Dec 4, 2013

Wednesday, December 4th 2013 Ed Sessa

Theme: Simple 1040 - All the theme answers contain "EZ"

18A. Plate ump's purview : STRIKE ZONE

ESPN and Fox baseball coverage can now paint a virtual strike zone above the plate. I like it - some baseball purists don't.

25A. Soda for dieters : COKE ZERO. Zero calories, but a whole bunch of caffeine. It is nicknamed "Bloke Coke" in the UK as the target demographic is young males.

49A. Blush wine, for short : WHITE ZIN. Wine! Not my favorite zinfandel, I prefer the bold red zins.

60A. "She's Not There" rock group : THE ZOMBIES. Catchy song from 1964 paired here with a very dramatic "Outer Limits" episode.

3D. Citrus shavings : ORANGE ZEST. The Microplane brand of graters and zesters are wonderful - stocking stuffer idea alert!

- and the hint ...

31D. This crossword, literally for some, phonetically for all : EASY PUZZLE. Which wouldn't work in the UK. Huh? E-ZED what?

Good morning everyone - Steve here and a very z-filled Wednesday from Ed Sessa. You may or may not have gotten the circles indicating the location of the "EZ" letter pairings from your puzzle source - mine had them and after the first couple of theme answers were completed it was all plain sailing.

I thought it was pretty impressive to fit that number of z's in the grid and still provide some slick fill.

What else caught my eye?


1. Caesar's love : AMOR

5. Signal to an on-call doctor : BEEP

9. Omits : SKIPS

14. Chowhound's request : MORE

15. Sharif who played Zhivago : OMAR. Many dramatic one-sheets for this David Lean epic. Sharif won the Golden Globe for Best Actor for his performance.

16. World Court site, with "The" : HAGUE. Located in the South Holland province of the Netherlands.

17. Shepard in space : ALAN. The Apollo 14 lunar golfer. He's not to be held responsible for the nails-on-a-chalkboard common misspelling of "German Shepherd" by an amazingly large number of dog owners.

20. Brand for heartburn : ZANTAC

22. Providence-to-Boston dir. : N.N.E.

23. Scraps for Rover : ORTS

24. Unit of work : ERG

28. French season : ÉTÉ. Summer in the land of the Marseillaise.

30. Thin pancake : CRÊPE. Diacriticals galore! And Food! Strictly speaking, a crêpe has a sweet filling; the savory-filled variety is called a galette.

31. Violinist's gift : EAR

34. Move very slowly : OOZE

36. Suffers from : HAS. I have a cold at the moment. Two long flights back and forward to Rio over the last couple of weeks pretty much guaranteed I'd be picking up some kind of sniffle. To London next week, so hopefully I'll be over it before I spread misery around the LAX to Heathrow flight.

37. In recent times : OF LATE

39. Mechanic, at times : GREASER. Popular sub-culture in the 1950's - motorcycles, leather and slicked-back hair.

41. "That works!" : SUITS ME

42. 4-Down collector : LESSOR

43. Boy king : TUT

44. Made a hue turn? : DYED. Fun clue.

45. Suffix for records : EST. "Highest, Fastest, Strongest" - the original Latin motto of the Olympic Games.

46. Oater group bent on justice : POSSE

48. Nile biter : ASP. It's been a while since we saw this clue - it seemed to be getting overused a while back, but Rich gave it a well-deserved rest.

51. Short market lines? : UPC. The short lines that make up a Universal Product Code, usually rendered as a barcode.

The first five digits identify the manufacturer, the second five digits the product. The one above is for Kimberly Clark's (36000) Huggies Wipes (29145)

54. Piedmont wine region : ASTI. More wine! Best known for the sweet, sparkling Asti Spumante.

57. Erie Canal mule : SAL "I've got a mule, Her name is Sal, Fifteen years on the Erie Canal..."

58. __ Pipeline, Oahu surfing attraction : BANZAI. Eek! That's a big wave!

