Dec 25, 2013

Wednesday, December 25, 2013 Marcia Mathis

Theme: Opening Presents - each of the four theme entries "opens" with a Christmas-related word

17A. Breeders' Cup track : SANTA ANITA. Now the only racecourse remaining here in Los Angeles - Hollywood Park closed two days ago after 75 years in business. Santa Anita is a beautiful venue though.

28A. Horticulturist with a berry named for him : RUDOLPH BOYSEN. I got "Boysen" from crosses and "Rudolph" once I realized the theme.

47A. 2000 Ben Affleck thriller : REINDEER GAMES. I never saw this, and judging by the reviews I don't think I missed much.

63A. Classic Leroy Anderson holiday tune : SLEIGH RIDE. A nice orchestral version here to get us in the swing of things today.

Merry Christmas everybody! Steve here with today's Yuletide challenge from Marcia Mathis. I don't see Marcia's name in the blog history so this may well be her LA Times debut; a nice Christmas present for her if it is!

I thought the theme was nicely worked - I had some quibbles with the fill - I thought there was some odd cluing - but nothing too upsetting. This was a slower-than-usual solve for me today, the north-west section was something of a struggle. Let's see what caught my eye.


1. Dying-out sound : PFFT. What? I'm still not sure I understand this and I've looked at it for a long time. Is it something to do with air escaping?

5. Arafat's successor : ABBAS

10. __ job : SNOW. This slang term for a cover-up was new to me; part of a mini-theme going on too.

14. Aftershave additive : ALOE

15. "Tales of Trail and Town" author : HARTE. Crosses all the way. This Bret Harte book was published way back in 1898.

16. Super : A-ONE

19. Paid attendance : GATE. I love it when you're at a baseball game and the paid attendance is announced - usually it's at least twice as many as there are people in the stadium. Season-ticket holders are counted even if they're not at the match.

20. Soft drink options : SIZES. Hmmm. Not sure about this one.

21. Hangout featuring doo-wop music : MALT SHOP

23. Doo-wop __ : ERA. Nice pairing with the previous clue.

24. Uganda's Amin : IDI

27. Toll booth waiter : CAR. I sat in 20-minute "cash only" line in a rental car a couple of years ago at the Holland Tunnel into Manhattan - only to be told that I had EZ-Pass when I got to the front of the queue. Doh!

35. Part of an act : SCENE TWO

37. Sucking-up type : TOADY

38. Anklebones : TALI. Latin plural of "talus". I'm glad I was paying attention in Latin class all those years ago.

39. Watertight frames : HULLS. I've never considered a hull being a "frame" before. Doesn't the planking over the frame complete the hull?

42. Oscar-nominated Peter Fonda role : ULEE. From the movie "Ulee's Gold".

43. Home that may include a tunnel : IGLOO. Second mini-theme entry.

45. Ostensible : APPARENT

50. Bill: Abbr. : INV.  No idea. Someone smarter than what I is will need to explain this one! (Added later: Invoice)

51. Parisian pal : AMI. That friend has probably got a tête full of idées too.

52. Peter, Paul and Mary: Abbr. : STS. Three saints.Nice!

55. Periodically : OFF AND ON

60. Bowler's concern : SPLIT. I'm sure Boomer can tell us exactly how to handle this tricky problem. (Boomer here, - I have left this now and then, it usually results in an open frame.  You need to roll the ball perfectly to the right of the six pin.  The ball will take out the ten and the six needs to slide across the lane and hit the seven.  I would say about 5% conversion rate, even for an accomplished bowler.)

62. Former student : ALUM

66. Popular bar game : KENO

67. Old piano craftsman's raw material : IVORY

68. Word in many golf tournament names : OPEN. An "open" tournament means that anyone can enter for qualifying to play in the event (subject to certain minimum playing standards). Some gatecrashers always seem to make it into the first round of qualifying, however.

69. Fifth Avenue store : SAKS

70. Midmorning hr. : TEN A.M.

71. Beckoning sound : PSST. More "air escaping" sounds!


1. Old hat : PASSÉ

2. Natural ability : FLAIR

3. Sitcom Arthur better known by his nickname : FONZARELLI. The Fonz. I wasn't sure if there was an "A" or an "E" after the "Z" contributing to my slow progress in this area.

