Showing posts with label Bruce Haight. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bruce Haight. Show all posts

May 14, 2017

Sunday May 14, 2017 Bruce Haight

Theme: "For Mom" - Each theme entry is in the pattern of M* O* M*.

22A. Tycoon, e.g. : MAN OF MEANS

27A. Euterpe : MUSE OF MUSIC. Often as a clue for EUTERPE.

44A. Antacid name since 1872 : MILK OF MAGNESIA

63A. Takes action : MAKES ONE'S MOVE. Surprised to see MADE OF MONEY (111A. Rich, and then some). Same verb: Makes/Made.

72A. Encounter stiff competition : MEET ONE'S MATCH. ONE, THE and OF dupes are generally OK.

95A. Willpower : MIND OVER MATTER


122A. Apt time to recognize this puzzle's honoree : MONTH OF MAY. Very nice. Double duty.

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

MOON OVER MIAMI is missing. Otherwise, Bruce gives us a near complete set of M* O* M* entries. Perfect partner puzzle to Ed Sessa's POP we had a while ago.

We often see two-word initial grids. Three words are much tougher to pull off even for a weekday.

1. Sharp group : MENSA. Nailed it.

6. Stage award : OBIE

10. "Kisses, dahling" : MWAH. Air kiss sound.

14. NASA nods : A-OKs

18. Beatles' "White Album" song whose title follows "If you want me to" : I WILL. Got via crosses.

19. Cost of living? : RENT. Nice clue.

20. "Yikes!" : OH NO

21. Beatnik's "Gotcha" : I'M HIP

24. Biblical verb : DOTH

25. Bete __ : NOIRE

26. On one's game : IN A GROOVE. Bruce is on top of his game.

29. Unyielding : SET

30. Map feature : SCALE. And 39. Map abbr. : AVE. Map clue echo.

32. Crux : HEART

33. Resort of a sort : SPA

36. One brought to a potluck : DISH. So what's your signature dish?
40. Drubbing : ROUT

41. Boater or bowler : HAT

48. Remove : DETACH

50. Con : ANTI

51. K.T. of country music : OSLIN. Not many ways to clue her.

52. Offer to pay : BID

54. Venezia casino winner : SETTE. Seven. Venice. Anyone been to The Venetian in Vegas?

55. Fill with merchandise : STOCK

57. Transcript info : GPA
58. One digging hard rock? : MINER. Gimme for regulars.

60. Just like that : AS IS

61. Greet with a beep : HONK AT

67. Metro barrier : STILE

70. Title of honor : SIR

71. Russian refusals : NYETs. Also 53. Reject : DENY

77. Toy, perhaps : LAP DOG

81. Novelist Seton : ANYA. Learned from doing crosswords.

82. Invite to one's loft, say : ASK UP

83. Jones many keep up with? : DOW. Great clue. Not the "Joneses."

86. Blush relative : ROUGE Also 74. Compact supplies : EYE SHADOWS

87. Dummy Mortimer : SNERD. I used to confuse him with SNERT.

89. Do wrong : SIN

90. One way to split : IN TWO

92. Move, at Coldwell Banker : RELO

93. Heave-ho : OUSTER

99. Medical research org. : NIH

100. Comics resident of the Okefenokee Swamp : POGO

102. NATO founding member : USA. And 104. Part of NATO: Abbr. : ORG

103. Jimmy on sausage labels : DEAN
105. Brass, e.g. : ALLOY

107. Prayer leaders : IMAMs

109. 76-Down brand : RCA.76. Best Buy buy : HDTV. Triple alliteration. Agnes' forte.

114. Land : TOUCH DOWN

120. Major pain : AGONY

121. Becloud : BLUR

123. Pond denizens : NEWTS

124. Indian tourist city : AGRA. Taj Mahal. Xi'an is popular with tourists also.

125. Bind, in a way : GLUE

126. Swerves : VEERS

127. Gas across the border : ESSO. Northern border.

128. Highlander : GAEL

129. Clutter : MESS

130. "Fiddler" meddler : YENTE. My high-school best friend was introduced to her husband by a matchmaker. They're still together.
1. "La Bohème" role : MIMI

2. McGregor of "Trainspotting" : EWAN

3. Familia girl : NINA

4. Trudges : SLOGS

5. Creamy sauce : ALFREDO. Are those basil?

6. __ Biscuit, product debut of 1912 : OREO. New trivia to me. Biscuit sounds salty.
7. '50s-'60s sitcom nickname : BEAV

8. "The Wreck of the Mary Deare" author Hammond __ : INNES. Stranger to me.

9. "MIB" characters : ETs. Men in Black.

10. Construction units : MODULES

11. Word of possession : WHOSE

12. Mandatory bet : ANTE

13. Words after "jolly" in an iconic ad : HO HO HO. The Jolly Green Giant.

14. Affaire de coeur : AMOUR

15. "Really?!" : OH IS THAT SO. Sparkly fill.

