Jan 7, 2015

Wednesday, January 7th 2015 Gareth Bain

Theme:  Papal Staples – each of the theme answers ends with a name adopted by multiple pontiffs.

18A. Black-eyed peas dish : HOPPIN’ JOHN. Food! A traditional good-luck New Year’s Day dish from the southern states. Any left-overs served the next day are called “Skippin’ Jenny”. How much of this did I know before I looked it up? None of it.

27A. Pretend nothing's going on : LOOK INNOCENT. Usually accompanied by whistling with your hands behind your back and drawing circles in the dirt with your toe.What? Me?

47A. Brunch fare : EGGS BENEDICT. More Food! Allegedly, one hungover New Yorker,  Lemuel Benedict, ordered the first incarnation of this dish at the Waldorf Hotel in 1894.

The bacon on the side is probably a tad unnecessary
 59A. Country star with an un-countrylike name : KEITH URBAN. He’s a real mixture – an Australian, born in New Zealand, who sings country. He’s also married to Nicole Kidman.

... tucked away at the bottom is the reveal:

56D. Religious leader associated with the ends of the four longest puzzle answers : POPE

Wow, Wednesday’s upon us already! Steve here with Gareth’s first LAT of 2015 (that didn’t take long, did it?) He slips in a couple of references to his native continent with RAND and MOGAMBO. I liked the theme and the tucked-away reveal. I did think the KEITH URBAN entry was just a little too close to POPE URBAN, whereas the other three were not people, but it didn’t bother me unduly.

Let's see what else we've got.


1. Neutral hue : ECRU. Seen in two places - the crossword and the hosiery department.

5. Book of legends? : ATLAS

10. Irreverent radio host : IMUS. I've never listened to him. From what I read, I've not missed much.

14. Become painfully dry : CHAP

15. Airboat area : SWAMP

16. Narrow margin : NOSE. How long is a nose in horse-racing parlance? At some point you stop winning by a head and start winning by a nose. I'm not sure where a horse's nose begins.

17. Hardly noticeable amount : HINT

20. Like some Netflix movies : ON DISC. A ever-dwindling proportion of their distribution.

22. Wore a belittling look : SNEERED

23. Notable gap : CHASM

26. More pleasant : NICER

31. Empty the recycle bin, e.g. : ERASE

32. Petri dish gel : AGAR

33. Cast off : SHED

37. Informal pass : NAH. I'd have gotten a clip around the ear from my Mom if she ever heard me say "nah" rather than "no thank you".

38. "Also sprach Zarathustra" composer : STRAUSS. Richard, in this case. Famously the overture music to "2001 A Space Odyssey".

41. Miner issue : ORE

42. Reunion attendee : ALUM

44. Third Pillar of Islam subject : ALMS. Sounds a little more pleasant than "compulsory charity" which is how I've seen it written before.

45. Short stroke : TAP-IN

50. Bygone Detroit brewery : STROH. I just finished reading a fascinating book about the USA's great brewing families, mostly of German origin. Stroh were one of the biggest brewers; eventually they sold out to Pabst and Miller.

52. Gas leak warnings : ODORS

53. Starts a revolution : UPRISES. I don't buy this one. I just can't hear a revolutionary leader saying "I think I'll uprise tomorrow and see who else wants to uprise with me". Nope.

55. Comparable to, with "with" : ON A PAR

62. What "will keep us together," in a 1975 hit : LOVE

63. Hamburg's river : ELBE. The town of Plzen is part of the Elbe watershed, and gives its name to Pilsner beer, which was the style of beer brewed by Bernhard Stroh when he opened his Detroit operation in 1850. I claim the prize for linking two totally unrelated clues.

64. "Transcendental" Liszt piece : ETUDE

65. Blunted blade : EPEE.

66. Downhill coaster : SLED

67. Pitching scout's device : RADAR. Official opinion varies, but the fastest pitches in Major League Baseball have been delivered at around 106 mph. That's some heat!

68. Lowly worker : SERF


1. Bounce back : ECHO. And how a RADAR gun works.

2. Uppercut target : CHIN

3. It's tender in Johannesburg : RAND

4. Market advances : UPTICKS. Are there downticks? I've only heard "downturns" - hmmm.

5. Picnic area barrel : ASHCAN

6. __-Face: duplicitous Batman foe : TWO. Harvey Dent, as portrayed by Aaron Eckhart in "The Dark Knight Rises"
"You really should get that looked at"
7. __ cat : LAP

8. Rock concert gear : AMPS

9. Dreidels and pinwheels : SPINNERS

10. Adds to a conversation, as a remark : INJECTS. I would use "interject" in this context, but probably that's just me.

11. "A Visit From St. Nicholas" poet Clement Clarke __ : MOORE. Also known as, and perhaps better known as, "'Twas the Night before Christmas". I had no idea of the poet's name. Thank you, crosses.

