Oct 24, 2014

Friday, Ocotber 24, 2014, Bruce Haight

Theme: What is funnier than a Latin Pun? "ex nihilo nihil fit."

Those six years of Latin in school certainly paid off today, in this whimsical 'add a letter' theme to get a funny answer to a silly definition. I am not sure if the Latin phrases would be difficult for anyone as they seem fairly known, but I am sure you will let me know. I thought some theme answers were very funny, and other not so much. In each case, the meaning of one of the words in the Latin phrase is preserved with other getting the added letter. Another Friday where we have lots of short fill (sixty-seven 3,4 and 5 letter fill) and only two sparklies, I’M OUTA HERE, HOLY SMOKES, with COE and NAURU being fresh fill. The second LAT puzzle from Mr. Haight, who has 6 NYT publications. He is a mentee of Peter Collins, one of the many constructors I admire. Let's see where he takes us.

17A. Latin for "big idiot"? : MAGNUM DOPUS.(11). Original Latin, Magnum Opus, meaning greatest work. Greatest work ----Greatest idiot. (an echo of magnum opus in the same week, coincidence, no! Or at least Owen says no.)

23A. Latin for "holding a grudge for a long, long time"? : MAD INFINITUM.(12). Ad Infinitum, meaning: to infinity ----Angry forever.

38A. Latin for "fighting over parking spots is not allowed"? : NO LOT CONTENDERE.(15). Nolo Contendere, the guilty plea where one does not admit guilt, but does not 'contest' the charge. This grid spanner might be a seed entry but it confused the crap out of me, as I had an idea with the added D and M, there was going to be some kind of Roman Numeral reveal, appropriate to a Latin based theme, no go. No contest ----No parking lot contest.

47A. Latin for "cheating on one's timecard"? : TEMPUS FUDGIT. (12). Tempus Fugit. Time flies ----Time is fudged (faked).

59A. Latin for "fish trading"? : SQUID PRO QUO.(11). By far my favorite, where Quid Pro Quo gets all tentacles on us. This for that ----fish(sort of) ----for that.


1. Critters who worshiped C-3PO as a god : EWOKS.

6. Penicillin precursor : SULFA. Being allergic to Penicillin and growing up before the antibiotic explosion, I remember this.

11. Like Beethoven's Second Symphony : IN D. You like this better than the abbreviation?

14. Museum piece : RELIC.

15. Central Florida city : OCALA. Gainesville's bedroom community and great horse country.

16. Wild West : MAE. I got this immediately when I saw it was three letters but still love the clue/fill.

19. "Certainement!" : OUI. Vraiment! Aussi, 66A. Idée sources : TETES. French for heads, from whence we get our ideas.

20. Blotter letters : AKA. Also Known As. It has a cousin, FKA.

21. Good, in Genoa : BUONO. Just the Italian word.

22. Hides in the closet? : FURS. Another witty use of the confusion of the verb really being a noun here.

26. Classic pops : NEHIS. Pop=Soda; easy for those in the Midwest and a clue without Radar.

29. Charles of old mysteries : NORA. Married to Nick and played by Myrna Loy.

30. Bustles : ADOS. A new clue for a crossword staple.

31. Steam table fuel : STERNO. You get a nice ONE but it won't be cheap.

35. "Good" cholesterol initials : HDL. High-density lipoprotein.

41. Adams of "The Muppets" : AMY.

42. Owl, at times : HOOTER. Oh, so they named the restaurant chain after some owls?

43. Turkmenistan neighbor : IRAN.

44. Where change is welcome : SLOT. Though slot machines no longer have slots for change.

46. "Choose taste" sauce brand : PREGO.

53. Son of Aphrodite : EROS.

54. Cell terminal : ANODE. Battery positive, I am positive.

55. Cry made with a raised index finger : AHA!

58. Torah holder : ARK.

62. Journalist William Shirer's alma mater : COE. I remember the MAN well but had no idea where he went to college, nor any real memory of the existence of a Coe College. I read the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich when it came out, but not with....

63. Verve : GUSTO. As a ...

64. Hefty portion : CHUNK. of the book was very upsetting.

65. Shop door nos. : HRS. Hours.

67. Salon and others : E-MAGS. It sounds all POLITICAL so I have never read it.


1. First name in wit : ERMA. Ms. Bombeck I believe is more famous as fill than as anything else.

2. Watery, as a drink : WEAK. Am I the only one who thought of the talented Molly Sudgen as Mrs. Slocombe telling the men they were "weak as water?" LINK.(2:53).

3. One of Chekhov's "Three Sisters" : OLGA. Called Olya, Maria (Masha) and little Irina.

4. Blood : KIN. I ken kin.

5. Takes a dive? : SCUBAS. Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.

6. Agreeable words : SO DO I.

7. Sch. originally endowed by the Storrs brothers : UCONN. An ultimate gimme, as it was the place of undergraduate and graduate study for me. Go Huskies!

8. __ luxury : LAP OF.

9. Viral ailment : FLU.

10. Remote power sources : AAS. We get a lot of battery clues to go with our wide feet clues.

11. "See ya!" : I'M OUTA HERE. Not yet,  still working away.

12. Pacific republic near the equator : NAURU. This was hard. LINK.

13. Voltaire's world-view : DEISM.

18. Joe with some oomph : MUD. For those who like Starbucks.

22. Holiday buy : FIR. FUR fits as well, and many a husband is up a tree if all he buys is the tree.

23. Sapporo soup : MISO. Healthy or not. You DECIDE.

24. __ circle : INNER. Fun Jamaican band. Listen.(3:42).

25. "High __" : NOON. Gary Cooper at his best.

26. Family nickname : NANA.

27. Biblical kingdom near the Dead Sea : EDOM.

28. "Yikes!" : HOLY SMOKES. I like this thought I struggled for a bit.

31. Glaswegians, e.g. : SCOTS. I also like this name for those from Glasgow.

32. Furthermore : TOO.

33. Tolkien creature : ENT.

34. Series of turns: Abbr. : RTE. I guess this is accurate, but again not my first thought.

36. Snoozefest : DRAG.

37. 2014 Television Academy Hall of Fame inductee : LENO.

39. Biblical pronoun : THOU.

40. Gossip : DIRT. It would not be worth repeating if it were not a bit 'dirty.'

45. Vinyl spinners : LPS. Long Plays.

46. Go through : PIERCE. Another perfectly correct fill that slowed me.

47. Emulate Anne Sullivan : TEACH. The famous guide to Helen Keller, herself a handicapped person who was taught at the Perkins School for the blind in Boston. In high school I wrestled against one of there students in a tournament.

48. Flub : ERROR.

49. Gounod opera : FAUST. Only 2 hours plus. LINK. (2:19:06).

50. Form an alliance : UNITE.

51. Extinct Mauritian birds : DODOS. A CSO to our dear friend.

52. Econ. stat : GDP. Gross Domestic Product.

55. Blue hue : AQUA.

56. Like curtains : HUNG. So many inappropriate comments come to mind.

57. NASA go-aheads : A-OKS.

59. Friday is one: Abbr. : SGT. Badge 714, hmmmm.

60. Prov. on the St. Lawrence : QUEbec. Is that used in Canada Eh?

61. Electrical unit : OHM. Umm, I guess I am out of power here and must leave for another week. Well as this month comes to an end I have tons of birthdays ahead, including Miss Charlotte. Thanks Bruce and thank you all for stopping by.

Lemonade out.