May 28, 2015

Thursday, May 28, 2015 David Poole

Theme: "Before and After"

Common fabric patterns are combined with common objects to form new items. Hilarity ensues.

17. Digging tool with an abstract pattern? : HOUNDSTOOTH PICK. Houndstooth / Toothpick. I can order my very own customized cake PICK from
24. Mathematical array with a spotted pattern? : POLKA DOT MATRIX. Polka dot / Dot matrix. "Spot" on description, since some mathematical arrays do look like POLKA DOTs!

45. Fish with a linear pattern? : PINSTRIPED BASS. Pinstriped / Striped bass. How about this pinstriped bass?

59. Volume with a plaid pattern? : MADRAS CHECK BOOK. I couldn't find a BOOK with a MADRAS CHECK cover. But  Coach makes a MADRAS CHECK CHECKBOOK for only $50.

This seemed awfully easy for a Thursday, with only one snag for me.   I guess the low word count and tricky theme pushes it to late week status. How did it treat you?


1. Help with a heist : ABET.

5. Senate __ : RACE. Hands up for wanting "seat"? (Which led to my boo-boo, erasure, and an extra 15 seconds at 8-Down.)

9. Rascal : SCAMP.

14. First name in fashion : COCO. Immediately followed by a clecho at 15-Across. First name in fashion : OLEG. Needed a couple perps to sort them out.

16. Transmission repair franchise : AAMCO.

20. Wrecks : TRASHES.

21. How a scolding may be given : IRATELY.

22. First and last words of "Green Eggs And Ham" : I AM. Sam...Sam I am.

23. Winter Palace resident : TSAR.

31. Champagne label word : SEC. SEC means "dry" in French. On non-sparkling wines, that indicates just what it implies: they are "dry" and not sweet. But champagne bottles labeled SEC are much sweeter than "Brut" champagnes. Go figure.

32. Olympic hawk : ARES.

33. Reunion attendee : NIECE.

34. 3-Down is in it : OPEC. And 3-Down. Besides Chile, the only S.A. country that doesn't border Brazil : ECUA.dor

36. Arafat of the PLO : YASIR.

39. Broadway feature : NEON.

40. Carne __ : ASADA. "Grilled meat" in Spanish.

42. Pupil's place : UVEA. Not desk, haha!

44. Letters from your parents? : DNA. Good one.

49. Snaps : PICS. Here's a couple PICS of our new deck.
This is the water feature in our moss garden:

We have to wait a few months before staining it, right, Splynter?

50. Much : FAR. "It is a far, far better thing that I do..."

51. College milieu : ACADEME. Pronounced AK-uh-deem.

55. Ghoulish : MACABRE. Nice fill.

61. Son of Abraham : ISAAC.

62. Top : ACME.

63. Run without moving : IDLE.

64. "Married to the Mob" director : DEMME. My one entry that relied totally on perps. He also directed "Silence of the Lambs."

65. Appealed : PLED.

66. Some votes : AYES.


1. Twice vier : ACHT. German "four" and "eight."

2. Lout : BOOR.

4. Neck tissue : TONSIL.

5. Italian cuisine herb : ROSEMARY. This year I expanded my herb garden to include sage and basil, along with rosemary, thyme, chives, dill, cilantro, parsley, tarragon and oregano.

6. Cockpit figs. : ALTS. ALTitudes.

7. Satya Nadella of Microsoft, e.g. : CEOThis guy.

8. Self-seeker : EGOIST. I thought "taoist" at first!

9. Like nearly one-third of Africa : SAHARAN.

10. Kirk or Picard: Abbr. : CAPT.ain

11. Brest friend : AMIE. HarHar. I guess clueing it as "Brest" indicates that we are looking for the feminine noun?

12. Year in which Frederick II died : MCCL. Sure, I knew that...

13. Snail-paced : POKY.

18. Bangladesh capital : DHAKA.

19. Streetcar relative : TRAM.

23. Hard-to-call contests : TOSSUPS.

24. It was originally named Brad's Drink : PEPSI.

25. Indian __ : OCEAN.

26. Bust gp. : DEA. Drug Enforcement Agency.

27. Bronze component : TIN.beni?

28. Orchestra section : REEDS.

29. Madonna and Lady Gaga : ICONS.

30. Gabrielle's friend : XENA. From the series "Xena: Warrier Princess." I always wanted to write a song about her: "I'll be XENA in all the old familiar places..."

31. Hotel freebie : SOAP. If they didn't have such strong fragrances, I might be tempted to take some home!

35. Collection to burn : CDs.

37. "Now __ seen everything!" : I'VE.

38. Embarrassed : REDFACED. (Oops! I saw too much!)

41. Tranquil : AT PEACE.

43. One way to be taken : ABACK.

46. What some eyeglasses lack : RIMS.

47. Polar concern : ICE CAP.

48. Oil-rich peninsula : ARABIA.

51. Within : AMID.

52. One taken to court : CASE.

53. Leading man? : ADAM.

54. Eighth of a fluid ounce : DRAM.

55. Fast-spreading Internet phenomenon : MEME. This has to be one of my favorites.

56. Murder mystery staple : BODY.

57. Something to cast : ROLE.

58. Laboriously earns, with "out" : EKES.

60. Stomach acid, to a chemist : HCL. Hydrochloric acid.

Marti, out!

