Jan 20, 2016

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 Mark McClain

Theme: Out For Blood

Mark's fun Wednesday offering is a self-defense course for anyone who finds themselves in a bad part of Transylvania. The guy below is equipped with three of Mark's enumerated weapons against Bram Stoker's VAMPIRE. Maybe the MIRROR is in his pocket.

Here are Mark's "instrumente de a utilize" ("tools to use" in Romanian) to "off" a VAMPIRE in these Across theme answers:

17. *Trattoria basket filler : GARLIC BREAD - Slavic countries and Romania have used this vegetable to find and prevent VAMPIRES as late as 1970.

33. *Railroad track piece : CROSS TIE - Thinking they were evil and excluded from God's world, VAMPIRES would feel uneasy seeing a CROSS, seen here wielded by Buffy The Vampire Slayer Sara Michelle Gellar

42. *Police surveillance : STAKE OUT - Buffy's ready to take to heart this method for snuffing out our bloodsucking theme

58. *Reversed counterpart : MIRROR IMAGE - Bram Stoker's VAMPIRE hated MIRRORS because his lack of an image revealed he had no soul.  Buffy gives him a frame of reference?

The theme reveal is a vertical at 39 Down

39. Folklore creature traditionally averse to the starts of the answers to starred clues : VAMPIRE - C'mon, isn't Bela Lugosi the VAMPIRE we all think of?

Mark's Puzzle was a little OATIER than most midweek offerings and I got the theme reveal before I started looking for it because the lower middle took most of my MEASLY (recent puzzle) skills.

Now let's explore the rest of the non-lethal  cluing Mark provided


1. Yin Yang portrayer in "The Expendables" film series : JET LI - Can you find him in this poster for the film that got none of my Expendable income?

6. Business : TRADE

11. Covers with Quilted Northern, briefly : TPS - I can think of a few  of our cwd family 
that have probably TP'd a house. Maybe even recently.

14. Shun : AVOID

15. Portend : AUGUR - A definite mini theme with 
12 Down - Portend : PRESAGE and 56 Down - Portent : OMEN. Not as creepy as Dracula but... 

16. Christian sch. in Tulsa : ORU - They're the Golden Eagles of Oral Roberts University

19. Cartoon Chihuahua : REN

20. Lad of La Mancha :  NIÑO - We all hope the current El 
NIÑO will bring relief to our left coasters

21. Union : ONENESS

23. Rural expanse : LEA

25. Make a bet : GAMBLE 

28. "I don't give __!" : A RAP - PresAge tore my original A RIP out of the puzzle. RAP is an old world counterfeit coin, hence this phrase unfamiliar to me was correct

29. Karachi language : URDU 

31. Nursery purchase : SEED - The Burpee SEED Catalog is a harbinger of spring

32. Scrapped, at NASA : NO GO

35. Atlas enlargement : INSET 

36. Deck honcho, informally : BOS'N - BOS'N Mate 3rd class. 

37. Recital highlights : SOLI - Several SOLOS

39. Thomas, Dick and Harry : VEEPS - Not PEEPS - Jefferson, Nixon and Truman -  all who became prez

46. Rations for Rover : ALPO - A famous ALPO pitchman and his "pet"

47. Sealed : SHUT

48. Black Hills st. : S DAK

49. Israel's Golda : MEIR - Seinfeld discussion on ugliest world leader, Elaine says, "I got news for you. Golda MEIR could make 'em all run up a tree!"

50. Unimportant : TWO BIT - "He called me a TWO BIT hustler." "Whadja do?" "I hit him with my bagful of quarters!"

52. __ gratias: thanks to God : DEO

53. Rural expanse : PASTURE - More picturesque in my Grandfather's Switzerland

55. Son of Aphrodite : EROS

57. Diminutive Italian suffix : INO - Does Domino's only serve small pizzas?

63. Towel holder : ROD 

64. No longer dirt : PAVED - After and before

65. Artist's headgear : BERET -  Très chic  or T
rès idiot

66. Prior to, in verse : ERE

67. Gobs : SLEWS

68. El Día de Los Reyes month : ENERO - Or The Story of the Three Kings - Los Tres Reyes Magos - celebrated on JANUARY 6th in Mexico which is the height of their Christmas season when gifts are exchanged


