, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: June 2008


Jun 30, 2008

Monday June 30, 2008 Norma Steinberg

Theme: Cut the Painter? (If you have a better theme title, please let me know)

20A: Cost of some French art?: DEGAS PRICES (The GAS PRICES)

39A: Dutch/Mexican portraitist?: HALS OF MONTEZUMA (HALLS of MONTEZUMA)

53A: Surrealist in the White House?: DALI MADISON (DOLLY MADISON)

I cannot say I DIG (3D: Beatnik's "Gotcha"!) this puzzle. The INSECT (30D: Bug) is screaming for an "Extreme Makeover" on the clue for FLYPAPER (40D: Hanging insect trap). And I wish AVEC (8D: Opposite of sans) were clued as Picasso's famous "Colombe AVEC Fleurs". We would have got an impressionist (DEGAS), a portraitist (HALS), a surrealist (DALI) and a Cubist's work in the grid.

Otherwise, an OK Monday puzzle, no stumper or obscure word. Some of the clues are pretty refreshing.


1A: Conspicuous jewelry: BLING. Gimme for those BLING-BLING obsessed rappers I am sure. Their music is just so difficult for me to understand, lots of slangs. What's so amusing about "Lolli Lolli (Pop That Body)" anyway? I like how BLING intersects I DIG.

15A: Rod in a hot rod: AXLE. And 18A: Figure-skater's leap: AXEL

17A: Online periodical: EZINE. is probably my favorite. Together with NPR, they produce "Day to Day" (a radio newsmagzine).

24A: Majority of V: III. Very creative clue.

33A: ___ you the clever one!: AREN'T

43A: Kissing equipment: LIPS. I have forgotten "What LIPS my LIPS Have Kissed, and where, and why..."

45A: Glasgow's river: CLYDE. Not familiar with this Scotland river. Only know Bonnie's CLYDE.

62A: Felon, to a cop: PERP (Perpetrator). Or "Crossing reference" (Perpendicular cousin) here in this twisted blog.

66A: Wallet fins: FIVES. For those fellow solvers outside US, "fin" is a American slang for a five-dollar bill.


4D: Santa Maria's sister? NINA. And Pinta. Look at this ridiculous NINA Ricci shoe!

5D: Divides evenly by: GOES INTO. I don't understand this one, why?

6D: Puppeteer Lewis: SHARI. I don't know her. Got her name from the perps.

11D: Put forth effort: EXERT. I like how it parallel with FLAIL (12D: Thrash about).

13D: Trustbuster Roosevelt: TEDDY. I had no idea that Trust Buster is also TR's nickname. Which one is correct, "Trust Buster" or "Trustbuster"?

28D: Bedouin, e.g.: ARAB. I did not know who/what was Bedouin. Would have never got it without the crossing references. According to Wikipedia, the Bedouin are a group of nomadic Arabs who live in the desert.

37D: Writer Oz: AMOS. He knows "How to Cure a Fanatic".

38D: Fuzzy rests?: NAPS. Good clue.

57D: Hindu deity: SIVA. Or SHIVA, "The Destroyer"of the Hindu Trinity. I simply forgot. Pieced it together from the across fills. Brahma is "The Creator" and Vishnu is "The Preserver".


Jun 29, 2008

Sunday June 29, 2008 Alan P. Olschwang


24A: Start of Cleveland Amory quip: THERE ARE

36A: Part 2 of quip: THREE TERRIBLE AGES

62A: Part 3 of quip: OF CHILDHOOD

68A: Part 4 of quip: ONE TO TEN, TEN

92A: Part 5 of quip: TO TWENTY, AND TWENTY

111A: End of quip: TO THIRTY

Oh dear, 22 QUIP/QUOTE puzzles later, only now do I realize that they all have distinctive theme titles.

Besides CHILDHOOD, there is also a BOYHOOD (87D: Green years). ELDEST (14A: Superlatively senior) is related to the theme as well, though tangentially.

Nothing exciting about this puzzle, or any of Olschwang's QUIP puzzles. Blah, blah, BLAHS (47D: Doldrums). Quite a few entertainment names, some of them are very obscure to me:

84A: Brown with a big band: LES

120A: Old-time actress Ada: REHAN. She died long long time ago (1916), who the heck has heard of her?

1D: Garr of "Tootsie": TERI. Know her. Had no idea that she was nominated for Oscar (Best Supporting Actress, 1982) for her role in "Tootsie" (Jessica Lange won it eventually).

19D: Actress Daly: TYNE. She is in "Judging Amy".

93D: "Bewitched" witch: ENDORA. I forgot. It's clued as "Tabitha's TV grandmother" on a TMS puzzle before. Played by Agnes Moorhead, an unfamiliar name to me also.

95D: Dan of "Peyton Place": DURYEA. Foreign to me. He appeared in many movies, so prolific a career.

97D: Actress Phoebe: CATES. Another new name to me. I've actually watched "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" before, but I can only remember Sean Penn & Jennifer Jason Leigh from the movie. Wikipedia says CATES is also known for her role in "Gremlins". Have you seen it?

109D: Singer Dee: KIKI. No, nope. Here is KIKI Dee's duet with Elton John “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”. Just learned this morning that there is a KIKI Cuyler in baseball's HOF.

I hope you enjoyed solving this puzzle. I did not. I did not have a good attitude to begin with. What a yawn-inducing QUIP! With this Wimbledon madness, you would think the editor could clue DEUCE (98A: Low card) as "Tennis tie".


1A: Ancient Roman garb: TOGAS. The plural form can also be TOGAE.

21A: Windflowers: ANEMONES. Various colors. Dictionary explains the root of ANEMONES as Greek word anemos (wind), "perhaps because the petals are lost easily in wind".

22A: Capital of Niger: NIAMEY. They must have real good pearl millet couscous in the region.

25A: Viennese tongue: GERMAN. Wikipedia says Viennese GERMAN is "the city dialect spoken in Vienna" and "rather different from the Austrian form of Standard German as well as other dialects spoken in Austria". I suppose it's kind of like our Xi'An dialect, which is quite different from Mandarin Chinese.

28A: Salinger title character: ESME. Heroine from Salinger's "For ESME with Love and Squalor".

29A: Big wheel: MAGNATE

30A: Valletta's island: MALTA. I always confuse MALTA with YALTA. Didn't the big Three meet in both places?

47A: Like Mother Hubbard's cupboard: BARE. Or "like Lady Godiva".

54A: "St. ___ Fire": ELMOS . I am not familiar with this film, are you?

55A: November electees: INS. And 74D: Put in office: ELECT. A simple "Officeholders" clue should be just fine for INS.

