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Feb 4, 2014

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 Kevin Christian

Theme: Snakes on a Grid - Six snakes and the unifier. Relax; I am not showing any pictures except through a link.

17. Hosiery support item : GARTER BELT. Garter snake. The Massachusetts state reptile. Link

23. Barbecue veggie eaten with one's hands : CORN ON THE COB. Corn snake. Link

31. Snorkeling site : CORAL REEF. Coral snake. It possess one of the most potent venoms of any North American snake. Link

40. Ice cream drink : MILK SHAKE. Milk snake. An early myth about milk snakes is that they suck cow udders to get the milk. Link

47. 1988 U2 album and movie : RATTLE AND HUM. Rattlesnake. Often a plot device in Westerns. Link

60. Wimbledon feature : GRASS COURT. Grass snake. It is a Eurasian non-venomous snake. It is often found near water and feeds almost exclusively on amphibians. Link

67. Kind of reptile found at the starts of 17-, 23-, 31-, 40-, 47- and 60-Across : SNAKE

Argyle hisss. I've done Kevin's puzzles before but he seems to have been on a hiatus. A smooth return even if some folk might be a little squeamish about the subject. Missing: {X,Z} Let us snake our way to the bottom.

Across:

1. Find the answer to : SOLVE

6. Chicago mayor Emanuel : RAHM. We had Rahm Emanmuel last month.

10. "The Wizard __": comic strip : OF ID. Last month as well.

14. Bird-related : AVIAN

15. Blue Bonnet spread : OLEO

16. Musical symbol : NOTE

19. Astronaut Shepard : ALAN

20. Jai __ : ALAI

21. Suffix with billion : AIRE

22. Subway entrance : STILE. From turnstile.


26. Southwestern desert : MOJAVE

29. Actor Stephen : REA. Born in Belfast.

30. Washer maker : AMANA

37. "Wheel of Fortune" purchase : AN I

38. Hose nozzle option : SPRAY

39. HDTV brand : RCA

43. Play the coquette : FLIRT

45. Debtor's letters : IOU

46. Award hung on a wall : PLAQUE

53. Be a ham : EMOTE

54. Oboe insert : REED

 55. Fancy cracker spread : PÂTÉ

59. 1990s vice president : GORE

62. Curling appliance : IRON

63. Mexican-American War president : POLK. James Knox Polk was the 11th President.

64. Damaging bug : BORER. The emerald ash borer is threatening our nation's ash trees.

65. Cong. meeting : SESSion

66. Dazzles : AWES

Down:

1. It's a long story : SAGA

2. Avocado shape : OVAL

3. Coin once tossed into Italian fountains : LIRA

4. Pope's place, with "The" : VATICAN

5. WSW's opposite : ENE

6. Red-breasted bird : ROBIN

7. Olds model : ALERO

8. Trojan beauty whose face launched a thousand ships : HELEN. Remember the "millihelen".

9. Witty remark : MOT. From French.

10. Painting the town red : ON A TEAR

11. __ acid: prenatal vitamin ingredient : FOLIC

12. "Boot" country prefix : ITALO. Italy is said to be shaped like a boot.

13. Star in the constellation Cygnus : DENEB. "Tail" of the Swan.

18. Red inside : RARE

22. "The Giving Tree" author Silverstein : SHEL

24. Egg cells : OVA

25. Highchair feature : TRAY

26. Sir counterpart : MA'AM

27. Bygone science magazine : OMNI

28. The slammer : JAIL

31. Tax season VIP : CPA

32. Mork's planet : ORK. From the TV show.

33. Arctic explorer John : RAE

34. "ER" actor La Salle : ERIQ. From the TV show.


35. Stationery hue : ECRU

36. Karma : FATE

38. Cage's "Leaving Las Vegas" co-star : SHUE. Elisabeth Judson Shue

41. Little tabbies : KITTENS

42. One and only : SOLE

43. Winter malady : FLU

44. Satirize without mercy : LAMPOON. So what is satirize with mercy?

46. Degrees for many profs. : PHDs

47. Longtime morning co-host, familiarly : REGIS

48. What it is "when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie" : AMORE. Song(3:05)

49. Barcelona bulls : TOROs

50. Archery missile : ARROW

51. Harlem Renaissance writer Zora __ Hurston : NEALE. Biography

52. Classroom fixtures : DESKS

56. Subtle glow : AURA

57. Arduous journey : TREK

58. French I word : ÊTRE. (to be)

60. Student's stat. : GPA. (Grade Point Average)

61. "CSI" network : CBS


Argyle


58 comments:

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Fun, smooth puzzle today. I used to have a pet corn snake, so I'm not at all squeamish about the theme. In fact, I often have to remind myself that just because a particular snake looks as cute and harmless as my "Mordecai" (for that was his name), doesn't mean it isn't actually vicious and/or venomous.

