May 31, 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012 Bill Thompson

Theme: Boxer set?

No...Boxing set??

Uhhh.. "Boxed"set?

...sorry, I got distracted with the theme today. AHEM!!

(On to the regular program....)

65A. With 1-Across, Time-Life Records product...and in a way, what each of the answers to the starred clues is : BOX, and 1-Across: See 65-Across : SET.

Aha! BOX SET !!
So how does that relate? Each of the theme entries begins and ends with a word that could be "boxed", making a "set":

17A. *Ongoing saga : SOAP OPERA. SOAP box is what a politician uses to express his views...and an OPERA box is my favorite place to be in Vienna.

29A. *Focaccia-like treat : PIZZA BREAD. PIZZA box is what I always wonder, "Can I recycle this???", and a BREAD box is where .... the bread gets green.

43A. *Kitchen extraction gadget : JUICE PRESS. JUICE box is what I wish my wine came in, so I wouldn't spill it... or, it might describe the coverage at OJ's trial? And a PRESS box is where all those pundits sit.

56A. *Barely find room for : SQUEEZE IN. A SQUEEZE box is another name for an accordion. My daddy used to play one (with mummy on the violin...). And an IN box is what I look forward to every Monday morning....(Not!!!)

Put them all together, and they make four "box set"s! Brilliant!

Marti here, to wend our way through the rest of the entries:


4. "My Cousin Vinny" star : PESCI. "What's a 'ute'?" Great flick!!

9. Mar. parade VIP : ST PAT.rick

14. Bio stat : AGE

15. Abbr. seen before a year : ESTAB.lished

16. Ad : PROMO. tion

19. Cougar and Impala : AUTOS. And a clecho with 7-down. Cougar or Impala : CAR. Take me for a ride in your car, car...1:50

20. Grammar class no-no : RUNON. Likethisanswer?

21. They're unbeatable : NEMESES

23. Prolonged suffering : AGONY

25. City on the Orne : CAEN. In Normandy, northwestern France. Image.

27. Cutting remark : GIBE

28. Broke down : WEPT

31. Vein pursuit? : ORE.

32. Brewer's need : MALT

33. "Surely you don't mean me?!" : MOI. 4:47

34. 60-Across with heart-shaped leaves : LINDENS. (Why yes, they are...)

36. Set-up punch : LEFT JAB (...see second image, at top of page.) (Or, is that a right jab?) (I don't know my right from my left tonight!!)

40. Poet-punk music genre : EMO. Such drama!! 3:49

41. Ill-gotten gains : PELF. It took a while for this word to come to me, but I am resolved to use it in a sentence today! pelf...Pelf...PELF!!

42. Before now : AGO. How would you clue this one? (...not as easy as you thought, is it??)

47. Bikini specification : B CUP. OK, how about a few cups here? (I think we need Dennis's expert measurements here...)

48. In another life : ONCE...upon a time

49. Fireside stack : LOGS

50. Concession stand drinks : COKES

51. "True dat!" : I HEAR YA

53. Bovine bedding : STRAW

55. Off one's rocker : NUTSO (Thanks for catching that one, Anony-Mouse!)

60. "A nest of robins in her hair" poem : TREES. Joyce Kilmer (Where is Clear Ayes??):
"I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree."

61. Players take them : TURNS

62. Music-licensing org. : BMI. "Broadcast Music, Inc."

63. ___ de France: sports venue near Paris : STADE. Football and rugby stadium.

64. Sprouts-to-be : SEEDS


1. KLM rival : SAS. Can you say Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij N.V.? (Jerome?) And, Scandanavian Airlines System (OK, I can say that one!!)

2. Centrist leader? : EGO.

3. Eagerly deal with, as an envelope : TEAR OPEN. (Oh yes, I just "tear open" all those bills!!)

4. Indiana state flower : PEONY. Beautiful.

5. Hockey nickname : ESPO. Phil Esposito, from the Boston Bruins and (ack!) New York Rangers.

6. Sign-making aids : STENCILS

8. Spanish writer Blasco ___ : IBANEZ. Best known for his novel "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse"

9. Cyberjunk : SPAM. I get about 100 spam emails a day....fortunately, I have a program that filters them to a "junk mail" box...

10. 2010 Coen brothers Western : TRUE GRIT. Do you think Jeff Bridges lived up to John Wayne's original portrayal?

11. "Happy Days" pal of Richie : POTSIE

12. It divides to multiply : AMOEBA. Opposite of "E pluribus unum"?

13. Threw easily : TOSSED (Somehow, this had a really bad vision of leaning over a toilet...ewww)

18. Kick with a "hang time" : PUNT. I got a kick out of this clue!

22. Glossy coats : ENAMELS

23. Illegally off base : AWOL. Absent WithOut Leave

24. Spice Girl Halliwell : GERI

26. HIV-treating drug : AZT. Azidothymidine. (But you knew that, right??)

29. Impressive display : PANOPLY.

"Thee for my recitative,
Thee in the driving storm even as now, the snow, the winter-day declining,
Thee in thy panoply, thy measur'd dual throbbing and thy beat
Thy black cylindric body, golden brass and silvery steel..."
- Walt Whitman
(...where is ClearAyes??)

