Dec 29, 2018

Saturday, December 29, 2018, Ed Sessa

Lip Service Puzzle by Ed Sessa

As 2018 is nearly gone, the day of December 29 is designated as National Tick Tock Day. Think of all the things you intended to get done in this calendar year but have not yet completed. It is my intention to get my basement workbench cleaned up and organized before I plop down for my College Bowl Game (plus the Rose Parade) extravaganza coming up.

Well yesterday Lemon got a themeless Friday puzzle and today on themeless Saturday, Dr. Sessa, by way of Rich, has given us one that does have a theme. 

C.C. wrote me and asked if I saw a theme because of the cluing and somewhat closely related fills I made what I think is at least a somewhat tenuous connection to the fills. When C.C. wrote Ed, he replied that he was trying to even make the grid look like a smile. Do you see it? 😀

Now here is my take on the themers as I see them and the reveal:

17. Line erasers - PLASTIC SURGEONS can permanently fix the line of downturned lips into a SMILE

32. Necklines?: CAROTID ARTERIES - This droopy SMILE line can indicate a blocked CAROTID ARTERY

36. Title line after "Gray skies are gonna clear up": PUT ON A HAPPY FACE - Dick Van Dyke and Janet Leigh from Bye Bye Birdie on obtaining a SMILE

56. Echoic phrase from a WWI marching song: SMILE SMILE SMILE - All three fills are summed up by "Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and SMILE, SMILE, SMILE". 

I hope you agree on my Saturday SMILE themeage, but now let's quit procrastinating on National Tick Tock Day and see what Dr. Sessa has prescribed for us. If your ailment requires devilish cluing, Ed has the correct Rfor you today!


1. Actor Omar with three NAACP Image Awards: EPPS - he won by playing a doctor in 45. Sites with masked workers, briefly: OR(S) with other masked people

5. 007's watch, in the later films: OMEGA - Here you can see the famous 007 trademark

10. Sent to, too: CCED - Carbon CopiED - usually an anachronism today

14. Independent African country since 1960: MALI - Recently, we have also had Niger, Burkina Faso and Gabon Find them?


15. Santa-tracking acronym: NORAD - Even in Asia 

27. Stores with a blue-and-yellow logo: IKEAS - See comment above

16. Jennifer of "Pride and Prejudice" (1995): EHLE Here she is

44. Actress Aimée: ANOUK Here she is

20. It carries a charge: ION.

21. Stable attendant: HOSTLER - Chapter 15 of Black Beauty is entitled The Old HOSTLER

22. Half an ouchie?: BOO - "Mommy, I got a BOO BOO!"

23. Despicable: ROTTEN.

25. Genre with ad images: POP ART 

28. NYC subway line: IRT - Interborough Rapid Transit 

31. "The Divine Comedy" division: CANTO - It has 100 CANTI (pl.) or sections 

35. Tablet since 2013: IPAD AIR - Another entry in the Apple stable

46. Timeworn: BANAL - We have many timeworn fills here but they are vital for constructors 

47. Delivered a screed: RANTED - Pro rasslers RANT to build up a gate

49. "Man is condemned to be free" philosopher: SARTRE - Jean Paul

50. Thou follower, often: ART.

51. Butler's classic line: YOU RANG - C'mon, no one is listening, do your best Lurch imitation 

55. Its first letter often means "more than one": HOV.

59. Smallville name: KENT - Even when he was a baby, Ma and Pa KENT knew their son was Super

60. Gay opening?: ENOLA - A new clue for Col. Paul Tibbets' Omaha-built B-29

61. Chrysler Building architect William Van __: ALEN - This iconic NYC building was the world's tallest for 11 months in 1930

62. Pointed at, perhaps: IDED - I witnessed a hit and run two weeks ago but I know I could never ID the guy who did it

63. "That's unfortunate": SO SAD.

