Mar 2, 2015

Monday, March 2, 2015 Roland Huget

Theme: What's your mood? - Colors from a mood ring, and they're all used as verbs in each theme entry.

17A. Give the okay : GREEN-LIGHT

27A. Bring lunch from home, say : BROWN-BAG

46A. Dismiss from the job : PINK SLIP

59A. Alter a manuscript, e.g. : BLUE PENCIL

11D. Gloss over : WHITEWASH

34D. Ostracize : BLACKLIST

Argyle here with a new constructor. He has a few crunchy nuggets in there but given the ease of the theme, it's all good.


1. Norms: Abbr. : STDS. (Standards)

5. Channel with a "Congressional Chronicle" online archive : C-SPAN

10. In an unexpected direction : AWRY

14. Hawkeye State : IOWA

15. Curly-tailed Japanese dog : AKITA

16. Old conductance units : MHOs. The reciprocal of an ohm.

19. Trusted assistant : AIDE

20. Move it, old-style : HIE

21. Thames islands : AITs. Crosswordese.

22. Northern Ireland province : ULSTER

24. Leaves for a cigar : TOBACCO

26. Came up : AROSE

29. __-Mart Stores, Inc. : WAL

32. Walks leisurely : AMBLES

35. Christmastide : YULE

36. Boxing legend : ALI

37. Manicurist's tool : FILE

38. Tit for __ : TAT

39. Baking amts. : TSPs. (teaspoon)

40. Pie __ mode : À LA

41. "Never Wave at __": 1952 film : A WAC. Starring Rosalind Russell and Paul Douglas. I could link the whole movie but couldn't find a clip!

43. Tread water to check out the surroundings, as a whale : SPY HOP. Whale, tread water?

45. DVR button : REC

48. "Hogan's Heroes" colonel : KLINK

50. Oft-rented suits : TUXEDOS

54. Insert new film : RELOAD

56. Spice Girl Halliwell : GERI

57. One: Pref. : UNI

58. Settled on the ground : ALIT

62. Savior in a Bach cantata : JESU

63. Path for a drink cart : AISLE. Tinbeni clue?

64. Kitchenware brand : EKCO. Buy some NOW. Link

65. Play segments : ACTS

66. Like some private communities : GATED

67. Coloring agents : DYES


1. Vision : SIGHT

2. "Road __": 1947 Hope/Crosby film : TO RIO. Another old movie; this one starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and Dorothy Lamour.

3. Nerdy sort : DWEEB

4. Enc. with some bills : SAE. (Self Addressed Envelope, no stamp)

5. Colorful cats : CALICOS. My favorites.

6. Chair lift alternative : SKI TOW

7. Sty residents : PIGS

8. Sports fig. : ATH. (athlete)

9. Kin of organic, at the grocery store : NATURAL

10. Stockpile : AMASS

12. Went by scooter : RODE

13. River of Flanders : YSER

18. Mother-of-pearl : NACRE

23. Theater box : LOGE

25. Equal to the task : ABLE

26. Border on : ABUT

28. New York City suburb on the Hudson : NYACK

Nice place for a wedding, I guess.

30. Dog food brand : ALPO

31. Speech problem : LISP

32. At a distance : AFAR

33. Runner's distance : MILE

38. Propane container : TANK

39. Use a keypad : TYPE

41. Samoan capital : APIA. The city, not the money.

42. Blowhard : WINDBAG

43. Ate noisily, as soup : SLURPED

44. Playful sprite : PIXIE

47. "Remington __": '80s TV detective show : STEELE

49. Cross-legged meditation position : LOTUS

51. Dr. Mallard's apt nickname on "NCIS" : DUCKY. He puts the emphasis on the last syllable.

52. Chilling in the locker room, as champagne : ON ICE

53. Storage towers : SILOs

54. Indian royal : RAJA

55. Util. bill : ELEC.

56. Sudden wind : GUST

60. __ Fáil: Irish coronation stone : LIA. On the Hill of Tara in County Meath, Ireland

61. Actor Beatty : NED
So what's your mood?


Note from C.C.:

I'm excited to share with you that the SLIDE puzzle Jazzbumpa (Ron) and I made last year was nominated for the Orca Best Easy Puzzle. Sam Donaldson even remembered that it's Ron's debut. Thanks, Sam! And Ron is 2 for 2 with his LA Times submissions.

Mar 1, 2015

Sunday March 1, 2015 Pamela Amick Klawitter

Theme:  "Say What?" -  The spoken phrase in each clue modifies the first word of each theme answer & serves as an example of the whole theme answer. 

22A. "I got a C" : PASSING COMMENT. In my school days, it's 60.

37A. "Edison was born in 1847 and died in 1931" : LIFE SENTENCE

67A. "This is my fishing spot--please find your own" : BANK STATEMENT. Barry G loves fishing. But he's too polite to utter that statement.

