Feb 6, 2017

Monday, February 6, 2017 Jake Braun

Theme: Synonyms

54. Virtually zero, and where the ends of 20-, 32- and 43-Across are literally situated: NEXT TO NOTHING. That means they start with a synonym for zilch.

20. Player who shoots par regularly: SCRATCH GOLFER. Zero handicap.

32. Floppy disk backup device: ZIP DRIVE. Nil.

43. Ballad for a valentine: LOVE SONG. Zero score in tennis.

Argyle here. No complaints.


1. Most musicals have two: ACTS

5. Start to faceted or purpose: MULTI

10. Modern organizers, for short: PDAs. (personal digital assistant)

14. Countenance: MIEN

15. In front: AHEAD

16. Wine prefix: OENO. Vowel friendly.

17. First chip in the poker pot: ANTE

18. Football with scrums: RUGBY

19. Songwriter Kristofferson: KRIS

23. Malted relative: SHAKE

24. Magnolia State school, familiarly: OLE MISS. University of Mississippi.

27. Baseball misplays: ERRORS

31. Calendar page: MONTH

35. Forest official: RANGER

36. Angsty rock genre: EMO

37. Michelangelo statue: PIETA

39. R&B's __ Hill: DRU. Such costumes!

40. Changes gears: SHIFTS

46. Start of a Poitier film title: TO SIR, WITH LOVE.

47. Seek ambitiously: ASPIRE

48. O. Henry works: STORIES. Easy to overthink this one.

50. Mexican dip: SALSA

58. Slick-talking: GLIB

60. Jokes and such: HUMOR

61. Cupid: AMOR

62. Save for binge-watching, say: TIVO

63. '50s nuclear trial: A-TEST

64. Dressed in: WORE

65. River of Hades: STYX

66. Barcelona babies: NENEs

67. Joint commonly replaced: KNEE


1. Accumulate, as a fortune: AMASS

2. Easy-peasy task: CINCH. This puzzle?

3. Aquarium fish: TETRA

4. Moved stealthily: SNEAKED

5. Artist Chagall: MARC

6. "Nah": "UH UH"

7. __ Mason: investment giant: LEGG. Founded in 1899 as a brokerage firm in Baltimore, MD.

8. No-nos: TABOOs

9. Poem of rustic life: IDYLL

10. Critters hunted with a hugely popular 2016 mobile app: POKÉMON

11. Heroic exploits: DERRING DO

12. Young Darth's nickname: ANI

13. Distress signal at sea: SOS

21. La. or Dak., once: TERR. (Territories)

22. Disaster relief org.: FEMA. (Federal Emergency Management Agency)

25. Titanic rear end: STERN

26. "So what" shoulder gesture: SHRUG. meh.

28. Fabric flaws: RIPS

29. Egg: Pref.: OVI

30. Fishing line holders: REELS

32. Thin citrus peels: ZESTS

33. Words spoken by a sweater?: "I'M HOT"

34. Plant responsible for much itching: POISON IVY

35. Sitarist Shankar: RAVI

38. High side: TOP

41. Locomotive furnace: FIREBOX

42. Cereal coveted by a silly rabbit: TRIX

44. Former "formerly": ERST

45. Seattle football pro: SEAHAWK

47. Sharp as a tack: ASTUTE

49. Wharton's Frome: ETHAN

51. Chihuahua citrus fruit: LIMÓN. (Spanish for "lemon") Tricky.

52. Boring lecture, for example: SNORE

53. Share the same opinion: AGREE

55. Dark clouds, perhaps: OMEN

56. Aroma detector: NOSE

57. Leftover bits: ORTs

58. Classic sports cars: GTs. No particular make.

59. Set fire to: LIT



OwenKL said...

{R, B-, R, B.}

There was an old maid from OLE MISS
Who claimed she'd never been kissed!
She said no LOVE SONG
Could fool her for long --
But in SHIFTS guys could nuzzle her tits!

