Nov 30, 2014

Sunday November 30, 2014 Michele Kane

Theme: "Résumés" - Each theme answer is in the pattern of C* V* (Curriculum Vitae).
23A. Apple product : CIDER VINEGAR. Bragg's raw cider vinegar is very good.

42A. Modern security threat : COMPUTER VIRUS. Dave, did you get the Vosteran out?

62A. What most coupons lack : CASH VALUE. This intersects 62D. I'm always happy when this happens.

76A. Election night drama : CLOSE VOTE. This intersect 17D.

94A. Lustrous fabric :CRUSHED VELVET. Oh, I did not know there's a term for this kind of fabric.

119A. "Glee" song, e.g. : COVER VERSION

17D. Technique employed on many police shows : CINEMA VERITE. Click here for more info. Realism, sort of.

62D. Stand in a bedroom : CLOTHES VALET

Reveal entry:

119D. Résumés, briefly, and a hint to this puzzle's eight longest answers : CVs

I think this is another LAT debut. Congratulations, Michele!

Simple theme. I grokked the gimmick immediately. I was once quite good at conducting background check. Tricky job to do in those pre-Internet days.
I like the triple stacks of 8's in the upper right and lower left. They're tough to fill cleanly, esp when crossing another long theme entry.

1. Fuss : ACT UP

6. 1622 newlyweds : ALDENS. This is a difficult clue for me.

12. Police show staple : SQUAD CAR

20. One of two capitals on I-84 : BOISE. The other is?

21. Southernmost U.S. state : HAWAII. My first fill.

22. With strong desire : HUNGRILY

25. Kept : RETAINED

26. Block : STYMIE

27. Slippery fish : EEL

28. Outer space feature : NO AIR

29. Genesis woman : EVE

30. Convinces : SELLS

32. Lullaby-like Chopin work : BERCEUSE. Never heard of this word before. You?

35. USA part: Abbr. : AMER

36. __ Dhabi : ABU

38. Traffic cop's gp.? : DEA. Drug traffic.

40. Boisterous : ROWDY

41. Lunes, por ejemplo : DIA

47. Anatomy feature in a '50s musical nickname : PELVIS. What musical?

50. Deejay Casey : KASEM

51. Perceptive : KEEN

52. Pittsburgh's __ Park : PNC. Pirates' home. How's going, PA Don?

54. Like a sick student, probably : ABSENT

55. Queequeg feature, briefly : TAT (Tattoo)

57. Salt in a lab : NaCL

59. Eye-fooling pictures : OP ART

61. "Of Human Bondage" (1934) studio : RKO

64. Canine complaint : WOOF

65. Nada, in Nice : RIEN
66. Firmly fixed : WELL-SET

68. Slo-mo studier : REF

70. "I don't think so" : NICE TRY! Nice 7-letter entry.

72. Calendario units : ANOS

73. Consider : DEEM

79. Tippler : SOT

80. Loren's husband Carlo : PONTI. Gimme for me.

81. Jalopy : HEAP

82. Bambi relative : ENA

83. Sore : ACHING

85. Annual reason for losing sleep: Abbr. : DST

87. French 101 word : ETRE

89. New Look creations : DIORs

93. Future doctor's work, maybe : THESIS

97. D.C. bigwig : SEN

98. Pauley Pavilion player : BRUIN. UCLA Bruins.

100. Ike's command : ETO

101. Joseph of ice cream fame : EDY

102. Draining aid : EAVE

104. Cheapest way in : FREE PASS. Had I known FOLIO (104D. First __: Shakespeare collection), I would have nailed this long entry.

107. Goldsmith's "The __ of Wakefield" : VICAR

110. As per : A LA

111. Haunted house noises : MOANS

112. "Got it!" : AHA

114. Balmoral attraction : CASTLE. For the Royal family.

117. Risked perjury charges : TOLD A LIE

122. Precise : UNERRING

123. Fast tempo : VIVACE. Got via crosses.

124. Showed entirely : BARED

125. MLB All-Century Team outfielder : PETE ROSE. He was out lunch when Boomer and I passed by that sports store between Mandalay bay & Luxor where he was signing autographs. Holy cow, TTP, no one cared about him there. No waiting line despite the big promotional posters.

126. Sneaky devil : SLY FOX

127. Diving ducks : SMEWS


1. Basics : ABCs

2. San Francisco's __ Tower : COIT

3. Enviable assets : TIDY SUMS. Great entry as well.

4. "I'm available" : USE ME

5. Jeopardy : PERIL

6. Sushi bar selection : AHI

7. "Penny __" : LANE

8. Social misfit : DWEEB

9. Three on a 47-Down : EAGLE. And 47. Long hole : PAR FIVE. I don't think I've ever parred a Par Five hole.

10. Actress Vardalos : NIA

11. Title for golf's Nick Faldo : SIR. He uses Sir Nick Faldo for his Twitter handle.

12. Hide from view : SHROUD

13. Like a landlubber on the open sea, say : QUEASY

14. Loosen, in a way : UNTIE

15. Culture medium : AGAR

16. Soft & __: deodorant : DRI

18. Regular "Jeopardy!" sponsor : ALEVE

19. "Girl, Interrupted" star : RYDER (Winona). JOLIE too.

