Feb 28, 2018

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 Paul Coulter

Theme: CAPITAL IDEAS.  This one is unusual.  Four country names cross the names of their capital cities.  They are arranged in two country-capital pairs, each of which is diagonally symmetrically placed in the grid.  Each country is placed across and each capital is placed down.  Lots of geometric thought went into this arrangement.  Note that the grid symmetry is 180 degree rotation around the central cell - the G of GRIDLOCK. Also, quite a trick finding the places that make this work.

3 D. With 17-Across, where the Duma sits : MOSCOW.
17 A. See 3-Down : RUSSIA.

13 D. With 23-Across, where the Hellenic Parliament sits : ATHENS.
23 A. See 13-Down : GREECE.

42 D. With 52-Across, where the Assembleia Nacional sits : LUANDA.
52 A. See 42-Down : ANGOLA.

45 D. With 58-Across, where Parliament sits : OTTAWA.
58 A. See 45-Down : CANADA.

And the centrally-placed, vertical, grid-spanning unifier -- 7 D. Legislative impasse ... and what occurs at this puzzle's circles? : CAPITAL GRIDLOCK.  Without getting political, this refers to the inability of congress to pass meaningful legislation due to intractable competing interests.  In the puzzle, the crossing of the countries with their capital cities locks both into the grid.  Nicely done.  And a lesson in the spellings of CAPITAL and CAPITOL, for those like me who need it.

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa here. Let's unlock the grid.


1. Fitting the season : TIMELY.  Our daffodils are about 2 inches tall, but the crocuses have yet to make an appearance.

7. Innermost part : CORE.  Of an apple or nuclear reactor, among other things.

11. Gp. known for travelers' checks? : TSA.  The Transportation Safety Administration checks the travelers before they board airplanes.  Clever misdirection.

14. Ancient markets : AGORAE.  In ATHENS.  I wanted a terminal S, but the perps took care of that.

15. Erelong : ANON.  Soon.

16. Bow (out) : OPT.  You can also OPT in.

18. Sullen look : POUT.  Girls in my family, across the generations, have an infamous lower lip pout.

19. "Well, __-di-dah!" : LAH. An expression of derision directed at the pretentious.

20. Nutmeg spice : MACE.  Nutmeg is the ground seed-stone of the nutmeg plant.  MACE is the dried fibers of the surrounding fruit.

21. NY engineering sch. near Albany : RPIRensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a private research university and space-grant institution located in Troy, N. Y.  To the best of my knowledge, Helen never matriculated.

25. Enero to enero : ANO.  From January to January is one year in Spain, just like everywhere else.

26. Charcuterie fare : MEAT.  This is a store selling cold cooked MEATs.

27. Tippi of "The Birds" : HEDREN.  Famous Hitchcock movie.

28. Black bird's call : CAW.  Vide supra.

29. Necessitate : ENTAIL.

31. Goes on and on : GABS.  Blah, blah, blah.

32. Fish often fried : COD.  From the north Atlantic.

33. "The Thin Man" actress : LOY.

34. Zeta follower : ETA.  Letters from ATHENS.

35. Pack away : STOW.

37. Ratings for family-friendly films : PGS.  No sax or violins.

38. Rathskeller draft : BIER.   Contents are closely regulated.

39. __ goo gai pan : MOO.   Americanized Chinese cuisine - a stir-fried dish of chicken with button mushrooms and vegetables.

40. Wine-and-cassis drink : KIR.   Cassis is a black current liquer.  KIR is a measure of cassis topped up with white wine, usually drunk as an apéritif.

41. Cooped-up female : HEN.   Chicken lady.

42. Break in the action : LULL.  Time out.

43. 20 Questions category : ANIMAL.  Along with vegetable and mineral.  One of my long ago colleagues, a PHD physicist, chose something he claimed as vegetable, and nobody could suss it.  Turned out to be crude oil.

45. Food scrap : ORT.  Crossword fodder.

48. More unsightly : UGLIER.

50. Minor body-shop job : DENT.

51. Lipton product : TEA.  I happen to be sipping a mug of Twinings Earl Grey at the moment.

53. Inc., in London : LTD.  Designations for a limited liability corporation.

54. Wild guess : STAB.  Shot in the dark.

55. Class-conscious org.? : The National Education Association is a professional organization for teachers and support personnel.  Another misdirection.

56. Bouncing effect : ECHO.

60. "Spring forward" letters : DSTDaylight Savings Time.

61. À la mode : CHIC.  Per the current fashion, rather than served with ice cream.  Will be passé in no time.

