Feb 20, 2015

Friday, February 20, 2015, Frank Virzi

Theme: Where do I find the "F" words? I can't C them.

Wow, it is only February and I already am blogging my second Frank Virzi puzzle this year. To refresh your recollection, Frank is a science teacher working in Townsend (?) Massachusetts (that knowledge might help solving) who gave us an 'ell of time in January with his add a sound offering. This time we have a straight letter exchange where "C" becomes "F" in 5 phrases, three of which are grid spanners. Each of the phrases had a final word that begins with C, but an F is substituted to reveal some visually amusing fill. Having the C in Cover as part of a fill may not be acceptable to some, though it is only Cs in the last word which are switched. The key to this type of theme is the wit of the new fill. I really enjoyed some of them and I hope you did as well. With 71 theme letters encased in only 5 fill we have a puzzle which has no fill longer than 6 letter, except for the theme, with 3,4 and 5 letter words dominating the grid.

17A. Forgeries that are easy to spot? : UPSIDE DOWN FAKES (15). Pineapple Upside Down Cake is the only one I have ever had. Do you get a mental image of the Mona Lisa standing on her head? Getting the theme is very critical because the perp of FIFE which intersects this and the next theme answer, is not easy.

23A. Dude in the CIA? : UNDER COVER FOP (13). I do not think of CIA operatives as Cops but I guess in the generic law enforcement sense they are. FOP is a word I know from reading  English mysteries along with TOFF.  As I said, FIFE is easy if you have the F theme.

37A. Trivial blunder? : MICKEY MOUSE FLUB (15). Ah, they have given us Annette Funicello, Britney Spears, Justin Timerlake and so many other graduates of Disney's Club. I assume we all of heard of the disparaging, what kind of Mickey Mouse operation are you running here?

49A. Pancake cook in pinstripes? : YANKEE FLIPPER (13). I love this; a reminder of Joe DiMaggio, the Yankee Clipper, in his pinstripe uniform.

58A. "My fireplace is defective!"? : I HAVEN'T GOT A FLUE (15). I also laughed out loud for this variation of I haven't got a Clue though we had many, and I hope you filled them all.

So that is the theme, just one letter changed, no spelling or sound changes, just interesting mental pictures.


1. "Invisible Cities" author Calvino : ITALO. I would guess marti knows considerably more than I do about this WRITER. Lately we are getting tough 1A starts to our Fridays.

6. "I ran away from you once. I can't do it again" speaker : ILSA. One of the most quoted films of all time, Casablanca had Ingrid say these lines:

"I can't fight it anymore.
I ran away from you once. I can't do it again.
Oh, I don' t know what's right any longer.
You have to think for both of us.
For all of us."

10. Ford Field player : LION. The stadium where the Detroit Lions play.

14. Surgery acronym : LASIK. Laser-Assisted in situ Keratomileusis or the easier to parse Laser-Assisted Stromal In-situ Keratomileusis. I am sure we all remember KERA is Greek for cornea.

15. It's a gas : NEON. Fun clue. A touch of science.

16. "Snow White" character flaw : ENVY. Poor Queen.

20. By way of : VIA. A Latin word fully accepted into English.

21. French pronoun : TOI. Moi, toi? wait for perps.

22. Habituate : INURE. Both words mean accustom, but inure is more frequently associated with bad things.

28. Essen's valley : RUHR.

29. Spotted : SEEN.

30. Slug relative : SNAIL. A slug living in a motor home?

33. Roll : WAD. Usually seen with 'of dough.'

34. Word after clip or pop : ART.

42. Colorado native : UTE.

43. "About his head he wears the winner's __": "The Two Noble Kinsmen" : OAK. How cool, some Shakespeare that I do not know, with fill that was not easily inferable.

44. Guanaco cousin : LLAMA. This animal got its name from the Qhechua, who live in the Amazon so we are once again back in Ecuador.

45. Beantown athlete : CELTic. Boston is beantown, and they ended up making no deadline trades. Danny Ainge I thought you had the inside track for Dragic? And, 66A. City NNE of Boston : LYNN. Was this a Natick for anyone? Finally, 46D. Bay State motto starter : ENSE. "ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem" "by the sword she seeks quiet peace under liberty" How many of our Bay Staters knew the motto of their home, Massachusetts?