96A. "Heart, liver, kidneys, ... " : ORGAN RECITAL

117A. "I survived boot camp!" : PRIVATE MESSAGE. Love the clue/answer.

16D. "That's the worst synopsis I've ever read!" : SUMMARY JUDGMENT

45D. "Do you know how to copy this disk?" : BURNING QUESTION

Fun theme. I like Sundays when the theme answers are all solid in the language and the clues play a major part in the gimmick.

Nice theme placement also. Those top/bottom 6/7 breaks are not easy to fill in cleanly.


1. Prohibition specifics : TABOOS. And18D. Prohibition notable : NESS (Eliot). Clue echo.

7. Embodiment : EPITOME. My first Across fill.

14. Bad flareup? : ARSON. Great clue. Was thinking of arthritic flare-up.

19. Yukon neighbor : ALASKA

20. Supermodel Schiffer : CLAUDIA. The iconic Guess girl.

21. Ring bearer, often : SPOUSE. Another great clue.

24. Causes for pauses : COMMAS. Rhyming clue.

25. Bordeaux bud : AMI

26. End of a series, briefly : ET AL

27. Worldwide cultural org. : UNESCO

29. Adams and Grant : AMYs

30. Fish order : SOLE

32. Exeter exams : A-LEVELS. Got via crosses.

35. 1986 rock autobiography : I, TINA. Big gimme for all crossword vets.

41. Bases for deviation : NORMS

44. Put up with : ABIDE

46. '80s IBM models : XTs. No idea.

47. Eagle-eyed raptors : ERNES

49. Word from a pro : YEA. The "in favor of" pro.

50. Rig : TRUCK

51. C-ration successors : MREs

53. __ set : JET

54. Obstacle to progress : LOGJAM

56. Atmospheric prefix : AERI. Always want AERO.

57. French for "under" : SOUS. Underground: Sous terre.

58. Tries to buy, on eBay : BIDS ON

60. Arrivals at home? : RUNS. Home plate.

61. Bach choral works : CANTATAS

63. Market order : SELL

64. Worked (up) : RILED

66. Govt. assistance program : SSI

70. Econ. yardstick : GNP. No GDP error today due to the easy NANOS (71D. Some iPods).

73. North of Nogales : NORTE. Same root.

75. Hammer sites : EARS. Nailed it.

76. Grade school exhibits : DIORAMAS

78. They're deliberately broken so they can be fixed : EGGS. I love banana egg pancakes.

80. Oft-swiped item : ID CARD

82. Vicious and others : SIDs

83. Little houses on the prairie : PENS. All crosses. Clever clue also.

84. Kitchen toppers : TOQUES

86. Gator tail? : ADE. Gatorade.

87. Hairy "pet" : CHIA. So, do any of you eat Chia seeds?

88. "Ready __ ... " : OR NOT

89. R&B group __ Hill : DRU

90. Start to foam? : STYRO. Styrofoam.

92. White wine apéritif : KIR

93. FDR and JFK : INITS. Tricky clue. Makes you think of DEMS

94. Moves very slowly : SEEPS

100. Farm call : SOOEY

102. StubHub offerings : TICKETS. Husker Gary buys concert tickets from StubHub.

103. Actress Gilbert of "The Big Bang Theory" : SARA

107. Riga resident : LETT

109. Pinpoint : LOCATE

112. "Let __ There": Newton-John hit : ME BE. Not familiar with the song.

114. Price __ : WAR

115. Panini cheese : ASIAGO.  And 15D. It's often grated : ROMANO

121. Exactly right : SPOT ON

122. Control on a wing : AILERON. For Dudley.

123. Just-in-case items : SPARES

124. Ecclesiastical council : SYNOD

125. Weatherproofing application : SEALANT

126. City where the Alcázar is located : TOLEDO. Lucina might have visited this place.


1. Salamanca snacks : TAPAS

2. Memorable shrine : ALAMO

3. Pho soup garnish : BASIL. I don't like basil at all.

4. Org. that employed Julia Child during WWII : OSS. She graduated from Smith College. OSS employees were mostly from prestigious colleges those days. 

5. Steinbeck's Tom Joad, e.g. : OKIE

6. Capital east of Gallup : SANTA FE. Never heard of Gallup, NM. What's it famous for, Owen?

7. "Turn! Turn! Turn!" source: Abbr. : ECCLES. No idea.

8. Gaza Strip gp. : PLO

9. "Who __": 2001 #1 country hit : I AM. Unfamiliar to me also. I don't like country songs.

10. Uproars : TUMULTS

11. Danish seaport : ODENSE

12. "Battle Hymn of the Republic" possessive : MINE. Was it gimme for you? I was stumped.

