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Sep 17, 2015

Thursday September 17, 2015 Jerry Edelstein

Theme: Tribute Puzzle to Blondie - All eight symmetrically placed entries are Blondie related.

16A. Spouse of 66-Across : DAGWOOD

22A. Spouse of 20-Down : CORA

40A. Friend of 66-Across : TOOTSIE. Intersecting MR. DITHERS (20D. Employer of 16-Across). I can picture how excited Jerry was when he discovered that he could cross two themers in the middle. The grid design of this puzzle probably started in the middle.
 
54A. Friend of 16-Across : HERB

66A. Comic strip celebrating its 85th anniversary this month : BLONDIE. It's important that this key reveal entry is placed at the lower right corner, traditionally the last part where solvers finish their puzzle. 

11D. Son of 16- and 66-Across : ALEXANDER 

36D. Creator of 66-Across : CHIC YOUNG. I already had CHI? YOUNG and thought his name might be CHIP, but the crossing said "No". 
 
C.C. here. Marti will be back blogging on Oct 1. Gary will guide us next Thursday.

I always skip the comic pages in our Star Tribune. I glance at Family Circus & Dennis the Menace occasionally. They're placed together and I love the sweet and innocent nature of those two strips.

I had no problem obtaining those Blondie names. Easy crosses all around. We don't often see blocks at the corners. Jerry used four to facilitate smooth fill. Stacked 7's & 6's are not easy to fill cleanly.

Across:

1. Ways to the docks : INLETS

7. Military unit : BRIGADE

14. California colleague of Barbara : DIANNE. Babara Boxer is retiring next year. We also have 51. Hatch in the Senate : ORRIN.

15. Worked on a runway : MODELED
  
17. Winter clothes : WOOLENS. I did not know Woolen can be a noun.

18. 2008 Benicio del Toro title role : CHE. A hero when I grew up.

19. Fruit support : STEM

21. Fiber-yielding plant : FLAX. My first reaction: ALOE?
  
24. Messes up : ERRS. And 37. Mess up : MISHANDLE

26. Command to Fido : STAY

28. Pump output : GAS

30. Downturn : DIP. As the stock market.

32. "__ ideal world ... " : IN AN. There will be no personal attacks on this blog. Why do you want to hurt others?

34. Fancy neckwear : ASCOT

39. "A likely story!" : HAH
  
42. Ike's domain in WWII : ETO

43. Orwell's "1984" Inner Party is one : OLIGARCHY. Sparkling fill.

45. Aired as a marathon : RE-RAN. TV marathons.

47. Track setting : PACE

48. Ship, to a sailor : SHE. Hi there, Spitzboov & D-Otto. Any love stories in Guam, D-Otto?

49. Chips for the winner : POT. Did anyone else read it as "Chips for the winter"?

50. "__-mite!": "Good Times" catchword : DYNO. Easily guessed.

52. Patron of Alice's : ARLO 

58. What we have here : OURS. Got via crosses. Sometimes my brain just does not work as constructor/Rich wants.

60. River-bottom accumulation : SILT

62. Word with odds or bricks : LAY

63. Water pistol output : SQUIRTS. Another nice fill.

68. Brighter, in a way : SUNNIER. What Dave does to my day, except when he's in the  stunt airplane mood. Dave mentioned that the right section of the blog (including Interviews and Olio), is missing from his iPhone. Does this happen to other iPhone/Android users?

69. Colors again : RE-DYES

70. University officers : REGENTS

71. Last : ENDURE

Down:
 
1. Union member since 1890 : IDAHO

2. Niamey is its capital : NIGER. Via crosses.

3. Order companion : LAW

4. Slaughter in baseball : ENOS. Cardinals' #9. What jersey number would you like to have? I want #3.


5. U.S. IOUs : T-NOTES

6. The Four Questions ritual : SEDER. Filled in before I even read the clue.

7. Audi rival : BMW

8. Santa's target : ROOF

9. Graven images : IDOLS

10. Makeup of many capsules : GELATIN
  
12. Scouting unit : DEN

13. Paper staffers, briefly : EDS (Editors)
 
16. CCCL doubled : DCC. 700.

23. Back then : AGO

25. She won an Oscar for her 1980 portrayal of Loretta : SISSY

27. 1945 "Big Three" conference site : YALTA. No Y/M confusion this time. Easy Across.

