Apr 30, 2010

Friday April 30, 3010 Gareth Bain

Theme: NEWBIE, or New B-ginnings - Familiar phrases are prefixed with the letter "B" to give a whole new, rather humorous meaning.

17A. Daring track official?
BOLD TIMER. "Old timer." No comment.

63A. Online journalist's retreat?:
BLOG CABIN. "Log Cabin." But as a blogger, I love this one.

10D. Clinton enjoying some R and R?: BILL AT EASE. "Ill at ease" - uncomfortable. I seem to recall Bill having some uncomfortable moments. Might have been that Tiger in his tank.

31D. Immortal comedian's donkey imitation?: BRAY OF HOPE. "Ray of Hope." The light at the end of the tunnel. Also, the second play on Bob Hope's name this week.

49D. Tyro, and a hint to this puzzle's theme: NEWBIE, or a new "B," if you will.

Hi gang, it's JazzBumpa, reporting from the quiet security of my BLOG CABIN. This is a top-notch puzzle with a clever theme, and lots of wit. Let's explore it together.


1. Four-time Olympic gold-medal runner Zatopek: EMIL. Czek runner of many distances. Three of his medals came in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki.

5. Park way: PATH. A parkway is road, a thoroughfare; a scenic freeway; a surface road with a landscaped median. A path can be made by meandering cows. Not a great correspondence.

9. Shame: ABASH. But I would not go so far as to abash Gareth Bain.

14. Hacking knife: BOLO. Looks nasty. I'd guess, even better than a baritone saxophone in a brawl.

15. Rebel: RISE. Here it is the verb reBEL, not the noun REBel. I'll mention that the South has always had thoughts about rising again. But let's just let it go at that. History - OK. Politics - don't go there.

16. Petulant mood: PIQUE. Often discernible by the presence of a moue. Hmmmm . . . reminds me of a certain granddaughter.

19. Zaftig: PLUMP. Some writer called Maragret Cho ZAFTIG a while back, and she played it into one of her very funny routines. She who laughs at herself laughs best.

20. Trouser measurement: INSEAM. The length of the seam down the inside of a pant leg. Here is one way to go AT IT There might be others.

21. "Twilight" heroine: BELLA. Here she is. I was expecting fangs, I guess.

23. Introduction to a former self?: NEE. Nee means "born," and is used to refer to the maiden name of a married woman. Clear enough, I guess, but for all it's cleverness, clue and answer don't seem to mesh. Maybe I'm just disoriented by the time travel.

24. "The Mikado" baritone: KOKO. From Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado." I'm not a G and S fan in any context. Here is KOKO, with some friends, but be warned, it's a seven minute clip.

27. Give a hand to: DEAL IN. OK. He got me. Deal me into the card game. Usually poker. Here, Gareth is being literal. Just when you think you know a guy . . .

30. Dabchick, for one: GREBE I think we had DABHAND the last time I blogged a puzzle. I doubt that there's any connection to this bird, though. I was expecting something ZAFTIG, not the smallest member of the GREBE family.

32. Cost an arm and __: A LEG. Well, that's a lot. Origin of the expression is obscure. But, to keep my customers happy, here are an ARM and a LEG.

34. Do a garage job: TUNE. Get that engine running PRIMO. Unless you're intrigued with vintage cars, it's probably a job best left to the pros.

35. Cannes's region: RIVIERA. The vacation region along southern coast of France. You Canne go there, if you chose. No oil slicks that I know of, unlike the Redneck Riviera, which is having a bit of unpleasantness. Alternatively, you could TUNE a RIVIERA.

37. __'acte: ENTR. French for Intermezzo, meaning between the acts, introductory music to signal the end of intermission in the theater. Take your seats please. (But beware of one offering his, as we shall see.)

38. They're usually in the 80s and 90s: OCTANES. Not quite. This should be OCTANE RATINGS. The octane rating is a measure of the resistance of petrol and other fuels to autoignition in spark-ignition internal combustion engines.

41. Toon who played Scrooge: MR MAGOO. The cartoon character with the voice of Jim Backus. I didn't know he was Scrooge, as well.

43. Maker of Definity skin care products: OLAY. I only know Oil of Olay, which can slick up your skin. Take some when you visit the Riviera.

44. Works on, as a novel: REVISES. To revise is to rework and improve your prose. Writing is rewriting. It's true.

46. Sport with riders: POLO. Guys ride on horses and try to hit a ball into a goal with a stick. This is some version of equestrian soccer (futbol with hooves.) Polo also has other meanings.

47. Matriarchal nickname: GRAN. One of many possible more-or-less affections nicknames for grandmother. This is not used in our clan. The LW is called Gramma, MeeMaw, or Grand-mom.

48. Core belief: TENET. My core belief has nine tenets. I believe Johnny Appleseed and William Tell had core beiefs.

52. Put the kibosh on: STIFLE Remember when Archie always told Edith to STIFLE herself? Those were the days.

54. Suggestive look: LEER. Ladies, I suggest you look at this.

56. Two-legged meat source: EMU. My daughter went to Eastern Michigan University. This is not their mascot. Nor is the Dromaius novaehollandiae, a large, flightless bird.

57. First name in puppetry: SHARI. Of course, this is Shari Lewis, shown here with her most famous creation. I don't know if she was ever on the lam, but the lamb was often on her.

59. Battles with bombers: AIR WAR. There was a lot of this in WW II, with the Germans trying to bomb the British, and the British trying to shoot down their bombers. A bad time was had by all.

61. Stars travel in them: LIMOS. Short for Limousine, a fancy car with a bar in the back, and a driver in the front. He'll take you anywhere you want to go.

66. Get used (to): ADAPT. Often we see INURE. This is a bit simpler.

67. __ Grey tea: EARL. Earl Grey Tea, flavored with bergamot extract, is my favorite. No lemon, no sugar, no milk (shudder.) Twinings is the best.

