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Sep 4, 2019

Wednesday, September 4, 2019, Julie Berube

Theme: Easy as ABC

15A. Chemist's garb: LAB COAT.

25A. Apples on teachers' desks: MACBOOK PROS.

47A. Soccer powerhouse from Spain: FC BARCELONA. Futbol Club Barcelona, commonly referred to as Barcelona and colloquially known as Barça, is a Spanish professional football club based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.

63A. Bony thoracic structure: RIBCAGE.

3D. Curios assortment: BRIC-A-BRAC.

35D. ISP service: WEB ACCESS.

Melissa here. Circles nearly every Wednesday lately, I think they're kind of fun.  This one contains a complete set of six ABC anagrams. It's uncommon to see theme answers in both across and down - nicely done Julie Berube, apparently making her debut on the corner.

Across:

1. Devices at one's fingertips: TABLETS. Not iPhones.

8. Bowl over: AWE. Not wow.

11. Old NCAA football ranking sys.: BCS.

14. Music genre for Ladysmith Black Mambazo and King Sunny Adé: AFRO POP. Paul Simon used Ladysmith Black Mambazo on his Graceland album.



17. __ kick: martial arts maneuver: SCISSOR.

18. Adriatic country whose flag has a double-headed eagle: ALBANIA.

20. Pen pal greeting?: OINK. Nice.

22. Impudent: PERT.

23. Split __ soup: PEA.

28. "The Wire" actor Idris: ELBA.

30. Very thin: SKINNY.

31. Floorboard-ruining insects: TERMITES.

33. 2005 slasher film sequel: SAW II.

38. Rather cross: IN A SNIT.

39. Some losers: DIETERS. Haha.

41. Food truck fare: TACOS.

42. Tiny organisms: MICROBES.

43. 18-Across capital: TIRANA. Perped it.

46. Premier League soccer team, to fans: MANU. Manchester United.

52. "Middle" note: CEE.

53. Flowery rings: LEIS.

54. Young newts: EFTS.

55. Epidemic-fighting agcy.: CDC. Centers for Disease Control.

57. Prohibited: ILLEGAL.

59. Go along with: AGREE TO.

64. Place setting item: UTENSIL.

65. Eastern principle: TAO.

66. __ object: SEX. Haven't seen this in a while ...

67. Waters near the South Pole: ROSS SEA. Off the cost of Antarctica. Beautiful images of "the most pristine piece of the ocean left on Earth."

Down:

1. Some grad students: TAS. Teacher's Assistants.

2. Org. with Colts and Broncos: AFC.

4. Take a beating: LOSE.

5. __ salts: EPSOM.

6. In addition: TOO.

7. Toothed wheel: SPROCKET.

8. Post-rehab support group: AL-ANON.

9. Bit part: WALK ON.

10. Retreat, as the tide: EBB.

11. Ugly mistake: BONER.

12. Tahrir Square city: CAIRO.

13. Sports data: STATS.

16. Abner drawer: CAPP.

19. Corp. bigwig: CEO.

21. Venerated bird in ancient Egypt: IBIS.


23. __ four: teacake: PETIT.

24. Justice Kagan: ELENA.

26. Italian bubbly: ASTI. Sparkling wine.

27. Bandleader Kay known as "The Ol' Perfessor": KYSER. Wikipedia.

29. Playground comeback: AM SO.

32. Orch. piece: INSTR. Instrument.

34. Nuclear energy source: ATOM.

36. Dancer Castle: IRENE. She danced with her husband Virgil on Broadway and in silent films in the early 20th century. They were famous as the originators of the one-step and the turkey trot.

37. Magazine copy: ISSUE.

39. "Jurassic World" beast: DINOSAUR.

40. Volunteer's words: I CAN.

42. Brewer's supply: MALT.

44. Film franchise with a saber-toothed tiger named Diego: ICE AGE.
 45. Involuntary, as a reaction: REFLEX.

47. Tease: FLIRT.

48. "Queen of Salsa" Cruz: CELIA. Cuban singer and the most popular Latin artist of the 20th century.

49. "The Hobbit" hobbit: BILBO.

50. "Wait __!": A SEC. Wait up!



51. Lots of land: ACRES.

56. Sanctuaries: DENS.

58. Oxygen or hydrogen: GAS.

60. Classic muscle car: GTO.

61. Make fast: TIE.

62. Lisbon greeting: OLA.


Note from C.C.:

Here are two new pictures of Melissa's sweet grandkids Jaelyn and Harper. You can see past pictures of them here. Jaelyn has such curious and expressive eyes.