12. Seat finder : USHER

13. Delight : SEND

19. Frau's refusal : NEIN

21. Draws back in fear : SHIES

24. Hairbrush targets : SNARLS

25. Gable/Gardner classic set in Africa : MOGAMBO. More a Gardner/Kelly classic to be honest - Ava and Grace both received Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress.

27. Actress Olin : LENA. Who? I left her until the end.

28. __ hygiene : ORAL

29. Pearl Harbor locale : OAHU

30. Led to : CAUSED

34. Native Arizonans : HOPI

35. Obama attorney general Holder : ERIC

36. Bit of hail damage : DENT. DING went in, then came out.

39. Swiss luxury watchmaker : TAG HEUER. I thought they were German, but now I know better.

Yours for a mere $14,000, give or take a couple of hundred
40. Strict : STERN. IMUS and STERN in the same puzzle? Don't let them get too close to each other, they're not the best of friends.

43. Deserved : MERITED

46. Source of TV revenue : AD SALES

48. "Crikey!" : GOSH!

49. Midday tryst : NOONER

50. Compete in a bee : SPELL

51. 34-Down, e.g. : TRIBE

53. Luau strings : UKES

54. Arg. miss : SRTA. This abbr. falls into my "that's a bit 'orrible" category, but it's common enough in crosswords. A young woman in Argentina is a senorita, hence a yng. wm. in Arg. is a Srta.

57. State as fact : AVER

58. Great Barrier __ : REEF

60. Future bloom : BUD. BUD and STROH in the same puzzle? Cheers! *clink*

61. Oral health org. : A.D.A.

That's it from me. I'm off to Google "SRTA" and see what comes up first, apparently that's the way to explain crossword clues.


Note from C.C.:

Here are two pictures from Bill G, who's been with our blog since 2009. His dog Sammy is no longer with them. Bill's wife Barbara is a retired teacher also, and an avid quilter.

Bill & Sammy
Bill & Barbara


Lemonade714 said...

How odd that Hoppin' John reappeared so soon. The theme jumped out at me as soon as Benedict appeared. The only retired Pope is easy to remember.

Thanks GB and Steve

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Definitely a bit on the crunchy side today. I never would have gotten HOPPIN' JOHN if it weren't for the fact that we just saw it the other day (well, we saw HOPPING JOHN, at least).

I had UPTURNS instead of UPTICKS at 4D that slowed me down for awhile until I finally realized why I couldn't get any of the perps to work.

The last section to fall was the crossing of MOGAMBO and ALMS. Barely remembered the former, had no idea about the latter. ALMS was at least a word and sounded plausible, however, so I went with it.

Strangely enough, I didn't blink an eye at STROH / TAG HEUSER. It's amazing what sometimes sticks and sometimes doesn't.

Ergo said...

Hey everyone, thanks so much for your kind words of support regarding my job interview last night.

All-in-all I felt it went very well. The 6 members of the Board of Directors conducting the proceedings nodded like bobble-head dolls throughout. And there was only one instance in which my reply triggered their eyes to flash like ambulance lights. Not bad.

Anyway, thanks for the support. You guys rock. I should know more by mid month.

JCJ said...

Good puzzle, liked the composer clues. However I'm not so sure about SEND for delight, although I guess you can send someone into raptures. Also, ERASE for empty the recycle bin I wasn't sure about. Is this computer- related?

HeartRx said...

Good morning, everyone.

Fun write-up, Steve. You certainly do deserve the prize for linking unrelated clues!

I enjoyed the puzzle, but really didn't look for the theme until the end when I filled in POPE. OK, then.

WLS about HOPPIN' JOHN. If we hadn't had it the other day, along with a discussion of how it was always spelled with an apostrophe at the end, I don't think I would ever have filled it in as fast as I did!

Bill G., great pics. So sad that Sammy is gone, though. And I misread the fact that your wife is an avid "QUITTER." LOL!

JCJ, yes, ERASE is what you do on the computer when your empty the "recycle bin." On a Mac, it is called the "Trash."

Tinbeni said...

Steve: I enjoyed your write-up and links (especially the STRAUSS; didn't know that was the title of that piece) more than my solving experience.

YUP! My first DNF of the year ... I'm sure there will be others. lol

Not familiar with HOPPIN JOHN ... Tampa Bay really isn't part of "The South."
Never had it ... probably never will. Guess I'm not a Black-eyed Peas fan.

Thought the KIETH URBAN clue/answer was clever.

