Dec 19, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014, John Lampkin

Theme: Wherefore ARt thou AR?

Man what more could a guy ask for: marti, followed by C.C., followed by a John Lampkin special. I am in blogger heaven. Good thing this is not November 19. Letter removal puzzles require the result to be entertaining and John does not disappoint. CRIER PIGEON, MINAMALIST T, BROOM BRAWL (featuring witches) and PILL TO POST all evoke (see 49A) very funny images to me. The rest of the fill is loaded with stuff like CAPITOL, ECLIPSE, EXPORTS, ONE EYED, OOMPAHS, ORIGAMI, SPARE ME, TOENAIL, HOOFED IT, I’M NO FOOL. John always slides in some insects and some music, so lets play.

20A. Easy mark with a sob story? : CARRIER PIGEON (11). Someone who is a sucker for a crying female. Carrier pigeons are in retirment now, and should not be confused with this long gone COUSIN.

54A. Shirt that hardly covers anything? : MINIMALIST ART (11). Which would you rather have: Skimpy T-shirts


10D. Ruckus at a coven? : BARROOM BRAWL (10). Broom being the un-PC way to refer to witches. We have our California coven here at the Corner; hello ladies.

28D. Very small pharmaceutical mail order? : PILLAR TO POST(10). Yes, mailing a single pill sounds silly, but with the price of some of the new drugs, it might just make sense. I recall the announcers at the Gillette Friday Night Fights used the term  "he was battered from 'Pillar to Post.'"
And the hint
67A. Noble gas, and a homophonic hint to how this puzzle's four longest answers are formed : ARGON (5).  AR is GONE from each phrase. Regional accents may make this more difficult.


1. What Rudolph used to be called : NAMES. A semi clecho. 41. 1960 Olympic gold medalist Rudolph : WILMA.

All of the other reindeer
Used to laugh and call him names
They never let poor Rudolph
Join in any reindeer games

6. One in a wild bunch? : OAT. Sowing anyone?

9. Beatles song syllables : OBLA. Does this parse  OHHB LAHH, or OOOO BLAH?

13. Pilot : AVIATE. JL, really?

15. Baseball letters : RHE. Runs Hits and Errors on the scoreboard. JL is the undipsuted King of Clechos, as is seen here.

16. Baseball's Hershiser : OREL. He works in the booth now. A repeat fill with totally diferent clue.

17. Baseball champs of 2013 : RED SOX. So many years of futility followed by such success, I wonder if Joe Maddon can do that for the Cubs?

18. "What do you take me for?" : I'M NO FOOL. I/ME today, a minI theme? 31A. Part of a team observation : NO I. Just two weeks after I used this as part of my name for marti's Friday puzzle. 7D. Woeful words : AH ME. 32D. "I've heard enough" : SPARE ME. (Also, s CSO to Boomer). 38D. "No real damage" : I'M OK.

22. Trail terminus: Abbr. : OREgon. Sounds like ARGON? I wonder if terminus refers to the fact the Oregon Trail ends in Oregon, or that Trail is added to the end of Oregon?

23. British pop singer Lewis : LEONA. She won X-Factor.

24. Expressionist painter LeRoy : NEIMAN. I think football made him famous. See the SITE.

26. Habitat for some ibexes : ALPS. You run into many, marti?

29. Coke go-with : RUM.

30. Balkan native : SERB. I wonder if they serve rum and coke in Serbia?

32. Fine groove : STRIA.

34. Salt's output : YARNS. Sailors love to spin them.

37. It's seldom total : ECLIPSE. Unless it is of the HEART. GLEEFUL.

39. Digital filer's target : TOE NAIL. Devlish misdirection with digital referencing the 'digit" i.e. toe, for all you pedicure experts.

42. Cape Cod catch : SCROD. It is baaack!

44. Intl. commerce group : WTO. World Trade Organization. 14D. International commerce components : EXPORTS.

45. One-third of a WWII film : TORA. "Tora! Tora! Tora!", named after the code words use by the lead Japanese pilot to indicate they had surprised the Americans, covers the days leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor, which plunged America into the Second World War. (Wiki). Interestingly, the screen play credits both American and Japanese authors.

47. Wind often affects it : AIM. Yes, in shooting, golf etc.

48. Joy : GLEE. Nene Leakes is/was on Glee.

49. Calls to mind : EVOKES.

51. Some future fliers : PUPAE. larvae, pupae, John loves dem bugs, see below for more.

53. Hint : TIP. Do not try giving your server a hint.

59. Didn't ride : HOOFED IT. Archie Goodwin was always hoofing it from the old brownstone and leaving the Heron in the garage.

