Feb 12, 2014

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 Jim Horne and Jeff Chen

Theme: What - the H?  or The H you say!   When you see a strikingly unusual grid, that's a strong hint that something out of the ordinary is up, and we got it today in spades. I guess the big block H in the center of the grid, surrounded by horizontal and vertical brackets, serves as a unifier, of a sort.  Instead of a conceptual theme, today every horizontal and vertical entry contains the letter H, which occurs 43 times.  I can't even imagine what was involved in putting this together.  For most of the fill, it's exactly one H each, but there are a few two H words. 

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa at the helm.  No Hemming and Hawing, let's have at it.


1. Scale on which diamond is assigned a "10" : MOHS.  Hardness of minerals.  Talc is softest. 

5. Owl's question? : WHO.  How should I know?

8. "Music __ charms ..." : HATH. To soothe a savage breast.  The actual quote has the word "HAS" not "HATH."  This is the first line of the play The Mourning Bride by William Congreve, spoken by Almeria in Act I, Scene 1.

12. The sego lily is its state flower : UTAH.  Hibiscus is Hawaii's.

13. Map out : CHART.  Here are some of my charts [graphs, actually], if you're interested. Six Decades of U. S. Population Growth.

15. Nymph rejected by Narcissus : ECHO. He loved his image. She loved her voice. Unhappy ending

16. Actress Elisabeth : SHUE.  Heroine?

17. Deck opening : HATCH. For loading cargo.

18. Work on jerky : CHEW.  Holy mouthful, Batman.

19. WWII aircraft carrier plane : HELLCATHigh performing flyer.

21. Iowa native : HAWKEYE.

23. Tax-sheltered nest egg : ROTH IRA.

25. Hippy dance : HULA.  Hips in motion, not from the Haight-Ashbury hangout

28. 1963 Newman film : HUD.  Anti-hero.

29. Ousted Iranian : SHAH.  Horrible despot.

33. Arctic "snowshoe" critters : HARES.

34. Quizzical sounds : EHS.

35. Bears owner/coach who won eight NFL titles in four different decades : HALAS.  Highly successful.

37. Singer Piaf : EDITH.  Huge in France.

38. Soup base : BROTH.

39. Luxury craft : YACHT.

40. Quiet "Quiet!" : SHH.  Hush.

43. "Ulysses" actor Milo : O'SHEA.

44. Quaint pronoun : THEE.

45. "Isn't __ bit like you and me?": Beatles lyric : HE A.  Where is he?

46. Solvers' cries : AHAS.  Having that AHA moment.

47. Tremulous glow : SHIMMER.

50. Except : SHORT OF.

54. Beeline : MAD DASH.  Hurrying.

59. "Hava Nagila" dance : HORA.  Hold hands; dance in a circle.

60. Different : OTHER. Who are you?

62. Worker welfare org. : OSHA. Occupational Safety and Health Adminitration.

63. Progress slowly : INCH

64. Organ with chambers : HEART.  Has auricles and ventricles.

65. Son of Odin : THOR. Hammer guy.

66. Sinister chuckles : HEHS.

67. "Revenge is __ best served cold" : A DISH.  Has uncertain origin.

68. Seven: Pref. : HEPT-.  Is a member of a cool HEPTet a HEPT cat?


1. Soft stuff : MUSH.

2. Will-wisp link : O' THE.  Hinkypunk - per Wikipedia, atmospheric ghost light seen by travelers at night, especially over bogs, swamps or marshes. It resembles a flickering lamp and is said to recede if approached, drawing travelers from the safe paths.

3. Truck : HAUL.

4. Poet Silverstein : SHEL.  He wrote Where the Sidewalk Ends.

5. Words said with a double take : WHAT THE.  Often followed by H  .  .  .

6. Fez, e.g. : HAT. Head cover.

7. Corsage flowers : ORCHIDS.

8. "Consarn it!" : HECK.  Not the H  .  .  . word I had in mind.

9. Motrin target : ACHE.  Hurts!

10. Those folks : THEY

11. Suffragette Julia Ward __ : HOWE. (1819-1910) Also abolitionist and poet, she wrote The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

13. Former Labor secretary Elaine : CHAO. Only cabinet member to serve under President George W. Bush for his entire administration; Wife of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

14. Where she blows : THAR.  Whale.

20. Vehicle safety measure : CRASH TEST.

22. Jug band percussion instrument : WASHBOARD.  Here's how it's done.

24. "Say what?" : HUH.

25. Tackled : HAD AT.  Attempted

26. "Vega$" actor : URICH.  Robert.

27. Mythical river of forgetfulness : LETHE.  Hades river, flowing around the cave of Hypnos and through the underworld.

30. Grating : HARSH.

31. "Hello, wahine!" : ALOHA. Hi.  Howaya?

