Oct 31, 2008

Friday October 31, 2008 Allan E. Parrish

Theme: "Classical" Songs

17A: Hit by Della Reese and Puccini: DON'T YOU KNOW

39A: Hit by the Toys and Bach: A LOVER'S CONCERTO

65A: Hit by Eric Carmen and Rachmaninoff: ALL BY MYSELF

Is there a special term for this kind of classical music adapted song? Covering? Are there any other songs inspired by classical music?

This is Eric Carmen's "ALL BY MYSELF", and here is Rachmanioff's "Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor". I cannot really tell which part is plagiarized, can you?

Too many proper names in the grid. I was expecting a Halloween themed puzzle today.

I did not like the NAT clue (19A: Country: abbr.). "___ King Cole" would have fit the theme better. "Amtrak" should be added to the ACELA clue (15A: Bullet train).

Across:

1A: Mr. Basketball of the 1950s: MIKAN (George). He's a legend in Minnesota. Played for the Minneapolis Lakers in the 1950s. So sad that he had to sell his memorabilia to pay his medical cost.

6A: Sports commentator Albom: MITCH. ALBOM was clued as "Tuesdays With Morrie" author Mitch not long ago.

26A: Ms. enclosure: SAE

28A: Composer Schifrin: LALO. No idea. He composed the theme music for "Mission Impossible".

33A: "Original Sin" novelist: P. D. JAMES. I googled her name. What's the book about? (Southern Belle, thanks.)

37A: Rodeo type: LARIAT. What's the difference among LARIAT, lasso and riata?

44A: __ Island, NY: STATEN. Vaguely remember this Island from watching "Law & Order" reruns. Wikipedia says "Godfather" and "Working Girl" were shot there.

46A: Typical one: EPITOME. My first thought was EXAMPLE.

52A: Lawless princess?: XENA. Lucy Lawless has remarried. I wonder if she still keeps her Lawless surname.

57A: Part of CAP: PATROL. CAP is Civil Air PATROL. New to me.

68A: Stimpy's pal: REN. "You eediot!" Learned from doing Xword.

69A: Deejay Casey: KASEM. Another google for me. I've never listened to "American Top 40/20/10". Wikipedia says he provided the voice for Shaggy on "Scooby-Doo".

72A: Temples: SHULS. Somehow I always associate "Temples" with "pagodas". I suppose it's because I grew up in a city famous for its Wild Goose Pagoda, which is closer to downtown Xi'An than the Terra Cotta Warriors' Tomb.

Down:

1D: 1401: MCDI

4D: Montezuma, notably: AZTEC. Clue me next time! (San Diego State)

5D: Napoleon's commander at Waterloo: NEY (Michel). I am just so obsessed with this nickname: "bravest of the brave".

7D: Interior Secretary under FDR: ICKES (Harold L). Wikipedia says he is "the longest serving Cabinet officer of any department in U.S. history". His son Harold M. ICKES was Clinton's Deputy Chief of Staff. (Note: James Wilson served as Secretary of Agriculture for 16 years under four presidents. Thanks, Jim Fratzke.)

11D: Small chicken: BANTAM. Named after the Indonesia city BANTAM. I've never heard of this breed of tiny chicken before.

13D: From the sublime to the ridiculous: BATHOS. I obtained this word after I cheated on P. D. JAMES. How is different from PATHOS?

32D: Long overcoat: ULSTER. Named after ULSTER the Irish province.

34D: ___ ladder: JACOB'S. Again, without P. D. JAMES, I would not have got this word. Remember Jacob's tears we had several weeks ago?

40D: West bank city: RAMALLAH. See this map. The Palestinian Authority is located there.

42D: Credit-tracking corp.: TRW. Unknown to me. It's now called Experian. So the clue should have "old" as a hint.

48D: Have in mind: INTEND

54D: Vocalist Mercer: MABEL. This is her "Isn't He Adorable". I've never heard of her before. "Vocalist" is the same as "Singer", right?

63D: Cookout brand: T-FAL. Do you own any Emerilware applicance?

66D: Baton Rouge sch.: LSU. The Fighting Tigers. Shaq's alma mater.

67D: Fashion letters: YSL. I am still in love with YSL Opium.

C.C.

Oct 30, 2008

Thursday October 30, 2008 Alan P. Olschwang

Theme: Be a Team Player

18A: Start of Bernard Baruch quote: WE DID NOT ALL

24A: Part 2 of quote: COME OVER ON

36A: Part 3 of quote: THE SAME SHIP, BUT

49A: Part 5 of quote: WE ARE ALL IN

54A: End of quote: THE SAME BOAT

Hooray! I actually understand this quote. I've never heard of Bernard Baruch though. He also said:

"If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

"Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why."

This grid looks strange. I've never seen 2 theme answers split up in the center (Row 8) on a 15*15 before. I was confused for a minute, thinking this might be a left-to-right symmetrical puzzle rather than a conventional 180 degree rotational one. Stupid!

Once again, I feel like this puzzle was guest-edited by someone else:

17A: Bull markets: UPS. Our editor Williams would clue it as "Raises".

20A: Cost of living?: RENT. Williams: "Monthly payment"

19D: Alternative to smoking?: NON. Williams: "French/Nice turndown".

29A: Piccadilly Circus statue: EROS. Williams: "Greek god of love".

43A: Deer sirs: STAGS. Great clue. Williams: "Some male deer".

62A: 1969 Peace Prize grp.: ILO. Williams: "Worldwide workers gp."

63A: In place: SITED. Williams: "Located".

47D: Pint drink, perhaps: ALE. Williams :"Pub order".

It's nice to have fresh clues. Our brains need constant stimulation. The clue for CEO (22A: Boardroom bigwig) needs an abbreviation hint. "Boardroom VIP" is good.

Across:

4A: Deep, unnatual sleep: SOPOR. Rip Van Winkle is waking up after 20 years of SOPOR.

14A: "Seinfeld" uncle: LEO. I like this episode.

27A: Olympic sled: LUGE. I just learned that LUGE is also the winning word of 1984 National Spelling Bee. Have you seen "Spellbound"? Those kids are incredible.

28A: Deposited: LAID. I don't think any editor wants to try "__ off" clue during this worrying economic downturn period.

33A: Former French coin: SOU. Another old French coin is ECU.

46A: "South Park" boy: STAN. It also means "country": Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc. Persian origin.

48A: Baloney!: PISH. New word to me.

51A: Junior exec.: ASST

52A: Chem. contaminant: PCB (Polychlorinated Biphenyl). No idea. Its spelling does look toxic.

61A: Churchill Downs event: DERBY. The on-line clue is "Kentucky hat?", which sounds more appealing to me.

65A: Big Apple letters: NYC. Technically, it should have "initially" in the clue.

