Dec 27, 2013

Friday. December 27, 2013, Mike Peluso

Pun times in the LA Times.

This is our 29th from Mr. Peluso since conversion, and my first since December 23, 2011. Mike is a retired teacher/principal who gave us some insight in this INTERVIEW in 2009. Please take note in the comments section, where C.C. responds to Linda's suggestion about C.C. constructing puzzles. Anyway, back to today, we have 4 theme answer where common phrases are replaced by sound-alike ones using automobile brand names, clued by model names for each car company. I bet Barry G. and Dennis found this one easy. It took me a bit to suss out some of the theme answers, but they helped make the solve go well. The rest is standard Friday with some obscure and difficult patches and some fun word combinations. I like the overall cluing very much. let's see what you all think.

20A. Facilities on a 911? : PORSCHE POTTY. (13). (Porta potty). First you need to know the 911 and not be distracted by 9/11. Then you need to pronounce the car name Porsha (listen LINK) (0:03).

36A. Oater pal in an A3? : AUDI PARDNER. (11). (Howdy pardner). Again, the sound OWDI not AWWDI, makes this extra hard.

43A. Tales of a 9-3? : SAAB STORIES. (11). (Sob stories). I guess most know how to pronounce Saab, but the 9-3 may be quite unknown.

57A. Relative in a 370Z? : NISSAN NEPHEW. (13). (Niece and Nephew). This was the odd one out for me and the hardest to understand; I knew Nissan, having had a 260Z for years, but it took perps to see where this was going, especially having to break it into two words.


1. 1967 White House groom : ROBB. CHUCK who married Lynda Bird Johnson and became a governor and Senator.

5. "Erin go __" : BRAGH.  Loosely, Ireland forever.

10. Swedish singer Jenny : LIND. I  learned of the Swedish Nightingale from watching the old Maverick tv series.

14. Thus : ERGO.

15. Former Dodger first baseman James : LONEY. Not a star, really pretty obscure,  except perhaps for Tin, as Loney has resurfaced in a Tampa Bay Ray uniform.

16. Sharp : ACID. All perps, I guess like acid tongued.

17. Windows alternative : UNIX. An operating system.

18. Microwave brand : AMANA. Followed immediately with...

19. Microwave : NUKE.

23. Florida University named for a pope : ST. LEO. I imagine this was another gimme for Tin, as it is up the road near Tampa. For this rest you probably need to READ the history.

24. Eroded : ATE AWAY.

28. Follow : TRAIL. Another tricky clue, following behind...

32. Place to play : ARENA.

33. 13-Down predecessor : HST. Harry S. Truman; the S does not stand for anything.

39. Other, overseas : OTRA. Spanish 1.

41. Boston drummer Jeff et al. : NEALS. I guess on Friday you do not need a second one, like Patricia, but not many would know this drummer. I loved Boston but never heard his name.

42. Peruse : SCAN.

46. Pay stub abbr. : HRS. How many hours was that?

47. Für whom Beethoven wrote a bagatelle : ELISE. Always worth a LISTEN. (2:58). Also, 49D. Beethoven's Opus 20, for one : SEPTET. MORE.

48. Marks of approval : SEALS. Started with 'stars' until I saw 52D.

50. Corolla competitors : ALTIMAS. Foreshadowing the final theme fill.

53. Mexicali-to-Tijuana dirección : OESTE.

61. Electric weather phenomenon : BOLT. The answer came to me like bolt from the blue (still marveling at C.C.'s clue/fill yesterday).

64. Cornered : AT BAY. Eh, I see this as the opposite of each other.

65. Roll on a tarmac : TAXI. I know airports have taxiways and runways, but I do not know where the term comes from? Corner?

66. Hives, e.g. : RASH.

67. Spiked cakes : BABAS. My friend Ruth used to make the best Rum Cake; I could not resist this LINK. Mari?

68. Verve : ELAN.

69. Velázquez offerings : ARTE. More Spanish and I guess trickier than Laugh-in Johnson.

70. Whooping __ : CRANE. Cough also fit.

71. Heist haul, to a hood : TENG. I spent way too much time looking this up and never found it but the perps were sound. We usually have reference to Mao. (From C.C.: Parse it as TEN G, 10 Grand)(From L: duh!, silly me).


