Apr 30, 2011

Saturday April 30, 2011 Barry C. Silk

Theme: None

Total words: 68

Total blocks: 27

This puzzle is anchored by two Down 10s intersecting triple stacks of 9s, which cross another Down 9:

1A. Michael Jordan began college as one : MATH MAJOR. Was unaware of this trivia.

15A. Plants : SHRUBBERY

17A. Sex symbol of the silents : THEDA BARA. Rare to see her full name.

53A. Adjacent to : ALONGSIDE

58A. Shepherd of old radio : RIN TIN TIN. German shepherd.

5D. GMAT taker's goal : MBA DEGREE

60A. Where three's a crowd : TETE-A-TETE Two person chat. Therefore three's crowd. Stumped me.

9D. 2006 N.L. MVP : RYAN HOWARD. Phillies should send Barry team-signed balls/bats for his loyalty and continued promotion of their players.

26D. Behave suitably : ACT THE PART. Nice entry.

31D. What oldies evoke : NOSTALGIA. Easy to lose time on YouTube.

How's your solving experience today? Felt harder than last Saturday's grid.


10. Leather leggings : CHAPS. The guy in the middle looks dangerous.

16. "Casbah" actor, 1948 : LORRE (Peter). I've never heard of the film "Casbah". Only "Casablanca".

18. Very funny : ARIOT. A-word to irk Bill G.

19. Accessory : ADD-ON

20. Titans, e.g. : NISSANS. The pickup truck. Not the Tennessee Titans I had in mind.

22. Current source : OUTLET. Power.

24. Negative sentiment : I HOPE NOT

25. "Wedding Day at Troldhaugen" composer : GRIEG (Edvard). "Peer Gynt" is all I know about him.

26. He got his only World Series ring in 2009 : A-ROD. Big deal.

27. Staff note : MEMO

28. "Viva-Vegas" link : LAS. Viva Las Vegas.

29. Eastern quaff that's typically 18-25% alcohol : RICE WINE. Do you like Sake?

32. 21-Down, e.g. : ELEMENT. 21D. Kelp nutrient : IODINE. You can find kelp in miso soup.

34. They're assumed : ANONYMS. Nice clue.

38. Motions : GESTURES

40. Want ad abbr. : EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity)

41. Mosque leader : IMAM

44. "__ a hunch ..." : I HAD

45. Far from assertive : TIMID

47. Ariadne, to Minos : DAUGHTER. Quite a sophisticated clue.

49. Archaeologists, at times : DATERS

50. Clique : IN-GROUP

51. "Going Rogue" author : PALIN (Sarah)

52. Three-time Clooney role : OCEAN (Danny). "Ocean's Thirteen" is pretty good.

57. Old Scottish landholder : THANE. Like Macbeth.

59. Like some bars : SANDY. I don't get this clue.


1. Colorado hrs. : MST

2. Sound of recognition : AHH

3. Mill's "On Liberty," for one : TREATISE. Not familiar with the work.

4. Where plays may be discussed : HUDDLE. Football.

6. Brother's keeper? : ABBOT. Monastery.

7. Name often seen before a hyphen : JEAN. Like Jean-Claude Van Damme I suppose.

8. #4 at Boston Garden : ORR (Bobby)

10. Necklace feature : CLASP

11. Jockeys : HORSEMEN

12. European satellite launcher : ARIANE. I can never remember this name.

13. Nous or vous : PRONOM. French for pronoun.

14. Begins : SETS TO

22. Eye up and down : OGLE

23. River through Orsk : URAL. Sometimes we see ORSK clued as "Ural River city".

24. Fight cause, often : IRE

30. As found : IN SITU

33. Hollywood-themed Vegas hotel : MGM GRAND. Crazy consonant cluster.

35. Rial spender : YEMENITE. Only know them as Yemenis.

36. Rabin's '70s predecessor : MEIR (Golda)

37. Fixes bare spots, in a way : SODS

39. Former Mideast gp. : UAR

41. Certain how-to book targets? : IDIOTS. Dummies also.

42. La __: region of central Spain : MANCHA. Where Don Quixote's from.

43. Like the stables cleaned by Hercules in a single day : AUGEAN. Augean stables. Unpleasant task.

46. "I disagree" : IT ISN'T

48. Love : HONEY

49. "Purgatorio" writer : DANTE

51. Bridge in Paris : PONT. French for "bridge".

54. Rest : LIE

55. Morse character : DIT

56. Wind dir. : ENE. Not much a clue. 

Answer grid.

Click here to read Rich Norris' article on our E-less puzzle last Saturday.


Apr 29, 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011, Jeff McDermott

Theme::  How to have great ABs. The letters AB are added to the beginning word of a known phrase to create a new and humorous new phrase.  We still see so many addition on puzzles, so let's look and find what I believe new constructor Mr. McDermott has done to amuse us.

17A. Entrance exam study guide?: ABOUT DOORS. I really like the trickery of ENTRANCE EXAM cluing DOORS.

62A. Behar's home?: ABODE TO JOY. Beethoven's WORK is trivialized into the View hostess, Joy Behar.

11D. Steal office supplies?: ABDUCT TAPE. We recently discussed duct tape, now we our ABDUCTING (kidnapping) TAPE, fun.

