, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: June 2014


Jun 30, 2014

Monday, June 30, 2014 Jerome Gunderson

Theme: It's Puzzle Time! - Double AM's.

17A. Wishy-washy : NAMBY PAMBY

62A. Cookie brand : FAMOUS AMOS

11D. Elite group of athletes : DREAM TEAM. Note: The AM sound is missing.

35D. It's "played" by finger-pointers : BLAME GAME

52D. Wee hr., and a hint to a feature common to this puzzle's four longest answers : TWO AM

Argyle here. A theme excellent in its simplicity with some sparkly fill and we're good to go.


1. Cereal dish : BOWL. Remember we get cereal from Ceres, the goddess of agricultural fertility.

5. Defame in print : LIBEL. Slander - defamation by oral utterance.

10. Brink : EDGE

14. New York City theater award : OBIE. The off-Broadway award. Tony is the on-Broadway award.

15. Dutch-speaking Caribbean island : ARUBA

16. Dianetics creator Hubbard : L. RON. Dianetics is a set of ideas and practices regarding the metaphysical relationship between the mind and body which was created by L. Ron Hubbard and is practiced by followers of Scientology and separate independent Dianeticist groups. Wikipedia

19. Heating outlet : VENT

20. Baseball official : UMP

21. Ukrainian city of one million : ODESSA

22. "Othello" conspirator : IAGO

23. Give up the single life : SAY "I DO"

25. Standard : NORM

27. Took the first step : BEGAN

30. Very happy : ELATED

33. Exxon merger partner : MOBIL

36. Pigeon's roost, often : LEDGE. But we were thinking, "statue".

38. "Evil Woman" rock gp. : ELO. (Electric Light Orchestra)

39. Societal problems : ILLS

40. Thyme piece : SPRIG

41. Not at all wild : TAME

42. Agcy. that regulates tobacco products : FDA. (Food and Drug Administration)

43. Apple music players : iPODs

44. Greek island : SAMOS

45. Doe or sow : FEMALE

47. Slalom competitor : SKIER

49. Utility abbr. : ELEC.

50. Enterprise engineer : SCOTTY. Officer Montgomery Scott. The exact phrase, "Beam me up, Scotty", was never actually spoken in any Star Trek television episode or film.

54. Lead-in for bytes or bucks : MEGA

56. Persistently demand : INSIST

60. Run a tab, say : OWE

61. Arabian sultanate : OMAN. 55D. Gulf States prince : EMIR

64. Rocker Hendrix : JIMI. Jimi Hendrix - Star Spangled Banner Woodstock 1969 (not for everyone) Link

65. Hole __: golf rarity : IN ONE

66. Tilt : LEAN

67. Valuable rocks : OREs

68. Like pet parakeets : CAGED

69. Prom night wheels : LIMO


1. Paycheck surprise : BONUS

2. 2012 Romney defeater : OBAMA

3. Popeye's hamburger-loving pal : WIMPY

4. Neighbor of Syr. : LEB. (Syria/Lebanon)

5. Peke or Yorkie : LAP DOG

6. "Dies __": Latin hymn : IRAE

7. Mooches, as a cigarette : BUMS

8. Flows out : EBBS

9. Bomb on stage : LAY AN EGG

10. TV's "Mistress of the Dark" : ELVIRA

12. Loud bell : GONG

13. Within: Pref. : ENTO

18. Swiss Alps melody : YODEL

24. Sacred wader of old Egypt : IBIS

26. Corrida cheer : ¡OLE!. "Bravo!"

28. Food for Fido : ALPO

29. Dweebs : NERDS

31. Red "Sesame Street" Muppet : ELMO

32. Performs : DOES

33. Annoy : MIFF

34. Shoppe modifier : OLDE

37. Floppy __ : DISK

40. Explicit : SPECIFIC

41. Hawaiian root : TARO

43. Suffix with infant : ILE. (infantile)

44. Religious divisions : SECTS

46. Grammy winner Morissette : ALANIS

48. Put out, as a publication : ISSUED

51. Marisa of "My Cousin Vinny" : TOMEI

53. Courtroom question type : YES/NO

54. Magic charm : MOJO

57. Mom's mom : NANA

58. Skyline haze : SMOG

59. Actress Skye : IONE

63. Every bit : ALL


Jun 29, 2014

Sunday June 29, 2014 Gail Grabowski

Theme:  "Let's Party"- LET is inserted into each theme answer.

22A. Tale about the making of a quilt? : COVERLET STORY. Cover story.

38A. Low-priced entrée item? : BUDGET CUTLET. Budget cut.

56A. Sign of embarrassment? : SCARLET FACE. Scarface.

82A. Sale on ornamental bands? : ARMLETS DEAL. Arms deal. Same insertion approach as 15D. So no odd man out in Gail's set.

97A. Shopper comparing iPad prices? : TABLET HUNTER. Tab Hunter.
119A. Oldest in a delivery line? : SENIOR TRIPLET. Senior trip.

15D. Wine bar tip containers? : GOBLETS OF MONEY. Gobs of money.

51D. Bargain mall in the Sahara? : OUTLET OF AFRICA. Out of Africa.

I like when added LETs are not the diminutive suffixes, i.e,  the new *LET words are not rooted in the old words, so Gail's theme choices work very well.


1. Indian in "The Big Bang Theory" : RAJ. The Simpsons Indian guy is APU.

4. Durable do : PERM

8. "That's the spot!" : AHH

11. Shape seen at some crossings : OCTAGON

18. Mil. mailroom : APO

19. First aid plant : ALOE

20. Nice friend : AMIE. I have no AMIE in Nice. 

21. 1953 Biblical epic : THE ROBE. Never saw it.

