, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: September 2017


Sep 30, 2017

Saturday, Sep 30th, 2017, Pawel Fludzinski

Theme: None

Words: 66 (missing J,K,Q,X,Z)

Blocks: 34

Last puzzle of the month, and I expected it to be a rough one, and Mr Fludzinski did not disappoint.  Virtually blank on the first pass, both across and down, but I was able to break open the SE corner before I caved in to red-letters, and then Googled for one answer.  I refrained from STOG, but I needed some help in the NW - just too many proper names today.  Oh well.  Two 13-letter spanners and one 15-letter climber in a sort of pretzel-like grid;

30a. Wikipedia is an example of it : CROWDSOURCING

33a. Kind of response to mortal danger : FIGHT OR FLIGHT

7d. Reunion discovery : LONG LOST FRIENDS - or sometimes this old farm....

lyric @ 1:30


1. MTV toon teen : BEAVIS - argh~! So ashamed I didn't recall this right away

7. Sings the blues : LAMENTS

14. Planned city in California's Orange County : IRVINE - I'm East coast - I hear "planned", and I think Levittown and Hicksville here on Long Island

15. Conquered : OVERCAME - I tried overTOOK, but this is like a more personal conquering; I overcame my anxiety this week when I interviewed well on Monday, then had to wait until yesterday to find out I got the job.  So I am "retiring" from UPS as of the end of next week.  Seven years.  That's a good run for me.

17. General courses : TRENDS

18. "Could be worse" : "NOT SO BAD."

19. __ talks : MONEY - I pondered PEACE first

20. Ones in a mess, briefly : GIs

21. Celestial body : ORB - crossword staple, poetic "planet"

22. Chug-__ : A-LUG

23. Persuaded : SOLD

25. Instrument dating to the Paleolithic age : FLUTE - ah, an actual instrument; I was thinking along the lines of knife/axe/spade "tool" kind of instrument

27. "Go ahead" : "PLEASE DO."

29. One determining 17-Across : POLLER

32. Like most capital costs : ONE-TIME

39. Brody who was the youngest Best Actor Oscar winner : ADRIEN - I spelled it with two "A"s first

40. Contingency plan : RECOURSE

43. Double-check : RE-ADD

44. Old Italian capital : LIRE - and again, spelled it with an "A"

45. "__ oui!" : MAIS - Frawnche - but I have to let on, I have had a new handyman client who is French, and he's pretty cool - a little hard to understand at times, but....

46. Provoke : FAN - as in fanning the flames

47. San Francisco's __ Valley : NOE - perps; more West coast geography

48. Presages : BODES

49. Symbolic attitude? : EMOTICON - 😀

52. Star close to Venus? : SERENA - the tennis stars, that is - didn't fool me, got me a start in this corner

53. Field of dreams? : LA-LA LAND

54. Pucker-inducing : LEMONY

55. Denies : NAYSAYS

56. Parks with games : ARENAS


1. Digital image format : BITMAP

2. Jazz virtuoso Garner : ERROLL - my Google for the day; his Wiki

3. Street in Manhattan's Alphabet City : AVENUE C - in hindsight, filling in "AVENUE" and then waiting seemed like a good idea for getting a toe-hold

4. Salad bar item : VINEGAR

5. __ 500 : INDY

6. His, to Henri : SES - oui

8. Bypass : AVOID - there was no avoiding traffic last weekend out here - a holiday weekend that had all three routes to the North Fork jammed up - I got in and got out before the chaos ensued.  Apple pickers.  >:-P 😝

9. Last team to play in the Polo Grounds : METS - and back to the East coast; more here

10. Sounds from the stumped : Ers....

11. Base fig. : NCO - dah~!  Army base; I was thinking EST, NTH, etc.

12. Bulgur salad : TABOULI - no clue, filled via perps - the Wiki

13. Spruce (up) : SMARTEN

16. Swedish tennis great : EDBERG - seeing how I screwed up SAM BERG a few weeks ago, I looked this up just to be sure it was not "ED BERG"

23. Like some patches : SEWN-ON - I had this one on the back of my denim jacket in high school

ah, the youth of 1985

24. Harder to explain : ODDER

25. Precede : FOREGO

26. Inc. kin : LLC - oops, not LTD

28. Blackened from combustion : SOOTED - meh.  I went with SEARED

29. Exfoliation material : PUMICE

31. NFL Titan, once : OILER - from Houston

33. Pasta pellets in Jewish cuisine : FARFEL

34. Thoughtful guy? : IDEA MAN

35. Breakfast bar : GRANOLA

36. Sought anonymity : HID

37. "Just play along, okay?" : "HUMOR ME."

38. Exploit : TRADE ON

41. "Burnt" crayon color : SIENNA

42. Prose pieces : ESSAYS

44. More than a little foolish : LOONY

47. BCS org. : NCAA - Bowl Championship Series of the National Collegiate Athletic Assoc.

48. It's often tapped out : BEER

50. North Sea feeder : TAY - the longest river up in Scotland

51. They, in Tours : ILS - oui oui~!

52. Radical '70s org. : SLA


Notes from C.C.:

1) Congrats on the new job, Splynter!

2) Happy Birthday to dear Pat and her husband! They were born in the same day & same year. Pat was born in the morning, her husband in the afternoon. Pat loves dogs and has been volunteering in a animal shelter for many years.   

