Feb 15, 2015

Sunday February 15, 2015 Amy Johnson

Theme:  "Hail to the Chief" - Each theme answer is clued as if it's related to a US president.

24A. Presidential thoroughfare? : MADISON AVENUE.  Wiki says that Madison Square is named after President Madison. I presume it's the same for the Avenue.

39A. Presidential records? : LINCOLN LOGS. Named after President Lincoln.

54A. Presidential teams? : BUSH LEAGUE. Unrelated to President Bush. So works perfectly as a theme answer.

71A. Presidential horse? : FORD BRONCO. Ditto this one.

83A. Presidential quintet? : JACKSON FIVE. Ditto this one.

102A. Presidential resistance? : GRANT IMMUNITY. This one is the best with the original "Grant" as a verb.

3D. Presidential tweet? : WASHINGTON POST

50D. Presidential stand-ups? : GARFIELD COMICS

This type of theme works the best when the key words in the original phrases have nothing to do with the presidents. But it's impossible to come up with a set for Sundays.

I like the clue angle, and the grid only has 140 words (same as Marti's last week). You can be assured that I'll rack it up to 144.

1. Chauffeur's ride : TOWN CAR. Lincoln!

8. Glass-tinting element : COBALT

14. Pin sites : ALLEYS. Bowling pins.

20. Otter's prey : ABALONE. I don't think I had abalones before. You?

21. Key of Beethoven's "Für Elise" : A MINOR. Had ?MINOR. Then waited.

22. Fly under the radar : LIE LOW

23. Splits evenly : BISECTS

26. __Kosh B'gosh : OSH

27. Bigger fish to fry? : KEEPERS. Nice clue.

29. Ask : POSE. As a question.

30. Chem class suffix : IDE

31. Mayberry kid : OPIE

33. Bard's "bleak" : DREAR

34. Dieting setback : GAIN

36. Surname preceder, perhaps: Abbr. : INIT. Oh, middle initial.

37. It may be a hit : SONG

38. Brewery container : VAT

42. Spurs to action : GOOSES

45. Rookie rockers' recordings : DEMOS

46. Major __: Sherwood Forest attraction : OAK. Hey, I know it.

47. Beach house features : STILTS. I did not know those supporting posts are called stilts also.

48. Subdued : MUTED

49. Dome of the Rock floor plan shape : OCTAGON. Wiki said Dome of the Rock is "Jerusalem's most recognizable landmark".  Hahtoola & Yellowrocks must have visited the place.

53. Horatian works : EPODES

56. Botanist Gray : ASA

57. "Writing on the wall" word : MENE. Full message here:

58. What some buds detect : TASTE. Taste buds.

59. Fed. collection agency : IRS. Boomer had to get D-Otto's advice for some deduction issue.

60. Hugging duo : ARMS

61. Sandra Denton, in a hip-hop trio : PEPA. I always thought Salt-N-Pepa is a duo. No idea about their real names. So which one is Pepa?

62. Hunting wear : VESTS

63. Irish nationalist Robert : EMMET. Unknown to me.

65. Usually fuzzy tabloid pics : UFOs

66. Seacrest's show, to fans : IDOL. Ryan Seacrest.

67. Bend's state: Abbr. : ORE. Hope the ousted governor is not from Bend.

68. Mild oaths : DRATS

69. 1492 Bahamas lander : NINA

70. Children's author Asquith : ROS

74. College address ending : DOT EDU

76. Poncherello portrayer on "CHiPs" : ESTRADA (Erik)

78. Itty-bitty : EENSY

79. Trail-making mollusks : SNAILS

80. "... further __ ..." : ADO

81. Word with free or secret : AGENT

82. Addressed the nation, say : ORATED

87. SADD concern : DWI

88. Like raw silk : ECRU. I haven't had mulberries for years.

91. 1997 film apiarist : ULEE. Ulee's Gold.

92. Camembert's department : ORNE. Got via crosses. I know it starts with O though.

93. Obsessed (on) : DWELT

95. Springfield's only tavern : MOE'S

96. H.S. equivalency test : GED

97. Poet Teasdale : SARA

99. "Cloud Shepherd" sculptor : JEAN ARP. Full name for a change.

