Showing posts with label Donna S. Levin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Donna S. Levin. Show all posts

Aug 7, 2016

Sunday, August 7, 2016 Donna S. Levin & Bruce Venzke

Theme: "A Fee for Victory" - V is changed into F, all key words go through spelling changes. 

23A. Municipal tennis court? : COMMUNITY SURFACE. Community service.

38A. Crowded dorm symptom? : A ROOM WITH A FEW. A Room with a View.

66A. Embellishment on Arabic calligraphy? : ALIF GARNISH. Olive garnish. Holy smoke, I pronounced ALIF wrong all these years. I thought A has the schwa sound.

75A. Last log entry? : FINAL RECORD. Vinyl record.

118A Request at the poultry farm? : I'D LIKE TO BUY A FOWL. I'd like to buy a vowel.

99A. Animal always without a home? : PERMANENT WAIF. Permanent wave.

16D. Cause of playtime sadness? : LOSING ONE'S NERF. Lose one's nerve.

51D. Brother-and-sister biathlon training regimen? : SIBLING RIFLERY. Sibling rivalry.

I bet many of you figured out the gimmick by looking at the title alone. I did also. The more I solve/make this type of sound change puzzle, the more I realize how hard it is to find a non-self-evident title that captures the gimmick.

Judging by the byline order, Donna came up with the theme idea, then she and Bruce brainstormed the theme entries together. Then Bruce designed the grid (Intersecting long theme entries is his hallmark). Then maybe Bruce filled the grid and Donna clued the whole grid. Or they each filled half and clued half. 

Loved the theme. Donna and Bruce are total pros. Unless you brainstorm this type of sound change theme yourself, you won't realize how much imagination and skills are involved in coming up with a consistant set.


1. "Ring Around the Rosie" word : ASHES. Sigh. Never heard of this nursery rhyme.

6. Belts : SWIGS. Both verb/noun works.

11. Drop : OMIT.

15. Firefly emanation : GLOW

19. Regatta racer : SCULL. Not ROWER.

20. Bacon in a parlor game : KEVIN. Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. I was picturing real bacon.

21. Rare state bird : NENE

22. Apple's apple, e.g. : LOGO
26. Nobel Peace Center home : OSLO

27. Jackson ejector : ATM

28. Goes bad : ROTS

29. Father __ Sarducci: "SNL" character : GUIDO

30. "Good __!" : GRIEF. Not GRAVY.

31. Artist Mondrian : PIET

33. Rudely awaken : ROUST

36. Throat trouble? : FROG. Nice clue.

37. __ Tin Tin : RIN
 41. Bayer that might cause a headache? : BEAGLE. I don't get this clue. Why "headache"? Also 86. 41-Across, e.g. : BREED

44. Après-ski option : SPA. Not RUM.

45. "Jurassic Park" threat : TREX

46. Cause of a municipal alert : SMOG. Quite serious in my hometown Xi'an last winter.

48. Online ref. since 2000 : OED

49. Radiographer's tests : CT SCANS. We also have 40. The "A" often seen in 49-Across : AXIAL. The latter is unknown to me.
53. Guadalajara gal pal : AMIGA

56. WWI French battle site : ARGONNE. Stumped me last time.

58. "La donna è mobile," for one : ARIA. Hey, we have Donna!

59. In a proper manner : DULY

61. Francis of "What's My Line?" : ARLENE

63. Conk : BEAN

64. Massage : RUB

65. Feature of ths clue : TYPO
68. Contradict : BELIE

70. Israeli statesman Abba : EBAN

72. Buster? : NARC. Another great clue.

73. Like __: probably : AS NOT
78. Otherwise : ELSE

80. Show one's humanity : ERR

81. "Aw, fudge!" : DANG. I had DARN. By the way, Rich does not allow DAMN any more.

82. Potential benefit : UPSIDE

83. Editor's "Let it be" : STET.  And 113. Opposite of 83-Across : DELE

 84. Spy-fi villain in a Nehru jacket : DR NO

85. Quadratic formula course : ALGEBRA. Googled afterward. Knew that formula in Chinese, which gave me headache in high school.

87. "I'm not afraid of __; I just don't want to be there when it happens": Woody Allen : 

89. Mucinex relative : SUDAFED. Where did the drug company pick up this name?

91. Neighbor of Leb. : ISR

92. Biryani base : RICE. Never heard of Biryani. You?

94. Senator Bail Organa's adopted daughter : LEIA.  I thought he's a real US Senator.  "Star Wars".

96. Written guffaw : LOL

97. Taken over : SEIZED
105. Adversary : FOE

106. Eldest Bennet daughter in "Pride and Prejudice" : JANE

107. __ Soleil: 17th-/18th-century royal : LE ROI. The Sun King.

108. On Vine St., say : IN LA

110. Spaniard's "L'chaim!" : SALUD

112. Chased from the closet : OUTED

114. Ices : OFFs

116. Business card abbr. : TEL

117. Not odd at all : EVEN
122. Geeky sort : NERD

123. Wedding cake layer : TIER

124. Detroit's Joe __ Arena : LOUIS

125. Holmes of "The Kennedys" : KATIE. She does look like Jackie Kennedy.

126. Temperance advocates : DRYs

127. Head of France? : TETE

128. DeMille specialties : EPICs

129. Wood that sinks in water : EBONY. Got via crosses.

1. Music rights gp. : ASCAP

2. Old Roman name for Ireland : SCOTIA. Oh, I did not know this. 

3. Large '90s-'00s SUV : HUMMER

4. Boston's Liberty Tree was one : ELM

5. Disparage : SLUR

6. Bunny slope conveyance : SKI TOW

7. Scuba gear : WET SUIT

8. Brown, for one : IVY. Gimme for our regulars.

9. Vets-to-be : GIs

10. Cozy : SNUG

11. Having a heck of a winning streak : ON FIRE

12. Pastures : MEADOWS

13. Disguised, briefly : INCOG. A common topic in old Chinese novels. High officials, including emperors, often go incognito to villages.

