Aug 29, 2014

Friday, August 29, 2014, Frank Virzi

Theme: When the world gives you lemons, make a puzzle.

There is an old saying that if you had enough monkeys and enough typewriters one would write a great novel just by chance. Today we have a puzzle which is all about my nom de plume, as each of six (!!!!) sets of fill have the letter LEM directly above the letters ADE, presenting a picture of LEM ON (top of) ADE. This is the third of the five LAT puzzles by Mr. Virzi that I have blogged, and it harkens back to the first one I did, for which the visual was HAM ON RYE, with the same  presentation of HAM directly above RYE, but the reveal was just the two words and there were only three sets.  Barry G. scolded Frank for not having a reveal, and here we have something I am not sure I have ever seen, a reveal  (LEMONADE) which is also part of  two of the six sets of clues. The fact that the puzzle runs on Friday, a day blogged by me (lemonade) is either a really odd coincidence (most likely), an example of Rich's awareness and sense of humor, or the most unexpected birthday present ever. This puzzle like Franks' others is nice blend of medium to longish fill with no obscurities that are not filled by the perps. Some fill of note are: BROMINE,  FACED IT,  FERMENT,  NEONATE,  O’CONNOR,  PLUMPER, ADENAUER, A STUDENT,  LEMMINGS, NATHANIEL and the very apt NO PROBLEM. The 3 and 4 letter fill are not too overdone, with only IRE even close and it is clued for the country abbreviation, not anger. let's look at our pairs:

8A. Red Cross red cross, e.g. : EMBLEM. (6) First hint at the theme.
16A. Diatribe :                             TIRADE. (6)

20A. Muskrat relatives : LEMMINGS. (8) Didn't know they were related.
22A. Highly skilled :       ADEPT. (5).

32A. "Consider it done!" : NO PROBLEM. (9).
38A. Green gemstones :                     JADES.(5).

52A. Clay being of Jewish lore :         GOLEM. (5)  Pretty crazy STUFF.
59A. Picnic serving, and when divided properly, a hint to a hidden feature of six pairs of puzzle answers :     LEMONADE. (8)
                                                                      LEMONADE. (8)
63A. West Germany's first chancellor : ADENAUER. (8), Der Alte. Interesting man.

56A. King's "__ Lot" : SALEM'S.
62A. Dodges :              EVADES.


1. Herding dog name : SHEP. This popped right out, though in retrospect, I have never met a dog with that name.

5. Pledge of Allegiance ender : ALL. "...indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

14. Ember, perhaps : COAL.

15. Cattle call : MOO. Not for acting but cow to cow.

17. Valedictorian, typically : A  STUDENT. Typically? I cannot imagine it being anything else.

19. Duplicates : CLONES. The term has been around since 1903!

21. Company with a bull in its logo : ELMER'S.

23. When Juliet asks "wherefore art thou Romeo?" : ACT II.

25. Ici __: French "here and there" : ET LA. Literal French translation. Not et al.

28. First female Supreme Court justice : O'CONNOR. Sandra Day. LINK.

36. "__ say more?" : NEED I.

37. Yeats' land: Abbr. : IRE. A way to clue with no anger.

40. Get a move on : HIE. Old timey word.

41. Walking aid : STAFF.

44. Currier of Currier & Ives : NATHANIEL. He was from Roxbury, MA

47. Netanyahu, for one : ISRAELI. Simple, but tricky.

49. River to the Elbe : OHRE.  We know so little geography. LINK. and 12D. River of central Germany : EDERLINK. Kazie? marti?

50. Boorish : CRASS.

64. Musical Dion : CELINE.

65. Quarterback Tebow : TIM. A Florida Gator, but unemployed as a QB.

66. 100 C-notes : TEN-G.

67. Big name in lawn care : SCOTT'S. A nice hello to our own Santa baby.

68. 1940s mil. zone : ETO. Eastern Theater of Operations.

69. Language that gave us "clan" : ERSE. This is tough since ERSE can be either Irish or Scottish Gaelic. LINK.


1. Italy's La __ : SCALA.

2. Bamboozled : HOSED.  Such a versatile WORD.

3. Invitation on a fictional cake : EAT ME. I would never presume to link a cake as long CED does such wonderful work.

4. More roly-poly : PLUMPER.  I wonder where roly poly started?

5. "You're so right!" : AMEN. 18D. Word of agreement : DITTO.

6. Extended : LONG. So many choices.

7. "__ luck!" : LOTSA. followed by 8. "Blah, blah, blah," briefly : ETC ETC. and 9. Great number of : MILLION. a mini-theme?

10. Element #35 : BROMINE. I long ago forgot the table.

11. Path in a pool : LANE.

13. Boot camp meal : MESS.

24. Awaken : COME TO.

26. Great Society monogram : LBJ. Lyndon Baines Johnson, born August 27, 1908. Hannibal Hamlin was born August 27, 1808. One VP for Kennedy, the other for Lincoln....

27. Self-titled 1991 debut album : ALANIS. Morisette.

29. Classic beverage brand : NEHI. Does everyone think of Radar O'Reilly?

30. Cartoon canine : ODIE. Garfield's 'buddie.'

31. Cambodian cash : RIEL. Rial, are these clues for real?

32. Not yet final, legally : NISI. Ooo I know this one, in the old days they issued a Rule Nisi to allow time for someone to show cause why an order should not become final. I believe some states still use this approach.

33. Scraps : ORTS.

34. High-fiber fruit : PEAR. Did not know this.

35. Educator LeShan : EDA. A popular educator in crosswords.

39. "Zip it!" : SHH.

