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Dec 26, 2013

Thursday, December 26, 2013 C.C. Burnikel

Theme: "I've got my EYE on you!!"

I bet very few people would be able to "see" this theme without the unifier smack-dab in the middle of the grid. (I know I didn't!)

39-Across. Minnesota's state fish, and a hint to all 12 border answers in this puzzle : WALLEYE. We were just talking about state dogs a few weeks ago. Who knew, Minnesota has a state fish?


All of the answers along the perimeter (WALLs) of the puzzle could precede the word EYE. 59 squares devoted to theme entries. Minimum for an LA Times weekday is 35 squares. Let's march clockwise around the grid to see them all.

1-Across. Chess side : BLACK. A black eye could be fixed by using a...

6-Across. Chest bone : RIB. …ribeye steak!

9-Across. Stripped : NAKED. The naked eye can see faint stars up to +8 brightness in a perfectly dark sky.

13-Down. Like some humor : DRY. But when a sad story is told, I bet there won't be a dry eye in the house!

28-Down. Two under par : EAGLE. If you had an eagle eye, you could spot a rabbit up to two miles away!

55-Down. Compulsory poker bet : BLIND. Just turn a blind eye and pretend you didn't see this comment...

69-Across. Brooks Robinson's base : THIRD. In Hinduism, the third eye refers to the brow chakra.

68-Across. Rosy : RED. The red-eye flight from LA to Boston is one I used to take sometimes.

67-Across. Calm water metaphor : GLASS. All I could think of was the parody of the old song, "After the Ball Was Over":

After the ball was over, Bonnie took out her glass eye,
Put her false teeth in the water, hung up her wig to dry;
Placed her false arm on the table, laid her false leg on the chair;
After the party was over, Bonnie was only half there!


60-Down. Important : BIG. Bigeye could refer to the ahi tuna used in sushi.  There is also a tropical bigeye fish that is orang-y in color. But I bet C.C. was thinking of the sushi one...

33-Down. Hogwarts teaching : MAGIC. "Magic Eye" is a series of books containing autostereograms. You know those 2-D pictures that appear 3-D when gazed at in just the right way, like these?

1-Down. Swallows, e.g. : BIRDS. So, I hope I have given you a birds-eye view of the theme.

Now, let's see what else C.C. has dished out for us.

Across:

14. Ancient region in Asia Minor : IONIA. In what is present-day Turkey.

15. Republic on St. George's Channel: Abbr. : IRE.land.

16. Basket willow : OSIER. Learned this from crosswords...

17. Pompeii attraction : RUINS.

18. Quicken Loans Arena NBAer : CAV.aliers of the Eastern Conference.

19. Strike site : ALLEY. Shout-out to Boomer!

20. Place to see FDR : DIME.


21. 40-decibel unit : SONE.

22. St. Pat's Day, e.g. : HOL.iday. Did everyone have a nice holiday celebration this year?

23. Pretend to be : SEEM.

24. Cricket call : CHIRP.

26. French pop : PERE.

29. Large primates : APES.

31. Barbary Wars participant, now : ALGERIA.

33. One of the smart set : MENSAN.

36. Seaweed extract : AGAR.

37. Ballpark fig.? : AVG.erage. Anyone else want "est."?

38. Boxing biopic : ALI. Played by Will Smith in the 2001 movie. There's a new one about his conscientious objection to fighting in Vietnam, which went to the Supreme Court.

41. Chum : PAL.

42. Do goo : GEL.

43. Covent Garden highlight : ARIA. Covent Garden is the site of the Royal Opera House in London.

44. Dalmatian's spot : DAPPLE. I always think of sunlight on the forest floor when I see this word.

46. Slothfulness : INERTIA.

48. Meyers of "SNL" : SETH.

49. Motor suffix : CADE.

50. "Coffee __?" : OR TEA.

52. Pequod captain : AHAB.

56. Shade provider : ELM.

58. Put in shells, say : LOAD. HaHa, I was thinking of the pasta dish "stuffed shells."

59. Little brook : RILL.

60. Prove untrue : BELIE.

62. Like the vbs. "creep" and "weep" : IRR.egular.

63. "Please, Mom?" : CAN'T I. Our refrain as kids was usually "Can I huh, pleasepleaseplease???"

64. Lay to rest : INTER.

65. Bolted down some nuts : ATE. Fun misdirection.

66. '50s movie monster destroyed at Mount Aso : RODAN. I was too young to watch monster flicks in the fifties.