57A: Converse competition: AVIA. Know AVIA (To fly, in Latin), not familiar with the Converse shoe brand.

58A: Shape up: SNAP TO. New phrase to me. Can you give me an example?

67A: Slayer of the Minotaur: THESEUS. Would not have got it without the perps. You can see this THESEUS Slaying the Minotaur bronze at Louvre. Minotaur is the "half-man, half-bull monster that lived in the Labyrinth".

73A: Type of theater comp. REP (Repertory). I am not familiar with theater stuff at all.

81A: Affix firmly: RIVET. Here is Rosie the RIVETer.

88A: K-12, in education: ELHI (Elementary & High school). I think this is a special American education term, isn't it?

97A: Chili pepper: CAYENNE. Hot!

99A: Atmospheric inhalations: BREATHS. Beautiful Baby's BREATHS.

105A: Eliminate: RULE OUT. And 110A: Was vanquished by: LOST TO. I like prepositions in answers.

115A: Birthplace of Elvis Presley: TUPELO (MS). New to me. I only know he was not born in Memphis.

116A: Loss/damage word: BREAKAGE

119A: Neighbor of Corsica: SARDINIA. I simply forgot. Here is the map again.


2D: Span of a cart: OXEN. Span or Brace is "a pair, usually used in reference to yoked animals pulling something." Learned this from Dennis long time ago.

5D: Hot under the collar: STEAMED And 90D: Suffer in the summer: SWELTER.

7D: Granite State sch.: UNH (University of New Hampshire). The Wildcats. And 96D: Fort Worth sch.: TCU (Texas Christian University). The Horned Frogs.

9D: Nary of Hungary: IMRE. I forgot. It appeared on TMS May 23 puzzle.

15D: Feudal lords: LIEGES

27D: Styron's Turner: NAT. Learned NAT Turner's name from doing Xword, but this is the first time I heard of William Styron, who wrote and won 1967 Pulitzer for "The Confessions of NAT Turner".

29D: Wizardry: MAGIC. Here is MAGIC.

31D: Used a car as a down payment: TRADED IN

41D: Field in Italian: CAMPO. Dictionary shows that it's also "field" in Spanish and Portuguese.

42D: First: pref.: PROTO. As in PROTOTYPE. And a PROTOTYPE TV tryouts (54D): PILOTS.

53D: Manly in Madrid: MACHO. In Madrid only? I thought MACHO is a well accepted English word now.

56D: Pantomime: ACT OUT

63D: Newspaper screamer: HEADLINE

69D: Nicker: NEIGH. I did not know that "nicker" also means "To NEIGH softly". Whinny. And 87A: Ewe's call: BAA

71D: Composition for nine: NONET. Raphael's Apollo and the Muses (9).

73D: Synthetic fabric: RAYON

82D: "Bellefleur" writer: OATES. Is "Bellefleur" the only book Joyce Carol OATES has written? Why keep cluing the same book again and again?

100D: Profligate: ROUE. It's him, Casanova, "the World's Greatest Lover".

106A: Sea bird: ERNE. And 109A: Sea bird: TERN. OK, this is a ERNE (the white-tailed sea eagle). This is a TERN (gull's cousin). Is she suffering from hangover?

108D: Eye part: UVEA. Would not have got the crossing TRAVE (114A: Crossbeam) without UVEA. Here are some crossbeams.

113A: Friday's lead-in?: TGI. The restaurant is part of the Carlson, a privately held company based here in MN. Lots of troubles are going on inside that Carlson house.


Jun 28, 2008

Saturday June 28, 2008 John Underwood


Voilà, my first Saturday TMS puzzle sans Googling! I absolutely TORE (54D: Drove like crazy) through it. It's so weird, since AS A RULE (62A: Most of the time), I always have difficulty closing the deal on John Underwood's puzzle. Have to thank those wonderful 4-letter Down fills (total 24), which render the long Across words easily obtainable.

I adore the lower right corner. I was just leafing through "Gertrude and Alice" the other day and marveling at Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas' STAMINA (19A: Endurance) during wars (esp. WWI).

Gertrude Stein and her brother Leo invested in paintings from MATISSE (64A: French artist Henri), Picasso, Gauguin, Cézanne and other ELITE (48A: A-list group) painters very earlier on, and they profited nicely after the wars. The execution of her ESTATE (46D: Landed property), however, was a total disaster. Toklas had to shoulder the majority of the BLAME (51A: Hold responsible) I suppose.

Alright, let's go:


1A: Hold down: OPPRESS

8A: From the top: AFRESH

14A: Trattoria selection: POLENTA. RARELY (10D: Not often) do you find Chinese (esp those who grew up during Chinese Cultural Revolution) enjoy POLENTA or any corn related food.

15A: Like insulated wires: COAXIAL. Do you know that the 1936 Summer Olympics already used COAXIAL cable to transmit TV pictures?

18A: Gangland hitman: TORPEDO. I had no idea that "TORPEDO" is a slang for a hitman. I love TORPEDO sandwiches, don't you?

20A: More strict: STERNER

28A: Dental records: X-RAYS. I like how X-RAYS intersect EXAMINE (22D: Check out).

32A: Larger part of Iberia: SPAIN. "Well, I Never been to SPAIN, but I kinda like the music. Say the ladies are insane there..."

34A: Do the breast stroke: SWIM. Wonderful clue. Here is a great Emerson message for you: "Live in the sunshine, SWIM the sea, drink the wild air."

39A: Be inviting: TEMPT. And 6D: Lure: ENTICE

43A: Hot box: OVEN. And Another hot place is HADES (13D: Netherworld).

47A: Madagascar primate: LEMUR. This LEMUR must be very good at tail-lashing.

53A: Cry like a mourner: ULULATE. Most of the Irish mourning music really have a haunting mystique in them.

56A: Pass to the side: LATERAL. I did not know that "LATERAL" can also be a verb.

61A: Fire opal: GIRASOL. Unknown to me. Got it from the down clues. Italian for "Sunflower". Dictionary says it came from "girare" (to turn), "sol". That's how GIRASOL was morphed into "an opal that reflects light in a bright luminous glow".

63A: Impolite observers: STARERS. And 60D: Lascivious gander: LEER. Both remind me of those OGLING crowd following Natalie Gulbis at US Open. I did not see Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers' QB) though. He used to follow Natalie around.

65A: Paris palace: ÉlYSÉE. I bet Carla Bruni will leave Sarkozy before he leaves Palais de ÉlYSÉE.


2D: Opposite of starboard: PORT (left-handed side of the vessel). Hmm, have some Apple Crisp to go with your PORT wine.

