Feb 19, 2020

Wednesday, February 19, 2020, Roland Huget

Theme:  GEAR SHIFTS. G-E-A-R is rearranged and spread across two words. I'm not sure why 18A does not have circles, but I included it in the theme answers below.

18. Region where broadcast reception may be poor: FRINGE AREA.

23. Progress at a faster rate: FORGE AHEAD.

37. Army rank last conferred in 1950: FIVE STAR GENERAL. Where have all the 5-star generals gone?

52. Riot control weapon: TEAR GAS GUN.
59. Automatic functions in most cars, and what can be found in this puzzle's circles: GEARSHIFTS.

1. Low poker pair: TWOS.

5. Mus. key with three sharps: A MAJ. From Wikipedia: A major (or the key of A) is a major scale based on A, with the pitches A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. Its key signature has three sharps.

9. Nigerian seaport: LAGOS.

14. Greet with fanfare: HAIL.

15. Pizza Quick sauce brand: RAGU.

16. "You've got a friend": I CARE.

17. First name in scat: ELLA. Fitzgerald.

20. Mix: BLEND.

22. Former Soviet leader Brezhnev: LEONID. From Wikipedia: served as General Secretary of the Central Committee of the governing Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1964 until his death in 1982. His 18-year term as general secretary was second only to Joseph Stalin's in duration.

26. Prefix with tourism: ECO. A form of sustainable travel that supports the local environment instead of putting more pressure on it and exploiting its resources. See here.

29. Navigation technology, briefly: GPS. Global Positioning System. I'd be lost without it.

30. Brooding genre: EMO.

31. "Spartacus" Oscar winner: USTINOV. Ustinov won for his portrayal of Roman businessman Lentulus Batiatus. Learned from Wiki: In the climactic scene, recaptured slaves are asked to identify Spartacus in exchange for leniency; instead, each slave proclaims himself to be Spartacus, thus sharing his fate. The documentary Trumbo suggests that this scene was meant to dramatize the solidarity of those accused of being Communist sympathizers during the McCarthy Era who refused to implicate others, and thus were blacklisted.

34. Bowler's pickup: SPARE. Boomer!

36. Amtrak express: ACELA. Amtrak's flagship service along the Northeast Corridor in the Northeastern United States between Washington, D.C. and Boston via 14 intermediate stops, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City.

42. Breakout game developer: ATARI.

43. Pool triangles: RACKS. Standard 8-ball rack:

44. Sent a message, old-style: TELEXED. Telex was a major method of sending written messages electronically between businesses in the post-World War II period.

47. Rock's Ocasek: RIC. Lead singer for The Cars, who died just 5 months ago at the age of 75 from natural causes.

48. Grow older: AGE.

51. Thorn __, former Virgin Records owner: EMI. Major British company involved in consumer electronics, music, defense and retail.

55. Arizona MLBers: DBACKS. Baseball - short for Diamondbacks.

58. Dig find: RELIC.

63. "Ciao!": TATA.

64. Take in eagerly: EAT UP.

65. Yule tune: NOEL.

66. Saroyan's "My Name Is __": ARAM. First published in 1940 - assigned reading in some schools - about a boy of Armenian descent growing up in Fresno, California, and the various members of his large family.

67. Collaborative 1993 Sinatra album: DUETS. Followed up in 1994 with the sequel Duets II, which was Sinatra's final studio album. Speaking of 17A Ella, her 1956 Ella and Louis [Armstrong] was another successful collaborative effort (how could it not be?).

68. Looking like rain: GRAY. I'm in Oregon. It's been mostly gray for months, although we do see some intermittent sun. I'm one of the freaks who likes long rainy stretches.

69. U. of Maryland athlete: TERP. Short for Terrapins. The terrapin is
a species of turtle native to the brackish coastal tidal marshes of the eastern and southern United States and Bermuda.


1. Roald Dahl novel adapted as a 2016 Disney film: THE BFG. The Big Friendly Giant.

2. Big hit: WALLOP. Ow.

3. Gretzky's first NHL team: OILERS.

4. Word on the street?: SLANG. Nice clue.

5. Canine greeting: ARF.

6. Tarnish: MAR.

7. Like gymnasts: AGILE.

8. Capital near Glacier Bay National Park: JUNEAU.

9. Property claim: LIEN.

10. Dark purple berry: ACAI. I unexpectedly spent (no joke) six hours at the Verizon store today. The agent who was helping me did not sound thrilled with his girlfriend's text update that they would be having acai bowls for dinner. After six hours I felt like we bonded.

