Oct 24, 2014

Friday, Ocotber 24, 2014, Bruce Haight

Theme: What is funnier than a Latin Pun? "ex nihilo nihil fit."

Those six years of Latin in school certainly paid off today, in this whimsical 'add a letter' theme to get a funny answer to a silly definition. I am not sure if the Latin phrases would be difficult for anyone as they seem fairly known, but I am sure you will let me know. I thought some theme answers were very funny, and other not so much. In each case, the meaning of one of the words in the Latin phrase is preserved with other getting the added letter. Another Friday where we have lots of short fill (sixty-seven 3,4 and 5 letter fill) and only two sparklies, I’M OUTA HERE, HOLY SMOKES, with COE and NAURU being fresh fill. The second LAT puzzle from Mr. Haight, who has 6 NYT publications. He is a mentee of Peter Collins, one of the many constructors I admire. Let's see where he takes us.

17A. Latin for "big idiot"? : MAGNUM DOPUS.(11). Original Latin, Magnum Opus, meaning greatest work. Greatest work ----Greatest idiot. (an echo of magnum opus in the same week, coincidence, no! Or at least Owen says no.)

23A. Latin for "holding a grudge for a long, long time"? : MAD INFINITUM.(12). Ad Infinitum, meaning: to infinity ----Angry forever.

38A. Latin for "fighting over parking spots is not allowed"? : NO LOT CONTENDERE.(15). Nolo Contendere, the guilty plea where one does not admit guilt, but does not 'contest' the charge. This grid spanner might be a seed entry but it confused the crap out of me, as I had an idea with the added D and M, there was going to be some kind of Roman Numeral reveal, appropriate to a Latin based theme, no go. No contest ----No parking lot contest.

47A. Latin for "cheating on one's timecard"? : TEMPUS FUDGIT. (12). Tempus Fugit. Time flies ----Time is fudged (faked).

59A. Latin for "fish trading"? : SQUID PRO QUO.(11). By far my favorite, where Quid Pro Quo gets all tentacles on us. This for that ----fish(sort of) ----for that.


1. Critters who worshiped C-3PO as a god : EWOKS.

6. Penicillin precursor : SULFA. Being allergic to Penicillin and growing up before the antibiotic explosion, I remember this.

11. Like Beethoven's Second Symphony : IN D. You like this better than the abbreviation?

14. Museum piece : RELIC.

15. Central Florida city : OCALA. Gainesville's bedroom community and great horse country.

16. Wild West : MAE. I got this immediately when I saw it was three letters but still love the clue/fill.

19. "Certainement!" : OUI. Vraiment! Aussi, 66A. Idée sources : TETES. French for heads, from whence we get our ideas.

20. Blotter letters : AKA. Also Known As. It has a cousin, FKA.

21. Good, in Genoa : BUONO. Just the Italian word.

22. Hides in the closet? : FURS. Another witty use of the confusion of the verb really being a noun here.

26. Classic pops : NEHIS. Pop=Soda; easy for those in the Midwest and a clue without Radar.

29. Charles of old mysteries : NORA. Married to Nick and played by Myrna Loy.

30. Bustles : ADOS. A new clue for a crossword staple.

31. Steam table fuel : STERNO. You get a nice ONE but it won't be cheap.

35. "Good" cholesterol initials : HDL. High-density lipoprotein.

41. Adams of "The Muppets" : AMY.

42. Owl, at times : HOOTER. Oh, so they named the restaurant chain after some owls?

43. Turkmenistan neighbor : IRAN.

44. Where change is welcome : SLOT. Though slot machines no longer have slots for change.

46. "Choose taste" sauce brand : PREGO.

53. Son of Aphrodite : EROS.

54. Cell terminal : ANODE. Battery positive, I am positive.

55. Cry made with a raised index finger : AHA!

58. Torah holder : ARK.

62. Journalist William Shirer's alma mater : COE. I remember the MAN well but had no idea where he went to college, nor any real memory of the existence of a Coe College. I read the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich when it came out, but not with....

63. Verve : GUSTO. As a ...

64. Hefty portion : CHUNK. of the book was very upsetting.

65. Shop door nos. : HRS. Hours.

67. Salon and others : E-MAGS. It sounds all POLITICAL so I have never read it.


1. First name in wit : ERMA. Ms. Bombeck I believe is more famous as fill than as anything else.

2. Watery, as a drink : WEAK. Am I the only one who thought of the talented Molly Sudgen as Mrs. Slocombe telling the men they were "weak as water?" LINK.(2:53).

3. One of Chekhov's "Three Sisters" : OLGA. Called Olya, Maria (Masha) and little Irina.

4. Blood : KIN. I ken kin.

5. Takes a dive? : SCUBAS. Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.

6. Agreeable words : SO DO I.

7. Sch. originally endowed by the Storrs brothers : UCONN. An ultimate gimme, as it was the place of undergraduate and graduate study for me. Go Huskies!

8. __ luxury : LAP OF.

9. Viral ailment : FLU.

10. Remote power sources : AAS. We get a lot of battery clues to go with our wide feet clues.

11. "See ya!" : I'M OUTA HERE. Not yet,  still working away.

12. Pacific republic near the equator : NAURU. This was hard. LINK.

13. Voltaire's world-view : DEISM.

18. Joe with some oomph : MUD. For those who like Starbucks.

22. Holiday buy : FIR. FUR fits as well, and many a husband is up a tree if all he buys is the tree.

23. Sapporo soup : MISO. Healthy or not. You DECIDE.

24. __ circle : INNER. Fun Jamaican band. Listen.(3:42).

25. "High __" : NOON. Gary Cooper at his best.

26. Family nickname : NANA.

27. Biblical kingdom near the Dead Sea : EDOM.

28. "Yikes!" : HOLY SMOKES. I like this thought I struggled for a bit.

31. Glaswegians, e.g. : SCOTS. I also like this name for those from Glasgow.

32. Furthermore : TOO.

33. Tolkien creature : ENT.

34. Series of turns: Abbr. : RTE. I guess this is accurate, but again not my first thought.

36. Snoozefest : DRAG.

37. 2014 Television Academy Hall of Fame inductee : LENO.

