Seacoast Scene 12-12-19

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Find the perfect beers to celebrate the season



Master McGrath’s

It’s the holiday season Wow, hard to believe Christmas and New Year’s are approaching fast! That means winter is right around the corner — the first day is Dec. 21! I don’t know about you but I Larry Marsolais feel like this year went by pretty quickly. As I travel through Hampton and the surrounding towns, it seems to me that there are a lot of people in the Christmas spirit. You can tell by the decorations on the houses and in yards. Take the time one night to drive through the neighborhoods and enjoy this Christmas spirit. Trust me, there is a lot of work that goes into decorating, and we do it for all to see.

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This time of the year all of the major food supermarkets are collecting food. So if all of our readers could find the time to donate one item it would go a long way. You still have time to get your shopping done, and everyone in this issue has gift cards available for those last-minute presents. Who doesn’t like gift cards? From all of us here at the Scene, happy holidays! Feel free to call me anytime at 603935-5096 to discuss local issues or to place an ad. Larry Marsolais is the general manager of the Seacoast Scene and the former president of the Hampton Rotary Club.

DECEMBER 12 - 25, 2019


VOL 44 NO 34 Photo courtesy Throwback Brewery.

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Advertising Staff Larry Marsolais Seacoast Scene General Manager 603-935-5096


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COVER STORY 6 Holiday brews

MAPPED OUT 12 Beaches, restrooms, where to walk your dog and more

PEOPLE & PLACES 13 The coolest Seacoast dwellers and scenes

FOOD 16 Eateries and foodie events

POP CULTURE 22 Books, art, theater and classical

NITE LIFE 25 Music, comedy and more

BEACH BUM FUN 26 Puzzles, horoscopes and crazy news

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EVENTS TO CHECK OUT DECEMBER 12 - 25, 2019, AND BEYOND Holiday open house

Attend the annual Holiday Open House at The Victoria Inn in Hampton on Thursday, Dec. 12, from 5 to 9 p.m. Enjoy complimentary appetizers and a cash bar. Donations to the Seacoast Promise are requested. Find on the event on Facebook.

Eat with Santa

Join Santa for North Hampton’s annual Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 14, at the North Hampton Town Hall. There will be three seatings, 8, 9:15 and 10:30 a.m.). The cost is $8 per person. Reservations are required; register at Or enjoy a breakfast buffet and see Santa at Ashworth by the Sea in Hampton on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Take a selfie with Santa and enjoy a festive breakfast buffet, which includes traditional favorites at The Breakers. The cost is $18.95 for adults and $12 for kids 5 to 12 (plus tax and gratuity); children 4 and under eat free. Reservations are suggested: 926-6762 x610.

Jingle bell fun

Run, run Rudolph

Take part in the season of giving with the Fill the Pantry 5K on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 9 a.m. at Hampton Academy in Hampton. The race is a flat loop course road race that is open to walkers as well. Registration cost is $30 per person. Visit events/2019/27513/fill-the-pantry-5k.

Join the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire in Dover for its annual Jingle Bell Express on Saturday, Dec. 14, with sessions available from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., noon to 1 p.m., 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. or 3 to 4 p.m. each day. There will be make-and-take holiday crafts, storytimes of The Polar Express, refreshments and more. The cost is $27 per person and $24 for museum members. Children ages 2 and under receive free admittance. Visit or call 742-2002.

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By Jeff Mucciarone ’Tis the season for cheers: Holiday suds make the season special “It’s got a cork? And it’s a beer?” My brothers-in-law looked incredulous, a little hesitant, and maybe even a little scared, as I returned from the deck on Thanksgiving with a chilled bottle of Curieux from Allagash Brewing Co., which is based in Portland, Maine. At 750 ml and with a cork much like a Champagne bottle, this was clearly a different animal. A number of us had just split a variety of double IPAs over the course of Thanksgiving afternoon and I thought it was time to shake things up. I told them Curieux is a Belgian tripel

and in this case it is a golden ale brewed with honey and then aged in bourbon barrels to produce a complex and extremely unique brew — that also happened to be distinctly different than anything else we had been drinking that day. We ended up splitting the bottle five or six ways, with everyone from hop heads to wine drinkers having a taste. “There’s something about that cork and cage for the holidays,” said Brian Parda, sales and marketing manager at Manchester-based Great North Aleworks, which distributes throughout the Seacoast. “Maybe you go for that beer you


can’t have all the time.” And, to be fair, I actually stole Parda’s idea to crack open a bottle of Curieux for the holidays. It’s not a seasonal brew per se, but what else was I saving it for? I don’t know if everyone truly liked it, because they’re all nice people, and frankly, I don’t think they’d tell me they didn’t like it, but I feel confident everyone at least appreciated the beer was sort of special and unique. Whether breweries put out holidayspecific, seasonal brews or not, what I heard repeatedly from Seacoast brewers is that now is the time to come together to

celebrate the season with an extra-special brew or one that just makes you smile. Crack open that barrel-aged imperial stout or Belgian tripel and pour out glasses to share with friends and family. Or, if you get very excited to see Sam Adams Winter Lager on the shelves of your local beer store, by all means, grab a 12-pack. The important thing, brewers say, is to raise your glass to celebrate the season with the people you care about. “Drink what you like,” Parda said. “You like drinking domestic brews? Cool. If you’re curious, let’s share.”

Throwback Brewery combines chocolate and peanut butter in this Russian imperial stout, Fat Alberta. Photo courtesy Throwback Brewery.

Sweet and spicy

Traditional holiday beers tend to have a maltier backbone, a dark amber color, and notes of spice and pine. Think about Sam Adams Winter Lager, Harpoon Winter Warmer or Red Hook Winter Hook

— these holiday-themed brews by a few larger craft breweries dominated the marketplace at this time of year for years. These beers aren’t overly heavy, but you’re typically going to get a little more sweetness, some roasty and toasty characteristics from the malt and plenty of spice.

It’s that spice — typically nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon — that stands out in traditional holiday beers, brewers say. But Seacoast brewers have certainly stepped outside the box when it comes to the holidays, turning to a whole range of flavors to create interesting seasonal brews featuring peppermint, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, caramel, maple, bourbon and coconut — and much more. Take The Portsmouth Brewery’s Holidaze Porter, a honey and ginger brew, in which the honey imparts sweetness, and the ginger balances everything out. “Ginger is just one of those ingredients that lend a hand in everything,” said Maxine Munsey, head brewer, The Portsmouth Brewery. “It boosts other flavors and rounds flavors out.” In addition to the Holidaze Porter, Munsey is working on a number of holiday brews, including the Uskumatu Saison, an Estonian farmhouse ale. “We add in juniper berries and boughs so it really elicits some piney, citrusy flavors almost like rosemary. … It just really harkens back to the holidays. And you get this fruity, bubble gum flavor from the yeast itself,” Munsey said. “Then the greenness from the juniper really balances it out. Just a very unique beer. “We actually put the [juniper] boughs right in the mash tun. … It’s kind of like a teapot, filtering all the sugar water

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through the piney, resinous boughs. It’s a surprising delight.” The Portsmouth Brewery also plans to release Kringle’s Crook, a chocolate peppermint stout, this holiday season. The Portsmouth Brewery isn’t alone in finding ways to spice up brews for the season. Throwback Brewery, based in North Hampton, is offering Red Party Pants, a cranberry and ginger lactose sour that pairs nicely with Christmas sugar cookies. “It’s so festive, in both look and taste, it gets me in the holiday spirit with just a sip,” said Nicole Carrier, co-founder and president, Throwback Brewery. “It’s really my favorite Christmas holiday brew.” Also relying on spice, Tilton Brothers Brewery in Hampton is offering a Banana Nut Bread Ale, a spiced ale featuring notes of cinnamon, roasted nuts and bananas, according to the brewery website.