Down:

2D: Censure: REPROACH. I often confuse "censure" with "censor".

7D: Greek vowel: OMICRON. It's between XI and PI. I cheated on this one.

8D: Cowboy's showcases: RODEOS

10D: Keep inside: BOTTLE UP

11D: Old-fashioned warning: ALARUM. No idea. I am not Shakespeare.

12D: Caviar source: BELUGA. I've never had BELUGA caviar before. Love salmon roe on sushi (ikura).

25D: "Chicago" role: VELMA. Played by Catherine Zeta-Jones. Great musical.

26D: Buffalo's county: ERIE

33D: Alan Ladd classic: SHANE. Have never seen the movie. Samuel Jackson did mention the name SHANE in "The Negotiator".

35D: Take a tour: SIGHT SEE

37D: Brief announcement: BULLETIN

38D: Early or late: UNTIMELY

39D: Warner Bros. creation: TOON. I like the alliteration in those character names: Daffy/Donald Duck, Porky Pig, Roger Rabbit, etc. And DOC (59D: Elmer, to Bugs). I am still waiting for the "What's up, ____?"clue.

43D: Forceful flowings: SPATES

44D: Hebrew month: TISHRI. New to me. It's the first month in Hebrew calendar. The last month is ELUL.

49D: Typist's stat: WPM

Does anyone know what's the music behind this "Women in Art" clip?

C.C.

Oct 29, 2008

Wednesday October 29, 2008 Barry Silk

Theme: GOOD VIBRATIONS (48A: This puzzle's theme song)

20A: Oscillators: ELECTRIC RAZORS

25A: Oscillators: STEREO SPEAKERS

42A: Oscillators: BUMBLE BEE WINGS

And a bit of musician sub-theme:

60A: New Age music superstar: ENYA

61A: Crooner Jerry: VALE. I don't know him.

10D: Leader of the Medicine Show: DR. HOOK. Unknown to me also. This sounds nice.

Also a river undertone:

47A: Ubangi feeder: UELE. Big stumper! OK, this is the best map I could find (It will enlarge if you click on it). See the two rivers? UELE is on the upper right corner. The word Ubangi is on the upper middle part, under "Central African Republic". Ubangi flows more than 1,400 miles to the west before it joins the Congo River.

11D: German border river: ODER. It divides Germany and Poland. Flows to the Baltic Sea.

27D: Flower of Paris?: SEINE. Flow-er.

The following two clues definitely need "for short or abbr.":

39A: Tussaud's title: MME

55D: Dallas hoopster: MAV

I also don't like the clue for INDY (50D: 500-mi. race). The abbreviation of "mile" does not please my eyes.

Not an easy puzzle for me. I struggled at various spots.

Across:

5A: Dana of "Baretta": ELCAR. No idea. Wikipedia says he is the FBI Agent Polk (aka "Hickey") in "The Sting". No wonder he looks familiar to me.

10A: Martial arts school: DOJO. Literally "place of way" in Japanese, from old Chinese "Dao Chang" (道場).

16A: Vitamin bottle figs.: RDAS. Wow, I just found out that those guide lines were adopted in 1941.

18A: Gradually declined: EBBED

34A: Joker: WAG. New definition to me.

36A: Between, in poetry: TWIXT And ETERNE (5D: Without end, in poetry).

40A: Dancer Verdon: GWEN. She is Lola in "Damn Yankees". She appeared in our puzzle before.

41A: "Lola" band: KINKS. I like the melody of "Lola". Don't quite get the lyrics. What does it mean when he sings "I know what I am, I'm glad I'm a man. And so is Lola"?

46A: Bad, in Limousin: MAL. The regional capital of Limousin is Limoges, which is famous for its porcelain. This is a unicorn Limoges style. I really like Franklin Mint's "Collector's Treasury" unicorn set. Very artfully done.

55A: Albert of Throneberry: MARV. I know neither Marv Albert or MARV Throneberry.

59A: Rework to make work: ADAPT

62A: Winged mimic: MYNAH. It's also spelled as MYNA. New to me. This is so cute.

Down:

4D: Charlatan's doings: QUACKERY

6D: Lustful desire: LIBIDO

9D: Crisis period: RED ALERT

12D: Benchley novel: JAWS. I like some of the Steven Spielberg movies, not "Jaws". "Saving Private Ryan" & "Schindler's List" are my favorites. "Munich" is good too.

21D: Lose will: TIRE. I don't think so. "Lose energy" yes.

22D: Gusto: ZEAL

25D: Whale star: SHAMU

28D: Period of stability: PAX. It's clued as " ___ Romana" in our puzzle before.

30D: Official positions: RANKS. "Official" refer to "Military official" I presume?

36D: Midnight: TWELVE AM

37D: Place to surf: WEB. My first thought was SEA.

38D: Bookkeeping entry: LINE ITEM. Does US President now holds the LINE-ITEM veto power?

43D: No Oscar contender: B MOVIE. I don't quite understand the concept of B MOVIE. What does B stand for? A, B, C? Bad?

44D: Icy satellite of Jupiter: EUROPA. Unknown to me. It's named after a Greek mythical beauty EUROPA, who was abducted by Zeus. Interesting, Europe got its name from EUROPA too. See Rembrandt's "The Abduction of EUROPA".

54D: Police jacket letters: S.W.A.T. It's also a film name. Pretty good. Colin Farrell is a great actor. I like his "Cassandra's Dream".

C.C.

Oct 28, 2008

Tuesday October 28, 2008 John Underwood

Theme: Echo Words

17A: Lacking in decisiveness: WISHY-WASHY

62A: Bit of whatnot: KNICKKNACK

11D: Drag one's feet: DILLY-DALLY

28D: Travel back and forth: CRISSCROSS

I think ZIGZAG (39A: With 40A, sharp turn: ZIG & 40A: See 39A: ZAG) and TIPTOP (24D: With 44D: first-rate: TIP & 44D: See 24D: TOP) should be counted as part of the theme answers, even though they are broken (so artfully). I feel that lots of thoughts were given to the grid construction.

Here is a wonderful link on reduplicatives. Flip-flop, riff-raff and chitchat all sound appealing to me.

Great puzzle. Fantastic clue for TKOS (60D: Match ends?). I dislike the clue for SIZE (30D: XL, XXL or XXXL). Why all big sizes?

Across:

1A: "12 Angry Men" director Sidney: LUMET. Have never watched "12 Angry Men". I wonder why "Eight Men Out" is not "8 Men Out".

6A: Sharp, localized pain: STAB. Why "localized"?

10A: Picked from a lineup: IDED

25A: "Family Ties" mother: ELYSE. I googled. Looks like a fun show.

29A: Aquatic crustacean: ISOPOD. New word to me. Dictionary says they have 7 pairs of legs. Are they edible?

