Mar 14, 2020

Saturday, March 14, 2020, Debbie Ellerin

Themeless Saturday by Debbie Ellerin

This is my fifth Saturday with a Debbie Ellerin puzzle. Debbie was nice enough to answer my email that I sent to her via an address she had completely forgotten. I reminded her that in her previous Saturday puzzle she used HEN COOP as fill and that that phrase had generated some discussion in this forum (Chicken Coop and Hen House? Ok, but...). Debbie said she was going to revisit that clue/fill and read the comments. She's a great sport! 

Debbie is a retired computer programmer who has made stops at The University of Michigan, Boston for 30 years and, after tiring of winter weather, now lives in Los Angeles. She wrote to me that she likes constructing themeless puzzles and of this one she wrote: I wrote this puzzle back in April of 2019 so my memory is a bit hazy on how it came to be. Pretty sure that JACUZZI was my seed entry because of the collection of interesting letters. I then got the center area to work and from there worked on each corner.  I like the entries BIGASK, ZENSTATE, and ROBOCALL (although not receiving them!)

Let's see what the former Michigan Wolverine has for us today:


1. Hardly a routine favor: BIG ASK - Are you more likely to make a BIG ASK or receive a BIG ASK

7. Rubs out: BUMPS OFF - Think mobster not marker board

15. Project that led to the first moonwalk: APOLLO - If you need a presentation about this, email me!

16. "And how!": IS IT EVER 

17. Rounds of shots: SALVOS - A painting of one battleship firing SALVOS onto Iwo Jima before the 1945 invasion

18. Meditation goal: ZEN STATE - In the words Paul McCartney, Let It Be

19. Money in music: EDDIE Here 'ya go

20. "__: a Dog": 1962 film based on a 1919 novel: LAD Wanna read it online for free?

21. Fruit with a Medjool variety: DATES - This company sells Jumbo Medjool DATES but also have Halawi, Khadrawy and Thoory varieties.

22. Fathers and sons: MEN and 26. Fathers and sons, say: KIN.

23. Portable Asian dwellings: YURTS - Jane Fonda helped finance the building of YURTS near Canon Ball, North Dakota where the Standing Rock Sioux are protesting an oil pipeline

25. "Live at Red Rocks" musician John: TESH A sample

27. Tiny resistance unit: MICROHM - A portmanteau for MICRO-OHM (a millionth of an OHM)

29. Petrol measure: ONE LITRE - These fuel prices in Euros/LITRE can be changed to dollars/gallon by multiplying them by 4.56
31. Start of a Seuss classic: I AM SAM.

36. Galleria degli Uffizi city: FIRENZE - We visited that museum in Florence, Italy. Besides FIRENZE we also went to Roma, Venezia and Napoli and others 

37. Range in which 7 is neutral: PH SCALE - Didn't we all have this in H.S. Chem? If not...

38. "Swords into plowshares" prophet: ISAIAH 27 versions of this passage

39. Had difficulty: HIT A SNAG - What the 2020 run for the presidential candidacy did for most of the original Democrats 

40. Maker of many jets: JACUZZI - This looks very pleasant.

42. Fields of cookies: MRS.

43. __ entry: DATA.

47. Plant that has become invasive in much of the Eastern U.S.: KUDZU - When we took a tour of the south, the guides pointed out the KUDZU invasion 

48. One acting badly: HAM.

49. "Swan Lake" maiden: ODILE - Ballet's bad girl. Hmmm... I wonder which one she is in this picture?

51. Vitamin bottle abbr.: RDA.

52. Marathoners' sources of energy: CARBS.

54. Telemarketing tactic: ROBO CALL - My lovely bride has given to some charities online and now... "No good deed goes unpunished"

56. "Scream" scream: SHRIEK.