68. Dam buildup: SILT. Silt is loose sedimentary material that gets deposited by moving water. It forms deltas, and is dam clogging.

69. X-ray targets: BONES. Flesh is transparent to X-rays, which were discovered by William Reontgen, who refrained from naming them Roentgen waves. But bones are opaque to X-rays, and they can be X-ray photographed while they are still inside the body. This is convenient for both the DR. and the patient.

70. Whitehall whitewall: TYRE. I guess Whitehall must be in England somewhere. TYRE is the British spelling of tire, four of which could be found on the typical Riviera. Nice echo clue.

71. Tijuana tender: PESO. The PESO in Los Estados Unitos de Mexico is legal tender for all debts public and private, even if they are illegal.


1. Flowing back: EBBING. Tide flows in and flows out. Ebbing, the outflow, is used generally to indicate something receding, like my hair line.

2. One offering his seat?:
MOONER. Back in the day, young people would stick their bare buttocks out of a car window. This can resemble the moon under certain lighting conditions that I was never able to duplicate. Why they did this is anybody's guess.

3. "Let me check":
I'LL SEE. Pretty straight forward.

4. Bonanza:
LODE. The rich vein of ore that can make a prospector rich.

5. A-one:
PRIMO. Superlative. The best. Top notch. First class. Like this puzzle.

6. End:
AIM. Not the most common meaning of "end" (or moon) but here "end" and "aim" refer to a goal - something to strive toward.

7. Jennyanydots's creator, initially:
TSE. I am assuming that this is a character from CATS, the musical based on some of the writings of T. S. Eliot. We're seeing CATS next month, then I'll know for sure.

8. Mint, say:
HERB. Herbs are edible plant parts using in flavoring other edible stuff. Traditionally, herbs were somewhat delicately flavored leafy plant parts, while spices were more aromatic and pungent, and often came from bark or seeds. The old distinctions are being blurred.

9. User of the prefix "i-":
APPLE. Apple computer makes i-Mac, i-Pod, i-Pad, i-yiyi!

11. Inspiring apparatus:
AQUALUNG. "Inspire" here refers to the intake of air, aided by the tank you can take diving, trade named AQUALUNG. Another fine GB misdirection.

12. Result of considering the pluses?:
SUM. "Plus" here is the addition of a collection of numbers, resulting in a SUM. SUM more GB cleverness.

13. With it: HEP. "Hep" is very old school terminology for "up to date." Decades ago it morphed into "hip." Jazz fans back in the bebop days were hep cats.

18. Consume: TAKE IN. Ingest. Pretty straight forward.

22. Awards named for a writer: EDGARS. The Mystery Writers of America present EDGARS for excellence in mystery stories and movies. If you don't know who it is named after, I'm giving you a homework assignment.

25. Kind of roll: KAISER. This little doughy delight was invented in Vienna in honor of the Emperor, or KAISER, Fanz Joseph.

26. Futbol game cheer: OLE. Bullfighting too. I'll cheer for the OLAY - OLE echo.

28. Intrigued with: IN TO. Slang term for being interested in something. But when I TAKE IN a KAISER roll, it gets IN TO me.

29. Ruler from LIV to LXVIII: NERO. Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (15 December AD 37 – 9 June AD 68), born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, also called Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus, was the fifth and last Roman emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. He is best known for allegedly fiddling around while Rome burned. This is a misconception. He was actually harping at a Lyre.

33. Fur that's a symbol of royalty: ERMINE. Those royals were always putting on airs. They could afford ERMINE. You and I - not so much.

36. Church caretaker, in Chelsea: VERGER. Again we have alliteration to indicate a foreign language, when the foreign language is English. I am 100% certain this is of French, not Anglo-Saxon derivation. Having learned this new word, I shall now promptly forget it.

38. "__!...I Did It Again": Britney Spears album and hit song: OOPS! I guessed, "THERE." which doesn't even have the right number of letters. That's how much I know about her "music." One Britney link is all you get.

39. Blood __: CLOT. A clot is coagulated blood. Clotting is useful to help close off wounds. Internal clotting, or thrombosis, can lead to hear attacks and strokes.

40. Juju or grigri: TALISMAN. A magic charm - a device to channel occult powers and get that Mojo Risin'.

42. Like a tonne of bricks?: METRIC. Now this is clever. That foreign language English again. In England, they use the Metric System of weights and measures. Here, we use the English System, because the Metric System went over like . . . well - you know.

45. Kilmer of "Top Gun": VAL. Actor Val Kilmer. Hey - didn't he play Mr. Mojo Risin'?

50. Computer letters: EMAIL. Not the alphabet, silly. Letters you receive on your computer, instead of by snail delivery.

51. Ask for help from: TURN TO. Interesting expression. You turn to someone you trust when you're in a tough spot.

53. Keeps going: LASTS. Straight forward again. So, let's have this.

55. Golfer's coup: EAGLE. In golf, an eagle means finishing the hole two under par: 3 on a par 5, for example. Like a birdie, but better.

58. Cynical response: I BET. A snarky challenge indicating skepticism. Or words heard after a hand is given.

60. Hoarse sound: RASP. The way your voice might sound with a sore throat, cough, and/or sniffles. Why did the mare make her colt wear a scarf when he went outside? He was a little horse.

61. Testing site: LAB. Short for laboratory, where science is done, and having nothing to do with golden retrievers.

62. Phrase said before taking the stand: I DO. A witness's answer to this question: "Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth . . ." I've never been on the stand, but I used to watch Perry Mason on TV.

64. Not ordained: LAY. This word refers to ordinary folk who perform formal or informal functions around the congregation, such as the VERGER. Which I had to scroll back up to find. I really did forget it that fast. I guess LAY might have other meanings as well. Can anyone think of any?

65. Two-time Conn Smythe Trophy winner: ORR. Bobby Orr, star defenseman of the Boston Bruins, Hockey stalwart, and now cross-word puzzle stalwart.