29. "__ boy!" : ATTA

31. Chi preceder : PHI. Not TAI.

33. Light element : NEON

34. One bounce, in baseball : A HOP. Partial.

35. __ days : SALAD.  I bought a pack of Spaetzle at Aldi on Tuesday. Cooked in boiling water for 12 minutes according to the instruction, the noodles were so bland. No bite at all. How do I make it interesting?


37. Caffé order : MOCHA

38. Beginning of space? : AERO. Aerospace.

41. Surg. sites : ORs

44. Real : GENUINE. Oh, Oh, look at this Chloé Paddington!


46. E. African land : ETH (Ethiopia)

49. Springtime concern for many : POLLEN 

53. Cuba __: rum drink : LIBRE

55. Respected figure : ELDER

56. Bring up : RAISE

57. High seed's advantage : BYE

59. "Ignore that edit" : STET

61. Taylor's husband between Wilding and Fisher : TODD (Mike). Wiki says "... Although this marriage lasted only a little over one year, it was the only one of Taylor's marriages to end without divorce; Todd died in a plane crash while married to Taylor... Taylor later called him one of the three loves of her life, along with Burton and jewelry..."

63. Cold War letters : SSR

64. "__ Sera, Sera" : QUE

65. Grads to be : SRs

67. Manhattan coll. founded in 1831 : NYU



C.C.

60 comments:

fermatprime said...

Greetings!

Thanks, Jerry and CC!

A bit chewy for me. WAGs at BYE and PACE. No cheats though.

I has been eons since I read comic strips, except Dilbert.

Dog barking like mad. I wonder what is bothering her. I wheel to the door and cannot hear anything.

Time for bed!

Cheers!

OwenKL said...

Today's theme was one of my specialties! Sadly, I still had a FIW. I knew AHOR was wrong, but what else could replace the H from HAH stumped me. I finally turned on the reds, and found I had the right word, but was looking for the wrong letter! AHOP?!?! Ugh!
I did miss seeing their daughter's name, the dog, the kid next door, the mailman, Dithers' first name, Herb or Dagwood's last names. Still, it was a marvelous feat squeezing in as many as he did!

DAGWOOD is working all of his days
To earn what skinflint DITHERS pays.
But beg tho he might,
His boss is so tight
He'll never give Bumstead a bonus or RAISE!

The comics were once in just black and white,
But now color's been added, they've been RE-DYED bright.
A laugh for the day
Just three panels away
To offset grim news with something SUNNIER and light!

A BRIGADE of yes-men took to the skies,
Piloting gliders was a yes for these guys!
They added the vids
To the blog that they did,
It went viral because 'twas a Site for Soar Ayes!

(See Pastis, you're not the only one who can do it!)

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Lemonade714 said...

A very nice tribute and an ambitious grid start this Thursday, with those seven stacks well done. No love for Cookie but fun fill like OLIGARCHY and SQUIRTS added to the enjoyment.

The #3 Jersey of this STAR are going for around $ 170.00 in case anyone wants to make C.C.'s day.

Thanks Jerry and C.C.

Lemonade714 said...

That was SUCCINCT Barry

Hungry Mother said...

I'm old enough to get the theme answers quickly. Very few perks for aging, so I grab what I can.

Jane said...

FYI - spaetzles are supposed to be eaten with gravy over them. My grandmother used to make them from scratch - yummy!

unclefred said...

Great fun puzzle. I love the comics, and read them every day. My daily ritual: Get the newspaper as soon as delivered, usually around 5am. Read the front page. If my name isn't there, turn directly to the comics. Read comics, read advice columns, do the Jumble, do the Crossword, go back to sleep for a bit, wake up again in time to make breakfast for my wife before she goes off to work. (I'm long retired). Then work on managing my pitiful portfolio for several hours, trying to coax enough dividends out of it to keep the lights on. Go suck beer at Happy Hour.
Life could be worse. Terrific write up, too, CC, thanks. And thanks for the limericks, Owen.

HowardW said...

I have only very vague memories of Blondie and Dagwood, so the theme entries were unknown, yet this filled very smoothly. I think my only slip was thiS for OURS at 58A. [Only later did I think of "failure to communicate", but that's hard to fit into four squares.]

Excellent puzzle, Jerry. And nice summary, CC. By the way, why #3 -- Babe Ruth? or some other favorite player?