64. Ford contemporary: OLDS - Charles King (l.) was a mentor to Ransom OLDS (c.) and Henry Ford (r.)


1. Based on observation: EMPIRIC - EMPIRIC evidence shows we landed a man on the Moon despite the loonies who say we didn't 

2. Two-bit boxer: PALOOKA - Even comic book characters pitched in during WWII

3. One with a rooting interest: PLANTER - Now this is a serious PLANTER

4. Short sibling?: SIS - My SIS is very short

5. Kitchen bulb: ONION.

6. Soft shoes: MOCS - MOCassins 

7. "... which __ was irksome to me": Shakespeare: ERST - Thy company, which ERST was irksome to me, (I used to hate you) Act V Scene III As You Like It

8. Three-part region, per Caesar: GAUL - "All Gaul is divided into three parts, one of which the Belgae inhabit, the Aquitani another, those who in their own language are called Celts, in ours GAULS, the third." Caeser, The Gallic Wars

9. Media industry worker: AD REP - TV's most famous AD REPS

10. Left of center?: CEE - Yes, CEE is on the left of the word Center

11. Greek-style yogurt brand: CHOBANI and 28. Site of an 11-Down yogurt plant, the world's largest: IDAHO - A $100,000,000 plant in Twin Falls, IDAHO

12. America, in Acapulco: EL NORTE  - Also Norteamérica and América del norte,

13. Autos advertised on "You Bet Your Life": DESOTOS - Grouch (:08)

18. It's a dirty look: THE STINK EYE - Kramer on the "looks" (:33)

19. Holders of staples: GROCERY BAGS - Gotta love this one

24. Confucian path: TAO.

26. Expected: PAR - Yup, this is a 1,000 yard PAR 7 in Seoul, South Korea

29. "M*A*S*H" role: RADAR.

30. Doesn't allow out: TRAPS - Like The Roach Motel

33. Draft choice: IPA - India Pale Ale

34. Pointer or point: TIP 

Giving a TIP                           The TIP of the sword

36. Hybrid jumping sport with a landing target: PARA SKI.

37. Lacking heat?: UNARMED - If you're "packing heat" you're carrying a gun. If you aren't then you're UNARMED

38. Survivor-take-all investment scheme: TONTINE - A lovely four minute scene about a slightly different TONTINE which is mentioned at 1:42

40. With 39-Down, unconventional: FAR and  39. See 40-Down: OUT 

41. End of a line in the sand, maybe: ANTHILL - I suspect this ANT TRAIL in Alaska will eventually end at an ANT HILL

42. Sang for an audience of one, sometimes: CAROLED - Even the lovely CAROLS of the season can become tiresome

43. Gridiron numbers: ELEVENS - Eleven on each side of the ball

48. Dispensed amounts: DOSES.

49. Winner of 82 PGA Tour tournaments: SNEAD.

52. "Don't think so": UM...NO.

53. Spanish waterways: RIOS - The RIO Paraná empties into the RIO de la Plata

54. Italian recipe word: ALLA - In the style of

57. Ford's Crown Vic, originally: LTD - Something Crown Vics are noted for

58. Foe of Chiang: MAO.

Now, get off the couch, chair, chaise or whatever and get that last 2018 project done on Tick Tock Day, starting with commenting on Dr. Sessa's puzzle:


Lemonade714 said...

I was looking forward to your blog of the themeless Gary, and just to keep us guessing there is a theme of sorts. Ah well, maybe I will agree with Anon. PVX and just solve the clues.

There are only 3 African countries with four-letter CHAD TOGO & MALI , okay then.

Habby birthday to unknown to me actress JENNIFER EHLE born in 1969. I doubt Dr. Ed planned that, but what do I know.

Lots of golf references for our Nebraska golfer, but your link missed that TIGER won his 80th WIN in 2018.

One of the first grown-up books I read was THE TONTINE by Thomas B. Costain.

Thank you, Ed and HG

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

The grid-spanners made this one an easier-than-normal Saturday stumper. I did notice the smile in the lower half of the grid, but the full grid looks like two Siamese twins joined at the top of the head. Didn't much care for "Left of center." When I got the answer I still didn't understand and decided it must be a football thingee. But that was the only clunker IMO. Thanx for the diversion, Dr. Ed, and for your always fine expo, Husker.

ANOUK: I remember her from 1966's A Man And A Woman.

HOV: Congestion on Houston freeways has the powers that be deciding that the H is going to have to mean 3 rather than 2 on some routes. Of course, you can still pay to drive alone in the HOV lane.

TONTINE: I remember reading about these as a form of health insurance. It's basically an annuity and when one payee dies, his/her share goes to the survivors. Tontines are illegal in the U.S.

CartBoy said...

