LA Times Crossword 21 Jan 22, Friday

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Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Atomic Physicist’s Favorites

Themed answers sound like common phrases, but refer to FAVORITES of an ATOMIC PHYSICIST:

  • 16A Atomic physicist’s favorite cookie? : FIG NEUTRON (from “Fig Newton”)
  • 22A Atomic physicist’s favorite Golden Age movie star? : QUARK GABLE (from “Clark Gable”)
  • 35A Atomic physicist’s favorite side dish? : BOSON BAKED BEANS (from “Boston baked beans”)
  • 44A Atomic physicist’s favorite wall builder? : STONE MESON (from “stonemason”)
  • 55A Atomic physicist’s favorite spy novelist? : ION FLEMING (from “Ian Fleming”)

Read on, or jump to …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 10m 49s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Like Jack Sprat, one would expect : SLIM

“Jack Sprat” is a nickname given in the 16th century to people of small stature. Jack featured in a proverb of the day:

Jack will eat not fat, and Jull doth love no leane. Yet betwixt them both they lick the dishes cleane.

Over time, this mutated into a nursery rhyme that is still recited in England:

Jack Sprat could eat no fat. His wife could eat no lean. And so between them both, you see, they licked the platter clean.

5 Role in a Gershwin opera : BESS

“Porgy and Bess” is an opera with music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and libretto by DuBose Heyward. The storyline of the opera is based on the novel “Porgy” written by DuBose Heyward and his wife Dorothy. “Porgy and Bess” was first performed in 1935, in New York City, but really wasn’t accepted as legitimate opera until 1976 after a landmark production by the Houston Grand Opera. The most famous song from the piece is probably the wonderful aria “Summertime”.

George Gershwin was a remarkable composer in so many ways, not least in that he was respected for both his popular and classical compositions. Gershwin’s best known works for orchestra are the magnificent “Rhapsody in Blue” from 1924 and “An American in Paris” from 1928. Another noted work is the opera “Porgy and Bess” that was first performed in 1935. Surprisingly, Porgy and Bess was a commercial failure, and so Gershwin moved to Hollywood and started composing very successful film scores. He was only 38 years old when he died in 1937 from a brain tumor.

13 Her musical career started at age 16 at the Cotton Club : LENA HORNE

Lena Horne was an American jazz singer, actress, dancer and civil rights activist. Horne started her career as a nightclub singer and then began to get some meaty acting roles in Hollywood. However, she ended up on the blacklist during the McCarthy Era for expressing left wing political views. One of Horne’s starring roles was in the 1943 movie “Stormy Weather” for which she also performed the title song.

The Cotton Club was a famous jazz club in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood that thrived during the days of prohibition. Although the stars on stage were mainly African-American, including Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald, the club generally denied admission to African-American patrons.

15 Pre-euro currency : LIRA

The word “lira” is used in a number of countries for currency. “Lira” comes from the Latin for “pound” and is derived from the British pound sterling, the value of a Troy pound of silver. For example, the lira (plural “lire”) was the official currency of Italy before the country changed over to the euro in 2002.

16 Atomic physicist’s favorite cookie? : FIG NEUTRON (from “Fig Newton”)

The neutron is a subatomic particle with no charge that was discovered by British physicist James Chadwick in 1932.

The Fig Newton cookie is based on what is actually a very old recipe that dates back to ancient Egypt. Whereas we grew up with “Fig Rolls” in Ireland, here in America the brand name “Fig Newton” was used, as the cookies were originally produced in Newton, Massachusetts.

17 “__ a girl who sang the blues”: Don McLean lyric : I MET

Don McLean released his greatest hit, “American Pie”, back in 1971. Despite the song’s iconic position in the pop repertoire, McLean has been remarkably reticent about its origins and the meaning of the lyrics. We do know that it was inspired by the death of Buddy Holly in a plane crash (“the day the music died”). McLean has also told us that he first read about the death of his idol when delivering newspapers the day after the crash (“February made me shiver/with every paper I’d deliver”). Although the lyrics have been analyzed and interpreted in depth by many, McLean’s stance remains that it is just a poem set to music.