47. Peek follower : ABOO.

54. Some Highlanders : GAELS. Having read extensively about Scotland, this was a gimme. Their STORY. Also, 19D. County on the Firth of Forth : FIFE. I find all of this stuff interesting. LINK.

56. U.N. workers' agcy. : ILO. International Labour Organization. Don't forget the 'u.'

57. Roasting time in Toulon? : ETE. Another variation on cluing the French word for summer (without the accent.)

63. "Footloose" co-star Singer : LORI. She got the Bacon sizzling...

64. Word after "funny" that clarifies its meaning : HA HA. Not, funny odd.

65. 1995 Stallone title role : DREDD. A dreadful film, that has already been remade.

67. Senate Republican leader before Frist : LOTT.

68. Sources of wisdom : SAGES.


1. Affectionate text : I LUV U. LUV was a way to avoid saying love, when I was young.

2. It's often just inches : TAP IN. You just love those tap in pars and birdies, HG?

3. Syrian leader : ASSAD.

4. Full deck Nero wasn't playing with? : LII. Fifty-two, the number of cards in a modern deck.

5. Gave a thumbs-up : OK'D.

6. Like some soccer games : INDOOR. And football.

7. Pope before Benedict III : LEO IV. All perps; there have been 266 according to the Vatican; do even the best Catholics know them all?

8. Plant : SOW. Juxtaposed with...

9. Taylor of fashion : ANN. There is no such person, it is the name of a retail chain, and it was named after a DRESS.

10. Pressure : LEAN ON. Me.

11. Finish, as a tat : INK UP. My meh fill of the puzzle, don't  you 'ink in' the artwork?

12. Finished : OVER. I am so over this.

13. Where to see MMM : NYSE. New York Stock Exchange.  They were Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company when I was young, known then for Scotch tape. A CSO to our Minnesota heritage.  LINK.

18. "Toy Story" character who draws : ETCH.

24. Composer Satie : ERIK. More marti's STYLE.

25. Gag __ : RULE. In a trial, the judge orders the participants to not speak of the courtroom happenings.

26. Isaac's eldest : ESAU.

27. Team whose logo involves a "wishbone C" : REDS. There are many Cs but only this odd one.

30. Mustangs' sch. : SMU. A return visit for Southern Methodist University.

31. Trivial objection : NIT. You get to pick you own. A tiny clecho with the theme clue.

32. One-spot : ACE. Never heard the term.

33. Pan for Yan : WOK. I guess the rhyme is cute, but YAN is not the most well known of Chinese provinces.(up date, the reference is likely to a tv cooking show You Can Cook hosted by Martin Yan)

34. Recipe words : A LA.

35. Mojito ingredient : RUM.

36. Not yet determined, in skeds : TBA. To Be Announced.

38. It's surrounded by white : YOLK.

39. Game ender : MATE. Why do we have 'check' in chess but not in checkers?

40. Morlock prey : ELOI. Yummy?

41. Bomb : FLOP.

45. He served between Warren and Herbert : CALVIN. Coolidge in between Harding and Hoover.

47. Like most rafts : AFLOAT. Not George.

48. Rorschach image : BLOT. The oldest joke: the man goes to the doctor and is shown inkblots but after each one he tells the doctor he sees naked women fornicating. The doctor expresses amazement with the man's fixation on sex, but the patient says, "Me, Doc? I think it is you since you were the one showing me all the dirty pictures."

49. Ache : YEARN. For better jokes?

50. "__ Men Out": baseball scandal film : EIGHT. Ahhm the 1919 White Sox.

51. Pequod co-owner : PELEG. The characters in Moby Dick should all be familiar.

52. Chopin's "Winter Wind," e.g. : ETUDE. Do we like Piano music ?

53. Orchestra group : REEDS. Or do we prefer the ORCHESTRA?

54. Fish feature : GILL. Vince is hurt...

55. "Hi, sailor!" : AHOY.

59. Vezina Trophy org. : NHL. National Hockey League, the award is for the best goalie, named after a Montreal Canadien goalie who died of tuberculosis.