62. Confessor : AVOWER.  I knew to avow meant to assert.  Didn't know it also meant to confess.  Learning moment.

63. Enzyme suffix : -ASE.   An enzyme is a large molecule that aids chemical reactions in biochemistry.

64. Watch word? : TICK.  It's companion is TOCK.

65. Word on a lost-dog poster : REWARD.


1. Airport surface : TARMAC.  Pavement, generally made from tar and crushed rock.

2. Galápagos lizard : IGUANA.  A large arboreal lizard native to Central and South America.  Be careful in Florida.

4. Hebrides language : ERSE.  Scottish Gaelic.

5. French narrative poem : LAI.  A rhyming, counted-syllable form.

6. Like closing financial reports :  YEAR END.

8. "Oh Yoko!" dedicatee : ONO.  Japanese mulimedia artist and activist, best known as John Lennon's second wife.

9. Or so : ROUGHLY.  An approximation.

10. __ nous : ENTRE.  Just between us,

11. Stand : TOLERATE.  Put up with.

12. Long key : SPACEBAR.  On your keyboard.

22. Bit of butter : PAT.  A non-specific rather small quantity, so-called because fancy restaurants would pat butter into a mold to give it a decorative shape, such as a flower.

24. Enter cautiously : EDGE IN.

26. Cat call : MEOW.

30. Platform for Siri : IOS.  Operating system for Apple branded mobile devices.

32. "Cookin' With __": rapper/chef's web show : COOLIO.  Artis Leon Ivey Jr. (born 1963) is an American rapper, actor, chef, and record producer.

35. Overconfidence : SMUGNESS.  More like excessive pride.

36. Bridge entrance structure : TOLL GATE.  Only if it's a bridge that requires that a toll be paid.

37. ATM code : PINPersonal Identification Number.

38. One-swallow drink : BELT. Slug, gulp.

40. Pakistani port : KARACHI.  The CAPITAL of Sindh Province and, with 21.1 million residents, the most populous city in the country, and also a major industrial and financial center.

41. Railroad maintenance vehicle : HAND CAR.

44. Bumped into : MET.

46. Library patron : READER.

47. "The Canterbury Tales" inn : TABARD.  This is a real place, established in 1307, that was often used by pilgrims on the way to Canterbury.  Also the name of a peanut-shell-strewn tavern, back in the day, just down the road from my alma mater.

49. Campaign poster word : ELECT.  Vote for me!

54. White flakes : SNOW.  Winter is going.

57. Hawaiian Punch alternative : HI-C.  A fruit juice flavored drink made by the Minute-Maid division of the Coca-Cola Company.

59. Hail, to Caesar : AVE.  Latin word of greeting.

That's it for another Wednesday.  Hope you were able to work through it.

Cool regards!


OwenKL said...

Ю Clue that deserves an award: 12d I racked my brain for a word describing the Florida Keys!
Ю The prescience of the Blog: Irish Miss, SwampCat, Mark S, Lucina yesterday disscussed "CAW-fee"!

There was a man in ATHENS, GREECE
Who tried in vain to raise some geese.
He didn't have an incubator
Instead he used an elevator,
But it wouldn't raise them as the gearing had no grease!

A cook from LUANDA, ANGOLA
Developed a dish from granola.
It's like breakfast flakes
Except that it takes
No milk, it will only use cola!

An angler from MOSCOW, RUSSIA
Said, "Fishing with hooks is a fucca!
Even a COD knows
To keep his mouth closed!
But fishing with nyets is A plussa!"

A lady from OTTAWA, CANADA
In her dating profile added, eh:
"Female, single,
In search of a tingle,
Which will ENTAIL a man and a..."

{B-, C+, C, C+.}

fermatprime said...


Thanks to Paul and JazzBumpa!

Did not know LAI and LUANDA. Perped them.

Nice theme!

Hope to see you all tomorrow!

Paul C. said...

Hi, gang. For me, it's been a while. Owen, thanks, you started my morning off with a laugh. Actually, I've been up a while putting together a doll house kit for my granddaughter Addie's second birthday. It was a lot of fun, but I hope she'll enjoy it as much as I did. Experienced grandparents, can you tell me if this is a good gift for a two year old?

The working title for this one was Political Impasse. I figured it wouldn't matter when this ran, since the revealer CAPITALGRIDLOCK would remain relevant for years to come. I originally had this running across the middle, with another pair of symmetrically crossing capital/country combos in the top and bottom central areas - NIAMEY/NIGER and MADRID/SPAIN. But this congested the grid severely, leading to seriously compromised fill. Fortunately, Rich required me to try again. I'm not sure why he circled only the intersections (I originally had the capital/country combos all circled -- to me, the final version sort of makes it look like I was trying to spell something, which wasn't the intention.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

ASEA -- now what's the significance of that? Thanx for 'splainin', Paul. Got this one quickly, even though I first spelled it ANGOrA. D'oh! Liked the theme, and the other long entries were nice, too. Thanx, Paul and JzB.

RPI: CSO to IM and Spitz (and Splynter and my former BIL).

Bier: The lower floor of the student union was the Rathskeller with a patio out to the shore of Lake Mendota. You could buy a 3.2 tap beer there -- a college rarity back in the day.

I owned that Herb Alpert album back when vinyl was king. Some folks still think analog vinyl is superior to digital audio. I think they're nuts.