Down:

2. Acerbic dispatcher on "Taxi" : LOUIE. Played by Danny DeVito.

3. Moving manga : ANIME. Pronounced AH-nee-may.

4. Multiplexes : CINEMAS.

5. __ in kilo : K AS. After Juliett and before Lima in the NATO alphabet.

6. Some copiers : RICOHS.

7. "Argo" extra : IRANI. I still haven't seen the movie.

8. Drink : BEVERAGE.

9. Conductor of the first rescue mission : NOAH. All the animals on the ark.

10. At an angle : ASLOPE.

11. Best-selling program, in tech lingo : KILLER APP. Great fill!

12. Broad foot letters : EEE.

21. Novel query requirement : SCENARIO.

25. What possums do when threatened : PLAY DEAD.

27. Bing, to Google : RIVAL.

30. Investigate, tabby-style : PAW AT. Yesterday my cats had more fun with the discarded ribbons and boxes than they did with their new cat toys.


32. Classic : GREAT.

34. Kagan who clerked for Thurgood Marshall : ELENA. Now an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court.

35. Rosetta Stone discovery area : NILE DELTA.

36. Like : ALA.

40. 1997 film with the tagline "Coming soon. Honest." : LIAR LIAR. Starring Jim Carrey.

45. Giza pyramid builder : PHARAOH.

47. Depends (on) : RELIES.

48. Like some sesame-crusted tuna : SEARED.

51. Rich cake : TORTE.

53. Language that gives us "pajamas" : HINDI.

54. Scene of some sworn statements : ALTAR.

57. Seas, to Cezanne : MERS.

61. Blowup: Abbr. : ENL.argement.

63. Old PC monitor : CRTCathode Ray Tube, now largely replaced by LCD and plasma screens.

See you all next week, when some of us will still be nursing hangovers. Not moi!!

Marti


Note from C.C.:

I'd like to share with you an email I got yesterday from Phyllis Tamres:

  ".....I love to do xwords, cryptograms & sudokus.  I do them every morning to get my 82 year old brain going. then I work on my website designs and my books––just starting my third..."

Phyllis is the author of  "Maddy and Terri". She also said "I take delight in the comments and photos on your site".

This blog drives me crazy at times. I can't imagine working with codes and other design stuff at 82. You rock, Phyllis!

Phyllis Tamres

67 comments:

MaryLou Guizzo said...

Very enjoyable puzzle, write up and story. Good way to start the day after! Thanks Marti and CC.

Anonymous said...

" After the ball was over, Bonnie took out her glass eye,
Put her false teeth in the water, hung up her wig to dry;
Placed her false arm on the table, laid her false leg on the chair;
After the party was over, Bonnie was only half there!"

I take it you're not a Mensan.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Amazing puzzle construction today which, alas, I didn't even notice until I had solved the whole thing.

Very smooth overall. Had no idea what BLIND meant in the context given, but the perps were rock solid. And I'm still not able to fully parse the clue for SCENARIO. I assume "Novel" refers to a book and not something new, but what does "query" have to do with anything?

Anyway, fun puzzle. Thanks, C.C.!

mskmoorthy said...

It is an enjoyable Puzzle indeed.

desper-otto said...

Good morning! And happy Boxing Day, which I learned last year has nothing to do with pugilism.

My grid is a real inkblot today, thanks to my dyslexia. I read "Strike Zone" as the clue to 39A rather than 19A, so my WALLEYE started out as a WAR ZONE. Everything in that central area is now over-written.

Hand up for EST before AVG. SETH started out as MIKE, and ASLOPE was ASLANT.

Marti, I loved those 2D/3D images. I don't understand how they create them. I've found that once you're "in the zone" you can just scroll down from picture to picture and see the images immediately. Can't read the descriptions, though. I once gave DW a book of those images She stared at it for minutes on end, but was never able to see a single one.

I remember as a kid begging my dad to drive some friends and me to the next town where RODAN was being shown. He finally gave in, and I became the neighborhood hero for a day.

Anon@6:34 -- what do those silly lyrics have to do with being (or not being) a Mensan?

Anon@7:05 -- We like to call it "experienced."

Al Cyone said...

I got off to a good start, quickly filling the NW corner, then stalled. So I jumped around, getting what I could (which, of course, is what I usually do anyway).

Had PROWL before PAW AT (have I mentioned that I don't like short, multiple word answers?). Somehow it all worked out in the end.

