Dec 25, 2011

Sunday Dec 25, 2011 Doug Peterson

Theme: Christmas Potluck - All the 7 food theme entries are humorously interpreted and clued as if they're brought by the usual holiday favorite characters.

23A. The Little Drummer Boy brought __ : BREAD STICKS

34A. Tiny Tim brought __ : LITTLE SMOKIES

51A. Cupid the reindeer brought __ : ARTICHOKE HEARTS. Too stringy for my taste, Steve!

66A. Jack Frost brought __ : COLD-CUT SANDWICHES

86A. The Nutcracker brought __ : SHELLS AND CHEESE. Never had it. Don't eat cheese.

99A. Rudolph brought __ : RED VELVET CAKE

117A. The Salvation Army volunteer brought __ : BELL PEPPERS

C.C. here. Merry Christmas!

I bet Doug considered putting the cake as the last theme entry, but settled down on the current layout as it produced the smoothest fill. I could be wrong. Maybe Doug wants us to think BELL PEPPERS actually taste better. After all, Gisele B√ľndchen has been misleading her son (with Tom Brady) that broccoli is "dessert".

Here are more Christmas-related fill Doug gave to us:

1A. Enjoy a home-cooked Christmas dinner, say : EAT IN

25A. "The stockings were __ ..." : HUNG

61A. Santa __ : ANA

89A. "A Christmas Carol" epithet : BAH

122A "Four Christmases" actress Witherspoon : REESE

4D. Kid's Christmas Eve cry : I CAN'T WAIT. I can picture how excited Barry G's Joshua is this morning.

6D. Like Kris Kringle : ROTUND

24D. Nick's status? : SAINTHOOD. St Nick.

69D. "The Gift of the Magi," e.g. : TALE. Such a moving love story.


6. Linear opening : RECTI. Rectilinear. Prefix for "straight".

11. "Don't leave!" : STAY

15. Pretense : SHAM

19. "Funny Girl" subject : BRICE (Fanny)

20. Midnight follower : ONE AM

21. 2011 Home Run Derby winner Robinson __ : CANO. Second baseman for the Yankees. Doug & Tinbeni's team.

22. Dustin's "Tootsie" co-star : TERI (Garr)

26. Barrel of laughs : RIOT

27. Come by honestly : EARN

28. War hero Murphy : AUDIE. I saw this Life magazine with him on the cover at the flea market once. Very musty.

29. Baby barker : PUP

30. In the thick of : AMIDST

32. Kerbside container : DUST BIN

37. 81-Down scanners : WANDS. And 81D. Bag-checking agcy. : TSA.

39. Bosox legend : YAZ. Carl Yastrzemski. Another great player who spent his whole career with one team. LaLaLinda's husband might have no problem spelling his Polish surname. I just can't.

40. See-through piece : PANE. Oh, not this, Splynter!

41. Easily influenced : PLIANT

44. In a frenzy : AMOK

47. 1974 Peace Nobelist from Japan : SATO. Guessed. #1 surname in Japan. ITO is popular there also. Li/Lee is #1 in China.

48. Smartphone component, for short : CPU

55. "__ Theme": "Doctor Zhivago" tune : LARA'S. Love the movie.

57. Military assignment : POST

58. Drums out : OUSTS

59. Scuff, say : MAR

60. Song title words before "music" or "rock 'n roll" : I LOVE. Only know the latter.

62. Fire starter? : BON. Bonfire.

63. Serving to punish : PENAL

65. Prominent landmark : TOWER. Like the Eiffel Tower.

74. Point-and-click shopping : E-TAIL

75. Videotape format : VHS

76. Groovy : FAB

79. Orange-skinned Muppet : ERNIE

80. Word of unanimity : ALL

81. "Of __ Sing" : THEE I

84. Carter of "Gimme a Break!" : NELL

85. Runs through a sieve : RICES

90. Brickmaker's oven : KILN

92. Verdi villain who sings "Era la notte, Cassio dormia" : IAGO. In "Otello". We often has it clued as "Shakespearean villain".

93. Display deference : KOWTOW. Brought back my childhood.

94. "Bossypants" author Fey : TINA. So witty. Dennis loves her.