Fave today (of course!) was STROH ... go figure.

Also liked BUD especially if it is from a certain plant from Jamaica.

A toast to all at Sunset.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Shame on you, Steve! You obviously skipped school the day we had the HOPPING JOHN puzzle and lengthy discussion about it. I remember Swedish actress LENA Olin from Chocolat and The Ninth Gate.

I don't think there are any downTICKS. Judging from the past couple of days, they'd be called THUDS, at the very least.

I remembered the Clark/Gardner movie, but wanted to spell it MOGuMBO. Oops, that's what they say in Nawlins.

TAG HEUER was an unknown. The only luxury watches I'm familiar with are Timex and Casio.

JCJ, yes it relates to the computer. And here's what Sam Cooke had to say about SEND.

Tinbeni said...

Glad to hear that your interview went well.
Their "eyes flashing like ambulance lights" was probably due to you giving them an honest answer.

Bill G,
Nice pictures!

Big Easy said...

Well Steve obviously missed the New Years blog with the HOPPIN JOHN discussions. SKIPPIN JENNY- missing the donkey ride? ECRU- I agree with Steve.

I never caught the theme until after I finished the puzzle because I solved 56D with perps without ever reading the clue. I knew 11D but gone thrown off track by 'Clement "Clarke"'. Brain fart. Twas the ...and to all a good night.

I never watch IMUS but he is on Fox Business before Maria Bartiroma's program and that is the only reason I knew 10A. Other than that the only unknown was TWO-Face. I did find it odd that the answer to 28D ORAL was in the clue to 61D.

LAP-cat. I have a cat that was raised ferally and abandoned by his mother after a couple of months. He warmed up to us after about six months, starting with untying our shoe strings on the porch, then rubbing against our legs. After a year he started jumping in my lap but he will not lay down; he just stands on all fours. He catches mice, bird, and lizards to eat, but will NOT eat cat food unless I stand and watch him. He watches raccoons and possums eat his food while he is sitting two feet away. He's one crazy cat.

thehondohurricane said...

Happy Hump Day to everyone,

Count me in for never having heard of HOPPIN JOHN. TAGHEUER & KEITH URRBAN too. STRAUSS I know but never have a clue about what classical piece was composed by whom.

This was a struggle today for the most part with perps and lucky guesses prominent. STROH was a concern...only have heard it referred to in the plural. It's also one brew I can't ever remember partaking of.

But, no complaints or nits. I enjoy a challenging puzzle much more then a no brainer just as long as I meet with success.

I'm not sharing any of my limited experience, but anyone got a NOONER story they would like to let us in on?

Bill G, liked the photos.

Avg Joe said...

This one had some bite, but no major roadblocks. Only erasure was Sno for LAP. Did not know Two-Face or that Strauss wrote the 2001 theme, but perps were helpful.

Thought it was nice that Hoppin' John showed up so soon, and spelled correctly. Got a major chuckle out of the straight forward clue-answer for Nooner. Didn't quite make to guffaw, however.

From yesterday. Sorry to hear about the turn of events, YR. I hope it all goes smoothly. And good luck with the job search Ergo.

From Sunday. Chin. You were right. The most charitable thing I can say about canned she-crab soup is that it was edible.

Lemonade714 said...

In the brokerage business "Ticks" is the term for movement in the market and there are upticks and down ticks, and the traders chart the ticks.

You can read this LINK .

To use as a part of your trading strategy READ.

TTP said...

Good morning all !

Thank you Gareth and thank you Steve.

I must admit that I fell back asleep while doing the puzzle. Not because it was boring. Must not have had enough restful sleep. After the interruption, it was quickly completed.

So much I would comment on. Like emit, spew and finally SHED. I'd also interject before using INJECT when adding to the conversation. Especially liked the imagery that was evoked with your explanation of LOOKING INNOCENT. Proud of myself for quickly entering STRAUSS, but then humbled to find out I had the the right answer for the wrong reason. I was thinking Johann. Blue Danube anyone ?

Now I am running a few minutes late, so I'd better get after it.

Yellowrocks said...

I recognized HOPPIN' JOHN and LAP CAT from recent puzzles.
This extreme cold leads to CHAPped lips. Minus zero wind chill is expected tomorrow.
LENA OLIN is a crossword staple by now.
I recently viewed MOGAMBO on late night TV when I couldn't sleep.
Bill G, nice pictures.
TAG HEUER needed a few perps. It doesn’t ring a bell.
IMUS? NAH, I'll pass.
When the oppressed tier of society finally UPRISES there will be h*ll to pay. (French revolution).
As I noted yesterday, “Any plausible word form with the same root is fair game, whether common or not,and I enter it automatically.”
As some of you have pointed out, I now realize that it is best that I know about and can resolve my heart blockage before it leads to a surprise stroke or heart attack.
After recovering from the shock and scrambling to make different arrangements, I now feel fortunate.