May 27, 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 Robyn Weintraub

Theme: INSANE OCTETS.  The theme answers have circles - or at least they should - so that's usually a sign that the theme includes an anagram concept.   This is definitely not my forte, but I sussed it pretty easily.  Lets check it out

17 A. Oscar-nominated song from "The Little Mermaid" : KISS THE GIRL.  Just don't get slapped.

26. Tie the knot : GET HITCHED.  GET MARRIED also fits, but the slangy answer is more appropriate to the clue

33. Jewelry alloy : WHITE GOLD.  Per Wikipedia, "an alloy of gold and at least one white metal, usually nickel, manganese or palladium. In order to make the gold white, it is combined with metal alloys that are white in nature and plated with an extremely hard element called rhodium."

43. Alertly eager : BRIGHT EYED.    Evidently, this phrase goes back to the late 1500's, but that's all I was able to uncover.  However, FWIW, there is this --

There is no obvious common thread here, so if you didn't get the circles, you were probably pretty puzzled by the puzzle.  So, here is the unifier.  53 A. Card game that literally explains this puzzle's circles : CRAZY EIGHTS.  "CRAZY" is one of many possible indicators that the letters of the key word "EIGHT" have been mixed up, scrambled or confused, i.e anagrammed.  The letters, contained in circles if you're lucky, in each case are split across two words.  There are 120 permutations of the 5 letters in the word EIGHT, so the puzzle could only give us a small sampling of the possibilities. Very nicely done, I'd say.

CRAZY EIGHTS is a pretty simple game that I must have played at some time in my 'ute.  You can read about it here.  When I did, it occurred to me that UNO is an elaborated derivative of this game.

Hi gang, Crazy ZabaJzump here.  Nice puzzle, well executed theme.  Let's see if we can get through it without any further mix ups.


1. Passé movie rental need : VCR.  Video Cassette Recorder.

4. Defeat decisively : STOMP.

9. Fixtures that may have claw feet : TUBS.   

13. "__ you in or out?" : ARE.

14. On top of things : AWARE.

15. Blazing stars : NOVAE.  All stars are blazing.  These are the REALLY hot ones.

16. Word in four state names : NEW.   Hampshire, Jersey, Mexico, and York.

19. Rose __ : GARDEN.   White House feature

21. Steve Martin film based on "Cyrano de Bergerac" : ROXANNE.

22. Melville novel : OMOO.  Easily the most popular novel in X-words.  Has anyone read it in the last 100 years?

23. Circus prop : STILT.  

25. Friend of Wyatt : DOC.  Earp and Holliday, famous for participating in the gun fight down the street a piece from the OK Corral.

29. Fixed (on) : BENT.  Firm and determend in purpose or belief.

30. Charlemagne's domain: Abbr. : Holy Roman Empire.

31. Peaty land : MOOR.  Acidic soil where plants die faster than they can decompose.

32. __-Coburg, Bavaria : SAXE.   A Duchy from the 14th Century in what is now Bavaria.

36. "Toodles!" : CIAO.  B'bye.

38. City NNE of Austin : WACO.   Never a good thing when it's in the news.

39. Managed care gp. : Health Maintenance Organization.  Note abrv.

42. Half of a Billy Idol #1 song : MONY.   Better than half a fly, I suppose.  Anyway, it's a cover.  Here's the real thing, from 1968.

46. Gardner of film : AVA.  She had many roles from the 40's through the 70's and was married to Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw, and Frank Sinatra.

47. Debt securities : LIENS.  The way this is phrased makes me think of bonds.  A LIEN is a legal encumbrance on a property, which is a form of security interest.   Details differ from country to country.

48. Invasion time : D-DAY.  On June 6, 1944, the allied forces invaded Normandy, a very complicated operation.

49. Tries to reach again, old-style : REDIALS.   Old time phone calls.

51. Rejects : SPURNS.

56. Super Bowl highlights : ADS.   'Cuz the game itself is often lousy.

57. Anise-flavored liqueurs : OUZOS.   Greek fire water.

58. "Toodles!" : SEE YA.  A chlecho, but I don't believe I've ever heard anybody say "Toodles."

59. Originally named : NEE.   Generally used in the context of a bride's maiden name.

60. Flew : SPED.   Look at the time.   I must be having fun.

61. Article of faith : TENET.   Do those of lesser faith only have ninets?

62. Audition, with "out" : TRY.  Competition for roles.


1. "The Starry Night" painter : VAN GOGH.  Vincent.

2. Morning pitcher : CREAMER.  Presumably holding cream for that all-important cup of coffee.  I take mine solo.

3. Did over, as a manuscript : REWROTE.  Writing is rewriting.

4. Japanese libation : SAKE.  An alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice.  Sometimes thought of as either a wine or a beer, but is neither.

5. Mattress size : TWIN.  

6. Defense gp. since 1948 : Organization of American States, founded in 1948.

7. Dash of flavor? : MRS.    Cute

8. Van Dyke role : PETRIE.   Rob, with wife Laura

9. Forum garb : TOGA.

10. Measure discussed on the EPA's SunWise web page : UV INDEX. It predicts the level of solar UV radiation and  indicates the risk of overexposure on a scale from 0 (low) to 11 or more (extremely high).

