, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: Thursday, September 26, 2013, Marti DuGuay-Carpenter


Sep 26, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013, Marti DuGuay-Carpenter

Theme: DRAT, GOLLY, EGAD, GEE WHIZ, DAGNABBIT, another Definition Puzzle even when I switch to Thursday.

Hi, Lemonade here to try to do justice to a marti masterpiece and slightly discombobulated by it being a Thursday puzzle. Each of the five theme answers are clued by a  one word non-offensive  'swear' euphemism. We will not speculate on the derivation of the terms, but just enjoy the heavy themeage, and the usual wit and fun in a marti puzzle. 3 grid spanners and two 12's (Total 69 theme squares!!) does not leave room for much flexibility, but once again she slalomed her way though this one.

17A. RATS : PIED PIPER'S TRAIL.(15). The Hamelin guy; didn't you wonder as a child, where he developed the skill of getting rats to follow?

23A. SHUCKS : PREPARES CORN (12). Well all the great corn is gone again, I enjoy fall but hate the loss of the end of the growing season.

39A. DARN : MEND WITH A NEEDLE. (15). I have about 10 pairs of socks....

50A. SHOOT : TAKE A PICTURE. (12). Imagine life before cell phones when not everything you did in life was recorded.

62A. FUDGE : ICE CREAM TOPPING.(15). And her last theme entry, appropriately enough,, the dessert.


1. Ski area helpers : T-BARS. If nothing else, starting with a ski clue should tell you who created this one. And her other favorite, 67A. Time fraction: Abbr. : N-SEC. I am sure you all remember marti loves these Letter-word guys.

6. Finish line? : TA DA. A quick inside reference to what we all wait for when we finish a puzzle.

10. Equal to the task : ABLE.

14. "Live Free __": New Hampshire motto : OR DIE. On every license plate.

15. Some are easily bruised : EGOS.

16. Sound of laughter : PEAL. And bells, hmmm.

20. "Friendly skies" co. : UAL. United AirLines.

21. Garr of "Mr. Mom" : TERI. A nice retrospective of her FILMS. (5:33)

22. "My place or __?" : YOURS. Another classic finish line.

27. Unspecified amount : ANY.

28. One of the Seven Sisters schools : VASSAR. Five are still all women. LINK.

32. Joe's sister in TV's "Under the Dome" : ANGIE. Modern, up to date cluing, just for you. How many of you watch this SHOW?

35. Salinger girl : ESME.

38. Soccer shout : OLE. Sounds like bull to me.

43. Goat quote : MAA. The old Baa/Maa debate.

44. Hurdle for a storied cow : MOON.

45. Offers thanks, in a way : PRAYS.

46. Decides one will : OPTS TO.

49. Itinerary word : VIA. From the Latin word.

57. Setting for "Beasts of the Southern Wild" : BAYOU. Unfamiliar. Hahtoolah?

60. Cloudburst, e.g. : RAIN.

61. Seasonal drink : NOG. And grog?

66. Item on a "honey-do" list : TASK.

68. "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" singer : CROCE. This SONG.(3:05)

69. Computerized city people : SIMS.

70. Former "Entertainment Tonight" co-anchor : TESH. Now for our musical INTERLUDE.(4:09)

71. Ecclesiastical council : SYNOD


1. Replenish a pint of ale, say : TOP UP. We had a debate about this one.

2. Thorny shrub : BRIAR.

3. Jane Eyre's charge : ADELE. Perhaps the most interesting CHARACTER.

4. Free : RID.

5. When sch. often starts : SEP.

6. Plains home : TEPEE.

7. Golden __: seniors : AGERS. You talkin' about me?

8. Classical Greek style : DORIC. We have discussed column before.

9. Stubborn one : ASS. The donkey.

10. They have strings attached : APRONS. Really cute clue.

11. Boyfriend : BEAU. Old timey word from the French.

12. Animal shelter : LAIR.

13. Under-the-sink joints : ELLS.

18. Modest acknowledgment of praise : I TRY. Modest?

19. Banks in fashion : TYRA. Do watch her SHOW? (1:51)

24. Bill stamp : PAID. Is that your Tattoo, Bill G.?

25. From the top : ANEW. Ooo, almost an A word.

26. Hot spot : OVEN. No, not the computer Wi-Fi kind....

29. Pop : SODA. Midwest= Pop, East Coast=Soda.

30. Compatriot : ALLY.

31. Roger who played Lord Marbury on "The West Wing" : REES. I first saw him on CHEERS.

32. BBs, e.g. : AMMO.

33. Spring tide counterpart : NEAP.

34. Hard-to-see pest : GNAT. Does this clue bug you?

35. WWII command : ETO. European Theater of Operations.

36. "Dexter" network, in listings : SHOtime. It is all over, what did everyone think?