Lime Rickey said...

Upticks? Remember ticker tape? I was fortunate to have attended a real ticker tape parade (well, mostly ticker tape): John Glenn's in 1962.

kazie said...

Good pictures, Bill G.!
And a great write-up, Steve. That really was a brilliant linking of two Germanic clues too!

The Elbe also runs through Saxony where I spent Christmas this year. The city of Dresden, an hour from where I was in Chemnitz, lies on it and is affected every time it floods.

I got stuck in the mid-north, since I didn't know what an airboat was, although seeing the answer implies it's one of those fan blown things they show in movies set in the everglades. I grew up in Sydney not too far from the flying boat port at Rose Bay, so was thinking more along those lines and getting nowhere.

I did know TAG HEUER, but only because my older son got a knock off of one once when on a business trip to Asia. I don't know if it still works. At least it's still in one piece, not like the "Rolex" one of his colleagues got--it fell apart when he was trying to adjust the time on the flight home!

Husker Gary said...

It took some fishing for a got-‘er-done finish on this very nice GB puzzle.

-We never have HOPPIN(G) JOHN and bang, it’s back
-Some kids can LOOK so INNOCENT but you know…
-Today’s POPE is definitely a breath of fresh air
-No NOSES or HEADS in this close finish
-Can’t take a HINT when she SNEERED?
-Strauss : Elvis = Rossini : The Lone Ranger
-Tough SLEDDING in Dubuque citing a $2M suit a girl in Omaha won
-The RADAR gun comes in at the 1 min. mark in this fun movie trailer
-Bogart/Hepburn is the first Africa film couple I think of
-Standing above the USS Arizona at 8:30 a.m. on a December morning was very moving
-June 3, 2014 was a terrible HAIL day for Woodhouse Auto in Blair Nebraska
-AD SALES begin and end with Herb Tarlek
-Two thumbs up on this lovely film about getting out of the ‘hood via a Spelling BEE
-Great pix, Bill. How you got Barb… ;-)
-Who had the beautiful 1957 hit You SEND me

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Gareth Bain, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Steve, for a fine review.

Zipped through this one.

LENA Olin was easy. We have had her a lot. As well as Ken Olin (no relation I learned from crosswords).

Tried OWL face before TWO face. Only inkblot for the day.

HOPPIN JOHN was easy since we just discussed that the other day, as others have said.

Did not know RAND, bur perps helped.

Liked the POPE theme.

EGGS BENEDICT is my favorite egg breakfast. Do not eat them very often, but when in a restaurant for breakfast, that is what I order, if they have it.

I get a lot of TAP INs playing golf. Only because I always miss the long putts.

Remembered MOGAMBO, for some strange reason.

Nice photo Mr. and Mrs. Bill G.

Ergo: Glad you had a good interview. We were all cheering for you. Hope it works.

-1 degree this morning, but sunny!

See you tomorrow.


( )

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning. BRRRRR! No school in Chicagoland today. -12 predicted without the windchill.

Thanks Mr. Bain and Steve. Smooth sailing today. I liked seeing Hoppin' John after all the discussion. Delight and send? Nice cluing I thought, but the phrase is not used so much today. "That song really sends me!" Not as old as "nonce" from yesterday. I find SRTA to be more a written form such as Miss--short for mistress. I have a former student from Italy who always addresses me in writing as Sigra with my surname, that is Signora. Comparable to Madame in French (Mme). As Mme Defarge. Ha!

YR- Sorry you have to wait for your new knee, but now you will be 100% for the surgery. :)

Stay cozy!

Steve said...

Darn, and I thought no-one noticed that I skipped class at New Year.

You miss ONE day ....


Tinbeni said...

Husker @ 9:25
You Send Me ... Sam Cooke

I'd link but I've forgotten how ...

SwampCat said...

Interesting puzzle, not easy, but do-able. I even got the theme, which is not always a given for me. Steve, I loved the write up.

No nits, but some strange sounding words . Lap dog I know, but lap cat?? And ashcan makes sense but not something I would say. In a picnic area would you have ashes? Well, maybe if you were grilling.... I'm probably overthinking it!

Nice Cuppa said...


I think you meant to say Gareth's made reference to the same (Southern) HEMISPHERE, rather than continent, with RAND and MUGAMBO.


Lime Rickey said...

Africa is the common continent.

Lucina said...

