Jan 14, 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015, Harald Hornung

Theme: BLOODY HELL!   Common two-word adjective-plus-noun phrases are re-imagined in such a way that the adjective is used as a British pejorative.  Clever use of alternate meanings.  The word "confounded" in all the theme clues had me on the wrong track right away, thinking that the modified word would be mixed up rather than a cause of anger or annoyance.   So this additional use of an alternate meaning in the clue confounded me from the get go.

20 A. Confounded British illumination? : BLINKING LIGHTS.  Lights that flash on and off or lights that cause consternation. You decide

40 A. Confounded British posies? : BLOOMING FLOWERS.  Who could be annoyed by these buds opening up and showing off their beauty?  Someone with a pollen allergy, perhaps.

56 A. Confounded British residences? : FLIPPING HOUSES.   To flip a house is an attempt at real estate arbitrage: buying it for a [presumed] cheap price and then selling it quickly for dear.  During the bubble a decade or so ago, properties could be flipped repeatedly in the same day.  Not so much any more.  After the crash [pro tip: bubbles ALWAYS crash] FLIPPING those FLIPPING HOUSES got a lot harder, more risky and less profitable.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here.  Maybe Steve should have had this one.  I'll admit, solving it was not a doodle for me.  Excellent theme, with a grid-spanner and two 14's.  Also, some impressive long downs.   Let's see if I can get through this write up without making a dog's dinner of it.


1. Monday Night Football regular until 1983 : COSELL.  Howard.  He was a good announcer - for boxing, and by all accounts a fine human being who did a lot to promote the appreciation of black athletes in all sports.   Sadly, though, he knew bugger all about American football and his presence in the press box on Monday nights was a flipping embarrassment.  

7. Gobbled, as a turkey : ATE.  An American tradition is to gobble the gobbler and fall asleep on the couch watching football.

10. Site with a "Buy It Now" option : EBAY.  Etail pioneer.

14. Mecca's peninsula : ARABIA.  Geography

15. In the bath : WET.  Or in car wash.  Soapy, too. 

16. "__ Rock" : I AM A.  Feeling no pain.

17. Hires a new crew for : REMANS.

18. Styled after : A LA.

19. Shot up : GREW.  Quickly.  Not to be confused with launched, did drugs, or filled with bullets.

23. Jamaican genre : SKA.

24. Walkway material : SLATE.  Alternative to concrete.  It has a very smooth surface that can be hazardous in winter.

25. Meter or liter : UNIT of measurement.

29. Med. plan option : HMOHealth Maintenance Organization.

31. "Twin Peaks" co-creator David : LYNCH.   It's coming back next year. 

34. White House maiden name between Pierce and Welch : RODHAM.  Recent first ladies.  One of these ladies could also be the first at something else.

37. Dr. J hairstyle : AFRO.  Julius Erving was a basketball star in the 70's and early 80's.

39. Lone Ranger and Tonto, e.g. : DUO.  Like Batman and Robin.

43. First __ : AID.  Amateur medical treatment for minor injuries.

44. Horner's find : PLUM.  Jack in a corner, with pie.

45. Have a strong desire (for) : STARVE for attention, maybe.

46. Things to fulfill : NEEDS.  Or wishes.

48. It's on the streets : TAR.   Macadam pavement.

50. Flanders river : YSERMap.

51. Vinegar vessel : CRUET.  A flat bottom, narrow-necked vessel, often with an integral spout and handle.

53. Dangerous snake : ASP.  The infamous Egyptian cobra.

62. Actor Bean of "Game of Thrones" : SEAN.   Lord Eddard Stark, like every character SEAN Bean plays, dies on screen.  Mercifully, you will not see it in this clip from season 1.   Embedding disabled.  You can see it here.

63. Aegean __ : SEA.  Between Greece and Turkey.

64. Give one's word : ASSURE.

65. Stock options, e.g. : PERK.   Short for perquisite, an extra prize given to someone due to their position.  Note that there is no consideration of merit.

66. WWII intel agcy. : O. S. S.  Office of Strategic Services.

67. Look through partially open curtains, say : PEER IN.   Peer out and peep in seem more likely.

68. Round components : ALES.  Rounds of drinks.  Nice deception.  Also making the rounds:
11 D. Round servers : BARTENDERS.   A round is one drink for everyone in the party.
47 D. Round components : DRINKS.   Steps toward getting loaded.
It's a clecho-go-round.

69. Vague degree : NTH.  Yes, it is not specified, but it means to whatever degree is necessary, generally assumed to be a very high degree indeed.

70. Flowed in circles : EDDIED.   You can see it happening early in the video taken where the pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Japan.


