Feb 13, 2015

Friday, February 13, 2015, Mark McClain

THEME: This is one of those times where the reveal is better than anything I can think of to describe this letter replacement puzzle, which only requires remembering how to parse reveal clues.
63A. Modernize, in a way ... and when divided into three parts, a hint to the answers to starred clues : RE TO OL (6).

This is Mark's second puzzle for me to blog; his first publication was an LAT I wrote about on October 3, 2014 which involved adding DD into phrases. He since has had other publications, and while he stopped by to introduce himself, he did so a week after the puzzle, so in case you missed it,  here are his words. About myself? I've enjoyed xwords for many years, but just started tinkering around with constructing late in 2013 and started submitting puzzles early this year. This puzzle was actually made in March 2013, but went through a revision with Rich and was finally approved in June. I've had 8 puzzles approved for publication, including one in collaboration with Brad Wilber, who has been a great source of encouragement and knowledge. We started our dialog a few months ago when he approved one of my puzzles (scheduled for December). I live in Salem, Virginia, in the mountains near the Appalachian Trail and Blue Ridge Parkway. Both my long-time partner Diana Christopulos and I and do volunteer work for a number of local organizations. He has a website: LINK.

In every theme answer an 'in the language' phrase which includes the letters RE together in that order, are replaced with OL, in that order- RE to OL. The placement of the RE/OL is different in each of the theme answer; some of the fill is humorous, some functional.. The inclusion of the asterisks and the reveal made this one of my faster Friday solves, but then again, I am not a very fast solver, so....Many three and four letter fill for a Friday, with some nice medium fill like AIR RAID, ‘FRAID SO, IRIDIUM, MIRAMAR, SEE THRU, SORRIER, LHASA APSO, OUT SHOOTS.  let's see the theme and more....

19A. *Site of preserved ancient gaucho weapons? :LA BOLA TAR PITS (13). La BREA Tar Pits
are in one form or another very common in crosswords.  BOLAS is a nasty weapon; I am not sure if the singular is a legitimate word.

32A. *Hip curriculum? : COOL COURSES (11). CORE Courses are the basic ones you need for your degree.

41A. *Second-hand seat? : THRIFT STOOL  (11). The Thrift STORE has become  big business in the US. They used to be second hand stores when I was a kid.

54A. *Heroine in a reprised fairy tale? : OLD RIDING HOOD (13). My favorite of the theme, and I am sure by now she is the one in bed waiting for her granddaughter.

We revealed the reveal above...


1. Word with cake or meal : OAT.

4. Doctrinal suffix : ISM.

7. Pat Nixon's real first name : THELMA. I guess she chose Pat, because like most Thelmas, she hated her name. LINK. My ex-mil, Sue, is also a Thelma.

13. Classic sci-fi play : RUR.

14. Tres equivalent : DREI. Spanish to German number 3. An outlier....(sorry brain semi-functional)

15. Clinton's birth name : RODHAM. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, did any others recall that Bill was born William BLYTHE, also 6 letters?

16. Bush spokesman Fleischer : ARI. Staying with politics, Alex....

17. Part of DAR: Abbr. : AMERican. Daughters of the American Revolution. My third and fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Sochor was a proud member; she was in her 80's, frail, and as a very small child I thought the name was literal.

18. Busy enterprise? : APIARY. It be where they have bees and Sherlock Holmes. Leading to...

22. Grouse : BEEF. Can't complain about this clue/fill.

23. Humana option : HMO. Health Maintenance Organization; I just joined their gold plus plan.

24. Cut (it) : HACK. He just couldn't hack it as a salesman.

27. Blitz : AIR RAID.

31. MLB "minors" : AAA. Triple A baseball is the highest of the minor leagues which now go from rookie to A, AA and AAA; no more D leagues.

36. Banned chem. pollutant : PCB. PolyChlorinated Biphenyl; the initialisms adding up.

37. Protective bauble : AMULET.

38. Capital SE of Tallahassee : NASSAU. Capital of the Bahamas.

40. GPS datum : LATitude. Not a CSO to the LA Times.

45. Canadian sentence enders? : EHS. But a CSO to our resident Canadian.

46. Worse : SORRIER. State of affairs?

47. __ Men: "Who Let the Dogs Out" band : BAHA.

