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

May 18, 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012 Donna Levin

Theme: "I have a new leash on life!!" Dog puns, what could be better? Animals and puns in one puzzle? You are my new heroine, Donna Levin!!

17A. Blue-tongued dog in the canine version of the "Twilight" series? : CHOW BELLA. "Ciao, bella" ("Hello, beautiful") is a typical Italian greeting. I lived in Milano for a while, and don't remember hearing this expression said to me...

25A. Powerful dog that loves a Passover staple? : MATZO ROTTIE. "Maserati". More Italian - this time, a cool sports car.

37A. Rumbas for retrievers? : LAB DANCES. "Lap dances"...(Uh, C.C., am I allowed to link this??)

51A. Engages in toy dog smuggling? : SNEAKS A PEKE. "Sneaks a peek". Take a peek at this one. Cute!

61A. Scholarly little Spitz? : POM READER. "Palm reader". Now, here's a good pom reader!

Marti here again...Sorry you have to endure 'me' two days in a row - Lemon is not available, and asked me to blog today. So, I guess this is your "punishment" for not having any puzzles to critique from me this month. Anyhoo....let's see what Donna has in store for us today:


1. Stretch in the womb : TERM. I wanted "mark". Ugh, use lots of cocoa butter!!

5. Stare open-mouthed : GAWP. I love that word..."To gape or gawk". For you Jerome: GWAP.

9. Sauce made with pine nuts : PESTO. Jeannie, where are you? Here is her

Makes about 1 cup
10 garlic scapes, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan (to taste and texture)
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
About 1/2 cup olive oil
Sea salt

Put the scapes, 1/3 cup of the cheese, pine nuts and half the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. Whir to chop and blend all the ingredients and then add the remainder of the oil and, if you want, more cheese. If you like the texture, stop; if you'd like it a little thinner, add some more oil. Season with salt. I usually serve it on crusty bread, but it’s also killer tossed with pasta and shrimp.

(My comment: Yummmmm!)

14. Samoa's capital : APIA. (You may have to zoom in to see "Apia" on this link.)

15. Flier since 1948 : EL AL. Israeli airline.

16. Different : OTHER. Not me!

19. Madame Gorbachev : RAISA. Classy lady.

20. Numerical prefix : TETRA. Oh, please, Donna! Give me a hint, at least!! Penta-, hepta-, ennea-, (Get the whole list, here.)

21. Trans Am option : T-TOP. Like this. And 68A. 21-Across, e.g. : ROOF. And 23 D. T-Mobile competitor : ATT. I switched from T-Mobile and a Blackberry to ATT and an i-Phone.

24. Promise preceding a pronouncement : I DO. (Did I really say that????)

29. Tireless campaign : CRUSADE. Lancelot from yesterday, where are you?

31. Partial : BIASED. I think I am a little biased about this puzzle.

32. Convenient encl. : SASE. Self Addressed Stamped Envelope.

33. Body sci. : ANAT.omy

36. Secondary railroad line : SPUR

40. Crockpot concoction : STEW. Julia Child's "Stew" from "Mastering the Art of French Cooking"is a little more complicated than making one in a crockpot, but well worth it. Here is the recipe - try it!

42. "Go on!" : SHOO. SCAT! SCRAM! SCOOT!

43. Victor's wife, in "Casablanca" : ILSA. Ohhh, melt me now. My favorite movie...along with Fermatprime, Husker Gary, AvgJoe, Lucina, BillG, Yellowrocks...Misty, have you watched it yet????

47. "Magnificent" mystic : CARNAC. Johnny Carson. "Sis Boom BAAAA". Priceless!!

49. Sources of local college tension : TOWNIES

54. Smidgen : BIT

55. ___ certain age : OF A. Me? Noooo...

56. Place for Sundance? : ETTA. HaHa, fun clue. Etta Place was the schoolmarm who was The Sundance Kid's flame. (But Paul Newman "Butch Cassidy" got to take her for a "ride"). 5:00. Katharine Ross, who could forget??.

57. Nepal rumbler : RHINO. I saw a white rhino and her baby at the Basel Zoo. The baby kept gamboling around, and I could just hear the mother saying "Will you PLEEEZE stop?!?!?"

59. Off : NOT ON. OK, so maybe I was NOT ON yesterday?

64. Mardi Gras parade group : KREWE. I just learned this fact from my friends last year. They live in Metairie, and invited us to their KREWE parade. I bet this was a gimme for Hahtoolah!!

65. Medicinal house plant : ALOE

66. Japanese sandal : ZORI. This footwear.

67. Tacked on : ADDED

69. Firenze pronoun : ESSA. Italian for Itt? OK, I'm just being smart-alecky. "Essa" means "It" in Italian. Thank goodness, I lived there and know what they wanted with this clue!

Halfway there....


1. Maneuvers : TACTICS

2. FDA-banned herbal supplement : EPHEDRA. Huh, it has been used by the Chinese for the treatment of allergies and hay fever for 5000 years. But the US banned it as of 2004? Who would you believe? C.C., I need your advice!! (C.C.: I can't tell, Marti, I've never used Ephedra.)

3. Not just funny : RIOTOUS. Slap my knees!

4. Bryn-___ College : MAWR. I always wondered where the word "Mawr" came from. It means "Big Hill" in Wales. Who knew?

5. "Fancy that!" : GEE. Gee, who knew?

6. To a man : ALL

7. Chopin work : WALTZ. Woo-Hoooh, finally, a chance to link music!! 3:53

8. "Phaedo" philosopher : PLATO.

9. Mammal whose name derives from the Latin words for "pig" and "fish" : PORPOISE. I love learning derivations of words, and this clue gives me two!

10. Greek vowel : ETA. Greek "Alpha, beta, gamma, delta, epsilon, zeta, ETA !! (Or, "Estimated Time of Arrival", at LAX..)

