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


Dec 31, 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 Jack McInturff

Theme: Tasty - The word SWEET may be placed in front of the last word of the four theme entries to create a new phrase.

20A. Hopes that weren't meant to be : BROKEN DREAMS. Sweet Dreams, a song by Jewel Clip.(4:59)

31A. Concern before changing lanes : BLIND SPOT. Sweet spot, often spoken of as the best place on bat, club, racket, etc. to strike a ball.

40A. Locker room motivator : PEP TALK. Sweet talk, Sweet Nothin's by Brenda Lee Clip.(2:30)

49A. Kids' game with a quickly passed object : HOT POTATO. Sweet potato, may not have another one until next Thanksgiving.

56A. Jackie Gleason catchphrase, and a hint to the ends of 20-, 31-, 40- and 49-Across : "HOW SWEET IT IS!"

Argyle here. Interesting. Nice triple columns on either side. Seareeferd will be happy there is less foreign words today.


1. Run-down area : SLUM

5. French message-carrying boat : AVISO. We've seen this before.

10. Castle trench : MOAT

14. __ Cod : CAPE

15. Toy blocks : LEGOs

16. "Bus Stop" dramatist : INGE. The 1956 film is only loosely based upon the play.

17. Military assistant : AIDE. (aide-de-camp)

18. Many, many centuries : AEONs

19. In a little while : SOON

23. Jacob's twin : ESAU

24. Dethrones : OUSTs

28. One of Scrooge's four visitors : GHOST

35. Predatory bird : RAPTOR

37. College URL ending : .EDU

38. Nautical opening? : AERO

39. Bird: Pref. : AVI

43. Be in the wrong : ERR

44. __ de soie: silk cloth : PEAU. (literally: skin(pelt) of silk)

46. PBS underwriter : NEA. (Public Broadcasting Service/National Endowment for the Arts)

47. Lassie chaser : LADDIE


52. Goads : PRODS

53. PGA great Sam : SNEAD

54. "__ Grit": John Wayne classic : TRUE

63. Service station job : LUBE

66. Dressy footwear : HEELS

67. Partner of Roy or Chip : DALE. 'Queen of the West' and Chip'n'Dale, Disney chipmunks.

68. Swedish furniture giant : IKEA

69. Lift up : EXALT

70. Ultimatum ending : ELSE

71. Property document : DEED

72. Greenhorns : TYROs

73. In fighting trim : LEAN


1. Union underminer : SCAB

2. Hibernation site : LAIR

3. Fancy hairstyle : UPDO

4. Most submissive : MEEKEST

5. Ex of Rod Stewart : ALANA

6. Beetle with four wheels, slangily : VEEDUB. (VW,shortened)

7. Movie lab helper : IGOR. Bit of misdirection.

8. Sound measure : SONE

9. Mount near Olympus : OSSA

10. Pageant title since 1952 : MISS USA. Miss Connecticut Erin Brady.

11. Singer Yoko : ONO

12. Gone by : AGO

13. Low card in a royal flush : TEN. An ace-high straight flush is the highest-ranking standard poker hand.

21. Prevent legally : ESTOP

22. Trendy, '60s-style : MOD

25. Muscle beach swimwear : SPEEDO

26. Steaming hot : TORRID. Coincidence it follows the above; I think not.

27. Retail outlets : STOREs

28. Board meeting displays : GRAPHs

29. Be dressed in : HAVE ON

30. Sleep-inducing drug : OPIATE

32. Put on the attack : LET AT

33. Actress Lupino : IDA

34. Void partner : NULL

36. Apartment payment : RENT

41. Veggie on a vine : PEA

42. Shot, as an engine : KAPUT

45. In front : UP AHEAD

48. Hanukkah spinning toy : DREIDEL

50. "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" constable : ODO. Odo and Quark


51. Verdi opera based on a Shakespeare play : OTELLO

55. Enjoys a siesta : RESTS

57. Sharpen : WHET

58. Like centerfolds : SEXY

59. Be dressed in : WEAR

60. Story : TALE

61. Ingrid's "Casablanca" role : ILSA

62. Espied : SEEN

63. Hinged cover : LID

64. Don Ho's strings : UKE

65. Bonnet-dwelling insect? : BEE


Dec 30, 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013 Joel D. Lafargue

Theme: Little Boy Blue's Lament - The first word is descriptive of Little Boy Blue's stock.

17A. 1965 Righteous Brothers hit repopularized by its use in the 1990 film "Ghost" : UNCHAINED MELODY

33A. Scarily unpredictable type : LOOSE CANNON

41A. Monopoly board corner : FREE PARKING

59A. Pep that won't quit : BOUNDLESS ENERGY

"Little boy blue, Come blow your horn,

The sheep's in the meadow, The cow's in the corn.

