Mar 19, 2020

Thursday, March 19th 2020 Morton J. Mendelson

Theme Whodunnit - the theme entries tell a short story.

17A. The con entered the bank under an __, ...: ASSUMED IDENTITY

27A. ... told the banker a __, ...: FABRICATED STORY

44A. ... opened an account with a __, ...: COUNTERFEIT BILL

56A. ... and cashed a check with a __: FORGED SIGNATURE

Hands up, straight off the bat, I'll confess, I'm not a fan of the narrative puzzle. This is cleverly done, four 15's across the grid is no small feat to pull off, but ... these kind of themes just don't work for me.

For crossword aficionados, Merle Reagle once ran two consecutive Sunday puzzles under the title "Kindergarten Crime Spree" and I was yawning by the end of the first one, let alone the second. Maybe that's what set me against the gimmick? I still, just my 2¢, we can agree to disagree. I'll take my Mr. Grumpy hat off now.

However, there were a couple of clues I'm still baffled by, maybe you can help me out. The first is 10D. "CV" is an abbreviation for "Curriculum Vitae", or "resumé" here in the US. The clue/answer makes no sense. "Vita" is not short for CV, and forms no part of the original phrase. I think there's just basic misunderstanding here, maybe? I don't want to spout all Latin genitive at you, but this is all wrong.

The second is 57D. "Apt answer for this puzzle location". What? "... clue location" I could understand, but "puzzle location"? I think wires crossed again. But, there are more important things in the world to worry about at the moment, so I'll park my irk and let's see what was enjoyable:


1. Jazzes (up): PEPS

5. "Let's open a window": I'M HOT

10. Musical riff: VAMP

14. Louver part: SLAT

15. Whistle blower: COACH. Nice clue, sometimes you don't see the obvious.

16. Retailer whose logo colors are the same as on its founder's national flag: IKEA

20. Sly critic: SNIPER. Someone who snipes.

21. Became frothy: FOAMED

22. Fertility clinic supply: OVA

24. Prefix with content: MAL

25. Not agin: FER

26. Amazon snake: BOA

31. Catching a break: IN LUCK

32. Iditarod runner: HUSKY

33. "High School Musical" extra: TEEN

34. Crouched behind a boulder: HID

35. This and that, say: PAIR. This had me thinking for a while. Nice clue for a simple word.

39. Jack of "The Great Dictator": OAKIE

42. Colorado's "Steel City": PUEBLO. The first steel mill was built to supply rail lines for the new Denver - Rio Grande railroad. It's still going strong. I didn't immediately associate Colorado with steel mills.

48. One in a tchr.'s key: ANS. The answer key for teachers. You'd think they'd know the answers without having to cheat :)

49. Canadian whisky: RYE. Odd clue, there's nothing to say that Canadian whisky has to be rye. It must be fermented, distilled and aged in Canada, but you can make it from pretty much whatever grain you like. Here's a collection of single malts. Cheers!

50. Old call letters?: MCI. The name stood for Microwave Communications Inc. Worldcom bought them in 1998.

51. "The Hollow Men" poet's monogram: TSE. Thomas Stearns Eliot on his driver's license. It's not the most cheery of poems:

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death's twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.

52. Giggle: TEE HEE

54. It merged with CBS in 2019: VIACOM. Viacom need to make up their minds. CBS was spun off from the original Viacom in 2005. Now they're all smiles and back together again.

60. JFK part: Abbr.: INIT. This had me puzzled for a while. JFK is three initials, therefore an abbreviation of part of it.

61. Languid: INERT

62. Pic to click: ICON

63. Koppel and others: TEDS. Koppel best known as the "Nightline" anchor on ABC.

64. "Long time __!": NO SEE!

