Mar 19, 2021

pH-riday, March 19, 2021, Mark McClain

Theme: "pHun with pHonics"

Hi, Cornerites, Chairman Moe here. Honest to God, this puzzle sure was a pHun way to start a pHriday! And what a pleasure for yours truly to blog a Mark McClain puzzle, as his clever use of several "f" sounding words that start with the letters "pH" were inserted into a number (in this case, four) of "pHamiliar frases" [sic]. And while at pHirst I had this acidic taste in my mouth, once I got down to the base-ics I soon understood and realized the reveal: 35-Across. Chemistry class measurement (it's 5 for this puzzle's grid): pH NUMBER, and the whole chore was just "mildly" acidic! Kind of like the Black Coffee I drank whilst creating my blog ...

Mark and I briepHly chatted via e-mail regarding his puzzle. He had some interesting comments and shared how this went through a couple of iterations bepHore the pHinal grid. I kinda liked this version despite having a bit of trouble. But that just goes to show how dipHpHicult it is to construct a crossword puzzle. I am very happy that Mark has helped me along my new journey as a constructor ... but I digress ... let's pHind out how this whole thing came together!

16-Across. Analytical diagrams of Tuesday rush hour traffic in Paris?: MARDI GRAPHS. MARDI is the French word for "Tuesday"; GRAPHS are analytical diagrams; MARDI GRAS is also known as "Fat Tuesday" or a celebration held the day before Ash Wednesday - last chance to "let your hair down" before the season of Lent

30-Across. Deli favorite with a floral garnish?: BAGEL AND PHLOX. BAGEL and LOX: LOX is a fillet of brined salmon, frequently served on a BAGEL with cream cheese, and often garnished with tomato, sliced onion, capers, and fresh dill. PHLOX are perennials and are a favorite choice of gardeners, ranging from ground cover blooming in early spring to the tall plants which bloom from mid- to late summer

Which of course reminded me of a Moe-Ku:

Biblical shepherds
Started gardening. Now they
Watch their PHLOX by night ...

38-Across. Rodent that's a Broadway star?: THEATER GOPHER. THEATER GOER is literally someone who "goes to the theater"! And a GOPHER is a pretty cute rodent. And one who had a supporting role in one of my pHavorite golpH movies:

58-Across. Mobile device for the unhip?: SQUARE PHONE. Maybe my least pHavorite, but it pHits. "SQUARE" ONE is slang for a person who is conventional and old-fashioned. This sense of the word "square" originated with the American jazz community; as opposed to SQUARE "ONE" which is the initial stage or starting point. SQUARE PHONE(s) actually DO exist, un-beknownst to this blogger until he googled it ...

But my pHavorite use of the words "hip" and "SQUARE" are found in the lyrics of this old classic:

Here is the grid:

On to the other clues and answers ...

1. Scrape remnant: SCAB. This would either be a SCAB or a SCAR ... I guessed wrong but the perps corrected it later on

5. Get off topic: STRAY. This could've been clued as: "a wandering dog". But I shouldn't STRAY from my appointed task. Maybe ST-RAY-O-Sunshine will have something to add ...

10. Hurly-burly: ADO. Our "thesaurussaurus" doesn't include "ADO" but it certainly means all that

13. Natural feeling: URGE. Has anyone really had an URGE to blog these puzzles?!

14. Sharing word: A PIECE. Google says this about that: "When you mean “each” the expression is “apiece”: these pizzas are really cheap — only ten dollars apiece.” But when “piece” actually refers to a piece of something, the required two-word expression is “a piece ”: “This pizza is really expensive; can we share A PIECE?”

15. Like the top stripe of a pride flag: RED. Pride Month is this June. Universal Crossword is going to dedicate the month of June to crossword constructors who identify as either LBGTQ. I think this is a great idea.

18. "I've heard enough, thanks": TMI. Text speak; or what my kids say when their Dad (me) gets a bit too descriptive about one of his ailments, et al

19. Amazed feeling: AWE. And the root word for this: (hopefully, what the puzzles and blogs are!)

20. Apt rhyme for "sincerely": DEARLY. Found at the close of a letter, perhaps? I think "sincerely" a bit too formal, and "DEARLY" a bit too personal. I almost always use "kind regards" . . . you?

21. Port SSE of Sana'a: ADEN. Accoring to Wikipedia dot com, ADEN is a city, and since 2015, the temporary capital of Yemen, near the eastern approach to the Red Sea. Sana'a is landlocked - see map

22. Sports shoe feature: CLEAT. CLEAT refers to the "gripping" feature on the outer sole of a football shoe, e.g. Sometimes CLEATs are swapped out depending on the surface of the playing field, and/or the weather conditions

24. "Hurrah!": YAY. I finished today's puzzle. YAY!!

25. Code opener: AREA. The three digit numeric "code". Click here for detail, if you're so inclined. AREA codes were introduced way back in 1947 but weren't universally used until the 1960's/1970's. Does anyone recall their first telephone number as a kid? Mine was 2-8696 (only 5 digits) and was bereft of an AREA code. Once the code was accepted (in PA) our new number was (717) 854-8696 ...

26. SoCal team: LAD. Los Angeles Dodgers, the reigning MLB World Series champs

28. One of two tarot card groups: ARCANA. Learning "MOE-ment"; ARCANA, as a plural noun, means "secrets or mysteries". In occult practices, the Major ARCANA are the trump cards of a tarot pack. There are usually 21 such cards in a standard 77-card pack. Of the three shown below, I am clearly "The Fool"!!

34. 30-day mo.: APR. Thirty days hath APRil, June, and September. All the others have 31, except February which has 28 (or 29, during a leap year)

36. N.J. town across from northern Manhattan: FT. LEE. Fort Lee was named for General Charles Lee after George Washington and his troops had camped at Mount Constitution overlooking Burdett's Landing, in defense of New York City.

37. "... __ he drove out of sight": Moore: ERE. Clement Clarke Moore (July 15, 1779 – July 10, 1863) was a writer and American Professor of Oriental and Greek Literature, as well as Divinity and Biblical Learning, at the General Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in New York City. He anonymously wrote and published "A Visit from St. Nicholas" in 1823, and its story is still told to wondering children at Christmastime

43. Charm: ENAMOR. "To be filled with a feeling of love for" ... when I saw the clue I at first pencilled in AMULET, which is also defined as "a charm"

44. Take advantage of: TAP. Many synonyms for this word "TAP". I prefer this image, but the thesaurussaurus includes many others

45. Japanese noodle: UDON. Wikipedia dot com describes "UDON" as: "a thick noodle made from wheat flour, used in Japanese cuisine. It is a comfort food for many Japanese people. There are a variety of ways it is prepared and served. Its simplest form is in a hot soup as kake UDON with a mild broth called kakejiru made from dashi, soy sauce, and mirin. Sounds delightful!