42. Met the challenge : FACED IT.

43. Agitate : FERMENT. English is such a strange language, so many ways to say one THING.

45. One of the noble gases : ARGON.

46. Nursery arrival : NEONATE. Latin for newborn.

48. Girls : LASSES.

51. Schedule : SLATE.

53. Gumbel's "Today" successor : LAUER. He used to have hair.

54. Idyllic places : EDENS.

55. Sign on an on-ramp : MERGE.

56. Brief moments : SECS.

57. "__ plaisir!" : AVEC. With in French

58. Composer of the opera "Le Roi d'Ys" : LALO. We usually get Schifrin, but instead this:

60. Adjust to fit, perhaps : EDIT.

61. One in an office exchange : MEMO. Oddly clued, but not hard.

Well, my fun week continues, great puzzles and lots of fresh squeezed Lemonade (and Key Lime pie!) Thank you Frank Virzi!!!! and all of you for your birthday wishes and for appreciating my sweet Charlotte; have a happy healthy safe holiday week end. Lemonade out.

Aug 28, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014 Bernice Gordon

Theme: "How do you define....?"

20-Across. PITCH : TONAL FREQUENCY. A nice perk from this answer is that it lends a "Q" to the grid.

25-Across. PITCH : COVERING ON A ROAD. I was going to object, that they usually use asphalt. But "pitch" is a generic term for certain bitumens, like asphalt.

44-Across. PITCH : AGGRESSIVE SPIEL. I hate robocallers that start with "Don't hang up! This is not a sales call!"

50-Across. PITCH : THROW TO A BATTER. Baseball, of course.

I glanced at the clues and saw that PITCH was repeated, so I immediately knew what I was in for. That didn't make it any easier, though! The mid-west area was quite tricky, and if I had been doing it on paper, I'm sure I would have worn a hole in the grid with all my erasures, or had one massive ink blot with all my write-overs. (Ahhh, the beauty of typing in answers on a keyboard!)

Did you notice? This puzzle is a pangram, using every letter of the alphabet at least once. For newcomers to the corner, you might like to read about this very interesting lady.


1. Bon Ami competitor : AJAX. J and X are the toughest letters to fit into a grid, but Bernice dispenses with both of them in the first word!

5. Start of a classic Christmas poem : TWAS. the night before Christmas...

9. Terra __ : COTTA.

14. "Star Wars" role : LUKE. Skywalker.

15. "Hell __ no fury ..." : HATHThe actual quote is from “The Mourning Bride” by William Congreve:
"Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned."

16. Isolated : APART.

17. Frigg's husband : ODIN. Norse goddess.

18. First name in suburban humor : ERMA. Bombeck.

19. Group scuffle : MELEE.

23. Justice Fortas : ABE.

24. Spleen : IRE.

34. Some final exams : ORALS.

35. Immature salamanders : EFTS.

36. One who may signal to a bullpen: Abbr. : MGRManager.

37. Hall of Fame golfer Middlecoff who had a DDS degree : CARY. Could not remember his name for the longest time. Finally remembered it after filling in CA*Y.   (^0^)

38. Oscar de la __ : RENTA.

40. Fictional estate near Atlanta : TARA.

41. Covert maritime org. : ONIOffice of Naval Intelligence. NCIS has its roots in the ONI.

42. Notable Cuban bandleader, familiarly : DESI. Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha, III, better know as DESI Arnaz.

43. Good __ : AS NEW.

48. Hail to Caesar : AVE.

49. "__ Mine": Beatles song : I MEGeorge Harrison's homage to Hindu spirituality, and criticism of the selfishness of Lennon and McCartney. It was their last new song before they split up. 2:22

58. Characteristic : TRAIT.

59. Cannes cleric : ABBE.

60. Destroy : RAZE. Z is another problematic letter when trying for a pangram...

61. Nemo's creator : VERNE. ...and V is often missing.

62. Pinochle combination : MELD.

63. Setting for "The Quiet Man" : EIRE. A great John Wayne / Maureen O'Hara film.

64. Swamp grass : SEDGE.

65. Peacock tail spots : EYES.

66. Anti-aircraft fire : FLAK.


1. Oodles : A LOT.

2. Self-defense method : JUDO.

3. Related : AKIN.

4. Small-screen princess : XENA: Warrior Princess. Played by Lucy Lawless and filmed in New Zealand.

5. Enforcement org. since 1908 : THE FBI.

6. Rabbit home : WARREN.

7. "Don't throw bouquets __": song lyric : AT ME. I can't resist a song from "Oklahoma!" 3:12

8. NBA nickname : SHAQ. Shaquille O'Neal. A quarrelsome teammate, he played his last season for the Boston Celtics before retiring in 2011.

9. Shooting equipment : CAMERAS.

10. Kitchen gadget : OPENER.

11. Powder in the nursery : TALC.

12. Low card : TREY. I just had this word last week.

13. Ended a fast : ATE.

21. Metallica drummer Ulrich : LARS.

22. Utah's __ Mountains : UINTA.

25. Drink after a day on the slopes : COCOA. I really would rather have a toddy, which also fit. (Just sayin'...)

26. Chimp cousin : ORANG.

27. First Brazilian airline : VARIG. This was a tough little section. Never mind that I had entered "toddy" at 25-Down, did not know this airline, and had a devilish time remembering golfer Middlecoff.