1. Upscale British wheels : JAG - Me - "Jag Wahr". Our resident Brits and Kiwis - "Jag U Ar"

2. Actress Longoria : EVA - Her series lasted two episodes. Downton breathes a sigh of relief

3. Twister : TORNADO

4. Caron title role : LILI - A 1953 film that gave us Hi Lili, Hi Lo which we sang in Boy's Glee

5. Picking out of an LAPD lineup : ID'ING

6. Bar charges : TAB

7. Play with robots : RUR - You belong over there with ONO in Crossword Land

8. Ancient : AGE OLD

9. One of the Allman Brothers : DUANE - He formed the band but she married the other one

10. Earth, to Mahler : ERDE

11. Corrida stars : TOREROS

13. *Daytime observatory sighting : SUNSPOT - Earth compared to SUNSPOT 11476

18. Moves effortlessly : COASTS

22. Kid watchers : NANNIES - To travel, we need a NANNY for our Lily

23. Jean-__ Picard: "Star Trek: TNG" captain : LUC - He is Kirk of The Next Generation

24. Make a wrong turn, say : ERR

26. Chow __ : MEIN

27. Quilting gathering : BEE - Lincoln, NE is the home of The International Quilt Museum and Study Center

30. Laptop connection : USB PORT

34. "Mamma Mia!" song : SOS

35. Kind : ILK

37. Incomplete Wikipedia entry : STUB - New to moi!

38. More like Cheerios : OATIER - Any port in a linguistic storm 

40. First lady between Lou and Bess : ELEANOR - She took all the grief her husband and his mother could give her and still turned out to be a real heroine of the 20th century

41. Series installment : EPISODE - Not many left for Downton 

42. "Homeland" sta. : SHO

43. "Most likely ... " : ODDS ARE

44. Dubai's fed. : UAE

45. "Thrilla in Manila" ruling, for short : TKO - Ali got the TKO but his cornerman said Ali told him "Cut off the gloves, I quit!" seconds after Frazier quit so Joe could have gotten the TKO if he had waited

47. Change direction abruptly : SWERVE

50. "The Good Wife" event : TRIAL

51. Extended family : TRIBE - Tribal ties trump country ties in parts of the Mideast

54. Ballpark figures : UMPS

59. Button with left-pointing arrows: Abbr. : REW - "Did he really say that?"

60. Gorges oneself (on) : ODS

61. Belg. neighbor : GER - GER General Schlieffen's WWI plan to invade France took him through tiny, neutral BEL and within 5 miles of Paris

62. Ike's wartime command : ETO - Main stage for WWI and WWII - "When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?"

Stoker's VAMPIRE, COUNT DRACULA, may have made some people's "blood run cold", but I look forward to your comments which I'm sure will make no one's BLOOD boil.


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Not much to say about this one. Didn't get the theme until I hit the reveal, but didn't need it to solve. A little slower than other puzzles so far this week, but mostly due to the slightly more difficult cluing. No unknowns, and I even knew that JET LI played YING YANG in "The Expendables".

OATIER is not my favorite word, and I'm really wondering if it's even possible to buy a single SEED anywhere, but those are very minor nits. Overall, a fun puzzle.

Lemonade714 said...

Nice to see vampires get some love after all the attention bring given to zombies. I enjoyed it, also not crazy about OATIER wondered why if you say Thomas Dick and Harry you don't clue Thomas Richard and Harold?

TOREROS took perps as did A RAP.

I enjoyed your write up HG but you reference to the Eva Longoria failed series made me lol it up and learn she was the producer and has produced many movies and series. Live and learn stuff probably not worth knowing. Happy humping all.

unclefred said...

I was lucky enough to get the reveal early, which helped with the cluing. Not fond of SOLI. Always wonder if it's DEO or DIO. A long time to get 'er done, but I managed. Nice, chewy CW Mark, thanks! Great write-up, Husker, thanks!!

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Great expo, Gary, with cute vampire stuff! Very interesting puzzle, Mark!

I slowly picked my way around in this puzzle, going AHA when the lightbulb went on in my mind for some of the fill. I didn't know JET LI and I kept typing in GIGI and wondering why "G's" turned red.

