WEDNESDAY, December 16, 2009—Merl Reagle

THEME: "Where Is That Music Coming From?!?"—Five theme entries contain a three-car collision of musical notes

Theme answers:

I circled the notes where they appear within each theme answer, but the circles were not used in the original puzzle.
  • 16A: Comfort (CONSOLATION). My favorite line from the movie (I know it's also a book, but I've only seen the movie) Cold Comfort Farm is "I saw something nasty in the woodshed."
  • 39A: Queen whose name contains three apt words in a row, as does each of this puzzle's four longest theme answers (LATIFAH).
  • 61A: Sister Sledge hit ("WE ARE FAMILY").

  • 10D: Outnumber all others (PREDOMINATE).
  • 24D: Pooped (ALL TIRED OUT).
Well! What a surprise to see Merl Reagle in the 15x15 size. The vast majority of his work these days are his syndicated Sunday puzzles, and the last daily-size Merl creation I remember seeing was the NYT crossword he made for the Wordplay documentary. I gather Merl liked this five-pack of theme answers and didn't have a another batch of them to fill out a Sunday theme.

Other answers and clues:
  • 14A: Shooting Starr (BELLE). She was notorious outlaw in the 1800s but I know little about her.
  • 19A: Contraction that's an "i" dropper (T'WERE). Contraction of "it were." I'm partial to t'weren't and t'ain't.
  • 22A: Rhyme scheme used in a villanelle (ABAA). A villanelle is a 19-line poem split into 3/3/3/3/3/4 stanzas. Read a couple here.
  • 47A: Play delayers (RAIN). As in a rain delay in a baseball game, not a theatrical hold-up.
  • 1D: Roman numeral math! L x VI (CCC). That's 50 x 6 = 300.
  • 27D: Henri's conclusion? (ETTA). Looks like a clue for a French word meaning "conclusion," but it's actually going for the suffix in Henrietta. I have some ancestors named Henrietta, and I'll bet a lot of other people do. Funny how there are a zillion baby girls named Isabella but none named Henrietta. Nobody names their kid after a great-grandma named Henrietta.
It was an ETTA James song that Beyonce sang at the inaugural ball last January, and this video totally made me cry just now. According to an interview in Entertainment Weekly, this is what Beyonce says is the high point in her career.

  • 46D: Apple topping (CARAMEL). Yum! I really want some caramel now.

Crosswordese 101: Usually your four-letter Norwegian of choice is OLAF. Today he's clued as 50D: Norse saint. Most of the clues come in the "pick one from column A and one from column B" variety: (a) Norwegian/Norse/"of Norway"; and (b) saint/king. OLAF is the name of five Norwegian kings. Another way to go is Minnesota's St. ___ College, but I don't like that even though I once went on a blind date with an Ole. (I went to Carleton, across town from St. Olaf.) THe nice thing about using the college in the clue is that you'll know it's OLAF—the saint/king clues could also be spelled OLAV and the only way you'll know which spelling to use is by checking the crossing answer.

