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

Apr 2, 2020

Thursday, April 2nd 2020 Alan DerKazarian

Theme: OM .... G! (Cue crying).

61A. Scream-evoking horror film technique ... and a hint to what's hiding in five puzzle rows: JUMP SCARE

This is one of those puzzles which I call an "aftertheme" - there is no way that the reveal helps you solve the puzzle, especially in this case as it comes pleasingly-placed at the end. Instead you solve the puzzle, find the reveal and then go back theme-hunting to make sense of it.

In my case, I'd never heard of the phrase "jump scare", and with the "J" crossing the unknown "AJA" it took me a WAG to go for the only letter which vaguely made sense and with that I finished the puzzle.

Per our friends at Wikipedia "A jump scare (often shortened to jumpscare) is a technique often used in horror films, haunted houses, video games, and Internet screamers, intended to scare the audience by surprising them with an abrupt change in image or event, usually co-occurring with a frightening sound, mostly loud screaming".

So now I went back to look for the five puzzle rows, and discovered "TERROR", "FRIGHT", "ALARM", "START" and "PANIC", all synonyms for SCARE and find that they "jump" across a black square in the grid.

Thanks to Alan for treasure hunt!

So there we are. I think it's nice that Rich seems to have abandoned the "circles" gimmick in the puzzles - this is a great example where there could have been circles to point up where the theme entries are. I find the detective work after the fact much more satisfying than being led to water and told to drink.

I don't do scary movies. I snuck into "The Exorcist" at 14 and couldn't sleep without the light on for a month. "The Omen" and "Carrie" didn't do a whole lot to settle my nerves either. Many years later I decided that I was old enough to watch "The Ring" and regretted it for days afterwards. I've cried in all the "Toy Story" movies, what chance do I have with the scary stuff?

So let's go and explore the rest of today's topics:


1. Egyptian god with an ibis head: THOTH. I thought I knew this one, but I stumbled and stuttered until eventually the crosses helped me out.

6. One who crosses the line: SCAB. Picket lines. I've never been a militant, but I did join a picket line last year and I was cold, wet, mostly miserable but felt I was doing something very right.

10. Blight-stricken tree: ELM. We had three gorgeous elm trees behind my childhood house in England. One year they didn't leaf in the spring. The next year they were dead and gone. They were more than 100 years old.

13. "Donnie Brasco" actress Anne: HECHE

14. Flap: TO-DO

15. Corp. leaders: CEOS

17. Lay to rest: INTER

18. With 42-Across, part of a psychologist's battery: RORSCHACH. Part of the theme. A poll - how many people knew how to spell this right off the bat? I didn't, I had ROR, a blank bit and "ACH". The middle was eventually filled in, but that was a toughie.

20. Seven-time Wimbledon winner: GRAF. Steffie. A class act.

21. Wisconsin city on the Mississippi: LA CROSSE

22. HDTV part, for short: HI-DEF. This was a tricky clue, as HI-DEF forms two parts of "HDTV".

24. They may be civil: RIGHTS. Wars, ceremonies and law didn't fit, so I was left with rights. And right I was.

25. Singing stars: DIVAS

27. "60 Minutes" regular: STAHL

31. Strong brew: ALE. It can be strong, but doesn't need to be. IPA is strong as it was brewed to transport to India in the 1850's and needed hops and alchohol to preserve it in the kegs on the way. The British soldiers didn't object.

34. Deadly: LETHAL

37. West Point team: ARMY. I oddly tried to force "USMA" in here before I saw sense.

38. Prom adornment: CORSAGE

40. Hear about: LEARN OF

42. See 18-Across: TEST

43. Stella __: Belgian beer: ARTOIS. STELLA! The logo is a star - hence Stella - the Star of Artois. I like beer trivia.

45. Düsseldorf direction: OST. Damn. I jumped the gun with EST and then suffered when ARNE didn't look right. I could have helped myself by looking two clues down, and realizing that EASTS and EST probably wouldn't work together in a quality puzzle.

46. Hard work: SWEAT

48. Bridge seats: EASTS

50. __ Zee: Hudson River area: TAPPAN. I was tempted by "ZUIDER" thinking that the Dutch would transport their native names (New Amsterdam, Harlem being anglicised examples) then recalled the bridge. Which I spelt as TEPPAN, I must have had teppanyaki food on the brain.

