Apr 30, 2014

Wednesday April 30th, 2014 Steve Blais

Theme: Multiple Meltdowns. Each theme entry features some form of personal crisis.

17A. What an angry mermaid might do? : GO OFF THE DEEP END

26A. What an angry Santa might do? : HIT THE ROOF

46A. What an angry Humpty Dumpty might do? : GO TO PIECES

59A. What an angry witch might do? : FLY OFF THE HANDLE

Good morning everyone - Steve here with Mr. Blais' latest. Four solid theme entries and one possible unifier hidden away at 57D. I enjoyed the cluing style for the theme, and I had a couple of missteps here and there but nothing too dramatic. Let's see what else we've got.


1. Minor error : LAPSE

6. Catcall : JEER. Sports fans are prone to do this after a 1A.

10. Vishnu incarnation : RAMA. Just one of his ten avatars.

14. "This Old House" carpenter Norm : ABRAM

15. Like many a shoppe : OLDE. Often seen with "Ye" and "Gifte" also.

16. Color of Death's dart, in "Venus and Adonis" : EBON. Nice clue for the poetic "black". I didn't realize that Shakespeare wrote the poem.

20. Not many : SOME

21. Pop's bro : UNC. Do you cry "Uncle" if he's got you in a headlock?

22. Hard to figure out : KNOTTY

23. "Baseball Tonight" airer : ESPN. Originally the "Entertainment and Sports Programming Network". Pretty much just sports now.

25. Not good : POOR

30. Frozen dessert franchise : TCBY. All crosses, I'd never heard of this chain.

34. Part of NCAA: Abbr. : ATH. From the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

35. Don't exist : AREN'T

36. Pong developer : ATARI

37. Supermodel Cheryl : TIEGS. Multiple cover appearances for Sports Illustrated and Time magazines.

39. 1860s govt. for four years : CSA. This was my last fill in the grid - I had CIA for no good reason at first, and then saw that ONIET wasn't going to cut it.

40. Still in bed : NOT UP

41. Accustom : ENURE

42. Western Wyoming county : TETON. Home of the Grand Teton National Park.

44. __-Foy, Quebec : STE

45. Tabula __: blank slate : RASA

48. Opportunity, metaphorically : DOOR. "As one door closes another opens".

50. Backside : REAR

51. Verdict challenge : APPEAL

54. Spot for a facial : SPA

56. Pool float : RAFT

62. Undecided : TORN

63. Smallest Great Lake by volume : ERIE. Lake Ontario is the smallest by area.

64. Where subs are assembled : DELIS. Because "Naval Shipyards" doesn't fit.

65. __' Pea : SWEE

Scooner Seawell Georgia Washenting Christiffer Columbia Daniel Boom
66. Actress Meg : RYAN

67. Skilled : ADEPT


1. Internet connectivity frustrations : LAGS

2. Peek-__ : ABOO

3. Titan who gave fire to humans : PROMETHEUS. Zeus was annoyed about this, and shackled him to a rock to have his liver eaten anew each day by a raven. Not one to be trifled with, that Zeus fellow.

4. Least risky : SAFEST

5. "Unbelievable" techno-funk band : EMF. This was their first single and topped the charts in many countries including the USA, but not their native UK.

6. Philosopher Locke : JOHN

7. Gas alternative: Abbr. : ELEC

8. Former "Tonight Show" announcer Hall : EDD

9. Be strongly pervaded with : REEK OF. Usually in a bad way.

10. Keep apprised of one's activities, as a superior : REPORT TO

11. Assist with a crime : ABET

12. Chamonix peak : MONT. I confidently filled in ALPE first. I've skied Mont Blanc from Chamonix. The village is pretty.

13. Garcia of "Ocean's Eleven" : ANDY

18. Pitch-changing pro : TUNER. I was thinking baseball for the longest time. Nice misdirection.

19. Brian who produced or co-produced several Talking Heads albums : ENO. Brian's been popular in recent puzzles.

24. Terrible twos, one hopes : PHASE

25. Chips-to-be : POTATO

26. Fan's opposite : HATER. Plenty of the anti-Lakers variety here in Los Angeles.

27. Turner memoir : I, TINA

28. Parish head : RECTOR

29. First stage : ONSET

31. String-pulling game : CAT'S CRADLE. It's been a long time since I played this game - I'd almost forgotten about it.

32. Ogre : BRUTE

33. "Holy mackerel!" : YIPES

36. Lennox of the Eurythmics : ANNIE. The foodie anthem: "Sweet dreams are made of cheese, who am I to dis a Brie? I Cheddar the world and the Feta cheese. Everybody's looking for Stilton"

38. Elementary level : GRADE ONE. Hmmm - not sure about this one as clued. Wouldn't "First Grade" be more correct? I think of "grade one" as "of the best quality".

43. Book club leader for 15 years : OPRAH

46. One following a course : GOLFER. Following very approximately in my case. I've seen parts of golf courses rarely visited by humans. I once had to climb down a cliff in Wales to retrieve my driver from the rocks below - my hands were so cold it flew out of my grip when I teed off. We repaired to the clubhouse for medicinal whisky and a fireside seat shortly afterwards.