25. Fuel storage unit : COAL BIN

26. Group mailing aid : E-LIST. Not a term I use.

27. User shortcuts : HOT KEYS. Keyboard shortcut. Like Ctrl + P for Print.

29. Russian city on the Oka : OREL. Never heard of the city, or the Oka River.

30. Ennui, with "the" : BLAHS

31. Political satirist Stewart : JON. Do you like John Oliver also? That's the funniest clip I've seen in a long time. You'll forgive I'm Too Sexy.

32. "Didn't mean to do that!" : OOPS

34. Faith group : SECT

37. Hollandaise ingredient : YOLK

43. __:CON: Weather Channel twister probability index : TOR. I had to google. It stands for Tornado Condition.

44. They're sometimes written by guests : OP-EDs

46. Río de la Plata country: Abbr. : URU. Uruguay.

47. Identical : SAME

48. Respond to a tort, perhaps : SUE

49. Not in time : TOO LATE

52. Class-conscious one, briefly? : PROF. Great clue. 

53. Bleeping overseers : CENSORS

55. __ Dhabi : ABU
60. Searches carefully : SIFTS

61. Glassmaking ingredient : POTASH

63. Alarmed cries : EEKS

64. Court tactic : LOB. Tennis court.

65. Disease-stricken tree : ELM

66. Fly off the shelves : SELL

67. Yoga posture : ASANA

69. Dummies : DODOS. Not our sweet Dodo.

71. Caracas crackers? : LOCO. Just "crazy" in Spanish.

74. Org. concerned with CFCs : EPA

76. Sky god after whom a weekday is named : TIU. Tyr in Norse myth.

77. Radius, e.g. : BONE

78. Webpage button under a bill : PAY NOW

80. Gets in the game : ANTES

85. "The Book of __": 2010 film : ELI

86. "Star Trek" diagnostic tool : BIO-SCAN

88. Three-part snack : OREO. And 81D. Nabisco snack brand : NILLA

89. Altar attendant : ACOLYTE

91. E.T. from Melmac : ALF

92. Retro sign word : OLDE

94. Co. involved in arrangements : FTD. Flower arrangements.

95. Rugged ridge : ARETE

96. Infamous 1974 bank-robbing gp. : SLA

100. Pieces of 8? : ARCS. Oh, in number 8, there are a few ARCS.

104. Sword handle : HAFT

106. Distance swimmer Diana : NYAD

107. Brit. lexicon : OED

108. Flat substitute : SPARE. Tire.

109. Pool accessory : RACK

111. Fake it, in a way : LIP SYNC

115. __ Sound : PUGET

116. "Let me repeat ..." : AS I SAID

122. Swiss tourist city : LUCERNE. Have you been here, Marti/Steve?

123. "Chocolat" actress : OLIN (Lena)

124. Parting words? : OBIT

125. Galoot : APE

126. Fit to be tied : IN A RAGE

127. Target in some sports : NET

128. Carry on : WAGE. As war.

129. TV's "Science Guy" : NYE (Bill)


1. Zoom past : RACE BY

2. Theater near Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard : APOLLO

3. Merry : JOVIAL

4. What a junker might be good for : PARTS

5. Angular shape : ELL

6. Shad output : ROE. With grits, as we learned last week.

7. Means : METHODS

8. One way to run : AMOK

9. Addition to the staff : HIRE

10. "Psst!" : HEY YOU

11. Available without a scrip : OTC

12. Hand-waving kid's cry : CHOOSE ME

13. Rip : TEAR

14. Van Gogh inspiration : ARLES. I see his bedroom every day.

16. It's a cinch in Sapporo : OBI

17. Former Giants pitcher Robb : NEN. This often stump non-sports fans. He's in the 300 save club. Total 314 career saves.

20. Case worker: Abbr. : ATT. ADA too. We also have 35D. Place for a case : COURT

23. '60s Israeli prime minister : ESHKOL (Levi). Never heard of the guy.

24. Hit, say : SONG

28. They're often blitzed : SOTS

31. Herod's kingdom : JUDEA

33. Control group handout : PLACEBO

36. Hair piece : TRESS

38. "You __!" : BETCHA. So Minnesotan.

39. California's motto : EUREKA

40. Easy gaits : TROTS

41. Place for a link : CUFF

42. Jittery : TENSE

45. "I'd rather not" : PASS

49. Pub array : TAPS

50. English horn kin : OBOE

52. Full legislative assembly : PLENUM. New word to me. Dictionary says it's rooted in Latin "Plenus", meaning "full". Opposite of "Vacuum".

54. Nonsensical : SILLY

57. Put on again : RE-AIR

58. "The Tempest" king : ALONSO

59. Hard to crack : CODED. Not for Snowden. I'm worried about what Russian intelligence agency does to him.  The 31-Across Right Said Fred song applies to Putin as well.

62. French high spots : ALPES

68. One way to fly : STAND BY

69. College URL ending : DOT EDU

70. Orthodontic device : SPACER

72. Maker of the Commando rifle : COLT

73. Toddler's boo-boo : OWIE

75. Race site for more than 300 years : ASCOT

77. Sea bed? : BERTH. Another great clue.

79. Bunches : A LOT

80. Shame : ABASH

83. Artist's rental : LOFT

84. Like sea lions : EARED

87. "Matzo Balls for Breakfast" author : ALAN KING. Never had Matzo balls. You?