11. Acupressure technique : SHIATSU. Ooooooh...I love my shiatsu massages! (aahhh!)

12. More cranky: TESTIER. Or, like some worse audiences? (Unshameful plug, sorry!)

13. Spoke : ORATED

18. Ole Miss rival : BAMA. Fun clue -- DH went to 'Ole Miss, so this was a gimme!

22. Sphere : ORB

26. Very little : A DAB. "A little dab'l do ya!" (Is she talking about his hair, or something else...)

27. Watches over : TENDS

28. Sinks an easy putt : TAPS IN. OK, so Husker Gary, was this a "tap in" for you??

30. 1993 Best Mexican-American Album Grammy winner : SELENA. "I'd like to thank..."

34. "Open wide" response : AAH

35. Govt. issue : T-NOTE. Treasury note. A good, solid investment. But not as promising as a scratch ticket (We're rich!!) (..were rich). (Thanks, Desper-otto!!)

38. Came to : AWAKENED

39. Falsify, as books : COOK. Oh no!, see 40A!!

40. Redd's Fred : SANFORD. Really? I have to link this sit-com?

41. Took care of : TREATED

44. Freudian principles : LIBIDOS. Oooooh, I could go all DF here...

45. Dragnet users : SEINERS. Hmph, I was all ready to say "WTF"??? but, then I gg'd this and realized how stupid I am...

46. New York's Waldorf-___ : ASTORIA

47. Dolphins Hall of Famer Larry : CSONKA. Made me think of this guy...but no, they are talking about this guy...

48. St. Paul hrs. : CST. Central Standard Time.

50. Used to be : WERE. (See 35-D)

52. Stock phrase : AT PAR

53. Author of epistolas : PAOLO. Um, I think I would know these as the "Epistles of St. Paul"?

58. Visibility hamperer : HAZE. Myopia, macular degeneration, cataracts..hey, at our age, you have a lot of issues!

60. Be a bit shy : OWE. Fun clue for "being in debt".

62. Jersey sound : MOO. Of course, we are talking about these Jerseys, not these, from "Jersey Shore".

63. Flag carrier : REF. OK, ref, don't judge me for my blog today!!

Answer grid.

Not the same time, but I'll see you next week!


Mar 12, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012 Donna S. Levin

Theme: American Girl Guides - Happy Anniversary, for today's theme. The first meeting was held 100 years ago today. Bio for Juliette Gordon Low.

17A. Motto of 50-Across : "BE PREPARED". Used by Boy and Girl Scouts around the world.

50A. Organization that held its first troop meeting 3/12/1912 : GIRL SCOUTS. The name was adopted a year later.

11D. Founder of 50-Across : JULIETTE LOW

25D. Popular funding source for 50-Across : COOKIE SALES.

Argyle here but it should be Dennis; he likes his Girl Scouts' cookies. What's your opinion of them?

Donna delivered a decent puzzle despite the constraints of the theme and a grid divided into three parts, or five parts, depending on how you view the one square connections between them.


1. Professional org. : ASSOC. I paused thinking it meant a particular org.

6. Like bachelor parties : STAG

10. Slightly open : AJAR

14. Gift from an oyster : PEARL. (apocryphal Dorothy Parker witticism) "The two ladies were trying to get out of a doorway at the same time. Clare drew back and cracked, “Age before beauty, Miss Parker.” As Dotty swept out, she turned to the other guests and said. “Pearls before swine.”"

15. Old El Paso product : TACO

16. General principle : RULE

19. Whodunit hint : CLUE

20. Org. for mature audiences only? : AARP

21. "Small" allegations : CLAIMS. Small claims court but the "small" varies greatly from state to state. Site.

23. Climbs : ASCENDS

27. Common takeout cuisine : CHINESE

28. Seats at the bar : STOOLS

29. Hot-platter stand : TRIVET

30. State flower of Indiana : PEONY

31. Argentina neighbor : CHILE

32. Sunbather's goal : TAN

35. Invisible or indelible fluids : INKs

36. Practiced, as a trade : PLIED

37. Video game giant : SEGA

38. Show with regional spinoffs : CSI

39. Epic : GRAND

40. Pastrami peddlers : DELIs

41. Donkey of kiddie lit : EEYORE

43. Giant among Giants : MEL OTT. Wow, full name. And 4D. Bobby of hockey : ORR. Full name between the clue and the answer.

