Mar 29, 2009

Sunday March 29, 2009 Kathleen Fay O'Brien

Theme: Los Angeles Clippers

23A: Toy guns?: FALSE A(LA)RMS

24A: Education for lab rats? (LA)MAZE CLASSES

39A: Thug down in the dumps?: BLUE (LA)GOON

43A: Where the South American school grp. meets?: RIO DE LA P(LA)TA

65A: Dana Carvey doing The Police's lead singer?: (LA)STING IMPRESSION

92A: Cop who brings back the genie when he goes AWOL?: ALADDIN'S (LA)MP

94A: Dubbed-in sounds of disgust?: (LA)UGH TRACK

113A: Appropriate style of dress for exams: (LA)TEST FASHION

115A: ATM accesses that nobody can guess?: GREAT P(LA)INS

Probably too obvious if the theme title were "LA Clippers".

This is a Sylvia Plath "Ariel" puzzle to me. I only started to understand "Roses are red..." not long ago. Struggled again.

Lots of wonderful clues in this puzzle. My favorites:

38A: Head lines?: EEG. Very clever. Always "Brain scan letters" in our old puzzle.

51D: Foreign correspondents?: PEN PALS

87D: Writing feature?: SILENT W. Letter W is not pronounced in "Writing".

123A: Henna and her sisters?: DYES. Play on movie title "Hannah and Her Sisters".

Things I need your help:

62D: Not counting fas and and las, word after "holly": 'TIS. Big stumper. Why?

76D: Walks like House: LIMPS. How come? What/Who is "House"?

83D: Stretch in the '90s, e.g.: HEAT WAVE. Again, why?

To those LA Times solvers who are offered Sylvia Bursztyn's "Light Fair". Please go to LA Times website for the Rich Norris puzzle we are discussing here today.


5A: Off-the-market apple spray: ALAR. Sometimes it's clued as "Wing-shaped". Did Ralph Nader play a big role in its banning?

9A: African expanse: SAHARA. I thought of DESERT first.

15A: Hanks Oscar-winning role: GUMP. "Forrest GUMP". "Life is a like a box of chocolate..." It's all about choices actually.

19A: Like some training program: IN SERVICE. Military?

21A: Cloisonné material: ENAMEL. Cloisonné technique was first developed in China.

22A: Ending for stink: AROO. Or "Ending for buck". EROO is the ending of smack & switch.

26A: Political essay: TRACT. It's always clued as "Political pamphlet" in our old puzzle.

29A: Capital on the Hudson: ALBANY

34A: Intersection caution: BLINKER

46A: Cold symptom: SNEEZE

48A: Fight ender, briefly: TKO. Boxing term.

49A: Coal industry labor org.: UMW (United Mine Workers). First encounter with this org.

50A: Bridge bid: NO TRUMP. And NO BET (42D: "Check"). Both are new terms to me. Not a bridge/poker player.

52A: Insect-world animated film: ANTZ. This film has become a gimme.

53A: Dungeness delicacy: CRAB. Have never heard of Dungenss CRAB. Wikipedia says it's named after Dungenss, Washington. And there is an annual Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival held there every October.

54A: Furniture wood: TEAK. "Shipbuilding wood" too. Oily, oily!

56A: Cubs' A.L. rivals: SOX. Both based in Chicago.

57A: 'Enry's Broadway protégée: ELIZA. "My Fair Lady". ELIZA Doolittle. Took me a while to realize 'Enry is Henry.

59A: Mr. Magoo, notably: MYOPE. Learned who Mr. Magoo is from doing Xword.

60A: Ralph Kramden's friend: ED NORTON. Stumper. This is the ED NORTON I am familiar with. He is so good in "American History X".

63A: Where to see 60A across: ON TV

64A: Loafs on the job: DOGS IT. New phrase to me.

72A: Musical syllables: TRAS

73A: The Azores are part of it: PORTUGAL. Barry Silk clued AZORES as "Portuguese islands" in his last puzzle.

80A: Hodges of baseball: GIL. Hmmm, no Dodgers reference? GIL Hodges spent most of his career with Brooklyn and LA Dodgers. Some of the old Brooklyn Dodgers collectibles are ridiculously high priced.

81A: Niño's emphatic yes: SI SI. In Chinese, it's "Shi, Shi'.

82A: Jordon's dowager queen: NOOR. She is rumored to have been dating Carlos Slim. Not sure if he is still the richest man in this world. Listened to some of her interviews when she was promoting her book "Leap of Faith". Very compelling personality.

84A: Biological subdivision: SPECIES

88A: '60 theater, briefly: NAM. I don't understand why they picked "What a Wonderful World" for "Good morning, Vietnam". They don't really match well.

89A: Rubble creator: TNT

98A: Arch city: ST LOUIS. The Gateway Arch was designed by Eero Sarrinen, who appears in crossword often.

99A: Including: WITH

100A: Some dirty politics: SMEARS

103A: November honoree: VET. Nov 11, to be exact.

104A: Observable: IN VIEW

107A: Powerful shooter marbles: STEELIES. See this picture. They don't look like to be made of steel.

109A: Massage targets: NECKS. The answer is always ACHE in our old puzzle.

117A: Camaro __ -Z: IROC. Completely unknown to me. Here is a photo. Wikipedia says it's named after the popular competition International Race of Champions. I thought it's play on "I Rock".

118A: Boys' Choir home: VIENNA. No idea. Have never heard of VIENNA Boys' Choir before.

119A: Tidal maximum: HIGH WATER. Also a new term to me. Just learned what WATER LINE is yesterday.

121A: Makes rhapsodic: ELATES

122A: Bugs, for one: TOON


1D: Baking instruction: SIFT. Mine was STEP.

2D: Tree trunk bulge: KNAR. Made-up crossword word.

