Congo feeder / SAT 6-13-15 / Mostly women Olympic sport familiarly / Foursome in Mahler's Symphony of Thousand / Ultra-environmental policy / Putting phone down for sec in textspeak / 1973 self-titled album / Bent for collecting curios / Singer who was coach on four seasons of Voice / Miniaturizing device in Fantastic Voyage / New York City theater where Cinemascope debuted

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Constructor: Brad Wilber and Doug Peterson

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: VIRTU (48D: Bent for collecting curios) —
1. knowledge or love of or taste for fine objects of art.
2. Objects of art, especially fine antique objets d'art, considered as a group. (
• • •

Well, it's Brad and Doug, so of course it's very good, but I made a few more faces and shrugged a few more shoulders at this grid than I typically do at a Brug Wilberson creation. I'm used to tough, bordering on esoteric, cluing with this these guys, but usually I know, or at least am familiar with, all of the answers once they're filled in. But today … I've followed football in one way or another since I was 8 years old and I somehow managed never ever to hear of the concept TAXI SQUAD (17A: Group of practice-only N.F.L. players). So while I was able to put the SQUAD part together pretty easily, the TAXI part got a little dicey. Specifically, I didn't know the "T"; I guessed the "T"; I also don't know what a Riemann ZETA function in, but ZETA is a Greek letter, so I went with that. That Greek-letter fact was literally the only reason I chose "T." I could just as easily, perhaps more easily, chosen "M." So that freaked me out a little. I also didn't know a person could *be* a CORDON BLEU. I thought it was just a school or a way of preparing chicken. So that Julia Child clue knocked me around too.

Then there were the twin WTF answers down below: SYNCHRO (41D: Mostly-women Olympics sport, familiarly) and VIRTU (48D: Bent for collecting curios). The former … I have never heard, so when the clue says "familiarly," I have to take that to mean "if you actually participate in synchronized swimming or are a family member of someone who does or possibly a synchronized swimming commentator, in which case you probably participated in the sport at some point, so don't really need to be listed separately." I cannot imagine someone asking, "You gonna watch the SYNCHRO, dude?" And VIRTU … I thought that word had something to do with manliness, but that's just the (stupid useless) Latin root. Does collecting "curios" make you manly? Has anyone used that word in that sense in a century later than the 19th? The esoterica hurt a little today. As did the REGIFT / RERUNS crossing. Otherwise, the grid was both smooth and zesty, like a fine guacamole.

Here's how I got into the grid. You can see the MAXISQUAD error already in place, but I counterbalanced that muff by popping both FINERY and HYATT off just one letter each:

Between early MAXISQUAD troubles and late SYNCHROVIRTU troubles, I mostly made steady, Saturday-like progress, with few real hangups. I did, however, have to fight through a pretty funny cross-referencing mishap. I got to 31A: Alert at 52-Down and decided to go down and see what 52-Down was all about—52D: 1970s-'80s sitcom locale. So with O---R in place at 31A, I felt oddly comfortable throwing down ORDER / MEL'S for those two answers. I see in retrospect that ORDER is not really a good example of an "Alert," but it felt close enough for horseshoes. If Mel shouts "ORDER!" (maybe…) he's alerting Dingy or Flo or Alice that the ORDER is ready. Or so I sort of reasoned. But I saw quickly that the crosses on ORDER just wouldn't work, so I went with the next 70s-80s sitcom 4-letter workplace I could think of: WKRP. The alert there, of course, is ON AIR.

That'll do. See you tomorrow.
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

    [Follow Rex Parker on Facebook and Twitter]

    P.S. YODA does not speak like Claudius in "Hamlet." I see where the clue's going, what with holding the verb til the end and all, but that clue is painfully forced.


    jae 12:04 AM  

    Medium for me too and just about right for a Sat.  Some zip, some crunch, some nice misdirects, not too much gooey glue, liked it.  Good one guys.

    Nice touches: YODA tied to HAMLET, recent Hall of Fame inductee RINGO, the excellent WKRP, and saying UBANGI is kinda fun.

    WOE: VIRTU:  Curios is not the first thing to pop up on Google.

    Oops:  Ray in a clue and an answer? However, they are different kinds of RAYs?

    Whirred Whacks 12:20 AM  

    My favorite synchro joke: "If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do the others have to drown too?"

    Actually, the synchros I know are in very good shape. They often have to hold their breath for 30-45 seconds underwater while exerting themselves in their balletic routines. (The Stanford Synchros have a practice at the same time as one of my masters swimming workouts, and I see bits and pieces of their numbers.)

    I think this was one of my very best weeks for total combined time for the Monday through Saturday puzzles: under two hours for all six. I think one reason is that I skipped the Sunday puzzle and then faced the week with a fresher, more enthusiastic brain.

    Enjoy your weekends!

    Anonymous 3:01 AM  

    The NW corner was infuriating for me. I was desperate for 1A to be CARBONTAX (better answer, I say!) which happened to work perfectly with ROXY and ONT (instead of WIS --- which, meh, same general area) only furthur confirming my wrong suspicion.

    That I've never once heard the term TAXISQUAD in my life didn't help either.

    The rest of the puzzle fell 1000x easier than that corner.

    MDMA 3:23 AM  

    ZETA was a personal gimme, as part of the Riemann hypothesis, usually considered the "most important unresolved problem in pure mathematics" as Wikipedia puts it. Your mileage may vary. That opened up the NW, suggesting ZERO_____ in an ecological context, which led to OTIS and AMYS and ROXY.

    One problem is that "cOOS" is equally plausible as GOOS for 24 Across "Bits of baby talk", since it's not clear if the baby is talking or being talked to. However UBANcI is less phontetically plausible than UBANGI.

    Mostly a breeze except for the SE, where the utterly obscure VIRTU held up progress instead of serving as a foothold into that section. Wikipedia gives an altogether different literally Machiavellian definition, which seems a little more familiar.

    The YODA clue was fun, Rex's PS just sounds fusty.

    John Child 3:31 AM  

    This hammered me - I had to cheat to finish. Fourteen writeovers in the end, with floor ex for SYNCHRO being the worst problem.

    Great puzzle!

    Anonymous 3:35 AM  

    With the exception of a challenging northwest corner, this was a relatively simple
    Saturday puzzle. Much easier than yesterday's puzzle.

    What's pudding and ice cream for one is spinach and horse radish for another:

    Still, a little disappointed - enjoy a little more resistance on the Sabbath.

    mac 5:55 AM  

    Wonderful puzzle! Thanks Brad and Doug, I enjoyed solving this puzzle on a boat cruising the Danube. We just arrived in Visegrad, then on to Vienna.

