Oct 31, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011 Don Gagliardo and C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Before Dawn - that's when it's blackest, and this Monday, BLACK can be in front of both words in the themes.

17A. *Shows like “Cheers” and “Friends” : LIGHT COMEDY. . A "black light" has a dark blue optical filtering material in the glass of the bulb which blocks most of the visible light, so the lamp emits mostly ultraviolet. A black comedy is a comic work that employs gallows humor.

25A. *Precious metal trading venue : GOLD MARKET. Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea. You can find just about anything on the black market...for a price.

38A. *Soft, lumpy chair : BEAN BAG. Easy Black Bean Soup. Black bag operations are covert or clandestine surreptitious entries into structures to obtain information for human intelligence operations. Does Watergate bother you?

42A. *Winter fisherman’s access : ICE HOLE. Video of a fire truck trying to turn on black ice, watch the front wheels. Clip.(0:55). A spot in space where things go in but don't come out is a black hole.

56A. *Attractive facial mole : BEAUTY MARK. Attractive equine, Black Beauty. Horse theft is definitely a black mark on yor record.


64A. 1987 market crash, and this puzzle’s title, whose first word can precede each word in the starred answers : BLACK MONDAY

Argyle here. It is obvious from the title, this was meant to be a Monday puzzle but some fill is from later in the week. But, hey, we put on our big kids pants and soldier on. Happy Halloween! (Did you check out the Google banner?)

Across:

1. About, date-wise : CIRCA

6. Togo neighbor : GHANA. West coast of Africa. Map.

11. Band booster : AMP

14. Ancient Greek theater : ODEAN. (Correction: ODEON.) I always picture this.

15. Hershey’s caramel candies : ROLOs. Skors yesterday and Rolos today; all gone tonight.

16. Card game with a belligerent name : WAR

19. Author Umberto : ECO. Best known for his novel The Name of the Rose (Il nome della rosa, 1980), an intellectual mystery combining semiotics in fiction, biblical analysis, medieval studies and literary theory. That's what Wiki says.

20. “Garfield” dog : ODIE

21. Be shy, poker pot-wise : OWE

22. Onion kin : LEEK. Add some to the black bean soup.

24. Wheel edges : RIMS

29. Pub mug : STEIN

31. Simba’s mate, in “The Lion King” : NALA

32. Like a mint Mickey Mantle rookie card : RARE

33. Drilled commodity : OIL. Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea.

35. Drill parts : BITS

37. Understand : GET

44. Klutz : OAF

45. Riverbank deposit : SILT. I never cared for this description; the river bottom or delta. yes.

47. “__ Haw” : HEE

48. Another, in Andalusia : OTRO. Andalusia, a region in Southern Spain, bordering on the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

50. Like sour cherries : TART

52. Bust makers : NARCs

59. Hindu scripture : VEDA

60. Beatles meter maid : RITA. From the Sgt. Pepper's album. Clip.(2:43)

61. Zip : NIL

62. Bring home : EARN

63. Certain eBay click : BID. But there aren't many auctions anymore.

68. “__ Misérables” : LES

69. Flood barrier : LEVEE

70. Demoted planet : PLUTO. So sad.

71. Chinese menu general : TSO

72. “Yikes!” : "EGADS!"

73. Keys in : TYPES

Down:

1. Red, white and blue : COLORS

2. “Yay, me!” : "I DID IT!"

3. Ruling period : REGIME

4. Ability to stick together : COHESION

5. Picnic bug : ANT

6. Gradually appeal to : GROW ON

7. Amateur photographer’s workshop : HOME LAB

8. Bar pint contents : ALE

9. Green light : NOD. Bit of a stretch, wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more.

10. Safe havens : ASYLA.  This definition is from the 1913 Webster's Dictionary and may be outdated. (I'd say.)

11. Seven days before now : A WEEK AGO

12. Holy fish? : MACKEREL

13. Poker tour player : PRO

18. Minor player : COG. "I feel like a micro cog in a macrocosm" · - Mary Guyette.(Whoever she was.)

23. Goof up : ERR

26. 552, to Caesar : DLII

27. Fire starter : MATCH

28. Head, in France : TÊTE

30. Penpoints : NIBs

34. Flock at church : LAITY

36. Spotted : SEEN

38. Half-wit : BOOB

39. Diners and such : EATERIES

40. “Yes, unfortunately” : "AFRAID SO"