61. Hamper : HOGTIE.

62. "... we fat all / creatures __ to fat us": Hamlet : ELSE. I love this scene where the King asks Hamlet where Polonious is, and is told he is at supper, the king asks where Polonious is eating his supper and Hamlet replies:
Not where he eats, but where he is eaten. A certain convocation of politic worms are e'en at him. Your worm is your only emperor for diet. We fat all creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for maggots. Your fat king and your lean beggar is but variable service—two dishes, but to one table. That’s the end.

63. Roger or Brian of music : ENO. There will alway be music in John's puzzles as there is in his soul.

64. Bundle up on the farm : SHEAVE. A perfect winter misdirection.

65. Speedometer reading, e.g. : RATE.

66. Margarita condimento : SAL. salt in Spanish.


1. Buster? : NARC. The question mark is your clue to the clue as it means one who busts.

2. Affirm as true : AVER.

3. Noon in Paris : MIDI. Time for a Midi? Mini or maxi? Skirted that issue.

4. Stands by an artist : EASELS. Only thing I think of

5. Put away : STORE.

6. Folding craft : ORIGAMI.

8. Dovetail sections : TENONS. Splynter, hope you get some rest.

9. Punch line? : OOF. See cartoon.

11. The first Mrs. Arrowsmith : LEORA. From the eponymous Sinclair Lewis book. She was played by Helen Hayes in the movie.

12. Kind of wrench : ALLEN. Actually it is a Hex Key, but Allen manufacturing from Hartford seems to have cornered the market.

19. Like some picture cards : ONE EYED. I think we had Jacks recently.

21. Gets used (to) : INURES.

25. Land with a red, white and green flag : IRAN. Man there are a lot of them. LINK. I should have paid more attention when watching...

26. Over : ANEW. Starting over- starting anew? Not easy JL.

27. Point sets, in math : LOCI. Bill G., this is all yours.

33. Court : ATRIUM. Noun, not a verb.

35. Time in ads : NITE.

36. Sour fruit : SLOE. Not in a Singapore Sling.

40. Marching band lows : OOMPAHS. Oh those TUBAE! 50D. String quartet part : VIOLA.  two violins, one cello and a viola. John Lampkin is  an accomplished piano player, teacher and composer.

43. Hill building : CAPITOL.

46. Dramatic devices : ASIDES. Shakespeare anyone?

48. Counter man : GEIGER. Har har.  It actually is the Geiger–Müller counter. LINK.

49. It's a real knockout : ETHER. Har har, though knockout drops were Chloral hydrate (please insert intelligent comment scientists).

52. Wahine's greeting : ALOHA.

55. Two-time Atlantic crosser of 1493 : NINA. I did not know this tidbit.

56. __ party : STAG. Most bachelor parties are stag; my first wedding had one but it was boooring.

57. DVR option : TIVO. How are they doing now that cable, dish people provide the DVRs?

58. Adult, at one time : TEEN. Being a teen is 7 years for each of us on the calendar, a lifetime for most males.

60. Commission : FEE. FIE FO FUM.  I finish with an introduction to some of the photography of our multitalented constructor John Lampkin, who takes the best bug pictures even if bugs are yucky. He also offers his commentary. See you after Christmas, Happy Chanukah to those who light the candles. Lemonade out. Here are pictures and words from JL. Thanks John for the puzzle and more.

For 51 Across – PUPAE
This Armyworm caterpillar (seen head downwards) had been parasitized by a very tiny braconid wasp. She had stung the caterpillar laying dozens of eggs. The eggs  hatched and the wasp larvae ate the caterpillar from the inside out avoiding all vital organs toward the head end. The wasp larvae then crawled out through the caterpillar’s skin and formed the white fuzzy pupae  sticking out of the caterpillar.  The caterpillar was still alive when I shot the pic. My Florida naturalist friend Karen Finch, bless her,  took everything home in a jar and hatched out the wasps to confirm our ID. Since parasitized larvae like this Armyworm nearly always die, braconid wasps can be an eco-friendly control of garden pests like Tomato Hornworms.
Total lunar eclipse I shot as a time-lapse from my yard at 3:33 am, December 21, 2010. 