3D: Cuba, to Cubans: ISLA. I like this clue.

4D: Come down: DESCEND. Thought of ALIGHT first.

6D: N.Y.C. commuter line: LIRR

8D: What's left, in Le Mans: RESTE. French for "rest". I was thinking of gauche, the real "left".

9D: Israeli, e.g.: SEMITE. OK, this is a word I've never understood. Arabs are Semitic, right? Why Anti-semitism is about prejudice against Jewish people then?

10D: Substances similar in structure, in chemistry: ANALOGS. No idea. I thought it should be ISO something.

11D: Fogs: HAZES

14D: Teeming with activity: ALL ABUZZ. Have to get used to this kind of 2-word fill.

15D: Blowhard: GASBAG

16D: __ Minor: URSA. My first reaction: ASIA

17D: Big name in faucets: MOEN. MOEN has several joint ventures in China.

18D: Bride's throwaway: POSY. All I could think of are flowers & bouquett.

25D: "Tiny Alice" dramatist: ALBEE. I've never heard of "Tiny Alice". But five letter dramatist has to be ALBEE.

33D: Prince Valiant's bride: ALETA. Another unknown. Only Just learned ARN ("Prince Valiant's son") a few months ago.

34D: Big bully: BRUTE. Give a whole new meaning to "Et tu, BRUTE?"

35D: Treated the soil, in a way: LIMED. What's the purpose of liming the soil?

36D: Davenport native: IOWAN. "Is this heaven?" "No, it's IOWA". My favorite baseball movie: "Field of Dreams".

37D: Fingers, so to speak: RATS ON. New definition of "Fingers" to me.

39D: Auto pioneer Karl: BENZ. I need the name Mercedes to get BENZ.

40D: Others: Span.: OTROS. OTRAS is also "Others: Span."

41D: Giraffe cousin: OKAPI. Hey, tell me, is giraffe your cousin?

44D: Plug projection: PRONG. Sounds silly, but I really blanked on Plug PRONG.

47D: Gullible: NAIVE. Won't be long, Rich Norris. Sooner or later, I am going to figure out all your "Little butter?".

53D: Swan constellation: CYGNUS. Forgot this word. Latin for "swan". See this diagram. PromiseMe mentioned Rush's song "CYGNUS X-1" last time when we encountered DENEB (clued as "Star in CYGNUS". In his words, "The song is about a journey through space to the black hole at the heart of the constellation Cygnus." Maybe he will provide a clip later.

55D: Authentic: KOSHER. Opposite tref. Kind of like Arab Halal/haraam, right?

58D: P.O. sackful: LTRS. In this electronic age, still "sackful" of letters? I doubt.

59D: No longer at issue: MOOT. Or still debatable. Janus letter, 2 meanings.

61D: Numbered rds.: RTES

63D: Actor Katz: OMRI. I forgot this "Dallas" actor. He appeared in our old puzzle before.

64D: N, E, S or W: DIR

66D: Roman prefix: ITALO. Williams liked to clue ITALO as "Author Calvino". In fact, I don't believe he ever tried "Roman prefix".

67D: Star in Virgo: SPICA. New to me. Here is the diagram.

68D: Pyramids, e.g.: SOLIDS

69D: African language group: BANTU. Both Zulu & Swahili belong to BANTU.

71D: Crown location: TOOTH. I was picturing a crown over someone's head.

74D: Infomercial knife: GINSU. They are of very poor quality, correct?

75D: "Me, too!": AS AM I

78D: Show the rope: TEACH

79D: Pool accessory: RACK. Billiard. Not swimming pool.

80D: It holds locks in place: GEL. Well, I was thinking of real locks. Key does not fit.

85D: Like the Holy See: PAPAL

86D: 1999 Ron Howard film: EDTV. See this poster. I saw identical clue somewhere before. But I could not recall the film name.

90D: Lawyer's writing: BRIEF

91D: "Give me an example!": NAME ONE. Like this clue also.

93D: Jotting place: NOTE PAD

95D: Muscle spasm: TWITCH. Or TIC for a 3-letter fill.

97D: Perceived to be: SEEN AS

100D: Tour of duty: STINT

101D: Correct: RIGHT. Verb or adjective?

102D: Comic opening: SERIO. Have never heard of seriocomic before. Derived from SERI(ous) + O + Comic.

104D: Tendon suffix: ITIS. Tendonitis. Did not come to me immediately. I am used to the " Medical suffix" clue.

105D: Husband of Octavia: NERO. I know the NERO who fiddled while Roman burned. Don't know who Octavia is. Dictionary says Marc Anthony's wife is also called Octavia, a name rooted in Octavius, meaning "the eighth".

106D: Brandy letters: VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale). Unknown to me. Here is a bottle.

107D: 2000 World Series venue: SHEA. Yankees beat the Mets. I was unaware of this. My US history started in May 16, 2001, almost 8 years.

108D: Lily with an edible root: SEGO. Really? I only know tiger lily buds are edible.

111D: Cello stabilizer: KNEE. I still marvel at the CELLIST clue ("Ma, for one") the other day. Just brilliant. Crossword constructors/editors are so creative.

112D: Georgia et al., once: Abbr.: SSRS. I love this "Georgia" ambiguity. In late 1980s and early 1990s, I was very into Eduard Shevardnadze, who later became the President of Georgia. Later one, I moved to Netanyahu. I don't know what they have in common. They just attracted me.

116D: "Kung Fu" actor: AHN. No idea. Interesting trivia: His parent were the first Korean married couple admitted into the United States, according to Wikipedia. He looks very Korean. His surname AHN would be spelled An or Ang in Chinese, as in director Ang Lee. An simply means "Peace".

Full Answer Grid.



Argyle said...

Good Morning, CC,

My head hurts from all the V-8 slaps I gave it this morning.

