Apr 14, 2016

Thursday, April 14th, 2016 Mike Peluso

Theme: Double Crosses.

18A. Start of an old news announcement : EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it!

32A. Stipulation on le menu : PRIX FIXE. Food! The fixed-price menu in French restaurants; the daily specials. Most restaurants in France offer a prix fixe menu which is usually the the best value - and the best foo (as opposed to ordering à la carte).

41A. Where gas and lodging may be found : NEXT EXIT. The food! choices tend to be pretty limited.

60A. Nachos, e.g. : TEX-MEX DISH. Food! Here's a chicken fajitas, a classic Tex-Mex dish.

3D. Historic Chicago-to-Santa Monica route : SIXTY SIX. Too good to pass up for a music link. Get your kicks with the Rolling Stones before they started writing their own songs.

38D. When translated to English, beer brand that hints at the common feature of the five other longest puzzle answers : DOS EQUIS

What a great journey through 11 (count 'em!) X's and some Z's, W's, Q's and other Scrabble-tastic letters thrown in for good measure.

I loved the concept, the execution and I enjoyed the fill around those pesky X's but ..... CLANG! The reveal says "the five other longest puzzle answers" which rather insults the lovely ARSENALS and UNEARTHS which each sport eight letters - just like PRIX FIXE, NEXT EXIT and SIXTY SIX. Details, details.

Anyway - thoroughly enjoyable puzzle, thank goodness for great crosses for the obscure stuff, and a one-cup-of-coffee time for me.

Let's see what else we've got that jumps out:


1. Tousle : MUSS. No fuss with this muss.

5. F and G, e.g. : CLEFS

10. Soaks (up) : SOPS. See how you have to wait before deciding between MOPS and SOPS?

14. Bad thing to be caught in : A LIE. Because "a speed trap" or "a rip tide" didn't fit.

15. Spells : HEXES

16. Virginie, par exemple : ÉTAT. French king Louis XIV  (great crossword name!) pretty much started the wheels of the revolution turning with his assertion "L'Etat, c'est moi." - "I am the State". It all ended rather badly for the French royal family, and around 40,000 others.

17. "Need You Tonight" band : INXS

20. Frequent Lemmon co-star : MATTHAU

22. Chimney : STACK

23. Dublin-born poet : YEATS

24. AWOL trackers : MPS

26. Tiny : WEE

27. Shine, in Cambridge : LUSTRE. British spelling. For those of you that remember the picture of the crew "Boat Race" passing Chiswick Eyot on the blog a couple of weeks ago, Cambridge University was the boat on the right.

29. Ammunition dumps : ARSENALS

31. Request to Sajak : AN "I"

34. Numerical prefix : HEXA. -decimal. Base 16. I have fond(?) memories of an activity called "dump-cracking". When your IBM-mainframe program aborted, you were presented with a printed "dump" of the computer memory at the time of the error which usually measured at least a foot tall pile of of fan-fold paper, and you were left alone for a while trying to figure out what "Data Exception Error at location 9EF867D81" could possibly mean.

36. Progressive pitcher? : FLO

37. When there's no turning back : D-DAY

46. Tulsa sch. : ORU. Oral Roberts makes an appearance.

47. Brings to light : UNEARTHS

50. Pitcher, for one : VESSEL

52. Cambodia's Lon __ : NOL. Crosses, thank you.

53. Enzyme suffix : -ASE

54. Moisten, in a way : BASTE. Food! A pointless activity to spoon fat from the bottom of the roasting dish to the top of the roast. All you do is lose heat from the oven, probably burn your wrist on the oven shelf and make zero difference to the flavor of the end product.

55. Northeastern octet : IVIES. There's an acronym or mnemonic somewhere in the deepest, darkest regions of my mind to remember Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Penn, Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth and Cornell. I guess HYPPBCDC isn't it.

57. Old but coveted : ANTIQUE

64. Peach __ : FUZZ

65. Landed : ALIT

66. Ken Jenkins's "Scrubs" role : KELSO. It didn't help that I read "Ken Jennings" and was away with the "Jeopardy" thinking. When was Ken Jennings in a Scrubs episode? Crosses and sanity eventually prevailed.

