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

Sep 5, 2018

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 Gary Schlapfer and C. C. Burnikel

Theme: ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?  The NFL season kicks off [so to speak] tomorrow night with the defending Superbowl Champ Philly Eagles traveling to Atlanta to take on the Falcons. Do you have a raptor preference?

This is one of those rare puzzles where the theme is in the clues - not the fills, which are unrelated two-word common language phrases; brought to us by our own dear hostess, C. C. and Corner denizen Husker Gary.  C. C. and I worked a similar idea in a Sunday puzzle a couple years ago.  And by some weird cosmic coincidence, Gary blogged the puzzle that day, in quite spectacular fashion.

Today our theme clues are words familiar to football fans - and I'm pretty sure Gary is one.  C. C. is more into baseball.  Let's we what we have here.

18 A. BLOCK: CITY SQUARE.  Most cities have streets laid out in a rectilinear pattern.  A BLOCK is the area defined by four streets.  More specifically, a CITY [or town] SQUARE is an open public space near the heart of the town, used for community gatherings.  Here's a trombone's eye view from the bandstand at Kellogg Park, the town square in Plymouth, MI.

My peeps are out there somewhere

To BLOCK in football is to move a defensive player aside so a ball carrier can advance down the field.

23 A. CATCH: HIDDEN SNAG.  I'm imagining an underwater obstruction that a small boat could get hung up on.  Figuratively, it could be any unanticipated difficulty, perhaps as a result of poor planning.  In football, a CATCH is a reception of a PASS [vide infra], viz. a ball thrown to an eligible receiver to advance the team's position on the playing field.

37 A. KICK: CHAMPAGNE EFFECT.  Well, that depends on who you ask.

In football, there are three kinds of KICKS.  The KICK OFF happens at the beginning of each half, and after one team scores, to deliver the ball to their foe. The extra point is a KICK after a touch down is scored.  Success, attained by sending the ball through the uprights, is called a conversion, good for one point. The field goal is a similar kind of KICK, attempted when the offense stalls somewhere on the field.  If successful it nets 3 points.

49 A. PASS: FREE TICKET.  A no-charge permit that authorizes entry and access to a venue or event.  In football, a PASS is ball launched by hand to an intended receiver [vide supra.]

58A. RUN: HOSE MISHAP.  A tear or hole in sheer silk or nylon stockings.  A disaster.

In football, a RUN is an attempt to advance the ball by carrying it around or through the defenders.  Of course, a RUN is a score in baseball, as well.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here to coach this game.  The theme cluing is pretty straight-forward, and the fills are sparkly in this thematically rich puzzle. And we have some extra bits of elegance.  Each theme clue can be functionally either an action verb, or the name of the action that is so indicated.  And there is a nice element of symmetry.  The first and last Theme entries are a complimentary pair, as are the second and fourth.  That must have taken some extra effort.  And the central theme entry is a grid spanner. So from my view on the side-line, this is a win.  Yay, team!


1. Tot's drink, to the tot: WAWA.  Water, when you are just figuring out how to form syllables.  Fun times.  Also a chain of convenience stores and gas stations located in the eastern U.S.  None in our area, but we always fill the tank and grab coffee and donuts when we leave step-son Tom's for the long drive home.

5. Side-by-side truck tires: DUALS.  They provide more even weight distribution, and thus greater safety and stability

10. Fifth Avenue landmark: SAKS.  An American luxury department store owned by the Hudson's Bay Company, the oldest commercial corporation in North America.

14. Help with a heist: ABET.  Provide assistance to a crime or other offense.

15. Play direction: ENTER.  Tells the actor to go onto the stage.

16. Lint collector: TRAP.  Belly button doesn't fit.

17. Sci-fi princess with a twin brother: LEIA.  Stars Wars, of course.  The brother is Luke Skywalker.

20. Abs exercise: LEG RAISE.  Get a leg up with proper form.

22. Take out of the packaging: UNBOX.  Open it up.

26. Picnic crasher: ANT.  Six-legged interloper.

28. Harrison of "My Fair Lady": REX.

29. Help: AID.  Assistance.

30. Tiny Lab, e.g.: PUP.  Young dog.

33. "But seriously folks ... " is one: SEGUE.   In music, a move from one song to the next without interruption.  Here, a little more loosely, a transition in a monologue.

35. Forest ranger?: ELK.  Per Wikipedia, these large members of the deer family "range in forest and forest-edge habitat, feeding on grasses, plants, leaves, and bark."  So - yep.

36. Selfish shout: MINE.  I get to use this again.

41. "What __!": "I've been had!": A RIP.  As in RIP off - a fraud or swindle, often based on something being over-priced

42. Little chap: LAD.  A boy.  From Middle English, of unknown origin.  The word was much more popular a century ago, but has had a recent resurgence.

43. Big dipper: LADLE.  Kitchen utensil, not something written in the stars.

44. Many a dad joke: PUN.  Strained puns that are anodyne and therefore OK to tell in mixed, but non-critical company.

Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon? Great food, no atmosphere.
What do you call a fake noodle? An Impasta.
Want to hear a joke about paper? Nevermind it's tearable.
I just watched a program about beavers. It was the best dam program I've ever seen.
Why did the coffee file a police report? It got mugged.
How does a penguin build it's house? Igloos it together.

You get the picture.

45. Transparent art surface: CEL.  Speaking of pictures, CEL is short for celluloid, a transparent sheet where objects are drawn for traditional cartoon animation.  It is an artifact of obsolete animation technology.  Now, some cels are special editions of animation artwork, not intended for production.  Mine is from Mickey's Philharmagic at Walt Disney World.

46. MADD message, e.g.: PSA. A Public Service Announcement from Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

48. __ Lingus: AER.  The flag carrier air line of Ireland, now owned by IAG, the parent company of British Airways and Iberia.

