Apr 25, 2014

Friday, April 25, 2014, Samuel A. Donaldson

Theme: This is no PG-13 puzzle.

We have a letter replacement puzzle with the change from the highly controversial X-rating to the family friendly G-rating. We have asterisks and a reveal which made this seem as awfully easy theme for a Friday. There are many proper names, some difficult, but what makes it special is the phrases chosen to have the final letter of the second (all 3-letters long) of a two word phrase replaced, all begin as somewhat salacious in nature and emerge as completely harmless with the G ending. The rest of the puzzle has much in the way of fun fill, especially longer ones like BEAN BAGS, IN UNISON, ESPECIALLY, PIZZA SLICE, SEMI-ANNUAL ZERO MOSTEL, CHEAP THRILL, MIRACLE MILE.  Mr. Donaldson has been published often in the NYT as well as being a regular  contributor at Crossword Fiend though he has published no puzzles in the LAT since 2011. Here is the interview C.C. did back when. LINK.

8. *Scarlet letter? : SIN TAG (6). Most people are lucky they do not really collect a SIN TAX, and as I said I reread Scarlett Letter recently...meh.

20A. *Rio jokester? : BRAZILIAN WAG. (12). If you are familiar with BRAZILIAN WAX you can understand why it is x-rated. I chose not to link the VIDEO and was fascinated to learn the practice goes back 6 or 7 thousand years.

33A. *Law against certain intra-family marriages? : OEDIPUS REG. (10). I am sure you all know the STORY of Oedipus REX. Likely not related to REX PARKER, NY Times puzzle blogger.

38A. *Game disc on the farm? : CHICKEN POG. Chicken is one of many POX diseases, and it was thought at one time they all had sexual transmission links. POGS were popular when my kids were little.

48A. *Fighter running on tequila? : MARGARITA MIG.  The Russian fighter jet. I hope the pilots are not fueled by alcohol. Margaritas often lead to partying and who wants a drunken bomb dropped...

And the reveal,  59A.  Like the answers to the starred clues before they were edited : X-RATED.


1. Sputnik letters : CCCP. The Cyrillic letters for SSSR look like our Latin letters CCCP.

5. Insert : ADD.

14. "Hello, I didn't see you there" : OH HI. My first misstep, as I wanted "Oops." made me question CCCP for a second.

15. Tax-advantaged vehicle : IRA. Individual Retirement Account.

16. Like unmiked orators, maybe : HOARSE. Mr. Ed being often a hoarse horse, of course.

17. Collins contemporary : BAEZ. Judy and Joan, my first thought was Joan Collins. One of my favorite concerts was watch Joan Baez perform at Tanglewood. I could not find that performance, so... LINK. (4:45).

18. Like some sales : SEMI-ANNUAL. Like Macy's white sale.

22. Part of a black suit : SPADE. Sometimes I enjoy feeling stupid, as all I thought of were suits of clothing and Sam Spade before the playing card misdirection caught me.

23. It may be packed : GUN. Cute, and fits well with Sam Spade. How many of our readers pack heat?

24. Grand squared : MIL. 1000 x 1000 = 1,000,000. Mil not an abbreviation but a colloquialism.

27. General of Chinese cuisine : TSO.

28. "Bueller? Bueller?" actor Stein : BEN. Jimmy Kimmel's uncle.

29. "Die Lorelei" poet : HEINE. Lorelei was pictured as the temptress on the rock.

31. Shaver brand : WAHL.

35. First-century Judean monarch Herod __ : AGRIPPA.  Grandson of Herod the Great, and friendly with Caligula.

37. Portion portion : SUB-PART. Lawyers love sub-folders, sub-parts, sub-sections.

40. Prefix with morph : ECTO. And its brother ENDO.

41. Healthy greens : KALES. The KALE SMOOTHIE is the most popular drink at Whole Foods market here.

42. Storage unit : BIN.

43. Muscle prone to tears, briefly : ACL. Anterior Cruciate Ligament. One of the 4 major knee ligaments.

44. Fashion monogram : YSL. Yves St. Laurent.

45. A long way : FAR.

46. Waffle __ : FRIES. I really wanted IRONS, this was obscure, but it could have been Curly___ and I would have been no better off.

52. Tevye-playing Tony winner : ZERO MOSTEL. As old timers may remember I did get to see Topol in his farewell tour as Teyve. Zero's son Josh was/is also a comedian.

55. Prom rental : LIMO.

56. Inverse trig function : ARCSIN. Interesting to see SIN twice in the grid even if the words and sound are so different.

57. Spreading tree : ELM. Most New England elms were devastated by Dutch Elm Disease when I was growing up, thought the one is this painting will last forever.

