Showing posts with label Brian E. Paquin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brian E. Paquin. Show all posts

Dec 21, 2019

Saturday, December 21, 2019, Brian E. Paquin

Saturday Themeless by Brian E. Paquin

Happy Winter Solstice! Today at 10:19 p.m. CST, the Sun will be directly over the Tropic of Capricorn and therefore those of us north of the equator will have our fewest hours of daylight. It is called the first day of winter for us and  the first day of summer for our friends south of the equator. 

Brian Paquin presents us a puzzle (with parallel vertical grid spanners) that you may have to finish in a hurry as there will be a minimum of daylight to guide your solve. 

Let's see what we have on this auspicious astronomical day:


1. Swagger: BRAVADO shown by someone who 1. Crows: BRAGS - An interesting cross

8. Elite list: WHO'S WHO - As a high school senior I remember getting a flattering letter that I had been chosen to be in the WHO'S WHO book for outstanding students. My balloon burst when I saw that I had to send them $50 to see my name in print.

15. Tent event: REVIVAL Elmer Gantry's REVIVAL tent was home to a charlatan hustler 

16. "Get going!": HOP TO IT 

17. No longer happening: AT AN END - Today? Autumn!

18. Its namesake, a former Surveyor General of India, objected to having it named for him: EVEREST - The world's highest peak is called Chomolungma by the Tibetans and Sagarmatha by the Nepalese 

19. Hip-hop subgenre: GANGSTA - Google if you must

20. '20s tennis star Lacoste: RENE How his shirt with the crocodile came to be

21. Convene: SIT.

22. De bene __: literally, of well-being: ESSE In law

24. Exchanges: SWAPS - Judge James H. Wilkerson SWAPPED juries for Al Capone after he found out the original panel had been bribed

28. Old Messina money: LIRA.

31. __ operandi: MODI - Plural of Modus Operandi (M.O.)

33. Aromatic garland: LEI - I wonder if ONO ever wore a LEI and shared an OREO with an EMU at a game where 14. Giants legend: OTT was playing in Crosswordland

34. More than is tolerable: ONCE TOO OFTEN 

38. Charles, until he's in charge: HEIR TO THE THRONE - Prince Andrew was 8th in line for being HEIR TO THE THRONE but now it seems his mother has "fired" him

41. Doesn't evolve: STAYS THE SAME - Like these guys

The Luddites
42. Area of interest: BAG - Papa's got a "brand new one" according to the "hardest working man in show business"

43. Cold War leader Andropov: YURI - YURI was head of the KGB for fifteen years before being the head of the Soviet state for fifteen months 

44. Longbow wood sources: YEWS.

47. Lumps: CLODS - Breaking them up to make a seed bed

50. Places where shooting occurs: SETS - They can be deceptive 

52. Like aspirin, briefly: OTC - Certain meds like these are not Over The Counter any more

54. Sermon ender?: ETTE.

56. Spot for a bowler: HAT TREE - Not where you would find our blogging, bowling friends 

59. Kerosene cousin: COAL OIL The difference 

62. Like some light, fruity wines: UNOAKED  - American Chardonnays are almost always oaked, which is why they're known for that buttery creaminess, and European Chardonnays are steel-aged and tend towards those bright apple and citrus flavors. A new word for me and my spell checker

63. Annual February race site: DAYTONA 500

64. Croc or cobra: REPTILE.

65. Cat's asset: STEALTH My first thought

66. Like some lumber: TREATED - Our deck made of pressure TREATED lumber lasted ten years and now we have a composite deck


2. Sell at the mall, say: RETAIL - Less and less so

3. Italian "forward": AVANTI - The 1963 Studebaker AVANTI. If you thought the Edsel looked odd... How the AVANTI came to be

4. "Pulp Fiction" actor Rhames: VING Theories abound about why Ving had a band-aid on his neck

5. City rtes.: AVES.

6. Boccaccio added "Divina" to the title of his masterpiece: DANTE Alighieri originally called his work simply Commedia 

7. Ancient: OLD AS METHUSELAH - it took a lot of crosses to get the spelling correct

8. Response to a wince: WHERE DOES IT HURT?

9. __ to: halted, nautically: HOVE - He HOVE to when the pirate told him to

10. Debuts: OPENS - Phantom Of The Opera OPENED at The Majestic Theater of Broadway January 26, 1988 and has been playing there ever since 

11. Scatter: STREW.

12. Anguish: WOE.

13. Part of HMS, at times: HIS - His/Her Majesty's Ship and 61. Word of obedience: AYE - A word often heard on board

23. "Told you!": SO THERE.