24. African grassland : VELDT

28. Ski resort refresher? : NEW SNOW

31. Look for : SEEK

33. Basic educ. trio : RRR

34. Something to pull off : COUP. I should have nailed it with ?OUP in place.

35. Doesn't feel great : AILS

36. "Oh no!" : ACK

37. Eye-catching wrap : BOA. Why "Eye-catching"?

39. Place to play : ARENA

41. Not a good thing to go into : DEBT. And 56D. Not a good thing to go to : THE DOGS. Does it sound like a long partial to you, Marti?

43. "He loves me" pieces : PETALS

44. Sch. with a Lowell campus : U MASS

45. Italian restaurant choice : VEAL

46. Bring upon oneself : INCUR

48. Comic book artist : INKER

49. Like some beaches : STONY. I wanted SANDY.

53. Naval noncom: Abbr. : CPO

58. Parasite : LEECH

60. Exceptional : A-ONE

63. Dodge Viper engine : V-TEN

65. Stores, markets, etc. : RETAIL

66. Attended : WAS AT

67. Tennyson's "__ Arden" : ENOCH

69. Runs : FLEES

71. __ Nast : CONDE. They own Vogue, The New Yorker Vanity Fair and a bunch of great magazines.

74. LAX listing : ETD

75. Makes a poor stroke : MISCUES

77. Pledge : OATH

78. Shopper's indulgence : SPREE

80. Nabokov title professor : PNIN. Haven't seen him for a long time.

84. "Uh-huh" : I SEE

86. Business __ : TRIP

88. 1999 Ron Howard film : EDtv

90. Exhaust : OVERTIRE. Not a word I use.

91. Sunburn color : RED

92. Farm structure : STY

95. One, to Juanita : UNA

96. Singers' reality show, with "The" : VOICE. No double it helped Adam Levine win the 2013 Sexist Man Alive crown. (Correction: Sexiest. Thanks, D-Otto.)

98. Intelligence : BRAINS. And 105. Intelligence : SAVVY

99. Weasel out : RENEGE

102. Devour : EAT UP. Alas, I can't devour much nowadays. In fact, I had nothing on Thanksgiving. Persistent cough, tired all the time. Various tests ruled out strep throat and virus (my white blood cell count is normal), so the doctor said it might be flu. He said it lasts 7-14 days. Today is #11 day for me. My first ever flu. Coughing night and day is so draining.

103. "In bad company," to Bierce : ALONE. Interesting definition.

106. Paper bundle : SHEAF

108. Dieter's count : CARBS

109. Indian state : ASSAM. Tea/silk.

111. Former golf announcer Dave : MARR. Just found out that he was the father of Golf Channel's Dave Marr.

113. Violist's direction : ARCO. With a bow.

115. MGM co-founder : LOEW

116. Extremes : ENDS

118. Doctor of music? : DRE. Dr Dre.

120. Texas resource : OIL

121. Bug : VEX


Nov 29, 2014

Saturday, Nov 29th, 2014, Jeff Chen

Theme: None

Words: 64 (missing F,K,Q,Z)

Blocks: 33

I saw Jeff's name, and cringed - I usually suffer an epic fail when he's the constructor, but I am pleased to announce that I was, in fact, able to beat this one, with a mere 3 seconds to spare on my personal time clock.  Yay~!!  I can feel my brain cells tingling.  I loved the look of this puzzle, a true pinwheel of backwards "block C's", connected via four 10-letter fills, though it does make for a low word/high block count.  The longer fill:

24. Superstitious admonition : DON'T JINX IT - Great fill

9. Court groups : LEGAL TEAMS - Because TENNIS teams was too long

39. Undeveloped areas : OPEN SPACES

26. Ones who are retiring : INTROVERTS - I consider myself an introvert, but I am about 20yrs from retiring - har-har~!

OOO  N     N  W             W     A          RRR    DDD      ~!
O   O  NN  N    W   W   W   A  A        R    R  D    D   ~!
O   O  N  NN      W W W   A  A  A     R R     D D     ~!
OOO  N     N       W  W    A             A   R  R   D        ~!


1. It's a bluff : SCARP - geological jargon

6. Let it all out, perhaps : BAWL

10. "Yeah, what-evs" : "I BET"

14. Kit and kaboodle : TOTAL

15. She plays Jackie on "Nurse Jackie" : EDIE

16. "99 Luftballons" band : NENA

17. Taqueria adjective : ASADA

18. Tongue specialists? : LINGUISTS - I knew where this was going, but "OLE" at 19d was messing me up; the "O" was making me try to get LEXICOLOGIST to fit

20. Six-Day War setting : SINAI - I knew it involved Israel, but it took a moment for this broader geographical area to occur to me

21. Target, say : MEGA-STORE - does anyone else pronounce it "tar - ZHAY" to make it sound more upscale~?

22. Prince Valiant's heir apparent : ARN - knew from doing crosswords

23. Beat on "Survivor" : OUTLASTED - outwit, outplay - outwitted worked, too

27. Laborer on the move : MIGRANT

28. Crushed, as a spice : PESTLED

34. Obliquely : ASLANT and a straight up clecho; 3d. Obliquely : AT AN ANGLE

35. Without serious consideration : AIRILY

36. "Yikes!" : "JEEPERS~!"

