Feb 14, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014, Xan Vongsathorn

Theme: U anagram U! Ryder truck rental competition.

The first & second letter of a familiar phrase is reversed to form a new word beginning with the letter "U" and clued whimsically. I guess since Valentine's Day is all about 'you', this all fits. Our second anagram based theme in a row.  So we have another variation of an anagram theme to add to the Friday fun, with a little teeny reveal. The constructor has been absent from the LAT for quite a while having had only one previous puzzle published back in 2009, though he does have 7 NYTs under his belt. Like Michael Sharp (a/k/a Rex Parker) he is from Pomona College. XAN. With two grid spanning answers we have 60 letters in the theme. This leads to a really high 3 and 4 letter word count for a Friday. There were a few fun longer fill, ADAM'S RIB, ASTEROID, I-POD NANO , SCREWED UP,  UP FOR SALE, but I leave the verdict up to you the jury, I am merely the court reporter.

17A. Vessel storing a cash stash? : URN FOR ONE'S MONEY (15). (RUN for one's money). I thought maybe we were also going to get some homonym action (EARN:URN).

25A. Layered computer connections? : USB SANDWICH (11). (SUB sandwich).

44A. Pet named for writer Sinclair? : UPTON THE DOG.(11). (PUT on the dog).  I think of it as Putting on the RITZ, (2:03) not the Dog.

58A. Tantrum that devolves into hysterical gibberish? : UNCLEAR MELTDOWN (15) NUCLEAR meltdown).

and the hint...

62A. "Lead the way!", and a phonetic hint to this puzzle's theme : YOU FIRST (8) (U first).


1. Hedge row : SHRUBS. I admit shrubbery always make me think of this LINK. (2:06)

7. Fox's "X-Files" partner : DANA. Fox Mulder and Dana Scully?

11. Rite Aid rival : CVS. A New England success story, a small local retail store Consumer Value Store started in the 60s in Woonsocket, RI, where my uncle Richard lived, eventually got in the pharmacy business and now has more stores than anyone.

14. Cozy spot? : TEAPOT. Really cute, as you put the cozy over the teapot to keep the tea warm.

15. Tiny tunes player : I-POD NANO. Another cute clue/fill.

19. Earlier : AGO.

20. Strong adhesive : EPOXY. Back when I played lacrosse we used epoxy and fiberglass tape to strengthen our wooden sticks. Now they are all some compound. "Today’s players use sticks with heads made of plastic; shafts made of aluminum, graphite, titanium, Kevlar®, or alloys of aluminum, magnesium, scandium, and zinc; pockets made of nylon mesh..." The Encyclopedia of Earth.

21. Some poker tells : TICS.

22. "Lady Jane Grey" playwright : ROWE. This play apparently was not a success, but we have seen the writer before. He put out some editions of Shakespeare's works. For fun you can read a 2008 C.C. blog.

24. Farm cry : OINK.

31. Bundle : SHEAF. A biblical word? Next to a pseudo-biblical clue?

32. Tracy/Hepburn battle-of-the-sexes film : ADAM' S RIB.

37. "You're on!" : DEAL.

38. Impact sound : SPLAT. Good comic book word.

40. Stoic philosopher : CATO.  He was of course the YOUNGER.

41. Telescope sighting : ASTEROID. Do you have a telescope Tin? This could be a reason for a quick belt. Speaking of belts...

43. Hunter of myth : ORION. Another star-crossed lover who ended in the sky.

47. Sudden blow : GUST.

50. Lined up, with "in" : A ROW.

51. Part of one's inheritance : GENE. Yes, my luck, I ended up with Rayburn.

52. Tend : SEE TO.

55. Oft-bruised item : EGO.

63. Actor Hugh : LAURIE. A really fine comedian, he was always very popular in my brother the medical researcher's house.

64. Gathered dust : SAT. For three letters, this took a while.

65. 2012 N.L. East champs : NATS. Nationals, success did not seem to suit them.

66. Had dinner : SUPPED. Wouldn't it be DINED and the other supper?


1. Handle for a chef? : STU. I fought against this what I guess is just a pun, but once the USB revealed the U, and I already had the S and T...

2. Juno, to Homer : HERA. Roman is to Greek as...

3. Chimed : RANG.

4. On the market : UP FOR SALE. Another U turn for me.

5. Discontented cry : BOO. Hoo thought of this first? I did not? Bah!

6. Scattered : STREWN.

7. T. Rex, e.g. : DINO. Flintstones?

8. Summit : APEX. The old Acme Apex challenge.

9. Getting into the wrong business? : NOSY. Stick your nose where it does not belong...

10. Nav. bigwig : ADMiral.

11. "Emperor of the Air" novelist : CANIN. I thought this was particularly obscure, and I would never have gotten this answer but for it being filled before I saw the clue. I have seen the movie Emperor's Club, and being a prep school product I knew a little about his work, but not his name. ETHAN. The film was also filmed at Emma Willard (from yesterday's comment by IM about Scent of a Woman).