47. Worked for : EARNED

49. Big ape : OAF

51. Times to call, in ads : AFTS. Afternoons.

52. Field machine : PLOW

53. Flammable pile : PYRE

54. Branch of Islam : SHIA

55. Hammer part : PEEN

57. Lose one's cool : FLIP. This could be the theme unifier, but it's not noted as such. I'm going to call it anyway.

58. Quiz : TEST

60. Do one's best : TRY

61. Aquafresh tube letters : ADA. Toothy smiles all round.

And with that, I'm done!


Note from C.C.:

Here are a few beautiful photos from JD's Puerto Rico trip. (Correction: Costa Rica trip.)  Please click here for more pictures and her notes. She made a whole album of 97 brightly-colored pictures.



Apr 29, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 Jack McInturff

Theme:Don't Lose It - KEEPER can follow the first word of the entries.

18. Generic product : STORE BRAND. Like the mercantile retailer in an oater, STOREKEEPER.

26A. Xbox One, for one : GAME CONSOLE. GAMEKEEPER Perhaps there is one employed at Downton Abbey?

37A. Referee's call : "TIME OUT!". Then he may request the TIMEKEEPER put 3 more seconds on the clock.

47A. Image on many tie-dyed shirts : PEACE SYMBOL. Meanwhile, back at the oater, a different idea of a PEACE KEEPER.


62A. Angler's "I don't have to throw this one back," and hint to the first word of 18-, 26-, 37- and 47-Across : "IT'S A KEEPER". Say, do we have any anglers here?

Argyle here. I say this puzzle is a keeper.


1. Cabbage side : SLAW

5. Airplane maneuver : CLIMB. Can't hardly be called a plane if can't CLIMB, right Dudley?

10. Cookbook amts. : TSPs

14. Go it alone : SOLO. Also, airplane related.

15. Wild West movie : OATER

16. Peter Fonda's beekeeper : ULEE

17. Nursery school adhesive : GLUE

20. Southern Florida "trail" that's a portmanteau of the two cities it connects : TAMIAMI

22. Generating, as interest on an account : EARNING

23. Move covertly : SLINK

25. Bert's buddy : ERNIE. from Sesame Street.

30. Indiana hoopster : PACER. They are members of the Central Division in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association.

31. Aegean island : IOS. But a search brings up iOS now; a phablet from Apple?

32. Computer input : DATA

36. Hold the title to : OWN

41. Young fellow : LAD

42. Barely makes, with "out" : EKES

44. Toyota __4: SUV model : RAV

45. Desert stopover : OASIS

51. Woodland deity : SATYR

54. Singer Lisa et al. : LOEBS

55. Readying a field, say : PLOWING

58. Fortified position : BASTION

64. Rooney of "60 Minutes" : ANDY. RIP

65. Sly look : LEER

66. Packed like sardines : IN OIL

67. Subject of adoration : ICON

68. Family chart : TREE

69. Group in pews : LAITY. Don't preach to the choir; preach to the laity.

70. Old-timey "not" : NARY. Nary a nit. Not likely.


1. NCO rank : SSGT. No mention a service branch can save a nit. (maybe)

2. Kinks girl who "walks like a woman and talks like a man" : LOLA

3. University grad : ALUM

4. Cry of distress : "WOE IS ME!"

5. Like some rays and dust : COSMIC

6. Spanglish speaker, often : LATINO

7. "Who am __ argue?" : I TO

8. Little more than : MERE

9. La __ Tar Pits : BREA

10. Show embarrassment : TURN RED

11. Done in, as a dragon : SLAIN

12. Old Finnish cent : PENNI


13. Marsh plant : SEDGE

19. Belgian composer Jacques : BREL. We've had him before but not often.

21. Make aware : ALERT

24. Evel on a bike : KNIEVEL. We've had him before but not often his last name.

26. Stare unsubtly : GAWK

27. Pimply condition : ACNE

28. U.S./Canada's __ Canals : SOO. Part of C.C.'s theme not too long ago.

29. Sch. whose mascot is Brutus Buckeye : OSU


30. "The Raven" poet : POE

33. Furthermore : ALSO

34. Wagger on the dog : TAIL. Cute.

35. Promos : ADS

38. 401(k) kin, briefly : IRA

39. Apple product : MAC. So is iOS.

40. Burial places : TOMBS

43. Surreptitious data-collecting computer program : SPYWARE

46. Choose not to vote : ABSTAIN

48. Estrada of "CHiPs" : ERIK

49. "Amen!" : "SO BE IT!"

50. Every September, say : YEARLY

51. Like milk on the floor : SPILT

52. Modify : ALTER

53. "We're off __ the wizard ..." : TO SEE

56. Playwright Simon : NEIL

57. Rowlands of "Gloria" : GENA. An old video of the song.

59. Ancient Andean : INCA

60. Fragrance : ODOR

61. Part of a B'way address : NY, NY. But truthfully, many places have a 'Broadway".

63. Hawaiian dish : POI



Apr 28, 2014

Monday, April 28, 2014 Marti DuGuay-Carpenter

Theme: Long Vowel Progression - The first part starts with an S and follows with a long vowel sound that forms a word.

