Showing posts with label Jacob Stulberg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jacob Stulberg. Show all posts

Aug 30, 2017

Wednesday, August 30, 2017, Jacob Stulberg


A Wednesday puzzle with a vowel progression? Put up the Husker Gary Signal, Commissioner! This is my third recent puzzle with this gimmick. I thought we'd take a new look at the VOWELS in ASL. How many did you know?

 Jacob's progressive vowel insertions were on three two-word phrases and one single word adjective and were placed to complete the sequence CR _ M.... 

Perhaps it's not necessary but here is his grid and since only very smart people read this blog, I only indicated the vowels employed in Jacob's exercise.

Let's check out Jacob's exhibition of VOWEL PLAY by looking at his sequential theme entries:
17. Student's all-nighter : CRAM SESSION - They pulled a big CRAM SESSION to try to pass Professor Kingston's class in 1973's The Paper Chase

25. Dessert with a caramelized top : CREME BRULEE - Breaking through that wonderful caramelized crust 

39. Course of study that may include forensics : CRIMINAL JUSTICE - Abby of NCIS is my favorite forensic scientist and part of my latest Netflix binge

48. Like a mid-17th century English government : CROMWELLIAN - I'll bet Puritan and Roundhead Oliver was the life of any party! (Picture corrected from earlier Thomas)

61. Car's impact-absorbing structural feature : CRUMPLE ZONE - The CRUMPLE ZONE of both cars gives way first as designed

Now let's see what else Jacob has CRAMMED into this Wednesday exercise:


1. Brigantine's pair : MASTS - How'd they get that ship in there?

6. Necklace globule : BEAD

10. Touch gently : PAT

13. Sneezing sound : ACHOO - Response - Gesund (healthy) heit (hood) to wish good health

14. Grade for exceptional work : A-PLUS 

16. "Gross!" : UGH

19. Links figure : PAR - PAR for pros is usually one less than for me

20. Trek on a trail : HIKE - Wanna hike up Half Dome in Yosemite? Here's the trail:

21. Lots : A TON

22. Martini garnish : OLIVE

24. Keats' "__ on Indolence" : ODE - For this ODE to his own laziness, Keats used as an epigraph this passage from Matthew 26: "They toil not, neither do they spin" and we also had 56. Like noble gases : INERT

27. Verbal : ORAL

29. Former "Inside the NFL" host Dawson : LEN

30. Correctional : PENAL - Nebraska's PENAL system is at 150% of capacity

32. Issuer of bulls : POPE - Named for the leaden seal (bulla) affixed to the bottom of a Papal edict, uh, not the content

35. Bridge support : ARCH - For some reason the ARCHES shown here gave this bridge in Memphis the nickname "The Dolly Parton Bridge." Hmmm... It's a mystery to me

42. Trail : PATH

43. Sports figures : ODDS

44. __ fit: tantrum : HISSY

45. Tie-ending qtrs. : OTS - James White scoring the TD that decided the 2017 Super Bowl which was the first one to go into OverTime

47. Boot : KICK - The Falcons were KICKING themselves for letting the the Super Bowl above get away from them

54. Letter after upsilon : PHI

57. "Spider-Man: Homecoming" actress Marisa : TOMEI - She is a fine actress but she'll always be Mona Lisa Vito, the car expert in My Cousin Vinny to me

58. Je t'__: French "I love you" : AIME 

59. Cookware material : IRON 

60. Bygone U.K. record label : EMI

64. Suitable : APT

65. Comic/writer/activist Izzard : EDDIE - A British comedian known for dressing as a woman in his act

66. Solitary sort : LONER - I am an involuntary  LONER when eating lunch in faculty lounges

67. Ed.'s acquisitions : MSS - Manuscripts 

68. Italian wine region : ASTI

69. Latin clarifier : ID EST  - i.e. This might, uh, clarify the issue, i.e. explain the difference  


1. Virile : MACHO - Many in this sport have their MACHO image enhanced pharmacologically 

2. Bitterly pungent : ACRID

3. Seal the deal : SHAKE ON IT - It can be complicated

4. Heavy reading? : TOME

5. Signal of distress : SOS - This became standard after the sinking of the Titanic and replaced CQD (Come Quickly Danger) (-.-.  --.-  -..)  which the doomed ship was sending as she sank

