Nov 10, 2016

Thursday, November 10th, 2016 Matt Skoczen

Theme: Sponsored by Betty Crocker. Four "cake" mixes are presented in four theme entries arranged pinwheel fashion .

17A. Very close : NECK AND NECK. I'm glad I wasn't the one who had to sort this lot out at the 2004 Athens Olympics TRACK EVENT:

11D. Dash, but not dot : TRACK EVENT. A friend dog-sits for a family of pit bulls named Dot, Dash and Bracket.

60A. Holiday to-do list task : BAKE COOKIES. I tried "MAKE" first which meant figuring out the auction site was a little trickier than it could have been. I think this might be a little too close to the "cake" theme, but that's probably just me being grumpy today.

28D. 1954 Best Actress Oscar winner : GRACE KELLY. She went on to marry Prince Rainier III and became Princess Grace of Monaco.

and the reveal:

38A. Birthday party staple, and a hint to this puzzle's circles : CAKE MIX. Is the cake mix the party staple, or the cake? Methinks the latter.

You can make 24 varieties of CAKE with your figurative mixing bowl and whisk; Matt's picked four of them and slotted them across word boundaries in the four theme entries. There are some nice expanses of white space, especially in the northwest and southeast.

Let's see what else we've got:


1. Powerful watchdogs : AKITAS. My mind was well down the "consumer rights" type of watchdog before I managed to reel myself back in. Even seen the movie "Hachi - a Dog's Tale"? Two packs of Kleenex, minimum.

7. Silk Road desert : GOBI

11. Pulls a Halloween prank on, for short : TP'S. Do you really TP a house on Hallowe'en? I'd have thought there were too many people around to get away with it.

14. Put a new handle on : RENAME

15. "... wish __ a star" : UPON

16. Part of the fam. : REL. ative. We call them "relations" in England, it looks odd to my eyes now.

19. Police blotter letters : AKA

20. Daughter of Polonius : OPHELIA. No better excuse to link the song from The Lumineers.

21. Dependable source of income : CASH COW

23. Tearful queen : NIOBE. Quite why I knee-jerked SHEBA in here when I had the B I can't really tell you. Fixed it eventually.

25. Short strings? : UKES

26. More skittish : EDGIER

29. Dark mark : SMUDGE. Nice word.

33. Admonish : WARN

34. Artisan pizzeria feature : STONE OVEN. Food! Yum! I don't eat a lot of pizza, but thin crust like this - yes please!

37. Seventh in a Greek series : ETA

40. Big Band __ : ERA

41. Pastoral residences : RECTORIES. For some reason, I knew what Matt/Rich were getting at right away here. Technically, a rector lives in a rectory and a pastor in a pastorium, but we won't let that get in the way.

43. Huff : SNIT

44. Self-involvement : EGOISM

45. Williams of talk TV : MONTEL

47. "The Square Egg" author : SAKI. Hector Hugh Monroe to his formal friends. Ronald Searle also wrote a book with this title - I remember enjoying it some years ago. If you're not familiar with Mr. Searle's artistic talents, here's a taste:

49. Square, e.g. : SHAPE. See shape above.

51. Former Jesuit school official : PREFECT. We had prefects at my grammar school, but it certainly wasn't Jesuit.

55. Stretch : EXPANSE

59. Sushi selection : EEL

62. "The Miracle Worker" comm. method : ASL. How to fingerspell:

63. 2016 MLB retiree : A-ROD

64. Online newsgroup system : USENET. Is this still a thing? I thought Blogger, Facebook, LinkedIn and all the others would have consigned this to the technology scrap-heap of history.

65. Pop artist Lichtenstein : ROY. All I need to say is "WHAAM" and you can see the diptych.

66. Sun., on Mon. : YEST. Hmmm. Make a sad face and move on.

67. Mother in Calcutta : TERESA. Now promoted to Saint.


1. Ponte Vecchio's river : ARNO. Florence's river. Back in the day when we weren't such seasoned travelers, I remember a colleague returning from an Italian vacation raving about an unknown city he'd discovered called "Firenze".