VAMPIRE, ELEANOR & EPISODE came easy just as I was beginning to get discouraged. I had to do several red-letter runs because the mists swirled around this VAMPIRE puzzle making it difficult to see what the clues meant. Finally prevailed and got a Tada. I hope this doesn't PRESAGE another run of late week stumpers.

We have a relative who sucks the joy and any goodness out of everything. I commented once to my son that I want to be sure to go to his funeral so I could drive a STAKE through his heart. My son agrees that the guy needs one and appears to be going to live forever doing evil. The little joke backfired because my young grandson overheard me say that and got pretty excited about it. He wanted to be sure to be there. How do you explain such a thing?

unclefred said...

Also, never heard anyone say "I don't give a rap."

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Hand up for GIGI, but the rest of my grid is unsmeared. Didn't get the theme until the reveal, but when I entered STAKEOUT I thought of Bela Lugosi, "Stake out, please!"

I enjoyed Mark's puzzle, and also your writeup, Husker. Had to read "Tribal ties trump country ties" five times before realizing that Tribal wasn't running for office. Your "Paved" photo reminds me of I-69. You can really tell when you enter Liberty County just north of here -- "Hey, where'd my highway go?"

My new laptop has only two USB PORTs. Plug in a printer and a mouse and you're out of business. Guess you should expect that when you go cheap. Geek Squad keeps calling, asking me to stop by to pick up the Apple carcass. Maybe I'll get there today.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Hand up for struggling at Torero vs. Rap. Interesting to have a Pasture and a Lea in the same acreage. Recently watched a PBS special about the centuries old belief in vampires, which persists in Eastern Europe even today.

Never watched an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but you gotta say Sarah Michelle is/was adorable. Thanks for that, Husker!

It might be interesting to see a catalog of all the "I don't give a......." phrases in use. There are some fun and mild ones, such as "I don't give a rolling doughnut", but I find I stick with the tried and true "I don't give a rat's ass!". Everybody knows just what you mean with that one.

billocohoes said...

Lemonade714, agree on Richard, but VP Truman's first name was "Harry", the nickname of his uncle Harrison. His middle initial "S" stood for nothing.

Anonymous said...

The 60D clue needs an "abbr." or "for short."

Jerome said...

Dudley- Recently watched a PBS series about the centuries old belief in Bigfoot, which persists in America even today.

Tinbeni said...

Husker: Outstanding write-up. I learned a lot.

Mark: Thank You for a FUN Wednesday puzzle. Enjoyed the theme.

Hand-up, and agreeing 100% with Dudley, that "I don't give a rat's ass" for the 28-a answer A RAP.

Fave today was (what else) that Bar TAB ... though I never carry one. I'm a "pay-as-you-go" kinda guy.
(That way you can leave whenever you want ... without having to get the bartender's attention).

Well it was 14 degrees below Florida Freezing at 6:00 am. (Yeah, it was 37 degrees!)
But it will warm up to 65 degrees by 3:00 pm.


Big Easy said...

Portent, Portend, AUGUR, PRESAGE- four words that are archaic and not used except to aggravate people who didn't know their meaning, Mainly me. OMEN I knew. Thank you perps.

I hate it when I have no idea what 1A should be but luckily the perps took care of JET LI. I never saw ( or was looking) the theme until I read the 39D clue and by that time the crosses had filled all but INO and VAMPIRE was easy to complete.

STUB was also a new one for me. I thought that was something you did to your toe. 'Unclefred'-The only other unknown was "I don't give A RAP- I've heard and used 'crap' but never heard of A RAP.

JAGs- My son-in-law had two XFs and was never so glad that the second one was leased. Continual problems. He's back to a Jeep.

Looking at the picture of the Allman family- two messed up kids.

D-O- get a new printer. They are all WIRELESS. Splurge and get a WIRELESS mouse and keyboard combination ( laptop keyboards are horrible).

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Good intro, Husker. Always a lot of good interesting poop included.

Got it all without lookups, but had to probe for a good anchorage to expand from. Basically bloomed out from the bottom.
Had Gigi before LILI. ENERO seemed right. I was struck with LEA and PASTURE, too. We always used the word PASTURE.
PAVED - Grew up on a no-longer-dirt road, while it was dirt. Road grader was always welcome to smooth out the washboards and redistribute the dirt and stones. Then vehicles could reform the driving 'ruts'.
CROSSTIE - the Brits call them sleepers.
BOS'N - The Bos'n depicted by Husker was apparently serving aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, based on his ball cap. He is using his Bosun's pipe to make some kind of announcement; perhaps "Reveille! Reveille! Reveille! All hands heave out and trice up. Reveille!"