33A: Plunder: RAPINE. This is a new word to me also. The root of this word reminds me of canola oil, which is extracted from rapeseed. Canola stands for Can(ada) o(il) l(ow) a(cid).

35A: Latin primer word: AMO. AMO, amas, amat.

45A: Miss in Fr.: MLLE. Have you seen "Mon père, ce héros"? This is a remake "My Father the Hero". Katherine Heigl was 14 when she appeared in the movie. Very sexy bathing suit, isn't it?

46A: Artist Botticelli: SANDRO. I did not know his given name. See his "Birth of Venus".

54A: Pointer, for one: BIRD DOG. Do you like Everly Brother's "BIRD DOG"? I like their "Bye Bye Love".

Down:

5D: President after Polk: TAYLOR. Polk's middle inital K stands for KNOX.

8D: Wiesbaden wails: ACHS. See this ACH list. ACH so!

9D: Evan from Indiana: BAYH. I can never remember how to spell Senator BAYH's name. He was on Obama's VP search list.

10D: Philippines port: ILOILO. No idea. It's also the capital city of ILOILO Province. It's so named because of its nose-like shape. "Nose" is "ilong" in local Illonggo languag. See this map. It is known also for its "raw-silk and pineapple-fiber fabrics".

31D: Son of Judah: ONAN. Learned from doing Xword.

34D: Antiquing element: AGER. I don't understand this. What is AGER?

36D: Bamako's land: MALI. Ah, Ali Farka Touré's land. Wonderful "Diaraby".

45D: "Vogue" singer: MADONNA. I guessed. I've never heard of "Vogue" before. She is divorcing Guy Ritchie.

48D: Livened (up): PERKED

C.C.

Oct 27, 2008

Monday October 27, 2008 Norma Steinberg

Theme: Phrasal Verbs with OFF ON

17A: Authorize in writing: SIGN OFF ON

56A: Argue toe-to-toe: FACE OFF ON

11D: Begin, as a trip: START OFF ON

28D: State one's opinions: SOUND OFF ON

I wish 56A were SQUARE/SLACK OFF ON, then every theme entry would start with letter S.

I really liked the ERIE clue (13D: Superior's inferior?), very clever. UNDO (14A: Cancel) could be clued as "Computer edit command" to complete a computer sub-theme, together with EXE (20A: Program file extension) and UNIX (2D: Trademark DOS).

It's an OK puzzle. I didn't find the theme inspiring though.

Across:

15A: Icefield: FLOE. Dictionary says ice FLOE is smaller than "Icefield", which is smaller than ice sheet and similar in area to ice cap. Very confusing.

21A: Essential meaning: POINT

36A: French you: VOUS. "Voulez-VOUS" from "Mamma Mia!".

40A: Seine feeder: MARNE. Unknown to me. See this map. It's a famous W.W. I battle site. Alfred Joyce Kilmer, the poet of "I think that I shall never see /A poem lovely as a tree" was killed at the second battle of the MARNE in 1918.

42: Homer's TV neighbor: NED. No idea. NED is always clued as "Actor Beatty". So is Bart Simpson's "Aye carumba" is a corruption of Spanish "Ay caramba"?

43A: Deuterium discoverer: UREY (Harold). I forgot. Saw his name before. He won Nobel Chemistry in 1934 and he was also involved in the Manhattan Project.

44A: Film festival site: CANNES. Palme d'Or for CANNES, Golden Lion for Venice Film Festival (the oldest film festival in the world).

55A: Actress Woodard: ALFRE. Ha, what can I say. I forgot her name again. Do you watch "Desperate Housewives"?

Down:

1D: Italian actress Elenora: DUSE. No idea. Wikipedia says she is the first woman to be featured on the cover of Time magazine (July 30, 1923).

6D: Michael Caine film: ALFIE. I've only seen Jude Law's 2004 ALFIE.

8D: Only penciled in: TENTATIVE

26D: Singing chipmunk: ALVIN. Here is their "The Christmas Song". So weird.

27D: Singer Pat: BOONE. Here is his "Ain't That a Shame".

31D: Unmanned aircraft: DRONE. I wonder if the constructor's original clue is bee related, since she has STING (34A: Wasp attack) gridded so close by.

34D: Nerve - wracking: STRESSFUL

37D: Indian garb: SARI. Has anyone seen "The Darjeeling Limited"?

57D: Temporary mania: FAD. I can never understand the Beanie Babies FAD.

C.C.

Oct 26, 2008

Sunday October 26, 2008 William S. Richardson

Theme: Green

65A: Green: EARTH FRIENDLY

3D: Green: FILLED WITH ENVY

30D: Green: PLACE FOR PUTTING

34D: Green: INEXPERIENCED

36D: Green: BLUE AND YELLOW

50D: Green: ADOLPH OR HUBERT

All those answers really feel like clues for GREEN, don't they? I wish BLUE AND YELLOW were structured in 3D to form a symmetry with ADOLPH OR HUBERT.

I've never seen a TMS Sunday puzzle with the majority of the theme answers clued in Down. I wonder what's the reason for this change. The puzzle looks nice too if you turn it 90 degrees.

The first theme answer I got is PLACE FOR PUTTING, which prompted me to expect "Masters jacket color", thinking this might be a golf-green related theme.

The clue for SUISSE (1D: Genevan nationality) is not to my liking. Since SUISSE is the French spelling, the clue should have inclued "Genève" as a hint.

Had to resort to OneAcross & Google for help, too many new words/names for me.

Across:

1A: Moroccan port: SAFI. Here is the map. Have never heard of the port before.

14A: Acid of apples: MALIC. New to me. It's derived from Latin "malum" meaning "apple".

20A: First Hebrew letter: ALEPH. First Arab letter is ALIF.

26A: Fuzzy or frizzy: NAPPY

31A: Guinea - ___: BISSAU. See this map. BISSAU is also the capital of the country. Another unknown. It's a Portuguese colony before.

36A: Lab vessels: BEAKERS

37A: Like cars in a traffic jam: END-TO-END

46A: Case for Fox Mulder: X- FILE. Or "Case for Dana Scully".

57A: Pastoral paradise: ARCADIA. Unknown to me. So close to ACADIA in spelling. Dictionary says ARCADIA is "a mountainous region of ancient Greece, traditionally known for the contented pastoral innocence of its people." Kind of like Shangrila, isn't it?

64A: Dutch commune: EDE. I only know Swiss canton URI. See EDE?

69A: Language of Bangladesh: BENGALI. New to me also. I thought they speak Bangladesh language. Dictionary says "jute" is from BENGALI "jhuto".