95. Humanities degs. : BAs

97. One-horse carriages : SHAYS

105. Get comfortable with : ADAPT TO

109. 1992 Wimbledon champ : AGASSI. Wow, he and his wife has been hot in Xword lately.

110. Kitty, maybe : PET

111. Dinero : LUCRE

113. Illegal USMC status : AWOL. Illegal in every military branch.

114. Attention : CARE

115. Glittery mineral : MICA

119. Change one's story? : EDIT. Great clue.

120. Period of prosperity : BOOM

121. Followers of various animals? : EIEIO. Another fun clue.

123. HR dept. data : SSNs

124. Inning sextet : OUTS

125. 2001 bankruptcy filer : ENRON. We have the Crooked E golf balls in our display case.

126. "What the Butler Saw" playwright : ORTON (Joe). Forgot. This guy stumped me last time.


1. Drew away : EBBED

2. Horowitz contemporary : ARRAU (Claudio). Chilean pianist.

3. Fan belts? : TIERS. Oh, in the stadium.

5. Marge's TV neighbor : NED

7. Seat of Oklahoma's Garfield County : ENID

8. Director DeMille : CECIL

9. He played Sulu on "Star Trek" : TAKEI (George)

10. Facebook exchanges, briefly : IMs

11. "A Charlie Brown Christmas" writer : SCHULZ (Charles). Grew up here in MN.

12. Hosiery hue : TAUPE. Like the color of her dress.

13. Raggedy redhead : ANN

14. Pad for posers? : YOGA MAT. Ha ha, Marti, JD and Lucina are all posers!

15. Light, as a match : STRIKE

16. Temple title role : HEIDI. Shirley Temple is still alive.

17. Developed : AROSE

18. Hands, slangily : MITTS

29. Sch. meeting group : PTA

31. Yosemite's El Capitan and others : MONOLITHS. Same as obelisks, right?

33. French bench : BANC. And "French bank" is "banque".

35. Trike rider : TYKE

36. Getaway destinations : SPAs

38. The shoe department in its flagship store has its own zip code : SAK'S. 10022 SHOE.

41. Storybook bear : PAPA

42. Scientology guru Hubbard : L RON

43. "No sweat!" : IT'S A CINCH. Great entry.

45. Encountered : MET

46. Noncommittal comments : OHs

47. Manger bedding : STRAW. Interesting for me to read your STRAW & HAY education a few days ago. Avg Joe is no ordinary guy.

48. Squinter's lines : CROW'S FEET. Annoying wrinkles.

49. Cover with concrete : PAVE

50. Icon clicker : USER

52. Gold unit : OUNCE

53. Mass conclusion : AMEN

54. Mapmaker __ McNally : RAND

56. Itch soother : ALOE

62. What are "smiling at me" in an Irving Berlin classic : BLUE SKIES. Like the song, Bill G? So cheery.

63. Amigo : PAL

64. Subsisted (on) : LIVED

67. Route 66 migrant : OKIE

68. Many a Jazz fan : UTAHN. Utah Jazz.

70. Threshold : SILL

71. Songbird with an onomatopoeic name : CHICKADEE. What tree is this?

72. Basil or rosemary : HERB

73. Teatro Rossini highlight : ARIA

77. "And don't forget ..." : ALSO

78. Cooled, in a way, with "on" : BLEW

82. "Macbeth" trio member : HAG. Argyle knows the "Macbeth" lines quite well.

83. Grandson of Eve : ENOS

84. Times, at times : NEWSPAPER. And 88D. The __: Georgetown University 84-Down : HOYA.

86. Balkan native : SLAV

87. Grace's "Rear Window" role : LISA. Another great movie. My favorite Grace Kelly movie is "To Catch a Thief". Yours?

91. Left hanging : IN LIMBO

94. Sports bar array : TV SETS

95. Second-string squads : B TEAMS

96. Charade : ACT

98. Obsess over : HARP ON. I'm obsessed over Mac's Lady Gaga pink lipstick. I'm not HARPING ON it though.

99. Olympic events : RACES

100. Old-school oath : EGADS

101. "Mack the Knife" singer : DARIN (Bobby). Boomer's Karaoke must-sing song.

