Dec 18, 2017

Monday, December 18, 2017 ~ Brock Wilson

Theme: This - What we have here is...what we have here.

17A. Shunning public utilities and such: GOING OFF THE GRID

22A. Even-steven: ALL SQUARE

39A. Respond to cries of "Encore!": DO ANOTHER NUMBER

51A. Is totally in the dark: HAS NO CLUE

60A. Where to find the last words of 17-, 22-, 39- and 51-Across: CROSSWORD PUZZLE

Argyle here. Three spanners and a pangram; what a way to start the week. Ya' can't say this isn't in your wheelhouse.


1. Trains with a view of the street below: ELs

4. Second-string squad: B TEAM

9. Cherokee and Wrangler: JEEPs

14. VCR go-back button: REW. (rewind)

15. 1945 "Big Three" conference city: YALTA. A resort city on the south coast of the Crimean Peninsula surrounded by the Black Sea.

16. "Snowy" bird: EGRET

20. "Blame It __": Caine film: ON RIO

21. Continental coin: EURO

26. Twelfths of yrs.: MOs. (months)

29. "Say what?" responses: "HUH?"s

30. Horror film reaction: SCREAM

33. __ fatso: bit of Archie Bunker language-mangling: IPSO. (ipso facto)

37. World games org.: IOC. (International Olympic Committee)

38. Oktoberfest dance: POLKA

43. Delivery doc: OBGYN. (Obstetrics and gynecology) Don't most people pronounce this by the letters, oh-be-gee-why-en?

44. Prefix with natal: NEO. Neonatal: Pertaining to the newborn.

45. Breathe like a hot dog: PANT

46. "You can't leave this way" sign: [NO EXIT]

48. Soprano superstar: DIVA

50. Notepad file extension: TXT. (text file)

56. Classic 900 automaker: SAAB

                            prototype Saab 92.001

58. No-brainer: CINCH

66. Cry of dismay from Charlie Brown: "AAUGH!"

67. Grape holders: VINES

68. McKellen of "X-Men": IAN

69. Minor, as a complaint: PETTY

70. Online social appointment: eDATE

71. Z's 10, in Scrabble: Abbr.: PTs. (points)


1. Therefore: ERGO

2. British pop singer Lewis: LEONA. I linked it but couldn't watch it.

3. Ice cream pattern: SWIRL

4. "Golly!": "BY GOSH!"

5. Lao Tzu principle: TAO

6. Helper in Santa's workshop: ELF. Couldn't do it without them (but don't say I said that).

7. Justice Dept. arm: ATF. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

8. Mom in Middlesex: MATER. Steve, help!

9. Sound of bleachers discontent: JEER

10. Toaster waffle choice: EGGO

11. Goof: ERR

12. Architect I.M. __: PEI

13. Par for the course: Abbr.: STD. (standard)

18. Zero, in soccer: NIL

19. Color variations: HUES

23. Storm out of work for good: QUIT

24. "Oops!": "UH-OH!"

25. Climbs: ASCENDS

26. Word before toast or after peach: MELBA

27. Like the old bucket of song: OAKEN. If you watch it on YouTube, the whole poem is listed below it.

28. Intelligent: SMART

31. PC brain: CPU. (central processing unit)

32. Easy victory: ROMP

33. "__ get it": I DON'T

34. Mail dely. compartment: PO BOX

35. Bob of "Fuller House": SAGET

36. Black gem: ONYX

40. Covert maritime org.: ONI. (Office of Naval Intelligence)

41. Equestrian strap: REIN

42. De __: again: NOVO. “from the new.”

47. Melt: THAW

49. Point a finger at: ACCUSE

52. Below's opposite: ABOVE

53. Actress Taylor, familiarly: LIZ. Oh, those eyes!

54. Open, as a ski suit: UNZIP

55. Brilliant display: ECLAT

56. NCO rank: SSGT. (Staff Sergeant)

57. Like used fireplaces: ASHY

59. Coop layers: HENS

60. Baseball hat: CAP

61. Charlotte of "The Facts of Life": RAE. (Mrs Garrett)

62. On a date, say: OUT

63. Unburdened (of): RID

64. "CSI" evidence: DNA

65. Family dog, e.g.: PET



fermatprime said...


Thanks to Brock and Santa!

Cute theme!

Didn't know Leona, but all else OK.

Still terribly windy here. Some fires still raging. Over 250K acres destroyed, I believe.

