Showing posts with label Bob Peoples. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bob Peoples. Show all posts

Feb 26, 2011

Saturday February 26, 2011 Bob Peoples

Theme: None

Total words: 70

Total blocks: 26

I often look at the empty grid before I attack a puzzle. Today's sure doesn't look too intimidating. No grid spanner or long triple stacks. But it took me eons to gain a toehold.

Tough cluing overall, typified by GAI (20A. "__-Jin": Clavell novel), would be a gimme if it were clued as "Moo goo __ pan". I was ignorant of the book. Gai-Jin is Japanese for "foreigner". Gai = outside. Jin = Person. Same as Chinese character.

The three 9s don't really grab me today, but the eight 8s are solid. My favorites are:

1A. It might make marks on your dog : BBQ GRILL. Hot dog.

15A. "Great job!" : YOU DID IT. Great answer.

58A. Part of a smear campaign : ATTACK AD


9. Walks quickly : LEGS IT

16. Johnson & Johnson skin care brand : AVEENO. Wikipedia says Aveeno is derived from the scientific name for the common oat, Avena sativa. No wonder oats are featured prominently in their products.

17. Some mousses : HAIR GELS

18. Destinies : KARMAS. Or in sense of "vibes".

19. Auto insurer's request: Abbr. : EST

21. One concerned with bites : DENTIST. Tricky clue.

22. Rate __: be perfect : A TEN

24. Entrapments : SETUPS

26. H.S. support group : PTA

27. Start over, in a way : RESET. Reset a button.

29. Make go away : SHOO

30. Subj. partner : PRED (Predicate). Got me.

31. Geographical parallel : TROPIC. Tropic of Cancer & Tropic of Capricorn.

33. Skunk River city : AMES, IOWA. Home of Iowa State University (The Cyclones). Went there once, but don't remember the Skunk River.

35A. Entirely, with "from" : HEAD TO TOE

37. Utter fiasco : WATERLOO

40. Logo, e.g. : SYMBOL

44. "__ Esau": kids' rhyme book : I SAW. Don't know the book.

45. Advanced : LENT. Oh, like money then.

47. Restaurateur known for satiric wall art : SARDI. Of Sardi's.

48. Recipe amt. : TSP

49. Post product : CEREAL

51. Network meeting point : NODE

52. Ones going to court? : SUITORS. Court = Woo. Of course I was thinking of judge & lawyers.

54. Sony competitor : NEC

56. Japanese band : OBI. Sash band. Not music. Nailed it.

57. Verdi title bandit : ERNANI. Sigh! I can never remember this name.

60. Brought home : NETTED. EARNED has same number of letters.

61. Worst of the worst : FROM HELL

62. Some smart phones : DROIDs. Dennis lost his, in his own store.

63. Spoon : CANOODLE . Sweet.


1. Without notes : BY HEART. Know something by heart.

2. Bigmouth : BOASTER

3. "Most assuredly" : QUITE SO

4. E. Berlin's land : GDR (German Democratic Republic). Didn't come to me immediately.

5. 1997 Emmy winner for TV's "Rebecca" : RIGG (Diana). Might have got her if the clue were "The Avengers" related.

6. Head lights? : IDEAS. Saw this clue before.

7. Ornamental flowers : LILIES

8. West Point grads: Abbr. : LTS (Lieutenants).

9D. Coleridge, Southey and Wordsworth : LAKE POETS. Is this a well-known term?  

10. Mary Ann __, George Eliot's birth name : EVANS. Who knows?!

11. Goldfinger portrayer Fröbe : GERT. Recognized the face, not the name.

12. Part-time, in a way : SEMI-PRO

13. Het up : IN A STEW

14. Taco relative : TOSTADA. Looks yummy.

21. Milano cathedral : DUOMO. No idea. Wiki says it's a generic Italian term for a cathedral church. Derived from Latin "domus", meaning "house".

