Mar 20, 2015

Friday, March 20, 2015, Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: PeePee time.

A return to Friday for another of my favorite regular constructors, Jeffrey Wechsler, who gives us five two word phrases, with the first word ending in P and the second starting with P but one of the Ps is eliminated. Gratuitously for my write up I have chosen the P at the beginning of the second word as the eliminated letter. For me, the key to all letter adding or subtracting is the wit in the reveal and here is a really fun one. If I had been eating SPLIT PEA SOUP I would have spit pea soup. I started out with a bit of trouble only because the HUMAN BRAIN has such adaptive qualities that I read STRIPOKER, as if both Ps were present. There have been so many studies of this phenomenon, it was cool to see it as the basis of a puzzle. So what did one P say to the other P? "Time to split, man." The grid also has incorporated the reveal and one themer in the downs, which I always like. Lots of workable but challenging fill EARTHEN, HAD A KID, OLD WEST, WREATHE, APPARENT, GET A BITE, HARRISON, HOOSIERS and some shorter fun words ADDLED, BURROW, CANTOR, OCTAVE, ORIENT, PARSEC, SCATHE, URANIA.

A nice balance with some crunch to make you earn the Ta Dah.

17A. Where shirts may be lost? : STRIP POKER (9). I like the double entendre of the clue/fill as you can lose your shirt, literally and lose your shirt figuratively playing poker.

32A. California Marine Corps base : CAMP PENDLETON (12). OOH RAH. What do our resident marines think of its ban?

39A. Realm of some self-help books : POP PSYCHOLOGY (12). My undergraduate degree.

62A. Update : KEEP POSTED (9). I now recognize KYP, in texting. (Keep You Posted).

13D. Travel agent's suggestions : TRIP PLANS (8). My least favorite of the theme, but needed to balance the reveal.

35D. Soup variety, and a feature of five puzzle answers : SPLIT PEA (8). As mr. Gleason would say, And away we go....


1. Shoot the moon : GO BIG. This was real challenge as well, because it has so many meanings, and I mostly associate with Hearts where you must take all hearts and the Queen of Spades.

6. "Say from whence / You __ this strange intelligence?": Macbeth : OWE. Not my favorite play, but:

Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more.
By Sinel’s death I know I am thane of Glamis.
But how of Cawdor? The thane of Cawdor lives,
A prosperous gentleman, and to be king
Stands not within the prospect of belief,
No more than to be Cawdor. Say from whence
You owe this strange intelligence, or why
Upon this blasted heath you stop our way
With such prophetic greeting. Speak, I charge you.

9. Word of possibility : MIGHT.

14. MDX maker : ACURA. An SUV.

15. __ Pacis: altar of Peace : ARA.  This EDIFICE. PAX, was the Roman goddess of peace, from whence we derive Pax Vobiscum.

16. Tough test metaphor : A BEAR.

19. Dish man? : PETRI.  An interesting  STORY about a very cultured man.

20. Measurement for Sagan : PARSEC. Carl is back. Twice. 58A. Muse for Sagan : URANIA. A bit of a scientific mini-theme with the Galileo reference. This amusing MUSE.

21. One sending out bills : ATM. Automated Teller Machine. Nice deception.

23. Field guard : TARP. More fun cluing, for the tarpaulin protecting the baseball diamond.

24. Bolivian president Morales : EVO. A member of an Indigenous Tribe in Bolivia as well as a Coca farmer. LINK.

25. Denounce unmercifully : SCATHE. I do not go in for the Rex Parker tendency for scathing reviews.

27. Natl. debt unit : BILlion. Sadly trillion is the real answer.

28. Mountain __: soft drinks : DEWS. There are many kinds.

30. White : ASHEN.

31. Galileo's birthplace : PISA. His BIOGRAPHY.

35. Snowboarding gold medalist White : SHAUN.

38. Begins : OPENS. Our write begins with a made up theme/name.

45. Easy pace : LOPE.

46. Idle colleague : PALIN. No Sarah but Monty Python and Fish Called Wanda star MICHAEL. Nice Eric Idle misdirection..

47. Conan Doyle, for one : SCOT. The damn Scott's Lawn commercials have ruined it for me.

51. "Love __ Rose": Neil Young song : IS A. Neil got bashed for his CSNY work.