Getting better but feel like a truck ran into me (big one).

Thanks for all of the good wishes!

Hope to see you all tomorrow!

OwenKL said...

Coming up dry on any l'icks today. Think I need a short break. Maybe tomorrow.

Meanwhile, what's OPI?

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Well this was certainly a novel approach: A cw puzzle with the theme about a crossword puzzle? Who'd a thunk it? Thanks, Brock. Thanks, Argyle.

Doesn't there seem to be an extraordinary number of three & four-letter words in this? I didn't know IAN or CPU, but they perped in okay. I did know Leona.

Owen, where do you see OPI?

Ferm: are you getting the smoke at your place? That wouldn't be good for your breathing. Hope your health continues to improve.

D4E4H said...

Good Car Corner Mornering,

The tale begins on Thu 12-14 56D, BMW. Steve alluded to a 3 wheel car.

My post Fri 12-15, 449A has a link for your viewing pleasure. It also has 2 errors. The correct info follows: The name of the car is "Isetta" made by the company Iso. Isetta is the Italian diminutive of Iso. They were built from 1953 - 1956.

In the music video "Never Let Me Down Again" an Isetta is driven.Isetta
Dave 2

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Slept late this morning...the first good night's sleep in over a week. Aaaaahhh. Felt good.

This was a nice ROMP from Brock. Made me feel SMART. I enjoyed the crossword theme, but was waiting for PERP to appear. Does anybody actually say ECLAT? I'm only familiar with it from cws. ONE WAY morphed into NO EXIT, and suddenly it was finished.

Owen, OPI is 1/2 of opiate and 3/4ths of Opie. If you meant to ask about ONI, that's the Office of Naval Intelligence.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Fermat, stay warm and get well.

Erased LIv for LIZ and Opal for ONYX. I loved All in the Family, but didn't remember IPSO fatso. Also didn't know LEONA Lewis, and I refuse to confirm or deny that I know anything about the ONI.

I liked Blame it on RIO, with Sir Michael Cain starring as Judge Roy Moore. We also saw a lot of a young Demi Moore (probably no relation to Roy).

I liked this offering from Brock, but deduct two grades for including HUH, AAUGH and UHOH in one puzzle. Just a pet peeve of mine. And thanks, Santa, for another fun tour.

TTP said...

Good morning.

OH GOSH this CROSSWORD PUZZLE was easy ! Perfect for a Monday.

Thank you Brock Wilson and thank you Santa. Glad to see an ELF showing up for you !

Anonymous said...

I believe Charlie Brown's cry is "AARGH", not "AAUGH."

Yellowrocks said...

CSO to the all the Cornerites, especially CC and the daily bloggers. Thanks, Santa and Brock. IAN and LEONA needed perps.
ONI is a Japanese troll or ogre in folklore.I remember hearing of Office of Naval Intellegence. I solved it with perps
Anon @ 7:38 LIU Here is Charlies Brown saying AAUGH.

I do not hear ECLAT spoken, but it appears frequently in writing.
"The players brought off rapid pianissimo passages with eclat, but in general they need to widen their range of sound." Washington Post Feb 21, 2017
Atlanta airport was off the electrical grid for 11 hours yesterday due to a fire in the underground tunnels of the Atlanta airport causing a massive power failure.
The small town where my sister lives has no street USPS delivery, only PO Boxes. When we grew up there we kids were assigned to walk to the PO to get the mail.
In British novels the kids call their mother MATER, Latin for mother. It sounds stilted to me. I wonder whether it is used just by the upper classes. The hoi poloi use MUM.

Yellowrocks said...

Wikipedia: Creation of PEACH MELBA.
"In 1892, operatic soprano Nellie Melba was performing in Wagner's opera Lohengrin at Covent Garden. The Duke of Orléans gave a dinner party to celebrate her triumph. For the occasion, Escoffier created a new dessert, and to display it, he used an ice sculpture of a swan, which is featured in the opera. The swan carried peaches which rested on a bed of vanilla ice cream and which were topped with spun sugar. In 1900 Escoffier created a new version of the dessert. For the occasion of the opening of the Carlton Hotel, where he was head chef, Escoffier omitted the ice swan and topped the peaches with raspberry purée."
MELBA TOAST: Escoffier was truly a fan of Melba's.
"Melba toast is a dry, crisp and thinly sliced toast, often served with soup and salad or topped with either melted cheese or pâté. It is named after Dame Nellie Melba, the stage name of Australian opera singer Helen Porter Mitchell.[1] Its name is thought to date from 1897, when the singer was very ill and it became a staple of her diet.[2] The toast was created for her by chef and fan Auguste Escoffier, who also created the Peach Melba dessert for her. The hotel proprietor César Ritz supposedly named it in a conversation with Escoffier."

