Mar 5, 2015

Thursday, March 5, 2015 C.C. Burnikel

Theme: "Unchained Melody?"

If you only look at the surface of the answers, the puzzle may have seemed rather run-of-the-mill:

1-Across. *Onetime owner of Waldenbooks : KMART.

5-Down. *Bullseye logo company : TARGET.                  

29-Across. *Seller of Geoffrey Bandages : TOYS"R"US. Geoffrey is their giraffe mascot.

30-Down. *Bergdorf competitor : SAKS.

43-Across. *Craftsman company : SEARS.

46-Down. *Costco rival : SAMS CLUB.

But if you can visualize what C.C. has done with their placements (see the grid diagram at the bottom of the page), she elevates the whole thing with the coolest reveal(s) I have ever seen:
9-Across. With 74-Across, what each of the answers to starred clues is : CHAIN. Each of the theme entries is a CHAIN STORE.
74-Across. With 9-Across, what the answers to starred clues form : STORE. And when linked end to end, they form a STORE CHAIN. Brilliant!

And there was plenty else to like in the grid, with several AHA moments and smiles when I "got" the clues.


6. TiVo predecessor : VCR. Obsolescent now?

14. Ancient Asia Minor region : IONIA. I never knew Asia Minor stretched as far as Michigan! ;-)

15. Mobile setting: Abbr. : ALA.bama.  I was all over the place on this one. Mobile phone? Mobile home? Aha! The city!!

16. __ trot : HOT TO.

17. Ocean tracker : SONAR.

18. Listen : LEND AN EAR. Nice fill.

20. __ Balls: snacks : SNO.

21. Hoedown honey : GAL.

23. 1841 French ballet heroine : GISELLE. The ballet premiered in Paris in 1841, to huge critical and commercial success. It is still performed to this day.

24. Minn. winter hrs. : CST. Central Standard Time, for C.C.!

25. Gets into a seat : ELECTS. You "get" your favorite pol into a seat, but only if you vote!

27. Compete for the America's Cup : SAIL. I think the last winner in 2013 was the USA team "Oracle." 

28. "Gotcha" : AHA.

31. Tic __ mints : TAC.

32. Speck : MOTE.

34. Ryder Cup chant : USA USA.  Do you think Davis Love can bring the USA to victory in 2016?

35. "Lux" composer : ENO. Stunning images, capturing light at different times of day. 4:45

36. Austere : STERN.

38. Halloween reactions : EEKS.

40. Spare pieces? : RIBS. Fun misdirection. DH makes the best spare ribs.

47. First name in shipping : ARI. Onassis.

50. Chalk holder : CUE TIP. Because "blackboard tray" wouldn't fit, and besides that, I really wondered if schools even use chalk any more?

54. Price number : ARIA. Nice misdirection - Leontyne Price is an amazing American soprano. I used to have the album of her and Placido Domingo from "Tosca."

55. "Well, lah-di-__!" : DAH.

56. ESPN Deportes language : ESPAÑOL.

58. Many a Persian : TOM. About half of them, I'd say?

59. Stringed instrument : VIOL.

61. Big headache : HASSLE.

62. "Who Gets the Last Laugh?" network : TBS.

63. Running things : IN POWER.

65. Excessively : TOO.

66. Common flight path : ARC.

67. Tom Jones' last Top 10 hit : SHE'S A LADY.

69. Birth-related : NATAL.

71. Let up : EASED.

72. Up to, in store signs : TIL.

73. Romantic text : I LUV U.

75. It may have a patch : EYE.  Arrrgh.  This year, Talk Like A Pirate Day is September 19, mateys!

76. Discharge, as from the RAF : DEMOB. DEMOBilization.


1. They catch busses at stadiums : KISS CAMS.  Loved this clue / entry!! The word "buss" means "kiss."

2. NASA launch : MOON SHOT. Another great entry.  Did you know, that mooning someone is not illegal in Maryland?

3. Provide critical comments on : ANNOTATE.

4. Fjord relative : RIA.

6. Depressed areas : VALLEYS. Oh, I was thinking of economic depression.

7. Progressive Field team, on scoreboards : CLE.veland.  If nothing else, know your teams, fields, and baseball stars if you want to nail a C.C. puzzle! 

