Dec 14, 2017

Thursday, December 14th 2017 Ed Sessa

Theme: Johnnys-come-lately. As explained succinctly by the theme hint

35A. Classic TV intro which can be applied to the starts of the four other longest puzzle answers : HEEEEERE'S JOHNNY! Choose your own number of "E"s!

Also famously used by Jack Nicholson in the movie adaptation of Stephen King's "The Shining":

18A. Year-end rewards : CASH BONUSES. Johnny Cash."The Man in Black". Portrayed to great effect by Joaquim Phoenix in the biopic "Walk the Line".

23A. Silver State capital : CARSON CITY. Johnny Carson. The original Johnny referred to by the puzzle title. Ed McMahon's intro line for Carson on "The Tonight Show". Nevada is the Silver State.

50A. Bad break : ROTTEN LUCK. Johnny Rotten. John Lydon in his "Sex Pistols" alter ego. The Pistols were a tad controversial, but a huge influence on popular music, despite only releasing four singles and one studio album. Here's the first single if you want a taste of 1976.

56A. Dugout loudmouth : BENCH JOCKEY. Johnny Bench. Appropriate clue for the Red's catcher from 1967-1983. I don't know if he was a loudmouth in the dugout. Anyone? I'm not sure I'm familiar with the phrase, but the crosses were solid.

Nice theme from Ed, and some really nice fill, especially in the downs. POSEIDON and PLAY NICE, along with the stacked vertical 6's in the NW and SE. Good stuff. Let's see what else we've got to talk about:


1. Place for peas or z's : BED. The Princess and the Pea reference, I'm sure.

4. Bridge measure : SPAN

8. Like traffic at a bottleneck : STOP-GO. Very nice.

14. "Norma __" : RAE. Played by Sally Field in the movie.

15. She famously said "Play it" to 49-Across : ILSA.  Casablanca. No "again" contrary to some opinions.

16. Saved to watch later : TIVO'ED

17. Horace's "__ Poetica" : ARS. A poem advising others how to write poetry.

"Ye who write, make choice of a subject suitable to your abilities; and revolve in your thoughts a considerable time what your strength declines, and what it is able to support. Neither elegance of style, nor a perspicuous disposition, shall desert the man, by whom the subject matter is chosen judiciously."

20. One-step-at-a-time toy : SLINKY. The walking-downstairs spring. All the rage for a while, but essentially a one-trick pony.

22. "Only __": NPR sports program : A GAME

26. "The Mindy Project" actor Barinholtz : IKE Thank you, crosses

29. Well-endowed org.? : OPEC. Nice pun on the "well" in the clue. What did Red Adair say to "Boots" Hansen? " Oil's well that ends well".

30. McKellen and McShane : IANS. Both fine actors.

31. Said further : ADDED

33. Real estate unit : ACRE

34. Acted bullish? : MOO'ED. I associate mooing more with cows. Bulls snort.

41. Volunteer's offer : I'LL GO

42. "Vaya con __" : DIOS. "Go with God" - first sung by Freddy Fender.

43. Attach with string : TIE ON

44. Half of half-and-half : MILK. My local market has fat-free half-and-half - isn't that defeating the purpose?

45. Flower painted by van Gogh : IRIS

49. See 15-Across : SAM

52. Really worry : EAT AT

55. __ Tunes : LOONEY

60. Horseplayer's hangout, for short : OTB. Off-Track Betting facility. Every high street in every town in Britain has a betting shop, or two. They will take bets on anything you like - famously offering 5000-1 odds that the world would end as prophesied by the Mayan Calendar (and offering 1-5000 odds that it wouldn't); 5000-1 that perennial underdogs Leicester City would win the Premier League title in 2015-16 (and they did) and 175-1 odds that Uruguayan soccer star Luis Suarez would take a bite out of an opponent after two prior offenses. (He did, at the 2016 World Cup in Rio and was banned for six games).

61. "Good News" Grammy winner Kathy : MATTEA. Merci, les croixes.

62. Workshop gadget : VISE

63. Opposite of paleo- : NEO-. Paleolithic, neolithic, for example.

64. Wimps : WUSSES

65. Cheek or lip : SASS

66. "Yakety __": rock-'n'-roll novelty hit : SAX. I thought this was "Yakety Yak", so that slowed down my progress in this corner.


1. "Donnie __": Depp film : BRASCO. That's the fifth Johnny for today.

2. Part of a winter hat : EARLAP. What happened to the "F"?

3. Appetite : DESIRE

4. Michael Moore film about healthcare : SICKO

5. "No more fighting!" : PLAY NICE!

