Jan 31, 2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013 Paul Hunsberger


Theme: Drag Queens

17A. Illusionist's effect : PUFF OF SMOKE. "Can I have a drag of your cig?"

31A. Major bore : SNOOZE FEST. "This play is a drag!"

37A. County fair competition : TRACTOR PULL. "My Deere can out-drag your Deere!"

47A. Many towns have one : MAIN STREET. "Let's check out the main drag."

And the unifier:
60A. 1967 #1 hit for The Buckinghams, which can describe 17-, 31-, 37- or 47-Across : KIND OF A DRAG. Immediate ear worm warning. 2:02

Marti here, in my comfy Thursday nook. This seemed much easier than a typical Thursday, with mostly straightforward clues. With three 11-letter theme entries and two 10-letter entries, there is not much leeway in grid design. And this grid has stacked 10-11-7-7-letter words as well. Very impressive.  The downside is a lot of three-letter fill, with plenty of abbr. Let's see where it goes.

Across:

1. Treehouse feature : LADDER. Because "No girls allowed sign" wouldn't fit...

7. Matured, as cheese : AGED.   Immature cheese. 0:31

11. Some condensation : DEW.

14. For one : A PIECE.

15. One who's all action : DOER.

16. Eggs in a clinic : OVA. This answer made me automatically write "DONATE sperm..." for 11-Down.

19. Bushranger Kelly : NED. To some Aussies, Ned Kelly was somewhat of a folk hero, while others just thought of him as a cold-blooded killer. Kazie might know more about him.

20. Novelist Wiesel : ELIE. A Holocaust survivor, Nobel Prize winner, and author of "Night," which recounts his experiences at Auschwitz and Buchenwald.

21. "Days of Thunder" org. : NASCAR. The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. Not to be confused with DRAG racing, which comes under the National Hot Rod Association.

23. Duck : SHUN.

26. Diplomat's forte : TACT. Tinbeni's Thumper link is the height of diplomacy!

28. Feeds without needing seconds : SATES.

30. Arrive : LAND.

33. Pull (for) : CHEER.

35. Kicked oneself for : RUED.

36. BBQ heat rating : BTU. Because Scoville wouldn't fit. British Thermal Units.

41. Flooring wood : ASH.

43. Busy time for a cuckoo clock : NOON. Cute clue!

44. Italian soccer star Maldini : PAOLO. Yowza, he's a keeper!


51. "Voulez-___": 1979 ABBA album : VOUS. Have I heard this one before? 5:03

52. Big name in foil : ALCOA.

53. Make a fine impression : ETCH.

54. Outer limit : EDGE.

55. Discipline involving slow, steady movement : TAI CHI. C.C. thinks this exercise is only for old people.

57. Toppled, as a poplar : HEWN.

59. Goose egg : NIL.

65. Traditional London pie-and-mash ingredient : EEL. It doesn't look very appetizing...

66. New newts : EFTS. Another nice clue.

67. Stereo knob : TREBLE.

68. Funny, and a bit twisted : WRY. The state of Virginia had a special "Kids First" license plate to help prevent domestic violence against children.  You might find some wry humor in this one. The Virginia DMV, not so much...

69. One way to run : RIOT.

70. Nine-ball feature : STRIPE.

Down:

1. Slurp (with "up") : LAP.

2. "Who Needs the Kwik-E-Mart?" singer : APU. You don't really want me to link that, do you?

3. "Makes no ___" : DIF.ference.

4. Lawyer, at times : DEFENDER.

5. Renewable energy subj. : ECOL.ogy.

6. Equips afresh : REFITS.

7. Nelson, e.g.: Abbr. : ADM.iral.

8. Hit the road, musically : GO ON TOUR.

9. "___ mouse!" : EEK! A. Not to be confused with eekanomics.

10. In one's Sunday best : DRESSED UP.

11. Make a bank deposit? : DONATE BLOOD. (Not sperm...)

12. Top of the world : EVEREST. It is named for Sir George Everest. However, he pronounced his name EEV'-rist, not ev'-rest.

13. Lump : WAD.

18. He played James : SEAN. Connery. Bond. James Bond.

22. Half-___: coffee order : CAF.feine.

23. 2002 Olympics host, briefly : SLC. The XIX Games at Salt Lake City.

24. "As if!" : HAH.toolah. She always has a great QOD for us...

25. How shysters practice : UNETHICALLY.

27. Small crown : CORONET.

29. Onetime Beatles bassist Sutcliffe : STU. Because we just had our daily dose of "The Simpsons" at 2-Down. Otherwise, we might have been subjected to "The Simpsons disco guy" for the clue.

