Nov 13, 2016

Sunday, November 13, 2016 Alan Arbesfeld

Theme: "Jam Session" - Each theme entry is a pile up of items hinted by the first word in each clue.

22A. Traffic jam? : TOYOTA JEEP AUDI KIA FORD. Veteran solvers probably recall Merl Reagle's traffic jam puzzle. He had two lanes of cars all jammed up in a 21*21.

35A. Raspberry jam? : YOU STINK BOO HISS GO HOME. This one made me laugh.




111A. Paper jam? : GLOBE POST TIMES SUN NEWS. Newspapers.

So we have 6 spanners (total 126 theme squares) in a 134-word grid. Astonishing. We often see 142 or 144 worder with less than 100 theme squares.

Alan Arbesfeld is a veteran constructor. He has many many puzzles published by the New York Times and L.A. Times. He's also one of the constructors for the CrosSynergy puzzles. Look at those names, best in the business.


1. Best Supporting Actor nominee for "Forrest Gump" : SINISE. Lieutenant Dan.

7. Terra __ : FIRMA. Not COTTA.

12. Glass raiser's opening : A TOAST. We also have 77. Glass raiser's opening : HERE'S TO

18. Warren Buffett, for one : OMAHAN. Gary lives in Fremont.

19. Get off : DETRAIN. Do you actually use this word, or DEPLANE? 

21. Entertain at bedtime : READ TO

25. Giraffe cousin : OKAPI. Hello there!

26. Sitcom planet : ORK

27. Less concerned with your privacy : NOSIER. I don't get it. You get nosy when you're less concerned other's privacy, right?

28. Was second to none : LED

29. Like many Richard Matheson stories : EERIE

31. Holy : SACRED

33. Remains at the butcher : OFFAL

40. Ticks off : ANNOYS

41. Nashville venue : OPRY

42. Traditional tomato paste fruit : ROMA

43. Moldova currency : LEU. Romania's too. Albanian is LEK.

44. Just make : EKE OUT

47. Oversupply : GLUT

49. Pub order, briefly : IPA

58. Belgian expressionist James : ENSOR. Gimme for veteran solvers.

59. Fed lines : CUED

60. __ Mae : SALLIE. Same letter count as FANNIE & GINNIE.

61. Kim's last name, in Kipling's novel : O'HARA. No idea. Never read the novel.

64. U.S. Army specialists' underlings: Abbr. : PFCs

67. __ Mawr: Pennsylvania college town : BRYN

69. Braves, but not Indians, briefly : NLERS. Gluey entry.

70. Stinging crawler : RED ANT

72. Of the flock : LAIC

74. Moistening liquid : BASTE

83. Penn in NYC, e.g. : STN

84. 9, at times: Abbr. : SEPT (September). Tiny answer/clue dupe with 93. Many September births : VIRGOS

85. Modern research aid : GOOGLE. Let's see how long it takes Google engineers to solve this "Bad Request" issue. The blank/double dupe glitch has been on forever.

86. Praise that's usually not prose : ODE

87. New Look designer : DIOR

89. Rope fiber : HEMP

90. Follow-up to a finish : EPILOG

100. "Let's give __" : IT A GO. Three-part partial. 

101. Reach, as great heights : SOAR TO

102. Sock material : LISLE

103. Urgent knock : RAP

104. Morning prayers : MATINS. Have not seen this entry for a while, Lucina!

106. Pinky __ : TOE

107. Snap course : EASY A

116. Gretzky's first NHL team : OILERS. Boomer bought a fake Gretzky rookie card on Craigslist two years ago. Be careful about sports cards there.

117. Hot stuff : EROTICA

118. Pain in the side : STITCH

119. Stated with authority : SAID SO

120. Hamlet and others : DANES

121. Hong Kong airline __ Pacific : CATHAY. Used to take Cathay Pacific to Paris via Hong Kong.


1. Explorer Hernando de __ : SOTO
2. "Don't worry about me" : I'M OK

3. Poland Spring competitor : NAYA. What's your preferred water brand? Some of the caps are just so hard to open.  

4. "With any luck!" : I HOPE SO

5. Fullness : SATIETY

6. "Bambi" doe : ENA

7. Data-uploading initials : FTP (File Transfer Protocol). TTP just solved a thorny issue for my Ginger Roots blog last week. Man, a bad DKNY link can put a post in jail for three years.