6. Pack animal : ASS

7. "Don't think so" : NAH

8. Cheap smoke : STOGY. I thought it was spelt "stogie". Mark Twain wouldn't smoke a cigar that cost more than 5¢

9. Actress Fey : TINA 

10. Egg cell : OVUM

11. Trident-carrying god : POSEIDON. Neptune is his Roman counterpart.

12. "My goodness" : GEE

13. Pigs out (on), for short : OD'S

19. Creatures in caves : BATS

21. Pres. advisory team : NSC. National Security Council.

24. "The Alienist" novelist Caleb : CARR. Indebted to you, crosses.

25. Boss' demand often followed by "now!" : I NEED IT!

27. Shrewd : KEEN

28. Circular current : EDDY

31. Tori of pop : AMOS. Aged five, she was the youngest student ever admitted to the Peabody Conservatory of Music. She was expelled at 11 years old due to her interest in rock and pop, and her dislike of sight-reading. Her first band was called "Y Kant Tori Read" as reference to that episode in her life..

32. Head-slapper's cry : DOH!

33. Long, long time : AEON

35. Search engine results : HITS

36. Director Kazan : ELIA. A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront and East of Eden are some of his best-known. A great director.

37. Basic principles : ELEMENTS

38. Big head : EGO

39. Sandy sediment : SILT

40. Like a really bad comedy skit : JOKELESS

44. Fictional detective Mr. __ : MOTO

45. U.N. workers' agcy. : ILO. The International Labour Organization. Founded in 1946, the UN's first specialized agency.
46. Sentences that need fixing : RUN-ONS

47. Summer drink : ICE TEA

48. Posh stadium seating : SKY BOX. I prefer the cheap seats. Much better atmosphere than hanging out with the mucky-mucks in the boxes.

50. Hindu princes : RAJAS

51. "The Highwayman" poet : NOYES

Tlot-tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot-tlot, in the echoing night!
Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light!
Her eyes grew wide for a moment; she drew one last deep breath,
Then her finger moved in the moonlight,
   Her musket shattered the moonlight,
Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him—with her death.

53. "Hair" parts : ACTS

54. Biblical pronoun : THEE

56. Big name in luxury autos : BMW. "Bayerische Motoren Werke AG". Originally an aircraft engine manufacturer. The blue-and-white badge represents an aircraft propeller. They made a three-wheel one-person car with the door opening at the front. The car had a reverse gear, unlike the Messerschmidt version, which caused the driver some problems if he pulled into the garage and stopped too close to the back wall. He couldn't open the door, and couldn't back up.

57. __ de cologne : EAU

58. Rite Aid competitor : CVS. One on every corner here in LA. I get my RX's filled through CVS.

59. Soul maker : KIA. Korean car company.. 기아자동차

And that pretty much wraps it up for me. I'm heading back East into some snow from the sunny California shores. I'm going in the wrong direction.

Here's the grid!



OwenKL said...

Yay! I finally have my Internet back again! And turned out it was my own fault, too 😨 . Anyway, FIR for the puzzle, and although I stumbled on the reveal with only CARSON CITY yet in place, I sussed what was coming up very quickly! I did start with ❏❐❑❒HERESJOHNNY > HEEEEERESJOHNNY.

To MILK the cows, Diego said, "I'LL GO!"
And to butcher one, he'd bid "VAYA CON DIOS."
Then beef in his tummy
Made noises quite funny,
The family heard when the cow MOOED in Diego!
Like traffic at a bottleneck, go-STOP-GO!
Some situations seem oh-SICK-O!
DESIRE, like a fit,
May insist that I NEED IT!
But it's hard to PLAY NICE when it's NO-YES-no!

{A-, B+.}

Lucina said...

I saw the JOHNNYs but Mr. ROTTEN was a Johnny-come-lately as I'd never heard of him.

This was a really quick sashay with not much of a stumble. Oh, yes, one. RANIS were my original Indian princes then realized it had to be RAJAS. And I have to say, it took some counting to determine how many E's in HEEEEERE'S.

Kathy MATTEA? No idea who she is. Loved seeing Van Gogh's IRIS mentioned.

What a nice offering from Ed Sessa today and aptly commented on by Steve-on-the-wing. Thank you, both.

And in case you may be wondering why I'm posting so early, I'll confess that I have been unable to sleep this night. Not one wink. Nada. I'm wide awake. It's driving me to madness!

I hope you all have a most wonderful day today!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Thought I had the theme with CASH and CARSON, but then ROTTEN and BENCH showed up, and I figured I had it wrong. D'OH! Thanx, Ed and Steve.

Lucina, here's a sample of Kathy MATTEA: Where've You Been? You might like it.

OPEC, because Victoria's Secret was too long.

Yakety SAX was a big hit for Boots Randolph in 1963. Chet Atkins played as one of the side musicians. Later, Chet recorded it with Mark Knopfler and re-titled it Yakety Axe.

My local NPR station airs Only A Game at 6AM on Saturdays, when I'm doing the crossword. So, I play music until 7, then switch back to Weekend Edition.