41. Glittery rock genre : GLAM

43. Angelic : HEAVENLY

46. Hypnotized : TRANCED

49. Ump’s call : OUT

51. Tots’ rides : TRIKEs. Check out this beaut!

53. Do research (on) : READ UP

54. Percentage quoted by a bank : CD RATE

55. Some plasma TVs : SANYOs. Good to see something besides RCA.

57. Dining room piece : TABLE. 65D. 57-Down support : LEG

58. Merged Dutch airline : KLM

63. Short lunch order? : BLT

66. Gardner on screen : AVA

67. Pick, with “for” : OPT


Argyle

1) Constructors' Note:

This is Don's idea. We originally started color blue and changed to black after seeing blue has been done before. Then Don further enhanced our theme by suggesting going with phrases where both words can follow black. We had fun with this puzzle. Everything went smoothly, from theme entry selection to filling and cluing.

2) Here is a wonderful photo from our regular commenter Yellowrocks, who visited Japan some time ago.

Oct 30, 2011

Sunday Oct 30, 2011 Jonathan L O'Rourke

Theme: "My Ex Was a Monster!" - Each spooky answer and its spooky clue narrate a scary "Ex" story & a current date for 115A.

23A. My first crush was on a mummy, but . . . : HE'S WRAPPED UP IN HIMSELF. Mummies were wrapped in cloth.

47A. Everyone liked my ghost boyfriend, but . . . : I SAW RIGHT THROUGH HIM. Ghosts are transparent.

67A. I had a relationship with Frankenstein's monster, but . . . : IT CAME APART AT THE SEAMS. Frankenstein's monster had lots of stitches on.

89A. When I moved to Sleepy Hollow, I started dating a soldier, but . . . : HE KEPT LOSING HIS HEAD. The Headless Horseman.

115A. Now I'm dating Count Dracula. Things are going well, but . . . : HE CAN BE A PAIN IN THE NECK. Dracula sucks! The title "Ex" is not inclusive, isn't it?

Then HORRORS (99A. "Little Shop of __) and a few other ghostly bonus entries.

Only 5 theme entries, but they're all very long, occupying a total 101 theme squares. Quite a few outstanding long Downs today:

3D. Two-part David Bowie song from "Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)" : IT'S NO GAME. Gimmie, Avg Joe? Creepy clue. Nice.

7D. Fresh out of the oven : PIPING HOT

8D. Number retired by the Orioles for Jim Palmer : TWENTY TWO. Hall-of-Famer. Cal Ripken's number is 8. Retired by the Orioles also. I admire guys who spent their entire career with one team.

14D. Vampire-romance series : TWILIGHT. Another bonus entry.

16D. Taking issue? : KLEPTOMANIA. Great clue.

58D. Critter in old Qantas ads, popularly : KOALA BEAR

69D. Feline who said "We're all mad here" : CHESHIRE CAT

78D. Fine porcelain : BONE CHINA

81D. Munch museum masterpiece : THE SCREAM. You can almost hear it.

This is the debut puzzle for Jonathan L O'Rourke. Congratulations!

Across:

1. "Evil Under the Sun" detective : POIROT ( Hercule). And 25D. Ustinov who played 1-Across : PETER.

7. Class-conscious orgs.? : PTAs. Saw this clue before.

11. Like Granny Smiths : TART

15. Hershey bar : SKOR. Toffee bar. Wiki said Skor is Swedish for "shoes".

19. Traveling, like Blues Traveler : ON TOUR. Rock band.

20. "Yay! Go me!" : I WIN

21. From square one : ANEW

22. Bjorn rival : ILIE (Nastase)

27. Chaney of film : LON. More horror.

28. Minting process : COINAGE

29. Slippery : EELY

30. Home to four-and-twenty blackbirds : PIE. "... Four-and-twenty blackbirds/Baked in a pie...".

31. Wide of the mark : OFF

34. Demolition supply : TNT

35. Part of SOP: Abbr. : STD. SOP = Standard Operating Procedure. Then we have 96A. Morsel for dipping : SOP. Different meaning.