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

Don McLean is a great singer-songwriter who is perhaps best known for his 1971 hit “American Pie”. He also wrote and recorded classics like “Vincent (Starry Starry Night)” and “And I Love You So”. Another hit for McLean was his version of “Crying” by Roy Orbison. I’m a big fan …

18 Musicologist’s term : OPUS

The Latin for “work” is “opus”, with the plural being “opera”. We sometimes use the plural “opuses” in English, but that just annoys me …

19 Deity with an eponymous day : THOR

The days of the week are named for celestial bodies and gods

  • Sunday — Sun’s Day
  • Monday — Moon’s Day
  • Tuesday — Tiu’s day
  • Wednesday — Woden’s day
  • Thursday — Thor’s day
  • Friday — Freya’s day
  • Saturday — Saturn’s day

20 Gaping mouths : MAWS

“Maw” is a term used to describe the mouth or stomach of a carnivorous animal. “Maw” is also used as slang for the mouth or stomach of a greedy person.

21 Uncommon sense : ESP

The so-called sixth sense is extrasensory perception (ESP).

22 Atomic physicist’s favorite Golden Age movie star? : QUARK GABLE (from “Clark Gable”)

Quarks are elementary atomic particles that combine to make composite particles called “hadrons”. I’m really only familiar with the really stable hadrons i.e. protons and neutrons. There are six types of quarks (referred to as “flavors”). These flavors are up, down, strange, charm, bottom and top. The term “quark” was borrowed from James Joyce’s book “Finnegans Wake”, by physicist Murray Gell-Mann. However, the word coined by Joyce is pronounced “kwark”, and the particle’s name is pronounced “kwork”.

Actor Clark Gable was one of the most consistent earners for Hollywood studios, but won just one Best Actor Oscar (for the excellent “It Happened One Night”). He was married five times in all, including a three-year stint with actress Carole Lombard. Gable also had an affair with actress Loretta Young during the filming of “The Call of the Wild” in 1935. The result was a daughter born in 1935, after Young had a very secret pregnancy that was covered up by the film studio.

“Hollywood’s Golden Age” is a term that usually describes American cinema from the 1910s to the 1960s.

25 U.N. Security Council permanent member : RUS

The United Nations Security Council has 15 members, 5 of whom are permanent and who have veto power over any resolution. The 10 non-permanent members are elected into place, and hold their seats for two years. The UN charter requires that authorized representatives of the member nations are always present at UN headquarters so that the Security Council can meet at any time. The permanent members are:

  • China
  • France
  • Russia
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

32 Wafer brand : NILLA

As one might expect, “Nilla” is a shortened form of “vanilla”. However, you won’t find any vanilla in Nilla brand cookies or wafers. They have always been flavored with vanillin, which is synthetic vanilla. Is nothing sacred …?

35 Atomic physicist’s favorite side dish? : BOSON BAKED BEANS (from “Boston baked beans”)

The variety of baked beans known as Boston baked beans are sweetened with molasses and include either bacon or salt pork for extra flavor. The recipe developed in the 18th century in the Boston area, and is very associated with the city to this day. Because of this connection, Boston is sometimes referred to as “Beantown”.

41 Rightmost bowling pin : TEN

In ten-pin bowling, a split takes place when the number-one pin (headpin) is knocked down with the first ball and two or more non-adjacent pins are left standing. The most difficult split to deal with is the infamous 7-10 split, where just the rear pins at the extreme right and left remain standing.

44 Atomic physicist’s favorite wall builder? : STONE MESON (from “stonemason”)

Particle physics is beyond me, but I do know that bosons are subatomic particles. They can be elementary like photons or composite like mesons, which are composed of one quark and one antiquark. “Bosons” are named for the Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose who developed Bose-Einstein statistics along with Albert Einstein.

48 Beret relative : TAM

A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap worn traditionally by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”) but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of the Robert Burns poem “Tam o’ Shanter”.

52 Superior cousin? : ERIE

Lake Superior is the deepest of the Great Lakes, and Lake Erie is the shallowest.

