Showing posts with label John Lampkin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Lampkin. Show all posts

Apr 9, 2019

Tuesday, April 9, 2019 John Lampkin


17. *Employee insurance coverage, briefly: WORKERS COMP

60. *Unmanned aerial attack: DRONE STRIKE.

11. *Hotel bed choice: QUEEN SIZE.

32. *Persist despite difficulty: SOLDIER ON.

46. Symbolic Egyptian snake, which includes the start of a hint to the answers to starred clues: ASP.

Look at the hind end of this ant:
"The Crematogaster genus of ants has a cute heart-shaped gaster which gives it one of its common names, the Saint Valentine’s Ant."  - John Lampkin

After noticing worker,  drone,  queen and soldier as answers in the starred clues,  I first thought "Bees" but I had never heard of soldier bees.    John threw me for a loop with ASP.    What does ASP have to do with bees ?   At that point, I paid attention to the circles and reread the reveal.   ANT COLONY might have been hard to spot without the circles.

Clever puzzle and design.   I like how ANT COLONY is arranged so that it represents a mound.  We had plenty of fire ant mounds in the pastures and yards in Central Texas.  Dang things were so hard to get rid of.   It was like playing Whac-A-Mole.

1. "Star Wars" warrior: JEDI.  All you want to know and more at Wookiepedia, the Star Wars Wiki.

5. Treaded winter vehicle: SNO-CAT.  

11. "Proven," in proofs: QEDQuod Erat Demonstrandum.  Latin, from the buzzwords used by great Greek mathematicians,  such as Euclid and Archimedes.

14. Laptop brand that sounds like a top tennis player: ACER.  Cure clue.

15. Pays homage to: HONORS.  Pays respect to.

16. Prefix with corn or cycle: UNI.  As a preteen, my gangly friend Brian became an accomplished unicycle rider in our hilly little town.   He turned out to be a pretty good basketball player on our high school team. 

19. It may be bruised: EGO.   8 Ways to Overcome a Blow to Your Ego

20. Blight-stricken tree: ELM.  A fungal disease spread by bark beetles.   "This disease is not of Dutch origin, but because early work on the disease was done by Dutch pathologists in the 1920s, the disease has been called Dutch elm disease (DED)." - Morton Arboretum

21. Deceived: LIED TO.

22. Lo __: noodle dish: MEIN.  Lo mein - soft boiled noodles.  Chow mein - crispy fried noodles.

23. Church officers: DEACONS.  Not germane to the clue for any other reason than Deacon is in it:

25. "Valley of the Dolls" author Jacqueline: SUSANN.  A best selling book about three pill-popping women.   It was later adapted into a movie of the same name.

27. Animal that can learn sign language: APE.

28. Parting site in Exodus: RED SEA.

30. "Who's there?" response: IT'S ME.  Pretty song:

33. Rank above maj.: COL.  Major /  Colonel.   Colonels have two grades in the Army.  "Light"(Lieutenant Colonel - grade O-5, silver oak leaf insignia) and "Full Bird" (Colonel - grade O-6, silver eagle insignia).

36. Makes an effort: TRIES.

37. Small store: SHOP.   My parents small store was in a 6600 sq. ft. two story building my dad and his contractor buddies built.  Antiques, Furniture Stripping & Refinishing.  That's why I can tell people I used to be a stripper.

38. Serious no-no: TABOO.   Women's fragrance: Tabu.

40. Poet Pound: EZRA.

41. Be under the weather: AIL.

42. 11 p.m. personality: NEWSMAN.  10 p.m. Central. 

44. Mentalist's "gift": ESP.   Every Single Perp was not required for this initialism of Extrasensory Perception.

45. Installs, as a minister: ORDAINS.  Ordains, as a deacon:  Deacons.

47. Sound like an ass: BRAY.  I'm not touching this one.

49. Blu-ray buy: DISC.   lu- added to bray above.

50. Quick breaths: GASPS.

54. "To reiterate ... ": I REPEAT.

57. Like sunset-silhouetted scenery: REAR LIT.  A photog like John Lampkin knows how to get the perfect shots .

59. Golfer's goal: PAR.   Unless you are a tour player.   Then you are looking for birdies or better.  Canadian Corey Conners qualified last Monday to play in the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio.  He birdied six of nine coming in on Sunday to win the tournament.  It was the first time in the last 9 years that a Monday qualifier won a PGA Tour event.

62. From __ Z: A TO.  An idiom for beginning to end. 

63. Shrek's kiss made Fiona one for good: OGRESS.

64. Hint of the future: OMEN.  I don't believe in them. 

65. Home in the woods: DEN.   I'd prefer a cabin.

66. Treating kindly: GOOD TO.

67. Sunset direction: WEST.  On this planet.  I assume the same for the others in our solar system.


1. Ranted (at): JAWED. It's baseball season. So many great clips to choose from.   Let's look at this blast from the past for a good example of a couple of guys that jawed at each other:

2. French school: ECOLE.

3. Skin care prefix: DERMA.

4. Annoy: IRK.

5. Sacred place: SHRINE.  I wonder if the PGA Tour players had time to stop by the Alamo, and perhaps stroll along the River Walk.
6. Carrots, for snowmen: NOSES.