14. Driver's aid : TEE. Golf. Does Champions Tour stop in your area, TTP? It's free here. 3M also gives each spectator a bag of goodies: Scotch tape, Post-It notes, etc.  Here is Boomer on Friday.

15. Meathead's wife in '70s TV : GLORIA. No idea. All in the Family,

17. Act like a wolf : OGLE

18. Pound sound : WOOF

24. Rouen's region : NORMANDY

25. Elizabethan neckwear : RUFF. Also a learning moment.

30. One of the Allman Brothers : GREGG. Cher's ex.

32. Scarpia's killer, in a Puccini opera : TOSCA

34. Errant : STRAY

35. Him and her : THEM

39. WWII cost-stabilizing agcy. : OPA. No idea. Office of Price Administration
41. Wood-damaging insect : BORER. Gluey word.

42. "Stormy Weather" singer : LENA HORNE. We don't see her full name often.

43. Place with a serpent problem : EDEN

47. Handcuffs : MANACLES

49. Atkins no-no : CARB

50. Kind of test : TRUE-FALSE. Sparkly.

52. Powerful campaign force : SUPER PAC. Sparkly.

54. Humdrum routine : GRIND

55. Bravo preceder : ALFA

57. Geishas' sashes : OBIs

60. Sections of the brain : LOBES

62. "Snowy" wader : EGRET

65. It may be taken in the afternoon : TEA. Suddenly none of the local grocery stores carries Bigelow Jasmine tea right now. Strange.

66. Battery terminal : ANODE

67. "Sorry, lad" : NAE

69. Kansas-born playwright : INGE

71. H2SO4, e.g. : ACID

74. Stepped : TROD

76. Gruesome : LURID

77. Kingdom : REALM

79. Make a fool of : STULTIFY. New word to me.

81. Place of honor : DAIS

83. Really impress the critics : SHINE

84. __ Lama : DALAI. So much wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. 
88. Color like aqua : TEAL

90. Information company co-founder Charles : DOW. Did not know his given name.

93. Shoulder decoration : EPAULET

95. Good for the heart and lungs : AEROBIC

98. "Gadzooks!" : ZOUNDS

100. Complete : ENTIRE And 103. Completely : IN TOTO

101. Stink : REEK

102. Easy to use, in adspeak : NO FUSS

104. Arrived from above : FLEW IN

106. Best Actress between Cher and Jessica : JODIE (Foster). Got via crosses. Googled and found out that she won Oscar in 1989 for "The Accused". I thought it's for "The Silence of the Lambs".

109. Strike zone? : ALLEY. Nailed it.

110. Transmit : SEND

111. Maintain : AVER
115. Benefit : SAKE. For the sake of.

118. Hairy Addams cousin : ITT

119. Outdo : TOP

120. Avignon agreement : OUI

121. '60s quartet adjective : FAB. Four.


Jul 12, 2015

Sunday, July 12, 2015 Donna S. Levin & Bruce Venzke

Theme:  "Th-, Th-, That's All, Folks - TH sound is added to the end of each theme entry, adjusting spellings as needed.

23A. Unflattering nickname for a boastful corporate bigwig? : CHAIRMAN MOUTH. Chairman Mao.

46A. Belief at the heart of “Miracle on 34th Street”? : SANTA FAITH. Santa Fe.

68A. Actor Colin's body double? : FAUX FIRTH. Faux fur. Colin Firth (The King's Speech).

91A. Momentous event in baseball history, as it turned out? : AARON BIRTH. Base phrase Aaron Burr. The AARON in the clue refers to Hank Aaron.

112A. Hoping for a winning lottery ticket? : WISHING WEALTH. Wishing well.

15D. Old king's slow-moving pet? : COLE SLOTH. Coleslaw. Only one-word entry.

31D. Olbermann at a karaoke bar? : MUSICAL KEITH. Musical key. ESPN just let go of Keith Olbermann.

42D. AMA motto? : GIVE 'EM HEALTH. Give 'em hell. Reminds me of that heartless Michigan cancer doctor.

78D. Smokey's trouser material? : BEAR CLOTH. Bear claw.

After I did Tea Party with Don G, I fully appreciated the creativity & complexity behind this type of sound addition theme. It's so much harder than simply adding a T, or a TH.

I think this is the first collaboration of Donna S. Levin and Bruce Venzke, who often teams up with Gail Grabowski for LAT.  

Gail told me a while ago that they title their puzzle as GAB (Gail and Bruce) if Gail's byline comes up first, and BAG (Bruce and Gail) if Bruce's byline comes up first. So this puzzle might be titled DAB.
1. Cap treated by an orthopedist : PATELLA. Love when I can nail a 7-letter fill. Today's grid is very clean and smooth.

8. Hajji's destination : MECCA. Can non-Muslims visit the city?

13. Enthusiastic approval : ACCLAIM

20. Like amoeba reproduction : ASEXUAL
21. Show that had an annual "Favorite Things" segment : OPRAH. Got via crosses. Not a fan.

22. Part of a colloquial lament : SHOULDA

25. Counterattacks : SALLIES

26. Coquette : TEASE

27. Ruby in films : DEE

28. Mr. Mistoffelees' creator : T. S. ELIOT. Got via crosses also. And 63. 28-Across, e.g. : POET
29. Packing : ARMED. Packing heat, I suppose.