11. Plant custodian: GARDENER.

12. Vein contents: ORE.

13. Briny expanse: SEA.

19. Neil Gaiman's "American __": GODS. I like Gaiman, but have never read this one. Fantasy is not my genre - anyone read it?

21. Get rid of: DEEP SIX.

24. Latin 101 verb: AMAT.

25. Circle dance: HORA. Known as the King of Israeli folk dances, it means round dance. Also called the chair dance, because the guests hoist up the bride and groom in chairs.

27. Cuba libre mixer: COLA. Drink also known as rum and coke.

28. Racecourse shape: OVAL.

32. Chemicals carrier: TANK CAR.

33. Treats, as a sprain: ICES.

34. Drought-plagued: SERE. Adjective meaning dry or withered.

35. Get an "Oh no" from Alex Trebek, say: ERR.

37. Inevitable end: FATE.

38. Tabloid couple: ITEM.

39. Stamp, as a passport: VALIDATE.

40. Teri of "Tootsie": GARR. Such a funny actress, who has dealt with health issues for many years. She bravely appeared on Late Night with David Letterman in 2008, to speak publicly about her battle with MS.

41. Vaping device, familiarly: E-CIG.

45. Mark on metal: ETCH.

46. Puck-handling skill: DEKING.

48. Shining brightly: AGLARE.

49. Instrument for The Romeros, a classical quartet: GUITAR.

50. Pitch tents: ENCAMP.

53. Regarding: AS FOR.

54. Tuned to: SET AT. My phone alarm is always SET AT my local NPR station.

56. Very dry, as Champagne: BRUT.

57. Nile vipers: ASPS.

59. H.S. dropout's test: GED.

60. __ de cologne: EAU.

61. Scone go-with: TEA.

62. Surreptitious: SLY.


Jinx in Norfolk said...

FIR, but erased arid for SERE and as far for AS FOR. Had to wait for L[EI/IE]N. Wanted "booker" for Spartacus, but needed more letters for that.

Virginia's space port is located on WALLOPs Island. You can see launch contrails and flames from Virginia Beach.

Never heard of AGLARE, but "aglow" is common so it makes sense.

Parrotheads loved Jimmy and Frank collaborating on Mack the Knife on Duets II.

Thanks to Roland for the fun. Had trouble getting stated in Seattle, having never had a pair of TWOS. Mine are deuces. Didn't know that The BFG was such a BFD. Also thought that FORGE AHEAD meant to progress, not speed up. And thanks to mb for another fine tour through the grid.

Picard said...

By the time I had driver education in high school the GEAR SHIFTS were indeed all AUTOMATIC. I first had to learn to SHIFT GEARs while driving the family car of my then-girlfriend in Ireland. With everything on the "wrong side".

Fun theme! THE BFG just seemed utterly incomprehensible. THE BFD makes more sense to me. Thanks for the explanation Melissa Bee

Here I was in JUNEAU in July 2007

I enjoyed the visit and the excursion to GLACIER BAY. But I don't think I could stand that dreary weather for very long. Did I mention this was July?

Picard said...

From yesterday:
Wilbur Charles thanks for following up on Sammy CAHN.

Here is the Wikipedia page for Sammy CAHN

Search that page. Do you see Thoroughly Modern Millie?

AnonT thanks for the further explanation about the Johnson SPACE CENTER in Houston. It was very exciting to be there while the Apollo missions were still happening!

From Monday:
I also loved the "Carol Kings" clue. Carol King is one of my favorite musicians.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

No prob, as folks say today. Got through this one scathe-free. Even had a learning moment: In the BFG, F means Friendly. Thanx for the outing, Roland, and for the expo, Melissa Bee. (I really enjoyed Malaguena -- thanx.)

DUETS: I don't have either of Sinatra's duet albums, but I do have one of the cuts from Duets II on a duet album by Linda Ronstadt.

TELEX: I've only ever received one. I was in the UAE at the time. It was a short two sentences. "Don't come home. Continue on to Singapore." That was in July. I finally made it home just in time for Thanksgiving.

SET AT: I've set five station presets on my music server -- four of 'em are NPR stations: KUHF (Houston), WHYY (Philadelphia), WNYC (New York) and WGBH (Boston).

Yellowrocks said...