37. Word with best or common : MAN.

40. "Don't worry about me" : I'M OK. really I am.

41. Huge production : EPIC.

42. Logician's "E," perhaps : ERAT. Q.E.D.

47. Has to sell : STOCKS. Tricky phrasing, the store has some items, they are in stock, not must sell.

48. Bullish beginning? : TAURus.

49. Chianti, in Chianti : VINO. In Vino Veritas, baby.

51. Wipe out : ERASE.

52. "Eight Is Enough" actor Willie : AAMES. In the interest of balance.

53. Sound quality : PITCH.

54. Workers' backer : UNION. Not so popular any more.

55. "But wait! There's more!" company : RONCO. Our old friend, Ron Popeil.

56. Vandalized, Halloween-style : EGGED.

57. Comedy routines : BITS.

58. Healthy berry : ACAI. My favorite BERRY.

59. Cowpoke's polite assent : YES'M.

63. Tolkien's talking tree : ENT.

64. IBM hardware : PCS. They actually sold off their PC division to Lenovo.

65. Ask too many questions : PRY.

Well I will not ask but once did everyone have a good time? Now you get the double header of a marti puzzle today and looking forward to her write up tomorrow. Not sure I will know what to do with myself. Well enjoy the last of September.

Notes from C.C.:

1) If you have not solved today's NYT, skip this message. If you have, click here. Today's masterpiece is by our Minnesota constructors Tom Pepper & Victor Barocas, both LAT constructors of course!

2) Happy Birthday to the now kidnapped Dennis, who helped me tremendously during the first few years of this blog. Here are two of my favorite Dennis photos:


Barry G. said...

Morning, all (and Happy Birthday, Dennis)!

Delightful Thursday puzzle today. I have to admit I didn't figure out the euphemistic nature theme of the theme until after I finished and then I had my V8 moment.

Struggled a bit with the proper names ADELE and ANGIE. Both were completely unknown to me and held me up a bit. ADELE in particular caused me a little grief in the NW, since PIED PIPERS TRAIL was the last of the theme answers to fall, I had TWA instead of UAL at 20A, and could only think of TOP OFF (which didn't fit) for 1D. A little extra thought got me PIED PIPERS TRAIL, however, which gave me enough to guess ADELE and voila!


Montana said...

Lemon, thanks for the expo.
Marti, I feel like this was almost a personal crossword for me today. I'm at a ski resort (T-BARS), I got the TA-DA, I wasn't ABLE to finish without red letter assistance, I just left New Hampshire, so Do-OR-DIE was something I heard all about, I flew to New England on UAL, I'm with a bunch of other Golden AGERS, I TAKE PICTURES, and I had ICE CREAM TOPPING YESTERDAY. I'm going to quit now. This was a very enjoyable puzzle.

Manac, I certainly am enjoying this area. A few valleys and a couple hillsides we drove through didn't look like they could get any more colorful. We are spending an extra day here to go to museums, farms, etc.


Montana (from Vermont this morning)

Montana said...

Happy birthday, Dennis.
Looking forward to seeing what kind of cake CED finds for you.


fermatprime said...


Swell offering, Marti! Fine expo, Lemon!

No problems.

Happy birthday to you, Dennis! Many happy more!

I watched Under the Dome. Hate the Jim guy. Not sure that I want to suffer through another season. Didn't think much of ...S.H.I.E.L.D.


desper-otto said...

Good morning!

When I saw this was a Marti puzzle and the clue was "Finish Line," I confidently entered OBIT. D'Oh! I got bazingaed.

Regionalisms. East Coast: Soda, Midwest: Pop, Texas: Coke, whether it is or isn't. Bayou in Louisiana is buy-you, in Texas it's buy-yo. In Louisiana you can boat on the bayou. In Texas it's a ditch for storm water.

Does anybody DARN anymore? Didn't think so. I prefer DAMN.

Started watching Under The Dome, but gave up after episode two. I've never watched TYRA Banks, and I don't get SHO, so Dexter was unknown.

HBD to the "missing" Dennis. Maybe he'll catch up on back-issues when he's released from custody.

Lemonade714 said...

A very happy birthday to Dennis, wherever he may be. Nice recap Montana; I am glad you are enjoying the trip, I do miss New England during the fall.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks, from Erie, PA. Thank you, Marti, for a very good puzzle. Thank you, Lemonade, for the fine review.

Enjoyed your BERRY link Lemonade.

Got started just fine. OR DIE was my first for 14A. After a couple short Downs, got T BARS. The whole North was quite easy.