32. Clark Kent, on Krypton : KALEL

34. Relatives of medians : MODES

36. Garish : LOUD

37. Give a hoot : CARE

38. Two-mile-high city : LHASA. And 6D. Tibetan priest : LAMA

40. Sign on : LOG IN

45. Allied gp. since 1948 : OAS (Organization of American States)

48. Sheepish? : OVINE. Nailed it.

49. Tests : TRIALS

51. Unlock, to a bard : OPE

52. Little legume : PEA

53. Fended (off) : STAVED

54. G-rated : CLEAN

56. Benevolent order : ELKS. Headquartered in Chicago, as I learned last week.

58. "Symphony of a Thousand" composer : MAHLER (Gustav)

59. Grammarian's topic : USAGE

61. "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" setting : INDIA

65. LAX posting : ETD
67. Brilliance : ECLAT

70. Rigs on long hauls : SEMIs

72. Guffaw : YUK

73. Flight segment : STEP

74. California berry farm founder : KNOTT. Knott's Berry Farm.

75. Taj __ : MAHAL

76. Without vigor : FEEBLY

79. "Birdman" actor Galifianakis : ZACH. Hope we don't see his surname in a grid.  Known for his Between Two Ferns.

80. Licorice-flavored seed : ANISE

82. Big Pharma name : PFIZER

83. Faline in "Bambi," e.g. : DOE. Ha ha, I put in ENA. Never saw "Bambi".

85. Leg up : AID

87. Dan Aykroyd's birthplace : OTTAWA

90. Very very : ULTRA

94. Pot cover : LID

95. Former "The View" co-host : BEHAR (Joy)

96. Rock trio with long-bearded vocalists : ZZ TOP. The "Long-bearded" hint handed us a big fat gimme.  

97. "Got it" : I SEE

98. First razor with a pivoting head : ATRA

99. Sheds a tear : CRIES. "The Bridges of Madison County"!

101. Spanish "these" : ESTOS

103. Change from maxi to midi, say : RE-HEM

104. "Idylls of the King" setting : CAMELOT

108. Party org. : DNC. Crossing 108. Urgent : DIRE. Easy elimination of RNC.

109. More experienced : WISER
111. Quaint "Jeepers!" : OMIGOSH

117. Western neckwear : BOLO TIE. Boomer bought two at our State Fair long time ago. Never worn them again. 

118. Smooth one's feathers : PREEN
119. More icky : NASTIER

120. Less introverted : BRASHER

121. Fermented honey quaffs : MEADS

122. They usually inspire blessings : SNEEZES


1. Lobbying gp. : PAC

2. Cinders : ASH
3. Major Sri Lankan export : TEA
4. Left : EXITED

5. Enticed : LURED

7. __ king crab : ALASKAN

8. May honoree : MOM

9. Lyric poem : EPODE. Learned from doing crosswords.

10. First name in dognapping : CRUELLA

11. Actress Blanchett : CATE

12. "That's the spot!" : AHH

13. Courtroom fig. : ASST. D.A.. Or ADAs. Jack McCoy has quite a few.

14. Pursue : CHASE

16. Down time : LULL

17. Ovid's others : ALII

18. Thought: Pref. : IDEO

19. Spar : MAST

24. Not far from : NEAR TO. Boomer bowled 634 & 607 at the National Senior Games on Friday/Saturday. Not good enough. He still has a chance at the Doubles event today.

29. Scads : A LOT

30. Savanna warning : ROAR

33. Jumped out of one's seat : LEAPED UP. UP feels unnecessary.

34. Friend of Sydney : MATE. Sydney, Australia.

35. Worker welfare org. : OSHA

37. Acapulco abode : CASA

39. Rose __ : HIPS. My birthday gift. A bottle of Rose hip oil. Total luxury.

41. Like some mirrors : OVAL
43. Subject of Newton's first law : INERTIA

44. Author Buntline : NED

46. Winter woe : SLEET

47. Given name meaning "happy" : FELIX. King Felix.

50. Bit of pond scum : ALGA

53. Was in session : SAT

 55. "Swell!" : NIFTY!

57. "The Metamorphosis" writer : KAFKA

58. Maestro Zubin : MEHTA. Born in Bombay (Mumbai).

59. One-eighty : UEY

60. Scrap : SCUFFLE

62. Captain Kidd's refusal : NAE

63. Ban : PROHIBIT

64. Hubbell teammate : OTT. Carl Hubbell. Hall-of-Famer. Big Easy sent me this picture in March. He said "Next time OTT appears in a puzzle you can insert this. I was passing there today and stopped and took this picture. It is right down the street from ZYDECOs, which occasionally showed up."

66. High-speed letters : DSL

69. Like most Quechua speakers : INCAN
70. Partner of Wesson : SMITH. Easy crosses.

71. From Liverpool to Manchester : EAST
73. Camera letters : SLR

77. Biblical reformer : EZRA. Friendly crosses again.

79. Nothing at all : ZERO

81. Observe closely : NOTE

82. Black and tan seller : PUB

83. Stupefaction : DAZE. Thought the noun for Stupefy is just "Stupor".

84. Granola grain : OATS

86. Cut out of the will : DISOWN

88. Send electronically, as funds : WIRE

89. Sixth-day creation : ADAM

92. Bounding main : OPEN SEA

93. Gives up : RESIGNS
96. Instrument sometimes played in one's lap : ZITHER
98. Make fizzy : AERATE

100. Riveting icon : ROSIE. Rosie the Riveter.

102. RR station posting : SCHED (Schedule)

103. Actress Witherspoon : REESE
104. __ salad : COBB

105. Cupid : AMOR

106. Ashton's partner : MILA. Yay! They're a cute couple. Just married last weekend.

107. They may be bruised : EGOS

110. Long-necked trumpeter : SWAN

112. Typing stat. : WPM

113. Former green-card-issuing agcy. : INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service). They  issued me a green card with an extra U after Q. I guess Zhouqin looks incomplete.

114. Claiborne of fashion : LIZ

115. Casual wear : TEE

116. Retail posting: Abbr. : HRS

Happy 85th Birthday to Sallie! I bet both of her sons made special plans to be with her today. How are you doing lately, Sallie?



