Showing posts with label Jack McInturff. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jack McInturff. Show all posts

Jul 8, 2015

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015 Jack McInturff

Theme: Meeting your Match

20A. Formal education : BOOK KNOWLEDGE. Matchbook. I was unfamiliar with the clued definition; I understood it to allude (in a somewhat derogatory fashion) to a person who has no practical knowledge of a subject but got everything out of a book.

31A. Hold firm : STICK TO ONE'S GUNS. Matchstick. The English artist L.S.Lowry, who was famous for depicting scenes from the industrial north, was sometimes derided by art critics for painting "matchstick men and matchstick cats and dogs". One of his paintings sold at auction in 2011 for around $8.6m. Not bad for a "Sunday artist".

41A. Sweets for one's sweet : BOX OF CHOCOLATES. Matchbox. When I've got some time on my hands I like to make dark chocolate truffles. I have to give most of them away or I'd eat the lot myself, and you have to make quite a few (at least five dozen) to justify the effort. That's a lot of chocolates!

57A. Smoker's superstitious no-no ... and hint to the starts of 20-, 31- and 41-Across : THREE ON A MATCH. I was familiar with the superstition, but not the actual phrase (In the UK, we referred to the superstition as "third light".) I discover that it was also a 1932 movie and a 70's daytime game show airing on NBC.

Jack Mac is back! When I blogged his previous puzzle on June 17th he commented that it was "probably" going to be his last puzzle. This one was fun - a lot of learning moments for me, and I didn't have my grumpy trousers on either, unlike the prior time blogging Jack, so I'm glad for the opportunity to let him go out on a happier note if this turns out to be his last.

Let's see what else we've got going on here.


1. One in a semi circle? : CB-ER. Great clue. One of a group of truckers.

5. "Peer Gynt" playwright : IBSEN

10. Chopped-up fare : HASH. Food! If you're ever anywhere near Napa, make a bee-line for the Boon Fly Cafe for breakfast. They make the world's best corned beef hash (in my humble opinion, of course). Here's the evidence before I ate it:

14. In the style of, on trattoria menus : ALLA. Two Food! in a row! Thanks, Jack.

15. Mount in Exodus : SINAI

16. Mighty Dog alternative : ALPO

17. Links star McIlroy : RORY. He tore a ligament in his ankle last weekend playing a pick-up soccer game with his buddies. He's probably going to miss the next four tournaments, including the Open Championship at St. Andrews next week. That's an expensive game of footie.

18. Court star Borg : BJORN. A very topical name as the Wimbledon tournament is currently underway. He won the Men's Singles there five times in a row.

19. Spiffy : NEAT

23. "Heidi" author Johanna : SPYRI. Crosses - I can never remember how to spell this name.

24. Entry before a password : USER ID

25. Mil. training academy : O.C.S. Officer Candidate School.

27. Legendary 15-Across climber : MOSES. He apparently came down with the Ten Commandments, which have been causing us miserable sinners trouble ever since.

38. Rent alternative : OWN

39. Pasty : ASHEN

40. Quaint quarters : INN

46. "Ah, Wilderness!" mother : ESSIE. This Eugene O'Neill play was completely unknown to me, so thank you, crosses.

47. Fifth scale note : SOL

48. 1950s-'70s TV heroine : LASSIE

53. Collect : AMASS

59. All-birds comic strip : SHOE

61. Matter of fact : DATUM

62. Big Apple neighborhood above Houston Street : NOHO. North of Houston. Soho is south. My next-door neighborhood here in LA is also a NOHO - North Hollywood.

63. New Rochelle college : IONA

64. Reason to wear shades : GLARE

65. __ mater : ALMA

66. Bird's place : NEST. 59A locale.

67. Ruhr Valley city : ESSEN. My first German text book in high school featured the Müller family who lived in Essen. I recall they were proud of the zoo and the river.

68. Congeal : CLOT. I  had "CLOG" first, which made my final entry a "what on earth is a shoag? moment."


1. Pasta nutrients : CARBS. My pasta nutrients are much more likely to be San Marzano tomatoes, olive oil and grated pecorino.

2. Hit just over the infield : BLOOP

3. Judy Jetson's brother : ELROY

4. Fast-food tycoon : RAY KROC. Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler wrote this song about him.

5. Dust jacket ID : ISBN. The International Standard Book Number.

6. Delicate piece of jewelry : BIJOU

7. Bamboozles : SNOWS. Learning moment for me. I don't recall  seeing "snow" used in this context before.

8. Country star Steve : EARLE

9. Former Candlestick Park NFLer : NINER. The 49ers have decamped to a new stadium at the southern end of the bay in Santa Clara. I saw Paul McCartney playing the final concert at Candlestick last year. I couldn't hear the music though - I was on a plane taking off from SFO heading home to LA. Great timing!

10. Intimidated, as a look : HANGDOG

11. Protected from gusts : ALEE

12. Place to relax : SPA

13. On a streak : HOT

21. Fourth-down call : KICK. Strictly speaking, it's usually called a punt on fourth down, but we'll let this one slide.

22. Lowers with a switch : DIMS

26. Like a dotted note, in mus. : STAC. Staccato. One of these things:

28. Court filing : SUIT

29. Kin of -ess : -ENNE

30. Fed. IDs : SSNS

31. Drink brand with a lizard logo : SOBE

32. Bills with Jefferson on them : TWOS. When I first got one of these when I moved to the US I thought it was a fake.

33. "What You Need" band : INXS. I thought the band name was pronounced "Ink-sis" when I first saw it in a music magazine.

34. __Kosh B'gosh : OSH. Kid's clothing chain, the clothes are no longer made in Oshkosh, which seems a shame.

35. "My, my!" : OHO!

36. Japanese chip maker : NEC. Microchips, not these cheeseburger-flavor ones from Tokyo:

37. Grandson of Eve : ENOS

42. Homeowner's winter option : OIL HEAT. Never heard of it until today. Heating oil, yes.

43. Reaction from a chicken : FEAR. Nothing to worry about from the Muppet's Swedish Chef though.

44. Rich topsoil : LOAM

45. Annual reference volume : ALMANAC

49. Marsh plant : SEDGE

50. "Captain Phillips" military group : SEALS. U.S. Navy Special Forces. Not to be trifled with.

