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.

Oct 16, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014 Gail Grabowski and Bruce Venzke

Theme: "Naked Gun"

17. *Programs that generate hardware sales : KILLER APPS.

26. *Certain repair site : BODY SHOP.

40. *Brings up to speed : CLUES IN.

52. *Bargain for less jail time : COP A PLEA.

At first, I thought that the first words formed a headline in the morning paper:
"KILLER BODY CLUES [IN] COP." Hence, my idea of the theme.

But it is just things that one might find on any NCIS episode, and they always figure it out, as in the reveal here:
62. Climactic announcement suggested by the starts of the answers to starred clues : CASE SOLVED.


1. Dangler on a dog : ID TAG. Hmmm, I just submitted a puzzle to Rich with this same entry, and the same clue. So needless to say, it was a gimme.

6. D-Day city : ST. . It was 95% destroyed during the Battle of Normandy in WWII.

10. "A likely story!" : AS IF.

14. 19th-century English novelist Charles : READE. Appropriate name for an author!

15. Greenish-blue : CYAN. And 33-Across. Greenish-blue : AQUA. Another name for CYAN. Both are RGB: 0, 255, 255
16. Gear teeth : COGS.

19. Religious offshoot : CULT. I wanted "sect" at first.

20. Paperless publication : EZINE.

21. "Ditto!" : I DO TOO.

23. Having "but one life to give for my country," to Hale : REGRET. Nathan Hale, American patriot during the Revolutionary War. He was captured and convicted of spying on the British, and was hanged. His last words were "I only regret that I have but one life to give to this country."

28. "__ you finished?" : ARE.

29. Feel sorry about : RUE.

31. Gael or Druid : CELT.

32. Retin-A target : ZIT.

35. __ Martin: flashy car : ASTON. You can have one that skids for a mere $300,000.

39. LAX listing : ETA.

42. "Surfin' __" : USAThe Beach Boys.

43. Like painter Jan Steen : DUTCH.

45. Assents at sea : AYES.

46. Capture : NAB. And when they do, CASE SOLVED!

47. Extremely attentive : RAPT.

49. Big laugh : YUK.

51. It may need boosting : EGO.

56. Capital on the Sava River : ZAGREB.

58. José's "Moulin Rouge" co-star : ZSA ZSA. Ferrer and Gabor starred in the 1952 movie, directed by John Huston. Nicole Kidman revised the role of Satine in 2001.

59. Salvage crew acronym : SCUBA.

61. Literary bell town : ATRI. Do not confuse Longfellow's bell with Hersey's bell, which we just had yesterday!

67. Shed tool : RAKE. Ugh. Time to get them out of the shed.

68. Quaint oath : EGAD.

69. Antipasto ingredient : OLIVE. I like mine surrounded by vodka.

70. Span. ladies : SRAs. Señoras.

71. Feature of some stadiums : DOME.

72. Green : MONEY. Moola, cabbage, dough, smackers....


1. Aggravate : IRK.

2. Agnus __ : DEI. Latin for "Lamb of God."

3. Latvian chess champ of 1960-'61 : TAL. Mikhail, often called "The Magician From Riga."

4. Only woman to outwit Holmes : ADLER. Irene Adler, the opera singer in "Scandal in Bohemia."  I just watched this the other night, for about the fifth time!

5. Eccentric sort : GEEZER. Usually with "old."

6. Reading at the checkout counter : SCAN.

7. Laid-back sort : TYPE B. What's your type?

8. Indy circuit : LAP.

9. Kind of surprise kick : ONSIDE. Fantastic example in the Colts-Texans game last week.

10. Confronts rudely : ACCOSTS.

11. Word in two state names : SOUTH. Dakota and Carolina.

12. White house? : IGLOO. Cute clue!

13. Lens setting : F-STOP.

18. Ceremony : RITUAL.

22. "Lay Lady Lay" singer : DYLAN.

23. Knocked down : RAZED.

24. "Un Ballo in Maschera" aria : ERI TU. Verdi's "A Masked Ball" is one of my favorite operas, and has a fascinating history.

25. Imply : GET AT.

27. Dublin-born playwright : O'CASEY. Sean O'CASEY wrote plays that were often about the Dublin slums.  I don't think I have ever read any of them.