28. Cambridgeshire cathedral town : ELY.

29. Supernatural lamp occupants : GENII. Plural of genie, also spelled djinn, djinny or jinni. I just read "The Golem and the Jinni" by Helene Wecker.  Hahtoolah recommended it, and I loved it!

30. Time and again, to a poet : OFT.

31. Spender of rials : OMANI.

32. Jibe : AGREE.

33. Feature of LBJ speeches : DRAWL. And a feature of DH's speech.

38. Fix again, as a hem : RESEW.

39. Count ending : ESS. Countess.

40. Chef's meas. : TSPTeaspoon.

42. Zealot : DEVOTEE. "Fanatic" also fit...

43. Headed for an isle, maybe : ASEA. At least it wasn't clued as "confused."

45. Very eager : RARING. This word is fairly new, dating only to the 1920's. Oxford Dictionary says it's a dialect variant of "roaring."

46. Like a good alternative : VIABLE.

47. War zone correspondents : EMBEDS.

50. Family __ : TREE. Gaaack!  I had "ties" at first. It made this crossword puzzle pretty...

51. Tough : HARD. But in the end, I fixed all my blunders and it turned out to be...

52. Not so tough : TAME.

53. Mind : OBEY.

54. Not kosher : TREF. Have you finally memorized this word?

55. Word with spin or wind : TAIL.

56. Biblical prophet : EZRA.

57. Stink : REEK.

58. Sony products : TVs.

And that's all, folks!

Aug 27, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 Gareth Bain

Theme: Fits to a "T". Put a "T-" in front of the first word of each of the theme answers and you have a new noun. Theme answers are placed in Down for visual effects.

3D. *Hearty repast : SQUARE MEAL. T-Square. My woodshop teacher walloped me with one of these when I was about 13, so I remember this carpentry tool well. I deserved it too, so no complaints.

9D. *"Politically Incorrect" host : BILL MAHER. T-Bill. Well-known to solvers, but I realized I'd never actually seen one, so here we are. In the words of Dr. Evil - One MILLION Dollars!

31D. *Sensitivity to cashews, say : NUT ALLERGY. T-Nut. I've never used one. I wonder if there are T-nuts in a T-top?

35D. *Fine porcelain : BONE CHINA. T-Bone. Food! Unlike the T-Nuts, I've cuddled up to one or two T-Bone steaks in my time. You get a twofer - tenderloin and strip, so you get the best of both worlds

The reveal:

29D. Sporty car roofs, and, literally, what the first words of the answers to starred clues can have : T-TOPS. Largely defunct now that engineering advances mean that you don't need the structural roof elements to keep the car from flexing like a Muscle Beach exhibitionist.

Salut, amigos and amigas. Steve here with a fun Gareth Bain offering which shows a 90-degree shift in the usual theme entry orientation. I enjoy the times I have to figuratively turn my head sideways to see what's going on. I loved that the theme required not just the "T", but also the "-" to make sense of the new nouns.

Let's see what else we've got:


1. Bygone U.S. station name : ESSO. Standard Oil (of Texas). What's the word for the verbalizing of an acronym and the resultant spelling of that to make a word? If there isn't one, we should come up with it.

5. Subsides : EBBS. Moons wax and wane, tides flood and ebb.

9. Parade group : BAND

13. Chef's hat : TOQUE. A great word. No French chef worth his sel would be caught without one. It all got a little silly when the height of your toque was meant to represent your superior standing in the culinary world

15. Rich topsoil : LOAM

16. Java Freeze brand : ICEE

17. Lies next to : ABUTS

18. In __: actually : ESSE

19. Cry out for : LACK

20. Plays first, in some card games : LEADS

21. Innocent : CHILD-LIKE

23. Comedy Central send-up : ROAST

25. Chowder morsel : CLAM

26. Pre-A.D. : BCE. Hmmm .. why the "E"?

28. Portable Asian dwellings : YURTS

30. Horses' tresses : MANES

34. Gyro meat : LAMB. Food! I love lamb, and gyros. If you are ever on the I-15 driving though Baker, CA (usually on your way to or from Las Vegas) then stop at "The Mad Greek" for the best gyro you'll ever.

36. Portable bed : COT

37. Without even a scratch : UNHURT

38. McFlurry option : OREO

39. Rounded hill : KNOLL

41. Italian hot spot : ETNA. The most famous volcano in the world of cruciverbalists.

42. Sounds echoing through the castle : CLANGS. Usually accompanied by the cries of those unfortunates consigned to the dungeons with all kinds of unpleasantness to follow.

44. Quill, perhaps : PEN

45. Commuter's option : RAIL

46. Clark Kent, at birth : KALEL. Crosses all the way. Must ... remember ... this ... for ... future ... crosswords .... Nope, it's already forgotten.

47. Son of Sarah : ISAAC

49. Gettysburg Campaign VIP : LEE. Why am I thinking "desserts" here? Oh wait, it's "Sarah" in 47A, not "Sara".

50. Use profanity : CUSS

52. East Asian capital : SEOUL

54. Where it'll all come out? : IN THE WASH. Not always, I've got some white shorts that never recovered from the person next to me on a flight dumping a cup of coffee in my lap and then my own self-abasement when I dropped my in-flight pasta on top of the original sin. My bad. We both blamed the excellent wine selection in the United lounge pre-flight.

58. Oldest of the Stooges : SHEMP. Completely, never, ever heard of him (?). Is this the "Iggy" Stooges or the "triple" incarnation? I await your wisdom.

