Showing posts with label Lemonade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lemonade. Show all posts

Mar 27, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015, Jacob Stulberg

Theme: Waiter, what is this fly doing in my soup? ANSWER? See number 3.

Jacob has always puzzled me with his puzzles like his Wednesday NYT, and while the solve was okay and I am not a great solver, I was having difficulty with the explanation. The basic theme has TANG inside the fill, and I now understand why after consulting with the Corner guru. The first four themers are:

14A. *1952 #1 hit for Leroy Anderson : BLUE TANG(9), Do not know the SONG or the artist, but the perps and the theme gave me this answer quickly.

17A. *Math reciprocal : COTANGENT(9). This was easy, but I will defer to our math experts to discuss.

61A. *"Atomic" Crayola color : TANGERINE (9). I am not sure why but I remember this color.

66A. *Bogged down : ENTANGLED (9). Not perfect fit for me.

Then we have the supplemental variation of the old joke about a fly in the soup:

30A. With 35-Across, question the starred clues might ask : WHAT IS THIS FLY (13).
35A. See 30-Across : DOING IN MY ANSWER (15).
44. Response to 30-/35-Across, and a hint to a hidden word in 14-, 17-, 61- and 66-Across : THE BACK STROKE (13).

I was struggling to make sense of the back stroke reference when I was made aware that TANG backwards spells GNAT, which makes it all fit together as the GNAT in each theme answer is backwards leaving a FLY doing a backstroke. Really inventive combination of words and visual.

Again we have a Friday with almost 60 five letter or shorter words, 42 blocks and only a few non theme related sparkly fill such as ANCHOR, BEATER, EERILY, IT WAS I, KEITEL, OUTLAW, SHIRTS, SO THAT, AT STAKE, ESSENCE. We also have the cross-referenced reveal which get some complaints, and if you do not know the old joke it may have been a bear, but overall this was as an inventive and puzzling puzzle.


1. Long __ : AGO. We begin like STAR WARS Episode IV only it is our constructor who has a mind from a different galaxy.

4. Spartan colonnades : STOAS. You see many of these on college campuses as well.

9. Belief of more than a billion : ISLAM.

16. "Done!" : THERE.

18. Expand : WIDEN.

19. Numskull : DOLT.

20. Start of a rumor : I HEAR...that Rich does not like partials, is this one?

22. Fuel economy testing org. : EPA. Environemental Protection Agency.

23. Business card word : FAX.

26. On the table : AT STAKE.

33. Zhou __ : EN LAI. This Chinese POLITICIAN and cohort of Mao actually died a few month before Mao's death. And 25D. Capital of Shaanxi Province : XI'AN. CSO to our own.

34. Wide size : EEE.

42. Boston Coll. is in it : ACC. Atlantic Coast Conference.

43. '90s runner : PEROT. For president, not for distance, Ross.

50. Pith : ESSENCE.

51. Medit. land : ISRael.

52. Revised versions: Abbr. : EDS. Editions.

55. Sharp : ACRID. I think of smells.

57. Stop on Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited route : ERIE. CSO.

58. Theodore's first lady : EDITH. This LADY. She was however, his second wife.

65. Event with pole bending : RODEO. Like slalom for cowboys? No idea.

67. "Octopus's Garden" songwriter : STARR. Ringo wrote some interesting songs. His best with the BEATLES.

68. Holds up : LASTS. And, 46D. Hold : ANCHOR.

69. Sch. units : YRS.


1. Start of a children's song : ABCDE.

2. Gluttonous Augustus in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" : GLOOP. I did not remember his NAME.(2:39)

3. Posse target : OUTLAW.

4. Stop: Abbr. : STN.

5. __ sale : TAG. We have yard sales, garage sales, moving sales as well as THESE. My grandmother manufactured tags in Southbridge.

6. Word with man or horse : ONE. ReallY?

7. Latin lambs : AGNI. A variation from our normal reference.

8. To make sure : SO THAT.

9. Confessor's words : IT WAS I. I started with I DID IT which also fit.

10. Haberdashery stock : SHIRTS. The original meaning was the peddler of notions such as needles, thread etc. but it has become associated with outfitting a man.

11. Directed : LED.

12. Exist : ARE.

13. Sign on a door : MEN. It safer to put gentleman and ladies, too easy to remove WO.

15. Put away : EAT.

21. Djibouti neighbor: Abbr. : ETHiopia.

23. Canine : FANG. Rhymes with TANG.

24. Hun king, in Norse legend : ATLI. Is this a comeback this week for ATTILA?

27. Several : A FEW.

28. "Twittering Machine" artist : KLEE. I had the K and filled in the rest, but I still am not very knowledgeable about painting. I have seen the picture, but did not know the name.

29. Observer : EYER. Not a favorite clue/fill.

31. Mother __ : HEN.

32. Fools : SIMPS. Literally I guess this is true as a simpleton is a foos.

35. 2/3, say : DATE. This partial clue fooled me for a while.

36. Big name in publishing : OCHS. Really, really BIG for the NY Times, not so much our journal.

37. Decorates, in a way : ICES. Tin, it is okay to ice a cake.

38. Mountain sighting : YETI. Ridiculous. I would rather see....

They were at Woodstock

39. JFK list : ARRS.

40. Queen dowager of Jordan : NOOR. Our American export. LINK.

41. Wall St. purchase : STK.

45. Rattletrap : BEATER. I know the term from reading old books,, but I have never heard anyone actually use the term.

47. "Born on the Bayou" band, briefly : CCR. Credence Clearwater Revival, a 2nd Woodstock band.

48. "Mean Streets" co-star : KEITEL. Harvey.  A powerful FILM. (2:58)

49. How ghost stories are told : EERILY.

53. "2 Broke Girls" setting : DINER. A female variation of the ODD COUPLE in the grand tradition of sitcoms from Lucy to the present. Much more sexual innuendo and talk. It used to follow The Big Bang Theory so I tried it.

54. Origins : SEEDS.

56. Actress Delany : DANA. I have watched her on many things since China Beach. (2:28)

57. Bit of work : ERG. Followed by....

58. Triage ctrs. : ERS. Emergency Rooms.

59. Finish, as a letter, perhaps : DOT. Finish writing the letter (i) , not the letter! Ah ha, I get it.

60. Wyo. neighbor : IDAho.

62. Some Windows systems : NTS.

63. Hood's gun : GAT.

64. U.S. Army rank abolished in 1815 : ENS. A WAG that was easier than I expected.

Another Friday gone, another month, another change of season and another puzzle with a somewhat complicated gimmick. I had fun once I got past the TANG + GNAT backwards part. A reminder to always look both ways when you see "BACK" in a puzzle. Enjoy the birdies. Lemonade out.

Mar 20, 2015

Friday, March 20, 2015, Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: PeePee time.