51. Greek vowels : IOTAS

52. Harden : ENURE. Variant of the more common INURE.

54. Ring-shaped reef : ATOLL

55. Noodlehead : SCHMO

56. Young pig : SHOAT. My erroneous CLOG had me wondering what a SHOAG was. Then I read the clue. Aha!

57. A whole lot : TONS

58. Response to a sermon : AMEN

59. Offense : SIN

60. Ground breaker : HOE

That's Game, Set and Match from me! Here's the grid:


Jun 17, 2015

Wednesday, June 17th 2015 Jack McInturff

Theme: Give me a hand, will you? 

18A. *One of a group of particles used to demonstrate a magnetic field : IRON FILING. Ruling with an iron hand. The "iron fist' usage seems to be more common, but both variants are out there.

23A. *Mob employee : HIRED GUN. Hired hand. Being critical here (what, me?) the thematic answer seems awfully close to the clued answer, and very close to the next thematic ..

33A. *Salad topping : RANCH DRESSING. Ranch hand. I make my own fat-free ranch dressing, I use it as a dip, a dressing, as a mayo substitute in sandwiches and wraps, and lots of other things. I make two pints at a time! Rather than spending $3 for a sachet of the mix every time I make a cup, I mix my own and make four times that amount for pennies.

48A. *Party clothes : GLAD RAGS. Glad hand. Greeting a crowd with handshakes, usually insincerely (e.g. anyone on a campaign trail!)

and the reveal

52A. In advance, and, literally, where the starts of the answers to starred clues might go : BEFOREHAND

Welcome to Wednesday, you midweek warriors! Steve here reporting from the Lone Star State today - I've got a couple of meetings in Dallas so I'm breaking out the cowboy boots and practicing my "yee-ha's"!

Maybe I've got my grumpy trousers on today, but I wasn't bowled over by Jack Mac's theme for the reasons I've already mentioned. I also get mildly irked when 1A is an abbreviation, I just don't think it's a smooth way to lead in to a puzzle. 

Finally, you can get TRIABLE through crosses, but it's obscure enough to have been used only once before in the LAT and it might quality as a bit of a stretch for a Wednesday.
There's a lot on the plus side to like though - I thought the NE corner was really nicely put together and that's where I finally finished up. Let's see what else we've got.


1. Benchmarks: Abbr. : STDS. Standards.

5. West African capital : ACCRA. Specifically, capital of Ghana.

10. Kazakhstan border sea : ARAL. Or border environmental disaster, take your pick.

14. Tough trip : TREK

15. Like much invasive software : VIRAL

16. Lawless role : XENA. I never remember this actor's last name, even though I did meet her at a charity golf tournament. She gave me a beer on the first tee, in costume, wielding a sword - not something you'd think I'd forget.

17. Agree : JIBE. Gibe vs jibe vs gybe vs jive. Discuss.

20. Churchill Downs shape : OVAL. Home of the Kentucky Derby and Act 1 of this year's Triple Crown triumph by American Typo - sorry, American Pharoah.

21. No-frills sleeper : COT

22. Salami choice : GENOA. Food! This stuff - I'll spare you the argument regarding whether any self-respecting Genovese would ever acknowledge it.

26. Ambles : MOSEYS

27. Loathsome things : NASTIES. A little slangy, but a nice word.

28. Mercury or Saturn : CAR. God? Planet? Nope, auto brands today.

29. Put down : DIS. Contraction of "disrespect", no longer viewed as slang. British English spells it "diss" for no good reason other than to be awkward and confuse the French.

30. Cologne-to-Leipzig direction : OST. Cologne to Leipzig is EAST, surely? Köln to Leipzig is OST.

31. Lord's Prayer possessive : OUR

32. Sup : DINE. From whence SUPPER. Pre-crosswords, I thought it meant "drink".

37. Yellow Monopoly bills : TENS

38. Row : OAR. The verb form. not the noun. A little crossword-esey to my oar - I mean ear.

39. Sounds of pleasure : AHS

40. Fix in a bad way? : RIG. As an election, following a lot of glad-handing perhaps?

41. Prankster : IMP

42. Boston __: '50s TV detective : BLACKIE. Crosses all the way for me. A reformed jewel thief and safecracker, I now discover.

46. Arriving after curfew : IN LATE. And grounded?

49. Winner of six 2011 Grammys : ADELE. Here's a great live performance of "Rolling in the Deep"

50. Vein yield : ORE

51. Arrow-shooting god : EROS. Here's the statue at Piccadilly Circus in London, a memorial to the philanthropist Lord Shaftsbury, for whom the adjacent Shaftsbury Avenue is named.

55. Drive filler : DATA. Fun clue/answer combo to unravel.

56. Some summer births : LEOS
57. Brie coverings : RINDS. Food! If you can find  a triple-creme French brie made with unpasteurized milk, you're in for a treat when it ages and the rind gets a yellowish, waxy appearance. Yum!

58. __-bitty : ITTY. This is one of those "can't be anything else" clues. I'm not sure how else it could be clued though.

59. Is wrong : ERRS

60. "Wrong!" : NOT SO!

61. Beverages sometimes served over ice : TEAS


1. According to Christian tradition, Bk. of Revelation author : ST. JOHN. Beloved book of the Tinfoil Hat Brigade also.

2. "Jeopardy!" material : TRIVIA

3. Excludes : DEBARS. Your second essay question of the day. Debars vs. disbars. Discuss (or decuss!)

4. Closet occupants, perhaps? : SKELETONS. None in mine (at least that I'm aware of.) Or own up to.

5. Prefix for the birds : AVI. -ation, -ary, you get the picture.

6. Tent event : CIRCUS.

7. Sing like Bing : CROON

8. Talk frantically : RANT. Compare and contrast with CROON.

9. 1920s-'30s politico Landon : ALF. I had to look him up to see why a depression-era state governor qualifies as a Wednesday crossword clue. Apparently he is best known for being roundly spanked in the 1936 Presidential Election by FDR. Still mystifed.