52. At sea : ADDLED. Not out on the ocean but confused.

54. LAX stat : ARRival.

55. Fade out : TIRE which describes how I feel about...

57. Film with six sequels : SAW.

60. Equals : PEERS.

64. Kovacs of early TV comedy : ERNIE.

65. Tao follower? : ISM. Taoism.

66. "JFK" director : STONE. Oliver.

67. Late bloomer? : ASTER. They bloom in the fall.

68. Skid row woe : DTS. Delirium Tremens, the shakes.

69. Prepares for recycling : SORTS.


1. Suddenly inspired : GASPED. Along with the equally confusing 5D. Is visibly thunderstruck : GAPES. These words do confound me.

2. Staff span : OCTAVE. Musical staff.

3. Underground shelter : BURROW.

4. Camera component : IRIS.

6. Sturdy tree : OAK.

7. Encircle : WREATHE. Not a usage to which I was familiar, but of course it makes sense.

8. Like 3-Downs : EARTHEN.

9. Place for an X, perhaps : MAP. It marks the spot.

10. "That's dubious" : I BET. The tone must be sarcastic.

11. Go for lunch, say : GET A BITE. Not related but see 41D. Started one's family, casually : HAD A KID.

12. President who signed the Sherman Antitrust Act : HARRISON.  Benjamin who was the grandson of William Henry and president before and after Grover Cleveland. This ACT. Shall we break up Apple?

18. Razor man? : OCCAM. It is simple, it really is.

22. Patch : MEND.

26. Venomous snake : ASP.

29. Informal pardon? : 'SCUSE. Is this supposed to be English?

31. 1666 London fire chronicler : PEPYS. A glimpse into the past with his DIARY.

33. "__ luck?" : ANY. Luck had nothing to do with it.

34. Two-by-four source : LOG. Simple, elegant.

36. Classic 1986 sports movie : HOOSIERS.

37. Obvious : APPARENT.

40. Makers of many skeds : CPAS. I am sure accountants use it but I do not like 'sked.'

42. Grey area? : OLD WEST. Zane Grey that is.

43. Small, made smaller : LIL.

44. Get ahead of : ONE UP.

48. Fixture at Rosh Hashanah services : CANTOR. At all services.

49. Put on course : ORIENT.

50. Masonry and such : TRADES. One of my mother's brothers taught masonry at trade school in Brooklyn, Connecticut.

53. Metallic waste : DROSS.

56. City on its own lake : ERIE. A shout out to our own.

59. In the matter of : AS TO.

61. Sun. delivery : SERmon. Ecumenical equal time for the Church.

63. Acute care initials : EMS. Emergency Medical Services.

Thank you Jeffrey, I had a really good time. I hope you and all the others have a great week end at ACPT, and I hope everyone has a great spring. Lemonade a bit under the weather signing out.

Notes from C.C.:

1) Welcome back, Gary! What Irish Miss said yesterday: You were missed and no more setbacks allowed! Now we need Yellowrocks to check in.
2) Happy Birthday to Commander Al (Spitzboov), a blog regular whose loyalty, friendship and advice I've been relying on the past few years. Al served in the Navy Reserve for over 20 years and retired as Commander. You can click here for more pictures of Spitzboov, Betty  and Argyle at the Washington County Fair last August.

 Spitzboov and Argyle with John (Deere)
3) Happy Birthday to John28man as well. The lady in his avatar picture is his wife. They were in a restaurant in Vienna, Austria.



OwenKL said...

AS TO the puzzle, I'm sure I'll agree with WEES. I had to turn on red letters with it only half full. Instead, I'm going to give some limerickal mnemonic to the Nine Muses (and their pronunciations), since I can never remember any except my own, Erato & Thalia, and needed perps for Carl Sagan's Muse, URANIA.

A poet guilelessly inquired
If a MUSE would be required.
It's said he GASPED
When at last he grasped
That only thus could he be INSPIRED!

For History we turn to Clio
To tell us how things turned for real.
While with Poetry
'Tis Calliope
Who tells Epic stories of deeds ideal!