101. Spartan Stadium sch. : MSU

106. Less likely to be named homecoming king : NERDIER

108. "Because you're worth it" company : L'OREAL. Do you have The Body Shop in your area? It's owned by L’Oréal. Wish we had one in MN.

109. Late news time : ELEVEN

110. A pad may protect it : KNEECAP

111. English assignments : ESSAYS

112. Like subarctic winters : SEVERE. I wonder how those pioneers survived the Minnesota winters.

113. Certifies : ATTESTS


1. They're off-limits : TABOOS. And 25. It's off-limits : NO NO

2. San Luis __, Calif. : OBISPO

4. Marlins' div. : NLE. National League East.

5. Prepare to fire : COCK

6. Got in the game : ANTED

7. Books : RESERVES

8. Charged : CAME AT

9. Horoscope columnist Sydney : OMARR. Learned from doing xwords.

10. eBay offers : BIDS

11. "Star Wars" saga nickname : ANI. Darth Vader's boyhood nickname.

12. Spanish article : LOS

13. Hot spot, with "the" : TROPICS

14. Troubled word : ALAS

15. Like much radio : LIVE

16. Boo Radley creator Harper : LEE. Now we have a better way to clue the dreaded partial SET A.

17. Current phenomenon : EL NINO

18. Cat's "Get it?" : YOU DIG?

19. Gummy bears and such : SWEETS

28. Snow __ : PEAS

32. Perfect self, in psychoanalysis : EGO IDEAL. Too sophisticated for me.

34. Dreidel letter : GIMEL. Another unknown. One of the four Hebrew letters.

35. Battery terminal : ANODE

36. "Past Imperfect" memoirist Chase : ILKA

39. Underworld river : LETHE

40. Exodus insect : LOCUST

41. Hoops Hall of Famer Thurmond : NATE

43. Fútbol cheer : OLE

44. OH and OK : STS (States)

45. Cleans with Old English : DUSTS. Holy smokes! Never heard of Old English.

47. Olympic pool sights : SPEEDOS

48. Requirement : MUST

49. Fiends of fantasy : OGRES

51. Notable Mormon family : OSMONDS. The Donny & Marie show in Flamingo costs $90.

52. Junkanoo parade city : NASSAU. OK, Wiki says Junkanoo is "a street parade with music, dance and costumes in many towns across The Bahamas every Boxing Day  & New Year's Day". Learning moment for me also.

53. Ottoman, e.g. : EMPIRE

54. Predicated : BASED

55. "We __ please" : AIM TO. A special "Thank you" to Gary for blogging last Sunday's puzzle and Argyle for snipping several Answer Grids and taking care of the blog while I was away.

58. __ cotta : TERRA. A must-see if you visit Xi'an.

60. Uncle Henry's wife : AUNTIE EM

62. Practice with dolls : VOODOO

63. Physicist Mach or artist Max : ERNST

64. Eponymous store founder : MACY. Macy's left our ghetto area a while ago.

68. "No man is an island" poet : DONNE

71. Rages : FADS

72. Word from a proctor : BEGIN

73. Kent portrayer on the big screen : REEVE

74. Modern evidence : DNA

75. Muffin grain : OAT

77. Toothed tool : RAKE

79. Major tea exporter : SRI LANKA. Look at this list. I'm surprised that Kenya is a major tea exporter as well.

81. Some chalets : A-FRAMES

82. John Irving's "A Prayer for __ Meany" : OWEN. Hi there Owen!

83. Manage, as multiple tasks : JUGGLE. I can only focus on one thing at a time.

84. Final Olds models : ALEROS

85. Sources of aromatic wood : CEDARS

86. "Cheers" shout : NORM

87. Wrestler Johnson, a.k.a. The Rock : DWAYNE. I often confuse him with Vin Diesel.

89. Move to a new table : RE-SEAT

90. Takes by force : USURPS

93. Hardly encourage : DETER

94. Nottingham's river : TRENT

97. Court postponement : STAY

98. Needs a doctor, maybe : AILS

99. Baloney : JIVE

100. __-à-porter: ready-to-wear : PRET. I also loved the movie. Our crossword buddy Stephen Rea is in it.

