Child actress Patten of Song of South / THU 4-25-13 / Spring on African grasslands / Trap in Penobscot Bay / Org meting out justice at Hague / Yukon XL maker for short / When said three times frequent line on Odd Couple / Primitive farming equipment / talks offerers of ideas worth spreading

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Constructor: Jeffrey Wechsler

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium



THEME: PRESTO CHANGEO (50A: Magician's phrase ... or a hint to part of 18-, 25-, 34- and 41-Across) — letters in word "PRESTO" appear, mixed-up, inside four theme answers:


Theme answers:
  • 18A: Classic cartoon in which "Kill da wabbit" is sung to a Wagner tune ("WHAT'S OPERA DOC?")
  • 25A: Onetime presidential candidate on the Forbes 400 list (H. ROSS PEROT)
  • 34A: Travel hassle (AIRPORT SECURITY)
  • 41A: Trap in Penobscot (LOBSTER POT)


Word of the Day: "WHAT'S OPERA, DOC?"

What's Opera, Doc? is a 1957 American animated cartoon short in the Merrie Melodies series, directed by Chuck Jones for Warner Bros. Cartoons. TheMichael Maltese story features Elmer Fudd chasing Bugs Bunny through a parody of 19th-century classical composer Richard Wagner's operas, particularlyDer Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung) and Tannhäuser. It is sometimes characterized as a condensed version of Wagner's Ring Cycle, and its music borrows heavily from the second opera Die Walküre, woven around the standard Bugs-Elmer conflict.
Originally released to theaters by Warner Bros. on July 6, 1957, What's Opera, Doc? features the speaking and singing voices of Mel Blanc and Arthur Q. Bryan as Bugs and Elmer respectively. The short is also sometimes informally referred to as ''Kill the Wabbit'' after the line sung by Fudd to the tune of Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries", the opening passage from Act Three of Die Walküre (which is also the leitmotif of the Valkyries).
In 1994, What's Opera, Doc? was voted #1 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by 1000 members of the animation field. (wikipedia)


• • •

Sorry, no time to blog this fully this morning. Short review—liked it. Great reveal, and decent-to-great theme answers. Felt much more like a Wednesday than a Thursday, but I'll take a good Wednesday over an awkward, contrived, or weak Thursday any day. I was going to say that there is nothing in this grid that is all obscure or in need of explanation, but then I noticed LUANA (33A: Child actress Patten of "Song of the South"). Wow, that really stands out against the rest of the fill, which is all ordinary words / concepts / names. Except maybe ICC (56D: Org. meting out justice at The Hague). What is that? International Criminal Courts? Yes, but Court. Just Court. Can't remember ever seeing that initialism in a puzzle before. My biggest trouble with this grid was in the little area underneath H.ROSS. Specifically, I had no idea what was in a compote, which I think I was confusing with compost. My first answer was FEAR, which I loved as an answer, but seemed indisputably wrong (FEAR was the result of my having FORT at 32D: Guarded place (POST)). This didn't take that long to clear up, but stands out for requiring any struggle at all. No, wait. I had several different answers at 1D: Squirrel's nuts, maybe (STORE ... STASH ...) before I hit on CACHE.

OK, I gotta run. See you tomorrow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

67 comments:

SuperZee 6:40 AM  

Fleur de LYS???

MetaRex 6:48 AM  

Yestopresto!...I also liked the country roads image of ONE-HORSE PLOWS/CRABAPPLE/FENCE RAIL...all that and a pleasant solve...ratings for insiders and outsiders are at Poster Child

loren muse smith 7:02 AM  

“Put” in the clues for 11D and 17A – At least I know now to wait to see if I can ferret out (is that the saying?) the tense. (Did y’all see that poor ferret on steroids that someone sold as a white poodle?)

Terrific words: SAUNTERS, CHAW, WREST, BLABS, GNATS, MISFIT. . .

I think they call pound cake CASTILLa in Japan (at least in Mie-ken’s Ise-shi) because of a picture of a CASTILLO on the package.

Rex - I don't speak compote,either (pannonica - is there not a circumflex on that second o? A cognate of composte? I poked around google and didn't see it spelled that way.), but PEAR went straight in. Lucky guess off the EA.

Dad retired with GMC. One of the best cars we ever owned was an ugly 1970 IMPALA – 409cc beast.

I bet somewhere here in WV there are RAMP CREPES during the season.

ONE HORSE PLOW is ONE letter away from being a themer.