Fun puzzle. FIR RIC, ARAM and GODS needed perps and wags.
I am a Dahl fan, so I was surprised there was a Dahl book I have never heard of, BFG, all perps.
mb, GSP, "I'd be lost without it." LOL I have friends who pooh pooh it because of an occasional error. I use GPS frequently and in all these many years, I have found only three errors. There was a very occasional error in AAA Triptiks, too. Once I was directed over a mountain on a steep rocky road, suitable only for a Jeep. I had to detour miles around to get to the other side of the mountain.
We have had many gray days, but today is sunny and warm for February.Tonight and tomorrow we will have a cold snap. Almost no snow here this winter and warmer than average temps.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Bit of a prickly solve today. One white-out; I had 'remote' before FRINGE. JUNEAU was firm so I knew I had to change to something with an 'n'. Got BFG from perps. No perps needed for TERP. FIVE STAR GENERAL was early entry; it had to be Omar Bradley.
ARAM must be a favorite name of Armenians which Saroyan is one of. It is the first name of Khatchaturian the composer.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Easy Wednesday puzzle. I did not ERR or forget to "put the response in the form of a question." Per Alex T.

Did JUNEAU that the capital of Alaska used to be Sitka? And did JUNEAU there's no direct road access?

Circled clues helped me with "FORGE"AHEAD

VALIDATE...seriously going out with someone?

AGLARE: The look my grade school teacher gave me catching me chatting with my "neighbor".

Is there a "mar a LAGOS?"

Anonymous said...

The oddity of language... sometimes.

AGLARE anagrams to LA GEAR, which is a popular apparel company and has today's theme word.

Husker Gary said...

-A certain FRINGE AREA was 650’ deep in Hutchinson, KS salt mine
-Nit - FORGE AHEAD/Keep going despite obstacles, SURGE AHEAD/Speed up
-A BLEND problem that some peeps hate
-An outdated GPS system once told me to get out of the car and walk because there were no streets ahead
-The DBACKS stadium is covered for the exact opposite reason of why the Toronto stadium is
-GR_Y/TE_ left cluing options
-NHL naïf me, had Gretzky in OTTAWA for O _ _ _ _ _
-Kids! It’s Garter Snake, not GARDENER Snake!
-The Pawnee that ENCAMPED high on the bluff above the Platte River south of town were not happy seeing settlers arrive here
-Terri Garr clip was amazing!

oc4beach said...

It took slightly less than 15 minutes to do this enjoyable Wednesday puzzle from Roland. MB's tour gave me the theme and the circles which were missing from my on-line Merriam-Webster puzzle.

I only had a few erasures today. I wanted (Kirk) DOUGLAS instead of USTINOV, and I knew that Saroyan's name was not AdAM so I had 25 other letters to choose from. AGLARE seems a little Archaic to me, but it had to be.

TERP was a gimme, since DW got her BS there and I got a Master's there almost 40 years ago. I root for the Terps in basketball, but I could never get excited about their football program.

GPS systems are great, but you need to keep them updated with the latest maps, because there are changes all the time. Also, some of the mapping algorithms are not very good when it comes to setting up a route. When I travel, I try to lay out my route before I go using a computer based map program so that I can visualize the trip before I leave and print out some of the more intricate intersections. On one trip the Maryland highway department had removed an entrance ramp to I-70 that was a typical right turn ramp up to the highway and replaced it with a left hand turn at a traffic light to the ramp on the opposite side of the road coming from the other direction. It made no sense.

Back in the day NASA used to telex all of the tracking data and coordinates needed to track satellites from the remote tracking stations around the world.

Sunny today. Hope it's nice where you are.

Yellowrocks said...

I,too, thought SURGE AHEAD would be better than FORGE AHEAD. WALLOP walloped that thought.

oc4beach, I too, look the route up on MapQuest or Google maps and then on a paper map, before completely trusting the GPS when I am going far. But keeping the GPS up to date results in it having few errors. I like the GPS because it is easier to follow while driving than paper directions..
One time I did go up and down a two mile stretch of road many times looking for a street my GPS indicated. I finally asked someone. The street had become one way the other direction and so the street sign was removed. The friendly neighbor directed me to go around the block. Sometimes I test the GPS by ignoring it and going a way I already know. I find the difference in time is negligible.

HOA says I must get proof of having my fireplace chimney cleaned, even though I have used it only three times since the last required cleaning two years ago. I have electric heat assisted by modified solar, no furnace.

NaomiZ said...