OK, DNF probably because of winter brain freeze here in the desert. Bone to pick. 10D as clued "Left of center?" Answer should be CEN not CEE as there are more than one letter "left of CENter".

SwenglishMom said...

Thank you! Great write-up and I appreciate the tick-tock encouragement. I got off my butt and applied to work in a daycare center, something that has been on my list for awhile. I am currently substitute teaching at the nearby "International English School" but herding classes of 32 10-16 year-olds an hour at a time isn't my speciality.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I really enjoyed this puzzle as it was chock full of fresh fill and lots of fun clues to chuckle over. My favorites were Line Erasers=Plastic Surgeons and Neck Lines=Carotid Arteries. I see a mini-theme of "Lines", Blood lines, Facial lines, and with the other two grid spanners, Lines in a song. My unknowns were Alen, Erst, Ehle, and Hostler. My only stumble was Italy before Idaho, as I'm yogurt-ignorant, (Chobani sounds Italian.) Striking to see the Tao and Mao pairing.

Thanks, Dr. Ed, for a very enjoyable and satisfying Saturday solve and thanks, HG, for the super-sparkling summary.


Thanks, YR and Anon T, for enlightening me on Life hack's meaning. Also, Anon T, thanks for the heads up on the "Stan and Ollie" movie; I'll add that to my list.

Thanks, Owen, for expanding on appellations.

Have a great day.

inanehiker said...

Challenging at times - but eventually got 'er done. I had confidently put AD MAN instead of AD REP which really slowed me down with PLASTIC SURGEONS and POP ART with its crosses.

I buy Chobani for greek yogurt because of all the initiatives and charitable contributions they make. The founder has been doing that since day one - not just once it became a big brand.

Our church CAROLED in the neighborhood around the Salvation Army this year. This one elderly lady took awhile to come to her door and she was so happy to see us- "no one has come to carol in our neighborhood in years" she said with tears in her eyes. Even the young men hanging out on the street corner were very gracious and wished us a Merry Christmas.
Thanks HG - enjoyed all the fun links and to Ed for our themed Saturday!

Big Easy said...

Did I PUT ON A HAPPY FACE this morning. Not on the first try. I was thinking Sessa was a ROTTEN PALOOKA, with clues for things that I had never heard of. The NW I had but couldn't help but think that EMPIRIC was two letters short of a word. I've never heard of HOSTLER, Jennifer EHLT, PARASKI, TONTINE, William Van ALEN, THE STINKEYE, or the song SMILE SMILE SMILE. I wanted "SMILES HIDE A MILE" and UH NO but the ALLA and BAGS wouldn't allow it. I would never think of UM NO. UH OH, OH NO, UH UH but not 'UM".

SARTRE, CANTO, I-PAD AIR, ERST, IDAHO- unknowns perped and WAGged.

After fixing breakfast, I decided to give it another try and somehow it all fell into place.
My 2002 Mercury is really a Crown Vic with a different skin.

HG- the #3 PAR 7 in Korea. 1. Is it yards or meters? 2. Why is the sign in English?

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

A difficult but well-crafted cw from Ed. Eventually got almost all of it without aid, but came here to get AD REP. Used many educated WAGS in the solve. I liked the SMILE sub-theme.
TONTINE - I was going to cite the MASH episode, but HG already did so in his usual thorough fashion. I learned the word when I first watched that episode, some 40+ years ago.
51a Butler clue - For the longest time I was trying to finagle something involving Rhett.
HOSTLER - Also the term for those who service and maneuver locomotives around in rail yards. I would imagine that North Platte's UP facility has 100's of them.
CHOBANI - Their original facility is just down the road from us in the next county at South Edmeston, NY.

Anonymous said...

Really! I may have to give up Saturday's puzzle after this. Can't brag like those above much to my disappointment.

Husker Gary said...

-Yes, Big Easy, I stand corrected, that hole is in meters. It is over 1,100 yds long. Wow
-This Gunsan Country club is only minutes away from Kunsan USAF base which may have something to do with the English tee box info.
-Here is a great video about this huge golf course and it’s Par 7 third hole made by some U.S. airmen

CrossEyedDave said...

Just finished the puzzle sitting on the beach. I finally figured out how to create a WiFi hot spot using my phone so I can use the IPad and actually see the screen. Unfortunately I cannot watch many of the links as pictures and videos drain my data usage plan.