Sep 29, 2017

Friday, September 29, 2017, John Lampkin

Title: Roman Numeral switcheroo.

Another happy Friday with another of the good friends of the blog. John is such an accomplished and warm human being, it is hard not to like all of his work  I assume all "got" this theme as soon as the word "Roman" appeared so often. While there are countless words which include the letters which are also the Roman numerals, John limited his selection to the V and the X, with the perfect reveal. My first thought when I saw 1 Across was that all three letters were  Roman numerals. You don't see three letter theme fill often but this all worked for me, with no words longer than 8 letters. Your thoughts on this work are appreciated. Off we go....                                                                                                                                                                     
1A. Roman jet? : DC X. (3) The DC 10 was introduced into service in 1970. This one confused me because D and C are also Roman Numerals.

23A. Roman's advice to prevent an explosion? : COUNT TO X (8). Counting to 10 was a shortcut to meditation.

39A. Roman variety store? (and a hint to 10 other puzzle answers) : V AND X (5). The 5 and 10 was
an American institution, with WOOLWORTH being the epitome.

51A. Roman Shakespearean drama? : V ACT PLAY (8). Shakespeare was dedicated to this STRUCTURE.

70A. Roman graveyard shift hour? : AM. (3). When I used to work doubles at the rubber factory (2 PM to 6 AM) it was the last hour that was the hardest.

3D. Roman bowler's target? : X PIN (4). A CSO for Boomer!

4D. Roman musical family? : JACKSON V (8). Can you name all five?

26D. Roman bike? : X SPEED (6). Bicycles have become too complex for me.  They sell some for thousands of dollars.

27D. Roman "high" request? : GIMME V (6). These days this is one of the first things parents teach their children.

40D. Roman Scrabble Q-tile, e.g.? : POINTER (8). Ten points, and all those words that don't need a U.

57D. Roman's long golf hole? : PAR V (4). Another CSO to our golfing contingent, HG, BE, Moe and all of those I left out by accident.

Well, I am worn out just listing the 11 theme fill. So let's explore the rest.


4. Start of a rhyming Basque game: JAI. Alai. Long the fastest moving ball in SPORTS.

7. Reason to use an inhaler: ASTHMA.

13. Knock: RAP. Oh, I guess I can call it "knock" music.

14. Cry buckets: BAWL. The word had a different meaning in my youth.

15. Unexpected twist: SPRAIN. Amusing.

16. The record longest continuous ride on one is 105.57 miles: UNICYCLE. Who knew? This makes it a TRIBUTE puzzle.

18. Unlikely to ride a 16-Across well: KLUTZY. Too true.

19. Hunted Carroll critter: SNARK. More of his IMAGINATION, beyond Alice.

20. Balm-maker's plants: ALOES.

22. A.L. East team: BOSton.

27. '80s jeans: GITANOS. Still for SALE.

31. SOP part: Abbr. : STD. Standard.

32. "48 __": HRS.  The TV Show.

33. Assistant who didn't exist in Mary Shelley's novel: IGOR. Eegore, or Eyegor?

34. Whiskey order: NEAT. A clear CSO to Tinbeni.

36. "... beneath __ blue sky": Don Henley lyric: A DEEP. Not a sea but sky. LISTEN.

38. Stubborn equine: MULE.

41. Perry's creator: ERLE.

42. Dull finish: MATTE. JL is an avid and successful photographer as well a musician, ornithologist, entomologist and cruciverbalist - the modern Renaissance man.

44. F-__: STOP. Blushing?

45. A hothead has a short one: FUSE.

46. 67.5 deg.: ENE.

47. Item before a door: MAT.

49. Sack out: GO TO BED.

54. Bargain bin abbr.: IRRegular.

55. Bete __: NOIRE.

56. Immature dragonfly: NYMPH. I think of this when I see NYMPH, not THIS. What do you call a woman who is obsessed with immature dragonflies? Answer below....

59. Stereotypically stylish: UPTOWN. Saturday night.

62. Leaves port: SETS SAIL. Even when the ships do not have sails.

65. Facial feature named after an animal: GOATEE.

66. Muscovite's denial: NYET.

67. Whiskey option: RYE. Any Manhattan drinkers in our crowd?

68. They usually leave the park: HOMERS.

69. Key contraction: O'ER. Francis Scott - ramparts.


1. R and B's __ Hill: DRU. Not in my WHEELHOUSE.

2. Soup aisle array: CANS.

5. Hole-making tool: AWL.

6. Intestinal: ILEAC.

7. Invite on a date: ASK OUT.

8. NutraSweet competitor: SPLENDA. Both sweetener brand names - blue/yellow.

9. Have faith in: TRUST.

10. Noodle topper? : HAT. Noodle as head, not a form of pasta.

11. "Les __" : MIZ. Broadway.

12. At least one: ANY.

14. "... truth is always strange; / Stranger than fiction" poet: BYRON. From his poem, Don Juan.
"' Tis strange - but true; for truth is always strange;
Stranger than fiction; if it could be told,
How much would novels gain by the exchange!
How differently the world would men behold!"

17. "Willkommen" musical: CABARET.

21. Words on a reward poster: LOST DOG.

24. "... there's __!": Hamlet: THE RUB. Our Friday Shakespeare, but not all 5 acts.

