, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: October 2012


Oct 31, 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 Sheila Welton

(Edited later:  Sheila Welton is an anagram of  "It's Halloween", so this puzzle was created by editor Rich Norris.)

Theme: "Something wicked (or at least vaguely strange) this way comes". 

Top o' the Morning! Steve here with our Hallowe'en puzzle from Sheila Welton which has a cornucopia of creatures that might variously be described as hideous, mildly scarifying, cute or just plain odd. On a scale of mild (camera-shy Nessie) to extreme (the totally outrageous and poop-in-your-pants-nasty Grendel) she's get 'em all.

I have to defer to CC and ask if this is Sheila's first puzzle in the LAT? (From C.C.: I think so. The relevant short theme entries made this grid tough to construct, esp the four corners. Congratulations, Sheila!) I don't see her in any previous write-ups. If so - congratulations on a lovely debut, and come back with more!

1A. Mythological fire-breather : CHIMERA. A monstrous fire-breathing female creature. Sounds just like all my exes. 4 out of 5 on the Scary Scale.

8A. Man-horse creature : CENTAUR. From memory, he was rather a gentle soul, given to clomping around in the woods playing songs on a lyre. If they were teen-pop-boy-band songs, I might give you the benefit of the monster-doubt. 1 on the Scary Scale. 2 if playing Boyz II Men or *NSYNC.

28A. Labyrinth dweller : MINOTAUR. Total bully, this guy. I visited Knossos on my first honeymoon with my first 1A. It was oddly rebuilt - you couldn't really tell what was Minotaur-old and what was recently-refurbished concrete. He rates a 4 on the Scary Scale for hiding around corners and bellowing.

31A. Elusive loch dweller, familiarly : NESSIE. Odd Lady Out here, as she is real. This elusive and rather charming plesiosaur lives in Loch Ness, Scotland, and is famously camera-shy. The best defense against a monster-attack by Nessie is to point a camera in her vague direction and she disappears. If only vampires were so obedient about garlic and crucifixes the world would be a much safer place. 1 on the Scary Scale for the Greta Garbo factor.

48A. Riddler foiled by Oedipus : SPHINX. I'm not buying the two riddles, by the way. Look 'em up and they're pretty lame. Bilbo had a better joust with Gollum in "The Hobbit". Sphinx rates a 3 on the Scary Scale for devouring herself when bested by Oedipus.

50A. Fictional destroyer of Tokyo : GODZILLA.  His/her fear factor went out of the window with the chihuahua and the Taco Bell commercial. "I think I need a bigger box". Rates a 3, and that's only for living off past terrorisation. Hey - I just invented a new word!

71A. Beowulf's victim : GRENDEL. Oh lordy. Grendel was so horrible that my sister, studying English at Oxford University, refused to tell me what "Beowulf" was about. I was 11, I could've handled the truth. YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH! Six on a Scary Scale of Five.

And the unifier: 72A. What each of seven answers in this puzzle is : MONSTER. I had MUNSTER first as I didn't look at 68D and confidently filled in the obvious Hallowe'en entry and then went searching for Morticia and all the rest in the puzzle and drew an obvious blank.

Nice, fun puzzle. Thanks to Sheila for a good Wednesday!

There's some other stuff too, so let's check it out.


15. Tangled or disentangled : RAVELED. Wonderful stuff. If you're not unraveled, you must be raveled! I resolve to use this word today.

16. Employee's security pass : ID BADGE. It's a bad day when they ask for it back. It's happened to me a couple of times. I'll tell you the story one day.

17. Like Napoleon on Elba : IN EXILE. "Able was I, ere I saw Elba." Not really, NB - you were pretty dis-abled, being in exile and all.

18. Nonsense : TWADDLE. This blog, on a Steve Wednesday.

19. Elementary : BASIC. I learned computer programming at school just after the abacus was retired, and learned "Beginner's All-Purpose Symbolic Instuctional Code". It worked out well for me given that I've had a career in technology. I could still churn out a few "GOSUB 510's" if anyone needs them.

20. Teacher's answer book : KEY. Why is it a key for the teacher and a 1D for the pupil?

Boo! Scared you! Chimera!

21. Guitarist Barrett : SYD. Founder member of Pink Floyd and key to their success.

22. About, in dates : CIRCA. Nice Roman legacy c.BC157

25. AEC successor : NRC. Who? What? Oh - Atomic Energy Commission (Yay! Cheap Power! Glow in the Dark Watches!) to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (No! The China Syndrome! Three-headed Fish!)

