May 14, 2018

Monday May 14, 2018 Paul Coulter

Theme: (Split) Word Chain - Four rows of words form a word chain.

14. With 15-Across, station with a hook and ladder: FIRE. Firehouse.

15. With 16-Across, indoor chores: HOUSE. Housework.

16. With 28-Across, tireless sort: WORK. Work horse.

28. With 31-Across, big biting insect: HORSE. Horse fly.

31. With 32-Across, sticky strip: FLY. Flypaper.

32. With 40-Across, bills to pay with: PAPER. Paper money.

40. With 42-Across, financier: MONEY. Money man.

42. With 43-Across, strength needed for a team job: MAN. Man power.

43. With 61-Across, turn off, as a computer: POWER. Power down.

61. With 62-Across, Australia: DOWN. Down under.

62. With 63-Across, attempt: UNDER. Undertake.

63. With 14-Across, become ignited: TAKE. Take fire.

Boomer here. Happy Monday everyone! Demanding theme for a Monday, but C.C. said "Amazing grid work".  

I certainly hope that all of you young ladies out there had a happy and satisfying Mother's Day.  Congratulations to your families!  I had an interesting week.  I bowled in the Minneapolis "700 Club" tournament.  This is a 4 game scratch (no handicap) tournament for any bowler who has had a 700 + series in league.  There are 5 divisions separated by age, and I am in the "Older than dirt" division. (70+).  The tournament is held across 8 lanes so we move after each game.  I do not recall ever bowling a set like the one I had last Thursday.  254 - 262 - 140 - 246!  I left 4 splits in the ugly 3rd game but still recovered enough (902) series to win my divisionSometimes it pays to be older than dirt.


1. Big name in PCs: ACER.  Makes me think of my 1975 AMC Pacer.  Great idea but they should have made one that was more dependable.

5. Play idly, as a guitar: THRUM. Now is this a strum with a thumb ?

10. Not that: THIS.

17. Particle for Fermi: ATOM. Nobel-winning physicist Enrico Fermi.

18. Out-of-use anesthetic: ETHER.

19. Blunted blade: EPEE. I never could figure out how a sword got this name.

20. One fighting back: RESISTER.

22. "The Quiet American" novelist Graham __: GREENE. - wrote novels and short stories before my time.

24. First stage of grief: DENIAL.

25. Firmly resolved (against): DEAD SET.

26. Election winners: INS

27. Company head: BOSS. The head is usually the CEO.  A boss is in charge of a chain gang.  "When I came down to Old Hannah, had a number for my name.  They chained us together and we started cuttin' cane"

37. Big cheese: EXEC. He could be a CEO

38. Wide shoe size: EEE.

39. Azerbaijan's capital: BAKU. If you have never been to Azerbaijan, you probably came to this blog to get the answer.  Welcome!

44. Censor's target: SMUT.

46. Friend of Frodo: SAM. Frodo Baggins/Sam Gamgee. Green eggs and ham, Sam I am!

47. Elk relative: RED DEER. I don't believe these are prominent in the U.S.  We have brown deer in Minnesota, but there is one around Christmastime with a red nose.

51. Dungarees: DENIMS.

54. Mistakes: ERRORS. A baseball stat with Runs, Hits, and Left on base.

55. Hand-tightened fasteners: WINGNUTS. A famous product of Ideal to connect wires,  I am sure Graybar has sold millions of them.

57. Galway Bay's __ Islands: ARAN.

58. New Orleans NFLer: SAINT. Lost to the Vikings last playoff with an unbelievably ridiculous "Hail Mary" pass to Stephon Diggs.

60. Lotion additive: ALOE. - C.C. has an Aloe Vera plant in our home.

64. "Do it, or __!": ELSE.  Or ELSE what ?

65. Wordsworth words: POESY.  Sounds like catcher Buster of the Giants, but spelled differently.

66. Fed. power dept.: ENER. I know they are talking energy, but we don't buy our power from the feds, do we?


1. A long way off: AFAR.  "We three kings of Orient are, bearing gifts we traverse afar".

2. Credited in a footnote: CITED.  If you text while driving you may get CITED.

3. Like jagged edges: EROSE.  Did anyone send or receive an "E rose" for Mother's Day? It's sort of like an email but it smells nicer.

4. Wax nostalgic: REMINISCE.

5. Angle symbols: THETAS.

6. Marriott or Hyatt: HOTEL. Well known national names,  I prefer the "Orleans" in Las Vegas.  Bowling lanes on the second floor.

Boomer, 2018, the Orleans

7. German industrial region: RUHR.

8. Apply: USE.

9. Traffic slowdown spots: MERGES. We have a ton of these this year in MN.  Late Spring, no the powers that be a fixing every road in the greater Metropolitan area.  Took me an hour each way to and from the bowling tournament I mentioned earlier.  (The bowling center was a whopping 15 miles from my home.)

