Showing posts with label Gary Cee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gary Cee. Show all posts

Nov 28, 2018

Wednesday, November 28, 2018, Gary Cee

Theme: A Breed Apart. 

17. High-tech classroom: COMPUTER LAB. The Labrador is the most popular dog breed by registrations (191,988) worldwide. (Wikipedia.)

23. Fighter at the Olympics: AMATEUR BOXER.

51. Court long shot: THREE POINTER.

61. Astute attorney: LEGAL BEAGLE.

38. Military IDs ... or what 17-, 23-, 51- and 61-Across have: DOG TAGS. Clever - each answer is 'tagged' with a breed of dog. I guess you could call it Collar-ID. Snort.

Melissa here. Several clues related to New York made me wonder if our constructor is from there. Yes.


1. Mary Oliver, e.g.: POET.

5. Tweak: ADJUST.

11. Obliterate in a flash: ZAP. Good description for microwaving food.

14. Prefix with sphere: ATMO. Greek, combining form meaning “air,” used in the formation of compound words.

15. Self-moving vacuum: ROOMBA. Tried to put an H in there somewhere.

16. "I __ you one": OWE.

19. Starchy grain: OAT.

20. Bygone Persian rulers: SHAHS.

21. Long-jawed fish: GAR. Gar species of New York, below:

22. Present: HERE.

27. Man-horse hybrid: CENTAUR.

30. Synagogue reading: TORAH.

31. Country between Vietnam and Thailand: LAOS.

32. Quaint contraction: TIS.

34. Type of coffee or whiskey: IRISH.

37. Congressional statute: ACT.

41. Life highlights, briefly: BIO.

42. Moby-Dick, e.g.: WHALE.

44. Hula strings: UKE.

45. Pungent quality: BITE.

46. Rice dish: PILAF. defines Pilaf as: a Middle Eastern or Indian dish of rice (or sometimes wheat) cooked in stock with spices, typically having added meat or vegetables. A quick google search turns up recipes for Moroccan, Japanese, Armenian, Asian, Indian, Persian, Lebanese, Russian, Turkish, Italian, and Greek versions.

49. "The Shawshank Redemption" extras: INMATES.

54. __ hog: ROAD.

55. Org. whose returns were never sales: IRS.

56. Get to: REACH.

60. Trellis climber: IVY.

64. Golf peg, or where it's used: TEE. Not being a golfer, C.C.'s explanation in Sunday's write up (87D) of TEE colors in MN was interesting - are the colors not standard?

65. Long cold spell: ICE AGE. Opposite of a cold snap.

66. Image in a botanical print: LEAF.

67. Make a typo, say: ERR.

68. Litter box visitor: PET CAT.

69. Pre-Easter season: LENT.


1. D.C. influence gps.: PACS. Political Action Committees.

2. "However," in tweets: OTOH. On The Other Hand.

3. "Handsome, clever, and rich" Jane Austen character: EMMA.

4. Headwear with tails: TOP HATS.

5. Works on walls: ART. Sneaky. Works used as noun, not verb.

6. Stag's mate: DOE.

7. Longtime Univision news anchor Ramos: JORGE.

8. Two dots above a vowel: UMLAUT.

9. Pizza chain in many food courts: SBARRO.

10. Bar bill: TAB.

11. Madagascar!, in the Bronx: ZOO EXHIBIT. Anyone seen it?

12. In the know: AWARE.

13. Pan in Neverland: PETER.

18. Inst. with the fight song "On, Brave Old Army Team": USMA.

22. Frost: HOAR.

24. Jay-Z's "D.O.A. (Death of __-Tune)": AUTO.

25. H.S. subject that covers all the angles?: TRIG. Nice clue.

26. Jewish ritual: BRIS.

27. Jaguar's weapon: CLAW.

28. Individually: EACH.

29. "Fat chance!": NOT A PRAYER.

33. "The Simpsons" disco devotee: STU.

35. Locale: SITE.

36. Soil-clearing tools: HOES.

38. Mark for omission: DELE.

39. Related: AKIN.

40. Well-mannered man: GENT.

43. Made up things: LIED. Could also be LIES as a noun - needed 54A ROAD to be sure.

45. Reveal everything: BARE ALL.

47. Individually: APIECE.

48. Draw a blank: FORGET.

50. Nothing but: MERE.

51. Done to death: TRITE.

52. Float in the air: HOVER.

53. Actor Oscar __ of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi": ISAAC. I've only seen him in Inside Llewyn Davis. Did not know that he was born in Guatemala. His family settled in the US when he was five months old.

57. Pulitzer-winning author James: AGEE.

58. Close-knit group: CLAN.

59. Test by lifting: HEFT.

61. Backtalk: LIP.

62. Alternative to JFK or EWR: LGA. NYC's three major airports: JFK = John F. Kennedy International, EWR = Newark Liberty International, LGA = LaGuardia.

63. Perfecta or trifecta: BET.

Apr 14, 2015

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 Gary Cee

Theme: Dizzy - Yes, you'll be dizzy too if you watch all these spinners.

63A. Ride around ... or what the ends of 18-, 24-, 39- and 55-Across can do : GO FOR A SPIN

18A. Superfluous individual : FIFTH WHEEL

24A. Compilation of wacky outtakes : BLOOPER REEL

39A. Summer blouse : HALTER TOP

55A. Olympian's achievement : WORLD RECORD

Argyle here. We're rolling like a wheel. Some nice tall columns in the corners. Gary Cee interview here.