    I had "hotel" at 23D for a while, that slowed things down, and started out with "food" at 12D. Very nice mix of clues/answers.

    John Child 6:02 AM  

    And since I've been away from the blog for a couple of days, CONGRATULATIONS to @Lewis!

    George Barany 6:14 AM  

    Wonderful puzzle by @Doug Peterson and @Brad Wilber. TAXI_SQUAD was one of my early footholds. Someone else will have to confirm on the Google, but as I learned it in pre-internet days, some wealthy football team owner put his "extra" players on the payroll of a cab company that he also owned. "Fantastic Voyage" was the memorable film wherein the sensational Raquel Welch, wearing an all-white outfit, was brought down to size as part of a nanosurgical (a word that had not yet been coined at the time) team.

    Of course, the chemist in me thought the clue for OXIDE was (sub)lime, but the pop culture clueless in me wonders whether CEELO_GREEN (not even sure I parsed her name right) is "green paint." It was fun to see ASSES in the grid and "butt" as a clue, and the clues for EXAM and for SOUTH_POLE were brilliantly misdirectional.

    On a different note, I hope to see some of you at tomorrow's Minnesota Crossword Tournament. Please contact me if you need more information.

    Jim Walker 6:34 AM  

    Just loved the puzzle. Great cluing and fresh answers. Thanks Doug and Brad.

    Any puzzle that reminds me of WKRP in Cincinnati will always put a smile on my face. If you google "WKRP turkeys" you will find a transcript of some of the quotes from the legendary episode. "As God is my judge, I thought turkeys could fly". Golden.

    Thomaso808 7:02 AM  

    @George your pop culture cluelessness is apparent, as CEELO is a guy! Funny comment, but I don't think any actual person can qualify as "green paint" even if their last name is GREEN.

    This was on the difficult side for me, but I got through it. Looking back, the answers were all doable and the cluing was fair. TAXISQUAD was familiar to me but I did not know its origin. I looked it up and it comes from the great Paul Brown, who actually had his taxi company hire a bunch of borderline NFLers to practice against the Browns back in the day.

    I'm with Rex - did not know a person could be CORDONBLEU.

    I loved the YODA connection to HAMLET. I coached four daughters in soccer and in their earliest years, in the best spirit of AYSO, my mantra was "Try your best!" Years later my oldest daughter chose for her senior yearbook quote the famous YODA line "Do or do not. There is no try." A better mantra for an adult.

    The puzzle had some great long answers and good fill all around. Really good Saturday!

    Loren Muse Smith 7:13 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Loren Muse Smith 7:14 AM  

    @MDMA – I had a dnf because of "uganci/coo."

    @Whirred Whacks, I swam Masters, too, and given the choice synchro or swim? Swim every time.

    Dave Barry SYNCHRO Experience

    My Masters practice happened right after the kayakers had their session in the Y, and I tell ya, I know I'm going to step on some toes here – I'm sure there are perfectly lovely kayakers who read this blog - but boy did those kayakers in Chapel Hill have a bit of an attitude. When I wasn't dodging the ends of their kayaks as they left the area, I felt like I was dodging their disdain for us mere swimmers. My lane-mates and I talked about them between sets the whole time, and boy, did we show them. Buncha water sport snobs.

    Every year in NC we hosted not a pig ROAST, but a Pig Pickin'. Our last one was the time my husband was going around introducing a new neighbor as "Ken Norton," only to find out a couple of hours into it that the poor guy's name was actually Tony Lemmo. Tony never corrected him, probably too stunned, and the whole event was mystifying on so many levels.

    I'm still obsessed with eye rhymes and DOVE stopped me cold. What? That DOVE dove? Move!

    Early goofs:

    "roll" for EXAM
    "green _ _" for ZERO WASTE (Hey, Frank, my new ad man friend – "ZERO WASTE?" There's a slogan for our product line, "Nudge.")
    "Mel's" WKRP – Rex, we're legion this morning, I'm sure.

    "cul" CIG. (As in va te faire en... ) Well, whoever was mean to my friend, @Tita recently. right back atcha, butty. @Tita – last night you said, "@old timer... As one who often admonished to "not feed the trolls", and then ignores her own advice, I agree with you. It's when they bully one of my friends that I find it hardest." I'm right there with you, friend. A reader recently sent me an article pertaining to anonymice, and here's part of it:

    "...trolling is a status-enhancing activity: by attracting readers’ attention, upsetting people, sparking heated debates, and even gaining approval from others, trolls can feel important, perhaps much more than they are in their real lives. Thus trolling is yet another internet activity that promotes narcissistic motives, since trolls may be expected to be far less successful in attracting people’s attention in the physical world."

    I agree with @old timer from yesterday afternoon – anonymous posters with fake but consistent names are firmly a part of this community; their personalities EMERGE, and I value most of their comments.

    A "business" of FERRETs? Where does this stuff come from? Get outta my bidness, man. Ringo and Yoda are biters.. I always have to run and check a list of other animal groups. Seems that it’s "cowardice" of dog curs, I swear. Hey - there's another eye rhyme for you : a cowardice of anonymice.

    Rex – no pangram scrabble scramble to give us RAMJET, ROUT, TON, JIB

    Wouldn'ta bothered me, though. Of course it wouldn't've. I'm president and CEO of the Lars G. Doubleday fan club. Good one, guys.

    Mohair Sam 7:39 AM  

    Medium Saturday for us. Tons of fun, clean as can be. How out of it are we? Well CORDONBLEU was nearly a gimme here, and we had to fill every letter of STANLEE. That's how out of it we are.

    Surprised that football fan @Rex didn't know TAXISQUAD, it opened the puzzle for us. Loved UNIBROW.

    UBANGI? he asked. Ubetcha, she replied.

    Glimmerglass 7:44 AM  

    I loved this one. YODA speaking in Elizabethan English made me laugh out loud (and that may actually be the source of Yoda's style). I wrote in TAXI SQUAD off the Q. But I'm old, and perhaps the phrase is no longer current.

    Anonymous 8:08 AM  

    @LMS, perhaps for the problem we discussed earlier in the week you could avail yourself of the mAXISQUAD?

