Showing posts with label Adele Mann. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Adele Mann. Show all posts

Mar 18, 2009

Wednesday March 18, 2009 Adele Mann

Theme: Natural Elevations


29A: Candy bar, formally: PETER PAUL MOUNDS

47A: Pennsylvania destination: POCONO MOUNTAINS


Refreshing to see "Wales" as a clue today. Our editor likes to clue WALE as "Corduroy ridge". It's the only gimme theme answer to me. Does the apostrophe bother you?

I've never heard of PETER PAUL MOUNDS. Thought the candy bar might be called Peter, Paul & Mary or something. It seems that both AS OLD AS THE HILLS and "As old as Methuselah" are from the Bible.

I really like the theme entries today. Very consistent. All of them are at the end of the phrases and all in plural forms.

Some of the fills strike me as very obscure. The intersection of CLUJ & JEHU was utterly impossible for me.


1A: Strasbourg's region: ALSACE. Between France & Germany. ALSACE -Lorraine was annexed by Germany in 1871 after the Franco-Prussian War and returned to France by the Treaty of Versailles (1919).

7A: City in Transylvania: CLUJ. Only till 1974. It's now called CLUJ-Napoca, the third largest city in Romania. Aburdly hard!

11A: Govt. med. grp.: HRA. Health Reimbursement Account/Arrangement. Was this a gimme to you? I really have problem remembering this program.

16A: Greek Aurora: EOS. Goddess of dawn. Sister of Helios (God of sun). Jimmy in S Carolina posted a great poem named "Rosaline" on the blog Comments section last night. Some of the lines are very sensual: "... Her cheeks are like the blushing cloud /That beautifies Aurora's face... Her paps are centres of delight /Her breasts are ORBS of heavenly frame...". Beautiful poem.

25A: Chapel Hill inst.: UNC. Mia Hamm's alma mater. The Tar Heels.

28A: Hubbubs: DINS. Instinctively wrote down ADOS.

34A: Defoe character: CRUSOE. Interesting, Wikipedia says "Robinson CRUSOE" is sometimes regarded as the first novel in English. It's published in 1719.

37A: Star Wars letters: SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative). Reagan's program. Have you read anything by Patti Davis? I kind of like her style. Simple & elegant.

39A: Old Turkish title: AGA

43A: Saxophonist Mulligan: GERRY. No idea. Was he the guy who spoke?

54A: Waiting to bat: ON DECK. I mis-read the clue as "Waiting to bait".

66A: Serpent tail?: INE. Serpentine. "Hero tail?" too. The new editor might use the IN E approach.

67A: Paddock papa: SIRE. Don't google, tell me who SIRED War Admiral?

68A: Turkish inn: IMARET. Sigh. How can I remember this word. MARE between IT?

71A: Diarist Pepys: SAMUEL. Often see PEPYS clued as "Diarist Samuel". Anyway, Pepys is pronounced the same as "peeps". He recorded the 1666 London fire in his diary. 1666 is often called Annus Mirabilis (Year of Miracles). I really hope the stock market has reached its bottom and this year will not become an Annus Horribilis for us.


2D: "__ Girs": LES. See this poster. Got it this time.

4D: Dahl and Francis: ARLENES

5D: USN rank: CMDR. Who does CMDR report to and who reports to him?

7D: Component of some TV: CRT

9D: Shoshones: UTES. They live in Utah and W Colorado. The University of Utah's sports team is called Utah UTES. What are those white stuff on the left of letter U? Feathers? This picture is clearer.

10D: King of Israel (842-815 B.C.): JEHU. No idea, the year range means nothing to me. What was he famous for? Wikipedia says "The speed of Jehu" was once a common idiom in America. Very fast? Very slow? Just right?

11D: Kept back: HELD IN

12D: Dancer Petit: ROLAND. Nope. Don't know this French guy. His lips are so thin, must be a glib talker.

18D: Predatory shorebird: SKUA. Always thought SKUAS live in Arctic. Turns out you can find them in Antarctic too.

19D: Kashmir river: INDUS. Unknown to me. See this map. The River is on the east side of Kashmir. It originated in Tibet, China and flows into the Arabian Sea.

22D: Pet protection grp.: SPCA

26D: Crux: NUB. NUB, nib & neb often confuse me.

27D: Book of "The Alexandria Quartet": CLEA. Gimme for Ink I am sure. She's been reading this Quartet. My answer was COMA.

30D: Al of the '50s Indians: ROSEN. Ah, gimme. Another great old time Jewish baseball player is Dodgers' Sandy Koufax, who refused to pitch for Game 1 of the 1965 World Series (against the Twins) because it fell on Yom Kippur.

31D: Pitcher Martinez: PEDRO. Another gimme. He has won Cy Young. He sucked every time I watched him pitch. Don't know which team he wants to go this year. Indians?