65. Like racehorses: SHOD


1. TV ad promoting water conservation, e.g.: PSA

2. Golfer Ernie from South Africa: ELS

3. Good enough: PASSABLE

4. Bowl over: STUN

5. Swell treatment?: ICE PACK

6. Classic Ford: MODEL A. It replaced the Model T, which seems a little peculiar.

7. Word with net or ball: HAIR

8. Anxious med. condition: O.C.D. Obsessive-compulsive disorder.

9. American agents, familiarly: THE FEDS

10. CV, briefly: VITA. See my comment in the intro on this.

11. With hands on hips: AKIMBO

12. Night streaker: METEOR

13. Bright spot in the workweek: PAY DAY. In my first job after school we were paid in cash on a Thursday. We were given a half-hour to pick up the pay packet from the pay window. There was a little corner of the envelope you tore off and counted the contents before you stepped away.

18. Copycat: MIMIC

19. Language of Oslo, in Oslo: NORSK

22. Make the most __: OF IT

23. Barn topper: VANE. The antique ones go for quite a lot of money.

25. Clash of clans: FEUD

28. Sentence that should be two or more sentences: RUN-ON

29. Crook: THIEF

30. Laid-back sort: TYPE B. Do type-b people drive Model A Fords?

34. New employee: HIRE

36. Over the top: A BIT MUCH

37. Societal woes: ILLS

38. What a hat may symbolize: ROLE. A little puzzlement at first, but "wearing my sales hat" for example.

40. Trapped, after "up": A TREE

41. Entered: KEYED IN

42. Salsa option: PICANTE

43. New York college town: UTICA

44. Tantrum: CATFIT. Never heard of it. I'd like to tell you if it is one word or two, but Google didn't help a whole lot. I did find an article about cat seizures, which is not what I expected, and I found some workout programs.

45. Pre-shoot-out score, perhaps: ONE-ONE

46. Cyberhandle: USER-ID. My first thought was "AVATAR", but that's your pictorial persona.

47. Political fugitive: ÉMIGRÉ

53. Driver's lic. stats: HGTS

54. Competes: VIES

55. Blues singer Redding: OTIS. Who can't resist a couple of minutes to listen again to this?

57. __-cone: SNO

58. Hundred Acre Wood denizen: ROO. Here's one of the original illustrations of Kanga and Roo. Don't talk to me about the Disney cartoonification of the books and their commercialization beyond.

59. Apt answer for this puzzle location: END. Another bit of clue bafflement, as I mentioned at the top.

Which brings me to the grid! Stay safe and make smart choices. Shelter-in-place is a smart choice, whether or not mandated in your specific area.



D4E4H said...


Good morning Cornerites.

Thank you Morton J. Mendelson for your enjoyable Thursday CW. 

Thank you Steve for your excellent review.

Carol and I have been solving each CW, but not reading or posting.  My last post was on February 26 when my nephew Daniel visited.


On 3-9 Wesley Manor was quarantined.  I went out to a doctor, and when I came back my temperature was taken before I was allowed to reenter.

On 3-16 only half of the residences were allowed to eat in the dining room for lunch and supper.  The other half eat in their rooms.  Carol and I are in the lunch group.  The diners in the dining room now sit 2 to a table across from each other to maximize the distance between them.

I would have my legs wrapped by a home health nurse each Friday, but they were allowed to suspend their visits so I went for 8 days with wraps before seeing the Dr. on 3-17.  On 3-18 our nurse who is making all of these changes agreed to wrap my legs so I do not have to leave the building to see the Dr.

On 3-18 our chair exercise seats were spread out so a space of at least 6 feet was maintained between exercisers.

On 3-18 Carol and I were quarantined even further.  We must stay in our rooms.  I may go to her room by wearing a mask in the hall.  We were told that we MIGHT have been exposed to a person (unnamed) who MIGHT have the virus. We will have to endure 14 days of isolation pending clearance or verification of the person.

I pray that each of you are, and remain free of this virus.


KS said...

I agree with the puzzle analysis. This really seems poorly clued, not just in the places Steve pointed out, but in general. Although it's doable, I found the clues mostly to be a stretch. Not impressed!

Anonymous said...

57 down is ___ cone sno
59 down is apt answer for this puzzle location end Those both work for me

I agree about 10 down, No clue whatsoever what that was.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Dave, good to hear from you. Hope you and Carol continue to be covid-free.