Had most of PIED PIPERS just had to get the last part. With a few Perps got TRAIL.

All the rest were pretty easy to get.

Entered OPTS IN for 46A. That messed up 48 D for a while and 40D. After I had AUR I plugged in the T and fixed OPTS TO. Now I had IM OK.

Did not know AAMES or RONCO so I had to perp them.

Jim CROCE was a little slow in coming, but he popped into my head. Had to perp REES. I am not much on TV and movie personalities, especially if they are French.

Happy Birthday, Dennis. I bet you are having a blast.

Montana: Sounds like you a having a great time in New England. Enjoy!

Well,I am in the waiting room at the hospital. Hope my pal gets through all this.

See you tomorrow.



thehondohurricane said...

Hello everyone,

Dennis, wherever you are, Happy Birthday.

Whenever I tackle a "Marti puzzle", I know I'm in for a challenge and a learning moment or two. Today was no exception.

My biggest area of difficulty were the various TV characters. Unless its a sporting event, I'm not a big TV watcher anymore, preferring to read instead. Led to difficulty for some of the fills. REES, ANGIE, & RONCO & others were ?????????'s.

Theme clues came easily once perps began to fill the lines. Liked them all, quite clever.

I used up a months worth of wags today; The crossing I for 69A & 58D, the crossing S for 70A & 52D were two I had no confidence in. Won't be surprised if the puzzle Gods have a few DNF's coming up for me.

Considering my aversion to use Red Letters or Google for solving, guess I better ask Lucy what we are viewing on TV tonight!

CanadianEh! said...

Thanks Marti for a great puzzle. Got the TADA in good time. Perps filled in any unknowns.
Had corn on cob for supper last night. Probably the last of the season.
AARP yesterday and GOLDEN AGERS today.
Enjoy the colours Montana;Vermont is beautiful at this season. Our colours are just starting. We are having gorgeous weather.

TTP said...

Good morning all ! Thank you Lemonade and thank you Marti.

I didn't think twice before entering TBARS, but she got me on some others: Eur ETO, Todo TASK, shot AMMO, all of which contributed to taking 23.04 to get to the TADA.

Saw it was a definition puzzle after filling PIED PIPERS TRAIL and PREPARES CORN. Got TAKE A PICTURE with just the K and CT. MEND WITH A NEEDLE took longer due to the aforementioned shot and eur errors.

Glad "Sound of laughter" wasn't tehe.

Nope. Still don't watch Under The Dome. Needed a few perps to get ANGIE. "Oh, Angie, don't you weep, all your kisses still taste sweet
I hate that sadness in your eyes..." (argh. I even sound atonal in my mind's ear.)

Loved the "But wait! There's more!", "Hurdle for a Storied Cow", and "Cowpoke's polite assent." My BIL always said YES'M and yessir. Polite to a fault, if that's possible.

Previous TOP UP v top off date ? April 16, 2012. Jennifer Nutt puzzle that Argyle wrote up. He said, "We TOP OFF around here."

Liked your regionalisms D-O. Esp, Coke. "... and I'll have a coke with that." "What kind of coke do you want ?" "Seven Up would be fine." "Seven Up ?" "YES'M."

Sounds like you are having a great time Montana. What a wonderful gift from your son.

Happy Birthday Dennis !

Abejo, I hope that all goes well for your friend.

Mari said...

Good morning everybody. The puzzle's theme threw me off a bit, but the answers were relatively easy to get.

My favorite cles were:
- 6A: Finish Line? TADA
- 26D: Hot Spot: OVEN

I've been watching Under the Dome. Has anybody noticed how many survivalist type TV shows there are? Besides U the D, there is Falling Skies, Revolution, etc. They are all about a group of people trying to survive after some sort of disaster.

Happy Birthday to Dennis! May CED bring you the best cake ever!

Have a great day.

Avg Joe said...

On a short leash today due to playing in a 4 man scramble. Just wanted to pop in and say Happy Birthday Dennis. Hopefully being abducted will be more pleasurable than painful:-)

CartBoy said...

6A Finish line? Tape
9D Stubborn one. Ess
8D Poric oops Doric

kazie said...

Happy Birthday Dennis!

Thanks Marti--great puzzle!

I had to guess in lots of places, since I never take in actors' names, and also don't get SHO, but once I realized the theme answers were as straightforward as they were, the rest fell in easily.
I have seen "Beasts of the Southern Wild". I probably would never have been drawn to it but for my AR son's recommendation. It really was unique, and the little girl is just amazing in it. Definitely worth a look.

Yellowrocks said...