30. Box office smash : BOFF. From the British "boffin", meaning a scientist or technical expert. Not sure how that translates to a "box office smash".

32. Internet ___: fast-spreading item : MEME. Nonsensical internet clips that go viral, like this one. Why?

35. "That parrot is definitely ___": line from a Monty Python sketch : DECEASED. Funny clip. 5:34

36. Not as confident : LESS SURE

37. Friday guy? : JACK WEBB. Who remembers him? "Just the facts, ma'am..." 2:21

38. Feverish chills : AGUE

39. Conks on the head : BOPS

41. Throw hard : PEG

43. Ace bandage sites : JOINTS

44. Injury-free : UNHURT

45. Picnic pitcher filler : ICE TEA. No, no, no...IT IS ICED TEA!!

46. Friars Club events : ROASTS

47. Ruth's husband : BOAZ

50. Mustard family plant : CRESS

52. Lost a lap? : ROSE. (Stood up)

54. Serve behind bars : TEND. "Two termites walk into a bar..."

57. José's "Huh?" : QUE. And here is how to pronounce it. 0:01

58. "As I see it", in email : IMO. "In My Opinion", or, more politely: "IMHO" ("In my humble opinion").

59. Quash : NIX. Ix-Nay!

Answer grid.

That's all for tonight. See you next week!


May 30, 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 Don Gagliardo & C.C. Burnikel

Theme: The joke's on Ewe!

17A. "My bad!" : I SCREWED UP! As I did in a couple of places today before sanity prevailed.

24A. Compact disk carrier : JEWEL BOX. I thought it was a Jewel CASE, now I know better.

37A. Stairway post : NEWEL. I want to buy a house with an upper floor just so I can point out my newel posts to visitors.

51A. Like shish kebab : SKEWERED. Oh Lordy - Awesome!

3D. Steered clear of : ESCHEWED. Wonderful word.

11D. Dodger great Reese : PEEWEE

26D. Common time between paychecks : ONE WEEK. I wish mine came as regularly!

39D. Fashionable retailer named for an address : NINE WEST. I actually knew this from spending some considerable time in women's shoe departments over the years shopping with girlfriends. You've got to have something to talk about while they're trying on three hundred pairs. The original store was at 9, W. 57th Street in Manhattan.

46D. Gushed : SPEWED

62D. See 59-Across : EWE

and the unifier:

59A. Fight insomnia, in a way ... and if you do it in this puzzle, you'll find ten 62-Downs : COUNT SHEEP

Hi everyone, Steve here with the latest outing from the Dynamic Duo! I'm sure there's a fancy-schmancy word to describe this style of puzzle, but what we've got here are no less than 10 theme answers, one of which is the theme word on its own, all tied together by the 11th unifying clue/entry.

My absolute favorite is 51A - Skewered! It seems so wrong, but so ... right! And Food!

The fill was full of fun too - when you've got so many W's floating around it had to be a struggle to fit everything in around the theme. I think Don and C.C. did a great job. I had a couple of "hmmmmms", but nothing that made me groan, at least not out loud. Let's see what else we've got here:


1. Quite some time : AGES

5. Pals, in slang : PEEPS

10. __ arms : UP IN

14. Prurient interest : LUST

15. __ vincit amor : OMNIA. Love Conquers All.

16. Suvari of "American Beauty" : MENA. I had to dig this one out of the dim recesses. This whole quadrant was a struggle for me.

19. "MacArthur Park" songwriter Jimmy : WEBB. Part of my personal Natick today. I didn't know this gentleman, and I couldn't see that the "M" in U.M.W. didn't stand for Mineworkers, so I was thinking "Union of Mineworkers ... something .....". Darn. DNF for me for that one letter.

20. "Take this" : HERE

21. Work undercover : SPY

23. Whisper sweet nothings to, say : WOO

27. Harsh : ACERB. I love this word, and resolve to use it in a sentence today. ESCHEWED comes a close second for my WOTD.

29. Sound over a cornfield : CAW

30. Chieftain's group : CLAN. I had the music meme running around in my head - I knew the Chieftains were a group anyway, so this one stumped me for a while. Then - D'oh!

31. Composer of "The Wizard of Oz" songs : ARLEN. Who knew? Plenty of you smart folks I'm sure, but this was news to me.

32. Turn away, as one's eyes : AVERT

34. Maintain an address : RESIDE. I wanted "Orates for way too long when we all want to do is make the toast so we can start the party" at first but it didn't quite fit.