49. Andalusian aunt : TIA. Spanish.

50. Emerald City princess : OZMA. The dedicated fans of L. Frank know this half-human, half fairy GIRL.

59. "Ditto" : I DO TOO.

61. Thought : IDEA. Not to be parsed I, DEA.

62. French handle? : NOM. Just  French meaning "name." 21D. Versailles rulers of old : ROIS. French for kings. And42D. Roast, in Rouen : ROTI. This is one time where the accent would help. Rôti.We all remember that the accent is replaced with an "s" in many americanized versions of French words as explained by Kazie..

64. Functions : USES.

65. One of quarterback Archie's boys : ELI. With Peyton, the fading Manning brothers.

66. Lover's request : KISS ME. Often followed by, "you fool."

67. Stylish, once : MOD. Ah, the days of the mods and rockers.

68. Symbiont on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" : DAX. probably the most interesting and complicated CHARACTER(s) in the Star Trek universe. Realy only one DAX but two hosts....And the similar 14D. Indian lentil stew : DAL. A much harder clue than Delta. All perps. A CSO to my twin Vidwan and Mangesh Sakharam Ghogre.


 1. Colgate competitor : ORAL B. Even with the O from OAT, my inclination was CREST.

2. Halos : AURAE.

4. Culinary author Rombauer : IRMA. So many to chose from.

5. Sexy, in some ads : SEE THRU. Click if you want to see an EXAMPLE. (for the guys)

6. San Diego Marine Corps station whose name means "sea view" : MIRAMAR. Living in So.FLa. this is a gimme (a) we have a city with the name (b) you hear "mira" a billion times when people want you to look at something or understand something.

7. Trick : TRAP. Not synonymous for me, but it was easy fill.

8. Arizona natives : HOPI. We studied this tribe extensively in my undergraduate sociology classes. And a token cross reference. 3D. 8-Down, e.g. : TRIBE.

9. Archie's wife : EDITH.

10. Himalayan canine : LHASA APSO. This breed's HISTORY is interesting. Also see Caleb and Baha men.

11. Spoil : MAR. Mira! Another one.

12. '70s White House daughter : AMY. Where is she NOW?

20. Taking everything into account : OF ALL. Huh?

25. Evergreen bean : CACAO. Of course we love chocolate, and especially the fine aroma beans from Ecuador.

26. Capital where Pashto is spoken : KABUL. With all the years of war, this should be easy.

28. Rhyme $yndicate Records founder : ICE-T. Not to be confused with Grammy host ICE CUBE. Sorry Tin.

29. Certain IRAs : ROTHS. Names for Senator William from Delaware, also home to Joe Biden.

30. Driller's prefix? : DENTI.

32. Biblical spy : CALEB. Interesting and CONFUSING part of the story of Moses, which happens to be where the cycle of reading the Torah is now. Caleb (which means dog; see Baha Men) was perhaps one of the 12 spies.

33. Home of the Beef, an indoor football team : OMAHA. How perfect; I must get an email per week from Omaha Steaks. Now we would know how to answer when Clara Peller asked her famous question.

34. Makes more baskets than : OUTSHOOTS.

35. Fund drive appeal encl. : SASE. Self Addressed Stamped Envelope.

39. Eponymous brewer Bernhard : STROH.

43. Atomic number 77 : IRIDIUM. Was that easy for you science guys? Not the part of the periodic table that I remember.

44. "'Tis true, sorry to say" : FRAID SO.

48. Certain choristers : ALTOS. Why not chorusters?

51. Subdivided : ZONED. Zoning is part of the process, but a previously zoned property can be subdivided.

52. Scratch : MOOLA. Another interesting word, and one of questionable HERITAGE.

53. Blend : ADMIX. This is a real word, on its own, why I do not know.

55. Not a happy fate : DOOM. Doctor, doctor...

56. Function : ROLE. Super-villain.

57. Mandatory item : NEED. The Avengers? Fantastic Four?

58. It can be natural : GAS. Crepitation? LISTEN? (15:17).

59. Vex : IRK. Yes, vexsome.

60. Agnus __ : DEI.  Ah, we finish with classic crosswordese.

Well this was a real admix of information which brought out the linker in me; thanks Mark and I hope you all aol golat. Lemonade, out.