23. One crying uncle? : NEPHEW. Fun clue.

25. Choice words : THAT ONE

28. Level : TIER

30. Acquaintance of Simon : PIE MAN. "Simple Simon met a pie man...". The nursery rhyme.

32. Revealing numbers : CALLER IDS

34. Edamame beans : SOYS. Edamame is just green soybean in its pod.

36. They don't just sit around : DOERS

37. Giving-up point : WIT'S END. At wit's end.

38. One offering comfort : ASSURER. This puzzle has two ER suffix words.

39. Draw on : TAP INTO. Resource, experience, etc.

41. Put up with : BROOK. New meaning of "brook" to me.

42. Eccentric : ODDBALL

43. Remain in mothballs : LIE IDLE

46. Asian enlightenment doctrine : TANTRA. Sanskrit for "warp", hence "underlying principle". a la dictionary.

49. Shaped like a megaphone : CONED

50. Gave away : LET ON

53. Filmmaker Jacques : TATI. The guy who directed "Mon Oncle".

55. Outfit you don't want to be seen in, briefly : CAMO

58. Jets' org. : AFC. NY Jets. I don't really know which ones belong to AFC or NFC.

59. John who played Sulu in "Star Trek" (2009) : CHO. Very handsome. He's of Korean root, just as Margaret Cho. Cho is a Korean name. Same character as Chinese zhao/cao.

Answer grid.


Oct 23, 2010

Saturday October 23, 2010 R. M. (Bob) Peoples

(Note: Tomorrow's puzzle involves circles, which are unsupported by LA Times website. I'll release the pdf & puz files on the blog around 9:00pm tonight.

(Updated @9:05pm. Here is the pdf version of tomorrow's puzzle.)

Theme: None

Total words: 70

Total blocks: 29

This puzzle has two grid-spanning marquee answers, all lively colloquial phrases:

17A. "You've made your point!" : OK, I GET IT ALREADY

60A. Reference to a long-forgotten acquaintance : OLD WHAT'S HIS NAME?

They are intersected by a couple of 9s and 11s:

3D. Swing both ways : SWITCH HIT. Did you think of baseball immediately?

11D. Hardly a Michelin three-star eatery : GREASY SPOON. Guess which city has the most Michelin starred restaurants?

23D. Catnap : CATCH A FEW Z's

35D. Decide to defend someone, say : TAKE A CASE. Didn't come to me easily.

The ladder structure in the middle of the grid gives the puzzle an amazing interconnectedness. Quite challenging to put together, as one bad answer could cause a collapse of the whole puzzle.


1. Sources of inside info? : CT SCANS. "Info" hints an abbreviated answer.

8. Small hounds : BEAGLES

15. Question at a wine tasting : HOW IS IT? Also 36D. Wine selection concern : AGE & 37D. Wine selection : RED. "Wine" clechos (clue echos).

16. Like some glass display cases : REAR LIT

19. Stroke : PET. Both noun/verb work.

20. Atomic number of nitrogen : SEVEN. I forgot all I learned in the chemistry class.

21. Place for controls : PANEL. Oh, control panel.

22. Starfleet registry prefix : NCC. Drew a blank. From "Star Trek".

24. E-mails : SENDS

26. Hurting : SORE

27. Turn left : HAW. GEE is "Turn right".

29. In a level-headed way : SANELY

31. 1987 Beatty bomb : ISHTAR. The name escaped me again. We had this clue before. JD mentioned the Babylonian Ishtar before. Goddess of love/war/fertility.

34. One who draws exceptionally well? : MEGASTAR. Because megastars have drawing power?

38. Insert casually : STICK IN

40. Surfer's destination : WEB PAGE. Internet surfer.

41. Precisely : ON THE DOT. Wanted ON TARGET.

43. Short-changed : ROOKED

44. Energy problem : ANEMIA. Lack of iron.

46. Preschool group? : ROE. It has not become fish, which travel in school.

47. Beehive, say : COIF

50. Health, in Le Havre : SANTE. ''A votre santé!''

52. "Coming Home" subject : NAM. Have never heard of the movie. Starring Jane Fonda. How ironic! I bet Dennis boycotted it.

54. Wrinkles : LINES

56. Tank swimmer : TETRA

58. One sold at Sotheby's in 1989 for more than $50,000 : CEL. Not surprised. Saw some expensive ones in "Antique Roadshow".

63. Taking by force : SEIZURE

64. Truman secretary of state : ACHESON (Dean). Nope. Complete stranger.

65. He played Captain Davies on "Roots" : ED ASNER. His name consists of all common letters, hence the frequent appearances in Xword.