2. Conserve : KEEP

3. Foot part : INCH. Tried ARCH. Was eventually proven wrong.

4. Hornswoggled : TAKEN IN

5. Charlotte __ : AMALIE. I thought this was either a movie character or an actress. Now I discover it is the capital of the US Virgin Islands. Learning moment.

6. Frequent discount recipient : SENIOR. I get a 5% discount at my local hardware store. Apparently 55+ is the new magic number - I get a discount at the swimming pool too.

7. Word with water or air : GUN

8. Energy org. since 1960 : OPEC. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

9. Florida city, familiarly : BOCA. Raton.

10. They're kept in pens : INKS. Didn't hesitate when K was already there.

12. Orange __ : PEKOE. Fill-in-the-blank avoids the awkward "type of tea" discussion/argument.

13. Picnic dishes : SLAWS Food! Can't beat a nice, crisp, freshly-made coleslaw. My coleslaw recipe has shredded carrots, cabbage and a dressing with a couple or ten ingredients, something like that.

18. Smidge : DAB

22. Sci-fi award : HUGO. Great-looking things.

24. Values highly : ESTEEMS

26. Spouted vessel : EWER. I hesitated over this for a while until the crosses made it obvious - I think of a spouted vessel more like a teapot, and a ewer to have a pouring lip, not a spout.

27. Palm fruit : DATE

30. Some den leaders : MOMS

31. Cycle starter? : UNI

32. Showtime title forensic technician, familiarly : DEX. From the show "Dexter", as you would assume.

34. Aspen gear : SKIS

35. Scary-sounding lake : ERIE

36. NASA part: Abbr. : NATL.

38. Soft sound : COO

39. Meyers of "Kate & Allie" : ARI. Thanks, crosses.

42. Certain happy hour exclamation : TGIF!

43. Bit of 11-Down gear : SNEAKER. Bit of retro 11-Down gear. I'm not sure those hi-tech Nikes, Reeboks and what-nots are called sneakers any more.

45. Borrow the limit on : MAX OUT

46. Combat : OPPOSE

47. Sharp weapon : SPEAR

48. "You __ grounded!" : ARE SO

50. '70s TV lawman Ramsey : HEC. Thank you, crosses. Before my (US) time. Hec Ramsey.

52. Auction venue : EBAY. Not EMAY as my MAKE COOKIES insisted that it was.

53. Bit of TLC? : CARE

54. WBA decisions : TKO'S

56. Muse count : NINE. I'm going to learn them one day. Calliope, Clio, Euterpe, Thalia, Melpomene, Terpsichore, Erato, Polyhymnia and Urania.

57. Goes with : SEES

58. Spanish pronoun : ESTÁ.  Comó?

61. D.C. summer hrs. : EDT. Most of us waved goodbye to EDT just last weekend for another six months. It's about time we stopped messing around with the clocks, although it's less onerous than it used to be. The only manual adjustments I need to made are the analog kitchen clock and the microwave. Obviously I have a technologically-challenged zapper. It doesn't even have it's own IP address.

The sun came up again today - woo hoo!

Here's the grid!



fermatprime said...


Thanks, Matt and Steve!

No problems. STONE OVEN filled in by perps. Had try before UNI.

Have a great day!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all.

Got through this one relatively quickly, despite the lack of circles and not knowing ARI, AMELIE or HEC. Yay.

OwenKL said...

{A-, B, A, A-.}

A Mongol there was from the GOBI
Who romanced the sweet NIOBE
To get him some nookies
He tried to BAKE COOKIES,
But his STONE OVEN was a horno of adobe!

But pasture cotes are for reveries.
There shepherds sleep
From counting their sheep,
And miscounters are sent to correctories!

A traveler who was walking to ERIE
Sat to rest when his FEET grew too weary.
Said, "The sunlight may dance
On this watery EXPANSE
But my throat would like something more beery!

