, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: Sunday July 26, 2015 Melanie Miller


Jul 26, 2015

Sunday July 26, 2015 Melanie Miller

Theme: "Close Encounters" - ET is added to each theme answer.

24A. Pendant impervious to little hands? : CHILD-PROOF LOCKET. Childproof lock.

 37A. Demonstrates anti-boxing sentiment? : PICKETS A FIGHT. Picks a fight.  We also have 115D. Ref's decision : TKO

 57A. iPod holders? : APPLE JACKETS. Apple Jacks.

 79A. Pinocchio plug-in? : SOCKET PUPPET. Sock puppet.

 98A. Cross between a hound and a zebra? : STRIPED BASSET. Striped bass.

 114A. Nod off during cocktail hour? : SLEEP IN THE BUFFET. Sleep in the buff.

 3D. Promote "Pudd'nhead Wilson"? : MARKET TWAIN. Mark Twain.

 71D. Tussaud's tribute to the Bolshoi? : BALLET OF WAX. Ball of wax.

Another simple and elegant theme from Melanie, who's very fond of letter addition theme.

Her grids are very much like Gail's, super smooth and clean. Nothing splashy, and you won't encounter any unfair crossings.


1. Utmost reach : ACME. Shout-out to Andrea Carla Michaels.

5. AT&T Pebble Beach National, e.g. : PRO-AM. Started by Bing Crosby.

10. Ship that sailed to Colchis : ARGO

14. It can be baled : STRAW

19. Buyer's aid : LOAN. I was thinking of CART.

20. Icon on many romance novel covers : FABIO

21. Mess (up) : GOOF

22. Pitch with force : HEAVE

23. Clothesline, for one : CORD

27. Doctor with a losing plan : ATKINS. Atkins diet. What's hot now? Paleo?

29. Prominent periods : ERAS

30. Fades : WITHERS

31. Lamentation of Christ work : PIETA

32. Navy captain's insignia : EAGLE

35. Trial versions : BETAS

36. __ scan : PET

41. __-faced : TWO. And 101. Crab leg count : TEN.  And 106A. Undivided : AS ONE.

44. Laborious effort : TRAVAIL

46. Pitman user : STENO. Got via crosses. No idea what Pitman is.

47. Bit of deception : TRAP

48. "Lady Jane Grey" playwright : ROWE. Got via crosses also. Nicholas Rowe.

