Jul 31, 2011

Sunday, July 31, 2011 Mike Peluso

Theme: Oohs and Aahs -"Ooh" sound in the last word of each familiar phrase is changed into "aah" sound.

21A. Charity that rewards golf talent? : ALMS FOR THE PAR. Alms for the poor.

33A. Treat a Saudi king with TLC? : COMFORT FAHD. Comfort food. King Fahd's look terrifies me.

56A. Timid officer? : CHICKEN COP. Chicken coop.

67A. Miniature B-17? : BABY BOMBER. Baby boomer.

88A. Hall of Famer Warren after garage work? : GREASY SPAHN. Greasy spoon. Warren Spahn. Remember the poem "Spahn and Sain and Pray for Rain"? No, Marti/Splynter, no baseball for you?

106A. Padding in an Easter basket? : CHOCOLATE MOSS. Chocolate mousse.

15D. Stuffy trio? : THE THREE STODGES. The Three Stooges. But stodgy is an adjective, how can it be pluralized?

41D. Onset of boredom? : BIRTH OF THE BLAHS. Birth of the Blues.

Fun theme, isn't it? I would have enjoyed the theme more if I spoke English properly.

Notice how Mike spread out his theme entries in the grid? I like puzzles with Across & Down theme arrangement. More impressive is the intersection and overlapping.

Chopping solving for me. Again, the names gave me trouble.

Favorite clue today is AHAs (31D. Clicking sounds?). Awesome! Totally click with me.


1. Look up to : ADMIRE

7. "Zen and the __ Motorcycle Maintenance": 1974 best-seller : ART OF. Unknown to me. But anything motorcycle related can't be Zen.

12. Tournament slots : BERTHS

18. Gradually removed (from) : WEANED

19. When Lear banishes Cordelia : ACT ONE. This clue is very Mike.

20. University of Delaware mascot : BLUE HEN. Delaware the Blue Hen State.

23. Jockey Angel : CORDERO. Stranger to me.

24. __ Rebellion: 1786-'87 insurrection : SHAYS'. What's it about?

25. Liqueur flavoring : ANISE

26. Rim : EDGE

27. Overly : TOO

28. Stitching on Li'l Abner's towel? : HIS'N

29. Enemy : FOE

30. Feeds amply : SATES

32. Phenom : WHIZ

38. Travesty : FARCE

39. "Hang on a sec," online : BRB (Be Right Back)

42. Off : DO IN. Off is a verb here.

43. Forearm bones : ULNAS

44. More than just worry : OBSESS

45. '70s Struthers co-star : REINER (Rob). Sally Struthers. "All in the Family". I drew a blank.

47. Tiffs : SPATS

48. "Go fly __!" : A KITE

49. Sitting still : AT REST

50. Terrible twos, one hopes : PHASE

51. Coach Parseghian : ARA

52. Big petrol seller : ESSO

55. Danish explorer Bering : VITUS. You all know his given name?

58. Hoosegow : STIR. Jail.

59. Durham sch. : UNH (University of New Hampshire)

60. All-time RBI leader : AARON (Hank). 2, 297. Guess how many grand slams he has? Don't google.

62. Diarist Nin : ANAIS

64. Medical suffix : OMA

65. Crucifix : ROOD

71. Army doc : MEDIC

73. __ Romeo Spider : ALFA

74. NYC-based securities gp. : ASE (American Stock Exchange)

75. After-school treats : OREOS

76. Player with an orange and black-striped helmet : BENGAL. Cincinnati Bengals.

77. Junk : TRASH

79. Did well on the quiz : GOT A "B". Trick to parse.

80. "What's My Line?" regular Francis : ARLENE

81. Pennsylvania university : LEHIGH. Is it very famous?

83. Like some casks : OAKEN

84. Aromatherapist's supply : OILS. Melissa or Barbara B introduced Jojoba oil to me some time ago. I love it.

86. Sound after a pop : SSS

87. Alaskan native : ALEUT

91. Lobster house freebies : BIBS

92. Wicked one : FIEND

94. Hall of Fame pool player __ Mataya Laurance : EWA. Wow, no idea. She looks cool

95. West Coast sch. : UCLA. And 102D. West Coast sch. : UCAL. Not the same?

99. Handy communication syst.? : ASL. Good clue. (Added later: ASL is American Sign Language.)

100. Allure rival : ELLE

101. When repeated, "Hungry Like the Wolf" band : DURAN

103. Greek promenades : STOAS

104. Noxious fumes : MIASMAS

109. Artsy district : BOHEMIA

110. Run roughshod over : MARAUD

111. 2009 aviation biopic : AMELIA

112. Comeback : ANSWER

113. Little silvery fish : SMELT

114. Words on some Montana license plates : BIG SKY. Their nickname.


1. Overrun (with) : AWASH. I've only used "awash in".

2. City NE of Jodhpur : DELHI

3. Words from dolls : MAMAS

4. On the same page : IN SYNC

5. They sometimes count to 10 : REFS. Boxing, right?

6. Shogun's capital : EDO

7. More uncomfortable : ACHIER

8. AAA suggestions : RTES

9. Reach for the Skyy, excessively : TOPE. Spell checker doesn't like this verb.

10. __ roll: winning : ON A

11. Backin' : FER

12. Promotes oneself online : BLOGS. Verb here.

13. Chartres's river : EURE. I can never remember those European rivers.

14. The color of money owed? : RED

16. Daring rescue, say : HEROICS

17. Grabs some shuteye : SNOOZES

19. When many a whistle blows : AT NOON. I don't get this clue.

20. A train? : BCDE. A B C D E. Alphabet. Meh entry, but saved by an excellent clue.

22. "Bananaphone" singer : RAFFI. Here is a clip.

26. SFO listings : ETDS

30. South Carolina river : SANTEE. Named after the Santee tribe. Learning moment!

32. Fails to recycle : WASTES

34. Black Sea port : ODESSA

35. Cartoonist Walker : MORT. "Beetle Bailey".

36. Rapper __ Shakur : TUPAC

37. Lab container : FLASK

38. "Most Wanted" org. : FBI. And 78D. 38-Down employee : AGT.

39. Dazzling performance : BRAVURA. I like this word.

40. Vitamin A : RETINOL. It reduce the wrinkles.

44. Giraffe relative : OKAPI

46. Fresh out of the box, in Berlin : NEU. New.

47. Freshly minted : SHINY

48. Like a loud crowd : AROAR

50. Suffix for techno : PHOBE. Technophobe.

51. Dermatologist's cases : ACNES

53. Monkeys, e.g. : SIMIANS

54. They have all the answers : ORACLES. Including answers to this puzzle!

56. Computer problem : CRASH

57. Big cheese : NABOB

61. Bring shame to : ABASH

63. Bond nemesis : SMERSH. Weird looking word.

66. Persian king, 522-486 B.C. : DARIUS. Darius the Great. Stumper.

68. Unavailable, as for appointments : BOOKED

69. "Coffee __?" : OR TEA

70. Wherewithal : MEANS

72. Like mil. volunteers : ENL (Enlisted)

76. __ Cynwyd, Pa. : BALA. No idea.