66. Number one : THE BEST. I like how it ends the grid.


1. Do some food prep : CHOP

2. Keepsake : TOKEN

4. Smoke, briefly : CIG

5. Grieg's "__ Death" : ASE'S. No idea. Here is a clip. Edvard Grieg. ASE is sometimes clued as "Peer Gynt's mother". Ibsen play.

6. Evenings in the classifieds : NITES

7. Destination in a poetic riddle : ST. IVES. Riddle: "As I was going to St. Ives. / I met a man with seven wives...". Got me.

8. Cherry, so to speak : BRAND NEW. New meaning of "cherry" to me.

9. Fish often smoked : EEL. Not to my taste. I liked pickled fish.

10. Seniors' PAC : AARP

12. Plain in the Southwest : LLANO

13. It might get you down : EIDER. Awesome clue.

14. Pizazz : STYLE

18. When Sunday NFL action starts on the West Coast : TEN AM. Big game this weekend for the Vikings. Against Al's Packers.

25. "Against the Wind" singer : SEGER (Bob). See this clip.

28. Rise, and maybe shine : WAKEN. What exactly does "shine" refer to?

30. Cabinet department since 1913 : LABOR. Nice to know.

31. Equal opening : ISO. As in isobar.

32. Place to buy tkts. : STN

33. Teases : RIDES

39. Irrespective of : NO MATTER. WHATEVER has 8 letters too.

42. Some silverware parts : TINES

45. In addition : AT THAT

47. Nip and tuck : CLOSE

48. Smashed : OILED. Yet another slang for "drunk".

49. Birthplace of Merle Oberon : INDIA. I don't even know who Merle Oberon was. British actress.

51. __ Maria Remarque, author of "All Quiet on the Western Front" : ERICH. Nope. This author is not in my memory shelf either.

53. Notes : MEMOS

55. Steer clear of : SHUN

57. "Off the Court" autobiographer : ASHE (Arthur)

59. Fast time : LENT. I've never fasted. Don't have the will.

61. Art today? : ARE. "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?". Great clue.

62. Lincoln's st. : NEB

Answer grid.


Jan 2, 2010

Saturday January 2, 2010 Bob Peoples

Theme: None

Total blocks: 31

Total words: 66

Rather low in terms of word count. Lots of great multiple-word entries in this grid. I counted 13, among which eight have 10 or 11 letters. I also liked some of the long one-word entries, not the three ING-ending fill though.

Somehow I was very bothered by the "it" in the clue for VENUE (28A. Where it's at). Grammatically it's confusing. I do love the pronoun "they" for ETS (6D. They travel a great distance to get here).

Choppy solving. The lower right corner crumbled rather easily for me. Lower left was steely. The Down clues/fill today sure felt more accessible than the Across, didn't they?


1. Hedged reply: I BELIEVE SO. Great answer.

11. Gawain and Kay, e.g.: SIRS. Both knights at King Arthur's Round Table. Sir Gawain is Arthur's nephew. Kay is Arthur's foster brother.

15. Hustlers: CON ARTISTS

16. Slicing, dicing, etc.: PREP. I rather like the clue.

17. How preordained events are written?: IN THE STARS. Is this a idiom? I've never heard of it before.

18. Start to till?: ROTO. The start of the word rototill. I only know rototiller.

19. Fr. company: CIE. And another simpler French word MERES (45A. Metz mothers). Kazie explained to us CIE before.

20. Frazier rival: ALI. Joe Frazier.

21. Altercation: RUN-IN

22. Impart: LEND

24. Warning: OMEN

25. Zipping through: ACING. And ESTEEMING (26A. Looking up to). And IRONING (12D: Household drudgery). Any repining about the three ING's?

29. Saturate with: STEEP IN

30. Gulped with gusto: SWIGGED. Alliteration.

32. Cherished: PET. As project.

33. __-ha: stink: HOO. I was unaware that "stink" can mean "fuss/commotion".

34. Gathering with much rapping: GABFEST. Stumper.

38. __ Observatory, site of the larger Hale Telescope: PALOMAR. In San Diego County. Spanish for "pigeon house". Lots of pigeons can be seen during spring/autumn months atop Palomar Mountain, according to Wikipedia & JD.

42. Asteroids game company: ATARI

43. Alarming: WORRISOME

46. "Carmina Burana" composer: ORFF (Carl). German composer. Maybe Jazzbumpa/Crockett can tell us more about this guy. Complete stranger to me.