58. Foreign attorneys' degs. : LLBS. In the US the degree is a Juris Doctor, a doctorate degree requiring a completed undergraduate degree. My father went into a program where he never received a college degree only his LLB in the 30's. The "LL." of the abbreviation for the degree is from the genitive plural legum (of lex, law). Creating an abbreviation for a plural, especially from Latin, is often done by doubling the first letter (e.g. "pp" for "pages"), thus "LL.B." stands for Legum Baccalaureus in Latin. It is sometimes erroneously called "Bachelor of Legal Letters" to account for the double "L".

60. Call for help : SOS. I just love the term"backronym." LINK.

61. "Uh-huh" : YEAH.


1. Georgia county planned to be the 2017 home of the Braves : COBB. This is where Marietta is located, and is named after an old Senator, not Ty.

2. Blackens : CHARS.

3. It doesn't provide lasting enjoyment : CHEAP THRILL. Dennis, they are playing our song. Immediately followed by a quickie...hmmm.

4. Quick lunch, perhaps : PIZZA SLICE. Cute clue.

5. Window alternative : AISLE. Airplane seats, not house related.

6. German crowd? : DREI. Three is a crowd even in German.

7. Broken : DAMAGED.

8. Gymnast Johnson who was a "Dancing With the Stars" winner : SHAWN. I wonder if this show is popular enough to consider this a fair clue.   WATCH. (4:37) BTW his name is Hough.

9. Inner Hebrides isle : IONA. Off the coast of Scotland, it is also the name of a College in NY. In Hebrew the name means dove.

10. Da __, Vietnam : NANG. A name I only know from the War.

11. Play about Capote : TRU.

12. Hard-rock link : AS A.

13. Crystallize : GEL. As an idea it is a common expression, but logically are gels crystalline? J E L L OH NO!

19. How a chorus may sing : IN UNISON. Hopefully.

21. Vow on a stand : I DO. "do you solemnly swear...?"

24. Site of Los Angeles' Museum Row : MIRACLE MILE. I do not know that are, only the one in Coral Gables.

25. Like krypton : INERT. Without the capital K, Superman is not involved.

26. Not a __ stand on : LEG TO.

28. Contoured chairs : BEAN BAGS. What a classy description for a very cheap item.

29. Connecting flight site : HUB.

30. In particular : ESPECIALLY.

31. Nonsensical : WACKY. Are cluing favorite.

32. Ottoman nobility : AGHAS.

33. Ajar, poetically : OPE. There is no 'ope for this clue.

34. Curly-tailed canine : PUG. Funny looking guys.

36. Soccer stat : PKS. Penalty kicks. And an appropriate shout out for our regular and her many imitators.

39. 1979 World Series champs : PIRATES. Random even for a baseball fan such as myself; though I recall the Mazeroski home run in 1960, nothing about 1979 stands out in my mind unless it was the Sister Sledge , "We are family." (3:34) team..

43. What life imitates, so it's said : ART.

45. Fern leaf : FROND. Also from Palm trees.

46. Festival features : FILMS.

47. 1994 film king : SIMBA. Lion King anyone.

48. Very : MOST.

49. Grenoble gal pal : AMIE.

50. Move shortly? : RELO. Perfectly regular clue, but I for one do not like the fill.

51. "My stars!" : GOSH.

52. Either of two stubborn Seuss characters : ZAX. Not in my wheelhouse.

53. Go off : ERR. I think of this meaning more yelling at someone., "I went off on my secretary when she brought me a plain latte."

54. Early 'N Sync label : RCA. Radio Corporation of America. I went to grammar school with one of the Sarnoff children. he did not light up the screen.

Well chugging along through early spring, which has hung on giving us some spectacular weather, we will be back in May.  Some obscure proper names, but it is Friday; enjoy the week end all

Lemonade 714 out.

Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to dear Kazie, who has been faithfully contributing to our blog since the summer of 2008. Over the years, she has shared with us many photos from her overseas trips. Kay speaks fluent French and German.

Kay and her husband Barry on Tamborine Mountain, overlooking Brisbane


fermatprime said...


Thanks for doable puzzle Sanuel! Swell expo, Lemon!

Doable means no cheats here. But took lots of time and many changes. In the end, WAG for PKS.

Cute theme! Caught on rather quickly, all things considered. PIRATES came from 3 letters. Didn't like KALES. Never heard of DAHL. Perped it. Same with ZAX and some others.

Happy Birthday Kazie!

Happy Sunday ti all!

Al Cyone said...

Well, I thought I got it but . . . I didn't "get" it. Turns out I had G RATED instead of X RATED (and ZAG seemed reasonable for a Seuss character). But, otherwise, it was fun.


