Showing posts with label Amy Johnson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amy Johnson. Show all posts

May 13, 2018

Sunday May 13, 2018 Amy Johnson

Theme:  "Mother's Day" - MA is added to each theme entry.

23A. Foppish fed?: MANICURED LAWMAN. Manicured lawn.

37A. Hotel housekeeper's concern?: BLANKET FORMAT. Blanket fort.

67A. Woman's surprise party for her kids' kids?: GRANDMA SCHEME. Grand scheme.

96A. "One man's trash ... "?: JUNKYARD DOGMA. Junkyard dog.
115A. Sniffle over some Austen?: READ EMMA AND WEEP. Read 'em and weep.
16D. Ask for a doggie bag?: TAKE THE REMAINS. Take the reins.

49D. Frequent February craft project?: MAKING OF HEARTS. King of hearts.

Reminds me of the "Main Events" I did for the club. Same gimmick. MA-in.

Great selection of original phrases. MANICURED LAWMAN probably should have been avoided due to the straying MA in MANICURED.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms on our blog!


1. Stops up: DAMS. Yep, D-Otto, Yangtze river is called Chang Jiang in China, as Jayce mentioned.

5. Some shells: AMMO.

9. Blokes: CHAPS.

14. Bee's landing place: PETAL.

19. Abbr. covering unlisted items: ET AL.

20. Part of the rural scenery: BARN. Very soon Santa's 23-acre farmland where he grew up with will be someone's.

21. Yoga term meaning "force": HATHA. Easy guess. HATHA yoga.

22. Elevate: EXALT.

26. National capital on Cape Verde: DAKAR.

27. Dr. __ Hahn on "Grey's Anatomy": ERICA.

28. Best possible: IDEAL.

29. They hang at parties: STREAMERS.

31. Word from the French for "little wing": AILERON. Learning moment for me.

33. Tech tutorials site: CNET. Unaware that they offer tutorials there.

35. Dadaism pioneer: ERNST (Max).

36. Federal hush-hush org.: NSA.

41. Easter entrée: HAM.

44. Rockies roamer: MOOSE.

45. Some HDTVs: SANYOS. Sanyo is now owned by Panasonic. Been dreaming of this. Someday.


46. Like San Francisco's Coit Tower: DECO.

47. It's everything, they say: TIMING.

50. 1910s conflict: WWI.

53. Spike with films: LEE. Just Spike Lee.

54. "Two mints in one" sloganeer: CERTS.

55. Brazen: BRASSY.

56. Muppets watchers: TOTS. Followed by 58. Muppets' address, briefly: SESAME ST.

61. Upscale retailer: SAKS.

62. Gave a leg up: BOOSTED.

65. Rattler's weapon: VENOM.

66. Air pump letters: PSI. Pounds per Square Inch.

70. Edwards, e.g.: Abbr.: AFB.

73. Net, but not Jet or Met: NBAER.

75. Like some massages: SENSUAL. The TAO has a prominent ad in Las Vegas. Steve will see it again next week. Big Easy probably did not see his TAO (way).

76. Bitter __: PILL.

77. Certain dietary abstinence: VEGANISM. Then you've got to eat more soy products for protein, including Natto rice. Do you guys eat raw eggs?

80. Civil War topper: KEPI.

81. Part of a squirrel's stash: WALNUT.

83. __ for the ride: ALONG.

84. BOLO equivalent: APB. BOLO = Be On the LookOut.

87. Old atlas letters: SSR.

88. Burdens: ONUSES.

89. Plentiful: RIFE.

90. Potato often used for fries: RUSSET. Also 118. Hanukkah fare: LATKE.

93. Pub stickers: DARTS.

95. Slangy assent: YEH.

99. Toss in: ADD.

102. IRS convenience: E-FILE.

104. Like four-leaf clovers: RARE.

105. The one that got away: ESCAPEE.

107. "Do tell!": I'M ALL EARS. Sparkly fill.

111. Shot in the dark: GUESS.

113. Openings for Tolkien and Rowling?: Abbr.: INITS. J. R. R. & J.K.

114. Nursery rhyme dieter: SPRAT.

119. Sporty old Ford: T-BIRD.

120. So: ERGO.

121. Beginning to bat?: ACRO. Acrobat.

122. Lessened: EASED.

123. Jack of "The Wizard of Oz": HALEY. OK, the Tin Man.

124. Celine of pop: DION.

125. Staff notation: REST. 


1. Hardly dignify: DEMEAN.

2. Pioneering game consoles: ATARIS.

3. Heavy envelope makeup: MANILA.

4. Pizza purchase: SLICE. Pizza Hut is very popular in China.

5. Monkey in "Aladdin": ABU.

6. Places to tie up: MARINAS.

7. "A horse, of course, of course": MR ED. Mister Ed is the preferred entry. DR WHO is also frowned upon by editors. DOCTOR WHO is the entry.

8. In a circle near a diamond: ON DECK.

9. Skiers' retreats: CHALETS.

10. Hesitate while speaking: HAW.

11. 24-hr. banking spots: ATMS.

