Showing posts with label Alan Arbesfeld. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alan Arbesfeld. Show all posts

Sep 23, 2012

Sunday September 23, 2012 Alan Arbesfeld

(If your paper does not carry the puzzle we're blogging here on Sundays, Click it to solve on line or print out a copy.)

Theme: Inside Help - SOS spans across two words inside each theme entry.
23A. Infielder traded by the Yankees to get Alex Rodriguez : ALFONSO SORIANO. Now with the Cubs. Great leadoff man.

 33A. Bygone U.S. fuel stop : ESSO STATION

 42A. "How the Camel Got His Hump" et al. : JUST SO STORIES

 57A. Where Hope sprang eternal? : USO SHOWS. Bob Hope.

 80A. Japanese food staple : MISO SOUP. My grandma liked fermented soy beans. She never made Miso soup.

 95A. "CBS News Sunday Morning" host : CHARLES OSGOOD. Hard to find answers with S & OS spanning. Plenty of SO & S to choose.
 103A. Area in the North Atlantic : SARGASSO SEA

 116A. Lord Kitchener of Trinidad et al. : CALYPSO SINGERS

 120. Help found inside eight puzzle answers : SOS

On Sundays, I like to guess what the theme is by looking at the puzzle title. Often I'm wrong. Today I thought AIDE is contained in each theme answer.

1. Fowl poles : ROOSTS. Lovely clue.

7. Something for a rainy day : NEST EGG. I always associate this with retirement.

 14. Bad mark : STIGMA

20. Lenient sort : SOFTIE. I think Irish Miss is one. Hope your ice maker is working now.

21. Not quite par : ONE OVER. Bogey.

22. Snorkeling site : LAGOON. JD likes snorkeling.

25. Journalist Peter : ARNETT. Covered the Gulf War for CNN.

26. John Irving's "__ of the Circus" : A SON

27. Bit of derring-do : GEST

28. Obi-Wan portrayer : EWAN (McGregor)

30. Ratio words : IS TO

31. Fit to be fried : EDIBLE. Fun clue. Deserves a fun link from Dave. Such an unfaithful rat!

36. Like : A LA

38. Fair-hiring inits. : EOE

39. "Moon River" composer : MANCINI ( Henry). Forgot. Definitely googled his name before.

41. Ran into : MET

45. Select : TAP

47. Jets' former gp. : AFL (American Football League). 1960-1969.

50. Cuts short : ABORTS

51. __ of vantage: favorable position : COIGN. Never heard of this word before.

52. Literary lord : JIM. Conrad novel "Lord Jim". Drew a blank.

53. Court answer : PLEA

54. Lucy Lawless role : XENA

55. Coastal flooding cause : TSUNAMI.  Rooted in Japanese, literally "harbor wave".

59. Soft "Hey, you!" : PSST

61. Didn't quite win : PLACED. At the racetrack.

63. You can skip the flat ones : STONES

64. Stage remark : ASIDE

67. Part of a Maui welcome : LEI

69. Barber's challenge : MOP

71. Año starter : ENERO

72. Back from a trip, say : IN TOWN

74. Mideast native : SEMITE

78. One-named supermodel : EMME
82. "West Side Story" number : AMERICA. See hereA few doses of racial slurs.

84. Lift near a lodge : T-BAR. Ski lodge. I think Marti can be a stunt woman. She's so adventurous & fearless.

88. Purim's month : ADAR

89. Stock mkt. opening? : IPO

90. Lean cuisine lover : SPRAT.  Good clue. Never tried Lean Cuisine though.

91. Theater district : RIALTO

93. Address bk. datum : TEL

94. Modern address : URL

97. Smashed : LIT. Drunk.

99. Was of use : AVAILED

101. Excessively : TOO

102. Short missions? : OPs. Anyone else reading "No Easy Day"?

106. Fivesome : PENTAD

108. Grenoble girlfriend : AMIE

109. Problem's end? : ATIC. Problematic.

110. It may be used in a pinch : SALT. Clever.

112. Suspicious of : ONTO

114. Iowa and Indiana are in it : BIG TEN

121. Available for work : ON HIRE

122. Most avant-garde : EDGIEST. 5D Least resonant : TINNIEST. Sometimes constructors just could not make snazzier entries work.

123. Earthquake prefix : SEISMO. Quite a long prefix.

124. Walk unsteadily : TOTTER

125. Strengthens : DEEPENS

126. Ridges in ranges : ARETES


1. Cape Town's home: Abbr. : RSA

2. Dancer enslaved by Jabba the Hutt : OOLA

3. When many trades are made : OFF SEASON

4. Put up with : STOOD

6. His, to Henri : SES

7. Long time follower? : NO SEE. Long time no see. This phrase is rooted in Chinese I think. We say this often.

8. Slaughter on the field : ENOS

9. Spanish muralist : SERT. José María Sert.

10. Vous, familiarly : TOI

11. One of the Peróns : EVA

12. Torah starter : GENESIS

13. Become gradually more desirable to : GROW ON. I have the feeling that "Gangnam Style" won't grow on Jayce. Quirky horse dance. But hey, we have an exciting new clue for PSY.

14. Bias : SLANT

15. Do road work : TAR

16. Start to burn : IGNITE

17. Abandons the band : GOES IT ALONE. Nice long answer.

18. Slogan : MOTTO

19. Dramatist Chekhov : ANTON

24. Gives more than the once-over : OGLES. Here. I've watched almost all parodies of the song, Army, Marines, Navy, etc.

29. The way things stand : AS IT IS

32. Raises : BOOSTS

33. Puzzle : ENIGMA

34. Pretty : SCENIC. Melissa linked this one before. So pretty.

35. Band booster : AMP

36. Comet competitor : AJAX

37. Garage job : LUBE

39. Marshmallowy treat : MOON PIE. A week from now on, I'll be eating moon cakes.

40. Plain font choice : ARIAL

43. Hidden entrance : TRAP DOOR

44. Ft. Worth campus : TCU

46. John of "Good Times" : AMOS

48. A smaller number : FEWER

49. Nab, in oaters : LASSO

52. Karate kin : JUDO

53. Frustrating series of calls : PHONE TAG

56. N.L. Central team : STL

58. Originate : STEM

60. Attaches, in a way, with "on" : SEWS. Boomer is attending a bowling tournament today, with a brand new bowling shirt with his name embroidered on the back.

62. Shade of green : EMERALD

64. Get in one's sights : AIM AT

65. Nasty : SNIDE

66. "There there" : IT'S ALL RIGHT. Another great entry.

