Mar 20, 2016

Sunday, March 20, 2016 Rebecca Durant

Theme: "Border Pairs" - Two vowels bookend each theme answer.

23A. *Part of a Quaker recipe batch : OATMEAL COOKIE. Tried the oatmeal raisin cookie recipe in the Quaker box kid once. So so result.

37A. *It attracts koalas : EUCALYPTUS TREE. Yum!

56A. *Beverage made from sun-withered leaves : OOLONG TEA. In Chinese, it's called Wu Long. Long = Dragon.

79A. *Cyclades setting : AEGEAN SEA

94A. *Financial oversight group : AUDIT COMMITTEE
17D. *Too much to handle : OUT OF ONE'S LEAGUE

45D. *Forced to apologize : EATING HUMBLE PIE
113A. Answers to starred clues, as hinted by this puzzle's title? : VOWEL LANGUAGE. Play on "foul language".

When I first read the title, I thought this might be a "border states" puzzle. Nope. Just vowels. I then emailed Argyle to see if I missed anything. Nope. This is it.

It'd be great if those vowels are of different combos, but we have three EAs', two EE's. I do realize however, double-vowel starting/ending words are limited.

I think this is an LAT debut. Congratulations, Rebecca!


1. Beauty pageant accessories : SASHES

7. Won't take no for an answer : INSIST

13. Information unit : FACTOID. We also have 53A. Data measure : BYTE

20. Grammar class subject : CLAUSE. Did I ever tell you my very first English word is FACE? We were not taught how to pronounce it properly. We just wrote down the closest Chinese pronunciation, so FACE becomes Fei Si. BUS is Ba Si. Totally lost when RESTAURANT came long. No equivalent for R-starting multi syllable word.

21. More malicious : MEANER. Not EVILER.

22. Not done externally : IN HOUSE

25. Shock : STARTLE

26. Thurman of film : UMA

27. New Mexico county or its seat : TAOS

28. Alicia's son in "The Good Wife" : ZACH. Gimme for JD. She likes the series.

30. Golf tournament kickoff : PRO-AM

31. Schroeder's most prized possession : TOY PIANO

34. Vatican City statue : PIETA

36. Character on a staff : CLEF. Got via crosses.

40. Corvallis sch. : OSU (Oregon State University)

43. First-stringers : A TEAM

46. Each : A POP

47. Ristorante desserts : TORTONIS. Never had one.

49. One not honoring an oath : LIAR. Anagram of the next answer 50. Hideaway : LAIR
54. Big Ten athlete since 2014, briefly : TERP. Maryland Terrapins. With ACC pre-2014. We also have 87. South Carolina athlete : GAMECOCK

55. Slugger Mel : OTT

60. Absorption process : OSMOSIS

62. Buzz and trim : HAIRCUTS. Here is my new haircut. Chopped a few inches off the messy long hair. Spring is not here yet. Everything is so brown. I woke up to a dusting of snow yesterday morning.

64. Assessment : LEVY

65. 2015 Verizon acquisition : AOL

66. With 48-Down, Martha Kent portrayer on "Smallville" : ANNETTE. 48. See 66-Across :
O'TOOLE. Is she very famous? Never heard of the lady. We also have 24. Lang on "Smallville" : LANA

67. Divine rings : HALOS

68. Sole food : FILLETS. Lovely clue.

72. "Today" rival, initially : GMA (Good Morning America)

73. Bk. before Daniel : EZEK. You've got to commit this to your memory. This clue & fill will appear again and again.

74. "Don't worry" : REST EASY

75. Many a text writer : SCHOLAR

81. Roadside sign : GAS

82. Été month : AOUT (August)

83. Outdo : BEST

85. Check numbers : DATE

86. Songwriter Bacharach : BURT. Very successful career.

89. Start of a solution : IDEA

92. Get ready for work : DRESS

93. Wagering letters : OTB. Also 71. Betting aids: Abbr. : SYSTs. Tiny dupe.

99. Sequence of 106-Across : LIST. And 106. 99-Across things : ITEMS. Not fond of no-clue clues.

101. English city that's home to Kirkgate Market : LEEDS. Easy guess.
102. Diamond gem : NO-HITTER. Nailed it.

108. Monthly pmt. : ELEC

109. "Un-shareable since 1972" breakfast food : EGGO
110. "Norma __" : RAE

111. Dover diapers : NAPPIES. Alliterative clue.

118. Buds in a circle : FRIENDS. I was picturing flowers.

119. Slide by : ELAPSE

120. Adorned : GRACED

121. The least bit : ONE IOTA

122. Circular currents : EDDIES

123. Underground maze : SEWERS

1. One getting ahead? : SCOUT. Oh, recon.

2. Texas mission : ALAMO

3. Skewered Thai dish : SATAY. Very popular street food. Bangkok has the second best street food. Guangzhou has the best!