Jinx in Norfolk said...

YR, Key Colony Beach, FL also has PO box-only delivery. I think its great - the area is mostly populated by wizened citizens, and going to the post office gives them a social opportunity every day or two when otherwise they might just sit alone their living rooms.

They do have street addresses, handy for the fire department and UPS.

TTP said...


OPI is an abbreviation for Offensive Pass Interference. :>)

Unknown said...

Inspiration comes like a ... sorry cant think of anything there.

Unknown said...

This is the first time I did not finish a Monday puzzle. OB/GYN was hidden by my lack of TV knowledge about SAGET and ONI and I misinterpreted POBOX. I thought the 34 down clue was mailed “delay” compartment.

SwampCat said...

Wow! A CSO to all of us and our constructors and bloggers. And a CSO to our Anons at PETTY complaint! Hehehe

My favorite was Coop Layers for HENS. I wondered for the longest time what kind of layers you'd put in a coop. Didn't think of the ones that do the laying. Thanks Brock and Argyle.

On P.O.BOXes, I have twice lived where we had to walk to the box for mail, and I liked the exercise and diversion.

Have a great week!

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning!

I agree: a great shout out to C.C. and our bloggers. I would also include constructors. Thanks, Brock. Ditto on my fave: Coop Layers> HENS. Fun Monday.

Thank you, Santa, for taking time for us during your busiest time of year! ;>)

Have a great day. If you're working your way through To-Do lists, I hope you find a lot to check off today.

Husker Gary said...

-A fun reveal of our passion here. I’m sure Argyle’s always engaging write-up will include the down clues I didn’t even see.
-One time had an A-TEAM all the way to a J-TEAM in 7th VB
-Remote options on my Apple Watch
-The debate continues as to whether a “sick” FDR gave away too much at YALTA
-I’ve never SCREAMED at a movie but I almost gagged at this worst movie I’ve ever paid to see last night. “Bankable” stars don’t guarantee anything. I should have looked at Rotten Tomatoes first!
-If you used the “Z” and made this word, you’ve tied the record for one word
-I QUIT but didn’t storm out. I hugged all my colleagues
-Do all of us have SMART phones?
-Every puzzle seems to have learning for me. Today DE NOVO
-My MIL always said the noisiest hens in the COOP laid the fewest eggs. Lesson there?
-Lily needs to go outside. Our kitty will not PANT on this 30˚F day

desper-otto said...

Husker, that's an interesting Scrabble word, but I can't see how it could have been "built" in normal play with the 7-tile per move limit.

CanadianEh! said...

No UH-OH, HUHs, AAUGH, HAS NO CLUE in my vocabulary today. And a big CSO to us all. Thanks for the fun, Brock and Argyle (and an ELF to help Santa today).

SCREAM reminded me of Edvard Munch's The Scream (referenced in Home Alone, which is a popular rerun at this time of year as well as A Charlie Brown Christmas).

POLKA reminded me of Canadian Polka King, Walter Ostanek, three-time Grammy winner (and also won a million dollar lottery last year!)

I needed perps for ONI.

The duplicate of 62D "on a date, say" and 70A EDATE slipped past Rich I think.

I always enjoyed the walk to the PO BOX with my kids. Good exercise for all.

Glad you are feeling better fermatprime.

Wishing you all a good day.

Lucina said...

No, Gary, I don't have a SMART phone. It's a flip phone for away from home use.

Thank you, Brock Wilson, for this CSO to us! What a novel idea for a CROSSWORD PUZZLE!

I just couldn't recall the spelling of SAGET and always hesitate at YALTA or MALTA. Luckily, perps are solid there.

I recall in the Archie comic books, the British friend, Jock, always called his mother MATER. It was many, many years later when I took Latin that I learned the meaning.

Thank you, Argyle, for your fine expo. It's almost time for you to shine!

Have a delightful day, everyone!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Introspective theme this morning. Who'da thought. No searches needed. One white-out - had NCI before ONI. Sigh. Don't remember if we've had Brock before. Liked his cadence.
POLKA - In recognition of the upcoming 12 days of Christmas, here is the Epiphany POLKA performed by successors to ABBA in Sweden.

