Jan 31, 2011

Monday, January 31, 2011 Donna S. Levin

Theme: Audio Alerts - The last word of the first three theme entries can precede the last word of the fourth.

17A. Exec's perk: COMPANY CAR

23A. Tempts fate, in a way: PLAYS WITH FIRE

50A. Second in a Sue Grafton series: 'B' IS FOR BURGLAR

61A. Fairly spicy, as chili (and like this puzzle, literally, based on the ends of 17-, 23- and 50-Across): THREE ALARM

Argyle here. One minor problem and that may be just me. Solid construction but not much spice, even though spice is mentioned several times. LOL. If you look for them, there are quite a few connections, intentional or not.


1. Dissolves into a puddle : MELTS

6. Firing range rounds : AMMO

10. Dog bugger : FLEA

14. Audibly astonished : AGASP

15. Pastry served au rhum : BABA. A small yeast cake saturated in rum.

16. Bee, to Andy : AUNT. From the Andy Griffith Show

19. Adriatic resort : LIDO

20. Sixth sense letters : ESP

21. Tableland : MESA

22. Conestoga, e.g. : WAGON

27. God of manly beauty : APOLLO

29. Actor Diggs : TAYE. This

30. "Saturday Night Fever" dance genre : DISCO

31. Bogus plan : SCAM

33. Actress Cheryl : LADD.
Image, of course.

37. Acolyte's suffix : IST. Can someone explain this? Donna?

38. One in an extra-large baby carriage, perhaps : TRIPLET

41. Angus's greeting : MOO. I had this strange picture of Scots going around saying, "Moo", to each other. Must be the Monty Python effect.

42. Space Shuttle gp. : NASA

44. Feb. 14 : V-DAY. Saint Valentine's Day.

45. Colorado resort : ASPEN

47. "Of __ I Sing" : THEE

49. Mideast fleet : OILERS. The big oil tankers.

55. One more time : AGAIN

56. "Trick" or "treat" : VERB. But NOUN works too.

57. Horn for a Muppet named Zoot : SAX

60. Defame : SLUR

64. Charged particles : IONS

65. Feathery wraps : BOAs

66. Dance in a line : CONGA

67. Layer of paint : COAT

68. Eyelid woe : STYE

69. Praise : KUDOS


1. Nutmeg spice : MACE

2. Boardroom clashers : EGOs

3. Streetlight supports : LAMPPOSTS, And lampposts are traditional supports for drunks.

4. 1/6 fl. oz. : TSP

5. Musical with the song "The Holy Grail" : SPAMALOT. Still looking for the Holy Grail!

6. Bottomless pit : ABYSS

7. Avian chatterbox : MACAW.
Pretty bird.

8. Wharton deg. : MBA

9. Galley mover : OAR

10. Pita filling : FALAFEL. Falafel is made from ground chickpeas and/or fava beans and spices.

11. "Super Mario" brother : LUIGI. Video game.

12. Biblical witch's home : ENDOR. I think of
Endora, from TV's "Bewitched".

13. Do penance : ATONE

18. R&B artist with the 2006 #1 hit "So Sick" : NE-YO. Unknown to me but
this (3:29)(with lyrics) is pretty good.

22. "For what reason?" : "WHY?"

24. Partnership letters : LLC. Limited Liability Company.

25. Country with a da Vinci drawing on its one-euro coin : ITALY.

26. Docile : TAME

27. Score after deuce : AD IN. One more letter and it's AD OUT, depending on which tennis player has won the next point, thus giving them the advantage.

28. Galileo's birthplace : PISA

31. Flip of a hit single : SIDE B

32. IRS audit rep : CPA

34. Barnes & Noble link? : AMPERSAND

35. Perpetrator : DOer

36. Crime bosses : DONS

39. Winnebago owner, briefly : RVer

40. NFL ball carrier, often : TAILBACK

43. In the beginning : AT FIRST

46. Gp. that abducted Patty Hearst : SLA. Symbionese Liberation Army. It happened in 1974.

48. Sweetie : HON

49. Meanie : OGRE

50. Rudimentary : BASIC

51. Inuit home : IGLOO. The Inuit were once known as Eskimos.

52. Sweat box? : SAUNA. Now that's funny; sweat box following the ice box(igloo).

53. Sun danger : UV RAY

54. Witherspoon of "Walk the Line" : REESE. The
story of Johnny Cash.

58. Jason's vessel : ARGO

59. Dec. holiday : XMAS

61. "Very funny" TV station : TBS. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

62. In vogue : HOT

63. '70s TV boss of Mary, Ted and Murray : LOU. Mary Tyler Moore Show, editor LOU Grant(Ed Asner).

Answer grid.


Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to Patriots' faithful fan Joshua (Barry G's handsome boy), who turns 6 years old today.

Happy Birthday to Bill G too. Sheng Ri Kuai Le, Bill!

Jan 30, 2011

Sunday January 30, 2011 Mel Rosen

Theme: How to Read the Personal Ads - Words in Personal Ads are humorously (or rather cynically) interpreted.

23A. "Free spirit" means ... : I LOST EVERY JOB I EVER HAD. A true free spirit!

31A. "Enjoys long conversations" means ... : I DIDN'T PAY MY CABLE BILL

49A. "Likes home cooking" means ... : I'M TOO CHEAP TO EAT OUT. Or you're having food intolerant/sensitive problem.

67A. "Adventurous" means ... : I HAVE BEEN TO THE ZOO ONCE. This answer doesn't click for me.