I also agree that "Can I?" is much more common than "CANT I?" (though "Why can't I?") is often heard.

And I have to say that, though I had a Dalmatian for seven years, I never came across the word DAPPLE in connection with that breed.

[10:41]

Husker Gary said...

This puzzle was as satisfying as the WALLEYE I ate for shore lunch on a beautiful June day in 2000! Finding all those theme answers and getting them in the puzzle? Wow!

Musings
-NAKED eye astronomy is just fine for most people
-Lines from the master of DRY humor
-If not for Vesuvius, Audrey Hepburn might have made “Pompeii Holiday”
-LeBron tried his best as a CAV, but it didn’t work out
-Ever seen someone on ALLEY 1 slip and the ball goes down ALLEY 2?
-Sheldon thought he could tell a cricket’s identity by counting CHIRPS
-Would you use a CHUM to fish for sharks?
-INERTIA tricks are a staple of a physics lecture
-The only CINEMA we attend now is the one with reclining seats
-What famous Arlen/Mercer song has the lyric, “A man will sweet talk and give ‘ya the BIG eye”

Mari said...

Good morning everybody.

Great puzzle and write up today. Thanks to all for participating.

I liked the following clues:
- 20A: Strike site: ALLEY
- 65A: Bolted down some nuts: ATE

I enjoyed the puzzle and had a few learning moments along the way (ALGERIA, DAPPLE, etc.)

Have a great day everyone.

Mari said...

Anonymous @ 7:05 am: I'm not retired, but I'd like to be :)

kazie said...

C.C. is truly amazing! I didn't see the theme until starting to read the blog, when I realized how truly amazing! Wow!

I stumbled in both the center north ans south, never having heard of RICOH, I guessed MAV/CAV. And in the south, didn't think of IRR, but rather I had INT for intransitive verbs, although I had tried earlier to make TORTE work and then gave up on it. LOAD is still a mystery to me. What kind of shells... uhoh, I guess (now) it refers to ammo. Something I've never been within couie of.

Danielle03 said...

Hi everyone! I'm a longtime lurker and first time poster. I really liked the theme of this puzzle. Kazie, I too have never heard of Ricoh copiers and although I had load correct, I didn't get it until just now. Ammo. Doh! I never understand why people come post rude things as anonymous, I would hope they have better things to do than insult a bunch of crossword lovers. Anyway, happy holidays everyone, I always enjoy reading the blog after I finish the puzzle!

Martin said...

I had IRIS for ARIA and LAID for LOADS. I hear "shells" and I think of eggs.

buckeye bob said...

Good morning!

Thank you C.C. for a fun puzzle. Thank you Marti for an illuminating expo!

During my first pass, I was thinking this is relatively easy for a Thursday. But after my first pass, the puzzle was only about half done. Lots of white squares left! But it slowly filled in with persistence. No red letter help or Google today. Well, except that 27D clue, of course!

Several learning moments for me today. I thought IONIA was part of Greece, not Turkey. Didn’t realize the Barbary War involved Algeria too, Thought it was only Libya. (“… to the shores of Tripoli…”)

Didn’t “get” 24A until I read the blog. What does CHIRP have to do with a cricket game? It doesn’t! Doh! Thank you HG!

What d-o said: “Hand up for EST before AVG. SETH started out as MIKE.”

Favorite clue was 69A: Brooks Robinson’s base: THIRD. Only 49 more days until pitchers & catchers report to spring training. Opening Day can’t be far behind!

desper-otto said...

Kazie, what is "couie?" I'm sure it's a typo, but I can't imagine what the source of that typo could be.

Danielle03, welcome to the party. Why don't you go blue and join in more often? We don't bite….much.

Husker, I've never thrown a bowling ball down the wrong alley, but I was hit by a pin from three alleys over while pin-setting. That used to be a fine way to make gas-money for those with brawn and few brains. The automatic pin-setting machine put the kibosh on that.

Martin said...

INERTIA is the tendency to keep doing whatever you are doing. If you are not doing anything then you remain idle. If you are doing something then you keep doing it.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

What Kazie said. Once I finished the puzzle, right at bedtime, I put it down without spotting C.C.'s crafty theme. Oops!

Lots of unknowns, such as the clue "moving manga", and the creature Rodan. Algeria emerged slowly.

Husker - That would be "Blues in the Night". I once had it on a really good player piano roll.