54 Filled food : PITA

Pita is a lovely bread from Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Pita is usually round, and has a “pocket” in the center. The pocket is created by steam that puffs up the dough during cooking leaving a void when the bread cools.

55 Atomic physicist’s favorite spy novelist? : ION FLEMING (from “Ian Fleming”)

Ian Fleming is most famous for writing the “James Bond” series of spy novels. You might also know that he wrote the children’s story “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, which was made into a cute movie released in 1968 and even a stage musical that opened in 2002.

57 Painter Nolde : EMIL

Emil Nolde was a German expressionist painter. He was actually born Emil Hansen, near the village of Nolde in the Prussian Duchy of Schleswig in 1867. Hansen officially changed his name to Nolde on the occasion of his marriage in 1902.

61 Cretaceous giant : T-REX

The Tyrannosaurus rex (usually written “T-rex”) was a spectacular looking dinosaur. “Tyrannosaurus” comes from the Greek words “tyrannos” (tyrant) and “sauros” (lizard) and “rex” the Latin for “king”. They were big beasts, measuring 42 feet long and 13 feet tall at the hips, and weighing 7.5 tons.

The Cretaceous is the geologic period that followed the Jurassic and preceded the Paleogene. The dinosaurs that emerged during the Jurassic period continued to dominate during the Cretaceous. The period was brought to close with a mass extinction event called the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event. This event killed off the dinosaurs, except those that could fly. The avian dinosaurs evolved into the birds that we know today.

Down

1 Lingerie items : SLIPS

“Lingerie” is a French term. As used in France, it describes any underwear, worn by either males or females. In English we use “lingerie” to describe alluring underclothing worn by women. The term “lingerie” comes into English via the French word “linge” meaning “washables”, and ultimately from the Latin “linum”, meaning “linen”. We tend not to pronounce the word correctly in English, either here in the US or across the other side of the Atlantic. The French pronunciation is more like “lan-zher-ee”, as opposed to “lon-zher-ay” (American) and “lon-zher-ee” (British).

4 W.C.’s “My Little Chickadee” co-star : MAE

Mae West was always pushing the envelope when it came to the “sexy” side of show business, even in her early days in Vaudeville. One of the first plays in which West starred on Broadway was called “Sex”, a work that she penned herself. The show was a sell-out, but city officials had it raided and West found herself spending ten days in jail after being convicted of “corrupting the morals of youth”. She started in movies in 1932, already 38 years old. West used her experience writing plays to rewrite much of the material she was given, and so really she was totally responsible for her own success and on-screen appeal.

“My Little Chickadee” was a catchphrase used by comic actor W. C. Fields. Fields first used it on film in the 1932 movie “If I Had a Million”. Years later in 1940, the phrase was used as the title of a film starring Fields opposite Mae West.

5 ’80s South African president : BOTHA

P. W. Botha was Prime Minister of South Africa from 1978 to 1984, and the country’s first state president from 1984 to 1989. Botha was an advocate of the apartheid system, but was given credit by the magnanimous Nelson Mandela for steps taken towards equality.

7 Coral reef visitor : SNORKELER

Our word “snorkel” comes from German navy slang “Schnorchel” meaning “nose, snout”. The German slang was applied to an air-shaft used for submarines, due to its resemblance to a nose, in that air passed through it and it made a “snoring” sound. “Schnorchel” comes from “Schnarchen”, the German for “snore”.

8 Snowe of ME, once : SEN

Olympia Snowe was believed by many pundits to be the most moderate Republican Senator in the US Congress towards the end of her tenure. Snowe retired as US Senator from Maine in January 2013. I think that she is sorely missed by those who like to see moderate politicians in Washington, on either side of the aisle.

9 Begin a flight : CLIMB

A landing is the area at the top and bottom of a staircase. Apparently, we called the steps between the landings a “flight” of stairs, because one “flies” between landings! Can that be true?

10 Region from the Sanskrit for “snow abode” : HIMALAYAS

The magnificent Himalaya range of mountains in Asia takes its name from the Sanskrit for “abode of snow”. Geographically, the Himalaya separates the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau to the north.