72A: Hole in a needle: EYE

74A: RSVP-er: INVITEE

81A: Immune system component: T CELL

87A: "Gypsy Love" composer: LEHAR (Franz). No idea. Have only heard of his "The Merry Widow". Here is a clip. She is not singing in Italian, is she?

93A: Sportscaster Scully: VIN. He "holds the distinction of the longest consecutive service of any current major league broadcaster for one team." I've never heard of him before. Not a Dodgers fan.

94A: Publisher' s mark: COLOPHON. It's "A brief description usually located at the end of a book, describing production notes relevant to the edition." I had no idea that there is even a word for that page.

97A: Skintight outfit: LEOTARD

102A: Juicy fruits: MANGOES. One medium-sized MANGO has all the vitamin A & C you need. Some of them are so stringy.

104A: Of words: VERBAL. See the origin of cruciverbalist. I like Ken's example last week: "I never talk to cruciverbalists; they are either cross or down."

108A: View again: RESEE. And I SEE (4D: Words of understanding). I don't like seeing two SEE's.

113A: Mortise insertion: TENON

115A: Ordinary language: PROSE. "Purple PROSE" is not ordinary.

Down:

5D: Squeals: TATTLE. The other ?ATTLE words are battle, cattle and rattle. Constructors always keep several options open.

8D: Columnist's opinion pg.: OPED. I would prefer a simple "Columnists' pg". I don't like the OP duplication.

9D: Remnants of a grenade: SHRAPNEL. I did not know that SHRAPNEL has no plural form.

14D: Wild ones: MANIACS. Mozart is genius MANIAC.

16D: One who loses faith: LAPSER. If you say so.

17D: To some extent: IN PART

18D: Indian pony: CAYUSE. New word to me. He is named after the Indian tribe CAYUSE I suppose.

38D: Restaurateur Shor: TOOTS. Learned his name from doing Xword of course. Is the Toots Shor's Restaurant still in business?

44D: Type of dysentery: AMOEBIC. The other type is bacillary. New to me.

45D: Jejunum connections: DUODENA. Singular form is DUODENUM. Another unknown to me. I did not know the meaning of "Jejunum". It's "the middle portion of the small intestine, between the duodenum and the ileum."

51D: Ruling house of Great Britain: WINDSOR

52D: English poet Siegfried: SASSOON. No idea. His eyes look very penetrating. SASSOON is "joy" in Hebrew.

54D: Marshy depression: SWALE. I wrote down SWAMP first.

82D: Wrenches: CONTORTS

88D: Football teams: ELEVENS. The same with soccer and cricket, both have 11 players on each side.

90D: Whaler's cohort: SEALER. Okey-dokey.

91D: Matador: TORERO

94D: Aircraft pioneer: CESSNA (Clyde). No idea. See this picture. He is in Aviation Hall of Fame. His company is still in operation, and "currently, CESSNA produces 2-, 4- and 6-place single-engine airplanes, utility turboprops, and business jets."

98D: Brooke Shields film, "___ Nevada": Nope, nope. New film to me. Only knew "A Fish Called WANDA".

C.C.

Oct 25, 2008

Saturday October 25, 2008 Allan E. Parrish

Theme: None

Total blocks: 27

Total words: 72

FYI, the maximum word count for a Saturday 15*15 themeless is 72 (78 for Monday-Friday themed puzzle and 142 for Sunday 21*21). The maximum block (black square) count for a 15*15 is 38, though LA Times sets a limit of 43.

I like today's grid. It looks pretty. Perfect symmetry of INTEGRA (2D: One-time Acura model) and ELANTRA (41D: Hyundai model).

But some of the clues/answers are way obscure to me. "Was in Bologna" (57D: ERO)? I don't even know what "Is" is in Bologna. Had never heard of DEIRDRE (59A: Ill-starred lady of Celtic legend). How sad, she committed suicide after her husband was murdered.

MACHO (47A) clue should be "He-man like" rather than "Heman like". The clue for SAME SEX (42D: Man-to-man?) just felt weird to me.

Across:

1A: Number on a letter: ZIP CODE

8A: Hockey-surface smoother: ZAMBONI. Not a hockey fan. Have never heard of ZAMBONI machine before. It's named after its inventor Frank ZAMBONI.

16A: Saw-tooth ranges: SIERRAS

17A: Was humiliated: ATE DIRT

18A: One type of signal transmission: AM RADIO. Do you know why some talk shows are on AM RADIO while some choose FM RADIO?

20A: Sternutations: SNEEZES. "Sternutation" is a new word to me. Strange, the verb "sternutate" is not a word in my dictionary.

26A: Kingston Trio hit: M.T.A. Here is the song. Learned from doing Xword. Their band name really sounds like a reggae group from Jamaica.

30A: Masonic doorkeeper: TILER. Was this a gimme to you? I was stumped last time and again today. It's also spelled as TYLER.

31A: City near Oakland: SAN MATEO. Wikipedia says both Merv Griffin and Tom Brady were born here.

33A: Initial ones: FIRSTS. I was thinking of ABCDE's.

35A: Hindu title: BABU. Funny "Seinfeld" BABU blooper.

36A: Prepare: GET SET

39A: Dissenting religious beliefs: HERESIES

45A: Electric-coil creator: TESLA. Struggled with this one also. I am used to the "Magnetic unit" clue.

49A: Whack: SLAM

50A: Free-throw value: ONE. Lots of NBA fans in China. I had never heard of baseball before I came to the US.

51A: Fishing weights: SINKERS. It's baseball term too.

54A: "Star Wars" character: HAN SOLO. What's your favorite Harrison Ford movie?

56A: Earliest flicks: SILENTS

61A: Charlie Parker's instrument: ALTO SAX. I could only think of SAXOPHONE.

Down:

8D: One Gabor: ZSA ZSA

9D: __ Semple McPherson: AIMEE. Absolutely no idea. Here is more information. Our editor used to clue AIMEE as "Actress Anouk".

12D: Tough times: ORDEALS

13D: Carpenter's tool: NAILSET. See this picture.

14D: Chemical compounds: ISOMERS. And ANE (53A: Chemical suffix).

21D: Within: pref.: ENTO. "Outside: pref." is ECTO.

24D: All together: EN MASSE. I wanted ENTIRE. I dislike how EN MASSE intersects AMASS (43A: Store up), visually jarring to me.

26D: Computer invaders: VIRUSES

28D: Revere's cohort: DAWES (William). I forgot. I think I googled his name before.

30D: Land of lamas: TIBET. I misread "lamas" as "llamas", so my first thought was PERU.

35D: D.C. suburb: BETHESDA. I forgot. It's in Maryland. According to Wikipedia, it's "the best-educated city in the United States of America with a population of 50,000 or more."

36D: Alternative fuel: GASOHOL. GASO(line) + (alco)HOL. I would not have got it without across clues. Only familiar with ethanol.