44. Actor Armand : ASSANTE. This gentleman.

46. Clean up, as one's toys : PUT AWAY

47. Pure as the driven snow : CHASTE

48. Capitol topper : DOME. That's Capitol with an 'O'.

49. Easter bloom : LILY

56. Vicinity : AREA

57. Airline that serves only kosher meals : EL AL

58. Patty Hearst's nom de guerre : TANIA. (For desper-otto.)

59. Pigsty, so to speak : MESS

60. Hardwood trees : ELMS

61. Enjoyed Aspen : SKIED. (For Marti.)


1. Police dept.'s "Be on the lookout!" alert : APB. (All Points Bulletin)

2. Observe : SEE

3. Sticky trunk stuff : SAP. From what I hear, it's running good but the syrup is on dark side this year.

5. With no mistakes : CLEANLY

6. Red carpet interviewees : STARS

7. Rain delay roll-out : TARP

8. Expert : ACE

9. Baby sponsored at a baptism : GODCHILD

10. Mysterious : ARCANE. Can be confused with archaic.

12. Reunion attendees, for short : ALUMS

13. Witherspoon of "Walk the Line" : REESE. As June Carter.

18. Walks on little cat feet : PADS. "The fog comes on little cat feet."

22. In real time : LIVE

23. Fancy-shmancy jelly : ASPIC

24. British submachine guns : STENS. A crossword staple but the Bren is used sometimes.

26. Eternities, seemingly : EONS

27. Shed some tears : CRIED

29. Yours of yore : THINE

31. Saint of Assisi : CLARE. (Beware, sometimes spelled Clair, Claire, etc.)

33. High anxiety : AGITA. (Agitation)

34. Objectionable, as a habit : NASTY

36. Eliza Doolittle, to Henry Higgins : PROTÉGÉE

37. "The Fugitive" actress Ward : SELA

39. Ibsen's "Peer __" : GYNT

40. Picks up on : DETECTS

42. Courses taken to boost one's GPA : EASY A's

43. Many-petaled flowers, familiarly : MUMS

44. Happy as __ : A CLAM

45. British county : SHIRE

46. Surveys : POLLS

48. Wee bit o' Scotch, say : DRAM

51. Under the weather : ILL

52. Tree on the Connecticut quarter : OAK

53. Prefix with verse : UNI

54. Deadlock : TIE

55. Unhappy : SAD


Note from C.C.:

1) Here is a picture of Husker Gary's wife (right) and her twin sister (Greek dad and Bohemian mother) at the Nebraska Boy's State Basketball Championship in Lincoln. He said "Many people say they look identical but I have never seen it."

2) To make the Preview button work, please click the Restore Down button (between Minimize & Close on the upper right corner of your computer). Thanks for figuring it out, Argyle. And D-otto for the reminder this morning.

Feb 29, 2012

Wednesday, February 29 2012 Donna S. Levin

Theme: Tread Carefully. Each of the three theme answers start with a quagmire. Don't get sucked under!

20A. Shooter of soft confections : MARSHMALLOW GUN

36A. Minor motoring mishaps : FENDER BENDERS

53A. Strains credulity : BOGGLES THE MIND

66A. Overwhelm, or a relative of the first syllable of 20-, 36-, or 53-Across : SWAMP

Steve here. A jolly good-day to you all from London. You should try to "leap" over the marsh, fen, bog and swamp and keep your feet dry today. I needed the unifier to see the theme once I'd finished the puzzle, my smart-o-meter is obviously reading on the low side this morning.


1. Defense lawyers' adversaries, for short : ADAS. Assistant District Attorneys.

5. Otherwise : IF NOT

10. Smidgen : DRIB. Has anyone ever used its cousin DRAB to describe a small amount? I've only ever used them together.

14. Certain : SURE

15. Motored : DROVE

16. Agitate : RILE

17. Member of Hook's band : SMEE. As in "Hey, Peter Pan, S'me again"

18. Ear-related : AURAL. I've always liked how this is a homonym of ORAL.

19. Time-half link : AND A. As I'm in London I'm blogging at 3AM - does this mean I get time-and-a-half rates today?

23. Gp. that issues canine pedigrees : A.K.C. The American Kennel Club. Argyle's trio of bed-squatters from yesterday are all breeds recognized by this group.

24. Blue wearer, usually : COP. I tried BOY first and then DEM!

25. In reserve : ON ICE. Our friend Tinbeni would argue when he puts his scotch on ice he's definitely not planning to keep it in reserve.

26. Satchel __, aptly named dog in the comic "Get Fuzzy" : POOCH. What would the AKC make of him?

28. Make fun of : RAZZ

31. Beatty of "Deliverance" : NED. I saw a bumper sticker in Atlanta recently that read "Paddle faster, I hear banjos".

32. Formal coif, perhaps : UPDO. I learned this word right here on this blog.

33. More sleazy : SEAMIER

40. Exercise popularized by Jim Fixx : JOGGING. Is it true that Mr Fixx ironically suffered a fatal heart attack while jogging?

41. Tennis do-overs : LETS. As in "Let's do that again, the ball hit the net cord"?

43. JFK alternative in NYC : LGA. Airport named for New York City mayor Fiorello La Guardia. It's a sight to see at evening rush hour when upwards of 30 airplanes can be in line for take-off. It's not a happy sight when you're sitting on the 30th, as I can attest.

46. Certain stove filler : WOOD

47. In a convincing way : BY FAR

48. Palmer with an army : ARNIE. Arnold Palmer was one of the first professional sports figures represented by Mark McCormack's agency IMG, and laid the foundations for marketing "talent" as we know it today.

50. Show about Capote : TRU. Biopic about "In Cold Blood" author Truman.

52. Avenues of access : INS. Contrast with avenues of egress, OUTS.

58. Rock's partner : ROLL

59. "... never see __ lovely as ...": Kilmer : A POEM. Verse by Joyce, not her distant cousin Val.

60. Build a tree house : NEST

62. Chevy subcompact : AVEO. There's a lot of these here in London - perfect for the narrow streets and tight parking spaces.

63. __ firma : TERRA

64. Mötley __ : CRUE. The umlaut provides the hint that we're not looking for CREW here.

65. Greenhorn : TYRO

67. Overdone publicity : HYPE. Arnie's agency IMG might be accused of starting this phenomenon.


1. Obstinate beast : ASS

2. Dolt : DUMMKOPF. I doltishly tried DUMBKOPF before I realized I mustn't mix my languages in one word.

3. Alaska's 907, e.g. : AREA CODE. If you have friends in Hyder, Alaska (rather unlikely as only 97 people live there) you will need to dial 250 instead. Now you know.

4. Clairvoyant : SEER

5. Where Moscow is : IDAHO. 3D was tempting, but now I REALLY want to make a Sarah Palin joke.

6. Dowdy dresser : FRUMP

7. Author Ephron : NORA

8. Racetrack : OVAL. Not only are British racetracks not ovals, but it's up to local custom as to whether the horses (or cars, or motorcycles) race around them clockwise or counter-clockwise. American horses (or drivers, or riders) tend to get confused about this and don't do well here. Thankfully, the running track in the new Olympic stadium is an oval.