32. Can't stand : HATES.

33. "You, there!" : HEY.

36. Doo-wop syllable : SHA.

40. Went from first to second, say : SHIFTED.  Ha - gears.  I wanted a stolen base.

41. Jeans bottom : HEM.  Stitchery.

42. Pounds : HAMMERS.  Like THOR.

48. Ado : HOOHA.  Or Brouhaha.

49. Mars neighbor : EARTH.  Heavenly orbs.

50. __ Tzu : SHIH.  Hairy hound

51. Fine-tune : HONE.

52. B'way seating area : ORCHestra.

53. Sounds from the stands : RAHS.  Hooray!

55. Shakespearean verb : DOTHHow DOTH the little crocodile?

56. 1975 Wimbledon winner : ASHE. Tennis star Arthur.

57. Hit the mall : SHOP.

58. Antlered deer : HART.

61. Ginza agreement : HAI はい "Yes" in Japanese.

How did you like this puzzle by Messrs. Horne and Chen?  Jeff, of course is a veteran constructor.  Looks like this is Jim's first time in the L.A.T. They had previously collaborated on a themeless puzzle for the NYT in 2012. Has a couple of force-fit entries, but over-all pretty smooth construction, and quite an original concept.  Did anybody else think of Hard and soft G's? 

Cool Regards!

Note from C.C.: 

Happy Birthday to dear LaLaLinda, who's been through a lot the past year. Despite the physical pain and severe diet restrictions, Linda never complained. She's always attentive and supportive of our regulars who's in need of advice & comfort. (Dave: Think of cats, Red Sox & sweetness.)


OwenKL said...

Today . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . haiku
. . . is . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in
. . . response to the grid's
. . . odd . . . . . . .. . . . . . . eta
pattern . . . . . . . .. . . . . . today.

[Sorry I had to resort to . . .'s for spacing. Blogger's editor insists on condensing all white-space characters: doubled spaces, tabs, indents, even &nbsp characters. Facebook does the same. They hate poetry, especially concrete poetry.]

OwenKL said...

What a H___ of a theme! If I hadn't been (somewhat wildly!) looking for the theme to use for my (near-)daily poem, I never would have noticed it, despite its being so prominent in the grid! In fact, I had about decided it was ASH, embedded in both of the 9-word lights and in one of the 10 7-word lights. Once I saw it, I dissolved into a puddle of giggles!
As far as the puzzle, I found it Monday or Tuesday easy. HEPT/SEPT almost got me, and started out with HUSKERS before HAWKEYE (sorry about that, Gary) and BUCK before HART.
A nit maybe, but a beeline is a 2- or 3-dimensional vector, not a 4-dimensional one. In non-math terms, it's the direction and path, but doesn't include a time element. A MAD DASH indicates time, but not necessarily direction.
"So as to not excite suspicion, Slippery Sam made a leisurely beeline to his horse. Meanwhile, the posse rode off in a mad dash in all directions!"

George Barany said...

Hey, that’s quite a construction feat by two icons of the crossword community (see the invaluable Congratulations, Jim and Jeff.

As promised yesterday, my website is proud to present the debut puzzle of Steve Bachman, entitled Papa Go Seek. It has a nice theme, as expounded further in its “midrash.” Thanks too to everyone who tried the other two puzzles that I mentioned, of which For Solvers Like You runs through tomorrow, and Charles Deber’s Sunday-sized All You Need is Love is targeted for this Friday, February 14, a date that lovers will surely recognize.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

A very strange puzzle with a lot of H's. Surprised to see both O' THE and WHAT THE in the same grid. And I don't really equate HECK with "consarn it," but that's probably just me, consarn it!

Eight degrees outside right now and a possible blockbuster of a storm heading our way tomorrow. I really want this winter to be over...

OwenKL said...


Do you have any idea how much time I spent, how many times I previewed this poem in the comment box from yesterday, to get the spacing EXACTLY right? And then the kerning in the bloody blog turns out to be different from perverted preview!

GAH! Well, at least it's close enough that you can still make it out, serifs and all.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, JazzBumpa and friends. I didn't notice the big H in the center of the grid until after I completed the puzzle. I was looking for some words to tie in a theme to no avail. I did, however, notice that the letter H kept appearing very often.

There was a seafood restaurant near where I lived as a kid that had a big whale out front with the slogan Thar She Blows!. Anyone else remember that place. I don't think we ever ate there, but we would drive by there everyday on the way to the beach.

Happy Birthday, LaLaLinda. All the best to you on your special day.

QOD: Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. ~ Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12, 1809 ~ Apr. 15, 1965).

Al Cyone said...