Sep 10, 2013

Tuesday September 10, 2013 Donna S. Levin

Theme: HITS THE TRIFECTA (55A. Has a big track payday (and a hint to hidden words that begin 17-, 27- and 43-Across) - WIN, PLACE & SHOW are hidden in the first word of each theme entry. 

17A. Oenophile : WINE CONNOISSEUR. I think WON (34D. Took the cup) should have been avoided in the grid.

27A. Response to snake oil, perhaps : PLACEBO EFFECT

43A. Privacy protector of a sort : SHOWER CURTAIN. Still remember Dennis Kozlowski's $6K shower curtain?

C.C. again. Argyle is now back at home. He might drop in on the blog today.

We've seen Win/Place/Show grids before, mostly with BETS as a reveal entry. The beautiful Donna has a very snazzy reveal & brilliant fill. This grid is a good template for 4-theme entries with 15, 14, 14 & 15 letter length.

Donna S. Levin, Newsday


1. Uniformed figure in the National Toy Hall of Fame : GI JOE. Scrabbly start.

6. Corp. fiscal execs : CFOs

10. Kiss from 10-Down : LICK. And 10D. Heroic TV dog : LASSIE. And 36D. Sound from a contented kitty : PURR. So, no fight between dog lovers and cat lovers on our blog today.

14. Epps and Sharif : OMARs

15. Sow's squeal : OINK

16. 43,560 square feet : ACRE

20. Indianapolis-to-Fort Wayne dir. : NNE

21. Sleepover wear, briefly : PJs. 

22. Shiny finish : LUSTER

23. Lone Ranger's pal : TONTO

26. iPhone's voice-activated personal assistant : SIRI. Ready for iOS 7?

31. Steering system component : TIE ROD. Argyle would nail it. He knows all about cars.

32. Caresses : PETS

33. GM labor gp. : UAW. Our neighbor Andy never shops at Walmart. He said they're Anti-Labor.

35. Redding of soul : OTIS

36. FG's three : PTs. Field goals.

37. Hockey great Phil, familiarly : ESPO

38. Tails and tongues do it : WAG. Also means Wild Ass Guess in our blog. Mine is Onager (Asian Wild Ass) guess.

39. Feng __: decorating philosophy : SHUI. Literally "water". Feng = Wind.

41. Redeem : CASH IN

46. Close to : NEAR

47. "Incorrect!" : NOT SO

48. Ready to mate, animal-wise : IN HEAT. I've learned not to put HOOTERS & G-SPOT in LAT crosswords. BONERS is acceptable though.

51. Pouch : SAC

52. Just minted : NEW

59. Against : ANTI

60. Dutch cheese : EDAM

61. A driver who forgets something might make one : U-TURN

62. Info : DOPE

63. Toupees : RUGs. Did you know we lose up to 100 stands of hair every day? Amazing we still have some hair left.

64. Evaluated : RATED


1. Graduation wear : GOWN

2. Poker declaration : I'M IN

3. "Psycho" Oscar nominee : JANET LEIGH. I just can't handle this type of movie.

4. Prospector's quest : ORE

5. "Never mind" PC key : ESC

6. Grifter's game : CON JOB. Another srabbly entry.

7. Swimming aids : FINs

8. Artist who lives across from Central Park's Strawberry Fields : ONO. Gimme.

9. Way up the slope : SKI LIFT

11. Rapper-turned-actor : ICE T

12. "Mötley" group : CRUE

13. Actress Deborah : KERR

18. Went (for) : OPTED

19. Pokes around on the Internet : SURFs. Thank you, Al Gore, for the Internet.

24. Some regatta equipment : OARS

25. Cpl., for one : NCO

26. Takes in, as a movie : SEES

27. Greek deli stockpile : PITAs.  This is Xi'An style Pita. Very popular street food.

28. Vision-related : OPTIC

29. Pillow-shaped diamond style : CUSHION CUT. Irish Miss knows rings. This is a new term to me. Doesn't look like pillows though.

30. Golfer's gimme : TAP IN

31. __ truck : TOW

37. Those gals, in Guadalajara : ESAS

39. "Don't __ the small stuff!" : SWEAT. Hard to do.

40. Moor flora : HEATHER

41. Early spring blooms : CROCI. Next year I'm going to plant peonies. Not fond of Crocuses or Croci.

42. ABA member : ATT

44. Layette suit : ONESIE

45. Strips of weapons : UNARMs. Yeah I know. DISARMS is more common.

48. "If __ my way ..." : I HAD. To PA Don, just for you, I'm not going to root for the Pirates any more. Wow, was I powerful! 

49. Spanish lad : NINO

50. URL opener : HTTP. OK, so the Blogger folks provided this patch code for the Template CSS part. That fixed the Header glitch (big empty space) yesterday afternoon. Maybe TTP and Steve know what this gibberish means. What the heck is "important" in a code?

#header-inner {
    width: 1000px !important;

51. Deer dad : STAG. Sweet clue.

53. French 101 infinitive : ETRE

54. Mascara applicator : WAND. Flirt! Far Out for Splinter!

56. University URL ending : EDU

57. Pelt : FUR

58. H-like Greek vowel : ETA

After reading all the comments/emails, I've decided to keep the old Template for the time being. Thanks for the quick feedback for my various bumbling quests yesterday, everyone. Can't tell in words how lucky I am to have loyal & caring readers like you. 


Feb 15, 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013, Donna S. Levin

Theme: OLA mi amigos y amigas:

A Friday offering from one of our favorite puzzle makers. I can hear the joy in Hahtoolah's voice already. Each of the theme answers has OLA added to create a new and whimsical phrase. A very tight puzzle with low word and block count, and some excellent long fill such as CATHODE,  CHARITY,  ROSIEST,  STAYS AT, FUNNY LADY,  SEMICOLON. The theme are two across and two down, with the reveal dead center, creating another visually pleasing grid. Not too much deception, just solid fill and cluing.