1. Prep for a marathon, with "up" : CARB.  Carbohydrate loading to boost the energy reserve.

2. N.L. Cy Young Award winner three years after Dwight : OREL.  In 1985 Dwight Gooden of the N. Y. Mets went 24-4 with an amazing 1.53 ERA and 269 K's.   That's Earned Run Average, and strikeouts, for the uninitiated.  In 1988 OREL Hershiser of the L. A. Dodgers went 23-8 with a 2.26 ERA and 178 K's.  He also recorded 1 save.  Since 1967, 5 N. L. relief pitchers have won the award.  Among N. L. starters, only Hershiser recorded a save.

3. Nordic language : SAMI.  The SAMI people, speakers of this language, also known as Lapplanders, are the northernmost indigenous people of Europe.

4. "Voice of Israel" author : EBAN.    This book by Abba EBAN was published in 1969.

5. Rory McIlroy's milieu : LINKS.   Famous for McIlroy's sweet 'n' spicy maple chipotle sausages.  No, wait - he's a golfer.

6. Big name in vision correction : LASIK.   Laser eye surgery.

7. Like an excited puppy's tail : AWAG.  The dreaded a- word.  I'm not chased off, nor am I chuffed.  A bit of meh! perhaps; not my cup of tea.

8. Takes to task : TELLS OFF.  Scolds

9. Web business : ETAIL.  Electronic retail portmanteau.

10. San Francisco-to-Teaneck interstate : EIGHTY.   I-80 includes the OH and PA turnpikes.

12. Iowa State city : AMES.   Iowa State University is in AMES.

13. Swerve from a course : YAW.   An unwanted right or left off-course deviation.

21. "I'll pass" : NAH.   Informal, slangy negation.

22. Clumsy sort : GALOOT.  I picture a rather large, nice but socially awkward guy in a western movie.

25. Citified : URBAN.  Ironically clued the other day as country singer Keith.

26. "Cross my heart" : NO LIE.  Declaration of honesty

27. "Bless my soul!" : I DO DECLARE.   Gor blimey! An exclamation of surprise.

28. Howe'er : THO.  But, but, but . . . abbreviated.

30. Molten rock : MAGMA.  While underground.  Above ground it's lava.

32. Bend : CURVE.  An arc.

33. Car wash employee, at times : HOSER.   Hose operator.

 35. Excites : AMPS UP.   Amplifies anything, so I guess excitement could be included.  Not a rock solid connection, though.

36. Wire thickness unit : MIL.   Thousandth of an inch.

38. "Kidnapped" author's monogram : RLS.   Did Robert Louis Stevenson have restless leg syndrome?

41. Most eccentric : NUTTIEST.   Bonkers!

42. Manner : WAY.  Behavioral norms.

49. Cloth remnant : RAG.

52. HP competitor : EPSON.  Printers

54. Configure : SHAPE.

55. Prepared for a shot : POSED.  Like this.

56. Texture : FEEL.   The tactile quality of a surface or object.

57. "I don't mind eels / Except as meals / And the way they feels" poet : NASH.  A texture thing, I suppose; from Ogden NASH, who also gave us "Candy is dandy/ But liquor is quicker.

58. Previously driven, say : USED.  Cars

59. TomKat's daughter : SURI.  Modern couple portmanteau construction mashes the two names together, thus Tom and Katie give us TomKat, even long after they have split.   Katie comes from my home town, along the shore of  .  .  .

60. Lake at one end of the Niagara River : ERIE.

61. Final email step : SEND.   Once you push that button, it's too late to say, "Ooops!"

62. Place for a pedi : SPA.  Pedicure at a commercial establishment offering health and beauty treatments.

Well, there it is.  Not easy peasy by any means.  Looks like this might be the first L. A. Times puzzle for Harald Hornung, so congrats to him.   I thought the theme was brill, the whole puzzle was ace, and Bob's your uncle.

Cool regards!

P. S.  If you want to brush up your British slang, it can be found here.

Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to dear JD, who's exploring the Great Barrier Reef at the moment. She and her husband Bob have been visiting New Zealand (very beautiful, she said) and Australia.  She was in Melbourne when she emailed me two days ago. Have any of you been to Melbourne?

Left to Right: Cameron, Truman, Grady, JD & Dylan 


Anonymous said...

"Peer out and peep in seem more likely."

Hand up.

OwenKL said...

Not too difficult for me today, tho it did take a few passes. Round servers I wanted RING BABES, but that was a letter short. 20a I had _NGLI_H in the middle, and confidently filled in ENGLISH, which held me up for a bit.
Finished, but no ta-da. No idea who TomKat is, let alone his daughter, but knew SUKI was a girl's name, still, tried to replace PEEK IN with PEEP IN (making the kid a Soupy Sales namesake). Then back to PEEK, until PEER occurred to me finally! Ta-da, with no red letters!

