May 31, 2015

Sunday May 31, 2015 Jason Mueller

Theme: "Ms." - All theme entries are women with M* S* initials.

22A. "Silkwood" star : MERYL STREEP. She's a natural.

28A. "Frankenstein" author : MARY SHELLEY
37A. Counselor Troi portrayer on "Star Trek: T.N.G." : MARINA SIRTIS. Deanna TROI, who appears in our crossword often. I did not know her full name though.

52A. Tennis star with five Grand Slam titles : MARIA SHARAPOVA. Contending for French Open right now.

61A. Host of a spin-off of "The Apprentice" : MARTHA STEWART. She's aging so beautifully.

77A. Toon with a pacifier : MAGGIE SIMPSON

84A. Early advocate of birth control : MARGARET SANGER

98A. 1995-2001 "SNL" regular : MOLLY SHANNON

111A. "Mighty Aphrodite" Oscar winner : MIRA SORVINO. She speaks Chinese.
120A. Jean Brodie creator : MURIEL SPARK. Learning moment for me.

I don't see Jason Mueller's name in our blog record. Must be his debut. Congratulations! 

Simple but fresh theme. And Jason gave us 10 theme entries. A total 122 squares. The highest I blogged this year. It's an incredible achievement for a rookie constructor.
1. Straw __ : POLL. The Iowa Straw Poll has lost relevance.

5. Immunization letters : DPT. Wiki says it stands for "Diphtheria, Pertussis (whooping cough), and Tetanus."

8. Duped in a good way? : CC'ED. Indeed.

12. __ Zero : COKE

16. They have Red Velvet and Watermelon varieties : OREOS. I knew this! All constructors search hard for fresh clues.

18. Many a surfer : AOLER

20. Norse trickster : LOKI

21. Chennai's continent : ASIA. India, to be exact.

24. Zira and Cornelius, in a 1968 film : APES. Planet of the Apes.

25. Auction units : LOTS

26. ATM necessity : PIN

27. Women's World Golf Rankings sponsor : ROLEX. I love my Timex.
31. Polish-German border river : ODER

33. Hunters' outfits, briefly : CAMOS

35. Seaman : TAR

36. Different : ELSE

40. Conditional words : IF SO

42. Pin surface : MAT. Wresting.

45. Costa del __ : SOL

46. Film franchise with a mammoth named Manny : ICE AGE. This stumped me last time.

48. Place : SITE

49. Nonlethal weapon : TASER
56. Chemical ending : INE

57. Oregon __ : TRAIL. Our Montana was there a few years ago.

60. Flashing light : STROBE

66. Flashiest : LOUDEST

70. Arab VIP : EMIR. EMIR & OREO have such convenient letter combo.

71. Point to pick : NIT

72. __ mater : PIA. Brain membrane. New to me.

73. "To Kill a Mockingbird" sibling : JEM

74. West Point inits. : USMA

75. Bygone : DEFUNCT
80. Nod : DROWSE

82. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" author : KESEY (Ken). I did not like the movie. Too much.

83. Hosp. test : EKG

90. Pasadena parade posies : ROSES

92. "Permit Me Voyage" poet : AGEE. Did not know James Agee was a poet as well.

93. Hercules bicycle model : ROADEO. New to me also.

94. Billings-to-Helena dir. : WNW

95. Brown in Calif., e.g. : GOV. Jerry Brown. Our governor is Mark Dayton. His great-grandfather founded Dayton's (now Target).

96. Get ready : PREP

105. Engrave : ETCH

107. Asian sash : OBI

109. Colonial diplomat Silas : DEANE

110. McGwire rival : SOSA. Sad. All our boxes of Sosa/McGwire/Bonds cards. Worthless.

115. Discontinued P&G toothpaste : GLEEM

117. Back talk : LIP. And 128. Back talk : SASS

118. "Crossword Clues 'M,' __" : ALEX (Trebek). I just did not think of "Jeopardy!".