PAT -- A commercially packaged pat of butter is 1 Tsp.

Taxing day...gotta run.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

FIW, WAGing LUANDo x oSE. Didn't get the theme, and ran out of GAS (Give-A-[darn]) factor before really studying JazzB's explanation. A favorite today was bow (out) for "opt". I first thought "arc", then tried to think about another word for the front of a boat. My other favorite was "long key" for SPACEBAR. I too was thinking "cay", then something that opens a lock.

I have never seen a handcar outside of a museum. Oh, and the $400 handcar in the movie that couldn't be made today, Blazing Saddles.

Thanks to Paul for the puzzle and for checking in. And thanks to JazzB for another great tour.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Fun times today.

Paul C - Good to hear from you.

We have 7 grand-daughters - oldest is 20, youngest is 12. We've had doll houses that they have spent many hours enjoying over the years. My lovely wife just showed me a picture of Samantha playing with one when she was two. Of course at 2 her play is not what it will be when she's 6. This is something your grand-daughter will enjoy for years to come. And since you built it, it will be even more special.

Happy Wednesday, everyone.

Cool regards!

Yellowrocks said...

Much faster than yesterday. Nice one, Paul. No unfamiliar fill, not even Tabard, although a perp or two were needed to suggest some answers. I learned charcuterie from historical novels.
I didn't understand the circles at first. Then I saw they were at the intersections of the capitals and the countries. I was looking for them to spell something.
Interesting expo, JzzB.
When we were kids a blind man occasionally came to babysit for a short time while my parents were out. We always played 20 Questions, animal, vegetable or mineral. The blind man sometimes put his hand on my shoulder, not even around my back as a hug. It never struck me as a creepy Me Too moment, neither then, nor now. A neighbor must have seen this through a large picture window and told my mom. She told me to be careful what the neighbors might think. Sheesh!

Mom had many saying for interpersonal gridlock.
My way or the highway. I'll pick up my bat and ball and go home. Rule or ruin. I think they apply to both intransigent sides in governmental bodies everywhere. If we can't have it our way, it will be no way. Sheesh, again.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Not much to add to what JzB said. Good intro. Not withstanding his gridlock explanation, the circled letters S E A A comprise ASEA, which seems to happen a lot in the 7d clue. Wanted AAA before TSA; TOLERATE and SPACE BAR were the last to be filled. I liked the capital/country schtick since I like geography stuff. But ANGOLA, LUANDA was a bit of a head scratcher until I decided the clue was Portuguese, and it didn't involve Brazil, or Portugal.
A bit prickly, but eminently fair. Good job, Paul. BZ

Oas said...

Thank you Paul for the workout . FIR for the first time this week. No write overs , leaving The finished grid A+ for neatness:-) Several unknowns like COOLIO, TABARD and a few shorter ones LAI , Hi C and IOS. Like Owen and Jinx I stalled too long at long key, but when GABS gave me the B , aha not an island or an antique or jailer’s key.
Thanks JB for the tour, also have trouble with capitol or capital but waited and ENTAIL took care of it. Sunny day to end Feb. so March looks to come in like a lamb.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't it be CAPIT OL GRIDLOCK, not CAPIT AL?

The pun on "travelers' checks" is spoiled by the apostrophe.

Family friendly films are G, not PG.

And AGORAE is not the plural of AGORA.

Oas said...

Also counted myself lucky that the unknowns filled via perps and crosses easily enough

Anonymous said...

Got the theme immediately but unfortunately no "ta-da" for me as i could not suss the "N" in either 42D or 55A.

Husker Gary said...

-I second Jazz’s assessment!
-Can’t you think of other cities that many people incorrectly think of as the capital of CANADA and Australia?
-The great George M Cohan wrote and sang, “Give my regards to old Broadway, And say that I'll be there E’ER long”
-All colleges are aware of their all-important RPI number this time of year
-Tippi does not have fond memories of that movie
-The Thin Man movies and other of the era would make you think tuxedos and evening gowns were standard dress of the day
-G and PG rated movies that won Oscars
-Tonight’s the night I see if I can TOLERATE a much-needed CPAP unit
-Frozen PATS of butter in a restaurant are annoying
-ELECT Me! I helped maintain GRIDLOCK!
-Thanks for the insight, Paul! Granddaughter will love it!

Paul C. said...

Thanks JzB for the encouraging words about two year olds and doll houses. And thanks for a very interesting review.

Oas said...

Anon@8:53 for shits and giggles I looked up Capitol of Canada after reading your comment . My google search changed it to CAPITAL of Canada.

Yellowrocks said...

Anon @ 8:53 LIU. Capitol with an O refers to a building or building complex. Capital with an A refers to the city such as Athens, Ottowa, etc. The governing body literally sits in the building, but it can also be said to sit in the city. Where my neighbor works could be Central School or Madison, NJ.
The dictionary gives both plurals, agorae and agoras.
The TSA does travelers' checks. Checks of travelers. The apostrophe is needed.
From Good Housekeeping, "These family-friendly films will get everyone excited for movie night. ... 15 Movies the Whole Family Will Love ... Rated PG. Warner Bros Pictures."