Anonymous said...

"I don't give a rap" seems to be missing a letter.

Husker Gary said...

Taking note of an anomaly that occurred this week on a show that is popular here with us trivia fans - Jeopardy. What happened was so remarkable that ABC News had it on as the last story on their national newscast.

A Final Jeopardy category this week was STATE CAPITALS and the FINAL JEOPARDY ANSWER was:

A 1957 event led to the creation of a national historic site in this city, signed into law by a president whose library is now there too.

You have 30 seconds, Good Luck!

All three contestants posed a wrong question and all bet their entire bank roll and that left this scene at the end of the show. That meant all three lost and there would be no returning champion on the next show.

I got the answer (it must not be that hard!).

SwampCat said...

I worked this one backwards. When I couldn't get 1A, I panicked and went to 62D...which was easy! Ike is a CW staple. So I filled in from the bottom and got the reveal before any of the theme entries.

Thanks, Mark, for what turned out to be an easy but interesting workout.

Husker, your expo was delightful! And you are so right. Bela will forever be Dracula.

I still don't understand STUB for "Incomplete Wiki entry", but the perps insisted.

inanehiker said...

Creative puzzle, it had a few crunchy moments as expected for a Wednesday, but overall a smooth solve.

BarryG --SEED can be singular or plural kind of like fish or fruit which also has the plurals of seeds, fishes, or fruits. I don't know if there is a rule for when you use one or the other.

Thanks HG for the entertaining write-up and Mark for the puzzle!

Husker Gary said...

OK, here is the reveal I should have included for that correct FINAL JEOPARDY Question. Perhaps being alive in 1957 and knowing this was the week of MLK helped me.

oc4beach said...

Ultimately filled in the puzzle, but some of the non-theme clues sucked the blood out of me this morning, like RAP, SOLI, AUGUR and OATIER to name a few.

Question: now that General Mills makes Gluten-Free Cheerios, are they OATIER or not?

DO: If you need more USB ports you can get a small USB hub with 3 or more ports at Best Buy, Staples, Amazon, etc for less than $10.00. I carry one in my laptop backpack along with some extra cables. Sometimes trying to use a wireless hookup doesn't work and it's necessary to go back to basics.

It's warming up a little, only went down to 13 degrees last night. Need to get gas for the snowblower for the upcoming Nor'Easter if it really materializes. One of my former neighbors who moved to Florida took his snowblower with him, I can't imagine why. Oh well.

Have a great day everyone.

Avg Joe said...

Enjoyed the puzzle, but needed the reveal to get the theme. And thanks for the write up Gary. BTW, 13d is also a theme answer....and you even gave it an asterisk!

I saw that Jeopardy show, but I misunderstood the clue to imply the president in question was in office in 1957. So my guess was Topeka (Never mind that the Eisenhower Library is in Abilene). So I'd have been booted off the island too.

DO, I'd second the idea of getting a wireless keyboard and mouse. I'd rather type on the iPad than my laptop.

Spitzboov said...

Avg Joe - I reluctantly went with Topeka, too, for the same reasons you did.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Also needed the reveal to catch the theme. Very clever and any trouble spots were smoothed out by the perps. Have no idea re stub for an incomplete Wiki entry.

Thank you, Mark, for a mid-week romp, and thanks, HG, for the great summary. BTW, does Lily mind the cold or does she just avoid going outside?

Still very cold but at least the wind has calmed down. Not many specifics yet regarding Saturday's storm.

Have a great day.

CrossEyedDave said...

I finished the puzzle due to some brilliant WAGs at some Naticks!
(I am very proud of myself!)

Oh, wait a sec!
It's not Arip/presige?
Rats! (I wuz robbed...)

I won't list all my inkblots for this one,
just an example: 1D Upscale British wheels
MGs b/4 Jag
(*&%#@ plural got me...)
(but Garlic fixed it...)

Interesting coincidence,
I owe Steve an apology,
I had said previously that I thought the comic
"Get Fuzzy" was not funny.
Todays was not only funny, but ties in with the puzzle!