4. Idée source : TÊTE. Those French ideas have to come from somewhere.

5. Exclamation when a light goes on? : AHA! All of us have these moments solving puzzles.

6. Prohibit : BAN

7. Edge : BRIM

8. Staple or glue : ATTACH

9. Aquanaut's workplace : SEA LAB. Here's the first one:

10. Drops over time : SAGS. Never a good thing, no matter what is sagging.

11. Biblical captain : NOAH

12. Not taken in by : ON TO

13. Blubber : WEEP

18. In reserve : ASIDE

22. Easy pace : TROT

25. "The bell __ toll for him ...": Donne : DOTH. From John Donne's 16th-century poem. Also contains the oft-quoted "Ask not for whom the bell tolls - it tolls for thee" and "No man is an island".

26. Stevedore's gp. : I.L.W.U. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

29. Confederacy foe : UNION

30. Frigid : POLAR. Third of the mini-theme.

31. "__ kidding!" : YOU'RE

32. Christmas shopper's accumulation : SALES SLIPS

33. Paradise : EDEN

34. Duma negative : NYET. A duma is a Russian parliament or assembly. Complete WAG for me, to be honest - I had to look it up afterwards!

35. Ado : STIR

36. Ticket seller's enclosure : CAGE

40. Solheim Cup co-sponsoring org. : L.P.G.A. The Solheim Cup is a team competition in women's golf between the USA and Europe. The Ladies' Professional Golf Association and the Ladies' European Tour sponsor the event.

41. Junk email : SPAM

44. Chief Valhalla god : ODIN

46. "Witness" sect : AMISH. Harrison Ford starred in the movie.

48. Throws him out, say : ENDS IT

49. Develop slowly : EVOLVE

53. Nautical table listing : TIDES

54. Arterial implant : STENT

55. Flooring trees : OAKS

56. Dog bugger : FLEA. A "bugger" in the UK is something quite different, I'm not sure this clue would be allowed there.

57. Dejected spell : FUNK

58. Big name in cookies : AMOS. A famous name indeed.

59. Flashy sign : NEON

61. "West Side Story" knife, e.g. : PROP. I was looking for a slang word for "knife" for quite some time.

64. Playwright Levin : IRA

65. Training site : GYM


Notes from C.C.:

1) Merry Christmas! Today we also celebrate the birthday of three regulars: The erudite & always positive Yellowrocks (Kathy), math-whiz Fermatprime (send me a photo) & the car expert Zcarguy.

Kathy & Buddha, Japan, 2008. Kathy speaks Japanese.

Zcarguy and his wife Kathy

2) Lemonade & Montana finally met in Denver! Lemonade is visiting his son and Montana (Darlene) is babysitting her grandkids. I recognize Lemonade's son on his left.

Lemonade & Montana, Denver, 2013


OwenKL said...

Chrisword Crosstmas

Christmas is time for REINDEER GAMES,
Trivia questions of eight courser's names.
Joining with SANTA to play winter golf;
(Our caddy will be the rhodamine RUDOLPH).
Romping in SNOW or building an IGLOO;
Playing at POLAR bear till we turn blue.
Hitching a SLEIGH RIDE to go Christmas shopping,
Racking up SALES SLIPS, not slowing or stopping.
Buying from Macy's, more buying at SAK'S,
UNION longjohns for grandpa, PROPs T.J. Maxx.
Wrapping up presents, ornate rosettes forming
On gifts kids will joyfully OPEN come morning!

- Took a while, and needed red letters, but no specific stumbling blocks. I didn't know boysenberries were eponymous.
- Marti: shout-out to your SNOW JOB avatar!
- PFFT at the start and PSST at the end bookended another mini-theme.
- 50a INV. = invoice.
- 3d FONZ, I'm surprised it wasn't clued with the doo-wop mini-theme.

fermatprime said...


Merry Christmas!

Great puzzle! Thanks Marcia, Steve.

Happy birthday, YR and Zcarguy!

Argyle--My blog of Mon. or Tues. must have gone in the trash. Anyway: included belated HBTY to Misty and best wishes to Lucina's sil (I think.)

Had the most horrible experience at a very crappy (sorry, out of decent adjectives today) DMV office yesterday. Am terribly depressed. Tell you more about it later, maybe.

Got 5 hours of sleep. Zero the night before.

Another very depressing birthday.

Take care!

(Incredible: I finally got a number! 9268432)

Barry G. said...