63. "Ripostes" poet Pound : EZRA

64. Overnight refuge : MOTEL

65. Theater part : LOGE

66. Choir part : ALTO

67. Blow some dough : SPEND

68. __ collar : ETON

69. Stonewall's soldiers : REBS. The nickname for General Thomas Jackson clues the nickname for his troops.


1. Shock : AMAZE

2. Large grinder : MOLAR

4. Payment to 42-Across : RENT

5. "Thick and Rich" chocolate syrup : BOSCO. Food! (Possibly?) I've never tried this stuff - reading the label, I'm not sure I've missed much - there's more "High Fructose Corn Syrup" and "Corn Syrup" in there than anything else.

6. Rescue pro : E.M.T.

7. Ones on the payroll : EARNERS

8. Freddie __ Jr. of "Scooby-Doo" films : PRINZE

9. Ship reference : SHE. Try explaining to someone the logic of a ship always being a "she" even when "she" may be named for a "he". How can the USS Ronald Reagan be a girl?

10. Musical buzzer : KAZOO. I'm not sure this should be described as "musical" - "thoroughly annoying" would be more accurate, in my humble opinion.

11. Composer Stravinsky : IGOR

12. Fourth-down play : PUNT. I love the fake punts. Here is a great example from the Texas Tech-Texas game on Thanksgiving evening.

13. Dates : SEES

19. Property border warning : KEEP OUT

21. The Red Sox' Jon Lester, e.g. : ACE

26. 1980s Chrysler product : K-CAR. Not the best-looking design I've ever seen.

27. Altered mtge. : RE-FI. This clue seemed really clumsy to me - the abbreviation for "mortgage" is a little contrived?

29. Social cupfuls : TEAS

32. "Please don't yell __" : AT ME

33. Oboe, e.g. : REED

34. Eye rudely : OGLE

35. They're found in lodes : ORES

36. Reason for a medal : HEROISM

38. Classic Fords : LTDs. Marginally better design than the Plymouth, but certainly from the "Big-Ass Detroit" school.

40. Last year's frosh : SOPH

41. 1956 Mideast dispute area : SUEZ

43. J. Alfred Prufrock creator : T. S. ELIOT

47. Straw-strewn shelter : STABLE. Nice alliteration - clue and answer!

48. Santa __ winds : ANA

49. Shrivel : WIZEN. I'd never thought of this as a verb before - I've only used it in the adjectival form - "a wizened old man". Nice learning moment.

50. "A Doll's House" playwright : IBSEN

52. Medicare section : PART B

53. Informal byes : CIAOS

54. Dollar dispensers, for short : A.T.M.S

55. Hit a Target? : SHOP. Pronounced "Tar-jhay" by those who would prefer to be shopping at Nordstrom, but can't pass up the value-for-money in these stores.

56. Head of Paris? : TÊTE. It's where a Frenchman wears his beret. Cue national caricature:

Ooh La La!
59. Close by : NEAR

61. Getting on in years : OLD

62. Big one on the set, perhaps : EGO. Ready for my close-up, Mr. De Ville!

That's it from me - I'm off to dose myself up with DayQuil. I'll give myself a belt of cold remedy Tinbeni-style later, but there's still work to be done. Ciao!



Anonymous said...


It's enough to shrivel this old face.

Liked all the other EZ entries, though.

Especially THE ZOMBIES.

OwenKL said...

Whenever a wild pitch was thrown
Twas the ump's rule that made the crowd moan.
They weren't paid enough
To take so much guff,
So their union declared a STRIKE ZONE!

Ever wonder why you'd spend your deniro
Not for diet, but instead on COKE ZERO?
The ingredients lists
Are different in bits --
More caffeine in zero gives more brio!

It's strange, when you take time to think,
The WHITE ZINfandel that you drink
Is not what you say,
It's a type of rosé,
So the white is a red that is pink!

In Jamaica, where both climate and people are balmy,
They have tales of Voodoo and THE ZOMBIES.
Awake although dead,
Muddled thoughts in the head --
Like the Tea Party campaign since Mitt Romney!

Any team can stand out from the rest
By the colors they use for their crest.
Orange spirits united
The fans get excited,
They're pumped up and full of ORANGE ZEST!

This puzzle was billed as EASY.
I thought it was easy-peasy,
Until I put that down
For thirty-one down.
Then this EASY PUZZLE wasn't so EZ-PZ!