(Why don’t you get unlimited data? People ask. )

I am just one of 5 people using this data plan that DW set up...
So the kids use it all up before I can even get to it...

Anywho, sitting on the beach is also DW’s idea of a vacation.
Meanwhile, I am sitting at the high tide line among about ten thousand rotting clams.
(The smell is horrendous.)
And to top it off, I had a handful of stuff to put in the rental car, so I threw
Them in the passenger side, along with the keys, and walked around to the drivers doorWhich had somehow automatically locked itself...

(Waiting an hour for AAA has been the most peaceful part of this VK so far..)

Any who who, doing crosswords for ten years now has conditioned me to expect that Saturday’s will be difficult.

And, to add, (without sounding like a disgruntled owl)
Yesterday Irish Miss said urbane reminded her of Cary Grant, and imp reminded her of me...
Well, all I can say is Judy Judy Judy...

Anonymous said...

Finished it all correctly. Yay! I don't understand the clue for CAROLED.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Real brain teaser, Ed, thanks. Thanks, Gary. I wondered how a carotid artery fit in that bunch.

My mother's motto was "Let a smile be your umbrella when the dark clouds hide the sun." This sometimes kept her smiling at inappropriate times. So this puzzle reminded me of her.

My take on the puzzle and unknowns was much like Big Easy's. I did a lot of red-letter runs as a result. Made me grouchy, but I was glad when I got done.

I am bathed, dressed and ready for my son to come get me to meet with all my children and grandchildren. Bless his sweet heart. Otherwise I might have just turned over and gone back to sleep and sent a message. Hope everything goes well.

Misty said...

Well, once again no newspaper this morning. Ol'Man Keith, I tried to find a message you sent me earlier in the week suggesting how I could contact the paper to complain, but I can't find it. Could you please send it again, and I apologize for the trouble. But even though I can now do the puzzle on the computer, it is just miserable not getting a paper. And this morning all my phone calls get nowhere, either giving me a busy signal or telling me my call did no go through and try again later. Aaaarrghhh.

Anyway, on to the puzzle, an Ed Sessa Saturday toughie for me. Some total unknowns, like CHOBANI--never heard of that one. Lots of fun mis-directions, like UNARMED for not having heat (I actually got that one). And I was sure it was Rhett Butler we were talking about and wanted to put in FRANKLY (my dear, I don't give a damn). But it turned out to be a different butler. But the interesting thing was that after I finished the puzzle, I could swear I saw a theme with all those cheerful long acrosses--except for CAROTID ARTERY. And what do you know--there was a theme! Woohoo! Clever puzzle, Ed, and interesting messing with the normal weekly line-up, Rich. And thank you, too, Husker Gary.

Have a good weekend, everybody!

Yellowrocks said...

I thought this looked like a theme puzzle with smile, happy face, plastic surgeon, but I couldn't get carotid arteries to fit. Thanks, HG. Lots of fun, easier than most Saturdays. Only a few of the fill words were new to me, TONTINE, EHLE, and the AIR end of IPAD AIR.
Do you read westerns or view oaters? There you will find hostlers.
I saw the 60 Minutes interview of Chobani. Inspiring!
CED, I can sympathize with locking your keys in your rental. Bummer!When I lock my car I always make sure I have the key fob in my hand. Yes, I was holding the key fob to my own car while I locked the rental car's key fob in its trunk. The AAA mechanic opened the door in 2 minutes flat. The bad guys can do so too.
I thought left of center could be CEN, but I like CEE better.
There seem to be fewer HOV lanes around here in recent years.
Inanehiker @9:04 says her group Christmas caroled to a single elderly lady who greatly appreciated it. They sang for an audience of one.
PK, enjoy your family day.
I did this puzzle at 1:00 AM. I was awake until 5:00 AM this morning with the C7 nerve root causing tingling and pain in left my hand. I am seeing a doctor next week. I hope an epidural or PT can resolve it. The surgery for it sounds scary.
Which reminds me, Wik Wak, how are you coming along?

desper-otto said...

Anon@11:44, if a group of carolers came to your house, they might be singing to an audience of one.

Husker Gary said...