Ballads sad and love-Songs chirpy
Are the realm of Muse Euterpe.
Lyric Poems of Erato
Rhyme and meter faring just-so,
Make the verses recite-worthy!

OwenKL said...

Hubris or vile enemy
Feeds Tragedy to Melpomene.
Pious Polyhymnia
Beseeches far Olympia
With Hymns fair as anemone!

Dancers cherish Terpsichore
Limber as graceful trickery.
Pratfalls follow Thalia
In Comedy's regalia,
Honest laughter is her victory!

It may seem some bizarre mania
To include as Muse, URANIA
What art's to see
In Astronomy?
The wonders in our cosmic crania!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all (and welcome back, Gary, and Happy Birthday to Spitzboov and John28man)!

I pecked away at this one for a long time, getting a little bit here and a little bit there. I finally figured out the theme (long after actually getting the theme reveal) when I realized there just weren't enough letters to fill in POP PSYCHOLOGY. Still didn't quite understand why it was a "split pea", but at least I knew what was going on.

Knowing the theme helped a bit, but I ended up crashing and burning in the NE corner. I knew there was supposed to be a fifth theme answer somewhere around there, but I just couldn't come up with TRIPLANS. Plus, I had MAYBE and ASIF where MIGHT and IBET belonged, and that just killed me. I finally turned on the red letter help to clear out the wrong answers there and that let me finish.

BIL for the national debt? I agree that TRIL would be more accurate.

Oh -- and I did manage to get PEPYS with a little per help, so that was nice...

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Lemonade and friends. Ouch! This one hurt my brain. TRIPLANS was my Rosetta Stone for this theme.

Some fun misdirections, however. I especially liked Dish man = PETRI and Field guard = TARP.

Bette Midler also sang Love IS A Rose.

Happy Birthday Sspitzboov and John29man

QOD: Forget about style; worry about results. ~ Bobby Orr (b. Mar. 20, 1948)

Give Peas A Chance said...

I wouldn't say that one of the "P"s was eliminated (which one?), I'd say that one "P" did double-duty. It's function was split between the two words.

Lemonade714 said...

GPAC your comment may reflect what Jeffry had in mind, hopefully he will stop by and let us know. Our goal in a write up is to explain how we solved. It is just an opinion. Either way, it was a cool reveal.

HBDTY Spitzboov and John28man
and many more

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I finally got the theme at CAMPENDLETON and was able to go back up and put in STRIPOKER. Thought SHAUN was spelled with a W and the "metallic waste" was SCRAP. Finally, it all came together, and in good Friday solving time.

Here's that Neil Young song sung by a very young Linda Ronstadt 2:15.

Happy Birthday to our pair of birthday boys, Spitz and John28man.

OwenKL said...

Lemon: PETRI was cultured? *GROAN*. No wonder your degree was in POP Psych!

But really, thanks for giving explications of so many answers, in addition to just the bald solutions!

Anonymous said...

Give Peas A Chance, of course you are correct. "Split Pea … each of today’s themed answers comprises two words, and there is a letter P that is SPLIT between the end of the first word and the start of the second." Claiming that the write-up is an opinion and not a correct explanation is bunk. I've witnessed countless posts here explaining the facts of a theme or a clue. Cheers to you for clearing up the actual theme. I was confused(once again) by Lemonade's summary.

Jerome said...

STONE is my favorite director. HOOSIERS?

Song sung in praise of the razor man- "OCCAM, let us adore him"

thehondohurricane said...

Happy birthday to Spitzboov & John28man. Have a wonderful day.

Avg Joe said...

Ouch! Brain hurts! Too early for this much work. Got it, but what a workout.

HBD, Spitz and John! Hopefully you're both having nice weather on this first day of spring.

HowardW said...

Jerome, nice one about OCCAM!

As for the national debt, yes, sadly it is in the trillions. "A BIL here and a BIL there, pretty soon you're talking about real money."

A toughie. In the NW, I got off to a bad start with BUNKER rather than BURROW. I was on the same wavelength as the composer and got PALIN right off.

