Feb 23, 2016

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 Mark McClain

Theme: aka - Alternate appellations.

17A. One raising a hand (TN) : VOLUNTEER. (Tennessee)

22A. Wedge-shaped arch piece (PA) : KEYSTONE. (Pennsylvania)

26A. Byzantine or Roman (NY) : EMPIRE. (New York)

35A. Piled-high hairdo (UT) : BEEHIVE. (Utah)

38A. Fictional Korean War surgeon Pierce (IA) : HAWKEYE. (Iowa)

46A. At an earlier date (OK) : SOONER. (Oklahoma)

49A. Word in a fair forecast (FL) : SUNSHINE. (Florida)

55A. What seven puzzle answers are with reference to abbreviations in their clues : NICKNAMES

Argyle here. (Santa) Almost as much theme as yesterday, 60 vs. 68. Definitely a tick harder for me. I wonder; do all states have a nickname?


1. Egg-shaped tomato : ROMA

5. Molecule part : ATOM

9. Winter outerwear : COATS

14. Suit on a board : EXEC. A executive on a board of directors.

15. Plumber's piece : PIPE

16. Playful trick : ANTIC

19. Pedro's "I love you" : "TE AMO"

20. Answer (for) : ATONE

21. More confident : SURER

27. Many California wines : NAPAs

28. Motel charges : RATES

30. Hockey legend Bobby et al. : ORRs

31. Milk: Pref. : LACTO

32. Abbr. for some Garden State senators : D NJ. Democrat, New Jersey

40. '60s radical gp. : SDS. (Students for a Democratic Society)

41. Loved ones : DEARs

43. Tribulations : ILLs

44. Coeur d'__, Idaho : ALENE

45. One of the Musketeers : ATHOS

52. Part of USDA: Abbr. : AGRIC. (United States Department of Agriculture)

53. Top grade : A+PLUS

54. Below, poetically : 'NEATH

60. Colorful tropical fish : TETRA

61. Genealogy diagram : TREE

62. Course with ratios : MATH

63. "Save me __" : A SEAT

64. Ranch group : HERD. The Gary Larson ranch.

65. Seek divine intervention : PRAY


1. Sermon giver: Abbr. : REV. (Reverend)

2. Tic-tac-toe loser : OXO

3. Actor Gibson : MEL

4. Puncture prefix : ACU. Acupuncture.

5. Likely will, after "is" : APT TO

6. Attach with string : TIE ON

7. Tennis period since 1968 : OPEN ERA

8. Trivial : MERE

9. "Bee's knees" equivalent : CAT'S MEOW

10. Gets the better of : ONE-UPs

11. Video game pioneer : ATARI

12. Microwave beeper : TIMER

13. Composer's creation : SCORE

18. Washington MLB team : NATs

22. Drawer openers : KNOBS

23. Dog-__: folded at the corner : EARED

24. Belgian city where the In Flanders Fields Museum is located : YPRES. (Ieper, Belgium) (Ypres is the French name)

25. Window framework : SASH

26. James of jazz : ETTA. More Etta.

29. German cries : ACHs

31. Tilt : LEAN

32. Indian metropolis : DELHI

33. Paintbrush bristles material : NYLON

34. James of the Old West : JESSE

36. Small talk : IDLE CHAT

37. Change course suddenly : VEER or sheer, remember?

39. __ and kin : KITH

42. Breathe : RESPIRE

44. "Peer Gynt Suite" dancer : ANITRA

45. Part of NBA: Abbr. : ASSN. (National Basketball Association)

46. Seasonal gift giver : SANTA. Will work for cookies.

47. Curved moldings : OGEEs

48. Deliver a speech : ORATE

50. Stomach problem : ULCER

51. Microwaved : NUKED

53. Lit. collection : ANTH. (anthology)

56. Band equipment component : AMP

57. Blemish : MAR

58. Pilot's prediction: Abbr. : ETA

59. Bashful : SHY


Note from C.C.:

Happy 77th Birthday to Keith Fowler (Ol' Man Keith), who has his own Wiki page. Keith knows all about Shakespeare plays. He even lived in Stratford-upon-Avon for some time. Keith has been with the blog for a long time, since 2009, I think.


Barry G. said...

