Jul 31, 2015

Friday, July 31, 2015, Kurt Krauss

Theme: NESW? I am lost where do I go? It does not matter any direction will do, they all lead to home.

There are four pairs of theme answers along with the grid spanning 'hint'  40A. Like the answers to eight starred clues ... and a hint as to how to fill them in : OMNIDIRECTIONAL (15). The gimmick is you must read the fill in the direction of the of the words themselves. 93 theme letters is a big challenge so you can expect many short fill but we do get ANOMALY,  CITADEL,  COOLERS, LABORED, UNRESERVED  and the complete ET TU BRUTE. Of course as is often the case on Friday, many will not like the backwards words. The last KK I blogged in 2014 brought out many negative or Thumper comments. But which way do you prefer to make Fridays challenging? Obscurities? Originality? I thought this was relatively easy and I had fun. I like how the pairs also fit together, the first a clecho the others synaptic; let's peek at the answer sheet.

12A. *Ring punch : RIGHT HOOK (9). This was perps but it made sense when paired with 68A. *Ring punch : SSORC TFEL (9) Left Cross, another common boxing term. The fill must be read from right to left.  We read right to left in Hebrew.

19A. *Manhattan neighborhood : EAST HARLEM (10). This neighborhood known also as Spanish Harlem is not a place many go to visit. It is paired with 57A. *Liberia locale : ACIRFA TSEW (10) West Africa, which you have to read from West to East (right to left). This where I caught on as I know where Liberia is.

4D. *Animated TV series set in the Rockies : SOUTH PARK (9). This paired with 38D. *Challenge to Eiger climbers : ECAF HTRON (9) (North Face) which requires you to head North to understand the fill.

9D. *Promising : GNIMOC DNA PU (11). Up and Coming, which is paired with 23D. *Level-headed : DOWN TO EARTH (11) like all the themers they must be read in the direction of the words. If you had not understood the theme the letter progression GNI should have tipped the scales. I loved this pair.


1. Blesses : OKS. In retrospect this was easy, but I was thinking sneezing or religion.

4. Star Wars, initially : SDIStrategic Defense Initiative. Not the movie.

7. Go fishing : ANGLE. I floundered about looking for an answer but the bass I cod come up with is that it describes the angle of the pole and the line. Or maybe the angle of the hook? I hate to worm my way out of this, so help....

16. IQ test pioneer : BINET. Alfred did so much MORE.

17. Start of the line before "Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead!" : ET TU BRUTE? This is Shakespeare's version where Cinna tries to justify killing Julius Caesar because Caesar was too popular. You can tell it is from a English writing because it mixes the Latin phrase with an English response.

18. Bluebloods : ELITE. New England and New York were filled with these types, Cabots, Lodges, Bushes, Roosevelts...

21. 1965 Sophia Loren comedy : LADY L.  What a cast. LINK (0:54).

24. Gas sign in green letters : HESS. Are there any left or are they all Speedway? I did not know Speedway was owned by Marathon until today.

25. Line of work: Abbr. : OCCupation. I find this an awesomely bad clue, but it is used regularly. There are many nice clues for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. HERE.

28. Year in Mexico : ANO. Spanish.

29. Talladega unit : LAP. An Alabama track on the NASCAR circuit.

31. Result of a 1955 merger : AFL-CIO.

34. Postseason game : BOWL. College football.

36. Pull in : MAKE. Money you make.

39. Treating poorly : BAD TO.

43. Role for Dustin : RATSOMidnight Cowboy. His breakout role?

44. "The Bridge on the River __" : KWAI. Another wonderful movie.

45. Marquis de __ : SADE. How much do you really know about this man?

46. Chooses the window instead of the aisle? : ELOPES. Really cute airplane misdirection but it did not fool me.

48. Fraud watchdog org. : FTC.  Federal Trade Commission.

50. For each : PER.

51. Shade provider : DYE. Fun clue/fill misdirection.

52. Ness, for one : LOCH. Lake.

55. Castro and others : RAULS. Meh.

61. Don Diego de la Vega, familiarly : ZORRO. He will always be Guy WILLIAMS (not Madison, who played Wild Bill Hickock with Andy Devine) I am getting old! for me.

