LA Times Crossword Answers 21 Apr 16, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Gerry Wildenberg
THEME: Mixed Fruit … each of today’s themed answers starts with an anagram of a fruit, i.e. a MIXED FRUIT:

31D. Tasty melange … and a literal hint to the starts of the answers to starred clues MIXED FRUIT

18A. *Unit in a bowl LUMP OF SUGAR (“lump” is a mixed “plum”)
39A. *Website for do-it-yourselfers WIKIHOW (“Wiki” is a mixed “kiwi”)
61A. *Fast pace MILE A MINUTE (mile” is a mixed “lime”)
3D. *Skinflint CHEAPSKATE (“cheap” is a mixed “peach”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 06s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. “Grey’s Anatomy” airer ABC
“Gray’s Anatomy” is a very successful human anatomy textbook that was first published back in 1858 and is still in print today. The original text was written by English anatomist Henry Gray, who gave his name to the work. The TV medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” is centered on the character Dr. Meredith Grey, but the show’s title is a nod to the title of the famous textbook.

9. Non-shaving razor name? OCCAM
Ockham’s Razor (also “Occam’s Razor”) is a principle in philosophy and science that basically states that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. This explanation is a corollary to the more exact statement of the principle, that one shouldn’t needlessly use assumptions in explaining something.

14. Scrooge word BAH!
The classic 1843 novella “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens has left us with a few famous phrases and words. Firstly, it led to popular use of the phrase “Merry Christmas”, and secondly it gave us the word “scrooge” meaning a miserly person. And thirdly, everyone knows that Ebenezer Scrooge uttered the words “Bah! Humbug!”.

15. Brilliance ECLAT
“Éclat” can mean a brilliant show of success, or the applause or accolade that one receives. The word derives from the French “éclater” meaning “to splinter, burst out”.

16. San Antonio landmark ALAMO
The famous Alamo in San Antonio, Texas was originally known as Mission San Antonio de Valero. The mission was founded in 1718 and was the first mission established in the city. The Battle of the Alamo took place in 1836, a thirteen-day siege by the Mexican Army led by President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Only two people defending the Alamo Mission survived the onslaught. One month later, the Texian army got its revenge by attacking and defeating the Mexican Army in the Battle of San Jacinto. During the surprise attack on Santa Anna’s camp, many of the Texian soldiers were heard to cry “Remember the Alamo!”.

17. Roger Clemens, for one ACE
Roger Clemens is a retired baseball pitcher who racked up the third-highest number of career strikeouts (after Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson). Clemens earned the nickname “The Rocket” due to a hard-throwing, intimidating pitching style.

22. “Sorry, we’re full” sign SRO
Standing room only (SRO)

23. Test release BETA
In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the “alpha” version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a “beta” and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, bug-free. Yeah, right …

34. Tour de France, e.g. BIKE RACE
Back in the late 1800s, long-distance cycle races were used as promotional events, traditionally to help boost sales of newspapers. These races usually took place around tracks, but in 1902 the backers of the struggling sports publication “L’Auto” decided to stage a race that would take the competitors all around France. That first Tour de France took place in 1903, starting in Paris and passing through Lyon, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Nantes and then back to Paris.

37. Nikon competitor LEICA
Leica is a German optics company, famous for production of lenses and cameras. The 1913 Leica was the first practical camera that could use 35mm film, a size chosen because it was already the standard for film used in motion pictures.

Nikon was founded in 1917, a merger of three companies making various optical devices. After the merger, the company’s main output was lenses (including the first lenses for Canon cameras, before Canon made its own). During the war, Nikon sales grew rapidly as the company focused on (pun unintended!) equipment for the military including periscopes and bomb sights.

