, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: March 2015


Mar 31, 2015

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 Jerry Edelstein

Theme: Add a Word - A reveal word is added to the start (or left) of the start of the target word.

17A. *Pest-control device : MOUSETRAP. Field mouse.

25A. *Off-the-wall game? : HANDBALL. Field hand (on the farm).

30A. *Simple garment : HOUSEDRESS. Fieldhouse or field house, is a common name for indoor sports arena.)

44A. *One given to flights of fancy : DAYDREAMER. Field day. A sports day for the younger school kids.

49A. *Hidden explosives activator : TRIPWIRE. Field trip. Taking a class to an off-school venue.

64A. Figuratively, where some wild ideas come out of; literally, a hint to a word and its position when paired with the starts of the answers to starred clues : LEFT FIELD

Argyle here. And March, whether like a lamb of a lion, please leave. Conventional grid supports a 6-entry puzzle medium length fill. Hopefully with no nits.


1. Dash gauge : TACH. (dashboard/tachometer)

5. Pawn at a shop : HOCK. Apparently from Dutch hok, "prison".

9. Vague shapes : BLOBS

14. Height: Pref. : ACRO. Think acrobat.

15. Saintly glow : AURA

16. Sportscast rundown : RECAP

19. Hersey's bell town : ADANO. A 1944 novel by John Hersey that will live forever in crosswords.

20. Like paradise : EDENIC

21. Go round and round : SPIN

23. "Tao Te Ching" poet __-tzu : LAO

24. "Yummy!" : "DELISH!"

27. Grant-granting gp. : NEA. (National Endowment for the Arts)

29. Soul automaker : KIA

36. Aerobic exercise aid : STEP

40. Woodlands man-goat : SATYR

41. Campus URL suffix : .EDU (education)

42. Serious : GRAVE

43. Old Russian ruler : TSAR

46. Short-lived Egypt-Syr. alliance : UAR. (United Arab Republic)

48. Drunkard : SOT

54. Overthrow : TOPPLE

59. Farm female : HEN

60. "__ o' your throats": "Measure for Measure" : A POX. The nearly identical quote from The Tempest is more famous.

61. Phobic : AFRAID

62. "Alas and __!" : ALACK

66. In need of a chill pill : TENSE

67. Mystery writer Gardner : ERLE. Perry Mason - Erle Stanley Gardner

68. Colombian city : CALI

69. Beer holder : STEIN

70. Ear piece? : STUD

71. __-slapper : KNEE


1. Got under control : TAMED

2. Words after "crack" or "live by" : A CODE

3. Pitiless : CRUEL

4. Mubarak of Egypt : HOSNI. President of Egypt from 1981 to 2011.

5. Came out of one's shell? : HATCHED. Literally.

6. "Days of __ Lives" : OUR

7. Attend uninvited : CRASH

8. Letter after iota : KAPPA

9. Chastain of women's soccer : BRANDI

10. Guided : LED

11. City NW of Orlando : OCALA. Déjà vu ... again.

12. Unoriginal : BANAL

13. Thread dispenser : SPOOL

18. Ex-Disney CEO Michael : EISNER

22. Printer cartridge contents : INKS

26. Iraqi port : BASRA. Basra is roughly 110 km (68 mi) from the Persian Gulf and does not have deep water access but is still its main port.

28. Neighborhood : AREA

30. FDR's last vice president : HST. (Franklin Delano Roosevelt/Harry S. Truman)

31. Western defense gp. : OAS. The Organization of American States was founded in 1948.

32. Actress Hagen : UTA

33. IHOP condiment : SYRUP. The maple syrup season is running late this year. Go figure.

34. Ice cream maker Joseph : EDY

35. Brewski : SUDS. Slang.

37. Bagpiper's topper : TAM. For whatever reason, Google Images show few bagpipers wearing the Tam O'Shanter.

38. December 24 or 31 : EVE

39. Each : PER

42. Exit the bus : GET OFF

44. Tap concern : DRIP

45. Went round and round : ROTATED

47. Greet the day : AWAKEN

49. "__ Life": Sinatra hit : THAT'S

50. Rented again : RELET

51. Silly : INANE

52. Romeo and Juliet, e.g. : ROLES

53. Apply, as pressure : EXERT

55. Puncture with a pin : PRICK. Hand up for BURST.

56. Song of praise : PAEAN

57. City in northern France : LILLE. Wiki link

58. Comic Izzard : EDDIE. Eddie Izzard-Lord of the Rings & Pipes Link(9:20)

63. TV forensic drama : CSI. (Crime Scene Investigation)

65. __ shot : FLU


Mar 30, 2015

Monday, March 30, 2015 Bruce Haight

 Theme: No Grey Area - Everything is black-and-white.

17. Black-and-white cruiser : PATROL CAR

25. Black-and-white puzzles : CROSSWORDS

30. Black-and-white music makers : PIANO KEYS

45. Black-and-white companion : DALMATIAN

50. Black-and-white flag : JOLLY ROGER

64. Black-and-white ocean predator : ORCA WHALE

Argyle here. Bruce seems to manage a different style of puzzle every time he visits us. Straightforward clues, six themed entries; easy Monday. A lot of 5-letter entries results in a lot of 3-letter entries but a fair trade-off.
          Something for Tinbeni.