8. Author Levin : IRA

9. Off-color, as a joke : RAUNCHY

10. Olympic skater Ito : MIDORI

11. Liqueur-flavoring plants : ANISES. I never grow anise, you?

12. Two-time Indy 500 champ Luyendyk : ARIE. We had him before.

13. Spot for a spot : TEAROOM. Hmm, dim sum.
14. Clumsy sort : OAF

15. Big name in menswear : ADOLFO. Are you a fan of this brand?

16. Transfer for immediate viewing : STREAM

17. Take baby steps : TODDLE. Is this a common verb form?

19. "Criminal Minds" agent Morgan : DEREK. Unknown to me.

20. Fearful sound : EEK

23. Participate : JOIN

24. Former apparel store with a backwards letter in its name : KIDS R US

30. Staircase components : RISERS

31. Absorb : SOP UP

32. __ valve: heart part : AORTIC

34. Govt. mortgage agency : FHA. Federal Housing Administration,

35. Beinecke Library site : YALE, Not familiar with the library.

36. Scott Turow memoir : ONE L

37. Coin word : UNUM

38. Hire : BOOK

39. Black-clad subculturists : GOTHS. There's a Lady Goth in our flea market. She wears the same black outfit every Sunday, for over 10 years. 

45. Surgeon general under Reagan : KOOP.  I'm thinking the next one will be Ben Carson.

46. Winter hat feature : EARFLAP

47. "The Waltons" actor Will : GEER

48. Insect making spotty appearances? : LADYBUG. Cute clue.

49. Just sitting, say : IDLE

50. Scissors need : PAIR

51. Son of Zeus : ARES

53. Wild : FERAL

54. Cockamamie : INANE

55. Central point : NUB

56. "The Divine Comedy" division : CANTO

57. Pompeo of "Grey's Anatomy" : ELLEN. She plays Dr. Grey.

61. Eyes, poetically : ORBS

62. Pressure : HEAT

63. Server's edge : AD IN. Tennis.

65. Amazon icon : CART

66. Bro or sis : SIB

68. Shaker contents, chemically : NACL

71. Boxing's "Iron Mike" : TYSON

73. Convincing : COGENT

75. '50s-'60s country singer McDonald : SKEETS. No idea. Was he popular then, D-Otto/Argyle?

78. "Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs" speaker : ROMEO. Deep thought from a 13-year-old.

79. 1995 comet observer : BOPP (Thomas Bopp). I drew a blank.

80. Kansas city: IOLA. I forgot. But our PK must knows. By the way, she can read all the posts/comments. She just can't comment. Her iMac is still sick.

81. Olfactory stimulus : ODOR

82. Requirements for prints, for short : NEGs

87. Was really into : DUG

88. Related compounds : ISOMERS

89. Author Zora Neale __ : HURSTON. We see NEALE often.

91. Cornmeal dish : POLENTA. You can't tempt me with Polenta!

92. "My mind is made up!" : I MEAN IT

94. List closing : ET ALIA

95. City near Monte Vesuvio : NAPOLI

96. Composed : POISED

97. Indian spiritual tradition : TANTRA

98. 2010 Literature Nobelist Mario Vargas __ : LLOSA. Peruvian novelist.

99. Road reversals, for short : UIEs

105. Lhasa __ : APSO

106. Gumshoe : TEC

108. First family brother : SETH

109. Female leadership org. : YWCA

110. Pale : ASHY

112. Bunk, e.g. : BED

113. Meteor tail? : ITE. Meteorite.

114. Start to represent? : MIS. Misrepresent. Jazzbumpa is averse to this type of clue, esp if the entries are wobbly.

115. Trojans' sch. : USC

Happy Birthday to the real Big Easy (George Simpson), who's an excellent golfer and volunteers at the Zurich Classic where he meets with Ernie Els every year. George and I made two puzzles for the L.A. Times, he was just amazing. A natural.

Big Easy and his wife Diane


fermatprime said...


