, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: May 2013


May 31, 2013

Friday May 31, 2013, Don Gagliardo and C.C. Burnikel

Theme: "Smile you are on Candid Camera."

How nice to welcome Hard G and C.C. back to Friday, their first visit to my patch since last May. Appropriately for C.C. as a baseball fan, we have the old hidden ball trick, where the name of a popular camera manufacturer is found spread between the words of each of the three theme answers, with a classic reveal. Some really sparkly fill like RNA spelled out, PLUMMETS, NITROGEN, DERISIVE and ARCANE just to name a few. We also have some clecho, some arcane stuff that's fun to learn  So let us do this.

19A. "This will get better, I promise" : IT GROWS ON YOU.(12) For some reason SONY jumped right out at me once I filled in the answer, which took a while, as I had to resort to doing the down clues first to get a toehold.  Did not know if perhaps TVs were going to be the theme.

31A. "That's surreal!" : CAN ONLY IMAGINE. (15) The CANON sure shot being perhaps the most advertised of all cameras.

39A. Substance usually abbreviated : RIBONUCLEIC ACID. (15) (RNA) LEICA  a very quality camera brand mentioned recently here.

53A. Surveillance device found in 19-, 31- and 39-Across : HIDDEN CAMERA. (12) It says it exactly, a camera hidden in each theme answer. A very conventional theme and grid with many fewer words than we have seen on Friday recently.


1. Manhunt msg. : APBAll Points Bulletin.

4. Facebook exchanges, briefly : IMSInstant MessageS.

7. Put up a fight : BATTLE.

13. Nose-dives : PLUMMETS. Whenever something is falling to Earth, it is plummeting. Nice word.

16. Frozen, maybe : AFRAID. Very misleading, and while fear makes people freeze in their tracks, it took perps to get this one.

17. Toy mentioned in "The Chipmunk Song" : HULA HOOP.

18. Shade at the beach : BRONZE. Umbrella would not fit, so it had to be a shade of skin tone. The clecho: 10D. Shade at the beach : TAN.

21. Executes : DOES. We are not killing anyone here, just doing things.

22. Sault ___ Marie : STE. Saint abbreviation in French.

23. Moves a bit : STIRS. Shaken not stirred?  I do remember when that sleeping alligator stirred....

27. Prepare for chewing : TEETHE. I loved this one, especially as Charlotte now has two bottom teeth.

30. PC hookup : LANLocal Area Network.

37. Calculating : SHREWD. Related to Shrew as in the Taming of?

38. Military fleet : ARMADA. Back this week as fill not clue.

43. "Microsoft sound" composer : ENO. Mr. Muzak, Brian-the man in your ELEVATOR.

44. Arkansas River city : PUEBLO. Why these are in Colorado, I do not know.

45. "Star Wars" title : DARTH. and the clecho 65A. "Star Wars" title : SIR. DARTH is Sith for Lord, as he was also called Lord Vader. In later movies (set earlier in time) we have Darth Maul which is a great name. Sir, I presume refers to Sir Alec Guinness who plays Obi-Wan Kenobi, who said, "Who's the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?"

48. Detriment to team performance, maybe : EGO. Who are your least favorite athlete? Is it a big ego who did nothing, like Brian Bosworth, or someone on a successful team who wants all the credit.

49. Master of ___ : ARTS. For some reason, I first plunked in ARMS.

57. Not widely understood : ARCANE. From the Latin word meaning secret, I always thought of it as mostly forgotten knowledge, though it is a wonderful crossword fill, and talking point. Are arcane words fair game to use in puzzles?

60. Air, mostly : NITROGEN. Love this clue as well since 85% of our air is nitrogen.

61. Where lizards hang out? : LOUNGE. Very sweet clue; are they lizards because of their cold nature? Their forked tongues?  Their shoes?

62. Mocking : DERISIVE. Love this being right after Lounge Lizard. It...

63. Lifted (up) : PERKED. up my day.

64. '70s kidnappers: Abbr. : SLASymbionese Liberation Army. Think Patty Hearst.


1. Farm pest : APHID. I put this in immediately and then thought about the fact that these pests are all over flowering plants and had to check the perps to be sure.

2. 1930 Clyde Tombaugh discovery : PLUTO. The P from APB gave me this, but he seems very interesting, suggesting the need for the scientific study of UFOs.

3. Love handle? : BULGE. The never ending Battle.

4. Online "Just saying" : IMHOIMHumble Opinion. Not sure why the opinion needs to be humble.

5. "Got milk?" : MEOW. Cute, like our 'let me out' last week.

6. Self-named Fox Business show : STOSSEL. I liked him since watching his personal revelations about his struggle with stuttering. LINK.

7. New addition of a sort : BABY. Charlotte is now 7 months old; tempus really fugits these days.

8. Big dos : AFROS.

9. Rainbow ___ : TROUT. I wanted BRITE so badly.

11. Songwriter Phair : LIZ. She also is a PERFORMER (2:39) who many feel has not ever lived up to her potential.

12. Back of a stamp? : EDE. If this one licked you, do not worry, it is just a StampEDE.

14. Viking landing site : MARS. Two planets in one puzzle, cool.

15. On-again, off-again : SPOTTY.

20. Vintage pop : NEHI. Radar O'Reilly's drink of choice, grape please.

24. Of a hip bone : ILIAC. Not to be confused with the ILIAD.

25. CNN journalist Kaye : RANDI. This 'investigative' journalist. LINK.(0:18) you get the impression C.C, watches a lot of news? (From C.C.: Randi Kaye used to be the news anchor for WCCO here at Twin Cities.)