13. Wolfs down : EATS

14. Pvt. address : APO

17. Anthem opener : O SAY

21. Alexander Graham Bell, e.g. : SCOT

23. Major blow : GALE

28. Diez squared : CIEN. Diez = 10.  Dix in French.

31. Draw out : ELICIT

33. Aggravates : VEXES

34. Frodo's forest friends : ENTS

36. Words before many words : IN SO.  Far trickier a clue than " ___  many words".

38. Texting shrug : IDK. I Don't Know.

39. Space __ : NEEDLE

40. Increasingly rare screens : CRTS

42. Average : MEAN

43. Shopping club : SAM'S

44. Gray ones are debatable : AREAS. Gray areas.

48. Causes of unusual weather : EL NINOs. It's plurable, D-Otto?

50. Tic __ : TACs

51. Sounded like the wind : MOANED

52. '60s secretary of state : RUSK (Dean). JFK era.

53. Leaves painfully : JILTS. Not an easy clue for me.

55. LSAT cousin : GRE

57. Supporter of a strong, centralized government : STATIST. New word to me.

58. What a sports star may sport : BEARD

59. Company founded by Gem State brothers : ORE-IDA. I did not know this trivia. 

62. Condensed, condensed : ABR (Abridged). The second "condensed" indicates abbr.

63. Gawk : STARE

65. Paper size: Abbr. : LTR

68. Salt : SEA DOG

69. 16th-century date : MDII. 1502.

72. Head-turner of a sort : PSST

74. The Cowboys of the Big 12: Abbr. : OSU. Oklahoma State.

77. March followers : APRILS

78. SFO postings : ETDs

79. Quayle follower : GORE. VP.

81. Vocalist Vikki : CARR

82. Green 2001 title hero : SHREK. Easily obtainable via crosses.

85. Canadian pump name : ESSO

87. Pub. concern : CIRC. Circulation. Pub is for "Publisher" I suppose.

88. "Bird-Wire" link : ON A. Bird on a wire.

91. It has a string attached : YO-YO

92. Big name in stunt jumping : KNIEVEL

93. "We did the right thing" : IT'S BEST. Not a phrase I used.

95. Chip source : POTATO

97. Number one Hun : ATTILA. We learned a lot about Genghis Khan in school. Somehow not Attila the Hun.

98. Binding material : CEMENT

99. Column couple : ITEM. Oh, newspaper columns.

101. Tar Heel State campus : ELON

104. Tuned in : AWARE

105. Flowed furiously : RAGED

106. Sandbox rebuttal : ARE SO

107. Girl : LASS

108. Jimmy V Award for Perseverance, e.g. : ESPY. Never heard of  Jimmy V.

110. Bk. reviewers? : CPAS. I nailed it also.

111. Singer India.__ : ARIE

113. Old Bruin nickname : ESPO. Phil Esposito.

116. Word on U.S. coins : GOD

118. Celestial altar : ARA

119. Gross __ : TON

120. Muppet monkey Minella : SAL. Stranger to me also.


Feb 28, 2015

Saturday, Feb 28th, 2015, Barry C. Silk

Theme: Saturday Silkie

Words: 72 (missing F, J, Q)

Blocks: 30

This one just plain gave me a genuine headache - and it's all my fault.  My WAGs were spot on, but my "I know this" answers were completely, utterly wrong, and that made for some really difficult solving.  Oh well.  The NE was a shambles, and it took w-a-a-a-y too long to see some really obvious fills.  Add to that the proper name vagueness, and....Triple 10's in the across corners, and paired 10- and 11-letter climbers on the inside, with a couple of 9's thrown in, to boot;

17a. Correct : ON THE MONEY - can't say I was this today

12d. Metal-bending aid : ANVIL BLOCK - Does anyone else consider this Duran Duran~? That is, redundant~? I proudly filled in PRESS BRAKE - seen here - and just could not get this corner to co-operate.  Guess I'll go stick my head under the "water faucet"

56a. What "D" may mean, monetarily : DENVER MINT - nailed it - rare coins

36a. Square shooter? : BOX CAMERA - once the last "A" popped in, I got the CAMERA part; the rest~?  Nothing.



1. Shower alternative : SPONGE BATH - went with ---BATH, but the rest would NOT come to me, even when the "P" showed up

11. Hollow : DALE - Sleepy Hollow, e.g.

15. "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1934) actor : PETER LORRE - before my time, so semi-vague

16. NASA unit : ONE G - I considered LT YR at first

18. Pigmented layer : UVEA - skin seemed too easy

19. Takeout menu eponym : TSO - The General, of American Chinese food

20. Smartens (up) : WISES - ah, I was in a "primp" & "tidy" frame of mind, not an intellectual one

21. 1954 Detroit Auto Show unveiling : T-BIRD - eh.  I went with EDSEL, knew it was wrong because I read up on it recently; I felt like an "abbr." was needed here

22. Battery, e.g. : TORT - I knew this was a legal term "battery"; Metallica's take

Metallica - Battery

23. Ride and Brown : SALLYS - knew this, filled it in, then 12d. made me change it - and it was all downhill from there ( or is that uphill~? )

24. Maker of Neo soft drinks : RC COLA - Cheated.  Had to Google.

27. Capital NNE of Rome : ZAGREB - Had the "G" and the "B", but took too long to fill in the rest.

29. Prayer opening : O LORD - "please help me find my mistakes~!"

30. Feelers : TENTACLES - I was on the right wavelength with "antennae", but was short a letter

33. Noggin : BEAN

34. Chain with a red cowboy hat logo : ARBY'S

35. __ Raven: Baltimore neighborhood : LOCH - ah, so that's why the football team is the Ravens~?