Answer grid.

That's all Folks.



Apr 29, 2010

Thursday April 29, 2010 James Sajdak

Theme: NIGHT OWLS (54A. Hard-to-see critters lurking in 20-, 28-, 33- and 43-Across) - OWL is embedded in each two-word theme entry.

20A. Indoor gardener's tool: GROW LIGHT. Its emitted light spectrum is similar to that from the sun, allowing indoor growth with outdoor conditions, a la Wikipedia.

28A. Big drinker's "secret": HOLLOW LEG. New idiom to me. Also big eater's "secret", isn't it?

33A. Tutor's charge: SLOW LEARNER. I am one.

43A. Golden retriever?: YELLOW LAB. Labrador. Yellow is the same as "Golden"?

Great rhyming symmetry with the antonymous LIGHT and NIGHT. I don't get the unifier though. Why the addition of "NIGHT"? Just to form a symmetric partner to GROW LIGHT? Aren't all owls hard to see in the evenings?

Lots of excellent Down fill today. My favorite is ROE V. WADE (38D. 1973 landmark case). Also adored the overall cluing today. Very much to my liking.


1. Ivory alternative: DIAL. Plunked in DOVE.

5. Lumps of earth: CLODS

10. They're full of beans: PODS. Nailed it. Sometimes I just rock!

14. In that event: IF SO

15. Center: HEART

16. Stat start: RHEO. Rheostat. Got me.

17. What the hyphen in an emoticon represents: NOSE. In the emoticon :-)

18. Like many microbrews: ON TAP

22. Vigilant: ALERT

23. "Eek!" elicitor: BOO

24. __ Vandelay, recurring fake "Seinfeld" character who turns out to be a real judge in the final episode: ART. I do recall Vandelay. Can't remember his given name.

25. Reagan court appointee: SCALIA (Antonin). Appointed in 1986.

26. Wing, perhaps: ANNEX

31. Greenish blue: TEAL

32. Come down hard: POUR. Nice clue too.

39. Churlish sort: BOOR

40. Piano, to a pianist: SOFT. Piano can mean "soft" or "softly". Stumper.

48. __ d'Alene: COEUR

49. Hardy and North: OLLIES

50. It brought Hope to the troops: Abbr.: USO. Capitalized H. Bob Hope was actively involved in USO tours. Brilliant clue.

52. Sign of peace: VEE

53. Dr. J's alma mater: U MASS (University of Massachusetts). No idea.

57. Milquetoast: WIMP

58. String quartet part: VIOLA. And OBOES (34D. Wind section)

59. Like Granny Smith apples: TART

60. Wrath, in a classic hymn: IRAE. "Dies Irae", literally "Day of Wrath".

61. Played a part: ACTED

63. Former OTC watchdog: NASD (National Association of Securities Dealers). Who knows?!

64. Visibly moved: TEARY

65. Give up: CEDE


1. Birdbrain: DINGBAT. Archie's name for Edith.

2. Start of an opinion: I FOR ONE. And OH WELL (11. Words of resignation) & YOU WIN (43. "I give up"). Great entries.

3. Right after: AS SOON AS

4. Movie mogul Marcus: LOEW. MGM cofounder.

5. Gospel singers: CHOIR

6. Pool measure: LENGTH. Five consonants.

7. Curse: OATH

8. "Curses!": DRAT. Nice consecutive "Curse/Curses!".

9. NASCAR sponsor: STP

10. Course for a budding DA: PRE-LAW

12. Sweetheart: DEARIE

13. "In America" novelist Susan: SONTAG

21. Loose: LAX

22. Squash variety: ACORN. Love freshly baked acorn squash.

25. Talk like thish: SLUR. And LISPED (46. Talked like thith). Good pair.

27. Pipe fitting: ELL

29. "William Tell," e.g.": OPERA

36. Cybercackle: LOL

37. Pedro's "that": ESO

41. Nuclear reactor component: FUEL ROD. Not a familiar term to me. Maybe our rod expert Lois knows.

42. Amtrak canyon crosser: TRESTLE. Didn't come to me readily. I am used to the "Bridge support" clue.

44. New York city where Mark Twain is buried: ELMIRA. Unknown to me also.

45. Pack animals: LLAMAS

47. Base player?: BUGLER. Military base. Fooled me last time. Fooled me again.

48. Base bunk: COT. Again, loved the base echo.

51. Not on the up and up: SHADY

54. "Good one!": NICE

55. Scintilla: IOTA

56. Narc suffix: OTIC. Narcotic.

58. Vintner's container: VAT

Answer grid.


Apr 28, 2010

Wednesday April 28, 2010 Dan Naddor

Theme: Hungry Celebrities (And you will be too, if you click on all these food links) - Common dishes that happen to contain the first name of a well-known person is humorously reinterpreted and clued as if the dish is what the person wants for the meal.

18A. Response to comic Anderson's "What's for dinner?"?: CRAB LOUIE. Louie Anderson.

21A. Response to Spanish tenor Kraus's "What's for dinner?"?: CHICKEN ALFREDO. Alfredo Kraus. The first two theme answers overlap each other.

37A. Response to Revolutionary Arnold's "What's for breakfast?"?: EGGS BENEDICT. Benedict Arnold.

58A. Response to actress Bracco's "What's for brunch?"?: QUICHE LORRAINE. Lorraine Bracco.

64. Response to jazzman Peterson's "What's for dinner?"?: VEAL OSCAR. Oscar Peterson. The last pair of theme entries also overlap each other.

A special 16*15 grid. The extra column is to accommodate the central even-lettered theme entry EGGS BENEDICT.

Hi, all, Al guesting today, and I was gifted with another Dan Naddor puzzle, thanks C.C. I had mixed feelings about this puzzle. Like the rest of Dan's efforts, I thought it was tricky going at first, especially for a Wednesday, with a lot of unknown names and quite a few three letter answers. I usually try to make all the answer explanations interesting, even when it is a bit challenging. There are quite a few answers today where I just couldn't come up with anything. Maybe it's just the pollen and the late hour. I did manage one pun today.