Charisma just dripped from young HUGO,
Like the drips from his pot of black PEKOE.
He served so much tea
That his guest had to pee,
Told HUGO, "I'll go where you go!"

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Had the circles and still managed to miss the theme. I may just be a lost cause. After changing AKELAS (why did I do that?) to AKITAS everything went smoothly. Well, mostly. I misread the clue as "Sun. or Mon." and wondered at YEST. Thanks, Matt.

I remember HEC Ramsey, but I remember Richard Boone better as Paladin -- "Have Gun, Will Travel. Wire Paladin, San Francisco."

Steve, we also have only two clocks to change when DST ends: oven/microwave and coffee maker (that's the important one). The other four clocks in the house are "atomic" self-setting. Oops, I still need to change the clock in my truck.

Tinbeni said...

Steve: Nice write-up and links. Good Job!

Matt: Thank You for a FUN Thursday puzzle.
... but I gotta say, at Villa Incognito the "Party Staple" is Scotch NOT CAKE MIX.

Needed ESP to get NIOBE & AMALIE, both "Learning Moments" ... always a PLUS +++

Liked the CSO to Dennis at BOCA ... and yeah, we do call it just BOCA.

Well the Sun came out today. It is a beautiful sunny, mid-60's (heading to 80 degrees) day.

A "Toast-to-ALL" when ever that thing gets over the yardarm.

Oas said...

Esta is a form of the verb estar . Como esta is simply a shortened familiar greeting dropping the formal usted. Slowed me down some thinking ella would fit.

Dennis said...

Good morning, gang - just wanted to wish my former brother-in-arms Argyle a Happy Marine Corps Birthday. Semper Fi!

Have a fun day, everyone -- and thanks, Matt, for the Boca CSO.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

I knew that Charlotte Amalie was in the "little latitudes", but I forgot how to spell it. Took a WAG for NoOBE for my only bad cell today. Erased ahi for EEL, HEk for HEC and srTA for ESTA. Favorite clue - "scary-sounding lake" for ERIE. Least favorite - "word with water or air" for GUN. Technically correct, but there must be a thousand better ways to clue that word. I didn't find it cute or even cleverly misdirecting, which I enjoy. I'm sure that this nit grates on just me.

I agree with Steve - serious track competitors don't wear sneakers. My friend lamented about the cost of his daughter's cross-country track shoes. Not only were they costly, they had to be replaced when they still looked new because the insides had to be perfect for her top-tier level of competition. I also agree that the usenet is of a bygone era. The popular groups attracted spam, and eventually the parasites killed the host.

Thanks to Matt for a fun but challenging puzzle, and for another great expo by Steve.

thehondohurricane said...

Had a rough time getting started today, but finally the SE corner filled in, letting me (slowly) begin moving northward and westward(wagons ho).

Eventually it came down to 53D &n 64A. Was it USANET or USENET & SNEAKER or SNEAKaR. Even though the A made more sense to me for 64A, I was 99.9% it was SNEAKER. What the heck is a USENET?

Leaves are pretty much off the trees and nicely settling on the ground. They'll be there a while longer because I "fried" my leaf blowers and I've opted to have one rebuilt. So I wait, but as long as I'm able to start within a week, all will be good.

Yellowrocks said...

Seeing the mixed CAKEs was very helpful. I liked the way BAKE COOKIES echoed the theme, but was just varied enough to be kosher. I usually think of staples as common supplies bought from the store, so no nit there.
When our neighbors' kids were younger they TPed their own house several years running. When own kids were younger Mischief Night, Oct. 30, was a big deal and not so harmless. I didn't allow mine to do it. The neighbor kids egged my house high up by the roof. Hard to scrub it the next day balancing on a ladder. They also TPed houses where no one was home or where the residents were in the back rooms, or sometimes just did the trees. All things considered, it was relatively harmless. The police cracked down on Mischief Night and it disappeared in these neighborhoods. Some of the mischief was really damaging.
I became acquainted with the story of Charlotte Amalie when we visited Denmark.
I was a PK, pastor's kid. We lived in a parsonage. Dad was never referred to as a parson but all the Lutheran pastors' homes were called parsonages. Never heard of Pastorium before this AM. Episcopalian rectors live in rectories.