62D: Not counting fas and and las, word after "holly": TIS. Big stumper. Why?

From the Christmas carol, "Deck the Halls": with boughs of Holly, Fa, La,La,La, La,La, La, La. 'Tis the Season to be Jolly....

I didn't no deletion clues were allowed.

76D: Walks like House: LIMPS. How come? What/Who is "House"?

Hugh Laurie portrays Dr Gregory House on the Fox network show, "House". The character has a bad leg and pops pills like candy for the pain. It is a big part of the show.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thanks for "TIS and LIMPS. I figured House has to be someone since his name is capitalized. How about HEAT WAVE? Did you grok the theme immediately? Also, what is a "schoolteacher horse" and how to pronounce REUNE? As for ANI & Mark Catesby, is that why the bird if often clued as "Colonial black cuckoo"?

Are barnacles edible?

I loved the KITE picture you painted with words. Kites have weak legs though.

Thomas said...

Hello C.C. & all

Thoughts from yesterday, which I thought I'd posted but screwed up. I'm such an idiot... Haven't been to today's puzzle, but will get back when I do. Anyway...

Argyle @ 7:24 Sat.,
Thanks for the link, many a night I fell asleep and woke up in the bunkhouse to the calls of the Loons at our family's cabin.

My Aunt and Uncle had a cabin on Burntside Lake. He was a Finn and always chopped a hole in the ice for his 'dip' after his sauna.

Kazie @ 8:04 Sat,
Thanks for the 'back-up'. A vote for Loon!

Dennis @ 8:13 Sat,
Another vote for us Loons!

Kazie @ 8:17 Sat,
There's no yellow in a crossword puzzle.

Razz @ 8:31 Sat,
Male classical dancers are called Ballerino's, Balladeere's, or danseur's.

Jeannie @ 10:40 Sat,
Another vote for Loon?

PromiseMe @ 10:43 Sat
Is that a yes?

On our lake the loons were savvy enough to ignore the sailboats, whereas if you came close with a power boat, they'd be gone. They were the most sailor friendly bird on the lake!

LmndDCCXIV @ 11:03 Sat,
One in the hand and one in the b**h... Could lead into a very interesting Sat nite! Or an even better Sun morn! Good hunting!! Suggest Mimosa's this morn!

Anonymous @ 11:33 Sat,
Croner? CRONER??? If you had half a clue, you toad, you'd know that TMS is defunct and Newsday sucks, which is why C.C. and the blog is working the LAT.

2nd. rule of blogging, don't post when you're drunk! Have the balls to sign your name or just go away.

Climbing off my soapbox, rooting for all us Loons..
Done Yakking for now!

TJ in Osseo

C.C. Burnikel said...

Fantastic! Your links worked perfectly.

Holy moley you are so early! Thanks for Plimsoll Line, new term to me. Great LOON suggestion.

Yeah, I know Overseas Contingency Operation (OCO) is real. Was kidding you with crossword constructors' conspiracy. Have never seen OCO in any puzzle before.

What a surprise! Hope all is well with you.

Chris in LA said...

Good morning all,

Tough one this morning - definitely more challenging than TMS of old.

CC: "stretch in the 90's" HEATWAVE - refers to several days of 90+ temperatures

Happy Sunday to all!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thanks. I misread the clue as "Stretch in the '90s" instead of "Stretch in the 90s". So I was thinking of some cultural phenomenon in 1990s that I am not aware of.

The symmetry of the puzzle calls for the same amount of letters, not same amount of words. So yesterday's PRESCIENCE & BLUE MARLIN are perfectly fine. If they are part of the theme answers, then you cast some doubt.

It's you who linked the DF Popsicle clip the other day, correct?

That's a huge duck. No wonder it's called King Eider. Have you had Peking Duck before?

Tom H. said...

Deck the halls with boughs of holly
Fa la la la la la
TIS the season to be jolly

Christmas song

House is another one of those medical shows. House is the main character and walks with the aid of a cane

the 90's refers to temperature on the Fahrenheit scale
therefore a couple of weeks of 90 degree temperature would constitute a heat wave.

In service probably refers to maids and butlers. People in these jobs were considered to "be in service" and their training was done on the job.

Hated this puzzle and I guess not being sports minded, I just didn't get the theme.

Thomas said...

I remember coming home to MN for a visit from FL and my mom took me to a restaurant where some of her Vietnamese ESL students were working, down where the Target Center now stands. Dead ducks were hanging in the window, and the Peking Duck was fab! What skin! Haven't had food as good as that since working with a 3rd generation Chinese chef at the Hilton on St. Pete Beach. His Lobster Kow (sp?) was to die for, and no MSG! (He turned out an entire service with just two woks, one for rice, the rest for the entree's. Chai was incredibale!)

Hungry TJ in Osseo

Linda said...

Dear Mr. Esk Wire:

Me and my brother, Daryl (who speaks fluent pigeon-English) and my other brother, Daryl (who just moved to Pigeon Forge), all want to send our sorrys for ruffling your feathers with our pigeon holes. To show our good faith, we`ll be sending you a coupla dozen pigeon toes soons we can trap `em. They`ll be coming on the Carrier Pigeon Express truck. Enjoy!


Ima Stoolpigeon

PS: And to further our punishment...our paper now carries that dadblamed puzzle on Sunday. too!

Unknown said...

Am I the only one who almost NEVER seems to be able to deduce a theme? I see it here, then say AH! YES!

Enjoyed this weeks puzzles & was able to almost complete all of them, so feel proud! (I do in pen on the newspaper, then lurk here for answers. Seldom Google.)

Had real trouble with 75D "me,too" today - even with the answer I had a hard time getting it! (A Sami? As Ami? AS a Mi? Ohhhh, As am I!) Don't laugh!


Thomas said...

Hello again C.C. & all

Wow! H**l of a puzzle today. Feels like a ball-peen is pounding on my head!