6. Moisten while roasting : BASTE

7. __ salts : EPSOM

8. Dress named for a letter : A-LINE

9. Electronic music's Daft Punk, e.g. : DUO and 47. Film critic Pauline : KAEL- I guess...

10. Dilation target : PUPIL - My good friend had this situation with his eyes

11. Tequila source : AGAVE

12. Red billiard ball : THREE - Its correct placement in the rack for 8-Ball

15. [Bo-ring!] : SNORE

18. Rank between marquis and viscount : EARL

23. __ fringe: fanatical extremists : LUNATIC

25. Colombian city : CALI

26. __ cheese : BLEU - Not a fan

28. Make emphatically, as a point : RAM HOME - I think this RAM made his point emphatically 

30. Angel dust, for short : PCP

31. Significant stretch : ERA

32. Sketchbook, e.g. : PAD

33. __ Navy: discount retailer : OLD

34. Comfy lounging wear : PJS - After one of my blogs i got an anonymous note from someone who said I put commas where they are not required. So, would PJ'S be out of place here or here 37. IV units : CCS - CC'S

36. Like aggressive investments : RISK PRONE - "Hello, Mr. Madoff, I'd like my money back"

38. "Listen up!" : HEY

40. Body part with a bridge : NOSE - You can alter that bridge

41. It's just over a foot : SHIN

46. __-baked potatoes : TWICE

48. Third-stringers : C-TEAM - Most would now say "Third on the depth chart"

49. Escapades : ROMPS

50. Passes over : OMITS - Why did Jacob omit CRY ME A RIVER? 😉

51. Praises highly : LAUDS

52. Maximum : LIMIT

53. Macao Science Center designer : I.M. PEI - Wow!

55. Sharpens : HONES

59. Polo maker that's a Polo rival : IZOD

62. Nutritional abbr. : RDA

63. Philanthropist Broad : ELI - A little obscure for a Wednesday?

It's no CRIME to have an opinion here:

Dec 20, 2016

Tuesday, December 20, 2016 Jacob Stulberg

Theme: It ain't over till it's over - The sharing of the same word by the four longest entries.

17A. Began without hesitation: DOVE RIGHT IN

27A. Was heedless behind the wheel: DROVE RECKLESSLY

43A. Mentioned earlier: ABOVE REFERENCED

57A. Unseemly disclosure of personal details ... as seen in 17-, 27- and 43-Across?: OVERSHARING

Argyle here. I'm afraid I tried to overthink this puzzle. Just the word OVER repeated and somewhat placed over each other. If you see more, please share.


1. Prepare for a bodybuilding competition: OIL UP. If you missed seeing LATS yesterday, I'll give you oiled-up lats today.

6. Online discussion venue: FORUM

11. Freon or neon: GAS

14. Capital of Bangladesh: DHAKAMore.

15. Maureen known as Hollywood's "Queen of Technicolor": O'HARA. Nice Bio.

16. LP's 33 1/3: RPM. or RsPM, if you care.

19. Copy: APE

20. Place for a massage: SPA

21. Texas A&M athlete: AGGIE. Formerly named The Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (1871–1963), hence the Aggies.

22. Disney's Little Mermaid: ARIEL

24. Take from the top: REDO

26. Without a musical key: ATONAL

32. Seal-hunting swimmers: ORCAs

33. Actor Ving of "Pulp Fiction": RHAMES. Gangster Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames)

34. Scolding sound: {TSK!}

35. Showers or drizzles: RAINS

36. Small amount: DAB

39. Irish playwright Sean: O'CASEY."It's my rule never to lose me temper till it would be detrimental to keep it."

41. Low card: DEUCE and 37D. Card that may be high or low: ACE

47. Unruffled: SERENE

48. Run __: go wild: AMOK

49. Careful types take them: PAINS

50. Bring about: CAUSE

53. Showy accessory: BOA

56. Previous to, to Dickinson: ERE. Emily Dickinson, poet.

60. Inmate: CON

61. Amusement park thrills: RIDES

62. Nick of "Cape Fear": NOLTE. Cape Fear, the psychological thriller film from 1962 was remade in 1991 with Nick Nolte as Sam Bowden, the Gregory Peck role.