Greetings, puzzlers. Steve, one day away is okay. What would be nice is if everyone read or at least scanned the prior posts. I'm listening to desper-otto's link to Sam Cooke's repertoire as I read and type.

Fun mid week puzzle with HOPPIN' JOHN made me smile after just having discussed it. I loved the food clues, too, Steve. Seeing -ICT I immediately filled the rest of EGGS BENEDICT.

WEES on all the rest.

I'm going to visit a distant cousin who is 99 today.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Another fun puzzle from Gareth. First entry was RAND. First thought of bayou for airboat clue but SWAMP presented itself quickly.
DW knew about HOPPIN JOHN which we had the other day. Who'd'a thought?
Only white-out was sno for LAP.

Have a great day.

CrossEyedDave said...

Started in ink, but had to go red letter to finish. not really red letter, as none appeared. it is amazing how easier it is online at the Mensa site, (as opposed to the LATimes site.) Answers just popped into my head that I could not see on paper...

Only one nit, Gareth, how am I supposed to post funny pics about the Pope? (He's always watching....)

Oh Well, I guess I will have to go with PSA Announcements. after watching this I went thru my junk drawers...

Also, Comet Lovejoy is just East of Orion tonight, no telescope neccesary...

Also, Quantrid meteor shower tonite, known for fireballs, but only has a 2 hour peak window. (correction, the Weather channel was wrong. It's the Quantrantids, & peak Jan 3-4. Oh well,,,)

Kazie! Small world! I spent 2 years at 3 Manion Ave, Rose Bay growing up!

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

Regarding the anonymity of Lena Olin to one of the commenters: I'm surprised because she is practically a weekly entry in these puzzles.

As far as Two-Face goes, he must be a new memisis from current Batman movies which I have not bothered to see. I don't know him from the old comics. But I do remember "Any-Face" from the old Dick Tracy comics.

Lime Rickey said...

CED: "it is amazing how easier it is online at the Mensa site"


Magilla Go-Rilla said...

That should be "nemesis". Where is spell check when you really need it? It's our worst enema!

Chairman Moe said...

"puzzling thoughts"

Another "linking of clues/solves" are 45 and 55 across - I love having "TAP IN(s)" for [on a] PAR(s). I love it even more when my fellow golf buddies say, "that's good"!

Ah, yes, Howard STERN and Don IMUS. Back when I lived in the NE (Connecticut, to be exact) I recall the flagship AM station in NYC - WNBC - had both of these talk radio mavericks on air. And as well, they slotted - of all people - Soupy Sales in between. IMUS had the morning gig; Sales was next, and STERN had the "drive time" show in the mid to late afternoon. Back before Satellite Radio this was the medium for those of us who spent most of their day driving

As for TAG HEUER - I am familiar with them as I have one of their time pieces. I recall that it cost around $700 about 15-20 years ago. Nice "piece" but mine is not on the same level as a Rolex, e.g. Mine operates via battery . . .

I got a few limericks ready to pop; just waiting for a puzzle that uses some of its words . . .

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Nice, smooth offering from GB with a clever theme that needed the reveal to be obvious, at least to me. Was odd to see Hoppin John again, so soon.

Thanks, Gareth, for a mid-week treat and thanks, Steve, for the witty and cogent expo. All is forgiven for your skipped "class."

YR, sorry about your surgery delay but, as you said, this is one of those inexplicable, but fortunate, blessings in disguise. Best of luck with the upcoming procedures.

Bluehen, how is your wife coming along?

Ergo, glad the interview went well and hope you get good news soon.

Bill G, very nice pictures. What breed was Sammy?

Abejo, not only do we share a birthday, but we also share a love for Eggs Benedict!

Very cold here- tonight's low, -7. Brrr.

Have a great day.

CanadianEh! said...

Required a little work today. "I've got a feeling" that I don't know my Black-Eyed Peas.

But some of the other clues were appropriate today. ORAL HYGIENE and ADA because I am having dental work. ALUM because plans are underway for 40th reunion for university class.

KEITH URBAN was a hit at the Niagara Falls New Year's Eve outdoor concert. He also brought his wife Nicole Kidman.

I wanted TOM CAT before LAP CAT and always wait for perps to decide on AVER or AVOW!

Have a great day!

Gareth Bain said...

Was hard for me not to say anything when HOPPINGJOHN appeared last week! TAGHEUER here is shilled by Tiger, MaSha and Lewis Hamilton amongst others...

kazie said...

I actually grew up in Bondi, but had a friend--actually several, in high school who lived then in Rose Bay. Also my boyfriend during the first two years I taught, was from there. So lots of good memories. Those old flying boats looked so heavy on the water there. I had to consult my old Gregory's to find Manion Ave. I bet you learned to play golf at an early age!