67. CVI halved : LIII

68. Old map divs. : SSRS

69. "Dallas" Miss : ELLIE

70. North-of-the-border gas : ESSO. Also 6,000 miles east of the border in the UK, but it's not quite as much of a snappy clue.


1. Injure badly : MAIM

2. Radius neighbor : ULNA

4. Largish combo : SESTET. Hand up for "SEXTET" - with all the X's going on today it seemed a natural. Not.

5. Proctor's concern : CHEATER.

6. Infiniti competitor : LEXUS

7. No. after a phone no. : EXT. Are extensions still a thing? It seems an awfully long time since I asked to be put through to one.

8. Not agin : FER

9. Fed. benefits agency : S.S.A.

10. Stimulating message : SEXT.

11. Senators' home : OTTAWA. I tried to fit all kinds of Washington, D.C and other stuff into here. Finally the penny dropped.

12. Part of UPS : PARCEL

13. Betting specifications : STAKES

19. County bordering Suffolk : ESSEX. Easy for me. Tough for you. I lived in Essex - 60 miles from London, and a 2 1/2 hour commute from the office. When Warner Bros. offered me a transfer to Los Angeles it didn't take a whole lot to convince me!  Here's a snippet of the old map now hanging on my wall - my house was the little black dot in the yellow highlight beneath the "B1053" road designation. It was very quiet out there! The house was more than 400 years old.

21. Dwell annoyingly (on) : HARP

24. "Fantastic" Dahl character : MR. FOX

25. Initials on a radial : P.S.I. Pounds per Square Inch. Where's the "per"?

27. "Well, __-di-dah!" : LAH

28. Lyon article : UNE. One Feminine Article en France. I pitched a tent on a roundabout in Lyon once - I was hitch-hiking and dropped off at midnight by a truck driver. It was very dark and I had no idea I was standing on a traffic circle. When I woke up in the morning at rush hour, I was startled to find three lanes of traffic circling my campsite. The gendarmes who arrived shortly after were nice, but bemused.

29. Weigh station counts : AXLES

30. Composer Rorem : NED

33. "__ shoe fits ... " : IF THE. Cinderelly?

35. Literary assortment : -ANA. Very much in the "crosswordese" field. Shakespeareiana, Grishomiana. You get the idea.

39. "We __ Marshall": 2006 film : ARE. I cried. I cry in a lot of movies, but this one was a bawler.

40. Brynner of filmdom : YUL. Completely missed this during the solve, crosses filled him in for me.

42. Wipe off : ERASE

43. Some Cadillacs : XT'S. Not sure they'd give the XKE's a run for their money.

44. Scott classic : IVANHOE. Great book. Robin Hood's modern-day reputation owes much to this novel.

45. Try : TEST

47. Hall of Fame Colts quarterback : UNITAS. Peyton Manning? Not yet, be patient.

48. Grisham output : NOVELS.

49. Potion : ELIXIR. Lovely word.

51. Suppress : STIFLE

54. Low voices : BASSI

56. First responders, initially : EMTS

58. Israeli arms : UZIS

59. Opera star Pinza : EZIO. Along with the previous entry, a couple of Z's are thrown into the scrabble-fest today.

61. Classic Jag : XKE. The E-Type. Jaguar announced recently that they are going to complete the production run of the "Lightweight" low-drag coupe. There were plans to make 18 of these cars, only 12 were built between 1963 and 1964. Don't expect to see the missing six available for purchase on the open market. Here's one of the originals.

62. "Small Wonder" state: Abbr. : DEL. aware.

63. In need of treatment : ILL

And ... here's the grid.



OwenKL said...

There is a nice lady named FLO,
And to her for insurance we'd go.
Then with language dexterous
She'd load us with EXTRAS;
That's why we switched to Geico!

Oh have you met my Auntie Q.?
We treat her with respect she's due.
She's very old
But I've been told
She'll help to spell ANTIQUE for you!

The recipe called for some chili, TEX-MEX,
To make an ELIXIR to cure any HEX.
But it came too late,
The phone addicts' fate
Was sealed when they first transmitted SEXT!