79. Former Utah senator Jake who flew aboard Discovery in 1985 : GARN

81. Ritchie Valens biopic : LA BAMBA

82. Apostrophe's purpose, often : ELISION

83. Curved molding : OGEE

84. Role in Stone's "JFK" : OSWALD. "Life" magazine with Lee Harvey Oswald on the cover is a collectible item.

85. "Brusha, brusha, brusha" toothpaste : IPANA

89. Ump's call : YER OUT!

90. Eggnog topping : NUTMEG

92. Distinctive style : FLAIR. Do you miss Jerome?

93. "Casablanca" heroine : ILSA

96. Becomes safe to eat, in a way : COOLS. Simple in retrospect.

97. Cornea-reshaping surgery : LASIK. I just don't feel it's safe.

98. Test for purity : ASSAY

100. Former "Fashion Emergency" host : EMME. Unaware of the program.

101. 19th-century French book illustrator : DORE (Gustave). French & 19th-century spell out nothing for me, unfortunately. Interesting read in Wikipedia.

103. Cargo hauler : SEMI

105. Embroider, e.g. : SEW

106. Ruler amts. : CMs

107. Breakfast side : HAM

108. Folder user's aid : TAB.

Answer grid.


Jul 30, 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011 Neville L. Fogarty

Theme: None

Words: 72

Blocks: 29

Saturday Number 5 in this July, and a fun one, I thought - but that might be because I cruised through it with little trouble. Perhaps it was not the same for you, so I will do my best to break it down. Another pinwheel design, this time with triples of 10's and 8's.


1. Revisiting the past? : TIME TRAVEL

11. __ shot : SLAP - Hockey, the kind of shot where you really wind up - and a great movie, if you're into hockey....

15. "Been there" : I CAN RELATE

16. Country with a green, yellow and red flag : MALI - Image here

17. Israelites, to many : CHOSEN ONES - here I thought it was Ozzy Osbourne....@ 1:55

18. Hone : EDGE - the verb, in this instance

19. The sport of shooting, in Soissons : TIR - I did not know - here is the Wiki

20. Took in : ATE

21. Finn's friend : SAWYER

23. Sarah McLachlan's record label : ARISTA

25. Chinese port also known as Xiamen : AMOY

27. 2012 games host country, in Olympics code : GBR - Great Britain; not a great logo for the Olympics, IMO

28. Come to : COST

29. Like some boxers : CANINE - Boxer, the dog, although Mike Tyson put his canines to use, too....

31. "Who __ we kidding?" : ARE

32. Personification : AVATAR - we have some good ones on the blog - I think we should do a weekly theme, and have the avatars change accordingly - like we did with the "days gone by" oldies....my first suggestion? How about your home/ dream home?

34. Tales you can also read backwards? : SAGAS - a little play on the palindrome concept

36. Fakes : RINGERS

39. "To reiterate ..." : AS I SAID...

41. Notable Nixon gesture : V-SIGN - Image

42. Jenny Fields's son, in a 1978 best-seller : T.S. GARP - Technical Sergeant Garp - a strange story

44. Luv : HON - Lovey, Honey-bunny

45. Talked up : TOUTED

47. Certain dieter's concern : CARBohydrates

51. Go (for) : OPT

52. Objects : ENDS - a stretch; as in attaining objects, the "ends" of a search, or is it the verb, and one "objects" to something, and ends it?

53. Glassy-eyed one : STARER - funny, I had "STONER" at first, and was 66% there....

55. Brand named for two states : ORE-IDA - Argyle just linked this Monday, OREgon, and IDAho,the tater-tots makers

57. __ favor : POR - Spanish, for "please"

58. Whitman of "Arrested Development" : MAE - many images

59. Essex neighbor : KENT - England, or GBR; map lower right

60. Female pop trio since 1979 : BANANARAMA - I knew them from "Cruel Summer", and not much more, tho they did hit it with a remake of "Venus"

64. Go back, in a way : UNDO - Thank God for "undo", especially in blogging and AutoCAD~!!!

65. Only place on Earth where crocodiles and alligators co-exist : EVERGLADES - Florida; I lived in Jacksonville for a time

66. Lowly worker : PEON

67. Pans, and how : TEARS APART - as in a bad review


1. Popular mint : TIC-TAC

2. Mariner from Japan : ICHIRO - Seattle Mariners, got me at first.

3. "The Piano" extras : MAORIs - Some more, here ; did not see the movie; not my thing

4. USNA grad : ENSign

5. Pay for : TREAT

6. Airport offering : RENT-A-CAR

7. Succulent genus : ALOE - Total WAG on a Saturday, of course, but succulent....

8. Cargo carrier : VAN

9. Summer abroad : ETE - French summer

10. Good thing to learn : LESSON

11. Duck in the Eurasian taiga : SMEW

12. Singer known for unconventional outfits : LADY GAGA - I like her, despite the outfits

13. Basic math course : ALGEBRA I - two clues in a row that might have been hard to parse

14. Second-least populous st. capital : PIERRE, SD - the city, and its state - nailed it. (Thanks for pointing out the error.)

22. Bridge response : AYE, SIR - this time, the bridge is referring to that of the Enterprise, as in Star Trek, or yesterday's "Argo" clues

24. Immortal college coach : STAGG - Immortal, perhaps, famous? Not in my wheelhouse - more here

25. Santa __ : ANA

26. Illusion : MIRAGE

30. Ready to father : AT STUD - horses

33. Let it all out : VENTED

35. Shepherd-protecting org. : ASPCA

36. KOA amenity : RV HOOK-UP - KOA is the "Kampgrounds of America", sort of the Wal-mart of camping....

37. Petroleum processing by-product : ISOPRENE - actually, quite fascinating reading for me

38. Pioneer in side-scrolling video games : NINTENDO - like Mario did, from right to left

40. Tearjerkers of a kind : SAD SONGS

43. 61-Down crossers: Abbr. : STs, & 61. See 43-Down : AVE - a really UGH pair of clues for a Saturday

46. How some stunts are done : ON A BET

48. Fighting force : ARMADA - Ensign, Aye, Sir = a mini-theme going here

49. Hole widener : REAMER - yeah, but to follow with

50. One may come with wings : BREAST - well, I could just get DF here....

54. Refrain from singing? : TRA-LA - fresh cluing here

56. "Bring __!" : IT ON

57. Tudor widow : PARR - Catherine, survivor of Henry VIII; more good reading

62. Gp. for teachers : NEA

63. Emulate Sir Mix-A-Lot : RAP - I linked him last time....

Answer grid.


Jul 29, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011, Chris A. McGlothlin

Theme: C you later. The letter "C" is removed from in the language expressions to create a new and witty thought-provoking phrase.The puzzle had lots of new fill and tons of themeage. Our second puzzle from this constructor, whose last effort also was a letter puzzle. Lots of French and lots of music, grab your wine and some brie.

Lemonade, back in the Friday saddle; let's ride!

18A. Sailing attire for 1-Across?: (C)ARGO PANTS. More Jason and his ship the Argo drawn from those 90's favorite stylin pants with all those damn pockets.

