Mar 31, 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014 Ed Sessa

Theme: Smudge - What you may have had if you solved these rhymes using paper and pen.

17A. Tennis court official : LINE JUDGE

24A. Harbor long-term resentment : NURSE A GRUDGE

51A. Creamy confection : VANILLA FUDGE

64A. "Stay put!" : "DON'T BUDGE!"

11D. Political commentator with an Internet "Report" : MATT DRUDGE

29D. Push gently : GIVE A NUDGE

Argyle here. I can hardly wait to see what Owen does with this one. At first I thought, "Is that all there is, entries that end in a rhyme" but really, six entries with two crossings on a Monday! What more can I want?


1. Insect stage : LARVA

6. Sink down in the middle : SAG

9. Heavy haulers : SEMIs

14. Not quite spherical : OVOID

15. Single : ONE

16. Mild-mannered reporter Kent : CLARK

19. Overzealous type : ULTRA

20. Point after deuce : AD IN. Tennis.

21. More narcissistic : VAINER

23. Asian New Year : TET

27. Portuguese explorer Vasco : da GAMA. More.

30. Open court hearing, in law : OYER. (oyer and terminer)

31. News org. : UPI. (United Press International)

32. Construction zone cones : PYLONS

36. Earth-orbiting Gagarin : YURI. First human to make an orbital space flight (1961).

39. Birds that symbolize peace : DOVES

41. Right, vis-à-vis left: Abbr. : OPP.osite

42. Early PC interface : MS DOS

43. Glasses, in ads : SPEX. Adspeak.

44. More than mono : STEREO

46. Workout facility : GYM

47. Water, in Juárez : AGUA

49. Amazingly enough : NO LESS

56. End of a prof's URL : .EDU

57. Type of vegetable oil : CANOLA

58. Yucky muck : GOOP

62. Soup scoop : LADLE. Cute clue.

66. Partner of vim : VIGOR

67. Seventh Greek letter : ETA. (zeta, eta, theta)

68. Love, to Luciano : AMORE. Italian

69. Length-times-width calculations : AREAs

70. Opposite of NNW : SSE

71. Yankee shortstop Jeter who announced he will retire at the end of 2014 : DEREK


1. Whatever she wants, she gets : LOLA. "Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets". From the 1955 musical, "Damn Yankees".

2. Zealous : AVID

3. Rice-A-__ : RONI

4. Capital of Austria : VIENNA

5. Wd. modifying a noun : ADJ.

6. Dr Pepper and Dr. Brown's : SODAs

7. 1973 Rolling Stones ballad : "ANGIE"

8. Davis of "A League of Their Own" : GEENA. Story of a female professional baseball league. (1992) Geena played the part of Dottie Hinson, their catcher.

9. Move like a squirrel : SCURRY

10. Right-angle bend : ELL

12. Discount rack abbr. : IRREG.

13. Glide on ice : SKATE

18. Sunlamp danger, briefly : UV RAY

22. Narcissists have big ones : EGOs

25. Men pocketing baseballs : UMPs

26. Sometimes-illegal turns, for short : UEYs. Aussie slang version.

27. Fizzling firecrackers : DUDs

28. Each : A POP

33. Valet's purview : LOT. The parking valet, not the gentleman's personal valet.

34. Not shut, poetically : OPE

35. "All Things Considered" airer : NPR. Formerly National Public Radio, changed to just NPR, 2010.

37. Rogers and Clark : ROYs. Both in the Country genre.

38. Beliefs : ISMs

40. WWII vet, say : EX GI

42. Synthesizer pioneer : MOOG

44. Room in una casa : SALA. Spanish

45. Conclude by : END AT

48. Stomach ailments : ULCERS

50. Lentil or pea : LEGUME

51. Aqua __: aftershave brand : VELVA

52. Firefighter Red : ADAIR. Famous for snuffing out oil rig fires. The John Wayne movie, "Hellfighters"(1968), was based loosely on the life of Red Adair.

53. South American range : ANDES

54. Pays, as the bill : FOOTS

55. Radii-paralleling bones : ULNAE. (elbow to the wrist)

59. Skunk's defense : ODOR

60. Fairy tale fiend : OGRE

61. Eye on the sly : PEEK. The last of today's alliterations.

63. Hawaii's Mauna __ : LOA

65. Terrible : BAD

If you've got the time, hang on.


Note from C.C.:

I'd like to share with you a few moving pictures from the Air Force retirement ceremony of Tom, Jazzbumpa's stepson. Jazzbumpa and his wife Gloria drove to Florida and attended the ceremony on March 21, 2014. Please click here for a couple more. Tom was deployed to Afghanistan a few times.

 Entrance of the Color Guard

 Flag presentation

Tom and Beth with Lauren, Josh and Abby

Now on to the next chapter of life

Mar 30, 2014

Sunday March 30, 2013 Nora Pearlstone

Theme:  "CB Switches" - C sound is switched to B sound, resulting in consistent spelling changes.

23A. Sidewalk vendor's income? : STREET BREAD. Street cred. English has lots of words for "money", or "drunk".

25A. Steeped salad topping? : BREWED OIL. Crude oil. (What was I thinking with Crud, Owen?)

64A. Accident report? : BLAME FORM. Claim form.

107A. Sketched a Gibb brother? : DREW BARRY. Drew Carey. Barry Gibb.

109A. Villain's backwoods hideout? : BADDIE SHACK. Caddyshack. A favorite of many on our blog. Never watched it myself.
15D. Robin selling Roquefort? : CHEESE BIRD. Cheese curd.