Morning, all (and Happy Birthday, Keith)!

Mostly smooth sailing for me today. The theme was interesting, but not really necessary to get the theme answers. Still, it added a bit to the experience, so that was nice.

Had trouble remembering ANITRA and YPRES, and I needed all the perps to suss out DNJ, but that was about it for bumps along the way.

Anonymous said...

And speaking of DNJ, that "Garden State" clue sticks out like a sore thumb as far as the theme goes.

Lemonade714 said...

Mark h s amped up his productivity with his third LAT in 2016 after three all of 2015. ANITRA and YPRES were also my only slowdowns. Like ETTA and ETA the CSO to Argyle and the heavy themeage. Only nit would be AGRIC but that is just me.

Tuesday joys to all

unclefred said...

Took a while in the NW since I couldn't think of ROMA, but the rest filled fairly quickly, so I finished I my usual Tuesday time. Got the theme right off, which helped. Not keen on DNJ, but, hey, overall a terrific CW, thanx,Mark! And a splendid write-up, thanx, Argyle!! Off to the derm for me this morning, my twice/yr checkup since my malignant melanoma problem a few years ago. Can't wait to show him how my ankles have cleared completely from their dark gray color which they turned after my internist put me on a calcium channel blocker for my b.p. I asked the derm if that could be the cause, he said no, my lower legs were turning black as a normal course of aging. I quit the CCB, substituted losartan, now my ankles are normal again. Ha! Harvard trained derm, huh?

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Argyle and friends. Easy State Nickname puzzle. For some reason, I knew all the nicknames of all of these states. In case anyone is wondering, here is a nice list of all 50 State Nicknames.

I had a few stumbles. I really wanted Parka in lieu of COATS for the Winter Outerwear.

The REV probably ORATEs.

ANITRA was a complete unknown and came to me only through the perps.

I agree that AGRIC seems a bit awkward.

Happy Birthday, Keith!

QOD: I don’t trust anybody who didn’t inhale. ~ Peter Fonda (b. Feb. 23, 1940)

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning.

Thanks, Mark. I enjoyed this one. It was pretty smooth for me until I ran into a couple of crunches. On the first across run, KEYSTONE came first; then I went back to VOLUNTEER because I didn't understand why the TN at first. After that, it was a breeze.

Thanks, SANTA for the run through. Nice shout out to you. In Illinois we are either The Prairie State or The Land of Lincoln. However, as most of you know, our state motto is "Where our Governors Make our License Plates."

Happy Birthday, Keith! Have a great day.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Fun theme which I got with the first two PA & TN. Knew all of the NICKNAMES here. Great puzzle, Mark.

Great expo, Argyle. Loved the dancing. Hand up for not knowing ANITRA.

Seemed a bit heavy on abbreviations which were annoying. Also annoying was my inclination today to put the down fills in the across slot & vice versa. I don't know why I do that. My contrary nature I guess.

Don't know what they mean by that tennis fill.

Happy birthday, Keith, you devil you!

Anonymous said...

Most of JESSE James' capers were pulled in Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas and Minnesota – is that the "Old West"?

PK said...

My brother and sister-in-law live in Colorado which is now the "wacky weed" state since they legalized marijuana. She called to update me on their son's treatment in a new drug/chemo test program. She says he has no nausea from the chemo -- just a bit tired. I asked her if they were treating him with marijuana. She said, "No. We were so afraid they would!" Both father and son are "born-again" Christian ministers. I can bet they were afraid their reputations would be ruined despite legality.

Tinbeni said...

Happy 77th Birthday Keith ... the first-toast at Sunset is to you!

Argyle: Wonderful write-up. Especially enjoyed the "Peer Gynt Suite" ANITRA ballet link.

Mark: Thank You for a FUN Tuesday puzzle with a nice, easy theme.

Great CSO to our SANTA.


inanehiker said...

Speed run today - having the state initials behind the clues made this a Tuesday instead of a Thursday puzzle for me. The nicknames are often what are on the license plates - though several states have more than one nickname. We often played the "license plate" game on road trips with my family growing up.

PK - Open era in tennis began when pros and amateurs could play together in major tournaments which started in 1968.

Thanks Argyle, Mark, and HBD to Keith!

