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Jun 30, 2009

Tuesday June 30, 2009 Timothy L. Meaker

Theme: Spelling Bee

20A: February greeting card request!: BE MY VALENTINE

30A: Utah's nickname: BEEHIVE STATE

39A: "Petticoat junction" star: BEA BENADERET

51A: Sue Grafton's second Kinsey Millhone novel: "B" IS FOR BURGLAR

Nice homophone. "C, SEE, SEA" & "I, AYE, EYE" popped into my mind, but I could not think of a 4th entry.

I have never heard of BEA BENADERET. The only BEA I know is BEA Arthur. Love BE MY VALENTINE. So sweet! Chocolate, roses & Paris. Actually, a hike in Appalachia Trail sounds romantic too. So does a 7-day stay in ARG (47A: Braz. neighbor).

Why "Mamma Mia!" trio? for EMS (25A)? The clue should be quartet, correct? There are four letter M in "Mamma Mia!".

Across:

1A: Tout's topic: ODDS. Alliteration.

5A: Broad tie: ASCOT. Named after the Royal ASCOT race.

10A: Left the launch pad: ROSE. And GOES (56A: Leaves) & STAY (64A: Hang around). Plenty of actions.

14A: Slightest concern: HOOT

15A: Juniper fruit: BERRY. I've never used juniper BERRY in cooking.

16A: Black, to Byron: EBON. Another alliteration.

17A: Cath. prelate: MSGR. Monsignor. Not a familiar abbreviation to me.

18A: Come apart: BREAK

19A: Keycard receiver: SLOT. Crossing ENTER, which is clued as "Key in".

23A: Baker or Bryant: ANITA. Only knew ANITA Baker.

26A: Bernese Alps peak: EIGER. I forgot. Someone mentioned Clint Eastwood's "The EIGER Sanction" last time when EIGER appeared.

27A: "You __!": "Sure thing!": BETCHA. First Minnesotan phrase I learned.

29A: Four-time Wimbledon champ Rod: LAVER

34A: Super Bowl highlights?: ADS. Nice clue.

35A: "Hedda Gablar" dramatist: IBSEN. And GYNT (53D: 35-Across's "Peer __"). Love cross reference.

36A: Bauxite, to aluminum: ORE. Did not know bauxite is the principal ORE of aluminum.

43A: Unrefined: CRASS. Wrote down CRUDE first.

45A: Tell to enter, as a prospective job applicant: SEND IN

46A: Kitchen bigwigs: CHEFS. Bam! Emeril is out of Food Network.

54A: First name in daredevilry: EVEL. EVEL Knievel.

55A: "Yippee!": OH BOY

60A: Strikeout king Ryan: NOLAN. Total Ryan with 5,714 strikeouts. Johan Santana now has 1,676. Nobody is going to catch NOLAN Ryan. Randy Johnson has tried his very best.

62A: Grounded fleets, briefly: SSTS

63A: "Looks __ everything": AREN'T. But very important.

Down:

1D: Resistance unit: OHM. The "Conductance unit" is MHO.

2D: MS-__: DOS. Windows preceder.

3D: Animal control officer's concerns: DOG BITES

4D: Yawn accompanier, often: STRETCH

5D: "Dear" columnist: ABBY. Our paper has dropped her column.

6D: Dish up: SERVE. Not "Dish out"?

7D: Dairy aisle buy: CREAM

8D: Think-on-your-feet tests: ORALS. I got the answer. Don't under the logic.

9D: Wee one: TYKE

10D: Nervous: RESTIVE

11D: Accommodate: OBLIGE

12D: At an earlier time: SOONER

21D: When doubled, a fish: MAHI. Mahi-mahi is very tasty. It means "strong-strong" in Hawaiian.

22D: In apple-pie order: NEAT

23D: Palindromic pop group: ABBA. "Mamma Mia!"

28D: Alternatives to Reeboks: AVIAS. Avia is Latin for "to fly". One more blank, the answer would be ADIDAS.

33D: Common news hour: TEN. TEN PM, to be exact.

36D: Have pizza delivered, say: ORDER OUT

37D: Bridle strap: REIN. Misread the clue as "Bridal strap". GOWN came to my mind.

38D: Frequent Italian erupter: ETNA. Literally "I burn".

39D: Perplexes: BAFFLES

41D: Start a new hand: DEAL

42D: Angers: ENRAGES. And RESENT (44D: React indignantly to) & ABHOR (47D: Despise). Not a happy puzzle.

43D: Leek cousins: CHIVES. Onions too.

46D: Turnpike "breakers": CB'ERS. Argyle mentioned the other day that the professional truck driver is called "Road Scholar", a take-off on Rhodes Scholar.

48D: Kirov cash: RUBLE. Easy guess. I don't know where Kirov is, but it sounds Russian. And I like the alliteration.

49D: Corny joke reaction: GROAN

52D: Novelist Jaffe: RONA. Have you read any of her books? I learned her name from doing Xword. Sometimes RONA is clued as "Gossipy Barrett".

Answer grid.

C.C.

Jun 29, 2009

Monday June 29, 2009 Samantha Wine

Theme: Adobe Hacienda

21A: Overtaken and easily surpassed: LEFT IN THE DUST

38A: Classic 1924 novel by Ole Rolvaag: GIANTS IN THE EARTH

56A: Old fogy: STICK IN THE MUD

(Note from C.C.: A special 16*15 grid to accommodate the central theme entry GIANTS IN THE EARTH, which has 16 letters. We had a similar clay-themed puzzle by Norma Steinberg earlier in January. Her theme entries are: MUD SLINGING, EARTH MOTHER, DIRT CHEAP & DUST DEVIL. Today's theme answers are even better, all of them contain "IN THE". Very nice.)

Back to Argyle.

Quite hard for a Monday, I thought.

GIANTS IN THE EARTH was O. E. Rolvaag's most influential novel. It chronicles the story of a group of Norwegian pioneers who make the long trek from a fishing village in Norway through Canada to Spring Creek, in Dakota Territory. The novel details the triumphs, hardships, and ultimate tragedies of South Dakota farmers as they try to wrest a livelihood from a land that, while fertile, often proves actively hostile to human habitation.

Rølvaag was born in Norway. An uncle who had emigrated to America sent him a ticket in 1896, and he traveled to South Dakota to work as a farmhand working as a farmhand until 1898. He earned a bachelor's degree and a master's from St. Olaf College.

Giants in the Earth is part of a trilogy.

Across:

1A: Relaxing soak: BATH.

5A: Confined, with "up": PENT. As in, 'PENT UP' emotions (take a relaxing soak). Cousin to 'penned in', restricted or confined.

9A: Send back, as into custody: REMAND. Often followed by, "Bail will be set at...."

15A: Chat room "I'm just saying ...": IMHO. In My Humble Opinion.

16A: "It depends": I MAY.

17A: Fled to wed: ELOPED. Cute rhyme.

19A: Each: A POP.

20A: __ mignons: steaks: FILETS. I find it odd that the plural requires an S after both words.

24A: Wall St. trader: ARB. ARBitrageur, one who works different markets to profit from unequal prices of the same item.

25A: Like a tinkerer's kit, briefly: DIY. Do It Yourself.

