Jan 16, 2014

Thursday, January 16, 2014 Robin Stears

Theme: Rhyme Time

Five different ways to spell the "oke" sound. Who knew?

17-Across. "The Caine Mutiny" novelist : HERMAN WOUK. I have heard some people pronounce his name like the Chinese "wok."  Click on the speaker for the correct pronunciation here.

24-Across. "Reward Your Curiosity" soda : VANILLA COKE. Reintroduced in 2007.

35-Across. 17th-century artistic style : HIGH BAROQUE. ~1625-70, exemplified by Bernini's "Chair of St. Peter" in St. Peter's Basilica.

48-Across. Early Schwarzenegger nickname, with "The" : AUSTRIAN OAK. Never heard him called that. Makes sense, though!

58-Across. People of good breeding : GENTLE FOLK. A nice homey description.

Not too much else to say. The puzzle seemed pretty easy, with only a handful of tricky clues.


1. In the know : AWARE.

6. Simplicity : EASE.

10. Dundee damsel : LASS.

14. Ledger entry : DEBIT.

15. Cannonball, e.g. : DIVE. Were you thinking ammunition?

16. In the know about : ON TO.

19. Walk or run : GAIT.

20. Some NASA data-retrieval missions : EVASExtravehicular Activity(s). We just had this one yesterday, clued as "Perón and Gabor." Has anyone seen "Gravity" with Sandra Bullock?

21. Invitation "S" : S'IL. The "S" of RSVP: "Répondez, s'il vous plaît." "Respond, if it pleases you.."  My take: LET ME KNOW IF YOU ARE COMING, DAMMIT!!! I HAVE SPENT FIVE DAYS COOKING AND CLEANING, AND I DESERVE SOME APPRECIATION HERE!!!!

22. Take the wrong way? : FILCH.

23. Empty (of) : RID.

27. Fragrant resin : ELEMI. Canarium luzonicum to all you botanists out there.

29. Dusk, to Donne : E'EN.  I liked the play on the phrase, "dusk to dawn."

30. Aus. language : GER. It's what Ah-nold speaks.

31. Crescent piece : ARC.

33. Underworld piece : GAT. Hah!  Here's the gat that Steve and I were looking for yesterday.

34. Medical breakthrough : CURE.

38. Booted, say : SHOD.

40. Org. with complex schedules : IRS. It's already getting to be that time of year. I just got my W-2 in the mail today.

41. Lump : NUB.

42. Mr. Potato Head part : EAR.

43. Tankard filler : ALE.

44. Ferry stops : ISLES.

53. Asia's __ Darya river : AMU. We've had this before. It flows into the Aral Sea.

54. Glisten : GLEAM.

55. "__ Wiedersehen" : AUF. More words from Ah-nold! ("Until we meet again!")

56. Oscar-winning Whitaker role : AMIN. Idi, to friends…(Did he have any???)

57. Stadium access : RAMP.

61. Tommie of the Miracle Mets : AGEE. I bet this was a gimme for C.C.  I would have been better off with an "Author James" clue.

62. Unpopular spots : ACNE.

63. __ Claire: women's magazine : MARIE.

64. Sew up : MEND.

65. Woody __, "Cheers" bartender : BOYD. I loved this clip. 1:26

66. Strictly controlled refrigerant : FREON.


1. Stay attached : ADHERE.

2. Cotton pest : WEEVIL.

3. Wear away : ABRADE.

4. Glass edges : RIMS. Also, "glasses edges…"

5. Two after epsilon : ETA.  Do you know your Greek αβγ's?

6. Dickens' Drood : EDWIN.

7. Pungent mayo : AIOLI. I bet everyone wrote this in without thinking, since we just had it on Tuesday.

8. "Law and Order: __" : SVU. Special Victim's Unit.

9. It's a scream : EEK. Literally!

10. Columbo asset : LOGIC.

11. Veggie burger, to a hamburger : ANALOGUE. I never knew this meaning of the word.

12. Price place : STICKER.

13. "In your face!" : SO THERE!