90. Jump to one's feet : LEAP UP

93. Israir alternative : EL AL

95. Suffered humiliation : ATE CROW. What many of you wanted on Thursday.

98. National Inventors' Day is observed on his birthday : EDISON. Neat trivia.

99. It's prohibited : NO NO

101. Sleeve type seen in sportswear : RAGLAN. OK, can you show me a picture?

102. Spine-tingling : CREEPY

103. Parlor piece : SETTEE

105. It's a stunner : TASER

108. Ill will : SPITE

110. "Flashdance... What a Feeling" singer : CARA

112. Athlete dubbed "O Rei do Futebol" : PELE "The King of Football".

113. Pique : SNIT

114. Taoist force : YIN

116. Poetic pugilist : ALI

117. It may be blocked by a screen : SUN

118. Bad ending? : DEE

120. Sched. uncertainty : TBA

121. Drilling equipment : RIG

Happy Birthday to Barry G, the Cal Ripken, Jr. of our blog. Barry test-solved my very first solo puzzle and has been patiently giving me solid feedback over the years. Thank you so much, Barry!  Longevity noodles from your in-laws today or going out to celebrate?

Barry, his wife & son (Joshua)


Jun 28, 2014

Saturday, Jun 28th, 2014, Brad Wilber

Theme: BW

Words: 70 (missing Q,X,Z)

Blocks: 40

  Today's grid is a bit of a departure from our normal layout, and I liked that.  High block count with 12 in the corners alone, giving us a "circular" pattern.  Brad last stopped in April 26th this year with a Home Improvement mini-theme crossing in the center; today you could say the theme was "brought to us by the letter 'V'" - I count seven.  The first pass did not bode well, but I ended up cruising though to the end - despite drawing a complete blank in the center with the crossing of four proper names. Top and bottom stacks of 11-, 13- and 15 letter spanners:

14a. Fiction involving letters : EPISTOLARY NOVEL - written in the form of correspondence letters, newspaper clippings, diary entries; examples that I know are "Dracula" ( Bram Stoker ) and "Carrie" from Stephen King

55a. Read lots of travelogues, say : LIVE VICARIOUSLY - I like this phrase

RAD, now~!


1. Cubicle sight : SWIVEL CHAIR

12. 1961 Ben E. King hit : SPANISH HARLEM - link away

16. Hipster persona : MR. COOL

17. Fair : SO-SO

18. Frequent co-producer of U2 albums : ENO - Put it in, took it out, put it back

19. Comportment : MIEN

20. Impact sound : "BAM~!"

21. By and by : ANON - not the ANON we are all too familiar with

22. Pay stub abbr. : YTD - Year-To-Date

23. MIT Sloan degree : MBA - The "Sloan" part had me thinking along the lines of Cancer Doctor ( and part of the proper name block where I drew a blank )

25. Striking action? : ERASURE - Like this

28. Jack-in-the-pulpit family : ARUM - Name #2 in the core of WTF?

30. Entreaty : APPEAL

31. Onetime Bell Atlantic rival : GTE - DAH~! I went with MCI - that's zero % correct

34. 1995 film with the line "Alan, please, last time I played this game, it ruined my life" : JUMANJI - never saw the whole thing - IMDb

36. Not forward : SHY - that's me; I was going nautical first with "AFT"

37. 1994 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee : LENNON - apart from his induction as a Beatle

39. "The Whiffenpoof Song" repetitions : BAAs - link away

40. Veterans : OLD PROS

42. Gag order? : "SHH~!" - Cute

43. Owed : DUE

46. Schmeling rival : BAER - Boxing "Maxes"

47. Wanamaker Trophy org. : PGA - Awarded to the winner of the fourth and final tournament championship; a little history here

49. Reason for an R : GORE - Movie rating

50. Gardner of film : AVA

51. Admitting a draft, perhaps : AJAR - Fresh clue for a crossword staple

53. Like some wallpaper motifs : FLORAL - Actual wallpaper, not that which can be found on one's smart phone - tho you may have a floral motif there, too

58. Altar burners : VOTIVE CANDLES - My first thought, but I was too 36a. to throw it in

59. Political matriarch who lived to 104 : ROSE KENNEDY - I was on the right wavelength, but for some reason, I wanted ETHEL, not Rose


1. Like some rum : SPICED - I just mentioned a "Gilligan's Island", made with spiced rum, last week

2. Got shown : WAS ON

3. Not apathetic about : INTO

4. Baroque instrument : VIOL - I always wanted to know what the difference between a Violin and a Viol was

5. Ex-pat's subj. : ESL - Again, different cluing for a crossword staple; I'm a bit 'meh' about this though

6. Capital where trains provide oxygen masks : LHASA - I knew we were looking for a high altitude city - more here

7. Hog trim : CHROME - "Hog" as in Harley Davidson motorcycles; their stock ticker is "HOG"

8. Robert of "Airplane!" : HAYS - One of my favoritest movies ever; he had a "drinking problem"

9. River through Pisa : ARNO - WAGed it

10. 1969 Peace Prize-winning agcy. : ILO - International Labour Organization

11. Proceeds : REVENUES - the noun, not the verb

12. Nautical pole : SPRIT - MAST, SPAR, YARD, GAFF and BOOM  were all a letter short

13. Image on Israel's state emblem : MENORAH

14. Winged statuette : EMMY - Dah, went with EROS - Bzzzt

15. Uninhabited : LONELY

20. "John Dough and the Cherub" author, 1906 : BAUM - #3 in the crossing of obscure names

21. Well of Souls guardian, in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" : ASP - Great way to clue another crossword staple