Get Fuzzy.

Bluehen said...

This puzzle gave me some trouble, but in the end every answer was perpable. I don't give ARAP just doesn't sound right, but I'll accept HG's explanation. Likewise, never knew an incomplete Wiki entry was called a STUB.

Apropos to the theme, did anyone read the comic strip "Get Fuzzy" today?

Mark McClain said...

So glad to see my favorite word "fun" in HG's review and many of the comments. That's what this is all about! Sorry about the crosswordese that was needed to get this thing filled. If you use Wikipedia about six hours a day like I do, you'll definitely come up with a message "This entry is a stub. Help us make it . . .". It's an article that is "deemed too short to provide encyclopedic coverage of a subject". That was my clue. All the others that you didn't like were Rich's (just kidding!). BTW this puzzle underwent a complete re-do for it to work, so thanks to Rich for being patient on this one. Also a little behind the scenes comment, we really wanted to get Buffy into this grid, but just couldn't, so I really got a chuckle out of seeing her in the review. Anyone who's still reading and would like to see more of my puzzles, take a gander at my new book "Unplugged Crosswords" at

Husker Gary said...

-Thanks for stopping by our electronic popsicle stand, Mark! If this can’t be “fun” what’s the point?
-Dang, Joe, I did miss moving Drac in the SUN up into the theme answers. Thanks for the gentle reminder. I, uh, must have had the sun in my eyes!
-Irish, Lily goes out on the below zero days, pauses and comes back in a NSEC (love including cwd parlance). We’re considering leasing a motor home and taking her with us.
-At school I routinely had 6 USB devices in my laptop and so had to use a device like this.
-“Bill, why do have that snowblower in your pickup if you’re moving south?” “I’m driving until someone says, ‘What the hell is that?’, and I’ll know I’ve gone far enough!”
-The JEOPARDY champion got greedy on that question instead of betting $1 more than double his nearest challenger

PK said...

I saw that Jeopardy show too and was sure it was Abilene where I've visited the library and Ike's childhood home. Topeka has the the Brown vs Board of Education National Historical Site. Totally ignored the State Capitol title. I was alive to remember the Little Rock incident too.

STUB: I had to go back to the expo to see what you were talking about. It must have just perped in because I didn't read the clue. I would have clued it "cropped dog tail".

C6D6 Peg said...

Thanks, Mark, for fine puzzle. Got the theme early on which helped with MIRRORIMAGE.

Thanks, HG, for a fine review, as well.

JD said...

Good morning all,

Well, it wasn't SHOtime for me . Couldn't dig myself out of my mistakes. When trivia turned into trovia>twovia>>>I knew I was doomed. Too many clues did not fire up the necessary dendrites. Enjoyed Gary's write up more than the CW. Sorry Mark, you were too clever with your clues.
Had no problem filling vampire because of garlic bread, but mirror image not so good.LOL

Husker Gary said...

Another comic apropos to Mark’s fun humpday puzzle published coincidentally today.

Yellowrocks said...

Great puzzle, Mark. Thanks for stopping by. Seeing the VAMPIRE slaying tools made it easy. Gary, I always love your clever, informative posts. Sadly, I misspelled AUGUR. I was about to drill into this one with my AUGER.
Mark, I agree about STUB. When I Google, I frequently come upon, "This entry is a stub. Help us make it . . .".

I filled in A RAP, from just - R - -. Seems common enough for me.

Yellowrocks said...

The OMEN words are used quite liberally in today's publications. I found a dozen or more recent references for each one.
• Is it a cautionary tale, a PORTENT of looming disaster that should be added to our list of late-night worries?
The New Yorker Oct 2, 2015
• Such concerns could PORTEND higher insurance rates broadly.
New York Times Jan 9, 2016
• It would also AUGUR well for the coming battle to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city and Islamic State’s main stronghold in Iraq.
Wall Street Journal Dec 27, 2015
• By Saturday, an incoming cold front offers a chance of showers and PRESAGES a drop in temperatures for Sunday.”
Washington Post Nov 23, 2015

Maverick said...

TOREDOS/TORENOS/TOREROS? I don't give A RAP! I've never heard anyone use the phrase, but I always have an "Oh, yeah" when I see it in a crossword. Had DOUBLED DOWN for "reversed counterpart" until I got the VAMPIRE theme.