Like Jinx in Norfolk, Husker Gary, and Yellowrocks, I think "surge ahead" is the right answer for "progress at a faster rate," whereas "forge ahead" means to keep on keeping on. Unlike those clever people, I was willing to settle for "wallup" and was left with the very unlikely "The BSG." I wouldn't have recognized the correct answer, "The BFG," anyway. So I was defeated in the northwest. Otherwise, a nice challenge. Thanks, all.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Roland Huget, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Melissa Bee, for a fine review.

Puzzle was a little sticky, but doable. It is Wednesday.

Caught the theme after GEAR SHIFTS. I had no circles for FRINGE AREA. Of course GEAR was not mixed up there either. Maybe circles were not intended.

A MAJ helped me with JUNEAU.

THE BFG was new to me. Thank you, GPS.

Never received a TELEX in my life. Tons of FAXES, though.

E CIG took me a while. Then I caught it.

ACAI, our new favorite word.

16 degrees this morning while guarding. A lady and her child brought me a cup of hot chocolate. Boy, did that hit the spot while I was out there.

Now to cook dinner for our meeting tonight. Cooking Shepherd's pie.

See you tomorrow.


( )

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Use my GPS frequently. Even if I know the route so my sclerotic brain is reminded of turns etc. I've found my GPS phone app more accurate though just too cumbersome (plus I'm too lazy) to set it up on the dash in place of my Garmin)

CrossEyedDave said...

I wanted Douglas (as in Kirk) for Sparticus,
but what did me in was "Aglare."

Wanted "Agleam,"
thought, maybe, "ablaze?"
(Nah, that would make it a tear gas Bun...)
(Don't know Adam from Aram...)

seems every state has differing HOA rules...
But I would tell them, "come take a look at it if you want!"
"otherwise you pay for the inspector!"
P.S., if it cannot be seen from outside the house,
what right do they have anyway?
(next they will be telling you , you can't play with matches...)

regrettably, DW gets mad at me
because I use the GPS to go around the Block in Manhattan...

Hard to post lately,
Exterminator sprayed the basement where I keep the computer,
& so far it got rid of me...

Here is a video of
how I imagined I did the puzzle...

Lemonade714 said...

Picard; have you seen the stage performance BEAUTIFUL? We loved it.

18A has to be part of the theme for symmetry purposes, but since the GEAR is not shifted, I guess the circles did not come into play

Thanks, Roland (stop by and tell us if we are right) and mb. Hope the little one is healing fast

Picard said...

Lemonade thank you for the Carol King tip. I had not heard of the Beautiful show. I just signed up on their list to be notified if a show comes out this way. Right now there are no shows listed for California.

Jinx I was very familiar with WALLOPs Island. As a teen I had no money to buy new electronic parts so I hung out at a local surplus store. There I would sometimes find some very unusual circuit boards that clearly were one-off and hand made. The owner explained that these were from rocket launches from WALLOPs Island. I was surprised that they were being discarded at rock-bottom prices. It seemed like they should be a piece of history.

NaomiZ I did exactly as you did. I had FORGE AHEAD and decided it was just wrong. I also replaced it with SURGE AHEAD even though it made for WALLUP. I figured that was just an alternate spelling. I won't even count this as FIW (nor as a FIR) since I think the clue is just wrong. And BFG vs BSD is apparently an unknown even for at least one fan of this writer. Too bad. I enjoyed the rest of the puzzle.

Yellowrocks said...

Abejo, many Americans like me use beef instead of lamb in shepherd's pie. Do you? Purists would call ours cottage pie. Instead of carrots, peas and corn, I use only onions and chopped red bell pepper. I also use a very small can of tomato sauce mixed with the meat. We top our mashed potatoes with lots of shredded cheddar cheese.

Ray, when I pick up Alan for weekend visits we get to talking and I realize we passed our turn just after it is too late. Although I have driven the route dozens of times, maybe I should use the GPS for that.

CED, we agree to the condo rules when we move in or we are not accepted. By a certain date we need to present the HOA with an invoice for the cleaning marked paid or we will be fined for each day of non-compliance. The courts enforce the HOA's stance. If the fine is not paid a lien is placed on your property.

Yellowrocks said...

