Jul 28, 2015

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 George Simpson & C.C. Burnikel

Theme: It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good - Not an ill wind in the bunch.

17A. "American Gothic" artist : GRANT WOOD. You might find an off-key (ill) WOODWIND, I suppose.

21A. Equitable transaction : EVEN TRADE. Winds that trade or tread in one uniform track. (Anglo Saxon, tredde-wind, a treading wind—i.e. wind of a specific “beat” or tread; tredan, to tread.) While a steady wind in one direction may be good for commercial maritime venture it was not the meaning of the TRADE WINDS.

38A. "Now!" : RIGHT THIS SECOND. A SECOND WIND is an exercise phenomenon that has also developed into a metaphor for finding the strength to go on after initial struggles.

55A. Award for seagoing heroes : NAVY CROSS. A CROSS WIND blows across one's direction of travel. Not so good for a sailing ship following the TRADES.

61A. Flying speed boosters ... or, literally, what the ends of 17-, 21-, 38- and 55-Across can have : TAILWINDS

Argyle here. C.C. has company today and I sure she'll tell us about him. Very nice puzzle to debut with. Full spanner and reveal at the bottom, the way it should be, right?


1. Ways to go: Abbr. : RDs. Roads, not routes.

4. Ltr. addenda : PSS. Is it P.P.S or P.S.S? Well, since addenda is the plural of addendum then this should be considered as the plural of POST SCRIPT, or PSs.

7. None too bright : DENSE. (or am I dense.)

12. Obama's birthplace : OAHU

14. Somewhat surprised greeting : "OH, HI!"

16. Nebraska city : OMAHA

19. Golf course halves : NINES. Front and back or out and in, on a link course.

20. Causing goose bumps : EERIE

23. Scolding sound : [TSK!]

24. Belted weapons : SIDE ARMS. Pistols or swords.

26. Camp beds : COTS

28. Poet __-tzu : LAO

29. Strong coffee : MUD

32. NCAA's __-12 conference : PAC. (The Pacific-12)

33. Italian sparkling wine : ASTI

36. One of two in a typical string octet : VIOLA

41. Beyond rotund : OBESE

42. Round in a pistol : AMMO. For your side arm.

43. Writer LeShan : EDA

44. Conan O'Brien's network : TBS. (Turner Broadcasting System)

45. Org. with Raiders and Vikings : NFL. (National Football League)

47. Folk singer Burl : IVES

49. Retired boxer with a perfect 24-0-0 record : LAILA ALI. Daughter of Muhammad Ali.

52. Serious hostilities : WAR

58. Say "cap'n," e.g. : ELIDE

60. Cheri of "SNL" : OTERI. Still around.

63. Shirk work : DOG IT

64. Easy thing to do : SNAP

65. Wrinkled tangelo : UGLI

66. In la-la land : SPACY

67. __ Arbor, Michigan : ANN

68. One of a D.C. 100 : SENator


1. Man of many words : ROGET. Roget's Thesaurus was created in 1805 but not released to the public until 1852.

2. Shows some backbone : DARES

3. Protective enclosures for divers : SHARK CAGES. 18 footer.

4. "Bang!" : "POW!"

5. Did a blacksmith's job : SHOED

6. Push rudely : SHOVE

7. "Keep still!" : "DON'T MOVE!"

8. Mideast dignitaries : EMIRs

9. Mom's mom's nickname : NANA

10. Place for a lawn mower : SHED

11. Alleviate : EASE

13. Prefix with lateral : UNI

15. High-mindedness : IDEALISM

18. Word after screen or scratch : TEST

22. Agency under FDR : NRA. (National Recovery Administration)

25. "The wolf __ the door" : IS AT

27. Folk legend Phil : OCHS

29. Sudden changes in disposition : MOOD SWINGS

30. Wrist-to-elbow bone : ULNA

31. Mom's guy : DAD

32. Mr. __: Dr Pepper rival : PIBB

34. Kitchen bulbs : SHALLOTS

35. Tiny Dickens boy : TIM. A Christmas Carol.

37. Java Freeze maker : ICEE

38. Poppycock : ROT

39. Stick-to-it-iveness : TENACITY. There were a lot of nice down words today.

40. Flowerpot filler : SOIL

46. Christmas tree choice : FIR

48. Seaside home selling point : VIEW

49. Like some poetry : LYRIC

50. Yoga pose : ASANA

51. Japanese, e.g. : ASIAN

53. Fluster : ADDLE

54. Lacquer ingredient : RESIN

55. Wordless okays : NODS

56. On the roof of : ATOP

57. 1970s Chevy subcompact : VEGA. Extreme!

59. Sch. with a Brooklyn campus : LIU. (Long Island University)

62. Hosp. worker : LPN. (licensed practical nurse)


Note from C.C.:

George Simpson is the Big Easy on our blog. This is his LA Times debut. George came up with this theme and was super fun to work with. He has one more puzzle in Rich's queue. Congratulations, George!

Big Easy and his wife Diane

Jul 27, 2015

Monday, July 27, 2015 C.W. Stewart

Theme: Let your light shine- You will find what you need at the end of the theme entries.

17A. Dutch bloom-to-be : TULIP BULB

23A. Supply for a knotting craft : MACRAME CORD

36A. Reading aids, whose parts include the ends of 17-, 23-, 45- and 57- Across : LAMPS

45A. Blind alternative : WINDOW SHADE

57A. Pelvic opening : HIP SOCKET

Argyle here. What? No foreign words! Just some common crossword words that shouldn't prove too tough. Very few abbreviated words either. But still a neat Monday puzzle.