11. Including everything : BAR NONE.

12. Choose : SELECT.

15. "Wait till __ year!" : NEXT.   Losing sports team's cry of anguish and hope.

18. Clutch : HOLD.

20. Word from Homer : D'OH.

23. Glasgow native : SCOT.  From a city in Scotland.

24. Included free : THREW IN.  Has anyone ever included a free towel for you?

27. Texter's "Here's what I think" : In My Humble Opinion.

28. Paris pronoun : TOI.  Sure.  Whatever.

29. Rancid : BAD.  Food going bad, not misbehaving.   I think.

32. Hotel keycard opening : SLOT.  Keyholes are passé.

33. Route : WAY.

34. Comedy material : GAGS.

35. 23-Down's "Golly!" : OCH.  Scottish vernacular.

36. Watergate subterfuge : COVERUP.  Sometimes worse than the actual crime.

37. Not lucid : IN A DAZE.

39. Curbside water source : HYDRANT.  For putting out house fires.

40. Wind, as a country road : MEANDER.   

41. Post-Trojan War epic : ODYSSEY.   The story of Odyssius taking the long way home.

42. Former Philippine president : MARCOS.  Ferdinand, a corrupt and brutal dictator.

43. Ill humor : BILE.

44. Fight temptation : RESIST.  I misread this a "flight temptation" and was mightily confused.  Anyway, always let your conscience be your guide.

45. University URL suffix : EDU. Representing EDUcation.

47. Sets down : LAYS.  Not lies - that would be untrue.

50. Name on a sport shirt label : IZOD.  Actually, they make all sorts of apparel.

This symbol magically magnifies the value price of whatever it's attached to

51. Eye trouble : STYE. An infected abscess near the edge of the eyelid.

52. H.S. exam : PSAT. Pre-SAT.  Preparation for the SAT, which is a college admission test with no record of predicting success in college.  IMHO, all standardized tests are scams.

54. "Golly!" : GEE.

55. Egg source : HEN. Yeah - but which one came first?

There it is folks, a nice puzzle from start to finish.  I'm not mixed up any more, but I am still crazy.

Cool regards!

May 26, 2015

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 Gareth Bain

Theme: Redundancies - Redundancies.

17A. Cash source, redundantly : ATM MACHINE. (automatic teller machine)

28A. 17-Across access code, redundantly : PIN NUMBER. (personal identification number)

38A. College entrance exam, redundantly : SAT TEST. (Originally, Scholastic Aptitude Test)

47A. Adobe file spec, redundantly : PDF FORMAT. (portable document format)

63A. PC linking system, redundantly : LAN NETWORK. (local area network)

Argyle here. This should make some Cornerites happy. They have complained about some of these redundancies before. I felt the fill was the right step-up in crunchiness from yesterday.


1. "Shake a leg!" : C'MON

5. Deprive of one's nerve : UNMAN

10. __ noire: dreaded thing : BÊTE

14. Sharpen : HONE

15. Herman's Hermits frontman Peter : NOONE

16. Skip over : OMIT

19. Gull relative : TERN

20. Sweet-talk : WHEEDLE

21. Ethiopia neighbor : ERITREA

23. Refine, as ore : SMELT

25. Flirtatiously shy : COY Miss Piggy 7D. "Little ol' me?" : "MOI?"

26. Half of sechs : DREI. German 6/3

33. Speaks too well of oneself : BOASTS

35. Sign before Virgo : LEO

36. Spanish explorer Hernando de __ : SOTO

37. Compact submachine gun : UZI

41. "I thought so!" : "A-HA!"

42. Tennis great Lacoste : RENÉ. Jean René Lacoste was a French tennis player and businessman. He was nicknamed "the Crocodile" by fans because of his tenacity on the court; he is also known worldwide as the creator of the Lacoste tennis shirt, which he introduced in 1929.~ Wikipedia

44. Apt. coolers : ACs

45. Large __ Collider: particle accelerator : HADRON. Brief background from Wiki.

50. Empties (of) : RIDS

51. Frequently, in poems : OFT

52. Drivel : TRIPE

54. Dickens miser : SCROOGE

58. Gracious : AMIABLE

62. Berth place : PIER. For the berthing of boats.

65. Los Angeles-to-Phoenix direction : EAST

66. Novelist Jong : ERICA

67. Lip balm additive : ALOE

68. Things to connect : DOTS

69. First name in TV talk : ELLEN DeGeneres

70. Longings : YENS


1. Wad of tobacco : CHAW

2. Clothes closet pest : MOTH

3. "You can count __" : ON ME

4. Luthor and Zod, to Superman : NEMESES. Individually, each is a nemesis.

5. Ben or Sam : UNCLE

6. Like vague hints, usually : NO HELP

8. Author Rice : ANNE. No relation to Uncle Ben's Rice.

9. __-do-well : NE'ER

10. Bell-__: flared pants : BOTTOMS

11. Manicurist's buffer : EMERY BOARD

12. Run out of gas : TIRE

13. Sicilian volcano : ETNA

18. Opens the door to : ADMITS

22. Post-op setting : ICU

24. Attacks, knight-style : TILTS AT

26. Slept for a bit : DOZED

27. Amazonian ecosystem : RAIN FOREST

29. Alumna bio word : NÉE

30. Small snack : NOSH

31. Cultural values of a group : ETHOS

32. Colorful horse : ROAN. Did anybody ride a roan on the Ponderosa?

33. Tupperware sound : BURP

34. German coal region : SAAR

39. Film buff's sta. : TCM

40. Mammoth-preserving locale : TAR PIT. La Brea Tar Pits, bonus entry.

43. Serious attempts : EFFORTS

46. Wane : DIE AWAY

48. Oklahoma native : OTO or Otoe.

49. Hypnotic state : TRANCE

53. "In other words ..." : "I MEAN ..."