57. Rule that keeps you from spelling weirdly?: I BEFORE E - Hmmm...Read the print on this mug

58. With great intensity: KEENLY.

59. Colonists: SETTLERS.

60. Dr. Scholl's product: INSOLE - Took care of my plantar fasciitis 


1. Stalwart political group: BASE- Pols can't win without theirs.

2. Apples since 2012: IPAD MINIS - Now it supports the Apple Pencil

3. The best of times: GOLDEN ERA - Health-wise for me it was when I was young. Intellectually it is now (hard as that is to believe) 

4. Harmonica-playing chipmunk: ALVIN - David Seville got the Chipmunk voices by recording at half-speed and then playing back at normal speed. He did this first when he sang OO-EE-OO-AH-AH for his song Witch Doctor

5. Gin flavoring: SLOE.

6. Ring decisions: KO'S.

7. Off-the-wall: BIZARRE - Cross Eyed Dave's, uh, unique links!

8. No longer fazed by: USED TO 

9. Time meas.: MIN.

10. VA concern: PTSD.
11. Mount an attack on: SET AT.

12. Kiwi-shaped: OVATE - Some tomatoes as well

13. Bashes: FETES - Big parties not big strikes 

14. Just baked, say: FRESH.

20. Riches: LUCRE Biblical use

23. 1994 co-Nobelist with Yasser and Shimon: YITZHAK.

Yasser Arafat          Shimon Peres      YITZHAK Rabin
24. Fluffy toy: SHIH TZU - Toy dogs don't fool me anymore (much)
26. Ex-U.N. chief Annan: KOFI.

27. "Anaconda" rapper Nicki: MINAJ - If you think female rappers can't also have filthy lyrics, Google her

28. Kenyan tribe: MASAI - Cody Willnerd from the University of Nebraska (note the N on the hat) interviewing members of the MASAI tribe in front of one of their homes (boma)

30. Worn welcome symbol: LEI.

32. Game show VIPs: MC'S - We here are all thinking of Alex Trebek 

33. Enclave in Italy: SAN MARINO - It takes over 4 hours to drive between Italy's two sovereign countries within its borders

34. Warning signal: ALARM BELL 

35. High-tech capacity units: MEGS.

37. Pie sometimes topped with pineapple: PIZZA - An acquired taste?

39. Gatherings before snaps: HUDDLES - Players now wear wristbands like this to make calling plays in the HUDDLE easier

41. Salon device: CURLER.

43. Day of films: DORIS - America's sweetheart at 20 and 90

44. Brick of the Southwest: ADOBE.

45. High land: TIBET - The route from Lhasa, TIBET to Everest Base Camp 

46. Up in the air: ALOFT.

48. Long-eared critters: HARES.

50. Biol. branch: ECOL.

52. "Big Brother" host Julie __ Moonves: CHEN - The wife of former CBS president Les Moonves and host of a show that holds no interest for me

53. Terrier breed from Scotland: SKYE.

55. "What __ the odds?!": ARE.

56. Go downhill fast: SKI - The record is 158 mph!

Now, how about some comments for Debbie:


Jinx in Norfolk said...

FIW, missing mUCRi (and mAD: a Dog and FIRENZi). (We loved touring the Uffizi but had an hour wait to get in).

Happy pi day! I like Hawaiian pizza pi(e). Let the ridicule begin.

I also like Big Brother when I have time to scan through the "After Dark" footage to get the behind-the-scenes interplay. Its been a couple of years since I've had that luxury.

Thanks to Debbie for the challenging Saturday grid. My favorite was I BEFORE E, mainly because some people say I have troubel speling goud. And thanks to Gary for the always fun review.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

This was a really fast Saturday stumper, maybe my fastest ever. I was right on Debbie's wavelength with BIG ASK and JACUZZI -- that helped a lot. Thanx, Debbie, and for the tour, Husker.

LAD: I remember finding that Terhune book in our family library in my ute. I liked it.

YURTS: Can't see that word without thinking of the Stargate SG-1 episode where Samantha Carter complains that her YURT smells like rancid yak butter.

ROBOCALL: We're still very happy with NOMOROBO -- the free anti-robo service for VOIP phone users. It monitors incoming calls, and when it senses a robocaller, it hangs up after the first ring. All we have to do is remember to let the phone ring twice before answering.

ALVIN: I distinctly remember that The Witch Doctor singer was Ross Bagadasarian. I don't think he used the name David Seville until The Chipmunk Song.