20A. Catch that's burnt sienna and cerulean? : CRAYOLA FISH. CRAYFISH (or crawfish, or crawdads) are lobster like creatures and burnt sienna and cerulean are colors in the really big box of crayola crayons. 

53A. Result of Pepsi shortages? : COLA RATIONS. C Rations are now passe, replaced with MREs, but the prospect of having to ration Pepsi probably would upset some. Like mb's TENG, you have to see how to parse the answer or it becomes very hard.

11D. Bootblack's buffer : SHINOLA PAD. I do not know if this brand of shoe polish is till sold, but then again, I don't know S*** from Shinola,  though I would wear a shin pad if I played soccer.

29D. Spec on an architect's blueprint? : CUPOLA SIZE. The funny little things on top of houses, churches etc. Dennis will deliver his scintillating lecture later on CUP SIZE and sensitivity.

37A. Paid endorsement, in slang, and an apt title for this puzzle : PLUGOLA. I am much more familiar with the term PAYOLA, for what DJ's were paid to play certain records, but this is the unifier.


1. AOL and NetZero : ISPS. Internet Service Providers.

5. Alley biters : CURS. The wild dogs which haunt and hunt in alleys.

9. Like some questions : YES/NO. TRUE/FALSE, most cross-examination is intended to be yes no.

14. Medieval defense : MOAT. Kinda out of style with flying ships and artillery.

15. Slim woodwind : OBOE.

16. Having a designated assignment : AD HOC. LINK.

17. Intangible quality : AURA. The tree huggers are forever seeing people's aurae.

18. Rise dramatically : LOOM. This was tricky, even though accurate, as in the specter of doom loomed over Gotham City.

19. Capital name derived from an Arabic term for "the conqueror" : CAIRO. A learning moment for me.

23. "Platoon" war zone : NAM. This MOVIE (1:51) from back when Charlie Sheen was an actor.

24. Peevish mood : SNIT. I always picture marti in a snit when she finds a nit.

25. Battery terminal : CATHODE. You need to know ions and positive and negative charges, I will let one of our resident experts expatiate.

27. Not just search for : LOCATE.

30. Adenoid, e.g. : TONSIL. When I was young it was quite common to have all of your adenoids and tonsils removed, these tissue caused problems. I still have all of mine.

31. Reclassification of 2006 : PLUTO. It lost its status as a planet, which so far has not been accepted by astrologers.

32. Soufflé recipe word : FOLD.  A tricky dish for most of us, so here is your CHANCE..

33. One of the Smurfs : PAPA. How blue are you?

36. The world total was approx. $70 trillion in 2011 : GDP. Gross Domestic Product.

40. Say nothing good about : PAN. Made famous by critics. This usage may come from the term panning for gold, from which also get, it did not pan out.

41. Dating from : AS OF.

43. "___ uncertain world..." : IN AN. The book, the movie?

44. Hit on the head : BRAIN. Pretty logical.

46. Napery : LINENS. Same root as Napkin.

48. Charley, in Steinbeck's "Travels With Charley" : POODLE. A standard, not a toy.

49. Tax-exempt entity, usually : CHARITY. There are so many tax exempts.

51. Ergo : THUS. How simple and perfect.

52. "___ So Fine": Chiffons hit : HE'S. A Classic TUNE.(1:51)

58. Roll out of bed : ARISE.

60. Dollar alternative : AVIS. Another deception, as who thinks rental cars first.

61. Airline with blue-striped jets : EL AL. The colors of Israel.

62. Slips through the cracks : OOZES. Fun clue.

63. They may be loaded : DICE. Tinman and his friends just would not fit.

64. Rest area rester : SEMI. Truck stop would have been too easy.

65. Dog in a horned helmet : SNERT. Hagar the Horrible's dog, or Snot Nosed Egotistical Rude Teen-ager.

66. Chatty bovines? : YAKS. Nice play on the meanings of YAK.

67. Nailed obliquely : TOED. Splynter can give you all the expert info.


1. Eye-catching Apple : IMAC. Is this and I to eye pun?

2. Grow displeased : SOUR. We are barely on the downs, so hang in there.

3. Normal beginning? : PARAnormal. A movie as well.

4. Patronizes, in a way : STAYS AT. The best way to patronize an inn or hotel.

5. Herding dog : COLLIE. Lassie, where are you?

6. Member of the Kaiser's fleet : U-BOAT.

7. Heliport site : ROOF. The need to land high to avoid power lines.

8. Wink without batting an eye? : SEMICOLON. ;)   LOL (From C.C.: My mistake earlier. Lemonade had the correct sign earlier.)

9. Marina Del Rey craft : YACHTS.

10. Author LeShan : EDA. Sorry, H. but “When we cannot bear to be alone, it means we do not properly value the only companion we will have from birth to death - ourselves.” ― Eda LeShan

12. "Wargames" org. : NORAD. North American Aerospace Defense Command is not a true Acronym, even though there is an R in there somewhere.

13. Carol start : O COME. all ye faithful.

21. Victorious : ON TOP. But not always necessary.

22. Common '80's-'90s failure : S AND L. Savings and Loan. Such complicated times.

26. Cool : HIP.

27. Stacy Lewis's org. : LPGA. Ladies Professional Golf Association, Stacy overcame scoliosis to make it to the top of the sport, though 15 year old Lydia Ko from NZ seems ready to brush all aside.

28. Auto pioneer : OLDS. This famous RANSOM.

30. Senate wear : TOGAS. Romans, not ours.

32. 1975 film sequel : FUNNY LADY. Sequel to Funny Girl, both Barbra Streisand vehicles based on the life of Fanny Brice.