FIR with no erasure. Glad Steve 'splained SNIPER and was looking forward to learning about CATFIT. I know what a CAT FIghT is though.

DNK The Great Dictator. As you already know, I don't know Jack.

I did know TSE, but not The Hollow Men. I loved the Kevin Bacon flick The Hollow Man, especially his interaction with Kim Dickins. Weird, sexy and scary all at the same time.

Thanks to Morton for the fun Thursday workout. I actually liked the narrative theme, but what do I know. And thanks to Steve for the fun review.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

This one took three minutes longer than yesterday -- appropriate for a Thursday. I immediately inked in VITA; I've often heard a CV called that. Merriam-Webster defines it as "curriculum vita", plural vitae. No problem with 59d, either -- that puzzle location is the END of the puzzle. And Merriam-Webster says a CATFIT is a "conniption."

D4, good to hear that you're OK. I'm sure those changes at Wesley Manor aren't fun, but it does sound like the staff is doing what they can to minimize the chance of infection. They don't want a repeat of what happened at that nursing home near Seattle.

Hungry Mother said...

FIR, but this was a toughie. My finished grid looked like a Rorschach test.

inanehiker said...

This was a puzzle that started slow then sped up in the middle then slowed down again at the end. I slowed myself down in the SE - as I put Greeley in instead of PUEBLO when the E and L were the first letters I had to work with. It took me awhile to realize I need to rework that section - although Gigante sounded like a plausible name for a really potent PICANTE salsa! I was impressed with the long theme fills- and don't mind the layout when it just occasional
Thanks Steve and Morton!

My daughter was supposed to come from Seattle this week - but that was postponed due to her area being a COVID "center".
Dave's comments related to what is happening here and probably everywhere- the nursing homes and assisted living facilities aren't allowing visitors. At our church we are trying to send encouraging cards, phone calls and small care packages to help reduce the isolation for people that we would normally visit. We are also doing that for neighbors and running errands for meds, groceries for those who aren't getting out.

Anonymous said...

DNF by choice.This whole thing was a dreadful slog. Made more-so by the fact I had no idea as to what was going on with the theme.This one is caught up in its own imagined cleverness.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I liked this "short story" a lot and was impressed by the 4 grid scanners that were succinct and very descriptive. However, as Steve and others mentioned, I thought some of the cluing was off kilter. My Model A was a Model T and I needed perps for Norsk, Pueblo, and Viacom. Els and Ills stood out.

Thanks, Morton, for a Thursday treat and thanks, Steve, for the detailed and honest review.

Dave4, glad you checked in. Stay well and best wishes to Carol.

Just out of curiosity, I checked the delivery availability for two of the local supermarkets. They both offer one-hour windows from 9 am until 7/8 pm and they're both sold out for every hour through next Wednesday. (They only show 7 days ahead.)

Have a great day.

Wheels42 said...

FIR but it was not looking good for me for a long time. The SW corner gave me a lot of trouble, but it was a satisfying finish when things fell into place.

Thanks, Steve, for your honest criticism of the puzzle. I always enjoy seeing everyone's opinions about themes and clues.

I enjoyed this one, actually. I would not want every crossword to take on this type of theme, but it's nice for a change. If I happened to be a new solver who picked up this puzzle, however, I'm sure I'd feel differently.

Yellowrocks said...