102. Lake Buena Vista attraction : EPCOT

103. Anne or Calvin of couture : KLEIN. Love Anne Klein's silk scarves, the solid color ones.

104. Swiss mathematician : EULER

106. Message since 2006 : TWEET

107. Statue subject : TORSO

108. Pal of Kent and Lane : OLSEN (Jimmy). "The Daily Planet".

112. Adman's award : CLIO

116. Broke poker player's note : IOU

117. Blossom buzzer : BEE. Hi there Melissa!

118. Debate side : PRO. And CON.

Answer grid.

I'd like to share with you this HAIKU (72A. Three-line verse) from the wonderful "Baseball Haiku" book Ant kindly sent to me:

home run drive
into the cornfield-
fielder and girlfriend disappear

Happy Birthday to Fermatprime and Yellowrocks! Make today special!



Dennis said...

Merry Christmas to our special blog family, and especially to C.C., who made this all possible.

Finally on the road - see you all next time from someplace warm.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all (and a very Merry Christmas)!

Still early and the little guy isn't up yet. I don't expect that to last too much longer, though...

Finished with an error at the crossing of BRICE/TIERS. I initially put in BRYCE and never saw the mistake. It didn't help that TIERS meant nothing to me based on the clue. Is "belts" being used to mean "rows" or "lines"?

Also, I'm probably the only one who has never heard of LITTLE SMOKIES (sausages of some sort?) or SHELLS AND CHEESE (same as macaroni and cheese?)

The rest of the puzzle was pretty straightforward, although I almost choked on YOGA MAT due to it being crossed by the aforementioned LITTLE SMOKIES as well as the completely unknown CANO and SATO. It didn't help that I originally had MOUNTAINS instead of MONOLITHS for 31D and thus had trouble getting PANE at 40A.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

And Merry Christmas all! Nice to see you this morning, C.C. - your devotion to duty is incomparable. BTW, I don't recognize the tree the chickadee is perched on.

Found I had to work at it a bit, even with a pretty good idea of the theme. For one thing, I have no idea what LITTLE SMOKIES are, so that evaded me to the last. Had SCAM for SHAM and that didn't help matters.

Among the clever clues, I have to nominate "Fan Belts" as my favorite.

The sun will be up soon, time for coffee and warm sweet bread MMMMMM. Have a good time out there, everybody, even you folks over in Agawam!

Dudley said...

Hmm, looks like a Not What Barry Said day.

These are rare! :-)

HeartRx said...

Merry Christmas C.C. et al. And a special happy birthday to Fermatprime and Yellowrocks.

For “Kitty, maybe”, I had bET before PET…and “Pad for posers” for YOGA MAT was the last to fall…DUH!! HUGE V8 moment!

We are reading “Bossypants” for book club this month. And fortunately, LITTLE SMOKIES are one of DH’s “go-to” snacks during football season, so that was another gimme.

Christmas is a special day, but special people make every day seem like Christmas.

thehondohurricane said...

Good morning all,

Just dropping by to say Merry Christmas to all my companion bloggers and a special salutation to CC who puts in the effort that makes this blog so special.

Haven't read any of the comments because I won't get to the puzzle until tonight.

Family arriving shortly so have to run. Oops, first car with number two son pulling in as i type.

Talk to you soon.

Argyle said...

Merry Christmas all,

Before I go to bed, I wonder if others had a problem with 66-Across. I parsed out the front as COLD-CUTS AND .... Confounded me for awhile.

Dudley said...

Marti - oh, those little hotdogs! Now I get it!

Argyle - no, had enough letters to figure out SANDWICHES before the rest.

It'll be interesting to see how many posts accumulate today. I don't recall from previous years...

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, C.C., and friends and a very Merry Christmas to all on the blog. May you all be surrounded by friends and family during this holiday season.

Interesting puzzle. BREAD STICKS was my first theme fill. I wanted Cupid to bring something with Arrows. LITTLE SMOKIES were entirely new to me.

I initially tried Rinse for Runs Through A Sieve, since I use my sieve for rinsing pasta.

Even though I have two PET kitties, my first thought for Kitty, Maybe was Pot. I guess that clue was too close to the IOU left by the Broke Poker Player!

QOD: The darkness of the whole world cannot swallow the glowing of a candle. ~ Robert Altinger

fermatprime said...

Merry Christmas!

Happy belated birthday, Misty!