Doris DAY: She passed away almost a year ago.

In the past 24 hours the national Tax-Aide program was shut down indefinitely due to the coronavirus. This morning I got an email that M-o-W volunteers will be sidelined until further notice. M-o-W employees will be making all deliveries, protecting volunteers from further virus exposure. Looks like I'll have no reason to leave home until the groceries (or beer) run out.

OwenKL said...

Before you BUMP OFF a bumper of beer
Listen for any ALARM BELLS you hear!
Is a CALL to cease
Before you endanger your driving career!

If you wish to meditate
Into a ambient ZEN STATE
You can try getting groovy
Or fill up on PIZZA to self-medicate!

{C+, B-.}

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Like DO, I was really on Debbie's wavelength today and sped through this in 18:34, a very fast solve for me on a Saturday. I don't hurry when I'm solving, .i just meander slowly and surely. I had Golden Age before Era. I liked the clecho clues for Men and Kin and also Men and Min. Swan Lake ladies, Odile and Odette, appeared within days of each other. I checked the Pangram possibility but no Q or W, as far as I could tell. CSO to Spitz at Alvin. (No pineapple on pizza for me; I prefer savory over sweet in all foods.)

Thanks, Debbie, for a very enjoyable challenge and thanks, HG, for a super-duper summary. I loved all the visuals, especially those adorable Shih Tzus. The Skye Terriers are cute, too, but might be cuter after a fur trimming around their eyes! How I wish more people would practice the 10 To Zen rules. If wishes were horses,...


PK, your sense of humor has given me many a chuckle! So sorry you're going through such sad times.

Anon T, I'll let you know when I watch "Office Space." Just out of curiosity, I compared some nationally-available name brands' pricing at HEB vs my local market:

2.98 HEB vs 4.25 Hannaford-Pizza Kit
2.98 HEB vs 2.50 Hannaford-Ruffles potato chips
2.68 HEB vs 3.00 Hannaford-Ritz Crackers
1.50 HEB vs 1.99 Hannaford-Helluva Good Onion Dip

Interesting, yes?

Have a great day.

Big Easy said...

Well Debbie, you put some fills in the puzzle that took some perps to spell correctly. MICROHM, YITZHAK, FIRENZE, SHIHTZU, MASAI, ISAIAH, MINIJ. I HIT A SNAG in the middle before my welcome MAT changed to LEI and my LITER got the British spelling of LITRE. I'm glad I have a JACUZZI in my bathroom so I know how to spell that one.

Had to change SAM I AM to I AM SAM.

I BEFORE E unless it's German, where it's E BEFORE I.
ALVIN was a WAG. Ditto for DATES. ODILE was the only unknown that required all perps.
22A- KIN had to change to MEN after KIN appeared in 26A.

I knew of Julie CHEN because why else would she get that job. Her philandering husband was the head of CBS. The old casting couch that the fading #MeToo movement is trying to slow down. It will never end. Some things never change

Yellowrocks said...

Fast for a Saturday, except for the extreme NW. I was sure 1-A said "hardly a routine flavor." HUH? so even the B in BASE did not tip me off. I forgot APOLLO, DUH. Two red letters.
HG, great post. I liked your Jacuzzi photo. I brought back memories of a scene like that when we were in a pool behind a huge glass wall at a resort. It was heavenly watching the snow fall from there.
Kuzu is a unsightly problem.
I can't imagine macaroni or pasta topping pizza. So heavy. I also can't imagine pineapple on pizza. My tastes run to savory and umami.
In German there is both the IE spelling and EI spelling.
The German EI is said like the English long I. DREI (three) FREI (frei).
The German IE is said like the English long E. BIER (beer) and VIER (four)
Never a problem with spelling if you know the pronunciation.

jfromvt said...

I got most of it, but finally gave up on finishing. Wasn’t going to slog through the remaining proper nouns and Naticks, specifically 23, 26, 27 down crossed by 36 across.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Happy pi day.

