Jul 23, 2014

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 Steve Blais

Theme: "Say CHEESE"! Famous grins amuse us this Wednesday.

17A. "Alice in Wonderland" critter known for disappearing : CHESHIRE CAT. Great start - here's John Tenniel's original illustration:

27A. Painting partly shown on the original cover of "The Da Vinci Code" : MONA LISA. I was fortunate to see Leonardo's original in the Louvre many years ago - here's the selfie version:

36A Ubiquitous Mad Magazine guy : ALFRED E. NEUMAN. Way too many picture hits on Google to choose from. Today is "Make your own Mad Magazine Link Wednesday". 

47A. "Batman" villain : THE JOKER. I'm not sure what Jack is so happy about - he has court-side season tickets for the Lakers.

59A. Some emoticons, and defining features of 17-, 27-, 36- and 47-Across : SMILEY FACES and what a nice motto for this Wednesday!

Hi everyone - Steve here having fun with Mr. Blais's puzzle today. I loved the clever theme and the long downs around it. ANALOGOUS TO had me watching each letter fill in with the crosses, and I was convinced that I'd got something wrong until finally I saw it with only the "N" to go.

I'm time-shifting again today - I'm back in Rio de Janeiro until Saturday. If only I could time-shift a week or two backwards and I could have watched some World Cup games! I didn't plan this trip very well at all. My bad. Let's head onwards:


1. Auto whose griffin logo was recently discontinued : SAAB. I think it's more than the logo that was discontinued - didn't the entire brand get 16A'd?

5. Log on to : ACCESS. After at least three failed userid/password combo attempts in my case. I locked myself out of my own laptop yesterday.

11. "Family Guy" daughter : MEG. Thank you, perps!

14. Beige cousin : ECRU

15. Hail from a distance : CALL TO. Hey, Bubba! The Swiss yodel, it seems a little more poetic.

16. Lumberjack's tool : AXE. The "E" can be chopped off with no hard feelings, but then it loses it's crossword-qualification letter count.

19. Cousins, say : KIN. Because KISSING doesn't fit.

20. Lost it : HAD A FIT

21. It may be bulletproof : VEST. If I was in the line of fire, I'd be worried about the "may" qualifer.

22. Free-for-all : BRAWL. Donnybrook in the land of my fathers.

25. Hates : DETESTS

31. Half an etiquette list : DON'TS. I prefer the Do's.

32. Free TV ad : P.S.A. Public Service Announcement. Check out the UK''s Road Safety mascot "Tufty the Squirrel" from the 1960's and 70's. I think Policeman Badger needs a course in immobilizing an accident victim before dragging him to the sidewalk.

33. Pepsi, e.g. : COLA. And 29D, and a cross too! These always have me worried that I'm seeing double.

35. In favor of : FOR

41. Cry to a toreador : OLE. Or a cry to a soccer team.

42. Clumsy boats : ARKS. Why clumsy? You're a craft filled with all the world's species, you're bound to be a little sluggish making a sharp turn into Port Mt. Ararat.

43. Part of an ear : COB

45. Getting on in years : AGING. What, me?

50. Tummy-showing shirt : CROP-TOP. There was an article in the NYT this week about how much tummy was acceptable to show wearing one of these. The jury was out, but the photo-examples were fun.

52. "__ obvious!": "Duh!" : IT'S SO

53. Aussie sprinters : EMUS

54. Blue Staters, collectively : THE LEFT. No comment. One of the rules of this blog. Read 'em - they're up there on the right.

58. __ Cruces : LAS

63. Sinusitis-treating MD : ENT

64. Requiring less effort : EASIER. Not so much this crossword today. Thanks, Steve for a fun challenge!

65. Bend : WARP

66. Sci. course : BIO

67. Stick : ADHERE

68. Haywire : AWRY


1. Short time : SEC. Small word, and a great and clever clue. I love these gems.

2. Günther's gripe : ACH. Some German today. "Oh"!

3. "Blessed __ the pure in heart ..." : ARE

4. Poppycock : BUSHWA. AESL (American English as a Second Language) for me today. I resolve to use this in a sentence as soon as possible.

5. Biting, as wit : ACID

6. Siena sweetie : CARA. Italian - it's language-fest in the down clues today!

7. Staff notation : CLEF. Do-re-me ..... Marti? Singalong?

8. Spanish folk hero : EL CID. Canadian-eh's folk hero - The Sid:

How aboot some hockey, eh?
9. Put into words : STATED

10. Lush : SOT

11. Gets a move on : MAKES TRACKS. Nice!

12. Is more than a dream : EXISTS. Whenever I see or hear "a dream" I can hear The Cure's Robert Smith's vocals on "Just Like Heaven" and his apparent flat note. It's a great song, but the "dream" at 2:14 always sounds like nails on a chalkboard to me. What say you musicians? It's still on my Top 10 song list on my iPod but that  "draaam" always wakes me up.