Where S. Amer, school grps. meet, 43A: Rio de Plata, got this thru perps, but still! Meeting on a river?

82A: Noor, completely unknown to me, thanks for the perps!

88A: Satire, satire satire...

ATM nobody can guess, 115A: great pins, ugh!

Cop who brings back the Genie (not OUR Jeannie) when he goes AWOL, 92A: Alladin (missing 's) MP How tricky!

Writing feature, 87D: silent 'w', was not anything I was looking for.

Most of the NW, NE, E & W fell, but the SE was a definite challenge. What a head scratcher!
But also a definite improvement over the TMS.

Clippers, Dodgers, or Lakers, way to cypher out a theme, C.C.! I never got it till I came here!

"Dogs it", is the same as doing the puzzle at work instead of working! Or not running or swimming as hard as you can during work outs.

Cabrini said...

I loved this puzzle. Finished it without help from "g", though it did take me @2 hours. Theme was great. Thanks for clearing up "Great P(LA)ins. Could not figure that one out. Enjoy your insights into crosswords and have been lurking for about one year. Have been doing the LA Times puzzles on line for the past 3 months or so. They are challenging but they make sense. Glad to be rid of "Josiah Breward" who never made sense to me. Always groaned when I opened the Sunday paper and saw the puzzle was his. You have a great "family" here. There are many like me who visit every day, but who don't join in on the conversation. All the comments are so great that there is not much more to say. I felt I had to today to let you know how much I enjoy C.C. et al.

Thomas said...

Welcome Cabrini!
As you may have noticed, what with your extended lurking, sometimes it's not all about the puzzle. What's your opinion about Loons as our bird mascot?

TJ in Osseo

Lemonade714 said...

Good morning:

No way I get up at 5:30 on Sunday, but I am up and liked this puzzle, the LA theme was good, with (LA)MAZE and (LA)MP making the theme appear quickly.

I understand there is a new movie being made My Fair Lady with Keira Knightley in the Audrey Hepburn role. She has turned down appearing in the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

It was very sad to read that SYLVIA PLATH's son recently committed suicide. Hughes’ Suicide.


The Vienna Boy's choir has been around for years, and appeared on US Television many times. When i was in choir in high school, I was ordered to lip synch....Vienna Boys Choir.

I still have trouble with run on answers like SILENT W ans AS AM I, which look like goop, ASAMI and SILENTW.

Peace out.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I never had access to the Sunday TMS puzzle, but this one is available online and so I was able to print it out and do it. Unfortunately, I discovered that when printed out, the theme/title of the puzzle is not included, which probably made this puzzle way harder for me than it would have been had I known what the theme was.

Which is to say that the puzzle was a real slog for me. I did finally get through it unassisted, but it took longer than the NYT and Boston Globe puzzles combined. There were actually only a few total unknowns (including AHN, UMW and ALETA), but many of the clues were obscure enough to cause me trouble and, as I said, I couldn't make heads or tails of the theme answers (other than that they were puns of some sort).

Ah well, I really have to get started on my taxes, so if you'll excuse me...

Anonymous said...

No, I'm not not that anonymous, just too lazy to sign up...

Lime is added to soil to reduce acidity. You want a proper PH level. Some plans prefer more acidic soil, like blueberries and azeleas, others need it more neutral. You need to do soil tests to determine whether to add lime or sulphur.

Teachers today attend lots of In Service meetings/classes, and the kids then get days or half-days off. Back when I was in school, that's what summer was for. There seems to to me to be way too many interruptions during the school year these days.

Kramden/Norton = Gleason/Carney the two male roles in The Honeymooners, an old, very popular at the time, B&W TV comedy show.

Looking at that crab picture, I wonder whoever first thought that would be something you would ever want to eat?

The Vienna Boys Choir used to accept Castrati because of their high voices. They didn't promote castration, but they accepted boys who had "accidents", thus creating a market, which parents who wanted to become more upscale, took despicable action. The number of "accidents" increased to about 4000 per year with that acceptance. Only about 1% of castrated boys ever became good singers...

Anonymous said...

What happened to the Newsday crossword solver??? I am so disappointed it isw gone!!

kazie said...

Not sure what you're getting at re my 8:17pm last night--I wasn't promoting the King Eider as a choice for us, just showing him off because he's so pretty.
And don't apostrophize your plurals--that bugs the hell out of me! (in your note to Razz)

No, I don't think I have ever had Peking duck. It looks yummy!

I had to find the puzzle online today, and without the red help I don't think I could have done it at all. So I won't bore you with my difficulties. Our paper still has the NYT one.

Anon@ 11;00am, that castrati thing is terrible. I'm going to see if I can find out when that was--must have been quite a while ago? the theater where they sing is in central Vienna, located in a park, but that's all I remember. When I was there, I think they were away on tour, but I probably couldn't have afforded to see them anyway.

melissa bee said...

good morning c.c. and all (yaks and loons),

well my head hurts a little, but it was fun. first time ever doing a sunday puzzle online - which definitely made it easier, 50 mins. probably would have taken me twice that on paper.

very tricky cluing. the BLUEGOON fill gave me the theme, which helped alot. still would not have come up with LA CLIPPERS though .. brilliant as usual, c.c.

TWITCH, tendonITIS, and NECKS. i think mr. norris needs a massage. never heard of knar, and didn't know LIRR, RESTE or ALETA. no j or q, but count'em, four z's.

@kazie: gorgeous king eider.

79D: Pool accessory: RACK. Billiard. Not swimming pool.

actually ...

kazie said...

Here is the history of the castrati

WM said...

C.C. Sorry...sometimes I am too literal.

Still have the NYT puzzle and I couldn't get the Sunday LAT to open this morning.

