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Aug 29, 2014

Friday, August 29, 2014, Frank Virzi

Theme: When the world gives you lemons, make a puzzle.

There is an old saying that if you had enough monkeys and enough typewriters one would write a great novel just by chance. Today we have a puzzle which is all about my nom de plume, as each of six (!!!!) sets of fill have the letter LEM directly above the letters ADE, presenting a picture of LEM ON (top of) ADE. This is the third of the five LAT puzzles by Mr. Virzi that I have blogged, and it harkens back to the first one I did, for which the visual was HAM ON RYE, with the same  presentation of HAM directly above RYE, but the reveal was just the two words and there were only three sets.  Barry G. scolded Frank for not having a reveal, and here we have something I am not sure I have ever seen, a reveal  (LEMONADE) which is also part of  two of the six sets of clues. The fact that the puzzle runs on Friday, a day blogged by me (lemonade) is either a really odd coincidence (most likely), an example of Rich's awareness and sense of humor, or the most unexpected birthday present ever. This puzzle like Franks' others is nice blend of medium to longish fill with no obscurities that are not filled by the perps. Some fill of note are: BROMINE,  FACED IT,  FERMENT,  NEONATE,  O’CONNOR,  PLUMPER, ADENAUER, A STUDENT,  LEMMINGS, NATHANIEL and the very apt NO PROBLEM. The 3 and 4 letter fill are not too overdone, with only IRE even close and it is clued for the country abbreviation, not anger. let's look at our pairs:

8A. Red Cross red cross, e.g. : EMBLEM. (6) First hint at the theme.
16A. Diatribe :                             TIRADE. (6)

20A. Muskrat relatives : LEMMINGS. (8) Didn't know they were related.
22A. Highly skilled :       ADEPT. (5).

32A. "Consider it done!" : NO PROBLEM. (9).
38A. Green gemstones :                     JADES.(5).

52A. Clay being of Jewish lore :         GOLEM. (5)  Pretty crazy STUFF.
59A. Picnic serving, and when divided properly, a hint to a hidden feature of six pairs of puzzle answers :     LEMONADE. (8)
                                                                      LEMONADE. (8)
63A. West Germany's first chancellor : ADENAUER. (8), Der Alte. Interesting man.

56A. King's "__ Lot" : SALEM'S.
62A. Dodges :              EVADES.

Across:

1. Herding dog name : SHEP. This popped right out, though in retrospect, I have never met a dog with that name.

5. Pledge of Allegiance ender : ALL. "...indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

14. Ember, perhaps : COAL.

15. Cattle call : MOO. Not for acting but cow to cow.

17. Valedictorian, typically : A  STUDENT. Typically? I cannot imagine it being anything else.

19. Duplicates : CLONES. The term has been around since 1903!

21. Company with a bull in its logo : ELMER'S.

23. When Juliet asks "wherefore art thou Romeo?" : ACT II.

25. Ici __: French "here and there" : ET LA. Literal French translation. Not et al.

28. First female Supreme Court justice : O'CONNOR. Sandra Day. LINK.

36. "__ say more?" : NEED I.

37. Yeats' land: Abbr. : IRE. A way to clue with no anger.

40. Get a move on : HIE. Old timey word.

41. Walking aid : STAFF.

44. Currier of Currier & Ives : NATHANIEL. He was from Roxbury, MA

47. Netanyahu, for one : ISRAELI. Simple, but tricky.

49. River to the Elbe : OHRE.  We know so little geography. LINK. and 12D. River of central Germany : EDERLINK. Kazie? marti?

50. Boorish : CRASS.

64. Musical Dion : CELINE.


65. Quarterback Tebow : TIM. A Florida Gator, but unemployed as a QB.

66. 100 C-notes : TEN-G.

67. Big name in lawn care : SCOTT'S. A nice hello to our own Santa baby.

68. 1940s mil. zone : ETO. Eastern Theater of Operations.

69. Language that gave us "clan" : ERSE. This is tough since ERSE can be either Irish or Scottish Gaelic. LINK.

Down:

1. Italy's La __ : SCALA.

2. Bamboozled : HOSED.  Such a versatile WORD.

3. Invitation on a fictional cake : EAT ME. I would never presume to link a cake as long CED does such wonderful work.

4. More roly-poly : PLUMPER.  I wonder where roly poly started?

5. "You're so right!" : AMEN. 18D. Word of agreement : DITTO.

