Showing posts with label Mary Lou Guizzo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mary Lou Guizzo. Show all posts

Aug 19, 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015, Mary Lou Guizzo

Theme - INTO THE WOODS.  The theme answers are the names of trees, but clued differently, of course [though cluing as the trees' woods or fruits is only slightly different] and they are located at the puzzle's periphery, thus surrounding all the other fill.

1 A. Hearth dust : ASH.   That is what is left of the wood when the fire is done burning.  Sadly, the ASH tree is under attack from a green boring beetle.  I thought this might be why fewer baseball bats were being made from ash and more from MAPLE, but that turns out not to be the case.  The word is derived from Latin, via Old English, meaning spear in both languages, which can provide another hint as to one of its uses

4 A. Snapple's __ Madness : MANGO.  A fruity beverage made of kiwi and vegetable juices, MANGO puree and other stuff.  The eponymous tree is tropical and cultivated for its fruit.

9 A. Jet black : EBONY.  A deep black color, named for the wood of the EBONY trees - several species of the genus Diospyros native to Africa and Asia. The wood is used for decorative and ornamental purposes.  

65 A. Syrup type : MAPLE.  Made by boiling down the sap of the tree of the same name.  There are other syrups made from corn and sugar cane, but only pure MAPLE syrup will adorn my pancakes!

66 A. __ Rapids, Iowa : CEDAR.   Iowa's second largest city straddles the CEDAR River, named for the red CEDAR trees that grow in its Minnesota and Iowa watershed.

67 A. C&W's __ Ridge Boys : OAK.  They started in the 40's as country group Wally Fowler and the Georgia Clodhoppers [I am not making this up] who evolved into the OAK Ridge Boys [because that was where they usually performed,] a gospel singing quartet that changed their focus in the 70's, thus generating several country and crossover hits. Of course many personnel changes occurred over the years.  The tree whose name is at the heart of all this is native to the northern hemisphere.

1 D. Jam fruit : APRICOT.  Well, this could have been just about anything - but as is it is one of my favorites.  Apricot trees are from the genus prunus - bearing fruits with a stone seed at the core.

13. Robin Hood's bow wood : YEW.  Again, the wood and its tree.  "The secret to the Yew bow’s strength and beauty is it’s natural laminate of heartwood and sapwood. The heartwood is where the power comes from, it’s ability to be compressed and return back to its original shape is almost unmatched in any other wood. The sapwood of the tree is superior under tension and protects the heartwood from being able to break, but also adds beauty. This is why some Native North American tribes believe this tree was put on earth for the making of bows and referred to it as the chief of the forest, being a small tree mostly almost vine-like under towering Old Growth forests."

27. Cookie fruit : FIG.   Fruit and tree - an Asian species in the mulberry family, cultivated since ancient times.

39. Trident, e.g. : GUM.  Well - this is different - and confusing.  Trident is a brand name for sugar-free chewing gum.  People have been chewing gum made from various tree bark extracts for millennia. In recent decades, though, natural gums have been replaced by polybutadiene, a synthetic polymer (yum!)  GUM tree can refer to various types of trees from the eucalyptus, angophora or corymbia genera, native to Australia and/or Tasmania.   The American Sweet GUM tree is completely different, native to the southeastern U. S., Mexico and Central America.

46. Poison drunk by Socrates : HEMLOCK.   Here, we have a case of mistaken identity.  Socrates' bane, corium maculatum, is a poisonous biennial herb of the carrot family, also known by several other names such as carrot fern, poison parsley and devil's bread.  These plants contain several chemically similar highly potent alkaloids that attack the nervous system leading to paralysis of resperitory muscles.   The completely unrelated and nontoxic HEMLOCK tree includes several species of the genus tsuga, tall conifers in the pine family, pinaceae.  The crushed foliage exude an aroma similar to that of the poisonous plant, hence the name.

58. Common street name : ELM.   Many American cities once had shady tree-lined streets - hence the name transfer from the tree.  In the mid 20th century, elm growth in North America and Europe was devastated by dutch ELM disease, an affliction caused by three related fungus species spread by the ELM bark beetle.   It's ben a mightmare.

And the unifier: 36 A. Like a shady boulevard ... and like this puzzle, in terms of its 12 border answers : TREELINED.  Which by this time should need no further explanation.