16. Diva Te Kanawa : KIRI

17. Something to build on : SPEC. On spec.

21. Cons : INMATES. The facial place I used to visit  in Guangzhou was next to the police station. I could hear cops yelling and beating. In those days, I just thought bad guys deserved it.

23. Theme : MOTIF

27. Whiz : MAVEN

28. Big beef : FEUD. Not KOBE.

31. Kid's plea : CAN I

33. Ping-Pong shot : SMASH

34. __ bean : PINTO. I think these are the beans Boomer uses in his Chili.

35. "Good Eats" host Brown : ALTON

37. Sun blocker : SMOG

38. Briefcase fastener : HASP

40. Ruin, weatherwise : RAIN ON

42. "Double, double toil and trouble" time : ACT IV

43. This and this : THESE

45. Energize : KICK-START. Another great fill.

46. Rock genre : GLAM

47. Heron cousin : IBIS

49. Baseball or football : TEAM SPORT
56. Simpson trial figure Kaelin : KATO. Forgot. We had him before.

58. Chicago exchange, briefly, with "the" : MERC. Oh, Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

59. Stagger : REEL

62. Fey in American Express ads : TINA

64. "Pronto!" : ASAP

65. Do-it-yourselfer's buy : KIT. TTP almost DIYs everything. From computers to water leaks. What a guy.

66. Hollywood Walk of Fame symbol : STAR

68. Not as much : LESS

69. __ Pie : ESKIMO. Never had it.

72. Wall builder : MASON

73. Boredom : ENNUI 

75. Certain bond, briefly : MUNI. Boring but safe.

78. Caused by : DUE TO

79. Rubberneck : OGLER

80. Maestro Solti : GEORG. One more name 91. Author Chomsky : NOAM

84. Outstanding : OWED

85. Modeled, say : WORE

88. Arranges strategically : DEPLOYS

90. "In my opinion ... " : I'D SAY

94. It's on the house : ROOF. Literal. Not FREE,

96. X, at times : NUMERAL. Got via crosses.

97. Progressive movement : MARCH. I like this new clue angle.

98. Antipasto fish : ANCHOVY

101. Exerciser's accessory : GYM BAG. Nice.

106. Slowly, in music : LENTO

107. Toughen : INURE. Or ENURE.

108. Ripped off : STOLE

110. Website charge : AD FEE

111. Locks in a barn? : MANE. Another great clue.

112. What seems like forever : AGES

113. One of Chekhov's "Three Sisters" : OLGA

115. Duty : ONUS

116. Pac-12 team : UTES. Utah Utes.

117. Harbinger : OMEN

118. Imperfection : WART. Do you know Wabi-sabi? There's beauty in imperfection.

119. Where Anheuser-Busch is BUD : NYSE

122. "Ben-Hur" studio : MGM

May 1, 2017

Monday, May 1, 2017 Bruce Haight

Theme: Down in front - Allow me to ush you to your seat. Let me see your ticket. Right this way.

20. Bygone airplane area: SMOKING SECTION

36. Line up: STAND IN A ROW

43. Position behind the steering wheel: DRIVER'S SEAT

57. "Exactly!" ... and a hint to where 20-, 36- and 43-Across' ending words may be found: "THAT'S THE TICKET!"

Rabbit rabbit! Argyle here. Not an arena ticket either, no aisle or tier. Easy-peasy but not insulting our intelligence puzzle, IMHO. Interesting note: no J,Q,U,X,Y,or Z.


1. Sacrificial __: LAMB

5. Paintball impact sound: [SPLAT!]

10. "__ of Green Gables": ANNE. "Are we facing Anne overload? With a new series and 3 TV movies, we might find out soon." CBC News

14. Geometry calculation: AREA

15. Largest city in North Africa: CAIRO

16. Yule song: NOEL

17. Some toy dogs, for short: POMs. (Pomeranians)

18. Llama habitat: ANDES. The South American mountain range.

19. Weekend-starting letters: TGIF. (Thank God It's Friday)

23. Subsided: EASED

24. Statutes: LAWs

25. Electric car brand: TESLA !!

29. Apple music players: i-PODS

33. Home for mil. jets: AFB. (Air Force Base)

39. Be concerned: CARE

41. "Cut corners" or "slash prices": IDIOM

42. Landlocked African republic: MALI

46. Part of a relay race: LEG

47. Coffee lightener: CREAM

48. "Rubber Duckie" singer on Sesame Street: ERNIE

50. Mocking remark: GIBE

53. Works with a needle: KNITS

62. Mop, as decks: SWAB

63. "Fingers crossed": "I HOPE"

