May 31, 2011

Tuesday May 31, Gail Grabowski & Bruce Venzke

Theme: Dick and Harry's friend - Four famous Toms start the theme entries. No fooling...'til you get to the unifier.

17A. Port of call : CRUISE STOP. TOM CRUISE, Here as Maverick in "Top Gun".

24A. Readily interchangeable, fashionwise : MIX AND MATCH. TOM MIX, here in the white hat, of course.

35A. Office fund for minor expenses : PETTY CASH. TOM PETTY, here, with whitish hair, singing "I Won't Back Down".(2:56)

49A. Head locks : HANKS OF HAIR. TOM HANKS, here as Captain John Miller in "Saving Private Ryan".

58A. Horseplay, and a hint to the starts of 17-, 24-, 35- and 49-Across : TOMFOOLERY

C.C. here. Argyle's computer was down before he could finish the write-up. I'll get his draft published. Then I'll do the formatting and fill in some comments. (Updated at 6:10am: Write-up is complete now).


1. McCartney bandmate : STARR (Ringo)

6. Minimal effort : EASE

10. "It seems to me," online : IMHO (In My Humble Opinion)

14. Fax predecessor : TELEX. Four X'es in this grid.

15. Makes collars, say : SEWS

16. Armstrong on the moon : NEIL

19. Hindu royal : RAJA

20. Rip to shreds : REND

21. City near Lake Tahoe : RENO. Janet's favorite city.

22. Inner Hebrides isle : IONA

23. Switch settings : ONs

27. Bygone deliverer : ICEMAN

29. "Rabbit, Run" author : UPDIKE (John)

30. Office copy : XEROX

31. Aid for a ref's review : SLO-MO

34. Original Dungeons & Dragons co. : TSR. Was this a gimme for you?

38. Held a hearing, say : MET

41. Give a rude awakening to : ROUST

42. African capital contained in its country's name : TUNIS. Tunisia. Ben Ali started this whole Arab Spring.

46. Easily bent : PLIANT

48. Ochoa of the LPGA : LORENA. Retired now.

53. Upsilon follower : PHI

54. Bozo, in Bath : TWIT. Bath, England.

55. Take it easy : LOLL

56. Place for a snow blower : SHED

57. Barrel of laughs : RIOT

60. Pacific island half? : BORA. Bora Bora.

61. Masterful server : ACER

62. "Fame" singer David, 1975 : BOWIE

63. Attends to, as a dry stamp pad : INKS

64. Terrier type : SKYE

65. Jokes around : JESTS


1. Largest of the Virgin Islands : ST. CROIX. Good entry.

2. "Separate Tables" dramatist Rattigan : TERENCE. Not a familiar name to me.

3. Four-time Indy 500 winner : AL UNSER. Comment away, eddyB.

4. Senate majority leader Harry : REID

5. Prescriptions, for short : RXs

6. County northeast of London : ESSEX

7. Insurance giant : AETNA

8. Beatles concert reaction, often : SWOON. More of a Justin Bieber concert reaction now.

9. Uncanny gift, for short : ESP

10. Encroachment : INROAD

11. Wasn't kidding : MEANT IT

12. Takes by force : HIJACKS

13. Ending for pay : OLA. Payola.

18. Ireland, in poetry : ERIN

22. Identity thief, e.g. : IMPOSTOR

24. Dada pioneer : MAX ERNST. Nice full name.

25. Russian assembly : DUMA. The term comes from the Russian word (dumat’), "to think" or "to consider".

26. "I've Grown Accustomed to __ Face" : HER

28. Swabbing tool : MOP

31. R-V connectors : S T U. Alphabetically.

32. Lille lily : LYS. As in Fleur de Lys. The flower.

33. Mo. to see Dracula at your door? : OCT. Halloween.

36. Pooch in Oz : TOTO

37. "Ben-__" : HUR

38. Dashboard abbr. : MPH

39. Walking-on-air feeling : ELATION

40. Craft using the element Sn : TIN WORK. Sn = Tin

43. Reunion attendees : NEPHEWS. Family reunion, not class.

44. Come into some money, maybe : INHERIT

45. Answered affirmatively : SAID YES

47. Tough watchdogs : AKITAs. Dennis' previous dog. Welcome back, Dummy!

48. Disney girl who adopted Stitch : LILO

50. Shepherd's charge : FLOCK

51. Comfy-cozy : HOMEY

52. Actress Woodard : ALFRE. Always have trouble remembering her name.

56. Plumlike fruit : SLOE

57. Baseball stat : RBI

58. Coll. helpers : TAs

59. Word after a transitive vb. : OBJ.

Answer grid.


May 30, 2011

Monday, May 30, 2011 Dan Schoenholz

Theme: One and the Same - The start of the first three themes and the start and end of the fourth create an ascending order of prime numbers as the fifth theme suggests. A prime number can be divided, without a remainder, only by itself and by one.

17A. *Many a sports car, capacity-wise : TWO-SEATER

23A. *Genie's offering : THREE WISHES

39A. *Eisenhower became one in 1944 : FIVE STAR GENERAL

49A. *Slurpee seller : SEVEN-ELEVEN

61A. When most top-rated shows are on, and a hint to the kind of numbers in the starred answers : PRIME TIME

Argyle here with a nod to fermatprime. Dan threw me a little curve when FOUR didn't appear as the third entry and it was neat how 7-ELEVEN provided two theme entries. Perhaps it was the seed entry. This is the second puzzle from Dan this month.


1. Most-preferred invitees : A-LIST. The ones you roll out the red carpet for.

6. Courteney of "Friends" : COX. Here she is on the red carpet.

9. Backyard lounging locale : PATIO

14. Atra or Sensor : RAZOR

15. Civil War prez : ABE

16. Staples Center, e.g. : ARENA. A multi-purpose sports arena in downtown Los Angeles.

19. Tears apart : RENDS

20. The last word? : END

21. Gets on in years : AGES

22. Town square centerpiece : STATUE

25. Texas or Ukraine city : ODESSA

29. "__ Miz" : LES. The musical, Les Misérables.