12. Old-style "Wicked!": PHAT.

13. Riviera resort: SAN REMO. Alfred Nobel died here.

14. Know-it-all: PEDANT.

15. High school hurdles: EXAMS.

17. Banned orchard spray: ALAR.

18. P.O. box fillers: LTRS.

24. Copies made on onionskin, probably: CARBONS.

25. Word with fast or passing: LANE.

30. Baseball stats: ERAS.

32. Informal science: OLOGY.

34. Big name in nonstick cookware: T-FAL. Red in the center.

38. Unit of force: NEWTON.

39. Scrabble vowel value: ONE.

40. Bartender's array: RYES.

42. Fifth book of the New Testament: ACTS.

43. More than half: MOST. This is my good friend Lesley and her son Eric. Many kids in Guangzhou wear the jade-on-a-red-string (good luck talisman) as Eric does. 

44. Unsuccessful swing: MISS. I could still hear John Gordon's dramatic "Swing and a miss.."

46. Test-drive car, e.g.: DEMO.

47. Recipe meas.: TBSP.

48. Some S&L plans: IRAS.

51. "The __ are lovely, dark and deep": Frost: WOODS.

52. "Who's there?" reply: IT'S ME.

54. House prop: CANE. Dr. House.

57. Really bombed: STANK.

59. First name in ramp-to-ramp jumping: EVEL.

60. Univ. term: SEM. Semester.

62. You may hum a few: BARS.

63. Trio of asses?: ESSES. Just the three letters in asses.

64. Bikini specs: D CUPS.

67. Funk band Kool & the __: GANG.

68. Outdoorsy sort's retailer: REI.

69. Dresser's concern?: HAIRDO. Dress-er.

71. Harmful gas outlet: FLUE.

72. Crunchy lunches: BLTS. We finally planted our Big Girl/Boy tomato plants.

74. Nemesis: BANE.

76. Favorable aspect: PLUS.

77. What prices may do: VARY. I bought these amazing Carolina Herrera for Target set for $10. Been storing all my precious stuff in. It was that much and more A PIECE (99. For each one) in the start.

78. Wiesel with a Nobel: ELIE.

79. Halloween staple: MASK.

81. Bait, often: WORMS.

82. Hot wings chaser, perhaps: ANTACID. Thank God I don't have a stomach problem.

85. Aspiring therapist's maj.: PSY.

86. Black or brown critter: BEAR.

90. "No cellphone at dinner," say: RULE. Everyone lives on WeChat now.

91. Dig up: UNEARTH.

92. Shakespearean genre: TRAGEDY.

94. Back in the day: AGES AGO.

96. Unexpectedly and unhappily single: JILTED.

97. Starr-struck one?: DRUM. Nice clue. Ringo Starr.

98. Held: DEEMED.

100. Tries to prevent: DETERS.

101. Pharaoh, for one: DESPOT. And 106. Egypt's Sadat: ANWAR.

103. Space cadet: FLAKE.

107. Cartographer's speck: ISLE.

108. Hollywood rating gp.: MPAA. Motion Picture Association of America.

109. Sitcom that starred a singer: REBA.

110. Windsurfing need: SAIL.

112. Wrapped wear: SARI.

116. "Compton" album maker: DRE.

117. Rouen rejection: NON. Alliteration.


Feb 21, 2018

Wednesday, February 21 2018, Amy Johnson


17. Like a cowboy in denial? : WEARING BLINDERS

26. Like an eager cowboy? : CHAFING AT THE BIT

44. Like a cowboy out of retirement? : BACK IN THE SADDLE

59. Like a cowboy in charge? : HOLDING THE REINS 

Howdy Pardners! Melissa here. Four grid-spanning theme answers. High-falutin' impressive, ain't it? I reckon let's giddy up! 🤠


1. Your business is her business : YENTA. Fun clue.

6. Tiny cut : SNIP. Not SLIT.

10. Jeans line : SEAM

15. Comes to the rescue of : AIDS

16. "The Time Machine" race : ELOI. From Wiki:
In H. G. Wells's The Time Machine. By the year AD 802,701, humanity has evolved into two separate species: the Eloi and the Morlocks, whereof the Eloi live a banal life of ease on the surface of the earth, while the Morlocks live underground, tending machinery and providing food, clothing, and inventory for the Eloi.

20. Emotional wound : SCAR

21. "At __, soldier!" : EASE

22. Quartet in "Whose woods these are I think I know" : IAMBS

23. Fodder for Forbes, initially : IPO

25. Play a part : ACT

35. Riveting icon : ROSIE. Great clue.

36. Overplay a part : EMOTE

37. Mission lead-in : ON A

38. Potentially offensive, for short : UNPC

39. Tends to the sauce : STIRS

40. Nerve : GUTS

41. Early 16th-century date : MDI

42. Earthquake : SEISM

43. "Impression, Sunrise" painter : MONET 

47. Ky. neighbor : IND

48. Show stoppers : ADS. Love this clue.

49. Limoges product : CHINA. For them there city slickers.

52. Entertainment show VIP : HOST

55. Builder's map : PLAT

62. Area behind an altar : APSE

63. Wonder Woman's friend __ Candy : ETTA 

64. Temporary tattoo dye : HENNA 

65. Get weepy, with "up" : TEAR

66. State openly : AVOW

67. More curious : ODDER


1. Trees that sound like sheep : YEWS. Nice clue.

2. Corporate VIP : EXEC

3. Final Four letters : NCAA

4. Marvelous : TERRIFIC

5. "Hidden Figures" actor Mahershala __ : ALI.
He plays Taraji P. Henson's love interest.