39. Biblical pronoun : THOU.

40. Gossip : DIRT. It would not be worth repeating if it were not a bit 'dirty.'

45. Vinyl spinners : LPS. Long Plays.

46. Go through : PIERCE. Another perfectly correct fill that slowed me.

47. Emulate Anne Sullivan : TEACH. The famous guide to Helen Keller, herself a handicapped person who was taught at the Perkins School for the blind in Boston. In high school I wrestled against one of there students in a tournament.

48. Flub : ERROR.

49. Gounod opera : FAUST. Only 2 hours plus. LINK. (2:19:06).

50. Form an alliance : UNITE.

51. Extinct Mauritian birds : DODOS. A CSO to our dear friend.

52. Econ. stat : GDP. Gross Domestic Product.

55. Blue hue : AQUA.

56. Like curtains : HUNG. So many inappropriate comments come to mind.

57. NASA go-aheads : A-OKS.

59. Friday is one: Abbr. : SGT. Badge 714, hmmmm.

60. Prov. on the St. Lawrence : QUEbec. Is that used in Canada Eh?

61. Electrical unit : OHM. Umm, I guess I am out of power here and must leave for another week. Well as this month comes to an end I have tons of birthdays ahead, including Miss Charlotte. Thanks Bruce and thank you all for stopping by.

Lemonade out.

Oct 23, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014 Gareth Bain


19-Across. Poet friend of Jonathan Swift : ALEXANDER POPE. Together, the friends formed the Scriblerus Club.

The current Pope Francis scoots around town in a Ford Focus, instead of this POPEMOBILE.

33-Across. Kipling story collection, with "The" : JUNGLE BOOK. The original edition is worth a couple of bucks, I bet.

The BOOKMOBILE is becoming another victim of the computer age.

38-Across. "Poetry Man" singer : PHOEBE SNOW. I had the pleasure of seeing her in person twice - such a talent. She died in 2011.

SNOWMOBILEs are not just for recreation!

48-Across. Title phrase that rhymes with "he lightly doffed his hat" : CASEY AT THE BAT. Is there any joy in Mudville?

The original BATMOBILE is a far cry from its modern counterpart.

And the reveal is found at 44-Down. Vehicular attachment for the ends of 19-, 33-, 38- and 48-Across : MOBILE.

Just missing a V for a pangram.


1. Bodybuilder's pride : ABs. And a clecho at 20-Down. Bodybuilder's pride : LATs.

4. "Wizards of Waverly Place" actress Gomez : SELENA.

10. Like crudités : RAW.

13. Helpful URL link : FAQFrequently Asked Questions. They never seem to have the answer I am looking for.

14. Literary postscript : EPILOG.

15. Townshend of 22-Down : PETE. And 22-Down. "Pinball Wizard" band : THE WHO.

16. Cross-shaped letter : TAU. It's also an empire in this video game.

17. Forecast words golfers like to hear : NO RAIN. Husker, do you golf in the rain?

18. Glade target : ODOR.

22. Frequent Hepburn co-star : TRACY.

23. Take a load off : SIT.

24. __ rhythm: brain waves pattern : THETA.

25. Old-style "For shame!" : FIE.

28. Soothing sprinklings : TALCS. I was thinking along the lines of Jimmies on ice-cream.

32. Rink VIPs : REFs. Ice hockey rink, REFerees.

35. Iconic WWII setting, familiarly : IWO. Jima.

36. Missouri tributary : OSAGE.

37. Garden product word : GRO.

41. Water-to-wine site : CANA. As shown in this painting of "The Wedding at Cana" by Veronese.

42. __ voce: softly : SOTTO.

43. Longing : YEN.

44. Gourmet mushroom : MOREL. Do these look "gourmet"?

45. Storage media : CDs.

47. Theorize : POSIT.

54. Leave off : OMIT.

55. Hummus ingredient : TAHINI.

56. "Run to __": Bobby Vee hit : HIM. Blast from the past. 2:05

59. Galvanizing metal : ZINC.

60. Like many Schoenberg compositions : ATONAL. Here's a small sample from his "Pierrot Lunaire." 1:15

61. Possible reply to "Got milk?"? : MOO. And 2-Down. Ewe cry : BAA.

62. Shout of success : YES! (With or without fist pump.)

63. Seuss reptile : YERTLE. the Turtle.

64. Classroom fill-in : SUB. Another CSO to HG!


1. Not fore : AFT.

3. Storage unit? : SQUARE FOOT.

4. Iroquois Confederacy tribe : SENECA.

5. Powerful adhesive : EPOXY.

6. Turkish bread? : LIRA. Anyone else think about filling in "na'an"?

7. Gusto : ELAN.

8. Reason to be turned away by a bouncer : NO ID.

9. Patron saint of girls : AGNES. CSO to Irish Miss!

10. Edit menu choice : REDO.

11. Straddling : ATOP.

12. "While __ Young": USGA anti-slow play campaign : WE'RE.

15. Can convenience : POP TAB. Anybody else fill in POP Top?

21. Religious ceremony : RITE.

24. Vacation plans : TRIPS. We're still trying to decide where and when to travel in Europe next year.

25. Persnickety : FUSSY.

26. Lacking sense : INANE.

27. Encourage : EGG ON.

29. Shortcuts for complex multiplication : LOGARITHMS.

30. Trumpet cousin : CORNET. In what song were there 110 CORNETs "close at hand"?

31. Toaster's word : SKOAL.

33. Beanery cuppa : JOE.

34. "Ben-Hur" author Wallace : LEW.

39. "... and all that jazz," for short : ETC. ETC. Yadda, yadda...

40. Fullness of flavor : BODY.

41. __ Nostra : COSA.

46. Skewered Thai dish : SATAY. With peanut sauce - yummm!

47. Serving to punish : PENAL.

48. Like a warm nest : COZY.

49. Nice lady friend : AMIE. "Nice" misdirection.

50. Confession details : SINS. On this site, you can apply for a SIN, obtain a confirmation of your SIN or amend your SIN record! (Might be a useful link for CanadianEh?)

51. London gallery : TATE.

52. Superhero with a hammer : THOR.

53. Help for a solver : HINT.

57. Letters of credit? : IOU.

58. Group gone wild : MOB. Like the one at Keene, N.H.'s pumpkin festival last week. Link credit: HG!

Marti, over and out.

Oct 22, 2014

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 Jerome Gunderson

Theme: Four-part epic - the theme entries reference the Russian classic, published in four volumes.