38. LAX datum ETA
Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

Los Angeles International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest here on the West Coast of the US. The airport was opened in 1930 as Mines Field and was renamed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941. On the airport property is the iconic white structure that resembles a flying saucer. This is called the Theme Building and I believe it is mainly used as a restaurant and observation deck for the public. The airport used to be identified by the letters “LA”, but when the aviation industry went to a three-letter standard for airport identification, this was changed to “LAX”. Apparently the “X” has no significant meaning.

39. *Website for do-it-yourselfers WIKIHOW (“Wiki” is a mixed “kiwi”)
wikiHow is a website that has the stated mission of building the world’s largest how-to manual. The site was launched in 2005 by the owners of the website eHow.

What we call kiwifruit today used to be called a Chinese gooseberry. Marketing folks in the fifties decided to call it a “melonette”, and then New Zealand producers adopted the name “kiwifruit”.

42. Gen-__ XER
The term Generation X originated in the UK where it was the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”. By the latest accepted definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

50. Made the last move, in a way MATED
In the game of chess, when the king is under immediate threat of capture it is said to be “in check”. If the king cannot escape from check, then the game ends in “checkmate” and the player in check loses. In the original Sanskrit game of chess, the king could actually be captured. Then a rule was introduced requiring that a warning be given if capture was imminent (today we announce “check!”) so that an accidental and early ending to the game doesn’t occur.

53. Degs. for writers MFAS
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

60. Sherlock Holmes enemy Colonel Sebastian __ MORAN
Colonel Sebastian Moran is an enemy of the great detective Sherlock Holmes. Holmes referred to him as the second most dangerous man in London, after Moran’s employer Professor Moriarty.

66. Tart ACERB
“Acerb” is a variant of “acerbic”, meaning sour or bitter-tasting, acidic.

67. David’s role on “Frasier” NILES
In the sitcom called “Frasier”, Niles Crane is the brother of the title character Frasier Crane. Fraiser is played by Kelsey Grammer and Niles is played by David Hyde Pierce. Frasier was originally intended to be an only child in the show’s storyline, but the producers decided to add a brother when they noted the remarkable similarity in appearance between David Hyde Pierce and Kelsey Grammer.

68. Chemical ending -IDE
In chemistry, when a metal combines with a nonmetal, the nonmetal is often given the suffix -ide. One example would be iron sulfide, made from iron (a metal) and sulfur (a nonmetal).

69. Eponymous trailblazer Chisholm JESSE
The Chisholm Trail was used in the late 1800s by ranchers driving their cattle from Texas to the stockyards and railroad termini in Kansas. The trail was named for Jesse Chisholm who operated trading posts along much of the route.

70. Davis of “A League of Their Own” GEENA
As well as being a successful Hollywood actress, Geena Davis is an accomplished archer and came close to qualifying for the US archery team for the 2000 Summer Olympics. Davis is also a member of American Mensa. She is quite the lady …

“A League of Their Own” is a comedy drama film released in 1992 that tells a tale about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League active during WWII. The lead actors were Tom Hanks and Geena Davis. The film spawned one of the most famous quotes in movie history: “There’s no crying in baseball!”

71. Thrice, in Rx’s TER
“Ter” is the Latin word for “three”, commonly used in the medical world on prescriptions as part of the expression “ter in die”. “Ter in die” is Latin for “three times a day”, abbreviated to “TID”. “Bis in die” (BID) would be twice a day, and “quater in die” (QID) would be four times a day.

There seems to some uncertainty about the origin of the symbol “Rx” that’s used for a medical prescription. One explanation is that it comes from the astrological sign for Jupiter, a symbol put on prescriptions in days of old to invoke Jupiter’s blessing to help a patient recover.