1. Drain problem : CLOG

5. GI sought by MPs : AWOL

9. Jewish authority figure : RABBI

14. Fallon's predecessor : LENO. The Tonight Show.

15. "Get a __!" : LIFE

16. Estate measures : ACRES

17. Like single-malt scotch : AGED

20. Food from heaven : MANNA

22. Long-necked bird : EMU

23. Ivy League school : YALE

28. Pioneer Carson : KIT

29. PC key near Z : ALT. I looked.

30. Eastern path : TAO. The way.

31. Police warnings : SIRENS. Get out of the tao.

33. Some deli breads : RYEs

35. Part on the stage : ROLE

38. Stable female : MARE

42. Steer clear of : SHUN

44. iPhone voice-activated app : SIRI

45. Hunk of bacon : SLAB

49. Like many warm sweaters : WOOLEN

51. Snaky fish : EEL

53. Miner's discovery : ORE

54. Little terror : IMP

59. Have to have : NEED

61. Flight connection word : VIA

62. Capital of Senegal : DAKAR

67. Single : LONE

68. Occupied : [IN USE]

69. Currency symbolized by € : EURO

70. Coffee holders : MUGS

71. Fax forerunner : TELEX

72. Zipped : SPED

73. Editor's "Leave it in" : STET


1. Seaside eatery : CLAM BAR

2. Within the law : LEGALLY

3. Without variation, musically : ONE NOTE

4. "Please tell me that's not true" : "GOD, NO!"

5. Sitcom E.T. : ALF. (Alien Life Form)

6. PlayStation 3 rival : Wii

7. Put on the market : OFFER

8. "I'll handle this" : "LET ME"

9. Word before data or deal : RAW

10. In need of aspirin : ACHY

11. Crashing wave : BREAKER

12. Direct route : BEE LINE

13. Lands in the sea : ISLETS

19. Shades : HUES

21. Abbr. in many an urban address : APT. (apartment)

25. __ of Sandwich : EARL

26. Tree anchors : ROOTS

27. Airport waiter : LIMO

32. Performs hip-hop music : RAPS

34. Synagogue : SHUL. Easy for some, perpable for others.

36. Polynesian wreath : LEI

37. Blundered : ERRED

40. From square one : ANEW

41. Concert ticket info : TIER

42. "__ to Watch Over Me" : SOMEONE. The Incomparable Ella.

43. Optimistic : HOPEFUL

46. "Watch it!" : "LOOK OUT!"

47. Orchestrate : ARRANGE

48. Recuperation advice : BED REST

49. Proceed without preparation : WING IT

50. Smoked salmon : NOVA. Nova Lox: This lox, which comes from Nova Scotia, is actually cold-smoked after the curing or brining process. ~

52. Showed the way : LED

56. Hemingway's "The Sun Also __" : RISES

57. Really enjoy, as praise : LAP UP

58. Allays the fears of : CALMS

60. Prescription amount : DOSE

64. Bills coach Ryan : REX. Easy for some, perpable for others.

65. Wrath : IRE

66. Buddy of Wynken and Blynken : NOD. The Poem


Nov 21, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 Gary Cee


A jolly good morning to you all. Steve here filing this dispatch from the other side of the pond in old Blighty. I can hear Big Ben chiming each quarter-hour, so I couldn't be much more central in Central London. Unfortunately I'm not going to make it back for Thanksgiving - can one of you save me some turkey?

 A smooth Wednesday from Gary Cee today. The reveal helped me with 42A when the "connection" between the theme entries became apparent.

Let's dig a little deeper.

20A. Cartoon quitting-time shout : YABBA DABBA DOO! We can all relate at some time or other to Fred Flintstone's trademark yell.

35A. Fins wearer : SCUBA DIVER. One of the best acronyms ever, and invented by a Frenchman too - wonders will never cease.

42A. Bookmarked link, say : WEB ADDRESS. I need bookmarks for bookmarks I've got so many. 

And the reveal:

57A. Phone line difficulty ... and what literally appears four times in 20-, 35- and 42-Across : BAD CONNECTION. Hello? Hello? What? You're breaking up - I'll call you back! Comes in very handy sometimes, I do confess.


1. Unit price word : EACH

5. Gets ready to travel : PACKS

10. Game where 3-Down are used : GOLF

14. Org. concerned with privacy laws : A.C.L.U. The American Civil Liberties Union.

15. Pasta product suffix : -ARONI. Quibble Alert - it's Rice-a-Roni and Pasta Roni, so I think we're irons here.

16. Aroma : ODOR.

17. Ticket remnant : STUB. Or many torn shreds like so much confetti when it's a parking ticket you discover on your windshield.

18. Speed __ : DEMON

19. H-hour relative : D-DAY

23. Lay into : ASSAIL

24. Group of four : TETRAD. A learning moment for me today. I know I must have seen this in crosswords before, but it's never stuck. Hopefully now it will.

27. "__ Misérables" : LES.

29. "Odds __ ..." : ARE

30. J. Geils Band record label : EMI. Electric & Musical Industries, Ltd. in case you're wondering where the name comes from.

31. Swaddling clothes wearer : BABE

38. Three-time A.L. batting champ Tony : OLIVA. Minnesota Twins legend had his number 6 retired by the club.

C.C. & Oliva, Sept 15, 2011

40. Letters before a pen name : AKA. Nothing in the clue to indicate an abbreviation - has "Also Known As" moved beyond needing the periods in the shortened form?

41. Cardiologist's insertion : STENT

45. Soup can painter Warhol : ANDY

46. Schubert's "The __ King" : ERL. Why do I always put "Eel"? I've had to correct it often enough, you'd think I'd know by now.

47. Gaming cube : DIE

48. Four-song discs, briefly : EPs. Extended Play 7" vinyl. Say that to anyone born after 1980 and they will have no idea what you're talking about. Two on each side. This first official Beatles EP release is still the biggest-selling in UK pop history.

50. Sound system : STEREO. Not a lot of point playing the EP above on your stereo - it was only released in glorious mono!

52. Venetian marketplace : RIALTO

61. Word from the flock : AMEN. Baaaaaaa!

63. "Today" anchor Hill : ERICA. I needed the crosses for this, somehow I never seem to watch the Today show (nor remember the names of TV anchors!)

64. Good listeners : EARS

65. Barber's nape sprinkle : TALC

66. Starter course : SALAD

67. Stake in a pot : ANTE

68. It's not a true story : MYTH

69. "__ Dream": "Lohengrin" aria : ELSA'S. There's a nice version here from Bayreuth

70. Harbor skyline feature : MAST


1. Class that requires little effort : EASY A

2. Play the role of : ACT AS

3. Certain pro's selections : CLUBS. The link with 10A helped narrow this one down quickly.

4. When repeated, an enthusiastic shout : HUBBA. When I saw this crossing with Yabba I was expecting to find Bubba, Jabba and all kinds of others.