The burglar snuck in, but then couldn't ignore
The sound from the bedroom of a thunderous SNORE!
With a SHRUG for his take,
He gave the sleeper a SHAKE,
Then SNEAKED on the MULTI-use mask that he WORE!

CUPID took his bow and a well-filled quiver,
"I'M HOT," he said, "AMOR to deliver!"
But instead of arrows
His shots were ERRORS --
The raunchy RUGBY orgy gave fans icy shivers!

The locomotive FIRE BOX burned wood or coal,
Whichever was handy; making steam was the goal!
Fire LIT the DRIVE
To ZIP through the ride!
That engine ASPIRED to a true hybrid soul!

fermatprime said...


Thanks to Jake and Santa!

Unknowns were DRU and LEGG.

It's raining again.

Have a great day!

Hungry Mother said...

Smooth going, no writeovers. Nice start to the week. Very nice theme with a gimme reveal.

Bill V. said...

I always thought NENE was a Hawaiian goose. Was unfamiliar with Spanish translation. Learning moment.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

When I said last week that it was nice to see IDYLL on a Monday, I didn't mean that we should see it every Monday! I went sideways with RUNS in my fabric and Poison OAK making me itch; both were quickly fixed. Thanx, Jake and Argyle.

Orbi lives!

inanehiker said...

typical quick Monday - only question - I would have worded the theme clue as the "beginnings" of rather than the "endings" of 20,32,43. Not sure why it would have been the other way around.

Thanks Argyle and Jake!

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling Thoughts":

Another week starting with a relatively easy puzzle; a pristine page with no RIPS or ERRORS

I didn't "get" the theme, as I kind of sped thru and the reveal basically filled in itself as I was doing "down" clues at the south of the grid. Clever if not straightforward theme. Well done to both constructor and reviewer!

Never was a SCRATCH golfer but got my hdcp down to as low as a 3; briefly.

Didn't get tricked by LIMON/LEMON as I used to travel to Mexico frequently and figured they wanted the Spanish spelling

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Fun Monday puzzle, but not a shoo-in for me. Erased MieN for MIEN, irOnIES for STORIES and LeMON for LIMON. I only knew MIEN and MARC Chagall from doing crosswords. Didn't know DRU Hill and only sort of knew Michelangelo's PIETA.

None of the Kardashian sisters would fit, so I got STERN for Titanic rear end. We seem to be in the AGREE era, with several constructors using it lately. It is a word that is foreign to our senators and representatives.

Thanks to Jake for a fun run, although I could have done without UHUH. And thanks to Argyle for your interesting reveal.

TTP said...

Good morning all ! Thank you Jake and Argyle. Quick solve. No typos ! Yeah !

Desper-otto, how's your new WiFi network working ? Did you get a new router ? In cleaning my storage room, I found lots of old technology and more, including both a Wireless G and Wireless N router and a box of 10 IOMEGA ZIP disks. Not sure where the actual IOMEGA drive is. Also found around 20 diskettes from Earthlink, CompuServe, AOL, Prodigy, Ameritech, Juno and someone else offering free email and hours of free online for installing their products. Even found a bunch of Windows 3.1 stuff. Purging was long overdue.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This was an easy-peasy start to the week. Same unknowns as Ferm, Legg and Dru. (I misread the sweater clue as swearer, so I'm Hot didn't make much sense until Argyle's review straightened me out.) I always appreciate a puzzle that keeps the theme hidden until the reveal. No nits, no problems, no complaints, just en enjoyable, smooth solve.

Thanks, Jake and Argyle, for a nice Monday meander.

BTW, I believe I confused a couple of you with my comment about my SIL's travails. She is the one who has endured the 5 months of chemo. My wording was unclear and led some to believe that I was the patient. She is doing well and will come home today, much to my brother's relief.

That was some Super Bowl! I wanted a different outcome but really wasn't into it without my Giants in the picture. I did have a nice day, though, as one of my best friends stopped by and we spent several hours catching up with each other's news.