Merry Christmas, All (and a very Happy Birthday to Yellowrocks, Fermatprime and Zcarguy)!

Full disclosure -- I am a devout atheist, but I still love the season and celebrate a secular Christmas with my son so he can enjoy all the trappings (the decorated tree, Santa, getting presents, etc.)

The puzzle was a fine tribute to the season. ILWU was a complete unknown that required all the perps to get, but everything else was smooth sailing.

I hope you day gets better, Fermat! As they say, eat a live frog first thing in the morning and things can only get better...

desper-otto said...

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Good morning!. I suspect there won't be too many of us here today.

My problem was in Wisconsin -- I was FASTENing when I should have been ATTACHing. That slowed things down a tad. I was thinking show dogs rather than race horses for the "Breeder's Cup track."

Steve, PFFT is the sound of a candle going out. Bret Harte, Zane Grey and Erle Stanley Gardner used to be as common as Asta and ecru in cw's.

Happy birthday to YR, ZCarguy and Fermat. Fermat, I hope you find something to lift your spirits today. Perhaps lifting a few spirits would help.

Today is potato dumpling day -- ten pounds of grated potatoes (1/2 russet, 1/2 Yukon Gold), three eggs, flour, salt, baking powder and croutons. A sacrificial pillow case is required for squeezing as much water as possible out of the grated potatoes. The flour is the last ingredient to add -- and continue adding until everything "feels right." The yield is about 16 softball-sized dumplings. Croutons are placed in the center of each dumpling to make these lead balls "lighter." They need to boil for at least 40 minutes, so every large pot in the house is called into service. It's a tradition that at least one of the pots will boil over and make a huge mess. The dumplings are served with roast beef and brown gravy. The dumpling leftovers will be sliced and fried another day -- they're even better that way. With just two of us at the table, there are bound to be lots of leftovers.

Montana said...

Good morning, everybody and for me a very merry Christmas.

Happy Birthday to Yellowrocks, Fermatprime and Zcarguy. A birthday so close to Dec. 25 had to be difficult as a child.

Yes, Lemonade and I met at a Denver restaurant Monday. Our sons came along as well as my granddaughter and Derik's girlfriend. It was a most enjoyable brunch. We did a lot of visiting, although it is interesting how much one knows about others from this Corner. Our sons worried a little about us as we used avatar names to comment about people we like on the blog.
The weather in Denver got beautiful after Lemonade flew back to Florida!

I must admit to a major DNF of this puzzle. I just could not get the clues, and perps didn't help. I even got the theme early on and that didn't help finish it either. NW to center were my biggest problems. I did have several AHA moments while reading Steve's explanations to the clues. Thanks, Steve.

Have a good day. It is back to work for a lot of people tomorrow.


I don't ever get number captchas.

Montana said...

desper-otto, my grandmother and mother made those potato dumplings all the time when I was growing up. My husband didn't care for them, so I haven't had them since my mother passed away. She would make them when I would visit alone. Good memories.


Al Cyone said...

Merry Christmas!

May you all enjoy a day without a CROSS WORD.


Anonymous said...

50 across - short for invoice.

Husker Gary said...

I thought I had gotten a well-deserved lump of coal but I worked my way through this lovely, puzzling present where even I got the theme. Steve’s summary paragraph works for me but not baseball MATCH in his fine write-up ;-)

-I’m ready to NOT hear RUDOLPH the Red Nosed REINDEER, SANTA Claus is Coming To Town, et al for at least another year!! They’ve been around since Halloween.
-12 races per day with beautiful animals don’t cut it in today’s instant gratification world
-If you can look past the girls, this is a typical GATE for The Hawaii Bowl.
-SODA SIZES were a big issue in NY this year
-TOADY? What I get 75% of the time when it type TODAY
-I gotta get that t-shirt Steve!
-Boomer, my granddaughter used a 6 lb ball and picked up the 5 – 7 split when her very slow ball hit to the left of the 5 pin and the ball caromed over to get the 7. No OPEN frame for her.
-Sinatra, Bogart and Fonzie are about as unimposing tough guys as I’ve seen
-CAGE scene from funniest golf movie ever
-HBD to YR, Ferm and Zcarguy!
-Great pic of Montana and Lemon, who, quoting Judge Haller, is dressed very “unlawyerly” ;-)

Dennis said...

Good morning, gang - just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and the hope that all your wishes come true today.