61. Amos at the piano : TORI

62. Early Genesis brother : ABEL

63. Stooges count : THREE. Ah, apropos of 58A above, I believe that Iggy Pop had more than three sidemen, so I'm guessing this is the "Curly" cohort count.

64. All tied up : EVEN

65. Anti-leather gp. : PETA

66. Sweetie : SUGAR

67. Chichén Itzá builder : MAYA. Great clue for an old staple. I learned something today - that's why I love the crosswords!

68. KFC side : SLAW

69. London's __ Park : HYDE. I saw Queen play a free concert in Hyde Park in 1976 - the first free gig since the Rolling Stones in the 60's.


1. And others, in citations: Abbr. : ET AL.

2. Maker of Lifewater beverages : SOBE

4. Surpass : OUT-DO. I'm not sure if the hyphen is required, but it looks better to me.

5. It can't help being negative : ELECTRON. Favorite clue/answer combo of the day.

6. "Poppycock!" : BOSH


8. Detect, in a way : SMELL. Usually "in a bad way"! Smells seem to be bad, aromas are good. English is a tremendously confusing language. I've no idea how C.C. et al manage.

10. Berry sold in health food shops : ACAI. Messed up with "GOJI" first,

11. Giraffe's trademark : NECK. Does it come with a ™ symbol?

12. Fake in the rink : DEKE

14. Test type you can't really guess on : ESSAY

22. Rhett's last word : DAMN

24. Lures (in) : SUCKS. Nice, polite clue

26. Inhibit : BLOCK.

27. "Cheers" waitress Tortelli : CARLA

32. Bert's roommate : ERNIE

33. Old : STALE

37. Radii neighbors : ULNAE. Latin "ii" in the clue suggests Latin "ae" in the answer.

40. Legislation pertaining to dogs : LEASH LAW

43. Stuff to stick with? : GLUE

47. "Eva Luna" author Allende : ISABEL. It seems all proper names are "Help! Crosses!" for me, particularly today.

48. Goes for : COSTS

51. Scoreless Words With Friends turns : SWAPS. I know the app, but I don't have it and have never played it. Good to know that you can swap. Is it like Scrabble when you've got a rack of Q's, W's and K's and you burn a turn dumping all seven tiles and drawing a new set but miss a turn? Always sounded like a bad idea to me.

53. "That's correct" : UH HUH

54. Couple in the news : ITEM

55. Old Chevy : NOVA. Plenty to choose from, but the "V" was there so it was a fill-in.

56. "South Park" co-creator Parker : TREY. Middle name "Genius" IMHO.

57. __ good example : SET A

59. Ancient drink making a comeback : MEAD. Comeback? Really? Tinbeni - have you tried this stuff? I'm sure it can't be pleasant - the whole reason wine was sweetened with honey was because the wine was too nasty to drink.

60. Paris pop : PÉRE.  Because "Orangina" doesn't fit. Neither does "Le Coke".

That's about it! Enjoy your Wednesday!


P.S. I just want to take two seconds to give an enormous shout-out to C.C. for her amazing generosity with her time, encouragement, help and advice to an originally clueless constructor!

Oh wait - I need to upload the grid - I always forget about that!

Notes from C.C.:
1) Working with Steve is unique & inspiring! He grew up in the UK, reads extensively and is very knowledgeable about lots of subjects. He was never discouraged by the "No" answers I sent to him regarding certain themes or fill. He's always eager to learn & is super efficient. Just what you expected from a triathlete.

2) Happy Birthday to Charlotte's grandpa Lemonade, who has been our Friday Sherpa since March 2010. Lemonade sees beauty in every crossword and is attentive to both newbies and regulars. I'm so pleased with his two LAT puzzles and looking forward to his solo. Please click here for more pictures. Love his purple shirt here.

 Charity Award Time

 At Work with Aaron

  Charlotte, happiest baby, bar none

Aug 26, 2014

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 Robert E. Lee Morris

Theme: Letter Combo - Today's puzzle brought to you by the letters A and C.

35A. Summer coolers, briefly, and a hint to this puzzle's six longest answers : AC UNITS

17A. Church area for enthusiastic responses : AMEN CORNER

21A. Painting course : ART CLASS

48A. Road service provider : AUTO CLUB. web site

53A. Morning warning provider : ALARM CLOCK

3D. One often precedes it : AREA CODE

36D. Military uniform jacket : ARMY COAT. Surplus favorite.

Argyle here. This is Robert's third puzzle so far this year. An easy puzzle in a complicated grid. Five sections with little connections and yet the themes interlock while the cheese, I mean unifier, stands alone.


1. Ancient calculators : ABACI

6. Off-ramp : EXIT

10. Makes a quick getaway : LAMS. Lam can be a verb or a noun.

14. Low-ranking noble : BARON

15. Move to another town, for short : RELO

16. Sheltered, at sea : ALEE

19. Bolivia neighbor : PERU

20. Open just a crack : AJAR

23. Point a finger at : ACCUSE

25. Clears a whiteboard : ERASES

26. English sculptor Henry : MOORE. “Man Enters the Cosmos”

27. Clairvoyant's claim : ESP. (extrasensory perception) 60A. Clairvoyant : SEER

30. 1-Down member: Abbr. : ATTY. (attorney)

31. Pie à la __ : MODE

32. SeaWorld tanks : AQUARIA. Plural.

34. Bullring bravo : "¡OLÉ!"

36. TV spots : ADS

39. Odd : STRANGE

40. Dagger in "Macbeth," e.g. : PROP. As in a stage production of the play.

41. Negotiator's goal : PACT. Had DEAL first.

43. Whopper : LIE

44. St. Petersburg neighbor : TAMPA. FLA., not RUS.

45. Local dialect : PATOIS. From French, as you might expect.

47. "Let's wait" : "NOT YET"