38. Considerable : IMMENSE

41. Title bout, say : MAIN EVENT - nailed it, which gave me the first letters of the corresponding DOWNS, and that always helps

46. Reminder of an old flame? : ASH

47. Purity : INNOCENCE

48. First name in rap : TUPAC - Shakur, gunned down in Las Vegas, Nevada

51. "Sleepy Hollow" director : TIM BURTON - nailed it.  Does anyone watch the TV series~?  I am enjoying the new "Constantine" on NBC

52. One of Chekhov's "Three Sisters" : IRINA - I toyed with ELENA, IRENE, and was not too far off

53. Abbr. for the nameless? : et al. - Latin for "and others"

54. Rocky heights : TORS - more geological jargon

55. Small change : CENTS - I tried DIMES first

56. Judicious : SANE

57. Weapon of yore : SNEE

58. "Grumpy Old Men" actor Davis : OSSIE


1. King's Cross and others: Abbr. : STAs - London train stop

2. Mozart title starter : COSI - fan tutti, an opera by Wolfgang

4. Gun site : RADAR TRAP - Clever; it took a long time for me to tie "gun" to "trap", which I had via perps;  I was trying so hard to get BATTLESHIP to fit, or maybe "---DECK"; what's the name for the ship's armament level, Spitz?

5. Easy-to-miss miss : PLAIN JANE - sometimes, it's the plain Janes that are the most attractive when they dress up, IMHO

6. Last of an annual trio : BELMONT - Dah~!! Took way too long for me to get this; the Triple Crown of horse racing - The Kentucky Derby and The Preakness Stakes are the other two - in the U.S.

7. Ciao relatives : ADIEUX - I was so pleased to put in ADIEUS, but I needed the Frawnche version to be right

8. Certain brogue : WINGTIP - ah, the shoe, not the accent

11. Inebriate : BESOT - the verb, not the noun

12. Between, to Berlioz : ENTRE

13. Extremely shocked? : TASED - yep, that's getting extremely shocked

19. World Cup chant : "USA~!" - and a referential clue at 10d. 19-Down, e.g.: Abbr. : INITs

24. Key of Pachelbel's Canon: Abbr. : D maj - Ah~!  The "A" was there, so I had 75% of this one taken care of

25. River through northern France : OISE

29. Like-minded : SIMPATICO - SYMPATHETIC did not fit; nor did COMPASSIONATE

30. Cherishes : TREASURES

31. Vital components : LINCH PINS - Don't know why I spelled Linch with a "Y", maybe this connection

32. Conditional word : ELSE

33. Turns red, perhaps : DYES

37. Used to buy : SPENT ON - I get it, but the tense/usage doesn't quite jibe with me

38. Pungent, for example : INTENSE

40. Request for more : ENCORE

41. Pittances : MITES - meh.  I think mOtes is a better fit

42. Jazz singer O'Day : ANITA

43. "Cold Mountain" hero : INMAN

44. Lofty : NOBLE

45. Coin first minted under Louis IX : ECU - learned by doing crosswords

49. Against : ANTI

50. Court event : CASE


Nov 28, 2014

Friday, November 28, 2014, Mike Peluso

Theme: Country puns.

Four common terms containing a country name as a descriptive adjective, are modified into amusing new version that sound alike but have very different meanings. This is the first Friday pangram in a long while and my first from Mike in a long while as well. As with many of his works, lots of 4 and 5 letter fill with some interesting medium words like IS INTO,  OAXACA,  PEG LEG,  SEANCE, AT WORST,  EQUINES, TEXAS TEA, UNALLIED. I know you are worn out from cooking, smiling at relatives and eating, so on with the show.

20A. WWII personnel from Rio? : BRAZILIAN WACS (13).  The base phrase is Brazilian Wax, referring to the complete removal of pubic hair. The HISTORY of the term is debatable, but it may just be that the indigenous tribes that were there before European were one of the Asian strains which grow very little body hair.

25A. Yoko Ono, in spirit? : JAPANESE BEATLE (14). The destructive Japanese Beetle does in fact come from Japan, which has more natural beetle predators to limit their damage. Not to be confused with the German Beetle.

46A. Andalusian plains? : SPANISH STEPPES (14). (Spanish Steps in Rome are must see according to my traveling son. LINK).  Steppe is defined as "one of the vast usually level and treeless tracts in southeastern Europe or Asia." (MW).

52A. Brussels-born lumberjack? : BELGIAN LOGGER (13). Belgian Lager beer. They produce over 700 kinds of beer in Belgium, but most are ales. READ.  Either of my sons can answer this one better than I. I did stand in line to buy the Trappists' Westveleran XII when it came out.


1. Cream, for one : TRIO. The band not the milk by product.

5. Old lab burners : ETNAS. I will let our scientists get into a BUNSEN vs. ETNA discussion.

10. Julia's "Ocean's Twelve" role : TESS. First name of actress = first name of character.

14. Teeny bit : IOTA.

15. Repeat exactly : QUOTE.

16. Bar __ : EXAM. February 1974.

17. Wii alternative : XBOX. gaming systems.

18. Prefix with marine : ULTRA.

19. Lawless role : XENA. Nicely phrased; Lucy will live on so people can find an X to grind into a puzzle.

23. Reds, on scoreboards : CINcinnati.

24. French pronoun : CES. Their.

33. EPA standard : AQIAir Quality Index.

34. 1986 Best New Artist Grammy winner : SADE.

