WEDNESDAY, Oct. 1, 2008 - Barry Boone (Internet equipment powerhouse / Bangladesh's capital, old-style / Doer of stand-up)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: NO PLACE LIKE HOME (40A: End of a popular saying related to this puzzle's theme...) - OK, so apparently, strictly speaking, the "theme" is the CONNECT-THE-DOTS (20A: Kind of puzzle suggested by this crossword's theme) ... nope, that's not it. OK, what is the "theme" if it's not NO PLACE LIKE HOME and it's not CONNECT-THE-DOTS? Is the picture of the HOME the "theme"? I know the theme's not ALPHABETICALLY (57A: How to link the 12 letters in this puzzle with a single line to make a picture). I'm not sure how "theme is being used in the first two clues. Long story short, you can connect the dots and create a child-like outline of a HOME, complete with door and chimney. Hurray!


Theme is clever and tight. I have no desire to draw on my puzzles once they are done, but that's neither here nor there, really. A very easy puzzle except for the SW, where there was a car I didn't know - the LADA (58D: Russian car). This was a very computeresque puzzle, with two Mac clues - 52A: Mice an be found around them (iMacs) and 61D: Precursor of the Apple Macintosh (Lisa) (?) - an olde-timey supere-computere in ENIAC (42D: 1940s computer), and a modern computer-related corporation in CISCO (5D: Internet equipment powerhouse). There are topical entries like NADER (9D: Candidate trailing Bush and Gore) - he's still running; guy down the block has NADER signs on his lawn - and FDIC (1D: Bank protector, for short). Two kinds of blue in AZUL (57D: Blue, south of the border) and SAD (53A: Blue). You could even SKI (38D: What one might do in 27-Down) in ASPEN (27D: John Denver wrote two songs about this town) in this puzzle. Little thematic bursts to suit any palate. Here's a John Denver song that features neither Aspen nor John Denver:


Kwik Kuts:
  • 1A: Figure in "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" (faun) - Mr. Tumnus!
  • 5A: Kind of cuisine in which onions, bell peppers and celery are the "holy trinity" (cajun) - gimme. You can get this combo prepackaged in your local grocery store.
  • 17A: Hughes poem with the line "They send me to eat in the kitchen" ("I, Too") - a very common four-letter answer; worth remembering. The Hughes in this clue is Langston. Ted Hughes is also a poet. Or was.
  • 19A: Cy Young winner Hershiser (Orel) - my favorite pitcher (after Clemens) in the late 80s. Unlike Clemens, Hershiser has stood the test of time.
  • 23A: Cleopatra used it as a beauty lotion (aloe) - wanted ASP. Didn't fit.
  • 25A: Carnivorous fish (skate) - had MANTA here for a bit.
  • 28A: Terse letter opener ("Sir") - Does anyone really open letters like that any more? [Title for rapper Mix-a-Lot] would have worked better for me.
  • 70A: Surveyor's map (plat) - learned it from xwords. Really needed it down here in foreign car land.
  • 8D: Logan's locale (Utah) - Boston?
  • 33D: Doer of stand-up (comic) - aaaargh, "Doer!" It's like an icepick in my ear, that word. I was in such denial about the word that I imagined it was someone's last name. I know no stand-up comics named DOER. Here's a DOER of stand-up:

  • 34D: Gardeners may work on them (knees) - there's a clue I like. Clever, switches the meaning of "work on" on you. Good stuff.
  • 48D: Sparkle and wit (esprit) - never associated "wit" with ESPRIT. My sister wore a lot of ESPRIT in the 80s.
  • 54D: Bangladesh's capital, old-style (Dacca) - now DHAKA. I wanted DAKAR, which is the capital of Senegal. There was a horrid-smelling cologne when I was a teenager called DAKAR Noir. I might have owned some once.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

70 comments:

The Anonymouse 9:09 AM  

I'd be much happier with a clue like "stand-up" guy.

JoefromMtVernon 9:14 AM  
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JoefromMtVernon 9:16 AM  

Well, first it was Tiegs, then it was ester...and now czar making it in back to back puzzles...is it me, or is this happening a bit too often?

