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Showing posts with label Bonnie L. Gentry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bonnie L. Gentry. Show all posts

Feb 12, 2012

Sunday Feb 12, 2011 Bonnie L. Gentry

Theme: "Kinda, Sorta" - ISH is added to each common phrase.

23A. "Listen up, Madrid!"? : ATTENTION SPANISH! Attention span.

37A. "... and that's why I ate all of your favorite cookies," e.g.? : SELFISH DEFENSE. Self defense.

67A. Put Armor All on tires? : BURNISH RUBBER. Burn rubber.

93A. Hold a surprise party for Scorsese? : ASTONISH MARTIN. Aston Martin. James Bond's car.

112A. "My stocks are going down! My stocks are going down!"? : BEARISH REPEATING. Bear repeating. The clue sounds "Panic repeating" to me.

16D. Embarrassed flock managers? : SHEEPISH HERDERS. Sheep herders.

45D. Display that's both tasteful and ostentatious? : REFINED FLOURISH. Refined flour.

The title gives away the theme, yes?

Simple gimmick. Nicely executed. Only 7 theme entries, but they're all quite long, occupying a total of 103 squares, norm for 21*21.

Sunday puzzles often contain one or two or more "What?" words for me. Not this one. Super smooth.

Across:

1. Involuntary jerk : START. Not an easy clue to me.

6. Put into words : UTTER

11. Amazon.com ID : ISBN

15. Educational TV spots, perhaps : PSAS

19. Fail to recycle : WASTE

20. Unappealing music : NOISE. I'm in love with this song lately. So simple. So pure.

21. Politician's pursuit : SEAT. And 33. Washington figure : POL.

22. World-weary words : AH ME

26. You might draw one on a target : BEAD

27. Forest sticker : BUR. Learned from doing Xword.

28. Banjo parts : NECKS. "Deliverance" is probably the most terrifying movie I've seen.

29. Corner-office occupant : BOSS

30. Last Olds : ALERO

31. Capable of spontaneous movement, as cells : MOTILE

35. "Let yourself in!" : IT'S OPEN

42. "Give __ rest!" : IT A

43. Arranges logically : SORTS

46. Dirt clump : CLOD. Eager to work on my garden clod.

47. Dairy case choice : OLEO. I've never had Oleo.

48. Concordes, familiarly : SSTs

49. Bleachers level : TIER

50. Cinema name : ODEON

52. Give the boot to : OUST

53. NYC gallery district : SOHO

54. Certain alphabet opener : ALFA. NATO alphabet. Spitzboov knows them too well. BZ!

55. Whither Cain fled : NOD. Land of Nod. East of Eden.

56. A whole lot : OODLES

58. "I don't get it" : HUH. Dennis got a lot of "I don't get it" emails in my earlier days of blogging. Now he needs education. He does not know why tinted moisturizers are tinted. You?

59. Decide with money : FLIP A COIN. Nailed it.

62. Murmur : COO

63. At a minimum : NO LESS

66. Five-spot : FIN

71. Color TV pioneer : RCA

72. More-than-one-hit Wonder : STEVIE. Fun clue. Wonder is capitalized.

74. Maestro's gift : EAR

75. Fair-haired : TOWHEADED. New word to me. How is the color different from blond?

77. Cacophony : DIN

78. Put one's feet up : LOLLED

81. Carefree, in Calais : GAI. Like our "gay".

82. Rip asunder : REND

83. Dirty Harry's org. : SFPD

84. Mount rising above the Vale of Tempe : OSSA. Not familiar with Vale of Tempe, a gorge in Thessaly.

85. Sailing hailings : AHOYs

87. Native Canadian : CREE

88. Toon collectibles : CELs

89. Castaway's confines : ISLE

90. Vocal style that mimics an instrumental solo : SCAT

91. Had office hours : WAS IN

92. Metal in Montana's motto : ORO. Oro y Plata.

97. Topiarist's tools : PRUNERS. This green guy is a topiarist, pruned by another topiarist.

99. Grant-providing org. : NEA

100. Over-embellished : ORNATE

103. D.A.'s research aides : PARAs. Paralegals.

104. Take the show on the road : TOUR

107. Dork : DWEEB

109. Travelers' options: Abbr. : RRs

111. Elevator innovator : OTIS

116. "__ we forget ..." : LEST

117. "High Hopes" lyricist : CAHN (Sammy)

118. Lingering look : STARE

119. Make the grade : CUT IT

120. Pasty-faced : ASHY

121. Green-egg layers : EMUs. Chickens must be surprised to see emu eggs: OMG, I've always laid white eggs.

122. Autumn bloom : ASTER

123. Carpet layers work on them : KNEES. Another tricky clue for me.

Down:

1. Forensic evidence collector : SWAB

2. Ryan's daughter : TATUM

3. Former Colt .45 : ASTRO. Between 1962-1964. Look at this lovely bobblehead. Too bad he has a little chip on his right cheek. Would be worth thousands in its original box.