I guess I’ve lost my WHO CARES take on anagrams. I liked this a lot, Jeffrey! No EGRETS here. (Someone had to say it. So I took one for the team.)

Milford 7:06 AM  

Pretty speedy Thursday, but was too tired to figure out the theme before bed. Thought I was supposed to change/remove the "O" in each theme, but that didn't make any sense.

Mostly stumbled around crosses for AIRPORT SECURITY. HER and RAT were a clued a bit vaguely, couldn't immediately get GABLE, MONTY, or POST. I've never heard of EXOBIOLOGY, which I thought odd since I was a biology major. Now that I've read what it is, I can see why it never came up in classes.

LUANA was a little tough, but finally inferable. And I, too, was confused by the Fleur de LYS spelling.

Nothing super exciting with this puzzle, especially since I missed the theme, but WHAT'S OPERA, DOC made it a good one in my book. That, and "Squirrel's nuts, maybe". Small?

Anonymous 7:14 AM  

If you open google and start typing "fleur de" into the dialog box, the first suggestion is "fleur de lys". Wikipedia, of course, prefers "lis". I'm calling it a tie.

Anonymous 7:27 AM  

LOBSTERPOT crossing CRABAPPLE was a nice touch. (If only it were CRABGRASS...)

Tyler 7:43 AM  

Pretty stymied in the middle east there, with LYS (wanted LIS) and LUANA (thought "Lux." was Luxor for some reason and did not want to put EUR there). Really thought "Hall of fame" should have had a question mark.

Susan McConnell 8:12 AM  

Fun, fast Thursday. Never heard of WHAT'S OPERA DOC, so thought OPERA/up was gonna feature in the theme, but then the rest of the long answers were straightforward so...Glad Rex featured the cartoon. Caught the Wagner concert at Tanglewood last summer....it was glorious!

Glimmerglass 8:14 AM  

Good puzzle. Had a terrible time with the NW, but the theme actually helped. Didn't know CASTILLO. Thanks for the clip -- I'd never seen WHAT'S OPERA, DOC? that I remember. Early on, I'd had CRAnberry for CRABAPPLE. So"medium" for me today.

dk 8:50 AM  
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dk 8:51 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
dk 8:53 AM  

The three primary types of godly beings in Norse Mythology (Eddas) are Aesir, Vanir and the Giants (aka Jornar) and Odin or Wotan. Wagner used Wotan as his source material for the Ring Cycle as the leader of the Aesir, gods of consciousness and the sky making their home in Asgard. Freya (Freia) is Vanir (Gods of Earth and biological life) Freya rides through the sky in a chariot pulled by CATs. She also distributes golden APPLES that keep the Giants young. Freya is given to the Giants by Wotan to forge an alliance to bring peace. Causing Freya to utter: Woe's me! Woe's me! Woe.

PRESTOCHANGEO the secret puzzle theme is opera.

������ (3 Wabbits)

joho 9:02 AM  

At first I thought the theme was double O's until I got AIRPORTSECURITY. Like the anagrams much better!

Loved the clue for COSMOS.

The CAT getting the RAT tickled me.

Lots of fresh and unusual entries to savor in this one, thanks, Jeffrey Wechsler!

Rob C 9:07 AM  

Yes, this was a nice puzzle! Fill was very solid, not too much sparkle, but all good. Theme answers were fantastic and the reveal was superb. The fact that PRESTO spanned words and was in different places in the answers kept me on my toes. Played about medium difficulty for me. Everything a Thursday should be.

Loved the clue for 48D - Body scans for LEERS. And 23D Hall of fame for MONTY.

Paul Keller 9:14 AM  

Also enjoyed this puzzle a lot. Only got a few answers in the first past, but wa able to work through the whole grid. Would have been easier if I'd figured out the theme.

Notsofast 9:17 AM  

Not as tricky as some Thursdays, but a lot of fun. Great clue for CHAW! The NE corner was a beautiful job of misdirection. I had HEE for HEM, CONNED for DONNED,and ATE for ICE. A very nice job! Tip o' the Hatlo hat to Mr. Wechsler.

Bob Kerfuffle 9:21 AM  

We shall have to modify the definition of "stalking horse" a bit from the accepted meaning, as that "ONE HORSE", today at 14 D, is clearly stalking @Rex!

One write-over: 58 A, "So what?", had WHAT OF IT? before WHO CARES? (Yes, I know, duplication from the clue, but a. that rule seems to be less strictly enforced than we have been led to believe, and b. I didn't notice.

thursdaysd 9:35 AM  

Always happy to see anagrams, but had never heard of WHAT'S OPERA DOC and finally had to look it up to unlock the NE and go to bed. Had CASTeLLO initially, but MeSS was clearly wrong.

chefbea 9:39 AM  

Too tough for me. Googled a bit and still had to come here to figure it all out.