26A: Try: ATTEMPT.

30A: Flips of hits: B SIDES. "Single Records" Although, sometimes the B side made it big, too.

34A: Frosty's button, e.g.: NOSE. Frosty the Snowman, "With a corn cob pipe and a buttoned nose and two eyes made out of coal..."

36A: "__ if I can help it!": NOT.

37A: Dental thread: FLOSS.

45A: "Total Request Live" airer: MTV. Music Television "I want my MTV".

46A: Arabian chief: EMIR.

47A: Low-cost home loan org.: FNMA. The Federal National Mortgage Association commonly known as Fannie Mae

52A: River mouth area: ESTUARY. They are located at the lower end of a river and are subject to tidal fluctuations, not necessarily just the delta area.

55A: Atmospheric pollution meas.: AQI. Air Quality Index

60A: Four pecks: BUSHEL. A Bushel and a Peck.

63A: Exude: EMIT.

64A: Caesar's 53: LIII.

65A: Orwell's "__ Farm": ANIMAL. British author George Orwell, pen name of Eric Arthur Blair, 1903-1950, wrote "Animal Farm" where the animals take over their farm but things become worse than they were before. He also wrote "Nineteen Eighty-Four".

66A: Au naturel: NUDE.

67A: Jose's hand: MANO. And 61D: Juan's one: UNO.

68A: Web surfing tools: MODEMS. Computer hardware.

69A: Letters on a phone's "0" button: OPER. OPERator

70A: Red sky, to sailors: OMEN. Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning. Red sky at night, sailor's delight.

Down:

1D: H.S. class with slides: BIO LAB. Biology class.

2D: Yellowish-brown colors: AMBERS.

3D: J. Edgar Hoover's org.: THE FBI.

4D: Country singer Axton: HOYT. Hoyt Axton. You might be surprised to learn he wrote "Joy to the World", the big Three Dog Night hit and "The Pusher". Steppenwolf's version was in the movie Easy Rider.

5D: Keyboard players: PIANISTS.

6D: Like a useless gas tank: EMPTY. I liked this one.

7D: Sodium hydroxide, to chemists: NaOH. Caustic soda solution, to laymen.

8D: Work at a keyboard: TYPE.

9D: Disprove: REFUTE.

10D: Online mailing tool: E-LIST. A direct mail list containing Internet addresses and used to distribute promotions messages over the Internet. Unknown to me.

11D: Volcanic output: MOLTEN LAVA.

14D: Cavity filler's deg.: DDS. Doctor of Dental Surgery.

22D: Imagine: IDEATE. If anybody finds this word out in the real world, let us know.

23D: Evil Vader: DARTH. Star Wars.

27D: Heath-covered wasteland: MOOR. Heath is evergreen shrubs such as common heather. A heath moor.

29D: Pianist John: TESH. Love him or hate him; he is good at what he does.

31D: "I'll finish it when finish it!": DON'T RUSH ME. And 58D: "Still in bed?" response: I'M UP. "Got teenagers?"

32D: Year in old Rome: ANNUM.

33D: Terra: COTTA.

37D: Magical object: FETISH. Synonyms: talisman, amulet.

38D: Cloud-nine feeling: GLEE.

39D: Pet food brand: IAMS. This is becoming a regular.

40D: Going __: squabbling: AT IT. See above.

41D: Where MoMA is: IN NYC. Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

42D: Rankle: EMBITTER.

47D: Bells and whistles: FRILLS.

49D: Green eggs and ham promoter: SAM I AM.

50D: Horse: EQUINE.

51D: "Play It As It Lays" author Joan: DIDION. The book is NOT about golf.

53D: Top-notch unit: A TEAM. "I pity the fool who didn't get this one" - AB

54D: Nastily derogatory: SNIDE. See above.

57D: Number-picker's game: KENO.

59D: Saint with a fire: ELMO.

60D: Emeril exclamation: BAM !

62D: Caesar of comedy: SID. 50's TV, "Your Show of Shows".

Answer grid.

Argyle

(Added later: Samantha Wine is another alias name of our editor Rich Norris. It's an anagram of "What's in a name". Thanks, Jerome.)

LA Times Crossword Corner

Although our local Star Tribune chose Stan Newman's Newsday instead of Rich Norris's LAT puzzle on March 21, 2009, I've been using the old blog title since many readers find us every day by googling "Star Tribune Crossword Corner".

Time to move on. I hope the title change won't bring too much inconvenience.

Thank you so much for the support.

C.C.

Jun 28, 2009

Sunday June 28, 2009 David W. Cromer

Theme: End of the Road

23A: Device using pulleys: BLOCK AND TACKLE (Roadblock)

39A: 1957 novel with the working title "The Strike": ATLAS SHRUGGED (Road Atlas)

47A: Plan likely to fail: HOUSE OF CARDS (Roadhouse)

64A: Dance, facetiously: TRIP THE LIGHT FANTASTIC (Road Trip)

83A: Break in: SHOW THE ROPE (Roadshow)

90A: Though not yet in force, one was adopted by the UN in 1996: TEST BAN TREATY (Road-test)

112A: One who's halfway home?: RUNNER ON SECOND (Roadrunner)

Nice theme title. I thought of roadkill, road rage & roadwork. What else can you think of?

The name BLOCK AND TACKLE is new to me, though I did know the device itself. Have never heard of TRIP THE LIGHT FANTASTIC. Wikipedia says the phrase means "to dance nimbly or lightly, or to move in a pattern to musical accompaniment."

Harder than last Sunday's puzzle, but very enjoyable. Some of the clues are so refreshing. Some are tricky. Plenty of V-8 moments for me.

Across:

1A: Window treatment: DRAPE

6A: Beat walkers: COPS. And ARRESTS (51A: Takes in) & TASE (69D: Stun, as a perp). I like multiple references in a puzzle.

10A: Pen pal?: PIG. "Pen" here refers to pigpen, the sty.

19A: Causing goose bumps: EERIE

20A: Came down: ALIT

21A: Tide alternative: ALL. Not familiar with ALL detergent. We use Tide.

22A: 1959 Steiger title role: CAPONE. The answer revealed itself.

26A: Self-conscious question: IS IT ME

27A: Carrere of "Wayne's World": TIA. New name to me. Wikipedia says she was born in Hawaii. Of Filipino descent.

28A: Cuarenta winks: SIESTA. "Guarenta" means "forty" in Spanish. I did not know that.

31A: Tale spinner: LIAR. Nice clue.

32A: Like most light bulbs: SCREW-IN

35A: Peruvian pack animal: LLAMA

37A: Publisher __ Nast: CONDE. I like Vogue the most.

38A: Ming 2-Down: VASE. And RELIC (2D: Artifact).

42A: Arid Israeli area: NEGEV. Wikipedia says NEGEV is from the Hebrew root denoting "dry". In the Bible the word NEGEV is also used for the direction "south".

45A: Windblown soil: LOESS. Loamy deposit.

46A: Crew tool: OAR. Crew on a ship/boat.

55A: Net grazer: LET. Tennis term. Also ILIE (66D: First name among '70s netmen) Nastase & TENNIS (95D: Court sport).

