Jan 14, 2021

Thursday, January 14, 2021, MaryEllen Uthlaut


Happy Thursday, cruciverbalists!  While it is not yet time for us to poke our heads out, I hope that 2021 has gotten off to a good start with everyone staying safe and healthy.

If you were scratching your head over the theme of today's puzzle it is safe to assume that you had plenty of (socially distanced) company.  Prison breaks are, by nature, difficult to discover.  These were.  Even after solving the "tell", this moronic marine mammal had to stare at the completed grid for several minutes before the theme answers slowly revealed themselves.

I tried looking backwards and forwards within each of the long answers. Nothing.  Puns?  Homophones? Anagrams?  Still stumped.  MaryEllen had purposely used "puzzle rows" and not "answers" in her hint to the theme so, perhaps, I should look at entire rows.  The hint also contained the word "break" so something had likely been broken apart.  Even with these insights I then wasted time looking for some form of symmetry of which there was, well, none.  Finally, it dawned on me. 

Simply put, on four rows of the puzzle, synonyms for PRISON have been broken apart and wait patiently for us to reassemble them.  Of course, once the theme had been figured out, and the letters involved had been identified, everything appeared to be obvious.

Let's start with the reveal at 65 Across:  "The Shawshank Redemption" event, and what's hidden in four puzzle rows: PRISON BREAK.

At 17 Across we have - Angry reaction: HORNETS NEST followed at 19 Across by - "This American Life" host Glass: IRA

The end of the first answer combines with the start of the second to from STIR, a slangy word for prison.

At 27 Across we are asked to solve for - Indian noble: RAJA followed by 31 Across - Surly: ILLNATURED

As above, parts of these answers combine to yield JAIL.

..and so on,

38 Across - It went down in history: TITANIand 40 Across - Connects with: LINKSTO.  

CLINK is another slang term for prison

47 Across - Stable cleaner: SADDLE SOAand 51 Across - Tolkien tree creatures: ENTS.

PEN is, well, we get it, we get it.

Here is what this all looks like in the grid:

Now that we have successfully escaped the confines of our puzzle penitentiary let's take a look at the rest of today's challenge:


1. Bobbleheads, e. g.: DOLLS.  Do they have to represent 

6. Jury decision: AWARD.  Verdict was the first impulse but, of course, did not fit in the allotted space.

11. Pair of Grammys?: EMS.  We have seen this type of clue and answer many times previously...and you know that this MM appreciates EMS.

14. "It's __ time!": ABOUT.  A straightforward fill-in-the-blank clue.  The seven-letter modifier is implicit.

15. Old photo tint: SEPIA.


16. Dwarf who mixes up his words: DOC.  He's the one with the eyeglasses.


20. Meeting goal often not achieved: LENGTH.

21. Nuclear energy device: REACTOR.  You can build your own.

23. Lip: SASS.  Impudence by any name.

26. Firefighter's tool: HOSE.

35. Soft palate projection: UVULA.

37. Not what one would expect: IRONIC.


44. Mexican bread: DINERO.  Bread, of course, being slang for money.

46. Single-master: SLOOP.  This version of "The Sloop John B" involves both The Beach Boys and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra:


52. Palm tree superfood: ACAI.  A current-day crossword, and for some folks dietary, staple.  ACAI was found in yesterday's puzzle.  Manatees rarely eat ACAI berries.

53. Ancient home: EDEN.  If the stories are to be believed, the most ancient of all.


55. Predator with a heart-shaped face: BARN OWL.

59. Card game with trumps: EUCHRE.  Not Bridge.  Not Whist.

64. Hurricane season mo.: OCT.  The Atlantic Hurricane Season officially runs from June 1st through November 30th.

68. Cravat or ascot: TIE.  Not to be confused with 18 Down.  Two weeks ago the puzzle demanded No TIE.

69. Like Caspar Milquetoast: TIMID.  Caspar Milquetoast is a comic strip character created for the strip "Timid Soul" that launched in 1925.


70. Give a false idea of: BELIE.

71. Low: SAD.

72. Deposit in the attic, say: STORE.

73. Cheerleaders' assortment: YELLS.



1. "James and the Giant Peach" author: DAHL.  Roald DAHL was a spy, a fighter pilot and a medical inventor as well as an author.  In addition to the clue's referenced work, he wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda.

2. Wind heard in Dion's "Abraham, Martin and John": OBOE.  Although oboes, of course, are heard frequently in our puzzles this is one of the best clues yet.