Kazie, you are way too freakin' fast at answering your own questions...I was going to tell you that years ago Anne Rice, of Vampire fame, wrote a beautiful book called "Cry to Heaven" about the 18th century castrati...very intriguing. The very last castrato to perform on stage was Alessandro Moreschi, born in 1858 and actually recorded in 1902 by Gramaphone. You can get recordings through Amazon and there is a YouTube video...if you are interested, type in last castrato into the Google search bar.

I will add my vote for loon...

Anonymous said...

Hi C. C.!

Really enjoy your daily 'blog' for the daily crosswords. Don't use it very often, but do find your comments interesting. An informative view by someone who didn't grown up in this country.

You made the comment about clue 88A: "60's theater" ... NAM, that you didn't understand why the song "What a Wonderful World" as used in the movie "Good Morning, Vietnam!". Let me offer the following from someone who was there when Adrian Cronoyer was on the air at AFR-VN.

It's called "irony".........that particular genre of music (along with guys like Mitch Miller, Sinatra, Norman Luboff, etc.) was the only type of music ALLOWED at that time. The Officers and senior NCO's ran all operations in Saigon like it was a stateside base....(What a Wonderful World). There was no consideration for the ordinary 'grunts' outside of the city who, for the most part, were just kids. There was no rock and roll, no rythum and blues, no pop music. If you didn't like (country) and western and "elevator" music, tough luck...(What a Wonderful World). The Lifers and the REMFs (Rear Echelon Mother-F***kers) ran the show as if it was a base in Kansas. (What a Wonderful World!)

Understandably the US military officals were concrned about their 'appearance' and impression they made in Saigon. Uniforms were always pressed (and starched!! Not very comfortable in that bloody humidity!!!) and you were not allowed to leave the airbase at Tan Son Nhut unless you were in the correct "Class A" uniform of the day. None of those baggy, green fatigues! (What a Wonderful World!)

The movie is one of the few about the Vietnam experience that comes very close to telling what it was REALLY like, at least for the guys that were stationed in Saigon.

I still get a little chill down my spine when I hear that line....."GOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING, VIETNAM!!!".

Again, I really enjoy your comments on the solutions. Have to admit that there's been more than once that I whacked myself on the forehead and say: "Now why didn't I SEE that!"



windhover said...

Anonymous @ 11:00 AM re: crabs
I often wondered the same thing about oysters and dining at the Y until I tried them.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Afternoon All, It took me quite a while with my first official Sunday LAT times puzzle. I had to leave it alone and come back several times before I finally finished.

My first problem was with KNAR. I had KNOT. Then, not being a New Yorker, I didn't know LIRR. Scientific ANALOGS was beyond my ken. I wound up skipping around the puzzle and then revisiting my blanks. After a few go-rounds, the perps really kicked in and helped.

Even after knowing what the theme was, and finishing the puzzle, I had to come here to see how some of the theme answers fit's one of those Argyle head slaps...DUH!!

58D, Yes indeed, the Post Office does still have sacks of letters. They are one of the many types of containers used for transportation.

Whenever I think of loons, I recall this scene in On Golden Pond. Buckeye should enjoy a glimpse of his favorite, Kate Hepburn.

There was a very good 1995 movie called Ferinelli that was about Carlo Maria Broschi, one of the great castrato contraltos of the 18th century. Nowadays, countertenors take the roles that were previously reserved for the castrati and with none of the surgical modifications.

Anonymous said...

I just love your website. You said you didn't understand TIS (62D) "Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa,la,la,la,la,la,la,la,la. 'Tis the season....." Not counting the fas and las, 'tis is the next word.

Also, 74D limps -- House is a TV show about a doctor named House who limps.


P.S. Did anyone ever figure out the "Cards for Two" premise? I keep checking your website, but no further answers. I even emailed the LATimes, but didn't get an answer.

Argyle said...

My goodness, I keep thinking my first post must be missing...but it's still there.

Anonymous said...

starPT says: Loved the puzzle. My principal when I taught told my class, one time, the teacher dismisses the class, not the bell. So we have Marm. Love this stuff.

Lemonade714 said...


I am amazed that your post, which was #1 out of the box, seems to be unread by so many who want to share the same info. C'mon guys, read the comments before you look silly....

C.C., I understand the concept of symmetry, I was just espousing a personal preference.

Okay, ballerino, so be it.

Mimosae, hmmm.

Argyle said...

C. C. said..@5:30 AM

5A: Off-the-market apple spray: ALAR. Sometimes it's clued as "Wing-shaped". Did Ralph Nader play a big role in its banning?

The Natural Resources Defense Council and consumer activist Ralph Nader joined forces in 1986 to get Alar banned.

19A: Like some training program: IN SERVICE. Military?

I take it to be like an internship.

2D: Tree trunk bulge: KNAR. Made-up crossword word.

knar also knaur n. A knot or burl on a tree or in wood. Also gnar, gnarl, knarl(learn 'em, there will be a test later.)
[Middle English knarre, probably from Old English *cnear or from Middle Dutch and Middle Low German knorre.]

101D: Correct: RIGHT. Verb or adjective?

Both? You can right a wrong or correct an injustice. That would be the correct or right thing to do.

T. Frank said...

Good Afternoon, all:

Despite never getting the theme, I got all the theme clues right but two, "greatpins" and "Aladdinsmp". As a result, I was stumped in the SE corner: necks, silentw, dyes (very clever)knee, sego and toon. I guess 231 clues out of 239 is not too bad.
I guess we better remember the LA connection as we work these puzzles.

I figure I spent about two hours on this, and enjoyed every minute of it.

T. Frank said...


"Are barnacles edible?"

Not by most folks, including me.

Clear Ayes said...

I'm not an expert, but....

The universal language of ballet terms is French. Ballerino may be the Italian translation, but it is "danseur" everyplace else.