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Man, it took a looong time for me to figure out what was going on with the theme today. The first theme answer I "got" was 38, but unfortunately I totally missed the point and went with CHICKEN PIE (thinking that POT was being removed from common phrases). Boy, did that ever mess me up for awhile...

I finally grokked the theme with OEDIPUS REG very late in the game, but that was enough to let me put a final G for all the theme answers and give me the toehold I needed up in the NE corner. Otherwise, I never would have gotten NANG, SINTAG or even HOARSE or SEMIANNUAL.

Elsewhere, I wanted SALAD instead of KALES, never heard of WAHL, and was convinced that PKS must be a mistake. I also briefly tried IRONS instead of FRIES, but that didn't last very long...

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Lemonade and friends. Ouch! This was a toughie. I needed the unifier to help me out here and even then I struggled. It was the CHICKEN POG that was my Rosetta Stone.

I loved Win BEN Stein's Money.

I thought I knew my Dr. Seuss, but the ZAX flummoxed me.

Happy Birthday, KAZIE!

QOD: It isn’t where you came from, it’s where you’re going that counts . ~ Ella Fitzgerald (Apr. 25, 1917 ~ June 15, 1996)

No-Vice worder said...

Can anyone tell me how to turn off the red letter warning for the puzzle on the L.A. Times website? I like doing the puzzle on the computer but not if it's going to alert me every time I put in a wrong letter!

Anonymous said...

How can a "muscle prone to tears briefly" be the anterior cruciate LIGAMENT?????

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Started with an OOPS and LEG for a HUB, but at least it didn't turn into a DNF.

Tearing your anterior cruciate ligament can be excruciating, so I'm told.

POG is a new term for me. When was it popular?

Hahtoolah, hand up for loving Win Ben Stein's Money -- I've also enjoyed some of his economic commentaries. He's a good mix of wit and wisdom.

Barry, if you'd been around in the 60's, Da NANG would've been a gimme.

Happy birthday, Kazie!

Barry G. said...


thehondohurricane said...


Got the North done successfully. The Central and South were a snowfield. Not knowing the theme gimmick hurt some, but being flummoxed by much of the remaining cluing hurt worse. Not into it today.

I have an excuse through. Not much rest last night due to much excitement and JOY earlier in the evening.. The Bruins knocking off the Red Wings in OT, after being down by two goals was as good as it gets (I thought), but I was alternating back and forth to keep up with the Yankee/Sucks game. Let me just say that watching Boston perform like a Little League team was even better then the Bruins result. Funny, Sucks fans have been quiet lately!


thehondohurricane said...

Kaxie, I forgot.

Happy Birthday. Have a fun day.

Mari said...

Good Morning Everybody! Happy Friday. Unfortunately, my Friday started out with a DNG, but I'm sure it will get better.

I came pretty close to finishing this one, but I never saw the theme, and that really threw me off.

Some things I just could not get, like 8D, 9D and 10D. Three in a row like that will leave you with a lot of blank space and surely lead to a DNF.

Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

Have a great weekend!

Yellowrocks said...

This was Wed. easy for me. I started in the North Central and then did the NE. I had SEMIANNUAL, then filled in 10D, 11D and 12D which led to HOARSE. --NTAG became SINTAG/SINTAX. Friday is letter substitution day at LAT. So the theme came early helping with all the * answers.
With the -RI-- in place, FRIES came quickly.
WAHL was all perps. I skipped 35D, but PK was filled without my realizing it. Hi, PK.
I hesitated just a bit in the SW. After I finally accepted MOST (meh) for very and remembered ZAX I completed it. I knew SIN as a trig function, but ARC came from perps.
I really enjoyed the theme and the fill. Great blog as always Lemonade. Thanks for pointing out X-rated tamed down to G-rated.
Happy Birthday, Kazie. I enjoy your posts and pics.
The Isle of Iona is beautiful. We went hiking there when my knees still cooperated.

buckeye bob said...

No-Vice worder at 6:55 AM --

You have 2 choices on the LAT site.

1. Don't select it in the first place. When you are opening the puzzle, click Master Skill Level instead of Regular Skill Level. (Red letter help seems to be the only difference.)

2. If you have the puzzle open and on Regular Skill Level, click Options (lower right-hand area), Skill, Regular / Master.

You can use #2 to revert to red letter help if you are on Master level and stuck during the puzzle, maybe on Thur - Fri - Sat.

These steps work for the LAT site. The Mensa site (same puzzle, no ad) is the same for Step 1, but slightly different for Step 2 because Options is in the upper right area.

grams said...

Iona is indeed beautiful! We were there last month. Felt the spirituality of the place, going thru the ancient chapels.

Happy Birthday Kazie!