10. Turnpike toll units : AXLES. Part of the tricky (for me) north-east. MILES went in first.

11. Brought under control : REINED IN. This letter sequence has a great "what?" confusion factor when partially completed.

12. Irksome : ANNOYING

13. "Kick it up a notch!" chef : LAGASSE. I'm going to plead a "Thumper" regarding Emeril.

19. Movie lab helper : IGOR. Pronounced "Eyegore" for you Young Frankenstein ("Fronk-en-steen") fans out there.

24. Brake component : DISC. Shoe would fit. Pad, caliper not so much.

25. Finish a commute : GET HOME. Accompanied by lots of AHS. My commute mileage has varied between extremes - 20 feet from my home office to my couch or 8,500 miles from Mumbai to LA.

26. Veal dish wine : MARSALA. Most recipes are very heavy-handed with the butter. I use Lidia Bastianich's recipe as a base and use half the fat (olive oil and butter). Still very decadent, so I like to cut the richness with a little lemon juice and lemon thyme and garnish with plenty of fresh parsley.

28. Pool stick : CUE

31. Legend on the ice : ORR. Bruin Bobby.

32. Cast doubt on : DISCREDIT

33. Sven of "Frozen" is one : REINDEER. I've never seen "Frozen", but given the frequency it now comes up in puzzles I probably should! Crosses all the way.

34. Artfully try to get, as a compliment : ANGLE FOR

35. Skip along the water : DAP. Aptly, given the preceeding answer, this is a fishing term. I don't fish, so I don't DAP

36. Roe source : SHAD. Food! Generally cooked and eaten rather than served caviar-style.

37. Subject to court judgment : TRIABLE. Hmm. Rarely seen - LAT once in 2008, NYT once in 1999.

41. Old Roman road : ITER. Plural "itinera" which gives us "itinerary". Who knew? Not me. An iter was more a pathway than a road, apparently.

42. Mixtures : BLENDS.

43. Self-defense method : KARATE

44. With "go," "See ya later" : I GOTTA

45. Bacon products : ESSAYS. Lovely. I'll forgive you the odd ITERs and TRIABLEs if you can come up with these gems.

47. At __ for words : A LOSS. Read clue. Fill in blank. Move on, nothing to see here.

48. Research money : GRANT

50. West Virginia border river : OHIO

53. South end? : ERN

54. Brit. military award : D.S.O. The Distinguished Service Order, almost exclusively awarded to officers for gallantry in combat.

And .... drum roll .... here's the grid! You can see where I finished up when the "REINED IN" penny dropped and the AXLES/MILES misstep was fixed.



Sep 24, 2014

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 Jack McInturff

Theme: Fair play! The first word (all 4-letter long) of four theme answers can be preceded by 'SQUARE' - they're all "on the square".

17A. *Arm, to an ace pitcher : MEAL TICKETSquare meal. I remember reading a rather lively debate (a.k.a. a series of mud-slinging rants) on the origins of this phrase on another blog. I'll spare you the details.

24A. *Issue that halts negotiations : DEAL BREAKER. Square deal. Roosevelt's "Three C's" - Conservation of resources, Corporate control and Consumer protection.

33A. *Monetary love, in Timothy : ROOT OF ALL EVIL. Square root. When I learned in math(s) class that √-1 = i, I knew that the world of mathematics and I would remain strangers for ever.

45A. *One in the infantry : FOOT SOLDIER. Square foot. Not a stick-in-the-mud's poetic meter?

54A. Unswerving, and a hint to the starts of the answers to starred clues : FOUR-SQUARE. Also an American architectural style. I love the admonition "Do not attempt building without plans".

Miércoles feliz, everyone. Steve here with Jack Mac's latest. I had some fun with this, and I had to go typo-hunting when I thought I was done - you can see my write-over of a bad "E" at the cross of SOLO/ECTO on the answer grid at the foot of the blog today.

I liked the theme, more so than if you allow Jack's Scottish heritage in pronouncing "foot" to rhyme with "root", you get two paired theme entries which rhyme. Slick!

Let's check out the rest.


1. Loop in old Westerns : NOOSE

6. Kind of purpose : DUAL

10. Future J.D.'s exam : LSAT To become a Juris Doctor, you first must pass the Law School Admission Test.

14. Putting green border : APRON. The apron is part of the fringe, but not all the fringe is the apron. Funny old game, golf.

15. Welding sparks : ARCS

16. Sicilian smoker : ETNA. This is one talented volcano - it can even blow smoke rings.

19. Turkey or fox follower : TROT

20. Opposite of ecto- : ENTO. ENTE looked fine to me, until it didn't.

21. "Moonstruck" Oscar winner : CHER

22. Valerie Harper role : RHODA. I should have learned this by now, but I haven't. Thanks, crosses.

23. Statement of agreement : I DO

26. Sluggish : TORPID. Great word. Oxford University's "Torpids" crew races are anything but sluggish.

28. What a goldbrick does : IDLES

29. Cooking aids : OILS. I'm not sure about cooking oil being an "aid". An ingredient or a medium, perhaps.

30. Cry of surrender : UNCLE

38. French wine region : RHONE. Includes the famous appellation Châteuneuf-du-Pape. I guess the Pope needed something to drink at his new house, eh?

39. "Hands off!" : MINE

40. Deck crew boss : BOSUN

43. Full of spunk : FEISTY

49. __-Aztecan languages : UTO. I think I knew this, but I held off for the crosses to tell me I did.

50. Finish by : END AT

51. Bird along the coast : ERNE

52. Beat it : FLED

53. Pinball goof : TILT

56. Fit to __ : A TEE

57. "Come Back, Little Sheba" playwright : INGE. What? Who? Learned, and probably immediately forgotten.

58. Asian vine leaf : BETEL

59. Stockholder's concern : LOSS

60. Former OTC watchdog : NASD. The National Association of Securities Dealers responsible for oversight of over-the-counter stock markets. You learn something every day!

