, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: November 2011


Nov 30, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 David Poole

Theme: MONKEY BUSINESS. Since it's actually a double theme, I'll also go with APE IN THE MIDDLE. Second things first: The four longest answers each contain the hidden word APE, split between the first and last names of a real or fictional woman, consistently parsed as -A PE-.

18 A. Early Mary Tyler Moore role : LAURA PETRIE. Fictional Woman - Mrs. Rob PETRIE was a real dish on a favorite TV show from the distant past.

54 A. She played Carla Tortelli on "Cheers" : RHEA PERLMAN. Real Woman. You'd have to be, to be married to Danny Divito.

3 D. She played Nicole Chapman on "Fame" : NIA PEEPLES. Real Woman, who I've never heard of. Cute.

28 D. 1996 Madonna role : EVITA PERON. Real woman, fictionalized. Wow. Has it been 15 years?!?

Plus the extended unifier:

4 A. With 36- and 62-Across, kids' ball game, and something this puzzle's four longest answers have in common : MONKEY

36 A. See 4-Across : IN THE

62 A. See 4-Across : MIDDLE. In my neighborhood, we had a failure of imagination, and just called this often cruel game "keep-away."

Hi gang, it's Jazzbumpa, reporting from somewhere in APE country. Now, this dual theme is tight, cute, clever, and original. High marks for every bit of that. The only problem is that it's dead wrong! And thereby hangs a tail, so to speak. With that hint, I'll reveal why at the end, (which is sort of another hint, come to think of it.)

Let's see what other kinds of MONKEY BUSINESS we can uncover in APE country. Onward!


1. Trespass : SIN. I've heard these words used interchangeably in different versions of The Lord's Prayer.

10. Collar or jacket : ETON. The collar extends over the lapels of a jacket. Would these be worn together in an ensemble?

14. TNT element? : TRI. If all else fails, TRI-nitrotoluene. Here, breaking the word, rather than a molecule, into elements. Chemists love these run-on words.

15. Ring of color : AREOLA. An old favorite here at the corner.

16. Powerful TV princess : XENA. TV series from 1995 to 2001.

17. One of the Gershwins : IRA. George wrote the music, IRA wrote the lyrics.

20. Puts in a fresh pot : REPLANTS. RE-ANTES is a letter short.

22. Habeas corpus et al. : WRITS. Formal written orders from a judge or body with legal jurisdiction. Other examples are warrants and subpoenas.

23. Name of three presidents : GEORGE. Is it ironic that the first President George (Washington) led the fight for independence against King George III?

24. Noodle product? : IDEA. How long did you have to noodle this clue?

26. Glacial ridge : ESKER. I can never remember this word. Sounds Nordic.

27. Horticulturist's hangout : NURSERY. Full of potted plants. Or pot plants.

31. Happy co-worker? : DOPEY. Hi-Ho, I got this one right off. Disney Dwarfs.

33. Some TV screens : LCDS. Liquid Crystal Displays. Are TV and LCD still considered to be abrvs?

34. Go for, as a prize : VIE. Somehow, though, "VIE for it," never quite made it into the vernacular.

35. Hogwarts messengers : OWLS. From Harry Potter. In A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, they use ravens.

38. Tower city : PISA. Famous Italian landmark.

39. Bolo, for one : TIE. Neck wear - a western style string tie.

40. Nudge : PROD. I've heard of a gentle nudge. Gentle PROD seems a bit oxymoronic.

41. "I'm outta here!" : LATER. Alternative good-byes. Nope, can't say that just yet. Gotta do all those downs.

42. Meeting of Congress : SESSION. "Obstruction" has too many letters.

44. "Les Girls" actress Elg : TAINA. A Finnish actress. Here, you can see her, from teenager to octogenarian.