4. Run smoothly : HUM Also 11. Stop running, as an engine : SEIZE UP

5. Language suffix : ESE

6. Washington airport : SEA-TAC.  Seattle & Tacoma.

7. "It's all good, dude" : I'M COOL

8. Revivalists : NEOs

9. __ Tomé : SAO

10. Fluid applied through a nib : INK

12. Rewards for tricks : TREATS

13. Seek sneakily, with "for" : FISH

14. Tiny crawler : ANT

15. Rosary relative : CHAPLET. Learning moment to me also. I've always just called this rosary.

16. Yankee manager after Showalter : TORRE. I bet many of you nailed this with the R in PRO-AM in place.

18. Land in un lago : ISLA

19. Regard : DEEM

29. Slyly spiteful : CATTY

32. Apple cousin : PEAR

33. End of chem class? : IUM. Tricky clue.

34. "Moonlight Sonata" directive : PPP.  Got via crosses. Did any of you hear the "Let's go Peay" cheer segment on NPR? I never heard of Austin Peay until we had it in a puzzle last December. Turns out Peay and Pee have the same pronunciation. 

35. "How was __ know?" : I TO
36. Demeter's Roman counterpart : CERES. Goddess of agriculture.

38. Tale : YARN

39. Prefix with tiller : ROTO

41. Acronymic Apple assistant : SIRI. We also have IOS, though clued differently: 52D. Cyclades island

42. Gp. putting letters in boxes : USPS

43. Maui ciao : ALOHA

44. Business bigwig : TITAN. Weirdest election cycle I've ever seen.

50. Boor : LOUT

51. Old, in Oberhausen : ALTE
53. Bights, e.g. : BAYS. "Bight" is a new word to me.

56. In base eight : OCTAL

57. Cruller coating : GLAZE

58. Comm. with STOP signs : TELEG. Got via crosses also.

59. Call to mind : EVOKE

61. Mediterranean island country : MALTA

63. 95-Down convenience : REMOTE. 95D. Den fixture : TEEVEE.

67. What culinary alarms measure : HEAT. Have any of you tried Hunan food? Incredibly hot. It's Chairman Mao's favorite. He grew up in Hunan and loved spicy hot food.

68. Ending for song or slug : FEST

69. "Right you are" : I SEE

70. Old Russian monarchs : TSARS
74. Genetics lab subject : RNA

75. Palm starch : SAGO

76. Dredge, as with flour : COAT

77. Partner of up : ABOUT. Up and about.

78. In, on a stamp : REC'D.

80. Inspector Dalgliesh in P.D. James novels : ADAM

84. Ability : SKILL

86. Poker Flat chronicler Harte : BRET

88. City NNW of Naples : CASSINO. Never heard of the city. See Napoli?

89. Freezing : ICE COLD

90. Pentagon org. : DOD (Department of Defense). Don't google. Who's the current Secretary of Defense?

91. Ambulance initials : EMS

92. Agnus __ : DEI

96. Hearths : INGLES

97. Frat party garment : TOGA

98. Flip-flops : THONGS

100. Louvre Pyramid architect : I. M. PEI. He'll be 99 years next month.

103. Vestige : TRACE

104. Like one who can't wait : EAGER

105. Wetland stalks : REEDS

106. What FAQs offer : INFO

107. Mountain lake : TARN. I always have trouble remembering this word.

108. She, in Salerno : ESSA. ELA in Portuguese.

109. In addition : ELSE. Wanted ALSO.

112. Mount Washington summer hrs. : EDT

114. Tidy sum : WAD

115. Prefix with dermis : EPI

116. Univ. senior's exam : GRE

117. Motor City org. : UAW (United Automobile Workers)

Happy Birthday to Spitzboov (Al), my dear friend and occasional puzzle collaborator. Al served in the Navy Reserve for over 20 years. He retired as Commander and continues to support the Navy in any way he can. I love reading stories of his farm boy childhood & later Navy days.