I am looking into continuing care communities that feature independent living, progressing to assisted living and 24/7 nursing care, as needed. If you are able to be independent you have a small apartment in a lovely setting living with still active seniors. There are lots of in house activities, field trips and freedom, even more so if you can still drive. I would choose paying a very large upfront entrance fee instead of fee for service which is another choice. That way the assisted living and 24/7 nursing would cost the same as independent living. Nursing home fees are rising so fast that even with long term care insurance I couldn't pay them for very long. My mom was in a home for about 8 years.In NJ in the next 8 years the fees for a semiprivate nursing home bed are likely to be $175,000, quite a bit above the national average. So many decisions to make while I still have my health and most of my marbles. They accept only people who are healthy and independent to start. You can fall apart later.

Jayce said...

I enjoyed this puzzle and have the same reactions to it as many of you.

You all have probably heard the name Alexander Vindman. Although his twin brother's name is Yevgeny (Eugene in English) one news source called him LEONID. I have no idea how they came up with that name.

Until today I had never heard of Neil Gaiman, let alone read anything of his.

Since the discussion of Darth VADER recently, I have learned that, in writing the Star Wars stories, George Lucas was influenced by the writings of Joseph Campbell. Fascinating.

A couple of friends of mine moved from Seattle to Las Vegas because they couldn't stand what they called the "sunless" weather of Seattle. LW and I lived in Eugene Oregon for 4 years while I went to university there. We thought the weather there was quite pleasant, but that's not surprising since we had just come from Connecticut.

Wishing you all a good day.

Anonymous said...

Yellowrocks, I know a couple who paid an enormous amount of money upfront to live in a community that promised continuing care. The company went bankrupt and the new owners would not honor that contract, gave residents 30 days to agree to their new terms or leave. Please be careful. The possibility of bankruptcy is a factor to be considered.

Wilbur Charles said...

Picard, I looked again on Sammy C. and cannot find TMM

Fast cruise today. Easiest of the week for me. I initially got my driver's license on automatic then took it again on standard. Key was stopping, starting on a hill and turning in said (steep) hill.

Driver's Ed had a scam going around Boston where testers would get payola for flunking drivers so more lessons could be bought. DMV actually had their own police force ticketing speeders. Another Cash cow

GPS is valuable for traffic. I ignored it on Clearwater causeway and was stuck for an hour because of fatality on the other end. I was in shuttle but passengers didn't catch on that I didn't follow GPS. A la Frank, I did it my way.

Lucas was obviously influenced by Tolkien. Some had it backwards since LOTR movie came later.


AnonymousPVX said...

Well this Wednesday mid-week go went quickly but not without error.

Write-overs.....AGLEAM/AGLARE, GEARCHANGE/GEARSHIFTS. noted, watch out...I refuse to pay “in advance” for something that I may not need or may not be available by the time I need it. I’m still in the “age in place” camp.

And on to Thursday.

Hungry Mother said...

I did half of the puzzle after this morning’s cataract surgery, so I’m struggling with fuzzy vision. I still got it done with no problems and had identified the theme before surgery. In the summer of 1961, I drove a Yellow Cab in Philadelphia with no GPS, no radio, and no cell phone. We were told to always ask a fare how they wanted to go because they would invariably take a more expensive route.

Yellowrocks said...

WARNING, elder care concerns. Skip if this is TMI.
Anonymous, thanks for the warning @1:15. I have read several articles about bankruptcy in CCRCs, Alta Vita Village, being a prime example. I have a long list of financials I will ask for before I decide and will hire an elder attorney to look at them. I am fairly conservative financially and will not jump into this feet first.
Fee for service at CCRCs are beyond my means. Aging in place is risky, too. I have known many seniors who suddenly declined and couldn't be cared for at home. Nursing home costs are prohibitive and rising faster than inflation. I read that between 50 and 70% of all of today's senior will spend some time there. I am not well enough off to afford that for long and too well off for charity care.
This is the time for tough decisions.
My car has 100,000 miles. I may drive for years or I may have to stop soon. I can't afford a new car. I am looking into extended warranties in the $2500-$3000 range. Some of these warranties are not worth the paper they are printed on. If I am to see Alan I need to drive as long as possible.
My house needs some work. Do I stay here and fix it up? Do I fix it up to sell it? Do I sell it as is? If so, is it attractive enough to entice a buyer? I will have a realtor in soon to ask for advice.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

HM: 1O letter word for doing a crossword after cataract surgery. "Dedication!"

(I skip it sometimes if my glasses are smudged)

Hungry Mother said...

Many of the Yellow Cabs in Philly in 1961 were stick-shift Plymouths. I often had to stop mid-fare to pop the hood and unstick the shifting linkage. Luckily, the meter kept running while we were stopped. Did I ever DEKE a stuck gear? Not telling.