85A. "Enjoys the beach" means ... : I OWN A METAL DETECTOR. What's the connection between "beach" and "metal detector"?

103A. "Likes to cuddle" means ... : MY APARTMENT HAS NO HEAT.

112A. "Takes long walks" means ... : MY CAR'S BEEN REPOSSESSED. Sad excuse.

Great to see Mel Rosen's by-line. He coined the word cruciverbalist and introduced the term "fingers" into crossword construction. Fingers refer to those 2 or 3 black square blocks along the edges of the grid. They look like fingers poking into the grid.

Very often Sunday puzzles are a challenge for me. The sheer size is daunting. And the pressure of finishing the puzzle & getting the write-up done in time take away some pleasure from me. Today I had lots of fun. Nailed those long theme entries with only a few letters in place. Most of the unknowns were easily obtainable via crossings.


1. Like electric basses : AMPED

6. Chorister's cover : ROBE. One who sings in a choir is a chorister.

10. One of the Wayans brothers : SHAWN. Got his name via crosses.

15. Story morals, e.g. : TAGS. New meaning of tag to me.

19. Rouen room : SALLE. French for "room". Alliteration.

20. Airline since 1948 : EL AL. Israel was established in 1948.

21. Chevy model : TAHOE

22. Another, in Ávila : OTRA. Also OTRO.

27. Without delay : NOW

28. Outback runner : EMU. Lean meat.

29. Have something : AIL. Wanted EAT.

30. Sarge's boss : LOOIE. Nickname for lieutenant.

39. Spohr's Opus 31 and others : NONETS. Not familiar with Spohr, a German composer who was once as famous as Beethoven, a la Wikipedia.

40. Flying Clouds, e.g. : REOs

41. Came to the rescue : AIDED

42. Fractions of a joule : ERGS. Work units.

43. They don't skip 48-Downs : LOCS. And 48D. Stop: Abbr. : STN. I am at sea. What is LOC? (Added later: It's local.)

44. "Otello" composer : VERDI. And 115D. "__ tu": 44-Across aria : ERI. Literally "are". Tu = You.

46. They may be dirt: Abbr. : RDs

55. Solfeggio syllables : FAs

58. Syr. and Eg., once : UAR (United Arab Republic, 1958-1961)

59. "Wassup," formally : HELLO

60. Big name in vacuums : DYSON. Have never paid attention to our vacuum brand.

61. Word of exhortation : RAH

62. E-mail button : SEND

64. Call's partner : BECK. Beck and call.

66. Writable storage media, briefly : CD-Rs. R stands for "recordable".

74. Daughter of Phoebe : LETO. Mother of Apollo.

75. Seaside cottage asset : VIEW

76. Describe in detail : LIMN. Fancy word.

77. Canon camera named for a goddess : EOS. Goddess of the dawn.

78. Alley "oops" : SPLIT. Bowling alley. Great clue.

80. Common people : PLEBS. Windhover likes to use this word to describe his no-NY Times crossword taste.

83. Rented : LET

84. Must-take coll. course : REQ

91. Slapstick prop : PIE

92. Cuts, say : EDITS

93. Big cut : GASH. Nice "cut" clecho.

94. Terrier of film : ASTA. "The Thin Man" dog.

98. Ring for breakfast : BAGEL

100. Brewery oven : OAST

101. Sans contractual buyers : ON SPEC. On speculation. Not specification.

108. Pesto or aioli : SAUCE. I like neither.

109. Ending for ranch : ERO. Ranchero.

110. British ref. : OED

111. Compass dir. : NNE. Could be any direction.

120. Env. stuffer : ENCL

121. "History of the World: __": Brooks film : PART I. Needed crosses for the I part.

122. "La __ Breve": de Falla opera : VIDA. Literally "life".

123. Tropical palm : ARECA. Source of betel nuts.

124. Handy abbr. : ET AL

125. Liqueur herb : ANISE

126. Struck (out) : EX'ED

127. Small songbirds : LARKS


1. Just plain silly : ASININE. Silly word.

2. Stink : MALODOR

3. Digging up some dirt : PLOWING

4. 2002 British Open champ : ELS (Ernie). I remember that brilliant bunker shot.

5. Windup toy device : DETENT. New word to me. Looks like it has the same root as détente.

6. Excite : REV UP

7. Opry adjective : OLE

8. Piano or roll follower : BAR

9. Bridge guru Culbertson : ELY. Learned his name from doing Xword.

10. Impassive : STOIC

11. "Aquí se __ español" : HABLA. "Speak" in Spanish. Spanish spoken here. Aquí = Here.

12. Some sushi tuna : AHI. Yellowfin tuna.

13. Distressed state : WOE

14. Ariz. neighbor : NEV

15. Doughnut-shaped : TOROID. Adjective of torus.

16. Playwright Fugard : ATHOL. South African playwright. Sometimes we see ALOES clued as part of his novel title "A Lesson from Aloes".

17. Chalice's cousin : GRAIL

18. "Smooth Operator" singer : SADE. Here is a clip. Beautiful song.

24. Paramedics, briefly : EMTs

25. Rogers Centre team, familiarly : JAYS. Toronto Blue Jays.

26. North Sea feeder : ELBE. You've got to remember your European rivers.

32. Lucie's dad : DESI (Arnaz)

33. Buck suffix : AROO. Buckaroo.

34. "Guh-ross!" : YECCH

35. Six-Day War figure Dayan : MOSHE. With his trademark eyepatch.

36. Milhouse's pal : BART. Have never watched "The Simpsons".

37. Venice Film Festival site : LIDO. Learning moment for me.

38. Warhol "superstar" Sedgwick : EDIE. Such a tragic figure. Died when she's only 28.

43. "SNL" producer Michaels : LORNE

44. Restaurant worker who's rarely in the restaurant : VALET. True.

45. Historic period : EPOCH

46. "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" author : ROSSNER (Judith). No idea. See the book cover.

