Jul 4, 2016

Monday, July 4, 2016 Bruce Venzke & Gail Grabowski

Theme: No Reveal Monday - No need; straight rhymes. Totally different spellings.

17A. Pre-exam review session : REFRESHER COURSE

27A. Multinational military alliance : COALITION FORCE

49A. Reporter's trustworthy contact : RELIABLE SOURCE

63A. Coin-operated kiddie ride : MECHANICAL HORSE

Argyle here. No tribute puzzle here, nothing to slow you up so you can get out there to watch the parades.


1. Son of God, in a Bach cantata : JESU

5. Sacred wading bird of ancient Egypt : IBIS

9. English class topic : USAGE

14. Novelist Hunter : EVAN. One of his names. IMBd

15. Outstanding credit : DEBT

16. __ Valley, Calif.: 1960 Winter Olympics site : SQUAW
20. Prepare to propose : KNEEL

21. Figure skating leap : AXEL

22. Satisfied sounds : AAHs

23. Tel __, Israel : AVIV

25. Use an acetylene torch on : WELD

33. PIN requester : ATM

34. In a bit : SOON

35. Words before "Happy New Year!" : ... TWO, ONE ...

37. Explore eBay : SHOP

39. Vintage roadster : REO

41. Pop singer Diamond : NEIL

42. Medal of Honor recipients : HEROES

45. State firmly : AVER

48. Delta rival: Abbr. : UAL. United Airlines

52. "What have I gotten myself __?" : INTO

53. Bring in from the fields : REAP

54. Cries from successful solvers : A-HAs

57. Flu symptom : AGUE

59. Sounds of thunder : CLAPS. I hope it doesn't rain on your parade.

66. Spin docs : PR MEN

67. "If all __ fails ... " : ELSE

68. Out of the wind : ALEE

69. Shabby : SEEDY

70. Puts into words : SAYS

71. Where boats tie up : DOCK


1. Soda __: fountain worker : JERK. The term Soda Jerk came from the action the fountain attendant made when pulling the soda draft arm. This jerking motion coined the phrase “Soda Jerk.” The origin and date of the phrase are unknown.

2. Tied, as a score : EVEN

3. Out of danger : SAFE

4. Hard to believe : UNREAL

5. Checkpoint requirements: Abbr. : IDs

6. Conduct, in report card comments : BEHAVIOR

7. Curly-horned goat : IBEX

8. Sprinkled widely : STREWN

9. GI show gp. : USO. (United Service Organizations)

10. Detachment of fighter jets : SQUADRON

11. Subtle glow : AURA

12. Nasty cut : GASH

13. Fleecy farm females : EWEs

18. "Don't Be Cruel" singer : ELVIS

19. Chin indentation : CLEFT

24. Simpson trial judge : ITO

26. Weather map "L" : LOW

27. Tens and twenties : CASH

28. "None of the above" choice : OTHER

29. Love, in Rome : AMORE

30. NBA great Shaquille : O'NEAL

31. __ d'Alene, Idaho : COEUR

32. Room-filling computer unveiled in 1946 : ENIAC. (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer)

36. Magazine you can read forward and backward? : ELLE

38. Like shiny shoes : POLISHED

40. Flipped during frying, as eggs : OVEREASY

43. Austrian "a" : EIN

44. The devil : SATAN

46. Tampa-to-Palm Beach dir. : ESE

47. Pest control target : ROACH

50. Unidentified flying radar blips : BOGIES

51. Transfer, as computer data : UPLOAD

54. Bandstand boosters : AMPs

55. "Present!" : "HERE!"

56. Summit : ACME

58. Golden St. campus : UCLA

60. Folksy Guthrie : ARLO

61. Tiny time meas. : P-SEC. One trillionth of a second, picosecond.

62. Search for : SEEK

64. Vague quantity : ANY

65. "__ Misérables" : LES

Happy Fourth!



OwenKL said...

[I felt especially inspired today, so let Thalia and Erato have freer rein than usual. My apologies to the limerick-haters.]
{A, A-, A, A-, A-, B.}

I once boarded a boat, and got quite a shock
It was named Bugs Bunny! I asked someone, "What?"
He gently explained,
In the fog or rain
To get mooring assistance, they'd ask, "What's up, DOCK?"