Everything Else — 1A: First name in nursing (CLARA); 6A: Bridges of Los Angeles County (JEFF); 10A: Sgt.'s trainee (PFC); 13A: More evasive (COYER); 14A: Shooting Starr (BELLE); 15A: Cry that's a laugh backward (RAH); 16A: Comfort (CONSOLATION); 18A: Eddie's "Green Acres" co-star (EVA); 19A: Contraction that's an "i" dropper ('TWERE); 20A: Slaw and fries (SIDES); 22A: Rhyme scheme used in a villanelle (ABAA); 25A: Follow (ENSUE); 28A: The __ Parade (ROSE); 29A: Co-creator of "The View" (WALTERS); 31A: It gets let off (STEAM); 33A: Specter on the Hill (ARLEN); 34A: Actor Dillon (MATT); 35A: Alcatraz, e.g.: Abbr. (ISL.); 38A: Nap or nip preceder (CAT); 39A: Queen whose name contains three apt words in a row, as does each of this puzzle's four longest answers (LATIFAH); 42A: PBS funder (NEA); 43A: Go down a slippery slope (SKI); 44A: Work without __ (A NET); 45A: Mil. schools (ACADS.); 47A: Play delayers (RAINS); 49A: Beethoven specialties (SONATAS); 51A: "Mermaids" actress (CHER); 53A: Online business (E-TAIL); 55A: __ Sweeney, Ethel Merman's "Anything Goes" role (RENO); 56A: "You __ be there" (HAD TO); 58A: "The Crucible," e.g. (DRAMA); 60A: Guillermo's gold (ORO); 61A: Sister Sledge hit (WE ARE FAMILY); 67A: PC core (CPU); 68A: Thinks the world of (LOVES); 69A: Oscar de la __ (RENTA); 70A: Sunrise direction, in Stuttgart (OST); 71A: Flip out (SNAP); 72A: Lewis or Lois colleague (CLARK); 1D: L x VI (CCC); 2D: Oft-visited pub room (LOO); 3D: Author Rand (AYN); 4D: Say another way (RESTATE); 5D: In __: lined up (A ROW); 6D: Ballet leaps (JETÉS); 7D: Passing Manning (ELI); 8D: __-Jo: Olympic sprinter's nickname (FLO); 9D: Sedge-filled wetlands (FENS); 10D: Outnumber all others (PREDOMINATE); 11D: #1 picks (FAVES); 12D: Phillies all-star slugger Utley (CHASE); 14D: Tractor shelters (BARNS); 17D: Look like a wolf (LEER); 21D: Tax-deferring option, briefly (IRA); 22D: Spy plane acronym (AWACS); 23D: Netanyahu's successor (BARAK); 24D: Pooped (ALL TIRED OUT); 26D: Gp. with F-16s (USAF); 27D: Henri's conclusion? (ETTA); 30D: Zhou __ (ENLAI); 32D: A Coen brother (ETHAN); 34D: Where Ben Bernanke got his Ph.D. (MIT); 36D: Ford Taurus, e.g. (SEDAN); 37D: Calf catcher (LASSO); 40D: Actress Hathaway (ANNE); 41D: Audition (TEST); 46D: Apple topping (CARAMEL); 48D: Word before or after thou (ART); 49D: Foal fathers (SIRES); 50D: Norse saint (OLAF); 51D: Intro to -holic (CHOCO); 52D: Instruments with pedals (HARPS); 54D: TV spot pro (AD REP); 57D: Temple's team (OWLS); 59D: Painter Chagall (MARC); 62D: Awfully long time (EON); 63D: Gardner of film (AVA); 64D: Concert finale? (-INA); 65D: Copier abbr. (LTR.); 66D: Blab (YAK).


Van55 said...

I lost interest immediately upon seeing that 1D was a Roman numeral arithmetic clue.

The three letter accrosses at bottom left are pretty weak.

The theme left me cold.


Horrible theme, too many fill-in-the-blanks, nothing new to learn, blah clues, lacks humor, and a bunch of crappy fill words.
And then there's that much despised Roman Numeral math clue (for something so clueable as CCC? Sheesh!)
A couple of fairly good clues at (6a) and (2d), but there sure were no faves today.
Sorry, Merl & Rich, but you've done a heck of a lot better.
Not much good to say today... Oh yeah, thanks to Orange for her nice writeup. She always maintains an up attitude, and I appreciate that.

Orange said...

Did you guys even read the Roman numeral math clue? Come on. My kid's in fourth grade and even he can multiply 50 by 6 in his head. That was an easy one! It's not as if it were, say, XVII x LIX.


Orange, I didn't say it was difficult... it was just yucky to see it in (1d) when there were so many better clues for CCC. I'm just getting sick of seeing RN math clues in non-creative puzzles like this one.

wilsch said...

I do Merl Reagle's Sunday puzzle every week; it's one of my favorite ones. I also do his 21x21 that appears every other month in the AARP magazine. This is the first 15x15 on Merl's that I have done. It was relatively easy, but I didn't catch on to the theme until I read about in on here. Yes, the Roman numeral clue was an "in the head" calculation.

SethG said...

CMXVII. I can't think of a clue I'd prefer for CCC, but it could have easily been changed to CBC or CFC or something.