28D. Missing letters?: ABSENT MAIL.  SENT MAIL being an email concept, making this a fresh clue.

Happy Friday; Lemonade back on the job, with a doable but cleverly clued puzzle, with a simple theme, but many common answers clued differently, and 7 fill-in-the blank clues. When you are teaching some one to do crosswords, everyone suggests they start with the FITB clues.  While you do this effort, I will highlight all the fill that I can twist into having a meaning directly for me, maybe you can do the same with different angles.


1. Put one's hands at ten and two: STEER. Very visual, but seldom followed by anyone after they secure their license.

6. Aptly named lotion: AFTA. A brand of AFTER shave.

10. 1970 NBA expansion team: CAVS. The Cleveland Cavaliers, and ex-home of LeBron James.

14. Poet Neruda: PABLO. He is becoming our poet laureate.

15. Affect, in slang: GRAB. How do Mr. McDermott's clues GRAB you so far?

16. Reed in a pit: OBOE. Orchestra pit, another nice visual.

19. Jim Davis pooch: ODIE. Well first you need to know who created GARFIELD, but better than the usual drool clue.

20. Parlor treat: SUNDAE. Lois and Carol probably had different treats in mind in their parlors.

21. "Break a leg": GOOD LUCK. You are never supposed to wish an actor good luck, though no one is sure why they must break a leg. One myth says it came from John Wiles Booth, who broke his leg when he leapt on stage to shoot Lincoln, bu that hardly makes sense.

23. Mediterranean high spot: ETNA. The mountain in Sicily. I would have LOVED the clue if left out the "spot."

25. Dazes: TRANCES.

26. They go nowhere: DEAD ENDS. Because of all our canals, Ft. Lauderdale has more dead end streets than any other city. (I just made up that fact!)

30. Lead singer Michaels of Poison: BRET. He had a very trying year with health problems, and the Donald, but he was once quite the STAR . ( I represent rock and roll bands).

31. Sphere: ORB. From the Latin Orbis, meaning circle. (It also can mean eye, and I studied Latin for years).

32. American Patriot Deane: SILAS. I suggest you read about this one time hero, one time pariah. LINK . (he was born in Conn. near where I was born).

34. Legally prevent: ESTOP. Both Latin and a legal term.

37. Game with a Ural territory: RISK. This game never thrilled me; not into war  I guess.

39. Only part of Egypt in Asia: SINAI. Hard to recall Egypt is an African country.

41. "Ditto": SAME.  How many remember DITTO and MIMEOGRAPH machines?

42. They're tucked in a cannonball: KNEES. Jumping into the pool to make a huge wave.

44. Suisse capital: BERNE. Ah ha, not EURO; I went to Switzerland to Ski. Berne? No it was quite chilly, actually.

46. Selfish sort: PIG. Ah, more about this.

47. Russian refusal: NYET.  A shared MEMORY ?

49. Squash relative: RACQUETS. Squash actullly derived from this  GAME .

51. Flanders city: ANTWERP. Belgium.

54. Sink or swim, perhaps: NOUN. Tricky, but becoming common.

55. Cross, often: MEMORIAL. So sad to see them on the edge of the highway.

57. Title for Bovary: MADAME. M. Flaubert's novel.

61. Man __: O WAR. Since we are approaching the Kentucky Derby, it is appropriate to see the first super horse in a puzzle.

64. John __, the Lone Ranger: REID. How many recall our discussion of the Green Hornet (because of the movie) who is Britt Reid, the nephew of the LR?

65. Atty.-to-be's exam: LSAT. I used to teach an LSAT prep class, to help kids get into Law School, many are now suing me for getting them in.

66. Maternally related: ENATE. Well, NATAL we know is birth, but did not know this word.

67. Six-sided rooms: ELLS. A nice change from the overhead trains.

68. Guidelines: Abbr.: STDS. Now for me, I would clue this Crabs and Clamydia, because of the following clue,  69. Battle of the __: SEXES.

Ok, on to the rest.


1. Mudbath offerers: SPAS. Also many places in the south now.

2. House of Dana perfume: TABU. This perfume was introduced in 1932, and used the creative spelling to get attention, something the Beatles capitalized on.

3. "By a swan's __ bill": Keats: EBON. Maybe CA knew this line, but the perps filled with this common poetic abbreviation.

4. Gave the runaround: ELUDED. My FAVORITE .

5. Spins: ROTATES.

6. Back: AGO.

7. Throat trouble: FROG. Got a frog in your throat, or are you croaking?

8. Card worth a fortune?: TAROT.  Nice fresh way to clue this standard. With, 43D. 8-Down user: SEER.

9. Engross: ABSORB.  A bit of a confusing fill, as it conflicts with the theme; deliberately?

10. Snoopy-wearing-shades trait: COOLNESS.  he actually is Joe Cool, when he wears them.

12. Declare: VOICE. As in opinions, which reminds me where are WH?

13. Looks for: SEEKS.

18. Menace with a blond cowlick: DENNIS. A shout out to our own.

22. Schoolyard pressure: DARE. I like this clue, and certainly my earliest memories of the schoolyard were a series of stupid dares.

