Sep 16, 2018

Sunday September 16, 2018 Mark McClain

Theme: "Marked Down" - C is changed into D in each theme entry.

 22. Silo in a rural valley?: DELL TOWER. Cell tower. Tiny dupe with 104. Biological unit: CELL.

27. A+ for a struggling student?: AMAZING GRADE. Amazing Grace.

41. Neat places to get beers?: DANDY BARS. Candy bars.

46. Nightmare?: SOUR DREAM. Sour cream.

62. Terse Supreme Court decision for lions?: THE PRIDE IS RIGHT. The Price is Right.

80. Challenge from an ex-president?: OBAMA DARE. ObamaCare.

83. Southern tavern accents?: PUB DRAWLS. Pub crawl.

100. Wall Street bear?: SHARE DROPPER. Share cropper.

108. Classic audiophile's equipment, and a hint to eight long puzzle answers: CD CHANGER.

Some letter changes happen with the first letter of the first word, some first letter of the last word. Some in the middle, but no odd man out. A nice mix.

Also, Marks allows no straying C's in his theme entry choices. An extra layer of elegance.


1. Archaeologist's find: TOMB. Some of you have been to my hometown Xi'an and said hello to these terracotta warriors.

5. "Fire" crawlers: ANTS.

9. Cartoon explosion word: BLAM. Not WHAM.

13. Trickster: SCAMP.

18. Where the iris is: UVEA.

19. Country dance: REEL.

20. German camera: LEICA. Also 8. Camera initials: SLR. Olympus was the only brand used in my Pinkerton days.

21. Trilateral trade deal: NAFTA.

24. Allegro __: very fast, in scores: ASSAI.

25. Like some statues at night: UP-LIT.

26. Surrounded: ENCLOSED.

29. Opposing teams: FOES.

30. __ chin: CLEFT.

31. Like a sudoku solution: LOGICAL.

32. Allergic reaction: ACHOO.

35. "A Writer's Life" writer: TALESE.

37. What a red handset icon may end: CALL. This is sweet.

38. Ought to: SHOULD.

40. Humongous: VAST.

48. Authenticity on the street: CRED.

49. Pound or stone: UNIT.

50. Bier chiller: EIS. Beer. Ice.

51. Police dept. rank: SGT.

52. Place for an updo: SALON.

54. Ancient temple complex: KARNAK. And 47. 54-Across' land: EGYPT.

56. Grab the tab: TREAT.

59. Alma mater of Clinton and Ford, briefly: YALE LAW.

61. Marina sights: VESSELS.

65. House Speaker before Pelosi: HASTERT. Still in prison, right? Wiki says "Notwithstanding his conviction, Hastert continues to receive his congressional pension, which amounts to about $73,000 a year."

68. Actress O'Hara: MAUREEN.

69. Position paper, e.g.: ESSAY.

73. Many have pins at one end: ALLEYS. Boomer's favorite places.

74. Kunta in "Roots": KINTE.

75. Prefix with warrior: ECO.

77. Animation letters: CGI.

78. In a trice: SOON.

79. Rides the bench: SITS.

86. Texas' __ Duro Canyon: PALO. One of our three T's might be there: Tom (TTP), Tom (D-Otto) and Tony.

88. Grimm girl: GRETEL.

89. Tied: EVEN.

90. Afghans' neighbors: TAJIKS. Scrabbly fill.

92. Inspected prior to a job: CASED.

93. Bellamy's sister on "The 100": OCTAVIA. Unknown to me.

97. Underworld figure: SATAN.

98. Military sch.: ACAD.

102. How Albee's "The Zoo Story" is written: IN ONE ACT.

106. Grammatical separator: COMMA.

107. Senator Hatch: ORRIN. Longest-serving Republican senator.

109. Adrien of cosmetics: ARPEL.

110. Misleading move: FEINT.

111. Greeting from Kermit: HI HO.

112. Marginal mark: DELE.

113. Good __: enjoyable books: READS. Hahtoolah reads and reviews. 

114. Fictional navigator Phileas: FOGG.

115. Negotiation obstacles: EGOS.

116. Note recipient, at times: SELF.


1. Arrogance, in slang: TUDE. Attitude.

2. Range feature: OVEN.

3. Sporty Spice, familiarly: MEL C.

4. Cause of a walk: BALL FOUR. I read this book at a card show ages ago.

5. Came up: AROSE.

6. Most recently made: NEWEST.

7. Aggravated, with "off": TEED.

9. "Take care!": BE SAFE.

10. "Hungarian Rhapsodies" composer: LISZT.

11. Palm tree berry: ACAI. Trade Joe's has acai puree pack. You can make your own acai bowl.

12. Most of Italy, to 14-Down residents: MAINLAND. 14. See 12-Down: CAPRI.

13. Warm and cozy: SNUGGLY.

15. Company with a quacking mascot: AFLAC.

16. Crete peak: Abbr.: MT IDA.

17. Pi __, "Life of Pi" hero: PATEL. Unknow to me also.

20. Least plausible: LAMEST.

23. Ineligible for kiddie rides: TOO OLD.

27. Bass et al.: ALES.

28. Miner's find: GOLD. And 30. Digger's find: CLAM.

32. Strength: ASSET.

33. Group in a loft: CHOIR.

34. Casino, to gamblers: HOUSE.

36. Gamer's game face: AVATAR. Nice "game face".

37. City near Le Havre: CAEN. OK, let's see.

39. MASH staff: DRS.

41. Nod off: DROWSE.

42. Pops, as a bubble: BURSTS.

43. Last Stuart queen: ANNE.

44. Iranian dough: RIAL. The only Iranian dough I know. Never had the real Iranian dough or any Iranian food. This looks delicious.