Yellowrocks said...

My avatar is one of my pics from the Hebrides. We had a ride on this little boat at ElGol on the Isle of Skye.
I don't know of any other way to share a photo with you.

No-Vice worder said...

buckeye bob

Thanks for the heads up. Now I can leave the newspaper for my wife. Much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

A ligament is not a muscle!!!

kazie said...

Thanks for the good wishes everyone! Especially to C.C., who always notes everyone's birthday and is nice to us all the time!

We are planning a day out somewhere a bit later on, but DH is keeping the destination a secret.

I had no luck with the CW today, however did get about half of it out. NANG was a gimmie--wasn't that in a song some time ago?

HeartRx said...

Good morning all!

Happy Birthday, Kazie! I always enjoy your wonderful travelogues, and look forward to the next one.

Very informative write up as always, Lemony. But I don’t think I will be ordering one of those kale smoothies any time in the foreseeable future! That just looks gross.

This was a fun, fun puzzle that really had me going for a while. But when I finally realized we were changing X’s to G’s, it made it much simpler than a Friday for me.

Kazie, you may be thinking of a very funny Robin Williams movie called “Good Morning Vietnam.” On one of his radio broadcasts, he sang “Viva Da Nang, oh viva Da Nang. Da Nang me, Da Nang me, they oughta get a rope and hang me…”

Oh, and have a happy POET'S day.

Shelly said...

Not to be too picky, but the ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) is just that, a ligament, not a muscle as in the clue. Good puzzle!

Anonymous said...

Great review. It felt like I was reading a Wikipedia entry.

Big Easy said...


This Friday was really stumping me on the first through. There were so many unknowns, SHAWN LLBS phony JOAN HEINE SIMBA ZEROMOSTEL AGRIPPA ZAX COBB that were all solved by perps. NE and SW were the last to fall with ARCSIN because I had cosine in my head and SINTAG being my favorite clue. I figured the theme early with the CHICKENPOG answer.

I do believe that the ACL is a ligament not a muscle.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries-OrthoInfo - AAOS

For all you golfers out there, i have been volunteering at the Zurich Classic this week and during the Pro-Am I made it a point to talk with Ernie Els (the REAL Big Easy)and told him he was my wife's favorite player because she said he had the best looking rear-end of all the golfers. So I took a couple of pictures with him, one with him facing the camera and one with me facing the camera and him with his back turned. He laughed his *** off; no it really stayed on. He was one under par for Thursday. Another player shot a 62 with 10 birdies and he is currently 13 under through three holes this morning.

buckeye bob said...

Thank you for the puzzle, Samuel. Thank you for the excellent review, Lemonade.

This puzzle was a bit of a challenge for me, as it should be on a Friday. I got SIN TAG and OEDIPUS REG. Then I realized the letter substitution, and that helped me get BRAZILIAN WAG, CHICKEN POG, and MARGARITA MIG. POG is an unknown for me. It looked wrong, but fit the theme, so I left it. Good thing! In the end, I finished without red letter help, but a little long for a Friday.

HEINE, WAHL, LLBS, SHAWN Johnson, ZAX were unknowns to me, but the perps got me there eventually.

I had SKYE before IONA, so that messed me up in the NE corner for a while. After I took it out, the rest of the NE filled in, and I got IONA.

Hand up for thinking of Joan Collins instead of Judy Collins, so I had BAER for a while until I figured out PIZZA SLICE.

Happy birthday, Kazie! Happy Poets Day!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

At the start this seemed too easy for a Friday, but soon convinced me otherwise. Sussed the theme early, which helped make sense of Sin Tag. Pogs were after my time, but I remember how much of a fad they became. This helped clear out my first guess for that clue, Frisbee___.

Didn't know Herod had another name. About all I know about him is that he was raging at some point, and made a controversial and murderous law...

Happy Birthday, Kazie! I envy your multi-lingual ability. German wasn't available in my small school, darn it.

Elms were such lovely trees. I remember a few nice ones in my town. Every last one is gone now.

Anonymous said...

"There are many proper names, some difficult, but what makes it special is the phrases chosen to have the final letter of the second (all 3-letters long) of a two word phrase replaced, all begin as somewhat salacious in nature and emerge as completely harmless with the G ending."

I dare you to diagram that sentence!

p.s. How are Chicken Pox, Margarita Mix or even Sin Tax "salacious in nature"?

Anonymous said...

YR, A good way to share photos is one of the many "cloud storage" sites that offer free storage. Google (GoogleDrive), Microsoft (OneDrive), Apple (iCloud) all offer cloud storage. Or you can go with new comers like (my fav) or

Procedures to share the image/file vary (some require signing in), but dropbox allows you to right-click and get a direct link to a file you've uploaded.