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

This puzzle just didn't do it for me. I vaguely remember the Blondie comic strips, but didn't recall the various characters other than DAGWOOD. I appreciate the effort it took to squeeze in all the themeage (is that a word?), but the final result fell flat.

Thanks for all the birthday wishes yesterday. CED, that cake was delicious.

I've had some great spaetzle in Bavaria, and yes there's always a sauce or gravy on top. Never tried to make it at home, though.

Sorry, C.C. There are no sailor love stories from my Guam days. I was already married. DW got a job teaching at the local public school. I'm not religious, but I wound up teaching several mornings a week at the local Catholic grade school -- 3rd grade spelling, 4th grade science and 5th grade geography. What a hoot! I was only able to do that, because my "shift" at the Navy base didn't start until afternoon. Grading homework got old after a few months. At midterm I was relieved when the head nun told me she'd have to let me go. The school had been damaged by a typhoon, and they no longer had enough money to pay me. She refused to let me work for free. I counted down to my "freedom day." On that day the head nun announced that the kids' parents had pledged enough money to pay me through the end of the school year. I was stuck. Proof that no good deed goes unpunished.

thehondohurricane said...


As soon as I filled in ALEXANDER, I knew the theme clues were going to be "no brainers". If the strip is celebrating it's 85th birthday, I've bee reading it at least 70 to 75 of those years. It's one of the six strips I read daily. I call the comics the papers editorial page.

27D Big 3 conference site; never know if it's YALTA or Malta. Today was easy because STAY was already present.

CC, if available, my number was 24 when I played. I was a big fan of this guy who played centerfield for the Giants from the early fifties to the early 70's. The press called him the "Say Hey Kid" He had a pretty good career.

Thanks to Jerry for a fun puzzle & CC for a excellent write up.

Husker Gary said...

The comics of my SALAD DAYS are getting older too. Sigh…

Musings
-BLONDIES’ first TV show lasted only one season
-Skelton MODELS on the runway
-My first fiber was HEMP
-Try saying STAY to a kitty
-GAS prices in my town
-Have we ever had ASCOT clued where Liza ERRED by yelling this? (:23)
-TCM has had a RERUN marathon of the Back To The Future franchise
-A Nebraska man was accused of running for REGENT to fire Bo Pelini as the FB coach
-I don’t say I got an 8 on a hole, I just say, “I got a Yogi Berra”
-I always thought the B stood for British in BMW until we toured Bavaria
-C.C., I looked up the cost of that GENUINE bag! Gulp! Would you choose that or a Killebrew jersey for a shopping SPREE?

Yellowrocks said...

Amen, Hondo. Very easy today. I got my toehold in the NW where Alexander soon appeared via perps and wags. That quickly gave me DAGWOOD, BLONDIE and all the other theme answers. I knew CHIC YOUNG. I began reading BLONDIE as soon as I learned to read. Our paper has not carried it for years.
Loved CC's blog and Owen's Blondie poem.
I have made home made spaetzles. Have you tried cooking them in broth, rather than water? Much tastier. As others have said, they can be covered with gravy or sauce. My mom sometimes added them to a stew. They also can be buttered with or without Parmesan cheese added. Sometimes they are sauteed in butter after boiling them.
YR, a PA Dutch Frau

Big Easy said...

I had a hard time starting, due to the circular nature of the clues, but after filling STEM and ERRS the MR had to be MR. DITHERS. Everything after that was a blitzkrieg. Very easy for a Thursday, if you read the funnies. Unlike C.C., the FIRST thing I read is the comics. They let you know what is really happening in the world, and unlike editorial cartoons, they are not biased in one way or another (except Doonesbury, which I skip). They skewer everybody that deserves it.

I never heard of 'The Four Questions' or 'Benicio del Toro' so CHE and SEDER were perps. I didn't understand the 'Aired as a Marathon' clue or my RE-RAN answer until the write up. As for Senators DIANNE and ORRIN quitting and retiring, I wish they would all quit.

Patron of Alice- my brain was stuck on Mel's Diner for a second before I remembered "You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant". 'One Bounce'- A HOP; why do all baseball announcers sound like they are pinching their nose when they talk?

Downturn-DIP- will the stock market DIP today?; it went up big time the last two days

UncleFred- skip the front page because it is usually old news anyway

TTP said...