50. Pretentious : ARTSY

52. Onetime : OLD

53. Enterprise helmsman, to Kirk : MR SULU

55. South American slitherer : ANACONDA. Great fill.

60. Descendant : SCION

61. Aching : SORE

63. Currency of Liechtenstein : FRANC

64. Book cover? : PEN NAME. Lovely clue also.

67. Sarah Palin's birthplace : IDAHO

69. It may be full of ash : WOOD BIN

74. Swiss cultural city : BASEL.Roger Federer's hometown.

76. Scoundrels : CURS

78. Dealer's offer : LEASE

84. Didactic stories : PARABLES

87. Gracious : POLITE

88. Wish undone : RUE

89. SeaWorld orca : SHAMU

91. Some are full-bodied : ALES. Been a long time since I had any ale.

92. Weekend Prep brand : IZOD. I already had ?ZOD in place.

93. Florida Aquarium city : TAMPA

95. Error remnant : ERASURE

97. Thing to rally over : NET.  Tennis or badminton.

104. Low tide sight, often : SHOAL

105. Significant strides : LOPES
108. Kandahar currency : AFGHANI

111. Water sports equipment : SKIS

113. Beams : SHAFTS

119. Hostage situation acronym : SWAT

120. Guideposts co-founder : PEALE. Not familiar with Guideposts.

121. Made laboriously, with "out" : EKED

122. Buster? : NARCO

123. Chief greeting : HAIL

124. Manorial workers of old : SERFS

125. Shower supports : RODS
126. Put an ear to the door, say : SNOOP. Vivid image.

127. Semi bar : AXLE


1. Yokum family creator : AL CAPP. My very first fill. But the whole upper left corner was the last to fall.

2. Jazz trumpeter Williams : COOTIE. Stranger to me.

4. Break up : END IT. Wish we could live in the first month of courtship forever.

5. U.S. Army E-3s : PFCs

6. Sports crowd shout : RAH

7. Japanese closer : OBI

8. Feel wretched : AIL

9. One of 15 million made from 1908 to 1927 : MODEL T

10. Yamuna River city : AGRA

11. Zoo hoppers : ROOS

12. Gunk : GOO

13. U.S. Air Force Song opening : OFF WE GO. Got via crosses also.

14. Fired on : SHOT AT

15. Data recovery experts : TECHs

16. Leaves clearer : RAKE

17. Confidently say : AVER

18. Dips in water : WETS

25. Bear down : PRESS

26. Belarus neighbor: Abbr. : LITH

28. Valley whose welcome sign contains the words "bottled poetry" : NAPA. Easy guess.

32. Holiday cyber-message : E-CARD

33. Japanese dogs : AKITAS

34. Cream alternatives : GELS. Eye cream. Eye gel. Or other skin care products. I was thinking of butter cream.

35. Paper organizer : BINDER

38. One of the Karamazovs : IVAN

39. At the crest of : ATOP

40. Was taken in by : FELL FOR

41. Factual : TRUE

42. Cartoonist Kelly : WALT. Pogo.

43. Orchestra piece : OPUS

45. Some intel : RECON

47. "You're better than that!" : TSK

48. Hoarse sound : RASP

49. Start of a reminiscence : ONCE. When I met Harmon Killebrew long time ago, he said I looked cute in my Vikings cap. So I wear the cap every summer at the flea market. Harmon is gone. My cap is now 14 year old. Both of us are beaten by long hours of sun & dirt.

51. Place for a sale : YARD

53. Vaquero's hand : MANO

54. Longtime soft drink brand : RC COLA

56. How some risks are taken : ON A BET

58. Treaty subject : PEACE

59. Prattle : JAW

62. Valvoline circulator : OIL PUMP

65. Other half : MATE

66. Psychic's claim : ESP

68. Wickiups : HUTS. Got via crosses. I did not know the meaning of Wickiups.
70. Refuse admission to : DEBAR

72. Dawning words : I SEE

73. Capone nemesis : NESS

75. Pass abroad : EURAIL

77. Few and far between : SPARSE

79. Doctor's specialty? : SPIN. Spin doctor. Great clue.

80. Exude : OOZE

81. Thicken, as cream : CLOT

82. Barnyard youngster : KID

83. Skunk seeking amour : PEPE

85. Sock away : AMASS

86. Sneaky maneuver : RUSE

90. Goodly amount : HEAP

93. Stable VIP : TRAINER. Horse trainer.

94. Ignore the teleprompter : AD LIB

96. Jell-O is its official state snack : UTAH

98. Manipulates : SHAPES. Got via crosses as well. Can you give me an example on how they're equivalent?

99. Singer Braxton : TONI. Her "He Wasn't Man Enough" was blasted everywhere in Hong Kong in 2000.

100. Deck crew leaders : BOSUNS

102. Involve : ENTAIL

103. Settle snugly : NESTLE

104. __ life : SHELF

107. White House daughter : SASHA

108. Deadly reptiles : ASPS

109. Get out of Dodge : FLEE

110. Athlete's stuff : GEAR
111. Lose : SHED

112. Classic canvas shoe brand : KEDS. Endorsed by Taylor Swift.

113. Call it quits : STOP

116. It may oscillate : FAN

117. One way to sway : FRO

118. Prefix with hazard : ECO. Eco-hazard.



fermatprime said...


Thanks, Melanie and CC!

Cute theme.

No cheats, but took awhile. (OK, I did ask Harv, formerly of Air Force, a quickie early on for the heck of it.)

First theme answer that I filled from partial was SOCKET PUPPET. I helped a lot.

Never heard of COOTIE. Was a struggle.

Bed time!


OwenKL said...

Not too difficult for me today. I had it half-way filled just on the first pass, and filled in the rest soon after. Not even many missteps. CAT>PET, ENSIGN>MR.SULU, BIO>ECO, SHAW>ROWE. Last fill was BUFFET+FAN/FRO.

I'm reminded of an old poem, author unknown, but it wasn't me, I learned it as a child.

Twas in a restaurant that they met —
Romeo and Juliet.
He had no cash to pay the debt,
So Rome-owed what Julie-et.

Here's one from my Muse, who doesn't speak Français any better than I do:

A visitor from out there somewhere
Flew to Earth to tour our sphere.
He gave school a chance,
Learned cooking in France,
Now the ET's known as the Flying Saucier!

CanadianEh! said...

Good morning all. I'm early to the party today.
Thanks for the fun Melanie and C.C.

I got the theme early and that helped the solve. Favourite was SOCKET PUPPET (note the double ET).