25. Intimidating words: OR ELSE.

28. Exotic pet: IGUANA. These are neither exotic nor pets here; they roam freely unless and until a freeze. The past two winters were warm and their population has grown. They are 'affectionately' called "dem sumbitches" by an elderly neighbor woman.

29. Pre-Aztec Mexican: TOLTEC. I do not know much about this CIVILIZATION.

30. Multi-armed ocean critter: SEASTAR. We also discussed this before.  LINK.

35. Bad picnic omen: ANT. Below a JL original, in his words. "This ant is on the head of an Ambush Bug who had just killed and eaten a bee. The ant is enjoying the leftovers while grooming the bug. I actually photographed the whole sequence."

37. Gets bent out of shape: DEFORMS. A pun here if you like the word.

43. Authorize: EMPOWER.

48. Dior designs: A-LINES.

50. Secret hot date: TRYST.

52. Fed. bill: T-NOTE.

53. Simple question type: YES/NO.

58. Casual greeting: HI-YA.

59. "That stinks!" : UGH.

60. Nanki-__: POO. The Mikado.

61. Bagpiper's hat: TAM. I understand the geographic connection, but I see more like...

63. Anatomical orb: EYE.

64. Apollo lander, briefly: LEM. How cool that dear JL ends with a CSO to yours truly.

Yesterday, Harper turned two and today my baby is celebrating his 29th birthday. Tonight we start the fasting for Yom Kippur, which lasts until an hour past sundown Saturday. Party time. Thank you, John and all who read. Gamar Tov. Lemonade out.

Answer: An entomologist!           

Sep 28, 2017

Thursday, September 28th 2017 Derek Bowman

Theme: Food! And solve the reveal, solve the puzzle. First the reveal:

34A. Clue for 20-, 23-, 48- and 52-Across : TIME FOR DINNER! Yay, Food!

and then:

20A. See 34-Across : COME AND GET IT! Yay, Food! And Yay! 50's pin-up art!

23A. See 34-Across : SOUP'S ON! Yay, Food!

48A. See 34-Across : LET'S EAT! Yay, Food!

52A. See 34-Across : SUPPER'S READY! Yay, Food!

Blecho. I'm calling it. Blogger's Echo. Yay, Food!

I have to practice my Spanish before class tomorrow, so - Hoy es jueves, el vienteocho de Septiembre, dos mil diecisiete. I'll go back and proof that later :) As always, corrections welcome!

What a nice puzzle from Derek. I went top-to-bottom with this one but stopped to smell the coffee on the way. The theme came early for me - I had a fill-in-the-blank for 20A, more than half of 23A - I tried SOUP'S UP! first, but once that was fixed it was pretty much a done deal. But look at:

  • WHITE PERCH/FISH FILLET symmetry and a great connection between the two
  • The two upper and two lower themers stacked on four letters. That's not easy to do
  • There's still room for SATIRIST and ASBESTOS in the across and
  • DIET PLAN/MEN'S SHOP in the downs

... and not a clunker to be upset about in the fill. I think is is one of the nicest-constructed puzzles of the year. Two fantastic clues, we'll get to those in a minute Let's go!


1. Historic spans : ERAS

5. 2012 World Series MVP Sandoval : PABLO

10. FiveThirtyEight fodder : DATA. Opinion-data-driven website

14. Ristorante bottle : VINO

15. "Let's call it __": "We're even" : A DRAW

16. Spring flower : IRIS. How weird. I was just looking up the guitar chords for this song today. Put a capo at the 4th fret and off you go.

17. Disney CEO since 2005 : IGER

18. Small, silvery Chesapeake Bay swimmer : WHITE PERCH. I saw what you did there, Derek. Is the symmetrical 56A related much? Of course. Nice work.

22. Experiment : TRIAL

27. National Lampoon writer, typically : SATIRIST

31. Old West gunslinger Jack : SLADE

32. Hand over : CEDE

33. State with conviction : AVOW

40. Spray holder : VASE

41. Casino game : FARO. I've never played this game. It's a little dated, but the history is interesting.

42. __ acids: protein components : AMINO

44. Fireproofing construction mineral banned in many countries : ASBESTOS. I remember helping my Dad with the honey-do list when I was a kid. My job when we were putting up shelves and anything else that required drilling holes in walls (before the days of plastic plugs) was mixing up the cement to stuff into the holes. It was 99% asbestos fiber.

50. Bit of land : ISLET

56. Boneless seafood cut : FISH FILLET. See 18A, Smart.

59. Nonstick cookware brand : TFAL

60. Reverberate : ECHO

61. Chips go-with : SALSA

62. Online page : SITE

63. Profound : DEEP

64. Owner of Regency hotels : HYATT. I have a story about the Hyatt at Denver Tech Center. Basically, a great bar with some interesting characters.

65. At any point : EVER


1. Kick out : EVICT

2. Hardships : RIGORS

3. Iron deficiency concern : ANEMIA

4. Upset with : SORE AT

5. Chess piece that may be promoted : PAWN

6. Condition treated by Ritalin, briefly : ADHD

7. Sailor's jail : BRIG

8. Most recent : LATEST

9. Have financing from : OWE TO

10. Jenny Craig offering : DIET PLAN Food! Wait! Not Food! Are you calling me on a cellular phone? Crank Call! Crank Call!