Hi gang, it's JazzBumpa, back after a long hiatus.  Despite what you may be thinking, I was neither lost in the woods nor up a tree.  Wood you like to go exploring in today's sylvan adventure?   I wood, so let's discover if we can find the forest for the trees.

But beware -- there may be danger!


14. Shade of green : PEA.  Like olive drab, but slightly less exciting.

15. Exemplary : IDEAL.  Serving as a good example.  Am I exemplary when I DEAL at the poker game?

16. "Irma la __" : DOUCE.  Sweet Irma, the central character in a 1956 romantic comedy about prostitution, intrigue and moral degradation, starring Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemon.   Sweet, indeed!

17. Flock member : RAM.  Likely to be an old goat.

18. Intimate : CLOSE.  I guess this explains white intimate apparel is close fitting.

19. Trailing : IN TOW.  Pulling something along.

20. Provence pronoun : ILS.  Google translate tells me this means "they."

21. Structures with many layers? : HEN HOUSES.  Would you like more of this kind of yolk?  Do you think I'm egging you on? Are you shell shocked? [Extra credit for anyone who can make a pun involving "albumin."]

23. "My Antonia" novelist : CATHER.  Willa, 1873 - 1947.   After growing up first in Virginia, which her family left in 1882 to avoid a TB outbreak, and Nebraska, she graduated from Nebraska U, thus becoming an official Husker!  She then lived in Pittsburgh for 10 years and finally settled in New York City, though "settled" is probably a bit misleading, since she traveled extensively and spend her summers in New Brunswick.

25. To some degree : SORT OF.   So you might say she SORT OF lived in New York.

28. Situation before a two-run homer : ONE ON.  Baseball! The condition of having ONE runner ON base - any base.  

29. "Barnaby Jones" star : EBSEN.  Buddy (1908-2003.)   I remember him as Holly Golightly's [Audrey Hepburn] abandoned husband, Doc, in Breakfast at Tiffany's, a thoroughly ghastly movie, in a way that only something from the early 60's could be.  But that gives me an excuse to link to this wonderful Henry Mancini song featuring Dick Nash on trombone, from the score album.   Mysteriously, the song is never heard in the movie.

32. Lilly of pharmaceuticals : ELI. (1838-1898)  He was a successful pharmacist, Union army hero in the Civil War, and unsuccessful plantation owner after the war.  He returned to pharmacy and became wealthy by making several advances in the manufacture of medicines.

33. Hardly talkative : TERSE.  And that's all I have to say.

34. Strange: Pref. : XENO-.   From the Greek

35. Take down __ : A PEG.   Reprimand someone for being arrogant.

39. Long-jawed fish : GARS.   No hint that a plural is needed.

42. Order in the court : WRIT.  Clever, but I'm not sure it's correct.  A WRIT is an order issued by a court, but generally sent to a recipient outside of the court.  That may be a lower level court, but still.  I rest my case

43. "Happy Pills" singer Jones : NORAH.  Ravi Shankar's daughter.

47. Game with Skip cards : UNO.

48. Lavish affairs : FETES.   Borrowed from the French, meaning holiday or party.

49. Ambition : DRIVE.  Get up and go.

50. Ally in a TV courtroom : McBEAL.   I totally misread this one, having forgotten about the TV show I might have watched once or twice.

52. Payment for a return : RANSOM.  Of a hostage or kidnapped person.

53. Brunch cookware item : OMELET PAN.

57. Like mil. volunteers : ENL.  Enlisted, I presume.

58. "MacGyver" actor Dana : ELCAR.  Gone for 10 years, now.

60. Get (a ship) ready to sail again : RERIG.   Or, simply to upgrade a ship with new riging.

61. __-pitch softball : SLO.  What justifies dropping the "W" from this word?

62. Second of 13 popes : LEO II.  (611-683) Served as Pope from Aug 17, 682 until his death on June 28, 683.

63. "You beat me" : I LOSE.  

64. Gumshoe : TEC.  DeTECtive.


2. Maritime route : SEA LANE.   Best route across a large body of water, as determined by land masses and prevailing winds.  "Whale road" to Beowulf.

3. Wheel-spinning rodent : HAMSTER.   Do hamsters get caught up in the rat race?

4. Author of "Hawaii," "Alaska," and "Texas" : MICHENER.  James Albert (1907 - 1997)  His novels are too big and sprawling for me.