7. Like one's prized music collection, perhaps: ON CD.

8. Small water birds: COOTS.  Thank you perps.  An internet search tells me they are closely related to the moorhen, which didn't really help me.   A group of them is known as a covert or a cover.    I don't remember when I was first told that girls had cooties, but  I asked my mom and she said it wasn't true.   We didn't have the internet back in those days.  

9. Big name in canned meat: ARMOUR.   Hormel too. 

10. Baking soda amt.: TSP

12. Amtrak employees: ENGINEERS.

13. "My Heart Will Go On" singer Celine: DION.   The theme song from Titanic:

18. Flee to wed: ELOPE.

22. Mexican mother: MADRE.

24. Sleep in a bag, maybe: CAMP.

26. Gig component: SET.

29. "Pronto" letters: ASAP.

30. Japanese golf great Aoki : ISAO.  Isao Aoki with Arnold Palmer.  

I had the exact same clue and answer on March 20th, 2018.  Here's the exact same picture and comments:

He credits watching Arnold Palmer for giving him the inspiration to pursue a golfing career.

"Isao Aoki only plays with golf balls marked with the number 5.  That number is pronounced “Go” in Japanese and it also represents the worst score he wants to make."

He was elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2004.  Source - World Golf Hall of Fame.

31. Hardly the best: THIRD RATE.

33. Sounds like a crow: CAWS.

34. Docs who deliver: OBs.  Obstetrician. 

35. Bausch partner: LOMB.

38. On a scale of one to __: TEN.

39. Sculler's need: OAR.

42. "Please don't bite me!": NICE DOG.

43. Persistently worry: NAG AT.

48. Peter of Peter, Paul & Mary: YARROW.   Friend and fellow Cornell student Leonard Lipton wrote a poem in 1959 that Peter Yarrow put into lyrics for this 1962 song that had nothing to do about smoking marijuana or other drug use. - paraphrased from Wikipedia.  Our own Bill G went to Cornell. 

51. Snail trail: SLIME.

52. Colorado's __ Peak: PIKES.   Aaron Kaufman of the Discovery Channel's Fast N' Loud narrates this short clip of him racing up Pikes Peak a few years ago in his '63 Falcon. 

53. Cardiologist's implant: STENT.

54. Apple tablet: IPAD.

55. Jason's ship: ARGO.  He was searching for the Golden Fleece.  Greek mythology.   Not my cuppa, but here is an article that shed some light on the story line and players involved.   I had no idea that Hercules was an oarsman on the Argo.

56. Lawn mower brand: TORO.    I keep thinking about replacing my old John Deere rider.   It's a yellow deck STX-38.  It was built to last and it has.   Faithful service for nearly 30 years. 

57. Take a load off: REST.

58. Exxon, formerly: ESSO

61. Homer's neighbor: NED.  Homer Simpson and Ned ("Okilly-dokilly!") Flanders.

Here's the grid !

Notes from C.C.: 

1) Lovely grid, John!

2) So what did you shoot yesterday, TTP?  80s?

3) Dear Agnes (Irish Miss) had to spend 5 hours in the ER yesterday due to the excruciating foot pain from the fall she suffered a few weeks ago. She's going to see her GP tomorrow and an orthopedic doctor soon. It's been tough few weeks for Agnes, who lives alone. Please send positive thoughts and love to Troy, New York!

Jan 13, 2019

Sunday Janaury 13, 2019 John Lampkin

Theme: "Beta Blockers" - B is removed from the start of each theme entry.
23A. Defeat decisively in an annual Nathan's contest?: EAT THE PANTS OFF. Beat the pants off.
46A. Cutlery causing boo-boos?: OWIE KNIFE. Bowie knife.

69A. Explore à la an aging Captain Kirk?: OLDLY GO. Boldly go.

97A. Roleo official?: UMP ON A LOG. Bump on a log. This ump prefers to stay dry.

122A. Farm workers' coffee setup near a fence post?: URNS AT THE STAKE. Burns at the stake.

17D. One who sniffs out good investments?: ASSET HOUND. Basset hound.

36D. Painfully off-pitch Jewish diva?: OY SOPRANO. Boy soprano.

58D. Sampling from Quaid's vineyard?: RANDY WINE. Brandy wine. Randy Quaid.

75D. Carpet made from corn husks?: EAR SKIN RUG. Bearskin rug.

Super consistent theme set & fun clues from John, who's known for his humor and superb wordplay.

He's just so observant and pays so much attention to every one of his grid entries. His clue echoes often leave me in awe. They would have escaped my notice completely.

John is also legendary for his grid design. Just look at today's grid. Theme entries are spread everyone and you get a bite wherever you go.

1. It's usually spotted in a game: DOMINO. Each tile has spots.

7. Prolong painfully: DRAG OUT.

14. Pablo's putting-off word: MANANA.

20. Heat-sensitive patch: IRON-ON.

21. 1982 Toto hit: ROSANNA. Wiki says it won 1983 Grammy Record of the Year.