54. Risked a ticket : SPED

55. Florentine farewell : CIAO. Italian “hello, goodbye”.

56. TV musical comedy that ended in 2015 : "GLEE"

57. British peer : EARL

59. Tree trunk : BOLE

60. Dianetics creator __ Hubbard : L. RON. Dianetics is a set of ideas and practices regarding the metaphysical relationship between the mind and body which was created by L. Ron Hubbard and is practiced by followers of Scientology and separate independent Dianeticist groups.~ Wikipedia

61. Endures hardship to make, with "out" : EKEs

64. Zero, in soccer : NIL

I'd like to thank Wikipedia for their help in writing this piece.


May 25, 2015

Monday, May 25, 2015 C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Apt - Memorials for Memorial Day.

17A. *Cause championed by Martin Luther King, Jr. : CIVIL RIGHTS. Montgomery, Alabama

26A. *Military branch : AIR FORCE. Arlington, VA

51A. *Five-sided figure : PENTAGON. Southwest side of The Pentagon.

18D. *Bearded Mount Rushmore president : LINCOLN. Western end of the National Mall

35D. *Iconic WWII flag-raising island : IWO JIMA. Arlington National Cemetery

United States Marine Corps War Memorial
61A. Late-May observance, whose first word can follow each answer to a starred clue : MEMORIAL DAY

Argyle here. Moment of silence at 3:00 pm local time. A unique grid from C.C. today. A fitting tribute.


1. Barn birds : OWLS

5. "A Fish Called __":1988 Cleese film : WANDA

10. Jordan Spieth's org. : PGA. (Professional Golfers' Association) Spieth won his first major at the Masters in 2015.

13. Hair-removal brand : NAIR

14. Olympics chant : "USA! USA!"

16. Onassis nickname : ARI

19. Nintendo's Super __ : NES. (Nintendo Entertainment System)

20. Somme summer : ÉTÉ

21. "Love __ Open Door": "Frozen" duet : IS AN. If you want a listen...Link.

22. Paris tower designer : EIFFEL

24. "I __ noticed" : HADN'T

28. Archaeological artifact : RELIC

29. Cold War CIA foe : KGB. (Комите́т госуда́рственной безопа́сности)

30. Assents at sea : AYEs

31. Capital of Libya : TRIPOLI

33. Morally bad : EVIL

36. "Catch my drift?" : "SEE?"

37. On the __: escaping : LAM

38. Like steak tartare : RAW

39. Unused : NEW

42. Reverse, as a computer operation : UNDO

43. Newman song played after a Dodgers home victory : "I LOVE LA"

45. Pass up : SKIP

48. Long or Peeples : NIA. Actresses.

50. "The Grapes of Wrath" family : JOADs

54. Mottled mount : PINTO. What Little Joe used to ride.

55. Sign up : ENROLL

56. Old MacDonald's place : FARM

58. Seething state : IRE

60. Brian of ambient music : ENO. Crossword staple.

64. Org. with narcs : DEA. (Drug Enforcement Administration)

65. Buffalo NHL team : SABRES

66. "__ Dinah": Frankie Avalon hit : DEDE

67. Moth-eaten : OLD

68. Papas' partners : MAMAS

69. Vietnam neighbor : LAOS


1. __ in a blue moon : ONCE

2. "Don't move until I get back" : "WAIT HERE". (but they never do.)

3. Be habitually dishonest : LIVE A LIE

4. __ Lanka : SRI

5. German sausage : WURST

6. Japan's locale : ASIA

7. Words from a beleaguered spouse : "NAG, NAG". Ladies, your husbands will get the job done. You don't need to remind him every six months.

8. "Boy, am I dumb!" : "DUH!"

9. Daisylike flower : ASTER

10. Cook in a skillet : PAN FRY

11. Plato's country : GREECE

12. Theater walkways : AISLEs

15. "Yeah, right!" : "AS IF!"

23. Stable baby : FOAL

25. Guacamole, e.g. : DIP

27. Spain and Portugal : IBERIA

28. NFL linemen : RTs. (right tackle)

29. Japanese robe : KIMONO

32. Young fellow : LAD

34. Actor Kilmer : VAL

39. "Clever thought!" : "NEAT IDEA!"

