LA Times Crossword Answers 29 Jul 16, Friday




LA Times Crossword Solution 29 Jul 16







Constructed by: John R. O’Brien

Edited by: Rich Norris

Quicklink to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

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Theme: Shift Key

Today’s themed clues are written as if the shift key was held down on a keyboard. So, to decipher the clues, we replace each symbol with the number found below that symbol on the keyboard:

  • 66A…What was mistakenly held for four puzzle clues..SHIFT KEY
  • 17A…&$&..JUMBO JET (&$& = 747)
  • 24A…@!..GAMBLING GAME (@! = 21)
  • 40A…!&&^..BROADWAY MUSICAL (!&&^ = 1776)
  • 52A…**..KEYS ON A PIANO (** = 88)

Bill’s time: 8m 03s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1…Bozeman sch…MSU

Montana State University (MSU) was founded in 1893 as the Agricultural College of the State of Montana. Class sizes were a little smaller back then, with five males and three females attending on the first day of school. MSU’s main campus is located in Bozeman, in the southwestern part of the state.

The Montana city of Bozeman is fourth largest in the state, after Billings, Missoula and Great Falls. The city is named after John Bozeman, a Montana pioneer who helped found the town in 1864, and who helped create the Bozeman Trail that connected the Oregon Trail to the gold fields in southwest Montana Territory. Bozeman is a college town, home to the main campus of Montana State University.

14…Black __..OPS

“Black ops” is the name given to covert operations, activities that are usually outside of standard military protocol and may even be against the law. Funding for black ops is usually provided by a secret “black budget”.

15…Protection in a purse..MACE

Mace is actually a brand name, originally introduced by Lake Erie Chemical when they started to manufacture “Chemical Mace”, with the name being a play on the club-like weapon from days of old. Mace was originally a form of tear gas, but Mace today uses a formula that is actually a pepper spray, a different formulation.

17…&$&..JUMBO JET (&$& = 747)

The first jet to be called a “Jumbo” was Boeing’s 747, as it was the first wide-body airliner. This means that it was the first to have seating laid out with two aisles running the length of the plane. The plane also has three decks for part of its length, with the lower deck being used for cargo and galley space, and the upper deck for extra passenger seating. The Airbus A380 is called a “Superjumbo” as it has two full decks of passengers.

19…Romeo’s home..VERONA

Verona is a city in northern Italy. Famously, William Shakespeare set three of his plays in Verona: “Romeo and Juliet”, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” and “The Taming of the Shrew”.

24…@!..GAMBLING GAME (@! = 21)

The card game “twenty-one” was first referred to in a book by Cervantes, the author famous for writing “Don Quixote”. He called the game “ventiuna” (Spanish for “twenty-one”). Cervantes wrote his story just after the year 1600, so the game has been around at least since then. Twenty-one came to the US but it wasn’t all that popular so bonus payments were introduced to create more interest. One of the more attractive bonuses was a ten-to-one payout to a player who was dealt an ace of spades and a black jack. This bonus led to the game adopting the moniker “Blackjack”.

28…Ancient time-telling device..CANDLE

Candles have been used to tell the time for centuries. The earliest candle clocks had hours marked along the wax. In the 1700s, candle clocks had metal weights impressed into the wax at the hour marks. As the wax melted, the weights fell into a bowl making a noise that marked the hour.

31…Hastings Ismay was selected as its first leader in 1952..NATO

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded not long after WWII in 1949 and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. The first NATO Secretary General was Lord Hastings Ismay, Winston Churchill’s chief military assistant during WWII. Famously, Lord Ismay said the goal of NATO was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”

32…It can come between Clinton and Rodham..NEE

“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”.

Hillary Rodham was born in Chicago, Illinois to Hugh Rodham (a businessman in the textile industry) and Dorothy Howell (a homemaker). Hillary was raised in a conservative home, and she campaigned for Republican candidate Barry Goldwater in the 1964 US presidential election. The following year, she served as president of the Young Republicans at Wellesley College. Our former First Lady left the Republican Party expressing disappointment at what she witnessed at the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami, citing “veiled” racist messages prevalent at that time.

33…Quaint retail word..OLDE

The word “olde” wasn’t actually used much earlier than the 1920s. “Olde” was introduced to give a quaint antique feel to brand names, shop names etc.

36…Last words?..OBITS

“Obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”, originally the record of the death of a person, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

40…!&&^..BROADWAY MUSICAL (!&&^ = 1776)

“1776” is a musical by Sherman Edwards that premiered in 1969 on Broadway. It tells the story of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and in particular the efforts of John Adams to persuade the participants of the Second Continental Congress to do so.