7D: Assassinated Egyptian statesman: SADAT. Who on earth killed SADAT? Only Mubarak knows.

11D: Look on one's face: EXPRESSION

12D: Commune in Tuscany: SIENA. OK, the medicinal herb is SENNA, the reddish-brown is SIENNA, or actress SIENNA Miller (a bit of bikini malfunction there), and Tuscany city is SIENA. So confusing.

30D: "A Bug's Life" cast members: ANTS. Have not seen ANTZ for a while.

49D: Painting on a wall: MURAL. Here is Diego Rivera's infamous "Man at the Crossroads" MURAL.

52D: ___ metabolism: BASAL. One word: EXERCISE, if you want to increase your BASAL Metabolic Rate.


Jun 27, 2008

Friday June 27, 2008 Michael T. Williams

Theme: Three Doctors

17A: Three doctors: SEUSS CRANE QUINN

41A: Three doctors: ZHIVAGO X DETROIT

65A: Three doctors: DOLITTLE WHO KATZ

3D: Three doctors: HOUSE ZAIUS WELBY

10D: Three doctors: QUINCY NO KILDARE

One letter (J) away from a pangram puzzle.

A hard hammer! I only know SEUSS, ZHIVAGO, DOLITTLE & NO out of those 15 Doctors, so it's definitely an epic battle for me this morning. Lots of wild guesses.

The ARU fill is probably the toughest. I simply have never heard of this Indonesian island group, nor do I know the Muslim woman's gown IZAR or the intersecting Dr. ZAIUS. The CURTIZ & ZOEA crossing Z is another stubbornly unyielding letter to fall.

After filling in GAZES (58A: Fixed looks), I felt very intense and flirtatious, so I succumbed to Google quickly.


1A: TV screening device: V-CHIP

6A: Luck of the Irish: CESS. "Leprechaun" popped into my mind immediately. I am not familiar with this CESS or the "Bad CESS to somebody" curse. How ironic, since CESS stands for "Success".

10A: Area meas.: SQMI (Square mile)

16A: Part of FAQ: QUES. FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions. The QUES I receive often via emails are: What are "DFs"? What are "Perps"? Both were concocted by Dennis.

20A: Expel: CAST OUT

21A: Goober: PEANUT. Mi Hyun Kim (LPGA's PEANUT) shot 72 at US Open (Edina, MN) yesterday. What a stunning quintuple-bogey WOE (52A: Misfortune) for Michelle Wie on hole #9 (par 4)! Lorena Ochoa definitely lived up to the HYPE (32A: Flamboyant promotion). And Natalie Gulbis, the sexy LPGA calendar girl, HELD (25D: Maintained) her sweet smile so well when facing the shouts and whistlings from those huge male following.

27A: Sharp turn: ZIG

30A: Crustacean's larval stage: ZOEA. It came from Greek zōē ( life).

35A: Routinized: IN A RUT

38A: Part of MLB post-season: ALCS (American League Championship Series). Another baseball reference is HOFer MIKE Schmidt (45A: Ditka or Schmidt).

44A: Indonesian island group: ARU. Wikipedia says ARU Islands are located in the Arafura Sea southwest of New Guinea and north of Australia. Look at this map of Indonesia island.

46A: Quenches: SLAKES

51A: Mil. infor grp.: ONI (Office of Naval Intelligence)

59A: Black Sea port: ODESSA

62A: Desert plant: EPHEDRA. I only knew the Chinese word (麻黃) for the EPHEDRA supplement. Had no idea that the plant grows on desert.

68A: River of Hamburg: ELBE. Our editor likes to clue EGER as "ELBE tributary".

70A: Ancient city on the Nile: MEROE. I simply forgot. This constructor used the same clue for his Feb 19 TMS puzzle. MEROE is "a ruined city in Sudan and the Capital of ancient Ethiopia".

72A: ___ Oreille Lake: PEND. I've never heard of this lake. Wikepedia says it's Lake PEND Oreille, located in the northern Idaho panhandle. The lake drains via the PEND Oreille River.


6D: "Casablanca" director: CURTIZ (Michael). He won Oscar for "Casablanca". Too bad, I've never paid attention to who directed this classic.

9D: Dog of song: SHEP. Which song?

10D: Press flat: SQUASH. This SQUASH soup looks delicious.

19D: Letters in a math proofs: QED

24D: Urgers: COAXERS. Urgers?

28D: Sportscaster Cross: IRV. I've never heard of him before. Is he very well-known?

33D: ___ - dieu: PRIE. Kneeler for praying. Literally"Pray to God" in French.

35D: Muslim woman's gown: IZAR. I thought their gown is called "Burka". Dictionary defines IZAR as "a long, usually white cotton dress that covers the body completely, worn by women of North Africa and the Middle East." OK, so IZAR does not cover the head then.

36D: Racing org. NHRA (National Hot Rod Association)

37D: Wage-slave's letters: TGIF

39D: Town near Caen: ST. LO

42D: Ma Joad, for one: OKIE. I really should read "The Grapes of Wrath".

48D: Nosegays: POSIES

57D: "Loot" dramatist: ORTON (Joe). Absolutely no idea. See here for more information about this satirical playwright.

60D: Toy person: DOLL. Beautiful 1950's hard plastic Ginny DOLL. She is probably worth several hundreds in that condition, with the original box.


Jun 26, 2008

Thursday June 26, 2008 Alan P. Olschwang

Theme: Quip (Evan Esar)

17A: Start of a quip: GOSSIP

23A: Part 2 of quip: IS LIKE SPINACH IT

40A: Part 3 of quip: All

53A: Part 4 of quip: BOILS DOWN TO VERY

62A: End of quip: LITTLE

I definitely have a Pavlov's Dog reflex towards Olschwang's Quip themed puzzle, so unoriginal, unimaginative and uninspiring. I started yawning immediately after I spotted his name.

I did not complain about ILL (32D: Sickly) clue yesterday ("Feeling peaked") due to the subtle ILL, AIL, ITIS & REHAB sub-theme. But today I am absolutely a volcano ready to explode. There are so many ways to clue ILL: __ at ease; __ -advised; __-wishers; __ -timed; Or simply "___ be back"; "___ be there"; "____ bite"; "____ treat"; or get romantic with "I'LL Be Missing you".

LET SLIP (49D: Divulge accidentally) is actually a great fill for this theme. I only wish it were constructed to intersect GOSSIP somehow.

Can you hear birds chirping/screaming in today's puzzle?

50A: Type of hawk: RED-TAIL. I am not familiar with this hawk. RED-TAILED hawks showed up when I googled. Isn't it strange that birds have all the freedom they have, yet the majority of them stay monogamous?