51. Cartel acronym : OPEC. (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries)

52. Excess : GLUT

57. German "a" : EINE

58. Actor Grant : CARY

59. San Antonio shrine : ALAMO

61. Banjo spot : KNEE So 40D. 61-Across bone : PATELLA. (knee cap)

62. Brit's bye-byes : "TA TA"s


1. Law gp. : ABA. (American Bar Association)

2. Emeril interjection : "BAM!"

4. Pull out of thin air, seemingly, with "up" : CONJURE

5. Words before "of emergency" : IN CASE

6. Goof : ERR

7. TV warrior princess : XENA

8. Robert who played a Soprano : ILER

9. Flourless cake : TORTE

10. Argentina's Río de __: River of Silver : LA PLATA

11. Yankees' div. : AL EAST

12. River to Liverpool Bay : MERSEY. Not a lip sync!

13. "Hop on Pop" author : SEUSS

18. Bauxite, e.g. : ORE

22. Award-winning detective fiction writer Robert : CRAIS. Crais began his career writing scripts for television shows such as Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey, Quincy, Miami Vice and L.A. Law. - Wikipedia

23. Bullets and such : AMMO

24. Poised under pressure : COOL

27. Up (to), as a task : EQUAL

28. Branch of Islam : SUNNI

29. Baseball Hall of Famer Satchel : PAIGE

32. Unlike this ans. : ACR. (not down, across)

33. Hwy. : RTE.

35. Room accessed via ladder, maybe : ATTIC

37. Knucklehead : DOPE

38. Squabble : SPAT

39. Vespa, for one : SCOOTER

41. Talking parrot in a 1998 film : PAULIE. I did not watch it.

42. Bring into harmony : ATTUNE

44. '60s cartoon feline : TOP CAT. I did watch it.

45. Book parts : PAGES. So simple it's hard.

46. Hanging loosely : SLACK

47. Name, in Paris : NOM. As in NOM de plume.

49. Mongolia's __ Bator : ULAN. Population: 1.132 million (2010)

50. Like Hubbard's cupboard : BARE

54. Kind of whiskey or bread : RYE. A toast for Tinbeni.

55. Nashville awards org. : CMA. (Country Music Association)

56. Fight enders, briefly : KOs...and I'm down for the count.


Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to Montana! Below is a picture of her birthday gathering in July. She said:

"...Mid-July was more  convenient than August for work schedules. My CT son rented a 10 bedroom condo in Vail, CO and invited all his siblings to come with their families. We had never all been at the same place at the same time before. It was a wonderful gift to me!..." 

Please click here for more pictures. Montana had to have furnace on the past few days. Are you still planning your autumn visit to Dudley area?

 My 5 children celebrated my 2014 birthday in Vail, CO

Aug 25, 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014 Steve Marron and C.C. Burnikel

Theme: No lyin' - but lots of other entertainment from under the Big Top.

17A. Schoolroom cutup : CLASS CLOWN

27A. Pachyderm in stereotypical hallucinations : PINK ELEPHANT

47A. PDF file creation program : ADOBE ACROBAT

61A. Performances in a big tent, where you'd see the ends of 17-, 27- and 47-Across : CIRCUS ACTS

Argyle here with the latest Dynamic Duo. Well done.


1. "Around the World in 80 Days" navigator Phileas : FOGG

5. Lou of soul music : RAWLS

10. Immediately, in memos : ASAP

14. Folk singer Guthrie : ARLO

15. "Such a tease!" : "OH YOU!"

16. Lecture location : HALL

19. Concerning : AS TO

20. Often sculpted anatomy parts : TORSOs

21. Campus email suffix : .EDU

23. Logician's abbr. : QED. (quod erat demonstrandum)

24. First African-American major-league coach Buck : O'NEIL. (1962) It would be almost ten more years before the first black major league manager.

25. Condé Nast fashion monthly : GLAMOUR

31. Yale student : ELI

34. Membership fees : DUES

35. Ravi Shankar's instrument : SITAR

36. French peak : MONT

38. Volga region native : TATAR. We read the Tatar Paper yesterday.

41. Two times tetra- : OCTA. Greek prefixes for 4 and 8

42. Nickname for Wrigley Field hero Ernie Banks : MR. CUB

44. Condo division : UNIT

46. The Beatles' "__ Jude" : HEY

51. System for blind readers : BRAILLE

52. Peeled : PARED

56. Leb. neighbor : SYR. Lebanon/Syria

57. Actress Peeples : NIA
58. "Marry me!" : "BE MINE!"

59. Dunked cookie : OREO

64. One often lost in the laundry : SOCK

65. "That's it for me" : "I'M OUT". The poker table would be one spot you might hear this.

66. Vichyssoise veggie : LEEK. The soup is traditionally served cold but can be eaten hot.

67. Pantry pests : ANTS

68. So far : AS YET

69. Misses the mark : ERRS


1. Ex post __: retroactively : FACTO

2. Lightweight synthetic : ORLON

3. Blinding light : GLARE

4. Talk around the water cooler : GOSSIP

5. Giant birds of myth : ROCs. They were so big, they could have carried of our circus elephant.

6. Minor league rink org. : AHL. (American Hockey League)

7. St. in which most of Yellowstone is located : WYO. (Wyoming)

8. Poet Amy : LOWELL

9. Cherry-topped treat : SUNDAE

10. ''Now I get it!'' : "A-HA!"

