said...

YR, I often don't like the poems you link, but that RLS poem is nice.

pas de chat, good catch! By that time, what else is there to look forward to?

George Barany, thanks for dropping by. I assumed anybody who went to the presentation would have been a crossword aficionado. My bad.

Bill G. said...

Spitz, funny stuff! Thanks.

Lucina, I'm glad you liked it. It's always good. Barbara and I especially enjoyed the essay on "No problem." And I always like the "Moment of Nature" at the end. Yes, I have it set as a series too so I never forget.

Yellowrocks said...

Spitz.. Hilarious! Thanks.
D.O. I try to link poems that have wide renown and acceptance with a mix of styles and genera. What kind of poetry do you like? How was this one different?

PK said...

Spitz: thanks, I needed a good laugh!

Pas de Chat: engraved marble is about the only thing you need at that age. LOL!

I received and sent my first text messages today. A milestone! However, I had so much trouble getting the right letters on the screen, I can't imagine why anyone wants to bother with it. No wonder people crash while doing it. We finally had to talk on the phone for an hour to make sense of what had been texted -- a business matter.

Manac said...

So a five dollar bill walks into a bar and the bartender says, "Hey. This is a singles bar."

So a pig walks into a bar and orders 15 beers and drinks them. The bartender asks, "Would you like to know where the bathroom is?" "No, I'm the little pig that goes wee wee wee all the way home."

Three mathematicians walk into a bar. You'd think the second one would have ducked.

Abejo said...

Good evening, folks. Thank you, Amy Johnson, for a very good puzzle. Thank you, C.C., for a fine review.

Got started in the NW easy enough. Tried LEVI for 6A, then quickly realized I had spelled that wrong and switched to DIKE.

Had no idea on the theme answers. Skipped them all until I had a few letters scattered about. FAUX OXFORDS was my first.

Got the TIC TAC TOE, but not the end for quite a while. Tried CHRIS for 94D. That messed up that area. After a long while got the theme.

Of 23A, SIX was the easy part. OOMPALOOMPAS was unknown. 11 perps and 1 wag and I had it.

ESAU was easy.

Liked IN A FIX for 7D, Up the creek.

Started this in the morning before church. Worked on it after church. Went to a Lodge Open house and worked on it there off and on, came home and finally got it all. I would guess about 3 1/2 hours in all. To me, that's good, clean, fun!

Montana: Glad you made it to Connecticut OK. Have fun and work those puzzles.

I am giving a pint tomorrow. My bi-monthly event.

See you tomorrow.



Montana said...

An easy Captcha and I have nothing to say.



fermatprime said...


Alex took me to a few stores yesterday. As a consequence I slept all day,

Puzzle was extremely clever, Amy. Swell review, CC.

No cheats, but took 10 minutes longer than average Sunday puzzle. TULANE and PAULA were from perps. No trouble with DALY and RITCHARD. That's the way it goes here, gang!


Dudley said...

C.C. - I completed that program puzzle without much struggle, but the other one - the cryptic tribute - sure made me work for it! I caught on eventually, but have one last piece to work out. Thanks for linking!

Lucina said...

Did you watch Foyle's War tonight? I love his wicked wit.

Bill G. said...

Lucina, no. I have recorded but I haven't watched it yet. I am looking forward to it and I'll keep an eye (and ear) peeled for his wicked wit. I agree with you. The stories are good and the historical background is colorful and interesting. Every week I learn something interesting about the war's effect on the common folks. I love the three main characters, Foyle especially. How could you not also love an actress with the name Honeysuckle Weeks? Interesting how she can be so appealing with next to no makeup and frumpy clothes.