5. Table tennis tools : PADDLES. We called 'em bats at home. Ours had cork on one side and sandpaper on the other.

6. Field : AREA

7. Brush partner : COMB. I don't own any hair-styling tools, I just wash it, towel it off and comb it with my fingers. Some people say lazy, I say efficient.

8. Gearshift topper : KNOB. I'm renting a car here in London today, so I'll be experiencing this feature. Most rental cars in the UK are stick-shift, adding to the drama of sitting on the wrong side of the car to drive on the wrong side of the road.

9. "My Way" singer : SINATRA

10. Dramatic no-show : GODOT. The production I saw many years ago had Estragon and Vladimir act the entire play whilst standing up to their necks in large Grecian urns. It turned "Waiting for Godot" into "Waiting for "Waiting for Godot" to finish, PLEASE!".

11. Roulette bet choice : ODD OR EVEN

12. Mauna __ : LOA. Always need two crossing letters to distinguish from Mauna Kea

13. Cook in oil : FRY

21. Be unwell : AIL

22. Good ones don't go unpunished, so they say : DEEDS

25. Change for the better : AMEND

26. Below the belt : DIRTY. A low blow in boxing. Somehow it's OK to pummel a fellow about his cranium until he blacks out, but pop him one in the nether regions and that's a cardinal sin.

28. "Eek!" inducer : SCARE. Wanted Mouse, then Snake, then Sc .. ummm ... oh! Scare!

29. Take down a peg : ABASE

31. Pitney's partner : BOWES. Funny how the mind works, I had confidently filled in PRATT and couldn't figure out why nothing else would fit with it, then I went back and re-read the clue. "Whitney" doesn't look anything like "Pitney." How strange.

32. Colorful warning, often : ALERT. Usually Red. I've never seen a Blue or Green alert.

33. Evangelical hot spot : BIBLE BELT

34. Señora Perón : EVA.

36. Hawaiian strings : UKE

37. "Make __ good one!" : IT A

39. Put two and two together : ADDED. Was hoping for "Made Five", but not enough room.

43. Bishop's jurisdiction : DIOCESE. Is there a different between a Diocese and a Bishopric?

44. Goes viral, say : SPREADS. If you want an ear-worm today, click this link for a viral YouTube video that's had more than 700 million views. If you've had enough Korean dance music for a while, just skip over it.

49. [Not my typo] : SIC. What happens if SIC itself is a tpyo (sic). You'd have tpyo (sci) (sic) (sic) or something .. awesome!

51. Italian alternative : RANCH

53. Mr. T's group : "A" TEAM

54. Jungle vine : LIANA. I like this word for no good reason.

55. Basis of civil lawsuits : TORTS

56. First sign : ONSET

58. Like much family history : ORAL

59. Lofgren of the E Street Band : NILS. I always think that Keith Richards is Nils Lofgren's "Picture of Dorian Gray"



60. March Madness org. : N.C.A.A. The National Collegiate Athletics Association also administer other events besides this basketball tourney.

61. Brief bread source? : A.T.M. I love how "PIN number" and "ATM machine" are often part of the same sentence and both have redundancies - "I went to the automatic teller machine machine but forgot my personal identification number number".

62. Possibly will : MAY

That's all from me, other than to slip in a brief "Huzzah" that the Fighting Irish are back - ranked Number 1 for the first time since 1993!  The ND London campus is very close by my hotel, so please indulge me with this picture we took yesterday!

Nov 17, 2011

Interview with Gary Cee

I mentioned earlier this year that Gary Cee's EYE OPENER is one of my favorite puzzles in 2010. Amazing interlocking of theme entries.

Gary only started constructing in 2007, but he already had 8 puzzles published by the NY Times alone. Today is Gary's 4th puzzle for the LA Times.

What's the inspiration for today's theme and what were the other theme candidates you also considered?

I pulled up to a traffic light and saw a bumper sticker that included the words "the wrong way." A common phrase is "rub the wrong way" or "rubs the wrong way," which was a nice 15 to go through the middle of this grid. So I went to work to find theme answers that included or broke up s-b-u-r and came up with today's theme answers.

I adored the theme entry intersection in your last EYE OPENER puzzle. I'm curious: Were CAFFEINE & NICOTINE parts of your original theme entry consideration or did they just come up in your filling process?

Gotta be honest, I totally lucked out on that one in the fill.

What's your background? And how did you get into crossword construction?

I'm the program director and afternoon host at 101.5 WPDH in New York's Hudson Valley. I've been here for 8 years and was previously at WLIR on Long Island. I'm the author of 'Classic Rock,' a coffee-table book released in 1995 that's still available from online book retailers. Grew up in Patchogue, Long Island, but now I live in LaGrangeville, just east of Poughkeepsie.

I started making puzzles in 2007 as a hobby, and got a ton of rejections before being accepted first by Will, then by Rich.

Which part do you normally spend the most time on in the construction process: theme brainstorming, gridding or cluing?

I'm not a patient person by nature but I've learned to become much more patient in the gridding process. That's the part I spend the most time on.

What makes a puzzle special to you? What kind of theme & fill fascinate you?

Anything funny and clever, I suppose. Lively vocabulary, fresh fill, clues that make me laugh, etc.

What puzzles do you solve every day and which constructors do you find most inspiring?

I do the NYT puzzle every day, but Friday and Saturday are very tough for me. My favorite constructors are Patrick Berry, who's been the most inspiring, Brendan Emmett Quigley, Joon Pahk, and Matt Ginsberg.

What would we be surprised to know about you?

I'm trying to finish writing a symphony!

Thursday, November 17, 2011 Gary Cee

Theme: Be careful how you pet my cats!

17A. Pirates' home : PITTSBURGH. This Major League Baseball team is the Pittsburgh Pirates, in the Central Division of the National League.

26A. Group working on tips? : NEWS BUREAU. Fun clue. "Tips" aren't the extra cash left on the restaurant table, but news items furnished from those in the know.