44…Zaire, nowadays..CONGO

The African nation once called Zaire is a neighbor of Rwanda. The genocide and war in Rwanda spilled over into Zaire in 1996, with the conflict escalating into what is now called the First Congo War. As part of the war’s fallout there was a regime change, and in 1997 Zaire became the Democratic Republic of Congo.

45…Sommelier’s concern..YEAR

“Sommelier” is the French word for a wine steward. If that wine steward(ess) is a female, then the French term used is “sommelière”.

46…Outback native..EMU

The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

In Australia, the land outside of urban area is referred to as “the outback” or “the bush”. That said, I think that the term “outback” can also be used for the more remote parts of the bush.

47…Mild cheese..EDAM

Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

49…Cordelia, to Regan..SISTER

“King Lear” is one of William Shakespeare’s tragedies. Lear’s three daughters figure prominently in the storyline. The three are, in order of age:

  • Goneril
  • Regan
  • Cordelia

52…**..KEYS ON A PIANO (** = 88)

“Eighty-eight” is a slang word for a piano, coming from the fact that a modern piano usually has 88 keys, 36 black and 52 white.

57…Porter, for one..ALE

Porter is a dark beer that originated in London in the 1700s and is named for the street and river porters with whom it was very popular. Porter is a well-hopped beer made using brown malt, which gives it the dark color.

58…Washington is prominent on them..ONES

The US’s first president, George Washington, is on the one-dollar bills produced today. However, when the first one-dollar bill was issued in 1863, it featured a portrait of Salmon P. Chase, President Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of the Treasury.

69…Pamplona runner..TORO

Pamplona, Spain is famous for its San Fermin festival held in July every year, the highlight of which is the Running of the Bulls. Every year, 200-300 people are injured in the bull run, and 15 people have been killed since 1910. If you get to Pamplona two days before the Running of the Bulls, you can see the animal-rights protest event known as the Running of the Nudes. The protesters are as naked as the bulls …

71…Hoi polloi..MASSES

“Hoi polloi” is a Greek term, literally meaning “the majority, the many”. In English, “hoi polloi” has come to mean “the masses” and is often used in a derogatory sense.

72…Like bachelor parties..STAG

Back where I come from, bachelor parties are called stag parties, and bachelorette parties are hen parties.

73…Bit of wit..MOT

“Bon mot” translates from French as “good word”. We use “bon mot” (and sometimes just “mot”) to mean a quip, a witticism.

Down

1…Magic..MOJO

The word “mojo”, meaning magical charm or magnetism, is probably of Creole origin.

3…Robert E. Lee’s alma mater..USMA

The United States Military Academy (USMA) accepts about 1,300 cadets each year, of which about 1,000 graduate, each with a bachelor of science degree. The graduates are then commissioned with the rank of second lieutenant. The first female candidates entered the USMA in 1976, and today about 15% of all new cadets are women.

Robert E. Lee is renowned as a southern officer in the Civil War. Lee was a somewhat reluctant participant in the war in that he opposed the secession of his home state of Virginia from the Union. At the beginning of the war, President Lincoln invited Lee to take command of the whole Union Army but he declined, choosing instead to stay loyal to his home state. During the Civil War, Lee’s men referred to him affectionately as “Marse Robert”, with “marse” being slang for “master”.

5…British rule in India..RAJ

The period of colonial rule by the British in South Asia from 1858 to 1947 is referred to as the British Raj. Prior to 1858, the area was ruled by a private enterprise, the British East India Company. “Raj” is the Hindi word for “reign”.

6…Biting..ACERB

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

7…”She loves me” bit..PETAL

She loves, she loves me not. She loves me …!

8…Multi-day devotion..NOVENA

In the Roman Catholic tradition, a “novena” is a set of prayers or services that are repeated over nine successive days. “Novena” derives from the Latin “novem” meaning “nine”.

9…Kipling’s “Follow Me __”..’OME

“Follow Me ‘ome” is a poem by Rudyard Kipling.

Rudyard Kipling was a British poet and writer famous for his tales of the British Raj, the rule of the British Empire in India. Kipling was actually born in Bombay, but returned with his family to England when he was very young. After being educated in England, he returned to India and from there traveled the world. Kipling’s most famous works are the stories “The Jungle Book”, “Just So Stories”, “The Man Who Would Be King”, and the poems “Mandalay”, “Gunga Din” and “If-”.