13. Classy guys : GENTS. Classy john too.

18. Site of many school lockers : HALL

21. Rattler's poison : VENOM. I have to watch out for these little buggers when I'm out hiking. The babies are the most dangerous, they give you the full plunger of poison, they haven't yet learned to give you just enough to get you to go the heck away.

22. Image file letters : BMP. Bitmap. Basically this was a full pixel-accurate copy of the image that took up a boatload of file space. The JPEG format and derivatives made life a lot easier.

23. Flor del amor : ROSA. A rose, by any other name.

24. Corresponding with : ANALOGOUS TO. My star of the week, month or possibly all-time. As a down, you can't really recognize the letter sequence as it fills and you're trying to break the string into all kinds of unworkable segments. Brilliant!

26. Protein source for vegans : TOFU

28. __ hockey : ICE. Canadian-eh must be happy today. Eh? Tin-man - don't look.

29. Pepsi, e.g. : SODA. I hear a clecho. And a blogcho - Tin-man - don't look.

30. Watchful : ALERT

34. Egyptian cross : ANKH

37. Decides with a coin : FLIPS. We toss in England.

38. Monthly expense : RENT

39. Flagstaff-to-Roswell dir. : E.S.E. 8.7 light-years via Alpha Centuri. Remember that the next time you run out of fuel for your warp drive in Area 51 when you were just out for a quick galatic-joyride.

40. Rejections : NOES

44. Pal : BRO

45. Big name in high fashion : ARMANI

46. Lost one's temper : GOT MAD

48. Short time : JIFF. Clecho-echo-oooo. Yodelling clues today. Where's the Alpenhorn?

I hate it when I lose my iPhone
49. Quebec/Ontario border river : OTTAWA. Now I know it's a river too.

50. Walk of Fame honoree : CELEBrity. Is CELEB common enough now for no abbreviation or shortened indications in the clue? I guess so.

51. Engage in online fraud : PHISH. Help. I am stranded Rio with brasil police arrest and no wallet my hotel have my bag and will not release unless I give deposit money and they then give me phone and my possesses so I can wire me bail out of prison from bank. Wire now and I pay on sunday. Today is march and it rainy. I won Nigeria lottery on twesndsday.

55. Nobelist Wiesel : ELIE

56. Creepy look : LEER

57. Literary governess Jane : EYRE

59. Poseidon's realm : SEA

60. Cornfield call : CAW

61. Take a wrong turn, say : ERR. I've never heard that from the passenger seat before - "Oh, I think you erred - we're going the wrong way". It's more like "WOOOOAHH - San FRANCISCO?" What kind of BUSHWA driving is this?"

62. Binoculars user : SPY

Well, that was fun. More fun than spending an unexpected 24 hours in Houston airport on Thursday/Friday because my connection from LA was 2 hours late and I missed my Rio flight. Oh well!

Bom dia! My hovercraft is full of eels.


Jul 22, 2014

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 C.C. Burnikel

Theme: If you see them, it's already too late - Split up between two words.                           

39A. Elite Navy group that's fittingly camouflaged in the four longest answers in this puzzle : SEALS

17A. Faulty smoke detectors, e.g. : FALSE ALARMS

24A. Comedian Handler's talk show : CHELSEA LATELY. The show is on E! LINK(2:57)

49A. Higher than zero, on an altimeter : ABOVE SEA LEVEL

60A. Countries with strong economic ties, say : CLOSE ALLIES

Argyle here. C.C. there. Good time everywhere. But where are the Seals? Spit up 2&2, then 3&1 twice and back to 2&2.


1. Curved sword : SABER

6. Glad shelfmate : HEFTY. Plastic bags.

11. Pint-size : WEE

14. Justice Samuel : ALITO

15. Blast from the past : OLDIE

16. Veal cordon bleu stuffing : HAM

19. DSL offerer : ISP. Someone might say DSL is means of transmission and not an Internet Service Provider but not me.

20. Photo lab abbr. : ENL. (enlargement)

21. It may be gluten-free : DIET

22. Impressionist Claude : MONET. Gluten-free flat bread? Update: Tarte Tatin.

28. Many Southwestern homes : ADOBEs

30. Tennille of pop's Captain & Tennille : TONI

31. Cap brim : VISOR

32. Debatable : MOOT

34. Spot for a remote : SOFA. (between the cushions)

38. Bach's "Mass __ Minor" : IN B

40. Zen garden fish : KOI

41. High-protein beans : SOYs

43. British aristocrat : EARL

44. Poppy product : OPIUM

46. Bowled over : AWED

48. Bells and whistles : FRILLS

54. "E! News" subject : CELEB

55. Big Mack : SEMI

56. A/C capacity meas. : BTU. We here are in for a test of our A/C's.

59. Campus aides, for short : TAs. (teaching assistant)

64. Ozzie Smith's number : ONE

65. Autumn blossom : ASTER

66. Chai __: Starbucks order : LATTE

67. Director Howard : RON

68. Like old attics : MUSTY. I went with DUSTY first.

69. Fencing swords : ÉPÉEs


1. Bank vault : SAFE

2. "Moon Shot" co-author Shepard : ALAN. The Inside Story of America's Race to the Moon.