23A. Dearth of frost?: LOW (C)RIME RATE. Rime the fancy way to say frost, coming from Crime. Dearth not like in Vader.

38A. Celebrated Talk Like a Pirate Day?: USED (C)ARS. ARRGGGH.

40A. Regional poem?: AREA (C)ODE. man we have so many odes these days, let's call them off.

50A. Do some tweezing?: PULL UP A (C)HAIR. I am not a big tweezer, and think of it as pulling out not up. Another example of women being tougher than men.

61A. "I've completed the flag"? : (C)ROSS WORDS. Betsy and self promotion for cross word puzzles, or maybe all those cross words people should not say.

The three part unifier:

10A. With 42- and 66-Across, words to an old friend, whose end is a hint this puzzle's grid and theme: LONG. 42. See 10-Across: TIME. Across 66. See 10-Across: NO SEE.


1. Golden Fleece seeker: JASON. Well, since everyone knows my name it is fitting the puzzle after my short vacation starts with me.

6. Disputed strip: GAZA. No politics here.

14. Nimble: AGILE. Jack be ....but why over a candlestick?

15. Offenbach's okays: OUIS. This is tricky, as you have to know the composer, who pioneered the can can, and obviously spoke French, where OUI mean yes.

16. Kentucky border river: OHIO. That part of the country always confuses me, you land in Kentucky at Cincinnati, Ohio airport.

17. The world according to Arp: MONDE. More French (pay attention Jeannie) MONDE means WORLD, to Jean ARP the artist; interesting pun with GARP. My favorite clue.

20. Miracle Mets star: AGEE. Tommie, the flamboyant center fielder.

21. "From __ Zinc": vitamin slogan : A TO. Centrum I believe.

22. Gives a facelift : REDOES. Any work out there ladies, or gents? A little Botox? A nip, a tuck?

26. Rowan Atkinson character: MR. BEAN. I like him in Black Adder, Bean leaves me cold.

27. Understood KNOWN.

32. Antenna shelter: RADOME. A portmanteau of RADAR and DOME.

35. Hosp. test: EKG. Electrocardiogram.

37. PayPal owner: EBAY.

43. Funnyman Kinison: SAM. One of the screaming comedians, who wore his beret and died young.

45. Run in: ARREST. You boys go home or I'm goin' run you in.

46. Comes down hard?: HAILS. Not where my head was going.

48. Sole man: HERMIT. My ex-wife's great grandfather ended up living in a cabin as a hermit. I thought of this IMAGE instead.

55. Players try to hit triples with them: Q TILES. I like this scrabble reference.

59. Mama bear, in Madrid: OSA. OSO male.

60. First name in courtroom fiction: ERLE. Stanley Gardner, creator of Perry Mason, my role model (not).

63. Had a home cooked meal: ATE IN.

64. Smack: SWAT. Sounds like Adam West.

65. Pâté base: FOIE. French for liver. Pate de Foie Gras is also a fine short story by Asimov.

67. Sounds of disapproval: TSKS. Tsk.Lots of those around.

68. Cans: AXES. Again, I was thinking of this IMAGE.

69. Touch and shuffle: IPODS. I have never owned an Apple product, except when I used to eat them.


1. Jazz pianist Ahmad __: JAMAL. Not familiar with this jazz PIANIST.

2. Disco era suffix: A GO GO. Any of you left coasters go to Whiskey A Go Go?

3. Tough tissue: SINEW. It's a new way to clue this.

4. It's often traded in: OLDER MODEL. Remember this TRADE IN.

5. Alumna identifier, perhaps: NEE. More French, referring to the birth name of a female.

6. Chin hider: GOATEE. Because you look like a billy goat, how sweet.

7. Sky lights: AURORAE.. Do you all go to watch the Aurora Borealis?

8. Turn sharply: ZIG. Why not ZAG?

9. "__ of Homecoming": U2 song: A SORT. A nice SONG.

10. Put in a clip: LOAD. Ammunition into your Sig Sauer 9mm. Pretty violent.

11. "Think I'm kidding?": OH NO. Mr. Bill where are you?

12. Evening, in ads: NITE.

13. Former CIA director Porter __ : GOSS. Information, not POLITICS.

19. Glance: PEEK. Why does peek sound so much more salacious? Carol, Lois, our experts, please explain.

21. Some ales: AMBERS. Now the weekly beer reference; any Amber Bock drinkers?

24. "__ la Douce": IRMA. Shirley McClain was quite PRETTY.

25. "Diana" crooner: ANKA. When I was a kid this was a HIT.

28. Second or third, for instance: NEAR THE TOP. A toughie to parse.

29. The orchestra tunes to one: OBOE. We will let JzB explain this.

30. Bankrolls: WADS. A very visual word if you see someone pull a lot of 100's from a pocket.

31. Dmitri's denial: NYET. The Russian No.

32. "The Book of __": Jane Hamilton novel: RUTH. A novel not to be confused with the Biblical Story.

33. Aral Sea locale: ASIA. Between the World Cup Soccer and the LPGA, Japan's ladies have done much to bring joy back after the tragedies.

34. Starting half?: DEMI. More French, the prefix for half, not a suggestion that Demi Moore play half back for the Jets.

36. The old man's old man: GRAMPA. Did I mention I am GRUNCLE Jason?

39. "Is there any group I haven't offended?" satirist: SAHL. Mort Sahl, a 60's stand up icon.

41. Ranch addition?: ERIA. A Spanish concept RANCHERIA.

44. French art song: MELODIE. More French, not to be confused with a CHANSON.

47. Erupt: SPEW. I am reading Harris' book on Pompeii.

49. Ballets __: early 20th-century dance company: RUSSES. Do we have any fans of BALLET?

51. Yank's home, briefly: US OF A. Oh, all of us, got it, not the evil empire.

52. Playground retort: ARE SO. Are not!

53. "Well ... not exactly": I LIED.

54. Magritte and Descartes: RENES. The surrealist and the philosopher.

55. Queue before U : QRST. The old letter string clue, with a new twist for its list.

56. Pulls along: TOWS.

57. Writer Dinesen: ISAK. The pseudonym for an interesting WOMAN who wrote great books which became great movies, like Out of Africa and Babbette's Feast.

58. WWII craft: LSTS. Landing Ship Tanks

62. Colorado sports nickname, with "the": ROX. I guess the Rockies get this so it rhymes with SOX.

63. Singer DiFranco : ANI.This feminist icon sings this SONG.

Answer grid.

Well the month is almost gone, the week as well and we survived, so onward and upward.


Jul 28, 2011

Thursday July 28, 2011 John Dunn

Theme: IN THE MIDDLE (17D. Like this answer's position, and what can follow the starts of 16-, 24/51-, 38-, 60- and 69/1-Across) - IN THE MIDDLE can follow all the below green-highlighted words.

1A. See 69-Across : AROUND. And 69A. With 1-Across, spend time frivolously : MONKEY. Monkey in the middle is a children's game a la Wiki. Not familiar to me.