But where is the boy Who looks after the sheep?

He's under a haystack, Fast asleep."

Argyle here. I found this a challenge for a Monday. Joel has shown he is good for any day of the week. Two grid spans. Some tricky clues and some so straightforward you might overthink them. A good mix.

"Will you wake him? No, not I - for if I do,
he's sure to cry."


1. Key with no flats or sharps: Abbr. : C MAJ. A gimme for some but not for me.

5. Terra __: pottery clay : COTTA

10. Dog's greeting : [BARK!]

14. Big deli sandwich : HERO. Sub, hoagie, hero, grinder; one study found 13 different names for the sandwich in the United States. 29A. Mini-burgers : SLIDERS

15. Extreme fear : DREAD

16. Away from the wind : ALEE

20. "__ sera": Italian "Good evening" : BUONA

21. Clip-__: earrings for non-pierced ears : ONs

22. Choir section : ALTOs

23. Letter-shaped hardware items : T-NUTs

25. Pilot's approx. : ETA. He should know. (Estimated Time of Arrival)

26. Fixes firmly (in) : EMBEDs

36. However, briefly : THO

37. 1/12 of a foot : INCH

38. See 67-Across : PEA 67A. With 38-Across, Popeye's kid : SWEE'

39. Leg bone : SHIN

40. Sleuth, slangily : TEC

45. Lash holders : EYELIDS

47. Tenor and bass : VOICES

48. Where cows graze : LEA. Or in the corn if they get free.

49. Coffee maker brand : BRAUN. They've stopped selling coffee makers in the US market. Can anyone confirm?

51. TV financial adviser Suze : ORMAN

54. Sturgeon delicacy : ROE

55. Macaroni shape : ELBOW

62. "That __ say ..." : IS TO if you're Hamlet 6D. "To be, __ to be ..." : OR NOT

63. Indy 500 family name : UNSER. Sort of like Alou in baseball, eh?

64. Wall Street order : SELL

65. Skin pics : TATS

66. Bearded farm critters : GOATS


1. Common freshwater bait fish : CHUB

2. List of dishes : MENU

3. With the bow, in music : ARCO. Not just for violins either; only here on the corner!


4. '80s-'90s "Entertainment Tonight" co-host : JOHN TESH. A crossword regular, he finally gets his full name in. Way to go, John!

5. 401, in old Rome : CDI

7. Adolescents : TEENS

8. Little boys : TADS

9. Naval bigwig: Abbr. : ADM.iral

10. Song from a troubadour : BALLAD

11. Very much : A LOT

12. Decorate again : REDO

13. Lock inserts : KEYS

18. "Duck Dynasty" network : A AND E. (Arts & Entertainment)

19. Part of EIK : EAT-IN. Eat-in kitchen, a term used in apartment listings. Could you parse it?

24. Trojans' sch. : USC. Near LAX. Right, Bill?

25. "Xanadu" rock gp. : ELO. (Electric Light Orchestra)

26. Privileged few : ELITE

27. Cold hard cash : MONEY

28. Lawn bowling game : BOCCE. It seems it is a bit of a misnomer. Bocce and lawn bowl are two different games. I didn't know that. Boche and Lawn Bowl

29. Ginger cookie : SNAP. Reminds me of Lois, yum.

30. Code of conduct : ETHIC

31. River valley known for Riesling wine : RHINE. Riesling is from white wine grape.

32. Karaoke selections : SONGS

34. Tarzan's foster family : APES

35. Once known as, in society pages : NÉE

39. Like less-caloric chicken pieces : SKINLESS

41. Devilish one : FIEND

42. Nutritional stat. : RDA. (Recommended Dietary Allowance)

43. Gardner of the silver screen : AVA

44. Cathedral city on the Seine : ROUEN. One more European river and we've got a mini-theme.

46. Gauchos' plains : LLANOs

49. __ nova: Brazilian dance : BOSSA. One more South Amer... oh, never mind.

50. Stopwatch button : RESET

51. "In memoriam" column, briefly : OBIT

52. Civil rights activist Parks : ROSA

53. Mixed-breed pooch : MUTT

54. Nevada casino city : RENO

56. Make, as coffee : BREW

57. Look at lecherously : OGLE

58. Noah of "Falling Skies" : WYLE. He got his share of ogles on ER. (Am I right, girls?)

60. Carry with effort : LUG

61. Triage ctrs. : ERs. Learned of triage from TV series, M*A*S*H and Emergency! long before ER.


Dec 29, 2013

Sunday December 29, 2013 Gail Grabowski

Theme:  "Interjection" - TER is added to each familiar phrase. I don't quite get the title "Interjection" and the theme gimmick connection. Can you explain to me? Should I just parse it as "In-TER-jection"?

23A. Period after one round too many? : TEETER TIME. Tee time.