46. Latin word on a cornerstone : ANNO. A year in old Rome.

47. Getaway : ESCAPE. Either word can mean "get out of a bad situation," or "take a small vacation."

49. Ionian Sea island : CORFU. Dramatic.

52. Place for a bargain? : BASEMENT. That's a bit of retro language from department store days. Now it's all big box stores.

57. Genetic carrier : RNA. It goes DNA --> RNA --> protein.

58. Arena level : TIER

59. 2009 Ruben Studdard album : LOVE IS. Here he is, in some pretty good company.

60. Held by us : OUR. Plural possessive personal pronoun.

61. Numbers for one : SOLI. The plural of solo. This is also used to designate an orchestra section playing in unison or close parallel harmony.

63. Little thing to pick : NIT. There sure are a lot of female names in this puzzle.


1. Recipe direction : STIR. Drink recipe direction: Shake, don't stir.

2. Discount rack abbr. : IRREG. Irregular, i.e. containing some small flaw, like a Navajo Rug.

4. Trivia game that involves bluffing : MALARKY. Never heard of it.

5. Autumn color : ORANGE. Yellow also fit, in more ways than one.

6. Neither masculine nor feminine : NEUTER. I wanted DISENGENDERED.

7. Fashion designer Michael : KORS. Looks smug.

8. She, in São Paulo : ELA. Singular female pronoun.

9. Jabber : YAP. Lip flapping.

10. Cast-of-thousands actors : EXTRAS. Don't look for them in the credits.

11. Actress Hatcher : TERI. This Lois Lane portrayer was born on my 18th birthday.

12. "Don't count __!" : ON IT. An expression of skepticism or denial.

13. Rob Roy refusals : NAES Scottish expressions of skepticism or denial.

19. Washstand vessels : EWERS. Water pitchers.

21. Gets the consolation prize : LOSES. The winner gets the real prize.

24. Creep : INCH. Here, both "Creep" and "INCH" are verbs.

25. Snappy dresser : DUDE.

29. Increase : RISE.

30. Wine bottle datum : YEAR. Or ANNUM, if it's really old wine

31. Colon's pair : DOTS. Better than polyps, I suppose. No, wait, this is punctuation: ":".

32. Abrasion, to a tot : OWIE. I hurted myself.

33. Inc. abroad : LTD. Limited. In either case the owners have limited legal liability.

36. Golfer's selection : IRON. Some would choose a wood.

37. Thing to avoid : NO-NO. Or you might get an OWIE.

38. 2011 TV show with multiple pilots : PAN AM. Never saw it.

40. Calendar girl : PIN UP. This seems to be a common PIN UP pose.

41. Traffic cop's request : LICENSE. Along with vehicle registration and proof of insurance. Or so I've been told . . .

43. Jungle journey : SAFARI. A trek through APE country, maybe.

44. Working (with) : TEAMED. Snow White teamed with Happy and Dopey.

45. Lash out at : ASSAIL. The witch ASSAILED Snow White.

48. World-weariness : ENNUI. Boredom. Pronounced "ahn-wee." Must be French

49. PC monitors : CRTS. Cathode Ray Tubes. No so much, any more.

50. River formed at Pittsburgh : OHIO. The Allegheny and Monongahela rivers combine to form the beautiful OHIO.

51. Lively dance : REEL. It's a real lively dance.

52. L.A.'s Sunset, e.g. : BLVD. Strip doesn't fit, and an abrv. is called for.

53. Bakery offering : TART. Have any of you guys ever picked up a TART at a bakery?

55. Stately tree : ELM. Not so much, any more.

56. Louis XIV, par exemple : ROI. A French King, in French.

Answer grid.

If my hints didn't totally give it away, here's the scoop. An APE would be insulted if you called it a MONKEY. "W­ithin the suborder of anthropoids, primates are grouped into monkeys, apes and hominids. The easiest way to distinguish monkeys from the other anthropoids is to look for a tail. Most monkey species have tails, but no apes or hominids do." There are also many other differences.

This is a pretty big mistake, but I wouldn't go APE over it. I'm outta here.