40. Legendary city of gold : EL DORADO. Home to “The Woman in Gold"?

41. "What __ I thinking?" : WAS

42. At most : UPTO

44. Maria __ Trapp : VON. "Sound of Music" fame.

45. Skimpy swimwear brand : SPEEDO

46. Hound hotel : KENNEL

47. Damaging encroachment : INROAD

49. Break the news to : INFORM

52. Charitable gift : ALMS

53. Sparkle : GLEAM

54. Overly proper type : PRISS. Yes, I tried PRUDE first.

57. Pi r squared, for a circle : AREA

59. Baby blues : EYES

62. CEO's degree : MBA. (Master of Business Administration)

63. "Bad" cholesterol letters : LDL. (low-density lipoprotein)


Note from C.C.:

Big Easy sent me this picture last night. He said:

"Granddaughters Jenna and Kelsey with TOBY KEITH and Jason Aldean today at the Bayou Country Superfest held in Tiger Stadium.  How they got to get a picture with those two is baffling."

May 24, 2015

Sunday, May 24, 2015 Mark Bickham

Theme: "Hatch Job" - Nine birds are hidden in the theme answers.

25A. *Dreamt of : ALWAYS WANTED. Swan, a hard bird to hide, unlike OWL. The *S WAN* pattern phrases are limited.

27A. *Type of surplus store : ARMY NAVY. Myna. The one I visited is run by a private guy.

 32A. *Forgot the past : STARTED OVER. Dove.

64A. *Yellow Monopoly property : VENTNOR AVENUE. Raven.

94A. *School in-crowd : POPULAR KIDS. Lark.
101A. *Tape width, perhaps : HALF-INCH. Finch.

33D. *"Be My Baby" singers : THE RONETTES. Heron.

38D. *Alpine feline : SNOW LEOPARD. Owl, probably the easiest theme entry for Mark.

49D. *Like some flats : LOW RENT. Wren. Crossing the central Across theme answer. Expert gridding work.

 104. Signs of spring that are literally hidden in the answers to starred clues : NESTING BIRDS
I had no idea what the theme was until I came to the reveal. I love puzzles with reveal entries, provided that the gimmick was not obvious from the get-go.

Also loved the title, "Hatch job", very clever. Mark managed a low 138-worder despite a heavy 10 themers. I'm convinced that you've got to have themeless construction experience to pull off a 138 or lower.
Quite a few clue echos in this grid also.


1. Mound site : INFIELD. Pitcher's mound.

8. 1996 Olympic tennis gold medalist : AGASSI

14. Track fastener : SPIKE

19. Jim Brickman fan, perhaps : NEW AGER. Not familiar with the musician.

20. Gathered in a mass : LUMPED

21. Darlings' creator : BARRIE. Peter Pan.

22. Stay with doggedly : CLING TO

23. Dishes set in gelatin : ASPICS. My grandma always had fried tofu inside her aspics.

24. Canine coat? : ENAMEL. Nice clue.

29. Couple maker : AND

30. Equal : ARE

31. Question of concern : YOU OK?
37. Dope (out) : SUSS

38. Eponymous Belgian town : SPA. Good to know this trivia. And 75. Belgium-based imaging company : AGFA. Have not seen this brand for quite some time.

41. Nincompoop : SCHMO. Joe Schmo.

42. German article : DER

43. Word with dive or drops : NOSE. And 59. Words before dare or ever : DO I

44. War of the Ring force : ENTs. The Lord of the Rings.

45. Pact : TREATY

47. Fix, as a model airplane : RE-GLUE

51. Bleep : EDIT OUT

53. Discernible range : EARSHOT

55. Hinduism's Chandra, e.g. : MOON GOD. Never heard of Chandra. We have a moon goddess called Chang'e in Chinese fairy tales. Same name as China's lunar exploration program.

57. 2005 horror sequel : SAW II

58. Singer Tori : AMOS

61. Scottish export : TWEED

62. Where texts are often read : CELL. Cell phone.

63. ISP option : MSN

67. "Speak up" requests : EHs

70. Base path? : EVIL. Base ="Despicable"  here.

72. Cutting beam : LASER

73. Bouncer's handful : SOT

74. In short order : SOON

75. Some saxes : ALTOS

77. Law office visitors : CLIENTS

79. Part-time player : SEMI-PRO. Not AMATEUR.

81. "I'm outta here" : GOTTA GO. Tiny dupe with 48. Ship out : GO TO SEA

83. Potters' wheels, e.g. : LATHES

85. Home of Mandrake the Magician : XANADU.  Another unknown to me.

86. Part of BOGOF : FREE. "Buy one, get one free"

87. Annoyances : RUBS. "Ay, there's the rub" .

89. They're often found in mice : AAs. Computer mouse.

91. Sign of an omission : CARET. ^.

92. Spots : ADS

93. Deere rival : TORO. Based here in MN.

98. Look forward to : AWAIT

99. Game with an Angry Birds version : UNO

100. Cal. column : TUE

111. Tennyson's "lily maid of Astolat" : ELAINE

112. Cuthbert of "24" : ELISHA

114. Steak __ : TARTARE

115. Thought quite a lot of : ADORED

116. More promising : ROSIER

117. In : ELECTEE

118. Downed with a jolt : TASED

119. Wheelhouse : SPHERE

120. Elizabeth I or Prince Harry : REDHEAD. Prince Harry alone is enough for me. I hope he gets back to that pretty girl he used to date. They were a great couple.