53. Divine fluid: ICHOR. A completely new one for me. This was my second-to-last entry - ICHOR crossing OSIER was another near-Natick.

57. Laszlo Kreizler, in a Caleb Carr novel: ALIENIST

60. Nylons: HOSE

63. Broadway orphan: ANNIE

64. US Open stadium namesake: ASHE

65. Surrealist Paul: KLEE. He didn't stick to one thing, there's the hand of Mondrian, Picasso and other influences in his paintings.

66. Paragon: MODEL

67. It may be gross: TON

68. Barrie pirate: SMEE. "Peter Pan".

69. Leaders of industry: CZARS. TSARS/CZARS - wait for the crosses.


1. Fried chicken choice: THIGH. My favorite, not just for fried chicken. The best flavor and easy to cook. I use thigh meat more than any other cut of chicken, when I get my boning knife out, stand back, I can skin and debone 10lbs of chicken thighs in five minutes flat.

2. Painter __ de Toulouse-Lautrec: HENRI. He was nicknamed "Teapot" by the good ladies of the Pigalle and the Moulin Rouge. He was not very tall, but had, allegedly, an impressive "spout".

3. Two quartets: OCTAD. Tried OCTET, didn't work, changed it.

4. Jay Powell chairs it: THE FED

5. That girl: HER

6. Orchestra sect.: STR. I'm never a big fan of this when I see it. Would you know how to shorten woodwinds, brass or percussion? No, and neither would anyone else. Let's consign this to the dustbin of desperate crossword fill.

7. Not very friendly: COOLISH

8. "What __": "Ho-hum": A DRAG

9. Amazon crime series based on Michael Connelly novels: BOSCH. Thank you, crosses.

10. Satellite communications giant: ECHOSTAR

11. Grazing sites: LEAS

12. Soft shoes: MOCS

16. That girl: SHE. SHE and HER today.

19. Old PC monitors: CRT'S. Cathode Ray Tubes, I hate to think how many of these ended up in landfills.

23. Adidas rival: FILA. I think Adidas might look down their nose at Fila being described as a rival. Nike for sure, Puma probably in soccer equipment, maybe New Balance for running shoes. Fila? That's a stretch. How do you pronounce Adidas? It depends where you come from, and Adidas doesn't have a published company "standard" unlike Nike (NYK-ee). If you're from these shores, then you're likely to say "a-DEE-das". If you're from Europe, mostly "ADD-EE-DAS".

24. Yelp user, say: RATER. HATER would equally fit here. How many Yelp reviews have you read with One Star because the restaurant wasn't equipped with ESP and didn't know that the reviewer was recently vegan, even when she ordered the medium-rare rib-eye and IT WAS MY FIANCES B-DAY AND THEY DIN LET US SIT AT THE TABLE I WANTED BCOS S/O ELSE HAD BOOKED IT AND THEN CHARG US 4 THE CAKE I BOUGHT IN AND FEED ME STAKE WHEN I TURNED VEAGAN ON FRIDAY. THEY ARE LIARS. I WON GO BACK LOL". I feel sorry for restauranteurs the world over.

26. Brightest star in Lyra: VEGA

28. River of Pisa: ARNO. Yeah, me ARNE looked odd when I goofed on OST/EST

29. Gps. with copays: HMO'S

30. Ride-sharing option: LYFT. I do wonder why Uber and Lyft are always described as "ride-sharing" services? I know you can share a ride with them, but I wonder what proportion of their revenue comes from ride-share? They were never touted as ride-share services, they were launched as alternatives to calling your local taxi firm for a ride, getting stuck on hold, then being told "15-to-45 minutes" and riding in a rattletrap that stank of cigarettes and a driver that refused to take credit cards and complained he wasn't getting enough tips. Uber and Lyft are not perfect, but they are a hell of an improvement over the "service" before.