    (ps--if you had "uganci/coo" that means you also had OgOES?)

    r.alphbunker 8:15 AM  

    Really nice Saturday puzzle. There was so much good stuff that I was inspired to annotate the puzzle

    I will mention here that I loved the {Mostly-women Olympics sport, familiarly} clue. Found this SNL spoof as I was searching for evidence that there was ever a men's synchronized swimming event at the Olympics. All I found was that some people are advocating that it be added.

    Name that tune 8:30 AM  

    If I haven't made it clear to everyone on the planet yet, I am friends with all crossword constructors, or at least all constructors who make good puzzles. That means I have 4 friends. Having started with that dubious shout-out to Brad and Doug, I feel, because they are my friends, I can gently chide them for using such outlandish obscurities in their puzzle. As usual, by "obscurities," I mean "things I haven't heard of." So if you reference a character from a dime-store novel from the 40's, that is a GREAT CLUE. If you reference weird things like American football, or synchronized swimming, or a really important math principle, then that is just esoterica. (Oh wait, I said I've followed football my whole life. I guess just not that closely.)
    This puzzle truly tested my VIRTU.

    Dorothy Biggs 8:35 AM  

    Normal for a Saturday for me. The turning point was FERRET...why? Because, well...I have no idea. It just seemed like FERRET ought to go there. I have no other reason.

    I'm with Rex on the TAXISQUAD. I do my fair share of listening to sports talk radio and hearing (especially now) the in depth coverage of the spring OTAs and taking snaps with the first team or getting relegated to the second team, or being part of the scout team...but never have I heard of the taxi squad.

    I wanted Manxman to be an X-man. But he's a GAEL. If he wore a kilt that would be incredibly poetic. Kilt/dress...GAEL/gal....get it? Never mind...

    I love Mahler. I listen to the symphonies all the time...but I've never managed to warm up to the 8th, so as much as I'm a fan, I didn't know about the oboe quartet. I got it easy enough because I know Mahler...and a quartet of oboes makes perfect sense.

    Any of you live in Cincinnati? Does WKRC still exist?

    And I believe ANNODOMINI is not the standard of time any more. ACE is. You may correct me if I'm wrong...

    Doris 8:45 AM  

    Antique dealers frequently advertise that they deal in OBJETS DE VIRTU.

    Anonymous 8:47 AM  

    @NCA pres: I am correcting you because you are wrong. We are in the "CE," or "common era." BCE is "before the common era." ACE, would be, maybe, after the second coming or the apocalypse?

    Anonymous 8:48 AM  



    I've been reading your comments for a while and I've noticed something over and over -- you want to believe you know everything. And when you don't, horror of horrors, it's someone else's fault. "Taxi Squad" is a common phrase, despite your not knowing it. "Synchro" is also used often enough to describe the event, so the word "familiarly" in the clueing was not out of bounds.

    But I guess since you are an "expert," you are entitled.

    Go ahead and delete by comment. I suspect you do that with anyone who disagrees with you anyway.


    Danield 8:48 AM  

    Hey Rex-- good summary. I def agree with most of your points and enjoy seeing how you worked your way through this one.

    Solid Sat puzz with a lot to love here. However I stared at that southeast corner on and off for about an hour (Geez, shades of yesterday!) Was soooo sure of what I had in place--VIRT-- but couldn't get it to work. Finally had to resort to a dictionary cheat to get VIRTU and then see that SOUTHPOLE (I want to gripe a tiny bit about that clue) would get 'er done. Alas, a new streak starts tomorrow.

    Dorothy Biggs 8:51 AM  

    @anon 8:47: Thank you for offering your correction so tactfully.

    Mike C. 8:53 AM  

    @Jeff @ 8:48: You may be right in everything you say about Rex, but give credit where credit is due: he has made this an open forum, and he neither reads nor deletes comments. People who disagree with him post here every day (see Porker, Rex [who some believe is Parker in disguise]) and their comments remain in the ether in perpetuity. So rant away!

    Anonymous 8:55 AM  

    Enjoyed this puzzle because it challenged me in more than a few spots. I tried MELS (the place Flo & Alice worked) for WKRP, but that fell apart very quickly. VIRTU didn't make sense (still doesn't) but I got it from the crosses. I missed UBANGI (had COOS for GOOS) but guessed the correct spelling when I thought I'd finished the puzzle but the app didn't agree. Favorite word: UNIBROW.

    weingolb 9:00 AM  

    Just completed an hour of false starts to see that the clues are neither Celebrity (42a) nor Legendary gallery (53d).
    At least I'm not puzzling over what Dessert plant crosses Julia Child.

    Jack Ass 9:10 AM  

    Does anyone else find it strange that Rex was upset about JACKASSES last week but has nothing to say about ASSES (similarly clued) today? Of the two, I'd consider JACKASSES to be more genteel.

    Anonymous 9:14 AM  

    If Julia is CORDON BLEU, What does that make our friend John?

    Groucho Marx 9:16 AM  

    From "A Day At The Races:" Tony says: "I think he's a UBANGI." Hackenbush puns: "Well, I'll get the hammer and u-bang-i that right off."

    AliasZ 9:17 AM  

    I would be AMYS of my duty [did I just say "duty?"] if I didn't mention that we all love pluralized proper names: the Adamses, Poehlers, Winehouses and Roloffs. Today's winner is AMYS. Tan and others indeed: ochre, ecru, beige, drab, khaki, olive, flesh tone, etc.

    My favorite Tan: Chinese composer Tan Dun (born 1957), creator of much music for organic materials but never an organ (tongue, liver, kidney, lung, gallbladder or pancreas). [Alert: you may need to run to the facilities after listening to his Water Music, and will cause dishpan hands for percussionists.] He is also responsible for the score of "Crouching EXOTIC PET, Hidden Dragon." That movie did dragon. And on.

    But I am still stuck on trying to figure out why our AMYS are tan. Did they stay out in the sun too long? I know the Long Island Lolita did. Actually, AMYS is hiding inside a gem. Pull letters 1, 2, 6 and 7 from "amethyst" and you get AMYS. Hidden AMYS, crouching boa construer. Amethyst is the wrong color, but once you dig AMYS out, one of them is Tan.

    Are the numbers 1, 2, 6 and 7 significant in any way? If we use them for "diamond" we get DIND, for "sapphire" we get SAIR, but these are not words I have heard before. Cool! Let me put them into a NYT puzzle with clues like "1267 for sapphire" etc. Will will love it by virtu of their freshness.

    By the way, cool puzzle, Lars G. Doubleday -- except for AMYS. Thanks.