68. Hockey great Phil, familiarly : ESPO

70. Upper-bod muscle : PEC

73. Dark genre : NOIR

75. Bag mate of a cleek and a niblick : MASHIE. Old name for 5 iron. Bobby Jones used this word in his "How I Play Golf" series. Cleek is 2 iron. Niblick is 9 iron.

76. Classic Chevy : IMPALA

77. __ Haute : TERRE

79. Strand : MAROON

81. Like a baseball home team : UP LAST

83. Manhattan suffix : ITE

85. Exam many examinees won't look at : BLOOD TEST. Tricky clue.

86. Over : ATOP

87. Fishing gear : RODS

92. Big name in gloves : ISOTONER

94. Hagen of Broadway : UTA

95. Falls : CASCADE

96. Leaves in : STETS

98. "That makes sense" : I GET IT

100. Spoken : VOICED

103. Cousin of a clog : SABOT. Root word for sabotage.

104. Essential acid : AMINO

105. More sound : SANER

106. Cabal activities : PLOTS

107. 1973 #1 hit for the Stones : ANGIE

110. Graf __ : SPEE

111. NCAA member?: Abbr. : ASSN. I like this clue also.

113. "Him __": beau's ultimatum : OR ME

115. Ahead of, in verse : ERE

117. Size above med. : LGE

118. Pound sound : YIP

119. Patience-virtue link : IS A. Patience is a virtue, esp in crossword construction.


Apr 29, 2012

Sunday April 29, 2012 Alan Arbesfeld

Theme: Amazing! - Each 3-word theme entry start with WOW.

23A. Steal : WALK OFF WITH

29A. Wouk work, with "The" : WINDS OF WAR.

35A. 2000 Sean Penn film, with "The" : WEIGHT OF WATER. Generally I'm not a fan of dropping articles for theme needs. But both "The" are dropped here. Quite consistent.

59A. Have a drink : WET ONE'S WHISTLE

80A. Last book in Robertson Davies' "Deptford Trilogy" : WORLD OF WONDERS

99A. Sage advice : WORDS OF WISDOM

106A. Laurel and Hardy film set in Brushwood Gulch : WAY OUT WEST

118A. '30s show tune that became a 1960 Dion and the Belmonts hit : WHERE OR WHEN. Not familiar with the song. Waiting for Argyle to link.

So four OFs in the middle, the other O's are different. I like the variety.

Have not seen Alan Arbesfeld's by line since Dec 2009. Excited to have the chance solving and discussing his puzzle. He is a veteran constructor and has been a regular contributor to the NY Times.

Only 67 black squares in this grid, and no cheater! Lots of nice fill today.


1. Colorful talker : MACAW

6. Hair net : SNOOD. This is similar to the one my Grandma used to wear.

11. Thai currency : BAHT. No plural form in Thai language. But "Bahts" seem to be in common use here.

15. Legal opening? : PARA. Paralegal.

19. Prominent period : EPOCH

20. New Mexico county whose seat is Alamogordo : OTERO. Sounds like Spanish. What does it mean?

21. Buck chaser? : AROO. Buckaroo.

22. Elliptical : OVAL

25. Shows no restraint : LETS LOOSE

27. Hit sign : SRO (Standing Room Only)

28. Work out an agreement : SETTLE

30. Honorary Muslim title in old India : NAWAB. I only know Nabob.

32. Fed. auditing agency : GAO

34. Crib sheet users : TOTS. I was thinking of cheat sheet.

40. Spoils : GOES BAD

45. WWII Italian beachhead : ANZIO. You did not think of OMAHA?

46. Waterfront org. : ILA (International Longshoremen's Association)

47. It's gone in less than a flash: Abbr. : NSEC (Nanosecond)

49. Go for an ace, maybe : SERVE

50. Corporate honcho : SUIT

51. King in "The Tempest" : ALONSO

53. Bilko and Klinger, e.g.: Abbr. : NCOs

56. "The Namesake" director Mira : NAIR. Excited about this new clue. She also directed "Amelia". She's an Indian.

57. Busy, design-wise : ORNATE

62. Blowup source, briefly : NEG (Negative). Photos.

63. Shield border, in heraldry : ORLE. Troublesome word for me. I can never remember it.

65. Germany, to Meg Ryan: Abbr. : ANAG (Anagram). Tricky clue.

66. Conference clip-on : NAME TAG

67. Defended : STOOD BY. Stand by Your Man.

69. Nailed down : SECURED

71. "It's my fervent wish!" : I HOPE SO. Splynter will need lots of luck in Las Vegas.

74. French monarchs : ROIs

76. Dr. visit : APPT

77. "Cheers" bartender : SAM

83. Mexican man, say : LATINO

85. Summer treat : ICEE

86. Whim : LARK. Made me think of CrossEyedDave, who's full of whimsical ideas, as you can see from his fun & creative links.

87. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer David : CROSBY

89. Had too much : OD'ED

90. Sole protectors : SHOES

92. Said three times, a story shortener : YADA. "Seinfeld".

94. Sudden death cause : TIE

95. Last word in doughnuts : KREME. Krispy Kreme.

96. Self-important boss, facetiously : HIS NIBS. Is there a "Her nibs"?

102. Aid factor : NEED

104. Sun Valley loc. : IDA (Idaho)

105. Parts of some area calculations : RADII

111. They take things in stride : STOICS. Most East Asians are.

114. Go downhill, in a way : SKI

117. Basically : IN ESSENCE

120. Fictitious : TALL. Tall tales.

121. Time co-founder : LUCE (Henry)

122. Board : GET IN

123. Topple : UPEND

124. 1944 Normandy battle site : ST. LO. So is CAEN.

125. Unwanted messages : SPAM

126. Prevailing tendency : TREND. This eye make-up is very trendy, black eyeliner on the upper lid and a little wing tip around eye corner. I'm thinking only LaLaLinda will notice it.

127. Giving lip : SASSY


1. Cat calls : MEWS

2. On __ with : A PAR

3. Empire-building activity : COLONIZING

4. "Eew!" kin : ACK

5. A-list : WHO'S WHO

6. Cook for three minutes, say : SOFT BOIL. Do you like soft boiled eggs? .

7. Abbr. on many a can : NT WT

8. Eye, in Versailles : OEIL. Irrational spelling.

9. Maker of Taco Kits : ORTEGA. I've never had tacos.

10. "How stupid of me!" : D'OH!