103. Teachers' org. : NEA

104. Suffix meaning "little" : ULE. As in globule.

105. Calif. neighbor : NEV

107. Fourth grade? : DEE. The fourth letter in grade. (Edited letter: ABCDF grading! Holy smokes!)

Happy Birthday to Hondo (Skip)! Are you still attending the card shows in winter time? Hope you can cruise away from the cold winter soon.

Left to Right: Marti, Dudley, Hondo & Montana



OwenKL said...

Wahoo! Finished without needing red letters or look-ups! After dismal showings Fri & Sat, today should give my self-doubts a Polk in the eye!

I'm glad I'm not the PRESIDENT,
And not the White House resident.
What could be worse
Than if my verse
Was hailed as a precedent?

HeartRx said...

Good morning, everyone.

Happy Birthday Hondo Hurricane! Your avatar name seems particularly appropriate this year, with the blizzard raging around us. So, I hope you don't have any plans to go out today!

I agree with you about the theme, C.C. My favorites were BUSH LEAGUE and GRANT IMMUNITY, but many of the others were too closely related to the presidents themselves. Oh, and we do have The Body Shop in malls around here, but I don't like their products because they usually are too strongly scented.

Lucina, if you are reading this, my thoughts are with you and your niece today. I'm sure your visit will be a comfort her.

Bill G., I always check the previous posts because you link some of the best videos later in the evening. The two last night were hilarious! Thanks.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all (and Happy Birthday, Hondo)!

Thanks again for the kind words yesterday.

Mostly straightforward solve today. Got the theme early on and was able to make quick guesses at most of the theme answers.

Got a bit stuck in the NE when I refused to let go of LAPELS for awhile until the perps finally forced me to go with ALLEYS.

Didn't know/remember ORNE, so that took all the perps.

EGO IDEAL is a thing? Sure, why not.

Final square was the intersection of OAK and ILKA. From the clue, OAK seemed the most logical guess, but it was just a guess and I really couldn't believe ILKA was a real name. I went with it, but wasn't really expecting to get the TADA*

Barry G. said...

Just took a look outside.


Anonymous said...

DEE is the "fourth grade" in the series ABCDF (it's only coincidental that it's also the fourth letter in "grade").

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Slept in this morning, so I'm late to the party. The theme is appropriate for Presidents' Day tomorrow. I really wanted FORD MUSTANG -- until I ran out of room.

C.C., I wondered why you mentioned mulberries in connection with the silk/ECRU answer. Thanks to Mr. G, now I know.

Had no idea who Uncle Henry could be until I got the answer. Does he even appear in the movie?

I was surprised to see England, Germany and Poland among the tea EXporting countries -- thought they'd be IMporters.

Happy Birthday, Hondo. Hope you don't have to spend it shoveling.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I enjoyed this fun and timely offering even though it was a DNF due to the mene/pepa/ego ideal crosses. Thanks, Amy, and thanks, CC, for the summary. Thought of Boomer at alleys.

Happy Birthday, Hondo, hope it's a special day.

Thoughts and prayers to you and your niece, Lucina.

Bill G, you started my day off with laughter at those very funny canine caper clips! Speaking of canines, I believe the Westminster Kennel Club competition is tomorrow night and Tuesday.

Have a great day.

Unknown said...

The Week in Review:

M 5:34 T 5:00 W 8:28 T 9:34 F 16:31 S 14:57 S 21:56

Not much to say. Sub-zero temps are gettin' old.

See y'all next weekend.

Yellowrocks said...