10. Coarse cloth: TWEED. Tweedle Dee Dee, Tweedle Dee Dum.

11. Aspirations: HOPES.  My Mom's name was Hope. Happy Mother's Day Mom, wherever you are!

12. Cara of "Fame": IRENE. Good night.

13. Trapshooting: SKEET.

21. Triangle ratio: SINE. This math went well over my head.

23. Farrier's abrasive tool: RASP.

25. Elder statesman: DOYEN.

27. Sound from the fold: BLEAT.

28. Sewn edge: HEM. If a sewn edge is a hem, then what is a haw?

29. Kitchenware brand: OXO. Not a common name.  I think they make Farberware.

30. Stimpy's sidekick: REN.

31. Thigh bone: FEMUR. Connected to the HIP bone.

33. Loathe: ABOMINATE.

34. Cat foot: PAW. Father's Day is next month for Opie and all of you who have a Paw.

35. Just get (by): EKE.

36. Capek's robot play: R.U. R.

41. 1914 battle river: YSER. I've heard of it, it's in Europe somewhere, but I don't think I could find it on a map.

43. Hunger twinge: PANG.

45. Really botch: MESS UP.  Error did not work, plus we already had it.

46. "Who goes there?" guard: SENTRY.

47. Aptly named novelist: READE.

48. Swashbuckling Flynn: ERROL. Errol was a bit before my time and I managed to never see an Errol Flynn movie.  The only black and white films I saw were the Three Stooges and Laurel and Hardy.  "Hard boiled eggs and nuts" is one of my favorite expressions.

49. Tied chess games: DRAWS.  I used to play chess but I was no good.  Somehow "Stalemate rings a bell but if you only have five letters to fill, Draws are okay.

50. "Death, be not proud" poet: DONNE.

51. Uses the good china: DINES. What's it called if you use paper plates ?

52. Disney's Chinese warrior: MULAN.

53. Feed, as a fire: STOKE.

55. Like a 10-lane highway: WIDE. - I saw 16 lanes (8 coming and 8 going) in Atlanta once.  Minnesota traffic could use that however we don't have plows wide enough for winter wear.

56. Tarot reader: SEER.

59. Chilean year: ANO.


59 comments: said...


Thanks to Paul and Boomer!

Harder than expected for Monday. Had to perp: THRUM, BAKU, RED DEER, POESY and ABOMINATE.

One child called.

Hope to see you tomorrow!

D4E4H said...

Happy Monday Cornies. It is 550 A, still pitch dark, and yet birds are singing their little hearts out. What a beautiful sound!

Husker Gary From 5-12, Review

- - I'm sure Joann loved the card from her third daughter Lily Belle. I see her posing in the tree. What a pretty girl.

desper-otto From 5-12 at 9:44 AM

CW constructor: Greg Johnson

AKA: alexa shortbush

Undercover name in Miss Congeniality: Grace Lou Freebush

Now to today's Easy Peasy CW right up to the Natick of 57A ARAN, and 50D DONNE. I was concerned that I would have to BAIL (Buy An Individual Letter), but I put several letters in the last square, and N fit. I therefore FIR in 24:16, not bad for me.

My cart is before the Mr. Paul Coulter horse. Sir, I bow to you. The 12 words which pair really helped the solve.

Boomer,Thank you for the colorful Grid, and comments to equal it.

On 55A, you described "Wire nuts" perfectly. Wing nuts are threaded like a square, or hex nut, and have "wings" which allow one to hand tighten on a bolt, and remove if necessary.


Cereb3rus said...

Thanks a ton Boomer. Good Monday puzzle with most answers FIR. Had to look up ARAN/DONNE though - hate it when you're only 1 letter off!

OwenKL said...

Even in a FIRE HOUSE,
There's HOUSE WORK to do.
A WORK HORSE will do it,
Once a HORSE FLY is thru.
Some FLY PAPER they'll buy
With their PAPER MONEY supply,
Once their MONEY MAN has the strap,
They've MAN POWER to hang the trap.
The bug would POWER DOWN
To fly DOWN UNDER the brown.
Then the men UNDER TAKE
To USE their pumper for fate!
From the "anti-airbug" hose
It will TAKE FIRE -- and decompose!

There was a farmer from Weed
Who did all his WORK dressed in TWEED.
The man was DEAD SET
On wearing a vest,
And to DENIM he wouldn't concede!

For NOSTALGIA, I like a twist.
So my stories all end in bliss.
I never MESS UP,
Never ERROR nor muff--
I am perfect when I REMINISCE

You would not like to DINE next to Nate.
He would clatter and THRUM on his plate!
He'd bite of his toast
Then leave it EROSE,
A bombe glacée dessert he'd ABOMINATE!

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

Barry T. said...

Boomer: I am moving to a new home - downsizing; movers and truck expected within the hour - and having just shoved aside a few pieces of furniture that had been in place for years I can verify that I have dirt even older than you �� Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I often skip checking in on Mondays, because the puzzle is often a zero challenge. Today was sufficiently crunchy with nice fill like REMINISCE and ABOMINATE. Noticed the two-entry answers, but didn't snap to the word chain; with already-filled-in answers, I missed a lot of clues in this one. Thanx, Paul and Boomer (and congrats on that series, even with that bummer of a third game).

ENER: Rick Perry had an "Oops" moment when he couldn't remember the name of the department he pledged to abolish. And in this upside-down world, he's now the head of it.

OXO: I doubt that Farberware connection, but Oxo Goodgrips makes a nice line of kitchen gadgets. I've got their potato peeler, can opener and bench scraper. Quality stuff.