18. Decoding org. : NSANational Security Agency. I had NSC(ouncil) at first.

22. Twitter follower : FAN.

24. D.C. neighbor : VIRG.inia.

25. Edward known for limericks : LEAR. Ah, but he's known as OwenKL here on the Corner...

26. Reveal : LET ON.

28. Certain domestic : MAID.

32. Some like it hot : CHILI. Not to be confused with the movie.

33. Word with log or burner : GAS.

34. Wrigley team : CUBS. Covered in Boston Ivy, right?

35. Revelation foursome : HORSEMEN. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

36. City ESE of Los Angeles : BREA. It means "tar" in Spanish. (I've said it before: So, "The La Brea Tar Pits" are actually "The the tar tar pits"??? )

37. Nestlé product introduced in 1948 : QUIK.

38. Big name in liquor : SEAGRAM. Tinbeni, do you ever lower yourself to Seagram's??

39. Railroad charge : HAULAGE.

43. Ulna locale : ARM.

45. Rossellini film renamed "Ways of Love" in its American version : L'AMORE.

46. Actor Estevez : EMILIO. Charlie Sheen's older brother.

47. Like the Titanic : SUNKEN.

49. Wrapped, as an ankle : TAPED.

50. Nursery employee : NANNY.

51. Exposed publicly : OUTED.

52. Old gridiron gp. : AFL. The American Football League of the '60s. The NE Patriots were an original member, until it was merged with the NFL.

56. Where some worship from : AFAR.

58. Shoot the breeze : GAB.

59. "Foucault's Pendulum" writer : ECO. Umberto.

60. "Unbelievable" rock group : EMF. I had no clue. After listening to a couple clips on You Tube, I now know why.  Go ahead and link away if the spirit moves you!

See you next Thursday!



George Barany said...

Hi, and a belated Happy New Year to all! I write to share Beasts (and Burdon, constructed with Marcia Brott, which is available in several formats. You may particularly enjoy solving it based on six audio clues. Once done, please visit our “midrash” to dance to!

OwenKL said...

This morning when at sunrise I WOKE,
My first shot of caffeine was a COKE.
Though most FOLK like coffee
I prefer something frothy --
(No punchline have I for this joke!¡)

Well, that one's a dud. I'll trust you forgive me for replacing HERMAN WOUK with WOKE. Let's try again:

The painting, of a LASS under an OAK,
Had been done with great care for each stroke.
The restorer said, "No,
This style is Rococo,
I'm a specialist, I don't fix what ain't BAROQUE!"

Anonymous said...

FOLK music to turn your morning.

Lemonade714 said...

I found this to be a very easy breezy Thursday, with HAULAGE an unfamiliar word and END an unknown except I have heard their one hit song.

Herman WOUK was the Ken Follett of an earlier generation writing on so many topics and time periods. If you have not tried him, he is worth a read.

We are in Winter here, only 50 degrees this morning with the 30s tomorrow. Not complaining. I will be in Phoenix this weekend for a birthday party for a cousin so I will be ready for the chilly nights

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Crashed and burned today, but it was my own fault and not the puzzle's. I don't know why, but AUSTREAN just looked right to me and the CHILE crossing didn't set off any alarms (no pun intended). Finally had to turn on the red letter help to get AUSTRIAN/CHILI.

As for things that were the puzzle's fault, I'll just mention EMF, LAMORE and VIRG. Seriously, VIRG?

TTP said...

Good morning all. Thank you Robin and thank you Marti.

Underworld Piece was not rod, it was GAT. No clue on AMU. Didn't get AGEE as quickly as I should have.

MARIE Claire ? AMU DARYA ? LAMORE ? Can you say natick natick natick? Well, guessing MARIE with -A-IE made it either an e or an A in LAMORE, which then filled AMU. I may remember one of those in the future.

Been too long since I saw Cheers to remember Woody's last name.

Liked SEAGRAM and HAULAGE and HORSEMEN next to each other. HAULAGE was the last to fill there and was relatively easy for a word I seldom if ever used.

ECO and EMF were total unknowns filled by perps.

51:35 and I had to tun on red letter help. Why in the world did I type VANILLA CaKE ?

Oh well. Another early start and long day awaits. See you all later.

