Aug 31, 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012, Norm Guggenbiller

Theme: Ah-Choo! I have a code in my nose!

Each of the four theme answers takes a phrase including a word with the letters "OLD" and by saying them, as you would with a HEAD COLD. creates new and amusingly clued answer. This is our third effort from Norm and there is much I love about this effort. What makes the sound alike so impressive, is like marti last Friday, each fractured homonym is spelled differently. he also squeezes out two 14 letter and two 13 letter theme answers. Some really superb long fill and a couple of stinkers, but a fun Friday for me, now to put you to work.

16A. Weeded carelessly? : HOED (HOLD) EVERYTHING (14). Great visual clue.

28A. Editor's rejection of a tribute? : THE ODE (OLD) HEAVE-HO(13). I love this picturing the proffered poem thrown out the window.

46A. Provoke Olympic winners? : GOAD (GOLD) MEDALISTS. Very timely, but is there a conflict with a non-theme reference to the Olympics?

62A. Purchased, then altered? : BOUGHT AND SEWED (SOLD). Reap (rip?) what ye shall sew?

And the hint,

1A. With 70-Across, what you'd likely have if you said this puzzle's four longest answers : HEAD. 70A. See 1-Across : COLD. I do not recall ever receiving the hint to the theme in the very first clue, but this obviously helped buzz through this effort.


5. Concerning : AS TO. In re for all you fancy people.

9. Frequent settler : DUST. Nice misdirection, and certainly true as there is dust everywhere in Florida.

13. Online "Seems to me..." : IMHO. In My Humble Opinion. Why do opinions need to be humble?

14. Mother of Judah : LEAH. She is an interesting character, one of the MATRIARCHS of Judaism.

15. After-school treat : OREO. Cooookie!

19. ___ glance : AT A.

20. Dote on : PAMPER. You see that is why they call them Pampers, because you dote on your babies!

21. Stop from spreading : STEM. Once again the Gulf Coast must Stem the rising waters.

23. Short : TERSE. Yup.

25. Arctic diver : AUK. We have had this guy before.

27. Jurist in '90s news : ITO. If you need to be reminded he presided over the OJ TRIAL. Jurist is not a member of a jury.

33. Basketball Hall of Famer Robertson : OSCAR. The BIG O (4:20), one of the all time great out of Cincinnati.

34. Like Olympic pools : LANED. So are highways and Clark Kent on a good night.

35. Maker of Golf Street shoes : ECCO. We have had this show company many times, rather than the Latin "behold."

38. Instruction on a cap : TWIST. Do we really need this in writing? Are they afraid we will just break the bottle?

41. Some NFL limemen : CTRS. Centers, who get hit in the head so often, they are often....

42. Type of vb. : IRREGular, which is more acceptable than "Needing for Phillips Milk of Magnesia" as a clue. Irregular verbs do not have the same stem word though conjugation.

44. 1950s war site : KOREA. Among my earliest memories, and then of course there was THIS (0:51).

50. Channel for a spree : HSN. Home Shopping Network.

51. ___ chi : TAI. A very involved martial arts and life force system from CHINA. C.C. any comment? (Morning Tai Chi is quite a sight in almost every big city in China. See this photo from the Shanghai bund.)

52. Ward and others : SELAS. Really norm, and who might these others be? The word is not really a name, but a biblical instruction to pause and contemplate what was read. (Selah).

55. Disapproving utterances : TSKS. How minor is the action to get only on TSK? Followed by a

57. Unpleasant laugh : CACKLE. This is really not a curse word.

61. "Either you do it, ___ will!" : OR I. Well I guess I did it.

65. Mystique : AURA.

66. Word with cast and shadow : OVER. Overcast, overshadow.

67. Fictional sailor : SMEE. Right hook man to the Captain.

68. MapQuest data: Abbr. : RTES. Routes.

69. Sussex stable area : MEWS. If you read enough British Mysteries, you know this TERM.


1. Drummer's pair of cymbals : HI HAT. I had to buy my son a new set of cymbals.

2. Frustrate the director, perhaps : EMOTE. Not related to EMAIL, or ETAIL, unless you are referring to the long distance device to control your TV and you like baby talk..

3. Informal bridge opening : A HEART. Very informal, hi marti!

4. Pentagon org. : DOD. if you watch NCIS, you know this one. Department of Defense.

5. Inventing middle name : ALVA. Thomas ____Edison.

6. Feel : SEEM.

7. Rain delay sight : TARPaulin. Take me out to the ball game, oops its raining. The Marlins AAA team is in New Orleans.

8. "We'll just see about that!" : OH YEAH. Yeah, wanna make something of it!

9. "I'm such an idiot!" : DOH. Homer you are an Icon!

10. "Topaz" novelist : URIS. Leon, most famous for Exodus.

11. Conscious : SENTIENT. Wonderful long fill, and what makes us so special. Same Latin root as sense.

12. Simultaneously : TOGETHER. Carol, Lois, if you are out there, I know what word comes to mind when you think of Simultaneous, but it is not referring to Oscar Robertson!