51 comments:

Montana said...

Nice puzzle.
Nice expo.
Thanks.

Montana

Lemonade714 said...

For all that tracked Dorian, we in So.Fla. never even lost power. We had some strong winds and lots of rain but we missed another one.

Melissa the girls are gorgeous. Thank you for the write-up and the pictures.

Julie Bérubé is from Quebec and has had three puzzles published in the NYT. This was fun without any real unknowns and I love the word SPROCKET.

Bienvenue Julie.

Lemonade714 said...

I forgot to mention that I appreciated seeing both Barcelona and Manchester United in the same puzzle. Also, FLN, welcome new posters - MARGARET DOMENICK and KOKO. Come back often. I did not know of the resort area in MANALI INDIA even if the post was a shmeless plug.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Wanted a thimble on my fingertip, but it was not to be. Neat that the theme answers include all of the possible ABC combinations. That helped with CELIA. KYSER was a gimme -- I've got a couple of his recordings on my music server (On A Slow Boat To China, Ole Buttermilk Sky). Nicely done, Julie. Thanx for the tour, Melissa. (Cute grands. And those were nice ROSS SEA photos.)

Ernie Pantusso said...

Boy did I nail 18a!! I have always remembered that ALBANIA borders on the Adriatic since Coach told Sam all about it. He was right, ya know, we do learn our facts be associating countries with music...

and your chief export is chrome

billocohoes said...

A SCISSOR kick is also a futbol maneuver, aka a bicycle kick

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Someone should probably remove the 3:07 post from yesterday's page. Looks like a no-goodnick to me. Maybe -T can check it out in his sandbox.

DNF, getting lost in the Taos area and Googling FC BARCELONA to find my way out. But at least I didn't have to erase anything.

I wanted "Bernie" for bony thoracic structure, but it didn't have enough letters. DNK AFROPOP, ELBA or KYSER.

Although they say "hola" in Spain and "OLA" next door in Portugal, I'll bet they understand each other's greetings.

I found out I liked split PEA soup at Anderson's in Solvang, up Picard's way. Like guacamole and oysters, it looks gross at first but tastes great.

FLN, -T, I loves me some 12-string guitar music.

BTW, after the first week the much-maligned SEC holds half of the top 12 rankings in college (aka semipro) football.

Thanks for the fun, Julie. Fortunately the NFL season starts tomorrow and Americans won't be stuck with soccer. And thanks to melissa bee for the fun review. Adorable grands.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Ernie I thought chrome was exported from Googlonia.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Made a couple of good guesses with KYSER and CELIA. So - FIR. Nice new experience with Julie.
I've always liked the sound of SPROCKET, TOO. Thought of "bull gear" first but perps quickly augured for 'sprocket'.
ALBANIA and TIRANA were easy fill as was ROSS SEA.
Saw the ABC thing but it didn't factor in to the solve.

Have a good day.

KenoRunner said...

Really nice puzzle. Thanks.

oc4beach said...


Nice first LA Times puzzle for Julie. She got her ABCs down pat.

I didn't see the theme until MB 'splained the grid nicely.

Hand up for WOW, but AWE was needed to go along with WALKON and EBB. I did have a little problem with AL ANON as a Post Rehab Support Group, because The primary focus of Al-Anon is to solve the common problems experienced by families and friends of alcoholics.

I hope those of you on the southeast coast come through Dorian safely.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I found this a tad on the crunchy side with several unknowns: Tirana, Ross Sea, Celia, Bilbo, and Ice Age. Nice CSO to Steve at ManU. My favorite C/As were Pen pal greeting=Oink and Some losers=Dieters. My only w/o was And before Too. Naturally, the ABC trios were easy to spot with the circles, but I was surprised that there was no revealer, not that one was really necessary, but surprised just the same. I was also surprised to learn that Vernon Castle died at age 31 in a plane crash.

Thanks, Julie, for a mid-week challenge and congrats on your LA Times debut and thanks, Melissa, for the fun and enlightening summary. I watched the clip of Plushenko but wish I hadn't. IMVHO, I don't think any sport as been bastardized (sorry) and sensationalized more than figure skating, sad to say. On a brighter note, we were treated to the sweetness of Jaelyn and Harper, to brighten our day. Thanks, MB, for sharing.

Fingers crossed that Dorian's wrath is minimal. Stay safe, everyone.

