Feb 18, 2015

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 Jeff Stillman

Theme: Soupçons and Smidgeons, or five featured fractions!

17A. Abe's youngest son : TAD LINCOLN. The presidents have been getting a crossword work-out over the last couple of days or so. "Tad" was Abe's nickname for his son - he was "wiggly as a tadpole" as a baby.

25A. Exhortation from Santa, in Moore's poem : DASH AWAY ALL. Clement Clarke Moore's father was the Bishop of New York, and officiated at the inauguration of George Washington. More presidential trivia!

38A. Halls product : COUGH DROP.  I needed these last week, I get the mentholyptus variety.

54A. Late-inning substitute : PINCH HITTER. Tinbeni's our resident pinch-hitting specialist.

63A. Gets the unspoken message ... which includes one of five synonyms found in this puzzle's longest answers : TAKES A HINT. I rather like how the "hint" entry is literally a hint.

Today's Wednesday Workout courtesy of Jeff Stillman. A neat enough theme, and plenty of nice fill to enjoy along the way.

Let's get to the rest ...


1. Recitals showing promise : OATHS. I enjoy how "swearing an oath" can be a good or a bad thing, depending on context and circumstance.

6. A way off : AFAR

10. Big name in PCs : ACER. I can't remember the last time I saw one of these - I confess I thought the company was long-defunct.

14. Braid : PLAIT

15. Where to get a bite on the street : CAFE. One of the great pleasures in life is people-watching from a table at a Parisian pavement café over a cup of coffee.

16. Clue weapon : ROPE. I tried "PIPE" first, that didn't work out so well.

19. Friend on "Friends" : ROSS

20. West Point newbie : PLEBE

21. Latin phrase usually shortened : ET ALIA

23. Old hand : PRO

28. Wrestling maneuver : HOLD

30. Term of respect : SIR. Especially when a wrestler has got you in a full-nelson and is trying to dislocate both your shoulders.

31. "Liar!" in a playground : IS NOT

32. Nerdy types : DWEEBS

35. Target : GOAL

37. Shipping wts. : TNS. I'm guessing this refers to the tonnage of the vessel, not the cargo, but I could be wrong. It wouldn't be the first time.

41. NCR product : ATM. Does anyone else make them? NCR are certainly the crossword-friendliest.

44. Reed in a hall : OBOE. We seem to have seen a lot of oboes recently.

45. Stable rides for kids : TRIKES. Fun rides for adult too.

49. Whodunit surprise : TWIST. I spell "dunnit" with a double-n. It reads like "who dune-it" to me when the "n" is singled.

51. Org. with Eagles : B.S.A. Boy Scouts of America have Eagle Scouts. It took a moment for the penny to drop here - when I see "BSA" I think motorcycles, and when I see "Eagles" I think NFL.

53. Coin with 12 stars on its reverse side : EURO. The stars are often erroneously thought to represent the number of countries in the European Community or the members of the Eurozone - they don't.

58. Like some grins : WRY

59. Crate up : ENCASE. Ready for weighing and shipping per 37A.

60. Organisms of a region : BIOTA. A learning moment for me. I'll add it to my lexicon.

62. Not fer : AGIN

68. 53-Across fraction : CENT

69. Maui music makers : UKES. The crossword orchestra comprises ukes and oboes accompanying diva arias.

70. Lingerie fabric : SATIN

71. Envelope-pushing : EDGY

72. Huff and puff : PANT

73. Bard's "between" : TWIXT. Juliet: "Give me some present counsel, or, behold, 'Twixt my extremes and me this bloody knife"


1. Go (for) : OPT

2. __ française : A LA. I was surprised when I learned that "Service à la française" in a restaurant means that all the courses are served at once, rather than one at a time. "Service à la russe"describes the serial method. Who knew that Russia created this concept?  Not me.

3. Pond juvenile : TADPOLE. Wow, this is very close to breaking one of the cardinal rules of not duplicating an answer in a puzzle, especially as it crosses "TAD", which, as we've learned, was derived from TADPOLE. Maybe this was done intentionally but I'm a little uncomfortable with it. What do you all think?

4. "This Kiss" singer Faith : HILL

5. Kept in a pen : STIED

6. Tap into : ACCESS

7. __ Schwarz : FAO. Frederick August Otto founded the store in Baltimore.

