Oct 31, 2010

Sunday October 31, 2010 Don Gagliardo

(Note: LA Times website does not support circled letters feature. Here is the pdf file of today's puzzle.)

Theme: No More Boos - A Halloween puzzle. The word "ghost" is "busted" in each familiar phrase and orderly circled in the grid. Please see Don "Hard G"'s notes at the end of my writeup for his construction inspiration.

23A. One with all the answers—or in one case, questions : GAME SHOW HOST. Alex Trebek (Jeopardy) has all the questions as answers.

32A. Global warming factor : GREENHOUSE EFFECT

41A. Boom box : GHETTO BLASTER. Not familiar with this term. Makes sense.

53A. Prepare for lean times : TIGHTEN ONE'S BELT

66A. Movie with the tagline "Sleep kills" : A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. Nice grid spanner. Plus the scary factor. Good one.

76A. HDL, familiarly : GOOD CHOLESTEROL. LDL is bad.

89A. Haunted house creaker : FLIGHT OF STEPS

101A. Medical school affiliate : TEACHING HOSPITAL. Unique GHOS & T break.

112A. Movie good guys responsible for the circled squares in eight long puzzle answers : GHOSTBUSTERS. Great unifier.

Total 133 theme squares. Very dense. Don also tried a variety of different GHOST buster phrases. Additionally, he was able to sprinkle in more Halloween spookiness in more fill/clues:

25A. October porch swinger : SKELETON

118A. Like much Halloween candy : BITE-SIZE. Great answer.

1D. Working at night for Dr. Frankenstein? : DIGGING. Scary.

3D. Twilight Saga character : VAMPIRE.

103D. Graveyard divisions : PLOTS

113D. Half a scary fly : TSE. Our old editor Wayne R. Williams used this answer/clue all the time, sans "scary".

Across:

1. '90s sci-fi series "seaQuest __" : DSV. Immediate stumper. DSV stands for "Deep Submergence Vehicle"

4. Frost's foot : IAMB. Robert Frost.

8. Honest prez : ABE

11. Parks for rights : ROSA. Rosa Parks.

15. Imogene's partner : SID (Caesar)

18. "Isn't __ pity?" : IT A

19. Greek king tormented by fruit and water he could never quite reach : TANTALUS. From him we get "tantalize".

21. __ minérales : EAUX. Plural of eau.

22. "A long time __ in a galaxy ..." : AGO

27. Aquarium fish : GUPPY. No idea. Looks like a fish peacock.

28. __-jongg : MAH

29. Like "egad," oathwise : MILD

30. Ford whose debut album was "Out for Blood" : LITA. No. Don't recognize her name.

31. Vying : IN IT

37. ATM maker : NCR

38. When to get well? : SOON. Get well soon.

39. Friendship : AMITY

40. Limber : LITHE

45. Female "Mortal Kombat" agent __ Blade : SONYA. Complete unknown. Nice abs.

46. Two-legged zebra : REF. Fun clue.

47. Pitch path : ARC

48. Pooh __: pompous officials : BAHS. I know Grand Pooh-Bah.

50. Blemish : STAIN

61. 1962 Phantom portrayer Herbert : LOM. No idea. "Pink Panther" is so silly.

62. AFL affiliate : CIO

64. Good Witch of the North portrayer Burke : BILLIE. I had her Franklin Mint doll. Wicked Witch of the West was the most expensive in the series.

65. Eye's middle layer : UVEA

72. Ship with a tilde : NIÑA. The Niña, Pinta & Santa María.

73. Memory lane walk : STROLL

74. "So that's it!" : AHA

75. 8-track tape co. : RCA

81. They may be taken with a raised hand : OATHS

83. Quarterback Tony : ROMO. Hurt. Out for the season.

84. Milk, on an Rx : LAC

85. You can bet on it : TIP. Good clue.

86. Affect, as heartstrings : TUG AT

96. Maître d's stack : MENUS

97. Didn't miss __ : A BEAT

99. Oater actor Jack : ELAM. This image is ingrained in my brain.

100. Wine holder : VAT

105. __ monster : GILA

106. Diet suffix : ETIC. Dietetic. I only know dietitian.

107. Kind of crazy? : STIR. Stir crazy.

108. Matterhorn, e.g. : ALP

109. Student of Graham : AILEY (Alvin). Martha Graham. Faintly recalled the name.

110. Hitchcock genre : THRILLER

116. Born : NEE

117. Pulitzer winner Bellow : SAUL

119. Vote for : YEA

120. Put in : ADD

121. World Series sextet : UMPS. Very timely. Also 122. New Eng. sextet : STS (States). "Sextet" clechos.

123. Cast-of-thousands movie : EPIC

124. Ohio summer hrs. : EDT. Don lives there.

Down:

2. Steadfast : STAUNCH

4. __-bitsy : ITSY

5. Relaxed reaction : AAH

6. LP filler? : MNO. Alphabetic run. L M N O P.

7. Texter's "incidentally" : BTW

8. Float __ : A LOAN

9. Outback topper : BUSH HAT. Well, I am sure Kazie knows. It's like this.

10. Car repair fig. : EST

11. Make a stand : RESIST

12. Buffalo Bill associate : OAKLEY (Annie)

13. Glove material : SUEDE

14. Rose of Guns N' Roses : AXL

15. Fullness : SATIETY

16. "Tricked you!" : I GOTCHA

17. Campaign Web site option : DONATE. Another timely clue.

20. Words of woe : AH ME

24. Skillful, kiddingly : EPT. Opposite of "Inept".

26. Like Puck : ELFIN. Puck is capitalized, the trickester in "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

29. Conservationist John : MUIR

32. Blockhead : GOOF

33. Director Reiner : ROB. Loved his "A Few Good Men".

34. Zhou of China : ENLAI. Zhou is also the name of a dynasty, right before Qin. Both had capital in Xi'An. Hence my real name.

35. 'Abitation? : OME. Habitation/Home. Both Hs are dropped. Cockney accent.

36. Brush partner : FLOSS

38. Malodor : STENCH

42. Start to fold? : TRI. Start to the word trifold.

43. Uru. neighbor : ARG

44. SAT-taking venue : SCH

45. "Jeepers!" : SHEESH

48. Cotton capsule : BOLL. Have you picked fresh cotton? I have.

49. Wolfman, some nights : ANIMAL

50. "A poor man's poetry": Moore : SLANG. Unaware of this saying.

51. "Pagliacci" clown : TONIO. Can never remember this name.

52. __ acid : AMINO

53. Source of an oater long-distance call? : TOM TOM. Drum. I don't get this clue. Why "long-distance call?"

54. Hose clamp tightener : T-BOLT

55. German article : EIN. German "a".

56. Pirates' former div. : NLE (National League East). Now NL Central.

57. Rough case? : BUR. The prickly seed cover. Rough indeed.

58. Chris on the court : EVERT. Tennis court.

59. Parasite : LEECH

60. Brit's bye-byes : TATAS. Same here.

63. Sweater words? : IT'S HOT. Sweater = One who sweats.

67. Roam (about) : GAD

68. First name in protest singing : ARLO (Guthrie)

69. __ v. Wade : ROE

70. Local pair? : ELS. A pair of letter L in local.

71. Eastern philosophy : TAOISM. And 90. __-tzu, founder of 71-Down : LAO. Lao = Old.

77. Rubbernecking cause : CRASH

78. Taina of "Les Girls" : ELG. No idea. Which one?

79. By itself, not much of a cheer : RAH. Lovely clue.

80. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, say : OCTET. Septet + One.