8. Sounded right : RANG TRUE.

9. Cartoonist Addams : CHAS. You may remember him best as the brains behind "The Addams Family"? I used to love his morbid cartoons in "The New Yorker."

10. Fine-tunes : HONES.

11. Took courses at midnight? : ATE LATE.

12. Salad bar option : ITALIAN. My favorite is Makoto ginger dressing.

13. SensoTouch 3D shaver, e.g. : NORELCO.

19. Neglect : DISUSE. Not to be confused with "misuse."

22. Baseball's Moises : ALOU. See? What'd I tell ya at 7d?

26. Rebel org. : CSA. Confederate States of America.

33. Slip : ERR.

37. "Way to go!" : NICE.

39. "Captain Phillips" setting : SEA. So simple, but would you believe, I had to wait for perps to be sure?

41. Orchard unit : BUSHEL.

42. Take apart : SEPARATE.

44. Fats Waller contemporary : ART TATUM. Here's the two of them together. 5:23

45. Border river, to Mexicans : RIO BRAVO. Gringos call it the "Rio Grande."

47. Counsels : ADVISES.

48. Shower covering : RAIN HAT. I was wondering why anyone would wear anything while they were taking a shower?

49. "Fingers crossed" : I HOPE SO. Nice.

51. Campus aides, for short : TAs. Teaching Assistants.

52. Trendy : IN STYLE.

53. Golf Galaxy buy : POLO.

57. Ex-Soviet leader Brezhnev : LEONID.

60. Sore sort, maybe : LOSER.  How about someone who has snow-blowed and shoveled more than 100" of snow this winter, huh??!?!?!

64. Get one's feet wet : WADE. Which is what we'll be doing when it all starts to melt!

68. Tinkering letters : DIY. Do It Yourself.

70. Pub pint : ALE.

That's it for now - I have to go check out all the sales!!
Notes from C.C.: 

1) Rich makes the reveal entry cool, Marti, My CHAIN clue is simply: "With 74-Across, what the answers to the starred clues form. Then "See 9-Across" for STORE.  I also clued GISELLE as "Bündchen who's Forbes' highest-paid model for 7 consecutive years". Gosh!
2) The Indie 500 tournament is now open for registration. Click on Register for detailed information. The constructors are Erik Agard, Evan Birnholz, Peter Broder, Neville Fogarty, Andy Kravis and Finn Vigeland. 


Lemonade714 said...

Another puzzle with a great visual as well as the fun fact that CHAIN STORE STORE CHAIN like BRAND NAME works in either configuration.

Giselle was precluded to make it my grades fill.

Thanks C.C. Rich and marti

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Fine puzzle today with a fun theme. It seemed a lot harder than a typical Thursday, however, and I struggled with a lot of the answers (especially as clued). I don't recall any actual unknowns, but I had a lot of difficulty going from point A to pint B, if you know what I mean.

I did managed to eventually get through unassisted, but I didn't get the *TADA* at the end. After a careful review, I finally decided that maybe CHAZ/GIZELLE was supposed to be CHAS/GISELLE. I wouldn't have got it without the lack of the *TADA*, however, so officially a DNF for me for those who like to keep track of such things.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Marti and friends. Fun Thursday puzzle. I was not aware that K-MART was once the owner of Walden Books, so I didn't get off the the best of starts.

I confidently wrote down Stark before STERN. Unfortunately, three of my letters were correct, so I was reluctant to make the change for a while.

I also initially tried CST for the Mobile setting, until the Minn. Winters set me straight.

My favorite clue was Depressed Areas = VALLEYS.

The Russian National Ballet will be performing GISELLE in Louisiana in April. We have tickets.

ART TATUM was new to me.

QOD: Tolerance is you saying something crazy and me smiling and saying, “That’s nice.” ~ Penn Jillette (b. Mar. 5, 1955)

OwenKL said...

It's snow and ice that I deplore,
When skids make driving such a chore.
Lack of traction
Calls for action,
A trip to the Auto Zone CHAIN STORE!