4. Directions detail: Abbr. : RTE

5. Court shoes, casually : TENNIES

6. Org. with "Trick-or-Treat" donation boxes : UNICEF

7. Appropriated : TOOK

8. Altoids containers : TINS

9. Versatile Scrabble tile : ESS

10. Agent : REP

11. "There __ 'I' in 'team'" : IS NO

12. Tres y tres : SEIS. Six.

13. Baby baskets : BASSINETS. Very pretty.

14. Unknown power : NTH

15. Poet Neruda with a Nobel Prize : PABLO

17. Almond-flavored liqueur : AMARETTO

18. Kia minivans : SEDONAs

24. Don't hold in : TELL. Have never met an investigator who's not good at holding secrets.

25. Good at one's job : ABLE

30. Enzyme suffix : ASE

32. Feature of some Mary Janes : T-STRAP

33. LP player : PHONO

34. Like an extra sock : ODD. Mine are normally hidden in Boomer's large T-shirts.

36. Qing Dynasty general of culinary fame : TSO. Qing was China's last dynasty (1644-1912). Qin (no g) was the first imperial dynasty, when we had our first emperor, who built the first version of the Great Wall of China and the Terra Cotta soldiers.

38. Stranded at O'Hare, perhaps : ICED IN

39. __-mo replay : SLO

40. Exceed an infraction limit, in basketball : FOUL OUT

41. Ultimatum ending : ELSE

43. Provides personnel for : STAFFS

44. Like some retro lamps : OIL-LIT. Used candles for lighting until I was about 10.

48. R&B-influenced genre : SOUL. I used to confuse James Brown with Bobby Brown, husband of Whitney Houston. What a tragedy.

50. How actors should appear : ON CUE.

51. It's opened and shut : DOOR. So is CASE.

52. Dumpster emanation : ODOR

53. Sandcastle spot : SHORE. Castles & long legs are all Splynter wants.

57. Fall colour : OCHRE. The English spelling of "colour" hints an English answer.

60. In __: up the creek : A BIND

61. Ratings giver : NIELSEN

63. Classic pops : NEHIs

64. When, in Act II, Macbeth soliloquizes, "Is this a dagger ..." : SCENE I. Guessing game.

65. Turn blue? : SADDEN

68. Room at the hacienda : SALA

69. Colombian capital : BOGOTA. Chickie lived in Columbia a few years.

70. Bronx-Manhattan st. : B'WAY

73. Limo riders, often : VIPs

76. Mysterious matters : ARCANA

78. Faded in the stretch : LOST STEAM. Nice answer.

79. Peace Prize city : OSLO

80. Vladimir's villa : DACHA. Alliteration.

83. Notches : SERRATES. Always thought serrate is an adjective.

86. Not-so-subtle performer : HAM

88. "Lost in Translation" director Sofia : COPPOLA. Loved the movie.

89. Syr. neighbor : ISR

90. San Diego-to-Tijuana dir. : SSE

91. Recoup at the casino : WIN BACK. No, you won't.

93. DDE rival : AES

94. Calvary letters : INRI

95. Ebert's cohort : ROEPER (Richard)

96. Charlie Brown's kite eater : TREE

98. Far from friendly : NASTY

101. Said too often : TRITE. OK, It's "said too often". It's trite. I was thinking of a verb answer.

102. "Rubber Duckie" Muppet : ERNIE

105. Hanauma Bay site : OAHU

106. Caterer's carriers : URNS

107. "Curses!" : DRAT

108. "If wishes __ horses ..." : WERE

110. Capt. saluters : SGTS

112. Abbr. in old dates : BCE. I actually still use BC. Religion was forbidden when I grew up, yet BC was in common use. Very strange.

113. Issuer of nine-digit nos. : SSA

114. Cleveland __, O. : HTS

115. Winery vessel : TUN

Answer grid.