16A. Breakfast option : SOFT-BOILED EGGS. Soft in the middle.

24A. With 51-Across, Presley hit with "glue" in the lyrics : STUCK. And 51A. See 24-Across : ON YOU. Stuck in the middle.

38A. "A Clockwork Orange" star : MALCOLM MCDOWELL. "Malcolm in the Middle".

60A. End the chat room suspense, in a way : MEET FACE TO FACE. Meet in the middle.

C.C. here. Are you missing Al? I am.

The unifier IN THE MIDDLE is easily placed in the very heart of the grid. But quite a feat to cross it with the other three long theme entries. 14's are always a challenge and you don't see them on Row 3/13 often, same with 12's and 13's.

I've yet to become a fan of split theme entries. I'm OK with 1A Across and the last Across entries to bookend the grid, even with the reverse order. But the 24/51 style split distracts me.


7. Catch-22 : PARADOX. Nice scrambly entry.

14. Retro headgear : BEANIE

15. Quintessence : EPITOME

18. Mountain Dew producer, informally : PEPSI. "For those who think young".

19. Slight winning margin : NOSE. By a nose.

20. Not divided : ONE

21. Easy melodies : LILTS

29. Mediterranean smoker : ETNA. The volcano.

31. "__ Coy Mistress": Andrew Marvell poem : TO HIS. I'll let Clear Ayes comment.

33. Uffizi display : ARTE

34. "Big Love" actress Sevigny : CHLOE. Here she is. I like the name Chloe.

36. Asylum seeker : EMIGRE. Some lie to get accepted. Ex-IMF chief accuser, for example.

42. Gushed on stage : EMOTED

43. Massey of "Rosalie" : ILONA. She does resemble Dietrich, no?

44. Talk with one's hands : SIGN

45. Like days of yore : OLDEN

47. "Great shot!" : NICE

53. Professional pitcher? : AD MAN. One who pitches stuff. We've seen similar clue before.

55. Edit out : CUT

56. Comedian Hartman : PHIL

58. Excludes : OMITS

66. Chaplin's tramp, e.g. : PERSONA

67. Boorish sorts : CHURLS. And 3D. Dumbbells : OAFS

68. Non-specific : GENERAL


1. Out of the picture : ABSENT

2. Start up after a fire, say : REOPEN. Like a nightclub. I suppose.

4. Before : UNTIL

5. Tip for a writer? : NIB. "Writer" here refers to pen, correct? It writes.

6. __ gratiam habeamus: Kentucky's Latin state motto : DEO. "Let us be grateful". Unknown to me.

7. Boehner's predecessor : PELOSI (Nancy). Man, they often make me speechless, both.

8. Plays Simon says with : APES

9. Harley outings : RIDES. Here is Harley model Marisa Miller, who has the best abs in the world.

10. Got fed up? : ATE. Awesome clue.

11. Follow : DOG. Verb.

12. Texting exclamation : OMG

13. Cancels (out) : X'ES

18. Macabre master : POE. True.

22. Tepid response to "How's this?" : IT'LL DO

23. Tower (over) : LOOM

25. Home of Nationals pitcher Chien-Ming Wang : TAIWAN. He was with the Yankees for a few years.

26. Try to convince : URGE

27. PC key : CTRL

28. Nautical spine : KEEL

30. Passbook ID : ACCT NO. Wow, did not come to me readily.

32. Sonoran Desert resort city : SEDONA

35. Plot device? : HOE. Oh, garden plot.

37. Work wk. start : MON

38. Prefix with -zoic : MESO

39. "The Last King of Scotland" tyrant : AMIN

40. Lethargic : LOGY. Here it comes again.

41. Skelton persona Kadiddlehopper : CLEM

46. Not of the cloth : LAICAL. We see LAIC more often.

48. Standoffish one : ICICLE

49. Like Care Bears : CUTESY

50. "Avatar" extras : ETs

52. Ready and willing to do : UP FOR

54. Like a stick-in-the-mud : NO FUN. Nice answer.

57. '80s tennis great Mandlikova : HANA. Faintly rings a bell.

59. New Testament figure : MARK

60. Sticker stat : MPG

61. Shoe spec : EEE. Somehow I feel it's a cop-out to put SSS in the grid, but not EEE. Weird.

62. Coastal raptor : ERN

63. Prufrock poet's monogram : TSE (T.S. Eliot)

64. Cable sta. for vintage films : TCM

65. "Gotcha!" : OHO

Answer grid.

And yes, yesterday's mystery boy is Red State Democrat, Matt in real life. The photo was cropped due to my sensitivity towards a recent event. Maybe he will link the full photo in his own website someday.


Jul 27, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011 Jonathan Black

Theme: FLEA Market. Three entries have the hidden word "flea" spanning the words. Jonathan had his first puzzle on a Sunday LAT in January. I am here to blog his second offering of a weekday puzzle for us.

17A. Woods has often been atop it : GOLF LEADER BOARD. Tiger Woods is not playing lately, because of injuries. But there are still a lot of exciting players to watch. Darren Clarke was wonderful at "The Open".

26A. Hold one's nose, perhaps : STIFLE A SNEEZE. Achooo!

42A They're fun to jump in : PILES OF LEAVES. Not so much fun to rake...

55A. Pet owner's bane, and a hint to what's hidden in 17-, 26- and 42-Across : FLEA INFESTATION

I think it would have been more elegant to have the third "flea" entry be of the FL - EA separation. As it is, we have two with F-LEA and one with FLE-A. But how to do FL-EA? How about NFL EASILY ENDS NEGOTIATIONS??? YAAAAYY- we'll have football this year! DH is happy, because if there were no football I would have him doing all kinds of projects around the house...

Marti here, filling in for our Melissa. I am itching to get started on this one!


1. People person : CELEB. "People" magazine. Unless you are Britney Spears, then you definitely don't like people, especially ones who want to take your picture...

6. Throw for a loop : FAZE. From Feese, 1350–1400; Middle English fese blast, rush, fesen to drive, chase, frighten.

10. Crew cut's opposite : AFRO. You be the judge. Opposite? Scroll down to see the explanation of Afro and crew cut.

14. Good on one's feet : AGILE. Like Mohammed Ali or his daughter Laila.

15. In __ of: as a substitute for : LIEU. You are getting me today, in LIEU of Melissa. Sorry!

16. Ring out : PEAL. I wanted to PEAL my orange this morning, and ring out my wet laundry. Oops, sorry. Just googled those, and it should be "peel" and "wring"...

20. Mass. hours : EST. Going to an all-girls Catholic school, "mass" hours to me meant 6 A.M. to 7 A.M., 9 A.M. to 10 A.M. and (for the really lazy ones) 11 A.M. to 12 noon!! But this clever clue abbreviates "Massachusetts", meaning Eastern Standard Time hours.

21. Food with a Veterinary Formula : IAMS. I feed my tubby tabbies Hills (low fat, "adult" diet).

22. Ungentle giants : OGRES. Oh, I dunno - Shrek seems like such a nice guy...

23. Cilantro, e.g. : HERB. Do you like it in salsa? DH, not so much...

24. Word on some euros : EIRE. For Ireland. I'll be darned - you're right!!

31. Power strip inserts : PLUGS. Or, "Talk show guest's blatant promotion(s)". (Would that be a plug for my Monday puzzle???)