I thought this puzzle was grand. I solved slowly but FIR. A plus was that all the first words in the theme lines were near synonyms, assumed, fabricated, counterfeit, forged. The hardest fill was HGT crossing INIT.
DO, simpatico thoughts today. VITA is another name for CV. Puzzle location means at the end of the puzzle. As a kid, I often heard "Don't have a CAT FIT."
People used to say LONG TIME NO SEE. I seldom hear it these days.
Canadian Club, rather than just Canadian would have been more specific for RYE, but no nit. Whenever I think of Canadian Whisky, I think of Canadian Club. There are many non -specific clues like this in crosswords. However, specifically, "There’s only one law for producing Canadian whisky: It must be fermented, distilled and aged in Canada." BTW, whisky (no e) refers to Scottish, Canadian, or Japanese grain spirits.
If I didn't have a key, I corrected the paper most likely to have all the right answers and, if necessary, penciled in a corrected answer. Instant key.
I have not been venturing out, but must go to the bank today to question the 1099 they sent me. Hoping I might not have to go there at all, a week ago I withdrew enough cash to last a while.
The rep from the retirement community I am thinking of joining called yesterday to see whether I have everything I need. So thoughtful. They are doing a thorough job of protecting their residents. I was planning to go to a seminar last week at another community. When I cancelled I was very surprised that the seminar was still on. IMO a big black mark for them.
Good to hear from you Dave4. Hello to Carol.

jfromvt said...

I thought this was fine. In the past, I’ve seen long, obscure quotes in a Sunday puzzle that were just too much. But this was kind of creative I thought.

Big Easy said...

I also don't really like the narrative type puzzles. And I also had no idea about the CV clue. I was also clueless as to the 'Riff' being a VAMP. I'm not familiar with that term. I did and ABC run in my mind and nothing for the first letter of either _ITA or _AMP made sense so I just left it blank.

CAT FIT- I haven't heard of it either. FIT was easy; CAT was perps.
TEE HEE- has anybody actually said 'tee hee' when the giggle? I've never heard it and have only seen it in print.

The rest of the puzzle was more than PASSABLE with nice clues. Does a TYPE B person drive a MODEL A?

D4E4H- sorry for you quarantine. The COVID-19 panic is a very good reason for the US to drop Medical privacy laws. I've always thought they were idiotic. People should know if someone has a contagious disease. I don't have COVID-19 (yet) but I would certainly want to let EVERYBODY know it if I did. But I did have two MRI scans yesterday and found that I had spinal stenosis and arthritis & bursitis in my right hip.

Oas said...

Great morning all.
Fine puzzle and review thanks .
FIR in reasonable good time.
Most restaurants are take out only around here, so I took the paper home and worked on the c/ w after I made myself breakfast .
Easy enough puzzle but in the end I was stuck at square 35 . Settled on P for PAIR and then only saw TYPE B . Without the P in place it didn’t want to compute.

JINX You and DO had me in stitches last night.
You especially seem to have a knack for one line zingers that are well enough camouflaged that you could be poking either side of an issue. Thanks I always appreciate a good chuckle.
Cheers keep healthy!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Agree with Steve about VITA. I think the plural VITAE is usually used. Natick for me. Also, not so big on salsa so muffed the C in PICANTE. Got everything else, though.
Morton does generate some toughies, but overall, I liked this puzzle.
UTICA - While it has one 4 yr. college, I would submit it is not known locally as a "college town". Furthermore, UTICA is an incorporated city. It could have been better clued, but perps were solid.

Husker Gary said...

-The grid-spanning narrative was clever, fun and helpful for me. CATFIT is a small price to pay
-Joann has POA for her mom and can (and has been asked to) FORGE Martha’s SIGNATURE
-Daughter’s foul-mouthed and constantly MALcontent PhD sister-in-law is no longer a FB contact for me
-Lucy offers “____meatavegamin” for clue for VITA
-This and that - _ _ I _? OLIO ain’t gettin’ it done
-I’ve correct thousands of tests using this home made key idea
-AB AB AB AB AB AB – “Long time no see”
-I almost had to KEY IN a lot of data for TurboTax until I discovered the new method to get it from last year
-Different hats? School administrators can also be counselors, AD’s, bus drivers, sponsors and custodians
-I know some soccer fans love routinely seeing ONE – ONE after two hours but it doesn’t work for me
-My HGT and WT on my driver’s license – one seems to be waning and the other waxing

billocohoes said...

UTICA has small Utica College, but SUNY Polytechnic is in the suburbs, so I wouldn’t think of it as a “college town” the way I would Ithaca NY or Amherst MA, where the schools and support businesses dominate local life.

Anonymous said...

I laughed out loud at “park my irk”. This was doable and what more can I ask?