30. Top-of-the-line : A-ONE

31. __ gin fizz : SLOE

34. Mistreat : ABUSE

42. "Funny Girl" composer Jule : STYNE. This man(in glasses) had a few successful musical himself. Bio site.

43. School restroom sign : BOYS

44. List in order of importance : RANK

45. Fury : IRE

47. Championships : TITLES

55. Dover's are white : CLIFFS. Image.

56. Require : NEED

57. Maple tree yield : SAP

60. Former "The View" co-host O'Donnell : ROSIE

63. "Some people swallow the universe like __": Stevenson : A PILL. Robert Louis Stevenson.

64. Isaac, to Abraham : SON

65. Diner : EATER

66. Doled (out) : METED

67. Helpful contacts : INS

68. Plastered : DRUNK. Refreshing to see just plain DRUNK instead of some euphemism.


1. Johnson of "Laugh-In" : ARTE.

2. Croquet venue : LAWN. Do they have Extreme Croquet, I wonder?

3. Phillips-Van Heusen brand : IZOD. IZOD is the series title sponsor for the the IndyCar Series. Unbelievable finishes to both the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 yesterday.

4. Distress call letters : SOS

5. Alternatives to tricks : TREATS

6. Provide food for : CATER

7. Extremely overweight : OBESE

8. Gen-__: boomer's kid, usually : Xer

9. Like much politics : PARTISAN

10. Geometry calculations : AREAS

11. Bowler's final frame : TENTH

12. All __ time: as a matter of course : IN DUE

13. Where to find dates? : OASES. Midnight At The Oasis(3:39)

18. Horrified : AGHAST

22. Nor. neighbor : SWE.. Norway/Sweden.

24. Mournful poem : ELEGY

25. Klutzes : OAFS

26. Attend to the job : DO IT

27. Jealousy without resentment : ENVY

28. Witnessed : SEEN

32. Designer's identification : LABEL

33. Gold, in Guanajuato : ORO. Where the heck is Guanajuato? Here and here.

35. Ernie's Muppet pal : BERT

36. River to the Caspian : URAL

37. In one's right mind : SANE

38. Fraternal order : ELKS. The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE).

40. Kramer's neighbor : SEINFELD. TV

41. Hold in high regard : ESTEEM

46. Legal thing : RES and 57D. In __: as originally placed : SITU

48. "Most assuredly!" : "INDEED!"

49. Vamoose : SCRAM

50. Say "I do" without a big do : ELOPE

51. Come calling : VISIT

52. Submit tax returns online : E-FILE

53. Bankrupt energy giant : ENRON. As you can see by their logo, they were never on the level.

54. Blood carriers : VEINS

58. "You can say that again!" : "AMEN!"

59. Exec's car, say : PERK

61. Tire gauge meas. : PSI. Pound per Square Inch. Unless it's metric. Then it could be kPa(kilopascal) or kgf/cm(kilogram-force per square centimeter).

62. Roofing material : TAR

Answer grid.


Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to eddyB & Splynter's mom!

May 29, 2011

Sunday May 29, 2011 Matt Skoczen

Theme: For the Record - Each two-word phrase start with L & P.

27A. George Bush in late 1992, say : LAME-DUCK PRESIDENT. Bush Sr.

43A. Delivery lead-in : LABOR PAINS

72A. Make-believe intro : LET'S PRETEND. I like this answer.

97A. Heads-up discovery : LUCKY PENNY

118A. Danube School artists : LANDSCAPE PAINTERS

16D. Edward Lear output : LIMERICK POETRY. Carol is our queen of limerick.

52D. Kaufman play based on the Matthew Shepard incident, with "The" : LARAMIE PROJECT. Not familiar with the book. The story happens in Laramie, WY.

Lake Poets, Launch Pad, what other L* P * phrases can you think of?

Simple theme. Easier to find phrases that spell out two letters than three letters. Still a daunting task to ferret out sparkly entries with matchable letter count. The whole grid feels very smooth to me.


1. Modern letters : E-MAILS

7. Surprise at the end : TWIST. Do you like "The Crying Game"?

12. Hot air : GAS. Empty talk.

15. Sight from Salzburg : ALPS. Salzburge is the setting of "The Sound of Music".

19. Trumpet relative : CORNET

20. Bandleader Shaw : ARTIE

21. Job: Abbr. : OCC. OK, occupation.

22. Dismiss : FIRE

23. Even (with) : ON A PAR

24. Composer Saint-__ : SAENS. French composer.

25. Like some bandits : ONE-ARMED. This refers to the slot machines, correct?

30. Green gp. : EPA

31. Persian Gulf prince : EMIR

32. Unruly crowds : MOBS

33. In-flight no. : ALT

34. Rip into : TEAR AT

36. Oaxaca "Of course!" : SI, SI

37. "It Ain't All About the Cookin'" memoirist Deen : PAULA. She doesn't like Tofu, Jayce!

40. Cut off : LOP

42. Houston school : RICE

47. Bolts again : RE-LOCKS

50. Animation frame : CEL

53. Wine bottle word : CRU. Grand Cru.

54. Requiem Mass hymn word : IRAE. "Dies Irae".

55. Nook download : E-BOOK

56. 60 minuti : ORA (Hour). 60 minutes.

57. Souped-up wheels : HOT ROD

60. "Psst!" : HEY YOU

62. How a player may turn : PRO

65. "Have __!" : MERCY

67. Missed __ : A CUE

69. It's charged : ION. True.

70. Either 2007 Best Director : COEN. The Coen Brothers. For "No Country for Old Men".

71. H.S. freshmen may take it : PSAT

76. Webster's entries: Abbr. : DEFs (Definitions)

77. Twenty somethings? : ATMs. The clue confuses me grammatically.

78. Poet's preposition : ERE

79. Prehistorical author Jean : AUEL

80. "Understand?" : GET IT?