10…Nice view..MER

“Mer” is the French word for “sea”.

The French city of Nice is on the Mediterranean coast in the southeast of the country. Although Nice is only the fifth most populous city in France, it is home to the busiest airport outside of Paris. That’s because of all the tourists flocking to the French Riviera.

11…It’s heard coming and going..ALOHA

The Hawaiian word “Aloha” has many meanings in English: affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy. More recently “aloha” has come to mean “hello” and “goodbye”, but only since the mid-1800s.

12…Casual Friday material..DENIM

Denim fabric originated in Nimes in France. The French phrase “de Nimes” (from Nimes) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (blue of Genoa) gives us our word “jeans”.

18…Texas city nickname..BIG D

“Big D” is a nickname for the city of Dallas, Texas.

22…Word on many a marquee..CINEMA

A marquee is a large sign that is placed over the entrance to a theater. The marquee usually displays the names of the film or play currently showing, as well as the principal actors performing.

25…Persian greeting..MEOW

The Persian is that long-haired cat with a squashed muzzle. The breed takes its name from its place of origin, namely Persia (Iran).

26…Classic muscle cars..GTOS

The Pontiac GTO was produced by GM from 1964 to 1974, and again by a GM subsidiary in Australia from 2004 to 2006. The original GTO’s design is credited to Pontiac chief engineer at the time John DeLorean, who later was found the DeLorean Motor Company.

27…Asian expanse..GOBI

The large desert in Asia called the Gobi lies in northern China and southern Mongolia. The Gobi desert is growing at an alarming rate, particularly towards the south. This “desertification” is caused by increased human activity. The Chinese government is trying to halt the desert’s progress by planting great swaths of new forest, the so called “Green Wall of China”. The name “Gobi” is Mongolian for “waterless place, semidesert”.

28…”Mad Money” network..CNBC

The television show “Mad Money” started airing in 2005, and is hosted by the ebullient Jim Cramer. Cramer recommends that essential funds, such as those reserved for retirement, be safely locked away in conservative investment vehicles. Any money left over (still looking for that here!) is classed as “Mad Money” and can be invested in more risky stocks.

29…Bubbly-textured Nestlé chocolate bar..AERO

I must admit to having a weakness for Aero chocolate bars. Aero was introduced by Rowntree’s in the North of England in 1935. The “aero” name is a reference to the chocolate’s “bubbly” texture.

30…Light element..NEON

The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.

35…Hall of Fame golf course architect Pete..DYE

Golf course designer Pete Dye designed his first course in the early sixties. Pete is married to Alice Dye, who is known as the First Lady of US golf architecture.

37…”Law & Order: SVU” actor..ICE-T

Rapper Ice-T must be sick of having his name come up as an answer in crossword puzzles. Maybe he should have stuck to his real name, Tracy Marrow? Then again, maybe not … Ice-T has been interested in acting for decades and made his film debut in the 1984 movie about break-dancing called “Breakin’”. He has also played Detective Fin Tutuola in the TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” since the year 2000.

42…Carroll’s stammering self-caricature in “Alice in Wonderland”..DODO

The Dodo is a character who appears early in Lewis Carroll’s novel “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. It is thought that the Dodo is a caricature of the author himself, as both author and character have a stutter.

43…Celestial bear..URSA

The constellation called Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called the Big Dipper because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, the “plough”.

Ursa Minor (Latin for “Smaller Bear”) sits right beside the constellation Draco (Latin for “dragon”). Ursa Minor used to be considered the wing of Draco, and so was once called “Dragon’s Wing”.

48…Battery terminals..ANODES

A battery is a device that converts chemical energy into electric energy. A simple battery is made up of three parts: a cathode, an anode and a liquid electrolyte. Ions from the electrolyte react chemically with the material in the anode producing a compound and releasing electrons. At the same time, the electrolyte reacts with the material in the cathode, absorbing electrons and producing a different chemical compound. In this way, there is a buildup of electrons at the anode and a deficit of electrons at the cathode. When a connection (wire, say) is made between the cathode and anode, electrons flow through the resulting circuit from the anode to cathode in an attempt to rectify the electron imbalance.

52…Longtime “American Top 40” host..KASEM

Not only was Casey Kasem so closely associated with the radio show “American Top 40”, but he was also well known for playing the voice of Shaggy Rogers on the “Scooby-Doo” animated series.