3. Portrayer of TV's Dr. Cliff Huxtable : BILL COSBY. Great show.

4. "Avatar" extras : ETs

5. Short-antlered critter : ROE DEER

6. Boring outcomes? : HOLEs. Cute.

7. Bring joy to : ELATE

8. Prez on a dime : FDR. (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

9. Journalist Russert : TIM

10. Overly agreeable guy : YES MAN

11. Snivel : WHINE

12. Prop for van Gogh : EASEL

13. Unthreatening, as some threats : EMPTY

18. Feels sick : AILs

23. Milo's film friend : OTIS

25. "Game of Thrones" channel : HBO. (Home Box Office)

26. Lagoon-enclosing isle : ATOLL

27. Oodles : LOTS

28. Rental car choice : AVIS

29. "The Flintstones" pet : DINO

32. Victor at Gettysburg : MEADE. General George Gordon Meade (1815-1872) Born in Cadiz, Spain. More info.

33. Sculling need : OAR

35. "This may be a trick, but tell me" : "OK, I'LL BITE"

36. Umpire's call : FOUL

37. Points (at) : AIMS

39. Gets the point : SEEs

42. Copy to the hard drive : SAVE

44. First name in popcorn : ORVILLE. Most popcorn from Orville Redenbacher are gluten free.

45. Dessert slice : PIE

47. Video chat need : WEBCAM

48. Tornado response gp. : FEMA. (Federal Emergency Management Agency)

49. Audition hopeful : ACTOR

50. Number-calling game : BEANO

51. Daily Planet cub reporter : OLSEN

52. Selling point : ASSET

53. Not fully trusting : LEERY

57. Beret's perch : TÊTE. On a French head.

58. Puts to work : USEs

61. Fighting Tigers' sch. : LSU. (Louisiana State University)

62. Tiebreakers, briefly : OTs. (overtime)

63. Once around the track : LAP


Note from C.C.:

Happy 53rd wedding anniversary to Hondo and his wife Lucy. How are you celebrating this year, Hondo? Block Island?

Jul 21, 2014

Monday, July 21, 2014 Lila Cherry

Theme: B?ND - The last part of the entries is a vowel progression.

17A. Illegally imported goods : CONTRABAND

26A. Squatting exercise : KNEE BEND

37A. Enchant : SPELLBIND

53A. Wanderer : VAGABOND

62A. Tuxedo accessory : CUMMERBUND

Argyle here. Three of the four entries are single words but knee bend isn't. Lila (Really Rich) should know better. Pshaw! What do I want from a Monday other than a doable puzzle. OK, I'll keep my nits to myself.


1. Put some pizazz in : PEP UP

6. Florida resort, familiarly : BOCA

10. __ America Competition : MISS

14. Speedy Amtrak train : ACELA

15. The Bard's river : AVON

16. "A time to cast away stones" Bible bk. : ECCL. (Ecclesiastes)

19. "Star Wars" princess : LEIA

20. Come up : ARISE

21. Dada artist Jean : ARP

23. Director Affleck : BEN

24. Mercedes sedan category : E CLASS

28. Illuminated : LIT

29. Author Victor : HUGO. French writer / "Les Misérables"

31. Hard to find : SCARCE

32. BLT spread : MAYO

34. Marshy wasteland : MOOR

36. Rage : ANGER

40. 2014 French Open winner Rafael : NADAL. Rafael Nadal.