Argyle and Spitzboov
(August 23, 2014, Washington County Fair)

2) Happy Birthday to John28man as well! How are you doing, John? Where did you spend the winter? Colorado or Arizona?



George Barany said...

Wow, what a cool theme idea by @Rebecca Durant, and congratulations on the Los Angeles Times debut. As always, I learned from C.C.'s review.

On other fronts, our Friends group has made a Supreme Effort to create a timely bipartisan political puzzle, and we hope you'll give it a try.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all (and Happy Birthday to both Spitzboov and John28man)!

Mostly smooth solve today, but there were a few rocky spots. I didn't really get the theme, although I eventually figured out that all the theme answers began and ended with vowels. I just didn't notice that they were vowel pairs. Instead, I thought the beginning and ending vowel was supposed to be the same (as was the case with EUCALYPTUS TREE, but that obviously didn't work with most of the other theme answers.

I almost crashed and burned right in the center. I didn't know what "Comm." was an abbreviation of at first and it took a long time to come up with TELEG as a result. "Bight" was a complete unknown as well, so that clue didn't help. I finally figured out LEVY, however, and that helped get through that section.

Down in the SW, I erroneously had EATING ONES WORDS, which hid a lot of things from view. Once I got to the theme reveal and realized that each theme answer needed to end in (at least one) vowel, however, I nuked most of that answer and that let me start over with fresh eyes. CASSINO was unknown, but the perps eventually took care of it.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Thought this one was tough. As usual, I didn't get the theme, so that was no help with the long answers. Tried DATABIT for FACTOID until BYTE came along and whupped me up side o'the haid. Held my nose and also tried EVILER, C.C. Thought IUM was brilliant -- once it showed up. Finally, managed to get the whole thing, but it was no picnic.

Can somebody 'splain TELEG -- what the heck is it?

Happy birthday, Spitz. You, too, John28man whereever you are.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, C.C. and friends. I didn't care much for the vowel-paired theme, but I did find the starred answers amusing. My mother makes the best Chocolate Chip OATMEAL COOKIES. And the EUCALYPTUS TREE was was fun.

I liked seeing LIAR right next to LAIR.

We saw the Michelangelo’s Pietà when we visited the Vatican several years ago. In 1972, a deranged individual attacked the statue with a hammer causing substantial damage. The Pietà was restored and is now behind bulletproof glass.

Mel Ott (1909 ~ 1958) makes frequent guest appearances in the puzzles. He was born in Gretna, Louisiana. Tragically, he was killed in a car accident in Mississippi at age 49.

I have never seen Smallville, so those cross-referencing clues were not fun.

Today may be the first day of Spring, but it feels more like winter. After having several weeks of rain, but temps in the high 70s, today it is sunny and in the 50s! Happy Spring all the same.

Happy Birthday Spitzboov. All the best to you, too, John28man.

QOD: When you’re young, you don’t realize the sacrifices that people are making for you. ~ Bobby Orr (b. Mar. 20, 1948)

Bill said...

@Desper-Otto: TELELEGraph. STOP meant "end of sentence".

Tinbeni said...

Happy Birthday Spitzboov ! Great photo of you and Argyle (taken on my 62nd birthday).

Spring-At-Last! ... Spring-At-Last! ...


Toasts will be made at Sunset ... Al, the first one is to you!

Bill said...

TELEGraph, that is. Sorry for the typo.

Yellowrocks said...

Fast for a Sunday. No look ups or red letters. ANNETTE O'TOOLE and LANA needed perps and wags. I don't watch or even read about Smallville. Also GAME COCK and TELEG needed perps and wags. TELEG seems to be a rarely used, but legit abbr. It is almost as long as the whole word.
I guessed all along the theme had something to do with vowels, but even with the reveal I didn't see it.
82A was another misprint in the newspaper.
The loved NORMA RAE. Sally Fields is one of my favorite actresses. After beginning with fluff roles in Gidget and The Flying Nun, she became a serious actress, often playing strong women.
I hope you have a wonderful birthday, Spitz. I enjoy your posts. Happy birthday, John28Man. I hope you will have time to stop by the blog today.

desper-otto said...

Thanx, Bill. Don't think I've ever seen TELEG as an abbr. for telegraph. Hope not to see it again. Also, "Comm." looked like it should be committee or commission. Communication never occurred to me. Time for me to wake up, I guess.

Lemonade714 said...

Happy birthday to longtime regular Spitzboov and John28man.