52. Legend automaker: ACURA.  The luxury vehicle arm of Honda.

55. Alternative medicine staple: ALOE VERA.  Extract from the eponymous evergreen perennial succulent.

61. Its oxide makes Mars red: IRON.  Rust, an IRON-oxygen compound.

62. Retired tennis pro Kournikova: ANNA.  She was born in 1981 and retired from competitive play at age 21 due to spinal problems.

63. Bartlett entry: QUOTE.  An American reference book, first published in 1855, now in its 18th edition.

64. Gunk: CRUD.  An unpleasantly dirty and messy substance.

65. Woodpecker's tool: BEAK. Used for digging under the bark of trees to get insects, and for communication by drumming on hard surfaces.

66. Go over the limit: SPEED.  Driving in excess of the posted limit, which nobody does, ever.

67. Ball elevators: TEES.  In golf, the first stroke on any hole is hit with the ball slightly elevated from the ground on a wooden peg, called a TEE.  After that, one must play it where it lies.


1. Outlet site: WALL.  A srtucture designed to keep a door upright.

2. Busy as __: A BEE.  Oh, honey  .  .  .

3. Reason to purchase a new belt: WEIGHT GAIN.  I don't want to talk about it.

4. Pong maker: ATARI.  Speaking of back in the day.  You can tell your grandchildren that this was once a ground-breaking new video game.

5. Get off the fence: DECIDE.  Well  .  .  . ? [fingers drumming]

6. Like the name Pat: UNISEX.  Non-gender-specific.  My sister's full name is Patricia, which removes all doubt.  But her initials spelt the short form of her name.

7. When some local news airs: AT TEN.  In the evening.

8. Emmy-winning ESPN reporter Bob: LEY.  The network's longest tenured on-air employee.

9. Soon-to-be alumni: Abbr.: SRS.  Senior class members, hoping to graduate.

10. Smarted: STUNG.  If it hurt, how smart could it be?

11. Riyadh resident: ARAB.  Riyadh is the capital and most populous city of Saudi Arabia.

12. Pecan pie syrup: KARO.  A sweetener made from corn starch, containing varying amounts of maltose and higher oligosaccharides [sugar polymers of 3 to 10 units.]  High fructose corn syrup is made by further processing that converts much of its glucose into fructose, which tastes sweeter.

13. Glasses, informally: SPEX.  Or SPECS, short for spectacles.  Speaking of dad jokes - did you hear about the optometrist who fell into the lens grinding machine?  He made a spectacle of himself.

19. College courtyard: QUAD.  A square or rectangular space, mainly, or partly enclosed on all four sides by buildings.  Like a CITY SQUARE, but different.

21. Campaign pro?: AD REP.  A person responsible for an advertising effort intended to sell a product or service, not one involved in a political or military campaign.

24. Counter offer?: SALE.  Things are offered for SALE on or behind the counter of a store.  Clever mis-direction.

25. Goddess of victory: NIKE.  Her Roman equivalent is Victoria.

26. Music rights gp.: ASCAP. American Society of Composers, Authors and Plagiarists  Publishers.

27. '60s jacket style: NEHRU. A hip length tailored coat with mandarine collar.

30. Apartment used for overnight trips to the city: PIED A TERRE.  Literally, foot to the ground, going back to 18th century France, used to indicate any temporary lodging.  Now meaning a secondary residence [but not a vacation home] that is used occasionally during part of the year or part of the work week.

31. "I give up!": UNCLE.  North American usage, origin unknown.

32. Saint at a gate: PETER. An image in popular culture indicating St. Peter as the gate keeper of heaven.

34. Official behind a catcher: UMP.  Baseball umpire.

35. Word with tight or split: END.  Another football term, relating to the placement of a potential pass receiver.  Split ends could also be part of a bad hair day.

36. Juilliard deg.: MFAMaster of Fine Arts.

38. Away from the wind: ALEE. Nautical term, gong back to Middle English.

39. Beaufort scale word: GALE. A measure of wind speed.

40. Cereal bit: FLAKE.   Grains are crushed, ground, and then cooked for several hours, possibly with added vitamins and flavorings.  The resulting slurry is then pressed between rollers that flatten the grains.  They are then transferred to a heated drum for drying.  Additional additives may be sprayed on at this point.

45. Study a lot in a short time: CRAM.  To stuff something full - as one's brain with subject matter.

46. Pontius __: PILATE. The 5th prelate of the Roman provence of Judea, serving from A.D 26 to 37.

47. Checked (out): SCOPED.  Visually examined.

49. Come unglued, with "out": FREAK.  Lose it, go berserk, go ballistic.

50. Lake near California's Squaw Valley: TAHOE.  A large lake in the Sierra Nevada mountains, straddling the California - Nevada border, famous for its beaches and near-by ski resorts.

51. Throw out: EVICT.  A legal process to remove a tenant.

52. Queequeg's captain: AHAB. From Moby Dick.

53. Scoop perch: CONE.  Ice cream holder.

54. Military sch. whose mascot is Bill the Goat: USNAUnited States Naval Academy, located in Annapolis, MD.

56. Casanova: ROUE.  French term for one broken on a wheel, indicating the tortuous punishment such a debauchee allegedly deserves.

57. Common conjunctions: ANDS.  Sometimes associated with IFS and BUTS.

59. Brightness figs. not measured in watts: IQSIntelligence Quotient, indicating mental brightness.

60. "What's goin' on?": 'SUP.  Que pasa? 

That all, folks. C. C. and Gary gave us a sporting chance.

Cool regards!

Jul 12, 2017

July 12, 2017 Gary D. Schlapfer and C. C. Burnikel

Theme: SCHOOL DAYS.  Various activities that school children may be involved in are indicated by the clues with asterisks.

18 A. *Annual kids' competition aired by ESPN : SPELLING BEE.  A contest to see who can correctly spell obscure words nobody will ever see or hear again.  In the class room version, I hope the target words are more useful.

