Sep 25, 2011

Sunday September 25, 2011 Jeffrey Lease

Theme: It's a Surprise -IT is inserted into each common phrase.

23A. Stakeout? : SITTING OPERATION. Sting operation.

28A. "May I cut in?" speaker? : POLITE DANCER. Pole dancer.

47A. Part of an excavated skeleton? : ARCHAEOLOGICAL DIGIT. Archaeological dig.

62A. Voracious vampire's mantra? : BITE ALL THAT YOU CAN BITE. Be all that you can be. Surprise! Surprise! Fun clue too.

77A. Pot with limited seafood portions? : A FINITE KETTLE OF FISH. A fine kettle of fish.

100A. Unaffected horse movements? : NATURAL GAITS. Natural gas.

106A. One pirating Springsteen CDs? : THE E STREET BANDIT. The E Street Band.

Surprise indeed. I grokked the theme only after BITE ALL THAT YOU CAN BITE. You?

Would you be happy if the puzzle title is just "See 79 Down?"? ("Unhelpful response to "How did you do that?": IT'S MAGIC.)

We don't often see overlapping theme entries on Sundays. They tend to bring out undesirable fill (3-letter abbreviations, prefixes, etc). But terrific result today. Overlapping happens when there are heavy themage to consider, as in many Merl Reagle puzzles. We have 7 entries in this grid, a total 115 squares, 5 of which are very very long. Easier to move around when theme answers are 8, 9, or 10 letters in length.


1. Jason's ship : ARGO. Nice start to Lemonade.

5. One often found by a king or queen : BISHOP. Oh, chess then.

11. Ventriloquist Dunham : JEFF. Fun clip.

15. Exam with a Writing Skills section, briefly : PSAT

19. Spotted : SEEN

20. Using Wi-Fi : ONLINE. 104. 20-Across letters : EMAILS.

21. Morlock prey : ELOI. From "The Time Machine".

22. __ account: never : ON NO

26. Start over : RE-DO

27. Mad : INSANE

30. Runs slowly (through) : SEEPS

31. Called : PHONED

33. Looked lecherously : LEERED

35. NY subway line past Yankee Stadium : IRT (Interborough Rapid Transit)

36. Laudatory words : PRAISE

38. Letters on some tubes : ADA (American Dental Association). Toothpaste tubes.

41. Justice since 2006 : ALITO (Samuel). Right!

42. Papa Smurf feature : BEARD

43. Cell phone feature : CAMERA

46. Con : ANTI

51. Baker's dozens, maybe : DONUTS. "Sweet ring" for DONUT yesterday.

53. Brand promoted by Michael Jordan : HANES

54. "Mission: Impossible" actress : BAIN (Barbara)

55. Fix, in a way : EDIT

56. Blue Moon maker : COORS. Not familiar with Blue Moon brand. Do you know what's the most popular beer brand in the world?

58. Chihuahua child : NINO

59. Baseball's Bando : SAL. He has 3 World Series rings. With the A's.

68. Four O'Clock is a brand of it : TEA. Again, not familiar with the tea brand. I only drink loose tea.

69. Rail family bird : COOT

70. Cigna competitor : AETNA. Insurance.

71. 62, to Augustus : LXII

72. "I just don't know why they're shooting __": Hawkeye Pierce : AT US

73. __ Park, Calif. : MENLO

75. One-named folk singer : ODETTA. The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement", a la Wiki.

83. Big name in apple products : MOTT. In love with Zestar lately.

84. Spacious accommodations : SUITES

85. Grain holders : SILOS. The restrooms are inside two silos in the flea market we haunt on Sundays.

86. By land __ : OR SEA

88. Sch. group : PTA

89. Community standout : PILLAR

91. Improved partner? : NEW. New and improved.

94. Like many old movies : REMADE. Bill G likes the originals.

96. Prodigy : PHENOM

98. Unaccompanied : ALONE

105. Blow a fuse : RAGE

109. Dubai bigwig : EMIR

110. Singer in a Salinger story : ESME. Salinger's "For Esme – with Love and Squalor"

111. Pestle go-with : MORTAR

112. Ricky portrayer : DESI (Arnaz). Of "I Love Lucy".

113. They're big on bodybuilders : PECs

114. Long bath : SOAK

115. Matador's opponent : EL TORO. The bull.

116. Fill fully : SATE


1. Birthplace of St. Francis : ASSISI

2. "This is Spinal Tap" director : REINER (Rob).