34. Water holder : PAIL. On my bucket list.

35. Fantasy author McCaffrey : ANNE. If you like fiction and fantasy you will love her BOOKS.

38. Deceive : LIE TO.

39. Near : ABOUT. Why do I hear this word in my head said by a Canadian, Eh?

42. Cone home : FIR. Cone home, E.T.

45. Least pessimistic : ROSIEST. Ah, we fall into a good mood whether we want one or not.

47. Superlatively sweet : NICEST. marti's picture is next to this word in the dictionary.

48. Stages : PHASES. n excuse for bad behavior.

49. Opposite of order : CHAOS. I love Jeff Goldblum as the Chaos theoretician in Jurassic Park.

50. Shoebill's cousin : HERON. You can see how birds came from dinosaurs.

51. Ruse : TRICK. Or treat!

54. New Balance rival : AVIA. Are they hanging in with the inroads from Nike and Sketchers?

55. Dairy bar : OLEO. Misleading but already in by perps.

56. Identify : NAME. I loved the Lloyd Thaxton show where you had to identify songs, like Name That Tune for Rock and Roll.

57. Decreases : SLID. Well my energy is sliding into oblivion.

59. Msg. from the Bible : SERmon.

Well I guess my preaching for the day is done, so go and enjoy your day and the holiday if you celebrate the Presidents. I want to welcome all the newbies again. It is fun to watch the Corner evolve and survive.


Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to our Hondo Hurricane, an avid San Francisco Giants fan since 1948, rookie season of Clinton Hartung whose nickname is "The Hondo Hurricane".  Hondo also deals with vintage baseball cards. I bet he has touched or even sold  a Topps '52 Mantle. The closest I've ever been to that card is seeing it under a glass case at a card show. $1600 price tag. I can't remember its exact grading.

Jan 3, 2013

Thursday, January 3, 2013 Donna S. Levin

Theme: "Critical Reviews"

20. Critic's complaint about the new restaurant "Godot"? : ENDLESS WAITS. Refers to the book titled "Waiting for Godot." No one likes to wait for service.

28. Critic's complaint about the new restaurant "Charley Horse"? : CRAMPED SPACE. Leg cramps are a common football injury. Is the etymology the same as for confined spaces?

43. Critic's complaint about the new restaurant "Moon"? : NO ATMOSPHERE. Well, I guess the restaurant would have to have air, otherwise the soufflé wouldn't puff up! But the atmosphere in a restaurant is the ambiance.

52. Critic's complaint about the new restaurant "Double Fault"? : INEPT SERVICE. I just had a mental picture of a waiter flinging the food orders to the tables using a tennis racket! That would really be inept!

Marti here to clear up, or in some cases - obfuscate - otherwise perfectly reasonable clues and answers!


1. Old Italian capital : LIRA.

5. "See ya!" : CIAO.

9. Head lights : HALOS. Were you fooled by this clue?

14. Land with a red, white and green flag : IRAN. And a clecho with 16-Across. One whose land has a red, white and green flag : OMANI.

15. Monroe of the NBA : EARL. National Basketball Association's Vernon EARL Monroe, known for his flamboyant dribbling. He scored over 1,000 points in nine of his thirteen professional seasons!

17. King whose true height is the subject of much discussion : KONG. It ranges from 18 to 60 feet, depending on the setting.

18. Urban hazard : SMOG.

19. Watch from hiding : SPY ON.

23. Clooney/Damon film about the oil industry : SYRIANA. No idea. Generally positive reviews, though.

24. Like some German nouns : NEUTER.  Interesting GIF showing the differences among language groups. But, take it with a grain of salt as there seems to be some dispute about its accuracy.

31. Druid or Wiccan : PAGAN.

34. Baseball stats : RBISRun Batted In(s).

35. Ad trailer? : HOC. Not a commercial teaser, but a word that comes after ("trails") the word "ad." Ad hoc committees are typically designated for one purpose only. Latin for "to this" (purpose.)  All clear now? Or just obfuscated?

36. Like two, say : EVEN.

37. Biblical queendom : SHEBA.

39. Cuba libre ingredient : COLA. I think the "l" in "libre" should be capitalized in the name of the drink.  But maybe that's just a...

40. Tiny gripe : NIT.

41. Seaman's saint : ELMO. AKA "Saint Erasmus."

42. Censor : BLEEP. I hope C.C. doesn't have to BLEEP anything I have written here!

47. Snare : ENTRAP.

48. The Beatles' Rigby : ELEANOR. Now for a musical interlude. 2:07

55. Buccaneers' home : TAMPA. Josh Freeman is their first 4,000 yard passer, but he is still questionable as next year's QB because of his erratic performance.

58. Univ. drilling gp. : ROTCReserve Officers' Training Corps.

59. Pre-deal request : ANTE.

60. Glorify : EXALT.

61. "___ Plenty o' Nuttin": Gershwin song : I GOT. From the American opera "Porgy and Bess." 2:40

62. Nerd : GEEK.

63. Conical abode : TEPEE.

64. Ages : EONS.

65. They aren't exact: Abbr. : ESTS. Estimates.


1. Approves, on Facebook : LIKES.

2. Swift strength : IRONY. Jonathan Swift's best-known work, "Gulliver's Travels," is more satirical than ironic, IMHO.

3. Time off, briefly : R AND RRest and Recreation.

4. The Archbishop of Canterbury, e.g. : ANGLICAN.

5. Big name in small planes : CESSNA. I learned the other day that they are also a big name in jets...

6. First line of a Seuss classic : I AM SAM.

7. "... maids all in ___" : A ROW.

8. Contemporary of Nadia : OLGA. Nadia Comaneci and OLGA Korbut, who won hearts in the '70s with their sparkling gymnastics routines during the summer olympics.

9. Bankrupt baker : HOSTESS. Don't worry, any remaining Twinkies on store shelves will still be good into the next century.

10. Increases a few notches : AMPS UP.

11. Nonexpert : LAY. Not only a religious connotation.  It also refers to anyone who is not schooled in the technicalities of a specific field.

12. 2011 Hiroshima Art Prize winner : ONO. A Thursday-level clue for a Monday-level entry.