Thank you Jerry Edelstein and thank you CC. You made my day SUNNIER !

Somewhere along the way, I quit reading and enjoying comic strips. I should make time for them again. Getting BLONDIE at 66A put me on the right track, and

Don't know why I put in MANHANDLE instead of MISHANDLE, but that held me up for awhile until I finally thought of SISSY. Had TBONDS before TNOTES, and misread of the day was California college of Barbara. In spite of those errors, finished without issues.

CC, I too struggled with "What we have here" clue until I had -URS.
Oh yea, I want Pirate jersey # 21.

Also, we always have that same Aldi brand spaetzle on hand in the cupboard. It's much more convenient than making from scratch. We have it most often with hearty beef dishes such as goulash, rouladen, sauerbraten, braised beef ribs, sometimes with beef stew, etc. It is also good as a side dish with schnitzel dishes, especially jager (hunters) schnitzel. When we make schnitzel, we use Knorr "Hunters" or "Jager Sauce" gravy mix. Same item with different names. It's a very easy gravy prep. "A rich, dark mushroom gravy seasoned with herbs and wine." You might try that gravy mix even if you don't go to the effort to make the schnitzels, rouladen or braised beef ribs or the like.

See all y'all later !

Tinbeni said...

Husker: I paid $ 1.99 a gallon for GAS today.

C.C. Great job "Pinch-hitting" for Marti.

Jerry: Thank you for a FUN Thursday puzzle with a nice BLONDIE theme.

I read the comic's everyday ... it's where I get the "Real-News" of what's happening in America.

I probably would have clued 49-a differently to get the answer POT.
(Probably "Jamaica delight?")

Cheers!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Interesting theme but knowing the BLONDIE characters made it kind of easy. Liked how the themefill was symmetrically spaced around the grid.
SHE - planes are also often referred to as SHE. Our Legion Post has a Cobra gunship adorning the front of the Post area, and a former crew member refers to it affectionately as 'her' or SHE. Steam locomotives, too.
INLETS - 'ways to the docks' - - Wouldn't really be called that in New York Harbor. Maybe in the Bayous? Good clue, though.
Cuba LIBRE - When our Task Group visited Bermuda in '59, I remember a Happy Hour during which Cuba Libres could be had for 15¢. One could become totally besotted for $1. (I have never cared for cola drinks.)

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I liked the puzzle but I went off track by hastily (and confidently) filling in Chet instead of Chic. I finally saw the error of my ways and then finished w/o any more hang-ups. I well remember Dagwood's infamous sandwiches and Mr. Dither's bluster.

Thanks to Jerry for a fun Thursday outing and to CC for guiding the way and pinch-hitting for Miss M.

I always thought spaetzle were little dumplings, sort of like gnocchi. Never had either one, so what do I know?

Another beautiful Fall day. The next several days look picture-perfect; how lucky we are. ☀️

Have a great day.

VirginiaSycamore said...

A fun puzzle by Jerry and write up by C.C.

I slowly chipped away at the puzzle until I got Alexander. Then BLONDIE and most of the other names were clear. But I had CaRA before CORA and just MR for a while until the perps helped me recall DITHERS.

I didn't think the clue was clear enough for RERAN. I wanted first, a donation telethon like Jerry Lewis did. Then I thought it was a marathon race, but why would you RErun it? I eventually got the marathon of series episodes meaning.

I had trouble with the AHOP and PACE crossing because to me, PACE, is not a track setting, it is a horse's speed. I thought TAPE because I thought CHIP YOUNG had done BLONDIE, but then AHOT didn't work. So I almost but did not finish. Still, just 2 letters were unknown, not bad for a Thursday.

VS

Bluehen said...

A fun puzzle today, made easier by knowing all of the theme answers once I sussed 66a. I read Blondie every day, along with all of the other comics in the Snooze-Journal except "Doonesbury". Thanks Jerry and CC; great effort by both of you.

CC, I agree that dried spaetzle can be pretty bland when prepared to package directions. At the very least, I always salt the water that they cook in and we always serve them with brown gravy. Our favorite application is with pork (the cheaper the cut, the better) braised in half dry white wine and half chicken stock with chopped sauerkraut until the meat falls off of the bone. That is served with spaetzle and brown gravy made from a mix and made with the braising liquid. Delicious.

I'll have to check out Aldi's price for spaetzle. The local Safeway wants $8.00 for a bag half that size. A preposterous price to pay for pasta.