Before checking the crosses I entered TODD, then erased it to put BEAU. There sure are a lot of Bridgeses.

Um, ya. Ya. Happy Birthday, Ole!

Rex Parker said...

I generally Love Merl's puzzles, but just don't get this one. No clue what was going on w/o the circles, and seeing them now ... note jumbles? Grid looks OK, but overall it didn't really work for me.

I'll never understand dismissing a puzzle entirely for one or two unpalatable 3-letter answers, though. Small-minded in the extreme.

Rex Parker said...

PS wanted to say I really didn't like the clue on JEFF until I *got* it. Now I love it. Pure Merl.


split infinitive said...

Maybe I get to be a dissenter today, but I think this puzzle has a very cleverly played out theme (LATIFAh, WeaREFAMIly, allTIREDOut) and some nice wordplay in the clues for LOO, CLARK, SKI, RAH.

Level of difficulty is right on for a Wednesday, and it's a treat to see a puzzle by Mr Reagle during the week.

Van55 said...

"I'll never understand dismissing a puzzle entirely for one or two unpalatable 3-letter answers, though. Small-minded in the extreme."

I didn't see anyone dismissing this puzzle entirely for just one or two unpalatable 3-letter answers. There's a slew of weak fill here in addition to what I think is a weak theme.

I haven't been shy in repeating my annoyance with Roman numeral fill. But I can get around that particular bete noir if the puzzle otherwise redeems itself.

New Deal Agcy. = CCC. John is right. Much better cluing was available for the answer.

Eddie Q said...

One of these days I will learn my Roman numerals and be bored with the clues.....one day.

I think I would have like the theme better if the notes in each clue were in order. Would have been a little easiier.

I'm kind of scared that one day I will be so good at crosswords that I will get bored with what you all call "weak fill". Puzzles that take you all 2 or 3 minutes to finish takes me 20 or 30 minutes. Maybe my ADD has something to do with...ooh! Something shiny!

Parsan said...

The clue for 6a was clever but I had to wait to see if it was Beau or JEFF. ETHAN gave me the H so it had to be LATIFAH. CLARA, ARLEN, WALTERS, BELLE, MATT, CHER, RENO, CLARK, EVA, Oscar de la RENTA, (across), and AYN, ELI, FLO, CHASE, BARAK, EN LAI, ANNA, CHASE, AVA, OLAF, and MARC, (down) make 24 names in a puzzle not about names. Did I miss any? Is this a record?

I always think of Betty White as Rose Nylund and her wacky stories about St. OLAF on The Golden Girls.
I wonder what the town residents
thought about those tales?

WE ARE COMPANY was the wildly popular theme song of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1979 the year they won the World Series. I wonder if the Pirates will ever be a contender again!

CARAMEL on apples is good but I prefer apple pie (I am the 62th greatest apple pie maker in the world!). At one time, cheddar cheese was the main topping in some parts of the country. Does anyone still eat it that way? I prefer Ice cream. "Yummy, yum, yum" as a relative used to say.

Good write up for a strange thene!

Carol said...

Golly, @PG, after your comment about going on a blind date with an Ole from St. Olaft's, I thought you might have a good Ole & Lena joke for us!

Didn't have much trouble with this puzzle but was surprised to see the same syllables repeated in the theme answers. I thought repetition was taboo.

@PG - thanks for explaining ETTA. I thought maybe ETTA was French for conclusion! Duh!

Carol said...

Sorry, clumsy fingers, here. That's St. Olaf's.

Parsan said...

@Carol--Hand up for clumsy fingers! That's theme instead of thene.

@PG--No HenriETTA's in my family but a beautiful 7 year old grand-daughter named Isabella.

Tinbeni said...

OK, right off the bat I do not ever have a problem with the Roman Numerals. They're too easy to carp about, and I always like to get the 1a & 1d right off the bat.

The LOO & JEFF were nicely clued. But the LOO has shown up often lately, so it just fell into place.

And it wasn't one or two three letter answers that put me off this puzzle ... it was the 21 3-letter answers.
The 24 name answers as noted by @PARSAN also added to my Blah factor.