The confounded English have a way to swear,
Of which Americans are vaguely aware,
And bloody and BLINKIN'
Are hardly enough to make HOSERs stare!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all (and Happy Birthday, JD)!

Not too bad today, except that I had a hard time getting started in the NW corner since I didn't know the theme at first, didn't know who Rory Mcllroy was, never heard of SAMI and misspelled LASIK as LASEK. Once I got the theme, however, I was able to go back and get the job done.

Very odd clue for HOSER. It means something very different in Canada [thank you, Bob & Doug McKenzie!], and my online dictionary mentions several different definitions, none of which actually has to do with using a hose.

Montana said...

Happy Birthday, JD.


desper-otto said...

Good morning!

No big problems today, so long as you don't count a DNF! I PEEKed IN to see if SUKI was sleepin'. Had no idea who TomKat was, so it looked good to me. That K did not turn red in my newspaper.

JzB, I looked and looked at that map, and never could find the YSER River. Google Earth wasn't any better -- took me to the middle of some guy's field in Belgium.

Twin Peaks was one weird TV program. Had interesting theme music, though.

SEND reminds me of an incident at work about 10 years ago. Two programmers in my group were having a friendly, but heated, email exchange. One of them sent a one-word "Bitch!" to the other, but accidentally picked the wrong addressee. It went, instead, to the woman who headed up Accounting. Lucky for him, she had a sense of humor.

desper-otto said...

Oops, forgot to wish a Happy Birthday to our world traveler, JD. Does the draining bathwater actually swirl in the opposite direction down there?

Oh, and I finally found the Yser river. On that map it flows from Diksmuide to Niewpoort. Learning moment.

Avg Joe said...

Yep. Peeked seemed right and Suki sounded as good as Suri. Without the electronic assist, a FIW. But with a clear conscience.

Rant warning. The term house flipping has been appropriated by reality TV folks to mean something entirely different than the original phrase. In the industry, flipping is a fraudulent scheme where 2 or more parties collude to trade properties between one another, with the price being higher in each successive "flip". This provides cover for equally fraudulent appraisers to cite "sales" that support an inflated value. The flippers ultimately refinance, pulling artificial gains out of the properties, then default immediately on the loans. That's what the term means. Period. Flame off.

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning.
Thanks Mr. Hornung for a British fun run. Finding the theme early at "Blinking Lights" helped me move through the grid. At first I saw "confounded" as "confused" until I said aloud what's so British about blinking lights. When I heard it I ran to the other entries and the rest is history. I love British vernacular.

My other problems included reading HORNER as HOMER. I was definitely on the inside when I tried to figure out what went with "out" at 67A.

Avg Joe, I think flipping has moved away from its original connotation. It certainly was negative as appraisers and banks who gave the loans artificially inflated the housing market. Around here, some handy folks now are trying to rehab for resale some of the gutted repos the banks are trying to dump.It's a whole lot better than having an empty house in the neighborhood that looks like the vegetation is trying to reclaim it. The newer connotation might be an example of how language continually evolves.

Thanks JzB for the commentary.

Have a fine day.

Big Easy said...

I get the FLIPPIN' & BLOOMIN' but the BLINKIN' doesn't sound like a cussin' adjective to my ears.

COSELL- as Joe Willie said, 'he knows absolutely nothing about football'

Twin Peaks- Anybody else been to a TWIN PEAKS restaurant? JazzBumpa's hosers are waitresses. LYNCH- complete unknown.

34A-Let's hope these ladies fade away as they should. They were not elected to anything. Being the spouse of anybody doesn't entitle you to anything.

I DO DECLARE- well 'dahling', being from the South I have 'nevah' heard that expression except on TV or in a movie.

C.C., We went to Australia and New Zealand three years ago this week thinking it would be their summer. It was COLD in Melbourne one day and hot the next. Among the things I remember from our three week trip was the amount of gray-haired women. Apparently L'Oreal & Clairol need to sell more there. Plus Vegamite tastes like s**t.

P.S. the puzzle was fine for a Wednesday, but a little too easy.

Lemonade714 said...

Kind of funny that JzB gets the British theme; excellent write up.

I remember Suri only SAMI was new to me, but it filled so it was a fast Wednesday.

HBDTY JD and look forward to your travel pictures.

Mr. Hornung appears to be a resident constructor doing a puzzle every week for a Daily Crossword site, I wonder if he is related to Paul, the Green Bay Packer (and Notre Dame) great? The Harald makes you think German or maybe Scandinavia with the SAMI fill.

Lemonade714 said...