35. Kingdom : REALM.

37. Accumulate : RUN UP. Think of your bar tab.

40. Rio maker : KIA.

41. Leader's prerogative : SAY SO. He has the last word.

42. Place for sweaters? : SAUNA. Rather indelicate... sweat-ers.

43. Place Sundance liked : ETTA. Classic clue misdirection as her name was Etta Place, and the clue masks the capital letter which would have exposed the answer by having the word first in the progression.

45. Illegal turn, maybe : UIE.

50. Joseph Smith's denom. : LDSLatter Day Saints.

51. __ hours : WEE. Where you could often find my sons playing the Wii.

59. It's done in parts of Switzerland : FINI. French misdirection; c'est fini.

60. Giant or Titan, briefly : NFLER. With the ever increasing size of footballers, this is becoming a doubly true clue.

61. VIII squared : LXIV. Roman math, reminds me LINK. (2:47).

63. Der __: Adenauer epithet : ALTE. Old one.

64. Island tubers : TAROS.
65. Foil relative : EPEE.

66. Techie, stereotypically : NERD.

67. Wrigley brand : ORBIT. This is my gum of choice.

68. Fishing leader? : GONE.


 1. B'way pickups : TIX.

2. Former Virginia senator Charles : ROBB. Married one of LBJ's daughters and despite rumors and scandals, they are still together.

3. "Like __ not ..." : IT OR.

4. Veracruz neighbor : OAXACA.

5. Some dams : EQUINES. Horsies.

6. Rock's Jethro __ : TULL. Very distinct sound.

7. Claim of innocence : NOT I.

8. Gillette brand : ATRA.

9. Medium setting : SEANCE. Not on your electric razor, but where the psychic's work.

10. Jed Clampett's discovery, in a sitcom theme song : TEXAS TEA. LINK in case you want to memorize the song.

11. Suit : EXECutive.

12. Without : SANS. A French word incorporated into our language.

13. "He'll hae misfortunes great an' __": Burns : SMA. small.

21. Cab cousin : ZIN, Cabernet and Zinfandel.

22. Erodes : WEARS.

25. Shakes : JARS. I guess...

26. Blue shades : AQUAS.

27. Betty Grable, e.g. : PIN UP. very popular with our boys during WWII, I have read.

28. Benefits : SAKES. For all of our sakes, I hope you sussed this.

29. WWI first lady Wilson : EDITH. Woodrow's second wife and the President after his stroke.

30. Pulsates : BEATS.

31. Easy two-pointer : LAYUP.

32. Dinsmore of children's books : ELSIE. No clue, all perps. LINK.

36. Duff Beer seller : MOE'S. Mo' Simpsons and a CSO to our own Chairman.

38. Neutral : UNALLIED.

39. Ohio-based consumer products giant, familiarly : P AND G. Proctor & Gamble.

44. In the most dire circumstance : AT WORST.

47. Has a passion for : IS INTO. Also, 59D. Buff : FAN. He is a car buff was popular when I was a kid

48. Wave checker: abbr. : EEG. Electroencephalogram. brain waves.

49. Stereotypical pirate : PEG LEG. My ex-wife hated that as a nickname.

52. Venom : BILE. One of the first 4 elopements.

53. __'acte : ENTR. French for between.

54. Hardly close : AFAR.

55. Union-mgmt. mediator : NLRB. National Labor Relations Board.

56. Sainted pope called "the Great" : LEO I.

57. Nat, before 2005 : EXPO. Base ball teams, one in Montreal which is now in Washington, both abbreviations.

58. It was nothing for Louis XIV : RIEN. More simple French, and bi-lingual pun.

62. Vacation starter? : VEE. First letter in the word, and the last clue in the puzzle. Still recovering from all the tryptophan in the turkey. Relax and enjoy, thank Mike and thank you C.C., Argyle, JzB, Steve, marti, Splynter and each and everyone of you.
Lemonade out.

Nov 27, 2014

Thursday, November 27, 2014 C.C. Burnikel

Theme: "It's GivingThanks Day!"

Well, that's not really the theme, but how appropriate to have our dear leader as today's constructor, so we can give her double thanks. First, for creating this fun corner. And second, for entertaining us with her creative puzzles. Thank you, C.C.!

17-Across. *Four Corners locale : COLORADO PLATEAU.

23-Across. *Arctic wolf prey : CARIBOU.

32-Across. *Car named for a California city : CHEVY MALIBU.

52-Across. *1965 Jane Fonda title role : CAT BALLOU.

67-Across. With 68-Across, "Later," or, phonetically, what the answers to starred clues have : SEE YOU. 68-Across. See 67-Across : AROUND. Each entry has a "C" and a "U" around the edges.

You may have noticed the unusual grid. It is symmetrical right to left, but not top to bottom.  That was necessary to accommodate the 15-7-11-9-12 theme entries. The long down entries were nice: TALK IS CHEAP and RHETT BUTLER's full name. Let's see what else she has dished up for us.


1. Beijing trio? : DOTS. Cute misdirection. The dots over the i's and the j. And an appropriate start, with a nod to her native land.