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Man, what a bear! I did figure out the theme and managed to eventually get all the theme answers, but LABOLATARPIT was truly nasty and was the last thing to fall. Even then, I finished with an error because I just couldn't get the crossing of SORRIER and STROH. I didn't know ROTI and eventually guessed at SORRIED, even though (a) it isn't really a word and (b) that gave me STDOH as the brewer. And then I forgot to go back and check later.

I also couldn't resist cheating at 43D, since my son has a Periodic Table of the Elements taped to the wall a few feet from my desk...

Argyle said...

I didn't understand 3-part RETOOL until I changed my mindset from RE-TO-OL to R+E to O+L. Then the big V-8 can about knocked me out.

Dudley said...

WBS. This was a toothy critter. I failed to parse the reveal properly until way, way after the solve was done. I held off peeking at my shower curtain for help - you see, it's imprinted with the Periodic Table.

Deep Space Nine wasn't as captivating as other parts of the Star Trek Universe, IMHO, but I watched some of it. Jadzia Dax was memorable because of the actress, Terry Farrell, who helped the show's creators stick to the rule: The Girls Must Be Hot.

Occasional Lurker leaving Abu Raima said...

Hi Lemonade,

This is your pesky roving reporter and casual twin, Occ Lurker. I am finally leaving the UAE reluctantly, and much missed, from Abu Dhabi airport - travelling first class in Etihad Airlines - where the first class stewardesses wear tighter dresses, have more rounded derr---- and bend a lil lower. So they say.

A final analysis - The UAE is a complex case - they are very pro-American, and despite the big funders of the palestinian budget, they are not anti-Isreali ( I really believe that - ) , definitely not anti-semitic ( I saw atleast 5 american jewellers with pseudo-jewish names !) and while extremely rich are a very courteous and gracious people - even with a average 'indian' who comprise about 58% of their population. I do really believe that this continued riches with no effort, is going to stunt the IQ of their progeny ....

I have exceeded my limit, so have a good day all. I come back with a heavy jeart. Ciao.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Lemonade and friends. Ouch! This theme totally eluded me. Even with the explanation, it seems a bit of a stretch.

Hand up for thinking of Bill Clinton and Blythe before Hillary RODHAM.

My first thought for Colgate rival was to think either Crest or another small college. It took a while before ORAL B appeared, because i didn't immediately think of OAT for the across answer.

For a moment, I though Archie's wife might be Olivia Manning, but her name was too many letters. Oh, we were going for All in the Family.

Stay warm and hope all in the northeast are snow free.

QOD: Never wait for trouble. ~ Chuck Yeager (b. Feb. 13, 1923)

Mark McClain said...

I'll chime in on this one early. Appreciate the comments and critique! Just for the record, "BOLA" is listed in Webster's Unabridged with "BOLAS" as an "also". My clue for OF ALL was "Words after best or worse". Not sure which is better. Funny, I didn't even think of Bill Clinton when cluing that one.

desper-otto said...

Good morning, I think.

OK, right up front, FRAID SO, DNF. I sort of saw the theme, but not really. I was thinking every theme answer needed a double-O. That made the stew DAO -- hey, it sounds Eastern But LABOOA TAR PITS looked really weird. I could see the STOOL/STORE connection -- but that gave me OLD RIDING HORE? There's a double-O in OUT SHOOTS, so why isn't there a double-O in LHASA APSO? Things just went from bad to worse.

Most, if not all, IRIDIUM arrived here via meteor. Its presence is used to verify that suspected meteorites are really space rocks. Its also a factor in the theory that a meteor striking Yucatan killed off the dinosaurs -- the sediment layers from that period are rich in IRIDIUM. I know, TMI.

My experience with fund-raising letters is that they include an un-stamped envelope -- it just says "Place stamp here."

I HOPI tomorrow will be a better day.

desper-otto said...

Dudley, RE the Star Trek "hot" rule: Remember 7 of 9 from Star Trek Voyager? DW always referred to her as 44 of D.

Barry G. said...

Anybody else think the clue for OUTSHOOTS was a little bit off? "He shoots! He scores!" Which is to say that shooting is not the same as scoring and just because you take more shots doesn't mean you actually make more baskets...

Hand up for thinking Bill Clinton instead of Hillary. I knew his full name was William Jefferson Clinton, but that didn't help. And then I was thinking maybe he was adopted and originally had a different last name, but man, what an obscure answer that would be! A little perp help let me see the light, however.