32. Led ___: "Stairway to Heaven" group, to fans : ZEP.pelin.

34. One who turns a place upside down : RANSACKER.

38. Foldable sleeper : COT.

39. Blasted : TORE INTO.

40. Purple hue : LAVENDER.

41. Org. with an oft-quoted journal : AMAAmerican Medical Association.

42. More racy, as humor : SALTIER. Like Salty Shakers?

45. Tote : LUG.

46. Sugary suffix : OSE. Sucr-, gluc-, fruct-.

48. "Oh ___ won't!" : NO I.

49. Tunnel effect : ECHO.

50. Five-finger discounts, so to speak : THEFTS.

56. Audiophile's setup : HI-FI.

58. Witch costume stick-on : WART. At first, I was wondering where you would stick the broom, but you don't want to go there...

59. Wet behind the ears : NEW.

61. "Spring forward" letters : DSTDaylight Savings Time.

62. One of four in a grand slam : RBIRuns Batted In. Yay! A baseball clue that I could figure out!

63. Wildspitze, for one : ALP. I believe it is the highest peak in this photo that I took at Obergurgl a couple years ago, but I'm not 100% sure.



64. "___ willikers!" : GEE. Are we done already??  OK, see you next week, then!

Hugs,
Marti

Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to dear Bill G, who always brings us fantastic links, esp those animal slides.

Bill G & Grandson Jordon, Oct 18, 2012

Jan 30, 2013

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 Kurt Mengel and Jan-Michele Gianette

Theme: Football Frailties

17A. New Orleans team confused? : SAINTS BEDEVILED

26A. New York team punished? : JETS GROUNDED

46A. Indianapolis team stymied? : COLTS LASSOED

59A. San Diego team upset? : CHARGERS SHOCKED

Yay! It's Superbowl Week! (oops, I should say "Big Game Week" as we at the blog don't pay royalties to the NFL for the use of the word "Superbowl" and we're already in enough trouble with the Blogger Police Department. We don't want Roger Goodell piling on here).

Today we have four theme teams that sadly didn't make it to New Orleans for "The Big Game" for reasons most aptly described by Kurt and Jan-Michele. To add insult to  injury, the Bedeviled Saints had to clear out of their own locker room for a couple of weeks to allow temporary lodging for the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers in the Big Easy.

NFL fans can make their own jokes regarding the aforementioned Commissioner, the Saints and "punished", "grounded", and "upset", let alone "confused".

Steve here! This was a corker of a theme for me, I loved it. I got the teams right away, then spent a LOT of time noodling around the rest of each theme answer and needed crosses, more crosses and then some perps to git 'er done.

A couple of nits to be picked, but let's see how the rest played out.

Across:

1. Net help pages, briefly : FAQS. When I was small, my most frequently-asked question was "Are we there yet?". I'm not sure I ever got a reliable answer.

5. County counterpart, in Canterbury : SHIRE. Major nit. I know the alliteration is part of the charm of this clue, but it doesn't really make sense. Canterbury is in Kent, which is a county. "County" and "Shire" are not really synonyms. It would help if if Kent was short for Kentshire, but it's not.

10. Boring : BLAH

14. Longtime Stern rival : IMUS. Howard Stern and Don Imus faced off in a ratings battle in Philadelphia early in Stern's career.

15. Little bits : IOTAS.

16. Baltic capital : RIGA

20. __ Who : THE

21. Little bits : ATOMS. Nice clecho. Yodel-eh-ee-o!

22. Silly : INANE

23. Musical quality : TONE

25. Chooses : ELECTS

31. Fail to mention : OMIT

32. Picky eaters of rhyme : SPRATS. Jack and his wife. Even as a lad I wondered how Jack's wife managed to keep her girlish figure when all she would eat was fat. I guess she had the Jane Fonda Workout Tapes (we're going back a few years here, I don't think pilates was invented yet!).



33. Different : ODD

36. "Network" director : LUMET. Sidney. If you've never seen "Twelve Angry Men" from way back in 1957, you have a treat in store.

38. Old West mil. force : CAV. The Cavalry, a Military Force.

39. Andrea Bocelli, e.g. : TENOR

41. Half a fly : TSE

42. More than a sobber : WAILER

45. Small or large : SIZE

48. Loads to clean : WASHES. I didn't skip a beat with this one, then I've been wondering why; it's not exactly obvious?

51. Person in a sentence, say : NOUN

52. Convention pin-on : ID TAG. I think I've probably got my own weight in these things. One peculiar property of ID tags hanging from a lanyard is that they ALWAYS turn to face the wrong way however you try to arrange things.

53. Heroic poems : EPICS

56. "Homeland" airer, briefly : SHO. Hmmm. Nymmmm. Hmmmmmmm. Could do better if you resort to this fill, methinks.