Speaking of down, DOWNTON ABBEY is back January 5. If you have already watched season 4 during its run in England, I hope you liked it.

1. Opts for another hitch : RE-UPS.

2. "... however, I may be all wet" : OR NOT. "I am absolutely certain you said that dear, or not."

3. Speakeasy socializer : B-GIRL. I guess the B is for bar, as they were the girls trying to get you to buy them fake drinks to add to the profits, while you got drunk.

4. "Complete series" DVD purchase, say : BOX SET.

5. Flat : BLAH.

6. 1960 Olympics city : ROME. The first one I remember, with Wilma Rudolph and Cassius Clay.

7. Take __: drop off : A NAP.

8. Italian seaport : GENOA. I cannot think of a salami pun, help?

9. Hilton rival : HYATT.

10. ID holders : LANYARDS.  A pretty one from CHINA.

11. Hosp. area : ICU. Intensive Care Unit. 2 years + since my 9 day visit.

12. Peace ender? : NIK. Peacenik.  popular in the anti-war years.

13. 33-Across successor : DDE. I had Jenny, so this was easy.

21. ESPN baseball analyst Alex : CORA. Another very obscure baseball reference to an ex-Dodger (Bill G., you also getting these?) who I only know because he went to the U.

22. Shed thing : TEAR. It took me a while to abandon pictures of a small building.

25. Shakespearean servant : WENCH. A lovely word.

26. "Dark-brow'd sophist, come not __": Tennyson : ANEAR. Drat, even successful poets use A words. I never like Alfred's work, Owen?

27. They may be spun : YARNS. Tales, though my son did buy his new gf some yarn as she loves to knit. Mixes well with 31D. Taletellers : LIARS.

29. Reunion attendee : AUNT. Somehow she is always the one to be there.

30. Logical beginning? : IDEOlogical.

33. Book after Daniel : HOSEA.

34. One way to buy time : STALL. I wonder who gets paid when you 'buy' time?

35. Character piece? : TRAIT.

37. Jeté relative : PLIE. Ballet moves.

38. Cruising : ASEA. See: an A word.

40. Potent licorice-flavored liqueur : ABSINTHE. Now legal once again. Promise Me.

44. Rig : SEMI.

45. Gin flavoring : SLOE.

51. Easy __ : AS ABC.

52. Red giant : S-STAR. Please re-explain all the star categories.

54. Oil source : SHALE. Which probably can be found in Texas.

55. Odessa native : TEXAN. On the way to El Paso.  They love rock and roll.

56. Any of several fictional multimillionaires : EWING. Speaking of oil and Texas, J.R. and family. I really like how Mike uses the related but un-referenced clues.

58. "The Winner Takes It All" quartet : ABBA. I also enjoyed this letter combination next to

59. Mumbai bread : NAAN. A poetic couplet to me.

60. NASDAQ competitor : NYSE.

61. Source of support : BRA. Like the double letters above, the DOUBLE D  Challenge (4:18), Dennis?

62. Lock insert : OAR. or Key?

63. D-Day lander : LST. Landing ship tanks.

Wow, another year done for me here. Thanks all. I hope your holidays and new year are great. Mr. P. thanks for the workout. As for the puzzle title...

When I got a new job that required me and my co-workers who rode to work together take US 1 under the New River, I found I was developing an odd pain in my elbow by the time we reached the office. I finally went to the doctor and he told me I had...*


Ouch and a Happy New Year to all.


Note from C.C.

Happy Birthday to dear Dudley, our handsome pilot.

Left to Right: Marti, Dudley, Hondo & Montana

Dudley and his wife at their Block Island wedding in 2008
Click here to see a few more photos of Dudley. They were taken during Montana's visit to Northeast on September.

Dudley, tell us what's the most exotic place you've flew to.


OwenKL said...

The building would be upscale, so haughty
To house only celebs and glitterati.
To set a high standard
The workmen were pampered;
The construction site sported a PORSCHE POTTY!

A oilman from Texas, out yonder
Would brag of how much he could squander.
As a gift to say howdy
To a visiting Saudi
He gave the keys as he said, "AUDI, PARDNER"

OwenKL said...