Businesses all wax and wane
Some we will not see again.
Sales atrophy
Till bankruptcy
Leaves doors padlocked with a STORE CHAIN!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Got the theme easily enough, but didn't notice that the stores were "chained" until Marti pointed it out. Nice job, C.C. It even included a CSO at 58a. I was almost left up a tree in that orchard. I was sure those "spare" pieces referred to tires. Ergo: RIMS. I looked at MUSHEL for quite some time before the V-8 can dented my forehead.

Marti, I was not aware that mooning was illegal in any state. It does conjure up a different image when you hear about some girl mooning over some guy, doesn't it?

Big Easy said...

Great puzzle C.C. I got the CHAIN STORE theme at the crossing of K-MART, TARGET, & TOYS-R-US.

I literally flew on the top half of this one only to crash and burn at the crossing of CUE TIP and POLO, having RAS for TAS and not knowing anything about Golf Galaxy. If it had only been a Q-TIP.....

1A was an easy fill as I was an unfortunate stockholder of K-Mart stock 25 years ago that I held too long, and I also watched it crash and burn. ouch!

I also had some trouble in the SW initially starting with HAIR and just couldn't believe a hair NET would save a woman's hair or HAIR HAT was the new style.

NORELCO, DEMOB, and GISELLE were my only other unknowns.

Unknown said...

Not to muddy the waters, but K-Mart now owns Sears...just sayin'.

HeartRx said...

d-otto, Yes, it's illegal in some states, since it is considered "indecent exposure." (And you're right about it changing the image of "mooning" over someone!)

HeartRx said...

C.C., Rich may have made the reveal better, but you gave him the excellent material to work with!

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning.

I had a lot of fun here with this one. Thanks C.C. My favorite Aha moments came with stadium busses, and price number--didn't see the double s and was sure I was missing some econ term. Fun!

Thanks Marti for the enjoyable expo. I didn't see the Chain without your help. Great!

Also: I really enjoyed yesterday's grammar and usage discussion.

They are moving a John Van Bergen Prairie home from one end of Wilmette (IL) to another. I can hear the newscopters. I took my grandson to see the house while it was being stored in a defunct grocery store parking lot. Now I want to get up there and take some footage of the move for him. Not an everyday occurrence. He was shocked to see a house on wheels. Once in a lifetime for the little guy!

A Lady said...

If Tom Jones isn't your cup of tea, here's a mellower alternative.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Hand up for getting the theme answers easily, but for missing the elegant chain! I'm sorry I wasn't more observant. Amazing, C.C.!

While attending the Albuquerque hot-air balloon festival, I took a balloon ride over the Rio Grande. At that time, in that part of New Mexico, it was just a muddy ditch. I hope it's far grander by the time it gets to Texas...

kazie said...

slow solve for me today. The top came at a fair pace, but I got stuck in the SE having RUG/TOM for a long time, and ELEGY/ILUVU. I wanted SAMS but didn't think of the CLUB to finish it because of the Y where U should have been. There were a lot of places I had to guess because of lacking knowledge.

I very much doubt that too many classrooms still use chalkboards. Whiteboard markers aren't too much better though, since they still produce dust when wiped off, and they're expensive and dry out quickly when left uncapped. probably a lot of more affluent schools have switched to smartboards by now.

Very clever stringing the store chain like that, c.c.--I didn't see it without Marti's help though.

HowardW said...

Add another to the list of non-chain-noticers.

With regard to the 100" of snow, Mick Stevens shows the ideal method of dealing with it. Sadly, I seem unable to pull it off. On the plus side, yesterday morning was positively spring-y at 40 degrees (in MA), and winter is now in retreat.

thehondohurricane said...

Good day,

Nothing new in good old Ct..................... another snow storm in process as I type.

Enjoyable, but difficult puzzle today. Of course I shot myself in the foot once or twice to slow the process down.

After a couple of runs through, I noticed for 74A I had the S,O & R. So a CC puzzle, had to be SpORt!
It took awhile until I figured out it was STORE. That helped get me to the finish line.

50A CUETIP & 1D KISSCAMS were my favorites Long time since I chalked up a cue stick.

Rumor has it winter will be ending soon. I'll believe it when I see it.