1. Hist. or sci.: SUBJ. School subjects, consistent abbreviation in both clue and answer.

5. Penn. crosser: TNPK. Early meaning was a piked road barrier used for defense, from turn + pike (shaft.) The meaning changed to "a horizontal cross of timber, turning on a vertical pin", which was used to bar horses from foot roads. This led to the sense of "barrier to stop passage until a toll is paid"

9. "This is for real!": NO JOKE.

15. Composer Schifrin: LALO. Famous for writing many movie and TV scores, such as the Mission Impossible theme.

16. Noah of "ER": WYLE. Dr. John Carter.

17. Singer Morissette: ALANIS.

20. Forceful, as an argument: COGENT. Necessary, urgent. Borrowed from French.

23. 1861-'89 territory: DAKOTA. It means friendly in the native language. Sometimes translated as "allies".

25. MFA, for one: DEG. Master of Fine Arts or Master of Financial Analysis.

26. Oater okay: YEP. In old westerns on lonely cattle drives, this response from a taciturn cattle hand was sometimes considered to be loquacious. They didn't call him Gabby for nothing.

27. Get ready: PREPARE.

29. Bighorn sheep, at times: RAMMERS. This is what it feels like at work sometimes...

33. What's up?: SKY.

34. Like machine-stamped mail: METERED.

42. Most proximate: NEAREST.

43. Cold and wet: RAW.

46. Flute relative: PICCOLO.

49. Leather source: OSTRICH. A "big sparrow." The Greeks also knew the bird as strouthokamelos "camel-sparrow," for its long neck. Among its proverbial peculiarities are indiscriminate voracity (especially a habit of swallowing iron and stone to aid digestion), want of regard for its eggs, and a tendency to hide its head in the sand when pursued. "Like the Austridge, who hiding her little head, supposeth her great body obscured." Ostriches do put their heads in the sand, but ostrich farmers say they do this in search of something to eat.

53. Tokyo, once: EDO.

54. Sitter's handful: IMP.

57. Sly: CRAFTY.

63. Dump: UNLOAD. The Goldman-Sachs 'Fraud'

67. "Eventually ...": ONE DAY.

68. Nastase of tennis: ILIE.

69. Maestro Klemperer: OTTO. German first name, four letters? This usually works.

70. They're sometimes worn under helmets: DO-RAGS. A colorful large handkerchief worn on the head, usually tied with a tail.

71. Building extensions: ELLS.

72. 1966 Jerry Herman musical: MAME. "Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death."


1. Beehive St. capital: SLC. Salt Lake City, Utah.

2. Old Mideast org.: UAR. United Arab Republic, formerly Egypt and Syria.

3. Mark of shame: BLACK EYE. But you should'a seen the other guy...

4. Change positions often: JOB HOP. You know you're getting old if you remember this as a bad thing. Corporate attitude now is if you stay in a job more than five years, they think you aren't good enough to get hired elsewhere.

5. Like many garages: TWO CAR.

6. Stooges' laugh: NYUK.

7. Practiced, as a trade: PLIED.

8. New Hampshire college town: KEENE.

9. Table salt, to a chemist: NA CL. Sodium (NA stands for Latin: Natrium) Chloride.

10. Swedish statesman __ Palme: OLOF. First Swedish politician to be assassinated.

11. Five-time NHL scoring leader Jaromir: JAGR.

12. Cyclops feature: ONE EYE. Two "EYE"s as fill (See 3D: BLACK EYE). Tsk-tsk!

13. More considerate: KINDER. Or German for "children".

14. Prevents, legally: ESTOPS.

19. __ fire under: LIT A. You know what really burns my butt? A fire about three feet high.

22. Accept: AGREE TO.

23. Infielders' stats: DPS. Double Plays.

24. Indy's pursuit: ARK. Indiana Jones, The Ark of the Covenant. Said to have held the ten commandments.

28. Involve, as in conflict: EMBROIL.

30. Dull finish?: ARD. Suffix added to make the word: dullard. I wanted to squeeze MATTE in there somehow...

31. "Something tells __ goofed": ME I.

32. CLX x X: MDC. 160 times 10 = 1600

35. Wide shoe spec: EEE.

36. Heavy wts.: TNS. Tons.

38. Health food co.: GNC. General Nutrition Centers

39. Former GM division: GEO. Metro, prizm, storm et.al.

40. Actor Mineo: SAL. More famous for who he played opposite of in movies (James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause").

41. Potentially lucrative track bet: TRIFECTA. a parimutuel bet in which the bettor must predict which horses will finish first, second, and third in exact order.

44. Do something: ACT.

45. "Give me a reason": WHY.

46. Ahab's whaler: PEQUOD. From Moby Dick.

47. "Don't ask me!": I DUNNO.

48. Menacing snake: COILER.

50. Libra symbol: SCALES. Libra is why pounds are abbreviated "lbs".

51. Small band: TRIO.

52. Kidnapper's demand: RANSOM. Money demand. Or Oldsmobile's first name, as in REO Speedwagon.

55. Dinner companion?: MOVIE. Dinner and a movie.

56. Head & Shoulders competitor: PRELL. Do they really still make this shampoo?

59. Musical finale: CODA. From Latin cauda, a tail.

60. Den __, Netherlands: HAAG. The Hague: the site of the royal residence and the western capital in the Netherlands.

61. Nestlé ice cream brand: EDY'S. Cheesecake.

62. Track fence: RAIL. When your trifecta loses you can be a rail-bird, stand at the rail, and rail at the rails.

65. PIN requester: ATM. Automated teller machine. Sometimes called an ATM Machine, which must mean a machine that dispenses machines?

Answer grid.