A return to Friday for another of my favorite regular constructors, Jeffrey Wechsler, who gives us five two word phrases, with the first word ending in P and the second starting with P but one of the Ps is eliminated. Gratuitously for my write up I have chosen the P at the beginning of the second word as the eliminated letter. For me, the key to all letter adding or subtracting is the wit in the reveal and here is a really fun one. If I had been eating SPLIT PEA SOUP I would have spit pea soup. I started out with a bit of trouble only because the HUMAN BRAIN has such adaptive qualities that I read STRIPOKER, as if both Ps were present. There have been so many studies of this phenomenon, it was cool to see it as the basis of a puzzle. So what did one P say to the other P? "Time to split, man." The grid also has incorporated the reveal and one themer in the downs, which I always like. Lots of workable but challenging fill EARTHEN, HAD A KID, OLD WEST, WREATHE, APPARENT, GET A BITE, HARRISON, HOOSIERS and some shorter fun words ADDLED, BURROW, CANTOR, OCTAVE, ORIENT, PARSEC, SCATHE, URANIA.

A nice balance with some crunch to make you earn the Ta Dah.

17A. Where shirts may be lost? : STRIP POKER (9). I like the double entendre of the clue/fill as you can lose your shirt, literally and lose your shirt figuratively playing poker.

32A. California Marine Corps base : CAMP PENDLETON (12). OOH RAH. What do our resident marines think of its ban?

39A. Realm of some self-help books : POP PSYCHOLOGY (12). My undergraduate degree.

62A. Update : KEEP POSTED (9). I now recognize KYP, in texting. (Keep You Posted).

13D. Travel agent's suggestions : TRIP PLANS (8). My least favorite of the theme, but needed to balance the reveal.

35D. Soup variety, and a feature of five puzzle answers : SPLIT PEA (8). As mr. Gleason would say, And away we go....


1. Shoot the moon : GO BIG. This was real challenge as well, because it has so many meanings, and I mostly associate with Hearts where you must take all hearts and the Queen of Spades.

6. "Say from whence / You __ this strange intelligence?": Macbeth : OWE. Not my favorite play, but:

Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more.
By Sinel’s death I know I am thane of Glamis.
But how of Cawdor? The thane of Cawdor lives,
A prosperous gentleman, and to be king
Stands not within the prospect of belief,
No more than to be Cawdor. Say from whence
You owe this strange intelligence, or why
Upon this blasted heath you stop our way
With such prophetic greeting. Speak, I charge you.

9. Word of possibility : MIGHT.

14. MDX maker : ACURA. An SUV.

15. __ Pacis: altar of Peace : ARA.  This EDIFICE. PAX, was the Roman goddess of peace, from whence we derive Pax Vobiscum.

16. Tough test metaphor : A BEAR.

19. Dish man? : PETRI.  An interesting  STORY about a very cultured man.

20. Measurement for Sagan : PARSEC. Carl is back. Twice. 58A. Muse for Sagan : URANIA. A bit of a scientific mini-theme with the Galileo reference. This amusing MUSE.

21. One sending out bills : ATM. Automated Teller Machine. Nice deception.

23. Field guard : TARP. More fun cluing, for the tarpaulin protecting the baseball diamond.

24. Bolivian president Morales : EVO. A member of an Indigenous Tribe in Bolivia as well as a Coca farmer. LINK.

25. Denounce unmercifully : SCATHE. I do not go in for the Rex Parker tendency for scathing reviews.

27. Natl. debt unit : BILlion. Sadly trillion is the real answer.

28. Mountain __: soft drinks : DEWS. There are many kinds.

30. White : ASHEN.

31. Galileo's birthplace : PISA. His BIOGRAPHY.

35. Snowboarding gold medalist White : SHAUN.

38. Begins : OPENS. Our write begins with a made up theme/name.

45. Easy pace : LOPE.

46. Idle colleague : PALIN. No Sarah but Monty Python and Fish Called Wanda star MICHAEL. Nice Eric Idle misdirection..

47. Conan Doyle, for one : SCOT. The damn Scott's Lawn commercials have ruined it for me.

51. "Love __ Rose": Neil Young song : IS A. Neil got bashed for his CSNY work.

52. At sea : ADDLED. Not out on the ocean but confused.

54. LAX stat : ARRival.

55. Fade out : TIRE which describes how I feel about...

57. Film with six sequels : SAW.

60. Equals : PEERS.

64. Kovacs of early TV comedy : ERNIE.

65. Tao follower? : ISM. Taoism.

66. "JFK" director : STONE. Oliver.

67. Late bloomer? : ASTER. They bloom in the fall.

68. Skid row woe : DTS. Delirium Tremens, the shakes.

69. Prepares for recycling : SORTS.


1. Suddenly inspired : GASPED. Along with the equally confusing 5D. Is visibly thunderstruck : GAPES. These words do confound me.

2. Staff span : OCTAVE. Musical staff.

3. Underground shelter : BURROW.

4. Camera component : IRIS.

6. Sturdy tree : OAK.

7. Encircle : WREATHE. Not a usage to which I was familiar, but of course it makes sense.

8. Like 3-Downs : EARTHEN.

9. Place for an X, perhaps : MAP. It marks the spot.

10. "That's dubious" : I BET. The tone must be sarcastic.

11. Go for lunch, say : GET A BITE. Not related but see 41D. Started one's family, casually : HAD A KID.

12. President who signed the Sherman Antitrust Act : HARRISON.  Benjamin who was the grandson of William Henry and president before and after Grover Cleveland. This ACT. Shall we break up Apple?

18. Razor man? : OCCAM. It is simple, it really is.

22. Patch : MEND.

26. Venomous snake : ASP.

29. Informal pardon? : 'SCUSE. Is this supposed to be English?

31. 1666 London fire chronicler : PEPYS. A glimpse into the past with his DIARY.

33. "__ luck?" : ANY. Luck had nothing to do with it.

34. Two-by-four source : LOG. Simple, elegant.

36. Classic 1986 sports movie : HOOSIERS.

37. Obvious : APPARENT.

40. Makers of many skeds : CPAS. I am sure accountants use it but I do not like 'sked.'

42. Grey area? : OLD WEST. Zane Grey that is.

43. Small, made smaller : LIL.

44. Get ahead of : ONE UP.

48. Fixture at Rosh Hashanah services : CANTOR. At all services.

49. Put on course : ORIENT.

50. Masonry and such : TRADES. One of my mother's brothers taught masonry at trade school in Brooklyn, Connecticut.

53. Metallic waste : DROSS.

56. City on its own lake : ERIE. A shout out to our own.

59. In the matter of : AS TO.

61. Sun. delivery : SERmon. Ecumenical equal time for the Church.

63. Acute care initials : EMS. Emergency Medical Services.

Thank you Jeffrey, I had a really good time. I hope you and all the others have a great week end at ACPT, and I hope everyone has a great spring. Lemonade a bit under the weather signing out.