These are handy when you want to email photos -- especially for people reading on mobile devices.

C6D6 Peg said...

Somehow this seemed like a Saturday puzzle with a theme. Lots of rich fill that made me think twice. Thanks for the challenge, Samuel.

Lemonade - nice review. I, too, don't think I'll try a Kale Smoothie!

desper-otto said...

Do you suppose the puzzle author is related to the Sam Donaldson who used to be with ABC News? Or maybe he's the same guy?

Husker Gary said...

Do I get some lovely parting gifts for getting close on this fabulous puzzle? frieR (duh!) cost me a “got ‘er done” but I’ll take 2 bad cells and try to face the day where I’m giving up golf for $135.

-Some TV evangelists issuing those metaphorical scarlet letters have some dark secrets
-HOARSE is what I get when you make a NASA presentation (with Sputnik) to six classes in one day
-Sales – Have you ever heard a car salesman not say NOW is the time to buy?
-A friend has gone off the deep end after a big financial loss (he paid millions for corn that is now worth thousands) and forgot he was PACKing a gun at a HS basketball game. He now has striped sunlight
-I remember BEN and Jimmy from his schlocky cable show (10:05 but you get the idea quickly)
-We planted a lot of ornamental KALE last summer and loved them!
-An ACL ain’t a muscle
-Can you see a parallel between Tevye and Lord Grantham vis–à–vis their daughters?
-YEAH – 1/3 of a Beatle lyric
-I get COBB but always wonder about how Georgians pronounce DEKALB County
-Sitting in a BEAN BAG is fun, extricating yourself is another enterprise
-We can now fly to LA from Omaha without going through a HUB
-I’ll take RELO over ELHI any day
-G’Day and HBD Kazie, you and Barry are lookin’ good in “Brisbun”

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Happy Birthday, Kazie - DREI Mal hoch!

Nice clever and ARTful puzzle today. In addition to the theme I enjoyed the other ten letter acrosses and downs. Found KALES a bit stiff; usually used in the singular, but it fit and it's Friday.

Have a great day.

CrossEyedDave said...

Well I rushed red letter/cheated my way thru this puzzle, so I have no idea if it was hard or not... (if only Fridays did not happen on Friday...)

HBD Kazie!

I did have fun poking around Lemon's Brazilian Wax link... (Hey Lemonade! can you email me the video?)

Yellowrocks said...

Du Bist Wie Eine Blume lyrics by Heinrich Heine

Du bist wie eine Blume
so hold und schön und rein
ich schau’ dich an, und Wehmut
schleicht mir ins Herz hinein.
Mir ist, als ob ich die Hände
aufs Haupt dir legen sollt’,
betend, daß Gott dich erhalte
so rein und schön und hold.

You Are Like a Flower translation by Hélène Lindqvist

You are like a flower
so fair and beautiful and pure
I see you and melancholy
steals itself into my heart.
It’s like I must lay my hands
upon your head
and pray that God keep you
so pure and beautiful and fair.

Set to music by Schumann
Link Heine set to music

CanadianEh! said...

So many unknowns today. I couldn't get much traction even when I got the X to G theme. But TGIF!

Smiled at clues for HOARSE and GUN. We do not pack heat in Canada and I believe that our attitude to guns is a major difference between Canadians and Americans.

Apparently LLB degrees have changed to JD in most Canadian universities in the last few years.

Happy Birthday kazie.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

While I appreciate Mr. Donaldson's talent, I didn't really enjoy this puzzle. My only write-over was Waffle House before fries. Never heard of Wahl or Zax. Good expo, Lemony.

Happy Birthday, Kazie; I hope the secret destination is a fun one!

Bright sunshine and mild temps today. Hooray.

Have a great Friday.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I can not find an email address for Rich Norris, the editor of the L.a. times crossword to point out the error in the definition given in Horizontal Clue #43 for the ACl (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) as a muscle prone to tears. Any anatomy text, e.g. "Greys Anatomy" will define the ACL as one of the ligaments connecting the femur to the tibia and which helps stabilize the knee joint as it is incapable of extension or contraction as is a muscle.

buckeye bob said...

@ desper-otto 10:16 AM --

I wondered that too. No, they are not the same person. Clicking on the link in Lemonade's expo, I saw that this Samuel A. Donaldson is a law professor at the University of Washington, and a lawyer.

Misty said...

Well, this started out as a real toughie for me, even though I got a toehold with ZERO MOSTEL and SHAWN Johnson. Since we're "Dancing with the Stars" fans, I fondly remember her gorgeous dancing on that season. After that it was a real struggle, but slowly, slowly the east filled in, and even more slowly the west until I got everything except one dumb letter: had TACKY instead of WACKY since I didn't know WAHL. I was sure ZAX AND ARCSIN were going to be wrong, but they were right. Yay!