17A. "Waiting for your signal" : "SAY THE WORD"

24A. Be in complete accord : SEE EYE TO EYE

39A. Sound that may be "heaved" in a classroom : SIGH OF BOREDOM

54A. Oath-ending words : "... SO HELP ME GOD"

64A. "Alphabet series" mystery writer (she's up to "X") : SUE GRAFTON

Argyle here, pleased to be doing a Marti puzzle. Nice fill and six packs in the corners. Nice start to the week and the end of the month. Is it safe to say spring is here?


1. Nile dam : ASWAN

6. Start a card game : DEAL

10. Stone Age dwelling : CAVE

14. "The final frontier," on "Star Trek" : SPACE

15. Fairy tale meanie : OGRE

16. Curved molding : OGEE

19. Forest growth : TREE

20. Coastline concern : EROSION. And canyon former.

21. Garden entrance : GATE. "Out of my window I can see them in the moonlight,
Two silhouettes saying goodnight by the garden gate."

23. R-V link : S-T-U

29. Fill completely : SATE

31. Ex-NBA star Ming : YAO. He retired in 2011 due to injuries to his foot and ankle. He is 7 ft, 6 in.

32. Beginning : ONSET

33. Federal property agcy. : GSA. (General Services Administration)

36. Strikeout king Nolan : RYAN. He ended his career in 1993

38. Airport screening org. : TSA. (Transportation Security Administration)

43. __-dried tomatoes : SUN

44. Potpourri : OLIO

45. Wrath : IRE

46. Nebraska's most populous city : OMAHA

48. Genetic letters : RNA

50. Turn, as a burger : FLIP

58. Dictator Amin : IDI

59. __ Minor: Little Dipper : URSA

60. Continent-spanning landmass : EURASIA

62. Spanish artist Joan : MIRO. ???

67. Needing mending : TORN

68. "Gone With the Wind" plantation : TARA

69. Spanish painter El __ : GRECO. Toledo.

70. Fellows : GUYS

71. Ooze : SEEP

72. PlayStation and Discman : SONYs


1. Evaluate : ASSESS

2. Ancient Greek city-state : SPARTA

3. Exit door : WAY OUT

4. Behaves : ACTS

5. Classic grape sodas : NEHIs

6. "Iron Man" actor Robert __ Jr. : DOWNEY

7. A star may have a big one : EGO

8. LAX incoming flight datum : ARR. (Arrival)

9. Pigeon's perch : LEDGE

10. Word before boll or Bowl : COTTON

11. Goes along with : AGREES TO

12. Geese formation : VEE

13. Wide shoe spec : EEE

18. Fair-hiring abbr. : EOE. (equal opportunity employment)

22. One making amends : ATONER

25. Hammer or anvil, anatomically : EAR BONE

26. Toy on a string : YO-YO

27. Polite rural reply : "YES'M"

28. Greek "H" : ETA

30. It came before the chicken--or maybe after? : EGG

34. Shallow sea hazards : SHOALS

35. Yahoo! alternative : AOL

37. Tycoon Onassis : ARI

39. Japanese heavyweight sport : SUMO

40. Pressed for time : IN A HURRY

41. Law partnership, e.g. : FIRM

42. Rock's __ Leppard : DEF

43. Scouring pad brand : S.O.S

47. Great blue waders : HERONs

49. May-December wedding issue : AGE GAP

51. Pay attention : LISTEN

52. Foolishness : IDIOCY

53. Steinways, e.g. : PIANOs

55. Personal histories : PASTS

56. "... __ daily bread" : OUR

57. Fast, short auto races : DRAGS

61. Puffy hairdo : AFRO

62. Item on a business sched. : MTG. (meeting)

63. Letters from one who is short? : IOU

65. Persian Gulf fed. : UAE

66. Before, to a bard : ERE


Apr 27, 2014

Sunday April 27, 2014 Gail Grabowski

 Theme:  "Featured Article"- Article THE spans across each two-word theme entry.

23A. Organic farming staple : COMPOST HEAP. My sister-in-law has a compose pile in her backyard. (Added later: I meant compost pile.)

25A. Co-beneficiary : JOINT HEIR

38A. Batsman's protection : CRICKET HELMET

49A. Slim down and shape up, say : GET HEALTHY. Oh, Jayce & Lucina, I never head of yesterday's Crab Rangoon either.  Cheese does not exist in real Chinese cuisine.

68A. "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" author : ERNEST HEMINGWAY

89A. Stand up to : MEET HEAD-ON

97A. Government appropriations session : BUDGET HEARING

117A. Became discouraged : LOST HEART

119A. Floor-warming technique : RADIANT HEAT

121D. Featured article hidden in this puzzle's nine longest answers : THE

Simple theme. Very consistent T & HE split.

Notice Gail placed THE at the last Down slot.  Not the last Across. Had she done latter, there would be triple-stacked 7's (not easy to fill cleanly) besides the 3's, or she would have to put two cheaters besides the final THE.


1. Spanish desserts : FLANS. Sweet start.

6. Loads of fun : A HOOT. And 21A. Words after make or devise : A PLAN.  Also 91A. "That's __!": director's cry : A WRAP.  Now you see why the first two are not clued as straight partials.