57A: Like some boots: STEEL TOED

59A: Film involving stage scenes: OATER. Struggled with this answer.

71A: Log variety: YULE. And DEC (59D: 71-Across mo.)

72A: Preminger et al: OTTOS

73A: Averse: LOATH. The verb is LOATHE.

74A: Puts dividends to work: REINVESTS. Good strategy. I prefer to have a higher stock price than a higher dividend.

79A: Previously: AGO

82A: Takes umbrage at: RESENTS

88A: Actress Davis: GEENA. She is a Mensa member.

89A: Lies next to: ABUTS. I was thinking of cuddling & spooning.

97A: They're not behind you: ANTIS. My favorite clue.

98A: Pie __: CHART. Wrote down CRUST.

99A: Pushes back, as a deadline: EXTENDS

103A: Hair line: PART

104A: Like a good loser? THIN. Lose weight. Excellent clue.

105A: Fuel rating: OCTANE

108A: Yves' yes: OUI. OUI, mon chéri, je t'aime.

110A: Actor Estevez: EMILIO. Son of Martin Sheen.

116A: Evangelist's admonition: REPENT

118A: '70s pinup name: LONI. LONI Anderson? She does not look that pretty.

119A: Jousting pole: LANCE. And STEED (123A: Jouster's ride).

120A: Two-handed hammer: SLEDGE

121A: Driver's gadget: TEE. Golf.

Down:

1D: Possible result of big losses: DEBTS. Financial loss. I thought of UPSET in sports.

3D: Like heavy surf: AROAR

4D: Photo: PIC

5D: "A mouse!": EEK

6D: Mutt, e.g.: CANINE

7D: __ English Bulldogge: OLDE. Not familiar with this breed of dog at all.

8D: Refueling places: PITS

9D: ASAP relative: STAT. Doctor's ASAP.

10D: Ind. neighbor: PAK. India. I was thinking of Indiana.

11D: "No thanks": I'LL PASS

12D: Ocular signs of planning?: GLEAMS. Why?

15D: Final words: EPILOG. Final word in a book.

16D: Overly attentive: DOTING

25D: Sent (for): CALLED

30D: City SSE of Islamabad: LAHORE. The second-largest city in Pakistan, after Karachi.

34D: Signaled from across the room, say: WAVED AT

36D: Colleen: LASS. Colleen is from an Irish word meaning "girl".

37D: Big name in skin care products: CUREL. I use Olay.

40D: Rocky peak: TOR. Pure crossword word.

41D: Hardly well done: RARE

42D: Red Wings' org.: NHL. Hmm, no tribute to the Penguins?

43D: Want ad letters: EOE (Equal-Opportunity Employer). Never know when to put EOE and when to put EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity)

44D: Kind of feeling: GUT

48D: Inaugural event: OATH. Ha ha, I wrote down GALA.

49D: Head for the hills: FLEE. Not familiar with the phrase "Head for the hills". Thought of WHIP, kind of head for the Capitol Hill.

50D: Tire-kicking areas: CAR LOTS

51D: Took advantage of the buffet: ATE A LOT. Mine was OVERATE.

53D: Suit basis: TORT. Law suit.

54D: Org. probing for outer-space life: SETI (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence)

57D: Copperstone abbr.: SPF

59D: Starts the bidding: OPENS

60A: U.S. Army E-5: SGT. And STRIPE (92D: Indication of rank).

61D: Funny Margaret: CHO

64D: Norse god of war: TYR. Tuesday is named after him. Thursday is named after Thor, god of thunder.

68D: Role in the musical "Two by Two": NOAH. Well, who else could it be?

70D: Draw: ATTRACT

75D: Words of action: VERBS. So simple. I was stymied.

76D: Grammy-winning New Ager: ENYA. Have not seen ENYA for a long time.

77D: Big stink: STENCH

78D: Musical place, briefly: B'WAY. The OBIE (OB) Award is for Off-Broadway shows.

79D: "The Simpsons" Kwik-E-Mart operator: APU. Learned from doing Xword.

81D: CIA forerunner: OSS (Office of Strategic Services). 1942-1945.

83D: Ball user, maybe: SEER. D'oh, crystal ball.

84D: Patricia of "Everybody Loves Raymond": HEATON. She looks amazing. It's exciting to go bra-less once in a while.

85D: Hudson Bay prov.: ONT

86D: An orchestra tunes to one: OBOE. Oh, I thought orchestra tunes to piano.

88D: Fine particle: GRANULE

90D: Gets to the point: TAPERS. Great clue.

91D: Painter's choice: ENAMEL

93D: Having status, in a way: TITLED. Like the British Sir I suppose.

94D: Desire: THIRST

96D: Lets go: AXES

100D: Dismal turnout?: NO ONE. Dismal indeed.

101D: Blockhead: DUNCE

102D: Threw in (with): SIDED. They are not synonymous to me.

104D: Shopper's convenience: TOTE

106D: Texting device: CELL. We call cell phone "mobile phone" in China.

107D: Where Helen was taken: TROY. Helen of TROY.

108D: Top-shelf: A ONE. I still can't believe the word tops is an adjective.

111D: __ Direct: online bank: ING. I like this new clue. Tired of "Gerund's end".

113D: Science guy Bill: NYE. "Bill NYE, the Science Guy".

114D: High trains: ELS. In Chicago. Poor Ernie ELS. Missed the Masters & US Open cut, and now is deserted by David W. Cromer.

115D: Jazz fan: CAT. I miss Ed Bradley. He was a real cool CAT.

Answer grid.

C.C.

Jun 27, 2009

Saturday June 27, 2009 Barry Silk

Theme: None

Total blocks: 30

Total words: 70

Hard puzzle for me. I actually filled in lots of 3-letter answers, but the long ones did not jump out as they should. Really had trouble biting into the chunks of stacked 9's and 8's in each corner.

Both of the grid-spanning 15-letter anchors are new to me also:

33A: 9/15/63 site of the only concert including both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones: ROYAL ALBERT HALL

8D: Whom "feeling good was good enough for," in a 1971 #1 song: ME AND BOBBY MCGEE

Favorite clues today:

50A: Bacon bit?: ESSAY. Francis Bacon.

1D: Unlawful firing?: ARSON. Set on fire. I was thinking of the job dismissal "fire". The question mark should have tipped me off.

Across:

1A: Stardom?: ASTRONOMY. Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are! I was at sea.

15A: Hicksville: RURAL AREA

16A: "I speak for the trees" speaker: LORAX. Not familiar with this line. Have never read Dr. Seuss's "The LORAX".

17A: Peter Parker's alter ego: SPIDER-MAN. Couldn't remember who Peter Parker is, even though I saw the 2002 "SPIDER-MAN".

18A: Query in Matthew: IS IT I. Ha ha, mine was WHY ME.

19A: Work: OPUS. Had ???S sitting there forever.

21A: Understands: GETS IT

22A: Three-time all-star reliever Robb: NEN. Sigh. I forgot this guy again. I actually had several of his baseball cards, in Giants uniform.

23A: One spooning: FONDLER. This sounds very DF, no? I wanted FEEDER, but the answer has one extra blank.

25A: Dance: HOP

30A: Sing, in a way: HUM

32A: Ring: PEAL. Bell ring.