26. 1984-2002 honorary Masters starting group member : SNEAD. Slammin' Sammy, one of the trio of golf legends born in 1912 who were featured in this fine PUZZLE.

27. Dot on a map : TOWN.

28. Turn out : END UP.

29. Virus carrier, at times : EMAIL. Simple, classy fill.

31. "The East ___": 1960s anthem in 32-Down : IS RED. No doubt an important part of C.C.'s childhood, this SONG.

32. Nepal neighbor : CHINA. More hometown stuff for our leader, this buffer country between China and India is historically and politically important and now friendly with China. LINK.

33. Place out of the sun : ARBOR. We already had shade as a clue, so it had to be something else. Do they celebrate Arbor day where you love?

34. Revival prefix : NEO.

35. ___ Arena, former Sacramento sports venue : ARCO. The first sports venue named for a sponsor (Atlantic Richfield Oil, now part of BP, is in its second location, and is now called the Sleep Train Arena. Really!

36. "Today" rival, initially : GMAGood Morning America, not be confused with GMV.(2:07).

40. Signaled : CUED. Cue the dancing hippos.

41. Daniel Boone, e.g. : LEGEND. I was more a Davy Crockett kid.

42. Black keys : EBONIES. Not the IVORIES. (3:41). I hope the video tickled your fancy.

46. Show appreciation to : THANK. I thank C.C. for the Corner and her amazing creations, solo and collaborative.

47. Swinging joint? : HINGE. Not a busy bar, nor a place for couples to mingle and tingle, but...

49. Big name in cookies : AMOS. You might even say he is famous.

50. Longtime morning co-host : REGIS. Does Kelly miss HIM?

51. Eternal City fountain : TREVI. Or as we call it la Fontana di Trevi.

52. Less likely to lose it : SANER. As Thomas Eagleton said, "if they say I am 5% mentally disabled at least I can prove I am 95% sane."

54. Legal document : DEED. Real Property, and what I do for a living, part of the time.

55. Shortcut key : CTRL. Alt. Delete. Oops you are all gone.

56. Solo delivery : ARIA. Not horse or soap.

57. Mont Blanc, e.g. : ALP. The mountain, not the PEN. So do you like or hate the Mountain as he rides off with Arya?

58. Canapé topping : ROE. fish eggs like from Shad.

59. Blackguard : CUR. I love the word Blackguard. Cur probably comes from ancient languages version of GRR, meaning to growl and first meant a mongrel dog. But is has become synonymous with bad people, for example Wyatt Earp called the Clantons curs in the movie Tombstone. (per wiki).

Well this week and this puzzle flew by, though I savored the solving, it was nice to see so few 3/4 letter fill. A pleasure blogging our Dynamic Duo, and maybe off to watch the new Star Trek movie. Good to see how many newbies are becoming regulars and always great to see any of the 2008 crowd. Sorry to see San Jose lose, just for Eddy B.

Seen, Creature, hey.

Peace out. Lemonade 714

May 30, 2013

Thursday, May 30, 2013 Peg Slay

Theme: "Al Fresco"

Four common phrases get a fresh new meaning with the addition of "al" to the entries.

20A. Wriggler's waterway : CANAL OF WORMS. I don't want to open a can of worms, here!

33A. Mail carrier's romantic activities? : POSTAL DATING. I wonder if they will be post dating their check for the meal?

42A. Fortress for summer shoes? : SANDAL CASTLE. A sand castle on the beach wouldn't be a very good fortress, especially if you have a lot of Jimmy Choo shoes!

58A. Collage of potpourri bits? : PETAL PROJECT. One of my pet projects would be to do something with all the petals falling from my dogwood right now.

This is Peg Slay's debut puzzle, and it is an honor to welcome another constructor to our little corner! If it weren't for the pun-ny theme, this puzzle would do very nicely in a Monday slot. The clues were ratcheted up a notch to make it Thursday-worthy, so let's see the handiwork.


1. It's a lock : YALE. So it is. I wondered "hair?"..."bolt?"..."hasp?"

5. Jostle : ELBOW. Like kids trying to be first in line at the ice-cream truck.

10. Niña or Pinta : SHIP.

14. Pressed into service : USED. I can't help but think someone will use this clue for "ironed" some day.

15. Fox's "War Stories With Oliver ____" : NORTH. Never heard of it, but easy enough to suss.

16. Mystique : AURA. This guy seems to have a certain mystique...

17. Sporting, with "in" : CLAD.

18. Raccoon relative : COATI.  Awww.

19. Suggestive look : LEER.

23. Flik in "A Bug's Life," e.g. : ANT. Fun movie with Dave Foley playing the role of Flik.

24. Like some narratives : ORAL.

25. Connect (with) : LIAISE. Literally, to communicate and maintain contact (with).

29. Patsy : STOOGE. And a clecho at 68-Across. Patsy : DUPE. So many possibilities: boob, mark, fool, goat, gull, butt, chump, doormat, sucker...