28A. Fertilized egg? : CHILD STARTER. Child star.

53A. Benefit from barn raising? : BETTER THE FARM. Bet the farm.

87A. Where Monet got his physical? : PAINTER CLINIC. Not familiar with "Pain clinic".

109A. Tipsy gym helper? : TIGHT SPOTTER. Tight spot. You need a spotter in lifting weights.

120A. Joking after a midterm? : TEST BANTER. Test ban.

36D. Need some trough repair? : BUST A GUTTER. Bust a gut.

43D. 1970s presidential fundraiser? : CARTER RALLY. Car rally.

Classic Gail Grabowski grid, always 5 or 6 theme entries Across, and 2 Downs. She also likes pinwheel style for her weekday puzzles.

Half of the TERs are added to the end of first word, half to the second word. Very consistent.


1. Speech therapist's concerns : LISPS

6. Work on the street : PAVE

10. DOL division : OSHA

14. The Christina in Wyeth's "Christina's World" : OLSON. Got via crosses. Wiki said she suffered from Polio.

19. For this purpose : AD HOC

20. Rotten to the core : EVIL

21. Be inclined : LEAN

22. Scope : RANGE

25. "Shoot!" : DANG

26. Duplicity : GUILE

27. "Golf Begins at Forty" author : SAM SNEAD. I nailed it.

31. Capital of Denmark? : DEE. The capital letter in Denmark.

32. It may be blank : STARE

33. Signal to begin speaking : TONE. Answering machine.

34. Out-of-favor sunscreen compound : PABA

37. Certainty : FACT

40. Flock member : BIRD

42. Reacted to a sour note : WINCED

46. Like many laps : SWUM

47. Herding dogs : CORGIS

49. Vichy vacation times : ETES. Paris is empty in summer.

51. Thing to grind : AXE

52. State legal VIPs : AGS. Attorneys general.

56. Stephen of "Interview With the Vampire" : REA

57. Pretends : LETS ON

59. Oil can letters : SAE. I can never remember what it stands for: Society of Automotive Engineers)

60. Paretsky's Warshawski and Grafton's Millhone, briefly : TECS. Detectives.

61. Key not used by itself : CTRL

62. Isn't kidding : MEANS IT

64. Tom : MALE CAT. All the three Toms I know via this blog are incredibly nice guys.

67. "Never, at any crisis of your life, have I known you to have a handkerchief" speaker : RHETT (Butler). "Gone With the Wind".

68. Semisoft cheeses : GOUDAS

70. Advertisers say it sells : SEX. Sex sells.

71. Musical weakness : TIN EAR

73. Reject with contempt : SPURN

75. Suitable for most audiences : RATED PG

78. Complete with crayons : COLOR IN

 81. Mention : CITE

82. Whirled : SPUN

83. Rosy-fingered goddess : EOS

85. Herbal tea : TISANE. Remember the tisane scene in "Le Divorce?". Read here.

86. Social pest : ANT

91. JFK alternative : LGA

92. Surname for an unknown : DOE

93. Jazzy James : ETTA

94. Take a turn : ROTATE

95. Tremendously : A LOT

96. Low clouds : STRATI

98. "Breaking Bad" lawyer Goodman : SAUL. Finally. I linked this poster a few times in the past.

100. Usher's find : SEAT

102. Pandora's box, e.g. : MYTH

103. Three-part figs. : SSNS

105. Dropped-egg sound : SPLAT

107. Magnolia St. campus : USM (University of Southern Mississippi)

113. Flash drive connections : USB PORTS. With Drop box, now flash drives are almost unnecessary.

118. Sister of Calliope : ERATO

119. School acronym : EL-HI. Elementary (school) + high (school). Super friendly letter combo, hence its frequent appearance in crosswords.

122. Box cutter, e.g. : RAZOR

123. Wheels that are longer than cars? : LIMO. Nice clue.

124. Push for : URGE

125. City near Florence : SIENA

126. Cockamamie : INANE

127. Car buyer's aid : LOAN

128. Chew (out) : REAM

129. Rigged supports : MASTS


1. Pull-down beneficiaries : LATS.

2. Mind matter : IDEA

3. Son of Noah : SHEM. I also know HAM.

4. 1945 conference site : POTSDAM. Faintly recall this name. It's close to Berlin.