64. "Drinks are __!": ON ME

65. Unit seized by a narc: KILO. (kilogram, 2 lb 3 oz)

66. Some surrealist paintings: DALIs. (Salvador Dalí)

67. Info: DOPE

68. Composer Stravinsky: IGOR. The story of "The Rite of Spring". (40:56)


69. Pass, as a law: ENACT

70. Wide-spouted pitcher: EWER


1. Forgetful moment: LAPSE

2. Cinnamon roll lure: AROMA

3. Notes to staff: MEMOs

4. Slam dunk or lay-up: BASKET ball.

5. Read electronically: SCAN

6. Twinge of hunger: PANG

7. Tupperware covers: LIDs. [Urp!]

8. Staggering: AREEL. I don't want to hear about A-words.

9. Puccini opera: TOSCA. More traditional than "The Rite of Spring".

10. Designed to minimize junk email: ANTI-SPAM

11. Scrubbed, as a NASA mission: NO GO

12. Nuremberg no: NEIN. (negation)

13. North Pole worker: ELF. They're off for the summer.

21. "Beware the __ of March": IDES

22. Bed size: TWIN

26. Mix: STIR

27. Chaps: LADS

28. Licorice-flavored seed: ANISE

30. Spoken: ORAL

31. Big name in pineapples: DOLE

32. Big gulp: SWIG

33. Band with a voltage symbol in its logo: AC/DC

34. Jamie of "M*A*S*H": FARR. Max Klinger.

35. Soft French cheese: BRIE

37. Not just a talker: DOER

38. "__ idiot!": "Doh!": I'M AN

40. "Green Acres" co-star: EVA GABOR

44. Radiate: EMIT

45. Word with bar or torch: TIKI

49. Make cryptic: ENCODE

51. Back of a hit 45 record: B-SIDE. But sometimes a hit, too.

52. Patriot Allen: ETHAN

54. "No need to tell me": "I KNOW". Teenager's answer to everything.

55. Phoenix suburb: TEMPE

56. Take the wheel: STEER. Hands up for those that have switched drivers while moving.

57. Bird's nest component: TWIG. Big twigs in an osprey's nest.

58. Symbol of sanctity: HALO

59. Mexican "Hi!": "¡HOLA!"

60. Grand-scale film: EPIC

61. Experiment: TEST

62. Schuss or slalom: SKI


Apr 17, 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017 Bruce Haight

Theme: Change Lanes to Pass - but as always, keep to the right.

17A. Friends of man's best friend: DOG LOVERS. Lovers Lane.

24A. Sport involving some rolling on the grass: LAWN BOWLING. Bowling lane.

37A. Forgetting the unpleasant parts: SELECTIVE MEMORY. Memory lane.

47A. Tidy sum that doesn't sound like much: PRETTY PENNY. "Penny Lane" Beatles (Back story)

58A. Highway segment for slower traffic ... and, literally, what 17-, 24-, 37- and 47-Across each has: RIGHT LANE

Argyle here(in the middle lane, usually). Except for two corners, NE and SW, everything is well interconnected and a fun solve.


1. Drop a line from the dock, say: FISH

5. Normandy battle town: ST. LO

9. Massage targets: ACHEs

14. Together, musically: A DUE. (in Italian)

15. Chips __!: cookies: AHOY

16. Formal-sounding will?: SHALL

19. Columbus craft: PINTA. The actual name of Pinta is unknown. Wiki link

20. For each one: APIECE

21. Diving lake bird: LOON. Our crossword bird.

22. Knight's title: SIR

28. QB-to-receiver six-pointer: TD PASS. Touchdown pass.

30. Rent-a-car giant: AVIS

31. Landed: ALIT, leading to 43. Sitting on: ATOP

32. TV show shown before: RERUN

34. Banned bug spray: DDT. The U.S. banned DDT for agricultural use in 1972.

41. "Good" cholesterol initials: HDL. (High-Density Lipoprotein)

42. Wishes: HOPES

44. List of computer options: MENU

45. "Movin' right along ... ": "ANYHOO...". Humorous alteration of ANYHOW.

52. Overhead trains: ELS. Shortening of elevated trains.

53. Steak order: RARE

54. Contemporary radio station named for its former "easy listening" playlist: LITE FM. (generic name)

56. Leaves out: OMITS

61. Used up: SPENT

62. "So THAT'S what you mean": "I SEE"

63. Physics particle: ATOM

64. Bacon work: ESSAY

65. Lysol target: GERM

66. Drive-__ window: THRU


1. Craze: FAD

2. Knot-tying words: I DO

3. Drug test placebo: SUGAR PILL

4. Beatles' second film: "HELP!"

5. File-renaming command, at times: SAVE AS

6. "Supernatural" network: THE CW. The "CW" name is an abbreviation derived from the first letters of the names of its two parent corporations (CBS and Warner Bros). OK then.