31. Poetic preposition : O'ER...(the ramparts.)

32. Source of tricks? : BAG.

37. On the calmer side : ALEE.

40. Also : AND.

41. Bad day for Caesar : IDES.

47. "Verses" poet DiFranco : ANI. Heck of a singer, too. 4:16

48. Objecting word : BUT.

49. You can get down from them : EIDERS. Fun clue!

53. Concert harp parts : PEDALS.

55. Artistic structure : FORM. So many possibilities for the clue.

57. "Take Good Care of My Baby" singer Bobby : VEEOldie from 1961. 2:44

61. Emporium : MART.

64. Poetry muse : ERATO.

65. Component : UNIT.

66. "King of New York" director Ferrara : ABEL. Never saw the movie.  Strong violence is not my cup of tea.

67. Gardener, at times : RAKER. Ohhh, my back!  I finally got my flowers planted this week.

69. Oldest British service branch : NAVY.

70. Vehicles on runners : SLEDS.

71. Pentathlon weapon : EPEE. Shooting, swimming, equestrian and cross-country running round out the other four events in the modern pentathlon.


1. Desert plants with sword-shaped leaves : YUCCAS. I have three of these in my garden. So what did I put for an answer? "Agaves." D'uh!

2. Italicized : ASLANT"A" word!

3. Rough house? : LEAN-TO.  Anyone else want "tussle?" Nice misdirection.

4. 13th-century Scandinavian epic : EDDA.

5. Numbers that aren't programmed : ENCORES. Here's where Thursday clueing shines.  Totally flummoxed me until I got some perps in place.

6. Fibrous sponge : LOOFA. I put this in, then took it out because I thought it was spelled "loofah." But I see that LOOFA is an alternate sp.

7. Melee : BRAWL. Ah, here's where the roughhousing comes in!

8. Sgt. Snorkel's bulldog : OTTO. Desper- shout out?

9. Spun : WHIRLED...or twirled. Just sayin'...

10. Spicy condiment : SALSA.

11. Color wheel unit : HUE.

12. Argumentative state : IRE.

13. What amateurs rarely shoot : PAR. Husker G., how'd you do today?

21. Eye on CBS, e.g. : LOGO. For more than 60 years now.

22. Actress Sorvino : MIRA. Oscar for her role in "Mighty Aphrodite."

26. Footnote abbr. : IBID. Short for "ibidem," meaning "in the same place."

27. Level-headed : SANE.

28. Quiche essentials : EGGS.

30. Page with some right angles? : OP-ED. Another nice misdirection.

31. Auto pioneer : OLDS.

34. Delicacy : TACT.

35. Literary olio : ANA.

36. Going into overtime : TIED. I would love to see a clue about this...4:58 (But the first 30 seconds make my point.)

37. "I need it yesterday!" : ASAP.

38. Country road : LANE.

39. "National Velvet" writer Bagnold : ENID.

43. Fit : ABLE.

44. Polishing outcomes : LUSTERS.

45. Babysitting nightmares : TERRORS. They're often holy.

46. Stylish ride : LIMO.

50. Make equal : EVEN UP.

51. Cook's Illustrated offering : RECIPE. Here's a great one for Beef Satay that I plan to try this weekend.

52. Lounge sofa : SETTEE.

54. In a germane manner : APTLY. Not to be confused with a German manor...

55. Bit of dandruff : FLAKE.

56. Stopped waffling : OPTED. "Are you in, or out?"

59. Kazakhstan border sea : ARAL.

60. Hardy's "___ the Obscure" : JUDE. It has also been called "Jude the Obscene," and was publicly burned by the Bishop of Wakefield because of it's scandalous themes of adultery, unmarried sex, murder and suicide. After receiving scathing reviews from his critics, Hardy never wrote another novel. (I'll have to read that one!!!)

61. Sixth-day creation : MAN.

62. Law school accrediting org. : ABAAmerican Bar Association.

63. Race in the driveway : REV. I'll leave you with this. Till next week!


Notes from C.C.:

1) Below is constructor's note from Peg Slay. She also said "I love your blog, and review it daily after completing the crossword, or in some cases, to get the correct answers. The bloggers are great and do a fantastic job."
I really like play-on-word themes, so the first theme entry of my puzzle came pretty easy – Canal of Worms.  The others were more work.  I really thank both Rich and Patti for their support and patience through all the revisions sent through.  I truly appreciate the input they gave to me, a rookie, in getting this puzzle to print.   
2) Happy Birthday to Splynter's mom! Hope he & his brothers make it extra special for you this year.

May 29, 2013

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 Jerome Gunderson and Marti DuGuay-Carpenter

Theme: Abbott and Costello, or "confusion at first" - the first words of each of the theme answers are anagrams of each other.

[Late breaking - check out the constructor's notes at the the foot that I received after I wrote up the puzzle - you're perfectly entitled to skip my stuff and cut to the chase!]

17A Hit a ball caught by Ted Williams, say : FLIED TO LEFT. Right off the bat a baseball reference - "The Kid" played all 22 years of his professional career as left fielder for the Boston Red Sox. On second thoughts maybe I should say "Left off the bat ..."

29A Outdoor sport with sticks : FIELD HOCKEY. I played this at school in the UK. It's tough on the shins, let me tell you. It's technically a foul to wallop your opponent's tibia, but schoolboys aren't big on technicalities.