63. Frankness : UNRESERVE.

67. The Bradford kids of '70s-'80s TV, e.g. : OCTET. Who didn't love this FAMILY (1:02)

69. Milo of "Barbarella" : O'SHEA. He was in so many great roles. THIS (3:51) was not one of them. Jane was adorable.

70. Long time : EON.

71. Major : KEY.


1. Natural resource : ORE. Or not?

2. Young beaver : KIT. Be careful here....

3. Pepper, for one: Abbr. : SGT. All perps, cute clue.

5. Words before dances : DO THE. This was filled before I saw the clue but I am completely unaware of this phrase. Help.

6. Some furniture stores : IKEAS. Meh, the extra s....

7. Biblical brother : ABEL.

8. Juba's "White" river : NILE. This was my learning moment, I just do not know much about the Southern Sudan.

10. Betray, with "down" : LET. To me the act of betrayal is much more than letting down.

11. Juillet's season : ETE. French for July and Summer. 30D. Brest friend : AMI. More French.

13. One of three cartoon nephews : HUEY.

14. Little League precursor : T-BALL. and the semi-clecho 15D. Little League belts: Abbr. : HRS. Home runs.

20. Soweto's home: Abbr. : RSARepublic of South Africa.

21. Toiled : LABORED.

22. Rule exception : ANOMALY. A wonderful word.

26. Stronghold : CITADEL. Also a college.

27. Beach party staples : COOLERS.

32. Govt. group that began in 1908 : FBI.

33. Where kip are spent : LAOS. No idea, but I do know Thailand uses Baht.

35. Sylvester's problem : LISP.

37. London's __ Gardens : KEW.

41. Fawn's mom : DOE. Yes, her name is Jane.

42. Tiny songbird : TIT. Always good for a link. I like it when the two MATCH.

47. Canon offering, briefly : SLRSingleLens Reflex.

49. Dimin.'s opposite : CRESCendo.

53. Handy : OF USE.

54. Playground retort : CAN SO.

56. Mad as __ hen : A WET.  I could not find anything definitive as to the origin of this phrase.

58. Algonquian language : CREE.

59. Bit : IOTA.

60. Sun. message : SERmon.

61. Animal house : ZOO. Funny.

62. It turns out lts. : OCS. Lieutenants. Officer Candidate School.

64. Nats' former stadium : RFK. Baseball team that shared the park with the unnamed football team.

65. Symbol of peace : VEE. This always reminds me of Churchill, which reminds me that I am watching the Roosevelt mini-series while I ride the exercise bike. Such an interesting family.

66. Eastern Nevada city : ELY. An old stagecoach TOWN which I know only from puzzles.

Another Friday in the books and another month about to go away. We did get 5 Fridays this month so I must be tired. Thanks Kurt. Enjoy all. Lemonade out.

Jul 30, 2015

Thursday, July 30, 2015 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: "Fifty Shades of Grey"

20-Across. Defiant challenge : TRY STOPPING ME.

32-Across. Would-be immigrant's concern : ENTRY STATUS.

40-Across. Nashville VIP : COUNTRY STAR.

50-Across. Romance novel staple, another word for which is aptly hidden in 20-, 32- and 40-Across : SECRET MEETING. I love it when the reveal perfectly describes the theme, as this one does.  Jeffrey seems to like these hidden word themes, and I get to see him a lot in this Thursday spot. Lots of fun clues in this one, that got a chuckle from me when I figured them out.


1. Each : A POP. I love filling in 1-A immediately.

5. Subtly cruel : CATTY. Meowwww.

10. Stock items: Abbr. : MDSE. Merchandise.

14. Couch potato's aid : TIVO.

15. Bizarre : OUTRE. Way out there.

16. Severely damaged sea : ARAL.

17. "Think you can manage?" : FEEL UP TO IT?

19. Beatle George's Indian friend : RAVI. Harrison and Shankar.

22. Dishevel : MUSS.

23. Matzo's lack : YEAST. Ironically followed by:

25. Approach to a landing? : RISER. Stairs, but it also describes YEAST.

28. Grass plot around a sundial, in "Jabberwocky" : WABE. So-called by the characters in the poem, because it goes way before and way behind the sundial.
Twas bryllyg, and yslythy toves
Did gyre and gymble in ye wabe:
All mimsy were ye borogoves;
And ye mome raths outgrabe. 

31. __ chi : TAI. Not to be confused with chai tea.

35. Believer's suffix : ISM.

36. Binding oath : I DO. Only about 50% of the time, it seems.

37. "__, With Love" : TO SIR. One of my favorite Sydney Poitier movie. Also a hit song by Lulu.

38. Comprehend : SEE.

39. Scand. country that borders Russia : NOR. I wanted Fin. first.

43. Commercial suffix with wheat : ENA. Before she left for work every day during the school year, my mother would make a big pot of WheatENA, Maypo, Cream of Wheat, or Oatmeal. I still love all of them!
44. Antlered deer : HART.

45. Hops driers : OASTS.

46. Aqua __: corrosive acid : REGIA. "Royal water," or nitro-hydrochloric acid is so-called because it can corrode the noble metals gold and platinum.

48. X-rated stuff : SMUT.

56. Part of RNA : RIBO. I wanted to put in "acid," but thought that probably wasn't it because of the clue for 46-Across.