5. Bridges of Hollywood : LLOYD. Of all his movies, I remember him best from this one.

10. First name at Woodstock : ARLO. Our old friend Guthrie is back.

14. Four Corners state : UTAH. A clecho with 17-Across, but it is not part of the theme.

15. Seeker's quarry : HIDER. C.C. doesn't usually like fabricated words, but in the game you are either a hider or a seeker.

16. Send : SHIP.

20. They may be required for rides : TOKENS. Do you call it the subway or the metro?

21. "The way things are ..." : AS IT IS.

22. Yale Bowl yeller : ELI.

27. "Four Quartets" monogram : TSE. Thomas Stearns Eliot.  I never read those.

28. Offspring: abbr. : DESC.endant.

30. Trendy cuff site : EAR.

31. Awards for J.K. Rowling and Hugh Laurie : OBEsOrder of the British Empire.

37. Hawaiian Airlines destination : TAHITI.

39. Election Day sticker : I VOTED.

42. Nebula in Taurus, familiarly : THE CRAB. Amazing photo from the Hubble telescope.

44. Prepared for a proposal : KNEELED.

45. Spanish she-bear : OSA.

46. Former upscale Manhattan eatery : ELAINE'S. It closed after she died in 2010, and is now The Writing Room.

48. Memorable period : ERA.

49. Burst open : POP. It's the season for POPping a bottle of bubbly!

50. Kerfuffle : ADO.

51. Halladay who won both the A.L. and N.L. Cy Young awards : ROY. I knew we would have a baseball reference!

58. Boris' sidekick : NATASHA. Of "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show" fame.

61. "Raging Bull" boxer : LAMOTTA.

65. Marvel Comics assassin : ELEKTRA. With only E-L-E-K-*-R-A in place, I WAG'd ELEKTRA. (Pretty clever, huh?)

66. Hits hard, as the brakes : SLAMS ON.


1. Like many ventilation systems : DUCTED.

2. "Becket" star : O'TOOLE. Peter holds the record for the number of Academy Award nominations without a win.

3. "Actions speak louder than words" : TALK IS CHEAP. Nice fill.

4. Flat or pump : SHOE.

5. High capital : LHASA. C.C. just linked the Potala Palace in LHASA the other day.

6. Jar topper : LID.

7. Prefix with meter : ODO. Odo-meter.

8. "You betcha!" : YEP. I had YEs for a while, and it messed me up from immediately seeing PLATEAU in the first theme answer.

9. 1964 Tony Randall role : DR LAO. He was more than two-faced.

10. Piedmont wine area : ASTI. Spumanti also makes a nice POP when you open it.

11. Bonnie Blue's dad : RHETT BUTLER. "Gone With the Wind."  Nailed it!

12. Make contact (with) : LIAISE.

13. Musical works : OPUSES. I put it in, changed it to OPERAS, then took it back out when AS IT IS showed up.

18. GOP org. : RNCRepublican National Committee.

19. Sun Devils' sch. : ASUArizona State University.

24. Juan Carlos, por ejemplo : REY. Spanish "king."

25. "__ the Walrus" : I goo goo joob.

26. It may be backless : BRA. To go with dresses like these.
They are...

29. In vogue : CHIC. Tres chic!

31. Wind with keys : OBOE.

33. To be, to Napoleon : ETRE.

34. Lab container : VIAL. Because Erlenmeyer flask wouldn't fit.
35. Check-in delayer : LINE. I bet there were plenty of check-in delays at airports in the Northeast this week.

36. "Concord Sonata" composer : IVES. It's Thursday, so we get a clue for Charles instead of Burl.

37. 'Vette roof option : T-TOP.

38. "Now I get it" : AH SO.

40. Finnish architect Saarinen : EERO.

41. Do-or-die time : D-DAY.

43. Words to a black sheep : BAA BAA.

44. Small hills : KNOLLS. Probably the world's most infamous grassy KNOLL.

47. The Snake R. runs through it : IDA.ho

52. Like unnaturally thick makeup : CAKY.

53. Apropos of : AS TO.

54. Drive-__ window : THRU.

55. Refrain syllables : LA LA.

56. Bridge master Sharif : OMAR. A man of many talents, he also starred in "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Dr. Zhivago."

57. Man, to Dante : UOMO. He was a couple hundred years too early to be an Italian renaissance man.

58. Zombie Nation console : NESNintendo Entertainment System. You can play it online here.

59. Microbrew choice : ALE.

60. Ball holder : TEE.

62. Sch. in Nashville : TSUTennessee State University.

63. Slew : TON.

64. "What else?" : AND...?

Nope, nothing else. I'm done! Time to go make the turkey...


Note from C.C.:

Happy Thanksgiving to our blog readers, esp our faithful regulars. Thanks for your daily solving reports, constructive nitpicking, links, recipes, computer advice, health tips (now, how can I stop this nagging cough?), poems, robocall rants, bike ride accounts & other random thoughts. Thanks for sharing. You enriched my very sheltered life.

I'm also grateful to LA Times Daily Crossword editor Rich Norris, his assistant Patti Varol, his three test solvers, his fact checker and all the LAT constructors for the quality puzzles they provide to us day after day. As I mentioned in this puzzle, Rich makes me look smarter than I am. That's not the only puzzle he helped me, and I'm not the only constructor he helped. He just does everything in a very quiet & consistent manner. Rich even replies every reader mail, despite his heavy workload and limited resources. We're lucky to have such a knowledgeable, generous, patient and humble editor whose top priority is always his solvers.