Like the rest, the theme was elusive and not thrilling when done. I also did not know Cassini and never saw the clue Blight and never heard of the word in that context. To me it refers to run down neighborhoods. The inclusion of AOUT and LOUT was fun along with LIAR LAIR.

Smallville was fun and featured the delightful Canadian actress KRISTEN KREUK Slightly risque clip.

Happy Sunday and thanks Rebecca and C. C.

Looking good C.C.

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning.

Thanks Rebecca for a smooth Sunday start. My problem was keeping up with the grandchildren-- who are here--and having to stop and start so many times. The puzzles and the kids keep me on my toes.

Thanks C.C. for the tour, and of course, for posting photos of yummy food. Have a nice day!

Yellowrocks said...

Lemonade, did you misread BIGHT as BLIGHT? I knew BIGHT from reading sailing adventure novels about the old Royal Navy.
Wiki: Traditionally, explorers defined a bight as a bay that could be sailed out of on a single tack in a square-rigged sailing vessel, regardless of the direction of the wind.
I was amused that the clue Bight intersected the across answer BYTE.
Favorite clue was SOLE FOOD/FILLETS.

A. Aajma said...

In the crossword answers it should be an H in box 67. My newspaper has a P.

Big Easy said...

I started fast in the NW and then slowed down a bit. Even after solvinG OATMEAL COOKIE and EUCALYPTUS TREE I didn't get the theme. (My Sunday paper shows it but I cover it with a black marker). When I worked my way to the SE and GUAGE was filled by perps I was thinking of some other theme, as I try NOT to read the clues that would give away the theme.

C.C. You're one ahead of me for the Superman clues. ANNETTE, O'TOOLE, and LANA were all perps. Didn't know them, but I'm not a TEEVEE SCHOLAR, and that's why I asked my wife if ZACK was the child on the other TV show, because Cartlon 'FISK' played baseball for the Red Sox but 'FISK for' is a term I've never heard.

FILLETS- in my comment yesterday about the 'roe & grits' I wrote 'filleted/fileted'. One L or two. I found it amusing that the answer to 53A was pronounced the same as the clue to 53D. BYTE-Bight.

I liked the TELEG clue but I only knew it from old movies where reporters were dictating stories. The usual false starts easily corrected themselves with ALSO/ELSE, STATS/SYSTS, DNA/RNA, and USA/DOD. Unknowns were LEEDS, ADAM, COSSINO, ZACCK, FISK, CERES and the Superman girls.

C.C., at least you have hair. I guess it would it would be mean to send a picture of greenery in my yard with half the Azaleas blooming, the orange trees in full blossom, and the lush green grass.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Didn't have a clue where this was going until the reveal and, even then, it took a minute or two for the penny to drop. Teleg meant nothing until reading the blog. Bight was also unfamiliar and chaplet was totally foreign to this lass with 12 years of Catholic schooling and uncountable Masses, Novenas, Retreats, Confessions, Penances, etc. Live and learn, I guess.

Congratulation, Rebecca, on your LAT Sunday debut and thanks, CC, for the super summary. Your new haircut looks great; wish the photo was more close-up.

Happy Birthday to my fellow up-stater, Spitz, hope it is special! Happy Birthday, also, to John28man. I can't give you both a cake as my ancient iPad doesn't have an emoji keyboard. Nor can I download WWF as the IOS is so outdated! My new cable for the iPad Mini should be here by Tuesday--I can hardly wait!

Sunny, blue skies and nippy, but Spring is here, at least by the calendar!

Have a great day.

Yellowrocks said...

My grandson just finished the physical work of his Eagle project yesterday. He built a bridge over a wet spot in the local park. Now he has 8 1/2 weeks to write the presentation, rewrite it and get it approved before he turns 18. He tends to procrastinate and will probably get it in just under the wire with lots of nail biting.
He has been approved at 5 colleges. Of course, the one which gave him a substantial scholarship is at the bottom of his preferences.
His grandma is so proud,even more so because he is classified AD.

Bill G. said...

Happy birthday Spitz and John. I hope you have a good day and a good year.

I finished this puzzle late last night and I kept wait for the 'theme light bulb' to go on, but it never did. So I looked forward to reading CC's comments for enlightenment. Then all the other comments. But no light bulb. Words starting and ending with a vowel? Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the puzzle. Thanks Rebecca. But I think it must have finally happened; that all the clever theme ideas have been used up at last. :>)

I used to really enjoy Smallville. Kristen Kruek was a babe as Lana Lang. Very cute. Annette O'Toole was very sexy too in an earlier movie, "One on One" as Robbie Benson's tutor and girlfriend.