82. Liable : APT

85. Nonstick cookware brand : T-FAL

86. Grew choppers : TEETHED. Sweet clue.

87. Like a repressed grievance : UNAIRED

88. Big name in leather goods : GUCCI

89. Baseball players' union chief before Weiner : FEHR (Donald). He looks familiar.

91. Sellout reaction, in headlines : IT'S A HIT

92. Plug extension? : OLA. Plugola.

93. Wicked looker : EVIL EYE. My friend Roberto wears an evil eye charm. He bought from Turkey.

94. Pink, e.g. : PALE RED. Not a phrase I use.

95. Patronizes, as a motel : STAYS AT

96. Ital. volcano : MT. ETNA. In Sicily.

97. Dealer's demand : ANTE UP

98. Nightclub circulators : B-GIRLS. B-B0ys too.

102. Koran religion : ISLAM

104. __ dixit : IPSE. Literally "He himself said it".

105. Yosemite Sam's "Scram!" : GIT

109. "Just __!" : A SEC

111. The NCAA's Fightin' Tigers : LSU. Shaq's alma mater.

112. "Pygmalion" monogram : GBS (George Bernard Shaw)

114. Marceau alter ego : BIP. Unknown to me.

115. Compact submachine gun : UZI. Israeli gun.

Answer grid.

Notes from Don G:

"I was inspired by John Lampkin’s Pumpkin puzzle last Halloween. I was reminded how fun this time of year is. My first idea was a dud. I tried to do something with the words TRICK and TREAT. It didn’t work very well.

I was solving a circle puzzle some time shortly thereafter, and it just clicked. Put GHOST in circles, find them “busted up” within other entries, and we got GHOSTBUSTERS. I realized early on that I did not want GHOSTBUSTERS to appear in the title. I like surprises in my puzzles. The title was decided after everything else was done, which is opposite to how it often happens. The title I came up with is “No More Boos”, and we’ll see if it sticks. Kind of a downer, though. We want our boos (and maybe booze) on Halloween.

John Lampkin had also taught me about using One Look Dictionary as a search engine. It came in handy here. I got a couple on my own, but I relied on computer generation to help me find the hidden GHOSTS. I went a little overboard, too. I think my theme letter count got up to 130, which is fairly high. Filling the grid becomes tough. To further challenge myself, I wanted to put in some Halloween-type entries to enliven the theme. It should be a lot of fun, and that’s what it’s all about on Halloween.

I've mentioned John twice. I have been fortunate to have learned a great deal about crossword puzzles from him, and he has been generous in explaining his approach to creating puzzles. He is a consummate artist when it comes to creating puzzles, which he pursues quite avidly as he does butterflies and music. The world is a much better place for John Lampkin! I am happy to call him a friend."

C.C.

Oct 30, 2010

Saturday October 30, 2010 Neville L. Fogarty

(Note: Tomorrow's puzzle involves circles, which are unsupported by LA Times website. I'll release the pdf file on the blog around 9:00 pm tonight.

Updated at 9:00pm: Here is the pdf file of tomorrow's puzzle.)

Theme: None

Total word: 72

Total blocks: 29

Pretty low blocks count, though the puzzle reaches the Saturday word limit. No grid spanner. Just solid triple stacks of 9s & 8s in each quadrant. The eight Across 9s are:

6A. Angle on the Titanic sinking, to filmmakers : MONEY SHOT. Terrific entry.

16A. "Be right there!" : IN A MINUTE

18A. Out-of-court testifiers : DEPONENTS. New word to me.

19A. Vulnerable spot : BLINDSIDE

61A. TV show set at the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company : THE OFFICE. Have never watched the show.

63A. Ticketing agent? : METER MAID. Beatles's "Lovely Rita". I was picturing a cop.

66A. Opened : PREMIERED

68A. Words you may hear after being hurt : I'M SO SORRY. Awesome fill.

Overall cluing feels pretty smooth & clever (not frustratingly ambiguous). I was able to get onto the constructor's wavelength and nailed quite a few entries on the first pass. Had to groan at YING (10D. Qin dynasty family name) clue. Ying Zheng. Wayyyyy too obscure, even for me. He's known only as Qin Shi Huang in China. Qin is his dynasty. Shi = First. Huang = Emperor. Qin had its capital in my hometown Xi'An.

Across:

1. Small power source : C CELL. Battery type.

15. Gwen's "Chicago" role, 1975 : ROXIE. Played by Renée Zellweger in the 2002 musical.

17. Big name in wrap : ALCOA. Reynolds Wrap.

21. Suggest : GET AT

22. Takeout throw-in : CATSUP

23. 1942 FDR creation : OSS. CIA predecessor.

25. Lea lady : EWE. Alliteration.

26. Golden __ : AGE

27. It leads the way : PROW. Ship's front. I wanted DOOR.

29. Words in an infomercial disclaimer : PAID AD. Nice answer.

32. Russell of "Felicity" : KERI. Loved her. Long or short hair.

34. Actually : IN FACT

36. Mess up, as power cords : ENSNARL

39. Came out with : UTTERED

43. Unstable situation : CRISIS

45. '70s attire making a comeback : MAXI. And 6D. It's shorter than a 45-Across : MIDI.

46. They can be rare : STEAKS. I like how it crosses SCAMPI (46D. Garlicky entrée).

49. Charlie Brown never became one : TEEN. Tricky clue.

52. Decks, briefly : KO'S. The "briefly" gave the answer away.

53. Many a startup ender, these days : COM. URL ender.

54. Letters seen near a tilde : ESC. I had to look at my keyboard.

56. Doves and loves : COOERS. Wanted RHYME.

58. Make up (for) : ATONE

65. Top level : ATTIC

67. Drink garnish : TWIST

69. Measures of volume : SONES. Sound volume, correct?

Down:

1. Traditional food at the Preakness : CRAB CAKE. What's the traditional drink at the Preakness?

2. Lip enhancer : COLLAGEN. Obtained via crossers also.

3. They'll get you going : EXCITERS. Neither the clue or answer appealed to me.

4. Team with a mascot named Roary : LIONS. Well, gimme for Jazzbumpa. Roary the Lion. Detroit Lions.

5. Help cause, with "to" : LEAD UP. Certain events LEAD UP to (help cause) the war.

7. Barely losing : ONE DOWN. We've seen ONE UP before.

8. Barbers may shave them : NAPES

9. Genre of the 1997 album "Nothing Feels Good" : EMO. Stumper.

11. Bygone blade : SNEE

12. Tried to trap : HUNTED

13. Dan Aykroyd's birthplace : OTTAWA. Got via crosswers.

14. Stuck a toe in : TESTED

20. Three-mo. period : SPR (Spring).

24. Old footwear accessory : SPAT. The black stuff in her ankles?

28. Works on canvas : OILS

30. Routine : ACT. Simple in retrospect.

31. It may follow a bullet : ITEM. Dot bullet. I was thinking of gun.

33. Old empire builder : INCA

35. Solder, say : FUSE

37. Old animal shelter : ARK

38. Get ready for a pledge : RISE

40. Win big : RAKE IT IN. Good one.

41. Dispossess? : EXORCISE. The ? hint sure helped.

42. Takes apart : DISSECTS

44. More fidgety : ITCHIER

47. Common way to carry a child? : TO TERM. Saw this clue before.

48. Works on stage : EMOTES

50. Friendly start? : ECO. Eco-friendly.

51. Music to a dieter's ears : NO FATS. Why plural "Fats"?

55. Name on a controversial 1998 report : STARR. "The Starr Report". What a waste of time & money.

57. Lesser __ evils : OF TWO

59. Marlin's son, in a 2003 film : NEMO. "Finding Nemo".

60. Greek goddess of discord : ERIS

62. Kayaker's obstacle : EDDY. Hey there Dilbert!

64. __ periculo: at my own risk : MEO. Learning moment for me.