11. Loaded, in Limoges : RICHE. Alliteration is often used in foreign word entry. See also  79D. Tijuana title : SENOR

16. Local geog. division : TWP (Township)

19. Bar mitzvah reading source : TORAH

20. Help with the kids : NANNY

22. Member of the flock : EWE

27. Honshu city : KYOTO. Literally "Capital city". Tokyo means "Eastern capital", east of Kyoto, of course.

28. Regarding : AS PER

30. Pleads not guilty : DENIES IT. Not easy to parse.

31. Flimsy : LAME

33. Minimal effort : EASE

34. Salt in chem class : NaCL

35. Like some access : LIMITED

44. Hydrocarbon suffix : ENE

45. Second-smallest st. : DEL

47. Keema __: meat-stuffed bread : NAAN. Never had it. Did you really had Mexican food & beer after doctor's visit the other day, D-Otto? Or were you just kidding?

48. Compact coloring : ROUGE

54. Devices that can correct diplopia : PRISMS. Did not know "double vision" is called "diplopia".

57. Single, for one: Abbr. : SYN (Synonym). Single & One are synonyms. Lovely clue.

58. '60s "Super!" : GROOVY

59. Shows of support : YEAS

61. Garfield's "purebred clown" : ODIE

62. Energizes, with "up" : PEPS

63. Emulated a pirate : STOLE

64. Puts up : ERECTS

66. Food critic's criticism : NO TASTE. I like Cantonese food the most, the authentic one. It's a bit mild. Fresh seafood/fruits/veggie all year round there. No need to spice things up.

72. Water, often : DILUTER

75. Needles : TEASES

76. Drifters : HOBOS

80. Respond to "Let's hear it ..." : CLAP

81. Response to a capitán : SI, SI

84. Picked at random : DREW

85. Comfort : SOLACE

86. "Antz" effects, for short : CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery)

87. Opera set on Cyprus : OTELLO

93. Separate mil. service since 1947 : USAF

95. Thai language : LAO. Lots of Lao people in China too. We have 56 ethnic groups. Over 90% are Han.

96. Latin I verb : AMO

102. More significant : GREATER

105. Switch back? : EROO. Switcheroo. .

106. Hungarian castle city : EGER

107. Ranking symbol : STAR

108. Actor born Alphonso D'Abruzzo : ALAN ALDA. Vowel rich, like ED ASNER, hence their frequent appearances.

112. Jacksonville's county : DUVAL. Need crossing help.

114. Will of "Blue Bloods" : ESTES. Stranger to me.

122. Make a scene? : ACT. Nice clue.

123. Dangerous snake : ADDER

124. Idyllic regions : EDENS

125. Stagger : LURCH

126. Cross-country need, perhaps : SKI. I was amazed at the dry wall stuff Marti did, and the various DIY projects TTP accomplished. My rose water spray and body scrub are DIYed though :-)

127. "Needless __ ..." : TO SAY

128. Tailor's tucks : DARTS

129. Cropped up : AROSE

 1. Consumer protection org. : FTC

2. "Get a load of that!" : LOOK

3. Multitude : ARMY

4. City mentioned in the song "That's Amore" : NAPOLI. Naples.

5. Aimed for : SHOT AT

6. Tiny Amazon : ANT. Amazon ant. Never heard of it.

7. "Good one!" : HA HA

8. "Be right with ya" : ONE SEC

9. Even (with) : ON A PAR 

10. Enters : TYPES IN

11. Indian friend of TV's Sheldon and Leonard : RAJ. Do you still love "The Big Bang Theory",  Irish Miss?

12. It can help you carry a tune : iPOD

13. Customer : CLIENT

14. "Steel Magnolias" actress Daryl : HANNAH. I watched the "Steel Magnolias" long time ago. Can't remember any detail.

15. Decoys : ENTICERS

16. Golf bag items : TEES

17. Big conflict, briefly : WWII

18. Flippant : PERT

24. Eventually : SOMEDAY. Any luck yesterday, Splynter?

26. "You there?" : HELLO

29. Sports news staple : RECAP

32. Pulitzer-winning biographer Leon : EDEL. I'm surprised to see this guy.  We got him a lot in the old Tribune Daily puzzles.

35. Hose in a shell : L'EGGS

36. Motionless : INERT

37. "Ditto" : ME TOO

39. Big name in syrups : KARO

40. Oklahoma city named for a Tennyson character : ENID. "Idylls of the King".

41. Inspiration sources : MUSES

42. Karnak's country : EGYPT. Has any of you visited Karnak?

43. Wound up : TENSE

46. Parsec's 3.26, roughly: Abbr. : LT-YRS (Light-years)

50. Hide : HOLE UP

51. Chris known for her ground strokes : EVERT

52. Auto antifreeze brand : HEET

53. Regatta entry : YACHT

55. Joins the chorus : SINGS

56. Catty remark? : MEOW. Can picture the smile from LaLaLinda.

60. Mount : STEED

62. Radio bribe : PAYOLA

64. Like many King novels : EERIE.  Stephen King had a great interview with "Fresh Air" last year. I loved what he said below about God and his view change over the years. 