Nov 29, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 Kelly Clark

Theme: Fun for the Whole Family - A few words and phrases that start with a bowling term and the unusual placement of the unifier at 1-Across

1A . Postseason gridiron game, and a hint to the puzzle theme found in starred answers : BOWL

17A. *Sign of a typing mistake : STRIKEOVER

25A. *Indigent's request : "SPARE CHANGE?"

38A. *Wizard's game in the rock opera "Tommy" : PINBALL. Both parts of this entry would work.

53A. *Street urchin : GUTTERSNIPE

62A. *Chain for plus-size women's fashion : LANE BRYANT

Argyle here but it should be Boomer; it's right up his alley. Also, an unusual grid with triple eights and sixes down the sides. I didn't find a few entries until my write-up but still it was harder then Monday's puzzle, IMO.


5. Baseball card brand : TOPPS

10. Young men : LADS

14. Tiny battery : AAAA
15. Well-honed : SHARP

16. Vicinity : AREA

19. Dogpatch possessive : HIS'N

20. Country singer Gibbs : TERRI. Somebody's Knocking".(2:42)

21. Ostrich cousins : EMUs

23. Quick swim : DIP. but 31A. Not a good area for nonswimmers : DEEP END

24. Before, before : ERE

29. Nine-digit ID : SSN

30. Ready : SET

32. Rehab woes, briefly : DTs

34. Also-ran : LOSER

35. Little demon : IMP

41. B'way sellout sign : SRO

42. Shearer of "The Red Shoes" : MOIRA. The Red Shoes (1948) is a British feature film about a ballet dancer. Image.

44. ID checker's concern : AGE

45. An original Mouseketeer : ANNETTE

48. Séance sound : RAP

50. Make a choice : OPT

55. "To Kill a Mockingbird" author Harper __ : LEE

56. AOL chats : IMs. Instant Messaging (IM).

57. California wine valley : NAPA

58. Church chorus : AMENS

60. Playwright Simon : NEIL. Barefoot in the Park (1963), Brighton Beach Memoirs (1983), The Goodbye Girl (1993).

65. Automaker Ferrari : ENZO
66. "What's in __?": Juliet : A NAME

67. Orchard grower : TREE

68. Fret : STEW

69. Pert : SASSY

70. Murderous Stevenson character : HYDE. Psst, it's really Dr. Jekyll.


1. Moistens in the pan : BASTES

2. Many John Wayne movies : OATERS. Westerns.

3. President Harding : WARREN. Here's your shout out, Warren.

4. Lion's den : LAIR

5. Taoist Lao-__ : TSE

6. "Well, lookee here!" : "O HO!"

7. Road repair worker : PAVER

8. Future doc's undergrad concentration : PREMED

9. Smarten (up) : SPRUCE

10. "Well, __-di-dah!" : LAH

11. Desert feature : ARIDNESS

12. Fashion world VIP : DESIGNER

13. Los Angeles bay named for an apostle : SAN PEDRO

18. Smooch : KISS

22. Turtle's protection : SHELL

26. Salon service often paired with a mani : PEDI. Cure for bad nails.

27. Memo-routing abbr. : ATTN.

28. GI's address : APO. Army Post Office or Air Force Post Office, while Navy and Marine Corps use FPO (Fleet Post Office).

33. Entrepreneur-aiding org. : SBA. Small Business Administration.

35. Makes believe : IMAGINEs

36. Memorial structure : MONUMENT

37. Peewee : PINT-SIZE

38. Eucharistic plate : PATEN. Usually of gold or silver, it is used to hold the host during the celebration of the Eucharist. I haven't seen it in a puzzle lately but has been common in the past.