Here is a close-up view of Yellowrocks' avatar, the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto.

C.C.

May 28, 2011

Saturday, May 28, 2011 Bonnie L. Gentry

Theme: None

Words: 70

Blocks: 31

It's been seven days since the "End of the World"....how was your week?

New constructor for me and a fairly straight-forward Saturday, just a few spots that were not "REAL EASY" - for me; it was the central

36A. Gain notoriety, as via 38-Across : GO VIRAL

38A. See 36-Across : YOU TUBE

that broke it wide open. Two grid-spanners, and two climbers;

17. Moving locks? : HAIR REPLACEMENT - locks, such as this organization

58. Exact opposites? : BALLPARK FIGURES - a subtle shout out to our leader, C.C.

6D. From time to time : EVER AND ANON, a phase I have never heard, and

23D. Glancing : RICOCHETING - from obscure French

Some of you did yours "IN INK", I am sure~!

ACROSS:

1. Hardly a square : HIPSTER - wondered if this was a misdirection to 'ellipse'

8. Duplicate : REPLICA - the noun

15. Duty-free? : ON LEAVE - I am duty free from UPS til Tuesday

16. Unlikely to cheat : ETHICAL - had AXED for ICED, messed me up here

19. Service rank : ONE A - crossword standard

20. Muddy, as water : ROIL

21. Signal agreement : NOD TO

22. Juice source : BATTERY - juice, as in electricity

24. "The Sea-Wolf" captain : LARSEN - the main antagonist

28. Decide not to walk, perhaps : HAIL A CAB

33. Made an impressive delivery : ORATED

34. Corner key : ESCape

35. Exclusive : SOLE

40. Eclipse, to some : OMEN - or a Mitsubishi to others....

41. Team feature? : NO I - "there's no I in team; there's no crying in baseball~!"

43. Appear unexpectedly : CROP UP

44. Got comfy in a sofa : SANK DOWN - a bit of a giveaway, with "in" a sofa

46. Women-only residences : HAREMS - where can I get one?

47. Nonbeliever, to some : INFIDEL

49. Crossing the keel : ABEAM

53. Pre-med subj. : ANATomy

54. Magical beginning : ABRA - cadabra, love this song

61. Letters read with feeling? : BRAILLE - good one~!

62. Raving : ON A RANT

63. Fixes, as pumps : REHEELS - pumps, like these(~!~); I was thinking bike tires

64. Ma and Pa Kettle debut film, with "The" : EGG AND I - fascinating, captain; I did not know this

DOWN:

1. Cream-filled treat : HO-HO - had Oreo to start, messed me up

2. __ instant : IN AN

3. Bend at the barre : PLIE

4. Medical supplies : SERA

5. Gob : TAR - Gob is slang for a US Navy sailor, another sailor word is Tar.

7. Find a new home for, in a way : REPOT

8. Not at all complicated : REAL EASY

9. And more: Abbr. : ETC - Et Cetera

10. Derived from benzene : PHENYL

11. Long ride? : LIMO - accepted as not needing to be Abbr. in clues

12. Bumped off : ICED - where's the "TEA" when it fits ????

13. Jargon : CANT

14. Glee club member : ALTO - vocal range

18. Pliant : LITHE

22. Suds, so to speak : BEER - I, uh, liked this too much - see 57D

24. Apple and peacock, e.g. : LOGOS - these two examples

25. Bakery emanation : AROMA

26. First bird off the Ark, in Genesis : RAVEN - is this a 40A?

27. Deserve no stars : STINK - a thumbs down, I'd say

29. Notable Titanic casualty : ASTOR - 100 years, next year

30. Compact, perhaps : COUPE - as in cars

31. Place for snaps : ALBUM - snap-shots, photos

32. Summons : BEEPS

37. American enticements : LOW FARES - the airline, American

39. Caspian feeder : URAL - map

42. How hard crosswords are usually not done : IN INK

45. Golf ball feature : DIMPLE

48. Willem of "Spider-Man" : DAFOE - as the Green Goblin

49. Can. or Mex., e.g. : ABBR - a little misdirection, using countries

50. Reveal : BARE - show me some leg~!

51. Where Goliath was slain : ELAH

52. "I Just Can't Live __": Carrie Underwood song : A LIE

54. Mystique : AURA

55. Cereal material : BRAN - started with rice

56. Rip to bits : REND

57. Piedmont product : ASTI - the bubbly, loved the stuff - looks like a cool website

59. Completely : ALL

60. __ rule : GAG - had "AS A" here...