Dion DiMucci

3. Desolate: LORN.  LORN means lonely and abandoned.  We more often see forlorn. 

4. Organ in a chest: LUNG.

5. Decides to leave alone: STETS.  STET is a proofreader's mark for Let It Stand.  Rarely, though, do we see it used as a verb.

6. Biblical mount: ASS.


7. Harmless cyst: WEN.  This week's "I'll pass on the graphics" moment.

8. Imitator: APER.  Outside of puzzles one rarely sees, or hears, APER or Aped.  Within puzzles we commonly see them both.

9. Slope: RISE.

SLOPE INTERCEPT (y = mx + b) 

10. It may be crunched: DATA.

11. Spell-checker, say: EDITOR.  Literally true but I'd bet that most of us first thought of something word-processing-related

12. Lacking in joy: MOROSE.  Our second ASS of the day (if one chooses not to count Peter Griffin):


13. Rustled (up): SCARED.  Colloquialisms.  SCARED up something to eat, Rustled up some grub.

18. Bangkok native: THAI.  There is nothing else quite like a tuk-tuk ride through the streets of Bangkok, THAIland.

22. Private laugh: CHUCKLE.  Chuckles are laughs that are quiet, inward or suppressed

24. Golfing mishaps: SLICES.

25. Camera type, briefly: SLR.  A Single Lens Reflex camera uses a mirror and prism to allow the photographer to see exactly what will be captured on the film or digitally.

27. Rural road feature: RUT.

28. Prefix with fauna: AVI.  A reference to the birds of a particular region.  I am most familiar with these:

29. Stick (out): JUT.

30. 2019 Mena Massoud title role: ALADDIN.

32. Free of commissions, as a mutual fund: NO LOAD.

33. Young Darth: ANI.  A "Star Wars" reference and a "diminutive" name to boot.


34. Cookie containers: TINS.

36. Indigo plant: ANIL.  I only know this from crossword puzzles...and the perps helped to recall it.

39. Having four sharps: IN E.  This answer obviously assumes that the clue was talking about a Major musical key.  The relative minor of E Major is C Sharp Minor and it also has four sharps.

41. Absalom, to David: SON.  A biblical reference to a story about family dynamics.


42. "PAW Patrol" fan: TOT.  Paw Patrol is a children's television series that premiered in 2013.


43. Special ___: OPS.  Both OPTS and OPS in the same puzzle!

45.  Caviar:  ROE.  I went to a sushi bar and ordered salmon roe.  It was a spawn-taneous decision.

47. Clogs: SABOTS.  In this instance, a shoe reference.  My friend Jon's father had a small sailboat that we would sometimes take out in the marina.  It was far too small for the open sea.  The logo on the sail, and the type of boat it was, was a SABOT.

48. Thorny shrub: ACACIA.  Both ACACIA and ACAI in the same puzzle!

49. Made a sudden move: DARTED.

50. Rounded hammer part: PEEN.  Usually, we hear ball peen hammer.

54. Lumpy, as a knit fabric: NUBBY.  This type of fabric is rarely seen in crossword puzzles but it has been seen before.

56. Comes down on one side of something: OPTS.  An intentionally somewhat obtuse clue?  Not incorrect, merely less straightforward than it needed to be.  Oh, wait, it's a crossword puzzle.  They do that all the time.

57. Court order: WRIT.

58. Ride to the prom: LIMO.  Perhaps riding in a LIMO is now commonplace but it sure wasn't when this manatee was in High School.  Further, unless PROM is considered to be an abbreviation for something, there is nothing in the clue that indicates LIMO in lieu of Limousine.

60. Algonquin language: CREE.  Often, CREE is clued with a reference to the Canadian indigenous population.

61. Severe criticism: HELL.  We rarely see "semi-swear-words" in puzzles.


62. Fence crosspiece: RAIL.


63. Manages to get, with "out": EKES.  We see this one a lot.  I sometimes get confused between EKES and EEKS.

66. Military address: SIR.  A bit of misdirection as APO (Army Post Office) is commonly seen as an answer to similar clues.

67. "To Autumn," for one: ODE.  What would a puzzle be without ODE somewhere in the grid?



Notes from C.C.:
1) Wendybird, hope you and Jack make a full recovery soon!
2) Happy Birthday to dear JD, who also enjoys traveling the world like Hahtoolah. The second picture was taken from the same trip but on a cruise ship, I think.