The tavern erupted in a brawl!
Who out of the melee should crawl?
James Bond, on his knees,
Had lost his car keys!
This SAAB STORY caused the agent to bawl!

First my mother, the car, drove me cuckoo.
But I thought that with that I was through.
Then Sis loses her kids
When on ice their car skids.
Now I'm haunted by my own NISSAN NEPHEW!

OwenKL said...

Tennyson? Not one of my favorite poets, but did produce one of my favorite poems, which I heard set to music at a concert during my first year in college. The Charge of the Light Brigade, sung by the 3 D's (later just the D's when one of the trio dropped out). I was surprised to find several versions of it on YouTube.

Today's puzzle? A fun romp. I tried without red letters and got all but the SW corner, and red letters revealed that easily. KEY instead of OAR, ITCH instead of RASH, changed BRA to IRA, then had to change it back again.

Yellowrocks said...

CED, last night I couldn't open Yellow Rocks for Dianne on my Kindle. Just now I viewed it on my computer. Dianne obviously is a square dancer. That is the kind of joke my friends might play. She got her real yellow rocks in the end. Perfect choice. Thank you, CED.

Montana said...

I cannot get the puzzle this morning (somewhere a server is down is the message) but since it is Friday, I read the expo instead. The puzzle would have been a big DNF anyway.
I will try to catch up reading the past several day's posts over the weekend.

I finally see numbers in the Captcha. First time I've seen them. Nice and clear!


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I love punny puzzles, but this one took a long time to get my juices going. Once I figured out we were dealing with automotive puns, I did finally start to enjoy myself with the theme answers, but the rest of the puzzle left me cold.

Lots of obscure (to me) names today. LONEY, ROBB, LIND (actually knew this one, but took awhile to remember it) and NEALS just sucked the joy out of the puzzle as I attempted solved. Having ROBB cross BGIRL (another unknown) was particularly annoying.

Had a bunch of missteps along the way that made things more difficult than they needed to be, but once I replaced OTRO with OTRA and ALUM with AUNT I actually managed to get 'er done. All that was left was to accept that TENG was a thing...

Al Cyone said...

This turned out to be a very satisfying puzzle but it didn't always seem like it. I had no idea what the theme clues meant (and there's no theme posted on the Mensa site). Not until I somehow saw AUDI did it make sense. Then things proceeded pretty smoothly until I got hung up in the SW corner. Nothing particularly difficult there but, early on, I put in ARM as a "source of support" (go figure) and that sort of poisoned the well. Sometimes it can be helpful to put in a word you're not at all sure of but then you risk forgetting its tentative status.

Had Whooping COUGH before CRANE.

Favorite clue? "Für whom . . . ".

Least favorite answer? BGIRL. I had BGI early on but it seemed unpronounceable.


desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I found so many ways to go wrong today: ALUM/AUNT, SKIN/TEAR, STARS/SEALS, TALES/YARNS. My "Eroded" was a verb: ATE INTO and I hung onto it for way too long. When ALUM was still there, SABB STORIES started out as BMW MEMORIES -- I had no idea what a 9-3 was.

I was thinking Jenny Lind was the singer that Judge Roy Bean obsessed over. Nope, that was Lily Langtree. And TENG was not some obscure Asian word for loot. Thanks, C.C. D'oh!

Mike, you gave my Wite-Out a workout, but I finally got 'er done. Lemon, Car Pool Tunnel Syndrome? Really? [groan]

HeartRx said...

Good morning Lemonade, C.C. et al.

And happy, happy birthday neighbor! You don't look a day older than you did five years ago, Dudley!

Lemony, you hit me with a real groaner right off the bat. But it was apropos, since the puzzle gave me a few as well. I had filled in PORSCHE POTTY, and ended up going back and staring at it several times as I finished the rest of the puzzle. I loved the others ( AUDI PARDNER was my fav.) But I really never "got" the first one. So thanks for 'splainin!

Have a great day, everyone. I don't have to say TGIF, since it has been "Friday" for me since Tuesday!

Anonymous said...

Interesting discussion of the use of a period after the S in HST's name at

Lucina said...

Good day, Puzzlers! It's great to see you back in good shape, Lemonade. Thank you.