A quick being married story; my wife is Thai and has learned English here in the US in the past year.

We were watching Downton Abbey and she was clearly bored.

I asked her what was the problem, and she asked how I could enjoy the show when they weren't speaking English.

Lucina said...

Good day, puzzlers!

Happy birthday, JD!

A slow sashay for me which started in the East as the ends of the theme were easy enough. I loved the clue, round servers, BAR TENDERS and the related fill.

My NEEDS were soon fulfilled as I clipped along on the south and west. COSELL was my first fill, erased it, thinking boxing, then rewrote it. Perped SAMI.

Some first ladies have played huge roles and deserve credit in their own right. Eleanor comes to mind as does Hillary RODHAM Clinton.

Thank you, Jazzbumpa and Harald for an entertaining morning.

Have a delightful day, everyone!

TTP said...

Good morning all.

That SW corner drove me nuts but after walking away from the puzzle for 15 to 20 minutes, I got it done. Had to drop the idea that the last theme entry would also start with BL. No idea on SEAN, but the S-A- let me try the N which then gave me DRINKS, and a fast path to completion from there. Oh yea, I nailed CRUET, but had a heckuva time thinking of what a HORNER was. Then I realized it was the little boy from the nursery rhyme.

Thank you Harald Hornung and thank you JzB ! I was kinda hoping Steve would have this puzzle to explain the "Confounded" theme.

That mini theme of BARTENDER, DRINKS and ALES as cute.

Tom and Katie's daughter was almost SUKI, but that didn't just sound right. I thought PEER IN would be better than PEEK IN. I might have guessed SUKI if I didn't know who TomKat was...

We've had SAMI before as well as various Laplander related clues and links to Wikis. I remember reading about them.

Happy Birthday JD !

Tinbeni said...

Jazz: Outstanding write-up and links. Especially enjoyed the I AM A Rock which I needed ESP to get.

Happy Birthday JD

Well this was a total slog for me to get the bloody themes ... a letter at a time.
That notwithstanding, it was a FUN solve for a Wednesday.

Hmmm, faves today ...BARTENDERS, DRINKS and ALES, go figure. lol

HORNER's find, PLUM, looked like Homer's find in my paper, and the only thing I thought he found was the Golden Fleece.

Off to the gym.

desper-otto said...

Tin, the Homer I was thinking of could always find a Duff Beer!

Yellowrocks said...

Easy-peasy Monday type puzzle for me. I wasn't confused by "confounded" so I got the theme right off the bat. That confounded dog next door barks all night long! The theme reminded me of all the British novels I have read.
PEEK and PEER are not very close synonyms. PEER implies looking keenly. You can peer in or peer out. PEEK usually implies a quick look. You can peek in or peek out. In or out is totally irrelevant.
I learned YSER and SAMI from xwords. I knew SUKI from reading People magazine during boring waits for doctors.
Only clunkers are called used cars these days. Better cars are pre-owned or previously driven.
IMO AMPS UP in a non-musical sense is a common term.
Lucina, I completely agree that Eleanor and Hillary richly deserve credit in their own right.
This use of HOSER is fairly uncommon.
My incredibly inept doctor's staff contacted my secondary insurer, the HMO, first and was denied. My primary is Medicare. Another snafu to untangle. For weeks this office has created far more stress for me than the condition or the procedure does.

kazie said...

My only error was the PEEK/SUKI cross, since I didn't remember who TomKat was?/were? or I may have changed it to PEER. Also I only got PLUM through perps since I couldn't decide if it said Homer or Horner, and I never would have associated the surname Horner with Jack of the nursery rhyme.

I have been to Melbourne several times and have a cousin who still lives there whom we'll have to visit next time we go, since we couldn't make it that far south last year.

I would have been here sooner today except I read all the British slang terms to see how many I knew already --most as it turns out. Many have been in abundant use in Oz forever too.

I missed coming here yesterday since we had to euthanize our beloved golden retriever Trudi yesterday. We've had her since a puppy, and she would have been 15 this coming May, so she had a good run, but in the end, finding she had cancer of the spleen meant it was better to spare her any further agony of testing and possible treatments.

Madame Defarge said...


Sorry about your pup. Had to do the same with my Corgi in June. It was difficult. You'll be expecting someone at the door to greet you for a bit. They are endearing, aren't they?

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Fun puzzle.

HBD, JD, wherever you are.

Here's something new from Christopher Bill.

Cool regards!

Rainman said...

Only mistake was penciling in SUKI (PEEKIN).
I should have renewed my Natl. Enquirer subscription to know Suri.
Only 15 mins. to finish THO.
Kind of a double theme with the Round components. Guessed at SAMI and RODHAM. Learning moments.
Lots of Erie, eddied, flowers, that type clue. Those types.
Proudest guess: AWAG
THanx, JB and Harald Hornung.
Australia and NZ beckon, yes!

kazie said...