37D. Qualifying exam for opera school? : VOCAL BOARD. Vocal cord. Are any of you familiar with Beijing Opera? (Sorry for the chord error earlier.)

46D. Undersea party pooper? : MARINE BORE. Marine corps.

69D. Official loafer of the realm? : KINGDOM BUM. Kingdom come.

A few straying C's. We'd have lost 3 colorful entries had Nora excluded them. This type of theme (with spelling changes) is a bit more challenging than those single letter replacement, as you need to be very imaginative.

Total 89 theme squares, not a lot, but there are 9 of them (4 intersect!). With the same number of theme squares, the more entries you have, the trickier the gridding get. So a total 89 theme squares grid of 7 entries is easier than a 89 squares with 9 entries. Same applies to  the weekday grids.

Nora Pearlstone is another pseudonym of Rich Norris, editor of LA Times Daily Crosswords. It's an anagram of "Not a Real Person". Rich has not made any puzzle for NYT for many years, he's still the 3rd most published constructor. See here. He's also a very fast solver, finishing 71st in this year's ACPT.


1. "Waverley" novelist : SCOTT. Sir Walter Scott.

6. Sch. with a Waterbury campus : UConn. New trivia to me.

11. Early computer acronym : ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer).

16. Standout : GEM. I'd like to share with you this clip about crossword constructor Andrea Carla Michaels. She's so sweet and mild-mannered, not what you expect from a standup comedian.

19. Many a network : AIRER

20. Competition with ropes : RODEO

21. One of a dozen : MONTH.  So simple, I was picturing Chinese Zodiac animals.

22. Pres. or P.M. : LDR (Leader)

27. Romantic request : KISS ME

28. High land : TIBET. They drink butter tea there every day. Made of tea, yak butter & salt. D-Otto's dream drink :-)

30. Fill with bubbles : AERATE

31. Foot on a farm : HOOF

33. "It matters to us" : WE CARE. I've never seen a more inefficient and uncaring place as the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis.

34. Trypanosome transmitter : TSETSE. Hey, a full fly. We saw half the fly in the old puzzles all the time.

35. Really enjoy : SAVOR

38. All-Star outfielder Raul : IBANEZ. Now with the Angels. Another one with a Mariners tie. A-ROD, ICHIRO & Edgar MARTINEZ two weeks ago, all ex-Mariners. Maybe Rich is secret Mariners' fan.

40. Pondside stalk : REED

41. More than walk : TROT

42. Equals : PEERS. And 43. Equally, say : ADVERB. Nice consecutive "Equal" clue combo.

46. E.T. policers of film : M. I. B. (Men in Black)

49. Notre Dame's conf. : ACC. Look at our Steve!

Notre Dame London Campus, Nov 2012
 50. Smoothie fruit : BERRY. Not ACAI today.

51. "Say it soft and it's almost like praying" girl of song : MARIA. "West Side Story" .

52. Old Bristol-Myers toothpaste : IPANA.  Brusha Brusha Brusha.

54. Online meeting place : CHAT ROOM. So, TTP, do you think that Japanese guy might indeed be the creator of Bitcoin? Why can't those geeks crack his real identity by his chat room handle?

56. Announce : HERALD

57. Backwoods : RURAL

58. Scientology guru Hubbard : L RON

59. Silent : MUM

60. Turn right : GEE. "Turn left" is HAW.

61. What you can't get if you pass the bar? : DRINK. "Pass the bar" made me think of the bar exam. Clever clue.

62. Cake with a kick : BABA. The kick comes from the rum.

67. Model Sastre : INES. She was the face of  Trésor.

68. Aimée of "La Dolce Vita" : ANOUK

70. L.A.'s __ Center : AON

71. Confrontational opening : NON. Non-confrontational.

72. All there : SANE

74. Eastern guru : SWAMI

75. Like slalom courses : TWISTY. For Marti. Did you fix the leak?

77. Roaring Twenties Hollywood sex symbol : CLARA BOW. The "It Girl". 

81. Leftovers cover : SARAN

82. Lotto variant : BEANO

83. Base shade? : KHAKI. Military base.

84. Kimono accessory : OBI

85. Chicago airport code : ORD

86. Liftoff sensation : G-FORCE. Like CanadianEh, I really like Chris Hadfield.

88. Patriot and Liberty : JEEPS

89. Hosp. scanners : MRIs

90. Howdy to a mate : G'DAY

91. Puzzle : ENIGMA. And 97. Puzzled reactions : SHRUGS

93. Gear features : TEETH. 

94. Diacritic for a long vowel sound : MACRON.  I can only think of ACCENT.

99. Mount sacred to Judaism : ZION

101. Poise : APLOMB. Made me think of Argyle & Splynter, those two never panic. Always  in control. 

102. Goes for : COSTS

103. Restful break : CATNAP

113. Baloney : ROT

114. Regular's request, with "the" : USUAL

115. "C'mon, pal!" : AW MAN. Dave's signature line is "Aw nuts!"