12. Certain tee : V-NECK.

13. Sauces for sushi : SOYS. Are there more than one soy sauce for sushi? Did you remember sushi means rice?

16. Denier's words : NOT I.

18. Column with a slant : OP ED. I will not OP EN that argument door.

23. Big galoot : OAF.

24. Electrician's unit : OHM. Yes, my nephew is a master electrician, who wires lots of kitchens; their anthem is Ohm Ohm on the Range.

25. Rib-eye rating gp. : USDAUnited States Department of Agriculture.

26. Witches, but not warlocks : SHES. Simple, but tricky.

27. Knocked out : BEAT. Nope, do not see these as synonymous unless you know you are fighting.

28. Character found in kids' books : WALDO. I would have loved the clue to be 'sometimes found'  but I applaud the concept.

29. Peak of Crete : IDA. Interesting HISTORY in mythology, but I think of CHARLEY WEAVER. And the odd coincidence that Emma Willard School is on Mount Ida overlooking Troy, NY.

30. Victim of curiosity : CAT. Killed no less!

33. Made a mess of : SCREWED UP.

34. Surprise strike : RAID.

35. "__, Sing America": Hughes : I TOO. The poem by Langston Hughes, the ORIGINAL. (1:09).

36. Low bell sound : BONG. I wonder if this was the author's clue...

38. Dip, as in gravy : SOP.

39. Nectarine core : PIT.

42. Symbol of boredom : RUT. Are we in an anagram rut?

43. "Well, looky here!" : OHO. Meh.

45. "Six Feet Under" son : NATE. Never watched this SHOW.(4:28).

46. High-tech troublemakers : TROLLS. How funny, a shout out to my Friday fans.

47. Italian port on its own gulf : GENOA.

48. In its original form : UNCUT. Are they talking circumcision here?

49. Help beneficiary, at times : SELF. Libraries and book stores are overflowing with self help books, but if you buy them is it really self help?

51. Blokes : GUYS. It was nice to NICE CUPPA.

52. First name in the freezer section : SARA. Nobody does not like Sara Lee.

53. Once, in days past : ERST. Did it take you a while to get this one?

54. CPR specialists : EMTSEmergency Medical Ttechnicians.

56. Hiker's supply : GORP.

57. Boo-boo : OWIE.

59. A, in Stuttgart : EIN.

60. St. Anthony's Cross shape : TAU. Greek to me.

61. Nancy Drew's guy : NED.

Well I want to wish our dear friend, constructor, blogger, poster, ski bum, wine connoisseur and house renovator the happiest of birthdays and perhaps an early spring. Thank you marti for all you have done for me and the Corner. For the rest of you I hope you enjoyed our visit and the puzzle, until next time Lemonade out.

Note from C.C.:

Lemonade said it all. Thank you, dear Marti, for being there for me and the Corner. Happy Birthday!

Marti & her husband Allen


George Barany said...

I'll second the birthday greetings to Marti. UR lucky to have February 14 as a birthday!

Appropriate to the day, try Charles Deber's All You Need is Love, and enjoy!

OwenKL said...

If you want a RUN FOR YOUR MONEY,
Spend it some sweet little honey.
Made from sugar and spice
And other things nice,
But clingy, bees don't make it runny!

The gambling Earl, they say,
Wasn't known to be a gourmet.
When he left to play poker
His nephew took over
And served as SUB SANDWICH that day!

If you're going to PUT ON THE DOG
You really should do it whole hog.
From the feet in white spats
To the best of top hats --
Even though you're just out for a jog!

It's Valentine's Day, do not frown.
Take your love and go out on the town.
You must act like a suitor,
So ignore the computer
Or face a NUCLEAR (family) MELT-DOWN!

Barry G. said...

Took me awhile to get going, but finally sussed out the theme and had a blast solving. Went way over allotted time, however, and now I'm running late...

Barry G. said...

Happy Birthday to Marti!

OwenKL said...

Got it, but NW & all across the S both took a while. NW, I had PEAPOD instead of TEAPOT, a place that was cozy instead of where to put a cozy, which SCREWED UP the perps and the perp's perps. Likewise SEEMS instead of SEETO, but that wasn't so bad because I didn't get those perps anyway until late in the process. The CVS clue, I didn't know Rite Aid except as the Masonic Scottish Rite charity for helping children. Never heard of GORP before, and didn't know authors CANIN or ROWE, but everything else was just figuring out the right way to tickle my memory.

Liked the gimmick, and the reveal helped with all four theme entries. When I got URN***MONEY, I had been expecting a pun theme. I admire Xan's ingenuity in coming up with those twists.

Big Easy said...

Happy Valentine's day. I struggled but managed to finish. Perps solved it for me as I got the theme with UPTONTHEDOG. Not being a movie or TV person makes for many WAGS. I liked that the only foreign word was in German, which I took in college. I like the puzzles that cause me to go through two or three times.