23. Sizable : MAJOR - Not LARGE

24. 20th-century maestro __ Walter : BRUNO - Name #4

26. Indian bigwig : RAJAH

27. Imitative : APISH

29. Fairy queen who carried a "whip of cricket's bone," in Shakespeare : MAB - Only 3-letter Fairy Queen I can think of

31. Far-reaching : GLOBAL

32. City with prevalent Bauhaus architecture : TEL AVIV - Some architectural reading

33. Attempt : ENDEAVOR

35. Magellan sponsor : NASA - Magellan, the mission to Venus, ended in 1994 - not the "original" Explorer

38. "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!" network : NPR

41. "In the Bedroom" Oscar nominee : SPACEK

43. Hirer of Sinatra in 1940 : DORSEY

44. Mount Narodnaya's range : URALS

45. Hard to capture : EELY

48. Adorn : GRACE

49. Pianist Glenn known for his Bach interpretations : GOULD

51. Alamo rival : AVIS

52. Balderdash : JIVE - another great set of lines from "Airplane~!"

53. Fictional rafter : FINN - Huh - I re-read this during my write-up, and the first thought that came to me is that one of the UPS trucks I load is labeled "FINN", and I wondered how that ever got into a crossword....oh, never mind

54. Underground band? : LODE - Didn't fool me, I knew we were looking for "STRIA" or something of that nature

56. Maginot Line arena: abbr. : ETO - again, a detailed clue for a crossword staple

57. Published : RAN


Jun 27, 2014

Friday, June 27, 2014, Marti Duguay-Carpenter

Theme: I am sorry, but it is necessary to perform an "N"ectomy on the patient.

Look what Blew in this week, marti blogging C.C., and then I get a Friday frolic with the mind of miss m with what was not a difficult extraction. Each of the four (4) theme answers has the letter "N" removed from a 4-letter word to create a new and side-splitting  phrase. For me, all add a letter, take away a letter puzzles depend on the humor of the new phrases and especially the wittiness of the reveal.  To transform BLOWN AWAY, a common phrase, into the evocative, BLOW 'N' AWAY, curls my puzzle solving toes. The 4 are all legitimate and fun (I like LOG DIVISION best). We have BREW for Tin and I,  some Shakespeare, OSLO for our Norwegian contingent, some pretty people and Dr. Seuss. I found it it a quick solve, with oodles of 3 and 4 letter fill to speed the process. Odd that BLOW would be central to two themes this week?

17A. Transport selling wieners? : HOT DOG BUNS, (9) The thought of a hot dog bus of course led to this image

24A. Woodsman's job? : LONG DIVISION.(11) Is there a short division? The LOG/LONG gave me the theme.

41A. Ma and pa's retirement dream? : LIVING OFF THE LAND.(15) makes me think of Todd Marinovich. I wonder if many parents have this thought? Do any of you watch America's Got Talent? Some of those young people are amazing.

51A. Tabloids? : LINE PRINTERS. (11) Are they lies? You mean Beyonce is not really having an alien's baby? and the reveal

66A. Totally amazed ... or, read another way, a hint to 17-, 24-, 41- and 51-Across : BLOW N AWAY.(9)


1. Bangers side : MASH. I made my non-British version of this favorite for my son and his wife when they came by to drop off their dog last week. With the hot dog clue reference we have a mini-theme of encased meat.

5. DOL division : OSHA. I might run out of red ink, Department oLabor begot Occupational Safety and Health Administration. I know OSHA is an acronym, but does anybody say DOL?

9. Concerns : FEARS.

14. Potpourri : OLIO. A SSO to C.C.

15. Stock answers? : MOOS. marti, so witty, that was a live one.

16. First : ON TOP. Of the standings, for example.

19. Willing : READY and able? Hmm, I am getting old.

20. Author among whose pen names was Theo LeSieg : SEUSS. Cute Friday clue, though marti nit number 1,  does anyone ever not say, "Dr. Seuss?

21. Not suitable : INAPT.

23. Stutz contemporary : REO. Early automobiles.

27. Church official : DEACON. A sub-priest I believe. I had so many links, Richard Deacon, Phil Silvers' brother, Queen bassist John Deacon, Deacon Jones, Wake Forest Demon Deacons.... so I left the linking to you.

31. Racer Fabi : TEO. Formula One and Indy driver. LINK.(1:10)

32. Countertenor's range : ALTO. Do not know music but this seemed easy. Do people say countertenor?

33. Sommer of "The Money Trap" : ELKE.

37. Outline : TRACE.

44. __ question : YES/NO. marti has used this before? yes? no?

45. Broadway opening : ACT I. Nice clue.

46. Buyer's boon : SALE.

47. Repeatedly, quaintly : OFT.

49. Eschews the café : EATS IN. Where you stay home and eschew your food.

57. Growing field?: Abbr. : AGRiculture.

58. "... bombs bursting __" : IN AIR. Name that tune!

59. Nahuatl speaker : AZTEC. Incan Aztec, eh.

64. Danger : PERIL.

68. Round perch : STOOL. Avoiding more breakfast test commentary.

69. 21,730-pg. references : OEDSOxford English Dictionaries.

70. Logan of CBS News : LARA. This is the South African newswoman attacked and raped on camera in Egypt. No links. Horrible reality.

71. Pulls in : EARNS.

72. Pub order : BREW. Not likely to get much use in a real pub, as pubs have choices.

73. Mike Tirico's network : ESPN. He is CONTROVERSIAL.


1. Scratch-resistance scale : MOHS. Mineral hardness scale. Named for a German mineralogist, not one of the Three Stooges.

2. Natural balm : ALOE. In Florida, after too much sun, it is the bomb.

3. In __: as originally placed : SITU. Made famous by TV and CSI type shows.

4. Coal scuttles : HODS. Not hard, except for Bostonians.
5. Texting gasp : OMG.

6. Ferber novel : SO BIG.

7. Harass : HOUND. Game of Thrones?. LINK.

8. Verdi adverb : ASSAI. This could be very hard if you do not know Italian or music.

9. Ruby anniversary : FORTIETH. My son just had his wooden anniversary.

10. Opposite of 67-Down : ENE. Cheesy cross-reference with 67D. Opposite of 10-Down : WSW.

11. Big arcade name : ATARI.

12. Sport based on vaquero skills : RODEO. Vaquero is I believe Spanish for Cowboy; I hear they are riding motorcycles instead of horses now.