116. Map type: Abbr. : TOPOG. OK,  Topographic then.
117. Portland-to-Helena dir. : ENE

118. Come together : MERGE

119. Declines with a check, maybe : RSVPs. Lovely clue.

120. Plenty : SLEWS


1. Moose Jaw's prov. : SASK

2. Diamond Preferred credit card offerer : CITI. That's the bank you don't like, right, D-Otto?

3. Hockey legend Bobby et al. : ORRS

4. Drive, often : TEE SHOT. Rich is a skilled golfer. Single-digit handicap.

5. Aftershock : TREMOR

6. Ending for sub- or ex- : URB. This kind of clue often stumps me. Same with "Words with this or that".

7. __ anglais: English horn : COR

8. Keats work : ODE

9. Spiffs (up) : NEATENS

10. "Out of the question" : NO DICE

11. Glower? : EMBER. Parse it as "Glow-er".

12. Up from Méjico : NORTE

13. Having four sharps : IN E

14. Central California city : ATWATER. What's it famous for?

16. Smug look : GLOAT

17. Proof jobs : EDITS

18. 1957 Bobbettes hit : MR. LEE. Learned from doing xwords.

24. Auto racer Fabi : TEO. Hey, we just had Manti Te'o last week. What a cruel hoax!

26. Scott who sued for his freedom : DRED

29. Market : BAZAAR

32. Sporty '80s Pontiac : FIERO. Oh guess what, it means "proud" in Italian. I thought it means "Fire".

33. On alert : WARY

35. What a dot may mean, in mus. : STAC

36. Prefix meaning "primary" : ARCH. As in Archbishop.

39. Earthen wall : BERM

40. One may weep after being told to do this : READ 'EM. Poker.

42. McJob holder : PEON. The first time I visited McDonald's was in 1995. Loved the French fries. We don't cook potatoes that way in Xi'An. We just stir-fry in hot wok, sprinkled with hot red pepper flakes and a splash of vinegar. 

44. Continue interminably : DRAG ON

45. More repulsive : VILER

47. Hardly well-thought-out : INANE

48. Pitching slips : BALKS. And 64. One helping swingers? : BAT BOY. And 96. '50s-'60s Yankee Boyer : CLETE. This might stump some, but not Husker Gary, TTP or Buckeye Bob. Here he is.

 50. Fella : BRO

51. Seashell, maybe : MEMENTO

53. Pet food giant : PURINA

55. Emotional shock : TRAUMA

56. Run well : HUM

59. Fanatic : MANIAC

62. Rossini's Doctor Bartolo, e.g. : BASSO

63. Sadat of Egypt : ANWAR. Their next president will be El-Sisi. I don't think anyone but he can get those Muslim Brotherhood guys under control.

65. Not so elevated : LOWER

66. Vaudeville family name : FOY. Eddie Foy. Complete stranger to me.

72. Nordstrom rival : SAKS

73. Agent Gold on "Entourage" : ARI

76. Derisive looks : SNEERS

77. __ lab : CHEM

78. Two-mile-high city : LAPAZ

79. Memorial news item : OBIT

80. Something made on a star? : WISH. Nice clue.

83. Brewery lineup : KEGS

87. Boosters, as a group : FAN BASE

88. Their parts are hard to tell apart : JIGSAWS. Exactly. I don't know how others have the patience to pieces everything together. Do you like Jigsaw puzzles, LaLaLinda?

89. Cough drop flavor : MENTHOL

90. Increase : GROW

92. Hiker's snack : NUT BAR. Love Larabars.

93. Salutes of a sort : TOASTS

94. Familia member : MADRE

95. Kitchen protection : APRON

97. Skinny sort : SCRAG

98. Rules immortal : HOYLE.  According to Hoyle. Edmond Hoyle.

100. Nail down, as victory : ICE

104. Scruff : NAPE

105. Have __: flip out : A COW

106. P.O. deliveries : PKGs

108. Classic Capek play : R.U.R. It introduced the word "Robot".

110. Lic.-issuing bureau : DMV

111. Skip, as stones : DAP

112. Ones with seats : INs. Oh, congressional seats.


Mar 29, 2014

Saturday, Mar 29th, 2014, Julian Lim

Theme: None

Words: 64* (missing J,X,Z)

Blocks: 36

     In a word, this one was 'brutal'.  Period.  Feels like someone used a 15a. on me.... three-fifths of the grid filled, but the NE and SE corners were still blank when I reached my personal allotted time, so I caved and turned on red-letter; still had to play the letter-at-a-time guessing game.  Took the fun out of doing the puzzle, for me.  I like the challenge, but if you get nothing, then you have nothing to work with.  There were answers that were utterly unknown (e.g. 56a.), and others that were vague, but mostly, I just wasn't on Mr. Lim's wavelength - and he is probably the only constructor who has consistently stymied me.  Chunky corners of QUAD 8's, which I think led to the very short word count(*) for today, along with a staggered triple 11-letter stack in the middle;

31a. Real time news source : TWITTER FEED - I don't "tweet"

34a. Many a Saudi : SUNNI MUSLIM

35a. Quickly cooked cut : MINUTE STEAK - started with RIB EYE, which was not working with my downs

dOwN ward  ;7(


1. Lunch To-Go maker : STARKIST - Stuck on "Lunchables" from Oscar Mayer for the longest time, and that didn't fit; so I took a total (but sensible, considering recent puzzles) W.A.G. at "KITH", which gave me the "K", and an 'a-ha' moment

 9. Espresso feature : CREMA

14. Inherit : COME INTO

15. Boring tool : TREPAN - the pressure-on-the-brain type - not auger or drill, both too short; more on the process here - if you dare~!

16. A vacation often involves one : ROAD TRIP

17. State birds of Connecticut, Michigan and Wisconsin : ROBINs

18. Tony Soprano, for one : ANTI-HERO

19. Navajo relative : APACHE

20. Super Smash Bros. Brawl console : Wii

21. Pole, for one : SLAV - followed up with -->

23. Party person : POL - although this is päl, as in politician

24. Building owner, often : LESSOR - I may be a new "building" owner, if all goes well this summer - my first house~!

28. Air traveler's concern : LEG ROOM - Started with "LAG TIME", but that's not jet-lag; it's the difference between lightning and thunder; primary and secondary earthquake waves, etc.