Answer grid.

Splynter

Note from C.C.:

Click here for some info about today's constructor Bonnie L. Gentry.

May 16, 2010

Sunday May 16, 2010 Bonnie L. Gentry

Theme: Mark Time - Each theme answer contains GPA ( 110D. Scholastic mean, briefly, hidden in this puzzle's seven longest answers).

27A. It's a racket: PING-PONG PADDLE. Indeed. A racket. I am very fond of "it" or "they" containing clues.

41A. S.O.S, for one: SCOURING PAD

64A. "Come again?": BEG PARDON? Would be interested to know what Dennis was thinking.

89A. Group in power: RULING PARTY

101A.State of inaction: HOLDING PATTERN

15D. You might get it in your pajamas: MORNING PAPER. Another "it".

58D. More than a walk-on: SPEAKING PART

All of ING-ending phrases are in-the-language. Not the simple ING progress verb form.

Of all the theme answers, I like BEG PARDON the most.

Quite a few sports references in the grid too:

15A. National League East team: METS. But YANKEE (30A. New Englander) is not clued as baseball related.

40. Bobby Orr, for most of his career: BRUIN. Boston Bruins. Good to see Orr as a clue.

40. Mile High athlete: BRONCO. Denver Broncos. I've never heard of Mile High Stadium. Don't follow football.

80. Baseball Hall of Famer Wilhelm: HOYT. Pitcher. Have no recollection of his name, though I might have one or two of his baseball cards.

Very enjoyable puzzle. As the norm with Sunday puzzle, lots of entertaining clues. MESA (108. Big butte) made me laugh. Precious!

Across:

1. Group of notes: CHORD. Wanted SCALE.

6. Is, in Ixtapa: ESTA. Ixtapa is a beach resort in Mexico. Unknown to me. Alliteration.

10. Prefix with grain: MULTI. Multigrain.

19. Renée's "Chicago" role: ROXIE. Catherine Zeta-Jones played Velma.

20. Milky Way ingredient?: STAR. Sweet clue. I bet many thought of the chocolate bar first.

21. Guesstimate word: ABOUT

22. Speed-skating rink, e.g.: OVAL

23. Invites the public: OPENS

24. You can't go when you're in it: PARK. Another tricky "it".

25. Districts: ZONES. Plunked in AREAS first.

26. Pantheon site: ROME. And GODS (103D.Pantheon figures). Pantheon echo. We also have ITALIA (56. Venezia's land). Venice.

32. Begin to use, as resources: TAP

33. Just so: NEAT. I don't get this clue.

34. Most violent: GORIEST

35. __ de corps: ESPRIT

38. Caravan stopovers: OASES

43. Trevi Fountain coin count?: TRE. And TRI (99. Bi- plus one). I have no objections to words of same roots.

44. Gelling agents: AGARS

48. Having just seen a ghost, maybe: PALE

49. Mechanical connectors, half the time: MALES. Wikipedia says the "female" connector is generally a receptacle that connects to and holds the "male" connector. I've never heard of this term before. Sounds so DF.

50. Jumping contest entrants: FROGS

52. __ du jour: bistro special: PLAT. Sipped on SOUP first.

53. Hundreds of wks.: YRS. I liked the clue.

54. Cavalry blade: SABER. And EPEES (114. Duel-purpose equipment).

58. Feed store?: SILO. Would be a tricky though still valid clue without the question mark.

59. Alpine mont: BLANC. Mont Blanc. Highest mountain in the Alps.

60. Managing: COPING

61. Acts of faith?: LEAPS. Leaps of Faith.

68. Like urban populations: DENSE

69. In __ and out ... : ONE EAR. A 6-letter fill-in-the-blank partial. An exception to the 5-letter limit rule.

71. Pottery ovens: KILNS

72. Frankenstein aide: IGOR. I often confuse him with the "Othello" villain IAGO.

74. Throw a feast for: REGALE

75. Data transfer unit: BAUD. No idea. It's named after the French inventor J.M. E. Baudot.

76. Odessa's home: TEXAS. Ukraine too.

78. "Like that's gonna happen!": HAH

81. "Gymnopédies" composer Satie: ERIK

82. 1936 Olympics champ: OWENS. The only 1936 Olympics champ I can think of.