Notes from C.C.:

1) Welcome back, Gary! What Irish Miss said yesterday: You were missed and no more setbacks allowed! Now we need Yellowrocks to check in.
2) Happy Birthday to Commander Al (Spitzboov), a blog regular whose loyalty, friendship and advice I've been relying on the past few years. Al served in the Navy Reserve for over 20 years and retired as Commander. You can click here for more pictures of Spitzboov, Betty  and Argyle at the Washington County Fair last August.

 Spitzboov and Argyle with John (Deere)
3) Happy Birthday to John28man as well. The lady in his avatar picture is his wife. They were in a restaurant in Vienna, Austria.


Mar 6, 2015

Friday, March 6, 2015, Steve Marron

Theme: There is no "I" in Steve Marron's name

Our own tag team titan from Wednesday's well traveled and witty Steve has taken an old saw and made it into a reveal 61A. Sports cliché that explains 17-, 28-, 35- and 47-Across : THERE'S NO I IN TEAM (15) which spans the grid and explains that all the other nonsensical fill are sports teams with the letter "I" removed from the names. Really cute, and inventive, and a classic Friday structure with lower word count and fewer blocks, with the average word length almost 5 and 1/2 letters. This led to lots of 7 and 8 letter fill like ABYSMAL, ACERBIC,  AD ASTRA,  AMPERES,  ATTACHE, BASKETS, BASMATI, CATBERT, ECSTASY, ENTWINE, SEETHES, STREETS, UTENSIL, VIEWING, MANIACAL, VENDETTA. Very fresh fill and almost no common answers (IRA, TEN and AHA) another rising star emerging in the LAT world from our little Corner. Remember when we used to say, Oh great that is C.C.'s third solo, or marti's? Let's see what this transplanted Brit brought.

17A. Pennsylvania athletes : PITTSBURGH PIRATES (15) I bet it was deducing that this team left 15 letters when the Is were removed that made this puzzle possible for Steve. Well done catch.

28A. Florida athletes : MIAMI DOLPHINS (10) I love seeing my hometown team (they actually no longer play in Miami) and the fact the mirror clue is also an NFL team.

35A. Illinois athletes : CHICAGO FIRE (9). We have soccer, to go with football. Of course to Steve this too is football, so....There also is a current TV Show with this name. Am I the only one who finds it odd that things are named after a terrible disaster?

47A. Michigan athletes : DETROIT LIONS (10). Like the Dolpins they are in a long span of futility.
and the reveal as above
61A. Sports cliché that explains 17-, 28-, 35- and 47-Across : THERE'S NO I IN TEAM (15)
classic 5 theme 15, 10, 9, 10, 15 symmetry.


1. Biting : ACERBIC. What a witty way to begin.

8. Pulley wheel : SHEAVE. The things I learn here, I never knew THIS.

14. Beyond enthusiastic : MANIACAL. Is this a CSO for marti?

16. __ arch: blood vessel section : AORTIC. Is this a CSO for marti?

19. "Charlotte's Web" monogram : EBW. Elwyn Brooks White. Now I recall why I never remember this AUTHOR's full name. Notice that he likes dachshunds as well as correct use of English.

20. Like dreamers, often : ASLEEP.

21. Word of suspicion, to Tweety : TAWT I saw a puddy tat.

22. Steering aids : REINS. I like this clue so many ways, the misdirection, the sound....

24. __ moment : A HA. Is this two words?

26. Langley-based org. : CIA. Central Intelligence Agency. I had a high scholl classmate who went to work for them and I am hoping he will tell us his adventures at our upcoming 50th reunion.

27. Maritime raptor : ERNE.

32. Booyah, e.g. : STEW. Man this was hard for me, I only know the Stuart Scott version not the FOOD.

33. Tax shelter initials : IRA. Individual Retirement Account.

34. Gray wrote one in a country churchyard : ELEGY.  He originally called it Stanza's Wrote in a Country Church-Yard. LINK.

39. Teatime choice : ASSAM. Leave it to Steve to know his teas.

42. "Un-PC" was added to it in 2014 : OED. Oxford Englsih Dictionary.

43. "Take a Chance on Me" group : ABBA.

50. Company headquartered in Trollhättan : SAAB. WE had the ABBA/SAAB once before and I love it.

51. Fizzy prefix : AERate.

52. Words before hear or see : SO I.

53. Needing to be picked up : MESSY. Or perhaps this ANSWER (for Splynter?).

54. "Let it be" : STET.

56. Address label words : SEND TO.

60. Düsseldorf distances: Abbr. : KMS. The European mind, Kilometres.
64. Make final adjustments to, as a concert piano : RETUNE.

65. Family feud : VENDETTA. I recently rewatched one of my favorite Natalie Portman movies.

66. They may be intangible : ASSETS. Goodwill, for example.

67. Setting piece : UTENSIL.


1. Electrical units : AMPERES.

2. Scott Adams' Evil Director of Human Resources : CATBERT. He has such a strange mind.

3. Wrap around : ENTWINE.

4. Grafton's "__ for Ricochet" : R IS. Between Wheel of Fortune and Sue Grafton there is always a saving fill.

5. Rum desserts : BABAS.

6. Post-op areas : ICUS. Intensive Care Units.

7. Red Sox great Yastrzemski : CARL. Not to be confused with another Carl, 13D. "Understanding is a kind of __": Sagan : ECSTASY.

8. The tenth Muse, to Plato : SAPPHO.

9. Old TV knob : HORizontal.

10. Proof word : ERAT.

11. Diplomatic official : ATTACHE.

12. Taking in : VIEWING.

15. Part of XXL: Abbr. : LGE.

18. Proceed : HEAD. Like head home, or HEAD EAST.(5:17).

23. Air freshener scent : NEW CAR.

25. Ray or Jay : ALER.

28. Emcee's aid : MICrophone.

29. The Era of __: period in Notre Dame sports lore : ARA. Parseghian.

30. Toon with a cat named Bowser : MAGOO. No memory of this feline.

31. Satisfy : PLEASE. It will satisfy me if you say please....

36. Health care orgs. : HMOS.

37. Vintner's prefix : OEN. We usually have Oeno.

38. Hose users: Abbr. : FDS. Fired Departments.

39. Words on the Royal Canadian Air Force badge : AD ASTRA. Latin for 'to the stars.'

40. Is ready to blow : SEETHES.

41. "__ of Philadelphia": Oscar-winning song : STREETS. Not a happy SONG.

44. Court scores : BASKETS.

45. Long-grained Asian rice : BASMATI. We ue primarily Jasmine.

46. Beyond poor : ABYSMAL. Fun word.

48. Pre-game decision makers : TOSSES. Of a coin.

49. Property encumbrance : LIEN. Oh goody, a real property law word.

53. Eiffel's world : MONDE. Just French.

55. Level : TRUE. True dat!

57. Fall mo. : NOVember.

58. "Mon __!" : DIEU. OMG! More Frawnche!!!

