Dec 23, 2020

Wednesday, December 23, 2020, John Guzzetta


15. Part of a biological hierarchy: TAXONOMIC GROUP.

24. Influential soul label based in Memphis: STAX RECORDS.

41. Waved for transportation: HAILED A TAXI.

53. Rate-rising-with-amount levy that makes its way through four long answers starting at 15-Across: PROGRESSIVE TAX.

The letters TAX are placed progressively (from beginning to end) within each of the four phrases. 

Melissa here. This one was full of fun mis-direction, and stumped me in a few spots. Anyone else?


1. Cartographer's output: MAP.

4. Monica who won three straight '90s French Opens: SELES.

9. HVAC letters: BTU. HVAC = Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. BTU = British Thermal Unit, which is a form of measurement that measures energy. Some prisons offer HVAC vocational training - although there has been no programming of any kind (nor visiting) in institutions since Spring.

12. News agcy.: UPI. United Press International.

13. Soft palate part: UVULA. I did not know that uvula-piercing was a thing. Don't google. Trust me on this one.

14. Campus housing: DORM.

18. Window over a door: TRANSOM. Well, sort of. Transom Window, to be precise.

They can be so pretty.

19. Zen garden tools: RAKES.

20. Joshua __ National Park: TREE.

21. Wound: OFFEND. Tricky.

28. Muslim sect: SHIISM.

31. "Much __ About Nothing": ADO.

32. Big Ben trio: III.

 33. Give a fine edge to: HONE.

34. Regarding: AS TO.

36. Like the president's office: OVAL.

37. "Happy Days" diner: ALS. Well, sort of. Interesting trivia - the name was actually Arnold's. The diner was originally owned by Arnold (Pat Morita). After Arnold got married and moved to Japan in the last episode of season three, Arnold Gets Married, the diner was sold to Al Delvecchio ('Big Al,' played by Al Molinaro), who remained until the series' end. Al only retained the moniker because he never bothered to change the sign from the previous owner.

 38. Sanjay Gupta's network: CNN.

39. Feel contrition: REPENT. I guess I'm feeling a little nit-picky today. I was always taught that repent means to turn away. I suppose that is only a biblical interpretation - learning moment - dictionary says "feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one's wrongdoing or sin."

44. How much to take: DOSAGE.

45. Jesters: WAGS. Another learning moment. WAG is another name for clown.

48. Tuscan home of St. Catherine: SIENA.

50. Perfect example: EPITOME.

56. Debtor's informal notes: IOUS.

57. Brownish gray: TAUPE.

58. Co. concerned with net neutrality: ISP. Internet Service Provider.

59. AC/DC hit with the lyric "Watch me explode!": TNT.

60. Makes do: COPES.

61. Howe'er: THO.


1. Mixed-breed dog: MUTT.

2. Here and there?: APART. Nice one.

3. "Coco" studio: PIXAR.

4. Images in a beach vacation album: SUNSETS.

5. Salad dressing initialism, to Rachael Ray: EVOO. Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Yum-o. Love her rustic and open kitchen.

6. Oaf: LUMMOX. "Clumsy, stupid person."

7. Director Roth: ELI. Horror films.

8. Cul-de-__: SAC. Everything you ever wanted to know about the word cul-de-sac.

9. Request to turn up the volume?: BOOK DRIVE. That's very sneaky. Volume as in publishing or amount, not as in sound.

10. "T" on a test: TRUE.

11. Foul callers: UMPS.

14. Liquid-Plumr rival: DRANO.

16. Layette buy: ONESIE. Baby's first wardrobe.

17. __-Roman wrestling: GRECO.

22. Off-campus housing: FRAT.

23. Bogart's "Casablanca" hat: FEDORA. Classy.

 25. "Brockmire" actress Peet: AMANDA.

26. Primatologist Fossey: DIAN.

27. Riverbed sediment: SILT.

28. Ruler deposed in 1979: SHAH. In Pictures: Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

29. Spanish greeting: HOLA.

30. Like a hastily donned T-shirt, perhaps: INSIDE OUT.

35. Little problem: SNAG. Woops.

36. Drug derived from poppies: OPIATE.

38. Composer Franck: CESAR. New to me. Wikipedia. So beautiful.

 40. Some alimony recipients: EX WIVES.

42. Hungers: LONGS.

43. Starts a hole: TEES UP.

46. "Capisce?": GOT IT. From the Italian capisci, meaning, do you understand?

47. Big shot on the tennis court: SMASH. Ohhhh - as in a type of stroke with the racquet. Ranking the Bad Boys of Tennis.

48. Narrow bit of land at a lagoon entrance, say: SPIT. More misdirection. In geographical terms, "a narrow point of land projecting into the sea."