60. Lao Tzu principle : TAO.

61. Some pop-ups : ADS. Too many.

62. Brother : FRA. This is a variant of the word FRIAR; the Catholic encyclopedia says Friars are different from monks in that they are called to live the evangelical counsels (vows of poverty, chastity and obedience) in service to society, rather than through cloistered aestheticism and devotion. Whereas monks live in a self-sufficient community, friars work among laypeople and are supported by donations or other charitable support.

We are now getting ready for spring training baseball while we have parts of So. Fla. experiencing below 40 degree temps for the first time in four years. I realize this is not impressive to all the New England, upstate NY and Canadian readers, but is our harsh winter. Hope you enjoyed Frank V., as I did. Lemonade out (in the cold!).

Note from C.C.:
Happy Birthday to dear Argyle, my trusted adviser and close friend. I can't picture my life without Argyle, yet I forgot his birthday! I need to be punished!!


OwenKL said...

I try to write limericks on a puzzle's theme
But some gimmicks are impossible, it would seem.
For an example
Today is a sample
That will inspire neither poem nor internet meme.

Are pi-neapple turnovers FAKES
'Cause they're pies and not cakes?
Can an ostentatious FOP
Be in secret a cop?
If initiation you FLUB
Can you still join the club?
Would a seal with a FLIPPER
Ever use a nail clipper?
While Miss Scarlet has the FLU
Can she still play at Clue?
Like a horse, questions clop,
While road-apple answers FLOP.

OwenKL said...

Well, another natick did me in. This time one I didn't even know about. EtCH+tOI. Despite their frequency in crosswords, the only French pronoun I know is MOI. And despite my fascination with cartoon art, Toy Story is one I've never been able to force myself to see. ETCH-a-sketch is a character? How did they anthropomorphize that? Anyway, I assumed they named one of the dolls for the great SF artist EMSH.
Otherwise, a very difficult puzzle for me, though I finally completely filled it with no ta-da for the reason cited. Too many sports clues, and just not at the top of my thinking tonight. Favorite clue, though it stumped me for a long time, was LII. (Did Rome not have playing cards? I looked it up and found the weren't invented until c. 11th century.) Admired the ingenuity of the theme, even though it took a while to suss.

Rainman said...

Well, this was one of my most enjoyable solving experiences in a good while. The theme definitely helped me expedite completion. It was time-consuming but relatively easy to get through without help… with a logical guess here and there. Some learning moments: PELEG (not a flue, er clue), ENSE, INKUP, etc., but looking back, the fill wasn’t THAT unusual. Oh sure, I never thought I’d see ILUVU in a crossword. And I forgot who ETCH was but it made sense (remember Etch-a-Sketch? I never could draw anything with it, but my kids could.)

Great efficient and concise clueing today. Loved “Surgery acronym” = LASIK (which I’ve had on both eyes)… Just terrific overall today. Great job, Frank Virzi. Thanks for the enjoyable summary, Lemonade. Lots to love in today's offering. (Wish I could play the Winter Wind Etude as well as, say, Lang Lang. Never got past Chopin's preludes and easy nocturnes.) Looking forward to reading your comments today. TGIF.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Well, I grokked the theme early on and it did help me get through some rough spots, but I was disappointed there was no actual theme reveal. Changing C to F just seemed rather random.

I did appreciate the Massachusetts vibe today, although I didn't know/remember ENSE and really didn't care for CELT as an abbreviation of CELTIC. Maybe it's just my circle of friends, but it's always the CELTICS to us, not the CELTS. LYNN was easy to get, however.

FRA tripped me up a bit since it is, I believe, a foreign word and there was no indication in the clue. Unless, of course, it isn't and I'm wrong. Still tripped me up, regardless.

And INKUP definitely was the weakest thing in the grid as far as I'm concerned. It was also the last thing I entered since I really couldn't believe it was a thing. But it was and I did.

Pit Nicker said...

HA HA is one word?

Knee Bouncer said...

Trot trot to Boston. Trot trot to LYNN.
Watch out baby you don't fall in!

HeartRx said...

Good morning everyone!

I had a rather empty slate to start with, but I finally figured out the theme with MICKEY MOUSE FLUB. That was my favorite. I'm not sure how an UPSIDE DOWN FAKE would be easy to spot, though.

