Feb 24, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014 Melanie Miller

Theme: "Are You Ready to Par-tay?" - Party, party, me hearties. A different party can be found aft of both words in the starred entries.

20A. *Powerful stratum of society : RULING CLASS. Ruling party; Class party, mostly for the younger grades.

11D. *Picturesque spot for a warm drink : TEA GARDEN. Tea party; Garden party, cue Ricky: (3:56)

58A. *When brandy may be served : AFTER DINNER. After party, think Oscars, Emmys; Dinner party.

35D. *Place for changing out of a wet suit : POOL HOUSE. Pool party; House party, at Dudley's.

40A. Continue with the fun, and a hint to each part of the answers to starred clues : PARTY ON

Argyle here. A pin wheel grid around a central unifier. Strong blocks around the outside and some interesting fill for a Monday. Ms. Miller has come through again although something is lacking.


1. To-do list item : TASK. Not any particular task.

5. Short-lived crazes : FADs

9. Destroy beyond repair : TOTAL

14. Yodeler's feedback : ECHO

15. Landed : ALIT

16. "Laughing" critter : HYENA

17. Teensy bit : A TAD

18. A hop, skip and jump away : NEAR

19. Savanna antelope : ELAND

23. In high spirits : GAY

24. Spread out, as one's fingers : SPLAY

25. __ New Guinea : PAPUA

27. Large seaweed : KELP

30. Mixed in a glass : STIRRED

33. Travel book inserts : MAPS

36. Bard's nightfall : E'EN

38. Take care of : HANDLE

39. Game with Wild Draw Four cards : UNO. Most kids love it.

42. Keebler cookie character : ELF

43. Stone-faced : STOLID

45. Side with green eggs : HAM

46. Part of MIT: Abbr. : INST. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

47. Unit of explosive force : KILOTON

49. Anjou, e.g. : PEAR. A firm-fleshed green-skinned variety of pear. Also, red-skinned.

51. Memorable labor leader Jimmy : HOFFA

52. Rinsed the soap from, as a car : HOSED. Or, rinsed the salt from.

56. GI R&R provider : USO. (United Service Organizations)

62. __ and crossbones : SKULL. We hear about Eli's and Bulldogs but the Skull and Bones Society at Yale...not so much.

64. Innovator's spark : IDEA

65. Additional : MORE

66. Studio stand : EASEL

67. Line in blue cheese : VEIN

68. Diva's solo : ARIA

69. Rose parts : STEMS

70. Comes to a close : ENDS

71. Require : NEED


1. Glum drops : TEARS. An original clue? I like it.

2. Behave poorly : ACT UP

3. "I __ return": MacArthur : SHALL

4. Large Alaskan bears : KODIAKs. Out for a family stroll. See JD's from yesterday.


5. Vampire tooth : FANG

6. Baldwin in Capital One ads : ALEC

7. Call on a retro phone : DIAL

8. Bra parts : STRAPS

9. Many an Actors Studio member : THESPIAN

10. Popeye's Olive : OYL

12. Actress Paquin of "True Blood" : ANNA

13. British noblewoman : LADY

21. TV educator Bill in a lab coat : NYE

22. Didn't go out : SAT HOME

26. Vessel on a mantel : URN

28. Bat first : LEAD OFF

29. Each : PER

31. Angled pipes : ELLs

32. Adept : DEFT

33. Cologne scent : MUSK

34. Not pro : ANTI

37. To the __ degree : NTH

40. Traps for the unwary : PITFALLS
41. Big mouth, informally : YAP

44. John of London? : LOO

46. Armored superhero : IRONMAN

48. One who was born there : NATIVE

50. Yellowfin tuna : AHI

53. Noise from a sleeper : SNORE

54. Otherworldly : EERIE

55. Deep anxiety : DREAD

56. Capitalizes on : USES

57. Three-handed card game : SKAT

59. Blissful place : EDEN

60. Senator Harry of Nevada : REID

61. Aykroyd and Quayle : DANs

63. Moon lander, for short : LEM. (Lunar Excursion Module)

Did you notice what's missing? Foreign words!




OwenKL said...

The play was EERIE from the start,
About vampires who were DEFT at black art;
All except Martin
Who died by first curtain.
As a human, his was a "bit" part!

The show was a rousing success
All played undead in period dress
They all had long FANGs,
Told the dentist, "No, thangs,
It's a HAM who emotes to abscess!"