38A: At any point: EVER

39A: Johnny of the CSA: REB. Johnny Rebel. Slang for the Confederate soldier.

40A: Hawaiian tuna: AHI

41A: Intelligence concern: LEAK. Nailed it. Wanted LEAK for yesterday's "Security concern" (MOLE) also.

42A: Lively: GAY. French for GAY is GAI.

43A: Rich deposits: LODES. Wrote down LOAMS, which is "Rich soils".

46A: Yossarian's friend, in "Catch-22": ORR. No idea. The only ORR I know is Bobby ORR.

47A: Meteorological topic: AIR MASS. One of our local meteorologists is obsessed with tornadoes.

49A: Recommendations: DO'S

51A: Bern or Geneva: CANTON. The Swiss state.

53A: Abridged: CUT

54A: Rocker Matthews: DAVE. Nope. Was ignorant of this rocker and his band.

55A: "What? keep __ away? seven days and nights?": "Othello": A WEEK. Oh well, I guessed DREAM.

56A: Like farming: AGRONOMIC. Agro is prefix for "soil". ARABLE has a different root.

58A: Earth: TERRA. Latin for earth.

59A: Advertiser's confirmation: TEAR SHEET. New term to me.

61A: Prime time shows, e.g.: TELECASTS

Down:

2D: Last __: SUPPER. I felt stupid not to get the answer immediately.

3D: Father, Son and Holy Ghost, e.g.: TRIUNE. Only knew TRINITY.

4D: Some extremist: RADS. Radicals.

5D: "Hooray!" relative: OLE

6D: Horse's nose, say: NARROW MARGIN. Oh, I see, win by a nose.

7D: "The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom" author: ORMAN (Suze). She sure can talk.

9D: Chinese chef Martin: YAN. "YAN Can Cook". Martin YAN was born in Guangzhou, the city where I worked before moving to the US.

10D: More furtive: SLIER. Or SLYER.

11D: Party leader: HOST. Nice clue. Five letter answer would be EMCEE.

12D: One end of St. George's Channel: IRISH SEA. No idea. See this map. St George's Channel seems to connect Ireland with Wales.

13D: Like some debt: NATIONAL

14D: Questions to those who are leaving: EXIT POLL. Tricky clue. Quality answer.

21A: Rural retailer: GENERAL STORE. Not fond of the clue, as RURAL is part the answer for 15A.

23D: __ tip: FOUL. Baseball term. FOUL tip is counted as a strike.

24D: Stow below: LADE

27D: Whiz: SHARK. To me, SHARK has a negative connotation, while whiz does not.

29D: Greenfly, for one: APHID. I always fail to get APHID, regardless of what the clue is.

33D: Have a moving experience?: RELOCATE. Great clue.

34D: Intimidates: OVERAWES. New word to me.

35D: They're filled with longing: YEARNERS. At least, there is real love involved in Governor Sanford's case.

36D: Tragic king: LEAR. King LEAR. Two Shakespeare references today.

37D: Pres. Jefferson: THOS. I did not know the abbreviation of Thomas is THOS. I wrote down THOM.

44D: "My Cup Runneth Over" singer: ED AMES. I forgot. Saw identical clue somewhere. Here is the clip.

45D: __ bloc: SOVIET. Also called Eastern Bloc or Communist Bloc. The "bloc" in the clue should be capitalized, no?

47D: Perfect: A-OKAY. Wrote down IDEAL. More familiar with A-OK.

48D: Like an otological test: AURAL. "Oto" is prefix for "ear".

50D: Quakers et al.: SECTS

52D: Trillion: pref.: TERA. Unknown to me.

54D: Qatar's capital: DOHA. Interesting, Wiki says DOHA came from Arabic ad-dawha, meaning "the big tree".

56D: J.D. holder: ATT. I wonder if our J.D. filled in BOB. I liked this funny dancing Frostie she linked yesterday. Snowball is cuter.

57D: Iran-contra affair org.: NSC (National Security Council). CIA was involved too.

Answer grid.

C.C.

Jun 26, 2009

Friday June 26, 2009 Dan Naddor

Theme: Have Ewe Herd These Puns? (L added before D)

18A: Rhinovirus kept under wraps?: SECRET COLD (Secret Code)

24A: Saved up for the slots?: HELD QUARTERS (Headquarters)

34A: One great baseball play after another?: FIELDING FRENZY (Feeding Frenzy)

50A: Flared pants for steelworkers?: WELDING BELLS (Wedding Bells)

56A: Dessert that's been out for too long?: PIE A LA MOLD (Pie a la Mode)

A special 16*15 grid to accommodate the 14-letter theme answer FIELDING FRENZY. Normally the central theme answer has an odd number of letters.

I thought of Fool's Gold. But I don't think Fool's Goad fits the pattern.

This is the most interesting Dan Naddor puzzle I've solved. Loads of fun. Dan mentioned that he tries to shoot for at least 20 entries of 6 letters or more in his puzzle. I counted 18 6-letter entries in Down alone.

Across:

10A: GE and GM: MFRS (Manufacturers). I just could not keep Dow out of my mind, though I was aware that GM was kicked out of Dow 30 (replaced by Cisco).

14A: One who never gets out: LIFER. Nice clue.

15A: "__ Rappaport": 1986 Tony winner for Best Play: I'M NOT. I guessed. Have never heard of this play/movie.

17A: Old-time actress Massey: ILONA. Got her name from Down fills. Wiki says she was billed as "The New Dietrich", but she did not live up to the hype.

20A: Pink lady liquor: GIN. What's your favorite cocktail? Mine is Long Island Iced Tea.

21A: Historic Italian city near Naples: NOLA. The answer emerged itself. Wiki says Augustus Caesar, the first emperor of Rome, died in NOLA.

23A: Quaking?: SEISMIC. Saw similar clue before. Still like it.

27A: Bond rating: AAA. The highest bond rating.

28A: Audition: TRYOUTS

29A: __ Hashanah: ROSH. I love apples dipped in honey.

30A: "My Boys" airer: TBS. No idea. Have never heard of "My Boys".

32A: Bungler: OAF. The mostly klutzy words in crossword world.

33A: Security concern: MOLE. I wrote down LEAK.

40A: Blowup source, briefly: NEG

42A: Reading and others: Abbr.: RRS

43A: A, in communications: ALFA. Not ALPHA?

45A: Buttercup family member: ANEMONE. Also called windflower. Rooted in Greek anemos, meaning "wind". Dictionary says it's so named because the petals are easily lost in wind.

49A: D-H filler: EFG. Monday clue. "DH filler" is better.

52A: Public face: PERSONA

55A: Passbook abbr.: DEP (Deposit)

58A: Island where Bill and Melinda Gates were wed: LANAI. On Jan 1, 1994. I was not aware of this trivia.

60A: Type type: Abbr.: ITAL

61A: Black tea: PEKOE. Chinese origin. Literally "white down/hair".

62A: Car dealer's offering: LEASE

63A: Where el sol rises: ESTE. East is "EST" in French/Italian.

64A: Imperial Oil brand: ESSO. Imperial Oil is Canada's largest petroleum company.