63. Explosive letters: TNT

64. Makeup mishap: SMEAR

65. Recital pieces: SOLOs


1. Gambler's concern: ODDS

2. "Eat up every moment" breakfast chain: IHOP

3. Geological Hawaiian souvenir: LAVA ROCK
4. Musical Hawaiian souvenir: UKE

5. Mardi Gras events: PARADES

6. "Around the World ... " hero Phileas: FOGG

7. "Well, howdy": "OH, HI"

8. Mortgage figure: RATE

9. Sch. with a Providence campus: URI. (University of Rhode Island, again) Motto: Think Big. We Do.

10. Sea cow: MANATEE. Marine mammal.

11. Bits of sand: GRAINS. “Like sands through the hourglass...."

12. Losing lawyer's recourse: APPEAL

13. Like Limburger cheese: SMELLY

18. Composer Stravinsky: IGOR, conducting a snippet of "The Firebird".

23. Flag maker Betsy: ROSS

25. A Gabor sister: EVA. Zsa Zsa died Sunday just shy of 100 years old ~ TMZ

26. Gift for the poor: ALMS

27. Web address part: DOT. A tittle, if you will.

28. Cos. with Xings: RRs. Cos. means companies? Wiki says yes.

29. Wipe out: ERASE

30. Tribal leader: CHIEF

31. Rapper West: KANYE. Kanye Omari West

35. Prized by collectors: RARE

36. Platypus feature: DUCKBILL. If you thought the manatee looked odd...

38. Place to retire: BED

39. Baking spot: OVEN

40. Keeps from being blue?: CENSORS. Cute clue.

41. Humbles: DEMEANS

42. Brian of ambient music: ENO

43. Characteristic: ASPECT

44. Affect: BEAR ON

45. Prepare, as new students: ORIENT

46. Like too-quick decisions: RASH

50. Surrender: CEDE

51. Neighborhood: AREA

52. KGB country: USSR

54. Clued in about: ON TO

55. Grows older: AGES

58. Vigor's partner: VIM. Vim and vigor, crudely known as p*ss and vinegar.

59. Outback hopper, for short: ROO. If you watched the video, you know they are related to the platypuses.


Oct 20, 2016

Thursday, October 20th 2016 Jacob Stulberg

Theme: V-oice Exercise: A vowel progression on "V". I shared a flat with two drama students in London many moons ago, and they would trill their vowel progression voice exercises over breakfast: "Mah-may-mee-my-mow-moo-mah" or in this case "Va-Veh-Vih-Voe-Vuh". Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders were in the same class; Jennifer's boyfriend owned the house we were renting. What's that got to do with the price of gas? Not a whole lot, let's get back on track.

18A. Personal guide : VALUE SYSTEM. Not Nordstrom shopper?

24A. Shoe fastener : VELCRO STRIP. My bike cleats have these. Handy.

38A. Historic Manhattan jazz club : VILLAGE VANGUARD. Crosses all the way for me. The club opened in Greenwich Village in 1935 and became an all-jazz venue in 1975.

48A. Cloud above a peak : VOLCANIC ASH. One of those tricky-to-parse entries. I had "CASH" in place at the end, and once you see something like that, it's tough to un-see it.

58A. Source of the Romance languages : VULGAR LATIN. Or what is inscribed on the walls of Roman public bathrooms? We studied Latin poetry at school; let me tell you, some of the stanzas from Catullus and Martial would make your hair curl. Google at your peril.

Solid Thursday from Jacob; minor gripe is that VANGUARD repeats the first vowel progression and doesn't form part of the theme, although it's part of a theme entry. Minor, but a gripe.

Let's see what else we've got:


1. One of a pair in "Waiting for Godot" : ACT. Not "tramp" or derivative thereof - nice cluing. I once saw a production of "Godot" where Vladimir and Estragon were both in grecian urns with only their heads visible. It's not exactly the most exciting play, and this static staging was curious to say the least.

4. __ ray : COSMIC

10. Where rds. meet : JCTS. Roads/Junctions. How about some Tuxedo Junction?

14. Frat address : BRO. bluto@deltatauchi.bro? Maybe not that kind of address.

15. Iris ring : AREOLA. I'm going to sit back and wait for the picture links in the comments.

16. Obama's birthplace : OAHU

17. Basic resting place : COT. Basic Training. Barracks. Cot. Basic it might have been, but very welcome.

20. Start of "A Visit From St. Nicholas" : 'TWAS the night before Christmas ...

22. Common base : TEN. We geeks also have binary, octal and hexadecimal in our bag of bases.

23. "Joke's on you!" : HA HA!

27. Animal's gullet : MAW

30. "To see __ is a picture": Dickinson : HER

31. Make subservient : ENSLAVE

33. Nincompoop : BOOB. Snigger. With 15A. Snigger.

35. "Biggest Little City in the World" : RENO

37. Next Dodger after Fernando to win the Cy Young Award : OREL. If Clayton Kershaw keeps it up, he's going to be the next Cy Young winner.