Have a great day.

MJ said...

Good day to all!

WFS (what fermatprime said), including the rain.

Enjoy the day!

BunnyM said...

Good morning!
Nice easy start to the week- thanks Jake and Argyle.

It was a CINCH- only perps were LEGG and PIETA

Gotta run- off to the orthopedic doc for my monthly exam

Wishing everyone a great day :)

Northwest Runner said...

A very nicely constructed puzzle, and maybe I have a case of the Mondays, but I have to quibble with the editor on a few clues. I'm not sure anyone considers the term PDA "modern" any more, and ZIP Disks were never AFAIK considered floppies. And nene as Spanish on Monday? The traditional Hawaiian goose would have been more appropriate.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

First, I hafta say Jinx made me and the LW laugh with the Titanic rear end. Funny stuff!

Inane 7:51 - The ending words are all placed next to the synonyms for "nothing". They are next to nothing.

Super easy Monday. I had forgotten last summer's Pokémon craze. Will forget again soon.

Thanks Argyle!

Barry T. said...

Easy Monday... but noted that 6-D clued as "Nah": "UH UH" could have been clued as "Yah", if parsed "U HUH". Not a fan of the "U"s in either case, but enjoyed the rest of the puzzle... flew right through!

Have a good Monday, all.

desper-otto said...

TTP, I was having intermittent problems streaming video from the router in my office to the TV in the family room at the other end of the house. Yesterday I upgraded to an Orbi system by Netgear. Pricey, but wow, there's now a super WiFi signal everywhere in the house.

CanadianEh! said...

UH UH, I have no Tada! Officially a FIW because I had olD Miss instead of OLE MISS. Perhaps I have a tired brain after yesterday's marathon from C.C. and Don, or the SB (football not RUGBY) game and impressive half-time show by Lady Gaga. Anyway it was fun. Thanks Jake and Argyle.
I didn't get the theme until I came here, because I was looking at the ends and not realizing it was Next To! What do GOLFER, DRIVE and SONG have to do with Zero? Lightbulb moment.

I had Face before MIEN, Clad before WORE, Eros before AMOR, David before PIETA, Lemon before LIMON (don't know any Spanish for NENES either). Perps to the rescue.

I haven't heard DERRING DO recently but it filled in with no problem.

Have a great day.

TTP said...

Chairman Moe, I may be repeating myself, but one of the regulars I golf with is a SCRATCH GOLFER. I now choose between the White and Blue tees depending on the rating and slope of the course, but he always plays from the tips (usually the Black tees). It's like playing with a pro. He's that good.

Northwest Runner, I believe "modern" is relative. Compared to caveman art...
Also, having used and worked extensively with both the original 8" and subsequent 5.25" "floppy" disks, I too had some difficulty when diskettes and Zip disks were called floppies.

Desper-otto, neat. I just read the CNET review and a Consumer Reports article on the Orbi. Good reviews from both. Sounds like a winner.

Tinbeni said...

Nice write-up Argyle. Thank you Jake for a FUN Monday puzzle.

Needed ESP to get DRU ... only unknown, probably forgotten by noon.

Congrats to the NE Pats. Great comeback and win.


Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning.

Thanks, Jake. This was a smooth day for me. Only one ERROR: David before PIETA. My fav today was "words spoken by a sweater" I'M HOT! fun.

Argyle, another nice explication. Thank you.

Pretty nice day for the Pats fans. DH suggested we DVR the game in case we wanted to watch anything interesting again. I didn't much care as the Super Bowls are usually not as exciting as the playoffs. I went up to read at the start of the 4th quarter. Joke's on me. I'll watch the rest of the game whilst I knit this afternoon.

Have a sunny day--even if it is raining where you are.

Husker Gary said...