61. Bobrun runners : SLEDS


1. "You've got carte blanche" : NAME IT

2. Nondiscriminating immigration policy : OPEN DOOR

3. Mendelssohn's "Elijah," for one : ORATORIO. There are better examples, IMHO.

4. Unaided : SOLO

5. Tolkien giant : ENT.

6. Russian country home : DACHA

7. "Family Matters" nerd : URKEL. Giving oversized reading glasses a bad name, one sitcom at a time.

8. Biting : ACERB

9. WWII carrier : LST. Landing Ship, Tank.

10. Deadly : LETHAL

11. Butterfly, e.g. : STROKE. I was duped into entering STITCH first when I had the "ST-" to start me off.

12. Voltaic cell terminals : ANODES

13. Golden Horde member : TATAR

18. Treated, as a sprain : ICED

22. Christ the __: statue in Rio : REDEEMER. The word "iconic" springs to mind when describing this statue.

24. Have little faith in : DISTRUST

25. Little stream : RILL. Claude McKay's idyll demonstrates the usage nicely.

27. Gaza Strip gp. : PLO. The Palestine Liberation Organization.

30. Sci-fi vehicle : UFO

31. One of the Bobbsey twins : NAN

32. A.L. Central team, on scoreboards : CLE. The Cleveland Indians. They don't seem to be attracting the same name-controversy as the NFL team in Washington.

34. Cry of woe : OH NO!

35. Sundial number : VII.

36. Protect against heat loss, say : INSULATE

37. Made it big, as in school athletics : LETTERED

40. Mackerel relative : BONITO. Food! Dried bonito flakes are a key ingredient in Japanese cuisine.

41. Truckloads : OODLES

42. Conditions : STATES

43. Charges for services : FEES

44. Alpine airs : YODELS. Let's have a little Rodgers and Hammerstein why don't we.

45. Like a curled-up position : FETAL

46. Soprano Mitchell : LEONA. More crosses. The names of sopranos rarely trip off my tongue.

47. Pharmacy inventory : DRUGS

48. How a 59-Across is typically shown : IN RED

52. Pumped product : FUEL

54. Five smackers : FIN - from the Yiddish "finf" - "five".

55. Ones taking hikes: Abbr. : QB'S. "Omaha! Omaha! Oh No-Maha!!" Quarterback Peyton Manning taking the first hike from the Broncos' Manny Ramirez in Superbowl XLVIII in 2014. Much hilarity ensues.

That about does it for today. Have a great Wednesday!


May 16, 2014

Friday, May 16, 2014 Jack McInturff

Theme: Pea-picking. Each of the theme phrases picks up a "p" at the start of the last word to create a new punning phrase.

Morning all! Steve here today subbing for Lemonade - don't get confused and think we've gone back a day to Wednesday.

Super crunchy puzzle from Jack Mac - after my first pass I had precisely four words and one letter filled, and one of those words turned out to be wrong anyway! I finally got a toehold in the south-east and worked backwards. I definitely needed to see the theme to make progress, and SEVEN YEAR PITCH saved my bacon. For some reason, I decided that Bonnie spelled her last name RAITE and that left me staring at NES wondering how there was a computer manufacturer I'd never heard of until the penny dropped. Great stuff, Jack!

16A. Be a part of treaty negotiations? : GET IN ON THE PACT. 

Helping to ratify the START treaty

24A. Unexpected political upheaval? : SUDDEN PURGE

 The UK House of Commons after a particularly far-reaching purge

36A. "White Fang," for example? : WILD PROSE. This clue/answer was my absolute favorite. The subject of Jack London's novel was a wild wolfdog. Great stuff!

52A. One that keeps bumping into senators? : AWKWARD PAGE

"Thank you for not knocking anyone over today"

60A. Endless spiel? : SEVEN YEAR PITCH. I've been working some of my deals for so long that it feels like it's been seven years.

That wraps up the theme entries. Let's see what else needs some 'splaining.


1. Trick or treat, e.g. : VERB. My second-to-last fill, and only because the checho at 29A gave me a clue.

5. Center of authority : SEAT. The seat of power.

9. One on the lam, perhaps : PERP. And speaking of which, I needed all the perps I could get today.

13. DH, usually : ALER. In Major League Baseball's American League, teams are allowed to send a designated hitter to bat in the place of the pitcher. In the National League, the pitchers have to take their own cuts.

14. Novelist Jaffe : RONA

15. Mixed bag : OLIO. One of the first words C.C. taught me when I started blogging here.

19. "Silver Lining" album maker : RAITT. Spelling this with an "E" wasn't a great idea. Here's Bonnie.

20. Tulsa sch. : ORU. Oral Roberts University. We've had it a couple of times recently.

21. Satisfied sound : AAH

23. Bay State cape : ANN

29. Trick or treat, e.g. : NOUN. This gave me 1A when I finally cracked this.

31. Irish __ : SEA. Of course, my first thought here was "Miss"!

32. It helps smooth things out : SANDER

33. Palm Pre predecessor : TREO. This was a trawl through the old memory banks. It had quite some heft to it.

34. Like "la" in Fr. : FEM. A noun's feminine gender indicated by 'la' in French. Masculine nouns are 'le'. Tricky clue.

35. Smelting waste : DROSS

40. Words after give or take : A HINT

43. Nice setting : MER. Quite a lot of foreign lingo today. Nice is on the Mediterranean Ocean, so a nitpicker would tell you that "mer" means "sea" and so strictly speaking this isn't correct. Today's Owen's Law?

44. Touch : ABUT

48. Humorous : JOCOSE. Word of the day. I'm going to use it.

50. Item tied with a decorative knot : OBI

51. Shore thing : DUNE

55. Réunion, par exemple : ILE. Island under French control off the coast of Madagascar. Nice beaches!

56. Midnight indicator, maybe : XII. The roman numerals on a clock face.

57. W, for one : DIR. Because "Luxury hotel brand marketed by the Starwood Group" doesn't fit. Took me ages to see this one.