17. Summer Olympics equipment : EPEES. Little swords for the fencing crowd.

18. Hard to debate : TRUE. It's twue, I tell you, it's twue! (oo sound 1).

22. They might swing : MOODS. This year, VOTES might have been more apt. (oo sound 2).

24. Chased away : SHOOED. Remind you of marti's cat puzzle? (oo sound 3).

26. ___-El: Superman's birth name : KAL. Dad was Jor-El. El is a Hebrew suffix for "of G-d". Israel, Gabriel etc. Siegel and Shuster were both Jewish and there is speculation of a direct influence from the story of MOSES. LINK.

29. Canadian Thanksgiving mo. : OCTober. Those Canadians know how to party!

30. Raven relative : DAW. This is an abbreviation, or otherwise a variant of the jackdaw, one of the other birds in the Corvine (Crow) family. No relation to See Saw Margery Daw.

31. Slezak with six Daytime Emmys : ERIKA. A regular on One Life to Live until it folded last year.

32. Leave : VACATE. I like it better in vacation, but same word.

35. Figure on ice : EIGHT. Another nice clue, and a continuing hello to our skaters, CA and Robin.

36. Placekicker's target : CROSS BAR. Just great long non-theme fill, the bar in between the goal posts in football over which the ball must travel.

37. Produce prolifically : CRANK OUT. Norm was really cranking out some fun fill.

39. Answer to a prob. : SOLution.

40. Ad starter? : TRI.
TRIAD, A group of three, often in music signifying a three note chord. (JzB?)

43. Clock-setting std. : GMT. Greenwich
Mean Time. was established in 1884 at the International Meridian Conference when it was decided to place the Prime Meridian at Greenwich, England. This is where Longitude is 0 0 0.

45. Almost half a glass? : ESSES. GLASS. 40%.

47. Per : EACH.

48. Microscopic alga : DIATOM. One of the great parts of the living Earth. LINK. More new fill.

49. ESPN effect : SLOW MOtion. Norm is on fire with his creativity.

53. Staggering : AREEL. Oh, drat, a dreaded A word!

54. Went (with) : SIDED. You agree with me?

56. "Why not" : SURE. Oh thank you, I hope you mean it and you did not just....

58. Give : CAVE. up in?

59. Wasn't guessing : KNEW. you would agree.

60. Country runners: Abbr. : LDRS. LeaDeRs. That kind of country. The are often full of

63. Hot air : GAS. Which must mean it is my time to

64. Corner key : ESCape.

Answer grid.

Another long day at the office, but it was fun as we closed on five homes for first time home buyers, and the puzzle was a nice segue to get me ready rest. have a great long weekend, and enjoy.


Note from C.C.:

Here is a lovely picture of dear Marge. She said the photo was taken about 5 years ago. Here is a recent photo of her grandson Logan, who's 2 1/2. So cute. Awesome indeed.

Aug 30, 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012 Don Gagliardo and C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Down and dirty. Various synonyms for "ground" are broken up in this theme by our Dynamic Duo.

16A. *Rewards cardholder's benefit : LOYALTY PROGRAM

22A. *Computer-generated visual media : DIGITAL ART

32A. *Time for laundry and such : CLEANING DAY

45A. *Salad dressing ingredient : SOYBEAN OIL

And the unifier:

50A. Starting a project...and what the letters between the starting and ending pairs of letters in each starred answer are doing? : BREAKING GROUND...lo-am, di-rt, cl-ay and so-il are broken up in consistent two-letter pairs to make this clever theme. Loved it!

Marti here, and let's look at the rest of the fill:


1. Word in discount store names : SAV...There is a "Sav-Mor" liquor store in Cambridge, MA. I bet you all have a "sav" store near you, too!

4. Hand-holding dance : HORA

8. Reveal all? : STRIP. this? and 41-down. Reveal all? : GO NUDE. Or, like this?

13. Set right, in a way : ATONE FOR

15. His voice is heard after "Live, from New York..." : PARDO. Longtime SNL announcer Don Pardo.

18. Brazilian novelist Jorge : AMADO. PraDO AmaDO...DO I see a mini-theme here?

19. Horace's "___ Poetica" : ARS. "The Art of Poetry"

20. Roulette option : RED. I always box # 14...

26. Athlete dubbed "O Rei do Futebol" : PELE ("The King of Soccer...")

27. One known for great service : ACER. Tennis server, that is.

28. Limerick fifth : LINE. "I knew a young man from Nantucket..."
(Limericks are normally five lines of poetry.)

29. Environmentalist Sigurd : OLSON. Never heard of him. Wiki article, for those interested...

30. Show of strength? : FLEX

31. Baseball div. : A.L. EAST. American League, East. Home of the Red Sox!

35. Bright : BRAINY

37. Yale grads : ELIS

38. Tiffany collectibles : LAMPS. Like this one.

39. Key not used by itself : CTRL. Usually CTRL-Alt?

40. Curved molding : OGEE. Oh, gee, need I explain?

44. Road maneuvers, briefly : UIES. How many spellings do we have?

47. Rhinitis doc : ENT. Ear-Nose-Throat doctor.

48. Dads : PAS

49. Infomercial kitchen brand : GINSU. "But wait! There's more!"

55. Bizarre : OUTRE

56. Audience member : ATTENDEE

57. Does some yard work : WEEDS. Yep, been there, done that!

58. Solomonic : WISE

59. Hosp. areas : ERS


1. Tetley competitor : SALADA. Hands up for Nestea?

2. Infitesimal : ATOMIC

3. Long sail : VOYAGE

4. Spartan serf : HELOT.

5. Time and again, in verse : OFT

6. "The Natural" protagonist Hobbs : ROY. Baseball film starring Robert Redford.