14 Many Rwandans : HUTUS

The Hutu are the largest population in Rwanda, with the Tutsi being the second largest. The bloody conflict that has existed between the Tutsi and Hutu peoples dates back to about 1880 when Catholic missionaries arrived in the region. The missionaries found that they had more success converting the Hutus than the Tutsi, and when the Germans occupied the area during WWI they confiscated Tutsi land and gave it to Hutu tribes in order to reward religious conversion. This injustice fuels fighting to this very day.

22 He directed Samuel in “Pulp Fiction” : QUENTIN

I’m not a big fan of director Quentin Tarantino, nor his work. His movies are too violent for me, and the size of his ego just turns me right off. Having said that, I think “Pulp Fiction” is a remarkable film. If you can look past the violence, it’s really well written. And what a legacy it has. John Travolta’s career was on the rocks and he did the film for practically no money, and it turned out to be a re-launch for him. Uma Thurman became a top celebrity overnight from her role. Even Bruce Willis got some good out of it, putting an end to a string of poorly-received performances.

According to some sources, Samuel L. Jackson is the highest-grossing actor of all time. He earns that ranking because of his talent and box-office draw, but also because of the large number of films in which he appears.

23 Do a vet’s job : GELD

To geld is to castrate a male animal. “Geld” comes from the Old Norse word “gelda” meaning “castrate”.

24 Versatile mount : ARABIAN

The Arab (also “Arabian”) breed of horse takes its name from its original home, the Arabian Peninsula. Like any animal that humans have over-bred, the horse falls prey to genetic diseases, some of which are fatal and some of which require the horse to be euthanized.

25 “Notorious” studio : RKO

“Notorious” is an interesting Hitchcock film made in 1946 starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. I find it interesting as it is such a different dramatic role for Cary Grant, and a more gritty role for the lovely Ingrid Bergman, and the great Claude Rains is in there for good measure. It’s a story of espionage, love and intrigue set in Rio de Janeiro where there is a group of German Nazis hiding out after WWII. Definitely worth a rental if you’ve never seen it …

28 Roomba target : DUST

The Roomba vacuum cleaner is a cool-looking device that navigates its way around a room by itself, picking up dirt as it goes. Like I said, it’s cool-looking but I am not sure how effective it is …

33 Dick was his veep : IKE

Richard Milhous Nixon (RMN) was US vice president under President Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE).

37 U.K. part : ENG

The terms “United Kingdom”, “Great Britain” and “England” can sometimes be confused. The official use of “United Kingdom” originated in 1707 with the Acts of Union that declared the countries of England and Scotland as “United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain”. The name changed again with the Acts of Union 1800 that created the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland” (much to the chagrin of most of the Irish population). This was partially reversed in 1927 when the current name was introduced, the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”, in recognition of an independent Irish Free State in the south of the island of Ireland.

43 Holiday songs : NOELS

“Noël” is the French word for the Christmas season, and ultimately comes from the Latin word for “birth” (natalis). “Noel” has come to be used as an alternative for “Christmas carol”.

46 Orange Muppet : ERNIE

Ernie is one of the Muppets on the children’s TV show “Sesame Street”. Ernie is usually seen with his roommate Bert, whom he frequently annoys and frustrates. Ernie is known for taking long baths with his rubber duckie. That “Rubber Duckie” is the title character in a hit song that Ernie (voiced by Jim Henson) released in 1970.

50 Umami source : MSG

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of a naturally-occurring,non-essential amino acid called glutamic acid. It is used widely as a flavor enhancer, particularly in many Asian cuisines. Whether or not it is harmful seems to be still under debate. I say that something produced in a test tube shouldn’t be in our food …

Umami is one of the five basic tastes, along with sweet, sour, bitter and salty. “Umami” is a Japanese word used to describe “a pleasant savory taste”. Umami was proposed as a basic taste in 1908, but it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that the scientific community finally accepted it as such.