11. LAX incoming flight : ARR. Usually bouncy over the mountains over San Bernardino from the south/east or Ventura from the north, then ARR!!!! Land like a Pirate!

12. Muscle spasm : TIC

13. Volcanic output : ASH

19. __ XIII: Title role in "The Young Pope" : PIUS

21. Pulitzer winner Walker : ALICE

24. File menu command : SAVE

25. Aroma : ODOR

26. Just announced : NEW

28. Two-legged zebra : REF. Clue of the day. This is great. Football "zebra" referee. Here is Ed "Sun's out, guns out" Hochuli of the NFL, one of the best in the business. When players come over to argue a call he can either out-bench them or challenge them to an arm-wresting contest to decide the issue.

29. Swear words : I DO. Great clue again. Two for the day.

30. Feudal workers : SERFS

34. Hardly envelope-pushing : TAME

35. "Do you really think so?" : IS IT?

36. Haberdashery : MEN'S SHOP. Funny, I thought it was a shop selling buttons, fabric and what-not, not just for men. My school played yearly cricket, rugby and soccer fixtures against Haberdashers' Aske's school in London.

I wouldn't have had any idea where to place the apostrophes unless a) I worked there ( didn't) or b) I looked it up to check (I did).

We usually won the soccer, lost the cricket and generally went to-and-fro at at the rugby.

37. Blot gently : DAB

38. Cork's home: Abbr. : IRE. Both the county and the city in the Republic of Ireland.

39. Respectful negative : NO, SIR

40. Kilmer of "Tombstone" : VAL

43. Ingredient in une omelette : OEUF. Food! There's better be more than un ouef in my omelette, otherwise there will be trouble. The "Love" score in tennis comes from the shape of an egg. "Federer with the serve, fifteen-l'ouef". Then eventually AD-IN and AD-OUT, beloved of crossword compilers. I think I used AD-IN in my first published solo, I'll have to go back and check.

44. Having fun : AT PLAY

45. Scary African fly : TSETSE

46. 1380s Norwegian king : OLAF IV.

47. Unruffled : SEDATE

49. Very silly : APISH. I can deal with APISH. APER I can't.

51. "House of Payne" creator __ Perry : TYLER. Thank you, crosses.

53. Frequent collaborator with Louis and Duke : ELLA

54. Take a nap : REST

55. Doc's "Right away" : STAT!

56. Nourished : FED

57. Sprain treatment : ICE. And wrapping and heat.

58. "Thar __ blows!" : SHE."Thar she blows, there she blows again..." Oh wait, misheard lyrics? It's a bit late for a music link, but I like this one! Not quite a mondegreen, but close.

Enter, stage left  - "The Grid"

Exit - Steve, amidst Alarums and Excursions

Sep 27, 2017

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - Bruce Haight

Theme - HOMOPHONIA.  Silly three-word phrases starting with the letter A, and having the indefinite article A in the middle constitute internal echoes.  Actually, the clues themselves are also quite silly.  Call me crazy, but I love the word play in this theme.

17 A. Fall in love with something at the home improvement center? : ADORE A DOOR.  Furniture and appliances are OK, but seldom give you this kind of an opening.

25 A. Bring Bugs into harmony? : ATTUNE A TOON.  TOONS, of course, are cartoon characters.  Bugs is one of the truly great TOONs, and great TOON singers.  And how could he be more ATTUNED than this?

37 A. Get voices in all ranges? : ACQUIRE A CHOIR.  Sopranos, altos, tenors and basses [not to be confused with 61A.]  Anyway, there are no bugs here.

52 A. Severely criticize the store special? : ASSAIL A SALE.  This is a correct usage for ASSAIL - I checked.  Any time you come to The Corner, you get your money's worth

61 A. Criticize the stringed instrument? : ABASE A BASS.  More like degrade than criticize.  But bassist Christian McBride, who I had the great pleasure of preforming with a couple years ago, is above reproach.

Hi, Gang.  JazzBumpa on duty.  Let's see what else Bruce has in store for us.


1. Got taller : GREW.  Use gruesome in a sentence.  OK.  I visited my grandchildren in PA last week.  Since the last time I saw them, they gruesome.

5. Etching supplies : ACIDS.  A mask is used to protect the rest of the surface, and ACID etches into the exposed area to create an image.

10. Ski area in Utah's Wasatch Mountains : ALTA.

14. See 66-Across : RACE.   Here it is --

66. With 14-Across, event with batons : RELAY.  A track and field event of a set distance in which each team has several runners [usually 4.]  At the end of a runner's turn, the baton is handed off to the next runner.

15. Bad news for the waiter : NO TIP.   Rude, too.  We give a minimum 20%, and usually in cash.

16. Classic cars : REOS.   Ransom E. Olds started the Olds Motor Vehicle Company in 1897.  This later became Oldsmobile, a division of General Motors.  He left the company on 1905 and started the REO Motor Car Company in 1905.  It remained in operation until 1975, when assets were liquidated in a bankruptcy proceeding.

19. "Pretty please?" : MAY I.  Childish begging.

20. "Frasier" role : NILES.  Brother of the eponym, Frasier Crane, played by David Hyde Pierce and Kelsey Grammer, respectively. 

21. Debuting on screen : NEW.

23. iPhone, e.g., briefly : PDA Personal Data Assistant.  Anyone still have a Blackberry?