1. Lickety-split : FAST

5. Highlander : SCOT

9. They may be split by quibblers : HAIRS

14. Purim month : ADAR

15. Opera highlight : ARIA

16. Let in : ADMIT

19. Stage of development : PHASE

20. Carried by the tides : SEABORNE

21. Orbital high point : APOGEE

22. From the past : OLD

25. Fit together nicely : MESH

26. Venial or mortal lapse : SIN

27. Assumed name : ALIAS

30. Pilot light site : GAS STOVE

35. Ballpoints : PENS

38. Thinker's output : IDEA

39. Travel document : PASSPORT

41. Passover feast : SEDER

42. TiVo button : REC. (record)

43. Complete collections : SETS

50. PIN requester : ATM

53. Takes weapons from : UNARMS

54. High repute : EMINENCE

56. Pie chart dividers : RADII

58. Cuts with scissors : SNIPS

59. Nobel Peace Prize city : OSLO

60. Spanish stewpot : OLLA

61. To the point : TERSE

62. WWII submachine gun : STEN

63. Dudley Do-Right's gal : NELL


1. 1980 Dom DeLuise film : "FATSO"

2. "I challenge you to __!" : A DUEL

3. Veggies and such from a bar : SALAD

4. Chicago paper, familiarly : TRIB. Chicago Tribune

5. Native Israelis : SABRAS

6. Pretzel-eating sound : CRUNCH

7. Persian Gulf ship : OILER

8. File folder projection : TAB

9. "It just so __ that ... " : HAPPENS

10. Formed for a specific purpose : AD HOC

11. Insect stage : IMAGO

12. Early __: morning person : RISER

13. High-spirited mount : STEED

18. Pears, e.g. : POMES. Fleshy fruits.

21. Slightly off : AMISS

24. "Stat!" relative : "ASAP!". As Soon As Possible

25. Eucharist celebration : MASS

27. iPhone download : APP

28. Grazing land : LEA

29. State Farm business: Abbr. : INSurance

30. Prime meridian hrs. : GMT. (Greenwich Mean Time)

31. Knotted neckwear : TIES

32. Like a single sock : ODD

33. Churchillian sign : VEE

34. Place for a stud or hoop : EAR

36. Longtime theater chain : LOEWS

37. Circle segments : ARCS

40. "Cross your heart?" : "PROMISE?"

41. Dictation taker : STENO

43. Freebie from a sales rep : SAMPLE

44. Prolific inventor : EDISON

45. Sausage served with kraut : WURST

46. Absurd : INANE

47. Low point : NADIR

48. Faucet woes : DRIPS

49. Event in a caper movie : HEIST

50. Spot for a concealed holster : ANKLE

51. Immune system agent : T-CELL

52. Heavy __: music genre : METAL

55. Supply-and-demand subj. : ECONomy

57. Sounds from Santa : HO's

Turn off the light; the party's over.


Jul 26, 2015

Sunday July 26, 2015 Melanie Miller

Theme: "Close Encounters" - ET is added to each theme answer.

24A. Pendant impervious to little hands? : CHILD-PROOF LOCKET. Childproof lock.

 37A. Demonstrates anti-boxing sentiment? : PICKETS A FIGHT. Picks a fight.  We also have 115D. Ref's decision : TKO

 57A. iPod holders? : APPLE JACKETS. Apple Jacks.

 79A. Pinocchio plug-in? : SOCKET PUPPET. Sock puppet.

 98A. Cross between a hound and a zebra? : STRIPED BASSET. Striped bass.

 114A. Nod off during cocktail hour? : SLEEP IN THE BUFFET. Sleep in the buff.

 3D. Promote "Pudd'nhead Wilson"? : MARKET TWAIN. Mark Twain.

 71D. Tussaud's tribute to the Bolshoi? : BALLET OF WAX. Ball of wax.

Another simple and elegant theme from Melanie, who's very fond of letter addition theme.

Her grids are very much like Gail's, super smooth and clean. Nothing splashy, and you won't encounter any unfair crossings.


1. Utmost reach : ACME. Shout-out to Andrea Carla Michaels.

5. AT&T Pebble Beach National, e.g. : PRO-AM. Started by Bing Crosby.

10. Ship that sailed to Colchis : ARGO

14. It can be baled : STRAW

19. Buyer's aid : LOAN. I was thinking of CART.

20. Icon on many romance novel covers : FABIO

21. Mess (up) : GOOF

22. Pitch with force : HEAVE

23. Clothesline, for one : CORD

27. Doctor with a losing plan : ATKINS. Atkins diet. What's hot now? Paleo?

29. Prominent periods : ERAS

30. Fades : WITHERS

31. Lamentation of Christ work : PIETA

32. Navy captain's insignia : EAGLE

35. Trial versions : BETAS

36. __ scan : PET

41. __-faced : TWO. And 101. Crab leg count : TEN.  And 106A. Undivided : AS ONE.

44. Laborious effort : TRAVAIL

46. Pitman user : STENO. Got via crosses. No idea what Pitman is.

47. Bit of deception : TRAP

48. "Lady Jane Grey" playwright : ROWE. Got via crosses also. Nicholas Rowe.