Judie B

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Easy Thursday as the theme became quickly obvious with filled in long answers leading to a quick completion. Corrections: Put"noob" for HIRE, Steroid for ICEPACK, MODEL "A" for T

Agree with the narrative..Curriculum Vitae shortened to CV ...but VITA? Have been asked for my CV but never my VITA ("you want to take my life"?)

Like Big Easy didnt know VAMP as a musical riff

Agree with IM...generaly wanky clues/fills

IKEA should get CW royalties it's name is used so much.

CATFIT? Wha? Agree with the narrative (how about "in great feline physical shape")

But when it was OVA managed to FIR in record time

Nude evening jogger.....NIGHT STREAKER

Run into Pooh's Donkey friend...METEOR

Nice to see our town Utica referred to as a college town and not as the usual "old mill town". Utica College, SUNY polytech, Mohawk Valley C C. Hamilton College in nearby Clinton NY. Pratt School of Art Upstate campus. St Elizabeth College of Nursing . Utica School of commerce. SUNY Empire State College.

Spleaking of hospital. As of today all visitors banned. The rest of us have to "aver" we have no symptoms at the single entrance then have our temperature taken (97.4) . New York state (so far the only state) instituting drive up testing. Swab supply is now a problem

If you want immediate testing...get drafted by the NBA.

Auguri di San Giuseppe and to all Italy's sequestered fathers.

NaomiZ said...

I enjoyed the puzzle and FIR with my only misgiving being CATFIT, which was a learning moment. The long, narrative clues were delightful. Hat off to Mr. Mendelson for his ROLE as puzzle constructor!

CrossEyedDave said...

Wees on the theme,

The most (Recent?) cat fit was a viral video of a shelter worker showing a cat
On a leash that went absolutely batsh*t (stronger than cat fit...)

My experience is more like this...

Wendybird said...

Unlike others, I really enjoyed this puzzle and found the theme creative and clever. Thanks for a nice, a little bit crunchy, workout, Morton.

I agree that the only pictorial depictions of the denizens of the Hundred Acre Wood should be those by Shepherd, NOT Disney!

In our area, the stores have initiated special hours for those 65 and over, from 7 to 8 a.m. so we have a fighting chance to get food and supplies before the shelves are stripped. I also applaud the stores now limiting the amount people can purchase at one time, although the checkers tell me they are being yelled at by some customers when told they can’t have bazillion rolls of toilet paper.

Stay safe everyone.

Misty said...

Like Yellowrocks, I thought this was a wonderful Thursday puzzle, full of surprises here and there but really doable even with all those amazing grid-spanners. They were set up in a way that the downs filled in enough for us to get them, and they served the theme delightfully. Many thanks, Morton, for a neat morning gift.

Always nice to see AKIMBO, which here gave us IKEA and BOA, and along with METEOR gave us the STORY down below. 'Swell treatment' didn't fool me for a second, and I got ICE PACK pretty quickly. Not too many names, so it was nice to see TED and ROO. And 57 down was SNO CONE and not the END of the puzzle at 59 down.

Nice to have you check in with us, Dave, and I'm glad all is well with you and Carol.

Have a good day, everyone.

Lucina said...


What a sham of a puzzle! No, I am just kidding; I really enjoyed this, thank you, Morton J. Mendelson.

I actually finished it very early this morning but then went back to bed. Having lived in Denver for five years, PUEBLO fell easily. In the state it's known more for the location of the Air Force Academy. One of my cousins trained there.

The clue for COACH was clever.

Furniture from IKEA is not my style.

My OCD comes and goes; sometimes it's acute, other times it's not. I don't know what makes a difference but I have noticed it has lessened as I age. It used to be that I had FITs over the slightest irregularity.

Many people will be missing their PAYDAY in the coming weeks.

PICANTE? Oh, yes; as HOT as you can make it.

OAKIE, of The Great Dictator means nothing to me.

TSE wrote only melancholy pieces. However, he seemed to favor CATs.