Apres vous.

Argyle said...

Marti is probably out digging a snow Tunnel of Love this morning.

Al Cyone said...

I was up pretty much all night worrying about my roof (especially when the snow turned to sleet and freezing rain) so I did the puzzle at 3:00 AM. And, with all the stress, it was nice not to have a Friday DNF. The theme was clever (I got USBSANDWICH first). And kudos to CVS for its decision to stop selling cigarettes.

If anyone is looking for a good, no-frills radar site, this is the one I go to in times like this. It's quiet right now but 6 hours ago it was pretty ugly.

I hope everyone's safe. We got about 16" here in the beautiful mid-Hudson valley (for an on-the-ground total of about 27"). I won't be going anywhere anytime soon.


Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Hopped all over the puzzle ironing out kinks, but no major snags, and just a few unknowns. Saw the theme early on, and benefitted from its uniformity in transposing only the first two letters. Very nice craftsmanship!

Happy Birthday, Marti! Much later today I'll take a break from snow shoveling and raise a glass or three in your honor! :-)

For those who remember, it was almost exactly one year ago that Ed the Enthusiastic Blaster came and loosened up the bedrock on my property. This morning, for the first time, I had the pleasure of waking up and doing the puzzle in our brand-new house. Phew! That was a long pull.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Happy birthday, Marti! I hope you don't spend it painting or wall-papering.

I liked this puzzle, and even figured out the theme. My high-tech troublemaker started out as a Trojan, but that was singular and the clue demanded a plural. Thought the last theme answer was the toughest. I got hung up on UNCLE, but once OOPS changed to OWIE it all fell together.

Lemon, if you beat someone, she could be knocked out of the running. Doesn't have to be a fist-fight.

desper-otto said...

Somebody in captchaland has a sense of humor. After my last post the captcha changed to "true love" in red.

thehondohurricane said...

Hi Folks,

A pleasant Friday offering today from Xan even though I wasn't too thrilled with the theme clues. The perps saved me a lot of aggravation because some of the across clues, in addition to the themes, were ?????. Managed to get it done though.

Favorites were 1D Handle for a chef/STU & 18D Column with a slant/OPED.

There wasn't a Hepburn/Tracy movie I did not like. They were perfect together. Kate spent a summer or two in Winsted, Ct (my original hometown). She would sit on the hotel porch for parts of each day solving algebra equations, then it would be off to Highland Lake for some beach time. No rumors of Spencer ever making an appearance or two, but only Kate & Spencer know for sure.

Easton left 8" here with another 2" to 6" due tomorrow. Sunday, who knows? Certainly not the prognosticators. Another weekend of business likely shot down.

Happy birthday Marti. Have a wonderful day.

Mari said...

Good morning everybody, Happy Friday! Happy Valentines Day! Happy Birthday Marti! Wow all around - what a day to celebrate.

Good puzzle today. Any Friday puzzle that I can finish on my own is a good one. I didn't catch the revurse U phrases, but I did get allof the fill, theme clues and unifier.

My favorite clue today was 9D: Getting into the wrong business? NOSY.

The word GORP cracks me up. I've seen granola and trail mix, but I've never seen a store carry GORP.

Have a great day.

PS: Did anybody else get a cute captcha today? I got a little teddy bear icon and the unmangled word "roses".

LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

I had a tough time getting started on this and finally managed to get CVS and SOYS. I then worked from right to left just the opposite of what I usually do.

I had no idea of what the theme might be but like Lemonade, I thought the URN - earn thing might be in play. Nope. As perps helped me with USB SANDWICH, I caught on and had great fun solving the rest. A wonderful puzzle, Xan Vongsathorn - hope to see more from you.

~ Write-overs: Bah/BOO and Bushes/SHRUBS.

~ I always wrinkle my nose at the 'OHO' answer when we get it. I have never heard it said. It's always AHA! But then, I'm sure that's not true for everyone.

~ Lemon - thanks for a wonderful write-up. I really enjoyed all your added info.

~ Dudley - Congrats on the new house!

~ Marti - A very Happy Birthday to you! Wine and a fireplace is in order for your day rather than paintbrushes and walls! Wishing you a great year. Hope to see more puzzles from you soon - in your spare time? ;-)

Dudley said...


Since Mari got a teddy bear and roses, I figured I better give this Captcha a look-see.

Yellowrocks said...

Sussing the theme very early made this a fast puzzle for a Friday. It made all the other theme answers obvious. NOSY was my first toehold. CANIN was all perps and looked strange.
I always associate SHEAF with a sheaf of papers. SHEAF also reminds me of Halloween, a sheaf of cornstalks.
Link sheaf

PUT ON THE DOG is a common phrase in our family, more common than put on the Ritz.