Anyway, no real hesitation with today's puzzle. I even got OLEO right off the bat without having to decide between OLIO and OLEO. And RAHM is now solidly in my crossword vocabulary as well.

Major winter storm event heading our way for tonight and tomorrow. Florida is looking more and more appealing to me right now.

And oh, look -- back to the illegible capchas! ssgfen?

OwenKL said...

Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?

The viper will just patiently wait
By the carpentry shop at the lake.
The workmen, no fools,
Pelt the thing with their tools,
Soon they have several planes on a SNAKE!

Cleopatra loved SNAKEs to her last.
To her bosom her favorite she clasped.
If today he had bit her
'Twould be all over Twitter
With vids of her twerking her asp!

Medusa was known for her pets.
She'd keep them in check with hair nets.
But the intriguing mystery
She sends on down history:
Men wondered, did her drapes match her carpets?

When running, Indy slammed on his brakes.
Before him was a pit, no mistakes.
But momentum got to him,
An o'er the rim threw him.
His last words, "StAKEs! Why'd it have to be StAKEs?"

HeartRx said...

Good morning Argyle, C.C. et al.

I filled in the first theme entry and wondered if the theme was going to be about snakes. Then I filled in CORN ON THE COB and thought, "No, that can't be it." I was not familiar with that type of snake. But, AHA! I was right the first time.

There were a few names that were not very Tuesday friendly, and I had to rely on perps for RAHM, ERIQ (c, k or q - which one should I do?) and NEALE.

I always think Kevin Christian is Rich. But no, his pseudonym is "Gia Christian."

Off to another busy day getting ready for the next storm. Ugh! Is spring ever going to get here??

Lemonade714 said...

A really nice Tuesday with heavy themeage Did n't we have a completely different snake puzzle last year? I had all of the names, my kids studied Zora Neale Hurston so I read her books. It was only Mr. RAE I needed peeps to fill.

I had no idea how complicated the oboe reed was, thanks Argyle. Thanks for the milihelen reminder. For the newbies, the theory is if her face launched 1000 ships then a face that could launch 1 ship would only be 1 milihelen. We then rated existing females We also did a male version but I did not pay attention.

Lemonade714 said...

We are facing record heat and early year humidity. Dennis if you are out there you might discuss moving south.

thehondohurricane said...

Hello to all,

I hate SNAKES, therefore I felt uncomfortable from start to finish today and that had nothing to do with the cluing which presented only one hold up.

If the mayor of Chicago is not named Daley, then I'm ????????. RAHM was all perps and the M was a wag because I wasn't sure of MOT either.

I don't know about everyone else, but wherever I've lived , the ROBIN has always been more orange breasted then red.

FYI Barry, tomorrows weather event might be the JV game. The varsity game looks likely for the coming weekend.

Off to my daily duties with thoughts of those slithery SOB's constantly running through my mind. UGH.

Middletown Bomber said...

nice puzzle today I thought it was easier than yesterdays but I had to do yesterdays the old fashioned way with pen and paper as I had to use my work computer and the mere act of entering the letters on the site exceeded my time limit for a Monday puzzle. hope every one stayed warm and dry yesterday I shoveled out 6 inches of very heavy snow which would have been perfect for a snow man.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

"When the eel bites your thigh,
and you just wanna cry,
that's a moray!"

I thought "Remember the 'millihelen'." was a play on "Remember the Maine." I guess that discussion was before my time here.

Interesting to see REA and RAE in the puzzle.

Yea! I got Owen's numeric captcha.

buckeye bob said...

Thank you for the puzzle, Kevin. Thank you for another informative, witty review, Argyle.

Another easy-peasy puzzle, as it should be on a Tuesday. It actually took me a little less time than yesterday’s puzzle.

I was flying through the puzzle until I hit FLIRT, PLAQUE, RATTLE AND HUM, but the perps got them. I also needed perp help with NEALE.