5. Crime locale : SCENE

6. Gp. opposed to factory farming : PETA

7. Enthusiastic : AVID. And 8. Enthusiasm : VIM

9. Campaign poster word : ELECT

10. Pre-1000 Celtic language : OLD IRISH

11. Caulk, e.g. : SEALER

12. Crew member : HAND. Oh, deckhand.

13. Inner turmoil : ANGST

14. Life form : ORGANISM

15. Actress Ambrose of "Six Feet Under" : LAUREN. Stranger to me. Never watched  "Six Feet Under". I wanted embed that picture, but Google sent me below email 2 days ago. How am I supposed to know which pictures I can or can't embed?
"Blogger has been notified, according to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that certain content in your blog is alleged to infringe upon the copyrights of others. As a result, we have reset the post(s) to \"draft\" status. (If we did not do so, we would be subject to a claim of copyright infringement, regardless of its merits. The URL(s) of the allegedly infringing post(s) may be found at the end of this message.) This means your post - and any images, links or other content - is not gone. You may edit the post to remove the offending content and republish, at which point the post in question will be visible to your readers again."

16. Tizzy : SNIT

17. Not look well? : OGLE. A smile after I got it.

18. "When hell freezeth over!" : NE'ER

24. Atoll former : REEF

29. Behavior pattern : HABIT

30. Airport structures : TOWERS

32. Broadcast online in real time : STREAM

34. Miserere, for one : PSALM. Wow, I never heard of Miserere before. It's Latin for "Have mercy".

35. "Shucks!" : AW GEE

38. Do one's part : ACT

39. No-frills beds : COTS

41. Loss : DEFEAT

44. Bring to bear : EXERT

45. Coped (with) : DEALT

48. "You're the One That I Want" musical : GREASE. Was this a gimmie to you?

50. Bit of strategy : TACTIC

53. Merchant vessel elision : BOSUN

54. Oklahoma's "Wheat Capital" : ENID. New trivia to me.

55. And such: Abbr. : ETC. Do you think plural ETCS is legit?

58. Big yawn : SNORE

61. Complete confusion : CHAOS

63. Site of some mammoths' demise : TAR PIT

65. Spearheaded : LED

66. Consider it likely : EXPECT

67. Museum artifact : RELIC

69. Places for sweaters? : SAUNAS. Sweat-ers, those who sweat.

72. "Me? Uh-uh!" : NOT I!

73. Quite a bit : SCADS

74. Wine grape : PINOT

76. Big bang producer : TNT

77. Bring up the rear : GO LAST

79. Cash bar? : INGOT. Great clue also.

80. "'__ the Arizona Skies": 1934 John Wayne movie : 'NEATH

82. Glossy materials : SATINS

84. Location : SITE

87. Place to buy a tank : PET STORE. Fish tank.

88. Violent outburst : ERUPTION

89. "Good Times" actress : ROLLE (Esther)

90. Museum funder: Abbr. : NEA

95. Pungent cleanser : AMMONIA

97. Actor Kutcher : ASHTON. He and Mila Kunis are a great couple. Hope this embed is safe.

99. Bronchial woe : ASTHMA

101. Ernest of country music : TUBB

104. Write letters? : SPELL. I like this clue also.

106. Pianist Rubinstein : ARTUR. Or Arthur. Click here.

108. Twitch : SPASM

109. Actress Polo : TERI

110. Country on the Caspian : IRAN

111. Disputed strip : GAZA

112. Mixed bag : OLIO. You all think of me, right?

113. Open-organizing org. : USGA (United States Golf Association)

114. Mushroom piece : STEM

115. Hwys. with nos. : RTES

116. No-frills shelter : TENT

117. Toledo titles: Abbr. : SRAS

121. Quaint "before" : ERE

Dudley sent me this sweet picture yesterday. He said:

"Within the blog family, there are certainly some cute little kids, but I submit that my grand-niece Lillie is the cutest of all. Here she is thanking a dear family friend who had done a very generous favor."


Dec 28, 2013

Saturday, Dec 28th, 2013, Steve Salitan

Theme: None

Words: 70 (missing F,J,Q,Z)

Blocks: 28

   Thank you all for last week's get well comments; I had such a high fever I thought I was going to lose my mind - literally. This is the first time I've gotten to a crossword in two weeks.  I was able to review the last three LAT this week, and I have to say thank you to C.C. for covering my part last Saturday, and for a stellar effort on Thursday's puzzle. As for today, when I saw Steve's name at the top, I figured I was looking at a DNF - I am usually thwarted by his misdirection and vagueness, but with only one cheat,  I was able to finish this one.  Nothing longer than the two 11-letter cross fills today;

 31A. "Violator" band : DEPECHE MODE - JUDAS PRIEST fit, too - but I knew that was wrong; I was finally able to tune in to Pandora for the first time in a month yesterday, and Depeche Mode pops up on my favorite channel with this song

39A. 1996 film with the tagline "YIKES! They've Landed!" : MARS ATTACKS! - Hysterical parody of science fiction and horror directed by Tim Burton with a cast of big names - and Tom Jones, too~!