17A. Bird between the partridge and French hen : TURTLE DOVE. "Between" in the context of the "12 Days of Christmas" carol.

29A. Species of falcon also called an American kestrel : SPARROWHAWK. Not a good thing to look up and see (if you're a sparrow):

47A. Epic novel symbolized by the ends of 17- and 29-Across : WAR AND PEACE. Interestingly, the author hesitated to call the work "a novel". He describes Anna Karenina as his "first true novel".

64A. Author of 47-Across : LEO TOLSTOY The man himself in 1906:

Hi everyone! Steve here with today's Wednesday offering. I have to confess I'm a little confused about this theme - I checked to see if there is some anniversary related to either the publication of the book or Tolstoy's lifeline, but drew a blank on both.

It bothers me that DOVE and HAWK are in the wrong sequence in the grid when considering WAR and PEACE, and it also bothers me that neither bird-endings are symbols for war nor peace, rather for warmongers and peacemakers. It just all seems a little contrived, but I'd love to hear other opinions.

Perhaps I'm being Mr. Grumpy today; there was some fun stuff in the grid, so let's move on.


1. Snoop's former "surname" : DOGG. Why the quotation marks - am I missing some subtlety in the cluing?

5. Sinatra's "The Lady Is a __" : TRAMP. Sinatra is just one of many artists who recorded this standard. I much prefer the recent duet from Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.

10. Fine : OKAY

14. Polynesian capital : APIA. Formerly capital of German Samoa, there is still a proud German heritage in the region today.

15. __ roll : HONOR

16. Hard-to-explain feeling : VIBE

19. Exile isle : ELBA. Napoleon's first exile following the war with Russia during 1812-1813, which forms a large part of the narrative in the second half of "War and Peace".

20. In dreamland : ASLEEP

21. Smashes to smithereens : DESTROYS

23. Pique condition? : SNIT

25. Univ. aides : T.A.s I thought it stood for "Teacher's Aide" but it must be "Teacher's Assistant"

26. Jamaican music : SKA

35. Boot parts : TOES

37. __-Ball: arcade game : SKEE

38. "I'm not kidding!" : NO LIE

39. Dreads sporter : RASTA, and a proponent of SKA music.

41. What's always in poetry? : E'ER

42. "__ So Vain": Carly Simon hit : YOU'RE. Was the subject of the song Mick Jagger? (No). Warren Beatty? (No, but he was vain enough to claim that it was, so that's rather fun). Apparently it was David Geffen, but Ms. Simon continues to refuse to confirm or deny any speculation.

43. Sci-fi regular : ALIEN

44. Optic layer : UVEA

46. Feds under Ness : T-MEN

50. Future 32-Down: Abbr. : SRS. Seniors become alumni or alumnae, I assume they actually have to graduate first.

51. "Go for the Goal" author Hamm : MIA. US Women's National Soccer Team legend who retired in 2004. She married All-Star shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, consequently their three kids have more sporting genes in their DNA than most small towns.

52. Sales rep's tool : DEMO

54. Gym gear : BARBELLS

59. Musical ineptitude : TIN EAR. Ah, so that's why the cat hides when I play my guitars!

63. 1998 Sarah McLachlan hit : ADIA.  I thought I'd never heard this track before, so I trotted off to YouTube to check that there was no punctuation in the spelling and to listen to it and ... "Oh! It's that song!" I'd always thought it was "Eddie, I do believe I've failed you; Eddie, I know I've let you down ..". Funny how it can be one of your favorite songs and you have no idea what it's called.

66. Witty remark : JEST

67. Pasty : ASHEN

68. Italian volcano : ETNA. This seems to "erupt" in PuzzleWorld at least once a week. It's a darn handy letter combo though.

69. Egyptian symbol of life : ANKH

70. Garden path piece : STONE

71. After-school mall frequenter : TEEN


1. Crunched stuff : DATA

2. Magnum __ : OPUS. How about a magnum of Opus One from Napa? The 1997 vintage is priced at around $800 if you can find one. Just a tad outside my price range.

3. Lass : GIRL

4. "Pirates of Silicon Valley" figure : GATES. Microsoft's Bill, as portrayed by Anthony Michael Hall.

5. Knight crew? : THE PIPS. It took a moment for this penny to drop, but finally it did.

6. Bit of fishing tackle : ROD

7. Give __ to: okay : A NOD

8. Relocate : MOVE

9. Magic word : PRESTO

10. Miss, as an intended target : OVERSHOOT

11. Roughly 2.2 pounds, briefly : KILO. We were taught that "two and a quarter pounds of jam weighs about a kilogram" when we were transitioning to the metric system in the UK in the early 70's. We also learned that "A litre of water's a pint and three-quarters". That wouldn't work in the USA, where a pint is 16oz, not 20 (and a litre is a liter, just to add to the confusion)

12. First name in advice : ABBY

13. Votes for : YEAS. "Votes" in the noun form. Neat clue.

18. Eyepiece piece : LENS

22. Lion-colored : TAWNY. Uh-oh ... I think I'll get my coat and make a dash for it

24. Start, as a new hobby : TAKE UP

26. Camel's undoing : STRAW

27. Tree-dwelling marsupial : KOALA

28. Pantheon led by Odin : AESIR. Fellow Pantheon-chums were Frigg, Thor, Baldr and Týr, all good crossword-fodder!

30. Superman player : REEVE

31. Enjoy again, as a cherished book : RE-READ

32. Ones who no longer have class? : ALUMS

33. Cable installer, at times : WIRER

34. Wails : KEENS

36. Post-workout relaxation spot : STEAM BATH. Nit alert. I had STEAM ROOM first, and gradually changed it to BATH as the crosses proved me wrong. However - the "spot" bothers me - I'd take a steam bath in a steam room.

40. Musical set in an orphanage : ANNIE

45. Salon solvent : ACETONE

48. Texas city that spans five counties : DALLAS

49. Oscar winner Jannings : EMIL. He won the award for Best Actor in 1929, the first to do so. I can't quite remember what he wore on the red carpet. He was a native of Rorschach in Austria, famous for the ink-blot factory and exclusive supplier of suggestive images to psychoanalysts everywhere. (I might need to fact-check that last bit).

53. Start : ONSET

54. __ California : BAJA. My neighbor to the south. When I first moved to LA and visited San Diego, I couldn't understand why there were so many cars and trucks with Canadian license plates, until I realized that "BC" probably didn't stand for "British Columbia". Oh.