8. CIO partner : AFL. Not CIO in the top-banana geek sense of the word. The Congress of Industrial Organizations.

9. Keep up on the issues? : RENEW

10. Neat arrangements : ARRAYS

11. Nuclear reactor need : COOLANT. I'm a little sketchy on the physics involved, but given a cocktail of carbon rods, enriched uranium and water, I'm voting for plenty of water.

12. Delta-zeta connection : EPSILON. The "Alphabet Song" is a little different in Greek. Or E-Z-er?

13. Seasons a bit more : RE-SALTS. My "Oh no, really?" of the day. You don't "re-salt" an under-seasoned dish, you add more salt. Straw poll - have you ever asked anyone to re-salt something? I've asked for salt, I've mentioned that a dish needs more salt, I've wondered if I've under-seasoned something - but- re-salt? Maybe a frozen road needs to be re-salted. Best I can come up with.

18. Pistons' org. : NBA. Detroit hoopsters.

22. Worker who gives people fits? : TAILOR

23. Honorary deg., perhaps : PH.D. Shaquille O'Neal earned his the hard way. That's a big gown.

24. Fracas : ROW

26. Uppermost : HIGHEST

27. Three-time MLB home run king : A-ROD. He gave what seemed to be a genuine apology yesterday regarding his suspension for PED usage.

29. Advent mo. : DEC

33. Voting enclosures : BOOTHS

34. Deli order : SUB

36. Word with modern or cave : ART

39. Mongolian expanse : GOBI

40. Key lime __ : PIE. Could this fill be anything else?

41. Free from strife : AT PEACE

42. Hurt suddenly, as a muscle : TWINGED

43. Preparing garlic, in a way : MINCING. I wallop my garlic cloves on the chopping board with the side of a chef's knife. It peels and minces them all in one go, and is thoroughly satisfying.

46. Persian Gulf native : KUWAITI

47. Make a faux pas : ERR

48. Traditional Asian sauce base : SOY.

50. Like a string bikini : SCANTY. Scanty bikinis and satin lingerie in the same puzzle? How salacious!

52. If all goes according to plan : AT BEST

55. Hopping mad : HET UP

56. Frozen Wasser : EIS. Just right to drop in your schnapps. Look away, Tinbeni

57. Holiday entrée : ROAST. Not just for holidays in my native UK. The Sunday roast was a traditional highlight of the week's meals.

61. Turn to slush : THAW

64. Letters in a police record : A.K.A. I was originally "also known as" "Stephen", my given name. My mother always refused to take a phone call asking for "Steve".

65. Novelist Kesey : KEN

66. Eighty-six : NIX

67. Explosive stuff : TNT. Boom! Trinitritoluene. Here's the recipe:

And with that I'm done! Here's the grid, with "TAD" causing me problems:



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Mostly smooth sailing today, although I absolutely could not figure out the theme since I was thinking of HINT in the sense of "clue" and now "small amount".

I really wanted SKIMPY instead of SCANTY, but that may be a regional thing. Also wondering whether anybody has actually said HET UP in the last, oh, 50 years? Again, maybe it's just a regional thing. Nothing to get HET UP about, certainly...

Seeing TWINGED reminded me of just how sore I am all over from shoveling.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

WBS, exactly. Including the bit about shoveling and soreness.

Morning, Steve, I was surprised not to see your usual Food! in the writeup. I look forward to that... :-)

Rainman said...

No, Steve, I had no huge problem with the two TAD- clues crossing, but maybe I should have had. I had more problem seeing AROD (in any format). You had another company in mind besides NCR on the ATM clue (41A)?

This was a very enjoyable Wed. work, I thought. As usual, getting the theme did not help me much at all.

And I had some delay coming up with BIOTA, ROSS and the entire NE. not sure why.

Thanks, Jeff for the work. Good on you for developing the theme. I breezed through this, but not without some difficulty... and thanks to you two, Mr. Perp and Mr. Wagg. Needed you today.

What day is it???

thehondohurricane said...

Good day everyone,

Nice puzzle from Jeff today with a bit of a bite to it. Thanks for the nice write up Steve. Personally, for me the TAD crossing doesn't bother me one bit. If it is a constructors no no, it;s very minor as far as I'm concerned.