24. Stage surprise: AD LIB. It was always fun to watch White Fang and Black Tooth deliberately change things to throw Soupy Sales off his game.

26. Doofus: DORK. Funny, I just was explaining this to a foreign friend of mine.

27. "__ Brockovich": ERIN. Did you like the MOVIE ?

29. Less fruity?: SANER. Like fruit cake? Meh.

33. Wrap around a wrap, maybe: SARAN. Nice play on wrap/wrap.

35. Drop: OMIT.

36. Identifies: PEGS. My ex-wife's least favorite nickname. She thought she had me pegged.

38. Googling elements: KEY WORDS. Actually, it is AOL that used that term.

40. Net __: INCOME. When I was a kid I was fascinated why anyone would consider money GROSS income.

45. Puts on a par (with): EQUATES.

48. Olympic qualifying events: TRIALS. Well he could have use a legal clue....

50. Incomplete: UNDONE. We are almost done, so hang in.

51. Martin's "That's __": AMORE DEAN remember when we loved our drunks?

52. Staircase support: NEWEL. We have had this clue before; also my son Devin's middle name is Newell.  Speaking of brewers of beer, he is offically a brewer now, with business card.

56. Pack: LOAD. I caution him not to get too loaded at work.

58. Trojan War hero: AJAX. I am sure you all recall this giant redheaded warrior, and my betta.

59. Floating speck, perhaps: MOTE. Which is what I have floating in my eyes because of all the surgeries.

60. Looks closely at: EYES. Did I mention eyes?

63. Some NFL linemen: DTS. Last week it was Delerium Tremens, I guess that means the draft is on and we all need some Defensive Tackles.

Well, another new guy, another new experience.  have a great week-end, here comes May!


Apr 28, 2011

Thursday, Apr 28, 2011, Jonathan Porat

Theme: MAD GAMES. Each answer consists of two magazine names which are given a crazy clue that forms a play on words. It is revealed in 57A: Place to find both parts of 20-, 36- and 43-Across: MAGAZINE RACK.

20A. Lawyer after too much coffee?: WIRED ESQUIRE.

36A. A day at the spa?: GLAMOUR TIME.

43A. George, Abe et al.?: MONEY PEOPLE. Dead presidents.  It's all about the Benjamins, who, of course, wasn't a president, but I'll still collect his pictures.

Happy Thursday everyone, Al here.  A very scrabbly puzzle today, six X's and two Z's, and a pangram to boot.


1. Given by: FROM.

5. Milton or Shelley: ODIST. John Milton (Christ's Nativity), and Percy Bysshe Shelly "Hail to thee blithe spirit" (Ode to a Skylark).

10. 2004 Best Actor: FOXX. Jamie Foxx as "Ray" (Charles).

14. __ lamp: LAVA. Use only as directed and don't heat these on a stove.  The Mythbusters showed that even if the exploding glass shards aren't fast enough to kill, anyone nearby would be severely burned.

15. Rocker's place: PORCH. Anyone fooled into entering ARENA?

16. Top: APEX. Or ACME, fill in the "A" and wait for at least one perp.

17. Had too much: OD'ED.

18. Comforting words: I CARE. CBS cares, too.

19. Midas competitor: CAR-X. "Don't worry, call the Car-X man".

23. Military response: NO SIR.

24. Came with: BROUGHT.

28. Bowie's scientist role in "The Prestige": TESLA. A magician's grief for his wife and obsession over his ex-partner's impossible trick turns into a deadly rivalry. I liked it, but the ending was a bit disturbing. Oh, and I wouldn't have even noticed that David Bowie played Tesla if I hadn't paid attention to the credits. It wasn't really a small part, either.

32. "I'm just __ boy, I need no sympathy": "Bohemian Rhapsody": A POOR. Ah, Freddie, we miss ye.

33. Bank worker that never takes time off: ATM. Fresh clues can sometimes make up for the occasional bit of trite fill.

39. Snub, say: SHUN.

41. First U.S. multimillionaire: ASTOR. John Jacob, fur, real estate and opium.

42. Draft status: ONE-A.

46. Prime meridian std.: GST. Greenwich Standard Time is not usually used, GMT, Zulu, or UTC, all names for the same thing are more common.

47. Pianist Claudio: ARRAU. We've had him before.

48. Ruby's spouse: OSSIE. Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.

50. Welcome site: DOORMAT. Ours reads: There's no place like (geek joke about the Internet Protocol Address that all computers keep for themselves internally)

53. Onetime "SCTV" head writer Harold: RAMIS. That other ghostbuster. You know...the tall one.

61. Gertz of "Still Standing": JAMI. Unknown to me, but apparently appeared in quite a few TV series.

64. Truth held to be self-evident: AXIOM.

65. Roquefort hue: BLEU. Sheep's milk cheese. To each their own, I suppose, but it's not for me.

66. Israeli arms: UZIS. No one was fooled by this arms/weapons misdirection, right?

67. Tubes on the table: PENNE. Pasta.

68. Gas or elec.: UTIL.ity.  Abbr. clue/answer

69. Olympic VIPs: GODS. I was expecting a plureal abbreviation for the International Olympic Committee, IOCS.

70. Newark's county: ESSEX. New Jersey

71. Chilly and wet: DANK.

1. Left the coop: FLOWN.

2. Ham's medium: RADIO. Amateur radio operators, in the sense of amateur actors, or "hams".

3. Printing extras: OVERS. It is a standard in the printing industry to allow for overs and unders. If the printer runs a quantity below a certain percentage (the standard is generally 10%) the manufacturer/printer is obligated to print more to meet the minimum, at their expense. But if the manufacturer prints hundreds of additional packages more than what you ordered they can only charge for a maximum of 10% over the original order.