Not knowing the Lada either, I had plot instead of plat for 70A (and, therefore Lado).

Hope all of those celebrating the new year yesterday had a great day.

Anonymous 9:18 AM  

Rock rocks!

ArtLvr 9:19 AM  

Good puzzle, not too taxing... I didn't make the same mistake in the SW, tsar/CZAR, as yesterday! With so much news focus on losing one's home, the theme is ironic, nostalgic and rather SAD -- but well done.

∑;)

Hobbyist 9:20 AM  

I faxed a request to a bank this week and addressed note to Sir!! Am I a dinosaur?

Shamik 9:30 AM  

LMAO...loved the Chris Rock video. Loved it. Never crazy about all the F-bombs, but in between, he's one funny um...well, you know.

An average Wednesday puzzle for me. Challenge to the mind to mentally connect those danged dots, but oh well.

My bad starts:

EXO for OXO
HARS for YUKS

Speaking of Enola...spent time (like all day) in the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. One day wasn't enough time...and they're building several more buildings. Check it out during the daytime the next time you're partying in the Big Easy.

joho 9:42 AM  

No LA(DI)DA for me ... I was singing the wrong refrain: LA(DI)DO. Plot/PLAT the same difference to me.

Other than my error this was a fantastic,fun Wednesday with a drawing to boot. Loved it!

I'm not familiar with Barry Boone, but will be looking for more from him.

Janie 9:46 AM  

yeah, logan, utah -- where, because of their proximity to salt lake city's airport, they have an airport (logan-cache) with no scheduled flights...

did you hear jon stewart last night on the subject of the financial crisis and congress's day off for rosh hashanah -- and the number of jewish representative from states like wyoming and, uh, UTAH? a GREAT rant. imoo.....

a fun puzzle, too!!

;-)

janie

Twangster 9:46 AM  

I think this puzzle's theme is just "home".

Orange 9:48 AM  

The mockable fragrance that was so popular in the '80s was called Drakkar Noir.

Have you read "I, Too"? I hadn't until last night. Google it up, folks, if you haven't read it yet.

Joshua in NH 9:52 AM  

it was deja vu for me, I've seen this before. The Times first used these exact same theme answers in a 12/14/03 Christmas tree Sunday puzzle . . . that one used the entire alphabet A-Z, 26 dots

PuzzleGirl 10:23 AM  

@hobbyist: Yes! ;-)

@Orange: I'm pretty sure someone posted "I, Too" here one time. I recall it was the first time I'd read it. And, yes, y'all should go find it. Now.

Matthew 10:36 AM  

I love drawing on my puzzles!

It was pretty "unnice" to see LADA (whatever!) crossed with the ever-ambiguous PLOT/PLAT clue, but at least it had the decency to be in an inconsequential spot on the grid.

Wade 10:53 AM  

John Denver wasn't so bad, all things considered. I know nobody here today has alleged otherwise; I'm talking to myself, remembering when John Denver won Country Music Entertainer of the Year or something on one of those country music awards shows that comes on every couple of weeks and seeing the award presenter, Charlie Rich, drunk off his Nudie suit, take out his cigarette lighter and burn the card when he had the displeasure of announcing John Denver as the winner. That somewhat traumatized me. It was one of those things that, as a kid, you don't understand and fully realize you don't understand. It was a "whoa" moment. I went on to forgive Charlie Rich and even to dig him immensely.

John Denver didn't write "Country Roads"--the same husband and wife team that gave us "Afternoon Delight" wrote that. The seventies were weird that way. Waylon Jennings, as bad of a badass as ever existed, narrates "The Dukes of Hazzard." The Doobie Brothers, who were pretty cool in pre-Michael-Murphy days, show up on a Very Special Episode of "What's Happening!" (warning against the sins of bootlegging concert tapes.) Nobody seemed to care about mixing up high, medium and low. Nobody was ironic. Maybe things were better that way. "Rocky Mountain High" is a great song, one of the funnest things to play the week after you start learning the guitar. "I'm leaving on an experimental plane. Don't know when I'll be back again." No one has written more prophetic lyrics about his own death. John Denver, RIP.