6. Epic tale : SAGA

7. They may be fine points : NIBS

8. Sit in traffic : IDLE

9. Tire gauge no. : PSI. Pounds per square inch.

10. Tranquil : SEDATE

11. Periodic table listing: Abbr. : ELEM(ent).

12. Limited choice : A OR B

13. Fail to see : MISS

18. Vegas illuminator : NEON

19. Nook or cranny : NICHE

24. Peach dessert : PIE

25. Many "Suits" characters: Abbr. : ATTS. Attorneys. Suits is a TV legal drama on USA Network, about a law firm in Manhattan.

26. Busser's target : CRUMB

27. Maker of Clarity alternative fuel cars : HONDA

28. Jelly made from meat stock : ASPIC

29. "Capisce?" : GET IT

30. Anabaptist descendants : AMISH. Meet the Amish.
31. Velvet-voiced Mel : TORME

32. Like most books : BOUND

33. Recon goal : INTEL

34. Palate : TASTE

39. FedEx, say : SEND. Verb, not noun. Sneaky.

40. "Safe travels!" : GODSPEED.
Happy Trails!

42. Egyptian peninsula : SINAI

43. Satiric magazine since 1952 : MAD

45. Less harsh : KINDER

46. Fill and then some : SATE

49. Converse : CHAT

50. Partner of pray : HOPE

51. Ingrid's "Casablanca" role : ILSA

52. "Tiny House Hunters" cable channel : HGTV

53. Bart and Lisa's bus driver : OTTO

54. Professor Higgins' creator : SHAW 

56. Swedish soprano Jenny : LIND. Wikipedia.

57. Hathaway of "The Intern" (2015) : ANNE

58. Winter Palace resident : TSAR

60. Org. for teachers : NEA. National Education Association.

61. 17th Greek letter : RHO 

That's it y'all - time to skedaddle.

Dec 27, 2015

Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 Amy Johnson

Theme:  "Extra! Extra!" - The first word spells out "What's black and white and red (read) all over?"

23. *Bugs line : WHAT'S UP, DOC?

28. *Classic novel with the chapter "My Breaking In" : BLACK BEAUTY

37. *"End of discussion!" : AND THAT'S FINAL

51. *John Adams' home after the Market Street mansion : WHITE HOUSE
68. *"That's how the cookie crumbles" : AND SO IT GOES

88. *Whodunit staple : RED HERRING

96. *Soap set in Pine Valley, Pennsylvania : ALL MY CHILDREN
105. *No spring chicken : OVER THE HILL

118. Answer to the spoken riddle hidden in the answers to starred clues : A NEWSPAPER

We also have GAZETTES (27A. Martha's Vineyard papers). Part of the clue dupes the answer a bit.

Simple theme. When I saw "hidden" in the reveal clue, I thought the key words might be hidden in the middle and span across each theme answer.  

1. Duchamp genre : DADA. Nailed it. Easy upper left corner.

5. Toot one's own horn : GLOAT. Had BOAST.

10. In the thick of : AMONG

15. Prepare for a birth, in a way : NEST. Got me. I did not think of birds.

19. Not supportin' : AGIN

20. Moose meeting place : LODGE

21. Check : DETER. Simple one-word clue is often a bit tricky.

22. Munch Museum city : OSLO
25. Seat of New York's Oneida County : UTICA

26. Common parade street : MAIN

30. Babs Bunny, e.g. : DOE

31. Website for techies : CNET

33. Single or double : BED. You had HIT also, right?

34. Title teacher in a 1967 film : SIR.  "To Sir, with Love". I thought of Mr. Tibbs, who's not a teacher.

43. Guinea pig, e.g. : PET

46. Part of a Latin trio : AMAS. Amo, amas, amat.

48. It may be close : SHAVE

49. Meter reading : USAGE

50. Eggs in a clinic : OVA
54. Air quality concern : SMOG

55. Sounds heard with a stethoscope : RALES. And 114D. Arid : SERE. Both are words we used to see a lot in the old Wayne R. Williams puzzles.

57. Hyundai sedan : SONATA

58. Glue base : GELATIN

60. Agcy. with facilities in Denver and West Point : US MINT. Did not know the West Point locale. Thought the answer might be military-related.