Marti, fun puzzle. I like your style. I discovered the theme right away.
Witty, informative write up, Lemonade. Thanks for the delightful piano solo.
Unknowns were AAMES and RONCE, filled by wags and perps.
Montana, your trip sounds fabulous.
I think "has to sell" does not mean MUST sell, but has FOR sale.

My southern room mate at college said Co'Cola for any kind of soda.
That reminds me, she was totally flummoxed by our blue book essay tests. She had never answered essay questions in her life. One of the tests consisted of a single question whose answer filled two blue books.
Anonymous T. thanks for the offer of Zealot. I have shelves and shelves of books. I live in a condo and hate to stack things on the floor.
Happy birthday, Dennis. I am eager to see where you ended up.
I prefer TOP UP to TOP OFF.

Husker Gary said...

Wow! What a great puzzle, Marti. This corn guy had trouble seeing PREPARES CORN and not PREPARE SCORN. Double Duh!! I am teaching the history of space science today and the kids will be here in 2 minutes (4 jobs this week!) but I just had to sing the praises of our Connecticut constructor! Film at 11!

Vidwan827 said...

Lemonade , great blog - really enjoyed it.

Marti - fantastic puzzle, really enjoyed it.

Happy birthday, Dennis! hope you have a good time! wherever you are.

Since I don't ski, .... Too late to start now ... I googled tBar, images. .... That's seems a little uncomfortable way to sit.

Have a good day, you all.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! I was on Marti's wavelength today and enjoyed it! Last fill fittingly was the "D" in TADA. Made me laugh out loud. Don't know why I couldn't get that on the first pass through. Couldn't think of DORIC. Wanted to finish running thru a TApe.

Lemonade, thanks for your great expo. I'll go back for the music after I water my newly seeded grass.

I still don't understand "computerized city people" = SIMS? What?

Didn't know WEES. UAL perped up without reading the clue. Don't have SHO.

I had Sweet BRIAR & BRIAR Roses on the farm. One year some wood RATS moved in and ate them down to the ground, barbs and all. I was stunned. DeCon finally got rid of the RATS under my stone-floored back porch. Shudder! Shudder! Never saw that species before or after. Pied Piper probably had cheese in his pocket.

Dennis, "somewhere out there" Happy Birthday!

Montana, thanks for the travelogue. I can "see" it!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

I enjoyed this puzzle from my perky state-mate! Caught onto the definition theme right away, and it immediately reminded me of Charles M. Schulz, who once said in an interview that he didn't need a long list of "swears". He could always get Charlie Brown's point across with just two - Good Grief and Rats.

Morning, Marti! Last time we had Cessna, my favorite airplane, and today we have Doric, my favorite architecture - I feel honored!

Morning Lemon, it was good of you to switch-hit today.

We are just starting to see good color here in W. Mass, home of two of the Seven Sisters - Smith and Mt. Holyoke. My sister runs a Neuroscience lab at the former, and as for the latter, I spent enough semester hours there as a younger man that I really should have gotten a diploma.

Montana, sounds like you're having a good time - so glad you got to see some nice colorful maples.

Cheers All

Lemonade714 said...

marti is actually a Massachusetts marvel, though very close to where I grew up in Connecticut. Shelives in the town my grandmother lived fot 20 years.

The SIMS were one of the fisrst virtual families.
You can keep up with their expansion HERE

desper-otto said...

C.C., thanks for the link about today's NYT. That was a very imaginative puzzle, and I even got the theme before the reveal. When DOZEN appeared, I knew that there were going to be missing numbers involved. I don't understand how you folks keep coming up with fresh ideas for puzzles. You'd think that after a century of cw's, every theme idea would have already been used.

Anonymous said...

Computerized city people SIMS
"SimCity" is a very clever computer game. Players build and grow cities and societies by creating the conditions necessary for people (the Sims) to move in and thrive. "SimCity" was launched in 1989, and to this day it is consistently ranked as one of the greatest computer games of all time.

Husker Gary said...

-If you think no one is taking your picture or recording you, you are in a fool’s paradise
-Is UAL’s Rhapsody in Blue ad theme the best ever?
-Emma is looking into going to SMITH like her aunt
-MAA/BAA? I gotta listen closer.
-An athlete that PRAYS after a good play don’t impress me
-Have you ever flown to a city VIA another city in the opposite direction? Me too
-The Missouri SYNOD preacher of my ute thought all his teen members were abstaining from cards, dancing, liquor, etc. Not so much!
-A UNL prof who is an expert on the plains Indians showed us how to put up a TE(E)PEE and then had the women in our class do it since that was a female duty in that culture
-The GOLDEN AGERS (70+) at our course get to use the ladies’ tees
-Some kids haven’t cut the APRON strings yet and helicopter moms foster that
-Extreme NEAP tides can give you many more yards of beach
-Fanfare for the Common Man (Soldier)
-UNIONS got broken here in town about 35 years ago
-HBD Dennis, at whatever beach you are storming today.