46. Leaves for dim sum: TEA. Dim sum is a large range of small dishes that Cantonese people traditionally enjoy in restaurants for breakfast and lunch. And I am guessing that the beverage of choice would be TEA

49. Easy to pick up: LIGHT. As opposed to something that is difficult to pick up (HEAVY)

53. Rascals: IMPS. Were these "Rascals" IMPS?

54. Come in: ARRIVE. Not the answer to when someone says "come in"; it's what you literally do (ARRIVE) when you come in (as a flight to an airport, e.g.)

56. Blintz topping: ROE. BAGEL and LOX and now blintz with ROE? Oy, vey! A blintz is a type of crepe and is often topped with ROE (fish eggs/caviar). Any of our Jewish Cornerites care to add?

57. Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy org.: NBA. National Basketball Association; Larry O'Brien was the Commissioner of the NBA from 1975 - 1984; prior to that he was a Postmaster General in the Johnson administration. The Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy is the championship trophy awarded annually by the National Basketball Association (NBA) to the winner of the NBA Finals. The name of the trophy was the Walter A. Brown Trophy until 1984. Wikipedia dot com

60. Swampy spot: FEN. Our Boston baseball fans will know that John Taylor claimed the name FENway Park came from its location in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, which was partially created late in the nineteenth century by filling in marshland or "fens", to create the Back Bay Fens urban park. However, given that Taylor's family also owned the Fenway Realty Company, the promotional value of the naming at the time has been cited as well

61. Get-go: OUTSET. OUTSET, as in from the "get-go", or beginning

62. "Cupcake Wars" fixture: OVEN. "Cupcake Wars" is a Food Network show that features a "bake-off" among noted cupcake/dessert chefs. I know that they need an OVEN to produce these delights, but would it actually look like this?

63. Some replacement sites, for short: OR'S. Cute clue; Mark, yours or Rich's? Operating RoomS, as in a hospital where you might actually "KNEED" something replaced

64. Greeted wordlessly: WAVED. "NODS" didn't fit. Hi, y'all!

65. Forms a union: WEDS. As opposed to the abbr for WEDneSday

1. Shrub often toxic: SUMAC. And at times, we see this reference to SUMAC in crossword puzzles: Yma Sumac, born September, 1922 – died November 1, 2008) was a Peruvian coloratura soprano. Here is a little clip from YouTube

2. Pub __: CRAWL. We old folks take Uber ...

3. Feel the same way: AGREE. I don't know how you all feel about the music embedded below; maybe we can AGREE to disagree ...

4. Board companion: BED. Hmm. Maybe I am missing this clue's meaning . . . Room and Board, yes; BED and board? Anyone care to chirp in here and help C-Moe??

5. Mist: SPRAY. STRAY and SPRAY in the same puzzle ... Moe-Ku 2:

I saw a rainbow
Onboard the Maid of the Mist
A SPRAY o Sunshine?

6. Headwear for kid-lit's Fancy Nancy: TIARA. Maybe if I had a granddaughter I would've known this. But Google saved the day for me

7. Comeback: REPLY. ECHO didn't fit ...

8. In some pain: ACHY. "Don't tell my heart, my ACHY breaky heart ..." sing it, Billy Ray ... line dance, anyone??

9. "I'd be glad to": YES.

10. Buyer and seller of oils: ART DEALER. The plural in oils gave this one away

But I wonder ... for this puzzle's theme ... had it been clued as "Buyer and seller of gas", would the answer have been pHART DEALER?

11. Conduct: DEMEANOR. Demeanor suggests a general tendency, whether good or bad, of ones outward behavior. How would you all describe MY demeanor??!

12. Frigga's husband: ODIN. ODIN (Sir Anthony Hopkins) and Frigga (Rene Russo, I think) in Thor (Marvel Series)

14. Notable period: AGE. ERA fit, too. I would have personally preferred a clue such as: "what good wines do well"

17. Luggage attachment: I.D. TAG. How to I.D. your luggage at the airport baggage carousel? Use this TAG, perhaps?

21. Aqueduct support: ARCH. At first glance, I had this in mind, but neither BETTOR nor HORSE fit:

23. __ mode: ALA. Does anyone order pie ALA mode anymore? Curious ... are you hungry now??!

25. Strasbourg-born Dadaist: ARP. Hans Peter Wilhelm ARP (aka, Jean) was a Dadaist-abstract painter born in Straßburg, Germany (Alsace-Lorraine) in September 1886 and died in Basel Switzerland in June of 1966. In 1886, in what is now known as Strasbourg, the German Empire controlled this land area west of the Rhine River. The French regained the control of the region after WWI. ARP was fluent in both German and French, and when he spoke German he referred to himself as Hans; when speaking French, his moniker was Jean, as French law required that he use a name more common in France. All of this and a whole lot more is available at several Google sources, including Wikipedia dot com

27. Schedule for later: DEFER. Google dictionary defines it as: Source; late Middle English (also in the sense ‘put on one side’): from Old French differer ‘defer or differ’, from Latin differre, from dis- ‘apart’ + ferre ‘bring, carry’. I will leave the puns for Ray-O, et al

28. More than competent: ADEPT. Skillful. Is anyone who's able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, ADEPT?

29. Tool in the Portland Timbers' logo: AXE. The Portland Timbers are an American professional soccer club based in Portland, Oregon. Their logo is shown below. A pHriday clue, for sure. Quick, can anyone name one of their star players?

30. Bakery containers: BREAD PANS. not BED PANS. Although I suppose you could use a BREAD PAN if you had to "pinch a loaf" ... oh, I'm gonna catch some $**t for that comment!!

31. Copier tray abbr.: LTR. As in LeTteR sized. 8-1/2" x 11" is the common LTR size

32. Eighth-grade subj., often: ALG. ALGebra in 8th grade? Not when I was going to school. GEOmetry, maybe. ALGebra seemed to hit us around 9th grade. In its simplest form ALGebra uses symbols to represent numbers in an equation. For example, x + 2 = 5; where "x" is the unknown. Trust me, it gets MUCH harder than that!!

33. Modernist: NEO. NEO (prefix) from the Greek "neos", meaning new, young, fresh, modern

34. Enjoyed a lot, with "up": ATE. I almost just let this one go with no comment; but I 'googled' the phrase ATE UP, and saw some videos attached to this "search" that were, well, not ones even I would choose. Learning moment, though, and perhaps as the crossword puzzle lexicon grows we will also see new acronyms I found; e.g., AUATC (ATE UP All Their Cake) and PDLIF (Please Don't Live In Fear)

39. Book after Joel: AMOS. Old Testament I believe

40. It may be gross: TON. I tried to fit MOE in here - or even "MOI" - but the perps wouldn't allow it. Oh, I get it; "gross" as in a number or amount. A TON (2,000#) could be the "gross" weight allowed, e.g.