Like yesterday, I never saw some clues / answers until I read Argyle’s review because I got all the perps, such as CPA, ORK, RAE, TREK, ETRE.

RAE and REA in the same puzzle? Really? RAE is my wife’s middle name and her mother’s maiden name, so I always remember Stephen REA is spelled differently. I never heard of John RAE.

Mari said...

Good morning everybody. Here we are at February 4. It's been a long, cold, snowy winter in Chicago and we're due for anothe snowstorm tonight.

Today's puzzle seemed super easy to me. It felt more like a Monday. There were some clues I didn't catch, but the PERPS took care of them. I had no blanks or write overs.

My PERPS were: OMNI, RAE, SHUE, POLK, NEALE, and DENEB.

Funny word of the day: LAMPOON.

Have a great one.

Mari said...

Hondo @ 7:21 am: Your "slithery SOBs" are cracking me up!

Desper-Otto @ 7:29 am: I love your "Moray" poem. "When the eel bites your thigh," Ha!

Barry G @ 5:41 am: Both of my capchas have been numeric today. Much easier to read!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Went merrily along not paying attention to the theme. Then the SNAKE slithered in at 67a and voilà, an aha was exhaled. Once ERIQ was spelled correctly, PLAQUE and LAMPOON fell in and it was done.

DENEB - One of 58 selected navigational stars

A vulture carrying two dead raccoons boards an airplane. The stewardess looks at him and says, 'I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.'

Have a great day.

Avg Joe said...

A fun romp today that matched the relative ease of most Tuesdays. Couldn't figure out the theme after the first three entries emerged, but then was forced into the SE corner where it became obvious in a hurry. Had several hesitations, but the only erasure was LAMbast instead of LAMPOON. All's well that ends well.

We are on the N edge of the W end of the storm that's now seriously gearing up. Snow has been falling for a little over an hour and is supposed to intensify around noon with 5-8" predicted overall. This one could be pretty ugly for some of you. Stay safe.

Husker Gary said...

Musings
-I don’t have Ophidiophobia, but snakes make me very uneasy. Of course, I was bitten and held by a 12’ Python a few years back, but that’s another story.
-Every student I’ve ever had called them gardener snakes. I suspect the word garter is not in their vocab
-I couldn’t name a U2 song for love nor money
-Failing schools, near bankruptcy, unfunded pensions, rampant crime – “RAHM, tell me again why you want to be mayor”
-It’s not Runaway but Del Shannon’s follow up was Little Town FLIRT
-Is the land POLK obtained in the Mexican-American War being reclaimed without a shot being fired?
-If you want a great insight into a SESS. of Cong., watch Lincoln to see the machinations behind passing the 13th amendment. Making laws and sausage – not pretty!
-Tossing my LIRA into the Trevi Fountain was a mob scene of tourists but still lovely
-You would be stunned by how much “stuff” the pope has in THE VATICAN
-Competently paying your taxes should NOT require a CPA
-What, it’s not ERIC or ERIK?
-We got the FLU shots and so Joann had to settle for this stubborn cold

Husker Gary said...

ALAN Shepard musings
-ALAN was indeed the first American in space but in the capsule on the pad he had to endure 6 hours of delays and NASA made no accommodations for urination. So after much consultation he was advised to relieve himself in his suit, which he did and then as the fluid settled into the rear of his suit as he laid there, he proclaimed himself a “wetback astronaut”
-ALAN used a six-iron on the end of a shovel to hit his famous golf shot on the Moon and that club (which was on the end of a shovel handle) is now on display at the USGA Museum
-I was told by a NASA official that ALAN was offered big bucks by many manufacturers to reveal the name of the golf ball he hit on the Moon but took that secret to the grave rather than betray his pledge to not benefit from activities as an astronaut.

Tim Rhodes said...

New to this, what is a PERP?

LaLaLinda said...

Hi Everyone ~~

This went quickly but it was fun to solve. Like Marti, I was unfamiliar with a CORN snake so it took until RATTLE... that I picked up on the theme. Very few unknowns or hesitations and perps took care of them. Thanks for the write-up, Argyle. Great pics and links ~ especially the SNAKES!

~ It seems impressive to me to have six theme answers in a Tuesday puzzle.

~ ALERO has been a frequent visitor.

~ AMANA is king of crossword appliances!

~ Spiders have always been way creepier than snakes to me. UGH.