Misty said...

Wow! I got a Marti Thursday puzzle even though it was a bit of a toughie. But what fun! I guess I know my fictional book characters (ADELE and ESME) better than live TV actors. And I had a truly silly moment when I got, but read, PREPARES CORN as PPEPARE SCORN. Dumb, but at some point I saw the light. Three grid spanners--wow!--congratulations, Marti! And fun expo, Lemonade.

Loved your travel summary, Montana. And like Kazie, we too enjoyed "Beasts of the Southern Wild." We have family in New Orleans, so watch BAYOU movies.

Happy Birthday, Dennis, and have a great one.

Enjoy a wonderful Thursday, everybody!

Ol' Man Keith said...

Got it pretty quickly with no helps and only one overwrite (VIA in place of LEG).

I really enjoy how crossword cluing often gives one an "Aha!" moment. I'm speaking of those clues that are simultaneously specific and general and make little sense until matched with the answer, such as "They have strings attached" for APRONS.

I mean at first we will only think of the obvious-- maybe PUPPETS or MARIONETTES-- but they are too obvious usually to be the correct answer. Then, when the right word pops up, we know immediately how right it is. Xwords are rife with these and, silly as they are, they constitute a lot of a pzl's appeal.

Ol' Man Keith said...

I forgot to mention how enjoyable the theme was. I like working out multi-word responses, and this offered a clear, uniform challenge, with no one sector trickier or harder than others.

Off to the lab this morning. Every two weeks I must check in to my phlebotomist to be tested for anemia. The problem is that one's veins become ever more shy the more frequently they get punctured. I hope my favorite tech is on duty this a.m.!

thehondohurricane said...

Ok HG, I'll bite,

What's a helicopter mom?

Better check your grid. RONCE s/b RONCO

desper-otto said...

Hondo, I asked that once -- probably on this blog. It refers to a mother who's always "hovering" over her kids. I'm surprised I remember it.

Anonymous said...

A helicopter mom hovers over her children, preventing them from learning from their mistakes or bailing them out when they do--well past the age when this guidance is necessary. An example of this I've seen while teaching at a university is the mom who calls the professor to indicate her child is absent from class because s/he is sick. Another is the mother who calls the chair to find out why her child didn't get into grad school.

Husker Gary said...

-Hondo, you seemed to have your helicopter mom answer from our friends. Those moms have trouble cutting the umbilical cord!
-What a day! I gave my one hour NASA presentation which the kids loved, sat while the counselor talked about bullying for an hour, had an hour and a half lunch, rinse and repeat. Talk about an easy $135!
-I gotta go put some rocks in my pockets for this horrible wind on the great plains today! As Tom Osborne used to say, Dadgummit!

GarlicGal said...

No red letter help for me...but then I always solve on paper and with a mechanical pencil. Hard to get the newspaper to go "red". Nice puzzle, Marti! Many fun clues.

HB Dennis! We kidnapped a friend once on her 40th. Picked her up in the early a.m., told her to pack underwear, and off we flew from San Jose to Houston to see a Jimmy Buffett concert! She had no idea. It took a little planning but so worth it. I hope Dennis' adventure is as AWESOME. (hehehe)

BillG - new music find, check out The Bills. A friend put me onto them. I even bought the WHOLE album on iTunes.

Over and out on this sunny Thursday.

HeartRx said...

First of all, Happy Birthday Dennis! Do we need to pay the ransom to get you back?

And thanks to Lemony for stepping up to the plate for me today.

I am really late to the party because several crises at work have kept me occupied. But I think I have put out all the fires now, and can relax in my comfy Corner.

Thanks for all the nice comments. I had submitted this last January. As I recall, Rich really had a hand in whipping it into shape. Because it was so dense with themage, I think I tried at least six different grid designs before finally settling on this one.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Lucina said...

Greetings, friends! What a nice surprise to find you here, Lemonade, full of zest as usual.

Happy birthday, Dennis! I hope your hostage situation proves to be delightful.

Ay, caramba! Marti, thank you for today's entertainment. The top was quite straight forward and I noticed you got VINO and NOG in there as well as TBAR. Well done!

Did anyone see Ron Popeil of RONCO fame on 60 Minutes a few months ago? He lives in a grand estate in California and though he sold the company still develops products.

Thanks, Lemon, for the SIMS explanation as I'd never heard of it nor have I seen Under the Dome but ANGIE perped easily.

Montana, your trip sounds fabulous. That's where my sisters and I hope to go next summer.

I'll send a prayer for your friend.