7. Surrealist Jean : ARP. Surreal, for real!

8. Hunting or fishing : SPORT

9. IDs on a carousel : TAGS. Luggage tags on an airport carousel.

10. Grade sch. basics : RRR. Reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic...

11. "My thought is..." : I DARE SAY

12. Thick-skinned citrus fruit : POMELOS. Very thick!

14. Zenith's opposite : NADIR

17. In short supply : RARE

21. Unfavorable impression? : DENT. Great clue!

23. Calm : ALLAY

24. Bank claim : LIEN

25. "The handmaiden of creativity": Eliot : ANXIETY

26. Guilty, for example : PLEA

29. Bygone GM division : OLDS

30. Marshy lowlands : FENS

31. Nimble : AGILE

32. Got real? : CAME TRUE. Like all my dreams?

33. They may be sealed : LIPS. "Loose lips sink ships..."

34. Workers' rights org. : NLRB. National Labor Relations Board. (Note to self: Ask C.C. for a raise!)

35. Risqué : BLUE

36. Illusory hope : RAINBOW

39. Mozart's "___ fan tutte" : COSI. "Thus do they all (do)". Aria. 9:56.

40. Pungent bulb : ONION

42. Former Disney chief : EISNER (Michael)

43. Ducks : ELUDES

45. "Land ___ alive!" : SAKES

46. Concur : AGREE

48. Cowpoke's pal : PARD

51. Côte d'Azur saison : ETE. Not "Nice summer"?

52. "I'm thinkin' not" : NAW

53. Sporty VW : GTI. I guess it's all in your perception of "sporty"...

54. Sporty Cars : GTS. Like this Super GT? Now, that's sporty!

Answer Grid.


Note from the constructors (and a fascinating peek into the creative minds of CC and Don G.):

"I'd like to share with you a couple of email exchanges between Don and myself when we first started on this theme. You can see how Don improved on our approach.

From C.C.:

"Would it possible to make a theme with synonyms of GROUND such as CLAY, DIRT, TURF, EARTH, MUD, SOIL bracketing each theme entry. Unifier BREAK GROUND 11.


From Don:

"This theme works best if the broken word is inside. If the broken word is outside, it should be the same word. No one will see this theme, unless you limit yourself to say, four-letter words that are split the same way. You actually have four four-letter words. Still, as a solver, it is more fun to actually see the word, thus the central location is best. In that case, we could use any dirty words we want.

A quick check shows that we could split SO IL, DI RT, and CL AY in a similar fashion. LO AM also works. You may be onto something. Maybe we can break new ground with this puzzle (haha). What do you think?"

Aug 29, 2012

Wednesday August 29, 2012 Jack McInturff

Theme: Witty Words from Jack, who is 82 years old.

20A. Quip, part 1 : ONCE WRITING ON A

37A. Quip, part 2 : WALL WAS GRAFFITI

51A. End of the quip : NOW IT'S FACEBOOK

Hello Everyone,

Boomer here with another edition from puzzle land. Before we start though, a couple of riddling questions: First - How many months in the calendar have 30 days? Too easy, okay then - How many jelly beans can you fit in an empty one quart Ziploc bag?

On to the puzzle - fairly challenging due to a few questionable clues.


1. Folder projections : TABS - I took a STAB at this one

5. Come-on comeuppance : SLAP - If you didn't get it, you must do LAPS.

9. Enterprise doctor : MCCOY - He's the Law & Order DA. I thought the Enterprise doctor was Spock.

14. First name at Woodstock : ARLO - You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant. Preserve your 8 X 10 color glossy photographs. Sadly, now, all photos seem to be on a cell phone or a Facebook Wall.

15. Freezer cooler : CUBE - The cube doesn't cool the freezer, the freezer cools the cube.

16. Popped up : AROSE - by any other name still smells the same

17. Market pessimist : BEAR - I wonder if they sold Facebook short.

18. Like Death Valley : ARID - Yup, and the rest of the US this year.

19. All-night bar? : ROOST - We don't have all night bars where I live. "Parrot's perch" would be an easier clue. But we don't have parrots where I live either. We have crackers though if your name is Polly and you want one.

23. Bourbon barrel wood : OAK - This clue is A-OK!

24. Zamboni milieu : ICE - We're familiar with this monster in Minnesota. Last year we had a guy get a DUI on a Zamboni at a high school game between the second and third period. Go figure.

25. Thumbs-up : A-OK - How about that! An anagram of 23A. Now where is that Campground?

26. 2010 Olympic skiing gold medalist Miller : BODE - Interesting name. I have also heard about a young man named Bode from Seattle. He is less than one year old and his father took him to exactly two Major League baseball games this year. The first was Phil Humber's perfect game against the Mariners. Then he was at King Felix's perfecto just a few weeks ago. What are the odds?