31. Ballet divisions: ACTS

32. Early movie mogul: LOEW

33. Gaelic language: ERSE

35. Take out __: A LOAN

36. Island rings: LEIS

39. Fox River, in TV's "Prison Break": STATE PEN

41. Spot of wine?: ASTI

44. Source of a homeopathic oil: TEA TREE. I've used this to cure sporadic outbreaks of dry skin. I'll abide by the "breakfast test" and won't gross you out with more graphic descriptions.

47. They may be fake: TANS

49. Slangy nose: SCHNOZ. I have a friend who is an animation artist. I don't drink any alcohol in January; he drew a caricature of me the day I stepped down from the wagon one February 1st on a bar napkin with a crayon. I never thought I had a schnoz, but the artist doesn't lie!

51. Chooses: PICKS

52. Church song: PSALM

54. Passport producer: HONDA

55. Willow twig: OSIER

56. Lively dances: REELS

57. "The Birth of a Nation" actress __ Naomi King: AJA

58. A deadly sin: LUST. These are tricky waters to navigate. As well as the Ten Commandments, you have the Seven Deadly Sins, the Eternal Sins against the Holy Ghost and the Sins that Cry to Heaven for Vengeance. It seemed like every theologian worth his salt came up with a new list. I think we should just be nice to each other and leave it at that.

59. "If u ask me": IMHO

62. Shoebox letters: EEE

63. "Breaking Bad" network: AMC

That pretty much wraps up this Thursday. I hope you're all taking care of yourselves and being extremely careful in these unusual times. If you're starting to get a little stir-crazy and want to talk to someone other than the walls or the dog, please don't hesitate give me or any of the bloggers a shout and we'll be happy to talk crosswords, or anything else. You can zing me an email through my blog link to keep your personal information secure and I'll be in touch. I'm not sure I'll talk any more sense than the dog, but at least the accent might entertain you.

And .... drum roll ... here's the grid!


Jan 13, 2018

Saturday, January 13, 2018, Alan DerKazarian


In a Tuesday puzzle of nearly a year ago (1/17/17), Alan posted how he liked reading comments on his puzzles and added, "Armenians get to put a "Der" in front of their names if there's been a significant religious person in their family's history, like a bishop. In my case it was my grandfather's father, who was an important religious figure in Eastern Turkey in the late 1800s."

Alan's puzzle provided entertainment and provided new learning for this cowboy (marked in RED below)! Here are some of his gettable long fills that proved to be useful in solving:

20. '60s counterculture slogan : MAKE LOVE NOT WAR - This iconic Bernie Boston picture for the Washington Star is what always leaps to my mind for this sentiment 

25. Cry of dominance : WHO'S YOUR DADDY - Yankee fans having a good time at Pedro Martinez's expense

45. 20-mile annual Boston-area fundraiser sponsored by Project Bread : WALK FOR HUNGER - The Marathon and this are big in Boston

51. Excuse for rowdy behavior : BOYS WILL BE BOYS - A lame excuse that has definitely fallen out of favor

Now let's see what else Alan has for us:
1. Video file format : MPEG - Moving Pictures Experts Group. Lots of internet videos use this format

5. Offenbach opera "Daphnis et __" : CHLOE - One interpretation of the story of the romance between two shepherd girls on the Isle of Lesbos written 1,800 years ago

10. Jerk's concern : SODA - The jerk is so called for this action of "jerking" the handle to get carbonated water

14. Former Sony brand : AIWA - I once had an AIWA boom box 

15. Aggressive corporate tactics : RAIDS - He played a corporate RAIDER and she played a, uh, Lady of the 24. Poetic night : EEN

16. Fast-food legend : KROC -  Ray Kroc did not invent McDonalds. He took (read stole) the McDonald brothers system and made it huge as seen in the 2016 movie The Founder

17. Presently : ANON 

18. Mail-order outlet for outdoorsy types : ORVIS and 19. Harpsichordist Kipnis : IGOR. A Vermont based outdoor company and a musician I did not know but that's why we have perpendicular fill.