Lois, great to see you, and as always, there's no confusing naughty or nice with you -- they're both the same. Hope Santa recovers in time for next year after visiting your chimney...

Dennis said...

Almost forgot - Happy Birthday to Fermat, Zcarguy and Yellowrocks; many, many more.

And Yellowrocks, thanks for the sand tart recipe; you probably saved us a bundle in shipping costs.

Al Cyone, great line.

Anybody having a white Christmas?

Spitzboov said...

Merry Christmas to all ye merrie men and ladies.

Happy Birthday to Yellowrocks, Fermat and ZCarguy. Bummer having to share it with Christmas.

Nice photo of Montana and Lemon.

Easy solve today. No strikethroughs or searches. Theme helped me get SANTA ANITA and Rudy BOYSEN. Favorite fill was FONZARELLI. Thanks Marcia, for your sparkly puzzle.

Husker Gary said...

CC, the issue of Christmas in China has been raised in the news this month. While this is the reported religious make-up of China where Christianity is a decided, but growing minority, it was reported the China does have some of the trappings of Christmas. What is your take on Christmas in China?

Lucina said...

Merry Christmas to all! (You, too, Barry, though you profess to be an atheist.)

And a very happy birthday to Yellowrocks (Cathy), Zcarguy, and fermatprime. As Dudley said, I hope you find something to lift your spirits.

I've got to love a puzzle that starts with PFFT and ends with PSST! It was a good sashay all the way through. My only doubt was whether FONZARELLI ended in O, A, or I. REINDEER solved the problem and how convenient that Ben Affleck had a movie by that name!

The theme became APPARENT right after SANTA and RUDOLPH then it was a smooth RIDE all the way.

It's time to go to my daughter's home, so I'll catch you all later.

You all have a stupendous Christmas Day!

buckeye bob said...

Good morning! This puzzle took a little longer than a usual Wednesday, but was fun. Getting the theme early helped a couple of answers.

Steve and d-o, when I think of PFFT, I think of air escaping a balloon.

Happy Birthday to Yellowrocks, Fermatprime, and Zcarguy!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

WBS. A lifetime of mulling it over has steered me to a belief in no particular deity, but I see no harm in sharing the fun stuff of Christmas.

What a nice, cheery puzz for today! Hand up for being uncertain about Pfft until the perps solidified it. I never knew who Boysen was until today.

Happy Birthday to Zcar, Fermat, and Yellowrocks! Montana, I'm glad you got to meet with Lemon, and thus add to your Corner family. Will you visit CT again next year?

Bill G if you're aboard today - I've had trouble with the Captcha letters too, but for whatever reason the system has gone back to offering numeral strings lately. Those are crisp.

Merry Christmas to Cornerites far and near!

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Merry Christmas.

Couldn't get anywhere with the puzzle today. Perfectly timed theme.

We're off to visit my mom and sister today.

Here's one way to travel.

Cool Regards!

Jazzbumpa said...

For the Grinch in you.


Jazzbumpa said...

And, of course,HBD Yellowrocks, Fermatprime and Zcarguy.


Jazzbumpa said...

Montana @ yesterday.

Yep, I'm in those vids.

Playing bass trombone at the end of the row in the big band.


Dudley said...

JzB - loved the Tuba Grinch!

Steve - thanks for blogging on a holiday. Having traveled lots in England and Australia, we feel free adopting "bugger" as a mild, convenient, and amusing profanity back home. The trouble is, we can't seem to divine its level of perceived vulgarity among British ears. How would you rate it?

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

A very Merry Christmas to all and Happy Birthday to YR, Ferm, and Zcarguy. Hope you all have a wonderful day.

I thought the puzzle was a tad chewy for a Wednesday but finished smoothly. Cute and timely theme. Thanks, Marcia, and thanks, Steve, for your witty expo.

Very nice picture of Lemon and Montana, et al. It's so nice that Corner members can meet each other face to face.

Have to run and get ready to go to my niece's. Have a wonderful, joyful day.

Bill G has tried posting for ages but, for some reason, is being stymied by the captchas. Maybe we'll hear from him later.

PK said...

Merry Christmas! The Christmas theme was fun after it finally became apparent. I got almost nothing the first pass through, but after it all rattled around in my brain a bit, most was easy. Thanks, Marcia! Great expo, Steve.