30. Consider identical : EQUATE.

34. Chase scene maneuver, slangily : UEY.

36. One working on pitches : TUNER. Oh no! Baseball!! Oh, how will I ever...oh, never mind. It's a piano tuner. (Whew!)

37. Missouri river or county : OSAGE.

38. Mover and shaker : NABOB. Are they usually nattering?

40. Blokes : CHAPS.

41. Troopers, e.g. : ISUZUS. Great misdirection.

44. Extreme jitters, with "the" : CRAZIES. "The Crazies" was also a 1973 horror movie, remade in 2010.

48. Put : PLACED.

50. Explosive sound : KA-BOOM.

52. Business magnates : CZARS.

53. Very hot celestial orb : O STAR.

54. Arctic garb : PARKA.

55. Tea-producing Indian state : ASSAM. Abejo, did you ever try ASSAM tea?

57. Big name in wine : GALLO. Ernest

60. Give up : CEDE.

63. Earlier : AGO.

64. Rouge or blanc : VIN. French wine, anyone?

65. Eden dweller : EVE.

66. "L.A. Law" actress : DEY. Susan.

That's all for now!

Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to CrossEyedDave, who has brought so much joy to the blog. It's easy to link a fun picture/clip once in a while, but to do it day after day and tying all the pictures to theme entries is hard work! Thanks for the time and effort, Dave! Click here for a few more pictures of young Dave and his beloved cat PK. Are you getting a new cat?

Oct 15, 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Palindrome Partial - "A man, a plan, a canal - Panama"

The theme entries are elegantly described by the reveal at 63A - my title is a sad second in the elegance race, but the best I could come up with!

17A. Project windup : FINAL PHASE. I learned early that I.T projects follow the formula "The first 90% of the project takes 90% of the budget. The final 10% takes the other 90%"

24A. Subject of an antique auto owner's quest : ORIGINAL PART. When I had an old Jaguar XJS, eBay became my best friend in the quest for arcane components. Try asking for a distributor cap for a V12 in AutoZone and see what kind of looks you get.

37A. Me, for one : PERSONAL PRONOUN. Great clue-to-answer letter ratio!

52A. Badlands or Death Valley : NATIONAL PARK. To borrow from Buzz Aldrin: "Magnificent desolation":

and the hint:

63A. "Just in case" strategy, and a hint to a hidden letter sequence in 17-, 24-, 37- and 52-Across : BACK-UP PLAN. The back-up plan for the Panama Canal was "forget about it and build a bigger railway".

Morning all - Steve here with another product of C.C.'s fertile imagination. A very slick theme - I couldn't see the "PLAN" until the reveal - I was trying to see what FINAL, ORIGINAL, PERSONAL and NATIONAL had in common other than the "NAL" ending, so the reveal was a nice "oh!" moment. Let's see what else we've got.


1. Tell tales : FIB

4. Animal that can learn limited sign language : CHIMP. Washoe learned about 350 ASL signs. I know about ten, five of which are not suitable for a family audience.

9. Barely open : AJAR. Joke from my childhood: "When is a door not a door? When it's ajar".

13. OS X-using computer : iMAC

15. Invisible vibes : AURAE. I picked up a first edition of Carlos Castaneda's "The Teachings of Don Juan" a few months ago from my local charity store. Lots of aurae in there, and ignoring the debate of whether the books are fiction, fact or philosophy, a great "time-capsule" read.

16. Tiny parasites : LICE. I'll spare you the enlarged images.

19. Accident scene figs. : EMT'S Emergency Medical Technicians.

20. Fit to be tied : ANGRY

21. Romance writer Roberts : NORA. I've never read her, but I've seen enough of her covers on the shelves of airport book stores to have no hesitation here.

23. Baltimore Ravens mascot : POE. This was my last fill, not knowing Mr. Parsons. Congratulations to the Ravens for having some great imagination with mascot-naming. Compare and contrast with "Pat Patriot", "Freddy Falcon" and "Roary the Lion" amongst others.

28. Wheaties box figure : ATHLETE

31. Take turns? : STEER

32. "Just like I said!" : SEE

33. Ambient music innovator Brian : ENO

35. Take it easy : REST

43. Hannity of talk radio : SEAN

44. "Well, of course!" : DUH

45. Washington Wizards' org. : N.B.A. The National Basketball Association. The first of today's sports organizations.

46. Hits a high fly, in baseball lingo : SKIES

49. "Supposing ..." : LET'S SAY

55. Brouhaha : ADO. I'm working on an updated Shakespeare screenplay called "A boatload of brouhaha about diddly-squat". Well, I wasn't, until just now. Dibs on the title.