Quentin 10:54 AM  
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Quentin & Shira 10:56 AM  

Thanks Rex.

Last week Rex showed us an article on the OBAMA/MCCAIN crossword...uh... "scandal"?. I have to mention that the article was actually referred to on the The Colbert Report last night:

http://blog.indecision2008.com/2008/10/01/the-colbert-report-vowels-are-elitist/

Back to the puzzle- I like having a long single word in the puzzle every once in a while. Not often, but I do think it looks pretty cool to have a word span almost the entire puzzle. Pretty creative theme overall as well.

UltraViolet 11:27 AM  

I knew LADA from growing up in that pseudo-socialist realm to the north of this country, where they were sold during the 70's. I was always slightly enamoured with their Soviet mystique.

As someone who receives mail for a radical/progressive organization,I can testify that the use of "Sir" is still all too common.

@hobbyist: with all due respect, you may or may not be a dinosaur, but possibly out of touch with the current reality that many bank employees are women....

radioguy 11:33 AM  

The clue for 71D is incorrect. Abner Doubleday was not a baseball pioneer.

It has been well-documented that Doubleday, a Civil War hero, had nothing to do with the origins of baseball. He never mentioned the game in his writings or to friends, nor was he in Cooperstown, NY in 1839, when he supposedly invented the game (he was a cadet at West Point). The only person who claimed to have seen Doubleday invent baseball was later committed to a mental institution.

The Doubleday myth was concocted in the early part of the 20th century as a way of "proving" that baseball's origins were solely American. The commonly-held belief these days is that baseball didn't have a sole inventor; it steadily evolved from the English game of rounders.

--Baseball History Nut

Rex Parker 11:34 AM  

@wade,

I am an unrepentant John Denver fan. You will see this in greater evidence come Xmas (!) time. It's half of what my dad listened to when I was growing up. The other half - well, the Doobie Bros. were in there, as was Bread, America, Jim Croce, and others. Bread = least ironic band ever.

"Lost Without Your Love"

rp

Z.J. Mugildny 11:45 AM  

Regarding Nader, maybe the crossword puzzle actually has a bias toward third party candidates.

Yes, he is running again, and he is on the ballot in 45 states and polling around 6% nationally. 24 years ago he would be included in the debates and everybody would know he is running again. Sadly, in 1987 the Commission on Presidential Debates was formed by the two major parties basically ensuring the exclusion of any non-Democrat / non-Republican candidates from the debates. (Ross Perot being a noted exception, because he had like a zillion dollars and could in effect buy his way into the process.)

Google was going to sponsor a debate including all the presidential candidates. McCain said yes, Obama said no. I guess Obama's statement to Tim Russert that he was willing to debate "any of my opponents about what this country means, what makes it great" was just a cool sound bite.

jeff in chicago 11:47 AM  

Had some problems with this puzzle. Did not know OXO, and EXC as an abbreviation for "extra credit"? I think that's a stretch. Didn't care for "Big bump" = JOLT. Using "Roots" to clue Ed ASNER seems odd, but it sure is accurate.

On the other hand, really liked the clues for MILER, KNEES and DOTIME.

@radioguy - Fascinating. I certainly never knew that. I kinda like when I discover that I didn't reall know something I thought I knew. Keeps me humble. (I'm not sure any of my friends would use "humble" to describe me!)

fikink 11:47 AM  

My looper today was PLAT. No "plots" on surveyor's maps that I am aware of. And out here, every time you want to do something to your land, for your land or by your land, you must file with the USDA, clear it with the terms of your CRP (Conservation Reserve Project) contract, cite the specifics of the PLATs you own, and specify which waterways - be they rivers or "cricks" - that might be affected. Plat specifics are like user IDs and passwords in farm country.

Joon 11:59 AM  

LADA/PLAT was a tough crossing, but here the theme really could help you out. that circled mystery letter absolutely has to be an A for the CONNECTTHEDOTS to make any sense. i can't understand matthew's comment above that "at least it was in an inconsequential spot in the grid." that square is absolutely critical to the puzzle--it's where it all begins, in fact.