58. Champagne toast? : SALUT! And a Pinch toast - Salut, Monsieur Tinbeni!

65. Yu the Great's dynasty : HSIA. 夏 Quite some time ago.

66. "No problem" : EASY

67. Coach K's team : DUKE. It's easier than writing out Krzyzewski (and double-checking the spelling) when you want to write about Mike.

68. Bibliog. term : ET AL "Et alia", "and the rest".

69. Trick : RUSE

70. 1974 CIA spoof : SPYS. I don't recall this movie. Looking at the reviews and the ratings I think Donald Sutherland and co. might want to forget it too.

Can the critics still see us?


1. Drifter : VAGRANT

2. First lady after Lou : ELEANOR

3. Attendants : RETINUE. Nice word, and corrected my misspelling of TREO.

4. One putting a tyre into a boot : BRIT. First word in the grid for me. Blindingly obvious! (Tongue firmly in cheek). Now I put my tire in the trunk like all y'all.

5. Sellout sign, briefly : SRO. "Sold Right Out"? No, "Standing Room Only".

6. It's quite a stretch : EON

7. Pantry raider : ANT. I misread "panty" at first and wondered what answer could possibly be family-audience appropriate.

8. Lake near the Kirkwood Mountain Resort : TAHOE. Big, blue and clear.

9. They're often blocked : POP-UP ADS. Whoever invented the pop-up blocker deserves a knighthood for services to humanity.

10. She, in Lisbon : ELA. Portuguese making an appearance today.

11. Sitcom family name : RICARDO

12. Thick soups : POTAGES. I never really associated the word with describing the thickness attribute of my soup, but on reflection it's true. Nice learning moment and food!

Potage aux Patates Douce

17. Some Windows systems : NTS. My final letter fill was the "T". The Windows NT operating system. "NT" stood for "New Technology". It was developed as a more corporate-strength OS than the existing consumer-focused Windows 3.1 and Windows 95. There, got that off my IT nerd chest.

18. Sea eagles : ERNS

22. Indicator of possession in the bathroom : HERS. Hands off.

25. Failed '80s gridiron org. : USFL. The short-lived United States Football League introduced two innovations used today in the NFL - the two-point conversion and video replay to allow challenges of officials' on-the-field rulings.

26. Indicator of possession : DEED

27. Janitor's tool : DAMP MOP

28. Like much spam : UNREAD

30. Calming words : NOW, NOW

37. Agreeing words : IT'S A DEAL. Music to my ears. Now if I can get more of my "seven year pitch" prospects to sign a contract, I'll be a happy camper

38. First name in country : REBA. I ALWAYS spell Ms. McEntire's last name wrong. Except for just now, but only because I went to look it up.

39. It may be left in a copier: Abbr. : ORIG. I just checked my copier. No originals in there.

40. Mr. Clean rival : AJAX.

41. Concerned question about a sick friend : HOW IS HE?

42. Most gross : ICKIEST. Love this word!

45. Developed : BUILT UP. A little bit like Mexico City. It's very unlikely that they'll be holding the next World Cat-Swinging Championships there.

46. Word from a grumpy gambler : UNLUCKY. Most gamblers claim ill-luck when they lose, but it's never good luck when they win - it's all scientific method and study.

47. Sprouts incisors : TEETHES. I equated "sprouts" with "children" for no good reason, and was wondering why "milk teeth" wouldn't fit.

49. Home to Sean O'Casey : ERIN. Hand up for EIRE first.

53. One full of hot air : DRYER. I was missing the R and could NOT see this for the longest time.

54. Clairvoyance : ESP

59. Is more than a bystander : AIDS

61. __ Dolorosa : VIA

62. French quencher : EAU. You can't tell if it's masculine or feminine because of the "l'eau" apostrophe convention.

63. Pack animal : ASS

64. Deli choice : RYE.

That's all from me. As they say in India "It's a sari". Substitute Lemonade signing off.


Note from C.C.:

Happy 93rd birthday to Jazzbumpa's beautiful mother! Click here to read Ron's musing last year. Any special plans today, Ron?

Apr 29, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 Jack McInturff

Theme:Don't Lose It - KEEPER can follow the first word of the entries.

18. Generic product : STORE BRAND. Like the mercantile retailer in an oater, STOREKEEPER.

26A. Xbox One, for one : GAME CONSOLE. GAMEKEEPER Perhaps there is one employed at Downton Abbey?

37A. Referee's call : "TIME OUT!". Then he may request the TIMEKEEPER put 3 more seconds on the clock.

47A. Image on many tie-dyed shirts : PEACE SYMBOL. Meanwhile, back at the oater, a different idea of a PEACE KEEPER.


62A. Angler's "I don't have to throw this one back," and hint to the first word of 18-, 26-, 37- and 47-Across : "IT'S A KEEPER". Say, do we have any anglers here?

Argyle here. I say this puzzle is a keeper.


1. Cabbage side : SLAW

5. Airplane maneuver : CLIMB. Can't hardly be called a plane if can't CLIMB, right Dudley?

10. Cookbook amts. : TSPs

14. Go it alone : SOLO. Also, airplane related.

15. Wild West movie : OATER

16. Peter Fonda's beekeeper : ULEE

17. Nursery school adhesive : GLUE

20. Southern Florida "trail" that's a portmanteau of the two cities it connects : TAMIAMI

22. Generating, as interest on an account : EARNING

23. Move covertly : SLINK

25. Bert's buddy : ERNIE. from Sesame Street.

30. Indiana hoopster : PACER. They are members of the Central Division in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association.