38. Very small : MICRO

39. Sequoia Park Zoo home : EUREKA - California - link

40. Teaching model : MOCK-UP - meh.  I know very well what mock-up means, but a teaching model~? Ugh.  When I worked at G&K architects, they had to do a mock-up of this structure to get the aluminum framework cuts correct

41. Actress who starred in two Hitchcock films : HEDREN - Tippi~! From MN~! Semi-clecho with;
22d. Hitchcock thriller set in East Germany : TORN CURTAIN  - her IMDb

43. Jerk : YANK - Noun or verb?  Needed the "K" first

44. Garibaldi's wife : ANITA - Ugh.  Who?  Vague.  Her Wiki

45. Tons : SCADS

47. "Criminal Minds" network : CBS

50. Spanish address : DONA

51. Pointer's cry : "LOOK AT THAT~!" - Look at this~! My buddy Mike, the one with the games company, took home a Family Choice Award~!

53. When the ghost of Hamlet's father first appears : ACT I - I like these clues; it's usually "ACT", followed by "I" or "V"

54. Nanny's service : IN-HOME CARE

55. Fund-raising suffix : THON - like tele-thon


1. Tough __ : SPOT - this clue was a "tough spot" for me; "S**T" was a real possibility

2. They may be filled from wells : PENS - took way too long to dawn on me

3. Mort Walker dog : OTTO

4. Bk. about the rebuilding of Jerusalem's walls : NEHemiah - I have a link to these

5. Aged : GREW OLD - Dah~!  The verb; I was thinking of wines

6. Where Mark Twain married Olivia Langdon : ELMIRA - Vague

7. Amplify : BOOST

8. "A-Hunting We Will Go" songwriter : ARNE - Ugh, vague.

9. Marne modifier : TRES - Frawnche for "very"

10. "Yo!" : HEY

11. Mouse action : DOUBLE CLICK

13. Distrustful : LEERY

14. "Tarnation!" : EGADS~!

21. Fictional house "built according to no architectural plan whatever" : TARA - seemed like a good fictional house WAG

23. Friday et al.: Abbr. : SGTs

24. Name in Virginia politics : ROBB - more vagueness - Wiki

25. Singer Laine : CLEO - even more vagueness

26. Gently convinced about : COAXED INTO

27. Barking horse relative : ZEBRA - once I finally got the "Z", it was obvious - but I had not heard of a 'barking' horse; I found some interesting reading on zebras

28. "The Cherry Orchard" daughter : ANYA - ugh, ugh, ugh.  Vague

30. Go a long way : TREK - not "LAST"

31. Neutral color : ECRU

32. Look for a good deal : SHOP

34. "Yes!" : AMEN

37. Region : AREA

38. Ginormous : MONSTER - nailed it

40. "___ X" : MADAME - took some perps

41. Charged : HAD AT - DAH~! I had RAN AT, and that makes MUCH more sense

42. Methuselah's father : ENOCH - WAG from the "H"

43. Comedian Smirnoff : YAKOV - Hey~!  I know this one~!

45. Acoustical unit : SONE

46. Columbia Pictures co-founder Harry : COHN - and back to vague.

47. Masala __: Indian beverage : CHAI - perps

48. Building with big doors : BARN - look at how big those...doors are...

49. Proof mark : STET

51. Top : LID

52. "__ Underground": cult film showcase : TCM


Feb 27, 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015, John Farmer

Theme: Where did I hide that TV show?  I guess I will start at the bottom and work my way up.

Whenever I see a Friday with lots of black squares I know there is a visual aspect to solution, in this case the visual is revealed both by circles (if you do not have them, the 'theme' is virtually impossible to find) and by 55A. Appears ... and the contents of this puzzle's circles? : SHOWS UP (7). Words like BACK, UP and DOWN in a reveal let you know direction. This is a return trip for John, who. spoke with CC in 2012 . This layout has many short words, but quite a bit of longer fill like ATE DIRT, CHOLERA, ESKIMOS, ETHICAL, GULF WAR, NEMESES, PATRONS, PEACHES, PRIOR TO, SHOWS UP, TOO LATE. I am confused as to whether we were supposed to give up using the word Eskimo, but the rest are fun.

I will treat the hiding places for the theme, as the theme answers.

2D. Bit of deception : HOCUS POCUS(10). Which is basically a self-referential clue then. Reading from the bottom up, we see COPS revealed. This show launched Spike TV. Nicely juxtaposed with the Police.