66A: Whippoorwill's bill: NEB. Here is a sleepy Whippoorwill, a new bird to me.

26D: Marsh bird: SORA. Her yellow-bill is indeed very short.


1A: Pester: HARASS. This is what MAO (21A: Chairman of China) said about guerrilla war fighting strategies: "The enemy advances, we retreat; The enemy camps, we HARASS; The enemy tires, we attack; The enemy retreats, we pursue.".

11A: Type of Tuna: AHI. Delicious AHI sashimi. AHI is Japanese for "yellowfin tuna".

19A: Word to describe Abner: LI'L. Yawner, yawner! Why not give Rapper "LIL' Kim" a chance to shine? Look at this outrageous outfit she wore during the 1999 MTV award.

22A: "Smooth Operator" singer: SADE. Here is SADE's "Smooth Operator". I am now listening to "Somebody Already Broke My Heart", my favorite from her "Lovers Rock" album.

68A: Turkish inn: IMARET. Absolutely no idea. It originates from the Arabic "imārah" (building).

70A: Probability ration: ODDS. I like "Against All ODDS" (Phil Collins).

71A: Full stop: PERIOD. "During the first PERIOD of a man's life the greatest danger is not to take the risk. When once the risk has really been taken, then the greatest danger is to risk too much." A great quote from Kahlil Gibran for you to twist, Mr. Olschwang.


3D: Notes of scales: RES. Or "thing" in Latin.

4D: Set upon violently: ASSAIL And 43A: Whipped: LASHED

6D: Groups of seven: SEPTETS

7D: Ring king: CHAMP. I don't quite understand this one. Does this refer to boxing?

8D: French channel port: CALAIS. Unfamiliar to me. Wikipedia says "It overlooks the Strait of Dover". Here is a map.

9D: Bing, for one: CROONER. The first thing that came to my mind was "Bing Cherry".

12D: Spyri heroin: HEIDI. I really like Shirley Temple's HEIDI, but I have never paid attention to who the author (Johanna Spyri) was.

24D: Medicinal herb: SENNA. I always confused this SENNA with SIENNA (Reddish-brown) until SIENNA Miller came along.

36D: Reckoning: TALLY. Would not have got it without the across clues. Always associated "Reckoning" with "Day of Reckoning".

41D: Bereft: LORN

51D: Serve a sentence: DO TIME

52D: Small screen idol: TV STAR. FYI, STAR TV, owned by Rupert Murdoch, has a huge presence in Asia.

55D: Metrical feet: IAMBS


Jun 25, 2008

Wednesday June 25, 2008 Doug Peterson

Theme: Window Covering

17A: Reappearance on stage: CURTAIN CALL

28A: Amateur snapper: SHUTTERBUG

46A: Dead end: BLIND ALLEY

62A: Monitor guardian, of a sort: SCREEN SAVER

And I'LL (40D: Feeling peaked) say that IT IS (18D: Suffix for disease) rather depressing to see AIL (42A: Feel lousy ), REHAB (Post-op program), ILL and ITIS in one grid. The sky feels so GRAY (60D: Like a rainy day). I want "skies of blue... clouds of white...". I want music. Here are the instruments:

1A: Small flutes: FIFES

6A: "Twelfth Night" role: VIOLA. I wonder if the constructor's original clue was "4-stringed musical instrument". Frank VIOLA was the World Series MVP in 1987 (with the Twins of course). He also won Cy Young in 1988.

15A: Blacksmith's block: ANVIL. Percussion instrument.

27D: Rock band equipment: AMPLIFIERS

Very smooth sailing this morning. A few unknown names, but I was able to piece them together from the crossing clues. No real stumper or obscure words to frustrate me.


14A: Pennsylvania sect: AMISH. They are the same as Mennonites, aren't they?

19A: Tasseled hat: FEZ. Always thought of FEZ as an Arabic word, just learned earlier that it's of Greek origin. "The Ottoman Turks adopted the FEZ from the Greeks".

20A: Indispensable: ESSENTIAL

21A: Slightly ahead: UP ONE. I don't get this one. Why? I am only familiar with ONE UP.

23A: Luau souvenirs: LEIS. And 57D: Hawaii bird: NENE

24A: Fulda tributary: EDER. I got it from the down clues. Had difficulty remembering this Fulda feEDER.

33A: Irish patriot Robert: EMMET. "I hero I lived, a hero I'll die...". Great Irish folksong Bold Robert EMMET.

35A: Hentoff and Hiken: NATS. Know Hentoff. Have no idea who Hiken is.

44A: Funny Jack of Hollywood: OAKIE. Unknown to me. Got it from the crossing clues. Wikepedia says he grew up in OK, hence the nickname. I wanted BENNY.

54A: Hold sway: REIGN. He who originated "Let freedom REIGN".

56A: Removing certain packaging: UNCRATING. And 31D: Release a catch: UNPIN. Is UNCRATING a familiar word to you? I've never used it before.

68A: Honkers: NOSES (68A: Honkers). It would be great if NOSES were clued as "Defeats by a narrow margin" to pair up with UP ONE.


4D: Actress Getty: ESTELLE. No idea. Pieced her name together from the across clues.

6D: Leave no trace: VANISH. "Want to VANISH inside your kiss... Every day I'm loving you more and more. Listen to my heart, can you hear it sings?...". Here is "Come What May" from "Moulin Rouge!".

9D: Dogpatch adjective: LI'L. LI'L Abner. I had no idea that he lived in Dogpatch.

10D: Hints at: ALLUDES TO

11D: Risk it all: GO FOR BROKE

30D: Spiritual way: TAO. Literally "Way" ( 道) in Cantonese. Lao-Tzu wrote "TAO Te Ching". In Mandarin Chinese, TAO is DAO, Lao-Tze is Lao Zi, and "TAO Te Ching" is "DAO De Jing".

34D: "Cheers" star: TED DANSON. Know him. Have never watched "Cheers" before.

45D: Refuse to vote: ABSTAIN. "When you doubt, ABSTAIN".

49D: Sweater-to-be, perhaps: YARN. Perhaps, yes!

58D: Wolfe of whodunits: NERO. Or the evil Roman Emperor (pervert Caligula's nephew). Very interesting, you get "Deplore again cruel Romans" when you anagram "Emperors NERO and Caligula".


Jun 24, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008 Allan E. Parrish

Theme: It's Just a Fling

17A: Extremely dark: PITCH BLACK

59A: Billy Bob Thornton film: SLING BLADE

10D: Sleep restlessly: TOSS AND TURN

24D: Invite some friends over: THROW A PARTY

And a non-themed vigorous PELT (62A: Animal hide). Look at what centers the grid: PIVOT (38A: Turning point). It conjures up a VIVID (29D: Intense, as color) picture of someone hurling in motion, doesn't it?