1. Also : TOO

4. Hotelier Helmsley : LEONA. "Queen of Mean".

9. Make small adjustments to : TWEAK

14. Post-ER area : ICU. (intensive care unit)

15. First stage : ONSET

16. ABBA's "__ Mia" : MAMMA

19. High-tech prefix with space : CYBER

20. Memorial __ Kettering: NYC hospital : SLOAN * Cancer Center founded in 1884.

21. Teensy bit : A TAD

23. Word on a penny : CENT

24. Yin's partner : YANG

27. When doubled, a Pacific island : BORA

29. Actor DiCaprio, familiarly : LEO

35. "The Jetsons" boy : ELROY

39. Go over snow : SKI

40. Painkiller with a Meltaways children's brand : TYLENOL

42. "__ Maria" : AVE

43. 2014 film about civil rights marches : SELMA

47. Outfielder's asset : ARM

49. Brouhahas : ADOs

56. Take five : REST

59. October birthstone : OPAL

60. Curly-horned goat : IBEX

61. Happen : OCCUR

62. Really casual "No prob!" : "NATCH!". Tenuous connection.

66. Pal of Threepio : ARTOO. (R2-D2)(C-3PO)

67. Behave theatrically : EMOTE

68. Type : ILK

69. Way up or way down : STEPS

70. Meeting of church delegates : SYNOD

71. Albany is its cap. : NYS. (New York State) *Slight dupe with 20-Across clue.


1. Slightly sloshed : TIPSY

2. City in Florida's horse country : OCALA. We had this last Monday. Remember?

3. Released from jail until trial : OUT ON BAIL

4. Diving lake bird : LOON. Very apt for this puzzle.

5. Picture that shows more detail: Abbr. : ENL. (enlargement)

6. "Sesame Street" grouch : OSCAR

7. "Sweet!" : "NEATO!" 10D. "Totally awesome!" : "WAY COOL!"

8. Gillette razors : ATRAs

9. HBO rival : TMC. The Movie Channel (TMC) is a cable and satellite network that is owned by the Showtime Networks, a subsidiary of CBS Corporation

11. Campfire glower : EMBER

12. Modify, as a law : AMEND

13. Go-__: mini racers : KARTS

18. Tease relentlessly : RAG ON. "of unknown origin"

22. ISP option : DSL. (internet service provider/digital subscriber line) It's been hashed over before; just accept it and move on.

25. Like dense brownies : CAKY. or CAKEY. (Spell Check didn't like either.)

26. Little shaver, to Burns : WEE LAD

28. Dial type on old phones : ROTARY

30. Ltr. add-ons : PSs. (Postscripts)

31. Eisenhower nickname : IKE. Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President.

32. Days of yore, quaintly : ELD

33. Supporting vote : YEA

34. NBC show that celebrated its 40th anniversary in Feb. : SNL. (Saturday Night Live)

36. Cause an uproar of Biblical proportions? : RAISE CAIN

37. Fertility clinic eggs : OVA

38. Itch : YEN

41. Actor Sharif : OMAR. (Omar Sharif)

44. Shoplifter catcher, often : MALL COP

46. Handheld burning light : TORCH

48. Med. scan : MRI. (magnetic resonance imaging)

50. __ Brothers: pop music trio : JONAS. Come and gone.

51. Dizzying painting genre : OP ART

52. Coffeehouse order : LATTE

53. Bassoon relatives : OBOEs

54. Potentially infectious : GERMY

55. Former jailbird : EX-CON

57. Tarnish : SULLY

58. Tough hikes : TREKs

61. Didn't pay yet : OWED

63. Laughs from Santa : HOs

65. From __ Z : A TO


Mar 29, 2015

Sunday March 29, 2015 Melanie Miller

 Theme: "Ick Factor" - EW is inserted to each theme answer.

26A. Sign outside the women's locker room? : BEWARE NAKED LADIES. Barenaked Ladies, a Canadian rock band.

41A. Hopper using hops? : BREWER RABBIT. Br'er Rabbit. Uncle Remus.  Also  Spitzboo's favorite molasses brand.

66A. Powerful Persian bloodline? : MEWING DYNASTY. Ming Dynasty. Don't forget Zhou & Qin dynasties. That's how I got my name.

91A. Draft in a moldy basement? : MILDEW BREEZE. Mild breeze.

107A. Stray nut among the Doritos? : CASHEW IN ONE'S CHIPS. Cash in one's chips. I'd love that stray cashew.

15D. Another showing of an Edsel documentary? : LEMON REWIND. Lemon rind. I often wonder why the I has the long vowel sound when the I in "ring" has a short I.

65D. Pulled hamstring, to a hurdler? : DEADLY SINEW. Deadly sin. Which do you think is the deadliest of the deadly sins?

This is a classic word addition theme, with a classic 7-themer in a classic grid arrangement, except the first theme entry starts in Row 4 rather than Row 3.

No shock and awe entries, the fill is extremely smooth. I love Melanie's grids.

1. Trade : SWAP. Easy start.

5. Bestow upon, as a compliment : PAY

8. Increased excessively, with "on" : PILED

13. Back country : WILDS

18. Subject of a memorable chocolate simile : LIFE.  Oh, "Life is like a box of chocolates" from Forrest Gump.
19. Sport with four-person teams : POLO

20. Came to : AWOKE

21. Theatrical work : OPERA. I put DRAMA first.

22. Barbecue feature : OPEN GRILL

24. More cordial : NICER

25. Canning tomatoes : ROMAS. Can't wait to start my little garden. No Romas for me though. I like a few cherry tomato plants and beefsteaks.