4. Is living the dream: MADE IT. If only...

5. 60s TV munchkin: OPIE. Little Ronny Howard. The word was coined by L. Frank Baum in "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." He never explained how he came up with it.

6. MS Word output: DOCS.

7. OPEC founding member: IRAQ. Fill in IRA and wait for the perp.

8. Cancel, slangily: SCRUB. As in a military mission.

9. "... over __ flock by night": Luke: THEIR. Shortly afterwards, according to King James, those watching shepherds were terrified by an angel's appearance.

10. Deal with: FACE UP TO.

11. __-Locka, Florida: OPA. OK, now you're just making stuff up. Four square miles and a population of 15K.  Sounds kind of dense, actually.

12. MTV Generation member: X-ER. The generation after the boomers.

13. Old designation for strong beer: XXX.  Traditional brewers mark for barrels of "extra strong" beer - extended to other alcoholic beverages and other products having an "extra strong" dimension (varying from washing soap to pornography) and probably also to poison as a (possibly humorous at first) comment about the alcohol designation.

21. Bit of sediment: DREG. From Old Norse "dregg" for sediment.

22. Big engine sound: ROAR. The (Mustang) National Anthem.

25. __ concern: GOING. A viable business.

26. Geographical mnemonic: HOMES. Huron Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior, The Great Lakes.

27. Spring for, with "to": TREAT.

29. Reaction to an offensive line, perhaps: SLAP. "Can I buy you a drink, or do you just want the money?"  On the other hand, in football, there used to be a lot of those little sneaky "fanny pats" caught on camera after the play was over. That was kind of taking the offensive...

30. Zap: LASE. A verb back formation from the acronym "LASER" (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation), which became a noun for the device.  So, if the device is called a laser, then it must be something that lases, right?

31. Recess riposte: AM TOO. A quick thrust after parrying a lunge. Oh, the sharpness of wit it must have taken...

33. Equally irate: AS MAD.

34. Complete, briefly: THORO. Noah Webster tinkering with English simplification again. Thorough. Ugh.

35. Saki's real name: MUNRO.

37. "My bad": OOPS.

38D. Addresses with dots: URLS. Internet addresses: Universal Resource Locators such as blogger.com

40. "Phew!" evoker: NEAR MISS. See 37D.

44. Sunniest place on Earth, per Guinness: YUMA. Arizona desert.

45. Cork's location: EIRE. A county in Ireland, not a bottle stopper.

49. iPod accessory: EARBUD. Didn't your mom ever tell you never to put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear?

51. Like losers' faces after a buzzer-beating shot: AGAPE.

52. April concern: TAXES.

54. Island nation near Sicily: MALTA.

55. Trap at the chalet: ICE IN. Verb form, to trap.

56. Move furtively: SKULK. Norwegian "skulke", to shirk, malinger, avoid notice.

58. Some reds, briefly: ZINS. Zinfandel wines.

59. Actress Skye: IONE.

60. Roswell's st.: N. MEX. State, New Mexico. Even the McDonald's there is saucer-shaped.

61. Makeshift band instrument: JUG.

62. Nitrogen-based dye: AZO.

63. Day's beginning?: MID. If I ever get to retire, midday will be all my days' beginnings, at least for the first few months.

Answer Grid.


Apr 27, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 Victor Fleming

Theme: "Interview Day"- as I was very excited to wear my new DRESS SHIRT and tie two weeks ago; I have been told round two of the interviews just started this week.  Thanks to those who said good luck to me~!

Each of the four theme answers are parts of a DRESS SHIRT, the unifier at 58A, Item featuring the ends of 17-, 24-, 36- and 48-Across:

17A. One of a pool table pair : SIDE POCKET - and, uh, some other thoughts occurred to me, too....

24A. Illegal football tackle involving grabbing the inside of the shoulder pads from behind or the side : HORSE COLLAR (never heard this in any game I have ever watched, tho)

36A. Album holders : RECORD SLEEVES

48A. Seafood entrée : LOBSTER TAIL

Simple theme, and some corners a little tougher than I expected for a Wednesday, but a good challenge.

And away we GO ~!


1. Stinging : ACRID

6. Texas Rangers CEO Nolan : RYAN - baseball, I knew him as the pitcher a long time ago....

10. Go, as through mud : SLOG - and Crossword Corner Blog jargon for wading through a tough puzzle

14. Sex educator Hite : SHERE - Shirley Gregory, from the Wiki article

15. Billion add-on : BillionAIRE

16. Hobbler's support : CANE

19. Take the stage first : OPEN

20. Franken and Gore : ALs

21. Old-fashioned wedding vow pronoun : THEE

22. Inhabited, with "in" : DWELT

23. Final: Abbr. : ULT - ultimate

27. Prevaricators : LIARS

29. Trick : CON

30. Bond, for one : SPY - Bond, James Bond

31. Head, to Cécile : TETE - French

32. M16 attachment : BAYONET - M16 machine gun

40. Practiced with the platoon : DRILLED - the analyzer says this word has never been in a NYT puzzle - I find that shocking....