Argyle said...

74A I had SpORE for awhile. Really threw me off (due to RAIN CAP for 48D).

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, C.C., for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Marti, for a fine review.

This one was not easy. It was so not easy that I got two of them wrong. Had CHAZ instead of CHAS. Had ART CATUN instead of ART TATUM. So, a DNF for me. That is the tough part about using the newspaper, you never really know.

However, I did enjoy the puzzle. Liked the theme and the chaining of the words, that I did not catch until I came here.

Tried RAIN CAP first, then RAIN HAT became obvious.

Liked LEND AN EAR. Very clever.

Did not know that RIO BRAVO is the same as RIO GRANDE. Interesting.

ATE LATE was a good one as well.

Lots to do. see you tomorrow.


( )

C6D6 Peg said...

Another great puzzle by C.C. Where you get your inspiration is unknown to me, but keep it coming!

Thanks for the write-up, Marti! Always informative and fun.

Back to the deep freeze after 82 yesterday! Bah, Winter!

oc4beach said...

Nice puzzle C.C. I got the theme about halfway through and was able to finish it without too many erasures. However, I did not get the DEMOB clue and just trusted the perps. I figured it was some arcane British term and didn't think about it being an abbreviation of DEMOBilization.

Winter isn't over yet. We had rain on top of the snow the day before yesterday that froze into an inch of solid ice. Yesterday it took a few hours of scraping the driveway and sidewalk with a metal shovel to get the ice up. Plastic shovels didn't do the trick and the snow-blower was of no use. Back is a little sore today.

I hope everyone stays warm and dry today.

Rainman said...

Got the theme early but it was of minimal help, mostly due to clues like Bergdorf and Geoffrey and other unknowns. Perps and wags got me through this one just fine, though. It became more of a puzzle, and that's fine, fine (WAS). What Abejo said about the puzzle and write-up.

Take RIOBRAVO and add CC and you have my nabe. How ironic is that! ("Country club" with golf, not galaxy, but a lot of POLOs.) Does that qualify as a neighborhood shout-out? NSO?

I prefer the Bundchen clue to the French ballet. At least I've heard of GISELLE. Not the ballet.

Cue tips to my limited knowledge never "hold" chalk... just a thin veneer applied to prevent slips... they're often made of cowhide. I've never had to replace my CUETIP on my cue stick, but they're cheap and available. I like the ones that screw on. Chalk is used because it's easily wiped off the ball. Tradition.

Chalk it up... $150,000 pool cue?:

Most Expensive Pool Cue

Lemonade714 said...

Howard W., welcome and great cartoon, though it is Purim now with Passover a month in the future. Hopefully winter will be gone by then.

Lucina said...

Hello, fellow puzzlers!

What an elegant puzzle from C.C.! But of course I didn't notice the CHAIN until seeing the grid. Thanks, Marti, for pointing it out.

C.C., you are so clever!

My solving started down south and moved upwards since I couldn't get a toe hold above. Finally, though, letter by letter it filled. I had NANETTE before GISELLE appeared since I looked it up to verify and had to change it. I should know that ballet as I've seen it.

I also checked on ART TATUM since that was unfamiliar.

Great fun today, thank you, C.C. and Marti.

Have a delightful Thursday, everyone!

Ergo said...

Thank you Heart and C.C.

The NW and NE were giving me no end of misery. I set the puzzle aside for 20 minutes, and when I returned they filled in like magic.

The RIBS clue/answer was my fav. Made me groan and smile at the same time. Exactly what you were aiming for eh C.C.?

coneyro said...

Thursday level for me. I figured out the store part, but the NE corner was blank for too long.

Never heard of Senso Touch, so didn't get that clue. GISELLE, DEMOB, ARTTATUM, ANNOTATE were unknowns, put perps helped.

Sports again. UGH!

The chain idea was fantastic, although beyond me until I read the blog.

A valiant effort, but no TAH DAH.....

And tomorrow should be even more frustrating. Oh, well...At least I give it the old college try.

Peace and out.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

I also missed the chained theme entries, much to my chagrin.

KISS CAMS is my fav.

Excellent puzzle, and a unique approach. Most clever and creative.