D4E4H said...

What is "This" a theme on a Monday? Fun, that's what it is. Thanks Brock, and A+ for my enjoyment with "Three spanners and a pangram." I was sure there were 3 panners and a spangram. I didn't see "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog," but I did see A to Z in the CW.

Thanks for the video by Lewis: LEONA. I worked the CW in record time, and FIR.

Speaking of videos, I posted yest. at 711P, and 726P re EL PASO. Only Wilbur Charles, and Misty commented after that. I invite you to back up and enjoy. WC, I am going to add my concern sir for your recovery after shooting yourself in the foot. Did it keep you from serving?

OPI: in texting can mean "Office of Public Instruction." My money is on OKL meaning ONI.

Jinx 836A
-"PO box-only delivery...wizened citizens" They may be able to get to the front door, but not be able to leave the house, what then?
David P. 902A & 907A
-"Our mailbox" snow sculpture, in what part of Fla, do you live?
HG 927A
-I didn't even "Remotely" understand the watch display. Duh, do I write like I have a phone with an IQ greater than mine? My phone can do tricks. Wanna c it flip?
Can.Eh! 947A
-One more then I really must go. POLKA when you wrote, reminded me of our first TV in 1951. Our source was Cleveland, and there was a lot of polka music, and boxing.
Dave 2

CanadianEh! said...

HG - oxyphenbutazone was a popular anti-inflammatory drug (metabolite of phenylbutazone) known by the brand name Tandearil but was removed from the market years ago because of side-effects of bone-marrow suppression and Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
It seems unfair to me to allow the use of chemical names in Scrabble. Why are oxyphenbutazone, fluorouracil and thalidomide okay but methylprednisolone,cyclophosphamide rituximab (and I could name many more drugs) are not?
Any Scrabble players out there with a response?

desper-otto said...

CanadianEh!, I can't speak to rituximab, but your other two "unacceptable" entries are too long to fit on a 15 x 15 Scrabble board. Keep in mind, though, that any entry longer than 7 letters has to contain one or more valid stand-alone words. I can't see a way to do that with rituximab.

In the case of oxyphenbutazone, I can see a very unlikely scenario in which either "but" or "zone" were in place and a player made it butazone. The second player added oxyphen to it and also got a bonus for using all seven letters.

desper-otto said...

Oops, since "tux" is a valid Scrabble word, rituximab could be built upon it. It appears that rituximab is a chemical name, as opposed to a brand name, and probably should be a valid Scrabble word.

TTP said...

My mother taught me a lot of words playing Scrabble. Haven't played in years. At least 30 years, maybe 40. Hence, I don't remember the rules.

I never quit a job. Got fired once as a teenager. Didn't re-up, but that's not quitting. Then had a long career before retiring.

Just found out yesterday that my niece is retiring this week after her long career as a middle school teacher. She's been talking about it for a couple of years. She's given so much. Am just a bit surprised that she's deciding to do it mid year. It would seem that the timing is a bit out of the ordinary, but what do I know ? Maybe it isn't uncommon. We'll be calling her this evening to congratulate her.

OwenKL said...

Just now checking to discover a rather bad typo. Yes, OPI was supposed to be ONI. Thank you, d-otto and YR. I've never heard of Office of Naval Intelligence before, tho I did know of the Japanese ogre.

Oxyphenbutazone. 15 letters. To make that in scrabble, at least 8 letters would have to already be on the board. So what would those be? OXY❏HEN❏❏❏❏ZONE? Is there such a word as OXYPHEN or BUTAZONE?

CanadianEh! said...

Thanks d-otto, I had forgotten about the maximum 15 letter size. That eliminates quite a few generic drug names. But the problem still remains that there are always new drugs coming onto the market and who decides which ones and when to include them in the Scrabble dictionary. Interesting dilemma. Statin made it but not atorvastatin or rosuvastatin.

Butazone may be a brand name for phenylbutazone (commonly called "bute" in the racing world) (Butazolidin in Canada but no longer on market) but thus is not an accepted Scrabble word.

Misty said...

Really fun Monday puzzle, Brock--thank you so much. I just couldn't believe that I just did a crossword puzzle with a CROSSWORDPUZZLE theme! Woohoo! Does that make this a self-reflexive crossword puzzle? Anyway, lots of fun, and enjoyed your write-up as always, Argyle--er, Santa. (I don't usually call you that, but hey, it's that time of the year!).

