Showing posts with label Clive Probert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clive Probert. Show all posts

Jun 21, 2018

Thursday June 21st 2018 Clive Probert

Theme: G-Minus. No, not the grade for the puzzle, but explaining the theme:

27A. Reason your ears are burning?: (G)LOBAL WARMING

20A. Girl skipping school?: (G)LASS CUTTING

46A. Farm sound after sunset?: (G)LOW IN THE DARK

54A. Knight game impact?: (G)LANCING BLOW

And the reveal:

Aha! No reveal, a nice Thursday-style theme-and-figure-it-out-yourself. With these puzzles, if they're well-constructed, it can be a big help if you do figure out the theme, the earlier the better. This puzzle from Clive is a good example of the genre. Also, look at the stacked 9's in the downs and "we've got a cracking grid (Gromit!)".

Let's see what catches the eye elsewhere:


1. Throw out a line: CAST

5. Marner of fiction: SILAS

10. Santa Monica attraction: PIER. Iconic venue here in LA. I've never really looked closely at the famous sign, but now I have to ask - where is the yacht harbor? I've sailed the Santa Monica Bay a number of times, and there's no harbor to be seen anywhere near the pier.

14. Funny Bombeck: ERMA

"Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth."

15. Letter-shaped fastener: U-BOLT. I always thought "Bolt" was a very apt name for another U.Bolt.

16. "Young Frankenstein" Fräulein: INGA

17. Meadows: LEAS

18. Siamese fighting fish: BETTA

19. New Mexico resort: TAOS

23. Plate duster: UMP. Lovely clue. Baseball home-plate umpire clearing the aforementioned of dirt. He keeps a little brush handy for the task.

24. Transparent: SHEER

25. "The Prisoner of __": 1937 Fairbanks film: ZENDA. The star, Ronald Coleman, preparing to buckle his swash.

32. Collect over time: AMASS

35. __ juice: MOO

36. Second-largest bone in the body: TIBIA

37. Ticket word: ROW

38. Note from one who's shy: IOU. Very nice. Shy of funds.

39. __ Cruces: LAS. A New Mexico geography puzzle today.

40. Low joint: ANKLE

43. ID with two hyphens: SSN

44. "Totally had you going there!": PSYCH! We had this a couple of weeks ago. Were you paying attention?

49. Backyard game for two: CATCH

50. Saudi money: RIYAL

53. Prefix with pass: SUR

59. Early automaker: OLDS

61. Trunk: TORSO

62. Kitchen floor covering, to a Brit: LINO. We had lino in our bedrooms when I was a small child and no heating upstairs. Getting out of bed on a winter's morning was a bracing experience.

63. Singer's syllables: LA LA

64. Considering everything: IN ALL

65. __ Eats: food delivery app: UBER. I've used these folks a few times when I've arrived home late from the airport and found nothing much to eat in the house. The service is really good.

66. African antelope: ORYX

67. Propagated: SOWED

68. Word on an Irish stamp: EIRE. Here's a nice example. It says "Two Pence" underneath, if you're curious.


1. "Tainted Love" band Soft __: CELL. Quick, name another Soft Cell hit. In the meantime, here's the 80's again.

2. Measurements made by planimeters: AREAS. Learning moment. Looks like something you'd find in a dentist's office:

3. Tennis shot: SMASH

4. Loafer adornments: TASSELS

5. Many a commuter's community: SUBURB. I went with "SLEEPY" first and had second, third and fourth thoughts until sanity prevailed.

6. Sarcastic comment: I BET.

7. Senate majority leader after Dole: LOTT

8. Some choristers: ALTI

9. Poetry unit: STANZA

10. Racetrack stop: PIT. I was thinking horses for a while. Then .. aha! Motor sports.

11. Lower than low?: INAUDIBLY. INAUDIBLE seemed perfect, until PSECH [sic] emerged.

12. Swellhead: EGOMANIAC

13. Speak harshly: RASP

21. Company VIPs: CEOS

22. Fröbe who played Goldfinger: GERT

26. Feature of a two-ltr. monogram: N.M.I. No Middle Initial. I've had two girlfriends with no middle name. One dropped her last name because she didn't like it and used her middle name instead, the other said her parents ran out of ideas after coming up with her first name.

28. Pennsylvania sect: AMISH

29. Relaxed: LOOSE

30. Wired, with "up": WOUND

31. Big cut: GASH

32. Severely damaged Asian sea: ARAL

33. Like a birder's field glass: MONOCULAR

34. With very little grace: AWKWARDLY

41. Burning: LIT

42. Env. fattener: ENCL. The enclosure fattens the envelope.

44. Puritan: PRIG. Likeable clue/answer. Not obvious off the bat. Nice stuff.

45. Landscape artist's shade: SKY BLUE

47. To wit: THAT IS

48. California governor after Gray: ARNOLD. Der Gübernator. I still like the way he pronounced "California". Here's a highlight reel of just that. There's nothing you can't find on the Interwebs.