Mme D.
Thank you. It's amazing how many times it crosses my mind: What will Trudi think? When I reach for my phone, she always thought it was because we were going for a walk, or opening the bread bag and slicing the bread--will she come looking for the crumbs she loved to get in her dish, expecting to see her lying around near the kitchen table, or remembering how she'd rest her chin on my knee to tell be she wanted to go out.

I know it will take a while to get used to.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Happy Birthday, JD.

Daunting today. Finally dug COSELL out of the memory dust bin and began to trudge forward. After sussing EIGHTY and BARTENDERS, I got BLINKING LIGHTS. --- 3d, with 'a' in the 2nd slot first augered for LAPP, but Cosell swung it for SAMI. Relied on several WAGS. Harald seemed to have the ability to draw more out of me than I thought I could muster. In the end it was solved without look-ups and only one white-out - @ 13d, YAW.
(Airliner had to return to LAX yesterday with a YAW problem)

NASH also gave us:

The Hunter

The hunter crouches in his blind
'Neath camouflage of every kind
And conjures up a quacking noise
To lend allure to his decoys
This grown-up man, with pluck and luck
is hoping to outwit a duck

Lemonade714 said...

I keep up on all news while waiting to check out at our Publix supermarkets; Suri, TomKat, North West, all the news fit for wrapping fish.

ERIE again? Abejo?

Husker Gary said...

I had a jolly good time. I’m always glad to read Jazz’s great expos but thought it ironic our resident Brit Steve would hold forth today.

-COSELL was a polarizing personality that you loved or hated. His book title says it all.
-I thought EBAY was an auction site not (R)ETAIL but not so much now
-ARABIA benefits much more from what’s under its surface
-Our kitty is fascinated by all things WET (:19). She has water dishes all over the house but…
-The Huskers fired their FB coach and the new guy REMANNED keeping only 1 of 13 assistants
-Didn’t all of us teachers start by writing on SLATE
-Barbara Peirce Bush is a descendant this man
-50˚F this weekend – Hello LINKS!
-HOSER characteristics north of the 49th parallel
-Happy Birthday to our peripatetic Judy!

Qli said...

a FLIPPING DNF for me today, thanks to Suri Cruise and PEEP (hand up for Suki and peek), but very enjoyable puzzle and expo nonetheless.

Happy Birthday, JD, and enjoy your trip. Hope you can post some pictures when you return.

I learned SKA from crosswords, but didn't know what it was until today. Thanks for the video.

My sister and her husband have made quite a bit of money out in CA by FLIPPING HOUSES in a good way, not the sleazy way.

Avg Joe said...

On the flipping rant, I want to be clear. There's nothing illegal or even distasteful about flipping houses in the good way. It's just an unfortunate choice of terminology. Frinstance, I doubt HGTV or the tune and turn remodelers would have chosen to appropriate the term had it been "House Larceny".

Kazie, very sorry to hear about your Trudi.

And I earlier forgot to wish a HB to JD. Happy Birthday JD!

Ergo said...

Nailed it! Thank you Jazz and Harald for a fun Wednesday offering.

I used to commute on I-80 120 miles roundtrip daily. My longest I-80 adventure though was from Lincoln to Reno non-stop (1,400 miles/21 hours). And eventual return under the same circumstances.

I fueled myself with 35 cent cigars and 55-gallon drum-sized servings of coffee to stay awake.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Herald Hormung, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Jazzbumpa, for a fine review.

Well, first off, I did this puzzle in the paper while enjoying several cups of Earl Grey tea. My first since November 9th, 2014. Wow, was it good! I thank my fourth doctor for that experience. No caffein and no beer since then.

Of course, my first word to write in was ERIE. The clue jumped right off the page at me. I will actually be near the Niagara River Friday morning, as I head east for the weekend.

I missed on one answer. Had PEEK IN instead of PEER IN. No idea who SURI or SUKI was. Puzzle was fun, nonetheless.

Tried WARM up for 1D. That did not work. Eventually got CARB up after perps. First inkblot.

Tried MO for MOURNING LIGHTS, then stopped until I could get some Downs. Finally wrote in BLINKING LIGHTS. Second inkblot.

EIGHTY was easy. Have travelled that for over 40 years. Ohio Turnpike is the western end of 80 in Ohio and the PA Turnpike is the eastern end of 80 in PA, as someone else pointed out. Also I-76 is the eastern end of the Ohio Turnpike and the western end of the PA Turnpike. If anyone really cares.