84. Simple fellow: SIMON. What? I only know Simon as a guy's name.

85. Seat of Hawaii County: HILO

86. Plebe's denial: NO SIR

88. Some hangings: ART

91. Asian menu assurance: NO MSG. Great entry.

93. Musical "don't play": TACET. Literally "Be silent". Same root as "tacit", Jazzbumpa?

94. "Very well": SO BE IT

95. Disconnects: HANGS UP

98. Knot, as of hair: HANK. A hank of hair.

100.Justice of the peace customer: ELOPER. Have never heard of Justice of Peace.

109."Enough already!": I GIVE.

111.Dig find, perhaps: TOOL. Primitive tool.

112.Part of a TV signal: AUDIO

113.Constantly: EVER

115.Command after "Oops!": UNDO. Nice clue.

116.Touches the tarmac: LANDS

117.Brooding place: NEST

118.Soup scoop: LADLE. Alliteration.

119.Thorn in one's side: PEST

120.Cut drastically: SLASH

Down:

1. Harvester's haul: CROP. And OXEN (3. Farmer's helpers).

2. Northern Arizona native: HOPI. They make beautiful ollas. Today's constructor is from Scottsdale, AZ, the same city as our Lucina and Frenchie.

4. Sound right: RING TRUE

5. Lose heart: DESPAIR

6. Armchair QB's channel: ESPN. Nailed it.

7. Men-only affair: STAG. And LONE (12. Sans companions lone)

8. Field shield: TARP. Rhyme.

9. Hot Springs National Park state: ARKANSAS

10. Tribute and Miata: MAZDAS. Had trouble obtaining the answer.

11. It might have a nut at each end: U-BOLT. Another "it".

13. Digital watch abbr.: TUE

14. Dress shop compliment: IT'S YOU

16. Draw forth: EVOKE

17. Emulates a horse whisperer: TAMES. I loved the movie "The Horse Whisperer".

18. Frozen drops: SLEET. And RAINS (46. Gully fillers).

28. Most favorable: OPTIMAL. Nice non-est ending entry.

29. Scout's good work: DEED

31. Mezzo's moment: ARIA

34. Sportscaster Gumbel: GREG. Oh, his mug is very familiar.

35. See from afar: ESPY

36. Wound remnant: SCAR. Scab too.

37. Campaign vets: POLS. And TREND (43. Exit poll indication).

38. Eye impolitely: OGLE

39. One making a good impression?: APER. Indeed. Fun clue.

42. Mover and shaker: NABOB. Learned this phrase from Agnew's "nattering nabobs of negativism". I can see Dennis nodding in agreement.

45. Exhausted: ALL IN

47. Frontier transport: STAGE. Stagecoach.

50. What the dauntless lack: FEARS

51. [Quoted verbatim]: SIC. Only ten 3-letter words in this grid.

54. Rope fiber: SISAL. Can never remember this word.

55. Needing spicing: BLAND

57. Ruckuses: TODOS

59. High 80s, roughly: B PLUS. Oh, good to know. We did not have A, B, C grading when I was college.

61. "Space Cowboys" actor __ Dean: LOREN. Nope. First meeting with this actor.

62. Start of a new año: ENERO. January.

63. Tutelage: AEGIS. Sometimes it's spelled as egis.

65. "La Dolce Vita" actress: EKBERG (Anita). I peeked at the answer sheet.

66. Beanstalk menace: GIANT. From "Jack and the Beanstalk".

67. President who appeared on "Laugh-In": NIXON. "Sock it to me?".

70. '20s-'30s Flying Cloud, e.g.: REO. I think we had this clue before.

73. Rap genre: GANSTA

76. Scrabble piece: TILE.

77. Throw off: EMIT. New meaning of "throw off" to me.

79. Cathedral voices: ALTI. Plural of alto?

83. Slender-bodied stinger: WASP

84. Silently endure difficulty, in slang: SUCK IT UP. Cool fill.

85. Chronic: HABITUAL

87. Greeted the judge: ROSE

89. "Atlas Shrugged" author: RAND (Ayn)

90. Internet gateways: PORTALS

92. Spark in a bookshop: MURIEL. Muriel Spark, Scottish novelist. Unknown figure to me.

93. "Thy Neighbor’s Wife" author: TALESE (Gay). Stumper also.