41. When repeated, a food fish : MAHI-mahi, Hawaiian for this fish

43. That, to Tomás : ESO - Spanish

46. Citrus drink : ADE - like our LemonADE ~!

47. Big name in stationery : EATON - new to me; here's a bit from Wiki

53. Shipping lane milieu : SEA - must be too early; this one got me, and I know what milieu means - despite being French

54. Foaming at the mouth, so to speak : IRATE

55. Prefix with sphere : HEMIsphere

56. Sot's syndrome, briefly : DTs - oh yeah, been there, done that - not pretty, but six years ago, now - Delirium Tremens

57. Moore of "Ghost" : DEMI

61. Airline to Eilat : ELAL - a WAG, but not a hard one - map

62. Major-__ : DOMO - n. pl. ma·jor-do·mos. The head steward or butler in the household of a sovereign or great noble.

63. "__ Go Again": Whitesnake #1 song : "HERE I" - OK, I'll  link  it - but not the "Tawny" video

64. Part of SSS: Abbr. : SYST  - Selective Service System - military

65. Part of a process : STEP

66. Star-like flower : ASTER


1. Battery partner : ASSAULT & Battery, the crime(s)

2. More in need of a sweater, say : CHILLIER

3. Voting map designation : RED STATE - map #2

4. Infuriation : IRE

5. Ocean-bottom areas : DEPTHS

6. Indy entrant : RACER - Indianapolis 500

7. "Uh-oh!" : YIKES

8. "__ you for real?" : ARE

9. Court divider : NET - tennis was not my first thought - I watch a lot of "Law & Order"

10. Displeased look : SCOWL

11. Jacket features : LAPELS

12. Quarter-mile, maybe : ONE LAP

13. Aristocracy : GENTRY - from the French, meaning "high-born"

18. "Gotcha!" : O-HO

22. Charity, e.g. : DONEE - as opposed to the DonOR

25. Where to study mathématiques : ECOLE - ah, French....and the C was the last letter I had to fix - thought it was ETOLE at first, but "Ton" made no sense for "Trick".

26. Funnel-shaped : CONED - tried CONIC at first, didn't sound right

28. Stamp for an incoming pkg. : REC'D - received - all this information is encoded at my part-time job, UPS

32. One walking in front of a train : BRIDE - interesting visual if you don't think bride first....just rented "Unstoppable", thought it was pretty good.

33. Freud contemporary : Alfred ADLER

34. Fashion monogram : YSL - Yves Saint Laurent - here - a crossword standard

35. Like "Nip/Tuck," rating-wise : TVMA - short for TV Mature Audiences;  some others are L - language, S - sex, V - violence, and D for "suggestive dialogue"; our little corner has a LOT of this ~!

37. Get on the soapbox : ORATE

38. Humbly takes the blame : EATS DIRT

39. Shape-maintaining insert : SHOE TREE

42. Agitated : IN A STIR had in a SNIT first

43. Skips over in pronunciation : ELIDES - as in "gonna" for "going to"

44. Extremely : SORELY - as in "I sorely missed her"

45. First family : OBAMAs

47. Inventor Otis : ELISHA - did not know his first name; usually clued with elevator

49. Clown heightener : STILT

50. Most crosswords have one : THEME - yes they do ~!

51. Fabulous fellow? : AESOP - not my first thought; see 60D

52. AOL communications : IMs - Instant Messages

58. Bridge installer's deg. : DDS - got me, I was thinking civil engineer; this is the dentist's degree "Doctor of Dental Surgery"

59. Rubbish : ROT

60. "For __ a jolly ..." : HE'S - yes, the  "fellow"  of 51D made this song pop into my head


Apr 26, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 Dave Sarpola

Theme: Choose - Three grid-spanning, two word entries that start each word with the respective part of the two part unifier. The unifiers are placed symmetrically near the start and the end of the grid.

17A. What an inflammatory statement is intended to do : PROVOKE CONFLICT

38A. What a restraining order is designed to do : PROHIBIT CONTACT

59A. What a band PR man is paid to do : PROMOTE CONCERTS

5D. With "and" and 61-Down, both sides (and this puzzle's title) : PRO

61D. See 5-Down : CON

Argyle here. A complex grid for a simple theme, appropriately. It appears to be another debut puzzle. If so, then Dave Sarpola has set the bar pretty high for himself. Impressive.