6. Extended : LONG. So many choices.

7. "__ luck!" : LOTSA. followed by 8. "Blah, blah, blah," briefly : ETC ETC. and 9. Great number of : MILLION. a mini-theme?

10. Element #35 : BROMINE. I long ago forgot the table.

11. Path in a pool : LANE.

13. Boot camp meal : MESS.

24. Awaken : COME TO.

26. Great Society monogram : LBJ. Lyndon Baines Johnson, born August 27, 1908. Hannibal Hamlin was born August 27, 1808. One VP for Kennedy, the other for Lincoln....

27. Self-titled 1991 debut album : ALANIS. Morisette.



29. Classic beverage brand : NEHI. Does everyone think of Radar O'Reilly?

30. Cartoon canine : ODIE. Garfield's 'buddie.'

31. Cambodian cash : RIEL. Rial, are these clues for real?

32. Not yet final, legally : NISI. Ooo I know this one, in the old days they issued a Rule Nisi to allow time for someone to show cause why an order should not become final. I believe some states still use this approach.

33. Scraps : ORTS.

34. High-fiber fruit : PEAR. Did not know this.

35. Educator LeShan : EDA. A popular educator in crosswords.

39. "Zip it!" : SHH.

42. Met the challenge : FACED IT.

43. Agitate : FERMENT. English is such a strange language, so many ways to say one THING.

45. One of the noble gases : ARGON.

46. Nursery arrival : NEONATE. Latin for newborn.

48. Girls : LASSES.

51. Schedule : SLATE.

53. Gumbel's "Today" successor : LAUER. He used to have hair.


54. Idyllic places : EDENS.

55. Sign on an on-ramp : MERGE.

56. Brief moments : SECS.

57. "__ plaisir!" : AVEC. With in French

58. Composer of the opera "Le Roi d'Ys" : LALO. We usually get Schifrin, but instead this:
OPERA

60. Adjust to fit, perhaps : EDIT.

61. One in an office exchange : MEMO. Oddly clued, but not hard.

Well, my fun week continues, great puzzles and lots of fresh squeezed Lemonade (and Key Lime pie!) Thank you Frank Virzi!!!! and all of you for your birthday wishes and for appreciating my sweet Charlotte; have a happy healthy safe holiday week end. Lemonade out.

57 comments:

OwenKL said...

The moon of green cheese isn't made,
It's more a bright yellow than JADE.
Instead of cheese mousse
If the moon were fruit juice,
Astronauts could have landed L.E.M. ON ADE!

A great shout-out to one of our own today! And what a theme! The ingenuity it must have taken to put those letter combinations together is mind-boggling! There were amazingly few unusual words: ETLA, NISI, AVEC, LALO, OHRE, all short and none of them crossing to form naticks.

fermatprime said...

Greetings!

Thanks for nice puzzle, Frank, and cool espy, Lemon!

No cheats.

Time for beady bye!

George Barany said...

Did I read this correctly that it is LEMONADE's birthday, and that Frank Virzi/Rich Norris have honored him with this puzzle? If so, how cool is that?!

From a construction point of view, a feat like this is very hard to pull off, especially six times, and especially especially when applying the trick twice on the "reveal" answer. Bravo!

If you'll indulge me, yesterday was another birthday ... a young man about whom I knew nothing, other than that he comes from a puzzling family. With the active collusion of his parents, we constructed We Are Family, and the neat thing about the puzzle was that it was designed to be solvable even by those with zero knowledge about the family. Of course, once you've solved it, I would hope you would want to check out the "midrash" which explains everything (complete with photos). Happy Birthday to Birthday Boys of All Ages!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I wouldn't say NO PROBLEM, but I did manage to get through this one unscathed. (Is scathed a word?) I confused STICK with STAFF and NEWBORN with NEONATE, but neither lasted very long. Don't believe I've seen the river OHRE before, but it had to be.

Gotta run. DW's dropping her car at the shop and I have to pick her up.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I'll admit I didn't catch the theme on this one at all. Fortunately, I didn't need to know it in order to solve, but it was nice coming here and getting that little extra *AHA* moment. So thanks for that, LEMONADE!