Down
2. Family with several notable composers BACHS
Johann Sebastian Bach raised a very large family. He had seven children with his first wife, who died suddenly. He had a further thirteen children with his second wife. Of his twenty youngsters, there were four sons who became famous musicians in their own right:

– Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (aka “the Halle Bach”)
– Carl Philipp Bach (aka “the Hamburg Bach”)
– Johann Christoph Bach (aka “the Buckeberg Bach”)
– Johann Christian Bach (aka “the London Bach”)

4. Athlete nicknamed “O Rei do Futebol” PELE
Pelé is the nickname of Edson de Nascimento, a soccer player who has used the name Pelé for most of his life. Pelé is now retired, and for my money was the world’s greatest ever player of the game. He is the only person to have been part of three World Cup winning squads, and is a national treasure in his native Brazil. One of Pele’s nicknames is “O Rei do Futebol” (the King of Football).

5. Old French coin ECU
The ecu is an Old French coin. When introduced in 1640, the ecu was worth three livres (an older coin, called a “pound” in English). The word “ecu” comes from the Latin “scutum” meaning “shield”. The original ecu had a coat of arms on it, a shield.

6. Name of more than 5,000 U.S. streets ELM
The most common street name in the US is “Second Street”. “First Street” comes in only at number three, and this is because many cities and towns forego the use of “First” and instead go with “Main” or something more historical in nature. “Elm Street” appears on the list at number fifteen.

9. Western defense gp. OAS
The Organization of American States (OAS) has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. All the independent states in the Americas are members of the group except Honduras, which had its membership suspended after the country’s 2009 coup.

12. Latin 101 word AMAT
“Amo, amas, amat” … “I love, you love, he/she/it loves”, in Latin.

13. UCLA Bruins coach Jim MORA
Jim L. Mora was a head coach in the NFL from 2004 to 2009, and then head coach for the UCLA Bruins starting in 2012. His father, Jim E. Mora, was also an NFL head coach.

21. Singer Lovett LYLE
As well as being famous in his own right as a successful country singer, Lyle Lovett is known for his marriage to the actress Julia Roberts in 1993. The pair had a whirlwind romance lasting just three weeks before they eloped and were wed. The marriage was also relatively whirlwind, lasting less than two years.

28. “Big Brother” creator ORWELL
George Orwell was the pen name of Eric Arthur Blair, the famous British author of the classics “Nineteen Eighty-Four” and “Animal Farm”. Orwell had trouble getting his novel “Animal Farm” published in his homeland of the UK during WWII. The book was a satire of life in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin, and anti-Soviet literature wasn’t a good thing to publish while the UK and USSR were on the same side of a World War. In fact, one publisher who was willing to distribute the book changed his mind after being warned off by the British Ministry of Information. Given his experiences with “Animal Farm”, I find it interesting that Orwell should write “Nineteen Eighty-Four” a few years later, which introduced the world to the term “Big Brother”.

29. Le cinquième mois MAI
In French, “mai” (May) is “le cinquième mois” (the fifth month) of the year.

31. Tasty mélange … and a literal hint to the starts of the answers to starred clues MIXED FRUIT
“Mélange” is the French word for “mixture”.

33. Sailors TARS
A Jack Tar, or just “tar”, was a seaman in the days of the British Empire. The term probably arose due to a sailor’s various uses of tar back then, including waterproofing his clothes and using tar in his hair to slick down his ponytail.

34. Corn __ BELT
Geographically, the Corn Belt covers Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and parts of Michigan, Ohio, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota and Missouri. About 40% of the world’s corn production comes from the region, and most of that production is used for the feeding of livestock.

35. Road to the Forum ITER
“Iter” is the Latin for “road”.

The Roman forum was the public space in the middle of a city, taking it’s name from the Latin word “forum” meaning “marketplace, town square”. “The Roman Forum” is most famous example of such a space. The Forum is at the heart of the city of Rome, is surrounded by the ruins of several ancient government buildings, and has been referred to as the most celebrated meeting play in the world.