32. It may be promised : LAND.

33. Dedicated work : ODE. (Although, I don't know how dedicated I can become to a Grecian urn. But, it might grow on me after a while, I guess...)

35. Justice appointed after Clarence : RUTH. Are we talking Clarence Thomas and Ruth Bader Ginsburg? Actually, I am not on a first name basis with either one of them. You?? Maybe Hahtool or Lemonade?

36. Religiously devoted : PIOUS. See 20A.

38. Go up the creek without a paddle? : SWIM. HaHa, loved this clue/answer.

39. Doggy bag item : ORT. Scrap or morsel of food left at the end of the meal. A very old origin of the English word "eat". Really. Look it up! (Do I have to do all the work around here???)

40. She had a big hit with "Thank You" in 2001 : DIDO. Our first musical interlude. I really didn't know her, but I like her voice a lot.

41. Prepares, as a hook : BAITS. We went camping a couple weeks ago, and went fishing off the kayaks. DH had to BAIT my hook...eeewwww, I cannot deal with worms!!

46. Ben-Gurion airline : EL AL. Crosswordese.

47. Toll-road toll unit : AXLE. On the MASS Pike, the charge is $5.10 for a passenger two-axle vehicle if you go from west to east, but $8.60 if you go from east to west. Huhhh????

48. Talk Like a Pirate Day cry : AARGH. Really, there is an "International Pirate Day" every September 19th. (Would I kid you???) (I'm putting it on my calendar...)

51. Thrift store stipulation : AS IS.

52. Counterterrorism org. : FBI

59. Case the joint, say : ABET. "Assisting in wrongdoing". Don't let the 52A catch you.

60. Plant used for first aid : ALOE. I slathered it on after our book club "day at the lake" last weekend!!

61. Blair's predecessor : MAJOR. Tony Blair, John Major. British Prime Ministers.

62. Tool used to create 42-Across : RAKE. I cry foul on this one: I really don't like a non-theme entry referring to a theme entry. But, that's just me...

63. "__ of Steel": '80s workout video : BUNS. I have this video...It didn't work...Don't waste your money...

64. Sudden increase : SPIKE. Like Viagra? ( I mean, sales...don't go getting all DF on me!)


1. Hamster's home : CAGE. I was thinking of this handsome guy...

2. Prima donnas have big ones : EGOS.

3. Happy tune : LILT. So you won't be afraid...

4. Will Ferrell holiday comedy : ELF. OK, there is just too much good stuff here!!

5. Personal theology elements : BELIEFS.

6. Burn a dessert on purpose? : FLAMBE. At Brennan's in New Orleans, they do this on a regular basis to bananas...

7. Helps out : AIDS.

8. End of a common list : ZEE. A, Be, Zee?

9. It's W of the Urals : EUR. The Ural Mountains separate Asia from Europe. Map.

10. Orbital high point : APOGEE. Low point = Perigee.

11. More than just butterflies : FEAR. Moths? Bats? No, just that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you have to speak before an audience of 500....

12. "Still mooing," at a steakhouse : RARE. I like mine "medium rare"...

13. Bygone automaker : OLDS. Aptly.

18. Banjoist Scruggs : EARL. I always mix him up with Ernest Tubb.

19. Watching the clock, perhaps : BORED. Ho, hum. Is it 2 A.M. yet?

23. Above the strike zone : HIGH. I had a different clue for this one...

24. Biblical birthright seller : ESAU. You'll do anything if you are hungry enough. But giving away your heritage for a bowl of stew? Really?

25. Getaway spots : INNS

26. Suck down : SLURP. Fun word!

27. __-frutti : TUTTI.

28. Hard to get close to : ALOOF. Do you think I am like Greta Garbo? "I vant to be alone..." (Naaahhh, I didn't think so...)

29. "Yikes!" : ZOWIE. Wowzah! Another fun word!

30. Puts in a good word? : EDITS. HaHa, Rich always puts in a good word for his constructors!

31. Debate side : PRO. Or con: take your pick! Was anyone else on the debate team? I hated it when I had to argue for the side I was actually against. But I did it vehemently!

34. Miami couple? : EMS. Classic crossword question mark - should have alerted you to the two "ems" in MiaMi. I'm sure no one on this corner was fooled...

36. City on the Arno : PISA. "When the moooon hits your eye like a big Pisa pie..."

37. 1-Across, usually : IDOL. Britney Spears? ...Really???

38. Word processing command : SAVE.

40. Indian metropolis : DELHI. Vidwan can fill us in...

41. Aromatic firs : BALSAMS. The Balsams is a beautiful resort in NH.

43. Emissary : LEGATE. This sounds suspiciously legalese to me...Lemonade, Hahtool??

44. Misses : LASSES. Did anyone think faults, errors, craves, yearns, etc., etc.???

45. Escape hatch, e.g. : EXIT. Just don't leave HAL in charge...

48. Way, way off : AFAR

49. Jessica of "Fantastic Four" : ALBA. So pretty.

50. Stink to high heaven : REEK. I won't go there...

51. Long, long time : AEON

52. Pacific archipelago : FIJI

53. Volume : BOOK. Loud?

54. Memo header : IN RE. More legalese, "In the matter (of)". Not to be confused with another crosswordese fill, "INRI ", crucifix letters (Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum ). But, crosswordese actually helps me very much in solving puzzles, as I know immediately what the answer should be. And it often helps to fill those perps...

56. Catch red-handed : NAB.

57. Fever cause : FLU. I hope our dear Santa doesn't have a fever with his pesky summer cold...

58. Suds source : TAP. Oh, "beer", not "laundry". And now, I am all tapped out!!

Answer grid.



Note from C.C.:

Here is another "Hard to Believe" photo from a current blog regular with a cool colorful avatar name. He said: "This is a Halloween costume from when I was 10 years old. It was my foster father's uniform before he was promoted to Detective. It was taken 31 Oct 1978. "

Jul 26, 2011

The Man in Red, White and Blue

Our Curious Conundrums series continues.

I'd like to share with you "The Man in Red, White and Blue" Don "Hard G" created. The grid looks simple on the surface, but the gimmick he employs and the extra traps he places to deceive put lots of restrictions in the construction.

Let us know your solving experience.




Here is puz file (Across Lite).

Here is PDF.

Spoiler: Here is the answer grid with yellow highlight for the theme gimmick.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 Jeff McDermott

Theme: Toast Toppings - The four themes contain a synonym for that sweet spread you might slather on your toast. Two in front. Two in the back.

17A. Filled to capacity : JAM PACKED

27A. Certain wildlife refuge : STATE PRESERVE

47A. Hit from the "Moulin Rouge!" soundtrack : LADY MARMALADE. A unique version.(3:36)

62A. Spineless one : JELLYFISH

Argyle here, in the grip of a summer cold. Luckily I didn't have to think much on this one.