Didn't we just have Cosmos the other day????

Bob Kerfuffle 9:42 AM  

Further research: I was unsure, and thought I might take issue with the spelling of PRESTO-CHANGE-O, which if I had ever thought of it at all I would have spelled PRESTO-CHANGO (doesn't look very good once I have typed it!) Anyhoo, Wikipedia agrees with the puzzle, but it also leads me to this very early Bugs Bunny cartoon, about which it says, "Prest-O Change-O is a 1939 Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Chuck Jones, and first released on March 25, 1939 by Warner Bros. It marks the second appearance of the prototype of Bugs Bunny, the only such cartoon where the prototype loses, and the prototype's only cartoon to fall into the public domain."

The cartoon is more of a historical oddity; I wouldn't say it is very funny or otherwise interesting.

Lindsay 9:43 AM  

The sports section of today's NYT has a full-page color photo essay on SOCHI. It's a Black Sea resort, and the Sochi Olympics will be "the first Winter Games to take place in a subtropical zone." Think palm trees.

OISK 9:43 AM  

Liked the puzzle very much, although I saw the theme only after finishing. It took a while for me to break through it, liked a lot of the cluing, although I never heard of Luana. Anyone else think of Coscos instead of Cosmos at first? I finished with one error, though. I had "Lis" for Fleur de Lis. Was so sure it was correct that I left "Monti" for Monty Hall. My typical stubbornness comes back to bite me once again...

Rob C 9:53 AM  

@Lindsay - Yes, I recall reading an article somewhere that there is a huge concern with the weather cooperating in SOCHI. There could be very poor snow conditions or an inability to make snow at all during the games. And there was some bewilderment as to why they would select such a location in the first place.

jackj 9:58 AM  

When a constructor includes such as LUANA, CASTILLO, COSMOS (as clued), TED (as clued) and ICC (when clued as a group from the Hague rather than the US Interstate Commerce Commission), it usually signals the constructor is struggling to preserve the theme, (sorry about that, fill).

Then the question for the solver becomes, “Was it worth it?” and, in this instance, my answer is an unequivocal “maybe”.

The theme, of course, is revealed with PRESTO CHANGE O which simply, (and cutely), indicates that scrambled spellings of PRESTO appear in the four theme entries.

And that’s where the “maybe” arises, primarily because of the strength of the theme clues and answers. All of them are topnotch, exquisite even, with LOBSTERPOT and WHATSOPERADOC prevailing on cleverness points over the more generic AIRPORTSECURITY and anti-NAFTA nattering nabob, HROSSPEROT, but still, winners all.

So, the flip side of this “maybe” is with the fill, where such as the pushy examples shown above come into play and fairness tells us to look at the rest of the grid for ameliorating entries.

Trade you ONEHORSEPLOW for Abe’s FENCERAIL?

WHOCARES if we have to contend with CASTILLO if we have a superb clue for OCCASION?

Can CRABAPPLE fully compensate for LUANA?

Would the ICC allow us to ICE TED?

Whatever. I’m still stuck on “maybe”, so there I’ll stay.

Thanks; it was (mostly) fun, Jeffrey.

Elaine2 10:15 AM  

Fun puzzle!

Thanks, Rex, for posting that terrific cartoon. Brightened up my morning considerably.

Carola 10:16 AM  

Also liked it a lot. After three theme answers, I was scanning for a hidden word, but couldn't come up with anything, so the reveal was a surprise and a treat.

One more little thing to add to the "liked" list: GELT over (pocket) CHANGE.

@Rex - Thanks for the cartoon. I'm a "Ring" fan, including parodies - didn't know of this one.

Now off to Chicago to meet my not-quite-one-day-old-yet granddaughter!

jae 10:32 AM  

Way too easy for a Thurs.  Tues./Wed. at best. 

Erasures: POol and POrT before POST and post before RAIL.

Left L_S blank and waited for MONTY.  I've seen it both ways.

Not much else to say.  Reasonably clever theme and reveal and very low on dreck.  So, gotta put it in the " liked it" column even though the zip factor was pretty much non-existent.

Speaking of magicians, Steve Martin was on Letterman last night and 
The Great Flydini came up. 

Eric 10:42 AM  

High Point: Hands down has to be 59A: Best way to defuse a bomb.

