Jan 22, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, Kurt Krauss

Theme: THEM'S THE BREAKS or LEMEE OUTA HERE or BREAKING FREE.  In each theme answer, the letters of the word FREE are broken, and make bookends for the rest of the letters in the answer.

17A. *Genealogist's tool : FAMILY TREE.  A graphic representation of parental relationships.  Here's ours.  I misread this as Geologist's tool, and was BAFFLED for a while.

24A. *"Top Hat" leading man : FRED ASTAIRE.  Stage name for Frederick Austerlitz, actor, singer, dancer and choreographer, most famous for his dancing in 31 musical films.  Here he is with Ginger Rogers. (3:28)

34A. *Stewed chicken dish : FRICASSEE.  In which the meat is cut up, sauteed or braised, and traditionally served with a white sauce.  Almost, but not quite paprikas.

50A. *Most serious or least serious : FIRST DEGREE.  Most serious for crimes, least for burns.

Note that the second and third theme entries are each broken differently, while the first and fourth are broken in the same way, making another kind of book end.

And the unifier:  58. Escapes, and, literally, what each of the answers to starred clues does :

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here. I don't recall blogging one of Kurt's before. Let's see if we can BREAK FREE some of this fill.


1. Big cat of Narnia : ASLAN. From the C. S. Lewis classic, The Witch, The Lion and The Wardrobe.

6. Salad alternative : SOUP.  Olive Garden choice. We always get the salad.

10. No more than : MERE.  Also a C.S. Lewis title word.

14. Pope after John X : LEO VI.  His short term lasted only from June 928 to his death in February 929.

15. Facility : EASE

16. Iowa State's city : AMES.  College town.

19. Political syst. : GOV'T.  Government.  Note abbrv in cl & ans.

20. Priestly robes : ALBS. Long white tunics, coming down to the ankles, usually girdled with a cincture.

21. Suffix with Capri : OTE.  A Capriote is a person from Goat Island.

22. Door sign : ENTER.  Sometimes [ironically] with the lead in "DO NOT."

23. __ Fáil: Irish coronation stone : LIA. The "Stone of Destiny," where all the Irish high kings were crowned until the 5th century A.D.

27. Abandon : FORSAKE.  Not to be done at High Noon.

29. British throne? : LOO.  AKA toilet or W.C. Word game of thrones?

30. Churchillian sign : VEE.  VEE for Victory in WW II; Winston Churchill, 20th century British statesman and toper.

31. Compound conjunction : AND/OR. Presented for your edification AND/OR enjoyment.

32. Uppercut target : JAW.  An upward thrust in boxing.  The jaw is the logical target.  Mind your tongue.

33. Take a break : REST.

 38. First Greek consonant : BETA. Follows Alpha. Together, they give us the word alphabet.

41. Go a few rounds : BOX.  Watch out for uppercuts.

42. Petting zoo critter : LLAMA.  South American camel analog, beast of burden, food source, and comedian.

46. Pulitzer poet Lowell : AMY (1874 - 1924)

Vernal Equinox

The scent of hyacinths, like a pale mist, lies
 between me and my book;
And the South Wind, washing through the room,
Makes the candles quiver.
My nerves sting at a spatter of rain on the shutter,
And I am uneasy with the thrusting of green shoots
Outside, in the night.

Why are you not here to overpower me with your

 tense and urgent love?

The scent of hyacinths, like a pale mist, lies
   between me and my book; And the South Wind, washing through the room, Makes the candles quiver. My nerves sting at a spatter of rain on the shutter, And I am uneasy with the thrusting of green shoots Outside, in the night. Why are you not here to overpower me with your
   tense and urgent love? - See more at:

More here.

47. Gloss target : LIP.

48. Concession speech deliverer : ALSO RAN.  He came. He saw. He lost.

53. Former telecom co. : MCI.  Now part of Verizon.  You can see its checkered history here.

54. Toga party hosts : FRATS.  Fraternities, like Delta House.

55. HDTV brand : RCA makes High Definition TV's.

56. Amazed sounds : OOHS.  Often found with aahs.

57. "Lois & Clark" reporter : LANE.  Clark Kent, Lois Lane.