43. Opposite of pass : FAIL

44. Fraternal gp. with an antlered animal in its logo : BPOE. (Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks)

48. Brought to mind : EVOKED

50. Cruise stop : ISLE

52. Delta rival: Abbr. : UAL. (United Airlines)

55. Irritable : SNARKY

57. Braz. neighbor : ARG. Brazil / Argentina

58. WWII mil. zone : ETO. (European Theater of Operations)

59. Cobbler's supply : HEELS

60. Christian of fashion : DIOR

66. What Clearasil treats : ACNE

67. Norway's capital : OSLO

68. Davis of "Thelma & Louise" : GEENA

69. Requirement : NEED

70. Situation to be cleaned up : MESS

71. Okays : YESes


1. Calif.'s ocean : PAC. Pacific.

2. Author Umberto : ECO

3. Football ref's call : PENALTY

4. Extreme : ULTRA

5. County counterpart in Louisiana : PARISH


6. Slugger Ruth : BABE

7. Eggs in a clinic : OVA

8. Sir Arthur __ Doyle : CONAN. Sherlock's creator.

9. Guitarist Segovia : ANDRES

10. Diner owner on "Alice" : MEL

11. Titanic sinker : ICEBERG

12. Chemistry or physics : SCIENCE

13. Libel's spoken equivalent : SLANDER. "I get slandered, libeled. I hear words I never heard in the Bible..."

18. Take for granted : ASSUME

22. Nut in a pie : PECAN

24. Shade tree : ELM or 46D. Shade tree : OAK

25. Covert govt. group : CIA. I better not spell it out; don't want no trouble.

26. Drink brand with a pitcher for a mascot : KOOL-AID

27. Quaint weekend getaway, briefly : B AND B. (Bed & Breakfast)

30. 18-hole outing : GOLF

33. Honshu port : OSAKA

35. Score-producing MLB stats : RBIs

38. Academy frosh : PLEBE

39. "Haven't made up my mind yet" : "I'LL SEE"

40. Reno resident : NEVADAN

41. Greed : AVARICE

42. Danged : DOGGONE. (it)

45. Chases after : PURSUES

47. Tarzan portrayer Ron : ELY

49. __ bubble: Internet stock phenomenon : DOT COM

51. Get-up-and-go : ENERGY

54. Hopeless : NO USE

56. "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" playwright Edward : ALBEE

59. Managed care gps. : HMOs

61. Chianti color : RED

63. D.C. United's org. : MLS. (Major League Soccer)

64. Opposite of SSW : NNE

65. Opponents of defense lawyers: Abbr. : DAs. (District Attorney)


Note from C.C.:

Here is a picture from Dylan's 1-year-old birthday party yesterday. Click here, you'll see that hats are an important part of their birthday celebrations.

Front Row (Left to Right: Grady (turning 4 this coming Thursday) & his dad Derek; Truman (Grady's big brother) & mom Corie; Dylan and mom Shelby; Cameron (Dylan's big brother) and dad Joe, who is a Scot.

Back Row: Proud grandparents JD & Bob.

Jul 20, 2014

Sunday July 20, 2014 Fred Piscop

Theme:  "Frat Pack" - Greek letters span across each theme entry.

 23A. *Hit that just clears the infield : BLOOP SINGLE

 25A. *Recyclable metal : SCRAP IRON. Quite a few candidates to embed PI, PSI, RHO, MU, ETA & NU.

 42A. *Clara, to Tabitha, on "Bewitched" : GREAT AUNT. The TAU is limited.

 55A. *Legislation of 2001 : PATRIOT ACT. Very very limited choices for this one and 86A, given the letter length.

 76A. *Hippo : RIVER HORSE

 86A. *Half a team's schedule : HOME GAMES

 107A. *Typical Western : SHOOT 'EM UP

 37D. *Delayed reaction : DOUBLE TAKE

 45D. *Run into : HAPPEN UPON

Reveal entry:

109A. One spans two words in each answer to a starred clue : GREEK LETTER

I'm so glad there's a reveal entry. I would not have guessed the gimmick with the "Frat Party" title alone, unless those Greek letters are circled. But Rich can't use circles on Sundays due to technical issues.

Fred Piscop is a veteran constructor and his puzzles are always super smooth and clean. I love his bio at Stan's Newsday:"...  When he’s not puzzling, he plays keyboards in a rock band, samples microbrews, and collects spelling errors in comic strips."

Fred Piscop, David Kahn, Liz Gorsk, ACPT 2011

1. Rad relative : NEATO

6. Take second : PLACE. Win, Place & Show.

11. Downloaded 'zine : EMAG

15. Most minigolf pars : TWOS

19. "Good Eats" host Brown : ALTON. Goofy guy. We also have 28. "Order up!" shouter : COOK

20. Party hearty : REVEL. Only heard of "Party hardy".

21. Matching __ : PAIR

22. Smooth-talking : OILY

27. City on I-5 : SANTA ANA. Know the city, not I-5 though.

30. Pequod co-owner : PELEG. "Moby-Dick".

31. Plunk (down) : PUT.  And 44. Stopped operating, with "down" : SHUT

32. It's a fact : DATUM. So is 5-letter TRUTH.

34. Inferior, in slang : CHEESY

35. eBay users, at times : BIDDERS

39. Car loan figs. : APRs. Annual Percentage Rate.

40. Ell or tee : JOINT

41. Romantic affair : AMOUR

48. Source of fries : SPUD. This is how I cook potatoes. Ignore the Szechuan peppercorn. Too hot.

49. Elisabeth of "Gracie" : SHUE

51. Silas Marner, e.g. : MISER

53. Words on an initial reference volume : A TO (A to Z, e.g.)

54. Johnny __ : REB

59. Quaker in the forest : ASPEN

61. Players in a July contest : ALL-STARS. I mentioned that the ticket was too high for me. The price for Super Bowl 2018 is at least twice ridiculous.