13. Keep under surveillance : SPY ON. No politics.

18. Home of the Munch Museum : OSLO. Like his most famous work, the place is surreal.

22. Cpl.'s subordinate : PVT

25. Heist unit : ONE G, I guess you decide how many thousands you get.

26. Most likely to groan : SOREST. Most sore, not so rest.

27. Carson of "The Voice" : DALY.  A TV STAR.

28. Writer Wiesel : ELIE.

29. Rugged rides, for short : ATVS. All Terrain Vehicls.

30. Needing quarters, perhaps : COIN OP. Really?

34. Mauna __ : LOA. It is lower than KEA, which is higher than LOA..

35. Popeyes rival : KFCKentucky Fried Chicken.

36. Juvenile salamander : EFT.

38. "__, I am not coop'd here for defence!": "Henry VI, Part 3" : ALAS. Act V, SCENE I.

39. Colombian city : CALI.

40. Early cover-up site? : EDEN. Really cute fig leaf clue.

42. Basic : NO FRILLS. There is no truth to the rumor Spirit Airlines is selling toilet tissue by the square.

43. Bowl level : TIER.

48. London can : TIN. Another Shout out. Maybe Steve can bring us a tin of roe when he travels.

50. Slippery-eel link : AS AN. Is this a partial?

51. Backslide : LAPSE.

52. "__ Kick Out of You" : I GET A. How about some BLUE EYES (3:09)?

53. Flub : ERROR.

54. Big shot : NABOB. Are the nattering?

55. Floor worker : TILER. I wonder why there

56. Undermine : ERODE.

60. Jewelry entrepreneur Morris : ZALE. Did not know this MAN.The Z made it simple.

61. "__ the night ..." : TWAS. An Argyle SSO.

62. Tombstone lawman : EARP.

63. Primary printing color : CYAN.

65. It's always charged : ION.

No charging for me,  I am going to have to pay cash as I had my pocket picked at the gas station, and my wallet and credit cards gone. You think it can't happen but it did and I had no clue. I did however pull myself together to unravel these clues and hope you are all doing well. I blame Mercury.

Lemonade out.

Jun 26, 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014 C.C. Burnikel

Theme: HelloHelloHello

17-Across. Last words of the Parable of the Marriage Feast : BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN.

28-Across. Nocturnal bird with a harsh cry : SCREECH OWL. Listen here.

43-Across. Dojo move : KARATE CHOP. HAI-yah!

56-Across. Add one's voice : JOIN IN THE CHORUS. Let's hear your comments!

And the reveal:
34. Radio studio feature, and what each of this puzzle's four other longest answers literally is : ECHO CHAMBER. Each answer is a container for the word ECHO.  Pretty clever!

Another fun puzzle from our fearless leader.  I found the fill in this one to be especially smooth for a Thursday, and almost finished in my typical Monday time. But I got hung up in the SW by entering a wrong answer at 34-Down. Oh well, that's the way the HO HO crumbles!


1. Condo coolers : ACs.

4. Link between God and you? : BLESS. Gesundheit!

9. Hostess snack cakes : HO HOs.

14. Clog part : TOE. The only other parts of a clog are the heel and the sole. I can count. Both of those were too long.

15. Hair-raising : EERIE.

16. Like bighorns : OVINE. Sheep:ovine.

20. Introductory studio class : ART I. Art thou?

21. Rebecca's firstborn : ESAU. If you don't know your biblical genealogy by now, you'r better get cracking!

22. Braying beast : ASS. Donkey:Asinine.

23. Woodstock style : TIE DYEJohn Sebastian comes to mind. 3:23

26. Triceps locale : ARM.

27. "Am __ believe ..." : I TO.

31. Banned orchard spray : ALAR. I never know how to pronounce it. I just found out it sounds like EY-lahr.

32. On the job : AT IT. Parse it however you like.

33. Not for the squeamish : GORY. I just can't watch movies like "Saw." Heck, I can't even watch the trailers!!

39. Ruler deposed in 1979 : SHAH.

41. Eternally : EVER.

42. It may be sticky : NOTE. This seems to be popping up a lot lately.

49. MD workplaces : ORs.

50. Zip : PEP. Hands up for thinking "nil"??

51. Goddess who turned Medusa's hair to snakes : ATHENA. So that's the goddess who gives me bad hair days!

52. Subj. of a '90s CIA search : WMDWeapons of Mass Destruction (Iraq.)

53. Behind : REAR.

55. Some govt. prosecutors : ADAsAssistant District Attorneys.

61. When rights may not be denied? : ON RED. Is "right turn on red" allowed in your state?

62. King of Judea : HEROD.

63. Dijon season : ETE. French summer.

64. Self-titled 2000 pop album : BETTE. The Divine Miss M.

65. Links measures : YARDS. What's your longest drive, HG?

66. Go-ahead : NOD. "He gave us the nod."


1. Plate appearances : AT BATS. Bat:pteropine. Baseball:C.C.

2. "Katie" host : COURIC.