Round one of snow is over - preparing for round two tonight and tomorrow and then round three on Sunday and Monday.

kazie said...

Tim Rhodes,
Perp = perpendicular, or an answer that crosses another and gives you the missing letter you can't think of.

This was a nice easy romp for me today. Unlike some of you, I enjoyed becoming aware of the many different snake appearances. Forewarned is always better than ignorance when it comes to snakes. so thanks for those links, Argyle!

Lemonade714 said...

Miss Beatrice, the church organist, was in her eighties and had never been married. She was admired for sweetness and kindness to all. One afternoon the pastor came to call on her and she showed him into her quaint sitting room. She invited him to have a seat while she prepared tea. As he sat facing her old pump organ, the young minister noticed a cut-glass bowl sitting on top of it. The bowl was filled with water. In the water floated, of all things, a condom! When she returned with tea and scones, they began to chat. The pastor tried to stifle his curiosity about the bowl of water and its strange floater, but soon it got the better of him and he could no longer resist. "Miss Beatrice", he said, "I wonder if you would tell me about this?" pointing to the bowl. "Oh, yes" she replied, "isn't it wonderful? I was walking through the park a few months ago and I found this little package on the ground. The directions said to place it on the organ, keep it wet and that it would prevent the spread of disease. Do you know I haven't had the flu all winter!" The pastor fainted.

buckeye bob said...

@ Tim Rhodes 9:54 AM --

I suggest you check out this blog's Home page, right hand side, Olio, Comments Section Abbrs.

You will find 10 helpful definitions there.

Anonymous said...

Jeez, HOW MANY lines in L-714's comment?

CrossEyedDave said...

Snake...

Anonymous said...

I see that Lemon has started to drink early today.

Lemonade714 said...

Too many lines, did not realize how long the song was, but I am posting from work, so I did not pay enough attention. Yes on my second cup of coffee. Or maybe it is the antihistamines. Who is there to speak on behalf of the histamines anyway?

Used up my day, thanks for all the close attention anons.

Keith Fowler said...

Hands up for DAME before MA'AM. I guess my inner Brit was feeling his oats. (Or would that be my inner Scot, Dr. Johnson?)
A pleasant Tuesday puzzle. A lovely story from Ms. Lemonade this morning. I'll stifle my curiosity about its genesis.
Toodle-ooh, all! I'm off to the lab for my semimonthly meeting with the phlebotomist. Hope I get a sharpshooter today!

Tinbeni said...

Argyle: Nice write-up. I enjoyed all 6 SNAKE links.

I'm with Mari ... this felt more like an easy Monday puzzle.
Good one, Kevin.

"Painting the town red" (ON-A-TEAR) makes me think of "High Plains Drifter" with Clint Eastwood getting the "Lago" residents doing a community project.

A 'toast' to all at Sunset.
Cheers!

Misty said...

Fun Tuesday speed run--many thanks, Kevin. I couldn't imagine what this theme was going to be and thought it was cool that I had to wait until the very last clue to find out. I'm not afraid of snakes thanks to a Lancaster museum where a curator would introduce children taking the tour to snakes and explain that their hissing was breathing, not aggression. He even let us hold them gently. A nice experience.

Fun expo, Argyle, as always,

Was also surprised by the two RAE/REAs.

Lots of fun jokes this morning, thanks, guys.

Have a great day, everybody!

Irish Miss said...

Hi Everyone:

Not a particularly likable theme, but very well done and a Tuesday level, for sure. Nice job, Kevin, and witty expo, Argyle.

Lots of snow headed our way, but, as Hondo said, Sunday's will be the grand daddy. Haven't heard yet if we'll be affected or if it will track closer to the coast.

Have a great day.

Bill G. said...

Hi everybody! I have no problems with snakes or spiders once I am assured they are harmless. And most are.

I remember a nice snake puzzle from Marti that never got published. "Snake in the Grass" as I remember...

"Some days, you're the top dog, some days you're the hydrant."

PK said...

Hi Y'all! I had no idea of the theme until that sneaky SNAKE appeared. Do any of you remember a song called "Sneaky Snake". My son was about 3 when that song came out and he sang it all the time for our amusement.

Last to fill was the "M" in LAMPOON. POON flashed out there first and my dirty mind was shocked. Shocked, I tell you!. Well I'd just filled in FLIRT, AMORE, ON A TEAR, thank you MAAM with a MILK SHAKE. AWEsome! Oh, LAM-POON? Shees.