45. NYSE listings: STKS. Stocks. We also have 72. Investor's concern: YIELD.

48. Missouri senator McCaskill: CLAIRE. What a fast-changing word. Eric Greitens once was so promising. 

52. Most squad cars: SEDANS.

53. Alaskan native: ALEUT.

54. Stout container: KEG.

55. US Open stadium namesake: ASHE.

57. Make it to: ATTEND.

58. Unnamed persons: THEY.

60. Caps: LIMITS.

61. Ground cover plant also called periwinkle: VINCA. Gimme for our Master Gardener Katie (TTP's wife). I did not know this.

63. Hesitant sounds: ERS.

64. Nike rival: REEBOK.

65. Padlock hardware: HASP.

66. Matty with a .307 lifetime batting average: ALOU. Thank you, ALOU, A-ROD and SOSA.

67. Unkempt sort: SLOB.

70. Skedaddles: SCATS.

71. Match: AGREE.

74. Firing device: KILN.

76. Texter's "Holy cow!": OMG. I only learned that the other day that the two T's in Tostitos' logo stand for two people. The dot above the i is a bowl of salsa.

79. Really quit: SWEAR OFF.

80. "Chocolat" co-star: OLIN.

81. Mystical secrets: ARCANA.

82. Lost driver's disappointments: DEAD ENDS.

84. Exposes: REVEALS.

85. Intensely supportive: AVID.

86. Unmistakable: PATENT.

87. Cracked a bit: AJAR.

90. Sealing, as a package: TAPING.

91. Don Quixote's squire __ Panza: SANCHO.

93. Grumpy Muppet: OSCAR.

94. Task list entry: CHORE.

95. Buccaneers' home: TAMPA.

96. Dangerous companion?: ARMED. Armed and dangerous.

97. Thyme bit: SPRIG.

99. Pacific salmon: COHOS.

101. Nabisco bite: OREO.

102. "With ya so far": I DIG.

103. Tommie of the 1969 Miracle Mets: AGEE.

105. Not kosher: TREF. Learned from doing crossword. The Islamic equivalent HARAM, meaning not halal (kosher).

108. Role in "Evita": CHE.

So glad to hear AnonymousPVX and Jinx in Norfolk are safe and sound. Shout-out to Brad Niven, another faithful LAT crossword solver. Brad lives in Winston Salem. Looks like another day of  heavy rain and gusty wind in his area.

Happy Birthday to dear D-Otto, who has generously helped me and this blog over the years. I rely heavily on Tom for puzzle theme/fill feedback. It's always a good idea to discard ideas and entries if they don't fly with him, unless I'm really desper-C.C. I also turn to Tom for rants or life guidance. He has this amazing ability to make complicated things easy for me to understand, from computer program to supplemental policy to comfort height toilet. I can't imagine our little corner without your wicked humor, empathy and patience, Tom, thanks for being you!

D-Otto (Tom)


OwenKL said...

The temples of KARNAK contain ARCANE glyphs,
Attempts to read them include some what-ifs.
Much is lost in the past
Of EGYPT's history so VAST,
Only a linguistic hero can read hieroglyphs!

OwenKL said...

Trying to write poems is sometimes a CHORE.
So many seed-words, but on Sundays there's more!
It's hard to keep track
Of a word-pool so VAST,
So on Sundays my poems are more likely half-vast!

{B, B+.}

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Gotta disagree with the reveal on this one. A classic audiophiles equipment would be a TURNTABLE (fits, too), not a CD CHANGER. That was only one of many oops moments on this one: RUIN, COLON, BOOBY. C.C., thanx for 'splainin' MEL C and VINCA, news to me. Well done, M.M.

Nope, C.C., hand down for visiting PALO Duro Canyon. Never got there. In another life I had to travel to Amarillo on a regular basis. The first time I landed there was a little scary. I could see the runway beneath us, but we kept flying...and kept flying...and kept flying...and finally touched down. Later I learned that the city airport shared that runway with an AFB. It was about 7 miles long -- B52s could do touch'n'goes.

C.C., I thought we'd agreed that my birthday was to be a no-speaky. I've decided to stop having 'em. For some reason they make me feel older. I was born on my father's 47th birthday, and I was 47 when he died. I was his true mid-life crisis.

Lemonade714 said...

Very happy birthday Tom, another virgo in our midst. I want to publically thank D-O (and TTP and Tony) who have been so helpful in educating me on so many topics that make blogging easier.

I enjoyed this offering from Mark, beginning with the self-referntial title. For newbies, Sunday is the only day of the week that the constructor picks the title published. Mark has become a regular contributor to the LAT for which I am gratreful.

I could not ignore all the political people likw ORRIN HATCH , House Speaker before Pelosi: HASTERT who is out of jail since last year and Missouri senator McCaskill: CLAIRE.

I did not know VINCA , Bellamy's sister on "The 100": OCTAVIA or the SERIES ; also did not remember Ancient temple complex: KARNAK.

Jim Bouton's BALL FOUR was very controversial when released but was preceded by two wonderful books by relief pitcher JIM BROSNAN who pioneered realism from professional athletes.

Thank you C.C.and Mark, well done.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This was a rather easy solve, but enjoyable just the same, with a clever reveal. There were too many unknowns to mention but the perps were fair. I had only two w/os, Mel B/Mel C (Know nothing about the Spice Girls) and Olen/Olin which also gave me Tajeks/Tajiks which also gave me a big, fat FIW. I invariably spell Lena and Ken's name with an E. Maybe I'll remember that it's I, after today's costly mistake. I always have trouble with Liszt, as well, and have to rely on perps. I liked the pairings of Cred and Tude, and Egos right next to Self. Nice CSO to Boomer (Alleys) and Wilbur (Tampa).