Thanks to Alan and CC.

Had fun with the theme answers!

Had a few errors, so FIW.

Happy birthday, Big Easy!

Really tired.

Have a great day!

LACrosswordAddict said...

Hi C.C.

Looks like the Mensa site is down again? I have not been able to access it since yesterday. I had it on Friday.

Thank you,

OwenKL said...

FIW. Done in by two naticks that I couldn't even WAG: L?OSA + ?I?LE + SKEET?, and a long slog just to get that far. I did catch on to the theme, and it actually helped me a lot! I won't even start to list all the w/os and ESP words

{B, B-, B-, C+, B.}

The TIMES will come that GOOGLE goes,
With a RAP and bang or on tippy-TOES.
But in history's blog
There couldn't have been a NOSIER nose!

Fierce ARES, the god of red MARS
Knew his realm was first step to the stars!
Earth humans would come,
Would bring as pollution

A hot LISLE sophont from VENUS
Told hisr wifband, there's problems between us!
I don't mind the fiesta
Of a five-sex EROTICA,
But you've got to quit stealing my penis!

Complained of a GLUT of blue moons!
"Red, white and green
Give a nice moonlit sheen,
But blue turns us into baboons!

A lone LISLE prince came from PLUTO,
But found that his pleading was futile.
His monarchy, can it
Rule a whole planet?
For the serfs there, resistance is feudal!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

This theme must've been really obvious, because even I got it. Helped a lot with the solve -- except when I put EARTH where PLUTO needed to be. Waited for the perps to decide on COTTA/FIRMA and HALE/BOPP. Made a fortuitous WAG at the LLOSA/LISLE cross; if it can be a llama, why can't it be a LLOSA? Whew!

C.C., "I'm not concerned with your privacy" -- it's the other person's privacy. I wasn't into country music back in the 50's, but the name SKEETS McDonald came to me immediately. "Deplane" is a common term, "Detrain," not so much.

The DEREK Morgan character has left Criminal Minds. The Emily Prentiss character is back; I think that makes it three times. She even came back from the dead, sort of. Is three times a record for a series that's not a soap?

The stinging crawlers in these parts aren't red -- we call 'em fahr ants.

Happy Birthday, Big Easy!

Yellowrocks said...

Way easier than yesterday. Still I had one bad cell. I don't call the little tOe a PINKY, so I missed that O in LLOSA. Still it was fun. Did you notice that TRAFFIC was makes of cars, PAPER was names of newspapers, RASPBERRY was all insults,but PEARL was a varied mixture? ARIE and FTP were all perps. The N in SINISE and NAYA was a wag.
Pearl Buck's Good Earth was a great novel I read in my youth and in my retirement, gleaning way different insights each time.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Well, certainly knowing the theme early on helped with the solve, but it was no slam dunk to the finish line. (How's that for a mixed metaphor? Is it even a metaphor???) I did enjoy it, however, and was impressed by the number of spanners. I never heard of Skeets McDonald but that's not surprising because I've never heard of 99% of the musical references mentioned by DO, Anonymous T, Avg Joe, TTP, Argyle, et al. Was familiar with Llosa but wasn't sure of the spelling. Never heard of that water brand but I'm a big Poland Spring fan; I buy the 3 liter bottles to reduce the bottle return fee. I make up for it with the number of cans of Pepsi that I buy!

Thanks, Alan A., for a Sunday stumper and thanks, CC, for the informative expo.

DO, I didn't know the Derek Morgan character left "Criminal Minds"; I was only aware of the Thomas Gibson contretemps. I stopped watching the show ages ago because of the over-the-top violence and depravity but, when I did watch it, Paget Brewster was my least favorite actor; I just never warmed up to her. My most favorite was Mandy Patinkin (sp?) and I felt he made the show. Joe Montagna was a decent successor, but he didn't quite fill Mandy's shoes, IMO.

Happy Birthday, big easy, hope it's fun-filled! πŸŽ‚πŸΎπŸŽˆπŸŽ‰πŸŽ

Have a great day.

Tinbeni said...

Happy Birthday Big Easy!

A TOAST to you at Sunset.