31. Aegean island : IOS. But a search brings up iOS now; a phablet from Apple?

32. Computer input : DATA

36. Hold the title to : OWN

41. Young fellow : LAD

42. Barely makes, with "out" : EKES

44. Toyota __4: SUV model : RAV

45. Desert stopover : OASIS

51. Woodland deity : SATYR

54. Singer Lisa et al. : LOEBS

55. Readying a field, say : PLOWING

58. Fortified position : BASTION

64. Rooney of "60 Minutes" : ANDY. RIP

65. Sly look : LEER

66. Packed like sardines : IN OIL

67. Subject of adoration : ICON

68. Family chart : TREE

69. Group in pews : LAITY. Don't preach to the choir; preach to the laity.

70. Old-timey "not" : NARY. Nary a nit. Not likely.


1. NCO rank : SSGT. No mention a service branch can save a nit. (maybe)

2. Kinks girl who "walks like a woman and talks like a man" : LOLA

3. University grad : ALUM

4. Cry of distress : "WOE IS ME!"

5. Like some rays and dust : COSMIC

6. Spanglish speaker, often : LATINO

7. "Who am __ argue?" : I TO

8. Little more than : MERE

9. La __ Tar Pits : BREA

10. Show embarrassment : TURN RED

11. Done in, as a dragon : SLAIN

12. Old Finnish cent : PENNI


13. Marsh plant : SEDGE

19. Belgian composer Jacques : BREL. We've had him before but not often.

21. Make aware : ALERT

24. Evel on a bike : KNIEVEL. We've had him before but not often his last name.

26. Stare unsubtly : GAWK

27. Pimply condition : ACNE

28. U.S./Canada's __ Canals : SOO. Part of C.C.'s theme not too long ago.

29. Sch. whose mascot is Brutus Buckeye : OSU


30. "The Raven" poet : POE

33. Furthermore : ALSO

34. Wagger on the dog : TAIL. Cute.

35. Promos : ADS

38. 401(k) kin, briefly : IRA

39. Apple product : MAC. So is iOS.

40. Burial places : TOMBS

43. Surreptitious data-collecting computer program : SPYWARE

46. Choose not to vote : ABSTAIN

48. Estrada of "CHiPs" : ERIK

49. "Amen!" : "SO BE IT!"

50. Every September, say : YEARLY

51. Like milk on the floor : SPILT

52. Modify : ALTER

53. "We're off __ the wizard ..." : TO SEE

56. Playwright Simon : NEIL

57. Rowlands of "Gloria" : GENA. An old video of the song.

59. Ancient Andean : INCA

60. Fragrance : ODOR

61. Part of a B'way address : NY, NY. But truthfully, many places have a 'Broadway".

63. Hawaiian dish : POI



Apr 7, 2014

Monday, April 7, 2014 Jack McInturff

Theme: Classic Focus - Two word entries with the same beginning initials except that's not enough these days so the second letter of the second entry is also identical.

17A. Takeout option : CHINESE FOOD

27A. Subject for a meteorologist : CLOUD FORMATION

37A. Look after : CARE FOR

47A. Bill Gates or Paul Allen, vis-à-vis Microsoft : COMPANY FOUNDER

62A. Summoned up : CALLED FORTH

68A. Exec. moneyman, and a hint to 17-, 27-, 37-, 47- and 62-Across : CFO

Argyle here. So this gave me a hard time which in retrospect, was my over-thinking the answers. A lot of "D'oh" moments. Very un-Scrabbley, missing: {BJKQVXZ}, not important but interesting. The unifier wasn't really necessary but does tighten up the theme. Two answers are verb phrases and the other three are "noun as adjective" noun phrases.


1. Theater attractions : SHOWS

6. Big fusses : TO-DOs

11. Gallery display : ART

14. Taxpayer's worry : AUDIT. Hush!

15. Real estate offering : HOUSE

16. Sinking ship signal : S-O-S

19. Wash. neighbor : IDA. (Idaho)

20. Personal IDs : SSNs

21. Ambulance destinations, for short : ERs. (emergency room)

22. Comfy shoe : LOAFER

24. Biblical pronoun : THEE

26. Bic products : PENS

33. Ross of the Supremes : DIANA

34. "__ won't be afraid": "Stand By Me" lyric : NO, I.  couldn't find the song sung by Miss Ross unfortunately.

35. French lady friend : AMIE

36. Jerusalem's land: Abbr. : ISRael

41. Chicken __ king : À LA

42. Swindle : SCAM

44. Prefix with classical : NEO

45. Bernese Alps peak : EIGER. The Bernese Alps are a group of mountain ranges in the western part of the Alps, in Switzerland.

51. Those, to Tomás : ESOS

52. On an ocean liner, say : ASEA

53. All for __: to no avail : NAUGHT. Beware the dreadnaught if asea.

56. Co. that merged into Verizon : GTE. Formerly General Telephone & Electronics Corporation.

57. Gas company with toy trucks : HESS

61. Egyptian snake : ASP

65. Curtain support : ROD

66. Shed __: cry : A TEAR

67. Muhammad Ali's boxing daughter : LAILA

69. Requirements : NEEDS

70. Aggravate : ANNOY


1. Animal pouches : SACS

2. Comments from the confused : [HUHs]

3. Supreme Norse god : ODIN

4. __-Salem, N.C. : WINSTON

5. Fr. holy woman : STE.

6. 1994 Denis Leary film about a crook who acts as an arbiter : "THE REF"

7. Gut-punch reactions : [OOFs]

8. Batman and Robin, e.g. : DUO

9. Italian tenor standard : 'O SOLE MIO

10. Spiritual Arizona resort : SEDONA. Chamber of Commerce

11. "Keep dreaming" : "AS IF"

12. Came by horse : RODE

13. Old Russian royal : TSAR

18. Flower starter : SEED

23. Nick and Nora's dog : ASTA

25. Former Congressional gp. concerned with Communist infiltration : HUAC. (House Un-American Activities Committee)

26. Univ. teacher : PROF.

27. "The __ Kid": '50s TV Western : CISCO. Dig the old ad.