Steve, you need to check your sources on Vaya Con Dios. Anita O'Day recorded it in '52. Les Paul and Mary Ford had a #1 hit with it in '53. Freddy Fender didn't record it until '76 -- he was definitely a JOHNNY-come-lately.

Lemonade714 said...

Lucy, perhaps you could try some hot milk at bedtime if you are not lactose intolerant.

WSS, in act I think I have no other comments. Well, maybe I can ask if we will have an ICE TEA/ICED TEA controversy.

46 degrees here this morning but 70s back by Sunday. Thank you Steve and Ed.

thehondohurricane said...

Figured CVS was OK for 58D when Aetna would not fit. Bench Jockey's, like so much else, no longer part of the game.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Steve and friends. I was a bit startled when I saw all the EEEE appearing, but felt confident my down answers were correct. I knew to stop the Es, however, because I had the R in place.

I knew of all the Johnny's, but ROTTEN was the last to appear. The term BENCH JOCKEY is new to me.

I read Caleb CARR's The Alienist when it first came out over 20 years ago. I really enjoyed the novel. I think it is being made into a television series soon.

One-Step-at-a-Time Toy = SLINKY was my favorite clue.

QOD: Confrontation is not a dirty word. Sometimes it’s the best kind of journalism as long as you don’t confront people just for the sake of confrontation. ~ Don Hewitt (Dec. 14, 1922 ~ Aug. 19, 2009)

inanehiker said...

Mildly crunchy puzzle appropriate for a Thursday. I had the RESJOHNNY first so it made it easier to figure out how many Es to put in the HEEEEERES.

Thanks D-O for the link to the Kathy Mattea song - I've always loved her voice - similar to Anne Murray's- but the lyrics have left me a weepy mess after thinking of my friend who just lost her husband and my sister's MIL who is 92 and in the hospital missing her husband and loved ones who have gone before and wanting to join them. It also reminds me of the end of "The Notebook".
But now off to the office!
Thanks Steve and Ed!

Yellowrocks said...

I really liked this one. With the reveal I realized the theme answers were all named Johnny. I didn't know Johnny Rotten, but ROTTEN LUCK was very easy. MATTEA and CARR were all perps.
AMOS was buried deep, but emerged with the A. NOYES was buried even deeper.
I know Nevada is the silver state, but I needed about 5 perps to remember the capital. DOH!
I liked the ARS POETICA quote. The one time my tutee decided to work on a term paper all by herself she chose a subject way beyond her depth. She ran into trouble and called me. After discussing the subject with her I knew I couldn't bring her up to speed. At the 11th hour we had to start on a new subject. What a rush!
Norma Rae was a great movie. Sally Field who usually acted in comedies was masterful as a dramatic actress. Brava!
I was confusing "Yakkety Yak, don't talk back" with Yakety Sax, an instrumental song which I do not know. Perps to the rescue.
Off to Alan's commute. I love doing it because it means life is normal.

Anonymous said...

A recent episode of Cash Cab had a Red Light Challenge which asked: Name 4 of the 5 largest U.S. cities that have "City" in their name. Go! Hint...not Carson City.

Anonymous said...

"Yakety Sax" may be best known as the theme to Benny Hill.

Good puzzle today, but never heard of Bench Jockey refer to a loud mouth -- just a player who doesn't play.

jfromvt said...

Kind of a meh puzzle, no real flow. Never heard of an EARLAP, and I live in VT. Cold here today BTW, may need my EARFLAP.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Well, this was a pleasant and mostly easy offering from Mr. Sessa. I noticed that there were 4 extra E's in the reveal to match the 4 Johnny theme answers. Bench Jockey is unfamiliar to me but makes sense and the other unknown, Ike (Barinholtz), perped itself in. Caleb Carr was a gimme as I read "The Alienist" years ago. There was a second book with the same set of characters but a different story line but I can't think of the title. Mr. Carr lives not too far from Troy. W/os were Ranis/Rajas, North/Noyes, and Thou/Thee. Sam and Ilsa finally meet in the puzzle world! I wasn't "keen" on Jokeless and, to me, Shrewd doesn't equal Keen. I'm sure it's legit but I always use keen in the sense of liking or not liking something. The clue for OPEC had me scratching my head until Steve explained it.

Thanks, Ed, for a very enjoyable solve and thanks, Steve, for filling in the blanks. Bundle up for your trip East!

Have a great day.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Liked HEEEEERES JOHNNY. Was wondering how many E's to put in. Crosses helped with most unknowns; but still bolluxed up A GAME. Sigh.
Bulls do moo. But I don't recall ours mooing very much. He was kept pretty happy.
SPAN - The other key bridge measure of interest to ships' Masters is 'air draught' (clearance), or Air Gap. (Clearance between the water surface and the lowest bridge part in the navigation channel.) Verrazano Narrows bridge in NYC air gap is 232' +/- depending on tide. This information can be gotten from Pilots published for most commercial waterways.