41. Simona who won Wimbledon in 2019: HALEP. I'm not a huge tennis fan. Had to actually look this one up. Simona HALEP, age 29, is a Romanian professional tennis player

42. Prefix with Pen: EPI. EPI-Pen is the brand name of an auto-injectable device that delivers the drug epinephrine. It is a life-saving medication used when someone is experiencing a severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis. EPIPen is just one of the brand names of devices known generically as Epinephrine Auto-Injectors.

46. Channel for reality show fans: TruTV. Didn't we just have TRU on Wednesday?

TruTV is an American basic cable channel owned by WarnerMedia under its Studios and Networks unit. The channel was originally launched in 1991 as Court TV, a network that focused on crime-themed programs such as true crime documentary series, legal dramas, and coverage of prominent criminal cases. I don't think Judge Wapner's show ran on this network . . .

47. Backspace over: ERASE. My "backspace" key is worn down to a nub now that I am involved on this blog ...

48. Broadcast: AIRED. "The People's Court" (current version) is AIRED via syndication and picked up by our local CBS network station KPHO. It is available to watch on weekdays at 3:00 local time. Here is a list of all of the cities AIRing this show. Scroll up or down to find your city/state

50. Trees of a kind, often: GROVE. A GROVE is a small group of trees with minimal or no undergrowth, such as a sequoia GROVE, or a small orchard planted for the cultivation of fruits or nuts

51. Improved: HONED. According to ESL dot com, HONED can be a synonym for IMPROVED

52. Typical winter highs at the summit of Mt. Washington: TEENS. Mount Washington is located in N Central New Hampshire, and rises to a summit peak of 6,288'. There is a Weather Observatory here, and as I was typing the blog, the temperature at the summit was 10 deg F, with a wind chill of -15! Brr. Hoping our friend Picard has some photos floating around the Internet he can share with us

53. Facts and figures: INFO. I didn't check the OED, but I am guessing that INFO is an accepted word and not the abbreviation for INFOrmation

54. Teal relative: AQUA. Weird things surface when you google the words AQUA Velva. Since when did they start making a cocktail from after shave? And I wonder if this drink is popular at Aqueduct?

55. Nov. honoree: VET. A word which as a noun can be defined as an abbr. for an animal doctor or a retired/discharged member of the military services. As a verb it means to make a careful and critical examination of a person or thing

58. Barnyard mom: SOW. MARE didn't fit but COW did. Has anyone else noticed the plethora of 3-letter words in today's puzzle?

59. Method: HOW. Rhymes with 58-Down

OK, I'm done. Did this one pass the litmus test?


OwenKL said...

A shepherd felt himself in a box,
Vowed to change when opportunity knocks.
He became ADEPT
With the gardener set,
Now without sheep, he tends his PHLOX!

The ARCANA teach of things arcane,
The ancient magick without a name.
The spirits URGE
Thru the Tarot's word,
The book of cards which Sibyls claim.

{B+, B.}

waseeley said...


A CSO and SPECIAL THANKS to the reader who discretely contacted me by email last evening to lament my failure to directly answer one of the clues for Joe Deeney's puzzle. Rather than inform readers that the C/A "38D. RB stoppers: DTS" was a football reference to DEFENSIVE TACKLES and RUNNING BACKS, I went directly to a "clever riff" about political correctness. And a CSO to TTP for 'splainin' them to YR. In fact, I'm still confused about what they mean!


desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Yup, had to replace ERA with AGE. But it was still a Phun Phlit to the Phinish. Moe, "Bed and Board" is a common expression -- it gets over a billion Google "hits" (but ROOM and Board gets over 3 billion). The theme was clean; no revealer need apply. Thanx, Mark and C-Moe (November is also a 30-day month).

TRU TV: Today they'll be busy airing the NCAA tournament.

DEARLY: Sometimes I use "Sincerely," but more often I just skip the Complimentary Close -- particularly if I'm writing to carp about some nit.

First PHone Number: It was 2443. My dad's business phone was 2441. It was a party line. 2441 had one ring, 2443 and three. (I learned in my ute that one shouldn't put the phone atop a bulk tape eraser to see if a "beep will be provided" to notify the caller that the call is being recorded. What really happens is the permanent magnet in the phone becomes de-magnetized, and the phone no longer rings, and one's dad becomes very angry.)

desper-otto said...

Oops, I should'a put the phrase in quotes. "Bed and board" gets over a million hits, and "Room and board" gets over 14 million. Mea culpa.

Hungry Mother said...

FIR with few problems. I needed a W here after being crushed by today’s NYT offering. Luckily the SB told me I was a Genius earlier on. Now to the day.

Yellowrocks said...

Wow! A Wednesday romp on a Friday. Sussing the theme from the OUTSET sped me on my way. I was right on Mark's wavelength. Only HALEP was new to me.
When Achy Breaky Heart was popular we square danced to it until we tired of hearing it.
IMO reality shows are staged and far from real. I don't care for most of them.
Moe, your description made me hungry for NJ/NY bagels and lox with all the trimmings.
Replacement in the OR is a CSO to many of us. Mine was two knees. What a blessing, it kept me dancing.
My first phone number was 78.
Mom always said we should agree to disagree. No-one has to win. She also said we could disagree without being disagreeable. Flamers out there, take note. "Hope you die." "I hope your dog gets run over by a car." Sheesh.
I prefer Sincerely at the close of a letter. Disagree, but don't hate me. LOL

Yellowrocks said...

FLN, WC, my key was in my jacket pocket. My jacket was later discarded and locked in the car which was back at the beginning.

TTP said...

A Friday challenge by Mark today with a fair test of broad areas of knowledge. Needed 4 perps and had to walk the alphabet for the A to get HALEP. It wasn't a long walk.

- Had LAr before LAD. Rams before Dodgers.
- I had Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at FT LEE, Petersburg, Virginia. Named after a different General Lee.
- Didn't know HALEP. "Simona" in the crossing clue first evoked Biles, and it was hard to shake off.
- Similar with "Teal relative." First thought was Mallard. Second was Drake. D'OH ! Maybe it's the color !
- OUTSET - From the Beginning - ELP. Love the acoustic guitar.
- Ewe ? No. Hen ? No. SOW ? Yes.
- Hand up for era before AGE.

Loved the review. Especially the parts that came across characteristically Gross. :>)
- I had my comments ready before reading it. Had to back out the pH of black coffee comment and the Huey Lewis link.
- Your image at 19A depicts HG's least favorite word.
- I remember as a wee one that our old rotary dial phone didn't have an area code. Two letters, a number, a dash, and 4 more numbers. People verbalized the phone company's central office name as part of the phone number. Can still hear my dad saying "Lincoln 2" for the 542 prefix of our 7 digit phone number. I never did figure out why "Lincoln" as there was no Lincoln anywhere near us.