Coyote, the trickster, was at it again.
He'd angered another New Mexican shaman.
Public Relations
Was his need this occasion,
So he hired a firm of cats as his PuRrMEN!

An IBIS and an IBEX got together some days
And after romancing, here what each one SAYS:
"I'm so horny I'm braiding!"
"I'm tired of just wading,
Let's go get married -- we'll pretend that we're Gays!

On Johnny's report card, under BEHAVIOR,
"His conduct is UNREAL, I need to savor!"
His teacher was called,
To his parents she bawled:
It's "His conduct is UNREAL! I need a savior!"

I got my info from a RELIABLE SOURCE
That robots are preparing to take over by FORCE!
If we want to be SAFE,
All cars we must strafe --
That's straight from the mouth of a MECHANICAL HORSE!

Perhaps it is time for a REFRESHER COURSE
For Britain on breaking of ties, with remorse.
It's been done in the past;
COALITIONS don't last;
That's why the U.S. celebrates July Fourth!

fermatprime said...


Thanks to Bruce, Gail and Santa!

Easy one!

No problems!

Happy July fourth!

Anonymous T said...

I was about to retire but heard the paper drop. Puzzle time!

Thanks Bruce & Gail, that was fast & fun. We have HEROES, like my little brother, for the 4th, who served with the COALITION FORCEs in Iraq & Afghanistan [We'll be together in 2 weeks!!!] And the s/c rhymes. Fun!

Thanks Argyle for the writeup and ELVIS music.

WO: Apex b/f ACME. Yeah, I shoulda known better. I really wanted char instead of WELD @25a. I blame Steve; he got me into sous vide and I now finish meat w/ a torch.

Fav: c/a for ELLE. Tip o' the hat on that.

Well, I caught up on sleep most of the day. At 10p Eldest and I SHOP'd for fireworks, dogs, sausages, burgers, beer, and all the fixin's for the Fourth fun. We even hit the ATM for putting checks in and taking $$ out. No DEBT here :-)

OKL {A's all the way. Your muse is HERE! What ELSE can I SAYS? [well, one is a bit SEEDY :-)]}

Y'all have a great 4th!

Cheers, -T

Barry G. said...

Morning, All (And Happy Independence Day)!

A bit crunchy for a Monday, but only because I always have trouble remembering how to spell COEUR and NEAL and ONEIL. I caught onto the rhyming theme early on, but I kept waiting for a theme reveal to make it more interesting. Guess that's all we get today, though. Ah well, at least there weren't any phantom circles...

Time to BBQ!

CanadianEh! said...

Straightforward Monday solve. Thanks Gail and Bruce and Argyle.

We had IBIS and IBEX, AAHS and AHAS, EVAN and EVEN. We counted down to New Years and travelled down in Tin's area. Is anybody near Squaw Valley? We have music from Neil, Elvis, Arlo and Bach to suit every taste.

Hoping there are no CLAPS of thunder on the parades. Happy July 4th to all my American Cornerites.

desper-otto said...

Ka-Boom! Happy Fourth!

Enjoyed this holiday romp from BV and GG. Clams? Clans? No, CLAPS. Wonder what led them to choose the P. One of the goals of my ute was to be a SODA JERK. I got the teen job at the drug store, but had to jerk out the soda fountain. That's as close as I got.

Lots of hoopla today in our little town: Parade this morning, burger dogs and beer stands in the park all day, live bands this afternoon and fireworks tonight. I may wander down for the fireworks, but I'll pass on the rest.

unclefred said...

Same as Barry. Also, more write-overs than usual for a Monday: SURF-SHOP; AAL-UAL; IBYX-IBEX; CLEFF-CLEFT. Before dtarting the CW, I thought for sure it would be a 4th of July theme, with BOOM, PARADE, etc as answers, but this was a nice fun puzzle w/o July 4th being in there. Thanx, Bruce and Gail. Terrific write-up, thanx, Argyle. Feeling your Wheaties today, eh, Owen?

Lemonade714 said...

Owen I thought your last limerick with the July 4th tie in was your best ever.

Oo and I got to see our fireworks last night as she works the holiday. Enjoy all be safe.