One timely thing, Ben Bernanke, MIT grad, was named Time Magazine Man of the Year today.

No faves and a big thumb-down to ACADS for academys (Mil.schools). Oh, I got it, applied the "Rule of Cluing Equivalence" and added the "s" ... It just seemed 'cheap' to me.

@Orange, nice write-up, especially the clips.

*David* said...

It's great to see the Godfather of puzzles working on a daily and getting back into the trenches. I liked the puzzle but didn't like the theme. It seemed a bit arbitrary with the various different orders of the syllables that seemed to make a mish-mash of things. I DID really like the pop culture and sports fill, it was much more then is normal.

I thought the theme was going to contain LA TI which would have been quite cute but anyway.

Orange said...

At least Tinbeni realizes that I wrote this post and not PuzzleGirl...

There's another secret layer to this puzzle, but it's not going to be apparent to 99.9% of the solvers. I can't say more, but please know that there's a good reason for the fill that seems clunky. We'll let this one slide, as it doesn't represent a new downward trajectory for the L.A. Times puzzle or for Merl.

@Parsan, Rose Nylund's St. Olaf is fictional. St. Olaf College and Carleton College are in Northfield, MN.

Orange said...

As for the order of the notes in the theme answers, don't knock it 'til you try it. Can you come up with familiar words or phrases that include the letter strings DOREMI, REMIFA, MIFASO(L), FASO(L)LA, and LATIDO? ODOR EMINENCE, WEAR 'EM IF ANGRY? Not all the notes-in-sequence trios lend themselves to decent theme answers. CONSOLATION works, but the others are harder.

Parsan said...

This is my last correction post! Too much to do and here I am on this blog. Appologies to Orange and PG for the mix-up. I really knew better. Typing one thing wrong while thinking about what I should be doing. Drats!! This is SOOOO adictive!

Anonymous said...

@Orange - Why should the notes be in order? No one claimed that this was a solfege, just that they were a run of notes. If you could convince me that they formed the chords to Merry Christmas, I would be truly amazed.

xyz said...

I surely did NAE cry at the video but we'll probably one day remember the innaguration as the ACME/APEX errrr VERTEX! of his presidency.

I liked the theme as it was A0 cute and B) did not make the whole puzzle fall as soon as the first one was apparent - a perceived weakness to me in themed puzzles (I liked the Medieval theme the other day wherever it was) as the way I solve (not speed, that's for sure with 35:00+ today) I sort of tack my way across and own a few times to solve.

LOO has been very popular this week, not just int he PUB

+++ to solving
Roman Numerals are fine - dunk
Loved JEFF Bridges clue - slam dunk
My Senator ARLEN - slam dunk
LATIFAH somehow was a dunk
CHASE - slam dunk
HARPS was clever to me (maybe it's a common CW ploy, dunno ...

--- overall
E-TAIL type words just as with A-FORE type words in puzzles make me go blech or eww or some sheep sound ...

so, I'm certain this one was surely more work for me than most to solve but heck I liked it.

As in golf every shot makes someone happy, I suppose every puzzle makes someone happy ...

Good write up today @Orange

xyz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Orange said...

@Anon, @*David* thought the order of the notes seemed arbitrary, but they kinda have to be.

Tinbeni said...

@JNH also noted you correctly.

About the names, I have this feeling that Merle was sending a subtle Christmas greeting to maybe his children, grand-children, and added in a few friends, etc.

As to the musical theme, I got that with LATIFA and the others just fell into place. They were the good part. In order, out of order, didn't matter to me since I am numerical not musically inclined.

I guess no puzzle is "all good" or "all bad" which probably led to my Blah.

Merle is a fave and I look forward to his next offering.

shrub5 said...

Enjoyed this puzzle and figured out the theme on LATIFAH, 'though it didn't help me on any of the theme answers. LOL on 6A) Bridges of LA County -- thought of Beau first but didn't even write it in because I saw 8D was going to be FLO. @Orange, I'm so glad you explained 27D) Henri's conclusion? because I did think as you said.