1. Head covering : SCALP. Tricky start.

6. High poker pair : ACES

10. Lobbying group for 50-and-overs : AARP

14. Peripheral : OUTER

15. Casual good-bye : TA-TA

16. XIX x III : LVII. 19x3=57

20. Long hauler : SEMI. Truck.

21. Medical research org. : NIH. National Institutes of Health.

22. Weekly check time : PAYDAY

23. Batter's stickum : PINE TAR

25. Bunsen burner, e.g. : GAS JET

29. Scrape off : ABRADE

33. Despise : ABHOR

34. Little stream : RILL

36. Lost film fish : NEMO. Walt Disney Studio's "Finding Nemo"

41. Deserve : EARN

42. Make-meet link : ENDS

43. A-lister : CELEB. Celebrity

44. Interlocks : MESHES

46. Meetings of lips : KISSES. But so much more!

47. Rodeo shouts : YEE-HAWS

50. Moon of Jupiter : EUROPA. Jupiter has 63 confirmed moons.

54. Nest egg letters : IRA

55. Color tones : HUES

62. Schools of thought : ISMS

63. Lodge fellows : ELKS. The Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks.

64. Heart, e.g. : ORGAN

65. Winery container : CASK

66. Go up : RISE

67. December tunes : NOELS


1. Soaks (up) : SOPS

2. Antidote : CURE

3. Basic building block : ATOM

4. Jeans pioneer Strauss : LEVI

6. Had home cooking : ATE IN

7. Secret stockpile : CACHE

8. Ike's WWII command : ETO. European Theater of Operations. General Eisenhower.

9. Author of muchas epístolas : SAN PABLO. Spanish. The letters of St. Paul.

10. Colleague in combat : ALLY

11. Fanatical : AVID

12. Costa __ : RICA. Central America Map.

13. Commiserate with : PITY

18. Wrinkle, as one's brow : KNIT

19. "M*A*S*H" actor Jamie : FARR. Cpl. Klinger.

23. Scope prefix, in subs : PERI

24. Soapstones : TALCS

25. Stare in wonder : GAPE

26. Garfield's middle name : ABRAM. James Abram Garfield, our 20th President.

27. Land by the sea : SHORE

28. __ Hopkins University : JOHNS. Baltimore, Maryland. If you wondered about the name...His first name, Johns (not John), was a family name. (wikipedia link)

30. Payments for hands : ANTEs. Poker.

31. Real bargains : DEALS

32. Ceremony facilitator : EMCEE

34. Dishwashing step : RINSE

35. "__ be a shame if ..." : IT'D

37. Places to pick your pony, for short : OTBs. Off Track Betting.

39. Bird that dines on stinging insects : BEE-EATER. Not native to America. Image.

40. CBS military drama : "NCIS"

45. Insulin deliverer : HYPO

46. Two-time Olympic skating medalist Michelle : KWAN

48. Country bumpkins : HICKS

49. "... __ / By any other name ..." : A ROSE. A shout-out.

50. Like some poetry : EPIC

51. Bear in the night sky : URSA

52. CD-__: computer inserts : ROMs

53. Trans-Siberian Railway city : OMSK

55. Damsel's savior : HERO

56. Yen : URGE

57. Catchall abbr. : ET AL.

58. Personnel IDs : SSNs

60. New Haven Ivy Leaguer : ELI. Yale.


Apr 25, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011 Jennifer Nutt

(Note: The Notepad in today's puzzle says:  Saturday's puzzle had no e's in either the clues or answers.)

Theme: Tonsorial Requests - The last word in the answers indicated by the unifier is what you might get if you visit the unifier.

16A. Near miss : CLOSE SHAVE

22A. Boxer's fit condition : FIGHTING TRIM

37A. Neckwear accessory : TIE CLIP

49A. Specially edited version of a film : DIRECTOR'S CUT

61A. Establishment where the ends of 16-, 22-, 37- and 49-Across take place : BARBERSHOP

Argyle here. The theme and the entries are pretty much self-explanatory so I'll move right on to the rest. A good start to the week.


1. Shire of "Rocky" : TALIA. "Yo! Adrian!"

6. Mortgage insurance org. : FHA. Federal Housing Administration.

9. "__, poor Yorick!": Hamlet : ALAS. Cemetery scene, Act 5, scene 1.

13. Giving the old heave-ho : AXING

14. Flippered mammal : SEAL

15. Tibetan spiritual master : LAMA. It may be because it was close to Easter but there are several religious entries.

18. And others, in footnotes : ET AL.

19. Casino game : KENO

20. Make smooth, as a transition : EASE

21. Glacial ridge : ARÊTE. A view of ARÊTES in Peru.

25. Texas city across the border from Ciudad Juárez : EL PASO

28. Bottle opener, e.g. : TOOL

29. Pine (for) : YEARN

30. "Phooey!" : "DRAT!"

32. Betray sleepiness : YAWN

36. Musician's asset : EAR

40. Hush-hush fed. gp. : CIA

41. Design detail, for short : SPEC. This SPEC stands for specification. Building ON SPEC stands for on speculation.

43. It's younger than a yearling : FOAL. A yearling is a young animal of either sex that is between one and two years old, hence the name. Except, the official age, for racing, a one year old horse is dated from January 1 of the year after the year of foaling.

44. Deserves : EARNS

46. Police action : RAID

48. Police action : ARREST

54. Regal pronouncement : EDICT

55. Equine restraint : REIN

56. Cuba, por ejemplo : ISLA. Spanish.

60. "Candy is dandy" poet : NASH. "but Liquor is Quicker". I can't find out who added "but acid`s like lightning", anybody know?