37. York __: British cathedral : MINSTER. Gothic Cathedral.

39. Folded corner : DOG EAR. Annoying.

42. Training room : GYM. Been ages since I heard from Dennis.

44. Hosp. units : ERs

46. Florida's team : GATORS. Hi there Gator Mom!

51. PIN requester : ATM. 119D. Big 51-Across manufacturer : NCR.

52. "Prove it!" : SHOW ME

53. Prefix for fall : PRAT. Pratfall.

54. Dear one, in Italy : CARO

57. Veggie that looks like an overgrown scallion : LEEK. We just call scallion "green onion".

59. Green Hornet sidekick : KATO. Played by Bruce Lee.

60. 87-Down fruit : SLOES. And 87D. Bar staple : GIN.

62. "It's __": "Problem solved" : OK NOW. You won't see any partial longer than 5 letters in LA Times.

63. Get __ years: age : ON IN

65. God-fearing : PIOUS

66. Like some obedience : FILIAL

73. Composer Gustav : MAHLER. Born in Bohemia.

74. Crosswise, shipwise : ABEAM

75. L.A. Angel, e.g. : ALer. American Leaguer.

76. Tool for a mountaineer : ICE AX

77. "Hungarian Fantasy" composer : LISZT. Nice consonant cluster.

78. Ernie's roommate : BERT

80. PDQ, to an RN : STAT

84. Org. that investigates crashes : NTSB.

85. Carvey who played the Church Lady : DANA

86. Self-interested one : EGOIST

88. Gp. with a co-pay : HMO

94. __ Afghan Airlines : ARIANA. Got any desire to visit that place?

97. Old Testament bk. : NEH

98. "Shazam!" : PRESTO

101. Ryan of "You've Got Mail" : MEG

103. Letters on Windy City trains : CTA (Chicago Transit Authority)

105. Co. designation : INC

106. String after B : CDE. Alphabet.

107. Light bulb unit : WATT

109. Uses FedEx again : RE-SHIPS. We should support UPS. Can you figure out what his favicon is?

112. Actress Charlotte : RAE

120. __ upswing : ON AN

121. Pizzazz : BRIO

122. Obama, as of Jan. 2009 : CINC (Commander-in-Chief) 65D. 122-Across, informally : PREZ.

123. Obscure : ARCANE

124. Camp Swampy dog : OTTO

125. Cry of pain : YELP

126. Aquarium fish : OPAH

127. Messenger god : HERMES. Oh my God. Hermes! Hermes Birkin bag lives in my dream, Santa!

Down:

1. Novelist Frederik : POHL. He has four Hugos.

2. __ cat: baseball variation : ONE O'

4. Obey the coxswain : ROW

5. Lord's Prayer opening : OUR

6. Gillette's __ II : TRAC

9. Opera that premiered in Cairo : AIDA. Nubia.

10. Nestles : SNUGS

11. Mai __: fruity cocktail : TAI. Now I've got to make that ambrosia you guys talked about yesterday. Sounds delicious. No whipped cream though.

12. "Breathing Lessons" novelist Tyler : ANNE

13. Take up, as a homemade costume : RE-HEM

15. Relative's nickname : SIS

17. More smarmy : OILIER

18. Alludes (to) : REFERS

24. __ roast : POT

26. Chatty bird : MYNAH

32. Not many : FEW. It's a great feeling, Jayce, to know that some of my nonsense could be understood by you. You're a awesome Gweilo (Cantonese for "foreigners", literally "ghost man").