13. Go astray : SIN.

21. Work for : EARN.

22. Taj Mahal locale : INDIA. More specifically, Agra.

25. Chevy SUV : TAHOE.

26. Place to learn in Lyons : ECOLE. French for "school."

27. Postgame staple : RECAP. Like putting their kneecaps back on after a rough football game?

29. Prepping place : PRE-OP. For re-capping knees?

30. Wane : EBB.

31. Pasta often served alla vodka : PENNE. Yummm. I could eat pasta every night of the week!

32. Air France fleet member : AVION. French for "aircraft."

33. Imply : GET AT.

37. Incline : SLOPE. I'll be hitting the slopes this weekend!

38. Pinafore opening : HMS. Cute clue for the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta.

39. Décolletage revelation : CLEAVAGEUgly dress. Does the cleavage make up for it, guys?

41. Spring (from) : EMANATE.

42. Uncle Remus title : BR'ER. Short for "brother."

44. Rare hit for most catchers : TRIPLE.

45. "Ben-Hur" Oscar winner : HESTON. Charlton. More décolletage, but this time for the ladies.

46. Votes in : ELECTS.

49. Dressing extreme? : NINES. Did everyone dress to the nines for New Year's Eve?

50. Two trios and a duo : OCTET.

51. Stinks : REEKS.

53. ___-dieu : PRIE. French for "Pray [to] God."

54. Ghana's neighbor to the east : TOGO. They have great take-out, I understand...

55. Vietnamese celebration : TET.

56. Tool that's swung : AXE.

57. Navigator's guide : MAP. I rely on Siri to guide me.

See you all next week!


Oct 4, 2012

Thursday, October 4, 2012 Donna S. Levin

Theme: Peace!

20A. Game with a windmill, usually : MINIATURE GOLF. It's the creepy clowns that get to me...

31A. Uncle Remus rogue : BR'ER RABBIT

41A. Insect honored on a 1999 U.S. postage stamp : DUNG BEETLE

And the revealer:
53A. Literally meaning "driving enjoyment," slogan once used by the maker of the ends of 20-, 31- and
41-Across : FAHRVERGNUGEN. From the German "fahr" (driving) and "vergnugen" (pleasure). The Volkswagen models in the theme entries are highlighted in red.

Easiest Thursday puzzle in a long time. Donna Levin's puzzles are always so smooth. I suppose "Fahrvergnugen" is not a Monday-friendly word, otherwise this puzzle could easily qualify. The clues seemed all straightforward, with not a lot of misdirection.


1. They sit at stands : CABS

5. Check out with nefarious intent : CASE. As in, "Case the joint".

9. Gyneco-'s opposite : ANDRO. I am from Venus, and you are from Mars?

14. Really cruel guy : OGRE

15. ABA member : ATTY. America Bar Association.

16. Man-trap : SIREN

17. Grievously wound : MAIM

18. Approach : NEAR

19. Thirteenth Amendment beneficiary : SLAVE

23. "___ takers?" : ANY

24. Big shots : VIPS

25. Requiring an adult escort : R-RATED

28. Big London attraction? : BEN. The bell, not the clock, in "Queen Elizabeth Tower".

29. Handy set : KIT. Remember Handy Andy tool kits?

30. Former despot Amin : IDI

36. Big butte : MESA. (Does this plain make me look fat?)

37. Bootcut Skinny brand : LEVIS. (Do these jeans make me look fat?)

38. PC interconnection : LAN

39. Like proofed dough : RISEN

40. Dueler's choice : EPEE

43. Make a booboo : ERR

44. ___ Lingus : AER.

45. Article in Der Spiegel : EIN

46. Not at all out of the question : DOABLE

48. "Shucks!" : DANG

50. Friend of Francois : AMI

56. Popular household fish : TETRA

58. Princess with an earmuff-like hair style : LEIA (Whatever was she thinking?)

59. Lose color : FADE

60. "If ___ Would leave You" : EVER I. From Camelot. 3:10

61. Sea decimated by Soviet irrigation projects : ARAL

62. Done : OVER

63. Removal of govt. restrictions : DEREG

64. Lucie's dad : DESI. Didn't we just have her?

65. Boarding pass datum : SEAT


1. "I, Claudius" feature : COMMA. Because "autobiographical novel" wouldn't fit...

2. Piano teacher's command : AGAIN.

3. Like pickle juice : BRINY

4. Big rig : SEMI

5. Ensenada bar : CANTINA

6. Devoured : ATE UP

7. Headlines : STARS

8. Rochester's love : EYRE

9. Categorize : ASSORT

10. Nabisco cookie brand : NILLA

11. Most in need of insulation : DRAFTIEST

12. Gun : REV. Rev the engine.

13. Individual : ONE

21. Declares : AVERS

22. Spunk : GRIT

26. Four-wheeled flop : EDSEL

27. Title name in Mellencamp's "little ditty" : DIANE. Great ditty! 4:31

28. Runny fromage : BRIE. Not exactly "runny", per se. Just really soft.  "Fromage" is French for "cheese."

29. Powerful pair of checkers : KING. "King me!"

31. Run, as colors : BLEED

32. Copy, for short : REPRO

33. Eternally : EVER AFTER

34. Get fuzzy : BLUR. Like things get after a few beers?

35. Prohibition : BAN

36. Appearance : MIEN

39. Run the country : REIGN

41. Antelope playmate : DEER. "Where the deer and the antelope play..."

42. Language of South Asia : BENGALI

44. Secretary of state after Ed Muskie : AL HAIG

47. Support for practicing pls : BARRE

48. Farmers' John : DEERE. Maker of tractors, not the outhouse.

49. Diva specialties : ARIAS

50. Sonoran succulent : AGAVE

51. Jason's jilted wife : MEDEA. Play by Euripides.

52. Like helium : INERT

54. "Impaler" of Romanian history : VLAD

55. Sci-fi staples : UFOS

56. Rocker Nugent : TED. 

57. Night before : EVE.

Answer grid.