28. Highly skilled : DEFT - I seem to remember a laundry detergent named Dreft. Where do they come up with these names?

30. Coppertone letters : SPF - I got this. Didn't like it. They call them CrossWORD puzzles.

33. Dictation whiz : STENO - short for stenographer. With all the word processing equipment available now, I think maybe all stenos are now in all night bars or driving Zambonis.

35. With precision : TO A T - Add an "S" and you have Toast, which is what you should do with this clue and so called word.

36. Missing in the mil. : AWOL - Absent without leave, as most of you know. What you don't know is that I was a company clerk and I really hated the paperwork involved when a soldier went AWOL.

40. Aesthetic to a fault : ARTY - "Way up at a Broadway party, I met a lady who was very ARTY, she took me home to see her studio. She held me close and whispered to me, she said that she wanted to do me, some of that paint will never come off I know." (Chad Mitchell Trio).

41. Milking container : PAIL - Not many are used anymore. They just hook up a tube and the milk never sees the light of day, but it stays Grade A.

42. Dadaism pioneer Max : ERNST

43. Cooking choice : GAS - Okay, but Broil, Boil, Bake, Grill, Saute, Fry, all came to my mind first.

44. Wonderland tea party attendee : HARE - Lewis Carroll's legend lives on!

45. Environmental concern : SMOG

46. Crew member : OAR - Wait a minute. I just watched rowing in the Olympics. The OAR was not a crew member. This clue is up a creek without a paddle.

47. See 45-Down : MOM - I guess we have Soccer Moms in Minnesota, but for about 11 months out of the year they are also Hockey Moms. The difference is that Hockey Moms need an SUV to carry all the skates, sticks, pads, helmets, gloves, and then they have to watch out for drunk Zamboni drivers.

48. VCR format : VHS - Movies that used to rent for five bucks a night are now available at garage sales for 50 cents or less. Sigh.

56. Yard neatener : MOWER - Austin, Minnesota, home of Spam (the canned spiced ham, not the email) is in Mower County.

57. Stoltz of "Pulp Fiction" : ERIC

58. French 101 verb : ETRE - The first letter of "French" is the grade I received in my French class.

59. Flip over : UPEND

60. Longing look : GAZE - pretty easy. Getting to the bottom of the puzzle.

61. See after : TEND - At least this clue wasn't "What comes after NINE D?"

62. Plaster painting surface : GESSO - Sorry, my painting experience only includes my garage door, deck, and "Circle me Bert" sign.

63. Violin virtuoso Leopold : AUER - Never heard of this guy. I have heard of MAUER.

64. Belligerent god : ARES


1. Major no-no : TABOO

2. Field of play : ARENA - Most Fields are outdoors, arenas are usually indoors now. But I think the Christians used to fight the Lions in an arena field. The lions usually won.

3. Aikido masters : BLACK BELTS - Even spell check has never heard of Aikido. Why not just say Judo or Karate and take it easy on us poor sap green belt puzzle solvers.

4. Mad : SORE - yeah, I'm SORE at the Aikido clue

5. Like hen's teeth : SCARCE- Who needs teeth when your lips are as hard as clam shells.

6. "Foreign Affairs" Pulitzer author Alison : LURIE

7. Slightly : A BIT - Fisherman try to get A BIT of a bite using BAIT.

8. Mani-__: spa service : PEDI- Never heard of this, but it must have something to do with feet.

9. She played Lois in "Superman" films : MARGOT (Kidder)

10. Curved piece : CROOK - Nixon was not one.

11. Masked scavenger : COON

12. Greek peak : OSSA- Never heard of the mountain.

13. Still : YET

21. Golfer's nonplaying wife, facetiously : WIDOW - I have all heard the term. I play a little golf, but I think C.C. falls into the Bowling Widow class.

22. Three-nation '90s treaty : NAFTA - North American Free Trade Agreement. Everything is a clever acronym these days.

27. "I'm __ human" : ONLY

28. Motherless calf : DOGIE - Get along little dogie.

29. __ of Gloucester: "King Lear" character : EARL

30. Fiscally conservative Democrat, say : SWING VOTER - Conservative Democrat ???? You made that up.

31. "Iron Chef" supplies : POTS - If you watch the food network, you have more time on your hands than I.

32. Pass (by) quickly, as time : FLIT - Hmmm - more like flies, mosquitoes, or Usain Bolt.

33. Booty : SWAG - Once a jolly Swagman, sat beside a billabong.....

34. Ancient home of Irish kings : TARA - I never knew Ireland had Kings. LA and Sacramento have them.

35. Unseen "Fiddler on the Roof" tyrant : TSAR - If I were a rich man ..........

36. Picked locks? : AFRO - I think Oscar Gamble had the most notable one. Then along came Michael Jordan and changed the world. Hats fit again.

38. Separated : APART

39. Lyons lady : FEMME

44. Bob or beehive : HAIRDO - I think from the 60s. Now rest in lore with 8 track tapes, hula hoops. and 8 X 10 color glossy photographs.