57. Watergate figure : DEEP THROAT. Anyone remember the brouhaha caused by the movie of the same name?

59. Barbara of "Mission: Impossible" : BAIN. Remember Cinnamon Carter?

60. Bottled-up sort? : GENIE. Fun clue!

61. On a break, say : IDLE.

62. Rustic accommodations : INNS. Out of the way spots for TRYSTS?

63. Old Norse texts : EDDAS.

64. Con's confines : CELL.


1. Org. regulating explosives : ATF. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

2. Painter Mondrian : PIET. I owned a Mondrian minidress in the 60's.

3. Concluded : OVER.

4. Nylon, for one : POLYMER.

5. Egyptian Christians : COPTS.

6. Road runners : AUTOS. Another fun clue!

7. Trans Am roof option : T-TOP. This is the Hurst style T-TOP.

8. Road __ : TRIP.

9. "Snowman" in a fur coat : YETI. Yesterday, he was a mysterious mountain climber!

10. Homer's beloved : MARGE.

11. Ones earning play money? : DRAMATISTS. See what I mean? Here's another great clue!

12. Helps by arriving early, with "for" : SAVES A SEAT.

13. Priest who mentored Samuel : ELI. All perps.

18. Unreasonable interest : USURY. Loved this clue, too!

21. Scientific Bill et al. : NYES.

24. Ski race equipment : TIMERS. Huge V8 moment - I was all over poles, skis, goggles, helmets....

25. "The Bucket List" director : REINER.

26. Bali citizen : INDONESIAN.

27. Container seen above seats : STORAGE  BIN. "Luggage" bin just wasn't working with any of the perps...

28. "The Weavers: __ That a Time!": folk documentary : WASN'T. I remember their version of "Guantanamera."

29. Quarreling : AT IT.

30. Third U.S. VP : BURR.

33. Ancient portico : STOA.

34. Band commitment : TOUR.

40. Sear : CHAR.

41. "__, I do adore thee": Shakespeare : YOUTH.

42. Swiftian : SATIRIC.

47. Screen array : ICONS.

48. Old photo tone : SEPIA.

49. Deals (out) : METES.

51. A Möbius strip has just one : EDGE.

52. Upset, with "off" : TEED. Not me.

53. Fix : MEND.

54. Joint : NODE.  Oh, I was thinking of something you smoke.

55. Chutzpah : GALL. Love that word, "chutzpah." Does it come from Yiddish?

56. Box score stat : RBI.

58. Business card no. : TEL. I think it would have been fun to clue this as "No-tell mo-___.""

T-t-t-hat's all, folks!

Note from C.C.:

Here is a great picture of Windhover (Larry) and Lucina. Lucina said "I was visiting a friend in the Convent so that explains the religious items in the background."

Windhover & Lucina

Jul 29, 2015

Wednesday, July 29th 2015 Ian Livengood

Theme: Identified Flying Objects - as the hint clue tells you, the start of each theme entry spends some time airborne.

18A. Online intrusion : POP-UP WINDOW. Browsers can now block these annoyances, so not so bothersome any more.

24A. Complicated material, metaphorically : ROCKET SCIENCE. What do rocket scientists call it?

51A. 1981 Burt Reynolds film, with "The" : CANNONBALL RUN. Pretty sure I never saw this. If I did it was unmemorable.

60A. Early chronicler of the '50s-'60s civil rights movement : JET MAGAZINE. New to me, but then again I'm not exactly their target demographic.

and to tie it together:

40A. Sponsor's purchase ... or what the starts of 18-, 24-, 51- and 60-Across can have : AIR TIME

Hola, compadres. Steve here with July's final Wednesday. I found this to be trickier than the normal midweek fare. A few proper name unknowns that I needed the crosses to crack, a little misdirection here and there with the cluing, and the theme which seemed oddly un-thematic - to me it fell a little flat. A pop-up (fly ball), a rocket, a cannonball, and a jet (airplane) don't seem to be related by very much except that they spend time in the air, which is the theme. Fair enough, I suppose.

Moving right along:


1. Pretense : ACT

4. Dissatisfied diner's decision : NO TIP. Wow, you've got to be very dissatisfied to leave no tip at all. Remember folks, if there was something wrong with the food or the meal wasn't to your taste, it's not the server's fault.

9. God of Islam : ALLAH

14. To's opposite : FRO

15. Dry-__ board : ERASE. I attended a meeting once in a new conference room that didn't have the whiteboards in place, but the markers were all there. The presenter thought the wall was dry-erase and wrote all over it. It wasn't.

16. Run off : LEAVE

17. Stereotypical rodeo nickname : TEX

20. "Downton Abbey" character Lady __ Crawley : EDITH. Crosses. I watched Season One but couldn't recall the name.

22. "Get it?" : SEE?

23. Helpful contacts : INS

29. Be a debtor of : OWE TO

30. Places to stand and deliver? : DAISES. This is a word I'm pretty sure I have never used. "We're going to need two or three daises for all these speakers". Nope, I can't see me ever saying that.

33. They can call you out : UMPS. Two baseball references today.

36. Garden alignments : ROWS

38. Busch Gardens city : TAMPA. I don't go to theme parks. Rollercoasters scare me half to death. The first time I rode Colossus out here in Los Angeles I almost burst into tears. I was 35.