53…Justice Kagan..ELENA

Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States who replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the first female US Solicitor General and the fourth female US Supreme Court justice. I hear she is a fan of Jane Austen, and used to reread “Pride and Prejudice” once a year. Not a bad thing to do, I’d say …

54…”When You Are Old” poet..YEATS

“When You Are Old” is a poem by Irish poet William Butler Yeats:

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

55…Raid victims..PESTS

Raid insecticide has been killing bugs since 1956.

56…Clapton’s “__ the Sheriff”..I SHOT

Can you believe that the great Eric Clapton only had one chart-topper in the US? In 1974, Clapton released a cover version of the Bob Marley classic “I Shot the Sheriff” and ended up selling more copies of that song than Bob Marley did himself. Clapton is the only person to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times: once as a member of the Yardbirds, once as a member of the supergroup Cream, and once as a solo artist.

60…Dairy case option..SKIM

What we call “skim” milk here in North America is known as “skimmed” milk on the other side of the Atlantic.

61…Sommelier’s prefix..OENO-

In Greek mythology, Oeno was the goddess of wine, giving us “oen-” as a prefix meaning “wine”. For example, oenology is the study of wine and an oenophile is a wine-lover.

“Sommelier” is the French word for a wine steward. If that steward(ess) is a female, then the French term is “sommelière”.

62…Russian refusal..NYET

“Nyet” is Russian for “no”, and “da” is Russian for “yes”.

64…Frank McCourt memoir..’TIS

“Angela’s Ashes” is a Pulitzer-winning memoir by Frank McCourt. It tells of McCourt’s upbringing in an impoverished family in Limerick in the west of Ireland. The final and only word of the last chapter of “Angela’s Ashes” is “‘Tis”. McCourt then used that word for the title of the sequel, i.e. “‘Tis”. Bringing things full circle, as “‘Tis” ends with the spreading of “Angela’s ashes”, the ashes of Frank’s mother Angela.

67…George’s brother..IRA

Ira Gershwin was a lyricist who worked with his brother George to create such American classics as the songs “I Got Rhythm” and “Someone to Watch Over Me”, as well as the opera “Porgy and Bess”. After George Gershwin died, Ira continued to create great music, working with the likes of Jerome Kern and Kurt Weill.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1…Bozeman sch…MSU

4…__ on the knuckles..A RAP

8…Hardly homebodies..NOMADS

14…Black __..OPS

15…Protection in a purse..MACE

16…Folded fare..OMELET

17…&$&..JUMBO JET (&$& = 747)

19…Romeo’s home..VERONA

20…Great way to walk..ON AIR

21…Olympics event..RACE

23…Baseball statistic..HIT

24…@!..GAMBLING GAME (@! = 21)

28…Ancient time-telling device..CANDLE

31…Hastings Ismay was selected as its first leader in 1952..NATO

32…It can come between Clinton and Rodham..NEE

33…Quaint retail word..OLDE

36…Last words?..OBITS

40…!&&^..BROADWAY MUSICAL (!&&^ = 1776)

44…Zaire, nowadays..CONGO

45…Sommelier’s concern..YEAR

46…Outback native..EMU

47…Mild cheese..EDAM

49…Cordelia, to Regan..SISTER

52…**..KEYS ON A PIANO (** = 88)