49. Par-3 club, usually: IRON.

51. Prop for Frosty: PIPE. Timely clue.

52. Trade show: EXPO.

54. And so forth: Abbr.: ETC.

55. Brazil map word: SAO. Portuguese, masculine noun = Saint.

Note from C.C.:

Happy 76th birthday to dear Misty, who's been with our blog for over 7 years. I think Misty got into crosswords because her husband Rowland, who was an avid solver. Here is a picture of them celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary in 2009.


SwenglishMom said...

Thanks Melissa! I didn't see "Tax" making its way through the long entries.

Best wishes for the holiday season for all!

Ann in Sweden

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Zipped through this one in Monday time -- two minutes faster than yesterday. All my guesses were golden. No problems, and no Wite-Out in sight. I even saw those TAXes marching across the grid. Thanx, John and Melissa Bee.

Happy Birthday, Misty. And good to see you again, SwenglishMom. Back in the '80s I spent a lovely week at a training session in Hedemora, north of you.

TTP said...

Good morning.

Happy Birthday, Misty !

Same here, Melissa. A few mistakes along the way.

Lost my post of a few minutes ago. Argh !

desper-otto said...

Isn't today Wednesday? There shouldn't be a rebus pzl in "that other" newspaper.

Anonymous said...

I saw the tax progressing through the puzzle. I'm surprised Rich didn't save this one for TAX DAY.
I have a major in Christian Ed and worked as a DRE for a time. In my experience, the Church uses repent to mean, "feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one's wrongdoing or sin," more than turning away from sin, also ruing it.
I was reading a recipe in the doctor's office and wondered what EVOO is. It must have been a Rachel recipe. I LIU when I got home.
I've always called a transome window a transome. Live and learn.
A very happy birthday, Misty.
Good to hear from you, Swenglish Mom.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Happy 76th Birthday to Misty. Hope your day is special.

Learnt HOLA here. Hi Lucina. Mostly an easy solve; no errors, FIR.
Only wite-out was getting the right suffix on OPIATE. Couple name unknowns perped in readily.
Noted that the puzzle was a 14 X 15, so it was one column light.
SPIT (per the clue) is etymologically akin to spitz.
Melissa's TRANSOM visual at 10 Downing St. We have stood there (but we didn't knock.). As I recall, it's not far from the Trafalgar monument.

Hasta luego.

Malodorous Manatee said...

Happy Birthday, Misty!

I never saw the theme but saw that X was involved and that helped a bit. Still, it took me a bit longer than the typical Wednesday offering. I enjoyed some of the vocabulary (e.g. UVULA, TAXONOMIC, SHIISM, TRANSOM, TAUPE, EPITOME) that we do not often see.

It's snowing here and about three degrees F. For a SoCal kid that's actually kinda cool (pun intended).

Malodorous Manatee said...

The USA Today puzzle (I am not certain if it is the Wednesday or the Thursday puzzle) is called "Crack A Smile" and the constructor is C.C.

Tinbeni said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Misty ... My "First Sunset Toast" is to YOU !!!

Happy FESTIVUS DAY for the rest of US. I got my "Festivus Pole" decorated.

I love the Holiday Season ... though I'm alwats in the "Holiday Celebration" mode.

Hope everyone has a "Safe & Sound" Christmas weekend..


Lucina said...


Happy birthday, Misty! And many more!

If you didn't already know it, I hope you have taken note of my greeting to help with 29 down, HOLA (silent H) which means literally, hello.

Hooray! John Guzzetta was cited in the Arizona Republic as today's constructor. Finally! The CWD world has aligned. Thank you, Melissa, for your gentle guidance.

My friend, Cathy, takes St. Catherine of SIENA as her patron saint.

I used to love wearing TAUPE nylons. They complimented everything.

GRECO reminds me of the Spanish painter, El GRECO.

The high school I attended was an old building and every classroom had a TRANSOM above the door. Once a year they required cleaning and out came the ladders. My job was to hold onto it for stability while the taller people climbed them for the cleaning.

SIMSETS over the ocean in Hawaii are the most spectacular I have ever seen.

I hope you are all staying warm and snug! Hasta luego!

Lucina said...

Hola, Spitzboov!

Big Easy said...

Commenting on a puzzle with both a PROGRESSIVE TAX and a clue -58A- "Co. concerned with net neutrality" and avoiding the 'no politics' rule will be hard to do. Okay, that's it.

I noticed the moving TAX at STAX RECORDS. Very fast fill today with just a couple of unknowns that happened to intersect- AMANDA Peet & Sanjay Gupta's network CNN. Also ALS. PIXAR was a WAG.

St. Catherine of SIENA school in Metairie, LA- two of my grandchildren and ACB went to grammar school in grades 1-7.

TRANSOM- EVERY school I attended had a functioning TRANSOM over the classroom door to circulate air from outside windows. My first air conditioned school was at college.