    Anonymous 9:23 AM  

    When I was at university, a UBANGI was chugging a beer by placing the entire rim of the cup inside your mouth, lifting it from the table that way, and tilting your head back to drain the cup. It was a prized skill. I went to a classy school.

    Bird 9:26 AM  

    Ouch. Finished, but with help.

    For 1A I was thinking no waste but could come up with ZERO

    For 15A I had carnivore then meat eater (off OTIS). EXOTIC PET was the last thing on my mind.

    French chef fits at 12D

    TAXI SQUAD cannot be a thing. I love football and cannot recall ever hearing that term

    EMERGE (to me) is a lame answer. I had "give up"

    As a family we enjoy looking for STAN LEE's cameo


    Anonymous 9:34 AM  

    I work part-time at a trophy shop. Yesterday was one of the busiest days of the year and two synchro swim groups got their plaques updated be me that morning. Got SYNCHRO off the S, thanks to that. Also guessed ROXY to start which gave me TAXISQUAD off the X. The SE took fifteen minutes of staring, but it fell in a minute, once I guessed SOUTHPOLE.

    Steve O. 9:36 AM  

    Man, I wanted it to be "synswim" so bad.

    Also, DNF because I'm a terrible person.

    Haiku Nerd 9:43 AM  


    Unknown 9:45 AM  

    Easy medium for Mrs. Kid and me. Not much thrashing. ZETA, a gimme, got us going.

    @weingolb We'll cop to tate and foGg before ARGO! As @R.alph says, RTFC.
    @jeff Your comment is safe. Rex, famously, doesn't read his comments. He does read his tweets.

    But not without some transient wrongness:
    end and Can before CIG
    sexY before GORY
    fortlee before TEANECK

    VIRTU? SERGES? I'll go look em up.

    Excellent cluing. 1:20. Stress-free, easy medium solving experience with a medium time.

    jberg 9:50 AM  

    Somehow I saw ZERO WASTE right away; true, carbon tax fits, but that's not as ultra a policy. Then I got ART FORGER of the R, so I was feeling really proud of myself -- until I decided that, being on a roll, I could put in CARNIVORE at 15A. Fortunately, the crosses fixed that pretty quickly.

    I wrote a paper about Patrice Lumumba back in grad school, so UBANGI was easy -- but I made up for that by not being able to think of a desert plant with a U in it for far too long. Worse, I was remembering that radio station as KPRS (don't watch TV, so I remembered it purely by reputation). That would have been fixed by WAGE, except that I wanted celt instead of GAEL, even though I saw right away that it didn't work.

    Enjoyable puzzle, but on the easy side, even if I didn't know BRB.

    Anyone else have trouble before DESTINY?

    @MDMA, @Rex wasn't trying to sound fusty, just showing off that he knew which character spoke that line.

    @George and others -- that story may be right, but I grew up hearing a different one: that since the extra players were not allowed on the team bus, they came to practice by TAXI. That was in the old days, when they weren't paid much!

    Stan Lee 10:09 AM  

    Here are all of my cameos:

    Stan Lee Cameos

    Anonymous 10:10 AM  

    I confidently had ZEROTRACE for 1a.

    edwords 10:23 AM  

    For all you alleged football fans who have never heard the term "taxi squad," you really ought to firm up your fan bona fides by reading Jerry Kramer's "Instant Replay," one of the best sports diaries ever. Also, my first thought on the 70/80s sitcom was MASH, which fits, and, since I had the terminal R at the end of the referenced clue, I had as RADAR for a while (a very loose interpretation of "alert" but if you pay enough grammatical tricks, you could make a case for it. Well, not really. But still.)

    Ludyjynn 10:27 AM  

    Thanks to RINGO, RON, OTIS and AMY for giving me a toehold at the outset.

    @jberg, I had 'despair' before DESTINY; SWINE alleviated the problem.

    Lots of writeovers: Min before WIS; hotel before HYATT; vette before SKATE; out before LIB; att before ETD; latin before ROAST.

    Liked the long down doublestacks. Just watched "Julie and Julia" on tv for the umpteenth time. Meryl Streep nailed the role. And the rapport between her and Stanley Tucci as Paul Child, her biggest booster, was a thing of beauty to behold. When the film first came out, Streep and Nora Ephron, the director, were on "Charlie Rose" for an extensive interview. Very interesting to hear them discuss the process of developing the project, as well as how Sreep worked to embody he spirit of Julia Child and not do an impersonation, per se.

    Thanks, BW, DP and WS. It's always nice to EMERGE victorious on a Saturday.

    Carola 10:27 AM  

    T-U-F-F! Very happy to finish. Began confidently in the NE, having learned CEELOGREEN from previous puzzles, and maintained traction through the NW but faltered on my way down to the SOUTH POLE (couldn't believe VIRTU, couldn't see SYNCHRO - thought it might be some kind of -tHRO). The incorrect ad "rem" and lime as a "shaDE" kept me from seeing HAMELT, EXIST, and DESTINY. Finally got the ONAIR connection and the mists parted over FERRET and UNIBROW. Fun puzzle, super workout.

    Unknown 10:35 AM  

    Rex, the clue for YODA doesn't say "Someone who speaks like the SPEAKER OF THE quote..." It says, "Someone who speaks like the quote..." And that's a very appropriate clue, in my opinion.

    Anonymous 10:43 AM  

    @Loren: You are this board's preeminent show-off. Accusing others of posting in order to feel a sense of self-importance sounds like projecting.

    Bob Kerfuffle 10:44 AM  

    Fine puzzle.

    One write-over, 32 A, MANTA before SKATE.

    Memory elicited by SYNCHRO: Twenty-five or more years ago I was visiting England, staying with an ordinary family in the West Midlands. Once on TV was one of those talent competitions featuring young people. A group of young girls put on a performance of "Synchronised Movement." Not balletic, to my eyes not the least artistic, just synchronized movement, on stage, no water involved. When done in North Korea, this sort of thing is a bit frightening; in England, it was just weird!

    J.D. KaPow 10:45 AM  

    Agree with Seth that the Yoda clue is fine.

    Funny that for me, TAXISQUAD was the first thing I put in the grid, without any hesitation or doubt. Not without annoyance, though: in the NFL, that group of players is officially called the "Practice Squad", at least nowadays.

    Good puzzle; fun solve.

    JC66 10:48 AM  

    per wikipedia

    In sports, the scout team, also referred to as a practice team, taxi squad, practice squad or practice roster, is a group of players on a team whose task is to emulate future opponents for the featured (or starting) players. Frequently used in American or Canadian Football, these teams consist of less athletically developed or less skilled players. However, unlike a traditional scrimmage, scout teams often have to learn a variety of different football playbooks in order to simulate the tendencies of future opponents.