A good Saturday slog. Seemed like more 'Z's' than usual. NE was last to fall.
Too bad the ECOL people can't do more about invasives like KUDZU.
Great husker.
SALVOS - - Husker's painting depicts the USS Texas (BB-35) firing her 10 x 14 in caliber 45 guns.

Enjoy your day.

desper-otto said...

You've got sharp eyes, Spitz. The future of that ship is rather sketchy. She's currently parked at the San Jacinto State Historical Site in Houston. The hope is to tow it to a shipyard later this year for replacement of the entire hull below the waterline. I'm not sure how they plan to pay for that. There's even some concern that the ship may sink during the tow to the shipyard. After repairs, the Battleship Texas Foundation wants to find a new home for the ship -- the present site doesn't generate enough annual visitors (ie: ticket sales) to warrant the cost of upkeep.

Wendybird said...

What a great Saturday puzzle! Debbie hit my wheelhouse- maybe a weird Michigan connection since Ann Arbor is my home town.
Big Ask is new to me. We “did” the Uffizi in about 3 hours - way too fast and exhausting, but we had a train to catch, so...

Lad: A Dog was one of my favorite childhood books, read many times.
I had Alert before Alarm and Jellos before Salvos (revealing my misspent youth?)

Thank goodness for perps to help with spelling of a few unfamiliar names.

Thanks Debbie and Gary for a lovely start to the day.

Lucina said...


This was a fast Saturday solve! Thank you, Debbie Ellerin.

My trusty pen had only two missteps. I wanted MINI instead of MICRO but LUCRE nixed that and I POD became I PAD. I also had a blank cell at BA_E and failed to go back.

Otherwise I enjoyed the tour with a plethora of interesting fill: FIRENZE,(great memories there)ISAIAH, JACUZZI,(more good memories),ZEN STATE, SAN MARINO, YURTS, etc.

I love Hawaiian PIZZA! With a thin crust, of course.

MEN closely followed by KIN was fun to see.

I waited for LITER vs LITRE until LUCRE came along.

I AM SAM is also a movie with Sean Penn.

It's really sad to see all the KUDZU overtaking the forests in the South.

Thank you, Gary for a KEENLY written commentary!

Have a sensational day, everyone!

Bluehen said...

Yes, Wendybird, a great puzzle full of sparkly fill, few unknowns, and great perps for those that were unknown. Even with my poor typing skills (I lost a home key when I accidently amputated the tip of my left middle digit. Now all of my d's are x's, so I have become a hunt and pecker. Don't say that too fast.) I finished in 24 mins., very speedy for me. Thanks be to Debbie and to HG for his erudite expo.

Jinx, re: some people's individual taste in pizza. Did you see todays comic strip "Curtis"? Funny and appropriately timely. I'd link it if I knew how. Maybe some good Samaritan will come to our aid.

Re: those adorable Shih Tzu dogs. Years ago DW decided that she wanted a lap dog, so we went to the local SPCA and adopted a mutt. First thing I took it to the vet for a thorough check-up, during which I asked the vet if he could hazard a guess as to the dog's ancestry. He said that the dog was young but full grown (about 15 lbs.)so there was obviously some kind of toy or toys involved and he suspected given his coat and overall appearance that it was likely a cross between a Shih Tzu and a Toy Poodle. I took the little fellow home (we named him "Trubble". More about that another time.) and gave DW the good news. "The vet said he's most likely a cross between a Shih Tzu and a Toy Poodle which would make him a Shitz Poo." She was not amused.

Chili tonight. Probably the last batch for the season. Spring seems to be well upon us and it's time to think about eating lighter. Time to go mow the lawn for the first time this year.


Misty said...

Woohoo! No, I didn't get the whole puzzle, but I got the middle and southwest and the southeast but never heard of KUDZU and that stumped me even though I had PIZZA (wasn't sure about the exact spelling of YITZHAK). Started out by getting KOFI, which gave me KIN and that gave me the MEN right above. Had a bit of trouble with the spelling of FIRENZE and LITRE even though I knew and otherwise got both answers. But it was neat to have DORIS cross ODILE so that ADOBE and TIBET filled in right away. Loved getting GOLDEN ERA and I BEFORE E was fun to get too. So, a delightful puzzle even if some areas were a bit tough for me--many thanks, Debbie. And I loved all your pictures, Gary.