"I choose to believe it. ... I mean, there's no downside to that. If you say, 'Well, OK, I don't believe in God. There's no evidence of God,' then you're missing the stars in the sky and you're missing the sunrises and sunsets and you're missing the fact that bees pollinate all these crops and keep us alive and the way that everything seems to work together. Everything is sort of built in a way that to me suggests intelligent design. But, at the same time, there's a lot of things in life where you say to yourself, 'Well, if this is God's plan, it's very peculiar,' and you have to wonder about that guy's personality — the big guy's personality. And the thing is — I may have told you last time that I believe in God — what I'm saying now is I choose to believe in God, but I have serious doubts and I refuse to be pinned down to something that I said 10 or 12 years ago. I'm totally inconsistent."

Click here for more.
65. Excessive flattery : SMARM

67. Lake near Squaw Valley : TAHOE

69. Tweet source : NEST

70. "Uh-huh" : I SEE

71. Handrail post : NEWEL

72. 1983 Mr. T comedy : DC CAB

73. 20th-cen. largely female labor org. : ILGWU. I had to google: International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. 

74. Scottish landowner : LAIRD

77. Lacking a knack for : BAD AT

78. Carol opening : O COME

82. Swing around : SLUE

83. To whom Rick said "We'll always have Paris" : ILSA. I can watch "Casablanca" again and again.

85. Cut : SHORTEN

87. Collapsible headgear : OPERA HAT

88. Propelled in a regatta, maybe : OARED

90. Follows (along) : TAGS

92. Deal sealer : AGENT

94. "Exactly what I thought" : FIGURED

98. City on Lake Erie : TOLEDO

99. Surfing wannabes : HODADS

100. More than 70% of its population lives in Clark County : NEVADA. What's your favorite spot in Las Vegas, Steve?

101. Landscaping machine : GRADER. Wow, I never knew  this is called grader.

103. "Stand and Deliver" Calif. setting : EAST LA

104. Garfield's successor : ARTHUR

108. Quaint plaint : ALAS

109. It may be picked : LOCK. Oh, hair.

110. Piedmont product : ASTI

111. Forte : AREA

113. Fluffy stuff : LINT

115. First name in Finnish American architects : EERO (Saarinen)

116. Egg holders : SACS

118. Not give up : TRY

120. Balaam's mount : ASS


Apr 26, 2014

Saturday, Apr 26th, 2014, Brad Wilber

Theme: Mini-theme Crossing in the Middle

Words: 70 (missing Q,X)

Blocks: 36

  The triple-packs in the corners today run in the Down direction, allowing shorter Across answers to start; that made this puzzle seem a little less intimidating - despite the crossing of two related 15-letter fills in the center of the grid.  I can think of someone here at the blog who is probably tired of the endless drain on time and money that house repairs can cost, but those two answers are right up my alley, and I am offically a 'house hunter' now....sorry, I was just daydreaming....anyway, just two other long answers, and what I believe is an even spread of proper names, literary references, math, science, biology, and history. 


32A. Reason for a loan : HOME IMPROVEMENT - the reason for my loan is just "HOME"

7D. You must keep it up throughout 32-Across : LOAD-BEARING WALL - the longer I looked for an image, the more ambiguous the results got

Other long entries:

25. "Something Wicked This Way Comes" novelist : RAY BRADBURY - love the title, but did not know anything about its author or plot

46. Deep-fried American Chinese dumpling dish : CRAB RANGOON



1. Sedona and others : KIAs - Automotive company, and I nailed it - had a good run to start

5. Wok bottom coats : OILS

9. Closed, for the most part : AJAR

13. Digging : INTO

14. Image on Maine's state flag : MOOSE - I thought it was a SNAKE, but that's this flag

16. Function : ROLE

17. "Yer __ tootin'!" : DURN - a bit meh, as I went with dArn, and figured it might be dErn, but dUrn~?

18. Bestow : AWARD

19. Liturgy : RITE

20. 18th/19th-century Neapolitan guerrilla __ Diavolo : FRA - "Brother Devil", Michele Pezza; the Wiki

21. Cameroon neighbor : CHAD

22. Complained : WHINED

24. Hall of Fame quarterback Dawson : LEN - dredged up from somewhere in my brain's crossword archives

27. Does some 32-Across, perhaps : ADDS ON - That's what I plan to do when I find the right property; so far, I found a 500sf house, and it was perfect, but already in contract.  I am going to try and look at another today

29. Cap extensions : EARLAPS - the Princess Leia version

30. Unlikely to come unglued : STOIC - not STUCK; this is more "resolve" than "Elmer's"

31. Golfer's challenge : SAND

39. Word with check or date : RAIN

40. 1969 Tony nominee for Best Musical : ZORBA

41. Mideast rubber : ALADDIN - ah, now I get it; not looking for rubber, but magic lamp rub-ber

45. Acorn-bearer with shallow roots : PIN OAK

48. Astoria-to-Salem dir. : SSE

49. Gentle blow : ZEPHYR - I was thinking "LOVE TAP" kind of blow, not the wind

50. Remove : WIPE

51. Give-go link : IT A

52. "I Got You Babe" record label : ATCO

53. Heavy lifter : CRANE

55. Memorable anticipator of 39-Across : NOAH - my mother said this movie was great, which surprised me; I am keyed up for the new "Godzilla"