1. Aaron of Cooperstown : HANK. Cooperstown, NY, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

5. Fast ender : MEAL

9. Drink in a Dixie cup? : JULEP

14. Lotion additive : ALOE

15. ___ breve: 2/2 time : ALLA

16. Get under one umbrella, so to speak : UNITE

19. Panel member : JUROR

20. Soaking and relaxed : IN A TUB

21. One seeking repayment : CLAIMANT

23. Form W-4 fig. : SSN

24. NFL mike wearer : REF

26. Ballpark fig. : EST.

34. Annoying kid at the pool : SPLASHER

36. Catch, as a podcast : TUNE IN

37. Panache : ELAN

38. What a fluid oz. measures : LIQ.. Man, did I overthink this one.

40. Half of MCDII : DCCI. 1402/701

41. Geometry measure : LENGTH

44. Was in pain : SUFFERED

49. Ending with Cray : OLA. Oddly worded clue.

50. CBS's Rather : DAN

51. Shakespearean exclamations : AYs

54. Ticking danger : TIME BOMB

59. Summer pitcherful : ICE TEA

61. Stradivari's tutor : AMATI

64. Star in the same constellation as Betelgeuse : RIGEL

65. Latin 101 infinitive : ESSE

66. Collette of "United States of Tara" : TONI. United States of Tara (TV Series 2009– ) on Showtime. "A woman struggles to find a balance between her dissociative identity disorder and raising a dysfunctional family." Ms Collette has many looks so I'll link Google Images..

67. Ouzo flavoring : ANISE

68. White House maiden name : TODD. Mary Ann (née Todd) Lincoln.

69. Name-dropper, often : SNOB


1. Pilgrims to Mecca : HAJIS. Once again, wait for the perps to determine the spelling.

2. Greenspan and Turing : ALANS

3. Area of uncertainty : NO-MAN'S LAND

4. Held on to : KEPT

5. Shakespeare's shortest tragedy : MACBETH

6. Yellowstone grazer : ELK

7. Guinness of "Star Wars" : ALEC. Obi-Wan Kenobi.

8. Soup kitchen volunteer : LADLER. Dispensing the soup.

9. Martial art emphasizing throws : JUJITSU

10. Word on a dime : UNUM. E pluribus unum.

11. Pre-euro Italian currency : LIRA

12. Harrow rival : ETON. Eton College and Harrow School.

13. Cheeky : PERT

18. New Age-y emanations : AURAs

22. Words before "of rules" : A SET

25. Have a hunch : FEEL

28. Like some barbecue sauce : TANGY

29. Periscope part : PRISM

30. Wrapped up : ENDED

31. Hiking or biking : RECREATION

32. Nasty habit : VICE

33. Oklahoma city : ENID

34. Broker's order : SELL

35. Entreaty : PLEA

39. Four-sided campus space : QUAD

42. BlackBerry network choice : T-MOBILE

43. Saintly ring : HALO

45. Made things harder for the lifeguard : FLAILED

46. Ornate : FANCY

48. Engine for missiles : RAMJET

52. Like some easy questions : YES/NO

53. Indian honorific : SAHIB

54. O'Hara plantation : TARA. It was a different Tara (66-Across) but still....

55. "See you," in poker : "I'M IN"

56. Star-struck trio? : MAGI

57. Hot times in the cité : ÉTÉs. L'été dans la cité Clip.(2:03)

58. Anka's "Eso __" : BESO. How about "Eso Beso" but by Trombones Unlimited.(2:09)

60. Young newts : EFTs. Image.

63. Source of some '60s trips : LSD


Jul 25, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011 Marti DuGuay-Carpenter

Theme: Shrinkage - No shrinking the theme. Three spanners and two almost, all starting with a word for size and in diminishing order. Note from Marti at the end.

17A. Winter Olympics event with gates : GIANT SLALOM RACE

23A. One stalking lions or tigers : BIG GAME HUNTER

38A. T-bone with a warm, red center : MEDIUM RARE STEAK

48A. Lass awed by the big city, maybe : SMALL TOWN GIRL

58A. He "runs through the town ... in his nightgown" : WEE WILLIE WINKIE

Argyle here. A fine job from Marti(HeartRx)


1. Burn badly : SCALD. With hot liquid or steam.

6. The lightning bolt on Harry Potter's forehead, e.g. : SCAR

10. Squirrel away : SAVE

14. "__ World": ticklish Muppet's "Sesame Street" segment : ELMO'S

15. Woody Guthrie's son : ARLO

16. Candy that comes in twos : TWIX. Image.

20. Invoice fig. : AMT. Amount.

21. Place for inks or oinks : PEN. Cute one.

22. Subtle vibes : AURAs

28. It.'s continent : EUR. Italy's/Europe.

29. Raw rocks : ORES

30. "Octopus's Garden" singer Ringo : STARR. And writer, too. Clip.(2:52)

33. Talk show guest's blatant promotion : PLUG

35. Swelled head : EGO

42. Colorful card game : UNO

43. Lends a hand to : AIDS

44. Lecture rooms : HALLS

45. Abel's assassin : CAIN

47. Jazzy horn : SAX

54. Bright : SMART

55. Sis's sib : BRO

56. IM offerer : AOL

63. Thomas __ Edison : ALVA

64. Tater __: Ore-Ida product : TOTS. Image.

65. Big tractor name : DEERE

66. Movie house suffix : PLEX. Used to indicate multiple screens.

67. Allergy trigger, often : DUST

68. Passover dinner : SEDER


1. Nintendo competitor : SEGA

2. Start up the mountain : CLIMB

3. Italian violin maker : AMATI

4. Chaney of horror : LON

5. "Spring ahead" hrs. : DST. Daylight Saving Time.

6. Witch trials town : SALEM

7. Whooping bird : CRANE

8. Entirely : ALL

9. Kanga's kid : ROO

10. Vain walks : STRUTS

11. In the loop : AWARE

12. Anglican parish priest : VICAR

13. Flames that have cooled? : EXES

18. Box for practice : SPAR

19. Horse's hair : MANE

24. Spice Girl Halliwell : GERI. Then and Now.

25. Ashram authority : GURU. Traditionally, an ashram is a spiritual hermitage.

26. Store posting : HOURS

27. Craving : URGE

30. Sch. in Big D : SMU. Southern Methodist University - near the heart of Dallas.

31. Commandment count : TEN

32. Hubbub : ADO

33. Painting reproduction : PRINT

34. Schoolboy : LAD

35. Slippery fish : EEL

36. "For Me and My __" : GAL. Clip.(4:56) Gene Kelly, Judy Garland.

37. Gives the nod : OKs

39. Postal sackful : MAIL

40. Layered haircut : SHAG

41. Crosstown bus alternative : TAXI

45. Auto finish protection : CAR WAX

46. Height: Pref. : ALTItude

47. Chilly powder? : SNOW. Another cute one.

48. What the nose knows : SMELL

49. "Circle of Friends" writer Binchy : MAEVE. Why she looks like she would be right at home on the Corner. Image.