Nice poems, Owen.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

AnonymousPVX said...

This seemed to me a typical Saturday puzzle.

Lotsa Z’s...


I like pineapple with baked ham, why not with ham or bacon on pizza? Tastes good to me.

Here in Charleston they are just about ready to turn the Guppy class sub Clamagore into a sunken reef ship. They also have the aircraft carrier Yorktown and the destroyer Laffey, both of which need expensive work. Millions to fix rusting ships that continue to rust. I don’t understand how this can continue, salt water is hell on steel.

Anyway, enjoy the sportsless weekend, see you Monday.

Wilbur Charles said...

Aaarrgggh!!! I thought I had it, didn't notice it until KOFI/KOvI and recalled I tried to fit the Italian for Venice forgetting Florence. Darn, one box, so close. "One Box Wilbur strikes again.

Three weeks ago "Toys with tails" was not PEKES, but today...btw, you can't have to many Z's* on a Saturday. A gift from Debbie. She must get her cleverness and generosity from her days in Boston.

Her angst?(see McCartney**): rooting for the Redsox.

Re. MASAI: My brother was a missionary in Kenya. I was thinking Tutsi

Yep, pineapple and mushroom on my PIZZA, Just fine with me. As Lucina says "I love Hawaiian PIZZA! With a thin crust, of course." Oui, de rigueur
Wow, two solid W's today Owen. I'll bet Anon-T will heartily agree.

I loved this doable Saturday. Insert/INSOLE; Yum-yum/IAMSAM; Beset/SETAT. Some gimnes like ALVIN,ALOE,HUDDLES,HARES etc. I got BIZARRE,BUMPSOFF between a Mtg and lunch.


*Not to speak of those handy K's
**IM, I too loved 10 to Zen. Splynter would like that list

CanadianEh! said...

Super Saturday. Thanks for the fun, Debbie and HuskerG.
I finished with one question mark, and a FIW when I got here. But not too bad for a Saturday. More time available today since everything is cancelled.

EDDIE was unknown and I questioned A. BASa did not make sense. E needed.
Hand up for struggling with spelling of MINAJ, YITZHAD, KOFI; areas which were not helped by perps when I did not remember FIRENZE.

Yes, I counted 5 Zeds. And of course, this Canadian entered LITRE with no hesitation (British petrol will be measured in LITREs!).

Hand up for starting with iPod before SALVOS (LOL wendybird re JELLOS) give iPAD MINI. I love mine but I bought it in November 2014 and it is time for a new one. Safari crashes if too many ads.
Speaking of Safaris, my moment of highest cultural shock was while visiting a MASAI village. Latticed homes (not YURTS) plastered with mud or cow dung, with opening for smoke from fire; cows came within the fenced area at night resulting in dung all underfoot. Beautiful beaded jewellery and red woven blanket came home with me after some expected bartering by DH.

I wanted Ants for 59A "Colonists" but it was human SETTLERS today.
8A "no longer fazed by" (another Z!) could have been inured but USED TO was needed.
I waited for perps to decide between OVoid and OVATE. Galas changed to FETES.
KEENLY changed Chan to CHEN.
I started with Odette after the other day, but ODILE fit.

We had HAM for that pineapple PIZZA, and a LEI also for our Hawaiian FETE.
There was a Jeopardy question the other night that was answered with APOLLO but Gemini was required.

Wishing you all a good day. Stay safe.

Wilbur Charles said...

Bluehen, since you were so entertaining today, here's Curtis


Ol' Man Keith said...

A terrific pzl from Ms. Ellerin. Tough but do-able. I enjoyed scratching my head several times, but solved it all in the end.

FIRENZE reminded me of an awkward time in my youth. It was during my first visit to Italy and I stood staring at the departure board in the main Rome train station, trying to locate a train to FLORENCE. I had no idea the Italian name was so different!
It took me the better part of the afternoon to figure it out...