1. Sapa __: ancient South American ruler : INCA. Guessable.

2. Jodie Foster title role : NELL. Nailed this one, though I never saw the movie.

3. Relative of IMO : FWIW

4. Collector's suffix : IANA. ANA is more common, right? Americana.

5. Like rich batter : EGGY

6. Sics on : LETS AT

7. Overwhelmed, with "out" : DROWNED

8. Jackson with a 2015 "Keepin' It Country" tour : ALAN. We also have 102. "The Aviator" actor : ALDA.

9. Austrian painter Klimt : GUSTAV. Marti saw his works in person.

10. Word in current news? : AMPERE. Not current news I had in mind.

11. Scorpion cousin : SPIDER

12. Texas A&M joined it in 2012 : SEC

13. "You're probably right" : I'D SAY SO

14. Some HDTVs : SANYOS

15. Trick : PRANK

16. "Joy of Cooking" author Rombauer : IRMA

17. Capital ESE of Warsaw : KIEV

18. Hard to control : EELY

21. In a fog : BEMUSED

26. Puff __ : ADDER

28. Woke up : ROUSED. Read this, guys.  So many LOL moments. Which is your favorite? Mine is #23.

32. Gets out : SCRAMS
34. Pile up : AMASS

35. "American Pastoral" Pulitzer-winning writer : ROTH (Philip)

36. City near Provo : OREM

39. Spitting sound : PTUI

40. Wine commonly served chilled : ASTI

41. Momentum : STEAM. Lose momentum/steam.

43. Beersheba's region : NEGEV. Hebrew for "dry".

44. Series ender : ET AL

46. Feature of some Roy Rogers numbers : YODEL
50. Expose : UNEARTH

52. "Understood" : I SEE

54. Weigh station unit : TON And 105. Weigh station concern : TARE

56. The __: Horace works : ODES

60. "__ be fun!" : IT'LL

62. Polish brand : CUTEX. And 65. Does masterfully : NAILS. Also 76. Master : LORD

64. Credit giant : VISA
66. Crunched things, for short : NOs (Numbers).

68. Large groups : HORDES

69. Weevil feature : SNOUT

71. Poll position? : VOTE. Great clue. Pole/Poll.

74. Egyptian peninsula : SINAI
77. Journalist who has been a host on all "Big Three" networks : COURIC. So sweet and cheerful.

78. 12-time NFL Pro Bowler Junior : SEAU

80. Connie __, winningest MLB manager : MACK. See this list.  He also lost more games than any other manager.

82. Responded to a bad joke : GROANED

84. U.S./Soviet pact : SALT I

88. Gets to : BOTHERS

90. Walk easily : SAUNTER

93. Twisted together : TWINED

94. Ground, say : PUNISH

95. Garment easy to get in and out of : ONESIE. For babies!

96. More swank : POSHER

97. Throw a big party for : REGALE

98. Burning : AFIRE

101. Cops, or pressure from them : HEAT
103. Landlocked land : LAOS. More sticky rice is eaten there than any other country.  I love mochi balls.

106. Brought up : BRED

107. Hard-to-ignore feeling : ITCH

108. Fixed __ : RATE

109. De Matteo of "Sons of Anarchy" : DREA. She's also in "The Sopranos".

110. Apple product : SEED. Real apple.

113. Cut off : LOP

May 23, 2015

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015, Tim Croce and Alex Vratsanos

Theme: None

Words: 68 (missing J)

Blocks: 29

  Well this one was just a complete "Fun Sponge".  I was just about blank on the first few passes, across and down, but then I was able to break through in some areas - but I could get nowhere in the NW, and the combined foreign words/proper names vagueness just dragged this one out way past my personal time, so off to Google I went.  Such a shame, really, but there's got to be one or two puzzles that just beat me up and take my lunch money, or I would not learn anything by trying.  Big, chunky quad-6- and 8-letter corners with two climbers;

3. Eagle touchdown site : TRANQUILITY BASE

12. It might make you comfortable : SOUND INVESTMENT

unward  :7(


1. Strips near the water : ISTHMI - ugh.  strips of land, as in "isthmuses"- so I had an "S" in there for the longest time

7. One giving you a pointer? : UNCLE SAM - he wants you

15. Tire tube, e.g. : TOROID

16. New York racing venue : SARATOGA - horse racing in Argyle's neck of the woods.  I needed the first two "A"s before I remembered this - and I lived in Albany for a few years

17. Sycophantic : SMARMY

18. Skiing maneuver : STEM TURN - did not know this, but I am sure HeartRx did

19. Strands in a tree : TINSEL - Dah~!  I was thinking strands as in "abandons", not strands of silvery metal Christmas decorations

20. Wincing words : I HOPE NOT - "you gonna spend $15K to get your roof fixed~?"

21. Ques. : INQuiry - my first thought, but it seemed a bit of a s-t-r-e-t-c-h

22. Jerry who was head coach of the Utah Jazz for 23 seasons : SLOAN - just the "L" was a WAG; the rest, perps

24. Over the limit, on the rd. : DUI - .08 is the limit here; my first "infraction" was almost 3X that

25. Verdun's river : MEUSE - UGH.  Frawnche.

28. Dominate, in slang : OWN - The NY Rangers 'owned' the TB Lightning last night, winning 5-1; going back to MSG tied 2 games a piece

29. Mighty efforts : PAINS

31. What one might need to leave : EXIT VISA

33. Buff : FIEND - you know what I am a fiend of....the summer is officially kicking in this weekend, and the summer staff has returned to the restaurants - some familiar faces again, and some new cute ones~!