Cya.

Spitzboov said...

VS - PACE is also a gait in harness racing. The horse runs with first one side, front and rear legs stepping out together; then the other side front and rear stepping out together. Unlike a trot where the legs alternate kitty-corner.

CrossEyedDave said...

***Blondie, 75 years***

Anonymous said...

Perhaps "track setting" refers to "setting the PACE" (i.e. a pun).

Lucina said...

Greetings, friends!

I love the symmetry of this puzzle. And the characters were easy since I read the comics every day. The only reason I don't read Doonesbury is that the dialog is so dense and small it's too hard to read. So I don't bother with it.

For a Thursday, this was really easy but enjoyable. thank you, Mr. Edelstein.

Also I ERRed at A HOP because I had RACE instead of pace and nothing made sense there. Still, it was a lovely puzzle.

The price of GAS here is also low. I paid $2.05 over the weekend. However, a friend who has mineral rights in Oklahoma was lamenting the low price since his profits are also dipping.

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

SwampCat said...

I also read the comics every day so this was a breeze! Loved some of the other fill, too. OLIGARCHY and POT as clued were fun. Owen, Pastis has nothing on you! Loved your puns today.

Bill G. said...

Thanks Jerry and CC. I enjoyed that and remembered Mr. Dithers, Cora, etc. even though I barely ever look at Blondie. My favorite comic strip is Drabble. Does anyone else enjoy it?

We had a tsunami warning last night because of the earthquake in Chile. Luckily, not even a ripple.

D-O, as a math teacher for many years, I never graded homework. Too much work for no worthwhile return. I would call on students in class and could easily tell who had done their homework. Or, I have them put their homework on their desktop, I would walk around the room while they were working and check that they had done their homework. To me, the important thing was that had made the effort to do their homework for practice. I would go over it in class to answer questions but their effort grade depended on their doing their homework. Their academic grade depended on tests, quizs, etc.

Later...

C6D6 Peg said...

Really liked this puzzle, as "Blondie" is a favorite comic of mine. Thanks, Jerry. Loved the "Aired as a Marathon" clue after thinking about it.

Thanks, C.C. for filling in for Marti. Nice job!

Very clever limericks, Owen. Thanks!

Yellowrocks said...

Gas here is as low as $1.84 and heading lower.

SwampCat said...

I paid $1.80 for gas yesterday.

Jayce said...

Fun puzzle. Like many of you, once I got one theme entry the others came quickly and easily. Almost "turfed it" (credit to Barry G for that phrase) at AHOP and PACE.
Nice job, Owen Pastis.
I, too, read the comics every day, and I also skip Doonesbury.
We're having schnitzel and spaetzle tonight. Pure coincidence.
I remember somebody in this group recently said that it doesn't matter how much the stock market goes up and down; the only thing that matters is how much you paid when you bought a stock and how much you sell it for. I keep trying to teach my wife that, but she still persists in worrying that "Oh my, we lost xxxxx dollars today!" Then she wants to SELL! Sometimes she can be so fixed in her ways and such a reluctant learner, bless her heart.
Best wishes to you all.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Jane, Yellowrocks, TTP & Bluehen,
No wonder my spaetzle were bland. I mixed them with a simple green salad. I had expected a chewier texture. Boomer is going to try them on chicken noodle soup tonight.

HowardW,
Lemonade & Gary got it. Killebrew. Who's your favorite player?

Gary,
Chloé Paddington red! Every girl's dream.

Hondo,
I heard from dealers here that Willie Mays was very cold to fans.

Misty said...

Well, I get up in the mornings, let Dusty out, get the paper, make myself a cup of coffee, and then, with Dusty snuggled up next to me, I read the funnies. Those comics give me my favorite time of the day. I've loved "Blondie" since I was a kid and so I found this puzzle a total delight and had no problem at all except for that rotten HAH. I had put RACE for the "Track setting" so went with BAH, even though I'd never heard of ABOR (but what do I know about baseball--clearly nothing, it seems). Still, this was so much fun, thank you Jerry. And C.C., I never would have noticed the amazing symmetrical design if you hadn't pointed it out--thank you for that, too.

I seem to remember that Chic Young died some years ago and his son took over the comic--hugely improving it, to my mind. I'll have to look this up on Wiki and see what the story is.