RESISTER: When it's that tubular electrical component with the colored stripes, it's a resistOr. Go figure.

WINGNUT: I think D4 got it right. The Lord Of The Rings with SAM Gamgee was a WINGNUT Films production.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Thanks for the great Thursday puzzle, Paul. Damned shame Rich decided to publish it on Monday.

I correctly WAGged ARAn x DOnNE, but couldn't suss ABOMINATE because I incorrectly WAGged mAKU and SAl. Meh.

Boomer, my childhood friend's mom was named Faith and her sister (my friend's aunt) was named Hope. My friend always claimed that if her grandparents had a third daughter they would have called her Charity. Congrats for your fine victory in the old farts division. You don't stop playing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop playing.

On to my other pursuits. Next is my paper's sudoku, then the King Syndicate crossword, then sudoku by Crosswords Ltd, then the Jumble. I only Jumble if I can get the solve without doing the anagrams.

Oas said...

Thanks to Paul & Boomer.
Fairly fast solve with one square left unfinished , the U at BAKU and RUR.
Summer like weather helping the garden take off :-)

Paul C. said...

This is what I call a phrase chain. Word chains change one letter at a time, and are hard to pull off well - this idea took me at least twenty tries before I got it to work. The trickiest part is to wind up with a final word that can loop back to the first one. I agree with Jinx that given the theme's complexity, this is a late week puzzle. I originally wrote it with the Fireball in mind, which is as difficult as you can get. It bounced around other venues for the next two years before Rich finally accepted it. As always, I'm grateful to him for running my grids.

Thanks to Owen also for the delightful poem. How clever to work all the theme phrases into it in order!

Boomer said...

Hello All, Boomer here. Dave, I know of the wing nut you are writing about. I was referring to the Ideal Wing nut. (450 series) which Ideal makes which is basically a wire nut with wings on it and its name is patented by Ideal. Note to Jinx in Norfolk. Yes, My Mom's name was Hope and I had aunts, (her sisters) named Faith and Charity. Mother was from a large family and my aunt Helen named her first born daughter Prudence, and my uncle Charlie named his daughter Patience. I was the only male child among three sisters and I frequently told my mother that she should have named me "Long Suffering".

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Nice intro from Boomer. Congrats on the bowling results.

Easy Monday solve. No searches or strikethroughs. POESY was a learning.
YSER - I think the writer of "In Flanders Field" was stationed nearby.

Have a great day.

Yellowrocks said...

The name WORDSWORTH always conjures up this bit of POESY:


I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay, In such a jocund company:
I gazed and gaze but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.

inanehiker said...

Quite and theme and on a Monday too!

Thanks Paul and Boomer for a good start to the week!

Yellowrocks said...

Paul, thanks for stopping by. I loved your phrase chain. I forgot it would lead back to the beginning. How clever of you and what patience! I agree this should have been a Wednesday puzzle.
Some of Greene's novels have been adapted for movies, Our Man in Havana, The Third Man.
10 lane highways are anathema to me, abominations. Maybe because I, too, am as old as dirt. But. then, even in my younger years I hated any highway over 3 or 4 lanes.
Owen, fine poems, especially the long one and the first short one.
Boomer, congrats on your bowling win.
I have visited the Bay of Galway and the lovely Aran Islands.
My main connection with RUR is in x-words.
Alan is looking for a Monday morning sick-out. I am not buying it. to our commute.

Husker Gary said...

-I agree with C.C., an amazing grid! … and new words on Monday! Wow!
-MLB for most innings pitched. They are called WORK HORSES
-The price of a Big Mac Meal in Baku is $5.64 or 10 ман (10 Manat in their capital)
-Footnote CITING may be the most frustrating and worthless skill I was ever taught
-It’s easy to dislike the driver who uses the empty, soon-to-be-closed lane and then tries to MERGE back in
-Lily is a SKEET champion at my school when she isn’t showing chickens
-My friend’s son is a ferrier who was hired to use a RASP on giraffe hooves
-I remember this CAT PAW product from my yute
-Congrats on a terrific write-up and tourney win, Boomer. Do you use the “Forward Tees” in golf? It’s not PC to call them the “Ladies Tees” any more.
-My “Lily In The Tree” card cost 88¢ at, was ready in an hour and beat any $5 Hallmark product
-Thanks for the puzzle, visit and info Paul

Anonymous said...

Clever Puzzle!

D4E4H said...

OwenKL at 6:33 AM

- - A special SO to you for the extra POESY today. One of your l'icks reminded me that

"NOSTALGIA is not what it used to be."

- - The FIRE HOUSE combo caused me to LIU Hook and Ladder trucks (AKA Tiller trucks) to find a video of the back seat driver. Here is Clearwater Fire Rescue's Hook and Ladder truck 45 leaving the scene.

Paul C. at 7:26 AM

- - Thanks for visiting the Corner. Would you like a doughnut and coffee? So would I. I'm sure glad that OKL did not know that the final word loops back to the first one. The poem would never end.

Boomer at 7:35 AM

- - I'm afraid we're becoming "wing nuts!" Yesterday we had 31A - Word from the French for "little wing": AILERON. Today you and I each "winged it." Thanks for the Ideal Wing nut. (450 series) info.

Yellowrocks at 8:06 AM

- - And visions of daffodils danced in my head. The poem was new to me.