11. Bigfoot's other name : SASQUATCH

12. Take turns : ALTERNATE

13. Walk heavily : PLOD

18. State of matter : SOLID

22. Calls the game : UMPS. Verb.

25. Fist pump or high-five, e.g. : GESTURE

26. Cleveland's state : OHIO

28. Cashew or pecan : NUT

29. Mauna __ : KEA

30. Waiter's carrier : TRAY

31. Actress Stone of "The Help" : EMMA

32. "She Walks in Beauty" poet : LORD BYRON

33. Wrong : INCORRECT

37. Brass band bass : TUBA

39. 2014, por ejemplo : ANO. All Spanich.

40. "Spare" cut of meat : RIB

43. '60s hippie gathering : BE IN

45. VCR inserts : TAPES

48. "The Good Wife" attorney Florrick : ALICIA

49. Says assuredly : CLAIMS

50. Mexican food in a corn-husk wrap : TAMALE

53. Potato press : RICER. Old timer.

54. "Come on in!" : "ENTER!"

55. Many talk show hosts sit at them : DESKS

56. Slugger Sammy : SOSA

58. Cigar remains : BUTT. Remains are something that is left like the butt of a cigar.

60. Brief approvals : OKs

62. Cowboy Rogers : ROY

63. Signal to an actor : CUE


Notes from C.C.:

1) Steve Marron is our Wednesday Sherpa Steve. Congratulations on your debut, Steve! Read the first sentence in TTP's comment when Jazzbumpa (Ron) had his puzzle published.

2) Husker Gary also took a few pictures of our gathering last week. He also treated me my very first Earl Grey tea, Abejo!

Left to Right: Boomer, Gary, C.C. & Joann

   I feel like a Huskers' first round draft pick.

3) Spitzboov (Al) met with Argyle last Saturday at the Washington County Fair. Al mentioned that this was his first visit to the fair in 40 years. He said "I was pleasantly surprised by how much the fair has grown over 4 decades." 

Spitzboov, Betty & Argyle 
(In case you wonder, it's Bloomin' Onion with horseradish & Ranch dipping sauces)

 Spitzboov and Argyle with John (Deere)

Please click here for more. I'm so pleased that they finally met each other. Spitzboov's family from Virginia, Massachusetts & Delaware had a big gathering at the fair.

Aug 24, 2014

Sunday August 24, 2014 Gail Grabowski

Theme: "At Present" - AT is added to each theme answer.

23A. Extra vacation clothes? : SPARE ATTIRE. Spare tire.

29A. Big party for jalopy owners? : BEATER BASH . Beer bash.

46A. Clergyman who works wonders? : MIRACLE CURATE. Miracle cure.

93A. Biker's trail? : RIDING HABITAT. Riding habit.

110A. Volga Region daily? : TATAR PAPER. Tar paper.

118A. Bees battling over nectar? : HONEY COMBAT. Honeycomb. The only one-word base phrase.

33D. Swindler at a New York zoo? : BRONX CHEATER. Bronx cheer.

42D. Gave stars to kippers? : RATED HERRING. Red herring.

Easy puzzle, yes? Gail always makes the smoothest Sunday grids. She's not going to shock and awe young solvers with edgy & trendy phrases. Her focus is always her overall solvers.

Were you bothered by the HAS OPEN (105A. Didn't fill yet, as calendar slots) clue? I had ?AS OPEN and wanted WAS OPEN due to the tense.

1. China problem : CHIP. And 14. China setting : FAR EAST. China clue echo. I nailed CHIP immediately.

5. Brought to Broadway : STAGED. Also 115. Fakes being : ACTS

11. Clothing fold : CUFF

15. TV talk pioneer : PAAR (Jack)

19. Like some bears' market predictions : DIRE. Not DOWN. Also  22. Bear overhead : URSA

20. Happened next : ENSUED

21. New Balance competitor : AVIA. Got easily with the crossing 12. Iris locale : UVEA. Quite a few 4-letter sneaker brands.

25. Barely burn : SEAR

26. Reactions to mice, maybe : EEKS

27. Acct. earnings : INT

28. 2010 title role for Denzel : ELI. The Book of Eli.

31. Simply not done : TABOO

34. Trying experiences : ORDEALS

36. Catamaran mover : SAIL

37. Emergency supplies delivery method : AIR DROP. Wish we could eradicate those ISIS thugs. Bloody Jihadists.

39. Coll. drilling group : ROTC

41. Ball game delayers : STORMS

45. "As I see it," in texts : IMO. Also 57A. Intimate modern message : SEXT. Slight clue/answer dupe. I thought of our passionate PK when I read these steamy letters.

51. "How relaxing!" : AAH

52. Periscope part : LENS

54. Wood shop tools : LATHES. Hi there, Splynter/Jerome!

55. Mid-Atlantic st. : DEL

56. Sight from the Sicilian village of Taormina : ETNA. Gimme for long crossword solvers.

58. Clipped, in a way : SHORN

59. Shrill cry : YELP

61. Race : TEAR. Not an easy clue.

62. Corn or cotton : CROP

64. Bores for ore : MINES

67. Fairy tale food : PORRIDGE. I call my morning oatmeal "porridge" too.

69. Rival of Brom in an 1820 novel : ICHABOD.  Ichabod Crane/Brom Bones. "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". I drew a blank.