I adore this puzzle. I love those scrabbly Z's & X'es. The intersections of PARTY & TRAY (65A: Cafeteria tote), and ADZE & BLADE are just brilliant.

Quite a few new words/names to me today, but I was able to fill in the unknown blanks with the crossing references. Had to google the dog food brand Bil-JAC (4D), as I could not get that expensive letter "J" from the across. MUTANT was clued as "Teenage __ NINJA Turtles" on the May 11 TMS puzzle, and I remember I checked the meaning of NINJA. But I did not fully digest it and assimilate into my brain.

A great Tuesday puzzle.


1A: Japanese warrior: NINJA. All I could think of is "Samurai". NIN is "Endure", JA is "person". NINJA has a Chinese root. In fact, its Japanese Kanji writings (忍者) are identical to Chinese characters. There is a NBA/MLB player has tattooed on his arm. I cannot remember his name though.

14A: Trojan War story: ILIAD. And ILLID setting TROY (24A: Ex-QB Aikman). The clue for TROY is flawed here. QB should not be abbreviated. "Ex Cowboys QB" should be OK, or simply "1993 Super Bowl M.V.P.".

21A: __ May Clampett: ELLY. "The Beverly Hillbillies"

22A: Cash-register key: NO SALE

31A: Trademark DOS: UNIX. Developed by the Bell Labs.

43A: Fan mag.: ZINE

49A: Fastener attacher: STAPLER

53A: Union units: LOCALS. Does this refer to the Labor Union?

64A: Tenor Mario: LANZA. Unknown to me. I got his name from the down clues. He died so young (38 years old).

66A: Thwack: SWAT. Wish I were born earlier so I could see "The Sultan of SWAT" PITCH, TOSS, THROW, SLING, and have FLINGS in/off the ballpark.

67A: Surpass others: EXCEL


3D: Silents star Naldi: NITA. Learned her name from doing Xword. I've never seen any of her movies.

5D: Stick fast: ADHERE

9D: Kentucky loc.: FT. KNOX. I got this one easily due to the intersecting SERF (6A: By gone peasant). I dislike the clue though. Doe "loc." stand for location or what?

11D: WWII sub: U-BOAT

12D: Zora ___ Hurston: NEALE. Not familiar with her name. Have heard of "Their Eyes Were Watching God" though.

13D: Co-star in "Dr. Kildare" movies: AYRES. 60D: First name of 13D: LEW. No idea. Wikipedia said he was married to Ginger Rogers for six years. And Jane Wyman fell in love with him during the filming of "Johnny Belinda" and "left her husband Ronald Reagan for him, albeit unsuccessfully".

18D: Explode: BLOW UP. This brings to my mind the SCORIA (Volcanic rock ejecta) and the "Lava/Lois Bomb".

28D: Arcade game name: SEGA. Not familiar with this Nintendo rival. Would have not got it without the adjacent fills.

32D: "My life in Court" writer: NIZER (Louis). No idea. Easily gettable though. Wikepedia says "After the assassination of John F. Kennedy, he authored the foreword to the Warren Commission report that investigated JFK's murder and the conspiracy theories that still surround it." I've read the Warren Commission report, but I don't remember seeing his foreword.

39D: Sack of leaves: TEA BAG. Sack? Really? That coarse? Let me check.... OK, you are right. TEA BAG is explained as "a small porous sack holding enough tea leaves to make an individual serving of tea" by American Heritage Dictionary.

51D: Amtrak's bullet train: ACELA. Not familiar to me. Pieced it together from the across fills. Interesting "Acceleration" word though. China started running first bullet trains in April 2007. Eurostar seat is a bit tight.

54D: Monster of the Mojave: GILA. I only knew GILA River. Have never heard of this GILA Monster lizard.

55D: Judge's seat: BANC. No idea. Only knew BANC is French for "bench".

56D: Wood-shaping tool: ADZE. Gimme. My favorite Scrabble word. This ADZE needs to be sharpened.


Jun 23, 2008

Monday June 23, 2008 Norma Steinberg

Theme: Happy OWER

17A: Prenatal party: BABY SHOWER

60A: Big name on D-Day: EISENHOWER

10A: Chicago skyscraper: SEARS TOWER

30D: Alternate energy source: SOLAR POWER


This is definitely a Norma Steinberg puzzle. With a couple of baseball references:


1D: Ty of the Tigers: COBB. The "Georgia Peach". The first crop of HOFers.

I suspect that our editor tinkered with the lower right corner. I don't believe that Ms. Steinberg would have missed the opportunity to clue 55D: HOME (55D: Residence) & AWAY (56D: Not in residence) as baseball related. "White House abbr." would be a perfectly fine clue for PRES (58D: White House res.). What's the obsession with "Res*" clues this morning?

Lots of sports terms in today's grid:

25A: Improbably victories: UPSETS

33A: In direct confrontation: TOE-TO-TOE

43A: Plies a broom: SWEEP. The crossing of SWEEP, EAST (36D: Vane heading) and WITCH (44D: Coven member) reminded me of the "Wicked WITCH of the WEST" and her broom.

54A: Title holder: CHAMP

59A: Be windy: BLOW. "Totally botch"!

62A: Zero in Tennis: LOVE

2D: Track shape: OVAL

8D: Level: EVEN

27D: Olympics sled: LUGE. Since 1964.

38D: Ready for business: OPEN

All in all, a very easy but forgettable puzzle.


5A: Fall flower: ASTER. Beautiful. ASTER comes from the Greek "astron", meaning "star".

10A: Pacifying offers: SOPS. Payoffs.

14A: Egg: OVUM. I dislike OVUM intersecting the Egg-shaped OVAL (2A: Track shape).

15A: What push comes to: SHOVE. Great clue. Idiom: "When push comes to shove".

20A: Sanctified: BLEST

23A: Grown elvers: EELS. Only learned this morning that "elver" is also called "glass eel", "so called because it is nearly transparent at an early stage". I want those two Unagi rolls in the middle.

27A: Unties: LOOSENS

32A: Maintain: UPHOLD

37A: Earth sci.: GEOL (Geology). The Geology term "CONNATE", clued as "Like fluids trapped in rocks", stumped me big on Sunday's puzzle.

40A: Augmented: ENHANCED

46A: Word to describe Snow White: FAIREST. Dislike its crossing with FINEST (46D: Best there is).

47A: One of the Magi.: CASPAR. Or Reagan's Secretary of Defense Weinberger.

52A: Scale drawing: PLAN And 12D: Factory: PLANT. I know they are of different roots, but they just look so uncomfortable with each other in one grid.