No ta-dah when completed - I had misremembered EMT and put ETS instead of EMS for 63D. Turning 65A into "IST", which made sense. Found it after a little search though, and earned that satisfying sound.

I would have liked to see APPARENT lose one of its Ps, although the other theme entries are all two words. And PEPYS sounds close to the title -- I wonder if that was intentional.

HowardW said...

Oh yes, happy Spring to all!

It's about 20 degrees outside (in MA), but it will edge up to above freezing today. The weather needs to catch up to the calendar!

HeartRx said...

Happy birthday Commander Spitzboov and John28man! Really glad to see you back, HG.

Hands up for "bunker," "maybe" and "as if" instead of the correct answers at first. I finally erased bunker, and was able to muddle my way around enough to find STRIPOKER.

But it still wasn't off to the races. MOF it took me almost as long as a Sunday. But I refused to give in, and stubbornly stuck with it to the end. So it turned out to be a very satisfying solve all around.


kazie said...

Came to an early slow stop despite already having sussed the theme and having two of them solved. So I came to the blog to cheat and see what the other three were before continuing on my own. I like that I can do that without looking further into the solved clues, then I can at least try a bit more after the initial frustration.

I'm not into so much slang, and I definitely don't like skeds at all. But I did recognize it from the last time it showed up here. I didn't know what "shoot the moon" was and wondered if it was slang for mooning someone--but I guess that's already slang, isn't it?

Also, now that we've been trained to expect ETA or ETD for an airport stat, they're slipping in ARR quite regularly, and I have to be open to more options there.

Friday level, but with that little bit of cheating, I got a lot more out that would otherwise have remained blank.

HBTY Spitz and John28man!

Yellowrocks said...

Happy birthday, Spitzboov and John28man.
Gary, I was sorry to hear about your relapse, but glad you are back home. Healing thoughts go out to you every day.
CC, thanks for asking about me. I am coming along better than expected. I am quite mobile and almost pain free, so I can drive and do attend the dances. I am not allowed to bend my knee back at more than a 90 degree angle at this point, so I am not dancing yet. The rehab for a repair is much more conservative and time consuming than for a replacement. It will all work out in due time.
I have been lurking all this time and enjoying all your posts. I think most of my energy is directed toward healing, leaving my brain somewhat scattered and mushy.
I enjoyed today's puzzle although it was quite difficult for me and I used a few red letters. The W in SAW and OUT WEST needed an alphabet run. Oh my! Brain dead, I guess.

kazie said...

Wishing continued healing to Yellowrocks and Gary!

unclefred said...

Total DNF, far more whitw than fill. Started befuddlement right at 1a, which I couldn't get. Then put "maybe" where "might" should have been, which pee-peed up the NE....permanently. Never did get any further in the NE. This puzzle just totalled my brain.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

My poor brain has had a tough week, as I had to prep to take A BEAR of an exam (we're talking big, angry, toothy, slobbering bear here) so I actually thought I wouldn't finish this crafty Jeff Wex creation. First pass was grim. However, I was sure of the camp name, and figured some double P trickery was afoot. From there it was solvable.

Happy Birthday Spitz and John28!

Welcome home HG, and hello Yellowrocks, speedy mending to both of you!

Long Island is receding behind me, and in a short time I'll be driving in Connecticut. Cheers!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Happy Birthday to Spitz and John28man; hope you both do something special!

YR, glad to hear of your continued progress. You'll be back dancing before you know it!

9A Tough test metaphor=A bear fits today's solve to a T. I finished w/o help but only because, like Marti, I'm too stubborn to give up. I wasn't on JW's wave length at all with the cluing, but I did catch the theme early on, which helped. Triplans was the least obvious of all the theme answers.

Thanks, (I think!) Jeffrey, for a challenging offering and thanks, Lemony, for the informative write-up.

Happy Spring to all.

Have a great day.

C6D6 Peg said...

Yes, it was A BEAR of a puzzle, only because I couldn't get off of MAYBE instead of MIGHT. Took a break, thought about it, and finally came up with the correction. Thank you Jeffrey for a real workout.

Thanks, Lemonade, for your input as always.

Big Easy said...