Oh, and change your browser's "Safe Search" or "Parental Controls" settings and you won't get those certain types of videos or images.

Bob Lee said...

I found this tough, tough, tough, but got everything eventually once I figured out the PH theme.

My favorite answer: MARDIGRAPHS!

Barry T. said...

RE: 56. Blintz topping: ROE. BAGEL and LOX and now blintz with ROE? Oy, vey! A blintz is a type of crepe and is often topped with ROE (fish eggs/caviar). Any of our Jewish Cornerites care to add?

In our (Jewish) family, blintz topping is sour cream and/or jam. Who could afford caviar? LOL. As my father used to say, "we were so poor, we almost couldn't even afford a mother!" Mom at that point would roll her eyes and ask when her next paycheck would arrive. Never did!

[Scar vs. Scab got me!]

Happy Friday, everyone!

ATLGranny said...

Unlike other early posters, I didn't breeze through this PHriday puzzle. Luckily I landed on the right choice a couple of times for a FIR! Much ink was spent in the middle while rotating through possibilities, but all's well that ends well. By the way, I liked your first poem, OwenKL. Keep them coming!

The puzzle's theme popped out early which helped. Thanks Mark for a good start to the day. And thanks to C Moe for a rich and entertaining review! Two weeks ago my knee was knit back together rather than replaced in the OR. It's coming along. Hope you all are doing well, too!

Big Easy said...

At PHirst I PHound Marks puzzle strange. I had Philled the Dakota region and the eastern seabord before the lePHt side and noticed the PH in GRAPHS & PHLOX that were filled by perps. Didn't realize they were inserted until almost FIR.

Mark's puzzles are AWEsom; not much A&E or proper names.

MARDI GRA-PH-S- didn't happen this year. The mayor closed ALL bars in NOLA for five days but if you said you were going to a restaurant in the French Quarter and it had a bar it was okay for THAT bar to serve drinks. How's that for political non-logic.

Just a few unknows today. Fancy Nancy, FT LEE, & ARCANA, RED
PHLOX a flower? A learning moment for me. I just knew it as a street name in Metairie, LA>

In LA our sulfur is spelled sulPHur. Two towns- Port Sulphur,LA and Sulphur, LA- and a company named Freeport SulPHur.

Enuf said for today.

Husker Gary said...

-MARDI GRA(PH)S gave me the fun theme instantly
-Nurse yesterday told me she “was using a SQUARE needle” but I never felt it
-Our first phone # was 116-X and you had to say that to the operator who was my grandmother
-Kids don’t shake hands before or after basketball games anymore. They simply WAVE at the other team from their own bench area
-Our Jeffrey Wechsler is an ART CURATOR. I wonder if his expertise has been used by DEALERS.
-I have an ID TAG on my luggage but the pink strap is more useful in finding it on the carousel
-My friend’s 30-yr-old GROVE of walnut trees are pretty but didn’t appreciate in value like he thought

Tinbeni said...

Chairman Moe: Good job on an informative write-up & links.

Yup! I agree this was a FUN Friday puzzle.


Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Although I finished in normal Friday time, I had some pesky areas that were slow to fill in. Solving in the morning is proving how much of a morning person I’m not. I don’t know where my brain was but I never connected the PH Number answer to the PHs in the themers. How’s that for obtuseness? Halep was the only unknown. I think Bed and Board was more popular years ago. CSO to CED at Imps and if there were any others, they, too, went over my fuzzy head.

Thanks, Mark, for a challenging Friday and thanks, C. Moe, for the very detailed and very interesting review. I can only imagine the time and effort you put into this and every other expo you’ve written. Kudos and thank you.

MalMan, today is St. Joseph’s Day, when the swallows come back to Capistrano, although, I’m not sure if this is still true. But, growing up, that was my mother’s mantra every March 19th. (My oldest brother was named Joseph.)


Tony, good news about the vaccine. How is your DW feeling?

Have a great day.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Not knowing HALEP garbled the SE for me. But I got everything else. Interesting use of pH as a theme gimmick. (Nice visual, BTW, CM). Only other strikethrough was I had 'era' before AGE.
SOW - Latin Sus, German Sau. L. German Söög and Dutch zeug sound exactly the same (but have different orthograPHy)

Spring arrives tomorrow @ 0537 EDT.

waseeley said...

Thank you Mark for a pHine pHriday puzzle (yeah I know everyone is doing it). And thanks MOE for your sparkling commentary. The proton ion (Hydrogen) concentration was just right. But please the next time you appropriate my image in a blog (see 13A) a "Mother May I?" would be appreciated.

Where to begin? At the OUTSET I guess:

28A The 22 "Major ARCANA" in the Tarot card deck are considered "trump" cards whereas the remaining 56 are called the "Minor ARCANA". I never knew that there is an actual game played with these, as back in the day I used them only for divination.

44A TAP implies the using of a resource. Often used to denote someone selected for a cabinet post.

2D Had to wait a bit on this one, as my version of the puzzle had no blank to fill in.

3D Like the PERPS say in all the British mysteries, a terse "No Comment". Or as YR would say "IYCSSNDSAAA".

4D As in a BED and BREAKFAST.

39D AMOS is one of the MINOR proFits (as opposed to the "Minor ARCANA") in the Hebrew Bible, known to others as the Old Testament.

42D No EPI-PEN was needed when Dw and I didn't go into anaFylactic shock when we got our first Moderna shots yesterday (more on that in p.s.).

25A Our number sans area code was 668-4639. I still remember it because the number is the same for my oldest sister and B.I.L., who bought the house from my Mom (and took care of her for 23 years) after my Father died.


p.s. Some may remember the tale of cybernetic woes I related just this past Tuesday, after a failed attempt to schedule vaccinations. What a difference a day makes. On Wednesday we got an invitation to schedule vaccinations at the Maryland State Fair Grounds in Timonium, MD. Yesterday we found ourselves in line at 2:30 in the afternoon in a massive, serpentine CONGA line in one of the enormous livestock barns at the site. Despite the huge crowd, everything went smoothly and by 3:30 we'd both been poked and scheduled for the second shots on 2/15/2021. Hallelujah!

waseeley said...

IM @9:42AM Thanks for the reminder re St. Joseph. Dw and I plan to call our our next to youngest grandson Joseph, and wish him a happy Name Day.

CanadianEh! said...

PHun PHriday. Thanks Mark and CMoe (yes I stole your PH idea too).(Thanks for my LOL of the day with FART DEALER.)
I found a little crunch in this CW but eventually FIRed and saw the theme. AHA moment with 35D. I think MARDIGRAPHS was my favourite.
Clues for AREA code and ORS were tied for second.