51. Defensive line?: ALIBI. Very nice clue/answer. Some corkers today.

52. Hermit: LONER

53. 2018 Ron Howard film subtitled "A Star Wars Story": SOLO. Solo. Han Solo. No wait, wasn't that 007?

55. Faux pas: NO-NO

56. Bird crop: CRAW

57. Cruise stopover: ISLE. Had PORT. That's didn't help progress at the bottom.

58. Became frayed, say: WORE

60. Kenny G's horn: SAX. Nice bookend for the theme. The missing "G" appears in the final clue!

World Cup fever continues for me. There's no cure except for waiting out the crisis in Mid-July. Some of the commentary on the Fox coverage is shockingly bad - I find refuge in the Spanish-language feed on Univision.

Here's the griiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiid! Griiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiid!


Note from C.C.:

Irish Miss asked about Melissa's granddaughter Jaelyn yesterday. Here she is with her father's day masterpiece. You can click here to see a few more pictures of our beautiful girl.

Sep 14, 2017

Thursday September 14th 2017 Clive Probert

Theme: "T" Times - punning clues to a phrase with an added "T".

20A. Place to mingle on the slopes? : SINGLES T-BAR. There's an aprés-ski joint in Val d'Isère called "Dick's T-Bar." I had many a post-piste pick-me-up  there back in the 80's. The bar has outlasted the T-bar style lifts. Those things were tricky.

34A. Misplace a casual top? : LOSE YOUR T-SHIRT. Two theme entries in one T-shirt:

39A. Take Rover to Ruth's Chris? : GIVE A DOG A T-BONE. Funny how many people want to call this steakhouse chain "Ruth Chris's".

53A. Dinosaur family drama? : OEDIPUS T-REX My ex and I named our daughter "Jocasta". Then I read the play. Hmmm. Rated "R" for family unpleasantness (the play, not my daughter). She didn't hold a grudge.

Clever by Clive not just to add a "T" to a phrase, but to find four "T-hyphen" in front of the final word of the phrase. This kind of consistency is really difficult to strive for - you can start out with a seed entry that sets you on your way, and then find yourself compromising when you can't find much else that fits the plan.

Fresh fill, including GIRLRIEND, LOW VOLTAGE, SNARFS and TROUGHS. A lot to like. Let's see what else we've got to talk about:


1. Superhero attire : CAPE

5. Six-footers at parties : SUBS

9. Parakeet quarters : CAGES

14. "You can say that again!" : AMEN!

15. St. Paul's architect : WREN. The City of London's cathedral. Wren lived across the river in Southwark so that he could monitor progress. This is Herbert Mason's iconic photograph taken during the Blitz in WW2:

16. Important fruit in the Mediterranean diet : OLIVE

17. Novelist Morrison : TONI. One of America's literary greats.

18. Zaragoza's river : EBRO. Zaragoza in Spain, not Mexico.

19. Harder to come by : RARER

23. Legal deg. : LLB

24. Big hand measurement: Abbr. : MIN.

25. Gobble (up) : SNARF. Great word. Almost onomatopoeic.

27. Octet since 2006 : PLANETS. Poor Pluto.

31. Shakespearean call to arms : ALARUM. "To Arms!". The stage direction "Alarums and Excursions" indicates that the assembled throng of extras need to start running around grabbing spears and what-not and calling "To War!" and the like.

36. "I saw the opening __ of hell": "Moby-Dick" : MAW

37. "Straight Outta Compton" role, familiarly : DRE. The good Dr. I met Andre when we were pitching software to his Beats Music brand. Smart guy.

38. Word with head or roll : EGG

46. Dull : STODGY. Hopefully, not your egg rolls.

47. Run things? : ERRANDS

48. Doone of fiction : LORNA. Based in the West of England. A good read!

50. NBA tiebreakers : OT'S. Basketball overtimes.

51. Balderdash : ROT

59. Major mess : SNAFU. I like the "Major=Military" connection in the clue. People will have you believe that the "F" means "fouled". Don't fall for it. Situation Normal, All [insert preferred word here] Up.

61. Universal donor's type, briefly : O-NEG

62. Support person : AIDE 

63. One with a strict diet : VEGAN. I'm on a strict diet too - I call it the Food! diet. You won't catch me eating anything else.

64. Boring : BLAH

65. Pass the bouncer : GO IN. BYPASS the bouncer would be "sneak in".

66. Respond to a charge : PLEAD. Pleading ignorance was a loophole that was closed many moons ago.

67. Hearing things : EARS. Fun clue.

68. Singer James : ETTA. Could also be "RICK". So steady on there, Turbo, wait for the crosses.


1. Subjects of many viral online videos : CATS. This might not fall strictly into the genre, but it's still a treat - a UK commercial for milk. I love it.