TDNF. I spent five minutes looking for the error(s) but missed an errant "U" in HULU and CRUSHTEST. On the plus side, the extra time was enough to reveal the theme. Pretty clever.

-7° at sunrise here in the beautiful mid-Hudson valley. Significant snow (a foot on top of an existing foot) is forecast for tomorrow.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I noticed the big H immediately, but still managed to miss the theme until I was finished and looked over the grid a second time.

Embarrassed that HAWKEYE didn't come to me immediately. I spent several years in Iowa, and the radio station where I worked was KHAK -- Kay-Hawk.

ROTH IRA was a gimme. Every year I figure how much wiggle room I've got in my current tax bracket, and then convert that amount from my traditional IRA to a ROTH.

This might be the most famous Hooha of all. (4 sec)

Did you notice that the SHIH Tzu looked like Captain Hook?

Happy birthday, LaLaLinda. It's good to have you back on a regular basis.

thehondohurricane said...

Hello to all,

This was a tough Wednsday puzzle for me, but eventually conquered it, Most of the delays were in the South. Never picked up the H theme. I had Sept for HEPT. Finally got it with DOTH. Didn't think Dots was a Bill verb, but Sept seemed more "sevenish" then HEPT.

HOOHA, SHIFTED, and SHORTOF also took their time to make an appearance.

In hindsight, I've often wondered if a ROTH IRA would have been better then the traditional IRA. Would it have been better to pay the taxes then? Alas, too late to fret over it now.

Happy birthday LaLa Linda. Be well.

All HELL breaks loose tomorrow, up to 10" of snow and ice. Hope we do not have to use the generator we had installed last summer, but I fear it's maiden voyage is about to begin..

Cooter said...

HOOHA is slightly edgy for the younger crowd out there.

And before you say it is not mainstream, think again. I would venture to say just about everyone under 30 would think of Cosmo's defintion of HOOHA before the over 50 crowd's version.

Try a Google Image search if you disagree.

I am not complaining. As a matter of fact, I enjoy typing HOOHA. Sort of like a teenager saying Uranus.

I would also wager that HOOHA's defintion is morphing much like the word 'gay' has from 1890 to 1990.

Big Easy said...

This puzzle must have been hard to construct but was very easy to solve. The only hold ups were EDITH Piaf, and SHORTOF. I noticed the Hs immediately. Too easy for a Wednesday.

Mari said...

I didn't catch the "H" theme, and didn't even notice the big black H staring at me from the center of the puzzle. What I did see was a lot of strange words: EHs, WHAT THE, HECK, HEY, HOOHA, RAHs.

I liked clue 18-A: Work on jerkey: CHEW, and 25-A: Hippy dance: HULA. I thought 25-D: Tackled: HAD AT was a little odd. But I commend Jim Horne and Jeff Chen for putting together such a creative puzzle. And of course, JzB for his witty write-up.

One more H: Happy Birthday to LaLa Linda!

Lemonade714 said...

What a great shout out to our own Hondo Hurricane. and another example of puzzles as a visual form.

Jeff is amazing in the many iterations to his work and his ability to meld with so many co conspirators, thank you. JzB, as always you were on.

Loved Robert Urich as Spenser and finished the Goldsborough Nero Wolfe, set in the 50's. Like eating Chicago style pizza in Miami.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize Abraham Lincoln lived to be 156 years old. ;)

Barry G. said...

Oh -- and a Very Happy Birthday to LaLaLinda!

Anonymous said...

D-O. I think what Sgt. Slade is saying is actually Hoo-ah. The army's slang for HUA (Heard, Understood and Acknowledged).

Anonymous said...

Oh, I meant Lt. Col. Frank Slade. Didn't intend to demote him.

Yellowrocks said...

I noticed the H right off. I should have looked into why it was there. I didn't noticed the H in every answer. Very clever.
I agree that a beeline is a straight line, but I always think of it as moving QUICKLY in a straight line. To me it implies eagerness to get there. I would never talk of a leisurely beeline. Here is its definition as a verb: "make a beeline for somebody/something
to move quickly and directly towards a particular person or thing ."
HAWKEYE: I was thinking of Native Americans, at first.
sept/hept, then/they thou/thee were write overs.
Happy birthday, LA LA Linda. Here's to a satisfying and healthy year for you.

buckeye bob said...

Thank you for a creative puzzle, Jim & Jeff. Thank you for an excellent review, Jazzbumpa!

I also thought this puzzle was a bit easy for a Wednesday. On the other hand, I finished in normal Wednesday time, but no ta-da again. I reviewed my answers and didn’t see any I didn’t like. I turned on red letter help, and had 2 letters wrong.

One was DOTS / SEPT. Couldn’t figure out what Shakespeare verb DOTS was, but SEPT seemed right. Changed it to DOTH / HEPT and both made sense.