65A: Certain NCOs: SSGTS

Down:

1D: Affront: SLIGHT. I like this noun/verb ambiguity.

2D: More cunning: WILIER

4D: Boggy locale: FEN

5D: Serene: TRANQUIL. Quality fill.

6D: Not spread carefully: SMEAR. I am often confused by "not". Can never tell whether the answer should be a present tense verb or past participle style adjective. SMEARED would be a correct answer too, if there were two more blanks, correct?

7D: SASE, e.g.: ENC

8D: In direr straits: WORSE OFF. Good clue.

9D: Keeps the car on the road: STEERS

10D: Apple products: MACS. Come on, shock me, let the answer be CIDER someday.

11D: Completely: FROM A TO Z. Oh my goodness. I struggled with this multiple word again.

12D: In a way you can count on: RELIABLY

13D: Tsk evoker: SAD CASE. To me, a SAD CASE brings out more sympathy than "tsk".

15D: __ Canarias: ISLAS. Canary Islands.

19D: Mrs. Addams, to Gomez: TISH. Somehow I confused her with MRS C, which was clued as "Richie's mom, to Fonzie" before. Can't tell you how frustrated I am by those old TV fills.

22D: Exposed publicly: OUTED

25D: Peace advocates: DOVES. As opposed to the hawks.

26D: "Perry Mason" lieutenant: TRAGG. Again, got the answer with Across fills.

32D: Early first century date: ONE A.D. Ah, no Roman numeral.

33D: Muse of memory: MNEME. Unknown to me. That's how we get mnemonic I suppose. Dictionary says she is one of the three original muses, together with Aoede (muse of song) and Melete (muse of meditation).

34D: Gives up: FORFEITS

35D: Words before "to be alive" or "to be back": IT'S GREAT

36D: Kindles, as passions: INFLAMES

37D: Slender and long-limbed: RANGY

38D: Looks over closely: EYEBALLS. Or "Measure/estimate visually".

39D: Private school teen: PREPPIE. Or preppy.

43D: MP's quarry: AWOL

44D: Delaware tribe: LENAPE. Literally "original people."

46D: Racing has-been: OLD NAG. I wonder how the steroid-user Big Brown is doing.

47D: Place for Marlins, briefly: NL EAST. Also inclued the Mets, Phillies, Braves and the Nationals. This answer often gives me trouble.

48D: Glimpses: ESPIES

51D: Block house: IGLOO

53D: Rep's success: SALE

59D: JFK's UN ambassador: AES. Adlai Stevenson served as JFK's UN ambassador from 1961 to 1965. He was actually hoping to get the Secretary of the State post, which surprisingly went to Dean Rusk.

Answer grid.

C.C.

Jun 25, 2009

Thursday June 25, 2009 John Lampkin

Theme: Different Strokes

18A: *Dangerous snake of the Southwest: SIDEWINDER

24A: *Fortification about four feet high: BREASTWORK

39A: *Chaos theory principle: BUTTERFLY EFFECT

53A: *Road less traveled: BACK STREET

61A: *Area where electricians can't stand to work?: CRAWL SPACE

The BREASTWORK fortification is new to me. 61A is the only theme answer with a question mark.

Nice tie-in fills at the very beginning and the end of the grid:

1A: With 71-Across, extracurricular group concerned with the starts of the answers: SWIM

71A: See 1-Across: TEAM

And two more sets of cross-references in the grid:

43A: With 10-Down: "Collages" author: ANAIS

10D: See 43-Across: NIN

35D: See 55-Down: ELS

55D: With 35-Down, two-time U.S. Open winner: ERNIE

I got ERNIE ELS immediately. Struggled with ANAIS NIN. I only knew and read a few pages of her "Delta of Venus" (too erotic and exotic for my mind). We don't see those two full names and ESO BESO (21D: Paul Anka love song with a Spanish title) in the grid often. Refreshing!

Neat pangram as well, all the 26 letters are used.

Across:

9A: Split up: END IT. And DIVVY (16A: Split (up) & FLEE (51A: Split). I totally dig these "split" clues. Awesome!

14A: "Voilà!" relative: TADA

15A: What, in Tours: QUOI. Tours is French city. On the Loire River.

17A: "Terrible" tsar: IVAN. OK, IVAN the Terrible. Peter the Great. Dennis the Menace.

20A: Surreal: EERIE

22A: Home run pace: TROT. The best feeling in the world is probably the incredible high baseball players experience immediately after they hit a home run. Then the lazy TROT.

27A: Swear: CUSS

28A: Silver salmon: COHO

29A: Altair, for one: A STAR. The bright star in constellation Aquila. V-8 moment for me.

31A: CD players: DJS. My favorite clue.

36A: Arm bones: ULNAE

44A: Shore pounder: SURF. Thought of WAVE.

45A: Stutz contemporary: REO. Learned about Stutz from doing Xword.

46A: Rub it in: GLOAT. Are they really exchangeable?

49A: For men and women, in a way: COED

58A: Awed response: OOH. My awed response is always "WOW".

59A: __ -McGee, energy company that employed Karen Silkwood: KERR. Know the company, not Karen Silkwood.

60A: Tennis opening: SERVE. Wimbledon: strawberry & cream & Roger Federer.

65A: Have __: know someone: AN IN

66A: Warbuck's favorite: ANNIE. "The sun'll come out, Tomorrow..."

67A: Reptilian logo brand, once: IZOD. What does IZOD mean?

68A: Copier company: MITA

69A: Projecting shelf: LEDGE. Window LEDGE I suppose.

70A: Scriptural passage: TEXT

Down:

1D: '80s-'90s Toronto pitcher Dave: STIEB. Uh oh, I've never heard of this pitcher. Wiki says he was a seven-time All-Star and his autobiography was titled "Tomorrow I'll Be Perfect". How would you title yours?

2D: Vacillate: WAVER

4D: Stark raving type: MANIAC

5D: Mensa concerns: IQS. Mensa means "stupid" in Spanish.

6D: Rapa __: Easter Island: NUI. Nailed it this time.

7D: Bob one's head at: NOD TO

8D: Mountain chain: SIERRA

9D: Rewrite, maybe: EDIT. Or "Emulate Rich Norris".

11D: CPU drive: DVD BURNER. Had difficulty obtaining the answer.

12D: "Riverdance" fiddler Eileen: IVERS. She is foreign to me. That's a very rare surname, isn't it?

13D: Novices: TYROS. Also TIROS.

19D: Chinese cookware: WOKS

26D: Fairy tale meany: WOLF. From the "Little Red Riding Hood".

27D: Pasture arrival: CALF. "Arrival" stymied me. I need "newborn".

30D: Low stools: TUFFETS

31D: Corp. alias letters: DBA (Doing Business As). I forgot. It's clued as "AKA's commerce cousin" in our old puzzle once.

32D: Flag Day mo.: JUN

33D: Theater worker: STAGEHAND. So simple in retrospect.

37D: Snoopy, in his WWI fantasies: ACE. Love the clue.

40D: Mah-jongg piece: TILE. My neighbors in Guangzhou used to drive me nuts by playing mah-jongg in the evenings.

42D: Fertility god: EROS. Thought of ISIS, who is an Egyptian fertility goddess. I couldn't even tell a he from a she, for Pete's sake.