53 Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan __ : OMAR

Ilhan Omar has been representing Minnesota’s 5th congressional district in the US House since 2019. At that time, she became one of the first two Muslim women, as well as the first Somali American, to serve in the US Congress.

55 Apple product : IOS

iOS is what Apple now calls its mobile operating system. Previously, it was known as iPhone OS.

56 Young newt : EFT

Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Like Jack Sprat, one would expect : SLIM
5 Role in a Gershwin opera : BESS
9 Fellow : CHAP
13 Her musical career started at age 16 at the Cotton Club : LENA HORNE
15 Pre-euro currency : LIRA
16 Atomic physicist’s favorite cookie? : FIG NEUTRON (from “Fig Newton”)
17 “__ a girl who sang the blues”: Don McLean lyric : I MET
18 Musicologist’s term : OPUS
19 Deity with an eponymous day : THOR
20 Gaping mouths : MAWS
21 Uncommon sense : ESP
22 Atomic physicist’s favorite Golden Age movie star? : QUARK GABLE (from “Clark Gable”)
25 U.N. Security Council permanent member : RUS
26 Poetic adverb : E’ER
27 Say further : ADD
29 Word after look or sound : … ALIKE
32 Wafer brand : NILLA
34 “__ awake?” : YOU
35 Atomic physicist’s favorite side dish? : BOSON BAKED BEANS (from “Boston baked beans”)
38 Consume : USE
39 Lion __ : TAMER
40 Mounted, as gems : INSET
41 Rightmost bowling pin : TEN
42 Wrath : IRE
43 Not leave alone : NAG
44 Atomic physicist’s favorite wall builder? : STONE MESON (from “stonemason”)
48 Beret relative : TAM
51 Move a bit : STIR
52 Superior cousin? : ERIE
53 Takes charge of : OWNS
54 Filled food : PITA
55 Atomic physicist’s favorite spy novelist? : ION FLEMING (from “Ian Fleming”)
57 Painter Nolde : EMIL
58 As initially evident : ON ITS FACE
59 Cozy places : DENS
60 Comprehends : SEES
61 Cretaceous giant : T-REX

Down

1 Lingerie items : SLIPS
2 Assistance, with “a” : … LEG UP
3 Accommodating places : INNS
4 W.C.’s “My Little Chickadee” co-star : MAE
5 ’80s South African president : BOTHA
6 Misstep : ERROR
7 Coral reef visitor : SNORKELER
8 Snowe of ME, once : SEN
9 Begin a flight : CLIMB
10 Region from the Sanskrit for “snow abode” : HIMALAYAS
11 “Anything else?” : ARE WE DONE?
12 Light touches : PATS
14 Many Rwandans : HUTUS
16 Other side : FOE
22 He directed Samuel in “Pulp Fiction” : QUENTIN
23 Do a vet’s job : GELD
24 Versatile mount : ARABIAN
25 “Notorious” studio : RKO
28 Roomba target : DUST
29 Lie next to : ABUT
30 Falls behind : LOSES TIME
31 Possible “Finish your tax return yet?” reply : I SENT IT IN
32 “Got any examples at all?” : NAME ME ONE
33 Dick was his veep : IKE
36 __ minimum : BARE
37 U.K. part : ENG
43 Holiday songs : NOELS
45 Tests without papers : ORALS
46 Orange Muppet : ERNIE
47 Goes (through) carefully : SIFTS
48 Safer way to think : TWICE
49 Wing : ANNEX
50 Umami source : MSG
51 Broke the law, in a way : SPED
53 Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan __ : OMAR
55 Apple product : IOS
56 Young newt : EFT

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 21 Jan 22, Friday”

  1. I was well on my way with a quick run.
    I hit a mental block on 48D TWICE and 58A ON ITS FACE. I had ON ITS FATE and left 48D as TWITE. I even went through the alphabet TWIBE? TWINE? TWIRE?
    ON ITS FARE? aaarrrgghh!
    After getting the theme and messing up on that.!

  2. No errors, but not without a few do-overs .
    One lookup: the Pulp Fiction director
    Enjoyed this one, even if it involved some adjustments
    along the way.