47. One may be an item : DUO. Oh, like Taylor Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal.

50. "La Bohème" waltzer : MUSETTA . Again, needed crosses.

51. Exercise portmanteau : TAE BO. From TAE kwon do and boxing.

52. Jostled : ELBOWED

53. Enlarge, in a way : ADD ONTO

54. Rookie : TYRO. Haven't seen this word for a long time.

55. Calendar col. : FRI

56. "That feels go-o-o-od" : AAH

57. "Let's" evoker : SHALL WE

63. Research assoc.? : DEV (Development). The D in R & D.

65. Kenan's TV pal : KEL

66. Tailed orbiter : COMET

68. Ore source : VEIN

69. Bug like a pup : NIP AT

70. Doesn't hold back : TELLS. Not easy to be Deep Throat.

71. Zip : ZILCH

72. Cedar Rapids college : COE. Coe College. Iowa.

73. Litigator's letters : ESQ

78. Just a taste : SIP

79. Luau dish : POI. Taro dish. Freshly baked taros are tasty.

81. Had, in the Bible : BEGAT

82. Hidden supply : STASH

86. Big opening? : MEGA. Like megabyte.

87. River of central Germany : EDER

88. Arcade foul : TILT

89. "¿Cómo __?" : ESTA

90. Hardly thoughtful : RASH

95. "The Faerie Queene" poet : SPENSER (Edmund)

96. New Jersey town near the George Washington Bridge : TEANECK. Total unknown to me.

97. Substituted for : ACTED AS

98. "Key Largo" co-star : BACALL (Lauren)

99. Me-tooer : APER

100. __ about : ON OR

101. Till bills : ONEs

102. "I won't sign" : NO DEAL

103. Is forbidden to, quaintly : MAYNT. "May not" I suppose.

104. New Mexico state flower : YUCCA. Yucca in bloom, from Gunghy's bike series.

105. Bumps into : MEETS

106. Banks called "Mr. Cub" : ERNIE. Spent his entire career with the Cubs.

107. "Such a pity" : SO SAD

108. Right-hook man in "Peter Pan"? : SMEE. Captain Hook has an iron hook to replace his right hand. Smee is his right-handed man. Somehow this clue doesn't work for me.

113. Mud bath venue : SPA

114. Block : BAN

116. Apple pioneer? : EVE. Because Eve is the first person to eat the apple.

117. Thumbnails, nowadays : PIX

118. Poetic praise : ODE

119. Málaga Mrs. : SRA

Answer grid.


Jan 29, 2011

Saturday Januray 29, 2011 Gareth Bain

Theme: None

Total words: 70

Total blocks: 34

C.C. here. I think this is Gareth Bain's first LA Times themeless. Congrats!

Gareth anchors his puzzle with a stacked 15 & 14 on top and bottom of his grid:

17A. "West Side Story" duet : ONE HAND, ONE HEART. Tony & Maria's duet.

20A. Ecstatic cry : YES, THERE IS A GOD. This could be the seed entry.

45A. Go from 10 to 8, say : DROP A DRESS SIZE. Nice answer. Crazy SSS in the middle.

50A. Angel's concern : BROADWAY MUSICAL. Angel refers to Broadway financial backer.

How's your solving? Quite a workout for me. Sweated a lot over several geography references. Tough cluing overall.


1. Edmonton's prov. : ALTA (Alberta)

5. North __ Sea, Syr Darya River outlet : ARAL. Wikipedia says the North Aral Sea is part of the former former Aral Sea that's fed by the Syr Darya River, which is a complete unknown to me.

9. Russian city to host the 2014 Olympics : SOCHI. No idea. It's pronounced like SOH-chee. On the Black Sea. Right side, see it?

14. Sounds of triumph : HAHs

15. Move, in real estate : RELO

16. Some soli : ARIAS. Soli is plural of solo.

21. Loan guarantor : SURETY

22. Whiz : PRO

23. Stir vigorously : BEAT. Egg whites, I suppose.

24. Fish you don't want to be biting : PIRANHAS. Ozzie Guillén (White Sox manager, very funny guy) said Twins are like piranhas.

29. Attached, in a way : GLUED

31. One-footer, e.g. : TAP-IN. Tap-in putt. Golf.

32. Peke output : YIP. Pekingese dog. Yips are of course also golfer's nightmare. No tap-in gimme.

33. They fit in locks : OARS. Nope, no KEYS. Boat locks.

34. Deli suffix : WURST

35. __ Squalor, Count Olaf's girlfriend in "A Series of Unfortunate Events" : ESME. The name is a reference to Salinger's "For Esme – with Love and Squalor", which rings a bell. The clue as it is means nothing to me.

36. Overalls part : BIB

37. Billy Dee's "The Empire Strikes Back" role : LANDO. Lando Calrissian. I just have no desire to watch those "Star Wars" movies.

38. Glove material : LATEX

39. How much radio is broadcast : IN STEREO. Did you get the answer immediately?

41. Pharmacist's datum : DOSE

42. Had a life : WAS

43. Tab competitor : DIET RC. Had trouble parsing DIETRC.

51. Site of a sacred building called the Kaaba : MECCA. Here is Kaaba (literally, "the cube") during Hajj. The most sacred building in Islam. So crowded.