39. Walter Scott's title : SIR

42. Slender fish : EEL

43. Base exercise : DRILL.I used to enjoy drill on the parade ground during basic training in the reserve. People thought I was strange. They still do.

45. Way : MODE

46. Skort revelation : KNEE. Odd clue. All the skorts I've seen reveal a good deal of thigh too.

47. Heroic son of Aphrodite : AENEAS. Defender of Troy, demi-god and legendary founder of Rome, although Romulus and Remus might have something to say about that.

49. In a damp manner : WETLY. Here's another word I'm not sure I've used. "He came in wetly from the rain". Doesn't really have the right ring to my ears.

56. Voice vote call : AYE

58. Is laid up with : HAS

59. Outscores : BEATS

65. Messy abode : STY. Check out this posh one in Kent, England.

66. Snorkeler's haunt : ATOLL

67. Letter before lambda : KAPPA. I still need to learn the Greek alphabet. I haven't made much progress.

68. Common break hour : TEN

69. Laundry setting : RINSE

70. Fall faller : ACORN

71. Episodic story line : ARC. Some sources say that "episodic" and "arc" story lines are two distinct styles. Here's an in interesting discussion if you have a few minutes.


1. Hunting : AFTER. In the "I'm coming after you" sense.

2. System of belief : CREDO. I had CREED first until I saw that "EE-ITH was getting me nowhere

3. Like biohazards : TOXIC

4. One saying uncle? : NEPHEW.

5. Galeón load : ORO. I guess I didn't know I knew the Spanish word for "Galleon". I did know the Spanish word for "gold" though.

6. Brew dispenser : TAP

7. Terre Haute sch. : I.S.U. Indiana State, home of the Fighting Sycamores (I'm not kidding).

8. Soft drink with a red-white-and-blue logo : PEPSI

9. Put off : ALIENATE. I was thinking along the "prevaricate" lines at first.

10. Spy thriller writer Deighton : LEN. "The Ipcress File" is one of his best known. He writes cookery books too.

11. Romeos : LADIES MEN. I had the "L" and started entering "LOTHARIOS". I'm not sure what stopped me, it just didn't feel right.

12. Cosmetic titan : AVON. Final fill for me. My mind went blank and I couldn't think of a single cosmetics company.

13. Fells with an ax : HEWS

19. Nursery intruder : WEED. Great clue.

21. Bout enders, for short : TKO'S

25. Garr of "Young Frankenstein" : TERI

26. Blizzard, e.g. : STORM

27. Chisholm Trail community : COWTOWN. Abilene, for example, at the end of the trail.

28. Org. in many a spy thriller : C.I.A.

31. Olympian's weapon : EPEE. I got stuck on the "Gods of Olympus" train of thought and couldn't get off it for quite some time.

32. Black Friday event : SALE

33. Beef inspection org. : U.S.D.A.

34. Muddy spot : MIRE

35. Bill Bradley's alma mater : PRINCETON. I had the ETON part and couldn't get past thinking about the English school. Something's definitely wrong with my brain today.

37. Cassette half : SIDE B. We've had the argument before about whether anyone says "Side B" as opposed to "Side Two".

40. "Gilligan's Island" co-star : ALAN HALE. Thank you, crosses.

41. Prefix with carpal : META

44. Green span : LEA

46. NASCAR racer Busch : KYLE. He has a racing brother called Kurt, so needed to wait past the first "K". He must feel right at home when he goes to Tampa.

48. Fly in the ointment : SNAG

50. Maine mail order giant : L.L.BEAN

52. Japanese port : OSAKA. Busy place on the island of Honshu.

53. Dreadlocks wearer : RASTA. Time for some Bob Marley.

54. Say : UTTER

55. Backstreet Boys contemporaries : 'N SYNC. Not my cup of tea. Very successful and all seemed to be nice folk

56. Open a little : AJAR

57. Mysterious mountain climber : YETI

61. Chicago Fire's org. : M.L.S. Major League Soccer, in case you don't know.

62. Efron of "Neighbors" (2014) : ZAC

63. Financial pg. debut : I.P.O. Little bit of a clumsy "there's an abbreviation in the clue" here.

64. "Ask Me Another" airer : NPR. Apparently no longer an abbreviation.

Here's the grid, and my work here is done.


Jul 28, 2015

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 George Simpson & C.C. Burnikel

Theme: It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good - Not an ill wind in the bunch.

17A. "American Gothic" artist : GRANT WOOD. You might find an off-key (ill) WOODWIND, I suppose.

21A. Equitable transaction : EVEN TRADE. Winds that trade or tread in one uniform track. (Anglo Saxon, tredde-wind, a treading wind—i.e. wind of a specific “beat” or tread; tredan, to tread.) While a steady wind in one direction may be good for commercial maritime venture it was not the meaning of the TRADE WINDS.

38A. "Now!" : RIGHT THIS SECOND. A SECOND WIND is an exercise phenomenon that has also developed into a metaphor for finding the strength to go on after initial struggles.