11. Indonesian island on its own sea : BALI. I bet Dennis wants a "Bra brand" clue since he's an expert in the field. Lovely color, isn't it?

12. Isn't for couples? : AREN'T. Cute clue.

13. Show off : HOTDOG

14. Have an easy catch with : TOSS TO

15. Disappearing word : POOF

16. Declare : AVOW

17. Tabula __ : RASA

18. Tiger, e.g., briefly : AL-ER (American Leaguer). Detroit Tigers, for Jazzbumpa & Linda's husband, though I doubt they use AL-ER.

24. Something to be proud of : FEAT

26. Fails to prevail : LOSES

29. Troubles : WOES

31. Bad gut feeling : AGITA

33. When a memorable movie gunfight occurs : AT NOON. "High Noon".

35. Aired, as a TV show : WAS ON

36. Harden : ENURE

37. Ran smoothly : FLOWED

38. Dwindle : WANE

39. Break a promise : RENEGE

41. Had a feeling : SENSED

42. Benjamin of "Law & Order" : BRATT. Curtis! Who's the coolest TV cop? To me, it's Bobby Simone of "NYPD Blue".

43. Walled Spanish city : AVILA

44. Easing of govt. restrictions : DE-REG

48. IV amts. : CCs

51. Spray : AEROSOL

52. Extend one's visit : STAY ON

54. Confess : OWN UP. So, Bill's crush is Sofia Vergara. Mine is Daniel Craig. How about yours?

55. How rebukes are administered : SHARPLY

58. Schlepped : TOTED

60. Sadat's predecessor : NASSER

61. "__ man who wasn't there ..." : I MET A. What's the poem about? I read a few lines. Sounds creepy.

64. Bath scrubber : LOOFA

67. Anger : SPLEEN

68. Rather rival : BROKAW (Tom)

70. Othello's lieutenant : CASSIO

71. "If only!" : I WISH

72. __ Minh City : HO CHI. Saigon.

73. Hydrox rivals, once : OREOs

75. Driver's license, often : ID CARD

77. Fries and slaw : SIDE DISHES

78. Prefix with meter : ANEMO. meaning "wind".

79. Computer accessory : MODEM

81. Like some humor : WRY

82. Spoils : ROTS

84. Sculptors' subjects : TORSI. Plural of torso.

88. Get close to : BEFRIEND

91. One may get congested : SINUS

93. "Go ahead!" : DO IT

95. Former children's clothing chain : KIDS R US. Was it related to Toys "R" Us?

97. Chewable Asian leaves : BETELS

98. Clinched : SEWN UP

100. Reindeer name : DASHER

101. Baylor University site : WACO

103. "Rock Around the Clock" label : DECCA

106. Mental faculties : WITS

107. Gray area?: Abbr. : ANAT (Anatomy). "Gray's Anatomy" (Henry Gray). The TV series "Grey's Anatomy" is a play on word on former.

108. Whoop it up : YELL

109. Munch Museum city : OSLO

110. Appear to be : SEEM

112. Nice bean? : TETE. Again, Nice the French city.

113. Online __ print : OR IN. Drew a blank.

115. Guy dolls : KENS

116. Fedora-wearing adventurer, familiarly : INDY. Oh, Indiana Jones.

118. Driver's lic. stat : WGT. OK to lie a little.

119. FDR program : WPA. Works Project Administration.

Answer grid.

Happy 18th Wedding Anniversary to Ron Worden!


Dec 20, 2009

Sunday December 20, 2009 Alan Arbesfeld

Theme: Loose Lady. Or rather RUN AROUND SUE (120A. 1961 #1 hit for Dion, and a literal hint to this puzzle's hidden theme) - Letters SUE are running loose, bookending each theme entry.

23A. Seafood restaurant starter: SHRIMP BISQUE. Yummy creamy!

38A. Heirloom quality: SENTIMENTAL VALUE. What's the most treasured heirloom in your family?

54A. Acid rain component: SULFUR DIOXIDE

84A. Literally, "with highest praise": SUMMA CUM LAUDE

101A. The world's longest crosses Japan's Akashi Strait: SUSPENSION BRIDGE. The Akashi Kaikyō Bridge. Unknown to me.

16D. Nickname heard in Manhattan: SUNFLOWER STATE. I was in NY direction. Did not know there's a city named Manhattan in Kansas.

50D. June observance: SUMMER SOLSTICE

I have never heard of the song "Runaround Sue". The lyrics says "She took my love then ran around with every single guy in town...". Hence "Loose Lady" theme title I suppose.

Most of the theme clues for our Sunday puzzles seem to have question marks and involve some sort of wordplay or out-of-the-box thinking. Today's theme clues are honest and straightforward. Nice to have a change.

How's your solving experience today? I felt quite challenged by the geography trivia. Had to peek at the cheat sheet a few times.


1. Have the final turn: GO LAST. Very seldom did 1-Across come to me immediately. Today was not exception.

7. Kin of ibid.: OP. CIT. Both footnote abbrs.

12. Plenty: A LOT

16. Alastair of "A Christmas Carol": SIM. He played the Scrooge. His name was not stored in my brain shelf.

19. Since way back when: IN AGES

20. Moonshine: HOOCH. Illicit liquor.

21. Convertible, maybe: SOFA. "Maybe" did not prevent me from thinking of car.

22. Game whose name must be spoken during play: UNO

25. Toned down: SOFTENED

27. Drops by Niagara Falls?: MIST. I fell into "drops by" verb trap.

28. Sweep's target, perhaps: SOOT

29. Hard worker's output: SWEAT

31. Actress Woodard: ALFRE. She campaigned hard for Obama, and of course she scored a precious seat at the last state dinner.

32. Mountain nymph: OREAD (AW-ree-ad)

34. Follow: TAIL

36. Will Smith title role: ALI. Someday he's going to play Obama in a biopic.

37. Swabs: SALTS. Both slang for "sailors".

43. "Nothing __!" TO IT

44. Unsavory pair of options: EVILS. The lesser of two evils.

46. Entrance: GATEWAY

48. "The Big Chill" director: KASDAN (Lawrence). Unknown to me. Wikipedia says he wrote "The Bodyguard".