Puzzle was mostly straightforward, except that I had a lot of initial missteps. SYMBOL for EMBLEM, NEWBORN for NEONATE, RIAL for RIEL, COPIES for CLONES, OTTO for ODIE. The one that caused me the most gried was putting in IRL instead of IRE as the abbreviation of Ireland. That had me convinced that the high-fiber fruit at 34 was PLUM, but that just wouldn't work with ISRAELI (which I knew to be right) and STAFF (which I was pretty sure about). For a little while I wondered whether there was a fruit called a PLAR, but then I had my D'OH moment and fixed my mistake.

ET LA and OHRE were complete unknowns, but fortunately the perps were solid and they didn't cause any problems for me.

Barry G. said...

Make that "grief" and not "grier"...

Lemonade714 said...

D-O thanks for not posting a scathing review of my review.

Always good to pick up one's wife.....enjoy.

thehondohurricane said...


My enthusiasm for solving puzzles has been lagging lately, but I started scribbling around on the Virzi offering and my interest piqued after I stumbled onto the LEMONADE "thing". Before I knew it, I was done with only a couple of question marks for accuracy.

For 25A I began with Etli but ALANIS made it ETLA. Thought the I was "Frenchier, but was positive about the 27D fill. 49A. OHRE, was another issue. Wanted ODRE, but SHH won over Shd.

I found the rest of the fills pretty straightforward, unusual for me on a Friday.

Hope everyone has an enjoyable Labor Day, the end of what has been a truly enjoyable summer, weather wise.

HeartRx said...

HaHa, really fun coincidence to have this puzzle on your blog day - and your birthday week, to boot, Lemony!

Yesterday we had the GENII, and today we have the GOLEM to complete the book. Lots of fun stuff, with no major hangups, as you mentioned. Nice long fills that gave me some misdirection as I searched for a theme. When I finally reached 59-A it hit me. He even included two theme entries in the reveal - cool!

Have a great day everyone - TGIF!

Chairman Moe said...

Too cool that LEMONADE is the theme for today! See you later today, birthday boy ...

Big Easy said...

This was a well thought out construction of a puzzle that was easily solved but it seems that Mr. Virzi had to use fills with terms that could only be solved by using perps. ELTA NISI OHRE. That's the end of my TIRADE.

Solving started at the NW and went straight to the SE with my only write-over being TEN G over my original TEN K. GOLEM was a complete unknown but MERGE was the only logical fill other than YIELD.

I never got the reveal until I read Lemonade's commentary. The only common things I could see were European: EDER OHRE LEMMINGS SCALA ADENAUER ERSE AVEC (SCOTTS O'CONNOR could be ERSE) or Jewish ISRAELIS EDENS GOLEM. But I never claimed to be an A STUDENT either. Other than that the puzzle was NO PROBLEM.

Have a nice holiday weekend.

Mari said...

Good morning everybody. It was no surprise to me that this was a Friday puzzle! I solved it, but got hung u on: ETLA / OHRE / GOLEM / ADENAUER / RIEL / NISI / AVEC and LALO.

A Lemonade puzzle? I'm still drooling over that lemon cake that was posted earlier this week!

Have a great weekend. Kick it off with a tall glass of lemonade.

Al Cyone said...

I just had to stop in ahead of my new "Sundays only" posting schedule to remark on the extraordinary cleverness of this theme, especially the GOLEM/LEMONADE/ADENAUER hat trick.

Yellowrocks said...

Wow! Great theme and execution. How clever that the reveal also had LEM ON ADE twice! What a CSO to Lemonade whose blogging I always enjoy.
OHRE, NISI and ALANIS were 100% perps. I wagged the A in ET LA.
FOMENT before FERMENT, but it was too short. TED before TIM.
The mentions this week of key lime pie have my mouth watering. Lime prices are so high right now.
Now to justify my checkbook with the bank statement and pay the bills. I should hurry so that I can spend some of this lovely day outdoors.

John Lampkin said...

Wow! What an amazing community we have here! The amazing thing is that the puzzle is simultaneously a fun solve for everyone, yet full of another layer of fun for anyone who is a regular here.
So thank you Frank for a brilliant idea well-executed, and Rich for this "amazing coincidence." And Happy Birthday Lemonade!

kazie said...