3. Shout shortly before a race : GET SET. Go!

4. Available : ON TAP

5. Radius, e.g. : BONE

6. Gerund letters : ING

7. Cal Poly's city, initially : SLO (San Luis Obispo). Stumped me.

8. "Hungry Hungry" game critters : HIPPOS

9. Common World Cup score : ONE ONE

10. Hostess Mesta : PERLE. "Call Me Madam."

11. Singer with The Blackhearts : JETT (Joan)

12. Nobelist Wiesel : ELIE

13. Grub : FOOD

14. Grade component : FINAL

15. Doll or vase material : PORCELAIN. Nice entry.

16. Scornful behavior : SNEERING

17. Racing family name : ANDRETTI (Mario). EddyB is nuts about racing.

18. Also : TOO

24. Look over closely : INSPECT. Well, Splynter is going to be a Home Inspector. Not really a surprise!

25. Financial __ : AID

29. Grant gp. : NEA

31. Normal lead-in? : PARA. Paranormal.

32. Pelt : HIDE

34. "I dare you!" : DO IT

37. Stadium cries : RAHS

38. Friends abroad : AMIs. In France/Belgium, e.g.

39. Present time?: Abbr. : DEC. Present = Gift. Sweet clue.

40. Coffee bean variety : ARABICA. I like this answer too.

42. Hulking sort : BRUTE

43. Pi and others : CONSTANTS. 3.1415926 is all I can remember. How many digits can you go?

44. Bartender's concern : AGE

45. Rod Stewart's ex : ALANA

47. "Hotel du Lac" author Brookner : ANITA. No idea. The book won Booker Prize in 1984.

48. "I know! I know!" : OH OH

49. Fictional archaeologist Croft : LARA. No "Moneyball" for me. Loyal Aniston fan.

50. "My Heart Will Go On" singer : DION (Celine).

51. It may lead to bankruptcy : DEBT

52. Garfield foil : ODIE

56. Macro lens shot : CLOSE-UP

57. Polo Grounds legend : OTT (Mel)

58. Sister : NUN

59. Like F or zeta : SIXTH

60. Words after keep or have : AT IT

61. Princess from Alderaan : LEIA. "Star Wars".

63. Play starter : ACT I

64. Dolts : LOUTS

65. Whisper's opposite : YELL

66. Plains native : OTOE

67. Hallow : BLESS

72. Colonial enemies? : ANTEATERS. Very clever clue.

73. Prefix with physics : META

74. Saison avant l'automne : ETE. Saison avant l'automne = Season before autumn.

75. "Man __ Mancha" : OF LA

76. Historical display : DIORAMA. In 3-D.

77. Latin love : AMOR

78. Peter, Paul or Mary : FORENAME. Another good clue.

80. Survival __ : KIT

81. European capital : OSLO

82. Festival entry : FILM

87. Ghanian-born soccer great : ADU (Freddie). Doesn't really live up to the hype.

89. Fuel for a lorry : PETROL

90. Previously missing letter, e.g. : INSERT

91. [Shrug] : NO IDEA

92. Sign up : ENLIST

93. White terrier, informally : WESTIE

95. Some Deco works : ERTEs

96. Dads : PAs

97. Casino request : HIT ME

99. Alights : LANDS

101. Facetious "Of course" : AH SO

102. Champagne Tony of '60s golf : LEMA

103. Nerd : GEEK

104. Spain's longest river : EBRO

105. Agent : REP

107. WWII arena : ETO (European Theater of Operations)

108. La Brea goo : TAR. La Brea Tar Pits.

Answer grid.



Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - What C.C. said.

SLO and ADA left me saying WTF, but I thought this grid was impressive. Liked the double BITE fill, you don't see that every day.


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Took me awhile to slog through this one, but it was worth it in the end. It took me entirely too long to figure out the theme (for awhile, I was thinking it was replacing E with ITE instead of just generally adding IT -- I guess I should have paid attention to the title).

Two especially hard spots. The first was the crossing of ODETTA (who?) and SIXTH (totally obscure clue). The second was down in the SW where FORENAME and REMADE lurked in the shadows and refused to come out into the light for the longest time.

And, yeah, I had no idea what SLO referred to, even after getting it via the perps. I did, however, figure out what ADA meant. After getting it via the perps, of course, but still...

HeartRx said...

Good Morning C.C. et al.

I thought this was a sold theme, with fun base entries. POLE DANCER becomes POLITE, and we DIG up a DIGIT…

Ok, so I had a couple of nits with this one. First, the clue for Lara Croft had the word “archaeologist”, and one of the theme entries had ARCHAEOLOGICAL in it. Second, DO IT, AT IT and IT’S MAGIC all included the theme word “it”.

I didn’t know B_IN, which crossed with the unknown AL_NA. So it was a total WAG to finish.

But overall, an enjoyable Sunday offering!

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, C.C. and friends. This puzzle will not make it into my top-ten favorites, but it was okay. I, too, figured out the theme after filling in BITE ALL THAT YOU CAN BITE.