Gail said...


thehondohurricane said...

Hello everyone,

This was no walk in the park for me, but I managed to get through it without any miscues. Came close though because 29A, 22D &25D had me uttering some "naughty words." Finally, I remembered Donne was a Brit poet, not a Frenchman and EEN surfaced.

LEAR looked better then Laar, and FAN better then Fax. But i must say, knowing nothing about Twitter, Fax seemed logical. I guess it's time to get my butt to a Community College and get educated on all these new fangled gadgets.

ACNE was clever (IMO), but took awhile to appear. Wanted Vanilla Cola, before V...COKE.

As i said earlier, not easy, but a success. Eraser got a lot of work today. Time to head up to Staples for a fresh supply.

desper-otto said...

Good morning, I guess!

DNF. SO THERE, I've said it. I figured it must be LADIE rather than MARIE, so I wound up with LA MODE and EMF. [expletive deleted]

I always want to put an E where the I belongs in AIOLI. And I was STEALing before I was FILCHing. And I never, ever say ELEMI (true). I always say canarium luzonicum (not!) -- you do, and you'll clean it up yourself! That Latin (I assume it's Latin) sounds like it could be a yellowish filipino.

Learning moment: SVU is not SUV. I thought that show was named for the cars they drove.

Marti, loved your rant at S'IL.

Catch y'all later….

Al Cyone said...

After my bookworm debacle yesterday the last thing I needed this morning was a DNF. But the center was proving troublesome until BAROQUE appeared. There were, as usual, a few unknowns (ELEMI?) and I'm not crazy about GAS log (?) but I'm not complaining.

Now for another slice of that humble pie.


Mari said...

Good morning everybody. This puzzle ended up being a DNF for me due to my failure in the NE corner. I had EASE for symplicity at 16A and GAIT for 19A, which screwed things up. I couldn't figure out SOTHERE (SO THERE).

A bit too many proper names for my liking...especially of the three letter variety: AMU, AUF, ECU, EMF, BOYD, LEAR. I did PERP HERMAN WOUK though.

Clues I liked included:
- 38A: Booted, say: SHOD
- 62A: Unpopular spots: ACNE

I hope you have a great day. Rest up - Friday puzzles are doozies!

Husker Gary said...

One cell in question: E_F/_ARIE where I went with an M on this fine puzzle

-Ah, remember soda fountains with VANILLA, Cherry and Chocolate COKE?
-I am not going to say I went for BAROQUE on 35 Across. I have some pride.
-When we first married, Joann used a lotta Simplicity patterns to make dresses and neckties
-Football fans want to be “In the know” of why Peyton Manning keeps yelling Omaha at the line
-Last night Aus. Was Australia for me as I watched Maria Sharapova win a tennis match in Melbourne in 107°F heat that took OT
-The CURE of my yute was discovered by Jonas Salk
-NUB was the nickname of a grumpy old foreman I had as a teen
-Wow, my “M” was right!
-This 1950’s commercial really shows something that will ADHERE
-Brook Benton’s Boll WEEVIL (2:33)
-Will I be the first to mention NANNY West got sacked at Downton last Sunday?
-Johnson and Johnson estimates an NFL team uses 80 miles of TAPE in a season

HeartRx said...

Bill G. from last night - I downloaded "The New York Times Crosswords" app to my iPad. You are automatically provided with a trial subscription, but when that ends you have to purchase a subscription to continue using it. The app only provides access to the NYT crossword, not the newspaper itself.

For the LAT in Across Lite format, you can go to home page and click on "Todays Puzzles" (Across Lite) in the upper right hand corner.

Robin Stears said...

Thank you, everyone, for your kind reviews. I was inspired to create this puzzle because I recently heard Hermann Wouk's name pronounced for the first time. I always thought it was WOOK or WOK.

Husker Gary said...

-George, except for the minor annoyance of having to turn my head from the printed puzzle grid and then back to the computer, your puzzle with audio clues was fabulous! With only midweek difficulty, I did not have to scroll back and forth as I marched right through the exercise. Hearing the music was a charming diversion and then the musical theme reveal was the coup de grace. Many thanks!

buckeye bob said...