Happy birthday, Yellowrocks!

Thanks to all of you who have wished me a Happy Birthday!

The puzzle was a nice present, Doug and CC!

I fell asleep very early (for me), slept 3 hours, woke up, couldn't go back to sleep, and here I am. Achy all over from swimming and ? Helper/housekeeper has been trying to give me her flu for over a week. But I am a vitamin freak (thanks to Dr. Mercola). So far so good.


Tinbeni said...

Merry Christmas One-and-All !!!

Happy Birthday to our Christmas Ladies,
Fermatprime and Yellowrocks.

Argyle, at 66-A, I call them COLD-CUTS, then my PAL showed me they were COLD-CUT-SANDWICHES.

Husker: There's your fave EPCOT.

Hope you all have a Wonderful Day.

There's a "nip" in the air, it's only going to reach 79 today.

I CAN'T WAIT for my Sunset "toast".
Cheers !!!

Husker Gary said...

What a lovely Christmas present, Doug. A nice, easy fill with many holiday references. We are out the door to Lincoln to see the little ones that make this day special. HBD Fermatprime and Yellowrocks and Merry Christmas to all!

-Temporary missteps – GARR/TERI, LURED/EBBED, IGNITE/STRIKE, POT/PET (wrong kitty)
-Oh, a Funny Girl role not subject. Hmmm…
-Kerbside containers here are OSCARS
-We watched It’s A Wonderful Life last night with MIL and the cab driver and cop were Bert and ERNIE. Hmmm…
-I can’t imagine you KOWTOWING C.C.. When in Rome…
-ENRON broke my uncle’s bank account and heart after 40 years of employment
-This is the first year since 1989 when I won’t be in Lake Buena Vista so I won’t be able to invite Tin to drive east on I4 to meet me for a “toast at sunset”. Dang!
-Gotta go load the car!

desper-otto said...

Merry Christmas and happy bday to our birthday girls! Hope it's nice where you are. It's dank and gloomy this morning here in the piney woods.

Puzzle was a straightforward dive to the bottom, although I learned that I don't know how to spell KLEIN, tried CLINE and KLINE before finally perping it out.

We made roast beef with potato dumplings and brown gravy yesterday -- our traditional Christmas fare. Today we'll slice the leftover dumplings and saute them in butter. Makes them even better than the first time around.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Doug, for a very enjoyable Christmas puzzle. Thank you, C.C., for the great write-up.

This puzzle came together quite easily.

Yes, Argyle, I wanted COLD CUTS AND ????? for a while, then SANDWICHES became obvious.

Initially, for 15D, I had IGNITE. That whole corner stayed empty so I changed it to STRIKE and it filled up immediately.

My last area was the NW. What held me up was not knowing what a Kerbside container was. I figured it was English, so I put POST BIN. After much gnashing of teeth I finally figured EBBED was correct for 1D, so I tried DUSTBIN. Did not know ARRAU at all. Got itb with perps. Then BRICE became obvious. Never saw the movie or play Funny Girl. That was a tough corner for me.

Happy birthday Fermatprime and Yellowrocks. Wow Christmas Day.

Going to see how the Bears do against the Packers tonight. Probably one-sided.

Off to Pennsylvania tomorrow. See you then, sometime.


Splynter said...

Hi There ~!

Merry Christmas ~!

Happy Birthday ladies ~!

I was up super early, still on UPS Christmas time, and finished at about 4am, and now I am back to see who popped in on the blog.

I enjoyed the puzzle, did not get stumped on SANDWICHES, but I did have GAMES for RACES on the Olympic clue, POT for Kitty, too.

Thanks for those "see-thru" PANES, too, C.C. ~!!

Just going to the folks here in town, don't think we are having Little Smokies or Shells and Cheese.


Dudley said...

So now we're at the in-laws', one of those compulsory things. Slightly more fun than a root canal.

Grumpy 1 said...

Merry Christmas, fellow puzzlers.
Fermarprime and Yellowrocks, may your birthdays be extra special.

Thanks, Doug for a fun puzzle and thanks, C.C. for providing this great gathering place.

Most of this one went smoothly, but the NE corner almost had me stumped. I laid the puzzle down for a while, picked it up again, took out ignite, put in STRIKE and the rest fell into place. I'm glad to see I wasn't the only one that Doug (and/or Rich) led astray with the clues.