Answer grid.

I am pleased to announce that Lemonade will blog Friday puzzles starting in November. Melissa & Jazzbumpa will handle Wednesdays.

C.C.

Oct 29, 2010

Friday October 29, 2010 Jonathan Porat

Theme: EXTRA MAYO. The letters M, A, Y, and O, respectively, are added (in sequential order) at the beginnings of common phrases to yield new, uncommon phrases, of variable wackiness.

19A. Designed for ancient sorcerers? : MAGE SPECIFIC. M plus age specific - for discriminating mature audiences, perhaps. Mages had exact size and weight specs for eye of newt.

27A. Pranks at the Bohr Institute?: ATOM FOOLERY. A plus Tom foolery. Why Tom and not, oh -- say, Ron, for instance? The Bohr Institute is a center for research in astronomy, geophysics, and nanotechnology at the University of Copenhagen, named for physicist Neils Bohr, a developer of quantum theory.

46A. Genesis baking ingredient? : YEAST OF EDEN. Y plus East of Eden, a 1955 movie I never saw, directed by Elia Kazan, and based on the second half of a John Steinbeck novel I never read. Am I missing anything? Also the only three-word theme answer, and my favorite, for it's general silliness. In those days, unleavened bread had not yet been invented.

54A. Banning CFC production, e.g.? : OZONE DEFENSE. O plus zone defense - defensive strategies in football and other sports, where the defenders are responsible for covering regions of the playing field, rather than specific offensive opponents, as in man-to-man defense. CFC's are chlorofluorocarbon compounds, such as Freon 12, that deplete the earth's protective ozone layer. This one is serious.

And, of course the unifier: 35A. Sandwich request, and a literal hint to how the answers at 19-, 27-, 46- and 54-Across are formed : EXTRA M-A-Y-O. I don't recall ever seeing a unifier like this one, getting parsed out and allotted to the theme answers - highly clever and original. I like Miracle Whip, BTW, but can't stand MAYO.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here after a strange and rather busy day. This is a terrific puzzle that defeated me pretty badly. Let's survey the damages.

Across

1. Type of pigment used in artists' paints : AZO. AZO dies are brightly colored organic compounds with the grouping -N=N- in the molecule. AZO pigments are made by binding these dyes with an inorganic filler, such as clay.

4. Cul-__ : DE SAC. A blind ally dead end - the wrong way to go if you are being chased.

9. Panic button : EJECT. I push the EJECT button to change CD's. Don't Panic!

14. 1989 Peace Prize winner : DALAI LAMA. Back then, I had kids in high school and thought I was still young.

16. Blanket-toting toon : LINUS. Dented a V-8 can on this one.

17. Met notable : OPERA STAR. I was looking for someone specific.

18. One often working on Sun. : NFLER. A professional in the National (American) Football League, and crosswordese nouveau.

21. Digs : CRIB. Digs. Per the Urban Dictionary, "house, crib, home, joint, dive, blazin dinks, digger, punches, apartment . . . " Crib?!? News to me.

23. Sonoma prefix : OEN. This is the vintner's prefix, and crossword stalwart, used in any wine growing region, such as Sonoma.

24. Batman after Michael : VAL. Val Kilmer had the title role in the 1995 movie Batman Forever, which I never saw. Am I missing anything?

26. Western treaty gp. : OAS. The Organization of American States "is the world’s oldest regional organization, dating back to the First International Conference of American States, which was held in Washington, D.C. from October 1889 to April 1890." (from their web site)

32. Late party attire : PJS. Slumber party. Could be fun.

33. Dealing with : IN RE. Short for "in regard to." Or is it something in Latin?

34. "The Neverending Story" author : ENDE. Another book I never read. Is it as ironic as the author's name suggests?

39. USN officers : CDRS. Commanders? Commodores? Aye, aye, sir, either way.

42. "C'mon, man!" : DUDE. Who exhibits that aura of duditude at the "C'mon, man!" Ranch?

43. Do a little math : SUM. Or, do some math: ADD.

50. Soda bottle meas. : OZS. I never have understood why the abbrv. for OUNCE is OZ.

51. Former Vietnam area mostly S. of the 17th parallel : DMZ. The Demilitarized Zone. Today's college freshmen were born about 17 years after the Viet Nam war ended in 1975.

52. Co-producer of U2's "Achtung Baby" : ENO. From his Wikipedia page: "Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno (born 15 May 1948), commonly shortened to Brian Eno and previously as simply Eno (pronounced /ˈiːnoʊ/), is an English musician, composer, record producer, music theorist, singer and visual artist, best known as one of the principal innovators of ambient music." He produced six more U2 albums.

53. Exile of 1979 : AMIN. The Butcher of Uganda. One bad DUDE!

60. Stadium entrance : STILE. As in Turnstile. This word is showing up rather often now.

61. Like some windows : DRIVE THRU. These are common at banks and fast food joints.

64. George of "Cheers" : WENDT. Norm!

65. Foresees : ENVISIONS.

66. Beats 1-0, say : EDGES

67. Film holders : REELS. Fishing line, too.

68. Mess of dough : WAD. My lovely wife made three kinds of cookies, so there were wads of DOUGH, but no mess. She is so neat. The pumpkin cookies, BTW, are AMAZING. But this clue is referring to small pieces of green paper.

Down.

1. Trouble : ADO. Without further of, things are often done.

2. Cook with waves : ZAP. In a microwave oven, aka "nuking." I really wanted Captain Cook, but couldn't get there in only three letters.

3. Oxford campus : OLE' MISS. I gather that the University is in Oxford, Miss. Tricky!

4. TV screen meas. : DIAG. For some reason, TV screens are measured corner to corner, diagonally.

5. Ultimatum end : ELSE. Such as: " Look at that stack of laundry. Iron or else!"

6. Concerns for jrs. and srs. : SATS. The SAT is the most widely used college entrance exam. It is also a huge scam, since it's ability to predict college success is poor. High School GPA and class rank are better predictors. They must have a fabulous marketing department.

7. "... draw you __?" : A MAP. I'm better at drawing flies.

8. Package directive : CARE OF. Please take CARE OF this CARE package.

9. Sea change with far-reaching effects : EL NINO. Read all about it.

10. Two shakes, with "a" : JIFF. I thought "DASH," but I'm not the one who makes the cookies. Don't care for this one, at all. Actually I prefer the JIF with one F, crunchy variety.

11. Pep up : ENLIVEN

12. It helps prevent stumbling : CUE CARD. Or, you can write on your hand.

13. Original Dungeons & Dragons co. : TSR. Tactical Studies Rules, purchased by Wizards of the Coast in 1997.

15. Kaffiyeh wearer : ARAB. Again, I wanted something more specific.

20. Corp. boss : CEO. The Chief Executive Officer, a denizen of board rooms and crosswords. Do they have cross words in boardrooms? Nah - too many yes-men.

21. One on a beat : COP. Lo, these many years past, my lovely wife's late father was a COP on the beat.

22. "The Big Bang Theory" character from India : RAJ. Just took a guess, as I have never seen this show. Am I . . . never mind.

25. Soap component : LYE. Not exactly. Animal fat (glycerol esters of long chain organic acids) is reacted with lye in a process called saponification. The reaction products are salts of these acids, aka soap, and glycerine. Then you have to separate them. And clean up. It's all quite tedious.