Thanks, Mark, for a just-right Sunday challenge and thanks, CC, for the overview, especially your insightful comments on the tightness of the theme and lack of C's in the theme answers. Only a pro would notice that extra layer of skill.

Glad to hear Jinx and Anonymous PVX are safe and sound. I hope any damages suffered from Florence are minimal.

Congrats to billocohoes on his alma mater's (UAlbany) football team's first win of the season.

Happy Birthday, Tom, hope it's a special day. 🎂🎁🎉🍾🎈Thanks for all you do for CC and our blog community. I enjoy your wit and mischievous manner. 😈

Have a great day.

Krijo said...

All themed clues filled except for pub drawl (new word). Too many politic personas I have never heard of (really local). Plus TREF was new.
Wow I have completelly forgotten about MEL C. I hated them as a teenager, they started a whole wave of disposable pop.
Actually Desper-otto people are now listening only through youtube or streams and cd changer would count as audiophile equipment now..

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, C.C. and friends. Unlike several of you, I found this puzzle to be somewhat challenging. I did, however, see that the gimmick was changing the C to a D.

Hand up for thinking of Mel B instead of MEL C.

When is a door not a door? When it's AJAR!

I learned that Humongous is not Huge but VAST.

CSO to Boomer with the Pins in the ALLEY. And a CSO to Tinbini with TAMPA, as long as he avoids the EIS!

I saw the Terra Cotta Warriors just about a year ago when I was in Xi'an. It was truly breathtaking. In that visit, I almost got lost in the Muslim market section of the city. So many people is such a small space.

I also visited Karnak several years ago.

Interesting to have all the "finds": Archeological = TOMB; Miners = GOLD and Diggers = CLAM.

TREF is the transliteration of a Yiddish word, so there can be various spellings. It rhymes with the English word "safe." In Hebrew it is written טרײף

My favorite clue was Firing Device = KILN.
Happy Birthday D-Otto. How sad that your father died on your birthday.

QOD: Continue to share your heart with people, even if it’s been broken. ~ Amy Poehler (b. Sept. 16, 1971)

TTP said...

Good morning. Thank you Mark McClain and thank you C.C.

Happy Birthday To Desper-otto !

Couldn't quite read the puzzle title at the top. It was "Marked Do??" with the last two letters overlayed with "By." But got the letter swap early, and it helped.

Didn't know SANCHO, OCTAVIA and TALESE, but the rest of the names were easy. Except PALO Duro. I've never been there C.C., but perhaps one day. Like Big Bend and the Texas Hill Country areas, it shows that Texas is not "all flat" as many believe. Of course there are vast flatlands. Like most of the rest of the Llano Estacado.

Never did parse MELC as MEL C, but perps required that answer. So I guess another name.

I was going to reference Jim Bouton's "Ball Four." I bought and read it when it was first published. Really opened my early teen eyes as to aspects of Major League Baseball that I never would have dreamed possible.

C.C. we have a slope from near our front door, almost down to the driveway that is covered with VINCA. About 400 or 500 square feet. We used to have a massive blue spruce there that I had cut down around 15 years ago. We could have amended the ground for better gardening conditions, but Katie decided to add a few small vinca plants to add the deep green contrast, and small showy flowers in the spring and early summer.

If I don't keep after it, it would continue to take over. It has already eaten the old brick sidewalk. Combined with the hydrangea bush shrub that has turned almost tree-like, and the dwarf burning bushes that turned out not to be dwarf versions, we are now forced to walk in the grass rather than use the sidewalk. That's ok. We normally use the garage entrance anyway, and with no sidewalk to the front door, we get fewer solicitors.

I told Katie you called her a master gardener. She smiled and then laughed a little, saying, "I am not a master gardener, by any means." She works at one of the nation's oldest horticultural companies. She knows her stuff, but holding the title of Master Gardener is an esteemed position there.

Gotta run now.

Big Easy said...

MARKed Down by MARK? His own CSO? I noticed the CD switch at DELL TOWER. Nice Changes. Just a few unknowns solved by perps today- PATEL, PALO Duro Canyon, MEL C, TALESE, OCTAVIA, Adrien ARPEL, & VINCA.

Write overs- UN to UPLIT, SEAM to CLAM, UZBEK to TAJIK.
Does the lion PRIDE go on a PUB (C)RAWL visiting DANDY BARS?
NAFTA- was H. Ross Perot ever right back in 1992>
PATEL- it seems like every hotel I've ever stayed at is owned by somebody named Pater.
MAUREEN O'Hara- me tarzan, you Jane!

Iranian RIAL- The black market exchange rate for RIALS just hit 140,000 for one US Dollar. I want to get one of their highest denomination bill to add to my 10,000 Venezuelan Bolivar note and my $50,000,000,000 (50 billion) Zimbabwe bill that I have framed. Zimbabwe also as a $100,000,000,000,000 (100 trillion) bill. That socialism really works well.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

D-O - - Notwithstanding your note; Happy Birthday. Dreimal hoch!

I scratched my head, too, about the classicity of CD CHANGER, but I thought it was a good reveal.
Otherwise, it was a decent solve.
CAEN - Near Le Havre? Guess it depends on what your definition of "near" is. 60 miles is not that 'near'. Not like Troy near to Albany.

Picard said...

Happy Birthday desper-otto!

Got the C to D theme quickly. Very slow to get the connection to MARKED DOWN. As in Marks as grades.

CC Thanks for the TOMB image. I would love to visit. I have seen some of the terra cotta figures on tour in San Francisco.

What did you mean about your "Pinkerton Days"?

And thanks for the PALO DURO Canyon image. It reminds me of these scenes of us at Bryce Canyon that I have shared before.