23. Math ratios : SINES - Ah, back to stuff I know, opposite/hypotenuse 

30. "The Yankee Doodle Boy" composer : COHAN - Seeing Jimmy Cagney as Cohan singing Yankee Doodle Boy from the movie of the same name should be part of becoming a citizen! 😁

32. Big letters in toys : FAO - I recently posted the picture of Tom Hanks dancing on the  FAO Schwarz floor piano in Big

33. CBS Sports NFL analyst Tony : ROMO - His body finally said, "That's enough" and he's now in the broadcast booth

34. Map abbr. : RTE - In my part of the world we say "rout" and in other parts they say "root". You?

35. Loosed : SET FREE - Julia Ward Howe wrote, "He has LOOSED the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword"

39. Neat ending? : NIK - Felix not Oscar

40. After-lunch sandwich : OREO - Haven't we had this word before? 😜

42. Word with big or house : CAT - My loving wife with our BIG HOUSE CAT 

43. Together : AS ONE - When the Huskers do their tunnel walk, the fans rise AS ONE

49. "Macbeth" character : HAG - Shakespeare's non-PC designation 

50. Gay leader? : ENOLA - This plate tells you where my Mom worked during WWII and where this particular B-29 that became the ENOLA GAY was assembled

57. Defeat soundly : DRUB

58. Serve : AVAIL

59. Per : A POP - $2 A POP for bottled water makes it way more expensive than gasoline. Talk about marketing!

60. "No prob!" : EASY

61. Merci, across the border : DANKE - DANKE Schön worked for Wayne Newton and Ferris Bueller 

62. Nigerian pop star : SADE - Born in Ibadan, Nigeria

63. Cry of glee : WHEE

64. Orson Scott Card protagonist __ Wiggin : ENDER - Andrew ENDER Wiggin

65. Side for a dog : SLAW - KFC has wonderful cole SLAW


1. Hat-tipper's word : MAAM - Can you tip a ball cap that is on backwards?

2. Fruit in un cóctel : PINA -Pineapple es "piña" en español (Pineapple is 
piña in Spanish)

3. Fuzzy Endor resident : EWOK - A Star Wars cast member

4. Hindu god with the head of an elephant : GANESHA 

5. Sings smoothly : CROONS - Harry Connick Jr., Michael Buble'...

6. "Family Feud" host since 2010 : Steve HARVEY 

7. Exists simply : LIVES OFF THE LAND 

8. Valhalla VIP : ODIN - ODIN rules over Valhalla - "The house of the slain"

9. ExxonMobil trade name : ESSO

10. Garb for schussing : SKI WEAR - Not much use here for us flatlanders

11. Transplant figure : ORGAN DONOR - This shows 1) I take a lousy picture, 2) my hair is gray and 3) I am a an ORGAN DONOR

12. Way out : DOOR

13. Spanning: Abbr. : ACR - The Royal Gorge Bridge near Canon City, CO spans ACRoss the Arkansas river at 1,000 ft up but all you can do is cross it and turn right around and come back

21. Only NFC team that hasn't played in a Super Bowl : LIONS

22. Talks acronym : TED - Thought provoking online talks about Technology, Entertainment and Design. See more at 

25. Area of expertise : WHEELHOUSE - Give me the microphone to talk about space and I'm good to go!

26. Nasser's org. : UAR - In last Saturday's puzzle it was 15. Group formed in Cairo in 1945 : ARAB LEAGUE 

27. Caviar : ROE

28. Key of Beethoven's Ninth: Abbr. : D MIN - This choral part still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up!

29. Tie on the farm : YOKE 

30. Talk big : CROW - Peter Pan's self aggrandizing anthem 

31. Not esta or esa : OTRA - Not esta (this) or esa (that) but OTRA (another)

36. "Foucault's Pendulum" author : ECO - Umberto ECO's satirical novel

37. Crew member : TAR - Or gob, swab, swabbie, salt, sea dog...

38. Apollo 11 lander : EAGLE - "Houston, Tranquility Base here, the EAGLE has landed"

41. "See ya later" : OKAY BYE 

44. Fish market offering : SEA BASS

46. NFL threes : FGS - The behemoths play for 59 minutes and then the smallest guy on the squad comes in to decide the game with his kicking

47. Facebook reversal : UNLIKE - I had to "UNFRIEND" several people in 2016 because I got tired of them 56. Expel strongly : SPEWing their political opinions whether I agreed or not. There's a time and place

48. Word in Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy : NOBLER - Sometimes it is NOBLER to "suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" than to "take arms against a sea of trouble." Hill worth dying on?