52. Resort NE of Los Alamos : TAOS

53. Swarthy : DARK

54. Far from swarthy : PASTY. Nice "swarthy' clecho (clue echo).

55. Dustin's "The Graduate" co-star : ANNE (Bancroft)

56. Word of consequence : ELSE


1. Bridge call? : AHOY. Oh, ship bridge. Not the bridge game.

2. Pins may be at the ends of them : LANES. Bowling pins.

3. End-of-day destination for many : THE SUBURBS

4. Hardwood sources : ASH TREES. Used to make baseball bats.

5. CNN Gulf War reporter : ARNETT (Peter)

6. Towel off again : REDRY

7. Shrub with tubular flowers : ALOE

8. Anderson of "WKRP in Cincinnati" : LONI

9. Arid : SAHARAN

10. Ducks' home : OREGON. Ducks: University of Oregon. Beavers: Oregon State.

11. "Bye!" : CIAO

12. Like some copies and courts : HARD

13. Social end : IST. End to the word socialist.

18. Winning : AHEAD

19. Lively wit : ESPRIT

24. 1960s-'70s "Jeopardy!" announcer : PARDO (Don). Have faintly heard of the name.

25. __ jure: by the law itself : IPSO

26. Riotous : HYSTERICAL

27. Parisian lover's word : AIME. Love. Je t'aime.

28. Eyewear, commercially : SPEX

29. Home to many Bactrian camels : GOBI. Do you know the name for these camels?

30. Rested : LAIN

31. Some find it hard to carry : TUNE. Tricky clue.

34. 1955 treaty city : WARSAW. Warsaw Pact.

35. Manhattan's FDR Drive is on it : EAST SIDE. Guessed.

37. Traditionally, when women were allowed to propose marriage : LEAP DAY. Was unaware of this tradition.

38. Windblown soil : LOESS. Learned from doing crossword.

40. With an intermission : TWO ACT

41. Neglect : DISUSE

43. Familiar, perhaps : DEMON. Why? Don't get the clue.

44. Industry overseers : CZARS. Like Drug Czar.

45. "The Sopranos" Emmy winner De Matteo : DREA. Her name escaped me.

46. Elephants' predators, in myth : ROCs

47. It may be described in gigs : DATA. So gigs refer to gigabytes?

48. 2006 N.L. MVP __ Howard : RYAN. First baseman for Dennis' Phillies.

49. Sommer of "The Prize" : ELKE

50. Image file letters : BMP. What does BMP stand for, Al? Bitmap?


Jan 28, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011 Don Gagliardo

Theme: Get the UGH out of here! The letters UGH are removed from the first word of a common phrase to reveal a different and rib-tickling, knee-slapping, new amusing phrase. As usual, constructor Don G's note is attached at the end of this write-up.

17A. Where to sleep off a bender?: SOT SHELTER. SOughT shelter. SOT being a very common crosswordese for a drunkard.

24A. Anxious campus society?: FRAT WITH TENSION. FRAughT with...FRAT being the accepted abbreviation of fraternity, lots of tension with those sorority girls around.

38A. Hair styling prodigy?: DO BOY. DOughBOY. Okay, I get it, a Hairdo creating young man; better than the poor fool who runs around for a girl, doing what she wants, while she dates his best friend.

46A. Talented jazzman?: CAT WITH THE GOODS. CAughT with...CAT being a cool jazz name forever. How about HERBIE HANCOCK . I did not think you were supposed to use a four word fill?

57A. "Airport music so early?": ENO ALREADY. ENOugh already. Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno is a pioneer in AMBIENT MUSIC . Airport, the same as elevator?

Lemonade here.

A very nice tight theme, two grid spanning theme answers, with no unifier, and a good Friday mix of unknowns, little knowns, with lots of long fill like BOILS DOWN TO, TREADS WATER and CAR FERRY. Let's dig into this G masterpiece.


1. Plain type?: JANE. Poor Jane, she gets to be both plain, and anonymous as JANE DOE. At least she did not end up as a nickname for a toilet.

5. Company whose name is quacked in ads: AFLAC. Along with the GEICO Gekko, the superstars of advertising; and you question our education system.

10. Finishing nail: BRAD. The little guys with the big heads: hey watch the comments.

14. Work: OPUS, classic Latin, or part of a mini-theme of funny ANIMALS .

15. Sporty Mazda: MIATA. I am afraid they are no longer considered anything.

16. Slick: OILY. We survived the BP oil spill, that was slick in so many ways.

19. Atl. republic since 1944: ICEL. We all love Don G., and this was easy, as ICELAND is one of the few republics in the Atlantic Ocean, and he told us it was an abbr., but I cannot find ICEL used this way anywhere.

20. Aurora's counterpart: EOS. Thanks Al for telling everybody an answer in this puzzle.

21. Smart guy?: ALEC. The expression comes from actual, though dubious PERSON.

22. Pivoting points: FULCRA. "Give me a lever and place to stand, and I can move the world." Archimedes' famous quote on the use of a fulcrum. Personally, it is the place to stand part I find a little silly.

27. La __ Tar Pits: BREA. We have lots of this one, which makes me wonder what you think of Uncle Remus and the Tar Baby ?

28. Yankee nickname: A ROD. The Steinbrenners are upset.

29. Worked with horses, in a way: SHOED. Yes they can be SHOD or SHOED, just do not let them run barehooved in the fields.

31. 2008 Libertarian presidential candidate: BARR. I liked the Newsweek tagline, "Time to Belly up to the Barr," for this CANDIDATE .