-Phrase from yesterday - Joann wants to look at a dishwasher for her mother and I want to watch three football games today. My offer, “How about we go during half time of the first game?” “FAIR ENOUGH”!
-I hope I made it clear that C.C. thought there might be a theme (four spanners, two with “line” in the clue), not me. I already had the blog prepared but went back to see if I could glean out a theme and, for better or worse, I found something. Did you guys know she’s really smart?
-Joann uses two GROCERY staple BAGS – One for us and one for her mother for whom she uses MIL’s SNAP card

Jayce said...

I liked this puzzle very much. Amazing long entries and some really fun clues. I had to do two red-letter alphabet runs, one at the crossing of HOV and ELEVENS and one at the crossing of ALEN and ELEVENS. Even so I didn't understand why eleven is a gridiron number until reading the explanation here, but still don't know the relevance to being "on each side of the ball." Is the number 11 printed on the ball?

Now I know better what a TONTINE is. Thanks for that.

CED, quite a situation you're in!

Good wishes to you all.

Spitzboov said...

Jayce - There are 11 members on each football team at each side of the ball at the line of scrimmage. That's how I read the clue.

Jayce said...

Spitzboov, ah, I get it now. Thank you.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

This was a toothy bear for me - a DNF, in fact. So many unknowns! The bottom half was mostly white until at last I recalled the song title, so it got more filled in, but I couldn’t see elevens without cheating. Still, some clever clues in there!

Howdy Husker, sounds like you did better at it. Cheers!

Ol' Man Keith said...

"Devilish cluing," indeed!
And much fun along the way, thanks to Mr. Sessa's clever (smiling) pzl.

Today's challenge makes up for yesterday's in-yer-face test. I needed only one lookup to find my way through to a happy finish. I couldn't be sure of the yogurt brand, as I haven't kept up on the choices since my short-lived flirtation with Yoplait and Dannon back in the day.

Misty ~
I'm in the same boat today. No newspaper, after they told me in no uncertain terms that that had it straightened out with a new distributor.
Anyway, you can join me by writing your complaint to That's to make the point that this is a repeating problem.
In order to get a credit for the missed paper, you need to go to the Times online, at On the home page, go to the "Topics" heading on the left side and click on that. The first heading will be "Subscriber Services." When you highlight that, it will give you several choices. Go down to "Delivery Issue" and click it. Confirm that you are the subscriber, and it will give you fields to check "Missed paper" and the date. It will give you options for getting a credit or having it delivered the next day.
Good luck to you.
And to all of us ...

Anonymous T said...

@10:08 - Don't feel SO SAD; I couldn't get much past the NW...

Hi All!

Ed, UM NO. I could only play because HG's grid nudged me along; too many words & names that are way out of my experience (PARA SKI?!? - Drat, I had Parkour [3:28]). Wanting FOOD PANTRYS [sic] nor thinking YD LINES (43d) helped.

Thanks HG for helping me along with extra-play to continue my fun. Great expo too.

Fav: YOU RANG. (I just did the voice HG :-)). I was with Spitz & Misty thinking "I don't give a damn" way too long.

You know what else was brain-blocking? Sonny & Cher @36a. I knew those weren't the lyrics for the song in the clue, but that’s all my inner-ear heard.

Inanehiker - hand-up w/ AD MAN (I re-thunk that so many times because of 25a's clue ('Ad') but I knew OMEGA & NORAD was right).

Nice to see you SwinglishMom. You too Rainman, even if it was a test.

D-O: I read that about the HOV lanes on I-69 (US59) and I-45. I've paid for the HOV lane (on I-69) just to watch the regular lanes pass me by... How do explain to boss-man "I tried to be here on time, I even paid $4.50 for the HOV!" :-)

CED - Sounds like you'll need a VaKa after your VaKa. Your last line is LOL.

And now for a Mini-VaKa...

Have a great Saturday all (and don't let HG's Tick-Tock clock get to you - like a Cub's fan always says, there's next year!)

Cheers, -T

Ol' Man Keith said...

Anonymous @ 11:44 ~
I hesitated too before committing to CAROLED. If anyone has a bang-on explanation, I hope they will post it.
But I'm not sure that there is another, better rationale than the fact that carolers go house to house, so they never know how large an audience will come to the door.
I only really caroled once, back in Richmond VA, and our experience was like that. Usually more than one person per home greeted us. But there were a few where the door was opened by a smiling singleton.

Anonymous T said...