Thanks Bruce and Gail and Argyle, I used the classic Elvis to teach my wife more about my childhood.

SwampCat said...

Fast and fun and interesting. I learned ENIAC and PSEC. Who knew? But the perps were solid.

Thanks, Argyle, for Elvis!

Owen, all A+ ! Loved the last one especially. Who needs Erato?

Happy Fourth to all.

Yellowrocks said...

Happy 4th to all. Quick puzzle today. Some answers were filled by crosses before I read the clues. For COEUR I always wait for crosses to decide EU or UE.
We will have a quiet day today. Our celebration was on Sat. We will grill a few dogs and eat them with macaroni salad on the patio. No big meal. We both need to watch the calories because we blew it on Saturday. I don't go to see the fireworks because of the heavy traffic and Alan is not interested in doing that.

Tinbeni said...


I always enjoy a Holiday Themed puzzle ...

Yeah, I saw where the 9-a answer started with USAge.

A "Toast to our wonderful country" at Sunset.


Husker Gary said...

-A pleasant Monday offering from B & G
-Every year all Nebr. teachers have to take online REFRESHER COURSES on sexual harassment, blood born pathogens and 5 more areas
-Amazon, Craigslist and eBay have kept me out of lots of stores
-NEIL wrote and recorded this song (2:44) but a made-for-TV group made it a hit
-Oh my, I haven’t seen that REAPING pictures since I was 10 staying at grandma’s
-PR MEN – If all ELSE fails, tell the truth
-I wonder how many “not SAFE” firework shooters the ER will see this weekend
-Tens of thousands gathered for fabulous fireworks in our town last night but we have a foolproof way of beating the traffic
-When I describe the great BEHAVIOR of some students to a parent, they sometimes ask quizzically, “Are we talking about my child?”
-It appears Jackson is out on the Twenty, Hamilton is safe on the Ten
-I blogged last week about Tab Hunter as Joe Hardy, Gwen Virdon as Lola and Roy Walston as SATAN

Sonia said...

Really enjoyed the puzzle..................

TTP said...

Good morning all. Thank you Bruce, Gail, and Argyle.

Don't know about you, but sometimes when the words just fly to the fingertips, I fail to read all the clues. Haste makes waste. Or errors. Mildly disappointing to not get the melodic TADA, but I'll get over it.

Argyle, there will be no (thunder) CLAPS at my parade. There might be thunderclans.

Yellowrocks from yesterday, thank you.
You too Lucina. This isn't the venue.

Here's to wishing everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July !

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

A nice, easy, breezy start to the week from Bruce and Gail. No hiccups, no nits, no fouls. Caught the theme early on and wasn't surprised at the lack of a reveal.

Thanks, B and G, for a fun Monday meander and thanks, Argyle, for a "sparkler" summary.

Great job, Owen!

Happy Independence Day to everyone. 🇺🇸

Have a great (and safe!) day

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

As Argyle said, nothing there to slow me down, so the solve was easy. 4 "orse" endings with different spellings on the long acrosses. Don't know what to make of that.
SQUADRON - Our destroyer was organized into a destroyer SQUADRON - DESRON 28. It had 2 divisions, DESDIV 281, and DESDIV 282. 282 had 4 ships; 281 had 3 ships. So there were 7 DD's in the squadron. Operationally, our squadron usually stayed together during at-sea periods,

Have a happy and safe 4th.

Lucina said...

Happy Independence Day!

Sweet and easy puzzle, thank you Gail and Bruce. As TTP said, the words just flew off the pencil tip with no speed bumps. Only write over was changing ADMEN to PRMEN. And my favorite eggs, OVEREASY made me want to CLAP. The one I have to wait for is AVER or AVOW.

Thank you, Argyle. I'm always pleased when you explain abbreviations, many of which I don't know.

We celebrated last night with my daughter and her family so today will be quiet until the fireworks tonight.

Enjoy your celebrations, everyone! Happy 240th birthday, USA!

MarthaGee said...

Picosecond is generally abbreviated as PS not psec. Puzzles have generally detiorated lately. Poor cluing, low level of difficulty. I miss Merle's Sunday puzzles!

CrossEyedDave said...