CALMLY! Duh. I was thinking, "Uhhhh, cut the blue wire?"

Low Point: Fleur-de-LYS. C'mon. I mean, it's acceptable, but like I've said before, so is "ameba." Doesn't make it good.

And I love the word SAUNTERS. It has an air of prestige to it that "wanders" or "strolls" does not.

Two Ponies 10:43 AM  

Very nice puzzle indeed. Seeing Doc, Perot, and Pot at the ends of what I knew would be theme answers I considered a word ladder until airport security showed up.

Cartoons like What's Opera Doc were very educational to me. Remember also the ones with movie stars in them? Clark Gable had ears like Dumbo. Jimmy Durante's nose took huge proportions, etc.
I lived for Saturday mornings.

I always have to pause on clues involving Hubbard or Perot. H. Ross or L. Ron?
@ jackj, Loved your unequivocal maybe!

Sparky 10:53 AM  

Maybe it's just me but this whole week so far has been meh. Did not get the theme. DNF: ate not ICE, kept railroad rails in mind not FENCERAILs. Ah well.

@BobK. Thanks for the clip. Continuity not a concern in those I guess. I'm dizzy.

Congratulations @Carola. Best wishes to the new granddaughter.

Mr. Benson 10:53 AM  

I actually sniffed out the misdirection in the "Hall of fame" clue right away, but couldn't come up with MONTY for a while. Thought about JERRY or DARYL.

According to my rigorous research (i.e., googlefight.com), LIS is the more standard spelling than LYS. MONTI would have been fine as a cross (clued as the Italian PM), although then we would have been deprived of the great "Hall of fame" clue.

Sparky 10:54 AM  

That's those days, of course. Sigh.

quilter1 11:05 AM  

Well, we have the sound track of WHATS OPERA DOC on our Ipod so I get to hear it now and then. Always a pleasure. So I liked this puzzle quite a bit. I agree with the rating.
@Carola: congratulations. There is nothing like being a grandma.

John V 11:13 AM  

NE tricky.
Had HEE for HAW, good indirection there. SAUNTERS was a tough one. Good theme, medium. Running today.

Sandy K 11:15 AM  

Fun puzzle!

Thought the theme was going to be an OLIO of foods: PEAR, PLUM and CRABAPPLE in my compote, CREPES, and LOBSTER too.

@Carola- Congratulations! What a wonderful OCCASION!

John V 11:45 AM  

@chefbea Jeff and I served COSMOs on Tuesday. Glad you enjoyed.

syndy 11:52 AM  

Poor wittle wabbit! Nifty puzzle it's all good!

Magic Dude 12:00 PM  

14-down has a PRESHO-CHANGE-O. So close...

Hootch-dini 12:17 PM  

Whatshamatter with PRESHO-CHANGE-O? hic.

joefrombrooklyn 12:33 PM  

Really surprised. I found this puzzle to be hard for a Thursday. "Presto Changeo" does not come readily to mind for me and offered little help in solving the puzzle once I did figure it out.

There's too much Spanish and way too many short words a lot of which are acronyms or abbreviations. (ICC, EUR, MAR, PBS, EXO...). These short, vague answers made it, for me, hard to get a foothold since I couldn't put down some definite answers right away. The long non-theme answers (ONE HORSE PLOWS, FENCE RAILS, and, to a much lesser extent, CRAB APPLE) were all giant "huhs" to me. I got them but they never clicked into place. I never felt sure about them (except CRAB APPLE).

I did end up finishing it but with a slower time than usual and no moments of satisfaction. Guess one man's Thursday-that-feels-like-a-Wednesday is another man's Thursday-that-feels-like-a-Friday.

Eric 1:28 PM  

@Magic Dude...

Nice find. You should work for the "Reddit.com Search and Destroy Team" to help find things that are close to, but not actually what we're looking for.

Benko 1:35 PM  

I immediately put in Hacienda for CASTILLO before making a quick erasure.
Loved WHATSOPERADOC. Was enough to make the puzzle for me.

Bird 1:43 PM  

Disappointed when I uncovered the theme and found it was not a gimmick. But a decent puzzle none-the-less. I ended up with MONTe/LeS – I thought that was how he spelled his name and can never remember the spelling of 40A.

HACIENDA before CASTILLO (very messy corner).
I’m with HIM before HER (when I read the clue, my first thought was, “STUPID”)
OMELET before CREPES.

Don’t see too many pitchers with CHAW in their mouths nowadays.