C.C. Burnikel said...

I just informed Mensa. Last time it took them a few days to solve the problem.

You'll have to go to LA Times' website. Or send me a mail I'll send you a PDF or puz copy.

Addict said...

The real LAT Addict Said...

Me too.

My Backup Site for the puzzle

JJM said...

When MENSA is Down I go to the Meriam-Webster site.
Had lots of fun solving this one today. Thought the grid spanners were clever.
Now out for my bike ride in 39ΒΊ weather.

Lucina said...

What an interesting and jam packed puzzle! Luckily, the lists were easily filled though ONION had me stymied for a short while.

I wondered, C.C., how many would recall MATINS since it hasn't appeared for a long time. In case anyone forgot, it's a morning prayer, recited or sung (the preferred method)in convents and monasteries. And by morning, I mean really early, at least before 6 A.M. Monks rise at 3 or 4 for it.

YR, I agree about The Good Earth by PEARL Buck. Last year I reread it and enjoyed it even more than the first time.

IM, over a year ago I stopped watching Criminal Minds for exactly the reasons you stated though I missed watching DEREK Morgan. What a hunk he is!

One bad cell at STN/ADIN and still don't understand server's edge.???

CATHAY Airlines is the best I've ever flown in for service and comfort and on a 15 hour flight, it's just what one needs.

Happy birthday, BigEasy! It's nice to see your photo.

Have a lovely day, everyone!

Lucina said...

Thank you, Alan Arbesfeld for a really nice challenge. And thank you, C.C. It's always a joy to read your review.

Argyle said...

I can't say I remember Skeets McDonald but I do remember this song, Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes. It may be I am remembering the Perry Como version.

maripro said...

Thanks C.C. and A.A.
It took me a while to get the themers, but once I did it was a big help. I enjoyed this puzzle very much.

desper-otto said...

That's right, Argyle. Skeets had the original hit in '52 and Como recorded the country cross-over cover late that year. I just discovered that I've got both versions on my music server. Who pneu?

JD said...

Has the Mensa site changed? I can't get the CW.

JD said...

Thanks JJM!! I hadn't read any of the blog yet.

Bill G. said...

Thanks Alan and CC. I enjoyed that.

Lucina, in tennis, when the score is tied at deuce, you have to win by two points. If the server wins the first point, the score is said to be Ad In. The server has to just win one more point while the opponent has to win three more points. So when the score is Ad In, the server has the advantage or edge. (i hope that's clear enough.)

Say, is anyone else having trouble getting on the Mensa site? I get some sort of a rating page but no puzzle. Ahh, never mind! I just read the early posts today and I see it's a common problem that is being addressed. I ended up on Cruciverb.

tawnya said...

Hi all -

Made it through today with just a few GOOGLE cheats, still had fun though!

I also had trouble with the Mensa site yesterday and this morning. I use Chrome but did not see if I had the same issue with FireFox. This morning I noticed a little alert in the address bar that has a very small red X - all the way to the right next to the "star" for favorites icon. I clicked it, it said there was an "unsafe script" and gave me the option to "run anyway" or something. So I did, and it worked. I don't know if this will make sense to anyone, but there you go.

Happy Sunday!


Jinx in Norfolk said...

Claudia / CC - It will probably take Mensa a few days to find someone smart enough to fix the web site.

Today's puzzle was fun for me. I erased CUED for liED because I thought it would be AORTIl instead of AORTIC. That gave me NiB instead of NUB. I looked up ELLEN Pompeo on my DirecTV DVR. Googled to fix spelling of OKiPI - never heard of NAYA water. (My alternative to Poland Springs is "tap".) Interesting to read about SKEETS McDonald via Google. And I also Googled for the Yale library.

Favorite clue was "insect making spotty appearances" for LADY BUG. Least favorite was Kansas city for IOLA. Is there any reason for anyone to know this town of less than 6,000 souls? C'mon, man!

I thought this grid might be going in a RAUNCHY direction - "entertain at bedtime", "get off" and EROTICA. I'm just glad "necklace" wasn't part of the "pearl jam" clue.

Thanks Alan for a fun challenge today, and to CC for the usual excellent expo.

desper-otto said...