The cross in the write up is a Latin cross, with the arms and top of equal length and a longer stem. St. Anthony’s cross is shaped like a TAU or T with two short arms, no top, and a longer stem.
Link text
Congratulations, Dudley on the completion of your new home.

Marti, a very happy birthday to you. I look forward to your always sparkly Thursday blogs. I like your style.

Kentucky Kate said...

Here's to a little romance for everyone today! My CAPTCHA alone made a comment necessary: The word Valentine in red, with hot air balloons on either side!

Thank you for a good puzzle and good commentary. Always a delight and still something of a surprise when I can finish a Friday. Favorite clue today is "Cozy spot?" and favorite answer is "Upton The Dog". I would more generally think of Puttin' on the Ritz and "Put Out the Dog [please]", but this worked and was fun.

I did want 4D and 33D to be thematic, too, but the UP at the upper row for 4D and the Up on the end for 33D at the bottom row were nicely done.


Yellowrocks said...

XAN, thanks for a fun puzzle.
Lemonade, thanks for your always informative write up.
Here's an old favorite poem for Valentine's Day:

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Lucina said...

Happy Valentine's Day, friends!

Happy birthday, Marti!! I hope it is very special and fabulous.

I, too, had fun with this puzzle though it forced me to think deeply in some areas such as STREWN, SHEAF, SHES (as Lemon noted, simple but tricky) and UP FOR SALE because AVAILABLE fit so well.

For once I got the theme right away and that helped with UNCLEAR and YOU FIRST.

The expression PUT(TING) ON THE DOG is familiar to me.

CATO eluded me for a while because I was sure XENO was the stoic but couldn't reconcile SX- when finally it all filled nicely.

Thank you Xan Vongsathorn and thank you, Lemonade, for your ever insightful commentary.

Have a delightful Valentine's Day, everyone! It's all about love: of family, of neighbor, and of those closest to us.

(My captcha is chocolates!)

Lucina said...

Congratulations on finishing your home, Dudley!

HeartRx said...

Happy Valentines Day, everyone!

Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes. I am so lucky to have found C.C.'s Corner, and enjoy all the camaraderie, jokes, and back and forth discussions we have here. You have all become my second family.

Congratulations, Dudley, on your new home! Now that it is done and you have so much spare time on your hands, I think you should come show me how it's done next door. (I have spare paintbrushes!)

I really enjoyed the puzzle today. Like Al Cyone, I was up at 4 AM worrying about roofs, snow, sleet, freezing rain, shoveling, and finishing the house next door by March 1 (when the tenants are supposed to move in). So it was a nice diversion.

I couldn't get a toehold on the theme entries at all, until I got down to UPTON THE DOG (the best one, IMO). But since I didn't have the beginnings of any others, I was still bemused until I got to YOU FIRST. OHO! Well looky here - I figured it out!!


buckeye bob said...

Thank you for the challenge, Xan. Thank you for the excellent review, Lemonade.

This was not an easy puzzle for me, but then it is Friday. In the end, it took me a little longer than normal, but I got it done without red letter help. Woo-hoo! It was a good challenge!

I had many “write-overs” that misled me for a while. I thought the theme was U-first, meaning each theme answer started with U. I didn’t appreciate the full meaning of the theme until I came here. Thanks, Lemony!

Congratulations on your new house, Dudley!

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

Happy, happy birthday, Marti! I enjoy your puzzles, your reviews, and your comments! Enjoy your very special day!

Oh, no special captcha here today. But I did learn that CAPTCHA is an acronym. Huh!

CrossEyedDave said...

Busy day, haven't read the comments yet. I just wanted to say:

HBD Marti!

I would like to say something about the puzzle, but Thumper is stopping me...

desper-otto said...

Dudley, congrats on finishing your new home. I went through one home-building experience and vowed never to do it again.

YR, your sheaf comment reminded me of my ute. Mom used to hang the laundry outside to dry, and she'd send my brother and me out to bring it in. We'd go, "Bringin' in the sheets, bringin' in the sheets. We shall go rejoicing, bringin' in the sheets." Maybe you had to be there....


Husker Gary said...

-Where’s the nearest CVS? Look across the street from the Walgreens.
-EPOXY’s fine but I can’t imagine what this stuff won’t hold
-Brain Games on Discovery Channel had a woman say NO for every question when an illusionist was asking what her card was. Every time her response of NO was a lie, her tell was that she pursed her lips. He soon deduced that she had a red card, a heart and that it was the ace.
-Modern media people in the manner of Adam’s Rib
-Finding ORION is a piece ‘o cake
-Items that just SAT on the shelf can get new life in American Restoration
-If Green Green worked yesterday, surely this is today’s anthem
-Surely an electrician’s mantra would be, well, you know…
-Kids play a basketball game called Knock Out where you try to BEAT the other players
-Might one SUP on GORP?
-A very happy birthday to our lovely Valentine Marti.
-What did Clint Eastwood get for SARA in a 1970 movie?

