Desex as stallion / MON 8-13-12 / Paris cabaret / Spooned-out Nestlé product / Livin Thing rock grp

Monday, August 13, 2012

Constructor: Gareth Bain

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: MAKE-UP TEST (62A: What this crossword is, in a way)—theme answers all end with items of make-up

  • OCEAN LINER (18A: Luxury craft crossing the Atlantic, say)
  • MOULIN ROUGE (23A: Paris cabaret) 
  • SOLID FOUNDATION (39A: Good grounding)
  • COCOA POWDER (53A: Spooned-out Nestlé product)

Word of the Day: Burkina FASO (40D: Burkina ___ (African land)) —
Burkina Faso (Listeni/bərˌknə ˈfɑːs/ bər-kee-nə fah-sohFrench: [buʁkina faso]) – also known by its short-form name Burkina – is a landlocked country in west Africa. It is surrounded by six countries:Mali to the north, Niger to the east, Benin to the southeast, Togo and Ghana to the south, and Côte d'Ivoire to the southwest. The country's capital is Ouagadougou. (wikipedia)
• • •

Nice little Monday puzzle from Dr. Bain, with only ALII to really harsh my buzz. Once again I am dividing my attention between this write-up and my TV screen, as I witness / comment on the astonishing combination of nostalgia and nonsense that is the London Olympics closing ceremony. Three words: giant inflatable octopus. I'm muting it now since it's just Brian May doing a guitar solo (no offense, but he's not nearly as riveting as the Spice Girls singing from the tops of moving taxis).
Not sure how this puzzle is a TEST except insofar as any puzzle is a test (to see if you can solve it). Otherwise, no real complaints here. Solid Monday work. I had a weird lot of trouble with ON THE WHOLE (30D: Considered from all sides), quite possibly because I thought "Considered" was a verb at first. Had ONTHEW and still didn't catch on. Also wondered out loud (or in my head, I forget) if there was anyone who didn't know how to spell DIONNE Warwick's first name (5D: "Walk On By" singer Warwick). Because if you thought DEONNE was plausible, then you could've had some trouble at 15A: Harden (to) (INURE).

III is not great fill, but I sort of like the grandfather clock route (36D: "East" on a grandfather clock). ELO (33D: "Livin' Thing" rock grp.) just performed ... scratch that ... ELO's music was just played loudly at the closing ceremony ("Mr. Blue Sky"), causing a certain cherub-faced constructor to (virtually, Twitterfully) squeal with joy. So far, for me, the best moment of the closing ceremony (by a long shot) was Eric Idle singing "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," if only for the fact that yes, he did in fact get to sing the line "Life's a piece of shit / When you look at it." Bleeped, but as my speedsolver friend KH said (virtually, Facebookly) "It counts!" Where were we? Ah yes, my inability to tell the FAA from the FCC from the TSA (31D: Org. conducting airport searches), and my apparent inability to tell the difference between GELD (26D: Desex, as a stallion) and GILD. You probably don't want to let me anywhere near your horse, unless you want his balls painted gold. Then I'm your man.

And with that, AEIOU. I mean adieu.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Tobias Duncan 12:15 AM  

I am so glad the Olympics are over. I must now find a youtube clip of Eric Idle singing one of my very favorite songs.I hope someone puts it up soon

David Bowie 12:29 AM  

Horses, schmorses I want my balls gilded in gold. Maybe that's why I wasn't in the out-of-date Brits on parade parade.

Milford 12:31 AM  

Make that six words: giant inflatable octopus with Fatboy Slim! Awesome. And Idle did indeed say "shit", just ask my kids.

Smiled with the ELO clue, also, very timely!
Also smiled at the STEP ON IT answer. It just feels so familiar somehow...

Liked that there were three Latin, two Greek and two Spanish entries. Thank you, Gareth, for making it et ALII, even offering up that it was plural. My Magistra Latina from high school would approve. I am remembering a huge discussion awhile back about et al. vs etc.

The geld/gild confusion gave me a good laugh, Rex.

jae 12:43 AM  

Nice one Gareth!  Cute theme, smooth grid.   

Non Mon. answer and WOTD:  FASO.