61. Ben Jonson epitaph words : ORARE. "Pray for Ben Jonson”.

63. Like pre-Easter diets : LENTEN

65. Comédie part : ACTE

66. To be, in Paris : ETRE

72. Hardy heroine : TESS

73. Capone nemesis : NESS

74. Everett of "Citizen Kane" : SLOANE. Drew a blank. Just could not get into "Citizen Kane".

75. Cryptic letters : RUNES

77. Drying-out sites : REHABS

79. Quake danger : TSUNAMI.  Scary image. 

83. Delivery van assignments : ROUTES

86. Baker with Grammys : ANITA. Nailed it.

87. BC and Cal, e.g. : SCHS. Thought of Canada.

90. Base VIP : GEN

91. Popular Girl Scout cookie : SAMOA

93. Indian wrap: Var. : SAREE. SARI is the correct wrap.

94. Grumpy mood : SNIT

95. Prior to, poetically : ERE

100. Mdse. : GDS (Goods)

101. Gentle treatment, briefly : TLC

102. Weighty refs. : OEDs. Oxford English Dictionary. Light when online.

103. Some dishwashers : GEs

111. Polytheistic creed : PAGANISM. I thought "Polytheistic" is some kind of plastic.

116. Rate of speed : PACE

117. Pope's muse : ERATO. Alexander Pope.

120. Like many a quote: Abbr. : ANON

121. Home to the Sforza Castle : MILAN. Well, Splynter might know this castle. Not me.

122. "Buckaroo Holiday" ballet : RODEO. Also unknown to me. See here.

123. Driver's warning : FORE. On the tee box. Not HORN.

124. Advance : LEND

125. Argues vehemently : YELLS

126. German steel hub : ESSEN

127. Secondhand : USED


1. University of Georgia athlete, familiarly : DAWG. Already had DAW? in place, so easy answer.

2. Ottoman general : AGHA

3. Actress Cameron : DIAZ

4. Paid for a hand : ANTED

5. Wheat protein : GLUTEN. If you like Shanghai cuisine, you probably know dried gluten. Very tasty when properly prepared.

6. Easy gait : LOPE

7. Bookie's numbers : ODDS

8. Back in the day : AGO

9. Sleuth, slangily : TEC. Detective.

10. Former minors : ADULTS

11. Prefix with ethics : META. New word to me: meta-ethics.

12. Of the ear : OTIC

13. Banjo part with frets : NECK

14. Bit of this, bit of that : GRAB BAG. Thought of our own grab bag cards. Kids like them.

15. Rootless one : NOMAD

16. Jacob's womb-mate : ESAU

17. Cut (open), as a letter : SLIT

18. Tiger with a red scarf : TONY. Tony the Tiger.

24. Ancient gathering place : STOA. Or AGORA.

28. __ noir : BETE

29. Sushi bar suppliers : EELERS. Love eel, never met an eeler.

31. Scene using stunt drivers : CHASE

32. Piercing site : NAVEL

34. Cutting tools : SAWS

35. Letters before two cents? : IMHO. Loved the clue. 

36. Whatever the weather : RAIN OR SHINE. And 43. Tricky force tactic : POLICE STING. Great fill.

38. Brit. medal : DSO. Distinguished Service Order

39. Tough guy : THUG. Those Isis guys are just thugs. I won't call them tough guys.

40. Going through the roof : FUMING. And 66. Infuriate : ENRAGE

41. Sees through : IS ONTO

42. Critic who won't quit : NAG
44. Some are blessed : EVENTS

45. Sweet and sour : TASTES.  Have you had Kabocha before, Jayce/Steve? Eager to see if D-Otto likes his.

47. Eyes persistently : STARES AT

52. Pilot's update, briefly : ETA

53. Heckle, say : HARASS

54. Editor's "Leave it" : STET

56. Many open mic night performers : AMATEURS

59. Sci-fi staple : ALIEN

60. On the fence : UNSURE

62. Blowup: Abbr. : ENL

64. "I do not see why I should __ turn back": Frost : EER
67. Many a concertgoer : TEENER. Most of us just say "teenager".

69. Many a startup : DOT COM

70. Move nonchalantly : SASHAY. Hi there, Lucina!

71. Burden : ONUS

76. "Neither snow __ rain ... " : NOR

78. Lava rock : BASALT

80. "It's __!": speakeasy warning : A RAID
81. Keyboardist Saunders and crossword immortal Reagle : MERLS. We'll never see a genius like Merl again.

82. Pegged : ID'ED

84. Oklahoma's "Wheat Capital" : ENID

85. LAPD ranks : SGTS

87. Tee sizes, initially : SML. Huh, "initially?"

89. Nautical pronoun : HER. Had SHE.

92. Speculative lead-to-gold practice : ALCHEMY

93. Author Silverstein : SHEL

97. Eyes in texts : COLONS :-0

98. Encourages : EGGS ON. Come back often LaLaLinda.

99. Minimum-range tide : NEAP

101. Graph revelation : TREND. Gary would have linked a terrific graph.

104. Major mix-up : SNAFU

105. Down Under gem : OPAL

106. Rooftop sight : VANE

107. Micro- or macro- subj. : ECON

108. Buffalo's lake : ERIE

109. Area where a pass may be needed : HALL. All crosses. Disadvantage of never attending any school here. No "hall passes" in our schools.

110. Angled print: Abbr. : ITAL

111. Xing people? : PEDS. Ah, I was thinking of stars. Xing (level tone) means "star" in Chinese.

112. __ bit: slightly : A WEE

113. Wall St. highlights : IPOs

115. '60s TV barn resident : MR ED

118. "__ You Experienced": Hendrix album : ARE

119. Negatives : NOS

Happy Birthday to our pilot Dudley, who's been with the blog for over five years. Any adventurous plans today, Dudley? This picture was taken during Montana's visit to Northeast in September, 2013.