39. Farming prefix : AGRI

40. "Look before you __" : LEAP

43. On a pension: Abbr. : RET.

46. Sung syllables : TRA LAs

47. Francia neighbor : ESPANA

49. Bartlett or Bosc : PEAR

50. Chicago Fire Mrs. : O'LEARY. Her cow is alleged to have started the fire but I think it was a scapegoat

51. In a sty, say : PENNED

52. Exam taker : TESTEE. Go ahead; take a shot.

54. Family matriarchs : NANAs. Just ask grandma if you don't believe it.

59. Fable : MYTH

61. Sad : LOW

63. 911 response initials : EMS. Emergency Medical Services.

64. Ottoman governor : BEY. The last of the Thursday words on Tuesday.


Nov 28, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011 Jeff Chen

Theme: Mr. T on A-Team - Two long themes(14), two short(9) and one(7) in the middle. The "B.A." on the A-Team stood for...Bosco A. Baracus but pity the fool who called him Bosco.

20A. Ted Williams had a .344 lifetime one : BATTING AVERAGE

28A. Site of many a shady transaction : BACK ALLEY

39A. Boo-boo protector : BAND-AID

48A. Bullet-proof vest, e.g. : BODY ARMOR

55A. Common college degree, whose abbreviation is a hint to 20-, 28-, 39- and 48-Across : BACHELOR OF ARTS

Argyle here today. It must have been tough to create such an easy solve. Bravo, Jeff.


1. Baby bovine : CALF

5. At the drop of __ : A HAT

9. Ice cream brand that's "Grand" : EDY'S. Their Cookies 'N Cream do not mention OREO's by name.

13. Ice cream-and-cookies brand : OREO. Oreo Ice Cream is licensed by Breyers, Good Humor, and Klondike in the US, and Nestlé in Canada.

14. "The Thinker" sculptor : RODIN. Thinking about cookies.

16. Fat unit : GRAM

17. Tailless cat : MANX

18. Steak option : T-BONE. cooked 59D. Steak order : RARE

19. Hereditary code carrier : GENE

23. Stat start : RHEO. RHEOstat, adjustable resistor used in applications that require the adjustment of current or the varying of resistance in an electric circuit.

24. Fishing pole : ROD

25. Agreeable to doing : UP FOR

34. More or less : SORT OF

36. Cacophony : DIN

37. __ Linda, California : LOMA. Take the Santa Monica freeway to the San Berdoo Freeway east; can't miss it.

38. Chef's recipe words : À LA

42. "Bad Moon Rising" pop gp. : CCR

43. Go ape : FLIP

45. Go bad : ROT

46. Attached to the bulletin board : TACKED

51. Pries (into) : NOSES

52. P&L column : YTD. Year to date.

53. Visibility impairer : HAZE. Watch out for it on the freeways.

62. Japanese golfer Aoki : ISAO

63. With 67-Across, innovative or experimental artists' group : AVANT. 67. See 63-Across : GARDE

64. Birthday serving : CAKE

66. Envelope abbr. : ATTN.

68. Way out : EXIT

69. Give guff to : SASS

70. Shakespearean king : LEAR

71. Chip enhancers : DIPS


1. Dot-__ : COM

2. Man from Oman, often : ARAB

3. Actress Olin : LENA. As she appeared in The Reader.

4. Dance that precedes "golf" in the NATO phonetic alphabet : FOXTROT

5. Wheelchair guy on "Glee" : ARTIE. This guy.

6. Schmooze, as with the A-list : HOBNOB

7. Work like __ : A DOG

8. Fey of "30 Rock" : TINA

9. Asian menu appetizer : EGG ROLL

10. Rasta's hairdo : DREADLOCKS

11. Yin's counterpart : YANG

12. Hook's sidekick : SMEE

15. St. for gamblers : NEV.ada

21. Go pitapat : THROB

22. Disco __ : ERA

25. Vandenberg or Edwards: Abbr. : USAFB. Air Force bases.

26. Chico's chicken : POLLO. and

27. Chickens, to kids : FRAIDY CATS

29. Build up, as a collection : ADD TO

30. Hush-hush fed. org. : CIA

31. Make booties, e.g. : KNIT

32. Game show host : EMCEE

33. 36-inch units : YARDS

35. Jamie of "M*A*S*H" : FARR. Cpl. Klinger, took Radar's place as company clerk.

40. __ de plume : NOM. French for pen name.