119. Plan for losing : DIET. This got me again.

123. Port, for one : WINE. And 127. 123-Across category : REDS

124. To be, in Paris : ETRE. I miss the food. And the lovely Etam shops.

125. Utter : SHEER

126. Bottled spirits : GENII

129. Moroccan city of one million : FES. Thought it's spelled as FEZ.

130. NCAA part: Abbr. : ASSN


1. Cheerleader's accessory : POMPOM

2. Frozen food brand : ORE-IDA. Boomer loves their tater tots.

3. Loewe's lyricist : LERNER

4. See 79-Down : LOY. And 79. With 4-Down, "The Thin Man" co-star : MYRNA
5. "The Sound of Music" song : DO-RE-MI

6. Hammer used to test reflexes : PLEXOR. New word to me.

7. Summer top : TEE

8. Santa __ : CLARA

9. Legal protection : COPYRIGHT. Clothing industry does not have much protection. You can't use others' labels, but OK to copy the design.

10. __ out a living : EKES

11. Menu listings : DISHES. Not computer menus.

12. Judgments : CALLS

13. Italian source of the melody for "It's Now or Never" : O SOLE MIO. "My Sunshine".

14. Toy with a tail : KITE

15. Like pie? : EASY. I never got into pies.

17. 35mm camera type : SLR

18. Map site : ATLAS

19. Turntable stat : RPM

23. Trojans' region, familiarly : SOCAL. USC Trojans.

29. Confused : AT SEA

30. "Strange Magic" gp. : ELO

32. Ascend : RISE

34. Agitate : STIR. I tried Marc Maron's WTF podcast because he had a longer version of  his interview with Terry Gross. I like him better now. Fresh Air also ran the interview, but it's heavily edited.
38. Irangate figure : NORTH (Oliver)

39. Here, to Henri : ICI

41. Bold : FEARLESS

43. Four-wheeler, for short : ATV

44. Leaves in a bag : TEA. My favorite. Loose leaf Jasmine Tea.

47. __ D.A. : ASST

48. Went faster : SPED UP

49. Like some tests : TIMED

50. "I Got __": Jim Croce hit : A NAME

51. Font flourish : SERIF

52. Diamond need : MITT. Paul Molitor makes me believing again!

53. Pale ___ : ALE

54. Certain sharer : ROOMIE

55. __ Dhabi : ABU

58. Acrimony : RANCOR

59. So to speak : AS IT WERE. Nice 8-letter fill.

62. Slog : TRUDGE

63. New Deal org. : WPA. Works Progress/Projects Administration

64. 2008 bailout beneficiary : AIG. They're big in Guangzhou, which is not my hometown, Gary. I grew up in Xi'an.

65. Cleaning aid : RAG

67. Massachusetts quartet : ESSES

68. Fire sign : SMOKE

69. Sharp tastes : TANGS

73. Taunt : JEER

76. Charlton Heston once led it: Abbr. : NRA. I knew this trivia also.

77. Phoenix suburb : MESA

78. He bested Adlai : IKE

81. Breaks on the road : STOP-OVERS

84. E-__ : MAG. Not fond of this clue.

85. Earlier : AGO

86. Spooner, for one : REVEREND

87. Mgmt. : ADMIN

88. Opposite of paleo- : NEO. I hope you're not into Paleo Diet. What's the lifespan for cavemen?!

89. Winner's prize : GOLD

91. Has title to : OWNS

94. Cheese shape : WHEEL

96. Mac alternatives : PCs

97. Scholarship founder : RHODES

99. Fictional symbol of brutality : LEGREE (Simon). "Uncle Tom's Cabin".

100. Elis : YALIES

101. Show of scorn : SNEER

102. Ryan and Bushnell : NOLANS. Nolan Bushnell founded Atari.  Nolan Ryan never had a perfect game.

103. God wed to his sister : OSIRIS

104. Place setting item : NAPKIN

106. Strains : TAXES. Verb.

108. Nibbles : BITES

111. Bryn __ College : MAWR

112. Netman Nastase : ILIE

113. Moreno with Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards : RITA

114. Meditation syllables : OMS. My landlord in Shanghai meditated every evening, with his incense and chants. Then he started to drink. He probably found more peace in these strong  drinks.