5. Psychologist Alfred : ADLER. Alfred (1870-1937) founder of individual psychology, a post-Freudian method influential in counseling.

6. Lamp gas : NEON.  It glows.

7. Cut that may need stitches : GASH.

8. Parkay, say : OLEO.   Ersatz butter.  What do Hungarians put on their toast?  Magyarine!  [Actually, we're pretty big on bacon grease.]

9. New Jersey township named for an inventor : EDISON.  Thomas Alva (1847-1931.)

10. Silly blunder : BONER.   Probably derived from making a bone-headed play. 

11. Walk faster than : OUT STEP.   I wanted OUT PACE, which seems more in-the-language.

12. PX shopper : NCO.  Non Commissioned Officer at the Post Exchange.

22. Try to tempt with : USE ON.  You can use all your charms on your next victim.

24. Party throwers : HOSTS.   Etymology, via Wictionary:   From Old French oste (French: hôte), from Middle Latin hospitem, accusative of hospes (“a host, also a sourjourner, visitor, guest; hence, a foreigner, a stranger”), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰóspot- (“master of guests”), from *gʰóstis (“stranger, guest, host, someone with whom one has reciprocal duties of hospitality”) and *pótis (“owner, master, host, husband”). Used in English since 13th century.

26. "Hip, hip, Jorge!" : OLE.  Spanish cheer, here presented as a ghastly pun and a reach too far.

29. Wield : EXERT.   As force, as in using a weapon.

30. Prove otherwise : BELIE.   Debunk.

31. Piques : SNITS.  Little anger episodes.   Aren't they cute?

35. Beautify : ADORN.  Decorate.

37. "The Seven Year Itch" actor Tom : EWELL.   Star of the stage play and the movie.

38. Jeopardize : ENDANGER.  As one's marriage, per the above clip.

40. Anti-apartheid org. : ANC.  African National Congress, the ruling national political party of the Republic of South Africa since 1994.

41. 1987 title law-enforcing cyborg : ROBOCOP.

44. Meets, as a challenge : RISES TO.

45. "Anne of Green Gables" community : AVONLEA.  A fictional community on Prince Edward Island

48. Spenser's "The __ Queene" : FAERIE.    Read all about it.

51. Online letter : EMAIL.

52. Mrs. Gorbachev : RAISA.  (1932-1999)

54. Old Norse explorer : ERIC (Eiríkr Þorvaldsson; 950 – c. 1003) The turn-of-the-millennium Norse had spent the previous couple of centuries earning a reputation as nasty people.  Þorvald Ásvaldsson was so nasty that the other Norse could not tolerate him.  He was exiled from Norway and settled with his family on the West coast of Iceland.  Continuing the family tradition, his son Eric - called "The Red" due to his Marxist leanings the color of his hair and beard - was exiled in turn for committing "some killings" in Iceland, ca. 982.  Per Wikipedia, he spent his three years of exile exploring Greenland, and established the first successful Norse settlement there.   Lovely fellow.

55. Marketing leader? : TELE.  TELEmarketing is a rude intrusion.  This type of affix clue always annoys me.

56. Nudge : PROD.  As with an elbow.

59. Pastoral expanse : LEA.  From Middle English for a grass land, and what you might find when you emerge from the woods.

Well, here we are on the lea-ward side, safe and sound.  IMHO we had a successful excursion.  We were able to branch out a bit, and I only barked my shins a couple of times. Hope you enjoyed it, too. [Full disclosure: I used Wikipedia and Mr. Google to root out the information contained herein.]

Cool regards!

Mar 23, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015 Mary Lou Guizzo

Theme: Motorcycle Club - Six members of this MC.

68A. Roast host, and a hint to the answers to starred clues : EMCEE

17A. *Dots-and-dashes system : MORSE CODE

36A. *Entrée : MAIN COURSE

43A. *Boxy British economy car : MINI COOPER

61A. *Venue for hypothetical legal cases : MOOT COURT

11D. *Wallet alternatives : MONEY CLIPS

29D. *Hannah Montana portrayer : MILEY CYRUS

Argyle here, bro. Easy theme and plentiful. The crossing theme entries and the fill lift this up from being a mediocre Monday.