36. Diddly, in Cádiz : NADA

38. Med school subj. : ANAT. Is it Grey's Anatomy or Gray's Anatomy? One is the show, the other the textbook. Need to Google to check.

42. What Annabel Lee's kingdom was by : THE SEA. Edger Allen Poe's poem. I know the phrase from the title of a travel book by Paul Theroux describing a journey by train around the coast of the UK.

44. Chief's group : TRIBE. Nice echo of 30A here.

45. It may be liquid or frozen : ASSET. Cleverly done.

47. "What __ is new?" : ELSE

49. Born, in some bios : NÉE. French. I think you're not meant to put diacritical marks on capital letters in French, but I put the e-acute here for emphasis.

50. "Whammo!" : KAPOW!

53. Standout pilot : ACE

54. Bit of rest : NAP

56. From scratch : ANEW

57. Politico Gingrich : NEWT

64. TV musical set in Lima, Ohio : GLEE. I got this completely through crosses and didn't even see the clue until I got here to write it up.

65. Kitchen occupant of song : DINAH. Completely unknown to me, and again filled in through crosses. Jazzbumpa - any insight into this one?

66. "Even __ speak ..." : AS WE

67. "M*A*S*H" actor : ALDA. Alan of "Hawkeye" Pierce fame. Donald Sutherland played the character in the original movie.

68. Feat of genetic engineering : CLONE. Dolly the Scottish Sheep was the first of the clones clan. That sounds like a Star Wars sequel, and fits the theme today!

69. Early all-metal bomber : B-TEN. Another learning moment for me. I knew there was a B-17 and a number of subsequent numerations, I suppose it's obvious that there was probably even a B-1.


1. Baba the woodcutter : ALI

2. Gloomy guy : GUS

4. Scatter : STREW

5. Secretary of State before Rice : POWELL. I'm sure Colin was observing Memorial Day yesterday.

6. Linguistic suffix with morph- : EME. I just looked this up to give you all a jolly smart explanation of what a morpheme is. I can't. C.C. is my go-to person for language explanations, so I'll ask her to chime in here. (C.C.: To me, morphemes are what make up words. Two morphemes in "Cheated", cheat & ed. But I'll defer to our language expert Kazie. Welcome back, by the way!)

7. Wrap up : END

8. 1903-'14 pope : PIUS X

9. NFLer Warren who competed on "Dancing With the Stars" : SAPP. He was paired with my favorite, Kym Johnson and they were runners-up in Season 7.

10. Coal industry labor org. : U.M.W. (United Mine Workers). Second half of my personal Natick today.

12. Congenital : INBORN

13. "Nattering" big shot, in an Agnew speech : NABOB. How anyone could ever attempt to use the phrase "Nattering Nabobs of Negativity" followed up by "hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history" shows enormous faith in your speechwriter and your ability to deliver back-to-back alliterations.

18. Standing tall : ERECT

22. Home front? : YARD

24. Morning mugful : JAVA. I'm hopeless without it.

25. Uncovers : BARES

28. Easy to follow : CLEAR

29. Give the heave-ho : CAN

31. Have the sniffles : AIL

33. Dustin's "Midnight Cowboy" role : RATSO. Usually have to wait for the cross to decide between "S" or "Z" here, especially as Hoffman's character has the last name of "Rizzo".

35. Black Panthers co-founder Bobby : SEALE

37. Bottom line : NET

40. In for the night : ABED

41. Golfer's doohickey : TEE

43. Chopped down : HEWN

44. Adolescents : TEENS

45. Smallish battery : AA CELL. Hmmmmm - one of my least-favorites today.

48. Wrap snugly : SWATHE. However, this was one of my most-favorites, so all is forgiven. I didn't think until today that SWATHE has more than one meaning (cutting a swathe). For such an unusual word, well, it's unusual!

50. Milne bounder : KANGA. Roo's Mom in The Hundred Acre Wood. I much prefer the original book illustrations to the Disney-fied versions.

51. Ruin : SPOIL

52. P.T. center, e.g. : REHAB

55. Adaptable, electrically : AC/DC. Not just electrically, but that a subject for another day and another blogger.

58. Pekoe or oolong : TEA. Tea has the most wonderful names. A boon to crossword constructors everywhere.

60. Dos halved : UNO

61. Bread served with vindaloo : NAN. Yay! More food! Lamb Vindaloo too!

63. Fenced-in area : PEN

Answer grid.

That's all from me. I'm off to look up some recipes for lamb, this whole puzzle made me hungry.


1) Note from C.C. & Don:

Don got this idea while reading a comic book. He said the story line was about counting sheep to fall asleep. We thought of putting ZZZ in one corner, but discarded the idea eventually. Did you count how many EWEs we put in the grid?

2) Happy LXXIII-rd Birthday to EddyB! What's on the menu today?