56. Surf phenomenon : ROAR

57. Having more yellow than usual : YOLKY - because Jaundiced was a tad too long

58. Crucifix inscription : INRI - Crossword staple

59. People who are tight : SOTs - 9yrs, 3months, 18 days in my past

60. Further : ELSE

61. Head-turner : "PSST~!"


1. One of DC Comics' Teen Titans : KID FLASH - all perps

2. No longer fazed by : INURED TO

3. Willy-nilly : AT RANDOM

4. Family address : SON

5. Fred Astaire, for one : OMAHAN - I W.A.G.ed "OHIOAN"

6. State in a "State Fair" song title : IOWAY - Rodgers & Hammerstein - Link

8. Moldavia, once: Abbr. : SSR

9. Speedy exhortation : ARRIBA - I tried "ANDALE~!"

10. Enlist : JOIN UP

11. Takes in or lets out : ALTERS

12. Not robust, vocally : REEDY - tried RASPY at first

15. Short-lived English king of 1483 : EDWARD V - murdered (?) in the Tower of London

21. Saffron-yielding blooms : CROCI

23. Blood test initials : HDL - Cholesterol number

26. Monopolized the conversation : RAN ON

28. Salzburg pronoun : SIE

31. NATO member since 1982 : SPAIN

33. Jane Austen's "most disagreeable man in the world" : MR. DARCY

34. You might subscribe to it via PayPal : EZINE

35. Many a fed. holiday : MONday - MLK, President's, Memorial, Labor, and Columbus DAYS

36. Canyon formers : EROSIONS - anyone try working with RIVER?

37. Jazz greats, maybe : NBA STARS - second time this week with this misdirection

38. Suffer financially : TAKE A HIT

41. Bit of schoolyard backtalk : "ARE TOO~!"

42. One getting strokes, in a good way : LAP CAT - uh-huh, that's just what I was thinking....

43. Can't tolerate : ABHORS

44. Uninspiring : DRY

45. Olive enthusiast : POPEYE

46. Moguls : CZARS - Tried HILLS, which could have worked

47. Farmyard chorus : OINKS

54. Ocean delicacy : ROE

55. Chill : NIP


Apr 25, 2014

Friday, April 25, 2014, Samuel A. Donaldson

Theme: This is no PG-13 puzzle.

We have a letter replacement puzzle with the change from the highly controversial X-rating to the family friendly G-rating. We have asterisks and a reveal which made this seem as awfully easy theme for a Friday. There are many proper names, some difficult, but what makes it special is the phrases chosen to have the final letter of the second (all 3-letters long) of a two word phrase replaced, all begin as somewhat salacious in nature and emerge as completely harmless with the G ending. The rest of the puzzle has much in the way of fun fill, especially longer ones like BEAN BAGS, IN UNISON, ESPECIALLY, PIZZA SLICE, SEMI-ANNUAL ZERO MOSTEL, CHEAP THRILL, MIRACLE MILE.  Mr. Donaldson has been published often in the NYT as well as being a regular  contributor at Crossword Fiend though he has published no puzzles in the LAT since 2011. Here is the interview C.C. did back when. LINK.

8. *Scarlet letter? : SIN TAG (6). Most people are lucky they do not really collect a SIN TAX, and as I said I reread Scarlett Letter recently...meh.

20A. *Rio jokester? : BRAZILIAN WAG. (12). If you are familiar with BRAZILIAN WAX you can understand why it is x-rated. I chose not to link the VIDEO and was fascinated to learn the practice goes back 6 or 7 thousand years.

33A. *Law against certain intra-family marriages? : OEDIPUS REG. (10). I am sure you all know the STORY of Oedipus REX. Likely not related to REX PARKER, NY Times puzzle blogger.

38A. *Game disc on the farm? : CHICKEN POG. Chicken is one of many POX diseases, and it was thought at one time they all had sexual transmission links. POGS were popular when my kids were little.

48A. *Fighter running on tequila? : MARGARITA MIG.  The Russian fighter jet. I hope the pilots are not fueled by alcohol. Margaritas often lead to partying and who wants a drunken bomb dropped...

And the reveal,  59A.  Like the answers to the starred clues before they were edited : X-RATED.


1. Sputnik letters : CCCP. The Cyrillic letters for SSSR look like our Latin letters CCCP.

5. Insert : ADD.

14. "Hello, I didn't see you there" : OH HI. My first misstep, as I wanted "Oops." made me question CCCP for a second.

15. Tax-advantaged vehicle : IRA. Individual Retirement Account.

16. Like unmiked orators, maybe : HOARSE. Mr. Ed being often a hoarse horse, of course.

17. Collins contemporary : BAEZ. Judy and Joan, my first thought was Joan Collins. One of my favorite concerts was watch Joan Baez perform at Tanglewood. I could not find that performance, so... LINK. (4:45).

18. Like some sales : SEMI-ANNUAL. Like Macy's white sale.

22. Part of a black suit : SPADE. Sometimes I enjoy feeling stupid, as all I thought of were suits of clothing and Sam Spade before the playing card misdirection caught me.