64. Radium co-discoverer : CURIE

65. Curt : SNIPPY

66. Silk-stocking : ELITE

67. Many mottoes are written in it : LATIN. MN has a French motto: L'Étoile du Nord.

68. Diagonal line, on some score sheets : SPARE. Bowling.

69. On key : IN TUNE

71. Toaster opening : HERE'S

72. Gin cocktails : MARTINIS. Hey, Bond again, Splynter!

75. Mary __: ill-fated ship : DEARE

78. Prefix with sex : UNI

79. Cartoon shriek : EEK

80. One of Mexico's 31 : STATE. Estado.

82. Like Solomon : WISE

83. Top : APEX

84. Calculus calculation : AREA

90. Skip the festivities, in a way : ELOPE

91. "King of the Bullwhip" star : LARUE. Lash LaRue.

93. Logician Turing : ALAN. Got a royal pardon last year.

94. Brings up : PARENTS

96. Author Allende : ISABEL. She does not like being compared to Gabriel García Márquez.

98. Loses crispness : WILTS

99. Baseball's Steroid __ : ERA.  And 40D. Steroids, slangily : JUICE. Can't stand this guy.

100. Successor to Bess : MAMIE

101. Bris, e.g. : RITE

102. Put forward again, as a claim : RE-ASSERT

112. Back : HIND

113. Used up : GONE

114. Boston College athlete : EAGLE. Gimme for Marti/Barry G/Dudley.

115. Name meaning "born again" : RENEE. Re-Nee.

116. Sport scored electronically : EPEE. Look, new clue for EPEE.

117. Sees : GETS

118. Put up with : STOOD

119. Marshy lowland : SWALE

1. Collars : NABS

2. Raines of old movies : ELLA. Not familiar with this lady.

3. Zillions : A TON. And 92. Not much : A BIT

4. Traffic sound : TOOT

5. "Well, it looked good __" : ON PAPER

6. Dusting may reveal them : PRINTS. Nice clue.

7. Olin of "Chocolat" : LENA

8. ERA part: Abbr. : AVG

9. "Snow White" frame : CEL

10. Sophocles tragedy : ELECTRA. Sister of  Orestes.

11. Derby town : EPSOM

12. Vehicle brand with a bulldog in its logo : MACK
13. Pump output : AIR

14. Golf club shaft material : GRAPHITE

15. Rest stop features : TOILETS

16. What spies may wear : WIRES

17. Curriculum suffix : OLOGY

18. One-word def. : SYN. Oh, I see, like how dictionary defines "Sexy" as "Glamorous".

24. Reptilian tail? : SAUR. OK, like Dinosaur.

26. Hammer end : PEEN

29. Drum out : OUST

32. Risk taker : DARER. Phil Mickelson, who has GUTS (42D. Nerve).

33. Make fun of : APE

34. Occasionally amended doc. : CONST. No idea. Constitution?

35. City of southeastern Iraq : BASRA

36. Urge forward : IMPEL

38. Flop : DUD

43. At full throttle : AMAIN

46. Lone Star State sch. : UT EP. University of Texas at El Paso.

47. "West Side Story" hero : TONY. Maria's boyfriend. We have Hmong gangs here in MN.

49. Dramatic outpouring : SPATE

50. Hound's prey : HARE

52. Charged : RAN AT

56. Empathetic words : I CARE

57. Word with ear or wear : OUTER

58. McEvoy of cosmetics : TRISH. High-priced.

60. Voice of the iPhone : SIRI

62. Talk like a lush : SLUR

63. Points at the table? : TINES. Great clue.

65. Shopping __ : SPREE. Come visit Mall of America, Gary!

67. New Orleans protector : LEVEE

68. Get wise with : SASS

69. "That's the general __" : IDEA

70. Not e'en once : NE'ER

71. Blackjack request : HIT ME

72. Sports doc's pics : MRIs

73. Klutzy : INEPT

74. Boxcars, for high rollers : SIXES. No idea. I'm not even a low roller.

76. The Phantom's rival : RAOUL

77. Berlin Olympics star : OWENS

81. Like some omelets : THREE-EGG. What's your typical breakfast, D-Otto?

83. It's drawn in bars : ALE

85. Dessert menu phrase : A LA MODE

87. Pace : GAIT

88. Asserts without proof : ALLEGES

89. Yoga class need : MAT

90. Mistake-fixing tools : ERASERS

94. Snuck a look : PEEKED

95. Sea divided by shrinkage : ARAL. What does "divided by shrinkage" mean? The Russians say Aral Sea has stopping shrinking.