So, thanks for what turned out to be a doable Friday puzzle, Sam, and thanks to Lemonade for the nice expo.

Yellowrocks, many thanks for posting the HEINE lyrics.

And Happy Birthday, Kazie!

Have a good day, everybody!

TTP said...

Good morning all,

After getting up at 4AM, I tackled the puzzle to get my mind off of work.

Thank you Samuel A Donaldson. Excellent puzzle. Thank you Lemonade714. Excellent writeup. (Husker Gary, please take note that I did not use awesome. :)

I got XRATED before any of the themes. By then already had BRAZILIAN WA_ and C_IC_ENPOG, as well as most of OEDIPUS REG and MARGARITA MIG.

The clue "Game disc on the farm?" made me think of the Wisconsin Cow Chip Throw in Prairie du Sac. It's the state championship. Yes, I competed one year. Anyone can enter.

I read the clue "1979 World Series Champs" and wondered for a second why there would be such an easy clue in a Friday puzzle ? Pittsburgh in the 70s ? City of Champions. Panthers, Pirates and Steelers. Pirates in 71 and 79. A great '79 TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) led by Willie Stargell and Dave Parker....

Speaking of KALE smoothie, I had some of DW's this morning. She wanted Santa to bring a Magic Bullet mixer for Christmas last year, and he obliged. She has made a vegetable smoothie almost every single day since then, with just a few exceptions. Typically with berries of one kind or another. Today was blueberries and raspberries. YUMMY !

Speaking of the 115th day of the year, I offer the following from Miss Congeniality:

Stan Fields: Miss Rhode Island, please describe your idea of a perfect date.

Cheryl "Rhode Island": That's a tough one. I'd have to say April 25th. Because it's not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket.

Happy Birthday Kazie !

TTP said...

Found the vid

The Perfect Date

Bill G. said...

That was a fun Friday outing. I wonder how many times our perception of a puzzle and its difficulty level has to do with our starting point? If I happen to start in an area that's easy for me, the rest of the puzzle flows from there. If I start in someplace difficult place with only a few letters filled in, the rest of the puzzle will likely be a struggle. What do you think?

Thanks Sam and Lemon. Very happy birthday wishes Kazie!

Hand up for ACL being misleading and wrong. That doesn't happen often with Rich. I had trouble with 48A because when I read *Fighter running on tequila, I was imagining a prize fighter, a drunken boxer.

Speaking of Kale, I've always enjoyed greens as part of southern cooking (growing up in Virginia). Kale, Swiss Chard, spinach, Turnip greens, etc. Still, beet tops are my favorite.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Lemonade714 was drinking while divining. Many of his comments are NONSENSICAL. 13d, 24d and 31d especially.

kazie said...

You're right, I thought it had something to do with that movie, but couldn't remember the rest of the details. Thanks for the reminder!

Steve said...

Thanks for the write-up, Lemonade and Happy Birthday Kazie!

WEES about ACL - I had a minor cringe when i saw the clue/answer.

WBS about taking a loooong time to latch onto the theme - Lemony didn't seem to have a problem seeing it, but I certainly did.


kazie said...

Oops! I just forgot to say, the first surprise was the arrival of my son at 9:30, having just driven about 15 hours from Arkansas for my birthday, flowers in hand, at the door. DH had known about his coming, but kept it well hidden. Now we are leaving for lunch, and I still don't know where to!

Thanks again for all the good birthday wishes!

Ol' Man Keith said...

A Happy B'day to Kazie!

Got it all, but I will downgrade my work to 98% because I needed a hint to reach COBB, which in turn switched me from the obvious USSR to the correct CCCP - and so from there to victory.

Lucina said...

Greetings, Super Solvers! Thank you, Lemonade, for the excellent commentary.

Happy birthday, Kazie! I hope your secret destination THRILLS you!

And thank you, Samuel A. Donaldson! This was vastly entertaining.

I started slowly with USSR, realized the Cyrillic was needed so once CCCP was entered, the NW corner blazed in.

BRAZILIAN stood alone for a vey long time and I recalled DREI! My German is getting as good as Abejo's French.

The same with CHICKEN and OEDIPUS; they kept a lonely vigil until I sussed MIRACLE MILE which I didn't know about.

Herod ABRIPPA came along leisurely; it just required some deep thinking about the Gospels.

Never heard of WAHL razors but SIMBA and Da NANG are all from movies. Thanks, Marti, for reminding me of GMV. Love that movie.

All in all, a very good mental workout.

Have a lovely POETS day, everyone!