Great write-up, Lemony. I remember being wowed by ITALO Calvino's "If on a Winter's Night a Traveler." I wonder if I would like it as much if I re-read it now?

And yes, ERIK Satie was one of those quirky composers who you either love or hate. I enjoy the calming effect of listening to his "Gymnopédie."

I think the WOK clue referred to the program called "Yan Can Cook," featuring Martin Yan doing all kinds of stir-fry recipes.

Not much else to say, except "TGIF!"

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Lemonade and friends. I loved this Friday puzzle. I did better on the first past than most Friday's.

YANKEE FLOPPER was my Rosetta Stone for figuring out the theme.

Having lived in Massachusetts, albeit many years ago, helped with the somewhat obscure clues.

Its a Gas = NEON was my favorite clue.

Stay warm everyone!

QOD: Sometimes that light at the end of the tunnel is a train. ~ Charles Barkley (b. Feb. 20, 1963)

Lemonade714 said...

Marti, thanks for the WOK update, I never heard of the show or the chef. I will add to the write up

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

EMCH! TOI never occurred to MOI. I've never seen Toy Story, and that spells DNF.

Marti, you beat me to the punch with Martin Yan. BTW, is that Boston team pronounced Selts or Kelts?

MMM also had a thriving business manufacturing recording tape. Just like Kodak film -- another product that nobody uses any more. And soon the CD. Do you suppose the music promo guys distribute their new releases to the media on thumb drives? Or perhaps just a download link? America wants to know.

Lemon, I think the "under cover" was the reference to the CIA and the "fop" was the Dude. So, Frank wasn't referring to the CIA as a cop organization.

Off to lick my cw wounds...

thehondohurricane said...

Good day to all,

Lemon, news must travel slow to Florida! Celts (lots of fans call them Celts BG) traded Marcus Thornton to Phoenix foe Isaiah Thomas and Tayshaun Prince to Detroit for Datone & Serebko. (spelling is likely wrong)

Liked the puzzle after I figured out the theme. The CIA clue was the only one I doubted. FOP & CIA don't mesh as far as I'm concerned.

Kept trying to fit Rambo or Rocky into 65A, but I finally remembered DREDD and it worked! YANKEE FLIPPER was my fav today.

In the end though, a DNF due to carelessness on my part. I left the square blank for 21A and never noticed it until coming here.

Fun times coming this weekend.........warming trend which will deposit ice, sleet, snow, & rain upon us. I'm a winter guy, but this is getting really too freakin much.

Big Easy said...

Good morning . Somehow this puzzle was easy for me today, especially easy for a Friday. When I figured out MICKEY MOUSE FLUB it all fell into place. There were many easily solved unknowns that make puzzles challenging- DREDD, LORI, ETCH, ENSE, OAK, ILO, REDS, and the always unknown LEO followed by I,V, and X.

I liked the Nero and 3M clues, as these two stalled my completion by a good 5 minutes. I was thinking of a worm 'inching', NYNY or NYPD, and had mistakenly read 'gives' for 'gave'. I didn't know FIFE but knew it had to start with a(n) F.

Speaking of TAP IN, how many of you golfers dread a 3-foot putt? I sweat over those and miss more of them than longer putts.

Martin YAN- One of the few cooking shows I liked, other than 'Good Eats'.
'Mojito'- good way to waste rum that could have made a drinkable drink.

Have a nice weekend and I hope you YANKEES and NY Yankee haters in MASS can get some relief from the cold.

Lemonade714 said...

I went to an ESPN 'review the trade deadline trades' site and they showed me nothing. Phoenix dumping point guards?

I will have to go back and see what they say now.

It was warmer in Denver than Pompano Beach yesterday

HeartRx said...

d-otto, whenever you hear sports announcers talk about the team, it's the SEL-ticks. I have also heard the shortened SELTS occasionally.

Husker Gary said...

You know those puzzles where the long theme answers take a lot of fill to get? This was the opposite in that the long fills (YANKEE FLIPPER was first) came easily and helped with the rest. Wow, what fun accompanied by a fine review.