The vampires had a cast PARTY,
Including the body, played by Marty.
He died in the show,
A VEIN way to go,
But AFTER, was the life of the PARTY!

OwenKL said...

A TAD bit harder than a usual Monday, though my main trouble was shooting myself in the foot with MEGATON instead of KILO. Really liked glum drops & John of London.
A lot of theater terms, shoutout to yesterday's birthday boy: ACT up, THESPIAN, HAM, AFTER PARTY, ARIA, PIT falls, LEAD off, plus the usual complement of actors and characters like vampires. I would have clued 67a as "5 down target" (FANG, VEIN). Even STIRRED evoked thoughts of James Bond.
(Although nowheres near Keith's league, just as a hobby I've also acted in and directed a few community theater plays. My theater company in Albuquerque was the Bubonic Plagers!)

Barry G. said...

Very smooth Monday solve for me. Struggled the teensiest bit in the NW when TASK didn't come to me immediately and I went with ATOM instead of ATAD, but that was really it. Just what my brain needed to get the week off to a good start.

thehondohurricane said...

Hi folks.

No problems or issues today. Petty straight forward solve. Only miscue was 54D where I initially entered Alien before EERIE.

Savanna Antelope & Kiloton were new to me, but neither caused a hold up.

Going to transfer my pain from shoveling sand yesterdays long drive to a different kind of discomfort today. Last Form 1099 arrived over the weekend, so it's time to begin the tax return.

Argyle said...

I lifted this from the other site...but it's too good to pass up. Jack TEAGARDEN


desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Nice smooth horizontal solve this morning. As a result, I missed most of the down clues/answers because they were already filled in.

I did think of Ricky Nelson when GARDEN PARTY appeared. HOUSE party reminded me of Art Linkletter. He did some great kid interviews (7:41 but worth it).

Mari said...

Good morning everybody. Welcome to the last week of February 2014.

Nice easy puzzle today with some cute clues. I particularly liked 1D: Glum drops: TEARS, and good old 44D: John of London? LOO.

Interesting words today were THESPIAN and YAP.

Have a great week!

Mari said...

OwenKL: "Bubonic Plagers" - very cute! I have no stage experience, but I have "acted" in charity haunted houses for many years.

kazie said...

There is a foreign word in the clue "Anjou"--it's a region of France originally.

As others have said, fairly easy today with just enough crunch to make it interesting.

Happy Monday to all of you!

Tinbeni said...

Argyle: Wonderful write-up & links.
Melanie: Thank you for a FUN Monday puzzle. (In English! What a concept!)

After a two week sabbatical, it seemed appropriate that the theme was PARTY-ON.

OK, I'll admit that at 58-A,"When brandy may be served" I wanted to invoke the Villa Incognito RULE ... ANY-TIME!!!
AFTER DINNER filled the bill though ... lol

A "toast" to ALL at Sunset.

Al Cyone said...

I had decided not to comment on Mondays or Tuesdays since I don't usually have much to say on those days but starting the week, and the puzzle, with "Glum drops" deserves mention. Great clue! And nice that the TEARS ran "Down", not "Across".


Argyle said...

Kazie, the way I look at it, if it can't be translated into English then it must already be an English word.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Good run today. No searches or strikethroughs. The theme fill came easily, but, ironically, the unifier, PARTY ON was last to fall. Sigh. I agree with Argyle about the interesting fill. CSO to Keith @ THESPIAN.
EEN - Although the Bard's English, een is the indefinite article in Dutch and also means 'one'.
TEA GARDEN - We've treated ourselves to High Tea several times in the past at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa.

Have a good day.

CrossEyedDave said...

Rick Nelsons Garden Party tells a story, but it's not the story I thought it was..




CanadianEh! said...

Nice straight-forward Monday fill with no problems today.

Some words I hadn't seen for a while like DEFT, STOLID, SPLAY.

Smiled at LOO and the Dr. Seuss reference with green eggs and HAM.

Best high tea (besides the Empress in Victoria BC) is at the Prince of Wales in Niagara-on-the-Lake!

I love blue cheese but DH is not a fan.


LaLaLinda said...

Hi Everyone ~~

Fast and fun today. I did have one write-over: 38A-Take care of - 'See to' before HANDLE.

~ I, too, loved 1D - Glum drops / TEARS and wondered if it's original.

~ I liked Bill NYE on "Dancing with the Stars." He couldn't dance at all, but was very entertaining.

~ Taylor TEAGARDEN played for the Baltimore Orioles last year.