Dave, thank you for checking in. It's good to know you and Carol are being well taken care of. No word from Fermatprime as yet.

We can't say it enough. Stay safe and well, everyone!

Lucina said...

Steve, thank you so much for injecting some humor into an otherwise humorless day. One of my friends whom I have known since high school always makes me laugh and she often inserts TEEHEE in the conversation. That sends us both into riotous laughter.

desper-otto said...

Lucina, I thought the Air Force Academy was in Colorado Springs, not Pueblo. I LIU, and that appears to be correct.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

HG - Don't you have to make two keys - One with the right answer punched out, and one with everything BUT the right answer punched out? Otherwise all you would need is some smart ass student (like me, for instance) to mark all the answers on a question that is a total unknown. If he gets that one right, the news would spread like, well, like a virus.

Anon T: I frequently get solicitations from 23 and Me to participate in genetics research. They have my DNA, and today they want to know 1) if I like blues music, and 2) if my hands, arms, legs, or feet often go numb or become tingly? Two concerns - 1) are they likely to be trying to correlate and sell my contact information to marketers, and 2) even if it is for legitimate research purposes, is it a bad idea to provide this information to a data base that could be vulnerable to hackers?

AnonymousPVX said...

This Thursday grid was rather tough, appropriate for Thursday.

The 10D clue was a puzzler until crosses filled.

Hard to believe, but

no Write-overs today.

Stay safe!

Wilbur Charles said...

NORS"K" got me. Never heard of it, only familiar with NORSE. That screwed up HUSKY and like dominoes I missed TYPEB and even though PAIR made sense _ _ PEB didn't.

My other bad box was on PIqANTE. I'll look that spelling up.

The long narrative themes saved me on this one. Of course all the skullduggery would be needed for a COUNTERFEIT Check. Take your phony twenties to the track and adept wagering will get you laundered money.


Ps, HGTS & INIT held me up in SW.

Hungry Mother said...

Working(?) in academia all of my career, VITA was natural; that's what we called it. Never resume, never vitae, curriculum vitae when I wanted to appear smart.

CrossEyedDave said...

Hmm, will the cat fit...

Yes! I give it 10 points on the Olympic cat dive scale!

My OCD is Olympic Cat Dives...

I will now return you to your normal paranoia...

Lucina said...

Grrr. Old age strikes again. Of course you are right. Thank you.

CrossEyedDave said...

Aha! I found it!

The best example of a cat fit was under:

Pinky the Cat

Spitzboov said...

When I was 12 yrs. old I met a Norwegian ship captain who taught me a couple phrases:

Kan du snakke NORSK? (Can you speak Norwegian?)
Kan du snakke tysk? (Can you speak German?)

Husker Gary said...

Musing for Jinx
-Yes, I did have to fill in the answers and then punch them out on a piece of oaktag. I still corrected the sheet of the smartest kid first to check my work!
-I had a student whose dad was a lawyer and he told me the same thing. I did develop an ability to quickly scan an answer sheet to see if multiple circles were filled in. What have you learned to do in less than a heartbeat? :-)
-I could scan a class of kids in just a few minutes and give them back the very next day (or same day) for immediate feedback
-This also facilitated tallying the most missed questions so I could see where I needed to step up my teaching
-I graded tens of thousands of exams this way but also did assign essays or writeups and got to read adolescent drivel too. :-(

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, Morton J. Mendelson, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Steve, for a fine review.

Puzzle started slowly. I bounced around and got the easy ones. Still had tons of holes. Then I caught the idea of the theme and got the first two. Pretty soon I had the top half of the puzzle done. Bottom half was a little trickier. I stuck to it and finally finished.

Liked the four grid spanner theme entries. I am sure that took some work to put together.


Spelling of COUNTERFEIT slowed me down on the third theme entry. Once I plugged in BILL I figured it out.