Learning moment about KARNAK. Is this in any way related to Johnny Carson as The Great Carnac?

Stuck with VETCH before the unknown VINCA. Anyone else? Never heard that meaning of PATENT. Anyone else? Can someone explain what BENCH is ridden in 79A?

TREF is a word I grew up with, even though we did not keep KOSHER.

Herb CAEN was a famous columnist in the San Francisco Chronicle for decades.

We had this DEAD END sign on our street in my youth. It is still there!

In California the term is "No Outlet"? Does anyone have DEAD END signs in their area?

Once again, here is my photo of the famous Van Gogh IRIS painting.

The most expensive art sale in the world at the time.

Hand up with Irish Miss that OLIN/TAJIKS cross is a bit of a Natick. Did not know OLIN. Did know TAJIKS so I FIR!

Picard said...

Big Easy Regarding socialism vs capitalism, I recently wrote an article on this.

Here are a few of my published writings. The most recent one is called "Socialism v Capitalism: Why not the Best of Both?"

From Yesterday:
Wilbur Charles Thank you for taking the time to look at my photos! I am in awe of how anyone can do anything useful on a phone. Don't own one. I like having a nice screen, a keyboard and a mouse. Even if it is just a small netbook computer. I think I have mentioned the $200 ASUS Transformer I carry when I travel.

Interesting that you lived near the New Hampshire COG Railway but never rode it. I love being a tourist! I realize it is not for everyone, though. We must have lived near each other at some point. I lived in that area twice. In the 1960s and again in the 1970s.

Dudley Glad to know you also had DANE before POLE! Of course I was a DANE for awhile as a child. Had to live with that scary socialism!

Lucina Glad to know you had a variant of the COG Railway experience with a funicular in Spain. You have been to so many interesting places. Do you have any photos you can share?

Yes, it is a wonder how PETRA was constructed. Help from space aliens? It shows how creative and constructive we humans can be when we put our minds to it!

Yellowrocks said...

I was congratulating myself for FIR w/o help when I realized I hadn't completed a few cells in the NE. I was solving between chores and forgot to go back to it. I liked the theme and caught on quickly to changing C to D. There is one advantage of solving online. There is no TA DA if you skip cells.
You can still buy CD changers. I see no problem with the fill.
Happy birthday, Tom. You deserve the best.
I am glad our SE Cornerites have survived the storm. I hope you property damage is minimal.
I used to dislike words like GOOD READS, but they are so common in the vernacular, I have accepted them.
Our police here have given up sedans for SUVs.
My screen saver used to be a picture of vincas.
Picard, thanks. I missed the meaning of marked down. MARKED DOWN. "As in Marks as grades."
I have heard of patent liar, an out and out liar.
I have not been posting because my computer was in the shop and I dislike typing on my Kindle. I read all the blogs and comments, though. I picked up my computer yesterday.

Yellowrocks said...

I call a dead end one street, no cross streets, ending in a cul-de-sac. "No Outlet" means the road connects to one or more streets that wander around through the neighborhood, but to get back out, you have to exit the way you came in.

maripro said...

Thanks Mark and C.C. I enjoyed this clever puzzle. The Tajiks area flummoxed me for a while, but an alphabet run of a_ar helped me see the light.
Happy Birthday, desper-otto. If my math is correct, your father lived to a ripe old age. I wish the same for you.
OwenKL, Your poems are never half-vast. I rate this one an A.
Prayers to all who are enduring the rains of Florence. The destruction is unimaginable.

Wilbur Charles said...

Pinkerton days???
I knew it was KARNAK but I wondered how long the trip would be from cranium to cortex
I was thinking SOLON < SATAN
Different underworld
Bouton was actually pretty good with the Yankees He had a big game six shutout - I think it was 1964.
Another missed box: I had TajAks. I should have known OLIN with an I. He been here before
Speaking of"What ifs"* I tried IFIEST < LAMEST
I was going with WILDNESS < BALLFOUR
HBD, oops strike that, D-OTTO

Slipping over to the J and back I finished except for the A/I. I found it difficult.


* From Owen's verse . Solid W's

Rainman said...

Wow, this was a workout today. Thanks, Mark, and happy natal anniversary, D-Otto.

I also never would have thought a CDCHANGER was a "classic" audiophile's piece of equipment. I even have a mega CD changer I don't use any more though, so whatdoIknow? Holds 100 CD's, and there are some that hold more.

Xi'an is on my list of places to go, including Hanoi, Chiang Mai, Ha Long Bay, Singapore, et al. No, I didn't care much for the recent movie filmed in Singapore but I did like the location scenes therein. How did they do those?

Best to all... Felíz domingo!

Lucina said...

Happy birthday, Tom! If you stop having birthdays you are no longer alive and I know that is not what you mean. Live it up! Enjoy it! Every day is a gift.

Thank you, Mark McClain. I enjoyed this puzzle though it sometimes flummoxed me but I managed to finish it with only one bad CELL. Since I had UNLIT ended up with CANRI which I didn't notice. Drat! And I've been to the beautiful island of CAPRI.

Our book club read The Life of Pi so PATEL was familiar and I understand it's a common name in India.

I knew EIS immediately! German is finally staying with me. In fact, since many experts recommend learning a new language to offset Alzheimer's I have been thinking of learning German. What do you think, Spitz? Lessons are available on line.

Adrien ARPEL is a blast from the past.

Two of my sisters are currently in China and this week visited the terra cotta warriors. Now they are in Tibet.

I thought of you at LEICA. Is that the kind of camera you use?
I have a shelf full of photo albums which I created after every trip. They would have to be scanned into my computer to show them and I don't know if I'm up for that project.