2. Mine, in Marseille : A MOI

3. The Quakers of the Ivy League : PENN. Penn State are the Nittany Lions. They sound more fun.

4. Conundrums : ENIGMAS. "It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma". Winston Churchill's assessment of Russian foreign policy in 1939. Also - here's "Nimrod", one of Elgar's "Enigma Variations". Quite beautiful.

5. "American Gods" leprechaun Mad __ : SWEENEY. Thank you, crosses. Neither novel, author nor character have never even come close to knocking at the door of my wheelhouse.

6. Metro areas : URBS. Subs and Exes. Sounds like an adult novel.

7. Muppet with a unibrow : BERT

8. Elitists : SNOBS

9. Western pens : CORRALS

10. In the style of : A LA. Mode. King. Food!

11. Sweetheart : GIRLFRIEND

12. Robbie's daredevil father : EVEL

13. Many a Montenegro resident : SERB

21. One-fifth of a limerick : LINE. Take it away, Owen KL

22. Art school subj. : ANAT. omy

26. Cheering sound : RAH!

27. Hair piece : PLAIT

28. Relatively safe, as electricity : LOW VOLTAGE. Wasn't the Van de Graaf generator that I stuck my hand on in high school which set my hair on end generating 50,000 volts? At a micro-amp, I seem to remember. Or something. Anyway, it didn't kill me. Stick your tongue on a 12V car battery and it's a different story.

29. Flap : TO DO

30. Tidal peril during a storm : SURGE and the anagram hot on the heels ....

32. More than asks : URGES

33. Board rm. session : MTG. Often "bored room". Too many meetings, too much decision paralysis.

35. Bring up : REAR

36. British racing cars : MG'S. Originally an abbreviation of "Morris Garages", now long lost to history. One of these chaps is either over-cautious or terribly rash, vis-à-vis headgear:

40. Old name of Tokyo : EDO

41. Bad way to run a ship : AGROUND. Usually leaves a mark not easily buffed out.

42. Unit of force : DYNE

43. Low-pressure systems : TROUGHS

44. Cricket clubs : BATS.

45. Performing : ON STAGE

49. Southwestern brick : ADOBE

51. Invitation letters : RSVP

52. Scott Turow memoir : ONE L. Harvard Law School freshman year. Published in 1977, apparently many first-year law school students still read it as part of their prep.

54. Getting pictures of the Hollywood sign, say : IN L.A. My local landmark. I still want to get up close, but the arrest/fine/night in jail isn't worth it.

55. Nectar flavor : PEAR

56. Sidesplitter : RIOT

57. Menu including Cut and Paste : EDIT

58. "Hercules" character who got her own show : XENA. She was the honorary starter at a charity golf tournament sponsored by Universal that I played in at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena a few years ago. There were more mulligans taken on that tee than I've seen before or since.

60. Drone regulator: Abbr. : F.A.A

A belated and heartfelt thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes on Tuesday - I've been up to my ass in alligators at work this last couple of weeks so I didn't have time to stop by on the 12th. My friend Jill took me to my favorite Indian restaurant, and a hot, spicy and merry time was had by both of us.

That leaves the grid - so here it is!


Aug 6, 2017

Sunday August 6, 2017 Clive Probert

Theme: "Something's Fishy" - Word/words in each theme entry is replaced by a soundalike fish.

27A. "Me, blab to flatfish? No way!" : I NEVER TOLD A SOLE. I never told a soul.

46A. "Take whichever one you want for your fish and chips"? : PICK A COD ANY COD. Pick a card, any card.

54A. Fish playing on keys? : PIANO TUNA. Piano tuner. Like Don G.

67A. Fish on stage? : PLATFORM EEL. Platform heel.

81A "Stop imitating a pond fish"? : DON'T BE KOI. Don't be coy.

88A. Blue fish, maybe? : EMOTIONAL SHARK. Emotional shock.

106A. Fish duo's routine when something seems fishy? : GOOD CARP BAD CARP. Good cop, bad cop.

We have another smooth grid where the first themer starts in Row 3. I've got to try this setup someday.