I didn't have any favorite clues today, but I do have a jar of MOTT's apple sauce in my fridge.

On this date in 1981, Sandra Day O'Connor became the first woman to hold the office of Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Lemonade714 said...

Hey all:

A truly fun puzzle, with the double "it" in the central clue a really nice touch. It did include some more difficult clues for a Sunday, but I find Sundays always a slog because they are so big. Sundays are meant to be done slowly, hopefully shared with someone.

Your beer question is tricky because the single largest brand is SNOW BEER which is sold only in China. It is owned by the new beer mega company MillerCoors, just like Blue Moon, which was developed by Coors when Sam Adams became so popular. Coors did not want to emphasize they were making Blue Moon to give the appearance of it being a craft beer.

okay, no more...

Argyle said...

NEWS FLASH: Subatomic particles, called neutrinos, have been found to be traveling faster than the speed of light.

This means science fiction writers everywhere are converting their space ships to Neutrino Drive.

Lemonade714 said...

I used to love watching Martin Landau and BARBARA BAIN on Mission Impossible,

Alana Collins Hamilton Stewart not only was married to Rod Stewart, but her first husband was the incomparable tanned man, George Hamilton. They hosted a talk show together long after her divorce from both men.

Anonymous said...

Am I dense in not knowing what 'sixth' has to do with F or zeta?

Argyle said...

The SIXTH letter in the English and Greek alphabet.

Husker Gary said...

Theme came early with SITTING… and made for a great time. ANTEATER (oh, that colony) and FORENAME (no saints or folksingers) held up SW but I did “git ‘er done”! Thanks Jeff!

-Carrie Hefernan was a lousy pole dancer!
-BITE… was my fav
-I wanted Marcels for Blue Moon
-apple – small a negated iMac
-C.C., are the restrooms on top of the silos?
-Old movies are my passion as well! They are a time capsule for bygone days
-Steve Chilcott was a PHENOM who never made it to the major leagues and was drafted number one before a guy named Reggie Jackson!
-St. Francis’s cathedral on the top of a huge bluff in Assisi has a breath taking view of Umbria!
-Almost put ZONE for Radius
-Dem Hippos is noisy!
-Other math heads think of IRRATIONAL for π?
-Mel gets a lot of playing time here as he did in Coogan’s Bluff

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning, C.C. and Sunday Solvers all.

Like most of you, I got the theme with the Vampire BITE and went looking for places to stuff IT. I considered IT'S MAGIC to be sort of a bonus and an alternate title, too, C.C. 'Tis a FINE KETTLE OF FISH Jeffery has cooked up today. I see he couldn't resist signing the puzzle.

HeartRx, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one that had to wag the cross of AL_NA and B_IN. The extra ITs didn't bother me, but I did wonder if archeologist was bending the usual prohibition of a word appearing as both a clue and an entry. There are so many other ways to clue LARA that the similarity could easily have been avoided.

SLO just emerged by itself. I wasn't sure if it was an airport code or the initials of San Luis Obispo or something else, but the perps were solid so it stayed.

Lots to like and little to not like in this one. Thanks for a fun hour, Jeff.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Husker Gary,
This is the silo toilet picture. They use well water inside. Very cold.

eddyB said...


Jill drove down to SLO last Sunday
for an early Monday meeting.

Used to watch Mario drive on the 1/2 mile dirt tracks in PA.
Andretti Autosports is joining Penske and using the new Chevy
engine next year.

Where oh where is the story?


Husker Gary said...

Two of the most disparate links ever!

View from the Basilica of St. Francis in the State of Umbria in central Italy

Carrie’s bad pole dancing

Off to Lincoln for 9 year old soccer!

Husker Gary said...

C.C., What a fun picture! Silos around here are usually over 50 feet tall and I wondered how the space was, uh, allocated in the ones you frequent!


Hahtoolah said...

(44-D) Bartender's Concern = AGE. I was carded just last week and I am just a tad over the age of majority. Well, if nothing else, it was a boost to the ego and guaranteed a good tip.

Lucina said...

Hello, Sunday Solvers. Thank you, C.C. for explaining the theme. I saw the "it" but it didn't register. Need more PETROL in the form of ARABICA coffee.

PRAISE for this Sunday puzzle, not too easy and not too hard, just right.

SLO, San Luis Obispo popped right out and ironically, OBISPO means BISHOP and crosses SLO. Very nice.

I guess we of a certain age remember Barbara BAIN in Mission Impossible and ALANA Stewart and George Hamilton's talk show. Thanks for the clips, Lemonade.

Though I never read For ESME with Love and Squalor, puzzles keep me acquainted. I'll keep it in my KIT for future use, too.

Amazingly I've heard of both SAL Bando and ADU. We have a sportscaster on the 10 o'clock news who is so enthusiastic he could make me like sports and I often recall his remarks about some teams and players.