Melissa bee- looking at your 'bad boys' list it's no doubt as to who the top three were-CONNORS, McENROE, & NASTASE- the only question is which player was the worst. I've seen all three of them in person and saw Jimmy Connors drop his shorts while warming up for a match with nothing but a jock strap. I saw Nastase get thrown out of a match against Bob Lutz. And I say McEnroe's FIRST win over Bjorn Borg. He was acting up so bad that Borg actually mimicked McEnroe by laying on the court and kicking his heels. Everybody in the crowd loved it. But including Agassi & Roddick is ridiculous. They were two of the nicest players on the tour.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

For a Wednesday the puzzle was not as TAXing as it looks. (Why is only the constructors last name in at least my version of the commentary? Sorry John)

53 across...Don't know if anyone keeps track of the length of clues but this one is a contender

Liked start of a hole. Even though at 70 I'm still too young to play golf usually decipher the clues (par-3 club)

What's special about a RAKE in a Zen garden? Plus I don't get BOOKDRIVE. Doesn't a GRECO - Roman wrestler wear a ONSIE too?

I keep reading what net neutrality is but forget as soon as I'm done with the article

You belong to a FRAT (fraternity). Off-campus housing is a FRAT house

Maybe Frosty woulda been around longer if he didn't smoke that PIPE. Wasn't just the heat from the sun that did him in.

Pro feminist movement.....SHIIISM
Wrote again in ink.....REPENT
_____ Aunt Bee's cooking....OPIATE

Well, just "Drank the Kool-aid" ....I my first Pfizer vaccine shot. I'll be checking to see if I grow horns or a tail over the next few days.

Happy Birthday Misty!!

Ray - O - Sunshine said...


Can I impose on you to translate yesterday's Munich poem?

Consider it a German lesson


Shankers said...

Woohoo!! It's Misty's birthday! Have a very happy one. '44 was a good year to be born. I am five months your "elder". Very smooth and easy Wednesday test. No stumbling blocks at all. Loved Siena when I was there with DW and a Bible study group in '08, as well as all the other wonderful cities we visited in Italy for that matter.

Malodorous Manatee said...

Ray -

Here is a link to what I believe is the translation:

In Munich There Stands A Hofbrauhaus

Did you happen note the Mazel Tov that Spitz added at the end?

Jamie said...

Happy birthday, Misty!

This one was tough for me--didn't know some of the personal names and stupidly didn't use the TAX theme to work out STAX RECORDS. A good puzzle though, with very few of the typical crossword go-tos (ISP and III, maybe IOUS, were the only ones that stood out to me).

Merry Christmas Adam, as a friend of mine says! (Adam came before Eve, you see...)

Bob Lee said...

Fairly easy for a Wednesday, but I really enjoyed it.

Once I had TAX in the bottom right and TAXI as the end of the long answer for 41A, I got the other two long answers, even tho I'd never heard of STAXI RECORDS.

My favorite clue: Big Ben Trio -- III! Very clever!

Husker Gary said...

-Hmmm… One of the gimmicks was in the reveal. Fun!
-HABEAS and TRANSOM have a tricky final vowel
-I HONED many a blade during eight summers at a nursery
-Yikes! Put TRUE in the blank if the statement is TRUE. If false change the bold word to make it TRUE, e.g. Miss Kitty was played by AMANDA PEET
-A tip of my FEDORA if you knew CESAR FRANCK. FRANCK CESAR?
-Ten women who pay/paid big alimony to EX-HUSBANDS
-I could have TEED UP Tuesday (60F) but today the wind chill is 5F with howling winds and blowing snow
-One Par 3 we play is 205 yds, uphill, over water into a perpetual south wind. IRON? Uh, no, take your bogie and move on
-Brazilian map word – SAO for Saint, not SUL for south
-HBD, Misty. I really like that picture.
-Hallå, Swenglish

Spitzboov said...

For Ray-o - - It's the drinking song we all hear; especially during Oktoberfest.

n München steht ein Hofbräuhaus:
Eins, zwei, g'suffa!
Da läuft so manches Fäßchen aus:
Eins, zwei, g'suffa!
Da hat so mancher brave Mann:
Eins, zwei, g'suffa!

Gezeigt was er so vertragen kann
Schon früh am Morgen fing er an
Und spät am Abend kam er heraus
So schön ist's im Hofbräuhaus,
So schön ist's im Hofbräuhaus.

In Munich there stands a Hofbräuhaus:
One, two, chug it!
So many barrels, they go dry:
One, two, chug it!
As they have for many a good man:
One, two, chug it!

He has shown what he can take
He started early in the morning
And he came out late in the evening
It's so splendid in the Hofbräuhaus,
Oh so splendid in the Hofbräuhaus.

NaomiZ said...

Ray-O, a Zen garden is often just a few large rocks surrounded by carefully RAKEd sand or gravel.

I interpreted "request to turn up the volume" as meaning "please bring a volume (AKA book) to our BOOK DRIVE."

I was put off by all the proper nouns, but the perps were fair and I FIR.