The other was HAWKEME / THEM. Never heard of Hawkeme, but thought maybe it was an obscure tribe I never heard of. THEM seemed right. Changed it to HAWKEYE (doh!) / THEY and both made sense and ta-da!

I saw the H in the center of the grid, but didn’t get the full impact until I read JzB’s review. Wow!

Happy birthday, LaLaLinda! It’s good to have you back!

Anonymous said...

Saw the big H, but didn't get that every answer had an H until getting to the blog. That makes this construction even more awesome and daunting.

Only momentary hang up was wanting to put in Sept for seven instead of Hept -- but now realize that the theme would have been blow in the final answer.

buckeye bob said...

I saw Elisabeth Shue in Leaving Las Vegas but I didn’t like the movie at all, so I don’t remember her role. I do like her in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Hand up for liking Robert Urich as Spenser. I’ve been reading Robert B. Parker books and I particularly like the Spenser series. They are easy to read, and read a lot like I remember the TV show.

desper-otto said...

I remember Robert Urich best for his role in Lonesome Dove. They hanged him. Alas, poor Urich.

kazie said...

Happy birthday LaLaLinda! Hope this year goes better for you.

Other than my SEPT/HEPT writeover and the complete nattick at HALAS/SHA/OSHEA which finally came out except for guessing HALAN/NHA, thinking sha-nha-nha (two nhas better than one sha?)I was unscathed.

I did look for the theme after finishing, and had noticed the H before solving, so it finally dawned on me that all answers had an H. Very clever, Jeff and Jim!

Splynter said...

Hi there~!

I saw the big "H", too, knew there were a lot of them in the grid, and yet failed to recognize that there was and "H" in every answer - oh well.

Thanks for splainin' first to second, JazzB - I too was in "stealing" mode

HHHHHappy BirtHHHHday LaLaLinda~!


Argyle said...

There will be a full moon on St. Valentine's Day. How romantic.(unless you're stuck in a snow drift!)

Hand up for the Hawkeme tribe. THEM still seems better than THEY.

JohnR said...

Remember EARTH without ART is just EH.
Springh training is starting so can Spring be far away even if we are expecting up to another fkoot of snow in the Great Northeast.

Avg Joe said...

Had a few mis-steps during the solve as already mentioned by others, but got them all squared away. Fairly easy for a Wednesday, but some real crunch too. Then it took half as long as the solve time to figure out the theme. Sneaky little devil! Saw the big H, but the light didn't go on for a while. When it did......WOW. I can't imagine the effort this took. A very fine puzzle!!

During this lengthy winter, a cut from Leon Russell's "Will O' the Wisp" album seems appropriate:

Back to the Island

Avg Joe said...

Happy happy Birthday, Linda!!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Happy Birthday, LalaLinda.

Quite an accomplishment to have each word with at least one 'H'. Once the gimmick became clear, one knew each proposed fill would have an H so made it a bit easier. Still ended up with one Natick;, the HULA/LETHE cross. Did not get the mis-direction of 'hippy'. Sigh. Also stupidly entered 'stock' before BROTH which has an H. Nice change in the puzzle tenor for today. Keeps us on our toes.


Did you hear about the thoughtful Scotsman who was heading out to the pub?

He turned to his wee wife before leaving and said, ' Maggie – put your hat and coat on, lassie. '

She replied, ' Aw Jock that's nice - are you taking me tae the pub with you?’

‘Nay,’ Jock replied ‘I’m switching the heat off while I’m out.’

Argyle said...

An Arab Sheik with a very rare blood type was admitted to Hospital for heart surgery.
Since his blood type couldn't be found locally, the call went out and eventually a Scot was located with the same blood type and he willingly donated his blood for the Arab.

Following successful surgery, the Arab sent the Scot a new BMW, diamonds and £200,000 in appreciation.

Some months later the Arab needed further surgery and the Scot was more than happy to donate his blood again.

After the second surgery the Arab sent the Scot a thank-you card with a box of chocolates which rather shocked the Scot so he phoned the Arab saying: "I thought you'd be generous again and give me another BMW, diamonds and money - but all you sent me was a thank-you card and a box of chocolates"

The Arab replied: "Aye, laddie, but I now have Scottish blood in ma veins."

Husker Gary said...

Hey, there is a big H in the middle! DUH!