45. With 47-Across, modern-day chauffeur : SOCCER

46. "Catch This!" autobiographer Terrell : OWENS - A wide receiver. Didn't know he wrote a book.

47. Early American crop : MAIZE - What an unbelievable crop - but in trouble this year due to desert-like temps as far north as Iowa, Nebraska, and Frostbite Falls! This vegetable may be eaten right from the cob, canned or frozen, dried for corn meal, feed for livestock, alcohol added to E85 gasoline, and coating for pronto pups at the Minnesota State Fair - through Labor Day.

49. "Stormy Weather" singer : HORNE - that would be Lena, but I don't think she was the only one.

50. RR postings : SKEDS - Another slang word. Sounds like a brand of running shoes to me.

51. "Dream on!" : NOPE

52. Carries a mortgage, say : OWES

53. Video game giant : SEGA

54. Herr's better half : FRAU - We are almost done.

55. Old 48-Across rival : BETA - Not as old as 8 tracks. Store them in your garage with those cassette tapes by Nat King Cole.

56. Coffee holder : MUG

So if you stayed with me this far - the answers to the riddles: Eleven months have 30 days. (Some even have 31). And you can fit one jelly bean in the empty Ziplok bag, because once it goes in, the bag is no longer empty. But if you are smart enough to solve crossword puzzles, I am sure you figured this out. Have a great holiday weekend!!

Answer Grid.


Aug 28, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 Ed Sessa

Theme: Hey, Mister... - Click here. All the 11 Misters & MISTER itself are symmetrically placed in the grid.

26A. *Monopoly cards : DEEDS
33A. *Warty leaper : TOAD. from "The Wind in the Willows".

41A. *Robin's egg color : BLUE

51A. *Scrub : CLEAN

2D. *With 13-Down, roasted aromatic seed : COFFEE

6D. *Oz ruler : WIZARD

13D. *See 2-Down : BEAN

30D. *Pop's partner : MOM

36D. *Tom Hanks film : BIG. from "Sex and the City"

47D. *Piece of packing material : PEANUT

53D. *Bird's beak : BILL

And the reveal: 49D. Title associated with the 11 starred answers : MISTER

Mister Argyle here. Not much left to do after getting the above done. 56 theme squares, 80 total words, 12 entries that are longer than the longest theme, 2 three-letter theme. This came out of left field and landed on Tuesday.


1. 6-Across, for one : ACTOR

6. Friday portrayer : WEBB. (Sergeant Friday/Jack Webb)(Dragnet, "51-"59) I'll add the other old TV guys here. 17A. Zimbalist Jr. of "77 Sunset Strip"('58-'64) : EFREM. 48D. Michael who played Cochise : ANSARA. (Broken Arrow, '56-'58) 61D. Christopher Carson, famously : KIT. (Bill Williams in the title role, '51-'55)

10. Flag down __ : A CAB

14. Totally lose it : GO APE

15. Modest reply to a compliment : "I TRY"

16. Sported : WORE

18. Playwright Akins and Tony winner Caldwell : ZOEs. Zoë Atkins(Wiki), Zoe Caldwell(Wiki).

19. Et __: and others : ALIA

20. Repeatedly, in poems : OFT plus 4D. Reveal, in verse : OPE

21. The first Mrs. Trump : IVANA

23. Reaction to a pun, perhaps : GROAN

24. Driver with a permit : LEARNER

28. Snickered at : DERIDED

29. Start of a confession to a priest : "BLESS ME ..."

32. Ed.'s workload : MSS. (manuscripts)

34. "You've got mail" Internet giant : AOL

35. Recedes to the sea : EBBS

38. "Oedipus __" : REX. Greek Legend.

39. Beggar's request : ALMS

40. Spanish aunt : TIA

43. Cookie container : JAR

45. Concur about : AGREE ON

47. Mary's little follower : PET LAMB

52. Latvia neighbor : ESTONIA. And Lithuania, Map.

53. Sonic bursts : BOOMS

55. Make joyful : ELATE

57. Cold War initials : SSR. (Soviet Socialist Republic)

58. Prefix with Chinese : INDO

59. Silly smile, maybe : GRIN

60. Inline roller : SKATE

62. Sly glance : LEER

63. __ platter: Chinese menu choice : PU PU

64. Tuckers (out) : TIRES

65. Use intense light on : LASE

66. Laundry challenge : SPOT

67. Begin : START


1. From long ago : AGE OLD

3. Fish-and-chips sauce : TARTAR

5. Helps remember : REMINDS

7. School for English princes : ETON

8. Place for pumpernickel : BREAD BOX

9. Fly-__: air passes : BYs

10. Military medals, e.g. : AWARDS

11. Really huge : COLOSSAL

12. "Carmen" highlight : ARIA

22. Victory signs : VEEs

23. Turned right : GEEd. Gee and haw, voice commands for horses (interjection ) and the action (verb).

25. Canyon perimeters : RIMS

27. Portuguese "she" : ELA

31. 2012 British Open winner Ernie : ELS

33. Peg on the links : TEE

35. Terminal expectation: Abbr. : ETA

37. Lines on labels : BAR CODES

38. Second-place finisher : RUNNER UP

39. Folk singer Guthrie : ARLO

41. Swarming stingers : BEEs. It's that time of year when they get nastier.

42. Mauna __ : LOA

43. Kid around : JEST

44. Swears to : ATTESTS

46. "Get Shorty" author Leonard : ELMORE. The movie came out in 1995.

