Dec 23, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015, Jeff Stillman

Theme: The EYES have it!

Jeff "only has EYES" for us today. His Christmas Eve, Eve (can I say Christmas here?) offering has him dropping the word EYE behind two and into two "in the language" phrases to produce some amusing new verbiage. Jeff is back in the lineup six days after his fun "Magazine-themed" offering from last Thursday where I was in the THROEs of despair for one bad cell.  I'll bet most of you are carrying an "all-seeing EYE" theme symbol with you right now:

Theme Answers:

18. "The 11:00 p.m. flight is now boarding"? : REDEYE ALERT - Emergency or when you absolutely, positively have to be there overnight 

28. Inconsolable freshwater fish? : WAILING WALLEYE - The WAILING WALL in Old Jerusalem or the WALLEYE that required a Cree guide to take off my hook

47. Fearful Iowan? : CHICKEN HAWKEYE - Three species of North American HAWKs or The HAWKEYE team across the Muddy Mo with whom Huskers have a mostly good relationship

62. Fictional sailor's pies? : POPEYE TARTS - What many think is junk breakfast food or pastries for Olive Oyl's main squeeze

Let's look at Jeff's "easy on the EYE" (there's a bottomless pit of variations) puzzle:


1. Dictionary abbr. : ADJ - I know one ADJECTIVE I feel is way over-used today

4. Pests repelled by cedar : MOTHS

9. Give birth to : SPAWN - These Brown Bears are EYEING SPAWNing Salmon

14. __ Kappa Epsilon: U.S./Canada frat with more than 250 chapters : TAU

15. Skylab's path : ORBIT - When Skylab fell out of ORBIT in 1979, most of it landed in sparsely populated SW Australia. A motel in Balladonia, Australia (pop. 20) used some reclaimed parts of for a "museum" (back right in photo)

16. Impish type : PIXIE

17. Out of the ordinary : ODD

20. Rabies victim : MAD DOG

22. Org. making raids : DEA - After proclaiming his innocence for years, AROD finally admitted to years of PED use to the DEA last year. 

23. Fruity coolers : ADES

24. Capital near the Gulf of Tonkin : HANOI - Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) has 3x the population  

26. Figure out : GET

34. Trac II cousin : ATRA

35. "Frasier" sibling : NILES - The episode where they take an Auto Shop class is my favorite

36. Out of use : OLD

38. "The Shoop Shoop Song (__ His Kiss)": Cher hit : IT'S IN - I'll take Betty Everett's '64 version everytime

40. Suffix with chlor- : IDE - See Sodium ChlorIDE in 9 Down and 39 Down

41. Lexus competitor : ACURA

43. Personal quirk : TIC - Can also be a poker "tell"

44. __ in the right direction : A STEP

46. Rock 'n' roll middle name : ARON - Not what Vernon had put on his son's grave

51. Stallone nickname : SLY

52. More resentful : SORER

53. Star with tons of fans : IDOL

56. Darling : PET 

59. Go kicking and screaming : RESIST - Rage, Rage!!

65. "I'm impressed!" : GEE

66. Speak from a podium : ORATE - T'will soon be everywhere! 

67. Zagreb native : CROAT

68. Whammy : HEX - "Big bucks, no Whammy's!"

69. Party dip : SALSA

70. Laughs heartily : HOWLS

71. Rubble creator : TNT - Hey, Rubble's creator was Hannah Barbara!


1. Tiny power source : ATOM

2. Cry from a crib : DADA - DADA getting top billing for a change

3. Two-time Emmy winner for "Taxi" : JUDD HIRSCH

4. Capital of the Comoros : MORONI - If you knew this, you're a better geographic man than I am Gunga Din!

5. Its state tree is the Douglas fir : OREGON

6. Up in the air, on a sched. : TBD

7. Hurried, old-style : HIED - A word of Shakespearean times - "Hie thee hence, or lose your life!" i.e. "Get outta here or you're dead!"

8. Case for an ophthalmologist : STYE - Aha, another EYE reference

9. Salt scrub venue : SPA - I may "go gently into that good night" before I get one of these 

10. "Ecce homo" speaker : PILATE - "Behold the Man. Hey, I'm just the Roman Prefect here..."

11. Cut down : AXED - NOT the past tense of ASK!

12. Toaster-to-plug link : WIRE

13. Brooklyn hoopsters : NETS - NBA team formerly of New Jersey. As of yesterday they were 8 - 20

19. Bald __ : EAGLE - BALD EAGLEEYE - Yul Bryner with great vision?

21. __ Lama : DALAI - I shopped an H around trying to spell this first

25. Start to burn : IGNITE

27. Disney queen who sings "Let It Go" : ELSA - Dylan Thomas would beg to differ

28. "Let me catch up!" : WAIT - Uh, never mind, go ahead!