Thanks for the write-up, Argyle ~ I liked your title and comments!

Wayne said...

Party on, Garth!

Garth said...

Party on, Wayne!

buckeye bob said...

Thank you for the puzzle, Melanie. Thank you for the fine review, Argyle.

Easy-peasy, like a Monday puzzle should be. It took less than my usual Monday time. On the one hand, it’s a relief after the Friday & Saturday challenges. On the other hand, it was over way too soon.

Hand up for 1D. Glum drops: TEARS.

I never heard of SKAT, but the perps took care of it.

My grandsons used to love to play UNO with me. And War and Rummy. Now they are into electronic games. Sigh...

Do you suppose we’ll ever find out what really happened to Jimmy Hoffa?

It turns out we have more than 1 THESPIAN in C.C.’s Crossword Corner!

buckeye bob said...

CED @ 8:43 AM –

That’s the same Garden Party story that I’ve always heard.

But… I never understood "Mr. Hughes hid in Dylan's shoes, wearing his disguise" until I read the Wiki article you posted. Thanks! I never would have thought to look at Wikipedia for this.

That concert was a sad chapter in an early rock-n-roll idol’s life. I think it shows that fans do not accept change in their music idols very well. I think when fans go to concerts they really want to hear the music the star is famous for, or the music they loved in an earlier time. Just my opinion.

Spitzboov said...

Canadian Eh - I've stayed at the Prince of Wales on business during the 80's and early 90's. Great restaurant and ambiance at that time.

Johnr said...

Shall we PARTY ON with the Keebler ELF, ANNA Paquin and Bill NYE, the Science Guy. We can have Green eggs and HAM and AFTER DINNER brandy and maybe play some UNO and SKAT while we enjoy your latest art on the EASEL.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

A nice, easy start to the week. Glum drops was my fav and immediately thought of Keith at thespian. Nice job, Melanie, and kudos to Argyle for an entertaining write-up.

Welcome back, Tin; we've missed you and your Sunset toasts. N(ice) to hear from you again. :-)

CED, only you could find party themes showing mice (rats?)' a pig, and a cat! Too funny.

Owen, enjoyed your limericks, as usual.

Have a great day.

John Lampkin said...

Nice idea, well executed, Melanie.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Piece of cake today. No unknowns that I can think of.

Morning, Argyle, you're right that Big T deserves a cut & paste from the other site! What a talent.

OwenKL - I'm with Mari on that funny troupe name! I used to do quite a lot of acting in amateur theater, and hope to do more if the opportunity arises.

Lucina said...

Hello, Friends!

What a pleasant romp today and WEES about the puzzle. I ECHO all your remarks about the clues, the pleasantry and the theme. PARTY ON!

I also thought of Keith at THESPIAN but apparently Owen falls into that CLASS as well.

BTW, thank you for again starting us off with your pearls of wit. Unlike yesterday, it saves me from withdrawal.

And a very good start to this week.

Have a fantastic Monday, everyone!

Lucina said...

From last night: I'm sorry if you think we gave away anything. Downton Abbey was still full of surprises, especially the intrigue that occurred. I'm sure you will enjoy it.

LOL at Bubonic Plaguers!

John Lampkin:
It's always nice to see you here.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi Gang -

Definitely needed the unifier to suss the theme today.

Very tight with each 2-word answer fitting with "party."

Some fresh fill too - KODIAK, LEAD OFF, KILOTON.

Enjoyed the Teagarden link. He makes it look easy. [Full disclosure: it isn't.]

For Wayne and Garth @ 9:14.

Cool Regards!

Misty said...

What a relief, after that Saturday Silkie, to get this delightful puzzle from Melanie today. Many thanks! Argyle, I noticed the PARTY in front and back of the starred clues but not that both words of each theme answer made for a PARTY. So thanks for that! And, Owen, fun poem this morning. Reminded me of a favorite Joyce novel, "Finnegans Wake."

GLUM DROPS has to be one of the funniest clues of all time.

However, in line with wakes and tears--the mention of Ricky Nelson reminded me of all the great singers who died in small plane crashes: John Denver, Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, Jim Croce. R.I.P.

But for happier topics: have a great Monday and a great week, everybody!

Bill G. said...

A perfectly pleasant Monday puzzle. Thanks MM and Argyle. Hand up for enjoying "Glum drops" though I confess it took me a while to make sense out of it.