Thanks to John (not Robert as attributed in the LA Times), Melissa, and all you nice folks who allow me to comment here.

Vidwan827 said...

Thank you John Guzetta ( the first name in missing on this page - ) for a very nice puzzle, and thank you MelissaBee for a very nice review.

I was confused by Book Drive, although I did finish it. Request to turn up the Volume ?? Then I was confused by 'Drive' as in computer hardware. This Drive, is an activity to collect books, or to ask for the return of borrowed books, or something like that. Akin to a food drive.

I get confused between genus, family, order, class, kingdom and domain, in my understanding of the hierarchy of taxonomy. I definitely, know genus, as in a better type of fruit, like an apple variety.

Opiates are a whole range of compounds found in the opium roughage of the poppy. But, by convention, an opiate would be only those which cause a drug dependency and addiction. The active alkaloids, morphine, codeine, thebaine, papaverine and noscapine. The Others, like flavinoids are generally not called opiates. Thus Opiates have a deeper, pejorative meaning.

I learnt just now that the H in Hola is not pronounced !! I have been wishing some of my assitants in an enterprise I share, .... Hola ! , as in a big Good Morning, and Hello ! ... and Gracias, every morning when I meet them.
They have never corrected me in the last 5 years ! That is sad, because I guess I'm not as close to them, as I thought I was, or would like to be.

Finally, IMHO, Shiism should ATLEAST, have an 'a' in the word, in there ... after all, it comes from Shia or Shii Ali, as in 'party of Ali'. Wihtout an 'a'. the main man, somehow, seems to be missing .... It seems tautologically incomplete, a "party" of a "party" ? For whom, or for what ? Merely an academic discussion on a religious word, pertinent to a clue in the CW.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Thanks Spitz and Mal man. I can visualize overflowing swaying steins.🍻🍺🍻

Canada eh...U R correct, Brother Danny taught us the "sons" version (1968, I was 18). Thanks for the update

I like the clarity and simplicity of the lyrics to "O CANADA" unlike our convoluted "Star Spangled Banner" difficult to teach to school kids. (The melody, a drinking song..more 🍻

No lie...up until a few years ago I thought the line/verse

"Whose broad stripes and bright stars..."


"Who's brought stripes and bright stars.."


Bob Lee said...

Spitzboov..thanks for the translation (I came close from my old H.S. German). Learned a new word--g'suffa!!

I even had 2 records of German beer drinking songs from an uncle who was in the record business. Of course, cheap records that they were, none of those songs were played when I finally DID get to Munich on business many many years later.

Lemonade714 said...

The triple crown...I enjoyed the puzzle; I enjoyed the write-up and I enjoyed the comments so far.

Irish Miss said...

Good Afternoon:

My only w/o was Shiite before Shiism, which I have never seen in print. I’ve heard of Franck but needed perps for his first name. Liked the Frat/Dorm duo and seeing Siena, as that’s the name of a local college and also my niece’s Bernese Mountain Dog. She and hubby are both graduates of said college. Seeing Hola was like seeing Lucina! IMO, the clue for Book Drive was too cute by half. I saw the AX repeated in the themers, but the reveal took me by surprise, in a pleasant way.

Thanks, John, for an enjoyable solve and thanks, Melissa, for the entertaining and informative summary. The picture of 10 Downing Street was serendipitous as I caught the last 45 minutes of Love, Actually last night. Of course, I thought of Bill G as he loves this movie. The last scene at the airport where everyone is being reunited with their loved ones, and everyone is hugging each other brought tears to my eyes because of the present deprivation of that closeness and joy in all of our lives. 😢

BigEasy @ 9:33 ~ Who is ACB?

Jamie @10:53 ~ I chuckled at your Adam joke. 😝

Happy Birthday dear Misty. I hope it’s a very special day for a very special person. 🎂🎊🎉🎁🎈

Have a great day.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Naomi....I see your point about the Zen garden RAKE. I stumbled past Melissa Bee's BOOKDRIVE explanation. I get it....but ...more like a Saturday-worthy clue.


Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Irish M

Was thinking, 🤔

no 🚗 = no $$ spent on fuel ethanol ⛽ = more $$ for consummable ethanol 🍸🍹🍷


Misty said...

My goodness, thank you so much for posting that picture of my sweet Rowland and me celebrating my birthday, C.C.--he would have been so happy to see your post. And thank you, everyone, for your lovely and kind wishes. You've made my day.

So glad your paper listed the correct constructor, Lucina--the LA Times, sadly, listed Robert E. Lee Morris. So, thank you for a delightful puzzle, John Guzzetta--I got everything except the 'BOOK DRIVE,' and enjoyed the TAX theme. And I always appreciate your commentary, Melissa.

When I got TRANSOM, I looked up from the paper, and, wouldn't you know it, right above my family room door, there is a TRANSOM. And what a treat to see Bogart in that cool FEDORA.

Have a wonderful Christmas season, everyone.