I had fun with this puzzle. Cute. I mentioned before I have no grasp of this type of punny theme. Some are total homophones. Some have vowel sound changes. Some has one consonant letter added. Punny theme is just hard.
1. Einstein equation word : MASS.  The M in E=mc2

5. Urges to attack, with "on" : SICs

9. They may be tied around saddle horns : RIATAS. So how does RIATA differ from rope?

15. Lhasa __ : APSO

19. Start of a plan : IDEA

20. Workplace regulator: Abbr. : OSHA

21. Carpet installer's step one : UNROLL

22. Surgeon general under Reagan : KOOP. C. Everett Koop.

23. First name in game shows : MERV. Not ALEX.

24. "__, SpaghettiOs!": Campbell's slogan : UH OH

25. It may call for an R rating : NUDITY

26. __ the finish : IN AT

30. Memo starter : ATTN. Not IN RE.

31. Spelling song : YMCA. Also 33. Relief, spelled out? : ROLAIDS.
"How do you spell relief?"

32. Hosp. area : EMER

36. Mumbai hrs. : IST. Indian Time Zone. Learning moment for me.

39. NYSE valuation measure : P/E RATIO. Price-Earnings.

42. Oscar __ Renta : DE LA

43. Simile middle : AS A

44. They often affect performance : NERVES. So true. I like the clue/answer.

50. Glasses problem : SMEAR

51. Nonsharing word : MINE

52. Antioxidant food preservative : BHT. Hard to remember.

53. Bus sign word : VIA

56. French four-time Formula One champ Prost : ALAIN. Learning moment for me also.

58. One in a black suit : SPADE

62. Apprentices : INTERNS

63. Mercury's Greek counterpart : HERMES. The messenger.

65. Pool activity : SWIM

66. Louis XIV, par exemple : ROI
71. Telepathy, e.g. : ESP

72. More : ELSE

74. Furtive graffiti guy : KILROY

75. Reason for turning on closed captioning : DIALECT. Xi'an dialect is not as strong as Cantonese, which is impossible to understand for non-natives.

78. Property transfer documents : DEEDS

80. Dark crime films : NOIRs

83. Class : ILK

85. Boater, for one : HAT

86. Decree : FIAT

87. Bequeath : LEAVE

93. Sights from the Gateway Arch : BARGES. We went to St. Louis ages ago, but I did not see the Arch. 

94. __ center : REC

95. Petits __: garden peas : POIS. French for "peas".

96. Made more baskets than : OUT-SHOT

98. Food scrap : ORT

99. Bar food? : GRANOLA. Granola bar. Nature Valley gives these bars to golf fans during the 3M Championship every year.

101. Great Smokies st. : TENN

103. Arles articles : UNES

105. Persia, now : IRAN

113. Arguing : AT IT

114. __ Baker, subject of "Thirteen Reasons Why" : HANNAH. Learning moment as well.

115. Pull in : EARN

116. Stagger : REEL

117. Fender problem : DENT

118. Honest with : TRUE TO

119. Rte. 66 state : ARIZ (Arizona)

120. Pakistani language : URDU

121. June 6, 1944 : D-DAY

122. Talks back to : SASSES. Grid bottom edge tends to be S-rich. See also 124. Tree hugger : MOSS

123. Monument Valley feature : MESA

1. "La Bohème" soprano : MIMI

2. Yemen's Gulf of __ : ADEN

3. Dried-up : SERE. Our old crossword pal.

4. Astute : SAVVY

5. They may be anonymous : SOURCES. Leak.

6. Beatty/Hoffman flop : ISHTAR

7. Half a tot's train? : CHOO

8. Humorist Mort : SAHL. Wiki says he's still alive and was friends with Robin Williams.

9. Go wild : RUN AMOK

10. Occupied : IN USE

11. Passion : ARDOR

12. Work hard : TOIL

13. Like a dress back from the tailor : ALTERED. Miss my old  tailor. Took most of my purchases to her place to get the perfect fit. Tailoring is very affordable in China.

14. Crafty : SLY

15. Alphabetically first dog in the AKC's Working Group : AKITA

16. Grand Prix, e.g. : PONTIAC

17. Stinker : SO AND SO. Another nice fill.

18. Choose : OPT

28. __ penguin : EMPEROR

29. Flight maintenance word : DEICE

30. Singer Morissette : ALANIS

34. King Harald's father : OLAV

35. Down : SAD

36. Uplifted : INSPIRED

37. Florida tribe : SEMINOLE. Google shows the name means "wild people" or "runaway."

38. Dissertation : TREATISE

40. Could hear __ drop : A PIN

41. Weymouth of Talking Heads : TINA

42. Serve a sentence : DO TIME. Snazzy 6-letter fill. Also 69. It can come before a sentence : TRIAL

45. Windmill part : VANE

47. More competent : ABLER

48. Third time, proverbially : CHARM

49. Jabbers : YAPS

51. Fabric from Iraq : MUSLIN. MADRAS is from India.      

55. Toll rd. : TNPK

56. Ship-to-ship greetings : AHOYs

57. "You __ bother" : NEEDN'T

59. Last Sunday, this Sunday : A WEEK AGO

60. Credit card introduced by Sears : DISCOVER. I did not know this. We don't shop at Sears or JCPenney. Boomer had bad experiences there.