61. Blues singer James : ETTA.  Nee Jamesetta Hawkins; January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012.

62. Carded at a club : ID'ed.  Abrv. for "Identification," transformed into a verb.

63. Catorce ÷ dos : SIETE.  Fourteen by two leaves seven, in either Spanish or English.

64. Work station : DESK.

65. Billy of "Titanic" : ZANE.  Did he always play someone warped AND/OR crazy?

66. Extra : ADDED.  Here, an adjective, not a bit part player.


 1. "Our Gang" kid with a cowlick : ALFALFA.

2. Circus barker : SEA LION.  Literal, not figurative.

3. Gable's third wife : LOMBARD.  Carole, third of five, and, as the story goes, the great love of his life.  She died in a plane crash on January 16, 1942, returning from a trip selling war bonds.

4. Thrifty alternative : AVIS.  Rental cars.

5. Zilch : NIL.  Usually NADA, but here only three letters were available.

6. Parlor piece : SETTEE.  An upholstered seat for more than one, smaller than a SOFA, usually with a back and arms.

7. Propelled, as a galley : OARED. Another poor innocent noun, kidnapped and verberized.  Rowed seems more in the language.  But let's all sing:  OAR, OAR, OAR your boat  .  .  .   Or maybe not.

8. Capitalize on : USE.  A bit of a stretch, but OK.

9. Peruvian capital? : PEE.  Ugh!

10. __ cum laude : MAGNA.  Graduation honors.  SUMMA also fits.

11. Eliciting feeling : EMOTIVE.

12. Really looks up to : REVERES.  I really look up to Paul, for his midnight ride.

13. Springsteen's __ Band : E STREET.  Jersey boys.

18. N.Y.C. part : YORK.  New YORK City.  The Big Apple.  

22. DDE's WWII arena : ETOEuropean Theater of Operations.

24. Klinger portrayer on "M*A*S*H" : FARR. Jamie. Though he's famous and from Toledo, I could not remember his name, and had to rely on perps.  Ah, me.

25. "Ah, me!" : ALAS.  Word spoken by a jilted lad?

26. Porcine moms : SOWS.  Piggies.

28. Cushioned seat : SOFA.  Bigger than a SETTEE

32. Fla. NFL team, on scoreboards : JAX.  The rather hapless Jacksonville Jaguars.

33. Move for the job, briefly : RELOcate.

35. Abbr. referring to a previous citation : IBID.  Short for IBIDEM. Latin for "in the same place."

36. Make do : COPE.  Sort of like "eke out."

37. "What __ can I say?" : ELSE.   Don't ask this question unless you're willing to deal with the answer.

38. Bewildered : BAFFLED.  Bollixed, confused, at a loss.

39. Kuwait or Qatar : EMIRATE.  Last time I had EMIR, a high ranking sheik.  This word can refer variously to his rank, lands, or reign.

40. Ruthless rulers : TYRANTS. Frex, Joffrey, the First of his Name, from Game of Thrones.

43. Like a Brink's truck : ARMORED.  Brinks hauls money, hence the extra protection. 

44. Jungle explorer's tool : MACHETE.  A big knife for slashing through the vegetation.

45. Ouzo flavoring : ANISEEDPimpinella anisum, also called ANISE, is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia.  It's flavor is similar to licorice.

47. Capt.'s underlings : LTS.  Even when shortened, captains are still over lieutenants.

48. Game venue : ARCADE.  A room full of game machines.

49. Pipe problem : LEAK. During the coldest part of January, there always water main breaks in the Detroit Metro Area. 

51. Porterhouse, e.g. : STEAK.  An oversize T-bone containing more of the tenderloin than the loin.  Hope you're hungry.

52. Putting spot : GREEN.  For all you golfers out there.

56. "The Wizard __" : OF ID.  Comic strip.  And a reminder why we don't discuss politics.   Gandolf he ain't.

58. Line of work, for short : BIZ. Corrupted abrv. of Business.

59. Nutritionist's abbr. : RDARecommended Daily Allowance.

60. Fed. retirement org. : SSASocial Security Administration.  Thank you FDR.

Pretty good for a Wednesday.  Hope you were able to crack this one.

In other news, the polar vortex is back.  We're not able to BREAK FREE from winter's grip.

Cool [maybe even freezing] regards!

Notes from C.C.:

1) Happy 68th Birthday to dear John Lampkin, who helped me greatly in my earlier days of blogging and constructing. We talked on the phone once. I was very nervous as I always have problem make myself understood. He was incredibly kind and patient. Love this picture!