29. Web site : ATTIC - CobWEBS that is

30. Spread out : WIDEN 

31. Talmud letters : ALEPHS - Can you find one in this Hebrew Word Search?

32. "Couldn't agree more" : YOU'RE RIGHT

33. Jetson who attends Little Dipper School : ELROY - From the same peeps that created Rubble

37. Hamlet or Ophelia : DANE

39. Component of ocean H2O : NACL - Harvesting Sea Sodium ChlorIDE in Thailand

42. Bakery display : CAKES - Our Cross-EYEd Dave's electronic specialty

45. Video calling option : SKYPE - SKYPING grandkids from Long Beach, CA impressed us more than it did them.

48. Fiji's 500-plus : ISLETS

49. Like some matters of the heart? : AORTAL

50. Forcibly removes : WRESTS

53. NYSE debuts : IPOS - Largest Intial Public Offerings 

54. Cartoon explorer with a talking backpack : DORA - I wonder if she ever bumps into Carmen San Diego

55. October birthstone : OPAL

57. Make a lasting impression? : ETCH

58. Hawaiian starch source : TARO - I suspect our Chef Wendy in Kauai is an expert

60. Not overlooked : SEEN

61. Smartphone message : TEXT - Not quite getting it yet, are you Dad?

63. Word of support : YEA

64. Chairs may be arranged in one : ROW - Not important in C.C.'s flower garden :-) 

EYE'll bet there'll now be a lot of EYE-opening comments to follow although some of us won't see EYE to EYE (All right EYE quit)! 

Husker Gary

 (Thanks for the Answer Grid, Owen!)


OwenKL said...

SPAWNED some lowku again, though the first one invokes a sort-of seasonal image that might allow Nipponophile 親日 Yellowrocks to consider it a 俳句 haiku.

EYE in the night, to ALERT
And IGNITE Luna lust!

WAILING for contact,
Teen suffers withdrawal; no SKYPE
for EYES, nor WALL TEXT!

HAWK EYES yellow winged elfkin,
Waiting for dinner.

Always served green chili hot
Even when they're cold!

fermatprime said...


Thanks, Jeff and Husker!

Theme easy.

MORONI was all perps. Am used to TBa rather than TBD.

Took longer than it should have!

Up late because printer software was acting up and I needed to get a scan in the mail.


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

This one didn't put up too much resistance. I know of one MORONI, but it wasn't that one. And TAU could have been one of a number of Greek letters. In each case, though, the perps were solid. And that was about it for speed bumps. I got the theme at REDEYE ALERT and was able to knock down the others without much thought.

Actually, I think my biggest (and perhaps only?) stumble today was entering INE instead of IDE at 40A. It didn't take too long to realize that WINEN wasn't correct, however.

Hungry Mother said...

Nice Wednesday solve.

Tinbeni said...

Husker: Outstanding write-up and links. Good Job!

Since I once lived in Zagreb, CROAT was today's fave.

Which brings us to this not being actually Christmas Eve, Eve ...

December 23rd ... my favorite day of the year!!! When we celebrate ...

FESTIVUS !!! ... for the rest of us ...

Got my Festivus Pole decorated ... it is a joyous day!


desper-otto said...

Good morning!

TBA gave me REAEYEA... When the rest of ALERT showed up, I was finally able to suss that D. The rest was smooth sailing. If you don't count HOHOS/HOOTS/HOWLS, that is. Oh yeah, and I misread "Lexus" as a camera name and put in ASAHI instead of ACURA. Oops!

I had a boss who used to say AXED for asked. He was a N'Awlins boy.

Husker, good catch on that "Rubble creator." Little Richard sang (I use the term loosely) about a MORONIe -- not the same one. His was bony.

Montana said...

Nice puzzle to work on early in the morning when ill.
Great write up, Husker.

Have a good day,


Madame Defarge said...

Merry Wednesday!

Thanks, Jeff. This was fun, but I didn't try Rubble creator because I knew it was H & B, so I figured there was some aspect I didn't understand. TNT? It wasn't even around when Barney and Fred were up to their first round of antics.

HG: Nice walk through. The links were grand and the commentary fun, as usual. Thank you.

Have a good day before the night before. I wonder if we'll see that rare Christmas full moon.

PK said...

HI Y'all! I EYEd the theme early, but the puzzle took me longer than usual. Fun challenge, Jeff! Witty as always, Gary!

ADJ/ATOM was a natick at first. Tried LEDS first. Dictionary abbr. = too many to choose.