Mark McClain said...

"Rap" is an old word for an Irish coin that was worthless. So it's obsolete, right? NO! Newsday-Aug 5, 2015 - In the last week, Nationals slugger Bryce Harper said, "I don't give a rap what the Mets are doing." Jayson Werth said, "It's our division to lose.''. Man, if Bryce Harper said it, it is both current . . . and cool! But, he should have given a rap cuz the Nats went down big time!

CrossEyedDave said...

Mark McLain@10:28

Thanks for stopping by, it was indeed a fun puzzle.

Also, Thanks for the link "unplugged crosswords."

(wait a sec, that was a plug...)
(hmm, tricksy methinks this guy is...)

desper-otto said...

In my high school days we often said, "I don't give a rap" -- particularly when there was a teacher within earshot, and a more descriptive oath would have earned a detention session.

CrossEyedDave said...

Since HG did such an excellent job with the write up links,
I thought I would spare you my silly links today.

(& then I thought, what the hell...)

In reverse order...

Ack! It's not a Sunspot! It's the eye of Sauron!

Eye just like this pic...
(Hey, be grateful. There are plenty of Cat pics I could have used....)

Hmm, I think I failed to find a funny stakeout link...

Interesting note:
I thought this was a tie rack made from a crosstie, but it turns out to be a winerack.
I investigated further, & it turns out there is an entire website
listing creative uses for your unused crossties...

Garlic Bread


Misty said...

This had a few tough moments for a Wednesday puzzle, but I got it in the end and really enjoyed it! Thanks, Mark, and thanks also for stopping by. I always love your pictures, Husker Gary, and your great write-up too.

Living in Tulsa for a few years for my first teaching job helped me get ORU.

I too was amazed when that "Jeopardy" ended with three $0 losers a couple days ago. But I thought all three should have been allowed to come back and try again--rather than just being booted off like that. A second game with the three of them would have been suspenseful and a lot of fun.

Have a great Wednesday, everybody!

Mike Mc said...

Romanians are Slavic, and Bela was Hungarian, one of the few eastern European nationalities that isn't Slavic. But to Hollywood producers, eastern European is eastern European.

K-Dub said...

Hey MM @ 2:07 - if Romanians are Slavic, why is their language Romance? I knew about the Magyar tribes of Hungary.

Madame Defarge said...

Hi all,

A little late, so pretty much WEES. I wanted KenL for ALPO because I thought I was finishing the "ration." I've always heard, "I don't give a rip." It's probably regional. Romanian is a Romance language because that's as far as the Romans got. (Now that's a fine sentence--NOT!)

Enjoyed the puzzle--especially all the portentous items. Thanks, Mark for the Wednesday fun. Nicely informative write-up, Gary. Thanks.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Cool puzzle today; I enjoyed it. I wonder why 39A wasn't clued as "Tom, Dick and Harry". Why "Thomas"? Seemed to be some serious Spanish in the puzzle, too. I've complained about clues and answers that are not English or commonly known to speakers of English (eg, corrido), so I won't say more. Objection hereby posted.
Big Easy, I hope AT&T got your internet connection up again, and I hope it stays up reliably. Ours has been repaired 7 times in just the past 3 months, and broken down 6 times (meaning it's still up right now).
I'm going to explain why my blog handle is "Jayce." Stop reading now if you don't care. My real name is John (now the cat is out of the bag), which also my father's name. To distinguish me from him, my family always called me J.C. because those are my initials. The sound "Jay Cee" soon became shortened to "Jayce" and that's been my nickname ever since. I remember when I first came this blog Lemonade asked me if my name was Jason. It's not, but my nephew, son of my best friend since high school (who married my cousin) named his son Jason in honor of me ("Jay's son"). So Jason is also a name I have high respect for. C.C., I hope and trust you will never be called "Cease."
Best wishes to you all.

Mark McClain said...

The "Thomas, Dick and Harry" clue was Rich's. Mine was "Dick and Joe, recently". My only guess as to why the Thomas instead of Tom is that Jefferson and Hendricks seemed to always be referred to as Thomas and never Tom. Truman's name really was Harry (as pointed out earlier), and Cheney was always referred to as Dick and never Richard (which really was his name). So, I'd say it's a fair clue, but confusing.