C6D6 Peg said...

Fine puzzle and great write-up!

Happy Birthday, Marti!

Anonymous said...

Once again, a forced, inaccurate Friday write-up.

I wouldn't call the theme answers anagrams.

Thanks for the care and respect to get the correct cross.

Also, thanks for showing the correct completed grid.

CanadianEh! said...

This one was a workout but I finally got the theme reveal and then went AHA (NOT OHO).

Smiled at COSY SPOT=TEAPOT and VICTIM OF CURIOSITY=CAT. I had DIANA before ORION and couldn't fit YAWN into the 3 letter space for SYMBOL OF BOREDOM. My brain saw DENIER as a hosiery thickness at first. You don't want to know what I wanted for MADE A MESS OF but it did end with EDUP!

Will somebody explain the STU Chef? I'm missing something simple?!

Some of you have been complaining about service at CVS. And we had more CSOs today (10D to Spitzboov and even one to our TROLLS).

My son loved Where's WALDO. I suspect his daughter will be the same.

HBD to Marti and Happy Valentine's Day to all.
(I have teddy bear and roses Captcha!)

Anonymous said...

Of course, they are anagrams. Who is inaccurate?

Anonymous said...

IMHO, I feel the constructor SCREWED UP when he included non-theme answers that included a YOU FIRST, i.e. UP FOR SALE and UNCUT.

desper-otto said...

Canadian Eh, how 'bout Stew Chef?

Lemonade714 said...

Stu = stew

Who is inaccurate? We all are at times, like my point about sushi and rice; what I was trying to say is that many people assume sushi has to do with raw fish, but is actually related to the sour tasting rice (a special vinegar treated rice I have been told).

Webster said...

I thought anagrams were WORDS formed from other words.

USB is a word? Can't use it in Scrabble or Words With Friends.

If USB is an anagram of BUS, then SSA must be an anagram of ASS.

Anonymous said...

Still would like to see the completed grid, please.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Answer Grid is on now. Sorry for the omission earlier.

Bumppo said...

11D "Emperor of the Air" novelist: CANIN. Wikipedia says Emperor of the Air is a collection of short stories, not a novel. Although Ethan Canin has written novels also (and is, therefore, a novelist), the clue is a bit misleading.

Annette said...

Hello, all! Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Birthday, Marti!

Enjoyable puzzle today. My favorite clue was the one for TEAPOT.

Nice write-up, Lemonade!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

First things first: Very Happy Burthday Wishes to our Marvelous Marti. Hope you have a wonderful day, sans paintbrushes!

Congratulations, Dudley, on FINALLY getting to enjoy your new home. Best wishes for many happy and healthy years in it.

Notwithstanding the craftsmanship of Xan's achievement, I second CED's and Thumper's opinions. Great expo, Marti.

We got 17" of snow (added to what was already on the ground) and are expecting a few more inches tomorrow. The problem today is the wind, causing blowing and drifting.

Lemon, I live on one of the many, steep hills of Mt. Ida. In fact, my townhouse development is on the former grounds of a hospital for the criminally insane.

DO @ 7:07 - We Trojans are NOT trouble makers, high tech or otherwise! (-:

Have a great Friday. No warm and fuzzy captcha for me; just the usual blurry, almost unreadable ones.

fermatprime said...


Happy Valentine's Day!

A very happy birthday, Marti!

Thanks for doable and fun Friday, Xan, and fine expo, Lemon! Loved the theme answers. Especially USB SANDWICH. Have we seen SCREWED UP before?

A friend brought over an inflated heart at about midnight! Tied it to my bedside table.


(My second horrible captcha is "ningbmis", I think. Why not a cute one for me?)

Irish Miss said...

Sincere apologies to Lemon. Of course it was your great expo, not Marti's. I don't know where my mind was.

fermatprime said...

Oops! Forget to sat "Congrats", Dudley! What a great feeling it must be!

Also, great work, Owen!

Thanks YR. Always enjoy that poem!

Irish Miss said...

More apologies to Marti: Happy Birthday, not Burthday! Where IS my mind this morning?

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

First off, HBD, Marti - and many more!

I love the anons who never contribute anything either positive or useful, then come here complaining they don't get enough for free, and bitch about the write ups.

46 Downers they are.

Real struggle today. The NW corner fell last. Unifier helped me get the theme. Which absolutely uses anagrams, BTW, though the unifier doesn't give that part away.

For St. V's day, here's one of my love poems.


Where does love come from?
Are you inspired by a face,
A line curved or straight,
The sound of a laugh,
Or a sob,
The color of eyes?

What is the source of heat?
Is it the friction of skin,
The brush of a lip or finger,
Or a touch,
In a secret place?

What happens when souls meet?
Do they reach beyond space and time
In a spiral of yin and yang,
Chasing destiny,
The filling of voids?

What does your love mean to me?
Am I eased by your presence,
warmed by your smile,
Completed only
When our souls touch?