Misty said...

Great Wednesday puzzle--many thanks, Gareth! I was really worried until I got to the middle, when HOPI, ERIC, and DENT gave me EGGS BENEDICT. I knew right then that the theme was going to be POPES, and that made the rest much easier. Sometimes that Catholic background comes in very handy.

I usually eat only cereal for breakfast, but I have to say this morning I'd love to have some HOPPING JOHN along with those EGGS BENEDICT. Delicious!

Fun write-up, Steve, and great pictures, Bill G.

Never heard of TAGHEUER, but then I've never paid more than $100 for a watch.

Have a great day, everybody!

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, I was able to complete the puzzle, but with a little help from Google today. I didn't know Mogambo. Once that was in other partial fills fell into place. I had the theme early on and that helped with the SE corner. All in all satisfiying for me.

Elbe is ingrained in my memory, now. I first heard the river's name in crosswords, and it was rather a thrill when we crossed that river by train on our way to Keil, Germany. It was fun to see it in real life.

Yesterday was my husband's last radiation treatment. We've gone for 29 treatments. Every weekday for almost 7 weeks. He was VERY glad to see the last one yesterday. They gave him his plastic mesh mask to bring home along with a certificate signed by the staff. We couldn't have had better treatment and a more caring staff. The staff is to be commended as they do this day in and day out and their patients are quite ill. It must be hard to see so many people come and go in their clinic.

HeartRx said...

CED @ 10:11, thank you so much for that link. WHO KNEW??? I immediately went through my junk drawers, too!

Magilla @10:16, LOL!

Gareth, thanks for the restraint. It is such an unusual entry, that I'm sure it must have been difficult not to say anything! But I have another complaint - I submitted a puzzle on October 26 with the same theme that you had in the NYT the following week. Grrrr!

Chickie said...

Bill G. Thanks for sharing the pictures of you and your wife.

Also, Kazie, I love your new Avatar. Your granddaughter is growing up!

Those of you who are in the "cold" zone of our country. Stay indoors as much as possible. This cold snap is not to be taken lightly. Bundle up and keep warm.

Yellowrocks said...

Chickie, I'm glad your husband is finally finished with his radiation. I wish him improving health.
Bluehen, how is your wife coming along?
I love Eggs Benedict. I knew I should not indulge, but when I went out to breakfast with my friend on Monday we both ordered some. Yummy!
Gareth, great puzzle.Steve, interesting expo. Thanks.

Vince Marino said...

Completed with a couple of snags but how is delight send?

Bluehen said...

A fairly straight-forward and fast solve today. Liked the 5a clue. Not your typical clue for SHED. Remembered STROH's from time misspent in the Corn Belt. WEES re: UPRISES, my last fill. Needed ESP for ELBE. Have we seen every possible clue for EPEE?
Thanks for the concern about DW. She got her shiny new hip on 12/29 and was discharged 12/31. She was already walking better on 12/30 than on 12/29. Stent hole took a while to close up, but it finally did on its own. She is being very diligent about her rehab, and gets around better every day. PT had her walking around the house in a limited way without her walker this AM. I'm proud of her. She has shown unusual grit during this entire hip problem. The surgeon (Google "Dr. Casscells", an amazing dr.) said that he didn't know how she could function before. She had been grinding bone on bone for so long there was hardly any ball left. As the Dr. said, "There's gotta be some German in her background". Anyway, it's all looking up.

Anonymous said...

Copy and paste from fodel who put this comment on Tuesday's blog:

Lena Olin is a fine actress: see Enemies, a Love Story and Ninth Gate

Bill G. said...

I enjoyed the puzzle. Figuring out the theme about halfway along helped with the solving. Thanks Gareth and Marti.

Bluehen and Chickie, I'm happy for your good news.

Thanks for the nice comments about the photos. They were in response to CC's request for pictures for the Blog Photos (under Olio). I should include a couple of photos of Barbara's quilting projects including quilts, jackets, wall hangings and purses. Sammy was an Old English Sheepdog. We had to keep her clipped shorter unless we were willing to spend a lot of time grooming her each day. They have a wonderful outgoing fun-loving personality. I still miss her welcoming me at the doorway. We finally had to resort to helping her up each day if she was on a hard floor because she couldn't get her feet underneath of her. That last trip to the vet was a tough one.

Jayce said...

"If it must be Richard, please make it Strauss, not Wagner. And speaking of Strauss, let's listen to some Johann."

Rainman said...

Thanks, Gareth and Steve. Nice puzzle. Liked the KEITH URBAN clue. Original, apparently.

Very cute pup, Bill G. Good to see the photo of you and Barbara.