Easy for me.  I do Mon. and Tues. on line (it saves trees?)  My IPAD difficulty formula is my time minus 90 seconds to correct for one finger typing.  This one came in pretty easy even after fixing a typo (the finger is not always accurate). 

Evan 1:01 AM  

The I of INURE/DIONNE was the penultimate letter in the grid because, as @Rex noted, it was waiting to trip me up with a possible eNURE/DeONNE crossing. Good thing some part of my brain told me it was an I -- must have been the part that told me I've never seen DEONNE before.

The last letter in was the G of GUTSY/PEG. Not sure why I couldn't let go of the possibility of nUTSY/PEn. Maybe because I thought being "full of nerve" means being NUTSY....or ballsy, if you're a guy, anyway. Ahem.

(And was it planned that both @Rex and @Orange would talk about balls on their blogs today? All it took was for GELD to show up for that to happen? I feel like I missed a golden opportunity when I blogged here not once, not twice, but thrice!)

chefwen 1:43 AM  

Cute, easy (but not overly easy) Monday puzzle. My groundhog was Pete 10D until HORA came up and noodged my memory to Punxsutawney PHIL. My late FIL's name.

Went through a full body scan by the TSA a couple of weeks ago and still was humiliated by being "felt up". I don't get it.

Now I have to see what @Orange has to say about balls.

Clark 1:45 AM  

This was a thoroughly enjoyable Monday puzzle. I think it is the first time ever that I filled the whole puzzle in in order letter by letter from left to right (and peaking at the downs when I needed some help). Having "step ON In" for "hurry up" kept me from getting Mr. Happy Pencil, until I noticed that RANTY didn't make any sense. And I didn't get the theme until the reveal, which added to the smooth unfolding. Nice job.

Alii Cello Makeups 4:23 AM  

Takes a real man to make a puzzle about makeup. GUTSY. Thanks, Gareth.

I'd add STAVE to FASO.

And I wanted, and still want, STEP IT UP for STEP ON IT.

GiLD/GELD comment...that has made my week, and it's only 82 minutes into Monday!

r.alphbunker 5:22 AM  

Have you ever thought of how many things that makeup/make up can mean? I have. It took me far longer to get the theme than to do the puzzle ( am not making this up).

Some possibilities that I considered besides the cosmetic one were reconciliation (kiss and make up), fabrication (make up a story) and constitution (the makeup of something).

And what did not help was that I seriously considered that it was a pun on "UP" where the letters "UP" or "MAKE" were manipulated in some way in the puzzle. I am sure that BEQ's recent tribute to Sherman Helmsley was interfering with my ability to think Monday-simple.

I thought the makeup (fill) of the puzzle was excellent.

Loren Muse Smith 7:11 AM  

This one brought a great smile! Light, EASy, breezy Monday. I was so happy when I saw Gareth’s name at the top. I knew I would like it. BUENO! ENCORE!


RHINO, APE. . .GELD? You’re one GUTSY vet, Doc!

Dionne had another hit: “The moment I wake up, before I put on my MAKE UP. . .”

I had no idea that the Minuet was triple timed. The HORA isn’t (HIYA, shekel!).

@r.alphbunker – cool observations on the varied meanings of MAKE UP. How ‘bout MAKE UP for lost time?

I’ll think of this puzzle in a few minutes when I’m farding in my bathroom.

NICE one, Gareth. I give it a SOLID TEN.

jberg 7:27 AM  

Gender really does matter - I didn't have a clue what the theme was, as I could see nothing whatsoever in common among the theme answers, until the revealer revealed it. Wow! Easy puzzle, and a nice aha! on the theme, so just right for a Monday. Plus ELO and ENO in the same puzzle (leading EMO to feel left out, but what can you do?)

Glimmerglass 7:28 AM  

Easy. Never noticed the theme, but since all puzzles are made up, it was irrelevant.

evil doug 7:34 AM  

Did a quick perusal of this one in SBux, and for a Monday it looks like a buncha fun wordage.

Given all the makeup stuff, let's get the men's perspective: Ape, tamer, eying, ten, hiya, hot, solid foundation, erect, atoll, peg, epee, dined, on it, upon, poked, waists, triple time, spasm, slop, bueno, encore!

And we'll just overlook the ratty, warty geld thingie....


John V 7:40 AM  

A good Monday. Very easy from sunny Gate 41.