95. Studly sorts: HE-MEN

96. Naproxen brand: ALEVE

97. Small victory margins: NOSES. Win by a nose.

98. Crude abode: HOVEL

101.Zipped: HIED. And NONE (102.Zip). Zip echo. Different meanings.

104.Conspiracy theorist's subject: PLOT

105."Show Boat" author Ferber: EDNA. Several authors in today's puzzle.

106.Clears (of): RIDS

107.Small snack: NOSH. Alliteration.

Answer grid.

Happy 89th Birthday to Jazzbumpa's mom!

C.C.

May 20, 2009

Wednesday May 20, 2009 Bonnie L. Gentry

Theme: BREAKING UP (54A: Disbanding, and a literal hint to the hidden theme in 17-, 23- and 46-Across) - UP is broken and spans the last two words of the theme entries.

17A: Pancake-wrapped Chinese dish: MOO SHU PORK

23A: Peppered entree: STEAK AU POIVRE

46A: Judge's query after charges are read: HOW DO YOU PLEAD

Too bad 46A is not food related. It would have been a tighter theme. Great "BREAKING UP" title. But Like Jack McIntuff's "Herd Mentality", this kind of word embedding/spanning does not really excite me.

The first time I had MOO SHU PORK was in San Francisco, my sister-in-law was shocked that I did not know what the dish is. Quite a few American Chinese dishes were foreign to me then. I've never had STEAK AU POIVRE, way too much poivre in this picture. Nice to see it as part of an answer rather than "Poivre partner" for SEL (French salt & pepper).

Since we have ALITO (14A: O'Connor's successor) in the grid, I wish SAM (33A: "Uncle" with a red bow tie) were clued as a tie in to ALITO. Whom do you pick to replace Justice Souter? I'll bet on Sonia Sotomayor, female and Hispanic.

Today's constructor Bonnie L. Gentry is a senior financial adviser at Merrill Lynch. She is based in Scottsdale, AZ. And her puzzle appears in LAT once a month, according to this article. I found it interesting that she does not like cluing either.

Across:

1A: Still in force: VALID

6A: Serve with summons: CITE. Alliteration again.

15A: Partly revitalized sea: ARAL. I don't understand the "partly revitalized" part. Does it refer to the revitalized economy in that region?

19A: Harper's Bazaar artist: ERTE. Big name in "Art deco".

20A: Transportation secretary under Clinton: PENA (Federico). Obtained his name from the Down clues. He co-chaired Obama's campaign.

21A: Nickelodeon dog: REN. Often clued as "Stimpy's pal". Stimpy is a cat.

22A: Father of Paris: PRIAM. The last king of Troy of course. He was played by Peter O'Toole in the movie "Troy". Orlando Bloom is Paris. The girl on his left is Helen, whose face launched a thousand ship. How many millihelen do you think Megan Fox radiates? This girl's picture is everywhere now.

27A: Goodyear offering: RADIAL

29A: Knotty and twisted: GNARLED. This one is totally out of shape. Pretty ugly.

30A: Sound from a nest: TWEET

31A: Fill with bubbles: AERATE

36A: "Little Red Book": MAO. My dad could recite every sentence in "Little Red Book".

41A: Court sport, for short: B-BALL. Basketball.

43A: Italian inkeeper: PADRONE. New to me. So close to patron.

49A: Cup with crumpets: TEA. Is it because crumpets/scones are always served with TEA?

53A: Climb, as a tree: SHIN . New verb meaning to me.

58A: Cougar maker, briefly: MERC. Crossing BMW (54D: 5 Series automaker).

59A: "Cheers" waitress: DIANE. Easy guess. The lady in red?

60A: Work measures: ERGS. Rooted in Greek ergon, meaning work.

62A: "No surprise to me": I KNEW

Down:

1D: Seductress: VAMP. The word VAMP always brings to mind Theda Bara.

3D: Pride's quarters: LION'S DEN

4D: Shout evoked by a dead heat: IT'S A TIE. I love all the long Down answers today. Vibrant.

5D: 2001 OED addition that cites "The Simpsons": D'OH

6D: "RUR" playwright: CAPEK. The guy who coined "robot".

7D: When forging started: IRON AGE. Around 12th century BC.

9D: Fraternal society member: ELK. Or "Lodge member".

10D: More than just clean: STERILE. I was expecting an ER ending adjective.

12D: Old explosive device: PETARD. New word to me. So close to retard.