Glad you're feeling better, Fermatprime, and glad you got a good night's sleep, Desper-otto.

Hosted my Christmas party last night, with a first disaster. The caterer showed up and started bringing in the platters, and there were only 12 items on each, instead of the 24 (2 dozen) I thought I had ordered for each one. Some sort of mix up or misunderstanding, but 40 people would be arriving soon, and there was only enough food for about half of them. I quickly phoned a friend who had said she planned to come early, and she thankfully agreed to stop at the supermarket and try to come up with additional party items. It worked. She arrived before guests showed up and there was now enough food for everyone. Plus some guests brought dessert-type gifts, so that helped out too. But I have to tell you, that was a real moment of panic.

Have a great week, everybody!

Yellowrocks said...

I just finished baking my first batch of our family's traditional sand tarts, buttery and crisp, melt in your mouth yummy. We roll them very thin, aprox. 1/16 inch. I cut them with a diamond shaped cutter, because it tessellates so there are few scraps to re-roll. My dear mom used to cut circles, stars and bells, as well. My one SIL still made them up until two years ago, but no longer. She has not been well lately. Out of us six sibs, I am the only one carrying on.
The dough was perfect this year, easy to roll. I believe the temp of the butter has to be just right. Pride goeth before a fall. I thought I had the oven at 325° but it was at 425° and I burned the first oven-full. Two dozen inedible, eight dozen left. I will make 10 dozen more on Wed. David and Alan love them.
During my three week fellowship in Japan I collected English translations of folk tales to bring back to my class. Later each class visited our classroom where my students recited some of these these folktales and helped the younger students make origami fish. I also had a display of many Japanese articles. My class put on an Japanese style comic play at an all school assembly where I showed my slides with narration. We served a simple Japanese lunch to the whole school. The class also wrote Haiku, only somewhat traditional, as that takes lots of skill. The folktales often featured ONI.

Misty, what a moment of panic. I am glad you survived with flying colors with the help of your dear friend.
WC, belated concern for your foot. How is it coming along?

CrossEyedDave said...

D4E4H @6:12 Isetta?

To people of my generation, it is known as The Steve Erkel Car...

Learning moment: Sand tarts. Never heard of them...

I was looking for a crossword image that only contained !@#$%^&*()_+

CrossEyedDave said...

Honorable mentions:

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

And, I don't know what the big deal is...

Mark S said...

After tough Friday, Saturday and Sunday puzzles, this was a welcome relief. Thanks Brock Wilson for a neat puzzle. And thanks Argyle for a very appreciative expo. The one unknown was Leona Lewis which was easily filled by perps. Cute clue: Delivery doc. At first I was looking for an actual delivery document. Then I realized the correct answer. I thought the D should be capitalized for a doctor. Was that a misdirection or am I wrong? I didn’t think Monday puzzles would have any of those.



Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling Thoughts":

Busy Busy Busy. Today's my only day off until Christmas. Doing laundry and just did the CROSSWORD PUZZLE. Things aren't quite ALL SQUARE, as my condo's a mess. HAVE (sic) NO CLUE when I'll find time to clean, but at least the bills are all paid

Thanks Santa and Brock for an enjoyable Monday mind-expander. I pretty much filled in everything correctly, but uttered an "AAUGH" when I had to write over ALL TIED UP with the correct, ALL SQUARE.

I also uttered a JEER or two at the replay officials from yesterday's "marquee" matchup of NFL/AFC leaders. The JEERs became expletives. But a loss now is not as critical as if this game were in January.

Ok, I will "GO OFF THE GRID", so to speak, with my Monday Moe-ku. I hope those who know computer language, and also like puns, will enjoy ...

TXT lover
Was known by his IT friends
As "UNZIP-o-file"

Chairman Moe said...

Or should it be UNZIP-o-phile?

-T? OKL? WC?

Tinbeni said...

Brock: Thank you for a FUN CROSSWORD PUZZLE.

Jayce said...

Fun puzzle.

Picard said...

GOING OFF THE GRID was a gimme so I got the theme from the start! That is rare for me. Fun, quick ride!

Thanks, Argyle/Santa, for letting us in on the ELF secret!

Learning moment about MATER. Yes, I know it is MOTHER in Latin. But it explains something else.

Paul McCartney had this song "Jet"on the Band on the Run album

The lyrics include:
Ah mater want Jet to always love me

Here are a few photos I took in RIO.