33. Not close : FAR

36. GED taker : DROP-OUT

38. Purists : STICKLERS

39. Give a ring : DIAL

40. Bone: Pref. : OSTE

41. More dangerous : RISKIER

43. Old TV production co. : MTM. "Lou Grant".

45. Like the best bet : SUREST

48. Ivory Coast neighbor : GHANA

49. Doesn't act just yet : HESITATES. No hesitation & no inconsistency in front of Roberto.

50. Krypton, for one : GAS

55. Go nowhere in particular : ROAM

56. Nocturnal hunters : OWLS

61. Planter's choice : LOAM

62. River to the Seine : OISE. Just how many many four-letter rivers go to the Seine?

64. Four Corners st. : N MEX

66. Marker feature : FELT TIP

67. "Sounds good to me!" : I'M IN

68. Ambassador's asset : TACT

70. Puts on a coat : PAINTS

71. Son of David : ABSALOM. Third son of King David. I drew a blank.

72. Quite rough : HARSH

77. One can stand to lose it : LAP. Oh, you make a lap when you sit down. Lose it when you stand up. I'm feeling stupid.

79. Early floppy disk size : EIGHT INCH. History.

82. Part of a Latin trio : AMAT. Amo, amas, amat.

83. Brouhaha : TO DO

85. Column begun in 1956 by Pauline Phillips : DEAR ABBY

90. Famous : KNOWN

91. Musical drama : OPERA

92. Title for a guru : SRI

93. Layer : HEN. Hens lay eggs.

94. Blessing elicitor : AH-CHOO

95. Guinea pig, e.g. : RODENT

100. Firewood measure : STERE. I've never baked a potato in a fireplace.

102. Auto insurance giant : GEICO

104. Spot-on : APT

108. Kite attachment : TAIL

110. Barber's stroke : SNIP

111. Ruler deposed in 1979 : SHAH. He had quite a car collection.

113. Teen's affliction : ACNE

114. Scratches (out) : EKES

116. "I'll take that as __" : A NO

117. __ psychology : POP

118. Poet's before : ERE

Answer grid.

C.C.

Oct 29, 2011

Saturday, Oct 29, 2011 Brad Wilber

Theme: None

Words: 68

Blocks: 33

Another Brad Wilber in the month of October (the 8th), this one with the lowest word count I think I have had for a Saturday, and four "cheater" squares, a term I am not thrilled about; it refers to the black squares in the two corners and the symmetrical ones above 36D, and below 13D. This grid, with its "plus" pattern has spawned some interesting non-Saturday themes - specifically, one where the theme tie-in was Plus Sign, and Positive - I just can't remember who it was - my guess is yesterday's constructor, John Lampkin. Anyway, Brad's puzzle was pretty smooth today, just a few changes and one or two learning moments - or maybe I am just getting better at Saturdays....

ONWARD ~!

ACROSS:

1. In secret : ON THE QT - nice - starting with a "Q" in an abbreviation, QT meaning "quiet", and discussed here

8. Picks up slowly : GLEANS

14. Staunch : TRUE BLUE

15. Tank top? : TURRET - didn't fool me

16. Divine dinner : AMBROSIA - had _ _ _ ROAST to start, but wasn't working

17. Bergman of film : INGMAR

18. Pricey order from a butcher : LOIN

19. Caldecott Medal winner __ Jack Keats : EZRA

21. Tropical cousin of the raccoon : COATI - Image

22. Capital of Lithuania? : ELL - Capital letter of Lithuania. Put this in right away, then thought it might be a reference to the "money" capital of the country, but nope, I was spot-on

23. 1971 Matthau film directed by Jack Lemmon : KOTCH - more here

25. "__War": Shatner series : TEK - never watched it; but I am a huge TREKKIE

26. One involved in litigation : SUER

28. Hard times : MISFORTUNE - meh, this doesn't quite fit, like "I fell on hard times, I fell on misfortune"....meh

30. Parenthetical passage : ASIDE - I like saying the word PA-ren-THEH-ti-cal

32. Sommelier, often : POURER - Sommelier, a wine specialist at a restaurant

33. Pitchman's pitches : SPIELS

35. Became less ardent : COOLED

36. Aesop character, usually : ANIMAL

37. Skunk cabbage and jack-in-the-pulpit, e.g. : ARUMs - I could not figure out exactly what the correlation of these words were; they are all plants, that much I know....