Lucina said...

PIRATES may be easy for you, but not all of us are fans of the sport or any sport, actually. However, once I had three letters I could fill it in.

AGRIPPA was much easier.

Tinbeni said...

Lemon: Nice write-up of this WACKY Friday puzzle.

As for the themes, of course MARGARITA MIG was my fave ... go figure.

Only needed "every-single-perp" to get SHAWN Johnson (I've never watched DWTS, PKS favorite show) and AGRIPPA, the only Herod I remember was "the Great."

Kazie; Happy Birthday!!!
The "first toast" at Sunset is to you.

Argyle said...

I love "Diamonds and Rust" but this was the first time I heard her alternate ending.

Another Vietnam song: Still in Saigon

I had a little trouble in the middle of the grid. I had a pack of GUM and a curly-tailed PIG. Eventually worked out though.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Woohoo, I got a shout-out! Thanks, Sam, for a fun puzzle. Thanks, Lemon.

I give up --what is a POG? Never heard of ARCSIN or ZAX (and I read a lot of Suess in my past). Despite being a devotee of DWTS, I can never remember SHAWN Johnson's first name. Someone should have told her mama that's not a girl's name.

Lucky WAGs: CCCP. MIRACLE MILE from just MIR. How'd I get that one? I've never been in LA. ZERO MOSTEL was another.

More CHEAP THRILLS! This is the only place I'm get any, sadly. Lemony, you "GO OFF" on your secretary? That sounds very naughty!

Barry, I've been called many things, but never a "mistake".

Happy Birthday, Kazie! Thanks for sharing your trips.

TTP said...


AGRIPPA what ? Now that was one tough clue for that answer!

I'm going to give you my vote for quip-of-the-day, with "My German is getting as good as Abejo's French."

Argyle said...

Although WAHL does make a shaver, they are more famous for their clippers.

Wahl Clipper Corporation

Lucina said...

POGS were highly popular among the 3rd to 5th grade pupils. We eventually had to ban them from school because the collecting and swapping were so distracting.

Some creative teachers, however, used them to teach set theory and other topics.

PK, what a nice shout out to you!

Well thank you, TTP.

desper-otto said...

Argyle, thanks for Still In Saigon -- don't know how I missed that one when it came out. I bought a set of Wahl clippers, but the cat hates the buzz, and won't let me get near her with 'em. I was going to argue with you about the different ending to Diamonds and Rust -- until the last line showed up. >^,^>

Anonymous said...

The Zax – Dr. Seuss

The day before today,One day, making tracks
In the prairie of Prax,
Came a North-Going Zax
And a South-Going Zax.
And it happened that both of them came to a place
Where they bumped. There they stood.
Foot to foot. Face to face.

“Look here, now!” the North-Going Zax said, “I say!
You are blocking my path. You are right in my way.
I’m a North-Going Zax and I always go north.
Get out of my way, now, and let me go forth!”
“Who’s in whose way?” snapped the South-Going Zax.
“I always go south, making south-going tracks.
So you’re in MY way! And I ask you to move
And let me go south in my south-going groove.”
Then the North-Going Zax puffed his chest up with pride.
“I never,” he said, “take a step to one side.
And I’ll prove to you that I won’t change my ways
If I have to keep standing here fifty-nine days!”
“And I’ll prove to YOU,” yelled the South-Going Zax,
“That I can stand here in the prairie of Prax
For fifty-nine years! For I live by a rule
That I learned as a boy back in South-Going School.
Never budge! That’s my rule. Never budge in the least!
Not an inch to the west! Not an inch to the east!
I’ll stay here, not budging! I can and I will
If it makes you and me and the whole world stand still!”

Of course the world didn’t stand still. The world grew.
In a couple of years, the new highway came through
And they built it right over those two stubborn Zax
And left them there, standing un-budged in their tracks.

Avg Joe said...

Happy Birthday Kazie. I hope you have many many more.

I had to punt on the crossing of PKS and AGRIPPA. Don't know much about soccer or the bible, I guess. But liked the puzzle and enjoyed the theme. Before I'd fully figured it out, like Dudley, I tried real hard to make Frisbee work. Perps cured that and Pog crawled out of the foggy recesses.

I'm with you Argyle, I'd never heard that ending. Also noted that she updated "10 years ago..." to "30 years ago.." That was a fine album. One song written by Dylan, 2 about him. The other got less air, but was as good or better, IMO: Winds of the Old Days

Lemonade714 said...

HBDTY HBDTY HBDDKZ HBDTY and many more. You are one of the true cornerstones of the Corner, thank you for all of your words and all of your pictures.