JD and Bob, Switzerland, 2017


OwenKL said...

Can we put those murder HORNETS in STIR?
They're ILL-NATURED creatures, that's for sure!
JAIL them in a wink,
PEN them up in the CLINK,
Before Aunt Bea in Mayberry hears their chirr !

MOROSE describes the works of Roald DAHL.
He teased readers, SCARED what would befall!
His words were gruesome,
His pictures, ghastly ones,
And yet, all the kids thought he was a DOLL!

{B+, A-.}

Anonymous said...

I think I made it out before the warden noticed, as I finished in 7:44. Didn't see the theme until I had finished, then only saw "jail." Did not know "wen" and do not remember seeing "lorn" as a stand-alone word before, although I'm sure it appears somewhere in literature. Incidentally, it appears here as a misspelled word, per spell-checker (not editor).

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Gotta love a puzzle from someone who's name begins with UT -- there aren't very many of us. Tried ILL HUMORED and PRISON MOVIE (yup, d-o failed to read the complete reveal clue...again). Wite-Out to the rescue. Even managed a better time than Anonymous -- that almost never happens. Thanx for the outing, MaryEllen, and for the expo, MalMan.

RUT: One of the stops on my M-o-W route is on such a "rutty" road that I phone ahead and have him meet me at the main road in his F350.

"Royal Philharmonic" -- They're known for their quirky recordings, including the "Hooked On Classics" disco CDs back in the '80s.

"APO" -- We swabbies had our mail addressed to an FPO (Fleet Post Office).

"Oops I Darted" -- Reminds me of the snow fence that the town put up every year at the mill pond. It was a favorite graffiti spot, and by spring every other word on the fence would be "TRUCK" -- censors at work.

Happy Birthday to world traveler JD. You must've loved the Jackie Gleason's "travelin' music."

Mark said...

How many others sang through "Abraham, Martin and John" more than once trying to find a "windy" lyric? Great song, great clue.

inanehiker said...

I was with MM - took a little head scratching to figure out the theme connection even though the puzzle was filled out!

Thanks for the blog and I enjoyed the Beach Boys/ symphony song.

Happy birthday JD! Hope everyone who is under the weather is feeling better soon!

Hungry Mother said...

FIR and found it quite a worthy challenge. No write-overs, but many answers came slowly. Even short answers required a couple of letters before completion. Great use of wordplay. I ignored the theme.

ATLGranny said...

A worthy Thursday puzzle today by MaryEllen. Thanks for the challenge. Reading MalMan's fun review, I see I FIW. I didn't think of the Seven Dwarfs so put in DOn and SnARED. I should have tried a slow alphabet run! Maybe it would have clicked.

Like MalMan, I finally saw the prison terms of the themers after trying several possibilities. That felt good. LORN and DINERO were slowdowns. My cookies were in Tubs before TINS, one of my few WOs. Overall for a Thursday puzzle, not too shabby. Interesting words like EUCHRE.

I haven't been on a cruise like JD, but I've been at that very spot in Switzerland many times. Memories..... Happy Birthday to JD and best wishes for a pleasant day to all.

Wilbur Charles said...

Well I had RAgA and of course before losing weight my gUT JUTted out. And although GA?L is a British prison Gail's never been there.

Balaam's ASS is my fav Bible story. As a kid I wasn't sure if a donkey was talking out of his ASS or what. IRONICally*, that horse's ASS may be speaking a truth you don't want to hear. As in "Why don't you get off your ASS!"

Odd def for SCARED but xword clever.
I took a THAI rickshaw but never the Tuk-Tuk.
Rickles even has the Kelly green shirt. Who is that guy behind him? Perfect casting
RUT and JUT, perfect for Mary Ellen UThlaut
In addition to front end LOAD they'll stick it to you on the sale. When you make a fat profit you don't care so much. Only when you add them all up….
I thought ANI was the first actual acting I'd seen in Star Wars. None occurred in the first film.

MaloMan, except LIMO has become the word and limousine is rarely used
YR can explain better.

Thanks to MaloMan for another great write-up and MaryEllen for a clever xword. And HBD to JD.


*Is that today, yesterday or tomorrow?

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

I needed help with LORN but got everything else OK. Nifty theme. Originally thought 'bridge' @ 59a, but saw the crosses weren't going to work. The final 're' augured for EUCHRE.
D-O - - I have commented on FPO in the past; trying to get a puzzle maker or EDITOR to use it. They seem to like APO; perhaps for the extra vowel.