-Still waiting on drOdd/pelOg. Not familiar to me, Lemon
-YANKEE.. MICKEY first made me think Bronx Bomber theme
-The LION you love to hate
-LORI’s PK (preacher’s kid) role reminded of some I knew in my UTE
-Those senate leaders seem to only be able to lead their own tribe
-TAP INS aren’t conceded for birdies or eagles in my group, Lemon
-“Playing Solitaire ‘til dawn with a deck of LI”
-I’ll never understand why women can’t be priests let alone POPEs
-I’ll never understand why a prominent TAT colors my opinion of someone
-Sorry Florida peeps, but we do take some solace in this picture from yesterday
-Many think Shoeless Joe should get into the Hall Of Fame before Pete Rose
-Can you name the movie with this sensuous chess game?

kazie said...

Couldn't even make an intelligent start on this one. No sports knowledge, never get letter substitutions, don't like/read Sci Fi, know even less about music, don't drink (Mojito??), and what the hell are skeds?? I assume, on reading Lemon's good explanations that it's schedules, but I've never seen that abbr.

Sorry, but it looks like I'll need to stop wasting my time on Fridays' as well as the weekend puzzles.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

A fun Friday offering from Mr. Virzi. Needed a Wag for the Dredd/Peleg crossing. Never heard of that movie and am not that familiar with Moby Dick characters, except Ahab. Fav theme answer was Haven't got a flue.

Thanks, Frank V. and Lemony for an enjoyable and informative challenge.

The deep freeze continues; our weekend forecast is the same as Hondo's, then a return to single digit temps.

Have a great day. Stay warm!

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Surprized myself by finishing this excelent puzzzle. My only NIT is LII, which others liked. oh, well.

Yes - sussing the theme supplied many helpful perps.

Last fill was the S of ILSA - SOW. Got stuck on needle and thread.

Well done today OWEN. I think I forgot to mention how much i enjoyed your very clever limericks yesterday.

Here's a site you'll enjoy.

More limericks

CALVIN'S VP Charles wrote the melody to this once very popular tune.

It's so cold, the politicians have their hands in their own pockets.

Cool regards!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Got off to a slow start, but once there were two theme fills to show the trick, it was much faster. Last to fall was the SE corner because I never heard of Dredd the movie. Even now it looks wrong. Lynn, MA is familiar to me as a stronghold of General Electric, where they build propulsion systems for both aircraft and ships.

Morning Lemon, to answer your question, I couldn't recall the state motto if I had to.

Hondo, I'm with you, this ongoing Arctic nonsense has simply gone too far. C'mon Spring!

HeartRx said...

Did anyone hear the big flap (pun intended) about an eagle cam in PA yesterday?

Lemonade714 said...

Sorry, I read about the white whale many times so Captain Peleg was a gimme (though not for a birdie or an eagle.) I always thoughtof PEG LEG so the name stuck.

Tinbeni said...

Thought for sure that 2-d, Its often just inches, was going to be PENIS ...

Lemonade714 said...

For you movie fans:


and DREDD 2.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Lemon, I think I enjoyed Frank's puzzle as much as you. Sparse matrix at first; then finally got 58a, I HAVEN'T GOT A FLUE. Applied the c ⇒ f shift and got YANKEE FLIPPER. The rest filled in in due course.
I FLUBbed 4d with Nero's 52 pickup. D'uh.
RUHR, Essen's valley, was a good solid anchor. German kids are taught early on the difference between essen (to eat) and fressen (to eat {for animals})

coneyro said...

Boy, this puzzle had me going. At first I thought there was "FL" at the end of the long answers, because I entered 37A and 58A first. Wrong...Then at 17A, I kept on thinking FED at the end. The "F" fit with the theme but UNDERCOVERFED made sense without a change, so THAT wasn't correct either.
Only the perps helped fill it in for me when I had "OP" and realized the word had to be "COP"changed to "FOP". Had to look that word up. Never heard of it.

Needed my husband's help with the sports clues, yet I knew pinstripes had to do with baseball.

Watched MICKEY MOUSE CLUB everyday as a youth. Still have the theme song in my head.


Another weekend upon us. Two more days of hair-pulling clues and answers. Doubt I will fare any better tomorrow. We shall see.....