7. Oscar winner Sophia: LOREN. In 1962, she won a Best Actress Oscar for "Two Women", a foreign-language film.

8. Kvetching cries: OYs

9. Nile snake: ASP

10. Flu symptoms: CHILLS

11. Asian capital: HANOI

12. "Tiny Dancer" singer John: ELTON

13. Much street talk: SLANG

18. Many Rembrandts: OILS

22. Squirrel away: STASH

23. Loafed: IDLED

25. Exposes: BARES

26. Reproductive cell: OVUM

27. Cellar reds and whites: WINE

29. Gobbled down: ATE

32. Tear to pieces: RIP UP

33. New Year's __: EVE

34. "Duh ... figure it out!": "DO THE MATH"

35. Slobber: DROOL

36. Printing goofs: TYPOs

38. Newscaster Huntley: CHET

39. Broadway award: TONY

40. Possibly will: MAY

44. Medit. volcano: MT. ETNA

45. Song before the game: ANTHEM

46. Vladivostok veto: NYET. Russian.

47. Narrative writing: PROSE

48. Boat launching aids: RAMPS

49. Great Lakes natives: ERIES

50. Beethoven dedicatee: ELISEFür Elise(3:38)

51. Algeria neighbor: NIGER

55. London apartment: FLAT

57. Muddy pen: STY

58. Fix, as a fight: RIG

59. Neither here __ there: NOR

60. Down Under bird: EMU


Apr 1, 2017

Saturday, Apr 1st, 2017, Brad Wilber

Theme: None

Words: 70 (missing J,Q,Y)

Blocks: 32

  We have not seen a solo Saturday from Brad since 2015; he contributed on two Saturdays last year.  I struggled with this one from Mr. Wilber, mostly by filling in the wrong answers on my first pass, and unwilling to let  them go.  Lots of one-word clues which can run into ambivalence and vagueness very quickly One 13-letter and two 11-letter spanners, chunky 8x6 corners in the NW and SE, and almost triple 8s in the opposing down corners.  Separation of the corners from the rest of the puzzle made it difficult to move from one area to another, too.  Some of the longer fill;

35a. Chart-topping instrumental of '76: THEME FROM SWAT

32a. Headed for a stall, quite possibly: OVERHEATING

38a. Time's Best Comedy Sketch of the 20th Century: WHO'S ON FIRST

19d. Fish with a prehensile tail: SEAHORSE

23d. Essentially:  IN EFFECT

24d. 1992 Nestle acquisition: PERRIER


April FOOLs~!

And now for the real puzzle....

Saturday, April 1st, 2017, Bruce Haight

Theme: Gotcha~!!!

Words: 72 (missing J,Q,V,W,X,Z)

Blocks: 29

Sorry, I couldn't resist~!  Three out of four weeks with a Bruce for a constructor - isn't that the nick-name for any guy from Australia~?  Anyway, a slightly themed puzzle for today, with a clever visual in the grid depicting something akin to the last Across clue featuring escalator; S T A I R S.  As for the rest of the challenge, it was looking grim on the first pass, but again, I did better with my first Down pass, which gave me something to work with on my second go.  Finished within my personal time, and nary a cheat or Google.  Chunky 8x8 and 6x6 corners with an ascending trio of "escalators" in the center.  Some of the longer fill;

15a. Slender smoke : PANATELA - I am making my way through Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware novels, and his detective, Milo Sturgis, occasionally smokes a panatela

11d. Concert tix flashed at a singles bar, say : DATE BAIT - never heard the phrase; if they're offering Rangers tickets, I'm in - I hope she would be, too....

32d. It could involve a disappearance : MAGIC ACT

57. Like an escalator, and, aptly, like the six-letter word that begins where 40-Across ends : AT A SLANT



1. Shuttle facility : SPACE LAB

9. Auto shop purchase : RADIAL - I suppose "tire shop" would have been too easy for Saturday

16. Thorny shrub : ACACIA

17. Emotionally withdrawn : IN A SHELL

18. Buries : INTERS - I tried EMBEDS

19. Little laughter : TITTER

20. In a pinch : IF NEED BE

22. Autumn shade : OCHER - oops, not OCHRE

23. Many profs : PHDs

24. Oktoberfest supply : BIER

25. Transportation option : UBER

26. Whopper inventor : LIAR - ah, that kind of whopper....

27. Unites for a purpose : BANDS - usually with "together"

28. Jaunty topper : TAM


29. __ golf : MINI - oh, I would have gone with SKIRT; at least it could be answered MAXI, too

