Dec 24, 2011

Saturday, Dec 24th, 2011 Jack McInturff

Theme: None

Words: 72

Blocks: 33

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all ~!! This is not Jack FROST nipping at your nose, but Jack McInturff nipping at your noggin - or is that egg-nog doing that???

I just checked to see when we last saw Jack McInturff, and he gave us our Thanksgiving Eve puzzle, too - now he is here with our Christmas Eve puzzle, and I do believe it is his first Saturday puzzle, tho he has given us Sundays before. I have to admit, this was the first time I went to Google to find an answer because I got stuck in the NE corner, and it was due to my mistake of thinking SGTS was the E-7 rank; more at 10D....

Anyway, this one was tough, and I cheated, but what can I say....triple 9's and 8's in a pinwheel fashion, with those frustrating one word clues, and some deception as well. I do like the early morning brain battle.

Onward ~!

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen ~!

Comet, Cupid, Donder, and Blitzen ~!


1. Totally : STONE COLD

10. Rigs on the road : SEMIs

15. Annual All-American Soap Box Derby site : AKRON, OHIO - I knew this answer, but couldn't recall the city, so I put in OHIO, and waited....

16. Old French capital? : FRANC - how funny is this??? I was stuck on SOU and ECU for so long from doing crosswords, that FRANC totally eluded me until I changed my 10D answer

17. One may be marching : BRASS BAND

18. Keyboardist who founded Return to Forever : COREA - did not know this; I am sure JazzB was "HIP" to him; a little clip for you

19. Rembrandt van __ : RYN - I WAGed at RIN, should have known it was a "Y"; also 32A. Rug with a long pile : RYA - standard in crosswordese

20. Certain protests : SIT-INs - or bed-ins, as done by our last clue/answer

22. "Friends" actress, familiarly : JENnifer Aniston, my personal fave from a show I did NOT watch

23. Spread __ : EAGLE

26. Pmt.-lowering option : RE-FInance

27. Lacking a partner : ODD - as in socks, not people....ah.

28. Blessed event? : SNEEZE - by not reading this as Bless -ED, I was able to nail it

30. Italy's Como, per esempio : LAGO - Italian for Lake

33. Fancy layer : GILT - UGH ~! This one stumped me, and had to go letter cycling before the "G" made sense in both across and down....

35. "__ out!" : YER - not GET, which also has the central "E"

36. Giant in a 2000 merger : AOL - America On Line, did not know this (From C.C.: The AOL./Time Warner merge. Debacle.)

37. 1980s Screen Actors Guild president : ED ASNER - boy this guy gets around in crosswords, doesn't he!?!? Such user/solver-friendly letters, and his 'full' name

40. "The Complaint of Peace" essayist, 1521 : ERASMUS

42. Eastern Med. country : LEBanon

43. Ophelia's niece, in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" : EVA

44. TV Stone Age pet : DINO - the Flintstones "dog", so to speak

45. Court figs. : D.A.s - District Attorneys, part of the LAW side of LAW & ORDER, a favorite TV show of mine

46. Lacking : SANS - French, 'without'

48. Town across the Connecticut River from Springfield, Mass. : AGAWAM - map

52. Ring support : OLE - AH ~!! The cry from the crowd ~!! The ring being the bullfight

53. Baker's meas. : TSPs

55. Puck's eatery : SPAGO - not in my wheelhouse - this place

56. Veep before LBJ : RMN - A WAG, tho I knew he was in politics for a long time, Richard Milhous Nixon

57. Candy heart phrase : BE MINE - I tried being cute with "I LOVE U"

59. Gnarly : RAD - Helps to have a teenager in one's life for this kind of language - in my case it was my generation that typically found "cool" things to be Gnarly, and RAD - but I never said either word unless I was trying to be sarcastic - think Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

60. Big name in insurance : AETNA

62. One of two in a historic 1869 Utah meeting : IRON HORSE - Dah ~!!! I knew it was the two trains meeting at Promontory Summit, but STEAM TRAIN didn't fit, nor LOCOMOTIVE

65. "Sharky's Machine" author : DIEHL - this guy; WAGed the "H"

66. Classroom concern : TARDINESS

67. Wee hr. : ONE A.M. - I am DONE at UPS as of 9am this morning - spent all week getting up at 12 midnight for a ONE A.M. shift, getting out at 9-10am. How about you Dennis? Are you 0 & 1 w/u now?

68. Deliberate : SLEEP ON IT - De-li-BER-ate, as in a jury, not De-LIB'rate, as in an intentional act


1. Buffalo skaters : SABRES - Hockey Hockey Hockey ~!! My Rangers beat their Winter Classic rivals the Philadelphia Flyers, once again, this time 4-2. The outdoor game is a week from Monday, and New Year's Eve is an alumni (there's some CW for you) game of the retired types - should be a lot of fun, yes eddyB ~?

2. "Tumbleweeds" cartoonist : T.K. RYAN - good way to get a four-consonant word in the grid, with T-K-R-Y - this guy and his strip

3. Fruit in a knock-knock joke : ORANGE - OK, OK, I wanted Banana, and you get 'em both~!

4. Negatives : Nos

5. Cannes duo : ENS - ah, not the French number, but the two "N"s in the word caNNes

6. Picnic trash : COBS - Corn centers, leftover

7. 2011 Canadian Open champ Sean : O'HAIR - golf, this guy

8. Architectural support : LINTEL - A steel L-bar that spans a masonry opening over a window or door, e.g., and carries the weight of the load above; also decorative, as in this instance

9. "Chariots of Fire" executive producer : DODI FAYED - more famous for his romantic link and death with Princess Diana

10. E-7 Army personnel : SFCs - the killer for me, a Sergeant First Class - my friend Jim is in the Army, has about 6 years left, and the last I heard, he was an E-6, and deployed to Afghanistan; I wonder if he got holiday leave....

11. Ranch closing? : ERO - Ranchero

12. Mint family herb : MARJORAM

13. "Help me" : I NEED YOU - too long to fit on a candy heart ???

14. Checkout counter newspaper fodder : SCANDALS - Aww, I wanted UFO IS GOD, or something much more investigative - I was looking for that scene from MiB where they "check the hot sheets", the supermarket tabloids

21. Gulf of Guinea country : NIGERIA

24. Staying power : LEGS - ah, yes to say "it has legs" means it (or they) will last - all I want for Christmas is these two hot legs

25. Web issues : EZINES - hey, I don't mind the E- or A- words, but I am getting tired of all the I- things you can buy these days; I am getting rid of my i P.O.S. for Christmas

29. Raise : ELEVATE

31. Asian swingers : ORANGs - Primates, but I thought they didn't do much in the trees

34. Sends : TRANSMITS

37. Poe poem written at the time of the California Gold Rush : EL DORADO - here

38. Cardplayer's request : DEAL ME IN

39. Type of ballot : ABSENTEE

41. Suds source : SOAP - not FOAM, and not BEER

47. Cochlea shape : SPIRAL

49. Underground home : WARREN