Embrace the richness

Aside from the spice, Seacoast brewers are also boasting a growing array of rich, malty stouts and porters to warm beer drinkers from the inside out. “Sometimes after eating a big meal with friends and family, I’d rather drink my dessert than eat it,” Carrier said. Carrier pointed to Russian imperial stouts as her “go to,” as they “typ- 8




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The Portsmouth Brewery brews its Uskumatu Saison with juniper boughs. Courtesy photo.


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ically are chock full of flavors I love, dark chocolate and roast, sometimes with underlying dark berry jam notes. Also, the high ABV warms me up on colder nights, and gets the conversation flowing.” Despite being known far more for its innovative and ever-evolving line of IPAs, Great Rhythm Brewing in Portsmouth offers Dolce, a “silky smooth” imperial stout that would be perfect for sharing after a rich holiday meal. Hampton-based Smuttynose Brewing Co. offers its Wood Chop Chocolate Stout and Throwback Brewery also offers Amy’s Treat, a chocolate and cherry stout. In terms of richness, look for Throwback’s Fat Alberta, a chocolate peanut butter Russian imperial stout. “Fat Alberta is the definition of decadence,” Carrier said. “She’s rich, chocolatey, very full-bodied, and reminiscent of ... a chocolate peanut butter cup.” Carrier warned Fat Alberta is awfully smooth, so smooth you might not guess you’re drinking a brew that comes in at 11 percent ABV. Stoneface Brewing Co. in Newington offers a variety of beers fit for the holidays, including its Dibs #17, which is a Belgian-style dubbel featuring a dark amber pour and flavors of dark fruit. Stoneface also boasts a barleywine that showcases, toffee, chocolate and caramel notes. If you really want to step outside the box for the holiday season, Garrison City Beerworks in Dover features Box & Whisker, which is a white stout “brewed with oats, lactose, cacao nibs, vanilla, and … whole [coffee] beans. Unlike every other stout you’ve ever had, this

one is white,” according to the brewery. Great North Aleworks’s Robust Vanilla Porter, is a year-round staple but its versatility makes it a great match for the holidays as well, Parda said.

Pie or beer?

The holidays can be challenging as food tends to be more rich and filling — and seasonal beers tend to be the same. How do you find room for a big, hearty roast beef, sweet apple pie and a rich chocolate stout? “Self-control?” Munsey laughed. “I typically just go for it. I mean, maybe I take a smaller slice of pie, but to me, the holidays are about indulgence and over-indulging.” But if you just don’t have room, simply choose something lighter. You need something to cut through the fat, so to speak, brewers said. “Sours and goses do a great job of keeping one’s palate fresh and re-freshed while eating fattier foods,” Carrier said. “For example, I usually make a big cheese and charcuterie plate for guests coming over. A bright, tart, effervescent beer like our Red Party Pants is the perfect accompaniment, keeping your taste buds tingling and ready to eat and drink more.” Parda suggested the holidays are the perfect time to revisit more classic styles, such as Pilsners. “Because the food is heavier and so rich, personally, I’m looking for dryer or highly carbonated brews, or different types of flavors,” Parda said, pointing to the Czech Pilsner or the Hells Yes! Helles Lager, both by Moat Mountain Smoke

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SMOKY QUARTZ DISTILLERY H A S B E E N AWA R D E D The Portsmouth Brewery’s Holidaze Porter combines honey and ginger. Courtesy photo.

House and Brewing Co., which is based in North Conway and distributes throughout New Hampshire. These types of beers complement food well but they’re still very interesting to drink, Parda said. Carrier agreed, noting you can use beer as a palate-cleanser. “Sours, which are usually highly carbonated and tart, do the trick, and pair very well with rich foods like cheese, cheesecakes, and rich meats like lamb,” Carrier said. That said, sometimes you need the beer to match the food, when you’d rather the brew stand up to the meal, rather than cut through it. That’s when Carrier takes a complementary approach. “Pick big, roasty beers to pair with chocolate desserts and red meat,” Carrier said.

Hops on holiday?

IPAs have driven the craft beer movement in a lot of ways. People are standing in line for the freshest, hoppiest beers. Brewers are experimenting with new, exciting hop strains. The hazy, juicy New England-style IPA is perhaps the most popular and coveted style of beer on the market in New England right now. Some brewers say popular, super-hoppy IPAs are a bit much for the holiday table. They say the hops can overpower other flavors. We don’t necessarily think of IPAs as heavy, compared to stouts or porters, but they do have some heft from all those hops, brewers say. But if you love IPAs then by all means, brewers say, pour your favorites, such as Soundcheck 2.0 by Great Rhythm Brewing, a New England-style IPA brewed

with Meridian, El Dorado, Amarillo and Columbus hops. Or, break out the Double Clip IPA from Stoneface Brewing Co. in Newington and enjoy the “bigger, bolder hop profile” that results in a “hazy, flavorful IPA with a very soft mouthfeel,” according to the brewery. Mysterious Haze by Smuttynose Brewing Co. is a double-dry-hopped New England-style IPA, boasting big notes of grapefruit, guava and mango, says the brewery. Or, perhaps better yet, look for The Portsmouth Brewery’s Night Night Nurse, which is a black IPA. “You get those resinous, citrusy, floral hop flavors, but it’s backed up by malts typically used in porters and stouts,” Munsey said. “You get the best of both worlds. You’re still getting a dark beer but you’re also getting the flavor of an IPA. The rye also adds a little spiciness.” Loaded Question Brewing, which is based in Portsmouth, also offers a black IPA called Things That Go Hop in the Dark, featuring chocolate wheat, flaked barley and malted rye, along with Citra and Amarillo hops, according to the brewery.


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For me, holiday beers were crucial to my evolving love of craft beer. They featured unique flavors you just wouldn’t see the rest of the year. I remember my father being excited — well before I was old enough to even try a beer — about picking up the annual Sam Adams holiday mix pack. Aside from the Cranberry Lambic, which always found its way to the back of the fridge, I remember him pulling 10

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Red Party Pants by Throwback Brewery combines fresh cranberries with ginger. Courtesy photo.

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out a revolving cast of brews, including Old Fezziwig, the White Ale, the Winter Lager of course, and the Chocolate Bock — many of which Sam Adams still features today in its holiday mix packs. He was legitimately like a kid in a candy store. The holidays are a special time of year and that called for special beers. And, totally subjectively, I think everybody has nostalgic favorites. A college friend of mine still texts me every year the first time he sees Harpoon Winter Warmer on the shelves. The beer symbolizes something bigger. “The Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, a dry-hopped style ale, is always something to look forward to,” Munsey said. Parda also noted the Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale as one he has to have every year.

“I never get tired of it,” Parda said. “It does have a little more malt to it and a little resinous bitterness. ... It’s just a dynamite beer.” I was heartened to learn I was not the only one who found something special in the Winter Warmer, which Harpoon has been brewing since 1988. “I would go back to a New England classic, Harpoon Winter Warmer,” Carrier said, as I asked about holiday favorites outside of her own brewery. “It evokes very warm memories of me coming home from college and sharing several of these beers with my dad, all while catching up and enjoying time together. The beer is lovely as well, with just the right touch of cinnamon and nutmeg, and a lighter body that makes it easy to drink a few by the fire.”

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The Portsmouth Brewery offers Kringle’s Crook, a chocolate peppermint stout. “We really wanted to portray a candy cane or a chocolate-covered peppermint candy. In past years, we used actual peppermint candies in the brewing … but we’ve started adding fresh peppermint into the brew,” said Maxine Munsey, head brewer, The Portsmouth Brewery. “Customers have

just grown to love it over the years.” Munsey explained it’s a sweet stout, whereas, for example, a Guinness is a dry stout. Along with the pronounced peppermint, you’re going to get big notes of coffee and chocolate, Munsey said. The beer is named after “Chupacabra,” which is a mythical, vampire-like beast rumored to inhabit parts of the Americas.