TTP said...

Good morning all.

Not a SMUDGE on my filled in grid today, although I initially keyed in ON ME instead of TGIF for that certain happy hour exclamation. I was being generous. Then the end of the work week saying came to mind.

Didn't immediately fill either OPHELIA or NIOBE based on the clues alone, but they were easily sussed. We've seen them here before. HEC filled itself in. Then I looked at the clue. Seemed like it might fit. Move on. Go to next clue.

There's that Great Lake that will often compel a shout out to Abejo. BTW Abejo, I didn't see you at Resurrection Tuesday. Or were you working a different polling place ? We were there very early. DW was first in line for the 6 AM opening and I was eighth in line. Seemed to be a big turnout early.

Not so apparent and somewhat circuitous CSO to Anon - T, Hungry Mother and others at 31D and then right one character.

Didn't need the circles as I first solved from SW to NE, and got CAKEMIX very early.

And funny that you should think of Akelas at 1A Desper-otto. When I read the clue "Some den leaders" Akelas was my first thought. Alternately, if MOMS are some den leaders, are some dads man cave leaders ?

Thanks Matt. Thanks Steve. Entertaining puzzle and entertaining write up. Well done.

See all yinz later n'at. The Illinois Air Team inspectors want to check my emissions.

Gramma Jo said...

Nice puzzle. Just to clarify though, está with accent is the vowel "are" as in How are you. ¿Cómo está?
Without the accent it is the word for this one, which is a pronoun. As in Quiero esta. I want this one
Now the clue makes sense.

MJ said...

Good day to all!

Having the circles helped immensely. Hand up for misreading the clue at 66A as "Sun. or Mon." Thanks for today's enjoyable puzzle, Matt, and thanks Steve for being our guide. Yummy looking STONE OVEN photo.

Enjoy the day!

Jinx in Norfolk said...

thehondohurricane, the USENET amounted to a bulletin board system. The internet was text-based, and it was a place for like-minded people to share, similar to online web-based forums today. There were "news groups" that were named to make them easier to find - I spent a lot of time at comp.dcom.isdn (computer - data communications - integrated services digital network). The user needed separate reader software - I used Agent (the no-cost version was called Free Agent, of course). Everything you can think of could be found there - I remember seeing a news group for hammer banjos, whatever that is.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Great puzzle from Matt, today. Liked the theme. Helped me get GRACE KELLY in the SE. Certainly didn't remember the oscar winner from 1954, but this time, I didn't have to look it up. A little heavy on proper names, but this one I could do.
Had cagier before EDGIER.

EDT - Daylight time was 24/7 during WWII. Afterwards my Dad kept it because of regularity for cows' milking needs. So while going to school, we had a daily time change when getting on the school bus and when getting off. No problem for us.
One time the bread man saw my parents' clock when making a weekly delivery, and hurried through the rest of his route because he thought he was late. He caught hell from his boss when he got back too 'early'.

Anonymous said...

@ Jinx: Hammer banjo refers to a style of playing, not to a type of banjo. More often called 'clawhammer,' it gets its name from the shape the hand/fingers make when playing.

Lucina said...

As Granny Jo explained, ESTA, sans accent, means "this." ESTA chica tiene lindos ejos. This girl has beautiful eyes.

AKITAS went in, went out until INCH not ARCH made sense. We've seen AMALIE before DEX was a guess. I've never seen the show, but like the Simpsons, DEX, DEXTER keeps popping up in crosswords.

What a nice romp from Matt Skoczen. Thank you for that. And thank you, Steve; it's always a pleasure to read your commentary.

Have a peaceful day, everyone!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Breezed through this pretty quickly for a Thursday with just a few hiccups along the way. Any unknowns such as Hec, Niobe, Amalie, etc. were filled by perps. I caught the theme immediately so the reveal was easy peasy to fill in. Nice CSO to Abejo with our favorite lake.