1. There may be tears in them : DUCTS - Right off we have ambiguity; tEErs, or tAIrs~???

6. Track event : GRAND PRIX - the Indy car kind of track; clecho 16A. Track event : RELAY RACE - the human leg kind of track

15. Like some office boxes : IN/OUT

17. Yellow-flowered medicinal plant : SENNA

18. Champing at the bit, and then some : OVEREAGER

19. "__ Cheerleaders": 1977 comedy-horror film : SATAN'S - I wonder if the people at IMDb feel like they really, really need to include these types of films; then again, the summary does sound intriguing....

21. Campus not far from LAX : USC - well, I figured it was University of something/something California

22. Camera that uses 70mm film : IMAX - So far, I've only seen Skyfall in IMAX (and a nature film at the Museum of Natural History)

23. Exploit : USE

24. Casual evening? : NITE - night (evening) spelled casually

26. Inedible orange : OSAGE

27. Aspire to greatness : AIM HIGH

29. "84, Charing Cross Road" novelist Hanff and others : HELENEs

33. Deco designer : ERTE

34. Agreeing words : "SO AM I"

35. Latin quarters? : CASA

41. Arizona retirement community : SUN CITY

45. Black-footed albatrosses : GOONEYS - also the nickname of the Douglas C-47

46. Ring material : ONION - steel? nylon? oh, duh

47. Savory, e.g. : HERB

48. Tex.-based carrier : SWA - Southwest Airlines - they are the leading airline at my 'local' jet airport, MacArthur; gets so little respect being in the neighborhood of JFK and LGA....

49. "Such a shame" : PITY

50. It's a mess : STY

52. Zen awakening : SATORI

54. Daily reading for many : HOROSCOPE - NEWSPAPER fit, too - and I DO read my daily horoscope each morning; said nothing about getting sick, tho

57. Nitpick : CAVIL

58. New members : INITIATES - Rookies, probies, neophytes (hey, that one fit) - I am a 'new member' of the driver's group at UPS - but I have not made their UNION yet

59. Whence Icarus fled : CRETE

60. Ones on the way up : ASCENDERS - yes, they, are....

61. Had a row : OARED - and another ambiguous word; roe, or rOW


1. Convince otherwise : DISSUADE - took a little too long to let go of PERSUADE

2. More disturbed : UNEASIER

3. Disdain : CONTEMPT

4. Skipjack, perhaps : TUNA - my one look-up; I was sure it was a boat, and it turns out it's also a block cipher, and the one we needed - TUNA

5. Tinny : STANNIC - which means "containing TIN"- STANA KATIC is better

6. Nursery product word : GRO - Miracle-Gro, e.g.

7. Follies : REVUE

8. Draft picks : ALES

9. Traffic blocker? : NARC - the drug traffic

10. Shade provider? : DYE - the "?" meant it was NOT "ELM"

11. Extol : PRAISE

12. Dealer in old clothing : RAGMAN

13. Way more than a cold snap : ICE AGE

14. Darius I's successor : XERXES - Persian (likely Bibilical) kings

20. Reacts to with an eye roll, perhaps : SIGHS AT - wasn't there a 'Friends' episode where Joey wasn't allowed to roll his eyes at what Phoebe said?

25. Something to test : THEORY

26. Cry of approval : OLE - I had O-HO, then OYE, and I wondered what other "Heyenes" there could be (29A)

28. Laugh line? : HEE - hee-hee

29. Respect : HOMAGE - if you're being really reverent, it's an OH-MAHJE

30. Corrections staff? : EDITORS

32. Humanities degs. : MAs

35. Soup holder : CAN - sometimes, the simplest answers....

36. Best kind of full house : ACES OVER - I had ACE/KINGS, and that stopped me from getting anywhere in the SE for the longest time

37. Use lofty words? : SKYWRITE - HAR-HAR~!!!

38. Pounced on : ASSAILED

39. Short time? : MINute

40. Caldwell's "__ Road" : TOBACCO

41. Most popular baby girl's name of 2011 and 2012 : SOPHIA - what's the inspiration? Usually there's a super-popular female singer/star that causes the increase in popularity; Britney Spears was one I recall

42. They may be civil : UNIONS - wars, rights, engineers

43. __ acid : NITRIC

44. Prairie predator : COYOTE

47. Bouncing off the walls : HYPER

50. Large amount : SCAD

51. Haul : TOTE

53. Frank Kennedy saved it from foreclosure : TARA - the plantation from "Gone With the Wind"

55. Moral lapse : SIN

56. Twisty character : ESS - as in


Dec 27, 2013

Friday. December 27, 2013, Mike Peluso

Pun times in the LA Times.