Happy Boxing Day

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, C.C., for an excellent puzzle. Thank you, Marti, for an excellent review.

Could not get started in the NW at all. Headed East and South and got it all.

Then headed back to the NW. Got K AS, which gave me BLACK, which gave me the rest.

After WALLEYE appeared, the border words made sense. This was very good. Must have taken some deep thinking to piece all that together.

Liked NOAH, first rescuer.

I had NILE RIVER at first, but soon after fixed it to NILE DELTA.

Marti: Liked your little ditty about the GLASS EYE. Very good. I see some goomba copied it in his/her write-up. Not sure what that was all about.

18 degrees F. here.

See you tomorrow.

Abejo

(riederu political)

Abejo said...

Danielle03: Welcome. Stick with us. We have a ball.

Abejo

Anonymous said...

Although I don't believe in boxing day, I guess there is no harm in celebrating it.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

When I opened Cruciverb last night at 10:30, I wasn't in the best mood (details to follow) but then I saw CC's name and my spirits lifted. There were lots of tricky areas, but perps and wags did the trick. Didn't understand the theme until reading Marti's spot-on expo. Thanks to you both.

Upon arrival at my niece's house yesterday, before even removing my coat, I headed for their Bernese Mountain Dog for my doggy fix. Did not see the step down into the family room and went sprawling across the room, losing my balance and falling hard on my left knee, and narrowly escaping smashing the glass-top coffee table.

After examination by niece's MIL, a retired nurse, a trip to the ER was necessary. X-rays showed a tiny fracture of the tip of the tubular, but the lacerated knee required 15 stitches. I have to wear an immobilizer for a week, change dressing daily, and ice it. Stitches to be removed in two weeks.

I had a restless night because I have to sleep on my back and getting and staying comfortable was almost impossible. In addition, the delayed after effects of other bruises and aches and pain set in. I must have strained some muscles in my chest and side because I have pain when I breathe deeply or move a certain way.

After the 3 + hours in the ER, we headed back and arrived just as dinner was ready. (Missed all the yummy hors d'ouvres !). I ate a little but was still pretty queasy and unnerved. On the bright side, the ER doctor came in dressed in a red sweatshirt, wearing a Santa's hat, and Ho, Ho, Ho-ing away. He was as gentle as possible and did a great job closing a very ugly wound. (The stitches look like a miniature set of train tracks.)

It wasn't how I expected Christmas Day to be, but I could have done a lot worse damage.

I hope everyone had a joyous Christmas.

Spitzboov said...

Happy Boxing Day to Canadian Eh, other Canadians, and the Brits. I guess the Germans observe a form of Boxing day, too. (My German Calendar terms the 26th simply as 'Christmas'.)

C.C. delivered a nice magnum opus today. 'Eye Wall', the outer edge of a hurricane's eye could have been used in place of WALLEYE if needed. Favorite clue was for NOAH. Second the ALLEY shoutout to Boomer.

Best wishes to all.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

C.C. Very creative theme. All those edge constraints must have made the fill a real challenge. Well done!

I struggled with his puzzle, but finally got through. Feeling a lot of INERTIA today.

Had MIKE and ASLANT, of course.

A possum threatened by a vulture is in real trouble.

Snowed here this morning; it was blowing around a few minutes ago, now bright sunshine. Typical Michigan.

Cool regards!
JzB



desper-otto said...

Irish Miss, what a way to spend Christmas! Sounds like you may have bruised a rib in the bargain. Falling can be a serious business. A broken bone and 15 stitches is bad enough; I'm glad you weren't more seriously injured. You've gotta admit, though, that this will be one Christmas you won't soon forget.

Abejo said...

Irish Miss: You take care!

Abejo

Lucina said...

Hello, friends! Thank you, Marti and C.C. for rounding out the entertainment today. C.C., the theme is quite amazing. You continue to impress me.

Interestingly, I did most of this on the downward fill. Had NILE BASIN before DELTA and the SE corner was pure guesswork as BLIND and THIRD were unknowns in that context.

Marti, you really should see Argo. It's an intense and really well made movie.

I thought the clues for NOAH, ALLEY and ATE were fun.

OwenKL:
From yesterday. I recognized the RHODE- prefix for red so didn't comment on it.

Have a terrific Thursday today, maybe defined with INERTIA!

Lucina said...

IrishMiss:
I'm so sorry about your fall! I hope the pain is short lived and your recovery quick.