Happy birthday to Kathy, Fermatprime, & Zcarguy! Hope you are celebrating merrily. Ferma, buck up girl! Call someone and yak their ear off. It helps.

Jzbumpa: Enjoyed the music, but was annoyed because a pop-up ad for catheter packs appeared under your chin. Most inappropriate.

D-O: Never heard of potato dumplings, but they sound good. I made a lot of Bisquick dumplings about the size of half a baseball. They went into stewing chicken or fruit --usually apricots. Yum!

Since so many of our Christmas decorations are manufactured in China now, it's not surprising the Chinese might want to join the fun.

We're having a white Christmas. Now I must adjourn to the bath to get ready to travel over the river & past the woods to my son's house to make jolly with his family & in-laws. My kids & grandkids will be there Friday. Had an email yesterday from my AF son in the lands of sands. So all is good with me!

Bill G. said...

Happy Christmas to everybody! I finished the puzzle late last night but haven't read the comments yet.

The Captchas have gone back to the normal level of weirdness. I don't know why I was the only one who got the impossible new ones last night...or maybe I was the only one posting then. Anyway, none of you seemed to be having any problems and I hope mine have been resolved. If I had to go through that every day, I think I would look for another activity.

john28man said...

Merry Christmas to one and all.

Argyle said...

Dennis, it was a near thing after my stop to 'see' Lois.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Marcia Mathis, for a fine Christmas Puzzle. Thank you, Steve, for the fine review.

Slept in today, since we were up to after 2:00 AM. Got into the puzzle with a steaming cup of Earl Grey tea. I am now on about my fifth cup.

Could not get started in the NW, so i headed East. Got the North and NE easily. Liked the Biblical Captain, NOAH. With ANITA, I got SANTA. Had been there many years ago while living in California.

28A was easy. Also while in California had been to Knotts Berry Farm many times. That is where RUDOLPH BOYSEN developed the Boysen Berry. The best jam I have ever eaten. You can buy tons of it at Knotts Berry Farm Amusement Park.

ILWU and HULLS was a little sticky, but got it with deep thinking and trying a few different vowels.

Liked IGLOO. Great Clue. Home with a tunnel.

Theme became obvious. Very good for this special day.

We went to late church last night. Lots of Christmas music. I was in the church band. We do this every year.

Liked your videos, Jazzbumpa. Good job on the trombone. Tuba was good. That's where my heart is. Never got to see his face, however.

Nice photo of Lemonade and Montana. Looks like a fun get-together. Hope you did not drink the Coors Light, Lemonade.

Happy Birthday to Yellowrocks, ZCarguy, and Fermatprime. Nice photos. Hope you are feeling better, Fermatprime. Hoping Harvey is assisting.

Well, I need another cup of Earl Grey. See you tomorrow.


(eenters below)

Steve said...

Happy Birthdays!

Dudley - it's a pretty mild expletive, to be honest. I'm not saying you'd use it in church, but no-one's going to be offended.

Abejo said...

D-O: Your Potato Dumpling recipe looks good. I copied it. Hope you don't mind.


(poissis had)

Pat said...

Merry Christmas! If you don't observe the holiday, Happy Wednesday!

The northwest did me in. What answers I got were wrong, so a DNF. The rest of it was fun.

Happy birthday to zcarguy, Yellowrocks and Fermatprime! And my twin nephews. I hope the day gets better for you, Ferm.

It's quiet for now. Daughter, boyfriend and 3 large dogs will arrive in a couple hours. After the dogs receive their perceived due attention we'll have "dinner" of appetizers, then exchange gifts. Not too wild and crazy of a day.

It's time for my radio station to go back to playing all oldies. Starting Christmas music before Thanksgiving is just wrong.

Have a wonderful day.


JJM said...

My Irish Twins are now entering their teenage years and so now are the days gone that after being up late on Xmas eve with all the relatives, putting together toys/bikes/whatever 'til 3AM then getting up at 5:30 AM to open everything because they couldn't wait to open their presents, that we actually got to sleep until 9 AM today.

In all honesty… I kinda miss those years.
Gotta go watch "Family Man" now. It's a tradition!


Dudley said...

Steve 12:11 - Thanks for the cultural update.

I got to thinking where "bugger" and its derivatives have appeared in film. The biggest example has to be in Four Weddings and a Funeral, at the time when Hugh Grant's character learns, immediately prior to his own wedding, that the woman he really wants to marry is suddenly available again. That realization is good for a whole string of "Buggahs!".