CrossEyedDave, Thanks for the link re. the 9-volt batteries fire hazard. Frightening. Makes me happy my smoke alarms are hard-wired, although nothing is risk-free.

I might have seen the comet last night but didn't know what it was... Usually, comets are fuzzy and faint... this object was bright, probably Sirius, almost directly overhead here at 3 am. (Had to let the dog out.)

Saturday is the first day I'm informed that Mercury will brush Venus as a near conjunction. If you have a small scope or larger, both will appear as crescents, as always when viewed from earth.

I love Eggs Benedict almost as much as egg nog. It might be the Bearnaise or Hollandaise sauce, although my eggnog has "sauce," too.

K-Dub said...

Swamp boat, lap cat, SwampCat, lap dance...hhhmmmm. [No offense intended.]

A country singer and a radar gun always reminds me of this ad, one of my all-time favorites. "So, you're a bus driver?" Too funny.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Missed the earlier HOPPING JOHN discussion, so it was an unknown today. Not up on obscure bat man villains. lap DOG - no, CAT. So a DNF for me.

TAGHEUER looks like all kinds of wrong, but the perps were solid.


Need Luau equipment - SEND UKES.

submarines use the REEF ECHO to stay out of trouble.

annoying the lion CAUSED SNARLS.

Cool regards!

Bluehen said...

Since I have gotten business out of the way:
Ergo, Good luck on the job search. It sounds like you aced the interview. If things don't work out this time, stay positive, don't get down on yourself and DON'T GIVE UP. And, yes that is the voice of experience speaking.
Bill G, great pics. Sorry about Sammy, but most of the time we know we are going to outlast a pet when we adopt it. We also know that the good times will outweigh the sorrow at the passing. Hold on to the good times.
THH, Do you honestly expect me to share stories about nooners? DW might monitor this blog!
YR, thank goodness for serendipity! Persevere, ma'am.
SwampCat, ashcans came readily to me because UD started putting metal ashcans in the tailgating area after some jerk started a fire in a trash bag.
Chickie, congrats on hubbies last radiation treatment. That must be a load off your mind.
Dudley, The long awaited Penzy's order finally arrived. The gloggapalooza begins anon.
Finally, Eggs Benedict; I love them but I really don't like the hard, chewy English muffin base. At home I make them with day old biscuits, home-made by my favorite Southern Belle, DW. And sometimes when I don't feel like making Hollandaise (or even better, BĂ©arnaise) sauce, I substitute sawmill gravy which really brings the dish down to earth.

Rainman said...

Sawmill gravy? Sounds good.

Pat said...

This was a pretty easy GB puzzle. I got the theme but don't remember a POPE URBAN. I'll have to check that out. Thanks for your write-up, Steve.

Fortunately I've been in class every day so I knew HOPPIN' JOHN.

YR, sorry about your delayed replacement, but thank heaven for finding an issue before it becomes a major problem.

Ergo, I was sending you positive thoughts from lurkerdom last night. Glad to hear the interview went well.

Chickie, I'm glad to hear your DH is through with treatments. Here's to many years of better health.

Temps are in the low teens with -0 wind chill so puppy and I are not getting the daily walk. Maybe tomorrow afternoon.

Have a good evening.


kazie said...

Thanks Chickie,
I'm glad to hear of your husband's progress too. Positive progress is one thing we can always be glad of with cancer. I hope it continues in that direction.

My new avatar is Lea doing what she loves: peeling a mandarin on Christmas Eve. After a few minutes there was a pile of peels in front of her and about three mandarins all broken up in the other dish behind the Rauchermann on the table. She has also ventured into cookie cutting with her mom's help, as well as putting topping on pizza and assembling lasagna, the last while we watched via Skype last Sunday. She loves mandarins and apples, and ate some cookies, but wouldn't eat the pizza or lasagna. All this about a month before her 2nd birthday!

CrossEyedDave said...


Yes, the golf course was my back yard, & the storm water channel/water hazard was my shortcut to the beach.

I used to retrieve golf balls from the water hazard for sixpence a ball.

Learn golf? No, I was only 8 years old & my 1st brush with real golf was as a caddie for extra money. My 1st customer got so mad that I could not recommend what club to use on a specific hole that I stayed away from the sport for years thinking that the people that played it were nuts!

One thing I will never forget, the tide was very high & at low tide you could access the beach thru the storm water channel (6' deep, 12' wide, concrete lined) which went thru a tunnel under the road. However at high tide, the water was so high, there was no beach! access to the road was by steep stairs only, about 1/4 mile apart.

One day I came out the tunnel to the beach just at low tide & started walking to the next set of stairs. Along the way I found a cage with a cat in it! The water was rising rapidly, & the cat was hysterical...