41. Tony of 60-Down : DANZA. 60. Sitcom set in a garage : "TAXI". Reminded me of this garage.

44. Constricting snakes : PYTHONS

47. Compelled via force : COERCED

49. Suffix with lemon : ADE

50. "Help Me, __": Beach Boys hit : RHONDA

54. "... happily ever __" : AFTER

55. Skewed view : BIAS

56. "The Thin Man" canine : ASTA

57. Fall behind : LAG

58. Roundish shape : OVAL

61. Not attend : SKIP

65. "Men in Black" baddies, briefly : ETs. Not at all like the one in the the movie, "E.T.".


Nov 27, 2011

Sunday Nov 27, 2011 Ed Sessa

Theme: Without Aspirations - The aspired initial H is dropped from each common phrase, resulting in spelling changes in each case. Sound remains the same.

23A. Wink? : GIVE THE EYE SIGN. Give the high sign.

27A. Garden with soothing plants? : ALOED GROUND. Hallowed ground. Aloed is a word?

43A. Components of a last call? : ALE AND FAREWELL. Hail and Farewell. Not familiar with this base phrase.

62A. What you'll see in a cornfield? : EAR THERE AND EVERYWHERE. Here, there and everywhere.

80A. Sniggler's skill? : THE EELING TOUCH. The healing touch.

97A. Meditation training method? : OM SCHOOLING. Home schooling.

106A. How Popeye treats Olive? : ACCORDING TO OYL. According to Hoyle.

Great concept. Very consistent theme entry conversion. More fun than simply drop a H ("Hole in one" to "Ole in one"), as the gimmick becomes apparent quickly in the latter.

I mentioned this before. There is always an unpredictability element in Ed's theme. He always surprises & delights.


1. Suncatchers : PRISMS. Consonants heavy.

7. Lobster __ diavolo : FRA. Fra Diavolo = "Brother Devil" in Italian. I've never used the sauce before.

10. Zoo employee : VET

13. Sugar bowl location : TEA SET. Not football bowl game.

19. Assertive retort : CAN TOO

20. Run amok : RAMPAGE

22. "Honey, __": Shania Twain hit : I'M HOME. Here is a clip. Guessable answer.

25. Cube automaker : NISSAN

26. In toto : AS A WHOLE

29. Rx's : MEDs. 39D. Scrip writers : MDs

30. Slasher film setting: Abbr. : ELM ST. "A Nightmare on Elm Street".

33. Sturgeon yield : ROE

34. It.'s there : EUR. "It."= Italy.

35. Dutch city near Arnhem : EDE. 3-letter Dutch city is always EDE. No idea on what it's famous for.

36. Put a second layer on : RE-COAT

38. Ugandan despot : AMIN

40. "The Wrestler" actress : TOMEI (Marisa)

42. Place to dream : BED. What's your recurring dream? Mine often are about exams.

46. Almost boiling, as milk : SCALDED

49. Got up : AROSE

50. Rocker Rose : AXL

51. Showy bloomers : DAHLIAS. Named after Swedish botanist Anders Dahl. Lovely color.

52. Charitable offering : ALMS

53. Tantrum : FIT. OK, throw a fit/tantrum.

54. Decorates with Charmin, briefly : TPs

57. Inventor Howe : ELIAS. Sewing machine.

58. Papal court : CURIA. New word to me.

60. Good, in Grenoble : BON. "Bon appétit!".

61. Stimulate : WHET

67. California's __ Valley : NAPA

68. Child's plaything : TOY

69. More than annoyed : IRATE

70. Greek fabulist : AESOP

71. Pulitzer poet Lowell : AMY. Clear Ayes linked quite a few of her poems in the past.

72. Raucous bird call : CAW

73. Kilted kinfolk : CLAN. Scottish English is gibberish to me.

74. Conceals : SCREENS. Unaware of this "screen" meaning.

76. Eagles, on scoreboards : PHI

77. Milky white gems : OPALS

79. Sonnet parts : STANZAS

85. "Defence of Fort McHenry" poet : KEY. The poem later became the lyrics of our national anthem.