27. __-en-Provence : AIX. This is a city in Southern France. It's inhabitants are called Aixois or, less commonly, Aquisextains, from an old Roman name.

28. Rubble creator : TNT. Trinitrotoluene, a powerful explosive. I guess you have to believe in the power of creative destruction. I wanted a cartoonist.

29. First NHL defenseman to score 40 goals in a season : ORR. Three letters for a hockey player - enter ORR and move on. OTOH, my similar ALOU baseball theory got REFUTED by A-ROD. There are no certainties in life.

30. Maryland's Fort __ : MEADE. Named for General George Gordon Meade, a Union Army general in the American Civil War.

31. Sign of summer : LEO. Moderately tricky. LEO is a Zodiac sign including most of August. My lovely wife is a LEO and I'm not lion.

35. What can turn one into many? : ESS. Or, a straight road into a curvy one. The letter "S" is the most common English language pural, my children.

36. Campaign weaponry? : MUD. Let's just not even go there.

37. Product at a stand : ADE. Something to make from 714 lemons.

38. Nikkei 225 unit : YEN. the N225 is the broad-based Japanese stock index most comparable to our S&P 500, denominated in YEN. You'll need to know this if you ever have the YEN to buy Japanese stocks.

39. Actress Charisse : CYD. You don't meet a lot of ladies named CYD. This one could sing and dance.

40. Taken down a notch : DEMOTED. I guess. I got promoted in Feb. '08, then retired in Nov. '08. That's a whole bunch of notches.

41. Rookie's initiation : RAZZING. Or Hazing, I suppose.

43. By doing whatever it takes : SOMEHOW. I wanted ANYHOW, which SOMEHOW seeems to be a letter short.

44. Scary magazine holder : UZI. This one fooled me. UZI are a related family of Israeli-made, open bolt, blowback-operated (whatever that means) submachine guns. A magazine is an ammunition storage and feeding device within or attached to a repeating firearm. Scary enough, I'd say.

45. Explorer initials : MSN. So, I'm thinking Columbus, Lewis and Clark, Franklin, etc. But it's Microsoft Network's Internet explorer. Got me.

47. Beliefs : TENETS. Is it my imagination, or do I get this word every time? My religion has nine TENETS.

48. Single : ONE. But I actually only believe ONE of them. This, however, refers to small green pieces of paper.

49. Raw material : FODDER. This doesn't seem quite right, does it?

53. Piedmont product : ASTI. ASTI is a city in the Piedmont region of Italy, and the eponym for Asti Spumante, the bubblicious product

55. Merrie __ England : OLDE.
In days of OLDE, when knights were bolde, the maidens hale and hardy,
They'd drink a flagon of ale, or two, and have a PJ party.

56. Atlantic flier : ERNE. A sea eagle. Old crosswordese.

57. What musicians take between sets? : FIVE. Can't pass this up.

58. Austin Powers' nemesis Dr. __ : EVIL. From a movie I never saw. Did I miss anything?

59. It's a loch : NESS. It's a lock! Really - other than this Scottish lake, what else could it be?

60. Northern Eur. land : SWE. Sweden.

62. Cellular messenger : RNA. Ribonuclaic acid. From the free dictionary: "The form of RNA that mediates the transfer of genetic information from the cell nucleus to ribosomes in the cytoplasm, where it serves as a template for protein synthesis. It is synthesized from a DNA template during the process of transcription." There will be a quiz.

63. Amer. capital : USD. U.S. Dollars. Small green pieces of paper. They must be rather important.

Answer grid.

A fine challenging puzzle. Now, for my PJS . . .

Cheers!

JzB

Oct 28, 2010

Thursday October 28, 2010 Jascha Smilack

Theme: Inverted Phrases - The first and third words of common phrases are switched and wackily clued with a "?" indicator. The altered phrases all end with "THE" and a three letter word.

18A. Libertarian slogan?: FIRE THE FED. Libertarians hold that if it is not explicitly provided for in the constitution, that it should not be dealt with or (especially) paid for on a federal level, it is the domain of each individual state to deal with it (or not) instead (as explicitly provided in the Constitution's tenth amendment, State's Rights). /Fed the fire. (What talking about politics will do)

24A. Finish an ascent?: SCALE THE TIP. Climb to the top./Tip the scale.

35A. Tidy up in a wood shop?: DUST THE BIT. Keep your tools clean./Bit the dust. Died.

43A. Floor an oppressive boss?: DECK THE MAN. Punch a jerk./Man the deck. Get to your station on a ship.

51A. Value one's vision?: PRIZE THE EYE. Eye the prize. Keep your eyes on the prize was a 50s/60s folk song during the civil rights movement.

62A. Send a star pitcher for an MRI?: TEST THE ACE. Magnetic Resonance Imaging/Ace the test. Score very highly.

Al here.

Heavy themage today, which didn't help in the least with solving, and no revealing clue was included in the puzzle. It was like solving a second puzzle to suss out what was going on, which was kind of fun, actually. Interesting to see a symmetry with six theme entries. Four or five are more common, with the occasional seven that Dan N. usually provided. A pangram, to boot. The (small) price to pay for XTRA features in the construction is accepting that a few more abbrevs are necessary here and there for fill.

ACROSS:

1. Fat job?: LIPO. Suction.

5. Interstate exit: RAMP.

9. See 12-Down: AFTER. And 12D. With 9-Across, fairy tale ender: EVER. Happily for some. Has anyone read the actual book Wicked (I know, I know, there's a musical), the story from the point of view of the Witch of the West? What if all fairy tales were actually like that?

14. Pararescue gp.: USAF. A division of the US Air Force that does search and rescue missions.

15. Organic compound: ENOL.

16. Hanker for: CRAVE. Probably from Flemish hankeren, related to Dutch hunkeren "to hanker," intensifier of Middle Dutch hangen "to hang." The notion is of "lingering about" with longing or craving.

17. Poet who wrote, about children, "And if they are popular / The phone they monopular": NASH. Ogden. Also the shortest poem ever (about fleas): Adam had 'em.

20. Rich sponge cake: GATEAU. I am now scarred for life from doing a google image search for this, even with safe image search set to moderate.

22. Pithy saying: SAW. An adage, an aphorism, an apothegm, usually terse, i.e., if something can go wrong, it will.

23. NFL game foursome: QTRS. Quarters. There are six referees, so refs didn't work.

27. Buying outing: SPREE. From French: "esprit", lively. This would not be me during shopping.

28. Cones and prisms: SOLIDS. 3-D geometric figures.

33. Farm expanse: LEA. An open field or meadow.

38. Grads: ALUMS.

41. Sandwich request: RYE. My first thought was SUB.

42. Untrusting: LEERY.

46. __ scripta: written law: LEX. Explicitly stated law, as opposed to lex non scripta, common law, set by precedent.

47. It's often served with lemon: ICE TEA. Some day a clever constructor will include the "D" and everyone will all be confused.

48. It can be rolled, pressed or stuffed: SUSHI.

56. Warrior trained by the centaur Chiron: AJAX. If I read it right, the great grandson of Zeus, also the cousin of Achilles.

60. It merged with AT&T in 2005: SBC. Southwestern Bell Corp.

61. Be amazed (at): MARVEL. Shazam!

65. Like pretzels: BENT. Baked in the shape of folded arms. Pretzel traces back to a word for branches.

66. D.C. underground: METRO. A Subway system that branches out to the suburbs above ground..

67. "Rigoletto" highlight: ARIA. Not a happily ever after fairy tale... In this opera a licentious Duke ravishes his jester's daughter; the jester's revenge goes tragically awry with his daughter's death.