38. Much-devalued holding, in modern lingo : TOXIC ASSET - sub-prime mortgage homes are a pretty good example that I can think of....

40. Yorkshire river : AIRE - Map (boy was this HARD to find ~!)

44. Rule, in Rouen : LOI - Ah, French, my guess is it's "LAW"

45. Overpromoted : HYPED

46. Common URL finish : COM - as in "Dot Com"

47. Cub Scouts pack leader : AKELA - this was new to me

49. Stem-to-branch angle : AXIL

51. Radiohead frontman Yorke : THOM - Cool video

52. Eat one's words : RECANT

54. Pervasiveness : UBIQUITY - I like using "Ubiquitous", so this one came to me easy

56. '90s Seattle-born music style : GRUNGE - Not a fan of the style, but I did love Nirvana

57. Lively musical passages : ALLEGROs

58. Regard : ESTEEM

59. Plays for a fool : LEADS ON

DOWN:

1. Ornamental gilded bronze : ORMOLU - a WAG from knowing OROBLU, and this is what the clue is referring

2. Developed, in a way : NUBILE - oh, this is developed

3. Fork-tailed bird : TERN

4. Original network of "Fraggle Rock" : HBO - I remember when HBO was "exotic"

5. Unnamed alternative : ELSE

6. Radio game show with a panel of gifted children : QUIZ KIDS

7. Apricot-like shade : TEAROSE

8. Hatchback with a TSI engine : GTI

9. Home of counterculture? : LUNCHROOM

10. Logical term : ERGO

11. Sculptor's framework : ARMATURE - also in Stop-motion animation

12. Put in order : NEATENED

13. Person in a picket line : STRIKER

14. Raconteur's repertoire : TALES

20. Justice Dept. bureau : ATF - Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms

24. Lame excuse : COP OUT

27. "Spider-Man" director Sam : RAIMI

28. Female poet known to friends as "Vincent" : MILLAY

29. Oral Roberts University site : TULSA

31. Dramatic transformation : SEA CHANGE

33. Plays for a fool : SNOOKERS - I have yet to play a game of Snooker

34. Halle Berry's hairstyle : PIXIE CUT - not a fan of Halle, but this style does look good

35. Like a good witness : CREDIBLE

36. Not in custody : AT LARGE

37. Like some spore reproduction : ASEXUAL

39. Place for a rest cure : SPA

41. Suzuki of the Mariners : ICHIRO - I defer to our baseball expert, C.C. (From C.C.: My first-ever baseball card is Ichiro's rookie card.)

42. Act the cheerleader : ROOT ON

43. Winged statuettes : EMMYs



48. Swim meet division : LANE

50. Reader's Digest co-founder Wallace : LILA

51. Harbor vessels : TUGS

53. President pro __ : TEM

55. Logical letters : QED - and wrapping it up with another "Q" abbreviation ~!

Answer grid.

Splynter

Notes from C.C.:

1) Happy 86th birthday to our witty and caring Dodo (L-R back row: Chickie, Clear Ayes, Garlic Gal; Front: JD, Lucina, Dodo). The photo is from their June 23, 2011 gathering.

2) To regular posters: If you want to be included in our blog photo archive, please send me your picture(s) at this address: crosswordc@gmail.com. We'd love to "see" you.

Oct 28, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011, John Lampkin

Theme: Duh, just add "D." Each of the four theme answers are common phrases, which when a "D" is added to the end of the last word, create an entirely new and witty phrase. This week have seen a "G" added to the beginning, and now a "D" to the end, Gol Darn what fun. My early Christmas present is getting to blog a JL which is loaded with George Bush's favorite- trickeration, which is a real treat. So let us leave the pumpkin patch and see what this twisted mind had in store for us.

17A. Comedian for hire?: RENTAL CARD. This pun almost Hertz, as we see a rental car transformed to a funny man; what a card JL is.

23A. What Shakespeare's parents had to do?: RAISE THE BARD. To raise the bar, to seek greater accomplishment, and Will was known as the bard of Avon, recalling our Brit lady from earlier.