22. Twist counterclockwise, as a nut: LOOSEN. Or as a stubborn tension rod.

25. Hardly modest: BRASSY. And 26. Hardly quick: SLOW.

27. Steamed dumplings, e.g.: DIM SUM. I love shrimp dumplings the most. Yes, egg rolls are real Chinese food, Picard!

28. Oft-mispunctuated word: ITS.

30. Plane angle symbol: THETA.

31. Alley Oop's love: OOOLA. Nailed it.

33. Diplomacy: TACT.

35. Tribute with bent elbows: TOAST.

37. Best-liked, in texts: FAV. Do you know what OOT stands for?

40. Flabbergast: AWE.

41. One in line for what's left: HEIR. 68. 41-Across, often: SON.

42. For instance: SAY.

43. Whale-tale captain: AHAB.

49. Cell dead spot indicator: NO BARS. 126. Consequence of only getting close?: NO CIGAR. Close by no cigar.

51. European capital: ROME.

52. Many misses: GIRLS.

53. Ripped: TORN.

55. Super: PRIMO.

56. __ fu: KUNG. Its Chinese characters are like this:

57. Amer. fliers: USAF.

58. Ripped off: ROBBED.

60. Handle change: ADAPT.

62. Actress Peeples: NIA.

63. Bird on LSU's seal: PELICAN. John sent me below picture with this caption: "A Laughing Gull waits patiently for the Brown Pelican to catch a fish so that he can steal it for himself. Such kleptoparasitism is widespread throughout the animal kingdom."

65. Is for all: ARE.

66. Apply, as butter: SPREAD ON.

72. Director Lee: ANG.

73. "Enough already!": I'VE HAD IT. 127. "Enough already!": QUIT IT.

77. Vague opening?: VEE. Vague.

78. 98, but not 98.6: INTEGER.

82. Bird hunted to extinction by the Maori: MOA.

83. Easygoing sort: TYPE B.

85. The boy well-known in meteorology?: EL NINO. Fun clue.

87. California roll ingredient: NORI. You can get roasted nori at Trader Joe's or any Asian grocery store.

88. Bat head?: ACRO. Acrobat.

90. Cardiff's country: WALES.

92. Galileo's birthplace: PISA. Gary & Joann were there.

93. Give __: A DARN.

94. Last-__: desperate: GASP.

95. Greening up: IN LEAF.

99. Actress Sommer: ELKE.

100. Revival prefix: NEO.

101. Some reddish deer: ROES.

103. Place to stay when you're out, ironically: INN.

104. Many retirees: Abbr.: SRS.

105. Against a thing, at law: IN REM.

107. Utah national park: ZION. Probably closed due to this government shutdown.

108. Bury: INTER.

110. Eager kids' plea: CAN WE.

112. Heady quaff: ALE.

114. War zone excavation: TRENCH.

116. GI no-show: AWOL.

120. Achieve success: ARRIVE.

125. "We can't hear you!": LOUDER.

128. "The Communist Manifesto" co-author: ENGELS. This picture was everywhere when I grew up.

129. Sign off on: AGREE TO.

130. Govt. securities: T NOTES.


1. Conks out: DIES. 6. Dies in this puzzle?: ONE DOWN. Literally.

2. Verbal: ORAL.

3. Con __: musical tempo: MOTO.

5. Japanese 7-Down: NOH. 7. See 5-Down: DRAMA.

4. Halved: IN TWO.

8. Pitchers Darling and Guidry: RONS. Also14. Org. with minors: MLB. Minor leaguers.

9. Quick-witted: ASTUTE.

10. Pilot feeder: GAS MAIN.

11. Palindromic celeb: ONO.

12. Not suitable: UNFIT.

13. First presidential swinger, golf-wise: TAFT. Unknown to me. Interesting trivia.

15. Critical ticker valve: AORTA.

16. Where even termites were welcome, presumably: NOAH'S ARK. Great fill/clue.

18. Tree house: NEST.

19. "Dragonwyck" novelist Seton: ANYA.

24. Criticize to death: PILE IT ON. Another great fill.

29. Astronomer's aid: STAR MAP.

32. Kentucky __, event before the Derby: OAKS.

34. Trim, as a pic: CROP.

37. Get all misty: FOG UP.

38. "__ woman wishes to be no one's enemy (and) ... refuses to be anyone's victim": Angelou: A WISE.

39. Like some memes: VIRAL.

41. Kind of tea: HERBAL.

42. "Because I __!": SAID SO.

44. OB/GYN test: AMNIO.

45. Set off: BEGAN.

47. Into shenanigans: ELFISH. Not a word I use.

48. "The Gift of the Magi" gift: FOB.

50. Support wear: BRA.

54. Comic-Con attendee: NERD.

59. Dig deeply: DELVE.

61. Sleeping bag site: TENT.

64. Lab __: COAT.

67. Ax to grind: AGENDA.

69. Verdi opera based on a Shakespeare tragedy: OTELLO.

70. TripAdvisor rival: YELP.

71. Einstein: GENIUS.

73. Photoshop fodder: IMAGE.

74. Outspoken: VOCAL.

76. Beach in a classic bossa nova hit: IPANEMA. The Girl from Ipanema.

78. If all else fails: IN A PINCH.

79. Ends: GOALS.

80. Misjudgment: ERROR.

81. Smartphone options: RINGS.

84. Pollen-packing petal pusher: BEE. Another fantastic picture from John: "Sweat bees don’t have pollen baskets on their legs like honey bees. They transport the pollen to their nests on electrostatically charged hairs on their abdomen."

86. Surreal ending?: ISM. Surrealism.

89. Dentist's directive: OPEN WIDE.

91. Mumbai wrap: SARI.

93. Designer Klein: ANNE.

96. It's played secretly under the table: FOOTSIE. And 98. Secretly: ON THE QT.

102. More than irk: ENRAGE.

106. Celebrate wildly: REVEL.

107. Cause of temporary weight loss?: ZERO G.

108. 101 course: INTRO.