Lemonade & John Lampkin, March 21, 2012

2) Happy 82nd Birthday to dear Marge! Hope you've long recovered from the fall last year and are doing well.


OwenKL said...

Sid tries from prison camp to flee.
Finds a car and then he BREAKS FREE.
But he doesn't get far,
A tree smashes his car --
FORSAKEn 'cause it was BRAKES FREE!

Nowheres near a successful run today. NE did me in, though S & SE were pretty dismal, too.
I finally got S, where _LSORAN × _RCAD_ × _AN_ × BI_ baffled me for the longest time.

OwenKL said...

In the SE, I had OF-OZ, knew anise and might have wagged anise seed, but ANISEED? Really? SSA I was expecting something specifically for government workers, SIETE I couldn't even figure out what language "catforce" was in, and that left _ZDE_ for "extra". Red letters revealed OF××, and once I got OF-ID, I WAGed the rest.

But the real stopper was the NE. SUMMA & ADMIRES, didn't know Springsteen's band but remembered it was First Street or Sixth Street or something, so had ___ ST., waiting for perps that never came.

thehondohurricane said...

A good Hump day to all,

Had a pretty easy go today because a lot of the theme clues were in my wheelhouse. But that being said, never picked up on the theme until I entered the unifier. My "ta da" moment.

Favorite was 29A Brit Throne.LOO.

But in the end. a DNF. For 66A my fill was Adder & I never saw the error, even after entering Aniseer. If I bothered to check it, I would have spotted the error. or at least I hope I would have.

Happy birthday John & Marge

Jazz, another excellent write up. BTW, do you spend time in Lakeland during spring training?

Snow storm came and is we go back into the Ice Age. I usually like wintery, but this one is either a SOB or my age is beginning to show.

Al Cyone said...

A (technical?) DNF.

Things were going swimmingly and I was left with only the first letter in SIETE. I tried every letter with no luck (misreading the division sign as a plus sign wasn't helping). So, reluctantly, I turned on the red letters. Turned out I hadn't noticed an extra "F" in BREAKFFREE (and that "F" looked good for a Federal agency).

3° at sunrise here in the beautiful mid-Hudson valley. The good news is that we were north of the cut-off line for the snowstorm (which was around I-84 and was pretty dramatic; it apparently either snowed a lot or it didn't snow at all). The other good news is that the pipes didn't freeze.

Favorite clue: British throne?

Rev said...

Fun, easy puzzle today. I kept trying to fit either Jag (Jaguars) or Jac (Jacksonville) into 32D, but of course it just wouldn't go. I'm a little embarrased that I didn't even consider putting an X there. Sometimes you focus so hard on what you think it should be that you miss an obvious answer. Otherwise a problem free Wednesday.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Nice job, JzB. "Verberize" is good, but not quite up to the caliber of C.C.'s "plurable."

As Paul Stookey (Peter, Paul and Mary) explained it, Winston Churchill always smoked a cigar, and he placed it between those two upraised fingers. So instead of a V for Victory, it was actually meant as a racing challenge: "Wanna drag?"

I've only read one C.S. Lewis book, and that was in my ute: Out Of The Silent Planet. I do remember liking it, but apparently not enough to read anything else by him.

A Navy Lieutenant is the equivalent of an Army Captain.

Happy BDay to John and Marge. We haven't heard from Marge in quite some time. Hope she's doing OK. Wonder if John ever gets butterflies in his stomach.

Today is yankage day. Yesterday I polished off the last of the in-the-shell pecans -- no crunchy foods for a while. I also killed a six-pack, just to watch it die, to ensure that I would look and feel my best in the dentist chair today. Alas, poor tooth, I knew you well.

Lucina said...

Good day, puzzlers! It's good to see you emerge from the icy regions, Jazzbumpa and thank you for the entertainment today. I loved Fred and Ginger and Tex Ritter.

Happy birthday John Lampkin and Marge! I hope it's fabulous!

What a fun and easy sashay today. My fourth graders read The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe but even so, ASLAN was slow in coming to me. ALFALFA, whom I never watched helped me with it.

Otherwise, the cells filled as fast as the pencil would fly and it was done. Yea for SIETE paralleled by LEO VI.(Sixth, seven)

Hand up for LOO, British throne?

Good luck at the dentist today and I hope it isn't too painful.