I have a cousin in Sweden who danced with the Royal Stockholm Ballet for many years. She was in the corp de ballet and her husband was a premier danseur from 1955 to 1974. They spoke Swedish everyplace else, but when they danced the terminology was always in French.

Many companies have IN SERVICE training programs for their employees. The U.S. Postal Service has a technical training center in Norman, OK. Post Offices all over the country send employees to the TTC to learn how to use specialized computer programs, or to maintain and repair all the various mail sorting machines. The classes can last from a couple of days to as much as six or eight weeks. Transportation, meals, room (at a very nice Radisson run hotel across the road) and per diem are all included....that's just one reason for the one penny rate increase in May.

Argyle said...

C. C. said..@6:34 AM
Argyle, did you grok the theme immediately?

Like Melissa Bee, it was Blue (La)Goon that snapped on the light

Also, what is a "schoolteacher horse" and how to pronounce REUNE?

I will email you the answer: does anyone know what a "schoolteacher horse" is?

From "Modern American Usage", reune, for have a reuion, is low-grade American slang. [backformed from reunite, no pronunciation given. I haven't found ANY pronunciation.]

As for ANI & Mark Catesby, is that why the bird if often clued as "Colonial black cuckoo"?

Best reason I've found yet.

Anonymous said...

If this was made easier for us newbies, I am in real trouble. I got some of the obvious ones, but never did grok to the theme. Clever now that C.C.told me, but not something I would ever have figured out. I skipped assuming it was about sports.
I didn't get Great Pins, but now I see. PIN means personal identification number. (Whack)
I lived in Vienna for a year ('69-'70), and heard them perform in a cathedral, not outside. The music that whole year was fabulous, and mostly free.
I'm looking forward to an easy ride tomorrow.

kazie said...

anon @11:00 am said:
Teachers today attend lots of In Service meetings/classes, and the kids then get days or half-days off. Back when I was in school, that's what summer was for. There seems to to me to be way too many interruptions during the school year these days.

Inservice during the school year for teachers is often needed then, and not in the summer, as suggested. It covers ongoing problems that would be irrelevant during the summer, especially for teachers who have moved on to other jobs. It would also be impossible for teachers who must spend their summers getting extra credits for recertification, or traipsing around Europe escorting student groups, because these educational experiences can't be fitted into the short breaks during the school year.

Summers in the education field are not for inservice --they are for refuelling, both the teachers and students need it. Those who don't understand this should try standing in front of a room full of kids and keeping them entertained, AND edified for 8 hours a day! See how many days/weeks/months you can last without a break. I'm always amazed, now in retirement, when I have the opportunity to watch others in the real world "work". They have the luxury of sitting quietly at their station and doing their own thing for the most part, interrupted only when a client walks in, or the much needed trip to the cooler or coffee machine for sustenance.

The time alone to plan the next day's classes or to correct student assignments or make those arrangements for their trips or the exchange groups we had coming to our school, was my relaxation, time I had to myself to work. That's the only atmosphere many jobs have all the time.

That's my second rant of today. Sorry.

Auntie Naomi said...

Good Afternoon C.C. and Co.,

I finished this dad-blasted puzzle unaided. Actually, it was not too bad. I found it to be far easier than the NYT Sunday puzzle. I had virtually the whole thing completed in just about an hour. However, I then got hung up for a long time with the final few clues. The ones that got me were the ones that cross with GIL and SPECIES. Despite having SP---ES. I could not see SPECIES for the longest time. I was thinking too narrowly of POIESES. even when I tried to think more broadly I was still thinking of things within the body like ventricles, vertebrae, etc. being 'Biological subdivisions'. Once I finally saw SPECIES, I was able to get GEL (one would think that would have come to me immediately since my hair hangs down in long curls) from that I was able to guess GIL. SPICA and SOLIDS came from the perps. I never did get the theme, though. Consequently, I was stumped flummoxed as to why the South American PTA would meet in the river. I noticed that ALADDINSMP was missing the LA, but MAZECLASSES wasn't so I tossed out the idea of it having an LA based theme. I guess I should have tried to fit another LA somewhere in or on MAZECLASSES, since it LA was obviously missing from BLUEGOON, as well. Ah well, live and learn.

Despite the fact that I was able to figure it out, ALADDINSMP was a wrong clue. Aladdin was not a genie. Someone needs to read the story.

One thing I do miss about Seattle is the Dungeness Crab. It is really delicious.
There is a well-known NHL referee named Mike McGough, who many hockey fans were happy to see retire last year. When he would make a bad call, people would post messages on forums complaining about him. They often accompanied those posts with pictures of blind old 'Mr. Magoo'.
According to Wikipedia, Carlos Slim is currently the third wealthiest man in the world.
I would like to see 'Rubble Creator' answered like this.
That picture of STEELIES that you linked looks nothing like what I had as a boy. These do.
"Why Anti-Semitism is about prejudice against Jewish people then?" You're question is valid. The answer is that 'anti-semitism', as it is typically used, is a misnomer.
OKAPIs are bizarre looking.
Here is "CYGNUS X-1: Book 1 - the Voyage".

I like this VSOP. In this case it stood for Very Special One-time Performance.

"Give me an example:NAME ONE"

Today an Anhinga waddled across the field on the far side of the river, jumped in and swim across the river straight toward me. Jeannie yesterday mentioned that Loons are skittish. So are Anhingas and Cormorants, so I was surprised by this one's behavior. When he got right in front of me, down on the water, he, at last, turned and went under the boat dock. That was my best nature encounter of the day as I came in early from the rain.

Auntie Naomi said...

I had Peking Duck in Beijing, it wasn't my favorite. It was alright. I am partial to Thai Hot Sweet Chili Duck and, of course, my own Creole-Marinated Roast Duck.