May 29, 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 Jeff Stillman

Theme: The Fab Four

20A. #1 hit by a 30-Across member : "BAND ON THE RUN". Paul McCartney & Wings Clip.(5:14) There is an extensive write-up with it.

30A. '60s pop group : BEATLES

35A. #1 hit by a 30-Across member : "MY SWEET LORD". George Harrison Clip.(4:57) I've never heard this version and had a hard time believing it really was George. (still not sure)

44A. #1 hit by a 30-Across member : "IMAGINE". John Lennon Clip.(3:32)

54A. #1 hit by a 30-Across member : "YOU'RE SIXTEEN". Ringo Starr Clip.(2:47)

Argyle here. It was tough listening to all those clips but somebody had to do it.


1. Canal locale : PANAMA. "A man, a plan, a canal – Panama!" Famous palindrome.

7. Exile isle : ELBA. "Able was I ere I saw Elba" Another one.

11. Young boy : LAD

14. Mount where Noah's ark landed : ARARAT

15. Color similar to aqua : TEAL

16. "__ was saying ..." : AS I

17. Staccato's opposite : LEGATO. Detached versus smoothly, per this handy site.

18. "B.C." creator Johnny : HART. Comic strip.

19. Mex. neighbor : USA

23. Longtime U.K. record label : EMI. There is a connection between EMI, Apple Records and the Beatles.

26. Speechifier's spot : DAIS

27. Botanical puffiness : EDEMA

28. High-pitched flute : PICCOLO

32. Shady spot : ARBOR

33. Detective's lead : CLUE

40. Ain't as it should be? : ISN'T. Clever clue.

41. Bring together : UNITE

49. Gasoline ratings : OCTANES

51. Parceled (out) : DOLED

52. Sharer's word : OURS

53. Tree juice : SAP

58. Advanced legal deg. : LL.M. (Master of Laws)

59. Top of the line : A-ONE

60. Stylish Oldsmobiles : ALEROs. Gone but not forgotten.

64. PC linking acronym : LAN. A local area network (LAN) is a computer network that interconnects computers in a limited area such as a home, school, or office building. (Wiki)

65. __ Gaga : LADY. I have no idea what this clip is about. It is a collection of clips of the Beatles while Lady Gaga sings Let's play a Love Game.

66. Catches some z's : SLEEPS

67. Doo-wop's __ Na Na : SHA

68. Terrier named for a Scottish isle : SKYE

69. Expansive home : ESTATE


1. Bud : PAL

2. "My lips __ sealed" : ARE

3. Re-re-re-remind? : NAG. "If I told you once, I've told you five times ..."

4. Oman man, usually : ARAB

5. Bullfighters : MATADORS. We had TORERO yesterday. Both fight the bull but it is the MATADOR that may kill the bull.

6. Keyless : ATONAL. Tricky clue.

7. Spirit of a people : ETHOS

8. Hamburger grading word : LEAN

9. Starr of the NFL : BART. Card. No relation to Ringo Starr.

10. '50s tennis standout Gibson : ALTHEA

11. Bay leaf source : LAUREL

12. Undertake, as responsibilities : ASSUME

13. Rigg and Ross : DIANAs. A couple of candid shots. Rigg; Ross.

21. Bishop's domain : DIOCESE

22. N.J. summer setting : EDT

23. Org. with a monthly "Go Green!" newsletter : EPA. The May issue.

24. Craft whose name means "peace" : MIR. The space station operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001.

25. SALT weapon : ICBM. (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks/InterContinental Ballistic Missile)

29. Playfully noncommittal : COY

30. "Keep your opinions to yourself!" : "BUTT OUT!". Unfortunately, we must tell some Anons to do this when they cross the line. Oh wait, we delete and ignore the trolls.

31. Long-bodied swimmer : EEL

34. Novelist Deighton : LEN

36. Carry the day : WIN

37. Bests in the market : OUTSELLS. (both verbs)

38. Messenger molecule : RNA

39. Headache intensifiers : DINS

42. Afternoon social : TEA

43. Debatable mental ability : ESP. (ExtraSensory Perception)

44. Poems with pastoral themes : IDYLLs. Idylls of the King, published between 1856 and 1885, is a cycle of twelve narrative poems by the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Care to read them? Link.

45. Do-re-mi : MOOLAH

46. Mount Holyoke grad : ALUMNA. Although Mount Holyoke only considers female applicants for admission, it will award diplomas to transgendered students who become male or identify themselves as male by the time they complete their studies. So are they ALUMNA or ALUNUS?

47. Lang. of Luther : GER.

48. Worthy principles : IDEALS

50. Pressed-pants feature : CREASE

52. Yellow-and-white daisy : OXEYE

55. Linger in the Jacuzzi : SOAK

56. Memorial Day race, informally : INDY

57. Old Nair rival : NEET

61. "Michael Collins" actor Stephen : REA. He may not have much on this side of the Atlantic but check out his IMDb entry.