{B+, A, B+.}

Lemonade714 said...

Thought it was a really well thought out theme and a challenge to have that many Xs in a 15x15 grid. I thought Old but Coveted referred to many of the regulars here...

I also enjoyed Steve's HEXA comment showing his computer background, as I imagine most of us would have simply related to HEXAGON or some other 6 sided word. UNITAS YUL IVANHOE ELIXIRS, all fun fill, had no idea what actor portrayed Kelso, but all went down.

Thanks guys

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I did notice the preponderance of X's while solving and wondered whether they had something to do with the theme, so I was delighted to get to the theme reveal and discover I was correct. Fun, fun puzzle overall. My only struggles had to do with remembering the names of the various cars (XKE and XTS). Everything else was smooth as butter. Always nice to see BASSI in the grid for a change instead of the usual ALTOS we get (sorry, I'm biased).

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Steve and friends. Fun Thursday puzzle. After getting 2 Xs, I thought: "Wow! a lot of Xs appearing today.", so i figured they played into the theme. Knowing this lead to one of my fastest Thursday level solve. Lots of fun X words. Unfortunately, the Most Interesting Man in the World is being replaced.

Progressive Pitcher = FLO was my favorite clue of the puzzle.

Actually, Steve, the Suffolk/Essex county borders probably wasn't as difficult from some solvers from the northeast as you may think. I immediately thought of counties inMassachusetts.

QOD: In the long run, you make your own luck ~ good, bad or indifferent. ~ Loretta Lynn (b. Apr. 14, 1935)

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I did notice the abundance of Xs. Still, never worked out the theme. Thought maybe it was going to be a pangram, but I can't seem to find G or J.

TexMex is my favorite type of Mex food. Good thing, too. That's about all you can find around here.

Hand up for SExTET, Steve. INXS fixed that. BTW, I remember when I was first learning the C computer language. The introductory chapter said something like "C is a very robust language. It may not do what you want or expect, but it will do something." Often that something was to crash to computer by poking data into a critical memory area via an uninitialized pointer.

Last taxing day today...

inanehiker said...

Xtremely fun puzzle today and write-up! Thanks Steve and Mike!
I'm glad it was fairly easy for a Thursday since I stayed up too late watching Curry and Golden State break the record for most wins during the regular season in the NBA

Someone linked this video for me and it made me think of HG, always nice to have some good news amidst all the bad.

billocohoes said...

We called it "dump-busting" but since I was working on a UNIVAC-1100 the dump was in octal, not hexadecimal.

Tinbeni said...

Finally, a puzzle dedicated to a "Chick-Beer" ... I'll explain ...

About 30 years ago, upon completion of an Audit in Mexico City, my Host and I went for libations at the end of the day.

I asked him: "What would you suggest?" (as a beer choice)
He said" "DOS EQUIS" ... its our # 1 beer."
I looked a him and said: "Isn't that a 'Chick-Beer'? ... One for the ladies?"
He gave me a vacant stare ...

Then I explained ... "I'm a guy ... I have "X" "Y" chromosomes ..."
DOS EQUIS is 2 "X's" ... therefore it was made for ladies who have 2 "X" chromosomes ...

He laughed ... and we had a few ... OK ... MORE than a few ...


Big Easy said...

I like DOS EQUIS Amber but 'most interesting man in the world' is posed with a lager, which is what most places seem to stock. For some idiotic reason, not knowing Spanish or latin, at first I thought 'dos equis' was either 'two horses' or 'twenty horses' after the Roman numeral XX.

After Route SIXTY-SIX & EXTRA EXTRA it was obvious what the puzzle would be about. It was a fast fill with the only hiccups being the unknown KELSO & We ARE Marshall and the correct spellings of Walter MATTAU & EZIO Pinza.

Steve- my first computer- IBM 1130- HEXA-decimal- I was very familiar with it. TOO familiar.

TTP said...

A great big X on this one !

Started in the SW and w/o hesitation entered the gimme UNITAS. Johnny mopped up for Earl Morrall in the first AFL / NFL championship to be called a Superbowl. Some internal conflict ensued for some in my area as it was now local born hero Joe Namath and the upstart Jets against local born hero Johnny Unitas and the superior Colts.