56. "The Lion King" queen : NALA

57. Kmart section : AISLE

61. "If you don't mind ...?" : MAY I?

66. Slaughter with 2,383 career hits : ENOS. I like seeing ENO and ENOS in the same puzzle.

67. Vulgar language? : LATIN. The vulgar language was listening to us grammar school boys complaining that we had to study it.

68. Place in order : SORT

69. "Cream of" serving : SOUP

70. Overplay the part : EMOTE

71. Malibu mover : GAS. The Chevy Malibu. I was thinking "earthquake" or tremor-derivatives first. Great clue.

1. "For the Game. For the World" sports org. : F.I.F.A. "Fédération Internationale de Football Association", or, en anglais, "International Federation of Association Football" An organization which is not a stranger to controversy in recent years. Note the source of the word "soccer" from "Association Football".

2. Words while anteing : I'M IN

3. Loud noise : BANG

4. Graduation flier : CAP. Does it matter if you don't get your own cap back?

5. "What?" : HUH?

6. Tabriz citizen : IRANI. IRAQI/IRANI? Wait for the cross, unless you have an encyclopaedic knowledge of Middle Eastern cities.

7. Bricks-and-mortar workers : MASONS

8. Watch closely : PEER AT. I associate "peering" with not being able to find my reading glasses. They're usually on the top of my head.

9. Yard sale? : ALE. Ah, happy memories. I think I'd burst if I tried to drink a yard of ale now, but I did quaff a few of these in my day, usually after playing rugby. There's a "swirling" technique involved so you can pour it smoothly down your throat without drowning in beer.

10. "The Big Bang Theory" star : JIM PARSONS. Learning moment today. I don't watch a lot of TV, unless it involves Food! or sport. Combine them for tailgating shows and I'm happy as a clam in the sand where no-one's digging.

11. 10-Down, e.g. : ACTOR

12. Pedometer button : RESET

14. Winter air : CAROL. My sister was born on December 18th, and was named "Carol" in honor of the season. She spent her early life being thoroughly disgusted by this lack of imagination, and changed her name to "Kate" at her first opportunity.

18. Strings for Orpheus : LYRE

22. Last Olds model : ALERO

25. Cal.-to-Fla. route : I-TEN. The I-10 officially starts at the McClure Tunnel, but it's more photogenic to suggest that it starts at the entrance to Santa Monica pier, which is directly above the tunnel.

26. Rowlands of "Hope Floats" : GENA

27. Hammer head : PEEN

28. Nile Valley danger : ASP

29. Concert souvenirs : TEES. Vintage ones can be quite valuable, judging by some of the prices quoted on eBay.

30. Clinking words : HERE'S TO YOU. Try doing this with two yards of ale.

34. Antique : OLD

36. Big brass : TUBA

38. Storytelling nom de plume : SAKI

39. Scallion kin : ONION. Food! Called "spring onions" in the UK.

40. "__ Free": Minute Maid spec : PULP

41. Three-toed bird : RHEA

42. Anti vote : NAY

47. Pave the way for : ENABLE

48. Peace, in Arabic : SALAAM

50. Mouse catcher : TRAP

51. Bypasses, as online ads : SKIPS. The sooner the better, in most cases

52. Designates : NAMES

53. Fictional Sicilian town in a Hersey novel : ADANO. There's a real town named Adrano in Sicily, but the bell tower doesn't look much of anything. Here's the fictional representation instead:

54. Milk: Pref. : LACTO

58. Walk with effort : SLOG

59. "Good Morning America" co-anchor Spencer : LARA

60. Tolkien tree giants : ENTS

62. DSL offerer : ISP I switched from DSL to fiber recently, but kept my ISP. At least that's what AT&T told me I was doing. Acronym soup - Digital Subscriber Line & Internet Service Provider.

64. First-aid aid : KIT

65. Cézanne's one : UNE

That's about it. As the inventor of Saran responded to questions: "It's a wrap".