59. Salon treatment : TINT. Hair salon.

62. Sinusitis-treating MD : ENT. Ear Nose and Throat.

63. Top __ : TEN. This is absolutley in my top ten favorite Steve Marron puzzles! Great Job! I did get a chance to ask Steve the genesis of this puzzle and he said, "I was working at home one morning and watching the Dan Patrick show on NBC Sports and he started to question the "No "I" in Team" tenet and that's what got me thinking." Remember to set your clocks ahead, and beware the Ides.  lemonade out.

Feb 20, 2015

Friday, February 20, 2015, Frank Virzi

Theme: Where do I find the "F" words? I can't C them.

Wow, it is only February and I already am blogging my second Frank Virzi puzzle this year. To refresh your recollection, Frank is a science teacher working in Townsend (?) Massachusetts (that knowledge might help solving) who gave us an 'ell of time in January with his add a sound offering. This time we have a straight letter exchange where "C" becomes "F" in 5 phrases, three of which are grid spanners. Each of the phrases had a final word that begins with C, but an F is substituted to reveal some visually amusing fill. Having the C in Cover as part of a fill may not be acceptable to some, though it is only Cs in the last word which are switched. The key to this type of theme is the wit of the new fill. I really enjoyed some of them and I hope you did as well. With 71 theme letters encased in only 5 fill we have a puzzle which has no fill longer than 6 letter, except for the theme, with 3,4 and 5 letter words dominating the grid.

17A. Forgeries that are easy to spot? : UPSIDE DOWN FAKES (15). Pineapple Upside Down Cake is the only one I have ever had. Do you get a mental image of the Mona Lisa standing on her head? Getting the theme is very critical because the perp of FIFE which intersects this and the next theme answer, is not easy.

23A. Dude in the CIA? : UNDER COVER FOP (13). I do not think of CIA operatives as Cops but I guess in the generic law enforcement sense they are. FOP is a word I know from reading  English mysteries along with TOFF.  As I said, FIFE is easy if you have the F theme.

37A. Trivial blunder? : MICKEY MOUSE FLUB (15). Ah, they have given us Annette Funicello, Britney Spears, Justin Timerlake and so many other graduates of Disney's Club. I assume we all of heard of the disparaging, what kind of Mickey Mouse operation are you running here?

49A. Pancake cook in pinstripes? : YANKEE FLIPPER (13). I love this; a reminder of Joe DiMaggio, the Yankee Clipper, in his pinstripe uniform.

58A. "My fireplace is defective!"? : I HAVEN'T GOT A FLUE (15). I also laughed out loud for this variation of I haven't got a Clue though we had many, and I hope you filled them all.

So that is the theme, just one letter changed, no spelling or sound changes, just interesting mental pictures.


1. "Invisible Cities" author Calvino : ITALO. I would guess marti knows considerably more than I do about this WRITER. Lately we are getting tough 1A starts to our Fridays.

6. "I ran away from you once. I can't do it again" speaker : ILSA. One of the most quoted films of all time, Casablanca had Ingrid say these lines:

"I can't fight it anymore.
I ran away from you once. I can't do it again.
Oh, I don' t know what's right any longer.
You have to think for both of us.
For all of us."

10. Ford Field player : LION. The stadium where the Detroit Lions play.

14. Surgery acronym : LASIK. Laser-Assisted in situ Keratomileusis or the easier to parse Laser-Assisted Stromal In-situ Keratomileusis. I am sure we all remember KERA is Greek for cornea.

15. It's a gas : NEON. Fun clue. A touch of science.

16. "Snow White" character flaw : ENVY. Poor Queen.

20. By way of : VIA. A Latin word fully accepted into English.

21. French pronoun : TOI. Moi, toi? wait for perps.

22. Habituate : INURE. Both words mean accustom, but inure is more frequently associated with bad things.

28. Essen's valley : RUHR.

29. Spotted : SEEN.

30. Slug relative : SNAIL. A slug living in a motor home?

33. Roll : WAD. Usually seen with 'of dough.'

34. Word after clip or pop : ART.

42. Colorado native : UTE.

43. "About his head he wears the winner's __": "The Two Noble Kinsmen" : OAK. How cool, some Shakespeare that I do not know, with fill that was not easily inferable.

44. Guanaco cousin : LLAMA. This animal got its name from the Qhechua, who live in the Amazon so we are once again back in Ecuador.

45. Beantown athlete : CELTic. Boston is beantown, and they ended up making no deadline trades. Danny Ainge I thought you had the inside track for Dragic? And, 66A. City NNE of Boston : LYNN. Was this a Natick for anyone? Finally, 46D. Bay State motto starter : ENSE. "ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem" "by the sword she seeks quiet peace under liberty" How many of our Bay Staters knew the motto of their home, Massachusetts?

47. Peek follower : ABOO.

54. Some Highlanders : GAELS. Having read extensively about Scotland, this was a gimme. Their STORY. Also, 19D. County on the Firth of Forth : FIFE. I find all of this stuff interesting. LINK.

56. U.N. workers' agcy. : ILO. International Labour Organization. Don't forget the 'u.'

57. Roasting time in Toulon? : ETE. Another variation on cluing the French word for summer (without the accent.)

63. "Footloose" co-star Singer : LORI. She got the Bacon sizzling...

64. Word after "funny" that clarifies its meaning : HA HA. Not, funny odd.

65. 1995 Stallone title role : DREDD. A dreadful film, that has already been remade.

67. Senate Republican leader before Frist : LOTT.

68. Sources of wisdom : SAGES.


1. Affectionate text : I LUV U. LUV was a way to avoid saying love, when I was young.

2. It's often just inches : TAP IN. You just love those tap in pars and birdies, HG?

3. Syrian leader : ASSAD.

4. Full deck Nero wasn't playing with? : LII. Fifty-two, the number of cards in a modern deck.

5. Gave a thumbs-up : OK'D.

6. Like some soccer games : INDOOR. And football.

7. Pope before Benedict III : LEO IV. All perps; there have been 266 according to the Vatican; do even the best Catholics know them all?

8. Plant : SOW. Juxtaposed with...

9. Taylor of fashion : ANN. There is no such person, it is the name of a retail chain, and it was named after a DRESS.

10. Pressure : LEAN ON. Me.

11. Finish, as a tat : INK UP. My meh fill of the puzzle, don't  you 'ink in' the artwork?

12. Finished : OVER. I am so over this.

13. Where to see MMM : NYSE. New York Stock Exchange.  They were Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company when I was young, known then for Scotch tape. A CSO to our Minnesota heritage.  LINK.

18. "Toy Story" character who draws : ETCH.