68. Concerning: AS TO.

69. Dust crops, e.g.: SPRAY.

70. Certain NCO: MSGT. Master Sergeant.

71. A library book may be on it: LOAN.

DOWN:

1. Airway termini: LUNGS. I was fooled into thinking about airports, not where your bronchi attach.

2. Stern with a Strad: ISAAC. Fiddler behind the scenes...

3. Noodle topper: PASTA SAUCE.

4. Useful: OF HELP. Needed perp help for this.

5. Proved false: REFUTED. The "correct" original meaning of refute. The meaning has been shifting towards "to deny" since the 60's, as used with the word "allegations".

6. "Star Wars" saga nickname: ANI. Anikin Skywalker, Darth Vader, who says "Yippee" in the fourth movie released, which is chronologically the beginning.

7. Code creator: MORSE. Samuel. Co-created "American Morse Code", also called Railroad code, with Alfred Vail. Since 1865, International Morse code has been used instead, with "American" being limited to re-enactments only.

8. Fabric fold: PLEAT. Also a flounce, apparently.

9. Günter's gripe: ACH. German Oh! An interjection.

10. Radio abbr.: FREQ.uency.

11. 300-pound president: TAFT. William Howard. 27th president and later the 10th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The only person to have served both offices.

13. Great American Ball Park team: REDS. Cincinnati.

19. Checker's dance: TWIST. Chubby Checker (Ernest Evans). It was a cover of the B-side song by R&B artist Hank Ballard. Popularized thanks to Dick Clark and American Bandstand.

21. Flying prefix: AER. Latin air.

25. One of 24 in un jour: HEURE. French, 24 hours in a day.

26. Sci-fi writer Frederik: POHL. Prolific author and editor.

29. Sheltered side: LEE. So odd to see it without the "A".

30. "That's my take": I BELIEVE SO.

31. Desperate: DIRE. As in circumstances.

32. Charon's river: STYX. Don't pay the ferryman until he gets you to the other side.

33. __-da: pretentious: LA-DI.

34. Juice: Abbr.: ELEC.tricity

36. Orch. work: SYM. Orchestra, symphony.

37. Flirt: TEASE. One who does, is.

39. NYSE, e.g.: MKT. New York Stock Exchange, Stock Market.

40. Stride: STEP.

44. Caustic: HARSH. I had BASIC in there briefly because lye is a very strong base. Caustic lye is the opposite of acid, but no less destructive. Sort of like the two-party system. If you try to mix the two extremes together, sparks really fly and everything in between gets hurt.

45. Edible part of a pecan: NUTMEAT. Pecan, a word from our crossword friends, the Cree: pakan, hard-shelled nut. So, how do you say it? PEEcahn, payKAHN, or PEE-CAN?

49. Doo-wop syllable: SHA. A blast from the past.

50. Like some supplements: HERBAL.

52. Building girder: I-BEAM. Guessed _beam right away, and 53D. Many Nissan autos: Z-CARS. Similarly got _cars, but had to wait for the leading letters for both. Which was tough because the theme perp wasn't helping.

54. Busybody: YENTA. From Yente Telebende, comic strip gossip in 1920s-30s writing of Yiddish newspaper humorist B. Kovner (pen-name of Jacob Adler).

55. John with Grammys: ELTON. Who else could it be?

56. Green dispensers: ATMS. Not fooled this time, filled immediately.

57. Wrangler, for one: JEEP. An SUV or UTE.

58. Copernicus's sci.: ASTR. Science, astronomy.

59. Bonus, in adspeak: XTRA.

63. Peke, e.g.: TOY. Pekingese dog, toy breed.

64. One might be bummed, briefly: CIG.arette

Answer grid.

Al

Oct 27, 2010

Wednesday October 27, 2010 Dan Naddor

Theme: Tool Time - The first word of each common phrase is also a common tool.

17A. Track and field event: HAMMER THROW. This was the RECORD .

23A. Agreed: SAW EYE TO EYE. Did you all like this MOVIE ?

39A. Lou Gossett Jr. played one in "An Officer and a Gentleman": DRILL INSTRUCTOR. I never cared for the MOVIE .

49A. Air traveler's need: PLANE TICKET. I used to love using this TOOL followed up by using:

61A. Folder holder: FILE CABINET. This ONE .

Happy Wednesday all; it is getting bittersweet to be the one who lucks out and gets to write up one of the remaining Dan Naddor puzzles, not knowing which one will be last. We have Dan’s consistent heavy themeage, four 11’s and a grid spanning fifth. I was looking for another layer with the tools, maybe the order you used the tools, but I could not find anything else, except some fun clues, and lots of Dan’s tricky multiple words.

Across:

1. One of a "Sesame Street" duo: BERT. I always have trouble remembering which is ERNIE .

5. Tizzy: LATHER. Just a fun WORD .

11. Chest muscle, briefly: PEC. ENOUGH ?

14. Bug tail?: ABOO. BUGABOO .

15. Injury requiring emergency room treatment: TRAUMA.

16. Everyone: ALL.

19. Double standard?: TWO.

20. Hardly laid-back: TYPE A. Dan obviously was one, but are you? Take the TEST .

21. Morsel: ORT. Classic crosswordese.

22. Corp. exec hopefuls: MBAS.

27. Dilettante: AMATEUR. dil•et•tante/ˌdiliˈtänt/Noun
1. A person who claims an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge.
2. A person with an amateur interest in the arts. My parents always made it sound much worse.

31. "Nuts!": DARN.

32. Baby Arp's first word?: DADA. Oh my, this is a complicate double pun, I think talking about Hans ARP one of the influential DADAISTS, and DA DA. I filled in and had to think and ponder to understand the answer.

33. Metric prefix: DECI. CENTIMETRE DECIMETRE, etc.

36. Talk big: BOAST.

42. Ketel One alternative, familiarly: STOLI. I am a POTATO PURIST .

43. Señor's "Certainly!": SI SI. I always have a hard time with this very easy fill, because my mind only sees sisi. This is one of the multiple words fill Dan liked, 47A. In a way: OF SORTS and 66A. Opposite of 43-Across: NO NO. 29D. Señor's sendoff: ADIOS AMIGO. Beautiful bilingual double alliteration, and our Spanish lesson. 30D. Happy hour request: TALL ONE. Which is your preference Lois, Jeannie from this IMAGE . 35D. "Not to worry": IT'S OK. 57. How some NFL games are resolved: IN OT. I just finished reading The Glory Game by Frank Gifford, about the 1958 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME which many claim is the greatest game ever, and the first overtime game in pro football history.

44. Bistro: CAFE.

45. Crash site?: SOFA. My favorite misdirection of the puzzle.

53. Main Web page: HOME.

54. Nashville sch.: TSU. TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY, the more famous U. of TENNESSEE is in KNOXVILLE.

55. Bond: UNITE.

60. Jackie's second: ARI. Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, after her marriage to shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis.

64. Droop: SAG.

65. Composer Debussy: CLAUDE. Do we all know CLAIR de LUNE ?

67. Prefix with skeleton: EXO. Like IRON MAN .

68. Counselor's charge: CAMPER. Lo-li-ta, what am I to do with CAMPERS?

69. Mail-routing abbr.: ATTN. A foreshadowing of our USPS.

Down:

1. Thai currency: BAHT. This MONEY is also an anagram for BATH.

2. Online marketplace: EBAY. If you have never shopped EBAY, it is amazing; my kids saved a fortune by buying used textbooks, and you can find all kinds of out offprint stuff. Coolieo.