30. Ja, across the border : OUI - Yes, in German and Frawnche

31. Beezus' little sister, in Cleary books : RAMONA - learned from doing crosswords

33. Perfect : SPOT ON - I had SUPERB first, but then wondered if it was the verb perfect, and not the adjective perfect

36. Proper : APT

37. Delight at the comedy club : SLAY

38. Super __ : PAC - ugh, I had no clue

40. Hitches : SNAGS

43. Punxsutawney headliner : PHIL - the groundhog winter/spring weather forecaster for all of us, located in PA

44. Default result : REPO - default on payments

45. Doughnuts, geometrically : TORI - Latin plural of torus

46. "Growing Up in New Guinea" author : MEAD - just had to guess the "A"

47. Joint component : TENON - partnered with Mortise.  I am buying a biscuit joiner this weekend for two projects - fixing a split table, and building a new side station top

48. Hatchling from a green egg : EMU CHICK

50. Art incorporating architectural elements : MURALS - I considered this, and then it filled via perps

51. Judge's declaration : NO BAIL

52. Rule with many exceptions : I BEFORE E - seen this recently, too

54. Software giant : ORACLE

55. Yak, yak, yak : RATTLE ON

56. One way to break the news : GENTLY


1. Say scornfully : SPIT OUT

2. Emergency exit device : PANIC BAR

3. Something detested : ANATHEMA

4. Furniture mover : CASTER

5. Heavens : ETHER

6. Creepy look : LEER

7. Entirely : ALL

8. Its sung in the same act as "Some Enchanted Evening" : BALI HA'I

9. Comes down : RAINS - yesterday and today, in my neck of the woods

10. Unpopular spots : ACNE

12. Stuck at the ski lodge, maybe : ICED IN - run away Tin~!

13. Sack for company? : AIRBED

14. Surgical tools : LASERS

21. Wartime prez : FDR

23. Fruity cocktail word : PIÑA

26. Fuzz : LINT

27. Lift : BUOY - good WAG on my part from the "Y"

29. Challenging locks : MOPS

30. Colorful ring tone producer? : OPAL - I watched this cool NOVA episode on gems while I was in Delaware

33. Arrived home evasively : SLID

34. Clearing : OPEN AREA

35. Layered dessert : NAPOLEON

37. Colombian singer formerly a coach on "The Voice" : SHAKIRA

39. Agree : CONSENT

40. Hearing aid, briefly? : STENOGrapher - a bit meh, but the clue sort of salvages the "non-word" fill

41. "That's it for me" : NO MORE - "NO MORE  for me thanks, I'm drivin'"

Daffy Duck

42. Oranjestad native : ARUBAN

43. Pumping target, for short : PECtoral

44. Casino table do-over : RE-ROLL - I had REDEAL to start, slowed down the SE corner

46. Daughter of Billy Ray : MILEY

47. Medford school with a Boston campus : TUFTS - perps.  I work at UPS in Medford, LI - but it's not the same place....

49. Tobogganing spot : HILL

50. Prefix with carpal : META

53. Swing in a box : BAT - Baseball reference; I am sure C.C. is all keyed up for the new season


Mar 20, 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017 Bruce Haight

Theme: And it's a grand day to be sure!

17A. Change one's route to avoid heavy traffic, say: MAKE A DETOUR. Grand tour.

23A. Likely successor to the throne: HEIR APPARENT. Grandparent

37A. "You're confusing me": "I DON'T UNDERSTAND". Grandstand, verb or noun.

48A. Sprained ankle, often: SPORTS INJURY. Grand jury.

59A. Climactic show ending, and a literal hint to this puzzle's circled letters: GRAND FINALE. The word in the circles can follow GRAND and they are the final word in their entries.

Argyle here. We have a quick return of Bruce Haight, a grid spanner; we have circles, a tight theme, a very necessary reveal. I hope we all have great week on this first day of spring.


1. Negative attention from the press, briefly: BAD PR. (bad public relations)

6. Deep-voiced opera singer: BASSO

11. "I knew it!": "HAH!"

14. Blazing: AFIRE. AWORD.

15. Gossip spreader: YENTA

16. Abu Dhabi is its cap.: UAE. (United Arab Emirates) Visit Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, if you dare.

19. Org. for marksmen: NRA. (National Rifle Association)

20. "You __ here": ARE

21. Pipe-cleaning brand: DRANO. (Not recommended for tobacco pipes.)

22. Composer Stravinsky: IGOR. His wife's name was "Katya".

26. Magnificent: SUPERB

29. Epps of "House": OMAR. His IMDb page.

30. Have no doubt: KNOW

31. Fabulist mentioned by Aristotle: AESOP. (fabulist - a person who composes or relates fables.)

34. Soda: POP

41. Capitol Hill fig.: POL

42. Quarrel: ARGUE

43. Machu Picchu resident: INCA

44. "Me neither!": "NOR I!"

46. Sacred river of India: GANGES

53. "Peter Pan" beast: CROC. Tic-toc croc.