35. Powerful health care lobbying gp. : AMA. Our old friends the American Medical Association.

36. Internet letters : HTTP. Crossword constructors love Tim Berners-Lee, and the Hypertext Tranfer Protocol, amongst others.

38. Singer Ronstadt : LINDA

39. Massage style : SHIATSU. I had the "S" and put SWEDISH first. I'm not sure if that's suitable for a family blog, I'm not up on correct vs dubious massage practices.

42. Champs-__: Paris boulevard : ELYSEES. Super-cool thoroughfare from the Arc De Triomphe at the North to the Place de la Concord at the south. It's one of those streets you really have to walk if you get the chance.

44. __-face: smooching : KISSY. 

45. Law office hire : PARA. Not impressed with this one - I get paralegal, but I'm not sure you ever call someone a para? Happy to be corrected.

47. Not in the clergy : LAY

53. Match part : SET. Best of six games wins a set, best of five sets of six games, and you have a tennis match.

Boo! Centaur! I don't quite know what he's got in his hand. Doesn't look like a lyre to me.

54. Erased : UNDID

55. Leader of the pitching staff : ACE

58. Nipper's org. : RCA. I'm never sure if Nipper is trying to bark into the gramophone, eat it or listen to it. Did I read somewhere it was the Chairman's dog?

60. Godliness : PIETY. Asepsis must be next to piety in that case.

64. Brahe contemporary : GALILEO. Fortuitous that I had ???ILEO and realized that whoever Brahe was, there can't be many other people he lived alongside other than Mr. Drop Balls From The Leaning Tower of Pisa.

67. Temples with up-curved roofs : PAGODAS

69. Paper-folding art : ORIGAMI

70. No help : INUTILE. Last of all to complete. I'd never heard this word, and I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to remember it for next time (if there ever is a next time).

Boo! Minotaur! Yep, he's a badass:


1. Final exam no-no : CRIB. It's not a crib, it's a student's key.

2. '80s tennis star Mandlikova : HANA

3. Folk singer Burl : IVES

4. Arizona neighbor : MEXICO. Quibble. I like the misdirection here (I had NEVADA first) but please, like-for-like. Mexico's neighbor is the USA. Arizona's neighbor is the state of Chihuahua. Oh! Godzilla again!

5. Draw forth : ELICIT

Boo! Camera-Shy Miss Ness:

6. Cath. or Prot. : REL. We don't discuss Religion or Politics on this blog, so the Catholic vs. Protestant conversation must take place elsewhere. (But did you see Notre Dame on Saturday? WOOO HOOO! GO IRISH!) Sorry, parentheses excuse the outburst.

7. Juice drink suffix : ADE. The University of Florida Gators (home of Gatorade) didn't fare so well on Saturday. Sorry.

8. Name as a source : CITE

9. Keenan's actor father : ED WYNN. Had to wait for crosses. Now I know the two-N thing. Until the next time when I forget it.

10. Bulls org. : NBA. The Nebraska Bull Alliance. Fighting for the rights of Omaha Steaks. Actually, no, the National Basketball Association looking after the interests of the Chicago Bulls. I like my version (especially if you have read Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" while we're on the subject of beef and Chicago).

11. Smidgen : TAD. Great words, both clue and answer.

12. Puts in : ADDS

13. Like Cinderella's stepsisters : UGLY. Is ugly equally in the eye of the beholder?

14. Bassoon, e.g. : REED. 

Boo! Sphinx! What have I got in my pocket?

20. Small racer : KART. Had to wait for crosses for the C or K.

23. Cheers from tiers : RAHS

24. Prankster : CUTUP

26. Count (on) : RELY

27. Forensic detectives, briefly : CSIS. Crime Scene Investigators. No-one would ever have known this if it wasn't for TV.

28. Trick-or-treaters' costume items : MASKS. Because SHEETS WITH HOLES CUT FOR EYES doesn't fit.

29. Beatnik's "Got it" : I'M HIP. Or, as the acetabulofemoral joint said to the femur "want to snuggle up? I'm hip"

30. J. Carrol __: TV's Charlie Chan : NAISH. All crosses.

32. Fishhook-to-line connection : SNELL. All crosses

33. Perfect : IDEAL

34. Cinch course : EASY A. I never seemed to have any of these.

37. Big name in Argentine politics : PERON. Eva (Evita) didn't cry much for Argentina, nor did husband Juan.

40. With no warranties : AS IS

Boo! Tokyo in danger! Big Lizard!

Or this:

41. Emmy winner Daly : TYNE

43. "Shane" star Alan : LADD

46. Océano filler : AGUA

49. The "X" in XFL, so some thought : XTREME. Actually, it didn't stand for anything. Or so they said. To avoid litigation from an existing organization called "Xtreme Football League". The best explanation was the NFL (National Football League) actually stood for "No Fun League" and XFL stood for "Extra Fun League".