34. Shuttle sites : LOOMS - I took a moment to consider the Space shuttle, or a weaving shuttle - ah ha~!

35. "The Simpsons" shower : FOX TV

36. Drops : SINKS

37. Cuban genre also called the "contradanza" : HABANERA

40. Belgian-born artist with the 2012 Grammy-winning album "Making Mirrors" : GOTYE - total fun sponge

41. Slangy "No reason" : "CUZ" - because.  If I'm writing  dialogue, I spell it " 'cos "

42. Flattened, as a flat : RASED - the flat reference to an apartment building should have clued me into the British spelling of raZed

43. Kid with a trombone : ORY - Did not know this guy

44. Start of a wistful remark : "AH YES...."

46. ID checker : TSA - part of Homeland Security

47. Tiger Electronics' Poo-Chi, for one : ROBOT DOG - I was thinking "robo-pet" at first

50. Give nothing away : CLAM UP; and clecho at 26d. Giving nothing away : STONY

53. Pal of Beegle Beagle : GRAPE APE - I did watch this, I think

54. '60s defense secretary McNamara : ROBERT - I did actually recall this proper name

55. Entering with care : EASING IN - huh - last week, we had Eased Out

56. Right, in a way : AVENGE

57. Smooths : SLEEKENS

58. Liquidated? : MELTED


1. "Let's go" : IT'S TIME

2. ZzzQuil alternative : SOMINEX - eh, I spelled it wrong; happens in the 'down'
4. __-la-loi: outlaw : HORS - more F'n Frawnche

5. Art with no lines : MIME

6. Theocritus works : IDYLS

7. It carried FDR to a 1943 "Big Three" meeting : USS IOWA - I had the first "S" and the last "A", and this was a pretty good WAG

8. Lane on Broadway : NATHAN - Clever clue, but didn't fool me; this guy

9. Theban ruler in "Antigone" : CREON - had to Google

10. Standing __ : LAMP - Ugh, really~?  I mean, I get it, but....

11. Novel ending : ETTE - meh.  I thought it was NoveLLA

13. Not a good way to run : AGROUND - Ooops~!

14. Short prayer? : MANTIS - the bug, that is

23. It may be insured : LOSS

27. Draw out : EVOKE

29. "Cars" studio : PIXAR

30. "Building a healthier world" sloganeer : AETNA

32. Virtual chats : IMs

33. Time keeper? : FOB - I was trying to come up with a magazine Time collector, but it's just the watch chain we're looking for

35. Trouble : FAZE - as in "that did not --- me"

36. Sisterly : SORORAL - ah - the other kind of sister

37. Christiaan who invented the pendulum clock : HUYGENS - this guy

38. Rise again : RESURGE

39. Modified : ADAPTED

40. Indulges and then some : GORGES

41. Most of his works were for solo piano : CHOPIN - a WAG having just the "I"

44. Bit of grandmotherly advice : ADAGE

45. Ejection interjection : "SCRAM~!"

48. Tyke of vintage TV : OPIE

49. Quite a run : TEN-K

51. "A temporary insanity curable by marriage," per Ambrose Bierce : LOVE - cute

52. Explorer Tasman : ABEL


May 22, 2015

Friday, May 22, 2015, Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: Add an E, and listen carefully. Sounds like JW is back punning away.

A quick return visit to Friday from Mr. Wechsler, with another punny effort, where the first word of each them answer is transformed by the addition of an “E” creating a sound-alike with a completely different meaning to the word and to the resulting phrase.  This effort is a classic-looking Friday with word count down and average word length in excess of 5 letters. Lots of original fill, with the NW corner featuring a beautiful stack of three new fill for the LAT (A TALL ONE, TIE BOLTS and SCRUPLES) crossing ALBUMEN. The SE has the new JOY OF SEX, little used ABORTIVE and YOU DA MAN, crossing the brand new GOLF TAN. To fill a grid with this much originality must be a dramatic amount of work. The theme fill are all funny and the I enjoy the visual look of the puzzle, which has many blocks also has lots of open squares. He does use two cheater squares to accommodate the two 14 letter themers in the 10-14-14-10 pattern, rather than the more common 10-13-13-10. He includes fill from many generations and interests which added to my enjoyment. How about you?

18A. Chorus of cows? : MOOED MUSIC (10). (MOOD Music). You think they practice in unison? LINK. (1:37).

25A. Environmentalist priests? : COLLARED GREENS (14). (COLLARD Greens). A stretch but I really like the play on COLLARD.

41A. Assessed penalties against nonconformists? : FINED THE WAYOUT (14). (FIND the WAY OUT). The trickiest, because you have to parse WAYOUT as defining an unconventional person.

53A. Barbie after a bit too much bubbly? : WINED UP TOY (10) (WIND-UP Toy). I am familiar with liquored up, not so much wined up, but then I might have been more impatient in my youth.


1. H.S. concerns : SATS. Scholastic Achievement Tests. I think the world is finally getting away from the idea that standardized tests are a predictor of anything. 56D. H.S. subject : ENGlish.