I backed into the SANDWICHES entry so I was able to parse that one.

My youngest step-daughter and her boyfriend are here and my youngest son's father-in-law will be here shortly with his girlfriend and her son. There will be lots of phone conversations with other family members later in the day.

I'll try to check in later and catch up all of the chatter.

chapstick52 said...

Merry Christmas to all! You light up my life. Thanks.

Steve said...

Happy Birthday @Fermatprime and @Yellowrocks!

Great write-up, CC - liked the puzzle, loved the fill especially, some fresh stuff and a couple of learning moments.

Andre and Steffi must be wondering what they did this week to garner all the attention!

Time to do my round-the-world Christmas phone calls. Have a great day, y'all.

Merry Christmas all y'all!

Zcarguy said...

Morning all,
Just wanted to drop in and wish each and everyone a safe and happy holidays, I hope all your dreams and wishes come true to you and your loved ones during the new year and beyond ,Anons included.

I hope this blog continues in it's tradition of being informative, humorous ,educational and full of well caring, professional group of people.

Merry Christmas .

Jayce said...

Merry Christmas! Happy birthday Yellowrocks and Fermatprime! Thank you, C.C. and greetings to you all.

It's communication with the relatives via phone calls today. LW and I are spending the day at home together. We've gotten to know our neighbors well enough to exchange gifts with them, which is nice. It was 25 degrees out when we got up this morning, exceptionally cold for us here. By now it has finally gotten up to 40. Brrr!

Barry G, yeah, I also am thinking "belts" means something like "rows" or "lines." I am also guessing that shells and cheese is like macaroni and cheese; just a different pasta.

Best holiday wishes to you all.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone explain the answer to 77across in today's, Sunday's LA Times crossword? I've got AMAHLIENTS, the right answer, but I don't get the Christmas tie-in.

Jayce said...

Anonymous at 12:57 PM, I didn't see that entry in the puzzle today, but I assume the Christmas tie-in is from the AMAHL part, namely the story "Amahl and the Night Visitors."

chapstick52 said...

Anon@1257. There is no 77 across.

Anonymous said...

Holiday greetings! C.C. thank you for brightening my days with the blog. Some days this is the only human interplay I get. I think the tree is either a cherry or peach just after the petals fall, but before the fruit forms.???

Great puzzle done at 3 a.m.! First one I've finished in several days, so good Xmas present.

Found the best way to do Christmas alone. Slept all eve, got up and "puzzled" then slept til noon. After that I could hang out with all those chocolate muscled NBA guys on opening day for my favorite sport. Taking a short break now to blog, then back to courtside!

Fermatprime, hope your double day is going well and you got a kindle to go with the card.

Yellowrocks, more happy happy to you.

Dennis, this is the ghost of your mother speaking: Keep your hands to yourself until you get the lay of the land down south!

- PK -

xyz said...

This was in my local paper yesterday. Smooth sailing. Happy Christmas all. It's nice to blog with solvers who are not:

A) Puzzle snobs
B) Similar in skill to me

although SHELLS AND CHEESE was a bit odd

Nice to see the old-fashioned "cold cuts"


LaLaLinda said...

Merry Christmas Everyone! ~~

A fun Christmas themed puzzle today that for some reason took me a L-O-N-G time to finish. I didn't have any real problems ... I think my brain is just functioning in slo-mo today. All the hustle and bustle has come to a screeching halt and I'm readjusting to a much more relaxed pace.

~~ It seems that AGASSI has taken over for 'Ashe' in crosswords lately.

~~ 'Fan belts' - TIERS had me going for a while. Even after it filled in I didn't "see" it, but then it clicked ...sorta.

~~ I really liked 'Nick's status' - SAINTHOOD

~~ I've never seen UTAHN before ...seems like there should be an 'a' between the H and N.

~~ Of course, I liked 'Kitty' and 'Bosox' in the same puzzle. C.C. ~~ I put my husband to the test ... he failed! He started with "YAZ..." HA!
I, of course, got it right. But then he is a Detroit Tigers fan. For Christmas his brother gave us tickets to a Red-Sox - Tigers game at Fenway in May. Should be interesting! :-)

More ...