Left to right: Marti, Dudley, Hondo & Montana


Oct 4, 2015

Sunday, October 4, 2015 Amy Johnson

Theme: "Playing With Your Food"- One word in each theme entry is replaced by its homophone.

23A. Diet for ice cream lovers? : A MONTH OF SUNDAES. A month of Sundays.

39A. Farce set in a sandwich shop? : RYE COMEDY. Wry comedy, new term to me.

60A. Top for a beach cookout? : MUSSEL SHIRT. Muscle shirt.

85A. Cake recipe overhaul? : TORTE REFORM. Tort reform.

102A. Thanksgiving week for a baker? : LIFE OF PIE. Life of Pi.

122A. Affair for dessert-loving bovines? : BULL MOUSSE PARTY. Bull Moose Party.

15D. Group that thrived during the borscht years? : BEET GENERATION. Beat Generation. I never had borscht.

52D. Period of terror induced by a brat? : WURST NIGHTMARE. Worst nightmare.

Sweet, yes? Perfect puzzle for our Steve, who loves food and witty wordplay. There's a limited supply of food homophones, hence four desserts.

I like Amy's grid design. Putting 14's in Downs eased up fill a bit. The four 8's non-theme fill are all sparkly.

I'm curious to know where you finished last in this puzzle. Which is your last filled answer?


1. Chariot-riding god : ARES. Easy start.

5. Athletic org. since 1894 : USOC (United States Olympic Committee). I thought of USGA. Same year.

9. They might be game : FOWL. Got via crosses. So dumb.

13. Monastery head : ABBOT

18. Two-thumbs-up review : RAVE

19. Obeyed a court order : STOOD

21. Olympic sword : EPEE

22. Hymn to Apollo, say : PAEAN

26. George who was the A.L. batting champ in three different decades : BRETT.  Royals Hall of Famer. Husker Gary knows that girl.

27. Like some lashes : FALSE. Never tried falsies.

28. Intro to physics? : ASTRO. Astrophysics.

29. Man cave focus : HD TV

31. Ordinal extremes : NTHs

32. Gently or quietly, e.g. : ADVERB. You nailed it, right?

34. Rubik's creation : CUBE

36. Annoy your bedmate : SAW LOGS. And 105D. Annoying bedmate : SNORER

38. __ Bo : TAE

43. Doggie bag goodie : T-BONE. And 86. Dog, in a way : TAIL

44. Like Simba : REGAL

45. "In __ of gifts ... " : LIEU

47. Previously, to Byron : ERE NOW.  And 37. Byron, for one : LORD. I thought of BARD.

50. Premier League soccer anchor Rebecca : LOWE. Not familiar with her.

53. Many a Mormon : UTAHN

56. Inked on TV's "Ink Master" : TATTED

58. Juan's first lady : EVA. Peron.

59. Israeli statesman Barak : EHUD

62. Arrogant "South Park" kid : ERIC. Never watched the show. "South Park" kid is often KYLE or STAN.

63. "Kinda" kin : SORTA

65. Lover's end? : PHILE. Like Anglophile. The clue stumped me.

66. Frog haunts : LILY PADS

68. Brownie accessory : SASH

70. Put on __ : A SHOW

73. Issue : EMIT

74. Wayne Manor ringer : BAT PHONE. Nice!

78. Impressionist's forte : APING. Wanted APERY.

81. One of more than four billion : ASIAN

84. __ wolf : LONE

89. "The Addams Family" adjective : OOKY

90. Down Under school : UNI. University is called so in Australia.

91. Lima resident, maybe : OHIOAN. Not PERUVIAN.

92. Half a droid name : DETOO

93. Tiny evidence samples : DNAs. Are both DNA and RNA plurable, D-Otto?

94. Ziggy Marley's genre : REGGAE

96. Fries, say : SIDE

98. Off-the-wall : OUTRE

100. Chorus of laughs : HA HAs

105. Tex.-based carrier : SWA. Southwest Airlines.

108. Layered pastry : STRUDEL. Want some apple strudel? This is the same place that hosts the 3M Championship Tour each year. TPC Twin Cities.