Fine write up, Marti.

We also got the freezing rain over snow on Tuesday, Sunny now, but only 16 degrees.

Art Tatum is from Toledo, so that was an easy fill.

GISELLE. (2 min)

Cool regards!

coneyro said...

I forgot...To those who celebrate, a Joyous Purim. Don't eat too many Hamantaschen. The prune filled are my favorites.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I got the theme very early on but didn't see the "chain" until I read Marti's witty write-up. Another "out-of-the-park" gem from our CC. Loved the misdirection cluing because it was fair and fun.

Thanks and kudos, CC, for a terrific offering and thanks, Marti, for showing us just how intricate this puzzle is.

I, too, didn't know that Rio Bravo and Rio Grande are one and the same. Live and learn, as they say.

Have a great day.

Misty said...

Well, this was a Thursday toughie for me--through no fault of C.C.'s. I did fine except for the southeast corner, where I got SEARS but just could not get SAM'S CLUB. Since my husband's stroke we shop mainly at the grocery store and online with Amazon, so I've pretty much lost track of CHAIN STORES. I figured out RIO BRAVO and ARC and thought it might be DEMOB, but would never have gotten ARIA, and had CAT for the longest time. But Marti's explanation really shows what a brilliant construction this is with the stores forming a chain, so, congratulations, C.C.!

Have a great day, everybody!

Husker Gary said...

-There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home… I’m out of the hospital, on the mend and have a lovely C.C. exercise/Marti write-up to get back at it!
-ART TATUM/DEMOB were right and so give me a 100%
-I knew there had to be a clever theme device and, voila, there it was!
-This out of the way BBQ RIB joint is featured in a great series I’m watching
-I have just endured the ultimate 6-day HASSLE
-How ‘bout some ANNOTATIONS?
-I always hoped that either the prof or the TA spoke decipherable English
-I don’t think there is a definitive USA/Mexico border river any more.
-Thanks for the kind notes during my surgery!

Bluehen said...

An absolutely delightful puzzle, CC, thank you. And thank you, Heart Rx, for a wise and witty expo. I think KISSCAM was my favorite.

Yesterday a Philly area TV meteorologist was interviewing in the street asking people if they have had enough of winter yet. One woman's reply (paraphrased) "Heavens no. I like winter. Looking at all that beautiful snow. . . through the picture window of my living room, snuggled on my couch next to a roaring fire, with a quilt, a cup of hot tea and a good book." My sentiments exactly, although this snowy afternoon's quaff will be glogg.


Bill G. said...

Hi everybody. I loved this puzzle for its theme and the clever/tricky cluing. I fell into all the traps that CC and Rich had set for me. I was sure that Mobile setting had to do with a phone, that 'austere' was Plain, I thought 'Spare pieces' might have to do with bowling pins, that 'Stringed instrument' might be Harp, I didn't know DEMOB and I loved 'They catch busses at stadiums' : KISS CAMS though I didn't get it until most of the crossing letters had filled themselves in. So I struggled but it was a fun fight though I felt a little overmatched. Thanks CC, Rich and Marti.

Gary, I'm so glad to see that you are back. I hope you are well and relatively pain free. Best wishes for a full recovery.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking "Resident Advisor", but of course, the "aide" would make "Teaching Assistant" more apt. I notice that the empty squares form a dollar sign, also clever.

Jayce said...

Oh, what sneaky, clever, funny, original, and imaginative ideas emerge from the mind of C.C. And Rich, too. This is a terrific puzzle. "Spare pieces" indeed! "Price number" indeed! "It may have a patch" indeed! I am a happy man.

HeartRx said...

Anon @ 12:02, keen observation about the dollar sign - I wonder if that was on purpose, or just a happy coincidence? Maybe CC can let us know.

Husker Gary - so good to hear you're back home and on the mend.

Spitzboov said...

Good afternoon everyone.

Nice intro, Marti.