32D: Actress Follows: MEGAN. Got her name from across fills. Have never never heard of this Canadian actress. Interesting "Follows". Is there anyone surnamed Leads?

33D: Pictures of illusions: OP ART. Thought of MIRAGES.

40D: 20% of CCLXV: LIII. Roman 53.

41D: Ms. Rowlands: GENA. I forgot. Which movie is she famous for again?

43D: Hooked by a horn: GORED. Ouch! I really like Borked. If GORED became a real word, what would be your definition?

44D: Mirror image?: YOU. Depends on who is looking at the mirror at the moment.

46D: Layered pavement: MACADAM. This is another word I keep remembering then keep forgetting. It's named after the Scottish engineer John Loudon McAdam who invented this crused stone pavement method. Wonder why they added an extra letter A. Easy to prounounce?

47D: Oracle of Delphi region: PHOCIS. First encounter with this region. Here is the map. It's on the upper right corner. Wikipedia mentions that this region is mainly pastroral, neither rich in material resources nor well placed for commercial enterprise. No large cities grew up within its territory, and its chief places were mainly of strategic importance.

48D: Wife of Paris: OENONE. I could only think of Helen. OENONE is an Oread (mountain nymph). This lady must drink lots of wine, since OENO is the Greek prefix for wine (Vino in Roman).

55D: Crescent end: CUSP. Not familiar with this astrology definition.

58D: "Topaz" author: URIS. See this bookcover. I just realized this morning that some of Leon URIS books have very scrabbly titles: "Exodus", "The Haj" and "QB VIII".

63D: Soviet mil. intelligence: GRU (Glavnoe Razvedyvatel'noe Upravlenie, Russian for (Chief Intelligence Directorate). It appeared in our puzzle before. Wikipedia shows that GRU still exists. And it's Russia's largest intelligence agency. So the clue is not accurate.


Mar 10, 2009

Tuesday March 10, 2009 Adele Mann

Theme: Watered Down

17A: Tabloid talk show host: RICKI LAKE

66A: "Young Frankenstein" director: MEL BROOKS

11D: "Enter Talking" writer: JOAN RIVERS

30D: "Caribbean Queen" singer: BILLY OCEAN

Those people are ALL WET!

I am not familiar with RICKI LAKE. JOAN RIVERS is too much for me, so acerbic her tongue. Her daughter Melissa is equally intimidating. BILLY OCEAN revealed himself after I filled in all the crosses.

I suppose there is no famous people with surnames like LAKES or OCEANS, the plural form? I really liked the theme though.

To those whose paper has stopped carrying TMS Daily puzzle. You can go to Chicago Tribune's website. Click on the date, then pick Regular Skill Level or Master Skill Level. You can always print out the puzzles if you prefer to solve it in paper. Click on Print, then Blank Puzzle.

To those LA Times solvers, you can get all the answers in their website. And if you have questions regarding certain clues, please feel free to ask in the Comments section. Argyle will guest-blog one LA Times puzzle this Sunday.

I also published a "How to Create a Link at Comments section" earlier this morning. It's not difficult at all. You just need some practices.


9A: Hindu ruler: RAJAH. Or Raja.

15A: Regan's father: LEAR. Also Cordelia/Goneril's father. Don't google, tell me who is Hero's love?

23A: Chants: LITANIES. Reminds me of McCain's "Drill, Baby, Drill" chant. It's coined by Michael Steele, not Sarah Palin, who can see Russia from her house.

32A: Provencal verse: SESTINA. My guess is SESTINE, which is actually correct also. So is SEXTINA. It's a six-stanza verse. A poetic form used by Dante, Kipling, Ezra Pound, etc.

39A: Show-biz notable: CELEB. Hope to see CELEB with PAPARAZZI in a grid someday.

43A: Quantity of yarn: SKEIN. Last time it's clued as "V-formation flock" and stumped lots of solvers. A SKEIN of geese.

49A: Thwarts: STYMIES. I like "Thwarts", with three consonants together.

51A: Mushroom morsel: CAP. Hmmm, mushroom, MOREL. How long is that? CAP can also be clued as "Climax", yes?

55A: Achieve success: GET AHEAD

58A: Ridiculous pretense: CHARADE

64A: Trample: TREAD. Dislike the TR repetition. With today's "Wet" theme, "TREAD water" is better.

71A: Sound qualities: TONES. Musical term? I was thinking of SONES, the "Loudness unit".

73A: Cut: SAWN. Always thought the past particle of SAW is SAWED.


1D: Razor choice: ATRA. Gillette is part of P & G, so is Duracell & Oral-B.

7D: Like some buckets: OAKEN. I learned this morning that most of the old ship were made of oak wood due to its hardness, strength and resistance to insect and fungal attack. Had no idea that oak trees do not produce acorns until they are 50 years old.

8D: Concise summary: PRECIS. Without the intersecting P, I might have filled in APERCU. It has 6 letters also.