57…Porter, for one..ALE

58…Washington is prominent on them..ONES

59…Property crime..ARSON

63…Like astronauts during liftoff..SEATED

66…What was mistakenly held for four puzzle clues..SHIFT KEY

68…Intact..ENTIRE

69…Pamplona runner..TORO

70…Having four sharps..IN E

71…Hoi polloi..MASSES

72…Like bachelor parties..STAG

73…Bit of wit..MOT

Down

1…Magic..MOJO

2…Like web sites..SPUN

3…Robert E. Lee’s alma mater..USMA

4…Unprincipled..AMORAL

5…British rule in India..RAJ

6…Biting..ACERB

7…”She loves me” bit..PETAL

8…Multi-day devotion..NOVENA

9…Kipling’s “Follow Me __”..’OME

10…Nice view..MER

11…It’s heard coming and going..ALOHA

12…Casual Friday material..DENIM

13…Announce..STATE

18…Texas city nickname..BIG D

22…Word on many a marquee..CINEMA

25…Persian greeting..MEOW

26…Classic muscle cars..GTOS

27…Asian expanse..GOBI

28…”Mad Money” network..CNBC

29…Bubbly-textured Nestlé chocolate bar..AERO

30…Light element..NEON

34…Hardly an expert..LAYMAN

35…Hall of Fame golf course architect Pete..DYE

37…”Law & Order: SVU” actor..ICE-T

38…Unexciting..TAME

39…Nasty campaign tactic..SLUR

41…Quite a while..AGES

42…Carroll’s stammering self-caricature in “Alice in Wonderland”..DODO

43…Celestial bear..URSA

48…Battery terminals..ANODES

50…Befuddled..IN A FOG

51…Put in folders, say..SORT

52…Longtime “American Top 40” host..KASEM

53…Justice Kagan..ELENA

54…”When You Are Old” poet..YEATS

55…Raid victims..PESTS

56…Clapton’s “__ the Sheriff”..I SHOT

60…Dairy case option..SKIM

61…Sommelier’s prefix..OENO-

62…Russian refusal..NYET

64…Frank McCourt memoir..’TIS

65…Poetic preposition..ERE

67…George’s brother..IRA




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21 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 29 Jul 16, Friday”

  1. All set for a big brain drain today but this was surprisingly easy for me. I even got the theme at the end.
    Spent some time struggling with “Persian greeting” and finally realized it was a cat clue!
    Bill: Thank you for the beautiful poem by Yeats
    So happy the heat wave finally broke in the North East this morning. I even walked my dog in the pouring rain.
    Happy weekend everyone!

    1. I’m glad you liked the poem, Cattygirl. I was inspired to quote it after visiting Yeats’ home a couple of weeks ago, an old Norman castle called Thoor Ballylee in Galway. My wife and I whiled away a lovely afternoon there. Glad to be back in California (arrived yesterday evening), although it was a marvelous 6-week sojourn in the Auld Sod. Hopefully I’ll be more active here on the blog now. It was tough fighting the time difference!

  2. Like everyone else, I assume, once I got the theme the rest of the puzzle went very quickly. I finally figured out I needed to start at the end. Once I got SHIFT KEY the rest was easy.

    The big question on my mind is what constitutes cheating on this puzzle? Once you got the theme, was it permissible to look at your computer keyboard and decipher the clues that way? Or would a truly unaided solve have to be without looking at the keyboard? I suspect the latter is the true way you needed to do it without “cheating”. Fortunately I didn’t think of that until I had already looked at the keyboard and deciphered everything. I don’t know what my fate would have been had I refrained from doing that. I’m curious what others did in this scenario. In retrospect, I wish I had refrained as the puzzle was too easy once the clues were deciphered.

    Sadly, the 747 is coming to the end of its lifetime. Although Boeing will continue to fill orders on the books, they will not continue with new orders. These planes can last for decades so we’ll see them in the sky for years to come, but now the end is inevitable. Their 4 engines, their weight and the fact that they often have empty seats is what is leading to its demise.

    Best –

  3. They must have been trying to make up for the brain strain that last Friday induced with this substantially easier grid. Only my initial guess of UWVA for Robert E Lee’s alma mater kept me from going through without any strike overs, which for a Friday is practically unheard of.

    Hope everyone has a good entry to the weekend and I’ll see you all back here tomorrow for the next episode of “As Bill’s Blog Turns” (ha).

  4. Didn’t think of the theme at all. Just solved by crosses. I wouldn’t have known a musical title if it bit me. I think the heat is getting to me.

    James Thurber wrote a funny short story long ago titled, “If Grant Had Been Drinking at Appomattox.” 😀

  5. I had a tough time with the puzzle, and even with the theme answer, I had no idea what they were talking about. Talk about clueless. Even if I had deciphered it, I would not have known that ’88’ stands for the number of piano keys. ( Hi Pookie !). I have a baby grand in the living room – not having been used, for the last 15 years …..

    747 however, was a tech genius, and contributed to a quantum shift in the algorithm for moving passengers and cargo. I remember thinking the 707 – the first Boeing – that the Sine ( or for that matter, also the Cosine ) of 45 degrees was/is 0.707 … more or less.

    Thank you Bill, for the explanation of the ‘chemical mace’ from the weapon of myth. I happen to enjoy Mace ( and Nutmeg ) as spices, and mace in a spray always made me wonder, what was so dangerous about it. Ah, homonyms.

    have a nice day, all.

  6. 13:21, no errors, iPad. I understood the theme, but found it to be of little help, since my iPad doesn’t have a standard keyboard and my conscious mind has long since forgotten where those symbols are on such a keyboard, anyway. (Luckily, my fingers still seem to know where the characters that I actually use are … 🙂 . So I just filled in letters from crossing entries until there seemed to be only one choice for each theme answer and then filled that in.