1. Gear tooth : COG

4. Scotch whisky brand : J AND B

9. Apples, e.g. : POMES. A botanical name ultimately from Late Latin pomum.

14. Sushi bar tuna : AHI

15. "Inside the NBA" analyst Shaq : O'NEAL. Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal, nicknamed Shaq, is an American retired professional basketball player, former rapper, actor and current analyst on the television program Inside the NBA. Wikipedia

16. Scary bacteria : E COLI

19. Charged toward : RAN AT

20. Long Island airport town : ISLIP. Long Island MacArthur Airport.

21. "Divergent" star Woodley : SHAILENE. "Divergent" is a novel, a film and a sequel already.

23. Robber, to cops : PERP. Short for perpetrator and not our perpendicular.

26. Join the game : PLAY

27. Electrical unit of resistance : OHM

30. Fish market offering : SEA BASS

33. Revolutionary Guevara : CHE

38. Linen fiber source : FLAX

39. Statesman Stevenson : ADLAI

40. Part of UNLV : LAS. (University of Nevada-Las Vegas)

41. Fly like a parasailer : GLIDE

42. Weed-control tools : HOEs

45. "Take your pick" : "ANY"

46. Ironed : PRESSED

47. Grounded fast jet, briefly : SST. (Supersonic transport)

48. Affordable __ Act : CARE

50. "This __ unfair!" : IS SO

52. Car thief on a pleasure spin : JOY RIDER

56. Car wheel shafts : AXLES

60. Offensively pungent : ACRID

64. Stop to think, say : PAUSE

65. Alma __ : MATER

66. Word in itineraries : VIA

67. Tricky road curves : ESSES

69. Wild blue yonder : SKY


1. Victoria's Secret garment, for short : CAMI. (camisole)

2. Cries of discovery : "O HO!"s

3. "You go, __!" : GIRL

4. "My Cousin Vinny" co-star : JOE PESCI. The favorite scene here on the Corner.

5. Post-apartheid ruling party: Abbr. : ANC, (African National Congress)

6. Prefix with conservative : NEO

7. Father figures : DADS

8. "Ick!" : "BLEH!"

9. Hazards : PERILS

10. Central Florida city : OCALA. "Snakes and gators and bears, oh my Ocala perils!"

12. Zing : ELAN

13. Web browsing destination : SITE

18. Dainty taste : SIP

22. Church recess : APSE

24. Vintage vehicle : REO. REO was founded by Ransom E. Olds.

25. One of Tony Soprano's henchmen : PAULIE

27. Mutual of __ : OMAHA. Make sure your policy is paid up if Paulie is coming to visit.

28. Was wearing : HAD ON

31. Fiber-rich cereals : BRANS

32. St. Francis of __ : ASSISI

34. Greek god of the underworld : HADES

35. Use, as influence : EXERT

37. __ in November : N AS

38. Showman Ziegfeld : FLO

41. Devout term for a churchyard : GOD'S ACRE. Gottesacker. (German)

43. TV "neigh" sayer : "MR. ED"

44. These, in Nice : CES

46. Lion family units : PRIDES

49. Roll out of the sack : ARISE

51. Kitchenware brand : OXO

52. Bit of mockery : JAPE

53. Andean stew tubers : OCAs

54. Buxom one-named supermodel : EMME

55. What the buffalo do, in song : ROAM Go to YouTube for the lyrics.

57. Disposable diapers brand : LUVS

58. "CHiPs" star Estrada : ERIK

59. Time at a motel : STAY

62. Non-Rx : OTC. (Over-the-counter)

63. Golfer's gadget ... or where it's used : TEE...or fashion accessory.


May 1, 2014

Thursday, May 1, 2014 Mary Lou Guizzo

Theme: Triple-O

17. Canadian city named for a historic battle site : WATERLOO, ONTARIO. Home of the BlackBerry smart phone. I saw the three O's here and suspected a theme was in progress. Tic-tac-toe row? Hugs, on an envelope? Reading after resetting? Out of office?

25. Stressed commuter's complaint : IT'S A ZOO OUT THERE. Nice zippy fill. And yep, it fits the theme.

43. "Enough kid stuff!" : I'M TOO OLD FOR THIS. My sentiments, exactly.