Lemonade714 said...


she says: "Unknowns....ITALIO, TOI, ILO, LORI, LYNN, LOTT.
A theme of her own?

Lucina said...

Hello, wizardly puzzlers. Thank you, Lemonade, for your sage explanations. To my knowledge no one is obligated to learn the names of all 266 popes. Some, in fact, are quite forgettable.

This was not an enjoyable solve for me. Oh, some of it was and MICKEYMOUSEFLUB was my first theme entry, and I even liked some like YOLK and WOK which I thought were very cleverly clued.

ERIK Satie is now common in puzzles so that caused me to change from SAAR to RUHR and so forth.

LYNN was definitely a Natick for me so had to look it up then immediately got YEARN. That finished YANKEE. FOP was the hardest to complete, FED or MAN seemed the most plausible but finally FOP emerged.

Thank you, Frank Virzi, for this challenge. I've been away from the LAT for almost a week so I'll blame my weaknesses on that!

I hope you have all had a wonderful week and happy Friday to you!

Nice Cuppa said...

Two Sporting Comments

1: CELT/CELTIC as in the name of the ancient peoples is pronounced with a hard C - i.e. "KELT, KELTIC".

Two Sports Teams, both forged from Celtic descent, no doubt, pronounce it with a soft C.

Thus, in addition to the BOSTON CELTICS, the top Scottish soccer team, GLASGOW CELTIC, pronounce it with a soft C. I do not have time to explain how the latter supporters pronounce "GLASGOW".

2: Mnemonic for FIFE:

This is an old chestnut in Britain, but:

There are 2 Scottish Soccer teams, named FORFAR (Athletic) and (East) Fife (This much is true, and they do play against each other).

The announcer's nightmare arrives when the final score is 5-4: thus




Ray - O - Sunshine said...

I Dredded trying to finish, Beantown athlete Celtics? A Celt (kelt) never played bball. CIA cop? Name of the dish à la not a recipe word (instruction)...but otherwise an easy Friday

Nice Cuppa said...

….And so, to find Fife, you first set forth across the Firth of Forth...

unclefred said...

No joy in finishing today, had to Google (cheat!!) too much for a feeling of accomplishing something. Even after puzzle was done, I looked at 4D "LII" and didn't get it until I read the blog and had it explained.

Madame Defarge said...

Well, well, well. I don't even know if this puzzled was difficult, but it sure was a challenge for me. I had a lot of the previously discussed unknowns, but could not fill the theme answers. First was YANKEE FLIPPER, but only after I had just about everything else filled. That did not lead me down a useful path, so I walked away for 3 hours to do other stuff and I came back with a clear eye. Ta Dah! So right there and I couldn't see it! Thanks for the challenge, Frank. Lemonade, I was delighted with your walk through. Thanks.

Steve said...

Boo! Nice Cuppa beat me to it with the FIFE/FORFAR thing! The Scottish Football League has some cracking team names - Heart of Midlothian FC, Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC, Queen of the South FC, Hamilton Academical FC are a few of the poetic offerings.

Toy Story is definitely worth a look if you've never seen it.

Misty said...

I loved this Friday puzzle because I got the fun theme early on and it made guessing the theme entries a delight. My only worry was PELEG, which looked weird to me. (I've read Moby Dick but PELEG didn't ring a bell for me). Wonderful that I got that corner after all, but then the big disappointment: had COLT instead of CELT. Clearly I have to guess at most sport entries and I was a little off on that one. But it can't spoil the fun I had doing this puzzle--many thanks, Frank.

Interesting discussion of FRA, Lemonade.

Cute limerick and poem, Owen.

Kazie, I almost gave up on Friday puzzles too a while back, but they vary--so don't give up just yet.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Ergo said...

Thank you Frank and Lemon.

Ha! Ha, ha, haaaaa! I nailed it!

This is such a rare and wonderful treat on a Friday level that I can't help but celebrate.

Time to reward myself with something from the refrigerator.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Hello everyone, I forgot today is Argyle's birthday. Had a quick chat with him this morning, but the special date escaped me completely.

Happy Birthday, dear Santa. Please forgive me.

Husker Gary said...

Musings 2
-When I had DR_DD I was thinking it was DR. something or other
-Here’s your sensuous Chess Scene (6:57)

Ol' Man Keith said...