48D: La Brea attraction: TAR PIT. Nice to see La Brea as clue rather than answer.

50D: Imagined: DREAMT. We had discussions about DREAMT being the only English word ending in mt.

51D: The "f" in f-stop: FOCAL

52D: "SNL" producer Michaels: LORNE

56D: "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" singer: EVITA. Hmmm, shouldn't it be Governor Sanford? Romantic, impossible, forbidden love!

57D: Common break hr.: TEN AM

59D: Kandinsky friend: KLEE (Paul). I am not familiar with the Russian painter Kandinsky, who is credited with painting the first modern abstract works, according to Wiki. He and his buddy KLEE both taught at Bauhaus (Germany), which is perhaps most famous for having our crossword stalwart Mies van der Rohe as their director of architecture in 1930's.

63D: "Friends" costar Courteney: COX. She played Monica.

Answer grid.

C.C.

Jun 24, 2009

Wednesday June 24, 2009 Sharon Petersen

Theme: LET'S DANCE (58A: Ball offer, and a hint to this puzzle's theme)

18A: Good horse for a kid: WELSH PONY

23A: Fiery chip dip: RED HOT SALSA

37A: Pete Rose nickname: CHARLIE HUSTLE

51A: Dickens orphan: OLIVER TWIST

Not familiar with HUSTLE dance. But CHARLIE HUSTLE was a gimme. I probably have over 100 Pete Rose baseball cards.

This puzzle really dances, rhythmic in each word, none feels forced or made-up. Scrabbly too. One more letter Z, we would have had a pangram.

I was confused by the clue for WORD (44D: Sponsor's offering?). Then a big V-8 moment: "And now, a WORD from our sponsor".

Across:

6A: Doorway part: JAMB. I wonder if letter B is just like K (knife/knock), which was pronounced 500 years ago.

14A: Not quite a liter: QUART. Oh, I did not know a QUART is only 0.946 liters.

15A: Most draftable: ONE A

20A: Land in la mer: ILE

21A: 35mm camera type: SLR

22A: From Buffalo to Boston: EAST. French for EAST is EST. Spanish is ESTE.

27A: Where Mork and Mindy honeymooned: ORK. Learned from doing Xword. Old TV shows are definitely my weakest link in solving Xword. What's yours?

30A: Online investing service: E*TRADE. They offer savings/checking account as well.

32A: Org. in the 2008 film "Burn After Reading": CIA. I've yet to see this Coen brother film.

33A: Big name in yellow journalism: HEARST. Wiki says the term "yellow journalism" originated during the American Gilded Age of the late nineteenth century with the circulation battles (peaked from 1895 to about 1898) between Joseph Pulitzer's New York World and William Randoph HEART's New York Journal.

41A: Monk monikers: FRAS

44A: WWII female: WAC (Women's Army Corps). Our fellow solver Southern Belle was one during the Korean War.

50A: Tree toppler: AXE

54A: Lobbying group for 50-and-over folks: AARPS. Who is the most powerful lobbying group in the US? NRA?

56A: Helpful contacts: INS

57A: Title Pontiac of song: GTO. "Little GTO".

63A: Rara __: AVIS. Sade is one.

64A: "Mask" actress: CHER. She looks amazing in the video. I also like her "Believe".

65A: Achilles, for one: GREEK. Brad Pitt played Achilles in "Troy".

68A: Howard Hughes's phobia: GERMS. Donald Trump's too.

Down:

1D: Escort: SQUIRE

2D: Young hen: PULLET. Wish EGG (61D: Fabergé treasure) clued as "Hen product" to pair up with PULLET.

3D: Like many violent films: RATED R

4D: Bobble the ball, e.g.: ERR. Baseball & alliteration. Lovely ERR clue.

5D: O'Hare approx.: ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival)

6D: Prominent bulldog features: JOWLS

7D: End of __: AN ERA

10D: "Klutzy me": OOPS

11D: Diplomatic etiquette: PROTOCOL. No such thing for the mad man Kim Jong-il. About 21% of Koreans have Kim as their surname.

12D: Salon offering: TAN

19D: Lukas of "Mars Attacks!": HAAS. Got his name from Across fills. Not familiar with the movie neither.

25D: Poland-Germany border river: ODER. Same pronunciation as odor. Here is the map. It begins in Czech Republic and flows into the Baltic Sea.

34D: Christina of "Black Snake Moan": RICCI. Know her name. Have never heard of the movie. Looks awful.

35D: Neptune's realm: SEA. Neptune is the Roman god of sea. The Greek equivalent is Poseidon.

37D: Heart: CRUX. As in "The CRUX/heart of the matter...".

38D: "Dig in": HAVE AT IT. Here we go again, AT IT.

41D: Hialeah's home Abb.: FLA. Wiki says Hialeah is literally "pretty prairie". And it has the second highest percentage of Cuban and Cuban American residents of any city in the US. After Miami I suppose.

45D: Poncho wool: ALPACA. LLAMA can be clued as "Poncho wool" too.

47D: Pooh Corner cat: TIGGER. Again, I obtained the answer from Across fills. I think I am going to confuse him with the "Buster Brown dog" TIGE. Are these two both playing on the word "tiger"?

49D: Baby birds?: STORK

52D: Immoral practices: VICES

53D: Month in el invierno: ENERO. Easy guess. I don't know "invierno" is "winter" in Spanish.

55D: Man Fri.: ASST. "Robinson Cruso". Man Friday. Nice clue.

59D: "Uncle Tom's Cabin" girl: EVA

Answer grid.

C.C.

Jun 23, 2009

Tuesday June 23, 2009 Gary Lowe and Nancy Salomon

Theme: COUNT (54D: Tally, and what to do with the last word of 18-, 26-, 45- or 60-Across)

18A: Informal polls: STRAW VOTES

26A: Cause of unhealthy weight gain: EMPTY CALORIES

45A: Rockies grazers: MOUNTAIN SHEEP

60A: Prominent schnozzes: ROMAN NOSES

I am more familiar with straw polls rather than STRAW VOTES. Fats and processed carbs often contain EMPTY CALORIES. Actually, they are high-calorie food with mostly empty nutrients. I wonder what sheep count when they can't go to sleep. AQUILINE NOSES would be an awesome fill too.

Nancy mentioned in her interview that she likes theme that are tightly focused. She and Gary Lowe sure delivered today. All of the COUNT objects are in plural forms and located at the end of the each theme answer. Nothing forced or strained.

My favorites today are the two long Down fills: ADVICE GURU (3D: Dr. Phil or Dr. Laura, e.g.: ) and its symmetrical partner INEXPERTLY (29D: Hardly in a skillful way). I also like how UNSEAT (5D: Oust from office) and VETO (19D: Bill killer) intersect STRAW VOTES.

Across:

1A: Algerian city on the Mediterranean: ORAN. Algeria is an OPEC member, so is Nigeria.

15A: Dressed to the __: NINES. Puttin' on the Ritz. Nine is an interesting number. Nine innings in baseball, nine justices in Supreme Court, nine muses. What else?

20A: Working busily: AT IT

22A: What's happening: EVENT

23A: Native American shoe, briefly: MOC

24A: Lee whom nobody doesn't like: SARA. "Nobody doesn't like SARA Lee".