Fun puzzle, great expo. I, too, thought that those theme answers that had nothing to do with a president, like BUSH LEAGUE,were best.
Here we have many stores in The Body Shop chain. I like some of their fragrances.
Yes, I have been inside the Dome of the Rock. The first time we attempted to see it Israeli soldiers herded everyone off the Temple Mount due to a threat of violence. The Israelis' constant vigilance made me feel very safe. The next day we succeeded in visiting that especially lovely building. It is believed that long before the Dome of the Rock was built, this was the very spot where Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac.
I knew GIMEL. The school where I taught has many Jewish children, Italians, East Indians and Chinese, with a smattering of many other nationalities. Truly cosmopolitan.
PEPA was the last to fall, all perps. I heard of Salt and Pepa, but never thought of separating out PEPA.
The snow plowing contractors are cleaning up in more ways than one this year. I am hearing the constant beeping of their equipment as I write this.

Avg Joe said...

Good morning. I hope all of you in the NE states are not getting hit too hard.

And hope you have a great birthday Skip, in spite of the weather.

This one was tougher than a standard fare Sunday, and it beat me. Had to give in and Google for Pepa, which broke the rest open. But it was an enjoyable challenge.

maripro said...

Good Morning All. Good puzzle.
My heart goes out to all of you who are freezing up North.
I, too, wanted to put the pin on lapels. And it took me forever to figure out the college address ending. Solving crosswords can be very humbling... but fun.

A. Aajma said...

Uncle Henry is in The Wizard of Oz movie. Remember this scene?: Miss Gulch: [stopping bicycle and getting off] Gale?
Uncle Henry Gale: Well, howdy, Miss Gulch.
Miss Gulch: [comes into the Gales' yard] I want to see you and your wife right away about Dorothy!
Uncle Henry Gale: Dorothy? Well, what has Dorothy done?
Miss Gulch: What she's done? I'm all but lame from the bite on my leg!
Uncle Henry Gale: Oh! You mean she bit you?
Miss Gulch: No, her dog!
Uncle Henry Gale: Oh, she bit her dog, eh?
[Uncle Henry tries to shut the gate, but it hits her on the backside]
Miss Gulch: [exasperated] No!"

Husker Gary said...

A just right Sunday where even the proper nouns did not DETER.

-Great movie about the BUSH LEAGUES
-We all remember OJ in that FORD BRONCO
-JFK’s TOWN CAR was reinforced and kept in the presidential motorcade for 13 years after Nov. 22, 1963
-DEMO recording with artist’s version starting at 2:12 (4:44)
-MUTED – Ah yes, the commercial is on
-Salt and PEPA’s latest effort (:53)
-Those UFO’s never land at MIT
-In most movie gun scenes, they COCK the gun for effect but don’t fire
-ALAS poor Yorick, I knew him, Horatio (not “well”)
-Omaha has hosted those Olympic Trial SPEEDO’s in 2008, 2012 and will in 2016
-Macy’s founder Isidor Straus and wife Ida and the Titanic
-HBD, Skip! Good to see you in distinguished company!
-Name the movie about the mobster who was granted immunity and the actor who played him
-In what movie did ILKA play Peter Lawford’s mother while dating Cesar Romero

Yellowrocks said...

Macy's was named after HR MACY. "Eponymous" gives us that. After starting several failed stores Macy opened HR Macy & Co. in NYC in 1858. It was a big success. Isador and Nathan Strauss acquired Macy's in 1895 and became the owners, but were not the founders.
"Mene mene teekel upharson" we PKs chose to interpret as Meany, meany, tickle your parson.
Lucina, my heart and thoughts are with you and your niece at this difficult time.

Big Easy said...

Getting the Theme answers was easy. It was the was the unknowns that killed me. Blew it on the multiple cross of BEGIN, ORNE & EENSY and the cross of MENE & EGO IDEAL. ORNE and MENE- cheese dept & whatever MENE is?????

Other unknowns solved by perps were PEPA, ROS, EMMET, JEAN ARP, OMARR, AUNTIE EM & GIMEL.

I had to pull out sheet music to verify that Fur Elise was A-minor. I never noticed before.

'Fourth grade'-DEE. I had a college chemistry prof for 4 semesters who would not give Ds. A,B,C, or F.

