Feb 26, 2012

Sunday Feb 26, 2012 James Sajdak

Theme: Coif It Up - One word in each common phrase is punnily replaced by a hair salon term.

27A. Salon for Trump and his imitators? : WE SHALL OVER-COMB. We shall overcome.

35A. The queen's salon? : SCISSORS PALACE. Caesars Palace. What's the connection between "queen" and "scissors"?

70A. Salon specializing in plaits? : BRAIDER JOE'S. Trader Joe's.

100A. Salon for swimsuit models? : BEACHED BLONDES. Bleached blondes. Reverse theme entry, isn't it? The hair-related word is out. So, no "Coif it Up" here as the title suggests. BLEACHED WHALE would fit the pattern.

111A. London salon? : BRITISH HAIR WAYS. British Airways.

15D. Salon for newlyweds? : BRUSHING BRIDES. Blushing brides.

48D. Salon for idealists? : CURL OF MY DREAMS. Girl of my dreams.

As I mentioned before, punning is very subjective. It produces giggles in some, and groans & grins in others. I'm afraid I will never fully appreciate the fun of English puns due to my background. Coming to America at age 30 is too late to grasp the nuance of the language.

But I was excited to see James Sajdak's byline. He's a great constructor. He mentioned before that he likes "feel good, fun puzzles" and dislikes war references. He said "I make a conscious effort to avoid things like A TEST, N TEST, DESERT STORM and other militaristic references".

Sometimes theme & answer selection reflect a constructor's background, interests and principles.


1. Comprehend : GRASP

6. Southern Russian city : OMSK. In Siberia.

10. Sources of a 2000 ballot controversy : CHADS. It's in the clue for Splynter's FLA yesterday.

15. University QB, e.g. : BMOC (Big Man On Campus)

19. Out of control : ROGUE. Going rogue!

20. Soda with fruity flavors : NEHI

21. Rarin' to fight : HET UP

22. First woman attorney general : RENO (Janet)

23. Vote in : ELECT

24. Settled : ALIT

25. Kitchen drawer? : AROMA. Always a fun clue.

26. Took advantage of : USED

30. Computer file acronym : ASCII

31. Natural balm : ALOE

32. Sushi staple : AHI. Yellowfin tuna.

33. Fair share for a pair : ONE HALF

42. Having ruffles : FRILLY

43. Needle : RIB

44. "... and __ a good-night!" : TO ALL

45. Dieter's breakfast : MELON. And 74A. Convenient breakfast fare : EGGOS. Clecho (clue echo).

47. "Mother, please, I'd rather do it myself!" product : ANACIN. Not familiar with the line.

51. Fender unbender? : BODY SHOP. "Unbender" indeed.

54. Speakeasy employee : B-GIRL

58. Prepare to operate : SCRUB UP. For surgery.

60. "Mon Oncle" star : TATI (Jacques)