62. Hardly friendly : COLD

63. Go on and on : PRATE. Is there a rule for using PRATE vs PRATTLE? I'm guessing the root is common.

64. Take on : HIRE

65. Golf rarities : ACES. I've had one. I took a friend out to play for her first time on a "real" golf course and I aced the par-3 third. She didn't understand why I was so excited, she thought that as I'd been playing for 30 years I should be doing that every day. A fair point, in hindsight.

66. Fur fortune-maker : ASTOR

67. Football positions : ENDS. Schoolboy hilarity ensues about "tight" and "defensive" varieties. We were all young and foolish once.

Down:

1. Punch source : FIST

2. Indian nursemaid : AMAH. I think this qualifies as crosswordese. I know it, but ...

3. Being alone with one's thoughts : QUIET TIME

4. IRS ID : S.S.N. I wonder who had 000 00 0001? That's an awesome Social Security Number. There was probably some money in the pot when he or she retired too.

5. TV drama about Alex, Teddy, Georgie and Frankie Reed : SISTERS. Crosses all the way.

6. Vagabond : HOBO

7. News piece : ITEM

8. X-ray units : RADS. I need to stop overthinking four-letter fill, ROENTGEN is simply not going to work, I don't even know if it's got anything whatsoever to do with the clue, but I couldn't move beyond it.

9. Linguistic suffix : ESE.

10. Pickled : BRINED. Oh! Not too much vodka then?

11. Purple __: New Hampshire state flower : LILAC.  Very pretty - looks a little like the foxgloves/digitalis from last week to my untrained eye:


(Note to self. - Filling in ILLAC doesn't make the NE quadrant any easier to complete)

12. Word with travel or talent : AGENT. I wanted SCOUT for the longest while, I almost convinced myself that there are professional TRAVEL SCOUTS out there.

13. Underworld : HADES

18. Zippy flavor : TANG

19. Most nasty : VILEST

24. Bone: Pref. : OSTE. Again with the hmmmmmm fill. Not a fan.

25. NH summer hours : E.D.T. The Eastern Time bit is always a given for me, but why can I never remember when it's "Standard" and when it's "Daylight"?

26. Quite a blow : JOLT

27. Tall runners : EMUS. EMUS and IMUS must be related.


28. Footnote ref. : OP. CIT. "Opere Citato" or "in the work cited" to refer to a previously-credited work to avoid needless repetition of the full title.

29. Mount Narodnaya's range : URALS.

30. __ orange : NAVEL. I had NAVAL first, I guess I was going with my own LIMEY nautical citrus theme.

33. Thin paper : ONION SKIN.

34. Nap : DOZE

35. Slave Scott : DRED.

37. Like many omelets : TWO EGG

40. "Mi casa __ casa" : ES SU. Not to be taken toooo literally.

43. Gore and Hirt : ALs

44. Stock market VIP? : RANCHER. Loved this clue/answer.

46. Casual wine choices : CHARDS. There are many nice ones from my home state of California. I had a glass of Sterling tonight - an odd choice considering I'm in South Beach, Miami for the day. I should be drinking rum and channeling Hemingway.

47. Not bad, not good : SO-SO. Related to the above?

48. Modern witch's religion : WICCA

49. For this purpose : AD HOC. A learning moment. If challenged to define "ad hoc" I'd have been offering up variations of "ad lib" or "off the cuff".

50. Old, as a joke : STALE

53. Goofs : ERRS. "To goof is human, to err is Bill Buckner". I just made that up! Almost 30 years too late to make a fortune selling t-shirts in New York, alas.

54. Exam sophs may take : P-SAT

55. Colon, in analogies : IS TO

57. Sheep together : HERD. Another one I got right away then looked back and said "huh"? "Shepherd" makes this work, otherwise you'd look for "FLOCK" as the answer or "Cow Together" as the clue, right?

58. Keats works : ODES

60. Org. concerned with greenhouse gas : E.P.A. The Environmental Protection Agency has a lot to worry about right now.

61. Ally of Fidel : CHE. Castro's amigo Guevara. The dictionary definition of "iconic" should simply cite this image:

That's all, Folks!

"The Superbowl", "Saints", "Jets", "Colts", "Chargers" and related names and indicia are the sole property of the National Football League and may not be used or reproduced without the express written consent of the NFL. "Lilac" image may be subject to copyright. "Jane Fonda Workout", "Emu" and "Imus" copyright their respective owners. "Che" copyright the William Soler Pediatric Cardiology Hospital in Havana, Cuba. I think that's got us covered today :)



Jan 29, 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 Gail Grabowski and Bruce Venzke

 Theme: I Don't Do Windows - Four compound nouns and a reveal. The revelation is both parts of the theme entries can work as verbs and all are related to keeping things spic and span.