45A Tried to collect unemployment benefits, say: FILED A CLAIM. I have a friend who works in the unemployment office who tells me her job is to make it as difficult as possible to do this.

60A Longtime Cuban leader : FIDEL CASTRO. Possibly as famous for loving baseball and cigars as being "El Jef Maximo".

Happy Wednesday everyone - Steve here with a collaboration between Jerome Gunderson and our own dear Marti. I've not "met" Jerome before, and as there seems no possibility of making "Rich Norris" out of any part of his name, I'd say congratulations are in order on his debut! (Notes from C.C.: Jerome was absent from the blog when Steve arrived. Read my interview with Jerome here. Like Marti, he's very witty and has a big heart. He supported me and this blog from the very beginning when we shifted to LA Times Crossword.)

The theme was a big help to me today - I'm an anagram fan and when I'd got "FIELD" and FIDEL" I saw what was going on and filled in a lot of the blank left-hand-side of the grid which was giving me trouble. The 3-2-3-2 theme word count was pretty neat too.

Lots more to discuss, so let's get started:


1 President of Syria : ASSAD. Two world leaders in one day.

6 Foreigner, to a Polynesian : HAOLE. I've finally stopped trying to spell this "howly". It took me a while.

11 Many SSI recipients: SRS. It took me some time to understand this, but now I see that many seniors receive Social Security Income .

14 Rich kid in “Nancy” comics : ROLLO. I remembered this from a C.C. puzzle in January and Argyle's helpful cast of Nancy characters

15 K.T. of country : OSLIN. Crosses for me. No idea.

16 Bounce : HOP

19 Future flounders : ROE

20 Motorola smartphone : DROID. The "Droid" name is used under license from "Star Wars" creator George Lucas because of these two chaps:

21 On the line: AT STAKE.

23 Bar order in a very small glass : SHOT. The shot glasses in my bar are on the large side (I'm not complaining, Tinbeni wouldn't either!).

25 Potter’s oven : KILN

27 Seat of Garfield County, Oklahoma : ENID.

28 “Mazel __!” : TOV

32 Rock or horse follower: OPERA. The Who's "Tommy" was the original rock opera with Pinball Wizard the iconic song. There are no standout horse versions almost by definition - if you have a formulaic western series - a "horse opera" - the very fact it has that label attached means it's not standing out from all the others. Fun phrase!

34 Firewood wood : BEECH

35 Bug on the phone : WIRETAP

38 Solo performance : RECITAL

42 Reference ending : -PEDIA Wikipedia being the friend of bloggers everywhere.

44 Grammar school sequence: AEIOU

50 UPS delivery : PKG

51 Polluted Asian sea : ARAL

52 “The Galloping Gourmet” : KERR. My mother was in love with Graham Kerr - the problem was she didn't pay any attention to his recipes or instruction. God rest her soul, but my siblings agree that her cooking constituted cruel and unusual  punishment. We all learned to cook in self-defense - perhaps that was her cunning plan to get out of kitchen duty.

53 “... baked in __” : A PIE. Food! Four and Twenty blackbirds this gourmet filling. I know of an Australian company, "Four 'N Twenty,  which produces meat pies, and a two-restaurant chain here in LA called "FourN20", originally selling dessert pies.

54 Garage event : TAG SALE

57 Bank holding : MONEY.

59 Short life story? : BIO.

64 Barcelona bear : OSO. Need to be on your Spanish toes (dedos de los pies Espanõl) today with three answers in Spanish. This is numero uno.

65 Get a chuckle out of : AMUSE. I get many chuckles out of these blogs. Cheers!

66 Showed dissatisfaction, fan-style : BOOED

67 Itch : YEN

68 Move to new soil : RE-POT

69 Run through 57-Across : SPEND. That's me.


1 Weimaraner warning : ARF. Any dog noise is a warning as far as I'm concerned. Grrs, Barks, Arfs and I'm wary.

2 San Juan sun : SOL. Numero dos.

3 Made room on a crowded bench : SLID OVER

4 Heads-up : ALERT

5 Ignoramus : DODO. I feel sorry that the poor dodo is now synonymous with a dolt - they weren't ignorant in the unintelligent sense of the word, they were trusting and friendly - and ignorant of the fact that the humans they were cozying up to had nefarious intentions.

6 Sweatshirt with a head cover : HOODIE

7 Syst. with hand signals : ASL. American Sign Language was developed by Thomas Hopkins Galluadet in 1817 and was taken directly from French Sign Language. The British, as they are prone to do, refused to work with Gallaudet when he traveled to the UK to learn the English method, whereas the French were delighted to share (also the Brits refused to have anything to do with the French as per normal). Ergo, the two English-speaking powers developed completely different systems. SNAFU.

8 Poisonous flowering shrub : OLEANDER. Pretty, though. I'm not sure if it's native to Southern California but there's certainly a lot of it about.

9 Hitchhiker’s hope : LIFT

10 Tolkien’s Treebeard et al. : ENTS

11 Got smaller : SHRANK

12 Dugout newcomer : ROOKIE. Jerome Gunderson today?

13 Quick : SPEEDY

18 Polynesian carving : TIKI. To sell to the HAOLES.

22 Computer wonk : TECHIE. Guilty as charged.

23 Stash : STOW

24 Kachina doll maker : HOPI. These are awesome! The Hopi spirit-creatures from Arizona.

26 Me. retailer, initially : LLB. I missed the period in the clue and was stumped as to who would be selling "me". Then oh! Then oh! L.L.Bean!