Noticed all the Xs during the steady solve to the NE corner. Coincidentally, today's puzzle also offered an uncommon opportunity by also solving the SE to NW diagonal. There is one unblocked diagonal from each corner to the other, creating the great big X.

I read the "Need You Tonight" phrase and earworm Mandy stopped by for an unexpected and unwanted visit. Good thing the X from SIXTY SIX mandated that it would be INXS. My fav for INXS is What You Need due to the sax and upbeat feel.

Today's interstate drive on I-55 and I-44 from Chicago to Oklahoma City very closely, and sometimes exactly, follows historic RT 66. Hundreds of highway markers remind you along the way. We take a left in OK City onto I-35 on our way to central Texas, where some of our drive is then on the historic Chisolm Trail.

Speaking of Interstates, DELaware (Hi Bluehen) has only one primary interstate (I-95) running through it. It is just over 23 miles long. Our friend Montana from Montana may have a driveway that long.

North America's largest inland port
is served by the ARSENAL Rd exit on I-55. The all-too-common auto vs semi accidents on I-55 near Arsenal often have fatalities due to that extremely high volume of truck traffic.

Thank you Mike and Steve. Great fun today.

Re your HEXA comments, "I know, right!" Ooh, the stories I could tell... Her is a PTF (permanent temporary fix) for your bug.

What Hahtoolah said about Suffolk / Essex. Plus, ESSEX is "up there" in common fill when an X is required.

Gotta go. Phone rang. My presence is being requested for a 10:40 TEE Time. I think they want their money back !

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

I agree with everything Steve said in his intro. And he nailed the tenor of the puzzle.

X marks the spot. Loved seeing all the x's and the wonderful crosses like ESSEX and ELIXIR. Had Keats before YEATS.
SENATOR - Was a WAG, but we've had it before.
STACK - Our destroyer had 2 STACKS. 4 marine boilers, 2 exhausting up each stack.
TEXMEX DISH - Nice CSO to our border état denizens.

Have a great day.

Hungry Mother said...

Easy fun Thursday. Enjoyed it while I drank coffee and ate Clif Bars after a 1.2 mile swim at the Y.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Mike Peluso, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Steve, for a fine review.

Got through this in about an hour and a half. Par for the course for me.

Steve: I use a self-basting roaster. Works well and you never have to lift the lid, unless you want to to check temperature, etc.

Yes, the XX's became obvious. Then I got to 38D and realized that DOS EQUIS was that answer. DOS EQUIS AMBAR is one of my favorite beers. Not Lager. The two XX's stand for the beginning of the twentieth century. 1900. Or 1901.

PRIX FIXE took me a while. Not being a French major, or even minor for that matter.

I guess there must be a team in OTTAWA called the Senators. There is am Ottawa, IL, but pretty small town.

OK, I am done. Off to my day and then a Cubs Game tonight at Wrigley Field.

See you tomorrow.


( )

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This was a fun outing that I breezed through quicker than ever for a Thursday. I guess I was on the right wave length, plus the XX presence was obvious early on. Fav clue was for Flo, although Flo is wearing out her welcome. (A more ubiquitous and annoying "pitcher" is the inventor of My Pillow!)

Thanks, Mike, for an enjoyable Thursday treat and thanks, Steve, for the guided tour. New York State also has a Suffolk and Essex county but they are at opposite ends of the state.

Have a great day.

oc4beach said...

An eXceptional puzzle by Mike and an eXtraordinary review by Steve. I really liked the X's and was able to solve today's puzzle (Thursday's are usually a problem)

After filling in so many X's, filling in DOS EQUIS was a no-brainer.

We used OCTAL instead of HEXAdecimal in the early days of the unmanned space program in programming small on-board computers on scientific satellites. HEX was for the huge ground based machines that controlled the satellites.

When I started my career over 50 years ago, I lived in Suffolk County NY on Long Island, so my first thought was NASSAU county. Then I realized that my guess was wrong and the answer was a few thousand miles to the east. However, it could have been in Massachusetts where ESSEX would have also been correct.

Spring is trying to take hold. Enjoy your day in the sun everyone.