55. Yemen port city : ADEN

56. Put on the line : RISK

57. For fear that : LEST

58. Artsy Manhattan district : SOHO

60. Cigar butt? : -ETTE

61. Primo : A-ONE

62. Meg of "Sleepless in Seattle" : RYAN

65. Down-for-the-count count : TEN. One of the most famous sports photographs of all time, through the lens of someone I really admire, SI's Neil Leifer:

... 8-9-10 ding! And I'm out!


Oct 21, 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 C.C. Burnikel & Steve Marron

Theme: Short Order Sandwich - Sound out the first words of the entries and you have one of America's favorite diner sandwich, the BLT.

17A. Scout's motto : BE PREPARED. B is for Bacon.

36A. Actress who is Dakota's sister : ELLE FANNING. L is for Lettuce.

43A. Japanese ritual including an iron pot : TEA CEREMONY. T is for Tomato.

66A. Holders of the sandwich homophonically described by the first words of 17-, 36- and 43-Across : TOOTHPICKS

Argyle here. Hmm, Steve + food...go figure. Actually, surprisingly little food beside the theme and even more amazing, the lack of baseball references. Good thing they published the names of our constructors, I might not have guessed today's Dynamic Duo.


1. Puzzles on kid-friendly place mats : MAZES

6. 1965 Beatles concert stadium : SHEA

10. FedEx rival : DHL. Interesting origin. Wiki The letters stand for the combined initials of the last names of the founders, Dewey, Huey, and Louie. (I kid)

13. Sheeplike : OVINE

14. Fuse with a torch : WELD

15. "Amen to that!" : "YEAH!"

19. Nevada city on the Humboldt River : ELKO

20. Ho-hum : SO-SO

21. Showed penitence : ATONED

23. Gave permission : LET

24. Indian bread : NAN

26. Like a watch with hands : ANALOG

28. Giant slugger Mel : OTT

31. Tool-hanging spots : PEGs

34. Explorer Sir Francis : DRAKE

35. Soap unit : BAR

39. "Just teasing" : "I KID"

41. Organ with a canal : EAR

42. "Hooked on Classics" record co. : K-TEL

48. Dam-building org. : TVA. (Tennessee Valley Authority)(since 1933)

49. By oneself : ALONE

50. Bela's "Son of Frankenstein" role : YGOR

51. Thanksgiving veggie : YAM

52. Former Seattle team now in Oklahoma City, familiarly : SONICS

54. Where Mandela was pres. : RSA. (Republic of South Africa)

56. DOJ division : ATF. (Department of Justice/Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives)

57. Not-too-bright sort : DIMWIT

60. Coarse file : RASP

64. Not out : SAFE

68. Was aware of : KNEW

69. __ code : AREA

70. Rocker Joplin : JANIS

71. Dr. of rap : DRE

72. Not as much : LESS

73. Took a nap : SLEPT


1. Rowdy crowds : MOBS

2. Chevy hatchback : AVEO. Also available as a sedan, it started out as South Korean Daewoo.

3. Closes a jacket, with "up" : ZIPS

4. Scandal-plagued energy giant : ENRON

5. "Get my point?" : "SEE?"

6. Whack : SWAT

7. Wartime honoree : HERO

8. Justice Kagan : ELENA

9. Tacked-on sections : ADDENDA

10. Turn red, maybe : DYE

11. Cartoon character with a red bow and whiskers : HELLO KITTY

12. Body of water on the Swiss/French border : LAKE GENEVA. Site of "Smoke on the Water".

16. Fresh from the oven : HOT

18. Group of judges : PANEL

22. "Phooey!" : "DARN!"

25. Big primate : APE

27. Tall and thin : LANK

28. "In memoriam" essay, briefly : OBIT

29. Make one's position known : TAKE A STAND

30. New-customer incentive : TRIAL OFFER

32. TV show about a high school choir : GLEE

33. Like the sordid side of life : SEAMY

37. Pond croaker : FROG

38. Glittery rock music genre : GLAM

40. Anti-mice brand : D-CON. Have you seen their new ads?

44. Oklahoma city : ENID

45. Pianist's concert, e.g. : RECITAL

46. Tulsa-to-Topeka direction : NORTH

47. Many mos. : YRs.

53. Campfire treat : S'MORE

55. Kin of Helvetica : ARIAL. Fonts.

56. Request : ASK

58. Maladies : WOES

59. "Take __ a compliment!" : IT AS

61. Skin breakout : ACNE

62. Leave out : SKIP

63. Hissed "Yo!" : "PSST!"

65. Meadow mom : EWE

67. Slumber party attire, for short : PJs


Note from C.C.:

1) I originally had MAYONNAISE as a reveal entry, but it's too weak a unifier to Rich. Naturally I sought help from our foodie Steve, who quickly came up with BOWL OF SOUP/TOOTHPICKS. Rich liked the latter. Thanks for making it happen, Steve!

2) I just noticed why Rich changed our YEAR/ROT for 15A/16D spots to YEAH/HOT. Do you know why? Thanks, Rich!!

Oct 20, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014 David W. Cromer

Theme: [WILL WORK FOR HAY] - Three old oater stars get answers to their questions.

20A. "What is our flatware made of, Lone Ranger?" : "STERLING, SILVER"

36A. "What does it take to succeed in Hollywood, Tonto?" : "TALENT, SCOUT"

43A. "What makes up my mane, Roy Rogers?" : "HAIR, TRIGGER"

57A. Start of the "Mister Ed" theme song, and hint to who is asking 20-, 36- and 43-Across : "A HORSE IS A HORSE"

Argyle here. David gave us a cute concept today with very few missteps. Not much to comment on.


1. Toast spreads : JAMS

5. Head-and-shoulders statuette : BUST. Reprise.

9. Charitable sort : DONOR

14. Cain's victim : ABEL

15. Lotion additive : ALOE

16. "Drab" color : OLIVE

17. Ashram authority : GURU. Ashram - a religious retreat or community where a Hindu holy man lives.

18. Agent Scully on "The X-Files" : DANA. 1993 to 2002 on Fox.

19. Rubber tree product used in paint : LATEX

23. Pea container : POD

24. "Sonic the Hedgehog" developer : SEGA. The title character and protagonist of a series released by Sega, as well as numerous spin-off comics, five animated shows, and a Original Video Animation.