Oct 14, 2014

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 Jacob Stulberg

Theme: Five Feet High And Rising - The water is coming up behind both parts of the theme entries.

18A. Access using force : BREAK OPEN. Break water, Open water.

23A. Old-time fountain employee : SODA JERK. Soda water, Jerkwater.(insignificant rural settlements)

38A. 1954 Oscar-winning Brando film, or where either half of 18-, 23-, 51- and 61-Across can literally be found : "ON THE WATERFRONT"

51A. Like unabridged print dictionaries : HARD BACK. Hard water, Backwater. (Out of the main current)

61A. Being attacked : UNDER FIRE. Under water, Fire water.

Argyle here with Jacob who is venturing into the earlier days of the week. I'm glad the reveal mentioned both halves of the answer because I tend to miss that. Nice grid layout.


1. Westminster landmark : ABBEY. On left, Westminster Palace on right.

6. Literary captain who says "I'd strike the sun if it insulted me" : AHAB

10. Natural bandage : SCAB

14. Witch : CRONE

15. Decide, as a judge : RULE

16. Freight train hopper : HOBO

17. Stolen pastries in "Alice in Wonderland" : TARTS. Pop Quiz: Who stole the tarts?

20. Say with certainty : AVER

21. "Get off the stage!" : "BOO!"

22. Without any slack : TAUTLY

25. Right-angle bend : ELL

26. Amigo : PAL

27. They're earned by completing college courses : CREDITS

31. Shade : HUE and 29D. Shade : TINT

34. __ bear : POLAR
37. Buffalo's lake : ERIE

42. Gyro bread : PITA

43. Staircase pillar : NEWEL. This one has a Westminster look.

44. Ultimate degree : NTH

45. Many a rush-hour rider : STANDEE

48. Drink often iced : TEA

50. Justice Dept. division : DEA. (Drug Enforcement Administration). Often one of their tactics, 4D. Catch in a sting : ENTRAP

56. Less biased : FAIRER

59. Wall-climbing plant : IVY

60. Bump off : DO IN

63. Sudden power increase : SURGE. It's time I bought a new surge protector.

64. Observes : SEES

65. Tablet operator : USER

66. In base eight : OCTAL. Odd looking word.

67. Police crisis unit acronym : SWAT. (Special Weapons And Tactics)

68. One of the deadly sins : LUST

69. Kick off : START


1. Attend to the duties of : ACT AS

2. "Well done!" : "BRAVO!"

3. Yawning in class, say : BORED

5. "Certainly!" : "YES!"

6. Ann __, Michigan : ARBOR

7. "Impresario" memoirist Sol : HUROK. Wikipedia LINK.

8. Stein filler : ALE

9. Car that's ready for the scrap heap : BEATER. That's what I and one of the Tappet Brothers drive.

10. Side of a road : SHOULDER

11. Egyptian Christian : COPT. The forgotten Christians?

12. Adam's second son : ABEL

13. More than lean : BONY

19. Leafy green : KALE

21. Later on the page : BELOW

24. Joke : JAPE. Hmm, JAPE has a sometimes bawdy history.

27. Group of workers : CREW

28. Appliance with a water reservoir : IRON

30. Late-night host Meyers : SETH

31. Beer flavoring : HOPS

32. Curriculum part : UNIT

33. James of jazz : ETTA

35. Path to the pins : LANE

36. Consumed : ATE

39. Ergonomic keyboard feature : HAND REST. Wrist rest.

40. Second attempt : RETRY

41. Hurried away : FLED

46. Bucks and does : DEER

47. Tongue-lashing : EARFUL

49. Kidnap : ABDUCT

51. Adds to the staff : HIRES

52. Stave off : AVERT

53. Vital blood line : AORTA

54. Groucho's smoke : CIGAR

55. Prepared to be knighted : KNELT

56. Make a scene : FUSS

57. Once again : ANEW

58. Creative spark : IDEA

62. Pocatello sch. : ISU. (Idaho State University)

63. Sea captain's "Help!" : S-O-S


Note from C.C.:

After Irish Miss downloaded iOS 8 to her iPad Mini, she has to sign in to her Google account every time she leaves & rejoins the blog. There is no "Stay signed in" box for her to check.

If any of your iPad users know how to solve her problem, please leave her a note in the blog Comments section. Thank you.