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Throwback Brewery brews El Chupbrewcabra with cocoa husks, cinnamon sticks and local peppers. Photo courtesy of Throwback Brewery, featuring Barry.

El Chupbrewcabra

While this Mexican chocolate porter isn’t produced specifically for the holidays — though it is released in December each year — it’s still appropriately festive, said Nicole Carrier, co-founder and president, Throwback Brewery. “Featuring cocoa husks from Enna Chocolate, cinnamon sticks that were used to make [Flag Hill Distillery and Winery’s] spiced rum, and local peppers,

this beer goes great with desserts such as pecan pie, pumpkin pie and chocolate mousse, as well as stews and chilis,” Carrier said. “Frankly, anything with a nice dose of cinnamon in it seems festive this time of year, so you might want to enjoy one just by itself.” The beer is named after “Chupacabra,” which is a mythical, vampire-like beast rumored to inhabit parts of the Americas.

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Holiday Brewin’

12 Seacoast brews to help you deck the halls this year • Holidaze Porter by The Portsmouth Brewery (Portsmouth) – Honey and ginger come together in this seasonal favorite • Box & Whisker White Stout by Garrison City Beerworks (Dover) – Rich chocolate and coffee and, by the way, it’s white • Chocolate Peppermint Stout by The Portsmouth Brewery (Portsmouth) – Brewed with fresh peppermint • Uskumatu Saison by The Portsmouth Brewery (Portsmouth) – Fruity, citrusy and piney with juniper balancing the sweetness • Fat Alberta Russian Imperial Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout by Throwback Brewery (North Hampton) – Can you say chocolate peanut butter cup? • Barleywine by Stoneface Brewing Co. (Newington) – Caramel, toffee

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and light chocolate, and lots of alcohol • Dolce by Great Rhythm Brewing Co. (Portsmouth) – Silky, smooth imperial chocolate stout • Red Party Pants Cranberry Ginger Lactose Sour by Throwback Brewery (North Hampton) – Fresh cranberries and ginger come together in this tart, bright red brew that literally looks like Christmas • Banana Nut Bread Ale by Tilton Brothers Brewing (Hampton) – Banana bread in a glass anyone? • Dibs #17 Belgian-style Dubbel by Stoneface Brewing Co. (Newington) – Rich, amber brew featuring notes of dark fruit • Wood Chop Chocolate Stout by Smuttynose Brewing Co. (Hampton) – Rich, full-bodied and lots of chocolate • Plaid Lab Winter Warmer by Bad Lab Beer Co. (Somersworth) – A strong brown ale with candy sugar and spices

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RICHARD DOUILLETTE SECRETARY OF ST. JAMES MASONIC LODGE NO. 102 Richard is the secretary of Saint James Masonic Lodge No. 102 in Hampton. He talked to the Scene about what being a Mason is all about.

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How did you get involved in this organization? I became interested in Masonry 25 years ago when I began meeting up with other men who were active in Masonry and saw the wonderful work they did in the community with veterans, children and helping those in need. I was attracted by the desire of the fraternity to help good men become better men, fathers, sons, husbands and citizens. Any challenges in being a Mason? I think the biggest challenge of being a Mason is trying to accomplish all the things that you’d like to do to help your fellow members, folks in your community and spending efforts to interest others to become members of the fraternity. However, I think by example it is beginning to show that being a Mason is a rewarding organization to belong to.

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any individual, but devoted to the promotion of the welfare and happiness of mankind. It is benevolent in that it teaches and exemplifies altruism as a duty. It is educational in that it teaches by prescribed ceremonials a system of Are there any myths you would like morality and brotherhood based upon to dispel about Masonry? the Sacred Law. It is religious in that it There are a few myths that are directrelies upon a belief in monotheism. ed at Masonry. One is that we are a secret organization and that MasonIs there a singular objective behind ry is a religion. I guess there are a few Masonry? ways to dispel them. First, the best Through the improvement and secret of the fraternity is that there are strengthening of the character of the no secrets, only that there are silent individual man, Freemasonry seeks to signs or symbols and maybe one or two improve the community. It impresswords. Other than that, there are no es upon its members the principles of secrets to self-identify ourselves. Ninepersonal righteousness and personal ty-nine percent of this can be read in responsibility. most any library or online with a computer. The other myth is that Masonry is When not involved in the work of a religion. It is not a religion, although Masonry, what do you do for fun? the main requirement of a man joinSome of my favorite things to do is ing the Lodge is that he believes in a read. With my wife Judy of 55 years, Supreme Being. A man must also be of we like to travel around all parts of good moral character and be over the New Hampshire, such as the Seacoast, age of 18. North Beach, Odiorne Park, the lakes and mountains, spending time with our Can you define Masonry? grandchildren and great-grandchildren. To paraphrase a little from The We are also active with the senior group Grand Lodge of New Hampshire, Freewhere we live here in Hampton. There masonry is a charitable, benevolent, are many great restaurants in the area educational and religious society. It is [too] ... and we are still investigating charitable in that it is not organized for them. profit and none of its income benefits — Rob Levey



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Creeping is OK for cars Dear Car Talk: I’m in a long line of cars at a stop light. The car at the front of the line creeps forward. The next car does the same. It’s my turn. The light is still red. My concern is the By Ray Magliozzi brakes. My thought is that I’m using brakes unnecessarily, adding wear and tear to them and shortening their life. I feel like once I’m stopped, I’m done; the brakes have done their job. And if I just sit there and wait until the light turns green, I’m saving my brakes from further wear. My husband, on the other hand, feels that creeping forward, which almost requires riding the brakes, is not hurting the brakes at all and keeps the idiot behind me from beeping his horn. What say you, Oh Great One? — Janeen Janeen, you’ve made my day. It’s been ages since we’ve gotten a letter in which a husband is actually right. The wear and tear on the brake pads and brake rotors is directly related to how hard the brakes have to work. And how hard the brakes have to work depends on the speed of the car. And the truth is, at one or two miles per

hour, the speed at which you creep forward at a traffic light, the brakes are barely working at all. In that way, they’re very much like my late brother. It’s the equivalent of worrying about the wear and tear on your biceps from picking up a paper clip. When you’re trying to stop a 4,000-pound mass from 70 mph, it takes a lot of friction. And that friction is what wears away the pads and rotors. It takes very little friction to stop a car that’s barely moving. And here’s another reason to keep up with the car in front of you: It helps you stay alert to when the light does turn green. Have you ever been in this situation? You’re at a red light, and the light turns green. But the guy in front of you is busy picking lint off his cashmere boxer shorts, and he doesn’t move. Finally, you tap your horn, and he looks up, and realizes the light has been green for 20 seconds and there’s no one in front of him. He floors it, and as he makes it through the light, the light turns red, and you’re stuck again. Then you have to curse him and his progeny for all eternity. Don’t let that happen to you, Janeen. So, consider me pro-creep.

Dear Car Talk: My mechanic says my 1999 Altima needs a new charcoal canister at a cost of $512. Most of that cost is for the part, not the labor, he says. He also says it won’t hurt to drive the car without having this part replaced. I’ll just continue to experience two irritating reminders of the problem: 1. The “Service Engine Soon” light never goes off. 2. When I refuel, the gas pump shuts off early and I can never fill it up all the way, even with multiple squeezes of the nozzle. Neither of these problems is enough to make me drop $512 on a car with almost 200,000 miles. So, I just want to know what are the potential problems in the next 50,000 miles if I leave things the way they are? And how bad of a person, environmentally speaking, am I for driving the car in this condition? — Bill Well, one problem you’ll have in the next 50,000 miles is you won’t know when your “Service Engine Soon” light is trying to tell you something new. If it’s always on, you won’t know when you have a second, or third, problem. As far as how bad a person you are, I think I’d defer to your poker buddies on that. But I wouldn’t want to live next door to you, Bill.