From Wikipedia: The eclipse was the first total lunar eclipse to occur on the day of the Northern Winter Solstice (Southern Summer Solstice) since 1638, and only the second in the Common Era



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Man, I almost managed to get through this one unscathed, but didn't make it. I figured out the theme, but that didn't really help me get any of the theme answers since there was no way to guess where the missing AR was supposed to go in each case. At best, it let me understand the theme answers once I got them via the clues and the perps.

The area that killed me was where I stuck in ATOP instead of ANEW at 26A and just couldn't see around it. WILMA was a complete unknown to me, I couldn't think of NOI (due to having a T in place instead of an N), ECLIPSE was, well, ECLIPSEd by the initial O, and I just couldn't figure out PILLTOPOST. Even after I turned on the red-letter help to get rid of ATOP, I had to guess various letters until I figured it out.

Bill V said...

I went down for the ten count early in the second round on this one

JCJ said...

Wish I had a team of "I's" to solve this one.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I knew this would be a wild ride, and it was. Took considerably more than 8 seconds, but I didn't get bucked off.

I got the theme with CRIER PIGEON, but as Barry said, it didn't really help with the other theme answers. Nicely done, JL. And Lemon, that purple prose is exactly why I don't read Shakespeare.

OOMPAHS -- CSO to Abejo. ALLEN -- CSO to Marti (Did everything come out OK with that procedure?) I'm old enough to have had ETHER in my ute. The stuff they use nowadays is oh so much better.

I've been on a WWII kick lately, and just watched TORA, Tora, Tora a couple of weeks ago. It was really two movies, shot separately, and then stitched together to make a coherent whole.

ORIGAMI is what the dyslexic wife calls her husband -- because he's a fold art.

HeartRx said...

Good morning, everyone.

I loved this puzzle from John. As Lemony said, the theme phrases all evoked a smile when I finally figured each one out. I "got" the them early, with CRIER PIGEON. Believe it or not, it was the theme entries that helped me figure out the reveal of ARGON!! Way cool, JL!

I liked seeing LEONA and LEORA in the same puzzle. That also helped me fill in LEORA, because I knew we wouldn't have 2 x LEONA, and I already had the one at 23-A.

Don't get me wrong - it wasn't a breeze, but I did manage to finish unassisted. Phew!

We are off to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra tonight. Should be a fun time. Dinner at Ruth's Chris first, though.


HeartRx said...

d-otto, I forgot to mention the ALLEN shout-out. I was very pleased that JL included him in this fine offering. His procedure is in January. I didn't realize, that the other day was just a consultation with the doctor.

(And LOL at your ORIGAMI comment!!)

luxor said...

I've been reading the blog for a long time without commenting, but I wanted to say that this was as good a puzzle as I've done in years. The clues were very tough which made finishing it quite an accomplishment for me. My hat's off to John Lampkin.

John Lampkin said...

I can't imagine why this was so hard for everyone. I just solved it online and breezed right through it. Odd, that.

Bluehen said...

This was a strange solve today. The first pass through to pick the low-hanging fruit was surprisingly productive. I thought that this was going to be a speed run. I went back to fill in the blanks and hit a brick wall. It seemed the answers were either obvious or nearly impossible for me. I slogged on, painfully getting fill after fill (eventually), until I got to the SW corner. I had to turn on red letter help. Part of the problem was that I could not think of a single phrase that started with the words PILLar TOP. Even after the perps filled in, I was still looking at PILLar TOP OST until Lemony's explanation. Thanks, Mr. Lampkin, for the mental exercise, and thanks, Lemonade714, for an erudite expo.
One little nit: to me TORAH is not one third of a movie, but one third of a movie title. Anyone?

I am not a robot, merely pretending to be one said...

Torah, Torah, Torah ( 1985)

Magnum, P.I. series 5 Episode 21

A Torah is stolen from a Rabbi, and Tom Sellect agrees to read it ...

He never recovers. ;-D)

Happy Channukah all.
To those who don't celebrate it - you should consider trying to. Life is short enough as it is. So any excuse is a good excuse. All in moderation.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I guess when I was struggling through this, my brain was asleep at the switch. It was a DNF because I couldn't crack the SE corner without help. Also, held on to alas for ah me much too long. The only theme answer that I understood was pill(ar) to post; the others remained a mystery until reading Lemony's expo.