36. Seawater evaporation site : SALT PIT

37. Brand no one wants : STIGMA - branded as in labeled, not 'name-brand' or 'store-brand'

41. Time of existence : AGE - so my time of existence is 43yrs....

42. "__ chance!" : "NOT A"

45. Poppycock : ROT

46. Prevails in : WINS AT

49. Listing : AT A SLANT - I knew where this was going, but could not get past AT A TILT, which was too short

53. Ocean floor dwellers : OCTOPI - if I had a large aquarium, I'd have me an octopus

54. Payback : REQUITAL - Long "I" sound

55. Like some angels : FALLEN - Blue Öyster Cult has a song by this name

56. Slow-cooking method involving plastic bags : SOUS-VIDE - Here's the Wiki; never heard this Frawnche term for "under vacuum"; I was stuck on "Bag N' Season", and even Shake N' Bake - can you tell I'm a bachelor?

57. Circular : FLYER - ah, not ROUND

58. Not entirely : IN A SENSE - ugh, I get it, but....


1. Rough writer's output : SCRAWL - I've asked this before, I think; who here is LEFT-handed~!??

2. Multimetallic Canadian coin : TOONIE - tried LOONIE, so good - 86% good

3. Guarneri relatives : AMATIs - two families of luthiers

4. Insta- relative : REDI- 

5. Cultural group : KITH - OK, who's the person who decided this was the word-of-the-month?

6. Words before a subject : IN RE - Latin, for "in the matter (of)"

7. Arouses : STIRS

8. One-named Tevye portrayer : TOPOL

9. Frame in a photo lab : CROP - frame as a verb here

10. 2000s sitcom set in Houston : REBA - I have seen it in syndication

11. Spenser's "The Faerie Queene," for one : EPIC POEM

12. Its arrival is often celebrated in ritual : MANHOOD - know what I got for my arrival into manhood?  Acne.

13. 11th-century Benedictine philosopher : ANSELM - dredged up from the depths of my mind, only after the "----LM" appeared

15. Crosses : TRAVERSES - like an ocean

22. Pribilof Islands native : ALEUT - a W.A.G. that really helped me in the middle

25. Action movie staple : STUNT - I had BOMBS, which worked with my RIB EYE

26. Cop (to) : OWN UP - had ADMIT, worked well with my RIB EYE

27. Shepherd memorably rescued during WWI : RIN-TIN-TIN - ate my RIB EYE

29. F neighbor : G FLAT - music; the "kith" here is D sharp, E, F, G flat

30. Japanese hands-on healing practice : REIKI - there are some classes I know about in my "kith"

32. Pair with : TIE TO

33. Reg. symbols : TMs - registered TradeMarks

34. Without a peep : SILENTLY

35. Like love potions : MAGICAL

36. Shorten, in a way : SAW OFF - Like a shotgun

38. Cooking crust : GRATIN - learning moment; I thought 'au gratin' meant topped with could say I was right, 58a-ish

39. One-celled organisms : MONADs - so tempted to go with AMEBAs, but I was too happy with STIGMA to change it

40. Truman's U.K. counterpart : ATTLEE - right name, but I spelled it with a "Y" at the end, which didn't help

43. Tibia neighbors : TARSI  (tarsals in the image)

44. Used to hold food : ATE ON

47. Only : SOLE

48. Many an "SNL" performer : APER

50. Color slightly darker than electric blue : AQUA - I found one chart with both colors listed -->

51. Work (out) : SUSS - I did not "SUSS" out enough of this puzzle

52. "To travel is to __": Hans Christian Andersen : LIVE


Mar 28, 2014

Friday March 28, 2014, Paul Hunsberger

Theme: The Feme is TH-FRONTING. LINK.

I guess Steve would have been the ideal blogger for this one, as saying "F" in place of "TH" is apparently very common in parts of the British Isles. This is my first time reviewing Paul, though he has had a few LAT's and a few NYT's, half of which have been Sunday puzzles. I always enjoy the puzzles that use sound, so this was in my wheelhouse. The 4 theme answers are all long, cramming 58  letters in the theme. Lots of nice words like AL DAVIS, ANILINE, GLORY BE, MCMUFFIN, UV FILTER, HOT AND COLD, STARS ON ICE, as well as some very difficult cluing make this feel like a real Friday. Well let's get to work.

17A. Guys with plenty of time for child care? : FREEMEN AND A BABY. (15). (Three Men and a Baby). The Tom Selleck, Ted Danson movie. WATCH. (1:12)

26A. Lament following an Elizabethan wardrobe malfunction? : THE FRILL IS GONE.(14). The Thrill is gone. I love the tying of the frilly clothes of the distant past with a modern event, so named from the famous Justin Timberlake, Janet Jackson Super Bowl event.

41A. Like Barney with his pal? : HANGING BY A FRED. (14)  (Hanging by a thread). A Flintstone sighting; how cool even if the fill is a bit tortured.

53A. Got locked out of a Finnish sauna during winter? : FROZE IN THE TOWEL.(15) (Throws in the towel). This is a nice visual, but the "th" in "the" makes the fill more confusing to me.


1. Dominion : REALM.  An odd word where the "A" is completely silent.

6. Food on a stick : KEBAB. This for me is the correct spelling, but you need to be flexible.

11. Olympus OM-2, briefly : SLR. Single Lens Reflex. I have this clue/fill so often.  36D. Outdoor camera user's accessory : UV FILTER.  To dampen the sun.