37D: Spring (from): EMANATE

40D: Archipelago segments: ISLANDS

47D: La Scala city: MILAN. And NY, London & Paris, fashion capitals of the world.

C.C.

Oct 24, 2008

Friday October 24, 2008 Edgar Fontaine

Theme: "Marry" Has a Little Rhyme

18A: Hogwarts' student: HARRY POTTER

23A: Former Heavyweight Champion: LARRY HOLMES

38A: Director of "Rain Man": BARRY LEVINSON

51A: Phillie with eight gold gloves: GARRY MADDOX

58A: Hatchet-wielding temperance advocate: CARRY NATION

"Rain Man" is a great movie, but I've never paid attention to its director's name. I am not familiar with either LARRY HOLMES or GARRY MADDOX. The only Phillie I could think of is Mike Schmidt (also 11-letter).

Besides GARRY MADDOX, there are also CUB (58D: Chicago pro) and ABNER (54D: Doubleday of baseball) for a baseball undertone. Though it's been debunked, I still like the myth that Doubleday invented baseball.

I think our editor was watching ball games while editing this puzzle, so many flaws. Awful clue for HITHERTO (11D: Until now) due to UNTIL (63A: Up to). A clue for Clara BARTON (6D: Coen film, "__ Fink") would have avoided the COEN (27D: "Fargo" director) duplication. There should be a "briefly" hint for OTS (32A: Bonus periods).

Across:

1A: Maternal flower?: MUM. Well, only in the UK, isn't it? It's MOM here. "Silent flower?" is better.

4A: Travail: LABOR

9A: Cause for a blessing? ACHOO

17A: Sound intensity units: abbr.: DBS (Decibels). Stumper for me.

20A: Hardest to fathom?: DEEPEST. Can you think of a word/phrase to clue DEEPEST without using "-est" (or "most"/"least")?

22A: Hebrew letter: RESH. New to me. It's 20th letter of Hebrew alphabet. Notice nun, tet and shin? Great words to play around for those Xword constructors.

26A: Writer Umberto: ECO. Hee, I finally remember his name.

29A: Needle case: ETUI. Long time no see!

30A: Toshiba rival: NEC. NEC belongs to Sumitomo. One of the earliest foreign companies to enter China after our "Open Door" policy (1978). Coca - Cola was an early bird too.

31A: Rider's whip: CROP. New to me. I've never heard of riding CROP or leather tongue.

35A: Oscillates: VIBRATES. I always associate VIBRATES with a trembling motion rather than "swing back and force".

55A: Alaska's first governor: EGAN. Wikipedia says EGAN is "the only governor in the state's history to have actually been born in Alaska." Sarah Palin was born in Sandpoint, Idaho.

57A: Singer Flack: ROBERTA. I love her "Killing Me Softly With His Song".

Down:

1D: Be a busybody: MEDDLE

3D: Capital of Lesotho: MASERU. No idea. LESOTHO was clued as "Basutoland, today" on a TMS Sunday puzzle before. It's encircled by South Africa.

4D: Massachusetts medical clinic: LAHEY. Another unknown. Is it as famous as Mayo Clinic?

8D: Actor Alejandro: REY. I googled his name, then I realized that I had searched for him before. He is in Elvis's "Fun in Acapulco".

24D: Tool for evening: LEVELER. New word to me.

25D: DLII times II: MCIV. Roman 1104.

28D: Saturn's wife: OPS. Googled again. Her equivalent is Rhea in Greek mythology. Saturn (Cronus) ate all his children except Jupiter (Zeus). How cruel!

36D: Again, in music: BIS. I wonde what's the origin for BIS.

39D: Be ruled by: ANSWER TO

49D: Forces from: EXACTS. The clue should be "Forces (from)", don't you think so?

C.C.

Oct 23, 2008

Thursday October 23, 2008 Alan P. Olschwang

Theme: Cold-play

17A: Start of Ed Howe quip: I WISH IT WERE

28A: Part 2 of quip: POSSIBLE TO

40A: Part 3 of quip: PULL A

48A: Part 4 of quip: COLD, LIKE AN

63A: End of quip: ACHING TOOTH

Have you ever paid attention to how crossword constructors number their Across/Down clues? The first 13 Down clues are always in sequential order.

Also, in Quip/Quote puzzle, all the theme answers are supposed to be structured in Across. If there are an odd number of theme entries (Five in today's puzzle), the middle one has to be gridded in the very center of the puzzle and it must have an ODD number of letters (PULL A, 5 letters).

I hate the clue for MISLAID (25D: Lost). LOST TO is an answer for 5A: Was defeated by. Certain rules of cluing are not supposed to be broken. This duplication of clue/answer is a big No-No.

With OTT (6D: Polo Grounds great) in the grid and the World Series going on, you would think our editor has the foresight to clue SERIES (70A: One thing after another) differently.

Across:

1A: Vino region: ASTI. I like this clue better than the partial fill "___ Spumante".

11A: Letters for shock treatment: ECT (ElectroConvulsive Therapy). I would not have got it without the down clues. ECT just appeared in our puzzle last week.

24A: Scottish uncle: EME. No idea. How can the spelling and pronunciation are so drastically different from "uncle"? See this list of Scottish words and phrases. Lots of QU* words for Barry Silk to muse over.

26A: "Fiddler on the Roof" role: TEVYE. This is his "If I Were a Rich Man". I wanted YENTE.

34A: Egg-coloring brand: PAAS. Ha, this is the first time I encountered this brand. Why is it called PAAS instead of PASS?

35A: Emetic medication: IPECAC. I forgot. Identical clue on Sept. 2.

54A: Brahman, e.g.: CASTE. Brahman is "member of the highest, or priestly, class among the Hindus". Big stumper for me. I am used to the "Hindu social stratum/class" clue.

61A: Seal engraved on a ring: SIGNET

67A: Can skip: NEEDN'T. This kind of answer always give me trouble.

71A: Jewish month: ADAR. It's Purim's month.

Down:

4D: Part of foot: INSTEP. I thought of INCHES first.

8D: What's worldwide: THE WEB. I like this clue.

10D: Ballroom dance: ONE-STEP

11D: Undecided: EQUIVOCAL

12D: Like Shirley Temple's hairdo: CURLY. She is so sweet. I cannot undertand the appeal of this CURLY though.

13D: Linen fabric: TOILE. What's the story on this TOILE pillow?

18D: Billy of the Dead End kids: HALOP. I googled his name. He said he hated the name Dead End.

29D: Flavorful: SAPID. SAPID does not sound "flavorful" to me. In fact, it sounds vapid and unpalatable.