Was it you who mentioned purchasing the cook book from America's Test Kitchen. Mine arrived yesterday and weighs about five pounds! That's a lot of cooking.

I wish you all a great Wednesday!

Lucina said...

Oops! Should be a ? after Test kitchen.

Mari said...

Good Morning Everybody! Another frigid one here in Chicago. I'm about ready to pack it in and head to Arizona!

Nice puzzle today, pretty easy in my opinon. I didn't know ALSORAN and I had a few write overs. I had ROWED for OARED at 7D. I had MORE for ELSE at 37D. And, of course I had Wizard of OZ instead of ID at 56D.

Billy Zane was good in Titanic, but I prefer the old TV show Twin Peaks.

Interesting to see LOO and PEE in the same puzzle. LOL

I don't usually add my test phrases (to make sure I'm not a robot), but I kind of liked today's offering: SHOOHO

Have a great day!

Mari said...

Hondo @ 6:32 am: It's not you. This winter has been brutal. We're either covered in a deep snow bank or were shivering enough to crack the ice. It's been a tough one.

Happy Birthday to Marge and John, and thanks to JzB for another humerous write up!

buckeye bob said...

Happy birthday to John and Marge!

desper-otto said...

Lucina, yes I'm the one who mentioned that cookbook -- every recipe, tasting and testing from the first I-forget-how-many-seasons of America's Test Kitchen. I've also just ordered The Science of Good Cooking from them. Together maybe they'll make me a better cook. At the very least, they'll make my bookshelf sag.

Argyle said...

Lucina, fer shame. That was Frankie Laine's version. Here is Tex for you. High Noon(2:26)

Argyle said...

List of others that sang "Do Not Forsake Me, O My Darlin' ".

Yellowrocks said...

Like Lucina, I found this to be an easy sashay. Several answers were filled even before I read the clues. Only write overs were FAHR to FARR and ARENA, which was too short, to ARCADE.
I liked the reruns of "Our Gang."
I, too, thought 6A had a Plus sign, at first, and I couldn't remember 16 in Spanish. I'm glad it was a division symbol instead.
D/O I hope the "yanking" at the dentist is not too painful.
Thanks for an informative and witty write up, JzB.
Happy birthday John and Marge.
Thanks to AnonT, Bill G, TTP and Keith for your concern last night. Somehow, not feeling alone, makes everything easier.
Keith, you've had so many serious surgeries and recoveries. I admire your spirit.
QUOTE: I cried because I had no shoes and then I met a man who had no feet.

kazie said...

I got it all with no real problems today, except the theme. Thanks Jazz, for clarifying that!

I was hesitant about ANISEED too, wanted ANISETTE (wouldn't fit, so tried) ANISSET. until the penny dropped and perps argued with both of those.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Happy Birthday Marge and John. Drei Mal Hoch.

Theme seemed amorphous to me but thanks to JazzB for explaining it. Otherwise no solving problems except I had Oz before ID. Fill seemed on the fresh side; and more k's and f's than usual.

-17º here this am. Beautiful blue sky.

Middletown Bomber said...

Its cold where I am just finished digging out of 12 inches of snow. Boss emailed stating he decided to close the office fortunately I was not on my when I received the notice. Semi easy crossword now I am waiting on an email from my son's soccer coach about tonight's game enjoy hump day all.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Overall, a breezy Wednesday offering. Needed perps for Aslan, everything else filled rather easily. Didn't get the theme until the reveal but thought it was fun. Thanks, Kurt, and thanks, JazzB, for a witty write-up. Loved the family tree picture.

Happy Birthday to John and Marge. Hope you both have a wonderful day.

It's -2 here, sunny but windy. In other words, Brr! We, also, we're spared the coastal storm.

Have a grat day and stay warm.

Irish Miss said...

Sorry. Were, not the auto-correct we're.

Anonymous said...

I don't get "Ease" for "Facility". Can someone explain?

Husker Gary said...

Ok, I saw FREE and still couldn’t get the theme but had a good time anyway.