I thought a couple of the clues were a little devious, especially coming from Gentleman John Lampkin 😱! For example, Digital filer's target=toenail, Counter man=Geiger, It's a real knockout=Ether, etc. Didn't know Leona or Leora, but Wilma was a gimme.

In any case, thank you, JL, for a very challenging, if somewhat frustrating (for me) Friday foray and thanks, Lemony for making sense of it all, again, for me. Nice shout out to Marti's DH, and to Marti's Alps and her Red Sox!

Have a great day.

Big Easy said...

This was a tough puzzle and a DNF for me. The RHE & AH ME wouldn't click. I knew it had to be ORIGAMI but I misspelled INURES with and E and stupidly put TENEN for TENON and place CRIER PERSON instead of PIGEON.

LEORA and LEONA- never heard of either one of them. WILMA Rudolph was unbelievable; had polio as a child and went to win the 100 meter dash at the 1960 Olympics in Rome.

I loved the digital filer clue. I kept thinking IRS and the perps finally gave me the answer. The 'NO I' in team was a great clue for a non-word answer. Future fliers for PUPAE was also one that had me stumped for a while. The ' it's seldom total' clue for ECLIPSE was great.

I tutored my granddaughter this week for her semester exam in Chemistry and chuckled when I saw the clue for 67-A and immediately put in ARGON, but I could not figure out how it fit the puzzle. I had never heard the term PILLAR TO POST and PILL TO POST made no sense.

I guess it's just the little things in life that mess you up. The big things are easy.

Bluehen said...

Of course I meant TORA. Silly mistake. Sorry.

Robot Lurker said...

John Lampkin's note on the parasitic wasp in a caterpillar reminds me of a fungus in Nepal, Tibet (part of - ) China called a Yartsa Gunbu (Ophio-codry-ceps sinensis, Phew !) . The fungus eats into a caterpillar and turns it into a dead dried plant used as liquid gold in Chinese herbal medicine. It is considered an elixir for all things irritating or injurious to the human body, costs over $1000 per kilogram, and like truffles cannot be cultivated. It gives 40% of the GNP in Nepal, Tibet and some surrounding places.

A National Geographic article on the same infamous drug.

And heeere's Wiki on the same fungus/caterpillar/herb.

With this sort of money-in-the-bank to be made, floating around, you all are wasting your time doing crossword puzzles...

BTW Great Blog Lemonade. And Happy Chanukkah. Best Wishes.

Avg Joe said...

Very tough outing today. I understood the theme with the first answer and the reveal filled, but can't say it ever actually helped. Got completely stumped in Oregon, and had to google for Wilma. That allowed me to guess my way to correct completion, but I've never heard of pillar to post, so it didn't come easy. So...DNF, but it was an enjoyable battle.

Husker Gary said...

WOW! HOOFED IT and GEIGER unlocked the two stubborn corners and I was home free. I also stared at O_E way too long to get ORE to finish. We were very near Oregon City and Astoria this summer. Did I day WOW?

-Figuring out the theme fill was as fun as the puzzle!
-Need some inspiration? Spend four minutes with WILMA
-Yeah I know, Marti, SCROD rhymes with YARD
-Reading this book and seeing TORA, TORA, TORA showed how complacent we were
-No TIP = Big hint
-When Grandma Opal had one too many glasses of wine at Thanksgiving, she started singing Bringing In The SHEAVES
-My RATE is always 4 mph over the limit
-Both of these women sang a chorus of Tammy’s song.
-Court wasn’t PURSUE despite _ _ R _ U _
-I remember George Burns’ fun ASIDES on his and Gracie’s TV show
-ALOHA, Chef Wendy!
-Gotta run! Read y’all later.

Rainman said...

Wow, it took me over an hour thirty but finally got it. Great clueing for a Friday or Saturday. Early on, when I wasn't half through, HOGTIE helped me re-energize. Some other moments I was elated by were getting PUPA_, ONEEYED, and to remember that Digital clues are almost always TOEs or fingers. Was missing the A in STRIA/ATRIUM for so long... it just wasn't on my wavelength yet. Counter man = GEIGER... very good. Kept me going. And finally, EVONE became EVOKE.

Loved this one. Thanks, John Lampkin. Great writeup, Lemonade714.

WBS about that theme... got it early on but not much help there.

This puzzle called for a lot of both time and tenacity. Whew. Have a great Friday.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

DNF for me. West side did me in. Despite having 4 perps, could not pull PILL To POST together.

Even had LOCI and VIOLA, to no avail. AH, ME.