OMK & @11:44 [See: D-O @12:05]. Spot-on. I was going to say the same but deleted after refreshing (I can be taught!).

FLN - Lem, no apology necessary. There's lots to read daily (thanks to all our Regulars) and sometimes who said what gets mixed up. //For reals, who give a damn... er, UM NO not Rhett again. :-)

Also, FLN re: all the Cary Grant talk... anyone see Touch of Pink? It's about Indian Gay (not ENOLA) guy who has Grant in his head. My favourite line is delivered by the faux Grant: "Not enough air pushing through the windmills of her mind." If the premise isn't too FAR OUT, add it to your list IM.

Cheers, -T

CanadianEh! said...

Super Saturday. Thanks for the fun, Ed and HuskerG.
UM NO I could not finish without a couple of Google helps.
Hand up for seeing a mini Lines theme and for wanting Rhett Butler 's Frankly.

This Canadian did not know CHOBANI yogurt. Love the story behind it. We have a similar story with a Syrian family who have started a successful chocolate business.

Lots of family activities this week. Have a couple of the grands all weekend.

Best wishes to you all.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Or there may be TWELVE on one side, Jayce, and that's when the ref puts his hands on his head.

Misty said...

Thank you so much, Ol'Man Keith. It took a bit of work but I was able to get on the site and report my missed delivery and ask for a credit. But the problem is that this has happened all week, and what do we do if it keeps happening every day. I would hate to cancel this paper which I've been getting for twenty years, but my frustration is getting really huge since I've gotten only two papers in the last week. Anyway, thank you again--it's a relief to have at least been able to do something today.

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, Ed Sessa, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Husker Gary, for a fine review.

Well, this puzzle chewed me up and spit me out. I could not get it done all the way. My wife got tired of watching and looked up some missing answers. The puzzle was very good and very well constructed. Long grid spanners. Lots of misdirection.

I also liked YOU RANG. Once I got it. I was looking for something Rhett Butler said. Then a couple perps helped me out.

I couldn't even get ANT HILL. That should have been easy. Oh well.

Liked the TONTINE clip and explanation. I never heard of that word. Now I know.

My daughter and her family headed back to Ohio. We had a nice time with them visiting. Her mother seems to be doing better.

Now I have a ton of paperwork to do. See you tomorrow. I plan on going to church, working the crossword, and watching the Bears game.


( )

Ol' Man Keith said...

Like you, Misty, I'm a long term subscriber, over 35 years. I expect they will get this fixed. But then I thought they'd have it under control before now.
In answering my complaints, they said it was a problem with the distributor, but that's a cop-out. As a former paper boy myself, I know that if I ever missed a delivery my supervisor would get a substitute right away or handle it himself.
When I worked my way up to asst. district manager, my job was to inspect all the routes in my district--every day--and to cover any papers that were undelivered.
Nowadays newspapers farm out their deliveries to independent "distributors," but that should not absolve them of the responsibility to check--every day!--to be sure papers are getting to our homes.
They should NOT be waiting until we complain to know what's happening.

Yellowrocks said...

I am really concerned about the rapid deterioration of my hand due to C 6-7 problems. I could stand to live at this level forever, however, since it has been going on for several years and it is progressively getting worse, I worry about permanent damage. My friend, Arthur, was told by his doctor to wait. So his lumbar nerve died, causing permanent problems. I dread needing the operation, especially because I would be alone during the recovery. Am I being overly concerned?

Ol' Man Keith said...

Yellowrocks ~
How disabling to your hand would further deterioration be? Or would it affect more than just your left hand?
I ask because I have hand damage. It is different than yours, but the effect may be similar. I have Dupuytren's syndrome, a genetic problem that causes my fingers to contract. I underwent one surgery on one hand to straighten my little finger (when that was all that had been affected), but the distortion simply continues on its natural course.
I have learned to live with the problem--because it leaves me with enough range of motion to use my hands for most basic functions. (Thank the stars I wasn't a concert pianist!)
But if your problem may do more damage than to just the one hand, I think it wise to keep after your doctor, to be sure he's up--and so are you!--on the latest interventions.
If you have surgery that requires home care afterwards, most insurance will cover that.

Picard said...

I am going to say it even if it causes trouble: I call unfair on this puzzle! I love learning new words. But only if there is some reasonable strategy to get to those new words.

EHLE/CHOBANI/CANTO requires some serious lucky WAGS. I did get those.