62. Pick, with "for" : OPT

63. U-turn from NNW : SSE. (HDG's)


May 28, 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012 Kurt Mueller

Theme: That's One Strange Critter - Do we have any artists that could sketch this animal and posted it somehow? I'm sure I could search all of Googledom and not find an image to match!

17A. TV-top antenna : RABBIT EARS. You don't see ads for rabbit ear antennas much anymore.

30A. Airhead : BIRDBRAIN

36A. Sharp bends in fairways : DOGLEGS

38A. Reedy marsh plant : CATTAIL. They are being pushed out by invasive Phragmites.

46A. Craps loser : SNAKE EYES. Rolling a two(3 or 12 are crap/loser, also.) in the dice game called craps.

63A. Snug-collared top : TURTLENECK

Argyle here. Minor problem: some entries are one word and some are two. Does it matter? Not to me. They are all animals and they are all body parts but they are clued as animorphized objects. Don't bother looking that one up; I just coined it. It is giving animal traits to non-animals. You got something better, let's hear it.

In the meantime, six entries and a couple of strong corners make for a pretty good Monday puzzle, eh? Kurt hasn't been around for a couple of years but he still has it.

Well, I'll be, the NYT puzzle today is Kurt Mueller's, too.


1. Cotton swabs : Q-TIPS

6. "Rush Hour" co-star Jackie : CHAN

10. Installs, as carpeting : LAYS

14. Figure out, as a bill : TOT UP

15. Promote extravagantly : HYPE

16. All over again : ANEW

19. Enthusiastic hand-raiser's cry : "ME! ME!"

20. Canonized mlle. : STE. French.

21. Iowa crop : CORN

22. Like pant legs : SEAMED. Or a silk stocking.

24. Adjust the pitch of, as a guitar string : RETUNE

26. Pickling liquid : BRINE

27. Hightail it : FLEE

32. Corrida showman : TORERO. A bullfighter. Kingston Trio - El Matador.(2:28)

35. Stud farm stud : SIRE

43. Where resented comments stick, metaphorically : CRAW. (throat)

45. Concert memento : T-SHIRT

51. The "E" in FEMA: Abbr. : EMER. Fed. Emer. Mgmt. Agcy.

52. Circle dances : HORAs

53. Mr. Bill's nemesis, in "Saturday Night Live" skits : SLUGGO

56. Unwilling (to) : AVERSE

58. "Pants on fire" fellow : LIAR

59. __ Vegas : LAS. No longer a Splynter destination.

62. Man-to-man defense alternative : ZONE

66. "This weighs __!" : A TON

67. Hint : CLUE

68. Atlanta university : EMORY

69. David Wright's team : METS. Third baseman.

70. Ranch employee : HAND

71. Vetoes : NIXES


1. Fiscal-yr. fourths : QTR's. (quarters)

2. Right on the nose : TO A "T"

3. "Could __ Magic": Barry Manilow hit : IT BE. Barry with the late Donna Summer, Link(5:42), at the Mandalay Bay Arena in Las Vegas, NV, on June 5, 2004.

4. Place for drafts and darts : PUB

5. Cinnamon or cloves : SPICE. Spice up your eggnog.

6. Rosy-cheeked angel : CHERUB

7. Cape Cod fishing port : HYANNIS. Gee, isn't there a famous compound out there.

8. Mo. for fools? : APR.. When the 99% pay taxes.

9. Monster's loch : NESS

10. Hollywood's Hedy : LAMARR

11. Iron-poor blood condition : ANEMIA

12. Sana'a native : YEMENI. Map. West of Oman, which means it is west of Mumbai.

13. Homeland of Saab and Volvo : SWEDEN. Sob! Sob! Saab is homeless now.

18. Moppet : TOT

23. __ Field: Brooklyn Dodgers' home : EBBETS. Charles Ebbets financed the building of Ebbets Field in 1912 by selling half his shares in the team to the McKeever Brothers.

24. Barn dance dance : REEL. Yellowrocks.

25. Songwriter Clapton : ERIC. He's much more than just a songwriter.

27. Busy co. on Mother's Day : FTD. Founded as Florists' Telegraph Delivery, it is now Florists' Transworld Delivery.

28. Lav in London : LOO. Lav is shortened lavatory.

29. Unit of work : ERG

31. "Dang!" : "DRAT!"

33. Schoolyard playtime : RECESS

34. Fairy tale baddie : OGRE

37. Utters : SAYS

39. Van Gogh's brother : THEO. A quick peek at the Wikipedia article, will explain why he is famous.

40. Zero in : AIM

41. Ill temper : IRE

42. Photocopier tray size: Abbr. : LTR. (letter size)

44. Like an efficiently managed business : WELL RUN

46. Exclamation from Gomer Pyle : "SHAZAM!"

47. Dissenting ballot : NO VOTE

48. "Am too!" reply : "ARE NOT!"