13D: First part of a bray: HEE. HEE-Haw.

18D: Egyptian goddess: ISIS. The Egyptian goddess of fertility. The wife/sister of Osiris. JD, there is letter "I" in modern interpretation of Egyptian glyphs after all. (Note: Here is a great link JD provided.)

26D: "Strange Interlude" playwright: O'NEILL. Easy guess. I've never heard of "Strange Interlude".

27D: Purple dinosaur: BARNEY. Not familiar with this character either. Why "Purple"? It looks pink to me. Vikings' uniforms are "Purple" color. Brett Favre in Vikings uniform? Liar!

28D: Bigot: RACIST. I watched Ed Norton's "American History X" the other day, kind of shocked by what I saw.

33D: Seize: TAKE. Thought of RAID first. Police do "Seize" stuff when they conduct a RAID, right?

40D: Military units: BRIGADES. I suppose their head is called brigadier.

50D: Flower part: STAMEN. Flowers' male organ. So tiny. It bears sufficient pollens I suppose. The white stuff on top is the anther. No wonder the word has MEN in its tail.

52D: Carson's predecessor: PAAR. Double A. The double R wife of Henry VIII is PARR (Catherine).

57D: Trivial stuff: DROSS. I don't understand this clue. "Worthless stuff", yes. "Trivial stuff" means "small matter", no?

62D: Place at an angle: SKEW. Here is a word where you can't simply add an ER without changing its original meaning. Skewer. I like shrimp pineapple shish-kebab, don't you?

65D: Greek letter: RHO. The 17th Greek letter. Consonant.


Mar 3, 2009

Tuesday March 3, 2009 Adele Mann

Theme: In Other Words

20A: Railroad employee: TRAIN TRACKER (Train = Track ???)

28A: 9-to-5 worker: CLOCK - WATCHER (Clock = Watch)

45A: Certain cash machine: MONEY CHANGER (Money = Change)

55A: Garden company: PLANT FACTORY (Plant = Factory)

This is the strangest puzzle I've ever solved. The last theme answer simply does not fit the ER ending pattern. PLANT PRODUCER makes more sence.

Or am I missing something here? I am completely at sea! (Note: Thanks to Mrs. BC, now I got the theme, though the Train & Track connection is still confounding.)

My nitpicks today:

25A: Money player: PRO. MONEY is part of the theme answer. So it should not be allowed to appear as clue. Would be a great tie-in if the clue were "Not 4D" ("Opposing position": ANTI).

64A: Splitsville: RENO. The clue definitely need "?" mark.

23A: P. Goss grp.: CIA. I got the answer because I happen to be very interested in CIA stuff. But I dislike the abbreviation of Porter Goss's name. It's unnessary. "grp." is sufficient to indicate to the solvers that the answer is shortened. I don't know when this puzzle was submitted. But we've got 2 CIA directors after Goss: Michael Hayden and the current Leon Panetta. However, Peter Goss did have a distinguished career with CIA. So I suppose the clue is OK.

Thank you for the great responses yesterday. Very enjoyable reading. Some of your breakfast sound strange to me though. Now you've taken the first step, I really hope you can stop at the Comments box often.


5A: Econ. agcy.: FTC (Federal Trade Commission). They investigate the price-fixing, fraudulent advertising and other illegal practices. The National Do Not Call Registry was established by them as well. Stumper for me. I wanted CDC as I initially thought of COTERIES for the intersecting 5D: Cliques: FACTIONS.

8A: Of singers: CHORAL

16A: Inspirational discourse: HOMILY. How is it different from a sermon? Every time I see this word, I think of the HOMINY grit.

17A: Covered walkways: PORTICOS. Have you visited the White House before?

35A: 1945 conference site: YALTA. I often confuse this Big Three meeting with MALTA Conference, which also happened in 1945, between Churchill and FDR.

49A: Gerund maker: ING. The new CEO of ING Group should rethink their advertising strategy. Won't cost much to bribe our editor to put their name in crossword grid.

50A: "All over the World" grp.: ELO. Would not have got this group without the down fills. I thought "All over the World" might be a slogan for some organization like ILO (International Labor Union).

52A: Gangster's gun: GAT. "Mobster's gun" might be a better clue due to letter G repetition. "Gangster's girl" is MOLL.

58A: Social occasion: AFFAIR. Hmmm, to me, AFFAIR is a secretive, illicit, extramarital, "Unfaithful" fling.

61A: Rodent burrows: RATHOLES. Not RAT HOLES?

62A: Wagner heroine: ISOLDE. From his "Tristan und ISOLDE". From what I gleaned in Wikipedia, the story resembles the romances between Guinevere and Lancelot. What "a brief shining moment" Camelot is.

63A: Here, in Le Havre: ICI. See this map. Nothing special about this city. The constructor picked up "Le Havre" simply because of its alliteration with "Here".