24. Composer Satie : ERIK. More marti's STYLE.

25. Gag __ : RULE. In a trial, the judge orders the participants to not speak of the courtroom happenings.

26. Isaac's eldest : ESAU.

27. Team whose logo involves a "wishbone C" : REDS. There are many Cs but only this odd one.

30. Mustangs' sch. : SMU. A return visit for Southern Methodist University.

31. Trivial objection : NIT. You get to pick you own. A tiny clecho with the theme clue.

32. One-spot : ACE. Never heard the term.

33. Pan for Yan : WOK. I guess the rhyme is cute, but YAN is not the most well known of Chinese provinces.(up date, the reference is likely to a tv cooking show You Can Cook hosted by Martin Yan)

34. Recipe words : A LA.

35. Mojito ingredient : RUM.

36. Not yet determined, in skeds : TBA. To Be Announced.

38. It's surrounded by white : YOLK.

39. Game ender : MATE. Why do we have 'check' in chess but not in checkers?

40. Morlock prey : ELOI. Yummy?

41. Bomb : FLOP.

45. He served between Warren and Herbert : CALVIN. Coolidge in between Harding and Hoover.

47. Like most rafts : AFLOAT. Not George.

48. Rorschach image : BLOT. The oldest joke: the man goes to the doctor and is shown inkblots but after each one he tells the doctor he sees naked women fornicating. The doctor expresses amazement with the man's fixation on sex, but the patient says, "Me, Doc? I think it is you since you were the one showing me all the dirty pictures."

49. Ache : YEARN. For better jokes?

50. "__ Men Out": baseball scandal film : EIGHT. Ahhm the 1919 White Sox.

51. Pequod co-owner : PELEG. The characters in Moby Dick should all be familiar.

52. Chopin's "Winter Wind," e.g. : ETUDE. Do we like Piano music ?

53. Orchestra group : REEDS. Or do we prefer the ORCHESTRA?

54. Fish feature : GILL. Vince is hurt...

55. "Hi, sailor!" : AHOY.

59. Vezina Trophy org. : NHL. National Hockey League, the award is for the best goalie, named after a Montreal Canadien goalie who died of tuberculosis.

60. Lao Tzu principle : TAO.

61. Some pop-ups : ADS. Too many.

62. Brother : FRA. This is a variant of the word FRIAR; the Catholic encyclopedia says Friars are different from monks in that they are called to live the evangelical counsels (vows of poverty, chastity and obedience) in service to society, rather than through cloistered aestheticism and devotion. Whereas monks live in a self-sufficient community, friars work among laypeople and are supported by donations or other charitable support.

We are now getting ready for spring training baseball while we have parts of So. Fla. experiencing below 40 degree temps for the first time in four years. I realize this is not impressive to all the New England, upstate NY and Canadian readers, but is our harsh winter. Hope you enjoyed Frank V., as I did. Lemonade out (in the cold!).

Note from C.C.:
Happy Birthday to dear Argyle, my trusted adviser and close friend. I can't picture my life without Argyle, yet I forgot his birthday! I need to be punished!!

Feb 13, 2015

Friday, February 13, 2015, Mark McClain

THEME: This is one of those times where the reveal is better than anything I can think of to describe this letter replacement puzzle, which only requires remembering how to parse reveal clues.
63A. Modernize, in a way ... and when divided into three parts, a hint to the answers to starred clues : RE TO OL (6).

This is Mark's second puzzle for me to blog; his first publication was an LAT I wrote about on October 3, 2014 which involved adding DD into phrases. He since has had other publications, and while he stopped by to introduce himself, he did so a week after the puzzle, so in case you missed it,  here are his words. About myself? I've enjoyed xwords for many years, but just started tinkering around with constructing late in 2013 and started submitting puzzles early this year. This puzzle was actually made in March 2013, but went through a revision with Rich and was finally approved in June. I've had 8 puzzles approved for publication, including one in collaboration with Brad Wilber, who has been a great source of encouragement and knowledge. We started our dialog a few months ago when he approved one of my puzzles (scheduled for December). I live in Salem, Virginia, in the mountains near the Appalachian Trail and Blue Ridge Parkway. Both my long-time partner Diana Christopulos and I and do volunteer work for a number of local organizations. He has a website: LINK.

In every theme answer an 'in the language' phrase which includes the letters RE together in that order, are replaced with OL, in that order- RE to OL. The placement of the RE/OL is different in each of the theme answer; some of the fill is humorous, some functional.. The inclusion of the asterisks and the reveal made this one of my faster Friday solves, but then again, I am not a very fast solver, so....Many three and four letter fill for a Friday, with some nice medium fill like AIR RAID, ‘FRAID SO, IRIDIUM, MIRAMAR, SEE THRU, SORRIER, LHASA APSO, OUT SHOOTS.  let's see the theme and more....

19A. *Site of preserved ancient gaucho weapons? :LA BOLA TAR PITS (13). La BREA Tar Pits
are in one form or another very common in crosswords.  BOLAS is a nasty weapon; I am not sure if the singular is a legitimate word.

32A. *Hip curriculum? : COOL COURSES (11). CORE Courses are the basic ones you need for your degree.

41A. *Second-hand seat? : THRIFT STOOL  (11). The Thrift STORE has become  big business in the US. They used to be second hand stores when I was a kid.

54A. *Heroine in a reprised fairy tale? : OLD RIDING HOOD (13). My favorite of the theme, and I am sure by now she is the one in bed waiting for her granddaughter.

We revealed the reveal above...


1. Word with cake or meal : OAT.

4. Doctrinal suffix : ISM.

7. Pat Nixon's real first name : THELMA. I guess she chose Pat, because like most Thelmas, she hated her name. LINK. My ex-mil, Sue, is also a Thelma.

13. Classic sci-fi play : RUR.

14. Tres equivalent : DREI. Spanish to German number 3. An outlier....(sorry brain semi-functional)

15. Clinton's birth name : RODHAM. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, did any others recall that Bill was born William BLYTHE, also 6 letters?

16. Bush spokesman Fleischer : ARI. Staying with politics, Alex....

17. Part of DAR: Abbr. : AMERican. Daughters of the American Revolution. My third and fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Sochor was a proud member; she was in her 80's, frail, and as a very small child I thought the name was literal.

18. Busy enterprise? : APIARY. It be where they have bees and Sherlock Holmes. Leading to...

22. Grouse : BEEF. Can't complain about this clue/fill.

23. Humana option : HMO. Health Maintenance Organization; I just joined their gold plus plan.

24. Cut (it) : HACK. He just couldn't hack it as a salesman.

27. Blitz : AIR RAID.

31. MLB "minors" : AAA. Triple A baseball is the highest of the minor leagues which now go from rookie to A, AA and AAA; no more D leagues.