Getting the theme was a piece of cake. Finishing the puzzle, no way. STRIPOKER came immediately as did all the long fills except KEEPOSTED. Add that to obscure clues and it was crash and burn Friday.

Even with Lemonade's write-up, I have no idea what or who OCCAM is. I WAGged OWE, but ARA, SCATHE, WREATHE, and EARTHEN started my downfall to the HAD A KID, PALIN, and OLD WEST directly below. Missed them all. I kept thinking 50 shades, not ZANE.

I was thinking TRIP MAPS for 13D until MAP filled 9D.

I thing Mr. Wechsler needs to review the National Debt because it is in TRILLIONS, not billions.

The corners fell easily but this one was just too tough for me.

Jayce said...

Required a lot of help (cheating) to finish this one. I liked Dish man and Razor man.
Wonderful pictures of Argyle, Spitzboov, and Betty.
Happy Birthday, John28man.
Best wishes to you all. Please keep on healing, Gary.

coneyro said...

TGIF everyone.

What a challenge. The bottom half went well, but the top killed me.

I had taken the theme to mean that the other "P" split, as in "took a hike"(left). Still did not help with 17A or 13D.

Also wanted MAYBE & BUNKER instead of MIGHT & BURROW. SHOFAR would have been a more relevant clue instead of CANTOR.

In the end, a valient effort, but no TA DA.

Awaiting the weekend "puzzlecatastrophe". Painkillers at the ready.

Lemonade714 said...

Big Easy. we have had many prior references to Occam's razor, so my explanation was short.

Occam's (or Ockham's) razor is a principle attributed to the 14th century logician and Franciscan friar William of Ockham. Ockham was the village in the English county of Surrey where he was born. The most useful statement of the principle for scientists is: "when you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better."

Misty said...

Well, I knew this would be a toughie and I would probably have to cheat--but I also like Jeffrey's puzzles. Yes, this one was A BEAR. I knew it had to be CAMP PENDLETON--I live in southern California--but it just wouldn't fit--drove me crazy. And I knew the current debt was in the TRILLIONS so that created another problem. At least I knew PEPYS and remembered ERNIE Kovacs. But when I look at the puzzle in the end, it is really clever and funny. So thanks, Jeff, and thanks for giving us that great chunk of "Macbeth," Lemonade.

Happy birthday, Spitz and John.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Lucina said...

Hello, word wizards!

Happy birthday Spitz and John28man! I hope you have a rocking celebration.

I have a love/hate relationship with Jeffrey's puzzles and seeing his name starts me in a negative mood. However, I caught the theme at the CAMP since it is familiar to me. So splitting the P's was the easy part.

NW almost defeated me, in fact, did, as I missed the P in PARSEC, ironically.

However, I was more than satisfied at finishing a Jeffrey W and laughed at Grey area realizing it referred to Zane who wrote about the OLD WEST and (Eric) Idle' colleague, PALIN.

PEPYS and OCCAM are old friends from long ago, not that I'm so old, but studied about them.

YR and Gary:
It's good to have you both back. Healing thoughts for you.

Have a wonderful spring day, everyone!

Anonymous said...

Curious clue, "staff span," as the actual span of either treble or bass clef staff is a ninth, not an octave.

Spitzboov said...

Good afternoon everyone.

Thanks for all the good birthday wishes.

Tough one for me, today. One white-out - had Brit before SCOT for Doyle. Also had lens before IRIS making the NW difficult. ……PEA was helpful realizing there was sculduggery afoot with the double p's; eventually got it all sorted out. Needed help with PALIN and EVO.

Happy Birthday to John28man.
Gary, glad you're back with us and you keep recovering.

Have a good day, everyone.

Husker Gary said...

-A delightful torture today! It took some time but hey, I’ve got it…
-As usual, can’t top Lemon’s summative paragraph
-TRI PLANS (3 rtes?) was confusing pre-theme
-Pitch is the card game of choice here where you can “shoot the moon”
-They found pseudomonas floating in my PETRI dish Monday
-Famous BILlion quote
-My cheesy PISA souvenir
-Getting a solid STONE unlocked ambiguous corner for me
-My first staff span was TENURE, a CELLAR is a pretty common underground shelter here and ANATOMY wasn’t Grey’s area
-OJ’s jury disregarded evidence and OCCAM
-The harder I worked, the luckier I got
-Check out the nickname for that team in Hoosiers
-I enjoyed masonry work but my back is no fan at 68 yrs old
-HBD, Commander and John28man. YR, you go girl!