63. You, to Quakers : THEE

64. Load to bear : ONUS

65. Worldly-unwise : NAIVE

66. Turgenev's "Fathers and __" : SONS. Easy guess. Russian novelist, Turgenev's most famous and enduring novel, appeared in 1862.

67. RR stop : STN. Railroad station.

68. Building wing : ANNEX


1. Notice holder : TACK. Clever clue.

2. Bridge toll unit : AXLE. Often trucks are charged by the number of axles they have, figuring the more axles, the heavier the weight.

3. King of the jungle : LION. A legend in his own mind. Cartoon.

4. To such an extent : IN SO FAR

5. Go gray, maybe : AGE

6. Lavish dinner : FEAST

7. Succeed in every way : HAVE IT ALL

8. Brown or pale quaff : ALE

9. With vigilance : ALERTLY

10. "See ya __" : LATER

11. Valuable violin : AMATI

12. Oregon's capital : SALEM

14. Persian king : SHAH

17. Lily that's Utah's state flower : SEGO. Google images.

21. In the past : AGO

23. George Harrison's "__ It a Pity" : ISN'T. Isn't It a Pity [Version Two](4:51)

24. "Me? Never!" : "NOT I!"

25. Storm centers : EYES

26. __ of faith : LEAP

27. Cut the peel from : PARE

30. Underarm product : DEODORANT

31. "His Master's Voice" co. : RCA. Image.

33. Field measure : ACRE

34. Pitching successes : WINS

35. Democratic donkey designer : NAST. A quick story about it.

38. "__ makes you happy ..." : IF IT

39. Bolivia neighbor : PERU

42. Nativity scenes : CRECHES. Image

45. Craftsperson : ARTISAN

47. Take steps : ACT

48. Teen facial woe : ACNE

49. Fender dings : DENTS

50. The Snake flows along much of its border with Oregon : IDAHO

51. (Has) ascended : RISEN

52. It's not an all-new episode : RERUN

53. Sis and bro : SIBS

57. Knee-to-ankle bone : SHIN

58. Zero, at Wimbledon : LOVE. Tennis.

59. Acme : APEX

61. Logan Airport city: Abbr. : BOS. Boston Map. Built into Boston Harbor on fill and reclaimed land.

62. Messenger molecule : RNA

And to wrap this up...clip.(0:05)


Apr 24, 2011

Sunday April 24, 2011 David Blake

Theme: At Your Convenience - AT is added to each common phrase.

22A. South-of-the-border political assent? : SI SI SENATOR. Si Si Señor.

36A. Knockoffs of "Woman With a Hat"? : NEAR MATISSES. Near misses. Here is the hat lady.

43A. Where to excavate perfume? : ATTAR PITS. Tar pits.

57A. The first glossy fabric? : ORIGINAL SATIN. Original sin.

87A. Dishonest Yankees? : BRONX CHEATERS. Bronx cheers. Let her show you how. Just learned a few weeks ago Rich Norris is a Yankees fan.

101A. A lifetime at the North Pole? : SANTA FATE. Santa Fe. Poor Santa.

108A. Feature of a mad scientist's machine? : MUTATE BUTTON. Mute button.

122A. "Wrestling" maneuver? : THUMB ATTACK. Thumbtack.

3D. Food evaluation measure? : NOSE RATING. Nose ring.

83D. Amusement park for fans of flowing music? : LEGATO LAND. Legoland.

Wow! I can't believe this is David Blake's LA Times debut.

Brilliant grid design, with the two Down theme answers intersect two Across theme entries each. As I mentioned before. you've got to have the luck as well as the skill to pull it off.

When did you grok the theme? I cottoned to the gimmick quite early and had lots of fun tackling the grid.


1. January honoree : KING. I have a dream.

5. "Poison" plant : SUMAC

10. Certain artist's forte : SCAM. Scam artist.

14. 2010 Apple release : iPAD. First appearance in LAT puzzle I believe.

18. Clean-out-the-fridge indicator : ODOR. Man, I blanked.

19. Jipijapa hat : PANAMA. Panama hat is made from Jipijapa plant. Unknown to me.

20. Bear, to Brutus : URSA

21. Like most pre-'60s recordings : MONO

24. Noggin : BEAN. So many slang for head.

25. Subatomic particle : PION

26. Mideast ruler : EMIR

27. Quiet : HUSH

29. Amazonian predator : ANACONDA. Huge snake.

31. 112-Down's milieu : BAR. And 112. 31-Across patron : SOT. I like cross-references when one clue is definite.

33. Losing streak : SKID

38. Vigor : ELAN. Dennis the Dummy has plenty.

40. GI show gp. : USO

41. Gets under control : TAMES

42. Kitchen add-on? : ETTE. Kitchenette.

46. Modern recorder : TiVO

47. Racy : EROTIC

50. Common stocking height : THIGH

51. Distinctive flavor : TANG

53. "__ Rose": "The Music Man" quartet : LIDA. Boomer loves "The Music Man".

55. Big name in lawn care : ORTHO

56. Poetic time : E'EN. Evening.

61. Note promising notes : IOU

62. 1998 Winter Olympics host : NAGANO. It's hit by earthquake last time also.