116. Flavor enhancer : MSG

121. TV dial letters : UHF

122. Princess' bane : PEA

The fourth Minnesota Crossword Tournament will be held on June 14th, 2015 Saturday. Please click here for more details.



fermatprime said...


Thanks, Jason and CC!

Very fast!

No cheats!

Time for beddy!


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I sussed out the theme pretty quickly, although knowing the theme didn't really make much difference in the solve. Most of the theme names were familiar to me, except for MURIEL SPARK. MARGARET SANGER would have also been unknown, but she was mentioned (with the same clue) on a new trivia game show I happened to catch the other night called "500 Questions" and somehow I remembered her name. Yay, brain!

Last square to fill today was the crossing of DPT and PLEXOR. I really wanted FLEXOR, but DFT just didn't look right. I finally realized that the P in DPT probably referred to Pertussis (a.k.a. "Whooping Cough") and that's what I went with. PLEXOR, huh? OK, if you say so...

ROADEO was a complete unknown, but the perps were solid. Everything else was pretty straightforward, although I thought the city name (like the hat) was FEZ instead of FES. YALIEZ wouldn't work, of course, so FES it is!

Barry G. said...

Or, in other words, what C.C. said... ^_^

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I crashed and burned on this one. I knew the "immunization letters" didn't make a word, but forgot what they stood for, so FLEXOR it was (Hi, Barry!). My last fill was an alphabet run for the X in ALEX/TAXES. As it turns out, it didn't matter.

Never heard of PIA Mater, only "PIA, please close zadora."

I notice that expensive ROADEO has fenders. That's my main gripe against modern bicycles -- no fenders. If it rains, things are gonna get messy! John Kerry should have been more careful on his.

I thought Spooner was a REVERser before REVEREND showed up. My favorite Spoonerism: Smooth as a well-boiled icicle.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Mostly WBS. I think I faintly recall that Fez/Fes problem from a long ago puzzle. DPT was familiar; I needed a booster recently. Marina Sirtis was a gimme to this Star Trek NG fan.

Morning, C.C.! Your image of Chinese liquor bottles reminded me of an interesting coincidence: I have an acquaintance of German ancestry named Hans Beer, and I recently learned of a Chinese brew called Han's Beer. I ought to send him a bottle.

Unknown said...

The Week in Review: M 4:58 T 5:40 W 7:54 T 10:18 F 13:11 S 28:15 S 20:01

Saturday: The usual Saturday Silkie Stages of Grief: hopelessness; hope; frustration; hope; discouragement; hope; relief. Otherwise it was pretty much WSS (What Splynter Said). The NE was the last to fill. I had LOTION but it took awhile for CALAMINE to show up on the radar. The last fill was A TO B and it took a moment to parse that. I always have a tough time with multiple words in short fills (and three "words" in four letters is about as extreme as that gets).

Sunday: Fairly smooth sailing ending up in the north-central. I hadn't registered the word "sponsor" in the clue so was despairing over coming up with the right golfer. And I figured "surfer" referred to the Web but it's been many years since I was an AOLER so that wasn't as obvious as it should have been.

All in all, an enjoyable week. Now if only Mensa can get its act together so I won't have to endure the Aflac ad on

See y'all next weekend.

Cycle Guy said...


As a life-long cyclist (with a cross-country ride on my resumé), both my bikes (a classic old touring bike and a basic "mountain" bike) have fenders . . . but neither came with them. I also have a (rear-view) mirror on both bikes. I wouldn't ride without one.

Lemonade714 said...

A very nice puzzle and congratulations to Jason. This really is a an example of what Barry said about what C. C. said.

June is nigh upon us. Enjoy the day

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, C.C., and friends. The title in the version of the puzzle I worked out looked like My Stars, which actually gave the same M S gimmick for the theme answers. I thought this was an easy Sunday puzzle. I didn't know the Star Trek actress, but the perps filled in her name.

I wanted Straw Dogs before the perps led me to POLL.

Hand up for wanting Santa Claus before Santa CLARA. You know who you are!

I also learned that a Place is a SITE not a SPOT, and a Cheese shape is a WHEEL not a Wedge.

I suppose FES versus FEZ is all a matter of the transliteration of the Arabic.