47A. Green that's hard to swallow?: CHOKE COLLARD. Collards are in the cabbage family, and very popular in the South, though cooked properly you will not choke. I do not like seeing dogs on choke collars, they seem quite cruel.

57A. Memoir title for Sela?: ACTS OF WARD. From an act of war to the acting of Sela Ward, she now co-stars in CSI:NY, did you know you can watch complete episodes on your computer? Just go to this LINK.

and the middle of the grid unifier; 37A. Low grade, or an appropriate title for this puzzle: D PLUS. In case card and bard had not done it for you.

A really fun theme, which was delivered wrapped in:

Across:

1. Traveler's reference: ATLAS. I wonder if young people raised on GPS and MapQuest even know what an atlas is?

6. Baldwin of "30 Rock": ALEC. The oldest of the brothers and ex of Kim Basinger.

10. A month of Sundays: AGES. JL being a friend of the Corner, rewards us with a classic clecho; 21A. A month of Sundays: EON. A nice shout out to our creative marine.

14. Go after: CHASE. Like a dream.

15. "Later, dahling!": CIAO. Italian night with JL, as we also have, 46D. Italian sweetheart: CARO. And a fine Italian reference 34D. Teatro __ Scala: Milan opera house: ALLA. From our musical maestro, the correct name of La Scala.

16. Fictional sleuth who first appeared in the Saturday Evening Post: MOTO. This series was commissioned by the Post after the death of Earl Der Biggers, the creator of the Charlie Chan character. The writer was a Post staffer, named JP Marquand, who later won a Pulitzer Prize for the delightful, The Late George Appleby which is still an entertaining read.

19. Expresses delight: OOHS. And if your are really good he/she will also give you some aahs.

20. Finis, in Frankfurt: ENDE. German lesson, if you want to guess where we get our word...

22. Euripides tragedy: MEDEA. No doubt JL's subtle shout to your obedient Friday blogger, and the husband of this barbarian princess, who was cast aside for a king's daughter and got her revenge killing the king and the daughter, and her two children with Jason. Maybe, as the first reference to this heinous act appears to be in the Euripides play. My father used to tell me this was his father's (who was a tailor) favorite Greek playwright, telling his sons all of the time "Euripides pants, I'm gonna smack you." LINK.

27. Zoo re-creation: HABITAT. Did anyone watch Zookeeper? Or Rise of the Planet of the Apes?

30. Hippy dances?: HULAS. The question mark and the punny spelling of hippie, tell you the fun has begun. A literal and damned witty clue.

31. More than portly: OBESE. A literal and damning clue.

32. Frost, for one: POET. See, I knew there was a reason I mentioned this poet last week.


33. Opening: GAP. Like in Michael Strahan's teeth.

36. __ chic: GEEK. Really, has The Big Bang Theory taken over?



39. 18-Down's love: SOLO. Han from the Star wars movies, linked to the great misdirection, 18. Princess with great buns?: LEIA, referring not to her gorgeous glutes, but her hair.

40. Orch. section : STR. Strings, you knew our musically adept Mr. Lampkin would not leave music from his effort.

41. Quarry: PREY. Not rocks but dinner.

42. Post-tonsillectomy treat: JELLO. No ice cream? Do they take out tonsils anymore?

43. Gauchos' gear: BOLAS. The weapon of choice for our Spanish cowboys.

45. Tabloid fodder: SCANDAL. Dis you hear about, the latex, oh never mind.

50. Material for some balloons: LATEX. Also a favorite of many a DOMINATRIX. (0:53).

51. Couple's pronoun: OUR. Not Freddy this week.

52. Continental wine region: ASTI. More Italian, Spumante anyone?

56. Punta del _ : ESTE. Off the coast of Uruguay.



60. Massage therapy pioneer Ida: ROLF. Interesting LADY who created ROLFING, not to be confused with ralphing.

61. Way: PATH.

62. Support in a loft: EASEL. Really intricate misdirection, as the artist all rent lofts to paint and bring their easels.