Never heard of Comoros or its capital. Only MORONI I've heard of is the Mormon angel that stands atop the dome in Salt Lake City. When it perped in, I wondered if they called the dome Comoros. Oh, islands! Eye see.

HANOI, I should have known but it took several passes to see.

JUDD HIRSCH was all perps except J & CH. I caught on by then.

Give birth to = SPAWN, fish not "puush".

TAU Kappa Epsilon: I once work a TKE pin for a short time. Big mistake, soon corrected.

PK said...

"I once WORE a TKE pin". No spell check. Just stumble fingers.

Lemonade714 said...

I really admired the precision of the EYE being in the middle of theme 1/4 and the end of 2/3. The puzzle overall was very straight forward for a Wednesday.

I did not remember the name SHOOP SHOOP, but the movie MERMAIDS was fun and the SONG may not have been like the original but it does have have Cher, Winona Ryder and a little Christina Ricci.

Thanks Gary and Jerry

Nice Cuppa said...

EYE, well I HEYEd it back to BlEYEty for YuletEYEd. QuEYEt NEYEce for the tEYEme of year - not blEYEnded by the lEYEt.

Errymay Asxmay otay allay omfray hetay Dolay Odsay.

oc4beach said...

Today I(EYE) got he theme. How many ways can you say I, EYE, AYE? Is it only 3?

Nice puzzle Jeff and I enjoyed your write-up Gary.

Living in a college town, I'm inundated with the Greek Alphabet. Frats abound in many old stately former mansions. However, I doubt if many are stately inside any more. The TKE house is probably one of the more impressive ones sitting on a small knoll overlooking one of the main drags through town.

Today is the last day to order from Amazon and many other E-tailers and hope to get one day delivery in time for Christmas. It's too late for me, so today I'm going out to buy gift cards for those who (or is it whom) I have no clue as to what gift to get.

I hope everyone has a great day.

CanadianEh! said...

Fun theme today. Thanks Jeff and Husker G. I liked how you found other EYE references in the puzzle.

Like others, I had chlorine before IDE, TAB before TBD, Phi before TAU.

DNF due to crossing capitals at 24A and 4D. Never heard of MORONI.

D'otto @6:57am - After yesterday's Eh discussion, I will not comment on the regional accents!

Have a great day.

Lucina said...

Hello, friends!

WBS. I had to wait for ADJ but skipped right along with the rest of it and saw EYE to EYE on the themes. I liked the many rare entries, PIXIE, PILATE, MORONI, CROAT, etc. which we RARELY see in puzzles. Thank you, Jeff!

Also I had SALT before NACL. And I'm slowly learning to text though like the Dad in the example, I write everything, no shorthand, and of course it takes a long time and it's annoying. Talking is much more satisfying.

And thank you, Gary, for an apt analysis and some fine links.

Have a wondrous Wednesday, everyone! I hope your shopping is finished and all presents are wrapped.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Nice puzzle, excellent write up, Gary.

I had some snags here and there and really missed the elegance of the theme. Finally made it through.

Merry Christmas and/or happy holidays to all.

Here's a Goodwin arrangement of a Christmas classic from our concert last week.

Cool regards!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Fairly easy again. Paused in the NE until AXED fell which confirmed PIXIE and PILATE. Liked the EYE gimmick.

ODD - Canadians frequently use 'odd' to mean 'scattered' or 'here and there'. In Winter my Ontario Hydro counterparts would often use 'an odd piece of ice' to describe flow conditions in the Niagara River, or, at the end of Spring break-up, any remaining ice in Lake Erie.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I found this a tad crunchy for a Wednesday, but did finish w/o help. The Northeast corner was slow to fall but, finally, all fell into place. Hand up for ine before ide and TBA/TBD. Clever theme and cluing.

Thanks, Jeff, for a mid-week treat and thanks, HG, for a delightful dissection and fun links.

Montana, I hope you feel better so you can enjoy all of the Christmas festivities!

Today is the three month anniversary of my hand surgery. I still have pain (bearable), diminished strength, and restricted movement, but compared to how it was early on, I'm not complaining. I was told, even before the surgery, that the recovery would be slow and difficult, so I'm not surprised to be where I am.

Have a great day.

Big Easy said...

Great write up H.G. and I agree with you on the salt rub. Why anybody would want one of those, or a mud bath, or aroma therapy, or any of those other BS offerings that SPAs offer is beyond my comprehension. I caught the theme at RED-EYE ALERT and easily filled the puzzle from top to bottom. My only unknown was twofold- didn't really know where the Comoros were and certainly didn't know its capital city but the crosses filled it easily. I know 'Bony MARONIe', but never heard of MARONI. I originally filled 6D as TBA instead of TBD but the 'AEYEA' vowel sequence wouldn't allow any sane answer. FERMATPRIME and I were thinking alike on the 'to be announced', not determined.