PALO duro means "hard stick".

Thank you, C.C., for all your priceless insights.

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Spitzboov said...

Lucina @ 1205 - Re: Learning German. Go for it!. It might be fun. Lots of good poetry and music.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Really fun theme, thanks, Mark. Really fun expo, C.C. Thanks.

Hand up for a Lot of unknowns which made this trickier. I can't believe I missed out or don't remember the HASTERT fiasco. I never thought of TAJIKS as living in Tajikstan. Also didn't know KARNAK and OCTAVIA.

Big Easy, I once interviewed an India-born man named PATEL whose family had purchased a motel in our town. Our WASP community didn't patronize it because they didn't fix the many problems there and they resold it. But what he said in the interview is the Patels bankroll their own motel/hotel projects and keep the many family members employed as innkeepers. I had stayed in an Indian-owned motel in Rolla, Mo. He said they try to buy in as many states as possible. The Patel brothers in Rolla were very industrious and clean.

I knew VINCA was periwinkle and have VINCA holding up the slope next door so it doesn't slide down into my house. I have to go out and talk/yell at every subsequent renter so they don't mow and kill it.

On what device does a red handset signify end of CALL?

Happy Birthday, Tom! Please don't deprive us of the small joy of honoring you on your day. Thanks for all you do to keep this daily treat going. You are a fun guy!

We have DEAD END signs on several streets in my neighborhood. My street isn't DEAD END but it looks like it is going to be as you start up the hill. Many many drivers see the houses at the top and use my driveway to turn around, wearing down the concrete much more than the other end.

Brian said...

I first thought the theme was changing "D" to "B" on the first entry. DELL TOWER to BELL TOWER.

desper-otto said...

Hahtoolah, I was born on his birthday. He didn't die on my birthday -- but it was close. I'm guessing I'm the only one on this blog whose father was a WWI veteran.

Yes, CD CHANGERs are passé. I've tried to give mine away. It works fine, and can also copy CD's. No takers. But I still maintain that a CD CHANGER was not "audiophile" equipment. I guess you could call my music server a CD CHANGER -- I've loaded well over a thousand music CDs onto it. It's nice to have my entire music library available, just a few mouse clicks away.

Picard, we have "Dead End" street signs around here. We probably should have one of YR's "No Exit" signs on the street I live on. It's the only way into/out of our neighborhood. Several times we've had to provide assistance to garage sale-ers and construction workers who get in, and then can't figure out how to get back out again.

Misty said...

I was delighted to be able to fill in much of the bottom of this puzzle, plus bits of other sections before I had to start cheating. And I was especially happy that I picked up on the CD theme after getting two of the theme answers. Made this a Sunday pleasure for me--many thanks, Mark! My one big disappointment was that I quickly put in ELGAR for the "Hungarian Rhapsodies" composer and was puzzled when AMAZING filled in and I realized it had to be LISZT. I should start listening to classical music again. But ACAI turned out to be right--I feel as though that word comes up in every single puzzle these days. Fun to see FOGG and SANCHO and OSCAR and GRETEL. Sadly, I didn't get OBAMA DARE, but it was fun to get ACHOO again, and I just loved the answer LOGICAL for the Sudoku clue, since I'm a big fan of Sudoku. So, a delightful puzzle, and a wonderful write-up from C.C., with a lovely birthday tribute to Desper-otto! Happy Birthday from me too!

Have a great Sunday, everybody!

desper-otto said...

PK, I've gotta ask, where did you think the TAJIKS lived?

I've still got a DELL TOWER -- PC. It's an old Windows XP box. I need to do some serious triage on the electronics around here.

Samsapple said...

I'm in awe of anyone that can live without a smartphone.

I never get lost in one way out neighborhoods. I have GPS and google maps on my phone to guide me around just about every street or road in the USA.

It keeps all my shopping lists handy if I ever just happen to unexpectedly find myself in a store. "What else did I need here? Oh yeah, theres the list, garden hose washers and trash bags..."

It has all my pics. I can even show the guy in the plumbing department what my faucet looks like without removing it from the sink. He can show me the proper tool I need to work on it.

My wife frequently just takes pictures of the correct milk carton or bread she likes and texts it to me so I can match em to the ones at the correct store so I dont make those mistakes any more.

Need a flashlight? Got it
Magnifying glass? Yup
Calculator? Check
Oh yeah, checks? Yes, in my banking app
Alarm clock?
Take my pill reminder?
Calendar, appointment book?
All my friends' and families' phone numbers, addresses, emails, birthdays, blood type, mother's maiden name and street they grew up on? Sure, right here
Newspaper? Got it!
Weather radar, thermometer too!
Internet portal. (Hey google this for me)
Did I mention camera? Yes. Records video too!
Personal assistant. Siri? Play my favorite song. Ok
TV remote? Wheres the remote? I'll just use the one on my phone...
Who just rang the doorbell three states away? Oh it's the ups guy. I text my neighbor so he can go get the package for me.
What are my pets up to? I'll spy on them.(my latest favorite thing to do!)
Voice recorder is fun also.
And on and on and on...I have countless apps to review my bills(cell phone, electric bill, gas bill, etc)

I could live without but my life would harder and less enjoyable(being able to take a second to look in on my puppy sleeping in the front window waiting for me to come home is priceless and lifts my spirits every time!)

Oh and I can post to the blog while the wifey tries on the four dress, or is it the fifth? Let me check the pictures she made me take and send to her friends for their approval? I thought I was here to give my opinion...

Samsapple said...

Watch tv?
Listen to the radio?
Read a book while on the subway or bus?(the civilized way to travel)
See my grandson make a free throw in real time from over a thousand miles away?

The list is endless

Anonymous said...