66A: Mo: SEC. Moment. Second.


1D: Out of gas: EMPTY

3D: "Happy Days" co-star Erin: MORAN. Guessed. Have never seen "Happy Days". It doesn't look like her autograph. The most precious autograph I've got is from Johan Santana. Does he look handsome to you? He pitched the very first baseball game I saw when I arrived in the US.

6D: Of the chest: THORACIC. No idea. Thorax is Latin for chest. That's a very strange diagram, isn't it?

7D: Spanish house: CASA. "Italian house" as well. "Casa room" is SALA.

8D: Division of a polo match: CHUKKA. Obtained from across fills. I know nothing about polo. Kind of like baseball "inning" I presume? How many CHUKKAS are there in a polo match?

9D: Best policy?: HONESTY

10D:__ Khayyam: OMAR. The "Tentmaker" poet. His surname Khayyam means "Tentmaker", so his ancestor might be tentmakers. Like our Smith. I like his "A jug of Wine / A Loaf of Bread / And Thou..." poem. Very simple and beautiful.

13D: Sodium hydroxide: LYE. Sophisticated clue, but I was not intimidated. Whatever lipstick you put it on, LYE is still LYE still the "Soap ingredient" to me.

18D: Contents abbr.: INCL. Included? I don't know. I wanted ENCL (31A: Bus. letter abbr.).

25D: Flower of Texas: PHLOX. Pronounced as "flocks". Literally "flame" in Latin. Why "Texas"? We have this flower in Minnestoa too.

29D: Shrine at Mecca: KAABA. No idea. It's considered the very center of the Muslim world. KAABA is a "cube-shaped building in the Great Mosque of Mecca, containing the Black Stone". The word KAABA is from from Arabic ka'bah meaning "cubic structure". Muslims face towards the KAABA when they pray, regardless of where they are. Also, those pilgrims walk several times around the KAABA in a counter-clockwise direction during Hajj.

31D: Bursera resin: ELEMI. It's clued as "Varnish ingredient" several times before. I forgot what "Burser" is.

32D: Cynthia of "Sex and City": NIXON. What's wrong with her dress?

38D: Sign of sadness: LONG FACE. This is a happy "Sex and City" LONG FACE. Another one, happy too.

39D: Inflexible: DOGMATIC

46D: Red Bordeaux: CLARET

48D: Incise deeply: ETCH. I like this word ETCH, 3 consonants. KVETCH is great too. OREO is boring.

52D: Automation of Jewish legend: GOLEM. Absolutely no idea. It's literally "cocoon" in modern Hebrew. Might derive from the word gelem, meaning "raw material". Looks so clumy and ugly. Scary too. Wikipedia says "Frankstein" was inspired by GOLEM legends.

54D: Cicely or Mike: TYSON. Did not know Cicely TYSON, Miles Davis' wife.

56D: Speaker of baseball: TRIS. I don't think I own any of his card. Learned his name from doing Xword. He was inducted into HOFin 1937, together with Cy Young (the guy on the left).

57D: Lawnmower brand: TORO. Who is their major competitor? Deere?

58D: Some sloths: AIS. This has become a gimme to me. Here is a great picture, see their three toes? If anyone finds a picture clearly showing the two toes of the UNAU sloth, please come to the Comments section and share with us.

59D: Tallahassee sch.: FSU. The sports team name is The Seminoles.

60D: In place of: FOR. I thought of CUM, which is actually "with". Normally the answer for "In place of " is LIEU.


Feb 23, 2009

Monday February 23, 2009 Adele Mann

Theme: Down-load

20A: Not readily apparent: BELOW THE SURFACE

40A: Feeling poorly: UNDER THE WEATHER

54A: Lower than low: BENEATH CONTEMPT

This is the 4th Adele Mann puzzle we've solved in Feb. Ms. Mann, if you are reading this blog, please email me or visit us at the Comments section. We'd like to know more about you. Is Adele your real name?

No "Speak Persians?" cute clue today. No obscure name or imaginative word either. Feels quite smooth to me.

I don't think TERSE (64A) is "Short and sweet". Short, yes. Sweet, no. To me, TERSE connotes a sense of being "curt"and "rude".

Can you give me an example of TAWNY (30D: Brownish orange) color? Is this night owl TAWNY?


10A: Actress Blanchett: CATE. Very talented Aussi. I liked her the most in "The Good German". Her bone structure does have a Katharine Hepburn chiseled look. Her performance in "The Aviator" seems a bit rigid though.

15A: Pestiferous insect: ROACH. "Pestiferous" is a new word to me. What a contrast with melliferous.

43A: Cartoonist Drucker: MORT. Yawner. Just had him yesterday. Dictionary says MORT is also a 3-year-old salmon. What is a 2-year old salmon then? SMOLT? How about 1-year old? Will they be called adult salmon when they are 4-year old?