Happy birthday, Dudley! I hope you soar aloft in a special way.

Well, as much as I love puns, some of these induced a groan or two, especially AUDI PARDNER.

I liked SAAB STORIES, though.

This started very scrabbly for me as I hopped around, one word at a time until finally the bottom opened up and filled quickly. Hand up for thinking COUGH before CRANE.

OAR took a long time because I was misled by "lock" but then BOLT hit me hard.

Up above I was unsure about Jenny LIND but LANYARDS confirmed it.

I recall the wedding of Chuck ROBB and Lynda Bird Johnson as not many have occurred inside the White House. At least if memory serves me right.

Tricky, tricky, Mike Peluso. Thank you. I enjoyed this very much.

You all have a lovely Friday! I'll have lunch with my "sorority" with gift exchanges.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Happy Birthday Dudley. Gonna do a barrel roll to celebrate?

Great puzzle from Mike today. First entry was LIND and quickly got the NE. Then had to work the bottom and clamber back up. First theme fill was SAAB STORIES. Once seeing the gimmick, it became easier to suss the other theme phrases. Successful WAGs with LONEY and TENG. Thanks Lemon/C.C. for showing the parse of TEN G.

Have a great day.

Big Easy said...

Never got the theme until I saw 370Z. Then It enabled me to to go back and put the cars in their places. But I never heard of teng.

Some person once told me they saw a snail driving a sports car and said

"Look at that s-car go"

Husker Gary said...

My SIL and grandson are car fanatics and so I sent them a copy of the grid this morning. Definitely Grape Nuts and not oatmeal for crunchiness today!

-Cogito, ERGO, Ego Facio the LA Times Crossword
-Minorest of nits - Shouldn’t 57A be relativeS ;-)
-I am in the process of SCANning our 2,500 slides (see avatar from 1972)
-Wonderful M*A*S*H line about B GIRLS (3 lines down under Great Lines)
-Betelgeuse is an S class STAR whose light that hits Earth tonight left there when Columbus was still in GENOA
-After a game, referees immediately remove their whistle LANYARD so an angry fan can’t grab it
-My first Shed had a TOOL as in “Not the sharpest tool in the shed!”
-Me too on Judge Roy Bean, Otto.
-Possible dialect quiz addition – Your mother’s sister - ANT or AWNT? The former for me.
-Oh, the ODESSA for which you do not need a passport
-My uncle who served on an LST in WWII died yesterday in Northridge, CA
-HBD Dudley! Happy landings today!
-What old TV show starred a LEO and a St. Bernard named NEAL (NEIL)?
-In what John Wayne movie did he obsessively follow the TRAIL of his NIECE played by Natalie Wood?

desper-otto said...

Husker, re 57a -- the literal answer is singular. Only the sounds-like answer is plural. No foul. The dialect quiz I took did include the ant/aunt question. And that Leo was not a pope, but Leo G. Carroll in Topper. I'm not up on my John Wayne movies, so somebody else's gonna have to get that one.

Dudley, how in heck did I manage to forget to wish you a happy birthday! Well, now I have. Not forgotten, wished.

OwenKL said...

HG: That would be one based on a novel by Thorn Smith? I was thinking of that when I wrote the "My Mother the Car" limerick. (Mom was A what type of car?) A show I remember liking as a kid, and liked Leo when he went to work for that spy agency.

Other Tennyson bits: he was a Mason, and was Poet Laureate of England for several years (unlike the US, where the PL position rotates annually).

buckeye bob said...

@ Husker Gary 9:21 a.m. --

The Searchers. Good flick!

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Engrossing puzzle, Mike. Thanks! Thanks, Lemonade.

ROBB came at once - surprise, surprise - as did the whole top row. I thought the puzzle would be easy. Nope. Not as easy AS "pie" or AS ABC either. Didn't know LONEY, NEALS, CORA, UNIX.

I had trouble with the one I already need to do: Take____; drop off = A NAP. I tried "Away" several times. Turned up red every time. I kept thinking or food or dry cleaning. Duh!

Like Lemon, I was thinking building for SHED. When TEAR perped in I was thinking like raze it. Double D (for Duh #2).