33. Like some rugs: OVAL, as are some offices, but rugs are also wool, or blue or...well, it slowed me down.

37. Pool shade: AQUA. Appropriate for a pool to be water colored.

39. Off the mark: WIDE.

40. Abbr. followed by a year: ESTD. The words put in the cornerstone of building for example.

41. Part of the dog days of Dijon: AOUT. Time for the Lemonade lesson on French, Août means simply August (my birth month) and as Kazie discussed, is one of the words where the accent becomes an "s" in Anglais. Dijon being a town as well as a mustard, not to be confused with Col. Mustard in the library with Miss Scarlett.

42. Fund: ENDOW. Lots of rich people endow their Colleges and Universities, and as someone who attended UConn for graduate and undergraduate school, I am not sure if I am embarrassed by the booster who wants his money back because the school hired a loser coach to replace the guy who brought the team to a BCS bowl. Thoughts?

43. Friend of Dalí: SERT. I was not familiar with this ARTIST . I wonder if any of his work hangs at 45. Atterbury Street gallery: TATE?

53. Dag Hammarskjöld's successor: U THANT. As a young person, I was impressed by this man, and recall his saying, "Every human being, of whatever origin, of whatever station, deserves respect. We must each respect others even as we respect ourselves." very timely in the early 60s and still true.

54. Cramming method: ROTE. Drat, I used up all my Kyle Rote material last time.

55. Disturb, as the balance: TIP. I would link O.Neill, but why get political.

56. Frost, say: POET, another easy one I tried to talk myself out of with RIME and HOAR. As a New Englander, I am ashamed. CA, you have one for us?

60. Regarding: IN RE, finally, a tiny law phrase.

61. Dino's love: AMORE, ah, a generic Dino, not the Flintstones' pet.

62. Lhasa __: APSO. Woof woof.

63. Headlights starer: DEER, there are those among us who have notches painted on the side of his or her vehicle marking the unfortunate end of wild life on the highway, but I will not name names.

64. Mearth's mother, in a '70s-'80s sitcom: MINDY. The baby, played by Jonathan Winters, I like the name so much, I called my mother Mearth for years. She perhaps did not enjoy it as much as I.

65. Flunky: PEON. Maybe we can introduce him to our do boy.

Okay, it is all down hill from here.


1. Pianist Hofmann: JOSEF. I loves me a good CHOPIN both music and vodka, but did not know this fella.

2. "I'm just __ wayfaring stranger": song lyric: A POOR. More JOHNNY CASH ?

3. More than just into: NUTS ABOUT. Now in trying to teach anyone English, imagine explaining the many uses of the word NUTS, which can be so good, so mean, so yummy and so confusing. And the accompanying, 42D. More than ready: EAGER.

4. Indirect route: ESS. Our old friend the ess curve, wound its way back.

5. Earhart of the air: AMELIA. Well, we blessed bloggers of CC's domain, seem to always have at least one clue that fits the writer, and if you examine my latest avatar, you will see my brand new grand niece, AMELIA, born on Tuesday. How does Rich do that? I thought Amy Adams was a cute one, btw.

6. Sole order: FILET. Yes, please, no bones about it.

7. Door fastener: LATCH. I will always think of the controversy about the KIDS . We never locked the house, so it was not meaningful for us.

8. Scarfed up: ATE. makes it sound so yummy.

9. Frequent Martha's Vineyard arrival: CAR FERRY. If only Teddy had taken the ferry. There are bad jokes about the other ferries on cape cod, but they are only meant to amuse.

10. Is, when simplified: BOILS DOWN TO. Does the word convoluted come to mind? I really like this clue, but it took some serious unwinding to figure where he was headed.

11. "Sleepy Hollow" actress: RICCI. Little Wednesday from the Addams Family all GROWED UP .

12. Olds that replaced the Achieva: ALERO, if they sold as many as we see in puzzles, they might still be in business.

13. Singer/songwriter born Robert Zimmerman: DYLAN. A shout out from Hibbings, Minnesota to all our frozen friends.

18. Spoke uncertainly: HAWED. In case you forgot so quickly, it's back.

23. Card game with a pre-victory warning: UNO. I am sorry, but my family played SKIP-BO more.

25. Stays afloat, in a way: TREADS WATER. I really like this one.

26. Fateful card: TAROT. My youngest started reading them when he was 10, influenced by another boys mother, but that is another story.

29. MS. enclosure: SAE, I guess they ran out of stamps.

30. Operations ctrs.: HQS, headquarters, very military.

31. Diner option: BOOTH, would you like a table or a clean spoon?

32. __ Dhabi: ABU. The capital of the UAE, and one of the richest cities in the world, but the name means father of gazelles. If you have that much oil money, don't you think you could pick a better name?

34. Incriminating record, maybe: VIDEO TAPE. CSI has taught us to look out for all those cameras watching s everywhere.

35. Foofaraw: ADO. Wow, never heard of this really sweet word, I wish it were the fill, not the clue.

36. Kareem, at UCLA: LEW, Abdul-Jabbar back when he was an Alcindor.

38. Competitive missile hurlers: DART TEAM. In the Nero Wolfe series, the notoriously sedentary and fat, main character took up throwing darts as part of his exercise routine to prepare for world war two. That was the first time I heard darts called missiles; some funny scenes with Archie. And our near clecho, 46D. Missile-shooting god: CUPID.