61. Yippie Hoffman : ABBIE

62. Adjusts the boundaries for, perhaps : REMAPS

65. Battlefield cry : MEDIC. Gimme for Dennis, who risked his life in Vietnam and was shot in the knee.

66. Stabs : TRIES

67. Rapper __ Moe Dee : KOOL. Rappers all think they're kool.

73. Ain't the way it should be? : ISN'T

76. Prepare for a dubbing : KNEEL. Oh, dubbing a knight. Not movies.

77. Wanting : IN NEED

79. Dutch pottery city : DELFT. The distinctive blue & white pattern is originated in China.

80. Sensible : SANE

81. Racer Maserati : ERNESTO. Well, eddyB, your turn! If the clue is not Che Guevara related, then I know nothing.

85. Memo from upstairs : SEE ME

86. Reagan era scandal : IRANGATE. Iran-Contra.

91. Help develop : FOSTER

92. One who shouldn't be in your business? : YENTA. In every culture.

94. Nutritional std. : US RDA

96. Eponymous western tribe : UTE

97. Only just : HARDLY

106. What "they've all gone to look for," in a Paul Simon song : AMERICA. For Boomer.

108. Jean-__ Picard: "Star Trek: TNG" captain : LUC

109. Cryptic character : RUNE

110. Soprano Fleming : RENEE

119. Edmonton's prov. : ALTA. Alberta.

120. Embarrass : ABASH

121. Slangy hangout, with "the" : HOOD

122. Dublin theater : ABBEY. Abbey Theater.

123. Where Anna was governess : SIAM. Anna in "The King and I".

124. Chip choice : NACHO. And 125. Chip, maybe : ANTE. Another clecho.

126. Italy's fashion center : MILAN. AC Milan too.

127. "Do the Right Thing" pizzeria : SAL'S

128. Schindler with a list : OSKAR. "Schindler's List".

129. Service dining hall : MESS

130. Noblemen : PEERS


1. Cultivated : GREW

2. Something to read for : ROLE. Oh, for audition.

3. Gets older : AGES. My mother died at age 36. Sometimes I see her when I look at myself in the mirror.

4. For example : SUCH AS

5. Potpourri items : PETALS

6. Ready : ON ALERT

7. Dramatic opening? : MELO. Melodramatic.

8. Thug's knife : SHIV

9. Flier on the beach, often : KITE

10. Cuban dance : CHA CHA

11. Like brave deeds : HEROIC

12. Molecular bit : ATOM

13. Timothy Q. Mouse's title friend : DUMBO

14. Baths : SPA

16. Agave liquor : MESCAL. How does it taste?

17. '70s-'80s House speaker : O'NEILL (Tip).

18. Systematize, as rules : CODIFY

28. John for Elton : LOO. John = Loo.

29. Unite for a cause : RALLY

30. Stunt pilot, e.g. : AEROBAT

34. Bears' org. : NFL

35. Titles for esposas: Abbr. : SRAS. "Esposas" is Spanish for "spouses" I gather.

36. POTUS, to the military : CINC (Commander-in-Chief). POTUS = President of The United States.

37. Support beam : I-BAR

38. More than sniffle : SOB

39. Kung __ chicken : PAO. Kung = Palace. Pao = Guard. The dish is named after an official who worked in the Qing Dynasty palace. Kung Pao is Cantonese. In Mandarin, it's Gong Bao chicken.

40. City council mem. : ALD

41. It may be repressed : EMOTION

46. Unisex : EPICENE. New word for me.

49. "May __ frank?" : I BE

50. Asleep, as a foot : NUMB

52. Trick ending? : STER. Trickster.

53. Mecca-bound pilgrim : HADJI. Or HAJJI.

55. Head of the Egyptian god Thoth, in many renderings : IBIS. Sacred bird to the ancient Egyptians.

56. It means nothing to Nanette : RIEN. Literally "nothing".

57. For fear that : LEST

59. Puts one's seat on a seat, in slang : PARKS IT

63. Favoring Mideast unity : PAN-ARAB

64. Tuscan city : SIENA. Brings to mind "Under the Tuscan Sun".

65. Blanc with many voices : MEL

67. Sneaker brand : KEDS. Any Doc Martens fan here?

68. S-shaped molding : OGEE

69. Look like a Lothario? : OGLE. Alliteration.

71. Restaurateur Paula : DEEN. Well, no one is perfect. "Kiss my grits!"

72. Feudal peasant : SERF

75. Metal marble : STEELIE. Crossword word.

78. "Another Green World" musician Brian : ENO

82. Game with a hole card : STUD

83. Beret holder : TETE

84. Galena and hematite : ORES

87. Italian bag man? : GUCCI. FENDI has 5 letter also, and Italian luxury bag brand as well.

88. Louisville Slugger wood : ASH

89. Half of sei : TRE

90. Announcer Hall : EDD

93. MoMA locale : NYC

95. Rubs the wrong way : ABRADES

97. Bedevil : HARASS

98. 2009 title role for Hilary : AMELIA. Hilary Swank.

99. Cottage at the beach, often : RENTAL

101. Inventor Otis : ELISHA

102. Appreciative cry after a play : AUTHOR. I don't get this clue.

103. Him, in Le Havre : LUI

104. Location for potential mergers? : ON RAMP. Was thinking of business mergers.

105. Neophyte : NEWBIE

107. Arafat's successor : ABBAS

112. Pool triangle : RACK

113. Hoax : SHAM

114. Perfect : HONE

115. Intense attraction, with "the" : HOTS

116. Willing follower? : ABLE. Ready, willing and able.

117. It changes annually : YEAR. True.

118. Dict. entries : SYNS

120. "Is that __?" : A NO

Answer grid.



fermatprime said...