96. Beatnik's "Got it!" : I'M HIP

97. River to the Rhone : SAONE

98. Cleaning cloths : WIPES

101. Pipsqueak : RUNT

102. Move, to a Realtor : RELO

103. Gumbo, for example : STEW

104. Mount near Catania : ETNA

105. Irish dance : REEL

106. One with rings : TREE. Tree rings.

107. __-crab soup : SHE. Never had it. How strange, she-crab.

108. Bossy Stooge : MOE. Here there, Chairman Moe!

110. Informer : RAT

111. It may be massive : EGO


Jul 19, 2014

Saturday, Jul 19th, 2014, Mark Bickham

Theme: None

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

Blocks: 26

    Who would we get today, I wondered; Brad, Doug, Mark...?  Ah, Mr. Bickham, with an enjoyable, but odd-looking puzzle today, having just a smattering of single blocks in the central part of the grid; low count, too.  It was not until I started on the Down clues that I noticed the FOUR climbers, and yet they were actually easier for me than some of the shorter fill.  Triple 10 corners, and two 8-letter answers on the inside.  I had to 'cheat' and turn on red letters to find one letter - the very first one.  First time for everything, I guess....the 4 climbers:

2d. ESPN talk show : OUTSIDE THE LINES - I don't watch ESPN, so this was a WAG based on sports more than the show itself

3d. Sport with end zones : ULTIMATE FRISBEE - I have played some Frisbee golf, but not this game, sort of like football meets basketball

12d. Best Picture of 1951, with "An" : AMERICAN IN PARIS - Never saw it, but with the few crossings I had, it came pretty easily

13d. Passive disapproval : SILENT TREATMENT - I'm not saying anything....get it?

O (may The Force be with me) nward~?


1. Challenge for a comedian : TOUGH CROWD - First letter wrong?  Seemed OK having "Rough Crowd", but I missed "RHU" as the Holy 1d

11. Residencia : CASA - logical WAG; sounded Spanish for 'residence', so, Spanish for house

15. Uproar : HULLABALOO 

16. In : AMID

17. Lawlessness : UTTER CHAOS 

18. Solder : WELD - I can solder - wires and copper pipes.  I was asked a week or so ago if I knew how to braze brass; never did it

19. Fourier series function : SINE - Never heard the term fourier, but once I had --NE, I figured....more on the math from Wiki

20. D.C.'s __ Stadium : RFK - Renamed in 1969 after the assassination of Robert Kennedy; we had the Triborough Bridge renamed RFK Bridge here in NYC in 2008; not sure why it took 40 years....

21. 2015 destination of the Dawn space probe : CERES - One of two proto-planets in the asteroid belt; more from NASA

22. Edge : RIM

23. Bird that grew as tall as 12 feet : MOA - went with "ROC" - only 33.3% right, but this time, my "O" counts, D-otto~!

25. Stranded, perhaps : ICED IN

27. City NE of Amsterdam : EDAM - filled via perps

29. Cry of dismay : OH DEAR - Tried OH GEEZ, but couldn't think of a color with Z besides Azure...oh those eyes...

31. Place with a seat: Abbr. : CTY - CounTY

33. Charm : FETISH - The first definition refers to 'an object regarded...as being the embodiment...of magical powers'; I am more familiar with the psychological definition.... who me~?  a fetish~!?

35. Reflect : MEDITATE

37. "Dumb and Dumberer" actress : OTERI - The third installment is due in Nov this year

38. Profs' aides : TAs - Teaching Assistants

39. "Jazz in Silhouette" composer : SUN RA - Perps and a WAG; more here

40. Blood typing concern : Rh FACTOR

42. Former Canadian film awards : GENIES - another thing that went through a renaming process; once called the "Etrogs"

43. Debussy subject : MER

44. Vistula River city : KRAKOW

46. Biol. branch : ANATomy

47. Smooth cotton fabrics : LISLEs

49. __ crawl : PUB - ah, the days gone by....

51. Scoreboard fig. : PTs

52. Piano bar standard : MISTY - "Play Misty for me...."

53. Asian festival : TET

55. Good earth : LOAM

57. "Walk __": 1964 hit : ON BY

58. One of Sophocles' Theban plays : OEDIPUS REX

61. Stagger : REEL

62. Bond holding? : DRY MARTINI - excellent 'misdirection'; gratuitous Daniel pic for C.C. - are you shaken, or stirred, C.C.? (From C.C.:  Stirred! Thanks, Splynter. Email Me Maybe, Daniel?)

63. "Gotcha" : "I SEE" - Dr. Venkman's response to Dean Yager

64. Some finals : ESSAY TESTS

1. There's a holy one every yr. : THU - I just learned it's Maundy Thursday, tho I have heard this term before

4. Singer Campbell : GLEN - Here's the only song I know; I had the 45, and played it til it skipped; "like a...like a...like a...."