44. German article: EIN. One.

45. Big name in tea: TETLEY. Were you LIPTON or TETLEY as a kid?

47. Make restitution: ATONE. A good clue for a nice Jewish boy like me.

48. "Ta-da!": THERE. I wish he had saved this for last and I could use to set up my exit line.

49. Town on the Firth of Clyde: TROON. Well, for GAH and the many golf addicts, this was a gimme, because this town is site of Royal Troon, one of the courses used to host the Open Championship, and where Arnold Palmer won his second Open title in 1962. revitalizing european golf, just as he had american golf.

50. Emulate Scrooge: HOARD. Why do I think of Scrooge McDuck, not the Dickens character?

51. Playground retort: DID SO. DID NOT!

52. Watch from the trees, say: SPY ON, a favorite of stalkers of all ages.

58. Feature of a two-ltr. monogram: NMI, no middle initial; just lazy parents.

59. "The Gold-Bug" monogram: EAP. Baltimore's own Edgar Allen Poe; I guess the flowers will be no more, like Marilyn, the vigil is over.

Well that was fun; sadly after getting half finished I sneezed and erased all of my work, so it was an Emily Litella time for me. Thanks Don and have a fine week end all.


Note from Don G:

"No Ugh

I could have called this DONUT HOLE, because at some point in history someone got lazy and left out the UGH in DOUGHNUT, thus the hole.  That thought started me on this theme, although DONUT HOLE as a theme answer got lost in the process.  I remember having difficulty at one point in the construction process and mistakenly used the word TOUGH or ROUGH going down.  That is a nono, because strictly speaking it breaks the rule of the theme.  After all, we don’t want to confuse the solver.  Lastly, since there is no UGH, I suppose the puzzle doesn’t stink!  I knew someone of you would have thought of that angle."

Jan 27, 2011

Thursday, Jan 27, 2011 Dan Naddor & Doug Peterson

Theme: An unhealthy obsession: 45D. Feeling of resentment associated with the last words of the starred answers: GRUDGE. Better to forgive and remember.

17A. *Yellowstone Park beast: GRIZZLY BEAR. To bear a grudge, as in carrying it as a burden.

28A. *Fort McHenry defended it in 1814: BALTIMORE HARBOR. Harbor from "herebeorg", a place of protection for an army or horde, (later ships). To shelter within and defend.

43A. *Medical professional: REGISTERED NURSE. To nurse is to nurture and make stronger. It comes from the sense to suckle an infant to make it grow.

55A. *Feature of many customer service calls: MUSIC ON HOLD. To hold a grudge is to tend it and keep it as property.

Hi all, Al here.

Interesting partnership today. When I read Doug's note (see the end of the write-up for how this happened), for some reason this tribute/collaboration came to mind.


1. Checkbook no.: ACCT. Number is abbreviated "no." from Latin "numero", a form of numerus.

5. Mason of "The Goodbye Girl": MARSHA. Also a vampire in the "Dark Shadows" soap.

11. Cinephile's cable channel: AMC. American Movie Classics.

14. Par: NORM.

15. Delta competitor: UNITED.

16. "Turn on the heat!": BRR.

19. The Mustangs of the NCAA's Conference USA: SMU. Southern Methodist University. Good thing they didn't add "of Technology" to the title.

20. Work like a dog: MOIL. To labor in the muck and mire.

21. Flooring material: PLYWOOD. Ah, ok, the underlayment, not the finishing material.

23. The Grammys, e.g.: EVENT.

25. Egyptian Christian: COPT.

27. Prado hangings: ARTE. Museo del Prado in Spain.

31. Norwegian noble name: OLAV. Also spelled with an "f" instead of "v". Wait for perps.

32. "__ Yankee Doodle ...": I'M A. From the musical "Little Johnny Jones" written by George Cohan. Made into a movie: "Yankee Doodle Dandy" starring James Cagney. I don't think there were any dirty rats in it.

33. Swelter: FRY. Swelter originally meant to burn slowly, thus overcome with heat or fever.

34. 50-Across's st.: NEB.raska to go along with 50A. Home of Creighton University: OMAHA.

35. A director may ask for more of it: EMOTION.

37. Justice Dept. agency: FBI.

40. Curly smacker: MOE. Two of the three stooges, always slapping each other. My favorite clue today. This reminded me the most of Dan.

41. Lacto-__ vegetarian: OVO. One who will eat dairy and eggs, but not meat. Compare to pescetarian (will eat fish but not red meat), and vegan, no animal products at all.

42. Provoke: GOAD. From Old English "gad", spearhead or arrowhead.

48. Puts on the tube: AIRS.

49. Tampa Bay squad: RAYS. Until 2007, they were the Devil Rays, which are perfectly legitimate sea creatures. Then the PC police won again.

51. Seasonal pharmacy offering: FLU SHOT. Perhaps people might try vitamin D3 and probiotics so that your resistance will increase instead. People living in northern latitudes do not get enough sunshine for sufficient D3 production.

53. Red ink: LOSS. OK, maybe this only appeals to my sense of humor, but on the Wiki page for "in the red", the link color for "net loss" appears in red. (Meaning they lost the article it used to point to..)

54. Served dinner: FED. Wanted ATE, even though it seemed ungrammatical.

60. Race segment: LEG. Wanted LAP instead. These two in this area slowed my solving time down a bit.

61. Spoke out: OPINED.

62. Fit to be drafted: ONE-A. Again, a wait for at least one perp because a-one is sometimes clued instead.

63. GPS heading: ENE.

64. Martial arts instructor: SENSEI. A Japanese address for a person above your status, such as a teacher, lawyer, doctor, editor, etc. In Tae Kwon Do, the term for instructor is Sa Bum Nim.