Computer issues... I better post this before I lose it.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

WBS about the theme - I was thinking the first and last letters were matching vowels, until they didn't. Still, it's an impressive debut for Rebecca. Never saw Smallville, needed perps for that part. Same for the baseball manager, and the team names.

Morning, C.C., if I ever get to Guangzhou I'll be sure to try out the street food. Sounds yummy!

Happy Birthday Spitz and many happy returns! Also HBTY John28.

Anonymous said...

Since when is "comm." an abbreviation for "communication"? (58D)

Since when is "TV" spelled TEEVEE?

"Dredge" = COAT? Really? Not in reputable dictionaries.

And, "hearth" = INGLES? I don't think so. INGLE is the fire, not the platform.

And would someone please decide, once and for all, whether it's FILLET or filet?

IUM is a foul, pure and simple. Stupid theme, stupid title, stupid puzzle.

Northwest Runner said...

Annette O'Toole also played Lana Lang in Superman III

TTP said...

Happy birthday Spitzboov and john28man !

I thought it was a fun puzzle with some byte. I mean bight. No, I mean bite. Made me hungry for more.

So many food references today. The main course choice may have been limited to FILLETS of sole or SATAY, with only a fruit side of apple or PEAR (though I thought I saw a DATE in there somewhere) but there were plenty of dessert choices with PIE, OATMEAL COOKIES, crullers, and TORTONIS.

Hand up for data bit. The FLIP-FLOPs of the data bit is the fundamental basis for digital computing.

Also held onto saga before YARN for awhile, and then icing where GLAZE belonged which kept the center fairly unfilled for a long time. However, it was the inexplicable confusion over the dietary preferences of koalas and pandas that had me looking to fit bamboo or some derivation into 37A. That was the last area to fill.

I also nailed NO HITTER at diamond gem. In a not so one-sided affair to start the early baseball year, opinions are sharply divided and heated commentary looks as if it will tear apart the clubhouse as White Sox player Adam LaRoche chose to retire recently. Ace pitcher Chris Sale didn't mince words in his support for the popular teammate. Haven't seen many teams fare well when there's a deep-seated us-them rift.

CERES adorns the Art Deco Chicago Board of Trade building. A spinoff of the CBOT was the Chicago Butter and Egg Board, that later became the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Husker Gary said...

A few spots occupied my time but I had fun and like C.C., am still confuzzled by the title.

-SAGO, AOUT, COAT (dredge) and ANNETTE made for a pause. I also had to get past text being a book and not a transient electronic message.
-We have visited the morning away with daughter and granddaughter and are now headed for Omaha and shopping. Joann and Emma will be in Forever 21, uh, forever and I’ll wander around in the rest of the mall while reading your comments and C.C.’s write-up.
-Happy Birthday Navy! I enjoy your stories as well. Best wishes to John 28 as well.

TTP said...

Thank you Rebecca and CC.

VirginiaSycamore said...

Happy birthday Spitzboov and john28man ! It must be nice to have your Bday come at the beginning of spring.

In my Kindle Oxford Dictionary of English, definition for CHAPLET:
Meaning 2 is "a string of 55 beads (one third of the rosary number} for counting prayers or as a necklace."

I was familiar with the word CHAPLET from Sherlock Holmes story "The Sign of the Four." Miss Morstan has been getting mysterious gift of a priceless pearl every year for 6 years. The pearls turn out to be from a CHAPLET of pearls from the Agra Treasure.

The "mini-rosary" definition was new to me.

DREDGE, meaning 2 is "sprinkle {food} with a powdered substance such as flower or sugar." I have seen this in recipes before.

Live Well and Prosper

Yellowrocks said...

From what I read about CHAPLETs they may or may not have fewer beads than the traditional rosary. I read that there are many kinds of chaplets with different prayers and numbers of beads. I was hoping Lucina would weigh in on this.
Yes, VS, my first thought for dredge was its use in recipes. You dredge crullers in sugar after frying them. You dredge veggies, fish and meat in flour, bread crumbs, panko, or cornmeal before frying them. My dictionary gives COAT as a synonym.
I love historical novels about the pioneers in the Old West. Their writers use INGLE as a fireplace. My dictionaries say INGLE may be either the blaze or the fireplace.
FILET is a variant of FILLET.
I consulted many online dictionaries and my huge unabridged print dictionary and discovered that they agree with me on all of this. BTW the print one has a 4 inch long discussion on DREDGE.
In my wide ranging reading in eclectic genres and in reading this blog I find that there is seldom a "once and for all" answer. The language is rich and varied. We find new meanings and spellings all the time. That's why I am fascinated with words and crosswords.