81. Who, in Quebec : QUI

82. "Soap" actor Robert : MANDAN. Stranger to me.

85. Phone button : REDIAL

88. Code carrier : RNA. Genetic code.

89. Take away : ERASE

91. Noggin : DOME. Slang for head.

93. "Ciao!" : BYE

94. "__ Blues": Beatles "White Album" song : YER. I've never heard of the song.

95. Facets : ASPECTS

101. Field shield : TARP

102. Numerical prefix : TRI

104. He replaced Gumbel on "Today" : LAUER (Matt)

105. Old U.S. gas : ESSO

109. Soldiers : TROOPS

112. Baby docs : OBs

114. Hi's spouse, in comics : LOIS. "Hi and Lois".

116. At what point : WHEN

117. Old rule in India : RAJ

123. Pub : ALEHOUSE

125. Worst or best conclusion? : OF ALL

126. Like olde England : MERRIE

127. Winans of gospel : CECE

128. Former Giants closer Robb __ : NEN

129. __ Islands: autonomous Danish province : FAROE. No idea. See this map. Quite a way from Denmark.

130. Eye slyly : PEEP AT

131. French bean? : TETE. Head again.

132. One may have several scenes : ACT

133. Some grenades, briefly : FRAGs

134. Lifts : STEALS


1. Places to study anglais, perhaps : ECOLEs. French for "school".

2. Endearing words from Étienne : MON AMI. "My friend". Splynter probably wants something different. Mon cheri, maybe, from a girl.

3. Friend of Athos : ARAMIS

4. At risk : IN PERIL

5. Heavy metal : LEAD

6. Pick alternative : STRUM

7. Launches may originate from one : TASKBAR. Computer.

8. Concludes : WRAPS UP

9. Roman road of yore : ITER

10. Trig ratio : SINE

11. "Veronica Mars" actress Thompson : TESSA. Who?

12. Treating nicely : GOOD TO

13. Proactiv target : ACNE. Proactiv is quite good.

14. Essence : SCENT

15. Liberia's cont. : AFR

17. Assortment for sale as a unit : PRE-PACK

18. Gets ready for surgery : SEDATES. Glad Bob is fine, JD.

26. Dined : ATE

28. Quit (on) : COP OUT

29. "Maybe" : I'LL SEE

35. Back for a buck? : AROO. Buckaroo.

38. Home in bed, perhaps : LAID UP

39. Word with ball or guitar : AIR

41. Exploit : PREY ON

44. Sore : ACHY

45. Monastic title: Abbr. : BRO

46. "Uh-uh" : NAH

48. WWII issue : E BOND

49. Actor __ Diamond Phillips : LOU

50. 2002 Hewlett-Packard acquisition : COMPAQ. Pushed by Carly Fiorina.

51. Title words repeated after "Como una promesa," in a 1974 song : ERES TU. Sounds familiar?

58. Gave two stars, say : RATED

59. It produces lieuts. : OCS. Officer Candidates School.

61. Return : YIELD

63. Purify : REFINE

64. GM tracking system : ON STAR

66. Dol. parts : CTs

68. Generation : ERA

70. B-F span : CDE. Alphabet.

72. Not under, with "at" : LEAST

73. One of the Gallos : ERNEST. The wine brothers. Ernest Gallo & Julio Gallo, a la Wiki.

74. "Aha!" : EUREKA

75. Casual shirt : TEE

80. Secluded valley : GLEN

82. Big __ : MAC

83. They're extemporaneous : AD LIBS

84. __-TURN : NO-U

86. Spanish airline : IBERIA. Easy guess.

87. Author Rand : AYN

90. Bank seizure, for short : REPO

92. 12th-century date : MCL. 1,150.

95. Engage : ATTRACT

96. Hillshire Farm parent company : SARA LEE. Hillshire Farm is their meat brand.

98. Holiday warmer : YULE LOG. Hi there Santa!

99. Community inhabitants : PEOPLEs

100. Longbow wood source : YEW TREE. New trivia to me.

103. Porcupine, e.g. : RODENT

106. Himalayan leader : SHERPA

107. Soap, e.g. : SERIAL. Soap opera.

108. Starts : ONSETS

110. Mideast org. since 1964 : PLO

111. Gym plus : SAUNA

113. Sneer (at) : SCOFF

115. Ninnies : SIMPs

119. Tiny amt. of time : NSEC. Nanosecond.

120. At a distance : AFAR

121. Chute opener? : PARA. Parachute.

122. Old Nair rival : NEET

124. Bit of a laugh : HEE

Answer grid.


May 28, 2011

Saturday, May 28, 2011 Bonnie L. Gentry

Theme: None

Words: 70

Blocks: 31

It's been seven days since the "End of the World" was your week?

New constructor for me and a fairly straight-forward Saturday, just a few spots that were not "REAL EASY" - for me; it was the central

36A. Gain notoriety, as via 38-Across : GO VIRAL

38A. See 36-Across : YOU TUBE

that broke it wide open. Two grid-spanners, and two climbers;

17. Moving locks? : HAIR REPLACEMENT - locks, such as this organization

58. Exact opposites? : BALLPARK FIGURES - a subtle shout out to our leader, C.C.

6D. From time to time : EVER AND ANON, a phase I have never heard, and

23D. Glancing : RICOCHETING - from obscure French

Some of you did yours "IN INK", I am sure~!