Thank you Robin for the fun puzzle. Thank you Marti for the excellent review. I also loved your take on S’IL.

What Al said #1: “After my bookworm debacle yesterday the last thing I needed this morning was a DNF.” Filled it in in 31 minutes but no ta-da! What? Re-read my answers and found no typos. Liked my answers. What the heck? Finally turned on red letter help and had 2 - count ‘em 2 - letters wrong.

Had AMEN/ EMELIO instead of AMIN / EMILIO. Never saw the movie. Didn’t notice the misspelling of Emilio.

Had GLEEM / TEPED instead of GLEAM / TAPED. Thought GLEEM was right. Oh, that was toothpaste! Didn’t notice the misspelling of TAPED.

Learning moment #1: Check the Downs for misspellings, not just the Acrosses, Bob! I could’ve done this with just a little more patience.

Learning moment #2: The correct pronunciation of WOUK.

What Al said #2: “Now for another slice of that humble pie.”

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

This one was just right - tricky enough to require a bit of back-and-forth to firm up a few areas. Wouk was already in there from perps, which was good because I had no idea it rhymes with oak. Nub gave a little trouble, since I don't think of it as a lump of anything.

Filch is a verb I've always liked. Plus, it reminds me of the character Argus Filch from Harry Potter; J. K. Rowling was certainly good at inventing character names. Charles Dickens was another artist with names - consider Uriah Heep, for instance.

Morning, Marti! Hand up for a big smile at your take on RSVP!

OwenKL said...

I got it without looking anything up, but it was a long slog. I had a few blanks scattered everywhere when I finally relented and turned on the red letters (actually, since I was doing it in Across Lite, it's black Xes). I swear, except for LASS, every cell in the NE was Xed out! Even the blank ones, I think! But not an X anywhere else on the board.

Comic strips must have gotten the word on the CW centennial. Here's Andy Capp.

Bill G.: If you want today's NYT, there's no way around it, you have to subscribe to their paper. If you're willing to run a few weeks behind, The puzzles are reprinted in several other papers. I do the early week ones in the Seattle Times. You can scout around on Wikipedia.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Finished w/o help but the Northeast corner had me stymied for a bit. Never heard of Vanilla Coke, but sussed it from the rest of the theme answers. (I always pronounced Wouk to rhyme with uke.)

Thanks, Robin, for a fun run, and thanks, Marti, for a smart expo. Good to see you back in good form.

Off to see the doctor for a check-up of my ill-fated knee.

Have a great day.

CanadianEh! said...

Another day with problems in the NE. Finally turned on the red letters to finish. Wasn't even looking for a theme until I came here. Didn't we have WOUK in a clue the other day??

Loved the repeated French spellings of BAROQUE and ANALOGUE. Don't those words just give you the mental imagery of filigree.

My hockey-loving sons loved ESTAVEZ in Mighty Ducks.

SEAGRAMS Bronfman family were originally from Montreal and Waterloo.

Favourite clues today were UNPOPULAR SPOTS=ACNE and TAKE THE WRONG WAY?=FILCH.
Have a good day!

CrossEyedDave said...

For me, the entire SE corner was mostly a giant Natick...


Sorry, I am not very good with rhymes.

(OwenKL, do you give lessons?)

kazie said...

At least 50% pure guesswork today. Have never heard OAK referring to Arni, and AMU, EMF, ECO, AFL? All news to me. Definitely Thursday level and then some.

Lucina said...

Hello, friends! My, my, Marti, you are in good form. I feel your pain on RSVPs!

This was fun. Thank you, Robin Stears. Learning moment for me, too, was the pronunciation of Mr. WOUK's name. I thought it was wook.

I have a small post it note with AIOLI written on it so I can remember the tricky spelling.

Sigh. I am resigned to the fact that CHILI in the Americanized version will always be spelled that way but in my mind it's always CHILE.

I still don't understand ANALOGUE in that context.

Yes, Marti, La Brea Tar Pits are "the tar tar pits."

Well, you all have a beautiful Thursday, everyone!

Misty said...

Delightful puzzle, many thanks, Robin! I too have always pronounced WOUK as WOOK. And loved your RSVP and your SOME LIKE IT HOT pic, Marti.