25. Glee club voice: ALTO.

26. Rounded tool part: PEEN - Claw and ball PEEN hammers

27. Trig function: SINE.

29. Rival of Tiger: RORY - McIlroy today. The golf media actually tried to make Phil Mickelson his rival but Tiger in his prime had no peer

30. Giants in the 1954 horror film "Them!": ANTS - None named OTT

32. Smidgen: IOTA.

35. Owner of Clairol and CoverGirl: COTY.

36. "Goodness!": OH MY - Look at the size of those ANTS!

37. Let out: FREE.

38. London-based financial corp. founded in Hong Kong: HSBC - Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation

39. Short space saver: ET AL.

40. "It is the green-eyed monster ... " speaker: IAGO The passage in original and modern text

45. Exercise prompt: WORK IT.

46. Brosnan role in '80s TV: STEELE - We had his co-star in the Friday the 13th puzzle this month

48. Yazoo region: DELTA.

49. One without arms: STOOL.

51. More lucid: SANER.

53. Turned over: CEDED.

55. Decorator's subtlety: TINT - Quick, what is the color of your living room wall? I have no idea about ours.

57. Drink copiously: TOPE - From French toper to keep an agreement, from Spanish topar to take a bet; probably because a wager was generally followed by a drink. You're welcome

58. "Ciao!": TATA.

59. Streaming alternatives: CD'S - Our Mannheim Steamroller and Trans Siberia Orchestra CD'S get a workout this time of year

60. Meal starter?: OAT - A cheap ($0.98) and convenient version of a childhood favorite of mine

Go ahead and comment with a light heart as our darkest days will now start to get longer      and Spring is coming. Calculate the time until spring

Notes from C.C.:

Happy fifth wedding annversary to Oo and Lemonade. How time flies!

Nov 21, 2019

Thursday, November 21st, 2019 Brian E. Paquin

Theme: Brian's Brains provide six theme entries today, across and down, in each case the second word is an anagram of the first:

20A. Upscale boutique: POSH SHOP. Here's one, Saks on Fifth Avenue in New York.

33A. Old money that looks new: CRISP SCRIP. Scrip was money issued as wages that could only be spent in the company store. Surprisingly, the practice still partially continues - WalMart in Mexico was sued for paying part of their employee's wages with WalMart vouchers, and Amazon makes some bonus payments in Swagbucks.

40A. Small craft on the deep sea: OCEAN CANOE. I'd call this the least obvious anagram of the six today.

51A. Quarrel of yore: PAST SPAT

11D. Fear of poisonous snakes: ADDER DREAD. I was reading just this morning about trypophobia, the fear of clusters of holes and cracks.If you are not a sufferer, Google "lotus seed pods" to see a common trigger. If you are a trytophobic, you'll know what I'm talking about and you won't want to go looking.

28D. Outstanding prize money: SUPER PURSE

Brian has had a number of themeless Saturday puzzles published here in the LA Times, so a themed puzzle seems to represent something of a diversion for him. I rumbled the theme very quickly, I'd already filled the top-left corner, and SUNHATS, so POSH was already there. The first puzzles I began solving were the cryptic ones in the UK papers which are full of anagrams, so I tend to see them very quickly.

Let's see what the fill looks like.


1. Many big reds: CABS. I prefer a cab blend, I'm never particularly smitten with a single-varietal wine. One of the most well-regarded Napa "cabs", Screaming Eagle, is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Want a three-pack of the 2015 for the holidays? It'll set you back $10,000.

5. Namely: TO WIT

10. X-ray units: RADS

14. Honolulu happening: LUAU

15. Lacking significance: INANE

16. Music halls of old: ODEA

17. Directive on an env.: ATTN.

18. Play lightly, as a guitar: STRUM

19. Apt. part: BDRM.

22. Holden Caulfield's little sister: PHOEBE

24. Constellation near Scorpius: ARA. The more common (to me) naming of Scorpius is Scorpio, and that led me to believe that ARA was another word for Aries, another Zodiac constellation. It's not, it is "The Altar" in Latin.

25. Bookstore category: POETRY

26. Personal records: BESTS

29. Tire spec: PSI, properly Pound-force per Square Inch.

31. Divest (of): RID

32. Berkeley Breathed's cartoon penguin: OPUS.  Opus "retired" in 2008 and was one of my favorites in the Sunday funnies.

37. Bark: YIP

38. Handle: SEE TO. Handling a problem, seeing to it.

39. Purpose: END

43. Big fishhook: GAFF

44. Way to go: Abbr.: RTE.

45. He broke Lou's record for consecutive games played: CAL. The Oriole's shortstop Ripken Jr. broke Gehrig's record shortly after I moved here to the US. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure what all the fuss was about at the time; I know it sounds odd, but I'd never heard of him.