Husker Gary said...

-All those E’s were disconcerting but then the theme was a real hoot!
-Johnny’s gift to his high school alma mater in Norfolk, NE
-No CASH BONUSES for teachers! We did get some holiday treats paid for with pop machine money.
-A racist BENCH JOCKEY in the Jackie Robinson movie 42 (4:09)
-I taught wave theory with SLINKYS when the boys didn’t twist them up
-You’d better have your big boy checkbook to buy an ACRE around here
-Yes, D-O, I remember Les and Mary singing that song in my salad days
-“I smoke old STOGEYS I have found, Short but not too big around”
-A hardly elementary book about ELEMENTS

Tinbeni said...

Nice write-up Steve.

Ed: Thank you for a FUN Thursday puzzle with a wonderful theme.


TTP said...

Good morning. Thank you Ed Sessa and thank you Steve.

Unlike the Rockets... Didn't get to eleven. BENCH me. Three errors to break the string.

Biggest goof up ? Got my Born Free lioness and Rick's love interest mixed up. Never checked the cross. DOH ! That left me with SeCKO down...

Always equated BENCH JOCKEY to benchwarmer, as a ballplayer that seldom gets into the game, i.e. "riding the bench". Wiktionary tells me the idiom is as clued. Perhaps the idiom has evolved over time.

RUN-ONS: Where'd I put that Strunk and White ELEMENTS of Style.

Desper-otto beat me to the correction on Vaya con Dios. Just read on Melissa B's top 100 list yesterday that Les Paul and Mary Ford performed it, and that it would be exemplary of his guitar skills.

The band Dire Straits (Sultans of Swing, Money for Nothing) with the aforementioned frontman Mark Knopfler will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.

Steve, I was going to ask about 60A, "Every high street..." What does that mean ?, but a search tells me it would be equivalent to the concept of main street in American towns and cities. New to me.

Yep. Bulls do moo. But when they square off to face you, snort and start hoofing at the ground, you might want to hightail it over the nearest fence.

Big Easy said...

After filling JOHNNY by perps I guessed the "HERE'S" would be coming but not HEEEEERE'S but I have never heard of JOHNNY ROTTEN or IKE, Kathy MATTEA, SICKO, Caleb CARR and NOYES, Vaya con DIOS, and ILO were perped. Is that a RUN ON sentence?

Baldemar Huerta, aka Freddy Fender, lived anonymously in a suburb on New Orleans. After a tour, his bus driver was involved in a fatal wreck (not his fault), and Fender was sued. Go figure.

Yakety- could have been SAX by Boots Randolph or "YAK, don't talk back"

SICKO- the fill should have been Michael Moore. That fat slob takes a lot of people (and their money) for fools with his fictitious BS.

CanadianEh! said...

Thursday workout today. Thanks for the fun Ed and Steve.
WEES about all those Es!

Hand up for Yak before SAX and needing perps for IKE, MATTEA and CARR.
My Van Gogh flower was a lily until I remembered that Monet painted the lilies. IRIS filled the spot. D'uh (no it's D'OH!)

Speaking of D'oh, thanks for explaining Peas, Steve. I was thinking of Peas in a garden bed not the Princess story.

I moved from I will to I'LL GO.

My Canadian disadvantage was showing with Silver State capital and presidential advisory team, but CVS I knew (even though we don't have them here - our equivalent would be Shoppers Drug Mart).

We call them EarFlaps here and we need them today. -13C or 8F here today and a beautiful snowfall to make it look like Christmas.

Have a great day.

TTP said...

The idiomatic use of bench jockey and bench warmer reminded me of yesterday's German language idiom of Was ist los, and the pitfalls of literal translation. The idiom is often used for "What's happening ?" but can literally translate to "what is loose ?"

My German born brother in law was having a little playful fun by answering this Amerikanischer that the dogs are loose and the cats are in the cellar. It's apparently a common response. At least Oas and Spitzboov got it, and it was appropriate for the dogs that were loose in Brian Gubin's puzzle...

Yellowrocks said...

IM, it is amazing how different we all are. I use KEEN in almost every other sense, but usually not for liking or being enthusiastic about something. I do hear it used that way frequently, though.
The knife has a keen edge.-sharp, well honed
The keen wind yesterday made it feel even colder- piercing, penetrating
The dog hears the slightest animal rustle with his keen ears- sensitive, perceptive
She has a keen mind.- shrewd, astute

Rest time is up. Ta TA for now.

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

42A: WRONG!! Actually recorded in
the 50’s by Les Paul and Mary Ford.

Bill G said...

Hi everybody. Mostly WEES. I am agreeing with mostly everybody except the one kinda political comment from Mr. Easy. I would have guessed EARFLAP instead of EARLAP. I don't think we called it that back in Virginia where we sometimes needed them.