It took some time, but I managed to free the cat, which took off. However by the time I made it to the stairs the water was up to my knees. (The road was about 20' up a concrete wall) I was beginning to feel feel as trapped as that cat!
Rose Bay high tide (low tide there is a beach!)

Bill G. said...

Rainman, what you saw last night wasn't a comet for sure. I will try looking for it tonight but it will be faint and fuzzy. It probably wasn't Sirius either. That would be in the southern sky, not overhead. I just looked up Jupiter online and I'm guessing that's what it was. If you have good binoculars or a small telescope, you can probably see from one to four of its brightest moons first discovered by Galileo.

I am going to look for the Mercury/Venus conjunction this weekend with Jordan. Venus isn't always a crescent though it may be right now.

OwenKL said...

Batman villains with evil intent,
Minor ones they came and went.
But some psychos
Recur in cycles,
Like TWO-face, a.k.a. Harvey DENT!

After The Joker, TWO-face is one of DC's top tier villains! And he's even in this puzzle TWO times under both of his personas!

HeartRx said...

Bluehen @ 2:26, I think you should send your recipe for "sawmill gravy" to C.C. so she can post it in the Olio section under BLOG RECIPES. That one sounds like a classic!! DH is also a Southerner, but he just calls it "Biscuits and Gravy." I'll stick to the Hollandaise, thank you very much...

Kazie, Lea is absolutely adorable. And so smart!

Chickie, great to hear that your husband is done with that ordeal. I hope his health continues to improve.

Rainman said...

Bill G,

Thanks. It was foggy here last night and this morning so... It was probably Jupiter, almost overhead. I have a NexStar5 (sold my Meade 8") and large binoculars. Not only were Io, Callisto, Europa and Ganymede discovered by Galileo, I've read that he discovered them the first time he pointed his (handmade) scope at Jupiter. Must have been a very good scope.
Sky and Telescope and Astronomy magazines both have a chart showing the locations of the four Galilean moons. From it I can guess which ones I'm looking at, like it matters, ha.

Bill G. said...

Rainman, Galileo is one of my heroes. As you said, he used his newly-invented telescope to discover the moons of Jupiter. At that time, the Church taught that everything revolved around the Earth. He could plot the positions of the moons from night to night and could see they revolved around Jupiter so he began to reason that the sun was the center of the solar system, not the Earth. That kind of thinking got him in big trouble with the Church. If I remember correctly, they put him under house arrest.

CrossEyedDave said...

Comet Lovejoy info link

Quantrantid Fireball (Peak was Jan 3rd...)

kazie said...

I remember a storm water channel like the one you describe, but much smaller and located at Tamarama. The tunnel section went from higher up in the park behind the beach to the top end of the beach, and we often took the risk of going through it, just to spite our parents who of course warned us not to do so. If it had flooded while we were in it, I suppose we could have drowned, or been washed out to sea, but I never saw more than a dribble in it.

Your experience sounds more fearsome. Good thing for the cat, but you were probably lucky to manage your escape! I recognize that promenade in the photo, but am not sure I ever saw it with the beach in evidence.

I have never played golf. It was offered as a sport one season in high school, but then they cancelled it for lack of interest, and anyway, they didn't have any left handed clubs for rent, so I would have been uphill gaining much skill. Afterwards, tennis and squash kept me active enough without my taking on something more expensive like golf.

Burrito34 said...

No mention at all of the SPINNERS today? Here ya go.

Rubberband Man

Yellowrocks said...

My MIL made a dish similar to sawmill gravy using ground beef instead of sausage. I still think I will choose EGGS BENEDICT.

Jayce said...

Bill G, I wish you all the best.

Avg Joe said...

It's always interesting what can be learned here by surprise. I've liked Eggs Benedict all my adult life, but have never ever heard of serving it with Bernaise sauce as an alternate. Granted they're closely related, but that's Eggs Florentine by my definition (if you add spinach, and maybe delete the Canadian Eh Bacon). But a quick google says its common. Live and learn.

Still, I think I'll stick with the classic recipe. It ain't broke...

Bill G. said...

I took a look at tomorrow's NYT CW puzzle and tried to get a foothold. Good God! I didn't have a chance to feel any success at all. No fun for me...

Bill G. said...

This video gave me a lot of smiles. Now I need a nap... Sleepy pets

fermatprime said...


Thanks, Gareth and Steve!

Took a bit longer than usual Wednesday! No cheats. Never heard of the Swiss watch.

Have to go fix Harvey's computer in the dining room!


Argyle said...

Sean Bean's death as Boromir in LOTR, filmed in NZ.