Joon 12:00 PM  

jeff in chicago, i think EXC stands for "excellent."

Two Ponies 12:05 PM  

@ jeff in chicago, I took exc as excellant.
@ wade, thanks for the Bread clip. Lovely song. My better half has recently been trying to help me discover music that I ignored in my past and that is a great example. He also has introduced me to folks like Merle Haggard, George Jones, etc. Expanding my horizons is great fun. Best new music lately is All the Roadrunning by Emmylou Harris and Mark Knofler.
For the puzzle - easy fun. I felt like a little kid drawing that house on my puzzle. I was wishing for a crayon.
Knew plat because nearly every small town in NE Ind. has a sign saying "Platted in (insert year)"

HudsonHawk 12:09 PM  

The reoccurence of answers from day to day has been well-discussed here (thanks, ACME!). What's strange about the second straight appearance of CZAR is that it's in the exact same place in the puzzle as it was yesterday. Coincidence, or is Will messing with us?

dk 12:13 PM  

@miriam b, in response to your post yesterday I spill wurds wroung all de tyme as I am all style and no substance :):0. One of the reasons why I love the periodic table is I did not need to know how to spell tough words (e.g., Iron) I only need to know the symbol (FE).

Agree with @wade that John D. gets a bad rap, mostly because he looks like a John-boy Walton. I covered a few of his shows and backstage he was a fine fellow and would ham it up for us photogs.

The theme was a little to cute for me, and my mind was in the gutter for the working on ones KNEES.

Using REX's across the floor measure for a Wednesday puzzle... I rate this almost.

Patchouli oil was the scent of my AGE. Given that scent is the strongest sense for triggering memory I expect we will continue to see perfumery posts as the day lingers.

jeff in chicago 12:20 PM  

Excellent. I'll buy that. I suppose I didn't see that because I'm against the concept of A+. A plain old "A" isn't excellent? When I was in school -- GET OFF MY LAWN YOU WHIPPERSNAPPERS!! -- the best you could get was a 4.0. Now you can do better than that. I find it to be artificially inflating grades. I'll go back to dusting my buggy whip collection now!!

ArtLvr 12:36 PM  

@ radioguy -- Thanks for the update on baseball origins! I'm sendig it on to my kids...

@ dk -- I remember an older friend who was quite insulted because a daughter-in-law had sent her something with lavender scent. I had to ask why she was reacting so negatively to the gift, and her response was that lavender was for old ladies! I was amazed, but tried to sympathize. (My friend was within a year of becoming a professor emeritus and resented having to retire, but didn't seem to like her daughter-in-law much anyway.) Reminder to all -- we seniors should be wary of getting too tetchy!

∑;)

Cheryl 12:38 PM  

Not only was the SW corner foreign car country (lada, audi), there is czar, azul, and esprit all from other languages. Possibly plat too, or is it maybe based on latin for flat (plate, plateau)? Any language experts out there to weigh in on this?

Also, I always thought a sure thing was a shoe-in (one foot in the door) rather than a shoo-in, but that could be a result of only having heard it said, and never seen it in print.

Two Ponies 12:41 PM  

I agree with you cheryl. Shoo-in had me scratching my head too.

Cheryl 12:42 PM  

@janie
That Jon Stewart rant was a thing of beauty. "Utah? Really?!"

Greene 12:42 PM  

Strange random recollection: I remember Ed Asner being in "Roots" only because he used the word miscegenation which I had never heard before (hey, I was like 10). I think he was captain of a slave ship and he said words to the effect "I do not approve of miscegenation" when it was pretty clear he was about to engage in some. Come to think of it, that may be around the same time I learned the word irony.

I had difficulty in the north initially, but flashed through the south of this puzzle pretty quickly. Not crazy about the "draw on the puzzle" theme. Seems kind of cutesypoo.

And finally: I hear that Amahl and Cheryl Tiegs have become fast friends and will be meeting up with the czar for drinks later this evening.

archaeoprof 12:42 PM  

Neat cross of ENIAC with IMACS, and nice side-by-side of ESPRIT with RAH.