46. Accolades: KUDOS

47. Valedictorian's time to shine: SPEECH

49. Purpose: AIM

50. Liquids: FLUIDS

56. Work to get: EARN

57. In an aloof way: ICILY

59. Twice tri-: HEXA- As an old-school computer programmer, I used to be able to do hexadecimal (base 16) math in my head. Binary too. Then Hewlett-Packard threw octal into the mix and I got myself a calculator.

60. Exec's helper: ASST.

61. "Try someone else": NOT ME

62. Vienna-based oil gp.: O.P.E.C. Why Vienna? A lovely spot, but what's it got to do with exporting Petroleum?

63. "Luke Cage" actor Rossi: THEO. Thank you, crosses.

64. It helps raise dough: YEAST

65. Bridge position: EAST


1. Applaud: CLAP

2. Mercury or Saturn, but not Mars: AUTO

3. Cricket clubs: BATS

4. Summery headwear: SUNHATS

5. Campbell-Martin of TV's "Dr. Ken": TISHA

6. Aboard: ONTO

7. Lumber defect: WARP

8. Shiba __: Japanese dog: INU. The dogs can produce the "Shiba scream" when provoked or unhappy, or "a very similar sound" when very happy. Sounds confusing as heck.

9. Pace: TEMPO

10. Stiffly awkward: ROBOTIC

12. Churchill Downs event: DERBY

13. Unchanged: SAME

21. Some discount recipients: Abbr.: SRS. 

23. For madam: HERS

25. NBA great "__ Pete" Maravich: PISTOL. His college stats were mightily more impressive than his NBA record, good though it was.

26. Limerick lad: BOYO. The Irish use it as an affectionate term for a boy; the Welsh use it differently between adults, jocularly between friends, but it can be a pejorative if an older adult is addressed as "boyo". It's almost always derogatory if a non-Welsh person (especially an Englishman!) uses it to address a Welshman.

27. Herculean: EPIC

29. Say the Word: PREACH

30. School near Albany: SIENA

33. Trig function: Abbr.: CSC. Avoid the temptation to fill COS if you've only got the first "C" in place.

34. "The Raven" writer: POE

35. Facts and figures: INFO. "DATA" was an alternative, but one cross and the dilemma goes away.

36. Some emailed files: PDFS

41. Diminished slowly: ATE INTO

42. Shortage: NEED

43. Private eye: GUMSHOE

46. DIY purchase: KIT

47. Seriously reduce: SLASH

48. Forensic drama set in the Big Apple: CSI NY

49. To date: AS YET

50. Significant achievement: FEAT

51. Pocket bread: PITA

52. Donation to the poor: ALMS. Interesting noun, it's both the singular and plural form, and I've never seen it used with an article. You give "alms", you don't give "the alms".

53. Rap's Salt-N-__: PEPA

54. Hacking tools: AXES

55. Peacemaker's asset: TACT

58. Olympic runner Sebastian: COE. Now Lord Coe, Seb had a long-standing middle-distance battle with fellow Britons Steve Ovett and Steve Cram for supremacy in the 800m and 1500m events.

I think that's about it from me. If you're wondering what to bring for Thanksgiving, a case of the Screaming Eagle would go down very nicely, thank you.


Jun 8, 2019

Saturday, June 8, 2019, Brian E. Paquin

Themeless Saturday by Brian E. Paquin

Today celebrates one of my favorite bakery items, Jelly-Filled Doughnuts. When I am vying for Husband Of The Week, I buy my lovely bride her fav, a cinnamon roll with maple icing. But while in the store, I buy myself a long john and have the girl go in the back and inject that long pastry (yeah, I know it's not in any way a doughnut) with a generous dosage of raspberry jelly. Yum! BTW, can it truly be called a doughnut with filling where a hole should be? 😏

Today I am blogging my fifth Saturday themeless by Brian Paquin in less than a year. 

I ripped through this in twenty-five minutes and enjoyed a lot of the fill (no jelly) and cluing along the way.

I hope you enjoyed Brian's puzzle and had a nice doughnut brimming with your favorite jam or jelly while completing the exercise.

Now let's see what has filled our grid today:


1. "Yikes!": OH NO and 53. Harassed "SNL" clay character: MR BILL - Having MR BILL and his signature cry of distress in the same puzzle can not be an accident (:05)

5. "Dance of the Seven Veils" play: SALOME John The Baptist lost his head over this dance

11. Common commuter letters: MTA But did he ever return?

14. __ red: BEET.