25. NFL scores : TDs

28. Red, White or Black : SEA. Update: White Sea
30. Reddish-yellow : ORANGE

35. Toward the ship's rear : AFT

39. Quahog, for one : CLAM

41. In the past : AGO

42. Write with acid : ETCH

48. Environmental prefix : ECO

49. Meryl who played Julia Child : STREEP

50. Nine-digit-number issuing org. : SSA. (Social Security Administration)

51. Bad-mouth : DIS

52. Rock concert gear : AMPS

55. CBS forensic drama : CSI. (Crime Scene Investigation)

64. North Carolina fort : BRAGG

65. "It's a __!": "Easy!" : SNAP

66. Abound : TEEM

67. Quotable Yogi : BERRA. "A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore." More

68. "Canterbury" story : TALE

69. Eve's mate : ADAM

70. Bakery array : CAKES. A CED specialty.

71. Google find : SITE

72. VAIO PC maker : SONY


1. Sporty English autos : JAGS. (automobiles/Jaguars)(M's company car is a Jaguar XJ L)

2. Lie against : ABUT

3. Nothing more than : MERE

4. Drink inelegantly : SLURP

5. "I wouldn't do that if I were you" : "BAD IDEA"

6. __ Bator : ULAN

7. Top 40 numbers : SONGS

8. Poke fun at : TEASE

9. Cents partner : DOLLARS

10. One of five Norwegian kings : OLAV

11. Evening, in ads : NITE

12. Above : OVER

13. Tyrannosaurus __ : REX

21. ABC drama about a missing plane : "LOST"

22. "__ Rhythm" : I GOT. An American in Paris - I Got Rhythm(4:52)

25. Dials next to speedometers, for short : TACHS and 45D. Readings on 25-Down: Abbr. : RPMs

26. C sharp equivalent : D FLAT

27. Step in a flight : STAIR

29. Jai __ : ALAI

31. Blackjack half : ACE

32. Pre-eminent : NOTED

33. Designer Aldo : GUCCI

34. Spirit of a culture : ETHOS

37. With 38-Down, yuletide quaffs : EGG

38. See 37-Down : NOGS

40. G.I. field ration : MRE. (Meals Ready to Eat)

44. Riot squad's supply : TEAR GAS

46. Bloodhound's quarry : ESCAPEE

47. Unthinking : RASH

53. Orkin targets : PESTS

54. Mount in Exodus : SINAI

56. Greek i's : IOTAs

57. Field of expertise : AREA

58. Quaint "Listen!" : "HARK!"

59. Fairy tale baddie : OGRE

60. Crystals in a shaker : SALT

61. Change the decor of : REDO

62. Actor Connery : SEAN

63. Television award : EMMY

64. "Doctor Who" network : BBC. (British Broadcasting Corporation)


Oct 19, 2014

Sunday October 19, 2014 Frank Virzi

Theme: "Double Plays" - Each theme answer is in the pattern of A B C, both A B and B C are common phrases, with B C being a baseball term.

23A. Concertina heist? : SQUEEZE BOX SCORE. Squeeze box. Box score.

38A. Formal dance for tiny, winged debutantes? : FRUIT FLY BALL. Fruit fly. Flyball. I smiled at the clue.

50A. Big push to collect singles bar come-ons? : PICKUP LINE DRIVE. Pickup line. Line drive.

66A. Gofer at a moon landing site? : TRANQUILITY BASE RUNNER. Tranquility base. Base runner.

84A. China piece commemorating a Ricky Ricardo catchphrase? : "LUCY I'M HOME" PLATE. "Lucy, I'm home". Home plate.

93A. Writing implement for Vatican edicts? : PAPAL BULLPEN. Papal bull. Bullpen.

114A. Dance for bears? : SELLING SHORT HOP. Selling short. Short hop;

Sweet theme. Rich must have been saving this puzzle for months. 

I picked Gary's Royals to win the World Series before their Wild Card game against the A's. Luck of the Lorde! "I've never seen a diamond in the flesh... " Love that song. You better remember LORDE. 
This puzzle has ten 8-letter entries. All stacked in the corner. Amazing construction.


1. "Let's get started!" : HERE WE GO. Great start!

9. An epicure has a refined one : PALATE. My very first fill.

15. Diamond covers : TARPS. And 72. Diamond brothers : ALOUs. "I've never seen a diamond in the flesh..."

20. Maker of smarTouch gloves : ISOTONER. New to me. Why not just "Smart Touch"?
I don't like the DirecTV spelling either.

21. Orbital high point : APOGEE

22. Abrasive mineral : EMERY

25. Some, in Potsdam : EINES

26. Takes to court : SUES

27. River of Flanders : YSER. And 28. Rivière filler : EAU. Or not, they speak Dutch in Flanders.

29. Turmoil : UNREST

30. Hunger : YEN

31. Artist Modigliani : AMEDEO. Sad life. Alcohol & drug. His beautiful wife killed herself along with their unborn baby the day after he died. I liked the movie "Modigliani".

33. Rulers before Lenin : TSARS

36. Fed. auditing agency : GAO (Government Accountability Office)

37. Barkeep's supply : ICE

42. Play for time : STALL

45. Lack of vigor : ANEMIA

48. Cutting rooms?: Abbr. : ORs. Tricky clue.

49. Chick's tail? : ADEE. Chickadee.

53. Grace verb : BLESS

54. Roger of "Cheers" : REES

55. TV's Mrs. Peel : RIGG (Diana)

56. Idiot box : TEEVEE

58. Gallery work : ART

59. Juice brand with the digital newsletter Lizard Tales : SOBE. South Beach.

60. Cries at fireworks : OOHS

63. Discharge : EGEST

73. Agnew's plea, for short : NOLO. Nixon is very well-respected in China due to his historical visit.

74. Deuce follower : AD IN

75. "Put __ Happy Face" : ON A

76. Pulse is one of them : VITALS

79. Latin 101 word : AMAT

80. "Back in Black" band : AC/DC. "Back in Black" is also Amy Winehouse's album (Rehab).

81. Weighed the container of : TARED. Haven't seen this word for a long time.

89. Hooting owl, to some : OMEN

90. Jellied item in British cuisine : EEL

91. Hoops venues : ARENAS

92. Chorus section : ALTOS

96. At least one : ANY

97. Final finish? : IZE. Finalize.

98. Much, informally : LOTSA

99. Go : DEPART

103. "How disgusting!" : EWW. Reminds me of my grandma's fermented soybeans. The whole kitchen smelled.