8D. Realization often preceded by "Whew!" : IT WAS ALL A DREAM (14). I would bet this was the seed entry, and Mr. Farmer, while creating one of his more common themeless puzzles, noticed that DALLAS, (4:07) with its most famous episode, was hidden in this fill.

13D. Rodgers and Hart title lyric that precedes "I get no dizzy spells" : THIS CAN'T BE LOVE (14). I tried really hard to find a connection between CSI and these LYRICS but I had no success; did I miss something?

20D. James Brown memoir : I FEEL GOOD (9). Did they ever sing any James Brown on GLEE? EPISODE 21 season 1.

29D. One way to lighten the mood : CRACK A JOKE.(10) Nice fill, with a J! Well Telly Savalas as KOJAK (0:46) with his lollipop was a fun cop show....

1. Fall follower? : THUD. Well this puzzle did not begin with a BLAM.

5. Ophidian menace : ASP. Somewhat obscure, as OPHIS is Greek for snake.

8. Brightness stats : IQS. Paired with, 46A. Hardly bright : DIM.  Some intellectual elitism?

11. Arts supporters : PATRONS.

14. Frat letter : RHO.

15. Son of Akhenaten : TUT. The boy PHARAOH.

16. On the level : ETHICAL.

17. Battle of Khafji conflict : GULF WAR.

19. "Battle it out" quintet : AEIOU. Like facetious, a place to find the vowels in order, I guess.

20. Plasma particle : ION. Okay scientists, explain how plasma is a hot ionized gas consisting of approximately equal numbers of positively charged ions and negatively charged electrons.

21. Loafer's lack : LACE. The shoe, not your lazy neighbor.

22. Some audiobooks : CDS.

23. Pro shop supplies : SHAFTS. Golf clubs are made of many different materials, and having your clubs reshafted is not uncommon.

Now the question becomes is there a genteel way to ask our audience about whether they prefer stiff shafts...

26. Opposite of bids : ASKS. This is from the stock markets, as well as any auction.

27. Kool-Aid alternative : HI-C. Well they are drinks, but one primarily in powder form, one in liquid...

28. "__ Eterno": 2004 sports documentary : PELE.

29. Boorish : CRASS.

30. Detergent with Oxi Booster : ERA. Three letters had to be FAB or...

31. Bone: Pref. : OSTEopath? Osteoarthritis?

32. "Seasons in the Sun" songwriter : BREL. This BELGIAN was popular when I was young.

33. Dot on an MTA map : STN.

34. "Love in the Time of __": García Márquez work : CHOLERA. This winner of the NOBEL PRIZE for Literature. I am afraid was not on my radar. This was a very hard fill, especially as it crosses three (3) of the five theme holding fill. In the end, it was I FEEL GOOD that put me on the right track.

36. ICU staffer : LPN. Licensed Practical Nurses can work in the Intensive Care Unit.

39. "Can't argue with that!" : TRUE.

41. Former car-financing org. : GMAC. General Motors Acceptance Corporation. This became ALLY during the bailout process of 2009.

42. It may come after you : ARE. You are here. Not following you.

43. Court attire : ROBES. Does the 21st century really need the judiciary in robes?

45. Rooting sound : OINK. Certainly true of Arkansas fans, but he meant 'rooting', not 'rooting'. This word has many meaning, and they use pigs to root out truffles; also perhaps KZ can confirm this word means 'shagging' in Oz. Depending on your partner, it may have more meaning.

47. "Agreed!" : AMEN.

48. Title girl in a 1965 #1 hit : RHONDA. I was in high school.

50. Sushi topper : ROE. Bear in mind that fish eggs, are also known as CAVIAR.

51. Mall draw : SALE.

52. Sci-fi suffix : OID. Interesting factoid about androids and humanoids who use steroids and become freakazoids....

53. Signs of dissatisfaction : JEERS.

57. "Missed your chance!" : TOO LATE.

59. Brief facilities? : LAVatories.

60. Zing : PEP.

61. Early Alaskans : ESKIMOS. Help me Rhonda? Opps wrong clue.

62. Memphis-to-Nashville dir. : ENE.

63. Year abroad : ANO.

64. Payroll deduction, perhaps : DUES. In the old days union dues were common deductions.


1. The Police, most of the time : TRIO. The Police not the police. I am sure if you would get this wrong, it would sting.

3. A, in Argentina : UNA. Can you imagine a puzzle with each of these USA, UMA, UTA, UNA, UPA, UVA, ULA, UCA, UFA, UGA, UBA, UEA as fill?

4. ISP option : DSL. Digital Subscriber Line.

5. Shoptalk : ARGOT. Meh, this is more specific a term meaning a special language.

6. Treats as persona non grata : SHUNS.

7. D.C. figure : POLitician. How cool that this is next to...

9. Charlatans : QUACKS.

10. Hardly gloss over : STRESS.

11. Still-life subject : PEACHES. Really?

12. Swallowed one's pride : ATE DIRT. Dirt is not the only four letter word that fits, but....

18. Roadside warning : FLARE.

24. Inclusive pronoun : HE/SHE. Are there any safe comments?
Now if we shave that Adam's apple, and put on lipstick- maybe.