Have a great day.

Husker Gary said...

Musings
-I wasted my time looking for a reveal of the obvious ABC anagrams
-Second day of using ink. Writing TOO over AND was painful
-Wow, my MACBOOK PRO is right at my fingertips now. I wish it could spell better! :-)
-Intro to Ag kids are piling in!

Jinx in Norfolk said...

The coverage of the dive boat disaster is driving me crazy. News anchors, "experts", lawyers and hangers-on keep talking about the "oxygen tanks" that were on board to refill divers' cylinders as possible contributing factors. As the many recreational divers on the Corner know, we don't use oxygen beyond the 20% in the air, and the tanks on board are just compressed air. Not to say that it wouldn't be catastrophic if one burst and started spewing 3,000 PSI air around, but oxygen would be much worse. The first aid locker may well have had oxygen, but not a lot of it.

***end rant. i feel much better now.

CrossEyedDave said...

The ABCs...

CanadianEh! said...

Wowser Wednesday. Thanks for the fun, Julie (congrats on LAT debut) and Melissa bee (lovely photo of the grands).
My newspaper had yesterday's page for comics, CW etc. I headed to the Washington Post link and discovered, when I got here, that there were circles and a theme! Ah well, hopefully I know my ABCs by now. (But appropriate for 2nd day of school for my grands!)

Officially a FIW with my personal Natick of KYSER (not a gimme here d'o) and SAW II (I had an R) (This DINOSAUR would have nightmares if I watched slasher films!).

My Canadian disadvantage was showing with the football clue at 11A. I came here to find an explanation but alas, melissa assumed that we all understood. So I LIUed and have linked for any others like me.
BCS

And then there was 2D "Org with Colts and Broncos"; NFL changed to AFL (oops, that's Australian) and finally to AFC with perps. LIUed again and wiki says "The Broncos (and Colts) compete as a member club of the National Football League (NFL)'s American Football Conference (AFC) West division.
I'll object (not SEX) that my original NFL was correct and clue was not well-defined! Perhaps "Division with Colts and Broncos" would have been an improvement.

I had Art object (after yesterday's French version) before SEX, Ace before AWE (thinking of CSO to Boomer with Bowl).
ALBANIA and TIRANA were aided by perps.
I wanted Yeast or Hops before MALT, Amoebae before MICROBES, Sternum before RIB CAGE, Sassy before PERT, Net Access before WEB.

I like the sound of BRIC-A-BRAC and SPROCKET, and I smiled at AM SO and I CAN.
I remembered that Tahrir Square was in CAIRO from the 2011 Egyptian Revolution news coverage (just as Tiananmen Square remains embedded in my memory bank).

I'm out of space long ago.
Wishing you all a great day.

CanadianEh! said...

Here is a link to some info from 2017 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament with a short blurb on Julie Bérubé.
ACPTPuzzlemakers

LOL CED re ABCs of Motherhood.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Julie Berube, for a fine puzzle Thank you, Melissa Bee, for a fine review.

Got through the puzzle. a little sticky today, but it is Wednesday.

Saw the circles and ABC's.

ALBANIA was easy once I had the BA. TIRANA took a few more perps.

MANU was unknown. As was SAW II. I really do not watch those movies.

ELBA was unknown. So was THE WIRE.

Off to cook stuffed peppers for 15 people tonight. See you tomorrow.

Abejo

( )

Jerome Gunderson said...

Be careful about sitting in a boat too long on the ROSS SEA... You'll get a SORE ASS.

There's no SILENT U in UTENSIL.

Hard to relate a SPROCKET to PET ROCKS.

I once hurt my back in Egypt. Had to go to a CAIROPRACTOR.

TACOS, COAST, ASCOT, TOSCA, COATS.

Without looking it up, anyone care to take a shot at what makes the word STRENGTHS unique in English.

Abejo said...

Jinx: I forgot to mention I have been at the same Pea Soup Anderson's in Solvang while I lived out there. There is also another one up I-5 in the San Joaquin Valley. I stopped there to eat many times while driving up and down the valley. It used to be all you can eat for a fixed price.

See you later.

Abejo

( )

Spitzboov said...

What makes the word STRENGTHS unique in English?

The longest word with only one vowel, perhaps? Just a WAG.

desper-otto said...

Jerome, longest one-syllable word?

Misty said...