106. Blabbed about : TOLD ON

108. Crossword clue, often: Abbr. : DEF (Definition)

111. Level, in Liverpool : RASE

112. Abruzzo town in a Longfellow poem : ATRI. Adano is Hersey's town.

113. Dental restoration : ONLAY

118. __ trip : FIELD

119. Senior golfer Mark : O'MEARA. He'll be a Hall of Famer next year. So will be the great Laura Davies. I've met both in person.

120. Spouse : HELPMATE

121. Grows faint : FADES

122. Low plants : BUSHES

123. Buttercup kin : ANEMONES. Delicate flowers.


1. __ fit : HISSY

2. Relative of -ish : ESQUE

3. Where Joan of Arc died : ROUEN. Also where Madame Bovary met with her lover every week. That book touched my heart.

4. Hot times in Paris : ETES. Just plural for "summer".

5. Heartache : WOE

6. DNA polymerase, e.g. : ENZYME

7. Hornless honkers : GEESE

8. Spherical : ORBED

9. __ Romana : PAX

10. Cathedral area : APSE

11. Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida __" : LOCA. Where were you in 1999?

12. Rainforest rodent : AGOUTI

13. Thrice, in Rx's : TER

14. Letters on some loafers : EEE

15. Itty-bitty : TEENSY

16. Boy in "The Kite Runner" : AMIR. Thank God they named him AMIR, otherwise this would need a dreaded "Var" mark.

17. Deserter : RENEGADE. I like this word.

18. Events for select customers : PRE-SALES

19. Cardiac contractions : SYSTOLES. New word to me.

24. Argentite, vis-à-vis silver : ORE. Hence the Ag symbol.

29. Clickable addresses, for short : URLS

31. Censorship-fighting org. : ACLU. My brother cannot see our blog right now. Blocked in China. No idea why. Lots of sites are blocked.

32. "Part __": Katy Perry hit : OF ME

34. Pot boiler : STOVE

35. "It's __ country!" : A FREE

37. Sorts : ILKS

39. Purged : RID

40. Nasser's confed. : UAR. United Arab Republic.

41. Substance used by whales as a feeding filter : BALEEN. Another learning moment for me. Inside their teeth.

42. Weight watcher of rhyme : SPRAT. Fun clue.

43. __ del Fuego : TIERRA

44. Perfumery compound : ACETAL

45. Out : ALIBI

46. Duran Duran bassist __ John Taylor : NIGEL. I drew a blank.

47. An official lang. of Malta : ENG. I thought it would be Italian.

51. "Remembrance of Things Past" author : PROUST

52. "__ possibility" : IT'S A

53. Kicked off : BEGUN

57. Cinéma __ : VERITE

59. Mollusk with an ink sac : SQUID. Squid with salt and pepper is delicious!

60. Chiwere speaker : OTO

61. Olive __ : OYL

62. "Veep" airer : HBO

64. Transport on treads : SNO- CAT

65. Take care of : TEND TO

67. Catholic devotion : NOVENA. Nine days of prayer. Gimme for Lucina, who attends church even when traveling.

68. Etched: Abbr. : INSC. OK, inscribed.

69. Pago Pago's land : SAMOA

70. Semi-hard cheeses : EDAMS

71. Hurries : RACES

77. Alaskan native : ALEUT

78. Puts to sleep : LULLS

79. Philip of "Kung Fu" : AHN. Korean name. Same character as ANG (as Ang Lee), or just AN (as in my hometown Xi'an).

80. Partner : ALLY

81. "As if there weren't enough," after "to" : TOP IT OFF.  This is a long partial then, no, Marti?

82. Vast rainforest : AMAZONIA

83. Driven away : REPELLED

85. Sharp bark : YAP

86. Dander : IRE

87. Sew up : MEND

88. Sound after running : PANT

90. Poet's deep black : EBON

94. Insurer of Bob Dylan's vocal cords : LLOYD'S. Gimme. I used Bruce Springsteen last time.

95. Soup scoops : LADLES

96. Specialized cactus branch : AREOLE. New term to me.

100. Fraction of a joule : ERG

101. Old Turkish bigwig : PASHA. AGA is another one.

102. Visibly frightened : ASHEN

103. One of the Coen brothers : ETHAN. MN is a fertile ground. Honeycrisps are now $1.69/lb, by the way. I bought a tote of SweeTango last week when they're on sale. Even better than Honeycrisps. Not available in your area.

104. Created, in a way : WROTE

105. Erases : WIPES

107. Cartoon chipmunk : DALE

109. Valley where David fought Goliath : ELAH

110. Let go : FIRE

112. Prefix with sphere : ATMO

114. React to a jilting, maybe : SOB. Remember this girl?

115. Big bird : EMU

116. "Stillmatic" rapper : NAS

117. Tach measure : RPM


Oct 18, 2014

Saturday, Oct 18th, 2014, Julian Lim

Theme: None

Words: 70 (missing J,Q,X,Z, two weeks in a row)

Blocks: 32

  I saw Julian's name in the constructor's line, thought "oh, boy", and despite the deceptive appearance of the grid, I was right - just 4 gimme answers on the first pass across (AIM, VEGAN, WIIs and NEE ).  Down was not much better until I got to the SW, and nailed the two 9-letter fills there.  That gave me hope, and I fought my way through some of the vague clues to an 'almost' finish - Frawnche got me, perped with a proper name.  Ugh.  Anyway, double 9-letter corners and two 11-letter climbers;

8. Be flexible : PLAY IT BY EAR - Started with "STAY----" and that wasn't working.  "Wanna go bowling after work? - Let's play it by ear."  Musically, I have gotten better on the guitar, but I was never quite so good as to "play it by ear"

23. TV cooking show? : BREAKING BAD - The "?" let me know it was not going to be "HELL'S KITCHEN" ( and it wasn't going to fit anyway ).  The 'cooking' in this particular drama was Crystal Meth, if I'm not mistaken - it's on the list of DVD shows to watch for me

ooh~! ooh~! OnWARD~! (see 53a.)