51. Homemade pistol : ZIP GUN

52. Imbeciles : IDIOTS. Usually those making and firing 51D's

55. Awestruck : AGOG

56. "The Alienist" author Caleb : CARR

57. Nobelist Wiesel : ELIE. Thank goodness for good constructing and editing in this whole SW section. Major problems for me all around.

59. Slinky's shape : COIL

61. Cut and paste, e.g. : EDIT

62. Story : TALE

63. River of Flanders : YSER. I always have to think about this, there's a river in the Savoie region of France named "Isers" and I can never remember which has the I or the Y or the extra E

65. Car starter: Abbr. : IGN. My ignition was AWOL the other day, a jump start and a new battery and all is good.

66. Young fellow : LAD. Not Alan?

67. Milne's absent-minded Mr. : PIM

68. It begins with enero : ANO

Boo! Finally, the worst of 'em all - Grendel - he came at you out of nowhere and ate 11-year-olds like me for an appetizer:

Happy Hauntings everyone - and to all our east coast friends weathering the storm, you have our love and best wishes. Come through safe and well.

 Notes from C.C.:

1) Here is a wonderful picture of Husker Gary (in shorts!) taken last week. He said: "While it won't rival JD's great pix, I am attaching a picture with two unusual elements that might be fun to post.

1. The beautiful fall foliage in our backyard around our deck
2. Me actually cleaning off the table so we can eat outside.
 2) Part VI of JD's Italy trip:  Tuscany.

Tuscany is stunning, filled with hilltop towns, vineyards, and is a patchwork of green. This is wine country...chiante and barelo among the best.

Click here for more pictures. I bet Qli has also read "Under the Tuscan Sun" or seen the movie. I still prefer "A Year in Provence".

Oct 30, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 Kevin Christian

Theme: Soft Phoneme - 49A and 50A start with 'C' but they are hard C's. We are looking for soft C's and their homonyms.

17A. 2003 horse movie that won Best Picture : SEABISCUIT

28A. One who’s not on the honor roll : 'C' STUDENT

46A. “Yes, ma’am,” in Madrid : "SI, SENORA"

60A. Primer sentence : "SEE JANE RUN"

Argyle here. Hurrying to beat any power outage. Nice puzzle. Look a little closer and find some fun sidebars.


1. Well-constructed : SOLID

6. Formal agreement : PACT

10. Carried a balance : OWED

14. Boxing venue : ARENA

15. Turkish honorific : AGHA

16. Kolkata cover-up : SARI. Oh, Kolkata = Calcutta.

19. Early 11th century date : MXIV. 1014

20. Bunny gait : HOP.

21. Important bee : QUEEN

22. Runs easily : LOPES

23. Throw for a loop : ASTOUND

25. __ acid : AMINO

27. Suffix with neat or beat : NIK

31. Tee off : ANGER

34. Gets moving : HIES

35. Stick around : STAY

36. Pal of Piglet : ROO

37. Stress, as a key point : ITERATE. If needed, I can reiterate that.

40. DSL offerer : ISP. (internet service providers)

41. Banjo ridge : FRET

43. WWII females : WACS. The Women's Army Auxiliary Corps(WAAC) was converted into the Women's Army Corps(WAC) in 1943. Web site.

44. Like Stallone’s persona : MACHO

48. “Fresh Air” airer : NPR. (National Public Radio)

49. Colgate rival : CREST

50. Bench or Berra : CATCHER. Two of the greatest, Johnny and Yogi.

54. Manager who managed the Mets, Braves, Cardinals, Yankees and Dodgers : TORRE. Also played as a catcher.

56. ’70s sitcom family name : BRADY. What a bunch.

58. Firefighter’s tool : AXE

59. Antioxidant berry in fruit juices : AÇAÍ

62. Idle : LAZE

63. Cologne that sounds forbidden : TABU

64. Sidestep : ELUDE

65. About 5.88 trillion mi. : LT. YR.

66. Comical Laurel : STAN

67. Uses a stopwatch for : TIMES


1. Malia Obama’s sister : SASHA

2. Black-and-white treats : OREOS

3. Jumped : LEAPT

4. Having five sharps, musically : IN 'B'

5. Rum cocktail : DAIQUIRI. More "Cheers!"

6. Walked around the waiting room : PACED

7. Fluish feeling : AGUE

8. Waters near Hong Kong and Shanghai : CHINA SEAS. Hmm...China, not a hard 'C' or a soft 'C'.

9. One might have “Mom” in a heart, briefly : TAT

10. Utah singing family : OSMONDS. What a bunch.

11. Woo like Cyrano : WAX POETIC

12. New York’s __ Canal : ERIE

13. Parts of depts. : DIV's. (division)

18. Done for : SUNK

22. Lucy of “Kill Bill” : LIU

24. Small number : ONE

26. __ Helens, Wash. : MT. ST.