-Carl ALFALFA Switzer was disliked on the set of The Little Rascals for his cruel jokes on other kids and pranks that held up filming. His sad story (21)
-I shook my FAMILY TREE in December and some disturbing things fell out
-At school, we called it Fricken Chickasee. Ah ute!
-Olive Garden’s bottomless salad bowl is magnifico! Asocial Sheldon of TBBT hates the place because “they treat you like family”
-VEE for victory became tied to Morse Code and this this fabulous piece of music (1:31)
-Did anyone ever threaten to BOX your ears?
-Many’s the time I should have bitten my LIP
-CC, fellow Minnesotan, Harold Stassen was an ALSO RAN for president 9 times
-RCA TV’s are now made by the French company French Thomson Consumer Electronics
-Many rural kids used a MACHETE or corn knife for “walking beans”
-HBD John and Marge!
-In what wonderful movie did two old vaudevillians argue because one insisted on saying “ENTER” instead of “Come in”?

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

HBD's to John and Marge!

No snow here, and a semi tropical 11 degrees F at the moment.

For something completely different, here is the zoomable highest resolution photo ever of Machu Picchu.

To the left of the central green swatch is a terraced elevation with several people on it. On the flat spot closest to the viewer are a guy in shorts, a red plaid shirt and a blue cap, and a blond lady all in black. Between them is a disembodied head on an outcropping of rock.

Aha - here's an explanation.

And here's a vid on the making of it.

Cool regards!

Big Easy said...

Very easy run through today. 23A Lia Fail was a complete unknown along with 65A Billy Zane. I thought RCA died with Elvis and disappeared when they sold NBC to General Electric. MCI made some people rich by wholesaling phone cards (remember them) to people who NEVER PAID the money to MCI. Then Worldcom bought them and scammed everybody else.

CanadianEh! said...

Fun run today. Some unknowns but perps filled them in and Google translate gave me the Spanish for seven! Is that cheating??

Hand up for OZ before ID. And I had SUMMA cum laude but ALAS it was only MAGNA.

Didn't know which number to choose for LEO but AXIS didn't get the Tada. I smiled when AVIS=Thrifty alternative rang the bell! Also smiled at SOFA, SETTEE and EASE. There won't be much of that if you are shoveling out. We are just frigid but not much new snow.

Anonymous@10:01 - one definition of facility is "readiness or ease due to skill, aptitude, or practice". If you think of "with facility=with ease" and not facility as in a building it might help you understand the clue.

I have had fun doing some genealogy. Just finished a fan chart for new grandson with 5 generations on each side. That's 62 people back into the 1800s. Some of it is like detective work.

Anonymous said...

FREE SOUP? It drag ons, I know. But it is captchy.

Lucina said...

I am shamed! My only recollection of High Noon is of Tex Ritter but had I listened carefully I'm sure I would have recognized Frankie Laine. Thank you for the nudge.

Come to Arizona! You will be warm and cozy. The temp will be in the mid 70s all week.

Please remind us when you have your procedure and I'll be sending thoughts and prayers for you.

Lucina said...

That is a truly impressive photo of Machu Picchu along with an equally impressive explanation. Thanks!

Argyle said...

They both recorded in 1952 but Frankie was a bigger hit. Tex did two versions; one in the film and one for commercial release. Hence the different lyrics.

Misty said...

Fun puzzle, Kurt--many thanks. But I actually didn't get all of it, even though I did get the theme answers and reveals.

Am still a little shaken from a series of crises over the weekend, including having my computer crash. It'll be a while before everything works again on the new computer, including finding the Corner in the morning, figuring out how to get my blue name back, etc. etc. But reading about the cold and the terrible winter so many of you are enduring, these are small potatoes indeed.

Jazz B, great pics and I loved the Amy Lowell poem.

And have wonderful birthdays, Marge and John.

Here's to a good Wednesday for everybody!

LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

For some reason I stumbled around getting started on this puzzle today. I was able to finish with no real problems, although I had no idea of the theme until the unifier. Thanks for all the info, pics and links, JazzB ~ I really enjoyed your write-up. Great FAMILY TREE!

desper-otto ~ I hope the yankage went well! (love that word)

Yellowrocks ~ Thinking of you and wishing you the best with your upcoming surgeries.

Happy Birthday to John Lampkin & Marge ~ I hope you both have a wonderful day!

Anonymous said...

FYI The title is "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe."

Jazzbumpa said...

That Amy Lowell poem is quite sensuous and subtle.

hondo - Nope, never been to Lakeland. Most of the live baseball I see these days is my grandson's travel team.

My sister traced our family back to the 1600's, where our Quaker ancestors had a lot of trouble in Boston. The Pilgrims left England looking for religious freedom, but did not grant it to other sects.