Also loved the three shout-outs to AUSTRIA, my native country. I did think AUS would probably refer to AUSTRALIA, but GER worked. When I first arrived in the States at age 10 all my classmates asked about the kangaroos. They'd never heard of AUSTRIA, and I'd never heard of kangaroos.

Great limericks this morning, Owen.

Just saw that "Gravity" has been nominated for 10 Academy Awards, I believe. Great film. We still have the 3D glasses we had to wear to see it.

Good luck with the knee check-up, Irish Miss.

Have a great Thursday, everybody!

kjinkc said...

I felt this was definitely a Thursday as it took quite a while to finish. I have visited the 'La Brea tar tar pits' back in '95. Didn't know then that it was duplicate wording and that's why I like this blog, always something to learn, just when you think you know so much...ha!

Owen - cute Andy Capp strip

HG - you must be about the same age as me as MANY things today bring back fond memories, such as Cherry Coke at my local Rexall Drug store; Band-aid commercial; Brook Benton song, and Simplicity patterns.

Marti - Loved the write-up today, especially the RSVP expo.

Tinbeni said...

Marti, nice write-up explaining my slog.
A total "letter-by-letter-perp-fess".

BTW, if you order "A 15" at Hedonism II, Negril, Jamaica, you will get a Seagram's-7 with 7-UP and a slice of lime.

That gives me an idea ...

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, A DNF for me today as I had In On instead of Onto. Because I don't twitter, Fan was a no show. That whole NE corner went begging. Thanks, Marti, for clearing it all up!

I didn't get the theme so that was cleared up, too.

Unpopular spots was a new clue for acne. I had a chuckle from that one.

I hadn't heard or used the word Filch in ages. That also eluded my foggy brain.

Like others, my eraser had a workout today and other unknowns appeared with the perps.

Have a great day, everyone.

Our weather has "no rain" in the forecast for the near future. We are in a very serious drought mode, now. Looks like water rationing is in our future. We've showered with a bucket in the shower to catch runoff before. We can do it again.

john28man said...

The Northeast got me too until STICKER & SOTHERE popped into my head. Oherwise, it was an enjoyable Thursday puzzle.

Steve said...

Nice one, Robin and Marti!

For "analogue" - think more along the lines of an analogy, rather than a non-digital service. Probably doesn't help clear things up at all!

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

This looked like a huge DNF for a while, but I managed to hunt and peck my way through.

Once I caught on to the theme, which is OK by me, that helped.

Snowing here. Winter is back.

Cool regards!

Not a robot said...

Thanks Marti, for the explanation,

The La Brea Tar pits ...... The the tar tar pits...

Didn't know that ,,

I guess that's where all the tartar pits are dumped , after the tartar berries have all been squeezed out, to make the Tartar sauce.

desper-otto said...

Kjinkc, when I was a teenager my evening and Saturday job was working at the local Rexall drug in our little town. I was so glad when I got the job, visions of flavored cokes, sodas and malts danced in my head. My first day on the job I was assigned the task of dismantling the soda fountain to make room for more display racks. Sigh….

Lucina, I think ANALOGUE was meant in the sense that one is comparable to the other -- sort of.

Is there a fish joint in La Brea where you can get tartar sauce?

Al Cyone said...

Lucinda@11:13: I was unaware of the great CHILE/CHILI debate.

River Doc said...

Happy Thursday everybody!

The stars were in alignment for me today, as it was a much faster than normal finish for a late week puzzle....

Although I did have to wade through TROT for GAIT, PORTS for ISLES, GATE for RAMP, and AXED for SHOD....

Wasn't VIRG one of Wyatt Earp's brothers...?

Regarding the Peyton Manning "OMAHA" debate, why on earth would anyone believe that the QB would willingly divulge the true meaning of his snap count...?

Finally, my favorite Cheers line was Norm's reply to Woody asking how it was going. "It's a dog-eat-dog world out there, and I'm wearing Milkbone underwear..."

Lucina said...