CrossEyedDave said...

Happy Birthday Misty!

Just a personal nit...
It would seem to me that
Capisce? with a question mark, would be "get it?"

While Capisce! with an exclamation mark, would be "got it!..."

But I don't want to complain,
this puzzle was taxing enough already...

Spitzboov said...

Bob Lee - - g'suffa is a Bavarian expression IMO. Gesoffen is the past participle of saufen, a bit more vulgar synonym of trinken (to drink). Think 'drunk'.

Swenglish - - aka Ann. Good to see your post. You've been missed.

Lemonade714 said...

Agnes, I had just typed " the clue for Book Drive was too cute by half, " when your post posted. Jamie, I liked your observation about Christmas Adam, but it makes me want to say "just like a man."

Chairman Moe said...

Puzzling thoughts:

Here I thought I had a pristine, zero TAX bracket-solved puzzle, only to discover what CED also noted, that GOT IT should’ve been GET IT. My mistake at the Natick of 46-down and 50-across made this a FIW. Oh well it’s just a puzzle ... !!🤡

HBTY Misty!

I liked the puzzle theme today and did not see the 14x15 format; I may try this in a puzzle I’m wrestling with that has multiple 14 letter phrases

Thanks melissa bee for the informative recap

Thanks MM & ultimately Spitz for translating the beer drinking song ... it made me think of this silly Moe-ku:

What constructor John
Does, at a Hofbrauhaus? Guz-
Zetta g’suffa

melissa bee said...

yellowrocks - interesting, what denomination? i am a PK (preacher's kid), attended church, classes and bible study minimum 3x a week - and 'turn away' was THE definition of repent in every church of christ i ever attended. the final of several requirements before baptism - being sorry was not enough. while CofC is my family tradition, it has not been my spiritual practice in my adult life - but those things really stick with you.

hola, lucina! your story about cleaning the transom windows at school was fun.

big easy, i remember those mcenroe-borg matches - i was in high school and borg was the reason i started following tennis.

husker gary, FALSE. Blake.

irish miss, aw. i am so fortunate to live with 3 close family members, mother, brother, and son. i remind myself of that every time i want to smack one of them ;).

until a week ago, my dear aunt lived here too. i was her home care worker for the last 4 years. she passed peacefully a week ago today.

happy happy birthday, misty - i feel the love in that picture ❤️.

AnonymousPVX said...

FLN....I would never use a “trickle charger” on anything. The newer tech “float” chargers are much superior...they know when to turn off and turn back on. No way to overcharge.

Ethanol in gas...its helps a LOT to just turn off the gas and run it dry. That’s what I used to do for my mower and snowblower. I only used
Sta-bil (a gasoline stabilizer) in those vehicles that you couldn’t run dry a car.

I must have been on the wavelength today, I went right through it.

Irish Miss said...

Ray O @ 12:10 ~ I almost fell out of my chair laughing at your comment. (Sometimes I question why I find simple remarks so hilarious, but laughter is good for the soul and, sadly, in short supply these days.) Anyway, I’m afraid your equation isn’t really true because what I spend on gas in a year would only buy 2 liters of Dewar’s. 🤡

Lemony @ 12:21 ~ That’s too funny. Great minds ........., I guess! 🤗

Melissa @ 1:08 ~ I’m glad you’re with your family. 🤗 Sorry for your loss of your Aunt.

Wilbur Charles said...

WAGs? I'll bet RayO* and CED will have a few. Then there's WRY humor. Watch TTP closely, he likes to slip some in.

"Brockmire" isn't for everyone. Joe Buck made an appearance and Bob Costas as well. I guess they needed the raunchy sex to pay for the next season(s). It's ending after this, the 4th season.

I knew Misty was a fellow 44'er.

I never saw the "book drive clue" but as explained by M- bee it's a keeper. Moving quickly M-W I miss some and enjoy seeing them on the write-up

Big Ten Trio -- Illinois,Indiana,Iowa


*_____ Aunt Bee's cooking....OPIATE will do for starters

Ol' Man Keith said...

A fine pzl, entertaining throughout.
The only serious flaw lies in its asymmetry (a 14x15 grid), meaning we have no true diagonals. Alas.

And--Dang!--the LA Times is back at it--mis-identifying the constructor. Mr. Guzzetta is denied his rightful credit!

Happy Birthday to Misty!

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

I you're getting me back for calling you inciteful by labeling me simple 🤪

To insert my two copper/zinc alloy coins


"The American Heritage Dictionary (Etymology of "Repent") Middle English repenten, from Old French repentir: (re-, in response + Latin pentire, to be sorry).

If you turn away from sin..(I was tempted but I didn't steal the candy bar) there is nothing to be sorry for.

Do you get it? "Capisci?" (Familiar, sinfular form.) Frequently speakers from Rome south dropped the final vowel so it sounds like "capish?"