50. Newspaper bye lines? : OBITS

51. Seize (from) : WREST

52. Gathered, as fallen leaves : RAKED

53. Orléans's river : LOIRE. In the heart of France. Map.

54. Exchange : SWAP

57. Ogle : LEER

59. India Inc.? : LTD. A business incorporated under the laws of England, Wales, Scotland, Canada, other Commonwealth countries.

60. Gehrig who played with Ruth : LOU. Famous Yankees.

61. Credit card users may be asked for them, briefly : IDs

62. Society page word : NÉE


Note from Marti:

This was the most difficult one I have constructed so far. I had five theme entries, each exactly three words, and they had to be used in a specific order. So, no swapping around theme entries to get better fill. Rich saw it and immediately wanted to use it on a Monday. So, a lot of the "Friday-ish" fill had to go. I ended up re-designing the grid more than eight times, to get a Monday-friendly fill.

Jul 24, 2011

Sunday July 24, 2011 Caleb Rasmussen

Theme: An Author Thing Coming - Punning on well-known author names.

26A People who recite "Jabberwocky" door-to-door during the holidays? : CHRISTMAS CARROLLERS. Christmas carolers. Lewis Carroll.

49A. Fictional tornado protection? : BAUM SHELTER. Bomb shelter. L Frank Baum: "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz".

56A. Periods when Harry Potter books are unavailable? : ROWLING BLACKOUTS. Rolling blackouts. J. K. Rowling.

67A. "A Room of One's Own" writer wearing a wool sweater? : WOOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING. Wolf in sheep's clothing. Virginia Woolf.

84A. Medical procedure done while reading "The Outcasts of Poker Flat?" : OPEN HARTE SURGERY. Open heart surgery. Bret Harte.

95A. "Salomé" writer's pet? : WILDE ANIMAL. Wild animal. Oscar Wilde.

113A. Not as hard to pronounce as some 17th-century poetry? : EASIER SAID THAN DONNE. Easier said than done. John Donne.

I think this is Caleb Rasmussen's debut LAT. Congratulations!

The first theme answer confused me. Why not CHRISTMAS CARROLL for theme consistency? All the others have the author names. Am I missing something?


1. Guadalajara gal pal : AMIGA. Alliteration.

6. Determined by the stars, as time : SIDEREAL. Strange looking word.

14. Music box? : CD CASE. Nice clue.

20. Indiana's senior senator : LUGAR (Dick)

21. Pre-fight steps? : WAR DANCE

22. Eavesdropper, say : HEARER. Sometimes you just need a cringy fill.

23. Reason for a market recall : E. COLI

24. Totaled, with "to" : AMOUNTED

25. Home of big-eared elephants : AFRICA

29. Name of 13 popes : LEO

30. Match part : SET. Tennis.

31. Disney lioness : NALA."The Lion King".

32. Gp. jet-setters stand in line to see? : TSA. Fun clue.

35. Miles per hour, e.g. : RATE

38. Stick in : ADD. Needed Dummy Dennis to explain this clue for me. Sometimes simple things stymie me.

41. Applies lightly : DABs

44. Betrays : RATS OUT

46. For K-12 use : EL-HI. El(mentary)-Hi(gh). It's here to stay.

47. Lows in a field : MOOs

51. One of a Vegas pair : DIE. Singular of dice.

52. Feverish fits : AGUEs

54. Apt. units : RMs

55. Stuffed grape-leaf dish : DOLMA. I've only had stuffed banana-leaf dish.

62. More than tear up : WEEP

63. Allen or Frome : ETHAN

64. Prepare for takeoff : TAXI

65. Helpful connections : INs

77. Lennon lover : ONO

78. Phillies catcher Carlos : RUIZ. Here he is. Not as cool as Joe Mauer.

79. Ear-related : AURAL

80. Russian car : LADA. And 59D. 1980s-'90s Olds : CIERA. Ask Argyle if you have any car questions.

90. Them, with "the" : ENEMY

92. Appomattox loser : LEE

93. Highlights segment : RECAP

94. Small belt : NIP. Oh, that belt.

99. Closed : SHUT

100. Vital part : PITH

101. "Can we proceed?" : IS IT A GO. Yes!

102. Smell : ODOR

104. "No seats" sign : SRO (Standing Room Only)

105. Victrolas, e.g. : RCAs

106. D.C. VIP : SEN

107. Better part of a loaf? : HALF. "Half a loaf is better than none".

109. Guitar great Paul : LES. Both Splynter & Al play guitar.

111. Super Mario Galaxy 2 console : WII

122. Dashingly? : AT A RUN. Couldn't parse my answer.

124. Broadly and happily : EAR TO EAR

125. Out on a limb : TREED

126. Steppes settlers : TATARs

127. Most suave : URBANEST

128. Square things : ATONE. Square is verb here.

129. Lace place : EYELET

130. Expresses opposition : DISSENTS

131. Lost cause : GONER


1. Smart fellow? : ALEC

2. Little's opposite : MUCH

3. Stereotypical lab assistant : IGOR. "Young Frankenstein".

4. Name on Pisa's airport : GALILEI. Galileo Galilei Airport.

5. Get up : ARISE

6. Stroked : SWAM

7. "__ Rock": 1966 hit : I AM A

8. Inferior material : DROSS

9. Brought out : EDUCED

10. Accumulated charges : RAN A TAB

11. __'acte : ENTR

12. Excellent server : ACER. Rich never clues this as the computer brand. Don't know why.

13. Tricked : LED ON

14. Braided bread : CHALLAH. Faintly recall Clear Ayes likes this eggy bread.

15. Vanquished : DEFEATED

16. Mystery writer John Dickson __ : CARR

17. Teacher of Alexander the Great : ARISTOTLE

18. You may be asked to hold on for one : SEC. Hold on a sec.

19. Period : ERA

27. Without exception : TO A MAN

28. Metallica drummer Ulrich : LARS. No idea. I'm sure it's a gimme for Red State Democrat.

33. Defiant challenge : SUE ME

34. "It's __!": warning shout : A TRAP

35. Sketched over : RE-DREW

36. San Francisco mayor, 1968-'76 : ALIOTO (Joseph). Tough to spell.

37. "My Generation" band : THE WHO

39. Rapper Snoop __ : DOGG

40. Misgivings : DOUBTs

42. Dogwood cover, aptly : BARK. Another fun clue.

43. Contest in a dohyo : SUMO. Dohyo is sumo ring. New to me also.

45. Decelerate : SLOW

48. Repeated word in Psalms : SELAH

50. East Lansing sch. : MSU

53. __-Coburg: former Bavarian duchy : SAXE

57. Kobe's team, on scoreboards : LAL. Bill G's LA Lakers.

58. Dope : INFO

60. Up to, in ads : TIL

61. __-cone : SNO

66. Night sight : STAR

68. Rescuer of Odysseus : INO. Drew a blank.

69. Queue before Q : NOP. Alphabet.

70. Siamese sign of contentment : PURR

71. Places : SITEs

72. Pole neighbors : CZECHs

73. Affectionate gesture : HUG. Can you imagine meeting with Marti for the first time?

74. Peaceful : IRENIC

75. Japan Airlines hub : NARITA. This could be a problem for some.

76. Pictographs : GLYPHs

80. "Mere Christianity" author : LEWIS. C. S. Lewis.