72. Pops in the fridge : SODAS

74. Hoisting devices : WINCHES. New word to me, Santa!  Met with Spitzboo yesterday?

75. Wildly excited : FRENETIC

77. Classic pops : NEHIs

79. Solidify : CAKE. I don't think I've used CAKE as a verb before.

80. Frog's kiddie-lit friend : TOAD

81. Condescending sort : SNOB

83. Photoshop developer : ADOBE

85. Mother of the Valkyries : ERDA. I had E?DA, then I waited.

88. Makeshift shelters : HUTS

89. "Mr. Blue Sky" band, briefly : ELO

90. Future litigator's study : PRE-LAW

91. Airport transport : TRAM

92. Virtuoso : ACE

97. Ristorante suffix : INI

98. Upheaval : THROES

100. Call for : NEED. Joann told me she enriches their garden with Miracle-Gro every two weeks. Maybe I should try that also.

101. Puts on the right track : ORIENTS

103. Evil sitcom organization : KAOS. Get Smart.

109. They may be rough : EDGES

114. Sharp turn : ZAG

115. __ premium : AT A

116. Traveling : AWAY

117. Cantina cooker : OLLA. It's similar to the traditional Cantonese soup pot.

123. "In your dreams" : NOPE

124. Wiped out : DEAD

125. Friendly court contest : ONE SET. Tennis.

126. Toledo's lake : ERIE

127. Delighted : GLAD

128. Three-part figs. : SSNs

129. Mouth formations : DELTAS

130. Identical : SAME


1. They may be writable : CDs

2. Fanny pack spot : HIP. Here is our Yellowrocks. Thanks for the book recommendations yesterday.

3. Portfolio element, for short : IRA. And 44. Portfolio units : SHARES

4. Game division : PERIOD

5. Reserved __ : SEAT

6. Demolition aid : TNT

7. Sunflower relative : ASTER. My daises bloomed for a very short period this spring.

8. Artisan group : GUILD

9. Like many King novels : EERIE

10. RMN was his VP : DDE. Nixon.

11. Analytical write-up : CASE STUDY

13. Punto and Bravo : FIATS. All crosses.

15. Colorado county or its seat : PUEBLO

16. Geometry figure : AREA

17. Sets a price of : ASKS

18. Reckless : RASH

24. Vast, in verse : ENORM

29. Voting coalition : BLOC. They did not ask for my ID  when I voted in the primary two weeks ago. I did see the $10,000 fine warning for vote fraud.

30. Baptism, e.g. : RITE

31. Formal affair wear : TAILS

32. Singer Mann : AIMEE

34. Media mogul with a Presidential Medal of Freedom : OPRAH. I just cannot warm up to her.

35. Mars, to the Greeks : ARES

38. Drips on the driveway : OIL SPOTS

40. Move like ivy : CREEP

43. Run : MANAGE

47. Elementary bit : ATOM

48. Matthews of "Hardball" : CHRIS. Very aggressive.

49. Fab Four name : LENNON

50. Sanction : ALLOW

53. Leaves high and dry : STRANDS

56. Flier's printout : E-TICKET

60. Competition with slashing : PRICE WAR. Oh, price slashing.

63. 2001 honor for J.K. Rowling : OBE. Order of the British Empire.

65. Suffix with stamp : EDE

66. Much of Libya : SAHARA

68. Genetic messenger : RNA

69. "Maybe even less" : IF THAT. Can you give me an example of how the clue & answer match?

70. Catching position : CROUCH

71. Enjoyed some courses : DINED

73. It's usually not a hit : SIDE B

76. 2014 U.S. Senior Open winner Montgomerie : COLIN. Surly & annoying at times.

78. Diva highlights : SOLI

82. Jerks : BONEHEADS. Lovely entry.

84. Relay stick : BATON

86. Poet who feuded with Pope Boniface VIII : DANTE. Easy guess.

87. Off the mark : AMISS

90. Advanced degs. : PhDs

93. Bring up : REAR

94. 14-legged crustaceans : ISOPODS. I didn't know they have 14 legs.

95. Equipment : GEAR

96. Connect with : TIE TO

99. Signed off on : OKAYED

102. One of four singing brothers : ED AMES. All crosses.

104. Corporate division : SALES

106. Form of oxygen : OZONE

107. Comic strip frame : PANEL

108. Spew out : EGEST

110. Strong flavor : TANG

111. Mil. no-show : AWOL

112. Appetizer in una taberna : TAPA

113. Not leave things to chance : PLAN

118. Mortar trough : HOD. This little word used to stump me.

119. Word of support : YEA

120. One may be padded : BRA. Have you been in a relationship where the guy loves shopping bras with you?

121. Intention : AIM

122. Driving need? : TEE


Aug 23, 2014

Saturday, Aug 23rd, 2014, Barry C. Silk

Theme: Saturday Silkie~!