I had forgotten the name Ehud BARAK, PM of Israel from 1999-2001, preceded by Benjamin Netanyahu (as the clue indicated) and succeeded by Ariel Sharon.

AWACS: an acronym for Airborne Warning and Control System: a long-range airborne radar system for detecting enemy aircraft and missiles and directing attacks on them; also an aircraft equipped with this radar system.

Agree with @Parsan about the Betty White St. Olaf stories on "Golden Girls." She was also great as bitchy Sue Ann Nivens on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." I recently saw her in the movie "The Proposal" -- funny there, too. She'll be 88 next month. Wonder if there are any other actors of that age still working as steadily?

gespenst said...

I didn't have a problem w/ the puzzle, though EVA/AVA screwed me up at first. Then I got PREDOMINATE and realized there weren't two AVAs in the puzzle. I could have sworn Zsa Zsa's sister was an AVA though. Loved Green Acres back in the early days of cable tv ;) What was the name of the pig??

I didn't get the "three apt words in a row" at all till I opened the blog, but managed to get the theme answers w/o it.

Only thing I really had a problem with was "RAINS" ... seems very clunky. I know it's parallel w/ "delayers," but just sounds wrong. ACADS didn't bother me at all, however.

BTW, slightly off topic, word fans might be interested in a book I'm reading, a mystery set at a dictionary publisher, called "The Broken Teaglass." Don't have the author's name handy, but I'm really enjoying the book and hope some of you might as well!

Tinbeni said...

MIII (XVII x LIX or 17 x 59)

Also used that rule of equivalence to get COYER (more evasive).
I noted that:
If its "more" add an "er"
If its "most" add an "est"

Finally, as a New York Yankee fan I entered CHASE with great reluctance. Damn, he almost beat my team single-handedly with those homers.

CrazyCat said...

Had similar feelings about the large number of names in this puzzle. Found it somewhat easy, but didn't get the theme until I read Orange's write up. I always enjoy Merl's Sunday puzzles, so I was glad to see him on a Wednesday. JEFF Bridges has been all over TV lately plugging his new movie Crazy Heart so I thought of him immediately.@Parsan agree with you re:addictive! I lost a day yesterday sitting in the waiting room waiting for my husband who was having out patient surgery. I was really wishing there was wifi in the waiting room so I could read the blog! Also have a zillion things to do today - so I'm OUTTA here.

Tuttle said...

Not much to complain about. An AWACS plane isn't exactly a spy plane (I think SR-72 or U-2 when I think spy plane) but that's neither here nor there. Don't usually like clues that refer to non-Latin alphabets, but Enlai is spelled the same in Pinyin and Wade-Giles rendition (Zhou, however, is not. It's Chou in Wade-Giles).

GLowe said...

Well, I just wasted 20 minutes transcribing the notes and playing them, in every kind of sequence I could make sense of. Nada.

If you go across then down, you can almost get a little 'tenessee waltz' thing going but it tanks hard.

They don't print the bylines here, but when I hit 'Bridges' I thought "hey, somebody's getting all Merl here. I have to check who it is".

Al said...

@gespenst, the Green Acres pig was named Arnold Ziffel.

gespenst said...

@Al, that's right! Arnold!!!

Thanks :) Now we have an alternate name for the stuffed pigs in our house. Right now they're all named "Wilbur" ;)

backbiter said...

@GLowe: I did the same thing. I sat at the piano and played the notes in order from the puzzle hoping it would be a hidden song. Nope!

@Parsan: I used to eat apple pie with cheddar cheese. Now I just bake it into the crust. I learned that from David Rosengarten from the show "TASTE" back when Food Network had its act together.

I was surprised seeing Merl's name. Not a bad puzzle, but not a great either. Not used to solving one of his without the wincing pain inducing puns. And I say that with great respect. I usually lmao later at 'em. Also looked at the grid a bit crosseyed so it looked like 21 x 21 to convince myself it was Sunday. I used that as an excuse not to go to work. I'll catch hell from my boss tomorrow. LOL!

Favorite clue and answer: 51 D Chocoholic which I definitely am. As long as I didn't go to work, now is an excellent time to head over to Godiva. Truffles anyone?