Ugh! I missed ENT because A SEC was there and I failed to review.

Have a terrific Thursday, everyone!

Lemonade714 said...


Lemonade714 said...

If you click on the pciture it will get bigger, it is marti's homage to Tinbeni

HeartRx said...

Lemony, When I click on it, it says "you do not have access to this album...

But C.C. snipped it for me:
For Tinbeni.

Bill G. said...

The was a very enjoyable puzzle. I started it late last night and could tell I was in for a treat.

Irish Miss, thanks again for the opera/top 10 heads up. Very enjoyable. Speaking of television, here are my thoughts about a prominent woman on TV: Smart, annoying, opened the door for women TV journalists, annoying, first woman TV news anchor, very annoying. Guess who?

Regarding neap tides, I first learned about them teaching middle school science. Spring tides occur when the sun and the moon are on the same side of the earth (or opposite sides) producing daily extreme high tides and six hours later, extreme low tides. A week later, the sun and the moon are at right angles to each other so that their gravitational pulls tend to cancel out. Then the high tides are not very high and the low tides are not very low.

HG, I agree about praying athletes. It always seems odd to me that they think God had a hand in their game and their performance. If there is a God, I hope He has better things to be concerned with.

Tinbeni said...

Lemon: Nice write-up & links.
But doing the puzzle "on newsprint, in Black Ink" ... I never (ever!) get a TA-DA moment when I finish.

Marti: Too funny! Gal-Pal and Pinch have been my mistresses for most of my adult life.

Hondo: I guess we get to "wait-until-next-year" ... tears ...

Bill G: Though I think the AC72 racing is amazing, I wonder if the America's Cup will ever (again) be raced by sailboats the 'common-MAN' can own (and operate).

Dennis, Happy Birthday ,,, you get tonight's 'First-Toast'.

Lemonade714 said...

Bill G., why do you find Barbara Walters annoying?

Irish Miss said...

Hi Everyone:

Late again due to busy, busy day. Terrific theme and cluing, Marti. Had several write-overs: up to before able, ETA before via, ade before nog, toro before taur, etc. fav was clue for aprons and, also, TADA. Thanks, Marti, and thanks, Lemony, for a great pinch-hitting performance.

I have SHUCKED so much corn this ear, my hands hurt. In fact, just came back from the farm stand with a fresh supply. Should be available for at least another week or so. I will miss having it.

Another glorious Fall day, with several more waiting in the wings.

Happy Birthday, Dennis. I think maybe you were kidnapped to one of your favorite places: Sanibel Island. Wherever you are, enjoy!

Happy Thursday.

Irish Miss said...

Sorry, this year not this ear.

CrossEyedDave said...

Definitely a Thursday puzzle, Thanks Marti! I got stuck about half way through with only one theme answer and had to take a long break before attacking it anew. Lots of headscratching & WAGs. Pied Piper was the last to fall because I only had Tbars & sep in the NW corner. I kept looking at "pipertrails" & the only thing that came to mind was "SandPiperTrials." I kept thinking "what has little beach bird tracks have to do with rats???"

But finally I realized that I was never going to get "brush" to work in 2D & remembered "Briar", which led to topup & pied. (whew!)

6A Tada, very good! Except I hate the dang thing. I always forget to turn the sound down & jump out of my skin when I unexpectedly solve a puzzle. (much prefer ink on paper, it's much quieter.) If I do resort to red letter, I always change a random letter back to red so that when I finish I can sit back & enjoy the complexities of the puzzle before its ripped away from me by that annoying TADA screen...

CrossEyedDave said...

Happy Birthday Dennis!

I am having trouble finding an appropriate cake. I thought maybe this one but I did a Marine theme cake for Dennis last year.

Then I thought this would be good, but what if he doesn't smoke?

So, then I thought maybe a cute cake, but naah! Dennis would hate it!

too plain

Hmm, maybe, (if he were 6 years old...)

You know, after all that, I think I am just going to go with a slice of cake that I might enjoy.

Yellowrocks said...

Hondo, I had it correct, RONCO, in the grid, I had the O from SYNOD already. See how little it means to me. I haven't even researched it. No wonder this kind of clue is all perps and wags for me.
There were no helicopter parents when I started teaching. Then they began appearing in elementary school. Years later they crept up to HS. It is unbelievable that they continue at university and that the students do not feel demeaned by them.
I spoke to a mother who insisted that her son get an A for the marking period, even though his test scores pulled him down to a B. He needed the A for a certain award which both his sisters had won. It would hurt his fragile self esteem not to win. I had a very, very bright student who insisted on doing all his work on the computer. I discovered that his mother was correcting and revising it after he went to bed. Soon he developed a headache and went to the nurse during many class assignments so he could take the work home to mummy.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Enjoyed the puzzle. Also enjoy reading every word of what every one of you write. Best wishes to you all.