Well, this started out as a toughie for me, but soon everything started to fill in, and getting the ABC circles helped out in various places. So thanks for a fun puzzle, Julie, and welcome to the Corner. Like Irish Miss, I too count OINK and DIETERS as delightful answers this morning. I kept worrying about the three SSS es in ROSSSEA, but it turned out to be right, thank goodness. My biggest problems in the end were SAWII and the F in AFROPOP. But a really enjoyable puzzle, and thanks for posting a picture of an IBIS, Melissa. Very cute little ones.

Lemonade, so glad you survived Dorian without a big problem.

Have a great day, everybody.

Lucina said...

Hola!

Yes, I'm sure Spanish and Portuguese understand each other's greeting since the H is silent and both say, OLA.

Easy as ABC is right! With a little knowledge linked to judicious guessing, I finished in good time.

I love seeing CELIA Cruz in a puzzle. Just thinking of her lively music sets me tapping my feet. Then there is the hunk, Idris ELBA! Talk about a SEX object!

I know BILBO only from CWDs and AFROPOP is a new one for me.

SAW II, ugh! Just the thought of it makes me cringe.

Anderson's PEA Soup Restaurant is familiar to me from when we visited Solvang and stopped on the way. It's a must! And the soup is delicious.

I don't have TERMITES but I did have a gnat flying around and biting me for about three weeks. It was frustrating but I believe he's finally gone after I sprayed last night while it was flying around.

Thank you, Julie Berube, and congratulations on your LAT debut! And many thanks to you, Melissa, for and excellent expo. Your grandchildren are truly adorable!

Have a special day, everyone! I have an eye appt. to keep.

Michael said...

Jinx @ 19:01 --

The word you're looking for is "blather." The media also abhor a vacuum ... and will fill it over and over and repeatedly.

Michael said...

Oops ,,, that's Jinx @ 10:01.

Picard said...

FIR but I wondered if there was something more to the theme than anagrams of ABC. Plenty of unknowns. Can someone explain what BCS Ranking stands for or means?

At our Sierra Club board meeting yesterday the boat disaster became a bit more personal. The woman who arranged our Channel Islands excursion turns out to be the girlfriend of the captain of our boat. She came to our meeting with more information. Including the name of the crew member who died. Her name is Allie Kurtz.

Allie worked in the galley on our boat. She slept in the bunk next to us down below. I am guessing she slept in the same spot on Conception which was closest to the exit stairway. It is still under investigation. But it seems that those sleeping below were overcome by fumes in their sleep and never woke up. Let us hope that is the case and that they did not suffer.

Here you can see the three sister boats together. We were on Truth. Conception is the one that was lost.

Here is a group photo of us at the Sea Landing dock.

Allie is the beautiful young woman in black in the middle of the back row. DW and I are in front of her at the rail.

I am very grateful that I was able to contact Allie's sister and give her several photos that I had of Allie.

A family friend set up this GoFundMe page to help the family with their immediate expenses.

The family lives back East and it has been a financial hardship to come out here to stay.

Thanks Jinx for the shout out about Pea Soup Andersen's. I consumed a lot of their pea soup during my current recovery. It was the upper limit of what was OK on my liquid diet.

Spitzboov said...

Jinx and Michael. Agree with you about the media. I liken them to young kids playing soccer. There is no offensive strategy; they all just follow the ball around like a swarm of bees. I haven't heard anything about our border problems since Dorian has taken the stage and the sad dive boat story. As a former DCA on my Tin Can, I am wondering about the adequacy of CG inspections.

I take the WSJ because it's well written and tells me what else is going on in the world.

Ol' Man Keith said...

The ABC theme was a help. Usually I don't catch onto the themes until they are too late to be of assistance, but this was a happy exception.

Ta~ DA! A semi-tough, tastefully chewable pzl from Ms. Berube. I found it a bit of a rough go in the NW and SE sectors, but P+P+P won the day.

Glad for you, Lemonade! I guess we (the U.S.) have been fairly lucky so far vis a vis Dorian, but not so the Bahamas. What terrible, terrible wreckage that hurricane has wrought over the islands.
~ OMK

Jayce said...

I agree about the media and about the WSJ.

I also agree this was a nifty puzzle.

I also agree that SPROCKET is a cool word. I like UTENSIL too.

I also got a chuckle out of the clues for OINK and DIETERS.

Didn't know any of the sports-related acronyms, teams, or players.

I learned that CDC worked puzzlewise where WHO didn't.

Plushenko's performance was funny and showy. It obviously elicited much excitement and hilarity from the commentators. The audience seemed to like it, too. I think that was the point. By the way, he also skated extremely well.