Enjoyed your posts this morning, Uncle Fred, and D-OTTO.

Have a great day, everybody!

Spitzboov said...

C.C. RE: Spaetzle

I checked with the head chef at Chez Spitzboov.
Add in some parsley and sautéed onions. Some extra butter would help, too.

Spätzle is a diminutive of Spatz; so: 'little sparrows'.
I think of them as a kind of very thin dumpling so, not much taste on their own.

HowardW said...

CC -
Didn't realize that you are in MN. I recall seeing "Killer" at Fenway Park back in the day. I heard that the MLB logo is based on his silhouette, but that may not be so per this article.

My favorite would be #9 for Ted Williams, although I was a bit too young to see him in action. Switching sports, second would be #4 for Bobby Orr whose hockey career was brief but brilliant -- meteoric is a good word.

Avg Joe said...

It became obvious very early that the key was going to have to be solved before much else could happen, to I went for it and didn't have too much trouble after that. Fun puzzle with a lot of theme fill.

I learned to read for the sole reason of reading the comic strips. My 5 older brothers and sisters gotten tired of my begging and had gone on strike. So if I was going to get my daily fix, I had to do it myself. Still read them all in the paper every day, plus another 7 on line that aren't in our paper. Favorites are Bizzarro, Pearls Before Swine, Pickles and Non-Sequitur. But the best news was the recent return of Bloom County on facebook. Today's is hilarious. I laughed. I cried. I Thbbbbbbbbbt'd. Can't imagine life without the funnies.

coneyro said...

Loved today's puzzle.

A no brainer as Blonde is one of my favorites. I read it every day in the Tampa Bay Times. Missed Cookie and Daisy. They were omitted. Also forgot Mr. Young's first name. Needed the perps. I appreciate how this comic has kept up with the times i.e. modern electronics and computers, Blondie a business owner, but keeps its quaint charm, and I love Dagwood's sock garters. Do men still use them?

OLIGARCHY is my new word of the day.

Big Easy...The Four Questions are part of the ritual asked by the youngest child during the Jewish Passover seder. "Why is this night different from all other nights?" is the first question.

The SUNNIER days are still among us. Before we know it though, the time for WOOLENS will soon be here.

For a Thursday, I pretty much breezed through. In fact, this week was easier than usual. Tomorrow I should be so lucky. HAH.

My best for a good day.


Anonymous said...

(Lucina Repost. Too much blank space earlier)

BillG:
I also like Drabble. It's usually the only one that evokes laughter though Stone Soup often brings a smile. I'm glad the tsunami bypassed you.

C.C.

I have no idea about Spaetzle. Your mention is the first I've heard of it but I can tell you that boiling pasta in chicken broth helps the flavor immensely. If it is pasta. Is it?

Also, thank you for pinch hitting today. I always like your analyses.

Big Easy said...

OwenKL- Nice pun but Pastis get's PAID for his so he can support the wife who supposedly threw him out.

Coneyro- I know absolutely nothing about Jewish rituals other than Yom kippur and Rosh hashanah take place in the Fall. SEDER I learned from doing crosswords.

Kevin said...

Hello everyone,

Upon scanning the clues, I realized that I needed to start in the SE corner, and when I worked out BLONDIE, I groaned because I never read that comic.

Despite thinking that I was done for, I was relieved that the rest of the clueing was extremely clean and I was able to suss out all of the unfamiliar characters through the clever PERPS; e.g., I liked that 14A DIANNE Feinstein was a playful spinoff of the overused ELENA Kagan colleague-of-so-and-so-fill. Moreover, it really helped that there were no Natick crossovers with the character names, so I came out semi-happy with this puzzle. (Though admittedly, I FIW since I had DORA instead of CORA at 22A because I am still too stubborn to return to the first grade and brush up on my Roman numerals.)

But when I came to this site and read C.C.'s observation that all of the Blondie entries were symmetrically placed in the grid, I gained a whole new respect for the construction of this puzzle. The constructor and editor did a thoughtful job of structuring a theme that might be unfamiliar to some in such a way that the puzzle as a whole could still be solved. So great work Jerry Edelstein and Rich Norris (and C.C. for your enlightening observations).

Steve said...

I needed every cross, I don't get a printed paper any more and I was selective with the comics I read when I did.