Perhaps the most naturally beautiful city I have ever seen. The people are beautiful, too. But there is a lot of scary stuff there, too.

Have you ever seen the sign "NOT AUSGANG"? To me it always sounded like it should mean "NO EXIT". In fact "NOT" is German for "Emergency" so it means the opposite of what it seems. It in fact means "Emergency Exit".

xtulmkr said...

Agree with Misty. My first reaction upon solving the theme was wondering if all the people who dislike cross-referential clues were going to be put off by this self-referential theme.

About "smart" phones...As a volunteer naturalist for our local parks, I purchased several apps to replace my need to carry numerous field guides. With the new IOS update, those apps are no longer supported and the ability to transfer them to an older device that has not been updated to the new IOS is also not supported or allowed. What a rip-off!

At least, when I purchase a real (non-digital) book, I know it will still be readable no matter how long I leave it sitting on a shelf.

Spitzboov said...

re: 1249 post. "Not" is used as a prefix in the example cited, and is not a separate word, so there should be no confusion. Seems to stem from "Notfall". Some examples:


Notfall {m}; Notlage {f}; Notsituation {f} 
emergency; emergency case 

Notfälle {pl}; Notlagen {pl}; Notsituationen {pl}
emergencies; emergency cases

medizinischer Notfall
medical emergency

ein akuter Notfall
a pressing emergency

im Notfall; für den Notfall
in case of emergency

im äußersten Notfall
in cases of dire emergency

Anordnungen für Notfälle
emergency orders

Es ist ein Notfall.
It's an emergency.

Dies ist ein Notfall!
This patient is an emergency case!

Notfall {m} [aviat.] 

Irish Miss said...

Hi Everyone:

Late to the dance due to doctor's appointment, grocery shopping, and a late, much-needed lunch. I can't believe a Monday FIW but it's true, sadly. I assumed Archie Bunker would mangle both words so I confidently filled in ITSO instead of IPSO. Even though this gave me To Box, I let it stand, thinking it was a variation on In Box. Naturally, I was going to mention its "oddness" in my comments but I was saved from that embarrassment by not getting the TADA and, then, seeing what should have been so evident, PO Box. Aaugh! Otherwise, an enjoyable theme for all of us puzzlers!

Thanks, Brock for a fun start to the week, To Box notwithstanding and thanks, Santa, for a cheerful expo.

Misty, I'm so glad your friend was there when you needed her. What a panic you must have been in, though.

My sister's party was a lovely affair. (Thanks, Jinx, for the greeting. Your comment about the candles was prescient as one of the guests is the Fire Chief of the City of Troy!) One of the highlights of the evening was her 11 grandchildren lined up across the room with placards that spelled G R A N D M O T H E R. Each one told who their parents were and then told an anecdote or memory about my sister, using the letter they were holding. For example, G's holder acknowledged the giving and generous nature of Gram. A twelve year old stole the show with this introduction: "My name is Sean, Tim and Kim are my parents, and I am their pride and joy!" This didn't set too well with his 10 year old sister who was standing right next to him. After each recitation, a great-granddaughter presented my sister with a long-stemmed red rose. It was a touching and memorable evening.

Wilbur, how is your foot coming along?

Have a great day.

Michael said...


The Erkel clip was great for this Monday ... the car sure looks like a death trap, though.

It used to be that Carmel in California also was PO boxes only -- it might have changed when it was decreed that all homes have a street address, so that responders and GPS could find them.

Roy said...

Got the theme clues before the theme (sequentially); went back to see the theme words--very nice.

45a: Do frankfurters breathe?

Read 38a clue as 37a. They don't JIG at Oktoberfest! It worked better when I got it straightened out.

Thank you, Jinx, for ahowing I wasn't the only one to get LIV before LIZ.
I, also, dislike noises, grunts, etc., in crosswords; multiple transcriptions for sounds. No one of my acquaintance uses either AHA or OHO.

I've always thought MATER was more class than region. Is anyone here a native speaker or British English who can clarify this?

Argyle said...


I have to say what bugs me about PO Boxes. They sort the mail, turn around and stick it kn the right box(usually). And for this we pay a fee. Meanwhile, the route drivers sort their mail, lug it to their car, usually sitting on the wrong side, (must have bench seats!) and drive all over the countryside delivering to rural mailboxes. FOR FREE!