This is our 29th from Mr. Peluso since conversion, and my first since December 23, 2011. Mike is a retired teacher/principal who gave us some insight in this INTERVIEW in 2009. Please take note in the comments section, where C.C. responds to Linda's suggestion about C.C. constructing puzzles. Anyway, back to today, we have 4 theme answer where common phrases are replaced by sound-alike ones using automobile brand names, clued by model names for each car company. I bet Barry G. and Dennis found this one easy. It took me a bit to suss out some of the theme answers, but they helped make the solve go well. The rest is standard Friday with some obscure and difficult patches and some fun word combinations. I like the overall cluing very much. let's see what you all think.

20A. Facilities on a 911? : PORSCHE POTTY. (13). (Porta potty). First you need to know the 911 and not be distracted by 9/11. Then you need to pronounce the car name Porsha (listen LINK) (0:03).

36A. Oater pal in an A3? : AUDI PARDNER. (11). (Howdy pardner). Again, the sound OWDI not AWWDI, makes this extra hard.

43A. Tales of a 9-3? : SAAB STORIES. (11). (Sob stories). I guess most know how to pronounce Saab, but the 9-3 may be quite unknown.

57A. Relative in a 370Z? : NISSAN NEPHEW. (13). (Niece and Nephew). This was the odd one out for me and the hardest to understand; I knew Nissan, having had a 260Z for years, but it took perps to see where this was going, especially having to break it into two words.


1. 1967 White House groom : ROBB. CHUCK who married Lynda Bird Johnson and became a governor and Senator.

5. "Erin go __" : BRAGH.  Loosely, Ireland forever.

10. Swedish singer Jenny : LIND. I  learned of the Swedish Nightingale from watching the old Maverick tv series.

14. Thus : ERGO.

15. Former Dodger first baseman James : LONEY. Not a star, really pretty obscure,  except perhaps for Tin, as Loney has resurfaced in a Tampa Bay Ray uniform.

16. Sharp : ACID. All perps, I guess like acid tongued.

17. Windows alternative : UNIX. An operating system.

18. Microwave brand : AMANA. Followed immediately with...

19. Microwave : NUKE.

23. Florida University named for a pope : ST. LEO. I imagine this was another gimme for Tin, as it is up the road near Tampa. For this rest you probably need to READ the history.

24. Eroded : ATE AWAY.

28. Follow : TRAIL. Another tricky clue, following behind...

32. Place to play : ARENA.

33. 13-Down predecessor : HST. Harry S. Truman; the S does not stand for anything.

39. Other, overseas : OTRA. Spanish 1.

41. Boston drummer Jeff et al. : NEALS. I guess on Friday you do not need a second one, like Patricia, but not many would know this drummer. I loved Boston but never heard his name.

42. Peruse : SCAN.

46. Pay stub abbr. : HRS. How many hours was that?

47. Für whom Beethoven wrote a bagatelle : ELISE. Always worth a LISTEN. (2:58). Also, 49D. Beethoven's Opus 20, for one : SEPTET. MORE.

48. Marks of approval : SEALS. Started with 'stars' until I saw 52D.

50. Corolla competitors : ALTIMAS. Foreshadowing the final theme fill.

53. Mexicali-to-Tijuana dirección : OESTE.

61. Electric weather phenomenon : BOLT. The answer came to me like bolt from the blue (still marveling at C.C.'s clue/fill yesterday).

64. Cornered : AT BAY. Eh, I see this as the opposite of each other.

65. Roll on a tarmac : TAXI. I know airports have taxiways and runways, but I do not know where the term comes from? Corner?

66. Hives, e.g. : RASH.

67. Spiked cakes : BABAS. My friend Ruth used to make the best Rum Cake; I could not resist this LINK. Mari?

68. Verve : ELAN.

69. Velázquez offerings : ARTE. More Spanish and I guess trickier than Laugh-in Johnson.

70. Whooping __ : CRANE. Cough also fit.

71. Heist haul, to a hood : TENG. I spent way too much time looking this up and never found it but the perps were sound. We usually have reference to Mao. (From C.C.: Parse it as TEN G, 10 Grand)(From L: duh!, silly me).


Speaking of down, DOWNTON ABBEY is back January 5. If you have already watched season 4 during its run in England, I hope you liked it.

1. Opts for another hitch : RE-UPS.

2. "... however, I may be all wet" : OR NOT. "I am absolutely certain you said that dear, or not."

3. Speakeasy socializer : B-GIRL. I guess the B is for bar, as they were the girls trying to get you to buy them fake drinks to add to the profits, while you got drunk.

4. "Complete series" DVD purchase, say : BOX SET.

5. Flat : BLAH.

6. 1960 Olympics city : ROME. The first one I remember, with Wilma Rudolph and Cassius Clay.

7. Take __: drop off : A NAP.

8. Italian seaport : GENOA. I cannot think of a salami pun, help?

9. Hilton rival : HYATT.

10. ID holders : LANYARDS.  A pretty one from CHINA.

11. Hosp. area : ICU. Intensive Care Unit. 2 years + since my 9 day visit.

12. Peace ender? : NIK. Peacenik.  popular in the anti-war years.

13. 33-Across successor : DDE. I had Jenny, so this was easy.