51. "My man!" : BRAH - Brother -> Bro -> BRAH

52. Cross a stream, perhaps : WADE

53. English : John :: Slavic : __ : IVAN 
In Spanish, it would be Juan and 约翰 in Chinese

54. Girasol, e.g. : OPAL - Yeah, I didn't know either. Also called Moon Opal

55. Sci-fi character voiced by Frank Oz : YODA - Oh, that's how it's done!

57. Green moisture : DEW - Early golfers are called "DEW Sweepers"

Time now for your pertinent or impertinent remarks:


Jan 17, 2017

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 Alan DerKazarian

Theme: New Speak - Our first utterances.

17A. Silly sort : GOOFBALL

25A. Zeros : GOOSE EGGS

37A. Anniversary celebration at the Met, say : GALA PERFORMANCE

50A. Disputed Mideast territory : GAZA STRIP

62A . Infantile vocalizations, and a hint to the starts of 17-, 25-, 37- and 50-Across : BABY TALK. Goo goo, ga ga.

Argyle here. Koochy, koochy, koo.


1. Baja vacation spot : CABO. We were on Cabo's peninsula just last Friday.

5. Tree's sticky output : SAP

8. Neck mark from necking : HICKEY

14. Razor name : ATRA

15. Suffix with pay : OLA. payola.

16. Taking the place (of) : IN LIEU

19. Polish port where Solidarity was founded : GDANSK. Not baby's first word.

20. Music producer Brian : ENO

21. Dueling sword : ÉPÉE

22. "Hannah and __ Sisters": Woody Allen film : HER

23. Formal pronouncements : DICTA. Legal mumbo-jumbo.

30. Pay with plastic : CHARGE

32. __ of: done with : RID

33. Not at home : OUT

34. The Judds, e.g. : DUO

35. Migration formation : VEE

36. Move in the wind : SWAY

42. Numbered musical piece : OPUS

43. Grunting female : SOW

44. Slowing, on a music score: Abbr. : RIT. (ritardando)

45. Little point to pick : NIT

46. Sick __ dog : AS A

47. Spitball need : SALIVA

53. R&B singer Baker : ANITA

55. "That's all __ wrote" : SHE

56. Fermented honey drink : MEAD

58. The USA's 50 : STs. (states)

59. Nissan model : SENTRA

64. Series of related emails : THREAD

65. Luau instrument : UKE

66. Curved molding : OGEE

67. Fort Bragg mil. branch : US ARMY

68. Boston hrs. : EST. (Eastern Standard Time)

69. Dandelion, e.g. : WEED


1. Confined, as a bird: CAGED

2. Not accented, as syllables: ATONIC. Seldom seen word.

3. Ornamental pin: BROOCH

4. Doofus: OAF

5. Ivory in the tub: SOAP

6. State without proof: ALLEGE

7. Prefix with -lithic: PALEO

8. Bogart film set in a California range: "HIGH SIERRA", A campy trailer.

9. Truly: INDEED

10. Irish county bordering Limerick: CLARE. Across the River Shannon.

11. Next of __: KIN

12. Wide shoe widths: EEs. I blindly put in EEE.

13. Guffaw: YUK

18. Face adversity well: BEAR UP

24. Cries of triumph: TADAs

26. Layered cookie: OREO

27. Bridal attire: GOWN

28. Avocado dip, for short: GUAC. (guacamole)

29. Eyelid sore: STYE

31. Dates one person exclusively: GOES STEADY

35. Ex-GIs' gp.: VFW. (Veterans of Foreign Wars)

36. Lustrous fabric: SATIN

37. Bell hit with a padded mallet: GONG

38. Samoan capital: APIA. Have we learned it yet?

39. Skating leap: LUTZ

40. Have a good laugh: ROAR

41. Address for a noblewoman: MILADY

46. Traditional Hindu retreat: ASHRAM

47. Delivers a lecture: SPEAKS

48. Facial expression: VISAGE

49. Postwar British prime minister: ATTLEE. Clement Attlee, Prime Minister from 1945 to 1951. 

51. Autumn blossom: ASTER

52. Suffuse (with): IMBUE

54. Queried: ASKED

57. Help with a heist: ABET

59. Actor Erwin: STU. That is way back in the archives.

60. "Come again?" sounds: EHs?