86. Pricey timepiece : ROLEX

87. Tweed nemesis : NAST (Thomas)

88. Teed off : ROILED

90. Corp. big shots : VPs

93. 401(k) relative : IRA

94. Slo-mo replay subjects : TDs

95. Like 20 Questions questions : YES NO

96. Shekels : GELT. Money.

102. Confused state : DISARRAY

105. Mollycoddle : DOTE ON. I like the word "mollycoddle".

109. Maroon : ENISLE. This is real word.

110. Soon to be at : NEARING

111. Local academic community resenter, perhaps : TOWNIE

112. Part of a circle : SECTOR

113. Musical syllable : TRA

114. Blast : GAS

115. Paintball sounds : SPLATS


1. SimCity, for one : PC GAME. Never played it. How about you, Desper-otto & Grumpy?

2. Cultivated : RAISED

3. Overrun : INVADE

4. Cioppino and gumbo : STEWS. Cioppino is fish stew. Never had it. I never had/watched many things mentioned in crossword.

5. Light lover : MOTH

6. Arty NYC locale : SOHO

7. Grub : FREELOAD

8. Florida baseballer : RAY. Tampa Bay Rays.

9. Soul, to Zola : AME. Learned from doing Xword.

10. Colorado resort : VAIL. Ski resort for Marti.

11. French Toaster Sticks maker : EGGO

12. Largest of the Canaries : TENERIFE. Looks like a beautiful place to bring a date, Splynter.

13. Hint : TINGE

14. Muslim dignitary : EMIR

15. "Is that a fact" : AH SO

16. "Tough noogies!" : SO SUE ME

17. Chicago mayor Rahm __ : EMANUEL. This guy is tough.

18. Coiled plant support : TENDRIL. See here.

21. Exam for jrs. : PSAT

24. Light source: Abbr. : ELEC

28. Lady of La Mancha : DONA

31. __ de mer : MAL

32. Enter surreptitiously : STEAL IN

36. Mealtime pleasure : RELISH. Ah, Steve, food again! I baked medjoor dates filled with coconut flakes & almonds the other day. Delicious.

37. Historic Icelandic work : EDDA

38. Years in Cuba : ANOs

40. Phone message : TEXT

41. Nocturnal predator : OWL. Argyle is our owl, always keeping an alert eye on the blog.

42. Golf ball material : BALATA. Some kind of rubber.

44. Bony-plated forager : ARMADILLO. Great answer.

45. Forecast word : RAINY

46. Low bow : SALAAM. As a kid, I really hated visiting older relatives during Spring Festival. Had to kneel down, touched my head in the ground and kowtowed to them.

47. Happy as a lark? : CHIRPY. Happy clue.

48. Mortgage provision : ESCROW

51. Cortese of "Jersey Shore" : DEENA. The girl on right. I can't really tell her from the annoying Snooki.

52. Coach Parseghian : ARA

53. What trees may keep you from seeing? : FOREST

54. Hemingway title setting : THE SEA

55. Argentine icons : PERONS

56. Way up or down : STEPS

59. Slangy road reversal : UEY

60. It's placed : BET. True.

61. Asthmatic : WHEEZY

63. Online commerce : E-TAIL. So many temptations.

64. Solver's smudge : ERASURE. Pen & Wite-Out for me.

65. Little League game arrival : VAN

66. Gave a heads-up : WARNED

72. Square cereal : CHEX

73. Suffragist Carrie : CATT. League of Women Voters founder.

75. Slice at a party : CAKE. So, if you have to prepare a Christmas meal consisting of dishes starting with letter U only, what food would you consider?