29 Destined : FATED

30 Bray beginning : HEE. Needs HAW to finish.

31 Philosopher William of __, known for his “razor” : OCCAM. Was he a "one hit wonder" in philosophy circles? I don't recall hearing about his toothbrush or his comb.

33 Drives away : REPELS

36 Cavity filler’s org. : ADA. That reminds me, I need to make an appointment with my dentist.

37 Paid for everyone, as the tab : PICKED UP. A very popular person, the check picker-upper.

39 Step stealthily, informally: TIPPYTOE. More nursery than informally, I'd say.

40 World Golf Hall of Famer Isao: AOKI. A hugely entertaining Japanese golfer now playing the PGA Senior Tour.

On a side note, after 30 years of playing golf badly I've now hired professional help and I'm taking lessons. When my teacher saw my swing for the first time she said "Ohhh - that's funny". It's a good job I've got a sense of humor.

41 Swift sled : LUGE. Swift indeed. This is what 80MPH flat on your back on what amounts to a tray looks like.

43 Bar pint : ALE. You need one after the luge run.

45 Oxymoronically named British DJ __ Slim : FATBOY. I knew the name, I didn't know that he was a British DJ. Now I do, and I won't confuse him with the restaurant in Pulp Fiction, Jack Rabbit Slim's. Which I did.

46 Poker declaration : I RAISE. I'm a coward. I FOLD.

47 Coral reef enclosure : LAGOON

48 Sleeve band : ARMLET. You don't see these much any more - springy things to go around your arms to make your sleeves the correct length. You get the "just so" amount of cuff protruding from your jacket. Nowadays we buy shirts the right size, it seems the better approach somehow.

49 Camaro __-Z : IROC

53 Greek fable writer : AESOP. He of the convenient vowel-count.

55 Miles away : AFAR

56 Garnish for a Moscow Mule : LIME. Vodka, ginger beer (not ginger ale) and lime. A friend insists it doesn't taste the same unless it is served in the copper mug.

58 Arrests : NABS

61 That, in Spanish : ESO. Numero tres.

62 Bug-eyed TV dog : REN

63 Peculiar : ODD

I think that about wraps it up. Lots of food and drink references so I'm off to figure out what to cook for dinner tonight. Bon appetit!

P.S. Constructor's insight -thanks to Jerome for sharing these notes!

"I thought it intriguing, rare, and somewhat odd that you could have a five letter word that begins with a scrabbly F and no matter how you anagram it, it will still begin with an F. 


And there’s a fifth one, FELID, which means cat-like. However, that one’s on the cutting room floor with other obscurities. I knew this type of theme wasn’t going to knock anyone’s socks off… especially the crossword hip Corner crowd, but I hoped some might see it as interesting as I do.

For some reason I had a tough time creating a grid that allowed for some juicy and fun fill. I think those damn F’s kept getting in the way. Out of the blue I asked Marti for some help, and like the puzzle pro she is, she designed today’s grid with those lovely NE and SW corners, and found a way to work in a whopping eighteen entries that are six letters or longer. 

After tweaking the grid a little and writing the clues, it was off to fame and great fortune with a puzzle you could say was all about the F-word. Or for the critics in the peanut gallery, the F-bomb."

May 28, 2013

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 Steve Blais

Theme: "How Much Farther?" - The ends are different measures of distance.

18A. Eschew punishment, in an old saw : SPARE THE ROD. 16.5 feet

29A. Really puzzling : HARD TO FATHOM. 6 feet (used for depth)

37A. "Toy Story" space ranger : BUZZ LIGHTYEAR. 6 trillion miles, about

46A. Athletics group for kids : PEE WEE LEAGUE. 3 miles.

60A. From afar, and how 18-, 29-, 37- and 46-Across literally end : AT A DISTANCE

Argyle right here. Give the kids the answer in these units and make them figure out how far it is for themselves. Right, Bill G.? The use of these words in the answers do not relate directly to distances; that's cool. Two a-words for Tuesday. Three tomorrow? All together, a decent puzzle that will end when we get there. But we're not there yet.


1. Clumsy type : OAF

4. Like a male lion : MANED. The males have a ruff of hair.

9. Sits for a portrait : POSES

14. Popeye's Olive : OYL

15. Clamorous : AROAR

16. Posthaste : APACE

17. Longtime Elton John label : MCA. (Music Corporation of America, formed in 1924)

20. With, in France : AVEC. Straightforward.

22. Movie-rating org. : MPAA. (Motion Picture Association of America)

23. Santa __ winds : ANA

24. Positive particle : PROTON

26. Carson's sidekick : McMAHON. Johnny's, yes, but who was Kit Carson's sidekick?

32. Currency-stabilizing org. : IMF. (International Monetary Fund)

33. Geography suffix : ERN. Add them to the points on a compass.

34. Part of Columbus's fleet : NINA

42. What there oughta be : A LAW

43. Luau souvenir : LEI

44. "I hate it!" : "UGH!"