48A. Jersey Shore city popularized by Springsteen : ASBURY PARK. "The Boss" performed regularly at this seaside resort in the 70's. Here's his "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)".

59A. Trudeau comic : DOONESBURY. One of my favorite un-PC comics here. (Note: A "Deaniac" was a supporter of the liberal Vermont Governor Harold Dean's unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 2004).

And the unifier:

39. Bugs, or what's literally found in 17-, 26-, 48- and 59-across : RUBS THE WRONG WAY. In each of the theme entries, the word "rubs" appears the "wrong way", or backwards.

Marti here, so it must be Thursday again. I started off very slowly on this one, but when I finally went back and figured out 2D. UZI, it finally seemed to all flow in the right direction! Loved this unusual theme, and clean execution. Let's look at the fill:


1. Big picture : MURAL. Why yes, that would be a really big picture.

6. Title holder? : SASH. I wanted "belt"...

10. Bean used in Asian sauces : SOYA. I'm sure C.C. uses this bean in her cooking, right?

14. Protective layer : OZONE. I skipped this one for the time being...

15. "Salome" solo : ARIA. This Strauss opera highlights Salome's disturbing obsession with St. John the Baptist that drives her to demand his head on a platter, in exchange for performing the "Dance of the Seven Veils".

16. Piece of mind? : OP-ED. "Opposite the Editorials (page)". And 11D. Write a 16-Across : OPINE

19. Complete, in Cannes : FINI. Literally, "end". Seen at the end of French films in Cannes.

Correction from Kazie (thank you!): "Fini" actually means "finished" rather than end which is "fin", which I think is more likely at the end of movies. 

And then we have 13D. Final word at Orly : ADIEU. Yes, I guess the last word you would say to someone embarking on the plane in Paris would be "adieu" (good-bye!)

20. Committed to : SET ON. I'm set on having a turkey next Thursday for dinner.

21. "Divine Comedy" poet : DANTE

22. High-tech printer capability : SCAN. I just bought a new printer that faxes, scans, and prints wirelessly. Problem is, I can't figure out how to make it work !

28. Playwright Pinter : HAROLD. Surely you know him as the author of "The French Lieutenant's Woman"?  Correction: Harold Pinter wrote the screenplay adaptation.  John Fowles didn’t write it, either (really).  In 1977, Fowles translated the 1893 novel “Ourika” by Claire de Duras, and titled it “The French Lieutenant’s Woman”. He later revised it in 1994.  What a tangled web !

30. Six-pack muscles : ABS. We have a mini-muscle theme going on here, with 29D. Back muscle, for short : LAT. (Could have been clued as "Publisher of this puzzle: Abbr."). And this is for the gals...

31. Laundry room brand : AMANA. I was looking for a detergent, not the washing machine!

32. About half a million square miles of Asia : GOBI. The Gobi desert is most notable as the location of several cities along the Silk Road.

35. Dept. of Labor arm : OSHA. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

42. Caesarean infinitive : ESSE. "To be" (or not to be...). Not to be confused with a Caesarean section, which has an entirely different meaning!

43. It parallels the radius : ULNA. The two bones of the forearm.

44. John Barleycorn : BOOZE. The "Z" in this one was my very last fill. I was thinking of "Daniel BOOnE". (What was I thinking???)

45. "___ Sera, Sera" : QUE. What will be, will be.

47. One with goals : SCORER. Loved this clue/answer! A real V-8 moment, when I realized they were talking about things like hockey goals. I bet Eddy B and JD got this one immediately!

54. Pol. convention attendees : DELS. I had "DEmS" at first. Then realized, they wanted "delegates", not "democrats".

55. Swing vigorously : FLAIL. I think of "flailing" as swinging randomly, not vigorously?

56. Flexible wood : OSIER. Willow wood, used for making baskets and other crosswordese items.

58. Down the drain : LOST. Oh goodness, my train of thought just went down the drain...

64. Largest of the Near Islands : ATTU. Part of the Aleutians, and site of a famous ski hill. (You knew I had to get in a reference to my favorite sport, right?)

65. Ornamental vases : URNS.

66. Aqua ___: alcohol : VITAE. Thank goodness, the constructor provided the "alcohol" hint. Otherwise, I would have penned in VELVA without any hesitation!

67. Singer who said "Men should be like Kleenex: soft, strong and disposable" : CHER. Always the philosopher, that one...

68. Enlightened response : I SEE.

69. Frost and others : POETS


1. Clean, in a way : MOP

2. Israeli gun designer ___ Gal : UZI. My one gate-opener for this puzzle! It's usually clued as "Israeli submachine gun". Nice to see this attribute to it's creator. (I think...)

3. Turn bad : ROT.

4. Exterminator's target : ANT. Wanted "rat", at first.

5. Diminished state : LESS. Ah, but "Less is more", right?

6. Brown : SAUTE. Wow! This one whacked me upside the head when I finally sussed it through perps. What an ambiguous clue for such a common word. Loved it!

7. Robin's weapon : ARROW. Had to think: "Batman" or "Hood"?

8. Traces : SIGNS

9. "That's rich!" : HAH. HAH! Loved this one, too!

10. "Everything's fine for now" : SO FAR SO GOOD. Wonderful, lively fill. And so far so good...only 31 more clues to unravel.

12. Gossipmonger : YENTA. A Yiddish busybody.

18. Give a little : BEND

21. Add (in), as music to a film : DUB

22. Piece of the pie : SHARE. Hands up for all who filled in "slice"??

23. "The Stranger" writer : CAMUS. "L'Etranger" by Albert Camus. Said to be an existentialist novel, but the novel had much broader meanings and explores absurdism to the extreme. Curious to know, have you read it, Hahtool?