When I have a nit with a puzzle or a post, I always look it up before typing. Because the puzzles have been carefully vetted, the mistakes are few and far between. There is a very occasional mistake, but I want to be sure before I criticize.

inanehiker said...

Kudos to the constructor for a fun theme. ....and if you stretch it - another layer of the theme- all four countries are on different continents (the stretch being that Russia is in both Europe and Asia with Moscow being in the Europe end but the majority of Russia is in Asia!) Favorite was LUANDA/ ANGOLA cross since I have been learning the lesser known capitals through Sporcle quizzes. I thought the one circle was fine because most of those cities have a central square and that is usually where most of the traffic (as well as legislative) gridlock occurs!

As far as the dollhouse, Paul, 2 year olds love them - but you have to start with really basic furnishings that are usually one piece because of the choke potential for little ones under 3. Make sure what you put in it is okay - as she gets older those can get changed out for more complex and multipart pieces! (kind of like little ones uses Duplo blocks and then older kids go on to Legos)

Thanks JzB for a fun write-up and Paul for a wonderful puzzle!

CanadianEh! said...

YR - I agree re Capital vs. Capitol. No Canadian would use Capitol as we don't have a building called that.
Re travellers' checks, I think Anon@8:53 may have been referring to the common usage of Travellers Checks without the apostrophe by the companies that issue them. I found Visa Travelers Cheques for sale. Anon felt that the use of the apostrophe gave away the clue. (But grammatically, the apostrophe is correct for both usages.) I was not misdirected because Canadians call them cheques not checks!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

It took me forever to fill certain areas but the theme was evident after seeing the Athens and Moscow crossings. Luanda was unknown as was Coolio as a chef. CSO's to Spitz (RPI), CED (Mr. MEOW), and CanadianEh (Ottawa and Canada!). My only w/o was Cat/Cod but I needed lots of perps to finish w/o help. There was also a mini-theme with Animal-Moo-Caw-Meow. My biggest hangup was trying to figure out what a tole rate was. Oh, it's "tolerate", Doh!

Thanks, Paul, for a tough but doable mid-week offering. I'm sure your granddaughter will be thrilled with her very own doll house. Thanks, JazB, for your detailed and informative summary.

I believe our weatherman said that March is going to come in like a lion but I was half-listening so I'm not sure what to expect. What else can happen with this roller coaster winter we've had?

Have a great day.

billocohoes said...

Merrimack-Webster lists both AGORAs and AGORAE as plurals; surprised me since agora is Greek and AE is a Latin ending.

Confused my geog, went with rUANDA first.

Creme de.cassis in KIR is currently made with blackcurrAnt liqueur

UAAlum72 said...

Merriam of course. Damn autocorrect

CanadianEh! said...

Well LAH-di-dah, this was a fun Wednesday workout. Thanks Paul (glad you dropped in!) and JzB.
This was a wonderful trip around the world from MOSCOW, to ATHENS, to LUANDA, to OTTAWA (I'll take a CSO), with a side trip to KARACHI thrown in as well (and maybe a stay at TABARD too).
Travelers' checks (I see that Americans use only one l) won't work if our (HAND) CAR needs to pass through a TOLLGATE.
Then we were required to "bone up" on our languages ready for travelling (after the TSA checks us out!) with German (BIER), Spanish (ANO), French (ENTRE-nous, LAI and a la mode), Greek (ETA), Latin (AGORAE, AVE) and even ERSE.

DST was TIMELY as March 11 is approaching. Few places OPT out.

More CSOs with RPI as noted by d-otto, KIR and BIER for Tin, TEA for our Earl Grey lovers (or HI C instead), and MEOW for our cat lovers (yes CED, you must link something for them today!).

Yes OwenKL, I laughed at the prescience of the blog with CAW-fee. I'll add ANO and ONO to your pairings.

If we can have an AVOWER, can we have an AVERER?

Did anyone else notice that SNOW was right beside OTTAWA, CANADA instead of being associated with Buffalo?

My tulips are breaking through the ground. The SNOW kept them warm.
Enjoy the day.

Lemonade714 said...

I agree that the CAPITAL VS CAPITOL confusion adds a new dimension here, as the references are to where the legislatures sit.
Otherwise, a very fun fair midweek puzzle. Also, it must have been a bear to not only create a grid that worked, but then to redo the grid.

The iguana population in South Florida is very large and does diminish if the cold lasts 5 days or more, as by then they do not thaw back to life. Many here at our condominium hate them, for their messes but who only poop like all animals. They are vegetarian creatures and I have never seen one go after a human.

Paul, as always than you for your puzzle and your support.

Yellowrocks said...