Cute puzzle today! Thanks James S. and C. C.

It is not uncommon to holler "author, author" after a play's opening, to laud the writer!

Notice that we have ABBEY and ABBIE!

Really tired! Bye!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Couldn't see the title of the puzzle due to a glitch with the app, so it took me a little while to catch onto the theme. Once I did, though, I enjoyed it immensely. My favorite by far was WE SHALL OVERCOMB (which I initially read as WESH ALL OVERCOMB until the light bulb went off).

Some random observations:

* EPICENE was completely unknown to me and seemed odd in a puzzle that was mostly straightforward.

* B-GIRL was another WTF moment, especially since it crossed the unusual AEROBAT. Does the B in B-GIRL simply stand for BAR?

* I'm familiar with ANACIN, but the clue was completely foreign to me. I wonder just how old that commercial is?

* KOOL Mo Dee. Who?

* LOO. Terrific clue (which we've seen before). I think I've mentioned this earlier, but I only know LOO from crossword puzzles and was excited to actually use it when I went to London a couple of years ago. Turns out nobody I spoke to had any idea what I was talking about. Apparently, they all call it a restroom over there. Maybe I just talked to the wrong people, but it really makes me suspicious of this clue now...

desper-otto said...

Hello weekend warriors!

I ran this one top to bottom, not a race, but no pauses either. I even remembered to put the K in OSKAR before RACK had appeared. I thought all the theme entries were cute. I see that NEHI is no longer a "classic soft drink" and my favorite clue was "Location for potential Mergers" -- ON RAMP.

CC, I believe the connection with Queen is PALACE rather than SCISSORS.

We are now completely hooked on "Prairie Home Companion", having listened to it three weeks in a row. I am holding you folks responsible!


Argyle said...

Only here on the Corner will you hear this.(2:01)

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, C.C. and Friends. Fun puzzle. I realized the puns with BRUSHING BRIDES, which was quickly followed by WE SHALL OVERCOMB.

Favorite clues included: Kitchen Drawer = AROMA
and Location for Potential Mergers = ON RAMP.

I am not familiar with the calling of AUTHOR at the end of a play. I have been to many plays and not once heard the audience make this call.

Louisiana had B-GIRL statutes as recently as 25 years ago. The laws have subsequently been revised. As noted in this Federal decision: "The terms 'B-girl' and 'B-drinking' are in common usage. Webster's New World Dictionary defines 'B-girl' as 'a woman employed by a bar to entice men into buying drinks freely'. The dictionaries carry no definition of 'B-boy'."

91-Across, made me think of FOSTER the People.

QOD: There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist. ~ Mark Twain.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, James Sajdak, for a great Sunday puzzle. enjoyed it. Thank you, C.C., for the write-up.

I did most of this traveling back from Springfield. Made the trip go fast. Finished this morning.

My first theme answer was WE SHALL OVERCOMB. That set the stage.

As usual for a Sunday, I jumped around a lot.

I remember the 47A ad, but could not recall that it was Anacin. Perps filled it.

Thought 30D, AEROBAT, was excellent.

85A, SEEM ME, rang a bell. I had a boss once that used that term on memos all the time. He never signed it. We all knew who it was. Fortunately, I only worked for him about a year. One day I forgot to wear my necktie to work. He did not make me go home to get one, but banished me to my cubical for the entire day.

I guess we all (us guys) have been enticed by B-GIRLs to buy some drinks. I seldom go to bars or clubs anymore. Have my craft beers at home.

Happy Sunday, everyone.


HeartRx said...

Good morning C.C. et al.

C.C., thanks for your take on the theme. I had the same thought at BEACHED BLONDE. I was also surprised to see the clue "Flier at the beach", and noticed that you highlighted it in red...

But I really enjoyed the theme, and my favorite entry by far was WE SHALL OVER-COMB. I also liked the clues "Fair share for a pair" - ONE HALF, and "Fender unbender" - BODY SHOP.

I read 76A as "Prepare for a drubbing", and had a horrible mental image of someone kneeling to get beaten with a whip. Ugh!