36. Mixgetränk cube EIS
In German, cubes of “eis” (ice) might be found in “ein Mixgetränk” (mixed drink, cocktail).

40. Strikes may cross it HOME
That would be in baseball …

44. Fall noisemakers BLOWERS
Those would be leaf blowers …

46. Verne captain NEMO
In the 1954 movie version of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, Captain Nemo goes down with his ship. In the novel by Jules Verne the fate of Nemo and his crew isn’t quite so cut and dry, although the inference is perhaps that they did indeed head for Davy Jones’ Locker.

48. As above, in a footnote IDEM
Idem is usually abbreviated as “id.” and is the Latin word for “the same”. In research papers, idem is used in a list of references, in place of citations “already mentioned above”.

49. Saw SAYING
A “saw” is an old adage, a saying.

52. Lamp output, if you’re lucky GENIE
The “genie” in the bottle takes his or her name from “djinn”. “Djinns” were various spirits considered lesser than angels, with people exhibiting unsavory characteristics said to be possessed by djinn. When the book “The Thousand and One Nights” was translated into French, the word “djinn” was transformed into the existing word “génie”, because of the similarity in sound and the related spiritual meaning. This “génie” from the Arabian tale became confused with the Latin-derived “genius”, a guardian spirit thought to be assigned to each person at birth. Purely as a result of that mistranslation the word genie has come to mean the “djinn” that pops out of the bottle. A little hard to follow, I know, but still quite interesting …

54. “Intervention” channel A AND E
The A&E television network used to be a favorite of mine, with the “A&E” standing for “arts and entertainment”. A&E started out airing a lot of the old classic dramas, as well as biographies and arts programs. Now there seems to be more reality TV, with one of the flagship programs being “Dog the Bounty Hunter”. A slight change of direction I’d say …

“Intervention” is a reality show in which someone with an addiction is initially interviewed under the impression that he or she is a subject in a documentary. In fact, the person is facing an intervention by family and friends. All on TV …

55. Expression for Ozymandias SNEER
“Ozymandias” is a sonnet written by Percy Bysshe Shelley that was first published in 1818:

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

56. Key of the first two Brandenburg Concertos: Abbr. F MAJ
The six, beautiful Brandenburg Concertos were composed by Johann Sebastian Bach and presented to the Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt in 1721.

57. Bothersome bugs LICE
Lice (singular “louse”) are small wingless insects of which there are thousands of species, three of which are human disease agents. The three kinds of lice affecting humans are head lice, body lice and pubic lice. Most lice feed on dead skin found on the body of the host animal, although some feed on blood. Ick …

58. Pub quaffs ALES
“Quaff” is both a verb and a noun. One quaffs (takes a hearty drink) of a quaff (a hearty drink).

60. Southwestern sight MESA
“What’s the difference between a butte and a mesa?” Both are hills with flat tops, but a mesa has a top that is wider than it is tall. A butte is a much narrower formation, taller than it is wide.

62. Fiver ABE
The US five-dollar bill is sometimes called an “Abe”, as President Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “Grey’s Anatomy” airer ABC
4. Skins to remove PEELS
9. Non-shaving razor name? OCCAM
14. Scrooge word BAH!
15. Brilliance ECLAT
16. San Antonio landmark ALAMO
17. Roger Clemens, for one ACE
18. *Unit in a bowl LUMP OF SUGAR (“lump” is a mixed “plum”)
20. Layered rock SHALE
22. “Sorry, we’re full” sign SRO
23. Test release BETA
24. Glimpse ESPY
25. Make fun of JEER AT
27. Sportscast staple SLO-MO
30. Set boundaries DELIMIT
34. Tour de France, e.g. BIKE RACE
37. Nikon competitor LEICA
38. LAX datum ETA
39. *Website for do-it-yourselfers WIKIHOW (“Wiki” is a mixed “kiwi”)
42. Gen-__ XER
43. Don’t bother LET BE
45. Exercise result, all too often SORENESS
47. Rose support TRELLIS
50. Made the last move, in a way MATED
51. Later years OLD AGE
53. Degs. for writers MFAS
56. Weakness FLAW
59. Look over EYE
60. Sherlock Holmes enemy Colonel Sebastian __ MORAN
61. *Fast pace MILE A MINUTE (mile” is a mixed “lime”)
65. One in Paris UNE
66. Tart ACERB
67. David’s role on “Frasier” NILES
68. Chemical ending -IDE
69. Eponymous trailblazer Chisholm JESSE
70. Davis of “A League of Their Own” GEENA
71. Thrice, in Rx’s TER