No association to BONER, I'm thinking.

Isn't a PETIT Four also a kind of neckwear?

Good wishes to you all.

Bill G said...

Hi everybody.

Like many others, I saw the ABCs in the circles but wondered if there was more to the theme. I didn't think of them as anagrams since they aren't words but permutations (arrangements) of three things. The symbol for it in math is 3! (factorial) or 3 x 2 x 1. If there are six desks in a row in math class, how many different seating arrangements are there? Six different students could occupy the first desk leaving five different possibilities for the second desk, then four and so on. That would be 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 720 arrangements. That is written as 6! The first time I saw six factorial explained in a math textbook, I wonder what is so exciting about 6?

Whenever we headed northward to San Francisco, we tried to make the time to take the very scenic coast route. We too enjoyed the pea soup at Andersen's. I was delighted to discover I could get it in a can in the local supermarket.

desper-otto said...

Jayce, are you thinking of the four-in-hand?

Ol' Man Keith said...

Spitzboov ~
I understand your reservations regarding the media--that they can be like kids dazzled by anything new. The worst I think are TV newscasts, where you really can't be on the news unless you have video.
But I wonder if we really want them to have an "offensive strategy"? Other than an attempt at that elusive ideal, "objectivity," I would prefer they keep their mitts off of anything like an agenda.
Fox "News" identified an implicit liberal bias in the so-called mainstream media, but then went out-and-out for blurring reactionary ideology with its menu of facts.
I liked it better when we really tried to keep politics out of the newsroom.
~ OMK

Ol' Man Keith said...

Addendum to my post above ~
But if you have video that contains even a modicum of visual bedazzlement, you can be a featured item on network TV--even if your newsworthiness is zilch.
~ OMK

Jayce said...

Re Petit Four, I looked it up and learned that I was mixing up the name of a necktie knot with the image of a totally unrelated necktie. What I was picturing in my mind is this Deluxe Western Bow Tie, which is not a four in hand, which in turn is not a kind of tie but simply a kind of knot.

CanadianEh! said...

I forgot to mention earlier:
Did we have a NoNo today with 4D Take a beating=LOSE and 39A Some losers=DIETERS?
(Although I agree that 39A brought a smile!)

Picard - I didn't know about BCS either. See the BCS link in my post @ 10:36am.
wiki "The Bowl Championship Series (BCS) was a selection system that created five bowl game match-ups involving ten of the top ranked teams in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of American college football, including an opportunity for the top two teams to compete in the BCS National Championship Game. The system was in place for the 1998 through 2013 seasons and in 2014 was replaced by the College Football Playoff."

Thank you for the update on the Conception disaster. How distressing for you to have such a personal connection and memories.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Congrats Julie on your LAT debut and thanks for the puzzle - easy as 1,Beta,iii.

Wonderful expo (and Grand-pics!) mb. Thanks goes to you TOO.

WOs: NFL b/f it slowly morphed into AFC, BARCaLONA [sic]
ESPs: CELIA, basically AFC, TIRANA
Fav: c/a for TIE. (well,,,, 'Make fast" fooled me for a bit - how do you make someone Hurry up? Not eat?)

OK, somebody has to call out the INSTR. clunker. Only saving GRACE is it crossed TACOS!

The theme was very necessary at FC BARCELONIA. The C wouldn't a'filled otherwise.

Picard - glad to hear your liquid DIET is over and you're no longer 'Some loser(s)'. :-)
So sorry to read of your friend.

CED - LOL!
IM - I too thought of Steve and MANU (and is the only futbol team I know - other than Houston Dynamos).
Thanks for the link to ACPT, C, Eh!

Now on SPROCKETs 'tis time we dance [Skip ahead to 4:11]

Cheers, -T

Jinx in Norfolk said...

In case you run out of disgust with TV news, here's a great article about the dramatic test results broadcast on TV before the cable networks were around to distort events.

AnonymousPVX said...


This Wednesday grid filled in quickly, but not without a

Markover.....NFL/AFC.

Still watching Dorian approach....I’m ~25 miles northwest of Charleston....still aTropical Storm Warning so far.

Still wanting Dorian to turn east, the sooner the better.

See you tomorrow....with any luck.

Jayce said...

Yes, desper-otto, I was thinking of four-in-hand.

