Dec 26, 2016

Monday, December 26, 2016 Gail Grabowski and Bruce Venzke

Theme: No Reveal Monday - Four synonymous words.

20A. Fabric with a slight sheen: POLISHED COTTON

25A. Sophisticated-sounding hair treatment product: SUAVE SHAMPOO

46A. Coffee sweetener: REFINED SUGAR

55A. Plowed ground for crop-raising: CULTIVATED LAND

Argyle here. POLISHED, SUAVE, REFINED, CULTIVATED; so are we all.


1. Furtive summons: [PSST!]

5. Closes with force: SLAMS

10. See 13-Down: BABA. 13-Down. With 10-Across, "Open sesame" sayer: ALI

14. "It's __ you": "Your call": UP TO

15. Sultan's group: HAREM

16. Carrier to Tel Aviv: EL AL

17. React to a bad pun, perhaps: MOAN

18. BP merger partner: AMOCO

19. Longfellow's "The Bell of __": ATRI. "And this shall make, in every Christian clime, The Bell of Atri famous for all time."

23. Clay pigeon sport: SKEET

24. Tee shots into the hole: ACES

32. Slacks holder-upper: BELT

35. Baker's verb: MIX

36. Like old apples: MEALY

37. "Norma __": RAE

38. Fills with dismay: APPALLS

41. Word in a bride's bio: NÉE

42. The three monkeys' taboos: EVILS. Nikkō Tōshō-gū Shinto shrine.

44. Guernsey greeting: MOO!

45. Completely, after "from": A TO Z

50. Apple or pear: POME

51. "Spider-Man" actor Willem: DAFOE. Green Goblin.

60. Classic clown: BOZO

61. African country whose name is contained in the name of its southern neighbor: NIGER

62. Internet destination: SITE

63. It's a long story: EPIC

64. Porthole view: OCEAN

65. Flair: ELAN

66. Cubicle furnishing: DESK

67. Smells awful: REEKS

68. Once-sacred snakes: ASPs


1. Tire inflators: PUMPS

2. Frighten, as a horse: SPOOK

3. Like old bread: STALE

4. Most stylish: TONIEST

5. Former Iranian despot: SHAH

6. Unconvincing, excuse-wise: LAME

7. Ex-slugger and Fox Sports analyst, familiarly: A-ROD. (Alex Rodriguez)

8. Major tourist draws: MECCAs

9. Kiss: SMOOCH

10. "I have no clue": "BEATS ME"

11. Voice above tenor: ALTO

12. Rural building with big doors: BARN

21. Early Beatle Sutcliffe: STU

22. Bears and Grizzlies: TEAMS

26. Sound system part: AMP

27. Bigwig: VIP. (very important person)

28. Tests of knowledge: EXAMS

29. Huff and puff: PANT

30. Butterlike spread: OLEO

31. Command from a bailiff: "OYEZ!"

32. Uncle Remus rabbit's title: BR'ER

33. Nesting site, perhaps: EAVE. Nesting site for icicles.

34. Mariner Ericson: LEIF

38. Often ___: about half the time: AS NOT

39. Singer Rawls: LOU

40. Nautical journal: LOG

43. Long kiss: LIP LOCK

45. Shrinking Asian lake: ARAL SEA

47. Key with one sharp: E MINOR

48. Plot mechanism: DEVICE

49. Say further: ADD

52. Totally tanks: FAILS

53. Ready in the keg: ON TAP

54. Blissful regions: EDENS

55. Deal with adversity: COPE

56. Commando weapons: UZIs

57. "A Death in the Family" author James: AGEE

58. Tropical hardwood: TEAK

59. Sea eagles: ERNs

60. Crib or cot: BED



fermatprime said...


Thanks to Gail, Bruce and Santa!

Loved the puzzle! Easy theme.

Had nice English dinner prepared by son and family. Was a nice birthday!

Hope everyone else had a good evening!

Have a great day!

PS My eaves grow wasp nests, not icicles!

fermatprime said...

Many thanks for all if the kind wishes yesterday!

OwenKL said...

{B, B, B+, B+, A-.}

Is how the SUAVE Devil appears to man!
With POLISHED manner
And TONIEST banter,
But a REEK of EVIL -- no, that's Chateaubriand!

ALI Bubba would drink whate'er was ON TAP,
MIX a shot of this, and a BELT of that!
Then he'd SLAM down his glass,
Say, "I'll fly carpet class!"
Collapse on the rug, and shout, "Hold your hat!"

When biking off-road, where there's lots of bumps
Your bike, LIKE AS NOT, will take a few lumps.
You should carefully choose
The right kind of shoes.
In case of tire FAILS, it's good to have PUMPS!