Cool regards!

Yellowrocks said...

Actually sushi is more than the cold vinegared rice. To be sushi it should be wrapped in seaweed. It is always either topped with something: raw fish, cooked, fish, vegetable, or even omelet-like egg, or has this wrapped in the center of the rice. Although raw fish is the most popular, there are many non-raw fish varieties.

Bill G. said...

Some clever and tricky clues. I enjoyed the struggle. Thanks Xan and Lemon.

Congratulation Dudley! That must make you very happy.

Happy Birthday Marti! I enjoy having gotten to know you.

This is a wonderful place to hang out. Thanks CC and everybody else that contributes.

Lemonade714 said...

Annette, good to see you out and about, I take that as encouraging. Have you written Husker Gary to be included on our Corner map?

The rest of you?

Misty said...

Marti, I wouldn't have been able to get this puzzle if I hadn't had your early P & P advice (patience and perseverance) to encourage me to stay with it. So it was a special delight to be able to wish you a wonderful Birthday today! Yay!

Tough but very satisfying Friday puzzle, Xan--many thanks. I got the U start but not the anagram, so many thanks to you, Lemonade, for 'splainin' it.

I got the south pretty easily but the north gave me fits. I wanted SOU CHEF instead of STU for the longest time, and of course, BAH instead of BOO. Kept thinking the TEE had to do with golf (which I know nothing about) rather than shirts. Never heard of CANIN or ROWE. But slowly, slowly it all fell into place, especially after I finally figured out the clever TEAPOT cozy and the clever OP ED as that slanted column.

A great way to end the week. Have a good one, everybody!

River Doc said...

Happy Friday everybody!

FINALLY got the “U” connection, but, alas, DNF today….


There’s an iPOD equivalent in both my iPhone and iPad – Ay-Ay-Ay! (hey, maybe that’s another letter theme for a future puzzle)…!

DANA Carvey sure was NOSY as the Church Lady on SNL….

As mentioned before, Chuck Norris doesn’t like SARA Lee….

When I think of “U” RANG? this GUY comes to mind….

Regular ol’ captcha here….

Finally, HBD to Marti, and many more…!

Lemonade714 said...

Of course my use of the term "anagram" was perhaps stretching the concept, but it was apparently quite easily understood by the vast majority of readers to signify the rearranging of letters. Obviously here where only the first two letters of a phrase are reversed to create a new phrase, which might begin with a an accepted non-word like USB, which is an accepted, meaningful the same time, I understand the idea that puzzles should be consistent and precise, but that is what they are about and any write up should adhere to that standard. I am open to suggestions as to how to convey the idea of this the work where the first two letters are transposed and anew word/phrase in made - without mentioning anagram.

Anonymous said...

YOUFIRST tells us that Mr. Vongsathorn has taken phrases whose second letter is U and moved the U to the beginning of the phrase, clueing the resulting phrase “wacky-style”.

Short, clear and precise.

john28man said...

I got all the theme answers without realizing the reversing of the letters. I thought the revealer was that the themes started with U. Still, I did well for me in a Friday.

Happy Valentines Day to all.

CrossEyedDave said...

You first...

U first...

I don't understand why I didn't get it the first time...

( Although, this is my favorite you first pic!)

Lemonade714 said...

And how does "You First" indicate the second letter is a u?

Steve said...

Happy Birthday Marti!

Enjoyed the challenge with this one but it did take me almost half an hour put me behind schedule for the morning.

I glanced down at the odometer on my car yesterday just as it ticked to 125,000 miles, and not 400 yards after I said to myself "still running good as new" it started making weird noises and the "Check Engine" light came on. Serves me right - now I'm off to wish my mechanic a Happy Valentine's Day.

Ol' Man Keith said...

My easiest Friday pzl! A fast and perfect finish!
Not that I think it wasn't tough, but for some reason this one called out to my intuitive side. I was guessing wildly, so unsure of a lot of my answers that I penned almost everything in lightly. The only dark ink was for HERA, my one gimme. I only jot this tentatively when I expect write-overs.
Turns out my only re-writes were BAH to BOO and SARE(?) to SARA. Everything else worked first time.
A gold medal morning! USA, USA!

buckeye bob said...

Baseball spring training has now begun, with pitchers and catchers reporting first. The full squads report in another week to a week and a half. After that, the games begin.

Considering this, can spring and summer be far behind? Whether you are a baseball fan or not, it is something to look forward to, after all this cold, snow, and ice!

This video includes some vintage film clips from baseball's good ole days.

John Fogerty - Centerfield

desper-otto said...

Husker, I figured lots of folks would have answered by now. I think it was two mules that he got for Sister Sara.


SwenglishMom said...

Just wanted to see the captcha! Sweet Valentine with those cute sweetheart candies. I'd forgotten about those -- not available in Sweden despite its love affair with candy. Thanks for the write up and comments, poems and links -- always a lovely time visiting the Corner.