HBTY lemon!

I didn't catch the theme and guessed most of this one due to hang ups along the way: STICK before STAFF, NEWBORN/NEONATE, AVOIDS/EVADES, not knowing GOLEM, and only knowing the OHRE as EGER. My nit is having it clued as a German river but using its Czech name as the answer when most of its length is not in Germany.

I also thought first of DION Di Mucci of "Runaround Sue" fame.

Lemonade714 said...

John Lampkin it is always a thrill to hear from you; how are the tiny critters treating you? When will we see you (literally and figuratively) again?

My cake of choice is orange cake with some zest and lemon icing.

Jerome said...

It's not part of the theme and it's all by chance and oddity but there are FIVE! places in the grid that spell out lemon. The letters are not in order, but they're there. If that's not incredible enough, there's also a place that circles clockwise and spells out LEMONADE! Mind boggling!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

The cleverness and craftsmanship of this gem leave me speechless. Well, almost. I saw the "ades" but didn't catch on to the "lem on" until reading Lemony's fabulous expo. Well deserved kudos to Mr. Virzi and to the not-so CSO, Lemonade!

As others have said, even with the obscure Ohre, etla, nisi, Lalo, etc., the perps were all solid enough to avoid any Naticks. Nice CSO to Santa!

Have a great day.

Montana said...

Good morning, everyone!

Happy belated Birthday to you, Lemonade! And yes, aren't our granddaughters growing up too fast?

I thought life slowed down when one retired but I seem to be busier than I ever was when I worked.

I used red letter help (so DNF for me) and I got LEMONADE but I never found the theme and I searched for one. Thanks for the expo, Lemon.

Montana

Lemonade714 said...

Jerome, expliquez s'il vous plait!

SwenglishMom said...

I loved this. Such a beautiful tribute and it's no coincidence as far as I can see. Wonderful to read this blog and be a part and to have beaming smiles when doing crossword and watching the birthday gift emerge. I agree, totally cool.

Big Easy said...

Yellowrocks- why are you wasting time with a checkbook when we all know you are on the computer every day. The only checks that I physically write are to the IRS, State of Louisiana, and Jefferson Parish for taxes. Plus the bank pays for postage and gives me an email every time a check clears. No fees, no envelopes, no stamps. All other payments are either directly from the bank or with cash back frequent-flyer credit cards.

Lemonade714 said...

Big Easy, IRS direct debit...one less check

River Doc said...

Happy Friday everybody!

Fun puzzle, mADE even better by the not-so-coincidental shout out to The Lemonator...!

Had the same hang up as Barry with IRL for IRE at the finale....

I remember seeing Der GOLEM (1920) in a film class at Cal - scary silent...!

Finally, looked at the finished grid and cannot detect the circular LEMONADE or the other five LEMONS - donde estas Jerome?

Lemonade714 said...

Hvor er de andre sitroner ? Vennligst?



Takk.

OwenKL said...

Jerome: not sure I understand your comment. Is this what you mean?

Steve said...

Thanks for the expo, Lemony - I missed the theme completely. Cool that you get a birthday shout-out too.

I goofed with ELUDES and not noticing that ALEC didn't make sense and LULO could easily have been correct as I'm not sure I knew LALO.

When you file for divorce (in the UK at least, I don't know about here) you are issued a decree nisi when the petition is granted, but you have to wait six months for the decree absolute, and which point the divorce is final. I think it's allow a cooling-off period in case you change your minds.

Misty said...


Brilliant Friday puzzle, Frank--a million thanks! I had the same false starts on a lot of the items as others, but in the end it all came around and I got the whole thing! Yay! I even found all the LEMs, but not until LEMONADE's write-up did I see that it was LEM ON ADE in each theme set! Wow! Is that brilliant, or what! Totally makes my morning. And that it coincides with Lemonade's day to blog and birthday is just an extra gift.

Loved seeing the puzzle begin with LA SCALA. We had a six hour layover in Milan once and took a taxi to see La Scala--not the opera, there was none that afternoon, but just the building. Lovely.

For some reason NEHI always reminds me of Radar O'Reilley on the old MASH series--it was his favorite drink!

Have a great Friday everybody. We're going to the gardening store today--a huge treat for me. Can't wait to get all those colorful flowers for the gardeners to plant when they come on Tuesday. Woohoo!