28. Former Calif. NFLer : LA RAM
29. __ a kind: unique : ONE OF

30. Mental picture : IMAGE

31. Persian Gulf ship : OILER

32. Pretty close : NEAR

33. Checker, e.g. : DISC. The board game.

38. Provide critical comments for : ANNOTATE

39. Curious George creators Margret and Hans : REYS

40. Actress Russo : RENE

43. Video file format : MPEG. M(oving) P(icture) E(xperts) G(roup)

46. Boise resident : IDAHOAN

48. Trash bin : ASH CAN

49. Old cowboy movies : OATERs

50. Previously owned : USED

53. Drug cop : NARC

54. Dating from : AS OF

55. High hairstyle : UP-DO

56. Happy : GLAD

58. Emerald Isle : ERIN

59. Normandy battleground : ST. LÔ

60. One-horse carriage : SHAY

63. Dixie general : LEE. Robert E.

64. St. Pete's state : FLA. (St. Petersburg / Florida)


Dec 31, 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 Jack McInturff

Theme: Tasty - The word SWEET may be placed in front of the last word of the four theme entries to create a new phrase.

20A. Hopes that weren't meant to be : BROKEN DREAMS. Sweet Dreams, a song by Jewel Clip.(4:59)

31A. Concern before changing lanes : BLIND SPOT. Sweet spot, often spoken of as the best place on bat, club, racket, etc. to strike a ball.

40A. Locker room motivator : PEP TALK. Sweet talk, Sweet Nothin's by Brenda Lee Clip.(2:30)

49A. Kids' game with a quickly passed object : HOT POTATO. Sweet potato, may not have another one until next Thanksgiving.

56A. Jackie Gleason catchphrase, and a hint to the ends of 20-, 31-, 40- and 49-Across : "HOW SWEET IT IS!"

Argyle here. Interesting. Nice triple columns on either side. Seareeferd will be happy there is less foreign words today.


1. Run-down area : SLUM

5. French message-carrying boat : AVISO. We've seen this before.

10. Castle trench : MOAT

14. __ Cod : CAPE

15. Toy blocks : LEGOs

16. "Bus Stop" dramatist : INGE. The 1956 film is only loosely based upon the play.

17. Military assistant : AIDE. (aide-de-camp)

18. Many, many centuries : AEONs

19. In a little while : SOON

23. Jacob's twin : ESAU

24. Dethrones : OUSTs

28. One of Scrooge's four visitors : GHOST

35. Predatory bird : RAPTOR

37. College URL ending : .EDU

38. Nautical opening? : AERO

39. Bird: Pref. : AVI

43. Be in the wrong : ERR

44. __ de soie: silk cloth : PEAU. (literally: skin(pelt) of silk)

46. PBS underwriter : NEA. (Public Broadcasting Service/National Endowment for the Arts)

47. Lassie chaser : LADDIE


52. Goads : PRODS

53. PGA great Sam : SNEAD

54. "__ Grit": John Wayne classic : TRUE

63. Service station job : LUBE

66. Dressy footwear : HEELS

67. Partner of Roy or Chip : DALE. 'Queen of the West' and Chip'n'Dale, Disney chipmunks.

68. Swedish furniture giant : IKEA

69. Lift up : EXALT

70. Ultimatum ending : ELSE

71. Property document : DEED

72. Greenhorns : TYROs

73. In fighting trim : LEAN


1. Union underminer : SCAB

2. Hibernation site : LAIR

3. Fancy hairstyle : UPDO

4. Most submissive : MEEKEST

5. Ex of Rod Stewart : ALANA

6. Beetle with four wheels, slangily : VEEDUB. (VW,shortened)

7. Movie lab helper : IGOR. Bit of misdirection.

8. Sound measure : SONE

9. Mount near Olympus : OSSA

10. Pageant title since 1952 : MISS USA. Miss Connecticut Erin Brady.

11. Singer Yoko : ONO

12. Gone by : AGO

13. Low card in a royal flush : TEN. An ace-high straight flush is the highest-ranking standard poker hand.

21. Prevent legally : ESTOP

22. Trendy, '60s-style : MOD

25. Muscle beach swimwear : SPEEDO

26. Steaming hot : TORRID. Coincidence it follows the above; I think not.

27. Retail outlets : STOREs

28. Board meeting displays : GRAPHs

29. Be dressed in : HAVE ON

30. Sleep-inducing drug : OPIATE

32. Put on the attack : LET AT

33. Actress Lupino : IDA

34. Void partner : NULL

36. Apartment payment : RENT

41. Veggie on a vine : PEA

42. Shot, as an engine : KAPUT

45. In front : UP AHEAD

48. Hanukkah spinning toy : DREIDEL

50. "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" constable : ODO. Odo and Quark


51. Verdi opera based on a Shakespeare play : OTELLO

55. Enjoys a siesta : RESTS

57. Sharpen : WHET

58. Like centerfolds : SEXY

59. Be dressed in : WEAR

60. Story : TALE

61. Ingrid's "Casablanca" role : ILSA

62. Espied : SEEN

63. Hinged cover : LID

64. Don Ho's strings : UKE

65. Bonnet-dwelling insect? : BEE


Oct 18, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013, Jack McInturff

Theme: BEE-eautiful puns.

Ah, the air is crisp, the sun warm and the joy of a Friday from one of the masters Jack Mac. We have a straightforward add a letter ("B") to a known word or phrase and get a new and amusing two word phrase; really a textbook example of how to create a witty presentation. I think Rich has decided to give us our holiday presents early, as this along with yesterday's is not too easy but very doable, especially with a reveal which is uncommon on Friday. You see the broad spectrum cluing from the 50's to to Clayton Kershaw. Not much in the way of long fill, but what is there is very good. INTEGER, ISOTOPE, LADYBUG, LATERAL, ROSTERS, TRICKLE, LOST A BET and TRAP DOOR. Let's see where Jack's mind wandered this time.

18A. Hipsters who prefer old-school programming languages? : COBOL CATS (9). Hipster = CAT. I learned computer programming with FORTRAN not COBOL.

23A. Tiny Timex? : BABY WATCH (9). Ah Baywatch, the use of slow motion for women running in a bathing suit was groundbreaking. Something for everyone. WATCH. (2:02)

35A. Golf club used as a dance pole? : LIMBO DRIVER (11). I LOVE this clue, though my first dance pole thought was not the Limbo stick we used to slide under.

50A. Furrier's assessment? : SABLES TAX (9). Like this one as well, as sales tax on Sable is usually significant.