    Cleveland Browns coach Paul Brown invented the "taxi squad," a group of promising scouted players who did not make the roster but were kept on reserve. The team owner Mickey McBride put them on the payroll of his taxi company, although they did not drive cabs.

    Nancy 10:51 AM  

    Just loved this puzzle and raced to come here and say it. Meaning I haven't read anyone's comments yet. So much to like: SHRINK RAY, ART FORGER, and the fabulous REGIFT. Never heard SYNCHRO as an abbrev., so I stared at ---CHRO for the longest time. My only complaint: like Rex, I didn't know you could "be" a CORDON BLEU; thought you could only be a CORDON BLEU alum or graduate. But it came in from the crosses.

    As a New Yorker, I had a huge advantage in the NW, since ROXY was a gimme. (There are no other 4-letter movie theaters.) I have a funny ROXY story, as it produced my first unintended Malapropism. (I guess all Malapropisms are unintended by definition, right?) Anyway,I was telling someone that a movie was playing at the ROXY, then reconsidered and said: "No, not the ROXY. That's been torn down. It's playing at some other splush theater." (For anyone who doesn't get which two words I was mushing together, I'll come back and tell you much later tonight.)

    Now to go back and read all of your comments on this thoroughly delightful puzzle,

    Anonymous 11:02 AM  

    @Nancy, you live in New York??!! We hadn't heard.

    old timer 11:07 AM  

    It's always interesting to see how something that seems easy to some is very difficult for others. I rate today's puzzle as *easy* (for a Saturday). I usually find with the tougher puzzles that the NW corner is the hardest, and the SE corner, the easiest. I had ARGO EYRE and (after rejecting "Celt", GAEL. Which gave me WAGE and therefore WKRP. CIG led to REGIFT and the corner was done. In the NE, I *knew* UBANGI because there used to be a Ubangi-Shari on the map. DARES came early and only OBOES could fit, which gave YODA and YUCCA.

    That left the NW, ZETA seemed possible and clearly the answer to 1A was going to be ZERO-something. OTIS I knew, and ROXY I knew I wanted, So as soon as I figured out that Land O Lakes (my favorite butter) was made in WIS, not Min., I had TAXI SQUAD. I've heard that term, though not often. With 15A I had been looking for some word or phrase equivalent to "man-eater", but the crosses made EXOTICPET EMERGE.

    Really, no WOES at all, though for a while I confused Jean de Florette with Jean de la Fontaine and was looking for "poverty" instead of DESTINY. One of my daughters got to see that Pagnol film in French class, and because she loved it I bought and read Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources, and loved them. Chilling stories by one of the greatest authors/filmmakers of my lifetime, better enjoyed in French but first-rate in the English translation, too.

    "EMERGE" is exactly what kids do when someone calls out Olly Olly Oxen Free during a game of hide and seek, or when Mom calls out "time for cookies!"

    Maruchka 11:08 AM  

    Step away from the puzzle! Grinding in early a.m., took a time out, came back, 3 googles (TAXISQUAD, CEELOGREEN, VIRTU), done. I rate (not irately at all) medium-difficult. Woulda had mo' fun if YODA (last fill)/HAMLET (first fill) were more in SYNC.

    Fave of the day - FERRET. Can just see them now, dressed in their best Armani. Where's STAN LEE?

    @Whirred, @LMS, @all swimmers - I used to do SYNCHRO way back in the day. Still do some solo moves, badly. It's fun, and very relaxing at the end of full laps. There's a group called Honeys and Bears in Harlem, senior SYNCHROs. Inspiring. Here's a video link:

    @r.alph - There was a sweet documentary on a school SYNCHRO team that includes a guy. Can't remember the title. He's the Johnny Weir of the sync world.

    Teedmn 11:27 AM  

    So yesterday I pledged to keep my iPad out of reach in order to force myself to think rather than cheat. I started solving at the HOUR of 7:06 AM. The first answer I was sure enough of was RON. Then RINGO. ENTER added to that made me think pORn for 50D but that's not exactly R-rated fare. At 7:49 AM I noted being halfway done. Taking a break gave me SKATE and led to finishing the NE (with a groan/smile at YODA). It was now 8:39 AM.

    So the NW was left. With AMYS, EXAM, OTIS and TEANECK, it should have been a no-brainer, no? And indeed, I was the no-brainer! But I have an excuse - the Land O'Lakes answer, what's up with that answer? Land O'Lakes was founded in St. Paul, Minnesota. Its current headquarters is in Arden Hills, MN. But WIS is the answer? Sure, there are some Land O'Lakes plants in Wisconsin but ??? So that's where I got the iPad out, put in an M at the start of 5D and got the annoying "wrong" sound and X mark with the little dog-ear in the corner to show one's idiocy for the rest of the solve. Hmph. Put in a W and hit the check button and got the 'okay'. Fuming now, I got ZERO WASTE and ended with EXOTICPED because I was thinking it was maybe a term for being able to dislocate one's jaw and swallow large amounts. A final check button hit let me know that I'm at a much lower point than the SOUTH POLE, intellect-wise, and the rest of all y'all are on the main team, leaving me on the TAXI SQUAD. But I loved FERRETing out SWINE, ART FORGER, BEDS, DOVE and many other clever misdirections. Thanks, BW and DP.

    Horace S. Patoot 11:28 AM  

    I somehow found this Saturday puzzle easier than usual. I listened to "The Prince" on tape while commuting and had VIRTÚ burned into my brain, so I would have loved a Machiavellian clue - where else would I ever have use for that little piece of knowledge but a Saturday crossword?

    Now I'll have to find some way to fit ferrets and curios into the conversation three times today. That'll be a chore.

    joho 11:37 AM  

    I was so happy to finish this as I thought it would be impossible! But little by little the answers EMERGEd each bringing more and more aha moments. Just LOVED this one!

    I got started with CEELOGREEN then got the SE and ultimately worked my way back up the grid to end in the NW corner.

    Someone mentioned Ad res, I had ad hoc before LIB. UgANGa before UBANGI. Dallas, Delmar, DENVER. Tons or writeovers. Thank goodness for my Staples OOPS!

    One of my favorite things I learned today is that FERRETs gather in businesses. Who new?

    Brad and Doug you have done it again! Making beautiful puzzles together was your DESTINY!