3. Volleyball position : SETTER.  It's like the QB in football.

4. Drone, e.g. : BEE. Bee:apian.

5. Treasury Secretary Jack : LEW.

6. Chunk of history : ERA.

7. Stable stud : SIRE. Horse:equine

8. Vacillate : SEESAW.

9. Dull : HO-HUM.

10. Ab __: from the start : OVO. Literally. Latin for "from the egg."

11. Alluring dockside greeting : HI SAILOR. Loved this fill!

12. Poor Yelp rating : ONE STAR. Beware of fake reviews on their site.

13. Kind of overload : SENSORY.

18. Bona __ : FIDE. Gen-you-ine.

19. Baseball's Yastrzemski : CARL. My late father's favorite Red Sox player.

24. Word accompanying a fist pump : YEAH. I hear Tiger is returning this weekend after back surgery in March.

25. Outer: Pref. : ECTO.

29. Poppin' Pink Lemonade brand : HI C.

30. Questionnaire catchall : OTHER.

31. Sit in a barrel, maybe : AGE. Because "go over Niagara Falls" wouldn't fit.

34. Dines on humble pie : EATS DIRT. I had EATS "crow" at first. Slowed down my time until I got it all sorted out.

35. 2008 Benicio del Toro title role : CHE. Guevara.

36. Co-star of Burt in "The Killers" : AVA. Lancaster (thanks, Lemony!) and Gardner in a classic 1946 film noir.

37. Data lead-in : META.

38. Author Harte : BRET.

39. Calculated flattery : SNOW JOB. More great fill!

40. Insulin, e.g. : HORMONE. "How do you make a hormone? (Tell her a bad joke!)"

43. Sharp : KEEN.

44. "Why bother?" attitude : APATHY.

45. Secretary of Labor under Bush : CHAO.

46. "Marnie" star : HEDREN. Tippie.  I remember her from "The Birds."

47. Working by itself : ON AUTO. Some mornings I feel like I'm ON AUTO pilot.

48. Avoided flunking : PASSED.

50. It's hard to swallow : PRIDE. Lion:leonine.

54. Ostrich kin : RHEA. Ostrich:ratite.

57. Monarch catcher : NET. Butterfly:pierine. I always leave a few milkweed plants in my garden to attract them.

*From C.C.: Here is Marti's milkweed pod arrangement we put on the blog last year. She said:
"This is one of my favorite flower arrangements, I make at least one every year, when the milkweed pods are ripe. Doesn't it look like a bunch of parakeets sitting around a garden?"

58. Go amiss : ERR.

59. Dried fish in lutefisk : COD. Fish:piscine. This was a staple on Christmas Eve in our house.

60. Most TVs, now : HDsHigh Definitions.

And that wraps it up for this week. Thanks, C.C., for all the fun!


Notes from C.C.

Happy 49th wedding anniversary to Spitzboov and his lovely wife Betty! I've never heard Al complain about anything, despite what he and Betty went through the past few years. He's always there sharing with us his knowledge on word etymology (esp German & any nautical-related terms) & fun video clips. Do you see Max regularly, Al?

 US Coast Guard Academy, New London, CT,
 August 2012

Jun 25, 2014

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 Matt Skoczen

Theme: ALL THAT BLOWS IS NOT THE WIND. [With a H/T to Bill G from comments yesterday.] The first word of each theme answer can follow the word BLOW, yielding a common, in-the-language phrase.

17 A. *Bit of formalwear : TOP HAT.  To BLOW one's TOP is to get very angry.  But nobody could be angered by Fred Astair showing us the entire formal outfit.

 18 A. *Interrupt : HORN IN ON.  This implies a forceful and unwelcome interruption or coercion -- or something a trombonist might happily do.

39 A. *Scandal management ploy : COVER UP.  You can run, but you can't hide.  I'm sure you can think of an example or two.  Seems like somebody always BLOWs the COVER, though.

60 A. *Less intense workout after a workout : COOL DOWN.  Self explanatory, I hope.  After working on my feeble high register, I COOL DOWN by playing low notes.  BLOWing one's COOL is similar, but perhaps less severe than BLOWing one's TOP.

11 D. *Psychologically manipulative tactics : MIND GAMES.   A series of deliberate ploys planned to achieve some advantage or superior position.  To BLOW one's MIND is to make a particularly strong impression.

33 D. *Snoop : NOSE ABOUT.  I'm not sure this is a common phrase, but the meaning is clear enough.  As for BLOWing one's NOSE - well, it's allergy season, s'nuff said.

And, of course, the unifier. 62 A. Lose when you should have won, and a hint to the start of the answers to starred clues : BLOW IT.  But viewed from the other side, it's a clutch come-from-behind victory.  It all depends on whose ox is being gored.  But why am I thinking about Joe Nathan?

Hi gang, it's JzB, your humble resident trombonist and frustrated Tigers fan, in case you haven't guessed by now.  Today we have a very rich and well-executed, perfectly symmetrical theme, with horizontal and  long vertical crossing entries.  Did it BLOW your MIND?  Let's see if I can lead the way through without BLOWing IT.


1. Looking at the stars : GAZINGAstronomy perhaps. Star gazing can also imply absorption in chimerical or impractical ideas, or the quality or state of being absent-minded. How do you spend your nights?  

7. Dog star's first name? : RIN.  RIN Tin Tin.  And I'm Sirius.

10. Singing an olde-fashioned love song? : SMIT.  Derived from "smite" to strike forcefully - yet another kind of BLOW.  Here, pierced by Cupid's arrow -- but --
I've heard of being SMITTEN, but not being SMIT,
There are old-fashioned love songs, but this doesn't quite fit.
So SMIT can be today's odd SMITTEN nit.

14. Saudi neighbors : OMANIS. To the East.

15. Poetic preposition : ERE.  I've heard this before

16. Opera set in Egypt : AIDA.  Premiered in Cairo in 1871.  The story of a love triangle between AIDA, an Ethiopian Princess captured and enslaved by the Egyptians; Ramides, an Egyptian military commander torn between duty and his love for her; and Amneris, the Pharaoh's daughter, whose love for Ramides is unrequited.  "In fact, a perfect opera."