24. Most Egyptians : ARABS

25. Conclusion that doesn't follow : NON SEQUITUR. "So, I plan to make meatloaf for dinner tonight..."

27. Scott of "Happy Days" : BAIO

32. Hair goop : GEL

33. Have : OWN

34. Uplifting garb : BRA. For the guys..

36. Cursed : SWORE. #*^@&!~$%#&@* puzzle...

37. Not brown or blue, perhaps : HAZEL. Like this here.

38. Australia's ___ Rock : AYERS. In the land of "Oz" (Australia).  I immediately thought of our Kazie.

40. One of three duck brothers : HUEY. Dewey and Louie are the other two, but they wouldn't fit here.

41. Letters after C or MS : NBC. CNBC and MSNBC are both cable networks. CNBC is the "Consumer News and Business Channel". MSNBC is another cable news channel, whose name comes from a combination of "Microsoft" and "NBC".

46. www address : URL. Does anyone need an explanation of this one? (email me...)

47. Arcade game starter : SKEE. -ball

48. Company with a spokesduck : AFLAC.

49. A deadly sin : SLOTH. To cover all the bases, you need to have wrath, greed, pride, lust, envy and gluttony as well.

50. Moisten while cooking : BASTE. See 20A. It requires careful basting.

51. Standard partner : POORS. Standard & Poors, a US based financial services company that publishes financial research analysis on stocks and bonds.

52. In cahoots : AS ONE. Any questions?

53. Light wash : RINSE. Hmmmm...I still think a light wash requires some sort of soap?

57. Invitation letters : RSVP. "Répondez s'il vous plaît". Literally, "Respond, if it pleases you." Well, what if I don't feel like responding?? Emily Post would frown on that attitude, I'm afraid.

59. SADD focus : DUI. Students Against Drunk Driving are concerned about people who Drive Under the Influence.

60. Theater program item : BIO. Biography. No hint of abbr. in the clue? So, I guess "bio" is a legit modern term?

61. Colorado native : UTE. What's a "ute"??? (See "My Cousin Vinny" clip, done before.)

62. Informer : RAT. "You dirty rat..."

63. Celebratory cry : YES! ("I FINISHED THIS BAD PUPPY!!")

Answer grid.

Thanks for hangin' with me for a while. I'm looking forward to hearing all your comments. I am flying down to Chapel Hill, N.C this morning to meet DH (he's doing a project down there this week). So I will be offline for part of the day. But I will check in as soon as I get settled into our hotel room. In the meantime, carry on, and play nice!



Dec 29, 2010

Wednesday December 29, 2010 Gary Cee

Theme: After our discussion on themes yesterday, and despite other temptations, Eye-yi-yi, I'll just go with the unifier, EYE OPENER. For the asterisked clues, the first word of a common two-word answer can precede the word "EYE," yielding a totally different type of two-word phrase. Lots of times these are RIB TICKLERS, but today they're pretty straight forward.

17A. *Unquestioning devotion : BLIND FAITH. Belief in something, in the absence of evidence, or even disregarding contrary evidence. Don't get me started. BLIND EYE: What the devotee turns to the imperfections of the object of his devotion.

63A. *Knee-slapper : RIB TICKLER. An amusing joke or story that gets your ribs moving with a series of tee-hees. RIB EYE: A boneless, well-marbled steak, cut from the top of a standing rib roast. Cf. 23 D!

10D. *Pitchers and tumblers : GLASS WARE. The clue defines them very well. Vessels made of glass, suitable for transporting libations to and from the table, and thence to the lips. GLASS EYE. A non-functional ocular prosthesis: an artificial EYE made of GLASS, the best material for this application. Sammy Davis Jr. had one. Since I'm an EYE GLASS WEARER, I was tempted to go with the childhood taunt "FOUR EYES" for the theme, but, alas, "EYE" only shows up once - in the unifier.

34D. *Like treatment for visiting dignitaries : RED CARPET. It is literally rolled out for heads of state, and at gala celebrity events. Less formally, it indicates giving someone an unusually high level of hospitality. RED EYE: An overnight flight from point A to point B, implying discomfort and lack of sleep, hence the RED EYES. Probably not the usual means of transportation for someone about to walk the RED CARPET.

And, of course, the unifier, 38 A. A 5- or 40-Down ... or what the start of each answer to a starred clue can be : EYE OPENER. This has a few different meanings. The first is a startling revelation that gets one to see something in a new and unanticipated way. (Those with unquestioning devotion are immune.) The second is an alcoholic drink consumed early in the day, presumable to get one up and at 'em. Third, the stimulants in 5 and 40D. But, here, it also uses a common cross-word trope to cleverly indicate that the beginning of each theme answer can precede "EYE."

The below two entries are symmetrically & related to the theme:

5D. Joe's stimulant : CAFFEINE. A bitter tasting crystalline xanthine alkaloid which occurs in the beans, leaves, and fruits of some plants, notably coffee, aka JOE.

40D. Smoker's stimulant : NICOTINE. Another plant alkaloid, found in the nightshade family, and another clecho! It is what causes tobacco addiction.

Hi gang, It's JazzBumpa, with a tumbler of ginger ale at my elbow. Glenkinchie will come a little later. I don't recognize Gary Cee's byline. This puzzle was a lot of fun, and seemed pretty fresh to me, despite a few common entries. I've been anticipating AGLET for a long time, but don't recall seeing it in a puzzle before. The pinwheel theme answer arrangement is uncommon, as is placing the unifier in the center of the grid intersecting other theme answers.


1. Sound return : ECHO. I was thinking of investment returns. Now I have my eye open for clechoes!

5. Suspension bridge support : CABLE. Here is an example I get to drive across going to and from visiting my mother.

10. Obtain forcibly : GRAB

14. Miller, for one : BEER. I thought it would be a teller of a Canterbury Tale. But the miller was drunk, so it kind of fits.

15. Shoelace tip : AGLET. For some odd reason, I love this word. "Mom, they're tying the whole world together!"

16. Stubbs of the Four Tops : LEVI. News to me. But he might have just what you need.

19. Scored 100 on : ACED. Perfect!

20. Bozo : GOOF. Or a clown.

21. "When the smog clears in California, UCLA," e.g. : PUN. Sheesh. I read right through this and didn't get it.

22. Hitchcock title : SIR. Good night! I didn't know that. Nice misdirection for the director.

23. Dice-rolling game : YAHTZEE. I haven't played this game in years, and don't recall liking it very much.

26. The King or Prince : POP STAR. A royally clever clue. I think we had Jacko, the King of Pop not too long ago. Prince is the artist formerly known as "The artist Formerly known As Prince," which makes him the once and future Prince, I suppose. Never was a big fan of either. Feel free to provide links in comments.