55A. Award for seagoing heroes : NAVY CROSS. A CROSS WIND blows across one's direction of travel. Not so good for a sailing ship following the TRADES.

61A. Flying speed boosters ... or, literally, what the ends of 17-, 21-, 38- and 55-Across can have : TAILWINDS

Argyle here. C.C. has company today and I sure she'll tell us about him. Very nice puzzle to debut with. Full spanner and reveal at the bottom, the way it should be, right?


1. Ways to go: Abbr. : RDs. Roads, not routes.

4. Ltr. addenda : PSS. Is it P.P.S or P.S.S? Well, since addenda is the plural of addendum then this should be considered as the plural of POST SCRIPT, or PSs.

7. None too bright : DENSE. (or am I dense.)

12. Obama's birthplace : OAHU

14. Somewhat surprised greeting : "OH, HI!"

16. Nebraska city : OMAHA

19. Golf course halves : NINES. Front and back or out and in, on a link course.

20. Causing goose bumps : EERIE

23. Scolding sound : [TSK!]

24. Belted weapons : SIDE ARMS. Pistols or swords.

26. Camp beds : COTS

28. Poet __-tzu : LAO

29. Strong coffee : MUD

32. NCAA's __-12 conference : PAC. (The Pacific-12)

33. Italian sparkling wine : ASTI

36. One of two in a typical string octet : VIOLA

41. Beyond rotund : OBESE

42. Round in a pistol : AMMO. For your side arm.

43. Writer LeShan : EDA

44. Conan O'Brien's network : TBS. (Turner Broadcasting System)

45. Org. with Raiders and Vikings : NFL. (National Football League)

47. Folk singer Burl : IVES

49. Retired boxer with a perfect 24-0-0 record : LAILA ALI. Daughter of Muhammad Ali.

52. Serious hostilities : WAR

58. Say "cap'n," e.g. : ELIDE

60. Cheri of "SNL" : OTERI. Still around.

63. Shirk work : DOG IT

64. Easy thing to do : SNAP

65. Wrinkled tangelo : UGLI

66. In la-la land : SPACY

67. __ Arbor, Michigan : ANN

68. One of a D.C. 100 : SENator


1. Man of many words : ROGET. Roget's Thesaurus was created in 1805 but not released to the public until 1852.

2. Shows some backbone : DARES

3. Protective enclosures for divers : SHARK CAGES. 18 footer.

4. "Bang!" : "POW!"

5. Did a blacksmith's job : SHOED

6. Push rudely : SHOVE

7. "Keep still!" : "DON'T MOVE!"

8. Mideast dignitaries : EMIRs

9. Mom's mom's nickname : NANA

10. Place for a lawn mower : SHED

11. Alleviate : EASE

13. Prefix with lateral : UNI

15. High-mindedness : IDEALISM

18. Word after screen or scratch : TEST

22. Agency under FDR : NRA. (National Recovery Administration)

25. "The wolf __ the door" : IS AT

27. Folk legend Phil : OCHS

29. Sudden changes in disposition : MOOD SWINGS

30. Wrist-to-elbow bone : ULNA

31. Mom's guy : DAD

32. Mr. __: Dr Pepper rival : PIBB

34. Kitchen bulbs : SHALLOTS

35. Tiny Dickens boy : TIM. A Christmas Carol.

37. Java Freeze maker : ICEE

38. Poppycock : ROT

39. Stick-to-it-iveness : TENACITY. There were a lot of nice down words today.

40. Flowerpot filler : SOIL

46. Christmas tree choice : FIR

48. Seaside home selling point : VIEW

49. Like some poetry : LYRIC

50. Yoga pose : ASANA

51. Japanese, e.g. : ASIAN

53. Fluster : ADDLE

54. Lacquer ingredient : RESIN

55. Wordless okays : NODS

56. On the roof of : ATOP

57. 1970s Chevy subcompact : VEGA. Extreme!

59. Sch. with a Brooklyn campus : LIU. (Long Island University)

62. Hosp. worker : LPN. (licensed practical nurse)


Note from C.C.:

George Simpson is the Big Easy on our blog. This is his LA Times debut. George came up with this theme and was super fun to work with. He has one more puzzle in Rich's queue. Congratulations, George!

Big Easy and his wife Diane

Jul 27, 2015

Monday, July 27, 2015 C.W. Stewart

Theme: Let your light shine- You will find what you need at the end of the theme entries.

17A. Dutch bloom-to-be : TULIP BULB

23A. Supply for a knotting craft : MACRAME CORD

36A. Reading aids, whose parts include the ends of 17-, 23-, 45- and 57- Across : LAMPS

45A. Blind alternative : WINDOW SHADE

57A. Pelvic opening : HIP SOCKET

Argyle here. What? No foreign words! Just some common crossword words that shouldn't prove too tough. Very few abbreviated words either. But still a neat Monday puzzle.