109. 1:1, for one: RATIO. So very Lampkin!

110. NASCAR's Yarborough: CALE.

111. Elvis' middle name: ARON.

113. Moon goddess: LUNA.

115. Coup target: ETAT.

117. Power eponym: WATT.

118. "The Grapes of Wrath" character: OKIE.

119. Rents: LETS.

121. Defib settings: ERS.

123. Big name in ATMs: NCR.

124. Radiation source: SUN.

1) Boomer Updates:

Boomer had another blood draw last Wednesday. His alkaline phosphatase continues to be high, though better than before. His creatinine is still low. The good news is that his PSA has dropped to 1.3. These days he often gets 3 solid hours' sleep at a time.
2) Dave 2 Updates:

I talked to him last week. He's doing great and secretly enjoys the Snickers bars his friend Lynn snuck into his room. He does not have a computer in the rehab place, but he does solve our crossword every day. He said he would be back to his apartment in early February. You can send him a card to below address. Thanks, Agnes, for getting me the address.

David Hoskin
Wesley Manor
5012 East Manslick Rd.
Louisville, KY 40219


Oct 21, 2018

Sunday Octobert 21, 2018 John Lampkin

Theme: "The French Disconnection" - LE is removed from the end of each theme entry.

23A. Painting of an annoying bricklayer at work?: MORTAR AND PEST. Mortar and pestle.

30A. 15th-century food-stained collectible?: GUTENBERG'S BIB. Gutenberg's Bible.

46A. Fabulist's Cheer alternative?: AESOP'S FAB. Aesop's Fable.

63A. Dollar for a shot?: BELT BUCK. Belt buckle.

67A. Dollars for shots?: ROUND TAB. Round table. Classic John Lampkin clue echo.

82A. "Snow White" witch's download?: POISON APP. Poison apple.

94A. Mud, slop, pig, etc.?: ELEMENTS OF STY. (The) Elements of Style. There's a stray LE in the first word.

107A. Sailing maneuver to avoid a pirate's threat?: DEFENSIVE TACK. Defensive tackle.

43D. Vehicle hired to carry steeplechase horses?: JUMPER CAB. Jumper cable. The only Down entry. Expertly placed in the middle. 


113. French article whose singular form is "disconnected" from nine puzzle answers: LES.

I actually read the title as "The French Connection" and thinking ET might be added to each theme entry.

Great to see John back. No one entertains like he does. Just look at these fresh and original clues:

4. Their pockets aren't deep: PITAS.

7. Movement at a boring concert?: NOD.

28. Bios unread by their honorees: OBITS.

44. Tip for changing your answer?: ERASER.

56. Tip for solving in ink?: NIB.


1. Dropped-jaw stare: GAWP. Not GAWK.

5. Like loving caresses: SENSUAL.

12. Audio units: Abbr.: DBS. OK, decibels.

15. "The Americans" agcy.: FBI. Never saw this series. Starring Keri Russell. I like her "Felicity". Very sweet.

18. First name in erotica: ANAIS. And 105. 18-Across and family: NINS.

20. Place for a bootee: TOOTSIE.

21. Seedy motel, say: RAT TRAP.

25. Japan's emperor: AKIHITO. Since 1989.

26. Like many forest roads: UNPAVED.

27. Suffer: AIL. Glad you can be out of the hospital today, WikWak!

28. Least obfuscated: OPENEST. Tiny dupe with the clue 36. Breezy and open: AIRY.

29. Football laterals, e.g.: TOSSES.

33. Beachcomber's pace: STROLL.

37. Glance: PEEK.

38. Chaotic mess: SNAFU.

42. Bot head?: ECO. Wiki says "EcoBot is short for Ecological Robot and it refers to a class of energetically autonomous robots that can remain self-sustainable by collecting their energy from material, mostly waste matter, in the environment."

43. Harbor protector: JETTY.

45. Dutch South Africans: BOERS.

48. "Exodus" author: URIS.

49. Chickadee kin: TIT. Old Man Keith has a good blue tits story.

50. Undocumented Nepali?: YETI. Fun clue.

51. Peak in Thessaly: OSSA.

52. Big D cager: MAV. owned by Mark Cuban.

53. Annoy: IRK.

54. PC linkup: LAN.

57. Mexican mama bears: OSAS.

59. Slip away: ELAPSE.

61. Popular Oahu beach: WAIKIKI. And 45. 61-Across wear: BIKINI.

66. "Hmm": GEE.

68. Piles up: AMASSES.

69. Captain Hook's creator J.M. __: BARRIE.

71. Eight furlongs: MILE.

72. Caught: GOT.

73. Erstwhile U.K. recording giant: EMI.

74. Kind of trading, briefly: OTC.

75. Sweet Sixteen org.: NCAA.

77. With the bow, in music: ARCO. I learned from doing crosswords.

80. Of __ mind: ONE.

81. Qatar's capital: DOHA.

84. Refine, as ore: SMELT.

87. Stick on the grill: KEBAB. Popular street food in Xi'an. Often marinated in a mix of hot red pepper and cumin. I don't recall any other Xi'an food with cumin.