Doc John 12:47 PM  

Rex, I guess I'm surprised that you haven't heard of Lisa. Or maybe it's because I'm a computer nerd and went to school in California in the early 80s. Anyway, it was really the first popularized computer that had a mouse and graphical user interface, complete with windows and stuff. (I remember thinking of the gall the Microsoft had for naming its OS Windows.) I forget why it didn't make it but there was some reason. The Mac showed up a little while later and, while I thought it seemed the same, there were obviously differences that allowed it to catch on.
OK, here's the Wikipedia article with the real scoop.

I got PLAT this time! Yay! And actually, I had heard of the LADA somewhere along the line. Plus, as was earlier pointed out, the circled A clinched it.

I'm also surprised that nobody has commented on the fact that FDIC is making a timely appearance in the puzzle.

I also seem to remember Mr. Asner spitting out the word "fornication" in that series, too.

Speaking of A+, when my school, UCSD, went to the +/- grading system, I was against it because it in effect penalized the best students, as there wasn't any reward for getting an A+ and also the chance of losing a few points with an A- always loomed. Give me a good, solid A any day!

Stephan 1:10 PM  

I kept thinking about college courses for SALAD

Doug 1:29 PM  

SIR
If you happen to see a copy of The Economist, it still uses the quaint "Sir" at the start of each letter to the editor. I always get an image of some wispy haired editor with glasses and a pencil, reading these things.

Ha, just watched the "elitist vowel" video of Colbert. If you don't want to watch, it refers to the article on Obama appearing regularly in our humble crossword, while McCain is virtually unknown. Because ObAmA has more vowels it is easier to use, hence Colbert's claim that "vowels are elitest." And on the same show is James Taylor, the northeastern cousin of John Denver. Just insert "Carolina" for "Colorado", use impossibly hard guitar chords, pull off the spectacles, et voila.

Sundance 2:01 PM  

I did not know the word cavil.

dk 2:03 PM  

@doc john, I had a Lisa on my desk and everyone wanted to use it. So we put it on a cart and let folks roll it around where they needed it. We also decorated it. In short in a bland office in a nondescript building in LA people who were protecting you from THEM were having fun with a computer.

thebubbreport 2:11 PM  

@ Sundance. I didn't know CAVIL either. Or LADA. I never heard of LISA, but I remember JOSHUA from "Wargames," starring a teenage Matthew Broderick. PLAT is always a gimmee for me, as someone who studied surveying in architecture school.

During the "Wargames" era, I used to wear Liz Claiborne or "Colors" by Benetton perfume with my ESPRIT clothes, while the boys all took a bath in Polo or Drakkar Noir. A big P.U. to all of us!

Anonymous 2:12 PM  

How is "Omar" okay for 55 across when it should be "Khayyam?"

Wade 2:42 PM  

Two Ponies, it was Rex who posted the Bread clip. I wouldn't have done that to anybody. I made it to the 56 second mark. At or somewhere near Bread, I gotta draw the line. That line in any event is well north of Captain and Tennille, I assure you.

Rex, at my house we listened to both kinds of music, as the saying goes. But Jim Croce was probably my first exposure to non-country music. When I was seven, my hippie cousin from California came to stay with us--she was about nineteen or twenty, had an infant daughter, was probably on the run from some bad early seventies situation, and I feel in love with her. She wasn't around long, and I saw her only once more after that, but she was the one who introduced me to Jim Croce, who'd died maybe a couple of years earlier. I was a big Croce fan into my teens, though Jim Croce and adolescent teen angst are a lethal combination. He wrote some dang sad songs.

fikink 2:48 PM  

Noel Coward wrote a wonderful song in which CAVIL appeared, from which I learned the word, to wit:

Please do not think that we criticize or CAVIL
At the genuine urge to roam.
But why oh why do the wrong people travel
When the right people stay back home...

@greene! Surely you have something to say about Oh! Coward

chefbea1 3:12 PM  

fun puzzle today. We got to draw a house instead of a drawer.

I remember wearing Charley perfume way back when.