Magic Dude 2:25 PM  

@Eric: That sounds sorta like a "Kill the Reddit" site.

quilter1 2:39 PM  

For CASTILLO my first thought was parador as we stayed at one in Spain, but it didn't fit.

retired_chemist 3:04 PM  

Atypical Thursday - theme is straightforward, has a reveal, no rebus.

Agree - a good puzzle. Pretty much what everybody said. Wanted ACORN @ 1D (Squirrel's nuts), but it wasn't plural per the clue. Decided SMALL was not going to fly.

Thanks,Mr. W.

Z 3:08 PM  

Hanukkah largesse generated GifT. This resulted in Body Scans? being fEElS. Way better wrong answer than fEAR for PEAR.

Bird 4:05 PM  

@retired_chemist - Very funny. SMALL is a much better answer for 1D.

Two Ponies 4:28 PM  

@ bird, My T-shirt said Stupid too until I saw it wouldn't fit.

sanfranman59 4:29 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak to my method):

All solvers (median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Thu 15:20, 16:58, 0.90, 30%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Thu 9:15, 9:56, 0.93, 33%, Easy-Medium

LaneB 6:01 PM  

Had trouble with MISFIT for troublemaker, Wrests at a62, and the EXAM and PLUM cross. Otherwise this Thursday lived up to its easy/medium characterization.

chefwen 8:10 PM  

@Carola - Congratulations on your Grand baby.

Agree on the easy-medium rating, even printed out a copy for my husband. He wanted wallys for 1D, didn't fit. Fell apart a little around the FIT/ICE/TED area, like others I had ate for 11D, that took a long time to sort out.

Jeffrey was also today's LA Times constructor, another fun puzzle.

Sfingi 8:50 PM  

Though I don't care for this type, it was easy for Thurs., defined by me as only 2 Googles: WHATS OPERA DOC and LUANA. After that, one word led to another in a pleasant way.

I'm old enough to know my 2 Googles, but just didn't.

Wanted split RAIL for awhile.

@DK - Interesting which animals figure in various religions. Cats are tops with Egyptians and devilish with Christians, who feature snakes and asses as talkative. In Uganda, the Christian became furious over the local Rascally Rabbit tales because the trickster wins out. Personification of animals can be a dangerous thing.

sanfranman59 11:51 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak I've made to my method. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

All solvers (this week's median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Mon 6:32, 6:14, 1.05, 78%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 8:15, 8:14, 1.00, 55%, Medium
Wed 9:26, 10:07, 0.93, 33%, Easy-Medium
Thu 15:19, 16:58, 0.90, 30%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:55, 3:43, 1.05, 75%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 5:11, 4:49, 1.08, 68%, Medium-Challenging
Wed 5:32, 5:59, 0.92, 30%, Easy-Medium
Thu 9:03, 9:56, 0.91, 29%, Easy-Medium

Tita 10:23 PM  

@Carola - congratulations!1

Too late to the game. An OK Thursday. Liked all the clever clues/fill others have mentioned.

There is a CASTILLO de Andrade in Puentedueme, Galicia, that my ancestors built.

@Sparky - nice to see you hear, even if you are having a meh puzzle week.

Spacecraft 11:23 AM  

Can't believe no one mentioned the huge ONEHORSE bleedover.

I rated this as "unknown strength" while searching for a way in, but after I found it with RAMP/ELLE/CALMLY--which also gave me the HER bonus in the middle--it came relatively easily. The SW quickly filled out, and when the CRABAPPLE fell out of its tree it gave me PRES...ah, the revealer! The B of 31d yielded LOBSTERPOT (makes me think of Oswald Cobblepot: The Penguin's real name), and that sealed the anagram nature of the theme. So, easy after the start; finding the start makes it, I guess, easy-medium.

My 21a, "Haw's partner," is an inky mess. First it was GEE, as "right" is "left's" partner for ONEHORSE, then it changed to HEE, as Roy Clark is Buck Owens' partner, before finally PRESTOCHANGEOing into HEM. Whew!

I liked this. The long downs have an old-time country feel: CRABAPPLE, ONEHORSEPLOW, FENCERAIL. A whole secondary theme, if you will. But oh, brother, what a clue for TED! I have absolutely no idea what that clue's talking about; just grateful that TED went in on crosses. Whatever the hell those "talks" are, wasn't there some other way to clue TED?

Here's what the great word SAUNTERS conjures up in my mind: Hannibal Lecter, at the very end of "Silence of the Lambs," after begging off his phone conversation with Clarice by saying "I'm having a friend for dinner," [snicker!] SAUNTERing down some third-world street, comfy as you please.