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling Thoughts":

HBD Greetings to Spitz and John28man

WEES, this was A BEAR from the get go. I had FURROW for 3d; HAD KIDS for 41d; struggled at first with how to fit CAMP PENDLETON into 12 spaces; then I solved 35d and the V8 can hit me upside the head

Regardless of solving the theme early, I had to google a half dozen clues and still FIW due to a misteak (pun intended) in 1a, 65a and 63d. I never was into the SAW series of films so this one was a complete WAG once I figured out 62a - just one big mess

Owen seems to be back with his limericks; if he is absent every now and again I will be RWAA

Have a nice weekend, all; guessing I will have to bone up for a Silkie tmw ...

CanadianEh! said...

WEES about this puzzle being A BEAR! I got the SPLITPEA theme early and that helped a little but still required Google and red letter help to finish. Ockham before OCCAM, elm before OAK, bunker before BURROW. Today it is LOPES not trots. I had gasps for GAPES and just had a lightbulb about meaning of inspired!

Fun challenging solve. HBD Spitzboov and John28man. Glad to hear YR and HuskerGary are on the mend.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Very rough - and no kiddin'. The use of GAPES and GASPED had me screaming too, although I have come 'round to accept the latter. The former just isn't in use. Its cognate, AGAPE, is sometimes heard or read, but I can't recall a single time I've heard "He gapes" or "She's gaping" or "They all just gaped." Somehow the technical possibility doesn't rise to the level of real time usage.
PEPYS was my first fill. Nothing but that on my first go-through.

As for the main theme, it was fun. I knew CAMP PENDLETON had to be correct despite the mismatched number of spaces. But then I solved SPLIT PEA, and it opened the door to the other answers.
I had FURROW before BURROW, and that made 1A the last answer I was able to fill before "Ta-DAH!"

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

HBD Spitz and John28.

Dish men are great. Terrific verticals. So much to love about this puzzle.

Sadly, though, for me the brilliantly executed theme was not part of it. Clever as it is, I am not thrilled when you and up with a bunch of mispelt frazes.

Yes, A BEAR indeed. It mauled me in the south central. PALIN is a total unknown. Wanted ANATOMY for Grey area. Gave it up but had alternating blanks that would not fill.

ERNIE Kovacs gave me very helpful foothold. Still, a DNF.

The national debt looks like a BIG SCARY NUMBER. To put it in context, it's on the same order as GDP - about the same as after WW II. What did we do then? The Marshall Plan, the G I Bill, the Space Program, the Interstate Highway System, and the Great Society. And all the while the national debt came down. The lesson of history is that the answer is not austerity. It is to grow the economy.

Happy weekend.

Cool regards!

Jerome said...

Howard- You're a man with incredibly good taste.

john28man said...

Thank you all for your congratulations. We are, in fact, going out this evening to a restaurant that when you get there you see a door and behind it a stairway going down. It is called the Salt Cellar. There are atrium so its doesn't feel like a cellar. it is rated highly for seafood.

Lemonade714 said...

Jerome, the problem is we regulars are all so used to your incredible wit we forget to praise it. We get there only half of the time.

Unclefred and birthday boy John28man, nice to hear from you both.

Anonymous said...

I do puzzles for fun. This one wasn't at all. Stupid gimmicks and arcane clues made it more work than it was worth.

Also in response to a comment yesterday, not all who comment here anonymously are "internet trolls". Some of us are not judgmental at all.

Anoa Bob said...

From the It's-A-Small-Xword-World department: On Mon., 3/16, NYT blogger Amy Reynaldo ( had a picture of Percy Dovetonsils, one of Ernie Kovacs' characters, in her write-up. That inspired me to watch a You Tube video of Ernie's appearance on Groucho Marx's "You Bet Your Life". Good stuff. And today ERNIE shows up again.