Also filled in GIANTS for world series winner. Oops! Wrong year.

RBI before RHE.

Got ARGON before any of the theme answers, and it did help.

Much cleverness today. John never disappoints.

Here's today's Christmas song from Christopher Bill. Nice tune.

And here's Yo Tannenbaum, a very hip arrangement by Gordon Goodwin from our concert.

Cool regards!
JzB [has been known to HOoF IT with a trombone]

thehondohurricane said...

Hello everyone,

This was a bear for me today, but I finished it........wrong. The North did me in, my wags were awful. Had tot for 6a, crier pity on for 20A, one for 22A, & Leona for 11D. My wags for the central and southern sections were OK (just plain lucky guesses)

Never figured out the theme, but nothing unusual there. Not sure if i enjoyed the challenge or nor, but my brain sure hurts.

Tinbeni said...

Glad I added some RUM to my coke when I threw in the towel this morning.
DNF ... epic fail ... **it happens.

All is not lost though, it is heading to 72 degrees and a perfect Sunset has been predicted ...

Mrsm said...

Been puzzling for 60 years, but a beginner blogger. I'm aghast that "googling"is acceptable. I never ever give up, so DNF is not an option. Today's offering was a challenge, but got it in a little over an hour. Had to erase an entire corner and start over. Am I too old fashioned?

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

DNF. This one kicked my a$$ and took my lunch money. Pretty much what Avg. Joe said: the trouble was concentrated in the west, where I had never heard of that Wilma athlete or the expression pillar to post. The theme was easy to guess from Crier Pigeon, but that knowledge didn't help with the "pill" joke. To break the logjam I Googled the athlete and finished from there.

Another roadblock had to do with ibexes. I always thought they were Andean creatures, not Alpen - oops.

Some very clever clues today, but "Digital filer's target" simply has to be the best.

Lemonade714 said...

Mrs m
the great thing about puzzles is the experience is unique to each of us. There are those who strive to finish in a flash, there are those who enjoy the learning they get when they google a difficult answer, and many who do not have or want to spend the time to never give up.

Welcome and let us know what you think.

CrossEyedDave said...

Oh Man! What a workout... I never did get the theme, (I was looking for a single "R".) But unlike the Saturday stumper, full of obscure things that don't interest me, I knew that a John Lampkin puzzle combined with a quirky Friday theme was going to be interesting.

I say I did about 35% in ink...
(75% red letter, with "obla" changed to "obli" to avoid the dreaded TADA blowing me out of my chair)
(P.S.) my puzzling skills are about as good as my math... (Don't tell Bill G....)

I was hooked from the 1A Rudolph alias. (never did get it, but groaned aloud when it finally perped into place.)

What Lemony said, "devlish." (Is that a word?) Just too many misdirections to mention them all. (Thank you Lemonade714...)

& finally, thank you John Lampkin, for ruining my day! Don't you know Friday is my busiest day of the week! If it was a Silkie I would have given up long ago,but nooo! It was a John Lampkin, on a Friday. Do you know how behind schedule I am? Well I'm not telling you because I don't want you to know how long it took me to Yada, yada, yada, complain, complain, *&%^&**&^ (etc...)

Bill G. said...

Good morning! I haven't read the writeup or any of the comments yet but I wanted to jump in with my initial impressions. I finished this late last night with some considerable effort needed in several areas. The cluing was intelligent and tricky yet fair. The theme was clever. Overall, I enjoy almost all LAT crossword puzzles am I am always impressed with the skill of the constructors and our trusty editor. But this puzzle may be my all-time favorite. When I would puzzle though my initial guesses in some quadrant (especially NW and SE) and things finally fell into place, I would get a big smile and was all aglow with satisfaction. Very well done John Lampkin!

Dudley said...

John Lampkin 7:17 - Har de har!

Now a biology question for John or anybody else who knows insects: on a few occasions l I have broken open the mud tunnel nests built by wasps (I think) on, say, vertical walls. These seem to have long cylindric galleries, generally parallel, of which one contains a single larva and a grassy plug, and one or two of which contains a food supply. The food seems to be a certain type of spider with an iridescent underside. The spiders are neatly stacked in there. The curious thing is that the spiders do not seem to be dead, but rather in suspended animation. Is that correct?

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Thanks, C.C. for yesterday's answer on cheater squares.