TJ, Yes, that's a yes. After seeing the picture that Argyle posted, I think the Loon is perfect.

Argyle, Do you know exactly which type of Loon that is?

Don't be shy :)

Perhaps Garvey is the only one who ever did a STING IMPRESSION. Did he? I have no idea.
Are you a Rabbi?

melissa bee,
Does your rack really help with aquatic activites? Is it easier for you to do the backstroke?

carol said...

Hi C.C. and everyone, I haven't finished the puzzle yet...Sunday got in the way;)

I just wanted to chime in with my vote for the LOON!

More later.

Dennis said...

Good evening, C.C. and gang - between the hangover and an absolutely stunning day weather-wise, this is the first time I've gotten to the blog.

Without going into tedious detail on my LA Times effort, suffice it to say I got through unaided with minimal snags. An enjoyable puzzle with a clever theme.

Lemonade, Argyle, you're right, it's truly amazing how many people don't read the previous posts before answering something.

Hugh, just a great explanation of the irony of "What a Wonderful World". While AFR-VN was the only station we picked up in Vietnam, I really don't remember much of Adrian Kronauer, probably because we spent most of our time in the field. Unlike you, I didn't find the movie to be all that accurate, although in fairness I never got to Saigon.

Melissa Bee, I'd like to hear more about your use of a rack in swimming.

Auntie Naomi said...

Castrating boys, now there's a crime if ever there was one!

Thanks for the Alessandro Moreschi information. I would not have guessed that there was a YouTube video of that available. I, too, read and immensely enjoyed Anne Rice's novel Cry To Heaven. I recommended it to my friend, a former Jesuit, and he could not thank me enough. I think he cried all through the book. I read it while listening to Ms. Rice's suggested music, Alessandro Scarlatti's 'Il Giardino D'Amore'. She recommended a particular recording that utilized females for the singing rather than countertenors. I have also seen Ferinelli.

Thanks for the Jeff Dunham clip. He is amazing and funny as hell. Peanut is a gas.
As for ballet dancers, they're all ballerinas (except for ClearAyes' cousin's husband, apparently), which suits me fine. I am looking forward to a night of Russian ballet at the Palace Theater in St.Petersburg on June 4th.

Argyle said...

PromiseMeThis said...@5:23 PM
Argyle, Do you know exactly which type of Loon that is?

It is the Common Loon.
Here is the Pacific Loon and the
Red-throated Loon.

WM said...

I guess the common loon it has to be because of the crossword puzzle back(sorry WH). I was ready to put in my 2 cents on the Pacific being local and all...

Argyle...I didn't get the puzzle today but I vaguely remember something about "Tis the Season" unless of course someone already mentioned it over and over.

Linda...can I get some of them oigeon toes? I thought they might go well in my wicked bad fish lip soup...can you check with Daryl...or maybe Daryl or if they're not talkin...Larry maybe?

Just lettin' y'all know that I am currently at war with my computer. so if I disappear for a few days(or longer)...that means the computer won...waiting on a new memory chip, card, whatever. Apparently the computer's memory, like mine, is getting slow and it is running(not very) :oP

WM said...

Linda...PIGEON Toes...drat...that eye-hand coordination thing.

Crockett1947 said...

Like carol, Sunday got in the way of this puzzle, and I worked on it in fits and spurts. Got most of it then went to the online site to help me identify my errors and finish it up.

@windhover Do you have your explanation ready for C.C.?(dining at the Y)

Hope everyone has had a great Sunday!

JIMBO said...

Hey C.C. and all,

I like these puzzles better than the TMS, but I have a lot of "Learning" to do. Looking forward to Monday thru Friday, but Saturday and sunday rips me asunder. Beginning to look at clues in an entirely different light. Many of them I can cipher, but obscure names and languages still leave me with nowhere to go. I WILL get better because when you are on the bottom, the only way out is UP.
My eyes are blue. My hair is salt and pepper (mostly salt)and I like the Kite for a mascot.
Vaya con Dios

Clear Ayes said...

PMT, All ballerinas? I bet you've had a glimpse or two of Ballet Trockadero, and if you haven't, you should. They are wonderful "ballerinas".

Are you going to see the Kirov/Marinsky Ballet Company when you are in St. Petersburg? I was fortunate to see the Bolshoi Ballet perform Romeo and Juliet about 20 years ago. Unforgettable.

BTW, How about a glimpse of those beautiful curls.

I'm as looney as the rest of the people here. I'm with Wolfmom, and put my vote on the Common Loon. It does look quite a bit like a crossword grid on his back.

Jimbo, LOL I like your outlook on our new puzzles.

windhover said...

Think I could get away with pleading the 5th? There are several good lawyers on here. Most likely if Carol or Jeannie or Lois won't come through, it will have to remain a mystery. Dennis has been pretty good at explaining things delicately in the past, but I understand he has a hangover. I may have to hide for a day or two.

Dennis said...

Windhover, no problem, I've got your back.

But, uh....what exactly did you mean??

Jeannie said...

Windhover, your post name is DF enough in my mind, being one of the prime DF'ettes. I will try to ecplain it for you as I have experience of explaining such things in the past. C.C. "eating at the "Y" is similar to enjoying that wonderful breakfast treat of a muffin that the xchefwalt introduced us to many moons ago.
When a woman is on her back and her legs are slightly spread it creates a letter "Y" where the pubis is. Thus, eating at the "Y" is most pleasurable...for both parties. NOW...Windhover you OWE me!!!

I am pouting as I doubt the posting tonight will hit my high note.

Jeannie said...

Okay, how weird is this....I was number 49! Just twenty off. Noboday touch that.

windhover said...

Jeannie@ 9:04:
That I do. Name it and claim it.

Anonymous said...