D4E4H said...

Oops, wrong hook and ladder video.


Lucina said...

What fun! Paul, I also enjoyed your chain creation. It was fun anticipating the next link.

My connection with R.U.R. is also strictly from CWs. Now I can add BAKU to that. Like d-o I have several OXO products and love them.

My computer is an ACER.

How nice to have a reference to Wordsworth and DONNE. In the Lake Country of England we visited the Wordsworth cottage and it's easy to understand how so much emotional POESY originated from that beautiful area. It's breathtaking!

Thank you, Boomer, and congratulations on winning your division and for your amusing commentary!

Owen KL: good job!

Have a blissful day, everyone!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

What a fun puzzle to start the week! I missed the last entry looping back to the first word so that was an extra treat. I'm sure we've had a similar theme but not for a very long time. I had Strum before Thrum (cute comment, Boomer) until Hotel forced the correction. Otherwise, a Lucinda-style sashay to the finish.

Thanks, Paul, for a delightful solve and for stopping by and thanks, Boomer, for your comical commentary! Congrats on that series and first place finish.

YR, thanks for the lovely poem; how apropos on this mid-May day. (I get a kick out of your no-nonsense approach when you feel Alan is "emoting".)

HG, I forgot to mention how much I liked Lily's card; I'll bet Joann liked it, too!

I, also, have an Acer laptop but use my iPad Mini most of the time.

My brother, Jack, was the tillerman on a hook and ladder truck for many years. (He's still waiting for a date for the heart surgery.)

Have a great day.

oc4beach said...

Paul, thanks for the Thursday level puzzle. It was a challenge for Monday, but not in a bad way. Boomer took us on a nice tour through the grid today also.

I can't claim victory today because of the crossing of ARAN and DONNE. Two unknowns for me. I'm not into poetry and there are a lot of islands out there.

First I tried DELL, then ASUS, before finally settling on ACER. I've owned all three brands but currently rely on HP's for anything needing computing power and my IPad Mini and IPhone for most internet related pursuits, except for the LA Times Crossword (it's easier using the keyboard for entry.)

Like IM I had STRUM before THRUM. Perps fixed that and a few other missteps.

I imagine others also wanted to put in WAPITI for the Elk relative (didn't fit), but as explained in this article Wapiti is the proper name for Elk in North America and a relative of the Red Deer.

Today is National Biscuit Day, so, I hope everyone who wants one can enjoy a biscuit. Many like biscuits and gravy. Personally I like mine with jam.

Enjoy the day.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Clever, fun & different, Thanks, Paul. What's that song: "Chain, chain, chain"? Boomer, you always bowl me over with your humor.

I liked the juxtaposition of DENIAL & DEAD SET, but I kept trying to work it into the chain thing.

I beg to differ, I never THRUMmed a guitar in my life.

Fermatprime: glad one child called. All four of mine were in Oklahoma for my oldest grandson's graduation and I couldn't go. First time in 53 years that I didn't see one or more of my offspring on Mother's Day weekend. I got cards from two of them & messages & pictures about the graduation. Watched the graduation on the internet and had a much better viewpoint than the kid's parents who were seated in the nosebleed section. Anyway, about 8 o'clock I got to feeling blue because I hadn't talked to any of my kids. Rather than have a pity party, I called one daughter who was cranky and tired from the trip. So I felt worse. Around 9:30 p.m. I bit the bullet and called my elder son. He's a sweetie who yakked for an hour and got me feeling much happier.

Yellowrocks said...

A famous quote from John Donne, "…any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.."
— Donne, Meditation XVII
Hemingway took the name for his novel, "For Whom the Bell Tolls," from this quote.

Holy Sonnets: Death, be not proud
By John Donne
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

Donne's belief was that eternal life defeats death.

Rick said...

Paul C., in my limited days of constructing I once tried this, inspired by a Wayne Robert Williams puzzle years ago (Mr Williams die last year). I thought it would be easy. I got toward the end and had to go back too many times. Glad you accomplished this feat!

Picard said...

Hand up this was crunchy for a Monday. But oh, so clever and satisfying to solve! Thanks to Paul Coulter! And thanks Boomer for the writeup.

The FERMI photo has an equation mistake that is famous among physicists. Did other physics people here know about this? The photo even appeared on a postage stamp.

The fine structure constant "alpha" determines the size of the ATOM. In that photo, the h (Planck's Constant) and the e (electron charge) are swapped.

Hand up having to choose between ACER and ASUS. DW uses my ASUS notebook and my Dell laptop. I use my good old fashioned tower.

Jinx and Boomer: I had a girlfriend with a similar story of FAITH and HOPE in her family. But it was their middle names, not first names.

Check out this FIRE eating video that I made Saturday night.

I was very busy Saturday leading a challenging hike and then attending the 42nd Annual Isla Vista Juggling Festival at and near our UC Santa Barbara campus. This guy was sitting next to us at the Public Show fund raiser event. He was acting very odd and we moved down a bit.

Afterwards in the park we had FIRE juggling and I could see he put his oddness to work for him. I asked him if the flammable material was going to poison him and he said he'd know in ten years. (It turned out to be Coleman Fuel.)

D4E4H said...