61. FDR agency: NRA. (National Recovery Administration)

63. Illegal parker's risk: TOW


Jan 22, 2016

Friday, January 22, 2016, Alan DerKazarian

Theme: My temporary forwarding address is....

A return visit from Alan whose first LAT I blogged back in July, 2013.  He had three other LATs in 2015 and has three NYTs. The end of the fill are types of basic living quarters. We do have an uncommon Friday reveal telling us exactly what to look for in our puzzle. I found it like most Fridays filled with challenging clues, but overall doable. My first theme impression was the SH in shed, shack and shut but that did not last. Some very sparkly fill like BEHESTS, IN HASTE, IN SO FAR, NO NAMES,  STREAKS,  TEN ACRE, CAST IN STONE, MINNEAPOLIS with many of the multiple word fill so popular with the late Dan Naddor and Jeffrey Wechsler. Well let us go solve the homeless problem...

19A. Cleaned meticulously : HAND POLISHED (12). Sheds come in all sizes and types.
28A. Disdainful literary review comment : TALENTLESS HACK (14). There are many shacks to be seen driving our roads.
34A. Ironclad : OPEN AND SHUT (11). A hut can be very simple.
44A. Malice, in law : CRIMINAL INTENT (14). Tents on the other hand can be rather impressive.
53A. Classic Stones song ... and a hint to what's hidden at the ends of 19-, 28-, 34- and 44-Across : GIMME SHELTER (12). They keep on going.


1. Cotton fabric : PIMA. Pima cotton is a generic name for extra-long staple (ELS) cotton grown primarily in the U.S., Australia, Peru and apparently the long staple makes it softer. Per wiki.

5. The Cavaliers of the ACC : UVA. University of Virginia.

8. Parkinson's drug : L-DOPA. Read and LEARN.

13. "What's Going __ Your World": George Strait hit : ON IN. Nor rock and roll.

14. "Delta of Venus" author : NIN. We see Anais often; here is her work.

15. "Lincoln," for one : BIOPIC. Daniel Day Lewis, not to be confused with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

16. "That's terrible!" : OH NO. This has to be the LINK.(0:36).

17. Internet __ : BOT. 79 million hits for THIS.

18. Internet lesson plan company : E-NOTES. More things I do not KNOW.

22. Weather forecast abbr. : SSE.

23. Heated feeling : IRE. This is a real word that appears all the time in crosswords.

24. Like a good-sized farm : TEN ACRE. Rather arbitrary

31. 2013 animated fantasy film : EPIC. Don't know the movie, but it looks fun.
32. Wear (away) : EAT.

33. Fan mail encl. : SAESelf Addressed Envelope.

39. Voice of Barney on "The Flintstones" : MEL. He was AMAZING .

41. Like MacDonald : OLD. And a farmer.

42. Fertility goddess : ISIS. She pops up again.

49. To such an extent : IN SO FAR. Sounds like legalese.

50. __ Riddle, Lord Voldemort's birth name : TOM. A Harry Potter fact that was not in my memory banks.

51. Málaga title: Abbr. : SRA. Senora. Sorry just lazy brained.

56. Take for granted : ASSUME. An ASS of U and ME.

59. Debt-laden fin. deal : LBO. Leveraged Buy Out. The wall street game where you purchase a company borrowing money by pledging the assets of the company being bought. LESSON.

60. Skyrocket : SOAR.

61. Arboreal marsupials : KOALAS. They look almost fake. Nice word for puzzles.
62. Plan : MAP.

63. "Lonely Boy" singer : ANKAPAUL.

64. Not relaxed at all : ANTSY.

65. Pindaric __ : ODE. Wow, it really is Friday.  LESSON 2.

66. Hardy soul? : TESS. Nicely clued.


1. Cries of contempt : POOHS.

2. Rashly : IN HASTE. A bonus for naming the author.
" Thus grief still treads upon the heels of pleasure:
Married in haste, we may repent at leisure."