14. Templo Mayor builder : AZTEC. This temple built in what is now Mexico City. LINK.

15. Home to some mollusks : ATOLL.  My favorite is the BIKINI ATOLL,
"The island's English name is derived from the German colonial name Bikini given to the atoll when it was part of German New Guinea. The German name is transliterated from the Marshallese name for the island, Pikinni, "Pik" meaning "surface" and "Ni" meaning "coconut", or surface of coconuts(Per wiki). I wonder what people have to pay to visit there.

16. Plus : TOO.

20. Stirling topper : TAM. Back in the British Isles, this is the biggest CITY in central Scotland, home of the Tam O'sahnter.

21. One in Marseille : UNE. Straight French, no trickiness at all ( not to be confused with...).

22. Is gaga over : ADORES.

23. Astern : AFT.

24. They're established : GIVENS. Of course, that is a given!

31. Hei-tiki wearers : MAORI. Tiki is the Maori Adam.

32. Passes between peaks : COLS. A  complete unknown and learning experience for me. It is the literal name for passes which exist between mountains.

33. "Stat!" : NOW. Nurses love this.

34. Pop star John : ELTON. Olivia Newton would not fit.

35. Sched. producer : IRS. Internal Revenue Service.

36.  Tie together : UNITE.

38. Island R&B derivative : SKA.

39. "Dragonwyck" author Seton : ANYA. I was familiar with Foxfire, not this one. LINK.

40. Resolution targets : VICES. I like this clue, though I do not do New Year's resolutions.

45. "Twisted" actress Richards : DENISE. Charlie Sheen's ex, perhaps most famous for her scene with Neve.

46. Short life story? : BIOgraphy. This is how I like my three letter clues and fill. Snappy.

47. Small power source : AA CELL.

49. The lot : ALL.

50. Banff Upper Hot Springs, e.g. : SPA. Heh Canadian Eh!

57. Feel rotten : AIL.

58. End of __ : AN ERA.

59. Remove : ERASE.

60. Gnarly relative : RAD.

61. Greek salad features : FETAS. The cheese, please.

62. Lets : RENTS. Again more common over the pond, having a room to let.


1. Slew : RAFT. A fun, tricky secondary meaning for raft 2 (raft) n. Informal: A great number, amount, or collection: "As the prairie dog goes, conservation biologists say, so may go a raft of other creatures" (William K. Stevens).

2. University founder Cornell : EZRA. A slam dunk for our resident Cornell grad.

3. "Up and __!" : AT 'EM. Always reminds of this WEIRDNESS. (1:41).

4. Sheltered side : LEE. Not from Robert E.

5. Nationwide sandwich debut of 1972 : MCMUFFIN. I only found the ad from 1978. (0:31).

6. Citizen of Little Salem, Colorado : KANE. The award winning movie with Orson Welles and Rosebud.

7. Flight stat : ETA. Estimated Time of Arrival.

8. It's good for Michel : BON. Just a French translation, signaled by the name.

9. NFL owner who moved the Oakland Raiders to L.A. and back : AL DAVIS. A true pioneer,  innovator and force in the AFL. Also, apparently a crazy man who wanted to control every decision. His son now runs the team.

10. 11-Down supporters : BLADES. The in word for skates.

11. Show founded as a vehicle for Scott Hamilton : STARS ON ICE. I did not know this was why they started this troupe.

12. Ear piece : LOBE.

13. Acuff and Orbison : ROYS. Two wonderful singers and my father's nickname.

18. __'acte : ENTR. More French, between the acts.

19. Big Ben sound : BONG. Onomatopoeia.

23. Prefix with ballistic : AERO. I almost went ballistic trying to make sense of this one. I guess I do not shoot enough guns or missile launchers.

24. "Hallelujah!" : GLORY BE. Fun phrase, and the first of four such fill. I enjoyed them all, even if they took a while.

25. "That's for sure!" : I'LL SAY.

26. __ blue streak : TALK A. Why blue? The suggestion was either (a) like lightening, or (b) face turning blue from forgetting to breathe.

27. Inconsistent way to run : HOT AND COLD. So many people are this way.

28. Baker's creations : ICINGS. Another easy answer I found very difficult, because I was looking for a result not an ingredient, or part of the process.

29. Pointed out : NOTED.

30. Milk sources for Pecorino cheese : EWES. Many who love this cheese do not know it comes from SHEEP.

31. Fit together well : MESH.

37. Actor Robert De __ : NIRO. Hard to remember he was ever young.

39. Dye compound : ANILINE. Read all about IT.

42. "Holy moly!" : GEEZ. A marti word.

43. Greening up : IN LEAF. I know this is legit (Idioms 17. in leaf, covered with foliage; having leaves: the pale green tint of the woods newly in leaf. ) but I cannot imagine any of us ever actually saying this.

44. Willing cohort? : ABLE. Cute, from the phrase "ready, willing and able."

47. Way out there : AFAR.

48. Musical highlight : ARIA. This fill appears in so many puzzles.

49. Cries of discovery : AHAS.

50. Sibelius' "The __ of Tuonela" : SWAN. Not my area of expertise, I will let JzB and others discuss, but here it is by the Norwegian Radio Orchestra LINK. (9:00).

51. Unwanted visitor : PEST. In every sense of the word.

52. Some pints : ALES. Yeah beer! Hi Tinman. Supporting my children. The taproom my son manages just received this: LINK.