Then there's Johnny Depp's drunken pirate, who wakes up to find himself all tied up over a pyre, yet gradually works out a path to freedom. It takes a few expletives to get there.

And in The Queen, her majesty manages to get the Land Rover stuck in a muddy brook while driving alone in the farther reaches of Balmoral. In private she's able to say "Buggeration" over the inconvenience.

That's all I could think of.

Bill G. said...

We just got finished a larger-than-usual breakfast with an added boyfriend and girlfriend. I made my world-famous omelets. Well, maybe not world famous but locally famous; on this part of our block anyway.

Thanks Marcia and Steve.

Time to open some presents. I got Barbara a necklace and earrings of lapis lazuli. They were shipped from afar and haven't arrived yet. No worries.

Lucina said...

I'm sorry. In my haste I inadvertently attributed your remarks to Dudley. Just remembered the D!

Well, my granddaughters both received bicycles and are happily riding them. Me. I'm going to take a nap.

I'd never heard of those potato dumplings but they sound good,d-o.

Anonymous said...

Barry...I appreciate your honesty, but according to the Oxford dictionary, the definition of devout is: "having or showing deep religious feeling or commitment" or "totally committed to a cause or belief".

I don't understand how an Atheist can consider himself to be "Devout".

Blue Iris said...

Merry Christmas! It never feels quite like Christmas till it arrives. We are so lazy now that we celebrate on Christmas Eve with a candlelight dinner and then open our presents. We then can get up at our leisure on Christmas morning.

Dinner: Spinach Lasagna,
Veggie and dip, and candy cane breadsticks

Breakfast: Quiche and Pecan Nut Roll (pre-made so I can sleep in)

Desserts: Pumpkin Bread Pudding, Gingerbread and Lemon Sauce, and Fruitcake, Jesus's Birthday Cake

Since I've been unable to shop, we really did have a very non-commercial Christmas. The only economy I stimulated this year was my bank account.

I received 2 books, a DVD and a daily cartoon calendar.

A Very Happy Birthday to Yellowrocks, Zcarguy, and Fermat!
My friend had a Christmas baby and he always had a gingerbread house instead of a cake. My twins were due on Christmas Day, but born 5 weeks early.

Fermat, It has been a very difficult holiday season for me also. I slept right thru my children's visit home. Hopefully, you can find something to distract you. Hang on to as much of life as you can and always keep hope.

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

52a was a stinky clue! Who didn't think of the singing group?

Anonymous T said...


Yes 3d was my fav!

Merry Chirstmas / Winter Holiday / Birthday (wow, 3 on one day?!?). HB Yellowrocks, Zcarguy, and Fermatprime. Fermat - wish you were close enough to come over and share some cheer with us.

DNF for me. The west was just to hard - PFFT. Theme came early (though not as early as the kids this morning), but Sodas didn't let TETE fall (MIL will make fun of me) even with the Z in place from the FONZ.

ebOnY became IVORY after much spilling of ink. Oh well, a fun puzzle from Marcia and Steve's writeup was entertaining as usual.

Montana / LEM - I hope if I came up it was positive :-)

JzB - DW said I was the Grinch this morning (yeah, after 3 hours of sleep, duh :-) Thanks for the music.

WBS & Dudley said. What do you call a Catholic in his 40's? Agnostic.

Steve - thanks for the extra info re: bugger. I'm working with guys from the UK now and wasn't sure if that was on the same level as the f-word or not.

Have a great day all!

Cheers, -T

Ol' Man Keith said...

Merry Christmas to all!

Here's a happy visitor to our tree this morning. I have wanted him for my garden, but for now he just adds to the holiday spirit - Santa Will!

desper-otto said...

Groan! Those dumplings were delicious. I wish I had stopped at just one.

Abejo, the secret is to find a grater that leaves the right texture, a little bit stringy, but not too much. I use a 40-year-old Rival crank grater that came with three grating cups. I use the finest one in that set.

Lucina, no worries.

Merry Christmas, everybody. I'm going to pass out now….

Bill G. said...

A secondary definition of 'Devout' is "Totally committed to a cause or belief." By the way, some people call 'Atheism' an atheist's religion and, while I understand what they mean, it just isn't an accurate use of language.