61. Least meaningful, as compliments : EMPTIEST

64. Skirt feature : SLIT

68. Big Island greetings : ALOHAs

70. Defensive structures : FORTS

73. Word processing menu : EDIT

76. Dissipated : ABLATED. Never heard of this word.

77. Lustful look : LEER

79. Easy to get into : SLIP ON. Putting on socks every morning is a struggle for Boomer.

81. Scuttlebutt : DIRT

82. Kentucky __, event before the Derby : OAKS

84. __-Aid : KOOL

86. Flora partner : FAUNA

88. Work unit : ERG

89. Deserved : MERITED

90. Oval-shaped instrument : OCARINA

91. __ Gorge, near Buffalo : NIAGARA. Are there hiking trails in this area?

92. Big shots : HONCHOS

93. Windfall : BONANZA. Along side another great entry: HUBRIS (97. Arrogance)

100. Stylish in dress : NATTY

101. Gets buff, with "up" : TONES

102. Online social arrangement : E-DATE

104. Rugby formation : SCRUM. Learned from doing crosswords.

107. Burden : ONUS

108. Reprimand, with "out" : REAM

109. Peel : PARE

110. Prefix with dynamic : AERO

111. Great American Ball Park team : REDS

112. Math sign : PLUS. And 113. Use a 112-Down : ADD

114. Cleveland __, OH : HTS


Apr 20, 2016

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 Clive Probert

Theme: Since FDR is in the grid: CIVIL CONSERVATION CORPS -  or - Do you C the C's I C?  Or, 1.5 x our gracious hostess.  Near as I can tell, that's it. Three-word themers, all with the initial letter C.  Though the middle one is a grid spanner, and the other two fall only one letter short, seems like a rather thin theme concept.

20. Part of the Three Little Pigs' chant : CHINNY CHIN CHIN.  As in, not by the hair of.  Here it is, if you have a spare 8 1/2 minutes.

37. The "Original Formula," soda-wise : COCA COLA CLASSIC.  New COKE fizzed.  No extra charge for the additional 2 C's.

54. Provincetown rental : CAPE COD COTTAGE.  Ours is on the south-west shore of Black Lake.

Not sure what else can be said about it.  Let's proCede and C what we can C.


1. Jellied garnish : ASPIC.  Natural gelatin derived from meat stock, aka glop.

6. Northwestern pear : BOSC.  European variety grown in the NW U.S.

10. Farm youngster : CALF.  Or COLT or LAMB.

14. Good, in Granada : BUENO.   Spanish. Foreign language fill is often indicated by alliteration.

15. Chorus syllables : LA-LA.   Tra followers.

16. Give __ to: approve : A NOD.

17. Trader for whom a northwest Oregon city was named : ASTOR.  John Jacob.

18. __ impasse : AT AN.  I've been there

19. Texas flag symbol : STAR.  

23. Baby beaver : KIT.
24. Mouse-spotter's shriek : EEK.

25. Extremely well-pitched : NO HIT.  Baseball!

26. Gray shade : ASH.
27. Multilayered, as cakes : TIERED.  Or theater seating.

30. Clean Air Act administrative gp. : Environmental Protection Agency, established in 1970.

33. Heads, in slang : NOBS.   

Up Jack got, and off did trot 
as fast as he could caper; 
to old Dame Dob, 
who patched his NOB
with vinegar and brown paper.

36. Persian Gulf cargo : CRUDE.  Oil

41. "__ go!" : GOTTA.  I'm outa here - but not for a while.  My work here is not yet done.

42. French 101 verb : ETRE.   To be.

43. Pot contents : TEA.  We have a cup of TEA mid-afternoon most days.

44. Bakes, as 50-Acrosses : SHIRRS.   Word derived form the name of the flat bottomed dish in which EGGS were traditionally baked.

46. "Star Wars" staples : ETs.  Many varieties of Extra-Terrestrials in those movies.

48. Exit poll target : VOTER.  We'll just do a grand jeté around the politics, and move right along.

50. Breakfast food : EGG.  Cereal doesn't fit.  I'm SHIRR.

51. "Pow!" : BAM.  Bat Man or Emeril - your choice.

57. Roast, in Rouen : ROTI.

58. Antelope Island state : UTAH.  The bee hive state.

59. Lesson at the end : MORAL.  As in Aesop's fables.

60. Arabian Peninsula port : ADEN.   Probably handles some of that CRUDE.

61. Went by skateboard : RODE.   Why skateboard?  Car, bus, SUV, moped, trained mule, Conestoga wagon  .  .  .

62. Take in : ADOPT.  As an orphan.

63. Get one's feet wet : WADE.

64. Mesozoic and Paleozoic : ERAS.  Geological time spans.

65. Slangy craving : JONES.  Gotta have it.


1. One way to be taken : ABACK.

2. Japanese finger food : SUSHI.   Items of vinegar-flavored, cold cooked rice that accompany raw fish, vegetables or EGGS.  SHIRR enough!