54. Safe place?: VAULT

55. Help in finding the hidden treasure: MAP

58. Kept under wraps: HID

62. Blanc who voiced Bugs: MEL

63. "__ bet?": WANNA

64. Kind of panel or system: SOLAR

65. Keats work: ODE

66. Annual celebrations, for short: B-DAYS

67. Plot surprise: TWIST


1. The Crimson Tide, familiarly: BAMA. (Alabama)

2. In the distance: AFAR

3. Storied water barrier: DIKE. Dutch boy story, perhaps.

4. Ante-: PRE-. Prefixes.

5. Page turner: READER

6. Way to play music if you can't read it: BY EAR

7. Insurance giant: AETNA

8. Busybody: SNOOP

9. Good name for a lover of hearty meals: STU

10. Paddle: OAR

11. Gut feeling at dinner time?: HUNGER PANG

12. Packers quarterback Rodgers: AARON. Green Bay Packers, Green Bay, Wisconsin.

13. EKG organ: HEART

18. Smidgen: DRIB. Often found as dribs and drabs.

22. Nest egg acronym: IRA. (Individual Retirement Account)

23. Previously cut, as timber: HEWN

24. Penniless: POOR

25. Gig equipment: AMPs

26. Decide not to go to: SKIP

27. Loosen, as a knot: UNDO

28. Cylindrical water toy: POOL NOODLE

31. Director Lee: ANG. Taiwanese-born Ang Lee, not "Spike" Lee.

32. School URL ending: .EDU

33. "Comprende?": "SEE?". Spanish to English.

35. Fairy tale starter: ONCE

36. High-tech appt. books: PDAs. (personal digital assistant)

38. Sharp-tasting: TART

39. "Exodus" author Leon: URIS

40. Minuscule: TINY

45. Tolkien beast: ORC

46. __ of Mexico: GULF

47. Whistler, but not his mother: ARTIST

48. Blockhead: SCHMO

49. Jimmied (open): PRIED

50. The first Mrs. Trump: IVANA

51. Mary Poppins, e.g.: NANNY

52. Biblical betrayer: JUDAS

55. Timbuktu's country: MALI

56. "__, poor Yorick!": Hamlet: ALAS

57. Cheeky: PERT

59. Pres. #43: GWB.(George Walker Bush)

60. "Cool!": "RAD!"

61. "Immediately!": "NOW!"


Notes from C.C.:

1) Happy Birthday to dear Spitzboov (Al), our always cheerful and knowledgeable imp (Spitzboov is Low German for "rascal/"imp".) Spitzboov served in the Navy Reserve for over 20 years & retired as Commander. He continues to support the Navy in any way he can. The Annin flag he sent to me after I got my US citizenship is from the Navy. Hopefully you and Betty can meet with Argyle again this year.

Argyle and Spitzboov
(August 23, 2014, Washington County Fair)

2) Happy Birthday to John28man as well! He pops in on the blog from time to time.

Mar 16, 2017

Thursday, March 16 2017 Bruce Haight

Theme: RRepeats - the second letter in each theme entry is doubled and the resulting phrase clued according to the first three-letter part

17A. What Dobermans do for dinner? : GRRAB A BITE. Grr!

24A. Super-cold concoction at Baskin-Robbins? : BRRAIN FREEZE. Brr! Combining the two, here's a cold Doberman:

41A. World's stealthiest detective? : SHHERLOCK HOLMES. Shh!

52A. Cutest Baby contest champion? : AWWARD WINNER. Aww!

65A. Massage epiphany? : AHHA MOMENT. Ahh!

Brruce brrings us a nice Thursday offering. A solid 59 letters of theme entries and a generally pleasing fill around those. I might have tried to not repeat the RR with the first two themers as it could indicate all the following entries will follow the same convention. Not a major nit though, the idea is fun. Let's see what jumps out in the rest of the entries.


1. The Miners of the Lone Star St. : UTEP. University of Texas, El Paso.

5. Eurasia's __ Mountains : URAL

9. Fundraising gps. : PTAS. I had the P and tried PACS first until nothing would fit around it and forced a change of mind.

13. Caesar's France : GAUL. We studied Caesar's book "Conquest of Gaul" in Latin class at school. Cracking stuff for schoolboys.

14. Marner of fiction : SILAS. Great book. The movie adaptation starring Ben Kingsley as the eponymous weaver was excellent also.

16. Hindustani language : URDU. Hindi has given us quite a few English words, but I can't find any examples from Urdu.

19. Innocent : BABE

20. Retro wall unit : STONE. Retro? Pretty sure we still build with stone.

21. Titanic undoing : BERG. Least accurate damage assessment ever: "We've just stopped for a short time to take on some ice".

23. Not very bright : DIM

28. Yale alum : ELI

31. Longtime Yankees announcer __ Allen : MEL. No clue. Thanks, crosses.

32. First to play James : SEAN. 007-portrayer par excellence Connery. Dr. No was the first movie in the franchise, released in 1962.