25. Quartet member : ALTO. I am confused because ALTO is for female voices with baritone, tenor and base for males not to mention soprano, contralto, mezzo-soprano, counter-baritone. So what quartet is this?

32. Word before or after name : BRAND. Brand name = name brand.

35. Key of Dvorák's "New World Symphony": Abbr. : E MINor.

37. Before : PRIOR TO.

38. They can't be beaten : NEMESES. An interesting plural.

40. Get Wired again : RENEW. The capital W lets you know this is referring to the magazine, Wired so it is a subscription that is being renewed.

43. Fight in the sticks : RASSLE.

44. Fred Astaire, by birth : OMAHAN. I am sure a fact known to our Nebraska contingent. HG?

48. President François Hollande's birthplace : ROUEN. Not to speak politics, but do many Americans know much about this socialite SOCIALIST?

49. Whale relative : HIPPO. Isn't SCIENCE grand!?!

54. Bulldog fans : ELIS. The mascot at Yale is the Bulldog, also at UGA.

56. Facial spot : SPA. Ha ha, not a Zit.

57. Brother of Jack and Bobby : TED. All gone now.

58. College Football Playoff champion crowned Jan. 12, 2015 : OSU. The Ohio State University. The third national championship for coach Urban Meyer.

Funny, yesterday we had 72 words and only 29 blocks with today having 74 words, 42 blocks (8 cheater squares), so many ways to build a grid. Anyway, while many of you may not get into this style, I really enjoyed this. It was good to have John back. Here comes March...Spring? Lemonade out

Feb 26, 2015

Thursday, February 26, 2015 Mike Buckley

Theme: "The Great Imposter" *

17. It's fraudulent : FORGED CHECK.

27. It's fabricated : TRUMPED UP CHARGE.

46. It's fake : COUNTERFEIT NOTE.

56. Race errors, and what 17-, 27- and 46-Across have : FALSE STARTS.

*Remember the 1961 movie starring Tony Curtis? I thought of it immediately when I saw the theme.

Only 72 words and 29 blocks, with a whopping sixteen 7-letter words. Woo-hoo, Saturday level stuff!  And lots of challenging fill, too. Let's see what I mean...


1. Wrap giant : ALCOA. Ummm..."Saran" also fits.

6. Reliever Orosco with the MLB record for career pitching appearances : JESSE. I nailed it! (...after getting J-E-S-S-* from the perps.)

11. Center of excellence? : ELS. The two "Ls" in the word, not a think tank.

14. Quaking causes : FEARS.

15. Plant pest : APHID. I long for the days of pinching APHIDs off my roses!

16. Rest one's dogs, so to speak : SIT. "Dogs" is a slang word for feet.

19. "Double Fantasy" artist : ONO. How do I clue thee? Let me count the ways...

20. Extras in an env. : ENCS. Enclosures.

21. Squeezed (out) : EKED.

22. Web-footed critter : OTTER. I was looking for some kind of duck.

24. Mustard, for one: Abbr. : COL.onel.

25. Encouraging shouts : OLEs.

26. Shout : SCREAM. Ole!

30. ''Saint Joan'' star Jean : SEBERG. A tragic figure in filmdom.

31. __ Locks: St. Marys River rapids bypass : SOO.

32. Hid the gray in : DYED.

33. Brewers' outfielder Braun : RYAN. Nailed it! (...after getting the R-Y-A-N from perps.)

35. Creator of Della : ERLE. Stanley Gardner - "Perry Mason."

37. Morales of film : ESAI.

40. Part of a foot : TOE.

42. Pompous authority : POOBAH. Great word!

49. Beer with "Since 1775" on its label : STROHS.

50. Big dos :'FROS. Afros.

51. Grazing area : LEA.

52. More of that : THOSE. I think this was my favorite clue.

53. Detective Peter of old TV : GUNN. Played by?

54. Estate attorney's concern : HEIR.

55. __ Lingus : AER.

59. Mrs., in much of the Americas : SRA. Señora.

60. Classic six-couplet poem : TREES. Joyce Kilmer.

61. Has __: can save face : AN OUT.

62. Triumphant cry : YES. [insert fist pump]

63. Dost espy : SEEST.

64. Has a sudden inspiration? : GASPS. My second favorite clue.


1. Gets to : AFFECTS. I don't let most things get to me. Life's too short.

2. Heroine of Beethoven's "Fidelio" : LEONORE. Beethoven's only opera!

3. AAA, for one : CAR CLUB.
and semi-clecho:
4. AAA et al. : ORGS.

5. Enzyme suffix : ASE.

6. Hiked, with "up" : JACKED.

7. "The Comedy of Errors" setting : EPHESUS.