50. Pretentious : ARTSY

52. Onetime : OLD

53. Enterprise helmsman, to Kirk : MR SULU

55. South American slitherer : ANACONDA. Great fill.

60. Descendant : SCION

61. Aching : SORE

63. Currency of Liechtenstein : FRANC

64. Book cover? : PEN NAME. Lovely clue also.

67. Sarah Palin's birthplace : IDAHO

69. It may be full of ash : WOOD BIN

74. Swiss cultural city : BASEL.Roger Federer's hometown.

76. Scoundrels : CURS

78. Dealer's offer : LEASE

84. Didactic stories : PARABLES

87. Gracious : POLITE

88. Wish undone : RUE

89. SeaWorld orca : SHAMU

91. Some are full-bodied : ALES. Been a long time since I had any ale.

92. Weekend Prep brand : IZOD. I already had ?ZOD in place.

93. Florida Aquarium city : TAMPA

95. Error remnant : ERASURE

97. Thing to rally over : NET.  Tennis or badminton.

104. Low tide sight, often : SHOAL

105. Significant strides : LOPES
108. Kandahar currency : AFGHANI

111. Water sports equipment : SKIS

113. Beams : SHAFTS

119. Hostage situation acronym : SWAT

120. Guideposts co-founder : PEALE. Not familiar with Guideposts.

121. Made laboriously, with "out" : EKED

122. Buster? : NARCO

123. Chief greeting : HAIL

124. Manorial workers of old : SERFS

125. Shower supports : RODS
126. Put an ear to the door, say : SNOOP. Vivid image.

127. Semi bar : AXLE


1. Yokum family creator : AL CAPP. My very first fill. But the whole upper left corner was the last to fall.

2. Jazz trumpeter Williams : COOTIE. Stranger to me.

4. Break up : END IT. Wish we could live in the first month of courtship forever.

5. U.S. Army E-3s : PFCs

6. Sports crowd shout : RAH

7. Japanese closer : OBI

8. Feel wretched : AIL

9. One of 15 million made from 1908 to 1927 : MODEL T

10. Yamuna River city : AGRA

11. Zoo hoppers : ROOS

12. Gunk : GOO

13. U.S. Air Force Song opening : OFF WE GO. Got via crosses also.

14. Fired on : SHOT AT

15. Data recovery experts : TECHs

16. Leaves clearer : RAKE

17. Confidently say : AVER

18. Dips in water : WETS

25. Bear down : PRESS

26. Belarus neighbor: Abbr. : LITH

28. Valley whose welcome sign contains the words "bottled poetry" : NAPA. Easy guess.

32. Holiday cyber-message : E-CARD

33. Japanese dogs : AKITAS

34. Cream alternatives : GELS. Eye cream. Eye gel. Or other skin care products. I was thinking of butter cream.

35. Paper organizer : BINDER

38. One of the Karamazovs : IVAN

39. At the crest of : ATOP

40. Was taken in by : FELL FOR

41. Factual : TRUE

42. Cartoonist Kelly : WALT. Pogo.

43. Orchestra piece : OPUS

45. Some intel : RECON

47. "You're better than that!" : TSK

48. Hoarse sound : RASP

49. Start of a reminiscence : ONCE. When I met Harmon Killebrew long time ago, he said I looked cute in my Vikings cap. So I wear the cap every summer at the flea market. Harmon is gone. My cap is now 14 year old. Both of us are beaten by long hours of sun & dirt.

51. Place for a sale : YARD

53. Vaquero's hand : MANO

54. Longtime soft drink brand : RC COLA

56. How some risks are taken : ON A BET

58. Treaty subject : PEACE

59. Prattle : JAW

62. Valvoline circulator : OIL PUMP

65. Other half : MATE

66. Psychic's claim : ESP

68. Wickiups : HUTS. Got via crosses. I did not know the meaning of Wickiups.
70. Refuse admission to : DEBAR

72. Dawning words : I SEE

73. Capone nemesis : NESS

75. Pass abroad : EURAIL

77. Few and far between : SPARSE

79. Doctor's specialty? : SPIN. Spin doctor. Great clue.

80. Exude : OOZE

81. Thicken, as cream : CLOT

82. Barnyard youngster : KID

83. Skunk seeking amour : PEPE

85. Sock away : AMASS

86. Sneaky maneuver : RUSE

90. Goodly amount : HEAP

93. Stable VIP : TRAINER. Horse trainer.

94. Ignore the teleprompter : AD LIB

96. Jell-O is its official state snack : UTAH

98. Manipulates : SHAPES. Got via crosses as well. Can you give me an example on how they're equivalent?

99. Singer Braxton : TONI. Her "He Wasn't Man Enough" was blasted everywhere in Hong Kong in 2000.

100. Deck crew leaders : BOSUNS

102. Involve : ENTAIL

103. Settle snugly : NESTLE

104. __ life : SHELF

107. White House daughter : SASHA

108. Deadly reptiles : ASPS

109. Get out of Dodge : FLEE

110. Athlete's stuff : GEAR
111. Lose : SHED

112. Classic canvas shoe brand : KEDS. Endorsed by Taylor Swift.

113. Call it quits : STOP

116. It may oscillate : FAN

117. One way to sway : FRO

118. Prefix with hazard : ECO. Eco-hazard.


Jul 25, 2015

Saturday, Jul 25th, 2015, Gail Grabowski

Theme: GG~!!

Words: 72 (missing K,Q,Z)

Blocks: 30

 Gail Grabowski is back for another LAT Saturday - her last one was March of this year.  I was able to work out the bottom half of this one no problem, but the NE corner was slow to concede, so I did a "half" cheat and looked up the river near Aberdeen (half because it was 3-letters, OK~?).  After that went in, the rest seemed obvious.  I closed out in good time, and so I consider this one a success; I reviewed that puzzle from March and it was a "fail".   Gail's constructions are pretty fair - no fun sponge clues, and some clever ones, to boot.  A not so intimidating grid with triple 9- and 10-letter corners, plus another pair of nines in the across as well.  In the corners;

2d. WWII fighter : AXIS POWER- I was looking for something like P51 MUSTANG

that's me at MacArthur airport

16a. Wedding to-do list item : ORDER A LIMO - INVITATION fit, too

56a. Place for good dishes : CHINA HUTCH

33d. Added up : MADE SENSE - not TABULATED

DE-LI on ward~!


1. WWII support gp. : WAAC - Women's Army Auxiliary Corps

5. Driving hazard : ROAD DEBRIS - I did not see any road debris on my trip back from Delaware Thu morning, but I did hit the drawbridge on the Belt Parkway with my rental car so hard the wipers got knocked on - the roads around NYC are brutal....