BASEL and LIECHTENSTEIN evoked pleasant memories of our trip to Switzerland and Austria. LIECHTENSTEIN is so small but beautiful.
DH had used EURAIL pass on a trip in his younger days but we were on a tour bus.

DH helped with Pebble Beach and Valvoline clues today. I guessed or used perps for ROWE and COOTIE (there's a name that would prompt a lot of schoolyard teasing!).

I remembered Norman Vincent PEALE's inspirational writings in Guideposts. My aunt was a secretary who knew PITMAN shorthand. A lost art now and unnecessary with modern technology.

She manipulates (SHAPES) the clay to do her artwork.

Have a great day!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Figured out the theme early on and that let me throw down some of the theme answers with little help from the perps, such as SLEEP IN THE BUFFET and STRIPED BASSET. Others took more help, but they were generally easy enough to get.

The one exception was SOCKET PUPPET, which just would not come to me. In fact that whole section ended up being my Waterloo. I had (and just wouldn't relinquish) PEP instead of NET at 97A and just couldn't think of a the "weekend prep" brand. Add to that my inability to think of MATE, and my doom was complete. I finally turned on the red-letter help to discover that PEP was incorrect, and after that I was was able to muddle through with no more assistance.

The second hardest spot was up in the NW, where I just couldn't think of ACME even after getting A_M_. AIMS? ALMS? The fact that COOTIE was completely unknown to me didn't help things. I finally guessed END IT for 4D, and that was enough to turn the light bulb on.

Other minor hiccups included SHINES for SHAFTS and SCARCE for SPARSE, but nothing too bad. Overall, a very fun puzzle.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

After LOCK, PICK, MARK and JACK, I figured the K was part of the theme. That made getting the rest of 'em a bit harder. My Prefix with hazard" started out as HAP. Still, it all came together in good Sunday time. Thanks, Melanie and C.C.

DW always wears KEDS as walking shoes. I prefer New Balance. Her shoes last a few months. Mine last several years.

Stupid question: Why is FABIO on many romance book covers? Do many writers fantasize about him? Does he own a publishing company? I don't get it. Or maybe FABIO isn't a person?

maripro said...

desper-otto- I love your answer for hazard's prefix.
NW corner was also the last to fall for me, also.
Favorite was sleeping in the buffet. What an image!
Thanks, C.C. and Melanie.

maripro said...

Should have previewed my comment!

HeartRx said...

Good morning, all!

The theme was OK. Unlike the other theme answers, BALLET OF WAX had a sound change, and SOCKET PUPPET had an extra "ET", which made those feel slightly inelegant to me.

I'm not surprised that you aren't familiar with Guideposts, C.C., because it is an evangelical Christian organization. Norman Vincent PEALE is well-known in the US because of his controversial book "The Power of Positive Thinking."

My favorite clue was "It may be full of ash," for WOOD BIN. Even after I filled it in via perps, I wondered how the fireplace remains would end up in the wood bin? The light finally went on when I reviewed the answers in your write-up. "Oh, ash trees!" Time for another cup of coffee, I think!

TTP said...

Good morning all. 2 visits to finish this puzzle. One around 4 in the morning, and then another assault after a couple more hours of sleep and a cup of coffee.

Thank you Melanie and thank you CC.

CC, that upper left corner was my last fill as well. It was completely blank for the longest time. AL CAPP was on the tip of my tongue for the longest time. But the second A gave me A-K-NS, which a brother was on for months, so that should have been a no-brainer to fill. ACME and LOAN then fell, and I guessed correctly at COOTIE. Well, maybe not so much guess because the crosses pretty much dictated it.

Mt first theme answer was SLEEP IN THE BAR FLY and of course it was wrong.

Had SCARCE instead of SPARSE, OBOE before OPUS

Leaves clearer... was thinking along the lines of education. RAKE (and my daily DOH!) appeared with CHILD PROOF LOCKET.

Favorite was Doctor's specialty = SPIN. Also like Book cover = PEN NAME. I was thinking for a synonym of review.

I got, but don't understand Semi bar = AXLE. As in a Semi tractor and trailer truck ? If so, how can an axle be described as a bar ? I would think of bar as flat stock, and aren't most axle shafts round ? I guess there are exceptions and some axles could be "bars", but structurally, especially on a semi, wouldn't shafts be stronger ?

Big Easy said...

The "ET" was easily to guess after I got CHILD PROOF LOCKET, but I multi-bombed all over.
First bomb was in the NW as I had no idea of who COOTIE Williams, wrote SPLIT for END IT. Wanted A TO Z or ARMS but would have never filled ACME. The next bombout was APPLE DOCKETS instead of APPLE JACKETS. They do sit in a docking station, which holds them. I can't picture a computer or phone being held by a JACK.