20A. *4-0 World Series win, e.g. : CLEAN SWEEP

41A. *Broom alternative : DUST MOP

11D. *Scouring aid : SCRUB BRUSH

28D. *Graffiti maker’s medium : SPRAY PAINT

57A. Designed for two functions, and a hint to the answers to starred clues : DOUBLE-DUTY

Argyle here. An easier construct than yesterday but with an extra layer to the solve. Monday and Tuesday make a good start to the week.

My stress test was uneventful and, as usual, I won't get the results for a month. Thank you for your concerns.

Across:

1. Bit of high jinks : ANTIC

6. Eastern European : SLAV. and 6D. Side with a sandwich : SLAW

10. Sounds of disapproval : TSKS. I waited to see if it was TUTS.

14. Team leader : COACH

15. Hang (around) in a hammock, say : LAZE

16. Dos cubed : OCHO. 2³ = 8 (Spanish)

17. Second-largest Indian city : DELHI

18. Play parts : ACTS. and something else we've seen a lot of: 69A. Colony critters : ANTS

19. Say grace, say : PRAY

22. Salad fish : TUNA

23. Make illegal : BAN

24. Spy for Moses : CALEB. Moses appointed a team of twelve men to explore the land, only Caleb and Joshua remembered to "Fear not, neither be discouraged".

26. Bit of schoolyard disagreement : "AM SO!"

29. Gardner of Hollywood : AVA

32. Under the covers : IN BED

35. “The Shield” force, briefly : LAPD
 

36. Diabolical sorts : FIENDS

39. “Norma __” : RAE

40. Pooling vehicle : CAR

42. www bookmark : URL

43. Org. with many specialists : AMA

44. Online newsgroup system : USENET

45. Nora was his mistress : ASTA. The dog from the Thin Man movies.

46. Justin Timberlake’s former band : *NSYNC

48. Fir feller : AXE. Cute alliteration.

49. Bok __: cabbage : CHOY
 

50. Nudges : POKES

53. Corrosive stuff : LYE

55. Cashless deal : SWAP

63. Buffalo’s lake : ERIE

64. Not nuts : SANE

65. Run to the window : GO SEE

66. Gave for a while : LENT

67. Malevolent : EVIL

68. Great enthusiasm : GUSTO

70. Riga resident : LETT. (Latvian)

71. Scatter about : STREW

Down:

1. Adapter letters : AC/DC

2. Carolers’ offering : NOEL

3. Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s __” : TALE. Sparknotes

4. Sleepy Hollow schoolteacher Crane : ICHABOD.
"On mounting a rising ground, which brought the figure of his fellow-traveller in relief against the sky, gigantic in height, and muffled in a cloak, Ichabod was horror-struck on perceiving that he was headless!--but his horror was still more increased on observing that the head, which should have rested on his shoulders, was carried before him on the pommel of his saddle!"

- Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

5. Plates for company : CHINA

7. Bridal gown trim : LACE

8. Ancient Mexican : AZTEC

9. Italian scooter : VESPA

10. David Letterman list : TOP TEN

12. Genghis __ : KHAN

13. Tofu source : SOYA

21. Bureaucratic bungles : SNAFUS

25. Speech therapist’s concern : LISP

26. Highway to Fairbanks : ALCAN
 

27. Sirs’ counterparts : MA'AMS

30. Clamping device : VISE

31. MetLife competitor : AETNA

33. Turn a deaf __ : EAR TO

34. Airport annoyance : DELAY

37. Carlsbad Caverns locale: Abbr. : N. MEX.

38. “I’m listening!” : "DO TELL!"

41. “Watch your head!” : "DUCK!"

 
 

45. Prevailed against, slangily : ACED OUT

47. Common rental restriction : [NO PETS]. Cats are an exception, right?

51. Four-wheeled flop : EDSEL. Nobody's first car was an Edsel?

52. Dry Italian wine : SOAVE

54. Safecrackers : YEGGS

55. Ward of “CSI: NY” : SELA. Entered her name without a second thought.

56. Small songbird : WREN

58. Army division : UNIT

59. Shot at the bar : BELT

60. Cold War country: Abbr. : USSR

61. Mal de __: Henri’s headache : TÊTE

62. “That hurts!” : "YEOW!"


Argyle


Jan 28, 2013

Monday Jan 28, 2013 Gareth Bain

 Theme: MM MM GOOD (63A. Campbell's soup slogan, and a hint to the puzzle theme found in 18-, 20-, 40- and 56-Across) - Each theme entry contains 4 M's.