36. Banned chem. pollutant : PCB. PolyChlorinated Biphenyl; the initialisms adding up.

37. Protective bauble : AMULET.

38. Capital SE of Tallahassee : NASSAU. Capital of the Bahamas.

40. GPS datum : LATitude. Not a CSO to the LA Times.

45. Canadian sentence enders? : EHS. But a CSO to our resident Canadian.

46. Worse : SORRIER. State of affairs?

47. __ Men: "Who Let the Dogs Out" band : BAHA.

49. Andalusian aunt : TIA. Spanish.

50. Emerald City princess : OZMA. The dedicated fans of L. Frank know this half-human, half fairy GIRL.

59. "Ditto" : I DO TOO.

61. Thought : IDEA. Not to be parsed I, DEA.

62. French handle? : NOM. Just  French meaning "name." 21D. Versailles rulers of old : ROIS. French for kings. And42D. Roast, in Rouen : ROTI. This is one time where the accent would help. Rôti.We all remember that the accent is replaced with an "s" in many americanized versions of French words as explained by Kazie..

64. Functions : USES.

65. One of quarterback Archie's boys : ELI. With Peyton, the fading Manning brothers.

66. Lover's request : KISS ME. Often followed by, "you fool."

67. Stylish, once : MOD. Ah, the days of the mods and rockers.

68. Symbiont on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" : DAX. probably the most interesting and complicated CHARACTER(s) in the Star Trek universe. Realy only one DAX but two hosts....And the similar 14D. Indian lentil stew : DAL. A much harder clue than Delta. All perps. A CSO to my twin Vidwan and Mangesh Sakharam Ghogre.


 1. Colgate competitor : ORAL B. Even with the O from OAT, my inclination was CREST.

2. Halos : AURAE.

4. Culinary author Rombauer : IRMA. So many to chose from.

5. Sexy, in some ads : SEE THRU. Click if you want to see an EXAMPLE. (for the guys)

6. San Diego Marine Corps station whose name means "sea view" : MIRAMAR. Living in So.FLa. this is a gimme (a) we have a city with the name (b) you hear "mira" a billion times when people want you to look at something or understand something.

7. Trick : TRAP. Not synonymous for me, but it was easy fill.

8. Arizona natives : HOPI. We studied this tribe extensively in my undergraduate sociology classes. And a token cross reference. 3D. 8-Down, e.g. : TRIBE.

9. Archie's wife : EDITH.

10. Himalayan canine : LHASA APSO. This breed's HISTORY is interesting. Also see Caleb and Baha men.

11. Spoil : MAR. Mira! Another one.

12. '70s White House daughter : AMY. Where is she NOW?

20. Taking everything into account : OF ALL. Huh?

25. Evergreen bean : CACAO. Of course we love chocolate, and especially the fine aroma beans from Ecuador.

26. Capital where Pashto is spoken : KABUL. With all the years of war, this should be easy.

28. Rhyme $yndicate Records founder : ICE-T. Not to be confused with Grammy host ICE CUBE. Sorry Tin.

29. Certain IRAs : ROTHS. Names for Senator William from Delaware, also home to Joe Biden.

30. Driller's prefix? : DENTI.

32. Biblical spy : CALEB. Interesting and CONFUSING part of the story of Moses, which happens to be where the cycle of reading the Torah is now. Caleb (which means dog; see Baha Men) was perhaps one of the 12 spies.

33. Home of the Beef, an indoor football team : OMAHA. How perfect; I must get an email per week from Omaha Steaks. Now we would know how to answer when Clara Peller asked her famous question.

34. Makes more baskets than : OUTSHOOTS.

35. Fund drive appeal encl. : SASE. Self Addressed Stamped Envelope.

39. Eponymous brewer Bernhard : STROH.

43. Atomic number 77 : IRIDIUM. Was that easy for you science guys? Not the part of the periodic table that I remember.

44. "'Tis true, sorry to say" : FRAID SO.

48. Certain choristers : ALTOS. Why not chorusters?

51. Subdivided : ZONED. Zoning is part of the process, but a previously zoned property can be subdivided.

52. Scratch : MOOLA. Another interesting word, and one of questionable HERITAGE.

53. Blend : ADMIX. This is a real word, on its own, why I do not know.

55. Not a happy fate : DOOM. Doctor, doctor...

56. Function : ROLE. Super-villain.

57. Mandatory item : NEED. The Avengers? Fantastic Four?

58. It can be natural : GAS. Crepitation? LISTEN? (15:17).

59. Vex : IRK. Yes, vexsome.

60. Agnus __ : DEI.  Ah, we finish with classic crosswordese.

Well this was a real admix of information which brought out the linker in me; thanks Mark and I hope you all aol golat. Lemonade, out.

Feb 6, 2015

Friday February 6, 2015, Paul Coulter

Theme: Where can I hide the theme?  On the edges...

This puzzle was easier to fill than to discuss, especially to a crowd that does not like cross-referential cluing. (Sorry Barry G.). Each outside edge of the puzzle consists of three (3) four (4) letter fill, where the first and third fill together are the clue for the middle word. When combined, words 1+3  create a compound word, hence the reveal COMPOUND FRACTURE i.e., the compound word is fractured (broken) into two pieces. This was a hard Friday for me, and I hope you all stuck with it because there were lots of learning moments. This appears to be a debut LAT for a very active poster on puzzle blogs, so welcome Paul.

1A. Predicament : BOAT (4) a very tricky clue (in the same boat, being the easiest way to explain clue/fill) paired with 9A. Mutual fund charge : LOAD (4) (funds are no load, front load, or back end loaded) gives the clue for 5A.  Boatload: *1-/9-Across : HEAP which describes how much trouble you would be in if you did not see this gimmick.

73A. "Easy to be Hard" musical : HAIR (4) paired with 75A. Business : LINE (4) leaves the compound word clue for 74 A. Hairline: *73-/75-Across : THIN (4) as in a hairline fracture.

1D. Overdue, as pay : BACK (4) paired with 53D. Converse : TALK (4) produces the clue for 29D. Backtalk *1-/53-Down : SASS (4).

16D. Stern : HARD (4) paired with 64D. Reactor part : CORE (4) results in  the clue for : Hardcore: 39D. *16-/64-Down : AVID such as the fans for the Patriots or AC Milan, the soccer club.

The reveal is also cross-referential:
32A. With 49-Across, bad break ... and what each answer to a starred clue creates vis-à-vis the answers that define it : COMPOUND (8) 49A. See 32-Across : FRACTURE (8). A Compound fracture of a bone, as opposed to a simple clean break. (Hence bad break).

Add to the fun, the very difficult pair 62D. With 29-Across, Balkan city on the Danube : NOVI. 29A. See 62-Down : SAD.  Novi Sad according to wiki is  the second largest city in Serbia, the administrative seat of the province of Vojvodina and of the South Backa District. It is located in the southern part of the Pannonian Plain, on the border of the Backa and Srem regions, on the banks of the Danube river, facing the northern slopes of Fruška Gora mountain.