Happy Birthday, Dudley! I bet you got TAXI for something to do on the tarmac.

Christmas with all my grandkids tonight. they'll like what I got them. MONEY!

Anonymous said...

Difference between criticism with no credibility and then with humility like we hoi polli:
“I was annoyed by answers that were more difficult than they needed to be”
“This puzzle, which was constructed and edited by pros like Mike and Rich, was a fun opportunity for learning.”

Lemonade714 said...

Happy Birthday Dudley.

Perception is such an odd thing, I did the blog beating myself up about TEN G then the TEN G explanation from C.C. which makes sense, but seems so random.

The Searchers is an obscure one from the 50s, but it did have both Natalie and Lana Wood playing the niece, which as HG knew ties in So nicely.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Technical DNF for me today. That SE corner did me in. I had Suites for Septet, and thus bollixed the area solidly. Nephew and Ewing were slow to arrive, and parsing Ten G was simply out of the question. Had to turn on red letters.

Thanks for the birthday wishes, Cornerites! Yes, PK, Taxi was one of the easy answers. No idea how it got established, however. Lots of aviation jargon comes straight from French, but that one's a mystery to me.

Morning, Spitz - I've only done a few barrel rolls, and only with an instructor aboard. I'd probably scare myself trying one alone! Thanks Marti, flattery will get you everywhere!

Morning, C.C. - thanks for the pix! To answer your question, I'd say my most exotic fly-to destination was the Bahamas. Small airplanes can easily reach Nassau (to clear Customs) from Florida; from there, dozens of quiet little islands with runways are within reach.

Cheers All

Lucina said...

George Simpson:
Hi! Welcome! You made me laugh at S-car go!

Yellowrocks said...

Happy birthday, Dudley.

I hopped around for quite a while and almost convinced myself this was harder than a Sat. Silkie. Then I found the gimmick with NISANNEPHEW and SAABSTORIES and was well on my way. Really fun.

My husband loved old WW II movies and I read many WW II novels, so I was acquainted with B GIRL

We have had TEN G frequently. CORA, LONEY, and NEAL needed many perps


Yellowrocks said...

I like Tennyson’s poetry, especially The Charge of the Light Brigade. Here is another one that I like.


Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

Author Notes
The bar referred to is a sandspit or similar promontory at the mouth of a river or harbour where tides have deposited sand over time. To hear the wind and waves moaning off the bar usually means that there is insufficient water to sail over the bar without grounding. Hence the second verse and its reference to a "full tide" or "high water"
© Alfred Lord Tennyson. All rights reserved

klilly said...

There is a book called The Searchers. The making of an American legend by Glenn Frankel

It is a great link may not work you can just google it..

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

Almost worthy of a Saturday puzzle.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Well, this was a toughie, for me anyway, but perps, wags, and perseverance got me to the finish line w/o help. Had itch before rash and alum before aunt and wondered what the heck a "teng" was. Thanks for the parse, CC, and thanks to Mike P. for a great " ride" and to Lemony for a snooty expo.

We used to buy Maine lobsters at a store that had a sign over the lobster tank stating: "Alive and kicking". I can claim the former but not the latter. Thanks again to everyone for you caring and kind messages.

Have a great Friday.

Irish Miss said...

So sorry, that should read smooth expo, Lemony. I must proof read more carefully. Also, for "your caring and kind

Anonymous said...

57A works as a singular reference if the answer is read as alliterative of Kissin Cousin.

GarlicGal said...

TENG? Got me, too. I loved it.

WES - ALUM, first...erase, erase, erase. ANISETTE first...erase, erase, erase. SST first (BOST?)...erase, erase, erase. About 18 minutes, not bad for me for a Friday. Although every day seems like Sunday this week.

I haven't posted much lately, but I read the blog every day. I really enjoy all the comments, observations, and banter between the corner folks.

Thank you C.C. for creating and maintaining this special spot. And a big shout out to all you daily puzzle explainers!

Wishing everyone a healthy and happy 2014.

Lucina said...

I love your wreath and am glad you found a few minutes to post.

JD said...

Lemonade, thanks so much for including that interview. I HOPE everyone read it.I am still trying to do a Sat.puzzle without cheating, and today's was VERY difficult also. Maybe if I say, "I know my limits" I will be acing these difficult puzzles someday. C.C., you inspire all of us.