29. Paper cut cries : OWS

30. High : LOFTY

31. Wooded depression : DELL

32. How the riot act is read : STERNLY

34. Lifeboat item : OAR

37. Beginning of Christmas? : CEE. Christmas.

38. Tiny __ : TIM

39. Gadget in the game Twister : SPINNER

45. Gardner of "The Hucksters" : AVA. Alas, still no DuVernay.

46. Cher's "Burlesque" role : TESS

49. Reason : INFER

50. Auditorium sections : BALCONIES

52. Illegal USMC status : AWOL. Do you like my cap?

53. Pot filler : SOIL

54. Castaway's signal : FLARE

56. Where Yogi naps : DEN. Yogi Bear.

57. Vice president before Gerald : SPIRO

58. Fragrant bloom : LILAC. The smell is a bit strong for me.

60. Excitement : ADO

61. Edison's 1,000-plus : PATENTS. Is that a record?

63. Told too much : OLD. Tricky clue.

70. It's longer than a dit : DAH

71. Finale of Copland's "Rodeo" : HOEDOWN. Got via crosses.

73. Hosp. areas : ERs

74. Wii fanatic, say : GAMER

76. Shaker unit : GRAIN. Salt.

77. __ tai : MAI. Remind me of the lady who mis-ordered "Mai tai" rather than "Pad Thai", Hahtoola!

78. Equine array : GAITS

80. Paintballs, e.g. : AMMO

84. Fizzles out : ENDS. I tried DIES first.

85. Fire sign? : ALARM BELL. Nice clue/answer.

88. Inflict : WREAK

89. Sushi options : EELS. Unagi! By the way, what's your favorite giardiniera brand? Please share if you have a simple recipe. 

90. Black batt. terminal : NEG

94. "Wanna bet?" : YES IT IS

97. Academic no. : GPA

98. Full Sail or Harpoon product : ALE. Not familiar with the two brewers.

99. Title stuffed bear in a 2012 comedy : TED. Never saw the movie.

100. Squat hounds : BASSETS

102. Red Carpet stance : POSE

104. Rotisserie league data : STATS. Fantasy baseball

106. Israeli machine gun : UZI

113. Total : RUN TO

115. Naps, maybe : LOLLS. Not equivalent to me.

116. Athenian landmark : PARTHENON

117. Gussy up : PREEN. We had a big mirror in our tiny college dorm, shared by 5 girls.

118. Some map dots : ISLES

119. Olympian chariot rider : ARES

120. Real estate division : ACRE

121. Repaired, in a way : SEWED

122. Bothersome : PESTY. I use PESKY.

123. Was in the driver's seat : LED

124. Dieter's data : FATS


1. Hardly a pick-up expert? : SLOB. Ha ha.

2. Cleaning cloth : WIPE

3. Rough quantity : A FEW

4. __ colony : PENAL

5. Tip : POINTER

6. Temper : ALLAY. Verb.

7. Crème brûlée ingredient : YOLK. Exciting to see it prepared by the table.

8. Considerable outbreak : PANDEMIC

9. Cooperative words : I WILL

10. Hometown folks : LOCALS

11. Managed with difficulty, with "out" : EKED

12. Disdainful : DERISIVE

13. Slip : WORSEN

14. NYSE event : IPO

16. Matthew McConaughey has one : DRAWL. Indeed. He has very pronounced Southern drawl.

17. Nervy : SASSY

19. Want more : PREFER

23. Seller of staples : GROCER

27. Safe to have : EDIBLE. Raw honey is one of the poisonous foods in Dave's link last week. I have it almost daily. Mine is from Trader Joe's.