15. Got around: ELUDED - Dr Kimbell ELUDED Lt. Gerard for five years on TV

16. Slur in musical notation, e.g.: ARC - A slur ARC joins different notes not to be performed separately. It's called a tie when it connects two notes of the same pitch

17. Not at all slack: TAUT.

18. Shocking weapons: TASERS.

19. Spendable amount: NET - If you win a million in a Nebraska lottery, you will NET $406,700 after taxes. You will NET $700,000 if you take the 30 year annuity payout

20. Set of keyboard keys: ARROWS.

22. Season ticket holders, usually: HUGE FANS - Huskers have sold out every FB game since 1962

24. Personal ad "looking for": ISO - In Search Of... 

25. Boo-__: HOO.

27. Gates of philanthropy: MELINDA - She and her husband have formed the world's largest private charitable organization. 28. Impressive: NO SLOUCHes they, when it comes to sharing their wealth

31. Votes against: NAYS - When "independency" was first proposed to the Continental Congress on June 7, 1776, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and South Carolina voted NAY

32. Make a bad situation worse: FEED THE FIRE - Sometime said about a bad relief pitcher (Last Saturday we had "Treading Water - NO WORSE)

36. Magnificence: STATELINESS - I saw it while in the redwoods!

38. Many a "Twister" character: STORM CHASER - I enjoyed the Helen Hunt/Bill Paxton movie but this KC farm team on the prairie stirs things up 35 minutes from my house

40. "Not happening!": AS IF.

43. Colors in the family: SHADES OF Click on any color to see SHADES OF that family

45. Rascals, old-style: VARLETS.

49. Bard's preposition: ERE.

50. __-pitch: SLO - SLO in/fast out

51. High seas greeting: AHOY MATE - And on the telephone if Alexander Graham Bell had gotten his way

55. Salon acquisition: TAN.

56. 1887 Verdi debut: OTELLO - Original poster for when it was performed at the Theater At The Stairway (Teatro Alla Scala)

58. __ rage: ROID - One side effect of taking a steROID is the rage it can generate

59. "__ too!": ARE - Am not, ARE too, ad infinitum 

60. Kind of calendar: JULIAN - Pope Gregory XIII's calendar replaced it in 1582 as the 1,500 year old JULIAN calendar was 11 days (correction) off

61. Girl of Avonlea: ANNE.

62. "Gnarly!": RAD.

63. "Either way": I'M EASY An academy award winning song for a one-hit-wonder

64. Roman Catholic prelate: Abbr.: MSGR- The MonSiGnoR at my grandson's first communion lost the kids after 15 seconds but went on for 15 minutes anyway


1. Come into: OBTAIN.

2. Learns about: HEARS OF.

3. Obsessions, often: NEUROSES - Road Rage is listed an example of a NEUROSIS

4. German aviation pioneer Lilienthal: OTTO - In 1912, Wilbur Wright said of this glider pioneer, "He presented the cause of human flight to his readers so earnestly, so attractively, and so convincingly that it was difficult for anyone to resist the temptation to make an attempt at it himself"

5. Has every intention that one will: SETS OUT TO - Wilbur and Orville SET OUT TO take OTTO's curved surface gliders/flyers and put a motor on them

6. In the manner of: ALA.

7. Well-kept, as a lawn: LUSH - Ours has to be mowed every third day

8. Concert hall: ODEUM - A small theater of Greece or Rome

9. Emulate Time and Warner: MERGE - Our Time/Warner  cable company is now Spectrum

10. Ford who championed the Model A: EDSEL - Henry and son EDSEL unveiling the 1928 Model A

11. Procrastinator's word: MANANA Sung here by the surprising cowriter 

12. Fashionable: TRENDY.

13. Plays the role of: ACTS AS.

21. New Orleans Saints chant: WHO DAT.

23. Tactful handling: FINESSE.

26. Earth pigment: OCHER.

29. Unleashes: LET'S FLY

30. Big wheels: HELMS - Here's one on the RMS Titanic 

33. Sheet of microfilm: FICHE  from French fiche "card, index card, slip, form". Here is a microfiche reader that magnifies the fiche card where the information has been shrunk and stored

34. Singing like Pentatonix, e.g.: IN HARMONY - Acapella was one letter short

35. Keeper of many books: READER - Books fill his shelves or his eREADER

37. Meetings: SESSIONS.

39. On the road: ROLLING.

40. Gamer's icon: AVATAR.

41. About 30% of Africa: SAHARA - From space

42. Did a laundry job: IRONED.

44. Office item: FOLDER.

46. Tiny birthday cake, perhaps: EMOJI - Yeah, I've used one before too

47. Art of jazz: TATUM Here ya go (alt. Goose of the Globetrotters) 

48. Stone marker: STELE - The seven foot tall basaltic STELE, Law Of Hammurabi, is now housed in the Louvre 

52. Director Kazan: ELIA He named names to the HUAC and was a Hollywood pariah from then on

54. Name on the cover of "Dracula": BRAM - A $10,000 first edition 

57. Syllables in some madrigals: LAS Can you count the TRA'S and LA'S

Go ahead and comment. I have a raspberry filled long john waiting for me!