I remember Yakety Axe, Yakety Sax, Yakety Yak and VAYA CON DIOS.

Like Irish Miss, I didn't understand the OPEC clue and answer. I had to go back and re-read Steve's explanation. DOH!

Thanks Ed and Steve.

Have a good day!

~ Bill G

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

More info:

Published on Aug 15, 2009Remembering Les Paul:
"Vaya con Dios" was written by Larry Russell, Inez James, and Buddy Pepper in 1953. Les Paul and Mary Ford recorded the most popular version of this song that year, released by Capitol Records. It reached number one on both the Billboard Best Seller and the Cash Box charts. (Text was copied from the YouTube site)

CrossEyedDave said...

WSS (What Steve Said...)
Yakity Yak, (& there was another inkblot somewhere...)

Steve, Slinky, one horse pony?
Actually it has aroused a few antigravity theories:
Still cool though...

And now for something completely different...
(In my defense, the hairdresser was named Johnny...)
(& it was a sidelink on Desper-ottos post, blame him:)

Oh, what the hell
Somebody has to post it...

Rick Papazian said...

Thank you Ed Sessa, nice puzzle! Steve did the usual perfunctory Thursday write-up. And it was easy for a Thursday. “Well” endowed was my favorite clue; I didn’t get it until I heard my well pump go on – since we have well water.

I got a late start on this, which reminds me…
I was almost in bed when a client, Tina, called me. A slinky neo-noir dame that hired me to tail her ex Eddy Mattea. He was a jokeless egoist that played sax and smoked stale stogies down at a local club, Brasco’s. She said the sicko was outside her apartment in his BMW and was calling her. I knew he was bats and I wasn’t keen on keeping these two apart but I told her “I’ll go.” I jumped in my wussy KIA that mooed along, stop and go, past an OTB and a CVS until I got to her apartment, just inside Carson City limits. I saw the BMW parked under a sign that read, “Eat at Sam’s”. The looney tune was inside the car, but I paid no attention to him and went up in the elevator to Tina’s sky-box apartment.
She was casually sipping an ice tea, as it was warm like a silted ovum in her flat. She had all the elements of desire, and that was my vise.
“Gee,” she said. “Here’s Johnny!” Acting coquettish.
“What’s the matter honey, you two can’t Play Nice?”
“He used to treat me with the milk of kindness and I thought he was one of the Rajas of India but that seemed aeons ago.”
Then I heard a rumble in the hallway and a pounding at the door. Tina jumped and I reached in my pocket for my weapon.
He knocked on the door harder and finally he smashed it open. He had a knife out ready to cut my throat; I pulled out my gun and fired. He fell to the floor like Poseidon diving to the bottom of the sea, only Eddy Mattea didn’t look like he’d ever come back up for air.
It was his rotten luck and mine to meet together this night.
I called the cops and tried to calm my client. She wanted me to stay with her through the ordeal and I obliged.
We had a long talk over a span of eight hours and in the end she said, “Johnny, I just want you to know this wasn’t a game.”
I didn’t know what she meant but it didn’t matter. I told her, “I need it.”

CrossEyedDave said...

Hmm, I think I have seen the Shining too many times...

Out of left field, Here's Johnny 5!

If you are like me, and haave trouble thinking of a halloween costume,
This might work...

CrossEyedDave said...

Which brings me to tomorrows puzzle,
Friday usually has some gimmick,
I hope it's not Anagrams or Spoonerisms...

Misty said...

Delightful Thursday puzzle, Ed--many thanks, especially since I got the whole thing! Yay! There were certainly some unknowns (BRASCO, MATTEA,ROTTEN) but perps helped fill everything in. I got BED all right, but also had a silly problem wondering what a PEA would be doing in BED--forgot all about the princess. Kept wanting MOVED or something with a consonant in the middle before finally giving in to MOOED. But I just loved the Johnny theme, and the HEEEEERE'S JOHNNY totally cracked me up. Steve, your write-up was so helpful and neat, with poetry and texts offered as well. This is also the first time I heard an explanation for the German meaning of BMW--had no idea it came from Bavaria. Many thanks for all this.

OTB. One of my delights when I first came to California was going to the race tracks, Santa Anita, Del Mar, and betting (just a little) on the horses. When I married Rowland, he wasn't too keen on it, so I gave it up. But it was fun while it lasted.

Lucina, there is nothing worse than not being able to sleep all night. I keep some Advil PM by my bedside, for that reason, and there are probably stronger sleep-aids that are safe and available--you might check with your doctor. But my heart goes out to you, and I hope you have a good night tonight.

Have a great day, everybody!

Lucina said...

Thank you for linking the song. Can't say I recognize the voice, though.

Thank you for the suggestion. I only hope it doesn't happen again!

Wow! Not only is there a political comment but a blatant insult as well. Too bad we can't all be as perfect as BE.

Steve said...