Dudley said...

Irish Miss: so sorry about the bang-up! Feel better fast.

May I suggest one or two big mugs of Keith's Saintly Glögg? Strictly medicinally, of course. :-)

HeartRx said...

Irish Miss, I second Dudley's wise advice. Matter of fact, I think I should also take some - preventive medicine, of course!!

Jazzbumpa said...

abejo @ yesterday -

Here's a better view of Matt the tuba guy, with a cameo by his infant daughter Olive.

Cheers!
JzB

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

18a: Not being familiar with the arena and already having the "av " I first went with " Mav"-ericks.

Tinbeni said...

C.C. WOW !!! What a wonderful, FUN, Thursday puzzle. GREAT theme!

Marti: Excellent write-up & very informative links.

Irish Miss: Hope you 'Get-Better, Soon' ... a little Dewar's, on-ice, should help.

I'm a bit late, but Happy Birthday wishes yesterday to Yellowrocks, fermatprime and ZCarGuy.

DAPPLE was a learning moment (always a plus!) ... I wanted 'Dalmatian'spot' to be Croatia (you-know, the Dalmatian Coast/Region in Croatia ... but it wouldn't fit).

Only needed 5 'perps' to get both ANIME and RODAN.

(re: yesterday's puzzle: Happy to see a HOLiday theme. Solved this morning).

Happy Boxing Day! ... and a 'toast-to-ALL' at Sunset.
Cheers!!!

PK said...

Hey guys, if Irish Miss is taking pain meds, the DeWars might not be a good idea. Irish, some people go to extremes to make a grand entrance! Sorry, you were hurt so bad. Did they X-ray your ribs? What is a "tubular"? Do you mean "tibia", the leg bone?

Bill G. said...

Thanks CC and Marti. My Captchas seem to be back to normal. I'm not just a crazy old geezer, they really got strange and much harder two nights ago. If they kept it up for everybody, the spam cure would be as bad as the disease.

Irish Miss, I'm so sorry. I know it could have been worse but still..., that's bad enough, especially on Christmas day. I hope the mending process is uneventful. Look pitiful and groan a lot. Make sure everybody in the vicinity gives you plenty of TLC.

PK said...

C.C.: Stunning puzzle theme. Really surprising twists. WALLEYE was a WAG. I had to study awhile to get the theme, then laughed out loud.

Marti: Great expo! Honey, I'm still too young to watch a monster flick made in the 50's. RODAN I don't remember even hearing about.

At DIME, I resisted entering anything until last then timidly typed it in. Shocked me that it was right, then realized why. Duh dujour!

Didn't know what "manga" was but perped ANIME. Actually, don't quite know what ANIME is except for crossword fill.

We had a dachshund in our home for years. I just realized we never once bought him a toy. How could we be so remiss? We didn't even know dogs were supposed to have toys. He got braunsweiger wrapped under the tree for Christmas except for one year when I forgot. HE REMEMBERED! It broke my heart to see him sniffing for it among the packages with a happily wagging tail. He got cheese instead that year.

Keith Fowler said...

Tough, but do-able with persistence.

Actually a DNF for the sake of one letter - because I didn't know the name of the '50s monster RODAN, and I was never able to remember the right initials for PC monitors, which would have given me the perp initial "R."

I take it that my ignorance of these two items is a sign of my general high-mindedness, solid proof that I am neither a fan of cheaply made monster melodrama nor a computer geek. (Hey, we have to tell ourselves stories to keep our morale up, don't we?)

Let me join the chorus of well-wishers for a Happy Boxing Day. Whoever you are and whatever you believe-- or profess to disbelieve-- there is absolutely no reason that you should not have a splendid day today! Why?, you may well wonder, because folk have no unified notion why Boxing Day exists. I was told years ago that it was the traditional day in England for taking inventory (counting the boxes) at business concerns. But now I read that "boxing:" refers either to the alms boxes that were opened to feed the poor, or to the after-Christmas boxes (presents) that lords and employers would give their servants or employees.
Since no one can agree, let's turn to the alternate designation for the 26th of December. The (western) church would have us know that today belongs to Saint Stephen, and here according to some benighted souls is the Way to Celebrate! God bless us, everyone!

Prairie Woman said...