Favorite clue-' Bigger fish to fry'- KEEPERS


Lime Rickey said...

That's R.H. Macy (not HR). I grew up where Macy's first-ever branch store was our local department store.

coneyro said...

I liked this one today. Very doable for a Sunday. The theme was easy and the answers came fast.

The setbacks for me are usually names in the arts, literature and government. I haven't travelled much, so obsure countries or cities are off my radar, as well. But any reference to animals, TV, show business, or cooking, and I'm good to go. I really envy some of you guys who have encyclopedic knowledge. How you pull answers out is amazing!

34D GIMEL was a no-brainer for me. Third letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and one of four sides of the dreidel. This spinning top game is one of my favorites, and I have played it on Chanukah since childhood. Oh, those sweet memories of latkes, candles, presents and family.

Hope all of you enjoyed time with your loved ones yesterday.We really shouldn't need special holidays to express how we feel. Saying I love and appreciate you are words that should be verbalized every day.

Enough from me. SHALOM!

HeartRx said...

coneyro, last night DH and I were supposed to go out to dinner, but decided to stay home, instead. I think this comic says it all, for us!

Yellowrocks said...

Yes, Rowland Hussey. Please, forgive my transposition of letters type of typo.

Rainman said...

Happy Natal Anniversary, Hondo. Stay warm.

Not much to say about this one. What Barry G said about ILKA and OAK, same finishing spot. Enjoyable enough puzzle. I recently thought of the presidents as a possible theme but dismissed the idea because I was sure it had been done before, that I had actually seen something similar. Anybody else?

Now on to the WSJ Friday puzzle which I printed out on legal size paper last night. Usually a workout!

Nice photo of Marti, Dudley, Hondo and Montana. Was that taken at a crossword tourney or convention?

DOTEDU was good, I thought. As well as getting NINA and ELNINO in the same puzzle. Along with LOS and all the kids could have been there... might have had to fit in MUCHACOS somewhere. (See Lucina? I'm learning.)

Thanks, Amy. Good job developing the theme. Thanks, CC for the write-up.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Happy Birthday, Hondo. Hope you have a great day.

Completed the solve without look-ups, but thought it was crunchier than other Sundays. Like the theme reflecting President's Day weekend.
92a - ORNE - Sometimes clued as North Sea feeder,
39d - LETHE is a new word for me.
104d - ULE - Also: pustule.
1a - I've had 3 TOWN CARS (all bought used). Great riding and driving vehicles.. (I favor rear wheel drives.) But, alas they're not made for general sale anymore. Sic transit gloria.

Sallie said...

Good Morning everyone.

First: yesterday's comment from me. I got tied up with my two sons who are visiting.

Happy birthday Marti! I hope it’s a wonderful day for you.

Barry, sorry to hear about Hobbes.
It sounds like a good way to go.

And today: Happy birthday Hondo.

Still no time to do the puzzle.


Rainman said...

I knew I mis-spelled MUCHACHOS as soon as I did it. Sorry, Lucina.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Really had to work at this one, but got there in the end.

Rainman - that photo was taken at a time when Montana had come out East to visit family; those of us living near or in Connecticut converged upon Hartford to meet with her, in a nice restaurant.

Rainman said...

Dudley, thanks, but we'd all probably come visit you if we knew you were taking us to a fancy restaurant!!!

My daughter is a flight attendant for SW. She left PHX Friday with 80 F. temps. Got to her layover at Manchester and the temp was 5 F, with a chill of minus 10 or something. I'm wondering how you prepare for that kind of change... take layers? Yikes.

Anonymous said...

It was RH Macy. Not HR Macy.

Alexscott said...

In the writeup, the image after MENE didn't show up. Does anyone know what MENE means? I knew it was right from the crosses but could not figure that out from the clue.

Pretty good Sunday puzzle. I had to go through Mustang and Pinto before I finally got FORD BRONCO. I kept thinking, How many cars did Ford name after horses? It turns out, at least three.

Anonymous said...