But the AROD apology is another matter. First , I
am sick and tired of all these athletes screwing up big time and then saying I'm sorry. AROD is a druggie who messed up his career. I wish the Yankees would pay him off and kick his ass out of Yankee Stadium. i
I haven'I heard one Yankee fan looking forward to his return. The sincerity expressed in his letter is all a bunch of garbage. He's apologized previously for the same offense.
I'll quit here because I could write a book about my feelings toward this jerk and he ain't worth breaking the 21 line limit rule.

OwenKL said...

A HINT of this, a PINCH of that
MINCED garlic SALTS, but just a DASH!
A DROP, a drab,
The CAFE serves it, so down the hatch!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

The theme today reminds me of Master of the House -- " a little nick, there a little cut. Three percent for sleeping with the window shut. When it comes to fixing prices there are lots of tricks he knows. How it all increases, all those bits and pieces, Jesus! it's amazing how it grows!"

Steve, loved your "Pinch hitter" comment. Roast beef is a bi-weekly event at our house -- good for three meals and a sandwich.

TWINGED is the word that bothered me in this puzzle. I can understand hearin of a muscle twinge. I'm just not used to the verb form. Seems off.

To quote the alternate Wednesday blogger, IMBO.

Big Easy said...

Solving the clues was easily done with the only temporary hiccups being AGE for ART and FED UP for HET UP. I've never come across HET used as a word except in a puzzle but it is used enough so it's not a problem.

I was thinking cooking with DASH, DROP, & PINCH but couldn't see how HINT unified them. Still can't. I guess I'm a TAD short of understanding.

GARLIC- my wife presses it but I just shake it out of a can. Easier with less mess. But it's best eaten whole after being used in a crawfish boil.

ATM maker- DIEBOLD. Every ATM I use seems to have a different screen and format to use ( I only use my bank's ATMs), but the ones that I laugh about are the ones that have BRAILLE coding in the drive-thru. I guess the blind user must be in the back seat because I hope he/she didn't drive to the bank.

Lemonade714 said...

A fine Hump Day diversion, perhaps a TAD bit of controversy, but I will leave question of that crossing to the many real constructors who visit.

Steve hit all my comments with BIOTA and the unappetizing RESALTS (I gave up adding sodium to my food many years ago), and the dubiuous TNS, as I cannot find any reference to this as an accepted abbreviation for any ton or tonne.

We also had THAW, which reminded me that I forgot to mention when we had our puzzle from Mr. Morse on Monday, that Colin Dexter advised that he named his chief inspector Morse after his favourite crossword setter, and Sergeant Lewis after his next favourite. This prompted me to watch some of the original shows with John THAW and the puzzles do show prominently.

Stay warm, we are about to have our winter here for two days.

kazie said...

No real problems today but I had to rely completely on perps for FAO if whom I've never heard. I'm also unfamiliar with Moore or his poem, so that was all WAGS too.

Thanks for the à la française explanation. I find it confusing though, since in France I've only ever had meals served à la russe. Amazing how much we learn here!

I noticed you said "good on you" which is recognizably unamerican English for "good for you". Made me realize I know little about some of our relatively new posters here.

kazie said...

of whom--not if

inanehiker said...

Smooth solve today, with a few slow downs with wanting the stable rides to be "ponies" instead of TRIKES and wanting to put in "fauna" instead of BIOTA. I wasn't sure if DROP was a part of the theme even though it fit, since it was at the back and the others were at the front.
One the RESALTS subject, used to drive my mom crazy that my dad would put salt over his meal without even tasting to see if she had put enough salt on it already.
Thanks Steve for the write-up and Jeff for the puzzle. I always try to guess the blogger on Wednesday from the comments before I see who did it since they have distinctive styles- an extra puzzle for Wednesday!

SwampCat said...

Twixt, twist and twinged - oh my! Even trikes was fun.

Favorite was "Eighty-six" for nix. I got the theme and the theme answers, not always a given for me, but some of the rest was just crunchy enough to be a challenge.

WEES about resalts....and also that Yankee player who shall remain unnamed!

Thanks, Jeff and Steve.

Husker Gary said...