Spitzboov said...

Good afternoon everyone.

Happy Birthday, Marti. Drei mal hoch!

Started off daunting today but began to fill in here and there, mainly in the West. First theme fill was USB SANDWICH. Finally got SCREWED UP in the SE and sussed V-NECK and the solve came home. Overall, I enjoyed Xan's puzzle.

Partly agree with Can. Eh on 10d, but entry was way over my paygrade.

If you like a little armchair travel here is a pilot's seat view video of plane landing at the Queenstown, New Zealand Airport.. What makes it so interesting is that the airport, which is located in a mountain valley, is completely shrouded in clouds from the altitude the airplane is cruising. There is some extreme “pucker flying here.” (Queenstown is on the South Island in the SW fjord district.)

Happy Valentine's Day to all.

Annette said...

Thanks for the heads-up about the map, Lemon! And, yes I'm doing better right now. The 'chemo brain' fog has lifted now that my treatments are done, so I can put 2 thoughts together again and read the blog! Physically, it'll take a little longer to recover... Another CT scan next month will tell more.

Having fun, easily readable CAPTCHAs today also made posting much more inviting.

Sadly, many familiar names have disappeared from the blog while I've been away. However, seeing a few poems here today was a wonderful reminder of ClearEyes!

Anonymous said...


That's the beauty of Friday puzzles. They're quite puzzling.

CrossEyedDave said...

OMG! Spitzboov, Thank you for posting that @ 2:05pm

(There is no way I would do that without some one showing it to me first.)

Bill G. said...

BB, I love "Centerfield." Thanks. John Fogerty has one of the best R&R voices ever. (I also love most everything by CCR.)

PK said...

Happy Valentine's Day! Y'all warm my heart every day! Thanks, witty & wonderful Lemonade. Thanks, Xan!

Heartfelt Happy Birthday, Marti! May your new tenants appreciate all your hard work and treat the house kindly.

This puzzle filled faster than the usual Friday for me despite not being quite on my wave length. I missed the anagram thing. I thought the theme was just dumb. After Lemon's expo, I realized It was I who was dumb.

Congrats, Dudley, on the realization of all your hard work with the new house. Did you have bad weather for the move?

Thanks everyone for all the good poetry today.

PUT ON THE DOG is for folks who aren't UP TO ritzy.

D-O, I used to sing "Bringing in the Sheets" to my little kids when performing that task. LOL!

My AF son is on US soil once more after 6 mos. of deployment to the land of sands. However, weather delays have added at least two days to the trip home. He is still half a continent away from his wife and sons today. They are anxious to be reunited. Spitz, I'll watch your NZ link after he lands safely at home.

HeartRx said...

HG, once again, you and I are on the same wavelength. I knew your epoxy link was absolutely going to be GORILLA GLUE!! Boy, have I been using a lot of that stuff lately. Word to the wise: use gloves when working with it. It turns black on your skin and absolutely cannot be washed off…I found that sandpaper worked, but I was left with no skin on my fingertips for a week.

Oh, and for your question about Clint Eastwood in a 1970 movie? Don’t be an ass! (But d-otto already gave the answer…)

Irish Miss, at my age, I will take birthday wishes any way I can get ‘em!!

Misty, I am so glad to see that you are hanging in there on these tougher end-of-week puzzles. But please don’t credit me – YOU are the one with the tenacity to get them done!

Spitz, thanks for the German wishes – Hoch sol ich leben (…with friends on the Corner!!!)

Oh, and BTW, my birthday did include "some" painting: I got a pedicure.

creature said...

Hope you 've had a great bday, Marty, as well as a wonderful Valentines day. We joined the corner the same week and I was taken by your Bday date. Sounds as if you're really busy…as usual. Love to see before and after of your next door project.Thanks for the shootouts the other day. I've really missed those
you all.

Trying to get in the groove with you all again. Love.

creature said...

I mean shout outs.

Avg Joe said...

Late checking due to a B Buster day.

Enjoyed the puzzle. I don't usually find anagrams amusing, but this theme worked well IMO.

Happy Birthday, Marti! Enjoy the day off (assuming you actually took one).

And congratulations Dudley. It was nearly 7 years ago that we moved into our new house. It's still not done :-)

Irish Miss said...

Al Cyone from yesterday - Thank you for posting that link. What a powerful (and beautifully written) essay.

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, Xan Vongsathorn, for a fine puzzle. hank you, Lemonade, for a fine write-up.

I have been absent from the blog for a few days, but have done the puzzle on all of those days. I am in Pennsylvania and have been very busy. Getting on the blog is not as easy here as it is in Chicago.

happy birthday, Marti, and many mo

Thought this puzzle was very good. Enjoyed it.

Caught part of the theme, but missed the anagram part until I got here. I thought the U's were it.

I think my wife and youngest daughter have IPOD NANOs.