@Rick Papazian - "perfunctory????" You might like to look up the definition :)

Thanks to all for the Freddy Fender correction. I might have to start claiming that there is one intentional error in all my write-ups and challenge all y'all to find it.

@TTP - I heard a "Sultans of Swing" demo tape on Charlie Gillet's show on Radio London before the band were signed to a record label. I knew I was listening to something special. My wife-to-be was working as a receptionist for Phonogram at the time and was there when they came in to sign the contract. She always referred to them as "the Straits", apparently it was uncool to call a band by their full name in the record biz.

Picard said...

Yes, crunchy with some unknown proper names. But do-able with crosses. MATTEA was not just unknown, but looked impossibly wrong. Filled it to FIR. CARR/IANS crossing almost got me, though. Both unknown.

Agree I have only seen STOGIE and EAR FLAP. Hand up only know YAKETY YAK by the Coasters. Is it the same tune? YAKETI SAX is just instrumental.

I do remember JOHNNY ROTTEN and the Sex Pistols, but I am not sure I know their music.

I recently led a Sierra Club hike where we saw several BATS. I posted two photos in this article.

I have seen the IRIS painting by Van Gogh at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles many times. It was by far the most expensive piece of art sold at the time. Surpassed many times over since then. Of course, Van Gogh only ever sold one painting, to his brother.

If you have never seen SICKO, I highly recommend it. The story of how he was able to get it published would curl your hair. Michael Moore's genius is seeming to be bumbling while in fact offering valuable insights and information.

Two days ago Dudley asked to hear a talk by the Dalai LAMA. Here was his talk here in Santa Barbara.

I have been in a Buddhism study group for eight years and I can't say I could make much sense of it. At least I recognized many of the terms he used. Good luck!

Thank you Yellowrocks, PK and Lucina for the kind words about my Bryce Canyon UTAH photos yesterday. What I love is that it seems so expansive, yet you can actually hike through the best parts in just a few hours. And it is much less crowded than other National Parks in the area.

Madame Defarge said...

Hi all,

Had to go in to renew my Drivers' License this morning. What a breeze! Am I dreaming? I am late to this party, which seems to be going well. Science, sarcasm, silliness--all in one place. I love it here.

Strunk and White: All ye know of life and all ye need to know!

Thanks, Ed. Nicely done. Steve, another fine tour. Quite. WEES at this point.

Have a sunny day, everyone.

Rick Papazian said...

Uh, right. Perfunctory(cursory, desultory, quick, brief, hasty, hurried, rapid, fleeting, token, casual, superficial, careless, halfhearted, sketchy, mechanical, automatic, routine, offhand, inattentive. Perhaps I should have said, practiced, pleasing, powerful or phenomenal. At any rate, keep up the perfect work!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Straightforward solve today.

Picard, thanks, I’ll listen to the One L Lama when I get back home.

Yesterday’s mention of Maccabees - a word handily free of G, I, F or T - sent me to Google. I knew nothing about their history. They sound like a determined bunch of warriors. This morning in my favorite breakfast place I saw a Hanukkah display featuring a box of chocolate Maccabees, also new to me.

MJ said...


Mostly WEES--Needed perps for Kathy MATTEA and Caleb CARR, had yAk before SAX, and am unfamiliar with the term BENCH JOCKEY. Johnny ROTTEN is another unknown. Thanks for the puzzle, Ed, and thanks for the thorough expo, Steve. Very informative.

D-O: Thanks for posting the Kathy MATTEA link. What a lovely voice she has.

OMK and Misty (from yesterday)--We do live in a wonderful spot here in Socal, with amazing weather most of the time. We have yet to turn on our furnace this year as it's been so pleasantly warm. And Misty, you mentioned seeing a Monarch butterfly in your yard. We currently have a calla lily blooming in our yard. Indeed a beautiful gift.

Enjoy the day!

Ol' Man Keith said...

Nice one today from Mr. Sessa.
It gave me a Touché diagonal opening, and then stayed just chewy enough to keep it interesting throughout.
I missed 29A, so came in one short of a full Ta- DA! I got EARLAP but, like Steve and others above, was unsure of it. Why no "F"?
BTW, we wore separate ear muffs when I lived in NW Massachusetts.

ELIA Kazan wasn't often called by his Xwd first name. I met him once. (He was an alum of Williams College where I taught.) He was always "Gadge" to friends, a nickname he earned as an all-around handy grip (stagehand) back in his days with NY's Group Theater.

MJ, yes, our weather is indeed something to crow about. We have calla lilies and hibiscus growing side by side in our garden. But even with our so-called "Mediterranean" climate, we pampered Californians can find problems. Our house has high ceilings, and that keeps it cool indoors. It's often too cool for me, but my wife loves it cold.
Our internal thermostats are completely opposite.
She had the A/C on last week! She and her mom are at Knotts today, so I get to turn the heat on. Heheheh.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Fun puzzle, Ed, thanks! Fun expo, Steve!