And ERST/HOSTLER utterly unknown, but got that WAG crossing.

But ANiUK/TiNTINE seems as good or better than the obscure crosses. FIW there. UN. FAIR.

Husker Gary thanks for the even more exceptionally illustrated write-up than usual! I totally thought of Lurch for YOU RANG! And I also got the Pack Up Your Troubles reference to SMILE SMILE SMILE. I did not ever see Bye Bye Birdie. Thanks for the video! Learning moment!

And thanks for pointing out the theme which I totally missed! Interesting discussion yesterday about the theme or lack thereof.

Too bad about the unfair bits, because the rest of it was a totally fair Saturday creative challenge!

Did anyone else think of the song "Initials" from the musical "Hair" for IRT?"

Here is that shortest song in the musical which starts off "LBJ took the IRT down to 4th Street USA"

Here are the rest of the Initials/IRT lyrics

When I got to see it in 1970 (at age 11) the words had been slightly changed. In 1970 Tricky Dick took the IRT. The last lines in 1970 were:
When he got there what did he see?

Picard said...

From yesterday:
Wilbur Charles thank you for taking the time to read my George Takei LT SULU article! I am honored that you thought of me!

Way cool that you wrote a report in 9th grade on the imprisonment of Americans of Japanese ancestry.

AnonT thanks for your comments, but I did not understand your comment about Van Nuys? Was it related to the Smothers Brothers? That video is a bit long. What was the reference?

I really thought the Japanese Garden in Van Nuys was quite a hidden jewel! Especially since it is actually a sewage treatment plant!

And then it was quite a bonus to learn it was the set for STARFLEET ACADemy where LT SULU graduated!

Sandyanon said...

Picard, I honestly don't get why you think a constructor is unfair simply because you happen not to know something. FWIW, I happened to know five of the seven entries you cited and recognized the other two with help from perps. And I am not the only one who knew at least some of them. Gosh, please allow that we all have different areas of knowledge.

Spitzboov said...

Misty - Call them up and talk to them in person. The circulation number is usually inside the paper - - on ours it's at the bottom of page 2. Talk to a higher up; be nice but very firm. Demand something in addition to just a credit for your trouble; this has been going on way too long. Hell, I call my paper up just to lower the price. Ask for discounts such as for seniors, etc. I tell them I want the price lowered because the paper isn't that good. I actually say that. (I got the 7 days a week monthly bill lowered from $30+ to $23.50. That's delivered to my front door under a porch roof out of the rain and snow.).
You've got to be a pain in the prat to them. That's the only way to get their attention. Non of this going on-line stuff. Everybody hides behind that, and you're certainly not getting a supervisor's help that way.
Good luck.

Misty said...

Well, Spitzboov, if I can still find a copy of the LA Times I'll look up the number and call it--but I've been calling a series of numbers listed for the paper and have gotten nothing but busy signals or recorded messages with no opportunity to speak to anyone in person. But I'll keep trying, thanks for the encouragement.

Sandyanon said...

Misty, 1-800-252-9141 is the customer service number I've always called. It does start with a recorded menu, but you can work your way to a live person.

Sandyanon said...

Hey, Misty, I just found an article on the CNN website which may explain some things. I did get a paper this morning, but it was quite late.

WikWak said...

Later to the party than usual. The days are just packed.

I actually found this puzzle to be slightly easier than the usual Saturday fare. Trying parkour for PARASKI (hi, Anonymous-T!) got me off track the worst.

I too liked seeing both TAO and MAO.

I have never read “The TONTINE”, by Thomas B Costain, but it was on one of the bookshelves in our house as I was growing up. I very clearly remember that MASH episode.

Yellowrocks, thanks for asking; I am much better this week. Hemoglobin is still quite low, but not low enough to require another transfusion. They tell me it should be back to normal in a couple of weeks. The C7 / left hand issue is something I am also trying to work through. I’m fused from C2 - C6 but C7 wasn’t roto-rooted. I also had a small stroke about 12 years ago, which left me with some mild left-side issues and they are now trying to figure out which of those is the likeliest culprit.

HG, your example of the Parana River as an example of RIO is OK, but… isn’t that the Portuguese RIO and not the Spanish one?

Well, it’s a tad bit late to hope you have a great day, but in about 5 minutes you can start on a great tomorrow. Do so!