WOOD BIN- don't have one but wouldn't that be where the wood is stored BEFORE it is burned and becomes ashes? For 'scoundrels' I wrote CADS and never got CURS due to the fact that 'Wickiups' could have only been filled by perps, which it wasn't.

SLEEP IN THE BUFF-ET- after my ten mile bike ride and two mile walk around Audubon Park, I could have easily done that. The newscaster said the weather gauge at Audubon was a new record for July 26- 100 degrees.

As for KEDS, that was the 'in' shoe back in the 1950s. My mother wouldn't but them, so we didn't get to walk around with the little blue tag on the back of the heel.

I see Melanie managed to get Lil Abner by AL CAPP and Pogo and WALT KELLY in the same puzzle. Nice write up C.C.

Big Easy said...

Marti- the WOOD BIN light never turned on for me until I just read your comment.

Unknown said...

The Week in Review: M 5:13 T 5:30 W 9:36 T 9:44 F 16:03 S 23:53 S 25:01

A rare week where the time-to-solve progressed in the expected order (Sunday taking longer because it's bigger, not necessarily more difficult).

My main snag today was created by pretty confidently putting in COAL BIN. That changed to FOOD BIN (?) before WOOD BIN dawned on me. But it still took longer than it should have to come up with the final fill, the "J" in "JAW".

See y'all next weekend.

Mr. Google said...

iPod jackets

Fabio said...

Desper-Otto: You don't think FABIO isn't just the handsomest man in the world? What about after I got Goosed?

desper-otto said...

TTP, why in heck is a newly-retired guy up and doing cw's at 4 in the morning?

Fabio, I'm afraid you're just not my type.

Husker Gary said...

To quote C.C., a smooth, clean puzzle with an elegant theme!

-I learned who Pudd’nhead Jones is
-Surprise (to me) Pebble Beach PRO AM winners
-Do women really ask TRAP questions?
-If I had LEASED my pickup in 2005, I would still be on a LEASE and not have a great pickup with 85,000 miles and no payments
-ERASURE had an, uh, erasure because I had hUnk in for HEAP
-My kids liked being at Cocoa Beach at low tide because they could find HEAPS of these
-I sold my water SKIS when I couldn’t find a body of water with a big enough slope ;-)
-This colorful AFGHANI bill is worth $16.60
-You have to be grateful for SWAT teams who run toward danger
-Daughter had to END IT with 5 other men before she met the right second husband on
-The real reason why Ford paid his MODEL T workers twice the going wage
-Unfortunate NAPA headlines today
-The punitive treaty of Versailles brought anything but peace
-A SPIN-doctor can manipulate/shape anything his candidate says, especially if said candidate AD LIBS and gets off his talking points

TTP said...


I definitely had no place to go, and nothing to get ready for in the predawn hours, but a cramp in the right leg calf and tarsal bone pain in the left foot weren't going to let me sleep. Took an ibuprofen and waited for it to kick in...

I rethought my definition of bar. Not necessarily flat stock. Thought of chin up bar and weightlifting bar... So I guess an axle can be a bar...

Anonymous said...

While it is true that most semi axles are hollow tubes, there is one axle that is almost always a bar. The front axle (steering axle) is an I-bar.

coneyro said...

Really enjoyed today's theme. Lots of fun.

CHILDPROOFLOCKET went in quickly, and after that, the others weren't hard to figure out. I liked the double ET in SOCKETPUPPET.

The SW was the last to fill because I had SPLIT instead of ENDIT and I did not know COOTIE. Once I figured 1A was ACME, I corrected my error, and it came together.

FABIO was always known for his flowing mane of hair. His physique matched that of the numerous descriptions of the heros/sex symbols in the books. Women went crazy over him. Frankly, not my type.

I remember wearing KEDS sneakers in the 50's and 60's. This was an example of a brand name that actually deserved its accolades. Their sports shoes and slip-ons were well constructed and very comfortable. My mother washed the sneakers in the machine, and they lasted a long time.

The rain has finally stopped, and the skies are clear and blue. It is a beautiful day and my spirits are lifted.

Until tomorrow folks.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This was a fun solve even though I had a few missteps: scarce/sparse, Pvts/PFCs, oboe/opus, and bio/eco. Wickiups is new to me. Speaking of Pepe Le Pew, my neighbor told me that she was walking her dog late at night on Thursday and the dog alerted her to a Mr. Le Pew sitting on my front door Welcome Mat!