Rob C 7:40 AM  

Well-executed theme, smooth fill, good revealer. What more could you ask for?

I thought it was a giant squid. Either way, nothing says world-class athletics like a giant, air-filled, neon-colored cephalopod.

joho 8:00 AM  

Easy, fresh and fun! The MAKEUP theme by a man was pleasantly surprising, too.

But it left me wondering, does all that LINER, ROUGE, FOUNDATION and POWDER leave one looking like a HORA? :)

No way! I'm off to apply mascara, lipstick and gloss ...

Thanks, Gareth, this was good one!

Sue McC 8:29 AM  

Just ok for me. Easy enough, but nothing extra special. You can put lipstick on a Monday puzzle......

jackj 9:09 AM  

South African veterinarian Dr. Gareth Bain is back with a perfect Monday level puzzle, giving us a theme partial to the ladies among us as they are helped with their daily needs through the application of four themed makeup products. (What, no lipstick and mascara?)

While he tended nicely to the ladies, Gareth also couldn’t leave his beloved animals behind and we have a sub theme with ten or so animal mentions, either in the clues, the answers or by inference, (toad via WARTY for example and even an avian hint with jailbird).

Continuing, we get a RHINO, an APE (Gibbon), a kitty (“shooed” at 1 across), a hog (twice, in the clues), a groundhog (old Punxsutawney PHIL), a TAMER (presumably for a lion) and a twofer, whereby a stallion goes from studly manhood in the clue to equine eunuch as he is GELDed in the answer, (Yikes!)

All Mondays seem to be subject to the need for crosswordy entries and this one is no exception but only three seem to rise to the level of a griping mention, ALII, III and COL and they are mitigated by the two long entries of TRIPLETIME and ONTHEWHOLE, (both debut entries), on balance, a nice trade-off.

Thanks for a winner to start our week, Gareth!

chefbea 9:28 AM  

Fun puzzle but a bit more difficult than the usual Monday.

I too wanted step it up!!

Cathyat40 10:08 AM  

A DEBIT is a plus on the balance sheet; it is a minus on the income statement. See Accounting 101, p.1.

jesser 10:08 AM  

COCOA POWDER? C'mon. no one has ever in the history of the world called Nestle's Quick (or Ovaltine) COCOA POWDER. Other than that, fine puzzle. I'm gonna have to Google that closing ceremony!

Anonymous 10:18 AM  

As a SOLIDFOUNDATION, it was huge-
Wanted lip gloss on my MAKEUPTEST
Guess I'll use my MOULINROUGE...

Z 10:24 AM  

Fun Puzzle. The revealer was a revealer for me, making me smile, as does the notion of GiLDing a horse (or a David Bowie). @Evil Doug - it sounds like there was a happy ending.

Great start to the week.

Two Ponies 10:44 AM  

Nice puzzle Gareth but I have to agree with @jesser that cocoa powder is a stretch.

Geometricus 10:46 AM  

Hersey makes COCOAPOWDER, not Nestle's. I never call their instant hot chocolate COCOAPOWDER.

Did get the theme right after I finished because I was in lots of theatre as a youth. For a man, I know my way around ROUGE and FOUNDATION (although we called it pancake).

Thanks to @Loren Muse Smith, I learned a new word today. When I am driving my kids to school, I'm for sure going to say to them, "Look at that woman FARDING in her car!". Thanks, @Loren!

Oh, and Burkina FASO was a gimme because it has the funniest capitol name on the globe! Before I talked to the African French teacher at school, my kids and I pronounced it OOGA-DOO-GOO. Try saying that five times without laughing. The correct pronunciation (WAH-GAH-DOO-GOO) is funny enough.

John V 10:49 AM  

@Cathyat40 re: DEBIT. You are correct. 5A clue is incorrect. Might correctly read, "Plus item on a balance sheet"

hazel 11:03 AM  

@tobias - you cant just throw random remarks out there without expecting a question, now can you? How did the Olympics negatively affect your puzzling experiences the past two weeks?! As @dk used to say (at least once anyway), inquiring minds want to know!

@jae - thks for sharing your formula! That seems like a pretty accurate est.

I liked this puzzle quite a bit, and love the way Gareth puts his life into the puzzle - the shoutouts to animals, Africa, etc.