50. Most meager : BAREST

54. Fit for military duty : ONE A

56. Fat removal, briefly : LIPO

59. Navig. aid : GPS. (global positioning system)


Note from C.C.:

Here are 3 happy pictures of Jazzbumpa (Ron), his wife Gloria & their 11 grandkids. Click on each one for a clearer view.

The pictures were taken when Ron's stepson Tom (with Air Force Special Ops) visited back in April. He said: "We only get all 11 grandkids together once or twice a year, so it's always a treat. We've been taking kids on the couch pics since long ago when we only had three. Now, they won't all fit."

Aug 27, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012 Bruce Venzke

Theme: Where the first little piggy went - each theme word can precede MARKET.

17A. High-performing Wall Street investment : SUPER STOCK. Super market, Stock market.

26A. Salmon, trout, cod, etc. : FOOD FISH. Food market, Fish market.

36A. Big day for a new store, or an apt description of each part of 17-, 26-, 50- and 58-Across : MARKET OPENING

50A. Past all major obstacles : HOME FREE. Home market, Free market.

58A. Unifying connection : COMMON BOND. Common market, Bond market.

Argyle here sans Cruciverb. A nice smattering of clues/answers. A few tricky clues and some hard answers. But if you look hard enough, you can probably find a nit. Let the week begin!


1. Some Ford autos, briefly : MERCs. Yes, and some "fur'in" cars.

6. Mocking remark : JAPE. Sorry, did I just make a jape?

10. __ team: police crisis unit : SWAT

14. With good cheer : GAILY

15. Airline to Tel Aviv : EL AL or 30A. Netherlands airline : KLM

16. Hawaiian seaport : HILO

19. Giggly Muppet : ELMO

20. “He’s __ no good” : UP TO. Is that why Elmo's giggling?

21. Distribute in portions : ALLOT

22. Resume the original speed, in music : A TEMPO

29. Double-check, as in a lab : RETEST

31. Farm pen : STY

32. Sp. maiden : SRTA. (señorita)

33. Like the area under an awning : SHADED

41. Giorgio of fashion : ARMANI

42. Per __: daily : DIEM

44. Ship’s pronoun : SHE. All ships are referred to as female.

47. Have the flu : AIL

48. Scrabble 10-pointers : Z TILES

53. Borgnine who did voice work in “SpongeBob SquarePants” : ERNEST

54. Fowl pole : ROOST. Have your chickens come home to roost?

55. Swim meet assignment : LANE

57. Stops hedging : OPTs

64. Beekeeper played by Fonda : ULEE. Peter Fonda in "Ulee's Gold".

65. Throat-clearing sound : [AHEM]

66. Ready for bed : TIRED

67. Fathers : DADs

68. Bull in a corrida : TORO

69. Popular toaster waffles : EGGOs


1. British sports cars : MG's. Trivia question: What does MG stand for.

2. __ de toilette : EAU

3. Tear at the seam : RIP

4. NFL’s Browns, scoreboard-style : CLE. (Cleveland)

5. Pancake toppers : SYRUPS

6. Rocker Joan : JETT

7. Emotionally detached : ALOOF

8. Gp. providing campaign funds : PAC. (political action committee)

9. Fraternal society member : ELK. (The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks)

10. Knickknack holder : SHELF

11. “The Sixth Sense” star Bruce : WILLIS. If you've seen 'Expendables 2', how was it?

12. “Close, but no cigar” : "ALMOST"

13. Like Alfred E. Neuman’s grin : TOOTHY

18. Dalmatian feature : SPOT. They have many features then.

21. Product pitchers : AD MEN

22. __ gratia artis: MGM motto : ARS. (Art for art's sake)

23. Contract period : TERM

24. James or Jones of jazz : ETTA. We know Ms James. Ms James singing "Canadian Sunset" clip.(2:38)

25. Stiller’s comedy partner : MEARA. Ben Stiller's parents.

27. Giraffe cousin : OKAPI

28. Merrie __ England : OLDE

33. Like dry bread : STALE

34. Sugar substitute? : HON. Not as an actual sweetener but as a euphemism you might get from the diner's waitress.

35. Bumped off : DID IN

37. “Make today delicious” food giant : KRAFT

38. Mideast chieftain : EMIR

39. Luxor’s river : NILE. Map.

40. Thousands, to a hood : GEEs

43. Denver hrs. : MST

44. Turin treasure : SHROUD

45. Fanfare : HOOPLA

46. Gushed on stage : EMOTED

48. Stoicism founder : ZENO

49. Thirty, in Montréal : TRENTE. French speaking city.

51. Double curves : ESSES

52. Toondom’s Fudd : ELMER

56. Gun filler : AMMO

58. Calico pet : CAT

59. “Well, well, well!” : "O, HO!"