3. Easy win: ROMP.

4. Hefty volume: TOME.

5. USPS delivery: LTR. United States Postal Service.

6. Miró on the wall: ART. My uncle had this PRINT hanging in his office; as a child I could not understand why.

7. Second-deepest U.S. lake: TAHOE. This is the most beautiful place in the 48 STATES

8. "Faster!": HURRY. Am I the only one who wanted to find a famous non-eater like Gandhi?

9. Hammed it up: EMOTED. Who do you think is the worst ham actor (actress) you know?

10. Like crudités: RAW. I do not think I have ever been to a law related get together that did not start with VEGGIES .

11. "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" singer: PAT BENATAR. When I would go on the road with the bands I worked with, I always enjoyed this feisty performer and this SONG.

12. Hall of Fame Broncos quarterback: ELWAY. Mastermind of THE DRIVE .

13. Intimate: CLOSE. Hmm, “hey baby, let’s get close…” Nah. Oh, friends, I see.

18. Leisure: EASE.

22. African country nearest Spain: MOROCCO. Home for RICK’s .

24. BMW rival: AUDI.

25. Small songbirds: WRENS. But they are powerful SINGERS .

26. Cologne that sounds wrong?: TABU. You never hear of this anymore, perhaps they need this SPOKESPERSON , what do you think VIDWAN?

27. Tacks on: ADDS.

28. Trading center: MART. Do like K or WAL or perhaps this ONE ?

34. CBS forensic drama: CSI.

37. "Hush!" to Romeo: SOFT. This is my favorite JULIET , who is yours?

38. "__ bien!": TRES. Must get some French in.

40. Cereal Mikey liked, in ads: LIFE. I loved the cereal as a kid, it was just nice to have a change from flakes and krispies; but also notice this fill rhymes with 41A. Abundant: RIFE, which is a favorite word of all who write poetry because it also rhymes with wife, and strife and knife, and there has to be a poem in there somewhere.

46. Number one Hun: ATTILA. Did we think HUN was an abbreviation like CAB?

48. Movie souvenir: STUB. So the HEAT lost to the Celtics, I wonder if the fans saved their tickets?

49. Period: PHASE.

50. Seuss's environmental advocate: LORAX. Who doesn’t love the work of the good DOCTOR S. .

51. Sadat's faith: ISLAM.

52. Search for and find, as a CD track: CUE UP.

56. 1492 trio member: NINA. Have our Wisconsin natives gone to look at the SHIPS ?

58. Circus sight: TENT.

59. Prince William's school: ETON.

61. TV monitor: FCC. Classic Dan Naddor misdirection, unluckily LED and LCD both fit.

62. B-F connectors: CDE. My me, suited connectors.

63. __ Lingus: AER. No wonder the Irish drink so much, all their words sound so suggestive; let’s get off on AER LINGUS!

Answer grid.

Okay, we have made it to another hump day, and almost wrapped up another month. Thank you Dan wherever you are, and come out and play everyone.

Lemonade

Oct 26, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 Jeff Chen

Theme: On a Roll - The start of the four theme answers modifies the meaning of the first word in the unifier.

17A. *"That's a certainty!": "BANK ON IT!". Bankroll can either be a noun (literally or figuratively, a roll of bills) or a verb meaning to fund someone or something.

22A. *Say "Well done," say: PAY A COMPLIMENT. Payroll, again either a noun or verb. The list of people to be paid or the money to pay them. The act of paying them. In old Westerns, the bad guys stopped the stage that was carrying the payroll.

34A. *Cover the night's check: SPRING FOR DINNER. Spring roll is like an egg roll but with a flaky wrapper.
Image. I like the spring rolls better than the egg rolls.

46A. *Generate sales leads: DRUM UP BUSINESS. Drumroll, the continuous sound of a drum rapidly beaten.
Five second clip.

54A. Attendance check, and a hint to the puzzle theme in the first words of the starred answers: ROLL CALL

Roll call answer: "Argyle!", "Here, Sir!" Jeff Chen continues his roll of excellent puzzles. 74-worder with 3 Js. Only one Q away from being a pangram.

A tad harder than a usual Tuesday, with three long answers. Plus, some clechos.

Across:

1. Homey : COZY

5. Boeing product : JET

8. Shoulder wraps : SHAWLS

14. Converse competitor : AVIA. Latin for "fly".

15. Fuss : ADO

16. Immensely popular : RED HOT

19. "Ripe" part of life : OLD AGE

20. Ceremonial act : RITE

21. Mousse user : SALON. Mousse user, just fun to say.

27. Rock examiner? : JEWELER. Diamond "rock".

28. A seeming eternity : EONS

29. Q.E.D. word : ERAT. Math proof letters, Latin meaning "quod erat demonstrandum" or "which was to be shown or proven".

30. Bozo : JERK

31. Remark from Rex : "ARF!". Rex, the name of the sheepdog in the 1995 film, "Babe", is Latin for king.

39. Function : USE

40. Suave to a fault : OILY.
This man?

41. Long-tongued cartoon dog : ODIE. From the Garfield strip.

42. "Brave New World" drug : SOMA. The fictional hallucinogenic drug in Aldous Huxley's 1932 novel.

43. Obvious : EVIDENT

50. Knock one's knuckles against : RAP AT

51. Nae sayer : SCOT. A play on "nay sayer".

52. To excess : OVERLY

59. Blew off steam : VENTED

60. Doctor of music? : DRE. Andre Romelle Young, primarily known by his stage name Dr. Dre, is a record producer, rapper, record executive, and actor.

61. Skin lotion additive : ALOE

62. Some dadaist paintings : ERNSTs. Dada is the groundwork to abstract art and sound poetry and the movement that lay the foundation for Surrealism. Max Ernst was one of the founders.

63. Verizon rival : AT&T

64. Coquette : MINX.
Image. Ho, Ho, Ho!

Down:

1. Chard alternative : CAB and clecho 3. Chard alternative : ZIN. No clue that these are wines. Chardonnay, Cabernet, Zinfandel; not sure cab (red) works for a alternate for chard (white), zin can be red or white.

2. Egg cells : OVA

4. Himalayan beast : YAK and 24. Rumored Himalayan beast : YETI

5. Chandler's "Friends" ex-girlfriend with an annoying laugh : JANICE. Clip, at the fertility clinic.

6. Magazine VIP : EDITOR

7. Carved pole : TOTEM

8. No more seats, on a sign : SRO. Standing room only.

9. Capital east of Oslo : HELSINKI. Oslo, Norway and Helsinki, Finland.
Map. Sweden is in between them.

10. "Mysterious and spooky" TV family name : ADDAMS

11. Ahab's quarry : WHALE. From Herman Melville's classic of the sea, telling of the pursuit of Moby Dick, the white whale.

12. Start one's work day, maybe : LOG ON

13. Angioplasty implant : STENT

18. Like much family history : ORAL

22. Offenders, in copspeak : PERPS. Not in our argot, though.

23. Enlightened : AWARE

25. Word with group or pressure : PEER

26. British nobleman : LORD. A member of the peerage, a system nobility in England.

27. Son of God, in a Bach cantata : JESU. German.

30. Elation : JOY

31. Bolivian range : ANDES

32. Stagecoach controls : REINS

33. Fuss : FRET

35. Sign at a cul-de-sac : NO OUTLET

36. Hobbling gait : GIMP

37. Love handles, so to speak : FLAB

38. Botanical branch point : NODE

42. Stings : SMARTS

43. Companion : ESCORT

44. Purple shade : VIOLET

45. Worldwide: Abbr. : INTL. International.

46. Took the wheel : DROVE

47. Ecstatic film critic, e.g. : RAVER

48. Sch. founded by Franklin : UPENN. University of Pennsylvania. Founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1749. Motto, Leges sine moribus vanae, translates to "Laws without morals are useless."