28. About, chronologically : CIRCA

29. “A bit of talcum/Is always walcum” poet : NASH

30. Proofreader’s pickup : TYPO

31. Fido’s greetings : ARFs

32. “Me neither” : "NOR I"

33. Flips out : GOES CRAZY

34. Chest pulsation : HEART BEAT

38. “Terrible” age : TWOS

39. Uncontested, like some hockey goals : EMPTY NET

42. Jack Russell or wirehair : TERRIER

45. Rainbow shape : ARC

47. Word before a maiden name : NÉE

48. Zilch : NADA

50. Like some Louisiana fare : CAJUN

51. __-scarum : HARUM

52. Radiate : EXUDE

53. Auberjonois and Russo : RENEs

54. Hard to believe, as a tale : TALL

55. One __: kids’ ball game : O' CAT. A lot of info, all different!

57. Singer McEntire : REBA

60. Rds. : ST's. (roads/streets)

61. Actor Wallach : ELI


Note from C.C.:

1) Part V of JD's Italy trip: Cinque Terre. She said:

"Cinque Terre is made up of 5 little fishing villages built on the hills, covered with vineyards. Until recently one could only get there by boat. We visited 3 of the villages by boat, but left via train. Last year they experienced horrendous mud slides, but it has all been cleaned."

Click here for more pictures.

2) Just in. Lemonade's beautiful granddaughter Charlotte Perle, who was born yesterday. Lemonade said she's "6 pounds, 5 ounces 19 3/4 inch little dark haired bundle of joy".

Oct 29, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012 Don Gagliardo & C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Full Stop - Three synonyms for the punctuation known as full stop, appropriately placed at the end of the theme entries.

20A. Do-or-die moment : CRITICAL POINT

38A. When the Brontës wrote : VICTORIAN PERIOD

59A. Precisely : RIGHT ON THE DOT

Argyle here(stop) Dynamic duo(stop) Stop with the stops! No stopping the grid spanner while the other entries stop at thirteen. Eases us into the week while we have other things on our minds.


1. Golf pros regularly break it : PAR. While some of us struggle to break 100.

4. Gemologist's weight : CARAT

9. Force back : REPEL

14. "__ had it up to here!" : I'VE, said the woman in the milk bath. (pasteurized)

15. Single-celled critter : AMEBA

16. Bo's'n's "Hold it!" : "AVAST!"

17. Blink of an eye : SEC

18. Rocky, for one : BOXER. More of a brawler, some might say.

19. Midterms and finals : TESTS

23. "Para __, oprima numero dos": customer service option : ESPANOL. "For Spanish, press number two"

24. Woos : COURTS

27. Crystal ball consulter : SEER

28. Bringing up the rear : LAST

31. Cut back : PARE

32. Offbeat : ODD

35. Cowboy's footwear : BOOT

37. Pieces on a board : MEN

43. Cannes crony : AMI. Cannes is a city located in the French Riviera.

44. Arrow-shooting god : EROS

45. Prez before Jack : IKE. (JFK/DDE)

46. Prefix with second : NANO

48. Computer operator : USER

50. Bottom-line concern : LOSS

54. Hole for a shoelace : EYELET. Bonus point: name the end of the shoelace.

56. Heart, soul, or heart and soul : ESSENCE

62. Cheer for a diva : BRAVA

64. Fragrant compound : ESTER

65. Game based on crazy eights : UNO. There are no bonus points in crosswords, sorry.

66. Seethed : FUMED

67. Underground Railroad traveler : SLAVE

68. Fort Worth sch. : TCU. (Texas Christian University)

69. Stockpile : AMASS

70. Repaired, as a shoe : SOLED

71. "But then again ..." : YET


1. The Fishes of the zodiac : PISCES

2. Opposed (to) : AVERSE

3. Bon Appétit offering : RECIPE. "Bon Appétit" is a magazine and website.

4. Mountain retreat : CABIN

5. BP merger partner : AMOCO

6. Drugstore name derived from the prescription symbol : REXALL

7. Genesis sibling : ABEL

8. Infield protection : TARP

9. Betting odds, e.g. : RATIO

10. Bring into balance : EVEN UP. (50/50 odds)

11. Deli meat : PASTRAMI

12. Body shop quote: Abbr. : EST. (estimate)

13. Many USMA grads : LT's. (Lieutenant/United States Military Academy)

21. Card worth a fortune? : TAROT

22. Squid relatives : OCTOPI

25. Palm smartphone : TREO. Replaced in June 2009.

26. Mail out : SEND

29. Belittle : ABASE

30. Trinity member : SON. With the Father and the Holy Spirit.

33. Deer mom : DOE

34. "Sex for Dummies" author, familiarly : DR. RUTH. Listen up!