That's all I have for this week!  As I said, straightforward puzzle and clues that didn't really need any help from me.


Jun 7, 2012

Thursday, June 7, 2012 Donna S. Levin

Theme: Shock and Awe (overwhelming power and spectacular displays of force...)

16A. Four-legged comfort giver : THERAPY DOG. Golden Retrievers are great dogs for this job. SHOCK THERAPY. Nurse Ratched, revisited entry? (I believe the link is Jack Nicholson in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)

23A. Budget-friendly fast food offering : VALUE MEAL. A McDonalds offering is one of the main causes of obesity in this country. Now also a huge concern in Europe. SHOCK VALUE: How to provoke a reaction of disgust. (You can provide your own link here...)

37A. Coming trend : WAVE OF THE FUTURE. And we have an atomic SHOCK WAVE.

49A. Locker room laundry item : JOCKSTRAP. The one theme entry that is a compound word. Visions of dirty jockstraps..."Eeew". SHOCK JOCK like (warning: offensive language!!) this guy.

60A. Seismic phenomenon, and where you might find the starts of 16-, 23-, 37- and 49-Across : AFTERSHOCK. So the first words of the theme entries can follow (come "after") the word "shock".

Marti here, so let's see what else we have on the plate today...


1. Play the court clown? : JEST

5. "Mad Men" subject, familiarly : AD BIZ

10. Rapper ___ Def, now known as Yasiin Bey : MOS. Why do rappers feel they have to change their names all the time? Born Dante Terrell Smith...

13. Use copperplate, perhaps : ETCH

14. Mountain, on Hawaii : MAUNA. Loa, Kea, Lani, Lai...

15. Four-sided fig. : RECT.angle.

18. The "merry" part of a "merry game" : ALAI. From the Basque for "jai" = Celebration, and "Alai" = merry. My uncle was doing some genealogy research and found that grandfather's ancestors came from the Basque country in France. He was excited to discover this, and wrote to my mother "I never knew we were all basquards!"

19. Domingo et al. : TENORS

20. Old-time desk accessory : INKWELL

22. "Spartacus" setting : ARENA

25. Low spirits : GLOOM

27. Inventing initials : TAE. Thomas Alva Edison.

28. Compete : VIE

31. "Heidi" setting : ALPS

33. Pertaining to birth : NATAL

41. Empty-headed Mortimer : SNERD

42. "And ___ bed" : SO, TO. From Samuel Pepys Diary?

43. "Today" rival, briefly : GMA. Good Morning America.

44. Cheer syllable : SIS...boom...baa!

46. Out in the sticks : RURAL

53. Retro beer : PABST. Retro? I think it is still sold in stores, right?

57. Indian spiced drink : CHAI TEA

58. Sell out : BETRAY

59. Gift from the god Jupiter Pluvius : RAIN. From the Latin "pluvia", meaning rain.

63. Sea eagle : ERNE

64. Half of a classic comedy team : MEARA. Other half was Stiller, in the '60s-'70s.

65. Raison d'___ : ETRE. "Reason for being". Mine is to do this write-up every Thursday...

66. Itsy-bitsy : WEE

67. Overseas misses: Abbr. : SRTAS. Spanish señoritas.

68. "100" symbols, in Greek numerals : RHOS. Link to Rho.  Derived from the Phonecian "Res" which looks like this:


1. Beetle relative : JETTA. Volkswagen model. And 28-down: 1-Downs, for short : VWS

2. Out-of-use anesthetic : ETHER

3. Big fuss : SCENE

4. Big crowd : THRONG

5. Tour Bus cargo : AMPS. Rock star tour bus, that is. Not to be confused with these.

6. Light interval : DAY

7. Pal : BUD. Not to be confused with this.

8. How anchovies are packed : IN OIL

9. Hershey's peanut butter bar : ZAGNUT. Never had one.

10. Brawl : MELEE

11. City on I-75 : OCALA. Florida. Map.

12. Moonshiner's apparatus : STILL

15. Steak tartare, primarily : RAW MEAT. My ultimate surf and turf: tartare and raw sushi tuna!!

17. Shrinking sea : ARAL. But it is growing again, thanks to conservation efforts.

21. He played Kevin in "The Devil's Advocate" : KEANU. Reeves.

23. Battery count : VOLTS

24. Two-handled Greek vase : AMPHORA. These would be called "amphorae".

26. Lummox : OAF

29. First name of the swimmer dubbed the "Thorpedo" : IAN. Thorpe. Australian.

30. Night to party, maybe : EVE

32. Frame : SETUP

34. Harbor helper : TUG

35. "Long" legal weapon? : ARM. Like the long arm of the law?

36. Pasture : LEA

38. "Tobacco Road" writer Caldwell : ERSKINE

39. One writing to things, perhaps : ODIST

40. Pro : FOR

45. Gently unwrinkles : STEAMS

47. Sci-fi planet inhabitants : APES

48. Agitated state : LATHER. "Don't get all in a lather."

49. L.L. Bean competitor : J CREW

50. Midway alternative : O'HARE. Chicago airports.

51. Queeg's command : CAINE

52. '50s-'60s decathlete Johnson : RAFER. Rafer Johnson. Hands up for those who remembered him, without perps?

54. Challenge for a surplus of cooks? : BROTH. "Too many cooks spoil the broth."

55. Prefix with iliac : SACRO

56. Moppets : TYKES

58. '60s bonfire burnings : BRAS. OK gals, 'fess up: did you ever burn one?

61. Make lace : TAT

62. Diamond stat : ERA. Earned Run Average: I learned from C.C.'s puzzles!

Answer grid.

That's all for this week: "And SO, TO bed..."


From C.C.:

Here is Part II of Kazie's travel to Spain. The last one reminded me of my hometown Xi'An, another walled city.