13D: Teacher's note next to an F: SEE ME. Did you get F's in school? Were you a good student?

22D: Like laptops: PORTABLE

24D: Suffers humiliation: EATS CROW. Maybe she will. Maybe she won't. What a waste of time to go back and dredge up those waterboarding briefings. I am against closing Gitmo.

25D: Strip, as a ship: UNRIG. Why do I always want de-rig? Too much bug and de-bug in my previous work I suppose.

26D: Early late-night host: PAAR. What's your favorite Jack PAAR memory? I learned his name purely from doing Xword.

31D: Protein building block, for short: AMINO. AMINO acid.

34D: "Hey!" to a mate: AHOY. Wish TAR (8D: Road-surfacing goo) were clued differently to pair up with AHOY. It's a slang for sailor. I am very into tie-in fills lately.

36D: Title character who "returns" in a Neil Simon title: MAX DUGAN. Have never heard of this movie. Is it romantic? The title sounds like a soldier returns after the war and then finds his wife in love with another man.

40D: Spays: NEUTERS. I had no idea that Mine That Bird was gelded until Clear Ayes pointed it out.

42D: '50s - '60s counterculturist: BEATNIK. MAN, I DIG. That's all I know about BEATNIK.

43D: More swanky: POSHER. Wrote down TONIER first.

44D: Storefront shade: AWNING. Holy cow! I did not know there is a special term for this shade.

45D: Harsh criticism: FLAK. I always have problem spelling out criticism.

46D: Waste maker?: HASTE. HASTE makes waste.

51D: Do some piano maintenance: TUNE. Can you also clue it as "Do some guitar maintenance"?

52D: Emulate a geyser: SPEW

55D: Stephen of "Citizen X": REA. Have never seen "Citizen X". Liked his "The Crying Game". Very shocking ending.

Answer grid.

C.C.

Mar 26, 2009

Thursday March 26, 2009 Bonnie L. Gentry

Theme: What Chutzpah!

21A: Operational headquarters: NERVE CENTER

26A:Classy office door adornment: BRASS NAME PLATE

46A: 2006 Political best-seller, with "the": AUDACITY OF HOPE

52A: Beside one another: CHEEK BY JOWL

Boomer bought me "The AUDACITY OF HOPE" when it first came out. But I've never got the opportunity to get it autographed. Now it's collecting dust on my shelf, together with my Obama baseball card and the inauguration pin.

CHEEK BY JOWL is a new idiom to me. But thank God I know JOAN (55D: Rocker Jett). Every time I link Michael Bolton's "Can I Touch You There" on the blog, someone will return with a link of JOAN Jett "Do You Want to Touch Me".

What I've noticed about Rich Norris' puzzle, besides those tricky "Little butter?" (4D: KID) wordplay, is the vivid evocative descriptions. For example:

27D: It's twirled in a rodeo: RIATA.

63D: It sometimes needs a boost: EGO

I like them a lot. Seldom saw them in our old puzzles.

There were only a couple of real unknowns to me in this grid. But I struggled. My conclusion? Rich Norris and I can't talk. He is not "straightforward" and "honest" with me.

Across:

1A: Alp top: PEAK. Thought of SNOW.

5A: Sounding shocked: AGASP. And PALE (10A: Looking shocked). I am in "shock and awe" of these 2 clues. Just great!.

14A: A8 manufacturer: AUDI. Thought A8 might be another kind of V8 juice.

15A: Decisive refusal: NEVER. I was thinking of NO WAY first.

16A: Double-click: OPEN. Of course. But I blanked.

18A: Lacking skepticism: NAIVE. You've got to have a very skeptical attitude when you face this new crossword editor.

19A: __ dixit: IPSE. Learned from doing Xword. Literally "he himself said it". Maybe you can make a sentence for me. I've never used this phrase in daily conversation.

20A: Ocean delicacy: ROE. I pictured EEL. Now I crave some perfectly grilled sweet unagi. The aroma is simply intoxicating. I can almost smell it.

23A: She played Ulla in "The Producers": UMA. Easy guess. Have never seen "The Producers". I love this Ulla/UMA connection.

25A: Estrangement: RIFT

37A: Clavell's "__-Pan": TAI. See the bookcover. Literally, TAI-Pan means "Big Class" in Cantonese. TAI, "big". Pan, "class". Or "big shot" & "big potato" in our slang.