36. "__War": Shatner novel : TEK

38. Rooftop rotator : VANE

39. Uncertain response : "I MAY"

40. Wide-screen technique introduced in the '50s : CINERAMA

41. Island in the Aegean : IOS. Map.

42. CSA general : R.E. LEE

47. Antipasto tidbits : OLIVES

49. Beach house, maybe : RENTAL

51. At one's post : ON DUTY. Yes, I am.

52. Wall-mounted candleholder : SCONCE. Some may be using them by day's end.

53. Embark : SET OUT

55. "Holy moly!" : "EGADS!"

57. "Date Night" actor Carell : STEVE. (from "The Office") IMBd.

58. Destroy, as documents : SHRED

60. Miss Trueheart of "Dick Tracy" : TESS

61. Nobel Peace Prize city : OSLO

62. Painter's deg. : BFA. (Bachelor of Fine Arts)

63. Caribbean liquor : RUM. Cheers!


Notes from C.C.:

1) The theme came to me while my pen ran out of ink. Click here to see the original grid Don and I submitted. Rich wisely pointed out that those long Across (18A & 51A) might "obscure the theme" since we don't have a reveal entry.

2) Happy 87th Birthday to dear Dodo, who's been having problem with her computer. Hopefully she'll return to us soon. Thanks again for checking on Dodo, Chickie.

(L-R back row: Chickie, Clear Ayes, Garlic Gal; Front: JD, Lucina, Dodo.  
Picture taken on June 23, 2011

Oct 28, 2012

Sunday Oct 28, 2012 Elizabeth C. Gorski

(If your paper does not carry the puzzle we're blogging on Sundays, click here to solve on line or print out a copy.)

Theme: "Having the last Laugh" - HA is contained at the end of each theme entry.

21A. Imposing WWI weapon : BIG BERTHA. Also a Golf club brand. Boomer bought an almost new Big Bertha driver at a garage sales for $5 earlier this year. He still slices, but is very happy with his distance.

27. Kim's "Sex and the City" role : SAMANTHA.  Relatively short theme entry, but if you try yourself, you'll realize that Liz's *HA choices are limited.

39. "The Impossible Dream" musical : MAN OF LA MANCHA. Still remember Susan Boyle?

53A. Barista's chocolaty creation : CAFE MOCHA

65A. Bumbling fictional spies : BORIS AND NATASHA
83. "Righto!" : YOU BETCHA. The first Minnesotan phrase I learned.

97A. Warren Buffett's nickname : ORACLE OF OMAHA. I have his autographed photo.

105A. Longfellow hero : HIAWATHA. "The Song of Hiawatha",

119A. Lover of 105-Across : MINNEHAHA. Literally "laughing water". Lucina visited our Minnehaha Falls last time she was here.

Notice there's no HA ending word in non-theme entries? No AHA, OSHA or ALOHA that constructors use frequently. It's a conscious decision Liz took. So the theme is not distracted.

I sensed what the theme was after reading the title. It has to be *HA, since *LOL is impossible.


 1. Islands with giant tortoises : GALAPAGOS.  Stumped from the start. Look, it's huge.


10. Annual report feature : GRAPH

15. Big Ten sch. : PSU. Penn State. The Nittany Lions. I feel sorry for Joe Paterno. I shouldn't, but I do.

18. Drunk : INEBRIATE

19. Blues legend Smith : BESSIE. Faintly recall this name.

20. Batting material, perhaps : WOOL

22. Thing : ENTITY

23. Football fan's channel : ESPN

24. In __: actually : ESSE

25. 1985 Chevy Chase film : FLETCH. What's the film about?

29. Step between stories : STAIR. Nice clue.

31. Air balls miss them entirely : RIMS. Jeremy Lin's rookie card reached over 20K in those Linsanity days. Nuts!

34. Scraps for Lassie : ORTS

35. Hard-rock link : AS A

38. Geographical suffix : ERN. Western, for example.
44. Sam who employed Diane and Carla : MALONE.  Never saw "Cheers".

46. Screwdriver, for one : HAND TOOL. Well, Splynter, COCKTAIL fits also.
47. Part of Chagall's theater work : MURAL

48. Turner autobiography : I, TINA. This used to stump me in my early crossword solving days, in 2008. How long have you been solving Xwords?