Misty said...

My goodness, that was a toughie this morning. Definitely more Saturday than Friday. I had to work practically forever before I got about 80% and gave up. But at least I did get all the cars and suss the theme. And I got a surprising number of the names--ROBB, LIND, ABBA, ELISE, and HST. Too had COUGH before CRANE. Never understood TEN G until C.C. 'splained it. But even with all the difficulty, it's great to be back on the blog!

Dudley, dude, that is one fabulous wedding picture! Happy Birthday!

Glad you're with us in the Corner and sounding cheerful, Irish Miss, in spite of your tough Christmas.

Have a great day, everybody!

kazie said...

I'm afraid I simply lacked too much knowledge to do any good on this one, so I won't bore you with details. With only 33 comments by 12.17 pm I'm sure many others had trouble too.

I think private aviation is the only way to get to a lot of places in Australia where many farms are measured in square miles rather than acres.

Dudley was commenting on my 10:29 pm answer last night to your question from earlier on about cooee (spelling corrected after I found it). Sorry I took so long to answer, but I didn't get back here yesterday until I was on my way to bed.

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, Mike Peluso, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Lemonade, for the fine review.

Happy Birthday, Dudley. many more.

Nice photo of several of you, including Montana, who we just saw in Denver a few days ago. Wow, you get around.

Montana: I got my puzzle from cruciverb via my IPad. Worked fine.

Got most of the North. ROBB took a perp. I remember the wedding.

LANYARDS took a while. i was looking for a person.

Had ALUM for 29D for a bit. Once AUDI popped in my head I entered AUNT.

Never heard of Jeff NEAL. Perped him.

EWING was clever.

ABSINTHE took me forever. I do not drink that sort of stuff.

Liked the theme.

Off to the eye doctor for a check-up.

See you tomorrow.


(28268398 9)

Abejo said...

OwenKL: Good to see Tennyson is one of us.


Irish Miss said...

I don't know where my mind is this morning, but a belated Happy Birthday, Dudley, hope you have a great day. Good to see those lovely photos again.

lois said...

Good afternoon Lemonade, CC, et al., I tried. DNF is the nicest thing I can say. I agree w/JD: CC you are an inspration to all of us. AND I'm learning my limits - that I even have some was a learning moment. I think TIME limits are the worst little buggers. And that is always a problem. Until I retire anway.

Thank you Mr. Peluso, for the exercise (in futility) but an interesting ride nonetheless.

Marti: Santa Baby worked out well! Very generous & kind! We had a good time. True to tradition, he came with bells on! What a man! Only 362 days left before he rides again!

Happy Birthday Dudley! Enjoy this beautiful day.

Tinbeni said...

DNF ... I reached my "Mug-of-Coffee" time limit. **it happens!

Mike: Thank you for a FUN Friday puzzle.
The themes, PORSCHE POTTY and NISSAN NEPHEW, got actual "Laughs-out-Loud"!

Lemon: Yup! LONEY & ST.LEO were Tampa Bay referenced gimmies.

My faves today (of course) was SLOE gin and ABSINTHE. Go figure ...
Also liked the "shout-out" to 'our' Mari ABBA.

Always amazed when I fill in a Bible Book, HOSEA, correctly.

A 'toast' to all at Sunset.

Lemonade714 said...

Klilly's LINK which tells the true story behind the movie the Searchers and reminds us how much John Wayne owed to director John Ford.

AlC., only Sunday puzzles come with themes from their authors, we bloggers try to be witty or incisive but the theme is our invention M-F.

maddid said...

Drove me crazy....lacked baseball and car knowledge. I think I'm too old for these really hard ones.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Needing a break in the SE corner, I confess to Googling SEPTET. Otherwise, this was a careful, dogged, rewarding slog for me.

Thank you, Mr. Peluso, for a delightful set of punny answers to your clever clues. I counted at least six clear clevernesses. Like others, my fave answer was AUDI PARDNER, with SAAB STORIES a close second. I loved the misdirections too. "Odessa native" had me going for a while, as did "Lock insert" and "Shed thing."

Bill G. said...