24 A. *Excursion that may require permission slips : FIELD TRIP.  Visit to a dairy farm, fire station, or some other location that might be of educational interest.  The permission slip allows the teacher and helpers to take the students away from school premisses.

37. *Evacuation exercise : FIRE DRILL.  A practice run for leaving the building in a safe and orderly fashion, so that all occupants can be accounted for.  We had these where I worked, with several thousand people gathering in a number of assigned locations.  As department safety coordinator, I made sure everyone participated.

50 A. *Year-end hurdle : FINAL EXAM.  Year being the school year, not the calendar year.  The last test of acquired knowledge before moving on - or not.

And, the unifier -- 57A. Group lawsuit ... and what each answer to a starred clue is? : CLASS ACTION.  In the lawsuit, a group of people with a common complaint join together to take legal ACTION against some entity. In the CLASS room, it's an activity in which the students participate.

Hi, Gang.  JazzBumpa here for todays lesson. Pretty straight-forward theme - all of these ACTIONS clearly relate to things that students and teachers might be doing, though a couple of them can also occur in other contexts.  You'd almost think that the idea came from someone with inside-the-classroom experience! So - let's put on our thinking caps and see what we can learn.  


1. Place for fuzzy navels : BAR.  This concoction of orange juice and peach schnapps [or many other potential ingredients] might be served in a tavern.

4. Plots of land : TRACTS.   Refers to [usually] large areas of indefinite extent.

10. Animated internet pics : GIFS.  The Graphics Interchange Format was developed in 1987 by Steve Wilhite's team at CompuServe.


14. Whopper, but not a Big Mac : LIE.   Deliberately untruthful statement of some magnitude, not a large hamburger sandwich.

15. Reconciled : MADE UP.  I thought that they had gotten back together, but it was just a story somebody MADE UP. { I loves me the English language!}

16. "You said it, sister!" : AMEN.  Or brother.  Let's be inclusive.

17. Safari find : URL.  Safari is the browser on Apple computers.

20. Kazan who directed Marlon in his first Oscar role : ELIA.  This was Mr. Brando's 4th best actor nomination.  Can you name this 1954 film?  It was also the big screen debut of Eva Marie Saint.

22. Crème de la crème : ELITE.  The ones who are best at something, like ELITE athletes or musicians.

23. Neruda's "__ to Common Things" : ODE.   You can read it here.

27. Not as well-done : RARER.  As a steak, not a task.

29. Not hidden : IN VIEW.  I can see it.

30. Airfield fixtures : TOWERS.  The better to see with.

31. Bridal bio term : NEE.  Referring to her birth [or maiden] name.

32. Reader at Mass : LECTOR.  One who reads a scriptural passage as part of a church service.

36. Pigs out (on), briefly : OD'S.  Over-Doses.  Trivializing a term that otherwise relates to a serious public health problem.

39. Sergeant's address : SIR.  As the Sergeant would be addressed by his underlings, or would address her/his superior officers.

41. Balkan first-timer in the 2016 Olympics : KOSOVO.  Over Serbia's protest, they sent 8 athletes who competed in five events, and took home one gold medal, won by Majlinda Kelmendi in judo.

42. Vandalize : MAR.  Cause damage.

45. Oasis visitors : CAMELS.  And, presumably, their riders.

47. Urbana-Champaign "Fighting" team : ILLINI.  University of Illinois sports mascot.

49. What might make a Cardinal an Oriole : TRADE.  From a National League team to one in the American League.  You knew there had to be some baseball in here somewhere.  A quick google search did not reveal any player-for-player trades between these teams in recent years.

53. Wood cutter : SAW.  Carpenter's tool.

54. Maine college town : ORONO.  Home of the University of Maine.  But why is there never any love for ORONO, Minnesota, in Hennepin County on the north shore of Lake Minnetonka?

56. Understands : GETS.  Comprehends.

61. Homeric outburst : D'OH.  Simpson, not the author of The Iliad.

62. Dynamic leader? : AERO-.  Prefix.

63. Crunchy breakfast : MUESLI.  Ugly sounding word for granola.

64. "Just sayin'," in texts : IMO.  In My Opinion.   Admit it - you have one!

65. Must have : NEED.

66. Out in a hammock? : ASLEEP.  Outdoors, and catching some Z's.

67. Empire St. paper : NYT.  New York Times, a continent away from the Golden State's L.A. Times.


1. Much sushi- and sashimi-grade tuna : BLUEFIN.  Several species of tuna in the genus Thonnus, found in many places around the world.

2. Southwest, e.g. : AIRLINE.  The plane truth.

3. Take over for : RELIEVE.  As a baseball pitcher, perhaps.

4. Corp. symbols : TMS.  Trademarks (™).  

5. Eschew the doorbell : RAP.

Rap, rap.
Who's there?
Hip Hop.
Go away, I hate rap.

6. Like __ in the headlights : A DEER.  Refers to someone with a glazed over expression, or frozen into inactivity by fear, panic or confusion.

7. Ma's strings : CELLI.  There are 4 strings on one CELLO.

8. Showy April bloom : TULIP.

9. Shish kebab holder : SPIT.  A rod or stick upon which the meat is skewered.

10. __ rule : GAG.  A imposed prohibition to speak about a specified topic.

11. "There's nothing to do" : I'M BORED.  I have no idea what that feel like.

12. Birdseed buffets : FEEDERS.  

13. Contemptuous looks : SNEERS.

19. Fiddling emperor : NERO.   Nerō Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus [37-68 A.D.], the last Roman emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, from 54-68 A.D.  There is much good and bad to be said abut him.  But he certainly did not fiddle, for that instrument would not be invented for another 900 years.  Rumor had it that he sang and/or played the lyre while Rome burned in July of 64 , but he was out of town at the time.  He organized and participated in relief efforts, and made a new urban plan, with wider roads and more widely spaced brick houses.  But he was scapegoated for the fire, and deflected blame on to Christians, who were then brutally tortured and murdered.  Definitely not this guy.