9. Tattle : TELL

10. Sketched : DRAWN

11. Welcome, as a new year : RING IN. Quasimodo gets Time-And-A-Half at New Year, what with all the ringing out the old and ringing in the new that he's responsible for.

12. Moniker for Mussolini : IL DUCE. "The Leader".

13. Hit with a pitch, in a way : BEANED. Were Columbia Pictures executives "Billy Beane'd" when they were "hit by the pitch" for the movie Moneyball?

21. Academic inst. : SCH. You can go to school on this abbreviation.

22. Seeped : OOZED

23. Kwik-E-Mart proprietor on "The Simpsons" : APU. It seems like a while since we've seen him in these parts - has he been on vacation?

27. "And" or "or," e.g.: Abbr. : CONJ. Conjunction.

28. Overly enthusiastic : RABID. I enjoy thinking about using figures of speech the "other way around" as in "Doctor, I'm rather alarmed, I think I was bitten by an overly-enthusiastic squirrel".

29. "I'm all for that!" : AMEN

30. Pizazz : ZING

33. Bell-shaped lily : SEGO

34. Therefore : ERGO. Cogito Ergo Sum - "I think, therefore I am". Roseus Ergo Caro Hormellus - "I'm pink, therefore I'm Spam"

35. Depend (on) : RELY

37. Fastening pin : DOWEL

38. Oil plant : REFINERY. Olde English proverb: "Redde skye at night, ye refinery's alight".

39. Gets to one's feet : STANDS UP

42. Jun. grads : SRS. Seniors graduate in June. My daughter is graduating in October, British universities do some very odd things.

43. Maze runner : LAB RAT. When I was transcribing the answers today I read this as "L.A. Brat" and wondered why I didn't remember seeing a clue for "Valley Girl"

44. Old-style "Cool!" : GROOVY. You can't hear this and not be humming it all day!

45. Rod-and-reel wielder : ANGLER

47. Mooch, as a smoke : BUM. Not here in London you don't, that's something quite different.

49. Domed home : IGLOO

50. Heat unit : THERM. Hopefully you can generate a few of these to warm your igloo.

51. Plot anew : REMAP

54. Welcome sign for a hungry traveler : EATS

55. Eject, as lava : SPEW. This seems to be in unfortunate proximity to the previous answer.

56. When tripled, a 1970 war film : TORA

57. Waistline unit : INCH. When my waistline unit expanded from inches through feet into more than a yard, I decided I needed to cut down on the EATS.

61. Golf bag item : TEE. My golf bag is also full of slices, hooks, shanks, pulls and muffs. I'll be using them all when I get back to California this weekend.

Answer grid.

Have a great leap day, everyone. Remember it only comes around every four years, so use it wisely!


Dec 21, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 Donna S. Levin

Theme: Je suis chaude* aka FEVER, aka "I got the hots!"

17A. Crisp cylindrical appetizer : SPRING ROLL. Translation from the Chinese, 春卷 (Thank you Wikipedia.) A rolled, filled appetizer common in Asian cuisine, with lots of local variation in wrapper, filling and nomenclature. SPRING FEVER: an ill-defined feeling of restlessness, excitement or laziness, brought about the onset of Spring.

27A. Tango necessity : DANCE PARTNER. One with whom you dance, natch. Example. DANCE FEVER: a disco-era TV variety show featuring couples in dance-off competitions.

38A. Jaunt that might get straw in your hair : HAY RIDE. I'll let Windhover riff on the differences between HAY and straw. (Sorry for the omission earlier.)

46A. Pleasure craft : CABIN CRUISER. A power boat with inside accommodations for passengers and crew. Pick the one you like. CABIN FEVER. A feeling of claustrophobia, restlessness, boredom and/or depression resulting from being confined for an extended period with little or nothing to do.

And the unifier: 63A. State of excitement (generated by the starts of 17-, 27-, 38- and 46-Across?) : FEVER PITCH. This also implies energetic or frenzied activity. Origin is not well known, but feverish can relate to an over-wrought or delirious state, so there might be that kind of connection.

* We recently had a discussion about how one must be careful in translating "I am hot," into German, with obvious opportunities for unintended misunderstanding. I believe the same hazards exist with translating into French, but will defer to the resident expert on such matters. Kazie?

Hi, gang. JazzBumpa here. Let's try not to get too overheated as we explore today's entry.


1. Powder for Junior : TALC. Talcum powder, sure. I don't like this kind of imprecise clue. How about for sis, or mom -- or dad, for that matter?

5. Cyberzines : E-MAGS. For virtual reading.

10. Sudden show of energy : BANG. "Sudden" is a bit of understatement for something explosive.

14. Ho-hum : BLAH. Bored with the banality. I can't remember the last time I was unbusy enough to feel that kind of blah.

15. Prepare for a road trip : GAS UP. Fuel for the auto.

16. Barbra's "Funny Girl" co-star : OMAR Sharif, aka Michael Demitri Shalhoub, an Egyptian actor best known for playing the part of a Russian. Funny how these things work out.

19. Iditarod destination : NOME. End point for the famous Alaskan dog sled race. Also the capital of Nome Man's land.

20. Brazil discoverer Cabral : PEDRO. Will anybody remember this historical fact the next time it comes up?

21. Season to be jolly : YULE. The Winter solstice, back in the day; now Christmas, etc. Be jolly, or YULE be sorry!

22. At liberty : FREE.

23. Founding father? : ADAM. Leading man from the Book of Genesis. Unlike Rhett, ADAM did give A DAMN. Especially after the encounter with that DAMN COBRA.

25. Superlatively spooky : EERIEST. Not to be confused with EYRIEST, superlatively like an Eagle's nest, or ERIEST, superlatively like that lake by Put-In Bay.