Caught the theme with the reveal after the first two which helped the others. I backed in JOHNNY before I read the clue so when I got an "H" to start I just added "E's" until I had 3 spaces left for RES.

My husband was a huge Johnny Cash fan so we saw him and June in concert twice and watched his TV show. Good music. "We got married in a fever -- hotter than a pepper sprout..."

Bulls also MOO and will bellow if fenced away from charming cows in heat. That can be heard for miles.

In a late post the other night, I told of my granddaughter playing in a Loyola University ensemble at the House of Blues in New Orleans last Friday. The male keyboardist was wearing a parka and wool-lined EARLAP cap, a rather unusual fashion statement for NOLA. We always called it EARLAP because the cap LAPs over the ear, I guess. FLAP sounds reasonable too.

PK said...

Lucina, I think you were the one who recommended "Killers of the Flower Moon" by David Grann. Thanks! I just finished it. Wow! I have a piece of land purchased in 1905 with money made by my husband's grandfather who ran a traveling steam-driven merry-go-round in Oklahoma territory. It was said to be very popular with the Indians. My son works on Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, which is part of the land homesteaded in the land rush by his other great great grandfather. Both were German immigrants. Neither were involved in the Indian scandal, I'm sure.

Husker Gary said...

Musings 2
-Steve 1, your write-up was anything but perfunctory and admire Rick for correcting that. We that do these write-ups know that is takes some real effort and yours is always a delight. Same for our brother/sister bloggers.
-Steve 2, I too have thought about putting in an obvious error to see if anyone finds it and if they use any tact in correcting me
-Steve 3, I have been evaluated on my teaching, blogging and singing many times and I always pay more attention to the negative remarks.

Mark M said...

This one was definitely in my wheelhouse. Agree with those who think of it as an earflap. I started writing it in when I realized it wouldn’t fit. But no problem with the crosses. I’ve seen ODS a few times in crosswords now referring to “Pigs out”, but never anywhere else. I guess it’s less offensive than cluing it as a drug issue.

And thanks to those who helped me understand how WC made sense as a clue for LAV and LOO in puzzle that appeared a while back. I never heard the term “water closet” but now I know!

Misty said...

MJ, how nice that you have calla lilies!

AnonymousPVX said...,someone thinks Micheal Moore is a big fat slob whose BS.....blah blah blah.....I don’t come here for anyone’s personal opinions or to read about someone calling someone else names, so mature. And I’m betting that same person considers Steve Bannon a paragon of fitness and truth. Hahahaha.

Nice crunchy Thursday puzzle, with a theme that was not needed to solve..always a plus.

Jayce said...

This puzzle was fun to solve. The multiple E's confused me for a brief time until I caught on. Very cool. How many ways to clue OPEC? One very creative and clever new way was offered today. I also liked the clue for MILK. Low-fat half and half???
In grade school I memorized The Highwayman by Alfred NOYES. The assignment was that each of us had to memorize a story or poem and recite/tell it in class. I had fun swaying my body and bending my knees to the rhythm of "...came riding, riding, riding ..." Keith would have approved!
Speaking of Keith, my wife's preference in house temperature seems to be like yours; she likes it, um, chilly, and I raise the thermostat 2 degrees when she's out of the house running errands. Of course she immediately, almost reflexively, lowers again when she gets home. I long ago stopped fighting the "thermostat wars" because I always lost. Now when I feel too cold I put on a jacket. Yeah, having to wear a jacket in one's own house does seem kinda pitiful, but she won't accept that argument. Anyway, enough complaining.
Good wishes to you all.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Since we seem to be on the same side in the Temp Wars, let me share a tactic (if not a full-on strategy).
I spend much time writing in my study. In addition to your tactic of wearing a sweater (I even sleep in a sweater) I keep a small space heater under my desk. Between the heater (warming feet and up just past my knees) and the sweater (from the belt line through my shoulders) I am pretty much covered through most daylight hours.
I keep another space heater in the bathroom.
This can work for you if you spend much of your time in one or two places.
Good luck, fellow warmth-seeker...

Yellowrocks said...

I was nonplussed to see perfunctory used as a compliment. Glad to see that cleared up. Thanks for your honesty, Rick.
Anonymous PVC, Et tu?
IMO it is easier to warm up with a sweatshirt than to be cool enough in an overly warm house.
After reading their fluency journals I discussed the Maccabees (history lesson) with my class and was surprised that many who celebrated Hanukkah did not know this. These days people attend the wedding reception and not the ceremony, the bar mitzvah party and not the rite, the picnic and not the Veterans' Day memorial. Have holidays become more meaningless and merely an opportunity for a party?
PK and Lucina, Killers of the Flower Moon sounds like my type of book.I will look for it.
"ODs on" seems like common place parlance. I have seen it in writing also.
Low fat half and half is an oxymoron. Just stick to milk or skim milk. Huff Post says,"In the U.S., half-and-half is typically half milk and half cream and contains about 12 percent fat, so how can such a product be rendered fat-free? Answer: by replacing butterfat (a mostly saturated fat) with corn syrup and adding chemicals and thickeners to simulate fat’s texture and mouth-feel. The ingredients list: skim milk, corn syrup, cream (this is accompanied by a footnote reassuring the consumer that the cream adds “a trivial amount of fat” IMO go whole hog or not at all.