-What a fun gimmick with nice Monday cluing, Jake! Loved Titanic rear end!
-My sister’s family is full of SCRATCH BOWLERS (like Boomer)
-ZIP DRIVES were a big deal ERST flash drives
-The Patriots were not AHEAD last night until the last play of the Super Bowl last night
-Atlanta mental and physical ERRORS cost them the game
-We saw The Founder last week which was about Ray Kroc who sold MILK SHAKE machines but ASPIRED to greatness which he acquired ruthlessly with ideas he got from the McDonald’s brothers
-The Ransom Of Red Chief was my favorite O’Henry STORY. You?
-America’s first A-TEST came 5 yrs before the 50’s at the end of the Manhattan Project
-A fun, melodic SOS (3:18)
-2017 is the 150th anniversary of when Nebraska TERR. became a state
-A COAL fire aboard the Titanic may have helped sink her. (1:00)
-BTW, WC, et al, the movie with the FAO scene I referenced yesterday was Big starring a very young Tom Hanks and he and Robert Loggia were playing Chopsticks on that piano (after Heart and Soul) (2:27)

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

A couple head SCRATCHERS for a Monday. Got the theme fill without getting the theme, at first. Went out and shoveled the walk and came in and tried again. Saw that we had lead-in words having synonyms to zilch in some context. Well played, Jake B. Argyle's explanation was succinct and brilliant all at the same time.
59d.- LIT. Lighted is also correct as a past tense or participle. We always lighted fires under our boilers. Starting was called 'lighting off'. That term seams to somewhat have migrated in use for energizing other types of systems; ie. light off the gyro(scope).

Lucina said...

Thanks to Jake Braun and Argyle, this was an amusing Monday morning run even though filled with unknown golf terms but good HUMOR.

I also laughed at Titanic rear! NENES, which we've seen before, is an affectionate term for babies. POISONIVY doesn't just make you itch, it can drive you insane.

Northwest Runner:
Believe me, in my world PDAS are still modern where most technology has not infiltrated.

I'm glad for you that your Wi-Fi is upgraded.

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Yellowrocks said...

I saw that the last word in the themes was next to nothing at all on the right, no other word. It was either blank or the end of the row. It took a while to see there were "nothing" synonyms on the left side. Cool!
Like others of you I needed all perps for LEGG and DRU .

"The Hawaiian name nēnē comes from its soft call." -Wiki. Nothing to do with Spanish babies. I have known nina and nino since grade school. I learned nene from crosswords.

Can anyone explain the utter fascination with the Pokemon hunt? The joy of it eludes me.

Today the Internet played what they called the best of the Super Bowl ads. I didn't miss much by reading my novel instead. My favorite sports to watch are baseball, tennis and hockey, and only during the play off seasons these days. For the everyday games it is more fun to watch with a fan. I was never much into football.

Irish Miss I knew you were not in the hospital, but I included you as suffering through this phase, just as Gary's wife and Bill G. went through it with their spouses.

I am enjoying the lovely warm, sunny day today. Of course, the Florida contingent would not call this warm. But, then 80+ degree weather they rave about I call sweltering.

Unknown said...

The endings are "next to

Dudley said...

Husker 10:07 - a few years after Big came out, I happened to visit FAO Schwarz in New York (in mid December, by the way, at which time the store was a zoo). The walking piano, or perhaps one of its descendants, was there. The poor thing was so worn out that only a few of its keys actually worked. It was a letdown.

Chairman Moe said...

TTP ---> at 9:34

What I've always loved about golf - as a participant sport - is that you can put whatever grouping of abilities together (from SCRATCH handicap to 30) and all can still have fun and "compete" if they choose. You and your fellow playing partners are "competing" against the course, not necessarily against one another. In tennis, for example, two very dissimilar players will not have much fun in their match. The beauty of the handicap system in golf is to equalize the players in a group for either a tournament or individual games. That's why in Pro-Am's the high handicaps can still play and have a good time.