3. Home city of the WNBA's Lynx : MINNEAPOLIS. A CSO to our Minnesota connection.

4. "And giving __, up the chimney ... " : A NOD. Clement Clarke Moore's holiday classic.

5. Yet to arrive : UNBORN. Had me fooled even with the UN in place.

6. Spectrum color : VIOLET.

7. Standing against : ANTI. Would someone who always stands against be a PRO ANTI?

8. Department store section : LINENS.

9. "Camptown Races" refrain syllables : DOODAH. I love this VERSION (4:54).

10. Decide to be involved (in) : OPT.

11. Entrée follower, perhaps : PIE. I do like pie better than cake.

12. Coolers, briefly : ACS. I believe the perfecting of air conditioning in automobiles was the key to Florida becoming the third most populous state.

15. Commands : BEHESTS. A great old fashioned word.

20. Put (together) : PIECE. Really simple words with Friday cluing.

21. Lieu : STEAD. In the place of someone or something. More Old English.

25. Definite : CAST IN STONE. Cast is back.

26. Early 'N Sync label : RCA. Two weeks in a row and I still do not care.
27. Scratch (out) : EKE.

29. Rim : LIP.

30. Top-ranked tennis star for much of the '80s : LENDL.
35. Stars' opposites : NO NAMES. I guess they were not well cast.

36. Chili rating unit : ALARM. My wife refers to her spicy sauces as five star!

37. "Stand" opposite : HIT ME. Blackjack, twenty-one, vingt et un.

38. Exploit : USE.

39. Bygone telecom co. : MCI. MCI was founded as Microwave Communications, Inc., then World Com came along and destroyed the company; the pieces belong now to Verizon.

40. Coastal flier : ERN.

43. Barely runs? : STREAKS. I guess your laundry?

45. Ski bumps : MOGULS.

46. "Allow me" : IF I MAY. If I might, have the wish I wish tonight....

47. Discouraging words from an auto mechanic : IT'S BAD.

48. More than discouraging words : NO HOPE. I like the sequential cluing.

52. Rich tapestry : ARRAS.

54. Muppet who always turns 3½ on February 3 : ELMO.

55. Future atty.'s ordeal : LSATLaw School Admission Test.

56. Blotter letters : AKAAlso Known As.

57. Prince George, to Prince William : SON.

58. Didn't start : SAT. On the bench.

Well it is time for me to sit and send this off through cyberspace. See you next week. Lemonade out.

Note from C.C.:

Happy 70th Birthday to dear John Lampkin, our gifted constructor and blog friend. John is truly a master in designing grids and cluing. He was so incredibly kind to me when I started blogging & later making LAT puzzles. He answered every little questions I had. He even called me. Such a generous soul!

Lemonade and John

Dec 2, 2015

Wednesday, December 2, 2015, Alan Der Kazarian

Title: So CUTE, I can BEARLY stand it!

Alan's fun gimmick is to take the names of four of the BEARS shown above and not only use them as the first word in 4 starred fills (two great vertical spanners!) but have them go DOWN the grid to complement the reveal  in 55 Across - BEARS DOWN. Therefore we not only have the names of four BEARS but they are literally going DOWN. Wonderful! 

Theme Reveal:

55. Focuses even harder ... and a hint to the starts of the answers to starred clues : BEARS DOWN

Theme Answers - All our ursine crossword visitors are pictured above

3. *Rhode Island school : BROWN (BEAR) UNIVERSITY

5. *Like Southern California beaches : SUN (BEAR)  DRENCHED

24. *One of two cold atmospheric cyclones : POLAR (BEAR)  VORTEX 

11. *Title female "trying to make a devil out of me," in a Santana hit : BLACK (BEAR)  MAGIC WOMAN


1. "Mamma Mia!" group : ABBA - Fun music!!