44A: Reddish-orange dye: HENNAS. Like this man's beard. I was thinking of SENNA (the medicinal herb), confusing it with SIENNA, which is a yellow-brown pigment or the beautiful SIENNA Miller. She looks like the current Ukraine Prime Minister, doesn't she?

46A: King of Troy: PRIAM. Father of Paris, Hector and Cassandra. Nouriel Roubini predicted this crazy housing bubble several years ago. He was dismissed as Cassandra/Dr. Doom.

49A: Two-masted sailboats: YAWLS. I thought of YOWLS first, and I was not wholly wrong. Dictionary says YOWL is a variant of YAWL the boat. I don't know a fig about sailing. Is three-masted sailboard quicker? Slower? Bigger? Smaller? More expensive? Cheaper?

71A: Collar stiffener: STAY. I've never seen a collar STAY in person.


1D: Sepulcher: TOMB. Now there is a word with very similar spelling as "Sepulcher" , but it means orifice or some other body part. What is it? I vaguely remember Dennis has a comment about that word a few months ago.

9D: Doubtful gesture: SHRUG. Don't think the French SHRUG indicates such gesture. "So what?", yes.

10D: Open clash: CONFLICT. Hey, my old obsession Netanyahu is back. With his hardline attitude, the CONFLICT there will go on forever. I've moved on anyway.

21D: More ironic: WRYER. Or wrier.

25D: Losing streak: SLUMP. Tim Geithner should be thankful for this clue. Isn't ironic that two years ago Bush did not even acknowlege the existance of recession? Now we are talking about depression.

27D: Arboreal lemur: INDRI. The Madagascar short-tailed lemur. Literally "Look" due to the misunderstanding of the local language.

34D: Feudal peons: SERFS. Sometimes the answer is ESNES. I don't know the difference.

37D: Highest degree: NTH. I wonder if anyone thought of Ph.D. It's the highest degree you can achieve academically, right?

41D: Bric-a-brac stands: ETAGERES

53D: Demonstrate subservience: KNEEL. Not always a sign of "subservience".

54D: Very dry, as champagne: BRUT

58D: Projecting rock: CRAG. The name Craig is derived from CRAG, right, Mr. Bond (Daniel Craig)?

59D: Peak on Thessaly: OSSA. Holy moley, do you know that OS is a stand-alone Latin word for bone? And OSSA is its plural form. I always thought it's a prefix like "osteo".

62D: Bridge team: THEY. I presume the other team is WE. I am a dummy. Will never understand this game. See this photo. We/THEY are on written on the top.


Feb 19, 2009

Thursday February 19, 2009 Adele Mann

Theme: "What, Me Worry?"

17A: Start of a quip: WORRY IS A ROCKING

34A: Part 2 of quip: CHAIR THAT

45A: Part 3 of quip: WILL NEVER

66A: End of quip: TAKE YOU ANYWHERE

The original Glenn Turner quote is: Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.

Most of the worries are unfounded. Some people are trapped and paralyzed by their gloomy imaginations. Worries can easily morph into fears or phobias. Don't worry. Be happy.

This is a better puzzle than Alele Mann's last quip. It held my interest. But why "Chic" for (4D) though? To me, "Chic" is stylish, but PERT is "lively". Katie Couric used to be PERT.


1A: Short distance: STEP. This STEP is definitely not a "Short distance".

5A: Hullabaloo: FUROR

16A: Present starter?: OMNI. Omnipresent. Actually, "Present opener?" is a better clue.

21A: "Havana" star: LENA OLIN. Easy guess. I've never seen "Havana". Nice to see her full name in a grid.

25A: His in Hyeres: SES. Hyeres is on the French Riviera. I did not know that.

30A: "Barney Miller" co-star: SOO (Jack). Learned from doing Xword. I wonder why he changed his name into SOO. Japanese nickname for Suzuki?

42A: Explorer Johnson: OSA. No idea. Here is a safari photo of OSA and her husband Martin Johnson. If she is OSA, her husband should be OSO. A bear couple.

44A: Star in Cygnus: DENEB. "Cygnus" is Latin for "swan", cygnets are young swans. See this diagram again.

54A: SASA, e.g.: ENC. Wrote down ENV first.

58A: Deviant: ABNORMAL

68A: Mythical Hun king: ATLI. I don't know why the answer is ATLI when it's clued as Norse god related, but ATTILA when the clue was "The Scourge of God".

69A: Founder of the Ottoman dynasty: OSMAN. Oh, I did not know this either. More familiar with Ottoman Empire, not dynasty. China had over 20 dynasties. Qing was the last, overthrown by Sun Yat-Sen in 1911.

72A: Renaissance fiddle: REBEC. Absolutely no idea. See here for more information. It's pear-shaped and was replaced by viol after the Renaissance period.


1D: Disseminates: SOWS. Remind me of my theme title yesterday: Go, Sow Your Wild Oats.