52A, Tricky? Yes. Clever? Yes. Stinky? No.

Abejo said...

D-O: Thank you. I believe we will try these. My wife makes all kind of Polish dumplings, egg noodles, etc. This should be easy for her, or me if she is too busy. I will do the eating part.


Argyle said...

Boysenberry reference at 0:57.

Punky's Dilemma by S&G.

OwenKL said...

Montana: nice avatar. Thanks to ALL of you folks here at the corner for being part of my life!
Happy Birthday to those poor souls whose celebrations have always been overshadowed.
Happy Holidays to them what celebrates it. Some caveats, (I am, after all, a Mason), but generally I also fit in the atheist corner. Nothing special going on for me today.
Surprised no one commented on rhodamine RUDOLPH. I knew there was a word for fluorescent red, but had to look it up to find out what it was.

PK said...

Santa baby, looks like Lois plumb wore you out, if your avatar is any indication. "Punky's Dilemma" has that laid back feeling of after-party. Who knew boysenberry jam was in a song?

I had a nice day with my son's family and in-laws. My DIL is a good cook. I also got a private tour of the big new (to him) building my son is moving his business into. Always enjoy one-on-one talking business with him. He still thinks I know things valuable to him.

One grandson got a trap drum set now lodged in their basement. You can still hear it very well upstairs.

My eight-year-old grandson got some action figure toys I've never even heard about. He makes me feel totally obsolete as a grandma. I gave him one of those stocking caps with a silly face and air tubes that you squeeze so that arms on top go up and down. After he opened it, he said his mother wouldn't buy him one when he asked in the store. It made him laugh. Mission accomplished.

Bill if you can't read the captcha just keep clicking on the C-arrow at the right of the "Type the text" box. The numbers come up sooner or later.

windhover said...

A late day Merry Christmas to you all. Irish and I are back from our annual Xmas dash to the N. Carolina mountains, 36 hours total elapsed time, 10 of which is driving, 6-7 sleeping. The rest was eating, drinkIng (for me, the Great Lakes Christmas Ale) socializing, a little skeet shooting, and general great fun.
As I mentioned last year, Irish' Aunt Helen now has Wi-fi, so I was able to print today's puzzle and solve before 8 AM, something I haven't done since the Lexington Herald-Liar cut me off for the sin of having neighbors who don't subscribe. A fun little puzzle that took a good 15 minutes or so (on paper) to finish.
Given my history, I'll (mostly) leave the atheist conversation thread alone, except to say that it's a total misconception that atheism involves just a lack of belief. We typically believe in, feel strongly about, (choose your own phrase) many things, and it is not a misuse of the word or of language to refer to our beliefs as a type of "religion". I knew exactly what Barry meant in his post this morning. I'm nearly finished with a small but densely packed and well argued book titled "Religion without God" by the late Ronald Dworkin, known as a legal philosopher.
That said, I too respect the traditions of Christmas (though I despise the commercialism) and participate fully in our extended family's celebration.
Irish is on hiatus till Jan. 2, so puzzles may be scarce for me till then. Just in case, I'll take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy New Year and a great year ahead in 2014.

Bill G. said...

Re: boysenberries. Out here on the west coast, Smuckers has a full line of boysenberry jam and preserves. Their boysenberry seedless jam is my go-to product of choice for any jelly needs. It's REALLY good.

I don't want to keep discussing Captchas because it's not worth the effort and is getting boring. But I did want to set the record straight one last time. Apparently, none of you had experienced the same difficulty that I had late last night. I'm a reasonably intelligent person and have not had much trouble with them in the past. I know about the refresh circle and use it from time to time. But nothing worked last night. It was a new variation that I tried to describe as having a black blotch over part of the letters. I wasted over a half an hour with the damned things, each one just as undecipherable as the one before. I wrote to CC and she explained that it was out of her control and had to do with Blogger software. I even wrote to the Captcha website. (No answer as yet.) So far today they are back to normal. We'll see what happens late tonight. If it occurs again, it means that the Captcha gremlins have chosen to curse me and I will give up posting for the rest of the evening. No great loss except to a particular Anon who enjoys making my life miserable. [pagesec] See, that was easy!

PK said...

My brothers' families are very born-again religious and view me as just short of heathen. I tell them I am deeply spiritual just not religious in their sense of the world. I keep an open mind because, lets face it, no one really knows what they think they know.