5. Sultan's group : HAREM - Got it....the answer, not the women

6. Ottawa-based media org. : CBC - Canadian Broadcasting Corproation

7. Spirited : RAH-RAH

8. Norwegian saint : OLAF

9. Wielders of weapons called bowcasters : WOOKIEES - I just noticed that the word is spelled W-O-O-K-I-E-E - being in the down position, I was thrown off by the "I" and two "E"s...

10. Cuts : DOs - Haircuts kind of Dos

11. Emulated a rook : CAWED - Rook, the bird, not the chess piece; I am building a "rook table", and ran into an interesting problem - so now I have a question for the math whizzes on the blog here - see below

14. Puts together : ADDS

21. Berry hue : CERISE - had to dredge this word up from the depths

22. Change for the better : REFORM

24. Excited cry : "OOH~!"

26. Heel : CAD

28. Sorvino of "Mighty Aphrodite" : MIRA

30. Old bread, briefly : D-MARK - Deutsche Mark until the Euro in 2002 - that kind of bread

32. Bakers' buys : YEASTS - Dah!  Not doughs; but I guess they would MAKE those, wouldn't they....

34. Not well : SICKLY - Considered AILING

36. __ salad : TUNA

38. They're often busy at breakfast : TOASTERS

41. Square root of nove : TRE

42. D.C. school named for a president : GWU - A school?  In D.C.?  Named for a president?   Such a novel idea~!

45. Kia model : OPTIMA

48. Panache : STYLE -

50. Divulge, with "out" : BLURT

52. Memento __: reminder of mortality : MORI

54. Slow Churned ice cream : EDY's

56. Bone: Pref. : OSTE

58. Tribute of a sort : ODE

59. Yield a return : PAY

60. They follow the nus : XIs


 - The math problem - I designed the base of my Rook Table with a slope, and essentially, it's just crown moulding installed at the bottom, not the top.  I have a compound sliding mitre saw, but I was shocked to find that the two angles for the cuts ( bevel, mitre ) are NOT what I thought.  I had to go online to find them, because I couldn't do the math - so who here understands the math behind the numbers?

Jul 18, 2014

Friday July 18, 2014, Robin Stears

Theme: Does this puzzle go both ways?

In another variation of the letter substitution puzzle, Robin removes the letter "H" from some common phrases and inserts an "IT" in its place, and the resulting new phrases are skillfully clued. The clincher is the very witty reveal which reparses Switch Hit  to Switch H IT. As you all know by now, for me the reveal is critical to the enjoyment of this style of puzzle, and I love IT!  Robin has been with the LAT for many years going back to this PUZZLE She also is active on Twitter, and commenting on puzzles as well as having her own SITE promoting her puzzles and some books she has authored. This puzzle for me had the feel of a Friday with a low word count, no classic crosswordese and some fun 7 and 8 letter fill. ACETONE, ADOPTEE, ASUNDER, CELESTE, FERRARO, ROBERTS, CHATROOM, ETRUSCAN, LOIS LANE, SUGAR PEA.

17A. Imp who annoys the webmaster? : SITE DEVIL. (9) SHE DEVIL transformed. Odd to see this paired with its homonym as part of the theme.

24A. Security group at a protest? : SIT IN GUARDS. (11) SHIN GUARDS an appropriate fill for World Cup time, harkens back memories of college in the 60's.

34A. Quote from "Guerrilla Warfare"? : CITE GUEVARA. (11) CHE GUEVERA was another major player in the 60's media.

49A. Improved Gemini missile? : BETTER TITAN.(11)  BETTER THAN is a bit of a flat phrase but we are being consistent with a rocket from 60s. If you grew up when I did, or watched the movies you will remember the launches of the Gemini capsules. And the reveal,

57A. Swing both ways, and a literal hint to how four puzzle answers were created : SWITCH HIT.

1. 1980s Vicki Lawrence TV role : MAMA. The much younger Vicki played Carol Burnett's mother first on Carol's variety show and then on MAMA's FAMILY.(6:12).

5. Baylor University site : WACO. Where RG III and Brittney Greiner starred.

9. Cul-__ : DE SAC. We do not always want to use literal translations of French phrases incorporated into English. Not to be confused with 18D. Make potable, as seawater : DESALT.

14. Org. created in Baghdad in 1960 : OPEC. Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

15. Emperor after Galba : OTHO. He was one of the 4 in the year of 4 Emperors, which I learned about from my Classics studying son. No operation or salad named for this one.

16. Taken : IN USE. I doubt the movies would have done very well with this title.

19. Person of influence : MOGUL. If you ever wondered, the name comes from the Great Mogul, Mughal emperor of India after the conquest of 1520s,

20. Steel plow pioneer : DEERE. A company built on a very simple premise. HISTORY.

21. Amy Adams' "Man of Steel" role : LOIS LANE. Why do the movies and TV shows always get it wrong; Lois is a brunette and Lana Lang the red-head. Once again a ginger.