Liked today's puzzle. Tough at first, but gradually got it to cough itself up. Liked the CHAIN idea. Didn't realize the chaining together of the stores before coming here. Favorite clue/fill was probably for 11d; ATE LATE. Lots of good stuff in here to like. Interesting grid with the Lofoten Wall in the center and smaller skerries(?) keeping the puzzle sections strongly segregated, precluding mutual solve support.
14a - IONIA. Lucky we didn't have Cappadocia.
17a - SONAR - Radar is also an important ocean tracker. But sonar is more specific to the water environment.
1d - 'they catch busses' - Thought first about electrical busses, but K-MART took care of that.
RIO BRAVO vis-à-vis Mexico was a learning.
Nice outing C.C. Thank you.

Bluehen said...

HuskerGary, Welcome back. Best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery.

Lucina said...

Ditto. My best wishes for a quick recovery and glad you are back!

CrossEyedDave said...

I had hoped to sail through this one, but it was a sea of white...

Definitely a late week puzzle that I didn't get to until late in the day. Later on I want to go thru it again to find out why the clues were so difficult for me.

25A gets into a seat = elects. fair enough answer, but the clue had me trying to moon something...

53D Golf Galaxy buy = polo? I wanted iron or club & only had one perp to tell me I was wrong.

76A Demob? (your messing with me...)
it didn't help that I thought 44D were pool players. (Chalk up another goof...)

& the theme? all I saw were the right angles, and even tried 74A = angle but 9A had the H in the wrong place. I had nothing else until I tossed the dead tree version & went red letter.

I must look into this Ryder Cup thing. Looks fascinating! Check out the videos under wing sail, hydrofoil, & Risks. I had no idea that the hydrofoils were fixed below the water, but maneuvered just like wind sails from above the water!

Yay! HG is back!

Pat said...

I read the first dozen clues and had no answers so I was going to give up. Came here and found out who the constructor is and had to go back and work on it. Thanks, C.C. It was a hard puzzle for me and a DNF. Marti, I needed all your help today.

I've enjoyed the puzzles, write-ups and comments this week. I haven't had anything to add to the conversations so I didn't.

Welcome back, HG. I hope you have an uneventful recovery.

Misty--my condolences for the loss of your puppy. What a horrible way to lose a pet.

We got more snow overnight. It's not as bad as Boston, but I've had my fill of winter weather. Time for Spring.


Unknown said...

Amazing!! Made me laugh!
Good one.

JD said...

Welcome back Gary!!

As for the puzzle C.C., it was brilliant. It took me awhile, and I did have a few errors, but it was a fun puzzler. With mite instead of mote, I knew something was askew! In power took on a few oddities too.Eye was sod, but that was an easy fix. All perps for art tatum, and without yet reading everyone's account, I bet others wanted Rio Grande, but it of course would not go.
Favorite was price number/aria.

Oh, almost forgot ...I had RaA, not TAs which gave me cue rip. This unfortunately took some more thinking time. LOL!

Thanks Marti Hats off to all of who just KNOW all these answers. By Thursday, I have to dig deep.

Yellowrocks said...

CC, I loved the way you chained the stores together. How clever!

My dear sister just left for home in PA. I hope she makes it safely. Yesterday she picked me up from the hospital and Alan from respite. She brought a big pot of chili for dinner. We are having the rest of it tonight. She chopped ice and salted and gave me her ice cleats. Ah, family!

Welcome home, Gary. Speedy recovery.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Gary & Yellowrocks,
I'm so glad both of you were out of the hospital.

Pass our love to Dusty!

Marti & Anon at 12:02,
Pure coincidence. I did not have much luxury of moving black squares around in this puzzle. For example, I was forced to have stacks of 8's on the left edge due to SAM'S CLUB on the lower right. Same for a few other spots. Symmetry! You just cannot place a black square at will. Some stores will be broken.

Bottom right was the hardest, sorry for DEMOB, everyone. Bottle left & bottle middle were the easiest with no stores nearby other than the STORE itself.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Gisele Bündchen has one L. Not the first time Rich caught my mistake.

Irish Miss said...

So good to have you back, Gary. You sound in good spirits. Best wishes for a full and clear recovery.

YR, glad you are home and ready to get back on track with getting back to normal.

Spitzboov said...

I didn't think DEMOB was that far out. - demobilize makes a lot of sense. The other Brit term I've learned is 'paid off' at least in their NAVY.