We are in for a heat wave this week with a high Wednesday of 94. I fear the 3 H's are coming back with a vengeance!

DO @ 9:38 - Fabio is not my type, either. Now, Cary Grant and Gregory Peck......well, that's another story. 😈

Thank you Melinda and CC for a Sunday treat.

Have a great day.

Spitzboov said...

Good afternoon everyone.

A well-crafted puzzle from Melanie today. Liked the ET ad in. Favorite was BALLET OF WAX.
35d, 46a - BINDER. I've been wearing one since June 9, the date of my ventral hernia repair. Hopefully Doc will allow me to stop using it after tomorrow's visit.
When I was a KID, my dad used a Reaper-and-BINDER to harvest grain. The reciprocating sickle was driven by a PITMAN rod. After cutting the grain stalks, it would bundle them into sheaves which would be then placed in shocks for further drying before they could be threshed.
EAGLE - A Navy captain's rank is shown by an EAGLE collar device when wearing khakis. When in Blues, rank is denoted by 4 half-inch stripes on his/her sleeves, or in whites(men) by similar shoulder board stripes.

Jayce said...

Fun puzzle and fun theme. I guess I like letter add-ons and letter substitutions. Didn't expect two added ETs in SOCKET PUPPET so I had a hard time solving that one. First gimme was AL CAPP. One big GOOF was to enter SPLIT instead of END IT. Another goof was to enter SMILES instead of SHAFTS. Finally had to turn on red letters to discover that PEP, AIMS, and the aforementioned SMILES and SPLIT were wrong.
By the way, tried the Atkins diet about 15 years ago and loved it. My wife, however, hated it, even though she was not on it. Her reasons for hating it included (1) that she didn't like the doctor's personality, (2) that I got the idea for it from my sister (which is factually incorrect), and (3) that she didn't like preparing different meals for herself and me.

Irish Miss said...

I posted about two hours ago but never realized until now that it didn't go through. Anyway, it was an apology to Melanie for thanking, not her, but Melinda, whomever she may be. Mea Culpa, Melanie. 😇

Avg Joe said...

This was an enjoyable exercise. Took some time and a number of wags, but no major hangups other than the oft mentioned scarce for sparse. Didn't care for the stray ET on puppet, but it's only a minor nit. 'twas the Bassett that straightened that out.

Our menu this evening includes new potatoes. I just dug a single plant that yielded 5 1/2 lbs and of 9 taters, the largest tipped the scales at 1 1/2 lbs. We have over 40 plants yet to dig. I think we're gonna need a bigger boat.

Ergo said...

Thank you Melanie and CC.

With the exception of a couple of obscurities left blank, I view this one as a victory. Nailed the North from the get-go, then danced around the board the rest of the day until I could deem it as good.

I too anguished over SOCKET PUPPET. My first reaction upon reveal was a bit on the frustrating side. When I calmed down I viewed it more as a clever misdirection.

Yellowrocks said...

Loved socket puppet.
I looked for KET words for a while until basset showed up. Fun theme.

Anonymous T said...

/lurk mode off...
Ave Joe - Jaws reference re: potaToEs in land-locked NE - LOL priceless. You made my day. Thanks.
/resume lurk

Anonymous said...

Pitman shorthand is a system used by stenographers (46 across)

Abejo said...

Good Monday afternoon, folks. Thank you, Melanie Miller, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, C.C., for a fine review.

Started this Sunday morning. Ran out of time and went to a Cubs game, where they lost 11-5 against the Phillies.

Then went to Drill practice and came home and looked at the puzzle again, but could not finish. Went to bed.

Got up today and went to church to help count the offering. Came home and hit the puzzle. Finally finished it. It was an excellent puzzle. Really enjoyed it. However, not too easy.

Got CHILD PROOF LOCKET early on, but that did not give me the theme. Later on SLEEP IN THE BUFFET gave me the theme. Then I saw the rest of them as I got them.

Tried SPLIT for 4D. Fixed that to END IT later on.

Tried WEAKENS for 30A. Fixed that to WITHERS after a bit.

Tried CADS for 76A. Fixed that to CURS after a while.

Tried WHIP for 81D. Fixed that to CLOT after some perps. Needless to say I have a bunch of inkblots.

Liked SCION. A word seldom used.

Anyhow, since it is Monday and nobody will probably read this, I am signing off. See you on Tuesday.