Thanks Canadian Eh! The apostrophe in travelers' checks is a clue that we are not talking about the medium of exchange. That would have the apostrophe before the S. Traveler's checks.
Regardless, the apostrophe is needed for the TSA answer.
The forecast is for a nor'easter tomorrow night. March is expected to come in like a lion.

Paul C. said...

Lemonade, I'm afraid that redoing a grid is the norm, at least for me. Sometimes, I've gone through as many as a dozen iterations. Thanks to everyone who's offered reassurance on my dollhouse question.

CanadianEh! said...

Lemonade@10:19 - To expand on my comment to YR in my 9:47 post, I think the Capitol vs. Capital confusion is an American disadvantage today. No other countries, to my knowledge, use the term Capitol.

OAS said...

Yellowrocks @ 9:16

WUS In re to what Anon @ 8:53 said. You're batting four for four in enlightening Mr. Positive. :/)

oc4beach said...

What a Capital (or is it Capitol) puzzle by Paul today. Thoroughly enjoyable. There was always confusion about the proper usage of each word. Also, JzB admirably led the tour through the Capital's.

Only a few hiccups along the way today that perps quickly fixed. AAA vs TSA, AGORAS vs AGORAE, YAPS vs GABS, and I toyed with DING vs DENT for a minute. I couldn't fit ICE CREAM into the four spaces allotted for À la mode, so I had to wait for perps to fill in CHIC (I had no clue).

I am not trying to enter into a political discussion, but having lived in the D.C. metro area for over 35 years, I had the opportunity to see a Political Satire and Parody group called the Capitol Steps perform many times. It was always hilarious. They did not take one side or another and skewered all politicos and Wannabees for the most part equally. Whoever was being stupid at the time was subject to their barbs. Some may take offense to their act, but there is humor to be found in their song and dance performances.

I know I have complained about falling snow, but falling iguanas is a bit much.

Have a great day everyone.

Bill G said...

Hi everybody. Thanks Paul and JzB.

Due to neglect, the daffodils in our garden have ceased to flourish. I noticed some daffodil stems in the floral section of the supermarket. Each stem had an unopened bloom on the top. I bought a couple of bunches and stuck 'em in a vase. Now we have a kitchen counter full of blooms! Beautiful!

oc4beach said...

I hadn't seen Lemon's post yet when I added my post. We both linked the same web site for the difference between Capital and Capitol. We both apparently used the same link from a Google search.

Again, have a great day everyone.

C6D6 Peg said...

Thanks, Paul, for a very interesting puzzle. I'm sure it took a lot of time to construct/reconstruct, etc. Thanks for taking the time so we could all enjoy!

Thanks, JzB, for another great write-up.

Lucina said...

A CAPITAL puzzle and CAPITAL commentary! Thank you, Paul C and JazzB! CAPITAL work!

I really enjoyed solving this one and for the most part my pencil flew through the grid. The capital cities and countries crossing was brilliant! Drat! RPI beat me. I just couldn't get rid of AGORAS and see YEAREND.

I agree with all comments about the puzzle. Let me just add that in fourth grade we distinguished between CAPITAL and capitol by noting that most U.S. capitols are topped by a dome which is round like the o in dome. So it's the building.

Paul, I have a relative who is now in her 70s and has a doll house built by her father when she was very young (I'm not sure of the age). She related to me that she and her father bought all the furniture over the years. It is an emotional and beautiful legacy.

I hope you are all enjoying a sensational day! It rained for several hours last night.

Jayce said...

Neato puzzle; I liked it a lot. As Hastings might say to Poirot, "I say! That's a CAPITAL idea!"

My sister used to have a big crush on Herb Alpert. I suspect she was not the only one.

Irish Miss, that's funny about tole rate.

The weather forecast says it's going to rain here for the next 3 days. We need rain, but it's bad timing, as our son and his wife will be visiting us during those exact same 3 days. Does that mean March is coming in like a lion?

I thought PG stands for Parental Guidance, but I guess that's considered family fare, too.

Best wishes to you all.

Misty said...

How nice to have you stop by and comment about the puzzle and doll houses, Paul. Would be great if you'd join our blog.

I loved working through this puzzle until I got to the bottom and then had a bit of trouble with things like HIC for the Hawaiian Punch clue and KIR for the wine-and-cassis. I clearly don't know my drinks--well, except for my nightly Merlot. But putting those countries and capitals (did I get that right?) in the four corners was amazing and a lot of fun--thanks, Paul--and your write-up was a delight, as always, JazzB.

Have a great day, everybody!

Ol' Man Keith said...

Ah, Myrna LOY!
What a happy way to start any day, to be reminded of this bright, witty, sexy, elegant lady of yore. And what a life story!

A deliciously chewy Wednesday-worthy pzl from Mr. Coulter and a non-nonsense response from our pal, JzB!

Interesting to read of the flap (minor) about the grammatical mark in the 11A clue. I side with Yellowrocks and co. in favoring the apostrophe. Isn't it nice to see how very nice we are in holding our clues to account?