Kazie; I so agree with your comments about hours in teaching and "in service". What I would add is that "in service" means that. Teachers do not get paid during vacations (like Christmas, spring break, etc.) nor during the summer. They are paid for the days the state says school is to be in session. Usually about 180 days. So forget about calling it a long summer vacation. It is unpaid leave. (Can you guess I was in the classroom for about 35 years?)

Auntie Naomi said...

"Thus, eating at the "Y" is most pleasurable...for both parties."

(... cue skeptical eye roll....) UH-HUUUH

There are those of us who can't help wonder: Shouldn't that be, "Dining at the ... uh ... WHY?

If G_d wanted man to eat p^%$#!, he would have made it taste more like a taco!

Some will get that, some won't
Some will be outraged, some will just hold their piece
Which sounds preferable to dining at the 'Y'
As far as I'm concerned

DoesItinInk said...

I was very disappointed when I came here to discover that the puzzle in today's Chicago Tribune is a very different one than discussed here. The theme of my puzzle was "LET'S SEAT" in which the 'S' at the beginning of a word, when removed makes the answer into a common phrase. Examples: SCORN BREAD (look down on money?), SHUSH PUPPIES (keep canines quiet?) and APPLE SPIES (Microsoft moles?). The puzzle was edited by Stanley Newman. Any idea what puzzle this is?

Well, according to Barry G the LAT Sunday puzzle is available on-line, but it is tooooo late for me to start that. Tomorrow is the first day of my new project, and I have to get SLEEP!

melissa bee said...

i was merely pointing out that a rack is also a swimming pool accessory. wherever you see pools, you see racks. that's all.

Jeannie said...

Windhover, name it and claim it? By all means! Can I be first?

Promise's not all that bad a place to eat...So I have been told.

Jeannie said...

Yeah, right Melissabee...that's all you meant. That's exactly the point I thought you were making. First thing that popped into my head.

windhover said...

By all (or any) means. I would practically insist Where I'm from it is said that nice guys always finish last. BTW, I notice we are up to #58. You wouldn't be angling for 69 again, would you?
(Blowin' in the) Windhover

Linda said...

Kazie: You hit a raw nerve! Some trite phrases I (and all teachers) have had to endure are:"Wish I had three months off a year!" Well it`s actually 10 weeks and shrinking and without pay. I took it for a few years, then I would say, "Well the road to the university is as open to you as it was me!" "But I`m too old"..."Yeah, well I was 30 before I went back." "But I have children..." "And I had three!" "But I can`t afford it"
"Well, if you`re a determined, good student, there are lots of financial opportunities available."
"But what about our bills?" "Pay them off then learn to do without to accomplish your goals" But I don`t think I could do that" "Then don`t complain to me about what you perceive as a `perk` of my job! Besides, I can tell you wouldn`t last a month in a class room!".
And the one that could turn me murderous was, "Wish I could get paid the big bucks you get and just for babysitting!."
You could never get them to believe that we could make twice the money in most any other job requiring a minimum of a 4-5 year degree. We are the only "profession" who is given a myriad "raw" materials, in every shape and reluctant-to-hostile size and condition and are then expected to turn them into a uniform, finished product in 9 1/2 months, with fewer and fewer materials, less and less support
while quite literally putting our lives on the line at times.
Not that I have strong opinions about it or anything...(I know...I know..."call the waambulance!")

BTW: The PM light is just not conducive to puzzle-solving for me.
My label was "Los Angeles Clippers", when "LA Clippers" would have given me at least a fighting chance. When I hit the first was too easy to get out in the sunshine.

wolfmom: Checked with Larry and they only have some possum and taters...if they can keep Stephanie
out of it...want that?

Anonymous said...

Shoo! it took me 30 minutes to do this puzzle! I don't know if that is a good time or not this is the first Sunday puzzle I've done online where it was timed.

I understand the "LA" part but how does Clippers basketball team relate or am I just not smart enough to see it?

Auntie Naomi said...


The LA parts of the theme answers were clipped.

kazie said...

Sallie and Linda,
Thanks for making me feel less of a crank today. I think a lot of people should be forced to spend time in a classroom before they point the finger at teachers. Then they'd at least know what they're talking about, and know what it's like to live on a teacher's salary. I forgot to mention the pay earlier, which is another reason summer inservice wouldn't work--many take extra jobs in summer to survive.

tobylee said...

Had a huge busy weekend. Didn't do the puzzle 'til tonight. Most of you are probably all tucked in. I didn't know about the theme and I have to say I am really discouraged tonight. I just don't think the way they do. I should have followed my own advice and skipped the weekend.
Right now the best part is the blog not the puzzle.

Crockett1947 said...

Another thing about inservice days that hasn't been mentioned is the ability to meet with colleagues either in grade level or subject level areas. Trying to get anything like that going outside of regular hours or during the summer would be extremely difficult, to say the least!

Crockett1947 said...

@tobylee Don't give up, kiddo. I think we'll all come out of this transition OK if we just keep on keeping on.

@jeannie #65 and counting. You still there, sweetie?

WM said...

Jeannie...sorry we didn't make it to your magic number...

Linda...I wuz really hopin' for some o them pigeon toes, but if you don't tell Stephanie I could most certainly do with some o them possums and taters...UMM...UMM...UMM...I'm a thinkin' maybe some o that Shepherd's pie would do em.

Crockett1947 said...

Jeannie .. Here's #67, but I can't help you out anymore tonight. Time to roll these aching bones into bed.

Thomas said...

# 68,
Jeannie are you there?

Thanks for all the support for the Loon! Forgot the 'Golden Pond' scene, but just another reason for us to become Loons!

5 & out!

TJ in Osseo

Jeannie said...

Ah, a day late and a dollar short. By I am still number 69!!

Anonymous said...

One more time C.C.

I kept looking for a dramatic reading of Jabberwocky and found there's a lot of versions of it on

This is easily the funniest using muppet characters.