3D: Stone or Pound: EZRA. Know poet EZRA Pound. Forgot who EZRA Stone is.

5D: Like Snow White: FAIREST. Good clue. Better than "Most ..."

7D: Qum coin: RIAL. Qum is in Iran. See it? It's to the south/southwest of Tehran.

11D: Ludwig and Jannings: EMILS. Jannings is the first winner of Oscar for Best Actor ("The Way of All Flesh"). Ludwig is a German author known for his biographies of Goethe, Napoléon, etc.

12D: "Tomorrow" singer: ANNIE. Nice clip.

19D: Actress Jones: CAROLYN. I guessed. Not familiar with this actress at all. Is CAROLYN and Caroline the same?

23D: Not by any means: NO HOW. Mine was NEVER.

29D: Itchy skin problem: TINEA. New word to me. It's also called ringworm.

31D: Mirage, maybe: OASIS. OK, maybe.

38D: Fiji's capital: SUVA. PGA golfer Vijay Singh attended high school here, according to Wikipedia. He is very cold in person, very arrogant.

48D: Cast off: UNMOOR. I wanted UNSHED. Silly, since SHED is the correct word.

51D: Mongolian invader: TATAR. I think China had the largest territory when it's ruled by Genghis Khan.

53D: Braided linen tape: INKLE. Oh, I did not know there is a special term for braided linen.

57D: Everygreen tree: YEW. Are these berries poisonous?

59D: Eye in Aix: OEIL. Trompe l'OEIL. Surreal, isn't it? Julian Beever never ceases to amaze me. Pavement Picasso indeed.

64D: Ireland: ERIN. The poetic name for Ireland is EIRE. Hibernophile is a term to describe one who love all things Irish, esp the Corrs & Bono. Hibernia is Latin for Ireland. Sounds cold, doesn't it?


Feb 12, 2009

Thursday February 12, 2009 Adele Mann

Theme: What is Love?

1A: Start of a quip: LOVE IS

21A: Part 2 of quip: A CROCODILE

41A: Part 3 of quip: ALONG

60A: Part 4 of quip: THE RIVER OF

73A: End of quip: DESIRE

Does it mean that love is dangerous?

I have never solved a puzzle where the quip starts with 1A. Was worried that this puzzle might be a “Shock and Awe”. It turns out to be just a “shock and uh”.

Mike WEIR (26A: Masters champion from Canada) might be a bit obscure to non-golf fans. But it’s easily gettable. He is probably the best known left-handed golfer in PGA, after Phil Mickelson. I've forgotten most of the 2003 Masters. Do remember the intimate embrace he gave to his wife after he sank the final putt.

Too many “Be…” clues for my taste:

71A: Be without: NEED. Why not "Can't live without"?

45D: Be worthy of: MERIT. "Worth" alone is enough, isn't it?

13D: Be vanquished: LOSE. Dennis probably wants "Take the booby prize" or "Mislay".


17A: Grasping part: PINCER. Have never seen a singular PINCER before.

18A: Shaded walkways: ALAMEDAS. New word to me. Like this? Dictionary explains that ALAMEDA is rooted in Spanish word "alamo", a poplar tree in the Southwest.

25A: Temper: ANNEAL. Temper metal.

23A: Enticed: LED ON. I often confuse inveigle with inveigh.

28A: Archie’s command to Edith: STIFLE. Easy guess. I watched one or two episodes of "All in the Family". Don't remember this rude command.

44A: Silvery European fish: BREAM. No idea. Scary eyes. It does not look "Silvery" to me. Remember last time we had SCUP (clued as "Porgy")? Now that's "Silvery".

46A: Aleppo’s country: SYRIA. Last time ALEPPO was clued as "Syria city". Wikipedia says 70% of Aleppo's inhabitants are Sunni Muslims.

49A: Flower part: STAMEN. It bears pollen. The white stuff on top is the anther.

51A: 500-mile event, briefly: INDY. I know it runs over the Memorial weekend. And Daytona 500 will be held this weekend. Other than that, I know nothing about racing. Are those two like Baseball's American League Champion Series & National League Champion Series?

69A: Singer Peerce: JAN. Not a familiar name to me. Jan, he must be of Dutch root.


3D: Having blades, as a windmill: VANED. New adjective form to me.

4D: Mortgage condition: ESCROW. What exactly is ESCROW?

5D: Tina Turner’s ex: IKE. Nice change from the stale "Presidential nickname" clue. Not sure if they were really married though.

6D: F.D.R.’s mother: SARA. Learned her name from doing Xword. F.D.R.’s dog is FALA.

8D: Manmade fiber: ORLON. Wanted NYLON. Both are synthetic fiber, right?

10D: Young plant: SEEDLING. “Ling” is a suffix for small. Duckling, underling, yearling, etc.

27D: “Sliver” author Levin: IRA. Thrillingly scary movie. I did not know Ira Levin wrote it though.