-Rick Harris of Pawn Stars with tests for a DIAMOND (2:00), including using our cwd friend - a LOUPE
-Does it take horrible despots like the SHAH to keep those tribal countries safe?
-A despotic Mother Goose character “gave them some BROTH without any bread and whipped them all well and put them to bed”. Yikes!
-Words like YACHT are why we can have spelling bees
-One MAD DASH that I will never join
-OSHA came to our work site and made us take down a nice set of stairs going up to the back of the tool trailer because we had no railing but said nothing about balancing on a single sawhorse to get in common sense was not covered in the manual
-Unlikely place to buy an ORCHID?
-EARTH as seen from MARS
-Calling a HUSKER a HAWKEYE, Owen. Them there’s fightin’ words ;-)
-HBD, LaLa!
-Name this movie where Peter Graves played a WASHBOARD

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

It's always fun to find something clever and original. Very impressive puzzle from Jim and Jeff.

Cool regards!

Montana said...

Happy Birthday, LaLaLinda!
Hope your whole year is great,


LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

What a great puzzle! As I worked, I noticed there seemed to be a lot of H's but not until I finished did I realize every answer contained an H. What I didn't see was the giant H in the middle of the puzzle. I'm often not very perceptive when it comes to puzzle grids or the "big picture."

Thanks for making it all clear to me, JazzB ~ I enjoyed your write-up.

~ This was fun to solve with just a couple of unknowns - HALAS and HAI.

~ I thought of CanadianEh! at 34A - EHS.

~ I, too, was thinking baseball at 40D .

~ The WASHBOARD I think of is in Emmet Otter's Jug Band.

Thanks so much for the birthday wishes. I've been doing well ~ looking forward to more of the same!

Lemonade714 said...

When you think about it, the entire fill is part of the theme making this the most intense theme of all time. It also is a shout out to dear HatoolaH, who unlike Anon at 7:45 does make a rare typo in her post. Really!

D-O, two days in a row, great comment Poor Urich did die young.

SB, nice old Scot joke, but so unnnnnnnnnnn pc. I wonder when we will get over ourselves and just admit it is funny.

Argyle said...

I hope you noticed all the aitches JzB got in his write-up.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Hand up for missing the "can't miss" H staring me right in the face. Had no clue of the theme until reading JazzB's breezy expo. Congrats to Jim and Jeff for a Herculean effort.

Happy Birthday, Linda, and best wishes for a healthy year. It's nice to have you back on a regular basis.

Another cold, bright, sunshiny day. The calm before the storm, I fear.

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

Lemonade714 said...

Oh my yes, this combination of JzB, Jim and Jeff, while refusing to share their Js, did get out more Hs than I have ever seen. I think only four comments from Ron had no H.

JJM said...

Happy Birthday La Linda…. you're a nice person.

Yellowrocks said...

Does your 61D say "Ginza agreement"? The puzzle in my paper did. But I worked from the Mensa site where it said "Ginza greeting." I was thinking NO! NO! It can't be HAI, but I left it in.

Lucina said...

Greetings, friends! You outdid yourself, Jazzman! Thanks for the great commentary.

A very happy birthday, LaLaLinda! I hope this year brings you good health and comfort.

Ay, CHiHuaHa! What a great theme today and like others, I noticed the H in the middle and the many Hs in the puzzle, but failed to connect the dots. That's not unusual for me.

And I also had the HAWKEME tribe.

Now that I study the grid I realize how remarkable it is to have an H in EVERY fill. Very well done, Jeff and Jim.

What is the meaning of HAI? I thought it meant hello. My newspaper has it as Ginza greeting.

WYS, what you said about Elizabeth Shue. I hated Leaving Las Vegas but I like her in CSI.

Have a fantastic Wednesday, everyone!

creature said...

Happy Bday, Lalalinda. Love to all.Quit trying to prove I'm not a robot

CrossEyedDave said...

Saw the H in the weird grid, but was amazed that every single word had an H in it. Remarkable!

It is good to see the letter "H" is alive & well,,,

HBD LaLaLinda I hope this link works, the 1st resulted in a broken page icon, the 2nd in a msg that the Blog HTML cannot acccept a link with over 4,096 characters. (?) (What a pain to try & delete them all, I should have just restarted the post...) AnyHooHa, this is my third attempt. Note that on a PC, if you hold the CTRL button, & tap the +/= button, the pic will enlarge enough to see it actually says LaLaLinda!

CC: The cats & sweetness, no prob, but the Red Sox? (LaLaLinda is from Connecticut,) It took some research for me to discover that Conn. has no major league team... I hope this will suffice.

Al Cyone said...

YR@10:16: Yes, I use the Mensa site and "Ginza greeting" made no sense. I chalked it up to ignorance of the language. Whenever I encounter a Japanese person I cheerfully shout out, "Ohio!".

Jazzbumpa said...

I got this


From Google translate, and confirmed my suspicion that "Hai" means "Yes."

Makes more sense with agreement than it does with greeting.

LaLaLinda - HBD. {Plus, as our 6 year old grandson Josh always adds st the end of the birthday song] And many more!


CrossEyedDave said...