Topo maps with compass
Star charts that point out the stars for you
Plant and flower identifiers
Makes camping and hiking easier.

Heart monitoring

My Chart app is invaluable for me and my doctors appointments, prescriptions and MRIs images.

My relationships with the grandkids is better also. They share more experiences with me now that paw paw likes to receive random pics and texts from their visits to the fishing pond.

Anonymous said...

Oh...and I can use it anywhere!

Dont have to wait to get home to the desk where my old fashioned computer sits. I only use that thing for printing anyways...

desper-otto said...

Yeah, but you didn't mention making phone calls. My flip-phone can do that!

Wilbur Charles said...

Picard, Johnny was indeed referring to the KARNAK Tombs. And.. Any bench where the scrubs(baseball, basketball etc) are SITting
As I took a right at a traffic light I did not see neither the DEAD END sign nor a No Outlet. The road crossed a RR. As I crossed I noticed a large bright light. Being surprisingly mentally agile it only took a few seconds for me to realize this was the Amtrak train.
I gunned my little Fiat(a week later I had the stalling problem fixed- no as I write it did not stall that time). Apparently, I upset the engineer as he made quite a racket with his whistle thus preventing his hearing the piece of mind I gave right back.
Not that it was a close call: a good 3 seconds elapsed between clearing the tracks and the train going over same.

Picard, I moved to NH in 1985 but I had relatives in Derry


Anonymous said...

Who makes phone calls? Its 2018. No one make phone calls anymore. Unless your calling the blacksmith.

PK said...

Wilbur: I had that RR crossing experience twice. No terror like seeing that big bright light and realizing it is on a moving train. My heart didn't stop pounding for a good hour. We rented a house near RR tracks while remodeling our farmhouse. Very dark intersections between street and tracks. Just glad the train was going slow through town. A carload of teenagers got hit by the train on a nearby unlighted RR intersection Just after that. Lot of broken bones but no one died, thank heavens.

Samsapple & Anonymous: I'm impressed that you took the time and were able to learn how to do all those things with a device. I've got a flip phone and I finally learned it does have a speaker ap but I can't make it work while I'm on a call. I've had the phone over 5 years. Still haven't figured out how to text on it. I'm device & socially impaired permanently, I fear. Nice commercial though. Hope they pay you well.

Desper-otto: Actually, I never ever thought there was a group of indigenous people called Tajiks. The more I learn, the less I realize I know. I Just keep trying. LOL!

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, Folks. Thank you, Mark McClain, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, C.C., for a fine review.

Well, I wrote my entire Blog report and my internet connect died and I lost the entire thing. So, I quit. Cutting the lawn. See you tomorrow.


P.S.: Happy Birthday, D-Otto, and many more. Hope you reach at least 94.

Husker Gary said...

-Just back from a very hot day at the Nebraska City apple orchards
-Mark’s punny themers made me smile!
-I taught the eyesight for 30 years and never saw vowel-rich UVEA until I started doing these puzzles
-I SHOULD SWEAR OFF the shoestring potatoes Joann gave me for my birthday because I weigh 15.3 STONES
-The Husker’s best QB rode the bench yesterday with a bad knee and they lost
-I CASED Elkhorn Middle School before I applied there
-Hitler thought the D-Day invasion would be at Calais and Normandy near CAEN was just a FEINT
-BALL FOUR was an amazing “tell-all” book about pro baseball and made Bouton money and enemies
-We took a very rough 2-hr boat ride from Naples out to CAPRI
-In CAPRI we rode a funicular and we rode a cog railroad up to the summit of Pike’s Peak
-Do CLAM Diggers = Pedal Pushers = Capris?
-I just finished Ken Burn’s documenatary. Talk about PATENT lying!
-Me too, Lucina, same one cell mistake!
-Me too, PK, “I’m smart enough to know how little I know!”
-Happy Birthday Tom!

Anonymous T said...

Sunday Lurk say...

Hi All!

Happy Birthday D-O! You sure don't come across as a codger; your posts are witty, you have your long walks, and you do wonderful work w/ MoW. Enjoy this day and the rest of your (and many more) trips around the Sun.
On that old DELL TOWER - does it have 5.25" [you said XP so I'm guessing no, but it's worth a shot - I'm looking for a <$$ motherboard that natively supports 51/4" floppies]

Picard - I thought the same re: Carnac & Karnak and went so far to LUI and found this clip. I still don't know the answer, but, I was entertained.

C.C. - Hand down too; never been to PALO Duro. I'll ask a buddy who likes to fifth-wheel it across Texas if he has.

IM @8:40a - I thought the same thing about C.C.'s and her observation of no stray Cs in the themers. That is tight.

BigE - LOL! That Zimbabwe note is part of the Ig Nobel prize monies [see: FLN]. Did you do improbable research for it? :-)

Jinx and PVX - stay safe. I heard rivers are now rising...

Cheers, -T

Anonymous said...

LAME puzzle. Especially 41A and 62A.

Husker Gary said...

Musings 2
-Me too on all those phone uses. It is my high-tech Swiss Army Knife although it can't cut much of any thing. :)
-I have not learned how to blog here from my phone. When I hit Publish, it replaces the main blog for the day. Suggestions?

Anonymous T said...

HG - you need the Cutting Board App for that :-). -T

Anonymous said...

PK, I've read your posts for years. From these I can safely say that you are more than capable of learning the smartphone apps. Many of them are easier to utilize the interface than on a PC. They program em that way. I've been on the old PC more than once trying to find something and say "wheres my phone? Its easier to find my doctors appointment on there." Especially the weather channel and its live radar. Use that almost daily. Multiple times.

It's just desire to learn it and patience while making harmless mistakes until it's just second nature.