Liked the theme. Also liked the mini theme of taverns.

I also miss our dog AWAGGING her tail. She has been gone for 23 month months now. She was the best dog we ever had. German Short-Haired Pointer.

Happy Birthday to JD, and many more.

Off to my day. Much to do since I am so revved up with the 7 cups of Earl Grey I just finished.


( )

CanadianEh! said...

Some work required today. Loved the theme. Thanks Harald and Argyle.

WES re PEEK/PEER. I also tried ASP, then BOA, then back to ASP.

CSOs to Steven, NiceCuppa, Tin, Spitzboov.

I'm located about 1/2 hour from the Niagara River between Lake Ontario and Lake ERIE. Winston Churchill called the Niagara Parkway "the best Sunday afternoon drive in the world".

Loved the HOSER link HG. We still need our toques but Canada Goose coats are all the rage now.

Have a good day. HBD to JD (I've never been to Melbourne). Sympathy to kazie on loss of pet - I still sometimes think my cat should be purring on the chair.

Yellowrocks said...

Happy birthday, JD. Enjoy your travels. I am eager to see your pics. Loved the shot of your grandkids.
Kazie, I am so sorry to hear about your dog. We do become so attached to our pets.
Abejo, I live just a few miles off Rte. 80 in NJ and travel it several times a week. I avoid it during rush hours because it becomes a parking lot. Up until a few weeks ago it was hampered by months of road construction. I have often traveled Rte. 80 through, NJ,OH, IN, and into IL to visit my sister in the Chicago suburbs.

desper-otto said...

Kazie, very sorry to hear about Trudi. I know you miss her.

YR, glad that procedure #1 went well. Now onto that knee replacement and back onto the squaredance floor.

Irish Miss said...

Hi Everyone:

I thought this had a bit of a bite for a Wednesday, but did eventually finish w/o help. Cute theme with fresh fill. Thanks, Mr. H., for a mid-week offering and thanks, JzB, for a witty and detailed summary.

Happy Birthday, JD, wherever you may be and best wishes for many more. My heartfelt sympathy, Kazie, on your great loss.

Have a great day.

Jazzbumpa said...

Abejo -

Twinings decaffeinated Earl Grey is my normal mid-afternoon quaff.


Misty said...

I loved the theme, though I struggled with the NW before I finally got COSELL, and thought I had nailed it until I learned who TomKat were. I've never heard them called that, otherwise I would have known that their daughter was SURI (hey, I get "People" magazine just to keep up with the times). But since so many others had the same problem, I'm not going to let this detract from an otherwise delightful Wednesday solving experience. So, many thanks, Harald, and you, too, JazzB for the fun pictures and helpful expo.

Happy Birthday, JD!

Kazie, so sorry to hear of the loss of Trudi. My goodness, those pups sure become beloved members of the family, don't they?

Have a great Wednesday, everybody!

Nice Cuppa said...

Gobsmacked, I was.

All that remains is to wish you a (bilingual) "Happy Hump Day". Been wanting to do that for years.

But did I notice some political intercourse in the earlier posts. Naughty, naughty!


Anonymous said...

I always thought The Pennsylvania Turnpike started where I-70 went through New Stanton as I have traveled through there many times. Well, if you read the route info on the right side of the Wiki page you'll see I am sorta correct.

But if you check out the map it's clear the I-80 is never part of the Turnpike. Sorry Jzb, you're way of track. ;)

Anonymous said...

*OFF track**

Dammit, I hate it when a tyop ruins a pun!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

As Cruciverb is still asleep at the wheel, I chose to print out today's puzzle. It's been a long time since I last solved on paper. Easy enough, even though I didn't know any of the proper nouns without perp help. Hand up for Suki, so FIW today.

Morning JzB, I smiled right out loud at your writeup today! British colloquialisms amuse me, I just hope I'm not misunderstanding them at times. I made a few social errors in Australia by not understanding some of the slang. Careful, JD, and happy birthday!

Kazie, sorry to hear about your loss. We have been there.

Lucina said...

I'm so sorry about your beloved Trudi. I feel that pain even though it's been many years.

Did anyone else, except the French speakers, wonder about the name Charlie Hebdo? I did and Charlie Rose explained that it means Charlie Brown. Apparently the magazine took him as their mascot.

Je suis . . . said...

Re: Charlie Hebdo

There was an (unrelated) monthly comics magazine named "Charlie" (after Charlie Brown). When a new, weekly, magazine was started it was named "Charlie Hebdo" (hebdo is short for hebdomadaire – "weekly") and "Charlie" became "Charlie Mensuel" (Charlie Monthly).

Per Wikipedia.

HeartRx said...