Husker Chuck (a.k.a. Ergo) said...



Well now... The north started out feeling like a Tuesday puzzle. But as I traveled further south, the days of the week kept clicking right on by.

Would have finished it in its entirety except for the fact that I have NEVER watched the "Today" show, and GOLEM and ADENAUER were too stingy to give the up perps.

Husker Chuck (a.k.a. Ergo) said...



*to give up the perps.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

What a crafty puzzle! Nicely done, Frank.

Just a few speed bumps, such as We Promise where No Problem should have been. That was before I grokked the theme. Then there's those European rivers...

Tinbeni said...

LEM
ADE ... Very informative write & links.

Frank Virzi: Thank you for a FUN Friday puzzle. Clever theme!

OMG! OHRE was the "River to the Elbe" ... glad I got that correct!
Another learning moment was LALO as the composer of "Le Roi d'Ys" ... an opera I've never heard of ...

No booze in the grid, but I think I would like a Grape NEHI.

Cheers!!!

Lemonade714 said...

We were left in the German rivers with no paddle.

Mr. Virzi apparently teaches high school; in Townsend, Mass, up near the New Hampshire border, not far from Lowell.

Jerome said...

Owen- yes... and there is still one in the CLONE/ELMERS.

Bill G. said...

Well, as is often the case, I am embarrassed for not sussing out all of the clever layers of the theme. I solved all of the puzzle and got the 'reveal' but couldn't make sense of it until reading Lemon's review. I could find LEMONS and ADES but never noticed the relationship of one being ON the other. Geez... Good job Frank and Rich. Thanks Lemon.

Anonymous said...

Insufferable comes to mind.

inanehiker said...

This was great- and extra special to be on Lemonade's friday of his birthday week! Your favorite cake sounds like one my grandma used to make called a mock chiffon cake-- hope you are able to have some for your birthday.

Bill G. said...

Humphrey goes camping:
Humphrey is on a camping trip in the woods with 30 of his scouting buddies. Everyone gets up in the morning and Humphrey volunteers to make hotcakes for everyone. The recipe calls for exactly two gallons of water. You agree to help out by going to the well to fetch two gallons of water. You have two plastic jugs; one says 13 gallons and the other says seven gallons. Your job, if you choose to accept it, is to come back (from only one trip to the well) with exactly two gallons of water. (No markers, no estimating, no other containers)

Yellowrocks said...

Jerome and Owen @1:19, so convoluted. Do you think Frank intended that? I think not.

Nancy Murphy said...

This was a very (extremely) clever puzzle. I really enjoyed it. My only write-over was Oder before EDER. Never heard of OHRE, but the perps said that could be the only answer.

Tinbeni said...

Bill G.
I emailed you the answer.
Too easy ... compared with some of your prior math problems.
In Other Words it relates to todays crossword puzzle.

NO PROBLEM ... lol

Cheers!!!

HeartRx said...

Oh Bill G., if even I can figure that one out, it must be too easy for this crowd!! I just emailed you the solution, too. But thanks for the challenge, and keep 'em coming!

Jerome said...

Yellowrocks- No... like I said, it's simply an oddity. Now and then it's one of the fun things about crossword grids. After I finish a puzzle I like to take a real close look at it and see if there is some goofiness hiding out... or right out front. One of the classics,that somehow snuck by the editor (or not), was the answer to the fill-in-the-blank clue, "The __ is mightier than the sword"

Tinbeni said...

Jerome:
I understand what you are saying.
It is well known "here" that I judge crossword puzzles based upon how many "booze" answers are in the grid.
The "Holy-Grail" being the answer "PINCH" for 15yo Pinch Scotch.

But when I looked at the completed grid today (and on most days) I can find the letters S-C-O-T-C-H hidden in the grid. lol!

Whatever "Floats-your-boat" is OK by me!
Cheers!!!

Spitzboov said...

Good afternoon everyone.

Puzzle seemed easy for a Friday. One writeover - had temp before MEMO.

OHRE - Was clued as an Elbe tributary, not as a German river. It is mainly in the Czech Republic as Kazie said.
EDER - We've had it before. Small tributary to the Fulda which flows into the Weser; thence to the North Sea like the Elbe.