[Easy-peasy. I distinctly recall it caught my ear for the first time when Bruce Campbell used it in a episode of Burn Notice no more than 2 years ago. Since then I have heard it on Copper (which supposedly takes place in 1865), Almost Human (2046), and numerous times in between. Googling found the earliest citation 1976, but that was British children's slang. The earliest US adult usage was 2002, and that was a British character in Austin Powers.]

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

No circles for me, so it was a little disconcerting to see the Z in ZANTAC and wonder where the E was. That was only after the puzzle was solved and I figured out the theme, however, so it didn't affect the solving experience.

Not sure many mechanics would appreciate being called a GREASER...


fermatprime said...


Thanks Ed, Steve! Fun offerings! Loved all of the Zs (but had no circles).

Have been sleeping poorly or late, so conked out after dinner. Four hours later was up doing this great puzzle. No problems but a few type-overs.


Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Steve and friends. I rather liked this Life in the Big Easy puzzle. It was an EZ puzzle. I liked seeing all the ZZZs!

Lots of fun clues, too. I especially liked Large Grinder = MOLAR.

I could answer the BOSCO from remembering the Seinfeld episode. Prior to that, I had never heard of Bosco.

It is predicted to be near 80F today.

QOD: he problem with the designated driver program, it’s not a desirable job. But if you ever get sucked into doing it, have fun with it. At the end of the night, drop them off at the wrong house. ~ Jeff Bridges (Dec. 4, 1949)


Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. thank you, Ed Sessa, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Steve, for a fine write-up.

Did mine on Cruciverb before the paper got here. No circles here, either.

Pretty easy puzzle for a Wednesday. I will probably pay for that statement later in the week.

Only sticky area was the due North. Had BECK for 5A and therefore CAREERS for 7D, and ENE for 22A. KRINZE for 8D, which I had no idea who that was. Eventually put in BEEP for the doctor on call, which gave me EARNERS, and the rest of them fell together. PRINZE with perps.

Getting a new crown on one of my MOLARS next week.

Caught the theme, even without circles. Liked it.

Drove a company K CAR while in California. I liked it. Red Plymouth. Standard transmission. Helped get Chrysler back in the game.

Off to my day. Cooking a pork chop dinner for 20 this afternoon.

See you tomorrow.



desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I enjoyed zees puzzle. I did notice a lot of z's. My paper had the circles, but I didn't look at 'em until I was already finished.

I remember BOSCO from my ute. It was trying to compete with Hershey's Syrup, but it had a slimy feel and less chocolaty taste if you tried it "straight." I didn't like it much.

PARTB was easy -- at least the PART part. I had to wait to see if it'd be A, B, C or D. In 2013 I had the lowest cost Part D plan for my medications. For 2014 that provider switched up the formulary, and my costs were going to more than double next year. Found a different provider with no deductible, all of my medications at no co-pay, and at a lower monthly premium than this year's outfit. Sweet! Did any of you have a similar experience this year?

[iadingo] -- I don't think so...

thehondohurricane said...


Who did you end up with for your Part D? All I've been finding are higher overall costs then my present plan.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Since I did the puzzle on a grid with the circles, the EZ-ness of soon became apparent. Even had a couple bonus EZ fill like SUEZ and EZRA. I did enjoy Ed's offering today. No lookups or searches were needed.
Steve was musing why the Nimitz would be termed a SHE. From a Navy site:
"Why is a ship referred to as "she?"
It has always been customary to personify certain inanimate objects and attribute to them characteristics peculiar to living creatures. Thus, things without life are often spoken of as having a sex. Some objects are regarded as masculine. The sun, winter, and death are often personified in this way. Others are regarded as feminine, especially those things that are dear to us. The earth as mother Earth is regarded as the common maternal parent of all life. In languages that use gender for common nouns, boats, ships, and other vehicles almost invariably use a feminine form. Likewise, early seafarers spoke of their ships in the feminine gender for the close dependence they had on their ships for life and sustenance.

And this from RADM Foley.

Have a good day.

Martin said...