88. Beat it: LAM.

89. Jamaican hybrid fruits: UGLIS.

90. Fine-tune: HONE.

91. China-related prefix: SINO.

92. Irritates: EATS AT.

98. Mist and such: VAPORS.

103. Show great respect for, perhaps: IMITATE. This is true.

104. Mythical flapper: ROC. Very popular skin care brand as well.

105. Gulf of Guinea country: NIGERIA.

106. Easy time: LEISURE.

110. City on the Elbe: DRESDEN.

111. Morning paper, e.g.: EDITION. Tiny dupe: 114. Newsroom VIPs: EDS.

112. "Gymnopédies" composer: SATIE. Erik.

115. Boot protectors: TOECAPS.

116. Smartphone component: LENS. John is a great nature photographer. And a pianist.


1. Full range: GAMUT.

2. "That's __!": A NO NO.

3. Twists: WARPS.

5. Dutch town: STAD.

6. Geological period: EON.

8. Twin-but-not-Twins' city: ST PAUL. Our local crossword tournament used to be held in St. Paul. 

9. Half a fitness motto: USE IT.

10. Freezer __: AISLE.

11. Allow: LET.

12. Window hanging: DRAPERY.

13. Where brownies come together: BAKERY. Not the girl scout brownies.

14. Wasp's weapon: STING.

15. Disc golf "ball": FRISBEE.

16. More eccentric: BATTIER.

17. WSJ news bit: IPO. Uber soon.

19. Sets money aside: SAVES UP.

22. What an X may mark: THE SPOT.

24. Arm or chin follower: REST.

30. Universal: GLOBAL.

31. Endemic: NATIVE.

32. Neh. and Esth.: BKS.

34. Penalty callers: REFS.

35. Ric of The Cars: OCASEK.

38. Opinion: SAY. So lucky to have Inanehiker (Dr. Nina) to turn to for advice.

39. French word in bios: NEE.

40. Home of Elaine, in Arthurian legend: ASTOLAT. Learning moment for me.

41. Forces fraudulently (upon): FOISTS.

47. Cavalier "My bad": SO SUE ME.

49. Emotional wounds: TRAUMAS. VA Hospital has this wonderful slogan for their PTSD patients: Strong Enough to Serve, Strong Enough to Recover.

53. Iconic WWII island, briefly: IWO.

54. Unlike idioms: LITERAL.

55. Going by, for short: AKA.

58. Not in class: ABSENT.

60. Mystery award: AGATHA.

62. "Constant Craving" singer: K D LANG.

63. Carousel item: BAG.

64. Broody rock genre: EMO.

65. Long-running forensic series: CSI.

67. Put more varnish on: RE-COAT.

69. Owie: BOO BOO.

70. Not out-of-bounds, as a ball: IN PLAY.

76. Goals: AIMS.

78. Cost-of-living no.: CPI. Consumer Price Index.

79. Photo possibilities: OPS.

80. Bama rival: OLE MISS

81. Tightly packed: DENSE.

83. Some leave you powerless: OUTAGES. Another great clue.

84. Miss, say: SHE.

85. "Tartuffe" dramatist: MOLIERE.

86. Foes: ENEMIES.

87. Cute calendar subjects: KITTENS. Now we can't live without Google Calendar and D-Otto's sturdy pill box.

91. Caught: SNARED.

92. "Blah, blah, blah," briefly: ETC ETC.

93. Tel __: AVIV.

95. Liszt work: ETUDE.

96. Middle Corleone brother: FREDO. No spine.

97. Mezzo-soprano Anne __ von Otter: SOFIE. Swedish. Another learning moment.

99. Part of a flower: PETAL.

100. Speak: ORATE.

101. "Breaking Bad" toxin: RICIN.

102. Benefits: SAKES.

106. Cholesterol letters: LDL.

107. Tigers' home: Abbr.: DET.

108. Vardalos of film: NIA.

109. Bread, for stew: SOP.

Boomer updates:

Boomer got his ELIGARD (hormone) shot on Tuesday after the MRI and bone scan. He'll also receive Zoledronic acid shot next month. This shot is supposed to protect his bones. This will be repeated every 3 months. The hormone shot is every 6 months.

We're going to meet with a radiation oncologist on Nov 6th, 2018 to discuss the radiation process for those bad spots in his back. Dr. Thomas Downs and their neurosurgery department are quite concerned with those spots as they're too close to the spinal cord. Boomer also has a fractured T11. No wonder he has been in so much pain.

They're going to provide Boomer with a special brace to protect his back during this period. We're waiting for the fitting call.

Lots of tests, scans and treatments ahead, I hope you continue cheering Boomer up on Mondays (He does not read other days' blog posts). Thank you!


Jun 1, 2018

Friday, June 1, 2018, John Lampkin

Title: Now where did I hide that body? White rabbit, white rabbit all, welcome to June and hurricane season.

John is back following up last week's insect infested puzzle with a challenging and very creative entry in the LA Times not quite a REBUS puzzle type. Rich Norris does not accept classic multi-letters in a single square in puzzles, but here the word BODY is actually crammed into a black square, so it is hidden. Even if you do not like that explanation, this was a very fun puzzle to solve and a wondrous bit of construction. The special twist that makes it shine is the BODY missing at the front of the theme is placed on the left and the BODY missing at the end is on the right. He then puts a big bow on the puzzle by alternating the left-right march. WOW. With 66 squares committed to the theme, John still features some nice fill such as EVEREST, LOCALES, RUBS RAW, SLEEP IN, SPATULA, STOP HIM, PUHLEASE and TRAVIATA. We are given the extra hint of the * so you all knew which were theme related, and if you did not catch on to the gimmick, the two-part reveal should have made the puzzle very doable.  I will begin with the very clever movie reference that inspired this effort. Considered one of the 50 best Sci-Fi movies of all time with Donald Sutherland and Leonard Nimoy

27A. With 44-Across, classic 1956 film ... and why the answers to starred clues aren't quite themselves?: INVASION OF THE (13). 44A. See 27-Across: BODY SNATCHERS.(13).