21. Liston opponent : ALI. Sonny and Muhammad [born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.] respectively

25. Where heros are made : DELI.  Sandwiches.

26. Sexy dance moves : TWERKS.  Sexy or downright obscene?  You be the judge.

28. Mil. no-show : AWOL.  Absent Without Official Leave.

30. "Jeopardy!" fare : TRIVIA.

33. VIP with a corner office, perhaps : CEO.  Chief Executive Officer.

34. NFL six-pointers : TDs.  Touchdowns.

35. Guatemala gold : ORO.  Spanish

37. Mister Rogers : FRED. Seen here making sexy dance moves.


38. Take it easy : LOLL.   Just layin' around.

39. Mrs. Smith's rival : SARA LEE.  Purveyors of pre-packaged deserts.

40. "It's not news to me ... " : I'M AWARE.

42. Blended : MIXED IN.  Shaken or stirred.

43. Gray area? : ANATOMY.  Refers to a medical text book of the human body by Henry Gray with illustrations by Henry Vandyke Carter, first published in 1858. The TV medical drama, now in it's 13th season, is GREY'S ANATOMY.  

44. Drummer's sound after a one-liner : RIM SHOT.  Find it here.

45. Med. imaging procedure : CT SCAN. Computerized Tomography combines a series of scanned X-ray images taken from different angles, and uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images of bones, blood vessels and internal organs.

46. Some summer births : LEOs.  The 5th Zodiac sign, in the fire group, symbolized by the Lion.

48. Triangle side : LEG.  All triangles have legs.  Some legs have triangles.

50. Prepare to shoot with a Canon : FOCUS.  Camera, not heavy artillery.

51. Maker of chips : INTEL.   With headquarters in Santa Clara, CA, they are not to be confused with Frito-Lay, with headquarters in Plano, TX.  INTEL has many Trademarks.

52. Cacophony : NOISE.  Cacophony traces back to Greek roots meaning "bad" and "sound."   NOISE, via Old French traces back to the Latin word for seasickness, nausea, which does sound bad.

55. Major Hindu deity : RAMA.  The 7th avatar of Vishnu, the Supreme Being in some Hindu traditions.

58. Lawn roll : SOD.  A grassy layer of earth.

59. Bullring cry : OLE.  An interjection used as a shout of encouragement or approval.

60. Puppy bite : NIP.  Playful, one hopes.

OK, kids - CLASS dismissed.  Our own C.C. and Gary gave us a great lesson plan today.  Hope you found it enlightening.  Now go do your homework.

Cool regards!

P.S.  In case you didn't know and haven't G-spotted that Eva Marie Saint movie cited above, its On The Waterfront.

Jan 6, 2017

Friday, January 6, 2017, Gary Schlapfer & C.C. Burnikel

Title: Why don't your glasses fall off? The NOSE knows!

Almost as if planned, JzB lauded puzzles which use different definitions for the same word on Wednesday. So like magic, C.C. and Husker Gary are here with a classic example of that type of puzzle. Actually there are many other meanings for bridge - part of a musical composition - part of a guitar - and the above referenced nose. This team picked two grid spanners and two 13s to pack in the theme. All four definitions are fair and took time to come up with the symmetrical fill. They managed some fun fill like INGEST, GO FAST,  G-SUITS, TOSTADA, THE WIRE, I GOTTA RUN and DUDE RANCH. As always with a C.C. monitored puzzle there are some great clues. Let's get to work!

17A. Bridge : CARD GAME FOR FOUR (15). One of my favorite card games.

23A. Bridge : HELMSMAN'S POST (13). The Captain  often is there as well, ask Sulu.

52A. Bridge : RIVER CROSSING (13). We still have a few covered bridges in Connecticut. LINK.

62A. Bridge : DENTAL APPLIANCE (15). I had one that fell out.


1. Carnival Cruise Line headquarters : MIAMI. The ultimate gimme for me; I live in South Florida and I have been to their offices having owned a travel agency.

6. Net gain? : GOAL. Punny!

10. One often taking a bow : GIFT. Yes, this time it is BOW (o) not BOW (ow).

14. How many crosswords are solved : IN PEN. In ink, with a pen? Or maybe they are referring to incarcerated people.

15. Plot to plow : ACRE. nice!

16. Creepy look : OGLE.

20. Young Skywalker's nickname : ANI. He was played by a boy named Jake Lloyd. As Dr. Frak N. Furter would say " FAME is fleeting..."

21. "At Wit's End" columnist Bombeck : ERMA.

22. Like Cheerios : OATEN. Entering the food zone.

27. Liked a lot, with "up" : ATE.

28. Taqueria order : TOSTADA. See three foodies in a row. I think the word just means "Toasted."

31. A3 or Q7 : AUDI.

34. Leave : DEPART.

37. Whistle-blower : REF. Very cute clue.

38. Way around the block? : SHUNT. Wonderful, how to avoid an arterial blockage.

40. Luau band : LEI. How many have been to Hawaii?

41. Meatball medium : SAUCE. Food. Gravy to many Italians.

43. Roll in the yard : SOD. Again nice phrasing.

44. Inn crowd option : RAMADA. More puns.

47. Cause of some closings : SNOW.

48. HBO drama set in Baltimore : THE WIRE.

50. __ Friday's : TGI.
58. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque prayer : OMANI. One from Oman. Oman is an absolute monarchy. The Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said has been the hereditary leader of the country since 1970.  Sultan Qaboos is the longest-serving current ruler in the Middle East,  and sixth-longest current-reigning monarch in the world.

60. Sci-fi navigator : SULU. I told you could ask him.

61. Gen __ : XER.

66. Number of times a horse can enter the Kentucky Derby : ONCE. As a three year old.

67. "Dies __" : IRAE.