Lucina, no worries. As I said, knowing something about the outcome doesn't bother me. I often find I enjoy a movie more the second time because I can connect parts of the plot better. "The Sting" would be a good example. The plot was too complicated for me to understand it all the first time but I appreciated it more with repeated viewings. I'm sure I will enjoy DA tonight when I get to it and I'm glad to hear there aren't any serious cliffhangers which don't appeal to me.

buckeye bob said...

Misty @ 11:22 AM --

Also Richie Valens on "The Day the Music Died", and Patsy Cline, one of DW's favorite singers.

Lemonade714 said...

What a fine way to begin the week. It was exactly one year ago that we had our most recent puzzle from MM, on a Sunday. I am always impressed when there are phrases which fit with both adding on to the central theme. My mind still does not think in those terms.

I went back and reread her prior puzzles and she does not use foreign words very much, no more than 1 per effort.

Well look forward to more, hope she stops by. Good week all.

Lemonade714 said...

John L, how great of you to stop by and encourage a young constructor. Coolio

HeartRx said...

Argyle, I roared when I read your comment about “how to approach the contractor” last night! And I see you are still in fine fettle this morning. I did notice something was missing from this puzzle, but I thought it was B J Q W X and Z…

CED @ 8:43, I never gave it much thought, but that is a very interesting story about Nelson’s “Garden Party.” Oh, and we did contact the manufacturer about the glass top – they no longer make that particular model, so we had to find a parts company on the internet, instead. Buckeye Bob, I took your advice – we are meeting with him this afternoon to come to an arrangement.

Anonymous said...

Boring. No drama.
No exciting answers.

Responding to the above said...

Boring. No insight.
No constructive criticism.

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, Melanie Miller, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, argyle, for the fine review.

Great puzzle today. Got started late due to counting at church.

Misty: Don't forget Jim Reeves, Cowboy Copas, and Hawkshaw Hawkins.

Tried KALE before KELP. Just a little ink smear.

Liked SKULL and Crossbones. I think OwenKL also likes them.

Liked TEA GARDEN, since I do like Tea (Earl Grey, of course).

Lots to do today. If I get a chance I will try to finish Sunday's crossword. Was gone most of yesterday.

See you tomorrow.


(7204 82464244)

Ol' Man Keith said...

A pleasant Monday starter! Finished just a bit faster than usual.

Thanks to those who thought of me at THESPIAN. I did actually belong to the Actors Studio for a couple of years in the mid-'60s - but as a member of the Director's Unit, not as a thespian...

On today's pzl, I had one rewrite; I foolishly entered OSS instead of USO. Did I subconsciously suspect that the OSS provided R+R for the troops? Well, maybe so, in all those post-war spy movies....

Ol' Man Keith said...

BTW, I *love* the name of Owen's theater group! Makes me wonder, though, if it didn't scare off any potential audience...

desper-otto said...

HeartRx, from last night. If the stove is old enough that the manufacturer no longer stocks the glass top, then it's not worth trying to fix it. And I definitely wouldn't try to replace the top on my own. I had a burner go out in my smoothtop last year. Got a repair guy to replace it. In the process he cracked the glass top. He did replace it at no charge. But you may recall that I was a teensy bit upset when he didn't bring the failed part during his first visit (I'd supplied the part number.) Instead he charged me a diagnostic fee and promised to come back a week later to fix it. But I digress....

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, A Monday puzzle that I did not get through in quick time. The middle west section was a problem. I had Anti in then erased and then put it in again. I had Loo for London John? But, Megaton would not go with those entries. Pool house was Bath house at first. That's what we called the places where we changed at the beach. Why would you wear a wet suit in a pool? Maybe to practice your Scuba diving?

I did myself in, but eventually erased everything in that area and started over. Pics became maps, Pine became Musk and then I was finally over the hurdle I had erected for myself.

Loved Glumdrops/tears today.

Canadian Eh, I have to agree that the high tea at the Empress Hotel is wonderful. We took three little girls there back in the early 60's. They were well behaved and we had a great time. We went again for our 40th wedding anniversary in 1994. It was another lovely experience. Maybe I can get my husband to take me again for our 60th!

HeartRx said...

'Ol Man Keith Fowler, so I guess your birthday gives you new status, right? Although your new avatar may be appropriate, I really enjoyed seeing your thespian looks on the old one…

Chickie, I also thought of "wet suit" as a scuba outfit at first, until I realized they were talking about a wet (bathing) suit. In fact, I still had to go back and read the clue after I saw your comment!

Bill G. said...

BB, hand up for liking Patsy Cline.