60. Sizable : BIG

61. URL ender for a charity : .ORG

62. Prefix with natal : NEO

63. Cavity filler: Abbr. : DDS. Not what is put in the cavity; who filled the cavity. (Doctor of Dental Surgery)


Note from C.C.:

Happy 64th Birthday to Lemonade (Left, with John Lampkin on the right), whose wits, humor & cheerfulness brighten our Friday mornings. Happy 64th Birthday to the knowledgeable Anony-Mouse too!

Aug 26, 2012

Sunday August 26, 2012 James Sajdak

Theme: "I'm Going First" - IM is inserted into common phrases.

23A. #1 on a motivational speaker's reminder list? : IMPRESS CONFERENCE. Press conference.

40A. Device for the Six Million Dollar Man? : POWER IMPLANT. Power plant.

47A. Early problem for the Wright brothers? : UPWARD IMMOBILITY. Upward mobility. Simply a IM prefix in this one. Mild change compared to the other 6 entries

65A. Casper in the courtroom? : IMMATERIAL WITNESS. Material witness.

84A. Hinted about a player swap? : IMPLIED ONE'S TRADE. Plied one's trade.

90A. European capital influence? : WARSAW IMPACT. Warsaw Pact.

113A. Say "Smile!" to Hugh Jackman during dinner? : IMPOSE FOR A PICTURE. Pose for a picture. Is there a reason why Hugh Jackman was in the clue?

Wonderful to see James Sajdak back. If you're new to the blog, do read my interview with him. Very inspiring.

This theme reminded me of a "I'm outta here" gimmick I proposed to Don a while ago: removing IM from common phrases. Unfortunately Rich found our new phrases lacking in surface meaning or entertainment value.


1. Swiss capital : FRANC. "Currency" capital.

6. Brand on shells : RAGU. I just couldn't see "pasta" when I saw "shells".

10. Fictional writer of "The World According to Bensenhaver" : T S GARP. Same as "The World According to Garp", right?

16. Union contract stat : CPI (Consumer Price Index). 15D. Union contracts? : PRE-NUPS. Excellent clue.

19. Outcast : LEPER

20. Love god : EROS

21. Fruit finder of rhyme : HORNER. Little Jack Horner. Plum.

22. Leia's love : HAN

26. Kawasaki Brute Force, e.g., briefly : ATV

27. Place to recover, for short : POST-OP

28. Many look forward to them regularly : FRIDAYS. Esp when there's a Lemonade & Marti combo.

29. Pearly coating : NACRE

31. Disreputable : SLEAZY. Like U.S. Anti-Doping Agency!

34. Ancient knowledge : LORE

35. Creator : AUTHOR

36. Scrooge portrayer Alastair : SIM. "A Christmas Carol" (1951).

39. Fair : EXPO

42. Start of a pregame ritual : O SAY

44. Architect Mies van der __ : ROHE

46. Former Wrigley Field star : SOSA (Sammy). No Hall calling for him next year.

54. Half of Mork's sign-off : NANU

58. Costly, as a victory : PYRRHIC. As for the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

59. "Almost done" : ONE TO GO

60. "Let __!": "Get going!" : IT RIP

61. "Son of Frankenstein" blacksmith : YGOR. He's a blacksmith? No idea.

63. Battle of Normandy city : CAEN. And 64. French cathedral city : AMIENS.

70. Largish jazz ensemble : SEPTET. Click here. I'm often amazed by Jazzbumpa's knowledge.

72. List : MENU

73. Genesis creator : SEGA

74. Makeup item : GLOSS. I like Alba pineapple gloss.

75. Rough up? : COARSEN. Like what?

78. Feelings : HUNCHES

83. Addams family spouse, affectionately : TISH

86. Paris possessive : A TOI

88. Disney president during the Pixar acquisition : IGER (Bob). Looks like Ken & Barbie.

89. Vaccine type : ORAL

97. Ewes' guys : RAMS

100. Global financial org. : IMF (International Monetary Fund)

101. Rush violently : HURTLE

102. Former Israeli prime minister Olmert : EHUD

103. Brahms work : SONATA

105. "Wicked Game" singer Chris : ISAAK

106. Dreamt things : IMAGERY

108. Throat : GULLET

112. WWII Sherman carrier : LST. Sherman tank. I bet Spitzboov/D-Otto/eddy-B nailed this one.

117. Prussian pronoun : SIE. You.

118. Less complex : EASIER

119. Half a menu combo : SURF. Surf & Turf.

120. Tropical plant with large foliage : CANNA.

121. Media mogul Turner : TED

122. They may be crossed : SWORDS. Tricky clue.

123. Homeric creation : EPIC

124. Chaos antithesis : ORDER


1. Resell in a week, say : FLIP

2. San __: jet set resort : REMO

3. They're on the phone : APPS

4. "Darn!" : NERTS

5. Emeril specialty : CREOLE. I have two Thai pepper plants producing like crazy. They look pretty, but way too hot for me.