As you also said, having multiple tees can also help make the course play more "even" for those in a group. A SCRATCH golfer SHOULD play from the "tips", and the others SHOULD play from the tees more appropriate for their overall game, based on their handicap. I know a lot of resort-style courses will "suggest" which tees to use (e.g, Handicaps of 0-5 from the tips, 6-10 from the next forward tees, and so on).

It seemed, too, that it was much easier to move from a 15 handicap to a 10 than it was from an 8 to a 4. Or a 4 to a SCRATCH. I was never big at random practice; I preferred to play. But unless you're playing 2-3 times a week, it's tough keeping your handicap in single digits.

CrossEyedDave said...

(Bigger letdown is that FAO Schwarz is now completely gone from NYC.)

Hmm, interesting stuff re: Titanic coal fire.
It may have been a factor, but I remember that testing done on the
steel of that period had carbon levels that that led to cold fracturing.


(I screwed up Ova instead of Ovi/Pieta, but no biggie)
Wees:Limon, but next to notheng was just too weird...
However I totally forgot to look at the theme!
Bravo! Well done! (I liked it!)

Hmm, how to honor "next to nothing..."
Should I go with a Splynter version.

Or what you might see at my house?

Finally, I have always been impressed by the ending credits music from the movie Big.
I even managed to learn it (about half way thru) but I am always drawn
back to the wonderful variations on a theme presented by (& Difficult to find)
Howard Shore - Heart & Soul

Chairman Moe said...

More "puzzling thoughts":

I haven't seen any of our Louisiana folks chirp in yet, but in Baton Rouge the common phrase to apply, as a prefix, to the words "OLE MISS" is: "Go to hell!" It's said in a very "playful manner" as a taunt to those who hail from The Grove.

Here is a link to one rendition of the origins of the chant. My best guess - and I hope Big Easy, or one of the other Louisianans will comment - is that the chant originated in the late '50's. Maybe in 1958 when LSU won the National Title?

CrossEyedDave said...

Afterthoughts, re: Sunday

CC, I would love to know what clues
were altered (or adulterated) by Rich...

Well, off to find a replacement GFI outlet.
DW managed to dry her hair without my help.
However, curiously, I went to look at the fusebox
to see if the fuses were labeled (they were not)
but one of them was obviously tripped.
I can't believe that a fuse was set for just one outlet,
& yet nothing else in (or out) of the house is off?
Hmm, should I reset it & see what blows up?
(Oh, if only I could afford an electrician...)

If I don't post tomorrow, you will know what happened...)

Lucina said...

Interestingly, NENE, as a Spanish word which unlike so many others has not been assimilated into English, does not appear in any English dictionary. Look for adios, mucho, lasso, chica and a large number of other Spanish words and you will find them in an English dictionary.

In my Spanish/English Larousse
NENE: Baby, love, dear, darling (affectionate expression [my translation here])

Yellowrocks said...

Interesting, Lucina. Is it just an endearment or could it be an actual baby? The English word baby serves as both.

Lucina said...

Baby, as an endearment, but not an actual baby.

Jayce said...

Cool puzzle. Didn't get the theme until the reveal. Nicely done. Having OVA reinforced my expectation that the Michelangelo statue would be DAVID. Messed me up for a short while; RAVI set me straight.

Jinx, thank you for your laugh-out-loud funny remark about Titanic rear end.

TTP, I had found some very similar old items when we cleaned out the garage a few years ago. Aroused some fun memories. And some unpleasant ones, too.

Man oh man, were LW and I so wrong thinking that the New England Patriots had no chance of winning as the 4th quarter clock ticked away. The Falcons did play very well during the first half. A lot of the yardage the Patriots got late in the game was due to fouls on the part of the Falcons., i.e. luck.

Best wishes to you all.

Ol' Man Keith said...

A good, solid Monday week-starter, right? Thanks, Jake Braun. I misspelled DERRING-DO with an "A" for the "E," so ended up with a strange OANO for the "Wine prefix" perp. But otherwise this was a very pleasant (not insultingly-easy) pzl.