24. Scooby-__ : DOO.  Toon dog.  I was never a fan.

30. Golf tee, e.g. : PEG.

31. "Flashdance...What a Feeling" singer Cara : IRENE.

32. Barbecue pair : TONGS.  A device with two movable arms, either joined at one end or in the middle, used to pick up and hold things.

33. Solo in a spotlight : ARIA.  This is the Italian word for air [not to be confused with Ned Stark's younger daughter.]  An air is simply a song, but an ARIA is a dramatic solo in a opera.   I'm not a fan.

35. Smallish batteries : AAs.

36. Med. condition with repetitive behavior : OCDObsessive Compulsive Behavior.  Every time I type that, I have to go wash my hands.

42. Colony resident : ANT.  Usually under ground.

43. Gallery filler : ART.

44. Went like crazy : SPED.

46. Second thought : DOUBT.

49. Get fuzzy, as vision : BLEAR.

51. Grand __ Opry : OLE.  A weekly country music concert in Nashville, Tennessee, founded in 1925.   Not a fan of this either.

54. "Breaking Bad" org. : DEADrug Enforcement Agency.

55. Org. offering written and road tests : DMV.  Department of Motor Vehicles.

56. Mason jar attachment : LID.  That tops it off.

57. Humdrum : BANAL.  Vapid, insipid, old-hat.

59. Start bubbling : BOIL.  No toil, no trouble, just turn on the heat.

65. Greek peak : OSSA.   Because Etna is in Sicily.

67. Site with tech reviews : c|net.  Technology oriented website

68. __ end : DEAD.  The termination of a road or passage with no exit.  Figuratively, any kind of impasse.

69. Wild West transport : STAGE.  A stagecoach was a closed, horse-drawn vehicle used to carry passengers and mail along regular routes

70. Run-of-the-mill : SO-SO.  Mediocre.


1. __ Joe, Charlie's companion on his tour of Wonka's chocolate factory : GRANDPA.

2. Time before TV : RADIO ERA.  Back in the day.

3. Environment-related : ECOLOGIC.

4. "Where __ you?" : WERE.  Time for excuses.

5. Actress Ortiz of "Ugly Betty" : ANA.  [b 1971] Singer, actress, and domestic abuse advocate.

6. Fish sticks fish : COD.

7. Midori on the ice : ITO.  Olympic skater.  Many videos of various length here.

8. Pop singer Warwick : DIONNE.

9. Binge : SPREE.

10. Reliever's asset : ARM.  Baseball relief pitcher.

11. Seize, as an opportunity : LEAP ON.

12. Pooch in your lap, maybe : TOY DOG.  A breed of dog that has been bred to a reduced size.

13. Most people : ASIANS.  Asia is by far the largest continent, and has by far the highest population density.

18. Actor Morales : ESAI.  Frequent crossword visitor.

22. Keep an eye on : WATCH.  Would you keep an eye on my WATCH, please?

26. Personal attribute : TRAIT. A genetically determined characteristic.

27. Rip (up) : TEAR.  Forcefully pull apart

28. Opens, as an official document : UNSEALS.  Without TEARING it, one would hope.

29. Commotions : TO-DOS.  Disturbances, fracases, brouhahas.

34. Jordan's only port : AQABA.  Located at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba, which extends N-N-E from the Red Sea.

36. In base eight : OCTAL.  My eyes glazed over pretty quickly, but if you're interested in base 8, you can read about it here.

38. No later than : UNTIL.

39. Space : AREA.

40. Tiny tunes player : IPOD NANO. A portable media player, now in it's 7th generation.

41. Big events for film studios : RELEASES.

45. Gives a hand : DEALS TO.   Aha - cards, not a helping hand.

46. Somewhat flabby male physique, informally : DAD-BOD.   Never heard this term before, but I guess I have one.

47. Diffuse slowly through a membrane : OSMOSE.   Moving from the side of the barrier with greater concentration to the side with lesser concentration.

48. Permit to enter the States : U.S. VISA.  Allows the visitor to enter, leave or stay for a specified period.

49. Unwise wager : BAD BET.

50. Country's McEntire : REBA.  [b 1955] Singer, song writer, actress, record producer, and eponym for a TV show.

53. Whopper creators : LIARS.  Prevaricators, not burger flippers.

58. Basics : ABCs.  Early steps.

60. Young chap : LAD.

62. According to : A LA.  Common in English, adopted from French. (Cf. 46 D)

63. Give in to gravity : SAG.  As telephone wires, or protruding body parts.

64. Word after eagle or hawk : EYE.  Either way, sharp vision.

That wraps it up.  Hope you had fun with it.

Cool regards!


Sep 26, 2017

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 ~ Peter Gordon

Theme: Sing, Sing, Sing! - Three musical numbers from a 1957 Broadway production.

20. Julie Andrews' "The Sound of Music" role: MARIA VON TRAPP

25. Jimmy Fallon hosts it: THE TONIGHT SHOW

43. Avengers member with a patriotic shield: CAPTAIN AMERICA

50. 9/26/1957 Broadway debut featuring the consecutive songs found at the start of 20-Across, the middle of 25-Across and the end of 43-Across: WEST SIDE STORY

Argyle here. The theme was lost on me until I read the full reveal. Clever.