What at first was a SMOOCH, meant to be quick,
Changed to a LIP-LOCK with passion thick!
As a teacher at school
She'd broken her rule:
Never MIX up the chap- and the glue-stick!

The Big Bad Wolf came UP TO where Rocky Pig dwelt
Intending to make his Big Bad breath felt!
He began to puff and huff,
But got punched on his duff!
Said the pig, "For big PANTS, you needed a BELT!"

unclefred said...

Got 'er done, a bit over time. Center slowed me down. SUAVE didn't come to mind, and forgot APPALLS has two Ps and two Ls. Just didn't look right, for some reason.

TTP said...

Good morning all. Thank you Gail, Bruce and Argyle.

Nice easy puzzle today.

SUAVE always makes me think of Cary Grant.

Really liked yesterday's puzzle too.

A belated Happy Birthday to Yellowrocks and Fermatprime !

Lucina said...

Thank you, Gail and Bruce! This was a smooth sashay. I like all those synonyms. SUAVE is also a Spanish word, pronounced soo-ah,-vey and means soft, smooth or gentle.

One write over was SAGA before EPIC but BED changed it. Thanks to CWs I've learned OYEZ.

Thank you, Argyle. Nice work. And Owen, I don't know how you manage to knit together the disparate language from
a puzzle into your poems. Kudos!

Have a beautiful day, everyone!

Lucina said...

Yesterday I was APPALLED to learn that you consider The Little Drummer Boy a horrible song. I love it. Please tell why you think it's so bad.

Lemonade714 said...

Owen the image of the glue stick mistaken for the chopstick is awesome.

I do not have any recollection of the Longfellow poem but it all fit quickly. A rare Monday to relax. Enjoy the day all.

Thank you GG BV and Argyle

Lemonade714 said...

Silly autocorrect CHAPSTICK!

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Got most of this one easily, but had one error. I had Willem's name as DeFOE, and should have caught it with ARAL but did not. I always confuse him with the guy who sells gold on TV commercials. Since I din't catch that one I had no erasures.

I had the theme as "upper crust attributes", but I like Santa's explanation better. I don't think I will ever remember ATRI or OYEZ, but I know I'll see them over and over for as long as I keep doing puzzles. I didn't know POME - I thought it was a cartoon word for phrases that rhyme.

Thanks Gail and Bruce for a nice Monday grid, and to Santa for an interesting expo.

thehondohurricane said...

Tis the morning after Christmas and Casey interrupted my solving the puzzle twice. Lucy expressed her anger towards him simply because he was curious about the opened gifts under the tree. And the flower vase on the coffee table. Just a little water to wipe up! Poor dog....can't have any fun! Peace has been restored. Who knows for how long.

Many thanks to Bruce & Gail for a nice start to the week. North went quickly, central and south a little slower due to interruptions mentioned above.

Belated birthday wishes to Fermatprine & Yellow Rocks.

Anonymous said...

Eaves here... wasp nests with icicles on.

Tinbeni said...

Nice write-up Argyle. Good Job!

Gail & Bruce: Thank You for a FUN Monday puzzle. Enjoyed the theme.

Well it was 84 degrees here yesterday (and probably today).
Clear blue sky ... think I will take a long walk on the beach.

Tomorrow I'm off for a "Year-End Inventory" to a climate that is about 80 degrees colder.

New Years in Red Square should be interesting ...

With Vodka I will be "toasting" you ALL ...

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Hurray! A day-after Christmas present from Gail and Bruce who never fail to please! My only silly mistake was No Nos before Evils and that was simply not thinking through the clue. Everything else fell into place easily. I liked all of the synonyms but, to echo TTP, Suave brings forth very pleasant images of the one and only Cary Grant! [Sigh!]

Thanks, G and B, for starting the week off with such an enjoyable offering and thanks, Argyle, for not missing a beat after your hectic Santa duties. Hope you had lots of milk and cookies along the way! 🍪

Have a great day.

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning.

Nice to hear from Barry yesterday! Miss your morning musings.

Thanks Bruce and Gail for a nice week starter. Fun. Today I was inadvertently trying to make Much Ado About Nuthin'. Like looking for edda instead of EPIC. OYEZ? Is that why in some British films a character will shout Oye! to get the attention of a group?

Argyle, thanks for the tour, even though SANTA must be tired after the all-nighter on Saturday!!

Have a jolly day everyone. I hope many of you are off today after the Sunday Christmas.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Gail Grabowski and Bruce Venzke, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Argyle, for a fine review.