51. Heavy weight: TON. I like the clue.

52. Ill-gotten gains: LUCRE. Filthy lucre.

53. Tulsa sch. named for an evangelist: ORU (Oral Roberts University)

60. Monopoly buys: Abbr.: RRS

63. Gives pieces to: ARMS. "Pieces" here refer to guns.

66. Old knowledge: LORE. I associate LORE with tales rather than knowledge.

67. Palace abroad: ELYSEE. The Élysée Palace. The French "White House".

69. Prom night rentals: LIMOS

71. Indic language: URDU

73. Smooth in the shop: SAND

75. Shining: LIT UP

76. Portrait photographer Richard: AVEDON. Oh, so he shot this famous snake picture.

78. Major in astronomy?: URSA. Ursa Major.

80. Old Italian bread: LIRA. "Bread" here refers to money.

82. History: PAST

83. Sun. discourse: SER. And SEM (5D. Theological inst.)

88. Driving aid: TEE. Golf drive.

89. Hot day refuge: SHADE

91. "The Partridge Family" actress: DEY (Susan)

92. Disquiet: UNREST. Always thought "disquiet" is a verb.

94. Expand: BROADEN

96. City ESE of Mocha: ADEN. In Yemen. Tricky new clue.

98. French noble: COMTE. French for "count". "Comte de Monte-Cristo" (The Count of Monte Cristo) is a fantastic read.

107. Party leaders: HOSTS. Was thinking of the political leaders.

109. Milk units: Abbr.: QTS

110. Queens stadium: ASHE. And LENDL (40D. Frequent McEnroe opponent). Ivan Lendl.

111. Vast, in verse: ENORM

112. When a teen's curfew may be: AT TEN

113. Did some after-dinner work, maybe?: BUSED. Excellent clue.

115. Extended: LONG. Adjective "extended".

117. Fair-hiring org.: EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)

118. Gist: MAIN IDEA

123. Duke's gp.: ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference)

124. Character __: FLAW

125. Tarnish: TAINT

126. Songlike: ARIOSE. Same root with Aria?

127. Jeanne d'Arc, e.g.: Abbr.: STE (Sainte).

128. Squealer: FINK. Rat.

129. They may follow dogs: SLEDS. Nailed it.

130. Seeded: RANKED


1. Doodads: GISMOS. GIZMOS is more commonly used.

2. Available for work: ON HIRE

3. Only World Series perfect game pitcher: LARSEN (Don). Gimme. Game 5 of the 1956 World Series.

4. Worked up: AGITATED

6. Cup's 48: Abbr.: TSPS. One cup has 48 teaspoons. I was thinking of bra.

7. Natives of Lima or Toledo: OHIOANS. Gimme for the Pollo-ed out Jazzbumpa, I am sure. But I did not know there's a Lima in Ohio.

8. Popular yellow office product: POST-IT. From 3M.

9. __ au vin: COQ. Cock in French. Needs MOREL mushroom for extra flavor.

10. Hosp. areas: ICUS

11. It's caused by standing fans: THE WAVE. Lovely clue/answer.

12. Tear into: ASSAIL

13. Plunder: LOOT. Verb or noun.

14. Vacationing: OFF

15. Breezy farewells: TATAS

17. Couch potato quality: INERTIA

18. "The only sure bait when you angle for praise": Lord Chesterfield: MODESTY. Not familiar with this quote. Modesty is very valued in Asia.

24. Waterside inn: BOTEL. Bo(at) + (ho)tel. New to me.

26. One who gets you up: ELATER. Not excited about any ER suffix word.

33. Celebrated singers: DIVAS

35. Workers: LABOR. This S-less style entry often stumps me.

39. Less: MINUS. Verb.

41. Wrinkly fruit: UGLI. It's quite sweet.

42. __ Cologne: EAU DE. What are you using? I love my husband's Polo Sports.

47. Immune system lymphocyte: T-CELL

48. Eucalyptus eaters: KOALAS

49. Show up: ARRIVE

51. Arctic plain: TUNDRA. Minnesota is sure a tundra at this time of the year.

55. Bud's bud: LOU (Costello). Bud Abbott. "Who's on First?" fame.

56. Discussion site: FORUM

57. Aegean island: IOS. Island where Homer is supposed to be buried.

58. How much medication is taken: ORALLY. I am sure Dennis has other clue on mind.

59. City near Dayton: XENIA. No idea. Another city in Ohio. Wikipedia says Xenia means "hospitality" in Greek.

62. Deadly sins, e.g.: SEPTET

64. Earth: SOD

68. Kennel sound: YIP. More commonly seen in crossword than YELP.

70. "What a pity": SO SAD

72. Sch. with a record 33 Rose Bowl appearances: USC (University of Southern California)

74. Joanne of film: DRU

77. Ones who can barely be seen?. NUDES. Nudes are bare. My favorite clue today.

79. "The Age of Anxiety" Pulitzer winner: AUDEN. Poet W.H. Auden.

81. "What __ idea!": "How stupid!": A DUMB

85. Course list: MENU. Meal course.

86. Smart set: MENSA. "Stupid" in Spanish.

87. __ nous: ENTRE. Literally "between" in French.

90. Pick up the pace: HASTEN

93. Kept under control: REINED IN

94. Atlantic commonwealth: BAHAMAS. Have you been there?

95. Reading in a disorderly class?: RIOT ACT. Got the answer with the Across help.

96. 2-BR listings, perhaps: APTS

97. Strands: DESERTS. Can you come up with 2 sentences in which the two words are exchangeable grammatically?

98. Pals: COHORTS

99. Bridge bid, for short: ONE NO. No problem this time.

102. Bellyache: SQUAWK. And GROUSE (105D. Bellyache).

103. Large-kitchen feature: ISLAND. Our kitchen is rather small.

104. Manages: DOES OK. Alas, my multi-word woe.

106. Ran the show: EMCEED

108. Get a whiff of: SNIFF

113. Noodle: BEAN. Both slang for "head".

116. __ gum: thickening agent: GUAR. Have never used it.

119. Mid sixth-century date: DLI. Roman numeral 551.

121. Never, in Nuremberg: NIE. "No, in Nuremberg" is NEIN.

122. Strong D.C. lobby: NRA

Answer grid.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to Audrey and all the LAT Sunday solvers!


Oct 18, 2009

Sunday October 18, 2009 Alan Arbesfeld

Theme: The Ultimate Sandwich - NTH is sandwiched in each theme answer, spanning two words.

24A. Course covering the Roman Empire, perhaps: ANCIENT HISTORY

34A. Pentathlon event: JAVELIN THROW. More familiar with the sole word javelin rather than javelin throw.

51A. Rehearse quickly: RUN THROUGH

59A. "Under Milk Wood" playwright: DYLAN THOMAS. A Welsh writer/poet. Stranger to me. I've never heard of the play "Under Milk Wood".