54. Fishing aid : NET.

55. Musical syllable : TRA. La la.

56. Profitable rock : ORE. Or Dwayne Johnson?

Well I had to refresh my recollection using the dictionary to make sense out of some of the fill that the perps provided, but in the end it was done and another Friday in the record books and another month gone by. Spring really is here, it just may snow some more. Enjoy, Lemonade out.

Mar 27, 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014 Pancho Harrison

Theme: "Paradise Lost" in the the middle of the theme entries.

17-Across. Specific gravity : RELATIVE DENSITY. I used to measure the specific gravity of urine when I worked in the lab, so that was all I could think of when I read the clue. Your experience may vary...

29-Across. Publicly traded investment company with a limited number of shares : CLOSED END FUND. I'll let my financial manager deal with the boring details...

45-Across. Mad man? : ALFRED E. NEUMAN. Cover boy of Mad Magazine, with the tag line "What, me worry?"

And the reveal:
58-Across. Classic children's novel, and what to look for in this puzzle's three other longest answers : THE SECRET GARDEN. EDEN is split differently in each of the three theme entries: E-DEN, ED-EN and ED-E-N. I like that in a puzzle. Here's the rest -


1. Gp. co-founded by Victor Herbert : ASCAP. No clue about Victor Herbert, but a couple perps gave me a WAG at the answer.

6. Bonkers : LOCO. and 67-Across. A bit daft : DOTTY. Not to be confused with a Mad man.

10. Harbinger : OMEN. I think of "harbinger" as foretelling something positive (like spring - is it ever going to get here?) and OMEN as something negative.

14. Cheri of "Scary Movie" : OTERI. Thank goodness I memorized this one long ago. It has saved my bacon in many a tough puzzle.

15. "... __ the dreadful thunder / Doth rend the region": "Hamlet" : ANON.

16. Gossipy Barrett : RONA. See # 14-A comment.

20. Vietnamese observance : TET. See # 14-A comment

21. Hitch : SNAG. and a semi-clecho with 34-Across. Do a hitch in the military : SERVE.

22. Vintage cars : REOS. See # 14-A comment.

23. Onetime Kenny G label : ARISTA. See # 14-A comment.

25. Play with robots : RUR. See # 14-A comment.

26. Linebacker Manti __, 2012 Heisman Trophy finalist : TEO. I guess I'll just have to memorize this one as well. (OK, I'll stop now!) (From C.C.: This guy's fake girlfriend incident must have escaped Marti. Read here.)

33. Wagner works : OPERAS. I could use my music link on this one, but I have something better in mind.

35. Put away : STOW.

38. Dove competitor : CAMAY.

40. Slangy turnarounds : UEYS. UIES is another spelling we see.

41. Settings for Manet : CAFES. Like this one.

43. Finished a flight-training requirement : SOLOED. Hi, Dudley!

48. Agnus __ : DEI. "Lamb of God" in Latin.

49. Auction ending? : EER. Auctioneer.

50. Take out : DELETE.

53. 1977 medical novel : COMA. This was Robin Cook's first major novel. I was working at the VA Hospital when it came out, and everyone had their nose in a copy during lunchtime.

55. Time of jour : SOIR. Anyone else want "heur"?

57. Baa maid? : EWE. Cute.

62. __ of Sandwich : EARL.

63. "This can't be happening!" : OH NO.

64. Script parts : LINES.

65. Additionally : ALSO.

66. E or G, e.g. : NOTE.


1. Angiogram image : AORTA.

2. Take the helm : STEER.

3. Irish musical ensemble __ Woman : CELTIC. We just watched one of their concerts the other night. But, I'm still holding on to my musical link...

4. Altar constellation : ARA.

5. Road trip refresher : PIT STOP.

6. __ lamp : LAVA.

7. Universal donor's type, briefly : O NEG.

8. Food fish : COD. It's also what you mail to your friend in Boston on their birthday.

9. Successful squeeze play result : ONE RUN. Boy, did I need an education for this one. I thought a squeeze play was when two fielders trap a runner between bases. Bzzzt!  It's actually a bunt when there is a runner on third, forcing the outfielder to throw to first, while allowing the runner to make it to home plate…10-Down. "... __ they say" : OR SO.

11. What humidity measures : MOISTURE. Um, isn't it measured by a hygrometer?

12. Forest friend of Frodo : ENT. Even though Frodo himself never met them, they acted as his friends and allies.

13. Dissenting vote : NAY.

18. "Hold your horses, I'm coming" : IN A SEC.

19. Unhip types : NERDS.

24. Like right-lane traffic, usually : SLOWER. I'm a left-lane kinda girl, myself...

25. Goodwill store transaction : RESALE.

27. Green condition? : ENVY. and 44-Down. Green shade : EMERALD.

28. Laudatory verses : ODES.

30. Helpful tip for a puzzle solver? : ERASER. Cute misdirection.

31. "Behind the Candelabra" co-star : DAMON. The story of Liberace, it also starred Michael Douglas and received rave reviews.

32. Like the Middle Ages : FEUDAL.

35. Large quantity : SCAD.

36. Account : TALE.

37. Company bigwigs : OFFICERS.

39. "Get it, daddy-o?" : YOU DIG?

42. Note next to a red F, maybe : SEE ME. Uh-oh...

46. Church VIP : DEACON.

47. "You __ worry" : NEEDN'T. Let Alfred E. Neuman do that for you...