76. Start to pour? : PEE. First letter in pour.

77. Diagonally : ON A SLANT

78. R relatives : PGS. Oh, Rated R, Rated PG.

79. Big blasts : SHINDIGS

80. Old TV tubes : TRIODES

81. Glandular secretion : HORMONE. It's called estrogen for girls, right?

82. Adaptable : ELASTIC

83. China starter : INDO. Indo-China. Or CEE.

84. Funny Bill, familiarly : COS. Bill Cosby.

89. Butcher's cut : LOIN

90. Gentlemen's home? : VERONA. "The Two Gentlemen of Verona".

91. Ilsa's request to Sam : PLAY IT. "Play it, Sam". My favorite line is "We'll always have Paris". Sometimes I wonder what my life would be had I moved to Brussels in 2001 rather than the US.

92. Dos : STYLES

94. Xerography material : TONER. How's the new printer, eddyB?

95. "Son of Frankenstein" role : YGOR

96. Rumble in the jungle? : GROWL. I could hear it.

98. "__ la vie!" : C'EST

99. Entire: Pref. : HOLO. Wow, I did not know this before.

100. One who may eat her words? : ICER. Sweet clue.

101. March Madness org. : NCAA

103. Pepper & Preston: Abbr. : SGTs

104. Resting upon : ATOP

107. Tractor-trailer : RIG

108. Biological marker : DNA

Answer grid.

A note to regular posters: We'd love to celebrate your birthday on the blog. Please email me ( if your name is not included in Dennis' original list. Thanks. And best wishes, Ron Worden!


Nov 26, 2011

Saturday, Nov 26th, 2011 Barry C. Silk

Theme: Saturday Silkie

Words: 70

Blocks: 27

Lots of proper names made this particular Silkie tough to get started, but a few WAGs and I was able to get a foothold in some places, and go from there. (BTW, foothold was what I wanted for 14D). Four sets of triple-sevens, and two sets of triple 10's, with what almost looks like an "S" (for Silk) in the central blocks....

Onward ~!


1. It eases tension : ICE-BREAKER - "so, how 'bout those Rangers???"

11. Not kosher : TREF - I can hardly remember this word

15. Online identification : SCREEN NAME

16. Meteorological effect caused by refraction : HALO - here's one of the moon

17. Blue blood : ARISTOCRAT - Mud-bloods are from Harry Potter

18. Kennedy Space Center attraction : IMAX - I had ICBM to start, thought one might be on display there - hey, it is a rocket....

19. Orders : DICTA

20. Certain pilgrim : HAJI - Arabic, one who has completed the HAJJ (a crossword staple), the pilgrimage to Mecca

21. "Our House" songwriter : NASH - I had the wrong "Our House" in mind - generational thing, I must say - this is the Madness song of the 80's that I grew up with

22. Some ER admissions : ODs - I went to the hospital to detox, but not from an Over Dose

23. Campus letters : RHOs - the "P" in the Greek Alphabet, but the "R" sound

25. Must : NEED TO

27. Autos featured in the John Wayne film "Big Jake" : REOs - as seen at :29 of this trailer clip

29. Mine sight : ORE CAR

31. Hurt : AIL - had it, took it out, put it back in

32. Chubby Checker's real first name : ERNEST - one of those "you know it, or you don't" clues, but once I had _ _ ST, it was worth a WAG

34. Bond : ALLIANCE - last to fall; I had "RACE DAY" for 12D - 'fast time' - hey, sounded good, but the last "Y" messed me up

36. Yielding : MEEK

38. Its motto is Latin for "Always prepared": Abbr. : USCG - I had USMC at first; their Latin is Semper Fidelis, which I wrongfully thought meant Always Prepared; the proper translation in Always Faithful; Semper Paratus is "Always Prepared" more here