77A. Malfunctioned: WENT HAYWIRE

89A: Gardener's gift: GREEN THUMB. Our KittyB sure has a green thumb.

102A. One of the Seven Sisters colleges: MOUNT HOLYOKE. Have vaguely heard of this college. Wikipedia says Emily Dickinson spent sometime here.

121A. College accommodations: STUDENT HOUSING

And 123D. Ultimate degree hidden in eight puzzle answers: NTH

I thought "sandwich" implies that NTH is inserted in an existing base phrase, but it's not. Good play on our crossword stalwart NTH.

This puzzle is of perfect difficulty level to me. I was engaged throughout the solving (some Sundays I was not), with a few "D'oh" V-8 moments, a few peeks at the cheat sheet and a few erasings.

As the norm with our Sunday puzzle, quite a few clever clues and unfamilair words/names for me.


1. Place to surf: THE NET. Internet surfing.

7. Like the best straight, in poker: ACE-HIGH. And DEAL IN (93A. Include, at the poker table).

14. Creature that divides to multiply: AMOEBA. The single-celled creature.

20. One-named Tejano singer: SELENA. She was murdered by a fan. J-Lo played her in the movie.

22. Scams: BUNCOS. Or Bunkos. New word to me.

23. Like hawks, vis-à-vis doves: PRO-WAR

27. Pilot: FLIER. And AIR BASE (43A. Post with planes).

28. "You're not telling the truth!": THAT'S A LIE

29. White Rose __-Tea, first instant iced tea: REDI. It simply means "ready", yes?

31. Take pieces from?: DISARM. Pieces=firearm. Great clue.

33. Noodge: PEST. Forgot the meaning of "noodge", a variant of nudge.

42. Jazz singer Anderson: IVIE. No idea. Wikipedia says she was best-known for her performances with Duke Ellington's orchestra between 1931 and 1942.

44. __ Raton, Florida: BOCA. Literally "mouth" in Spanish.

48. Chaos: BEDLAMS

50. Slangy "OK": YEH. Thought it's "Yeah".

55. Gods' drink: NECTAR. Root word for nectarine, my favorite fruit of the summer. Gods' food is ambrosia.

57. Bambi's aunt: ENA. Bambi & ENA are the only two "Bambi" characters I know.

58. British county: SHIRE

62. Lunes y martes, e.g.: DIAS. Spanish for "days". Lunes y martes = Monday and Tuesday.

65. Small songbird: WREN

66. Mother of the Titans: GAEA (JEE-uh). The Greek earth goddess.

69. Attend: GO TO

71. Deity skilled at archery: AMOR. Roman love god. Eros for the Greeks.

83. Toon skunk Pepé : LE PEW. The constant "l'amour" seeker.

85. Vintage auto: REO

87. __ Sebastian Bach: JOHANN. The greatest composer of the Baroque period.

88. Lux. neighbor: GER

92. Org. with a longstanding journal: AMA (American Medical Association). "The Journal of the American Medical Association".

95. NC State's gp.: ACC (Altantic Coast Conference). Stumper for me.

97. Starts: ADVENTS

101. Turner on screen: LANA. She was married to Artie Shaw for a few months.

104. Bank-confiscated auto, briefly: REPO

107. Reach rudely for: GRAB AT

111. Hints at: ALLUDES TO. Quite a few verb + preposition fill in today's grid.

113. Poland Spring competitor: EVIAN. Ours is Aquafina.

117. Bandleader's cry: HIT IT

123. "Driver carries __": robbery deterrent: NO CASH

124. Like a stiff drink: POTENT

125. Operative, as a rule: IN FORCE

126. Psychologist's concern: TRAUMA. Psychological damage is hard to treat.

127. Horseplay sounds?: SNORTS. Why? I got the answer from crosses.

128. Vegas light source: NEON GAS

129. __-skelter: HELTER


1. Recipe amts.: TSPS (Teaspoons). TBSPS is tablespoons.

3. "The Time Machine" race: ELOI. Yummy meal for the Morlock.

4. Old movie house staple: NEWSREEL

5. Canine coat?: ENAMEL. D'oh, teeth.

8. Child's plea: CAN I

12. Classy fellows: GENTS. Harmon Killebrew is a true gent, so is the guy on his right, of course!

13. __ yoga: HATHA. The most popular form of yoga, isn't it, KQ/Moon?

14. Slightly more than one can tolerate: A BIT MUCH. Multi-word fill elude me often.

15. Dishevel: MUSS

16. Recorded with a VCR: ON TAPE

17. French school: ECOLE. The students are élèves.

18. Tennis great Becker: BORIS. No idea. According to Wikipedia, he is the youngest-ever winner of the men's singles title at Wimbledon at the age of 17.

19. So far: AS YET

25. "Portia is Brutus' __, not his wife": Shak.: HARLOT. From Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar". I was clueless. LOVER does not fit.

27. All done, in Verdun: FINI. French for "over". I've never head of Verdun, a city in NE France. It's picked to rhyme with "done".

30. Radius times two: DIAMETER

32. "If __ a Rich Man": I WERE. From "Fiddler on the Roof".

34. Were in accord: JIBED. And AGREE (60D. Go along).

35. Big name in labels: AVERY

36. Gore who wrote "Lincoln": VIDAL. His mother was once married to Jackie Kennedy's step-father.

37. "__ see it my way ...": Beatles lyric: TRY TO. No idea. Those are the opening words of the Beatles' "We Can Work It Out".

38. Letter-shaped girder: H-BEAM. Same as I-BEAM, correct? I forgot our discussion result last time.

39. Enthusiastic: RAH-RAH. Ardent is six-letter too.

41. It's bad to be behind them: BARS. Behind the bars. Excellent clue. I was in the deadline direction.

44. __ B'rith: B'NAI. Literally "Sons of". B'nai B'rith = Sons of the Covenant.

45. Naturalist John: MUIR. The founder of Sierra Club.

47. Invitation word: WHEN

49. "The King and I" teacher: ANNA. Anna and the King.

52. Berlin conjunction: UND. German for "and".

53. "I'm amazed!": OH WOW

56. Indian tea: CHAI. "Chinese tea" is just CHA.

63. Turkish general: AGHA. Or AGA.

64. %#&!#! ones: SO AND SO'S. I thought those symbols refer to the F word.

68. "This seems familiar" feeling: DEJA VU. All over again.