21. ESPN baseball analyst Alex : CORA. Another very obscure baseball reference to an ex-Dodger (Bill G., you also getting these?) who I only know because he went to the U.

22. Shed thing : TEAR. It took me a while to abandon pictures of a small building.

25. Shakespearean servant : WENCH. A lovely word.

26. "Dark-brow'd sophist, come not __": Tennyson : ANEAR. Drat, even successful poets use A words. I never like Alfred's work, Owen?

27. They may be spun : YARNS. Tales, though my son did buy his new gf some yarn as she loves to knit. Mixes well with 31D. Taletellers : LIARS.

29. Reunion attendee : AUNT. Somehow she is always the one to be there.

30. Logical beginning? : IDEOlogical.

33. Book after Daniel : HOSEA.

34. One way to buy time : STALL. I wonder who gets paid when you 'buy' time?

35. Character piece? : TRAIT.

37. Jeté relative : PLIE. Ballet moves.

38. Cruising : ASEA. See: an A word.

40. Potent licorice-flavored liqueur : ABSINTHE. Now legal once again. Promise Me.

44. Rig : SEMI.

45. Gin flavoring : SLOE.

51. Easy __ : AS ABC.

52. Red giant : S-STAR. Please re-explain all the star categories.

54. Oil source : SHALE. Which probably can be found in Texas.

55. Odessa native : TEXAN. On the way to El Paso.  They love rock and roll.

56. Any of several fictional multimillionaires : EWING. Speaking of oil and Texas, J.R. and family. I really like how Mike uses the related but un-referenced clues.

58. "The Winner Takes It All" quartet : ABBA. I also enjoyed this letter combination next to

59. Mumbai bread : NAAN. A poetic couplet to me.

60. NASDAQ competitor : NYSE.

61. Source of support : BRA. Like the double letters above, the DOUBLE D  Challenge (4:18), Dennis?

62. Lock insert : OAR. or Key?

63. D-Day lander : LST. Landing ship tanks.

Wow, another year done for me here. Thanks all. I hope your holidays and new year are great. Mr. P. thanks for the workout. As for the puzzle title...

When I got a new job that required me and my co-workers who rode to work together take US 1 under the New River, I found I was developing an odd pain in my elbow by the time we reached the office. I finally went to the doctor and he told me I had...*


Ouch and a Happy New Year to all.


Note from C.C.

Happy Birthday to dear Dudley, our handsome pilot.

Left to Right: Marti, Dudley, Hondo & Montana

Dudley and his wife at their Block Island wedding in 2008
Click here to see a few more photos of Dudley. They were taken during Montana's visit to Northeast on September.

Dudley, tell us what's the most exotic place you've flew to.

Dec 26, 2013

Thursday, December 26, 2013 C.C. Burnikel

Theme: "I've got my EYE on you!!"

I bet very few people would be able to "see" this theme without the unifier smack-dab in the middle of the grid. (I know I didn't!)

39-Across. Minnesota's state fish, and a hint to all 12 border answers in this puzzle : WALLEYE. We were just talking about state dogs a few weeks ago. Who knew, Minnesota has a state fish?

All of the answers along the perimeter (WALLs) of the puzzle could precede the word EYE. 59 squares devoted to theme entries. Minimum for an LA Times weekday is 35 squares. Let's march clockwise around the grid to see them all.

1-Across. Chess side : BLACK. A black eye could be fixed by using a...

6-Across. Chest bone : RIB. …ribeye steak!

9-Across. Stripped : NAKED. The naked eye can see faint stars up to +8 brightness in a perfectly dark sky.

13-Down. Like some humor : DRY. But when a sad story is told, I bet there won't be a dry eye in the house!

28-Down. Two under par : EAGLE. If you had an eagle eye, you could spot a rabbit up to two miles away!

55-Down. Compulsory poker bet : BLIND. Just turn a blind eye and pretend you didn't see this comment...

69-Across. Brooks Robinson's base : THIRD. In Hinduism, the third eye refers to the brow chakra.

68-Across. Rosy : RED. The red-eye flight from LA to Boston is one I used to take sometimes.

67-Across. Calm water metaphor : GLASS. All I could think of was the parody of the old song, "After the Ball Was Over":

After the ball was over, Bonnie took out her glass eye,
Put her false teeth in the water, hung up her wig to dry;
Placed her false arm on the table, laid her false leg on the chair;
After the party was over, Bonnie was only half there!

60-Down. Important : BIG. Bigeye could refer to the ahi tuna used in sushi.  There is also a tropical bigeye fish that is orang-y in color. But I bet C.C. was thinking of the sushi one...