I'm also incredibly grateful for my hard-working blogging team: always there for me Santa Argyle, witty Jazzbumpa, super-efficient foodie Steve, bubbly Marti, cheerful Lemonade, talented Splynter & eager to learn Husker Gary. As I said before, it's fun to blog once or twice, spending 3 + hours on each post every week is serious job. Thank you so much for the dedication and time, friends, you made this blog what it is today. Thank you also for trusting me and letting me guiding you (mostly misguiding) on puzzle-making. I know I'm not easy to work with, thanks for toughing it out!

Nov 26, 2014

Wednesday, November 27, 2014 Matt Skozcen

Theme:  I'M OUTTA HERE.  But first, I have a puzzle to blog.  The second word of each two-word theme answer is a synonym for "makes an exit." But in each theme fill, the word of interest is used in a different sense.

17. Titillating passages : JUICY PARTS.  Interesting sections of salacious literature.  Feel free to make DF jokes. Parting is such sweet sorrow.

28. "You're the Top" musical : ANYTHING GOES.  A phrase meaning something like "without limits."  This is the only instance where the target word is a verb in fill context.  The others are all nouns.  On we GO.

Cole Porter Classic

 47. Indulgent desserts : BANANA SPLITS.  So many possibilities.   But we'll just go bananas with sliced bananas, ice cream scoops and assorted toppings.  SPLIT is the slangiest of these synonyms.

63. October tourist attraction : FALL LEAVES.   Those things that fall off of trees, leaving them bare.  When Fall leaves, Winter is coming.

Try as I might, I could make nothing of JUICY ANYTHING BANANA FALL.  Hi gang, JazzBumpa here, ready to go all the way with Matt's puzzle.


1. Black-tie affairs : GALAS.

6. Suffragist Carrie : CATT.  Among other things, she founded the League of Women Voters

10. Antelope's playmate, in song : DEER.  Oh, give me a home . . .

14. "Show your cards" : I CALL.  Poker

15. Waikiki wingding : LUAU.  Tropical beach party.

16. Concerning : IN REIn regard to.

19. Mouselike critter : VOLE.  AKA field mouse, a small rodent resembling a mouse but with a stouter body, a shorter, hairy tail, a slightly rounder head, smaller ears and eyes, and differently formed molars. [Wiki

20. Beantown hockey great : ORR.  Bobby of the Boston Bruins.

21. Missay, say : ERR.  A verbal mistake, for example.  ERR + ORR = ERROR.

22. Courtroom figure : ACCUSED.  The alleged perp.

24. Opposite of 60-Down : EAST.  Two entries consisting of exactly zero clues.  MEH!

26. Postal service : AIR MAIL.  One of the services offered by the U. S. Postal Service.

33. "A plague o' both your houses" speaker : MERCUTIO.  Romeo's moody, temper mental, and occasionally humorous chum.

36. Pianist Gilels : EMIL.  Flying fingers.

Back to Bach.

37. Mt. Hood locale : OREgon.  Idaho neighbor, potato supplier.

38. Arles approval : BON.  Good French.

39. Graffiti signature : TAG.

42. Wrath : IRE.  IRE-ish eyes are not smiling.

43. Brest friend : AMIE.  Good French, possibly bosom buddy.

45. Fixed firmly : CEMENTED.  Glued in place.

51. __ cheese : GRILLED.  Lunch sandwich.

52. Friend : CHUM.  Possibly an AMIE.

56. Words from a Latin lover : YO TE AMOI love you, if by "Latin" you mean "Spanish."

59. "Batman" sound effect : POW.  From the comics or the old, campy TV series.

61. Mil. address : A P OArmy Post Office.

62. "... a Loaf of Bread ..." poet : OMAR. Khayyám, a Sufi mystic, Persian polymath, philosopher, mathematician, astronomer and poet. He also wrote treatises on mechanics, geography, mineralogy, music, and Islamic theology.  [Wiki]

66. Make oneself heard : YELL.  Voice raising.

67. Most fit for duty : ONE-A.  Military draft status.

68. All too public spat : SCENE.  Don't make one.

69. Just : ONLY.  Here, "just" is an adverb, meaning "by a small margin."

70. "Ratatouille" rat who aspires to be a chef : REMY.  Cartoon movie.

71. Is inclined : TENDS.  We all have our tendencies.


 1. Fatigued action figure? : G I JOE.  The fatigues, in which this figure might be clothed, is attire designed for non-combat duty assignments.

2. Lexus rival : ACURA. Automobiles.

3. Burrows : LAIRS.  Here, "burrows" is a plural noun, indicating the sheltered homes of some critters.

4. "__ 13.5% BY VOL": wine label phrase : ALCohol.

5. Leonard __: Roy Rogers : SLYE.  Star of a TV cowboy show. Did he have a family stone?

They're outta here

6. Bayer allergy relief brand : CLARITIN.

7. Gold: Pref. : AUR-.    From the Latin aurum.

8. Teahouse floor mat : TATAMI.

9. Native of Florence, e.g. : TUSCAN.  Resident of a city in a region of Italy.

10. Disclose : DIVULGE.

11. Grandson of Eve : ENOS.  Son of Seth, Adam and Eve's 3rd son.

12. First name in whodunits : ERLE.  Complete name: Erle Stanley Gardner, best known for appearing in crossword puzzles.  He also wrote the Perry Mason mystery novels.