33A: Single or homer: HIT. Or double/triple.

35A: "___ Millionaire" 2008 Best Picture: SLUMDOG. Awesome film.

38A: 17th century French playwright: MOLIERE. His stage name. MOLIERE said "It is not only for what we do that we are held responsible, but also for what we do not do." So true!

44A: "Need You Tonight" rock group: INXS. Pronounced as "in excess". Australian band. I got the answer from Down fills.

51A: Big water pipe: MAIN

52A: PC bailout key: ESC. Nice "bailout".

58A: Johns, for short: LAVS. Or LOOS for "Johns", no "for short".

59A: Gusto: BRIO. Nice to see David Duval emerged from nowhere and played with BRIO in the US Open.

62A: Rebuke to Brutus: ET TU. How did Brutus reply?

63A: Lyricist Lerner: ALAN. Lerner & Loewe. "Gigi", "My Fair Lady", "Camelot", etc.

65A: Sheltered valley: GLEN

66A: Write to on a cell phone: TEXT

Down:

1D: Bedtime hr. after a late date, perhaps: ONE AM

2D: Totaled: RAN TO. As a bill.

4D: G.O.P. elephant creator Thomas: NAST. "Democratic donkey designer" too.

6D: Cabaret, casually: NITERY. Eatery, bakery. ERY is suffix for "place" here.

7D: Attainable: IN REACH

10D: Four-leaf plant: CLOVER. The good luck CLOVER I suppose.

12D: Flock's "Absolutely": AMEN

13D: Pain in the neck: PEST

24D: Hightailed it: SPED

28D: Prepare to fire: AIM

30D: Antony's loan request? EARS. I was not aware of Marc Anthony "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your EARS..." speech. I thought of Shylock and the guy in "The Merchant of Venice". His name is actually Antonio.

31D: Every other hurricane: SHE. Oh, good to know.

32D: Grrravy dog food maker: ALPO. Owned by Nestlé.

37D: Merry, in Marseilles: GAI

40D: Serpent suffix: INE. Ennui!

43D: All together: EN MASSE

46D: Swimming: NATANT. New word to me.

48D: Keep in a piggy bank: SAVE UP

49D: Sibilant catcalls: HISSES. Reminds me of the BOOER clue ("Raspberry blower") we had a while ago.

53D: Web destinations: SITES. Do bookmark my blog. Don't want to lose you next week when I change the title.

55D: House on campus: FRAT. No such house in our campus. Chinese colleges have very different systems than those in the US.

57D: Big-screen format: IMAX

58D: One and only: LONE. SOLE too.

61D: Never done before: NEW

Answer grid.

C.C.

Jun 22, 2009

Monday June 22, 2009 Donna S. Levin

Theme: WIMBLEDON (55A: Annual English sports event that begins today, and a hint to this puzzle's theme)

18A: Grand Theft Auto, e.g.: VIDEO GAME

27A: Sterling afternoon serving pieces: SILVER TEA SET

44A: Ideal mate: PERFECT MATCH

I don't know why Grand Theft Auto is so popular. Orgy of violence. I've never had tea in a silver cup. I like my Twins' mug. Many beautiful things are often imperfect, including your mate.

Nice timely theme. I hope Roger Federer gets his 15th Grand Slam title. Must be painful for LENDL (41D: Tennis great Ivan) to see his name crosses WIMBLEDON. He never won there.

I am not fond of the clue for OBAMA (14A: McCain beater). It brought to mind an unpleasant image of Senator McCain being beaten and tortured in Vietnam.

Smooth sailing today. Rich Norris said this eased-up phase will last at least a few months.

Across:

1A: Humped beast: CAMEL. Some has two humps. The Arabian CAMEL has only one.

21A: General __ chicken: Chinese dish: TSO'S. I think I mentioned this before, TSO or its Mandarin spelling Cao is also the Chinese F word. Intonation can totally change the word meaning.

23A: Stateroom: CABIN. On Cruise ship.

25A: Nine-to-five grind: RAT RACE. The movie "Nine to Five" is very silly.

31A: Tense: ON EDGE

33A: A/C capacity meas.: BTU

36A: Best poker pair: ACES. Too bad it's not clued as tennis related.

37A: Dew's chilly cousin: FROST

39A: Rachel's sister: LEAH. Two other Biblical figures: ABEL (60A: 52D-Down son) & ADAM (52D: Sixth-day creation).

40A: Golfing standard: PAR. Ricky Barnes is going to win the US Open today!

42A: Actor Danny: AIELLO. I liked him in "Léon: The Professional". Can never remember his surname.

52A: Highest-ranking USN officer: ADM (Admiral)

62A: Bucky Beaver's toothpaste: IPANA. Wiki says IPANA is a leading toothpaste in Turkey. I learned this brand from doing Xword.

64A: Toy dog, briefly: PEKE

Down:

1D: Chilly: COOL. Wanted COLD.

5D: Final race segment: LAST LEG

6D: Frolic: CAVORT. FROLIC will be a great fill, with C at the end.

7D: Hertz competitor: AVIS. Named after its founder Warren AVIS.

10D: "The African Queen" costar: BOGART. He drank/smoked too much.

13D: New Hampshire city: KEENE. Got the answer from Across fills. What is KEENE famous for?

22D: Foolproof: SURE-FIRE

24D: Some men's underwear: BVDS. Just learned that it stands for Bradley, Voorhees & Day, the original three founders.

25D: Actress Charlotte and explorer John: RAES. The other RAE is Actress RAE Dawn Chong. "The Crying Game" actor is Stephen REA.

26D: Per what was previously mentioned: AS STATED

27D: Suds source: SOAP. S, s & S.

33D: Suspenders alternative: BELT. Do you like the decorative BELTS on her skirt?

38D: Gridiron zebras: REFS

43D: Put in danger: IMPERIL

44D: Zuni or Hopi home: PUEBLO. Spanish for "people", or "town"/"village", according to dictionary.

47D: "Survivor" unit: TRIBE. "Zuni or Hopi" would be a great clue too, right?

45D: Recoil in fear: CRINGE

53D: "Flintstone" pet: DINO

54D: Ghostly sound: MOAN. "Ecstatic sound" too.

Answer grid.

I'm going to change my blog title into "LA Times Crossword Corner" soon. To those who find me every day by googling "Star Tribune Crossword Corner", please simply bookmark the blog site (www.crosswordcorner.blogspot.com) and put it into your Favorites list.

C.C.

Jun 21, 2009

Sunday June 21, 2009 Fred Piscop

Theme: Unknown Endings (Letter X is added to a familiar phrase)

23A: Rodriguez upset with negative publicity?: BITTER ALEX (Bitter Ale)

25A: Film timepiece seen briefly?: CAMEO ROLEX (Cameo Role)

43A: Instability of sterotypical BMW drivers?: YUPPIE FLUX (Yuppie Flu)

64A: World's most perplexing problem?: GRAND CRUX (Grand Cru)

87A: Buckingham Palace add-on: QUEEN ANNEX (Queen Anne)

107A: Rubber bedsheets? SLEEP LATEX (Sleep Late)

109A: Cat on steroids?: MUSCLE MANX (Muscle Man)

36D: Encrypted Scriptures? SECRET CODEX (Secret Code)

39D: Highest point in North Africa? BARBARY APEX (Barbary Ape)

I was aware of the chronic fatigue syndrome. Did not know its alternative name Yuppie Flu though. Barbary Ape is a new name to me also. Messed up 23A with BITTER A-ROD.