OATHS and TRIKE (as clued), PLAIT and BIOTA and a fun theme were very nice

-I haven’t seen an ACER or DELL for a long time
-We get to see PROS at work here everyday
-Does NCR make an ATM like this to swipe your card?
-Continental Steve quotes Shakespeare for TWIXT, and dopey me picks this (2:18)
-How did labor unions go from greatly benefiting working people to laundering mob money?
-Ah, the lilies of the field – “Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not ARRAYED like one of these.”
-A major COOLANT element at the nuclear power plant 20 miles from here is the Missouri River
-Sports fans here will recognize these two major cogs in the “Bad Boy” Pistons who caused many a ROW
-Elizabeth Robb Douglas (my friend’s ancestor) invented the collapsible voting BOOTH before women had the right to vote. That plant still operates in Crete, NE.
-As you can see here, you can ERR in how your hang your TP. My daughters do it the wrong way.
-Thanks for the kind words (and cake) for our 48th. We enjoyed the basketball game but not the Olive Garden meal.

Barry G. said...

I noticed you said "good on you" which is recognizably unamerican English for "good for you"

Could be another regional thing, as I'm definitely American and have been hearing and saying this for many years. Of course, it's also possible I picked it up somewhere along the line watching British TV shows on PBS or BBC America...

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I must be on the grumpy side this morning because I, too, was annoyed by the two tads, especially by their proximity. Also did not like stied or twinged or resalts. Also did not like seeing (AGAIN!) the infamous, so-called Yankee. Lastly, the reveal says five theme answers; I see only four. Am I missing something?

Thanks, Jeff, for your fine effort and thanks, Steve, for the neat summary.

Have a great day.

Barry G. said...

OK, just ignore my last comment. In a rare moment of clarity, I just remembered exactly when I started saying "Good on you". Back in 2000 I went to Hong Kong to attend the wedding of my best friend (a former college roommate) and met his nephew, who was born and raised in Australia. "Good on you" was his favorite phrase, almost always followed by "mate." I guess it just stuck with me as something fun to say.

In other news, I forgot to mention that I agree that re-salt is yucky and TNS is a pathetic abbreviation.

Nick said...

kazie@8:51: There's lot of stuff each of us doesn't know but no one should be unacquainted with A Visit From St. Nicholas by Clement Clark Moore. Please click here to remedy that.

Nicke said...

Make that Clement Clarke Moore.

Tinbeni said...

Steve: Excellent write-up!
PINCH HITTER is my new favorite clue/answer of the year. (What a surprise ...)

Also liked the clue/answer for RENEW, TAILOR and TRIKES.

WHS (What Hondo Said) re: A-ROD ... and please note, Hondo and I are NY Yankee fans.

Can't say I've shoveled any humidity this winter.
The "high" for tomorrow is only 48 degrees (and sunny!).

A toast to ALL at Sunset.

CrossEyedDave said...

I confidently inked in "cadet" for West Point Newbie, which created a nice inkblot. The rest of the puzzle (except for key lime "pie") was a huge WAGfest which kept me busy for some time....

I still can't believe I WAGged my way thru this...

This may help with the Greek Alphabet.
(but it needs more cowbell...)

I wanted slinky for string bikini. hmm, i wonder what the puppy wants?

Here is a hint to help you with your password...

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Good theme but had to wait until the end to fully get the full synonym relationship; especially DASH : HINT.
Fair though and overall a good solve. Only bumb was I had accede before ACCESS.
Did not know that STY could be used as a verb, but Merriam seems to recognize it in a Scrabble usage.
A little German today: EIS and NIX. NIX is Low German for 'nothing'.
COOLANT - Nuclear reactors are notoriously inefficient from a heat loss standpoint. So large heat 'sinks' are needed as Gary implied.

Have a good day.

HeartRx said...

Irish Miss, the clue for 64-A says "Gets the unspoken message, which includes one of five synonyms...." So the fifth synonym is found in the reveal: HINT.

OwenKL said...

I imagine blind people in cabs are the principle ATM users the Braille is for, but there are some blind people who drive. Extreme far-sightedness can leave people with enough distance vision to drive safely, but still unable to read anything within five feet of their face.

Kazie, I'm sure you'd know Moore in context, and probably FAO as well. Clement Moore is penner of "The Night Before Christmas" with the lines "Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!/ On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!/ To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!/ Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!" And FAO Schwarz is a famous NY toy store that featured in several movies, particularly the 1988 Tom Hanks film Big, in which Hanks and Robert Loggia danced "Heart & Soul" and "Chopsticks" on the store's large floor piano.

I thought TAD was intentional as a theme, and spent some time looking for similar bits in other corners before I got to the reveal.