Quakers were fined, jailed, and even sold into slavery.

Hard, hard times.

Presumably, this poem is about one of our ancestors.


Jazzbumpa said...

In case that rather awful poem is a tl;dr, the subject is a Quaker girl about to be sold into slavery - for the crime of being a Quaker.

They drag her down to the port, where the grizzled old sea captains look upon her beauty, and simply refuse to take her on as cargo.

The girl's name was actually Provided Southwick. Cassandra was her mother's name. I guess the switch is poetic license.

Anyway - happy ending - she was set free, and 400 years later, here I am.


Jazzbumpa said...

Anon @ 11:26

You're right. Somehow I always manage to turn that around.


Tinbeni said...

Jazz: WOW! Thank you for the outstanding, detailed and informative write-up & links.

Happy Birthday to John & Marge.

Ouch! My head still hurts for the V-8 Can smack when I finally parsed it as SEA-LION.
The 'I' in LIA Fail was the last to fall and a learning moment (that I'll probably forget soon).

Hand-up for OZ before ID (an easy fix).

ANISEED was a gimme. Living near Tarpon Springs, Ouzo does "come-into-play" often. lol


john28man said...

I thought this was an easier than normal Wednesday puzzle and only had one write over because of entering OF OZ.

Pat said...

I had the same problems in the SE as Owen. I peeked at the answer grid to get ID instead of Oz and was able to finish. Thanks, Kurt, for the mental exercise. I thought the reveal meant free of breaks and couldn't figure out how that related to the themes. Thanks, JzB, for the explanation.

Happy Birthday, John and Marge. may you enjoy many more.

I hope your yankage goes well and you have a quick recovery, D-O.

We're up to 15* after an overnight low below 0*. OK, Mother Nature, let's get back to normal.

Have a good day.


Tinbeni said...

oops ... forgot to answer Husker.

The Sunshine Boys, from 1975, with George Burns and Walter Matthau.

Bill G. said...

Fun puzzle but I've come to expect that these days. Thanks Kurt and JzB.

Happy birthdays Marge and John!

Soup vs salad? There was a time when I'd always order salad. But I think there's more creativity in soup. Even the Olive Garden has a really good Kale/Sausage/Potato soup.

Yellowrocks said...

Irish Miss, thanks for your nice email. I answered it.

desper-otto said...

JzB, that Machu Picchu photo and accompanying videos were great. Thanks for posting!

Thanks for all your kind thoughts about my "yankage." It's over, and I'm back home. Now the trick is going to be not to blow my nose or sneeze for the next week, for fear of blowing the bone graft right out. Who'da thunk it?

Lemonade714 said...

I hate when that happens; having written a nice detailed comment, I got distracted and apparently never posted.

Happy birthday and many more Marge.

JL for you a special cocoon of warm wishes for this and all future birthdays.

11 degrees balmy? I think anyone saying that is balmy....

Lemonade714 said...

I try not to post too many jokes, and so many end up offending someone but...(spoiler alert, this is a joke)
A little old lady was walking down the street dragging two large plastic garbage bags behind her.

One of the bags was ripped, and every once in a while a $20 bill fell out onto the sidewalk.

Noticing this, a policeman stopped her and said, "Ma'am, there are $20 bills falling out of that bag."

"Oh, really? Darn it!" said the little old lady. "I'd better go back and see if I can find them. Thanks for telling me officer."

"Well now, not so fast," said the cop. "Where did you get all that money? You didn't steal it did you?"

"Oh, no, no", said the old lady. "You see, my backyard is right next to a golf course. A lot of golfers come and pee through a knot hole in my fence, right into my flower garden. It used to really tick me off. Kills the flowers you know. Then I thought, 'why not make the best of it'?

Lemonade714 said...

So, now I stand behind the fence by the knot hole, real quiet, with my hedge clippers.

Every time some guy sticks his thingy through my fence I surprise him, grab hold of it and say, 'Okay buddy! Give me $20 or off it comes."

"Well, that seems only fair," said the cop, laughing. "OK, good luck! Oh, by the way, what's in the other bag?"

"Not everybody pays."

River Doc said...

Happy Wednesday everybody!

Technical Finish today. Had to turn on the red letters with one word to go (_EA__O_). However, no letters turned red, so I tried an S, then the rest fell into place. That's my story and I'm sticking to it....