23. It may be packed : GUN. Cute, and fits well with Sam Spade. How many of our readers pack heat?

24. Grand squared : MIL. 1000 x 1000 = 1,000,000. Mil not an abbreviation but a colloquialism.

27. General of Chinese cuisine : TSO.

28. "Bueller? Bueller?" actor Stein : BEN. Jimmy Kimmel's uncle.

29. "Die Lorelei" poet : HEINE. Lorelei was pictured as the temptress on the rock.

31. Shaver brand : WAHL.

35. First-century Judean monarch Herod __ : AGRIPPA.  Grandson of Herod the Great, and friendly with Caligula.

37. Portion portion : SUB-PART. Lawyers love sub-folders, sub-parts, sub-sections.

40. Prefix with morph : ECTO. And its brother ENDO.

41. Healthy greens : KALES. The KALE SMOOTHIE is the most popular drink at Whole Foods market here.

42. Storage unit : BIN.

43. Muscle prone to tears, briefly : ACL. Anterior Cruciate Ligament. One of the 4 major knee ligaments.

44. Fashion monogram : YSL. Yves St. Laurent.

45. A long way : FAR.

46. Waffle __ : FRIES. I really wanted IRONS, this was obscure, but it could have been Curly___ and I would have been no better off.

52. Tevye-playing Tony winner : ZERO MOSTEL. As old timers may remember I did get to see Topol in his farewell tour as Teyve. Zero's son Josh was/is also a comedian.

55. Prom rental : LIMO.

56. Inverse trig function : ARCSIN. Interesting to see SIN twice in the grid even if the words and sound are so different.

57. Spreading tree : ELM. Most New England elms were devastated by Dutch Elm Disease when I was growing up, thought the one is this painting will last forever.

58. Foreign attorneys' degs. : LLBS. In the US the degree is a Juris Doctor, a doctorate degree requiring a completed undergraduate degree. My father went into a program where he never received a college degree only his LLB in the 30's. The "LL." of the abbreviation for the degree is from the genitive plural legum (of lex, law). Creating an abbreviation for a plural, especially from Latin, is often done by doubling the first letter (e.g. "pp" for "pages"), thus "LL.B." stands for Legum Baccalaureus in Latin. It is sometimes erroneously called "Bachelor of Legal Letters" to account for the double "L".

60. Call for help : SOS. I just love the term"backronym." LINK.

61. "Uh-huh" : YEAH.


1. Georgia county planned to be the 2017 home of the Braves : COBB. This is where Marietta is located, and is named after an old Senator, not Ty.

2. Blackens : CHARS.

3. It doesn't provide lasting enjoyment : CHEAP THRILL. Dennis, they are playing our song. Immediately followed by a quickie...hmmm.

4. Quick lunch, perhaps : PIZZA SLICE. Cute clue.

5. Window alternative : AISLE. Airplane seats, not house related.

6. German crowd? : DREI. Three is a crowd even in German.

7. Broken : DAMAGED.

8. Gymnast Johnson who was a "Dancing With the Stars" winner : SHAWN. I wonder if this show is popular enough to consider this a fair clue.   WATCH. (4:37) BTW his name is Hough.

9. Inner Hebrides isle : IONA. Off the coast of Scotland, it is also the name of a College in NY. In Hebrew the name means dove.

10. Da __, Vietnam : NANG. A name I only know from the War.

11. Play about Capote : TRU.

12. Hard-rock link : AS A.

13. Crystallize : GEL. As an idea it is a common expression, but logically are gels crystalline? J E L L OH NO!

19. How a chorus may sing : IN UNISON. Hopefully.

21. Vow on a stand : I DO. "do you solemnly swear...?"

24. Site of Los Angeles' Museum Row : MIRACLE MILE. I do not know that are, only the one in Coral Gables.

25. Like krypton : INERT. Without the capital K, Superman is not involved.

26. Not a __ stand on : LEG TO.

28. Contoured chairs : BEAN BAGS. What a classy description for a very cheap item.

29. Connecting flight site : HUB.

30. In particular : ESPECIALLY.

31. Nonsensical : WACKY. Are cluing favorite.

32. Ottoman nobility : AGHAS.

33. Ajar, poetically : OPE. There is no 'ope for this clue.

34. Curly-tailed canine : PUG. Funny looking guys.

36. Soccer stat : PKS. Penalty kicks. And an appropriate shout out for our regular and her many imitators.

39. 1979 World Series champs : PIRATES. Random even for a baseball fan such as myself; though I recall the Mazeroski home run in 1960, nothing about 1979 stands out in my mind unless it was the Sister Sledge , "We are family." (3:34) team..

43. What life imitates, so it's said : ART.

45. Fern leaf : FROND. Also from Palm trees.

46. Festival features : FILMS.

47. 1994 film king : SIMBA. Lion King anyone.

48. Very : MOST.

49. Grenoble gal pal : AMIE.

50. Move shortly? : RELO. Perfectly regular clue, but I for one do not like the fill.

51. "My stars!" : GOSH.

52. Either of two stubborn Seuss characters : ZAX. Not in my wheelhouse.

53. Go off : ERR. I think of this meaning more yelling at someone., "I went off on my secretary when she brought me a plain latte."

54. Early 'N Sync label : RCA. Radio Corporation of America. I went to grammar school with one of the Sarnoff children. he did not light up the screen.