The Invisible Man 11:47 AM  

@Spacecraft - At 9:21, Bob Kerfuffle posted:

We shall have to modify the definition of "stalking horse" a bit from the accepted meaning, as that "ONE HORSE", today at 14 D, is clearly stalking @Rex!

I would call that noting the bleedover.

And those TED talks are all the rage with the inter-lec-tual class.

rain forest 12:42 PM  

This puzzle just fell into my bandwidth. I guess it is 'easy', because I finished it so quickly, but I also think it is relatively sparkling. Immediately getting 6 downs in the far north: CACHE, OSCAR, OLIO, IPOD, SINO, TED, I just more or less filled the rest in. When I got to PRESTOCHANGEO, I looked at the other theme answers and verified the anagrams, and was done! Only slowdown was the LUANA/MONTY cross, because I took awhile to accept the idea that Monty Hall is a person of "fame". Smooth and fun, for me.

NM Robin 12:43 PM  

Do NOT understand the answer of MONTY for Hall of fame (23D). Could someone please explain???? I got it filled from crosses but it does make sense to me.

I liked the puzzle but still DNF.

Monte Halperin 1:07 PM  

Monte Halperin, OC, OM (born August 25, 1921), better known by the stage name Monty Hall, is a Canadian-born MC, producer, actor, singer and sportscaster, best known as host of the television game show Let's Make a Deal.

Anonymous 2:15 PM  

I enjoy anagram puzzles so it's no surprise that I liked this one. I wasn't sure about ONE HORSE PLOWS being a thing but it makes sense once I think about it (as opposed to plows pulled by a team). And it's neat that it's only letter shy of another PRESTO.

Nothing more to add to what's already been said. Kudos to Jeffrey Wechsler for a fun puzzle!

For those who have not seen a lot of the old Bugs Bunny cartoons I also recommend The Rabbit of Seville - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60Htv1t6sUU

Syndi Solver 2:19 PM  

Oops, I forgot to fill in a nickname on my last comment. I posted the comment with the link to The Rabbit of Seville.

I would log in but Blogger does not recognize any of the many online accounts that I already I have. And if I tried to create yet another one then that means one more password to memorize. I think that might make my brain explode.

Dirigonzo 2:55 PM  

I grew up on Penobscot Bay and I can assure you there are lots of CRABAPPLE trees and even more LOBSTERPOTS. I would have loved the puzzle for that cross alone.

DMGrandma 3:50 PM  

Down to that one last unknown square, I put in a T to make MISFI? Into a word I could recognize. Lo and behold, it was right! Now I just have to find out what a TED talk is! Over all, I found this one slow going at first, and then a word here or there, particulary COSMOS, clued the synapses (if that's the word I want) and things filled in. Had the HEM for HEe write over and had to change my menu from omElEt to CREPES, but that was about it. A good Thursday for me, even if I never saw the PRESTO mutation thing! Can't win 'em all!

@Ginger. I see they are having real,problems slogging in the mud. Often wonder why important matches are scheduled where the weather is always a challenging factor. You'd think the skill required to play a top notch game would be enough!

Dirigonzo 3:54 PM  

P.S. - You know who else grew up on Penobscot Bay? Hawkeye Pierce of M*A*S*H fame is from a (fictional) town on the opposite shore, CRABAPPLE Cove. I can't say I ever met him, though.

Syndi Solver 5:17 PM  

@Dirigonzo, I did remember that there was a character with that name (Donald Penobscot, mostly unseen husband of Hot Lips) but not where Hawkeye was born.

So, do you think one of the writers was from Penobscot Bay? :-)

@DMGrandma, I enjoy your French Open updates. I've not yet watched last night's recording so I didn't know about the rain delay.

Dirigonzo 6:34 PM  

@Syndi Solver - since you asked, the movie and tv series were based on a book and wiki tells us this about the author: "H. Richard Hornberger (February 1, 1924 – November 4, 1997) was an American writer and surgeon, born in Trenton, New Jersey, who wrote under the pseudonym Richard Hooker. His most famous work was his novel MASH (1968), based on his experiences during the Korean War and written in collaboration with W. C. Heinz. It was later used as the basis for a critically and commercially successful movie (1970) and television series (1972-1983)." Hornberger graduated from Bowdoin College which I suspect provided the basis for his Maine characters. Thanks for mentioning LTC Donald Penobscot - I had forgotten about him.

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