49. Actresses Black and Allen : KARENs

50. Befitted : SUITED

54. Guy's partner : GAL. Guys and Gals premiered on Broadway in 1950.

55. Eco-friendly : GREEN

57. Make an engraving : ETCH

59. Tenth of 13 popes : LEO X.

John - 23 times
Benedict - 16 times
Gregory - 16 times
Clement - 14 times
Innocent - 13 times
Leo - 13 times
Pius - 12 times
Stephen - 10 times

60. Farm fraction : ACRE

61. "The __ the limit!" : SKY'S

64. Suffix with "form" : ULA

65. Abbr. for people with only two names : NMI. (no middle initial)


May 27, 2012

Sunday May 27, 2012 Ed Sessa

Theme: Suitable Employment - A gerund associated with the profession of each theme entry functions as a perfectly suitable adjective.

23A. Scientist who is tedious to a fault? : BORING GEOLOGIST. Our Spitzboov is certainly not boring. So knowledgeable.

35A. Bread maker not earning his bread? : LOAFING BAKER

50A. Arranger growing into her job? : BUDDING FLORIST

63A. Attorney who turns heads? : APPEALING LAWYER. Lemonade!

80A. Nightclubbing club pro? : SWINGING GOLFER. Reminded me a Sergio Garcia
"hit the club" commercial.

92A. Belle in blue? : ARRESTING COP. Fun clue/answer, projecting a vivid image. I'm waiting for CrossEyedDave for a perfect link.

111A. Practitioner who likes to practice? : DRILLING DENTIST

This is a great template for a Sunday puzzle: 7 theme entries, all between 12-15 in letter count. Very manageable. Gridding can get tricky if you have more entries.

And of course, Mr. Ed is a seasoned pro. He has never disappointed me, always coming up with entertaining themes and smooth fill. Really like these two today:

26A. Invitation on the road : NEED A LIFT?

69D. Beatles hit with the line, "Treasure these few words till we're together" : P.S. I LOVE YOU. But I loved the Hilary Swank/Gerard Butler movie more. So sweet.


1. Quran religion : ISLAM. So is their Allah the same as the Bible God?

6. Spaceship Earth locale : EPCOT

11. Cotillion honoree : DEB

14. Fischer's game : CHESS. Bobby Fischer was bizarre at times. I guess we all are.

19. NFL ref's aid : SLO MO

20. Tire : GROW WEARY. Tell me, what is the one movie you can watch again and again?

22. __ flush : ROYAL

25. Rome's Fontana di __ : TREVI

27. Old Colgate competitor : GLEEM

29. Zipped : SPED

30. Olin of "Chocolat" : LENA. Love Juliette Binoche. Her "Damage" is my all time favorite.

31. Lean (toward) : SWAY

33. "Milk's favorite cookie" : OREO

40. Vulnerable area : SORE SPOT. Don't go there!

44. Pound and Cornell : EZRAS

45. Meditative practice : ZEN

46. Jewel cases? : SAFES. Lovely clue. Don't you want to see Irish Miss' 11 rings? I do.

47. Blowgun ammo : PEA

48. Fool, to Puck : MORTAL. "Lord, what fools these mortals are!" - "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

53. Les États-__ : UNIS

54. Large pitcher : EWER. I find EWER hard to clue.

56. "The Valachi Papers" author Peter : MAAS.

57. __-car : RENT-A

58. Something seen in anger? : RED. Oh.

59. Jib, for one : SAIL

60. Den sleeper : BEAR

62. Play areas : STAGES

67. Watch with astonishment : GAPE AT

70. "Do __ others, then run": Benny Hill : UNTO

71. Blubber : LARD

72. Actress Lupino : IDA

75. Williams who played Potsie on "Happy Days" : ANSON. So who did he do after "Happy Days"?

76. Turf defender : GANG

78. Ride to hail : TAXI

79. Grade qualifier : PLUS

84. Sanctify with oil : ANOINT

86. Flier with Chicago H.Q. : UAL

87. Future J.D.s' exams : LSATS

88. China's Sun __-sen : YAT. Sun means "grandchild" in Chinese.

89. Lamebrained : INANE

90. Some candlelight vigils : PROTESTS

96. __ infra: see below : VIDE

97. Thailand, formerly : SIAM. Argyle loves ""One Night in Bangkok".

98. "The future __ what it used to be": Yogi Berra : AIN'T. Might be Rich's clue. He's a Yankees fan.

99. Hula accompanists : UKES

101. Security concerns : LEAKS. Deep Throat!

104. Old film short : ONE-REELER

109. Authority : SAY-SO

114. Guinness choice : STOUT

115. Fantasy land : UNREALITY

116. Valse, par exemple : DANSE. French for "dance". I did not know Valse is "Waltz".

117. Libertines : ROUES

118. Folded sleeper : COT

119. Tecumseh transport : CANOE

120. Butter substitutes : OLEOS


1. Library catalog no. : ISBN

2. Gin fizz flavoring : SLOE

3. Traditional wisdom : LORE

4. Surrounded by : AMID

5. 16th-century work also known as "La Gioconda" : MONA LISA. In Louvre. Behind bulletproof glass.