1. Hardly a square : HIPSTER - wondered if this was a misdirection to 'ellipse'

8. Duplicate : REPLICA - the noun

15. Duty-free? : ON LEAVE - I am duty free from UPS til Tuesday

16. Unlikely to cheat : ETHICAL - had AXED for ICED, messed me up here

19. Service rank : ONE A - crossword standard

20. Muddy, as water : ROIL

21. Signal agreement : NOD TO

22. Juice source : BATTERY - juice, as in electricity

24. "The Sea-Wolf" captain : LARSEN - the main antagonist

28. Decide not to walk, perhaps : HAIL A CAB

33. Made an impressive delivery : ORATED

34. Corner key : ESCape

35. Exclusive : SOLE

40. Eclipse, to some : OMEN - or a Mitsubishi to others....

41. Team feature? : NO I - "there's no I in team; there's no crying in baseball~!"

43. Appear unexpectedly : CROP UP

44. Got comfy in a sofa : SANK DOWN - a bit of a giveaway, with "in" a sofa

46. Women-only residences : HAREMS - where can I get one?

47. Nonbeliever, to some : INFIDEL

49. Crossing the keel : ABEAM

53. Pre-med subj. : ANATomy

54. Magical beginning : ABRA - cadabra, love this song

61. Letters read with feeling? : BRAILLE - good one~!

62. Raving : ON A RANT

63. Fixes, as pumps : REHEELS - pumps, like these(~!~); I was thinking bike tires

64. Ma and Pa Kettle debut film, with "The" : EGG AND I - fascinating, captain; I did not know this


1. Cream-filled treat : HO-HO - had Oreo to start, messed me up

2. __ instant : IN AN

3. Bend at the barre : PLIE

4. Medical supplies : SERA

5. Gob : TAR - Gob is slang for a US Navy sailor, another sailor word is Tar.

7. Find a new home for, in a way : REPOT

8. Not at all complicated : REAL EASY

9. And more: Abbr. : ETC - Et Cetera

10. Derived from benzene : PHENYL

11. Long ride? : LIMO - accepted as not needing to be Abbr. in clues

12. Bumped off : ICED - where's the "TEA" when it fits ????

13. Jargon : CANT

14. Glee club member : ALTO - vocal range

18. Pliant : LITHE

22. Suds, so to speak : BEER - I, uh, liked this too much - see 57D

24. Apple and peacock, e.g. : LOGOS - these two examples

25. Bakery emanation : AROMA

26. First bird off the Ark, in Genesis : RAVEN - is this a 40A?

27. Deserve no stars : STINK - a thumbs down, I'd say

29. Notable Titanic casualty : ASTOR - 100 years, next year

30. Compact, perhaps : COUPE - as in cars

31. Place for snaps : ALBUM - snap-shots, photos

32. Summons : BEEPS

37. American enticements : LOW FARES - the airline, American

39. Caspian feeder : URAL - map

42. How hard crosswords are usually not done : IN INK

45. Golf ball feature : DIMPLE

48. Willem of "Spider-Man" : DAFOE - as the Green Goblin

49. Can. or Mex., e.g. : ABBR - a little misdirection, using countries

50. Reveal : BARE - show me some leg~!

51. Where Goliath was slain : ELAH

52. "I Just Can't Live __": Carrie Underwood song : A LIE

54. Mystique : AURA

55. Cereal material : BRAN - started with rice

56. Rip to bits : REND

57. Piedmont product : ASTI - the bubbly, loved the stuff - looks like a cool website

59. Completely : ALL

60. __ rule : GAG - had "AS A" here...

Answer grid.


Note from C.C.:

Click here for some info about today's constructor Bonnie L. Gentry.

May 27, 2011

Friday May 27, 2011 Julian Lim

Theme: Put on another building block - Synonyms of "lid" are added to the top of each theme answer, verbally and visually, in order to create a new phrase. By having all the theme entries in the down section, the add-ons are literally above the words. We have had a few of these multi-level themes lately, let us see how Mr. Lim chose to attack our minds.

4D. Surpassing a classic arcade game?: TOPPING PONG. PING PONG morphs into PONG the introductory Atari game.

9D. Boxed pasta that's different every time you open it?: CAPRICE-A-RONI. The San Fransisco treat, RICE-A-RONI becomes a capricious pasta. This is my favorite, but then I never trusted those rice and pasta combos.

21D. Wheels for a spy?: COVERT MOBILE. T-Mobile. The cell phone company becomes a spy car.

27D. "Hush!" (and hint to how 4-, 9- and 21-Down are formed): PUT A LID ON IT.. LID being a synonym for TOP, CAP and COVER.

Well, Lemonade here to make some sense of this seemingly straight forward Friday, with a few zingers.


1. Brewery fixtures: OASTS. Okay, I just cannot ignore how often we get this brewing clue, and references like:

16A. Like some ale: PALE. Number 1 son is driving to meet me in Connecticut and touring breweries on his way.

6. Dramatist Connelly: MARC. Not familiar with this PLAYWRIGHT

10. One standing out in a field?: CZAR. Not a physical field, but an endeavor, like the drug czar.

14. Not see eye to eye?: STOOP. He stands tallest who kneels to help a child.

15. Specialty: AREA. My son's is Roman Archaeology.

17. Flaw-spotting aid: LOUPE. The jewelers glass, which is a type of magnifier.

18. Hard time: BUMPY RIDE. Dealing with Blogger these days has been one, at least for me.

20. Uncommissioned: ON SPEC. Houses, paintings, anything you create without being paid to do so, in the hope of selling when done.

22. Colt producer: MARE. I was thinking of the gun, but Julian was horsing around.

23. Officiate: REF. Did you watch the Heat? What finishes! Not to be confused with 13D. Snorkeling spots: REEFS, for which the Florida Keys are famous.

24. Immunity __:"Survivor" prop: IDOL. I have never watched this show, but have seen the idols from all the incessant plugging of the show.

26. Nursery needs: DIAPERS.

28. 14th-century European musical style: ARS NOVA. Literally NEW ART describing the polyphonic music of the 1300s, I will let our musical experts comment.