Dave4: Nice to see you today. Sounds like you are staying ahead of the virus. Keep on truckin'

All my usual meetings are cancelled due to the virus. Supermarket is sold out of lots of items. At our local Jewel it is Seniors only from 7:00-9:00 AM each day. I think I mentioned before that all restaurants and bars are closed. Take-out is allowed. The Grand Master of Masons of Illinois has ordered that all Lodges cease having Meetings and Fellowship Events until May 1st. Then the York Rite, Scottish Rite, and Shrine followed suit. We have over 500 Lodges in Illinois.

Anyhow, I have to go eat something so I can work on getting my weight back.

See you tomorrow.


( )

Ol' Man Keith said...

An excellent pzl from Mr. Mendelson. Enjoyable throughout.

The reference to Eliot via his monogram, TSE, reminds me of the dystopian view in his 1922 poem, The Waste Land--a poem I know very well. I can't help but notice how well it fits our current crisis:
Falling towers
Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
Vienna London

The first section of the poem, entitled "The Burial of the Dead," begins with a famous line, with words we can hope will not apply to us:
April is the cruelest month...
One diagonal on the far side.
The anagram tells us what we might have seen if old Playboy photos had not been "cleaned up" before going to print:

desper-otto said...

Talking about tests -- I recall in third grade (I think) there was a time and motion study. They had a box with 100 holes in the lid, each one populated with a small wooden peg. There was a second identical box, but with no pegs. The test was to see how quickly we could remove the pegs from the first box and put them into the holes in the second box. The instructor said, "If you drop a peg, don't stop to pick it up. Just continue on. The test stops when the last peg is removed from the first box." When I was told to begin, I picked up the box and smashed it down on the table. All the pegs flew out. "Finished!" I thought I'd aced the test, but the instructor was not amused.

Jayce said...

Took me some head scratching to solve this puzzle but solve it I did. Nice execution of the theme.

Dave4EH, thanks for the descriptive update on your situation.

Yellowrocks said...

We used "fill in the bubble" answer sheets only for machine scored tests.
That Pinky was one scrappy cat! Good for a laugh.

Wilbur Charles said...

I recounted my memorable Chem. Tests .The teacher left the Periodic Table in full view.

It's analogous to the MLB *Cheating" scandal. MLB provided the cameras and video footage and apparently said "But do not touch!"


TX Ms said...

C-E Dave, I howled with laughter until I had tears running down my face. The officer had such a calming voice with glowing compliments at the beginning until all hell broke loose. The finale with the lady with the box was hysterical. Pinky certainly didn't help with his swift adoption, I would think.

TX Ms said...

PS, meant to add; not having a musical background, I first thought of a RIFF as satirical skit or something so filled in VAMP (or could it be Camp? until VITA decided otherwise. Per MW:

2: a rapid energetic often improvised verbal outpouring
especially : one that is part of a comic performance
3: a succinct usually witty comment
4: a distinct variation : TAKE"

Sandyanon said...

I don't often post, in fact, hardly at all. But I do the puzzle and read the posts every day, and really appreciate them, especially the humor and jokes. Thanks for the daily relief!!

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Thanks Morton for the puzzle. I thought the them was fun and, liked YR mentioned, we had the Con up-front [I'll confess, I was looking for FA, FE, FI, for a sec - FOrged, FAbricated, counterfeit]

Excellent expo Steve! Call 'em like you see 'em even if we don't agree. I do recognize you have more solving experience and so narrative isn't novel to you (unlike current corona).

WOs: NORSe, started Typed IN b/f noticing RYE's Y was in the wrong spot.
ESPs: embarrassed to say needed ABC run for second P in PEPS, OAKIE (like Jinx, I don't know Jack!), CAT b/f FIT
No problems w/ VITA nor END; I thought they were cute(ish) though, I did think the latter had something to do with theme / where the Con was headed.
Fav: Clue for ROLE was nice.

D4 - Great to read you and Carol are being well watched-out for. Stop in oft and keep us updated.
BigE - I had to google spinal stenosis - sounds painful. Sorry man.

Ray-O: We have at least two drive-thru testing locations in Houston
As seen on twitter: "So just how good do you have to be at basketball to get tested?"
//also LOL'd at: "Ok, we get it Europe. You all have balconies."