6. Urging (on) : EGGING

7. Ready-made : PREFAB

8. Aquatic bird : COOT

9. Big-eyed bird : OWL

10. V-sign, to a maître d' : TWO

11. Regular paper : DAILY

12. Celtic language : ERSE

13. Data unit : BYTE

14. Old PC monitor : CRT

15. Flicka and Fury : HORSES. I"ll have another!

16. Like fireworks displays : EYE-POPPING. Nice fill.

17. Except : SAVE

18. Hydroplaned : SLID

21. Samantha of "Doctor Dolittle" : EGGAR

24. Secluded valley : GLEN

28. Pricey mushroom : MOREL. Here it comes again. I couldn't find that firm one I used to link.

31. List of events, briefly : SKED

32. Make (one's way) : WEND

34. Finally turned (to) : RESORTED

35. Madagascan tree climber : LEMUR

36. Important layer : OZONE

37. Sure competitor : ARRID

38. Pool legend, familiarly : FATS. Minnesota Fats. We also have a Tubby Smith.

39. Côte d'__ : AZUR

40. Epic narrative : SAGA

41. Does in : OFFS

42. Mexicali-to-Tijuana dirección : OESTE. Quite close to French west OUEST.

43. Casual farewells : TA-TAS

46. Junkyard warning : SNARL

49. Sprang : LEAPT

50. Dracula portrayer Lugosi : BELA

51. Insect stage : IMAGO

52. Bring up : REAR

55. 22-year-old Stanford graduate who became a pro golfer more than six years ago : WIE (Michelle). Her WIE and Chinese WEI is the same. Same character.

59. Adorned with sequins : SPANGLED

60. Church hall shout : BINGO

61. Tonsillitis M.D. : ENT

62. Assad's country : SYRIA. Has anyone seen "The Dictator"?

63. Really long time : AEON

64. Organs usually found in pairs : LUNGS

65. Banned apple spray : ALAR

66. Honeycomb substance : WAX

67. Prepare to hit the road : GAS UP

68. Hosni's predecessor : ANWAR (Sadat)

72. Pelvic bone-related : ILIAC

73. "Search me" : DUNNO

74. Words after lost or gained : A STEP

76. Bitty biter : GNAT

77. Smart and 99: Abbr. : AGTS

78. Bordeaux block? : TETE. I know blockhead, but did not know Block can mean "head" also.

79. 1972 video game debut : PONG

81. Basketball Hall of Famer Dan : ISSEL. Very handy letter combo. I bet it's a gimme for every constructor.

82. Constellation named for a stringed instrument : LYRA

83. Place to sow one's oats? : FARM. Where did you sow yours, Dennis?

85. Mario franchise company : NINTENDO

91. Muscle or bone : TISSUE

92. Wedding path : AISLE. So, last week's InTouch has a cover of Sofia Vergara with a line "betrayed by her man". My first reaction: What did Bill G do?

93. Serenaded : SANG TO

94. Colorful tee : TIE-DYE

95. Legal memo starter : IN RE

97. Bypass : SKIRT

99. Old map initials : USSR

100. Green Hornet's sidekick : KATO

102. Part of HEW: Abbr. : EDUC. What is HEW?

103. Florentine flower? : ARNO. Flow-er. The river flows. Haven't seen this clue for some time.

104. "Come __!": "Welcome!" : ON IN

105. List ender : ET AL

106. Reel nylon : LINE

107. Big petrol seller : ESSO

108. AAA suggestions : RTES

110. They may decide some close games, briefly : OTS

112. Fond du __, Wisconsin : LAC

113. Dockworkers' org. : ILA

Answer grid.


May 26, 2012

Saturday, May 26th, 2012, Tom Heilman

Theme: None

Words: 70

Blocks: 28

Wow - cruised through this puzzle, rare on any given Saturday, but I just got back from the bars and hanging with the guys, and I am really tired~! It always helps when you score the first word of the grid, though - real confidence booster. Triple stacks of 7's in the corners, and a grid spanner;

36A. Is having unending bad luck : CAN'T CATCH A BREAK - most likely the seed entry;

and two 10-letter climbers;

12D. Take too far : OVEREXTEND - see 29A

28D. Feature of Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" : CANNON FIRE - I love this composition, the way it builds and subsides; I have this version; the cannons are powerful enough to blow out matches if you hold them in front of the speakers (so you know now what I did one semester in college)....if you care to, here's a link to the 15+ minutes with chorus and cannons

Onward ~!