The REVEREND William Spooner (1844 ~ 1930) is remembered for reversing words.

June, and Hurricane Season, begin tomorrow. Stay dry today.

QOD: When you’re young, you’re very reckless. Then you get conservative. Then you get reckless again. ~ Clint Eastwood (b. May 31, 1930)


desper-otto said...

@Cycle Guy: Our bikes aren't fancy -- one-speed cruisers with coaster brakes. But both have fenders and rear-view mirrors. After pedaling for 10 miles, you feel like you've really done something. And you don't feel like sitting on that bike seat any longer.

Big Easy said...

C.C., PLEXOR was a new word to me, and since I had never heard of MARINA SARTIS, I wrote PLEXON and that blew it for me this morning. There were so many unknown names or shows, it was a near miracle that I filled the rest of the puzzle. Only the MS theme allowed it to happen. APES, PIA, MARTHA STEWART, MAGGIE SIMPSON, MOLLY SHANNON, DEANE, MURIEL SPARK, OMS (ums, ems?), REVEREND, ROADEO, FES (I wanted FEZ also)- these were all perps or WAGS.

I found most of the puzzle to be easily solved with only one writeover as I wrote EMBER and crossed it with EEG but it quickly changed to SMOKE and EKG.

ODER (east in Deutsch) river in Germany- do they call it the 'west' river in Polish?

NOLAN Bushnell- also started Chuck E. Cheese pizza

AIG- shafted by the administration, making money hand over fist, and suing to try to get their money from our government.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I knew most of the MS ladies and the ones I didn't, solved themselves with perps. No serious bumps, so the tada came w/o help.

Thanks and congrats, Jason, for entertaining us and thanks, CC, for enlightening us.

We're getting some rain but in short down pours, rather than a long, steady soaking. I hope it rains all day.

Have a great day.

maripro said...

Thanks, C.C. and Jason. I spent a lot of time before coming up with "camos" and then that area fell into place.
Wanted Jim Croce to have a dame instead of a name. Oh well.
Have a lovely day everyone.

Husker Gary said...

MARIA SI_TIS/PLEXO_ was my undoing. I vacillated between an N or an R and chose wrong.

-An M S tennis player that wasn’t MONICA SELES.
-Redundant PIN NUMBER was part of a recent theme
-Mel too, C.C., I’ve worn this Timex model for over 30 years
-Knowing ICE AGE means you have grandkids ;-)
-I remember when OREGON TRAIL and Lemonade Stand were big early Apple hits
-Maybe a STROBE picture will help my swing
-These days are gone for the USMA
-The ROSE Parade is one of my most amazing (I refuse to use the word awesome) events I have ever seen
-Seeing teenagers on small bikes like that still stuns me
-Jerry’s current huge battle
-Pharmacologically enhanced McGwire and SOSA brought fans back after the strike year
-My first ROOMIE was a chain smoking draft dodger from the Sandhills. He never opened a book that I remember
-Dams and dikes are being TAXED for our friends in Texas
-Note to self, C.C.’s hometown is Xi’an. C.C. to, uh, C.C. so she is aware that I know! ;-)

D said...

118. "Crossword Clues 'M,' __" : ALEX

huh? what is the 'M,' part? how does it tie in to ALEX ?

JJM said...

I got everything but the "P" in blank MATER. Oh well. 49° here in Chicago… feels like 42°. I was going to do a 20-25 mi. bike ride along the Lake, but I don't think that's gonna happen now.

Did anyone see my 'Hawks last night? Can't wait for the Cup Finals to begin on Wed !!

Game Show Guy said...


I think the Jeopardy! category is "Crossword Clues, 'M'" so the contestant is saying something like, "Crossword Clues, 'M' for $100, ALEX". Perhaps the choice of "M" is a shout-out to the constructor? Or a reference to the fact that all the theme answers begin with "M"?

Or maybe I'm missing something subtle here.

inanehiker said...