51. Not as tidy : MESSIER

54. Shaving aid : LATHER. Shaving can be messy or so I hear.

55. Refugees' subj. : ESL. (English as a second language)

56. Key __ pie : LIME. 3D. Likely to evoke yums : FLAVORFUL

59. Tornado-riding dog : TOTO. Hm, how to measure the distance from Kansas to Oz.

64. "__ Got a Secret" : I'VE

66. "Rosemary's Baby" author Ira : LEVIN. Perps supplied the answer.

67. Perfumer's compound : ESTER

68. Yet, poetically : E'EN

69. Amens : YESes

70. Unfeeling : STONY

71. Monopoly quartet: Abbr. : RRs. (Reading, Pennsylvania, B&O, and Short Line)

NO, we're not there yet!


1. Half a tuba sound : OOM. 9D. The other half of a tuba sound : PAH

2. Bart Simpson's "Holy cow!" : "¡AY,CARAMBA!"

4. The Phillie Phanatic, e.g. : MASCOT. On the left.

5. Alsatian dadaist : ARP. Jean Arp was born in the Alsace-Lorraine region.

6. Linguist Chomsky : NOAM. His web site.

7. O.K. Corral gunfighter : EARP. (Wyatt)

8. Imagined : DREAMT

10. Uncover, poetically : OPE

11. "Adia" singer McLachlan : SARAH

12. Prefix appealing to frugality : ECONO

13. Car buyer's choice : SEDAN

19. Dial on a dash : TACH. Shortened words in both the clue and answer.

21. Takeoff approx. : ETD

24. 21st Greek letter : PHI

25. "Joy to the World," e.g. : NOEL. (the Christmas carol)

27. When repeated, a 1987 #1 hit for Billy Idol : MONY. Originally by Tommy James and the Shondells.

28. Lille lady friend : AMIE. Lille is north of Paris, on the Belgium border.

30. "F" that most school kids look forward to: Abbr. : FRIday. Clever.

31. It's measured in degrees : ANGLE

35. Less deserving of a Christmas present? : NAUGHTIER

36. Have a debate about : ARGUE OVER

38. Microwaves : ZAPS

39. Düsseldorf duo : ZWEI. In western Germany.

40. Giggle in an IM : HEE. Is this less than LOL?

41. Cash drawer : TILL

45. Seagoing pronoun : HER. Ships are female.

47. Skinny swimmers : EELS

48. Puts pen to paper : WRITES

49. Place to grab a bite : EATERY

50. From __ Z : A TO

51. __-mouthed: indirect : MEALY. In the sense of not saying what one means?

52. Lauder of lipstick : ESTÈE

53. Some Balkan natives : SLAVS

57. Sail support : MAST

58. Opposite of ecto- : ENTO

61. Backgammon cube : DIE

62. "I know people" people : INs

63. 100 yrs. : CEN. (century) Oh, it hasn't been that long.

65. USNA grad : ENS. (ensign)

Ok, we're here.


May 27, 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013 Gail Grabowski and Bruce Venzke

Theme: Young Boy's Dream - A girl can follow the first word of the starred answers.

17A. *Sensitive spot on the elbow : FUNNY BONE. "Funny Girl", based on the story of Fannie Brice, it will always be associated with Barbra Streisand.

39A. *Conceal : COVER UP. Cover Girl

11D. *1777-'78 Continental Army campsite : VALLEY FORGE. "Valley Girl"(4:52 but I couldn't make it to the end.)

24D. *Political head honcho : PARTY LEADER. "Party Girl"

57A. Like many a teen boy ... and like the starts of the answers to starred clues? : GIRL CRAZY

Argyle here. I hope your Memorial is pleasant. This Monday puzzle is pleasant enough with an unusual grid. The two longest entries are in the columns, a short theme in the middle and the reveal where it belongs. But there is one dreaded A-*** word.


1. Stately shade trees : ELMS

5. Like tails in the dog park : AWAG. Really?

9. Cupfuls after OJ and cereal : JAVAs. Not before?

14. In __ of: replacing : LIEU

15. No __ traffic : THRU

16. Tequila plant : AGAVE

19. Contradict : BELIE

20. Hindu teachers : SWAMIS

21. __ eclipse : SOLAR

22. Distinct feature : ASPECT

25. Immigrants' night sch. class : ESL. (English as a Second Language)

27. Microscope part : LENS

28. Mazda sports car : MIATA

29. Like days when hats fly : WINDY

31. Gets it wrong : ERRS

32. Lime-garnished Mexican beer : CORONA

35. In good shape : FIT

38. Ping-Pong barrier : NET

40. Tokyo-born Yoko : ONO

41. Susan of "L.A. Law" : DEY. She hasn't been active since 2004 except, of course, in crosswords.

42. Smart __: wise guys : ALECKS

43. Study feverishly : CRAM

44. Work hard : LABOR

46. Actor's nickname that sounds like a golf term : BOGIE. Clip on how he came to be in a large sand trap.

47. Fruity drinks : ADES

49. Johannesburg's land: Abbr. : RSA. (Republic of South Africa)

51. Lawn cutters : MOWERS. The rain has stopped coming down but the grass hasn't stopped coming up.

52. Not entirely: Pref. : QUASI. Origin: Latin - quasi as if, as though, equivalent.

54. Foist (upon) : IMPOSE

56. Below : UNDER

61. End of __ : AN ERA

62. Be mindful of : HEED

63. Crossed (out) : EX'ED

64. Puts mail in boxes, say : SORTS

65. Baker's amts. : TSPs

66. Cub Scout groups : DENS


1. Arctic toymaker : ELF. One of my North Pole buddies.

2. Lucy of "Charlie's Angels" : LIU. Now she is on "Elementary" as Dr. Watson.

3. "That's just like a guy!" : "MEN...!"