Late to the party, but I wanted to stop by to wish JD a Happy Birthday! What a great present, to have a trip to New Zealand and Australia! They are both on my Bucket List, so send pics!

I also have to register a DNF at the crossing of SU*I and PEE*IN. A “k” seemed the more likely crossing, since I don’t read tabloids and had no idea who TomKat was, or even that Tom Cruise was married. (I have to get out more, I think.) But I’m glad to see I wasn’t the only one with that mistake.

I did enjoy the re-purposed confounded expressions, though. Very funny and clever.

Kazi, so sorry to hear about your dog, but I think you made the right decision. After our 15-year old cat had to be put down, I swore I would never get another one. But somehow they have a way of working their way into your lives, and now I have three.

HG, I laughed out loud at you cat’s antics with the faucet. Our little one does the same thing. She sits in the kitchen sink, just waiting for one of us to turn it on.

Yellowrocks said...

Bluehen, yesterday you mentioned you were preparing a report of your Special Olympics son's finances. I wonder if it is the same report I just sent in to the courts for the first time. Last January I was appointed my special needs son's guardian. We share the upkeep of the house, food, utilities, etc. and I presented his share as a lump sum percentage of what I spent plus other things. I understand the courts don't have time to examine the paperwork, which I hope is the case. I also had to prepare a representative payee report for Social Security based on a slightly different set of months with different figures. Oy vey.

Spitzboov said...

CanadianEh - I gather you're somewhere in the St Catherine's - Welland - Port Colborne area. Your comments waxed nostalgic for me as I used to transit the QE Way frequently for meetings with Environment Canada at Burlington or with Hydro interests in metro Toronto. Also had frequent 'business' at various venues from Ft. Erie to Chippawa - Nia Falls, to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Prince of Wales Dining was special in those years.

CrossEyedDave said...


Hoser? I was thinking "Dryer" because when you come out, there are about 10 people with rags drying your car... (what are you supposed to tip these guys? A dollar apiece would be more than the cost of the car wash!)

Don't remember Melbourne, it was just a train stop on the Southern Aurora on my way to Sydney.

I was going to post a drain spin video, north vs south, but when the north used a toilet bowl I knew it was rigged. (They are made to spin...)

The puzzle? Huge DNF... The hole seems to be centered around not blinking, or blooming, but for some reason i thought flipping was "Bleeping." There is only one way to respond to the puzzle...

Kazie, I still find such loss to be too personal to discuss...My condolences.

Bill G. said...

Good morning/afternoon. That was a very pleasant puzzle. It's all been said already, so... Thanks Harald and JzB.

Speaking of British accents, I often turn on the 'subtitles' on British TV shows (Downton Abbey, Endeavor, etc.) so I don't miss some of what's being said because of the accents.

Kazie, my sympathy for your last trip to the vet with Trudi. We did it twice a few years back; once for our cat and once for Sammy the sheepdog. Tough times...

CED, re. carwashes, I used to go to a little drive thru place as an adjunct to filling up with gas. I used to give the two wiping-off guys a dollar. One would take the bill and give his buddy two quarters. Now, the full-service car wash I frequent does a much more thorough job. I give the 'closer' $2. My wife went there for the first time and she gave the fellow $5. At the end of the year, I think it will make far less difference to our financial situation than to theirs. I'm guessing the car wash employees come out OK what with making minimum wage plus tips

Anonymous said...

Hated this puzzle.
Finished un-aided, in pen, and still hated this puzzle.
No fun.
No satisfaction.
I only continued with this puzzle because I am home in bed sick.

LA Times needs to stop running obtuse, condescending puzzles where the constructor feels the egotistical need to illustrate his/her supposed intelligence.
Are we to be thankful that they took the time to deign to our level?

I am not impressed.

Pat said...

Thanks Harald and JzB. This was entertaining, challenging and another DNF. Tomorrow's another day.

Happy Birthday, JD.

Kazie, you showed Trudi how much you loved her by letting her avoid more pain and suffering.

Lemonade, my friends turn on closed captioning to help them understand Downton Abby. Maybe that would help?

Enjoy your Wednesday.


Jayce said...

I just didn't like this puzzle. Hoser, eh! Three sports clues crammed into the NW corner made that area almost impossible for me. Crossing 'Round components' felt forced to me. Didn't like 'In the bath'-WET or SLATE for walkway material, etc. Well-executed theme, though. Subjectively I didn't get much pleasure, but objectively I have to say it was a perfectly fine piece of work.

Happy birthday, JD.

fermatprime said...


Many thanks to Harald and Jazz. A bit chewy for a Wednesday, but managed to muddle through.

Have been worrying over major cancer scare, but after 8 days the doc said it is OK.