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning, all.

Well, thanks Lemonade for all the help in understanding what I could not see even as I wagged some of the fills. ADMIX? Even as I had RETOOL, I could not see the breakdown to help me finish the white spots. I, too, went for Bill Clinton. Remember, initially, when the Mrs. only used Rodham?

Barry, I'm not sure you were cheating but merely adding to your basket of useless knowledge. You will never forget Element 77 again!

This one was edgy for me. Thanks, Mark.

Stay cozy.

TTP said...

UNBELIEVABLE ! It was the northeast this morning. I'm on a roll. A downhill one. Argh

Good morning all. Thank you Mark McClain and Lemonade.

Got 63A RETOOL easily enough, but never picked up that we were changing from RE to OL. Would have helped me understand and complete the PITS ending of 19A.

Hand up for wanting CREST if it wasn't BROWN. ARI disproved both of those. First ended AURA with an S. "Makes more baskets than" was quickly changed from OUTSCORES to OUT SHOOTS. Same with changing COORS (yuk!) to STROH (meh), both in terms of taste.

If I were to use such a phrase, I would say "IN ALL" before "OF ALL." In the context of the clue, I'd probably recite the clue as is, or say "all _____ (factors, ideas, points, items, things etc) considered..." But probably not use "of all."

The answer was MIRAMAR, but I first thought of Twenty Nine Palms. We just had the BAHA Men a week or so ago. I resolved to recall they were not the hAHA Men at that time.

Let's see. Arizona doesn't observe DST. The Navajo Nation in Arizona does. The HOPI Nation, completely surrounded by the Navajo Nation, does not. Got it ?

OK, back to that NE area. HOPI was easy. LHASA APSO was easy. APIARY was harder, but remembered from a similar cluing another time. That basically left me with four names. Should have walked away and thought about Hillary Clinton. Used to drive through, and past the sign that identified it as such, Park Ridge, the home town of Hillary RODHAM Clinton on a weekly basis. D'OH !

Oh yea, and I actually ruled out BETTY as Archie's wife.

Going to go have some coffee now.

Hahtoolah said...

TTP: the light bulb just went on for me as I read your post on the RE to OL! Even after reading lemonade's explanation, the theme escaped me. Now it seems so obvious.

Thanks for stopping by, Mark. Hope to see more of your puzzles, but earlier in the week. LOL!

Big Easy said...

I couldn't finish this one. 1A and 1D got me and I had IN ALL for ON ALL. ARUAS or AURAE. I wanted CREST thinking or toothPASTE instead of toothBRUSH. DAL was an unknown that I should know as it is an easy fill in for constructors who run out of words. Getting RE-TOOL was easy but if I had bothered to finish reading the clue ( which I didn't) I probably would have completed the puzzle. RE-TO-OL didn't click with me.

The NE gave me trouble because I knew BLYTHE and didn't know THELMA. Capitals SE of Tallahassee -Havana , NASSAU, and every capital in South America.

OZMA and DAX were new to me, and speaking of the Mannings, there is a third brother, Cooper who also had a neck problem, and Archie made him quit. His daughter plays in my wife's Junior Team Tennis league.

Lemonade714 said...


Thanks for stopping by, one of the tricky parts of writing about puzzles is knowing the influence the editors have, and some of the clues which get the most attention, both good and bad, are from the editor.

Jeri Ryan recently appeared as one of Gibbs' wx-wives on NCIS.

It is rather disconcerting that you did not see the theme from my explanation, Susan. Maybe I needed to do the colors and the 'to' little not 'TO.'

Always a learning experience

HeartRx said...

Good morning everyone!

Yes, it was a bear, but a very enjoyable one. I had THRIFT STOOL and OLD RIDING HOOD already in place when I came to RE to OL. After scratching my head for a while, the light finally dawned and helped me finish my COOL COURSES and LA BOLA TAR PITS.

BTW Lemony, you highlighted the "la" in BOLA, instead of the "OL." And the French word for three is "trois." I'll stick my neck out and guess that "tres" is Spanish. That clue stuck out for me, because I was thinking of the French "très" meaning "very." Grrrr...I didn't notice that the accent grave was missing in the clue!!

I did manage to finish this puppy without any lookups, so a satisfying solve all in all.