We live in a beach house and both the real estate office and the insurance company say our house is on pilings. Maybe the term is only used in North Carolina. I never heard of this usage of stilts.


Lime Rickey said...

MENE? That's what Google is for.

Yellowrocks said...

Columbia electronic encyclopedia gives this meaning:
“Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin , in the Bible, the mysterious riddle written by a hand on the wall at Belshazzar's feast. These Aramaic words may be translated literally as, "It has been counted and counted, weighed and divided." Daniel interpreted this to mean that the king's deeds had been weighed and found deficient and that his kingdom would therefore be divided.”
To read the context go to this link and skip to the section called “Book of Daniel.”
Link context
This is the origin of our saying “The handwriting is on the wall” meaning doom is coming.
To those counting my typos, I stuttered on the E and wrote TEEKEL instead of TEKEL @9:58. Mea culpa.

OwenKL said...

Yellowrocks: You preacher's kid story I hadn't heard before - delightful!

Big Easy & Alexscott: Daniel, chapter 5 tells the whole story.

5 In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.

6 Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.
(Isn't that a colorful way of saying he shat and his knees knocked?)
25 And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.

26 This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.

27 TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.

28 PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.

fermatprime said...


Thanks, Amy and CC!

Loved the theme!

No problems. Had lapels at first. PEPA was all perps.

Happiest of birthdays, Hondo!

My thoughts go out to you, Lucina.


Steve said...

Happy Birthday, Hondo!

Maybe I'm just grumpy for some reason, but I was underwhelmed by the inconsistency of the theme. I think I'll channel my Thumper today.

Montana said...

Happy Birthday, Skip! That photo brings back good memories of meeting for lunch.

Lucina, my prayers are with you and your niece and family.

Bill G, loved the videos last night. Thanks for posting.

My CT son moved from Montana (never to move back!) so he wouldn't have to deal with winter weather. I chuckle now as it is so nice here and he is reliving a winter of snow and cold from his childhood.
Spring will come someday.


Montana said...

I forgot to comment on the puzzle!
I finished it but with way more red-letter help than normal, so I really don't have anything to say.


CanadianEh! said...

Fun puzzle for a frosty day! We are off to the TROPICS soon.
We have Family Day holiday tomorrow. Busy getting ready for influx of kids and grandkids!!!

Bill G. said...

CC, you asked about abalone. It like a big mussel. It has to be pounded to tenderize it. Then coated in flour or batter and fried. Delicious! It's been over-fished and I haven't seen it on menus much at all. (I saw an episode where it was being farm raised on Dirty Jobs.) In the past, I really enjoyed it when it was available.

I'm glad you guys liked the videos late last night. I thought they were especially good also.

HeartRx said...

MEMA ("Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency") came out of their bunker today, saw their shadow, and went back in for another six weeks of winter....

LaLaLinda said...

Happy Birthday, Hondo / Skip ~ hope you had a good day!

Lucina ~ My thoughts are with you and your family.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Needed help to finish the puzzle today and yesterday. Can't seem to get on the right wavelength lately.

LW and I love abalone. Can't buy it any more. As Bill G said, it's been over-fished.

Good wishes to you on your birthday, Hondo, and to you on yours yesterday, Marti. In fact, good wishes to you all.

Dudley said...

Hondo, I forgot to wish you Happy Birthday! Stay warm.

Anonymous T said...

Just catching up said...

HBD Hondo! Thanks for your $0.02 on the corner. I hope you had a great birthday. Cheers, -T

Abejo said...

Good Monday morning, folks. Thank you, Amy Johnson, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, C.C., for a fine review.

Well, this one took me a while. It is Monday morning and I just finished.

The NE corner was my bugaboo. Finally got MADISON AVENUE after a long wait. That pretty much gave me a jump start in that corner.

MENE came about long ago from crossword puzzles. That is when I learned that the phrase "The handwriting on the wall" came from the bible, book of Daniel. I have learned a lot from crossword puzzles through the years. I love it.

Enjoyed the theme. President's Day being here.

Anyhow, I have to add air to our tires.

See you tomorrow.


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