Time to go eat some EGGOS and MELON - I'm starving!

Anonymous said...

As most parents may know, the best way to ensure ONEHALF without fighting is to let one kid cut the item and let the other kid have first dibs.

Irish Miss said...

Good morning everyone:

Fun puzzle. Finished w/o help and no write-overs. Nice expo, CC, and cheers to James S. Will attack the NY Times later.

Looking forward to the Oscars. My choices:

Best Picture-The Artist
Best Director-Michael Hazanavicius (The Artist)
Best Actor-Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
Best Actress-Viola Davis (The Help)
Best Supporting Actor-Christopher Plummer (Beginners)
Best Supporting Actress-Berenice Bejo (The Artist)

I'm going against the majority by picking Dujardin and Bejo but what the hey! Sometimes the underdog wins.

Happy Sunday to all.

Virginia C said...

Good morning? I thought the theme was fun and CC's write-up was great.

EPICENE was new to me also. Recently learned that Ahi Tuna is a redundancy. the word AHI is a Polynesian (or was it Hawaiian.) word for tuna, blue fin, yellow fin, big eye, etc.

There is a distillery in Kingman, AZ that makes rum from agave, vodka too. But, C.C. Mes(z)al is a brand of tequila. It's the one with the worm in the bottle and it's flavor is pretty harsh.

HeartRx, I had the same image in my mind re: dubbing!

Mike Rush said...

Well, we got bashed again; several unanswered clues till I got here. Loved the theme and broke that with "We Shall..." "Loo" is still a very common word for the john in England. That and the more crude word to Americans, "toilet." In London, rental properties have huge signs on them that announce, "TO LET" and I always wondered if that was just to catch the eye since it's so close to toilet.

My wife and I have much puzzling to learn...

Husker Gary said...

What a thoroughly, laugh out loud, adventure. Thanks so much James! OVER COMB gave me the theme and my biggest laugh. C.C.’s incredible knowledge of two cultures is amazing. She once told me that there are no (could be no) Chinese crossword puzzles.

-Janet Reno had Waco and Elian Gonzalez to deal with in an impossible job
- A more prurient Body Shop
-ABBEY wrong for hippie but right for Dublin
-Barely, merely? Nope HARDLY (never - but very often - NOT HARDLY)
-GD was in King and I last week
-My bachelor kitchen was also a MESS
-Bush 41 broke his “no new taxes” pledge to compromise with Tip O’Neill and regretted it. Hello Bill Clilnton.
-That silent B in NUMB(er) has fooled us before
-No DOCS but wore KEDS as a child
-The Marlboro man got cancer and Paula (who we love at our house!) now has diabetes
-The crack of ASH beats the ping of Aluminum

Husker Gary said...

Musings 2
-I thought of dubbing video first
-Fair share = community property without a pre-nup
-My colleague got a memo from upstairs that read “See me, pronto!” He replied, “Dear Pronto…” He was passed over for every promotion after that!
-Father Mulcahy once told Hawkeye that he “worked his way through divinity school as a B GIRL in San Francisco”
-55°F today. I’m off to clean clubs and putt in the basement.

Lemonade714 said...

Quickly, a fun Sunday, but I wish Mr. Sajdak (one of my favorites) would explain the BEACHED BLONDE. As pointed out by C.C. in her as always comprehensive write up, it seems inconsistent.

AUTHOR, AUTHOR is called out on opening night of a play, and unless you are one of the ones to see that show, you would not hear it said. One of my least favorite Al Pacino movies.

Thanks C.C. and Mr. Sajdak

Argyle said...

Anon@9:17 just released from the spam filter.

Coach J said...

Uuuuuugh! DNF...although I did get all themes. Enjoyed the workout and favorite clues were kitchen drawer: aroma; we shall overcomb; and the Paul Simon clue: America. Everyone have a great day!

eddyB said...


Sorry to take so long to reply.
There is heavy rain at Daytona and the race will be delayed.

Ernesto was a surprise. He is not as well known as Enzo. The thing
that I remember most about the Maserati's is the massive engines
and horse power. The front end weight caused the cars to over steer and spin out of control.

Interesting tidbit about our Marine. He deserves our respect.