"Got it"..Capisco (I understand)

Capite? "Do you (plural) understand?

melissa bee said...

ray - the turning away from wrongdoing is for the future, not the past. again, i get this is a very subjective religious subject, this was just the teaching i was provided in my youth.

Ol' Man Keith said...

CrossEyedDave & Chairman Moe ~

"GOT IT?" was my 2nd choice too.
But it is perfectly acceptable as a response to "Capisce?"
One often poses a present question in the past tense.
Here it is simply the shortened version of "Have you got it yet?"
We do it all the time.
Done it yourself, right?

Michael said...

I was reading CED's gift for Misty's birthday, above, when I suddenly realized that he has created a new category of electronic merchandise: voila, the E-CAKE! Which being electronic, has only E-calories to be concerned with, and no weight gain or diabetic concerns at all. It's wonderful what science has done for us....

LEO III said...

Wow! Talk about misdirection! Yes! I’m going to have to order in a new truckload of Wite-Out after today’s excursion. FIR, though, and I even saw the taxes marching across the grid, although it was hard for even me to miss ‘em.

Thanks, John Guzzetta and melissa bee! HBD, Misty! Funny, Jamie!

Not sure I understand why an ISP would be concerned with net neutrality. Government officials and news organizations and individuals seem to be, but I don’t see why a ISP should. Is it not just a conduit for whatever shows up on the internet?

LUMMOX --- Guilty, sometimes.

BOOKDRIVE --- Favorite, since CRANKITUP wouldn’t fit.

TRANSOM --- “Rectangular was the TRANSOM over which I had to peek through….”

The Ballad of The Shape of Things

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a video of Nick, Bob and John singing it. I saw The Kingston Trio do it in person, way back in 1965. Nick Reynolds was a hoot doing it!

Initially misspelling FEDORA didn’t help me any; HEROIN before OPIUM before OPIATE didn’t help either. “The Poppy Is Also a Flower.”

The Poppy Is Also a Flower

And, of course, most of the proper names were perps.

Lucina said...

Thank you for thinking of me! I consider it very special when I am remembered as it is special for me to remember someone in whatever circumstance, usually and hopefully a good one.

My kitchen is now scrubbed clean and awaiting the onslaught of cooking tomorrow!

unclefred said...

Very nice, fun CW, thanx John! (Mine says Robert E Lee Morris was the constructor). I got ‘er done in (for me) good time of 18 minutes. Yeah, I know, some people get it done in 5 minutes. For me 18 is good. AND no write-overs. AND I even got the theme!!! Although I couldn’t suss what 5D EVOO could have meant, and 9D “BOOKDRIVE” left me scratching my head until MB ‘splained it to me. Terrific write-up, Melissa, thanx! I see our FL Governor has placed old coots like me as next after healthcare folks to get the vaccine. I disagree: it should go to essential workers next. I can stay home and hide in my house for another month or two if needed but people who work in supermarkets for instance hafta go to work, and get exposed to hundreds of people every day. They should get vaccinated ahead of me. Anyway, stay safe everyone.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

First themer was HAIL A TAXI and with EXPO filled, made a leap of faith that 53a was a TAX. That got me TAXONOMIC and STAX.

Thanks John for a fine Christmas eve eve puzzle that was a little TAXing like a Wednesday should be.

Wonderful expo mb. Like the Rachel Ray clip.
//sorry to hear about your Aunt - wishing you peace.

ESPs: ELI, ONESIE (as clued), SPIT, DIAN, AMANDA, CESAR(Who? Thanks mb!)
Fav: TRANSOM made me think of Paternal Grands' home - all the rooms had tilt-open windows. Grampa bought the house after WWII and lived there 'till he died. I'd be over there every weekend and on sick/snow days when Mom had to go to work. Mom, Brother, and I lived in the duplex (Grampa converted it after Mom (youngest) moved out for rental income) up stairs after Mon & Dad split.

FLN - YR: Becky's right. A firm No. The vaccine distribution has started. //see: unclefred @4:34

OMK - As soon as I realized 14x15 I thought of your impending disappointment AS TO diags.

DW & I were in SIENA last September for our 31st.

Happy Birthday Misty!

Jamie - LOL "Marry Christmas Adam." Just got a huge groan out of DW ;-)

Ray-O: Net Neutrality is simply this - An ISP cannot prioritize one company's content over another's.
That is, if I am Netflix and can't pay AT&T to prioritize my traffic (or, in effect, slowing down Hulu's traffic). Net Neutrality has nothing to do with how much band-width Netflix can buy in different locations to speed up their service offering.
//note - this is different than prioritizing content TYPE. An ISP can prioritize video streaming (as opposed to email traffic, say) for their customers' experience but not based on who the service provider is.

Capisce? [1:18 kinda cute] == You's better gots it now == You's understood? Good Yous GOT IT.

Cheers, -T

Jayce said...