Easiest LAT Sunday since our switch. Most of the clues are very straightforward. I might have aced this puzzle if I had more time.

Thought it might be a pangram. But I could not find letters V & J.

Across:

1A: Hand-dyeing method: BATIK. Using wax as a dye repellent.

10A: Carpenter's groove: DADO. Can never remember the name for the groove.

14A: Philanthropist Brooke: ASTOR

20A: Tropical tuber: TARO. I miss Cantonese TARO cakes.

21A: Prep school for some princes: ETON. Both Prince William and Harry attended ETON.

27A: Team with the most Super Bowl victories: STEELERS. Total 6.

28A: Oil source: SHALE. I was thinking of the real crude oil.

31A: Seventh day activity: REST. Saturday or Sunday?

32A: Reside: DWELL. Wrote down ABODE, which is actually a noun.

33A: Ramadan practice: FAST. No food, no drink from dawn til dusk, then some dates.

34A: Perp subduer: TASER

37A: Char: SEAR. And BURNT (55A: Well done, then some).

38A: Not permanent, as dye: RINSABLE. Had trouble getting this answer.

47A: The kinkajou has a prehensible one: TAIL. "Prehensible" gives away the answer. I don't know what a kinkajou is.

53A: "V for Vendetta" actor: REA (Stephen). No idea. Have never seen the movie.

56A: __ 1: speed of sound: MACH. Named after the Austrian physicist Ernst MACH.

57A: Contest award: RIBBON

59A: Radium discoverer born in Warsaw, Pol: MME CURIE. MME is short for Madame.

61A: Hebrides isle: IONA. Skye is a "Hebrides isle" too. Might be the origin of actress Ione Skye's name.

62A: Chunnel terminus: ENGLAND. Chunnel is Channel & Tunnel.

63A: Short or long measure: TON. UK uses long TON. Ours is short TON. I penned in TEE.

67A: Isl. south of Corsica: SAR. Sardinia. Unknown to me. See this map. SAR is often clued as "Patriotic org."

71A: Gen. Robt. __: E LEE. I prefer "Gen. Robert __". The Gen. abbreviation is enough.

72A: 1989 undersea thriller: THE ABYSS. Nope. Have never heard of this movie. It's directed by the "Titanic" guy James Cameron.

76A: Crease maker, at times: IRONER

77A: Indian honorifics: SRIS

78A: Unfair treatment, with "the": SHAFT

80A: He "does not throw dice": Einstein: GOD. Nice clue.

81A: Vitamin in liver: NIACIN. New name to me. It's a component of Vitamin -B complex.

83A: __ Mattress: DIAL-A. Have never heard of this brand before.

84A: Laundry concern: SPOT

85A: "Mockingbird" singer Foxx: INEZ. Just clued as "Don Juan's mother" yesterday.

89A: Prompter start?: TELE. Teleprompter.

90A: Bathroom dispenser item: DIXIE CUP. Why "Bathroom"?

94A: __ out: peaked: MAXED

98A: Bug-eyed: AGOG

102A: In coils: SNAKY

103A: Ivory tower milieu: ACADEMIA

111A: Chat room chatters: USERS. Internet chat room.

115A: Man with a code: MORSE

117A: Moon buggy org.: NASA. NASA just launched a rocket to the moon a few days ago.

Down:

2D: Plugging away: AT IT

3D: Pledge drive giveaway: TOTE. More used to the full TOTE bag.

4D: Bond payment: INTEREST

5D: Baseball Hall of Famer Willie: KEELER. Got his name from Down fills. And I don't feel bad not knowing him. He died in 1923. Could only think of the Say Hey Kid Willie Mays.

6D: Square one: START

7D: Ones to hang with: PALS. Shouldn't the clue be "Ones to hang out with"?

8D: Bard's preposition: ERE. Before.

9D: Crew's control: COXSWAIN

10D: Modeling accessory: DECAL. Oh, I was in the wrong model direction.

12D: Kremlin feature: DOME

13D: Number on a driver: ONE. Golf clubs have numbers marked at the sole for easy identification. Who do you think will win US Open? Ricky Barnes looks good.

14D: Puzzle direction: ACROSS

15D: Try to hit: SHOOT AT. Gun? Would be SWING AT if it's golf/baseball.

16D: Pinball no-no: TILT

17D: Works of Sappho: ODES.

18D: Latin king: REX. And RES (24D: Latin thing). I like the consecutive order.

26D: African port: ORAN. In Algeria.

29D: "Take one": HERE. Ha ha, so simple in retrospect.

32D: Redcap's place: DEPOT

33D: Prix __: FIXE. Vs. a la carte.

35D: Chili rating unit: ALARM. The Scoville scale.

37D: Brent who played Data on"Star Trek: T.N.G.": SPINER. Could only picture his face. Don't know his name.

38D: Compensate for oversleeping: RUSH

40D: Rest atop: LIE ON. I was imagining a bird resting atop a branch.

41D: Dik-dik cousin: ELAND. Had to check the dictionary for dik-dik. Strange name.

43D: Part of MYOB: YOUR. Wrote down MIND first.

44D: Removes gear from: UNRIGS. As a ship.

45D: Nancy's home: FRANCE. The French city Nancy.

46D: Old compact from 45-Down: LE CAR

52D: Roots around in: DIGS AT. New meaning of "root" to me.

55D: Eponymous burner designer: BUNSEN (Robert). Saw this clue somewhere before.

56D: Statistical figures: MODES. I don't understand. How can MODES be "figures"?

58D: Ruin the surprise: BLAB

60D: Hard cash?: COIN

62D: Show relief, in a way: EXHALE

65D: Lofty home: AERIE

66D: '60s United Nations leader: U THANT. U means "Mister".

69D: Product suffix suggesting noodles: ARONI. New to me. As in macaroni I suppose.

73D: www transmission: E-FAX. Had trouble getting the answer.

77D: Atlantic food fish: SCUP. Barry Silk clued it as "Type of Porgy" last time.

82D: Marine hue: AQUA

83D: Many Wisconsin farmers: DAIRY MEN

84D: Show biz parent: STAGE MOM. Like Lindsay Lohan's mom.

86D: Closers of a kind: ZIPPERS

88D: Site of North Amer.'s geographical midpoint: N DAK. I knew this trivia.

92D: Room in a big house?: CELL. "Big house" is slang for prison.

94D: Ford classic: MODEL A. Introduced in 1928. I thought of MODEL T, which was actually discontinued in 1927.

97D: Campaign issue: TAXES

98D: Ghana's capital: ACCRA

104D: N.Y. Giants' founder and longtime owner Tim: MARA. I got the answer from Across fills. Wiki says his grandson John Mara is the current Giants' president.

106D: Things to grind: AXE

107D: Bottom line: SUM

Answer grid.

Happy Father's Day!

C.C.