I didn't remember what became of him, so went to wiki and was saddened to find out he died in an automobile accident in L.A. in '62 at the age of 42. Tragic loss of a comic genius, methinks.

Rainman said...

First, happy natal anniversaries to Spitzboov and John28.
I turned on Google (check out their Doodle today) help about halfway through and enjoyed finishing. Nice offering (good misdirections), nice theme, very nice write-up.
-Split pea always reminds me of Pea Soup Andersen's restaurant/motel chain. There was a time when I always stopped there and had the "Traveler's Special," all-you-could-eat split pea soup, milk shake, onion bread, pumpernickel, and a wee glass of dessert wine, $4.95. Not sure how much it costs today. Place is a national monument, or should be; they're down to two locations, yikes.
-- Pea Soup Andersen's
-- A woman who married a multi-billionaire spent money at the fixed rate of $1,000 a day. Every three years or so she'd go back to her husband and ask for another million. He got very tired of this (asking for more money) so next time he gave her $1 billion. Well, 3,000 years later she was back asking for more money!!!
-Happy vernal equinox, especially to all my MA, NY, CT and New England friends... you need it.

Irish Miss said...

On this first day of Spring, I'm looking out the window at the falling snow. ACK!

Yellowrocks said...

Newspapers are great exemplars of word usage and a fine way to build vocabulary for use in crosswords. For example;
"I walk around gaping, looking like those people in New York craning their necks to see the top of some random building on Sixth Avenue.
New York Times Mar 17, 2015

"Something to gape at, then turn away, thankful it wasn’t them."
Washington Times Mar 14, 2015

"...customized a black van with pictures of his creation, causing bystanders to gape and snap photos."
New York Times Feb 4, 2015

In another sense:
"There are gaping holes in the roof, and patches of grass sprout from the walls."
Washington Post Feb 19, 2015

"A severed head, lying about a yard away, bares a single gold tooth and a gaping exit wound in the back."
Los Angeles Times Feb 2, 2015

Yellowrocks said...

Today we have our "onion snow" Have any other (former) Pennsylvanians heard this term?
Wise Geek:
"Onion snow" is a regional term used primarily in the state of Pennsylvania, referring colloquially to the final snowfall before the end of the spring season. Some sources indicate that the onion snow an indicator of when the appropriate time has arisen to plant onions. Onion snow is defined as a light snow that melts quickly. This regional expression is said to originate from Pennsylvania Dutch culture and language.

Anonymous said...

Small made smaller was a great clue.

Finished with great difficulty.

Got the theme early on and used it relentlessly shoving P's wherever they'd fit before I even looked at the clues.

Had URAN, never heard of the muse, and had to ORIENT myself as is often required in my TRADE to deal with partial information by using other information.

I wanted STONES to cross STONE, but no.

I really wanted Grey area to be Anatomy, but the O from (P)SYCHOLOGY told me I was being too "clever." Not a fan of Westerns.

BIL is an amount, DOL is a unit.

Had SIRS for SCOT for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, much too long.


Some tough love from Wechsler, today.


Avg Joe said...

Since YR opened the door asking about familiarity of sayings and colloquialisms, I've got one of my own....pertaining to split pea soup.

I grew up in a rural area, and often went to a little road house type bar in a small village that had various soups on the menu each day. Split pea was offered often. When it was, you could count on someone saying: "Well, I haven't found any ham, but I did find a piece of string. You should rename this String Soup."

Has anyone else heard this stale old joke, or is it just from my little slice of paradise? ;-)

Lucina said...

You always make me laugh!

Jerome said...

Lemon- Thanks, but needing praise is never my MO. Usually I'm a pretty serious guy. Writing about the wackiness I find in puzzles keeps the silly kid in me alive. I realize some people, if not most, think it's really stupid stuff. I'm cool with that. In fact, I'd worry about the state of the world even more if they didn't.

I would comment more about the puzzles, but as a constructor I'm not comfortable doing that with other people's work. I know the time and effort and thought that goes into creating them, so I'll just leave the comments about them for others to make.

CrossEyedDave said...