Thanks for the link to that article. I was unaware of a national debate, only the one in my head! However, it makes sense that New Mexico would be protective of the CHILE spelling since it is their state vegetable and a source of pride for them. If you've never had a bowl of their green chile stew, you are in for a first class treat!

PK said...

I just got off the phone after booking a hotel room for next month. I'm attending a 50th birthday party out of town and decided to spend the night rather than making it a day trip.

Anyhoo, after confirming the reservation the person informs me that a window popped up on his screen informing him that I won a free weekend in one their hotels(Holiday Inn) in my choice of six different cities. One of which is where I have relatives living.

After booking that reservation, he informs me that I cannot cancel without a $199.00 cancellation fee. Oh, and btw they will charge my credit card up front and refund the money with cash at the hotel after I attend a 4 hour sales seminar. No purchase necessary. Also, I will get a free night at any of their hotels nationwide. Hmmm?

It felt like a scam but it is Holiday Inn, right?

Funny thing, they also mentioned that I must be sober when attending the seminar. Ha! Do you think there will be sobriety test?

Al Cyone said...

Lucina: My apologies for mis-spelling your name. As for me ever trying green chile stew, I grew up in a home where the "spice rack" consisted of salt and pepper (and we never had to replace the pepper). To say I prefer bland food is an understatement. The funny thing is that I enjoy watching cooking shows but think that boiling water is too much of a chore.

PK said...

Hey Chickie,

Have you seen this website?

I have it bookmarked. It is produced by some college in Nebraska I think and is updated every Thursday Morning.

Not too long ago SE Texas was covered in dark red but it looks much better down there now.

Point of order said...

It's a scam.

Nice repartee about the puzzle.
(Maybe you should get a Facebook page for personal comments).

Lucina said...

If you do not want the "free" experience and are unwilling to pay the $199, I would get on the telephone immediately and find the highest level person, squawk as loudly as possible about it and have them cancel that. If it seems like a scam, and feels, like a scam . . .

Al Cyone:
Not to worry. So many people want that extra "d" in my name I don't let it bother me.

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. thank you, Robin Stears, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Marti, for the fine review.

Got going early and late on this. In the middle I was volunteering at the Elgin Community College with my Kiwanis Club. We work the book store.

Puzzle was not easy. I got through with some struggling.

VANILLA COKE took me forever. HIGH BAROQUE was easier.

Thought ACNE was clever for 62A.

Liked HAULAGE. Had never heard that word before, but it does make sense.

AIOLI. We recently had this word. So, it came immediately.

Had GATE for 57A. Fixed that to RAMP after a perp or two.

Have much paperwork to do for tonight's Lodge meeting.

See you tomorrow.


(4425 4838689

PK said...


I loved your comment about 27d.

Bill G. said...

Good afternoon. Thanks you Marti and Owen for information about the NYT crosswords.

I grew up in Virginia. I have never seen anyone abbreviate it as VIRG.

There is a big brush fire NE of here in Glendora that has burned many acres and several homes. Sad. The sunlight is tan after being filtered through the smoke. Luckily, the sea breeze is keeping most of the ash away from here.

CrossEyedDave said...

I was thinking about this dismal failure (on my part,) & unable to even think of a funny way to link the theme. I wanted this puzzle to be a learning experience, & while cleaning the house, I had plenty of time to think of an appropriate Segue.

How does OwenKL do it? Write poems with such ease. For that matter, how do musicians come up with the music to turn those poems into hit songs?

As luck would have it, daughter #1 showed me a clip yesterday that blew my mind. Being a self taught musician, my music theory is a bit sketchy. But what she showed me was in my memory, just under a lot of cobwebs.

In the 1st 5 seconds of this video, note the emphasis on I, V, vi, & IV.

On a piano keyboard, starting at any white key as #1, in this example, lets say "C," the next white key to the right will be "D". The 3rd white key will be "E," 4th = "F", 5th = "G", 6th = "A". The capital Roman numerals = Major chord, & the lower case = Minor chords. So if starting at "C", I=C Major, V=G Major, vi-A Minor, & IV=F Major.

(Major/Minor chords is a whole separate lesson, for now just think Major chord sounds happy, Minor chord sounds sad...)