Irish Miss, you can blame me/us for the Super Bowl outcome. My wife and I spent the first three quarters at the theater and got home only in time to catch the last quarter. We didn't have a favorite team, but I was acutely aware that our presence on the viewing end of our TV screen had a mighty effect on the outcome. Madame Defarge, we won't tell you what that outcome was, but gather from the tone of your post that you have a pretty good idea.
I think the mood of the viewing audience was captured neatly by the LA Times columnist who wrote this morning, "Tom Brady has just taken Florida!"

Misty said...

Not the easiest Monday ever, and I initially had silly problems with the northwest corner because I had MEET instead of MIEN (was thinking of "countenance" as a verb rather than a noun)and STRETCH GOLFER instead of SCRATCH GOLFER (what do I know about golf?). But it all worked out in the end, even with more computer references than I like. So thanks, Jake, and fun pictures, Argyle.

Rain today--even the inside of my mail box was a bit damp when I went out to put bills inside. I better go and get my incoming mail before it gets soaked.

Have a good week, everybody!

AnonymousPVX said...

Failrly easy and a no problem complete, but I have to question 58D Classic Sports Cars, answer GTS. I don't think so. SOME classic cars are indeed GTS, but not all GTS are classic cars, not by a long shot. Sounds like the type of clue written by someone who knows not a lot about cars, classic or otherwise.

I'm a car guy so I'm sure it's just me.

JD said...

Not the easiest Monday ever, but not the hardest. I seem to need more perps than most of you. Knew most, but somehow I need a few letters for my brain to remember...needed many for nenes, legg, Dru and derringdo.

Enjoying every drop of rain, although it isn't coming in drops, just drizzle.

Gary, my favorite O'Henry story was The Gift of the Magi.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

I'd call it a CINCH but, like Jayce, I had David. Also, I put in DaRRING DO b/f I realized that's not how you spell daring. That sums up my ERRORS > Zero.

Thanks Jake for a quick Monday run. Thanks Argyle for the expo and POISON IVY song - never heard that b/f.

WOs: see above

Fav: I like ASTUTE xing HUMOR; I think they go hand-in-hand. 'Course, ATEST xing OMEN...

I thought of all our Cornerites w/ replaced KNEEs.


TTP - 3.1 or Win 3.11 (with networking!)? I have two ZIP DRIVES; one internal & one that uses DB-25. They both still work.

A buddy's told me his kid's getting a full-ride (baseball) to OLE MISS.

Anyone else think of The Marshall Tucker Band @43a? What about anything from STYX?

CED - Disclaimer: While I hold a EE degree, I really don't know practicum. Most GFIs are on their own circuit. I'd be worried the breaker didn't trip b/f your razor (and the outlet) melted. May be worth a call to the electrician to check / replace said breaker. Anyone else AGREE?

Watched the "Big Game" from the couch. I missed the 2nd 1/2 b/c I called Pop. I did think Gaga's ACT was amazing. I later found out the 300 drones (that made the flag while she was on the roof) was recorded w/ her a few nights earlier. She did come down 1/2-way on the wire though. From Wired.

Cheers, -T

Lucina said...

The Gift of the Magi is also my favorite O. Henry story.
I'd forgotten to comment on that.

Wilbur Charles said...

Thx Gary

Big Easy said...

Sunday puzzle comments.

Two days late and about $100 short on Don & C.C.'s Sunday puzzle. Out of town and working the Sunday puzzle late Monday.

I caught the theme but it didn't help; too many unknowns and tricky cluing. I gave up. Didn't get WHAMMO, SILLY HONK, Spyro GYRO, never heard of a SQUEAK PAD or EUCHRE or Jennifer EHLE or EMETIC ( with a chemistry degree and running a wholesale drug co.), or Skatalites, or Brian ORSER, or a TAMP. I missed all those fills.

Wilbur Charles said...