1. Sales pitch: SPIEL

6. Outback birds: EMUs

10. Sunup: DAWN

14. Café lure: AROMA

15. Clickable webpage word: LINK

16. Home to billions: ASIA

17. Grass shortener: MOWER

18. Apart from that: ELSE

19. Slightly wet: DAMP

23. Risk, e.g.: GAME

24. Healthful berry: ACAI

31. "Homeland" spy org.: CIA. (Central Intelligence Agency) Homeland is a TV series on Showtime and is in its sixth season.

32. Taxi: CAB

33. Nebraska city: OMAHA

34. "Apocalypse Now" setting, familiarly: NAM

35. Gathering for fans of graphic novels, anime, etc.: COMICON. (comic book convention or comic-con)

38. Delivery vehicle: VAN

39. Painting need: BRUSH

41. Microwave: ZAP

42. Valuable rock: ORE

48. Tolstoy's Karenina: ANNA. 864 pages; too late for a summer read.

49. Dutch cheese: EDAM

55. With 50-Down, tightrope walker's place: HIGH. 50-Down. See 55-Across: WIRE

56. Oscar winner Kazan: ELIA. Best Director—"Gentleman's Agreement"(1948) and "On the Waterfront"(1955) Also, Academy Honorary Award—Lifetime Achievement(1999)

57. Aquafina rival: EVIAN. Bottled water products; Aquafina - Pepsi, EVIAN - Danone(French)

59. Craving: URGE

60. Accelerates, with "up": REVS

61. Foolish: DIPPY

62. Military meal: MESS. 63. Cafeteria carrier: TRAY. Good pairing.

64. V-formation fliers: GEESE. They are starting to form up now.


1. "Casablanca" pianist: SAM

2. Formal school dance: PROM

3. Corn Belt state: IOWA

4. Rise into view: EMERGE

5. Cattleman's rope: LARIAT

6. Late morning hr.: ELEVEN AM

7. Venus de __: MILO

8. Disentangle: UNSNAG

9. Quick drawing: SKETCH

10. Arp's art movement: DADAISM. Dada was not so much a style of art like Cubism or Fauvism; it was more a protest movement with an anti-establishment manifesto.

11. Right away, in a memo: ASAP. (as soon as possible)

12. Namby-pamby person: WIMP

13. Midday snooze: NAP

21. Gas brand that had a torch in its logo: AMOCO

22. Florida's Boca __: RATON

25. Pageant winner's crown: TIARA

26. Exaggerate, as a stage role: HAM UP

27. Spanish island in the Mediterranean: IBIZA

28. Devastation that's wreaked: HAVOC

29. Scarlett of Tara: O'HARA. Gone with the Wind

30. Decrease in intensity: WANE

31. "Closing Bell" channel: CNBC. (Originally, the Consumer News and Business Channel.) The show is named after the bell that is rung to signify the end of a trading session.

35. Repetitive shout at a protest: CHANT

36. Required little effort: CAME EASY

37. Newspaper opinion pieces: OP ED's

40. Secret supplies: STASHES

44. Add to text, as a missing letter: INSERT

45. Carpenter, at times: NAILER

46. Suitable for all ages, filmwise: RATED G

47. Apple software for creating videos: iMOVIE

51. Omelet ingredients: EGGS. Gotta break 'em to make an omelet.

52. Prima donna: DIVA

53. Ready for picking: RIPE

54. Toy dog's barks: YAPS

55. Play a kazoo: HUM

58. TV's "Science Guy": NYE


Sep 25, 2017

Monday, September 25, 2017 ~ C.C. Burnikel

Theme: ROAR! - A set of four lions but don't be scared; they are encircled.

16-Across. "Is that your __?": "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" inquiry: FINAL ANSWER. Nala, from The Lion King.

10-Down. Quaint light during a power outage: GAS LANTERN. Aslan, from The Chronicles of Narnia series.

61-Across. Colorful burger topper: PURPLE ONION. Leo, mascot of MGM.

28-Down. Secure places for guests' valuables: HOTEL SAFES. Elsa, from Born Free.

36-Down. Hostile place ... and where to find the circled animals in this puzzle: LIONS DEN

Argyle here with a classic pinwheel from C.C., very Monday friendly. All theme entries span two words. A vertical reveal, if you needed it. If you didn't have circles, you probably did.


1. Party thrower: HOST

5. Seasoned rice dish: PILAF

10. Practical joke: GAG

13. Classroom "I know this one!": "OH!, OH!"

14. Sandwich chain known for artisan bread: PANERA

15. "__ you kidding?": ARE

18. Moral wrong: SIN

19. Blender brand with an -izer product suffix: OSTER. Osterizer but their web site only calls them Oster® Blenders.

20. Spam container: TIN

21. Board in a window shutter: SLAT

22. Amazon: Alexa :: Apple: __: SIRI

24. Malia Obama's sister: SASHA

26. Canyon feedback: ECHO

29. Surg. facilities: ORs. (operating rooms)

31. Touch of color: TINCT. Got me, tried TINGE.

34. Request for eye contact: "LOOK AT ME!". More often a demand.

36. Utterly detest: LOATHE

37. Acct. earnings: INT. (interest)

38. Start of a formal letter: DEAR SIR

40. Shade tree: ELM

41. Time-tested: AGE OLD

43. Library return spot: BOOK DROP

45. Nick of "A Walk in the Woods": NOLTE. A Walk in the Woods, a 2015 film by Ken Kwapis, based a 1998 book by Bill Bryson. Two friends attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail..