Ol' Man Keith said...

For midweek pzls I usually challenge myself by restricting my first answers to a diagonal running from NW to SE. How many others add personal obstacles like this?

Today was especially tricky because of Mr. McClain's *#@! counter diagonal of black spaces, a blacked-out void that prevented any direct connection between the top left and bottom right corners.
I had to leap from 33A to 37D to continue my descent. I don't like doing it this way because there's no necessary link, but [sigh], as we say when faced with life's vagaries, It Is what It Is...

~ Kf

TTP said...

Hi all.

I'll take the WEES route. Excellent puzzle and write up.

Main furnace went out early this morning. Noticed after DW went to work. Finally got it running again. Then took my boy for a mile and half walk since the temperature got up to nearly 20 today and there was no wind. As my fellow Chicago denizens might attest, it was almost balmy today. Then made braised ribs. Going to make farfalle (bow tie pasta) in just a few minutes.

What Dudley said. Never heard rap. Have heard rip, and much more emphatic declarations that aren't appropriate for this blog.

Jayce, I liked your story. I knew a guy that I thought was named Aitch. No, it turned out it was H. His dad was Harry, as was he, so he was dubbed H for clarity.

Keith, yep. Hand up. Sometimes I do outer rings and work inward. Other times diagonals. Sometimes opposing corners or quadrants. If the puzzle pattern permits, I might even start in the middle and follow whatever direction the clues take.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

I don't give A dAP that I missed that square, the BEE in my bonnet is that I put an I in 15a xing 9d. DiANE looked good so I left it w/o checking the clue again. Oh, Brother. I'm CROSS at myself now.

Thanks for the puzzle Mark. Well executed w/ a Theme'er MIRRORing the reveal. HG, I always enjoy all the pix you link - the SUN SPOT was my fav. We are so damn small.

WOs: SOLo b/f 22d fixed it and EREnO b/f I got to GER.

Fav: JAG. I'll tell you why. Monday a vendor offered to "capture" my boss for lunch. Boss refused. The vendor said, "but don't you want to ride in my JAG?" Boss related the story to us underlings at staff meeting. We laughed. Today the JAG was in the lot (boss man let us underlings get captured for a lunch presentation). Collogue saw it in the lot, laughed, and related the siting to me as I was reading HG. I showed her 1d. We couldn't stop :-)

Maybe you just had to be there. [I hope the vendor doesn't read this blog]

Doh! I clicked CED's Get Fuzzy and spoiled the last comic I read at nite. I didn't learn by HG's comic, so clicked again - fortunately it's not one that runs in my paper.

Thanks Mark for stopping by w/ behind the scenes and IDING the source of some of these TWO BIT clues... Rich, right? :-)

I'm not going to GAMBLE on going over 20 lines so I'll SHUT up now.

Cheers, -T

Blue Iris said...

EVA Longoria is in a new series now called "Telenovella"--She is a Spanish television soap opera actress who knows no Spanish. We've wondered if the "30 Rock" writers are involved in making up the plots.

I also thought of Eisenhower for final Jeopardy but sussed out Clinton in Little Rock. It helped that we lived in Arkansas 6 years.

HG, You put a whole days work on commentary. Very entertaining.

My hubby and friend are moving a large oak computer desk from the basement to bedroom upstairs. Lots of huffing and puffing. Sometime it pays to be disabled.

When he finishes remodeling the basement I plan on purchasing a"granny" stair lift chair. I tried to work up to doing stairs in PT, but only do well in the water.

PK said...

Keith & TTP: Good grief! You play games within the puzzle? I think they are hard enough as it is. I just mosey down and across filling in whatever I can then mosey back up and see what showed up that I missed the first time and fill in whatever more I can. No patterns for me. I see why they say girls learn differently than boys just reading your comments. Good on you!

Spitzboov said...

PK @ 0636; Laughed at your story about the relative. The walls have ears. Also, kids can be finks.

PK said...

Spitz, luckily the kid has grown up to a more discreet age without ever meeting the VAMPIRical relative within talking distance. Anybody else he might tell would find it funny. The old bat has made a career out of doing us all dirty. He's too mean to even see how stupid he's been that he lost the support of some pretty awesome financial talents. Meanwhile, I keep my STAKE sharpened. LOL!