31. Neutral color: ECRU.

32. Dream analysis pioneer: JUNG. Carl, was Swiss and followed and built on Freud's theories.

33. One-tenth of a microjoule: ERG. Again, i defer to our engineers and scientists.

35. Need: ENTAIL. What will finishing the job require?

39. "Now!: ASAP. As Soon As Possible.

40. Mikhail's wife: RAISA. Mrs. Gorbachev, who became a world figure for women in politics.

42. Court fig.: ATTY. Okay, my shout out (and Hahtool, any more?)

43. Potential creditor's request: REPORT. The damn credit reports they hawk all of the time.

45. 1-Down's land: Abbr.: NOR. Norway, and 1D. Akershus Castle site: OSLO. You can read about this REGION .

46. Nut: LOON. An old fashioned word from the superstition that the moon made people act crazy, or is it real? Anyone who works in hospitals or law enforcement will tell you about full moons.

47. Identify: NAME.

49. You can't see beyond it: HORIZON. Well, that is why it is called the horizon, I like this clue.

51. Permanently: FOR GOOD. I always thought it was foolish to say, get out and stay out for good, when there was nothing good about it.

54. Without width or depth: ONE D. Dimensional, height, not my specialty

55. Organic dye: AZO. Very vivid colors, especially the yellows and oranges.

56. Very: Pref.: UBER. Kazie, our German teacher you want to take this one?

58. Solver's cry: I GOT IT. No, I am more the , "Whoopie!" type.

62. Community service often associated with a law school: TAX CLINIC. Really? I have never seen a law school do this and think it would be awful, we all just need Andy Dufresne.

65. Oafish: INEPT.

66. Port on its own lake: ERIE. An eerie coincidence?

67. "Prison Break" role: LINC. Lincoln Burrows, (played by Dominic Purcell), was falsely accused of murder.

68. Young girl: MISSY. If you want to irritate the female staff in your office, just use this word, not that I would ever do that.

69. __-Ball: SKEE. I wonder why it is not called get the ball in the hole?

70. Med. tests using leads:ECGS. Electro Cardio Grams, which are more often called EKGs now.

71. Lucy's neighbor: ETHEL. Mrs Mertz, played by Vivian Vance.


okay we are motoring now.

2. Oceans: A TON. I guess just meaning a lot of something.

3. __-chef: SOUS. Okay, back to French lessons, this means UNDER, which is what a sous chef is, acting under the head chef. SUR in over and SOUS under.

5. Phelps sponsor: SPEEDO. Michael, our record breaking Olympic swimmer and random toker.

6. Shelley queen: MAB. Percy Bysse wrote this POEM, MAB also is in Romeo and Juliet, by Shakespeare.

7. Jack-in-the-pulpit family: ARUM. Are you all familiar with this PLANT

8. Like "Psycho": REMADE. This was a really bad remake of a great movie.

10. Pressing activity?: CPR. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, the pushing on the chest to restart a heart.

11. Congo, once: ZAIRE. One of the many new names in Africa.

12. Electric guitar wood: ALDER. A good light WOOD .

19. Hanker: YEARN. Makes me thing of the mountain Williams hankering for their cousins.

25. Croft of video games: LARA. The Tomb Raider played by MRS> PITT.

28. Allowing a little light: AJAR.

29. Scheme: RUSE. A deception.

30. Go ape: SNAP. One more hour watching the kids and I would...

34. Singapore Sling ingredient: GIN. Well, there are as many recipes as there are people in Singapore, but hey all include GIN . it was also my first public drink at the Trailways bus station bar in Albany when I was 16.

36. Complete: A TO Z. A familiar letter combo to deceive.

37. "__, Sing America": Hughes poem: I TOO. A very powerful poem by Langston Hughes to remind white America that the blacks were part of our country as well.

38. NFL Hall of Famer-turned-politician Swann: LYNN. A wonderfully graceful wide receiver, who has difficulty articulating words but is very popular, like Hines, Dancing with the Stars Ward.

41. Trendy London district: SOHO. The name is unrelated to the SOHO in NYC, as here is no Houston Street in London in this reformed red light district.

44. "High Sierra" director Walsh: RAOUL. This DIRECTOR had the pleasure of a great John Huston script and Humphrey Bogart at his best.

48. Unspoiled: EDENIC. Of or relating to the Garden of Eden

50. Dieting and exercise, say: REGIME. From the King's rules.

51. "Thread of life" goddesses: FATES. CLOTHO is the spinner who spins the threads.

52. Arkansas city: OZARK. The name comes from the French AUX ARC, reflecting the bend in the river.

53. Client of Billy in "Chicago": ROXIE. Poor murderous RENEE in the movie.

57. Encircle: RING.

59. Radio host John: TESH. Piano playing, singer, song writer and host.

60. __ dixit: IPSE. The law Latin of the day, Literally he said it, something you are asked to take as true without proof.

61. IM sign-off: TTYL. Talk To You Later, I am a Tigger TTFN guy.

63. Company opening?: CEE. The letter which begins the word.

64. Keeps apprised, briefly: CCS. Carbon copies, from the days such were how you made and sent copies.

Answer grid.

Well there it is, I though it was overall an easy Friday, but some fun; be careful over the holiday and see you all later.


May 26, 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011, Jack McIntruff

Theme: Whee! Fun homonyms. I might have gone with the five (three sir!) little piggies, but that's spelled the same as one of the clues.



33. Oui: FRENCH YES.



Hi all, another Thursday, and another puzzle with the clues carrying the theme instead of the answers. A good mix, all different spellings and meanings. For a while there, I thought I wasn't going to be able to think of another one to to tie them together.