When I saw today's puzzle was by John Lampkin, I had to try and do it. Took 4 sittings, including going to the dermatologist first, but finally got 'er done. Many fine but tricky clues. Loved PUPAE. and ETHER. ARGON unifier helped get PILL(AR) TO POST. Never sussed the missing AR in MINIMALIST (AR)T, though. Thought it had to do with a 'T' shirt. Sigh. Many whimsical clues. Also liked salt output - YARNS. Another SO to us sailors?
Thanks John for a very fine crossword.

Misty said...

Well, sadly I've gone from having trouble with Saturday puzzles to having trouble with some Fridays too, and this was one of them. A bit of a relief to see others found it tough as well. I did get the theme, though, and the reveal, but still had all sorts of other problems. Even cheating didn't do the job. But, Lemonade, your explanations and pictures and other info were excellent this morning, and redeemed the downer for me--many thanks. And it's nice to see lurkers weighing in, welcome to the blog!

Have a great Friday, everybody!

Bill G. said...

Lemon asked about LOCI. It's kinda like location. What's the loci (location) of all points in a plane one inch from a given point? It's a circle with a one-inch radius. What's the loci of all points in a plane equidistant from two points A and B? It's the perpendicular bisector of line segment AB.

I really like this APOD of the Deer Lick Group, a wonderful view of galaxies near and far in the same line of sight. Double click on the image for highest resolution. Deer Lick Group

Here's one more really good video of a tortoise helping his buddy get back on his feet. Tortoise

Lifelong woodworker said...

Call me a little too left-brained for what might be called an artistic effort, but the two parts of a dovetail joint (8 down) are called pins and tails. Extensive googling can find no reference to either of those being called a tenon. A mortise and tenon joint is straight sided, i.e. a square peg in a square hole. Dovetail joints are angled.

Anonymous T said...

This "Fold Art" had a TDNF today. I couldn't get a foot-hold anywhere. I appreciate the cluing from John & (I assume) Rich but, like last Friday's C.C. puzzle, it felt like nor fell as Sat plz. Only LEM made the clues make sense.

Count the ways? 13a guides, 22a ORG - thank goodness I have plenty ALLEN wrenches (mostly IKEA's) to fix that. 47a AIr led to abraso?, etc. Ouch, ouch, and ouch. I guess IM [the] FOOL today. I did know ARGON - small win for me :-)

Oh, well, Monday comes soon enough.

Thanks John & LEM.

On TIVO - they are doing just fine after winning the suit against Scientific Atlantic and other DVR makers. A buddy of mine works there and developed the interface.

Welcome luxor.

Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, and all other Festivuses in your tradition.

Cheers, -T

John Lampkin said...

For Dudley 11:51
Uh-oh, Dudley, I think your life is about to change. Next time, take a photograph or two and send it in to The experts there will often be able identify both the spider and wasp. You can also just visit the site and in the search box type in Pompilidae. That is the group of spider hunting wasps. There are about 5000 species of them world-wide. And yes, they do just paralyze the prey with a neurotoxin so that the larva always has fresh food to eat. If you look at my own image of the caterpillar again so will see that the larvae, as crowded as it was in there, all managed to avoid eating the vital organs. This is a level of "intelligence" that we seldom give insects credit for. They are actually brighter than some of my students.
And Jason, terrific blog as always! Good luck with your upcoming nuptials.
To all, a happy holiday.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that you chose that particular video of Tammy Wynette, which was at the beginning of her career and before her multiple plastic surgeries to try and be 'beautiful'. What a shame. She was already beautiful in the context of that rich, soulful voice. There will never be another like her.
Gary, a musician.

Yellowrocks said...

This was more difficult than the usual Friday for me today. Because of lack of time I Googled two answers and was able to finish from there. I consider it a non-win, but it's better and more satisfying than not finishing or completing it wrong. At least I learned something. Doesn't everyone occasionally meet a word or two they can't wag successfully, especially if the unknown answers cross one another? Perseverance doesn't help then.
I always enjoy John's puzzles and Lemon's expos. Thank you both.
CRIER PIGEON gave me the missing AR and ARGON which helped in the solve. For me MINIMALIST T was the most difficult theme answer.
I loved the misdirections, like TOE NAIL. I knew the expression PILLAR TO POST.
Lifelong woodworker, your post makes sense. However, if you Google "half dovetail" you can find it is made of tenon and mortise. Close enough or no cigar?

Ergo said...

Thank you John and Lemon.