Irish Miss said...

HeartRx @ 10:00 - Thanks for explaining what should have been obvious, had I read the clue more carefully. 😉

coneyro said...

Morning all!

RE:BIG EASY's lack of comprehension....All of the mentioned words i.e. TAD, DASH, DROP and PINCH are synonyms of the word HINT. In this context the words mean, "A TINY AMOUNT". (Example)....
The beverage contained but a hint of bitters. Get it!

Today wasn't too much of a problem. I also wanted PONIES instead of TRIKES. APPEASE would have been my preferred answer for 41D. Never heard of BIOTA. Words like NERDY and DWEEB annoy me. These refer to the people who actually HAVE brains.
Make fun all you want now, THEY will be looking down on YOU, when they're the successful ones.

I recently junked my ACER desktop. Honestly, I never liked it . Gave me problems from day one.

My entire family has been involved in scouting for decades. I started as a Brownie in the GSA many moons ago, and eventually became a Den Mother. My parents were leaders in Brooklyn, and my son was allowed to join the Cub Scouts at age 6, and kept up very well with the older kids. It was a great experience.

February is almost over already . This month goes by too fast. In reality, it is only two or three days shorter. So why does it feel like so much more?

Time to go. Have a good Wednesday everyone.

HeartRx said...

IM @ 10:21, I chuckled when I read your comment at 9:23, because I had made the same mistake and spent a lot of time focussing on the NW corner with the two TADs.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

I missed the whole TAD thing because I had TOD LINCOLN, which is dumb, since TODD has 2 Ds.

STIED and RESALT are really strained.

Liar = IS NOT doesn't quite work for me.

The theme os good, but I missed it. [sigh]

POLYWOG and TADPOLE have the same number of letters. Ditto SKIMPY & SKANTY

Real Wednesday struggle for me.

The clue for TAILOR is really good. Ditto TRYKES.

PLAIT and TWIXT are nice TWISTs.

Now to read comments.

Cool regards!

Nice Cuppa said...

Steve et alia

For an interesting hypothesis on the 12 stars, and the blue and gold of the European flag, see:

Maybe the 5th synonym for HINT was COUGH in COUGH-DROP, which is OK with HINT, but does not match the other 4.

I was more than a TAD disgruntled with the the 2 TADS, especially as they crossed symmetrically.

ACER is sold through STAPLES stores, but since I've been an APPLE man all my life, I may have walked past them on a hundred occasions without reading the label.

Steve, I too crush/peel garlic in the same way. One of the Brit TV chefs introduced that to me. It's a terrific time-saver when making a decent curry.


Ol' Man Keith said...

'bout the right degree of tensile strength for a Weds pzl. Had to change MELT to THAW, but otherwise a smooth solve.

Roger said...

Scanty and satin, but no pictures?
C'mon Steve!

Bill G. said...

I enjoyed the puzzle (WEES) but the theme exceeded my sussing ability.

Misty said...

Big Easy, I had the same problem--just couldn't see what HINT had to do with TAD, DASH, DROP, and PINCH, even after reading Steve's expo, which didn't really explain it. Thank you, Barry, for finally giving me my AHA! moment. But otherwise fun puzzle and fun write-up.

I wondered if there would be a fuss about the double TAD and, sure enough. And I too couldn't believe that STIED is a real word, even though I figured that had to be it. So even though this Wednesday was quite doable, it sure had lots of quirks, didn't it? Well, that's as it should be for the middle of the week, I suppose.

Have a great day, everybody!

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling Thoughts"

Two days in a row for Moe!

Thanks again to all who wished me a HB yesterday. After taking care of my customer, my SO and I did a little shopping and later on ended up at one of my restaurant accounts to have dinner. She had crab cakes and I had rack of lamb. Both personal favorites so it was a true, win/win! ;^)

Husker Gary - a belated HA to you and your DW; sorry the meal wasn't good. Olive Garden's are usually pretty good

CED - very funny link yesterday to the Stooge Birthday Cake explosion. You could see it coming but was still funny. Thanks! And to answer your question, I sell adult beverages for a living - I work for a distributor and cover a pretty large territory in S Florida

Tinbeni - glad to hear you are all settled into your new digs. Maybe this spring when season is over I'll come pay a visit. I "toasted" my birthday (end of evening) with a nice shot of Black Bottle Scotch; neat, of course!