MArthaGee@ 10:21
Where were you late last week when I was begging constructors to throw me a bone?

Rushed thru the puzzle so fast, I never saw the rhymes...
I had to get to our towns 4th of July parade, (Biggest in New Jersey!)
because Daughter#3 was riding in a convertible as a scholarship winner!
(& I had to get a picture..)

Happy Birthday America!

I got two great pics of my fingers covering the lens,,,
I am hoping Daughter#3 can crop it. She is a wiz with these things...

Nice Cuppa said...

I feel obligated to respond to Owen's bittersweet last verse:

In Seventeen Hundred and Seventy Six
A new COALITION arose in the Sticks

“As English gentlemen it's hard to SOURCE
Why we need to mount a MECHANICAL FORCE.
It sounds so revolting, but our POLISHED ranks
Will one day be known as a bunch of Yanks"

"And it’s not about paying you CASH to defend us
Or even the right to own slaves in the U.S."

We even promise one day to come over
With our SQUADRONS to save those White Cliffs of Dover

No, what worries us most (that’s AVERring for white men)
Is a future far bleaker – of becoming Canadian!”

Eh for Effort?

Avg Joe said...

Fun little romp today. No erasures, no nits.

After the Cream conversation yesterday, I can't let a comic strip from today pass without posting:

Pearls Before Swine

john28man said...

Happy Birthday, USA.

I have nit. You use a acetylene torch to SOLDER two pieces of metal together using a metal alloy that melts at a lower temperature. See

WELDING is done by placing an electrode made of high temperature alloy near but not touching two pieces of metal that you wish to join together. See

Anonymous T said...

NiceCuppa - Brilliant! {Eh}
AveJoe - LOL!

Later, -T

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling Thoughts": (in reverse order)

Ave Joe - I saw PBS comic in today's paper (Palm Beach Post) and LMAO; Stephen Pastis has an enjoyable, sick humor ��

Nice Cuppa - I give you an "Eh"+++ !! Excellent

Husker Gary - thanks for providing me with NEIL Diamond's tune that I'll be humming or singing or whistling the rest of the day!

Tinbeni - kinda sorta SO to you and me with the directional reference between the major cities closest to where we live. Now that you know the direction, c'mon over! But on this coast the sunrises are more brilliant than the sunsets. Do I hear Bloody Mary's??!! ����

Owen - I give your last poem (closest one to a limerick) an A

(Happy Birthday, USA!)

Bill G. said...

That was a typical, pleasant Monday puzzle. Thanks Bruce, Gail and Argyle.

Spitz, I also noticed the four different theme spellings. I feel sure that was intentional.

As a teenager, my father and I spent one July 4th evening in the ER. I lit a cherry bomb in my brother's big sparkler and couldn't tell if the fuse was lit or not. It was. After it went off, I was stunned, temporarily blinded, my ears were ringing and my hand was numb. I couldn't tell if I had all of my fingers or not. I did. The ER doc gave me a tetanus shot and sewed up a gash in my finger. Another fortunate escape.

A joke from Garrison Keillor: Grace and Harry were driving down the road and ran into a bridge abutment. They died instantly and found themselves in paradise. It was fabulous, awesome, even better than Boca. Harry turn to Grace and yelled at her. "If you hadn't made me stop smoking, I could've been here years ago!"

Happy 4th to all!

Ol' Man Keith said...

Happy Fourth everybody!
[Cue: Bombs bursting in air] Let's hear it for the original Brexit! Oh, wait, er, well, let's cheer the original "reverse Brexit" to be accurate! The result may be the same--with an abrupt split between Britain and another part of the world. It worked pretty well the first time.

Nice pzl this morning from the Venzke/Grabowski team, with a fine write-up from Argyle. I appreciated the etymology of Soda JERK, although I remember my mom had a very different origin story. She grew up on Polk Street in San Francisco and told me she once dated the fellow who operated the soda fountain on Union Street, near her home. She swore to me in no uncertain terms that he was indeed a "Jerk." And she didn't mean one who tugs or yanks, either.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Fast and fun! Thanks, Gail & Bruce.

Thanks, Argyle, especially for giving us the words for ENIAC. I never can remember that. Maybe now...

I had forgotten SQUAW Valley. Perps took care of that.