51. "Rockin' Robin" chorus word : TWEET. At last, something worth linking!  Tweedle-lee-dee-dee-dee, tweedle-lee-dee-dee, tweedle-lee-dee-dee-dee, tweedle-lee-dee-dee, tweedle-lee-dee-dee-dee, tweedle-lee-dee-dee, tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet (Aren't you glad I didn't waste my musical link on OPERAS or CELTIC Women?)

52. Itty : EENSY.

54. Peace Prize city : OSLO.

55. On its way : SENT. "The check is in the mail…"

56. Platte River tribe : OTOE.

58. Leaves in a bag : TEA.

59. Kubrick's out-of-control computer : HAL. In "2001: A Space odyssey."

60. Sigma preceder : RHO.

61. 2016 Olympics host : RIO. And they plan to hold sailing events here? Ewww...

That's it from me for this week!


Mar 26, 2014

Wednesday March 26, 2014 Jacob Stulberg

Theme: Out Of Options - and as the reveal succinctly puts it:

51D. Lacking, or what can precede either half of 18-, 36- and 56-Across : OUT OF

18A. Mandate from the bench : COURT ORDER Out of court/Out of order

36A. Voice coach's concern : BREATH CONTROL Out of breath/Out of control

56A. Shared shares : JOINT STOCK Out of joint/Out of stock

Good Morning everyone - Steve here with what I thought was a slick puzzle from Jacob. The theme hung together nicely and the reveal tucked away at the end of the downs kept things hidden for a while. The puzzle is also a pangram - whenener I see a Q an X and a Z emerge I start to keep my eye out for the K and the J.

I found myself misdirected a couple of times - always fun when you have the V-8 moment over those.

One quibble with the theme clues was for 56A - to me the clue implies that the shares in a joint stock company are owned by more than one person; but it's actually the company that is jointly owned by the shareholders. Very minor nit, but a nit all the same.


1. Cop's route : BEAT

5. Tripoli's land : LIBYA

10. Meet activity : SWAP

14. "Let __": Beatles hit : IT BE. Very difficult not to link this! Crossword favorite Yoko Ono didn't seem to be contributing a whole lot though.

15. Acrylic fiber : ORLON

16. Sobriquet for Haydn : PAPA. Scholars disagree over whether this was a term of affection or a pejorative. Let's be nice and go for the former.

17. Loafer, e.g. : SHOE. I have a couple of pairs of the "Penny" variety. They pack pretty flat in a carry-on.

20. Frequency unit : HERTZ. I frequently rent cars from Hertz, so my unit would be a "mid-size saloon" like today's Mercedes C-Class.

22. Cross-ventilation result : BREEZE

23. Not slacking : ON THE JOB

25. Jewelry retailer : ZALES

29. Foot, in zoology : PES. From the Latin.

30. Objection : BUT

31. Make a dramatic exit? : SKYDIVE. I'll state this plainly - there is no way I'd jump out of a perfectly good plane. Crazy people!

33. Cos. with Xings : R.R.S. Railroads.

34. "And __ refuse?" : IF I. Usually followed by the antagonist hissing "Then you die, Mr. Bond" or something similar.

35. Discharge : EMIT

40. Circle calculation : AREA. Given by the formula πr² where r is the radius. 

41. "Get it?" : SEE

42. Grads-to-be: Abbr. : SR.s

43. Letter holder : MAILBOX

45. Armada arena : SEA

46. Ugly Tolkien beast : ORC

49. "Tomorrow" musical : ANNIE

50. John le Carré offering : SPY NOVEL. I had "THRILLER" here first for absolutely no good reason which slowed me up a tad.

52. "Memoirs of a __": Arthur Golden novel : GEISHA

55. High capital : QUITO. Capital city of Ecuador and the highest capital city in the world. I'm told that people chew coca leaves on the train up to ward off altitude sickness.

60. Oolong and pekoe : TEAS. This is interesting - Oolong is a Chinese tea, but pekoe (more accurately Orange Pekoe) is the highest grading of a tea leaf, and that term can be applied to a number of different varietals. Well, I found it interesting, but then again I've got British genes and apparently can't function without tea.

61. Trusted underling : AIDE

62. Structure with high-water marks : LEVEE

63. Yellow-and-brown toon dog : ODIE

64. Cheery : GLAD

65. Board for filers : EMERY. I was thinking along the lines of the Security and Exchange Commission.

66. Like some memories : FOND


1. Diocese head : BISHOP

2. Hydrocarbon gas : ETHENE

3. Calls off, as a mission : ABORTS

4. Force, metaphorically : TEETH. As in "Give one some teeth" - or not? Teeth of the gale? What think ye?

5. Express's opp. : LOC. The local, or stopping service.

6. 2004 Will Smith sci-fi film : I, ROBOT

7. Ad on a DVD case : BLURB. Let's kill two blurbs with one stone:

8. Olden times : YORE

9. First chip, often : ANTE

10. Farming implements : SPREADERS. They spread fertilizer, seed, manure ... let's stop there.

11. Bundle of dough : WAD

12. Wild way to go : APE

13. Course number : PAR

19. First name in metal : OZZY. Not my first thought by a long way - my mind was firmly on the "Alcoa"variety.

21. Zoo equine : ZEBRA. I like the Z echo from the clue to the answer.

24. In precisely this way : JUST SO

26. Celeb's ride : LIMO

27. Malevolence : EVIL

28. Where the action happens : SET. Lights, Camera ...!

31. W. Coast airport : S.F.O. Coincidentally, I'm sitting at Gate 32, Terminal 1 at San Francisco International heading home from the Bay Area.