Husker Gary said...

My first thought was All My EXES Live In Texas as even I saw the plethora (how ‘bout that pretentious word?) of X’s. Learned a lot from Steve, as usual.

-It was fun seeing our programmers chime in using their esoteric language
-I took this NEXT EXIT twice
-Hair TOUSLING at the end of this hilarious scene (2:31) about “goodness and badness” and buying silence
-Grumpy Old Men asked us to believe hot Ann Margaret was digging Walter Matthau
-LUSTRE came hard since it was not a shRine
-John Brown’s attack on an ARSENAL was a seminal event in our history
-If you get ESSO gas in Regina today, it will around $3/gal. Taxes/gal. are approximately 3X north of the border
-Machines ask if you know the EXT. you are calling now, if you know it
-My low tire PSI warning light came on when it got very cold this winter
-I wonder what was in his ELIXIR

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Wow, do I love this puzzle! Note that the vowel preceding the thematic X is also duplicated.

If anyone cares, G CLEF is nothing but treble. F CLEF is for the BASSI.

IMHO, FLO is very annoying, but the Geico Gecko even more so.

I was a big Jonny UNITAS fan, lo, these many years past - making me an ANTIQUE, I suppose.

Wings flopped last night, but the 5-2 Tigers are roaring - averaging 6 runs per game so far. Last of 4 with the Pirates an hour from now.

Cool regards!

Anonymous said...

Data exception, ah, the dreaded S0C7


CanadianEh! said...

Thanks for the sparkling puzzle and write-up, Mike and Steve. (Loved your campsite in Lyon story, Steve!)

Hand up for Sextet before SESTET. I spelled AXLES correctly (not the frequent Axels). Thanks Irish Miss for your hint about FLO. I had no idea having never seen those commercials but a Google search has enlightened me!

Lots of British and Canadian content today. But there is NO Canadian content in the NHL playoffs because none of the Canadian teams including the OTTAWA Senators made it. SIGH!
I smiled at LUSTRE (not Luster).

ESSO gas is $1.04/litre today. Don't ask me what that is for you Americans because you must convert to American gallons and then account for the Canadian/American dollar conversion. (Actually there is an online calculator that gives me an equivalent of $3.08 American dollars/US gallon). Are Canadians paying through the nose??

We are going to see Our Town, the play, not the opera version that was composed by NED Rorem. Timely clue.

Lucina said...

EXTRAEXTRA fun with this puzzle! Thank you, Mike Peluso! Hand up for KEATS before YEATS. And pure guesswork for KELSO and ELLIE from two shows I have never watched. Yes, I was the only person in the country who did not tune in to DALLAS. At that time it was on during a work evening for me.

Though I don't know French, PRIXFIXE worked itself out and I see a gratuitous X at HEXES. But, alas, DIW at NEXTEXIT where I had RESTEXIT and didn't notice. Bwah! (That's the sound of a sob.)

Here in Arizona we do not refer to Tex-Mex food. It's Mexican or Mexican American.

I also liked the FLO clue though I am certainly tired of the commercials. Most of them are tiresome after the second repetition.

And thank you, Steve, for your sunny expose.

Have an EXTRA special day, everyone!

Lucina said...

Steve, I loved your campsite story! I can't even imagine what the drivers thought when they saw it.

Misty said...

Well, I didn't get the whole thing this morning (didn't know "Need you Tonight" or the 'Scrubs' role and don't know fancy cars, etc.). But I still got all the Xes and thought it was a fun puzzle, even though I also didn't get the connection between XX and Dos Equis. But no matter, it was still fun.

Have a great Thursday, everybody!

C6D6 Peg said...

Nice puzzle, today. Thanks, Mike, for all the X's and fun theme!

Great write-up, again, Steve. Enjoyed your stories and explanations!

Ol' Man Keith said...

A sweet Thursday pzl, thematically well conceived, leaning to the easy side. This would have been a smooth success for me, except that I screwed up on KELSO. I called this Jennings/"Scrubs" guy JELSO. I had no idea who or what he was, and (of all the perps to miss!) how could I, the owner of three previous Jags, have missed on the XK-E?!! Why, I seem to have invented something called the XJ-E....
I must've been peering into the future!