So there we have it, a plan! C,G,A minor, & F! But what can we do with it? The question should be "what can't we do with it?"

This video is 6:20 minutes long. Using the same four chords, they change the song approximately every 6 seconds. (Bill G, how many songs is that?)

Some songs I know, many I do not, but it will blow your mind when you recognize just some of them...

(What a Segue!)

HeartRx said...

CED, The Axis of Awesome was nothing short of…awesome!! Hilarious, enlightening, and very entertaining. I loved how they dressed like (well, “sorta” like) the singers who made each song popular. Elton John and Lady Gaga are forever etched in my brain…

PK said...

Hi Y'all! The PK who has posted here for two years + did not post today. I'm not stupid enough to fall for a scam like that.

Original PK said...

This fake PK is starting to get on my nerves.

I am NOT stupid and I don't feel it is a scam. Its an offer for cardholders only.

The way I see it, I get two free nights at a hotel I was going to stay at anyway. I get a free breakfast at my seminar, $200 dollars, another free night at any hotel in their system and all I have to do is say NO! probably 10 to 15 times. Anyone that knows me will agree I am very good at doing that.

Robin Stears said...

After reading all the comments, I had to go back and check my original grid because I don't remember ever using VIRG in a puzzle before.

Originally, I had VING (which made the crossing word ANC instead of ARC).

Too obscure? Or too easy?

Bill G. said...

I have gotten to the point in my life where I don't get involved with free stuff if it comes with any annoying strings attached. I was happy to take a free coffee drink though when I added money back onto my coffee shop gift card I'd gotten for Christmas.

The sea breeze seems to be keeping the smoke from the fire inland so I guess I can still go for a short bike ride before tutoring.

I just got a note from the wife of a childhood friend of mine. I got to know Rich in high school. I would go over to his house and we would play with his ham radio stuff together. We both went to neighborhood parties. We went canoeing on Lake Barcroft and got in trouble together when we put a little old cranky outboard motor on his canoe, spreading an oil slick out behind us. He had a very cute Catholic girl friend. They got married and had about six children. I would stop by to see them whenever I went back to Virginia to visit my parents when they were still alive. I just got a note from his wife. She must have gotten our Christmas card and realized that I didn't know that he had died of bladder cancer about a year ago. I just don't cope with that kind of news very well at all. Geez...

True McKoy PK said...

I remember going into that motel room too. And I just don't know how to say no ,,,,, so I said yes. Oh yes. Now, I'm due this May, and am having a tough time whom to dun for the fatherhood payments. I'll prob call it PK jr.

HeartRx said...

Robin, thanks for stopping by. Looking at the grid again, I think that VING (Rhames of "Pulp Fiction" fame) crossing ANC might have been a little too tough for a Thurs. LAT. VIRG, although not the preferred abbreviation, is still listed as an alternate one on many sites. And ARC is much more recognizable than ANC.

I never worry about comments on my own late week puzzles to the effect that "I never heard of that…" To me, puzzles are always a learning experience. I even learned about an obscure rock group when I did today's write-up (EMF)!!

- Marti

Jayce said...

Robin Stears, I actually like VING (as in the actor Ving Rhames) and ANC better than VIRG and ARC. ANC isn't too obscure at all. Thanks for asking.

HeartRx said...

Bill G., DH just found out today that a pal he has known for more than 30 years has lung cancer. There's never an easy way to cope with these things, but I think it is especially hard to realize our own mortality. It does tend to put our own day-to-day concerns into perspective, don't you think?

Ol' Man Keith said...

I dunno. This seemed hard to me. I got it in the end, but the NE corner almost did me in. I started with the L and C for "Columbo's asset" but kept looking for an adjective to describe his distinctive manner. LACONIC wouldn't fit. Once I reached LO, I finally cracked it through the oldest trick in the book. I ran through letters en suite to stimulate a response for the next one. Haply, G is close to the top of the alphabet.
Then I almost settled for ZILCH before realizing that FILCH was the more obvious response.

Earlier, AUSTRIAN OAK held me up. I really wanted OAF for Herr Schwarzenegger (still do), as Eiche is feminine auf deutsch (whereas Oaf is definitely male, as is Dummkopf.)

willow said...