13. Stalk by the swamp : REED.  I'm quite fond of this clue, which could also refer to stealthily hunting frogs, but here refers to the main stem of a plant.

18. Seek divine guidance from : PRAY TO.  Religion.

23. Oft-mooched item, briefly : CIGarette.

25. Center X, in a game : TAC.  The game is tic-tac-toe.  I cannot verify the alleged fact IN RE: the center X, nor the location of the toe. 

27. Sorority letter : RHO.  Seventeenth Greek letter, uppercase Ρ, lowercase ρ or ϱ.

29. Well-used pencil : NUB.  Remnant of a worn out, oft-sharpened pencil.

30. Forget to put in : OMIT.  Also can be done on purpose.

31. Where the Shannon flows : EIRE.  Or Erin.  Mind your perps. Either way, the Emerald Isle.

32. "Call of the Wild" vehicle : SLED.  Pulled by dogs in Jack London's 1903 Klondike gold rush adventure story.

33. Ancient kingdom bordering Judah : MOAB.  Along the eastern shore of the Dead Sea in modern Jordan.

34. Witty Bombeck : ERMA.  Humor writer.

35. Check : REIN. Here, a verb, from the act of slowing or stopping a horse [or possibly dogs] by pulling on its reins.

39. Work for the small screen : TELEPLAY.  Here, "work" is a noun, indicating a screen play written specifically for television.

40. Photo developing compound : AMIDOL.   2,4-Diaminophenol,  C6H3(NH2)2OH, for the chemist in you. 

41. Understand : GET.  Get it?

44. With gusto : EAGERLY.

45. Lowest-ranking NCO : CPL. Army corporal.

46. Defense advisory gp. : NSCNational Security Council

48. Org. that publishes America's 1st Freedom : NRANational Rifle Association.

49. Target : AIM FOR With one's rifle, I suppose

50. Everett of "Citizen Kane" : SLOANE.  Prolific stage, screen and TV actor.

53. Safe harbor : HAVEN.  Cognate of Hafen, the German word for harbor.

54. Flip over : UPEND.  The up end ends up down.  Get it?

55. Three-time NBA MVP Malone : MOSES.  He went directly from high school to pro ranks in the ABA in 1974, and had a 21 year career playing for several ABA and NBA teams.  He was admitted to the Hall of Fame in 2001.

516. It can walk the dog : YO-YO.  Like this.

57. Comet, to some : OMEN.  Frex:  "When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt."

58. Starbucks size : TALL.  Short, TALL, Grande, and Venti coffee orders.

60. Opposite of 24-Across : WEST.  Sure.

64. Apollo vehicle, briefly : LEMLunar Excursion Module.  American space program on the moon.

65. Kiss guitarist Frehley : ACE.   Paul Daniel.  How can I resist sealing this with a Kiss?

That's it gang.  Now I am Outta here.

Cool regards and happy trails!

Nov 25, 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 Peter A. Collins

Theme: Joltin' Joe - A puzzle about Joe on his 100th birthday.

18. 1967 song that asks, "Where have you gone, 60-Across?" : MRS. ROBINSON

24. Nickname for 60-Across, with "The" : YANKEE CLIPPER. He played his entire 13-year career for the New York Yankees.

36. With 39- and 40-Across, length of 60-Across' record hitting streak : FIFTY, 39A. : SIX. 40A. : GAMES

52. 60-Across eloped with her in 1954 : MARILYN MONROE

60. Sports great born 11/25/1914 : JOE DIMAGGIO
Argyle here. I like there is little to take away from the theme. Web Site


1. Japanese yes : HAI

4. "Get lost, kitty!" : "SCAT!":