Good job, Mary Ellen; and informative intro from MM.

Lucina said...


Thank you, MaryEllen Uthlaut, for a quick but not too easy puzzle with a few familiar words. Only LONE was switched to LORN for a smooth finish.

ANIL evokes my childhood. My mother always used it when washing whites. It's actually bluing and makes whites whiter. Other products now serve that purpose.

I'm surprised to see ACACIA clued as a shrub since I only know it as a tree. We have some here in the complex. It does well in arid climates.

The spelling of EUCHRE eluded me for a long while and I finally filled the H in HELL. My last fill.

Those split themes never jump out at me. I should have concentrated on the BREAK part. Thank you, MalMan, for sorting it out and for your amusing expo.

Happy birthday, JD!

Enjoy a great day, everyone!

Anonymous said...

The bottom two thirds was solved like a house afire. After a short pause OBOE opened up the top third.
My initial thought for the theme was proved wrong with the reveal. BREAK in a reveal often indicates a word broken by a black square so finding the prisons was easy.
Back in my day proms were much simpler and less expensive, no limos, no country clubs, no big dinners. As much of a bang for fewer bucks.
Americans have shortened many words like limousine so that the shortened form has become commonplace and eventually accepted, often as "informal." Some after a time even become standard and formal.
Historical novels to the rescue again. That is where I learned ANIL. Most of you Cornerites are inveterate readers. I maintain there is no better way to build vocabulary.
Mom sometimes talked about "scaring up dinner."
Wishing you a speedy recovery, Wendybird and Jack.
Happy birthday, JD.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I like this type of theme as it keeps you in the dark until the reveal and, even then, you have to search out the answers. I found some of the cluing not only misleading, which is fine, but off kilter, which is confusing. As mentioned, we had Jut/Rut, Aรงaรญ/Acacia, Thai/Tie, Ops/Opt, and Ani/Anil. I needed perps for Aladdin and had to change Rani to Raja but the rest fell into place easily.

Thanks, Mary Ellen, for a Thursday challenge and thanks, MalMan, for the comedy and commentary. None of your links or visuals came up, so a return visit will be necessary.

I didn’t post yesterday because I had too many distractions and chores to do, though I did enjoy solving Dr. Ed’s offering, as always.

Belatedly, Wendy Bird, glad you and DH are feeling better.

NaomiZ, enjoyed your poem!

Have a great day.

Irish Miss said...

Oops, forgot! Happy Birthday, JD, hope it’s special. ๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽˆ๐ŸŽŠ

MalMan, got to see all the pics and links, finally. My favorites (surprise, surprise!) were the Pugnacious Pugs and the Peripatetic Paws Patrol!

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Easy for Thursday. Lots of old friends RAJA, UVULA, SEPIA, EKES, APER. et ALII.. Malman great write up, loved the graphics. FIR Any chance of parsing the clue went down like the TITANIC ๐Ÿ›ณ Stuck with Erie/CREE too long.

"It's About Time"...Anyone remember this awful 1966 one season sitcom?

If you didn't pre-perp cookie jars first or if NUBBY is part of yer every day vokabewlarry... yer lyin' ๐Ÿ˜‰
Never heard of Casper Milquetoast.

Liked ASS misdirection biblical mount but forLORN can stay alone. Beginning to overdose on ACAI berries. Attic deposit: almost wrote spore from mold (but it's not Saturday so...).anis/ANIL. Unique cluing for OBOE

Colorful painting but it could use ______ MOROSE.
Young Charles ______ ...CHUCKLE.
Inmates' lunch hour _______... PRISON BREAK
Who wore his Dad's cowboy hat? ______son...STETS

Claims that my posts are evidence of vaccine induced dementia are false. DW will aver, avow even, that it's a pre-existing condition.

Chairman Moe said...

Puzzling thoughts:

Mary Ellen and MalMan —> very clever. Very clever indeed. Like IM said, this was fun right down to the reveal, and then I still had to follow the BREAKS to find the four PRISON synonyms. Well hidden. And a pat on my back for finding them! ๐Ÿคก

A few write-overs, here and there: AZALEA/ACACIA; CHORTLE/CHUCKLE; WIMPY/TIMID

WEN? My curiosity now wants me to Google it, but not sure (based on MM’s reluctance to post a pic)

FLN —-> Dash T correction; Carmine Appice was VF’s drummer. He had to have been on something illegal when he was playing the drums on the video you linked. Great outfit, too

Husker Gary said...