I know by now to use THEATER, and that those "winter highs" were TEENS in Fahrenheit not Celsius. (Somewhere I have some very windblown photos at the summit of Mt. Washington but they are not digital. Youngest son especially loved the cog railway.)

ARCANA and HALEP were the unknowns today, but they perped.
I WAGGED TIARA because it seems that all my granddaughters' heroines are princesses!
Hand up for Era before AGE, and wondering if Grade eight students really get ALG.
But I had no problem with SCAB. A scrape is more minor and heals with a SCAB and usually no scar; a cut, on the other hand, may scab but can also leave a scar.

We had TAP today, rhyming with the Sap that results when you "take advantage of" the maple tree.
I was happy to find myself included in the Area Code map. I am just outside of the 416 Toronto area.

ATLGranny - glad to hear that you are healing well.
AnonT - hope DW is OK. One negative rapid test does not rule out the possibility of being positive. But she did have Covid before (right?) so hopefully not too severe if positive again. (LOL re that black licorice; I hate the smell when DH eats it!)

Wishing you all a great day.

Lucina said...


And PHUN was had by all! Good puzzle, Mark McClain! I easily sashayed through the top, bottom, east and west but the center took a long slide then after finishing I had to ask, "why?" Because of FT. LEE, that's why. I immediately wrote FT. DIX and there it sat. Finally it got erased then ALG and NEO took over. Done!

I thought some of the clues were unnecessarily obscure but they just challenged my aging brain a bit more. It did not help my DEMEANOR as I was in a grumpy mood to begin with because of two very early PHONE calls! They were by unknown callers so even more annoying!

HALEP was unknown and amazingly with ARP the only name in the puzzle! I don't count ODIN because he is a myth and well known crossword inhabitant.

Thank you, Chairman Moe! Your comical review somewhat helped revive my spirit.

Have a pleasant entrance to spring, everyone!

AnonymousPVX said...

Well first off, 30 day love for November? Didn’t make the list. C’mon, who doesn’t like Thanksgiving?

I thought this a rather crunchy go, had to work to get the solve.


So Britain has had much success with delaying the second shot in favor of giving everyone the first one which seems to be working for them. It’s too late for the USA to do that, but it’s good to know that (1) they are still doing research (which shows delays to 42 days after the first shot is fine) and (2) those who have had the first shot and are waiting on the second can feel a bit safer. Like me, another week to the second shot, if it doesn’t get postponed as the first one was.

At any rate, stay strong and
Stay safe.

desper-otto said...

Waseeley, I hope that 2 was supposed to be a 4. Otherwise, you've already missed it.

Lucina said...

Goodness! So much hate for licorice and I love it!

CrossEyedDave said...


Now where is that Anon that always says "phooey!"
(He'd fit right in today...)

I had to turn on the red letters to discover
That just about all of my 3 letter fills were wrong.
(A lot of misdirection today)
But the theme helped a lot, and it all came together in a colourful
Sort of way. From white to red to black...

I always thought bleach was acidic?

Learning moment #2
DW told me you do not need a "one" in front of the area code
If you are using a cell phone...

Oh dear,
I think this pandemic has jaded me.
I watch that maid of the mist video at Niagara Falls
And all I see is a crowd with no masks on.
Even if they were all vaccinated, what about legionnaires disease?

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

This puzzle gave me what my Grams would call agita (dialect for "acid" reflux) 😳. Once I sussed MARDIGRAPHS the other themed answers were easier with some perp help. So a fortunate Saturn's day FIR.

3 inkovers: cow/SOW, era/AGE, arcane/ARCANA, not bad for the hardest week's challenge. Remembered Ft. Lee from the closure scandal. Not room but BED & board. "Sincerely" and DEARLY at the end of a LTR. Cupcake clue answer usually an icer, not today. Almost filled in zeros (oddly "zeros" or "zeroes" are aceptable, LIU) for winter high TEENS, and lithe for LIGHT. HALEP Simona/Simona HALEP? 🤔 Wonder what kinda FRIGGan husband ODIN was?

My ph number as a kid was 35438, then RE(Redwood)3-5438, then 733-5438. Then preceded by area code ..(No worries just called..out of service).

stRAY nonsense....

Cheap tip.....DIM SUM
Waiter in the cinema....THEATERGOPHER
Man cave often....ADEN.
Boris Badinoff or Natasha, who is _______? DEMEANOR.
He will be DEARLY _____ MIST.
PETA onus.....DEFER ...(🤭 for Moe)

Chairman are (pH above 7)ly a sharp guy. How about one more... Wake me up....STRAY

waseeley said...

Thanks D-O. Then again maybe yesterday was the 2nd poke.

Emile O' Touri said...

@CrossEyedDave Just curious. Why do you have a problem with someone having a negative opinion of a puzzle? Second day in a row you commented on this. Everyone has their own experience solving puzzles.

waseeley said...

Ray-O @11:46AM stRay is a stretch, as Lucina points out today is stJOE's day. Your's was January 7th, but there was a whole lot of other stuff going on the day before and we forgot to celebrate.

Misty said...

Delightful Friday puzzle, Mark, a little tough but doable--just right for the end of the week. Many thanks, and thank you too, Chairman Moe, for your great pictures.

I too loved getting MARDIGRAPHS right away. Lots of sweet words: DEARLY, ENAMOR, WEDS.
Irish Miss, thank you for reminding us about St. Joseph's day. I too will have to e-mail my son Josef to wish him a happy name day.

Nice of your to comment on the MIST clue, Cross-eyed Dave. But no shout-out to MISTY?
No problem, she's a modest soul.

Have a great weekend coming up, everybody.

CrossEyedDave said...

Dear Emile,

No problem, it was just serendipity.
We live by the rule of Thumper here in the Blog,
And I thought with today's theme our Anon could
Make a positive comment....

Another learning moment for me,
Ph stands for potential of hydrogen!


potential of hydrogen?

Wendybird said...

A satisfyingly challenging puzzle today which I enjoyed but , unfortunately, FIW. I messed up with TOP/TAP, which gave me HOLEP/HALEP, an unfamiliar name.. I liked the theme answers, especially THEATERGOPHER. Thanks, Mark, for an excellent puzzle, free of many proper names and pop culture references.. Thanks, too, for the fun, detailed tour, Ch. Moe. You do push the envelope.

My childhood phone number was 4456 - how easy is that!?

My contribution to the OR replacement discussion is both hips. I never limped or had pain, and I continued to ski for many years afterward.

I LOVE black licorice, it red licorice is anathema to me. I was sleepy when they stopped making Smith Bros. Cough drops.