46. __-dried tomatoes: SUN

47. Bills in a tip jar: ONEs

48. Remove sheets from, as a bed: STRIP

51. Tiny time meas.: PSEC. picosecond - one trillionth of a second.

53. "See ya, Luigi": "CIAO"

55. Alumna bio word: NÉE

57. Monopoly cards: DEEDS

60. Punch-in-the-gut reaction: [OOF!]

64. Broke a fast: ATE

65. Annual golf or tennis tournament: US OPEN

66. "Yay me!": "TA-DA!"

67. "Viva __ Vegas": LAS

68. All wound up: TENSE

69. Thick cut of meat: SLAB


1. Sports inst. in Cooperstown: HOF.(Hall of Fame)

2. Akron's state: OHIO

3. Family boys: SONS

4. "Don't sweat it": "THAT'S OK"

5. Omelet cooker: PAN

6. The "I" in MIT: Abbr.: INST. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

7. Novelist C.S. __: LEWIS. Author of The Chronicles of Narnia series.

8. Concert venue: ARENA

9. In the distance: FAR

11. Diva's solo: ARIA

12. Courteous fellow: GENT

14. Repeated mindlessly: PARROTED

17. Flower wreath: LEI

21. Muslim denomination: SHIA

23. "__ la Douce": IRMA

25. Bird on birth announcements: STORK

26. González in 2000 headlines: ELIAN. The young boy embroiled in a heated international custody and immigration controversy. Wiki

27. Second longest African river: CONGO

30. Belgrade natives: SERBS

32. Actress Sevigny: CHLOË  Wikipedia

33. Weather numbers, briefly: TEMPs

35. Psychologist Alfred: ADLER. Founder of the school of individual psychology.

39. Salad go-with: SOUP

42. "Beetle Bailey" dog: OTTO

44. Museum guides: DOCENTs

49. Unavailable at the moment: [IN USE]

50. Evita's married name: PERON

52. Fair-hiring abbr.: EEO. (Equal Employment Opportunity)

53. Stuff for Frosty's eyes: COAL. the Snowman.

54. Greek "i": IOTA

56. "Almost Christmas" actor Omar: EPPS. Almost Christmas is a 2016 American Christmas comedy-drama film written and directed by David E. Talbert and starring Kimberly Elise, Mo'Nique, Nicole Ari Parker, Gabrielle Union, Keri Hilson, Jessie Usher, Danny Glover, Omar Epps, John Michael Higgins, D.C. Young Fly and Romany Malco. The film follows a dysfunctional family that comes together for the holidays for the first time since their mother's death. Wiki.

58. Rotary phone part: DIAL

59. Coke or ginger ale: SODA

61. __ up with: tolerate: PUT

62. Director Spike: LEE

63. Arrest: NAB


Sep 24, 2017

Sunday September 24, 2017 Matt McKinley

Theme:  "Encapsulating" - N is added to each theme entry.

23A. Designated meditation area? : CHANT ROOM. Chat room.

25A. Key to a discography including "Purple Rain"? : PRINCE INDEX. Price index. 

46A. Vacant look, e.g.? : TRANCE ELEMENT. Trace element.

69A. Tirade from an underground worker? : SEWER RANT. Sewer rat.

90A. Elegant knight's accoutrement? : SATIN AND LANCE. Satin and lace.

112A. New Englander from Lhasa? : TIBETAN YANK. Tibetan yak. We also have 34. Lhasa __: small dog : APSO

114A. Viper's bar order? : SNAKE PINT. Snake pit.

32D. What to click in response to an offensive tweet? : RESENT BUTTON. Reset button.

42D. Insufficient medley? : SCANT SINGING. Scat singing.

Most of N's are added after A, two are after I.

The grid is also very nicely designed, with 7 Across, 2 Downs. Four of the non-theme fill (all sparkly) are of the same length of the theme entries. Sometimes solvers can mistaken them for theme entries, but today's ? in the theme entries should make things clear.

1. Parcel of land : TRACT

6. Confused state : FOG

9. Chapter XXVIII of "Moby-Dick" : AHAB. Obtainable. Never read the book.

13. Creator of a quirky cartoon family : ADDAMS. The Addams Family.

19. Island veranda : LANAI. What a luxury.

20. Old cereal box no. : RDA. Also 75. Cereal brand since 1955 : SPECIAL K. Do you all eat cold cereal for breakfast? 

21. __ Alto : PALO

22. Vacation option : CRUISE. Lemonade just had a short one.

27. Writer known for his surprise endings : O. HENRY

28. Old lemon : EDSEL. Not our Lemonade.

29. Pick : ELECT

30. Longtime TV host Carol : BURNETT

33. Expansive : VAST

36. Dots in l'océan : ILEs

37. Lift : UPRAISE. I use RAISE UP.

40. Exist : ARE

41. Library attention-getter : PSST. I have not been to our local library for years.

45. Purity meas. : KTS (Karats)

49. Annual report VIP : CEO. And 77. 49-Acrosses lead them : COs

50. Quaint "before" : ERE

51. High school phase for many : ANGST

52. Testing site : LAB. I've been eating more meat. Hope my CBC results trend better next time. 

53. Oral dozen : MOLARs

55. Got out of the stable, say : RAN FREE

57. "Platoon" setting : NAM. Marc Maron had a great interview with Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.  