Thanks, Matt, for a Thursday treat and thanks, Steve, for the expo and visuals, especially that yummy-looking pizza; thin-crust pizza is my favorite and the thinner the better! 🍕

I had a call yesterday morning from Shop Rite asking me if I wanted to add anything to my order which was going to be delivered between 11:00-1:00. I did add 6 liters of water, 2 3-packs of facial tissues, and 3 boxes of Nips Candy. Later in the day, as I was checking the cash register receipt, I noticed that none of the add-ons were charged. I called this morning and spoke with the girl who processed the order and was told they wouldn't want to bother putting through another charge so the items were free.

Have a great day.

Yellowrocks said...

I find these dark late afternoons on Standard Time quite depressing, dark before 5:00 and soon dark at 4:30. It makes we want to stay home in the evening and curl up with a book, but once I get myself out and dancing I am happy. That leaves many night of the week to get through without dancing. The early morning darkness doesn't bother me. I like to see the day approaching.
We had official den mothers for the younger scouts. The dads are quite involved with the older scouts. I wonder what they call those dads.
Spitz, that reminds me that my older son used to play in a home where all the clocks were set to different times. When he came home late for dinner he always had the excuse that he left at the right time, depending on the clock he saw. Today with a cell phone in every kid's hand, that is no longer an excuse. And, of course, in today's world he would have been picked up in the car by a helicopter parent.

AnonymousPVX said...

This seemed easier for me than yesterday.

C6D6 Peg said...

Thanks, Matt, for a fine puzzle this am. No problems, but got confused with Baking Cookies as part of the theme.....

Great job, Steve, on the write-up. Thanks, again, for all of you bloggers!

Nice Cuppa said...

• I wrote in "BRONTE" for 5D, which slowed me down a DAB. AMALIE was unknown.

• I knew NIOBE from my my chemistry classes - she gave her name to the metal, NIOBIUM –  she was the daughter of TANTALUS, who gave his name to the very similar metal TANTALUM (just above NIOBIUM in the periodic table). I never knew the story of her crying over her children being killed [until today].

• Incidentally, NIOBIUM was originally called COLUMBIUM – the poetic name for the U.S. , where it was discovered by a British chemist.

– Who's crying now?

• Owen (from yesterday)

Could you answer your riddle from yesterday? My guess was the irrational number, "e", which is less than the better-known irrational number, pi. You seemed to have e everywhere else.

e = infinitum

Misty said...

Perfect Thursday puzzle, Matt--crunchy but doable--many thanks! I had ARCH for that "foot part" and just couldn't let go until if finally occurred to me that an INCH was a "foot part." Didn't know AMALIE or MONTEL, but figured the NAT in NASA had to be "national" and thus the L. Also first read Sun OR Mon and wondered about that weird YEST until I re-read the clue.

My favorite clue was "Scary sounding lake" for ERIE, which seems to show up in every crossword puzzle these days.

Desper-otto, thanks for the reminder about "Paladin," a favorite program back in the day. So sad that GRACE KELLY died in a car accident. And thanks for the amazing picture of a HUGO, Steve.

Have a great day, everybody!

Lucina said...

Oops! I see that ojos (eyes)is misspelled in my previous post.

It's really cheering to read all your posts. Thank you, Bloggers, for your contributions. It's uplifting.

Jayce said...

Nice puzzle. Without circles (the Mensa site) I didn't get the theme until CAKE MIX finally emerged. Agree with Jinx in Norfolk about the clue for GUN and with Steve about EWER. Lovely write-up, as usual, Steve. Thank you.

Was it really ASL that Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller used to communicate with each other? I thought ASL required the ability to see.

There is a "Classic Italian Pizza" restaurant in Tempe, AZ, that we patronize regularly. Azhar Began, the owner, makes wonderful pizza, baked in an enormous stone oven.

I enjoyed seeing SNEAKER crossing USENET, as we used to call the process of walking over to a colleague's office to deliver him/her a file via a USB thumb drive "sneaker net."