31. Collegiate climber : IVY. There has to be a great poem about those IVY covered walls. C.A,?

32. Fury : IRE. White hot anger. Can sometimes be seen at a FEVER PITCH.

33. Country with a five-sided flag : NEPAL. A small South-Asian country high in the Himalayan Mountains between China and India. The five-sided flag.

37. Strive : VIE. Not exactly. One may strive - that is, make great goal-directed effort totally alone, and disconnected from anything else. To VIE indicates competition for something. Per Mirriam-Webster on line, derivation is via Anglo-French envier to invite, call on, challenge.

41. Samuel Adams Summer __ : ALE. Now this is a popular topic at the corner. I've recently discovered Detroit Lager, and recommend it highly (so to speak.)

42. Words on a fictional cake : EAT ME. Alice in Wonderland.

44. Article in Le Monde? : UNE. More French.

45. 1988 Ryan/Quaid remake : D.O.A. Quaid plays Dexter Cornell, an English Professor who finds people around him dying, - well, murdered actually - and also gets comfort from Sydney Fuller, one of his students, played by Meg Ryan. I do find the thought of 1988 vintage (pre-technical augmentation) Meg Ryan to be rather comforting.

51. Collapsed : CAVED IN. Apt description.

54. Not domestic, as a flight: Abbr. : INTL. International

55. Available, as a job : OPEN. Not nearly enough of them these days.

56. Give __: okay : A NOD. A NOD of the head signals assent. A shake of the head - well . . . no.

58. Keebler staff : ELVES. Since all the ELVES went over to Keebler, Santa has had to hire a legion of replacement workers. He calls them subordinate Clauses.

62. Suds, so to speak : BEER. Do I detect a sub-theme - or a suds theme?

65. Auctioned auto : REPO. Short for repossessed. Not to be confused with the kind of person who needs a second exorcism.

66. Prepare for more printing : RE-INK. Ink fuels the printing press. In the future, it will be re-pixelate.

67. Radar's favorite pop : NEHI. Radar O'Reilly On M*A*S*H. One would assume it goes well with a Hungarian Hot Dog.

68. Vaulted recess : APSE. In a house of ill repute, such a niche is known as a sin APSE.

69. Supplement : ADD TO. Nothing more to say about this.

70. Privy to : IN ON.


1. 1/2 fl. oz. : TBSP. Tablespoon. Note Abrv. in Cl. & ans.

2. Mont Blanc, par exemple : ALPE. I'm guessing White Mountain in the French Alps. Can any of our world travelers verify?

3. Pie baker's shortening : LARD. As I understand it, the heavier the shortening, the lighter and flakier the crust. Jeannie?

4. Sarkozy's predecessor : CHIRAC. Jacques Chirac should be the start of a nursery rhyme, like Jack Spratt. At least he was actually French. Sarkozy's father was nagybócsai Sárközy Pál, a thoroughly obnoxious Hungarian aristocrat.

5. Food in a shell : EGG. What - no pistachios?

6. Echoic nursery rhyme opening : MARY MARY, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With Spratty Jack and Jacques Chirac and Sárközy in a row.

7. Not worth __: valueless : A SOU. An erstwhile French coin of little value. I wanted A FIG.

8. Esophagus : GULLET. Esophagus sounds more sophisticated, but less Anglo-Saxon. Either way, you swallow through it.

9. It might be vented : SPLEEN. Vent one's SPLEEN. This colorful phrase goes back to medieval times, when the SPLEEN was thought to be the source of melancholy. By the 16th century it had been reassigned to rage and ill-temper. Venting, of course is letting it all out, possibly at a FEVER PITCH.

10. Homecoming tradition : BONFIRE. College homecoming tradition, not arriving home from work.

11. Love, in Livorno : AMORE. That should be Napoli. Take it away Dino.

12. Proper nouns : NAMES. Frex: nagybócsai Sárközy Pál

13. Welcome : GREET. Hey, how a' ya, Aloha, good buddy.

18. Junction point : NODE. I assume you all knowed that.

24. Samoa's largest city : APIA. I'm guessing this has nothing to do with bees. Check it out. Sometimes I imagine the LW is Polynesian. Whenever she kisses me, I want Samoa.

26. Philosopher Descartes : RENE. Also Jacques Chirac's middle name.

27. Greasy spoon : DIVE. I will defer to Guy Fieri. (If you're at work, turn off your speaker.)

28. Nike rival : AVIA. Comfortable foot wear.

29. Russian refusal : NYET. I'll be you all no'ed that one, too.

30. Summer tube fare : RE RUN. Oh. TV tube. D'OH! My mind was running to tube floating and tube tops. Is that fare?

34. Paw bottoms : PADS. The bottoms of dog's dogs.

35. Soothing succulent : ALOE. The best herbal discovery ever, for cross word constructors.

36. Shakespearean father of three : LEAR. The King had three daughters: Goneril, which sounds like a disease; Regan, which sounds like a B-movie actor; and Cordelia, which sounds like a Secretary of State.

38. Leader : HEAD. Could be a president, like Chirac.

39. Occurrence : INCIDENT. It might involve a DAMN COBRA.

40. Hollywood's Laura or Bruce : DERN. Actors.

43. Bad boy of 1970s-'80s tennis : McENROE. John, famous for his FEVER PITCHED SPLEEN ventings.

47. 1960s African famine site : BIAFRA. A region of southern Nigeria, a make-believe country and part of the detritus of the crumbled British Empire. The Igbo people of Biafra had little in common with the more northern Nigerians, and seceded in 1967. War ensued. The wages of war is famine. Thus has it ever been.

48. Lacking : IN NEED. No need to riff on this idea.

49. Sch. near the Rio Grande : UTEP. University of Texas at El Paso. I think they might have a basketball team.

50. "Fighting" Big Ten team : ILLINI. Nickname for the teams from the University of Illinois.

51. Lethal snake : COBRA. I wanted VIPER.

52. "Not __ out of you!": "Shh!" : A PEEP. This is what Little Bo said to quiet her sheep.