3. __ four: teacake : PETIT.  Meaning "small oven," since that's where they were often made, next to the main oven.

4. Privy to : IN ON.  Knowledgeable of.

5. Eye part : CORNEA.   The transparent layer covering the front of the eye.

6. Subject for Stephen Hawking : BLACK HOLE.  Astronomy.

7. Promise : OATH.  

8. Killed, as a dragon : SLAIN.

9. Is unable to : CAN NOT.  Killing dragons is hard!

10. Supermarket employees : CASHIERS.   Ring 'em up!

11. Like the Sherman Act : ANTI-TRUST.   Anti-monopoly legislation designed to promote competition in industry, passed into law in 1890.

12. Deal with interest : LOAN.  Most bankers find loans to be quite interesting.

13. New Deal pres. : FDR. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd president.  

21. Basic question type : YES / NO.

22. Spanish girl : CHICA.

28. Falco of "Oz" : EDIE.   And "The Sopranos,"and "Nurse Jackie."

29. Prefix with pod : DECA-.  Denoting 10-legged critters, an order of crustaceans that includes crayfish, crabs, lobsters, and shrimp.   What - no love for squids?!?

30. They record beats per min. : ECGs.  Electrocardiogramcheck the electrical activity of the heart.

31. Friend of Tigger : POOH.   

32. Switched on : ACTIVATED.

34. Compete in a box : BAT.   Batter's box, the designated place to stand while batting - more baseball.

35. Braking sounds : SCREECHES.   Indicating the linings are worn.

38. Medication used for dilating pupils : ATROPINE.   Also a toxic alkaloid found in nightshade, mandrake and jimson weed.

39. Bistro offering : CARTE.   A French menu.

40. "Unhand me!" : LET GO.  

45. Tie tightly : SECURE.

47. High-ranking NCO : SGT MAJ.  Sargent major, the highest NCO rank in the U.S. Army or Marines, above master sargent and below warrant officer.  

49. Turbine blade : ROTOR.   They go round and round.

51. Industry honcho : BARON.

52. Wide open : AGAPE.

53. Runs down the mountain, maybe : MELTS.  As snow in the Spring.

54. Musical finale : CODA.   From the Italian word for tail.  Often it is an addendum to a formal musical structure containing different but similar and compatible musical content.  

55. Man Ray genre : DADA.   Man Ray [1890- 1976] was an American visual artist who spent most of his career in France.

56. Commotion : TO DO.  As in hockey playoffs.

57. Wet behind the ears : RAW.    Expressions indicating someone lacking experience.

OK. All done.  I SHIRR had a BUENO time.  How about you?

Cool regards!

Aug 16, 2015

Sunday August 16, 2015 Clive Probert

Theme:  "R&D" - R is replaced by DR in each theme entry.

23A. Saloon with a strict no-quipping policy? : ANTI-DROLL BAR. Anti-roll bar.

35A. Art class focused on river rapids? : WHITE WATER DRAFTING. Whitewater rafting

52A. Has the downspouts inspected? : GETS A DRAIN CHECK. Gets a rain check.
76A. Portrait of Donald's life? : A DRAKE'S PROGRESS. A Rake's Progress.
89A. Worries about contract details? : DREADS THE FINE PRINT. Reads the fine print. This one has a sound change.

108A. Refreshment after some winter recreation? : SKATING DRINK. Skating rink.

A few stray R's, but none starting letters in the theme entries.

Only 6 entries, but they're all quite long. I dread  15+ letter entries. This grid only has 138 words and 66 black squares (our norm is 144 words and 78 squares). Those stacks of 8's in the upper right and lower left are hard to fill cleanly. Big fan of today's grid.


1. Route with many turns : SLALOM. Had ??AL??, still could not nail it, Marti!

7. Command to a guard dog : SIC 'EM

12. Cap with a feather, to Yankee Doodle : MACARONI

20. Way out? : PAROLE.  Third week in a row the upper left corner stumped me with its tricky clues.

21. Budget rival : ALAMO

22. Cosmetic oil source : AVOCADOS. My avocado oil is half gone. Pretty good. Scentless like almond oil.

25. Hallucinatory state : DELIRIUM

26. App symbol : ICON. And 28. "There's __ for that" : A NAME. You wanted AN APP, right?

27. Basic chem. unit : MOL. For Molecule?
30. Port on the Danish island Fyn : ODENSE. Hans Christian Andersen was born here.

31. "The Matrix" hero : NEO. This has become a gimme.

32. Wraparound garment : SARI

33. Simba's mate : NALA

34. NFL commentator Collinsworth : CRIS. Strange Wiki does not have a picture of him.

 41. Brought up : REARED

44. Suffix with polymer : ASE. We also have 70. Grieg's "__ Death" : ASE'S. Constructors don't use these fill if they have better options.