18A. Musical based on ABBA songs : MAMMA MIA. 8-letter answer as the first theme entry is just hard. You'll know when you construct puzzles yourself. They result in stacked 6's alongside, and I find stacked 6's challenging to fill, esp for a Monday grid.  Also, notice this theme entry and the next one have a 5-letter overlap? No showmanship here. They're often done out of necessity. Gareth gets smoother fill this way. Downside: plenty of 3-letter entries.

20A. Golfer Snead's nickname : SLAMMIN' SAMMY. Did you know Sam Snead can kick the top of  a seven-foot doorway in his 70's? He was very very agile. His swing is so hard to imitate. I tried! Ben Hogan's, on the other hand, is highly effective & efficient. Sam Snead makes me want to over-swing.

40A. One on a board : COMMITTEE MEMBER

56A. Whale or dolphin : MARINE MAMMAL

C.C. here. No new puzzle from Cruciverb last night. Dear Santa Argyle normally braves through, but he has to go to VA hospital early this morning for a stress test.

Regulars probably have noticed, this problem happens on Cruciverb once a month, when new batch of puz files do not arrive in time for Cruciverb to put out.

Across:

1. Paper used for envelopes : MANILA

7. Teensy kitchen invader : ANT. The mouse in our house really bothers me. Peanut butter just does not attract him.

10. Thick-bodied river fish : CHUB. The fish looks stunned.



14. Lessened : ABATED

15. Critical hosp. area : ICU

16. Take down with a wrecking ball : RAZE

17. Trade for cash : REDEEM
 
22. "I don't care which" : ANY

23. Naval petty officer : YEOMAN

27. Lasting mark : SCAR.  "Lasting...", so it can't be SCAB.

30. __ and gown : CAP

33. John, Paul, George or Ringo : NAME. Some words are fun to clue, like NAME, NOUN, VERB, etc. Some are plain boring, like RARA, IRAE. You just don't have other choices.

34. Go without food : STARVE. I always eat fish on New Year's day. Superstition. I'm worried that I'll starve again. 

36. "True __": Wayne film : GRIT

39. CFO's degree : MBA
 
43. Swiss peak : ALP

44. Gas in a sign : NEON

45. Knocks for a loop : FLOORS

46. Scallion relative : LEEK. I think Yellowrocks has killer potato leek soup recipe.

48. Space-saving abbr. : ETC

50. Team statistic : LOSS. Twin Cities has all the major sports teams. Lossville though.

51. Finale : ENDING

54. Selling fast : HOT.  I snatched a set of this Carolina Herrera cute bags. $9.99 at Target. All gone now. Look closely at the design of the biggest bag.  What do you see?



66. "Seinfeld" woman : ELAINE. She always has big salad.

67. Albany's canal : ERIE. Hello Abejo!

68. Actress Hagen : UTA

69. Sticky-toed lizards : GECKOS

70. Tadpole's breathing organ : GILL

71. LPGA star Se Ri __ : PAK. Her name is actually Park. Error in filling in some form, then she decided to keep the wrong PAK.


72. Be agreeable : ASSENT

Down:

1. Red planet : MARS

2. Ill-fated Biblical brother : ABEL

3. Diddly, to Dalí : NADA

4. To-do list entry : ITEM

5. Oscar winner for "Cat Ballou" : LEE MARVIN. Nice full name.

6. Part of FDA: Abbr. : ADMIN

7. Gets in one's sights, with "at" : AIMS. Watch the action at 1 minute mark. Thanks, again, TTP!

8. Campus sports org. : NCAA

9. Tot's belly : TUMMY.  And 10. Tot's drawing tool : CRAYON

11. Clumsy actor : HAM

12. Special forces weapon : UZI

13. Arthur who played Maude : BEA

19. Marseille Mrs. : MME

21. The Big Apple, initially : NYC. A snapshot of the top visitors to our blog two days ago. Don't know where "not set" is located.




24. Latin ballroom dances : MAMBOS

25. Orange-yellow gemstones : AMBERS

26. Gets warmer, in a game : NEARS. I don't get this clue.

27. Taken in a break-in : STOLEN

28. Slept next to the trail, say : CAMPED
 
29. Upper limb : ARM

31. Sales rep : AGENT

32. Opposite of post- : PRE

34. Weighing device : SCALE. Boomer weighed 214lbs in his Army days, with a 34' waist. His weight has not changed much over the years, but his waist has gone through the roof.