20. Wear a long face : MOPE.  I have granddaughters who have raised this to the level of high art.

21. Lucrative way for a handicapper's bet to pay off : TENFOLD.  A long shot winning at 10-1 odds.

22. Supply with weapons, old-style : ENARM.  The erstwhile arms race, as 'twere.

24. Letters for the Queen Mary : HMSHer Majesty's Ship.

25. Numeral : DIGIT.  Any number, suitable for counting on your fingers.

28. Mideast ruler : EMIR.

30. Delaware tribe : LENAPE.  Also known as the Delaware tribe.  Because of displacements from their native territory along the Delaware River watershed, they are now mainly located in Ontario, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma.

31. "General Hospital" extra, for short : LPNLicensed Practical Nurse

34. Territory in dispute between Russia and Ukraine : CRIMEA.   The OTHER Crimean war occurred from 1853 to 1856.  Either way, a sad story.

37. FBI agent : G-MANGovernment Guy.

38. U.N. workers' rights agcy. : I. L. O.   International Labor Organization.

41. Memphis-to-Nashville dir. : ENE. East North East.

42. Condé __ Publications : NAST.  A mass media company headquartered in New York, and famous for its many magazines.  Read all about it.

44. Like Enya's music : NEW AGE.   Eithne Patricia Ní Bhraonáin has shown up as fill so many times in puzzles I've blogged.  It's refreshing to see her in a clue.  As a music genre, NEW AGE is rather bland and amorphous, intended to inspire relaxation, optimism and NEW AGE spirituality, sadly characterized by a conspicuous absence of trombones.  It probably will not BLOW your MIND.

45. Emulated Miss Muffet : SAT.  On a tuffet.  Said Miss Muffet to the Spider:  "Get out of my whey!"

46. Vigor : ENERGY

48. Open carriage : SHAY.   It seems this is a back-formation from chaise, taken as plural.

50. Jazz player, briefly : NBA- ER.  As you can well imagine, this had me entirely down the wrong track.  I hold this fill in the same high regard that I hold NFL-ER, AL-ER, and NL-ER.  Which, I suppose, makes me a nitter.

51. "__ seen enough!" : I'VE.  Well placed fill, IMHO.

53. Stavros superior, in '70s TV : KOJAK.  Another famous show I never watched.  But I still know "Who loves ya!"

57. "Star Wars" weapon : BLASTER.  Which makes me wonder why the Imperial troops even bothered with their totally ineffective armor.

59. Mandlikova of tennis : HANA.  From the '80's.

64. Molokai neighbor : MAUI.  Islands.

65. When repeated, a Kenyan rebel : MAU.  The MAU MAUs revolted against British occupation in the 50's.

66. Puccini's "La __" : BOHEME.   More opera.  Its premier was in  Turin in 1896, conducted by Arturo Tuscanini.  The Bohemians were the dirty hippies of a by-gone time. 

67. Times in the p.m. : AFTSAFTernoonS.  Also, I'm guessing, the best time to go to the back of a boat.

68. Suffix with Canton : -ESE. Food, language, people.

69. Quarters : ABODES.  Living quarters, not fourths of things.


1. "I dunno" : GOT ME.

2. "There's __ Out Tonight": 1961 hit : A MOON.  When you get tired of Star GAZING, you can go MOONing.

3. Rock legend Frank : ZAPPA.  Pappa of Dweezil and Moon Unit.

4. Response from the next room : IN HERE.  Where are you, Pappa?

5. Singer Peeples : NIA.   Virenia Gwendolyn Peeples is also an actress.

6. Clock-setting std. : G.S.T.  Greenwich Sidereal Time. More astronomy.

7. Sew up again : REHEM.  A HEM is a narrow cloth edge folded over and sewn to provide a finished look and prevent unraveling. REHEMing a dress or skit would make it shorter.  Selena Gomez demonstrates.

8. Presses : IRONS.  Next step after REHEMing.

9. Indoor ball brand : NERF.  The trademark for this line of polyurethane foam game and play products introduced in 1970 is in all caps.

10. Asea : SAILING.  Literally out on the waves.  Another frequent filler turned refreshingly into a clue.

12. Words often said in front of a priest : I DO.  Not always.  We got married in the Courthouse in Dearborn.  As it turned out, not the best VENUE.

13. Brown shade : TAN.  Can be confusing at times

19. Plant stem joint : NODE.

21. Flourish : THRIVE.

23. DL x IV : MMCC.  Erstwhile 550 x 4 = 2200.

26. "Brusha, brusha, brusha" toothpaste : IPANA.  Takes me back to my 'ute.

27. Maxim : TENET.  Core belief.

29. "The Twilight Zone" plot device : IRONY.  In this sense, dashed expectations, often associated with a plot twist.

30. Chuckle : LAUGH.  HA!

31. Flax fabric : LINEN

32. Something to fall back on : PLAN B.  If you BLOW plan A.

35. Litter sound : MEW.  Kittens.

36. Pencil topper : ERASER.  Mistake eliminator.  Necessary with Sudoku.

40. Busiest type of season : PEAK

43. Ivy support : TRELLIS

47. Alum : GRAD. Alumnus and GRADuate.   A former student who made the grade

49. Start of a pirate's refrain : YO HO HO.   And a bottle of rum.  Absolutely no ice, though.

51. "__ a dark and stormy night ..." : IT WAS.  Does any story actually start this way?

52. Locale : VENUE.  Place where something happens.

54. Yakked : JAWED.  Gabbed.

55. Cartoon genre : ANIME.  The concept seems a bit muddled, but I guess I know it when I see it.  It can look like this.

56. Beckinsale and Chopin : KATES.   Kathrin Romary Beckinsale (b. 1973) is a British actress.  Katherine Chopin (nee O'Flaherty, 1850 — 1904) was an American author of short stories and novels.