C said...

No problem with roman numeral math in a CW. Math is fun and anyone can work the clue out. My main problem with roman numerals in CW's corresponds with using them as answers for dates. Understand the mechanic could be useful when constructing a puzzle but usually the date being asked for is not a readily known date and, usually, not worth knowing.

I like Mr. Reagle's puzzles. I liked this one though while solving it, I felt like there was a purpose behind the construction but could never put my finger on it. Wasn't a typical punny puzzle (alliteration and a pun, bonus points!) @Orange's comment (or was it puzzle girl ;^) ) about a second level them verifies that my instincts are still working at least.

Sfingi said...

Fell backwards to not getting the theme at all.

Never heard of CHASE Utley or ELI Manning, both sports. Didn't know CHER was in that movie, and couldn't remember BARAK (maybe I better, now). ETAIL is new but reasonable.

The fixed form poem called the Villanelle was once an obsession of mine. I collected hundreds, but when the internet happened, there were too many and often of questionable art. Dylan Thomas's is one of the very best, still. The AABA is only the last stanza, a quatrain. The other 5 stanzas are tercets of the form ABA. The best book on the subject is McFarland. The Villanelle: The Evolution of a Poetic Form. U Idaho P, 1987.

Roman numerals are so early agriculture. They're only good for numbering and labeling the stored crops. Very Pharoah and Joseph. Simple math can't even be performed with them unless translated to Arabic (Arabian, Arab?) form, in the head or not. On the other hand, I grow nostalgic about a time I never knew.

@Shrub - thanx for def. of AWACS.

@Tinbeni - also, on comparatives and superlatives: One syllable words always get the inflections "er" and "est" which, by the way is Germanic. Three or more syllables never get them; we use more and most. Now, 2 syllables are where the idiomatic fun lies. Words ending in Y are almost always inflected. But, is it handsomer or more handsome? ESL people simply have to read or listen.

@Redanman -I never will astoring go - maybe estoring. Yes, you can do it to any word.

chefbea said...

Had trouble with consolation. Other than that a fairly easy puzzle

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Orange said...

Anonymous whose comment I just deleted: Merl asks that we keep the cat in the bag at least until tomorrow, to let the folks in question decide if they'd like their business made public. Thanks for your understanding.

This comment has been removed by the author.

In music, solfège (pronounced soulfez, also called solfeggio, sol-fa, or solfa) is a pedagogical solmization technique for the teaching of sight-singing in which each note of the score is sung to a special syllable, called a solfège syllable (or "sol-fa syllable"). The seven syllables commonly used for this practice in English-speaking countries are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, and ti.

So did anyone else notice that SO LA TI in (15a) is totally wrong. No real musician would misspell SOL LA TI.

Come on all you "small-minded" puzzlers, admit that this is just a stinky CW all the way through.
Maybe it's just me and that today I just have a crapitude.

And, Orange, I doubt if your 4th grader could blurt out "MIII" like I (and Tinbeni)did either.

I need coffee!!!!!

Paul said...

1: If you're going to cut and past that large a segment, Wiki deserves attribution.
2: The search term "so la ti do" out-returns "sol la ti do" by about 2.5 to 1 in Google, so while SOL is the original, it cannot be construed as the only reasonable version. It is just a sound, not the name of a Greek god or something.

This, apparently, was a puzzle where the constraints of construction were dictated by its service to a function (according to Orange) only 0.1% of us could figure out. If I am correct as to the nature of this hidden function, I'm impressed by the construction and say well done to one and all. If not, well then I may agree with you.

Orange said...

@JNH: Most (if not all) dictionaries list "so" as a variant of "sol." It drives music folks nuts, but crosswords are governed by general dictionaries more than specialist knowledge. (This applies for science, math, sports, and medicine, too.)


Had my coffee...feelin better!
Sorry that I was so merciless and blunt in my critique of such a revered Crossword God. Merle is a good person and I do enjoy the weekend 2121's and puns, but I kept thinking that there just has to be another rationale for this bizarre puzzle, something good and altuistic I'm sure. Now I can hardly wait to see Orange's revelations on the "secret layer".

chefbea said...