Jayce said...

I liked this puzzle. Fun with all the X's. Steve, great write-up. Good to know the world's most interesting man channels your blog. I like Dos Equis amber okay, but my favorite Mexican beer is Negra Modelo. My first experience of TexMex food was when I was stationed at an Air Force base in San Angelo many years ago and had nachos at a local joint. I think the beer I drank there was Tecate with a wedge of lime in it.

Lucina said...

DOS EQUIS means two exes. DOS = two, equis = letter X

At the bookstore yesterday I could not recall the name of your book. Would you repeat it, please. Thank you.

Bill G. said...

That was fun. Thanks Mike and Steve.

I've always liked Dos Equis. Even more, there is a really dark bock beer. It's Mexican and only available at Christmas time. It's called Noche Buena. I haven't seen it in years.

Never buy flowers from a monk because...only you can prevent florist friars!

Jayce said...

Bill G, *groan*! By the way, I failed several times at saying "florist friars" three times quickly.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Fun puzzle, Mike. Kept me buzzy for a while. Fun blog too, Steve. I'd vote you one of the most interesting men in the cw world.

I've liked the DOS EQUIS commercials even though I don't like beer. Never wondered what DOS EQUIS meant so I was surprised when that perped into the puzzle.

SESTET gave me fits. I googled it and learned a SESTET (six lines) is the second part of an Italian sonnet, preceded by an octave (eight lines) part. Okaaaaay!

I had never heard of INXS band so that section was a real natick.

I read "stiPulation" as "stiMulation" but it didn't matter PRIX FIXE was all perps. The "F" was the last fill with a red-letter run because I'd never heard of MR.FOX either.

Got IVIES although I thought there were 7, not eight. Guess that's 7 Sisters.

Happened to see a Massachusetts map recently with ESSEX & Suffolk counties prominently displayed. Think it was a thing about the Salem Witch Trials.

HG - After a certain age, old women greatly out-number old men so guys that girls never looked at when they were younger may get very popular just by being alive. I read something once that said the main criteria was that they could still take themselves to the bathroom on time. I've known a couple of guys uglier than Matthau that were having a ball with the ladies (although none looked as hot as Ann Margaret -- or had her Hollywood glam crew).

Anonymous said...

I thought Ann Margaret went for Jack Lemon and Sophia Loren went for Walter in the second version. Personally I think Walter ended up with the bigger fish.

tawnya said...

Happy Thursday!

This was super fun for me, caught on to the theme pretty quick and the perps helped fill in the middle where I got stuck.

I grew up on this version of SIXTY SIX. Never thought I'd live anywhere near it! Lot's of Route 66 memorabilia around here. INXS is still one of my favorite '80's bands and I was heartbroken when Michael Hutchence decided not to live anymore. We share the same day of birth, different years though. And I saw them in concert for their KICK tour. I remember thinking this video was ground breaking until I was told Bob Dylan had done it years ago.

Scrubs is a great show that we own and still watch when I need a laugh but only have 20 minutes. Ken Jenkins does a great job of making you hate him. And I love when Turk dances!

That's all the fun I get to have today! Now to work on writing a literature review of studies on the medicinal uses of honey on wounds. Aren't you all jealous??

Steve - omg, the story of waking up in a traffic circle is priceless! Thanks for sharing! And now I'm starving after all your pictures of food ;)

Have a great day!


Bluehen said...

I thought I'd chime in on what will likely be my last post for awhile to let Mike and Steve know how much I enjoyed the puzzle and reveal. Nice job. Thanks, guys. Appreciate the CSO to my adopted state and the remembrance, TTP. Vey kind. Thank you.

I haven't been posting very much lately because I've been busy getting ready for the sawbones, and by the time I have some time to myself, it's late and everything has been already said. I have been solving and lurking and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Just because I ain't piping up doesn't mean I'm not listening.

Bill G, you should be ashamed of yourself. I am SO going to use that joke.

Bill G. said...

Bluehen, I'm embarrassed to say I've forgotten the details of your medical issues. However, I am wishing the very best for you and your sawbones. Good luck!