29. Repugnant reaction : UGH. Not now. I just took a sip of the Glenkinchie!

30. Pound sounds : YIPS. Rhyme time for puppy noises.

32. Treatment plant input : SEWAGE. Now -- UGH!

33. Tie up, in a way : MOOR. I have no idea why this caused me a problem. Maybe our boaters can explain the origin if this word.

35. Home of Duke U. : N CAR. The Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill region of North Carolina, a beautiful part of the world with a lot of traffic. Note Abrv. n Cl. & Ans.

37. Looks bad, comparatively : PALES. Someone or something can PALE in comparison. But - no politics - moving right along . . .

41. Parisian daily, with "Le" : MONDE. Lucky guess. No idea where in Le Monde it came from.

44. Singer Amos : TORI. Never paid any attention to her. Here is a song for the season.

45. Latin 101 verb : ESSE. Stock fill.

49. Signs into law : ENACTS. Rumor has it that making law is like making sausage. If you won't ask, I won't tell.

51. Pool room supply : RACK. It's that triangle-shaped thingie that you put all the balls into, then take away so you can hit them.

53. Amigo : PAL. That's right friendly!

54. Reaches : ATTAINS. I always like it in those old westerns when the bad guy pulls out his gun and says, "Attain the sky."

56. Chesapeake Bay city : NORFOLK. Just across the James River is Hampton, where my step son Tom used to live. Now, home is in FLA, and he should be back there by Friday.

58. Televise : AIR. Hmmm. Don't they also AIR radio broadcasts? And 36D. Aired again : RERAN. Is it a clecho if the clue echoes an earlier answer, or just an inelegance?

59. Physicians' org. : AMA. The American Medical Association. Note Abrv.

61. Precisely : TO A "T." Sometimes it's just a "T" and sometimes it's a "TEE." Either way, the origin is disputed.

62. Fall : DROP. I always think of the stock market drop in the FALL of '29.

67. Green climber : VINE.

68. Title owner of a sitcom bookstore : ELLEN. Beats me. I haven't watched sit-coms in 30 years.

69. Homeland of the folk-singing Clancy Brothers : EIRE. Always need perp help to decide between EIRE and ERIN.

70. Two out of three, say : MOST. Is the GLASSWARE MOST full or MOST empty?

71. Teacher's directive : SEE ME. It means (s)he wants to talk. Hope it's something you want to hear.

72. Pringles-like Lay's product : STAX. I really cannot understand what justifies the existence of the Pringle, let alone a competitive product from a company that makes real chips.


1. Flow back : EBB. Like the tide.

2. Place to see Bugs? : CEL. Gary got me here. A CEL is a transparent sheet that animation figures are drawn on. CEL is derived from celluloid, a plastic made from cellulose. Today, the CEL is a relic, due to CGI.

3. Dwarfs' song : HEIGH-HO. Spelling this was a guess. Disney stopped using CELS in 1990, but this was long before.

4. Self-contradictory afterthought : OR NOT. I'm never sure if I should say this, OR NOT.

6. Turkish authority : AGA. If you can't do it, the AGA KAHN.

7. Plane, in a control tower : BLIP. On a radar screen.

8. Relax : LET UP. Or ease up, stop applying so much pressure.

9. Cultural group : ETHNOS. Per the Free Dictionary, "people of the same race or nationality who share a distinctive culture."

11. Conservatory event : RECITAL. Typically a solo musical performance by a singer or instrumentalist.

12. Like Joe? : AVERAGE. He just an average Joe - but he's also a clecho!

13. Bridge action : BID. The action is an auction, and the players get to bid for the contract. Suits me!

18. Half asleep : DOZY. Pretty much the same thing as DROWSY.

23. "De-lish!" : YUM. RIB EYE, anyone?

24. Gone by: AGO. Long ago, in a galaxie far, far away . . .

25. Theme park acronym : EPCOT. Disney's "Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow." I can never remember that.

27. Toon Le Pew : PEPE. An amorous pole cat with an accent.

28. Hi-__ graphics : RES. For good pictures of THINGS!

31. Flavor : SAPOR. I think we've been disconcerted in the past by SAPID. This looks like the root of all SAPIDITY. SAPOR is the quality of a substance to produce flavor. A hungry insomniac might want a saporific soporific to get DOZY.

39. Bigfoot cousin : YETI. A very distant cousin, since bigfoot is from North America, and the Yeti lives in the Himalayas. Though sometimes he can be found in a CEL with Bugs.

41. "Give __ holler!" : ME A. Give me an "H" . . . That's not very good. My bad. I mean ME A CULPA.

42. Province bordering four Great Lakes : ONTARIO. One of the lakes has the same name. Which Great Lake does it not touch?

43. League of __ : NATIONS. "Distinguished gentlemen" wouldn't fit.

46. What a "Me and My Shadow" singer might be : SPOTLIT. In the lime light, so to speak. Here we have the star of yesterday's theme and the man with a glass eye.

47. Mineo in movies : SAL. He was a singer, too

48. Mountain lion prey : ELK. Pretty ambitious snack, if you ask me, but probably a lot of YUM!

50. Catches : SNARES. Or some drums.

52. Ray who said, "It requires a certain kind of mind to see beauty in a hamburger bun" : KROC. Ray Kroc founded McDonald's. To him I say, "That's a crock!"

55. The parenthesis in :-) : SMILE. Your basic emoticon.

57. Counterfeits : FAKES. We call them ERSATZ.

60. Competent : ABLE. Having a useful skill. One of Adam's sons was competent. The other was ABEL.

62. Pet physician's deg. : DVM. Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Note Abrvs. They do not belong to the AMA.

64. Pro __: for now : TEM. Like a committee, PRO TEM, usually set up for a single purpose and dissolved when the task is complete.

65. Pitcher's stat : ERA. 'Nother Abrv. Earned Run Average.

66. Oscar winner Harrison : REX. He was a fair lady's man.

Answer grid.