8. Word with wood or water : SHED.

9. Quote qualifier : SIC.

10. Ex-mayor with a cameo in "The Muppets Take Manhattan" : ED KOCH.

11. Abstruse stuff : ESOTERY. OK, but I usually use the word "esoterica." You?

12. Pedigree : LINEAGE.

13. Came (in) dramatically : STORMED.

18. Convention attendees : DELEGATES.

23. Exploit : TRADE ON. "He traded on his good looks to..."

25. "Live at the __": Patsy Cline album : OPRY. Can you tell which line she flubbed on this early recording?

26. Venomous arachnids : SCORPIONS.

28. Sources of fine wool : MERINOS.

29. "... rapping at my chamber door" poet : POE. From "The Raven."

34. Fish-fowl link : NOR. What is neither fish NOR flesh, feathers nor bone, but still has fingers and thumbs of its own? (Answer, below.)

36. Filming sites : LOTS.

37. Heaven on earth : ECSTASY.

38. "Told ya!" : SO THERE.

39. Natural light shows : AURORAS.

41. Pours out : EFFUSES.

43. Short, tailored jackets : BOLEROS. Like this.

44. Really dug something : ATE IT UP.

45. San Simeon family : HEARSTS.

47. Guards may prevent them : THEFTS.

48. Antarctic explorer Shackleton : ERNEST. I have read every book I could find about his ill-fated trip. My favorite was "The Endurance: Shackleton's legendary Antarctic expedition," by Caroline Alexander. This picture almost looks like Boston harbor this week.

53. Pure delight : GLEE.

54. 1985 U.S. Open champ Mandlikova : HANA.

57. Modern art? : ARE. Cute misdirection.

58. Recess game : TAG. Or phone game.

"Your're IT !!"

Answer to 34-Down: A glove.
Note from C.C.:

Please send positive thoughts (or say a prayer) to Husker Gary, who's having an important operation tomorrow. Please also keep Yellowrocks in your thoughts. She fell on ice last week and broke some of the stitches from her knee surgery. She needs repair surgery soon.

Joann, Granddaughter Elise & Gary
Yellowrocks (Kathy)

Feb 25, 2015

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: ROLE PLAYING IN A WELL STAGED PUZZLE.  Common movie or theater roles are humorously recast [so to speak] as belonging to people in appropriately considered occupations.
18. Shepherdess' movie role? : LEADING LADY.  The star of the show; and a shepherdess is leading in a different sense.  Ironically, Little Bo Peep didn't have that role.

23. Jeweler's movie role? : CAMEO APPEARANCE.    A CAMEO is an image carved in positive relief [contrast intaglio] against a contrastingly colored background, often in an item of jewelry.  A CAMEO APPEARANCE is a brief and often trivial appearance in a production by someone who is well known for another reason.  The role might echo in some way what that individual is famous for.  See Etch in the vid above.

39. Horse trainer's movie role? : BIT PART.   A BIT is a piece of apparatus used by the trainer. It sits behind the teeth and is used to control the animal.   Since BIT also refers to some small thing, a BIT PART is one filled by an actor who interacts with the main roles,  but has five or fewer lines of dialog.

52. Weightlifter's movie role? : SUPPORTING ACTOR.  This actor fills a role less important that that of the lead, but more filling than the BIT PART.  The importance of this SUPPORT [see image below] is recognized by the separate awards [not pictured] granted in this category.

And the unifier ---  58. What 18-, 23-, 39- and 52-Across exemplify? : TYPE CASTING.  This occurs when an actor repeatedly gets relegated to similar roles, and may have difficulty getting other types of roles.   Incredibly, this list omits Sean Bean, always a failed near-hero who meets a violent end.

Alas, poor Sean - not for the faint-hearted - and they missed Boromir

Hi gang, it's JazzBumpa cast in the role of usher, to lead you through this theatrical blockbuster.  Just have a seat here and we'll get the roles rolling.


1. Mutinous Kubrick computer : HAL.  A SUPPORTING ROLE in  2001, A Space Odyssey.

4. High-end violin : STRAD.  Short for STRADivarius, any string instrument made by various members of the STRADivarius family, particularly Antonio, during the 17th and 18th centuries.  AMATI also fits.

9. Sextet for Henry VIII : WIVES.  Henry had six wives.  A sextet - oh, my.

14. British verb suffix : ISE.  We Americanize,   They Anglicise [though spell check disagrees.]

15. "Some glory in __ birth ...": Shak. : THEIR.  From Shakespeare's Sonnet 91.

16. Ginsburg associate : ALITO.  Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.

17. Sprightly dance : JIG.

20. Sharp-wittedness : ACUMEN.   The ability to make quick judgments and good decisions.

22. Gore, once : VEEP.  Al was the Vice President at the end of the previous century.  He was not related to Leslie, who passed away on 2/16/15.  RIP songstress.

29. Met previously : KNEW.   I knew I knew you.

30. "I'm listening ..." : GO ON.   Keep talking

31. Delta deposit : SILT.   Fine granular high silica material suspended in river water then deposited at the river mouth.