KENT for LANE and SUMMA for MAGNA, ADMIRES for REVERES, all solved by the perpendiculars....

Also wanted CAPRI - ATI, the tennis player, at first glance....

My RELO is officially over, since I finally got that insurance check to pay for some damage that occurred during the move....

D-O, enjoyed your tribute to The Man in Black - now that's what I call anesthetic...! Hope the hole in your head heals alright. When I had my four wisdom teeth yanked at once, I had to rinse with warm salty water a few times a day to keep my holes free of bacteria and other FREE radicals....

Finally, HBDs to John and Marge, and many more...!

Ol' Man Keith said...

My 2nd day with my spinal brace.
It felt very good after we adjusted it to my torso yesterday. I wore it out of the orthotics office. My wife said I looked very upright even as I was just sitting by her on the drive home.
When we got back I practiced walking with just a cane, and I felt good support - especially after Janice tugged my side straps even tighter. (She is now officially stronger than me.)
After walking some more, then working upright at my computer, I began to feel the brace pressing into my pecs, and causing a stitch in my right side. I knew I had to get used to the device by practicing more and more each day, so I checked the clock to see how many hours I had managed. It felt like a half day.
Only TWO hours! That's all I'd managed since leaving the brace place! OK, then. I have more work to do today. But first, a round of exercises...

fermatprime said...


Thanks for the interesting puzzle, Kurt, and swell expo, Jazz!

No problems, but hand up for OF OZ, at first.

YR: I too have damaged rotator cuffs. Am not deemed suitable for surgery. Cannot do the Australian crawl. Very best wishes for your successful surgery.

Went to holistic practitioner yesterday. Total waste of time and money. Have horribly annoying pain in left lower abdomen. Get to see ob-gyn tomorrow.

Many happy returns, John and Marge!!!


Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

A real breeze today, paused only at Aniseed and Siete until perps confirmed them.

JzB - loved the Macchu Picchu (sp?) image! I've never seen a compilation that good. The merging software must be seriously sophisticated. Thanks for posting! Back in my early days of optics engineering, I was involved in some high-res space borne camera equipment, which was mind blowing at the time but probably ho-hum today. I doubt it could have produced a terrestrial image to rival yours.

HBTY John and Marge!

Lemonade714 said...

Also, unseen in the picture of JL and I in Fort Lauderdale is dear Annette, to whom I send my best wishes for a happy healthy 2014, and hope to see you back at the Corner soon.

Manac said...

Family Tree, Hmmmm.....


UM ?

And after some deep digging


CrossEyedDave said...

Anonymous said...
I don't get "Ease" for "Facility". Can someone explain?

January 22, 2014 at 10:01 AM See option #2.

This pic was listed under break free, I am still trying to figure it out...

HBD Marge!

HBD John Lampkin!

And, for Manac,, Catmantoo!

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Great puzzle, Kurt! But an audible groan broke FREE when I finally grasped the theme. Wow, lots of great stuff, JzB!

Happy birthday, John Lampkins! Happy birthday, Marge!

YR: Catorce is 14, not sixteen. Hope your surgery is successful. My husband had that done successfully and followed PT faithfully to regain full range of motion.

The puzzle had more furniture than usual: SETTEE, SOFA, DESK.

We were balmy here today with 38 degrees. The sunrise had a beautiful mimosa orange very wide band across the sky with temps in teens. No snow!

BIZ: my elder son just signed papers to become a partner in a business in which he has worked very hard for the past half-dozen years.

Ol' Man Keith said...

I shared my colleagues' perplexity over ANISEED, but in the end gambled that the perps were right, and so I won.

JazzB, I enjoyed the sources for your photos -- and especially appreciated the Monty Python LLAMA clip. Although we are all familiar with the llama from school study of So. America, I have to say I was surprised when we visited Peru to see how common they are - almost like pet dogs are here. Children would lead them by the nose through the streets and in market places.
In our second day at Machu Picchu, we saw a mother llama and her newborn in the main green of the old city. Within just a few minutes, the cria (the name for a llama baby) was taking his first steps. I snapped a photo of the little guy which I use now as my screen saver. Take a look at these lashes! Here's my Baby Llama.


Yellowrocks said...

PK Yes, catorce is 14 and plus 2 would ask me to remember 16, which I have forgotten. Catorce divided by 2 asked for siete which I do know.