Walleye is a common fish here in Central Illinois as well, but in a different meaning. Most independently owned Family-style restaurants and bars serve "All you can eat Walleye" on Friday evenings as their special. DH loves this deep-fried special, so we frequent our favorite Family Restaurant for his fried fish fix. A couple incidents connected to that have caused a chuckle: while taking my MIL grocery shopping I noticed a sign in the local Kroger advertising a sale on Pollock. Beneath the name was posted, "Better known as All You can Eat Walleye." In this case a walleye is not a walleye!
I thought the puzzle was going to be a run through this morning but the middle of the north just would not fall. The construction of the grid was very interesting and impressive.
Enjoy the end of the year, everyone.

Keith Fowler said...

I forgot to ask if anyone can explain the clue for 21D. Like Barry G @ 6:49, I am puzzled.
What are we missing? How does "Novel query requirement" = SCENARIO?

Lemonade714 said...

What an absolute masterpiece of creative thought. I really enjoyed this especially the wit of Bolted down some nuts. As always miss m just makes the write up glow and welcome Danielle, feel better Irish Miss and enjoy all.

River Doc said...

Happy Christmas Gift Return Day everybody!

Hands up for MIKE. Had WHITE for BLACK until LOUIE DePalma convinced me otherwise. Also confidently entered ERA instead of AVG until proven wrong....

Like others, I did not get the theme until Marti explained it. Very clever C.C....!

Agree wholeheartedly with Lucina on the movie Argo - a must see at your local CINEMA....

HG, more Stepeh Wrightisms:
- I make my own water. Two glasses of H and one glass of O.
- I stated in a really old hotel last night. They sent me a wake up letter.
- My neighbor has a circular driveway. He can't get out.
- It doesn't matter what temperature a room is, it's always room temperature.
- I'm a peripheral visionary.
- I went out for a walk last night and my girlfriend asked me how long I was going to be gone. I said "The whole time."

Finally, belated HBDs to Fermatprime, Yellowrocks and ZCarGuy...!

Lucina said...

I remember RODAN because a long while ago I mistook it for RODIN the sculptor and someone on the blog humorously pointed it out to me. A lesson was learned and another reason why I love this blog!

River Doc said...

Make that Stephen (Wright) and staYed at the hotel, not staTed.... Oh well, at least the captcha gods have blessed me numbers again....

Tommie Chong said...

Wow man! I've always considered myself high-minded too.

Irish Miss said...

Thank you, everyone, for your concern and best wises. PK, it was my tibia but auto-correct's tubular. They didn't x-ray my ribs because that problem didn't surface until about 5:00 AM. I have had a cracked rib and this is a totally different pain, more muscular in nature.

pje said...

A doable puzzle today. Clever theme. I looked for the unifier to help with the theme clues. Knowing that many Scandinavians live in the state I wanted LUTEFISK for the state fish but it didn't fit.

Irish Miss, I'm sorry about your tumble. May you recover quickly. Milk the situation for all you can get.

Enjoy the rest of the year!

Pat

Steve said...

WEES - great puzzle, C.C. and a sterling write-up, Marti.

Welcome Danielle!

I think I can explain "SCENARIO" - a "novel query" letter is a summary of the book provided to potential publishers so that they don't have to read the entire thing just to know whether it's worth pursuing or not. This "query" must contain the scenario - the plot outline.

Of course, I might have missed the point entirely and I'm talking out of my nether regions.

Happy Boxing Day!

Anonymous said...

I always thought boxing day is when all the rich people give their leftovers as pittance to the servants. Then they would go and have their formal fox hunts. Such tradition those brits have.

Misty said...

Happy holidays, everyone! We're back from our little "staycation" at the Ritz a day early. Husband a little under the weather, but we had three lovely days of sunshine on the Pacific, watching surfers in the water, taking walks with wheel-chair and care-giver around the premises, and exchanging Merry Christmas greetings with lots of other guests.

Came back to brilliant news (a fabulous C.C. puzzle, and a delightful Marti expo) and incredibly sad news (Irish Miss's fall--oh dear, how awful for you).

Good to be home, although there's lots of unpacking to do, dachshunds to cuddle and re-greet, and Christmas mail to sort through.

Danielle, how nice to have you check in.

Here's my take on the Novel query. When you approach an agent or a publisher with the novel you want to get published, the first thing they require is a SCENARIO--a summary of what the novel is about. Does that make sense?