Some other things I found today:

1) you cannot find video's of a will o' the wisp on YouTube. But I did find this...

2) A pig will eat you camera if you drop it out of an airplane..

3) I heard of HooHa from Al Pacino, but I never knew what else it meant!?!? ***Note, very DF!*** (do not click on this link if you do not want to be shocked...)

4) I bet this bird could have solved this crossword puzzle!

5) Bill G., I finally found a math problem I can solve!

creature said...

sold farm. bought condo, moved. hip replacement. on the mend. knocking down wall for furniture to fit in. then need to rebuild wall want to review the corner a little at a time

Misty said...

Like others, I never got the theme until JazzB's expo even though it was staring me in the face the whole time. But what a fun puzzle--many thanks, Jim and Jeff! I was especially thankful that even though I didn't know some of the names (URICH, CHAO, etc.) the acrosses helped solve them.

Milo O'SHEA actually helped launch my career. I was so taken by his performance of Leopold Bloom in the 1967 Joseph Strick film of "Ulysses" that I decided to read the book. I got hooked and went on to become a James Joyce scholar.

Hope it's okay to crack up over your jokes, Argyle an Spitzboov--they were a hoot.

Love your contributions, LaLaLinda--have a wonderful, wonderful birthday!

And have a great Wednesday, everybody!

john28man said...

I join Yellowrocks in that I saw the H but did not notice that H was in every entry. It also took more than average time to solve.

Happy Birthday LaLaLinda.

Yellowrocks said...

In Japanese HAI is yes. Another usage is to indicate, "Yes I hear you." We might say uh huh for the same reason, whether we agree or not.
ohayou (pronounced OHIO) means good morning
konnichiwa means good afternoon
konbanwa means good evening

I wish some of those MENSA brains would figure out to to make the Mensa site always match the newspaper .

My captcha is ha heh.

Bill G. said...

I was excited about the unusual grid and all of the H's. Fun and creative! Thanks for the writeup JzB. Happy birthday LaLaLinda! I hope it's a good one.

I liked the jokes, Spitz and Argyle.

Off for a couple of little errands.

I say one more time, if you get the Animal Planet TV channel, it is showing some reruns of Dirty Jobs. What an enjoyable show! I feel as if I get some interesting information about things that go on behind the scenes out of our normal view all the while being entertained by the intelligent and witty Mike Rowe. (He has a college degree and sang with the Baltimore Opera.) Great show!

River Doc said...

Happy Humpday everybody!

Saw the H pattern in the grid right off, then went to work on the puzzle. After it was done, I went over the grid to try to grok the theme. First couple of long crosses started with H, but that was it - no further pattern. Hmmmm. Finally stood back a little and saw an H in each and every answer! Standing Ovation to Jim and Jeff....!

Over-writes included GNAW for CHEW, HOO for WHO, and CORSAIR for HELLCAT....

More familiar with Hell HATH no fury like a woman scorned.... For several unfortunate reasons....

Favorite clue = Hello, Wahine!

Didn't Col Sherman Potter frequently use the word HOOHA....?

Finally, HDB to LaLaLinda...!

Doc out

River Doc said...

BillG and CED, here's another math problem that's easy to solve....

Simplified IRS Tax Form 1040:
1. How much money did you make last year?
2. Send it in.

Lemonade714 said...

Misty great story about your career and the late Milo O'Shea.

Creature, good to hear you are on the upswing in so many aspects of life.

CED the cake was perfect! With my vision issues, I hold down the ctrl key and use the roller ball on my mouse to zoom in on the screen.

Jokes are great

Steve said...

Happy Birthday Linda!

Rick said...

Can we all agree that a "shout out" is, and of itself, intentional, and not happenstance?

While ARGYLE from yesterday's grid may very well have been a shout out to our dear Santa, today's Hs are most likely not calling out Hondo and Hahtoolah (just as ICE is not really "putting it" to Tin).

Perhaps the Corner can come up with a clever turn of phrase to indicate these coincidental shout outs? Goodness knows we have a wide smorgasbord of these coins already!

Here's looking at you, kid.

Bill G. said...

Uh oh, I see where Sid Caesar has passed away.

River Doc: Heh heh. Good one.

Actually, I'm one of those rare people who don't mind paying income tax. My gripes would be about the US budget and how the money is spent. Also, I get my feathers ruffled when it seems as if other folks and corporations can use their attorneys to manipulate the tax code so that they end up paying less than their fair share. Also, when the tax code is so complicated that I feel I need to hire someone to figure out my taxes, that doesn't seem right and needs to be fixed I think. Otherwise, paying taxes to support a reasonaable-sized military, to build and maintain roads and bridges, to assist poor folks who need a little extra help, all that seems OK and I'm happy to contribute my fair share.

Rick said...

* in and of itself

buckeye bob said...