63. South Dakota's Wounded __: KNEE. Site of one of our nation's most horrible actions.

64. Hudson River city: TROY. Troy is located on the western edge of Rensselaer County, hence the name of RPI, the alma mater to two of our bloggers. RPI was founded in 1824, the first US college dedicated to science, and its alumni started MIT.

65. "That's just crazy talk!": MY EYE. Anther nice shout out from JL for all my ocular challenges, NOT!

Wow, it was work, fun bit now we must move on to:

Down:

1. Part of a plot, often: ACRE. Of land silly, not a book.

2. "All righty __!": THEN. A cute phrase, best said by a pretty woman. You know who you are.

3. Developer's need: LAND. See 1D. These days they really need buyers more.

4. Star of "61*"? : ASTERISK. A wonderful visual! Not the movie, just the title.

5. Ross __: SEA. We are back in ANTARCTICA.

6. Buttonhole: ACCOST. Like all of the old politicians, nice old word buttonhole.

7. Retired NPR host Hansen: LIANE. SHE retired.

8. It may be lent or bent: EAR. "Friends, Romans, Countrymen..."

9. Grand Banks catch: COD. Fish story.

10. Slide specimen: AMOEBA.

11. Easy to babysit, say: GOOD AS GOLD. This ended in "D" and had ten letters, but not part of theme.

12. Number no longer used?: ETHER. Numb-er. NUMB like the dentist, silly.

13. "Such a shame": SO SAD. Used by the young to ridicule, the break up line being, "too bad, so sad."

22. Get weak in the knees MELT.

24. Had: ATE.

25. K or G: THOU, these are two common abbreviations for One thousand dollars, e.g. I need 2K, or front me 2 Gs. This took me the longest time to see, really felt stupid.

26. Shades: HUES. Not sunglasses worn by Dr. House.

27. Big bikes: HOGS. We have had this before.

28. Stand watch, say: ABET. The lookout.

29. Colt 45 holder: BEER BOTTLE. Well, I get my beer reference (nice misdirection with the mental picture of the gun in a holster) but this is a malt liquor, not a beer, so is the bottle a beer bottle? Did you know the product was not named for the gun, but for number 45 for the Baltimore Colts?

32. Layer: PLY. If you ply her with enough drinks you might.

35. Parlor game: POOL. More properly, pocket billiards.

37. Movie monster, casually: DRAC. Really, who is friendly enough with Dracula to use this?

38. Tip of the Yucatán peninsula?: PESO. My complete favorite, as I wasted three minutes trying to recall my geography lessons and picture the end of the Peninsula, only to have the light bulb come on and realize he means TIP, like to waiter. D'OH! You are a fiend.

39. Banish: SEND AWAY.

41. Movie house suffix: PLEX. Cineplex 24, why?

42. Vase, in a pinch: JAR. I use big cups, but never put Tinman's Pinch in jar.

44. Michael of "Caddyshack": O'KEEFE. The kid in this always watchable MOVIE.(2:21).

45. Like many ski slopes in April: SLUSHY.

47. Uriah Heep, by profession: CLERK. Maybe in David Copperfield, but not this SONG.(2:53)

48. Is sporting: HAS ON.

49. Numbers game: LOTTO. $203,000,000.00 in Powerball this Saturday; let's pool our money and buy $1000.00 in tickets.

53. Freelancer's enc.: SASE. Self Addressed Stamped Envelope.

54. "South Park" co-creator Parker: TREY. He and his partner also did The Book of Mormon on Broadway, which no doubt inspired this recent COMMENT.

55. Empty: IDLE. Not Eric.

57. On-target: APT.

58. Wheels: CAR.

59. Neither masc. nor neut.: FEM. Feminine.

Answer grid.

On that sexual note, I am out of here and must wait until November to return, but please do not forget to all return on November 23 to say hi and a Thanksgiving for having a place to come to talk puzzle, make friends, laugh, share and even put up with anons. I will start naming names soon, so please be ready to say at least hi and how you are. Jeannie, we miss you. Mrs. Calabash where are you?

Lemonade