1. Bass-baritone Simon: ESTES. A late week, more obscure clue than Colorado Park.

6. Second-century date: CXIX.

10. Welding sparks: ARCS.

14. Hard to stir: STOIC. Stir, as in the emotional sense.

15. Old __, Connecticut: LYME. Historical district, artist's colony, and summer resort. Pop. 7500.

16. Half a fictional detecting pair: NORA. Nick and Nora Charles (with Asta the crossword puzzle terrier).

20. Prov. bordering four Great Lakes: ONTario, Canada.

21. Limoges liver: FOIE. French  Foie gras is "fatty" liver.

22. Saltpeter: NITER. Puts the bang in gunpowder and takes it away from something else.

27. Maroon: ENISLE. I had the "LE" at first and was thinking PURPLE? That can't be right.

28. Cycle start: TRI.

29. Common street name: ELM.

30. Amateur golfer's score, perhaps: LIE.  If you lie about your lie, you won't lie easy.

31. Lasting impression: SCAR.  From Old French escare "scab," from Greek eskhara "scab formed after a burn," lit. "hearth, fireplace,"

32. Confucian path: TAO. Literally "the way", path.

38. First woman to land a triple axel in competition: ITO. Midori.

41. Nyctophobic fictional race: ELOI. Afraid of the dark because the Morlocks lived below and hunted at night.

42. Fed. fiscal agency: OMB. Office of Management and Budget.

45. Cheese partner: MAC. We just call it "glop".

46. Moving aid: VAN. Shortening of caravan.

47. "Obviously": SO I SEE.

53. Win by __: A HAIR.  Anyone for a nose or a mile first?

54. Words before many words?: IN SO.  Idiom: In so many words.

55. Canadian attorney's deg.: LLB. Bachelor of Laws.  The double L is a plural form abbreviation, like pp for pages or bbl for barrels.

61. Seller of FÖRNUFT flatware: IKEA. Swedish uses umlauts, too.

62. Phnom __: PENH. Capitol of Cambodia, today's geography lesson.

63. Corn Belt native: IOWAN.

64. Tracy's Trueheart: TESS. The Dick Tracy comic strip that went 18 years before they finally married on Christmas, in 1949.

65. Chipmunks creator Bagdasarian: ROSS. (Rostom) The real name of David Seville, the original voice of Alvin, Simon and Theodore.  Later he employed female vocal artists, recorded at 33, and played back at 45 rpm.

66. Recipe amts.: TBSPS. Equal to half a fluid ounce, one-sixteenth of a cup.


1. Five-time Art Ross Trophy winner, for short: ESPO. Phil Esposito, hockey.

2. Baseball's "Old Perfessor": STENGEL. Casey.  "They told me my services were no longer desired because they wanted to put in a youth program as an advance way of keeping the club going. I'll never make the mistake of being seventy again."

3. Ristorante dessert: TORTONI. Ice cream made with heavy cream, minced almonds, chopped maraschino cherries, flavored with rum. How have I never had this?

4. Frozen Wasser: EIS. German: water, ice.

5. Mocks: SCOFFS.

6. Eau __, Wisconsin: CLAIRE. "Clear waters".

7. Water-carrying plant tissue: XYLEM. A picture is worth a thousand words.

8. Sitter's handful: IMP. Old English impe, impa "young shoot, graft," from impian "to graft," sense of "child, offspring" came from transfer of the word from plants to people. "Suche appereth as aungelles, but in very dede they be ymps of serpentes."

9. Thirtysomething, e.g.: X-ER.

10. Hall of fame: ANNIE. My best guess is referring to the Woody Allen movie with Diane Keaton,since  fame is in lower-case, so not part of a title.

11. Small plant support: ROOTLET.

12. Fur-loving villain de Vil: CRUELLA.

13. Riviera resort: SAN REMO.

18. Carol: NOEL.

19. Available for service: ON HIRE. Again? This still sounds odd to me. On call, now that I understand all too well..

24. Gladly: LIEF. Etymology gives this as "dear" or "love" as with German lieb.

25. Burning desire: ITCH. Um... not really the kind of burning you want to associate with desire.

26. Supercomputer name: CRAY.

31. Fi front: SCI. Science Fiction.

34. Admire greatly: REVERE. From revereri to stand in awe of, to fear, to be wary of.

35. Ancient rival of Assyria: ELAM. Now part of southwest Iran.

36. Zilch: NONE.

37. Slugger Sammy: SOSA.

38. Mom's tough emphasis: I MEAN IT.

39. It makes one's net smaller: TAX HIKE.

40. Pump ratings: OCTANES.

43. Veges (out): MELLOWS.

44. Last track circuit: BELL LAP.

47. Meshes: SYNCHS.

48. __ buco: OSSO. Italian: bone with a hole, a marrow bone of veal with vegetables and wine.

49. Music to the boss's ears: I'M ON IT.

51. Coolidge and Moreno: RITAS.

52. Ford Field team: LIONS. Football, Detroit.

56. Uncle __: BEN'S. Competitor for Minute Rice.

58. "Fresh Air" airer: NPR. A talk show hosted by Terry Gross for over 30 years.

59. __ gratias: DEO. Latin: Thanks be to God.

60. Sound after a breakup, maybe: SOB. Hmmm, that could be what was done, or what was said...


Note from C.C.:

Here is a beautiful picture of Linda & her husband cutting their 50th wedding anniversary cake last Saturday. She said: "Being a non-traditionalist, I chose lavender, pink and white as my color theme. Those were our wedding colors. The cake topper is the original one.  Note the photo at lower left of us cutting the first cake".

May 25, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 Don Gagliardo and C.C. Burnikel

Theme: A New Dimension in Crossword Entertainment ! - The theme entries all have the word SOUND surrounding the phrases front and back, with the unifier at 50A: Home theater feature, and a hint to the puzzle theme in 19-, 22-, 32-, 46-Across, and the first (sic) word of this answer : SURROUND SOUND. At first, I thought that was a typo, until I realized that it was a hint that the first word of the unifier also contains "sound" surrounding it...great stuff!