15. Linchpin location : AXLE - ....had I been driving my Dodge, I would have sheared an axle, I am sure; the rental car was a 2014 Hyundai Elantra GT - it had its flaws, but when I got back in the Dodge, I realized how badly I need a new car

17. 2007 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee : GILL - Vince; not a country fan - link away~!

18. Grand : MAJESTICAL

19. Jargon ending : ESE - e.g. if you're a lawyer, it's legalese

20. Buffs : FANS

21. Complicated account : SAGA

22. Group that might bug you : SPY RING - har-har;  eavesdropping bug

24. Actor/director with two Emmys and two Razzies : SHATNER - William; I was just watching Airplane 2 - the sequel in DE

"No tower~?"

27. Winter warmers : COCOAS

28. Thirteenth Amendment beneficiary : SLAVE

29. Be ready for : AWAIT

30. 1935 FDR dedication : HOOVER DAM

34. Net grazer : LET - tennis

35. Body style : COUPE - SEDAN fit, too - 20% correct-ish; another 'ansecho' with
49. Overthrow : COUP - meh.  I think of this as the group, not the act

36. Raised-barn connection : IN A - Were you raised in a barn or what~?

37. Former : ERSTWHILE

40. Member of a strict Jewish sect : HASID

42. "Not interested" : I PASS - the trip to DE was so much faster with EZ Pass

43. Give up : VACATE

44. Grotte de Cussac attraction : CAVE ART - Frawnche art; reminds me of this Steely Dan song

Caves of Altamira

 47. Xenon, e.g. : RARE GAS - well, I knew it was "a" gas, but NOBLE and INERT did not fit

48. Urgent letters : A.S.A.P.

50. Scoreboard letters : R H E - baseball for C.C.; Runs, Hits, Errors - I had the "H", thought it might be CHI for the white sox or cubs

51. Anticipatory reaction : SALIVATING

55. It pulls a bit : REIN - literally; very clever

57. They're trapped in pots : EELS

58. Endurance event facility : AID STATION

59. Unoccupied : IDLE


1. Union concern : WAGE SCALE - the UPS union is giving me grief right now

3. Some strays : ALLEY CATS

4. "Snow White" collectible : CEL

5. Many Shakespearean characters : ROMANS

6. Malaysian native : ORANG

7. Short and sweet, e.g.: Abbr. : ADJectiveS

8. River to Aberdeen : DEE - cheeeeted~!

9. Their offices often have small rms. : DRs

10. Down : EAT - ah, not the "SAD" kind

11. Marathoner's misfortune : BLISTER - I get blisters raking in the fall

12. Costa __ : RICAN - nice misdirection with the "N"

13. Picture : IMAGE - wouldn't be Saturday without a gratuitous image

 14. __ year : SOLAR

20. Royal decree : FIAT

23. French royal : ROI - dammit~! can't escape the Frawnche

24. Skiing need : SLOPE

25. Give birth to : HAVE

26. Boston's Mass __ : AVE

28. People : SOULS

30. Lift up : HOIST

31. Differed : DISAGREED

32. Witness in 1991 Senate hearings : ANITA HILL

35. Burn slightly : CHAR

38. Haberdashery supply : TIEPINS

39. Employment org. created in 1935 : WPA

40. Dwell (on) : HARP

41. It's not returned : ACE - more net sport 'jargon'

43. Orchestra leader Billy : VAUGHN

44. "Speak, hands, for me!" speaker : CASCA - Et tu, Brute~? is the "next" line in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

45. Japanese beer brand : ASAHI - got it because it was in a recent puzzle

46. Legitimate : VALID

47. "But wait! There's more!" company : RONCO - the Wiki

49. Bank opening? : CITI - Citibank - in the news this week; ordered to pay out $700mil

52. Storage unit : VAT

53. Triumphant reaction : "A-HA~!"

54. Mild rebuke : TUT

55. "Get outside yourself" company : REI - had this some Saturdays ago - not that I remembered this outdoor company


Jul 24, 2015

Friday, July 24, 2015 Mike Buckley

Theme: BOGO, get one pun and then a second one for free.

We get our third Mike Buckley effort of 2015 with this one a sound-alike pun effort. Puns are based on humor which is such a subjective area I would guess some of you will really enjoy the theme while other will be meh. I enjoyed the theme and appreciate the extra challenge of having both parts of the theme changed to sound alike. The rest of the puzzle has some real sparkle like ASSISI, DEANNA, I RAISE,  MAZDAS,  PINDAR,  PRAWNS,  SINKER,  TICTAC,  YTTRIA, DEPECHE, MIAMIAN,  SURGEON, AS EASY AS,  NEPOTIST, PECOS BILL, SAWHORSES and some very difficult places. The three across two down pattern also was fun.

18A. Composer Dvorák in hiding? : CACHED CZECH (11). This cashed check transforms into a musical clue. LINK.

38A. Demands for quiet from the downstairs tenant? : CEILING WHACKS (13). Sealing wax is not commonly used anymore, but the clue does bring back this SONG (3:00).

58A. Wildebeests slowing down? : BRAKING GNUS (11). My favorite mental picture comes from this breaking news.

3D. Walked by a campsite? : PASSED TENTS (11). Walked is whimsically past tense.

26D. Poor jousters? : WEAK KNIGHTS (11). Can you watch them on week nights on ESPN?

Let's see what we have.


1. Spot : PIP. Like on a die.

4. "My Name Is Asher Lev" author : POTOK. Chaim Potok has written many wonderful books and appeared in puzzles often.

9. Normandy beachhead : OMAHA. No Nebraska clue on a Friday; will the next generation remember?

14. Rollover __ : IRA. This has become on of the most common of fills.

15. Send packing : EVICT.

16. Jazz section : SAXES.  Your choice, this, or the music below?

17. "Hip Hop Is Dead" artist : NAS.