I, too, am glad Husker G and Yellow R are out of 'stir' and back with us. Can see your happy smiles in your posts.

Steve said...

Very clever! Thanks for the expo, Marti - I missed the subtlety with both the "chaining" and the cluing.

Welcome back to HG and YR!

DEMOB went in without a thought for me. At the end of WWII, the British armed forces gave you a "demob suit" of civilian clothes to wear. The US armed forced gave their veterans a college education. Something of a difference!

CrossEyedDave said...

Aarg! can't shovel out yet, because it wont stop snowing!

CC, even with the wonderful write up by Marti, I did not see that all the store names were linked until I got to the Grid at the bottom. Bravo! I just wish I had seen it sooner... Kind of makes me wish I could do this puzzle again...

Note: The only thing about "demob" that makes me cranky is that I thought I knew everything about the RAF...

Yellowrocks, what a blessing to have such a wonderful sister. I hope she makes it home safe too.

fermatprime said...


Great puzzle, CC! Swell expo, Marti!

Loved theme, but did not see that the stores were chained!

Was supposed to be 81 degrees today but is only 75. Was hoping that the squash seeds would poke their little heads up.

Great to have you back, Gary! Glad that you are on the mend, YR!


Anonymous said...

Speaking of "AHA" moments, doesn't that make the 28A clue "Got me," not "Gotcha"?

Lucina said...

I'm so glad you're back! And what a lovely sister you have.

Avg Joe said...

Like so many, I didn't get that the store names were all linked. So with that pointed out by coming here, the beauty of this construction really became apparent. Very well done!

Glad to see you out of stir, Gary and YR. take care of yourselves and heal quickly.

Tinbeni said...

Marti: Thank you for explaining my Rorschach Ink Blot.
For whatever reason I just wasn't going to ever let go of ESPN Deportes being in Spanish.
That, along with not knowing anything about 1841 French ballet of its heroine GISELLE led to a D N F.

Husker Gary, it was wonderful to hear you've been sprung.

All this talk about Winter never ending made me realize it never really started here!

A "toast to ALL" at Sunset.

Pat said...

Yellowrocks, it's good to hear that you and Alan are home again. I hope there are no more setbacks to your recovery.

Tinbeni said...

Yellowrocks, I'm also glad you got sprung too.

Can't think of anyplace I'd rather not be than in a hospital.

Plus, sleeping in one's own bed is always more restful.

Jerome said...

The Awesome Blossom flowers once more! Beautiful puzzle, C.C.

I'M curious about the time it took to find the right chain stores to make this work. I'm guessing this puzzle was a real bear to construct.But, perhaps it just kind of fell together... except that wicked bottom right area of the grid.

desper-otto said...

Husker and YR, good to have both of you back. I know how tough it is to get back to "normal" after a hospital visit. I wish you both the best. It does get easier every day. Really.

Bill G. said...

Places I wish I had visited in Great Britain

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Long day...

C.C. Thanks for this enjoyable (mostly) puzzle. I got off on the wrong foot thinking big box store and confidently put STORE in at 9a. I finally had to look it up; Dilbert's Scot Addams has 2 t's and 1'd'. Then I googled the other Addams. DNF, though it would have been DNF at 57d too; another Google Rescue.

I enjoyed it. Chalk me up as one who had to get the AHA from Marti calling out the CHAIN in the grid. Thanks to both of you for end-of-day ahh.

WESS re: c/a fun. RIBS was best - I seldom get them 'cuz every time someone suggests 'em for lunch, I'm in a white shirt - brisket again :-)

Wow, it was in the '80s yesterday and gonna be 30 tonight. Good thing garden goes in on 3/14 | 15.

HG - glad to see you back. Today in '79 Voyager had a close flyby of Jupiter. But you already knew that :-)

Cheers, -T

C.C. Burnikel said...

I spent about 12 hours on the grid design alone. Just could not chain up those stores. As for filling, probably 3 hours just babying the wicked bottom right.

KISS CAMS is Rich's clue, by the way. Genius!

Martin said...

I had SUPER STORE instead of CHAIN STORE and SPANISH instead of ESPANOL.