68. Copy, in a way : TRACE.

69. Essen's region : RUHR.

70. Celebrate an anniversary, say, with "out" : DINE.

71. Secretly watch : SPY ON.


1. Hebrew prophet : MICAH. ONE of 12 minor prophets in Judaism, but embraced by Christianity.

2. Absurd : INANE.

3. __ fool : APRIL.

4. Club __ : MED. All inclusive vacation, now with 68 locations, including LINK.

5. Take in : INGEST.

6. Harmful ray type : GAMMA. Just ask Bruce Banner!

7. More than 70% of Earth's surface : OCEAN.

8. Lab greeting : ARF.

9. "Ars gratia artis" is written in an arc around his head : LEO. MGM Lion.

10. Zoom along : GO FAST.

11. "Time for me to split" : I GOTTA RUN.

12. Smoke passage : FLUE.

13. Gull relative : TERN.

18. Carrying, so to speak : ARMED.

19. Hen holders : ROOSTS.

24. Common street name : MAIN.

25. Strait-laced : STAID.

26. __ ejemplo : POR. For example...not too hard

29. Geometric art style : DECO. Art is always fun. LINK.

30. Several : A FEW.

31. Start of a subordinate title: Abbr. : ASST.

32. "You meant 8 p.m. not a.m.?" : UH OH.

33. Vacation spot with horseback riding : DUDE RANCH.

35. Toon often seen in a hunting hat : ELMER.

36. Shelled veggie : PEA.

39. "Jeopardy!" staple : TRIVIA.

42. Flaws and all : AS IS. Many homes and used cars are sol this way.

45. Is for everyone? : ARE. Really cute clue.

46. Bikini in the Pacific, e.g. : ATOLL. Well used by the military. 

49. It starts a bit before Christmas : WINTER. 4 days, C.E.

51. Astronauts' gear : G-SUITS. From our resident astronaut we have  an anti-gravity garment worn by fighter pilots. When they are pulling positive G's, the suit inflates and prevents blood from pooling in their feet and legs which would cause them to lose consciousness. NASA astronauts also wear g-suits when they experience Orthostatic Intolerance. LINK

53. Channel with a "Congressional Chronicle" online archive : C-SPAN.

54. Kolkata cash : RUPEE. No more Calcutta.

55. Slangy refusal : IXNAY. Pig latin...

56. Wafer brand : NECCO.  HG? Those of us of an age...

57. Place to find a flag : GREEN. Another HG moment with a golf course clue.

58. Le Pew's defense : ODOR.  Pepe.

59. Dish list : MENU.

63. Limit : LID. Put a lid on it!?!

64. Jackie O's second : ARI. Aristotle Onassis.

65. "Shirt Front and Fork" artist : ARP. Jean Arp or Hans Arp (16 September 1886 – 7 June 1966) was a German-French sculptor, painter, poet, and abstract artist in other media such as torn and pasted paper. When Arp spoke in German he referred to himself as "Hans", and when he spoke in French he referred to himself as "Jean".

What a great way to start my 2017 blogging. Thanks and thank you all. Lemonade bad sciatica and all saying see ya.

Nov 29, 2015

Sunday, Nov 29, 2015 Gary Schlapfer & C.C. Burnikel

Theme: "Man to Man" - Both parts of each theme entry can precede "Man".

23A. Position for Walter Cronkite : ANCHOR CHAIR. Anchorman. Chairman.

25A. Bell site : FRONT DOOR. Front man. Doorman.

36A. Official arachnid of South Carolina : WOLF SPIDER. Wolfman. Spider-Man.

45A. Political fund-raiser : SUPER PAC. Superman Pac-Man.

70A. Stroll around the station? : SPACEWALK. Spaceman. Walkman.

93A. Camping attraction : FRESH AIR. Freshman. Airman.

101A. Focused group? : CAMERA CREW. Camera man. Crewman.

117A. Lou Gehrig nickname, with "The" : IRON HORSE. Iron man. Horseman. We originally had BOATHOUSE here. Rich said that "Houseman" is an old term and might not resonate with many solvers, so we came up with IRON HORSE, which is snazzier, though this resulted in 70A being the only one-word entry.

119A. Hobbit world : MIDDLE EARTH. Middleman. Earthman.

C.C. here.

Gary originally proposed to me a set of four players who once played Batman. The letter lengths would not match. More importantly, the names are still names. He had BUSTER KEATON for Michael Keaton, MAE WEST for Adam West, CASEY AFFLECK for Ben Affleck & ROSEMARY CLOONEY for George Clooney. The only one that might work is WEST, as we can use THE WILD WEST. If you click this puzzle I made with Argyle, you'll see what I mean. It's important that those names are non-names in the theme context. Just normal nouns.

I asked Gary if he was interested in changing direction and going with  this "Man to Man" approach. He was game. So here is the result of our team work.  Gary is hard-working and super creative. A natural when it comes to clues.  Always fun to collaborate with him.

1. Healthy bar creations : SALADS. Light start.

7. Rudiments : ABCs

11. Diced dish : HASH. Food again.

15. Bee relative : WASP

19. End of an uncertain statement : OR IS IT? Not easy to parse.

20. Qatar home of the Aspire Tower : DOHA. Gary's hard work. Tough to come up with fresh clues.

21. Canyon response : ECHO

22. "__ Dinka Doo" : INKA

27. "The Black Cat" author : POE

28. Out of juice : DEAD. For DEAD, I always go for "Batteries" direction.

29. Style : MANNER

31. Surfer wannabe : HODAD

32. Rounded hammer part : PEEN

33. Wish list responder : GENIE

34. Mortar spreaders : TROWELS

40. On the money : PRECISE

42. Arabic leader? : ALIF. First letter in Arabic alphabet.

43. Finish the team practice : DO LAPS

49. Stuck with : KEPT TO

52. Silent film star Lillian : GISH. Feeling sheepish to put this in our puzzle.

53. Tipped toppers : HATS. Rich's clue.

54. Benny's 39, so he said : AGE

55. Superhero letter : ESS. Superman.

56. Make changes to : AMEND

58. Keats' "Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness" begins one : ODE

60. Narrowly escape bogey, in golf lingo : SAVE PAR. Shout-out to Gary.

63. Real poser : ENIGMA

65. Gobble (down) : SNARF

67. Most prudent : WISEST

68. Guitar accessory : STRAP

73. Holliday allies : EARPS

74. "Manhattan" and "Nashville" : MOVIES. Gary's clue.