JD said...

good morning all,

I liked tad 'n tad. What I didn't like we're the abbreviations. many times I feel stupid because they are familiar to most of you, but TNS...
never heard of acer- had Dell for a bit.Het up and resalt did not bring any smiles either. On the other hand, I did find it fun to solve. I'm familiar with biome, but not biota... Had fauna until roast slid in.

Key lime pie is DH's favorite dessert. A few years ago when we were in Key West, instead of doing the pub crawl, every night we tried K.L. Pie at a different restaurant.

Steve said...

Apologies for being vague with the explanation of the theme - thanks to Marti and Coneyro for clearing things up.

WBS - in my experience, "Good on yer" is definitely an Australianism and I think it's borderline illegal to use it without the "mate" suffix.

IMHO, if Rodriguez can still hit, he'll be back in the lineup for the Yankees. He might not be playing third, but the Yanks need a hitter and if he can perform when he's not cheating they'll have him back pronto.

Chairman Moe said...

Regarding ACER

I used an ACER Aspire Notebook for several years with no issues. It uses Microsoft XP as its operating system, so when XP was no longer supported by MS, I finally got a new laptop. Still use the ACER for backup storage and to play games

Regarding today's puzzle

I had a head-scratch regarding the theme, but managed to figure out the answers correctly with no smudges or inkblots.

No issue with the TAD crossings; I am not much of a stickler when it comes to Xword rules and regulations

As for the Delta - Zeta connection, I am pretty good at remembering the Greek alphabet. Reason being, when I was in college, many, many years ago, and was pledging a fraternity, one of the "hazes" was to light a match, and have to recite the Greek alphabet 5 times before the match could be extinguished. You learned VERY quickly

Jazzbumpa said...

owen - very tasty

Regarding those Bad Boy Pistons - Bill Laimbeer was reported to be the only player in the NBA who made less money than his father, a corporate executive.


Pat said...

This was a good Wednesday workout. Thanks, Jeff. I needed some explanations, so I welcomed your write-up, Steve.

My paper had for 2d ___ fran aise. I had no idea what it meant. Oh, they goofed!

florA/BIOTA, try/OPT, melt/THAW, but it all worked out in the end.

I think that Mother Nature and Ol' Man Winter need to give up snow for Lent!

Happy Wednesday!


Anonymous said...

I thought the reindeer's name in Clarke's poem was "Donder" not Donner.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, I whizzed through the top half of the puzzle, but really slowed down when it hit the midpoint.

Stable rides for kids had to be ponies, wouldn't fit! That threw off the whole area there. My granddaughter has a horse, and that's all I could think of for a stable ride.

I also had blow for pant, so the same things happened for that area. After erasing the whole thing and starting over with the known answers, I finally finished on my own. Shouldn't have been so hard, but I shot myself in the foot!

Steve, Sunday Roasts are always served with Yorkshire pudding! The first time I had this was in the UK at a dear friend's house. I've done it since, but can't quite make the pudding like she did--light and very tasty.

Have a great day everyone. I'm still on Jury duty call. Have to call in again at 11:00 a.m. Can't really plan things ahead this week.

Chickie said...

Big Easy, Our blind friend didn't drive to the ATM, but he did walk with his Guide Dog. He said that the Braille added another dimension to his independence. He also was a wicked bowler. It was hard to beat him at the game.

Argyle said...

coneyro said@10:28AM

"February is almost over already . This month goes by too fast."

Sure hasn't seemed like it here.

Chairman Moe said...

Anonymous @ 12:34

Donner is correct; Donner and Blitzen in German means Thunder and Lightning

I know that topics such as religion and politics are verboten here at the Corner, but being that today is the first day of Lent, and traditionally, is a time for sacrifice (i.e., giving up something of pleasure), I couldn't help sharing an old joke regarding this:

What is the definition of a loser?

A loser is a man whose wife gave up sex for Lent, and he didn't realize it until Good Friday!

Husker Gary said...

TP addenda
-I ain’t gonna change it!
-How long was he in there?
-Buck the system
-TP D.C style. Correctly hung by the way.
-I can’t believe I couldn’t stir up a spirited defense of the wrong way to hang it! ;-)

Chairman Moe said...

HG @ 1:00

Regarding the hanging of a roll of TP: I, too prefer the "waterfall" method. (the one in your link called Right?)