63A: French cup: TASSE. Annoying ASS intersection with 50D: Will Roger's prop: LASSO

66A: Didst slap: SMOTE. Good archaic clue.


3D: Service station job?: LUBE. Why question mark? No need for it here!

4D: Heckerling and Irving: AMYS. I was "Clueless" that Heckerling directed "Look Who's Talking".

6D: Shallow waters: SHOALS. Or Schools of fish.

7D: Hamlet's kin: TOWNS. Shouldn't the clue be "Hamlets' kin"?

18D: Pittsburgh product: STEEL. Have you READ (45D: Enjoy a novel) Danielle STEEL's Five Days in Paris?

26D: One way to stand: PAT. Stand PAT.

47D: Knitting stitch: CABLE. I know the pattern, I just had no idea that it's called CABLE-knitting. This reminds me of ARGYLE, the Scots style socks knitting pattern.

49D: Potbelly: STOVE

53D: Neeson of "Nell": LIAM. I've never seen "Nell", often clued as "Jodie Foster movie" by our editor. LIAM Neeson is so good as Oskar in "Schindler's List". I tend to confuse him with his co-star Ralph Fiennes, who played Amon Göth (the Nazi concentration camp commandant) in the movie. Fiennes is just brilliant in "The English Patient". But his wondering EYES (68A: Checks out) obviously soared miles too high.


Jun 22, 2008

Sunday June 22, 2008 Annabel Michaels


24A: Underground publisher, perhaps: MIDNIGHT (EX)PRESS

50A: Receive wine from France?: IMPORT (EX)PORT


88A: Hamming it up?: OVER (EX) POSING

118A: Grinding power of molars?: TOOTH (EX)TRACTION

6D: Flippantly cocky point of view: (EX)PERT OPINION

73D: Keep a supply of coins?: STOCK (EX)CHANGE

The answer for 6D stands out as the only one with the head EXED. As an adjective, PERT is difficult to be clued as the second part of the phrase than a noun or verb I suppose. I thought of "COMPUTER (EX)PERT" and "ESCAPE (EX)PERT", but both have different amount of letters than "(EX)PERT OPINION". That would have screwed up the whole upper left corner.

But for a shock and awe effect, I would have clued 29A: METERS (Taxi device) as "Coin takers", so the letter X would be completely axed out of the answers and the clues.

I really like today's theme concept, but the puzzle is made more difficult than it should be due to the rigidly constrained theme answers. I experienced nightmares at several crucial intersections: SENNET and CONNATET, PESETA and SCUP. And these fishes really gave me headache today:

79A: Pogy: MENHADEN. Absolutely no idea. Dictionary says "Pogy" is short for "Poghaden", which is explained as MENHADEN, a herring like fish. See this picture.

113D: Type of Porgy: SCUP. Completely foreign to me. It's spelled out as a "Porgy of the northern Atlantic coastal waters, important commercially as a food fish." Look at his SCUP.

I did get GRILSE (101D: Young salmon) by crossing clues, but it's definitely a stranger to me. Dictionary said it originated from Middle English "grills/grilles". Obviously I don't know anything about fish or fishing. I also pieced together DAP (15D: Fly-fishing action) with the across references. It's a new word to me. I've never fly-fished before, have you?

It looks like our editor quit Roman numerals cold-turkey after the "Numerous Movies" binge on June 8. Great! Several major flaws in today's puzzle though:

39A: Mach + jets: SSTS. And 87A: Mach + plane: SST. This is simply unacceptable!

115A: Reach across: SPAN. And 1D: Spanning: ACROSS. Unbelievable! What can I say? Nuts! You either change SPAN's clue to "Time period" or reword ACROSS clue to "Down's opposite".

127A: Compositions: ESSAYS. Needs to add "Literary" to the clue.

51D: U. of Maine town: ORONO. The clue U. should NOT be abbreviated. Barry Silk has explained it clearly in his last BYU construction: "Generally, when a clue is abbreviated, the answer is also abbreviated."

90D: Green-eyed?: ENVIOUS. Why question mark? "Green-eyed" is "jealous", isn't it? If you want to be cutesy and loves to ask, try "Green?"

Alright, enough whining, let's go!


1A: King Herold's last name: AGRIPPA. Stumped immediately. Hard to get A GRIP on his name. He defeated Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the "Battle of Actium".

14A: "___ Fideles": ADESTE. One more Latin: 30A: In ___ (in position): SITU

20A: Loop thread with a hooked needle: CROCHET

21A: Hit the big time: ARRIVE

22A: Lurch and swerve: CAREEN. "Lurch" or "Swerve", one word clue is enough. Why waste ink?

23A: Correct maps: RECHART

27A: Collar fastener: STUD. Stunning STUD fee for Big Brown, isn't it? See also 77A: Fastens: TIES.

33A: Branding tool: IRON. I don't understand this clue or the answer. Why? It's not the Callaway or TaylorMade IRON brand, is it?

40A: Foot: pref.: PEDI. Pedicure.

45A: Straighten up: NEATEN

47A: City in southern France: AVIGNON. Here is the map. See it? It's on the Rhone River, very close to Marseille. This is the Papal palace in AVIGNON.

52A: Grad. deg.: SCD (Scientiae Doctor, Latin). Doctor of Science.

59A: Richard Attenborough film: CHAPLIN. I've never seen the movie, have you? I like this tag line: "Everyone has a wild side. Even a legend."

62A: Living on the street: HOMELESS

66A: Shout for attention: HALLOO. And 119D: Attention getter: HEY

75A: Man from Aberdeen: SCOT. This word has become our editor's new obsession lately. And 93D: Possess like a Scotsman: HAE. Scottish for "Have". Interesting Robert Burns' Some Hae Meat and Cannae Eat poem.

76A: Dance in France: BAL. BAL Masqué (costume party) for example.

78A: Adopted: TOOK ON

86A: Centering points: FOCI

83A: Like fluids trapped in rocks: CONNATE. Is this a familiar geology term to you? I don't think I even know the Chinese word for it.

92A: Sitarist Ravi: SHANKAR. Good to see SHANKAR clued as an answer.

99A: Links grp: USGA (United States Golf Association). Have to applaud them for their fair course setup during the last US Open.

112A: Old money of Madrid: PESETA. Toughie for me, as I had no idea about the intersecting SCUP.

122A: Authorize: ENTITLE

124A: Solicited orders: TOUTED. And 128A: Sales pitches: SPIELS

125A: Hawaii dress: MUUMUU. She looks pretty in her blue MUUMUU.

126A: Eternal: AGELESS. Helen Mirren, her beauty is AGELESS!