28. Former lab burners : ETNAS

33. Prepare to paint again : RE-TAPE

34. Kimono holders : OBIS

35. It occasionally floods Florence : ARNO

36. Mtge. adjustment : RE-FI

38. Lift not as common as it used to be : T-BAR.  What's the common lift nowadays, then, Marti?

40. Tylenol target : PAIN. Safe for Dave.

42. Fit as a fiddle : WELL

43. Summers in China? : ABACI. Gimme. Abacus sums, hence summer.

44. Tom and Jerry, e.g. : TODDY

47. Partially, casually : SORTA

48. Spill clumsily : SLOSH

51. Hard-to-miss sign : NEON. Like this one in Vegas.

54. Zoomed : FLEW

55. Estate highlight, often : LAWN

57. Lid inflammation : STYE

59. "__ a mission" : I'M ON

60. Some magazine spreads : ADs

61. Coll. prep test : PSAT

62. Some drive-thrus : ATMs

63. "That's a surprise" : OH GEE

64. Greene of the original "Battlestar Galactica" series : LORNE

67. Move in on : NEAR.

68. "The Frog Prince" byline : GRIMM

69. Like gymnasts : AGILE

72. Trash-talks : DISSES

75. Not at all typical : RARE. One of Boomer's bowling buddies has a 1954 Mickey Mantle & 1955 Jackie Robinson.

77. Wise men : MAGI

78. Ballpoint alternative : GEL PEN

79. "The Blacklist" actor : ALDA

81. Gather : MEET

82. Cornfield attraction : MAZE

83. Accepted : OK'ED

85. Santa __ Derby : ANITA

86. Accidentally reveals : LETS SLIP

87. Fraidy cat : BIG SISSY. Only used "Sissy" before.

88. "That sav'd a __ like me!": "Amazing Grace" : WRETCH

92. Filled with tears : WATERED

93. Denounces : BLASTS

95. Duel attendant : SECOND.  It's fun to trick others with "Second" in DUEL clue.

96. Bouts : SPELLS

100. Goals of some back pats : BURPS

101. Poetic blue : AZURE

103. Young barn dweller : OWLET

104. Trap : SNARE

105. Bound bunch : SHEAF

108. Washer part : HOSE

109. Abundant gemstone Down Under : OPAL

110. Old empire builder : INCA

111. Vancouver, for one : PORT

112. Sega competitor in the 16-bit market : SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System)

114. Ball holder : TEE


Mar 28, 2015

Saturday, Mar 28th, 2015, Kevin Christian and Doug Peterson

Theme: None

Words: 72 (missing V, X, Z)

Blocks: 33

  Man, I thought this one was going to crush me.  In the end, I had to cheat - two items, but it was worth it.  The SE corner had some genuine screw-ups on my part, which slowed me down something fierce.  Lots of white-wash in the top half as well, which left me discouraged - but then, a glimmer of hope~!  Triple 9-letter corners made up the longest answers; 

15a. Spider producer : ALFA ROMEO - lots of car manufacturers make a "spider", but this company seems to be most closely associated with the style.  Did you hear about the UK Top Gear presenter getting fired~?  I'm not sure I'm watching next year....

17. 54-Down cause, in modern jargon : FAT FINGER - Funny.  This should have clued me in that my 54d. "MEMO" was wrong

 58a. Little League game ender, perhaps : MERCY RULE - Some "baseball" for C.C.; I had "--- BUNT", and that wasn't making any sense - the Wiki

32d. Where billabongs flow : AUSTRALIA - not the clothing line - a new word for me; the Wiki

oh, and -

44a. What some authority figures wear? : THE PANTS - "Let me tell you, I'm the one who wears the pants around here~!

Game - ON -ward~!


1. Discouraged : SCARED OFF

10. Father of Reuben, in Genesis : JACOB - OK, I cheated.  I had to look this one up.

16. __ Bowl: Boston College won the last one in 2000 : ALOHA

18. Samurai without a master : RONIN - I recalled this from an "X-Files" episode

19. Sell the scene : EMOTE

20. __ Air : BEL

22. Have more than enough : O.D.  ON

23. Mtge. application datum : SSN

24. Hayek of "Frida" : SALMA

26. Meld : FUSE

27. Shafts, so to speak : RAW DEALS - as in "they gave me the shaft"

30. Court pos. : CTR - meh.

31. Hillshire Brands predecessor : SARA LEE

34. "Bad idea" : "NAH"

35. Skosh : TAD

36. High-protein grain : QUINOA - OK.  I cheated here, too - I was pretty sure "QUINCE" was wrong, but the "OA" was not coming to me

37. Great Plains tribe : LAKOTA - oops, not Dakota

39. Sch. whose marching band played on Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk" : USC

40. Spray-making co. : FTD - ah.  I did not know these arrangements were called "sprays"

42. Golden Globe nominee for "Tommy" : DALTREY - Roger, from The Who

43. Second-most populous Afr. country : ETHiopia

46. God in 56-Across : ARES

48. Past : OF OLD

49. K.C. setting : CST - OK, I thought Kansas City was in MDT; sorry, my mid-west friends, I thought you were further west....

52. Item on a carhop's tray : MALT

53. Fox's leg? : GAM - my kind of clue~!

54. Reno-__ Intl. Airport : TAHOE

56. It concludes with Hector's funeral : ILIAD

61. __ mentality : SIEGE - I am familiar with "herd" mentality, but I have not "heard" this phrase

62. Yosemite attraction : EL CAPITAN - Old Faithful did not fit; besides, it's in Yellowstone....

63. "Blade Runner" actor Rutger __ : HAUER

64. "Days," for one : SOAP OPERA - my mom calls her favorite daytime drama "Days", in reference to "Days of Our Lives"


1. Gun holders : SAFES - ugh, took W-A-A-A-Y too long to figure out the "F"

2. Bucks : CLAMS - money slang

3. River in a Burns poem : AFTON - mostly perps

4. Great quantity : RAFT - r-aft and aft-on

5. City with a Penn State campus : ERIE - educated WAG

6. Get into : DON - Pondered "DIG" here, but we're talking clothes, not 'style'

7. Surprise letters : OMG - Text-speak for "Oh My God~!"

8. Ineffective : FEEBLE

9. Court leader : FOREMAN

10. Shake up : JAR - I got jarred in my hockey game this past Wednesday; I made the save on the guy who crashed the net, but I still have the headache