37D: First name in tenors: ENRICO. For opera fans, 20th century started with ENRICO Caruso and ended with Pavarotti.

40D: Asian evergreen: TAMARIND. Interesting, Wikipedia says TAMARIND is Arabic for "Indian date" due to its date-like fruit shape. Palm dates I suppose. Our Chinese dates are round. Some people like TAMARIND in their chutney.

42D: Southwest people: NAVAJO. The largest tribal group in the US. I really adore some of the NAVAJO turquoise silver bracelets. Very pretty.

57D: Belafonte or Lewis: SHARI. Another easy guess. SHARI Belafonte is an actress. SHARI Lewis is the original puppeteer for "Lamb Chop".

58D: Lush: TOPER. Is this a real word?

59D: Edberg or Sorenstam: SWEDE. I've got several autographs from Annika Sorenstam. Have never heard of Stefan Edberg the tennis player.


Feb 4, 2009

Wednesday February 4, 2009 Adele Mann

Theme: "No" Songs For You

17A: 1986 hit by Heart: NOTHIN' AT ALL

41A: 1963 hit by the Orlons: NOT ME

65A: 1984 hit by Berlin: NO MORE WORDS

11D: 1966 hit by the Beatles: NOWHERE MAN

30D: 1981 hit by Elton John: NOBODY WINS

I have never heard of The Orlons or the Heart bands. And the only Berlin song I am familiar is "Take My Breath Away". Nevertheless, all the theme answers are very easy to obtain.

Excellent theme. I also love Annie Lennox's No More "I Love You's". The video is a bit weird, but the song is beautiful.

I think this is the 4th or 5th time I saw WEN in a TMS puzzle. Every time it's clued as "Sebaceous cyst". Where is the creativity? The WEN Ho Lee nuclear espionage scandal is well known, right? I heard of it when I still lived in China.

I just mentioned two days ago that I wanted WEN clued as "Chinese Premier __ Jiabao". And yesterday someone threw a shoe at him when he was delivering a speech in Cambridge. That despicable protester is completely ignorant of China and the democracy movement there. He has no idea what kind of positive role WEN played during Tiananmen Square Incident. He has no knowledge of how WEN handled the Sichuan earthquake disaster. WEN is the most well respected Chinese leader inside and outside China, among us Chinese.


1A: Spill the beans: BLAB. Reminds of yesterday's ONAN (Judah's son). He "spills his seeds" on the ground. Might be a waste, but sure not a sin to me. Just learned Onanism from Barry G /Lemonade yesterday.

5A: Japanese entertainer: GEISHA. Here is a modern day GEISHA. The same article says there are now only 1,000 GEISHA left in Japan (compared with 80,000 in 1928) and they are not allowed to marry. “Memoirs of a GEISHA" is a fascinating read.

39A: River of Hamburg: ELBE. Literally "river". Wikipedia says "ELBE was recorded by Ptolemy as Albis, Germanic for "river". Here is the map again. It originates in Czech and flows northwest across German to the North Sea.

44A: Infamous Helmsley: LEONA. The "Queen of Mean". She left millions of trust fund for her dog Trouble when she died. The Helmsley Foundation is the No. 1 charitable giver in 2008 though. Total $5.2 billion commitment. Mayor Bloomberg is the biggest living doner. Strange that the Gates did not make the list.

56A: Legendary archer: TELL. Or "Spill the beans" again.

68A: Barnyard layer: HEN. It's also "Female lobster/octopus/salmon".

70A: Brightest star in Lyra: VEGA. Here is the diagram. Wikipedia says "VEGA was the first star, other than the Sun, to have its photograph taken and the first to have its spectrum photographed" (1850).


6D: Hurler's stat: ERA. Louis mentioned several days ago about Cleveland's saying "If a Feller has a Lemon He-gan Waynn". I thought that's a great line. Bob Lemon, Jim Hegan or Early Wynn were obscure to me. But Bob Feller is a big potato, HOFer. I thought his name "Feller" could be a great misleading clue. "Feller's start" for ERA sounds good to me.

37D: Pianist Thelonious: MONK. His middle name is Sphere, one of the most influential jazz greats of the 50's and 60's, according to Seattle John.

45D: Fact book: ALMANAC. I wonder how much this original book costs in this condition. Does anyone collect first edition books? I traded my first edition "Godfather" (1969) for some baseball cards several years ago.

50D: City near Rawalpindi: LAHORE. Here is the map. LAHORE is the second-largest city in Pakistan after Karachi. I got the answer, but did not really know where Rawalpindi is. Wikipedia says it's the military headquarters of the Pakistan Armed Forces and and also served as the nation's capital while Islamabad (10th largest city in Pakistan) was being constructed in the 1960s.

55D: Geneva's lake: LEMAN. Here is the name origin. LPGA holds its Evian Masters every year on the southern shore of Lac LEMAN. The golf course looks breathtaking on TV. Big purse, second only to US Open I think.