-Me too after I reread the clue PRISON BREAK is in the rows not the individual phrases.
-The woman scalded by McDonald 190F coffee offered to settle for $20,000 but McDonalds refused and the jury AWARDED her much more
-Pair of Grammys seems awkward for this type of clue. Grammy pair seems to be fairer (more fair?)
-Some administrators can expand the LENGTH of a meeting to fill allotted time. Brevity is the soul wit.
-A local REACTOR stores its nuclear waste nearby and the snow on top of those stacks melts first. Hmmm…
-The plaintive OBOE also captures the mood of Sinatra’s It Was A Very Good Year
-Advice To The Lovelorn columns started appearing in newspapers in the 18th century
-IRONIC – LIMO is a short name for a long vehicle
-Harry – “I don’t give ‘em HELL, I just tell the truth and they think it’s HELL”
-Happy Birthday Judy!

Bob Lee said...

Got everything, although I've never heard of WEN nor EUCHRE.

And I figured out the prison break answers when I spotted JAIL and CLINK. (STIR wasn't obvious, and PEN instead I saw PENT and thought short for Penitentiary)

Other synonyms: Slammer, Stockade, Lockup (was wondering if that was it from the end of barnowL), Up the River (Yeah, I'm from NY), and my favorite: Hoosegow.

CrossEyedDave said...

I was happy enough just to finish the puzzle,
& totally forgot to look for the theme...

(Does this mean it escaped me?)

One thing that did not escape me is that
I failed to post a cake for JD when her birthday was announced on Sunday.
(Yes I read all the blogs, even when I don't post)
And now it has come back to haunt me again today!

Happy birthday JD!

(how many of these things have you got?)

(I mean in one hear, I would never ask a woman her age...)

NaomiZ said...

Inspired by OwenKL's limericks, here's another stab at a quatrain in iambic pentameter:

Don't throw your SABOTS at a HORNETS NEST
Nor try to SCARE them out using a HOSE.
The HORNETS are ILL NATURED bugs at best
Who'll RISE and DART ABOUT your eyes and nose.

Great puzzle, MaryEllen. Loved the review, MalMan. That GIF of "The Sensible Chuckle"!!!

Malodorous Manatee said...

So many great comments on which to comment, so little time.

VF did not immediately evoke Vanilla Fudge.
Peripatetic - the mere sound of the word makes me want to get back to traveling.
Perp'd JARS first, no lyin'.

Happy Birthday, JD!

Misty said...

Delightful, clever, Thursday puzzle, Mary Ellen--many thanks. And your commentary was very helpful and interesting, MalMan--thanks for that too.

Liked getting started with DOLLS and DAHL. Then OBOE made me laugh--yep, it's a wind. Clever clue for TITANIC but a bit too tricky for me. Always enjoy seeing LIMO pop up in a puzzle. But my favorite clue was "organ in a chest"--didn't fool me for a second and I put in LUNG.

Always enjoy your poems, Owen.

Have a good and healthy recovery, Wendybird.

And Happy Birthday, JD.

Have a good weekend coming up, everybody.

Anonymous said...

No "lion," Ray-O, I thought of tins before jars, but I already had the I. Before this past Christmas, every year I made dozens of cookies and had many tins which I have now given away. I saved two tins, but I didn't have time after moving in to make any cookies this year.
Also, we people who have previously or presently sewed know NUBBY fabric. I had a nubby skirt which I loved.
I read a novel wherein at least half of the characters were described has having a WEN on their face. Strange to have so many people with facial cysts. Haven't we seen WEN in other puzzles?
I believe we have had EUCHRE before, too. "Euchre is a card game for four players that is played in tricks, or rounds, with a deck of 32 cards. Deception can often be key to a winning strategy, and sure enough it took almost no time at all for euchre to develop a sense meaning "cheat" or "trick." These days I more often see it as "The shyster euchred him out of his inheritance." Did Jason euchre Esau out of his inheritance?
I knew LORN, but it is more common in LOVE LORN and FORLORN.
I always think of Mary Ellen as ULMLAUT. Sorry, MLU. Enjoyable puzzle today.
MM, enjoyable expo, too.

unclefred said...