35. Somme summer : ETE

37. Global currency org. : IMF

38. Stretch the truth : TELL TALES

41. Bathwater tester : TOE. Fun clue.

42. Dairy farm sound : MOO

47. Late-night host Jimmy : KIMMEL. I like Fallon.

49. Revolutionary Guevara : CHE

52. Inveterate faultfinder : NAG

53. Word with hug or therapy : GROUP. Do you often find this type of "Word with what or what" clue more challenging?

55. Alpha's opposite : OMEGA

57. Teensy amount : IOTA

58. Fargo's st. : N DAK. Hi there Qli.

59. Apples with screens : MACs

60. Karaoke prop : MIKE

61. Many a folk song, composer-wise: Abbr. : ANON

62. "__ we forget" : LEST

63. Ryan of "Sleepless in Seattle" : MEG. Did anyone watch her "Courage Under Fire"? I was so confused and could not tell who's telling truth.

64. Hosp. scan : MRI

65. 1,000 G's : MIL

A couple notes:

1) Click here for details of the Second Minnesota Crossword Tournament to be  held on Feb 3, 2013.

2) I'm so happy to see more new faces on the blog the past week, despite our blog trouble.  Here is some basic guide on how to turn blue. It's not updated. So feel free to pop in Comments section if you need help.

C.C.

(MMMM, from Argyle)
                                                          

Jan 27, 2013

Sunday Jan 27, 2013 Elizabeth C. Gorski

Theme: "That's a Wrap" - THATS bookend (wrap) each theme answer.

23A. Husky features : THICK COATS



38A. Disney film featuring Berlioz, Toulouse, Marie and their mom Duchess : THE ARISTOCATS

71A. Tom yum soup servers : THAI RESTAURANTS. I've yet to try Tom yum soup. Looks spicy.

 

102A. Packages from recent guests, perhaps : THANK YOU GIFTS

123A. The Chicago Bulls had two in the '90s : THREEE PEATS

14A. Trademark caps for Ashton Kutcher and Justin Timberlake : TRUCKER HATS.


71A. Household regulators : THERMOSTATS. The only one-word entry.

LIZ (60A. First name in fashion) gave us a few nice variations: TH*ATS, THA*TS, T*HATS.

Sometimes I get theme of as soon as I see the puzzle title. Sometimes I get it after one or two theme entries appear. Often I get it half-way through solving.

Today I had to study all the theme entries afterwards to grok the gimmick. How about you?

Across:

1. Actress Birch : THORA. She's in "American Beauty".

6. Trattoria glassful : VINO

10. Many a GE product : APPL. GE stock is undervalued.

14. Ruse : TRAP

18. Have lunch at home : EAT IN

19. Pressing need? : IRON. We've seen this clue a few times.

20. Set of beliefs : CREED

22. Tear down, in Tottenham : RASE. Clue alliteration.

25. Line at a rodeo? : REATA

26. "QB VII" author : URIS (Leon)

27. "$40 a Day" chef Ray : RACHAEL. Like Marti, She's always bubbly. She coined EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil).

28. __ facto : IPSO

30. Librarian's reminder : SHH

31. Players : CAST

32. Grafton's "__ for Lawless" : L IS

34. Scottish tongue : ERSE

36. Supermodel Wek : ALEK. Hasn't been active the past few years. From Sudan.



44. Nontraditional performance genre : LIVE ART. Like what?

48. Carpet cleaning tool : RUG BEATER

49. Poses : SITS

51. Route to the lungs : AIRWAY

52. Swashbuckler Flynn : ERROL

53. Arise (from) : STEM

55. Codger : COOT

57. High-speed scene : CHASE. Still have not caught the little mouse. I just saw him in our computer room a few minutes ago. He's super fast & clever. He just ignored the 2 traps we have. Maybe we need more traps.

58. Bledel of "Gilmore Girls" : ALEXIS. She has the most beautiful eyes.


62. Fruity treats : PLUM TARTS


64. It ends in Nov. : DST

65. Ready for aromatherapy, say : STRESSED. You've got to watch this cat link Dave found last night. Big stress reliever.

69. Blood typing letters : ABO

70. Spot in front of the telly? : TEA. Clever clue.

74. "I'm not impressed" : MEH

76. "Was __ blame?" : I TO

77. Big Island volcano : MAUNA LOA. Literally, "long mountain".

78. Like a bunch-spoiling apple : BAD

81. Numskull : LAME BRAIN

84. NBC weekend staple : SNL

85. Old Athens enemy : SPARTA. I really like "300".

87. Astrologer to the rich and famous : OMARR (Sydney). Learned from constructing puzzles.

88. One who's not striking : SCAB. 1989 (Tiananmen Square protest) is a very confusing year for me. I don't remember we had any worker/student protest in China before.

90. It has its highs and lows : TIDE

93. Not as warm : ICIER

94. C.P.E. Bach's birthplace : WEIMAR. And 6D. Soloists in Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 : VIOLISTS. Gimme for Jayce/Pas de Chat. Liz Gorski is a musician.