49. To a greater extent : MORE SO

50. "Body of Proof" network : ABC. Starring Dana Delany.

52. Floor square : TILE
55. U.K. defense gp. : RAF

57. One having trouble with his sisters? : LISPER. Clever clue.

59. IOC part: Abbr. : INTL

60. Garden product word : GRO. I'm letting my overabundant Thai chili air-dry. I pickled some. Still pretty hot.

61. Give __: care : A FIG

63. __ in Juliet : J AS

64. Explosive stick : TNT

70. Otto's "Oh!" : ACH. Hi there, D-Otto, another cat lover.

73. Chem class component : LAB

74. Stable environment? : BARN. Oh, that stable.

75. Switch settings : ONs

76. "Space Ghost" cartoonist Alex __ : TOTH. No idea. EddyB would have got him easily.

80. Not on the level : SLOPED

 82. Purring pet : CAT. Cute. Mart will love this.

85. Four: Pref. : TETR

86. Half an attention-getter : YOO

88. Leggy waders : HERONS. And 26D. Leggy wader : CRANE. 

91. Modern data units : BYTES

92. 5:1, e.g. : RATIO

94. Intervals between related events : TIME LAGS

96. Go bananas : LOSE IT

99. Time line period: Abbr. : CEN (Century).

100. Square root of nove : TRE. Alright, nove is 9 then. Chinese for "three" is very simple: San.

101. RAM units : MEGS. Megabytes? Shouldn't it be MBs?

102. Haydn sobriquet : PAPA

103. Stock deal : TRADE

109. "Not so fast!" : SLOWER

111. Butter amt. : TBSP

115. Land in el mar : ISLA

116. Jet-setter's destination : EUROPE. Did you read "A Year in Provence"? Lovely.

121. Fishing spot : PIER

122. Omits in speaking : ELIDES

123. "The Accidental Tourist" author : ANNE TYLER. She was born in MN.

124. Flat sound : SSS

125. Miata maker : MAZDA

126. Sees the point of the discussion? : READS LIPS. Nice clue also.


1. Taunt : GIBE. I always confuse this word with JIBE.

2. Licorice-flavored liqueur : ANIS

3. Piano parts : LEGS

4. French clerics : ABBES

5. Beginning of school? : PRE. Pre-school.

6. Travelocity quote : AIR FARE

7. Larry of country : GATLIN. Well, to me, it's this guy, Larry in real life.

8. Remaining : OTHER

9. Subway commuter's hope : SEAT

10. Mil. bigwig : GEN

11. 18 to 20 in a sequence : RST. Alphabetically.

12. Yard sale caveat : AS IS

13. Fillable bread : PITA

14. Kid's attention getter : HEY MOM

15. One may follow a signature : POSTSCRIPT. Consonant-heavy.

16. Junior-to-be : SOPH

17. Forearm bone : ULNA

19. Derrieres : BEHINDS. I just mentioned to JD the other day that I did not know Italy is so hilly. No wonder girls there all have sexy behinds.

20. Flipped : WENT NUTS

28. Composer Khachaturian : ARAM

30. Popular coffee hr. : TEN AM

32. Stop along the highway : MOTOR INN

33. Bay Area airport letters : SFO

35. Friends in Rome : AMICI. The single is Amico then?

36. Evil guy : SATAN

37. "Need __?" : A LIFT

39. "The Social Network" actress Rooney __ : MARA

40. Rye buy : LOAF

41. Priest's robe : ALB

42. "Jump" band Van __ : HALEN

43. Wide-awake : ALERT

45. Hamburger order, perhaps: Abbr. : ONE LB

46. Santa's favorite snack cakes? : HO HOS. Yes, Argyle?

49. Adam's favorite fast food sandwich? : McRIB. Funny.

51. Stock designation : CLASS B. Well, Tinbeni knows. CNBC & Crosswords & Coffee are his breakfast.

54. Sweet Rosie of song : O'GRADY. Drew a blank. Never heard of the song.

56. Turkish title : AGA

58. Boy chaser? : ISH. Boyish.

61. Cursed thing : ANATHEMA

62. Manhattan's __ Drive : FDR. Guessed.

63. Two-faced deity : JANUS

66. Flamenco concert shout : OLE

67. Legal gp. : ABA. Lemonade is going to be a new grandpa next week. 69. 67-Down mems. : ATTYs

68. Bugs and Elmer, e.g. : TOONS

70. Elroy Jetson's dog : ASTRO

71. See-through : CLEAR

72. "3 Alarm" candies : HOT TAMALES. Strange name for candies.