We have too many clocks in our house that need (re)setting twice a year, including digital clocks on the stove, microwave oven, coffee maker, thermostat, clock radio, and in the car. Then there's the analog clock in the living room, and LW's and my analog wristwatches. We leave the sprinkler system and porch light timers alone, as it doesn't much matter if the timing is an hour off. The outside light is set to come on according to how dark it is outside anyway (position of the sun), so the actual hour doesn't matter.

Best wishes to you all.

Yellowrocks said...

Helen Keller's biography is fascinating. She read sign language by feeling the fingers of the signer with her hands. She also read lips by touching the speaker's lips. I must read more about her again. I find myself returning to books I have already read. It is very interesting to realize how differently I view the same writing at different stages in my life.
"Artisan pizzeria" reminds me of a strange sign in a local supermarket. It advertised their bread as ARTESIAN.
An artesian well is a well in which water rises under pressure from a permeable stratum overlaid by impermeable rock.
An artisan is a person who is skilled at making things by hand.
Link Viva la difference

Our ladies' group at church advertised a coffee and desert party.

Bluehen said...

Jayce, your comment about ASL reminds me of a few years ago when I was recently retired, couldn't stand it, and took a consulting gig with the DE. Dept. of the Visually Impaired, specifically DE. Industries for the Blind. Friends would ask what on earth I was doing for them, and I usually responded, "I'm teaching them ASL so they can communicate with the deaf". Usually after a long pause and the lightbulb goes on, "What? How does that work?" "Not very well. That's why I'm still there!"
Actually, I'm kinda proud to say that I was there to develop a quality program to meet ISO 9001 standards, and we got our certification after the first survey. From a make-work shop to international recognized quality manufacturer in 18 mos. Not bad, if I do say so myself.

PS to the lamenters out there. It matters very little who is president. "The sun will come up tomorrow."


Bluehen said...

YR, a local supermarket in their Health and Beauty section has a sign to guide you to products for "incontinents". STG.

CrossEyedDave said...


Cake Mix?

Also, yesterday I spent a lot of time looking for something cagey to post.
But in the end decided the best way to honor CC's puzzle was not to post
some of the silly stuff on the internet that day...

Here's one for Dennis & Argyle!

Husker Gary said...

-No sleep due to a cold, subbing, preparing to celebrate my lovely bride’s 70th BD and a tougher than usual puzzle delayed my blogging.
-I had a good time but there were sandbars everywhere and a genuine natick for me at AMALIE and OPHELIA.
-Well I have to finish my day with 7th graders and pronouns! Hope to read you all after a lovely night out.

Ol' Man Keith said...

LOL. 'Twas another one of these where I finished with all blanks filled and everything correct but still didn't understand all the answers.
I appreciate Mr. Skoczen's effort, which came very close to perfection--if only I weren't hung up in the center of his pzl.
I am a big DEXter fan but still didn't recognize the sobriquet as belonging to Michael C. Hall's EeRIE but friendly character. Now, that may have been just me, but I felt the same about DEX's shared ultimate-lettered perp, CAKE MIX. Yes, of course, the CAKE is standard, but whoever thinks of the MIX as being a "staple" of birthdays? I'm with Yellowrocks on this. Aren't most birthdays celebrated (at least in most colleagues' households) with decorated cakes? And therefore our staple must be the professional bakery, right?
I don't usually fuss over such nits, but I had to run through most of the alphabet after achieving CAKEMI before lighting on the "X," the only letter that made sense. The solution seems fairly simple. Could it not have been better clued?
Just sayin'.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Jayce, your question about ASL and Helen Keller prompted my memory of a meeting with William Gibson (author of The Miracle Worker) many years ago when I lived up in NW Massachusetts. We were talking about his research into Annie Sullivan's career when I mentioned ASL in passing. He pointed out that he wasn't sure what "system" Annie used to get through to young Helen, only that it might have been the "tactile" version of ASL. Seems Annie was herself partially blind (which isn't emphasized in the play), and she would have had to have learned a touch/feel method in her training.
Interesting that AKITAS is the lead-off answer at 1-A in the same pzl as a reference to Helen Keller. She loved the breed and is credited with introducing AKITAS into the U.S.