110. Gillette razor word : TRAC

111. Relative of A-flat major : F MINOR

113. Word heard when pulling a string : MAMA. Dolls. I saw this Chatty Cathy at flea markets often.

114. "Find Your Own Road" sloganeer : SAAB

116. Spaceship Earth setting : EPCOT

119. In : AMONG

120. Isn't exactly humble : BRAGS

125. What toadies do : AGREE
126. Latin 101 word : ERAT. Not ESSE.

127. It sets in Spain : EL SOL

128. Rocky subj.? : GEOL

129. Almonds, e.g. : SEEDS. Not TREES.

130. Little bits : DABS

131. To-do list item : TASK

132. Coastal fisher : ERNE


1. Longtime PLO chairman : ARAFAT

2. Wyndham-owned brand : RAMADA. Easy crosses. Unaware of its parent company.

3. Advance in the race? : EVOLVE. Human race.

4. Sixth __ : SENSE

5. Show to a seat, in slang : USH. Not a verb I use.

6. Greek meeting site : STOA

7. Gut reactions? : OOFs

8. Sam's competitor : COSTCO. We were members for a year. Gift from my sister-in-law Barbara.

9. Janet Yellen's org., with "The" : FED

10. Large deep-water fish : OPAH

11. Bed intruders : WEEDS. Garden bed. I don't like the clue. Brings unpleasant images to me.

12. Rice title vampire : LESTAT. Nailed it this time.

13. Call to cruisers, briefly : APB

14. Without exception : BAR NONE

16. Censor's targets : OATHS

17. Blasting supplies : TNTs

20. Pasta wheat : DURUM. I miss the pumpkin noodles my grandma used to make for me. I never had luck finding a good Kabocha pumpkin in America. Maybe the Kabochas here taste the same, my taste has changed.

24. Land in Paris? : TERRE

25. Prize since 1901 : NOBEL

30. Bug in a garage : VW BEETLE

33. Quaint words of determination : BY GUM. I'm going to surprise Boomer when he's back home.

35. Fixes a draft : EDITS

40. Flip over : EAT UP

41. What opposite personalities often do : CLASH

42. "Why not?!" : YEAH

44. Procedural impediment : RED TAPE

46. Monthly exp. : UTIL

48. "Amores" author : OVID

49. MacArthur's "best soldiers" : WACS. Got via crosses. Not "Abbr." hint is needed because it's what MacArthur's said.

50. Paul in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame : LES

51. "The jig is up!" : OHO

54. Early Chinese dynasty : HSIA. This will stump 99.9% of the native Chinese. Just Google Hsia Dynasty and see what comes up. No one calls it Hsia in China. It's Xia dynasty.

55. Dick Van Patten's "Mama" role : NELS. No idea. Knotty HSIA/NELS/PHILE/A SHOW area.

57. Pod opener? : TRI. Tripod.

61. Operettist Franz : LEHAR. "The Merry Widow" guy.

62. Season finale, e.g. : EPISODE

64. Pipe remains : ASH

67. Sumac from Peru : YMA

69. Explosion sources : HOTHEADS. Boomer is one.

71. Column with a slant : OP-ED

72. Emilia, to Iago : WIFE

74. Fuzzy memory : BLUR

75. Second to none : A-ONE

76. "There's __ in ... " : NO I

77. Love deity : EROS

79. __ this world : NOT OF. I had OUT OF first.

80. __ project : GROUP

82. Letters for John Smith? : AKA. Got via crosses. Argyle explained to me that "John Smith is a common fictitious name, an alias and AKA might indicate his real name."

83. Buffalo locale: Abbr. : NYS. New York State.

87. Send a Dear John letter : END IT

88. Artistic theme : MOTIF

91. Surfing mecca : OAHU

95. Like privately owned classic cars : GARAGED. Not a word I used. Some of our common baseball cards are garaged then.

97. Violinist Zimbalist : EFREM

99. Update to reflect new routes : RE-MAP

101. SpongeBob's home : SEABED

103. "Annabel Lee" poet, in some of his personal letters : E. A. POE. Guilty of using it myself.

104. Paranormal : OCCULT

106. Hot-and-sour alternative : WONTON. This is how wontons are served in Guangzhou and Hong Kong. With noodles. The broth is made of shrimp shells & pork bone.

107. Sweater pattern : ARGYLE. Hi there, Santa.

108. Boot camp barker : SARGE

109. "Little House" lass : LAURA

112. Pixel pattern : IMAGE

113. Degrees for CEOs : MBAs. Our Marti has one. Jazzbumpa too, I think.

115. Tattle : BLAB

117. Peak of Greek myth : OSSA

118. General __ chicken : TSO's

121. His, to Henri : SES. Despite Splynter's distaste for French, he actually knows quite a bit.

123. Many USMA grads : LTS (Lieutenants)

124. Animal in a rut : ELK

I thought I'd share with you this letter from Danny Mann, a regular L.A. Times Sunday crossword solver. He wrote the piece after he heard of Merl's passing. 

Also, Swenglish Mom left this message on Friday's blog:

"On the main page of the mobile version scroll down all the way. There's a link to the web version. Using that will give access to all the goodies."

Does it help with  your mobile viewing, Dave/Freond?


Sep 25, 2015

Friday, September 25, 2015, Amy Johnson

Theme: That joke went over like a lead balloon.

Amy J. comes to Friday after many Sunday and Monday LAT appearances. A conventional Friday with humorous clue/fill combinations based on the nature of certain professions. All are witty, but not laugh out loud for me. The puzzle also had some unknowns, and some very difficult cluing in places as well lots of longish fill like HOFFMAN, KODIAKS, RETORTS,  UP TO PAR, PRISTINE, STEAMERS, FULLY GROWN, IN THE STARS. I will be interested to see what you all thought of this puzzle with no gimmicks, just challenges; so let's go.

20A. The joke at the audiologists' convention __ : FELL ON DEAF EARS (14). Is this insensitive?

26A. The joke at the chemists' convention __ : GOT NO REACTION (13). My favorite.