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

48. I.Q. test pioneer: BINET (Alfred). The inventor of the first widely accepted test for measuring intelligence. His name escaped me.

49. "__ Mir Bist Du Schoen": Andrews Sisters hit: BEI. Yiddish for "To Me You're Beautiful".

50. Taxonomic suffix: OTE. As in Capriot/Cypriot. I obtained the answer from crosses.

51. All-encompassing phrase: A TO Z. With the second T in place, I wrote down ET AL.

52. Locks out of a store?: HAIRPIECES. Locks = hair. Tricky clue.

56. Herbert sci-fi classic: DUNE. Nope. Have never hear of the book, nor the author.

57. Antique diamond shape: OLD MINE CUT. Educate me on what exactly is a old mine cut.

58. Phone abbr.: OPER

59. Sliders at home, perhaps: GLASS DOORS. The DOORS part emerged to me early on, so I was not misled into the miniature burgers or baseball sliders direction.


1. Cold fish, so to speak: ICICLES. Cold fish (aloof/reserved person) is a new expression to me.

2. Skinny to the max: BONIEST

3. Political agreement: ENTENTE

7. Daily supplement: VITAMIN

8. Big Sur retreat: ESALEN. The Esalen Institute is named after the Native American tribe Esalen. Another unknown to me.

9. Philharmonic section: STRINGS

10. WWII hush-hush gp.: OSS (Office of Strategic Services). CIA precursor.

11. Flying boat built by Hughes Aircraft: SPRUCE GOOSE. The one Dick (in black) and Carol (in red) visited last year.

13. Following: RETINUE. VIP's following.

14. Cleaned (off), as a counter: SPONGED

21. Ristorante fare: RAVIOLI. Does it always have cheese inside?

23. Long-term storage solution: DEEP FREEZER

24. Forgets about: OMITS

27. Modern pentathlon competitor, at times: EPEEIST (ey-PEY-ist). I had no idea that modern pentathlon include epee fencing.

31. Landing site: WHARF

34. Long legging attached to a saddle: GAMBADO. No idea. Rider's legging. Maybe "The Talented Mr. Argyle" can find us a picture link. Gamba is Italian for "leg", kind of like our "gam" I suppose.

35. Had the time of one's life: ATE IT UP

36. Without exception: BAR NONE

37. Blue pool target: TWO BALL. Billiard. It's blue.

38. Image adjusters: PR FIRMS. Nice clue.

39. Casablanca locale: MOROCCO

40. Pro's opposite: AMATEUR

44. Golden Crinkles maker: ORE-IDA. Portmanteau of Ore(gon) + Ida(ho).

52. Monopolize: HOG

53. Magnum et al.: Abbr.: PIS (Private Investigators).

54. Unaffiliated: Abbr.: IND (Independent)

55. Want-ad abbr.: EEO. Penned in EOE first. Three consecutive abbrs. Not SAPID at all.

Should you have time, read this SAPID defintion Annette linked yesterday. Do click on "How I Met My Wife", a big hit last time when Jazzbumpa brought to the blog.

Answer grid.


Nov 7, 2009

Saturday November 7, 2009 Bob Peoples

Theme: None

Total blocks: 30

Total words: 70

This grid does not look intimidating, does it? Only a bunch of triple-stacked 7's in each corner. Across & Down. But what a hard struggle for me!

Rich Norris certainly ratcheted up the cluing difficulty (ONO is a good example). Even if he did not, I doubt I would have solved this puzzle without cheating. Several of the adjacent entries are just plain unknown to me.


1. Treat for tired dogs?: FOOT RUB. Dogs here refer to feet. Wanted MASSAGE. Lots of foot massage parlors in Guangzhou.

8. Snake oil, so it's said: PANACEA. Not seen as such in China. Snake oil is just used to treat join pain.

15. Bridge bid, briefly: THREE NO. Someone please explain this term to me.

16. Fauna: ANIMALS. Flora would be PLANTS.

17. Old Meccan governors: SHARIFS. Literally "exalted" in Arabic. Maybe Omar Sharif knows. I've got no idea.

18. Swift specialties: SATIRES. Jonathan Swift.

20. "Real breakfast 24/7" restaurant chain: DENNY'S. Not familiar with the tagline at all.