We went for high tea in Victoria but as I remember, the Empress was booked so we went somewhere else that was recommended. It was quiet, sedate and elegant. Good food too!

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Best party I've had this week, Melanie! Thanks, Argyle!

The tour bus I was on dropped us across from the Empress and told us about High Tea. However, it wasn't until later in the day and I needed to eat right away. I ended up eating outside on the docks while looking at what they said was Bill Gate's partner's yacht. To add to the excitement, a rainstorm blew in and I had to pick up my food and dash inside the cafe.

Some of my tour friends went to the Empress but couldn't get seating for tea. They ended up getting soaked trying to get back to the bus on time.

Ol' Man Keith said...

HeartRX @3:50.
I think I'll let the new avatar linger until I really get used to being 75. But I promise that when I revert, I will post a photo (or several) in costume and makeup for one or more of my thespian turns -- such as in this Role.
(Nobody can rival an old actor or a Grandpa for showing pictures!)

The Redwood Rooster said...

I'll argue over 63D. The LEM was not a Moon Lander. It was a vehicle used on the surface after the Lander had landed.

The Redwood Rooster said...

About the LEM again...the acronym stood for Lunar Excursion Module.

Argyle said...

RR, you're thinking of the Moon Buggy. As to LEM, NASA dropped the 'Excursion' and called it just the Lunar Module.

Maci45 said...

Loved the puzzle today.....only one rub out, I had SPRAY instead of HOSED. Misspelled Harry REID as REED so VEIN was wrong fo a while. Makes me feel good when I can get it on the first shot!

Lucina said...

Wow! Re: your Marc Antony photo. I'm sure you knocked them out!

Ol' Man Keith said...

Lucina @ 7:51.
I was only 20 and surprised that my audition got me plucked from the crowd. Loved the chance to do "Friends, Romans, Countrymen..." on that venerable stage.

We had a big lumbering stage manager, name of Ed, in those days, and he would be added to any stage mob to fill out the picture. I had the hardest time keeping a straight face during my big speech. I would be extolling Caesar's virtues, and the crowd was directed to ad lib their responses. Old Ed would get so carried away I could see tears rolling down his cheeks. And when I'd say, "Here was a Caesar - when comes such another?!" he would boom out in the biggest basso profundo voice, "Oooh, the Father of Us Alllll!"

PK said...

Keith, is that the Shakespeare festival at Ashland? I've never been but once corresponded with a relative who had some little job with the festival there. She wasn't on stage. She said the festival was a big tourist attraction.

You certainly were a handsome young man. Not bad now!

Ol' Man Keith said...

PK @ 10:19
Yes, that's the festival in Ashland -- still going strong. It was founded in the 1930s and is the oldest Shakespeare Festival in the western hemisphere. 1960 was my second season there. I went up (from SF) for the first time in '58 as an unpaid apprentice--and was delighted that I was cast to play Lorenzo in MERCHANT OF VENICE. I got to share stage time then with Angus Bowmer, the founding director of the festival, who played Shylock.

Lemonade714 said...

KF your were quite a handsome young man. Thanks for sharing. The Downton Abbey discussion last evening left open a question implicitly raised by Dudley which I hope Steve (or Nice Cuppa or anyone with expertise) can answer. Did the British really have such a low opinion of Americans as boorish, obnoxious people? Do they now?

Anonymous T said...

Hey you guys...

A fun PARTY puzzle with a bunch of smeared ink at 22d / 49a - I'll plead the 5th on how badly I mangled StayedIn at first. Perps finally fixed it and done.

WEES re: fun clues....

Keith, I'm so glad my wife met me before you. She's such a sucker for Shakespeare she changed her major to Eng. Lit with only two semesters to go in RTVF (Radio TeleVision and Film) even with air-time under her belt and a scholarship to pay for the last year. She's Dr. Mrs -T now and professes English.

Anyone one who still must suffer "team-building" exercises at the office, here's an idea to offer up. We went to a place that teaches cooking where we were to build our own dinner. We all had a hoot and the flowing vino didn't hurt.

Nice to see you back Tin!


Dudley said...

For what it's worth, on my first European voyage, in the 80's, I witnessed more Ugly American tourists than I ever guessed our nation could produce. It was shocking. It got so bad that in some places I tried to pass myself off as Canadian (I didn't meet any Ugly Canadians) so I wouldn't be tainted by association. If that's how our countrymen have been behaving over the years, well it's no wonder we have a despicable reputation.

I hope it's not really that bad.