Time to send my self to the kitchen to make a salad with my oxo salad spinner.

miriam b 3:48 PM  

@fikink: And I would add, as a sort of corollary: The Wrong People Have the Noney. I find myself repeating this mantra almost daily.

@dk: I have a little bottle of patchouli oil, despite the fact that by the time the Summer of Love rolled around, I was a suburban hausfrau with 5 children under the age of 11. I've never smoked pot nor taken any psychotropic substance, on the grounds that I don't need any outside help in maintaining my quirky off-center personality. So why the patchouli? I love the aroma. I also like the smell of tea-tree oil and oil of pennyroyal.

My feel-good fragrance of the moment is Rive Gauche. It used to be Poison for a while, and years ago Xanadu.

ESPRIT, in my book, = wit, as in "l'esprit d'escalier" (Treppenwitz in German, staircase wit in English).

My favorite satirical writer, Peter DeVries, had one of his characters attend a cocktail party prepared to delight the guests with a witticism he had thought up. Unfortunately, none of the party chitchat presented an appropriate opportunity for the man to use his bon mot. Ultimately he simply left the party and went home in a state of extreme dejection.

Steve 3:50 PM  

Interesting coincidence: according to the Wikipedia article on the Apple LISA, in 1989 Apple threw away 2700 LISAs in a landfill in LOGAN Utah.

HudsonHawk 3:52 PM  

@cheryl and twoponies: You can find lots of similar explanations for shoo-in, but here's a fairly brief one:

"Because the phrase is generally spelled as ‘shoe in’, it is assumed that it is in someway related to shoes, but the actual form is ‘shoo-in’ and comes from horse-racing, where sometimes jockeys would hold back their horses so that a pre-determined horse could win. The term originates from ‘shoo’, which means to drive someone in a particular direction."

rafaelthatmf 4:43 PM  

@ Doug: Don’t forget to swap out the booze for heroin in your Mountain/Eastern Time Freaky Friday switcheroo.
@ two ponies: Love love love Emmy Lou Harris and Mark Knopfler. I made my college roommates swear to play Dire Straits self titled white album at my funeral. We were probably pretty [ahem] small then (sorry miriam b) so who knows. Oh and I wanted to recommend Ray LaMontagne – super cool. Folksy Jazzy kinda stuff. Going to see him this Saturday in Minneapolis.
@Wade: Didn’t J Denver die flying an experimental aircraft after it ran out of gas? Talk about irony – you have by definition a risky f’n airmachine but the one sure thing component fails? Really?

The fact the Jon Stewart really seemed to mean it last night put his tirade over the top. Spot on.

mexicangirl 4:47 PM  

In Mexico we call the area code LADA code (probably shorthand for Larga Distancia).

I drew my little house on red ink and it looks quite nice, actually!

joho 4:49 PM  

@wade @rex @dk: John Denver had an amazing voice ... I remember the day I heard his ultra light had run out of gas and crashed ... such sad news.

@chefbea1: I have an OXO salad spinner as well. Also an OXO wine opener. Works like a charm and has no moving parts that can break like the rabbit-type openers.

@dk: wherever hippies gathered so did the aroma of Patchouli. Ahh the memories. Today I wear Coco by Chanel or Miracle by Lancome. Love Romance by Lauren for men. Although I'm sure there are many more wonderful scents out there.

@joon: when I didn't get the "A" in PLAT it's no wonder my house was missing a wall. I started at "B."

ArtLvr 5:33 PM  

Shoofly Pie! -- a rich pie of Pennsylvania-Dutch origin made of molasses or brown sugar sprinkled with a crumbly mixture of flour, sugar, and butter

An election in which one nominee is said to be a SHOO-IN simply means no serious competition is foreseen in that race, the person is expected to win in a breeze -- not that there is anything crooked going on... (The spelling shoe-in is not correct, makes no sense).

∑;)

chefbea1 6:04 PM  

yummm shoofly pie!!!

fergus 7:15 PM  

ESPRIT competitiveness among the French aristocracy was was of the elements that led to the French revolution. Voltaire sort of included this observation as a prophecy, while fully knowing he was one of the greatest exemplars.