30D: Hansen of NPR's "Weekend Edition": LIANE. She is the lady on the left. Her husband is Neal Conan, host of NPR's "Talk of the Nation", which I listen occasionally.

41D: Gospel writer: LUKE. What does "Physician, heal thyself" mean?

46D: Implied: TACIT

50D: Honshu city: NAGOYA. I googled again. I only know the Chinese word for NAGOYA (名古屋) . See this map.

64D: Despot Amin: IDI. Do you still remember the name of the president who preceded and succeeded Amin? I don't. Let me check...Ah, Milton OBOTE. Actually, it's Apollo Milton OBOTE.

C.C.

Oct 22, 2008

Wednesday October 22, 2008 Barry Silk

Theme: J & J

18A: Denim item: JEANS JACKET

61A: Party punch: JUNGLE JUICE

3D: Jumpin' hot spot: JUKE JOINT

34D: Portly planes?: JUMBO JET

And more J words to intersect the above theme entries:

1A: M. Houlihan's rank: MAJ. "M*A*S*H".

24A: Horizontal beams: JOISTS

34A: Lively dance: JIG

58A: H-M connection: IJKL

4D: __ Mahal: TAJ

19D: King's comic: JESTER. I don't understand the clue and the answer.

49D: Prized trinket: BIJOU. New word to me.

57D: Member of the "Love Train" soul group: O'JAY. Unknown to me also. Here is "Love Train".

So many famous JJ names: Janis Joplin, Joan Jett and Jesse Jackson. Oh, don't forget Shoeless Joe (Joe Jackson). He deserves to be in HOF. If you build it, he will come.

I hope you enjoyed solving this puzzle as much as I did. It's a great construction. There are quite a few unfamiliar names, but most of them are inferable from crossing fills. I still had to resort to Google though.

The clue for SERER (47A: Senegalese language) made me laugh. How obscure! Barry must be very excited to find this language. Otherwise, he would have to clue it as "more dry", which might irk some solvers.

Across:

4A: Puccini opera: TOSCA. Does anyone know the meaning of "TOSCA la ha" (Emperor Gene Nelson sign-off line)?

15A: Turkish bigwigs: AGHAS. PASHAS are also "Turkish bigwigs".

17A: Shatner novel: "__ War": TEK. Got it this time.

20A: Skater's jump: AXEL. Can you believe the first AXEL jump was performed in 1882?

26A: Lymphoid organ: SPLEEN

28A: Geological period: AZOIC. No idea. Dictionary defines it as "noting or pertaining to the Precambrian Era, esp. that part formerly believed to precede the first appearance of life". Rooted in Greek ázō(os) meaning "lifeless".

33A: Insertion symbol: CARET

52A: San Luis __: OBISPO. Here is the map. I've never heard of it before. Wikipedia says Loren Roberts was born and raised there. He has such an enviable putting stroke, so smooth and unhurried. OBISPO is Spanish for "Bishop".

55A: Japanese sci-fi film: RODAN. See the movie trailer. So horrifying.

69A: Like some questions: YES-NO

Down:

2D: NYSE rival: AMEX. NASDAQ is very scrabbly too.

5D: S-shaped moldings: OGEES. Can anyone explain to me what exactly is OGEE? I cannot see any S-shape in this OGEE clock frame.

7D: Game with four jokers: CANASTA. Did you know that CANASTA originally came from Uruguay?

12D: "Guys and Dolls" song: SUE ME. I got it from the across clue. See the clip.

13D: Mythical giant: TITAN. ATLAS is a TITAN.

21D: Lane in Metropolis: LOIS. I like this clue. Much more interesting than "Superman's girlfriend Lane".

25D: Like navigable northern waterways: ICE-FREE

28D: Actress Baxter: ANNE. I guessed. Wikipedia says she won Oscar for best supporting role in "The Razor's Edge", which stars GENE Tiernery also (see 36D: Tierney of films).

33D: G. P. A. slangily: CUME (Cumulative). New slang to me. I wish I had attended some kind of school here in the US.

39D: "No Exit" playwright: SARTRE. I think his "Being and Nothingness" & "Nausea" are more famous. Speaking of existentialism, do you like Milan Kundera's "The Unbreable Lightness of Being"?

46D: Arizona tribe: HOPI. Does anyone collect HOPI Kachina dolls?

63D: Paul Anka's "__ Beso": His voice sounds so warm.

C.C.

Oct 21, 2008

Tuesday October 21, 2008 Verna Suit

Theme: The Man, The Myth, The Legend

17A: Scene of 38A's 63A: BEIJING OLYMPICS

38A: World's best swimmer: MICHAEL PHELPS

63A: 38A's take: EIGHT GOLD MEDALS

Do you know that his nickname is "Baltimore Bullet"?

Sensational! MICHAEL PHELPS had the audacity to dream and audacity to realize his dreams.

I believe this puzzle was created immediately after he broke the record, but our editor was not flexible enough to publish the puzzle earlier. Guess he has plenty of puzzles in his pipeline.

Great puzzle, isn't it? I really like the WELT clue (33D: Mark of Zorro?), very clever, though I always associate rapier rather than whip with Zorro.

Nice to see GOA (64D) clued as "Indian tourist haven". I never liked the "Himalayan gazelle" clue before. Without Argyle, I would not have found any picture of that mysterious gazelle.

I don't understand the PODS clue though (41D: Movable classrooms). How so? If PODS refer to "Schools of whales", then the clue need a question mark.

Across:

1A: Office clerk: FILER. None of the companies I've worked has a FILER. Secretaries do the filing job. I like the TERM clue (71A: In-Office time).

10A: Koi: CARP. Look at this huge CARP.

15A: Sound defeat: ROUT And UPSET (21A: Underdog victory).

20A: Black sea port: ODESSA. I had no idea that it belongs to Ukrain.

22A: Court figure: LAWYER. I was thinking of tennis court.

27A: Tokyo, once: EDO. Kyoto was the capital city during EDO period (1603-1867). Nobel author Kawabata wrote a book called "The Old Capital".

32A: Major bore: YAWNER. Have you seen Leslie Caron's "Gigi"? "It's a bore"!

36A: Nebraska river: PLATTE. I forgot. Saw PLATTE river as a clue somewhere before. It flows into Missouri.

46A: Sucker on a shark: REMORA. New word to me. I've heard of sucker fish though. Dictionary says REMORA can "attach itself to sharks, whales, sea turtles, or the hulls of ships." So ugly.

49A: Source of archery bows: YEWS. Can you make bows out of these YEW? They don't look good to me.

69A: Yorkshire river: OUSE. This river used to stump me. Not any more.

Down:

1D: Word for the Beatles: FAB. Do you collect FAB Four items? Here is George Harrison's "When We Were FAB".

4D: Relish: ENJOY. I was thinking of the hot dog relish.