49. Dietary standard often measured in mg. : US RDA. United States Recommended Daily Allowances (USRDA).

53. NFL rushing nos. : YDs.. American football.

55. "Overhead" engine part : CAM

56. Poetic pugilist : ALI. "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." Right, NC?

57. "Man of a Thousand Faces" Chaney : LON.
Lon Chaney Tribute.

58. Archvillain Luthor : LEX. Superman's supervillain bad guy.

Answer grid.

Argyle

Oct 25, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010 Robert A. Doll

Theme: Boys Only! - Four phrases that start with a man's name and a unifier.

17A. Wealthy relative: RICH UNCLE

24A. Emulate Muhammad Ali: BOB AND WEAVE

39A. Father-son talk, e.g.: FRANK DISCUSSION

50A. Assembled in a makeshift manner: JERRY-RIGGED

64A. Get-together for the starts of 17-, 24-, 39- and 50-Across?: STAG PARTY

Argyle here.

Even though there are five entries, I kept looking for a more complicated connection between the four names. Must be the effect of last week. Some others weren't invited to the party. 1A SETH, 19A TONTO, 17A BONO, 31A IAN, 47A DON, and 59D ART. O MAN!

Before anyone starts, JERRY-rigged and JURY-rigged are the same thing.

Across:

1. Eve's youngest : SETH. The only 3 names mentioned in the Bible are Cain, Abel, and Seth. Adam also had "other sons and daughters," though they aren't named. (Answers.com)

5. Special __: military force : OPS. Special OPerationS.

8. Priest's place : ALTAR

13. Trojan War epic : "ILIAD". The older of the two surviving ancient Greek epic poems, traditionally ascribed to Homer.

15. "The __": placekicker Lou Groza's nickname : TOE. Louis Roy Groza (January 25, 1924 - November 29, 2000) was an American football placekicker who played his entire career for the Cleveland Browns. (Wikipedia)

16. Dog : POOCH

19. Sidekick who rode Scout : TONTO

20. Bagel flavoring : SESAME

21. Rio automaker : KIA. Korean automobile manufacturer. Image. A subcompact car.

23. Bones partner : SKIN. Emaciated. Nothing but skin and bones. But how many of you thought of Seely Booth from TV's Bones?

27. Free, as legal work : PRO BONO. A phrase derived from Latin meaning "for the public good", pro bono publico, shortened to just pro bono.

31. Author Fleming : IAN. James Bond creator.

32. Titled woman : DAME and 1D. 32-Acrosses' spouses : SIRS

33. Older but __ : WISER

36. Dean's list factor: Abbr. : GPA. Grade Point Average (GPA)

43. D.C. bigwig : SEN.

44. Annually : A YEAR

45. Jason's vessel : ARGO. Greek mythology.

46. Had some grub : ATE

47. Leave high and dry : ABANDON

55. North Carolina university : ELON. A private liberal arts university located in Elon, NC. Location.

56. Fed. loan guarantor : SBA. Small Business Administration (SBA).

57. Take turns : ROTATE

62. Bank takebacks, briefly : REPOs. Origin: by shortening of repossessions.

66. Used a prie dieu : KNELT. Image. A prayer desk.

67. Many, many moons : EON

68. Coach:athlete ::__:student : TUTOR. A coach is to athlete as a TUTOR is to student.

69. When tripled, and so on : YADDA. Or spelled with one D. Speaking of Double D's, where is my number one on the naughty list?

70. Gun lobby org. : NRA. The National Rifle Association of America, or NRA.

71. Rockwell or Gothic : TYPE. Types of type!

Down:

2. Nobelist Wiesel : ELIE. This man.

3. Nervous spasms : TICS

4. "Very funny!" : "HA-HA!"

5. Non-Rx : OTC. Over-the-counter (OTC). Also can apply to stocks.

6. Oktoberfest dance : POLKA. Let's all get up and dance around the breakfast table. "Beer Barrel Polka" : Myron Floren on accordion.

7. Make welcome : SEE IN

8. On-target : APT

9. Let out a few notches in : LOOSEN

10. Toy truck brand : TONKA

11. When Ophelia drowns : ACT IV. From Hamlet, by Shakespeare.

12. River at Arles : RHONE. Map. Arles is on the coast, the Riviera.

14. Disney pachyderm : DUMBO. The Flying Elephant.

18. One of the noble gases : NEON

22. French farewell : ADIEU

25. Alamo hero : BOWIE. That would be James Bowie, not David Bowie.

26. Part of V.F.W. : WARS. Veterans of Foreign Wars.

27. Commonly e-mailed files, for short : PDFs. Portable Document Format.

28. Porterhouse order : RARE. I tell you, it is very rare when I get a steak.

29. Arabian sultanate : OMAN. On the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula.

30. Golfer Hogan : BEN. Legendary.

34. "This __ ripoff!" : IS A

35. Scrawny one : SCRAG

36. Prepare, as for action : GIRD

37. Walt Kelly's possum : POGO. Comic strip.

38. Soon, poetically : ANON

40. "K-K-K-__": 1918 song : KATY. Let's all sing now! Lyrics.

41. Batik artisans : DYERS. They use wax and dye to produce images on cloth.

42. __ Francisco : SAN

46. Composer Schoenberg : ARNOLD. I thought they should have clued Gov. Schwarzenegger, after the previous clue.

48. Arctic floater : BERG

49. Take in from a pet shelter : ADOPT

50. Beef __: dried meat : JERKY

51. Kagan who replaced Stevens on the Supreme Court : ELENA

52. Enticed, with "in" : ROPED

53. "Peer Gynt" dramatist : IBSEN. Edvard Grieg famously composed incidental music and songs for his play.

54. Croc's cousin : GATOR

58. Drawn tight : TAUT

59. Culturally pretentious : ARTY

60. 'Vette roof option : T-TOP

61. Brontë's "Jane __" : EYRE

63. RR depot : STA.

65. Literary collection : ANA

Answer grid.

Argyle

Oct 24, 2010

Sunday October 24, 2010 John Lampkin

(Note: LA Times website does not support circled letters feature. Here is the pdf file of today's puzzle.)

Theme: Country Kitchen - a UN Day Tribute puzzle. Each familiar food phrase contains two 3-letter country codes used by the UN.

23A. Lunch box item : BOLOGNA SANDWICH. Bol: Bolivia. And: Andora.

41A. Sautéed fish entrée : PAN FRIED TROUT. Pan: Panama. Rou: Romania.

48A. Cup-shaped breakfast fare : BRAN MUFFIN. Bra: Brazil. Fin: Finland.

77A. Basil-based topper : PESTO SAUCE. Est: Estonia. Sau: Saudi Arabia.

85A. Honey-coated dish : GLAZED CHICKEN. Aze: Azerbaijan. Ken: Kenya.

103A. Tangy confection : PEPPERMINT CANDY. Per: Peru. Can: Canada.

16D. It's milder than yellowfin : ALBACORE TUNA. Alb: Albania. Tun: Tunisia.

58D. Some links : SWEET SAUSAGE. Swe: Sweden. USA, not AUSA, the first A is for the crossing Aze. John probably could not find a better phrase where all the embedded codes are isolated.

54D. Country __: used by the org. in 65-Across, there are 16 circled in this puzzle : CODES.

65A. Oct. 24, every year : UN DAY. Today.

Great central placements of the odd number lettered CODES & UN DAY.

Some of the codes are not familiar to me. Had to check Wikipedia NATO country code. So has trigram replaced digram or both are in use?