96. "Up and __!" : AT 'EM

98. Court plea : NO CONTEST

100. 2011 World Series champs : ST. LOUIS. Then Pujols left for the Angels during the off season. Money talks. Baseball listens.

104. Symbol of purity : SNOW

105. Time past : YORE

106. Sailor's direction : AFT

107. Clump : TUFT

110. Bread in a jar? : TIP. Look!


112. Gp. with forces : NATO

114. Lasagna cheese : RICOTTA

120. Madonna's "La __ Bonita" : ISLA

121. Call forth : EVOKE

125. Future doc's exam : MCAT

126. Lats' neighbors : DELTS


127. It's south of Vesuvius : ETNA. Volcano.

128. Like ballerinas, at times : ON TOE

129. Cake mix additions : EGGS

130. Late for a party, maybe : LOST

131. Berth place : DOCK.  Sweet clue.

132. Some aromatic cakes : SOAPS. Did you sense the "cake" trick immediately?

Down:

1. Four: Pref. : TETR. Or Tetra.

2. "Yuk yuk" : HA HA. Har Har for Splynter/Linda.

3. Of the ear : OTIC

4. Like chocolate truffle cake : RICH. At least CCC calories, I think.



5. "Diana" singer : ANKA

7. Lyricist Gershwin : IRA

8. Words of denial : NOT I

9. How freelancers may work : ON SPEC

10. Puzzle book offering : ACROSTIC

11. Teen leader? : PRE. Preteen.

12. Pod veggies : PEAS

13. "__ Weapon" : LETHAL

15. __ avis : RARA

16. Yard sale caveat : AS IS. I love neighborhood garage/yard sales.

17. Recurring pain? : PEST

21. Mexico's national flower : DAHLIA

24. "Drink to me only with thine eyes" dedicatee : CELIA. Never heard of this song.

29. Span. ladies : SRAs

33. Editor's "leave it" : STET

35. Legally bar : ESTOP

37. Kick out : EVICT

38. Gripping pattern : TREAD

39. Throws : HURLS

40. Everglades bird : EGRET

41. "... like __ of chocolates" : A BOX. "Forrest Gump".

42. Dog topper : RELISH. Do you put ketchup on your hotdog? Boomer does. He also over-cooks livers. He said livers have to be cooked thoroughly. 

43. Bully's words : OR ELSE
 
45. Mindful : AWARE

46. Dreaded Jamaican? : RASTA. Nailed it. Bob Marley visited a friend's Chinese herb shop ages ago.

47. Nautical ropes : TYES. Can anyone provide a picture?

50. Toyota Camry model : SOLARA
 
54. Midler's "Divine" nickname : MISS M

56. Friend of Shylock : TUBAL. Don't recall this character.  

59. Way up : STAIR

61. Z's overseas : ZETAS. Greek.

63. Old hi-fis : MONOS

66. Coolidge and Hayworth : RITAs

67. Symphony that includes a funeral march : EROICA. The second movement is a funeral march.

68. Intimidate : DAUNT

72. Disconnect : UNLINK

73. Recording : TAPING

74. "The Cryptogram" playwright : MAMET (David). Never heard of "The Cryptogram".


75. Online message : EMAIL

78. Lawyer's document : BRIEF

79. "This is only __" : A TEST

80. Bar fliers : DARTS

81. Valleys : LOWS

82. Big name in coffee makers : BRAUN. Part of P&G now.

83. Smartly dressed : NATTY. Nothing natty. But this is the best jorts picture I've seen.



86. Theater opening : ACT I

89. "Don't play games with me" : BE HONEST. Nice long entry.

91. 1977 ELO hit : DO YA

92. Environmental extremist : ECO FREAK. So many go extreme on organic food too.

95. Reacted with outrage, as a mob : RIOTED

97. Rooney __, who played Salander in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" : MARA. Lots of talk about this movie in our blog when it's first released.

99. Navel type : OUTIE
 
101. Turn at the bar, perhaps : SWIVEL

103. Brought home : NETTED

107. Coach's call : TIME

108. "The Perfect Storm" rescue gp. : USCG (United States Coast Guard)

109. Penalty __ : FLAG. Thought of KICK first.

111. Game divided into chukkers : POLO. I googled "chukkers" before,, then I promptly forgot.

113. "__ Be in Love": Kate Bush song : OH TO. Here is the clip.

115. Naval noncoms : CPOs. Spitzboov was a Commander when he retired from the Navy Reserve.

116. Vintner's prefix : OENO. Oenophile.

117. "Later," in London : TA TA

118. Camaro roof option : T-TOP

119. Grieg's "__ Death" : ASE'S

122. Gold meas. : KTs (Karats)

124. GOP platform-promoting org. : RNC. They just elected a new Chairman on Friday. Same old one.

The Second Minnesota Crossword Tournament will be held on Feb 2, 2013. Click here for details. All the puzzles are made by locals or people with MN ties, including one by Don and me.