20. Misrepresent : DISTORT.

22. Main part : LEAD. In a play, or movie.

23. No harder than : AS EASY AS. An odd looking stretch of letters, which is good but it is a partial which I was told was bad, so ?!?

25. Edible decapods : PRAWNS. Meaning having 10 legs: Steve and Nice Cuppa can explain this more but DIFFERENCE.

29. Provide new audio for : REDUB. My son tried to get me to appreciate dubstep music.

30. More than square : CUBE. Cute.

32. Council position : SEAT.

33. Adjust, as sails : TRIM. I watched a You tube on how to sail  by yourself.

35. Mythical elephant carriers : ROCS. You want to read about it?  HERE.

37. "Aladdin" monkey : ABU.

41. Your Moment of __: Jon Stewart's show ender : ZEN. Obama ordered him to stay.

42. Spike : LACE. As in "lace the punch"; this was very tricky 4 letter fill.

43. Fuzzy Endor native : EWOK. Star Wars VII is coming!

44. They're often smashed : SOTS. No Tinbeni comments here, please.

46. Ellington's "__ Indigo" : MOOD. The Duke.

48. Nearby : HANDY.

51. Umbria tourist town : ASSISI. This is the landlocked part of Italy, unlike 66A. Resort off the Sorrentine Peninsula : CAPRI. This is an island.

53. One who keeps it in the family : NEPOTIST. WE all have heard of nepotism, so I guess this word exists.

55. Sports gp. with three divisions : NCAA.

57. "The Kids Are __": 1979 The Who documentary : ALRIGHT.

62. One of Kramden's hardy followers? : HAR.

63. Staff symbol : C CLEF. Music notation. 8D. "Hooked on Classics" co. : K TEL. 49D. Note in the key of B major : D SHARP. A mini-theme ?

64. Singer's asset : RANGE.

65. Ode opener? : TRI. Triode.

67. Gather together : AMASS.

68. Post-workout destination : SPA.


1. "The test of any man lies in action" odist : PINDAR. From Thebes in Ancient Greece.

2. Game challenge : I RAISE. Betting games.

4. Lover of Slue-Foot Sue : PECOS BILL. This romantic STORY.

5. Subject for Italian anatomist Fallopius : OVARY. He also invented the English subway, hence its name- the Fallopian Tube.

6. Certs alternative : TICTAC. Paddy whack...

7. "Alas!" from a lass : OCH. How is your Gaelic?

9. Grouch in a can : OSCAR. Sesame Street lives on.

10. Protegés, e.g. : MAZDAS. This took a long time to remember with the last one in the model year 2003.

11. Fire : AXE.

12. Crime-solver Ramsey of 1970s TV : HEC. The second incarnation of Richard Boone, more famous as Paladin.

13. Krakatoa output : ASH.

19. "Exciter" band __ Mode : DEPECHE. Lots of MUSIC if you are bored.

21. Alpha __, star in the Bull constellation : TAURI. This huge ORANGE star, known as Alderbarran is not related to the more familiar Alpha Centauri.

24. Cutting-edge professional? : SURGEON. Really sharp humor.

27. Snares : NABS.

28. Former Beatle Sutcliffe : STU. He left the band to pursue his work as a painter, but died at 22.
31. Defer : BOW.

34. Dolphin, e.g. : MIAMIAN. A bit tricky but not down here in SoFla.

36. Cutting supports : SAWHORSES.

38. Co. VIPs : CEOS. Chief Executive Officers. Next to...

39. Sgt. maj., e.g. : NCO. Non-Commissioned Officer.

40. Tropical raccoon kin : COATI. You want to know more? READ.

41. Half a Gabor? : ZSA. Better than half a fly.

45. Angling aid : SINKER.

47. Counselor in Jean-Luc's command : DEANNA. Ms. Troi gets more ink than Jean-Luc.

50. Oxide in incandescent gas mantles : YTTRIA. I do not even know what a gas mantle is, but this was interesting to READ.

52. Space opera genre : SCI-FI.

54. Promotions : PLUGS. Once you see it this is easy, but it took a while.

56. Uttar Pradesh tourist city : AGRA.

58. Discreet email letters : BCC. The B is for blind, meaning you are not telling them to whom you are sending it to.

59. Nipper's label : RCA. Radio Corporation of America.

60. High peak : ALP. Another marti CSO.

61. Moll's leg : GAM. A great word from all the pulp  and detective fiction I have read. Do you recognizes these gams from this old TV show where the actresses face never appeared?
Next week will close out July, so go somewhere fun, but take the puzzle with you. Thanks Mike, and all of you.

Lemonade out.

Jul 23, 2015

Thursday, July 23, 2015 Gareth Bain

Theme: "AYYYYY!" A two-fer-one. (See 20-A)

17. Cats' request on seeing birds through the window? : LET US PREY. This one made me smile. Now I know why they put their little paws together whenever they see a bird outside.

25. Attention-getting craze? : HEY FEVER. Like Willie Mays, the Say HEY kid?

41. Ottoman ruler's pier? : THE DOCK OF THE BEY. I guess Mos Def's real name of Yasiin BEY would have been too obscure to use for this entry, huh?

52. "L.A. Law" actress' work period? : DEY SHIFT. This one doesn't really work for me - it should be "DEY's Shift."

66. Optimistic Spanish ruler? : REY OF HOPE. If you don't know your Spanish, this could have been a toughie.

I caught onto the theme right away, so the puzzle was pretty much solved left-to-right, top-to-bottom.


1. Pros handling returns : CPAs.

5. Nos. that affect connecting flights : ETAs. I wonder if a CPA's GPA would affect the ETA of your IRA?

9. Like dry mud on cleats : CAKED.

14. 1979 DownBeat Hall of Fame inductee, familiarly : ELLA. The great Fitzgerald.

15. Beer ingredient : MALT.

16. "Spider-Man" director : RAIMI.