Now let us find those bodies.

1A. *Tattoos: ART (3) BODY  ART. I think this form of expression has been made most popular by the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues. Is it NUDITY?

8A. *Hypothetical object that absorbs all incident electromagnetic radiation: BLACKBODY (5).
A blackbody (sometimes spelled "black body") is a theoretically ideal radiator and absorber of energy at all electromagnetic wavelength s. (various). This is an unknown term for me.

16A. *Nonverbal communication: BODY LANGUAGE (8). A key to understanding other people, this is very important in business but may be most important for a COUPLE.

22A. *Snoop: BUSY BODY (4). I think of Samantha Stevens' next-door neighbor, MRS.  KRAVITZ.

50A. *Bumper repair site: BODY SHOP (4). Automobiles are always vulnerable and you need a good mechanic and good body shop.

62A. *Star or nebula: HEAVENLY BODY(8). A CSO to our NASA rep HG. There are so many TYPES

67A. *Circadian rhythm: BODY CLOCK. (5). Steve could give us his interesting perspective on this BIOLOGICAL  phenomenon. Meanwhile, I have commented first like three times recently, what's that all about?

69A. *Coveted journalism award: PEABODY. (3). The George Foster Peabody Awards program, named for American businessman and philanthropist George Peabody, honor the most powerful, enlightening, and invigorating stories in television, radio, and now, online media. Some past WINNERS. (various)

Well, I am worn out already and we must move on to the rest of the puzzle...


4. They churn out dough: ATMS. I have not used an Automated Teller Machine for some time.

13. Sign of summer: LEO. That kind of sign.

14. Ecologically challenged Asian sea: ARAL.

15. Ovine output: BAA BAA. Black sheep, have you any wool. CONTROVERSY?  Also, we have 9D. Ewe's output: LAMB. No double BAA, but a shameless self SO by John.

18. Deepest, as feelings: INMOST.

19. Realm: AREA.

20. Op-ed takes: VIEWS.

23. Outdoor gear giant: REI. Recreational Equipment, Inc., commonly known as REI, is an American retail and outdoor recreation services corporation. It is organized as a consumers' co-operative. REI sells sporting goods, camping gear, travel equipment, and clothing. (wiki) I never heard of it.

25. Game that may involve bumpers: POOL. The second reference to bumpers, one for a car and this one.

33. Dose people?: DEM. I bet DIS clue/fill did not please some.

35. Elite prep school: ETON. We started the week with this institution.

36. Dominica native: CARIB. I went to school with two brothers from this small island, and now I work on various projects there.

37. Abrades painfully: RUBS RAW. Alliterative fill, followed by...

39. Flay's flipper: SPATULA. Alliterative clue. Professionals do not need ONE. My wife just uses her wrist.

41. Furious: IRATE.

42. "Better Call __": SAUL. Part of the BREAKING BAD franchise.

43. Foxy: SLY. Saul must be.
48. Chihuahua chow: TACO.  Cute JL, but ridiculous- they can't fold or hold them.

49. The SEC's Tigers: LSU. A CSO to our many Louisiana friends here at the Corner.

54. First course in German?: SUPPE. Soup, at a meal, not a school.

56. Thailand, once: SIAM. A  CSO to my sweet wife, thank you JL.

60. Watch a neighbor's pooch, say: PET SIT.

64. Café: EATERY.

65. Ingrid, in "Casablanca": ILSA. So classic.

66. Tell's apple support: SON.

68. Face: MEET.


1. Penne __ vodka: ALLA. One RECIPE.

2. Caboose: REAR.

3. Text alert, often: TONE.

4. Nonpro sports org.: AAU.

5. "Fallen woman," in a Verdi title: TRAVIATA. A translation,  this was an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. It is based on La Dame aux Camélias (1852), a play adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas, fils. (wiki)

6. Star followers: MAGI.

7. Take advantage of a day off, maybe: SLEEP IN.

8. Bar: BAN.

10. "__ Ben Adhem": ABOU. Funny, I would not have known this poem unless YR had printed it when it was fill in a January BAG puzzle. Then again, it was already filled by the perps.

11. Mama with two Papas: CASS.

12. Pop's Perry: KATY. Did any of you watch the new AMERICAN IDOL?

15. Bearded bovine: BISON.

17. Jake __, first Congressman to fly in space: GARN. They named a SCALE after him.

21. Court: WOO.

24. Hillary's peak: EVEREST. An interesting MAN.

26. Neighborhoods: LOCALES.

27. "Don't mess with me": I'M BAD.  Are you LEROY?  I wonder if that is where they got Gibbs' name.