5D: Commando: RAIDER. I always thought RAIDER is a person who RAIDS and seizes counterfeid products.

8D: Solzhenitsyn setting: GULAG. I got the answer, but I did not understand the clue. I've never heard of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn before. He won Nobel Literature in 1970.

10D: Dogpatch creator: CAPP (Al). Li'l Abner comic strip.

12D: Move like a hairline: RECEDE

19D: Undergo genetic change: MUTATE

24D: Dry riverbed: WADI. No idea. How is it different from arroyo/gully?

39D: Pest from a nest: HORNET

42D: Overcharge: SOAK. I was not aware of the slangy meaning of SOAK.

46D: Surgically remove: RESECT. New word to me.

47D: Complete: ENTIRE. I wanted INTACT.

48D: Hardly sufficient: MEAGER

55D: Smoke mass: CLOUD. See, The Rolling Stones used "Off of" in their song "Get Off of My Cloud".

59D: Oates novel: THEM. No. Have never heard of this novel before. Our editor likes to clue OATES as "Bellefleur" writer.

C.C.

Oct 20, 2008

Monday October 20, 2008 Michael T. Williams

Theme: Watered Down

17A: Heading for England: CROSSING THE POND

38A: Get outta here: GO JUMP IN A LAKE

56A: Very small amount: A DROP IN THE OCEAN

Will "Take Me to the RIVER" fit the above theme pattern?

This puzzle is weird. Most of the time the longest theme answer is in the middle. The grammatical structure of the above three entries felt very loose too.

I had to check the dictionary for BONESET (27D: Thoroughwort). I did not understand the meaning of "Thorougwort", thinking it's kind of disease, or something like wart. Had no idea that "wort" is a suffix for "plant".

I also forgot TARPON (31A: Florida fish). I wonder why the clue is "Florida fish"? Can't you find TARPON anywhere else? By the way, congratulations to Night Owl and other Tempa Bay fans. Matt Garza was awesome!

Across:

14A: Clarinetist Shaw: ARTIE. It's clued as "Bandleader Shaw" last Saturday. Kittyb linked Benny Goodman and Woody Herman and mentioned that they are all clarinetists and bandleaders.

20A: Plainsong feature: MONOTONE. This reminds me of Ben Stein.

21A: Carried by wind: EOLIAN. Or AEOLIAN. From Aeolus, ruler of wind in Greek mythology. New to me.

25A: North of Paris: NORD. "South of Paris" would be SUD.

37A: Ducks' relatives: LOONS. LOON is Minnesota's state bird.

41A: Rams and bucks: MALES. No alliteration any more? How about "Bucks and Boars"?

47A: "Star Trek" star: SHATNER. Captain Kirk.

54A: Of the kitchen: CULINARY. Funny how I always associate CULINARY with cooking but not kitchen.

Down:

1D: U.S. Defense group: SAC (Strategic Air Command). I got it from the across fills.

5D: Fawning subordinate: YES-MAN

7D: Inert gas: ARGON

18D: Isotope of thorium: IONIUM. No idea. Its atomic number is 90, and atomic weight 230. ION is charged article, IUM is a suffix for metallic element.

19D: Ultimate conclusion: END-ALL

22D: Paper folding: ORIGAMI. Amazing ORIGAMI flowers.

23D: Lotion additive: LANOLIN. Also called wool fat. I could only think of ALOE.

26D: Washington city: SPOKANE. Unknown to me also. Wikipedia says 1974 World Fair was held in SPOKANE and Bing Crosby grew up there.

41D: NYC arena: MSG. Are you a NY Rangers fan?

51D: "Rebel Without a Cause" co-star: MINEO (Sal). See the movie trailer.

61D: Writer Hentoff: NAT. I don't think I've read anything he has written.

C.C.

Oct 19, 2008

Sunday October 19, 2008 Edgar Fontaine

Theme: Happy Anniversary!

29A: Apt 60th anniversary destination: DIAMOND HEAD

36A: Apt 3rd anniversary gift: LEATHER BELT

54A: Apt 12th anniversary gift: SILK STOCKINGS

72A: Apt 20th anniversary film (with "The"): CHINA SYNDROME

89A: Apt 35th anniversary destination: CORAL GABLES

94A: Apt 11th anniversary gift: STEEL GUITAR

3D: Apt 15th anniversary gift: CRYSTAL BALL

14D: Apt 5th anniversary gift: WOOD CARVING

62D: Apt 10th anniversary film: TIN PAN ALLEY

64D: Apt 55th anniversary destination: EMERALD ISLE

"Girl with a PEARL Earring" would be a perfect run-through 21-letter answer for a possible "Apt 30th anniversary film". "PEARL Harbor" is great too.

Such an ambitious theme, and so nicely executed. Some of "?" clues are quite good:

8D: Early morning riser?: SUN

29D: Semi-colon?: DOT

4D: Tempest's milieu?: TEA POT

28D: Get some air?: INHALE. I don't think "?" is needed here.

112A: Pierre's noodle: TETE. The "?" is needed here.

The clue for GABBLED (48A: Chattered) should be reworded because we have CHAT (56D: Make small talk) as an answer. The same with the IOWA clue (11D: Heart of the Corn Belt). I would like to see the constructor connects "Field of Dreams" with IOWA. So many nice lines from the movie:

"If you build it, he will come."

"Is this heaven?" "It's IOWA."

"Go the distance."

Did you notice letters E, S, T at the bottom row? Very often we have D, E, R & S. Stan Newman, the crossword editor for Newsday, name this high-occurency consonant quartet as REDS.

Across:

5A: Tends to a furnace: DAMPS. New definition to me. I've never tended our furnace.

14A: Coach who won three Super Bowls: WALSH (Bill). All with San Francisco 49ers. Which coach has the most Super Bowl wins in NFL?

20A: Yale of Yale: ELIHU. Harvard is named after John Harvard. Cornell founder is Ezra Cornell.

27A: Motivator: INSPIRER. Okey-dokey, if you say so.

32A: Awaiting: IN FOR

44A: Grain bristle: ARISTA. Latin for "beard of grain". I forgot again. AWN is clued as "Arista" last time.

46A: French wine city: RHONE

52A: "The Terrible" tsar: IVAN IV. I struggled with IV.

57A: Spanish island: ISLA. Have you been to Ibiza? Everything sounds so wild there.

58A: Brief investigation: LOOK- SEE

60A: Cheech's partner: CHONG (Tommy). "Dave is not here", so funny.

63A: French Open winner of 1989: CHANG (Michael). He was very popular in Asia in 1990s.

71A: Hebrew harvest festival: OMER. It was clued as "Hebrew harvest month" in our last puzzle.

75A: Downcast: DROOPY. He is DROOPY.