    I thought I had nothing to contribute to yesterday’s discussion of crime on the streets, but this morning I was reminded of my only two such encounters, both in the 1970’s. The first time, for the sake of comfort, I took my wallet out of my back pocket and ended up leaving it on the front seat of my unlocked car at my parents’ house in Mason City, Iowa. Within fifteen minutes, I realized what I had done, but the wallet had already been stolen. (Remarkably, I got it back, with contents intact, a few hours after that.) Then, about five years later, the guy in front of me at the cash register in a Walgreen’s held up the cashier. I hate to admit it, but I was so preoccupied, I didn’t even realize what was happening until it was over and the guy walked out of the store.

    I also very much appreciated the poem.

  7. Ah, the NW did me in.
    Two schools. MSU/USMA
    Never heard of Black Ops. Special ops, yes.
    Thank you Bill for the fascinating CANDLE explanation.
    @ Jeff, the first thing I thought of was that online solvers could just look at their keyboard and figure out the clues.
    After JUMBO JET showed up I went and wrote down the clues after looking them up on the keyboard.
    I wasn’t going to spend a whole lot of time this morning guessing.
    DNF anyway. Too many unknowns. DODO, CONGO, AERO (!)
    Never heard of AERO either. “Crisp”, yes.
    @Vidwan Hi! You have a baby grand and no one plays?
    You need to take some lessons! ^0^
    @ Carrie I am surprised ( but maybe I shouldn’t be) at so many close calls our blog members have had. Glad we have all made it to this point safely.

  8. Dave’s comment made me realize I had forgotten my favorite crime story of all time. After Hurricane Katrina, a friend of mine in New Orleans was trying to give a refrigerator away. He had purchased a new one right before the hurricane. He set it outside his house for weeks with a sign that said “FREE” on it. That was a common sight in NOLA at the time. No one was interested. Someone mentioned that some people would assume it didn’t work if it was free and that’s why he had no takers.

    So – he reluctantly decided to sell it for $50. When he put the “For Sale $50” sign on that same refrigerator, someone stole it the first night.

    That story always gives me a chuckle.

    Welcome back, Bill. I’ll have a pint in your name this evening to celebrate.

    Best –

    1. Thanks, Jeff. It is indeed great to be back. I’ve had my fix of rain for this year. Now basking in a Northern California heatwave. 🙂

      1. You call 90ºF a “heatwave?” Come on out to Scottsdale. We call that a “cooling trend!” 😀

  9. @ Dave Kennison My mom was born and raised in Mason City and my cousin just was there visiting our 93 year old second cousin who still mows her own lawn.
    @ Jeff Funny story!

  10. Delightful puzzle today! Loved the theme, especially its clue (66A). New one on me as a wine lover: OENO (sommelier’s concern). So that would make me a OENOFANATIC, right?

  11. Hi Bill, I enjoy this site often. Today, I wish you’d explain 70 across, “in e”.
    I dont get it.
    Thanks.

    1. @Laurel … It’s a music thing (which I know only a little about, so you all must forgive me if I mess this up). A piece written in “the key of E” uses a limited set of notes that include four sharps.

  12. Very busy day for me so I lost patience with the puzzle quickly and bailed. I’ll save my strength for tomorrow…well today.

    Private nit is that Rep. of Congo is actually right next to DPRCongo and therefore NOT formerly Zaire. Rep. of Congo(capital Brazzaville) Dem Rep. of Congo(capital Kinsasha.)

    @Carrie All true but now it’s just bicycle(s)…although if Harley builds my model again…

  13. #!@?!!*!
    REALLY??!
    Y’all are so much smarter than I. I DID NOT get the theme AT ALL! As soon as I saw all the dang symbols I yelled out the expletive above — which is not coded, BTW. Filled in about half; cheated on several; filled in more. Once I came here, I realized that this was actually a very cleverly done puzzle.
    So, again with ICE T and GTOS?!
    @Jeff — LOL!! I shall certainly repeat that one (with your permission.)
    I do have a good excuse for my poor performance here: it’s hot as Hades in my house, and I’ve been busy all day with Airbnb guests coming and going.
    Will have to wait till tomorrow to share my on true crime story.
    Speaking of Saturday: Dirk, I challenge you! I guess we’re at 6 to 4, and I’m in the lead?
    (Not meaning to blow my own horn–just anticipating I’ll have more time for the puzzle tomorrow — famous last words….)
    Bill, I also thank you for the poem!! I love Years, and I haven’t read that one in years!
    Be well~~™?

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