Good morning (here when I started writing this), good afternoon (for many others). This was pretty hard for me. I parsed TENG after a bit of cogitating. Otherwise WEES (especially Keith Fowler).

Yes, I knew of James Loney (ex-Dodger first baseman) and Alex Cora (good glove, no hit).

I enjoyed the photos. For some reason, the pictures of our puzzle constructors and solvers all come out looking like interesting, intelligent people. Why is it that those characteristics seem to shine through in photographs of our crossword friends?

Another beautiful day locally. I'm wondering if there is anywhere else in the world that has weather I would prefer to right along the coast in southern California? If you like it warmer, then you would enjoy the coast from San Francisco south to San Diego. If you like it a little cooler and wetter, then San Francisco northward. I just got lucky that my best job offer out of college was at now-defunct Hughes Aircraft Company just north of LAX.

Montana said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Dudley! Hope it's been a great day.

Abejo, I think the wi-fi in the hotel where I rent an apartment is the problem. I couldn't get on my laptop, either. When I go home to my apartment this evening I'll see if I can figure out my connection problems. No issues while I am at my son's place. I carried my iPad along today.

Dudley, Hondo, and Marti, hope we can get together again my next trip back to CT. If we know a long enough time ahead, maybe others can join us.



Ol' Man Keith said...

Seconding Bill G @ 2:10 re the SoCal weather.
I'm from San Francisco, born & raised, and like many northern Californians I used to suspect that constant sunshine baked the brains of southern Californians. But that turned out to be political bias. When I moved here some 30-plus years ago, after living in a variety of climates here and abroad, I found that this is where my body & mind truly yearned to live-- and thrive. For my first few years I swam nearly every day and lay on the beach for hours between long stretches in the ocean. It was as if my body needed to make up for lost years.

To include a minority report, my wife finds it too warm here, especially in the Christmas season. But then, she is a lot younger. I recognize that over the years, in the process of aging here (gracefully I hope!) I grew to appreciate the warmth more and more, even more than the bright air and blue skies; I relish the heat to keep the encroaching chill from my bones. Maybe this was synchronized to the vanishing of insulation (body fat). So I advise her to wait for the accumulation of years to aid her acclimation.

River Doc said...

Happy Friday everybody!

Surprised the heck out of me when I got the Ta-Da in less than half an hour. Lots of obscurities, insecurities, and flat out WAGS today....

I thought the theme might have to do with cars, but the 911 is the only model that sounded familiar at first pass....

Overwrites included OSS / CIA for HST / DDE, OTRO for OTRA, TALES for YARNS, and TREED for AT BAY. Had to wait for AUNT to reveal itself (herself?), because both ALUM and GRAD also fit....

LONEY was easy, CORA not so much....

HBD to Dudley...!

Finally, thanks to Lemon for that informative piece on the Genie Bra support system, what will they think of next...?

Dennis said...

Good afternoon, gang - what a fun puzzle. And yes, Lemonade, being a car nut helped, even though '911' still made me pause. Nicely done theme, but of course Mike Peluso never disappoints. And of course, thanks for the bra video, Lemonade; I'm always learning new things to incorporate into my practice.

I found that this is where my body & mind truly yearned to live-- and thrive. For my first few years I swam nearly every day and lay on the beach for hours between long stretches in the ocean. It was as if my body needed to make up for lost years.

Damn, Keith, you hit it on the head -- that's been my experience as well. Salt air is magical; I've never felt better, and I've got energy coming out of my ears. It's like I shook off twenty years.

Dudley, Happy Birthday and happy (con)trails -- many, many more.

Irish Miss, sorry to hear of your fall, but you're sure maintaining a positive attitude which will help the healing process.

Hope it's a great weekend for everyone; we're gonna spend ours looking for our future retirement home.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

I love puns, the more outrageous the better, so today's theme was a treat.

The rest of the puzzle - not so much; so it gets a mixed review. Obscure named are a poor way to oonch up the difficulty.

And I'm really not happy with TEN G. A very specific answer to a very general clue = poor correspondence.

I did make it through, but it was a struggle, aided and abetted by the perps. And when I caught onto the theme, that was a big help.

Oldest grandson is 17 today. Yikes!