Smooth theme. Very nice solve.

Anonymous 11:08 AM  

Ever the contrarian, I went looking for instances where Nestle' sold something that could rationally be call COCOAPOWER. The closest I came is this:



That's what you get for being a contrarian, you're usually wrong.

Bob Kerfuffle 11:09 AM  

Liked the puzzle.

Just two things:

In the Olympics closing, the construction and immediate deconstruction of a 3D death mask of John Lennon went beyond creepy, IMHO.

And in the puzzle, 51 D, Barrel support, for STAVE, does not agree with my dictionary. Staves make up the barrel, not support it.

Milford 11:12 AM  

Yes, Nestlé does make actual cocoa powder used for baking.

Personally, I have always been confused by the correct debit/credit usage, probably because I've never opened an accounting book.

Doug 11:15 AM  

Very fun puzzle. Crossing moulin rouge with encore makes me happy. Dionne Warwick is interesting for a crossword because she briefly changed the way she spelled her name, adding an e to the Warwick.

As a wine lover, I also liked lees and staves. Lees is cool with moulin rouge because lees are a big part of what makes champagne so delicious. About barrels, though- I'd say that staves aren't supports. There are hoops that support the staves. Am I wrong?

Anonymous 11:24 AM  

Some people write their balance sheets in a single excel worksheet, entering positive values for income, negative values for debits, then just add the damn amount column up.

Just because CPA's do it differently doesn't mean that it's the only way.

Yes, STAVES make the barrel, hoops support the structure to keep it a barrel.

Sandy K 11:24 AM  

I rememember watching my mom spooning out cocoa powder to make me chocolate milk.
I googled and both Nestle and Hershey make cocoa powder. Seeing the pictures, mom used the Hershey...

ON THE WHOLE, this puzzle had a SOLID FOUNDATION and was one of the most enjoyable Monday's in a long time.

Cathyat40 11:27 AM  

@Anonymous 11:24 AM:

The excel worksheet you describe is an income statement. It shows income and expenses. You are correct that a debit is a minus on the income statement.

A balance sheet shows assets, such as equipment and inventory; and liabilities such as a mortgage.

Gareth Bain 11:33 AM  

Thanks all for their kind words! I too found Rex's geld/gild remark hilarious!

No "gelding" today - I forgot to put a "starve" sign on and the dog was fed - only a lump-ectomy and a othaematoma op...

My clue for cocoa powder had nothing to do with Nestlé, but I can assure you all that, although Nestlé does make instant hot chocolate too, I can assure you they have cocoa powder... As a pretty avid baker I've used it many a time!

Rex Parker 11:45 AM

Carola 11:46 AM  

@Gareth Bain -
Until this morning, I knew you only as a commenter here, so it was a happy surprise to see your name as the constructor. Very NICE puzzle!

The reveal and thus the theme were also a surprise - just hadn't noticed the cosmetic items and needed a few crosses to get MAKEUP and the fun "aha."

Beauty products promise us that we'll look like a TEN, but as the grid shows, there are limits to what they can do - we can still be WARTY and RATTY and have WAISTS like RHINOS if we've DINED too often on fast-food SLOP.

COCOA POWDER - my favorite entry, but I was a disbeliever, too, and had to Google to find the Nestle 100% cocoa. All we know in our house is Nesquik.

Rex Parker 11:46 AM  

[3 seconds on the internets]

xyz 11:46 AM  

All the Olympic closing music is on Spotify, not that Apple garbage. Links at telegraph dot co dot alii for Monday is rubbish

Z 12:05 PM  

Take your Cocoa Powder and Milk to the gym

orangeblossomspecial 12:11 PM  

GELD is a pretty scary thought for early in a morning.

Freddy Martin recorded an unusual version of 16A "HORA Staccato". If you enjoy whistling, this is up your alley.

Long before the film of the same name, 23A MOULIN ROUGE was the subject of a famous song.

Harry Reser recorded a song involving lots of animal sounds appropriate for 50D: TAMER "I'm just wild about animal crackers".

syndy 12:20 PM  

Liked the puzzle a lot but... took my 3 secs and googled but still don't like the spelling "EYING";( but the TSP of COCOAPOWDER made the medicinr go down!