1. Lickety-split : FAST

5. Highlander : SCOT

9. They may be split by quibblers : HAIRS

14. Purim month : ADAR

15. Opera highlight : ARIA

16. Let in : ADMIT

19. Stage of development : PHASE

20. Carried by the tides : SEABORNE

21. Orbital high point : APOGEE

22. From the past : OLD

25. Fit together nicely : MESH

26. Venial or mortal lapse : SIN

27. Assumed name : ALIAS

30. Pilot light site : GAS STOVE

35. Ballpoints : PENS

38. Thinker's output : IDEA

39. Travel document : PASSPORT

41. Passover feast : SEDER

42. TiVo button : REC. (record)

43. Complete collections : SETS

50. PIN requester : ATM

53. Takes weapons from : UNARMS

54. High repute : EMINENCE

56. Pie chart dividers : RADII

58. Cuts with scissors : SNIPS

59. Nobel Peace Prize city : OSLO

60. Spanish stewpot : OLLA

61. To the point : TERSE

62. WWII submachine gun : STEN

63. Dudley Do-Right's gal : NELL


1. 1980 Dom DeLuise film : "FATSO"

2. "I challenge you to __!" : A DUEL

3. Veggies and such from a bar : SALAD

4. Chicago paper, familiarly : TRIB. Chicago Tribune

5. Native Israelis : SABRAS

6. Pretzel-eating sound : CRUNCH

7. Persian Gulf ship : OILER

8. File folder projection : TAB

9. "It just so __ that ... " : HAPPENS

10. Formed for a specific purpose : AD HOC

11. Insect stage : IMAGO

12. Early __: morning person : RISER

13. High-spirited mount : STEED

18. Pears, e.g. : POMES. Fleshy fruits.

21. Slightly off : AMISS

24. "Stat!" relative : "ASAP!". As Soon As Possible

25. Eucharist celebration : MASS

27. iPhone download : APP

28. Grazing land : LEA

29. State Farm business: Abbr. : INSurance

30. Prime meridian hrs. : GMT. (Greenwich Mean Time)

31. Knotted neckwear : TIES

32. Like a single sock : ODD

33. Churchillian sign : VEE

34. Place for a stud or hoop : EAR

36. Longtime theater chain : LOEWS

37. Circle segments : ARCS

40. "Cross your heart?" : "PROMISE?"

41. Dictation taker : STENO

43. Freebie from a sales rep : SAMPLE

44. Prolific inventor : EDISON

45. Sausage served with kraut : WURST

46. Absurd : INANE

47. Low point : NADIR

48. Faucet woes : DRIPS

49. Event in a caper movie : HEIST

50. Spot for a concealed holster : ANKLE

51. Immune system agent : T-CELL

52. Heavy __: music genre : METAL

55. Supply-and-demand subj. : ECONomy

57. Sounds from Santa : HO's

Turn off the light; the party's over.


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.


Jul 25, 2015

Saturday, Jul 25th, 2015, Gail Grabowski

Theme: GG~!!

Words: 72 (missing K,Q,Z)

Blocks: 30

 Gail Grabowski is back for another LAT Saturday - her last one was March of this year.  I was able to work out the bottom half of this one no problem, but the NE corner was slow to concede, so I did a "half" cheat and looked up the river near Aberdeen (half because it was 3-letters, OK~?).  After that went in, the rest seemed obvious.  I closed out in good time, and so I consider this one a success; I reviewed that puzzle from March and it was a "fail".   Gail's constructions are pretty fair - no fun sponge clues, and some clever ones, to boot.  A not so intimidating grid with triple 9- and 10-letter corners, plus another pair of nines in the across as well.  In the corners;

2d. WWII fighter : AXIS POWER- I was looking for something like P51 MUSTANG

that's me at MacArthur airport

16a. Wedding to-do list item : ORDER A LIMO - INVITATION fit, too

56a. Place for good dishes : CHINA HUTCH

33d. Added up : MADE SENSE - not TABULATED

DE-LI on ward~!


1. WWII support gp. : WAAC - Women's Army Auxiliary Corps

5. Driving hazard : ROAD DEBRIS - I did not see any road debris on my trip back from Delaware Thu morning, but I did hit the drawbridge on the Belt Parkway with my rental car so hard the wipers got knocked on - the roads around NYC are brutal....

15. Linchpin location : AXLE - ....had I been driving my Dodge, I would have sheared an axle, I am sure; the rental car was a 2014 Hyundai Elantra GT - it had its flaws, but when I got back in the Dodge, I realized how badly I need a new car

17. 2007 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee : GILL - Vince; not a country fan - link away~!

18. Grand : MAJESTICAL

19. Jargon ending : ESE - e.g. if you're a lawyer, it's legalese

20. Buffs : FANS

21. Complicated account : SAGA

22. Group that might bug you : SPY RING - har-har;  eavesdropping bug

24. Actor/director with two Emmys and two Razzies : SHATNER - William; I was just watching Airplane 2 - the sequel in DE

"No tower~?"