77. Large chamber music group : OCTET

78. "A League of __ Own" : THEIR. Did any of you like "Little Big League"?

79. Speed : HASTE

81. Mall battle : PRICE WAR

82. Salon creation : COIF

83. Stretching discipline : YOGA

84. WWII saver's purchase : E-BOND

87. Plains Indian : OTO

89. Goes by : ELAPSES

90. 1986 Indy 500 winner Bobby : RAHAL. EddyB would have nailed this entry. Man, I missed his cryptic comments.

93. Big name in lingerie : OLGA. Not fond of this brand.

95. Clean, in a way : MOP

96. Found out : LEARNED. Was shocked when I learned of Mo Yan's Nobel Prize award.

98. Hold in high regard : ESTEEM

99. Richard of "The Flamingo Kid" : CRENNA

103. Tie that binds : TWINE

104. __ alcohol : ETHYL

105. Swinging joints? : HIPS. Mo Yan also wrote this book. Most of his books have a raw, sexual content.

106. Fertility goddess : ISIS. As you know, religion was forbidden when I grew up. You seldom see God or Goddess reference in Chinese literature.

107. Hilo dance : HULA

108. Painted Desert st. : ARIZ

110. Barbra's "Funny Girl" co-star : OMAR

112. Tourist haven east of Java : BALI. Bra brand also.

113. "George of the Jungle" elephant : SHEP. No idea.

114. What many players shoot for : PARS. I think Boomer has 3 or 4 birdies this whole summer.

117. Unmatched : ODD

118. Stew veggie : PEA

120. UFO drivers, ostensibly : ETs. You can now find them in Madame Tussauds Museums.


JD's Italy series continues. Today, we visit Florence. JD said:

"After reading "The Agony and the Ecstasy" I was anxious to see Florence. Unfortunately the Statue of David was in a museum that was closed, but in the square there were many statues, and one was a replica of David. In the photo of the parade, he is on the left. The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is their main church. It is covered in various shades of green, pink and white marble. Santa Croce Basilica was filled with so many sculptures, paintings, and is the burial place of Michelangelo, Galileo, Rossini and many others. There is way too much to see in a day." Click here for more photos.

Oct 27, 2012

Saturday, Oct 27th, 2012, John Farmer

Theme: None

Words: 68

Blocks: 35

Well, this one was a complete clunker - I had about two-thirds done, ran out of my allotted time, and  had to red-letter solve the rest.  I was thinking that I have not been beaten up by a Saturday in a while, and as soon as I saw Mr. Farmer's name, I knew that this was going to be the one.  I said the same thing on his two previous Sat puzzles - and the irony is that the last one was on C.C.'s Birthday, and today is Boomer's birthday~!!!  Nothing terribly formidable, just things I don't know, and the DOWNS were even worse;   Four big entries:

 19A. Wearing one can block a mind reader, some believe : TIN FOIL HAT - uh, OK, I have seen this on some TV shows (Mythbusters, e.g.), but just not in tune with the idea today

25A. Hotel amenity : FITNESS ROOM - I had the "ROOM" part, but then I got the "S", too, and that led me to start looking for a ---'S ROOM, so I was never going to get it

40A. Unlikely place for his-and-hers towels : BACHELOR PAD - probably my favorite clue for the day, but unfortunately, I did not get it without help -- my bachelor pad has everything labeled HIS....

51A. Centipede, e.g. : ARCADE GAME - DAH~!!!  I knew this was an ATARI game, but forgot it came out in the 'quarter-per-play' 80's - and there was an arcade around the corner from me, too....must be me

Oh well, On ward....


1. Visit : STOP AT - I had "IN", and "BY", and they were both "the 16A"

7. Cleaned, in a way : VACUUMED

15. Ronald Reagan's alma mater : EUREKA - complete unknown

16. "Guess again" : WRONG ONE

17. Windy : PROLIX - new word for me; I knew POLLUX was in the constellation Gemini, tho....

18. Voice of Buzz Lightyear : TIM ALLEN - hey~! I got one~!!!

21. Modest profession : I TRY

22. Four quarters, in Quito : ANO - one year, in Spanish

23. See 47-Down : REINER; 47. With 23-Across, actor/director/writer with nine Emmys : CARL - "Ocean's Eleven", among others - he was "Saul Bloom" playing "Lyman Zerga"

30. One often seen from behind? : ALPHA DOG - well, I get it, but I don't like it; I can think of better ways to clue this without 'giving it away'