FIR, but long slog. Never figured out theme. Don’t understand how DOC “mixes up his words”. Out of curiosity I read how to build a backyard nuclear reactor that MM posted. Sounded cool, but discovered my local Home Depot was sold out of “standard 75mm rods of U235”, and Amazon didn’t have any in stock either, so can’t build it. Rats! “INE”: didn’t see “IN E” (DOH!!!) and was left wondering. SABOTS new to me. Thanx to MEU for a fine CW, and to MM for the (as always) OUTSTANDING write-up.

PedantTheBrit said...

I've got to admit that the theme evaded me. However, the Darth clue was a bit iffy since "Darth" is a title and not Vader's first name.

Anonymous said...

In England they have Biscuit Tins here we have cookie jars.

Malodorous Manatee said...

unclefred, because no one had commented on it I was beginning to wonder if putting the d-i-y reactor in the recap was a mistake. I am pleased if it brought a smile and . . ..keep checking back with Amazon and Home Depot. The page comes from a book called Science Made Stupid which was published in 1985 at which time I stumbled across a copy in my local book store (how quaint) and immediately added it to the bookshelf. It contains many very funny bits and actually won a Hugo Award for non-fiction which is really weird considering how much very-off-the-wall stuff the book contains.

Here is a link to the Wikipedia article about the book:

Wiki - Science Made Stupid

desper-otto said...

MalMan, I don't need any assistance making me more stupid, I'm doing just fine on my own.

CanadianEh! said...

Terrific Thursday. Thanks for the fun, Mary Ellen and MalMan.
I FIRed with a few inkblots, but forgot to look for the theme. When I started to read MM's thoughts, I went back and finally saw the PRISON BREAKs. Clever.

Yes, Ray-o, here is another hand up for Jars before TINS.
And yet another hand for Rani before RAJA, and Lone before LORN.
I tried to force ILLtemperED and ILLmannerED before ILLNATURED fit the spot.

IM & WC found my notables (and more); I also noted YELLS crossing HELL. Nice catch of DOLLS/DAHL, Misty!
We also had STETS and EDITOR.

Many misdirections or lightbulb moments: Clogs are shoes (SABOTS) not drain issues; the jury is deciding on an AWARD not Guilt/Innocence; that Biblical Mount is not Ararat or Sinai but ASS!
Great clue for TITANIC (no SLOOP that one!), and the new clue for OBOE.
Yes, we have had WEN here before a number of times. (My Grandmother had them on her head and I have no problem remembering the name.)

Here is your Canadian lesson for today:
CREE "is a dialect continuum of Algonquian languages spoken by approximately 117,000 people across Canada, from the Northwest Territories to Alberta to Labrador. If considered one language, it is the aboriginal language with the highest number of speakers in Canada. The only region where Cree has any official status is in the Northwest Territories, alongside eight other aboriginal languages." (per Wikipedia)
My area of Ontario has Mohawk people and language (Mohawk is an Iroquoian language, as is Erie).

JD & ATLGranny - is that photo from the Matterhorn or one of the other Alps? It looks similar to one of our photos from 2007 trip but sign seems to be newer??

Wishing a full recovery to wendybird and Jack.
Happy Birthday J.D.

Wishing you all a great day.

Lemonade714 said...

Sometimes we cannot see the forest for the trees. The LIMO is not only an accepted stand-alone word but is clued with PROM which has become a stand-alone word since the late 19th century (‘formal dance’): short for promenade. Where are all our English teachers and professors?

Lucina, I think it is very apt that the lest letter you filled in was the "H" in hell.

It seems like we are celebrating Judy's birthday for a while...I have always believed in the 30-day celebration.

unclefred said, Sounded cool, but discovered my local Home Depot was sold out of “standard 75mm rods of U235”, and Amazon didn’t have any in stock either, so can’t build it . You need a specialty hardware store, Fred. Look on the back page of some publications.

Lemonade714 said...

Pedant, how nice to see you. JD, is that you in disguise again at 12:46?

A healthy 2021 for all! I'll drink to that!

another MM said...

this was a welcome diversion from the world. The MM is on the money as always! Interesting in lieu of what's going on that the theme is prison. It must be on every thinking person's mind.

CanadianEh! said...

Happy Anniversary OMK & DW!

ATLGranny said...

CanadianEh! @ 2:35PM

JD is on the Gornergrat viewing platform from which you can see the Matterhorn. A small train takes people up there from Zermatt. It may have been renovated since you were there. It's a good place to see the Alps on a pretty day.