This is a very odd and very hard Friday, it seems like it should be easy with forty 4 letter fill, but the short ones like ABU, ARA, ELAH, AMUR  and the few long ones like  TONSURE, TREATED, TRUSTER , AMARETTI,  AVE MARIA, HEREFORD and RARE COIN were not gimmes.

I can hear all the grumbling, but when you consider he found 4 compound words which clued 4 letter fill, with each compound word 8 letters long that broke into 4 letter parts, and was revealed by two 8 letter reveals, the math is awesome. The architecture is very impressive. On with the show.


13. Up to it : ABLE. I was able and I finished without cheating, but it was work.

14. Prefix with plasm : ENDO. Already the ECTO/ENDO debate.

15. 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient : OPRAH. I did not recall but the OP___ had to be.

17. Nocturnal critter : COON. Aside from any politically unacceptable existence, is the reference to 'critter' enough to evoke the regionally popular abbreviation?

18. Source : ROOT. Of all evil?

19. Adams' "Nixon in China," for one : OPERA. I had LOAD, LOOSENS and OPP and wondered about OP--- over OP---. I have heard of but not listened to this work.

20. Handled vessel : KETTLE. Finally a stout clue.

22. Pouches : SACS.

24. Orch. section : STRings. JzB, is this abbreviation ever used as a notation in preparation for a concert?

25. Site of unexpected change? : SOFA. Wonderful clue/fill. So evocative and misleading.

27. Didn't trick, maybe : TREATED.

34. Prayer set to music by Schubert and Gounod : AVE MARIA.

36. Choice to sleep on : SERTA. Of course SEALY also fits.

40. Diva highlights : SOLI. In Latin the plural of a word ending in O (SOLO) can become I.

41. Distillery founder John : DEWAR. A CSO to Tin and all of our scotch drinkers.

44. "Ray Donovan" star Schreiber : LIEV.

45. Aptly named bird : SWIFT LINK.

47. Italian almond cookies : AMARETTI.

52. British pen pal's last letter? : ZED. A nice misdirection as this replaces our American ZEE as the last letter of the alphabet.

53. Part of a Buddhist monk's ordination : TONSURE.

56. Ridge just below the surface : REEF.

58. "Father of," in Arabic : ABU. I had the pleasure of portraying Auda Abu Tayi, who along with the Lawrence was a hero of the Arab revolt. He had married 28 times, which may explain why he has no fear going into battle.

59. Identical : SAME.

61. Place where cheap shots are a good thing : CLINIC. Wonderful clue, especially now during flu season.

65. Allow to attack : LET AT. I nominate this as my meh clue, while accurate, it does not sound like a real phrase.

67. Dagwood's annoying little friend : ELMO. A new/old clue for this fill.

69. Inflict on : DO TO. Others.

70. 1985 Chemistry co-Nobelist Jerome : KARLE. Really hard for me. Embarrassed to say I had NO IDEA.

71. "Avatar" race : NA'VI. I hope no one blue this easy clue.

72. Always : EVER. Always and forever and more.


2. Instrument to which an orchestra tunes : OBOE. JzB, please explain again.

3. Bushels : A LOT.

4. Pitchers' places : TENTS. Very difficult to suss, especially with 1A a tough fill, but when I understood the theme and backed into BOAT, this made sense as one pitches a tent.

5. White-faced cattle breed : HEREFORD. I grew up driving by large herds of cows, who were the weather forecasters of my youth.

6. Roxy Music co-founder : ENO. Brian has become a staple.

7. Stirs : ADOS.

8. Knish filling : POTATO. No doubt most popular knish thought kasha and meat are also out there.

9. Unfastens : LOOSENS. This was the key word in loosening up the North and getting me the theme, along with....

10. Up and down, say: Abbr. : OPPosites.

11. "Give it __" : A REST.

12. Puccini's "Vissi __" : D'ARTE. An ARIA from Puccini's Tosca. If you listen, read the comments if you like to see debate about Opera, I love that it crosses 19A.

21. Like "la vida" in a Ricky Martin hit : LOCA. An odd duplication as VISSI is Italian for "I lived" and vida is "life" in Spanish.

23. French vineyard : CRU. Staying in romance languages, Alex, we have a French WORD, and then another.

26. Gallic girlfriend : AMIE. And another. 38A. Idée source : TETE.

28. Jane Eyre's charge : ADELE. Like ELMO above, the popular singer gets replaced by an old clue last seen here in a marti puzzle I blogged in 2013.

30. Declare : AVOW.

31. Where to find a hero : DELI. A common pun in the xword world.

33. Play with, in a way : PAW AT. Something for all our cat lovers.

35. Irritates : MIFFS.

37. Cheese holder : RITZ. This one cracked me up.

42. Russia-China border river : AMUR. Nope, no idea.

43. Numismatist's find : RARE COIN. Since coins are their interest...

46. Reliant soul : TRUSTER.

48. Casting aid : REEL.

50. Constellation near Scorpius : ARA.

51. Bind : CEMENT. Your friendship?

54. West Indian folk religion : OBEAH. I know of voodoo and santeria but not this GROUP.

55. __Sweet: aspartame : NUTRA.

57. Friend of Che : FIDEL. A recent picture is being shown on Television purporting to show a healthy Fidel.

60. Where Goliath was slain : ELAH. We recently debated the use of a sling versus sling shot, but where did it happen? HERE.

63. Rte. through Houston : I-TEN. I-Twenty, I-Forty all major E to W routes

66. Will Smith title role : ALI.

68. DIII doubled : MVI. For all you Roman math scholars...

A very long uphill battle, that some will love and some will hate, but welcome Paul; come share your commentary at this the friendliest blog on the web. Lemonade out.

Note from C.C.:

Yellowrocks asked if Lucina wore a wimple the other day. Here are two pictures of what Lucina's veil looked like when she was a Sister of the Precious Blood Community. You can click here for a clearer image. She was with her sister and her mother in the second picture.

Jan 29, 2015

Thursday, January 29, 2015, Marti Duguay-Carpenter

Theme: Can you saw a sawbuck for me?

For the younger generation, a sawbuck is a ten dollar bill. This derived from the Roman Numeral X meaning ten, which looks like one end of a sawhorse. C-note meaning a hundred is also from the Latin. Anyway, marti has taken the word TEN and broken between two adjacent fill which are all clued by the first clue, cross-referentially- a variation on the break a word theme like we saw yesterday from Jeffrey Wechsler. Yesterday was an outie, and today is an innie. There is a double symmetry of the break 1/3 having t/en and 2/4 te/n. with 1/4 10 letters and 2/3 9 letters. The reveal is a central gridspanning 15. The fill is heavy on 5 letter words, some of which are tough like ERISA, ICAHN and TABOR and there are some nice 7-8 letter fill such as AMNESIA, CD RATES, EERIEST, HASTIER, NICE DOG, ROB ROYS, BREAD BIN, STAY HERE, many of which required work. Pinch hitting for marti, so let's get to work.