Diagonal Report: Only one - the mirror center line NE to SW. As for a hidden message, one almost sees anagram material buried in the stream, APLEE LOGIA EOASA. But I believe it is unintentional.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Fun & interesting puzzle, Paul, thanks! As for the dollhouse, depends on the kid. My sister was not at all interested in anything to do with dolls or our joint-owned doll house while I spent many happy hours with it. Hope yours is sturdy or she may need to be instructed not to sit on it. My oldest child wanted to ride her's like a horse at age two. We got that stopped but it was a sturdy Mattel house that has been played with by the second generation.

Another great expo, JzB, thanks. I had that Herb Alpert record too. A great happy mood inducer.

Hi C not HIC for belching. I could see the old TV ad but not remember the drink's name. I tried "jab" for punch first.

Not knowing Pakistan had a port or what the capital was, I tried KARACas before KARACHI. You'd think that was in news often enough a few years ago to stick in my mind. Didn't know LUANDA, ANGOLA, TABARD, LAI either.

Gary, good luck on your C-PAP. My son loves his and says it has saved his life -- he had some scary moments almost going to sleep while driving. Since using the machine, he sleeps better at night so has had no more incidents.

Picard said...

Thanks for stopping by, Paul! Thanks for clearing up the mystery about the circles. Many of us were wondering!

Fun theme and puzzle. Some Naticks for me:
KARACHI/TICK/KIR but I did WAG it correctly to FIR. Did anyone else have trouble with that crossing? HEDREN/ENTRE was a similar Natick to WAG.

Have never seen ORT except in these puzzles. Has anyone else?

Jinx: Thanks for the Blazing Saddles Hand Car scene. That is one of my favorite movies of all time. Watched it with DW recently.

Here I was on a HAND CAR with a former lady friend at our local railroad depot.

It was our former depot, so I suppose this also counts as a museum piece.

Here I was with a whole lot of GALAPAGOS Marine IGUANAS.

More amazing was that I got to swim with them underwater. Perhaps I can dig out those photos if there is interest. The Marine IGUANA is a very rare animal that can drink sea water and expel the salt from its body. It only lives in the GALAPAGOS.

JzB: Thanks for the amusing story of raining IGUANAs in Florida!

ZETA follower was a gimme. When I started doing these puzzles I decided to memorize some helpful lists. The Greek alphabet was one of those lists. ZETA ETA THETA sounds like something memorable to us math people.

Anonymous said...

as per yesterday, The Streets of LOREDO, Duh. Thanks for the link that I loved listening to, then got pulled in to the rendition of "Chocolate". Tommy is now a very accomplished yoyo artist.


P.S. I would never leave you guys. You're way too much fun!

Lucina said...

I love KIR royale! It's made with cassis and a splash of white wine or ideally, champagne.

My vinyl collection included some Herb Alpert ones but I don't recall that particular one. I loved The Lonely Bull.

TABARD was an answer in Jeopardy! not too long ago.

AnonymousPVX said...

I fond the circles confusing, and apparently so did the constructor.

Otherwise a crunchy Wednesday, happy to get the solve.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Well, I never saw anything more to the circled letters than where the cities and countries crossed. I am glad now that Paul has confirmed that as his intention.

We sometimes fall into a certain kind of cruciverbal suspicion. A Suspiciousness.
(I won't go as far as to call it paranoia.)
Each of us in our own time has had circles run around us by clever constructors. The experience tends to raise our eyebrows and lower our gaze when confronted by wholesome honest entertainment.

Tinbeni said...

NEW "Favorite 2018 Puzzle" !!!

Fave today, of course, was the answer at 38-A, BIER ... Hey, I have my priorities, LOL.

Jazz: Thank you for an outstanding write-up ... as always!


Roy said...

Gary, I'm sure the CPAP will be fine. Not only do I sleep better, but my wife does too, since I no longer snore nor stop breathing at night.

CrossEyedDave said...

I normally do not care for puzzles where across clues reference downs,
as they can be very difficult. However this one was great fun to figure out!

Having visited many a college "Rathskeller" I immediately inked in at 38a "beer."
At 38d, "one-swallow drink." Easy, "Shot."
But it didn't work with "beer."
Which was reaffirmed trying to figure out 24d, enter cautiously?
All this made me very cautious inking anything in and created
my own personal puzzle gridlock...

I finally got my AHA moment, but in the end did not realize
I had misspelled/misspelt (which do I use?) Carachi/cir...

Oh well,

Could have been worse i suppose,
a minor misplacement of letters and I could
have would up with Catipol Gridlock...

CanadianEh! said...

Sorry Anon @2:38- agora is a Latin word that I remember from my High School days.
See declension including plural at

Sorry again, Anon @ 2:43 (or are you the same person?)
This Canadian has been to OTTAWA and there is no Capitol there. Parliament meets in the Parliament Buildings on Parliament Hill.

I forgot to note that you got a CSO today also!

Big Easy said...