27. Winter warmers : COCOAS

28. Thirteenth Amendment beneficiary : SLAVE

29. Be ready for : AWAIT

30. 1935 FDR dedication : HOOVER DAM

34. Net grazer : LET - tennis

35. Body style : COUPE - SEDAN fit, too - 20% correct-ish; another 'ansecho' with
49. Overthrow : COUP - meh.  I think of this as the group, not the act

36. Raised-barn connection : IN A - Were you raised in a barn or what~?

37. Former : ERSTWHILE

40. Member of a strict Jewish sect : HASID

42. "Not interested" : I PASS - the trip to DE was so much faster with EZ Pass

43. Give up : VACATE

44. Grotte de Cussac attraction : CAVE ART - Frawnche art; reminds me of this Steely Dan song

Caves of Altamira

 47. Xenon, e.g. : RARE GAS - well, I knew it was "a" gas, but NOBLE and INERT did not fit

48. Urgent letters : A.S.A.P.

50. Scoreboard letters : R H E - baseball for C.C.; Runs, Hits, Errors - I had the "H", thought it might be CHI for the white sox or cubs

51. Anticipatory reaction : SALIVATING

55. It pulls a bit : REIN - literally; very clever

57. They're trapped in pots : EELS

58. Endurance event facility : AID STATION

59. Unoccupied : IDLE


1. Union concern : WAGE SCALE - the UPS union is giving me grief right now

3. Some strays : ALLEY CATS

4. "Snow White" collectible : CEL

5. Many Shakespearean characters : ROMANS

6. Malaysian native : ORANG

7. Short and sweet, e.g.: Abbr. : ADJectiveS

8. River to Aberdeen : DEE - cheeeeted~!

9. Their offices often have small rms. : DRs

10. Down : EAT - ah, not the "SAD" kind

11. Marathoner's misfortune : BLISTER - I get blisters raking in the fall

12. Costa __ : RICAN - nice misdirection with the "N"

13. Picture : IMAGE - wouldn't be Saturday without a gratuitous image

 14. __ year : SOLAR

20. Royal decree : FIAT

23. French royal : ROI - dammit~! can't escape the Frawnche

24. Skiing need : SLOPE

25. Give birth to : HAVE

26. Boston's Mass __ : AVE

28. People : SOULS

30. Lift up : HOIST

31. Differed : DISAGREED

32. Witness in 1991 Senate hearings : ANITA HILL

35. Burn slightly : CHAR

38. Haberdashery supply : TIEPINS

39. Employment org. created in 1935 : WPA

40. Dwell (on) : HARP

41. It's not returned : ACE - more net sport 'jargon'

43. Orchestra leader Billy : VAUGHN

44. "Speak, hands, for me!" speaker : CASCA - Et tu, Brute~? is the "next" line in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

45. Japanese beer brand : ASAHI - got it because it was in a recent puzzle

46. Legitimate : VALID

47. "But wait! There's more!" company : RONCO - the Wiki

49. Bank opening? : CITI - Citibank - in the news this week; ordered to pay out $700mil

52. Storage unit : VAT

53. Triumphant reaction : "A-HA~!"

54. Mild rebuke : TUT

55. "Get outside yourself" company : REI - had this some Saturdays ago - not that I remembered this outdoor company


Jul 24, 2015

Friday, July 24, 2015 Mike Buckley

Theme: BOGO, get one pun and then a second one for free.

We get our third Mike Buckley effort of 2015 with this one a sound-alike pun effort. Puns are based on humor which is such a subjective area I would guess some of you will really enjoy the theme while other will be meh. I enjoyed the theme and appreciate the extra challenge of having both parts of the theme changed to sound alike. The rest of the puzzle has some real sparkle like ASSISI, DEANNA, I RAISE,  MAZDAS,  PINDAR,  PRAWNS,  SINKER,  TICTAC,  YTTRIA, DEPECHE, MIAMIAN,  SURGEON, AS EASY AS,  NEPOTIST, PECOS BILL, SAWHORSES and some very difficult places. The three across two down pattern also was fun.

18A. Composer Dvorák in hiding? : CACHED CZECH (11). This cashed check transforms into a musical clue. LINK.

38A. Demands for quiet from the downstairs tenant? : CEILING WHACKS (13). Sealing wax is not commonly used anymore, but the clue does bring back this SONG (3:00).

58A. Wildebeests slowing down? : BRAKING GNUS (11). My favorite mental picture comes from this breaking news.

3D. Walked by a campsite? : PASSED TENTS (11). Walked is whimsically past tense.

26D. Poor jousters? : WEAK KNIGHTS (11). Can you watch them on week nights on ESPN?

Let's see what we have.


1. Spot : PIP. Like on a die.

4. "My Name Is Asher Lev" author : POTOK. Chaim Potok has written many wonderful books and appeared in puzzles often.