53. Senate tie breakers, briefly : VEEPS. The Vice President (VEEP) of the U.S. is the President of the Senate, and only casts a vote to break a tie.

57. "Metamorphoses" poet : OVID. Got the V from the perp and took a swag.

59. Former Formula One car engine : V-TEN. I do believe the VIPER still has it.

60. Reverberate : ECHO. I've heard that before.

61. Commonly bruised bone : SHIN. Down in the ankle region there isn't much meat between skin and bone.

64. "Citizen Kane" studio : RKO. Radio-Keith-Orpheum Pictures, from the 30's and 40's. Their roster of stars included Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Katherine Hepburn, Robert Mitchum and Cary Grant. How's that for a list of proper nouns?

Answer grid.

Very clean and solid puzzle, and just about right for a Wednesday. Just what we'd expect from Donna. Now it's time for me to cool down and HEAD for bed.



Nov 21, 2011

Monday Nov 21, 2011 Donna S Levin

Theme: Whatever Argyle would have title - Theme answers are 4-word noun phrases all in the pattern of "*ILL OF THE + noun".

17A. National consensus : WILL OF THE PEOPLE

38A. Deerstalker's excitement : THRILL OF THE HUNT. So literal. For me, it's "Flea market
lover's excitement".

62A. Dark, quiet period : STILL OF THE NIGHT

C.C. here. I hope I did not miss anything on the theme cohesion. No easy job to be Santa. I just could not think of a clever title.

A bit surprised to see ILL (25D. Unwell) due to the pattern of the first theme words. Changing 24A into SPARE would give us an ALL for 25D, which dupes ALL'S in 12D. So, all's good.


1. Soccer great Mia : HAMM. Bill G meets her at his biking path occasionally.

5. Spider's creations : WEBS

9. "Beat it!" : SCRAM

14. Steinbeck's Tom Joad, e.g. : OKIE

15. Afghanistan's western neighbor : IRAN

16. Fabric with a repeated scenic pattern : TOILE. See here, with a repeated pattern and often in one color.

20. Metal playing marble : STEELIE. Never played it.

21. Sincere : EARNEST

22. Propelled with sculls : OARED

23. Camembert cousin : BRIE. So what's your favorite cheese?

24. Malice : SPITE
27. Cooks on a spit : ROASTS

32. Biol. or chem. : SCI

35. Burn soothers : ALOES. JD grows them. I wonder if Creature does also.

37. Turn on a pivot : SLUE

42. Grows darker : DIMS

43. Clark Kent's birth name : KALEL. On Krypton.

44. Sound of fan support : RAH

45. Garlicky shrimp dish : SCAMPI. Chives on top, right?

48. Ran at an easy pace : LOPED

50. Not taken in by : ONTO

52. Hairdresser Sassoon : VIDAL

56. "The Four Seasons" composer : VIVALDI. Nicknamed "The Red Priest" due to his red hair, and he was a priest.

60. Rock fissure : CREVICE. Look! Nature is amazing.

64. Davis who was married to Ruby Dee : OSSIE

65. Word with pyramid or chain : FOOD. Yes!

66. Cut down on 65-Across : DIET. No. Maybe after Thanksgiving.

67. Hymn of praise : PAEAN

68. Females with pig tails : SOWS. What a funny clue.

69. Means' justifiers : ENDS Down:

1. "In what way?" : HOW SO

2. Japanese canine : AKITA. Dennis' last dog. Couldn't picture him in tears. Hard man.

3. Long-distance runner : MILER

4. Brawls : MELEES

5. Hi-tech airport connection : WI-FI

6. One-named Deco artist : ERTE. 4-letter word starting/ending in vowels, very grid-friendly, hence his frequent appearance.

7. Scroogean exclamation : BAH

8. Derisive look : SNEER

9. More than mono : STEREO

10. Masked critter : COON

11. Ready for picking : RIPE

12. "__ well that ends well" : ALL'S

13. Track competition : MEET

18. Longtime chum : OLD PAL

19. Part of a poker full house : PAIR

23. Bovine hybrid : BEEFALO. Never had it. But have you ever tried SweeTango apples? It's a hybrid between Honeycrisp & Zesta. Oh, man, it tastes so good.

26. Stole : TOOK

28. Volcanic output : ASH

29. Defamatory remark : SLUR

30. Yellowfin or albacore : TUNA

31. Fourth man : SETH. His mom would have loved SweeTango.

32. Norms: Abbr. : STDs

33. Fashionable : CHIC. Blake Lively always looks great, no matter what she wears.

34. Culinary author Rombauer : IRMA

36. WWII Normandy battle site : ST LO

39. Doctrinal suffix : ISM

40. Cool, like a cat : HEP. Our Jazzbumpa is super cool! Raw, natural talent in entertaining.

41. Craps natural : ELEVEN. Never played Craps.

46. Hay fever sufferer's nemesis : POLLEN

47. __-European languages : INDO

49. Split : DIVIDE

51. Petty quarrels : TIFFS

53. "Bon appétit," from mom : DIG IN

54. Was sore after a workout : ACHED

55. Riga natives : LETTS

56. Cognac bottle letters : VSOP. Very Superior Old Pale.

57. "__ Small World" : IT'S A

58. Carpenter's clamp : VISE. So no need to spruce up the room in the past months, Splynter? I don't buy it. The date part.

59. Et __: and others : ALIA

60. Vittles : CHOW

61. Cinncinati team : REDS. Hi there Seen, do you hate or love Marge Schott?

63. Also : TOO

Answer grid.


Nov 8, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011 Donna S. Levin

Theme: Auto Body Basics - Four minor imperfections to your car's finish that can finish your deductible.