Buckeye Stoic said...

Thank you Mark for a fantastic puzzle, which I throughly enjoyed, and ofcourse, Argyle for a wonderful blog, and I really enjoyed the ballet dancing - how (apparently) difficult and painful (?), and how ethereal ! Even the dancing, by unnamed dancers, (!) in the Etta James song number was fantastic.

Made my day. Thank you.

Avg Joe said...

A fun little romp this morning. Filled the NW corner completely, then saw the theme with 17a, so it was off to the races. Had a little trouble remembering Bee Hive state, but the others were right there in the memory bank. Anitra was all perps, but they were solid. Agric was pretty ugly, and D NJ did protrude considering the theme, but I don't know of alternatives. Nice puzzle Mark, and thanks for the expo Santa (nice CSO).

And I wish you a Happy Birthday Keith!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

What a fun and clever theme! No bumps but I did have idle talk before idle chat and parka before coats. Anitra was an unknown. Nice CSO to Santa and to CED at cat's meow. 🐈

Thanks, Mark, for brightening my day and thanks, Argyle, for lighting the way!

Happy Birthday, Keith, hope it's a special day for you! πŸŽ‚ πŸŽ‰ 🎈🎭

Have a great day.

Big Easy said...

Well it was a clever theme but I hope that Mr. McClain's sake that it was Rich's editing that put the two-letter postal state abbreviation behind the themed clues. As soon as I as the TN behind 17A, I looked for the rest and filled the remaining ones and NICKNAMES in about one minute. The abbreviations gave away the puzzle immediately. And to make it even easier 'GARDEN STATE' was one of the clues.

ANITRA is one I have never seen before.

Thanks Santa and Happy Birthday Keith.

Husker Gary said...

-Dang! It’s Alene/Anitra. Dern vowels! The puzzle is ONE UP on this CORNHUSKER
-SOONERS – Is any other state named for cheaters?
-Volatile Na ATOMS and poisonous Cl ATOMS make these molecules for your French fries
-The consequences of old, lead PIPES in Flint, MI are now a horrible health hazard
-An ANTIC that is currently tearing up the internet (3:34)
-Motel/Hotel RATES triple in Omaha when the College World Series is in town for two weeks
-Couer d’ALENE – Heart of the awl – Sharp hearted - Shrewd. Ah, French idioms
-“High waving heather, 'NEATH stormy blasts bending” - Emily BrontΓ«
-A TREE showing marrying cousins
-Don’t you just hate tuning people away when someone tells you, “Save me A SEAT”?
-PRAY all you want but God doesn’t care if the CORNHUSKERS beat the HAWKEYES!
-My daughter said she got carpal tunnel relief with ACUpuncture
-Remember when TV’s had KNOBS?
-At 71 ETTA is fabulous, even if slightly diminished! Ach du lieber
-Keith, What light beyond yonder window breaks? It is a candle. Blow it out and make a wish!

Mark McClain said...

Hello all, believe it or not there was another version of this puzzle with eight nicknames and no revealer. I was sorry to have to use a lot of "meh" fill to work around all those themers - YPRES SDS ANITRA APTTO ORRS DNJ (my clue didn't have "Garden State" in it). AGRIC and OGEES were Rich's contributions to a corner which wasn't any better before he got ahold of it. All in good fun to get all those states in there. Apologies to our friends in MINNESOTA which the distinction of having the same number of letters as its nickname NORTH STAR, but sadly didn't make the cut. This one wasn't exactly a DIAMOND, or even GOLDEN - now I'm working on one with a BLUEGRASS theme (not really). Cheers!

fermatprime said...


Swell puzzle, Mark! Great expo, Santa!

Have loved all of Peer Gynt Suite since childhood.

Had parka before COAT.

Had "sleeping sickness" all day. Don't know why.


PS. I don't get the cartoon! Please explain!

Mark McClain said...

Just another point about the state abbreviations in the clues. I had that treatment on the version with no reveal entry, figuring it was not needed on the version with the reveal. But, I didn't have a Tuesday in mind when I did the puzzle - I guess Rich did it that way to make it easier, and it sure did. The SOONER state (my birthplace)IS the only one named for cheaters . . . at least that we know of - no one really knows what HOOSIER means, do they?