Thanks, JEFF, for a lovely puzzle.

Have a fantastic Sunday, everyone!

Lucina said...

As an aside, I finished yesterday's puzzle very late last night, read the commentary and posts. I found it really hard and my bane is having to search on Google for unknown proper names.

Fun to have a theme on a Saturday, though.

My sister, visiting from Charlotte, and I went to the Museum of Instruments. What an amazing collection of instruments from the entire world! It's a huge museum.

Jazz, I believe you would love it as would all you music lovers at all levels.

Bill G. said...

Hi everybody! I enjoyed the puzzle. I got the theme early on and it certainly helped with the solving. I especially liked "Often found by a king or a queen"/BISHOP in chess.

Since Pi goes on forever with no repeating pattern, you can eventually find any number in it; like your phone number for instance. Go to Pi query and type in your seven-digit phone number and it will tell you where it can be found in pi. It will work with other numbers too but if the number is too long (more than eight digits), it probably won't occur in the first ten million digits of pi.

Spitzboov said...

Good Morning C.C. and all.

Not real difficult for a Sunday, but did find myself with a lot of empty spaces in the upper half at the early stages. Worked it back from the bottom and completed without incident. No searches needed. WAGS included LARA and PARA. Liked the clue for ANTEATERS. Not much else to comment on that hasn't already been commented on.

JHeaton - Thanks for the reminder about Atka (late yesterday).

Enjoy the day. Going to be 81º here today. Fine early Fall day.

HeartRx said...

Bill G., interesting link to the pi page - I found my phone number around 6.7 million!!

BTW, did you take the picture in your new avatar? It looks like a ladybug on a squash blossom, I think? Very pretty!

Bill G. said...

Marti, I'm glad you found it interesting. I never know who will think what when I post a link that I found interesting. I found my phone number at about 1.6 million digits. BTW, if you click "Find again", it will find a second occurrence of your phone number, etc.

I took the photo in my backyard a few years back. I think it was a ladybus on an about-to-blooom ranunculus.

I really enjoyed the last segment on Sunday Morning called "Father of the Bride." It brought back all kinds of memories.

Lucina said...

You go, girl!

Bill G:
I like your ladybug, too. That is the theme in my baby granddaughter's room.

eddyB said...

Yea! Another win for the Lions.

CC forgot about hockey. Sharks at Vancouver tonight. 6PM PT

Abejo said...

Good evening, folks. I did like this puzzle. Thank you Jeff. Thank you, C.C. For the write-up.

As usual, I bounced around a bit. Caught the theme early. That was a big help. The E STREET BANDIT was my first find. The st came easily.

As far as BLUE MOON beer, I had one, once, and never had another. I do not care for it a bit. My favorite is Sam Adams Black Lager. Outstanding! My second favorite is Yuengling, from Pennsylvania. Outstanding, as well. I am currently in Pennsylvania and have had several Yuenglings.

Tony LEMA seems to be appearing a lot lately in puzzles. That is OK. He was a good guy.

96A PHENOM means nothing to me. Got it with perps. Any help?

Saturday's puzzle was a bear. Finished it late last night, after a few Yuenglings.

See you tomorrow.


Avg Joe said...

Since favorite beer seems to be a topic today, I'll add my two favorites. Tsing Tao (pronounced Ching Tao)and Smithwicks (pronounced Schmitticks). The first is Chinese, the second is from Guinness. Both are hearty, but not overpowering brews that remind you why beer is brewed in the first place.

With that, I'll add the disclaimer that I usually drink cheap beer. This is because I' My normal choice of beverage is Milwaukee's Worst. Hey, you can have taste while being tasteless...can't you?

Anonymous said...

Abejo: There was a movie called "Phenom" about the trials and tribulations of a very gifted young man.

Anonymous said...

three cheers for a family owned good marketed beer- alaska amber from juneau.

Lucina said...

I believe PHENOM is short for phenomenon.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Evening All, No puzzle today, but I am looking over all the comments. As always, even when they aren't about the CW, all posts are interesting and often amusing.

Bill G. fun PI link. My granddaughter looked up all family birthdays. Most of them were somewhere in the 15 or 16 millionth digits.

Avg Joe, I like Tsing Tao beer too. GAH and I ate at our favorite Chinese restaurant last night. We were on our way to see the National Acrobats of China troupe and were making it a theme evening. I had to have a Tsing Tao at dinner. I like it because it isn't too fizzy. BTW, is that pronounced Ching Tao" or "Ching Dao"? What does C.C. say?

Oh yes, the acrobats were amazing. We had seen a similar show when we were in Shanghai, but we couldn't get tired of such talent, strength, flexibility and steady nerves....and GAH was charmed by the lovely ladies!