32. 2004 biopic with the tagline "Let's talk about sex" : KINSEY

33. Like wheels after servicing : REALIGNED. I liked this word - took a little while for the penny to drop.

34. Bar supply : ICE. Add Vodka, Tonic and limes and you've got a fully-stocked bar in my opinion. Tinbeni would not agree.

36. Cereal material : BRAN

37. Carriage driver's tool : REIN. I liked WHIP first, especially with the "I" in place.

38. With 59-Down, L-shaped tool : HEX

39. Sedative, casually : TRANQ

40. Org. whose past presidents include two Mayos : A.M.A. I'm assuming of Mayo Clinic fame?

44. Veggie with a Ruby Queen variety : BEET. Thank you, crosses.

45. Bit of orthodontia : SPACER

46. Cathedral city in northern Spain : OVIEDO

The Portico
47. Hold on to : RETAIN

48. Shut : CLOSED

50. Leave the dock, with "off" : SHOVE. Because "CAST" isn't long enough.

53. Catalina, e.g. : ISLE. I'll be flying over it in about an hour if my flight's on time.

54. Come (from) : STEM

56. Crying __ : JAG. I used to own one of these - an 89 XJS V12 convertible that made me weep every time it broke down, which was about once a week.

57. Driveway blotch : OIL

58. Ore. neighbor : IDA. Not CAL, which I had first.

59. See 38-Down : KEY

That's about it from me today. Enjoy your respective Wednesdays!

Mar 25, 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 Dave Sarpola

Theme: Hello, Mr. Chips - The many faces of Mr. Chips.

62A. Nabisco cookies ... and what you might cry upon solving this puzzle's three other longest answers? : CHIPS AHOY. Chocolate chips.

17A. Place for a Hold 'em game : POKER ROOM. Valuable chips.

11D. Officer Frank Poncherello portrayer of '70s-'80s TV : ERIK ESTRADA. "CHiPS"

24D. Slogan seen on computer stickers : INTEL INSIDE. Computer chips.

Argyle here. Dave seems a bit more whimsical than his previous puzzles. I'm not sure of poker room being a valid term but I don't gamble. Now I see it is; the casinos keep the poker room separate from the rest. So the Black Jack tables may be on the main floor but the Texas Hold'em need a quieter atmosphere.

The two long columns gives the grid a different look. A couple of column entries I didn't get until laid them flat. Plus a little Natick at the start due to not knowing which G_P to use to get the tiny South Pacific nation. Guessed right. And no repeat on the types of chips either.


1. Ancient Egyptian pictograph, e.g. : GLYPH

6. Game, __, match : SET. Tennis.

9. Signs : OMENS

14. Tiny South Pacific nation : NAURU. Tiny, I'd say! 8.1 sq. mi.

15. High-tech film effects, for short : CGI. (computer-generated imagery)

16. Spreading like wildfire, as online videos : VIRAL

19. Breathing : ALIVE

20. Missouri tributary : PLATTE. Sandhill Crane habitat.

21. Approved of, on Facebook : LIKED

22. Golf club part : GRIP. "Grip it and rip it!"

25. Some evergreens : FIRs

26. Visualize : SEE

27. Hindu royal : RANI

28. Feels poorly : AILs

30. Lith. and Ukr. were part of it : USSR

33. Swear (to) : ATTEST

36. See 38-Across : POOR. 38A. With 36-Across, needy people : THE

39. Located in that place, in legalese : THEREAT

41. Arctic wastelands : TUNDRAs

43. Slippery fish : EEL

44. Baby bed : CRIB

46. Veterans Day tradition : PARADE

47. Trace amount : DRIB. We know DRIB.

49. Afternoon socials : TEAs

51. Garden locale : EDEN

52. __ de plume : NOM

54. Onetime Russian monarch : TSAR

56. DUI-fighting gp. : SADD. Founded as Students Against Driving Drunk, now Students Against Destructive Decisions.

57. Social division : CASTE

59. Trojan War hero : AENEAS. He seems like a strange hero.

61. Some highway ramps : EXITs

66. Long-extinct birds : DODOs. CSO

67. Assembly aid : KIT

68. Open-mouthed : AGAPE

69. Opposition : ENEMY

70. Sloppy farm area : STY

71. Bedbugs, e.g. : PESTs


1. Treasury Dept. variable : GNP. (Gross National Product, not Gross Domestic Product)

2. Mekong River language : LAO

3. Relative of har : YUK

4. Dressed more like an Exeter student : PREPPIER

5. Fling : HURL

6. Nova __ : SCOTIA

7. Self-serving activity : EGO TRIP

8. Broadcaster's scheduling unit : TIME SLOT

9. Racetracks : OVALs

10. Surroundings : MILIEU

12. Congregation area : NAVE

13. Snowy day toy : SLED

18. U.K. flying squad : RAF

22. Like Parmesan, commonly : GRATED

23. Newsman Dan : RATHER

29. Salad go-with : SOUP

31. Treelined : SHADED

32. Email again : RESEND

34. Wall Street watchdog org. : SEC. (Securities and Exchange Commission)

35. Tangy : TART

37. Genetic info transmitter : RNA

40. Dapper pins : TIE TACKS. For the well dressed ball player.

42. Equestrian competition : DRESSAGE

45. Single or double, say : BASE HIT

48. Deepest part : BOTTOM

50. Rational state : SANITY

53. Complicated, as a breakup : MESSY

55. Sales staff member : REP

57. Give up, as territory : CEDE

58. Nervous system transmitter : AXON

60. With all haste, in memos : ASAP

63. Owns : HAS

64. Get off the fence : OPT

65. Hoped-for answer to a certain proposal : YES