Irish Miss at 10:07 AM

- - If it weren't for irreverence, I'd have no reverence at all. With that in mind, read on.

- - She wrote "My brother, Jack, was the tillerman on a hook and ladder truck for many years. (He's still waiting for a date for the heart surgery.)"

Obviously his surgery will be covered by workman's comp after having his heart in his throat all those years. "With my heart in my throat" means to be nervous or frightened. Tillerman looks like a nerve racking job to me.
- - If he needs a date for the surgery, has he asked anyone? If he waits too long, all of the attractive girls will already have dates.

- - "My brother Bill and my other brother Jack, Belly full o' beer and a possum in a sack" are lyrics from the song by Don Williams - Louisiana Saturday Night.

- - The tillerman keyed in my mind the lyrics "I was a lineman for the county" so "Hi I'm Glen Campbell!"

- - Now for a return to the real world, I pray that the surgery schedule is announced soon, and that the surgery is successful.


Misty said...

I started on this puzzle expecting an easy Monday one, and couldn't believe the complications right away with the directions to other places in the puzzle. I thought, 'Give us a break, Paul--it's a Monday puzzle for cryin' out loud', but there was no choice except to just plug on and on. Eventually things filled in, slowly, and when I got done I decided to try to figure out what all those directions were all about. I was totally amazed! I started writing them in on the margins, and couldn't believe how one followed the other. And then, when the last one returned to the top, I couldn't resist a "Woohoo!" An absolutely amazing puzzle, Paul, I don't think I've ever encountered anything like it! And I got the whole thing, without any errors or cheating. Woohoo! Many thanks for getting my week off to such a great start. And Boomer, I love your write-ups and am now looking forward to all your clever comments.

Yellowrocks, how nice of you to print out those poems! The Wordsworth poem is still intact in my memory--I could probably still recite it without reading it. The Donne poem less so--but it's not that much fun reading about death, I guess.

By the way, fun poems, Owen.

PK, so glad you had a nice Mother's Day talk with your son.

Have a great week, everybody.

Wilbur Charles said...

Lucina, you forgot Reade


AnonymousPVX said...

As others have noted, quite the crunch for a Monday. No issues getting the solve.

Wilbur Charles said...

Boomer, congrats on the three great games and the win. Sounds a lot like Webb Simpson's Player's win. A little ugly mixed in with a lot of great.

If I knew what the final round was going to be like I'd have tuned into a Root canal Podcast.

Boy, what pressure will do the greatest golfing talent.

YR, thanks for the Wordsworth. I personally like "We are Seven" but I imagine the PC police would go APE about an older male talking to a young girl in the woods. Much like Sheldon in a TBBT episode except it was a bookstore.

D4-DAVE, perhaps someone will link Kramer in the firetruck

I believe the 'loop' is to the next word eg WORK HORSE

I almost messed up on ARON (As in Presley) and I had REDDEES before changing FEMUS to FEMUR

I solved over biscuits and orange MARMALADE


WikWak said...


No puzzle file at Cruciverb today; I had to use the LA Times' site and I really dislike having so much space taken up by ads. And then on top of that, every time the ads changed, the screen blanked and then redrew itself. Very frustrating.

I’m not usually a fan of clues that require looking at two squares in order to solve a clue. By the time I got to the third pair I was about ready to quit… and then I noticed the way the last word of each pair led into the first word of the next pair and I was hooked. I just can’t imagine how much time and effort went into that.

I only had a couple of quibbles: THRUM isn’t what you do to a guitar, it’s what the guitar does after you STRUM it. And is ABOMINATE really a word when it’s used this way? My dad used to say that something he didn’t like "gets me right where I NAUSEATE". I never thought that was a real word either. Oh, well.

OwenKL, I loved your POESY today, especially the one that used all the word pairs from today’s puzzle.

Have a great day, all!

*end of rant*

VirginiaSycamore said...

Thank you Paul for a challenging Monday puzzle and Boomer for the explanation.
I gave up doing across fills since the clue references were annoying. After a bunch of downs I went back, got the theme and mostly zoomed right through.

I think REDDEER and READE were my only Naticks, but READE was guessable. Everything else came from perps and knowing the theme.

I cannot help myself from quoting this Mad Magazine parody of the Daffodil poem.
(I have quoted it 2x before, spaced by at least one year.)
I found it by Googling, "Mad Magazine Axolotl poem", but my link wouldn't work.
So I recount the entire work here:

"I Wandered Lonely as a Clod"
Anonymous, with apologies to William Wordworth
(from Mad Magazine, issue #43 in 1958)

I wandered lonely as a clod,
Just picking up old rags and bottles,
When onward on my way I plod,
I saw a host of axolotls;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
A sight to make a man’s blood freeze.

Some had handles, some were plain;
They came in blue, red pink, and green.
A few were orange in the main;
The damnedest sight I’ve ever seen.
The females gave a sprightly glance;
The male ones all wore knee-length pants.

Now oft, when on the couch I lie,
The doctor asks me what I see.
They flash upon my inward eye
And make me laugh in fiendish glee.
I find my solace then in bottles,
And I forget them axolotls.

Live Well and Prosper,

CrossEyedDave said...