57. Totally lacks pep : HAS NO OOMPH AT ALL.  I always say "I'm too pooped to pop." (And that has six O's!!!)

65. Triatomic gas in a thinning layer ... and, symbolically, what appears in this puzzle's four longest answers : OZONE. Chemical symbol O3.

I liked the conversational feel of # 2 and #3, and I do like the word OOMPH. "Honestly officer, I wasn't speeding. I was going OO MPH!"

Marti here, to 'splain the rest.


1. 2003 NFL rushing leader __ Lewis : JAMAL. He helped win Super Bowl XXXV as a rookie with the Ravens.

6. "Shoot!" : DARN.

10. Pro-prohibition org. : WCTU. (Tinbeni, cover your ears.) "Women's Christian Temperance Union."

14. Olds compact : ALERO.

15. EKTORP sofa seller : IKEA. Ektorp is a mansion in Haningen, Sweden. I am not sure if that is why the IKEA sofa is so-called. Doesn't look too much like mansion material to me...

16. 1800s law-enforcement family name : EARP.

20. Mom, to auntie : SIS.

21. Merits : EARNS.

22. John who sang "Daniel" : ELTON. My music link!

23. "Star Trek" spinoff, briefly : TNG. "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

24. Part of a stable diet? : OAT. Mr. Ed, can you eat just one?

34. Horned beast : RHINO.

35. Main points : GISTS.

36. Statesman Hammarskjöld : DAG. Anyone growing up in the fifties remembers him. He died in a plane crash that is still shrouded in mystery.

37. Fine things? : ARTS. The fine ARTS. Traditionally they consisted of painting, sculpture, music, poetry and architecture. Now "Fine ARTS" also includes film and performance art.

38. Scrabble squares : TILES.

39. Kitchen timer sound : DING. I have a new LG Double oven range that plays musical chimes and tunes for me. Love it!

40. Acting as : QUA. Loose translation of the Latin.

41. Canonized fifth-cen. pope : ST LEO.

42. Best : OUTDO.

46. Narc's find : PCP. Short for 1-(1-phenylcyclohexyl)piperidine), also called Phencyclidine. Known on the street as Angel dust, KJ (kristal joint), Ashy Larry, illy, or wet.

47. "Yo!" : HEY. Adrian!

48. Rouge target : CHEEK.

51. Orbiting phenomenon : ZERO G.ravity.

54. Red leader : MAO.

60. "The Time Machine" race : ELOI.

61. Move like a monarch : FLIT.

62. Bare : NAKED.

63. Peel : ZEST.

64. Dieter's calculation : FATS. I'll take mine unsaturated, please.


1. Benchley thriller : JAWS.

2. Jai __ : ALAI.

3. Team with a skyline in its logo : METS. Total WAG for me.

4. Is for two? : ARE. Didn't fool me this time!

5. Medici known as "the Magnificent" : LORENZO. He was the patron of artists like Da Vinci, Botticelli and Michelangelo.

6. Gucci rival : DIOR.

7. Senegalese-American rapper : AKON. Other than his rap fame, he holds the Guinness #1 record for top-selling ringtones.

8. Popular '20s cars : REOS.

9. Indian bread : NAN.

10. Prosperity : WEALTH.

11. Market vehicle : CART.

12. Jazz combo, often : TRIO.

13. Informed about : UP ON.  Is it just me, or did a lot of today's clues seem really straight-forward?

18. Vacación destination : LAGO. I visited LAGO Como last summer while I was on vacanza in Italy. Same word in Spanish and Italian for "lake."

19. Milk sources : TEATS.

23. Salon goals : TANS.

24. Giant Mel et al. : OTTS.

25. Samarra native : IRAQI.

26. Finger-tapping sound : THRUM.

27. Pull a chair up to : SIT AT.

28. Disney's "Darby __ and the Little People" : O'GILL. I don't remember this 1959 movie, but it starred Sean Connery as the love interest of Darby's daughter.

29. Pie-eyed : OILED. I only know the term "well OILED" as a substitute for "drunk."

30. Make __: employ : USE OF.

31. Mrs. Roosevelt : EDITH.

32. "Amazing" illusionist : RANDI. Debunker of paranormal charlatans.