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

I did pretty well with a few exceptions. I had mess instead of muss. And with radius I kept thinking of circles so I really went wrong.

Regarding hexadecimal, everyone came to me with their dumps to find out where their programs bombed. I tried giving a class to teach the rest of the group how but they would say "why do we want to know that when we have you?" My answer was " what are you going to do when I leave?" Soon after, I left. Don't know what they did. And I once wrote a program that did hexadecimal arithmetic. It was fun to do.

AnonymousPVX said...

Thanks for the memories with the "hexa" stuff. I was a systems programmer for many years, hexadecimal to binary (and back), SOCx abends, all of it.

I've been retired now for 7 years, still have all that info that I'll never use again. I kind of miss the work, but not the corporate idiocy.

PK said...

Bluehen, best wishes for your surgery and recovery!

Avg Joe said...

Enjoyed the puzzle, and had a strong hunch about the theme prior to the reveal. I'm a fan of Dos Equis green and always have it when having Tex Mex. i doubt that makes me interesting, but WTH. Given that there is excellent beer from Mexico, I've never understood the appeal of Corona.

Enjoyed the expo as well Steve. It had enough food to keep you happy, and the tech aspect was fun. Back in the 70's my sister was effectively the entire IT dept of a mining company in Denver, and always spoke of her dread of the octal dump. On a whim, she took a ceramics class, in which she made only one item that she used as a paperweight. She called it "Octal Dump", but it closely resembled something the dog might have left. Evidently it doesn't take too much to entertain geeks:-)

Yellowrocks said...

Very enjoyable puzzle and expo.
Prix fixe is fairly common here, even among us commoners.
Steve, hilarious campsite experience.
My rant is that we learn and experience and read all these great vocabulary words in puzzles, in novels and respected print publications, etc. and are inhibited from using them in every day conversation, such as "plethora." Why not! They are considered pretentious. So many of you acknowledge knowing words that you never use, but have in your vocabulary. Let us word nerds be on the cutting edge of expanding the vocbulary of the common discourse.

Lucina said...

Amen! Yellowrocks, I'm in total agreement.

Steve said...

@Yellowrocks - I used "plethora" today in conversation. Let's keep words alive! (I've also used "a sh*t-ton" to mean the same thing. Different audience :)

Anonymous said...

Well, things are getting a little too highbrow for my taste. Quick Dave! Link a cat catching some zzzzzs. Maybe a manxx?

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

A colourful X-rated puzzle with a beer-chaser!

DNF today. I bolloxed the South Central; TEXMEXnoSH ex'd Neb just fine and had no clue on the clues for 66 & 69a. Didn't help that I had BASos? I was paying more attention to the conference* speaker than the puzzle. Oh, and 47d - U-ITAS; o-DAY instead of DDAY. Oh well, it was fun. Thanks Mike.

Thanks too to Steve for a great write-up. I loved the Most Interesting Man meme pic you did up and the camp-story never gets old.

Steve - BASTEs? We don't need no stinkin' BASTEs... (sous-vide!)

WOs: I fUSS'd about MUSS; earlier mentioned o-DAY; and mufFLE b/f STIFLE.

ESPs - any name I did get (see: MATTHAU).

Fav: c/a for NEXT EXIT was cute, but I gotta go w/ HEXA! 2-bit; 4-bit; 8-bit; a HEXAdollar...

Another cutie was FLO - Progressive Pitcher != knuckle-baller.

MIL pointed out to me that my corny joke posted yesterday was not a knock-knock. I was just TESTing her...

D-O: C may not do what you want it to just eXactly what you told it to do; core-dump. :-)

TTP - Too funny: DEL interstate to Montana's drive way comparison.

C, Eh! - Yep, you shouldn't be gassed about 1 Loonie/Litre. Put $2.30/gal (HOU) in your calc.

AveJoe - we "geeks" are easily entertained. See:

YR - Do you know what a plethora is?

Cheers, -T
*I was at Splunk> Live today... I like Big Data; I cannot Lie!**
** That was one T-Shirt I coulda got; "Because you can't always blame Canada" was my choice. :-) //yes, that's for real.