Not being a bottled water aficionado, I thought Poland Spring referred to a movement like Arab Spring. D'oh! On the rare occasions when I do buy bottled water, I go cheap with the Wal-Mart house brand.

inanehiker said...

It took a while to figure out one theme answer - that made the others much quicker - just had to look out for where the words divided.

Thanks Alan and CC!
Happy birthday Big Easy!

Anonymous said...

Wiktionary spells it UEY.

FHA used to stand also for Farmers Home Administration (some said FmHA), which gave way to the Farm Service Agency a decade ago.

PLUTO is no longer a planet.

Jayce said...

I liked this puzzle, and smiled at the theme entries. Lots of fun. Thanks to Alan Arbesfeld.

I have never said detrain or deplane, although I've heard flight attendants say deplane. I feel it is part of their professional jargon. I simply say "got off." I've heard people say "debark" instead of "disembark" and it hurts my ears.

We usually just drink tap water or tap water filtered with a Brita filter. When we do buy bottled water we like "Refreshe" seltzer water from Safeway, which is simply carbonated water. It comes in 2-liter plastic bottles.

LW and I like Gary Sinise. He was most recently in the short-lived TV series Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders. I especially loved him in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men with John Malkovich as Lennie.

I also had no idea Kim's last name was O'Hara. I had never read the book, but for some reason I thought Kim was an Indian boy.

There is also a BRYN Athyn in Pennsylvania, just northeast of Philadelphia, where there is a small but sorta famous cathedral.

More later...

Misty said...

Fun Sunday puzzle this morning--many thanks, Alan. I had some trouble in the middle with the PEARL JAM, but otherwise did pretty well without too much cheating. I too thought the RASPBERRY JAM was a hoot! And all those grid spanners were pretty awesome. One question: how is a pub order IPA? No big deal, just wondered. Thank you, C.C., for your always great Sunday expos.

And Happy Birthday, Big Easy!

Am still watching the program about the British family in Corfu, and am delighted to see that Leslie Caron still looks great in her, well, age.

Have a great Sunday, everybody!

Husker Gary said...

-A fun gimmick and lots of meat on the bone. If you got LISLE/LLOSA, you’re a better man than I am Charlie Brown! My two bad Sunday cells.
-I’d be an OMAHAN 15 miles from here
-A Moldoava LEU is worth 5¢ (Thanks GOOGLE!)
-Why do I know astrology is bunk but am aware that I am a VIRGO?
-Yeah, that’s it, I’m growing this HEMP for fiber!
-Where I first saw the word EPILOG
-A RAP about (4:15) a poetic RAP. A good strategy for teaching today?
-Raunchy was a 1957 instrumental hit
-I’ve been to one Indy 500 and enjoyed it. No desire to go back.
-AD _ _ _ _ menswear was not ADIDAS
-My image when I hear RISERS
-Our country seems to be more Pluribus and less UNUM
-One of our JH boy was sent home for looking GOTH the day after Columbine
-BOPP was a warehouse worker and amateur astronomer who found the comet
-PLUTO’S orbit is a big tip off that it is not a planet
-NAPOLI was in the midst of a garbage strike when we visited
-SETH: Cain and Abel = Zeppo: Harpo, Chico and Groucho
-Happy Birthday George!

Jayce said...

Happy birthday, Big Easy. I enjoy reading your posts.

Misty, IPA stands for India Pale Ale, which is a kind of, well, ale, and is therefore a possible pub order. How's your lip?

Lucina said...

Bill G:
Reading your explanation of ADIN I realize that you or someone wrote that a long while ago but of course I didn't recall it. Thank you for that. I'll write it in my puzzle dictionary and maybe, maybe, I'll know it next time.

Lemonade714 said...

One of the great things about growing up in Connecticut was being able to research at the Beinecke. For hose who love books and words it is a must visit place. You need to be specific, but it is amazing

The puzzle was wonderful as was the write up, thanks

Spitzboov said...

Hello everyone.

A big Happy Birthday to the Big Easy.

Did the puzzle on-line. Easy for a Sunday, but found some crunch in the SE. No issues.