38A: Ma, for one: CELLIST. D'oh, Yo-Yo Ma. I was thinking of Ma Bell.

41A: Rx writers: MDS. Mine was DRS.

42A: 1943 penny metal: STEEL. Unknown to me. I did not know that 1943 penny is rare.

44A: "Proud Mary" band, for short: CCR (Credence Clearwater Revival). Here is the clip. I was stumped again.

51A: Corp. that once owned Hertz and Hilton: UAL (United Air Lines). Oh really? I was totally unaware of this history. Very short-lived though.

63A: Irish Free State successor: EIRE. Heard of this "Irish Free State" (1922-1937) from watching Liam Neeson's "Michael Collins".

68A: "Roots" Emmy winner: ASNER. Another guess. Don't remember him in "Roots".

69A: Capital south of Lillehammer: OSLO. Another guess. I did not know where Lillehammer is. According to Wikipedia, it means "the Small Hamar". Hamar is town name. Literally "steep rock". I was disappointed that it had nothing to do with hammer.

Down:

1D: "I Kid You Not" author: PAAR. Unknown to me. Is it an interesting read? Henry VIII's wife is PARR, two R's.

2D: 100 cents: EURO. I felt so dense this morning. Just could not think of this damned EURO.

3D: Part of "The Sound of Music" farewell song: ADIEU, ADIEU. I can't remember this song. Edelweiss" does not fit, nor does "Do-Re-Me", the only two songs I could think of.

4D: Little butter? KID. Sometimes RAM is clued as "Butter?". Playing on the verb butt. RAM butts. Get it? Butt-er.

6D: Transmission component: GEAR

7D: Tel __ - Yafo: AVIV. Literally "Sping". I only know Tel AVIV, "Hill of Spring". Had no idea there is a trailing Yafo.

9D: Rain, briefly: PRECIP. Precipitation.

10D: Indicate: POINT AT

11D: PDA entry: APPT (Appointment).

13D: Fed. power dept.: ENER (Energy). Not a familiar abbreviation to me. Our current Secretary of Energy is Steven Chu. Chinese American. Nobel Physics winner. Newly minted Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke is also a Chinese American. Both their surnames are Cantonese spelling. Chu is Zhu in Mandrin Chinese. LOCKE is simply Luo. (Note: How do you think of my clues: "Soft tail?" as in softener or "Damp end?" as in dampener?)

21D: "Illmatic" rapper: NAS. Learned his name from doing crossword. What does "Illmatic" mean?

22D: Key of Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1: E FLAT. Pure guess.

24D: Submissions to ed.: MSS (Manuscripts)

26D: Upside down sleepers: BATS. Only learned this facts a few weeks ago.

28D: PBS's science guy: NYE. The "Science Guy".

29D: IM offerer: AOL. No waffling between AOL and MSN today.

30D: Punish with a fine: MULCT. This is a word that I keep remembering and keep forgetting.

31D: Gin cocktail: TOM COLLINS. New to me. It's often served in a glass called Collins glass, which is also new to me.

32D: Become, finally: END UP

36D: Salinger dedicatee: ESME. Salinger's "For ESME – with Love and Squalor".

38D: Louisiana Territory explorer: CLARK. I don't know the extent of Lewis and CLARK exploration.

39D: Needing salt, perhaps: ICY. It snowed here again yesterday. But no more salt is needed.

43D: Enters stealthily: EDGES IN

45D: '50s oldies syllables: SHA. No idea. I know nothing about '50s oldies. SHA-la-la?

47D: Secret doctrine: CABALA. Did not come to me immediately, though I often read Madonna/Demi Moore CABALA/Kabala stuff on gossip magazines.

48D: Tennyson works: IDYLLS. Occasionally you will find two or four line pastoral poems in some Chinese landscape paintings.

49D: Eye or ear ending: FUL. "Mouth ending" too.

54D: Streets liners: ELMS. No ELMS along our streets.

57D: Deterioration: WEAR. Mine was TEAR.

59D: Like the Sabin vaccine: ORAL. Salk's vaccine required injection.

60D: Jared of "American Psycho": LETO. Know his name. Have never seen "American Psycho". In Greek mythology, LETO is Zeus' mistress. Apollo's mom. She was born in KOS/COS, from which we got COS lettuce (Romaine), clued as "Lettuce variety" in our old puzzle before.

Full Answer Grid

C.C.