44A. The joke at the firefighters' convention __ : WENT UP IN SMOKE (13). This burned me up.

52A. The joke at the cashiers' convention __ : DID NOT REGISTER (14). Cash registers really do not exist in most stores.

Across :

1. Better protected : SAFER.

6. "Poppycock!" : PISH. I was surprised to learn this term came from the 1500s, with so many modern versions (pish posh, pish tosh, pish and tish etc.)

10. Badlands Natl. Park site : SDAK. Be careful of all the outlaws in South Dakota.

14. Coarse : CRUDE.

15. Suspicious of : ON TO. I think of suspicious as not knowing for sure, and onto as being sure.

16. Pup follower? : TENT.  The HISTORY. Apparently the Civil War soldiers who used them thought when set up they looked like a kennel.

17. Up for grabs, in a way : UNLET. Really tenuous tenant connection, very hard for short fill.

18. Lit. intro : PREFace.

19. "Willard" antagonists : RATS. I thought they were the stars?

23. Solo, say : FLY. All pilots look for their first solo flight.

24. Indian author Santha Rama __ : RAU. I have never been aware of this WRITER.

25. Century-starting year : MMCI. In her NYT debut, Amy commented she did not like using Roman numerals; random answers like this are the problem.

32. Not treat lightly : STRESS.

34. Normandy river : ORNE. Just one the many four letter European rivers you need to know to do puzzles.

35. "Defending Our Nation. Securing The Future" org. : NSA. They not only protect but they create puzzles for BILL G and others. LINK.

36. __ swings : MOOD.

37. "POV" airer : PBS. My TV watching is way down but THIS has promise.

38. Extreme degrees : NTHS.

39. "The Trumpet of the Swan" monogram : EBW.
Not as famous as Stuart Little perhaps but an E.B. White children's book which is also a movie.

40. Boxed dozen : JURY. Really nice Friday misdirection as no doughnuts or bagels here and juror do sit in the box.

42. Vail topper : SKI HAT. One of the many Colorado resorts. CSO our missing miss m.

47. Part of a friskiness metaphor : OATS. All you wanted to know about sowing WILD ones.

48. Jersey's chew : CUD. Very cute cow clue, not an old Soprano's reference

49. "The Simpsons" leisure suit wearer : STU.

56. Not even close : COLD. From the old, am I getting closer game.

57. Lightest meson : PION. Someone please explain to me as my knowledge is just from wiki.  In particle physics, a pion (or a pi meson, denoted with the Greek letter pi: π) is any of three subatomic particles: π0, π+, and π−. Each pion consists of a quark and an antiquark and is therefore a meson

58. Ex-TV host Stewart : ALANA. Married to Rod and George Hamilton

59. Kick back : LOLL.

60. Required bet : ANTE.

61. "R.U.R." writer Capek : KAREL. With JzB's write up Wednesday, everyone should know this author and his famous play which introduced the word ROBOT.

62. Language that gave us "bard" : ERSE. If you want the 'simple' answer, wiki says Erse can be: an alternative name for any Goidelic language, especially Irish, from Erische. a 16th-19th Century Scots name for Scottish Gaelic.

63. Old Royale 8's : REOS. An impressive looking car.

64. Gambling aids: Abbr. : SYSTSems. I know many a poor man who designed a 'perfect' blackjack system.


1. Shining target : SCUFF. My mind went to the movies, not my shoes.

2. Journey frontman Pineda : ARNEL. How do you replace Steve Perry? Apparently with a 5'4" Filipino singer. LINK.

3. Mature : FULLY GROWN. I like this fill even if Arnel and I never got very tall.

4. Henry James biographer : EDEL. This multi-volume work was Leon's career. LINK. Having this name and Arnel crossing made getting the first theme fill very tricky.

5. Backtalk : RETORTS.

6. The Carpenters, e.g. : POP DUO. Her life was so tragic.

7. Regarding : IN RE. Latin.

8. Mississippi travelers : STEAMERS. The river, not the state. Not sure I have heard the term used this way.

9. "Meet the Fockers" co-star : HOFFMAN. Dustin and Barbra were pretty entertaining.
10. Channel relative : STRAIT.

11. Word John doesn't want to see? : DEAR. The kiss off letter.

12. They're seen in columns : ANTS. This old trick did not fool me this time.

13. Lapidary's meas. : KTS. A lapidary is a person who cuts, polishes, or engraves gemstones and KT is the abbreviation for the purity of gold (karat) not the weight of gems (carat). Hmmm.

21. Some flatbreads : NANS.

22. Nero's "Behold!" : ECCE. Latin.

27. Ref. shelf filler : OEDOxford English Dictionary.

28. Singer Rihanna's first name : ROBYN. No idea. This Barbados born GIRL has been awesomely successful.

29. Where a love story may be written : IN THE STARS. Star-crossed lovers, the Fault in Our Stars...all too sad.

30. Workers' rights org. : OSHA,  Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

31. Tweed lampooner : NAST. The political cartoonist. READ.

32. Drake, maybe : SMEW. We have had this duck before, though many might of thought about Serena Williams' boyfriend who started on Degrassi.