Irish Miss, we had Christmas news about two of our closest Austrian relatives--both aunts of mine in their 80s who had falls within the last month, including broken hips and injured shoulders. I'm just relieved that yours doesn't sound quite so dire, but still sounds painful and upsetting. And what a cruel reward for wanting to greet a sweet dog. We have a step between entry/dining room and living room also, and have already have one senior friend fall (no break, thank goodness, only stitches). I wish they wouldn't build houses like that. Take good care of yourself.

It's good to be back, everybody!

Keith Fowler said...

Hi, Steve & Misty,
Thanks for your explanations of SCENARIO. Yes, maybe that is what CC had in mind. I can't say it feels exactly right. I don't have any experience in trying to pitch a novel, but to me the word SCENARIO is an outline of a movie or a play rather than a novel. Oh, well...

PK said...

As a young mother, I thought the Christmas story was very poignant. Every Christmas that I was pregnant and people asked how I was doing, I would say, "I'm just glad I don't have to ride to Bethlehem on a donkey." Can you imagine that, girls?

Yellowrocks said...

This is a simply marvelous theme and well executed, CC. Marti. I always enjoy your blogs. 39A told me the theme answers would all run around the border of the puzzle. I did those first and looked for what they had in common. Aha! EYE! So WALL EYE. How very clever!

I’m okay with SCENARIO, a gimmie, referring to the plot of a book or novel.

Seth is my favorite reporter on SNLL, cute and mischievous.

I am so sorry to hear of your fall, Irish Miss. What a frustrating way to spend the holiday. Heal quickly.

Welcome, Danielle.

Yellowrocks said...

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to all. Between having guests and visiting my son and family I have been off the blog for a few days. Thank you all for my Christmas birthday greetings. Please don’t feel sorry for me. I love having my birthday on Christmas, a beautiful time of year with family and friends gathered round. After assuring me an equal part in all the Christmas gifts and festivities all day, my mother celebrated my birthday at the evening meal on Christmas, with candles and singing Happy Birthday. There was a second round of gifts for me, as much as I would have received if my birthday were in July. It was my turn to feel special. My husband continued this tradition and now my son and DIL do so. The only thing I ever missed was a party with my friends. For the last two milestone birthdays I hosted a large catered party for myself.
This year on Christmas Eve my youngest sisters visited us. We went out to dinner and then to late services. My car key would not fit in the lock as we were leaving for church. We had to use my sister’s car. When we returned I sprayed deicer in the lock and Voila! Success! Then early this morning we went to visit my son’s family. We had a delightful Christmas with our traditional roast beef and Yorkshire pudding dinner. I contributed vichyssoise and a sinful chocolate satin pie.

Blue Iris said...

Irish Miss, I bet your niece was shaken up after that "step" nearly maimed her "Auntie A" for life. Even though you missed the coffee table, just another reason to never purchase a glass coffee table. What caused the laceration beside blunt force, of course? Take it easy until your soreness goes away. I imagine all Christmases will be remembered by before or after the year you fell. Too bad you have to wait til next year to get the stitches out:(

PK, we brought our dog's Christmas toy last summer. We couldn't find it. We searched over the whole house and finally went ahead and opened presents. As usual when we finished, there she was wagging tail and body waiting for her present. We fed her some doggie treats from the garage.
The next day, my husband found it in plain sight, wrapped in tissue paper, on top of his dresser. She always grabs her toy and takes it to the basement family room.

CC, I had never heard of WALLEYE until we visited Minnesota and found it on every menu. Very interesting and well thought out theme.

CrossEyedDave said...

Sorry I missed yesterday, it was a very busy day. To catch up...

Irish Miss, you are scaring me!
(feel better asap...)

CC, I had an idea for a puzzle once with the theme running around the perimeter. I found it impossible to construct. Kudos on your accomplishment! I found solving it very difficult too, 10D gave me fits! At an angle = aslope? I didn't have the P in the French thingy, so the S was a total WAG to complete the puzzle...

Now finding something funny about "fishing" is just about impossible for me BECAUSE.

A belated (but sincere) Happy Birthdays to:

Zcarguy.

Some cupcakes for Fermatprime.

And Yellowrocks,,, (have you ever tried to find a happy birthday Yellowrocks cake?)

I did find some candy...

I did remember that Yellowrocks meant square dancing, but as far as Birthdays go,,, I think these people had a similar problem finding an appropriate gift!

So I decided to look up what "Yellow Rocks" really means...

(Well I guess that says it all, doesn't it!)

Lemonade714 said...

Anon at 3:24, you seem to make BOXING DAY sound like something bad. Filling an alms box is a nice thing I would think.