1. Its General Test consists of six sections: Abbr. : GRE - yeah, not SAT; this is the Graduate Record Examinations

4. "NYPD Blue" Emmy winner Gordon : CLAPP - all perps

9. Senseless : DAFT - I like Daft Punk myself

13. Tone-deaf, say : NON-MUSICAL

16. Topic preceder : IN RE

17. Its airport is in the subcity of Bole : ADDIS ABABA - no clue, but with just a few letters in place, there weren't many places to choose from at that point

18. Rafts : A TON - meh

19. Houdini's birth name : WEISS - Erik Weisz, then Ehrich Weiss

20. Annual milestone, briefly : B-DAY - I always abbr. Birthday in my journal this way

21. "Raise Your Glass" singer : PINK - link away~!

22. Auction giant : SOTHEBY'S - ah - I learned there's no "U"

24. Ham-handed : INEPT

26. Lake Biel feeder : AAR - my first thought, but I hesitated

27. Mil. installation named for a 4-Down general : Ft. BRAGG - I needed 4D to get it; 
4D. Lee side: Abbr. : CSA - Confederate States of America - and one of it's Mil. generals

29. "Nothing to it" : SIMPLE AS ABC

34. Phone bill encl. : SAE - Self-Addressed Envelope; I don't remit payment this way for anything anymore

35. "London Fields" writer : AMIS - DAH~!!  No clue - first name Martin; published in 1989

36. Like some self-appointed critics : ARTSY

37. Encouraging start? : ATTA - as in "Atta boy/girl~!!"

38. Out of action, perhaps : ILL

39. Dog named for an island : SKYE TERRIER

41. Sunny spots : SOLARIA - because lanais and atria and window sills didn't fit - however, veranda was a possibility

43. Marksman's asset : AIM - I hope so

44. Likely Meatout supporter : VEGAN - Meatout?  Really?

45. Video game series set mostly on Azeroth : WARCRAFT - World of Warcraft; I watched my one-time step-son play this; not as fascinating as Final Fantasy, IMHO

50. __ nut : PINE - had to wait on perps

51. Object : GOAL - object, as in the noun, and more like 'objective'

53. "What have we here?" : HELLO - Well, we have a new blue-eyed girl that has caught my attention - and this one is much more my speed, I think; for one thing, she's in the program, and over a year, too - so she's my new "51a".  Don't know her name yet, but I do know who to ask to find out - and this time I am not screwing it up, C.C. - I will say "Hello"....should I wear my suit~? (gratuitous self-image, but C.C. did request I post it )

54. MMXIV and others : ANNI - Get your Roman calculators out; this is 2014, and the Latin for 'years'

55. Vet's souvenir : BATTLE SCAR

57. Super Mario Galaxy systems : Wiis

58. Initially : AT THE START

59. "Tout de suite!" : STAT - more Frawnche

60. Oreck competitor : DYSON

61. Once called : NEE


1. Vexes, with "at" : GNAWS

2. Ballet with a hoedown : RODEO - um, yeah, I can see that

3. Go no further : END IT - like relationships

5. Cheney chief of staff Scooter __ : LIBBY - couldn't remember the name until --BBY

6. Specialized schools: Abbr. : ACADemys

7. Out-of-favor sunscreen compound : PABA - Learning moment; the Wiki

9. It's often disposable : DIAPER - I hate when these things come thru the UPS system - the perfumes in them really irritate my nose

10. Aperitivi followers : ANTIPASTI

11. Private community entrance : FRONT GATE

12. Prep for a marathon : TEN-K - I don't run, but my buddy Ed does; he's finished marathons, and I won't even start to THINK about one

14. "Oops" elicitors : MISHAPS

15. Dollar bill depiction, familiarly : US SEAL

25. It has six of the seven rainbow colors in its logo : NBC - OK, so which part of ROY G. BIV is missing....

27. __ food : FAST - could have been a circum-referential clue to 30d

28. Drive, e.g. : GEAR

29. Je ne __ quoi : SAIS - ARGH~!!!!; 'nuf said

30. McDonald's slogan : I'M LOVIN' IT - it's getting dated, if you ask me; Justin Timberlake recorded the actual song in 2003

31. Eon parts : MILLENNIA

32. "Game of Thrones" girl __ Stark : ARYA - Don't have HBO/Starz, but I have caught some moments of this show and "Black Sails" when I have been over at my buddy Mike's house

33. __-Foy, Quebec : STE - Ugh, and still more

37. Theatergoers often share one : ARMREST

39. Málaga Mrs. : SRA

40. Lucre : RICHES

42. One hostile to seniors : AGEIST

45. Juice amounts? : WATTS - Juice as in electricity - cute. 

46. E'en if : ALTHO

47. Highway covered in "The Milepost" : ALCAN - the Alaska Highway, or the Alaska-Canadian Highway, and its website

48. Solar __ : FLARE - massive

49. Patisserie product : TORTE - I did drafting for a pastry shop when I worked for the architect, so I knew this term

50. Cat's catchers : PAWS

52. Like some high-fiber cereal : OATY

56. College basketball TV analyst Elmore : LEN


Oct 17, 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014, Pancho Harrison

Theme: Picture these songs.

Well, a very enjoyable visual (rebus) puzzle from our first LAT constructor on the change (March 23, 2009). While Rich does not publish actual crossword rebus puzzles where multiple letters fit in one square, he does present these where you have to use your imagination to see the theme. I really had fun with this one; we have four down clues for songs where the title is scrambled with words missing. It really helps if you recall the exact song title. To make the clues work, you had to have  the theme in the downs, except the first which work across or down. Symmetry dictated the grid. For the many newbies or relative newbies, C.C. interviewed Mr. Harrison way back WHEN. We have another high word count Friday, with a few fun mid-range fill:AILMENT,  BATGIRL, BREWSKI,  DOORMAT,  SPUMONI,  TELECOM and some tricky/humorous clues. Lots of music here for the taking. Let's go.

4D. 1973-'74 Jim Croce hit, aptly : A TIME BOTTLE. ("Time IN 'A Bottle' ") The trickiest and most fun of the theme. If your brain started humming the song, and the IN A kept coming up, you can see the word TIME is inserted in the phrase A BOTTLE, hence the clue/fill. LISTEN. (2:29)

8D. 1964 Marvin Gaye/Mary Wells hit, aptly : ONCE A TIME. ("Once UPON a Time") I did not remember this SONG. (3:04)

27D. 1989 Bette Midler hit, aptly : MY WINGS WIND.("Wind BENEATH My Wings") LINK.(4:35). This is a simple picture of the placement of the words.