Living in a stone house for many years, snakes were a common visitor. Ours were harmless Bull Snakes, thank heavens. Once I reached for a hod on the back porch and was startled to find a big bull snake curled around the handle. I adopted a live and let live attitude because they ate mice which creeped me out more than snakes.

The worst time was when workmen opened up the well to put on a new covering and several bull snakes appeared. I was trying to sell my place then and the realtor happened to be there with a prospective female buyer. The workmen thought it was funny to say they were rattlesnakes. NO SALE!

PK said...

Heavy snow falling hear for about the past seven hours. 20*. I've kept the blinds shut to keep out the cold. Several times, I go and open a curtain to see how the storm is progressing then quickly shut it because I don't want to see it. Why didn't I got visit my niece in Florida?

Everything closed and cancelled yesterday knowing the storm was coming. No schools open. I bet all the alarmists who were frantically canceling everything are relieved that they were right. The governor told non-emergency personnel to stay home and stay off the roads.

River Doc said...

Happy Tuesday everybody!

Nice 'n' Easy puzzle today.... Never saw Snakes on a Plane, but I did read the very concise review, which was - "the title says it all...."

At one time or another I subscribed to both OMNI and National LAMPOON....

Owen, gotta say I really enjoyed the poems today...!

Did anyone else notice TOROS crossing GORE...?

Red ROBIN is a fancy burger chain around these parts....

Supposedly there are many bodies buried in the MOJAVE desert around Vegas....

Speaking of desert, it always amazes me how one part of the country can be in a drought while another part of the country is besieged by record snow and rainfall. When is Roddenberry going to share the tech to allow the East to share its precip with the West...?

Finally, I wasn't here either when it was first discussed, but I really like the milihelen concept....

Tinbeni said...

Geez, now I'm kinda feeling a little bad.

After walking on the Honeymoon Island Beach for a couple of hours ...
I came home and "washed-by-hand" my car, while wearing shorts, a t-shirt and being bare-footed.

I guess the Tampa Bay area does have some advantages in February.

Time to walk over to the Pub.
Cheers!!!

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

I accidentally uncovered the unifier before I had all the them answers, so I'm not sure if I would have sussed it. Probably not.

Other than that, not much to comment on.

More snow coming tonight.

Cool regards!
JzB

Bill G. said...

I too like the millihelen concept. I nominate Emma Watson and a young Shirley MacLaine as getting high scores. Ooh, Scarlett Johansson too for sure.

Do you get Animal Planet on cable? If so, you might enjoy reruns of Dirty Jobs; 11 am here. I just saw a really nice one about an old mill that produces old-fashioned stone-ground cornmeal with water power.

A agree that cardinals are much redder than robins. We have a Red Robin near here too. I've only been there once. I seem to remember a whole onion cut up like a flower blossom, breaded and fried instead of onion rings. It was really good but you'd be crazy to order it without splitting it up with other people.

Steve said...

Nice quick run-through today. I'm cooling my heels at Houston airport due to my connection to Cincinnati being cancelled due to weather - it's my own fault for saying last night that I've had no travel issues this winter!

@Tim Rhodes - you'll also see them called "crosses", and do I know you? If you can connect Toluca Lake and Chicago then it's a small world!

pje said...

I thought this was easier then yesterday's puzzle. Found the theme with just a couple answers. Thanks, Kevin C. I passed on your links to the snakes, Argyle. I don't like them and didn't want to see them.

I hadn't heard the "millihelen" idea. Cute.

We lucked out last night and didn't get any snow. Yesterday morning we had about an inch. Our original forecast for tonight was for 5"-7" of snow. It's been changed to maybe an inch with freezing rain and 1/4" to 1/2" of ice. Yuck! I'll take the snow, thankyouverymuch!

Enjoy your evening. Stay safe, if you're in the storm's path.

Pat

fermatprime said...

Greetings!

Thank you for the puzzle, Kevin! Fun to work. Almost a speed run. Thanks to you, too, Argyle!

Had not heard of two of the snakes.

Husker: how did that happen?

Fun poem, Owen!

The nurse cum phlebotomist last Thursday has left a bruise on my arm about 1.5 inches in diameter.

Alex (my former colleague who is the guest in my house) has been taking the kitty to school with him (he is very paranoid that another disaster will happen).

Always enjoy the jokes. Keep 'em coming, folks!