I wonder of Lady Grey is any relation to Earl Grey, my favorite tea.

GORP is well known to me. I spent two summers eating it on the Appalachian Trail. My mother, who I hiked with, made it. It tastes chocolatey and is chewy. Supposed to be full of energy and not very heavy to carry, a big concern on the Trail. We have had GORP in puzzles before.

I thought the two grid spanners were great.

I enjoyed Hugh LAURIE in House.

Liked your video Spitz. Wonder what kind of airplane that was?

I was heading to Virginia from Pennsylvania, but called off that part of the trip due to the weather. Cannot take a chance of getting stuck there because of my class on Tuesdays. Heading back to Illinois this weekend.

OwenKL: The Scottish Rite "Rite Aid" must be part of the Southern Jurisdiction. I have never heard of that in the North. Belong to three Valleys up here, so I do get a lot of newsletters. Enjoyed your poem, as always.

See you tomorrow.



HeartRx said...

Creature, I chuckled when I read your "shootouts" comment. There never would be those aimed at you, for sure.

fermatprime said...

Annette: So glad to hear that the chemo is over!

Jazz: Thanks for the poem. You wrote it?

Husker Gary said...

Musings 2
-Yes, Clint Eastwood’s character was obtaining Two Mules For Sister Sara played by Shirley McClaine who is thought of very highly by certain bloggers here!
-Marti, I used to use Elmer’s Glue for porous surfaces and Super Glue for non porous but Gorilla Glue can hold anything to anything, uh, except it can’t hold a politician to a promise.
-I hope Allen came through big time!
-Our grocery store has a very nice floral shop and men were lined up 10 deep to get their last minute valentines in the middle of this Valentine’s afternoon. The smell of desperation was in the air.
-Annette, look for a .pdf tonight

Dudley said...

Thanks for all the kind remarks, Puzzlers! We are enjoying the new place, but we can't seem to believe how discombobulated we are. Avg. Joe, we have a million undone things, and we've been warned that many will stay that way forever. We hope to break the average a bit, but still...

PK (the real one, no doubt) - yes, it was snowing like mad when we started schlepping in enough supplies to stay here, but it's not that drastic. Our old place is just three miles away and it's not on the market yet. We chose to move gradually just to make it more manageable.

Spitz- Beautiful scenery! It's rare around here to have a cloud layer that's so smooth both top and bottom, but I've seen it occasionally. The transition from clear weather on top to cloud below is always kinda fun. You probably noticed there was significant time compression on that video; an instrument approach actually unfolds more gradually, with less of a sense of danger.

thehondohurricane said...

Buck eye bob @1:29 PM

Great link. May's catch robbing Vic Wertz in Game one of the '54 World Series, Thomson's Shot heard round the world, so many Yankee & Dodger big moments but the best part was the beginning. It was the opening scenes from Once Upon A Time In The West... my favorite western movie.

TTP said...

Hello fellow puzzlers.

Happy Birthday Marti. Dudley, congrats.

No real problems with the puzzle, but I missed the theme with the U being moved.

CVS ? Buy a pack of chewing gum and get a receipt that's a foot long.

We're supposed to get another 1 to 3 inches tomorrow. Not much, but I'll bet drought stricken Californian would take all of the moisture that's been dumped in the midwest and east coast. We can all expect food prices, especially fruits, vegetables and nuts) to rise this year.

I reloaded my captcha multiple times. No Valentines specials for me. I rarely get numbers either.

Thanks to Lemonade for the nice writeup. I saw some of the anon complaints. If I ever did the writeup there would be a revolt with my attempts at explanations. Plus, I would miss the themes.

HeartRx said...

HG, he made dinner for me. That is big time.

PK said...

Dudley, you mentioned the cloud layer in NZ on Spitz link. I just read a book about NZ entitled, "The Land of the Long White Cloud", by Sarah Lark. From that book I understood that this is an unusual phenomena often seen over that country.

P.S. The book and the second in the series is very compelling if you like historical novels. They kept me reading until I was too blind to read at 7 a.m. I recommended them to a friend who had visited NZ. She was griping about reading all night also.

Jazzbumpa said...

fermat -

Yep - it's a JzB original.


Jayce said...

Happy birthday, Marti.
Congratulations, Dudley.

GarlicGal said...

Just a quick late check in.

Happy V-Day to one and all. Happy New House Day, Dudley! Happy Birthday Day, Marti!

The puzzle took a little longer this morning, but I got it and the theme. UN-believable!!!

Have a nice evening all.

Bill G. said...

Since Buckeye Bob linked Centerfield, here's my favorite John Fogerty song. Dunno why but it is...
Out My Back Door

Argyle said...

"My Funny Valentine" Hal McIntyre with vocals by Ruth Gaylor, 1945


Lucina said...

Very impressive poem!

Bill G. said...

Another actress in my list of women with very appealing faces.

Ellen Page