64. List-ending abbr. : ET AL

65. Created, on signs : ESTD (Established)

66. Creator of the Shmoos : CAPP (Al)

67. Was moved, perhaps : WEPT

69. Site site : WEB

71. Iams competitor : ALPO. Pet food is such a huge business.

73. Knit, as bones : HEAL

76. Northern terminus of I-79 : ERIE

79. Country club employees : PROs. And 82. Country club coups : EAGLES.

86. Corporate letters : INC

90. Not incl. : EXC. Excluded?

91. Time after tarde : NOCHE (Night). Tarde is afternoon.

93. Partnership for Peace org. : NATO

94. Small songbird : WREN

95. Comerica Park player : TIGER. Detroit Tigers.

97. Many Justin Bieber fans : TWEENs

99. Dot-__ : COMs

103. __-dieu: kneeler : PRIE. See here.

104. Latte topping : CREMA

106. MADD concern : DUI

107. Worry : STEW

111. Sharp barks : YIPS

113. Jazz trombonist Kid __ : ORY. Learned his name from doing Xword.

114. Song on the "Beatles '65" album : I'M A LOSER. Needed crossing help.

115. Patrick Ewing, in college : HOYA. I've never heard of Patrick Ewing. He's in basketball Hall of Fame.

117. Billy with a piano : JOEL

119. Make a ruling : FIND

120. "What __!": "How fun!" : A GAS. Made me think of Lois.

127. Square off against : FACE

128. Baylor University's city : WACO

129. Meaningless verbiage : HOT AIR. Blowhard.

130. Word command : UNDO. Always saves my day.

131. Slate, briefly : SKED (Schedule)

132. River crossed by Orpheus : STYX

133. Excalibur, for one : SWORD. King Arthur's sword.

134. Brainstorm : IDEA


1. Decks : KOs. KO = Knock out

2. Dictator Amin : IDI

4. Hardly hopeful : GRIM

5. Diego's title? : SAN. San Diego.

6. "__ furtiva lagrima": Donizetti aria : UNA. No idea. It's literally "A single furtive tear".

7. Trig or calc : MATH

8. Come (to) : AMOUNT

9. It may face the rear : CAR SEAT. I like the clue.

10. Stand-in : SUB

11. A&W drinks : CREAM SODAS

12. Yoga pose : ASANA. Both JD & Lucina on our blog do yoga. Anyone else?

13. Florida's 63-year-old Snooty is the oldest in captivity : MANATEE. Unaware of this trivia.

14. Fake : IMPOSTOR

15. Popular Christmas decoration : POINSETTIA. Ours is still alive, with only a few leaves left though.

16. Battery end : ANODE

17. Ladies of Spain : DONAs

19. Lose the blues : PERK UP

23. Certain sib : SIS

28. Three-time co-star of Fisher and Ford : HAMILL (Mark). Skywalker of the "Star Wars". Got me.

30. Lemon-flavored Absolut : CITRON

31. Knocked off : BEATEN

32. Tennis star Gibson : ALTHEA. Stumped me last time.

34. Query in Matthew : IS IT I?. So Jesus' last supper was in prison then, according to this latest news.

35. Spoiling : DOTAGE

37. Make a new version of : REVISE

39. Annoy no end : NAG

44. Geneva's river : RHONE

45. Fit of temper : SNIT

48. Chain with stacks : IHOP

49. Stroke of genius : COUP

52. Eat like a beaver : GNAW

54. Boy or girl lead-in : ATTA

58. Rodeo participant : ROPER

59. Hebrew opener : ALEPH. First letter in Hebrew alphabet.

60. Car in a jam, say : IDLER

63. Cobbler's tool : AWL

66. Gear component : COG

68. 1982 movie with a 2010 sequel : TRON

70. Pub order : BREW

72. Food often ending in "i" : PASTA. Rice noodle is quite boring. No gluten in it.

73. Tinge : HINT

74. Plenty, poetically : ENOW

75. College applicant's good news : ACCEPTANCE


78. Obtain via shakedown : EXTORT

80. Some sculling trophies : OARS

81. Slow partner? : STEADY. Slow and steady.

84. New Hampshire academy : EXETER

85. Nuts : SCREWY

87. Four-time all-star catcher Santiago : BENITO. This is a 1989 Sports Illustrated issue. I used to collect SIs whenever Tiger Woods was on the cover.

88. "The Iceman __" : COMETH

89. Utter boredom : ENNUI. I'm yawning.

92. Emulated the town crier : HERALDED

96. Things up in the air : IFs

98. Fluctuates : SEESAWS

100. Makes more peaceful, as relations : SMOOTHS

102. Coffeehouse cup, perhaps : TIP JAR

105. Regardless : ANYHOW

108. Puts out : MIFFS

109. Inuit craft : UMIAK. Literally 'woman's boat". Kayak is "man's boat".

110. Sired, biblically : BEGAT

116. Immune opening : AUTO. Autoimmune.

118. Needle case : ETUI. Hey, welcome back, pal!

121. Red __ : SOX

123. Damage : MAR

124. One heart, e.g. : BID. Bridge.

125. Alphabet string : CDE

126. RVer's stopover : KOA. KOA campgrounds.

Answer grid.