129A: Demonstrates connections: RELATES


2D: Legendary ones: GREATS. Here are two examples: 106A: Pitcher Hershiser: OREL. He won Cy Young in 1988. And HOFer "STAN the Man" (67D: Musial of baseball).

3D: Missile: ROCKET. Do you think "The ROCKET" Roger Clemens will make HOF someday?

4D: German pronoun: ICH. ICH Liebe Dich (我爱你 in Chinese). Say it!

5D: Distinct stage: PHASE

7D: Aleutian island: ATTU. The U from the crossing STUD prevented me from considering ADAK or ATKA.

9D: The best!: PRIMO

11D: Effort: DINT. I only know this word being used in the phrase "By DINT of". Found out today that DINT can also be a verb.

10D: Zealous: ARDENT

12D: Actress Arden, casually: EVIE. "Any Way That You Want Me" by EVIE Sands.

13D: Get back into formation: REGROUP. Does this clue sound OK to you? I always think of REGROUP as "Restart".

17D: Pursue an inquiry: SEE INTO

19D: Consequent: ENSUANT. Unknown to me. I got it from the down clue. Only knew ENSUE.

28D: Failed to: DIDN'T

32D: Mandela's nat.: RSA (Republic of South Africa). His party is ANC (African National Congress).

34D: Roberto's river: RIO. Are we talking about Spanish or Portuguese river here? I think Roberto is also a very popular Italian name.

36D: Against a thing: IN REM. No problem today.

37D: Bristles: SETAE Singular form is SETA.

41D: Richard of "A Summer Place": EGAN. I wanted GERE. I didn't know Richard EGAN. Learned from doing Xword that the "First governor of Alaska" was named EGAN (Willam A.)

43D: Hastens: HIES

46D: Wisconsin city: APPLETON. I can not recall anything special about this city. I only remember its Mini Golf course.

52D: Division into sects: SCHISM

57D: Capital on the Delaware: TRENTON. The Delaware River.

60D: Overabundance: PLETHORA. Did not know that PLETHORA is also a medical term for "excess of body fluid". Dictionary says it's from the Greek plethore (fullness).

62D: Pelvic projections: HIPS. Great Clip on Shakira's "HIPS Don't Lie" Dubai Concert.

64D: Noses: SNOOTS

65D: Elizabethan fanfare: SENNET. Or SENNIT. From French "Signe" (sign). Completely unknown to me. Had great difficulty getting 83A: CONNATE. Here is the definition: "A call on a trumpet or cornet signaling the ceremonial exits and entrances of actors in Elizabethan drama."

74D: Greek colony: IONIA. I simply forgot. A total SNAFU in this CONNATE, IONIA and SENNET area.

80D: Plentifully: AMPLY

81D: Semiconductor: DIODE. I am just so used to the "Electron tube" clue.

88D: Saxophonist Coleman: ORNETTE. Vaguely remember his name from the Jazz Image. I don't think I would have got it without the crossing references. His album 'Sound Grammar" won 2007 Pulitzer for music.

89D: West Indian witchcrafts: VOODOOS

91D: Tailor's measure: INSEAM

94D: K. Capek play: R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots). The debut of the word Robot (1921).

97D: Wink of an eye: NO TIME

100D: Group of seven: SEPTET. Heptad also means "Group of seven".

105D: "Car Talk" broadcaster: NPR. Do you like NPR's "The Splendid Table"?

107D: Dufy or Walsh: RAOUL. I don't know either of them. Is it a gimme to you?

109D: Chip maker: INTEL. Hope you don't own INTEL stock.

116D: Partridge's tree: PEAR. Lovely PEAR blossom.

121D: Greek letters: NUS, followed by XIS.

121D: 6-pointers: TDS (Touchdowns). T.D.S. in prescription means "Ter Die Sumendum" (to be taken three times a day.

123D: Dockers grp.: ILA ( International Longshoremen's Association).


Jun 21, 2008

Saturday June 21, 2008 Tom Pruce


I am not fond of this puzzle at all. I simply dislike the overuse of affixes (S, ER, ED, etc) in the grid. And the appearances of OLD both as the clue and the answer just irk me to bones, look:

22A: Study of old age: GERONTOLOGY. Geronto- is the root word, Greek origin (gérōn: old man). "Study of the elderly" would be fine.

41D: Over the hill: OLD

After getting PENSIONERS (18A: Retired employees), GERONTOLOGY and MUNRO, I started to think of Sarah Polley's "Away From Her". It's a very gripping TALE (57A: Narrative Story) about an OLD couple dealing with Alzheimer's disease. The loving ACTS (1D: Exploits) of sacrifice by the husband are very poignant and touching.

The film is based on "The Bear Came over the Mountain", a short story written by Alice MUNRO (7D: Saki's real name"), who is considered "the finest living short story writer" according to Wikipedia. Julie Christie was just brilliant in the movie. The Oscar should have gone to her instead of that French actress Marion Cotillard, who did not even make effort to sing in "La Vie en Rose". (Update later: Please don't misunderstand me regarding the Saki clue (H. H. MUNRO). Many times I am just playing with the answers.)

Ready? Uno, due, TRE (24D: Trevi fountain coin count), Allons-y!


5A: Round after the quarters: SEMIS (Semifinals)

10A: Stirling man: SCOT. "O, my love is like a red, red rose, that's newly sprung in June...". Love this poem from "Scotland's favorite son".

15A: Main artery: TRUNK ROUTE. New to me.

17A: Legendary bowman: TELL (William). The legendary archer.

18A: Retired employees: PENSIONERS. And 25A: Firestarter: IGNITER. And 44A: Runaway lovers: ELOPERS.

19A: Psalms interjection: SELAH

21A: Circular buildings: ROTUNDAS

27A: "The Raven" monogram: EAP (Edgar Allan Poe). It's mine too, my middle name is ARON.

30A: Actress Fabray: NANETTE. Completely unknown to me. Is she a gimme to you?

33A: Maliciously derogatory: SNIDE

34A: Jiffy: TRICE. Here are some Jiffy Muffins for you.

40A: Got in shape: TONED UP

45A: Caribbeans: WEST INDIANS

47A: Consisting of various kinds: ASSORTED

52A: Aptitude: CLEVERNESS

55A: Brood of pheasants: NIDE. I've never heard of this word before.

56A: Passed on genetically: HEREDITARY

58A: Tree of life location: EDEN. "Did perpetual happiness in the Garden of EDEN maybe get so boring that eating the apple was justified?"

59A: State in northeast India: ASSAM. Ah, the tea state. Wikipedia says it's equivalent to the size of AUSTRIA (38D: Vienna's country) and the area is also known for its silk. Dispur is its capital.