4. Events before evening twilight : SUNSETS

5. Facing the pitcher : AT BAT

6. "To __ it may concern" : WHOM

7. Golfer Palmer, to fans : ARNIE. Still going.

8. Conjecture : GUESS WORK

9. Short punches : JABS

10. From way back when : AGE OLD

12. Birdlike : AVIAN

13. Clairvoyants : SEERS

18. Female advocacy org. since the 1850s : YWCA

22. Make changes to : AMEND

23. "Yes __, Bob!" : SIREE

26. "Peanuts" boy with a blanket : LINUS

30. Not a deep sleep : NAP

32. Red, white or blue : COLOR. There will be a lot of all three today.

33. Inadvertent omission : OVERSIGHT

34. __ hall: campus hangout : REC. Yes, we know it's short for recreation hall.

36. "... bombs bursting __" : IN AIR

37. Big books : TOMES

39. Hailed car : CAB

43. Crouched in fear : COWERED

45. State with confidence : ASSERT

46. Pear variety : BOSC

47. Greenish blues : AQUAS

48. "Ain't got a clue!" : "DUNNO!"

50. Pierre's female friends : AMIES

51. Gelatin shapers : MOLDS

53. Some nest eggs: Abbr. : IRA's

55. Get ready, briefly : PREP

58. Lumberjack's tool : AXE

59. Meditative practice : ZEN

60. Golf course meas. : YD's. (yards)


From C.C.:

Please click here for the 2rd installment on Rich's interview. Here is the first part.

May 26, 2013

Sunday May 26, 2013 Matt Skoczen

Theme: "Business Meetings" - LLC meets in the middle of 9 theme entries.
 23A. "Gladiator" Best Actor winner : RUSSELL CROWE. I liked his "A Beautiful Mind" as well.

39A. Ended up where one started : CAME FULL CIRCLE
58A. Hotel supervisor : BELL CAPTAIN. Supervisor of bellhops.

70A. One in a hospital room display : GET WELL CARD. Get well soon, Lucina!

83A. Annual sports event, familiarly : FALL CLASSIC. World Series! I could not find the  Mariners/Rangers (Friday) bad call clip on YouTube. Anyone else?

102A. One may include Barbies : DOLL COLLECTION.  JD collects Cinderella dolls. 113A. 102-Across chorus, maybe : MAMAS

124A. Triceps-strengthening exercise also called a French press : SKULL CRUSHER. Looks hard. Let's just stick to our Russian twists.

17D. Old West showman : BUFFALO BILL CODY. Buffalo Bills was named after him.

46D. Marx Brothers forte : SCREWBALL COMEDY

125D. Business "meeting" hidden in nine puzzle answers : LLC

As soon as I downloaded the puzzle and read the title, I figure there must be something meet in the middle. LLC! Very clever. I guess you could hide INC also. Maybe it's done before.

Love the theme entry placement. Always amazed when others make the intersection work.


1. They're put up in fights : DUKES. Put up your dukes.

6. Zany : MADCAP

12. Small car brand : MATCHBOX

20. 12-time NBA All-Star Thomas : ISIAH. He stumped some last time.

21. San Francisco mayor, 1968-'76 : ALIOTO (Joseph). Learned from doing Xword.

22. Draft-y building? : ALE HOUSE. Thanks for the - y mark!

25. High-reaching ruminants : GIRAFFES

26. Stomach opening? : GASTRO. A rather long prefix.

27. In-crowd : ELITE

29. ["Boohoo"] : SNIFF

30. Eastern Nevada city : ELY. What is it famous for, Doha Doc?

31. Silents star Negri : POLA

34. Old European capital : LIRA. Last Sunday we had: "Former capital of Italy" : LIRA. My comment: I bet this clue would stump the Pope (Call me, maybe?). Capital refers to "money" here. Euro now.

36. 900 and 9000 : SAABS

44. Poet Edgar __ Masters : LEE

45. Long Beach sch. : CSU

47. Hackled headwear : SHAKO. The plumes are hackles.

48. Florence farewell : CIAO

49. Theater section : LOGE

50. Ipso __ : FACTO

52. About to faint : AREEL. How can we live without the A* word?

54. Cinematic sled : ROSEBUD. "Citizen Kane".

56. Supplier of household dishes : DIRECTV. Satellite dish.

62. Explosive state : IRE

63. Editing mark : CARET

66. Frosty material? : COAL. Nice clue.

67. Modern address : URL

68. They really never come home, figuratively : COWS. Til the cows come home.

74. Some cameras, for short : SLRs

77. Preschooler's protector : BIB. I attended school at age 7. How about you? I knew not even one Chinese character before then, having brought up by my grandma who had bound feet & was illiterate. I miss her so so much!