8. "The Taking of __ 1 2 3" : PELHAM

14. Suffix with heir : ESS. Heiress.

15. Word after "take it" or before "does it" : EASY

16. Bring into being : CREATE

17. Org. with Red Wings and Blue Jackets : NHL. Hockey

20. Some HDTVs : RCAs

22. When repeated, belittle : POOH. "Oh, bother!"

23. Dutch cheeses : EDAMs

27. Obliged to pay : IN DEBT

28. Industry leaders : BARONS

31. Egg-hiding times : EASTERS

35. Heavy Brit. reference set : OED. (Oxford English Dictionary)

42. Man-mouse connector : OR A

43. Solar phenomenon : SUNSPOT

45. Ice cream seller : PARLOR

48. Freeway no-nos : U-TURNS

56. Rep. and Dem., e.g. : ABBRs. (abbreviations)

58. Sticky substance : GOOP

59. Whence an icicle may hang : EAVE

63. Pro __: for now : TEM

64. Actress Dahl : ARLENE

65. New Rochelle college : IONA

66. Dir. from Fort Worth, Tex. to Fort Lee, N.J. : ENE

67. Undergrounds : METROs

68. NCO rank : SSGT

69. Allowance dispenser, often : DAD. The human ATM.


1. 12th-century English king : HENRY I

2. Rubbish barrel : ASHCAN

3. Cuba, for one : ISLAND

4. Sch. term : SEM. (semester)

5. Completely covers : CARPETS

6. Part of NCAA: Abbr. : ASSOC. (association)

7. Innsbruck's state : TYROL

8. Banned chem. contaminant : PCB

9. Port SW of Buffalo, N.Y. : ERIE PA. How's that, Abejo?
10. Mortgage provider : LENDER

11. Is staying overnight (at) : HAS A ROOM

12. Bit of matter : ATOM

13. Clothing department : MEN'S

19. "__ wouldn't say that!" : OH, I

21. Sport invented by hunters : SKEET

25. Site for cyberbidders : EBAY

26. "Downton Abbey" airer : PBS

29. Originally named : NÉE

30. Radical '60s gp. : SDS. (Students for a Democratic Society)

32. Volunteer State sch. : TSU. (Tennessee State University)

33. "Ich bin __ Berliner": JFK : EIN

34. MD's orders : RXs

36. Dandy : FOP

37. 401(k) kin, briefly : IRA

38. Agricultural region : FARM BELT

40. Attend : GO TO

41. Carry __: sing on key : A TUNE

43. Hindu honorific : SRI

44. Action at a well : PUMPING

46. Refrigerator predecessor : LARDER

47. "Twelfth Night" duke : ORSINO. More or less known than Blixen?

49. Not for kids, filmwise : R RATED

50. Nine-day prayer ritual : NOVENA

51. Appeared to be : SEEMED

53. NYC airport : LGA. (LaGuardia)

54. Bear and Berra : YOGIs. Cute.

55. Scrapped missions : NO GOs

56. In __: stuck : A JAM

57. Tiresome sort : BORE

61. Month, in Madrid : MES

62. __ bran : OAT


Nov 24, 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014 C.W. Stewart

Theme: Winning Wrestling Moves - One.., Two.., Three! and one more makes the four different types of PINS in today's puzzle.

18A. Where to get cash : ATM MACHINE. No PIN(personal identification number), no moola.

26A. Where to see splits and strikes : BOWLING ALLEY. Shout out to Boomer.

47A. Where to keep needles and thread : SEWING BASKET. And lots of straight pins.

61A. Where to find valuables : JEWELRY BOX. Yesterday's brooch is a fancy safety pin.

69A. Things associated with 18-, 26-, 47- and 61-Across : PINS

Argyle here. Maybe. I blindly down loaded a Java update and acquired a malware named Vosteran. Now I can't get a connection to the internet. Cable was out!

You notice the whole entry is the the theme answer. Our constructor used the same device in the spring. Except for a couple of words, an easy Monday.


1. Cup of joe : JAVA. And 20. Foamy brew : BEER

5. Slow-moving critter : SNAIL

10. British sports cars, for short : JAGs. 68A. __ Martin: British sports car : ASTON

14. "Woe is me!" : "ALAS!"

15. Neigh sayer : HORSE

16. Clarinet cousin : OBOE

17. Flat-topped landform : MESA

21. Korean cars : KIAs

22. Put in a chip for a hand : ANTED

23. Turn topsy-turvy : UP-END

25. Meaner than a junkyard dog : ORNERY. Great fill for a 6-letter word.

30. Sci-fi subject : ALIEN

31. Replacement grass, perhaps : SOD

32. Dollop : GOB

35. Under the weather : ILL

36. Highlander's hat : TAM

39. Part of a journey : LEG

41. Id controller : EGO

42. Young man : LAD

43. See 38-Down : TAI. 38D. With 43-Across, umbrella drink : MAI

45. La Scala production : OPERA

51. Theater district : RIALTO

54. Like San Francisco's terrain : HILLY

55. On the ocean : AT SEA

56. Leslie Caron title role : GIGI

57. Cleft site : CHIN

63. Bring on board : HIRE

64. Latin 101 word : AMAT

65. Photographer's request : SMILE

66. Sci-fi subjects : UFOs

67. IRS IDs : SSNs


1. Doorframe part : JAMB

2. On the sheltered side : ALEE

3. Bouquet holder : VASE

4. More often than not : AS A RULE

5. How Bond likes martinis : SHAKEN

6. Making mention of : NOTING

7. Warship fleets : ARMADAs

8. Beliefs: Suff. : ISMs

9. Rural area : LEA

10. "Heeeere's __!": Carson intro : JOHNNY

11. Grab __: eat : A BITE

12. One beyond hope : GONER

13. Shabby : SEEDY

19. Give a hoot : CARE

24. 20-Across serving : PINT

25. Shoppe adjective : OLDE

26. Get-out-of-jail cash : BAIL

27. Earthenware pot : OLLA

28. Out of control : WILD

29. IM chuckle : LOL

32. __ Squad: Best Buy tech support : GEEK

33. Fairy tale baddie : OGRE

34. Gravy vessel : BOAT

37. Part of Lawrence Welk's cadence : A-TWO

40. Soccer score : GOAL

44. Repress : INHIBIT

46. Inspire with a pregame pep talk, say : PSYCH UP

47. Comes down as ice pellets : SLEETS

48. And others, briefly : ET AL.

49. Male escort : GIGOLO

50. Karen who wrote as Isak Dinesen : BLIXEN

51. Indian princes : RAJAs

52. Lines on a list : ITEMS

53. Dam on the Nile : ASWAN

56. Workout centers : GYMS

58. Old record player : HI-FI

59. Remove creases from : IRON

60. Storied loch : NESS

62. Cape Town's country: Abbr. : RSA