LaLaLinda said...


~~ Argyle, I just love your avatar ... looks like Santa had a busy night!

~~ Happy Birthday, Fermatprime and Yellowrocks ~ I hope you are having a doubly good day! Hope you get that Kindle, Fermat - you'll love it!

C.C. ~~ Thanks for a wonderful write-up ~ lots of information and more. I love your personal touches ... you always tie in so many Corner folks with appropriate clues/and or answers. You are a gem!

HeartRx said...

LaLaLinda, if the Salt Lake Tribune has a headline using UTAHN, I guess it must be the correct spelling??

HeartRx said...

Santa, I forgot to mention: Love your avatar, too!!

Steve said...

@Anon 12:57 (@Chapstick - refers to the Reagle puzzle in the print edition)

I don't usually bother with the Reagle because I don't particularly enjoy his pun themes - I find them inconsistent and often too much of a stretch - I guess this is a case in point.

AMAHLIENTS is meant to be a pun on "emollients" which are moisturizers. The Christmas link refers to the operetta "Amahl and the Night Visitors" which has a Nativity-based storyline.

len said...

Merry Christmas all,

Or whatever you're celebrating. I s'pose every day that you are around to see should be cause for some sort of celebration.

CC, thank you for starting this blog. Like Dennis' new career, it's, well, really uplifting. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

I was just waiting to be misdirected so TIERS/Fan belts? was a CINCH.

It took me awhile to connect Nutcracker with SHELLS AND CHEESE. I thought he should have brought, well, nuts. But the light finally dawned--nut SHELLS.

I had never heard of RED VELVET CAKE so here it is.


Happy eating!

Lucina said...

Merry Christmas, C.C. and cyber pals.

Better late than never I say!

Fermatprime and yellowrocks, I hope your day has been special. I thought of you early today but had no time to post.

I loved this puzzle! Thank you, Doug Peterson. I started this morning with my coffee but then had to leave and take my granddaughter home so she could open presents.

After that we went to my sister's home where bedlam ensued with all the toddlers there and mountains of presents, mostly cars, trucks and other boy toys with a few girl ones thrown in, too.

On Sunday for some reason I tend to veer east and work my way down. That worked today and hand up for MOUNTAIN before MONOLITH. LARA dispelled that notion and carried me to the end.

I was INLIMBO for a while but soon the buffet table filled and I finished it.

changed one's story, EDIT and EIEIO were brilliant.

Santa, it's good to see you dressed up!

I hope you all have enjoyed this day in whatever form but especially in the company of your loved ones.

LaLaLinda said...

Marti ~~ Thanks for the link to the "UTAHN of the Year." I knew the spelling must be correct but I guess I was thinking of the endings on OHIOANS, IOWANS, and IDAHOANS. Maybe it's because of the vowel ending on those three. My spell check doesn't like it, but UTAHN is an interesting looking word!

Annette said...

I hope everyone had a Happy Holiday, and a very Happy Birthday to Fermatprime and Yellowrocks!

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas everyone.

I know this is late, but I couldn't my computer to send the letter later. Plus it didn't save the one I'd written.

I also had mountain rather than monolith, plus some other errors, so did not do well. But it was fun.

Happy birthday (I hope it was since this is so belated) Fermatprine and Yellowrocks.

And thanks again C.C. for this wonderful blog and today's great write up.


Lemonade714 said...

Happy birthday to Fermatprime and Yellowrocks, and many more.

Anybody seen the Girl With the Dragon Tatoo? The Sweidsh version?

Lucina said...

Yes, Lemonade, I saw the Swedish version of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and it is excellent. It is faithful to the book and recaps the story with a very good cast.

i hope to see the American version this week.

Dudley said...

I've only seen the Swedish version, I thought it was excellent. I'm prepared to be disappointed with the new American one whenever I see it, but would love to be impressed instead.

dodo1925 said...

It's very late; been a long day but I wanted to send my best Christmas wishes to you all and to wish Fermatprime and Yellowrocks happy birthdays, too.

Bob C said...

I enjoyed most of the puzzle outside of the theme answers that seem a bit weak. But, hey, it's Christmas and the general idea was fun to work through.
Best wishes for the New Year...can you believe it's 2012 already!