33. Tall and lean : LANK

35. "Sadly ... " : ALAS

38. Box : CRATE

44. Got out of bed : AROSE. I arose early this morning to try to shake myself out of time-change clock-lag. I can fly across 11 or 12 time zones and get no jet lag, but that hour in Spring messes me up. It was nice and peaceful at the top of the Hollywood sign though - I'll find out tomorrow if my body clock is reset.

45. "So __ say" : THEY

46. Crowd-sourced review site : YELP. Can be useful if you ignore the obvious outliers (and the reviews obviously written by the buddies of the establishment).

47. Asian takeout option : THAI

49. Little trickster : IMP

51. See 56-Down : SLY. Sylvester Stallone of the movies. I've met him, his brother plays jazz at my local Italian restaurant. He's not as short as people seem to think. However, he's listed at 5'10" on Wikipedia, but I think that might be a little generous.

57. Security briefing org. : CIA

58. Clothing part that might split : SEAM. Especially if you're wearing a size to small or you've eaten a big dinner.

59. Epic tales : SAGAS

63. Singer James : ETTA

68. Agenda detail : ITEM

69. Gets mud on : SOILS

70. Phi __ Kappa : BETA

71. Banks of 2000s TV talk : TYRA

72. Doing business : OPEN

73. "The Osbournes" patriarch : OZZY. Quite the character. I saw Black Sabbath play in London once with Motorhead and Hawkwind. Quite the eardrum assault. Fun through. Here's Hawkwind - imagine this cranked up to 11. Awesome.


1. Brand of sheepskin boots : UGGS. Australia's finest.

2. Biting : TART

3. Italian capital : EURO. No more Lira. It's a shame a lot of the European currencies disappeared with the introduction of the Euro.

4. Fallback option : PLAN B

5. __ Today : USA. Their distribution network is amazing. I'm always astonished how early the paper is delivered to the various hotels I've stayed in across the USA, even in remote locations.

6. Tease : RIB

7. "I was out of town," e.g. : ALIBI

8. Approach midnight : LATEN. Hmmm. I looked sideways at this one when it appeared. I'm still looking askance at it. Not a word I would use.

9. Place to hoist a pint : PUB. I've seen the inside of a couple of these. I pulled pints at the Queen's Arms in Kilburn, north London when I was 19. A lot of Guinness and shots of Bushmills - most of the patrons were Irish demolition workers. Tough crowd.

10. DBA followers : TRADE NAMES. "Doing Business As".

11. Madison Ave. field : AD BIZ

12. In-your-face challenge : SUE ME

15. Feudal laborers : SERFS

18. Protective barrier : BERM. There were a lot of berms bulldozed out of the sand here in Southern California last winter to protect the beach cities with the expectation of major storms. They're very effective.

22. El __ : GRECO. "The Greek". Doménikos Theotokópoulos was born in Crete, but spent most of his life in Toledo in Spain.

25. Authentic : REAL

26. Dole out : ALLOT. If you hand out a large amount you allot a lot.

27. Like birds with worms, so it's said : EARLY. The Early Bird was me this morning. No worms caught though, probably a good thing.

28. Designer Schiaparelli : ELSA

29. Cowardly Lion portrayer : LAHR. Bert in The Wizard of Oz

30. Facing serious trouble : IN HOT WATER

34. Singer who formerly stylized her name with a dollar sign : KESHA, or rather KE$HA

36. "__ du lieber!" : ACH. "Oh, my dear!"

37. Yarn purchase : SKEIN. I misread the clue as "yam" at first which had me puzzled.

39. Squeal : TELL. As in rat someone out.

40. Catch sight of : ESPY. I'd clue this as the sports award, being more "in the language".

42. Raises : REARS

43. Many a gospel song : HYMN

48. Brainstorms : IDEAS

50. Uruguayan money : PESO

52. Nail a test : ACE IT

53. Like Oscar Wilde : WITTY

54. Mackerel relative : WAHOO

55. Beatnik's "With ya" : I'M HIP

56. Repeating movie role for 51-Across : RAMBO. Sly's character.

60. "Sheesh!" : GEEZ

61. Animated bug film : ANTZ

62. Time at a hotel : STAY. I've had quite a few of these in my time.

64. Org. for docs : AMA. American Medical Association.

66. Pint to drink : ALE. In the pub too.

67. AOL alternative : MSN

Short blog today, a lot going on for me. Hopefully no more explications required. The regulars in the comments section can handle any gaps. Here's the grid!