33. Pop-up frozen fare : EGGOS.

38. Firebird option : T-TOP.

39. Tax : DUTY.

41. Successful, in slang : SOCKO.

42. Pizzeria herb : OREGANO.

44. "Let's see what you got!" : OPEN IT.

45. "Yikes!" : OH-OH!

48. Café sign word : CHEZ.

49. Healthy : HALE.

50. Those, in Tijuana : ESOS.

51. "J'accuse" author : ZOLA.

52. Throw out : EMIT. Hands up for "toss?"

53. Sch. research papers : RPTS.

54. Shortfin or longfin predator : MAKO.

55. Architect William Van __ : ALEN. You may know him as the architect of this N.Y. icon.

56. Merrie __ England : OLDE.

58. Broadway opening? : OFF. "Off-Broadway" gave rise to the "Obie" awards. (O-B.)

59. Toon spinner : TAZ.

And that's my spin on today's puzzle!


Dec 19, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013 Mary Lou Guizzo and Jeff Chen

Theme: "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear…"

(...But Mary and Jeff sure make a smooth as silk puzzle out of one!)

17. Some broadcasting equipment : HAM RADIOS.

30. Political patronage : PORK BARREL.

36. Degrees of separation from actor Kevin, in a parlor game : BACON NUMBER.

41. Dachshunds, familiarly : WIENER DOGS.

And the unifier:

58. Obstinate, and what the other four longest puzzle answers are? : PIGHEADED. The beginnings of the theme answers all are varieties of PIG dishes.  (DH would be in hog heaven with this one!!)

I forgot to check my time when I finished, but I know it was way under 10 minutes. Did you find it easy for a Thursday, or did some of the tricky clues trip you up?  Let's check out where those were.


1. Lines at the checkout? : UPCs. OK, right off the bat we have a misdirection.

5. Powdery mineral : TALC. Pretty straightforward.

9. Org. for a 4-Down : ASPCA. And 4-Down. Rescued one, hopefully : STRAY. The clue for 9-Across actually let me fill both entries without further ado.

14. It may thicken : PLOT. My mother always used to say, "The thought plickens…"

15. Baseball's Jesus or Moises : ALOU. Ha!  Finally remembered the family name after four perps...

16. "She loves you" followers, in song : YEAHS. "…yeah, yeah, yeah."

19. "Cut the chatter!" : CAN IT!

20. Hoopster Shaquille : O'NEAL.

21. Woman in two Goya works : MAJADesnuda and vestida. Her real identity is uncertain.

23. Women's org. based at Constitution Hall : DARDaughters of the American Revolution.

24. Brightly colored beetle : LADYBUG.

27. Lincoln or Ford : CAR.

28. MPG watchdog : EPA.

29. Opposite of sweet : DRY. When referring to wine, that is.

33. Proportion : RATIO.

35. Swim competition : MEET.

39. Common Oscar gown feature : SLIT. Now, this is a slit!

40. Anxious anticipation : DREAD.

44. One involved in a pickup : CAB. Another tricky clue. Did it fool you?

47. __ carte : A LA. Followed by another straightforward clue.

48. Fourth grade? : DEE. Teacher's grading papers: A, B, C, D, F. Did any of you make it past first grade? (I didn't think so!!)

49. iPod accessories : EARBUDS.

52. Sam Spade type : TEC.

53. Eye layer : UVEA.

55. Roman fountain : TREVI.

56. Not cool : UNHIP.

61. Court figure : STENO.

62. Singer Adams : EDIE. I really couldn't find one of her songs. I remember her from the Muriel cigar commercials: (In a Mae West accent) "Why not pick one up and smoke it sometime?"  Maybe CED can help me find a clip.

63. Creepy thing : VINE.

64. "The Master Builder" playwright : IBSEN.