33D. 1936 Eddy Duchin hit, aptly : MOON MIAMI. ("Moon OVER Miami") LINK. We do have some lovely moons over the ocean here in SoFla. Also a straightforward visual.

Here we go again into the fray...

1. Pinky-side arm bone : ULNA. Cute way of saying the outside one of the pair of bones. Meanwhile, I can't believe they killed off another character on Bones. I wonder if the actor just demanded too much money or asked to leave to not play third fiddle and become a lead.

5. Vibrate : THROB. I like this word and how it sounds like it feels.

10. Lurking locale : BLOG. Well here we all are, I started as a lurker here, finding an answer I filled in but did not understand.

14. Ferrari parent company : FIAT. Hard to believe they produce both of these

15. Spanish royal : REINA. Queen.

16. Furnish anew : REDO.

17. "A Total Departure" hotel chain : OMNI. Is this still their marketing? I think it goes back a few years.

18. Put into effect : ENACT. Did you all watch how Governor Scott was 'enacting' at the debate Wednesday night? Not politics, just humor.

19. Took too much : ODED. This very serious term has become a catch all for overdoing anything.

20. Neapolitan kin : SPUMONI. Spumone, plural spumoni, is a molded Italian ice cream made with layers of different colors and flavors, usually containing candied fruits and nuts. Typically it is of three flavors, with a fruit/nut layer between them. Wikipedia

22. Massage beneficiary : EGO. Love this misdirection.

24. Sticky stuff : GOO.

25. Earth, in Essen : ERDE. Not in my limited German vocabulary.

26. Cold, for one : AILMENT.

28. Anchor man? : SWABBY. A fun clue especially after the Will Ferrell movies.

31. Occurring as an isolated instance : STRAY. I had trouble sussing this definition.

32. "Me too!" : SO DO I? I want some Ice Cream! Maybe some LINK.

33. Work hard : MOIL. I always put in toil and end up here.

34. Baylor Bears' home : WACO. The gave us RG III and now they are a top 5 team.

38. "My Honky Tonk History" album maker Travis : TRITT.

39. First note of a tuba solo? : OOM pah pah.

40. Kept from sticking : OILED.

41. On its way : SENT.

42. Pour affection (on) : DOTE. I dote on my Charlotte.

43. Catty : SNIDE. Not the definition I thought of at first.

44. Extremely foolish : LOONY. The Minnesota and Corner bird is the Loon.

46. Macbeth's "fatal vision" : DAGGER.

47. Sprint, for one : TELECOM. A portmanteau?

50. Minor players : COGS.

51. Color-coded EPA meas. : AQI. Air Quality Index.

52. Prefix with athlete : TRI. A nice view of differing ways to do three letter clues/fill.

53. Cold one : BREWSKI. hear? here? for beer.

57. Failure : BUST. I guess from poker where you lose all your money and go bust.

59. Shows up in time for : MAKES. Nice of you to make it to the Corner.

61. Sews up : ICES.

62. Athens apéritif : OUZO.

63. Dante's love : AMORE. Just the Italian word.

64. Dundee dissents : NAES. Scotland's NO, maybe a sub-theme? 67A. Villain named Julius : DR NO. How many were slowed by the name DRNO?

65. Bone: Pref. : OSTEoporosis for example.

66. Two sheets to the wind? : TIPSY. Three sheets and you are drunk.


1. Tabloid craft : UFOS.

2. It can result from favoring one side : LIMP.

3. Sitcom sign-off word : NANU. Rest well Mork.

5. All the rage : TRENDY.

6. 1932 Lake Placid gold medalist : HENIE. To our gone but not forgotten figure skater Clear Ayes and the others, this CHAMPION. (3:30).

7. River inlet : RIA.

9. Barbara Gordon's alter ego : BAT GIRL. Apparently there have been THREE in the movies.

10. Good buddy : BRO.

11. Window __ : LEDGE.

12. Ancient theater : ODEON. Lots of vowels, good for crossword building.

13. Title character absent from the cast : GODOT. We are still waiting.

21. Round trip? : ORBIT. Actually part of a round and round trip.

23. Suffix with pay : OLA. The SCANDALS are now ancient history.

28. Droop-nosed fliers : SSTS.

29. Sported : WORE.

30. Match point, maybe : AD IN. Tennis term where the server needs one more point to win the game.

31. Like a well-used chimney : SOOTY. Dick Van Dyke, anyone.

35. Sacha Baron Cohen persona : ALI G. This flame burned out rather quickly, now FXX is trying to bring about his REZURECTION.

36. Yield : CEDE.

37. Frankfurt's river : ODER. It also is the Polish/German border. One of many four letter European rivers you must know. Oder, Ider, Isar, Eder, Yser

40. Oklahoma native : OSAGE. The original natives. Two days in a row.  Clued very differently. Is it rarer to have fill two days in a row or in the LAT and NYT the same day? Owen?

42. Something that may hide a key : DOORMAT.

45. Canadian Thanksgiving mo. : OCT. They just celebrated this on Monday.

46. Big name in the Big Band Era : DORSEY. Tommy and Jimmy, listen LINK. (3:11).

47. Verboten : TABOO. What an appropriate clue to precede....

48. Shaffer play about a stableboy : EQUUS. The interesting but controversial 1973 play about a young man with a religious/sexual fixation on horses. The character is naked for much of the last part of the play, which created an extra dimension when it was revived with Daniel Radcliffe(Harry Potter) playing the role at 17.

49. Symphonic poem pioneer : LISZT. Talk about prolific, here is a LIST of LISZT.

50. Ones with "ears" on their trucks : CB'ERS. Is this a word?

54. Lasting mark : SCAR.

55. Finely honed : KEEN. Both a knife and a sense of humor.

56. "That __ last week!" : IS SO. So is this phrase.

58. Corn site : TOE. If you ever wondered, the name is from the Latin CORNU meaning horn. Not sure that helped.

60. Keystone lawman : KOP. Alliteration made these characters so much funnier. LINK. (3:31).

Well you do not get to see my pratfalls or silliness, just my words, but Mack Sennett would be proud. I hope you had a good time with this Pancho presentation, a fine Friday (thanks PH). Lemonade out.