CrossEyedDave said...


Husker Gary said...

I had to go get a hat so I could tip it to Mark. A very clever theme where even the reveal had to be parsed and Admix/ozmA was my only uncertainty! Wow!

-Lemon’s erudite expo didn’t disappoint on SEE THRU
-After a terrible lawn mower accident, my dad’s brother left OMAHA for San Diego where he worked at MIRAMAR
-Many around KABUL still identify only with their TRIBE
-I remember very well that Jimmy sent AMY to public school. Other presidents sent their daughters to private schools and made it hard for ordinary people to do so to placate the NEA
-ICE-T left the SCARIER world of rap to go mainstream
-This ST _ _ _ Beer was headquarted in OMAHA
-I second that Otto - A layer of IRIDIUM in the earth’s crust above which there are no dinosaur fossils suggests a meteor strike killed them. Another reason to always read the previous blogs.
-CVS is in a ZONING struggle to locate here in Fremont
-Cars can now run on abundant, cheap Compressed Natural GAS

Husker Gary said...

-I’ve really enjoyed the UAE info, Lurker. My only other source of info from that part of the world is my friend’s daughter who lives in Riyadh. Does she like it? FRAID NOT, but her banker husband makes big bucks there and they hope to rejoin the real world when he retires.

Mark McClain said...

OK, I'm going to give Rich the credit for how tough this puzzle ended up. While most of the clues are mine, some of the toughest entries were because of his changes. As to the non-conversion of the RE in DREI, the advice I've been given is that it's a no-no only in the theme entries. ADMIX-DAX got a lot of commentary, and I was told that would come out in the final, but it didn't (?). Glad for that, I was in love with Jadzia!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This was a toughie but finished w/o help but with a great big WAG on the Ozma/admix cross. I finished this last night without sussing the re to ol connection, but looking at it this morning, the lightbulb went on!

Thanks, Mark, for a challenging Friday and thanks, Lemony, for the detailed review. (I wouldn't know where to begin an analysis of most of these puzzles.)

The sun is shining brightly but is it ever cold! The worst is yet to come over the weekend. Stay warm and safe everyone.

Have a great day.

Dan said...

Where do people come up with these themes? Why try to make something that's supposed to be an enjoyable and relaxing time into something annoying. Legend's in their own minds I guess.

Rainman said...

La Brea Tar Pits is a phenomenal place to go in Los Angeles, not far from CBS Television City. Talk about a moving experience. You'll never regret taking the time to go.

Nice work by Mark McClain and clever RETOOL idea. (Calling Red Riding Hood OLD is just uncalled for, however... she speaks highly of you.) But I enjoyed this one today, thanks. Thanks, Lemony, for your work, too. I was able to finish this one unassisted, but alas, I thought I knew Indian cuisine and swore that TAL/TREI was correct. So an FIW, one lousy letter got me.

KISSME is a command, not a request, is it not? And Subdivided equals ZONED? Hmmm. Maybe if you stretch it a bit. As a real estate pro, I take these things literal.

I agree with Barry G re. the OUTSHOOTS, but if you think in the vernacular or common style, you might say "I outshot him." Good Friday, everyone.

Yellowrocks said...

ARRGH! Just as I finished writing my post, unbidden by me, my computer went to Shutdown/Restart. Lost it all.
OF ALL the crossword themes I've seen, this is one of my least favorites, all things considered. Although I cottoned to the theme early on, it seemed like a stretch. No nit with OF ALL.
I was looking for Bill C's original name until I had HAM as perps.
I ran the ABCs to get the O in OAT which suggested ORAL B.
At 6D I had MER for sea and looked for something about view. DREI forced it to MIRA and I looked for something about sea.
My downfall was in the SE with OZ_A and D_X. I knew neither. I red lettered the A in DAX. Then MOOLA became evident. I hadn't thought of that kind of scratch.
I had a slower than usual Friday with one cell needing red letters. The fill was enjoyable, in spite of the theme.
Many requests are phrased like KISS ME. "Have dinner with me," is certainly more of a request than a command. I suppose in grammar class we learned of it as a technical command, but colloquially, not.

Dudley said...

D-Otto 7:18 -

Now that's funny! And too true! Jeri Ryan totally rocked the Spandex in that role. Probably inspired lots of future science officers.