Now people in the village are putting up their own mailboxes to get free delivery. Takes away some of the picturesqueness of the place.

End rant.

Roy said...

Correction: "native speaker of British English".

When we moved to Round Lake NY, there were no street addresses; had to rent a box or rely on General Delivery. Had to give directions rather than addresses: turn left before the Merhodist Church; turn left before the park; yellow house on the right". House numbers were assigned when 911 came in; don't know if they have street delivery yet.

Anonymous said...

Argyle, think of the fee not for the labor involved but for the mailbox itself. If you provide and maintain the box, it's free. If the USPS or other private entity (Mailboxes Etc., UPS Store or FedEx Store) provides and maintains the mailbox, they charge accordingly. Btw that fee is appropriate. Mine is about 3 bucks a month. I just paid for 2018 and it was less than 35.00 for the year. My mail is secure even if I don't get to it for days or even weeks.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Afternoon, Argyle and friends. I immediately filled in OFF THE GRID, and had some sparse letters in the other theme clues until after I got to the CROSSWORD PUZZLE. Hard to believe I've been doing crossword puzzles for so many years and this is the first time I remember seeing the puzzle as its own theme. Fun.

LEONA Lewis is new to me.

My favorite clue was Breathe Like a Hot Dog = PANT.

QOD: My brain is like a cross between a colander and a Lazy Susan – thin, slow, and it leaks. ~ Ron White (b. Dec. 18, 1956)

Anonymous said...

Also putting up a minimalist USPS approved box correctly with anchor and post and numbers and labor starts at about 100.00 and goes up from there

D4E4H said...

YR 1141A
-Why are they called "Sand tarts?" "I cut them with a diamond shaped cutter, because it tessellates...." Is this a cookie cutter with 6 sides like the cells of a honey comb? C E D linked a picture. They look yummy.

C E D 1157A
-"The Steve Erkel Car," Thanks for finding a clip. The model in the clip was one made by BMW. What surprises me is that each manufacturer only lasted for 3 or 4 years.
Dave 2

desper-otto said...

There was no postal delivery in my home town (pop 1118 circa 1950). You had to rent a PO box at the PO, or go to the counter for general delivery. Folks who lived outside of the village limits got free RFD delivery (is that redundant?). Where I live now, you have to put up and maintain your own mailbox, and for some folks it has to be located across the street from, not in front of, your house.

Didn't Dick Clark give away one of those front-opening cars as a dance contest prize on American Bandstand?

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Thanks Bruce - Easy Peasy Monday Breezy. Only a few hold-ups with the gutturals and YALTA. The theme reminded me of Merl's 'Crosswords' puzzle he constructed for the documentary.[2m] Nice.

Thanks ELF-Captain, er, Santa, er, Argyle, for the expo - I too couldn't listen to LEONA more than 0:38 :-)

WOs: N/A
ESP: LEONA, NOVO, and I had to wait to see if it was PaI or PEI. I shouldn't confuse an architect v. someone razing the Internet. //there's my #rant

Fav: The LOL's thinking of Archie Bunker @IPSO fatso. I'll keep looking for said clip but, um, do you want racism or politics? :-)

{} {Groan :-)}

C, Eh! I also noticed DATE echo.
Misty - Get that friend a special gift. What a savior! Glad she help'd get everything ALL SQUARE for a fun night.
IM - That gathering sounds like it was absolutely delightful.
YR - Thanks for 'spainin' Melba Peaches. I wouldn't have looked that up.
CED - LOL QR Codes

Swamp - I too was trying to think what Mom calls the tiers in her chicken Coop; took 2 perps for the V8 hit.

Technically, they're not PO BOXes, but most master-planned communities around here have a compartmentalized street/community-box at the end of each cul-de-sac. We have to walk down to get the mail (since I'm at the end of the cul-de-sac, the trip is just down the driveway).

Did someone mention a POLKA (on 45) NUMBER? [Weird Al]. #Where'sTawnya?

Cheers, -T

Argyle said...

Good deal, anon. Here it's $52 for a year for the smallest box they have. And maintenance, the boxes are from the 50's. I assure you, most rural boxes around here, at least, were put up for a lot less than $100 but may not meet your standard. Why bother when the snow plow is only going to knock it down.

Anonymous T said...

Argyle... Don't be an Angry ELF just 'cuz a BOX makes you PO'd...

Hahtoolah - QED Correlary: "My mind is a steel-trap; Rusted shut." -T

Ol' Man Keith said...