Fairly smooth and steady puzzle, probably because most of the MS women were "in my wheelhouse"
except for the actor playing Deanna Troi. No one should feel bad about not knowing PLEXOR because I've been in medicine for 30+ years and have never heard it called anything but a reflex hammer!
I think FES is the city and fez is the hat, but not sure of a mnemonic to keep the two straight, fortunately perps came to the rescue as usual.
We have officially caught up with our rain deficit this year-- so it's time for a reprieve!

Thanks for the write-up CC, and Jason for the puzzle!

Jayce said...

I liked most of this puzzle and was annoyed at some of it. I especially disliked some of the cluing, such as the ones for ALEX and MAG. I still can't see how the clue "Different" leads to the answer ELSE. And "Santa ____"? Anita, nope; Claus, nope; Maria, nope; *sigh*. But, cool theme, however, and competent construction.
I rather liked that show "500 Questions." I thought the host did a great job.

fermatprime said...

Got a reasonably good sleep. Unknowns were PLEXOR, FES and ROADEO.

Where is everybody?

desper-otto said...

Jayce, do you want something different? Do you want something else?

Bill G. said...

That was a thoroughly pleasant Sunday puzzle. WEES. Thanks Jason and CC.

I too have a great watch. It's an Accutron from FedEx that my son was given as an award for safe driving. It's an analog watch with hands. It keeps accurate time to about one or two seconds a month. Amazing! Other young people don't seem to wear or care about watches. They get their time from their cell phones. I'm guessing wrist watches will become dinosaurs in a few more years.

"AS IT WERE." Also, "If I may" and others. These seem to be little pauses in oral speech that don't really add anything important. Do you use them? Are there others? Do they have a name?

Jayce said...

Desper-otto, thanks. I see it now.
fermatprime, we're here.

Irish Miss said...

Bill G @ 4:03 - "If you will" is used a lot. Personally, I find them (whatever they're called) unnecessary and, in some cases, pretentious.

BTW, I think of you and Jordan every time I see the ad for Symbicort. The actor resembles you a lot and even though the little boy is younger than Jordan, their warm and close interaction seems comparable to your relationship with Jordan.

HeartRx said...

(pant...pant...pant...) Am I too late? WBS WCCS.

Bill G. said...

Irish Miss, I'll have to keep an eye out for that ad. I've heard of Symbicort but I don't know what it is and their ad hasn't become etched, as it were, into my brain.

BTW, if I may, the 'Comment' box is still at the bottom and the 'Preview' box is at the top. Why the change? I find it annoying though not a huge deal. I can't imagine the impetus for such a change.

Rainman said...

Nice puzzle today.
ROADEO could have also been clued as Former Jaycee sponsored teen contest. The National Safe Driving Teenage Road-e-o. Haven't heard much about it since I won a couple of events as a teen back in '60. Not 1860.
HG, I liked Oregon Trail but to me it just was not compelling enough to get me through the Nebraska bogs in the winter. :O) And I knew not that it was an Apple product, so as a shareholder, thanks.

Rainman said...

I had never heard of the Hercules ROADEO nor that the company made bicycles. Thanks.

Avg Joe said...

What DO said. I had a brain fart on DPT because I was stuck on DDT ((even though I knew it was wrong) and I couldn't dredge Pertussis from the memory bank. So Flexor was the best guess I could hazard. Enjoyed the puzzle anyhow.

And what Marti said. One side effect of too much rain is mowing. Been at it all day. We've used almost 18 gallons of fuel on mowing this year so far. That's enough for an average year. And it's still May.

Argyle said...


Argyle said...


Rainman said...

All the references to ROADEO reminded me of this video... if you haven't seen it, it's a classic. Be sure and watch the fence scene toward the end... they worked hard on that trick. This is almost eight minutes long. Full Screen recommended. Enjoy.

Not Your Father's Mountain Bike?

Bill G. said...

Aha! I have seen that Symbicort ad before but it hadn't stuck in my brain. Thanks.

Mountain Bike - Not Found, Error 404.

~ Don't trust atoms. They make up everything...

Rainman said...

Not Your Father's Mountain Bike, 2nd try

Bill G. said...

Rainman, excellent bike video. Thanks. It reminds me of my daily bike rides along the Pacific. :>)

Rainman said...

Bill G, Yes, I thought that was you...

Keep making those ambitious rides.