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Happy Birthday Keith.

Got KEYSTONE and EMPIRE right away and sussed the theme vis-Γ -vis the state abbreviations. Wondered like Argyle if every state had a NICKNAME. Google says they do. OPEN ERA was a learning. Got ANITRA from perps. Overall, thought it was pretty easy. Most of it filled in as fast as I could print.
AGRIC - Never saw this abbr. before. I think if you're only going to abbreviate down to 5 letters plus a . , you might as well write out the whole word.

Why is Alabama called the Yellowhammer state?

Lucina said...

Hello, friends!

Keith, a very happy birthday to you!

Thank you, Mark, for a terrific and clever puzzle and for stopping by to comment. It was fun and once I realized that the theme was states' nicknames the fill was easy. Ours is The Grand Canyon State.

Nice CSO to our very own SANTA and thanks for your commentary.
Hand up for PARKA before COATS. Other than that all was smooth and no further erasures. The Peer Gynt Suite is one of my favorites so ANITRA was easy.

One of my cousins researched our family TREE and traced it back to 1620 when the Spaniards arrived in New Mexico. Most of the surnames still exist such as Sandoval, Baca, Lopez, Chavez, etc.

Have a delightful day, everyone!

CanadianEh! said...

Fun puzzle today even with the American based theme which caused some delay for this Canadian! Thanks Mark and SANTA.

Like others, I wanted Parka before COATS. ANITRA and DNJ were the last to fall and required all the perps. My tomatoes were PLUM before ROMA. Interesting that we had all the ORRS today not just Bobby.

I had TIE TO before TIE ON at 6D but APT TO beside it at 5D made me try again. Those two beside each other were Meh for me but probably necessary to the fill.

I enjoyed seeing KITH and Kin and family TREE in the same puzzle. Researching a family tree is like detective work and can be a continual hobby for years. You know that you have a bad case of the genealogy bug when you visit cemeteries while on holiday.

If "many California wines" are NAPAS, are "many Ontario wines" Niagaras??

HBD to Keith. Have you visited the Stratford Festival in Ontario? I am looking forward to seeing Macbeth there this summer.

Anonymous said...

Lovely blog entry. Thanks for links to 'At Last' & 'Peer Gynt'. Pleasant way to start the day. Thanks again

Yellowrocks said...

I liked the theme. Having the states named made it Tuesday easy.
I use ROMA tomatoes for some things. They keep more of their flavor in the winter than many others do.
PARKA before coats. I have seen ANITRA and ALENE in previous puzzles.
My only complaint is AGRIC as an abbreviation. Ugh, Rich.
Yellow hammer sounded like a bird to me so I looked it up. It's the state bird of ALA.
Jesse James' death is listed on a time line of the OLD West. Kansas was on the frontier in the 1870's-1880's, so that was the West to Easterners. The west coast was settled but the land in between was unsettled and wild.
Link Old west
Gary, your comment ratifies my decision to try acupuncture for my sciatica.

Lemonade714 said...

Marijuana is probably not the work of the devil and has helped many deal with health issues. Despite being a child of the times, it has never been an intoxicant of choice but it has been a source of relief for others. IMO.

I cannot believe I did not type a VERY HBDTY and 77 (Sunset Strip?) more to Keith, one of a few who has changed his blogger name here at Corner.

Mark Mc, thanks for the insights.

Yellowhammer is a bird and the STORY comes from the civil war. My ex-wife's family are all from Alabama and they only call it the Heart of Dixie.

Yellowrocks said...

Happy birthday, Keith. Handsome photo of you.
I knew DNJ right away. Senators are often listed with the party initial before the state abbreviation. I liked having Garden State in the clue. A CSO to CE Dave and me.
I have seen the term NAPA WINES for wines from the Napa Valley, CA and the term NIAGRA WINES for some from NY state. I haven't seen any NIAGRAs from ONTARIO, but then I am not well acquainted with Canadian wines.

Husker Gary said...

Musings 2
-I just finished this fabulous series about THE REAL WEST on Netflix. Don’t watch this if you think everything we Americans did there was noble!

Anonymous said...

Where do people find the puzzle to download when (as yesterday and today) hasn't put them in the archive for downloading?