14A. With 15-Across, accounting unit : DEBIT. 15A. See 14-Across : ENTRY. Our system of mathematics, and accounting are based on the base 10. (10 in the theme).

29A. With 31-Across, anathema : BETE. 31A. See 29-Across : NOIRE. We have had bete noire before clued before as bete___?(8/12/14) and _____noire?(9/30/14). (9 in the theme). Aren't you all glad we had this word Tuesday?

44A. With 47-Across, some receivers : TIGHT. 47A. See 44-Across : ENDS. Rob Gronkowski is the New England Patriots star receiver. LINK. (0:29)(9 in the theme).

65A. With 66-Across, National Book Award-winning novel by Don DeLillo : WHITE. 66A. See 65-Across : NOISE. I did not know the book, but I knew the theme. (10 in the theme).
and the reveal
37A. Question about change, which hints at the hidden feature of four two-part puzzle answers : CAN YOU BREAK A TEN? (15).


1. Some portrait frames : OVALS. I had some trouble with this beginning even though I have a big oval frame in my living room holding a picture of my mother with her brothers when she was little.

6. Noble __ : GASES. Back on track.

11. Singsong syllable : TRA. Well, Lah di dah!

16. Like some aces : RED. So many different kinds of aces- cards, tennis, air warfare, tests....

17. Manage : SEE TO. I always think of,,,

18. Walking __ : ON AIR. What TV show theme music?

19. Sound after a satisfying swig : AAH. How cool that this is next to...

20. Scotch cocktails : ROB ROYS. The Scotch version of a Manhattan, it was named by a bartender at the Waldorf after a Broadway play about the Scottish hero, RECIPE.

22. Zenith : ACME.

23. "I won't hurt you" : NICE DOG. This was all perps,

26. Not as deliberate : HASTIER. This was hard, though once filled makes sense.

28. Toothbrush-endorsing org. : ADA. American Dental Association.

32. Worlds : REALMS. A word I got used to from watching my sons playing video games.

35. __ legend : URBAN. We have urban legends, dictionaries, even cowboys; where is the love for suburbia?

42. Blue Grotto locale : CAPRI.

43. "Ramona and Beezus" co-star Gomez : SELENA. Another STAR (1:41) created by Disney?

49. Set-__ : TOS.

50. Malady in the 2000 film "Memento" : AMNESIA. I could not remember what this movie was about.

52. Like the best occult films : EERIEST.

55. It's about a foot : SHOE. Sock fits this misdirection as well.

56. Yield figures : CD RATES.

58. Figure under a line : SUM.  Simple visual.

59. Fife-and-drum drum : TABOR. From the same Latin root where we get Tambourine.

60. Two cents : INPUT. Cute clue/fill.

64. Bardic before : ERE. The Bard?

67. "M*A*S*H" titles : LTS. Lieutenants. Actually they had lots of majors and captains there.

68. Private : INNER.

69. Mount : STEED. A horse is a horse, of course...


1. Pigs out (on) : OD'S.

2. Center of gravity? : VEE.  Tricky.

3. Presidential nickname : ABE.

4. Petrol unit : LITRE. You see, they do not say gasoline, so...

5. Gave up a seat : STOOD. So simple, but the political aspect slowed me. In the UK, they stand for Parliament, I think, even more confusing.

6. One of six British kings : GEORGE. I am still waiting for King Ringo.

7. Year in Tuscany : ANNO. Year in Italian, the same word as Latin.

8. "Wait for me" : STAY HERE.

9. Pension law signed by Ford, briefly : ERISA. Employee Retirement Income Security Act

10. Jordan neighbor: Abbr. : SYRia.

11. Gillette razor : TRAC II. Along with ATRA, regular crossword stuff.

12. Hole enlarger : REAMER. hard to remain pc with this clue/fill.

13. Cleave : ADHERE.

21. Comes to the surface : BOBS UP.

22. Harsh-sounding, to some : ATONAL. And MUSIC (2:16)  to others.

23. Traffic stopper? : NARC. Drug traffic. A classic miss m deception.

24. Notion : IDEA.

25. "Elf" actor : CAAN. ACTOR James, not to be confused with 51D. Corporate raider Carl : ICAHN. This was easy for me, but this MAN may not be as well known unless you have worked in the investment world. Both names are variations of the Hebrew family name Cohen.

27. Shoshone Falls river : SNAKE.

30. Shroud city : TURIN.

33. Chinese evergreen : LYCHEE. Nuts to these obscure clues.

34. Zoo security features : MOATS.

36. Droopy-eared hound : BASSET. Do you all remember this early TV star? LINK. (1:18)

38. Wonderful container? : BREAD BIN. Sounds British; the clue should be Wonder-ful (Wonder bread)?

39. Bordeaux bean? : TETE. A French reminder, but still no answer as to why the head /brain is called 'bean.'

40. "The Dukes of Hazzard" officer : ENOS. A break from the biblical reference, played by Sonny Shroyer, a former FSU football player like Burt Reynolds. His character became so popular they had a spin-off called Enos.

41. Tammany Hall caricaturist : NAST. Perhaps the most famous political cartoonist in America.

44. Mortarboard frill : TASSEL.

45. "That upset me!" : I'M HURT.

46. Speakers of Tolkien's Noldorin language : GNOMES. I very much enjoyed both the Hobbit and the The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, but was completely unaware that the Noldorin Elves were originally called Gnomes, but what eles starts GN? READ?

48. Costing more : DEARER. "Oh, dear, that's too dear, dear."

53. Jockey's handful : REINS. Cute, evocative clue.

54. "This __ a drill!" : IS NOT. A scary set of words.

57. Mechanical repetition : ROTE.

59. Prefix with light or night : TWI. Rhymes with...

61. "Easy as __!" : PIE. No, but a doable Thursday, don't you think?

62. Wear and tear : USE.

63. Former Ohio governor Strickland : TED. I am not sure what is special about this one term GOVERNOR, but it is time to go anyway.

Here is some insight into the puzzling mind of our own marti:

We were at a local restaurant when DH asked the waitress, “Can you break a ten?” I seem to count words like some people count sheep, and immediately realized that could be a 15-letter unifier. So I toyed with the idea, and had the devilish idea to break the word “ten” across two entries.  But that meant the paired entries would have to be cross-referenced. (Sorry BarryG, but it wouldn’t work any other way!!)

As always it is great to blog a marti puzzle,  she includes so many whimsical bits, and once I remembered to not write Friday in the title, it all went well. Thanks for  reading and enjoying a marti jeudi (play day) and now you can look forward to her Friday write up. Lemonade out.