Wow! Best puzzle in a long time, hands down! Some very clever and challenging cluing. I put an hour into it this morning and revisited it for about the same length of time this afternoon. This was one of those victories that merits a half-a-cigar out on the front deck.

SwenglishMom said...

Fun that i manager to finish with no help. Even Olympics fan hubby couldn't help on the Randolph clue so I was forced to get it all on my own. Nice that the answers showed up for me on the second sitting. Thanks all!

Madame Defarge said...

I had insomnia last night and came down to work it on the computer. I would like to say I was a bit sleepy, but that would be too easy. This was a killer, but I appreciate it so much in retrospect. A superb design by Mr. Lamp kin and grand explication by Lemonade. I will remember this one for a long, long time!

Dudley said...

JL - Interesting! The neurotoxin must be persistent. In one case it appeared I was looking at a nest from a prior year, and the spiders were still apparently undead. Then too it's amazing that the young larva (or subsequent critter) can eat the stored spiders without toxic effect.

Another thing I never worked out was how the bambino could get to the food. I couldn't verify a connection between cells; perhaps the young wasp has to burrow over to the chow hall.

Thanks for your reply. I'm off to bug

Paul in Montebello said...

Finished this one but, in difficulty, it seemed like a strange hybrid between a Friday, Saturday, and Monday puzzle.

luxor said...

Hello. This was a brilliant puzzle and one that I needed two hours to solve. I always look forward to puzzles from Mr. Lampkin.

I do hope everyone is doing their part to boost our economy. This has been a rough year in my neck of the woods.

Jayce said...

I liked this puzzle a lot. Pure Lampkin through and through, as classy as a Rolls Royce. Although I couldn't finish it without looking some things up,I enjoyed the heck out of it. Took me at least a half hour before the "NO I" light bulb lit up; then I literally slapped my forehead, cried out "Sheesh!" and chortled out loud.

One of the Stooges said...

Great puzzle, John; great write-up Lemonade714. A lot of clever clues, and the "theme" came pretty easily once I solved the CRIER PIGEON and PILL TO POST spots. Had ARGON filled in pretty early; usually I save the "theme" answer for the last clue.

I used to be an International Business Manager, and as "easy" an answer as EXPORTS was, I initially used the term: EX WORKS, as it is, technically, a pricing component of international trade. Oh well, I knew it was wrong when 20 across turned up CRIER WIGEON.

Thanks, JazzBumpa for the link to the trombone piece. It helped me get the OBLA-DI-OBLA-DA earworm out of my head!

JD said...

Good evening Lemon, C.C. and all,

Hoofed very slowly thru this one, even with help. AND, YES YES YES Yellowrocks! I'd rather know the answer, learn something and move on.
Lemonade @ 11:41... well said.

Jonn Lampkin, this was fun; so many clever clues. Broom brawl... loved the visual!The coven has not as yet gathered in a bar room.

Very fun write up, Lemon... thanks.

My DH would not like it that I put in Giants instead of his Red Sox. He's a forever fan.

Bumpa, so enjoyed today's trombone arrangement.

Bill, beautiful photo.

Lemonade714 said...

Thank you all for a very fun day

Bill G. said...

I missed the finale of the Colbert Report. He was said goodbye to by lots of well-known friends. Here it is. Finale

Lucina said...

Greetings, Friends! As always, Lemonade, you are in superb form.

Well, I missed today's party being heavily involved in preparing the meat, beef and pork, for tomorrow's task of tamale making.

I was delighted to see John Lampkin's name as constructor and wished I had more time to savor it. As usual with missing letter words, it's quite difficult for me but I managed most of it except MINIMALISTT and thus GEIGER, TIVO and HOGTIE.

It was, none the less, great fun. Thank you, John.

I hope you all had a fantastic Saturday! Mine has been supremely busy with proper exhaustion setting in. I'm ready for a good night's sleep though a very early morning tomorrow. I may not appear here at all.

Lucina said...

Again you have my gratitude for posting that link. Of course I missed all TV today but I'm glad to see that final episode. It's hilarious. Stephen will be great on the Late Show.

Unknown said...

Good challenge. Took longer than usual for a Friday. BUT, dovetails do not have tenons, the interlocking parts of that joint are called pounds and tails. A Trenton joint is completely different.bad clue.

Bill G. said...

Lucina, I'm glad you enjoyed it. All of those people seemed as if they held him in such high regard. I recognized most of the crowd but I found a web page that identified all of them.