81. Licorice-flavored seed : ANISE

82. Describe pictorially : DELINEATE

83. Bill of Rights part: Abbr. : AMDT. OK, amendment.

85. Samuel's teacher : ELI

86. Nautilus captain : NEMO

87. Move (toward) : HEAD

88. Dino's tail? : SAUR. Dinosaur.

89. Like Harlem in Manhattan, say : UPTOWN

91. Sarcastic reply : YEAH SURE

96. Touching : AGAINST

97. Florida State player, familiarly : NOLE. No idea. Short for Seminole?

98. Flirtatious adolescents : LOLITAs. Hi Jeannie!

100. Before : PRIOR TO

103. Fixed up : RE-DONE

108. Slip eponym : FREUD

110. Dutch painter Jan : STEEN

112. Collar accessory for Fido : ID TAG

114. Asian sea : ARAL

115. Indian wrap : SARI

116. Wall St. traders : ARBs (Arbitragers)

117. "And __ thou slain the Jabberwock?" : HAST

118. Skills : ARTS

119. Sign gas : NEON

120. Hawaii's state bird : NENE. Do you know what is Minnesota's mushroom?

121. Linda of Broadway's "Jekyll & Hyde" : EDER. Forgot also. Here she is.

122. Consumed : ATE

123. Scotland's longest river : TAY. River Tay.

Answer grid.

Saturday's "Hard to Believe" adventurer is Sallie.


Jul 23, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011 Barry Silk

Saturday Silkie

Theme: None

Words: 72

Blocks: 28

Well, now, what a stark change from last week's offering - IMHO. I seemed to sail through this one, with a LOT of WAGs, and just a few gaffes. Yet another Barry Silk Saturday - I think he might have more than any other constructor. Triple stacks in a pinwheel fashion again, with a grouping of unique answers in the NE corner -

5. They're waved : MAGIC WANDS - I am in no hurry to see the final installment of Harry Potter, despite having read all the books, and being a huge fan

16. Much of it is shipped via the Strait of Hormuz : IRANIAN OIL - map, here - top right

18. Critical period : CRUNCH TIME - the Eleventh hour, the Two-minute warning, etc.; for me, Crunch Time is 9am, trying to get 30+ trucks rolling for "timely" parcel delivery


1. __ Cup: Canadian football trophy : GREY - I prefer the Stanley Cup

15. Sound detected with a stethoscope : RALE - BEAT, no, RASP, no....

17. What injured parties may try to get : EVEN

19. Gumshoe : TEC - DeTECtive

20. Walked : TROD

21. "It will be fair weather: for the sky __": Matthew : IS RED

22. Gallery event : ART SHOW - nailed it

24. Like some candle scents : PINY - looks funny, to me

26. Bach, e.g. : GERMAN

27. Reasonable : SANE - I had FINE first, as in "Gimme $10 for it? - that's FINE"

28. Dave Matthews Band label : RCA

31. Lander at Orly : AVION - French for aeroplane, found this in my search

32. Library supporter? : BOOKSHELF - nailed it, great clue/ans

34. "Little Caesar" gangster : RICO - been in a few puzzles recently, right?

35. They extract oxygen from water : GILLS

36. With 40-Across, nocturnal noisemaker : HOOT ; 40. See 36-Across : OWL - can't help it - I'll take #3, keep the beer....

37. "Help!" predecessor : BEATLES VI - Contained "Eight Days a Week", the only song I recognize

39. Viking language : NORSE

41. Fleshy-leaved plant : ALOE - WAG, but a four-letter plant in a CW?

42. Blackmailer : GOUGER

43. Part of NBA: Abbr. : ASSN - had NAT'L to start

44. Bridge units : TETRADS - group of four, not necessarily in bridge

45. Unalaska denizen : ALEUT - WAG - map - bottom left

48. See : DATE

49. Govt.'s Laboratory of Hygiene, now : NIH - National Institute of Health - also been popular lately

50. Ancient rock engraving : PETROGLYPH - nailed it, but I am a big fan of "Ancient Aliens" on the History Channel, and they talk about these all the time

53. Gershon of film : GINA - this fine lady

54. City near Randolph Air Force Base : SAN ANTONIO, Texas

55. Sea of __, shallowest in the world : AZOV - still, at 46ft, it's pretty deep - map

56. Colorful : OPALESCENT

57. Pool member : GENE


1. "Ninotchka" star : GRETA GARBO - All "guy" links today, so I will add some balance

2. Pan's opposite : RAVE REVIEW - how does my hunk pic do?

3. Outlet type : ELECTRICAL

4. Itch : YEN

5. .000001 meters : MICRON

6. Mall map symbol : ARROW - as in "You Are Here"

7. Showy trinket : GAUD - and hence, "GAUDy"

8. Place to retire : INN

9. Title spelled out in Art. 2 of the U.S. Constitution : C.I.C. - Commander In Chief, the POTUS - President of the United States

10. Surfer girls : WAHINES - pronounced "wah-hee-nee", it's a Hawaiian boy or girl; slang it's a surfer girl - I would guess the equivalent of a "Tom Boy"

11. Restless : ANTSY

12. Film __ : NOIR

13. Olive branch site : DIME - Drinks are $1.10 in the vending machines as UPS, so I bring a pocketful of dimes with me to work

14. Winter scene staple : SLED

20. Comparison word : THAN

23. 1930 tariff act co-sponsor : SMOOT - and some interesting history here

24. Philadelphia suburb : PAOLI - Pennsylvania - map

25. Pens' contents : INKS - had the K from "Bookshelf", so it wasn't "PIGS"

27. Unravel : SOLVE - the 'good' kind of unravel - this puzzle, not your sweater

28. Overhaul : REORGANIZE

29. Got ready to trap : CLOSED IN ON

30. Occasional stinger : AFTERSHAVE - not gonna link it....

32. Nomadic grazers : BISON

33. Time to attack : H-HOUR - like D-Day

35. Stylist's stock : GELS

38. Warning to an overindulgent bar customer : LAST ONE - or it can lead to drunken bar brawls

39. Bank robber's aid : NOTE - a .45 comes in handy, too

42. Break 90, say : GET HOT - despite hitting 100° here yesterday, I was thinking about a low golf score, aided by 44D

43. Acoustic : AURAL - I have an article that describes Blue Öyster Cult as "Aural Liquid Plumbr"

44. Green stroke : TAP-IN - Putting green

45. Lhasa __ : APSO - cute

46. Spring : LEAP

47. 1928 destroyer of the village of Mascali : ETNA - WAG

48. Physics unit : DYNE

51. Sporty cars : GTs

52. __ cit. : LOC - Legal term; I defer to the Legal Firm of "Dewey, Cheatem & Howe"

53. __ order : GAG - more legalese

Answer grid.


Note from C.C.:

Here is another mysterious "Hard to Believe" picture from a blog regular. One hint: Egypt 1993.