Bill G. said...

Hi everybody. Mark, I enjoyed your puzzle. Thanks for stopping by.

The way I remember the Gary Larson cow cartoon was as follows.

First panel: Cows in a field standing erect and talking about science, math, philosophy, politics, etc.

Second panel: One of the cows yells "Car." All of the cows go down on all fours and say "Moo."

Third panel: Car has passed. The cows are up again and talking about sophisticated stuff again.

I can't find my version online so I guess I mis-remembered it. Good one though...

Happy birthday Keith! I always enjoy your posts.

CanadianEh! said...

Yes Niagara wines have really advanced in the last 20 years. One winery is even going to the Academy Awards celebrations.


CanadianEh! said...

You can use the Mensa site (but no circles if in puzzle that day. No commercials!


Or you can go to the LATimes game site


I use cruciverb on my I-pad but occasionally it is not available.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Mark McClain, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Argyle, for a fine review.

Puzzle was very good. Theme, I liked. My first answer was KEYSTONE.

DNJ took a while.

ANITRA was perps.

As was YPRES.

Happy Birthday, Ol Man Keith, and many more.

See you tomorrow.


( )

thehondohurricane said...

My first look at todays puzzle had me cursing up a storm. The entire North was ??????????????. In the end, my solve was accomplished bottom up.

The state fills did not cause any problems, ANITRA, AGRIC, & ROMA did. To quote TIN, I needed ESP.

Husker, never would have guessed a rivalry might exist between the Huskers & Sooners! The entire SEC is my choice with the ACC not far behind in the intensely disliked column.

Snow, sleet, freezing rain, heavy downpours on the way for the next couple of days. Fun, fun, fun!

PK said...

My daughter gave me a subscription to for Christmas and I've fought the winter doldrums by researching. I started doing genealogy at age 13 when our house was being remodeled and we stayed with my grandfather for the summer. I can go back to the 1700's where it gets murky. Every branch of the families named their kids after relatives. I found a screwed up tree on line where someone thought children belonged to a mother who would have been in her 70's & 80's at their birth. I learned years ago to watch for that.

I've been researching some long-lost cousins that I knew in my youth or met only once and had lost track of them. Alas, most of them are now dead, but it completed pages in my family books. My kids who inherit the books probably won't care about them at all, but this old bookkeeper likes to balance the books.

CrossEyedDave said...

Easy theme, fill? Not so easy...

I went wrong from the get go with "plum" for 1A,
& didn't realize my mistake until I could not solve any of the downs.

Minor league nit...
30A Hockey legend Bobby et al.
Are there more than one Hockey player named Orr?
(Turns out there is a Colton Orr, no relation)
(& Brothers, & sons, ok I get the et al...)
(but it still feels weird to see Orrs...)

Alene/Anitra would have been a Natick if not for my wonderful WAG!
(hmm, maybe not, what other vowel reasonably fits?)

I did have to look up the Musketeers name,
but I discovered it was only because I mispelled/mispelt Dehli...

Hmm, bees knees & cats? Turns out they are easy to amuse...

Happy Birthday Ol'Man Keith!
I tried to find you a cake, but I came up a little short.
But you are still a star in my book!

I think you used the wrong link for that prank!
(Hmm, maybe not,because the above led to the magic pants/get a date link.& even worse...)

Boo LuQuette AKA Boudreaux in Eunice, La. said...

Bon Fete Keith

Hands up for PARKA first. Got the theme at the the first clue.

Today Louisiana is nicknamed the TORNADO state. Every Parish is under the gun and counties in Missiissippi. Right now New Orleans and surrounding areas are getting hammered.

Stay safe ~!~!~!

Bon Apres Midi from Cajun Country !!!

Hahtoolah said...

Boo: My office closed at noon. I'm headed home now. Stay date!

Misty said...

Delightful puzzle, many thanks, Mark, and thanks especially for checking in with us. Will have to look up the NICKNAME of California (you think I'd know it after living here for almost thirty years). And fun expo, Santa--I loved the Gary Larson cartoon, and even more after Bill G's explanation.

Happy birthday, Keith.

Have a great Tuesday, everybody!

Jayce said...

Happy birthday, Keith. May you enjoy many more.