Misty said...

Sandyanon, I called the phone number you listed above about a dozen times today and either got a message saying my call did not go through or a busy signal. But thank you for giving me the link to that article, which offers a fascinating possibility for understanding our problem. Please post it again tomorrow, if O'Man Keith comes on the blog, because his LA Times also wasn't delivered today, and he too would be interested in your article. One problem with not getting the paper is that you don't have a paper that might tell you what's going on with the paper--pardon the circularity of the comment. Again, many thanks for your information--the best I've gotten so far.

Sandyanon said...

Thought I'd check, and the story about the malware is also on the LA Times website. Same story but more detail.

Becky said...

The LA Times computer was hacked. Also all the newspapers that are owned by the company. The Chicago Trib etc.

Anonymous T said...

Picard: The reference to Van Nuys in my Smother's Brothers link is just (tenuous as today's theme) a reference to the Japanese Garden you linked. It was the only way to get it in :-)

Re: OMK & Misty's issues - I read and searched for more on the malware @Tribune [Thanks SandyAnon for the breadcrumb]. Smells like ransomeware or some such that has encrypted or erased data. I'm glad it's not Hearst! - I help'd w/ their security back in the day.
//papers (well, most businesses) really don't have money to do this right #SOSAD

WikWak - good to see you back in swell spirits. Parkour seemed so obvious, right?

AveJoe - At least OU beat the spread. I read that Murray had a cold after his Heisman tour -- yeah, that's the ticket. :-)
I got to watch the last 10 minutes of the game at NikoNiko (Greek fare. Hi TX Miss! - I was in your neck of the woods) after the Panto play [Panto Star Force at Stages Theater*]. It was hopeless for the Sooners. However, the good-sportsmanship displayed was welcome; e.g. OU player helping opponent up after a hard tackle and hugs all around after the game. #Nice

Cheers, -T
*it was cute - Star Wars based (with x-ref to Trek, Dr. Who, & other SCI-FI) with some funny lines and really groanable puns.

Anonymous T said...

Oh, this is getting fun...

I see that in August there was a Tweet re: LAT & Ryuk [ransomeware]. Dec 27 San Diego Union-Tribune also noticed a malware attack affecting SoCal. CheckPoint has a write-up on it [very techie - don't bother unless you're really hard up for sleep] - quite nasty stuff that worms out. -T

Wilbur Charles said...

FLN. Dudley this is
Mass state song
I couldn't find the Patriots' fight song. I actually called a Sports talk show* to report the"plagiarism". Denial ensued - natch.

On Naticks. Rex Parker, a xw critic, devised the term and philosophy eg that two proper name crosses shouldn't both be obscure. The rub? Obscurity is subjective as Sandy pointed out. When I saw a clue with the words Star Trek I groaned.

However I got my innings in with SNEAD - a great foothold for me on a Saturday xword. Btw, I think I FIR except I misplaced the paper and I'm not sure of the IPOD AIR cross with the clever clueing of TIP .


* The old Eddie Andleman show which sponsored the "Create a Patriots Fight song " contest.

Wilbur Charles said...

Wow, I just listened and right after the Mass anthem comes Michigan and lo and behold they used "O' Tannenbaum" as the melody .

What goes around comes around


Wilbur Charles said...

One more interesting thing about Ed's entertaining xword (and Gary's excellent write-up), the yogurt clue. As I said I was solving at Winn Dixie. Greek Yogurt?

All I have to do is go get the eggnog Betsy wanted and meander past the yogurt and take a peek. I say ladies and gentlemen of the jury...

Would that be "cheating"? CHOBANI came to me before I went for the 'Nog. And... There was no eggnog!!!!

Winn Dixie management decided that post Xmas day: No (more) Yogurt for you. And about a 100 others that had asked the clerk the same question

WC in the late, late gloam'n

Anonymous T said...

WC - you're not the only one in the Glowin'. I'm researching LAT/Tribune issues (and watching Smothers' not shown Show). [This Trib thing was targeted IMHO].

Extra 'Nog, after dredgin' your sourdough, makes for good Frawnch-toast.

Why am I still up? Oy! -T

Dudley said...

WC, well there’s a surprise. I had no idea there was such a thing as a legit state song. The things you learn because of crosswords! Thanks for clarifying.