The charcoal canister captures raw gasoline vapors so they don’t escape into the air. Gasoline vapors are the source of smog, which damages people’s lungs, and is particularly hard on kids and people with breathing difficulties. So, you’re saving $500 at the expense of everyone else’s health. Your mechanic is right that it won’t harm the car if you drive with a non-functioning charcoal canister. But since it will harm your family and friends, why not consider looking for a used one? If your mechanic is willing, have him call some local junkyards and see if he can find you a charcoal canister from an Altima of the same era. Maybe you’ll find a working one with 100,000 miles on it. Then you’ll certainly be good for another 50,000 miles (although if that’s your goal, you might want to have him pick up a used engine and transmission while he’s there, too). Since the bulk of the price for this repair is the part, buying a used part might cut the cost by more than half. And then with all the money you save, you can fly across the country on vacation and pollute the upper atmosphere. Good luck, Bill. Visit

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AT DOUGH CRAFT PIZZA With imported ingredients, unique appetizers and an all-inclusive menu of vegan and gluten-free options, Dough Craft Pizza (2454 Lafayette Road, Portsmouth, 601-4429, is aiming to offer more than what you’d find at your standard pizzeria. Managing partner and Hampton native Brian Ward said the eatery has a more polished feel, and it features its own twist on Neapolitan-style pizza with flour, tomatoes and other ingredients sourced directly from Italy. All pizzas come in 12-inch sizes, with specialty options or the opportunity for you to create your own toppings, as well as substitutes like vegan cheese and cauliflower crusts. Beyond the pizzas, there are house appetizers like fried mozzarella cheese curds, fried caprese bites and a rotating selection of local oysters, plus rice and grain bowls, salads, craft beer, bottled wines, and build-your-own bruschetta boards, with options like hummus feta and chopped cucumber, tapenade and prosciutto and Gorgonzola, apple and fig jam. The Scene recently spoke with Ward, who also co-owns each of the five Thirsty Moose Taphouse restaurants in New Hampshire (three of which are on the Seacoast), about the new eatery’s concept and what you can expect when you visit. How long has Dough Craft Pizza What is your personal favorite dish? been around? Personally, I like to eat meatball and We opened right before Thanksgiv- ricotta pizza, but as far as our specialing. We’re going on our third week ty pizzas go, the California Love has now. definitely been one of our top sellers. It has a spicy barbecue sauce base, and What makes Dough Craft Pizza it’s topped with mozzarella cheese, unique? chicken, onions, goat cheese and pineI would say definitely our dough is apple. We have a pretty large selection unique, and then also just the inclusive- of other things do. Our pesto chicken ness of having different ingredients and bowl and our poke bowl in particular toppings to cater to everybody. are really good.

SEACOAST SCENE | DECMBER 12 - 25, 2019 | PAGE 16

Dough Craft Pizza in Portsmouth. Photos by Danielle Ward of SummerGrace Photography.

What is a dish everyone should try? If you just keep it classic to start out and try our cheese pizza, you’ll see how good it is, and then you can get creative and mix and match different toppings. We use imported flour that makes the dough very soft, and we import the tomatoes too. One of my partners in this business, Joe [Kelley], actually also first opened Joe’s New York Pizza. What is an essential skill to running a restaurant? For me, it’s always just been the abil-

ity to be able to look at things from the customer’s perspective and to always be focused on them. What is your favorite thing about being on the Seacoast? I’ve moved away and moved back here and I just love it here. It’s the perfect mix of ocean, mountains and urban areas. — Matt Ingersoll

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It is the season of gifting! We have seen the ads on TV: A husband and wife emerge from the front door of their house and parked in front are two new vehicles, a new pickup and a new SUV with big red bows on top of them. He says, “One for you and one for me!” and she rushes to the big boy truck shouting, “I love it! I love it!” And the ad ends with him turning his attention to the new SUV, just a little disappointed. Gifting can be complicated, and it can go wrong. The husband in the ad somehow missed with his expectations of what was the ideal vehicle for his wife. So too, when choosing a wine to give to a family member or friend, or as a host and hostess gift, you need to assess their personalities and choose wisely. And remember, you don’t have to drop $60K for each purchase to show your appreciation of your connection to your loved one. Our first wine is bubbly and “just fun”! It can be a gift for your loved one who drives a Mini Cooper. Domaine Chandon Brut Cuvee, regularly priced at $17.99, and on sale until the end of the year at $14.99, is described in their website as “crisp, fresh and effortlessly cool.” It is straw in color, with green apple, pear and citrus notes that precede a soft, dry finish. This wine is produced from primarily chardonnay with pinot noir and meunier grapes blended in as well, all grown in the Napa Valley of California. It can be paired with Caesar salad, fried calamari, oysters or fresh sashimi and sushi. It is sparkling and fun! Our second wine is also from California, but from the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. Buehler Chardonnay Russian River, originally priced at $19.99 and on sale at the Price Busters racks at $11.99, is the gift comparable to a brand new white Audi convertible — perfect for the sophisticated loved one! The color is a soft yellow-tan with just a hint of ocher to it. The wine displays floral and fruit notes, accented by a slight toast that comes from its production of “sur-lie” — that is, the wine resting on spent yeast. To the mouth, it is creamy and full and the natural acidity of the Russian River fruit carries this velvet textured package to a long, clean finish. Simply elegant! Our third wine is from Bordeaux, France. Château Condat Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2015 by François Janouex, originally priced at $74.99 and on sale at the Price Busters racks at $34.99, is the gift that is comparable to a new Mercedes Benz — perfect for the self-assured and worldly loved one. Château Condat lies on the site of a castle built in the 12th century by Henry II, king of England, during the crown’s occupation of the Bordeaux region of France. The best wines of this region come from the red gravel plateaus of Pomerol and St. Émilion. This deep and fruity wine is a blend of 70 percent merlot, 20 percent cabernet sauvi-

Courtesy photos.

gnon, 10 percent cabernet franc. To the nose it has notes of blackberry and black currant. The fruit of the wine is full to the mouth, with a long dry finish. This wine needs to be decanted and can be paired with beef or game, and like the best Bordeaux wines it can be cellared for another 10 years. Our fourth wine returns us to California. Neal Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, originally priced at $55.99, is on sale at $30.99 until the end of the year. This wine can best be described as a “Cadillac Cab,” a full and rich wine that is simply luxurious. This wine is classically produced by blending grapes from St. Helena, Howell Mountain and Rutherford, on the Valley floor. The wine is aged for 20 months in 50 percent new French oak. This wine has a deep red-purple color and firm structure. Aromas include blackberry, cassis, cherry and vanilla. The taste and “feel to the mouth” is intense but very velvety, with black cherry fruit, some cedar, with a hint of leather, to a complex and long finish. Decanting is recommended and will significantly enhance the enjoyment of this wine. Suffice to say this wine sets a standard by which other California cabs can be judged. This wine is perfect as a gift to your father-in-law or a very special loved one to validate your affection to them. So don’t drop a very expensive $60K for a gift that can go wrong, when a carefully selected, very personal wine will suffice. And, you can buy several bottles of each to share and enjoy with your loved ones. Happy holidays! Fred Matuszewski is a local architect and a foodie and wine geek, interested in the cultivation of the multiple strains and varieties of grapes and the industry of wine production and sales. Chief among his travels is an annual trip to the wine producing areas of California.