78A: Very short jackets: BOLEROS. All fur BOLEROS. BOLERO is also a slow Spanish dance, though Ravel's "BOLERO" gets unbearably sexier and quicker as the tension builds up.

80A: "Semper Fidelis" composer: SOUSA. That's an odd picture. I like this clip, very touching!

83A: Indiana pros: PACERS

98A:Gregor Mendel's field: GENETICS. Mendel is called the father of GENETICS. I did not know this.

104A: New Zealand Polynesian: MAORI. And their bird MOA (104D: Extinct bird).

106A: Tiny bit of time: abbr.: MSEC (Millisecond). I was thinking of nanosecond.

108A: Folk singer Burl: IVES. Here is his "Lavender Blue".

Down:

1D: South American monkey: TITI. I forgot. Here is the picture again.

5D: Backside: DERRIERE

6D: African lily: ALOE. I did not know that ALOE belongs to the lily family.

7D: Botanical bisectors: MIDRIBS. The central vein of the leaf.

13D: Phantom: EIDOLON. Rooted in "idol", which is further derived from Greek "Eidos", meaning "form". New to me also.

15D: Asian nursemaids: AMAHS. They are more often called AYAHS in India and AMAS in mainland China (before 1949).

33D: Meshy: NETLIKE. This answer looks more like a clue.

36D: Travels on foot: LEGS IT. I thought of "Hoof it".

41D: Black cuckoos: ANIS. This ANI is indeed totally black.

42D: O. T. book: LEV (Leviticus). I suppose that's the book defines "kosher" since it "contains laws relating to the priests and Levites and to the forms of Jewish ceremonial observance."

45D: __ en scene: MISE. No idea. I obtained the answer from across clues.

52D: Holy pictures: var. IKONS

58D: Wallace's 1968 running mate: LEMAY (Curtis). I googled his name.

65D: DNA code: GENOME. Gene + (chromos)ome. New to me also.

74D: Private sector assns.: NGOS (Non-Governmental Organizations. Yet another unknown.

76D: Mil. honor: DSC. It's an Army decoration, to be exact.

78D: __ Paese cheese: BEL. I've never had this cheese before.

81D: Acclaim: PLAUDIT

82D: Take over for: RELIEVE. Tampa Bay's reliever Grant Balfour used to be with the Twins. Time for Matt Garza to shine tonight.

84D: Ships' loads: CARGOES

90D: Image file format: BITMAP. No idea. I am technologically challenged.

95D: Barreled along: TORE. New meaning of "Barrel" to me.

97D: Transit-loss allowance: TRET. I never know what TRET and TARE mean exactly.

100D: Luck of the Irish: CESS. I forgot. See "Bad CESS" origin.

101D: Glaswegian: SCOT. I cannot recall any famous SCOT who is from Glasgow. Quite a few from Edinburgh, Sean Connery & Robert Louis Stevenson for example.

C.C.

Oct 18, 2008

Saturday October 18, 2008 Barry Silk

Theme: None

Total blocks: 26

ANNA NICOLE SMITH (39A: Playmate of the year) would have been very pleased with the attention she got from Barry Silk. Her named appeared on Barry's Sept 20 Saturday themeless as a run-through 8D answer.

Last time it's TELL HER NO, this time it's SUSPICIOUS MINDS (7D: Presley's hit). I think Barry was born in early 1950's.

Interesting to see ISHMAEL (27D: Abraham's eldest) and WHALER (44A: Queegueg, e.g.) in the same grid. I am curious to see Barry's original clue for ISHMAEL.

Across:

1A: Leader of the Huns: ATTILA. He is the "Scourge of God".

15A: Currency in Freetown: LEONES. I did not know where Freetown is. It's Sierra Leone's capital. Here is a 500 LEONES banknote.

16A: Like some runs: UNEARNED. I hope Tampa Bay can close the deal tonight. I sure don't want Red Sox repeat what they did in 2004.

17A: Grieve audibly: LAMENT

18A: Rousing to action: SPARKING

19A: Edwards or Andrews, e.g.: AFB (Air Force Base). This clue used to stump me. Not any more.

20A: Plains tribe: ARAPAHO. No idea. Wikipedia says they are "tribe of Native Americans historically living on the eastern plains of Colorado and Wyoming. They were close allies of the Cheyenne tribe and loosely aligned with the Sioux."

28A: Bandleader Shaw: ARTIE. He must be very good at double tonguing.

30A: Strangles: SCRAGS. New definition to me. Always thought SCRAG as scrawny.

32A: Drank to excess: BOOZED

45A: Flip do-over: RETOSS. Another RE word is RESEALED (64A: Mended leaks).

49A: Pipe-stem end: TENON. Our editor likes to clue TENON as "Mortise's partner".

52A: City on the Irtysh River: OMSK. I forgot. I can never remember this city. Here is the map again.

54A: Director Wertmuller: LINA. Foreign to me. Wikipedia says LINA Wertmuller is the first woman ever to be nominated for an Oscar for directing with "Seven Beauties".

55A: Outer: pref.: EXO

56A: Desktop publishing acronym: WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get). Big stumper. I've got no idea what it is.

60A: Falling pollution: ACID RAIN

62A: Bob Marley's genre: REGGAE. "Could You Be Loved". Wonderful song.

65A: Practical trainee: INTERN. I wish I were in the US when Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. I can't imagine how Chris Matthews covered the story in his "Hardball". He is my favorite TV HOST (35A: Website job).

66A: Dark horses: SLEEPERS

Down:

1D: Nehru's birthplace: ALLAHABAD. Here is the map. I've never heard of this place before.

2D: Song from Led Zeppelin's "Presence": TEA FOR ONE. Agonizingly slow. I've never heard of song.

3D: Wyatt Earp's town: TOMBSTONE

5D: Jetson's dog: ASTRO. I am convinced that our editor does not like Houston Astros.

10D: Polynesian wraparound: SARONG. I like this color.

24D: Founder of Lima: PIZARRO (Francisco). No idea. How sad, he was assasinated. What kind of hat is that?.

33D: Intervening space: abbr.: DIST. Are you OK with this clue?

36D: Well worker: OIL RIGGER

37D: Discount store chain: STEIN MART. Unknown to me. I don't believe they have a store in MN.

40D: More fussy: CHOOSIER

46D: Absorb completely: ENWRAP. New definition to me also. Food network has a very interesting program called "Unwrapped".

49D: Waterworks: TEARS. I guessed. I did not know that "Waterworks" is a slang for TEARS.

53D: ___ eleison (Lord, have mercy): KYRIE. Was it a gimme to you? Lord is not going to show me any mercy.

58D: Generation after boomers: GEN X. I am a GEN Xer.

63D: Verizon, once: GTE

C.C.