HG @ 9:11 AM --

Is the movie Stalag 17?

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, As usual I had a couple of glitches with this Jeff Chen puzzle, though easier than some of his I've tried. I wasn't sure whether to put in Thee or Thou, Dost or Doth, or Stock or Broth. I had to wait for surrounding words to fill in before I could guess which to use.

I put in Them for They so Hawkeye didn't appear. I had Hawkeme in and didn't go back to check my answers. I should know better. We have lots of "Hawkeye" relatives.

A great collaboration Jim and Jeff. Fun "theme" with all the H's and the H in the very middle. Thanks, too, Jazz for the explanations. I saw H's everywhere except in the very middle of the puzzle! Duh!

Happy Birthday, LaLaLinda and many, many more.

Hatoolah, Thanks for the timely quote by Abraham Lincoln. I miss being in school and doing the lessons I had to celebrate the President's birthdays in February.

Chickie said...

Spitzboov and Argyle--Loved the Scottish jokes. Thanks for my daily laugh. Un PC, or not, I thought they were funny.

My paper had Ginza agreement. I thought the Hai was correct as an agreement means yes in a sense.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Excellent puzzle! I noticed the unusual grid before starting and the "H". Didn't understand the full effect until after I was done. HUA!

Didn't know LETHE, HALAS, OSHEA, or CHAO but perps filled them.

Happy birthday, LaLa Linda!

Hi Creature, so glad you got your farm sold and have a new hip. Good to hear from you because I had been thinking about you and wondering...

We're having a heat wave: 32* & supposed to be 48* tomorrow. Maybe I can take off my stocking cap in the house then.

Ol' Man Keith said...

A lovely puzzle, Mssrs Horne & Chen.

Some early editions of Congreve's play use "hath" in the famous "Music hath charms" expression. As with many old play texts, editors sometimes automatically "update" usages.

Ol' Man Keith said...

For those still suffering in the nation's frosty zones, I send fortifying good wishes. Hang in there! The sun will surely come.

Today in SoCal we're experiencing bright clear skies and temps from the mid-70s up. I just came indoors after basking in old Sol's commanding rays. He's nearly a hundred million miles away, but heats my garden. Just feeling that warmth pressing on my face and hands cheers my heart.
There's only a little over a month till spring. Hang on!

Steve said...

Except = SHORT OF? I was hoping someone would 'splain that one - I'm not getting it.

Hmmmm ...

TTP said...

Steve, think of it as in any case where all (except, less, short of) this or that.

"They had taken ownership of all the properties, short of the area along the creek where the train would be stopping."

Happy Birthday Linda.

Lemonade714 said...

Shirley Temple, Sid Caesar, who is the third?

Lucina said...

Very funny, laugh-out-loud jokes today. Thank you. I need it.

It's great to hear from you and know that you are sorting your life and readjusting to life as it happens.

I believe we have a word for what you described, it's "serendipity" but it's fun to assume personal significance for the Corner. We have heard from enough constructors to realize how very long it takes and how difficult it is to create a masterpiece such as today's.

Anonymous T said...

Greetings again from Cairo...

I guess I'm still on CST as I can't sleep...

HBD LaLaLinda!

TTP - I had near the same explanation in mind for Steve, short of, you beat me to it.

WEES re: todays puzzle. Put me down for in the harder-than-a-Wes column. I noticed the odd grid and looked for patterns in both the black-squares and the grid - is it supposed to be Jesus' face? A puppy?...CED's cat? Oh H***, just start the puzzle already...

And a fun (if not hard for me) puzzle it was. I finally almost finished, but a few squares had wrong letters. Oh, well. JzB's write-up made the TDNF feel better.

Tonight was my last night with my friend who lives here as he takes his son to a match in Alexandria tomorrow. We had a great time at an upscale resturant and I got to see his beautiful old home in Heliopolis. I also finally saw the children too. They are the same age as mine - his daughter and mine have been friends since they were two (we all knew eachother in Houston).

Cheers, -T

fermatprime said...


What an achievement, Jim and Jeff! I was so busy being afraid that I wasn't going to finish w/o cheating, that I did not notice the big H, etc. (Did see a lot of ASH.) thanks to Jazz for enlightening me! Took a whole 15 minutes (typing with left hand on MacBook Pro as usual). At first had some of the incorrect substitutions mentioned above.

Had three repairmen coming this afternoon. So far only one has done his thing. (It is 3:47 here.)