Apr 27, 2010

Tuesday April 27, 2010 Pete Muller and Sue Keefer

Theme: Rhyme Time - Two word colloquial expressions that rhyme. Tinbeni note: and contain a part of the body. Also noted, the constuctor's first names were worked into the puzzle fills.

20A. Blondness: FAIR HAIR.

22A. There may not be one "in the house" during a tearjerker: DRY EYE.

32A. Cat's pajamas: BEE'S KNEES.

37A. Like some stockings: THIGH-HIGH.

47A. Captain Ahab feature: PEG LEG.

50A. Fan of Jerry Garcia's band: DEADHEAD.

3D. Flight of scientists to another nation, e.g.: BRAIN DRAIN.

27D. "The original gourmet" candy bean: JELLY BELLY.

Argyle here. Easy peasy theme but some of the fill...oomph! And a high DF quotient; I can hardly wait to see some of the comments today!

Also, many of the entries have a groovy feel to them but, of course, that is no problem for our groovy solvers.


1A. Subway alternative: CAB.

4A. Floppy storage media: DISKS. A floppy disk is a data storage medium that is composed of a disk of thin, flexible ("floppy") magnetic storage medium encased in a square or rectangular plastic shell. (Wikipedia)

9A. Stop by unexpectedly: POP IN.

14A. Bruin legend Bobby: ORR. (Boston hockey)

15A. Apples since 1998: iMACS.

16A. Ivory neighbor?: EBONY.
Ebony and Ivory - Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder video.

17A. "Michael Collins" org.: IRA. Sinn Féin member and early leader of the Irish Republican Army.

18A. Honda Accord, for one: SEDAN.

19A. Has a proclivity (to): TENDS. Proclivity comes from Latin(loosely) down slope.

23A. Neural impulse junction: SYNAPSE.

24A. Big hairdos, for short: FROS. And 1D. Elaborate dos: COIFS.

25A. Cart for heavy loads: DRAY. Interesting that most
pics involve breweries.

26A. Coalition: BLOC.

27A. Boeing product: JET. (airplanes)

30A. County on San Francisco Bay: MARIN.

34A. "__ See for Miles": The Who hit: I CAN.
YouTube video.

35A. Houdini's family name: WEISS. Houdini's father and mother were Rabbi Mayer and Cecilia Weiss and he was named Ehrich. He began calling himself "Harry Houdini" because he was heavily influenced by the French magician Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, and his friend erroneously told him that in French, adding an "i" to Houdin would mean "like Houdin" (Wikipedia)

36A. Promise in the dairy aisle: OLEO.
Promise margarine.

39A. Van Gogh setting: ARLES.
"The Garden at Arles". (in the south of France)

40A. Word with Big or top: TEN. Big Ten (athletic conference) or top ten(best of a list, from songs to Letterman's)

41A. "Great" dog: DANE.
Big dog, too.

42A. "It's __!": bargain hunter's words: A BUY.

43A. Coffee holders: URNS.

44A. "Flying" toy: FRISBEE.

51A. Author Jong: ERICA.

52A. "What are you gonna do about it?!": "SUE ME!".

53A. Shirt size: Abbr.: LGE.

54A. Laid vinyl on, as a floor: TILED.

55A. Speak off the cuff: AD LIB.

56A. Quarterback Dawson: LEN. his

57A. Ingress: ENTRY.

58A. Befitting a slob: MESSY.

59A. Soph and jr.: YRS.


2D. Striking spread: ARRAY.

4D. Old-style kitchen washing receptacle: DISH PAN.

5D. "No argument from me": "I'M EASY".

6D. __ Hawkins Day: SADIE.

7D. 1980s Chrysler product: K-CAR. Most common were the Dodge Aries and the Plymouth Reliant sedans.

8D. Tax form ID: SSN.

9D. Faddish '70s toy that came in a box with air holes: PET ROCK.

10D. Does as told: OBEYS. Also, 39D. Follow, as rules: ABIDE BY.

11D. Fried Dixie bread: PONE.

12D. __ 500: INDY. The Indianapolis 500-Mile Race is held annually over the Memorial Day weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana.

13D. Big Board letters: NYSE. (The New York Stock Exchange)

21D. __ to go: psyched: RARING.

22D. Metallic refuse: DROSS.

24D. Shylock's pound: FLESH.

26D. Light brown: BEIGE. Both 24D and 26D can be shades of 37A.

28D. Very wide, shoewise: EEEE.

29D. General __ chicken: Chinese dish: TSO'S. I ate one of the peppers while watching TV(instead of what I was eating). Wowser!

30D. Catcher's glove: MITT.

31D. Throb: ACHE.

32D. Some '60s war protests: BE-INS. The Human Be-In was a Happening in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, the afternoon and evening of January 14, 1967.If you were there and don't remember it, it's ok, we understand.

33D. "You can get it to me later": "NO RUSH".

35D. Cymbal sound: WHANG.

38D. Like many large-screen TVs: HD READY. Bet you can't find one now that isn't HD(high-definition) Ready.

42D. A Musketeer: ARAMIS. (Athos, Porthos, and Aramis)

43D. Stomach woe: ULCER.

44D. Senses: FEELS.

45D. Ready for action: EAGER.

46D. Paradises: EDENS.

47D. Tennis's Sampras: PETE.

48D. Common name for an Irish lass: ERIN.

49D. Gold-plated: GILT.

50D. Bro: DUDE.

52D. Uncle on a poster: SAM. From the Committee to Help Unsell the War, 1971,

Answer grid.


Apr 26, 2010

Monday April 26, 2010 Jeff Chen

Theme: Theme? What Theme? - Phrases we have to use because people are talking softer more and more these days.

20A. "What?": "DIDN'T CATCH THAT?".

32A. "What?": "EXCUSE ME?".

45A. "What?": "SAY AGAIN?".

58A. "What?": "I BEG YOUR PARDON?".