44 12:25 PM  

@Rex - But which one of the internets? It's all so confusinating!?

Masked and Anonymo6Us 12:49 PM  

Death masks and giant octopi? Day-um. Makes me (slightly) sorry I missed out on the Olympic shutdown. That octopus has mighty unusually big eyeballs... looks more like a many-legged frog with a big butt. Curious... did they have other events besides beach volleyball this year?

Puz was great. 31's GiLD comment was outstanding. Reminds me -- wanted LIPSTICKONAPIG as an extra themer. Speaking of which, was extra sorry old Sarah didn't get the Veep ticket nod again. Give her a break. Bet she pretty much knows what magazines she reads, by now.

Lewis 1:16 PM  

A smooth as silk polished puzzle. Just right for Monday. Thank you, Gareth! Good writeup, Rex.

Sandy K 1:29 PM  

HIYA Gareth!

Did not realize that Gareth Bain was THE Gareth Bain- our constuctor-ELECT.


retired_chemist 1:36 PM  

Good one, Gareth! Solid Monday and definitely not boring.

Easy here - would have been under 4 minutes (would have been my record) had I not put WHEW where PHEW should be. word-by-word check started sequentially with 1A, then went in reverse sequence from 57D. So it was at the end of it all that I found 10D WHIL, and who in Crossworld doesn't know it's PHIL?

GELDings are castrated stallions, and the term is in fairly common use. Use it as a mnemonic to rule out GILD,although that is confusable with GILT, an animal which also has no testicles (although she comes by it painlessly - she's a young sow).

Per request, a video of "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life". Google finds several others also.

Unknown 2:02 PM  

Very fun Monday - the best one in a while. I also wanted step ITUP, which slowed me down a bit for ONTHEWHOLE.

Thanks, Gareth.

jae 2:36 PM  

@loren -- Thanks from me too (@Geometricus) for adding to my vocabulary. I must admit that for a brief moment I thought exactly what you wanted me to think.

Bird 3:04 PM  

Found this one easy and pleasurable – thanks Doc. As I solved I circled a few clues and noted one comment in the sideline.

5A: DEBIT is a plus (deposit).
18A: Since when is an OCEAN LINER a luxury craft? All classes are invited to sail.
22A: Give the most votes? What about Get the most votes?
45A: I always thought a critter was a small animal, like a squirrel. But Webster defines critter as a beast. Live and learn.
53A: I thought POWDER (as a noun) was too generic a term for make-up, but, “Powder my nose” is a real expression. And she will fard in the “Powder room.”
13D: All witches have WARTY noses?
51D: STAVEs are the strips of wood that make the barrel. HOOPs hold the wooden barrel together.

Nothing personal, but Brian May was much, much better than the Spice Girls. Awesome guitar solo.

@lms – I did a double-take at “farding”. LOL.

Caution – Blue comment ahead.

Gold balls are definitely better than blue ones.

sanfranman59 3:40 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

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

Mon 6:11, 6:49, 0.91, 13%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:34, 3:41, 0.97, 38%, Easy-Medium

Sfingi 4:00 PM  


Zwei Herzen im Dreivierteltakt ...
Ein Viertel Früling und ein Viertel Wein,
Ein Viertel Liebe..
2 hearts beat in 3/4 time...
1 part spring, one part wine, one part love...

@Bird - used to be called face POWDER.

The trouble with geldings (sounds like the name of a book) is that you can't put them out to stud, or sell them for such. The trouble with gilding the lily is you can't improve on nature, so throw out the make up. Maybe.

Satine 4:09 PM  


Is that a no-no for a puzzle?

chefbea 4:20 PM  

My mother use to call the red stuff you put on your cheeks - rouge. Now it's called blush.

Bird 4:29 PM  

@Sfingi - I did not know that, thanks.

This whole make-up thing reminds me of a scene from a comedy skit with Milton Berle. Someone shouts, "Make Up!" then someone else slams a giant powder puff into Uncle Miltie's face.

JenCT 4:30 PM  

Remember the goof on Sarah Palin called "Going Rouge?"

Liked the puzzle a lot; same nits already mentioned.

Thanks, Gareth.