19. Brother of Miriam : AARON. Could also have been Moses.

20. Obeyed the doctor : SAID "AH".

21. Romp : PLAY.

23. Suffix with Capri : OTE. A Capriote is an inhabitant of Capri.

24. Actress Kunis : MILA.

27. "Bravo, señor!" : OLE.

29. "Blah blah blah": Abbr. : ETC.

31. Bavarian article : EIN.

32. Kid-lit detective __ the Great : NATE.

34. Speck : IOTA.

37. Dangerous bacterium : STAPH.

44. Senate Finance Committee chair Hatch : ORRIN.

45. Sundance's gal : ETTA. Place.

46. Like Gen. Powell : RET'D.

47. Storm, on the Beaufort scale : TEN. An empirical scale that relates observed conditions to wind speed.

49. iTunes purchase : APP.

51. Sign of success : VEEVictory. Or two. Or peace.

57. California's __ Valley: Reagan Library site : SIMI.

59. Porter, e.g. : ALE.

60. Wind with a wide range : OBOE.

61. __-Dazs : HÄAGEN. Real ice cream, but totally bogus name.

64. Choir platform : RISER.

68. Taboos : NO-NOs.

69. Banjo spot : KNEE.

70. Tennis edge : AD IN. After deuce (a tie score of 3 each), a player must be up by two points to win the game. So if the server is up by one point, (s)he has the "AD" vantage "IN" his/her court, since if they win the next point, they would win the game.

71. Ring setting : STONE.

72. Proverbs : SAWS.

73. Trim on a curtain : LACE.


1. Animation units : CELS.

2. Court entry : PLEA.

3. Skydiving device : ALTIMETER.

4. Riyadh native : SAUDI.

5. No-nonsense : EMPHATIC.

6. Stuff on the street : TAR.

7. Hebrew alphabet opener : ALEPH.

8. Topic for Strunk and White : STYLE. Pay $9.99 for the paperback, or read "Elements of Style" online for free.

9. Ingredient in the stew étouffée : CRAYFISH. I wonder what CREY FISH would be? "Crey" is slang for crazy, I think.

10. Financial rating : AAA.

11. Russian ballet name : KIROV.

12. Act badly? : EMOTE.

13. Eatery with its own lingo : DINER.

18. Fire __ : SALE.

22. "'Tis true!" : AYE.

26. Put in a log : ENTER.

27. Savvy about : ON TO.

28. Portrayer of a big scaredy-cat : LAHR. The cowardly lion in "The Wizard of Oz."

30. Soft drink choice : COKE.

33. Works on books : EDITS.

35. Elmo fan : TOT.

36. Old Spice rival : AFTA.

38. Sal Tessio portrayer in "The Godfather" : ABE VIGODA.

39. Folk icon Seeger : PETE.

40. Stevenson villain : HYDE.

42. Podunk-like : ONE HORSE.

43. Footwear for the Step Brothers : TAP SHOES. I never heard of these guys, but the answer could be intuited.

48. Penpoint : NIB.

50. "La Vie en Rose" chanteuse : PIAF. It was the signature song for Édith.

52. Fixes, as a heel, perhaps : DARNS. I know women who have married a heel, thinking they could fix him. Never works.

53. "Middlemarch" novelist : ELIOT.

54. Easy kind of question : YES/NO.

55. Where roads divide : FORKS.

56. Singer __ Marie : TEENA. Lots of singers today, it seems.

58. Taj __ : MAHAL.

62. Bigger than big : EPIC.

63. Hawaiian goose : NENE. We now know what they look like, right?

65. It's quite a stretch : EON. I know, I know - but I am almost done.

67. Source of pliable wood : YEW. See? I told YEW it would soon end.

That's it from me for now!

Jul 22, 2015

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 Tom McCoy

Theme: The Deion Sanders Shout-Out

The first word of each theme entry is a prime number, the second word is a period of time. This actually is a blecho from Argyle's blog on Monday ("Not ready for prime time") which is kinda neat.

16A. *It classifies ancient times based on metals : THREE AGE SYSTEM. A very rare cluing misstep here. The three ages are the Stone Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. Spot the one that isn't a metal. The basis for the system is the material used to make tools.

31A. *Typical worker's break : TWO DAY WEEKEND. Theme entry odd-man out here - the third word of this entry is also a time period, which seems a shame to me.

44A. *Possible reason for marriage counseling : SEVEN YEAR ITCH. And the best possible excuse for posting this iconic image of Tom Ewell from the movie of that name. I'm not sure who the scene-stealing actress in the dress was.

62A.*Justification for eating food that's fallen on the ground : FIVE SECOND RULE. Also depends on where you dropped it, whether anyone has trodden on it, and whether you  have to fight the dog for it.

and the reveal entries:

69A. With 70-Across, prized programming slot ... or a hint to the first two parts of the answers to starred clues : PRIME

70A. See 69-Across : TIME

Merry Wednesday, everyone. Steve here with an unusual 14x16 grid from Tom McCoy. I liked the theme a lot, with the exception of the "WEEKEND" entry comprising two time periods, rather than a single one like the rest. That's my minor nit. Your mileage may vary. This is Tom's second LAT publication, the last one ("MERCURY") sparked a lot of debate here at the Corner.

I'm assuming that the grid dimensions came about due to difficulty finding an acceptable fill around the 63 theme squares - that's quite an impressive number for a midweek puzzle. I tried to fill a 15x15 grid for fun, but the SE and South-Central section with "PRIME" and "TIME" turned out to be a problem. At this point I'd have thrown in the towel, but kudos to Tom for resizing the grid and delivering a really fun Wednesday.

I remember reading that as late as the early twentieth century, the number 1 was considered to be prime, but that apparently made a mess of some mathematical theories so it was quietly dropped and swept under the rug. Poor digit. That leaves these four as the first four primes.