I noticed the phone booths at the Australian motel; I guess the place is out of reach for cell phone service. MAD DOG- for years I used and inventory program that had the abbreviation- MADDOQ- that calculated future inventory levels based on previous demand but we called it the MAD DOG. It took about 90 minutes on the IBM-1130 in 1973. By the time I got my IBM AS400 in 1992, it took about 2 minutes or less before I updated to a newer inventory forecasting program.

C6D6 Peg said...

Thanks, Jeff, for a fun Wednesday puzzle. Got the first themed entry, REDEYEALERT, and off we went.

Thanks, HG, for another great write-up.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Jeff Stillman, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Husker Gary, for a fine review.

Good wednesday level puzzle. A little tough.

Got all the theme answers and then looked for the theme when I was done. EYE

Wanted MAMA, but held off for a cross. DADA worked out. No inkblot.

Tried TBA for 6D. RE EYE changed that to TBD. 1st inkblot.

Tried to write in RED EYE FLIGHT for 18A. Realized i did not have enough letters. The F became an A. 2nd inkblot.

Tried NELLS for 35A. Fixed that to NILES with WIDEN. 3rd inkblot.

Tried LEROY for 33D. Fixed that to ELROY after WALLEYE. 4th inkblot.

Tried INE for 40A. Fixed that after WIDEN to IDE. 5th inkblot.

Tried ICON for 53A. Fixed that to IDOL after ISLATS. 6th inkblot.

Had CORA for 54D. Fixed that to DORA after IDOL. 7th inkblot.

I did enjoy the puzzle, just had a few write-overs. And, my pen ran out of ink.

Raining here today in N.E. Illinois. Temp in the 50's.

See you tomorrow.


( )

Misty said...

Well, this was a bit of a toughie after the speed run yesterday, but a fun one, nonetheless--so, many thanks, Jeff! Didn't know MORONI and also went with TBA for the longest time, so it took me a while to get RED EYE ALERT. But in the end it all fell into place and I really enjoyed seeing those EYEs pop up in all the theme answers.

Really fabulous pics, Husker Gary--as always!

Irish Miss, three months is a really long time to have a hand problem--so sorry to hear it. What a patient soul you are.

Thank you all again for the lovely birthday wishes, yesterday. I love my blog friends!

Have a great day, everybody!

Jazzbumpa said...

Ooops - missed Misty yesterday.
H! B! D!


Anonymous T said...

Happy Festivus!*

Thanks Jeff for a fine puzzle. A lotta bit crunchy for me, but got'er (almost) done. HG, you're in fine form today. Thanks for the writeup and the pix.

For what it's worth, TBD was my first entry. To me TBA, means I know, but I ain't telling yet. TBD is I donno yet; we'll figure it out soon.

Hand up for salt (even tho it was in 9d's clue) for 39d.

The S. Central took as long for me to suss as the rest of the puzzle. My big bugaboo was entering bucKEYE (oops, wrong I, er, EYE-State) into 47a. Then I had aRESTS [sic] for 50d. Further impeding the solve was 'dent' for a lasting impression...

So, my FWI - I left the A in 50d GEEsh. :-(

Anyone ever had this MAD DOG. I think we tried it once in HS b/f going back to Canadian Black Label :-)

How can we let JUDD HIRSCH pass w/o a link?

Cheers, -T
*thanks for the reminder TIN. I'll get the pole from the crawlspace.

Jayce said...

I liked it. POPEYE was the first EYE to fill. Then I grokked the gimmick which made me smile (both the gimmick and the getting of it.) Had many of the false starts some of you did, notably TBA --> TBD and INE --> IDE. Immediately thought of Tinbeni when I saw Zagreb. Also thought of the HEX signs of which I have seen many on Amish barns. Thanks to Jeff Stillman for a pleasurable puzzle, thanks to Husker Gary for an interesting and witty writeup, and best wishes to you all.

JD said...

Good morning all,

Thanks for the write up with fun extras today, Gary. Jeff, I'm not sure that I really enjoyed today's puzzle. There were way too many clues that made no sense to me (fearful lowan, NYSE debuts)... BUT, on the other hand, I got lots of laughs from many others, such as web site. I know Kaiser would not let me go to an ophthalmologist for a stye, so I hesitated with that one.

Looking over my puzzle, I now see that I have INE instead of IDE; no wonder winen (widen) did not make sense!