33. Start of a dramatic question : TO BE or not to be. A small does of WS.

37. Like new snow : PRISTINE. Such clean perfect fill.

38. End to peace? : NIK. Beat...Neat...This suffix comes from the Eastern European word meaning "one who" but some credit its popularity to the launch of the Sputnik.

40. Evita's man : JUAN. Peron...they liked poodles.

41. As expected : UP TO PAR. As opposed to over par, par value and other reasons why English is so hard to learn.

42. Complacent : SMUG. I like this word.

43. Grizzly Alaskans? : KODIAKS. Can you bear these clues?

45. Walk wearing Luvs : TODDLE.

46. Dramatic units : SCENES.

50. Principle : TENET.

51. Dividing range : URALS. They divide Europe and Asia, but my mind went to Australia first.

52. When one __ closes ... : DOOR. Another hits you in the....on your way out.

53. Hardly blessed events : ILLS. meh.

54. Till opener : ROTO. A motorized way to turn your soil.

55. Crack up : SLAY. The reactions when the jokes are funny.

56. NFL team with a home field bleachers section called the Dawg Pound : CLEveland Browns. The second generation, they often wear dog masks.

Welcome to Friday Amy, look forward to more. Thanks everyone and I hope you are enjoying fall.

Mar 16, 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015 Amy Johnson

Theme: Jocularities - Start Monday off with a smile.

20A. McDonald's freebies : HAPPY MEAL TOYS

27A. Multi-day event featuring rainbow flags : GAY PRIDE WEEK

43A. Ride with wooden horses : MERRY-GO-ROUND

51A. Fruit-flavored hard candies : JOLLY RANCHERS

Argyle glad to be here. Well done, Amy.


1. Ignore the teleprompter : AD LIB

6. Take for a ride, so to speak : SCAM

10. Pyramid, to Tut : TOMB. The Boy King. (Buried in his Jammies)

14A. Supermodel Klum : HEIDI. Half akimbo?
19A. Sedgwick of "The Closer" : KYRA. The other half?

15. "Look what I did!" : "TA-DA!"

16. Old-time knife : SNEE

17. "Full House" star Bob : SAGET. IMDb

18. Alphabetically first of the acting Baldwin brothers : ALEC

23. Contractor's approx. : EST. (estimate)

25. Word ending for enzymes : ASE

26. Outcome : RESULT

31. Alaskan native : ALEUT

32. Forever and a day : EONS

33. Opposite of NNE : SSW

36. Campus official : DEAN

37. Willy with a chocolate factory : WONKA

39. Indian spiced tea : CHAI

40. Kazakhstan, once: Abbr. : SSR. (Soviet Socialist Republic)

41. For the lady : HERS

42. Prankster's favorite month : APRIL. Really, no foolin'.

46. Scramble, as a secret message : ENCODE

49. Dawn goddess : EOS

50. Old AT&T rival : GTE. (formerly General Telephone & Electronics Corporation)

55. Part of Q.E.D. : ERAT

56. "You hurt?" reply, hopefully : "I'M OK"

57. Really bad turnout : NO ONE

60. Feel concern : CARE

61. Luigi's "Bye!" : "CIAO!"

62. Conclude : INFER

63. "Faster __ a speeding bullet ..." : THAN

64. Tailor's sewn folds : HEMS. Not enough room for pleats.

65. Sidewalk eateries : CAFÉs


1. Sighs of satisfaction : AHs

2. Agcy. with narcs : DEA. (Drug Enforcement Administration)

3. Astronomical distance : LIGHT YEAR

4. "I had no __!" : IDEA

5. Walk-on role : BIT PART

6. Hung around : STAYED

7. Not windy : CALM

8. "Zip-__-Doo-Dah" : A-DEE

9. '90s Los del Río dance hit : MACARENA. Link at your own risk.

10. "For shame!" : "TSK TSK!"

11. "Shame __!" : ON YOU

12. Two-time Best Actress Oscar winner Streep : MERYL

13. Beauty's beau : BEAST

21. Tire pressure abbr. : PSI. (pound per square inch)

22. Popular jeans : LEES

23. "Jeepers!" : "EGADS!"

24. Black Friday deals : SALES

28. Many a punch line : PUN

29. __-weensy : EENSY

30. Chinese cookware : WOK

33. Doesn't lose sleep over : SHRUGS OFF

34. New Orleans footballer : SAINT

35. Oscar who quipped, "True friends stab you in the front" : WILDE

37. Lottery winners' cry : "WE'RE RICH!"

38. Bobby of hockey : ORR

39. Naval noncom: Abbr. : CPO. (Chief Petty Officer)

41. Actress Lamarr : HEDY. Official Site

42. As, on the periodic table : ARSENIC

43. Like lava : MOLTEN

44. Colorful little lizards : GECKOs.

gecko setae

45. "Impressive!" : "OOH!". "Ahh!"

46. Cockpit panic button : EJECT

47. "Little Broken Hearts" singer Jones : NORAH

48. Civil War nurse Barton : CLARA

52. Parisian gal pal : AMIE

53. Linguist Chomsky : NOAM

54. Gossip columnist Barrett : RONA

58. Michelle Obama __ Robinson : NÉE

59. EMTs' destinations : ERs. (emergency room)