Ol' Man Keith said...

I'm shocked--Shocked, do you hear?!
We expect to see no politics on the Corner, and yet both times that I signed on this morning I found an enormous pro-Trump political ad at the very top--and inside the confines of--our Crossword Corner!
The ad extols the virtues of U-know-Who's mortgage relief policies--while denigrating his predecessor's work.

If others have been subjected to the same advertising, there must be some way our hostess can lodge a protest to whomever is responsible for the server's ads.

On another front, this was a fine Humpday Pzl. I found it full of the kind of tough but doable clues that we appreciate. 47A was my last fill, but perps to the rescue!
A 3-way NW to SE. The central diagonal reminds us that snakes are not the only thing to fear in the not-always-friendly skies.
If we're not lucky, we may encounter the...

Jinx in Norfolk said...

OMK, you read that crap?

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Smooth Wednesday puzzle -- no clunkers and a just few areas that take some sussin'. Thanks Roland.
//curious if you had Surge AHEAD but the U was too hard to deal w/?

Great expo mb. What app are you using to get your phone alarm to play NPR?

Proud moment: I finally remembered ACELA!
Fav: DEEP SIX - fun imagery
Runner-up: Clue for ATARI

DR: I'd rather the rat than the snake :-)
//BTW, the ads are based on YOUR surfing patterns. My banner ad is for Dell monitors 'cuz I was checking the price of TWO 30"-ers for home.

@9:43a - nice catch w/ LA GEAR.

Picard said, "It was very exciting to be there while the Apollo missions were still happening!" and that's when I realized your pic is NOT of IIS's mission control... goose-bumps.
I've seen the original mission control (and sat in the same observation room you were in) but is was just sitting there exactly at it was left from Apollo. In 2018 [2:01] they started restoration for unveiling on Apollo 11's 50th. [2:22]

Play later, -T

Ol' Man Keith said...

Jinx ~
If by "crap" you mean the 4inch-deep-by-footwide full-color banner political headline sprawled across my iMac screen, then--
... well, yes! Pretty hard to avoid this one.

I normally skip right by such attention-grabbers, but this one is a real doozy.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Jinx ~ I just signed on again--to test it.
For just a second there is nothing showing at the top of the Corner.
Then the ad pops up. Each time so far it has a different illustration. It first appeared as a parchment scroll, then a circus tent, now as a bunch of floating cartoon faces.
Always the same pro-Trump headline.

Spitzboov said...

OMK and A -T - - Mine starts out with a dozen of eggs across the top. What does that say about my surfing pattern? No, I haven't gone to Amazon to find the best deal on chicken roosts or crushed oyster shells for chicken diet supplement.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

A MAGA cap is frequently appears at the top of my blog display At the bottom, a toilet bowl full of toilet paper rolls. What does that tell you?

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

I complained about the political advertising almost a year ago and was told by fellow bloggers it was a setting issue.

CanadianEh! said...

Wonderful Wednesday. Thanks for the fun, Roland and melissa bee.
I finished this CW this morning and came here, but then my day's activity began and I did not post. By now, WEES. But I see that I FIRed and saw the GEAR SHIFTS. (I prefer Automatic!)

Re the discussion about FORGE AHEAD, I see that says "You can forge ahead (which, confusingly enough, can mean either "move slowly and steadily" or "move with a sudden increase of speed")". I think that the first meaning is more common (but the clue for 23A is OK).
Hand up for Agleam before AGLARE. Interesting observation, Anon@9:43 that is anagrams to LA GEAR.
I smiled at EMO and EMI (I'll post for IM).
OMK - This Canadian is getting advertising across the top banner for Wayfair and picture frames because I was looking at that website yesterday. Thankfully I am not getting American or Canadian politics!

YR - I am astounded at care facilities can take a large upfront payment and not have any controls over the security of that money. By comparison, money paid here for pre-arrangement of a funeral has strict regulations requiring it to be deposited in trust etc. (and can be transferred to another funeral home).
Our long-term care facilities (as opposed to retirement homes) have their fees set by the government (see link). The only problem is the long waiting list leading to people using hospital beds that should be in long-term care. But on the whole, I prefer our Canadian medical system.

Time to sign off. Another busy day tomorrow.

Wilbur Charles said...

Husker Gary, as I post I have a CPAP machine over my nose and mouth. I'll let you know in the morning how this goes.

VA wants me to use it.