Mark McClain 8:50 - glad you checked in! Even more glad you agree about Jadzia. Those blue eyes...

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Never got the theme, alas....and always a bad sign when the first answer is wrong, had "hot" instead of "oat" cake. Downhill from there.

Lime Rickey said...

Dan@9:01: "Legend's in their own minds I guess."

The theme was far less annoying than your misplaced apostrophe. In fact, the theme wasn't annoying at all (though I didn't get it).

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Took a while, and got most of the theme fill but still was asea on how to execute the reveal. Finallly parsed it correctly to RE TO OL, and got LA BOLA TAR PITS, the one I was having the most trouble with. Finally was left with the SE corner, with only ……HOOD and NOM to help. ADMIX SEEMED OK; then MOOLA and ELI. So did a Hail Mary WAG with OZMA and it was done.

27a - BLITZ - Growing up, we always had barn cats. Some were friendlier than others, and would occasionally be given the generic name 'Muusche BLITZ' (lightning cat). (Made more sense in German.)

-13º here last night; Oº high today.

Anonymous said...

will some one please explain 14A..
I've thot tres = very/ to much
trois = 3

Dudley said...

Spitzboov 10:11 -

"Hail Mary WAG" is a phrase I like! It fits a lot of crossword situations I've experienced. Here's hoping it becomes a Corner standard.

Related story: I am often responsible for maintaining a large, heavy hangar door of the folding type. It opens from the bottom upward, and when fully open, it represents a one ton folded mass of steel high above your head. You wouldn't want it to fail. The powerful hoist that lifts it is controlled by a rotary position encoder, but should that fail, there is one other ultimate limit switch at the extreme open position, which we call the Hail Mary Switch. If that fails, well, there isn't much between you and your maker.

C6D6 Peg said...

Very clever puzzle by Mr. McClain. Got the reveal, but really needed to study it to get the theme answers. Thanks for the work out. It was a DNF however, in the SE. Didn't know DAX or OZMA.

Lemonade, as always, nice write-up! Thanks for your always explanatory comments.

Lime Rickey said...

Anonymous@10:38: See HeartRx@8:34 for "tres" vs. "très".

Lemonade714 said...

Yes 10:38 TRES is SPANISH for THREE as DREI is GERMAN for three; this was my screw up; sorry. I know the RE in DREI is not significant even where the theme involves changing all RE to OL when this is so obviously not a theme answer, but I was curious if Mark was tempted to exclude it, and he answered that already.

Lucina said...

Hello, word wizards! Nicely analyzed, Lemonade, thank you. I didn't even try to suss the theme but it made sense after reading your review.

Yowza! This was doable but only after a long and slow slog hopping from one cell to another until I could string together some words. IRIDIUM for example, I had three I's and -IUM. A few were givens, EDITH, MIRAMAR, HOPI, TRIBE, TIA and I vaguely recalled RUR and ARI. IN ALL gave way to OF ALL though I didn't know DAL and thought, like Rainman, that TREI was close to tres. DIW.

Hand up for thinking first of Bill before Hillary.

OZMA and DAX were complete unknowns and finally I looked them up which enabled me to finish the corner.

Thank you, Mark McClain for a challenging time today.

Have a lovely Friday, everyone!

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Mark beat me up pretty badly today.

Give me some points for originality, though.

34 D OUTWEAVES [different basket, alas]

Was totally stuck on French "tres."

Eked out most of this, but still a DNF.

Theme went so far over my head, I didn't even hear the woosh.

Actually had THRIFT STORE filled in.

Nothing 2nd hand about my confusion.

Happy weekend everyone, and

Cool regards!

oc4beach said...

A typical DNF Friday. Filled in all of the words correctly except 19a, 20d, 14d and 11d because I didn't get the OL in labOLatarpits. Didn't get the theme until Lemon explained it, then the head slap occured.

I knew Irridium because I was involved with supporting the IRRIDUIM constellation of communication satellites. There were supposed to be 77 satellites in the constellation, hence the name. However, they downsized the number to 66 but never changed the name to DYSPROSIUM (atomic number 66.) Oh well, enough inane trivia.

It was below zero overnight in Central PA, but has warmed up to a balmy 10° by noon. Let's hope that this cold snap ends soon.

coneyro said...