The problem I have with themes like this is that either you know the subject and you fill in all (or most) of the entries without a thought, or you don't know the subject and you know straight off the bat that there are going to be eight answers that you're going to need to perp your way through. Either way there's no surprise nor aha! moments.

Perhaps I should have just said WBS and left it at that :)

OwenKL said...

HG: I thought you wrote SKELTON models on the runway for this stylish dresser!

I'm amazed at how many skip Doonesbury, one of my favorites. If you want to see politics in the comics, look up Prickly City. The A-A girl is conservative, the coyote is liberal, and it switches back and forth which gets the punchline!

I read the headlines, and any human interest stories (more of them seem to make it to the front pages recent months, a good sign), then the editorial comic and an occasional editorial if the topic is interesting, then the games page - just read the answer to yesterday's crypoquip (when I reached the point of doing them in my head, I gave up on them), scan the bridge column for the occasional embedded joke (I never have been able to figure out bridge), The Jumble only when I can't guess the day's pun (a couple times a week), the chess problem (I get maybe half), and the Super Quiz. Then I go to the favorite part I save for last -- the Educational Pages, aka comics!

I learned to read when I was 3 or 4 by following my Dad's finger as he read the comics to me every day. Gad, I wish I had appreciated him more when he was alive. He called them the educational pages because they were the most useful part of the paper for understanding humans. I read every one in the local paper, plus scores more I follow online!

Kevin said...

Steve @ 3:08pm: If you were referring to what Barry G said at 5:40am, then that is a hilarious use of WBS

Steve said...

@Kevin - you got it :)

Lucina said...

I don't know how that blank space occurred. I must have accidentally hit the ENTER button.

Just now I read today's comics and they were surprisingly funnier than usual. Even Doonesbury was readable! What a strange coincidence.

Bill G. said...

Speaking of comics, Drabble is my favorite these days. But, what about Gary Larson back in the day when he was creating The Far Side? Wow! Great stuff! And then, Calvin and Hobbes! We have a complete collection of C & H and Jordan and I enjoy taking turns reading it together.

Doonesbury has its moments but it often seemed like too much effort to slog through it.

Chairman Moe said...

"puzzling thoughts":

first of all, I am late to the party. But I somehow recall doing today's puzzle at Oh Dark Thirty this morning, and having no problem whatsoever. Loved the theme and the clever construction of this puzzle. AHOP had me scratching my head but everything else fit, so I didn't change. As for the theme, I have been reading Blondie for most of my life and as others have said, it still offers a few grins and guffaws. Not too many comic strips actually have the characters "age". Hi and Lois is one that comes to mind; Trixie - the baby - would probably be a grandma by now if she were allowed to "grow up".

Speaking of comic strips, I am also a big fan of Pearls before Swine (Pastis). Our paper does not carry that, so once a month, my DOM sends me an envelope with all of the previous month's strips to enjoy . . . which I do. Loved one from the past 30 days where the rat meets the "Comics Censor" for lunch. It's hysterical !!

to Coneyro at 2:15: you wrote - "...and I love Dagwood's sock garters. Do men still use them?" What are socks??!! I too live in Florida, about 140 miles to your south. I can't honestly remember the last time I had on socks. Maybe it was last winter when I visited family up north . . . ;^)

thehondohurricane said...


CC, I.ve heard the same thing about Mays. As a matter of fact I've been told he was VERY rude. Never done a show where he was a signer, nor will I. My understanding is that he is long past public appearances.

All that being said, I still feel to this day he was "all around" better the the Mick or the Duke. What else would you expect top hear from a Giant fan?

Bolder in Utah said...



This is not personal or religious or even political.
Merely an observation.
Sports is like religion, except that you dont even have to face the ump or the fans when you die.
I did not 'get' Barry G's joke or pun or punch line, if it was meant as one. Could somebody explain this tomorrow. Please.

Tom Wilcox said...

Jaeger sauce, as in Jaegerschnitzel.

Ray o sunshine said...

I enjoyed Blondie before I could read. I would make up a story to go with the strip in our Sunday Paper.

High seed's advantage. .."bye" ? Don't get it but the perps did the job

Anonymous said...

Hondo- Mays, Mantle, Duke Snyder . They were great players but they had the press on their side, as in playing in NYC. Many others were just as good or better but were in the hinterlands. Aaron, Carew, Oliva, Killebrew, Musial, Banks

Anonymous T said...