    OMG, @Loren, that Dave Barry piece is so ridiculously funny, I was laughing/crying so hard I literally couldn't see to read it!

    Fred Smith 11:46 AM  


    Nancy 11:51 AM  

    Re: Jokes and athleticism on this blog --

    Jokes: Don't miss @Whirred's SYNCHRO joke and @Mohair's UBANGI joke earlier today. Both new, at least to me, and both very funny.

    Athleticism: Someone on this blog told me recently, off-blog, not to expect to find any jocks here, on a CROSSWORD blog, for heaven's sake. Wrong! Let's see. Just from today's postings alone, we've got three SYNCHRO swimmers: @Loren, @Whirred and @Marushka. The first two are Masters swimmers, whatever that means, but certainly it sounds very impressive. Then we have two guys who played basketball with the famous Bill Russell: @mathguy and @Billy C., if memory serves. (Memory often DOESN'T serve, so forgive me if I'm wrong.) And last, but not least, we have the woman who does free mountain climbing with only half her feet on the ledge and her toes dangling over the precipice, AND I THINK SHE SAID NO BLEEPING ROPE! (I'm breaking into hives just thinking about it.) I think that would be our beloved @Leapfinger. If I'm wrong and it's someone else, please forgive me. Anyway, a lot of jocks here!

    Leapfinger 11:53 AM  

    @AliasZ, it remains AMYStery how you come up with all that, but it's always fun when you find a hobby-horse to ride. (I was thinking HUES before I switched to the Tan line.)

    @GeorgeB, Chalk one up for your (sub)lime observation. Terrific! Made me think of the White Cliffs of d'Oeuvre. (OK, I know there's redundancy in that.) Have a great success with your meet!

    This was Fun to solve in so many different ways, just loved it.

    HYATT all of you.

    Carola 11:54 AM  

    @Teedmn - As your Badger neighbor, I knew the town of Land O' Lakes, WIS, from summer vacations "up North" - it's close to the Wisconsin-Michigan border. Interesting for me to learn that the company was founded in St. Paul.

    Johnny Carson 11:55 AM  

    @Nancy, "Mohair's UBANGI joke" is actually an old bit of mine. You'd think he'd at least have the courtesy to cite his sources.

    Master Melvin 12:03 PM  

    TAXI SQUAD was a common usage in pro football until a couple of decades ago. My recollection of the derivation is the owner putting them on the taxi company payroll deal. I think it may predate Paul Brown altho it is the kind of innovation he was known for.

    The official term is now Practice Squad as NFL terminology becomes more bureaucratic (and less colorful). Off season practice sessions of several days duration used to be known as mini-camps, but they are now known as OTA's, for Organized Team Activities, a term only a bureaucrat could love.

    Lewis 12:07 PM  

    Maybe this is where that R rating comes from, with KISSY, ASSES, BEDS, and UBANGI.

    @rex -- excellent writeup showing your mind in puzzle mode.
    @whirred -- Don't give up on Sunday. It may very well win you over.
    @johnchild -- Thank you kindly.
    @M&A -- 6 U's, including that beautiful UBANGI

    As with @joho, bit by bit it opened up. I was sorely tempted to cheat about 2/3 through, but handcuffed that urge, and when that ends with a no-cheat Saturday solve, it is a very good feeling. My favorite clues were DOVE, ANNODOMINI, SWINE, and ARTFORGER. I loved the Latin and French, and the casual and formal. Just a real good Saturday solve. Thanks, guys!

    Teedmn 12:09 PM  

    @Carola, thanks for the new take on Land O'Lakes, legitimatizing the clue. Now I feel so...deflated, with all of my self-righteous ire gone :-).

    wreck 12:09 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    pmdm 12:14 PM  

    NCA President: Mahler wrote 4 oboe lines in the symphony, but he explicitly wanted doubling in the woodwinds if the work was played in a large space. So the "foursome" refers to oboe lines, not the number of oboes that may actually be onstage during a performance.

    wreck 12:16 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    wreck 12:18 PM  

    Male Synchro

    Tita 12:22 PM  

    I so wanted 41D to be SYNCSWIM - I think that's a far superior name. (Hi, @SMO'N)

    DNFd with ZRmA - silly me - I shoulda known that a Greek letter would be much more apropos. But mAXISQUAD sounded so much more like a thing. (Thanks @George B for the derivation, and say hey to my Minnesota friends, ACME, Tom Pepper, et al..)

    But I got through enough to feel moderately superior in getting through a Saturday with only 1 wrong square.

    @mac - are you on the hydrofoil?? We had a wonderful trip from VIenna to Budapest on an aging Russian hydrofoil. What scenery! funny how each passionate group of [insert-passion-here]-ophiles has a subset of ASSES who look down on the others. Then, stir in some New York attitude...
    One summer my friend and I would rollerblade through Central Park on Sundays, when the roads are closed to cars.
    We shared those urban-bucolic roads with joggers and bikers. Though united by a common love of the city, the park, open air, fitness, etc., the bliss would occasionally be punctuated with a biker shouting "Get out of my fucking way you clueless knuckledragger!" to a jogger. Of course, the shouter and the shoutee could be any of the three.

    The FERRET clue totally sunk me. I'm with you, @loren - where indeed?
    On behalf of our @Ellen, I learned that one possible collective for EELS is "Bed of" - that must haunt her dreams!!

    ARTFORGER was great - and reminds me of a favorite book - "I Was Vermeer", by Wynne. An true story about a forger who was not only a great painter, but whose "success" came from getting into the heads of the people he wanted to fool.

    @Jeff - when a blog owner deletes a comment, it says "Comment removed by admin" or some such thing. When you see here "Comment removed by author", it means that the poster who posted it is the one who unposted it. I do it when I reread my own post (after hitting Enter), and find dumb mistakes that will incur wrath of grammar nazi, make me look dumb, or just go on for forever. Obviously, I don't factor in that last condition very often.)

    @r.alph - I love being able to annotate the puzzles as I solve!

    Thanks for a great Saturday, Mssrs. A great puzzle that sparked lots of tangents.

    Lewis 12:31 PM  

    Factoid: Jack Cozen Harel played Flight of the Bumble Bee in 26.1 seconds and is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest OBOE player in the world. That’s 409 notes in 26.1 seconds which is a little over 15 notes per second.

    Quotoid: "If you are in a spaceship that is traveling at the SPEED of light, and you turn on the headlights, does anything happen?" -- Steven Wright

    RnRGhost57 12:40 PM  

    @edwords, nice plug for Jerry Kramer's excellent "Instant Replay," which set the table for the even better "Ball Four" by Jim Bouton.