The I in ASTI and WIZEN was a guess but I'll take it. Three days in a row puzzles finished for me.

Yellowrocks said...

EZ EZ Ez EZ EZ puzzle. I had the circles so the first EZ tipped me off. It was a walk in the park today, more like a Monday or Tuesday.

Steve, we were on the same wave length with GREASER. I thought of John Travolta in Grease, right away.

46A Oater group bent on justice. On many (most?) oaters the POSSE is bent on revenge and hanging.

It was EZ for me to recognize MTGE as “mortgage.” It avoids confusion with MTG meaning “meeting.” However, on researching it, I see that MTG is much more common for “mortgage” than MTGE.

I thought WHITEZIN crossing WIZEN was clever.

I never could see the fun in a playing a KAZOO or listening to one. I agree that Hershey Syrup is far tastier than BOSCO.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

A fun, EZ Wednesday offering. Thanks, Ed Sessa, and thanks, Steve, for a sparkling write-up. Liked the clues for molar and dyed.

Ferm, the Blacklist was certainly a nail-biter, but I'm not sure I can handle much more gore and torture.

It dawned on me yesterday that my car was due for inspection in November. Made an appointment post haste and it is in the garage as I speak.

Nice and sunny today, temps in mid-forties.

Thanks, Owen, for starting my day with a smile.

Have a great Wednesday, all.

Tinbeni said...

Steve: Nice write-up. Enough "Food & Drink" for you?
CREPE, BOSCO, TEAS, COKE-ZERO, WHITE ZIN ... geez, good thing ZANTAC is in there too.

Spitz: Great catch about the "EZ" in SUEZ and EZRA ... they should have had 'circles' also.

Since the only "medication" I take is Scotch, just curious, but when will that be covered by PART-B?

Pat said...

Yes, this was EZ. Thanks, Ed and Steve, for the entertaining start to my day!

One of the instructors of an exercise class I attend uses "easy-peasy" quite often.

Tinbeni- my daughter's boyfriend posted on Facebook that he's starting a club for Scotch drinkers. I mentioned Dimple Pinch to him. Maybe he'll try it.

Enough procrastinating. Time to get productive. Happy Wednesday!


Yellowrocks said...

I wondered about EZRA and SUEZ, but decided they did not fit the theme, which has two word answers with the first word ending in E and the second one beginning with Z.

CanadianEh! said...

EZ PEEZy today sort of! Thank goodness for the perps which helped me to fill in the unknowns. I've done enough CWs now to catch the American pronunciation for Z.

No circles on the Mensa site but I didn't need them.

STABLE clue was appropriate as this Christmas season.

We finally got some TARGET stores in Canada this year but they haven't been doing as well as anticipated. Shoppers expected much lower prices more equivalent to the American prices.

Not familiar with Medicaid so I waited for perps. Thank goodness for Canadian medical coverage. My daughter was born prematurely and I figure she cost the system enough to MTGE my house.

Tried PEPCID before ZANTAC and ORANGEPEEL before ZEST. Loved the UPC clue.

Nice work today OwenKL

Lucina said...

Good day, puzzlers!

I enjoyed this ZESTy offering from Ed Sessa and the salty commentary from Steve. Thank you, both.

This was an EASY PUZZLE for me and it was finished in a flash though I started with CLEO as Caesar's love but AMAZE set me straight. I saw the EZ theme almost immediately.

It surprised me that the EZ in EZRA wasn't circled.

Do doctors really get BEEPed anymore? Cell phones seem more like the norm OF LATE.

I loved Freddie PRINZE, Sr. and was devastated when he died so young. I'm sure Jr. doesn't even remember him. He was a handsome one.

IBSEN and TS ELIOT together here. I'd LOGE prices to see that! EZRA not so much.

I have to make a hospital visit as my very good friend and neighbor had a stroke Monday night and luckily the only impairment is his speech.

Have a fantastic Wednesday, everyone!

Always Curious 3 said...

Thanks to Tinbeni from yesterday, for the two links on Listverse. Much appreciated.

Also thank you to our poet laureate OwenKL for explaining about the search function. Very helpful , thank you.

Thank you Steve for your foodie infused blog. I really enjoyed the puzzle, even without the circles, and really enjoyed your blog.