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Another challenge, thanks, Debbie! Thanks for another fun & informative expo, Gary! Surprised you didn't mention PI day. (My niece messaged me it was PI day and I finally realized why people call it that. Duh! How many years has that been mentioned?)

Struggled with this but found it interesting and satisfying to finish. Gotta keep trying to keep the brain honed to intelligent thought.

I was sure it was ErnIE Money. Sorry, EDDIE.

10 to Zen: serene but probably very boring person.

DNK: MRS Fields of cookies. Amos didn't fit.


Agnes: glad I can give someone a smile. I made my EMTs laugh during my marathon nose bleed, then they were embarrassed for having laughed when the situation was less than amusing. I told them, "Don't apologize. If I can't get a laugh, I'm probably dead."

CanadianEh! said...


Jayce said...

I also finished more quickly than I expected. I liked this puzzle. My only big stumbling block was entering ACIDITY instead of PHSCALE; it took some noodling to sort it out. I also wanted FIRENZE to have an O in it (a la Fiorello) but FIORENZE wouldn't fit. Thank you, Debbie Ellerin, for a fun puzzle with terrific fill.

A MICROHM is exceedingly tiny; I dare say a straight wire has more resistance than that.

I read the "Gatherings before snaps" clue as "Gatherings before naps" so my answer was CUDDLE.

Good wishes to you all.

Jayce said...

I've been trying to decide whether or not share the following information with you, and have decided to let it be known. My wife and I have been sick all this week. Lots of coughing. Lots. No fever, no headaches. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being Mild, 10 being Severe, and 5 being Medium, I'd say our symptoms are about a 3 or 4. We have been staying home, hunkering down, and trying to alleviate the coughing with OTC cough suppressant and expectorant medications. The worst thing is the damn, incessant, energy-draining coughing; it tires you out and makes it impossible to get any meaningful sleep. We both reported to each other that we feel a tad better (less awful) than the past couple of days, so there's that. We think she got it from having shopped at Costco and Walmart last Saturday, then I got it from her. Just wanted to let you know.

Wendybird said...

I was also amazed at the homes in the Masai village. So dark and smoky. And bringing the cows in at night. But they were so welcoming and friendly and seemed happy.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

PK, Mrs Fields Cookies were in many of the big malls. My ex's son-in-law was a store manager and was really proud of their products. At least for a while, they used to weigh the purchases and sell cookies by the ounce. They were made and baked fresh at the store, and used a LOT of butter. Best of all, SIL brought home any leftover product every night.

I think they are still in business, but with the malls failing I'm sure their business model has evolved.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Jayce, please keep an eye on your temperature. From what I read, Corona commonly causes 103+ degree fever. Also a productive cough is common. You didn't mention general achiness, but that is supposed to be a big difference - flu makes you ache, Corona usually doesn't.

In any case, I'm glad you both seem to be getting better. My prayers are with you both for a speedy recovery.

Anonymous T said...

Hi all!

Thanks Debbie for a near-doable Saturday puzzle! All those Z's were fun!

Excellent expo HG. I'm the BIG ASK'd.

WOs: YeRTS, ODetE [sic], ROBO diaL
Cheat: Spelling of FIRENZE... and I was at the Uffizi last September in Florence :-)
Fav: Clue for I BEFORE E (Hi Jinx!)
Other sparkle: BIG ASK, two double-Z words crossing, tripple-dose of Italy (Today, Eldest and I picked up some San Marzano tomato plants for the garden!)

I'm a EE yet I never noticed there's only one O in MICR[O]OHM?
//in my defense, it's spelt µ Ω :-)

{B, A}

IM - that's interesting re: H.E.B. prices; it's a fairly upscale grocer in the burbs. Maybe it's the NY v. TX cost of living(?)

Wendybird - we 'did' the Uffizi for ~5 hours. Still felt to short...
Anyone planning to go - by tickets online. You get an appointment time and no line. We did that for a number of 'must sees' and saved a lot of line-time.
Oh, and LOL Jello shots!