    @NCA President, I've not lived in the Cincy area for decades, but the last time I visited family there WKRC was still ON AIR.

    mathguy 1:12 PM  

    I went to bed last night with only the NW filled in and having stared at the rest of the clues for quite a while. The Closer also come up dry. When I got up this morning, I expected to have to go to the Internet. It wasn't that long ago that I would consult Dr. Google from five to ten times to get a Friday or a Saturday. But I tried WAGE for "Engage in" which suggested WKRP and the K made me think that the word "shrink" was in 57A. And of course, NOH is the only three-letter theatrical form. Giving me the SE.

    It took a while, but I was able to finish unaided. I have mixed feelings now. I feel smart because I was able to finish a hard puzzle. But I resent several of the clues which I believe crossed the line from cleverly misleading to unfair. YODA. Rex says that Yoda habitually ends his sentences with a verb? CORDONBLEU? VIRTU. The Closer never passes an antique store which is open and she's never seen it. SKATE. A quick check suggests that skates are not rays, although they resemble them.

    JFC 1:53 PM  

    Dear Rex,

    The term TAXI SQUAD for professional football players has been around for a long time, though today it is more commonly referred to as the practice squad.

    However, your ignorance inspired me to look up the origin of that terms, something I have always been too lazy to do. And this is what I found:

    From the Wikipedia Entry on Arthur B. "Mickey" McBride, founder on the Cleveland Browns.... reference the 4th paragraph below: Arthur B. "Mickey" McBride (20 March 1888-10 November 1972) was the founder of the Cleveland Browns professional football team. McBride was a wealthy businessman who made a fortune investing in and operating real estate holdings in Chicago, Cleveland and Florida, in taxicab companies in Cleveland, Akron and Canton, Ohio, in a printing company, and in a horse-racing news wire syndicate, before taking an interest in the fledgling sport of professional football. McBride became a rabid football fan in 1940 after taking in a college football game at the University of Notre Dame where McBride's son was a student. After Dan Reeves rejected his 1942 offer to buy the NFL's Cleveland Rams, in 1944 McBride became involved in Arch Ward's newly created All-America Football Conference. McBride aggressively promoted his new team and spared no expense. He hired Paul Brown when Brown was still coaching at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station during World War II, paying Brown $20,000 per year plus 15% of the profits, plus $1,000 per month until the end of the war. McBride contributed to the lexicon of football with the term "taxi squad." Browns' players who were not on the active roster, due to injury or other reason, were temporarily put on the McBride's payroll as taxi drivers.

    Always looking out for you....


    Masked and AnohnymoUs 1:58 PM  

    The focus of this puz, for m&e, was not SYNCHRO or VIRTU. I swim with the elegance of a boulder towin an airstream, and am about as curio VIRTU as a slug livin in a spitoon. Nope. It was nearby neighbor NOH, that immediately caught my desperate virtu eye. Sweet lil weejectoid. Fascinates the M&A. Bullets:

    * First, I have always considered NOH a magnificently desperate grid entry. It wanted to be NO+{B, D, G, R, S, T, W} soooo bad, but was relegated to bein the last word standin, after fillin in a herd of complexly interconnectin whales.

    * Surprisingly, NOH has Patrick Berry use immunity. In fact, there is a whole puzword hall of fame list of constructioneer stars, who have stooped to include NOH in their grids.

    * NOH gets very little respect in the creative cluing dept. Clues tend to be pretty synchro-virtu-ish. Today's clue included, but oh man, it came oooOoohhhhhh, so close to glory. Better clue: {Teatrical form??} Answer: NO H. You gotta admit: drop the mike; miller time; QED.

    * NOH just puts out all kinds of negative vibes. "Geohrgie, goh toh yohr roohm" reply.

    * NOH looks like it should be a state abbr. North Ohio, sorta. How'bout it Toledo area? Ever consider secedin?


    p.s. Yo, @Lewis. Spot-on count.

    **undie reuse gruntz**

    Anonymous 2:19 PM  

    There were 4 separate levies on my automobile when I bought it. I asked the dealer why, and he said, "When you by a car, TAX IS QUAD."

    GILL I. 2:51 PM  

    This was HARD...I started this late last night and the only thing I could get were the esses at the ends of some of the answers. I blame it on my very full stomach filled with excellent Italian food and a bottle of Poets Row Cab shared by my husband and me.
    Off to bed...
    Woke up at my usual 4am and made a bit of headway. YUCCA/YODA helped me fill in that east coast area. Stared, scratched head, went back to bed.
    Finished this morning with reluctant Google help.
    FERRET was my bugaboo. @B. Kerfuffle introduced me to collective nouns. I know all about a lodge of beavers, a smack of jellyfish and a parcel of penguins but I never heard that FERRETs were business related....I am a FERRET man from 9 to 5.
    I guess I was the only dummy who had OAXACA for where Chipotle was founded. After all, they founded just about everything exciting about Mexican food!
    UNIBROW is just plain mean. Does Frida Kahlo list having lycanthropy in her bio?
    Good luck @George et al in Minnesota tomorrow. Say hi to Andrea for me!

    Anonymous 2:55 PM  

    We have a house near Acadia National Park. When it gets too hot, we open the MAINE VENTS.

    Jim 4:18 PM  

    My friend is an Olympic Bronze Medalist in Synchronized Swimming. We call it Synchro all the time (not that we discuss that much -- but often enough). Per her, either men and women may compete. Women, it seems, float better and are better underwater so no men are good enough.

    Fred Romagnolo 4:23 PM  

    @Tita: the exact same 1 wrong square as you. Unibrow could almost apply to Tyrone Power, called by some the handsomest man in the history of the movies. Didn't know STAN LEE, VIRTU, CEELO GREEN, or "business" for FERRET, but crosses solved the problem. I loved "Fantastic Voyage," but couldn't remember SHRINK RAY. I'm surprised there wasn't more umbrage about UBANGI which was a term of disparagement used in place of the "n" word, by such as W.C.Fields, and Groucho!

    joho 4:34 PM  

    Thanks, @wreck!

    wreck 4:35 PM  

    @ Jim Walker
    'dropping like bags of cement' ......' Oh, the humanity!'

    Michael 5:35 PM  

    I found this a bit easier than usual for a Saturday. (That means that I finished it without a mistake...) It helped that I knew taxi squad and zeta right off. Ceelo Green was my last entry from crosses. Never heard of him (and didn't know that Green was a he until looking at Wikipedia).