Met a B Girl once in a Baltimore bar. She wanted champagne. H---
of a way to make a living. But, better than being on the streets.

Take care. Going to read while my eyes can stay focused.


eddyB said...


JD. Thanks for the link. Stunning is the word.

" We dub thee Sir Knight" ,said the Queen.


Argyle said...

Just curious : Did anyone else think 35A. The queen's salon? : SCISSORS PALACE might reference Queen Elizabeth's ancestral home, Windsor castle?

Anonymous said...

Not today's puzzle in my paper

Lucina said...

Good day, C.C. and all puzzle people.

Lovely blog, C.C., and I always enjoy your perspective on the cultural differences.

What a fun puzzle, James. I loved the play on words! WE SHALL OVER COMB is rich.

Mostly a straight forward solve except for misspelling Paula DEEN's name as DEAN and completely missing AUTHOR, NACHO, ABASH and A NO. That section was botched.

New word, EPICENE.

Great fun but a DNF for me.

Have a delightful Sunday, everyone!

LaLaLinda said...

Hi Everyone ~~

This was an enjoyable puzzle and shouldn't have been as difficult as I made it. I had so many write-overs, SUCH AS - Merely/HARDLY ... this held me up for a long time in that section, along with thinking "Hilary' Clinton. I actually had 'NoNo' for Nanette instead of RIEN ... DUH! At 120D, 'Is that - ' I had 'You' instead of A NO.

~~ EPICENE filled in but I thought it might be a geological age -- as others have mentioned, this was a new word.

~~ I, too, thought of films for DUBBING.

~~ I recently sent in my deposit for our RENTAL of the 'Cottage at the beach' in July.

~~ Argyle ~ thanks for the link to the ANACIN commercial. It brought back many fun memories!

~~ C.C. ... I was touched by your comment at AGES ... I often have the same experience.

Enjoy the day ~~

MontanaHal said...

Great puzzle today. I have to admit that I missed a few letters here and there, but overall give myself a Bplus. The Anacin answer was great fun and taxed my memory. I recall a young woman whose mother is visiting her and giving her suggestions on housework, triggering an annoying headache. Finally the young woman, of course clad in a dress and doing housework, utters,"Mother please..." as she rubs her temple. Great word plays today!!

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. This puzzle gave me smiles. Of the theme entries, COMB was the first to fill,followed by OVER, and the I got BRAIDER. The rest flowed from those. Very well done, and lots of fun. Gimmes were CHADS, ABBIE, DELFT, LUC, OSKAR, and SIAM. I didn't know Mr. Maserati's first name, but I do now. And EPICENE is a newly-learned word.

Argyle, I didn't think specifically of Windsor Castle or Queen Elizabeth II; I only thought of PALACE relating to royalty in a general sense.

Best wishes to you all.

Lemonade714 said...

Could not find the Anacin Mother commercial but this is an EXAMPLE .

Also for all of our cat lovers, if you think you tube inspirred people to create stupid videos, here is one from 1894 filmed in Edison's lab. BOXING CATS .

PK said...

Hi Y'all,

Really fun puzzle today! Did it at 2:00-3:00 a.m. my best thinking hours. Thanks, James & C.C. Chuckled through this.

I started out trying COMB OVER, but soon got it right and went at the others with renewed zest. Put in BODYwork, which goofed that up awhile. Only no-fill was the E in the RIEN/TRIES cross. I was also thinking NO NO and something bloody for stab. I guessed at EPICENE from perps then looked it up to see if the definition fit.

Thank heavens, they didn't wound Dennis higher!

C.C., sorry to hear about your mother's early death. You must have been very young.

If you missed BillG's dolphin and bird links last night, they are worth turning back to see.

Yellowrocks said...

Fun puzzle. Informative expo. CC. I agree that BEACHED BLONDE seems out of step. There was no new hair word added. BLONDE was part of the original saying.

I'm so late to this dance, so WEES. You beat me to it.

"Mother!! I'd rather do it myself!" became a catch phrase back in the day. If you over helped and felt it was slightly resented, you laughingly said that to smooth things over.

Loved WE SHALL OVER COMB, so apt.

I was quite moved by Schindler's List.