OKM - fortunately, DW had already been to Italy w/ her students a few times and saved me the loss of an afternoon on our way from Rome -> Figline via Florence.
She helped not at all when I asked the taxi driver if would take us 40m to Fig-Line. Took a few minutes for him to understand I couldn't pronounce 'filinni'.

Bluehen - LOL Shitz Poo!

Canadian bacon and Pineapple isn't bad (sometimes refreshing) but not something I make though I have ordered it for parties. I like simple pies, sausage|greenpeper|onion, tomato|basil|fresh mozzarella, or olive oil|garlic|basil|oregano|mozzarella.

Jayce - I'm so sorry to read that yous are not well. Have you been tested yet? (he says rhetorically, knowing the answer no). From what I've read pneumonia can set in and puts you in critical. Please contact Dr.

I'll leave you with this (paraphrased) I saw Twitter:
Quarantine Diary
Day 1 - I haven't left the apartment for 2 weeks. #introvert

Cheers, -T

Bill G said...

Hi everybody...

Thanks Debbie and Gary. I thought it was more fun than typical for a Saturday toughie.

Jayce, best wishes for you and your wife. Keep us posted.

So far, I have been able to avoid crowds and much of any possible exposure to COVID-19. I did pick up a prescription and found myself at the end of a line of six or seven people. Not bad but still unusual. Say, do any of you know where the name COVID-19 comes from? Also, whenever the discussion on the TV news programs turns to the pandemic, they often show file photos that look like a spheres with protruding line segments with little red 'pizza slices' on the ends. What is that? An electron microscope photo?

PK, thanks for the Pi Day greetings. I was wondering if somebody would mention it because it's such an irrational thing to celebrate. :>)

~ Mind how you go...

Bill G

Anonymous T said...

Bill G - COVID19 is so named because it is of the Coronavirus family (those spikes of pizza in (I think electron microscope photo) are like the bursts of a crown [corona]/sun). It's 19 'cuz the mutation was 'discovered' in 2019 and not 'cuz they got the first 18 wrong. :-)

It's a respiratory virus like SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). Those coronas killed faster so there were fewer cases after the collective-we recognized what was going on. Covid is like SARS but doesn't show symptoms for days/weeks leading to spread b/f striking. That's why its so dangerous.

I'm not an epidemiologist but I play one on the internet :-)
//This is what I've learnt (maybe wrongly) while DW dealt w/ deciding her Honors Students' travels and me just being curious me.

We're pretty much staying in and figuring out how to help our neighbors on self-quarantine due to travel. I hear they need toilet paper. :-)

Cheers, -T

inanehiker said...

This was speedier than many Saturdays for me as well -though still took a bit of time, especially with the scientific arcana like microhm- but perps to the rescue!

The very first MRS. Field's store was a mile bike ride from my university into town. We sometimes biked in for a warm cookie, until she put in one of her subsequent stores right in our campus bookstore! I have her "Mrs Field's Best Cookie Book Ever!" cookbook - which I don't think has the highly guarded recipe for her original chocolate chip cookies- but does have lots of good recipes - my favorite to make is Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies.

Bill G - COVID-19 stands for Corona Virus Disease 2019, and yes that is a pic of the virus from an electron microscope! Funniest meme I've seen so far - "If Corona virus lasts until the tick season - then you can have Corona with Lyme" Groan - hospital humor.

Thanks HG and Debbie!

Anonymous T said...

inanehiker - Love the 'Corona with Lyme disease' joke! Best part - the belly laugh I got [1/10 of the way to Zen!] listening to DW's groan. Thank you!

Cheers, -T

Bill G said...

Is there a toilet paper shortage? The same number of rolls and the same number of customers?? Anyone caught price gouging with necessities should be dealt with very severely.

Thanks for the info about COVID-19.

Good meme joke.

But, but, but..., what about the celebration of PI Day being irrational? Whoosh! I just saw that from Barbara's Facebook page. I was hoping somebody would notice...

Anonymous T said...

At risk of over-posting (as we all are during shut-in) say...

Bill G - I thought I saw an irrational joke - but, maybe, I was √-1 -ing things. :-)

Cheers! -T

Ol' Man Keith said...