65. "My word!": EGAD. Euphemism for "Oh, God".


1. "Hulk" director Lee: ANG. I wasn't all that fond of his Hulk, but I suppose it would be too cliche to use Crouching Tiger instead.

2. __ anglais: English horn: COR. A french term, it is neither English, nor a horn, more similar to an oboe and half again as long. It got the name from the German word engellisches horn, which meant angelic horn, as it resembled the depicted instruments in statues of angels, but engellisch also was vernacular for English, and the name stuck.

3. Forensic test site: CRIME LAB. I guess that's where they (pause, puts on sunglasses) "flesh out" the evidence... Yaaaaaaaaaa!

4. Celebrity gossip show: TMZ ON TV. A television show that came from a website. TMZ refers to the Thirty Mile Zone, the studio zone of downtown Hollywood.

5. Ponder: MULL. To grind or powderize (thoughts), related to mill, perhaps. Also to sweeten, spice and heat a drink, as mulled wine.

6. Unspecified amount: ANY.

7. Messy barbecue morsel: RIB.

8. Grassy plain: STEPPE.

9. Nutritionist's recommendation: HEALTH FOOD. Here's a clue: if it actually has a label on it claiming to be health food, it probably isn't. Stick with whole unprocessed foods.

10. Hit __ spell: A DRY.

11. Engross: ABSORB. From Latin "absorbere", to swallow up.

12. Sleuth played by Peter Lorre: MR MOTO. You might also see this as Marquand's (John P.) sleuth.

13. Less refined: CRUDER. Latin "crudus", rough, not cooked, raw, bloody.

18. Pasta often baked: ZITI. Like elbow noodles, only straight.

22. On one's guard: WARY.

23. Black, in stanzas: EBON.

24. Low area: VALE.

25. "We get letters" '50s-'60s TV singer/host: COMO. His second RCA LP release, of songs requested via viewer mail on his show, recorded just about the time I was born.

26. Rhetorical skill: ORATORY. Public speaking.

29. Group that goes through the motions?: MIME TROUPE. Apparently there are actually mime troupes, but more in the sense of mimicry, as in satiric presentation of public figures and "official" stories, not pantomime as the clue suggests.

30. "Prince Valiant" character: ARN. A comic strip running since 1937, there were two characters with that name: Prince Arn of Orn, who gave Val the singing sword, and Arn, Val's son, who was named for the former.

35. Dawn goddess: EOS. A greek Titan, sister to Helios, the sun, and Selene, the moon. In Roman mythology they were Aurora, Sol, and Luna.

36. Currier's colleague: IVES. "Publishers of Cheap and Popular Prints", lithographs.

37. Inexpensively: FOR A SONG. More aptly, for the performance of a song.

38. Spirited party: BASH. From striking violently, to a violent drunken spree, to a wild party.

39. "What's the big __?": IDEA.

40. Pageant title: MISS. I didn't want to put that in at first, it seemed too easy.

42. Sam Spade, e.g., slangily: GUMSHOE. Literally from the gum rubber shoes they wore to sneak around.

43. School fund-raiser: RAFFLE.

44. Astronaut Collins: EILEEN. First woman to command the space shuttle.

46. Dirties the dishes: EATS IN.

47. Cinematic showdown hour: NOON. Latin "nona hora" the ninth hour of daylight, or canonical hour of nones was really 3 PM at first. The meaning shift from "3 p.m." to "12 p.m." began during 12c., when the time of Church prayers shifted from ninth hour to sixth hour, or perhaps because the customary time of the midday meal shifted, or both.

52. Wellness gps.: HMOS. Health Maintenance Organization. St. Peter told one of the directors who was present before him: "Well, you may enter the kingdom of Heaven, but you can only stay for three days."

53. City near Sacramento: LODI. CCR.

56. Aetna's bus.: INS. Business, insurance abbrevs.

57. So-so grade: CEE.

58. Rural expanse: LEA. No doubt wordplay on the similarity to the "Great expanse" sea clue we see so often.

59. Pops: DAD.

A note from Doug:

"The puzzle uses a theme that Dan sent to Rich for approval. Rich liked it, but unfortunately Dan didn't get a chance to make the puzzle. So a few months ago, Rich asked me if I'd like to try to construct a puzzle around this theme. What an honor! I met Dan a couple of times, and he was passionate and opinionated about his puzzles. I hope I got a little of his spirit into this one. I'm especially happy with the long downs, and I think this grid represents a nice mixture of our styles."


PS: Rich said there are enough Dan Naddors in his pipeline to last us til April.

Jan 26, 2011

Wednesday, Jan 26, 2011, Robert A. Doll

Theme: HOLY COW, BATMAN! Each is the name of a comic superhero, clued as the name of his or her 'civilian' name.

17A. Diana Prince's alter ego : WONDER WOMAN. Very interesting, the creator of Wonder Woman was William Moulton Marston, a psychologist and the inventor of the polygraph. He wanted to create a new kind of superhero that thrived off of intelligence and love. But it was actually his wife, Elizabeth, who had the idea to make the new character a woman. Another woman, who was in a relationship with the both of them, Olive Byrne, also served as a model for the character that would be Wonder Woman.

24A. Peter Parker's alter ego : SPIDERMAN. Spidey gets his girl.

31A. Britt Reid's alter ego : THE GREEN HORNET. Anyone seen the new movie?