Got through easily. Had to wait until I was finished to figure out the theme. Very good one.

Again, sorry to see the SHAH referred to in a negative context. Technically, the word can be correct, however, the real DESPOTS are those in power now. My two cents.

Tried E MAJOR before MINOR became obvious. I can play songs with sharps and flats. I just do not know their names. Oh well.

Liked MEALY. Good descriptive word.

46 degrees today in NE Illinois. Everything is wet.

See you tomorrow.


( )

Husker Gary said...

-A lovely Monday offering by Bruce and Gail with all the words that are never said of me!
-A great door SLAMMER! (:28)
-A seasonal pun supplying a MOAN
-I have had 1½ ACES on the golf course
-Could you find NIGER on a map or name its capital? Solution
-A-ROD disgusted me as a player but he’s a great analyst
-SMOOCH and LIP LOCK make it appear Bruce and Gail are warming up for New Year’s Eve
-Wahoo, Nebraska has a restaurant called The BARN Door and my grandson delights in saying while passing it, “Your BARN Door is open!” MOAN!
-EXAMS can test what you learned or what you have memorized
-I like Little Drummer Boy but will not miss

CanadianEh! said...

Good Monday-level CW to ease me back after a weekend of family and food! Thanks Gail and Bruce, and Argyle.

I was technically a FIW at the 45A and 31D cross. I could not remember the last letter in OYEZ (wanted Y) and A TOY was just not making sense. Oh, A TO Z, duh!

My STALE bread was used for stuffing. I too pondered the 2 P's in APPALLS.
Lucina, I like The Little Drummer Boy but it is a little repetitious in the tune and perhaps that is why JazzB hates it (it would seem worse playing it rather than singing it).

I wanted SUDAN and South Sudan for the African countries. (Argyle your map is missing S. Sudan which became a separate country in 2011!). Son and family were in S. SUDAN for a year and were just safely out before the civil war erupted in Dec. 2013. Sad situation still dragging on for the world's youngest country.

Belated Happy (Christmas) Birthdays to fermatprime and Yellowrocks.

Have a great day.

MJ said...

Good day to all!

An enjoyable puzzle today from Gail and Bruce. Willem DAFOE arrived via perps. Thanks for the expo, Argyle.

Lucina, so sorry about the recent loss of your aunt Lorraine.

Enjoy the day!

Lucina said...

Thank you, MJ. My aunt Lorraine was a lively, cheerful woman from whom I learned many things about growing up and she lived a long, fruitful life.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

No EVILS to be found in Gail & Bruce's pzl, though I did have an APPALLing long pause at POLISHED COTTON having spelt SHAw wrong. Thanks to the both of you for a fun puzzle and to our host Argyle for presents (of mind) in the expo :-)

WO: SHAw b/f SHAH.

Fav: Com'on, who didn't think of Star Trek @ LOG?

{B+,A-,B-,A+ (what Lem said!), A-}

HG - what's 1/2 an ACE?

Tin - I shudder to think who your client may be. At least a BELT of booze will be ON TAP.

Cheers, -T

Yellowrocks said...

Thank you all for the kind birthday greetings. We spent Christmas Eve through Monday forenoon with my son, DIL and grandson. My youngest sister was there on Christmas Eve, too. On Christmas my son and DIL prepared our traditional standing rib roast with Yorkshire pudding. It was delicious. Our family celebrates all our birthdays at the evening meal. We had cheese fondue at 9:00 PM. Then we celebrated my birthday with chocolate pie and candles. There was an extra set of birthday gifts for me at that time.
We prefer pie to cake for birthdays at home. For my catered party four years ago my friend baked and decorated a beautiful butterfly cake for me, a la my avatar. Next year will be another major milestone birthday with a big party likely.
Happy birthday, Fermatprime. I hope you had a great day.

I found the Saturday puzzle to be a real bear and I didn't complete most of it. With so many things to Google it wasn't worth the effort. I loved the Christmas puzzle. It was just right. And today's was fun, a typical Monday puzzle.

I love The Little Drummer Boy. I have a ceramic music box statue of him.

SUAVE reminds me of Cary Grant, too.

We saw a world famous Three Evils monkey carving in Japan at the Shinto Shrine in Nikko It is called Nikkō Tōshō-gū. There are many intricate carvings there. The artist made an intentional mistake which the docents point it. This was made to show his humility.

Anonymous T said...

I'm listening to a re-run on NPR. Thought I'd share this with my fellow wordies. -T

Anonymous T said...

This is what I'm listening to. [43m]. -T

Ol' Man Keith said...