Hope you feel better soon. I once had whooping cough on a trans Atlantic flight, but I couldn't afford to lose my no refund, no change ticket. I whooped all night, through the flight, and really felt sorry for the young lady sitting next to me ... I now realize the airline can kick you off the flight, for suspected terrorism, but not for a whooping cough. Maybe they could have kicked me up to first class, so I would have infected a smaller group of passengers.

On a lighter note. What is a counterfeit note ? Unless the intent is to defraud, merely drawing or copying a dollar bill, or similar instrument, with no intent to defraud, is not a crime. A guy draws as a ONE SIDED $ 10 dollar bill, good enough to pass as an original, and sells it as "art", for over a $ 1000. ! Ok, it's not everyone's cup of tea .... That's ok.

But if someone is interested, here is J S G Boggs and his life

And the unique way in which he markets his notes. Fascinating.

Husker Gary said...

Clever cluing and themeage (spell check didn’t like that one) made for an EZ puzzle today. Word spread quickly on campus about EZ profs and their classes filled up quickly.

-Today’s theme song about AMOR
-STRIKE ZONES are very arbitrary and pitchers had better learn that early in the game
-She’s Not There is a personal fav and I loved the video replete with analog controls and the fridge in the background. She did all that work for David McCallum?
-A NASA official told me that Alan turned down big money to reveal the brand of golf ball he hit on the Moon because astronauts sign a contract to not benefit from their activities
-I take Omeprazole and not ZANTAC. I’m now gastronomically bullet proof!
-An ERG is the energy expended when an ant does a pushup
-Kramer retrained these Cubans to roll CREPES.
-I know Otto and others can find Dr. BEEPER here
-This powerful movie showed the bad side of POSSES and mob psychology
-MOLARS on carnivores and herbivores
-Has any movie had so many future big-time stars as these guys who played GREASERS in The Outsiders? How many can you name?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Spitboov for that funny, funny essay by an esteemed admiral. Who says navy personnel don't have a great sense of humor.

Lucina said...

Oops. I SKIPped "pay" at I would pay loge prices . . .

And my favorite clues today were
They're found in lodes, ORES
Made a hue turn, DYED

Lemonade714 said...

D-O please who is the marvelous medicare provider for us old folks?

Lovely puzzle, not too EZ but just right. SUEZ and EZRA are not part of the theme and probably should not be there.

Made a hue turn? : DYED

__ Pipeline, Oahu surfing attraction : BANZAI
did not know, but great picture

lots of food and lots of French

thanks Steve and Mr. Sessa

Montana said...

Desper-otto, I am a volunteer who helps people find those best Part D plans each fall. My county supplies me with an office, nice computer, and great folks in the building to visit with during breaks.

Hondo, I sent you an e-mail with suggestions.


oc4beach said...

Good puzzle. Nice and EZ.

Bosco also had a chocolate powder supposedly like Hershey's and Nestles. As a kid I pestered my mother until she bought it for me. This turned out to be one of my early life lessons (Be careful what you wish for.) The stuff was terrible, but I had to finish the jar. A true waste of a lot of good milk.

Anonymous said...

Banzai - is the Japanese battle cry ,

Which means ( literally). 10,000 years ...

Or , 10,000 years ( long live - ). The emperor..

buckeye bob said...

Easy peasy today. Almost the same time as Tuesday, and a little longer than Monday, but a fun puzzle.

Wanted PAGE before BEEP, but perps fixed that.

I remember Bosco TV ads from my youth, but we always had Hershey's syrup also.

Owen motivated me to search easy peasy some more. I agree the 2002 Austin Powers film seems to be the first U.S. usage.

One of my grandsons says easy peasy lemon squeezy often. I found a source that says it comes from a 1970s British TV commercial for Lemon Squeezy dish detergent. Make sense, Steve?

Anonymous said...

A liberal limerick knocking conservative politics will find an undeleted home here all day long. One about the most incompetent president since Jimmy Carter would go down in flames. How many times do we have to say “Keep politics out of here in any way, shape or form!”

desper-otto said...