I was going to say "The Telltale Heart" but that's Poe. But you've got me ready to grab an OHenry anthology.
I turned off the TV (actually switched to the golf) and promptly fell asleep.
I woke up at 230(posted btw) and replayed
The last 30 minutes.
Golf was pretty good too, four extra holes.
1958. The immortal Billy Cannon's run for the ages in the penultimate 50s game
I had OLE MISS as the sEC powerhouse the other day

Perhaps someone can link or relink that Gleason-Carney golf sketch.

Re.ASTUTE. I saw COGENT used by some onair person.

I've got a golf MULTI handicap scramble story for maybe later.


TTP said...

Chairman Moe, Well said. We handicap so golfer of different levels play on an equitable basis. This year I'll be rejoining a league I started and ran for years. Ran and played in another at the same time... Check out League Manager from Software Systems for Golf. They're out of Cary, NC. It's They have great software products for running leagues, tournaments,and handicapping.

I was hoping Cross Eyed Dave would find some comic Cave Man art that showed a todo list, but he's probably been tied up replacing that receptacle.

Jayce, you know it ! Probably should have scanned and internetted some of the papers I shredded, just for for historical purposes, and could have donated some of the pieces of technology to some computer and technology museum somewhere, but most of it so far has gone to recycling or garbage. A technology version of those guys from American Pickers would have had a field day ! Of course, much of it was proprietary, so it had to be destroyed. Probably should have paid more attention to my employer's document retention policies. What confounds me is the volume of stuff that I filed and otherwise set aside and forgot about. And like you implied, some memories were sweet, and others were definitely bittersweet.

Anon T, most of those come-ons were for early Win 95, not 3.1. But, look it up, 3.1 is now retro ! Not that I'd run it now, but apparently there is a market for it. And yes, we did network computers way back then. Not like you young whippersnappers know, but we communicated just fine, thank you very much. :>) BTW, I still have NIB (new in box) PC Jr feature cards, circa 1983 or 4. They still have their original plastic over wrap, and have never been opened.

Ol' Man Keith said...

I agree with JD and Lucina that Gift of the Magi is the best O. Henry story. I once read through much of his oeuvre in hopes of finding material for a radio series, but most were too corny and predictable. His use of irony and coincidence was perfectly tuned in Magi but elsewhere just heavy-handed.
But if anyone has another favorite O Henry piece, I'd love to know!

I forgot, though, that he was responsible for the Cisco Kid series, a different kind of tale altogether. That was one of my favorite radio programs when I was a kid. It always began with sidekick Pancho yelling over the sound of hoof-beats (in an atrocious Mexican accent) "Oh, Ceesco! Zee sheriff, he is getting closs-air!"

CrossEyedDave said...

Anonymous T,

You were right,
the single tripped fuse covered only the GFI outlet in the bathroom
plus a second remote outlet over the sink.

I guess when the GFI failed/fused that left only the circuit breaker
to save my ass.

Curiously, the replacement I bought from Home Depot is not working either.
(I replaced all 5 wires exactley as they were on the old one)
I was about to return it to Home Depot, when a reread of the instructions
indicated that the GFI would fail to reset "IF" any wires were out of place.
(load vs line etc...)

I know the old one was wired correctly because
I have tripped that GFI many a time from the remote outlet.
(Hmm, could the main outlet GFI been bypassed all this time?)
(Was the old GFI designed differently?)

I decided to wait for daylight tomorrow to trace all the wiring before
returning it. No sense trying to electrocute myself in the dark...

besides, I came from Australia where the house voltage is 220 volts.
One zap of that is enough to give you a healthy respect you remember for life.

But how to justify all this meandering blather on a crossword Blog?

Let's just say may efforts for the day were next to nothing...

CrossEyedDave said...

For TTP.

Also, Cavemen had their wiring problems too...

tawnya said...

Good evening!

Nice puzzle today - a little crunchy but I liked it that way! Well done, Jake! Of course, the write up was illuminating as always.