5. Tunes : SONGS

10. Fundamentals : ABC'S

14. Talking iPhone feature : SIRI - "Quick, SIRI, should I hit 15 or stand?"

15. Destroyer destroyer : U-BOAT - The Imitation Game told of breaking the Enigma Code so the Allies could destroy their destroyer's destroyers 

16. Messy stuff : GLOP

17. __ smasher : ATOM - What the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland is

18. "I'm innocent!" : NOT ME - Middle School Theme Song

19. Hindu deity : RAMA - also known as Raghava, is the seventh avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu, but you knew that

20. High-speed war plane maneuver : POWER DIVE 

22. Hunter's device : DECOY - Some DECOYS placed near Dover made the Germans think D-Day would happen at Calais not Normandy

23. Gets close to : NEARS

24. Cheat, in a way : PEEK  

25. Seasonal malady : FLU 

27. Find work : GET A JOB - Yip yip yip yip yip yip yip yip, Mum mum mum mum mum mum, GET A JOB, but you knew that

30. Shakespearean fairy queen : MAB

33. Large-leafed tree : LINDEN 

35. Batman portrayer Kilmer : VAL - Everybody gets a turn

36. Skating commentator Lipinski : TARA

37. Passionate : AVID

38. Dishes for company : CHINA 

40. Eagerly excited : AGOG

41. Golfer Ballesteros : SEVE - The late SEVE had every shot!

42. Furrow maker : HOE

43. Ruling period : REGIME

45. Charlemagne's realm: Abbr. : HRE - According to Voltaire - Neither Holy, Roman nor an Empire

46. Avant-garde : NEW WAVE

48. Low or no follower : CAL 

49. Insert for a 6-Down : REED - Double REED actually 

51. Shoot well under par, in golf lingo : GO LOW - Who better to tell you how than the #1 golfer in the world Jordan Spieth? 

53. Syria's Bashar al-__ : ASSAD - Many groups are waging war in his country

59. Letters after phis : CHIS

60. "The Planets" composer : HOLST - A Philistine like me (I?) needed the H in HEF to finish this

61. Texter's "If you ask me" : IMHO 

62. Adorable : CUTE

63. Wipe off : ERASE 

64. Dismissed, with "off" : LAID - Schools call it RIF - Reduction In Force. "Losing your job by any other name..."

65. "Until next time," in texts : TTYL - Didn't all of us know it's "Talk To You Later"? OMG, LOL!

66. Oscar's roommate : FELIX 

67. Tolkien's Treebeard et al. : ENTS


2. __-Honey : BIT-O - My teeth hurt just typing this

4. Pop singer Mann : AIMEE - Bassist and vocalist for 'Til Tuesday, but you knew that

6. Duck player in "Peter and the Wolf" : OBOIST - Didn't we all learn this in grade school?

7. Punishment with a grounding : NO TV - or iPad, iPhone, laptop, Wii, Xbox, PS4...

8. Risk, e.g. : GAME

9. Canonized Mlle. : STE

10. Feel the same way : AGREE

12. "¿__ está?" : COMO - Adding "usted" is very formal

13. Fix, as a pet : SPAY - We paid the Lincoln Humane Society $133 for Lily which included SPAYING. What a bargain!!

21. Blow one's top : RAGE

22. Cotillion honoree : DEB

25. Jiffy : FLASH 

26. Iron-rich meat : LIVER - I might opt for anemia! 

28. Miller's "__ From the Bridge" : A VIEW - Miller's tragic protagonist informed on  people in his Brooklyn neighborhood. Later Miller himself refused to do that in front of the HUAC committee.

29. First calendar pg. : JAN

31. Food court attraction : AROMA - That food court AROMA might be coming from our sometime cwd visitor

32. Something to pick lox for : BAGEL

34. '50s political monogram : DDE

36. Label : TAG

39. "__ so?" : HOW

44. Fish caught in pots : EELS

46. Author Buntline : NED - Dime novelist NED (actually Ezra Zane Carroll Johnson) may or may not have presented Wyatt Earp with one of these Colt Buntline Specials he commissioned

47. Tennis great Andre : AGASSI

50. Studio piece : EASEL

52. "Swan Lake" swan : ODILE - But you knew that

53. Customer holding: Abbr. : ACCT

54. Closed : SHUT

55. Produced, as fruit : BORE 

56. Tel Aviv airline : EL AL 

57. Smidgen : WHIT

58. Quiet yeses : NODS - Subtle

60. Celeb with a mansion : HEF

Now that you have your BEARINGS, let's hear your assessment.

Husker Gary