I can''t imagine the amount of research John did for this puzzle. We all can pick a few phrases which contains 2 different country codes. But to pick 8 with no repeat and to make the grid work is daunting.

As usual, no cheater square, only one letter Q away from a pangram. Lots of fun & witty clues, many clechos (highlighted in green) as well.

Across:

1. Breakfast-on-the-run choice : BAGEL

6. On the way : SENT. Mails.

10. Competed in a triathlon : SWAM

14. Moves with the music : SWAYS

19. Building on a 1936 centennial stamp : ALAMO. Was unaware of the trivia.

20. Speed : PACE

21. Plane starter? : AERO. As in aeroplane. And the real PILOT (22. Plane starter).

26. Ready to bloom : IN BUD

27. Shout : YELL

28. One-named Irish singer : ENYA. Bono too.

29. Its formula includes a plus or minus : ION. Because it can be both positive and negative?

30. Mattress giant : SERTA. Sealy is 5-letter as well.

32. Archimedes' shout : EUREKA

34. They may be behind pictures : SAFES. Wall safes are often hidden behind pictures.

36. People in trees, perhaps : NIECES. Family trees.

39. So-called autobiographer of "Before You Leap" : KERMIT. Here's the book cover. I thought the author is a real person

43. Dvorák contemporary : GRIEG (Edvard). Norwegian composer. Of "Peer Gynt Suite" fame.

44. Aegean region where an architectural order began : IONIA. Oh, no wonder the name.

46. False-sounding soap components : LYES

47. Tech sch. near Albany : RPI. Hey, Spitzboov!

50. Prying tool : LEVER

52. Glassmaker's oven : LEHR. Pronounced like "leer". New word to me.

53. Holes a gimme : TAPS IN. No yip.

54. Made 7 into 343, say : CUBED. "Made 1 into 1" could be tricky.

55. __-Rooter : ROTO

56. Rm. coolers : ACs

59. One of two in a Frost poem : ROAD. "The Road Not Taken".

60. Ping maker : SONAR. Dennis said "when a ship or submarine sends out a sonar signal, it's a PING. I was lost. Could only picture Ping golf clubs.

61. Bolt down : SECURE. Crossing EAT (62D. Bolt down). Great clechos.

63. Herder's equine : COWPONY. Another new word for me.

66. Waxy-flowered plant : BEGONIA

67. Louisiana language : CREOLE

68. Bygone news medium : CRIER

69. Lewd look : LEER

70. Do one's part : ACT

71. Take-out order? : DELE. Editing "take-out".

72. Crabber and cutter : BOATS. Dictionary says crabber is a boat used in catching crabs.

73. Court clown : JESTER. And 83. __ clown : CLASS.

75. Partner of starts : FITS. Fits and starts.

76. Heavy hammers : MAULS

81. Gp. from which Cuba was suspended from 1962 to 2009 : OAS. Ha ha. I knew this fact.

82. Phone call : RING

84. Cranial recess : SINUS

89. Streetcar name? : DESIRE. "A Streetcar Named Desire".

90. Rocketeer gear : G-SUITS

91. Netlike hair wear : SNOOD. Learned from doing Xword.

92. Tiny sandwich : SLIDER

94. Ill will : SPITE

96. Early riser? : SUN. Lovely clue.

97. Jubilance : GLEE

98. Hip : COOL. And 87. Hip location? : IN SPOT. Where the hip crowd are.

101. Jumped : LEAPT

107. Heavenly body? : ANGEL

108. One with many fans : IDOL

109. Say no to : DENY

110. '60s protest : LIE-IN. Like what John Lennon and Yoko Ono did.

111. Name on a mower : DEERE

112. Puppylike : CUTE. And 113. "Puppy Love" singer : ANKA (Paul).

114. List in the back : INDEX

Down:

1. Labor day output? : BABY. Great clue. Also 4D. Compensation for labor : EMOLUMENT. Another new word for me.

2. Soothing balm : ALOE

3. Shopping mecca : GALLERIA

5. Turtle's basking spot : LOG. Vivid image.

6. Punish, in a way : SPANK

7. Hardly a tough course : EASY A

8. Sweet Sixteen org. : NCAA

9. Pin in the back : TEN. Bowling pin.

10. Prune : SAW OFF

11. "Mad Men" creator Matthew : WEINER. No idea. Any "Mad Men" fans?

12. Episodic story line : ARC

13. Mineralogist with a scale : MOHS. Hardness scale. And 89D. You probably need a scale to tell if it's working : DIET.

14. Apparitions : SPIRITS

15. Concerto in Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" : WINTER. Needed crossing help.

17. Word said while pointing : YOU

18. Not irr. : STD (Standard)

24. First hair remover to be marketed in cream form : NEET. ENYA prevented me from penning in NAIR.

25. Roman goddess of the hunt : DIANA. Artemis in Greek.

31. Rear-__ : ENDER

33. Tediously detailed process : RIGMAROLE. Mainic likes to use this word.

34. Three-time All-Star pitcher Johnny who threw the first major league pitch to Jackie Robinson : SAIN. Interesting trivia. I knew his name only from the poem "First we'll use Spahn/then we'll use Sain/Then an off day/followed by rain...".

35. Dinnerware : SILVER

37. Deliriously happy : EUPHORIC

38. Recipe instruction : STIR

39. CIA rival, once : KGB. Putin was a KGB.

40. Lose money on "Jeopardy!" : ERR

41. Nabokov novel : PNIN. Also learned from doing Xword.

42. Looked at : EYED

44. "Suppose ..." : IF SAY

45. "The Wizard __" : OF ID. Comic strip "The Wizard of ID". I've learned not to recklessly put in OF OZ.

49. Barely winning : UP ONE.

50. Like some eclipses : LUNAR

51. 24/7 auction site : EBAY

52. Crackers : LOCO. Another great clue.

55. Backslid : REGRESSED

56. Blue Devils' gp. : ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference). Blue Devils is Duke's sports team.

57. Liqueurs : CORDIALS. Oh, new meaning of cordial to me.

60. Piques : SNITS

61. Take care of : SEE TO

64. D.C. insiders : POLS

65. River to the Caspian : URAL

66. Defeats : BESTS

68. Hacks : COUGHS. Hack has so many meanings.

69. On sale, say : LESS

72. Judicial seat : BANC. Literally "bench" in French.

73. Author Auel : JEAN

74. Run riot : RAISE CAIN. Not many multi-word today.

75. Verne's traveler : FOGG. Phileas Fogg. "Around the World in Eighty Days". I can never remember his name.

76. Heart : MIDST

77. Appealed : PLED

78. Having a pressing need? : UNIRONED. Nice clue.

79. Contemptible one : CUR

80. Peking add-on : ESE. Pekingese.

82. Do an editor's task, perhaps : RE-TITLE. Rich does re-title some of the Sunday puzzles.

83. Unisex designer cologne : CK ONE. Sparkling fill.

86. It may be under a fly : ZIPPER

88. Link : COUPLE. Both verbs.

92. Move furtively : SLINK

93. Singer of many Weill songs : LENYA

95. "Paradise Lost," e.g. : EPIC. Did you want POEM?

97. Racketeer busters : G-MEN

99. Slobbering comics dog : ODIE

100. Forest cat : LYNX. Hey, dog and cat, consecutively.

101. Little shaver : LAD

102. 67.5 deg. : ENE. This kind of clue often confuses me.

104. Campus URL ending : EDU

105. Old vitamin bottle abbr. : RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances). Now it's RDI (Recommended Daily Intake).

106. Caesar's 151 : CLI

Answer grid.

C.C.