Sparky 5:13 PM  

Also wHEW before PHEW. @Loren. You sent me to the dictionary. Thanks. Thanks @retired_chemist for the clip. Lovely puzzle Gareth. Very funny write up Rex. Good start to the week.

chefwen 5:40 PM  

My Food Lover's Companion has four entries for cocoa - cocoa butter, cocoa mix, cocoa nibs and cocoa powder. Cocoa mix cannot be a substitute for cocoa powder in recipes.

mac 5:43 PM  

GREAT Monday puzzle. With both Hiya and cocoa powder I thought: England!

Doesn't Moulin Rouge look nice in the grid?

@LMS: you got me laughing and double-checking!

Where was the Who?

Anonymous 6:16 PM  

Six is a perfect number (9 down). The sum of its factors except for the number itself( 1+ 2 + 3) equals the number. 28 is another one. Exciting for a retired math teacher but unfortunately the clue was "perfect" number, ten.

chefbea 6:40 PM  

@chefwen use to have the food lover's companion!! Use to quote things from that book on my radio show.

retired_chemist 9:30 PM  

@ anon 6:16 - how is 28 such a number? 7 + 2 + 2 + 1 = 14.

retired_chemist 9:35 PM  

@ Anon - never mind. it isn't just the prime factors. Wikipedia explains it.

sanfranman59 10:02 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation. 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 6:16, 6:49, 0.92, 17%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:32, 3:41, 0.96, 33%, Easy-Medium

Mike 11:43 AM  

My fastest ever solve time on the iPad app.

Spacecraft 2:03 PM  

Y'all must have a ton of respect for Mr. (sorry, Dr.) Bain. Wonder if he's any relation to Barbara. Anyway, the theme is cute enough, but come on: a vowel sequence? III, no matter how quaintly clued? AEIOU? Hey, Y just called, he wants his vowelness back. And shouldn't 56d be spelled EYEING? I guess the rest of it--save ALII and EPEE--is pretty good. Easy for me because of the gimme Monday-style clues. Overall not too bad.

Captchas brutal today; fifth one, finally, legible.

DMGrandma 3:52 PM  

Nice way start the I got it all, but this was no super easy puzzle for me-too many names I didn't know and probably won't remember, especially in the NE where they combined with two cross referencing non-clues. I was also slowed down by wanting "bash" to refer to some kind of a wild party, which was reinforced by SLAM. Other temporary error was IveGoTIT. On the other hand, if I complete a Friday or Saturday, I can rest assured it will be rated "for crossword neophytes"! Ah well, I still enjoy doing them!. One short pause as I never can remember the difference between ALII and ALIa. Beyond that, I've always cooked with COCOA, so adding POWDER seemed made up, but all the comments above proved me wrong. Got the reveal, then had to search out what it revealed, so nice job there.

@Ginger. Caught the World Team Finals yesterday. New to me, and I had to Google to understand the scoring!

Dirigonzo 6:12 PM  

I did this puzzle shortly after putting the finishing touches on yesterday's extravaganza (hey, there was a comment after mine so I'm not the only one who took two days to finish!) and I did really well on the MAKEUPTEST. Only writeover was ALIa, but I needed all of the crosses for FASO. To Gareth Bain I say, "ENCORE"!

DMGrandma 7:26 PM  

Just looked back at today's comment only to discover it got butchered by technology. I started with "nice way to start the week, and went on with the comment about ALII. Somehow the word "week" got replaced by a previous post! How does it do that? At any rate, just wanted to let you know I haven't gone completely zany!

Now to try again with the Captcha '"Homvice" - sounds like the police are on the trail.

Solving in Seattle 8:14 PM  

Like @Diri, I was in the Et ALIa chorus until TRaPLETIME didn't work. Otherwise liked this Monday puz with a clever theme.

Cluing for ONTHEWHOLE seemed iffy. Whatever.

Still basking in yesterday's Seahawks win over the Cowboys. Looks like a promising football season.

Ginger 10:07 PM  

As has been said, this was a nice way to start the week. I particularly liked all the critter references. I have seen 17-A as either ALII or ALIA, so I'm assuming that both are correct.?? However, the very best part of today's puzzle was OFL's write-up. I'm still laughing at the mental picture of a stallion with a golden twosome.

@SIS - The Hawks are looking good, and so aree Dawgs.

@DMGrandma - I've missed team tennis, but I hope it catches on.

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