Argyle here...I said "ARGYLE HERE!" Another fine offering from Jeff Chen. Very few three letter or abbreviation entries. No THWACK this time but, in keeping with hard of hearing, there is 19A. Corrective eye surgery: LASIK. (A type of refractive surgery, laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, for correcting myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.)


1A. Life histories, briefly: BIOS.

5A. Atkins diet concern: CARB. (carbohydrates)

9A. Bogus: FALSE.

14A. Drub in a game: ROUT. It can be said "to own" the other team; beat soundly.

15A. Exploitative type: USER.

16A. Author Zola: ÉMILE. Émile Zola (1840 – 1902) was an influential French writer; he is used enough in crosswords to be a considered a Monday entry.

17A. Not in favor: ANTI.

18A. Italian tower site: PISA. (leaning tower of ...)

23A. Nova __: SCOTIA. The Canadian Maritimes, is a region of Eastern Canada consisting of three provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.

24A. Gentleman's offering on a crowded train, perhaps: SEAT.

25A. Scratch (out), as a living: EKE.

27A. Reason to grab a tissue: SNIFFLE.

37A. Lost color: PALED.

38A. Watered-down: WEAK.

39A. Hangs ten, say: SURFS.

42A. Actress Campbell: NEVE. See here.

43A. Finished: ENDED. Ironically, my last fill.

47A. Back-talking: SASSING.

50A. Big bang producer: TNT.

51A. One running in a pusher, for short: NARC. A DEA agent arresting a perpetrator.

53A. Circles the Earth: ORBITS.

62A. Toothbrush company: ORAL-B.

63A. Metallurgist's raw materials: ORES.

64. Choir voice: ALTO.

65. Modeling wood: BALSA.

66A. CC ÷ XXV: VIII. 200 ÷ 25 = 8 (took some time to find the ÷ symbol.)

67A. Swerve: VEER.

68A. Shoreline irregularity: INLET.

69A. Hankerings: YENS.

70A. Salinger heroine: ESMÉ. "For Esmé – with Love and Squalor" She is used enough in crosswords to be a considered a Monday entry.


1D. Thin nails: BRADS. Small heads so as to not be noticeable. In this picture, the top item is nails that can be loaded into an automatic nailer.

2D. Architectural order: IONIC. Pic.

3D. One-up: OUTDO.

4D. Stretch in the service: STINT.

5D. Hostess offerings: CUPCAKES. Not on an Atkins diet, for sure. Yum!

6D. Continent crossed by Marco Polo: ASIA.

7D. Score silence symbols: RESTS. (musical score)

8D. Sources of teen angst, dentally: BRACES. And more angst: 57D. Source of spousal angst, nocturnally: SNORE.

9D. Sharpie feature: FELT TIP. Magic marker.

10D. Asian nurse: AMAH.

11D. Edelstein of "House": LISA. Lisa Edelstein as Dr. Lisa Cuddy. Cuddy's role in House is that of Dean of Medicine and hospital administrator.

12D. Use a letter opener on: SLIT.

13D. Scared comics cry: EEK.

21D. Connections: TIES.

22D. Solo of "Star Wars": HAN. Space Cowboy

26D. Cousin of an ostrich: EMU.

28D. Vampire tooth: FANG.

29D. Insect in a circus: FLEA.

30D. First name in jeans: LEVI. (Levi Strauss & Co.)

31D. First family's home?: EDEN. Did anybody get caught by this?

32D. Rams' ma'ams: EWES. Rhyme (WH, have you got a final count on your ram's ma'ams.)

33D. TV warrior princess: XENA.

34D. No-goodniks: CADS.

35D. Hawaiian strings: UKES.

36D. Hosp. areas: ERS.

40D. Sprat's taboo: FAT.

41D. Book report, e.g.: SYNOPSIS.

44D. Edith, to Archie: DINGBAT. From the Norman Lear's TV show, All in the Family.

46D. Gillette razor brand: ATRA.

48D. Aye's opposite: NAY.

49D. Old-fashioned "Cool!": GROOVY. Old-fashioned indeed!

52D. Radium co-discoverer: CURIE. Marie or Pierre.

54D. Atlanta athlete: BRAVE. Baseball player.

55D. Dawdles: IDLES.

56D. Symbol on a pole: TOTEM.

58D. Persia, nowadays: IRAN.

59D. Formal dance: BALL.

60D. Apart from this: ELSE.

61D. Jockey strap: REIN.

62D. Kimono sash: OBI.

Answer grid.

Happy Wedding Anniversary, Barry G!


Apr 25, 2010

Sunday April 25, 2010 Mark Bickham

Theme: Missing (Miss ing) - ING in each familiar phrase is dropped and the resulting phrase is punnily clued.

23A. Admiral's tryst?: FLEET ROMANCE. Fleeting Romance. Admiral commands a fleet.

37A. Water cooler gossip?: BREAK NEWS. Breaking News.

40A. Knockoff of an Intel product?: BARGAIN CHIP. Bargaining Chip.

68A. Site of a surprise?: START POSITION. Starting Position.

99A. Issue for the media?: PRESS MATTER. Pressing Matter. Media = Press.

101A. Where insects learn to use their wings?: FLY SCHOOL. Flying School.

121A. Museum featuring bamboo art?: SHOOT GALLERY. Shooting Gallery. Bamboo Shoot.

3D. Golf tournament commentary?: OPEN REMARKS. Opening Remarks. British/US Open.

14D. Voice teacher?: PITCH COACH. Pitching Coach. Baseball.

28D. Creek footage?: STREAM VIDEO. Streaming Video.

52D. Units for timing a track event?: MEET MINUTES. Meeting Minutes.

72D. First-quarter shipments?: MARCH ORDERS. Marching Orders. March is in the first quarter.

75D. Angry lineman?: CROSS GUARD. Crossing Guard.

Very heavy themage. 13 relatively long entries. No isolated stand-out. Each theme answer crosses at least one other theme entry.

Fun clues too. I don't get START POSITION (68A. Site of a surprise?) though. What site? Racing?