11. Hard to reach : ALOOF

12. Copper, notably : CONDUCTOR - the "T" from TAD led me to try "---- METAL" - bzzzt~!

13. Jack Nicklaus Museum campus : OHIO STATE - I WAGed "STATE" from TAD as well, and this worked

14. Time to celebrate : BANNER DAY - WAGed "DAY" from TAD, too~!

21. Dream state? : LA-LA LAND - shout-out, Linda~!

24. Misfit '70s sitcom character : SWEATHOG - Mista Kotter~!

25. Power chaser? : ADE - Powerade, the sports drink

27. Bolted : RAN

28. Up : ALOFT - ugh.  RISEN~? AWAKE~? ALIVE~? Nope.

29. Old will? : SHALT - Thou will not covet...

31. Easily appalled : SQUEAMISH - BANG~! Got it with just "---M--H"

33. "The Three Musketeers" antagonist : RICHELIEU - mostly perps

38. Ring concerns: Abbr. : KTS - dah~!  I had KOs, the boxing kind of ring, not the engagement type

41. Vilifies : DEFAMES - ooops, not ASHames

42. Indian lentil dish : DAL - all perps; last week, we had VORTEX cross with TEX; this week, it's DAL and DALtrey

45. Asian citrus fruit : POMELO

47. Part of a process : STAGE

49. Drag racing safety feature : CHUTE

50. __ system : SOLAR - DAH~!! Put in HONOR, and that blew up the whole corner; I was 40% correct

51. "Lovergirl" vocalist __ Marie : TEENA - WAG & perps

54. Paper slip : TYPO - Dah-dah-dah~!  Not MEMO; should have known it was wrong with the cross-referenced 17a.

55. "What __!": "I've been swindled!" : "A RIP~!"

57. Aachen article : DER

59. Onetime Hertz owner : RCA

60. Tube top : CAP - ah, not the clothing


Mar 27, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015, Jacob Stulberg

Theme: Waiter, what is this fly doing in my soup? ANSWER? See number 3.

Jacob has always puzzled me with his puzzles like his Wednesday NYT, and while the solve was okay and I am not a great solver, I was having difficulty with the explanation. The basic theme has TANG inside the fill, and I now understand why after consulting with the Corner guru. The first four themers are:

14A. *1952 #1 hit for Leroy Anderson : BLUE TANG(9), Do not know the SONG or the artist, but the perps and the theme gave me this answer quickly.

17A. *Math reciprocal : COTANGENT(9). This was easy, but I will defer to our math experts to discuss.

61A. *"Atomic" Crayola color : TANGERINE (9). I am not sure why but I remember this color.

66A. *Bogged down : ENTANGLED (9). Not perfect fit for me.

Then we have the supplemental variation of the old joke about a fly in the soup:

30A. With 35-Across, question the starred clues might ask : WHAT IS THIS FLY (13).
35A. See 30-Across : DOING IN MY ANSWER (15).
44. Response to 30-/35-Across, and a hint to a hidden word in 14-, 17-, 61- and 66-Across : THE BACK STROKE (13).

I was struggling to make sense of the back stroke reference when I was made aware that TANG backwards spells GNAT, which makes it all fit together as the GNAT in each theme answer is backwards leaving a FLY doing a backstroke. Really inventive combination of words and visual.

Again we have a Friday with almost 60 five letter or shorter words, 42 blocks and only a few non theme related sparkly fill such as ANCHOR, BEATER, EERILY, IT WAS I, KEITEL, OUTLAW, SHIRTS, SO THAT, AT STAKE, ESSENCE. We also have the cross-referenced reveal which get some complaints, and if you do not know the old joke it may have been a bear, but overall this was as an inventive and puzzling puzzle.


1. Long __ : AGO. We begin like STAR WARS Episode IV only it is our constructor who has a mind from a different galaxy.

4. Spartan colonnades : STOAS. You see many of these on college campuses as well.

9. Belief of more than a billion : ISLAM.

16. "Done!" : THERE.

18. Expand : WIDEN.

19. Numskull : DOLT.

20. Start of a rumor : I HEAR...that Rich does not like partials, is this one?

22. Fuel economy testing org. : EPA. Environemental Protection Agency.

23. Business card word : FAX.

26. On the table : AT STAKE.

33. Zhou __ : EN LAI. This Chinese POLITICIAN and cohort of Mao actually died a few month before Mao's death. And 25D. Capital of Shaanxi Province : XI'AN. CSO to our own.

34. Wide size : EEE.

42. Boston Coll. is in it : ACC. Atlantic Coast Conference.

43. '90s runner : PEROT. For president, not for distance, Ross.

50. Pith : ESSENCE.

51. Medit. land : ISRael.

52. Revised versions: Abbr. : EDS. Editions.

55. Sharp : ACRID. I think of smells.

57. Stop on Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited route : ERIE. CSO.

58. Theodore's first lady : EDITH. This LADY. She was however, his second wife.

65. Event with pole bending : RODEO. Like slalom for cowboys? No idea.

67. "Octopus's Garden" songwriter : STARR. Ringo wrote some interesting songs. His best with the BEATLES.

68. Holds up : LASTS. And, 46D. Hold : ANCHOR.

69. Sch. units : YRS.


1. Start of a children's song : ABCDE.

2. Gluttonous Augustus in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" : GLOOP. I did not remember his NAME.(2:39)

3. Posse target : OUTLAW.

4. Stop: Abbr. : STN.

5. __ sale : TAG. We have yard sales, garage sales, moving sales as well as THESE. My grandmother manufactured tags in Southbridge.