Sure need rain here. I keep hoping!

Cheers! (Am not going to put this on preview as I have a numerical captcha. Almost guarantees an error.)

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Pretty much a speed run today, no theme required.

I kinda like snakes, myself. They're interesting. When I demolished my old kitchen I found two handsome milk snakes living in opposite corners. I took care to release them away from possible harm from machinery.

Bill G - I quite agree, Emma Watson is good for quite a few milliHelens, especially now that her hair has recovered from the short bob it had after Harry Potter wrapped. I also nominate Angie Harmon and, for amazing staying power, Michelle Pfeiffer.

Husker Gary said...

Ferm, I thought I had told that story before. In our science area we had a 12’ Burmese Python named Ezra in a 6’x6’x6’ cage. It was our practice to open the door to the cage and let him out after feeding him so we could clean the cage. He usually accommodated us but on one day he refused to come out and I thought I could reach around, grab him and drag him out. Yeah, right. He had me on the thumb web in less than a blink of an eye. I pulled him out and remained calm thinking he was a clean animal and there was nothing worse he could do to me as long as I didn’t let him coil, which I didn’t. Kids started to gather but I called my friend over and he pried open his mouth with a screwdriver and all I had to do was get a tetanus shot after I finished the day.
We got rid of the snake the next week!

Yellowrocks said...

About the puzzle WEES.
Owen,your poems were especially fun today.
Argyle, thanks for the pictures of the snakes and the interesting blog. Thanks to all for the jokes.

Have you come across the latest Jeopardy brouhaha? Some fans are miffed that Chu jumped all over the board last week, not running the categories in order. They complain that he searched for all the daily doubles right away, and often chose the highest value answers first. IMO if the contestant is allowed to choose the next clue he should be able to choose any one at all, no matter how unorthodox. Some people complain that this makes the game boring. I find that that his unexpected style makes the game more interesting for me. What do you Jeopardy fans think about this? Chu will return on Feb. 24.
Link text

Abejo said...

Good evening, folks. Thank you, Kevin Christian, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Argyle, for the fine review.

Checking in late due to being in gardening school all day, plus travel to and from.

Puzzle was a good Tuesday level.

Theme was good. Lots of snakes.

ON A TEAR is an old phrase. But it works.

Did not know ERIQ, perps.

Never heard of RATTLE AND HUM.

Had MALT before MILK.

STILE was a good word. Clever.

SHUE was not known. Perped.

Had to perp ETRE. I was at the second hand book store the other day and bought a French/English-English/French dictionary for $1.00. I do not like to look things up, but if I have to at least I have the book now.

Getting more snow tonight.

See you tomorrow.

Abejo

(46 64469589

CanadianEh! said...

Good, straightforward puzzle today. Just what I needed after a day at work. WEES!

YR, I agree with you that Jeopardy can be played in any order the contestant desires. I saw Chu play and was astounded at some of his "gutsy" Daily Double wagers. One time, he lost everything but managed to regain it all and move ahead. Thanks for the link. I had wondered why he didn't wager enough in Final Jeopardy and ended up with a tie.

No fresh snow here yet but apparently it is coming overnight and tomorrow. We shall see!

JD said...

Good evening all,

Had a smooth a quick run with today's snake charmer. Last to fill was the M in mot/Rahm, a WAG. Never heard of Rattle and Hum, but perps were good, and also filled Neale, Deneb, and Italo.

Back in the day when I kept lots of classroom pets, I had a beautiful boa constrictor named Cuddles.. a great snake who never harmed any of my students. After 4 years he grew too long and heavy for an 12 year old to hold easily, so he found a new home at a science museum where kids still were able to see and touch the animals.

Desperotto, LOVED your ditty!
Owen, always a treat!

Stay warm Easterners. We are still waiting for winter and a possibility of some measurable rain.I may not be a gardener this summer.

JD said...

ah... changed 11 to 12, hence the an...oops!

Kevin Christian said...

Hi, this is Kevin. I'm the guy who made today's puzzle. Here are a few notes, in case you're curious...

I got the idea for this theme from a puzzle in 2008 that was similar but had sharks instead of snakes.

My wife's name is Helen so I try to put her name in the fill when I can. She's at 8-Down.

I did not notice that the puzzle had both REA and RAE until you all pointed it out. Sorry about that!

My son has a pet ball python named Steve. It is named after Steve Irwin, the crocodile hunter.