Just getting ready to heat up left chicken that I roasted the other night. There is this Gelatinous substance in the bottom of the pan. Any one know what it is
called???? :-) Sorry Elaine

Van55 said...

I'm amused at the intrigue surrounding why this is such a (comparatively) lame puzzle. Look forward to the secret coming out.

Charles Bogle said...

Overall personally mixed feelings about this one...but I lean toward redanman and shrub5...loved CHOCOholic! Fine write-up Orange...now wonder, Carlton's a terrific school..I literally begged my middle boy to go there so of course he didn't; alas...

*David* said...

This meta is more difficult then a Matt Gaffney Hell Week one, AARGH!

CrazyCat said...

@Chefbea - I think It's the pan juices which solidify or turn gelatinous when cold due to naturally occuring gelatin in the chicken and bones. If you wanted to be fancy you could call it aspic which is a savory jelly made of meat or poultry stock and gelatin. You often see a layer of aspic on top of pates. I made a very rich turkey stock after Thanksgiving After a few hours in the fridge, it turned into turkey jello. I used it to make a delicious Ribollita.

Can't wait to find out the deeper/hidden theme in this puzzle.

Orange said...

@David, don't look for a meta! It's more like an inside joke and you're on the outside.

chefbea said...

@crazycatlady..... of course.. it is Ass-pik!! this was just a joke!!!

CrazyCat said...

@chefbea - will there you go LOL

Tinbeni said...

Sooooo it's a inside joke.

Well that figures since 99.9% of US are on the outside, ergo the .1%on the inside.
Seems to a very tight Crossword cabal, being led by Merl.

Then there is the consideration of whether those on the inSIDES would like their business made public. Hmmmm ???

And this puzzle has many clues.
(1) The numerous names: Clara, Jeff, Belle, Rose, EVA, AVA, Matt, Walter(s), Arlen(e), Annette (a net), Clark, etal.
(2) The themes:
All tired out
(3) With the additional clue that:
We are Family (an expression used by team members all the time).
(4) There is LOVE and DRAMA and "you HAD TO be there" ...
(5) HARPS ... oops, that one goes to the dark side.
(6) The Intro to -holic ... which we answered as CHOCOholic, but my avatar, and love of Scotch thinks maybe the other??? (again, oops, to much on the dark side)
(7) And the final clue that they aren't being coy ... OH, NO! It is much more evasive ... COYER !!!

And we sit here wondering what 'twere they up to?
Have they (whoever they are)SNAPped.

ADD it all up and the 300 (CCC) are going to battle at Thermopylae, or to RENO to SKI.

or maybe just setting up an ETAIL crossword puzzle biz.

Well they aren't going to Blab, we'll just have to wait "for all to be revealed" (OMG, I'm stuck in a Christy novel).

Tinbeni said...

It's a Christmas party for those in the OST (east) out on the ISLand with Queen Latifah playing her SONATAS, very chic ... RENT A tuxedo. It is Private & First Class (PFC).
Get back to Merl using your CPU.
Formal invite will ENSUE.

Yup, that's the ticket.

mac said...

I didn't see any circles, so that part had to be explained by Orange. I did it early this morning and had many, many other things to do and forgot all about it, but I don't think I had major problems with this one.

I would have loved to put a Florence in Clara's space.

If you like "Cold Comfort Farm", @Orange, try watching "My Brilliant Career" with Judy Davis. You'll love it. I agree with you about the Beyonce clip.....

Where will we find out the underlying theme tomorrow?

Orange said...

Mac, maybe Thursday. I'll wait to hear from Merl.

ddbmc said...

@Orange, I haven't finished reading all the posts yet, but was wondering if the "notes" Merl used were from the song in the Sound of Music? As in "When you know the notes to sing, you can sing most anything?-Doe a deer a female deer...etc." You've piqued my interest. Late to solve here. Busy day. Of course, being tired, I'm probably way off the mark...

Orange said...

@dd: Nope, just three notes in a row that can be found inside a word or phrase.

GLowe said...

Blogger interface ate my comments again. Gosh this tiring.


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