6. Word with man or horse : ONE. ReallY?

7. Latin lambs : AGNI. A variation from our normal reference.

8. To make sure : SO THAT.

9. Confessor's words : IT WAS I. I started with I DID IT which also fit.

10. Haberdashery stock : SHIRTS. The original meaning was the peddler of notions such as needles, thread etc. but it has become associated with outfitting a man.

11. Directed : LED.

12. Exist : ARE.

13. Sign on a door : MEN. It safer to put gentleman and ladies, too easy to remove WO.

15. Put away : EAT.

21. Djibouti neighbor: Abbr. : ETHiopia.

23. Canine : FANG. Rhymes with TANG.

24. Hun king, in Norse legend : ATLI. Is this a comeback this week for ATTILA?

27. Several : A FEW.

28. "Twittering Machine" artist : KLEE. I had the K and filled in the rest, but I still am not very knowledgeable about painting. I have seen the picture, but did not know the name.

29. Observer : EYER. Not a favorite clue/fill.

31. Mother __ : HEN.

32. Fools : SIMPS. Literally I guess this is true as a simpleton is a foos.

35. 2/3, say : DATE. This partial clue fooled me for a while.

36. Big name in publishing : OCHS. Really, really BIG for the NY Times, not so much our journal.

37. Decorates, in a way : ICES. Tin, it is okay to ice a cake.

38. Mountain sighting : YETI. Ridiculous. I would rather see....

They were at Woodstock

39. JFK list : ARRS.

40. Queen dowager of Jordan : NOOR. Our American export. LINK.

41. Wall St. purchase : STK.

45. Rattletrap : BEATER. I know the term from reading old books,, but I have never heard anyone actually use the term.

47. "Born on the Bayou" band, briefly : CCR. Credence Clearwater Revival, a 2nd Woodstock band.

48. "Mean Streets" co-star : KEITEL. Harvey.  A powerful FILM. (2:58)

49. How ghost stories are told : EERILY.

53. "2 Broke Girls" setting : DINER. A female variation of the ODD COUPLE in the grand tradition of sitcoms from Lucy to the present. Much more sexual innuendo and talk. It used to follow The Big Bang Theory so I tried it.

54. Origins : SEEDS.

56. Actress Delany : DANA. I have watched her on many things since China Beach. (2:28)

57. Bit of work : ERG. Followed by....

58. Triage ctrs. : ERS. Emergency Rooms.

59. Finish, as a letter, perhaps : DOT. Finish writing the letter (i) , not the letter! Ah ha, I get it.

60. Wyo. neighbor : IDAho.

62. Some Windows systems : NTS.

63. Hood's gun : GAT.

64. U.S. Army rank abolished in 1815 : ENS. A WAG that was easier than I expected.

Another Friday gone, another month, another change of season and another puzzle with a somewhat complicated gimmick. I had fun once I got past the TANG + GNAT backwards part. A reminder to always look both ways when you see "BACK" in a puzzle. Enjoy the birdies. Lemonade out.

Mar 26, 2015

Thursday, March 26, 2015 Frank Virzi

Theme: "Home on the Range"

20-Across. *Last president who was a Founding Father : JAMES MONROE.

36-Across. *Limp cause : GAME LEG.

3-Down. *In the low 70s, usually : ROOM TEMPERATURE. This winter, ours has been in the low 60s, usually.

7-Down. *Feature of most cars nowadays : FRONT WHEEL DRIVE. True, but I will stick with my AWD Subaru on these icy New England roads.

11-Down. *On one's own : ALONE IN THE WORLD.

And the reveal:
55-Across. Fixer-upper, perhaps, and a hint to the answers to starred clues : STARTER HOME. Put "home" at the start of the theme entires and you get quite a 12-Down:
"Home, James!" / Home game / Home room / Home front / and "Home Alone," the 1990 Macaulay  Culkin movie.

From a construction standpoint, this was quite an impressive feat: Two grid spanners that each cross one other theme entry, and one grid spanner that crosses three! The two 11-letter entries each cross two other themers. Let's see what else Frank has to offer us.


1. Big name in ATMs : NCR. Formerly National Cash Register.

4. Ten to twenty? : HALF. Nailed it on my first guess! [insert fist pump here]

8. On fire : AFLAME.

14. Worldwide workers' agcy. : ILOInternational Labour Organization.

15. On __ with : A PAR.

16. Brooklyn Bridge features : CABLES. Yes, indeed.

17. "The Matrix" hero : NEO. All perps.

18. Utah lily : SEGO.

19. Delivers an old standard, perhaps : CROONS.

23. Not from a Scot : NAE.

24. Fifth-century leader succeeded by his son Ellac : ATTILA. I nailed it on the first WAG.

25. __ Aviv : TEL.

26. Tent holder : PEG.

27. Sportscaster Andrews : ERIN.

28. New Deal org. : WPAWorks Progress Administration.

29. Hustles : HIES.

31. Smith students : WOMEN.

33. "If only __ listened!" : HE'D.