BTW hey Mary Lou nice to see you again so soon.

I like the Pollock Walleye story. Pollock also is often the crab meat you get.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. What kazie said: "C.C. is truly amazing! I didn't see the theme until starting to read the blog, when I realized how truly amazing! Wow!" Or, to paraphrase Yakov Smirnoff, "What a pozzle!" I think you can tell I liked it a lot.
Marti, thanks for linking those Magic Eye images. Such fun!
Best wishes to you all.

Yellowrocks said...

Thanks for all the effort CED. I threw you a curve ball, I suspect. In square dancing lingo "yellow rock" means hug. We are a very hugging bunch of people. Occasionally we say "golden boulder," a great big yellow rock.Surprisingly, I find no images of yellow rock. We decorate our cakes with a square dancing pair in full regalia, although casual dress is more common.
Yellowrocks (hugs) from Kathy

fermatprime said...

Greetings!

What an incredible puzzle, CC! Great expo, Marti!

No cheats, but took a bit longer than usual. Hand up for est.

Irish Miss: feel better soon! (Sounds like something that I might have done, but then I would have broken x bones too.)

Thank you all so much for the "happy birthdays." My caregiver sneaked in early without waking me so that I was ill prepared for guests. Hardly a picture-taking day. Son, wife and daughter brought me a nice organic filet!

Cheers!

Yellowrocks said...

Happy birthday, Ferm. I sent you an email.

Bill G. said...

Barbara's sister always sends us a gift box of pears from Harry and David's. Not very imaginative and usually, I'm not a big pear fan. But these pears, when ripened, are fantastic. They are called Royal Riviera pears. I've eaten one ripe one so far; eight more to go.

Those Magic Eye images are always tough for me at first. Once I can see the first one, the rest get easier.

If you love something, set it free. Maybe not murderers though; or sharks; or viruses...lots of stuff really.

CanadianEh! said...

House full of family and no time to do puzzle today but I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Boxing Day!!! Thanks Spitzboov. I didn't realize it was not an American holiday (even if it has just become another excuse for the stores to have a sale!)

Spitzboov said...

Bill G @ 1944 - Re: pears. For dessert tonight BH served up baked Bosc pears stuffed with melted Stella blue cheese and walnuts.

Irish Miss - Bummer of a Christmas day for you. Hope that you heal quickly.

Welcome aboard Danielle03 to this Merrie Band.

Also best wishes to Phyllis Tamres. Visit us often.

I'm writing this while listening to this group from
Linddesnes, NO. Greetings of the season to Jerome.

Anonymous T said...

Good Eve All...

Wow C.C.! What a fun & hard puzzle. I only needed one Google (other than the clued) at 57d and lots of WAGs until things worked them selves out under mountains of ink.

e.g. 63a started as CANwe, 34d was aLENA, 43 was AvIA (WAG), and I had LAIRLAIR at 40. My dyslexia also showed up at 3d reading magna and writing Lava_? :-)

Marti - Thanks for the great writeup too!

IM - Get well soon...

I knew RODAN after a few perps, not from the theaters, but from MST3K (Mystery Science Theater 3000). Warning Keith - it ain't highbrow :-)

Cheers, -T

kazie said...

Desper-Otto,
I couldn't spell it but "cooee" is what you yell as loudly as possible if you're lost in the middle of the outback when trying to get the attention of someone who may or may not be close enough to hear you. Hence I used the expression to show that something is too far away to be of use, as in my never having been within cooee of any guns or ammo.

See the Wiki note on it here.

Dudley said...

Kazie - I read the Wiki note about cooee, and couldn't help noticing that the location of the Cooee March was Gilgandra, NSW. I spent a bit of time on a wheat farm in Gilgandra, the proprietor of which was such a parachuting enthusiast that he maintained a private airstrip on the farm for that purpose. I arrived by aircraft, thus the airstrip was handy.

Australia is simply marvelous for private aviation.

Insomniac said...



The midnight marauder strikes again.


Tomorrow's puzzle constructor is ... Wait, don't tell me, don't tell me.

kjinkc said...

Bill G. - been distracted for a couple of days and just going over the old posts...took your dialect test and it landed me about 2 hours south of my actual location, which I think is totally AMAZING!

Bill G. said...

kjinkc, I agree. I am really impressed with that dialect quiz. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I'm glad the Captchas are back to their old normal unpleasant selves.