Hondo and Lemon: Unfortunately, there is no one-size fits all when it comes to Part D plans. It depends on which drugs you're taking and where you live. My advice -- go to and click on "Find Health and Drug Plans." Enter the medications you're currently taking and your Zip Code, and let their computer find you the best plan. But don't wait too long -- open enrollment ends this Saturday.

Misty said...

Ooh, I love circle puzzles and this one was a delight--not too EZ but doable! Many thanks, Ed! And you too, Steve, for hanging in there for us on a day when you have a bad cold. Take care of yourself!

Ed Sassa must have taken a course in Modernism, the literary period I taught for 25 years, because there they all were: T.S. ELIOT, EZRA POUND, HENRIK IBSEN, IGOR STRAVINSKY. What a great period for new and fresh art forms!

Loved all the French too: ETE, TETE, CREPE--even a little Italian thrown in (CIAO).

Lucina, I too put CLEO, and even tried COCA (for IMOGENE COCA, SID CAESAR'S co-star for many years).

Enjoyed your WHITE ZIN limerick, Owen.

Lucina, hope your friend recovers quickly from his stroke. My poor husband was in three different hospitals for four months after his stroke in 2008. I'm glad your friend's doesn't sound too severe.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everybody!

Bill G. said...

Good puzzle. Challenging but right at my level. Thanks Ed and Steve.

Do you remember a big old umpire called Eric Gregg? He sometimes called strikes that were a foot outside the strike zone.

Do you have a beer that needs opening? These folks were more creative than anybody I can remember. Opening a beer the clever way.

CrossEyedDave said...

Once again I forgot to look, ended up digging the puzzle out of the trash when I realized I never looked at the circles.

It's not easy to find anything funny about EZ.

However, I did find this under Easy Peasy which I found interesting...

River Doc said...

Happy Wednesday everybody!

Have to agree with all the above, today's offering was Easy Peasy Japanesey (Brooks Hatlin from The Shawshank Redemption)....

Loved the fresh cluing today also....

Lucky for me the MTGE rate I now have was locked in before they started rising again (from the news today....)

Steve, did you mean to say Mr DeMille, or was that another car reference...?

Finally, Bill G - great video on opening beer, I'll have to share that one with my suds swilling acquaintances...!

Lucina said...

Thank you, Misty. So far his speech has improved from day to day. Monday he couldn't say anything but by today he was just a bit intelligible. The MRI showed that the was the only area affected.

I know some strokes can be severe and permanently debilitating. I hope your husband is doing better.

Always er, curious said...


My spell check recognizes you, and corrects for capitals ...

The EZ kid stacking the glasses is so much fun, and fast and oh so cute .... He's going to Hollywood, fer sure.

Also see the guest on the Ellen show who stacks at 2.46 seconds. Like a humming bird video you have to slo-mo him to find out what going on.

Thanks Bill. G. For the innovative ways of opening a beer bottle. After watching the girl bartender, I lost my appetite. Maybe they should show it at an AA meeting. Lol.
What fun, better than the puzzle.

thehondohurricane said...


Top Left Patrick Swayze
Bottom Left Emilio Esteve

Tom Cruise is in there too, but not sure which one is he!

I only remember Neil Armstrong "playing nine" on the moon. I wonder how much he was offered.

Anonymous said...

HG and @thehondohurricane:
In addition to PS and EE,
Tom Cruise is the far right.
Also Matt Dillion in the top center, Ralph Macchia (the original Karate Kid) second from the left in the bottom row, and Rob Lowe- top right.
Leif Garrett probably looks the most different now from his time in that movie:

Misty said...

Lucina, my husband was very lucky because even though he is severely disabled, his speech and mind returned to an almost completely intact form. He has a terrific memory, writes short stories, keeps track of everything, reads the paper, watches "Jeopardy," all the things he needed for a good quality of life. But his right arm and hand are completely paralyzed, his right foot almost completely, and so he needs help rising from a chair, walking, getting into a car or bed, all the physical activities of daily life. A tough fate for a man who used to breeze down the aisle at a grocery store, walk the dogs in the park twice a day, etc. But we still feel very very lucky that he survived as well as he did.