That was fun and interesting. Hope you liked it too.



Note from C.C.:

Today we remember Dan Naddor, who passed away last year today. Dan gave us total 30 puzzles in 2010, according to Rich's LAT info, which will be published here this coming Friday.

Dec 20, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010 Gary Cee

Theme: Play Time - Each of the words in the theme entries can proceed the word GAME.

17A. Miniature data storage device: MEMORY CARD. A device with many shapes and names(examples). A MEMORY GAME, in its simplest form, is recalling the position of a item to form a pair. CARD GAME doesn't need an explanation.

24A. Teen group sleepover: PAJAMA PARTY. Also known as a slumber party. PAJAMA GAME was a Broadway musical, based on the novel 7½ Cents and made into a film staring Doris Day in 1957. PARTY GAMES, I miss them.

38A. With 40-Across, in an advantageous position (and what both words in 17-, 24-, 47- and 60-Across can be): AHEAD OF.... And 40A. See 38-Across: ...THE GAME

47A. Like an actor who doesn't miss a line: WORD PERFECT. I wonder why the word processing application wasn't used as the clue. The meaning like 2D. To __: precisely : A TEE seems out-dated to me. WORD GAME: Fictionary comes to mind. PERFECT GAME is a baseball game in which no opposing player reaches base or a 300-point game in bowling. C.C.'s husband, Boomer, has several.

60A. Bobby Vee hit with the line "I come bouncing back to you": RUBBER BALL. The song. RUBBER GAME is needed to decide the winner if a series is tied at an even number of wins. The use of the word Rubber to describe a tiebreaker is believed to have originated in the English game bowls(lawn bowling). And that's the BALL GAME.

Argyle here. Gosh, I don't know if I got anything left in me to comment on the rest of this ambitious Monday puzzle but I'll try.


1. Things to make notes on : PADS

5. Gate clasp : LATCH

10. Woeful word : "ALAS!"

14. Home of the Osmonds : UTAH

15. Impressive display : ARRAY

16. Coke or Pepsi : COLA

19. Like many a movie twin : EVIL

20. Faraway friend who likes to write : PEN PAL

21. Traditional stories : LORE

23. New England hrs. : EST. Eastern Standard Time.

27. Bolivian high points : ANDES The South American mountain range.

31. Above-the-street trains : ELS

32. Second afterthought, in a ltr. : PPS

33. Heckle : JEER

34. Writer's deg. : MFA. Master of Fine Arts (MFA).

35. Itzhak Perlman's instrument : VIOLIN. A virtuoso; feel free to link your favorite piece.

41. Tears to shreds : RIPS UP

42. Seaman's call for assistance : SOS

43. Baseball's Slaughter : ENOS. During a 19-year baseball career, he played from 1938-1942 and 1946-1959 for four different teams, but is noted primarily for his time with the St. Louis Cardinals.

44. Not masc. : FEM.

45. Old Mideast org. : UAR. United Arab Republic.

46. Digs for : SEEKS

51. "Toto, __ a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore" : I'VE

52. Encl. with a manuscript : SASE. Self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE).

53. Gap : HIATUS

58. Require : NEED

62. Ricelike pasta : ORZO

63. Judges hear them : PLEAs

64. Sicilian volcano : ETNA

65. Wine glass part : STEM

66. Occupied, as a desk : SAT AT

67. Hurdle (over) : LEAP


1. It gives you gas : PUMP. Good one.

3. Rhett's last word : DAMN

4. Hit the mall : SHOP

5. 1971 Clapton classic : "LAYLA"

6. Pop-up path : ARC

7. Song refrain : TRA, LA, LA. A great song with many lyrics. "Tra la la Boome de ay, I lost my mind today, won't miss it any way."

8. Pool shots : CAROMS. Sometimes called the "kiss" shot, the carom shot involves bouncing your ball off another to get it in the pocket.

9. Beast that grew two heads every time it lost one : HYDRA

10. King topper : ACE

11. Where romantic couples park : LOVERS' LANE

12. Crème de la crème : A-LIST

13. Like the sea : SALTY

18. Jay-Z performances : RAPS

22. "Silas Marner" foundling : EPPIE

25. Funny Foxworthy : JEFF

26. Orbital high point : APOGEE

27. Barely open : AJAR

28. Pop your pop might have liked : NEHI

29. Suspended animation : DEEP FREEZE

30. Took off the board : ERASED

34. Floor-washing aid : MOP

35. Videotape format : VHS. The Video Home System is better known by its abbreviation VHS and I was expecting something more technical.

36. Response to "You all right?" : "I'M OK"

37. Storied loch : NESS. In Scotland.

39. Down in the __ : DUMPS

40. Raced : TORE

42. Wager that isn't risky : SAFE BET

45. Bond girl Andress : URSULA. Image.

46. Hullabaloo : STIR

47. Indigent imbibers : WINOs. We haven't seen much alliteration lately.

48. In full view : OVERT. Covert - hidden from view. Whoopi, on the View.

49. Wild West brothers : EARPs. There were six brothers: Newton (from their father's first marriage), James, Virgil, Wyatt, Morgan and Warren. There were also three sisters: Martha, Virgina and Adelia. Web site.

50. Where the toys are : CHEST. How is the latest "Toy Story"?

54. One slain by Cain : ABEL

55. Westminster gallery : TATE

56. Forearm bone : ULNA

57. Open-handed blow : SLAP

59. __ Pérignon : DOM. Champagne.

61. Sheep sound : "BAA!"

Answer grid.


Feb 5, 2010

Friday February 5, 2010 Gary Cee

Theme: BE ON THE BALL (38A. Demonstrate effectiveness, and a literal hint to the puzzle theme found in the answers to starred clues) - The embedded word BE in each theme answer is placed directly above/on the embedded BALL in the grid. See the circled illustration.

14A. *First family member: ABEL. The middle son of Adam and Eve. Biblical "First family".

17A. *Old street corner singer: BALLADEER

21A. *Arthur in a dress: BEA. I know Bea Arthur. But why "in a dress"?