32. False flattery : SMARM.   Insincere ingratiating behavior.

34. Robbins' ice cream partner : BASKIN.

36. ER personnel : M.D.sMedical Doctors in the emergency room.

41. Org. concerned with the AQI : EPAEnvironmental Protection Agency and the Air Quality Index

42. Crankcase component : OIL PAN.   The bottom section of the crankcase acting as a reservoir for the engine oil.

44. Sends out : EMITS.

46. Boyfriend : BEAU.

47. Bearing : MIEN.   A person's physical demeanor, especially as it relates to attitude and personality.

48. Meat pkg. letters : USDAU. S. Dept. of Agriculture stamp on meat packaging.

56. Chamber group often including a piano : TRIO.   An ensemble of three instruments.

6 min: 20 sec

57. Under control : IN HAND.   Like a violin.

63. Loafer front : TOE.  Shoe part

64. Madison Square Garden, e.g. : ARENA.  Sports venue.

65. Cookbook verb : SAUTE.   I'm not sure how this differs from frying.

66. Decorative vase : URN.

67. H.S. hurdles : PSATs.  Pre-SATs.  S.A.T. originally stood for Scholastic Aptitude Test, but in 1990, when it became obvious that it was no such thing, the name was changed to SAT, which evidently stands for nothing.   Just one more educational scam?  You decide.

68. Heavy metal cover : ARMOR.   Medieval personal protection gear, not a rerecording of Led Zeppelin Hits. 

Another 6 minutes well spent


1. Take by force : HIJACK.   Usually the thing taken is a vehicle of some sort.

2. "... based on my abilities" : AS I CAN.  Is this an in the language phrase?

3. Peanut, for one : LEGUME.    A dry dehiscent one-celled fruit developed from a simple superior ovary and usually dehiscing into two valves with the seeds attached to the ventral suture.  If that seems a bit obscure, just think about peas and beans.

4. Fifth cen. pope called "The Great" : ST. LEO.   He negotiated with Attila the Hun at the gates of Rome and persuaded the Vandals not to pillage the city, which actually is pretty great.

5. "Come to think of it ..." : THEN AGAIN.

6. Stephen of "Breakfast on Pluto" : REA

7. Succor : AID.  And comfort.

8. Hungry for success, say : DRIVEN.   Type A personality.

9. Track transaction : WAGER.  You want to bet?  Or are you just horsing around?

10. "No thanks" : I'LL PASS.  Me too.  I'm not a gambler.

11. Google Maps directions word : VIA.   By means of a particular route.

12. Sea-Tac approx. : E.T.D.   Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Estimated Time of Departure.   Yes, this sent me agoogling.

13. Protein-rich bean : SOY.   Another LEGUME.

19. Org. that funds cultural exhibitions : N. E. ANational Endowment for the Arts.

21. Litter peeps : MEWS.   Kitty litter - no, wait  .  .  .

24. Cruise stop : PORT.  

25. Italian archaeological attraction : POMPEII.  City annihilated by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD.

26. Puma competitor : NIKE.  Athletic shoes.

27. Paper holder : CLIP.

28. Italian tourist attraction : ETNA.  Another Italian volcano.

33. CFO's degree : M.B.AMasters in Business Administration.

34. Invite as a member of : BRING INTO.

35. Verizon competitor : A.T.T.  Once upon a time, American Telephone and Telegraph. 

36. Unruly groups : MOBS.

37. The Lord, in Lourdes : DIEU.   French for God.

38. Response to freshness? : SLAP.

40. "You got that right!" : AMEN.

43. Campsite sight : PUP TENT.

45. Very : SUCH.  As in "of such importance  .  .  ."   Still, a clumsy fit.

47. Peak near Olympus : MT. OSSA.   Not to be confused with the one in Tasmania.

49. Lincoln Memorial feature : STATUE.

50. Bloodmobile visitors : DONORS.    Not vampires.

51. Zealous : ARDENT.

53. Black-and-white sea predators : ORCAS.  Killer whales

54. Narrow inlet : RIA. A coastal inlet formed by the partial submergence of an unglaciated river valley. It is a drowned river valley that remains open to the sea.

55. __ management : ANGER.  For those with hostility issues.

58. Bug on the line : TAP.   Eavesdropping equipment, not insects.

59. Timeline parts: Abbr. : YRsYears.

60. Shooter lead-in : PEA.  A PEA shooter is a blow gun for propelling small objects, such as peas.   By extension, any small bore weapon or trombone.

61. Sealing goo : TAR.  For roads or roofs.

62. Periodic table suffix : IUM. As in helIUM.

69. Del. clock setting : E.S.T. Eastern Standard Time in Delaware.

OK, folks.  That draws the curtain on the final scene.  Among other things, we visited outer space, had mountainous terrain and a number of musical interludes.  I'll give this production two thumbs up.  How about you?

Cool Regards!