17A. Cocktail party mouthful : CHIP AND DIP

25A. 1950s kiddie show hosted by "Miss Frances" : DING DONG SCHOOL

43A. They frequently shoot par or better : SCRATCH GOLFERS

58A. Very last moment : NICK OF TIME

Argyle here. A tight theme but the range of fill, oh my! From "Miss Frances" to an R&B artist. And out of the blue, a pun. All in all, a strange Tuesday but what is your take on it?


1. Argentine dance : TANGO

6. Move a little : STIR

10. Peak measurement: Abbr. : ELEV. Elevation

14. Abraham nearly sacrificed him : ISAAC

15. Right-hand person : AIDE

16. Curtain material : LACE

19. Unsullied : PURE

20. Woo with a tune : SERENADE

21. Fill, as a moving van : LOAD UP

23. Swallowed : ATE

24. New Mexico art community : TAOS

33. Dundee demurrals : NAEs. The fourth-largest city in Scotland is Dundee.

34. Horror film franchise : SAW. Started with "Saw" (short film)(2003) and now is in "Saw 3-D"(2010).

36. "So Sick" R&B artist : NE-YO. Clip.(3:29)

37. Collect compulsively : HOARD

39. It may begin with "Knock knock" : JOKE

40. Bird that can hold its coffee? : ERN. A homophone for URN. A pun of a sea eagle as a coffee pot leaves me 32A. Bewildered : AT SEA

41. Many Christmas trees : FIRS

42. Steakhouse order : FILET

47. Word often sighed : ALAS

48. Big Band __ : ERA

49. Whacks on the bottom : SPANKS. The Child Protective Services will investigate you nowadays.

52. On cloud nine : ECSTATIC

57. Yale Bowl rooters : ELIs. Students at Yale University.

60. List heading : TO DO

61. Buck suffix : AROO

62. Bunsen burner cousins : ETNAs

63. Did laps, perhaps : SWAM

64. Hair care products : GELS

65. Put into effect : ENACT


1. Eccentric mannerisms : TICS

2. 1968 U.S. Open champ Arthur : ASHE. Perennial tennis player on the crossword courts.

3. Solution for a hairy situation? : NAIR

4. Show astonishment : GAPE

5. National anthem in Nunavut : "O CANADA". Nunavut is the largest and newest federal territory of Canada; it was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999. Wikipedia link.

6. Depress : SADDEN

7. It waits for no man, purportedly : TIDE. I foolishly didn't wait for it and stuck in TIME first.

8. Dictator Amin : IDI

9. Stepped in for : REPLACED

10. Sun Bowl site : EL PASO. Texas.

11. Praise : LAUD

12. Beigelike shade : ECRU. Perennial crossword shade.

13. Prez's next-in-line : VEEP

18. Brussels-based defense gp. : NATO

22. Fireworks reactions : OOHS

24. Title of the first Fabergé egg owner : TSAR. The first Fabergé egg was crafted for Tsar Alexander III in 1885.

25. Copenhagen native : DANE

26. Anatomical canals : ITERS. A passageway that leads from one part of the body to another. Iter is Latin for "a way." As such, this is a later in the week clue and made a nasty "Natick Principal" crossing NE-YO. Oops: "Natick Principle"

27. "Bye Bye Bye" boy band : *NSYNC

28. Prefix with thermal : GEO

29. Grind together, as one's teeth : GNASH

30. "__ Mio" : O SOLE. I'm not familiar with these guys but it's one for the ladies. Clip.(3:37)

31. California hoopster : LAKER

35. Dampens : WETS

37. Run into trouble : HIT A SNAG

38. Warriors in Warcraft games : ORCS

39. The PB in a PB&J, maybe : JIF

41. Columbo portrayer : FALK. Peter.

42. Fixed price : FLAT FEE

44. Kidnapper's demand : RANSOM

45. Long-tailed tropical wall climbers : GECKOs

46. Approximately : OR SO

49. Tennis match parts : SETS

50. Oxen's burden : PLOW. Unless the beast is carrying it on its back, it's not really a burden.

51. Enslaved princess of opera : AIDA. Perennial slave girl.

52. Earth sci. : ECOL. Ecology.

53. Business envelope abbr. : ATTN. Attention.

54. Turner on stage : TINA. On stage with Mick. Live. Japan. Hot. Clip.(4:49)

55. Apple product : I-MAC

56. "__ Magnifique": Porter tune : C'EST. Jazzy clip.(1:23)

59. Anger : IRE


Sep 16, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011, Donna S. Levin

Theme: The YES PUN! Each of the theme answers are common phrases where the last word is replaced with a sound-a-like word meaning yes in a foreign language. So we have both a pun and a consistent theme of non-English words meaning yes. A lively romp from dear Donna, anchored by two grid spanners.

20A. Approval from a Cádiz resident?: MEDITERRANEAN SI. Mediterranean SEA. We begin with our Spanish clue, which is tough if you do not know Cadiz.

29A. Approval from Louis XIV?:THE ROYAL OUI. Royal WE; the British Queens often expressed their dissatisfaction by saying, "we are displeased."

40A. Approval from a shocked Scot?:ELECTRIC AYE. Electric EYE. I go back to the new eye doctor today, where I can practice my Highlands accent from reading all the Hamish Macbeth books.

50A. Approval from a sushi chef at the lunch counter?: TWELVE O'CLOCK HAI. 12 O'Clock HIGH.

I learned the Japanese word from this CLASSIC. There was a wonderful TV series about fighter pilots...


1. Last of three Catherines: PARR. Henry the VIII had only one widow, and this was she. Quite the looker. See Image above.

5. Plot: CABAL This from the Hebrew root word, Qabbalah, referring to those who band together.

10. Pathfinder org.: NASA. Mars Pathfinder was designed to be a demonstration of the technology necessary to deliver a lander and a free-ranging robotic rover to the surface of Mars in a cost-effective and efficient manner.