Mar 11, 2017

Saturday, March 11, 2017 Bruce Haight

Theme: None

Words: 70 (missing J,Q,Z)

Blocks: 27

We are witness to Bruce Haight's hitting for the cycle - this is his first Saturday construction for the LA Times, and has now been published every day of the week. Congratulations to Bruce, but I gotta say, too many proper names(*) in this one made it a fun sponge - can't win them all. 10x6 in two corners and triple 8-letter stacks in the others, with two more 8-letter fills as well. 

15. Fizzled : PETERED OUT - what do you call a guy who tires easily~? Peter; how about the guy who's creative~? Art; The guy who stirs up trouble~? Buck - or - Russell; The wealthy one~? Rich; The one who's brutally honest~? Frank. I can go on....

14. Displaying polish, perhaps : OPEN-TOED

52. Symbol of ancient Egypt : SACRED IBIS - dah~! I had ICON, IDOL, and knew it wasn't correct - took a moment to remember the sacred bird - and also the God Thoth

31. "Brava!" : ATTA GIRL - I had the "G", and the "a" at the end of the clue helped me nail this

atta girl~!

Spring ON forWARD~


1. Participated in a movie gunfight, say : SHOT BLANKS

11. Symbol of purity : HALO - not DOVE

16. Junket : TRIP

17. Really hot : EXTRA SPICY

18. Bud : MATE

19. Passes : ENACTS

20. Getaway car driver : WHEELMAN

22. Comforter : DUVET - I have such a resentment for this word, only because my friend's wife used it in a Scrabble game, and I challenged - it's Frawnche - and yet it counted.  Ugh, ugh, ugh.

23. Metered lines : POESY

24. Rudder location : AFT

25. "Now!" : STAT - not ASAP

26*. "Buddenbrooks" author : MANN

27. Farm follower? : E-I-E-I-O - not "STEAD"; this was almost funny....

29. Moolah : GELT - not CASH

30. Pop-up producer : ADWARE

31. How many games are won : AS A TEAM - the NY Rangers finally figured out their Power Play, and still managed to lose on Thursday

35. Cuddled : SPOONED - yeah, one of these days I'll get around to this again

36. Wine flavor component : TANNIN

37. Compact __ : DISC

38. Jerks : TWITS - my mother's affectionate name for the NY Rangers

39. "No __!" : DICE

40*. Inventing middle name : ALVA

44. Six-pack to be proud of : ABS - the 'other' six-pack produces the exact opposite

45*. Big name in '50s-'60s civil rights : EVERS

47. Take turns? : STEER - got it, but pondered DRIVE, too

48. Cuts to a roving reporter : GOES LIVE - Ha~! Nailed it

50. Introductory language class : LATIN I

51. Digging : INTO

54. Shipping hazard : REEF

55. Wary : ON THE ALERT

56. Exam for some college srs. : LSAT

57. Tourist attraction : RESORT AREA


1. Radar pickups : SPEEDS

2. Threaded fastener : HEX-NUT - this is the crenellated version

3. Interval for Rossini : OTTAVA - musical reference, octave

4. Three-line stanza : TERCET

5*. Benjamin of "Law & Order" : BRATT - was never a big fan of his character - I think cutting out Chris Noth's "Mike Logan" was not a good move for the show - tho he did return on "Criminal Intent"

6. Frequency modulation word? : LESS - filled via perps; not sure I "get it"

7. Payroll service initials : ADP - I see this on the UPS truck daily

8. "Forget it!" : "NO I WON'T~!" - I had YOU WISH to start, and it was working for a while

9. German coffeecake : KUCHEN - OK, I'll take das word for it....

10. Optical maladies : STYES

11. Webmaster's code : HTML

12. Ancient Syrian : ARAMAEAN

13. Got ready to grill : LIT A FIRE

21. Focus group member, casually? : EYE DOC - ah.  Clever

23. Date provider : PALM - the tree, not the singles website

26. Average : MEAN

28. WWII battle site, for short : IWO - Jima

29*. Theodor whose middle name was Seuss : GEISEL -even guessing this was "Dr Seuss" did not help at all

30. It adjoins the altar : APSE


32. Surgeon, slangily : SAWBONES

33. Aromatic brew : ANISE TEA - been popular in crosswords lately

34. Blaster : TNT - oops, not GUN

35. Unleashes : SICS

37. Runs : DIRECTS

39*. William of "24" : DEVANE - I liked him as Carter in "Payback"

40*. Fifth-century invader : ATTILA - just read a true "science fiction" novel from Bradbury and Baxter where Genghis Khan meets Alexander the Great in battle

41*. Elvis Presley lyricist Jerry : LEIBER

42. __ facias: jury pool (from the Latin for "make come") : VENIRE - all my Law & Order watching did not get me this

43. Grain bristle : ARISTA - mostly perps

46. Sun block : VISOR

47*. '70s-'80s Egyptian president : SADAT - an another, but I knew this one

49. Permissive : SOFT

50. Suggestive gander : LEER

53. Letter after pi : RHO