Robin Stears, it's so nice of you to drop by. Would you explain, please, why 11d, "Veggie burger to a hamburg" is "analogue"?

Husker Gary said...

Thanks for the visit and the fun puzzle, Robin. Here’s my improvement on what Marti (aka Heartx) said about VING/ANC
-Secondly, how would you clue ANC?

Lucina said...

How about:
Political group in So. Afr.

Thanks for the musical link. That is really amazing.

Manac said...

Wow! Tough but doable Thursday.

First theme answer was High Baroque and I never even heard of that before.

Then just slogged through the rest.

HG , ANC... How us dyslexics spell Coke container.

Ol' Man Keith said...

ANALOGUE (also ANALOG, my preference) can simply mean a likeness to something else, or even just that Thing A may in some respect be compared to Thing B. If you don't think a veggie burger holds up well against a real meat burger, you might say it is a poor analog. But it's still obviously an analog - because it attempts to imitate the original.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Last night a dear friend found out her daughter has a brain tumor. Since the friend's husband died of a melanoma brain tumor several years ago, you can imagine the angst in that household today. Tonight after an MRI the daughter learned it was a benign neuroma on an auditory nerve. While still serious and needs delicate surgery, it does not hold the horror of her father's diagnosis.

So excuse me if I'm not in the mood to laugh at my copycat's juvenile offerings.

Bill G. said...

Marti, yes. I know you are right. Still, when I'm in the middle of something that has gone wrong, it's often hard for me to step back and put it all in perspective.

A lot of the local news coverage here has been about the bad fires north of here and east of Pasadena. The newscasters will find some poor soul whose house has just burned up including all of the possessions and memories. It's just a structure and other things that can be replaced but I know I would have a hard time being able to rise above my depression at a time like that.

Yes, finding out about my friend's death made me think about how much I miss him and the time we spent together and was a reminder of my mortality. I know "We've all got to go sometime" but that never helps me much. I think I cope with these things less well than most.

PK said...

BillG, I'm sorry about the loss of your friend. I think when we lose touch with someone who was special, we then feel guilt when they are gone forever. How could we not have known? Why didn't I stay connected. I lost two dear friends about a year ago. I hadn't seen them in ten years, but I missed them more after they were gone.

Nobody copes well with these things, some just put up a better front. I comfort myself in that after my friend's husband died, I did send a letter telling her how much both of them meant to me. I received a letter from her saying she also was dying.

Maybe the only thing we can do is renew efforts to contact others who have been special to us and let them know. That's what I've tried to do.

Midnight marauder said...

It's almost midnight, and the midnight marauder strikes again.

Getting old ? Losing dear friends to terminal diseases ? Been there, done that. We've got an APP for that .

As the true way teaches us, we have to leave our friends and family and gradually start to dissociate ourselves from the ways of the world. Seal our fond memories of our family and friends, and forget the bad ones.

So when the time comes, we leave with no regrets.

Thus begins a new day. Ahhhh.

Chickie said...

Thanks, PK. The website shows CA as it was shown in our news broadcast this evening. We are told that we need 16 inches of rain right now to even come close to our average for this time of the year. The Sierra looks almost barren, and this time last year it was deep, deep in snow. We depend on the snow melt in the spring to fill our reservoirs. We are in trouble, for sure.
I'll watch this website for future updates.

kjinkc said...

CED - just had time to watch your Axis of Awesome and I have to say..IT WAS AWESOME!!!

I counted at least 40+ songs and am proud to say I recognized all but a handful. Don't Stop Believin'; You're Beautiful (my current ringtone by James Blunt); Where Is the Love (by Blackeyed Peas); Hey, Soul Sister (by Train who I've seen twice in concert); Wherever You Will Go: and before I get kicked off for too much...I'll say the next is: "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" by Elton John as featured in the Lion King. I've seen Elton twice in concert and saw Lion King on Broadway 3 years ago. I'll leave the rest up to anyone else brave enough to take the challenge starting at approx. 1:20. So we have 6 songs in that timeframe.

All I can say is: "You Made My Day".