Happy Birthday, JD!

So sorry about Trudi, Kazie. Have lost several pets to cancer.

Thought Castle was great fun this week! Really enjoy light shows (but not much into comedies). (Cannot imagine that this show is classified as a comedy.)


kazie said...

Happy birthday to JD! Enjoy all that summer weather too.

Thank you to all for your condolences on Trudi. I know many of you have gone through it with your pets too, and we have before too, but this one was so sweet tempered I think we're feeling it even more.

One other thing I'd like to share though: When emailed to ask how she was doing on her meds and joint supplements, I emailed them to tell them the news, and to ask if I returned the latest two unopened packets would I be reimbursed. Not only did they send their condolences--albeit probably a canned letter, but also said they had already posted the amount spent on that order to my credit card, and gave me a link to a postage paid label to use for the return. I thought that was pretty good service!

Madame Defarge said...

Avg Joe: I like your idea for the new HGTV show. ;-) Made me chuckle. Thanks.

Bill G. said...

I just got back from running an errand and some grocery shopping. I was struck with how much I disliked the background music in the supermarket. It was some sort of modern popular music with a droning feel to it instead of a melody. It was a relief to get back in the car and drive home accompanied by some Leon Redbone.

Now some sunshine, fresh air and sea breezes before a couple hours of tutoring.

CrossEyedDave said...

Not really sure I should relay this experience, but here goes...

This February will be a year since I lost my cat PK after 14 years. There are lots of things she did that make me smile when I think of them, but one stands out. She liked to nuzzle...

I was sound asleep this morning, when I dreamt she jumped up on the bed, & nuzzled me. Cheek to cheek. It was an electric, endorphin producing experience I can't quite describe, no wonder cats like to rub their cheeks on things!

& then that front tooth fang of hers scratched my face like a dull razor...(unintentionally of course.)

I jumped out of bed! it was so real!
I thought Bummer! & yet I had a glimpse at what a cat felt with a cheek rub.

Oh well, back to the puzzle..

Bloody Hell!

Speaking of hormones. Males, take note...

I am going to take a hint from the puzzle, & fire up the flight simulator. Using Google Maps I identified the outlet of the Yser river. I think to relax, I will fly the length of the river at an altitude of about 200 feet...

Lemonade714 said...

Actually, Barbara Bush is a cousin of, and not a descendant of President Pierce. She and Franklin have a common ancestor. I confirmed that reading her biography which revealed a fact unknown to me, that BB has a fraternal twin sister.

CanadianEh! said...

Yes Spitzbov, I was raised in Burlington and live in Niagara so I know all those areas. DH and I hope to dine at Prince of Wales in February during Fabulicious!

Anonymous T said...

Hi all!

I thought I had a perfect puzzle and then our host ruined it for me. WEES k/R for SU(R/k)I. I thought TomKat was a cartoon character.

Also read 44a as HOMER and wanted beer. I got a PLUM. I though, if he wants it, sure.

Only inkblot is aimED before POSED.

I thought the puzzle was Thursday crunchy, but did enjoy it. Thanks HH and JzB for the entertaining w-o.

Favs: GALOOT. You heat that on TPHC's Lives of the Cowboys. Bob & Doug (and C, Eh?) came immediately to mind at HOSER.

Kazie - sorry to hear about Trudi.
CED - Touching story.

Final Fav: CARB-up! On the MS150 I'll have a pint or two with lunch to CARB-up. It fits my motto - "No pain, No pain."

Cheers, -T

Anonymous said...

Surprised there has been no correction or amendment to the write-up concerning 10d. Nbd, but it seems as if you pride yourself on accuracy.

Anonymous T said...

I forgot! HBD JD!

I came back to say that and saw Anon@10:51 posted. Anon@10:51 - Anon@11:45a pointed that out.

Cheers, -T

Anonymous said...

From the map linked by anon it seems that I-80 is waaay out there in Pennsyltucky. What an insult. Still can't believe that was included in a LAT crossword puzzle! Rich should be ashamed. But, it is acceptable to insult Southerners and religious.

Anonymous said...

AnonT, how is that beer tasting tonight?

Confused about time? Am/pm? Snooze?. No, it was the different knob. Separate volume knob. Different knob!

Same Anon, bro. Just reporting back.

Dudley said...

Blinking Cruciverb! Still on the fritz! A four day hiatus is beyond the norm for them.

OwenKL said...

My (admittedly weak) recollection is that when Cruciverb loses the puzzle, they tend to lose it for a whole week at a time. The Mensa site is my back-up. Don't like the interface as much, but I could hack it up to 7 days in advance if I ever wanted to, so I suspect the LAT issues the puzzles as full-week blocks.