Just back from a long weekend down in Florida,
(because all the flights were delayed...)
and I am trying to get back in sync.
Finished the puzzle with a lucky WAG the crossing of
Aran and Donne, but did have an inkblot at
44a Censors target for trying too many options...

Still trying to digest Hard Boiled Eggs, and wing nuts.

(as opposed to Ideal Wing Nuts...)

Anywho, having trouble get back in sync.
For instance, this is what came up when I tried to Google
funny phrase chain images...

CanadianEh! said...

Marvellous Monday. Thanks for the fun, Paul (and for dropping in) and Boomer (congrats on the bowling).
I saw the chain circle and did the opposite of ABOMINATE it! (Does anyone ever use the verb form of abomination?)

Hand up for Strum before THRUM, and needing perps for BAKU.
I had House FLY which also followed WORK but was forced out by REN. On reflection, a house fly is not as big and does not bite like a horse fly.
WINGNUTS can also be similar to yesterday's Space cadets=Flakes.
We have a RED DEER (2 words), Alberta.

Good work Owen. Thanks for the DONNE, YR.
Boomer, re "what's it called if you use paper plates?" - a picnic!
HG, re MERGE. It is apparently more efficient to use a zipper merge as is done in Australia. I think I linked previously (hard to do on my iPad). Cars stay in both lanes right up to the merge and then take turns entering the single lane (like a zipper meshing). At least that way it is fair and nobody ABOMINATES the driver who is "butting in".

Beautiful spring day here. Off to clean up the garden.

CrossEyedDave said...

Other things I just cannot puzzle out:


"-Lily is a SKEET champion at my school when she isn’t showing chickens"


I cannot describe the mental picture this phrase conjures...


You know I live for links,
& it is totally frustrating the *%^*& out of me not to be able to
see your links!

this is what I get when I click on your recent links...
(if your are a Yahoo user you will probably not see this privacy agreement page)
but I have to click on it to continue,
& I cannot click on something I do not agree to...

D4E4H said...

oc4beach at 10:28 AM

- - To celebrate National Biscuit Day, I had one filled with bacon, American Cheese, a fried egg, and a sausage patty. Frankly, Patty never sausage a sandwich.

Wilbur Charles at 12:30 PM

- - I had never seen Kramer at the tiller, what a killer!


Yellowrocks said...

Thrumming means both the humming of the strings and thumbing of the strings. thrum, to pluck the strings of a guitar or other stringed instrument idly. I frequently come across this usage.

The TH in LOATHE is pronounced like the TH in clothing or clothe. It means to dislike intensely.
To abominate is to dislike intensely, to loathe. I loathe ten lane highways. I abominate them. I find this usage frequently, too.

The Th in LOATH is pronounced like the TH in both or cloth. It means reluctant or unwilling.
I am loath to drive on ten lane highways, in fact, I eschew driving on them.

Gary, I too, dislike having drivers ride past everyone on the lane that is closing so that they can sneak ahead.

We have a very short right hand turn lane here which I use everyday. If you enter it before it is marked you risk a ticket. The drivers to the left of this lane drive me crazy. They string out at a red light leaving 3 or so car length between them, so that it is impossible to move to the right before the light changes. If they would bunch up a bit I could use the right hand turn lane before the light changes and make a right turn on red.

D4E4H said...

CrossEyedDave at 1:49 PM

- - I do not know if t will help, but here are the URLs for my links.

First link was an error.

at 9:29 AM: hook and ladder video;_ylt=AwrJ7J6CePlaV3EAhkVXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0N2Noc21lBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNwaXZz?p=hook+and+ladder+truck&fr2=piv-web&fr=mcafee#id=13&vid=940abb3f779a01ac00711d985bf11a9a&action=view

at at 11:25 AM: Don Williams - Louisiana Saturday Night;_ylt=AwrC5pnxtvlaD2MAuQn7w8QF;_ylu=X3oDMTBncGdyMzQ0BHNlYwNzZWFyY2gEdnRpZAM-;_ylc=X1MDOTY3ODEzMDcEX3IDMgRhY3RuA2NsawRiY2sDMXJhaGl0ZGRjNmwyciUyNmIlM0QzJTI2cyUzRHFwBGNzcmNwdmlkA2Q0eW1yVEV3TGpFZHFqTHJXc05VV19sU01qWXdOd0FBQUFEWHhFRTQEZnIDbWNhZmVlBGZyMgNzYS1ncARncHJpZANsMmVYclBidFRILmRabFAwZEZBc3dBBG10ZXN0aWQDbnVsbARuX3JzbHQDNjAEbl9zdWdnAzEwBG9yaWdpbgN2aWRlby5zZWFyY2gueWFob28uY29tBHBvcwMwBHBxc3RyAwRwcXN0cmwDBHFzdHJsAzI0BHF1ZXJ5A2xvdWlzaWFuYSBzYXR1cmRheSBuaWdodAR0X3N0bXADMTUyNjMxNDc2OAR2dGVzdGlkA251bGw-?gprid=l2eXrPbtTH.dZlP0dFAswA&pvid=d4ymrTEwLjEdqjLrWsNUW_lSMjYwNwAAAADXxEE4&p=louisiana+saturday+night&ei=UTF-8&fr2=p%3As%2Cv%3Av%2Cm%

And: "Hi I'm Glen Campbell!";_ylt=AwrJ7J4VsPlaJEUAOApXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0N2Noc21lBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNwaXZz?p=i+was+a+lineman&fr2=piv-web&fr=mcafee#id=51&vid=0df4311b594db938785a1b7ab669aa66&action=view

at 2:01 PM: Kramer at the Tiller, what a killer!


inanehiker said...