WEES about the puzzle.

Bluehen said...

Nice, easy puzzle. No nits worth posting. Thanks Mark and Argyle.

I don't think Delaware has a state nickname, so I would like to propose one. "The chemical, cancer, and corruption capitol of the country."

SwampCat said...

Hahtoolah and Boo, there were three water spouts on Lake Pontchartrain (caused by tornados).

My grandkids were scheduled to drive into town today and I was distracted, concerned for them on the highway. They cancelled at the last minute! Whew! Then I got back to the CW...and enjoyed it'. Thanks Mark! Argyle, the tour was wonderful!

Happy birthday, O M Keith!! And many more.....

Stay dry, everyone!

G. Ridlock said...

Misty, the California license plate used to say "The Golden State" but now shows their motto as ""

That's all you need to know right there!

California: The Car State

Ol' Man Keith said...

THANK YOU, fellow Cruciverbalists!
... for the many b'day wishes. I appreciate the sentiments. It is quite a mark for me to reach 77, as my family isn't noted for longevity. I feel something like a pioneer, being sure to report to my children and to their children everything new I encounter that might hold genetic significance.
In my case, the body weakens but the mind seems sharp as it ever was. I like Falstaff's comment when he says there’s “yet some smack of ague in you, some relish of the saltiness of time...." For me it implies a vestige of energy, a glow inside the banked ashes, the makings of a fire within.

Delightful pzl today! I usually enjoy Mr. McClain's efforts, and this is noteworthy for the fun of it. Nothing difficult, but enough of a challenge to keep it interesting.

Ol' Man Keith said...

PS. My day started off with good news. We have been concerned for the health of one of our little dogs, our Chihuahua mix, Nacho, as he hasn't been doing well ever since he had dental surgery a week ago. He went off his food for a while, which we expected, but even after his mouth passed the painful stage, he's shown little interest in food. He separated himself from the family and began to shiver; gave up most play and slept around the clock.
Janice took him to the doc's today, and he came back his jaunty old self! It was the old rear end problem (talk about being anal retentive!). Apparently he needs help in that dept more often than we thought. He also got a serious antibiotic shot and something to quell any stomach distress.
Watching him come bounding back into the house was a happy birthday treat for yrs truly.

CrossEyedDave said...

Ol'Man Keith, Tx for the Nacho pics, & good news.

Hmm, Nicknames. How to address this theme...

Well, 1st, I never knew what camel toe meant until I started doing crosswords.
But seriously, I had no idea!

Nicknames! What a funny subject!

What was your nickname when you were 12?
Mine was "Feets."
(I don't know why, except maybe they smelled...)

Wait!, Comeback!

Yellowrocks said...

When I was very young I was called Skippy because I was always skipping. As a preteen I was called Princess because I usually slept late. When 5 ft. me had a 6 ft.4 beau we were called Shorty and the Giant. No adult nickname.

Ron said...

They call me tater salad.

Ol' Man Keith said...

I never had a nickname as a kid. Keith was unusual enough in those days. The usual substitution I got was Kenneth, not from other kids but from teachers who thought Keith was short for something longer.
My mom was a romantic who found my name in some novel, a dashing RAF Spitfire pilot, I think. But no American boy wants to be "different," so I asked other kids to call me Frank, after my middle name of Franklin.
The only nickname that ever came my way was when I was running a theater company in my 30s. The scene shop workers started dubbing the actors and our staff with names. I expected I'd get some embarrassing anti-authoritarian moniker. But they decided to call me "Heart." Unless I missed some nasty sub-text, I thought it rather a sweet gesture, a sign of camaraderie - that caught on within our troupe for a couple of years.

Ol' Man Keith said...

CanadianEh @ 10:21,

Yes, I've been to the Stratford Ontario Festival a couple of times. I always enjoyed the town as well as the plays. The township has a village feeling, or did at least back in the '70s and ''80s when I was there. One of my colleagues at UC Irvine was a regular member of that company, once a leading player and then in his older years a supportive character actor. This was William Needles, who died just a month ago in his 90s. Known to friends as Billy Noodles, he was a member of the Order of Canada.

Avg Joe said...