79. Skylab org. : NASA

80. Asparagus unit : SPEAR. I like oven-roasted asparagus.

82. "The Little Mermaid" collectible : CEL

87. Colorful Italian dessert : SPUMONI

89. Not what a fox wants to hear : TALLY HO. Our next-door neighbor keeps feeding squirrels. They're ruining my garden.

90. 100 kopeks : RUBLE

93. Syndicated computer adviser Mr. __ : MODEM. TTP might read his columns. Not me. Never heard of the guy.

94. Sole : ONLY

95. Flamenco cries : OLES

98. Tilts a little : LEANS

100. Affirmative at sea : AYE

101. __-1701: Starship Enterprise markings : NCC. For Naval Construction Contract, per Wiki. "Star Trek".

106. Home of Iwatayama Monkey Park : KYOTO. Guessed. Have you been there, Yellowrocks?

108. Baking __ : SODA

109. This, to Tito : ESTA.  Or ESTO.

110. Some undergrad degs. : BAs

116. Colorful tank fish : TETRA

119. "__ Full of Love": "Les Miz" song : A HEART. One 6-letter partial is allowed in LAT.

121. Take over, as a role : STEP INTO

127. Banquet product : TV DINNER. Frozen dinner brand Banquet.

128. Floral parts : SEPALS

129. Acid type : AMINO

130. Hospital recreation areas : DAY ROOMS

131. Look : ASPECT. Noun.

132. Under, to Byron : NEATH

1. Musical lament : DIRGE

2. Run-of-the-mill : USUAL

3. __ Suzuki, mother of Bond's unborn child at the end of Fleming's "You Only Live Twice" : KISSY. I had no idea Bond had a child.

4. Vane direction : EAST

5. Nepalese people : SHERPA. Some are. I don't like this clue.

6. Evil, to Yvette : MAL

7. Proof is its std. of strength : ALC (Alcohol)

8. Desperate : DIRE

9. Slangy "Excellent!" : COOL

10. Whenever you want : AT WILL

11. Like Shakespeare : POETIC

12. GQ, e.g., briefly : MAG

13. Laila and Tatyana : ALIs

14. Coastal bird : TERN

15. Lounging site : CHAISE. The girl with the perfect legs. I bet Splynter wants to consort with her in the bar.

16. 1992 Nicholson role : HOFFA

18. Sweet ending : OSE

19. Marks on a ballot : X'ES

24. They have shuttles : LOOMS. Tricky clue.

28. Szmanda of "CSI" : ERIC. Doesn't ring a bell.

32. City on the Seine : LE HAVRE

33. Where many travelers come from? : AFAR

35. "Entourage" agent Gold : ARI

37. Kicked off : BEGUN

38. Sesame __ : SEED. Love deep-fried sesame rice balls.

39. Precious : CUTE

40. Tiny Tim's instrument : UKE

41. Leopold's nefarious partner : LOEB

42. Turin term of affection : CARA. "Dear".

43. Script "L" feature : LOOP

45. African capital : CAIRO

49. Some military transports : LEARS. Unaware that Lears are used in the military as well, Dudley!

50. S&L guarantor : FDIC

51. Job: Abbr. : OCC (Occupation)

53. Baroque composer Jean-Marie : LECLAIR. No idea!

55. R-V connectors : STU. Alphabet.

57. Graffiti ID : TAG

59. Online guffaw : LOL

60. Érié and others : LACS. French for "lakes".

61. Applaud : CLAP

64. Sicilian spewer : ETNA

65. Christmas or Carroll poem opening : 'TWAS

69. Inane : SILLY

71. Mulholland Drive segment : ESS

72. Is offended by : RESENTS

73. Fist bump : DAP. Like this.

75. Taylor of "The Nanny" : RENEE. Fran's mother.

76. Opposite of likely : SLIM. Chance.

78. Activist Nellie : BLY

81. Cuba libre liquor : RUM

83. __-pants: foppish : FANCY

84. Sound on a track? : CHOO. Train tracks for the dumb blondes in Manac's joke.

85. Hang loose : LOLL

86. Glean : CULL

88. Haunted house sound : MOAN

89. Honky-__ : TONK

91. Honey source : BEE. Hi there Melissa!

92. Victoria's Secret frill : LACE. I like this one. But in pink. Pretty & comfy.

96. Lullaby trio? : ELS. Three L's in Lullaby.

97. British poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, for one : SCOT. Not familiar with the poet. Wiki says She is the first woman, the first Scot and the first gay to hold the position.

99. Plucked instrument : SITAR

102. Piece with pips : DOMINO

103. Ukrainian port : ODESSA

104. Fried Hanukkah fare : LATKES. Never had Latkes before.

105. Obama, by birth : OAHUAN

107. Hoglike mammal : TAPIR

110. Coastal Brazilian state : BAHIA

111. "__ we all?" : AREN'T

112. German brewer Bernhard : STROH. Founder of Stroh's.

114. Dating word : ANNO. The A in A.D. Not the dating I had in mind.

115. Floral part : STEM

117. __ Arena: Kentucky Wildcats home : RUPP. Gimme for PK.

118. Latin wings : ALAE

120. Carlisle's wife in "Twilight" : ESME. Played by Elizabeth Reaser.

121. Part of 126-Down: Abbr. : STD. 126. Western Fla. Panhandle setting : CST

122. Norris Dam prog. : TVA

123. Surg. centers : ORs


Added later:

Don't miss this article on Rich's philosophy on cluing.