28. Spread: SOW. This would have been one of the harder three-letter fills ever but the perps were there.

29. Generous, as a contract: FAT.

30. Bind: TRUSS.

31. Jack and Jill's Waterloo?: HILL. Very cerebral clue.

32. AuctionWeb, since 1997: eBAY.

33. Little bit: DRIB. Not drab

34. French bread: EURO.

38. Pen with oink, not ink: STY. Cute.

39. Anatomical pouch: SAC. John, you trying my DF nature.

40. Eye-rolling word: PUH-LEASE. Exaggerated form of please, short for if you please, an intransitive, ergative form taken from if it pleases you, which replaced pray. (dictionary)

42. Cry after a holdup: STOP HIM. Stop thief probably jumps to mind

45. Awful: NASTY.

46. Pressure prefix: ACU. sharp-acute, acupuncture, accurate

47. Ploy: RUSE.

50. What a crossword is often constructed on: SPEC. 90% of them I imagine.

51. Mend: HEAL.

52. "Beetle Bailey" hound: OTTO.

53. One 60-trillionth of a min.: PSEC.

55. Brazilian hero: PELE. Soccer (football) legend.

57. Clouseau's rank: Abbr.: INSPector.

58. Bug bite soother: ALOE.  Okay, an insect but one that bit.

59. Feathered mimic: MYNA. How do I get this bird two weeks in a row?

61. Bug: IRK. Not really an insect reference.

63. Dye holder: VAT. A change from the normal beer or wine reference.

Always fun to be taken on a ride by John who often bedevils with his vast and varied knowledge on little critters and music but presented a very fun Friday. After two weeks of almost steady rain, today starts Hurricane season here. Yay. Be safe all, my Charlotte graduated preschool last night. See below. Have a  great month, Lemonade out.

Feb 20, 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 ~ John Lampkin

Theme: ?, ?, ?, ?, and ? - The five things a reporter should report.

17A. *"Never!": "WHEN PIGS FLY!"

37A. *"Not another problem!": "WHAT NOW?!"

58A. *"I don't need a second opinion!": "WHO ASKED YOU?!"

11D. *"Happenin' scene, man!": "WHERE IT'S AT!"

28D. *"Cool your heels!": "WHY THE RUSH?!"

46D. Journalism's traditional set of questions, obliquely addressed by the answers to starred clues: FIVE "W"s

Who? Argyle. When? Tuesday. What? A nifty puzzle. Where? On the Corner. Why? Because YellowRocks wanted a John Lampkin puzzle yesterday.


1. Hebrew scholar: RABBI. A teacher, sometimes; a scholar, always.

6. Borden spokescow: ELSIE

11. With 25-Across, "Scream" director: WES. 25-Across. See 11-Across: CRAVEN

14. Watery expanse: OCEAN

15. Double-check, as totals: RE ADD

16. Shakespearean prince or Broadway producer Prince: HAL. Prince Hal, later to be King Henry, in Henry IV, Part 1, is portrayed as an irresponsible, fun-loving youth, Prince of Wales. or, Harold Prince, his IMBd.

19. Incoming flight info: ETA

20. Flower parts: SEPALS. Ah! The petals trap.

21. Visit: SEE

22. Fedora feature: BRIM

23. Valley with wine cellars and sellers: NAPA

27. Rock gently: SWAY

29. "Is this a good move for me?": "SHOULD I?"

31. Folk singer Phil: OCHS

32. Steeped beverage: TEA

33. Become a pro at: MASTER

36. After "no," "Not possible!": WAY. (No way!)

39. State: SAY

40. Appetizer follower: ENTRÉE

42. That woman: HER

43. Tortoise racer: HARE

44. Carpenter's cordless cutter: HAND SAW

46. Temper tantrums: FITS

47. Tank type: SEPTIC. If you're a home owner, this might be the first tank you'd think of.

48. Mix: STIR

50. Jelly holders: JARS

51. Turf roll: SOD

53. Olympic segments: EVENTS. Timely.

57. Outback bird: EMU

60. Sit-up targets: ABs. Me? 63A. "Nope": "NAH"

61. Sporty Chevy: VETTE

62. Angler's danglers: WORMS

64. Portfolio part: ASSET

65. Snooty sorts: SNOBS


1. Lettered theater locations: ROWS

2. Post-workout soreness: ACHE. Me? 63A. "Nope": "NAH"

3. Warning toot: [BEEP!]

4. Fruit that grows in bunches: BANANAs

5. Like catchable foul balls: IN PLAY. Soon.

6. Physicist's work unit: ERG

7. Not so pricey: LESS

8. Seattle's __ Field: SAFECO. Since the Inaugural Game on July 15, 1999, Safeco Field has been the home of the Seattle Mariners.

9. Unsubstantiated bit of gossip: IDLE RUMOR

10. Ice cream maker Joseph: EDY

12. Enjoy home cooking: EAT IN. 32-Down. Things to "do" after you 12-Down: THE DISHES. Me? 63A. "Nope": "NAH"

13. Shut angrily: SLAM

18. Web access co.: ISP. (Internet Service Provider)

22. Brief briefs?: BVDs. Founded in 1876. Wikipedia

24. On the water: ASEA

26. "There oughta be __!": A LAW

27. Read quickly: SCAN

30. Yoga system: HATHA. Moi? 63A. "Nope": "NAH"

31. Be in debt: OWE

34. Glasses holders: EARS

35. Pumpernickel grain: RYE

37. Took one's turn: WENT

38. Latest buzz: NEWS

41. Knocks quickly: RAPS

43. Joined the staff: HIRED ON

45. Skedaddles: SCOOTS

47. Brazilian dance: SAMBA. Not a boot scootin' boogie(3:20)

49. "__War": Shatner novel: TEK

50. Novelist Auel: JEAN

52. Time stamp component: DATE

54. "Stoned Soul Picnic" songwriter Laura: NYRO

55. Archaeological site: TOMB

56. Figure (out): SUSS

58. Harpers Ferry st.: WVA. (West Virginia)

59. Jazz gig unit: SET

Time to scurry and scoot outta here.


Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to dear Santa Argyle, who turned 73 today. If I recall correctly, Santa's first comment on our blog is "Ahem...."

Santa just wrote his 836 blog post for us this morning. He was a Marine, and he continues to protect us and this blog like a Marine. He never complained, even when he broke his ankle last summer. It was hard for him to walk from his bedroom to the computer desk to check on our blog.
Hard to believe that I've been talking with him nearly every day for nearly 10 years. Thanks for being here for me, Santa!


  Santa was a fifteen year old and a Freshman (1960)

Jan 15, 2018

Monday, January 15, 2018 ~ John Lampkin

Theme: Quick, the epinephrine - There's a swarm of B's.

16. NAACP co-founder: W. E. B. DUBOIS. William Edward Burghardt Du Bois

22. Pioneer suffragist on some dollar coins: SUSAN B. ANTHONY. Susan Brownell Anthony

36. "Stuart Little" author: E. B. WHITE. Elwyn Brooks White

49. "The Greatest Show on Earth" producer/director: CECIL B. DEMILLE. Cecil Blount DeMille

59. Apiculturist ... and, playfully, what 16-, 22-, 36- or 49-Across is: BEEKEEPER

Argyle here. Full disclosure on names today.

Note from John: My oldest daughter recently became a beekeeper, so what else could a proud papa do? This puzzle is for her, along with a pic of one of her busy bees.


1. Ear part: LOBE

5. Hamper load: WASH

9. Blow in a dojo: CHOP. Dōjō means "place of the way", and is used to name a hall for learning martial arts.

13. Former Twitter CEO Williams: EVAN. Evan Clark Williams

14. Actress Sommer of "A Shot in the Dark": ELKE. née Elke Baronesse von Schletz

15. Pickle juice: BRINE

18. One who lassoes dogies, say: ROPER. A stray or motherless calf is known as a dogie.

19. Martini order: DRY

20. Sgt. or cpl.: NCO

21. Military zone division: SECTOR

26. Hindu community: ASHRAM

28. Open the faucets onstage, so to speak: EMOTE

29. "Who's Afraid of Virginia __?": WOOLF

30. Rocky peak: TOR

31. Celebratory cry two days after hump day: TGIF

35. Cry at the World Cup: OLE

40. Prefix with cycle: UNI

41. Red ink: LOSS

43. Singer Peggy or comic-book writer Stan: LEE. Norma Deloris Engstrom or Stanley Martin Lieber

44. Winner's gesture: V SIGN

46. Warrior on the court, for short: NBAer. Golden State Warriors

48. Given temporarily: LOANED

53. Bolts and ties the knot?: ELOPES

54. Ltr. holder: ENV.

55. Cleo's killer: ASP

58. Talks like Daffy: LISPS

62. __ Park, Colorado: ESTES

63. Ultimatum close: ELSE

64. Marathon segment: MILE

65. Top of the line: BEST

66. Bound with rope: TIED

67. "This could get __": UGLY


1. Bawdy: LEWD

2. (See other side): (OVER)

3. Bootees: BABY SHOES

4. Close or complete: END

5. Selfie video device: WEBCAM

6. Crazy as __: A LOON

7. Enjoy the slopes: SKI

8. Guys: HEs

9. Make bootees, perhaps: CROCHET

10. Aware of: HIP TO

11. Situation before a two-run homer: ONE ON

12. Actor Luke or Matthew: PERRY. Coy Luther Perry or Matthew Langford Perry

15. Quarterback Favre: BRETT. Brett Lorenzo Favre

17. Hazardous: UNSAFE

21. Bull's sound: SNORT. Yes, it's hazardous and UNSAFE when you hear a bull snort.

23. Clickable address: URL

24. Start of a party invitation phrase: BE THERE

25. Mine, to Marcel: A MOI

26. GI gone missing: AWOL

27. Piano recital piece, e.g.: SOLO

32. Recipe tester, facetiously: GUINEA PIG

33. "Picnic" playwright: INGE. William Motter Inge

34. Discovery: FIND

37. Says too much: BLABS

38. Lawn intruder: WEED

39. Develop slowly: EVOLVE

42. Bit, as of news: SNIPPET

45. Cantina condiment: SAL. Salt

47. "God __ America": BLESS

48. Like chain rings: LINKED

49. Hollywood VIP: CELEB

50. Beethoven dedicatee: ELISE Bagatelle in A minor (Für Elise)

51. Expenses: COSTS

52. 1980s attorney general Edwin: MEESE. Edwin Meese III

56. Wall Street bear's suggestion: SELL

57. Mice, to owls: PREY

59. One placed in Vegas: BET

60. Yale alum: ELI

61. Grounded Aussie bird: EMU


Note from C.C.:

Belated Happy Birthday to dear JD. Hope you had a wonderful celebration yesterday with the grandkids, JD!

JD & Bob