6. Hi-__ monitor : RES

7. Trajectory : ARC

8. Inane : GOOFY

9. Natl. Guard counterpart : USNR (United States Navy Reserve).

10. Investor's index : THE DOW. 65. They cause stirs on 10-Down: Abbr. : IPOs. I feel sorry for those who bought Facebook stock on the hype.

11. Like a June day, to Lowell : SO RARE. "And what is so rare as a day in June?..."

12. Aging, in Ontario : GREYER

13. Lee and Landers : ANNS

14. __ center : REC

16. Ballroom dance : CHA CHA

17. Artist's support : PATRON

18. Turn upside down : INVERT

24. Eyewear, in ads : SPEX

25. Dough for spanakopita, perhaps : FILO. Never heard of Spanakopita before. It means "Spinach pie".

30. Sunken naval power, per Plato : ATLANTIS.

32. Jam fruit : APRICOT

33. Get close, in a way : ZOOM

35. Taiwan Strait port : AMOY. Called Xiamen now. They speak very hard-to-understand dialect.

36. Bisque or broth : SOUP

37. Car trip alternative to Geography : I SPY. Got via crossings.

38. Bryn __ College : MAWR

40. One doing hard labor : PEON

41. Analogy words : IS TO

43. "Babi __": Yevtushenko poem : YAR

45. Aetna offering, briefly : HMO

48. Sounds mostly the same : RHYMES

49. Try to unearth : DIG AT

50. Snarky reply to "Why?" : BECAUSE

51. Bold relative: Abbr. : ITAL. In font.

52. Eponymous theater mogul : LOEW

53. Fire, to 85-Down : IGNIS. No idea. 85. First-century emperor : NERO

55. Warrior god : ARES

56. "Little Birds" writer : NIN (Anaïs). Where did she get those wild fantasies?

"We ♥ Logistics" co.: UPS. . Do you, Splynter?

60. "Let me rephrase that ..." : I MEANT

62. Swab over : RE-MOP

64. Beef cattle : ANGUS

66. Northern Calif. landmark : MT SHASTA. Melissa's Shangri-la.

67. Factual : REAL

68. Calvary letters : INRI. Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum ("Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews"). Latin has no J, right?

69. 1943 Allied conference site : TEHERAN. I'm used to the Tehran spelling.

70. NCO with three chevrons : SGT

71. Actor Wallach : ELI

75. CDLI doubled : CMII. 902.

76. Polish writing : EDIT

77. Winter quaff : NOG

79. Zagreb's land, to the IOC : CRO (Croatia).

80. Dancer-turned-spy : HARI (Mata)

81. Deli wheel : EDAM

82. Note recipient? : SELF. Self-note.

84. "__ you big-time" : I OWE

87. 1920s Hollywood breakthrough : TALKIES

90. "__ I alone did call upon thy aid": Sonnet 79 : WHILST

91. Tasmanian, e.g. : AUSSIE. Hi there, Kazie.

92. Not for kids : R-RATED

93. "Out of Africa," for one : MEMOIR

94. Gradually eased (in) : PHASED

95. Boring tools : AUGERS

96. Half of a major scale : CDEF. Music scale. Always my blind spot.

98. Star seekers : MAGI

99. Plaster finish : STUCCO

103. Maple product : SYRUP. I have been searching for mulberry jam. But no luck in our local stores.

104. Rite place : ALTAR

106. __ facto : IPSO

107. Stood : ROSE

109. Swedish university city : LUND. Not familiar with Lund Univeristy. Wiki said it's "Scandinavia's largest institutions for education and research."

110. Bird that fishes : ERNE. That's an odd use of "fishes". To me, you use rods to fish.

111. Eye dropper? : TEAR

114. Gaping hole : MAW

115. Jackie's second : ARI

116. Rank below cpl. : PFC

Answer grid.


Aug 25, 2012

Saturday, Aug 25th, 2012, Jeff Chen

Theme: None

Words: 68

Blocks: 37

I do believe that this is Jeff Chen's first themeless (Saturday) puzzle - at least for the LA Times. In fact, we last saw Jeff with his Aug 8th "L.A." puzzle, and his well done "VW" women's initials puzzle in July - and this means he has "batted for the cycle", having a puzzle published every day of the week; S, M, T, W, T, F, and now S. Two grid spanners,

14A. Period, say : PUNCTUATION MARK - straight up definition, though the word has several meanings

47A. Tavern order : I'LL HAVE A COLD ONE - ah, the "old" days for me, but I never asked for a beer quite this way - someone will raise a glass for me tonight, tho it might not be 'cold'~!

and pyramid stacks of 11- and 13-letters, including:

12A. Source of a large reserve supply : NATIONAL GUARD - now I know we have several retired military members here at the blog, but are any of us part of this organization?

51A. Hybrid sport with seemingly incompatible components : CHESS BOXING - never heard of this; requires skill in both areas - chess and boxing, in alternating rounds....I'll bet the later rounds of chess get harder with each left hook you take....

On~ward Orthorunicans~!


1. Bout with padded weapons : PILLOW FIGHT - can't say I have ever participated, and I was married to a woman with a young child, too; I would like it to be "all out" and have the feather stuffing strewn all over the place~!