34. Memo words : IN RE.

35. Smartphone buy : APP.

40. Hold 'em tell, maybe : TIC. Keep your poker face on, and keep the other players guessing.

41. Ingredient in Off! : DEET. Common name: diethyltoluamide.

43. Top-row poet on the "Sgt. Pepper" album cover : POE. In the middle, above Marilyn.

44. Remains at the campsite : ASHES.

46. Misses the mark : ERRS.

47. Party person : POL. Political party, that is.

48. Spillane's "__ Jury" : I THE. His 1947 debut novel.

49. Org. that produces the magazines Highroads and Journey : AAA. Intuitive guess.

50. The past, in the past : ELD.

51. Risk being caught off base : GO AWOL.

54. Grisham hero, often: Abbr. : ATT.orney.

57. Only reigning pope to write an autobiography : PIUS II.

59. Tiny bit : IOTA.

60. Gun, as an engine : REV.

61. Most irritated : SOREST.

62. Emptiness : VOID.

63. T size : LGE.

64. Baby's outfit : ONESIE. They are usually sml.

65. Luncheon ender : ETTE.

66. Patriotic gp. since 1890 : DARDaughters of the American Revolution.


1. Turtle in a 2014 film : NINJA.

2. Soccer shoe feature : CLEAT. Spike also fits.

4. Bit of sibling rivalry : HASSLING. As the youngest of five, I got a lot of that.

5. Hypothetical primate : APE MAN. No such thing, really.

6. Titicaca, por ejemplo : LAGO. [updated] In South America, Titicaca is a lake (for example.)

8. Honor : ACCOLADE.

9. Charge for a ride : FARE.

10. Wall St. news : LBOLeveraged Buy Out.

12. Varied mixture : MENAGERIE.

13. To be, to Ovid : ESSE.

21. Cork's location : EIRE.

22. Opposite of attract : REPEL.

26. Chi follows it : PHI.

30. "Just a few __" : SECS.

31. Dwyane of the Miami Heat : WADE. Absolutely no clue. All perps.

32. Mathematical process : OPERATION.

37. Good thing to have before a meal : APPETITE.

38. Dinero : MOOLA.

39. Winning football coach's surprise : GATORADE.

42. Airport screening org. : TSATransportation Security Administration.

45. Persian for "king" : SHAH.

48. ''Of course!'' : I GET IT.

52. Greek finale : OMEGA.

53. Piano keyboard component : LEVER.

54. Lhasa __ : APSO.

55. Spanish ayes : SI SI. Cute.

56. Warning sound : TOOT.

58. His, to Henri : SES. Possessive adjectives change, according to the gender of the noun: son, sa or SES are three of the possibilities here.

Marti, out!

Mar 25, 2015

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 Carol Lachance

Theme: What makes you think my SPRINGs are dirty?  The theme answers all begin with things used in washing SPRINGS or possibly other things.

16 A. Like some watches : WATER-RESISTANT.  Able to withstand some degree of immersion or soaking, because WATER PROOF is too difficult or expensive to achieve.  WATER - the source of all life, and most cleaning solutions.

22 A. Bath floater : SOAP BUBBLE.   As illustrated.   SOAP is the emulsifier that allows non-polar substances to mix with WATER, so you can CLEAN them up.

35. Patchwork plaything : RAG DOLL.  The cloth used for wiping up is often an old tee shirt or some other kind of RAG.  Alternatively, DOLLS can be made from them.

No extra charge for this musical interlude.

Four Seasons includes Spring

47 A. Running a marathon may be on it : BUCKET LIST.  Things to do before your time runs out and the bucket must be kicked. 

It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World  

Running a marathon - or anything else - is not on mine.  A BUCKET can hold all the rest of the theme entries used in the unifier --

53. Project suggested by the starts of 16-, 22-, 35- and 47-Across : SPRING CLEANING.  Annual ritual of brightening up the home after the dreary shut-down months of winter.

Or this

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here to remind you that the calendar says it's SPRING, no matter what is going on outside your window.   Let's see if this puzzle is well seasoned, and whether we can clean it up.


1. Visits : STOPS AT.  

8. Legal test, familiarly : THE BAR.   Qualifying examination for prospective lawyers.

14. Reporter's needs : SOURCES.  People with information.

15. Punk rock surname : RAMONE.  A pseudonym adopted by all the band members. I never paid much attention.  Here is a rather innocuous example of their style.

California Sun

18. Cost-of-living fig. : CPI.  Consumer Price Index.  A relative measure of the prices paid by typical consumers for retail goods and other items, used to indicate the level of inflation. Denialists claim the the CPI grossly understates real inflation, but the independent Billion Prices Project actually tracks very well with it.

19. Feed in a bag : OATS.  Horse feed and cereal grain for humans.

20. "Am __ the right track?" : I ON.   Inquiry by one who is uncertain about how to proceed.  If you're cleaning, straightening and simplifying, I'd say yes.

26. Gumbo veggie : OKRA.  And crossword staple.

27. Nylons, fishnets, etc. : HOSIERY.  Leg coverings.

28. Petty squabbles : SPATS.

29. Penny-__ : ANTE.  Low stakes poker game, and by extension anything of little value.

30. "I'll have another" responder : BARKEEP.   Not the bar we spoke of earlier.  Libation provider in a tavern.