Manac said...

In all seriousness,
I hope you all stay warm during this latest deep freeze.

Irish Miss, You are just a little north of me..Think we can blame CanadianEh! for this

We also avoided the snow this time.

Latest crime spree around here according to the news is the theft of firewood. Bawlsy if I may say so.
Bad idea to try it here.

TTP said...

JzB, great writeup on the Kurt Krauss puzzle.

BTW, didn't realize(at first)that I had to go back one day to get to the right cartoon.

The Machu Picchu jpg blew me away. Thanks for sharing!

Happy Birthday to John and Marge ! This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius !

I think I am using too many exclamation marks !!!

buckeye bob said...

TTP --
Very observant! I couldn't figure out that cartoon linkage to 56D, and didn't think to try one day earlier. Now it makes sense.

Bill G. said...

Animal Tracks

TTP said...

New England Patriot QB Tom Brady...

Tom Brady

Buckeye Bob, it wasn't making sense to me until I realized that Jazzbumpa wrote the review the night before...

LaurieRo said...

The Machu Picchu floating head reminded me of this panoramic photo with a dog walking through the shot.

Goldie said...

Just another 'dogs are better than cats' video.

Manac said...

Too Freaking funny!

I almost had an accident.

OwenKL said...

Thanks for the clarification. I also didn't realize this was the target strip.

Anonymous T said...

Good Eve PEE PEEs (Puzzle Pals abbr. spelled out!):

FOB - JazzB - I didn't include you last night while thanking C.C.'s write-up crew. My oversight and apologies.

#2 - HBD Mage & John!

Great write up today for Kurt's puzzle. This was fun 'cuz I got a Wed with only one (hand-up) write-over at 56d.

29a LOO was funny. I was worried I couldn't spell FRICASSEE, but the perps helped. Same with FREDeSTAIR (don't ask). 1a mostly perps. I knew it started & ended with an A, but thought there was an S in there somewhere. Nope.

FORSAKE from TMBG. Don't let the wierd album cover fool you, Jon & John are a fun band.

For Rock & Roll fans: The Boss with the E-STREET Band.

Small world story: Today I went to lunch with a vender. We talk shop and then traffic (it's Houston). "From where do you come in from?" I name my subdivision. Turns out we live 4 blocks from each other and our kids know each other. The only reason we never met was ballet v. gymnastics.

Is there a FRAT called BETA-BETA-BETA? Are they second best all around?

C-Eh? Thanks for the 1st EASE expo. I was confused too.

LEM - Joke Part I & II - LMAO!

D-O: I'm glad to hear the yanking went OK. Now take your drugs and don't forget to post as anon.

Cheers, -T

Blue Iris said...

Happy Birthday Marge. Hope you are well!

Happy Birthday, John! Entertaining write-up.

Puzzle fills seemed right up my alley today.

My husband took a college summer class titled CS Lewis's "Chronicles of Narnia." The professor wrote B for Baby for his grade. We had just had our first child.
We have an African bedroom decorated with our mementos from doing missionary work in Kenya.I always wished I had a large stuffed ASLAN to put on the bed.

My kids loved the VHS tapes of "Our Gang" so much they wore them out. ALFALFA sure stole the show.

Lucina said...

Your joke was laugh out loud hilarious!

Anonymous T said...

Blue Iris - wasn't the dog in Our Gang an American Pit Bull? I thought I read that somewhere, but I haven't seen the show since I read that.

From last night (new abbr. FLN?) kjinkc: yes, I am a techie. For the record I did offer resignation when I made a huge egg-on-face fubar.* My mea culpa and offer to fix before I left ingratiated me to my boss for 15+ years. A colleague dropped the whole database and fessed up. He's still here too. Another tech tried to hide a mistake - when a user escalated it to me, he was fired.

Maybe techies have a different ethic? Or at least we know to err is human - computers just make it more effeciant.

Cheers, -T
*try net send * your message here when needling a pal.

Blue Iris said...

HG, interesting link on ALFAFA.

JZB, That is really neat to find that history and poem. It always amazes me that even when man tries to do good on his own, he ends up falling into evil practices. Glad you are here!

BG,I make Zuppa Toscana soup at home. It is identical to Olive Garden's .

YR, I will be thinking of you and praying for surgery and the healing process.

Blue Iris said...

Anon T, yes-Petey was a pit bull.