Henry Livingston, Jr. said...

Donner? Donder?

How 'bout Dunder and Blixem?

Roger C. said...

I find it funny that yankee fans admonish AROD, yet can't wait for the celebration honoring the known cheater and ped user, Pettit. Btw, their favorite homerun bot, Aaron F. Boone was a fine example of a cheater also.

desper-otto said...

If you've got kittens in the house, the wrong way is preferred. Otherwise you wind up with TP everywhere except on the roll.

Avg Joe said...

Right you are, D O. And small children too. Against the wall loading keeps them from going "Pblblblblblblblblblblblblblb" with the roll, leaving a pile of Charmin on the floor.

Tinbeni said...

Chairman Moe @ 12:59
Being an observer of Lent ...
I'm giving up sobriety ...

kazie said...

Barry G,
Interesting that "good on you" has become such a part of you that you couldn't remember its origin at first. I'm a bit that way too with many expressions I brought with me and now am not always sure which ethnicity they have.

Nick and Owen KL,
Thanks for the refresher on the Christmas poem. Of course I have heard it, but not being a terrific fan of poetry and having the sort of memory that forgets the rest of a phone number I just looked up halfway through dialing it, I never would have remembered the poet's name. Although the line in the quote was remotely familiar, I had forgotten that it was from that old favorite.

Interesting take on the TP roll question. I've always been an over the top person and wondered why anyone would want it otherwise. I must have unconsciously trained my boys to conserve rather than waste it when they were small.

fermatprime said...


Thanks to Jeff, Steve!

No problems, in the end. Had both flora and fauna before the B was cast in stone. Had not heard of TADLINCOLN.

What is a PED?


Lance said...

PED = Performance Enhancing Drug

Ergo said...

Thank you Jeff and Steve.

Struggled a bit with the SW, but the most notable entry was for: "Big name in PC's." I anguished over it, all the while with my mouse mere inches away from the ACER logo on my cpu.

I love these puzzles :-)

Chairman Moe said...

Avg Joe @ 2:15

No kids; no cats. I'm good. And I had to re-read your post, 'cause at first it looked like you said:

". . . leaving a pile of CHAIRMAN on the floor . . ."

I've been known to pass out, but I try to avoid doing so next to the commode!! ;^)

HeartRx said...

OK, re: TP. My stand is "over the top," and I have good evidence for that. When you go into your hotel bathroom, you know how they fold the corners under to form a triangle on the top of the roll, so that you "know" that they have (presumably) cleaned and straightened out the bathroom? That's what I do in my house, especially when I have a party. I find it amusing to see, that even after several people have used the "powder room," the triangle is still there when I go in!!

Avg Joe said...

I saw mention on Yahoo Finance of a refinery explosion in Torrence, CA but can't find anything on TV about it. Did any of you in the LA area hear that blast? Is there a large plume of smoke? BillG, I see you are only a few miles away. I remember a similar explosion in Denver when I lived there, and it woke me up at 5 AM from 20+ miles away.

Chairman Moe, I wish I had such a record. When I was young and foolish, I had way too much champagne at a party, and had to "take a nap". Unfortunately, this was in the bathtub of a one bath house, and I locked the door. Not one of my finer moments:-)

SwampCat said...

HG @1:00... Okay, I'll bite. I'm a Wrong hanging, next to the wall type. My mother was a Wrong. My children are all Wrong. No way I'm changing to over-the- top Right! Heheheheeee

Lemonade714 said...

marti, who in the world do you invite to your house? Camels?

thehondohurricane said...


Andy admitted to using PED's. Show me where AROD has ever admitted to using them. Read his letter carefully and tell me where he mentions what his mistakes were. He has NEVER admitted he used PED's.

Rainman said...


Not sure about the explosion, but I've always heard when it rains in Torrance, it always rains in torrents. Or Torrance. Home of Louis Zamperini, yea.

Argyle said...


OwenKL said...

I'll roll in on The Great TP Debate: My observation is that short people (principally female) prefer under, tall people (principally male) prefer over. In my home, since the LW is short & I am tall, we do it from the right.

HeartRx said...

Lemony @ 4:35, no, it's just that my guests must find it amusing to see the"triangle," and when they are finished with the roll, they re-create it.

Steve said...

@Hondo - it's a legal thing. If Rodriguez admits to PED use during his current contract term, he's in breach of that contract and the Yankees could dump him or sue.