70. Actress Daly: TYNE. Learned her name from doing Xword.

71. Pond organism: ALGA. The plural form is ALGAE.

72. Hired soldier, briefly: MERC. Mercenary, not a familiar abbreviation. Neither is VIRG (114D Arlington's state: Abbr.).

73. Crude cartel: OPEC. Nice C.C. alliteration.

75. Cross, in Cádiz: CRUZ. Another C.C. alliteration. Now I have a better understanding of Penélope CRUZ.

78. Ladies' club policy: NO MEN

79. U __, '60s UN secretary general: THANT. U is just Mr. in Burmese. Thant is his only name.

80. White house?: IGLOO. In Arctic. White indeed. Very clever clue.

81. Freshen, as a stamp pad: REINK

82. Banks of baseball: ERNIE. Hall-of-Famer. Played his entire career with the Chicago Cubs. What Els? ERNIE!

84. Ladies' hoops gp.: WNBA. Our WNBA team is called Minnestoa Lynx, owned by the same guy who owns the Timberwolves.

86. "Dreams From My Father" memoirist: OBAMA. He'd probably be happier with a Nobel Literature rather than Nobel Peace.

90. Digressions: TANGENTS

91. West Coast castle builder: HEARST. The Hearst Castle.

94. Not ordinary: ATYPICAL. Cool entry.

98. Spoils, as a grandchild: DOTES ON. I can picture how Jazzbumpa spoils his grandchildren.

101. "Turn it up, please": LOUDER. I like the er-less clue.

103. Pakistan's second-largest city: LAHORE. Karachi is the largest city.

104. Woodworking files: RASPS

105. John with a colorful wardrobe: ELTON. Oh, he is a SIR too.

106. Demoted planet: PLUTO

108. Dylan's "Ballad of __ Man": A THIN. Unknown to me. I did get BAEZ (96A. "Diamonds & Rust" singer Joan) though. Both were at Woodstock, right?

109. Wilderness Road pioneer: BOONE (Daniel)

115. Andean of yore: INCA

116. Mighty long time: AGES. Wrote down AEON first.

120. Whaler's direction: THAR. "There", as in "THAR she blows!"

122. ET carrier: UFO. What if aliens do exist?

A warm welcome to all our Canadian solvers. I enjoyed your comments last week and hope to hear more of your solving experience on Sundays.

Answer grid.


Sep 27, 2009

Sunday September 27, 2009 Alan Arbesfeld

Theme: Put the Finger on - ID(identification) is inserted in familiar phrases.

23A. Ella while scatting?: RAP(ID) SINGER. Ella Fitzgerald was noted for her scat singing.

29A. Bow-wielding Southern god?: DIXIE CUP(ID). Cupid is the love god. Dixie = Southern states.

36A. Cholesterol check?: LIP(ID) SERVICE. Lipid is rooted in Greek lipos, "fat/grease".

58A. Possible reply to a dentist's "Where does it hurt?": ON THE CUSP(ID). I just point the hurting tooth to him.

79A. Twisty hair style for active people?: SPORTS BRA(ID). Miley Cyrus probably should have worn a sports bra.

99A. Japanese sake, e.g.?: ASIATIC FLU(ID). Don't like the answer. ASIAN FLU yes. Asiatic sounds very archaic. Sake (SAH-kee) is Japanese rice wine, so is mirin.

104A. Candy, cookies and soda?: K(ID) RATIONS. Ancel Keys, who formulated K-ration, was also credited with first introducing the benefits of Mediterranean Diet to Americans.

117A. What Depp did, over and over, to acquire the auction item he so badly wanted?: JOHNNY REB(ID). Johnny Reb/Rebel is slang for the Confederate soldier.

Very clever theme. Adding/deleting letters has quickly become my favorite type.

Had several trouble spots today, esp in AQUINO (86A: Marcos's successor) & GDANSK area. I could picture AQUINO's face, couldn't remember how to spell her English name, very different from the Chinese translation that I was familiar with. She just died last month.


1. Denial on the base: NO SIR. Military base.

6. Smelling __: SALTS. Some people collect smelling salts bottles. Weird.

11. Hummus holder: PITA. Don't like chickpeas.

19. Get away from: ELUDE

20. "__ Ben Jonson": literary epitaph: ORARE. Latin for "pray". "Pray for Ben Jonson". S simply forgot. Saw identical clue before.

22. Nautilus captain: NEMO. From Jules Verne's "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" (Thanks, Martin).

25. 1939 Garland co-star: LAHR (Bert). Cowardly Lion in "The Wizard of Oz".

28. Singer Brewer: TERESA. Unknown to me. "Baby, Baby, Baby" sounds sweet.

31. River of Cologne: RHINE

35. Bull: Pref.: TAUR. As in tauridor (bullfighter). Taurus too.

40. Cockpit datum: AIRSPEED

44. Renée of silent films: ADOREE. Learned her name from doing Xword. French actress.

45. Uses as support: RESTS ON

47. Magnetic Field?: SALLY. Field is capitalized. Nice clue.

48. 17th-18th century British poet Nicholas: ROWE. Dramatist as well.

49. Anesthetize: DEADEN

55. Prayers are often said on them: KNEES

57. __ standstill: AT A. Wrote down ON A.

61. Orch. section: STR (String)

62. Mason's job?: CASE. D'oh, Perry Mason. Got me.

64. __ bit: slightly: A WEE

65. Lustrous fabrics: SATEENS. Cotton fabric. Used to think they are from silkworm too.

66. Condition that might bring you to tears?: BOREDOM. So true.

68. Lagged behind: TRAILED

73. Duds: TOGS

81. Free TV spot: PSA (Public Service Announcement)

82. Cork people: IRISH. Shout-out to Windhover's wife Irish. Cork is a county in Ireland.

84. Menlo Park middle name: ALVA. Thomas ALVA Edison, The Wizard of Menlo Park.

85. Open hearing, in law: OYER (OH-yer). New word to me. I do know OYEZ, often clued as "Court cry".

90. Oldest Little Leaguers: TEENS. Boy, some of them look too old to be teens.

92. Pants cuffs, to Brits: TURNUPS. Also new to me.

109. Lowlife, slangily: CREEPO

112. President between Harry and Jack: IKE. Nicknames in clue, nickname in answer.

119. Like Nash's lama, in verse: ONE L

121. Professeur's pupil: ELEVE: French for "student".

122. Running score: TALLY

123. Blubber: BAWL

124. Once, long ago: ERST. Root for erstwhile too.

125. Decisive times: D-DAYS

126. British submachine guns: STENS. The "Israeli submachine gun" is UZI.


2. Skin care brand: OLAY. I like Olay Total Effect eye cream.

3. The United States, e.g.: SUPER POWER. China too.

4. First name in dictators: IDI (Amin). Uganda.

5. Ocean phenomenon associated with wildlife mortality: RED TIDE. Caused by red algae I think.

7. ''Rule, Britannia'' composer: ARNE (Thomas)