60. Atlantic and Pacific, e.g. : TIME ZONES. China only has one time zone: Beijing Standard Time.

62. Lincoln in-law : TODD

63. One who doesn't stay put : NOMAD

65. Bard's bedtime : EEN

66. __ Reader : UTNE

67. Southampton sword : SABRE. Alliteration.

71. Smartened (up) : WISED

72. Stopper : PLUG

73. Water control project : DAM. Tough hurricane season.

74. Hound attraction : SCENT

75. Spanish ayes : SI SI

76. Fashionable sort? : LATECOMER. Fashionably late.

79. Witch : HAG

80. In abundance : APLENTY

83. Emcee responsibilities : INTROS

84. Opposite of pref. : SUF. OK, suffix.

86. Dominated : OWNED

88. "That's surprising" : GEE

89. Loving murmur : COO

94. Tap choice, for short : IPA

95. Lombardy Castle city : ENNA. Have not seen this fill for a few months.

97. USO show audience : GIs

98. "Me too" : SO HAVE I

99. Tech news website : CNET

100. Browning, e.g. : POET

102. Rocky areas?: Abbr. : MTNs. Rocky Mountains.

103. Oversees : MANAGES

105. Unemotional : STOIC. My grandma was a stoic. Never complained about her bound feet.

108. Farewell that's bid : ADIEU

110. One of two using matched weapons : DUELER

118. Storied restaurant : ALICE'S. Alice's Restaurant.

119. Suit to __ : A TEE

120. Fallen space station : MIR

121. Rink fakes : DEKES

122. Hems in : BESETS

123. Hires competitor : DAD'S. Never had root beer.
124. BART stop, e.g. : STA

125. Rarely ordered food? : STEAK. Great clue!

1. Comfort during a tough time, for short : TLC

2. Bleachers sound : RAH

3. California's Santa __ River : ANA

4. Camera choices : CANONS

5. 10% donation : TITHE

6. Like the biggest stories : FRONT PAGE. Boomer has to have his breakfast with newspaper.

7. Smell : ODOR

8. Reminiscent of venison : GAMY

9. Soothe : APPEASE

10. Aggressive marketing : HARD SELL. CenturyLink has been aggressive.

11. Posh party invitees : A-LIST

12. Doggy bag item : BONE

13. Expert : ACE

14. Hangs on a line : DRIES

15. Longtime rubber company : DUNLOP. They make golf balls also.

16. Personal assistant : AIDE

17. PC speed unit : MSEC. Millisecond.
18. Suggestive message : SEXT. Hey, it's cool to own a flip phone. Look at Anna Wintour.

24. Took back : RETURNED

26. Shannon's county : CLARE

30. Yamaha user : BIKER

31. Extreme : ULTRA. Look at these dirty jeans at Nordstrom. $425. This will drive our PK nuts.

33. Fight (for) : VIE

35. Writers : PENMEN

38. ICU personnel : RNs

39. Infomercial urging : ACT NOW

40. Completely surrounding : AMBIENT

43. Calm : SERENE

44. Like green salads : TOSSED.  Dole's Sesame Asian salad kit is tasty.

46. Time for una siesta : TARDE. Afternoon.

47. Down : EAT

48. From A __ : TO Z

54. Title name that "Every little breeze seems to whisper," in a Chevalier song : LOUISE. Here it is. Boomer knows the song. I don't.

56. One may be exposed by an expert : FORGER

58. Iowa State city : AMES

59. Spring time : MARCH

61. First got acquainted : MET. Oh read this story (Facebook Figured Out My Family Secrets, And It Won't Tell Me How).

63. Serious foe : NEMESIS

64. De Matteo of "The Sopranos" : DREA

67. Do film editing work : SPLICE

68. Program with steps : AL-ANON. Good luck with the interview tomorrow, Splynter!

69. Green eggs advocate : SAM. And Ham.

70. Namibia neighbor : ANGOLA

71. Author who wrote "Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life" : WILDE

73. Two pills, perhaps : DOSAGE
78. More than trot : RUN

80. "Archie Bunker's Place" co-star : ANNE MEARA

81. Plains dwelling : TEPEE

82. Dublin-born poet : YEATS

85. Nailed, say : FASTENED

87. Sound file suffix : WAV. A la Wiki: Waveform Audio File Format (WAVE, or more commonly known as WAV due to its filename extension).

91. Business baron : TITAN

92. Cold War protest sign slogan : NO NUKES

93. They don't play the field: Abbr. : DHs (Designated Hitters)

96. Each : APIECE

99. Floor covering : CARPET

101. Two trios and a duo : OCTET. Eight-piece. Here is the Eight-Treasure Porridge I make in the cold months. You must have glutinous rice. I also prefer Aldi's Medjool dates.

102. Mazda sports car : MIATA

104. Requirements : NEEDS

105. Shot in the dark : STAB

106. Floor covering : TILE

107. Kimono holders : OBIs

109. Twosome : DYAD

110. Mil. awards : DSMs. DSM: Distinguished Service Medal.

111. Quart, say : UNIT

113. Pack animal : ASS

115. '50s White House nickname : IKE

116. 1995 Tony honoree for Excellence in the Theatre: Abbr. : NEA. Unaware of the trivia.

117. Sound of reproach : TSK