Righty-ho. Let's see what else we've got:


1. Place for Lightning and Hurricanes : RINK. Respectively, Tampa Bay and Carolina of the NHL

5. Confederate soldiers : GRAYS. I finally remembered how to spell "gray" in US English. Yay!

10. "It's okay, I guess" : MEH

13. Sign : OMEN

14. Screen dot : PIXEL. My laptop has got almost two million of the little blighters.My first computer had eight or so. Or was it two?

15. "Rumble in the Jungle" fighter : ALI. The classic Ali vs. Foreman fight. Ali, the challenger, knocked out the previously-undefeated Foreman for the Heavyweight title.

19. Ancient volume : CODEX. I learned this when I read "The Da Vinci Code". Shame that I filled it in as "CODEC" when my computerese-brain got in the way.

20. Passports, licenses, etc. : IDS

21. "Egad!" : OH NO! Eek!

22. Itty bit : TAD

24. "Green Eggs and Ham" opening : I AM SAM. I've never read this. Perhaps I should.

26. Toward the back : ASTERN

30. Jamaican export : RUM. Cheers! Myers is probably the best-known variety.

36. Seals with pitch : TARS. I'd have gone for a "sailor" type clue here, being as RUM is right next door.

37. Some drafts : ALES. Cheers! Tinbeni's happy today.

38. Frightful cry : EEK! Egad!

40. Fitting : APT

41. Cone droppers : FIRS

43. Where Georgia is : ASIA. An ex-member of the Soviet Union. Here's the flag, I don't recall ever seeing it before:

48. Fictional planet : ORK. Birthplace of Mork.

49. Go downhill : WORSEN

50. "The Kiss" and "The Thinker" : RODINS. Both sculptures by the good Monsieur Auguste. There are three versions of "The Kiss" which are sculpted in marble, and more than 20 of "The Thinker", which are cast in bronze.

53. Soup veggie : PEA. Food! I make mine with a smoked ham hock thrown in for flavor and seasoning.

54. Many a miniseries : EPIC

55. Spoil : MAR

57. Obedience school item : LEASH

65. Genetic info carrier : R.N.A. Compare and contrast with D.N.A. Fill in the "NA" and wait for the crosses.

66. Like Cheerios : OATEN

67. "Paradise Lost" character : ADAM

68. Hankering : YEN


1. Military prep prog. : R.O.T.C. The Reserve Officer's Training Program.

2. Texter's qualifier : IMHO. In my humble opinion, this now qualifies as crosswordese.

3. Stereotypical sci-fi fan : NERD

4. Joint where kids are welcome? : KNEE. Nice clue!

5. A D will usually lower it: Abbr. : G.P.A.

6. Unbending : RIGID

7. Took a hatchet to : AXED

8. "You got that right!" : YESSIREE! Egads! Eek! Quite a few "exclamations" in the puzzle today.

9. Wily : SLY

10. Trig or calc, to a Brit : MATHS. Easy-Peasy-Lemon-Squeezy for me. I was surprised to discover that this word has never been used (in the modern era at least) in either the LAT or the NYT crosswords.

11. Colleague of Antonin and Anthony : ELENA. The crosses filled this one in for me, so it's only now I look back and wonder where this came from. All Supreme Court Judges, thank you Google. Wow - and it's only Wednesday? Argyle called it on Monday expecting some unexpected hurdles during the week.

12. Call-home opener : HI MOM! Popular stadium sign text too.

17. Not needed : EXTRA

18. French river to the English Channel : SOMME. I had the "S" so SEINE went in, then quickly came out.

23. "__ more bright ideas?" : ANY

25. Arctic divers : AUKS

26. "__ girl!" : ATTA

27. Cashless deals : SWAPS. Does anyone swap things at a swap meet any more? I think it's all cash. C.C? (From C.C.: Mostly cash. And I do swap things with others at the flea market.)

28. Rich dessert : TORTE. Food! Gimme. As in, gimme more torte.

29. Newspaper figs. : EDS. Rich Norris is our favorite editor.

32. On the lookout : WARY

33. Otherwise : ELSE

34. Stacks like Tupperware : NESTS. Because "teeters uncontrollably in a cupboard with a collection of mismatched lids which cascade on your head when you open aforesaid cupboard" doesn't fit.

35. Unfreeze : DE-ICE

39. Madeline of "Clue" : KAHN. Thank you, crosses. It's very rare that I can fill in an actor without help.

41. Seedless plant : FERN

42. Lefty's writing concern : INK SMEAR. My brother is left-handed. I wanted to tease his writing style when we were kids, but he's two years older than me and he would have done unspeakable things to me. So I kept quiet.

43. __ Jordan : AIR

45. Give expression to : VOICE

46. Stun : AWE

47. Willy Wonka creator Dahl : ROALD. Why on earth for a brief couple of seconds did I think his name was RAOUL and was confused that it wouldn't fit?

50. Prepare beans, Mexican-style : REFRY

51. Weigh in : OPINE

52. Backless sofa : DIVAN

53. Introduction : PROEM. Brand-new to me, and therefore my personal word of the day. Introduction to a book written by the author. I thought it would crop up more due to the convenient vowel progression, but it was last seen in the LAT crossword back in 2008.

56. When Tony sings "Maria" : ACT I. Saving my music link to the end. Worth every saved second.

58. Q.E.D. word : ERAT

59. BMW rival : AUDI

60. Shut angrily : SLAM

61. Iron-rich blood pigment : HEME

63. Bread, at times : SOP

64. Hershey-to-Scranton dir. : NNE. From Chocolatetown, USA to the Electric City.

And .... the grid. See my word of the day the last to fill.


Notes from C.C.:

1) Congrats to TTP on his retirement! Now he'll have plenty of time to improve his golf and cooking skills. So nice to have you back, pal.