We live very close to “Capistrano” and used to attend the annual festive Swallows Day parade, followed by a very fun local rodeo and an even more fun pub crawl, ending up at The Swallows Inn for country western dancing. Maybe Misty attended also?

We can’t get our shots yet. Because we got the COVID virus and received an infusion of mononuclear antibodies, we have to wait 90 days after the onset of the disease. So, April 1st is circled in red on our calendar! Meanwhile, we are remaining pretty much secluded “just in case”.

Wendybird said...

Sorry, didn’t proof read - disappointed, not “sleepy”.

Sandyanon said...

I don't post often at all;usually just lurk. But today I'm moved to lament the dearth of tennis fans on the blog. I thought there'd be some others for whom Simona Halep was a gimme. But oh well, just like in my family, I seem to be the only one!

That also leads me to comment on the little exchange between Emile and Dave. My impression is that most Anonymous commenters attribute their negative experience with a puzzle to the puzzle, and by implication the constructor, when I see such a range of knowledge/lack of knowledge among posters here that it seems only logical that anyone's difficulties are a function of their own gaps in knowledge.

What do others think?

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

DNF :-(

Thanks Mark for the delightPHul puzzle and thank you Moe for the PHantastic PHunny expo. //I saw what you did there TTP :-)

WOs: SCAr, era->AGE, table -> DEFER, use->TAP, PH leve... uh, oh.

First themer was SQUARE PHONE and 35d was PH(not level) easy. The other themers fell easily after that but...

DNF: OILS had nothing to do with a (new age?) hEALER and the Conduct was not at the symPHony. No idea what a Hurly-burly nor a Sana'a was... NE never cleared up.

Fav: I thought the use of Leaves (not goes out for/right after the panda eats & shoots) was cute at TEA

{B+, B+}

Nice to see you stop in to the Corner again Sandyanon...
To your point see my DNF :-)
To your question, I thing BigE is a fan of tennis.

Thanks everyone for the thoughts re: DW. She got the 'not-quick' test this morning so we'll know Monday. (we're hoping allergies; can you lose taste w/ allergies?)
//thanks C, Eh!, I thought the licorice test was funny too - and it worked!

Waseeley - good news re: C19shot! We both get #2 on TAX-day.
//Did you TAP the Fair's beer-tent afterwards?

ATLGranny - Good to know the knee is on the mend.

Barry T - um, I can't afford DW either :-)

Y'all! Stop posting phone numbers even if they aren't yours any more. AC/DC got sued for that [scroll to Controversy] and Tommy Tutone caused an ADO too.

In Houston, one has to dial all 10 digits to ring next-door. I've gotten so used to it that, when I'm back in SPI and Pop says a phone number, I ask what AREA code?

CED - too much Fauci on TRU TV? Legionnaires disease?!?... :-)

30 days hath September/
April, June, and November/
All the rest have 31
Except for February/
This poem's done.
And so am I

Cheers, -T

Ray - O - Sunshine said...


My saint's name day St. Raphael (RAY' feel) used to be October 24 but then in 1969 got squashed in with his 2 archangel buddies, St Michael and St. Gabriel. All three of now share September 29: (Ray gets midnight to 8, Mike gets 8am to 4pm and Gabe gets 4 to midnight in rotation).

"Raphael" hebrew for "God has healed"

As you and Irish M mentioned today is St Joseph's Day. When all who wore green two days ago are forced to wear RED.

Went to "stations" as it's a Lenten Friday to make up for eating zeppole. A treat made for the feast.

TMR? (Too much relijin) 😇

Anonymous T said...

Wendybird - Try these licorice candies. I buy 'em by the case!

Cheers, -T

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Anonymous T

Never heard of em but all four of my Grandparents are from Calabria. I Should get a discount 😊

waseeley said...

SandyAnon @2:00PM At the risk of inciting a inter-cruciverbalist riot, I agree with you. But then I much prefer Husker Gary's classic comeback "What's the answer from your doctor when you tell her 'Doc, it hurts whenever I do this'".

Emile O'Touri said...

@CrossEyedDave Thanks for your reply Dave. I was just wondering that's all. Seems like criticism is frowned upon here.

waseeley said...

T @ 2:12PM There were no KEGS in evidence, but Dw and I both were TAPPED. BTW, you obviously haven't heard the news that Tax Day has been pushed back to May 15th.

I'm sure most people already know this little trick for finding the number of days in each month using your hands. Line up your two hands with thumbs facing inward. Count your knuckles and the gaps between them starting from the left. If you find a knuckle, that month has 31 days; if you find a gap, that month has 30. February of course is the exception and you'll have to memorize it. This system was devised by Pope Gregory when he revised the Roman calendar. And if you believe that last bit, I've got a bridge to sell you.

Sandyanon said...

WASeely, I wouldn't want to start a riot either.
But in reply to Emile, I read lots of criticism here from identified posters, criticism of specific element(s) in a puzzle, usually accompanied by compliments of other specific elements. What I see in negative Anonymous (without a -T) comments is so often a blanket condemnation of a puzzle as terrible. That seems incomplete without specifics and maybe a projection of one's own lack of knowledge. But my opinion is just my own, nobody else's.

waseeley said...

Ray-O 2:19PM Speaking of TMR, my favorite Raphael story is from the Book of Tobit, when he leads Tobit's son Tobias through the desert to hook him up with his crazy cousin. The whole thing could have easily gone South, but Tobias, his new bride, and Tobit all live happily ever after.

Anonymous T said...

RayO - how does a nice Italian boy like you get a name like Ray? :-)
//that's my CEO Brother(from the same Mother)'s name too.
St. Joe's is where I went to elementary school and paternal-gramp's middle Saint name.

Waseeley - I know. I heard the IRS is so backlogged that even if we owe we won't be extra-taxed. This might be the first year I actually get my paper-work to the CPA on time :-)
//even last year, w/ returns due in July, I took the automatic extension.

BTW - Pope Greg revised the calendar to adjust for reality not matching up with our model of time #JuliusCantCount #365.2425days/year.
UK (and by extension US) adopted P.Greg's calendar in or about 1752 and we lost 11 days in late September. Type 'cal 1752' on your Linux box and look at Sept.
//I ported the program to Windows years ago. I lost the source but I have the .exe if anyone wants

It's not so much that criticism is frowned upon as it is understanding:
a) Constructing a puzzle is hard and takes hours
b) the pay is, if you're lucky, ~$100
c) It's a labor of love the constructor pours into it to get the right balance of theme, wordplay, and a dose of "did you know that?"
d) it's all just for our pleasure as solvers
//I have a couple of published puzzles - and I needed TONs of help (she knows who she is) to get 'em over the line.