Hungry Mother said...

Didn't get to it until late today. No problem once I started. Nice puzzle today. Theme was helpful.

Irish Miss said...

3:54 and 3:56 are both mine. In order to post, I had to prove I was not a robot which I never do when posting as Irish Miss. (Blue)

C.C. Burnikel said...

Irish Miss,
Thanks! I had glitch with Firefox earlier. Chrome and IE worked great.

FYI, Blogger forum got more reports about "Bad Request". Hopefully Google engineers will hurry up the fixing process.

PK said...

Out here is flyover country we have been made fun of or overlooked by the east and west coast centric politicians. We'll guess what? We won this time. Quit your whining. You look and sound ridiculous.

PK said...

Oh wait. I'm sorry. I meant to say...

Test. Test.

Yellowrocks said...

Ol' Man Keith, I think you mistake my meaning. I agree with the clue. CAKE MIX is a staple in birthday party prep, so to me cake mix counts as a birthday party staple. A big part of any birthday party is the prep. Actually, I do not use cake mixes. I buy a special bakery cake or I make my own from scratch.
Comforting thoughts: The President elect might do well which would benefit us all. He might do terribly which would hurt us for a year or two, but then the reaction in 2018 and 2020, like Brexit buyer's remorse, would surely tame him down.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I just got an email from real PK 20 minutes ago. The PK posted earlier is not our PK.

Jayce said...

Bluehen, hearty congratulations on earning the ISO 9001 certification in such a short time. I know how much painful work it is to qualify. A company I used to work at tried for over 2 years and never made it, and eventually just gave up.

Keith, very interesting about your meeting with William Gibson. Thank you for relating it.

Husker Gary, happy birthday wishes to your wife. And please get well soon.

Argyle said...

CED, on behalf Dennis, myself, and Marines everywhere, thank you for the cake.

JJM said...

The best dog I ever had was an akita. All 140lbs. of him! Here is a picture of Cody with my daughter when she was still crawling. He took great care of her.

Dennis said...

CED, thanks for the thought and the cake; any way you could ship it here?

JJM, as with you, my Akitas were the best two dogs I ever owned. Loyal, smart (almost too smart)and fearless. Great traits in any creature.

Wilbur Charles said...

I'm with OM Keith. Except, I stopped at CAKE MIC. An excellent idea. You put the Mic(Mike) in the middle of the cake and sing HBD. Y'all are welcome to steal my idea.

Owen. I liked your B the best. Glad you're back in form.

Suitably difficult Thur I'd say.

I guess we had prefects at BC. Where many of us OCS guys came from. So happy Marine corps birthday to all.

I notice there's another book referencing "The Shores of Tripoli" and I'd assume Lieutenant O'Bannion.

I had an Akita once but the local cats were royally pissed about it.

I hadn't the foggiest what the Indian word for MOTHER was. Anybody got a V8 can handy.


Steve said...

@Jayce, YR, OMKeith - I asked my friend (who has a deaf studies major) about Helen Keller and she said that in her class at CSUN there were two deaf and blind students. The person signing to them would put his/her hands on their palms, and they could "read" the signs by touch. Amazing, really.

CanadianEh! said...

Very late to the party today but I was able to do the puzzle in the newspaper (rather than my usual Mensa) and thus had the circles. Thanks Matt and Steve.

I made a lot of decorated birthday cakes (using CAKE MIX) when kids were young. I would rent the Wilton pans for their favourite characters - Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Raggedy Ann, and even the Cat pan (and used our Tabby as a model to make the stripes). I'm not sure I have the patience to do it now (but maybe if the grandchildren really wanted one!).

Hand up for Arch before INCH, Ahi before EEL, Brick oven before STONE.

Smidge and Smudge in the same puzzle (and midge the other day!)