Jayce said...

Happy Birthday, Spitzboov and John28man!

Took me a long time to finish this puzzle, but the journey was fun. Didn't get the theme, but it doesn't matter. Didn't know Alicia's son's name, so filled in K after getting ZAC. FISK looked okay so I left it like that. I figured it was a word I didn't know, such as CHAPLET. Also wanted TELEX for a long time, which AEGEAN SEA forced me to change. I wondered what the heck a TELEG is until coming here; I still think it's ugly. In my work we use COMMS often as an abbreviation of communications; my boss apparently likes to say COMM, as in "We have lost comm." Never had a TORTONI; we always order tiramisu for dessert. Hong Kong also has awesome street food, so I am told, as did Taipei when I was there in the 60's.
Best wishes to you all.

inanehiker said...

This one was generally slow and steady -- didn't get the theme until the reveal. Also appreciated the above explanations for teleg. Thanks, Yellowrocks for further explanations of other words. I only knew INGLE from one of the Anne of Green Gables books "Anne of INGLEside" but I didn't know what INGLE meant until I got here.
Only place I've heard of COMM for Communication is in the military- my son used to be on duty at times at COMMs- the communication center of base.

Thanks CC and Rebecca!
HBD to Spitzboov and John!
Happy Spring - though we jumped from warm and sunny back down to cold and cloudy today - but all the flowering trees reminds us that spring is still here!

maripro said...

Hi All,
It took what seemed like forever to figure out the theme. I kept looking for abbreviations of states with common borders.
Re last week's puzzle - C.C.'s original title was terrific.

Don said...

Bight is a loop in knot tying. Ref. my boy scout merit badge days.
Check out what Wikipedia has to say about that definition of the word.

miss beckley said...

You all know this example of a great telegram:

How old Cary Grant STOP

Old Cary Grant fine STOP How you STOP

SoCaLuke said...

I thought that TELEG was one of those made-up drug names from a TV COMMercial that used stop signs to prove its point. I was fortunate to visit Naples on a 1971 Med cruise(AO2), but never made my way to Cassino. This is my first time to post. I have been lurking for years and wanted to finally contribute to your banter. Best wishes to the birthday boys and a happy equinox to all!

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Tough but engrossing, thanks, Rebecca.

Thanks, C.C. Interesting about "face" being your first English word. Staggering to think how many you have learned since. The split into syllables made me think of a woman I worked with who was a stickler for correct usage. However she kept pronouncing TAOS (tows) as TAY-US.

Kansas Jayhawks beat Austin Peay so badly it was embarrassing.

SASHES not LASHES. I've been around pageant girls and they wear false lashes.

INSIST was a big bugaboo for me. After I finally got it, I lost the whole puzzle. In reconstructing, I had trouble remembering INSIST again. Duh! FEST also bugged me.

Still don't understand "End of chem class" = IUM. Explanation please?

I used to make fruit cake. One of the first steps is to dredge (coat) the candied & dried fruit with flour so the pieces didn't stick together. I put everything in a plastic bag and shook it hard (and hoped the bag didn't break). My little girls loved to do this for me.

Learned BIGHT in seafaring books.

Like others, never watched Smallville. Never heard of ANNETTE O'TOOLE.

TELEGrams are so outdated we've forgotten about the "stop" instead of a period. Did anyone ever get one?

Happy birthday, Spitz and John28man!

Anonymous said...

Great Australian Bight

inanehiker said...

@PK many of the chemical elements on the periodic table end in IUM
I started the whole puzzle first with TIARAS instead of SASHES but corrected with perps!

Anonymous said...

Cassino was used as a fortress by the retreating Nazis in the second world war - see Monte Cassino.

The monastery was eventually bombed by the Allies and left as a giant pile of rubble.

I believe the monastery has been rebuilt.

Lucina said...


Thank you, Rebecca and C.C. for this delightful grid! I worked it at the airport and finished on the plane returning from the land of lush vegetation and a spectacular coast with ocean waves crashing upon on the rocks, i.e., Carmel by the Sea and Monterey. It was wonderfully cool! Here it's 90 degrees.