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I am usually pretty modest about my baking skills; I completely understand that I’m just a home cook who likes to play in the kitchen. But if I can crow about myself for a moment, my scones are pretty darn yummy. In fact, my husband likes to tell people that they are the best baked goods he’s ever eaten. I know what you’re thinking. He’s my husband so he has to say that. That’s not true. I’ve made plenty of foods where either he didn’t like what I made (although I did) or that together we’ve agreed it’s a flop. The love of my scones go Cranberry Walnut Scones. Photo by Michele Pesula Kuegler. beyond my husband. They are a family favorite. When my kids are home for a few days, scones also would work nicely for Christmas are at the top of the list for request- breakfast or a holiday brunch. ed Mom-made foods. My parents talk While they can be served as is, they about them, as do friends who’ve also are quite nice topped with some enjoyed them. Yeah, I guess they do cinnamon-sugar butter. It’s the seahave quite a following. son of indulgence; you almost have to Alright, I’ll step off my self-congrat- top your baked goods with butter and ulatory soapbox now. sugar! Over the years I’ve made many different versions, but I am always Michele Pesula Kuegler has been thinkthinking about what type will be next. ing about food her entire life. Since 2007, With us in the midst of the holiday sea- the New Hampshire resident has been sharson, it seemed the right time to try these ing these food thoughts and recipes at her cranberry walnut scones. They make blog, Think Tasty. Please visit thinktasty. a lovely Thanksgiving breakfast (cut com to find more of her recipes. and save this recipe for next year) but Cranberry Walnut Scones

to the size of grains of rice. Add walnuts and cranberries to flour mixture, tossing gently. Whisk buttermilk, egg yolk, and vanilla in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup or small bowl. Gradually add liquids to dry ingredients; mix until dough forms a ball. (You may not need to use all of the liquids.) Place dough on a lightly floured surface and press into an 8-inch round. Cut into eight wedges. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar. Transfer wedges to rimmed cookie sheet, Preheat oven to 400 degrees. preferably lined with parchment paper. Mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, bak- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the scones are crusty on top and a tester inserted into the ing soda, and salt in a large bowl. center comes out clean. Add butter. Combine dry ingredients using a pastry Serve warm. blender (or two forks) until butter is reduced 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 5 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, diced 2/3 cup chopped walnuts 2/3 cup dried cranberries 3/4 cup buttermilk* 1 large egg yolk 1 teaspoon vanilla


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Some people are obsessed with dogs or with cars. Kevin Wilson is obsessed with spontaneous human combustion. This may or may not be a real thing. The internet will tell you of a half-dozen or so people who are said to have suddenly caught fire, with no discernible outside cause, but also of people who say this is bunk, that when people suddenly go ablaze there’s usually alcohol and a cigarette lighter involved. No matter. Children catch on fire in Nothing to See Here, a droll, poignant novel by the author of 2011’s The Family Fang, and this is utterly believable. Even more absurd, they don’t get hurt. The children — 10-year-old twins whose troubled mother recently died — are being rehomed with their father, a U.S. senator who hadn’t seen much of his offspring since he divorced their mom. Having children who spontaneously combust isn’t good for furniture, let alone an illustrious career, and the twins will also interrupt the perfect, noncombustible family that the senator has created with his new wife, Madison. But Madison has a plan. She calls the most competent person she knows, a friend that she hasn’t spoken to in more than 10 years. Madison and Lillian were roommates at an illustrious southern boarding school; Madison was there because it was expected of beautiful girls in her socioeconomic class, Lillian because she earned a scholarship, no help from her deadbeat mom and absentee dad. The two recognized a certain weirdness in each other and bonded with ferocity while on the school’s basketball team. But Madison was inadvertently involved in Lillian being expelled, setting off a downward spiral that found her, at age 28, working at two competing grocery stores and living in her mother’s attic. And her mom doesn’t like her. So when Madison writes and asks Lillian if she will come to her estate, that she might have a job for her, Lillian figures anything would be better than the life she’s got, so she gets on a bus to Franklin, Tennessee. There, Madison offers her old friend a temporary job caring for the twins, and Lillian accepts it, even though she struggles to remember “the times when I had willingly interacted with

children.” She figures she can practice on Timothy, Madison’s son, who wears pajamas embroidered with the Tennessee state flag by night and nautical suits by day. Lillian thinks he looks like “an expensive teddy bear that had turned human.” Only after accepting the job does Lillian learn about the twin’s “unique kind of affliction,” which threatens the senator’s chances of becoming secretary of state and raises the stakes of something bad happening for everyone else. But Lillian has few choices and even less money, and Madison is offering her a lot of money to be a governess, just for the summer, while the children adjust. Plus, it gives her a chance to be around Madison again, to grow some fresh skin over an old scar. Wilson has said that he wrote the novel in 10 days, but the spontaneous combustion is something that has interested him since he was a child, and he was intrigued by how you could care for someone at risk of bursting into flames with no warning. Madison’s plan is to put Lillian and the children in a cottage with a sprinkler system a safe distance from the main house. (“The whole place felt like Sesame Street mixed with a mental health facility.”) Lillian comes up with her own strategies — to include the simple (meditation and deep breathing) and the high-tech (flame-resistant gel used by Hollywood stuntmen). But as she becomes closer to the children, she learns that the “fire children” have more control over the flames than everyone thinks, and there is a simmering rage the twins suppress. Taken literally, as the author intends, this is strange stuff. But on another level, what parent hasn’t seen a child spontaneously ignite, and adjust his or her own behavior in order to keep it from happening again? Children are inherently combustible, whether fire is present or not. Breezy and absurdly cheerful, Nothing to See Here is remarkable in its handling of mature themes — the abandonment of innocents, betrayal among friends, toxic parent-child relationships — and its ability to stay hopeful throughout. Each character is memorable, even those who do not burst into flames. A — Jennifer Graham


See Buddy sing

Seacoast actors tackle Elf The Musical

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Elf The Musical. Courtesy photo.

If your Christmas tradition involves watching the movie Elf starring Will Ferrell, maybe it’s time to change things up — but not too much. Elf The Musical is the same story with a twist, and you can see it at Exeter Town Hall from Friday, Dec. 13, to Sunday, Dec. 22. “This is our first time doing Elf. It’s really exciting and a cool opportunity, and it’s such a fun show,” said John Moynihan, producer of the winter musical for the Prescott Park Arts Festival. Elf the Musical is based on the movie Elf, released in 2003. The story depicts Buddy, an orphan, who is raised by elves at the North Pole until he finds out he is really a human. Buddy travels to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help everyone remember the real meaning of Christmas. Prescott Park has been putting on winter musicals in Exeter for the past three years. “We’ve put on A Christmas Carol, as well as the musical version. Last year we did Miracle on 34th Street,” said Moynihan. The Prescott Park Arts Festival is normally a summer-length festival that produces plays, movie night series, and other community programs. The winter musical series was created by the organization as a way to continue the 40-year tradition of the festival. “We saw there was something missing on the Seacoast, so we took the opportunity to fill a gap and continue to offer a great theatrical experience for everybody,” said Moynihan. “This really fits in with our festival’s mission.” While Prescott Park is in Portsmouth, the winter musical is hosted in Exeter Town Hall at 9 Front St. Exeter Hospital is a sponsor of the production, and some members of the Prescott Park organization lived in Exeter, so it seemed like a good idea for this town. “Exeter was a town that didn’t really have a holiday tradition. This seemed like a great opportunity to give back,” said Moynihan. Nearby towns hosted Christmas tree light-

ings, parades, or annual holiday plays, but Exeter did not have a holiday tradition at the time. Now, seeing a show at the town hall has become a tradition for Exeter residents, he said. “We’re happy to be a part of it. We’ve definitely seen the attendance grow throughout the past four years,” Moynihan said. When it came time to choose this year’s winter musical, Moynihan said they were ready to take on a bigger challenge. Elf The Musical was a show that not everyone had seen, and putting this show on gives the organization a chance to grow. This production is also completely local to the Seacoast. “It’s a local production with all local actors. It stays true to our mission of being able to offer high-quality entertainment and giving our local actors an opportunity to perform,” said Moynihan. Tickets for Elf The Musical are available to purchase online: $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $10 for kids 12 and under. Tickets are $5 for veterans and active military. There are also VIP tickets available for $40, which include a drink ticket and seating in the central front VIP section. “We also give out 200 free tickets to people who may not be able to come see the show through the Community Children’s Fund,” said Moynihan. The fund was created by the Exeter Area Chamber of Commerce back in 1989. During the show there will be a raffle for a new car. Ron Currier’s Hilltop Chevrolet in Somersworth has donated a 2019 Chevy Equinox to the Prescott Park Arts Festival, and raffle tickets can be purchased online or at any of the shows. The drawing will be held at the final show performance on Dec. 22. Raffle tickets are one for $10 or three for $25. Elf The Musical will run from Friday, Dec. 13, through Sunday, Dec. 22. There will be eight performances, with night shows starting at 7 p.m. and matinees at 1 p.m. on the weekend. — Danielle Roberts