65. Go on and on : RANT.

66. Busy crawlers : ANTS.


1. Support : UPHOLD.

2. Two-dimensional : PLANAR. Of a plane, as opposed to "cubic" or "spheroid" which would be three-dimensional.

3. Funny business? : COMEDY.

5. Minute amount : TAD.

6. Baba of folklore : ALI.

7. Device with shuttles : LOOM.

8. John who played Nixon in "The Butler" : CUSACK.

9. Bart Simpson catchphrase : AY CARAMBA. Did not know that was his catch phrase, but filled it in with just the "AY…"

10. Salty expanse : SEA.

11. Person who caters to base interests : PANDERER. One who pleases others for their own interests...

12. Watch-Me-Grow fad : CHIA PET. Now they have "Duck Dynasty" chia pets?

13. Celestial : ASTRAL.

18. Priestly garb : ALB.

22. Poke : JAB.

25. Until : UP TO. Short phrases are sometimes tough...

26. Cross the threshold : GO IN. As I said, short phrases are sometimes tough...

31. Sonata movement : RONDO.

32. Swamp thing : REED.

33. Showers, say : RAIN.

34. Followed, as a hunch : ACTED UPON.

36. Laundry room supplies : BLEACHES.

37. Push : URGE.

38. Southwestern formation : MESA.

39. Dumb ending? : SILENT B.

41. '60s dance : WATUSI. Remember The Orlons?? They're still goin' after all these years...

42. Prepare to drag : REV.

43. More profound : DEEPER.

44. Informed : CUED IN.

45. Pre-Christmas period : ADVENT.

46. Backs of singles : B-SIDES. This is kind of an outdated clue/answer, isn't it?  Do mp3 files have b-sides?

50. GPS recommendation : RTE. Route.

51. Cry to a diva : BRAVA. and a slight clecho with 54-D:

54. Classic role for a diva : AIDA.

57. Like the finale of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto : IN E.

59. Bathtub booze : GIN.

60. __ up: angry : HET. Don't get all het up with me…I just report 'em as I see 'em!

That's all for this week, folks!

Notes from C.C.:

1) George Barany co-constructed today's NY Times. Click here. A special on-line version is provided. Don't forget to click on the Solution and read their notes. Congratulations, George!

2) JD just came back from her trip to Kauai. She and Bob even took a helicopter ride over the Waimea Canyon. Here are a few pictures.

Nov 13, 2013

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 Mary Lou Guizzo

Theme: Start your Elements! Each of the theme answers starts with an element, and as the reveal explains they are all metals.

17A. Ford Model T, colloquially : TIN LIZZIE. Appropriately for 61A if you say this with a Dublin accent you get these chaps

21A. Speed demon : LEADFOOT.  Because you're heavy on the gas pedal.

36A. Mature male gorilla : SILVERBACK. Beautiful animals.

43A. One only in it for the money : GOLD DIGGER. Here's the classic opening song from "Gold Diggers of 1933" sung by Ginger Rogers.

52A. Japanese cooking show : IRON CHEF. Food! I'm pretty sure I've seen every episode of this show AND the American spin-off. I believe Bobby Flay was the first non-Japanese chef to win a battle (against Masaharu Morimoto).

61A. Certain rock music fan, and what 17-, 21-, 36-, 43- and 52-Across each has : METALHEAD. I was a bit of a metalhead in my youth - the first album I bought was "Machine Head" by Deep Purple.

Good morning everyone - Steve here and a Wednesday puzzle that I found pretty challenging. The theme certainly helped me figure out LEADFOOT as I had a lot of empty space in that region. I confess to the final letter fill being a complete WAG - I was Natick'ed with ALEK and LEAR.

With the Z's, the Q and the K emerging early I was looking for a pangram; we were just missing the Y at the conclusion

I can't find Mary Lou's name in the blog history, so I think this is her L.A. Times debut - congratulations if that's the case.

Let's see what else caught my eye:

1. Tucked-in part of a dress shirt : HEM.  I wanted to cram TAIL in here.

4. Cocoon contents : LARVA

9. Glaringly vivid : LURID

14. "__ you kidding me?" : ARE

15. Words after make or close : A DEAL

16. Carne __: roasted Mexican dish : ASADA. Food! This is my kind of puzzle.

19. Siesta taker : DOZER

20. Eight-armed cephalopod : SQUID. I'm getting hungry!

23. Open-__ shoes : TOED

26. TV producer Norman : LEAR. Complete unknown to me, and as I mentioned at the top a personal Natick for me crossing ALEK.