ET LÀ - là is an adverb meaning 'there'. Literally, et là means 'and there'.

LEMMINGS - Today's learning. They are more closely related than I had Thought.

Bill G. said...

Reporting back in from lunch. We went to a well-thought-of Italian restaurant about seven miles east of here. It's ambiance is more like a warehouse but its food is excellent. Their thin-crust pizza is super. We also got butternut squash ravioli and pork chops cooked like veal piccata. Their house chocolate cake was spectacular. Now I'll head out and hope to work off a couple of the calories on a bike ride.

Argyle said...

I see the river problem. There is the Ohre and the Ohře, both flow in to the Elbe as does Elde.

Map

CrossEyedDave said...

Late to the party due to a long plane ride home. The reveal was easy, but my lack of parsing skills made the theme invisible to me. (Jerome@9:38am, Lemonade counterclockwise? Where? it's driving me nuts!)

Lemon, I was looking for a response to your cake reference, when I came upon this Don't eat me! But as far as others posting cakes, may I offer this advice...

I was looking for the origin of "roly poly," but the dictionary just didn't explain it like this...

Sadly, I failed to find a YouTube Tribute to Radar's Grape Nehi. But I was surprised to find out where M*A*S*H* was filmed!

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Really great puzzle, Frank! Did you chuckle all the while you were building this? Surely this was no coincidence.

Great expo & tribute, Lemon. Hope this makes up for the snarky anon just a little bit. Now I'll go back and play the links.

I sorta caught on to the theme in that I went back and found all the components of LEMONADE except that I was still looking for the words ON. I even notice that the words were on top, but still didn't quite get it. Duh!

Netanyahu: kept trying to think of his first name until enough perps showed to get ISRAELI.

VALEDICTORIAN: I was top of the class of 12 STUDENTs graduating from our rural high school. Impressed? I wasn't either.

CrossEyedDave said...

Learning Moments:

I always thought "Jagged Little Pill" was Alanis Morrisettes 1st Album. (Who knew she could look hot in baggy jeans?)

Argyle, your river map helped a lot. But I thought I saw two Elbe rivers until i started looking at the map clockwise. (Thanks Jerome!)

Anonymous said...

I rarely complete the Friday puzzle. In fact the Sunday one is usually easier for me. Now I have completed this one relatively easily. My next goal is the even more difficult Saturday puzzle.

Jerome said...

Crosseyed- The first four letters of 59 and 63 across form LEMONEDA clockwise.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Whoops!
Almost forgot to write on the blog today. I usually mean to do so, but lately I have been distracted.
This seemed an easy one for a Friday. Although I wasn't sure about the spelling of ALANIS, it turned out right--even with all the unusual fills that others have already named (OHRE, NISI, et al.), almost so easy that I wondered if there was a mix-up, or an easing of standards for the Labor Day weekend.

Nice to see our LEMONADE honored in such a fashion. This cruciverbalist world is small and sweet, n'est–ce pas?

HeartRx said...

CED @ 6:42, thanks for that clip from M*A*S*H, and its origins in the Malibu Creek State Park. Interesting connection there...I was a member (one of only three females) at The Magic Castle in Los Angeles. One night we were sitting in the "Irma" (magic piano) room, when a guy walked in and sat down at the piano to play. It must have been around 2:00 AM, and the waiters tried to get him to leave. Everyone in the room told the waiter to leave him alone...it was none other than Johnny Mandel, and he played "Suicide is Painless" to a rapt audience.

I can never hear that song without thinking about that night...or one dear to me who chose that route.

River Doc said...

Marti, what I wouldn't give to be a member at The Magic Castle. Have you seen the ITV series Penn & Teller: Fool Us? It's a couple of years old, but the CW is re-airing it this summer. The concept is that British magicians present their best trick live to P&T and a studio audience, and if the duo can't guess how the trick was done, the magician wins a trip to Vegas to open for them at the Rio.

Sorry for your loss. A buddy of mine went the same way a year and a half ago. Inner demons....

Yellowrocks said...

Bill G, I solved your hotcake puzzle. I always make a mental picture. I see a young Scout wrestling with a water container that weighs about as much as he does. 13 gallons of water would weigh approximately 108.5 pounds without the weight of the container. (13x8.35)