25A. *Receptacle for choice slips: BALLBALLOT BOX

47A. *Brit. award: OBE (Order of the British Empire)

55A. *Danseur noble's partner: BALLERINA. Danseur noble is male ballet dancer.

62A. *Ball honorees: BELLES. Ball should not be in the clue as it's part of the theme answers.

65A. *Southwestern horseman: CABALLERO. New word to me. Hey, Chuck of the West!

A solid CEE, Gary! It would be utterly cool if all the embedded BEs in the grid followed the same pattern. The "starred clues" in the unifying theme answer did not prevent me from noticing the BEs in OBESE (70. Extra large?) or BENT (25. Inclination). They went rogue.

I'll still shout an OLE (6D. 65-Across's "Bravo!") for the creative theme concept and for including our unofficial blog mushroom MOREL (8D. Provençal cuisine delicacies) in the grid. Don't know why they are "Provençal cuisine delicacies". Morel are prized every where, with the delicate flavor and high prices. Maybe because the French put morels in coq au vin?

You might have noticed that not all the theme answers are symmetrical, unlike the Will Nediger "Watch the Birdie" puzzle we had last June. Birdie is ONE UNDER PAR in golf. And Will put ONE under PAR in 10 different places, all symmetrically. Just perfect. Like today's explanatory answer BE ON THE BALL, Will's ONE UNDER PAR is also positioned in the very heart of the grid.

An easier Friday for me. Thee/four letter fill aplenty. My favorite clue today is PICABO ( 11D. Street going downhill?). Picabo Street was a skier. Her name is pronounced like "Peekaboo".


1. __ St Ives: Cornwall museum: TATE. I only knew the two Tate galleries in London (Tate Britain and Tate Modern). Wikipedia says the Tate also has a museum in Liverpool.

5. Drift: ROAM

9. Caught on video: TAPED. Poor John Edwards.

15. Muppet who testified before Congress: ELMO. In 2002. For increased funding in music education. Nice to learn this trivia.

16. Spry: AGILE

19. Director De Mille: CECIL. His last film is "The Ten Commandments".

20. Keys: ISLETS

23. Orkan sign-off word: NANU. Mork always signs off with "Nanu-nanu" ("goodbye"). From "Mink & Mindy". Learned from doing crossword.

27. Publisher often seen in PJs: HEF. Hugh Hefner. Publisher of the "Playboy".

28. Park, in NYC: AVE. Park Ave.

30. Cpl.'s superior: SGT

31. Valuable rock: ORE. Wrote down GEM first.

32. Mine entrance: ADIT. Like this.

34. Cover letter letters: ENC (Enclosed/Enclosure)

36. Diamond stat: ERA

42. Farm dweller: ANT. Ant Farm. Got the intersecting A from TEA (33. Drink from a bag) quickly, so I did not think of EWE or anybody else.

43. Musical ability: EAR

44. D.C. fundraisers: PACS (Political Action Committees)

52. Eastern principle: TAO. Literally "way" in Cantonese. Mandarin Chinese is DAO. Japanese is do, as in Judo ("gentle way").

54. "Murder, __ Wrote": SHE

58. Eucharist plate: PATEN. To put bread on. I simply forgot.

60. Culinary author Rombauer: IRMA. Author of the "Joy of Cooking". I tend to mix her up with Erma Bombeck the humorist.

61. 63-Across hdg.: ENE. And STORM (63A. Besiege)

67. Musher's wear: PARKA

68. Abbr. that shortens text: ET AL

69. Gossip columnist Cassini: IGOR. Brother of OLEG, the only Cassini I know of.

71. Con: SHAM. So is SCAM first.

72. Three-part nos.: SSNS. Social Security Numbers.


1. "Bewitched" role: TABITHA. No idea. I've only heard of ENDORA.

2. Hangdog: ABASHED. See unabashed more often.

3. Lie: TELL A FIB.

4. Actress Barkin: ELLEN. Somehow I don't think she is Dennis's type.

5. Ruby and others: REDS. My first reaction was DEES.

7. Microscopic organism: AMEBA

9. Middle x: TAC. "Middle x" in the game of Tic- Tac-toe. And ALGEBRA (22D. Course with x's). Nice x echo.

10. One taking a little off the top?: AGENT. Delicious clue!

12. Emma's "Sense and Sensibility" role: ELINOR. Played by Emma Thompson.

13. Ritzy: DELUXE

18. Aleutian island: ATKA. Or ATTU.

26. Other, in Spain: OTRA. Sometimes it's OTRO.

29. Risky undertaking: VENTURE

35. Fidel's friend: CHE (Guevara). Fidel Castro. Not dog.

37. Finsteraarhorn, e.g.: ALP. Finsteraarhorn unknown to me. The highest peak of the Bernese Alps. Located in S central Switzerland.

39. Start of many a story: ONCE. Once upon a time.

40. "Do I dare to __ peach?": Eliot: EAT A. I know what's going on in your mind, Argyle!

41. Near-exhaustion metaphor: LAST LEGS. Idiom: on one's last legs.

45. Root for: CHEER ON

46. Radar guns, e.g.: SENSORS

47. San Luis __, California: OBISPO. Literally "bishop" in Spanish.

48. Bill for shots: BAR TAB. Drink "shots".

49. Author Leonard: ELMORE. He once said "Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip."

51. Chops finely: MINCES

53. European auto: OPEL. Still belonged to GM, after the turmoil.

56. Carefree diversions: LARKS

57. Bard's "below": 'NEATH

59. "__ forgiven": ALL IS

64. West who said "To err is human, but it feels divine": MAE. Lois is the Mae West of our blog.

66. Repeated nursery rhyme opener: BAA. "Baa, Baa, black sheep...". No nursery rhyme in my childhood. Brought up by my grandma who was completely illiterate.

Thank you for the nice comments on my husband's blogging yesterday. He had fun reading them last night.

And to those who still google the old "Star Tribune Crossword Corner" blog title or the current "LA Times Crossword Corner" to find us every day, why not come to the Comments section and let your voice be heard? Here is detailed instruction on how to get your profile and turn blue. Come join us for the fun!

Answer grid.