8. Doesn't keep up: LAGS

9. Dissertation: TREATISE

11. __ sci: POLI

12. Big-screen format: IMAX

13. South Pacific vacation mecca: TAHITI. Mecca for Gauguin.

14. Overdue thing: ARREAR. Often in plural form.

15. Never before topped: UNSURPASSED

17. Present opening?: OMNI. Omnipresent. Nice clue.

24. Had a feeling about: SENSED

32. New staff member: HIREE

34. Sponsor's urging: ACT NOW

36. Small songbirds: LARKS. Tits too.

37. Rare altar reply, fortunately: I DON'T. Shouldn't it be "unfortunately"?

38. Like steamy films: R-RATED. Like the porn scenes in "Love Actually". Nice movie though.

39. Hindu scripture: VEDA. Sankrit for "sacred lore/knowledge".

40. Egyptian symbol of life: ANKH. The cross with a loop.

41. Take the honey and run: ELOPE. Lovely clue.

42. Impish: ELFIN

43. Groups of two: DYADS

46. Blender brand: OSTER. Forgot again.

50. Slips past: EASES BY. Can you make a sentence for me?

52. Sammy Davis Jr. autobiography: YES I CAN. I have the book.

53. Italy's La __: SCALA. The opera house in Milan.

56. "Ivanhoe" author: SCOTT. Sir Walter SCOTT. See the bookcover.

59. New Jersey team: NETS

60. Wombs: UTERI

63. Schoolyard retort: ARE SO

64. Paris possessive: A MOI

66. Informal eatery: BAR AND GRILL. Good fill.

67. Japanese city known for its beer: OTARU (AW-tah-roo). Looks pretty. Have never had OTARU beer. Beer is just so filling.

69. Hockey stat: ASSIST

70. H.S. juniors' exams: PSATS

71. Words after cop: A PLEA. Cop a plea.

74. Polish city where Solidarity was founded: GDANSK (guh-DAHNSK). Also new to me. What a strange name, full of consonants.

76. Capable of being scattered: DIFFUSIBLE

77. Japanese immigrant: ISSEI. Literally, "first generation".

81. Insect stage: PUPA. Larva, PUPA and imago, three stages.

83. Remington product: RIFLE

87. Stop dramatically, as smoking: QUIT COLD. More familiar with quit cold turkey.

88. Live in: OCCUPY

91. Ward of "Sisters": SELA. She is in "The Fugitive".

93. Tellers?: RATS. Nailed it.

95. In some respects: OF SORTS

97. Like English, to most Americans: NATIVE

98. Publishing VIP: EDITOR. The clue is asking for an abbreviated answer.

100. Cara and Castle: IRENES

105. New York college whose team is the Gaels: IONA. This has become a gimmie.

107. Table scraps: ORTS. One of the earliest crosswordese I learned.

108. Russian refusal: NYETS

110. Ostrich relative: RHEA. Flightless.

113. Potter's oven: KILN

114. Slow Churned ice-cream brand: EDY'S. Marketed under Dreyer's in the west coast.

117. "The Beverly Hillbillies" dad: JED. Would not have obtained without the Across answers.

Answer grid.


Jul 19, 2009

Sunday July 19, 2009 Alan Arbesfeld

Theme: Den of Thieves - CON is added to each phrase.

23A: Builder's political clout?: CONTRACTOR PULL

34A: Patronizing part of the digestive tract?: CONDESCENDING COLON

47A: Lacking partners?: OUT OF CONSORTS

60A: Oppose, while tippling?: CONFRONT LOADED

68D: Lawyer in line for a title shot: LEGAL CONTENDER

86A: "Da" or "ja"?: CONSENT ABROAD

93A: Angel on one's shoulder? MASTER OF CONSCIENCE

113A: Charge of the TV?: CONSOLE CUSTODY

Five of the CON's are prefixed to the first word, three are to the second word. Nice theme title. Reminds me of James Steward's "Den of Thieves" (a book about inside trading).

Descending colon was new to me, but CONDESCENDING part was not tough to get. LOADED is an adjective, how could it describe a verb CONFRONT?

"Da" is Russian for "yes". Russian "no" is NYET. "Ja" is German for "yes", and we have the "no" NEIN (87D: Kurt refusal?) in the grid. Good play on "curt refusal".

I had another struggle. The sheer size of Sunday puzzle just intimidated me. Also, lots of sports references in this puzzle. I can picture how Kazie reacts.


1A: Apple variety: IMAC. I thought of FUJI apple again.

5A: "Hi and Lois" pooch: DAWG. Unknown to me.

9A: Like a 112-Across game: TIED. And ONE ONE (112A: Score in a pitchers' duel). What a boring game!

13A: Chalk talk, perhaps: LESSON

19A: "Me neither": NOR I. Or the rice ball/sushi wrapping seaweed NORI.

20A: City known for lake-effect snow: ERIE. I like the new clue.

21A: Actress Skye: IONE. Wrote down IONA.

22A: Colts fullback Alan who famously scored the winning touchdown in the 1958 NFL championship game: AMECHE. No idea. Wikipedia says this guy is the cousin of actor Don AMECHE.

26A: Hair dryer brand: CONAIR

27A: Screen names, e.g.: USER IDS

28A: Pointillism marks: DOTS

29A: Race that once began in Wasilla: IDITAROD. Where does it start now? Anchorage? The terminus is Nome.

31A: Dinosaur, so to speak: RELIC

32A: Turn down: VETO

33A: "Right away, boss": I'M ON IT. Still have problem adjusting to multiple words.

41A: U.K's Gordon Brown et al: PMS. I was thinking of Labor Party.

44A: Him, to Henri: LUI. Her is ELLE.

48A: Hockey East college town: ORONO. More used to the "University of Maine town". Had no knowledge that there is even a Hockey East conference.

53A: Where to see Hamilton, informally: TEN SPOT. Did not know it's a slang for a ten-dollar bill. Sawbuck, yes.

55A: Bama rival: OLE MISS

56A: Affectedly dainty, in Dover: TWEE. No idea. It's a baby-talk alteration of sweet.