19A. "Afraid you can't have your money back" : SORRY NO REFUND. I wonder why they wouldn't take back the thong I bought last month?

22A. Progresso or Lipton : SOUP BRAND. Would you believe, I was looking for types of tea??

32A. Refuse to budge : STAND ONES GROUND. A grid-spanning anchor in the center of the Home Entertainment System!

46A. Home of Notre Dame : SOUTH BEND. Alma Mater.

You got me, C.C. !

Marti here, and she didn't tell me it was her puzzle when she asked me to fill in today. How great to blog one of our dynamic duo's puzzles!! (See notes from C.C. and Don at the end.)


1. Winter break? : THAW. We really needed one this past winter. Didn't happen until, oh, about three days ago...

5. Drink noisily : SLURP.

10. Agcy. that established rules for kite flying : FAA. Go fly a kite! (But not near the airport...)

13. Poet known for inventing words : NASH.
"Reflection on Babies"
A bit of talcum
Is always walcum.

14. Prairie home : TEPEE

15. "__ la Douce" : IRMA. Great 1963 flick with Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine.

16. The Dixie Chicks, e.g. : TRIO. Aww, do I have to? (link)

17. "__ of robins in her hair": Kilmer : A NEST. Help, Clear Ayes!

18. Strip light : NEON. Dennis, are there strip lights on South Beach?

24. Climber's toehold : LEDGE. Yes, and pitons, cables or anything else I could get my big toe into...

25. Fertile desert spot : OASIS

26. New Deal inits. : FDR. Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

27. Sch. with a Spokane campus : WSU. Washington State University. Top 10 in the country for using clean technology on campus.

28. Like the Parthenon : ANCIENT. No, like me.

38. Young in films : LORETTA. Is she ancient now?

39. Sushi topping : ROE. Roe, roe, roe your boat...Oh, oops - I did that last time... (This is really hard, guys!)

40. Lincoln or Ford : CAR. Ha Ha. You didn't fool me. I knew right away that "prez" wouldn't fit!

41. Rapids transit : CANOE. Great pun on Rapid Transit. But I confidently filled in "kayak".

43. Chinese, e.g. : ASIAN. Do you think of yourself as "Asian" or "Chinese", C.C.? I think of myself as "American", not "USA'an".

52. Cement piece : SLAB

53. Auto buyer's choice : SEDAN

54. Ages and ages : EONS. I just keep aging and aging...

57. Hgts. : ALTS. "Alps" would fit, but I don't think the Down would fit the "breakfast test"...

58. Ragú rival : PREGO

59. Hurry : RUSH. We all know Hurry Limbaugh, right?

60. Food additive : DYE. Ewwww, and we got a lesson the other day about what exactly is in those dyes.

61. Scatter : STREW

62. Hang around : STAY. I can't STAY. I have to go DOWN...


1. "We know drama" channel : TNT. Turner Network Television.

2. Guffaw syllable : HAR. Haw, haw, hee hee, ho ho!

3. Customarily : AS IS USUAL. Great phrase. As is usual, our constructors brought out their "A" game today!

4. Moderator of a panel including Joy, Elisabeth and Sherri : WHOOPI. Goldberg.

5. Best successor of 1962 : STARR. Pete Best, Ringo Starr. If this were Monday, they would never get away with this clue - great misdirection!

6. Actress Lotte : LENYA. OK, maybe you don't remember her. But do you remember "Mack the Knife", written for her by her husband Kurt Weill? Ok, so it's in German, and not the Louis Armstrong-famous version, but it is Lotte Lenya, which is probably why you don't remember her...

7. Wharton's sch. : UPENN. Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.

8. Fix, as a green : RESOD. They need to RESOD the greens at my local course. Terrible shape! None of my putts would go in today...

9. Sykora of the NHL : PETR. Now playing in Russia, he played around with the Devils, Ducks, Rangers, Oilers, Penguins and Wild before finally saying sayonara to the USA. I bet Eddy B. and JD know him.

10. "The Ego and the Id" author : FREUD.

11. Included in : AMONG

12. "Dog the Bounty Hunter" airer : A AND E. Whew! This one threw me for a while. Finally parsed it.

15. Oven, so to speak : INFERNO. Does anyone remember the movie?

20. NFL ball carriers : RBS. National Football league, Running Backs.

21. Revered figure : ELDER. Oh, so I should be revered, right?

22. Plants : SOWS

23. Hops drier : OAST

26. Newton fruit : FIG. Not an apple?

28. Farm denizen : ANT

29. Bottom line : NET

30. Rebs' gp. : CSA. Confederate States of America.

31. Ended up : TURNED OUT. Turned out, I didn't have to worry about another far, so good.

33. Feature of some extreme diets : NO CARBS

34. Pipe cleaner : DRANO. I wonder if Drano would take care of ear wax?

35. Atop, poetically : O'ER.

36. High time? : NOON. Already? I just got started...

37. Safe document : DEED. Nope, don't have one in my safe. Only a huge mortgage note from the bank. Oh, maybe they have the deed in their safe?

41. Obama's secretary of energy : CHU. Chattanooga Chu? (Sorry - it's Steven.)

42. Doubleday and Yokum : ABNERS

43. Syrian president : ASSAD. Bashar al-Assad wanted to be an opthamologist, until his older brother died in a car accident. So he became heir apparent and was elected president in 2000 when his father died.

44. Tarnish : SULLY

45. Steaming : IRATE. My veggies were really irate while I was cooking them tonight. (Well, wouldn't you be?)

46. Hägar's dog : SNERT. Love him in the comic strip!

47. More eccentric : ODDER

48. Linguist's concern : USAGE

49. Thus far : TO NOW. To now, I don't think I've made any boo-boos, have I?

51. Mail letters : USPS. United States Postal Service. Did you know? The USPS does not have a motto. The saying "Neither rain, nor sleet, etc." is simply an inscription on a Post Office in NYC.