23. "Baudolino" author : ECO. Author Umberto is becoming a favorite of constructors.

27. Mondale's running mate : FERRARO. Geraldine, if you forgot.

29. Cheesecake ingredient? : GAM. Pulp fiction word for an attractive female leg, probably from the Italian Gamba. Splynter are you out there? A classic.

30. Fondle : PET. Sounds weird.

31. Tasteless : BLAND. Ah, tasteless, not tasteless.

33. "Where __ you?" : WERE. A bad question to ever here from your SO.

38. Cheers : RAHS.

40. "On the Record" host Van Susteren : GRETA. No way to link this Fox news star without it ending up in political discussion.

41. Mozart's "L'__ del Cairo" : OCA.

42. Humanities degs. : MAS. Master of Arts

45. Oliver Twist, e.g. : ADOPTEE. Not my first or second thought.

52. __ mission : ON A. A Gemini one?

53. Ancient Po Valley dweller : ETRUSCAN. With a son who majored in Roman Archaeology, the pre-Roman Italian people  is another gimme.

54. Classics, e.g. : I-PODS. I am too old to understand this. (From C.C.:  This refers to iPod Classic model.)

56. Underground network : ROOTS. This clue/fill will grow on you.

60. CD alternative : T-NOTE.

61. Fleming and McKellen : IANS. An Odd Couple? James Bond and Magneto? Or Gandalf?

62. Hawk's foe : DOVE. A very vocal comparison from the 60s when the Vietnam War raged.

63. Certain car carriers : SEMIS.

64. Span. miss : SRTA.

65. Hip follower? : STER. This is an accepted suffix (mob, trick etc.) even if you do not like this type of fill. My personal favorite is easy. LOB. Anyway, hipsters abounded in the 60s.


1. Rapper Yasiin Bey, formerly : MOS DEF. I know him only from his films, certainly not his most recent name. He was born Dante Terrell Smith. Not a 60s reference.

2. Pricing word : A PIECE.

3. Astronomer's sighting : METEOR.

4. Aspire maker : ACER. Computer.
5. Distress : WOE.

6. Beach transp. : ATV. All Terrain Vehicle.

7. It may be seen on a dog : CHILI. Funny.

8. Chinese tea : OOLONG. Did you know the HISTORY? It ties into the ...

9. Chinese dish served on small plates : DIM SUM. An odd sort of Clecho.

10. __ Gay : ENOLA. I think it is time this clue was dropped.

11. Edible pod : SUGAR PEA. These are a form of snow or snap pea, not a sweet pea.

12. In bits and pieces : ASUNDER. Divorced anyone?

13. Pizza-For-One maker : CELESTE. A CSO to my son's MIL.

22. Supermarket letters : IGA. Independent Grocers Alliance.

25. Requiem Mass hymn word : IRAE.

26. Half a patio pair : TONG.

28. MLB stats : RBIS. It should never be "RBI's" as the plural is Runs Batted In, still RBI, you can have 10 RBI.

32. Grooved on : DUG. here we go back to the 60s; I am home.

33. Trendy sandwich : WRAP. So last year.

34. Place to practice netiquette : CHAT ROOM.

35. Latin 101 word : ERAT.

36. Sacred Hindu text : VEDA.

37. Not accented, as syllables : ATONIC.

38. 1955 Fonda role : ROBERTS. Hey MISTER. (2:18) A wonderful romp with Hank Fonda, Jimmy Cagney, Bill Powell and a young Jack Lemmon (no relation).

39. Polish remover ingredient : ACETONE.It is where the smell comes from. If you smell that in someone's breath get them immediately to a hospital as it is likely caused by diabetic ketosis. Or too many orange certs.

42. Diddles (around) : MESSES. Not my first thought, nor likely Dennis'.

43. Hyperbola part : ARC. Not an exaggeration.

44. Equilibrium : STASIS.

46. One of Goldilocks' complaints : TOO HOT.

47. Vitamin K source : ENDIVE.This is the one vegetable I do not like.

48. __ egg : EASTER.

50. __-frutti : TUTTI. We have to go here: LINK. (2:05).

51. "__, truth is the first casualty": Aeschylus : IN WAR. Another topic I will avoid for non-political political reasons.

55. Third degrees? : PHDS. Philosophiae Doctor(s). Nice misdirection BA-1, MA-2, PhD-3.

58. Bank acct. entry : INTerest.

59. PC-checking org., at times : TSA. Transportation Safety Administration.

Another Friday in the record books, the  Open Tournament from Royal Liverpool is here to amuse us and of course in So.Fla. We have sun and have rain. Thanks Robin and thanks Corner.

Enjoy all. Lemonade out.