2) Last night Jazzbumpa (Ron) sent me this lovely picture of him and his grandkids. Nate has grown up! Ron said that Nate's team went to the Cal Ripken tournament at Myrtle Beach after this picture was taken and Nate pitched the last couple innings in their last game.

In front: Samantha, Emily and Nate.
Behind: Danny, Alexa, me, Amanda, Ryan.

July 2, 2015

Jul 21, 2015

Tuesday, July 21 2015, Daniel Nierenberg

Theme: Spread 'em. Words for edible spreads are s-p-r-e-a-d across the theme answers.

17. Betrayal : DOUBLE CROSS. Oleo.

23. Mailroom device : POSTAGE METER. Pate.

37. Sandstone, for one : SEDIMENTARY ROCK. Mayo. Impressive - can you think of any other phrase in which to hide MAYO? 

49. Old West reward seeker : BOUNTY HUNTER. Butter.

61. Enthusiastic smorgasbord words ... and hint to this puzzle's circled letters : WHAT A SPREAD

Mostly a quick solve with a few exceptions. If it weren't for the circles I would never have found the hidden "spreads." Very cleverly done. 

Melissa here. I am playing ketchup after being out of town for girls weekend (I relish the thought). I apologize to olive you, these are the wurst puns ever. Surely you can do butter than this. 


1. Barroom fisticuffs : BRAWL

6. Triangular pelvic bones : SACRA. Tricky plural form unless you've seen it recently. 

11. Soldier under Stonewall Jackson : REB. "Johnny Reb" was the term for the rank-and-file confederate soldier.

14. YouTube upload : VIDEO. See above :).

15. Code of conduct : ETHIC

16. Hustle and bustle : ADO

19. Spiky plant part that sticks to your clothes : BUR. To dogs, too. Interesting story about the inspiration of Velcro.

20. Pilfers : STEALS

21. Pen filler : INK

22. Clock front : FACE

26. "Yay!" : YIPPEE

28. Beaver's structure : DAM

29. Old Opry network : TNN. Grand 'Ole Opry stage.

30. Minimum-range tide : NEAP

33. Uses lidocaine on : NUMBS

41. Damaged layer : OZONE

42. Dreamcast game console developer : SEGA

43. Questionnaire choice, in Bordeaux : OUI. Yes.

44. Swiss landscape feature : ALP. Next girls weekend?

46. B-flat equivalent : A SHARP

54. Frosty coating : RIME. Who knew there was a rime festival?

55. Back-row bowling pin : TEN

56. Nome home : ALASKA. I was thinking gnome at first. That's different.

60. Mass vestment : ALB

63. Neckline shape : VEE

64. Driver's invitation : HOP IN

65. Canada's official tree : MAPLE

66. Be human, so they say : ERR

67. Initial appearance : ONSET

68. Plural diminutive suffix : ETTES


1. Brand of skivvies : BVD'S

2. Civil uprising : RIOT

3. Both players in unison, musically : ADUE. Needed perps. Italian word, pronounced ah doo-ey. Literally meaning "by two." In French, it is 
 à deux.

4. Program running in a browser, informally : WEB APP

5. Lounge about, in British dialect : LOLLOP. Umm ... what? Okay this is my new favorite word. Listen to the British vs. American pronunciation.

6. "Be with you in a __" : SEC. Later. As soon as I finish lolloping.

7. Sun-brightened lobbies : ATRIA

8. Cheech's buddy : CHONG

9. Took a chance on : RISKED

10. Bldg. coolers : AC'S. 

11. Capital of Morocco : RABAT. I never remember this.

12. Bring out : EDUCE. Or this.

13. Hole-making insect : BORER. One who bores. I know a few.

18. Reputed Dead Sea Scrolls writer : ESSENE. Such a fascinating discovery (scroll down page to see pictures of the ruins).

22. Longest human bone : FEMUR

24. Cold temperatures : TEENS

25. Loads of : MANY. 

26. Santa __ Valley: wine region in which "Sideways" was set : YNEZ. Only a few Santa _ _ _ _ possibilities.

27. Prefix with European : INDO

29. Chinese menu general : TSO

31. Had breakfast : ATE

32. Missionary's concern : PAGAN. Nice clue.

34. Keep from floating away : MOOR. Perps, please.

35. Bra size : B CUP

36. Glide on snow : SKI

38. Foolish : INANE

39. Soften, as sorbet : MELT

40. Dreadlocks wearers : RASTAS. No dreads, but if you close your eyes ...

45. "Monty __ and the Holy Grail" : PYTHON. Just a flesh wound.

47. "I need another pair of hands, please" : HELP ME. See above.

48. Where Noah landed : ARARAT. Turkey.

49. Gutsy : BRAVE. I read gusty. That's different.

50. Petroleum transporter : OILER

51. "Raw" pigment : UMBER

52. Jalopies : HEAPS

53. Set free : UNTIE. I guess. I will set free my shoes at the end of the day.

57. Pennant race mo. : SEPT. Baseball, I presume.

58. Leafy green : KALE

59. Fruity drinks : ADES

61. Investigator's pronoun : WHO

62. Tiny tunneler : ANT. Cute.


Notes from C.C.:

1) Please click here for a few pictures from Melissa's Girls Weekend outing in Bodega Bay, the city where hitchcock's "the birds" was filmed. Melissa further said that "... our limo driver stopped on the way back from our winery tours to see the church and schoolhouse used in the movie. The gentleman on the steps of the church was on holiday from the UK, crossing off landmarks to see from his 'bucket list.'"
2) Victor Barocas, the talented NYT/LAT constructor and the self-effacing editor behind our annual Minnesota Crossword Tournament, has launched a Kickstarter to "write a series of mysteries in which the detective gets help from solving a series of crosswords, and the solver does the crosswords along with the detective". Please click here for details on Victor's Ada Cross, Crossword Detective. I hope you can back his project.