I have this ingrown hair on the back of my neck. My wife likes to pick at things like that. It always ends up in an arguement. So the last couple of days I dont ask her to look at it. I just hold the phone behind my head and take a few pictures of it until I get a good image. I then can zoom in on it and make sure its healing well and not infected. It's amazing. Then I delete the creepy looking pics before anyone sees them. No must. No fuss. Ans no aruguing.

Marriage counselor? Yep it's got that too!

Anonymous T said...

Anon@4:09 - for years? Go blue mate!

On SmartPhones and "TOO OLD". Pop loved his flip-"track phone" [where you pre-pay for stuff] for years and couldn't understand his Grands sitting there staring at theirs.
One time: As Pop pantomimed grabbing nephew's iThing and tossing it in the lake, "Does it have a "Bait App" for fishing?" The old man is funny.

Anyway - Pop finally got an iPhone and loves it. I showed him the "health app" [built-in] and he was like "Shit!, I walked 9 miles today?" He still doesn't get it fully but FaceTime is now a regular occurrence and he enjoys snapping & texting pics of his tomato harvest and rubbing it in from 1000 miles away.

OKL - I almost forgot: {B, A+}

Cheers, -T

Lucina said...

This may be news to some anons but I and many of my friends talk on the telephone land line EVERY DAY! It's a wonderful device for hearing voices I love.

Anonymous said...

On my smartphone, not only can I make calls to hear my loved ones voices...I can also see them talk and laugh and stick their tongue out at me!

Lucina said...

I started my first lesson in German on Babbel and though I've always been skilled in learning by mentally "photographing" words I seem to be slower with that but I'll keep at it. Wie geht's?

Spitzboov said...

Danke, gut, und selbst?

SwampCat said...

HG, I post from my iPhone and found I need to hit PREVIEW first before PUBLISH. That works for me.

Of course, I was told that loses my emojis. But I almost never use emojis! YMMV

Jayce said...

Loved this puzzle.

Irish Miss said...

samsapple @ 1:41 - Well, if you are in awe of anyone who can live without a Smartphone, you'd be thunderstruck by yours truly who does not even have a dumb phone. I can't decide if I'm deprived or depraved! I enjoyed the "laundry list" of your phone's magical powers and, I must say, the pet spying is my favorite! 😇

CrossEyedDave said...

Yeah, Dell Tower seemed like a stretch...

The thing about Smart Phones is you have to use one
to appreciate it. Add one to a Fitbit, and it will create
maps of where you biked/hiked along with heart rates
and altitude climbed! It has become so, that I don't feel
I am truly hiking/camping until I see this... Ah yes, roughing it!

So, try it, you might find yourself adjusting to it...

Of course, you could always just keep on going the way your going...

Happy Birthday Desper-Otto!

The bucket is chocolate, but the beer looks real. (not sure about the ice, don't tell Tinbeni!)

SwampCat said...

Samsapple, what is your commission for such testimonials? I could use extra income. Please share.

Sandyanon said...

CED, I love the cat selfie! Sent it to my daughter's cat, lol.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

DNF, with four lookups. Still had fun and maybe learned a little.

Thanks for all the well-wishes about our safety. Please pray for those still in harm's way.

PK, Android phones have a red icon of a phone you press to hang up. The same icon is green before you press it to place a call. RE: Patel - DW and I had checked into a chain hotel , and I noticed that I had forgotten to use our affinity card when I checked in. I asked her to "go see Mr. Patel" and get credit for our stay. I was joking, but she did so and returned to tell me that his name wasn't Patel, but he was very nice and gave her his card.

-T, I may have a motherboard for you. It may be a P4.

I love that my phone works as a wifi hotspot. Couldn't participate in the Corner while camping otherwise. I also like that it has a TV station strength list and antenna pointing diagram. Great for camping where trees prevent satellite access.

HBDTY, DO. Thanks to Mark and CC for the fun.

Lucina said...

Danke, gut!

I apologize to all for taking over the blog in German but I'm excited to start on this new venture.

While realizing that smartphones will be the sole means of communication for future generations and already are for many I'm quite content to use my flip phone to text and be able to contact the younger members of my family and use my computer for other purposes.

OwenKL said...

Hey, if a flip phone was good enough for Captain Kirk, it's good enough for me!

PK said...

Samsapple: I wish you were right. I just seem to not have the sequential memory necessary to master anything with multiple buttons to push or swipe or whatever. I did better but not good before I turned 60. I'm a far piece down the road from then now.

Jinx: glad you are keeping your head above water.

Big Easy said...

Anon T- along with my $50 Billion Zimbabwe bill (worthless) I also have a $1.00 Zimbabwe bill. I think the paper is worth MORE than the money.

Jinx- I have a Google Drive file with the names and numbers of all Hotel Affinity numbers and Airline Frequent Flyer numbers. I have the cards in my desk drawer but there is no way I would ever carry those things with me. Starwood, Hilton, Marriott, Choice Privileges, IHG,... and others. Airlines- Southwest, Delta, American, Alaska.

fermatprime said...


Thanks to Mark and C.C.!

Happy birthday to Tom!

FIW with a few hang-ups.

Hope to see you tomorrow!

Picard said...

Yellowrocks Glad my MARKED DOWN explanation helped! I was stuck thinking C is DOWN from D in the alphabet.

Lucina I am honored that you thought of me with LEICA. My father only ever owned two cameras. He was a pro. Both of his cameras were LEICA. One was loaded with negative film, the other with slide film. I never owned a LEICA. But I have owned digital cameras in recent years that claimed to use LEICA optics. I went digital in 2001 and never went back to film.