Well maybe KARACHI is the capital of some district in Pakistan. Who knows. I'll be damned; Jazzbumpa knows and it is. The "See the ## across" basically gave the puzzle away. I knew LUANDA was the CAPITAL of ANGOLA (not the LA state prison) but the name of their legislative body was unknown, as were Tippi HEDREN, 'Charcuterie' selling MEAT, and "Cookin' With COOLIO", the last three easily filled by perps.

oc4beach said...

HG: For the past 6 months I've been using a CPAP machine with the mask that covers my nose and mouth. It has stopped my snoring for the most part, but it has not prevented my breathing to stop sometimes. When it senses my not breathing it ramps up the pressure and airflow through my nasal passages to move my tongue forward to get the airway open and breathing to resume.

Before the CPAP machine, I rarely could sleep more than an hour at a time. Now I sometimes sleep up to four hours at a stretch.

This worked fairly well until winter weather came along and my sinus problems recurred. With the sinuses and nasal passages blocked it can't get the air through as it should. I've taken medications like Claritan-D and Mucinex to help with the sinus problems with varying degrees of success. There have been a few times that it hasn't been able to get the air through the nasal passage. When this happens, the CPAP machine starts blowing as hard as it can which wakes me (or my wife) up, and then I resume breathing.

I've gotten used to the mask, but it still bothers me sometimes. Occasionally I wake up in the middle of the night and find that I have ripped the mask off in my sleep.

My main issue is the Sleep doctor that I was working with left the practice and moved to Utah. The practice at this point has an overworked PA and one sleep doctor who works in a facility halfway across the state and is only here occasionally. They are trying to get another qualified sleep doctor here and I hope it's soon.

I haven't given up yet on using the CPAP, but I'm getting tired of it not working as promised all the time. I've used it every night since I started in September, but occasionally after I get in the insurance company requirement of at least 4 hours per night, I sometimes take it off and resume my old snoring ways for a couple of hours.

For the most part, I'm sleeping better than I was, but I haven't reached Nirvana yet. I still think there has got to be a better solution to Sleep Apnea.

It may take some time getting used to it, but don't give up.

Good Luck

Yellowrocks said...

I know, don't feed the trolls. I was coming up with a logical answer, but there is no answer to a closed mind. The Latin AGORA is borrowed from the Greek. The English AGORA is borrowed from both. We have co-opted it and formed our own plurals. Everything else in the Anon post is nonsense. Where is the evidence that agoras or agorae is incorrect? Cite references.
Alexander Pope:
“A little learning is a dangerous thing
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
Fired at first sight with what the muse imparts,
In fearless youth we tempt the heights of arts
While from the bounded level of our mind
Short views we take nor see the lengths behind
But more advanced behold with strange surprise,
New distant scenes of endless science rise!”

oc4beach said...

HG: PS, One thing that helped me get used to the machine was to use it for an hour or so while I was watching TV before I went to bed each night for about a week. Then I started using it each night when I went to bed and have been using it since.

Husker Gary said...

Musings 2
-Yes, yesterday I was referring to Streets of Laredo where the man in the COWBOY OUTFIT was
-Thanks for all the CPAP feedback. I am tired of being tired and keeping Joann awake as well

Mike Sherline said...

HG and oc4 - in late '80s I was a police dispatcher and fell asleep in the middle of dispatching a call. The deputy called on the phone to find out what happened since he couldn't get a response on the radio. Most embarrassing, and fortunately not disastrous.

Obviously I was suspended for the couple of months it took to get a diagnosis - at that time not as easily obtained as now. I was prescribed CPAP with a mask that just covered my nose. After the first night, I was bouncing off the walls all the next day and still too full of energy to sleep that night - had to put off being cleared to return to work another day.

I do have sinusitis and occasionally was awakened by a stopped up nose, but just cleared it and went back to sleep. I lived in Tucson and the problem was partially attributed to the dry air. Some years later my CPAP was exchanged for one with a built in humidifier, which pretty much solved that problem. Now living in Hawaii I only have to add a few ozs. of distilled water every couple of days. My nose still gets stopped up occasionally, but I usually have to get up anyway sometime during the night, so I just clear it and go back to sleep, no problem.

At one time I tried the full face mask oc described, but the slight advantage of being able to breathe through my mouth was far outweighed by the terrible claustrophobia it induced, so I've always stayed with the nasal mask.

I've never had a machine that changes pressure based on my breathing; my personal need is assessed by a pulmonologist and the machine is set to put out that pressure constantly. It seems to work fine, as I rarely display any apnea symptoms, and am never awakened by the thing suddenly changing pressure. Sometimes my wife complains about the exhaust air blowing on her, or me making some oral noises, but she just has to give me a shove to change my position slightly and it stops.

My best wishes for a great success with it, Gary; odds are it'll work fine and you'll be amazed at how much better you'll feel.

And OC, may I suggest trying a nasal instead of a full face mask? And if your machine doesn't have a humidifier, try to get one that does. These minor changes could alleviate some of your concerns. Good luck.

OAS said...