Agree with curmudgeonly Rex. I'm not interested in drawing pictures after my puzzle is done. I could foresee a crafty creation where something of that order may be required for filling in squares, however.

Greene 7:29 PM  

@fikink: And I thought I was the only person who knew "Why Do the Wrong People Travel?" Amazing that you should think of it; never crossed my mind while doing the puzzle, but of course now I can't stop humming it. Good heavens, who else but Noel Coward would use "cavil" in a song lyric... (I mean other than say Stephen Sondheim, Larry Hart or Cole Porter)?

Favorite Noel Coward quote: I don't believe in astrology. The only stars I can blame for my failures are those that walk about the stage.

@doc john: Did I put the word miscegenation in Ed Asner's mouth? Now that you mention it, he didn't approve of fornication either. Funny thing, memory...wait, wasn't there a wig too? Yes, Ed Asner had on this ridiculous long haired wig in that scene. I remember thinking, why in blazes in Lou Grant wearing a wig with hair down to his shoulders?

OK, now I am just rambling. In my defense I am not a heavy drinker. I can sometimes go for hours without touching a drop (another great Coward line).

Michael 7:30 PM  

A+ is a useful grade if used occasionally for remarkable students.

I liked connect the dots as a kid and still do...

How come Ed Asner is usually clued via Roots rather than Mary Tyler Moore or Lou Grant?

enjoyable puzzle

fikink 8:27 PM  

Okay, greene, now I must ask you over for a drink.
There was another Noel Coward reference in today's puzzle:
Please, Mrs. Worthington,
On my KNEES, Mrs. Worthington,
Don't put your daughter on the stage!

Greene 9:38 PM  

@fikink: Excellent!

How about Alan Jay Lerner (Camelot)?

You mean that appalling clamoring
that sounds like a blacksmith hammering
is only the banging of his royal KNEES?...Please!

Alan Jay Lerner would've probably used CAVIL if given half a chance.

OK, but now we have to stop this nonsense or we're gonna get in trouble.

mac 10:01 PM  

Why, Fikink, you are a wonder!

I liked this puzzle, did it on the train and felt a little silly with all these Grand Central to CT commuteres watching, drawing a house on it!

I can't remember a puzzle where so many of us had so much to say about it. There were just so many angles to it, and so many words/clues reminded me of odd incidents. To start, I recently read this Langston Hughes poem, "I, too" and I would have sworn it came from this blog. It is definitely worth looking up.

@chefbea: interesting food clues: I love skate wings, in brown butter with lemon, DEBONED.
The only holy trinity of chopped vegetables I can find around here (Trader Giovanni's) is the Italian soffrito mix of carrot, onion and celery. Great to start soups.

I too thought Cleo used those ubiquitous asps to improve her looks.

I LOVE frangrances. Left the apartment this morning and a neighbor asked me what I was wearing, it smelled so delicious. It was Jo Malone, 2 fragrances layered, orange blossom and grapefruit. Good enough to eat. Otherwise Hermes Caleche, so beautiful people stop me in the street. Little more wintry, though.

@wade: you sound so much more happy and relaxed, I'm glad for you....

Someone mentioned John Boy Walton: am I imagining things or is he the voice on Mercedes Benz TV ads? He has a great voice, but I hope he can use it on the stage again.

Lastly, just in case I haven't put all of you asleep yet, I have a little Orel/Oral story that made me laugh until I cried even though I had a splitting headache:
Setting: brown bar in Amsterdam, Sunday lunchtime, lots of years ago. An American couple, an American woman with a Belgian husband, both living in Holland, my American husband and myself visiting from London. For some reason I can't remember they were talking about Oral Roberts. Female part of the American couple asks if anyone knows the name of Oral's wife. Other woman says: "I think it's "Anal". As I said, I did have a splitting headache. And oh, yes, I always thought it was shoe-in, had visions of a big foot shoving something or someone ahead.

mac 10:05 PM  

I meant "to sleep", Fergus!

miriam b 10:13 PM  

Who could not love Sondheim's lyrics? He, BTW, is an aficionado of all sorts of puzzles. I'm not overly fond of West Side Story, but -

Gee, Officer Krupke,
We're down on our KNEES,
'Cause no one wants a fella with a social disease.

fergus 10:28 PM  

Mac,

Normally I follow all your references and allusions, and recognize the Dutch wit that is there at the base of the language, but tonight I am really not sure what you're mentioning. It's likely that I'm missing the obvious.