45. Hide-and-seek word : READY

46. "Go jump in the loch!" : NAE! Little things make me happy, like this clue.

47. Take up, say : ALTER

48. Data-transfer meas. : BPS.  OK, Bits/Bytes per Second.

50. San Jose-based tech giant : CISCO. Our Steve is with ORACLE.

51. Wag : CARD. Got me also.

56. "Big" star : HANKS. I'd got it easily if Tom were in the clue.

57. Sieben-neun link : ACHT. 7, 8, 9.

58. Porridge bit : OAT

59. Miffed : IRED

60. Board game based on pachisi : SORRY.  Easy crosses.

62. Subway fixtures : STILES

64. Fencing tools : EPEES

65. Primate in "Tarzan" films : CHEETA

68. Muscular power : SINEW
71. Delt neighbor : LAT

73. Perón and others : EVAS

74. Jam cacophony : HORNS. Traffic jam. I just do not see a *S ending answer with this type of clue.

80. "So I'm cuter," to Tom Cruise: Abbr. : ANAG (Anagram). Cute.

81. Brooklyn institute : PRATT. Crosses as well.

82. Cephalopod's defense : INK

83. Range in NE Utah : UINTA.  Rare UI* starting word.

84. Nonsense : ROT

85. Juvenile response : I AM SO

86. Suffix with human : OID

88. Sailing term preceded by a number : MASTED. Like two-masted.

94. Light bite : NOSH

95. Isn't up to par : AILS. And 8. Not up to par : ILL

96. 100 cents : EURO

97. Ryder Cup org. : PGA. So who do you think will win today? Left or Right? Or neither?

100. Pain : HASSLE

103. Refuse : TRASH. Noun "Refuse".

104. Fjord kin : RIA

105. Vein extracts : ORES

106. Shoe specification : EEE WIDTH
111. Customs-exempt storage facility : FREE ZONE. Lower left corner was easy to tackle today.

112. Anthrax-prevention drug : CIPRO. Fair crosses.

113. Concert cry : ENCORE

114. Downpours : TORRENTS

115. Start of the Common Era : ONE AD

116. Cowed : SCARED


1. Mediterranean land : SPAIN. MALTA won't fit.

2. Medieval Times prop : LANCE. Googled afterward. Never heard of the theater. Started in Texas. Been there, D-Otto/Anon-T?

3. Lovable droid : ARTOO

4. Butcher's cut : LOIN

5. __ school : OLD. Neither LAW or MED fit.

6. Madison in "Splash," as it turns out : MERMAID. Never watched the movie.

7. __ Mae : SALLIE
9. Changing places : CABANAS. Great clue also.

10. Flow (from) : EMANATE

11. Pep talk target : MORALE

12. Earned : MADE

13. Postal address abbr. : AVE

14. State bordering seven others : COLORADO. Easy crossings.

15. Turn sour : ACIDIFY
16. Least cooked : RAREST. I had RAWEST.

17. God with an eight-legged horse : ODIN

18. Toi et moi : NOUS

19. "Woe __!" : IS ME. And 36. "Where __?" : WAS I

24. __ cloud: comet-filled region in interstellar space : OORT

29. Wedded couples : MARRIEDS

32. He-Man's twin : SHE-RA

34. Solves : CRACKS

35. Sport with pins : WRESTLING. No bowling. Cool, TTP, right?

37. Fam. tree member : DESC

38. Regardless : IN ANY EVENT.  And 43. "The way things are going ... " : AT THIS RATE
39. British stoolie : NARK. Forgot. We had this before.