Picard @ 12:15 Re ORT . I've heard it in another language meaning misc. or kind or ilk. Also in cattle feeding the left over hay . Maybe Spitzboov could add to that.

oc4beach said...

Mike @5:12pm: Thanks for your input.

I tried to get the nasal setup, but based on my sleep study and snoring they recommended against it. They stated that I need to have my mouth covered so that I cannot breath through my mouth easily. I still want to try it, though.

My CPAP machine has a humidifier in it that has levels I can set. It also transmits data to the medical supply company daily via cell phone towers. They then forward it to the doctor on a weekly basis to determine my settings.

Each night is different. Sometimes my AHI is low and sometimes it isn't.

Pat said...

Well, that was fun! Thanks, Paul C., for the experience. Great expo, JzB!

Our book club just read "Manderley Forever" by Tatiana de Rosnay, a biographical novel about Daphne du Maurier. Ms. du Maurier wrote several novels and short stories that were made into movies, including "The Birds". Hitchcock made several of her stories into movies and never gave her any credit.

I'll take a SO at 22d A bit of butter/ PAT.

My mother had all the Tijuana Brass albums. I like his music.

In February, Cincinnati got 8+" of rain. We get more starting tonight. Enough!

Have a nice evening.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Thanks Paul for a fun-"didn't think I could" didable puzzle. It was a mess'o perps & STABs. Also, thanks for swigging by the Corner. I'm sure your Grand will love the doll house. //I'll address the circles in a bit...

JzB! As always, a smooth expo. Thanks for putting faces to some of my ESPs.

WO: miR before MARACHI (ESP) which didn't sound particularly Pakistani.
Fav: how can it not be my Fav band from CANADA's ENTRE Nous?. [4:30]

Sparkle: c/a for SPACE BAR. IGUANA - the word always makes me think of Wall of Voodoo

{B,C,A,A} {missin' ya Moe}

Lucina - Brilliant! Dome... I shall never mess that up again (today).

Jinx - I too thought of Blazing Saddles while filling 41d... during a vendor presentation. I threw off their demo a bit by saying "$400 HAND CAR" slightly aloud (with the cow-poke accent :-)). Thanks for the clip.

OC4 - I've enjoyed Capitol Steps on PBS and NPR. Political parodies would be great programming for a C-SPAN 4.

OMK - Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get you...
My conspiracy: The circles are Rich's Easter Egg. They are obviously not needed due the the cross-references and they do anagram ASEA; TIMELY for the theme as D-O first pointed out.

TOLERATE Political GRID LOCK? I Can't Stand It [Clapton].

Cheers, -T

Mike Sherline said...

oc4beach - Wow. Sounds like yours is a lot more high tech than mine and you're much more closely monitored than I am. I had one more sleep study after about 10 yrs. and I'm pretty sure all they did was change the constant pressure slightly. I had to get a new machine last year - this one has an SD card, which I had to send in after the first month of use to prove to Medicare I was really using it, but not again since, and no regular monitoring. Guess I'm lucky the basic system has worked for me as well as it has.

Spitzboov said...

OAS and Picard - re: ORT. German Ort, L. German Oort; both mean place or location. I've never heard it mean a scrap of food. I'm with Picard; only seen it in puzzles, to mean a scrap of food.

Picard said...

OAS and Spitzboov: Thanks for weighing in on ORT.

This online dictionary says ORT is "archaic"

This online dictionary shows ORT used to mean "ought"

One site asked why visitors were looking up this word. Almost all said it was from a crossword puzzle!

Michael said...

oc4beach: FWIW, I have over 37,000 hours of CPAP time. Mostly it works great, but there is one assumption built into the machinery, that you sleep on your back, and don't turn over in your sleep.

If you're like me, sleeping on your stomach is the norm. It took me a while to work out a system that allowed for head motion while on my stomach (basically, double your pillow up so that it places your head high enough, so that the mask doesn't hit the mattress when turning in your sleep). And of course sometimes the mask doesn't sit squarely and it hisses, which I seem to treat as just being white noise.

Ah, technology ... can't live with it, can't live without it.

Argyle said...

It must be just me. I used a CPAP and within half an hour, my mouth was so dry I couldn't spit. It had the humidifier and was full mask.

Wilbur Charles said...

I actually FIRed at breakfast but my cell battery was low all day. Seems like my smartphone is using a lot of juice.

This week the order of difficulty seems to be reversed . A lot depends on what are Naticks for some and not others.

And of course Wilbur's two KEYS:
1. Black ink
2. Reading glasses
And, I might add, legible writing.

I was thinking of OMK while solving because in my search for fills I found myself working diagonally.

As usual write-up, commentary, l'icks and links were excellent. YR did her usual masterful explanation of the various nits

My son wants me to go the C-PAP route . I appreciated the information .

Well, after ignoring a January call from my golfing classmate, I'm in for today.

As Ferma would say: Hope to see y'all tomorrow

Anon-T did you find that internet scam?