1. Exchanged : SWAPPED

8. Hiking hazard : DROP OFF - we talked about this last week

15. Caesar salad basic : ROMAINE - CROUTON fit, too

16. "Grease" in the '90s, say : REVIVAL

17. Small cinema, nowadays : TRIPLEX - what if you parsed this as Triple X ~???

18. Tree-lined walkway : ALAMEDA - I know of the city; here's an image of the actual definition

19. Adams with a Hasselblad : ANSEL - photographer, and his camera - a page of his spectacular images

20. Mrs. Fields brand : TCBY - The Country's Best Yogurt

22. Game to pursue : PREY

23. Places to see buckjumpers : RODEOS - none for me, thanks

25. Brewers, e.g., briefly : NLers - Baseball, the teams here - C.C., did they move from the AL~? (C.C.: Brewers was in American League until 1997. They were called Seattle Pilots when first created, then Selig bought them and moved the team to Milwaukee.)

26. Geometer moth caterpillar : INCHWORM - there was one on my sheets just the other day

29. Final crossing? : STYX - I was going to put this in, thought "nah", and then I got 12D

30. Three-division sports gp. : NCAA

31. Family reunion attendees : NIECES - WAG

33. Builder of Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft : TRW - yes, the same as the credit company

39. Royal son of comics : ARN - Prince Valiant

40. Surgical tool : STYLET

41. Certain Caltech grad: Abbr. : ENGineeR

42. Little TV redhead : OPIE

44. Balanced : EVENED UP

46. Gals : JANES - Dah~!! This one had me going - I have never heard of 46D

48. Set : HARDEN

49. Graceless sorts : OAFS

50. Possibility that's not an option : NO-NO - this was "meh" for me

51. Bar basic : LAGER - not Vodka - I had neither tonight - I left the sloppy drinking to the others, and drove them all home safely

55. Examined the look and feel of : TRIED ON

57. Toscanini was its music director in the 1920s : LA SCALA

59. Waiting, to some : TORTURE - it is for me - traffic lights, shopping lines, getting a little "somethin', somethin' " - alas, not tonight....that is, no lass for me....or is that L'ass because it's me~???

60. Inward journey? : EGO-TRIP

61. Dosage specification : ONE A DAY

62. Pair of fins : TEN-SPOT - fins is slang for five dollar bills


1. Eur. title : SRTA

2. No longer mint : WORN

3. "The Anti-Death League" author : AMIS - More here

4. Party topper : PAPER HAT - not the rare fill I thought it was....

5. Where one might have a sinking feeling : PILLOW - the perps got this; otherwise, it would have been an "ugh" moment

6. Storm hdg. : ENE

7. Skill : DEXTERITY

8. Dull shades : DRABS

9. Depend : RELY

10. Biological duct travelers : OVA

11. Spotted in a troubling way : PIMPLY - Acne, har-har

13. Recording device applied to applause : FADER - I guess; as a musician who records, I know what this is - but my car stereo has one, also

14. Castigates : FLAYS - hey, now, let's not get DF here....

21. Tell the truth, finally : COME CLEAN - or here, for that matter....

24. Give away : DONATE

25. Federal org. with a "Safety Recommendations" Web page : NTSB - here's the page~!

26. Old empire builder : INCA

27. At 6,684 ft., Mt. Mitchell is its highest point : N. CARolina

29. Taken to a table : SEATED

32. Volt maker : CHEVROLET - all electric car - I prefer the Fisker, with it's gas engine designed to charge the batteries only

34. Prego rival : RAGU

35. Sitcom call letters : WKRP - I had -KR-, and was totally lost until I remembered what "call letters" were - radio station IDs

37. TV's Nick Stokes and Sara Sidle, briefly : CSIs - Crime Scene Investigators

38. Stages as it happened : RE-ENACTS

43. Pre-euro currency : PESETA

45. Author DeMille : NELSON - I like his stuff - especially his cop character John Corey

46. Word game : JOTTO - new to me - PHEW~! Dare to try ~!

47. John Carradine's role in "The Ten Commandments" : AARON - Dah~! I had -ARON, and was going through the alphabet - and skipped "A" altogether....

48. Colony's concern : HONEY - Bee colony

50. "A Doll's House" wife : NORA

52. Irving title writer : GARP

53. Film director Petri : ELIO

54. Mesmerized : RAPT

56. Fizzler : DUD - My NY Rangers hockey team turned out to a be a "DUD", losing to the NJ Devils tonight - and so Eddy, we are down to 4-7 games in the 2012 season. I will be rooting for the East coast, since my West coast choice, Vancouver, was eliminated in the first round.

58. __ limit : AGE

Answer grid.

Sadly, I must report that the opportunity to move to Las Vegas has fallen apart - but I have not given up on my plans to move out West - it's just going to have to wait a bit - I thank all of you who offered me a place to stay, and dinner ( AJ, HG ); I am still holding you to that offer~!!!