@Anon-T I always thought the words were "...pretty little love song..." and it was a very long time until I was corrected. This is not a love song is what came to mind.

@CED - I have two outdoor ponds plugged into a GFI for most of the year. We have to replace the outlet about every two years and this is what I've learned: sometimes they really are bad when you buy them from Home Depot. We've just jumped straight to the expensive one at Lowes. One year we had some ants that decided the outlet was a lovely place to make a home and they ruined two in one summer. Also, even when you put it together correctly, sometimes the wires shift as you are placing it back into the wall and it ruins everything. It's usually the ground wire because it's so stiff. (Obviously I'm not an electrician, but hope this helps?)

Back to homework...

Wishing you all a very lovely night!


trubrit said...

OwenKL's prom was a bit rude today???
I found today's puzzle rather difficult for a Monday
Also had David and darringdo.
Missed Irish Miss today./Users/barbarabotfield/Desktop/Barbara_90thBirthday_August 02 2015_040-(ZF-3562-89339-1-040).jpg
Get well if you have what is going around.

Anonymous T said...

HG - I forgot earlier - I thought you were going w/ The Police for S.O.S. Good choice w/ ABBA.

CED - Good call on waiting for daylight to re-wire. I want to read your silliness tomorrow as opposed to your obit!

TTP - Used 3.0 3.1, 3.11, 95 (yuck!), etc. Re: Networking: I 1st worked on 10-Base5 w/ AUI hang-downs. I've even vampire-tapped 'em once or twice :-)

Tawnya: You're right, the NCSBN is not a A Silly Love Song :-). [is that what you were going for?]

Cheers, -T

TTP said...

Thanks Dave !

What Tawnya said. Wow ! A nurse that works with electricity ? Shelley would be proud.

She is right. It's not unusual for GFIs to be new defective. When you get one, get two.

Flip the breaker to off. Disconnect the Load wires from the GFI receptacle. Leave the Line side connected and screw the receptacle back into the box. Flip the breaker back on and check the receptacle wiring with one of these testers. They are about $20 at Home Depot or Lowes. If correct, flip the breaker off and connect the load wires. Flip the breaker on and test again. If not correct, recheck your load side wiring fist, and then replace the GFI with another.

Wilbur Charles said...

All's quiet. Maybe I can get Away with my golf story. Anyway.

It was a charity outing and B decided to come. We are out in a group already in the third tee. Mind. You've heard of "A good walk spoiled"? Not with DW.
We had joined a group from a local restaurant and the bartender was a low handicapper. However, B quit after nine and.. this is the crux:
The cook had never been told that putting is hard and was sinking them from everywhere. He'd never played golf: in fact only the two of us could play at all.

Alas, we fell short of the pros from Dover. Or Natick. It was that part of Mass. I supplied the missing piece: mid iron play, 3-9.

Maybe you had to be there.


inanehiker said...

@Dudley - thanks for the explanation!

Lucina said...

I happen to have an anthology of American short stories and the first one is O. Henry's The Romance of A Busy Broker. It's only two and half pages long so quick reading and it's really funny! The ending is truly unexpected and in his inimitable style, O. Henry, sets the fast pace of a focused, occupied and completely engrossed stock broker. I won't say the end in case anyone wants to read it. It's quite entertaining.

Anonymous T said...

CED: TTP's MULTI-TESTer is something to get. Saved my butt (after I got a good shock!) more than once.

It's late enough to post what Jinx's joke made me think of. [R: @3:41 - from Life of Brian - Incontenti Buttocks]. Cheers, -T

Bill G. said...

Lucy, I just found "The Romance of a Busy Broker" online. I'd never heard of it before. An odd little story. I liked it. Thanks.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Good hunting! Busy Broker is definitely one of his better pieces. Its brevity keeps the cocky tone from wearing thin, and the character symbolism is fun. O. Henry probably works best if you're not expecting his characteristic twist.