37A. Steve Rogers's alter ego : CAPTAIN AMERICA

48A. Linda Lee Danvers's alter ego : SUPERGIRL

56A. Reed Richards's alter ego : MR FANTASTIC. One of the Fantastic Four (with the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch, and Thing).

And a bonus:

53D. Lee who co-created 24-Across : STAN. Lee also co-created 56-Across (The Fantastic Four), Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, The X-Men, and ... serious ... Stripperella.

SUPER-fun puzzle, I love heavy themeage - count 'em, SIX theme answers. Not a big comic reader, but all these characters were familiar enough to be gettable. Peter Parker was the only alter-ego name I knew.


1. Place to chill out : SPA. Batcave wouldn't fit. I spend my share of time at the spa, and then some.

4. "In all likelihood ..." : ODDS ARE

11. Hollywood hrs. : PST. Hollywood, California is on Pacific Standard Time.

14. Many, many moons : EON

15. Land purveyor : REALTOR. Just spoke with one yesterday.

16. Mr. __!: old whodunit game : REE. Detective board game that pre-dates Clue - never heard of it.

19. Have some grub : EAT

20. Wore : HAD ON

21. Thus : LIKE SO

23. Cutting the mustard : ABLE

27. Arctic explorer John : RAE. 1813-1893. Scottish doctor who surveyed parts of the Northwest Passage (a sea route through the Arctic Ocean).

28. Quetzalcoatl worshiper : AZTEC. Quetzalcoatl is a Mesoamerican deity whose name comes from the Nahuatl language and has the meaning of "feathered-serpent"

30. Aromatherapist's supply : OILS. I use these a lot in my practice - they are fun to blend.

35. Bite for Mister Ed : OAT

36. Bray beginning : HEE. The sound a donkey makes, "hee-haw."

45. "Kubla Khan" river : ALPH. Had to google to learn that "Journey on the River Alph" is a collection of Poetry by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. His poem "Kubla Khan" was the inspiration behind the Realm of Xanadu cyber-novel. I'll leave the rest to to Clear Ayes.

46. Meted (out) : DOLED

47. XV years before the Battle of Hastings : MLI. I always have to guess with these.

51. Trade punches : SPAR

52. Sound acquisition? : STEREO

53. More artful : SLIER. Looks odd spelled that way.

55. Flight board abbr. : ETA. Estimated Time of Arrival.

61. Bis plus one, to a pharmacist : TER. Latin. “bis in die” twice a day; "ter in die" three times a day.

62. Lizards with dewlaps : IGUANAS

63. "__ Hunters": History Channel show with the tagline "Hoax or History?" : UFO. Have only heard of House Hunters.

64. Many SAT takers : SRS. Seniors.

65. Abundant flow : TORRENT. Wet and relentless.

66. Pink Floyd guitarist Barrett : SYD


1. Use a Singer : SEW

2. High-muck-a-muck : POOHBAH

3. "General Hospital" actress : ANNA LEE. Lila Quartermane. Died in 2004 at 91. Didn't know this, don't watch soaps.

4. Cookie that might flavor a McFlurry : OREO

5. "Jurassic Park" actress : DERN. Loved her in Rambling Rose.

6. Margery of kids' rhyme : DAW. See saw Margery Daw.

7. Road warning : SLO

8. Source of 20s, for short : ATM. Automatic Teller Machine.

9. Author Dahl : ROALD. Author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and my favorite, James and the Giant Peach, among others.

10. "Sesame Street" regular : ERNIE

11. Early arrival : PREEMIE. Premature, uh ... delivery.

12. Natural seasoning : SEA SALT

13. Jackson Hole backdrop : TETONS. Ansel Adams picture, The Tetons and The Snake River.

18. HST's successor : DDE. Dwight D. Eisenhower; Harry S. Truman.

22. Danish coins : KRONER

23. Museum fare : ART

24. Canonized mlle. : STE. STE = Saint. Mlle = Mademoiselle (French equivalent of "miss.") The process by which someone becomes a saint is called canonization.

25. Write : PEN. Verb.

26. Cologne pronoun : ICH. German for me.

28. "How now? __?": Hamlet, before mistakenly slaying Polonius : A RAT. In Act 3, Scene 4, Hamlet mistakes Polonius for the King. "Oh shame, where is thy blush?" Favorite all time play, bar none.

29. Letter after epsilon : ZETA. Greek.

32. Burrowing rodent : GOPHER

33. "Alas" : OH ME

34. Swamp growth : REED

37. Disorder : CLUTTER. Bothers me.

38. Shows up : APPEARS

39. Infamous Amin : IDI. Seeing this pretty regularly lately.

40. Postal motto word : NOR. The original saying was actually "Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" and was said about 2500 years ago by the Greek historian, Herodotus. He said this adage during the war between the Greeks and Persians about 500 B.C. in reference to the Persian mounted postal couriers whom he observed and held in high esteem.

41. Every last one : ALL

42. Driving force : IMPETUS. A moving force; impulse; stimulus.

43. Elucidate : CLARIFY

44. Make public : AIR

45. Balance sheet heading : ASSETS

49. Send in the check : REMIT

50. 1961 British movie monster : GORGO. A British, underwater Godzilla.

51. Sasha, to Malia : SIS. The first daughters.

54. In the cellar, so to speak : LAST

57. Jet set garb : FUR

58. Rhine feeder : AAR. In the Swiss Alps, flows through Bern, see?

59. Tuscaloosa-to-Huntsville dir. : NNE

60. New England catch : COD

This theme reminded me the game Superheroes, from "Whose Line is it Anyway," still makes me laugh.

Answer grid.