Hope you are all ready for Santa. A bit of baking and wrapping stocking stuffers is on today's agenda. No rain, and no grandsons today so we can get out and walk.

Tinbeni said...

Anon T
I know that George's dad would disagree ... but after so many years of celebrating FESTIVUS with a "bare pole" ... I started decorating mine ... with the beads from all the celebrations around the Tampa Bay Area.
Gasparilla and the Santa Parade were Gold Mines. LOL

Alas, I'm the only one in my neighborhood with a FESTIVUS POLE.


PS Thanks for the link @12:10. It explains FESTIVUS to the "Non-Believer's"

CrossEyedDave said...

Fun puzzle, but what has it got to do with cats?

How to know you need to take a rest from flying...

Actually, this could apply to any fish...

I don't want to talk about it...

If only Popeye knew...

Johnny Winter said...

With reference to "Bony Maronie", I am the writer of that song, and it wasn't Little Richard, but Larry williams who originally sang my song, making it a hit, even though nobody AXED me.

The puzzle was sweet. Enjoyed it.

At the risk of not being PC, I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

Anonymous T said...

CED - #4 is definitely a Lulz Cat! Funny.

TIN - A better Festivus link. Spread the Gospel! [you can decorate - just no tinsel; It's distracting].

OKL - I've not commented 'cuz others have, but your Muse is strong lately. Thanks.

Cheers, -T

Unknown said...

Monday seemed like a Tuesday and vise versa. Today seemed like a Thursday. We shall see what unfolds tomorrow.

Northeast corner got me bad I had cord for wire.
Turned on red letters at 80 percent done. had 4 reds.
Judd Hirsch was my first thought. Danny didn't fit. I forget Latkas name but he was the best ELVIS impersonator there was.

When I moved to Tucson Az. a few years back to supervise the building of a 5 story MOB my Cajun accent was thick and I got funny looks when I would say AXE or AXED also.

Plus Tard from Cajun Country ~!~!

Tinbeni said...

Anon T @2:30
THAT FESTIVUS Link was on the "side-bar" of your @12:10 link.

But I agree ... the "Non-Believer's" can watch it and truly understand. LOL


Anonymous T said...


First, I'm w/ you on difficulty (for me anyway) today. I thought "is today Friday?" Seeing the calendar I stuck w/ it. BTW, it's Andy Kaufman you're thinking of. He was my 1st thought when I got ODD for 17a but then I ran out of squares.

Puzzle pals bear with me...
Grammar (n.): The difference between knowing your shit and knowing you're shit.

Office mate (a Marine) just shared that w/ me and I like'd ta fall outta my chair. Even the hackers are taking a break this week so we have a bit of downtime.

Cheers, -T

Argyle said...

Anybody else for (Old) Yeller, rabies victim.

Anonymous said...

WAILING WALLEYE is about as irreverent as it gets (but very funny). EGAD thank OMG it is countered with GEE.

CrossEyedDave said...


Anonymous T,

I have been perusing the Andy Kaufman side links
& came across an interesting tidbit...

Manac said...

Good evening everyone.
Thought Wailing Walleye the odd man out.
Husker...Great write up! Allow me to
expand on your Rage

CED, really enjoyed your links from Saturday, the
second one was priceless.

Been working over in Vermont this week near Killington. Talk about
a wasteland. No snow = no skiers and worse... no snow bunnies:(

Found out I have tomorrow off so will start my shopping in the morning.
What could possibly go wrong?

Big Easy said...

I do believe that the 'real' Johnny Winter died last year. Edgar is still alive. And so is Rick Derringer. 'Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo"

Anonymous T said...

I'm back from another trip downtown for Eldest to sing at the ballet. Steve at the Maple Leaf and a couple from Fargo (in HOU?) kept me company. Serendipity after I got home - more after these thanks...

Argyle - Yep. Ol' Yeller was my 1st though until I saw the letter count. I'm glad I'm not the only one...

CED - I love that episode esp how Rev Jim breaks down the region & year of the coca leaf :-)

Manac - RIP Dangerfield...

Big E - Derringer for you.

So, after I got home w/ Eldest, the block was having a Christmas Eve-Eve party. I went out to be social (not my thing, but I had a pint or two at the Maple Leaf and there was promise of more beer). Here are the people in my neighborhood....

The woman married to the firefighter at the end of the block works with me - 4 floors up. One guy has known my boss (played golf w/ him Friday) for 20 years. Yet another guy coordinates the CyberSec Exec meetings I attend - I've known him & taken him Pizzelles for years - we WOPs take care of of our own :-). Crazy. I guess I should get away from my computer more...

Cheers, -T