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Marriage Story is also nominated for multiple Golden Globes including best motion picture (drama), best actress in a drama for Scarlett Johansson, best actor in a drama for Adam Driver, best supporting actress for Laura Dern, best screenplay and best original score. I say “devastated” but also this is a comedy — or, at least, it also has some comedy. I sat down to watch it with a bit of an “ugh, the divorce movie” attitude but this isn’t just a tour through the sad end of a couple’s relationship. It actually starts after the bomb goes off, after the “Divorce Is Happening” decision is made, and becomes about rebuilding and finding hope more than about what went wrong. As Nicole (Johansson) explains to her attorney, Nora (Laura Dern, who is absolutely The Best here and whom I would be automatically rooting for, Globes-wise, if she weren’t up against Jennifer Lopez), in her marriage with Charlie (Driver), Nicole found herself putting her needs last until they weren’t considered at all. When the couple came together, actress Nicole had just come off the high of a successful movie and Charlie was an unknown theater director. Now Charlie has a MacArthur grant for his work and Nicole, long an actress in his company, wants to return to Los Angeles and TV and movie work and Charlie is not supportive. And, she adds after elegantly explaining her feelings and mindset and needs, she’s pretty sure Charlie is sleeping with someone else. Which, we learn, he was. He’s probably not exactly crushed to have the marriage relationship end. But clearly he is unprepared for divorce, and particularly what it means for his role in the life of his and Nicole’s son, Henry (Azhy Robertson). While Charlie stays in New York to work on his play, Nicole takes Henry to Los Angeles, where she is from and where her new job is. She stays at her mother’s (Julie Hagerty) house at first and enrolls Hen-

ry in school in Los Angeles. And, importantly, as Charlie’s gentle attorney Bert (Alan Alda) and later his pugilistic attorney Jay (Ray Liotta, using all the Ray Liotta-persona stuff to good effect) both explain, Nicole files for divorce in Los Angeles, making the family Los Angelesbased and not, as Charlie assumed they would be, a New York-based one. Thus do “amicable” and “we don’t need lawyers” go out the window as the couple fight for what each person’s idea about the next phase of their life will be: Charlie wants, essentially, a slightly altered version of their married life centered in New York and Nicole wants a whole new life and to build up her career in Los Angeles. Beyond just the three Golden Globe nominees Marriage Story features a collection of actors giving B+ or better performances — Alda’s slightly scattered but extremely humane attorney, Liotta’s go-for-the-jugular type, Hagerty as the mother-in-law who doesn’t want to let go of Charlie, Wallace Shawn as a member of Charlie’s theater company, Merritt Wever as Nicole’s sister (and the little glimpses we see into their relationship are a delight). Though the movie clocks in at more than two hours, all of the little pieces, all of the little moments with these characters, click together well and are worth it for how they paint the overall picture of two people transitioning in their relationship to each other but also in how they order their lives. The movie gives its actors a real chance to shine in scenes that blend a more cinematic quality with what almost feel like little plays, scenes where two people in a room have to work through a set of emotions. The movie is able to give us these play-like scenes without ever feeling stagy and without interrupting the overall flow of the story. Marriage Story might not be my first pick for date night but this well-constructed drama is definitely one of the best movies of the year. A— Amy Diaz Rated R for language throughout and sexual references, according to the MPA. Written and directed by Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story is two hours and 16 minutes long and distributed by Netflix.


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Chris Hersch & the Moonraiders. Courtesy photo.

Necessity demands that a good musician cover a lot of ground, often in the number of projects they take on; Chris Hersch embodies this ethos. He and roots chanteuse Celia Woodsmith co-founded Say Darling, and he’s a member of both blues powerhouse Gracie Curran & the Highfalutin’ Band and Sarah Borges & the Broken Singles. Prior to all that he was a founding member of Girls, Guns & Glory. Hersch’s pet project, though, is something else entirely. The guitarist’s first love is jazz; he studied it at New England Conservatory in Boston and has spent a lifetime fixated on the genre, with a keen focus on the mid-20th century. Fittingly, the first band with his own name on the masthead draws hard from that well. Chris Hersch & the Moonraiders is a raucous melting pot of influences, however — jazz, surf, Western swing, country, sock hop rock — enough elements to defy easy categorization. If Dick Dale met Link Wray in a Bakersfield dive and found Dana Colley to play sax, it might sound like Hersch’s band on its debut album, Space Lasso. Its binding characteristic is it’s all instrumental. The raucous opener, “Interstellar Boogie,” sets the tone, with Hersch and sax player Mark Zaleski trading leads over a syncopated beat anchored by drummer David Andrew Moore and bass player Greg Toro; Moore takes a nifty solo. Steel guitarist Michael Bean stands out on the jazzy title cut that follows. The whole band gets to rocking on “Road to Hana,” and in the other direction on standout track “Blues for Aria,” stirring images of Santo & Johnny on a tropical vacation. The many moods of Space Lasso all reflect Hersch’s eclectic nature. “Music is vast — it would be a shame to not explore all of the avenues of it,” he said in a recent phone interview. Much of the inspiration came from his father’s record collection. “My childhood years are really rooted in the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s — that would include

swing music, big bands and small combos from those times,” Hersch said. “I loved it so much, I went to study jazz guitar and dedicated my life to that craft. Not the best business decision, but because I had to do it. ... I still consider myself a student of jazz guitar; I think I’ll always be that way.” With the Moonraiders, Hersch wanted to swing, but with some teeth. Zaleski, the first member he recruited, was a key element. “He’s really my partner in crime on this. … He brings a John Coltrane kind of vibe to the Western swing; he brings that edge to it, and I purposely wanted him to do that. I wanted him to learn the style, but I also wanted him to do his own thing.” Hersch pointed out studiously that the Moonraiders are mining the same territory as Chuck Berry did way back when. “There’s swing in that too, right? The ‘roll’ is the swing,” he said, noting that the early rock ’n’ roll hits were driven by jazz musicians. “That’s what the working gig was in those days. … All those players on those early records were jazz musicians, which explains why it has that feel to it. There is a bridge there.” As the interview closed, Hersch talked about upcoming plans for Say Darling. “We have five new songs recorded right now, they are ready to go,” he said. “We’re trying to make an eight-song record, so we have three songs left. The thing that’s holding it up is that Della Mae [Woodsmith’s Grammy-nominated bluegrass band] is super busy and touring a lot right now, so it’s just a matter of scheduling getting in the way of finishing … but we’re super close to doing that.” — Michael Witthaus


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Chris Hersch & the Moonraiders When: Saturday, Dec. 14, 8 p.m. Where: Portsmouth Book & Bar, 40 Pleasant St., Portsmouth Tickets: $5 at the door, see bookandbar. com