Linda said...

Happy birthday my intelligent friend! I hope you and your own "Ginger" are enjoying your own private, cast away isle!

Steve said...

Up to my ass in alligators today but wanted to say thanks to Marti for a great puzzle, Lemonade for the commentary and Happy Birthday to Dennis.

Back to the swamp ...

Lucina said...

Bill and Irish Miss:
Though I don't usually,last night I watched Renee Fleming sing the Top 10 on Letterman. Wow! What a voice! I think I'll buy her CD.

thehondohurricane said...


Next year will be interesting. Hal & "whats his name" have some bid $$$ decisions to make.

Bill G. said...

Garlic Gal,

Thanks for the recommendation. I looked up The Bills on iTunes. I'm always a sucker for old standards. I figure which am I more likely to enjoy; a new song that was dashed off yesterday or a classic that's been popular for sixty or seventy years? So I listened to several of their songs and was enjoying them. Then I came across Stardust and I loved it.

Lucina, me too!

CED, can you make delicious cakes too or just e-decorate them? How about a yummy cake with mocha-creme frosting, decorations optional?

Tin, I see your point. Those boats are about as similar to anything I've sailed in as a Ferrari is to a Model A.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Bit of a struggle for me, since the only TV/Movie clues I got were GARR and TESH. And TYRA, too. Loves me some Teri. John, not so much. Don't follow fashion.

Impressive themage, and really helpful as perps, once sussed.

Nice one, Marti.

Can you say I'M OK after running AMOK?

Wanted IONIC for the column - the chemist in me I guess. Three common perps made it hard to give up. But TAI_ for 6A was going nowhere.

Meanwhile, the Tigers have eked their way into the division title. Funny thing to say when they're 11-4 over their last 15 games. But these have been mostly narrow 1 or 2 run victories over very weak opponents.

Miggy is hobbled and can barely swing a bat. Hope he recovers some before they have to play anybody good. Either Boston or Oakland will be a challenge. Big Poppy terrifies me whenever he comes to the plate.

Cool regards!
JzB [Am I really a golden AGER?]

OwenKL said...

Before Weasel RATS on some folk,
He begins when he SHUCKS off his coat.
His tale will cause DARN-
ation! SHOOT drugs? A yarn,
The details that he'll FUDGE are a joke!

Tinbeni said...

Bill G
A 72 foot sailboat, a couple of feet out of the water on hydrofoils (that I wish I could be 'barefoot' skiing behind) going almost 50 mph isn't something I've ever sailed.

But it was sure FUN to watch over the last 19 days.

(Gonna rummage around the attic ... maybe I misplaced that "extra" $100 mil ... and I can go to the local Marina and order one). LOL !!!

Manac said...

Marti, Your puzzles never disappoint.

I got T bars and Live Free.. Or Die right away. I see that motto every single day :)

Stumbled at the proper names but that's nothing new.

My only real WAG was the crossing of Vassar and Rees. Guessed R instead of L and TaDa!

I was going to cry foul at Top up but
I guess I missed the earlier debate here. Is it regional?

Have a great evening everyone!

HeartRx said...

TOP UP (in quotes) gets about 16 million hits on Google. "Top off" gets 8.2 million. Just sayin'...

Argyle said...

I know I'd rather see a girl with her top off than her top up. :-)

Lucina said...

I think TOP UP may be British as it appears in British writings more often than in American.

creature said...

Must say Happy Birthday to Dennis. Love the puzzle , Marti!I'm thinking I wish I could work a few of yours wthout knowing who constructed them and see if I could identify you. Same for CCs. I'm beginning to think I could.

It's fun following this group of bloggers. Good folks.


Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, I loved this puzzle by Marty. The theme was so much fun and after I got the first answer Pied Piper's trail I knew that the answers would all have to do with an alternative meaning for those "swear" words.

My favorite clues today were Hot Spot/Oven--mine is going as I write this. Also, They have strings attached/Aprons.

Lemon, thanks for the explanations today. You did "good".

The first answer didn't come quite as readily as I had hoped. T-Bars, poles, and lifts would all have fit the 5 spaces available. Since I put in Aug. for the beginning of the school year rather than Sep. I shot myself in the foot before I ever got started. Or Die, and UAL finally got me out of that predicament.

Happy, happy birthday, Dennis. We will all be waiting with baited breath to find out where you spent your day/s.

Desper-otto,I just darned a blanket this past weekend. However, hand darning is not done much anymore. I get my sewing machine buzzing and it is done in no time.

Have a great evening, everyone.