Had a lot of fun with this one. The first pass-through yielded lots of answers, including some WAGs that turned out to be right.
Then things got tougher. The cluing was smart, full of the kind where you can't get it 'til you get it! My favorites.
Eventually I had to cheat on a few small (3 & 4 letter) ones when the perps weren't enough to cough up answers.
My favorite clue-- because I got the answer but didn't understand until reading sage Lemonade's explanation --was "Full deck Nero...."

Barry G. said...

Happy Birthday, Argyle!!!

Irish Miss said...

Very Best Wishes to you, Argyle, for a most Happy Birthday! Don't each too much cake!

Lemonade714 said...

Egad, another one for the birthday book
NBDTY HBDTY HBDDS and many nore

Bill G. said...

Hi everybody. Happy birthday Argyle. Another day older and smarter! Also, thanks Frank and Lemon.

I can't tell if anybody answered CC's question about the movie containing the chess scene. Clearly Gary knows the answer. It's with Faye Dunaway and Steve McQueen in "The Thomas Crown Affair." It was remade with Pierce Brosnan. Still good but the original was better I thought.

A couple of days ago somebody recommended the book "Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman." I think it was Marti and AnonT. Though I normally prefer fiction, I downloaded it and am enjoying it a lot. Thanks for the suggestion you two.

Hahtoolah said...

Happy Birthday, Argyle!

Avg Joe said...

Hope you have a wonderful birthday, Argyle. Thanks for all you do.

Enjoyed the puzzle. Had to work the top and bottom into the middle. The theme was quite clever and helped a lot with areas where perp help was needed.

Lemonade714 said...

actually Bill G, Husker posted the link to the scene at 1:51CST
Faye Dunaway> was a graduate of the U of Florida

Lucina said...

Happy birthday, Santa Argyle!!!! I hope you are celebrating; you deserve a fabulous Bday.

HeartRx said...

Happy Birthday, Argyle!! I actually had your occasion in my calendar, but forgot to check my calendar today. Go figure! So, I hope it was happy - another year above ground has to be a good one, right?

BillG., actually I recommended "Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life In Science (Great Discoveries)," which I think you would also enjoy. It is his biography. But I think I will look into the one you are reading as well, since it is his own recollections. Fascinating man!!

Argyle said...

Indeed, another year above ground is a good thing. Thank you everyone for the well wishes. I have to wait till Sunday for my cake but I'm sure the it will taste even better for the delay.

Anonymous T said...

The puzzle didn't get the attention it deserved said...

Busy, busy, busy day and my mind was on task not puzzling (zen/way/tau x-ing what?). After I TITT, I did enjoy the theme (thanks Frank) and writeup (thanks Lem!)

I post to wish Argyle a really Happy Birthday - you do so much to keep this blog alive. Many more years above ground.

Cheers, -T

fermatprime said...


Happiest of birthdays, Santa!

Really goofed up the puzzle, even though theme was clear.


Blue Iris said...

HBD Argyle! I always look forward to your witty explanations and links on Monday and Tuesdays.

I think I missed Hondo and Marti's birthdays. Happy Birthday! Can't remember if I missed anyone else?? I need to write HBD's down when I can't get online right away.

I'm thankful my DH was handy to fill in sport's clues.

Many people get INKed UP and in later years go for LASIK to remove the tat. Since the laser is red, red ink cannot be removed.

Hahtoolah, I like your quote of the day. I have a weird sense of humor. When I'm feeling feed up with pain, or inability to do all the things I wish to do, I will repeat the most discouraging quote or song in my head and laugh out loud. " Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is a train" is perfect.

On occasion, I have sung "Glum, despair and agony on me, Deep dark depression ,Excessive misery. If I had no bad luck I'd have no luck at all, Glum....."

LOL Strange,huh. It really does cheer me up.

Spitzboov said...

Happy Birthday to Argyle, whose intrepid presence and support are a special gift to us Corner denizens.
Drei mal hoch!

LaLaLinda said...

Happy Birthday, Argyle ~ hope the upcoming year is happy and healthy!

Thanks for your early week write-ups and for all you do to keep the blog running smoothly.