    Why is the South Pole "lowest" (even with a question mark). Maybe lowest point on conventional maps, but there is absolutely no reason why this map couldn't be turned upside down (and sometimes is).

    Hartley70 8:40 PM  

    @Nancy, how could you omit @Aketi from your jock list. Ounce for ounce she may have all the others "beat"!

    This was crazy hard for me this morning. I'm ashamed to say as the time ticked by I hit the check function several times on the app to make sure I was headed in the right direction. The northwest corner was my last to fall with ZEROWASTE my final fill. Like so many VIRTU made no sense even as I entered it and the same was true of AMYS (duh once I got here!). It was tough but I liked the struggle. I'm sure there's a psychiatric term for this.

    Nancy 10:02 PM  

    @Hartley70 -- Great minds and all that. All day I've been wracked by guilt that I left out Aketi, but I've been out all day, don't own any mobile gadgets, and didn't get home until just now. I raced here, the very first thing, to add her name to my jock list, but you got there first. @Aketi -- You were one of the inspirations behind my creating a jock list to begin with. Leaving you out was completely inadvertent; I'm in awe of your athletic prowess! Please forgive me.

    Anonymous 1:38 PM  

    Ally ally outs in free. In Laguna. In1936.

    Jill 5:37 PM  

    HA. I started with synchro which was the most obvious clue for me and I laughed when I got Yoda....

    Z 9:03 PM  

    Trying to solve after spending 7 1/2 hours playing ultimate is not good for one's solving time. Finally finished quickly on Sunday after I got home.

    @LMS - I'm terribly upset. I should have gotten an ounce or two of schadenfreude out of your excerpt, but quickly realized that our cowardice of anonymice seem to lack the level of introspection needed to feel discomfort about anything anyone else might observe about them. Schadenfreude denied.

    kitshef 9:49 PM  

    2nd time in a week I've had to copy out a section of the grid onto scrap paper, as my overwrites made the original illegible. Both times it was the NW, which make me wonder whether constructors, knowing that most people start in the NW, deliberately increase the difficulty there.

    Source of my woes were carbontax before ZEROWASTE, scoutteAm before TAXISQUAD, and the terrible trio of carnEvore, meaTeatEr, and malaysian before EXOTICPET. Only by cleaning house and putting in some tentative downs (EXAM, ROXY, OTIS) was the logjam broken.

    In other flubs, agave before YUCCA, Sting before SKATE, and pearls before SWINE.

    Unknown 12:55 PM  

    I am here to give testimony of how i got back my husband, we got married for over 9 years and we had two kids. thing were going well with us and we where always happy. until one day my husband started to behave in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way he treated me and the kids. later that month he did not come back home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce that he hate me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was mad and also frustrated do not know what to do,i was sick for more than 2 weeks because of the divorce. i love him so much he was everything to me without him my life is incomplete. i told my sister and she told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted traditional spell hospital for the return of my husband to me, they told me that my husband have been taken by another woman, that she cast a spell on him that is why he hate me and also want us to divorce. then they told me that they have to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and the kids, they casted the spell and after 1 week my husband called me and he told me that i should forgive him, he started to apologize on phone and said that he still live me that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that he casted on him that make him come back to me. my family and i are now happy again. Thank you Dr. Aluta for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for your great spell. i want you my friends who are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend to contact and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay. He cast spells for different purposes like
    (1) If you want your ex back.
    (2) if you always have bad dreams.
    (3) You want to be promoted in your office.
    (4) You want women/men to run after you.
    (5) If you want a child.
    (6) You want to be rich.
    (7) You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever.
    (8) If you need financial assistance.
    (9) Herbal care
    (10) is the only answer to that your problem of winning the lottery
    Contact him today on:

    spacecraft 11:11 AM  

    DNS: Did Not Start. I stared and stared. Could not find one single entry that I knew. Not one. I thought about "grand" HOTEL (wrong) and Pig LATIN (wrong) but couldn't confirm. And silly me, I thought I-80 ended at Newark. Which didn't fit. Medium? Forget it. Challenging? Not even. Here's a new category: IMPOSSIBLE!

    Burma Shave 11:32 AM  


    And ENTERed the local HYATT.
    She BEDS them all with SPEED, that broad,
    And her VIRTU? “Twas DESTINY those SWINE would buy it.

    --- RON DEREK

    BS2 11:37 AM  


    for the EXAM at CORDONBLEU.
    With a COATING of ARGO, for an HOUR you toast
    your EXOTICPET, and maybe a DOVE or two.

    -- ROXY OTIS

    rondo 11:59 AM  

    This was a tale of two puzzles for me divided diagonally from the 19 square in NW down to the 55 in the SE. The N and E practically filled itself. The S and W took at least twice as long, RINGO being the only immediate gimme. With Mr. Starkey (or Starr) to build on the West was won and the SE eventually after w/o Can became CIG; wrong butt.

    Would rather see Bo DEREK, a Ten yeah baby.

    WKRP was pretty good TV back then. Bailey or Jennifer? Bailey for me. (and Mary Ann not Ginger) UBANGI who you want.

    Yesterday Diego, today @RON, for both Mr. Diego and me.

    This was a toughie all in all but I could HANDLE it.

    rondo 12:49 PM  

    BTW @RON Diego - @ rain forest posted Monday (so an excused abscence I suppose) not to expect seeing that byline until late October due to an extended visit to France, Germany, and Spain.

    So we need more like @Cathy and/or others to fill the void. Please.

    Anonymous 3:03 PM  

    This was a big fat DNF for me. Got all but the extreme SE. I had Regift and Artforger and just couldn't make any sense of the rest. So my salutations to all that finished this one.

    Thank you Rondo re rainforest. Hope she's having a good time and not losing her Virtu. Yes, we need more Syndies to take on those Negative Nabob Know-It-Alls New Yorkers who get here early. lol

    Ron Diego,Lunchtime solver from La Mesa, CA (Where people with low IQs
    are celebrated for their good looks, instead).

    Anonymous 3:14 PM  

    BTW Rondo, Just looked back at yesterday's comments. I'll take your Sexploits over any Rexploits any day.

    R. Diego

    leftcoastTAM 5:33 PM  

    Mr. Diego: Okay, regarding Mr. Rondo, each to his own tastes. Besides, apart from recounting his sexploits, I like his posts.

    Today I DNF'd, not able to decipher clues in the far NE and much of the SE.

    I'm duly humbled.

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