34. Its GTS model can get 70 miles per gallon : VESPA - I started with TESLA, the sports car that runs on electricity; enough to get me started

35. Fate of some old ways : DISUSE - like 38A

36. Treats with malice : SPITES

37. Operation Crossroads event, 1946 : A-TEST - again, I had "N", and "H", but never heard of "A" - but I get it; A as in Atomic

38. Vintage player : TAPE DECK - I did want EIGHT TRACK, with the "-CK" in place; I still have a tape deck; used it to dub songs and my talking to make cassettes to send out to friends

43. Bench order : NO BAIL - I have been arrested three times, and I have gotten "R.O.R." all three times; I doubt it will happen again - all three were drink-related incidents

44. One often sleeping on the floor : PET - @#$%%~!!!! I had DOG, CAT, TOT....

47. Free of charge : COMP - like the hotel with the amenities; I got a room comp'ed at Atlantic City - they make all their money on the gambling floor, so they love to keep you overnight~!

54. "I Cain't Say No" singer : ADO ANNIE - didn't know this at all, here's the Wiki

56. 1805 musical premiere : EROICA - the Beethoven symphony, #3, in E-flat major - hey, I figured I didn't know its premiere date, either

57. It may include gas masks and shields : RIOT GEAR - hey~!! I got another~!

58. 2002 Best Original Song Oscar winner : EMINEM - a learning moment for me; from the movie "8-mile"; I like his Marshall Mathers LP - a little strong for the blog, unfortunately

59. Chickens named for an Italian city : LEGHORNS - another learning moment; only familiar with this one


60. Port on the Loire : NANTES - map


1. Anatomical walls : SEPTA - Bzzzt

2. 2006 Winter Olympics host : TURIN - cheated, Googled it; wasn't Tokyo

3. Eponymous chief of the Penobscot nation : ORONO - name

4. Crooked gains : PELF - seen this before in crosswords, but I forgot

5. Japanese magnate Morita : AKIO - name, and one of those vague clues that just don't help (From C.C.: Aki = Bright, O=Man/Husband, hence Akio = Bright man. Similarly, the Akira in Akira Kurosawa means "Bright & Shining". Yellowrocks/Pas de chat can correct me if I'm wrong.)

6. Way across town : TAXI RIDE - ugh

7. 1970s military-style German import : VW THING - Volkswagen - yep, I remember this

8. Audrey's "Love in the Afternoon" role : ARIANE - name

9. Ancien Régime nobles : COMTES - Foreign

10. Señorita's "a" : UNA - Foreign

11. Hybrid edible : UGLI - sounds Foreign

12. Slough off : MOLT - hey, got one~!

13. Cabinet dept. formed in response to the 1973 oil crisis : ENERgy

14. Shoot down : DENY

20. Actor Jared : LETO - name

24. Offered regrets, perhaps : RSVP'ed

25. Fix : FASTEN - not REPAIR

26. "Criminal Minds" genius Dr. Spencer __ : REID - name

27. Bone: Pref. : OSTE

28. Org. that Angola joined in 2007 : OPEC

29. Pretense : MASK

30. Not much at all : A DAB

31. "Kiss Me Deadly" rocker Ford : LITA - Careful~! Maybe not an earworm, but the images...

32. Very brief time, briefly : PSEC - a picosecond, or one TRILLIONTH - HUP~!! you missed it

33. Quiet : HUSH

36. Stickball ball, familiarly : SPALDEEN - anyone play stickball as a kid?  Growing up, we did hockey with sticks from the woods and a tennis ball

38. Radioisotopes used in medicine : TRACERS

39. Island capital near Robert Louis Stevenson's burial site : APIA - name

41. Repair shop offer : LOANER

42. "Master and Commander" novelist Patrick : O'BRIAN - I prefer Conan O'Brien

44. Body shop supply : PAINT - not BONDO

45. Function runner : EMCEE - oh, that kind of function

46. Sides : TEAMS

48. Comics dog : ODIE - Garfield comic strip

49. "Switched-On Bach" instrument : MOOG

50. Course : PATH

52. "Forever, __": 1996 humor collection : ERMA

53. Get past the bouncer : GO IN - meh, period

55. Vietnam's __ Dinh Diem : NGO - see, now, I thought this was a place, and it's a him

Happy B-day Boomer~!!! (if I am not mistaken)


Note from C.C.:

Thanks, Splynter (and Marti), for remembering Boomer's birthday.  Happy 65th Birthday to my dear husband, the best chili maker west of Mississippi.

Boomer, Oct 1, 2012