Way cool that you have a shelf of photo albums. Yes, scanning can be time consuming. I had thousands of negatives and slides scanned in recent years. It is expensive, but I am glad I have been doing it. Maybe once in awhile you could scan a few prized photos and share them?

desper-otto Interesting to know you have DEAD END signs in Texas. I am quite sure I have never seen one in California.

Here is a PDF file of official California road signs.

W14-1 is DEAD END. But I have never seen one out here. Just No Outlet which is W14-2.

Wilbur Charles Thanks for affirming that you think Johnny Carson was indeed thinking of KARNAK. Never heard of it until today. Interesting story about the Fiat, the DEAD END and the train! Thanks for placing your NH time in the 80s.

AnonT Thanks for the Johnny Carson clip! I was slow to figure out what he was doing! Then I went back and watched it a second time and laughed! I also did a bit of looking. I also can't see any references to KARNAK that reference Carson or Carnac.

IrishMiss Glad to know you are also phone free!

OwenKL Indeed a flip phone was good enough for Captain Kirk! I am guessing by then there will be some kind of implant. No poking at or looking at absurd tiny screens.

My father always taught me to use the right tool for the right job.

CanadianEh! said...

Late to the party and haven't read all your posts yet. I finished this CW (with some red-letter help!) and smiled when I got the theme. Thanks for the fun, Mark and C.C.
I was a little confused with the theme because I was thinking of Bell Tower (B to D) and Sour Dreams (Sour to Sweet) but the reveal straightened me out.

Unknowns included TREF, OCTAVIA, TAJIKS, KARNAK and HASTERT. (Now I must memorize your Speakers!) I have learned Senator ORRIN here (although I needed perps for the spelling) but did not know CLAIRE.

I saw the CSO to Boomer with ALLEYS, and our Texas Cornerites with PALO. Almost thought I was getting a CSO but it was ERS not Ehs.
Is EIS in Tin's bad books? I also thought of Tin with the "neat places to get beer".

The "No politics" rule is hard to follow when you have NAFTA (which may not be trilateral after the end of September) and EGOS in the same puzzle!

Happy Birthday d'otto.
Continue to STAY SAFE all you in Florence's path.

CanadianEh! said...

Picard - FLN re your cog railway query: I have been on the cog railway to top of Mt. Washington and also the cog railway to Mt. Pilatus in Switzerland. Very different but both wonderful experiences.

inanehiker said...

Late solving today as I was out of town again to help my mom in KC- she's coming along - but still not driving and needs some help around the house - so one of us has been there since she came home from rehab. Still figuring out her long term needs as none of us live there!

Lots of smiles with the fun theme today- glad it didn't take too much brain power as I don't have much left! Thanks Mark and CC!

Happy birthday Tom! I'm with Lucina - celebrate each year -the alternative to getting older is that you don't!

Husker Gary said...


Husker Gary said...

Swamp Cat - It worked. You have the distinction of teaching an old dog a new trick. I am not going to test the fates by hitting Publish first!


WikWak said...

We have both DEAD ENDs and NO OUTLETs here. I once had a picture of myself standing by a NO OUTLET sign, holding an electric toaster and looking confused.

There are red and green telephone icons on the steering wheel of my car. Used to initiate and end hands-free calls while driving.

Lucina said...

Come to think of it, I have that in my car, too. The car came equipped with Bluetooth and I do like it.

Here we have both NO EXIT and DEAD END signs.

Anonymous T said...

Lucina - So is Babbel really working? I see their commercials on CNN and hear it on the radio... DW & I are going to Italy in Feb for our 30th so, um, can this idiot do it too?

Picard - Carson's Carnac bit was one of many he did. That one always stuck w/ me.

WikWak - LOL! My week's mission is to now find the picture of a Speed Limit sign I snapped in the Mojave desert while leaving the Borax plant*: "Speed Limit 32 1/2 mph"

Cheers, -T
*I'll explain... These industrial plants (like Borax) have steam-power plants off to the side to utilize extra steam == electricity. An energy co. in HOU bought another company and I was contracted to move all the systems over to the new company w/o downtime. Not too hard a gig and I got to drink w/ NASA folk -- the Shuttle was to land that week at Edwards AFB.

Anonymous T said...

One last thing for C, Eh! and I'll see myself out...

Today I wore my Splunk> "Because you can't always blame Canada" tee*. A guy at HEB (our local grocer) walked up to me and held out his hand:
"That's right, but mostly, maybe. I'm Canadian."

Thinking I should know him (is it one of the kids' friends' dads?) "Hey!" was all I had quickly followed by a "Nice to meet you - No, we can't always blame the Great White North."

Cheers, [yeah, that's the whole story], -T
*the shirt is an IT joke: "Well, the Canadian office..."
"Look in the logs! (Splunk is a log aggregator), you can't always..."

Lucina said...

From only one lesson I like their technique; there's repetition of a few phrases followed by review. I'm sure you could master Italian with your younger and more agile mind. You likely already know many phrases.

Michael said...

Dear Lucina:

If you want to deepen your study of German, find someone to * speak * German with, ideally on a regular basis. (It can be hard to find German speakers, because memories of the camps -- even 70 years later-- have moved German towards the back of American life.) If you can share, say, your chocolate chip cookie recipe with someone in German, you're set.


Smart phones concern, no, scare, me. I constantly see people completely obliviated by their phone, unaware. All the apps might be helpful, but the lady that totaled my car in January was using her cell phone.


Tajikistan's right next to Uzbekistan and Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan ... if you want a good read to learn about these (obscure to us) places, try Colin Thubron's "The Lost Heart of Asia," an amazing travelogue.

CanadianEh! said...

Thanks AnonT. We Canadians are feeling a little unappreciated lately! Glad you met another polite, friendly Canadian!