After having only 45 minutes of sleep in the previous 24 hours, I caught up last night, with close to 11 hours. (Brain was not working at all yesterday.) Had a medical appointment. Doctor was unable to remove the earwax dragon from my left ear as the pain was killing me. He did, however, give me a prescription substitute for Zantac. Supposedly his female all-around helper called it in to the local CVS. After a 45 minutes wait, CVS informed us that they did not have a request, and that if they called it would be another 45. Hah! (BTW, sitting in my truck is very painful.) So I called up to Rite Aid and problem was solved in jig time. (Evidently, having Caremark for prescription benefits via the State of California does not mean that you have to always go to CVS. Medication was $4.35. This is the nth problem that I have had with CVS. I LOATHE them.


Anonymous T said...


I'm watching this bat from my third-floor balcony make the same frenetic trip to each branch of a tree (don't ask me to name it, I'm an engineer, not a horticulturist Jim*) like the men on the street make the same trip checking each gate. I suppose the bat knows his job - keep the bugs off of the tree. It is crazy-fun to watch. As I typed this, s/he flew to the next tree and started again - now s/he's back...

C, -T
*there's a nerd reference there, can you find it?...

fermatprime said...


Creature: what a great feat! Super to hear from you!

LaLaLinda: Have (what's left of) a great birthday!

Still no more repairmen!


Avg Joe said...

"Dammit Jim. I'm a doctor, not an engineer."

Why do you ask, two dogs?


HeartRx said...

LaLaLinda, Happy Birthday, neighbor! I hope you are girded for tomorrow's storm. If not, I will put on the cross-country skis and bring you some personal b-day wishes and big hugs!!

WEES about the puzzle - I did see the big "H", but didn't see the forest for the trees, at first. Hhhhm…lots of "H's" in this puzzle. But, where's the symmetry???" Duh! Big V-8 moment when I finally realized that every entry had at least one "H"!!! Great feat, Jim and Jeff!!

CanadianEh! said...

Late to the party again but loved this clever puzzle even if I didn't see all the H's until I read the blog.

Hand up for sept/hept, then/they thou/thee on first pass. I didn't know CHAO, URICH or SHEL but perps rescued me.

I too caught my CSO (coincidental shout out)at 34A!
HBD LaLa Linda.

LaLaLinda said...

Thanks to all for the many birthday wishes and kind thoughts. You've added much happiness to my day.

My husband and I will have a birthday dinner this weekend as we make our annual contribution to the casino. Hopefully the roads will be cleared of snow and ice by then. We'll be taking my 88 year-old mother-in-law with us ~ it's her favorite thing to do!

CED - I loved your links! A great cake and even better, a Red Sox kitty - two of my favorite things. =^..^=

So good to hear from you, Creature. Hope things will continue to improve.

JazzB ~ my sister sang Happy Birthday on the phone earlier today and ended it with, "and many more" - it's a family tradition. :-)

~ Time for coffee and a birthday cannoli!

Lucina said...

You are one of many people I've heard complain about CVS being inefficient in pharmacy delivery. It's a wonder they are still in business!

Ol' Man Keith said...

He was the first comedian who "belonged" to my generation. We had inherited Bob Hope and his gang all the way down to Danny Kaye. I spotted Caesar in a movie ("Tars and Spars"?) and was a fan long before "Show of Shows" on TV.

A quote from him is a favorite of mine--and great advice for socializing, whether at a party or posting on a blog: "The trouble with telling a good story is that it invariably reminds the other fellow of a dull one."

Spitzboov said...

Jupiter is out and bright tonight. 20º above and 7º to the right of the moon.

Bill G. said...

Spitz, I just checked out the moon and Jupiter. Pretty. Do you have a telescope with which to look at Jupiter and its moons? I always think about how Galileo would have marveled if he had a telescope like even an inexpensive one that's available today.

JD said...

What an amazing grid,Jim and Jeff.Pure art! It looks like a cheerleader--hey! hey! ho! ho! Usually I never get the theme, but that H jumped out at me from the start. First I was amazed at all the h's, and then they helped me with many fills. Came to a stand still at "short of" and "mad dash". Left... came back and things worked.

Thar cracked me up and I laughed even harder at hooha!! Cooter, I do agree with you.

Creature, so happy that you are finally free of the farm . It makes us all feel good that you are doing well.

HBTY, La La Linda! Our family ends the b'day song with "and many more from channel 44" I know, it's a bit odd, but then you have seen the b'day hats.

Spitzboov said...

Bill G - No, I have no telescope. Just was putting out the garbage at 6 local time and saw the 2 on a beautiful clear night here.

Good night everyone.

Anonymous said...

Cooter calling out HOOHA is like the pot calling the kettle black.

Either that, or a CSO...

Anonymous said...

Attention: HOOHA is female genitalia. HooAh or HooRah is military slang. For your benefit. Don't be a dork.

Anonymous said...


Scent of a Woman

I'd take a flamethrower to this place!!

Anonymous said...

Did you see Phillip Seymour Hoffman? Watch it again...