I enjoyed this puzzle and all of your comments. As Malodorous Manatee pointed out, it has some terrific "vocabulary."

Yeah, I knew CESAR Franck.

I've always thought of the TRANSOM as being the horizontal beam that separates the door from the window above it, as in "throw it over the transom." Kinda like "mantel" vs "mantelpiece."

I agree with Vidwan about SHIISM.

When I was young, I mispronounced many words, including EPITOME, which I pronounced as if it rhymed with Astrodome.

Happy birthday, Misty! Keep on enjoying life!

Good wishes to you all.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Anon T.


Jayce said...

Jeez, we just learned that our nephew, who is an emergency room physician, has contracted Covid-19. He is staying home and away from the other members of his family. No news about whether he has symptoms or how severe they are.

Misty said...

Even more birthday wishes, from even more blog friends--what a lovely community you are, thank you so much! You've all made my day!

Anonymous T said...

Ray-O: Let me try again (with better grammar)
The concept of Net Neutrality is simply this - An ISP cannot prioritize one company's content over another's. This is how the internet has been since the beginning.

So, under Net Neutrality, if I am Netflix, I can't pay AT&T or any other ISP to prioritize my traffic (which would, in effect, slow down Hulu's (Netflix's competition) traffic).

Net Neutrality has nothing to do with how much bandwidth Netflix (or any content provider) can buy in different locations to speed up their service offering(s) appearance to the end-consumer.
//Netflix must be paying ++millions [I work at a non-internet based company and we still pay ~800k/yr for bandwidth to connect all our sites] to get enough bandwidth to feed all the streamers.

Where this become contentious is in cases where, for example, Comcast owns the content provider e.g. NBCUniversal and prioritizes its own internet content over both Netflix and Hulo. An ISP should not be allowed to do this if they claim to be content-neutral (read: not be held responsible for what's on their network)

NOTE - this is different than prioritizing content TYPE which is a typical red-herring of folks wanting to get rid of Net Neutrality. Antis claim an ISP should be able to prioritize video streaming (as opposed to email traffic, say) for their customers' experience. Nothing wrong with that IMHO... Until, it's pay-to-play based on who the service provider is [eg. HotMail over GMail] (or you provide your sister-companies priority on your network - then I think you get to be responsible for ALL content on your network).

Peering arrangements (ISP--ISP connections) are yet all-together another thing.

TL;DR - Net Neutrality == Anit-Payola in the DJ biz.

Or was it Capisce? that confused you? :-)

Cheers, -T

TTP said...

Melissa, sorry for your loss.

STAX RECORDS was unknown, and having SHIITE before SHIISM made getting SUNSETS and AMANDA a bit difficult until the fog cleared. SHIISM is new to me but it makes sense. I was slowed a bit by BOOK DRIVE, but really enjoyed the word play when I got it.

SIENA ? No problem with the perps. I know of SIENA (Hi, Irish Miss !) from their NCAA Tournament upsets in basketball through the years. No idea based on the clue.

INSIDE OUT ? Been there, done that, and still do that from time to time. Usually when in a rush, like today, when I rushed to get the garbage bins out to the street.

In my earlier (lost) post this morning, I said what Jayce said, only in different words. I remembered that someone here brought up the subject of words we've encountered in reading but had never heard anyone say, only to learn later that we've been mispronouncing it. For me, today's perfect example of that was EPITOME. I only learned of its correct pronunciation after a public speaking gaffe. Embarrassing. I pronounced the word as Ep-uh-tome rather than E-pit-oh-me.

Ray-O, Net Neutrality... Let's suppose your ISP is Spectrum Cable. Let's suppose AT&T wants Spectrum to provide faster responsiveness to online searches about AT&T Wireless than it does for searches about Verizon Wireless, and is willing to pay for it. Understand that with net neutrality, small companies such as your local pizza shop will get the same prioritization as mega companies, such as Yum Brands for Pizza Hut. Do you want laboriously slow page loads trying to get to the menu of Joe's or Franco's Pizza while Pizza Hut pages load in a flash ? Net neutrality levels the playing field. Capisce ?

So much for being able to do a final yard clean up on this warm day in Chicagoland. The wind has been blowing all day, up to 50 MPH and it's not supposed to stop until the early morning hours. Reminds me of windstorms I've experienced many times in Central Texas.

TTP said...

Oops, no need to pick me apart on my response, Dash T. Didn't see your earlier response until after I posted. I was just trying to give an illustrative example. Sometimes you just have to use the KISS method.

Ray-O, if you understand what Dash T said, go with it. If not, just understand that as an end user consuming services, your options are better with net neutrality. As a stockholder of a major ISP or content provider, you might prefer the financial benefit of not having a level playing field.

waseeley said...

Anon @10:03 AM Hands up on Cesar Franck. Not one of my favorites, but he is in the canon of greats.

Husker Gary said...

A+. MB!

sasses said...