Back home from a half day of work today and read through others' comments.

As far as merging into 1 lane when there is construction - I used to do it early-
but now after reading about the "zipper merge" -that is backed by many states' DOTs and research - I wait until later which is better for traffic overall:

Jinx in Norfolk said...

The local papers and tv stations are trying to reeducate drivers to use the closing lane until the end, then zipper-merge. Apparently studies have shown this to be the most efficient method.

"-Lily is a SKEET champion at my school when she isn’t showing chickens". The two go well together, actually. When a chicken doesn't show well, Lily can go to the range and shout "pullet!". (For all you gun-fearin' Cornerites, the shooter yells "pull" when (s)he wants the clay pigeon launched. And for you city-slicker Cornerites, a pullet is a hen. I know I know...if you have to explain a joke, it ain't workin'. And this one wasn't so hot to begin with.)

CrossEyedDave said...


Yeah,,, No!
It's because I am not a Yahoo user
(& never will be...)

I know it is simple thing to click on an agreement,
(but I refuse to agree to forced Bullshit.)
So I just wanted you to know I will not be able to see your links...


right by me (us)
on route 24 is the worst highway entrance/exit.
Apparently, if you are coming from Morristown
& want to exit at Madison/Florham Park (Exit 2B or not 2B)
you have to decelerate from 65 (read 70mph) in 20 yards for a hairpin
turn 20 mph exit.
At the same time, if you want to enter the highway,
you have to use another 20 mph hairpin turn and
use THE SAME 20 yards to speed up and merge with
65 (read 70mph) traffic...

(I call this a demolition derby...)

but they fixed the problem with a sign...

CrossEyedDave said...


that is exactly the image I was getting,
that's not what he really meant, is it?

oc4beach said...

D4 @ 2:01 - Was that a McDonalds or Burger King or some other fast food sandwich? Was that my PUNishment for the day?

Also, D4 and inanehiker - Here is How to Create a Link in the Comments Section. It makes the comments neater and easier to link to a URL.

VirginiaSycamore said...

I couldn't get my Axolotl poem links to work either.

I have other thoughts on the Axolotl poem I posted @1:36, in response to Yellowrocks post @8:06 am.

I was making a side-by-side of the Daffodil poem and the Axolotl poem and I am convinced there should be a 4th stanza because I seem to recall the Axolotls being aggressive. Also the parody has rhyming last words in each stanza to the original poem. I have come across this as the 2nd stanza in a 2 stanza version.

Some had handles, some were plain-
they were orange, pink, and green, in the main.
My hair stood up, my blood ran cold.
I fled with fear upon my soul.
I find my solace now in bottles,
and I forget them axolotls.

Anyone got the issue #43 from 1958 of Mad Magazine?


desper-otto said...

CanadianEh, I never used to use the verb form ABOMINATE, but in the past 16 months I've learned it.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Mr. Coulter's Monday pzl is an excellent training model for new Xwders. It can help the solver understand that few words are filled w/o recourse to perps and other words.

Oh, Ta- DA!
Nearly forgot.

Diagonal Report: Back to normal. Today we have two diagonals, the two mainlines - and no hidden messages.

D4E4H said...

Why I won't eat raw eggs. Salmonella

oc4beach at 2:52 PM

- - Today's biscuit beauty was prepared at home, but was inspired by an error one day at Mickie Ds when a patty of sausage was accidentally added to my bacon egg and cheese biscuit, thank you.

- - Re, linking, inanehiker at 2:41 PM may not want to learn how to link. On the other hand, I am a bit surprised that you included me with her. My post at 2:22 PM had URLs that had been change into links on the previous times today. I turned each into a URL in an attempt to help CrossEyedDave at 1:49 PM. He reported that he still could not get to the link.

- - C E D, Are you able to open other links that are not mine?

- - Here is today's update on Kilauea.

- - Also here is info on the USGS Website.


Jayce said...

Speaking of bottles and axlotls, there's an Ogden Nash verse, entitled "Ketchup," that goes like this:
Shake and shake and shake that bottle.
None'll come and then a lot'll.

Ol' Man Keith said...

I have never tried to juggle, but I am impressed by those who have the art. They--and those who have mastered allied arts--really hold my attention.

You mention FIRE juggling, and that reminds me of the act I caught in mid-April at our local Renaissance Faire, in Irwindale CA.
There was a family of musicians, comics, and jugglers--all of them pretty equally adept in all areas. When it came to juggling, they had all mastered the necessary support skill of nonchalance, you know, when a juggler seems to be thinking of anything else but the fact that he/she is keeping three or five objects rotating through thin air.

One man stood out as the best of the best. He juggled crockery; he juggled objects of various sizes; he juggled sharp knives, etc. Best of all, he juggled firebrands--flaming torches. He concluded that bit by swallowing the fire.

Then he switched genres. He took a yard long sword and pretended to swallow it. This was actually a joke; we could see he was turning in profile so he could fake inserting the sword to the far side of his face and neck! The crowd laughed on cue, showing its superiority upon discovering the gag.