BillG, Aha! Gremlins! Of course.

Peace you all. said...

Like W. Above, I too believe, that Atheists do believe in something, just not in something most others believe in. And the word,'devout', can be just as valid and applicable in a grammatical and philosophical sense to something that they believe in. Especially if they believe in their -ism, sincerely and devotedly.

If there is a god, and he/she/it is as great, as is imagined, then the god should be open minded, and democratically inclined, and indulgent enough, to tolerate a diverse and contrarian attitude.

Merry Christmas to all, in a sense of joined happiness, and a Happy ( non Eastern Orthodox -), Christian New year.

Unlike W, above, I beg to differ, and I DO believe in the commercial part of Christmas. I should and I better, it pays for the rent.

I just got a sign of approval from someone or something above - I got a numerical capcha .... Someone loves me and my post.

Socalled psychic said...

Bill. G.

Did you ever think, that maybe, just maybe, the capcha gremlin, knows you're too good in math, so in its perverted, distorted mind and vision, it keeps giving you undecipherable letters, rather than the easy numbers. Or maybe it just the Blog Gremlin giving you the Evil Eye. If I were you I would find it worthwhile and prudent to invest in a clean deck of tarot cards, and a couple of small amulets, and a voodoo doll with pins and needles.

Have a very merry Christmas and enjoy your holidays.

Lucina said...

My four year old granddaughter also got one of those caps and spent the intervals between opening gifts squeezing the flaps and squealing delightedly every time. I had never seen that. So clever.

I'm glad you made it there and back safely. Those mountain roads can be treacherous in winter.

PK said...

Owen: I noticed the rhodamine but forgot to put it in my notes for comments. I was impressed with the word and knew it had to be something in the red family. You go to great lengths to stretch our enjoyment of the puzzle.

Bill: My personal opinion is that the articles it was suggested you buy might call up even more horrendous demons. Such as snarky ANONS. The captcha gremlin is mild enough to be tolerable. LOL!

Lemonade714 said...

HAppy birthday to our Chritmas trio, I have playing with Charlotte so not much puzzle time. She is a big girl now with 14 words.

Had a great visit with Montana and her family, the baby and I had some nice bonding touring the restaurant

Dennis thanks for stopping by, good to know you have embraced So Fla. LArry also and Lois and all of you who make the Corner work

Anonymous T said...

C.C. I just got a call from MIL. I played it so straight that MIL didn't know it was "her" puzzle until 20a. MIL was so touched & excited about it. Thanks C.C.! it was a Merry Christmas. I'm told I can't top this gift, but I should keep trying :-)

Thanks C.C. for your patience with me developing the C's & A's.

If no one has commissioned a puzzle, it's not too expensive (assuming you have means) -- much merriment ensues.

Cheers, -T
Bill G. - I see the "splotch" in the CAPTCHA!

Anonymous T said...

Bill G - and I ignored the splotch and it worked. YMMV (Your Millage May Vary). C, -T

The Usual Suspects said...

It is sad that there even was an atheist thread today.

I also cringe at the phrase "for those who celebrate" as it has condescending tone to it.

Why do people feel the need to prosthelytize on today of all days? Please just be genuine with your seasons greetings or don't mention them at all. Let us have our day.

Anonymous T said...

Usual Suspect - I've got no issue with people discussing personal philosophy on any night. Too, I see nothing condescending with "for those who celebrate," as Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, or Hindus may be reading the blog. Heck, I'm agnostic/atheistic (OFFANDON) and celebrate because it's a good day to reflect and be with family. Don't be a curmudgeon - enjoy the season for what it is - a time to be with friends and family. Cheers, -T

Chickie said...

Very, very late in finishing tonight. I had the theme with Reindeer Games and Sleigh Ride. That helped me fill in Santa Anita and Rudolph Boysen. I had Boysen, but didn't know his first name.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. We are having our family all here on Boxing Day. Unusual for us, but work schedules kept some from traveling until the day after Christmas.

Happy Birthday to Fermatprime, YR and Zcarguy. Christmas babies are all special.

Desper-otto, the potato dumplings sound delicious, but a lot of work!

Off to bed as I finally have wound down enough to sleep.

Happy Boxing Day Everyone.

C.C. Burnikel said...

So sweet!

I love Christmas, though I'm not a Christan. This can be said for many people living in big cities where there is a large western influence.