Notice that everyone who fesses up has already retired and thus there's no contractual breach. It doesn't make it right, but that's how it goes.

Bill G. said...

Yes, there was a big explosion at the Exxon/Mobil oil refinery in Torrance this morning. It is maybe six or seven miles away from here. I didn't hear it or feel it (apparently it felt like a 1.5 earthquake) but I saw a bit of coverage on the news.

Boy, I'm glad we bought some Apple stock a few years back...

Q: What do you call a train full of toffee?

A: A chew chew train.

Occasional Lurker now stateside said...

I found the puzzle very challenging, Tad or no Tad...
Thank you Steve for the illuminating blog. Enjoyed it very much.

Reagarding the TP hanging style .... I remember a letter in the magazine 'Nature', no less, that the style of hanging toilet paper was related to the majority of the inhabitants of the house. If the majority was male, the TP came from over the top. If not, not. To me, a lefty, when the roll is on the LHS, it seems more efficient to go from underneath.

Based on the method of TP use, Marti appears to have some very well bred and considerate guests. :-)

Regarding regional styles of speaking - I had to pass through NJ Newark Liberty airport, recently and was running late. I had to go through the TSA inspection for a second time, just having entered the country - and I mentioned this to a lady TSA supervisor, that I might miss my connecting flight. She graciously allowed me to jump to the TSA pre checked line - which was much less crowded. I was hesitant at first, but she said," Go on. Go on ... they wuz very quick, they wuz very quick"...

Thats when I realised I was back in the good ole USA ....

I did use the line, and made my flight. So, in honor of this well meaning lady, I would like to propose that some nice constructor could use the regional or provincial grammaticisms ( I don't know what else to call them - ) as a Friday theme entry ... so we can all think way outside the box. Just a thought.

Argyle said...

Please ... cap each post length at about 20 lines in Preview mode.

Chemistry sous-chef said...

Steve, not to nit pick but,

On Page 1 of the blog, you've shown us the molecular formula of Tri Nitro Toluene, with 2d stereo specificity


The recipe for TNT would be the slow addition of stochiometric moles of toluene with fuming nitric acid and copious amounts of oleum ( fuming sulphuric acid - for dehydration) at about 350oC. The triple nitration is generally done in a three step process because of the exothermic reaction of the methyl molecule of toluene. etc.

As for the peeling of garlic pods, you may want watch a youtube video where separated garlic pods are collected in 2 big stainless steel basins and, as you would say, walloped around, and they come out throughly cleaned and dehusked. I'm afraid I can't link the video right now.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

DW is freshening-up after our eve out for her B-Day, so here's my two CENTs... Thanks Jeff - NW and BIOTA gave me the most issues. I put a T into AT(B/T)EST knowing it was wrong and yep DNF. Oh well it was fun.

Thanks Steve and I will agree on 13d My 1st thought was "kick up" ALA Emiril. dell nor ACER would agree.

Wow, more SPI trivia today. Almost went w/ Todd, but thought, IS NOT, that's Mary Todd. TAD - Doh. (I did raise and eyebrow at TAD xing TAD, but who cares? Both were solid.)

I cut the top-end, slap the chef-knife and easily peel the garlic. MINCING? - no sliced. My sauce has more than a HINT.

I'll weigh in on the great TP debate - since I'm the only one who ever seems to re-fill the feeder, I put it over the top (cornered like Marti just for giggles). DW just leaves a new roll on the floor?!? I've asked why - "you're just sitting there w/ nothing else to do..."

Cheers, -T

Anonymous T said...

Oops, re: 13d; thought was "kicks up." C, -T

coneyro said...

Funny story regarding 1A. Had B__M. Figured 2D ended with "UP" because I originally thought "EATUP" but what starts with an "O"?. After entering answer for 17A, the term "LAPTOP COMPUTER" came into my mind because of the theme. Then AHA...,"LAPUP" Never heard of the word "BLAM"

Not too hard for a Thursday. Unknowns to me were LANA, ANDREI, OSU, CRI, APACE.

Also laughed when I read the Yiddish word "DRECK". My father used this to describe the quality of today's workmanship. Brought back memories.

All in all, a fun solve.

coneyro said...

Sorry. Left off after knowing that "EATUP" was wrong, thought of "BOOM". That's where the "O" came from.