Since I don't have TBS on my television I'm going to check out the Red Sox and Angels on some fancy local barscreen. LA and Chicago have a lot at stake this week -- and even if you could not care less about baseball, you are going to confronted with it if you live in either of these cities that are not New York.

mac 10:40 PM  

Sorry Fergus, when I noticed my grammatical mistake I remembered your comment on another one....

Have a good time at the sports bar!

fergus 2:34 AM  

At the Irish bar with HD TV, a young woman with the Chronicle Xword set
before her, still struggling with the grid and the baseball game going into the ninth inning, I refused as much as she decided to let her do it on her own.

andrea carla michaels 2:51 AM  

Even tho I swore off these Zelig-y/name drop stories, I have to mention John Denver coming to our 5th grade class at the John Burroughs Elementary School in Minneapolis circa 1969 as he was a friend of our student teacher.

We got to sit on our desks (a rare treat) and John Denver sang a song he said was about to come out by Peter Paula and Mary and we were the first audience to ever hear it and that he would send each of us a 45!

He sang "Leaving on a Jet Plane" and we all squirmed around uncomfortably when he sang
"So kiss me and smile for me, ...hold me like you'll never let me go", as it was far too advanced for our 5th grade sensibilities.

Years later, I went to his concert in Minneapolis, he was no longer Minnesota guy but this total "I'm from Colorado/West Virginia take me home country roads /Sunshine on my shoulders/thank god I'm a country boy" guy.
I smelled a rat.
I kept waiting for him to say, "I first played this song for Miss Oberg's 5th grade class and give a shout out. He never even mentioned
he had ever lived there, much less gone to college there and gotten his career start...totally disassociated himself with Minnesota, not ONE inference that he had ever stepped foot in the state and was glad to be back!

I was crushed (AND he never sent us the 45!)

fergus 3:19 AM  

Schmaltz -- which I am now free to say since it is way past sundown.

Everyone has a dopey love song, and I am surprised, yet not really, how many came up. My teenage wasteland acquaintances would only be the Who, or Traffic, not products that made me feel an annoyance with with the sentiment I first faced.

(One Debbie in HS loved Bread, so I pretended.)

fergus 3:46 AM  

Another Debbie at La Jolla High enticed Jesus and cocaine among some of my crowd. There's a good old Bible book entitled Lamentations.

andrea carla michaels 3:51 AM  

@michael
Ed Asner was clued that way to make it Wednesday...Monday clue: Mary Tyler Moore, Tues: Lou Grant
Wed: Roots TH: Bronx Zoo Fri: he played Santa in "elf"/SAG prez
Sat: Fort Apache...Sun: back to Lou Grant.
See how that works?

If there were more days of the week you could get really obscure and point out this his wife's nephew is our mayor Gavin Newsom!

@steve
coincidence about them burying all them Lisas in Logan Utah....coincidence???!!!
(cue weird sci fi music here)

@dk
I remember once at some naming meeting some discussion that Lisa was the name of Steve Jobs first out of wedlock daughter around the same time he discovered that Mona Simpson was his biological sister, etc. But I'm probably getting half the facts mixed up

Dr. Jeff 1:39 PM  

Did anyone else have "Shark" for carnivorous fish? It seemed to fit when I had S_A_ _.

Waxy in Montreal 5:58 PM  

On the syndicate side, looks like we're now 5 weeks back rather than the 6 and 4 of recent ages. Mon Dieu, which czar makes such decisions?

I guess it's a British background but I've always associated OXO (45A) with a beef stock cube rather than kitchen gadgets. Also, Ladas were sold extensively up here north of the border in the '70's. Cheap in every sense of the word. I wouldn't be surprised if most of them ended up rusted-out in Logan with the Lisas.

Oh well, back to my igloo.

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