14. Natural balm: ALOE. Living in the sunshine state, I love aloe, it is the bomb (silent L).

15. Last of the Oldsmobiles: ALERO.

16. Old Persian poet: OMAR. Do you like his POETRY?

17. Folio part: LEAF. Like a page, not the kind the senators fool around with.

18. Word of thanks: MERCI. French lesson, Jeannie; after you say, Oui, Oui monsieur, I say Merci.

19. Corn detritus: SILK. Detritus has become a popular word because of all the CSI books and shows which began with Patricia Cornwell and her Scarpetta character.We used to just say debris.

23. High-and-mighty: SNOOTY. Like Catherine Parr?

24. Cambridge business school: SLOAN. In Massachusetts, not London for this PLACE

25. Pair of barbershop groups: OCTET. 2x4 = 8.

27. Admission req. for 24-Across:GMAT. Graduate Management Admission Test. Ok, one is good.

33. Code on some NYC-bound luggagetags: LGA. La Guardia in NYC.

36. Cambridge Conservative: TORY. The party in Great Britain.

37. Jack's UN ambassador: ADLAI. Stevenson, was the first for Jack Kennedy.

38. Markers: IOUS. I love a puzzle with anagrams OUIS/IOUS.

39. They're sometimes special: OPS. Operations.

.42. "Fake is as old as the __tree": Welles: EDEN. Orson Welles. Eden Tree? No wonder Rosebud was a sled.

43. It has some smart Alecs: MENSA. For the newbies, the corner has its own group, DENSA.

44. "Full House" co-star: SAGET. Foul mouthed COMEDIAN masqueraded as a father figure.

47. Place to get bogged down: MORASS. I always thought this was every man's dream.

55. Rough talk: RASP. Hoarse of a different color?

56. Indira's son: RAJIV. His second appearance this week.

57. 50-and-up group: AARP.

58. Concerning: AS TO.

59. Encourage none too gently: SHOVE.

60. Nursery rhyme tub assembly, e.g.: TRIO. Rub a dub dub, three men in a tub.

61. Sharpen: WHET. Probably comes from the German wetzen.

62. Rutabaga, for one: TUBER. From the Latin meaning swollen. Not to be confused with someone who watches too much you tube. Did you see the old people filming themselves? CLIP. Viral.

63. Squeezed (out): EKED. real old fashioned crosswordese.

phew, halfway home


1. Chiromancer's reading material: PALM. This was Friday hard, unless you recalled your Latin that CHIR (or CHIRO) means hand. No wonder people did not trust chiropractors. Anybody who was a "mancer" was suspect.

2. Like the northern Lesser Antilles, vis-à-vis the Windward Islands : ALEE. My A word; I had leeward last Friday.

3. Sporty two-seaters: ROADSTERS.

4. Sugar plant: REFINERY. You see it is not all about beer. Nice trickery with plant not being botanical.

5. Carved sardonyx: CAMEO. Pretty

6. Bright-eyed: ALERT. Do not forget bushy-tailed.

7. Smoothie ingredient: BERRY. Rather nondescript.

8. Conquistador's chest: ARCA. Spanish for ARK, like the ark used to hold the covenant.

9. Tender cut: LOIN. Or what kids do in school in Brooklyn.

10. Margarita choice: NO SALT. So are we salt, or no salt?

11. __ acid: AMINO.

12. It might be caliente: SALSA. Caliente= hot.

13. "Catch-22" actor: ARKIN. He played YOSSARIAN, the naked one. A wonderful book and movie..

21. "Africa" band TOTO. Now for our musical INTERLUDE.

22. Morales in movies : ESAI.

25. Name of four Holy Roman emperors: OTTO. And Sgt. Snorkel's dog.

26. Rough waters: CHOP. Or maybe we could go back to the Hai Karate commercial

27. Source of milk for chèvre: GOAT. Goat cheese.

28. Sierra Club's first president: MUIR. Interesting man and legacy.

30. Third-oldest U.S. university: YALE. Without Google can you name the first two?

31. Yemen's chief port: ADEN

32. Corp.-partnership hybrid : LLC. Limited Liability Company.

33. One garnering lots of interest: LOAN SHARK. Nice misdirection.

34. Chaps: GUYS.

35. Cruising : ASEA. Okay my other A word.

38. Support for a Salchow : ICE SKATE. Like this CLIP, as always a tip of the ice to our own CA and our missing in action Red Shoe nurse, wherever she is. Be well fishy.

40. Ron Howard send-up of reality shows: ED TV. TRAILER.

41. Apple on a desk: iMAC.

42. Sniggling gear: EELPOT. A boxlike structure with funnel-shaped traps for catching eels. Which would make a good present for eel loving fearless leader.

44. Frozen margarita insert: STRAW. No umbrellas here, boys.

45. Teeming (with): AWASH. My final A word.

46. Chansons de __: medieval Frenchpoems: GESTE. The most famous one which was preserved by the jongleurs is the SONG of ROLAND which figures prominently in Ken Follett's epic The Pillars of the Earth. Wonderful read.

47. Dead end, workwise: MCJOB.

48. Drab color: OLIVE. Poor olive stuck with both drab and Oyl.

49. Rootless sort: ROVER. Not nomad?

51. Aforetime: ERST. Sounds better in erstwhile.

52. Mount Ka'ala is its highest peak: OAHU. Hey Hawaiian friends, IPO and the other lost ones.

53. R&B singer India.__: ARIE. Born India Arie Simpson; no relation to Homer. TUNE.

54. Touch or shuffle: iPOD.

Answer grid.

There may be no I in team, but we have both iMAC and iPOD, and now it is time I am out of here. Another one done. Have a wonderful weekend, and Marti, i love to see a blog inspiring more than 100 comments, well done.


Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to Moon! Hope all is well with you. Do drop us a note whenever you stop by.