Down
1. Belittle ABASE
2. Family with several notable composers BACHS
3. *Skinflint CHEAPSKATE (“cheap” is a mixed “peach”)
4. Athlete nicknamed “O Rei do Futebol” PELE
5. Old French coin ECU
6. Name of more than 5,000 U.S. streets ELM
7. Sign of forgetfulness LAPSE
8. Kept in reserve STORED
9. Western defense gp. OAS
10. Neckwear denoting affiliation CLUB TIE
11. Zoo sight CAGE
12. Latin 101 word AMAT
13. UCLA Bruins coach Jim MORA
19. A conspicuous position, with “the” FORE
21. Singer Lovett LYLE
25. College athlete JOCK
26. Completely incorrect ALL WET
28. “Big Brother” creator ORWELL
29. Le cinquième mois MAI
31. Tasty mélange … and a literal hint to the starts of the answers to starred clues MIXED FRUIT
32. Secures, as a victory ICES
33. Sailors TARS
34. Corn __ BELT
35. Road to the Forum ITER
36. Mixgetränk cube EIS
40. Strikes may cross it HOME
41. Man-mouse connector OR A
44. Fall noisemakers BLOWERS
46. Verne captain NEMO
48. As above, in a footnote IDEM
49. Saw SAYING
52. Lamp output, if you’re lucky GENIE
54. “Intervention” channel A AND E
55. Expression for Ozymandias SNEER
56. Key of the first two Brandenburg Concertos: Abbr. F MAJ
57. Bothersome bugs LICE
58. Pub quaffs ALES
60. Southwestern sight MESA
62. Fiver ABE
63. Suffix with glob -ULE
64. Half a score TEN

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11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 21 Apr 16, Thursday”

  1. 1 letter off on this one. Good Thursday challenge. Didn't get a foot into the WSJ grid, unfortunately. So DNF there.

  2. Dear Jeff, I am so sorry. You have gone through a lot. I am hoping and keep praying for you that your troubles will soon be over, and you will be able to go on with your life, for the greater good and well being. Thank you for sharing your travails and misfortunes, We all ache for you. I wanted to write this, because I could not post yesterday. 'I railed at God, because I had no shoes, until I saw a man who had no feet'. My minor troubles pale in comparison with yours. God bless.

  3. I found this puzzle to be very doable and very enjoyable. I had a tough time with the German mixed drinks ( Whaaa ……) and the french 'fifth month'.

    Re: ELM Street and first, second, third street …. there is an Ohio bank called Fifth Third Bank …. whose first branch was at Fifth Street and Third Avenue in Cincinnati…

    There are other famous Bach(s) of the famous Bach family …. Gottfried Bach, also called 'Got your Bach' and W. Bach, also called 'Watch your Bach' ….. (groan).

    George Orwell worked in the British Indian Police service for 30 years in Burma. He eventually resigned, due to philosophical reasons, and went back to the U.K.

    Have a nice day, all.

  4. I put a tee into the middle of 68 Across instead of the dee that was needed. I never watched "Intervention" on A&E so had no idea what was needed for 54 Down.

    Bill, I think your information for 54 Down should note that the puzzle constructor (Gerry Wildenberg) was using the show "Intervention" as the main part of the clue to get A&E as the channel he was hinting at.

    Hope everyone has a great day. See you all tomorrow.