Local school name after Mother TERESA is debating a name change now that she has been declared a saint.

I don't think I ever used the term SNEAKERS for what we call running shoes. Perhaps a Canadian thing!

Good time to be Canadian. Interesting that the Canadian Immigration website crashed the other night from the number of hits.

Abejo said...

Good evening, folks. Thank you, Matt Skoczen, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Steve, for a fine review.

Dennis and Argyle, I caught the reference to the Marine Corps birthday today. Happy Birthday for the U S Marines, to you.

It also happens to be Martin Luther's birthday today, 1483. Happy Birthday for him to all the Lutherans. We had a presentation at church this morning about him. Very interesting.

TTP: Yes, I saw the ERIE in the puzzle. I have heard that definition before, in crosswords, I believe. I worked the Polls at the Bartlett Community Center. We did about a thousand in the 13 hours we were opened. We had 15 ballot booths for paper ballots and 1 electronic machine. Never had any lines backing up. I think the early voting took in a lot of voters that we would have seen.

To the puzzle. Puzzle was a Thursday level, a little tough. My last corner to fill was the NW.

Liked the theme. I do not eat a lot of cake, but I do eat some on Birthdays.

Filled in ERIE quickly.

Almost wrote in ROSS for 63A, but held off for a letter. AROD fit.

We had SAKI today for 47A and SAKIS yesterday for 1D in that paper. I remembered that because I finished yesterday's today.

In Iran they baked their bread daily in stone ovens buried in the ground. Cost 6 rials a sheet. Price was regulated by the government. I am sure it is higher now.

Well, I had better sign out and then back in for yesterday's blog.


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OwenKL said...

I'LL ADMIT I'm less than pi,
And often I'm confused with I!
In ANGLES I'm skinny,
I'm small on a penny,
Can you guess yet, WHAT AM I?

NC: My intended answer was one -- a numeral 1 looks like I, a 1º angle is skinny, "one cent" is on a penny. But I see where "e" as you describe would indeed fit all the criteria! BTW, I misread your response yesterday and thought it was a cryptic message to me, not a proposed answer to the riddle. I guess I RUE my reply to "are you e".

Anonymous T said...

DNF - Stuck w/ Brante [sic] too long @5d and had to crib from Steve's grid. Thanks Matt & Steve. Fun way to wind-down the day.

Hand up - mAKE COOKIES.

Late night tonight - Eldest & I went to OU* President's Dinner for prospective students. Eldest is set on OU [out of state tuition is a killer!] but I discovered two scholarships (and the folks that can help) that offer in-state "scholarships." Eldest talked w/ the Sci. Dean and the Music Dean as well as the soloist closing out the dinner. It was a bit of a reuinion too - many OU Club of Houston folk there. Eldest & I also meet President Boren. Other than the rubber-chicken meal, it was fun night out.

YR - your coffee & desert - Tea in the Sahara? [The Police] ;-)

{B+, A-, A, A-}

Nice Cuppa - OKL gave the answer in his "grading" but I like your thought train.

TTP - Nice catch UNI->X :-)

Bedtime. I have a meeting at 7a.

Cheers, -T
*OU = University of Oklahoma. Perfect school for a dyslexic. :-)

Anonymous T said...

Argg- Can't sleep... Fav: PREFECT. Upon fill, I immediately thought of Ford, who only did a SMIDGE on his research... Coupled w/ HUGO; priceless. C, -T

OwenKL said...

Welcome back to PK-2! I think I may have been the only one who liked both PKs, and wish they would both come back, but with something to tell them apart! Maybe if one of them would register with Blogger, then we'd have Blue PK and Black PK (and orange PEKOE?).

Helen Keller never used ASL. ASL is one of several different sign languages, and though the dominant one now, and probably one she was familiar with, it was not her primary one. Here is an interesting article on it. My sisters and niece used one called Signed English.

In the Harry Potter books, one of Ron's brothers was a PREFECT at Hogwarts, sounds like the RA we find in crosswords.