22. Ventura County's __ Valley: SIMI. Home to the Regan Library. Another California reference is ANAS (9D. Santa __: West Coast winds). The hot winds.

23. Actress Swenson: INGA. Of "Benson" fame.

25. God of Spain: DIOS. The singular DIO is Italian/German for God. DIEU for the French.

27. Head lock: TRESS

31. City on the Rhine: BONN. Former capital of West Germany.

32. Shrub with clusters of blue flowers: HYSSOP. Of the mint family. New name to me.

34. Betrayals: SELLOUTS. So easy in retrospect.

36. Hotel amenity for business travelers: IN-ROOM FAX. You'd think it's IN-ROOM internet access/WiFi.

38. Delete: CROSS OFF. And REDLINE (39D. Deletion indicator).

41. Tiny white ovum: ANT EGG. Stumper. Those eggs look awfully big.

45. Musical set in Manhattan's East Village: RENT

46. Armstrong singing style: SCAT. Ella Fitzgerald singing style too.

48. Iberian river: DOURO (DOH-roo). No idea. See this map. It flows from N Spain through N Portugal to the Atlantic.

49. Stock suffix: ADE. Stockade.

50. Agcy. that conducts workplace inspections: OSHA. Belongs to the Dept. of Labor.

52. Noilly __: vermouth brand: PRAT. Completely unknown to me. Does anyone know the name origin? Why PRAT, Argyle?

57. Artist who funded Manhattan's Strawberry Fields memorial: ONO. Another unknown trivia.

58. Reminder file: TICKLER. Have never heard of tickler file.

60. Ale seller: BREWPUB. It's a bar serving beer brewed at a small microbrewery on the premises. Probably a gimme for Embien.

63. Ventilation source: AIR HOLE

64. Can't stand: DESPISE

65. Did over on a Selectric, say: RETYPED. Who the heck is still using Selectric?


1. Ark. city that began as a military post: FT SMITH. Uh-uh, nope. It's the second-largest city in Ark.

2. Candy bar with an exclamation point in its name: OH HENRY! I've yet to try this brand. Love Snickers.

3. Fruits used in making Grand Marnier: ORANGES. Another stumper. The Grand Marnier made from a blend of true cognacs and distilled essence of bitter orange.

4. Three times, in Rx's: TER

5. Senate Majority Leader Harry: REID. From Nevada.

6. Ravenous, probably: UNFED. Reminds me of "The Pianist".

7. Sarajevo's region: BOSNIA. Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia.

8. Lineup announcement medium, briefly: PA SYSTEM. Was thinking of police line-up.

10. Trivial point: NIT. Trivial point to pick.

11. "The Rachel Papers" novelist Martin: AMIS. Son of Kingsley Amis.

12. Arctic deer: CARIBOU. Reindeer too.

13. Nitrogen or oxygen: ELEMENT

14. Transfers, as legal rights: ASSIGNS

21. "I wouldn't do that just yet": NOT SO FAST. Placed at the very center of the grid.

24. Fielder's stat: ASSIST. Basketball/hockey stat too.

28. Boys, to men: SONS. Would be an OK clue if not for MEN (19A. Gents)

30. Italian sports car, briefly: : ALFA. Alfa Romeo.

31. Old-fashioned proof of purchase: BOX TOP

33. Aces: PROS. Both mean experts.

35. Crow's nest sighting: LAND. Again, not familiar with the nautical term crow's nest.

37. "For sure!": OF COURSE

38. Skillfully made: CRAFTED

40. Plays without intermissions: ONE-ACTS. "Plays" is a noun. I fell into the verb thinking trap.

42. Ace of Base genre: EURO POP. Have never heard of Swedish band Ace of Base.

43. Bit of grit: GRANULE

44. Retire, but not permanently: GO TO BED. "Not permanently" threw me off.

47. Legal profession: THE BAR. Wrote down THE LAW first.

51. Raptor's home: AERIE

54. Cincinnati sitcom station: WKRP. "WKRP in Cincinnati".

55. Tiger's pocketful: TEES. Tiger Woods.

56. Miró Foundation architect: SERT. Got the answer from Across fill.

59. Gift for an island visitor: LEIS. Hawaiian islands.

Answer grid.