2D: Betty MacDonald bestseller: THE EGG AND I. I've never heard of the author or the book/movie. I like the answer though, with "THE" and "AND".

3D: Generation of today: MILLENNIAL

4D: On the payroll: SALARIED

9D: T-bars: SKI TOWS. I am not familiar with this term.

10D: Jazzman Rollins: SONNY. Dimly remember his name due to MPR's Jazz Image. I don't think I would have got his name without the crossing clues though.

12D: Other: Sp. OTRA And another Spanish word: 53D: Mexican Mme: SRA

13D: Trueheart of "Dick Tracy": TESS. No idea. I took a SWAG. I do like Julia Roberts' TESS in "Ocean's Eleven".

16D: Double-deck solitaire: ROUGE ET NOIR. Not familiar with this game at all. Pure WAG. Look at this Christian Lacroix ROUGE ET NOIR commerical.

20D: Easily infuriated: HOT TEMPERED

27D: Offering proof: EVIDENTIAL

28D: In a hateful manner: ACCURSEDLY. New word to me.

35D: Does a second watercolor: REPAINTS

46D: Fruit of the mind: IDEAS. The "Fruit" here is the plural form, I presume? I like this Emerson line: "Gibraltar may be strong, but IDEAS are impregnable, and bestow on the hero the invincibility".

54D: Pathetic starter?: SYM. Sympathetic. I rather like this "Phony Starter?". SYM/Syn" mean "with", Greek origin.

Alright, the last one, 60A: Stone and the Stallone: SLYS. Here is the "Hot Fun in the Summer Time" from "SLY and the Family Stone". I love those beautiful sceneries in the clip. Happy first day of summer, everyone!


Jun 20, 2008

Friday June 20, 2008 Norma Steinberg

Theme: Man Friday

21A: Some western resorts: DUDE RANCHES

49A: Longtime New Year's Eve conductor: GUY LOMBARDO

3D: Second-story man: CAT BURGLAR

29D: Society: FELLOWSHIP

MATE in Australia, BLOKE/CHAP in the UK.

I've never heard of GUY LOMBARDO, nor am I familiar with DUDE RANCHES or CAT BURGLAR. But they are all gettable from the crosses. I am surprised to see Norman Steinberg's name on today's puzzle though, she is our Wednesday girl. This puzzle does have an easy Wednesday feel, doesn't it? I expect many of you will ace this one.

Not much to gripe about, except 32A: A & M student: AGGIE. It's not an accurate clue. Needs to add "Texas", as there is also a Florida A & M (Rattlers). FYI, AGGIE is also a variant spelling of AGATE (the "Playing marble"). (Update: I was wrong, please read Dr. Dad's opinion on Comments section).

I don't find this puzzle to possess any ELAN (14A: Panache). It's pretty dry and flat, with all those repeat offenders.


5A: Misbehave: ACT UP

10A: Dorothy's dog: TOTO. Does TOTO have a star in Hollywood Walk of Fame? Look at this TITO (41D: Musician Puente) Star.

15A: Capital of Idaho: BOISE. I was the same as Bill, always thought that "I da ho" was only a type of potato.

18A: ___ of magnitude: ORDER. I would not have got it without down clues. I only knew the Chinese word 數量級. Can you read these 3 Chinese characters? Or are they just 3 square boxes to you?

19A: Part of a lot sometimes: ACRE. And 10D: Parcels of land: TRACTS

23A: Transmission cells: NEURONS

26A: McNally's partner: RAND. Foreign to me. Only knew Ayn RAND.

27A: Summons: SENDS FOR

34A: Chemist Pauling: LINUS. No idea. Wow, he got 2 Nobel prize (Chemistry in 1954 & Nobel Peace in 1962). Wikiepedia says he is "a member of a small group of individuals who have been awarded more than one Nobel Prize, one of only two people to receive them in different fields (the other was Marie Curie), and the only person in that group to have been awarded each of his prizes without having to share it with another recipient". I only knew this LINUS.

37A: Ricochet: CAROM. Billiards bounce.

45A: Traded without money: BARTERED

46A: Escaped: GOT AWAY. I don't know much about crossword construction, but I dislike when GOT and GETS (49D: Catches on to) appear in the same grid. I was also bothered by the appearance of both SLEEP & SLEPT on Tuesday Barry Silk's CLASS puzzle.

45A: Lyricist Gershwin: IRA. Yawner, yawner. When are you going to clue it as "Grp from Belfast"?

56A: Els or Kovacs: ERNIE. ERNIE Els has hopped onto the Butch Harmon's bandwagon. Not a good time for David Leadbetter right now, unless Michelle Wie pulls off a win at US Open next week. I wonder why our editor never Cubs' great ERNIE Banks, given that TMS puzzle primarily serves the Chicago area.


6D: Quantities of wood: CORDS. I was not familiar with this "wood stacks" meaning of CORDS.

9D: Every year: PER ANNUM. Could not jam in PERENNIAL.

24D: Fence piece: RAIL. My first response was EPEE (Fencing piece).

32D: Peck in "Moby Dick": AHAB. Have never watched "Moby Dick".

33D: Festive: GALA. Have some GALA apples.

34D: After midnight, say: LATE. Here is Simon & Garfunkel's "LATE in the Evening". I am now listening to Michael Learns to Rock's "That's Why You Go Away". I also love their "25 Minutes LATE": "Boy I've missed your kisses all the time, but this is 25 minutes too LATE...".

It's such a boring puzzle today, let's discuss a little bit about music. What have you been listening to lately? Who are your favorite singers? Please share with us.

37D: Chewy candies: CARAMELS

38D: Caesar's TV sidekick: COCA (Imogene)

44D: Gnawing animal: RODENT. How can you get rid of those squirrels? They love to RUIN (16A: Destroy) our vegetable garden.

46D: Pam or Rosey: GRIER. I did not know Pam GRIER. She was in "Jackie Brown". Rosey GRIER was one of RFK's bodyguards. Wikipedia says he was a member of the original "Fearsome Foursome" of the 1957 NY Giants & also a member of the "Fearsome Foursome "of the 1963 LA RAMS (31D: St. Louis football team), very interesting!

51D: Eli's alma mater: YALE. I think we've had enough YALE graduate presidents, almost 20 years, way too long.

52D: Newscaster Hume: BRIT. Anchor of Fox News' "Special Report with BRIT Hume". He is a very very avid crossword solver.

57D: New Deal agcy.: WPA (Work Projects Administration).

Alright, the last one, 40D: Deli offering: HERO. "There is a HERO if you look inside your heart..." Enjoy!