My wheat has done been REAPed despite frequent rain showers. Yay! The price is $2 a bushel less than last year which makes a big difference per 1,000 bushels. Boo hiss!

How many of you guys actually did KNEEL to propose? My husband just handed me this huge box filled with progressively smaller wrapped boxes until the diamond ring finally appeared. I put it on and said, "When?" I don't think he ever said, "Will you?" nor did I say, "Yes." I can't imagine that macho stud actually kneeling for any reason except fixing a machine.

I'm grateful for living in America, but no celebrating hoopla for me. My kids are all out of town on vacations. I'll celebrate tomorrow when the four days & nights of neighborhood fireworks stop. I live a block from a country club golf course where they set off big boomers & aerial showers two nights. I have neighbors who have burned up thousands of big bang dollars. I'm tired of living in a "battle zone". My fox has PTSD. Thank goodness, it rained off and on all weekend to reduce fire hazard. I grit my teeth every year.

Canadian Eh: Very thought provoking poem. Thanks for sharing.

Chickie said...

Hello Everyone, A quick and easy puzzle. I whizzed through and didn't even see some of the answers as they filled in before I read the clues.

Thank you Bruce and Gail for a fun romp.

Yesterday I finished reading "America's First Daughter" by Stephanie Dray. This was an excellent read (fiction based on fact) about Jefferson's Daughter Patsy Jefferson. It gives a great insight into our Nation's first 50 years through the eyes of someone who was close to Jefferson. A small fact that might be unknown to some is that Jefferson and Adams both died a few hours apart on July 4th.

Happy July 4th to everyone.

Misty said...

What a great way to start the week and celebrate the Fourth of July as well. Many thanks for a delightful and doable puzzle, Bruce and Gail! Thanks for explaining Soda JERK, Argyle. Also, sweet painting to go with REAP--do you know the artist, by any chance?

I came to this country from Austria, when I was 9, and although I still love Austria, I'm so happy to have spent my life in this wonderful country. So, happy Fourth of July, everybody!

Pat said...

Our 4th rain shower of the day is moving in but we don't have any plans so it won't ruin things for us.

Thanks, BV and GG for the enjoyable start to the day and week. Thanks, Argyle, for the expo.

Hand up for Surf/SHOP and CLAn/CLAP. We may hear a few CLAPs of thunder tonight.

Enjoy your 4th of July!


Hungry Mother said...

Not part of a joke, but I was a soda JERK when I was 16 at Penn Valley Drugs on Philly's Main Line. I also had to do some short order cooking in that job. Prior to that job, I delivered prescriptions for the same drugstore and received better tips.

Manac said...

Happy Independence Day everyone!

Or in other words

I have got to try this next year I think I have enough space

And of course..Something for Dave

Have a safe day all!

CanadianEh! said...

LOL! Nice Cuppa - great poetry. (PK I think it is Nice Cuppa's thought-provoking poem to which you are referring.
There are lots of worse things to become than Canadian! But I have some United Empire Loyalist ancestors so I might be a little biased Eh?

Celebrate your day!
(Hope we don't get scolded for being political; it's all in fun)

Jerome said...

Joe- Funny!

Chickie- Interesting that Jefferson and Adams were very close friends, then had a great falling out and didn't speak to each other for about thirty years. Then became close friends again. If you haven't yet, studying the life of Abigail Adams is worth the time. She was as interesting and remarkable as anyone in our history. Also worth noting that she and John both despised and hated slavery. Jefferson made his fortune from it, yet is considered to be the more heroic revolutionary figure.

Without reason on this day to mention our nation's often terrible mistakes and flaws, past and present, the majority of Americans always end up doing the right thing. For reasons that may differ in the extreme from others, I am proud to be American, and I have an abiding faith that we'll struggle and fight for better lives, grander ideals, and a decent semblance of harmony among us all.

Happy 4th, folks!

Jayce said...

Cool puzzle. Zoomed through it. Easy but fun. Yeah, I noticed IBEX and IBIS cross each other, the AAHS and AHAS, and the NEIL and ONEAL. Soaky, though.

Misty, a friend of mine lives in Eisenstadt, Austria.

Happy independence day wishes to you all.

Husker Gary said...