This week I booked a cottage in the WV mountains and a motel suite at Wildwood Crest, a pleasant place "down the shore," with no Snooki types.

I remember B GIRLS from old movies, but reading up on it, I see that they are still very much on the scene, sometiomes fleecing rich, drunk tourists.

Spitzboov said...

Good afternoon C.C. and all.

When the theme was finally decoded, it helped to get the remainder. Several lucky guesses, OMSK, MESCAL, AMELIA, TATI, and others made the puzzle ultimately doable. Took a long break between the early fills, and the stumpers. It helped. While I respect James' goal to avoid militaristic references, I would note that MEDIC had such a clue. Overall, a good fair puzzle. No searches were NEEDed.

Jayce said...

LaLaLinda, good point. Epicene does sound like a geological age.

Don said...

I believe the "Beached Blonde" is a Pun reference to Bleached blonde, something women do to their hair. Therefore it is in tune with the theme.


Anonymous said...

SCISSORS PALACE should have referenced the Roman Empire, not the British Empire.

eddyB said...

Race still scheduled to now start
@6:30 PM EST. But, there is more heavy rain moving East toward Daytona.

Oh _ell! It was going to be a good excuse to not watch the Oscars.

Glad I have a good book to read.
And I can always do tomorrow's puzzle at 7.


CrossEyedDave said...

Since t he theme was "coif it up" i finally get to use thisLINK

PK said...

CED: your link is toooooo funny! Good belly laugh!

Lucina said...

Too funny!

Manac said...

Thanks CED:
I needed a good laugh today.

Bill G. said...

Another very enjoyable puzzle but it took me longer than usual. I started early, had a nap, worked on it again, got a Subway sandwich for lunch, more puzzle, went to my grandson's basketball game, had a macchiato and finally got 'er done. Everything that I might comment on has probably already been said twice or more. Thanks for the writeup C.C.

Did you see Sunday Morning this morning? Their closing segment called a Moment of Nature was about a minute's worth of snow falling in Yosemite. It was quiet and just beautiful. I watched it twice.

PK, I'm glad you enjoyed those videos. Every now and then I come across ones I really like and I enjoy sharing them.

Great joke CED. Thanks.

Off to watch the Oscars and the All-Star basketball game.

Seldom Seen said...

Nice selections BillG, one of those is a nice exhibition, a farce of sorts and basically a fun display of self congratulations. The other involves a ball.

Bill G. said...

Since it seems as if not many of you watch Sunday Morning, here is the video from their Moment of Nature of a snowfall in Yosemite. Beautiful and peaceful.

Snow in Yosemite

Seldom Seen said...

Good video Bill. Barely got my snow fix this year. I think I actually miss the stuff.

Anonymous said...

Rather presumptuous of you to assume we don't watch Sunday Morning, Bill! Just what about us made you come to that conclusion?

Bill G. said...

I just got a phone call from grandson, Jordan. He was excited to see the Moon, Venus and Jupiter and was pleased to explain to his mom that they weren't on fire but were bright because of the sun shining on them. He soaks up stuff like a sponge and I'm happy to be able to provide a little of the input.

PK said...

BillG, I didn't watch Sunday morning. I slept. Thanks for the snow clip. We only had 2" this year which melted before the day was over. I prefer snow on film.

Lucina said...

That is a beautiful video of the snowfall and since I went there this past summer I can appreciate it even more. Thank you.

Just finished watching the Oscar awards and I'm please that one of the movies I saw won, The Artist. It's a delightful film.

Congratulations to Meryl as well. IMHO she should win for every film she does; she's that good.

Lucina said...

Jordan is so lucky to have you in his life.

Bill G. said...

PK, have you said where you are from? If you did, I forgot. Seen and Lucina, I'm glad you enjoyed the video too. Lucina, thanks for the kind words.

I used to enjoy the snowfalls in Virginia growing up. I would wake up in the middle of the night. It would be very still and quiet. A flashlight beam out the window would reveal the big snowflakes coming down. Good memories.

I thought the Oscar telecast was pretty good. I like Billy Crystal.

Lucina said...

I enjoyed the Oscar telecast, too. I really like Billy Crystal and I thought he was in good form tonight. Have a good night, all.

Hahtoolah said...


Anonymous said...

I love crosswords!