40. Night sch. goals : GEDs

41. Sitar tunes : RAGAS

42. Campaign sign word : ELECT

48. Olga product : BRA. Gimme. Never bought their bras though.

49. Square spread on a slice : PAT. Butter!

50. Burger topper : CHEESE

51. Workaholic : CAREERIST. Not a word I use.

53. Teaspoon, e.g. : DOSE

54. Goes for, puppy-style : NIPS AT

55. Brook : CREEK

56. Princely letters : HRH (His Royal Highness)

61. Prefix with pod : OCTO

63. USN rank : ENS

64. Like some grins : EAR TO EAR

66. Try : TASTE

67. Mideast leadership family name : ASSAD

69. Friendliness : WARMTH

71. ICU worker : LPN

72. Old flood insurance? : ARK. Ha ha.

74. Like some facts and stuff : HARD

75. __ about : ON OR

77. Go like mad : DASH

78. Steamed veggies, say : SIDE

79. Organic fertilizer : GUANO. I know the word when I see it. But I don't know how to spell it correctly. 

81. Relayed : PASSED ON

85. Revere : IDOLIZE. My idol. Zhang Yimou is from Xi'an as well. He discovered Gong Li.

86. Seaman's protective garment : OILSKIN

87. Fit : IN SHAPE

88. Illusions : MIRAGES

90. Pick up the phone : ANSWER

91. Debacle : FIASCO

92. " ... and that's final" : PERIOD

93. Total : RUIN

97. Poet Matthew buried in Westminster Abbey : PRIOR. Got via crosses.

98. Category : GENRE

99. FAQ part : ASKED

100. Test by lifting : HEFT

101. Aviation prefix : AERO

102. One in a ball game? : SEER. Crystal ball.

103. Bk. with synonyms : THES (Thesaurus)

105. Sea lion predator : ORCA

107. Blasting material : TNT

109. Refrain start : TRA

110. Caucus organizer: Abbr. : DNC. or RNC.


Oct 8, 2013

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 Clive Probert

Theme: First, a bit of information - and I'm not trying to steal your identity.

17A. Shows off one's connections : NAME DROPS

21A. Top of the charts : NUMBER ONE

32A. Modernized pre-1949 auto : STREET ROD

45A. Metropolitan distance unit : CITY BLOCK

58A. Aptly named Nevada border community known for its casinos : STATELINE

64A. Lunchbox sandwich protector : ZIPLOC BAG

Argyle here. Clive is working up to do a Monday's; he's done the other weekdays. I'm sure he can do it but may have to cut the number of theme entries.


1. Big bird of myth : ROC. Big bird of crosswords, too.

4. Spiny desert plants : CACTI

9. Bathysphere's domain : OCEAN. Reminds me of a song by America.

14. Thurman of "Batman & Robin" : UMA

15. Underway : AFOOT

16. Like one in the sulks : POUTY

19. What the truth sometimes does : HURTS

20. When repeated, soothing words : THERE, THERE.

23. Tanning site : SALON

24. Strips off : PEELS

25. "Buzz off!" : "SCAT!"

28. Next-generation relatives : NIECES

37. Hold dear : ADORE

38. Stat for Mariano Rivera : ERA

39. No-no : TABOO

41. Tell a whopper : LIE

42. Mag with relationship quizzes : COSMO

48. Way up or down : STAIRS

50. Do in, as a dragon : SLAY

51. Wild Australian dog : DINGO

54. Pub order : DRAFT

62. Powerful explosive, familiarly : NITRO

63. Three-time Tony winner Uta : HAGEN. WIKI

66. Eyeball-bending pictures : OP ART

67. Somewhat wet : MOIST

68. Physician's org. : AMA

69. Wavy dos : PERMS

70. At exactly the right time : ON CUE

71. Agreeable response : YES


1. Litters' littlest : RUNTS

2. Nebraska city on the Missouri : OMAHA

3. Caravan beast : CAMEL

4. Rhythmic flow : CADENCE

5. Congo's cont. : AFR. (Africa)

6. Ring-tailed critter, to Crockett : COON. Also, a cap to Dan'l.

7. Refill to the brim : TOP UP

8. "Who's there?" response : "IT'S ME"

9. Hamlet's love : OPHELIA. She died, just like all the rest.

10. Flowed swiftly : COURSED. Death coursed through the last act of "Hamlet".

11. Cyprus currency : EURO

12. "To whom it actually does concern" letters : ATTN. If anyone still writes letters.

13. Wall St. institution : NYSE. New York Stock Exchange

18. Uneven, as a leaf's edge : EROSE

22. "Big" London attraction : BEN. The bell.

26. ABA dues payer : ATT. (attorney)

27. Gillette's __ II razor : TRAC

29. Wyo. neighbor : COLO.

30. Idle of Monty Python : ERIC

31. Hide's partner : SEEK

32. "In a few __" : SECS

33. Equine gait : TROT

34. Tabula __: blank slate : RASA

35. Japanese sash : OBI

36. Two lowercase letters have them : DOTS. (i, j)

40. Olive __ : OYL. Popeye's 'goyl'.

43. Heavily weighted exam : MIDTERM

44. Points in the right direction : ORIENTS

46. It's unpleasant when things end on one : BAD NOTE

47. Like some poetry : LYRIC

49. NBC show that launched many comics' careers : SNL

52. Doodad : GIZMO

53. French __ soup : ONION. Maybe for lunch today.

55. Held in check : AT BAY

56. Picture holder : FRAME

57. Frat party wear : TOGAs

58. Look for bargains : SHOP

59. Weak-ankle support : TAPE

60. Ice cream thickener : AGAR

61. Spectacular : EPIC

65. Baton Rouge sch. : LSU. (Louisiana State University)


Note from C.C.:

Man oh man! Today is the birthday of the nice guy who always says "Best wishes to you all" every time he posts. Happy Birthday, dear Jayce! I've met quite a few Americans who speak fluent Chinese, but not many read and understand written Chinese. Jayce does, and he understands my every whimsy thought.

Jayce and his lovely wife on their wedding day

Click here to see two more pictures of Jayce.