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13 Are real 18 Boil over 24 Reunion group 53 It’s got 14 points on Malay- 26 “Field of Dreams” state Across 15 PC key beside the space bar 21 Raise crops 27 “The Burning Giraffe” painter 1 “Anaconda” singer Nicki 16 Detach 22 Barn-roof adornments sia’s flag 29 Acronymic 1992 single by The 6 Bot. or ecol. 17 Salad ingredient that’s fuzzy 23 Drug buster, for short 56 Not just some Shamen (from “Boss Drum”) 9 Earth-shaking event on the outside 25 Much of Mongolia 57 Aquatic barrier 31 “That feels good!” 14 Singer with three albums 19 ___ di pepe (tiny pasta variety) 28 Titular host of NBC’s “Game 59 Nutritional amt. named after ages 20 Shoo-___ (favorites) of Games” 60 Anniversary gift before wood 32 “Can’t Fight This Feeling” 30 It can cause a row 61 Dwyane Wade’s team for most band ___ Speedwagon 33 Feel unwell 31 Geometry calculations of his career 34 Petty arguments 33 Belt loop puncher 63 Singer Cleo or Frankie 34 False pretense 64 1099-___ (bank-issued tax 35 Great series of wins 36 “___ you kidding me?” 38 Busy spot for Finnish travel form) 37 ___ Dew (PepsiCo product) 42 “Bonanza” role 65 Decline slowly 39 Grammatical subject 43 Linseed product 66 Beginning 40 Welsh stand-up comedian 44 “I have ___ / the plums ...” 67 “Evil Dead” hero Pritchard-McLean (poem line spoofed in memes) 68 Puff pieces? 41 Court judge 45 Big ___, California 45 Evil computer system in “The 46 De-lumps, as flour Down Terminator” 48 Obi-Wan or Luke, e.g. 1 “___ Whoopee” 46 Dagger holder 2 Menzel of “Frozen 2” 47 “Big-ticket” thing 3 Bygone documentaries 11/28 48 Jiggly dessert 4 “Thrilla in Manila” victor 5 “Bring the Funny” judge 49 Aquafina competitor 50 Leary of the “Ice Age” series Foxworthy 51 “Fame” actress Cara 6 “Lord of the Rings” villain 52 Goofy smiles 7 Get on up 54 “It’s ___!” (“I’ll see you then”) 8 “Addams Family” cousin 55 Hotel postings 9 Eighth note, in the U.K. 10 “The Last of the Mohicans” 58 Alfa Romeo rival 61 “Paper Planes” rapper character 62 “Last Week Tonight” airer 11 “___ kettle of fish” 12 Baseball Hall of Famer Ralph © 2019 Matt Jones

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BEACH BUM FUN HOROSCOPES All quotes are from Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life, by Gretchen Rubin, born Dec. 15, 1965. • Sagittarius (Nov. 22 – Dec. 21) It was time to give away the rice cooker I gave Jamie for his last birthday. Alas. He loves to cook, and I’d thought it was a brilliant idea for a present, but he never used it. Not every supposedly brilliant idea pans out. • Capricorn (Dec. 22 – Jan. 19) I love traditions — but I dislike hassle. It’s up to you what you embrace and what you don’t. • Aquarius (Jan. 20 – Feb. 18) Perhaps Eliza would enjoy playing the piano if we made her take lessons, or maybe not, and maybe she’d gain in self-discipline, or maybe not. But there was another critical factor to consider: opportunity cost. … Practicing the piano for an hour meant renouncing all the other activities that might otherwise be pursued. You can’t do everything, so don’t wear yourself out trying to. • Pisces (Feb. 19 – March 20) Eliza got a big kick out of it, but Eleanor didn’t seem too interested…. But when we got to school, she told the children and teachers excitedly about the ‘special breakfast’ she’d had, and described in detail everything that I’d done. It had made a bigger impression than I thought. You may be making a bigger impression than you thought. • Aries (March 21 – April 19) Somehow, I’d become surrounded by several common household appliances that I hadn’t quite mastered. It’s time for a showdown with the toaster. • Taurus (April 20 – May 20) However, I

had to admit that I was contributing to my own frustration, because I almost never bothered to read the instruction booklet. Read it. • Gemini (May 21 – June 20) Just as the grandparents set their own rules for bedtime, snacks, and TV watching, they get to buy whatever they want for Eliza and Eleanor. While my mother-in-law would never buy novelty items for herself, through the girls, she indulges her secret love for solar-powered prisms, sets of miniature colored pencils, and the like. Everyone knows what Grandma really likes. • Cancer (June 21 – July 22) The credential-hoarding, college-admissions-minded part of me wanted to see Eliza accumulate accomplishments, but the wiser part of me argued that one of the most important lessons of childhood is discovering what you like to do. You are not your resume and neither is anyone else. • Leo (July 23 – Aug. 22) Even a small step toward growth — such as learning to use a new camera — gives a boost. Your small steps are valuable. • Virgo (Aug. 23 – Sept. 22) Although I’m not much of a music lover, of any genre … when I took the time to listen to the songs, and ask ‘Who sings this?’ I started to enjoy the music more. Be curious. • Libra (Sept. 23 – Oct. 22) I was mystified by the fact that every hardware store, large or small, has that same hardware store smell, and I breathed it in deeply every time I visited. Take time to smell the hardware. •Scorpio (Oct. 23 – Nov. 21) Avoid being alone with the happiness leech. The presence of other people often dilutes his or her power. Bonus: Spend more time with friends!


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1. ‘The Last Command’ metalers that sting? 5. ‘Cut’ London post-punkers that put narrow cuts in skirts? 10. AC/DC ‘Have A Drink __ __’ (2,2) 14. ‘One On One’ __ & Oates 15. The Streets ‘__ __ Come To This?’ (3,2)

16. ‘01 ELO album about lens type to see closer? 17. Neil-Young penned song about midwest university 18. A sound, aka (1,4) 19. Like The Jeffersons, Primal Scream was ‘Movin’ __ __’ (2,2) 20. U2 ‘__ You Can’t Get Out Of’ (5,2,1,6) 23. Jamie Cullum ‘__ Torino’

24. Smyth of Scandal 25. 2nd Asia album with ‘Don’t Cry’ 28. ‘02 Alanis Morissette album ‘Under Rug __’ 31. ‘99 Blackalicious album 32. Iconic Canadian drum cymbal company 35. An honest Face To Face is pointing the finger saying: ‘You __’ 39. Manfred Mann “There she was just awalking down the street singing...” song (2,3,5,5) 42. Tour lodges 43. Cage The Elephant “It goes in __ __ and right out the other” (3,3) 44. Amy of Evanescence 45. Madness’ singer 47. Yngwie Malmsteen ‘Don’t Let __ __’ (2,3) 49. ‘04 Indigo Girls album ‘All That We


__ __’ (3,2) 52. Grace Potter ‘Paris (Ooh __ __)’ (2,2) 54. ‘91 Buddy Guy album ‘Damn right, __’ (3,3,3,4) 60. Liam, son of Crowded House’s Neil 61. John Mellancamp ‘__ Toot Toot’ 62. English dance hall singer Banton 64. Manfred Mann “If you gotta go, go now or __ you gotta stay all night” 65. Very small Emmy The Great song she almost named “Molecules”? 66. Irish rockers God __ __ Astronaut (2,2) 67. Sublime song they planted that grew? 68. Sinéad O’Connor likes to rip up pics of them 69. ‘Eli & The Thirteenth Confession’ Laura


1. Milla Jovovich ‘The Gentleman __ Fell’ 2. Go with oohs 3. Murderdolls ‘__ My Wrist’ 4. Speedy Ortiz uses a farming one for cultivation of soil 5. South Africans Boom __ 6. Psalm language 7. “The heat __ __, on the street” Glenn Frey (2,2) 8. Talking Heads Weymouth 9. Static-X song for cells? 10. Grammy-winning Alt-Latin rockers 11. 9 person musical group 12. Led Zep’s ‘Misty’, for short 13. Pete Townshend ‘80 solo album ‘__ Glass’ 21. Human League album that came in pieces from a scene? 22. Naughty By Nature hit