I went to tell my wife that groaner of a joke from inanehiker--"Corona w/ Lyme." She already knew it.
I asked for her source, and she said she got it on Facebook.

Dang *#@! social media.
It's got so you can't tell a joke to friends or family that they've haven't already seen on line, or streamed via video.
Same with most news items.
It won't be long before all our tidbits & gags--maybe even all our conversation--will be pre-empted by media.

Will we be getting all the stuff of companionship through this persistent 3rd party?

Picard said...

Thanks for the challenge and for the educational write-up. Learning moment that MICROHM is the correct spelling. I have done electronic design since I was a teen in the 1970s and I never saw this before. Learning moment about SAN MARINO being a country within a country.

Favorite was clue for I BEFORE E as well as Husker Gary's illustration of that.

If anyone is interested, here is my article today on the latest coronavirus information from one of our esteemed University of California professors.

It is hard to make predictions. Especially about the future. But some of the information was new for me and may be of interest.

Picard said...

I read LAD: A DOG as a child. It was my mother's book from when she was a child. I am not a dog person now, but as a child I was. I enjoyed the book for its dog stories, but it left an unpleasant aftertaste. I am not sure if you remember, but there was a section about LAD attacking a "negro" spelled with a lower case "n". Even as a child that section made me very uncomfortable.

Here is the entire text of LAD: A DOG if you want to search for that word yourself.

From Monday:
Lucina you made a comment about IMAN no longer being married to David Bowie. That is technically true. But only because David Bowie passed away in 2016.

From Wednesday:
I have been in Hollywood many times I never heard of PINKS. Learning moment.

From Yesterday:
TTP thank you for the learning moment about DABBLING vs Diving Ducks! I had no idea! Thank you!

Lucina said...

I am sorry to learn that you are ill. Have you contacted your doctor and will you be tested? Take good care of yourself and your wife!

Thank you for the information about David Bowie. I may have heard of his death but those kinds of news don't always register with me.

Bobbi said...

Ouch! Fast fill until NE corner did me in. My mind was in a technical mode and i was bumped off by "Rubs out"! DUH?!?! Really didn't use book references a lot. Actually, on the rebound from my school board meeting where we closed all eleven of our schools for three weeks due to Corona virus. Many worried parents asking for guidance in these worrisome times! Now our task is to provide educational activities the students can do at home. Wish us luck!!

Abejo said...

Good evening, folks. Thank you, Debbie Ellen, for fine puzzle. Thank you, Husker Gary, for a fine review.

Worked this puzzle at the Polling Place while being an Election Judge. We always have some quiet time between voters. So, I finished throughout the day. Puzzle was very doable, IMHO.

Quite a bit of misdirection, or at least tough to solve, in the Clues. Thank goodness for the perps.

BIG ASK took me a while. I had TASK for a while, then GOLDEN ERA fixed that.

21A DATES was easy. I used to work out in Indio, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Banning, CA. Dates are all over the place there.

MICROHM was a wag and it worked.

MINAJ was unknown. Perps.

March Madness is also cancelled. Bummer, but I understand. Our school district is taking an extra week off for spring break. So, I go two weeks without guarding. I may go to Pennsylvania for a week.

Anyhow, off to bed. Our church cancelled Services for a couple weeks. So, I get to sleep in tomorrow. See you then.


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PK said...

Jayce, sending healing thoughts your way.

This past Friday the 13th has got to be the scariest of all time!

I have been in self quarantine for over a year now, because every time I went out I caught whatever virus was swirling around the store, etc. I have been sick all the time to some degree. Going to the doctor two weeks ago was scary because to leave I had to pass two people sitting in the waiting room with masks on whose eyes and demeanor looked miserable. This was before our state was known to have any COViD-19 cases. But who ever knows? They weren't testing for it then. My daughter was tested and had another type of flu which she contracted from her 2nd grade student.

With the main presidential candidates all in the "over 70" category, will the person elected be the best person for the job or the one most disease resistant?

Lucina said...

I believe there is a website for parents and others who do home schooling. Perhaps that will have ideas and suggestions you can use.