  3. 16:07, no errors. I ran into no major snags & thought I was just speeding along, could this be the day I get within a minute of Bill’s time? Not even close…

  4. I’m old fashioned and like to WRITE (in pen!) in the newspaper crossword each day. (Yes, we still get newspapers (3) delivered to our home every day!)
    But today’s grid was already filled in with yesterday’s answers! Grrrr. Anyone else have that happen??
    So I went online to try. Didn’t like the back and forth. Kudos to those who can do that. Something satisfying to me about writing my answers!!
    Enjoy the weekend!
    Stay safe! 😊

    1. Hi Christine. Yes, pen and paper for me. If I was forced to go online I’d most likely skip it. I get the LA Times and the WSJ and do the crossword every day they are delivered (in the case of the WSJ it’s Monday through Saturday and not on major holidays).

      No problems and it made me think of Richard Feynman who undoubtedly would have approved of today’s physics puns. If you ever get a chance to read “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!” I recommend you make the time. Enjoyable read about a true genius who liked to laugh about life.

      1. Pen and paper for me as well. I call it
        working without a net. Still get the Times
        delivered every morning as well!

        Cute theme and it helped a little although
        I had a couple of hiccups. Wrote Himalayan and pets instead of pats and
        didn’t revisit. 4 errors total ☹️

    2. @Christine W
      For what it’s worth, I source almost all my puzzles online and pretty much have to, since the papers available to me typically run only garbage type puzzles. I print to paper about half of them just to be sure I can get that skill and keep it. I definitely feel thankful I ended up with a good printer that seems to work well for that. So it’s about half online, half 8 1/2×11 paper.

  5. My online puzzle (from Tampa Bay Times) had only ‘Coral reef’, dropping the ‘… visitor’ from the clue, thus making 7D difficult to solve. That would’ve helped me finish without any clues.

  6. 11:35 1 error at the intersection of LIRE/PETS -> LIRA/PATS

    I do like me some science puns.

    Neutrons are the neutrally charged particles in an atom’s nucleus.
    Ions are atoms or molecules that have negative or positive charge due to gaining or losing an electron(s) to other atoms/molecules.
    Bosons and mesons are the realm of subatomic particles that I am not qualified to explain.

  7. 16:23 with one letter error at 10D/40A. I had HIMALAYAn and did not question INnET for a mounted gem (maybe it was a gemology term I’m not familiar with). For 10D, an adjective (instead of a plural noun) seemed appropriate for the given clue.

    Had some revisions along the way: THIN>SLIM (also could’ve been trim or lean), NECCO>NILLA, EAT>USE, COMBS>SIFTS, PIES>PITA, SPAS>DENS.

    Got the intent of the theme after BOSON and ION, and that helped with the others.

  8. 20:43 and 3 errors, all included in the **egregious** fill, QUARKGABLE.

    Another unforgivable Wechsler outrage. Horrid theme puns built around NAMES. Just a double whammy of bad form.

  9. 41A – In my younger days, I competed quite successfully while bowling and never realized that the head pin needed to be knocked down in order to “earn” a split. On the rare occasion that I missed the head pin and the 2 & 3 pins toppled, I usually groaned at “baby splits” that often remained. I learn something new every day.

  10. Another great puzzle by Mr.Wechsler. I’m pen paper, too and have been for over 70 years! Maybe that’s what keeps my mind straight. The only one that bothered me this time was “on its face.”

    Jeri T

  11. Fun Friday Wechsler puzzle; took me 16:38 with no peeks or errors. Just a bit of waiting for crosses here and there; relearned how to spell SNORKELER. Fun theme that I picked up on the very first clue and rode to the finish.

    @Nonny – I thought I answered your post, but apparently forgot to – I did look into the word you mentioned and was not aware of that definition at all. Maybe it’s used in “Peyton Place”, it’s certainly a colorful euphemism. 🙂

    I do these puzzles mostly online. Our little free “newspaper” leaves an ink residue on my desk and some of the letters-to-the-editor are just appalling. Also, I’m probably 2-3 minutes faster on computer – depending on what day we’re talking about.

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