ALL I want is for the ALLI (2D. Weight loss brand) entry clued as a partial also. Probably too many fill-in-the-blank partials in the grid already. But I've never heard of ALLI brand.


1. Confucian principle: TAO. Literally "way".

4. You don't get credit for one: EFF.

7. Do-say connection: AS I. Do as I say.

10. Entrance boundary, perhaps: GATEPOST

18. Mont Blanc site: ALPS

20. Graduate: ALUMNUS. Nice to see a full word rather than ALUM.

22. Seat of Potter County, Texas: AMARILLO. Literally "yellow" in Spanish.

25. Drink: POTATION

26. __ Alley: TIN PAN

27. Biz bigwig: EXEC

28. Atlanta-to-Miami dir.: SSE

29. Lea group: COWS.

30. "Mr. Mojo __": Doors lyric that anagrams into the lead singer's name: RISIN. "Mr. Mojo Risin" is an anagram of Jim Morrison.

32. Jump for joy: EXULT

34. Borrrring: BLAH

45. Sleep acronym: REM (Rapid Eye Movement).

46. Show co-anchored by Robin Roberts, for short: GMA. "Good Morning America".

47. "Yes __!": SIREE

48. Sussex scents: ODOURS. British spelling. Alliteration.

51. Squalid: SEAMY

53. "Paradise Lost" figure: SATAN

55. Woeful cry: ALAS

56. Raptor's roost: AERIE. Alliteration

58. Sharp-tongued: ACERB. Maureen Dowd.

60. Flavor enhancer: MSG

61. Defeatist's words: I CAN'T

62. Word with match or money: MAKING

64. Asian lead-in: EUR. Eurasian.

65. Slip away: VANISH

67. Some map lines: Abbr.: STS (Streets)

72. Colo. is on it: MST (Mountain Standard Time).

75. Usual practice: CUSTOM

76. "Spy vs. Spy" magazine: MAD. The Mad Magazine.

77. Put on the staff?: NOTATE. Musical staff.

79. Impolite look: STARE

82. __-Wan Kenobi: OBI. "Star Wars".

83. Year in Augustus' reign: ONE BC. Was expecting Roman numeral.

86. "She __ Yellow Ribbon": 1949 John Wayne film: WORE A

87. Bananas: LOCO. I am a banana.

90. Factotum: DO-ALL. Handyman. Factotum is a new word to me. So close to factum.

92. Tapers?: VCRS. One that tapes. Fooled me.

93. Beginning: OUTSET

95. Like many a dirt road: RUTTY

98. Half a laugh: HEE. Tee hee. Reminds me of our old "Half a fly" for TSE.

104. "Holy cow!": GEEZ

105. Military camp: ETAPE. Forgot the word again.

107. Roundup critter: STEER

108. Isaac's eldest: ESAU. He sold his birthright to Jacob.

111. Nods, perhaps: OKS. I was picturing a dozing person.

113. Valued frames: CELS

115. Showy, in a way: GILDED

118. Botswana desert: KALAHARI. No idea.

123. More than accepts: EMBRACES

124. Sneaks on the court?: TENNIES. Tennis court. Sneakers. I was clueless.

125. Wholly __ part: OR IN

126. Way behind everyone: DEAD LAST. A rare last repetition with LAST GASP (91D. Desperate).

127. "I'm so glad!": YAY

128. Good name, for short: REP (Reputation)

129. Take in: SEE


1. 1920s chief justice: TAFT. The only president who also served as chief justice.

4. Profit: EARNINGS

5. Andy Capp's wife: FLO. Obtained the answer via crosses.

6. Become enraged: FUME

7. Building wing: ANNEX. Rhyme.

8. She-demons: SUCCUBI. No idea. Plural of succubus. Dictionary defines it as "demon in female form, said to have sexual intercourse with men in their sleep". Opposite of incubus.

9. Expert finish?: ISE. Expertise.

10. Memory problems: GAPS

11. One-celled protozoan: AMOEBA

12. Body art, briefly: TAT. Tattoo.

13. Baseball stat: ERA

15. Hodgepodge: OLIO

16. School zone sign: SLOW

17. Scads: TONS

19. Retro photo: SEPIA

21. __ out: uses up, as credit: MAXES

24. Job: TASK

31. Site of Hercules' first labor: NEMEA. And LION (35. Victim of Hercules' first labor).

33. Metallica drummer Ulrich: LARS. Sigh. His name escaped me again.

36. Additionally: AND

37. Deep-bodied fish: BREAMS. Don't know this fish. Quite big.

38. Do an usher's job: RESEAT

39. WWII noncombat unit: WAAC (Women's Army Auxiliary Corps). One of our fellow solvers Southern Belle served with WAAC.

41. Suggests: GETS AT

42. Sinuous dance: HULA

43. Pakistan neighbor: IRAN

44. Attention-getting sound: PSST

47. Ice cream soda ingredient: SYRUP

50. "Richard __": III. Rich III.

54. Latin lambs: AGNI. Plural of Agnus. Agnus Dei is "Lamb of God".

57. Happen next: ENSUE

59. Antacid, briefly: BROMO. As in Bromo-Seltzer. Stumper.

61. "__ a bad time?": IS NOW

63. Alfa Romeo sports cars: GTS

66. Carbonium, e.g.: ION

69. Bit of physics: ATOM

73. Dorm room setup: STEREO

74. Prickly plant: TEASEL. Another alliteration.

78. "Mazel __!": TOV

79. Unappetizing serving: SLOP

80. Hit the road: TOUR. Nice clue.

81. Entr'__: ACTE

84. It may be carried or dropped: BALL. Nailed it.

85. Becomes sickeningly sweet: CLOYS

88. "Don't look __!": AT ME. Wanted BACK.