I'll call out a puzzle for having too many names or foreign-language fill.
Others (new constructors on the horizon!) call out puzzles as too white-BREAD [Cite]

So, with all the work that goes into our daily pastime, no one need pan the constructor... If that's one's feelings (I've had 'em before) just take a Thumper and wait 'till tomorrow's grid.

Y'all have a great afternoon!

Cheers, -T

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Exactly....Tobit is considered apocryphal (Prot.) or deutero-canonical (Cath.) so removed from Prot. versions of OT. Which is why I am surprised when I meet the rare guy named Raphael who is Protestant.

Emile O'Touri said...

@Anonymous T I agree with what you wrote. Yes,it's amazing one can construct a puzzle. I couldn't. I've been doing puzzles since the seventies and I think A.I. and reliance on computers has made some constructors lazy. I agree with you that too many names and foriegn references don't make a puzzle fun. Also the excessive amount of PP in general seems to have taken over puzzle construction. Not much wordplay anymore. One can only hope that constructors see criticism and try to cut back on the PPP.

Just the PHacts, Maam said...

In light of the discussion about complaints about the day's puzzle.
I'd like add my two bits.

The ability to solve any CW puzzle obviously depends on 1). the solver's previous experience. 2) his ( or her) past knowledge on sports, music - classical theory or rocknroll etc. and sports and movies, theater and other trivia et al. that he can dredge up at will .. 3) awareness of puns and homophones and synonyms etc. and intricacies of the language.

Not everybody is an expert on all of this, or we've have already mobbed the ACPT halls.
As a matter of fact, I could personally construct a puzzle, that 90 percent of people here would not be able to solve, for the simple reason that you would not even understand the clues. Leave alone the answers.
That would be no fun at all.
Obviously, the puzzle has to appeal to the 'masses'.
( Read, like the answers on Family Feud - - - based on popularity polls.)

A complaint on the day's puzzle, is generally a release of one's personal frustration,... and is directed ONLY at that puzzle, ( and implicitly, the person's personal inability to complete it ).
It is NOT a reflection of the constructor, whomsoever it might be. ( or the editor, Rich). Its not a personal attack, or religious or political.
It is just a contrarian personal opinion, and you could easily omit it on your reading list.

To condemn or decry it, or to proscribe it, by convention, seems like a matter approaching censorship, implied or otherwise. And contributes to a skewed opinion of supposedly 'everyone''s experience on the puzzle, which presumably is the main aim of this blog ...?
Please correct me if I am wrong.

Emile O'Touri said...

Well said.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Ta ~ DAH!
A tough, but pleasing and do-able PZL from Mr. McClain!

Good to see you out in the open, Sandyanon.
I am not sure I followed your note regarding the Emile/CEDave exchange. Either your long sentence is a run-on or, more likely, I am misreading it. But basically, I take it (correctly, I hope), you are of the opinion that people should not complain about the PZL, that it is probably their ignorance speaking.
But isn't that an age-old issue, not limited to cruciverbalists?
A single diagonal today--beats yesterday, anyway...
It resides on the far side of the grid.
It offers a near complete anagram (14 of 15 letters) referring to the special talent (or lack thereof) belonging to any person who is deaf to the beauties of non-key-based music.
Such a one may be said to have an...

desper-otto said...

Normally, I don't critize a puzzle other than to say I liked it or I didn't. The best puzzles provide an "Aha" moment or two. I consider myself to be a pretty fair solver, but sometimes it just seems like a slog. My strongest negative comment came two Saturdays ago, "Some puzzles are just outside my wheelhouse. I couldn't even see my wheelhouse on this one." It's not the puzzle's fault. It's mine.

Chairman Moe said...

Puzzling thoughts:

Late to my own party today! I have a good excuse, though ... I was up WAY past my bedtime trying to fill in the grid of a solo puzzle I’m doing that’s been accepted by one of the various Crossword sites. Trying to fine tune and make the fill both challenging and doable. It’s not as easy as it looks ... as I said in today’s intro, Mark has helped mentor me the past several months, though I still appreciate what C.C. did to get my first two off the ground ... as well as her asking me to blog.

I knew there was a fourth month with 30 days ... November! Sheesh, and both of my kids have that as their birth month ...

TTP —> I’ll have the embedded YouTube links down pat next time!

ST RAY —> thanks for stepping up to the plate at my behest!!

Canadian Eh! —> I’m glad I provided you with an LOL today. When I saw the clue and answer to 10-Down I couldn’t resist

Of course my newspaper had the puzzle in it today, and I thought, what the heck I’ll go ahead and solve it - again - and dang if I didn’t FIW, as I would not let go of SCAR in 1-Across! JK ...

Have a great weekend all; thanks again for the comments. Both Mark and I appreciate them

Anonymous T said...

And there you are OMK.

I laughed at your DR.
I'm not sure why I connected Thor and his FRIGGin' Mom (& Pop) at 'Stone'; but --- isn't there a hammer in my ear? :-)
//I may remember who Frigga is hereinafter.

On to the 'meta' topic of today...
Phacts Maam - then make the puzzle. I'll play and, if it's too Cryptic, I'll pass... #NotFunFor-T //I've never gotten the hang of Cryptics.

I could clue Trees such that only RUSH fans know. Not fun for solvers.
//TTP - there was some 12-string going on in the intro. Thanks for the earlier ELP.

I digress...

I think saying something about something that didn't sit well is fine (and I think most Constructors would take that as constructive criticisms) but, as Sandyanon pointed out, without specific details - how would they know how to improve?

Knowledge AREA - even BigE knew who MasterP was -- but not for his music (FLN) :-)

I see (I can refresh b/f posting!) D-O @4:18 said it way-more succinctly than above.

Cheers, -T

Jayce said...

I liked this puzzle a lot. Laughed out loud at MARDI GRAPHS. Didn't know Ms. HALEP at all. So, it wasn't EWE, HEN, or COW. I have never closed a letter with DEARLY although I have closed many letters with Sincerely yours.

Thanks for a fun puzzle, Mr. McClain, and a fun write-up, Mr. Moe.

I love black licorice but don't eat it because it raises my blood pressure. Red licorice? Naw, no such thing. Those "Red Ropes" aren't licorice. They don't even taste like licorice; they taste like raspberry.

Best regards to you all.

Just the Phacts, Maam said...

Anon-T, the ever ready go-to guy .. :-o)

here's a clue .... H I J K L M N O
One word, 5 letters.

Hint: It ties into today's puzzle theme, and some comments too.

Anonymous T said...

Jayce - I was under the impression that licorice did the opposite re: BP.
I'm wrong [cite. This sucks! (I eat licorice to not smoke! and am on hypertension meds :-( )

Phacts - should I spoil the water here with a reply?

Bound to over-post say...
Cheers, -T

PHascinated approbation said...

.... ;-O)

Picard said...