Then just as we were ready to shift our attention elsewhere, he quickly pulled the sword "up and out" and re-inserted in straight down his gullet. No joke this time, but actually "swallowing" a long sword right down his throat somewhere deep within his chest.
We knew such things were possible, but most of us, including myself, had never witnessed it up close.

We were surprised, shocked, disbelieving.
The show was over, but family and friends spent the rest of the day trying to explain to one another how it was done.


Picard said...

OMK: Thank you for your thoughts on juggling regarding my post about our Juggling Festival. Yes, I have seen that kind of sword swallowing and I think it is something real, not an illusion.

I am curious: Did anyone watch the FIRE swallowing video that I made and posted earlier?

By the way, here is a short video of me juggling yesterday which is not nearly as death-defying.

Lucina said...

Your videos are remarkable though I will never understand why anyone would want to eat fire!! Your juggling though was entertaining!

Virginia Sycamore:
Thank you for posting that parody! My cars are named AXOLOTL starting with my Nissan and now my Honda is #2. I shall have to print the poem.

I'll be gone for some time so I hope you all have a sensational two weeks and if I miss any birthdays or other announcements I'll catch them later.

CrossEyedDave said...


Good news, and bad news...

Up until now I was not able to see any of your links
as I got a full page privacy agreement I had to click on.
(I could see every one else's links just fine.)

However, On the Salmonella link, the privacy notice came
up on a small pop up that allowed you to X out of it.

After that, the following two links came up just fine!

The bad news:

I wish I had not seen that Salmonella link...
I have not eaten soft boiled egg (my favorite)
or a sunny side up egg in 30 years, due to Salmonella fears.
However, on Sunday, we were at a restaurant in Florida for Mothers Day,
and wanting to try something new, I ordered crab cakes benedict, thinking
it just had the sauce on top.

But no, it had a poached egg plus Sauce on top of a crab cake on an English Muffin.

Not wanting to make a fuss, and spoil Mothers Day, I just ate it.
Runny yellow stuff all over the place...
(and it was actually quite good!)

Let's see, Sunday Brunch, it's been about 36 hours,
how long does it take for Salmonella to kick in?
Oh, Why didn't I have that second Bloody Maria! (The tequila would have helped...)

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

You know I have an over active imagination!
(just look at HG's cat skeet shooting chickens!)
Augh! I'm doomed!

Just, one more, piece of silliness, to post...

jfromvt said...

Fun puzzle! Good start to the week!

Abejo said...

Good evening, folks. Thank you, Paul Coulter, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Boomer, for a fine review.

Well, got through this fairly easily. Liked the theme. Lots of two word answers.

Tried STRUM for 5A until THRUM won that battle.

Liked WING NUTS. Great invention. I have used them a lot.

Now I have to run. Pretty Mason is coming on. See you tomorrow.


( )

Picard said...

Lucina: Thank you for the kind words and thank you for taking the time to look at the FIRE eating video and the video of me juggling.

Yes, that young man clearly had some mental health issues from the small amount of interaction I had with him that day. I suppose it is his choice to do that, but it is sad to think what will happen to him over time as a result. He really was enjoying showing off his skill, though!

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Very late today - Bro's in from CO for meetings so he's stayin' here [cheap ass CEO, er, BOSS] before moving onto meetings in San Antonio and back to Denver tomorrow. Fun & food was the eve.

I loved this puzzle Paul C., thanks. I use word-chains as the basis for passwords; FIREHOUSEWORKH0[zero]R$E would make a good one.*

Thanks Boomer for the fun expo. I knew what you meant w/ the Ideals... //more to come...

FIW - Like Jinx I had SAL and never revisited 33d until Boomer's expo.
WO: POETS b/f POESY was forced by SENTRY[Python, 1:30-ish]

Fav: WING NUT - aka Nut Job. [CITE: CED :-)]

{impressive!, B, B+,B}

Picard - did you listen to NPR's Ask Me Another on Sat (prob not; you were busy)? Their "Mystery Guest" [SPOILER!] was a woman who started an all female troupe of fire-eaters. [ Listen Here - about 1/2 through; she describes how easy it is if you don't panic].
Cool juggling video - I've got clubs too (not professional ones; just plastic practices) and professional hickory devil-sticks [picked for the Ragtime for Bill G - no, I'm not that good]. Do you get your goodies from Dubé too?

Safe Travels Lucina!

Cheers, -T
*not anymore! :-)

Bill G said...

AnonT, that guy is quite a stick juggler. Super!

You do know some of my musical favorites, don't you? Have you ever listened to "Elite Syncopations"? It's a typical rag by Joplin until the final half-minute or so when it leaps into some spectacular syncopation. It makes you want to smile, clap your hands and tap your feet. Not as well known as some others but really good stuff. Let me know what you think.

Mike Sherline said...

Picard - I check out all your links. Couldn't watch the fire eater for more than a few seconds, because whenever I see something like that I can't help imagining what it must feel like, and I do not like that (imagined) feeling at all! I am quite impressed with your juggling, though.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Well done, Picard, well done! You are indeed a juggler.
And yes, I quite understood that sword swallowing is real. It is just hard to believe, even when watching close up.