I finished it in ink!
(Unfortunately about a third of the answers were provided by Google, but I did learn a lot...)

Difficult but enjoyable, my only Meh would be Bil@ 27A

Still, a lot to like, like 42D Grey area? = Old West (Thank you Sherman Potter of M*A*S*H* for this info.) & 41D started ones family, casually. (had to be filled in very carefully...)

WBS about the NE corner, to me, word of possibility is "maybe." it didn't help that it fit with map. & it doubly didn;t help that Harrisons 1st name was Benjamin, which kind of reinforced it. (but who calls presidents by their 1st names?)

21A One sending out bills = ATM
1st, it's not a person & 2nd, no abbreviation notice,, a double deception... nicely done!

HG, Love that Pisa souvenir!

Anon @ 12:24 Staff span bugged me too, I had all sorts of images to nitpick until I realized that A to A & C to C are spans on a staff that are octaves. I would like to complain, but Jeffrey got both of us on that one...

Lemon! You actually made me cringe with your description of Petri!

HBD Spitzboov! ( I don't know who Jules is, but you have got to like the artistry!)

HBD John28man I tried to link the menu for the Salt Cellar in Colorado Springs, but apparently it's a chain, & the nearest I could find was in Arizona...

Spitzboov said...

CED @ 1644

I suspect that Jules was a crew member who served aboard USS Hobby (DD-610), a Benson class destroyer. This class immediately preceded the well-known Fletcher class DD's.

CrossEyedDave said...


Lemon, I am confused by your reference to a Marine Ban? (Ooh Rah?)

Also, we have had Peas before, & they are difficult to find silly links for, (as Lemon could attest, the poles are missing...)

But I must say this puzzle has found a new & refreshing insight into Ps.

Unfortunately I am stuck with the same old links...




CrossEyedDave said...

Hmm, in retrospect, that last link could have (with a lil stretching) been a theme link...

Maynard G Krebs said...


You are so wrong on so many levels.

The P Split man. It flew the coop. It blew this Popsicle stand. You dig man ?

Spitzboov said...

CED @ 1712 - Would that theme be lagomorphs dropping their peas all over the floor?

Bill G. said...

Happy birthday John28 and Spitz! Have a great day !

Here's a video about some really cute animals enjoying themselves. FUN!

CrossEyedDave said...

Holy Crap Spitzboov! This day has me Googling all over the place...

Manac said...

Shoot The Moon

Big Easy said...

JazB- you can't borrow your way to prosperity. 'Investing' by increasingly borrowing more is just robbing Peter to pay Paul. Never worked; never will.

Lemonade714 said...

Jerome all I was saying is that I appreciate your wit your comments and your presence here even if I fail to say anything.

Sleep well all

fermatprime said...


Mostly WBS.

Happy belated birthday, Spitzboov and John. Great pictures!

Couldn't get to sleep due to leg pains (not cramps). So I slept today!


fermatprime said...

Jerome: Love your comments!

Owen: thanks!

RetFizz said...

Benj. Harrison was between the two Cleveland terms, not the other way around.
Took me a long time to get him.

Anonymous T said...

Hi all - What unclefred said... ouch. I tried USD and YEN? for 27a. I could never get a toehold past PARSEC (thanks to lens, er, IRIS) and finally TITT. I'm on the MEND with a Dos Equis now.

HBD Spitz & John28!

Good to see YR back too.

Cheers, -T

Anonymous T said...

Oh, and YoYo trick is all I could think of for Shoot the moon. A generational thing?

Cheers, -T
//Don't bother watching the whole thing - it doesn't get better after :20.

Argyle said...

RetFizz, excellent catch.

OwenKL said...

Sorry RatFizz & Argyle.
Harrison was before Cleveland's second term and after Cleveland's first term, so Lemon had it correct in saying " Benjamin who was the ... president before and after Grover Cleveland."

Argyle said...

So it's after and before. Wouldn't that be more correct, timewise?

Lemonade714 said...

Of course you are correct in a linear examination, but my observation was meant to be thought provoking and a tad misleading for entertainment purposes. Both statements are correct, yours more descriptive of the way things happened, but mystatement was not incorrect.