39. Measure of interpersonal skills : SOCIAL IQ - yeah, my IQ is high, but my SOCIAL IQ is lame....I found this link, but I did not take the test yet [ post update - took the test, scored 20 on the "summary", but the whole report costs $6 ]

43. Like the conjunction "since" : CAUSAL

47. "Bed-in for Peace" figure : ONO

48. Shock : TRAUMA

50. Cap-__: from head to toe : APIE -cap-a-pie, the definition

51. Subsidized grad student : FELLOW - new to me

53. Charge carriers : IONs

55. Subway under B'way : IRT - The NYC subway system, more here - over 100yrs old

56. Hill worker : AIDE - POL, DEM, REP, SEN are all too short

57. Zipped through : ACED

59. Bristles : TEEMS

61. Five-time 1970s Phillies All-Star shortstop : BOWA (Larry) - yeah, baseball, I defer to C.C. (From C.C.: Here is his Fleer 1980 card. Also Phillies' manager 2001-2004. Met him before, Dennis?)

62. Cooking aid : NATURAL GAS - well, any fuel is really a "cooking aid"....

64. JFK postings : ETAs - Standard crossword fill; JFK was Idlewild in Queens prior to what happened Forty-Eight years ago

65. Singer/actress discovered by Mahalia Jackson : DELLA REESE - if one says so

66. Old Dodge : DART - tried OMNI to start, and I had a COLT, too

67. "Next?" : ANYONE ELSE~??


1. Joe Lieberman's middle name : ISADORE - again, you know it, or...and I do know Joe; he is sometimes a guest on WPLR's funny morning show from CT, which we get here on LI

2. 1957 Chuck Willis hit : C.C. RIDER - I'm, uh, just gonna link the song, here

3. 11th-century explorer : ERICSON

4. Letter sign-off : BEST - "All my Best", "Best Wishes", "Give my Best to..."

5. Do a road crew's job : RE-TAR

6. Roxy Music alum : ENO - another crossword staple

7. Linchpin : ANCHOR

8. Waters off Siberia : KARA SEA

9. Key with four sharps: Abbr. : E MAJor - JazzB knows this circle better than I do, I am sure

10. Biometric identification technique : RETINAL SCAN - funny, but this one came quickly - guess it's in my wheelhouse

11. Biblical possessive : THINE - Shakespeare (and AA) - "To Thine Own Self Be True"

12. Fast time for many : RAMADAN - ah, the holiday - see my opening quote

13. Flexible : ELASTIC

14. Front creation : FOXHOLE - military front, not to be confused with the weather front of 45D. It may follow a front : AIR MASS

24. 2004 historical film set in Africa : HOTEL RWANDA - this movie

26. Heath family shrub : ERICA - pretty images

28. Automatic opening? : SEMI - handguns, I believe

30. Actor Gulager : CLU - This guy

33. Defunct defense gp. : SEATO - South-East Asia Treaty Organization - more here

35. Eau across the Pyrenees : AGUA - yeah, I knew it was aGua, but my "C" from USMC was not letting it happen

37. Soul maker : KIA - the car, here

39. Convertible of a sort : SOFA BED - I had _ _ BE _, and WAGed BED from that

40. The least bit : ONE IOTA - Do I care? "NOT ONE IOTA ~!!"

41. Bygone CIA concern : COLD WAR

42. Without a fuss : QUIETLY - easy, once the Q from IQ showed up

44. Eponymous mail-order magnate : SPIEGEL - oh yes, but I was caught thinking about this catalog, since this actor hosted the Dog Show this Thanksgiving

46. "I'm thinking ..." : "LET'S SEE"

49. ___ operation: division calculation in computing : MODULO

52. Numerical extreme : LEAST

54. Gawk : STARE

58. Battle of Normandy city : CAEN - map

60. Part of a CSA signature : - Robert E. LEE

63. Bled : RAN - like clothes in the wash

Answer grid.