25. Famous musical The King __ __ (3,1) 26. Journey ‘Can’t Tame The __’ 27. Store that has guitars from players really needing money 28. Phil Collins needs to hear ‘Both __ Of The Story’ 29. Country’s ‘I’m Still Dancin’ With You’ Hayes 30. Ethereal ‘Watermark’ singer 33. Canine fan Jimmy Buffett said “You’re better off with __ __” (1,3) 34. Cherry variety in backstage drink 36. Like unused studio time 37. 10,000 Maniacs song about a Heavenly garden? 38. Circa Survive ‘__ In The Wool’ 40. What music teacher did with homework 41. Power tool a roadie might have 46. Popular card game played on the bus, perhaps 48. Elton John songwriting pal Bernie 49. Lynyrd Skynyrd teaches ‘__ Lessons’ 50. ‘Infected Nations’ metal band 51. Pearl Jam speaks in the ‘Present __’ 52. Future Leaders Of The World pleaded ‘__ __ Out’ (3,2) 53. Murky Project Pitchfork song that goes into nothingness? 55. Security might set one, to catch nonticket holders 56. Steve Lukather band 57. What Kurtis Blow liked to shoot, slang 58. An apt Boston tells us ‘It’s __’ 59. Manfred Mann’s Earth Band “And you run your time, a shooting __ across the sky” 63. Singer/screamer Yoko © 2019 Todd Santos


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Unclear on the concept

Kentarias Gowans, 20, of Flowery Branch, Georgia, came up with a novel way of celebrating Thanksgiving. He was scheduled to work at the Steak ‘n’ Shake in Oakwood that day, but called in “intoxicated” and said he wouldn’t be in. But around 10 p.m. that evening, Gowans arrived at the restaurant with a handgun, which he held to another employee’s head while demanding money, the Gainesville Times reported. Multiple employees and customers called 911, and police arrived to see Gowans exiting the restaurant with his gun. He briefly raised the weapon, officers reported, but then dropped it, and he was taken into custody after a brief struggle.

Not Santa

As Stephanie Leguia of Milton, Massachusetts, and her neighbor, Wenhan Huang, chatted in Huang’s yard on Dec. 1, an unusual object slammed to the ground just feet from where they stood. Their backs were turned when what looked like a “giant silver tarp” crashed down, reported the Boston Herald. On its way, it lopped off four tree branches: “If it had hit us, we would have been dead,” Leguia said. Turns out the object was an uninflated silver evacuation slide from a Delta flight arriving in Boston from Paris. The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that the pilot had heard a loud noise as the Boeing airliner approached Logan International Airport, but the flight landed without incident. Delta and the FAA are investigating.

Least competent criminals

Callie Elizabeth Carswell of Morganton, North Carolina, and her fiance, Clarence Moore III, allegedly staged an elaborate crime, all in the name of love, just before Thanksgiving. Around 10 p.m. on Nov. 25, while Carswell worked at the Big Daddy convenience store, Moore entered the store carrying an ornamental sword and wearing a hat and bandanna to disguise his identity. He “demanded” money from Carswell, leaving with $2,960, the Morganton Department of Public Safety told The News Herald. When the “robber” left the store, she called 911. Police went on to work the case overnight, while Carswell and Moore made an early morning stop at Walmart to buy a ring and get engaged on the spot, documenting the big event on Facebook. But details of Carswell’s story didn’t add up, and investigators found evidence in her car and at their home that led them to arrest the couple. Moore confessed to the crime, but Carswell shouted at reporters as she entered the courthouse: “I will assault you! I didn’t do it. ... Watch the (expletive) video and you’ll see that I was (expletive) terrified. I wasn’t involved.” The couple were charged

with armed robbery, misuse of 911 and fil- Bright ideas ing a false police report. • At her early December murder trial at Kingston Crown Court in Kingston, England, 35-year-old Asta Juskauskiene Fine points of the law After a decade of wrangling through of Dartford was accused of setting up a the court system, Bela Kosoian has been “latter-day medieval duel” between her awarded $20,000 (Canadian) by the estranged husband, Giedruis Juskaukus, Supreme Court of Canada. It all started in 42, and her lover, 25-year-old Mantas Kvethe Laval, Quebec, Montmorency Metro daras. As the story goes, according to the station in 2009, when Kosoian was rid- Telegraph, the woman had left her husband ing an escalator while looking through her and become acquainted with Kvedaras, purse and, pointedly, not holding the hand- who was serving time in a Lithuanian prisrail. According to CBC News, a police on. He was released in May, and after his officer told her to respect a sign asking rid- arrival in England, both men claimed Jusers to hold the rail, but Kosoian declined kauskiene as their own. So, logically, she and then would not identify herself to the decided they should fight to the death in officer, who slapped her with two tickets: an alleyway on June 17 — a duel which one for disobeying the sign and another Juskaukus did not survive. He was found for obstructing the work of an inspector. with 35 stab wounds to his body and neck, Kosoian sued, and the highest court agreed and Kvedaras confessed to the attack. The with her, saying: “A reasonable police offi- prosecutor, Hugh Davies, contends that cer should have known that people didn’t Juskauskiene manipulated the two men, have to hold the handrails.” They called the harbored Kvedaras after the incident, and sign a “warning” and not a law. “I knew repeatedly lied to police. She denies conthat I didn’t do anything wrong,” Kosoian spiring to murder. • An unnamed man was detained in Russaid. “It was the principle of it.” sia on Nov. 28 after it was revealed that he erected a fake border station in the woods Questionable judgment In The Hague, Netherlands, management near the country’s border with Finland and at supermarket chain Albert Heijn is walk- charged four South Asian men to smuggle ing back a request that employees send in a photo of themselves in their underwear, in order to work out sizes for new uniforms. Workers were asked to use an “innovative mobile app” to submit the photos, AFP reported, but the company backed down after the complaints started rolling in. “The manager told us that if we don’t do it, we can’t be in the store anymore because we don’t have the right corporate clothing,” said one 17-year-old employee who works at the Nijmegen branch. But Albert Heijn said participating was voluntary and “although ... pictures were not visible to management, this should never have happened. We apologize to all involved.”

them into the European Union, the Guardian reported. He charged the men more than $10,000 for the service, but “The man never planned to carry out his promises,” according to the Interfax News Agency. The man took the migrants on a circuitous route in the Vyborg region by car and on foot, at one point carrying an inflatable boat, “just in case.” All five men were taken into custody. The “smuggler” may be charged with fraud.


Ronald Cyr, 65, of Van Buren, Maine, became the victim of his own trap on Nov. 28 when he was shot by a handgun that he had rigged to fire whenever someone opened the front door. Cyr was able to call 911 and say that he had been shot, WAGM reported, but he later died. When officers of the Van Buren Police Department arrived, they found that along with the home’s front-door booby trap, other devices were set up, prompting them to call the Maine State Police bomb squad. Homemade security devices that use weapons are illegal in the United States. Visit

The continuing crisis

Veronica Alvarez-Rodriguez stopped at a Valparaiso, Florida, Goodwill store on Dec. 1 to pick up a gift for a baby shower she and her husband were attending. She was excited to find a Baby Einstein bouncer seat for just $9.99 — unopened and appearing to be new, The Palm Beach Post reported. Later, at the shower in Crestview, the father-to-be opened the box and found ... a Mossberg 715T semi-automatic rifle. “You guys got me a gun!” he shouted excitedly. The gun had live ammo loaded in it, so the Crestview Police Department was summoned. Initially, officers let the future dad keep the weapon, but later asked to hold it as they investigated the incident. “Goodwill has the best treasures for $9.99,” AlvarezRodriguez gushed.

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PET OF THE WEEK Evander was brought in as a stray. He may look rugged on the outside, but on the inside he’s quite sensitive and shy. He’s still not used to living with humans, but he shows great promise of blossoming into a spoiled housecat. He’s sweet and docile; he simply needs time to feel comfortable enough to open up. He’s looking for a patient home that will give him ample time to adjust. He seems fine with other cats, and a buddy might help show him the ropes and teach him how to truly enjoy a life of leisure. Like all the animals available for adoption at the New Hampshire SPCA in Stratham, Evander is neutered, microchipped and up to date on all his shots. Come visit him at the SPCA, or visit



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