89. Editor's mark: STET

94. Jargon ending: ESE. Jargonese? Dictionary only has jargonize, to talk in jargon.

96. Internal airway: TRACHEA. The windpipe.

100. Island group that includes São Miguel: AZORES. Here is a good map. Islands west of Lisbon.

101. Joint tenant?: FELON. Joint = Prison. My favorite clue today.

102. Plaster, as a room cover: CEIL

103. "Duh!" relative: HELLO?

106. Indiana state flower: PEONY. Very popular flower in Chinese painting.

112. Commercial suffix with Star: KIST. StarKist.

114. Cookbook direction: STIR

116. Buffalo's county: ERIE

117. Fraction of a newton: DYNE

119. Golfer Sutton: HAL. Ryder Cup captain once.

120. Here, in Juárez: ACA. Again, got the answer via crosses.

121. Chester White's home: STY. Have never heard of pig breed Chester White. Originated in Chester Country, PA.

122. Turn to the right: GEE. "Turn to the left" is HAW.

Answer grid.


Apr 24, 2010

Saturday April 24, 2010 Samuel A. Donaldson

Theme: None

Total words: 68

Total blocks: 30

Very scrabbly puzzle, with 5 Zs, 2 Xs, 2 Js, 1Q and several Ks. Seven-letter entries abound, and triple stacks in each Down quadrant. Pack & Stack, in Clear Ayes' words.

A disaster for me, Krakatoa style. Couldn't even nail XIA (26A. First chronicled Chinese dynasty). Xia Dynasty existed between 2070 and 1600 BC. Xia literally means "summer" in Chinese.


1. Psychs (up): PUMPS

6. Frolicker in a Peter, Paul and Mary song: PUFF. "Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea/ And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called honah lee...". Love the tune, even though I don't truly understand the lyrics.

10. Sith rivals: JEDI. From the "Star Wars".

14. "Cut __!": IT OUT. And A NICE (58. "What __ surprise!"). Two fill-in-the-blank partials.

15. Evaporating sea: ARAL. I like how it crosses another crossword stalwart URAL (7D. Kazakhstan river).

16. Utah home of the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival: OREM. Pure guess. The crossword answer for Utah city is either OREM and PROVO.

17. Symphony section: CELLI. What? I thought the plural for cello is just cellos.

18. Go back and forth: PACE

19. It can be hard to get over: HUMP

20. Big name in publishing: KNOPF. Publisher for Bill Clinton's "My Life". Random House imprint.

21. Costanza portrayer: ALEXANDER (Jason). George Costanza, from "Seinfeld".

23. Requests: ASKS FOR

25. Even considering: DESPITE

27. Bind: JAM

29. Washington et al.: STATES

30. "Gentlemen's Agreement" Oscar winner: ELIA KAZAN. Nice to see his full name. (Sorry for the error earlier.)

34. Sorry lot?: RUERS. Lovely spin on a tired answer.

35. Curious: QUIZZICAL. Such a scrabbly answer.

37. About to bloom: IN BUD

40. Saw only good qualities in: IDEALIZED

44. "__ Boom-de-ay": vaudeville song: TA-RA-RA. Have never heard of this song.

46. Withdrawal aid, for short: ATM

47. I, to Claudius: ONE. Roman numeral. I was thinking of "I", me. Great play on "I, Claudius".

48. Lit conditions?: STUPORS. Lit = Intoxicated.

50. Fanatics: ZEALOTS

53. Aircraft accelerators: TAILWINDS

55. They precede finals: SEMIS

56. "Play it, Sam" speaker: ILSA. From "Casablanca".

57. Fed. anti-discrimination org.: EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)

59. Demeanor: MIEN. The "Pouty look" is MOUE.

60. Eye protector: LASH

61. Roadside sign: DINER. And UTENSIL (2D Part of a place setting).

62. Soothe: EASE

63. Half an arcade trademark: SKEE. Skee-Ball.

64. Inner turmoil: ANGST. The red sky in Munch's "The Scream" is said to be the global effect of the 1883 eruption of the Karakatoa, which appeared in Jerome's puzzle yesterday.


1. Groundbreaking invention: PICKAXE. Excellent clue.

3. Island where Father Damien cared for lepers: MOLOKAI. Where's our Hawaiian gang? They were quite active for a few days.

4. Dime novels: PULPS

5. Lucky one?: STIFF. Why? I don't get this clue.

6. Star chasers: PAPARAZZI. Another scrabbly answer.

8. Confronted: FACED

9. Shows off at the gym: FLEXED

10. 33-day pope, 1978: JOHN PAUL I. Got me. Such a short reign. I remember a pope was poisoned in "The Godfather". Was it our guy?

11. Learned: ERUDITE

12. Greek goddess of agriculture: DEMETER. I can only think of her Roman counterpart Ceres. That's how we got the word cereal.

13. Wow: IMPRESS

22. Stellar: ASTRAL

24. California city near Los Padres National Forest: OJAI. Clear Ayes' daughter graduated from a high school in Ojai.

28. Tribute maker: MAZDA. "Zoom-zoom". I was not thinking of car at all.

31. Water skis alternative: AQUAPLANE

32. "Friends" actress: KUDROW (Lisa)

33. Übermensch philosopher: NIETZSCHE. Übermensch = "Superman" in German. I am suffering from language Aphasia. Used to know how to spell his name properly.

36. Attended: CAME

37. "Let's go now": IT'S TIME

38. Russian supermodel Vodianova: NATALIA. Faintly remember this girl. Prosopagnosia is an awesome word, Gunghy.

39. Bumps' partners: BRUISES

41. Moving quickly: ZOOMING

42. Lures: ENTICES

43. Finishing course: DESSERT

45. __ Grotto: ocean-themed Disney World play area: ARIEL'S. Not familiar with this place at all.

49. Quarterback's play: SNEAK

51. Carne __: Mexican beef dish: ASADA. Literally "roasted meat". Not a Mexican food fan. I do love avocado though.

52. October Revolution leader: LENIN

54. Shot amount: DOSE

Answer grid.