Anyway, I'm so glad your friend will be all right.

Pat said...

Lucina, I'm happy to hear that your friend is making a wonderful recovery! May he recover 100%! My mother had a stroke 3 years ago and lost the ability to speak. Last year she had to move into a nursing home and she's become a recluse because she can't communicate with the other residents.

Misty, I'm sorry your husband suffered such physical consequences. Being able to communicate must relieve some of the frustration. Best wishes to him.


Misty said...

Pat, how sad to hear about your mother's loss of speech. Simply heartbreaking.

Bill G. said...

I'm glad you guys liked the video. Here's the always enjoyable Animal Tracks slide show. Slide Show

I really like my homepage, It has news, sports, business, weather, entertainment and lots of good features like Animal Tracks. If you like yours better, tell me what it is so I can try it. If you like better, you might consider switching.

It was beautiful weather for a short bike ride but cold today. Not cold for some of you (50s) but colder than usual here.

Misty, Lucina and others; it's sure sad to hear about the problems some of your spouses and friends (and some of us) are facing. This getting older stuff isn't always easy. When I turned 50, I thought this aging stuff isn't so bad. It definitely got harder in my 60s though and since.

Feeling philosophical said...

Bill. G. Join the crowd.

It always breaks my heart to hear of all the sad news our blog members face every day ... And I think ... There but for the grace of god, go I.

What to do ? Old age, is exactly that and our blog is heavily slanted towards senior citizens, ( by choice -). and slowly we will soon fall sick, stumble and fade away. So, enjoy your rented time on the planet while you can, ... But have no pretenses of permanent ownership. We are only guests, and soon , maybe too soon, others will take our place... And the show will go on, as it always has.

But, for right now, only good night ... The end is not here ... Yet.

Misty said...

Thank you, "Feeling philosophical," because you are so right. When you face the disabilities of old age, you also have a renewed sense of the wonders, pleasures, loveliness of life--of nature, living things, sights to see, people to talk to, culture, everything. I think I've never valued and treasured life as much as I do now that I'm nearing seventy (well, not until next year). So here's to LIFE!

Argyle said...


Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

I've been thinking back to the story about the, um, ornery woman who was traveling by air just before Thanksgiving. I wonder whether it's time to require a license of every adult passenger before they can travel. To get the license, they must take a certain amount of training in basic civility and in the rules governing air travel, and must be willing to take a pledge to behave to a certain standard. Failure to do so would be grounds for loss of the privilege of air travel. Gate agents, attendants, and the like could hold the power to turn away unfit passengers. To me, this sounds not only reasonable, but necessary in today's rude world. Opinions?

Lucina said...

In a perfect world that could happen but sadly, the litigious society in which we live would soon bring that practice to a screeching halt.

Maybe if we lived in a more stultified and controlled society that could be, in fact, would be required. I don't believe any of us would be willing to give up our freedom for that extreme, though.

But we can dream, can't we.

Anonymous T said...

Hi all...

Fun puzzle and fun write-up. Thanks Ed & Steve...

I had issues in the north until ERG finally anchored everything. Hand up for Cleo at 1a). Also, at 5a, I tried so hard to make the perps fit with page. BEEP- buzz wrong. I also kept thinkg of Shaggy Rogers at 6d.

I still don't get ETON collar (68a)... I wanted blue - white didn't fit.

Bill G. I think I stick with pull-tabs to open my beer :-) That is a cool video celebration of suds.

Spitz - I'm sending that link to my Navy buddy. I know he will enjoy it. MIL (marine wife) thought it was funny too.

Dudley - we've already lost enough rights - if someone wants to be a SAL - (yes I wanted ass at 57a) it's their right. It's ours to tell them to STFU.

Anon @936 - no matter the color of your tie, Owen had a funny rhyme. Both parties leave plenty to lampoon. Don't make Dudly throw you off the plane.

kjinkc from last night... IL State Fair Grounds on 9th & Sangomon were my stomping grounds. I grew up a 15 min bike ride away. Did you get to eat chili at Franie's? I loved Chicago (the band) growing up - "a man selling icecream... Singing Italian songs..."

Cheers, -T