I have relatives in Hedemora, Arboga and Lannas. Love that part of Sweden!

sasses said...

Agree. Agassi and his Steffi Graf still run a nonprofit tennis academy in Vegas.

waseeley said...

Vidwan827 @11:15 AM The 15A's a.k.a. CLADES, are in descending order from general to specific: Kingdom, Phylum, Subphylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species. The position of a species within the hierarchy may shift from time to time with new findings in GENOMICS.


Anonymous T said...

Forgetful guy say... So nice to see you this morning SwenglishMom! It's been a few months.

TTP said: "Ray-O, if you understand what Dash T said"...
To wit, no one has ever understood what I said (just ask DW) :-)

TTP, your explanation is easier to understand because, like fractions on pizza pies, you used Italian food [4:25 - a very dumb (but funny) SNL sketch].

Cheers, -T

waseeley said...

Ray-O @11:30AM And the OH! in the SSB is short for Orioles!

sasses said...

As the daughter of a choir director in a Church of Christ.I am emphasizing with you over your weekly experiences in services, prayer meetings and choir practises. Add in Youth for Christ for a full schedule. Now not so much!

ATLGranny said...

Heading into the holidays, I managed to get a FIR this morning, but then got busy cooking. It wasn't until this evening I got to read Melissa B to confirm I did well. Thanks Melissa for explaining today's puzzle. And thanks, John, for a puzzle that wasn't too TAXing. My only WO was starting to fill in lament instead of REPENT. Where did that come from? They rhyme but otherwise...... Senior slippage strikes again.

Hope you had a Happy Birthday, Misty. We have a grandson with a Christmas time birthday, too. Extra celebrating to do. Stay well, everyone.

waseeley said...

TTP @6:38 pm and Dash T earlier. I'd hate to be in an IT shop for a non-neutral ISP, tasked with implementing an ever expanding rule base. Not to mention having to deal with all those marketing types.

Vidwan827 said...

Anon T .... when I first 'got' the word Transom, in the CW ..... the first thing I thought was ... OK, this when AnonT does his 'thing', and asks for a ransom.... 'T's ransom ?

Thanks for the Capisce youtube video.
After the video, I clicked on another Youtube video, about a hispanic american, Fluffy, who went to India... Its 26 plus minutes long, and I found it hilarious.

Fluffy goes to India, Youtube

.... 26+ minutes. ( Itsa bigga country ...)

TTP said...

Bill, sounds like you have real world experience dealing with Service Level Agreements. Noted your comment in re those that market v those that have to implement and deliver to the terms and conditions. :>) I could tell tales, but I am so over that, and never want to go back. :>(

Anonymous T said...

Vidwan - Fluffy in India is hilarious. I've watched it at least 4 times in the last few years. //tee-hee T's Ransom :-) Anyone that's never watched it - Vidwan's link is worth your 30 minutes.

Waseeley - You me & TTP seem to be on the same page. And those overpromising marketers....

Changing gears. Ready for a long / weird story?

I think I've made it clear I'm a Catholic Agnostic (grew up in the faith but, thanks to edifying Nuns, found methodical reason). This is not a story of fact.

Eldest was given a ring by Aunt S that she purchased in Africa many years ago. Eldest loves this ring - it's light-red but not quite alabaster. And Aunt S. gave it to her.

Last time we were in California, Eldest lost the ring. Before turning in the rental car, I did a look-see asked Patron St for help (I mean - why not?), and found it. No biggie (but Thanks St. Anthony!)

Now - Two days ago: Eldest sobs "I think I lost the ring Aunt S. gave me."
When did you know you had it last?
"at the gas station. I took it off and put it in my pocket 'cuz it kept slipping off."

Me: "This seems a bit silly, but ask St. Anthony to help."
//I really think the intonation just helps one's focus, Capisce? :-)
Me: "Let's look through your car."
We did. And nothing.

Today, while we're building Christmas cookies, I'm cleaning out the lower cabinet that has odds & ends stacked in it -- I'm looking for my other flour sifter.
See, sometimes Youngest tosses "What do I do with this?" things down there when emptying the dishwasher.
It's a deep cabinet - so much so that I found the lid to my roasting pan (I've used tin foil for my last 5 roasts!) back there.

Anyway, I put the lid over on the side-board so I could wash it later and get it ready for the prime rib I start tomorrow night.


FF to 20 minuets ago: "Dad. Did you do this? Did you find my ring?"
"? what - Oh, shi*"
The missing ring was sitting on top of the roasting pan lid.

No. No. No.
Makes no sense.

Youngest hasn't a clue, Eldest is confused, and I'm like "who's messin' with me?"

So, thank you St. Anthony.

Cheers, -T

waseeley said...

TTP @ 9:56 PM and Dash T - probably the biggest cause of system failures after buggy software, are mismatches in expectations between developers and system sponsors. I was an early champion of ITIL and later ITSM, both of which hinge on SLA's.