5. Place to pick up a kitten : SCRUFF. I will leave it to the cat experts to pick the link of a mother carrying her baby by the scruff of the neck.

11. "Raiders of the Lost Ark" threat : ASP.

14. Psych ending : OTIC. Just what the clue tells you-psychotic.

15. They may be seen on slides : AMEBAE. Many ways to spell this crossword staple.

16. Black __ : SEA.

17. He dethroned Carnera in 1934 : BAER. Max, who along with brother Buddy was a successful fighter. Max is probably more famous for losing to James J. Braddock, the Cinderella Man
20. Egg component : ALBUMEN. Reminds me of the old FOLK, POLK joke.

22. Make : REALIZE. I guess he means profit.

23. Relaxed pace : LOPE.

24. Cubist Fernand : LEGER. I am not familiar with this ARTIST.

31. Way to get a deal started : ANTE. card deal. Another quick turn around from yesterday's theme.

32. Cajuns' 18th-century ancestors, for example : EXILES.  Spicy READING?

33. Disarray : MESS.

34. Burkina Faso neighbor : BENIN. One of many African nations I have heard the name and know precious little else.

35. Noisy nesters : JAYS. Blue Jays are amazing. I have a tie just like that.

39. Apologia's opposite : TIRADE.

40. Mitch Miller's instrument : OBOE. From the early 60's, did you SING-A-LONG?

45. Rio Grande feeder : PECOS. Rivers; the Pecos being famous from all the oaters we see in puzzles. Black Bart, the meanest SOB west of the Pecos!

46. "Suit the action to the __ ... ": Hamlet : WORD. Loves me some Shakespeare. Cool phrase.

47. Slightly : A LITTLE.

50. Shade on the links? : GOLF TAN. Fun clue, and if you look at the farmer's tan both the men and womenb golfers have, you can enjoy this clue.

55. __ Valley: Reagan Library site : SIMI. A gimme to the left coasters.

57. Like some Olympics milieus : ALPINE. Skiing marti?

58. Actor Peters of "American Horror Story" : EVAN. The only character in all of the EPISODES. Never seen it.

59. Paris' Pont __ Arts : DES. French - PONT Italian PONTE. Both mean bridge. The Paris one is a pedestrian bridge and the des just means of.

60. PLO chairman before Mahmoud : YASSER. ABBAS succeeded ARAFAT.

61. Spinoff of TV's "Hercules" : XENA. People love her for her X.


1. Buckwheat noodle : SOBA. Use your noodle in cooking NOODLES.

2. Bar order : A TALL ONE. I used to order these all of the time. LINK.

3. Industrial fasteners : TIE BOLTS.

4. What con artists lack : SCRUPLES. I wonder why they say 'artists.'

5. " __ thing" : SAME. Different day.

6. "Seriously?!" : C'MON.

7. __ Speedwagon : REO. The GROUP (3:50).

8. Outstanding, in slang : UBER. I am go under on the uber.

9. Lose energy : FADE.

10. The Muses, e.g. : FEMALES.
11. Give, as a job : ASSIGN.

12. Captures : SEIZES.

13. Bankers Life Fieldhouse athlete : PACER. More basketball for you marti; they did not make the playoffs this year.

19. To whom Chance said, "You're not workin' as many bees these days" : ULEE. You say BEE, I say ULEE.

21. __ culpa : MEA.

25. Rotating piece : CAM. Do not get shafted.

26. Bridge call : REBID.

27. Apply : EXERT.

28. Shore seen on TV : DINAH. Burt Reynolds' old girl friend and a true friend to the LPGA.

29. Ice-skate, say : GLIDE.

30. Fix up : RENEW.

35. 1972 Alex Comfort best-seller, with "The" : JOY OF SEX. Link.

36. Unsuccessful : ABORTIVE.

37. "Awesome job, bro!" : YOU DA MAN. The really common yell at a golf tournament.

38. Wimbledon unit : SET. Tennis anyone?

39. High school concern : TEST DAY.

41. Like Lewis' Aslan : FELINE. in Narnia.

42. Baker's variety : ICINGS. Lick the bowl. This one even tinman can tolerate.

43. Importance : NOTE. Easier with "of."

44. Punching tool : AWL.

45. Emulated a 41-Down : PAWED. Not to be confused with mawed.

48. 2003-'11 Brazilian president, familiarly : LULA. hard to comment with no politics, but LINK a can.

49. "House" actor : EPPS. Omar.

50. Out of the park : GONE. Baseball, it's going, going, gone! A home run!

51. Open hearing, in law : OYER. Still heard in some courtrooms.

52. Historic voyager to Hispaniola : NINA. Ah, Chris Columbus and his ships.

54. "__ the gift to be simple ... ": Shaker song : 'TIS. Not as exciting exit song, but here it is. Coincidentally, I lived in Ann Lee Cottage in high school. LISTEN. They were very simple people, but since they were celibate, they were very crafty. They needed to find something to do with their hands.

I had an exceptionally good time; some originality, some variety and some humor. Great way to start a holiday week end. Thank you Jeffrey. Do not forget to honor all who have died serving our nation, but also enjoy. Lemonade out.