Well chugging along through early spring, which has hung on giving us some spectacular weather, we will be back in May.  Some obscure proper names, but it is Friday; enjoy the week end all

Lemonade 714 out.

Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to dear Kazie, who has been faithfully contributing to our blog since the summer of 2008. Over the years, she has shared with us many photos from her overseas trips. Kay speaks fluent French and German.

Kay and her husband Barry on Tamborine Mountain, overlooking Brisbane

Apr 24, 2014

Thursday, April 24, 2014 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: Mr. Nobody

17. Nobody special : ORDINARY JOE.

24. Nobody special : MAN IN THE STREET.

52. Nobody special : AVERAGE CITIZEN.

61. Nobody special : JOHN Q. PUBLIC.

This is a pangram, a puzzle that uses every letter of the alphabet at least once. I have had the pleasure of blogging several of Jeffrey's puzzles, and this is the second one this month.

I liked the conversational feeling with phrases like WE HAD TO and OH, THAT ONE. Then we are AT THE GAME with an OPEN NET. Other nice sparkly fill like VROOM, YAMMER and ZELIG  rounded out my enjoyment at solving this one.

Now lets fill in the rest of the blanks.


1. __ comedy : BLACK.

6. First vice president : ADAMS.

11. Tar's direction : AFT.

14. Hike : RAISE.

15. Not adept in : BAD AT.

16. Prefix with state : TRI.

19. No. that may have an ext. : TEL.ephone.

20. Lab subjects : OVA.

21. Arrest : NAB.

22. Mrs. Robert F. Kennedy : ETHEL.

29. "They made us!" : WE HAD TO.

30. "Bring on the weekend!" : TGIFThank goodness, it's Friday.

32. Edna Ferber novel : SO BIG. Her 1924 Pulitzer Prize winner.

35. 24-hr. news source : MSNBC.

37. Cartoon monkey : ABU. The kleptomaniac scamp in "Aladdin."

38. Museum supporter, familiarly : THE NEANational Endowment for the Arts.

40. Complain : YAMMER. Not me!

42. Heathrow approx. : ETDEstimated Time of Departure.

43. Speeding sound : VROOM.

47. Waist-reduction plans : DIETS.

48. Sharpen : WHET.

50. Stuck on a stick : IMPALED. Vlad, where are you when we need kabobs?

57. City northeast of Colgate University : UTICA.

58. '60s hot spot : NAM.

59. Yalie : ELI.

60. Superdome city's Amtrak code : NOL. New Orleans.

66. Suffix with alp : INE.

67. Parting word : ADIEU.

68. Commandeer : SEIZE.

69. Selected on a questionnaire, with "in" : X'ed.

70. Cinque plus due : SETTE. Five plus two = seven (Italian).

71. "Enigma Variations" composer : ELGAR. For our musical interlude this morning, we have the complete version. 10:13.


1. Halloween carrier? : BROOM. Haha, had me fooled for a while!

2. Grub or chigger : LARVA.

3. Quinn of "Elementary" : AIDAN.

4. Emmy-winning forensic series : CSI.

5. "Women in Love" director Russell : KEN.

6. Father of Isaac : ABRAHAM.

7. They're handy for overnight stays : DAY BEDS.

8. Small, medium or lge. : ADJ.ective.

9. "A revolution is not a dinner party" statesman : MAO.

10. Guide : STEER.

11. Enjoying a Jazz performance? : AT THE GAME. In Utah. Basketball.

12. Organization that supports the Dalai Lama : FREE TIBET. Very interesting to see this entry so close to MAO.

13. Money drawer : TILL.

18. Lit. compilation : ANTH.ology.

23. Asian holiday : TET.

25. Victory cry : I WIN!

26. Much of Israel : NEGEV. While looking for an image of the NEGEV desert, I stumbled on this interesting one.

27. Place to get off: Abbr. : STN. RR station.

28. Jones who plays the announcer in "The Hunger Games" : TOBY. I still have not seen the movie or read the trilogy.

31. Apparel sometimes protested : FURS.

32. Chicken paprikash, e.g. : STEW. Hungarian paprik├ís csirke, or paprika chicken.

33. "Hmm ... I was thinking of something else" : OH THAT ONE.

34. Tormented, as with doubt : BEDEVILED.

36. West Pointer : CADET.

39. Spotlit number, perhaps : ARIA.

41. Dress length : MIDI. Maxi, mini or midi - I always need perps to decide.

44. Texting exclamation : OMG. Oh…my…god.

45. Good scoring opportunity, in hockey : OPEN NET.

46. Rhesus monkey, e.g. : MACAQUE. Did you spell it right the first time?

49. Gumshoe : TEC.

51. Sagging : LIMP.

53. South Asian rulers : RAJAS.

54. Woody Allen mockumentary : ZELIG. I just don't get his humor.

55. "My Fair Lady" lady : ELIZA.

56. Sweeter, in a way : NICER.

57. Windows alternative : UNIX. Because "Mavericks" wouldn't fit.

62. Pindar product : ODE.

63. Parade member? : HIT. Fun misdirection!

64. Put into operation : USE.

65. __ canto : BEL. Italian for "beautiful singing."

That's all for now!