55. Gp. whose insignia consists of a bald eagle holding a key : NSA. National Security Agency.

56. Bashful : SHY. Not elf? Oh, that's a dwarf...sorry, I'm getting Sleepy. Er, no, I'm not "getting" Sleepy tonight. At least, he hasn't called yet...

Good night, Marti.

Note from C.C. & Don:

Don came up with this nifty idea while we were brain storming a "* AROUND" theme where the * bookends each theme entry. We tried to even it out with different SO* *UND pattern. SOUTHERLY WIND and SOUVENIR STAND ended up on the cutting room floor. Did you all notice that the unifier word SURROUND is also surrounded by SOUND?

May 24, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 Gareth Bain

Theme: Sherwood is getting crowded - Four actors who portrayed 64A in the movies at various times.

18A. "Kiss the Girls" actor (1993) : CARY ELWES. Image.

25A. "Gladiator" Oscar winner (2010) : RUSSELL CROWE. Image.

38A. "Captain Blood" star (1938) : ERROL FLYNN. Image.

53A. "Field of Dreams" star (1991) : KEVIN COSTNER. Image.

64A. Role played by each of four actors in the year indicated in their clues : ROBIN HOOD. Image.

Argyle here. Interesting theme and some good fill. Maybe a little flat but that might be just me. There are a few more Robin Hoods out there. Who's your favorite?


1. iPhone add-ons : APPs. Is there a crossword APPlication?

5. Big name in kibbles : ALPO. Dry dog food.

9. Perturb : DISMAY

15. Quantum __ : LEAP. Atomic electron transition that turned into an NBC sci-fi series in the early '90s.

16. Ponce de __ : LEÓN. Reputedly explored Florida searching for the fabled Fountain of Youth. (Hello, Dennis.)

17. Speak liturgically, perhaps : INTONE. A form of public worship.

20. Leads off : STARTS

21. Thanksgiving mo. in Canada : OCT.

22. Slightly : A BIT

23. Look peaked : AIL

24. Ne'ertheless : THO. Although.

31. Lease signatory : TENANT. Signing a lease doesn't necessarily make you a TENANT.

33. "Go ahead!" : "DO IT!". Reminds me of schoolyard dares.

34. Barracks bed : COT

35. Golf's Ballesteros : SEVE. Ballesteros died of brain cancer on 7 May 2011, aged 54. Sad.

36. Potted plant spot : SILL

37. Furniture company named partly for its founder Ingvar Kamprad : IKEA

42. Plumbing joints : ELLs

45. Skin cream brand : OLAY

46. Items included in envs. : ENCS. Enclosures in envelopes.

49. Island gift : LEI

50. Tabloid twosome : ITEM

51. Agricultural measure : BUSHEL. Derived from a need to have a standard to measure wheat.

57. 67.5 deg. : ENE. East North East.

58. PC's top-left key : ESC

59. Prefix with gram : HOLO. The famous scene from Star Wars. Clip.(0:57)

60. "Because" evoker : "WHY?"

61. Player in front of a net : GOALIE

66. Take flight? : AVIATE

67. Foxx who sang "Mockingbird" : INEZ. With her brother, Charlie. Clip.(2:31)

68. Unadulterated : PURE

69. Lunatics : MADMEN. Mad Dogs and Englishmen is a song by Noel Coward; I never knew. Video.(2:50)

70. Keep on looking at, and not in a nice way : OGLE

71. Ollie's sidekick : STAN. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.


1. "Little Men" novelist : ALCOTT. Louisa May's follow-up to "Little Women".

2. Often flambéed fruit : PEACHES

3. Start of a saga, maybe : PART ONE

4. Le Carré hero, e.g. : SPY. John le Carré is an English author of espionage novels. And he should know; he worked for MI5 and MI6.

5. Very nearly : ALL BUT

6. "Surprised By Joy" autobiographer C.S. : LEWIS. Author of "The Chronicles of Narnia".

7. Ode writers : POETS and 63D. Dusk, to 7-Down : E'EN

8. Put-__: pranks : ONs

9. Talk smack to : DIS. To disrespect some one, not give them their props("proper respect").

10. Not broken : INTACT

11. Step in a flight : STAIR

12. Eloi predator : MORLOCK. From "The Time Machine"

13. Colony dweller : ANT

14. "It is so" : "YES"

19. Breadwinner : EARNER

26. Build up spiritually : EDIFY. But it comes from to build up, literally. Think edifice.

27. Lounge, as on a chaise : LOLL. (Hello, Dennis.)

28. Easter bloom : LILY

29. "__ is me!" : WOE

30. Greek vowel : ETA

32. Birds' biological class : AVES

36. Condemns verbally : SLAMS. Really dis.

37. Quaint lodgings : INNS

39. Univ. recruiter : ROTC

40. Marg : Brits :: __ : Americans : OLEO. I can believe it's not butter here or over there.

41. Cell with an axon : NEURON

42. Antlered critter : ELK

43. Sheltered side : LEE

44. 1985 multi-venue charity concert for Ethiopian famine : LIVE AID. Live Aid was a dual-venue concert held simultaneously in Wembley Stadium in London and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia.

47. Read the riot act : CHEW OUT

48. Portuguese lady : SENHORA

50. Stir up : INCITE

51. British Honduras, now : BELIZE. Map.

52. __ jar: static electricity storage device : LEYDEN. Did your science lab have one?

54. Imam's faith : ISLAM

55. Beach footwear : THONG

56. Prize name : NOBEL

61. Pinup's leg : GAM. Probably from the Italian word gamba.

62. Egg cells : OVA

64. Brazilian hot spot : RIO. Rio de Janeiro.

65. Some inkjets : HPs. Hewlett-Packard Brand.