Just back from an enjoyable hike with friends. DW did not join us and missed out on meeting up with goats on the trail. DW used to be a goat herder. Photos to come if anyone is interested.

Hand up PHUN puzzle. Learning moments never heard of HURLY-BURLY, CUPCAKE WARS, FANCY NANCY. Hand up TAP/HALEP a lucky WAG to FIR.

Has anyone ever seen LAD for the LA Dodgers? Not me and I have seen them play. Photos somewhere.

Chairman Moe Thanks for two shouts out that roused me to write today. Hand up with Barry T Sour Cream was our family topping of choice when my mother made blintzes. Second choice was applesauce. ROE would have been way out of our price range.

And thanks for asking about MOUNT WASHINGTON photos.

Here are my photos riding the cog railway up MOUNT WASHINGTON.

When I showed these to my brother he had to out-do me as usual. He said he did not have the money for the railway and he hiked up. That is brutal. It is supposed to have the harshest weather in the US. Supposedly the highest wind speed ever recorded.

Yellowrocks Good story about the Car Shuttle Hike and the car keys. I am with Wilbur Charles. My keys never leave my front left pants pocket. Women tell me it is harder for them as their pants may not have pockets.

Ray O Sunshine Hand up FT LEE is indelibly in my memory after the scandal involving the shut down of the bridge there. I am sure most people heard about it at the time.

AWE is one of the research subjects in our lab.

This painting is used to inspire AWE in that research.

Do you feel the AWE?

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Anon T.. was named after Dad's Dad, Raffaele, (he was a cop, everyone called him Fred, dont ask)..a common romance language name.(Fr,It,Sp). One day in University someone asked for "Raffaele" and 4 guys turned around including me.

My 2 centesimi...🙊

Some posters say they liked the puzzle without any specifics. Others gush over the constructionist. Commemts critical of or just generally not liking the puzzle are OK with me. If annoyed skip over them. Sometimes refreshing to see a completely opposite view from my own.

As long as the basic rules are followed (yeah I bend them sometimes) no one should be discouraged from commenting.

mwv said...

It was a bunch of years ago - five plus at least. I had spent WAY too much time trying to finish a puzzle and once I had, I was SO aggravated. Again I don't recall specifics, but I had thoughts like, "That is the dumbest theme," and "How is anyone supposed to get that clue," etc. So I went to the Google and typed in some stuff hoping to find other like-minded people with whom I could commiserate and complain. I mean - that's what the internet is for right?

Instead I found this blog. And I read the recap and started scrolling through the comments and it was all so mind blowing (in a good way). Comments much like today (or honestly any other day). Someone might say they struggled with a clue or two or even the puzzle as a whole, but it was, "Oh well, it just wasn't my day today." And then too there were some who did like the puzzle and I was so impressed by the way so many people thanked the puzzle creator for his or her time. It was a nice reminder that there is always a person (or people) on the other end of the puzzle from me.

Since then I've come here pretty regularly. I've described this blog to friends as "The kindest, most wholesome place on the entire internet." It's a wonderful community that I sort of consider myself a part of (even though I've only ever commented two or three times previously), and all of that to say...

Thank you to the regulars who do the write-ups and comment every day - the ones who basically run the joint. It's a lovely site and I always enjoy my visits. I appreciate all your time and efforts!

Lucina said...

I love crossword puzzles! If they are easy, medium or almost impossible, to me they are a welcome challenge and I will tackle one if it's put in front of me. The daily LAT is only one of several that I solve each day. And having all of you to share the experience is icing on the cake for me. For years I solved without sharing until finding this Corner and have been forever grateful to C.C. for its creation.

Yes, that is awe-inspiring!

inanehiker said...

Really late to the party today - but I volunteered at a vaccine event at the local community rec center! Several weeks in - it was a well oiled machine, and today the schools had all day off (parochial) or early release (public schools) so all the teachers could come over and get their vaccines. I didn't have to do much - as I am there if somebody has a severe reaction- so I'm glad I wasn't utilized- kind of like when I volunteer at the state track meet. Glad that so many of you have received their vaccine!

Amusing theme - very phun solve!
Thanks C-Moe and Mark!

Have any of you ever wondered if the negative Anon comments are actually from our regular posters - who go Anon when they want to say something that they wouldn't post with their name on it?

Spitzboov said...

Inane - re neg. comments. Yes, I've wondered, but I can't imagine a regular poster hiding behind an anon label. Unless they explain the negative comments, I tend not to read them nor dwell on them.

mwv - Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think many of us have found this blog in the same way.

waseeley said...

Picard @5:33pm Does it for me!

waseeley said...

Amen to that Ray-O!

waseeley said...

mwv @6:42pm No dry eyes here mwv.


TTP said...

Internet Troll

OwenKL said...

waseeley: you got your own time machine, or use the public one at the fairgrounds? (First shot 3/18, second scheduled for 2/15.)

Meme seen recently:
"Tell me the title of a book that made you cry."
(I took it in 8th grade, but it was in an advanced class.)

Picard: thanks as always for the pics. You've led a so much more interesting life than I have, I don't know whether to be in AWE or jealous envy.

My phone number growing up was BUtler: BU9-xxxx. But in the 70's, my Dad retired to a small town, Gold Beach, Oregon, where they only had 4-digit phone numbers. The phone directory was 2 or 3 mimeographed pages stapled together! They had to dial 9 for an outside line to call the rest of the world.

NaomiZ said...

I had PHun with the puzzle this morning, and came back tonight to see if y'all did, too. Interesting discussions here, as always, but I must express appreciation for mwv's contribution. I read it aloud to DH, who puts up with my puzzle time after breakfast, and blog time whenever I can catch it, and I think it really said so much about why I come here. What a wonderful group. Good night, cruciverbalists!

Lucina said...

I echo the sentiments Owen expressed. Your photos impress and inspire. What wonderful travels you've had!

Ditto with you, too.

Wilbur Charles said...

I spent three days in UDON (Thailand) in 1970

ALG I was a lot easier than 8th grade math. What a termagant she was. Too un-PC for a xword I'd guess.

I remember JAmaica 4-4224 and I was 10 when I moved to the 'burbs

I liked the Moose quip, RayO. Definitely Boris

Picard, I had a Summer abode in Jefferson which is North of Mt W. Bretton Woods is where famous international conference for IMF was held (WWII). John Maynard Keynes presiding. FDR advisor Harry Dexter White turned out to be a Communist

AWEsome painting

And speaking of MIST(y), that's the problem with solving Friday on Tuesday. I forget the clues

Sandy, at least I filled Simone HALEP with only two perps. In Boston, Bud Collins was a regular Globe contributor so I was very cognizant of Tennis(and yachting,track,golf,skulls).

mwv, don't be a stranger. You certainly put it well.


PIQUE? Re. H,I,..N ?