61D: Three-spot: TREY. No idea. It's always clued as "Low card".

Boomer bowled a 300 last night, his 5th perfect game.


Jan 27, 2009

Tuesday January 27, 2009 Adele Mann

Theme: SCHOOLS (36A: Educates)

17A: Winged Foot or Sawgrass: GOLF COURSE

53A: Sentence: PRISON TERM

11D: Big time for batters: MAJOR LEAGUE

25D: Kind of suit: CLASS ACTION

"School Subject" is probably a better theme title.

I can't believe I've never heard of Sawgrass GOLF COURSE before. It's PGA Tour's headquarters. But "Winged Foot" clue alone is enough for me. I remember Phil Mickelson's nightmarish collapse there in 2006 US Open. I would never understand why he decided to go with the driver on the last hole.

My favorite US Open is 2002 Bethpage Black. Brutal weather, brutal rough, brutally entertaining, esp with Sergio Garcia's endless whining. Lots of fans cheered for Phil, but Tiger never relented his lead. I hope the drama repeats this year.

I just don't feel "Sentence" is synonymous with PRISON TERM, do you? I wonder if the constructor thought of CREDIT CRUNCH for the theme answer. Fannie Mae is asking for another $16 billion aid from the government now, Freddie Mac wants an additional $35 billion. Plus the $700 billion for the Wall Street bailout, and the $825 billion stimulus package Obama is asking. We are talking about real money, right?


1A: Org. of Wie and Webb: LPGA. Followed both Michelle Wie and Karrie Webb for a few holes at the US Open last year. Karrie Webb is in Golf HOF. Very nice person. She seldom smiles though.

10A: City on the Irtysh River: OMSK. Here is the map again. This has become a gimme for me. The city on the URAL River (14A: Caspian feeder) is called ORSK. I can't find a map. But it's there.

16A: Okinawa city: NAHA. Got it from down fills. Can never remember this city name. Okinawa belongs to those Blue Zones, where you will find lots of centenarians living a happy & healthy life. Loma Linda, CA is also in the Blue Zones, so is Sardinia, Italy. See their secret. Nuts, ah, nuts, I love nuts.

33A: Singer Janis: IAN. Here is her "At Seventeen". I googled her name.

34A: Sherwood or Epping: FOREST. Know Robin Hood's Sherwood FOREST. Have never heard of Epping FOREST. What is it famous for?

38A: One-time link: AT A. One AT A time.

45A: Coach Rockne: KNUTE. Of Notre Dame. I bought a Sports Illustrated for Kids once (simply because Babe Ruth is on the cover) and read a brief bio of KNUTE Rockne. He died in a plane crash. So did golfer Payne Stewart and Baseball HOFer Roberto Clemente. Very sad. Flying can be so risky.

49A: Of plants: BOTANIC. What is "Of animals" then? I am drawing a blank here.

58A: Stop up: CLOG. Have never heard of "Stop up" before. Strange "up" phrase.

60A: Abbr. on folk music: TRAD. Traditional?


4D: Nobel and Noyes: ALFREDS. ALFRED Noyes is the guy who wrote "The Highwayman". No-yes is pronounced the same as "Noise". I wonder if anyone is named Yes-no.

9D: Trademark refrigerant: FREON. I can never remember this product. Can I find it in our refrigerator?

10D: Streaking: ON A TEAR. I like this clue and the answer.

13D: Economist Marx: KARL. Weird to see him clued as an "Economist", though he really was one. These are the pictures that used to adorn our school walls: Chairman Mao, Lenin, Starlin, Engels and Marx, the so called "Fathers of Communism".

22D: Preminger and Graham: OTTOS. Know Preminger, not Graham.

26D: Second brightest star: CANOPUS. No idea. It's indeed brighter than the other stars. The brightest is Sirius. Both ending in letters "us", have to be rooted in Greek then, masculine form.

33D: Lemieux milieu: ICE. I suppose "Lemieux milieu" sounds better than "Crosby milieu".

36D: Lazy lady?: SUSAN. Good clue. The "Smart guy?" would be ALEC.

42D: Orange-red food dye: ANNATTO. New word to me. Dictionary says ANNATTO is "a yellowish-red dyestuff obtained from the seed aril of ANNATTO shrub (also called lipstick tree), used especially to dye fabric and to color food products such as margarine and cheese."

44D: Court decision: DECREE. Paul McCartney can now marry his girlfriend, who has just received her divorce DECREE.

45D: "Show Boat" composer: KERN (Jerome). Got him this time.

49D: Beer choice: BOCK. Absolutely no idea. Feel so full just looking at the picture. So dark. I don't drink beer.

50D: Stew pot: OLLA. I've never seen a "Stew pot" OLLA before. To me, OLLA is this kind of Indian pottery. Very beautiful!