Big Easy said...

I FIR today by the hardest. Not familiar with the movie and the SE was a hard part to finish. Never heard the term NUBBY, Caspar Milquetoast, or of the game EUCHRE. After I filled PRISON BREAK by perps I could see the synonyms for 'The Pokey' across the blacked out areas.

"It's ABOUT Time"- a TV show when I was in my teens. Imogene Coca was in it.
NO LOAD funds with low expense ratios- the only way to invest if you're not in the financial industry.

A 3-letter fill with"TO anything" as a clue- yeah it's and ODE.

SABOTS and HELOTS were standard Xword fills years ago.

Malodorous Manatee said...

ATLGranny, since it was not visible in the photo that C.C. shared, I thought I would add this picture of Valerie with the Matterhorn clearly visible. It was also a good test to see if I could upload to Google Photos, create a link, and share it here. Who knows, that might come in handy some day.

Matterhorn, 2013

desper-otto said...

MalMan, Dave Barry's column today was about Florida Manatees -- apparently the only topic Floridians can agree on: they love 'em. You should look for the article.

LEO III said...

DNF this one, and a bunch of what I did finish was WRONG! I did very well all the way down to the TO in LINKSTO (I had UP), and I couldn’t see my error there. Wanted PANERA for 44A --- Don’t ask! Also, HOOTOWL (but not being able to find anything in that area that fit with it) messed up the entire SW neighborhood. I should have just had Mr. Wite-Out do his thing and started all over down there.

I did get all four of the long fills, though, but didn’t see the synonyms.

Busy weekend ahead! Regular workday at the museum tomorrow, and then I have to work a SMALL wedding reception there Saturday. It’s the first MAJOR event we’ve had since March, and it will be interesting to see how the masking and social distancing work out. My job is to stand around and look important (HAH!), make sure nobody messes with any of our stuff (nobody will --- because there will be a 6’6” HPD officer there too), and to escort visitors out onto the ramp to look over our 1942 Lockheed L-18 Lodestar (N31G, for any airplane nuts out there).

Don’t know when I’ll get to work on Friday’s and Saturday’s puzzles!

Yellowrocks said...

I remember Casper Milquetoast as a comics character of the 40's. I was not that interested in him. Meh.
We sometimes ate milktoast, buttered toast covered with warm milk and salt and pepper. I was not that interested that either. Meh.

Malodorous Manatee said...

D O, thanks for the reference. I have been a Dave Barry fan for a long time ("Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump, may I help you?"). The column is Barry in fine form. I would just make one humble suggestion: Instead of a tattoo, carve "Manatee" into the defacer's forehead a la Inglorious Bastards.

Lemonade714 said...

No massive complaints about the wildly unknown IT'S ABOUT TIME an attempt to cash in on Joe E. Ross' popularity inCAR 54 WHERE ARE YOU? with an amazing lack of success. It did give us an early glimpse of PAUL GLEESON gave memorable performances as the monitor in BREAKFAST CLUB and the wonderful henchman to the Duke brothers who had a painful end (and I mean end) in TRADINg PLACES .

Jayce said...

Neato puzzle. I enjoyed working it. Last cell to fill was that H crossing HELL and EUCHRE.

Anonymous said...

Solved this as a themeless with several apparently meaningless answers.Why bother having a theme if it is so hidden, so contrived, so convoluted that it is nearly indiscernible ? I had no clue what the theme was.I deeply disliked this one. Nothing clever, some clues just plain wrong too many clues seemed too clever for their own good.

Anonymous said...

Some of us liked the theme and found it simple and easy. We all have different tastes.

unclefred said...

Malodorous Manatee Thanx for the link to the "Science Made Stupid" book. I clicked and downloaded a pdf. Some pretty funny stuff in there, and some pretty corny stuff, too, but it's worth a grin or three. When I look at your write-up I can't imagine doing it. It looks like an all-day project!

Malodorous Manatee said...

unclefred, one of my favorite bits in the book is the send-up of books like the 1950's The World We Live In... "In winter, the mammals grew white coats with dark, number-like markings." The glossary is pretty funny, too. Heck, the entire thing is "worth a grin or three." As for the work involved in the write-up I am lucky in that CC usually sends the week's puzzles out on Thursday which gives me a week to put it together. Lemonade, Ch. Moe and Gary, for example, have to work within a much shorter time frame.