Jayce said...

Ol' Man Keith, good idea about the space heaters. I do use one in my study.
Yellowrocks, that "low fat" half and half sounds just awful! I dare say the corn syrup and chemicals are worse for one than the butterfat. So many "low fat" prepared foods have sugar (or, far worse, high fructose corn syrup) and chemicals that are more harmful, IMO, than the fat. One colleague often bemoans her seeming inability to lose weight even though she uses low fat coffee "creamer" instead of milk. I had a chat with her several years ago about what she eats and drinks, and she consumes a lot of sugar! She also drinks a lot of "diet" soft drinks that contain aspartame, which is (again IMO) really bad stuff.

Coach J said...

Hey all! It all came...BRB...........together in the end. I especially liked...BRB..............answer to 8A since I’m...BRB...........doing a “prep” for a procedure tomorrow. ; )

I apologize in advance...a little crude:

SAM took his prep called MOTO
In a short SPAN he thought uh-oh
It worked like a champ
He even got a “cramp”
Getting to the loo to STOPGO

SAM was a man with plenty of SASS
So when his doc said he needed a colonoscopy fast
His EGO thought “Hell NO!
When he should have said “I’LL GO
Because now he’s got a cancerous ASS

I hope you all, who are of a certain age, are keeping up with your examinations. I’m living proof that cancer screening saves lives. God bless you all!

Wilbur Charles said...

I tried to post earlier and ran out of juice on the cell. I messed up the SW by typing THOU. And staying with it. RAJAs was plural of course.

Johnny Bench and BENCH jockey. Leo "The Lip" Durocher was the penultimate. I liked the Jackie R clip. Stanky was a jockey too.

So NPR has a sports program at 600 am Sundays? I'll have to try that.

Rick, I liked your"Rick" takeoff.


Pat said...

I've been busy this week, done the puzzles but very late when I have gotten to the blog. Thanks to all the constructors and bloggers for your work.

I worked on this while cookies were baking so it was not a continuoous process. I haven't read all the comments yet.

My winter hat had a pompom before an EARLAP.

Yakety yAk before YAKETY SAX. Yakety Sax

YR, so good to hear about Alan's continues good health! Hope he has many more weeks of this!

TGIF tomorrow!

Lucina said...

PK and YR:
While I would love to take credit for a good book, I cannot for Killers of the Flower Moon. In fact, I'll add it to my growing queue of future books. A trip to Barnes & Noble or their website will soon be required since I received several of their gift cards for my birthday. People know me!

Finally, I felt so much better today and shipped a gift box to my sister and her son in Charlotte. They both love See's candy so that's an easy one.

My daughter requested fragrance free bath bombs to soak in the bath as she has ultra sensitive skin. When I looked on line, I found it confusing whether they are actually fragrance free. Does anyone here ever buy any of those products and can recommend them? Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Good guesses everyone.

New York City
Jersey City
Kansas City
Oklahoma City

Hahtoolah said...

PK: I mentioned Killers if the Flower Moon recently when the Osage was an answer to a clue. Glad you liked the book. It was a piece of American history that I had not known. (Of course, the bar is probably low on my actual knowledge of American history.).

PK said...

Hahtoolah: Thank you for recommending the book. Sorry, I got the wrong person. As I said, our connections to the area make this doubly interesting. There are still descendants of my husband's ancestors in that area that I met in the 1970's at a funeral with whom we lost touch. A new arrival in my hometown, I also met was a part Osage Indian woman formerly from OK who looked very Indian although she said she was the only one of her immediate family who did. Gorgeous lady. All her maternal Indian line had married whites so she was only 1/16 or 1/32 Indian, something like that.

Anonymous said...

"Yackety Sax" is not listed as a novelty recording by Billboard. Instrumental, yes, novelty, no.

Wilbur Charles said...

I missed Jersey City. NYC was a V8. The fifth could possibly be Jefferson City MO. One of four of another trivia question.

Not only guess the other three but the trivia question. Albeit the former makes the latter obvious

WC who's in emergency as I post. Don't be alarmed, I cut my foot cleaning up a broken glass.

The point fell right on a blood vessel and the result was lots of blood. Ugh.

All is well except the $75.00 copay
Stitches and tetenus shot to follow

Picard said...

Thanks, Dudley! I will be interested in what you were able to glean from the ONE L LAMA's talk!