34. Neon, or fuel for a Neon : GAS.   Clever clue.  Neon is the GAS, i.e. vapor, in eponymous lamps, and GASoline is the fuel for the Neon, a now defunct Chrysler Corp. vehicle

36. Public image, briefly : REPutation.

39. Freaked out : GONE APE.  Lost it

40. One-eighties : UEYS.  U-turns - sharp turns into the opposite direction.

41. Freak out : SPOOK.  Frighten or startle - I suppose I could be spooked by a freak, but not by this clecho.

44. Shows proof of : EVINCES.  Provides evidence for.

46. Player with a record 14 100-RBI seasons : A-ROD.  He sat out last season, suspended for violating the MLB drug use policy.  Looks like he's back this year.

50. '90s "SNL" regular Meadows : TIM.

51. "__ Jim" : LORD.  Joseph Conrad novel from 1900.

52. Knack for snappy comebacks : WIT.   Quick and clever.

59. River through Toledo : MAUMEE.  The Muddy MAUMEE.  I've crossed this river thousands of time, twice as recently as Saturday.

60. Hall who won on "Celebrity Apprentice" in 2012 : ARSENIO.

61. Linen closet stack : SHEETS.  Bed coverings.

62. Jones with a diary : BRIDGET.  Played in the movie by Renee Zellweger, who, post surgery, no longer resembles herself - thus no picture.  I haz a sad.  


1. Cincinnati-to-Nashville dir. : SSW.

2. Shelley's "__ Skylark" : TO A.  Hail to thee, blithe Spirit! Etc, Etc  .  .  .

No extra charge for this musical interlude.


3. Pariahs : OUTCASTS.   Those who are socially shunned.  Derived from the lowest population caste in Southern India.

4. Private school student : PREPPIE.  Prep School attendee.

5. Parchment user : SCRIBE.   Record keeper.  Now it's all electrons.

6. Atmo- kin : AER-.  Prefix that denotes having to do with the air or the atmosphere.  Pretty Literal.

7. "Ash Wednesday" poet's monogram : TSE. Thomas Stearns Eliot [Sep 26, 1888 - Jan 4, 1965] American essayist, playwright, social critic and poet.

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn

8. __ by fire : TRIAL.  An ancient judicial practice to determine guilt or innocence by subjecting the accused to an arduous and dangerous task.  In these more enlightened times, merely the ability to perform well under pressure.

9. Speed : HASTE.  Be quick about it, now.

10. Ambulance VIPs : EMTS.  Emergency Medical Technicians are trained to respond quickly to emergency situations regarding medical issues, traumatic injuries and accident scenes.

11. Fluffy scarf : BOA.

12. Golfer Sorenstam, who was among the first women to become honorary members of St Andrews golf club in February 2015 : ANNIKA.   To the best of my knowledge, she is not related to Luke Skywalker.

13. Comeback : RETORT.  A witty reply.

17. More than sniffle : SOB.  Degrees of crying.

21. "One Mic" rapper : NAS.    Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones [b Dec 14, 1973]

22. Carpet type : SHAG.  With deep pile.

23. The last Mrs. Chaplin : OONA.  [May 14, 1925 - Sep 27, 1991] Charlie's fourth wife, and daughter of Nobel and Pulitzer prize winning playwright Eugene O'Neill.  Her Granddaughter, named for her, is an actress with many film and TV credits, including the part of Talisa Maegyr Stark in HBO's Game of Thrones.

24. __ renewal : URBAN.  Redevelopment in a city, often by removing slums.

25. How some wines are sorted : BY AGE.

26. Facing: Abbr. : OPPosite

28. Pommes frites sprinkling : SEL.   French salt for French fries.

31. Nutritional stat : RDA.  Recommended Dietary Allowance.

32. Coin for Putin : KOPEK.  One one-hundredth of a Ruble.

33. École attendee : ELEVE.  I suppose this is French for student, though I can't get Google translate to admit it.

35. Korean soldier : ROK. For Republic Of Korea.

36. Speaking from memory : RECITING.

37. Spud sprouts : EYES.    These can be cut from the tuber and planted to grow plants that are clones of the parent.  New varieties are grown from seeds.  Why eyes?  I'd know if I were wise.

38. Furtive attention-getter : PSST.

39. Saturn, for one : GOD.  Roman equivalent of the Greek Cronus.  Complex mythology.

40. Like sketchbook paper : UNLINED.  Blank.

41. Collected dust : SAT.  Was idle.

42. Rainbow makers : PRISMS.   They divide light according to wavelength, due to a refractive index difference from air and the angles a which the light enters and exits.

43. Big brass output : OOM-PAH.  Tuba speak

Probably not what you're expecting

45. Formal admission : IT WAS I.  

47. Lisa of "Enemy of the State" : BONET.   Even after all these years, probably still better known as Denise Huxtable, though.

48. They can be hard to fight : URGES.   Those things you want to do.

49. Atlanta-based health agcy. : CDC.  Center for Disease Control.

51. Sherbet flavor : LIME.  Citrus fruit.

54. Repent : RUE.  

55. Photo __ : LAB. Place where photographic negatives are developed. Rather retro.  These days, it's SHOP.

56. Throw too low, say : ERR.  A mis-played baseball. 

57. Merkel's "never" : NIE.  German.

58. Captured : GOT.  Obtained.

Well, that puts it all away.  Hope you got through it without chapped hands or kicking the BUCKET.  Now I have to go do some tidying up.

Cool regards!