27. Online "Yikes!" : OMG! Oh My Goodness!

30. Chinese leader : PREMIER. I was thinking along the Mao, Deng and Kai-Shek lines and then the penny dropped.

33. Bus depot: Abbr. : STA

38. Purim observers : JEWS

39. Essayist de Botton : ALAIN

40. Match for a pocket handkerchief : TIE

41. West Pointer : CADET

42. Mideast strip : GAZA

45. Baton Rouge-to-Montgomery dir. : E.N-E

46. Twisting force : TORSION

47. WWII venue : E.T.O. European Theater of Operations under the command of General Eisenhower.

48. Latin god : DEUS

50. "__ a lift?" : NEED

56. Schemer Charles : PONZI. It's quite some feat to have an entire genre of crime named for you. He looks quite cheerful in his mugshot!

60. Gallivants : ROVES. "Gallivants" is such an awesome word. I resolve either to use this word today or go gallivanting myself.

64. Last Olds off the line : ALERO. I wonder who bought the last one, and if they knew it was the last?

65. Mental picture : IMAGE

66. NBC skit show : S.N.L. The UK version of this was called Friday Night Live - because it aired on Sunday. No, wait ..

67. Zac of "The Lorax" : EFRON. Who he? Thank you, crosses.

68. Glove material : LATEX

69. Game gadget, or the area where it's used : TEE. I think "gadget" is a bit of an overblown description for a piece of wood.


1. Boaters and bowlers : HATS

2. Actor La Salle : ERIQ. I've finally got Mr. La Salle in my memory banks. It's only taken umpteen years.

3. It may drop down or pop up : MENU. The ones on your computer. If you're interested, the pop-up types are also context-sensitive. I've got my geek on today!

4. Made vulnerable : LAID OPEN

5. Axlike shaping tool : ADZ. I'm finally getting used to the alternative spellings for both AXE and ADZE.

6. Tribal land, informally, with "the" : REZ. I've never heard this expression, but it wasn't difficult to guess when I had the Z in place.

7. Colorado resort : VAIL.  Pretty place.

8. Out of the wind : ALEE

9. Fire truck feature : LADDER

10. Lady Liberty's land, familiarly : US OF A

11. Somerset Maugham novel, with "The" : RAZOR'S EDGE. I'd never heard of this novel, but I find there are two movie adaptations of it, one made in 1946 and one in 1984.

12. Prefix with logical : IDEO

13. Pub missile : DART

18. On fire : LIT

22. South Sudanese supermodel Wek : ALEK. I'll surely remember her from now on.

24. Goof : ERR

25. Short person? : DEBTOR. I think this was my favorite clue of the day. Marvelous.

27. Missouri river : OSAGE

28. La Scala's city : MILAN. Tough crowd at La Scala - they've been known to boo tenors off the stage.

29. Like eyes showing boredom : GLAZED OVER

31. Drops in a slot : MAILS

32. Stranded at 7-Down, perhaps : ICED IN

34. Chirp : TWEET

35. Jetson dog : ASTRO. Ruh-Roh!

37. By way of : VIA

38. Spree : JAG. Gallivant! Looks of sprees today.

41. Multi-screen theater : CINEPLEX

43. "Gee whiz" : GOSH

44. It goes for a buck : DOE. Not fooled for a moment with this one! Nice clue though.

46. Second-most populous Arizona city : TUCSON.

49. Warm Argentina month : ENERO. Midsummer in the Southern Hemisphere.

51. "Stupid me!" : D'OH!

52. "Dies __" : IRAE. Mozart borrowed the name of the original Gregorian chant for his Requiem. Stirring stuff.

53. Massage deeply : ROLF. I'd never heard of this. Apparently it is a massage technique from the '70s - is it still practiced?

54. Actor Jannings : EMIL. More crosses - I need to read IMDB for a while and get up to speed with my actors.

55. Earthquake response gp. : F.E.M.A. The Federal Emergency Management Agency uses the "open" status of the Waffle House chain of restaurants to help gauge the severity of storms passing through the eastern seaboard. Who knew?

57. Cozy home : NEST

58. Writer Grey : ZANE. I read this as "Winter Grey" first which had me totally baffled.

59. Inactive : IDLE

62. Art on the reality show "Ink Master" : TAT. I'm guessing "tat" is not considered an abbreviation any more?

63. Single-malt datum : AGE. The longer a whisky ages in the vat, the more of the spirit evaporates. The Scots charmingly call this "the angel's share".

That's about it. This was a fun puzzle, it took me around 18 minutes which is long for me for a Wednesday so a nice challenge. That's all from me - as Eminem would say - that's a (w)rap!