Jinx - one of those seems like a 'soften you up' question leading into what they want to know...

Play later!

Cheers, -T

Ruberap said...

I believe the designations Model T and Model A are referencing, somehow, the shape of the frame the cars were built upon.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Thought the theme was fun for a change of pace, thanks, Morton. Steve, thanks for the great expo.

I've been to PUEBLO, CO but didn't know about a steel mill. There is a big prison there. And yes, Lucina, the USAF Academy is not there. I've visited the academy north of Colo. Sprgs. PUEBLO is west on over the mountains a bit.

39a Jack OAKIE: perps & a brilliant (for me) WAG.

DNK: MCI, TSE (from that clue -- no cats), VIACOM, VITA.

Not friDAY but PAYDAY, usually the same day in my working life.

CATFIT: I witnessed the mother of all CATFITs when I moved to the farm with a cat & 3 kittens and tried to introduce them into the back porch with another female cat with kittens. Such threatening hissing, shrieking, leaping etc.! I had to put the town cats in another building or the farm cat would have killed them. Farm cat established a territorial line which she policed much of the time and started a CATFIT if she saw the town cat within 20 feet of there. This went on for days until farm cat got run over on the highway.

D4: interesting to learn of your current experience. Hope you and Carol endure. Kinda like college dorm life when you have to cover your face and sneak into your girlfriend's place.

CanadianEh! said...

Very late to the party again, but checking in to say thanks to Morton and Steve.
I completed the CW in three different tries through the day. Like YR, I noted the similar meanings of the first words.
I don't mind this sort of CW occasionally, but found it a little crunchy.

Perhaps some of the expressions like VITA, CATFIT are regional, since some of us recognize them (but I do not use those two).
END seemed logical to me.
This Canadian filled in RYE pretty quickly; I don't drink whisky; don't know how I knew that.
Hand up for NORSe before HUSKY forced the K.
OAKIE was unknown; DH found PUEBLO for me. Our Steeltown is Hamilton.
No time to check if my HGT and Wt are on my driver's licence, but I don't think so. I wanted DOB.

Good to hear from you D4.
sandyanon- yes we need the daily relief especially now. (I got my belly-laugh (more than a TEEHEE) from OMK today!)

Stay calm, stay safe, stay distanced! . . .and keep washing those hands

CanadianEh! said...

LOL, I could not refresh before posting from my iPad.
PK just gave me my second belly-laugh of the night with her comment to D4😂

Yellowrocks said...

When I was a waitress people who asked for Canadian always expected Canadian Club. They never actually named a brand.
PK that's probably the way CAT FIT originated. I can just picture the dust up.

D4E4H said...

Thanks to each of you who wished Carol & me well.  You are such caring people.

Before lunch today, a further change was instituted.  Now all residences (45) will eat all meals in their rooms.

The quarantine keeping Carol and me in our rooms has been lessened from 14 days to 7.  We will be paroled on 3-26, 3 days after her 92nd birthday on 3-24.


Anonymous T said...

PK - You are a hoot! That cat story took a turn and D4 comment... Not the walk of shame :-)

Ray-O: wanted to ask (serious now) why can't Q-Tips be used? I assume the test looks for specific proteins that, even in non-sterile Q-Tips, wouldn't be present. Sophomoric?

SandyAnon - I noticed your new Avatar (same USER ID) - want to boast the new baby?

C, Eh! - even late, I love reading your posts.

So... [I gotta set this up]
Yesterday Barney Miller was trending on Twitter [no, no one died, it was folks streaming old TV looking for time passers & yakin' re:best theme songs 'cuz #StirCrazy]

Today, I'm wanting 'musher' for 32a 'cuz I've got '-US--', but I want a 'Y' for TYPEB (not yet ink'd).

Hence - Nick's Mushy Mushy came to mind.

Cheers, -T

Sandyanon said...

Yes, my second great-grandson was born on Feb. 28, beating the Leap Day by two hours!

CanadianEh! said...

Congratulations Sandyanon!

AnonT - you may be the only one still awake to read my late post😀