HeartRx said...

Chickie, I just had to DARN the cushion of DH's chair (it gets a lot of use!) No "machine sewing" one of those things!!

creature said...

Lemon, loved your expo, of course.

River Doc said...

Happy Thursday everybody!

One red letter from the TA-DA today (favorite answer, btw)....

IONIC for DORIC, HELL for OVEN, AKAI for ACAI.... Other than that, WEES....

HBD to Dennis, and many more...!

Never been to a Tea Bar, but I will be at a brewpub for the Thurs night football contest, where I hope to keep my hops TOPped OFF. TOP UP, to me, is something you do to your gas tank....

Abejo said...


Thanks for your prayers for my pal. He pulled through the 6 1/2 hour valve replacement and Maze ( whatever that is) and appears to be recovering. I am stopping in tomorrow morning to visit with him After he wakes up.

Best Regards,



PK said...

The mild swear words made me think of a time in my childhood. Our neighbors went to a country Quaker church that had a summer Bible school. They didn't have many children in the church, so they invited a lot of town kids to come.

Our age group had Aunt Lulu for our teacher that year. Now Lulu usually sounds like a fun person. This Lulu was a tiny stick-thin prune of a woman with very high morals. One day I made a mistake on an art project and expressed dismay. Lulu stopped the class and prayed for my soul at some length.

I was stunned. "What'd I do," I whispered to my friend. "You said, 'Gosh darn'" she said, scandalized. I went back the next day only because my mom made me, saying from what she'd heard I really needed to be there. Rats!

Anytime I've been with an uptight prig since, I really have to bite my tongue not to say some questionable things. The devil makes me do it.

PK said...

Abejo, glad to hear your friend came through the surgery okay. I know how draining the wait for a loved one can be. We'll keep praying that his recuperation goes smoothly.

Blue Iris said...

Marti, enjoyed this puzzle very much. Lemonade, I loved all the links and always learn something from your write-ups.

Proper names were well known to me this time. TERI Garr has incredible comedic timing. I listened to Jim CROCE throughout H.School. I didn't realize he died at age 30 until I googled.

My grandma used to call the theme clues "by-words" and said she was glad she didn't have to work as cuss words should not be used around ladies. Wow, imagine if she turned on the TV now.

Concerning Sports PRAYer- I do enjoy seeing the teams stop to pray together and recognize their smallness. I hope humility is involved.

Happy Birthday, Dennis. Sounds like you are one lucky kidnapped man! My husband's name is also Dennis and unfortunately since I no longer drive he never gets kidnapped. ( He still loves me, thank goodness )

Scheduled for MRI. Also scheduled with a pain specialist. Next pain step is opiates and I have been trying to keep off them.I'm still doing puzzles daily and trying to read comments. I will try to keep in touch when possible.

Lemonade714 said...

BI good to hear from you. I hope they come up with a better way than opiates.

Creature, thank you, God to see you as well.

PK, you naughty girl.

Did you all watch TBBT tonight? They appear to have jumped the Kraken.

Irish Miss said...

Lemony @ 9:54 - I DVRed TBBT but as I was so disappointed last season, I'm not too optimistic about this season. Someone or a couple of someones really ruined this show, IMO.

Blue Iris-best wishes for some relief of your pain and discomfort.

Lucina said...

I'm glad to hear your friend made it through the operation safely. Prayers now for his recovery.

It's good to see you! I hope your pain abates and hopefully with something milder.

Bill G. said...

Did you know chickens' heads are motion stabilized? Very cool! Chickens

Argyle said...

The new Google interactive is worthy of CED.

Anonymous said...

152 and now my space bar is broken.

Anonymous T said...

G'Morn all...

Wild day - I'll get to that after I thanks Marti for a puzzle that I un-PC'd cursed as I sussed through it until V8 smack. What fun! Lem, thanks for the writeup and confirming that I got every square right. And on a Thursday!

I could go on, but WEES...

Bill G. - no one points down when they fly-out to the warning track... :-)

Marti - disaster shows meme reminds me of the early '80's with Red Dawn, Mad Max, Sting's the Rusians, When we are down, we entertain ourselves with storries of down-ness (word?).

PK - was that an Art Bell reference?

Orig SIMCity was fun, you could have a Godzilla as a "natrual disaster." DW & I played it one night for 14 hours... Never played it again.

So, tonight was a triva happy-hour. 1/2 of the questions were pop culture references, the other 1/2 was history of the org. I handled the latter, and the younguns handled the former. It was a hoot and we won by 1 point. Being a "grey-beard" has its advantages :-)

And of course, HBD Dennis. I hope your are being "beer-boarded" during your rendition!

Cheers, -T