MATINS - Came somewhat easily. I had read a book: "Father Joe" by Tony Hendra about a Benedictine monk on the Isle of Wight, England, and it was part of their routine. BTW, a good non-fiction read.

3d NAYA - Our public system draws water from an Adirondack Mtn. lake, and with refrigerator filtering, is as good as any spring water. So we only use bottled on trips.

MJ said...

Good day to all, and HBTY Big Easy!

Almost threw in the towel on this one. LLOSA, SKEETS, DIOR (as clued), OFFAL, Richard Matheson, and many others were complete unknowns. And I just wasn't seeing the theme. Yet returning to the puzzle a few hours later, the theme jumped out at me, and I was able to sail easily to the finish. Especially liked the cute clue for LADYBUG. Thanks for the clever puzzle, Alan, and thanks, C.C., for a grand expo.

I had no trouble accessing the puzzle at the Mensa site today, as I do every Sunday. The rest of the week I access the puzzle from the blog, but am unable to do so on Sundays for some reason.

We mostly drink iced tap water, but I do keep some bottled water on hand in case of an emergency. My favorite brand is Dasani, but it is rather expensive, so the emergency stash is from Costco.

Enjoy the day!

Bill G. said...

I am enjoying the Durrell/Corfu program on PBS very much. There is so much about the children to dislike though. As much as I like the mother character, I don't think much of her parenting skills. I guess I should cut her some slack as a single parent but my guess is her parenting style doesn't include much in the way of discipline. Kids like that often seem to grow up to be reasonable adults but they sure can be a handful growing up at home and in a classroom.

I thought Sunday Morning was especially good today. I loved the restored B-29, the trees and wildlife in the Great Smokies, etc.

Yep, we drink tap water too.

Have I told you how much I enjoy reading Dave Barry's books on my Nook? Yeah, I thought so.

Misty said...

Jayce, many thanks for the explanation. My above the lip scar is doing okay, although surprisingly still not entirely healed more than three weeks after the surgery. If it's still not done when I come back from visiting my Dad at Thanksgiving, I'll go back to Dermatology to see what they say.

Lemonade714 said...

Let us also stop forgetting to wish George happy, happy birthday. Yesterday was my wife's.

Misty said...

Mrs. Lemonade, sorry we didn't realize it was your birthday yesterday. Hope you had a wonderful one!

Again, Jayce, thanks for remembering my little medical issue. Very kind of you--many thanks!

Wilbur Charles said...

Boy, hardly any breaks except the theme. I just didn't know NAYA or SINISE. FIW. Great puzzle.

Misty, I fell off a bannister at age 3 or 4 and my lip still gas traces of the scar. I hope just a trace will be your result.

Wed morning mass is my prayer time.

Lucina, when it's the opponent's edge it's ad out.

Instead of Pinky how about Lou the ___, Groza. Much needed QOD to Cleveland.

Did anyone think of Pinky LEE?


Bill G. said...

Pinky Lee. Yes, that was my very first thought.

Michael said...

Anon-T yesterday @ 3:31 pm: "...[needed some serious perpitude]"

What a great word and concept! But if the police get ahold of it, then we might have perps being perpetualy in jail for Third-Degree Perpitude ... as well as lacking pulchritude. (Also a useful concept for when a c/w implodes: "my perpitude's in the shop for an upgrade.")

Jayce @ 1:18: Prefer Geezer Water (i.e., Geyser water) over Refreshe, but either is so much better than the 48 grams of sugar -- that's 16 sugar cubes! -- in a coke or Pepsi.

Misty, scars will heal, but one of the 50 Things They Never Taught Us In High School, is that as we edge into 'modern maturity,' EVERYthing takes longer to heal.

Picard said...

Got SINISE/NAYA purely by WAG. Never heard of either. Once again, I find it very annoying when regional brands are used.

Got the ONEL and LEU cross as a total WAG, too.

But I FIW with the cross of SKEETS/LISLE, two complete unknowns. I did a failed WAG of SKEETa and LIaLE. My favorite socks are made of "Mercerized Cotton".

Enjoyed the jam theme! Anonymous: The PLUTO clue was Space Jam, so there was no claim it was a planet.