This one gave me a headache. Got 63A but couldn't figure it out. Even after I had OLDRIDINGHOOD, it still didn't come to me. Knew 19A was some sort of LABREA reference, but forget It....just wasn't coming to me. Now, of course, it was easy...AFTER the fact
OATCAKE???? Didn't remember OZMA....ADMIX...If you say so. I shouldn't get so upset. Tomorrow will be worse.

Speaking of 9D EDITH, we have been watching the reruns of All in the Family daily. Even today, I cringe at some of Archie's spoken diatribes. I keep on waiting for someone to"smack" him. Deep down inside though, was a loving husband and father.
They sure don't make shows like they used to.

Everyone get ready for a good weekend.


coneyro said...

I just noticed a bigger theme in the puzzle. Eight answers have "OO" words.

Misty said...

Nice to read Mark's comments. I think someone should tell Rich to give us a break on Fridays--Saturday toughies are enough for many of us to handle. I actually got more than I thought I would on this one--no problem with RODHAM, for example. After getting OLD RIDING HOOD I knew the theme answers would all be messed up in some way, but even though I had RETOOL, I didn't get the RE OL switch until reading Lemonade's explanation.

Not a great way to start a Friday, but hey, the sun is shining, the dogs are happy, so time to brace oneself for a Saturday bear.

Have a great one, everybody.

John V said...

Alas, did not float my boat. Theme felt contrived, nay, painful.

Madame Defarge said...

Dan at 9:01:

A crossword puzzle CAN be very challenging. A root canal IS always annoying. ;~)

Occasional Lurker aboard Etihad Khaleel said...

Hello all, sorry for chiming in again.

The very Rev. Jesse Jackson, when he stayed at the White House courtsey of the then President, remembered to also thank "madam Hillary Rodman Clinton" ....

Anyone remember ?

Dal, from the way it is normally pronounced should be like 'Daal' or 'Dahl'. It is a liquid curry of over boiled yellow split peas or yellow split pidgeon peas.

Husker Gary, I wish I could write a chapter on the emirati-s from the UAE. The wealth that has made then rich, beyond dreams, or taxes - has also made them very liberal in their outlook and philosophy. The women do wear black robes, but do not cover their faces. As a result cosmetic shops have multiplied there like mushrooms, and an Avon lady could become a millionaire there overnight. There are also 6 churches and buddhist temple in the UAE. Not many but still. Also the distribution of wealth among the emiratis ( locals, as they prefer to call themselves - ) is far more equitable than any of the other Arab countries, especially Saudi Arabia.

There are no museums although there is a plan to open a Lourves II and a Guggenheim (!) at the end of the year. There are shopping malls galore, - and that seems to be the persistent national pastime, especially for the 'local' women. An average designer clothing store needs no more than 2 customers per day, to remain profitable.

The emiratis are ONLY 8% of the population .... in their own country ! So, 10 times of their number are foreigners. A 'local' family of 4 have an average of 7 or 8 cooks/nannies, drivers and other servants. Women drive in their own massive SUV's much like in the USA. Since most of the workers do not speak arabic, the locals have to learn English - and English teachers make an average of $ 140,000 per year, taxfree.( as much as doctors.)


TTP said...

Yellowrocks said, "OF ALL the crossword themes I've seen, this is one of my least favorites, all things considered. Although I cottoned to the theme early on, it seemed like a stretch. No nit with OF ALL."

To me, that's a different context for "OF ALL" than was offered in the clue, "Taking everything into account."

Glad you had no nit with it, but I still wouldn't use OF ALL within the context of the clue. On the other hand, I would and do use OF ALL in the context with which you used it.

tiptoethru said...

I have a few moments to sneak in here and say, "help!" This Friday retooled my head and I'm on the edge of saying I enjoyed this or just slogged through. It wasn't too sorry, though, just sorrier. Thank you for a wonderful explanation and I suppose I'll thank Mr. McClain for a reason to come here and find out what everyone else thought. Not looking forward to Sat. as freezing drizzle is predicted. May be what happened to my brain today with this puzzle. Wonder who will confuse my brain tomorrow besides the weather. Carrying on.....

Rationalist Realist said...

Maybe the difficulty of this puzzle had something to do with this being a Friday, the Thirteenth.

Actually the Friday the 13th, had much to do with a society formed and dedicated to dispel the concept of superstition.