Yes, Ol'Man Keith, having video seems to be a requirement on TV news, and, as you said, the more bedazzlement the better. Just a couple of days ago there was a news story about the "dangerous scourge" of guys doing "donuts" with their cars on public streets and the city's attempts to curtail it. Among other things the consensus seemed to be that if we could get rid of the audience for whom they put on these displays that they would stop doing it. At the exact same time they were saying that, they were showing aerial videos of the behavior from "chopper 5" and one of the talking heads (I won't call them news anchors) was exclaiming, "Wow, look at the smoke! And how perfect the circles are. Look at that car spinning out!"

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Jayce, our local noon news had an in-depth segment about the US Navy's preparation for Dorian. Good idea for the coverage, since ours is the world's largest navy base. The talking heads' voices were superimposed over great video - of the US Air Force preparing to move all the local F-22 Raptors to Ohio.

Spitzboov said...

OMK - Disregard my use of "offensive". I should have just said: "strategy".

Jinx - In Sept of '59 our ship had to get underway at Norfolk ant sortie to a designated hurricane anchorage in Chesapeake Bay, near Tangier Island, as I recall. The storm passed well to the East of us, so I guess the sortie was precautionary.

CrossEyedDave said...

Really wanted to post a silly link on
Spacely Sprockets Vs Cogswell Cogs,
but I couldn't find anything with teeth to it...

In other news:

Whats the difference between a Cog and a Sprocket?

The answer: (not much...)

Stay tuned for more under sensational news reports from C.E.D. Media

Jayce said...

Jinx, pitiful about showing video of Air Force preparations while reporting about Navy preparations. Also, thanks for the link to Walter Olson's article. Great reading.

I like the word SPROCKET, and also like the word SLAKE. Oh, and speaking of SISAL (from yesterday's puzzle) I used to think that MISLED was the past tense of MISLE (rhymes with SISAL, which also rhymes with a new antihistamine product called Xyzal). Misle is another "word" I like. Oh, and Penelope (rhymes with antelope).

CanadianEh! said...

Yes, Bianca Andreescu is going to the US Open SEMI-final as I hoped the other day. First Canadian (male or female) to do that since 1984.

Lucina said...

Jayce:
Do you really pronounce Penelope like antelope? I've never heard it that way. I only know it as Pen-e'-lo-pee.

I was wrong about the gnat. It must have gone into hiding for a few hours and now it's back tormenting me! Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can get rid of this pesky insect?

Anonymous said...

Lucina, I doubt it is only one gnat. Gnats do not live long. Maybe a few days to a week at most. Odds are you are seeing one of many gnats. And the gnats around do not bite. I guess there must be gnats in Arizona that do bite.

My advice though would be to remove whatever has attracted them to the inside of your house and also to find out how they are getting in and plug that opening. They will soon die off.

Lucina said...

Anon@11:31
Thank you. I believe it's a gnat and has been flying around here for about three weeks. Quite possibly it arrived as a hanger-on with something I purchased. Gnats don't seem to be around outside. I hope you are right that it will soon die. Whatever it is, I assure you it bites or stings. I have many welts to prove it.

Bill G said...

Lucina, I would have guessed a mosquito is after your blood but I'm sure you have ruled that out. (Does it make a high-pitched whine?) Where I grew up (in Virginia), gnats would appear in swarms in the yard. When I was mowing the lawn, I would often pass through a swarm of them and they would get in my eyes and nose. Very annoying but they didn't sting.

How about some flying insect aerosol spray?

How's the weather out your way?

Michael said...

Spammer @ 10:30 pm, dba as "seringupdate"

Can the creature be removed?

TX Ms said...

Fun and challenging puzzle (not a speed run) - my favorite kind. Sprocket (WEES-fun word) and epsom were my first fills - followed by NFL-bzzt, but I got the "F" correct which led me to "Afropop" because of the unusual names, and then AFC filled in (hello, C-Eh). Soccer teams? (never watch or read about them in the sports section) were a challenge but the perps helped. "...flag with double-headed eagle" clue was a gimme for a former USSR republic - which one?

Melissa B - I totally! enjoyed your recap, especially the Ladysmith/Paul Simon link - happily smiled happily throughout - it was such a joyous performance. Now, as to "performance" ... the Plushenko skating performance was ... well, unforgettable, and I'll leave it at that!

Desper-Otto @ 6:40am [snicker] - your usual dry humor!

MB - your granddaughters are the cutest of all cuties - what a sweet photo - thanks for sharing!

Happy that the Floridian Cornerites are all safe!