76. Shout target : STAIN. Nice clue from Rich.

77. Gift giver's cry : OPEN IT!

79. Brings together : UNIFIES

81. "I pity the fool" speaker : MR T

82. Allen who never really made furniture : ETHAN. Also Gary's clue.

83. ''That's gross!'' : ICK

86. __ center : REC

87. Biathlon needs : SKIS

89. Pandora's inventory : ILLS

91. Buck Rogers weapon : RAYGUN

96. Crazed Muppet drummer : ANIMAL. This I learned from Gary also.

98. Nothing but : MERE

99. Monkeys (with) : TAMPERS

104. Beverage made with buds : ROSE TEA. Rose buds.

107. __ Martin: Bond's car : ASTON

109. Actress Rowlands : GENA

110. Three Stooges specialty : ANTIC

111. Seafood sauce : TARTAR. Never had it myself. Boomer likes it with his fried fish.

113. Bridge position : EAST

114. Sun Devils' sch. : ASU

122. Actor Dick Van __ : DYKE. Kind of like GOGH. Rich allowed, but it was wobbly.

123. Duel-purpose tool : FOIL. Nice play on "Dual-purpose".

124. Drink with a polar bear mascot : ICEE

125. Penguin suit : TUXEDO
126. Appear : SEEM

127. Chef Bobby to beat on a reality show : FLAY. Messy divorce from his wife.

128. Low in fat : LEAN

129. Conspicuous display : SPLASH

1. Ivory in a dish : SOAP

2. River through Florence : ARNO

3. Hat-borne parasites : LICE

4. Louisville Slugger material : ASH. The prices for those authenticated game-used bats are insane.

5. Two-element tubes : DIODES

6. Actress with a record 19 Oscar nominations : STREEP

7. Ritalin target : ADHD

8. '20s fashion accessory : BOA

9. Mythological fire-breathers : CHIMERAS

10. Microwaving aid : SARAN

11. Pajamaed publisher : HEFNER. Never used "Pajamaed" before.

12. Spread unit : ACRE

13. Drivers' local knowledge : SHORTCUTS. Not the one who purposely misled Irish Miss at Barbados. So mean.

14. Babe : HON

15. Dating scene returnee, maybe : WIDOWER

16. Battery terminal : ANODE

17. "Cheers!" : SKOAL

18. Western buds : PARDS

24. Fox or wolf : CANID. Oops, wolf dupes with WOLF in our themer. Sorry. Escaped us.

26. "__ Were the Days" : THOSE

30. Small bites : NIPS

32. Fizzling-out sound : PFFT

33. Beyond cold : GELID

35. Carpentry tool : RIP SAW

36. Boat trailer : WAKE. Another great clue from Gary.

37. Cheers at soccer matches : OLES

38. Empty words : LIP SERVICE

39. Steals, as a toy : DOGNAPS. Liked the clue & answer.

41. That, in Mexico : ESA

44. Give minimal effort : PHONE IT IN. Not LAT puzzles. Every one gets carefully filled,  edited, test-solved, fact-checked & then published.

46. All-bark, no-bite type : PAPER TIGER

47. Visibly stunned : AGASP

48. After-dinner brand : CERTS

50. National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall locale : TAIPEI

51. Texter's "Horrors!" : OMG

53. Wife of Zeus : HERA

57. Slammin' Sammy quartet : EMS. Tiny contribution from me.

59. Rooster's cue : DAWN

61. Where Mozart met Haydn : VIENNA. Rich's clue. Rich plays piano.

62. He played Tony on "NYPD Blue" : ESAI. Cool guy, except when he's with his ex-wife.

64. Babe in the woods : NAIF

65. Cut reminder : SCAR

66. Lake litter : FLOTSAM. I like this fill & clue also.

68. Blue toon : SMURF

69. Office supply : TONER

71. Sources of after-hrs. cash : ATMs

72. Metric speed abbr. : KPH

75. Opening word? : SESAME. Rich's clue.

78. Corn carrier : EAR

80. Rescue team on the slopes : SKI PATROL

82. Violinist Mischa : ELMAN. Does this dupe the Man theme?

84. Smoke, perhaps : CURE

85. Wasn't surprised : KNEW

88. Pique condition : IRE. We've seen this clue before. Still good.
90. Twizzlers ingredient : LICORICE

92. Place with a pool : YMCA

94. Co-founder of Women's Media Center : STEINEM. Rich's clue. Did not know the center.

95. Escape mechanism : HATCH. Rich's clue also. Nice one.

96. Office underling: Abbr. : ASST

97. Not under the table : LEGAL. Have you heard the term "Princelings"? A clique of wealthy and powerful group of Chinese whose parents were once the important Communist Party leaders. The current president is one. I like him though.

100. Once in a blue moon : RARELY

102. Starts over : RESETS

103. Get in on the deal : ANTE UP

104. Surprise missions : RAIDS

105. How pastrami is often ordered : ON RYE. Never had "pastrami". Also not fond of hot dogs. The best food I discovered here in the US is pickled herring.