Words: 72 (missing J,Q,V,W)

Blocks: 32

   Well, I have to say I just smoked through this Silkie~!  The cluing was relatively unobscure, and there weren't too many cryptic answers, either.  It could be argued that I was on Mr. Silk's wavelength today....Triple 10-letter corners, with two 12-letter climbers on the inside today;

10. Significant butter component : SATURATED FAT - fairly certain it was going to end with "FAT"

20. 2005 National Toy Hall of Fame inductee : CARDBOARD BOX - it's a prize for some kids, and away~!

on-(Back?)-ward ~


1. Pitcher's goal : SALE - Good start for me; I did not go with the baseball version

5. Natural wisdom : HORSE SENSE - Too bad there's little COMMON sense around these days

15. Pearl Buck heroine : OLAN - Forced readng in Junior High, and a crossword staple

16. Agents : EMISSARIES

17. Key not used alone : CTRL - on your computer

18. Great Pyramid of Giza material : LIMESTONES - eh, I wanted LIMESTONE, and it was too short - and this is not LIME STONES - those would be called 'seeds'

19. Tapped item : KEG - ah, not ALE

20. Gary, e.g. : CITY - In Indiana, e.g.

21. "I'm here to help" : "USE ME"

22. Like gross wages, e.g. : PRE-TAX

24. Plot component : ACRE - Oh, very good - I was thinking story plot, and the "R" filled via perps

26. Racing family name : UNSER

27. Ottoman officer : PASHA

29. Tripe : ROT - my first thought, but I did not fill it in

32. Measured roughly : PACED - HA~!  I "PACED" off the area for the benches, and came up with 39 feet; fortunately, I have a survey tape ( bought at a garage sale for $1 ), and I used that to verify - only 36' 6" of space.  The finished unit comes in at 36' 5" - HA~!

33. Surprise of a sort : UPSET - in sporting events usually

34. First name in Notre Dame football history : ARA

35. Collaborative educ. group : PTA - Saturday cluing

36. Initiate by purifying : BAPTIZE - Nailed it

38. Ringo Starr's drummer son : ZAK - I have linked him before - plays for A.S.a.P. - the side project of Adrian Smith, the guitarist from Iron Maiden

39. Fish with no pelvic fin : EEL - I went with "GAR"

40. Final notices : OBITs - Obituaries; I guess this is so common now that 'abbr.' is not needed

41. Buzz : DRONE

43. "Four Quartets" poet's monogram : TSE - T.S. Eliot

44. Appropriate : ALLOT - the verb, not the adjective

45. Seat of Cass County, North Dakota : FARGO

46. Mil. field rations : MREs - Meals, Ready-to-Eat

47. Slight arch : CAMBER - the only CAMBER I know is the automotive tire alignment version

 48. Use as an excuse : PLEAD

51. Coll. senior's exam : GMAT

53. Old Ford : LTD

54. Wedding figure : RING BEARER - there was a bridal shower at the restaurant Thursday night - skirts, legs and heels overload for me - sweated more watching them parade in than I did building the benches

57. Diet : FARE

58. Reasonably soon : IN GOOD TIME - Great fill

59. River to the Baltic : ODER - perps and a crossword regular

60. Certain copier supply : XEROX TONER - the second "X" was there from "...BOX", and once I put "PRIX" in, this was a gimme

61. Queen's subjects : BEES - not the one in England - er, well, there could be a queen bee there, too....

1. Shari Lewis creation : SOCK PUPPET - the Wiki on "Lamb Chop"

2. Subs : ALTERNATES - Substitutes, that is


4. Like mil. volunteers : ENListed

5. Spring, perhaps : HELIX

6. Skip : OMIT - WAG

7. Frosted : RIMY - Wow; an extreme WAG that stayed

8. Weather report spec. : SSE - nice "ALTERNATIVE" for 'wind direction'

9. Slalom path segment : ESS - Ah; went with "LEG"

11. Jagged : EROSE

12. The digits in all but one of its two-digit multiples add up to it : NINE - OK, I got this, but I am not sure of the "one"; 18 (1+8), 27(2+7), 36(3+6) are we talking about 90(9+0)? - or 09?  Even three-digits, 108 = 1+0+8 = 9, etc.

13. Appear : SEEM

14. __ quam videri: North Carolina motto : ESSE

23. Basic top : TEE

24. It's worth one point in hockey statistics : ASSIST - God, only 6 weeks to go....

25. Bistro awning word : CHEZ

27. Ones who have class? : PUPILS - Har-Har

28. Is __: likely will : APT TO

29. It may be disposable : RAZOR BLADE - Nailed it - OK, the "Z" was there already

30. Grove grower : ORANGE TREE - the thing, not the farmer

31. Wait at the diner, perhaps : TAKE ORDERS - the staff that waits, not the customer

37. Fit : ABLE

42. Butter on a farm? : RAM - Butt-er

46. 1997 Nielsen title role : MAGOO - IMDb

47. Sympathetic sort : CARER

48. Grand __ : PRIX

49. Short note : LINE

50. Software pro, in want ads : ENGR - eh, OK.  ENGineeR

51. Beam : GRIN

52. Hand raiser's cry : "ME~! ME~!"

55. Va. summer setting : EDT

56. From __ Z : A TO

57. Watch chain : FOB

Oh, and one more thing - I have to add this pic, as there was some controversy over the use of "this" word in crosswords; seeing it on the package made me smile~!


Notes from C.C.:

1) Happy Birthday to Tinbeni! Hope your gal pal makes it extra special for you today. Did you sneeze yesterday? Gary and I talked about you, of course! Thanks for the daily toast at sunset.

2) Boomer and I met with Husker Gary and his lovely wife Joann yesterday. Now I know why his students loved him. Just as he is on the blog, Gary is warm & witty. He also has a deep & resonant voice, very Joe Buck-y! Joann is a master gardener. They have an abundance of cucumbers and tomatoes this year. I've yet to see my first cucumber. Thanks for the great time, Gary, also for the red Go Big Red Huskers T-shirt. I felt your hug also, Marti!

 Left to Right: Boomer, Gary, C.C. & Joann

Gary & C.C.