I used to have 3 pet boa constrictors named Fish, Bono, and Lola. Fish after the former lead singer of a band called Marillion. Bono after the lead singer of U2. Lola after the Kinks song. I sold them to a friend right before I got married.

That's about it. Thanks for solving, thanks for the posts, glad you all enjoyed the puzzle!

See you at ACPT in March. Anyone?

buckeye bob said...

@ YR --

IMO, it's much ado about nothing.

JD said...

Thanks for stopping in, Kevin.What a nice man you are for adding Helen's name into your work. Makes the puzzle that much nicer.

Argyle said...

Good of you to stop by, Kevin. We do like meeting constructors.

Husker Gary said...

Thanks for the visit Kevin. Obviously you have had more positive experiences with snakes than I did: as recounted above.

Husker Gary

Bill G. said...

Kevin, I appreciated your stopping by. Which of the clues were yours and which got changed by Rich?

Yes, I do find Arthur Chu's approach a little unusual but certainly legal. Dunno why but he seems a little annoying to me though he's sure good at Jeopardy. I didn't like one of the contestants last night very much either.

Barbara and I just had the occasion to remember and relisten to "At Seventeen" by Janice Ian. Boy I love that song; both the melody and the lyrics.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All - another long day getting ready for the big trip...

Kevin - Thanks for stopping by - looks like we have common tastes in music. Now to LAMPOON your puzzle? Nah, it was too fun as was Argyle's write-up.

RAHM I got right last month, but flubbed the A/H order at 1st today. Doh!

Near nat-nic at SHEL / REA. I wag'd the E. Yippee!

WIth all the names, I'm glad today was a Tues - I'd have never finished w/o the perps.

Is it just 'cuz I'm Italian that I noticed the symmetry of ITALO and AMORE?

Everything I know about POLK I learned from this song.

For folks with 7+ minutes on their hand and want to know a U2 song from RATTLE AND HUM (track 3, I think)... Where the Streets Have No Name. The police shut-down was real (if not a bit staged).

OWEN - #2 & 3 LOL!

R-Doc & Bill G You forgot to say Yummm... after Red ROBIN...

Steve - If you're still stuck at IAH, we'll have a beer Thursday.

millihelens is new to me too. I assume 1/1000th of a HELEN is a face that launched one ship? DW is ~2 yrs shy of a kilohelen. She floats my boat every day!

Cheers, -T

Dudley said...

Yellowrocks - I take the view that the player has no duty to entertain the viewers. Whatever strategy he/she employs is fine, as long as it's legal. Now that somebody has thought up this game technique, and made it public, I won't be surprised if future players do likewise. Chu is a clever fellow.

Misty said...

Hey, Kevin, how nice of you to stop by! Hope we see lots more of your puzzles.

I'm not crazy about Arthur Chu, but he's by no means the first contestant to jump around the board looking for the daily double. I think they've just decided to make an ado about Chu to boost interest and ratings. Personally, I like the convention of going down the clues better.

The current Battle of the Decades on Jeopardy this week is totally blitzing Rowland's and my scores. We're getting only a fraction of the answers we normally do.

fermatprime said...

Thanks for the link Yellowrocks!

Bill: I, too, find Chu annoying!

Misty: I'm glad I have company!

Kevin: Nice of you to stop in. We always thank constructors, but few drop in, it seems!

Keith Fowler said...

Except for the stupid way he plasters his hair down, he's a good-looking lad. How could anyone dislike Arthur Chu? He plays the game like the champion he is. He seems open and forthright. All the fuss feels manufactured for ratings; the local ABC newscasters use scripted slogans to tease us.

Yellowrocks said...

Misty @ 10:50, I, too, found I knew many fewer answers on Jeopardy on Tuesday night than usual. With such excellent players I suppose they need more challenging material.I wasn't into Chu at first, but I came to admire his strategy and gamesmanship. After all, Jeopardy is a competition. About his using a different strategy, variety is the spice of life.

Kevin Christian said...

To answer Bill G's question, Rich changed more than half of my clues. Mostly he made them simpler or more direct. For example, I clued SOLE as "Flat fish" and he changed it to "One and only." I clued KITTENS as "Litter contents?" and he changed it to "Little tabbies." I clued ENE as "Saint Louis to Indianapolis direction" and he changed it to "WSW's opposite." You get the idea. Rich made it more early week appropriate.