  5. Just an update here. I'm enjoying Austin, TX seeing some friends here. I spoke to the Sheriff's office near my house and they said that although the water has gone way down, the road there is still not quite passable. So the estimate is that I'll be able to get into my house and see what, if any, damage occurred tomorrow. My neighbor told me that his friend was able to see his house and he did have water in it, but nothing major. But his house is significantly lower than mine so I still hold out hope that nothing happened to my house. My guess is that the worst case scenario is that FEMA buys me all new carpeting…ok maybe worst case scenario is that nothing happened and I DON'T get all new carpeting….

    Tony/Glenn –
    I have the Wall Street Journal from yesterday as well as today. I'll try to get to those later today. I did one while on vacation and they definitely have a different feel to them.

    Thanks again for all the well wishes.

    Best –

  6. Some sideways cluing in this one that was more than my tired brain really wanted to take on this morning, but I finished. I finished despite not speaking any French or German or ever using the words DELIMIT or ACERB as such. Is there any real difference between the word DELIMIT and the verb "limit"? I was trying to think of a time when the word "limit" wouldn't be sufficient, but I couldn't. Anyone else? Fortunately, I decided to delimit and limit my thoughts on that subject….

    I may have to have a few quaffs of a few quaffs this evening before heading home tomorrow to assess damages…

    Best –

  7. Just finished, successfully, today's Wall St. Journal grid. It was a slow thinking/mulling over, hard slog for the western half of the grid. I had to make one guess, which turned out to be right. So I'm going to bask in my glory for getting this puzzle right until tomorrow when I'm sure both the LAT's and WSJ will give me my comeuppance!

  8. @Jeff- Add my sympathies to those expressed. I can't imagine
    water damage in the house. I really hope that it did not enter your house, and hope you never have to depend on FEMA.

    My team ACED the victory not ICED it.
    Tough cluing on this one, not to mention the French month, German cocktail, Ozymandias, and Occam.

  9. @Jeff
    DELIMIT was indeed weird to me (and where my error came from on the LAT).

    Most of the WSJ puzzles are usually about Thurs diff at worst. Don't let my failed effort at today's grid dissuade you. I think it's the language or the things called upon or something, but I still have that kind of trouble with a grid every so often. I'll be sure to analyze it once I can get the answers to it to see where I was going wrong.

    As for the rest of the week, Friday actually is usually easier because of the contest meta answer. I guess since there's "no review or discuss until contest is over" rules on that grid, they make it easier. FWIW, complaining about this grid usually is the only other discussion WSJ gets elsewhere (besides us two here) except for the few that haven't figured out that Mike Shenk has a plethora of pseudonyms.

    I did get a chance to get started on my oldie NYT pile. It's actually a book, so no publish dates, but I get the feeling they're early 90's (Gorbachev and the USSR were a thing then) and as for the moment they're Tuesday level, but some of the stale references ([Mr. T movie of 1983.] for instance) are pushing it to about a Thursday level for me. Already DNFed a couple, unless I see something when I go back through them. Interesting to see how they've changed from whenever these were originally published to today.

  10. I came up w/ MATED, but I was thinking of the various little male critters who mate and die. We have Mason bees. The females hatch first and get right to work gathering pollen. The males tend to hatch later. They just hang around the old homestead, and when a female comes back to leave her pollen, he gives her the EYE. He lasts through abt 2 weeks of this bef he dies. The ladies keep working for several more weeks. There's a moral in that somewhere.
    Just file all this for future reference!

    TGIF-
    Bella

  11. Yikes, quite a challenge, and I missed 3 letters.
    There's something in that OCCAM principle (never heard of it before) that can be applied to crosswords, I think. Sometimes the obvious answer is the correct one.
    Of course, that wasn't much help to me today, but at least I learned something.
    I knew A & E was the channel, having watched that incredibly depressing show, but I didn't think to write it out as AANDE. I shoulda known!! Typical crossword hijinks.
    Jeff, hope to hear good news about your house!
    Be well~~™

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