Musings 2
-I agree about ACETYLENE torches, we used it for this on construction sites, not welding
-Manac, good to see you back. My cat-loving wife thought that little kitty might be getting abused. ☺
-I agree with sentiments about our U S of A. Even with its faults its still the country many wish to get to and everyone here is free to leave. We usually do get it mostly right
-That book sounds like something that would really interest me, Chickie. Gore Vidal did that sort of work very well.

Lucina said...

That's a beautiful story!

Chickie and Manac:
It's so good to see you both!

Nice Cuppa:
I greatly enjoyed your poem.

CrossEyedDave said...

Manac, Good to see you again buddy!
Always enjoy your posts (even if all i get is the tail end...)



DW made me kneel!
Also, she shoved a whole slice of cake in my beard at our reception...
(a total surprise to me...)

Let's see,
it's been 30 years since this humiliation...
(I think I have the perfect response finally assembled...)

It's been nice knowing you all,
read about me in the news!


Abejo said...

Good afternoon,folks. Thank you, Bruce and Gail, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Argyle, for a fine review.

Zipped through this pretty quickly. Even the grid spanner were pretty easy after a couple letters.

Misspelled COEUR the first pass, but corrected it after the perps.

Tried SSE for 46D. AVER fixed that to ESE. Only two inkblots. Not bad.

The term OUTSTANDING CREDIT meaning DEBT sounds strange to me.

Just got home from Pennsylvania last night after a family reunion in Edinboro (near Erie). It was a great time. Saw a lot of relatives that I had not seen in a while. Did the crosswords while there but had not time to log in to the Blog.

Prior to the reunion spent a couple days in Johnsonburg with my daughter. She got to see many relatives there. It was a good trip. Helped my wife's cousin with her toilet that had a problem. Fixed it. She is happy.

Was in three parades today with Medinah Temple's Brass Band. Pretty much ate up the whole day.

Fireworks tonight in our town. Should be fun. The weather is great.

See you tomorrow.


Avg Joe said...

Hand up for not kneeling to propose......our engagement just kinda resulted from a conversation that ended in "Well, we might as well get married." Despite that inauspiscious beginning, it stands some 36 years later, and I feel very fortunate for that.

However, the apple evidently falls far from this tree. Last weekend our son proposed to his delightful and lovely intended bride. And he did ask on bended knee. On a lakeshore. In the shadow of mountains. But not on an ocean. Two outta three ain't bad. I guess chivalry isn't dead, but it might be on life support.

She said yes.

Pat said...

OKL, Nice Cuppa, I enjoyed all your poems today. Thank you!

My boyfriend and I went out for dinner on our birthday. On our way across the parking lot to his car he asked me if I would spend the rest of my life with him. I said "yes". No kneeling.

Manac, I loved the dog/cat video!

Good evening.


Wilbur Charles said...

Finally got a few seconds, I feel the need to finish the xword before posting. Also if any posts of mine were misinterpreted I apologize.

I agree, Owen's grades were backwards except no Bs. What an imagination. Also I too liked the 4th of July poem.

PK said...

Nice Cuppa; Sorry for getting the wrong name on your thought-provoking poem. Liked it a lot. Canadians are Americans too but cooler geographically.

Manac: Loved the sign. I am under bombardment again tonight. The golf course is setting off a lot of aerials. Then I hear the cinders hitting my roof. I console myself by thinking about who I will sue if my house ignites. No rain today.

Loved the proposal stories. I'm not sure many men in my era knew they were supposed to kneel. Too Hollywood anyway. My youngest son did kneel, I know. My marriage lasted 33 years until the grim reaper ended it.

CED: Goodness gracious, don't do anything rash! Your daughters need you.

Sailor said...

john28man and Husker Gary, on WELDing with acetylene: I agree that a single-tank acetylene torch is used for soldering, but it's also true that dual-tank oxy-actylene torches are quite commonly used for both metal cutting and welding. The clue may be a bit imprecise, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it's wrong.

OwenKL said...

Nice Cuppa: Very good! Trying to rhyme us and U.S. might drop it from A+ to A, but it's still a great poem!

Too bad there wasn't one more theme entry from top to bottom -- then we'd have a one-'orse down!