57A. R2D2's bar order? : ROBOT BEER (9). Another very clever visual, though I see C3PO order a nice ale and R2 more of a mojito bot.
and the unifier:
59D. Busy one that has made its mark in this puzzle's five longest answers : BEE.


1. Hardly hardy : FRAIL.

6. Wind instrument : VANE.

10. Minute Rice instruction : STIR. We also have a quick clecho (hey Dennis, enjoying the lower humidity?) 20A. Minute Rice instruction : BOIL.

14. Caused : LED TO.

15. Title lover in a 1920s Broadway hit : ABIE. The Irish Rose returns; this clue/fill has been in puzzles since I saw my first Sunday NY Times in the 50's.

16. Cartoonist Peter : ARNO. He was very much part of the charm of the New Yorker magazine. LINK.

17. Camp Granada chronicler Sherman : ALLAN. Hello Muddah. Last week Mickey Katz, this week another blast from my past.

21. "Knots Landing" actress __ Park Lincoln : LAR. Not familiar with this actress, all perps. LINK.

22. Mythical transport : CARPET. The old flying carpet.

26. Challenger, for one : DODGE. Not the Space Shuttle, the car.

27. NFL gains : YDS.

28. One was written to Billie Joe : ODE. McAllister.

29. Bolted, say : ATE.

31. Not 'neath : O'ER.

32. Shot : TRY. You can finish a Friday unaided, give it a shot.

33. It's inspired : AIR.

34. British bombshell Diana : DORS. Pretty girl in the Marilyn era, once married to Richard Dawson. Be careful with her real last name. Diana Dors was an English actress, born Diana Mary Fluck in Swindon, Wiltshire. Considered the English equivalent of the blonde bombshells of Hollywood, Dors described herself as "the only sex symbol Britain has produced since Lady Godiva." Wikipedia

38. Literary __ : LION. Not my first choice here, but an accepted term by Webster.  "a celebrity or idol who attracts much publicity and a large following." See also, beard the lion in his den to approach a feared or influential person, esp in order to ask a favor; the lion's share the largest portion.

40. Hikes : UPS. Like prices or skirts.

41. Scam : CON.

42. Pack animal : ASS.

43. Friday is one: Abbr. : SGT. Jack Webb, not Dan Aykroyd.

44. Boxers' org.? : AKC. Everyone loves mixing the dog with the fighters.

45. Memphis-to-Mobile dir. : SSE. Heading home. What musician, writer and entrepreneur spent his grade school years there?  JB?

48. Register button : TOTAL.

53. Latin catchall : ET ALIA. We do not see this spelled out often.

55. Garden tool : HOE.

56. __ bene : NOTA. More Latin. Note well, an old common notation (NB).

59. Kind of acid : BORIC.

60. Mime : APER.

61. Part of Q.E.D. : ERAT. And yet again, Latin.

62. "A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length" author : EBERT. Has anyone read this book?

63. "We should!" : LET'S.

64. Mates : LADS.

65. Two-part curves : ESSES. This way and then that way.


1. Carrying extra weight : FLABBY.  More Bs.

2. Another round, perhaps : RELOAD. Sorry Tinman, not a drink, a gun.

3. Goes off script : AD LIBS.

4. 2006 World Cup champion : ITALY. I will never forget watching the final and THIS. (0:54).

5. Colleague of Boris : LON. Not Badenov, Karloff and Chaney.

6. Get out : VACATE. Same word as vacation but such different implications.

7. Options above "none of the above" : A, B OR C. I put in ABCDE first.

8. Pointed end : NIB. Anyone into calligraphy?

9. Org. created by the 1964 Civil Rights Act : EEOC. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

10. Iliac lead-in : SACRO. We are back to this old clue.

11. Magician's way out, maybe : TRAP DOOR. Not wanting to spoil magic tricks but they really do not disappear.

12. Whole number : INTEGER. A shout to all our math whizzes, Fermat, Bill G. etc.

13. Team lists : ROSTERS.

19. Fill the hold : LADE. Right next to the sound alike...

21. Aphid predator : LADYBUG. I loved the kitten with the ladybug on her nose. This is next to another bug...

24. Type of malware : WORM. They do not usually have...

25. Bristle : HAIR.

30. Slow flow : TRICKLE. Did you KNOW (3:47)?

32. Western star makeup : TIN. This was filled in before I saw the clue, is this for the badge or was Tinbeni a double for Hopalong Cassidy?
33. Pop-ups, e.g. : ADS.

34. Cozy retreat : DEN, Unless they are of iniquity.

35. Had to wear the winning team's jersey, say : LOST A BET.

36. Decides : OPTS.

37. Viva __ : VOCE. Really Latin intensive,  maybe all the years I studied Latin made this puzzle seem easier than it is. Anyway, literally alive voice, we use it to mean by word of mouth.

38. Like some files : LATERAL. Very popular in some law offices as they make accessing files much easier.

39. Carbon-14, e.g. : ISOTOPE. Since Carbon is normally 12, this is a elemental variant. I will ask the chemists and physicists to go further.

43. Narrow cut : SLIT.

44. Scrubs : ABORTS. Think of a space mission, right HG?

45. Puts away : STORES.

46. Ricky Gervais' forte : SATIRE. Humor in general I would say.

47. Demands, as payment : EXACTS. He exacted a steep toll from his students.

49. "Zut __!": French exclamation : ALORS. Ah, mais Oui! LINK. (0:13)

51. In front : AHEAD.

52. Hoity-toity types : SNOBS. Interesting HISTORY.

54. "Great Expectations" convict Magwitch : ABEL. Such depth to this character, and his relationship with Pip. I reread the book a few years ago with my youngest. Great SATIRE by Dickens.

58. Stat for Clayton Kershaw : ERA. Earned Run Average.  He led the league this year and his average is currently 0.00, though he lost a game 1 to 0. He is Dodgers' hope tonight.

Speaking of hope, I hope you enjoyed our time together. I am going to see Chicago at the Broward Center tonight with Mr. Peterman as Billy Flynn, so I am out of here. Thanks Jack and all of youse guys, Lemonade out.