My, how times change.

This too, shall pass.

SwampCat said...

Wow! What a beast! I never did get the theme, even though I got some of the theme answers. And JazzB, I, too, had "out weaves" instead of out shoots. Do I get partial credit for knowing "Thelma"!!??

Lemonade714 said...

RR, thank you bringing up the subject of Friday the 13th; I was curious how long we would go without any reference. Certainly in the past this was an occasion marked immediatley but seesm to be fading as a superstition.

Avg Joe said...

40 miles of bad road. I missed out on some of the traps mentioned, like Blythe, and could make pretty decent headway through most of it. Perps provided the majority of fill for the bottom 3 theme answers and they made sense. Then came the reveal, which took a while to suss, but gave me the missing 2 replacement OL cells for the top theme answer. Even then, though, I parsed it as Lab O LA Tar Pits (a la Pearls Before Swine). With that all completed (if not fully understood), the SE corner remained incomplete. I only had ....Hood and Eli, so I tried Add In for 53d. It made the most sense. Finally realized that Nom had to be right, so in it went. Wanted Odo instead of Dax, but tried both. Then got Zoned through that exercise. That got Moola to appear. So....took that Hail Mary stab that Spitz cited and got the A, but was sure it was wrong. But at that point, the fun had all leaked out and it was done, right or wrong.

Challenging? Very much so. Enjoyable? Eh, not sure? Perhaps too ambitious. And I completely agree that while zoned and subdivided might very well belong in the same sentence, the two are entirely different things. So that one gets a fail.

Hahtoolah said...

There is no 13th floor listed in my office building.

Lime Rickey said...

"There is no 13th floor listed in my office building."

I hope the engineers who designed the building aren't as stupid-stitious as those who mis-numbered the floors.

Husker Gary said...

A NASA educator feeding the nonsensical triskaidekaphobia on this Friday the 13th:

Apollo 13 took off at 13:13 Military time at Johnson Space Center from where the mission was controlled and entered lunar gravity on April 13 and had the Oxygen tanks blow up on that 13th day of April, 1970. And, oh yeah, they launched from Pad 39A and 39 is a multiple of 13.

Do I blame the number 13? Of course not but the coincidences are fun to consider. As Tom Hanks explains at the end of Apollo 13, the #2 Oxygen tank had been damaged 2 years before and never repaired correctly nor retrofitted to accept higher voltage. That tank just happened to wind up on Apollo 13.

Personally, I never fail to break a mirror if I can, walk under ladders or spill salt. However, I do think it would be bad luck to drive my 2013 car on Hwy 13 and run into a car with a 13 county plate.

Avg Joe said...

Gotta call you out on this one Gary.

I sense you're Fostering resentment towards the good folk of Cedar County in Plain view.


CanadianEh! said...

Very late to the party today but I had to comment after seeing my CSO at 45A.

I also noted some pre-Valentines clues with 5D and 66A.

Bill G. said...

You know me, I like puzzles with themes much better than themeless ones but this theme was beyond my ability to grasp readily. Maybe that says more about me than it does about the puzzle.

We had a discussion a while back about Willy Nelson and his guitar. I enjoyed this video about Willy and Trigger (it's long but good) but I still don't know any other musician who has so little regard for his instrument. If I understand correctly, Trigger is an amplified classical guitar. I have a really nice classical guitar. Most people consider the 'Cadillac' of classical guitars to be those made by Ramirez. My guitar teacher had one. Willy's guitar is good but not of that quality. I'm sure but its sound is as much about the amplification as the construction. Willy and Trigger

Bill G. said...

I just stumbled across this video. I really enjoyed the music and it had me in tears for some reason. It doesn't take much these days. Playing for Change; Down By the Riverside

Abejo said...

Good Saturday morning, folks. Thank you, Mark McClain, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Lemonade, for a fine review.

Finished this late last night and went to bed. So, here I am now.

Had LA BREA TAR PITS for the longest time because I had not figured out the theme. Finally got it and fixed that error.

Also took me a while to get FRAID SO. Once that was arrived at I was able to get THRIFT STOOL. And so the puzzle went.

CALEB was easy. Have had him before.

Took a while to get RODHAM because was thinking of Bill.

Anyhow, got 'er done.

See you later today. Heading to Lincoln, IL, with a friend.


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