Above freezing today and tomorrow, then another cold wave hits on Sunday.

Cool regards!

Bill G. said...

Keith, I know what you mean about it being warm at Christmastime. It's typical that during this time of year a high-pressure system settles over the area that cancels out the sea breeze and produces warm, dry conditions. Today is 82 with 15 percent humidity.

I ordered Barbara a Christmas present that was to be delivered sometime in the next several days by FedEx. We missed the delivery this morning. I called. The guy I'm talking to says I have two choices: They can try again Monday or they can put it on hold and I can pick it up after 6:30 tonight at the main facility about a half hour away. If they put it on hold, they won't try to deliver it again on Monday (if I can't get there this evening). Then he tells me if they don't put it on hold, they won't release it to me even if I hadn't called but just drove over there as it says I could do on the door tag. Geez, all of a sudden, I'm really pissed at FedEx. Assuming this guy on the phone is correct, they are not very customer-friendly.

Al Cyone said...

Re: © Alfred Lord Tennyson.

I suspect that copyright expired a long time ago.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. I liked parts of this puzzle, particularly the theme and the long fill such as LANYARDS and ABSINTHE. Other parts of the puzzle I didn't like so much, particularly the obscure proper names. Like you, Garlic Gal, I erased a lot. Best wishes to you all.

Steve said...

I've drunk absinthe a few times, in Europe and most recently this year at The Old Absinthe House in New Orleans.

It didn't want to make me chop off my ear (Van Gogh), commit suicide (Oscar Wilde) nor murder my family (Swiss chap that got it banned in Switzerland back in 1915).

It is indeed legal again, however absinthe imported into the USA must contain less than 10 ppm of thujone (the chemical that is alleged to cause the hallucinogenic experience) - other countries allow a higher amount or do not restrict it at all and so everyone's mileage may very depending where you drink it.

Absinthe? said...

Interestingly, the sit com Trophy Wife had an installment the other night that involved Glogg spiked with absinthe. It was pretty strange, but funny.

Manac said...

Could not parse TenG even though we have had it before and Nissan Nephew was a poser cause I just couldn't pronounce Nissan right.
Another link to pronounce Porsche and a tie in to 61D ( just the first :45 )

All in all a Thursday finish time.

Capcha's are all #'s my last few posts but illegible letters before I preview them.

Spitzboov said...

Figure-skating SUVs

Argyle said...

Her friends drive Porsches.

Lucina said...

It looks like you had an exhausting time, Santa. I hope you get enough rest!

Spitzboov said...

From Wiki:

"In keeping with the family name of founder Ferdinand Porsche, the company's name is pronounced [ˈpɔʁʃə] in German, which corresponds to /ˈpɔrʃə/ porsh-ə in English,[69] homophonous with the feminine name Portia. However, in English it is often pronounced as a single syllable /ˈpɔrʃ/ porsh—without a final /ə/. In German orthography, word-final ‹e› is not silent but is instead an unstressed schwa."

Manac said...

Porsche and Nissan seem to be going
to some extreme lengths to attract
Male Drivers

I think I just lost a few brownie points around here for that one ;~)

Anonymous T said...

G'Day all...

Fits & starts here and there, but I suck with it. Still a DNF (with bad A's here and there). Overall thought, a fun slog. so thanks Mike (and Lem for fixing the many errors) I don't know how anyone does this in 18 min - that's one corner for me :-)

Hand up for key at 62a and Alum at 29d.

My fav. was the SE - TEXAN SHALE is creating a mini-boom here. EWING can keep Dallas, right D-O?

I tried to find the Fish Called Wanda clip where, when discussing how dumb Otto was, "Why did they name their daughter [Portia] after a car." But, I could only locate the audio.

Thanks all for the post-puzzle comentary.

Cheers, -T

Lucina said...

Someone mentioned early on how it's always the AUNT(s) who are the fill in reunions in crosswords; in our family, for years we always looked for our elderly aunts at weddings and other family gatherings.

Eventually those aunts met their demise and when looking around for them one day I remarked to my sister sitting beside me that no elderly aunts were there and since they were gone that honor now befell on us. So we are always the "obligatory" aunts at reunions.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Another glitch. Can you check your Gmail?

Can you check your email also?