C.C.

Jan 26, 2013

Saturday, Jan 26th, 2013, Brad Wilber

Theme: None

Words: 68

Blocks: 28

  Oh Wilber~!!  Another solid offering from one of our steady Saturday constructors, with little in the way of obscure proper names, places and foreign words (OK, one), and LOTS of hyphenated words/phrases.  Triple 10's in the across, and triple 8's in the down corners with a couple of climbers of note:

28D. "Act naturally" : BE YOURSELF - which reminds me of this song, with the lyric at 1:35

33D. Italian Baroque painter known for ceiling frescoes : GUIDO RENI - A proper name and foreign, too~!  Some history, here at the Wiki

And one spanner:

34A. Alloy used to make knives : MOLYBDENUM STEEL - Oddly, Tungsten Carbide fit, too; anyone who has bought a circular saw blade or drill bit is familiar with the latter; guess what I put in first....

o-N^w-A-r_D ~!~!

ACROSS:

1. Scrapped, at NASA : NO-GO - because "aborted" didn't fit

5. Way to get in : ACCESS CODE

15. Zipped through : ACED

16. Like the cap worn by Annette : MOUSE-EARED - nailed it; Annette Funicello

17. One piggy's portion : NONE

18. Reducing : CURTAILING

19. Big blast : N-TEST - paired with 44D

21. Come down hard : TEEM

22. Smidge : IOTA

23. Sound from your favorite toy? : YIP - small dogs, referred to as "toys" by the AKC

24. Beguile : AMUSE

26. Less clumsy : ABLER

27. Trounce : CLOBBER

29. Unoriginal : TIRED

30. Botanical balm : ALOE

31. It may make honeymooners a bit misty : NIAGARA - HAR-HAR, but I wasn't misled; one of the most famous honeymoon spots is Niagara Falls, here in NY (OK, and Canada, too) where the air is constantly misty; even the tour boats are in on the appeal

39. Throw money around, in a way : OVER-TIP - are you an over-tipper?  I am when we go to eat out as a family

40. Jane Austen's aspiring matchmaker : EMMA

41. Gives kudos : LAUDS

43. Hard to read : DEADPAN

45. Becomes disillusioned : SOURS

46. Jumper cable connection point : ANODE - nipple didn't fit

48. "Moreover ..." : AND

49. A passel : TONS - a passel is an indeterminate amount of something, sort of like a small "gazillion", as in  "I have (insert here) of paperwork to do~!"

50. Lead : STAR - that's l-EE-d, not LeD

51. Navigational aid : CANAL - so is part of your ear an "auditory navigational aid"?

53. Net : AFTER TAXES

56. "Ciao!" : TA-TA

57. Some 19th-century industrialists : RAIL BARONS - I watched "Ultimate Guide to the Presidents" this week; fascinating how the stuff I was taught in high school bored me then, and intrigues me now.

58. Picked out of a lineup : IDed

59. "They've rigged this whole thing!" : "THE FIX IS IN~!"

60. Cushy : EASY

DOWN:

1. Device hidden by a concerned parent : NANNY-CAM

2. Red-flowering desert shrub : OCOTILLO

3. Heredity source : GENE POOL

4. Tributes in verse : ODES

5. Old Gremlin maker : AMC - I had the Sportabout Wagon that my father gave me in 1988; it had huge potential that I couldn't see at 17yrs old; 258 straight six

6. High-end fashion designer : COUTURIER

7. Fixes : CURES

8. Name on many compacts : ESTEE

9. Baseball feature : SEAM

10. Twice tre : SEI

11. Fine-tuned : CALIBRATED - I did some searching on the origin; seems to be from the Arabic "qalib", the cast for a bullet

12. Bird that builds hanging nests : ORIOLE - and the bird in Baltimore, too

13. Subject to a trade-in reduction : DENTED - I think the 227,800 miles on my car will put a "dent" in my trade-in value

14. Guest in a library : EDGAR - Nice misdirection; this man, here, and not "user", "reader", "student" - I couldn't think of a 5-letter word

20. Q's neighbor : TAB - on the keyboard, not the phone pad

25. Brasil '66 leader : MENDES

26. What social climbers may put on? : AIRS

29. Patted down : TAMPED - tamped to me sounds "heavier" than patted; I usually tamp the ground before a concrete pour.  What would the cement guy say if I told him I "patted" it down???

32. Tiny colonist : ANT

35. Briefs not seen in court, hopefully : BVDs - tightie-whities~!

36. Mexican stuffed pastry : EMPANADA