WEES about the puzzle. I had most of the experiences you had and was surprised to see CHAPLET which we used to mean a part of the Rosary, abbreviated for when time was short.

Happy birthday, Sptiz and John28man! I hope it's been a great celebration for you.

And everyone, I hope you've enjoyed a lovely day!

Spitzboov said...

Good evening everyone.

Happy Birthday, John28man.

Thanks to C.C. and all for the kind birthday wishes. You are a good group.

Company just left so only have about half the puzzle done so far. Doesn't seem too hard but we shall see.

Unknown said...

Sorry...but one of the worst puzzles I've seen in a long time. No fun whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

PK @ 3:16 - Here in Texas, we pronounce Taos as TAA OHS (with equal stress on each of the syllables). Maybe it's a regional pronunciation.

Bill G. said...

Lucina, I love that part of the USA. The drive between there and here along the coast takes almost twice as long as on the freeway but it's worth it for the scenery.

My vote for the prettiest shade of yellow:
As I ride along the Strand, this time of year I often pass a bunch of weeds called Oxalis or sour grass. They have the brightest, prettiest yellow flowers. Oxalis

A weed is just a flower out of place

Abejo said...

Good evening, folks. Thank you, Rebecca Durant, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, C.C., for a fine review.

Happy Birthday to Spitzboov and John28man, and many more. Spitzboov and I almost connected in upstate NY a while back. However, the train did not stop long enough for the hand shake. Maybe next time.

Congratulations, Yellowrocks, to your grandson on his upcoming Eagle Scout Award. That takes me back a long time.

This puzzle was a little tough. I worked on it for most of the afternoon, one word at a time.

The theme eventually appeared. Very clever.

I remember EUCALYPTUS TREE from my days in California. However, we had no koalas.

Got TARN at 107D right off the bat. Learned that from crosswords many years ago.

CHAPLET was a new word for me.

Tried TELEX before AEGEAN SEA caused me to fix it to TELEG. OK.

Tried SETTEE before TEE VEE became obvious. Oh well.

MALTA was easy. The former name is MELITA.

See you tomorrow.


( )

Big Easy said...

PK- IUM, as in ChromIUM, UranIUM, EinsteinIUM, PolonIUM...etc. Many IUMs in chemistry.

And for those claiming 'worst puzzle', explain why you don't like it. Just because it's not fitting your thoughts at this moment doesn't mean it's bad. No person here will bite you.

Lucina said...

Yes! We saw those flowers aplenty all along the way and I wondered what they were. Thanks for the name. We also drove the 17-mile drive and stopped along the coast. What breathtaking scenery!

Spitzboov said...

Finished the puzzle without mishap, Don't know why a few didn't like it. Seemed ok to me.

Bill G. said...

OK, fair's fair. I said earlier that I enjoyed the puzzle but I wasn't crazy about the theme. I've gone back for a second and a third look and I understand and appreciate the theme more now. It's still not high on my list of clever themes but I like it better than I did at first. Now I'll see what tomorrow brings.

PK said...

Anon at 7:33: Honey, I lived in Texas just long enough to learn that every word has more syllables there than any other place I know. LOL!

Big Easy & Inanehiker, Thanks for the come backs on IUM. I took chemistry as a senior in high school. The clue and answer didn't make a bit of sense to me when I did the puzzle, but I'm okay with it tonight.

Lucina said...

I also pronounce TAOS as two syllables but the second is unstressed, ta-oos.

Unknown said...

Granted, I'm no Mensa member but I enjoy puzzles without having to consult references. Too many obscure clues to suit me. Also as C.C. thought, theme was amiss.

PCHPatti said...

Just found you. Love your puzzle reviews.

Anonymous said...

Factoid is not an information unit. It is a pseudo or false fact. Like a humanoid is something that looks human but isn't.

Wilbur Charles said...

I'm way late as usual. Thank goodness I never gave up. NE had Torre and ant and many ISLAs of white scattered about.
Didn't know Mel OTT died so early and Bobby ORR had help later in his career after getting swindled by the Bruins
And I missed one. Had RATE as in I checked OTT's hr numbers and RATEd him No. 6 before steroids

Oops. I also went with TEENIE in the den as in TV for kids.
And yes, I never picked up on the VOWEL LANGUAGE clue
Finally, when it's bible and begins with EZ I just assumed it was EZRA the ORR/OTT of the OT