9. Normandy beachhead : OMAHA. No Nebraska clue on a Friday; will the next generation remember?

14. Rollover __ : IRA. This has become on of the most common of fills.

15. Send packing : EVICT.

16. Jazz section : SAXES.  Your choice, this, or the music below?

17. "Hip Hop Is Dead" artist : NAS.

20. Misrepresent : DISTORT.

22. Main part : LEAD. In a play, or movie.

23. No harder than : AS EASY AS. An odd looking stretch of letters, which is good but it is a partial which I was told was bad, so ?!?

25. Edible decapods : PRAWNS. Meaning having 10 legs: Steve and Nice Cuppa can explain this more but DIFFERENCE.

29. Provide new audio for : REDUB. My son tried to get me to appreciate dubstep music.

30. More than square : CUBE. Cute.

32. Council position : SEAT.

33. Adjust, as sails : TRIM. I watched a You tube on how to sail  by yourself.

35. Mythical elephant carriers : ROCS. You want to read about it?  HERE.

37. "Aladdin" monkey : ABU.

41. Your Moment of __: Jon Stewart's show ender : ZEN. Obama ordered him to stay.

42. Spike : LACE. As in "lace the punch"; this was very tricky 4 letter fill.

43. Fuzzy Endor native : EWOK. Star Wars VII is coming!

44. They're often smashed : SOTS. No Tinbeni comments here, please.

46. Ellington's "__ Indigo" : MOOD. The Duke.

48. Nearby : HANDY.

51. Umbria tourist town : ASSISI. This is the landlocked part of Italy, unlike 66A. Resort off the Sorrentine Peninsula : CAPRI. This is an island.

53. One who keeps it in the family : NEPOTIST. WE all have heard of nepotism, so I guess this word exists.

55. Sports gp. with three divisions : NCAA.

57. "The Kids Are __": 1979 The Who documentary : ALRIGHT.

62. One of Kramden's hardy followers? : HAR.

63. Staff symbol : C CLEF. Music notation. 8D. "Hooked on Classics" co. : K TEL. 49D. Note in the key of B major : D SHARP. A mini-theme ?

64. Singer's asset : RANGE.

65. Ode opener? : TRI. Triode.

67. Gather together : AMASS.

68. Post-workout destination : SPA.


1. "The test of any man lies in action" odist : PINDAR. From Thebes in Ancient Greece.

2. Game challenge : I RAISE. Betting games.

4. Lover of Slue-Foot Sue : PECOS BILL. This romantic STORY.

5. Subject for Italian anatomist Fallopius : OVARY. He also invented the English subway, hence its name- the Fallopian Tube.

6. Certs alternative : TICTAC. Paddy whack...

7. "Alas!" from a lass : OCH. How is your Gaelic?

9. Grouch in a can : OSCAR. Sesame Street lives on.

10. Protegés, e.g. : MAZDAS. This took a long time to remember with the last one in the model year 2003.

11. Fire : AXE.

12. Crime-solver Ramsey of 1970s TV : HEC. The second incarnation of Richard Boone, more famous as Paladin.

13. Krakatoa output : ASH.

19. "Exciter" band __ Mode : DEPECHE. Lots of MUSIC if you are bored.

21. Alpha __, star in the Bull constellation : TAURI. This huge ORANGE star, known as Alderbarran is not related to the more familiar Alpha Centauri.

24. Cutting-edge professional? : SURGEON. Really sharp humor.

27. Snares : NABS.

28. Former Beatle Sutcliffe : STU. He left the band to pursue his work as a painter, but died at 22.
31. Defer : BOW.

34. Dolphin, e.g. : MIAMIAN. A bit tricky but not down here in SoFla.

36. Cutting supports : SAWHORSES.

38. Co. VIPs : CEOS. Chief Executive Officers. Next to...

39. Sgt. maj., e.g. : NCO. Non-Commissioned Officer.

40. Tropical raccoon kin : COATI. You want to know more? READ.

41. Half a Gabor? : ZSA. Better than half a fly.

45. Angling aid : SINKER.

47. Counselor in Jean-Luc's command : DEANNA. Ms. Troi gets more ink than Jean-Luc.

50. Oxide in incandescent gas mantles : YTTRIA. I do not even know what a gas mantle is, but this was interesting to READ.

52. Space opera genre : SCI-FI.

54. Promotions : PLUGS. Once you see it this is easy, but it took a while.

56. Uttar Pradesh tourist city : AGRA.

58. Discreet email letters : BCC. The B is for blind, meaning you are not telling them to whom you are sending it to.

59. Nipper's label : RCA. Radio Corporation of America.

60. High peak : ALP. Another marti CSO.

61. Moll's leg : GAM. A great word from all the pulp  and detective fiction I have read. Do you recognizes these gams from this old TV show where the actresses face never appeared?
Next week will close out July, so go somewhere fun, but take the puzzle with you. Thanks Mike, and all of you.

Lemonade out.