58. A few : SOME.  Not many.

60. Awards often co-hosted by Carrie Underwood: Abbr. :  C.M.A.  Country Music Awards.  No link.  I'm not a fan.

62. Mgr.'s degree : B.B.A.  Bachelor of Business Administration.

63. Toss : LOB.  A soft throw.

We made it.  Nice puzzle, with some musical interludes.  There were a couple of nits, but nothing to BLOW your COOL over.  I had a lot of fun with this one, and hope you did, too.

[Not BLOWN] Cool regards!

Note from C.C.:

Below are 2 sweet photos of JD, Bob and their grandsons. JD, who is now in Amsterdam,  said:

"This was taken on Sat. at Cameron’s 4th birthday. Grady will soon be 5, and Truman will be 7. Dylan was already down for the night when we took this. They are growing up fast."

 Left to Right: Cameron, JD, Grady, Bob & Truman

Here they were in 2010:
Taken on July 5, 2010.
From left to right: Grady (11 months), Truman 3 & Cameron (2 weeks)

Jun 24, 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 Bruce Venzke and Gail Grabowski

Theme: Three Runners - The unity is in the clues.

20A. Runner on a corridor floor : HALLWAY CARPET

40A. Runner in a long race : MARATHON ENTRANT

58A. Runner in a nursery : PLANT OFFSHOOT

Argyle here. I like the cop shows where they confront a suspect and he takes off, "We've got a RUNNER!" We caught three runners today. Some stumble spots but the perps get it in the end.


1. "Dracula" author Stoker : BRAM

5. + or - particles : IONs

9. Ocean movements : TIDEs

14. Wine city near Sacramento : LODI. So it's not so bad to be stuck in Lodi again.

15. "The Bridge on the River __": 1957 film : KWAI. Link to the story behind the score.

16. "Step __!": "Out of my way!" : ASIDE

17. Goes on to say : ADDS. "I'm important; let me through!"

18. Pizazz : ELAN

19. Trademarked copy : XEROX

23. Derisive expression : SNEER. This goes along with 16- and 17-Across.

24. Harbor structure : PIER

25. Public health agcy. : CDC. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

28. Brake part : DISC. I feel old; I put in drum first.

31. Actress Loren : SOPHIA. She began her career at age 14 and is 79 now.

33. Sunscreen letters : SPF. (sun protection factor)

36. Twenty-one-gun show of respect : SALUTE

39. Multi-vol. references : OEDs. (The Oxford English Dictionary)

43. Steam-emitting appliance : IRON

44. "__ Fideles": carol : ADESTE

45. Qt. halves : PTs. Gallons and quarts and pints, oh my!

46. Dry twigs for a fire : TINDER

48. Old Russian ruler : TSAR

50. DDE's predecessor : HST

51. Eye protector : LASH

54. Stiller's comedy partner : MEARA. (Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara) Parents of Amy Stiller and Ben Stiller.

62. Sheikdom of song : ARABY. For Bill G.

64. Sunburn soother : ALOE

65. Golden Fleece ship : ARGO

66. Access Facebook, say : LOG ON

67. Prefix with bucks : MEGA

68. Vitamin __: PABA : B-TEN

69. Noisy migratory birds : GEESE

70. Subtle call for attention : [PSST!]

71. Satisfy to the hilt : SATE


1. Slight depression, with "the" : BLAHS. Not as deep as the blues.

2. '50s sci-fi monster : RODAN


3. Confuse : ADDLE

4. Gave false clues to, e.g. : MISLED

5. Swedish furniture chain : IKEA

6. Big-eyed : OWLY

7. Civil rights org. : NAACP. (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)

8. Mount climbed by Moses : SINAI

9. Many an H&R Block employee : TAX PRO

10. "It's clear now" : "I SEE"

11. Very inexpensive : DIRT CHEAP

12. Old name for Tokyo : EDO

13. Male or female : SEX

21. What a cuff may cover : WRIST. Links.
22. Is indignant about : RESENTS

26. Failed to : DIDN'T

27. Lets the lure fly : CASTS. Cute one.

29. Desertlike : SAHARAN

30. Bumbling sort : CLOD

32. __ ejemplo: Juan's "for example" : POR

33. Patti of punk rock : SMITH

34. City on the Seine : PARIS

35. Where the major headlines are : FRONT PAGE

37. A, in Arles : UNE

38. Diagnostic aid : TEST

41. "What's more ..." : "...AND..."

42. Tigers and Cubs : TEAMs. Oh my!

47. Comical Boosler : ELAYNE. Why oh why did she use a Y?

49. Fixes up, as a fixer-upper : REHABS

52. Snail-mail attachment : STAMP

53. Putters' targets : HOLES

55. Primary artery : AORTA

56. Name synonymous with synonyms : ROGET. Roget's Thesaurus.

57. More than apologize : ATONE

59. Debt-laden corp. takeovers : LBOs. (leveraged buyouts)

60. Clouds (up) : FOGS

61. Accomplishment : FEAT

62. Calc. prerequisite : ALG. (calculus/algebra)

63. Fish delicacy : ROE. (shad roe on grits)



Notes from C.C.:

1) Happy 26th wedding anniversary to Dennis and his lovely wife Linda  (second from the right)! Dennis is ageless. He looks the same as he did when he joined our blog in Feb 2008.

2) Happy 25th anniversary to TTP and his wife as well! I recall you really annoyed your wife the first time you met, right?

3) Today also marks the 500th post Argyle blogged for us. Every time I hear "One Night in Bangkok", I think of the young Marine Argyle. He has lots of stories to tell, but he's not a talker.  Thank you for all you've done to help me, Santa!

15-year-old Argyle