57A: Key contraction: O'ER. Francis Scott Key. National Anthem.

59A: Macho types: HE-MEN

64A: Mainland Africa's smallest nation: GAMBIA. See the map. It's surrounded by Senegal. A former British colony. I've never heard of it.

67A: Jeer leaders: BOOERS. Ah, "Cheer leader?" would be a great clue for CEE.

74A: Bothered to no end: ATE AT. And NAGS AT (95D: Bothers incessantly).

79A: Tin Woodsman's prop: AXE. "The Wizard of Oz". I only know him as the "Tin man".

81D: Being hunted, perhaps: AT LARGE

83A: Deodorant choices: ROLL-ONS

88A: Birch kin: ALDER

89A: City on the Orne: CAEN. Forgot. Might have seen ORNE clued as "Caen's river" before.

91A: Aution ending?: EER. Auctioneer.

92A: Scrub sites, briefly: ORS (Operation Rooms). Surgical scrub. Hence the TV series name "Scrubs".

100A: Old marketplaces: AGORAE. The Greek marketplace. I wrote down AGORAS.

101A: Near-eternity: AEON. Or EON.

102A: On the nose: EXACT

106A: Exurban resident: VILLAGER

109A: Toasted breakfast brand: EGGO

110A: Honda Ruckus, e.g.: SCOOTER. Not familiar with the Honda Ruckus brand.

116A: Claim holder: LIENOR

117A: Personnel list: ROTA. I forgot this word. It's British for roster.

118A: Stereotypical lab name: IGOR. The lab assistant in"Young Frankenstein".

119A: Model Sastre: INES. Wow, is this an intentional wardrobe malfunction? She is a Spanish model/actress.

120A: Burnout cause: STRESS

121A: Baseball's "Walking Man" Eddie: YOST. Hmmm, I might have this 1959 Topps reprint. Could not recall him or his nickname.

122A: Shopper's aid: TOTE

123A: "__ la vie": C'EST


1D: Run up: INCUR

2D: Meat favored by Sarah Palin: MOOSE. Brought back last year's MOOSE raves.

3D: Cellulose fiber: ARNEL. New word to me. Strange, a fiber without ON (orlon, nylon).

4D: Like ugli fruit: CITRIC

5D: Pooped out: DEAD

7D: Wilde, notably: WIT. Thought of GAY first.

8D: Crystal-lined rocks: GEODES

9D: Try to avoid detection, in a way: TIPTOE

10D: Chits: IOUS

11D: 8X10, e.g.: Abbr.: ENL

12D: Separate into fields: DELIMIT. New word to me. Sounds like "get rid of limit", doesn't it?

13D: Pre-skating chore: LACING

14D: Face with a hyphen for a nose, say: EMOTICON. :-)

15D: Ottawa NHLers: SENATORS. Twins were once Washington SENATORS.

16D: Easily recalled facial mark: SCAR. Wanted MOLE.

17D: Kent State locale: OHIO

19D: Societal klutz: NERD

25D: Uniformed campus org: ROTC

30D: Aid financially: DONATE TO

32D: Way to a man's heart?: VEIN. Couldn't cram in "through his stomach". Great clue.

35D: 2008 LA-Phila. showdown: NLCS (National League Championship Series). Phillies won of course.

36D: Pairs: DUOS

37D: Gunpowder ingredient: NITER

38D: Bounded along: LOPED

40D: Jotted down: NOTED

41D: Pal of Piglet: POOH. Winnie-the-POOH.

42D: Prospector's beast: MULE. No idea. Why?

43D: Goblet feature: STEM

48D: First watch on the moon: OMEGA. Oh, I did not know this.

49D: Set in stone: FINAL

50D: Ferret cousin: STOAT

51D: Dominate, in sports: OWN. PWN in leetspeaks.

53D: Field zebra: REF

54D: First name in legal fiction: ERLE. ERLE Stanley Gardner.

57D: __ close to schedule: ON OR

60D: Cannes showing: CINE. Cannes Film Festival.

61D: Needing a seat belt extender, say: OBESE. China is super-sizing its economy as well as its children.

63D: Sirius or Vega, e.g.: A STAR. I can never remember the star type: O, B, A, F, G, K & M (Oh, be a fine girl, kiss me).

65D: Thom __ shoes: MCAN

65D: Place to find hit records?: BOX SCORE. Great clue.

68D: Super Bowl XIV player: LA RAM. No idea. LA RAMS moved to St. Louis prior to the 1995 season, according to Wikipedia.

69D: Deadly virus: EBOLA

70D: Neuters: GELDS

71D: Low-budget prefix: ECONO

72D: "The Sound of Music" extra: NUN. Julie Andrews is in Bo Derek's "10" too.

73D: Around-the-horn MLB plays: DPS (Double Plays).

75D: Switch back?: EROO. Switcheroo. Good clue.

76D: Thickening agent: AGAR

77D: Turner and Mack: TEDS. Don't know TED Mack.

81D: Suit to __: A TEE

82D: Glacier-formed lake: TARN. Can never commit this word to my memory.

84D: Not to mention: LET ALONE

85D: Spaghetti sauce herbs: OREGANOS

86D: Winans of gospel: CECE

90D: Quite removed (from): A FAR CRY

94D: "All politics is applesauce" speaker: ROGERS. Will ROGERS is of Cherokee root.

96D: Utah state flower: SEGO. SEGO lily.

97D: "Calm down!": COOL IT

98D: Top suits: CEOS. Suit is a slang for business executive, as they often wear suit. Needs an abbreviation hint.

99D: Type of dancer: EXOTIC

103D: Say an Act of Contrition: ATONE

104D: Hands over: CEDES. Britain handed over Hongkong to China in 1997. And Portugal handed over Macau to China in 1999.

105D: It could be cheating: TRYST. Indeed.

106D: Lady __ Tenn. team: VOLS. University of Tennessee women's athletic teams. I was stumped again.

107D: Embroidered ltr.: INIT (Initial)

109D: Fangom Forest denizens: ENTS. Tolkien's talking tree ("The Lord of Rings") again. It's just clued as "Treebeard's kin" yesterday.

110D: Connery, by birth: SCOT. I liked Sean Connery in "Entrapment".

111D: Medical breakthrough: CURE

114D: Queenside castle, in chess notation: O-O-O. I know nothing about chess.

115D: It may be inflated: EGO. Saw this clue before. Still like it.

Thanks for the answers/comments, everyone.

Answer grid.