I am back from a brief visit to the hospital for a CT scan, complicated by allergies, so I may be a bit off, as has been pointed out. However, I know the clue for ACL was bogus but we all filled easily so I am not sure it was such a[n] horrendous breach.

Thank you Buckeye Bob for pointing out my link to the interview C.C. did; when we pick links we obviously like to entertain and inform and sometimes even anticipate questions which might be asked.

HG, the parallel of Tevye and his daughters and Lord Grantham might during this week of Shakespeare's birth remind one of King Lear and his daughters.

I would of thought someone would have linked POGS by now. My youngest was in middle school then.

The drinking while diving comment was pretty funny, thanks.

Montana said...

Happy Birthday, Kazie!

My brother served over a year in Da Nang. Not good memories.


Lemonade714 said...

Autocorrect you sneaky devil, that is Drinking while divining.

Yellowrocks said...

Funny how ACL was not on the money, but it did not deter most of us who knew it was OFF. One of my classmates in our Japanese class told a joke similar to "How many electricians does it take to screw in a light bulb" in atrocious Japanese. We Americans got it and roared with laughter. The native Japanese teacher was in the dark and could not believe we understood such poor Japanese. Some clues we get no matter how OFF they are.
Lucina, I remember those POGS days, which became so disruptive that POGS were banned. Teaching and every other field of endeavor has special words like that which contribute to our solving success. I am sure that the science mavens knew ARCSIN cold.
Anon @ 9:49, thanks for the advice. Although I am fairly successful on the computer with words, I am very poor at graphics. I am too limited to follow your advice.
Kazie, what a wonderful surprise that your far away son showed up. That alone would make your day.

Anonymous said...

Jimmy Kimmel and Ben Stein are not related.

Lucina said...

Although I took trigonometry in college, as well as Algebra II, all I recall is the frustration, tears and prayers that I would pass. ARCSIN was all perped.

And the only MIRACLE MILE I know is the Deli by that name. Is that a chain or perhaps just local?

Ol' Man Keith said...

Thank you, Anonymous, at 2:22!
I had not known the tale of the Zaxes. I wonder who Seuss had in mind. The allegory could apply to Luddites or dogmatics of any stripe. Nowadays my candidates would be the churchmen that Pope Francis is criticizing or any of those politicos shocked that their obsessions won't change the world.

Maverick said...

An ACL is a LIGAMENT not a MUSCLE (not a nit). Fun, but tough for a Friday, otherwise. Once I got the idea, I kept trying to think of a word with G and X in it as the theme. I had MOSTEL but it took a while for the odd first name of ZERO to percolate up. That gave me the SW corner and the theme.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

HBD, Kaze!

I'm very late today. Not because of the puzzle, - just other things going on. Had lunch with some of the grand kiddies, etc.

Had a tough time finding a foot hold anywhere in this gem. Anticipated a huge DNF. Finally remembered ZAX and ARCSIN. X-RATED as my last fill.

I did figure out the G for X substitution somewhere along the line, and that helped. Still, this was a struggle right to the end.

Sad end to the Wings game last night. Bruins are too much for them.

Cool regards!

Bill G. said...

I had been dreading going to the dentist since I had missed my last checkup and hadn't been in close to two years. But it all went well, maybe even faster than usual. Easy peasy lemon squeezy! Worrying about it was way worse than the actual event. My brain is at ease again.

Unknown said...

Got a really late start on this one. WFS (what Fermatprime said).

JD said...

HBTY ♪♩♬♫•*¨*•.❤HBTY♪♩♬♫•*¨*•.❤
HB dear Kazie ♪♩♬♫•*¨*•.❤HBTY

Always love reading your blogs and seeing your pictures.

It took a LONG time to finish up today's offering, and although I did get the theme and it did help in a very few places, I had to go to Mr. G quite often.

Have a lovely weekend all.

JD said...

Lucina, The Miracle Mile is a stretch of Wilshire Blvd that runs thru L.A.When I lived there, the only museum that I know of would have been the La Brea Tar Pits, and I don't think it even had a museum then.I remember the dept store, the May Company...I think the M.M. started about there. Please correct me those of you who still live in that area.

Bill G. said...

My son's and his girl friend's dog got skunked. So they've been over here bathing the dog and washing everything involved. What a mess!

They bought over some Mexican food. Included were some pickled carrots, radishes and another pickle. One bite was plenty. It was a Jalapeño and my mouth is still suffering.

Bill G. said...

JD and anybody else interested in museums along the Miracle Mile: Miracle Mile is a stretch on Wilshire Blvd between Fairfax Avenue and La Brea Boulevard - and it is home to four major Los Angeles museums: LA County Museum of Art, La Brea Tar Pits (Page Museum), Craft and Folk Art Museum, and Petersen's Auto Museum.