Veddy sophisticated, today's co-authored puzzle--smooth, elegant, and urbane as all get-out. I appreciate such a nicely realized theme appended to another chewable Monday offering.
Mondays have become denser and tastier over the past month or so. They're not truly difficult (which would be an offense against the progressive principle), but they are definitely more of a challenge than they used to be. Instead of writing them off (as I once considered doing), they are clearly worth the time we devote to them.
Thank you, GG and BV!
And of course, thanks to Argyle as today's MC.
And, yes, please add me to the list for belated Happy Birthday! wishes to Fermatprine & Yellow Rocks. This one's for you!

Jayce said...

Thank you, Gail and Bruce, for a lovely Monday puzzle. Loved the SMOOCH and LIPLOCK entries, and MEALY is just a fun word. I learned that POME can refer to a pear also.

Yellowrocks, thanks for the reference to Nikkō Tōshō-gū. I looked it up and learned that it is quite an impressive place. From there I went on to learn a little more about the beginnings and early years of the Tokugawa shogunate. Fascinating.

Happy second day of Christmas!

Argyle said...

It took some searching but I found a map for CanadianEh! that included S.Sudan and did an update.

Argyle said...

And per Yellowrocks suggestion, the three monkeys at Nikkō Tōshō-gū shrine is updated as well.

Spitzboov said...

Hello Everyone.

Happy Boxing Day.

Belated Birthday greetings to Fermatprime and Yellowrocks.

Only mishap in the solve was entering G major before E MINOR. Perps forced the alternate choice. Never had formal music theory but it makes sense.
Looked at the theme fills without ever realizing it was about synonyms. C'est la guerre.
Otherwise. mostly enjoyable Monday puzzle - and always like Gail - Bruce offerings.

CanadianEh! said...

Thanks for the updated map Argyle. Your diligence in explaining the puzzles, monitoring, adding links and photos, etc. is much appreciated (especially after your busy Christmas Eve!).

Wilbur Charles said...

Half way through I had to look at the authors. Ha. G&B the usual suspects. I agree with the aforementioned, chewy but not MEALY. One more time: POME?

So, Saturday, that I skipped was a toughie, eh. I can't find that newspaper.

I skipped my usual NPR to listen to the St Petersburg bowl game. Miss St won on a blocked field goal.


Andrew Ridgeley said...

So I was trying to find a connection between today's puzzle and our latest loss of an artist. I was about to give up and then @ 0:15, there it is! An AMP!, in my favorite George Michael video from the heyday of Mtv.


Husker Gary said...

-Anon - One ACE I got was a straight up hole-in-one
-My half one was after I sliced my first tee shot WAY out of bounds and hit the second tee shot in the hole for a 3.

Argyle said...

I remember POME because I remember the French for potato, pomme ‎de ‎terre. Literally meaning "an apple from the earth" or an "earth apple".

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Easy start to the week. After reading the comments, I went back to see if I could spot the mistake in the Three Monkeys - no luck.

I didn't read yesterday's posts, so I was unaware that Little Drummer Boy was in the news. A few years back, I heard a funny Garrison Keillor spoof on the song which made it apparent that he doesn't like it. I've looked around for a clip of that but haven't found one.

Bill G. said...

Add me to the list of people who have never liked The Little Drummer Boy. I don't hate it; I just don't like it. It's monotonous and almost dirge-like. The lyrics don't grab me either. Now I feel like a grinch...

Yellowrocks said...

Dudley, that shrine has a huge amount of intricate carving, of which the monkeys are a relatively tiny part. I was there be about 20 years ago. I think perhaps the tiny mistake is in the roof of an arch near the monkeys.

Anonymous T said...

Dudley: This or this version? [Safari doesn't let me listen so I just linked transcripts]. Love me some A Prairie Home Companion.

PS - Who else still getting OSTER convection oven ads 'cuz of last week's pzl? :-)

Cheers, -T

Anonymous said...

Sorry, not sorry that I don't find that shit attempt for comedy not amusing, ra pum a pum pum!

Never liked anyone shading others shine.

Dudley said...

-T, the second one looks closer. I didn't have a playable audio resource either, but that transcript reads about right, according to my dim memory.

OwenKL said...

I rather like the sound of it. My problem with it is realism. It's less likely than Santa Claus! A drum to lull a baby to sleep?! More likely to wake it up and startle the be-jabbers out of it! And what would a shepherd boy in 3 BC be doing with a marching drum, anyway!?

Anonymous said...

47d is a wrongo bongo. E MINOR has THREE sharps: F, C and D. The "key with one sharp" (besides G major) is D MINOR (it contains a C sharp).