Hi (and Lois) All!

First a thank you to Jerry for an homage to the funnies. Thanks too to C.C. for stepping in and pinch-hitting; it was more than just A HOP - it was a dinger!

1st pass across the north I was looking for a toe-hold. I got the the xref 16a and started to write BLONDIE. Fortunately DCC saved me and I was off the the races. I think it was two Sundays ago that YOUNG RAN the gang waving saying happy 85. Thanks CED for the RE RAN 75yr strip.

West-central was the hardest for me. For some reason, I was certain Sean was Mr. YOUNG's 1st name. It took me 2x longer than the rest of the puzzle to suss that area. A Hit at 34d didn't help. OLIGARCHY finally saved me (that seems like an odd thing to say).

Other W/os - NUN at 3d (which I thought was a very clever c/a), bonds &bills, b/f T-NOTES, and SDI @63d.

WES re: sparkly fill.

Um, yesterday we had Steve's DAGWOOD from Katz's... Coincidence?

I have no idea what I pay for GAS. I need it, I pump it. Like Lucina's friend in OK, I'd gladly pay $5/gal for my company stock to go back up :-)

Steve - I got your WBS and LOL'd. Brilliant!

C.C. Hand up on reading winter@49a; I blame 17a's clue. I was #5 in little-league, but my hero was STL #1. After moving to HOU in '98 it was #7. Both players are in the HOF now.

Owen - loved #2. I started reading the funnies at Sunday breakfasts when I was 5 or 6. When I was a paperboy, I'd read 'em right after my route. Now I read them from least to most (Pastis) humorous right before bed to end my day w/ a smile.

Cheers, -T

Bill G. said...

Ray o Sunshine asked: High seed's advantage. .."BYE" ?

In a tournament, everybody plays a match in the first round of play unless the number of players is such that they have more players than needed. So the strongest players are "seeded" or ranked. The highest seeds are passed over in the first round and don't have to play. That's called a "bye." It happens in tennis tournaments all the time.

Line AnonT, I don't pay much attention to gas prices, probably because we don't have to drive much since retiring. I know the gas prices are almost always higher locally than most anywhere else in the US. Regular is about $3.30 locally now. I remember when I first noticed gas prices when I started driving back on the east coast and then after moving to the LA area, gas cost about $0.29.

Lucina said...

Did anyone else listen to the radio while the comics were being read? It happened every Sunday morning and my sibs and I followed along with the newspaper spread out on the floor. That and comic books, I'm sure, boosted my reading ability as a child.

Anonymous T said...

Bill G.

Thanks for the expo on BYE. I always thought it was spelt BUY (they'd paid their dues), but, by-the-by, there are many ways to spell bi.

Now I know, it's BYE or Cheers, 'til next match. Later, -T

thehondohurricane said...

ANON @ 8::56

The comparison was which NY team had the better centerfielder. That was the argument among the fans of those teams until the Giants and Dodgers deserted to the West coast after the '57 season.

Anonymous T said...

Lucina - No radio at the Thrifty Drugs' cafeteria (my dad managed the store) where we'd get Sunday pancakes as big as my head. The grownups would read their sections of the paper (Pop had the OpEd or police-beat; ELDERs read the obits to ensure they weren't listed). Me, I got the funnies to shut me the hell up.

The 1st book I recall digesting was The Littles when I was 7 or 8. I was fascinated and left "treasures" for them (for I knew they were nearby*) to use.

Cheers, -T
*nope, just mice who weren't terribly creative w/ bobbins.

Bill G. said...

I was a voracious reader of comic books as a kid. My mother even bought me a subscription to Looney Tunes and/or Walt Disney like Donald Duck, etc. Like Lucina, I think that helped me to be a good reader. My theory is that comic books encourage you to read in clumps rather than across a long line of words. Just my theory... I wonder if anybody has done a real study?

Anonymous T said...

Bill G. I don't know about a rigorous study... DW had a class in Graphic Novels whilst working on her PhD (really?!? I'm doing finite-state automata and she's reading Mr. Natural?) and they deconstructed 3 panels 7 ways 'til Sunday. I kept insisting, just look for the humour, she said look at the use of strong lines and white-space and thought bubbles. I got out a Mad Magazine and said somthing akin to "Spy v. Spy uses white-space way better." -T

MarthaGee said...

No Cookie. No Daisy. Bleh.