106. Stir the fire : STOKE

108. Language that gave us "cheroot" and "curry" : TAMIL

112. Continent with 11 time zones : ASIA. Nice trivia. China has only one time zone.

113. Not the best place for apple-tasting? : EDEN. Rich's clue.

114. Two-dimensional measure : AREA

115. Norms: Abbr. : STDS

116. "I'm in for it now!" : UH OH

118. Not right : OFF. CenturyLinks upgraded their DSL system on Nov 24, then we lost our phone dial tone on Nov 25.  They're coming to fix it today, but the lady said it's subject to a service charge if it's our problem. When I called a different tech support earlier, he said quite a few people had the same problem. He asked me to unplug a few stuff. I did, but no luck. I just hope they'll be fair with us today.

120. Crack gp.? : DEA

121. Rose of rock : AXL. Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses.

Answer Grid from Owen


Aug 12, 2015

Wednesday, August 12th 2015 C.C. Burnikel & Gary Schlapfer

Theme: Bug Bonanza - four bacteria are lurking in the theme entries

17A. *Temper-tempering strategy : ANGER MANAGEMENT. According to the American Psychological Association "Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion" so just remember that when I'm yelling at you, buster. It's you, not me.

23A. *Toon rodent superhero with a hamster assistant named Penfold : DANGER MOUSE. UK animated series from 1981-1992, scheduled to make a comeback in September.

30D. *Insect with patterned wings : TIGER MOTH. Also a training biplane used by the RAF in the 1930's. I remember standing next to one, awestruck, at an airshow when I was about five - the name has stuck in my mind ever since.

32D. *CBS weekend anchor during the Cronkite era : ROGER MUDD. No idea - thank you, crosses. When he was passed over in favor of Dan Rather to succeed Cronkite as the nightly news anchor he left for NBC.

69A. Popular disinfectant brand that fights what's hidden in the answers to starred clues : LYSOL. I use Clorox. Apparently I prefer benzalkonium chloride to sodium hypochlorite. Who knew?

Hail fellows, well met. Steve here forming a very minor part of a "Corner" trifecta - C.C. and Husker Gary put their heads together to come up with this one. The theme entries run both across and down, and the grid has vertical rather than the usual rotational symmetry which makes for an interesting grid design. All the GERMs are split in the same place, which is nicely consistent.

Let's see what else jumps out:


1. Tight-fitting : SNUG. Time to get back to the gym when my pants feel this way.

5. Office subs : TEMPS

10. Jogger's challenge : HILL. TEN-K went in. And came out.

14. Snapper rival : TORO. Battle of the lawnmowers and my last fill. I don't have a lawn, therefore no mower and no idea.

15. Walled Spanish city : AVILA. Pretty much slap-dab in the middle of the Iberian Peninsula too.

16. Cookie that has its own day every March 6 : OREO. Today is "National Middle Child" day. I'd better call my brother and congratulate him.

20. Holiday song sextet : GEESE. A-laying.

21. Hairstyles : DOS

22. Big tops, e.g. : TENTS

26. Lawn problem : WEED. So is a TORO with an oil leak.

27. Q5 automaker : AUDI. I thought it was an acronym for Auto Union Dortmund Industrie, but I can't find any corroboration of that. It's a good story though, so I'll stick to it. What does Google know anyway?

28. Detroit record label : MOTOWN

31. For only a select few : SECRET. Where does "Top Secret" come from? You'd have thought there would be a "Middle Secret" and "Bottom Secret" also, but apparently not.

35. Really bad : EVIL

36. Blink, say : REACT

40. Big Island coffee region : KONA

41. Baseball word with out or up : TAG. It's wouldn't be a C.C. puzzle without at least one baseball reference. Here's her homeboy Kennys Vargas tagging up from second. Sounds like I almost know what I'm talking about.

42. Floral industry hybrid : TEA ROSE

44. Jungle __ : GYM

45. Snowy 10-Across sights : SLEDS

47. Something worth waiting for? : TIP. We had "NO TIP" a couple of weeks ago - here's the balancing entry.

48. For a song : CHEAP

50. TV host Kelly : RIPA

52. Secure in a harbor : MOOR

53. Polished rocks : GEMS

55. Pipe cleaner : DRANO. More kitchen cleaning product.

59. Magazine contents : AMMO

62. Graceland middle name : ARON. Elvis "thank you thank you very much" Presley.

63. __ parking : VALET. Very common here in LA. If you want to steal a really nice car, put on a pair of black pants, a white shirt and red vest and stand outside a posh restaurant. Within two minutes someone will pull up in a $100,000 ride and toss you the keys.

64. U.S. territory since the Spanish-American War : GUAM

65. Delayed : LATE

66. "You’ve got a friend" : I CARE

67. Out of work : IDLE

68. Pasty-faced : ASHY. Ashy? I'd use "ashen" I think.

70. Paradise : EDEN


1. Dateless : STAG. In the UK, this is used more in the "men only" context rather than "solo".

2. What the fourth little piggy had : NONE. Either because the third piggy ate all the roast beef, or Number Four was vegetarian.

3. Prodded : URGED

4. Risks being caught off base : GOES AWOL. The military, not the baseball sense this time.

5. Tartan topper : TAM. The hat named for the Robert Burns character:

"... This truth fand honest Tam o' Shanter,
As he frae Ayr ae night did canter:
(Auld Ayr, wham ne'er a town surpasses,
For honest men and bonie lasses.) ..."

6. Sidestepped : EVADED

7. One with a fake ID, maybe : MINOR. You have to memorize how old you're pretending to be, and the star sign of your alleged birth date. Apparently.