33-Down. Hogwarts teaching : MAGIC. "Magic Eye" is a series of books containing autostereograms. You know those 2-D pictures that appear 3-D when gazed at in just the right way, like these?

1-Down. Swallows, e.g. : BIRDS. So, I hope I have given you a birds-eye view of the theme.

Now, let's see what else C.C. has dished out for us.


14. Ancient region in Asia Minor : IONIA. In what is present-day Turkey.

15. Republic on St. George's Channel: Abbr. :

16. Basket willow : OSIER. Learned this from crosswords...

17. Pompeii attraction : RUINS.

18. Quicken Loans Arena NBAer : CAV.aliers of the Eastern Conference.

19. Strike site : ALLEY. Shout-out to Boomer!

20. Place to see FDR : DIME.

21. 40-decibel unit : SONE.

22. St. Pat's Day, e.g. : HOL.iday. Did everyone have a nice holiday celebration this year?

23. Pretend to be : SEEM.

24. Cricket call : CHIRP.

26. French pop : PERE.

29. Large primates : APES.

31. Barbary Wars participant, now : ALGERIA.

33. One of the smart set : MENSAN.

36. Seaweed extract : AGAR.

37. Ballpark fig.? : AVG.erage. Anyone else want "est."?

38. Boxing biopic : ALI. Played by Will Smith in the 2001 movie. There's a new one about his conscientious objection to fighting in Vietnam, which went to the Supreme Court.

41. Chum : PAL.

42. Do goo : GEL.

43. Covent Garden highlight : ARIA. Covent Garden is the site of the Royal Opera House in London.

44. Dalmatian's spot : DAPPLE. I always think of sunlight on the forest floor when I see this word.

46. Slothfulness : INERTIA.

48. Meyers of "SNL" : SETH.

49. Motor suffix : CADE.

50. "Coffee __?" : OR TEA.

52. Pequod captain : AHAB.

56. Shade provider : ELM.

58. Put in shells, say : LOAD. HaHa, I was thinking of the pasta dish "stuffed shells."

59. Little brook : RILL.

60. Prove untrue : BELIE.

62. Like the vbs. "creep" and "weep" : IRR.egular.

63. "Please, Mom?" : CAN'T I. Our refrain as kids was usually "Can I huh, pleasepleaseplease???"

64. Lay to rest : INTER.

65. Bolted down some nuts : ATE. Fun misdirection.

66. '50s movie monster destroyed at Mount Aso : RODAN. I was too young to watch monster flicks in the fifties.


2. Acerbic dispatcher on "Taxi" : LOUIE. Played by Danny DeVito.

3. Moving manga : ANIME. Pronounced AH-nee-may.

4. Multiplexes : CINEMAS.

5. __ in kilo : K AS. After Juliett and before Lima in the NATO alphabet.

6. Some copiers : RICOHS.

7. "Argo" extra : IRANI. I still haven't seen the movie.

8. Drink : BEVERAGE.

9. Conductor of the first rescue mission : NOAH. All the animals on the ark.

10. At an angle : ASLOPE.

11. Best-selling program, in tech lingo : KILLER APP. Great fill!

12. Broad foot letters : EEE.

21. Novel query requirement : SCENARIO.

25. What possums do when threatened : PLAY DEAD.

27. Bing, to Google : RIVAL.

30. Investigate, tabby-style : PAW AT. Yesterday my cats had more fun with the discarded ribbons and boxes than they did with their new cat toys.

32. Classic : GREAT.

34. Kagan who clerked for Thurgood Marshall : ELENA. Now an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court.

35. Rosetta Stone discovery area : NILE DELTA.

36. Like : ALA.

40. 1997 film with the tagline "Coming soon. Honest." : LIAR LIAR. Starring Jim Carrey.

45. Giza pyramid builder : PHARAOH.

47. Depends (on) : RELIES.

48. Like some sesame-crusted tuna : SEARED.

51. Rich cake : TORTE.

53. Language that gives us "pajamas" : HINDI.

54. Scene of some sworn statements : ALTAR.

57. Seas, to Cezanne : MERS.

61. Blowup: Abbr. : ENL.argement.

63. Old PC monitor : CRTCathode Ray Tube, now largely replaced by LCD and plasma screens.

See you all next week, when some of us will still be nursing hangovers. Not moi!!


Note from C.C.:

I'd like to share with you an email I got yesterday from Phyllis Tamres:

  ".....I love to do xwords, cryptograms & sudokus.  I do them every morning to get my 82 year old brain going. then I work on my website designs and my books––just starting my third..."

Phyllis is the author of  "Maddy and Terri". She also said "I take delight in the comments and photos on your site".

This blog drives me crazy at times. I can't imagine working with codes and other design stuff at 82. You rock, Phyllis!

Phyllis Tamres