What a happy start to the week!
Here we had a Xwd from Mr. Wilson that allowed me to open with a perfect diagonal solve, marching a double-wide swath - 2 abreast! - from square 1 through 225.
After a necessarily singular start (the "E" of ELS) I could add the next two letters (the "L" of ELS plus the "R" of ERGO) and keep the duet going all the way down to the SE corner (the "N" of HENS matched to the "T" of PTS) before resolving in the final "S."

PK said...

When we lived on the farm located along a major highway, my husband put up a short fat chunk of old telephone pole with a large mail box on top. This lasted 30 years. It was up our driveway just far enough that the snow plow didn't hit it in all that time. I moved to town for two years and had a box on my duplex. My son lived in my house and used the rural box. Then he moved away and in the two months before I moved back to the country, my box and post disappeared. I went to see the head of local state DOT, thinking the state plow had knocked it over. I never did find out what happened to it. Nobody would admit taking it. Meanwhile, I had to rent a box at the town P.O. and drive in for mail. About 6 mos. later, a new box on a skinny pole appeared at the old box site. I never did find out who put it up. I never got mail in it. Kept the town box. Lots of strange things happened to me in those years after my husband died.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Misty's party reminds me of the Twelfth Night parties we used to give.
Why 12th Night? Well, we always chose the Saturday closest to Jan 6 to finish off our Xmas season.
Our reasoning was that New Years was never the gladsome party we wanted it to be ('twas always too cold and hangover-anticipatory) and that our friends needed a cheerier way to end the holidays. This way they could gather in fellowship around a warm fireside - with a flaming Yule log - to polish off some plum pudding with a hearty dose of wassail (or "Yulglögg" in our version).

Glad to know parties are now in full swing! While we are no longer in the party-hosting biz, we recommend Twelfth Night for anyone else thinking about jumping in ...

Ol' Man Keith said...

PS. A favorite 12th Night tradition was to choose the Lord (or Lady) of Misrule! This would be the lucky person who found either a threepenny bit in their plum pudding or (when we had run out of those) the Jesus baby in the King Cake.

The Lord/Lady of Misrule gets to say whatever he/she wants, and others have to obey. Naturally.

SwampCat said...

Old Man Keith, twelfth night is a Big Deal in N'Awlins because it is the begining of the carnival season. There is even a Twelfth Night Ball for those who care, and yes, a Lord of Misrule.

My family and friends celebrate it for the reasons you mentioned. A less hectic time to end the Christmas season.

Anonymous T said...

Brock: 1,000 appologies! I typed Bruce - AAUGH! -T

Misty said...

AnonT, Irish Miss, Yellowrocks, Ol'Man Keith, and others, thank you for the kind words about my panic party. Thank goodness all went well.

Lucina said...

My friend who lives in Carmel still uses a P.O. Box.

What a wonderful friend you have who saved the day for you!

Bill G said...

NCIS Los Angeles has lost its way. The writing is weak, the new characters are thoroughly unlikable, the attempts at humorous dialogue are forced and unfunny; sad...

Michael said...

FWIW, and not as any exposition of religion here, you do know that there are 12 days between the feast of Christmas and the feast of Epiphany, which is where the 12th Night and such come from, yes?

In defense of postal boxes and postal costs, the amount of infrastructure, labor, and -- yes -- even pension costs, needed to deliver mail is huge. // Begin rant: we all know why it is so high, because First Class mail (U.S. name) subsidizes all the junk mail, with which we are barraged daily. End the one, and we might even avoid another postal rate increase? End rant. //

The Carmel, CA, post office used to have a steady stream of visitors to pick up mail ... this also served as a sort of community caucus.

Misty said...

Thank you, Lucina.

Lucina said...

Yes, that is exactly where 12th night originates and in some countries Christmas is celebrated on Jan. 6.

Anonymous T said...

Speaking of 12th Night - did anyone catch the Mock Trial on C-SPAN? I watched about 20 min Sat before getting back to todos. :-) -T

Wilbur Charles said...

Sorry so late. Whizzed through the xword. Thx Brock and Santa.

The foot has stopped throbbing. No meds tonight.

Misty. The PO BOloXXed my invite to your lovely party. RT to LA? Worth every penny. You did videotape the shebang. Seriously, I'm glad it was such a success.

Moe, blame NFL rules not the refs. Much like the famous no-fumble play vs Oakland a decade ago.