8. Flat panel TV type : PLASMA

9. Give under pressure : SAG

10. Like a camp kid missing mom and dad : HOMESICK. "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah ..."

11. Dancer Castle : IRENE. Who? Thank you, crosses. I'm not really a ballroom dancing aficionado. Here she is in 1912.

12. Period of sacrifice : LENT

13. Quite a bit : LOTS

18. Keep from expiring : RENEW

19. Piano showpiece : ETUDE

24. Britcom, e.g. : GENRE. Nice portmanteau word to boot.

25. Kicks out : OUSTS

28. Citi Field squad : METS. New York baseball.

29. Almond-shaped : OVAL. In the pointy-oval, almond-shaped kind of way.

33. One-named Irish singer : ENYA. She was born Eithne Ní Bhraonáin. Cue some new age music.

34. Pack (down) : TAMP. The (clue) relationship with 37D is cute.

37. Gobble (up) : EAT

38. Former press secretary Fleischer : ARI

39. Arresting figure? : COP

42. Recipe meas. : TSP. My measures usually are along the lines of "a pinch", "some", "a whole lot" and occasionally "a boatload".

43. Green prefix : ECO

46. "Steamboat Willie" studio : DISNEY

49. Sub in Philly : HOAGIE. Food! I didn't know the origin of the word was from Philadelphia. No-one seems to be able to agree on the exact etymology though.

51. Ibuprofen brand : ADVIL. I use generics. Cheaper, and the same stuff, I think. Marti?

52. "Psycho" setting : MOTEL

53. Fete : GALA

54. Important times : ERAS

56. Provocative : RACY

57. "Regrettably ..." : ALAS

58. Detective Wolfe : NERO. Crosses filled this in for me, which is just as well, as I'd no idea who he was. Proper names from US politics or pop culture often defeat me.

60. Guy : MALE

61. Broken mirror, to some : OMEN. Ladders, black cats, umbrellas, all kinds of dangerous stuff out there. Be careful, folks.

That's it from me - here's the grid:


Dec 15, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014 Gary Schlapfer and C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Those aren't mole hills - Three peaks in the NW and the range they're part of.

17A. Beer named for an American patriot : SAMUEL ADAMS. Mount Adams 12,277'

24A. Girl who found a wolf in her grandmother's clothing : RED RIDING HOOD. Mount Hood 11,240'

47A. Monaco ruler married to Grace Kelly : PRINCE RAINIER. Mount Rainier 14,410'

56A. Pacific Northwest range, three of whose peaks end 17-, 24 - and 47-Across : THE CASCADES

Argyle here with the latest Corner Combo. They have given us a nice tight theme and an easy Monday. Good job.


1. Royals and Giants, e.g. : TEAMS

6. Tehran native : IRANI

11. More, in Mexico : MAS

14. Top-drawer celeb group : A-LIST

15. "Say no __": peace slogan : TO WAR

16. Do something : ACT

19. Attempt : TRY

20. Summer in Paris : ÉTÉ

21. Pass along : RELAY

22. Kismet : FATE

27. Movie lioness : ELSA. "Born Free"

28. Temper tantrum during a flight : AIR RAGE

31. Toy soldier : GI JOE

34. Clock radio letters : AM/PM

35. PC memory unit, briefly : MEG. (megabyte)

36. Responsibility : ONUS

37. Barely beats : EDGES

39. Hawaiian coffee region : KONA

40. Bus depot: Abbr. : STA. (station)

41. Narrow cut : SLIT

42. Worked in a shaft : MINED

43. Big shots : HONCHOs

45. Birth announcement subject, about half the time : GIRL. ("It's a GIRL!")

52. Fabled Himalayan creature : YETI

53. Makes the first bet : OPENS

54. Abbr. for a person with only one given name : NMI. (no middle initial)

55. In favor of : FOR

59. Big flap : ADO

60. Continental coins : EUROs

61. Skirt named for a letter : A LINE

62. Darken at the beach : TAN

63. Iowa or Ohio, e.g. : STATE

64. Calls for : NEEDS


1. Shocking weapon : TASER. Shocking toy : joy buzzer

2. Bring great joy : ELATE

3. Zeroed in : AIMED

4. The Spartans of the Big Ten: Abbr. : MSU. (Michigan State University)

5. Like operating rooms : STERILE

6. Roma's country : ITALIA

7. Flying movie monster : RODAN

8. Sports contest, to the visitors : AWAY GAME

9. '60s-'70s war zone, for short : NAM

10. 1040, for one : IRS FORM

11. Will Hunting portrayer : MATT DAMON

12. Farm measure : ACRE

13. Pig's pad : STY

18. Watch readouts, briefly : LEDs

23. "__ b?": "Choose one" : A OR

25. Vintage autos : REOs. Founded by Ransom E. Olds.

26. Swiveled joints : HIPS

29. Trait transmitter : GENE

30. "Golly!" : "EGAD!"

31. "Gee!" : "GOSH!"

32. Gung-ho about : IN TO

33. "Evita" role : JUAN PERON

34. FBI employee : AGT. (agent)

37. SpaceX founder __ Musk : ELON

38. Period of strobe lights and the hustle : DISCO ERA

39. Brickmaker's oven : KILN

41. Certain Muslims : SHIITEs

42. Med. diagnostic test : MRI SCAN

44. Old PC monitor : CRT. (cathode ray tube)

45. Rock 'n' roll musical : GREASE

46. Writers McEwan and Fleming : IANs

48. Spaceship Earth site : EPCOT. How did that get in here?

49. Low-budget film, often : INDIE. (independent)

50. Improve, as text : EMEND

51. Goes up : RISES

52. "Star Wars" sage : YODA

55. Chew the __: gab : FAT

57. Crude home : HUT. These three entries bring to mind Jabba the Hutt.

58. Bass in a glass : ALE


Notes from C.C.:

1) Today's Gary is our Husker Gary, who came up with the great idea. I cannot tell you enough how hard-working, modest & creative he is.

Rich changed the middle right part of our submitted grid. We had MONEY for 42A, GONE for 29D, EBAY for 30D  & KOLN for 39D. I haven't figured out why. Maybe Rich was concerned about the K crossing of KONA and KOLN?

2) Congratulations also to Dennis on his NYT debutHe's my first blog collaborator. Working with him on that puzzle was particularly fun, whimsy and pressure-free.