I would imagine that most that have had nicknames have unpleasant, if not bitter memories of them. Bear in mind that a majority of nicknames are coined during the pre-teen or teen years when the intention is to be sarcastic, or even brutal. IOW, in a lot of cases it's a form of bullying that most would rather forget.

At 60+ I still know a few friends that still use their nicknames from childhood.....but the number is very small. And I also make every effort to avoid using those names if the bearer shows any sign of hating it.

Avg Joe said...

Keith, Alex Trebek must have gotten the memo that it was your birthday. Final Jeopardy category today was "Shakespeare".

If you care, I turfed it.

Jayce said...

My nickname has always been, and still is, JC or Jayce. When I was at Yale a couple of my friends called me Beanpole or Old Bean. but thankfully those names never stuck. One girl in high school liked to call me Mister Boring. Needless to say I never asked her out.

Anonymous said...

Disagree with Joe. Among many groups nicknames are not unpleasant and are given in the early 20s. College. Sports teams. Clubs. Military. And many are common among certain ethnic groups. Italians and African American come to mind. Joey Bag o donuts and Tony Pots and pans.

Bill G. said...


One of my witty, clever college buddies in our cooperative living unit at Cornell started calling me Davis. After this went on for a while, I asked him why. He said 'cause I looked like a Davis. Soon, that was all I was ever known by. When I met Barbara at a mixer, she got to know me as Davis. It still sticks with her, her brothers and sister and one local couple that knew me back when.

Anonymous said...

Remember when Bluto handed out nicknames at the Delta house?

You should be called Flounder.

Flounder? Why Flounder?

[Burp!!] Why not?

Hahtoolah said...

Hey, Tater Salad, ever been arrested?!

Lucina said...

My nickname, Lucy, was given to me by my kindergarten teacher and still exists today. I believe that like many people who see my name for the first time, she could not pronounce it.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

I was flying along out the gate w/ ROMA (you'll figure out why shortly) and thought this was going to fill faster than a Mon. Then I hit the ESPs and had a hell of a time braking up those areas.

Thank you Mark for the puzzle and inside scoop. Thanks Argyle aka SANTA for the expo and Far Side panel.

WO: prank b/f ANTIC.
ESPs 24d, 39d, 45d, and 44a & d!

Fav - Who else yelled Boomer! at SOONER? 9d c/a was cute too.

Bill G - I think Argyle's Far Side is the original. I've seen them doctored up with extras like you described. Years ago a buddy changed this one from MIDVALE read MIT. My buddy went to CMU :-)

NICK NAMES - in Boy Scouts I was "440" 'cuz the Scout Master said: "A light bulb runs on 110, a dryer runs on 220 and, kid, you run on 440." I was a bit energetic.

When I moved to Shreveport in HS, I guess Italians were rare - I was simply "The WOP.*" DW & I met our Sr. yr; my buds called her "The She-WOP."

My fav - DOD days in Norman, OK: I was known as "Tony 'da Knee."

All y'all in the Pelican State stay safe! The winds here in the Lone Star State are fierce, but so far so good.

Happy Birthday OMK!

Cheers, -T
*see why 1a was easy?

Big Eacy said...

Avg Joe- I had childhood friends named Worm, Booger, Goose, & Sucker. I was called Stretch by none other than Robert Parrish when we played playground basketball before he went to high school and then to the Celtics. I was 16 and he was 3 years younger, but taller than me, but I could block his shots.

Old Man Keith- I also have a middle name of Franklin, which I never liked, and my son name his son Franklin.

PK- concerning ancestry and genealogy I told my wife ( after she brought up the subject) that I like the Popeye saying: "I yam what I yam". I'm sure many bulls jumped over the fence in everybody's family and there are quite a few skeletons in every family's closet.

Always Stoic said...

My nickname, given to me by the boys in the locker room, was Pencil Dick.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Late to the party. Flew through the puzzle.

My favorite nickname from childhood belonged to my neighbor Brad, known to all and sundry as Beef. He was an uncomplicated fellow. The name fit.

Maci45 said...

Good puzzle today. Liked the nickname theme. Mine, when I was young, was Mary Mac. By the time I was 12 or 13, it was Mackie. Mackie has stuck with everyone in my family since that time. Looks like New Orleans and Slidell took a punch from that storm today!