41. Ancient Icelandic text : EDDA

42. Birthstone for some Scorpios : OPAL

43. Bavarian count opener : EINS, zwei, drei ...

44. Pose anew, as a question : REFRAME

46. Hosp. areas : E.R.S

47. Put away : ATE

54. Hideout : LAIR

56. Crude shelter : HUT

57. Thing on a string : KITE

62. Sound after a punch : OOF!

63. How some games are won, briefly : IN O.T.

64. Dawn goddess : AURORA

65. Aflame : LIT

66. Cuts : MOWS. All sing along: "One man went to mow, went to mow a meadow, one man and his dog went to mow a meadow. Two men went to mow, went to mow a meadow, two men one man and his dog, Spot, went to mow a meadow. Three men went to mow ... " Continue ad nauseam.

When I used to go to Stamford Bridge in London in the '70s to watch my soccer club Chelsea, prior to kick-off the pitch would be given the once-over with the mower, Zamboni-style, and the crowd would serenade the mower guy up and down the pitch. He usually finished around "Twenty-three men went to mow". We were easily amused in those halcyon days. You want an ear worm? Here you go!

67. Shows disapproval, in a way : HISSES

68. Far from friendly : ICY


1. "How to Get Away With Murder" airer : ABC TV

2. Actor Russell : CROWE

3. Whole : TOTAL

4. Member of the reigning NBA champs : CAV. This clue breaks the "time-independent" convention for crosswords. If I came to solve this puzzle next year, there's no guarantee this clue/answer would be correct.

5. Big talker : ORATOR

6. Graf rival : SELES. Steffi and Monica of 90's professional tennis.

7. See 12-Down : MOUNT. Cross-referential angst for some.

8. The Seine's __ Saint-Germain : ÎLE. The city's' foremost professional soccer team is Paris Saint-Germain, which gives English-speaking commentators a crisis of pronunciation. Do you say "Paree" or "Paris"? You can't say "Parriss Saint Jerman", that sounds all wrong, "Parriss San-Germanne" is a curious hybrid and the correct "Paree San-Germanne" seems peculiar when you've been calling the city "Paris" all night. I'd stick to "PSG", but it's fun to listen to the manglings on TV.

9. Use to one's advantage : CASH IN ON

10. Tease : JOSH

11. Regatta racer : CATAMARAN

12. With 7-Down, sermon site : THE

13. (In) brief : SUM

19. Prattles : YAPS

21. Gentleman, at times? : SCHOLAR. Not always.

25. Sitcom that starred a singer : REBA

26. Kidney-related : RENAL

28. States as fact : AVERS

29. Join with heat : WELD

32. Comedian who said, "I have a lot of beliefs, and I live by none of 'em" : LOUIS C.K. Never heard of him, so had to look up how to parse the name. Crosses all the way for me. His real name is Louis Székely.

33. Lavatory fixture : BIDET. The first time I saw one I thought it was for washing your socks.

34. Chap : OLD FELLOW

35. Turn off : REPEL

36. Green of "Penny Dreadful" : EVA. Thank you, crosses. BBC America "psychological thriller" series, apparently. Here's Ms. Green looking appropriately deep and disturbed:

38. Designer Wang : VERA

39. Scene of biblical destruction : GOMORRAH. Twin city of Begorrah, Ireland. No, wait ...

40. Spice Girl Halliwell : GERI

45. Nike competitor : AVIA. I had ASIC first, forgetting the final "S".

46. Whole : ENTIRE

49. Blackens : CHARS

50. Jaguars, for instance : AUTOS. Funny, I'm much more likely to think of German cars as "autos" rather than British ones. Automobiles, maybe.

51. Garlicky spread : AIOLI

52. Unlikely to come unglued : STOIC

53. Big name in the bags aisle : HEFTY. Was looking for purses at first. Louis Vuitton didn't fit, Coach didn't work with my crosses, then I was struggling. Ah, trash!

55. Fed. employees : AGTS

58. Energetic spirit : VIM. Usually partnered with "Vigor". A tennis doubles duo you don't want to come up against.

59. Game with wild cards : UNO. Never played it. Anyone know the rules?

60. Him, to Henri : LUI

61. "A Queens Story" rapper : NAS. Slowly but surely this is taking root in my crossword brain.

Alrighty then! Heeere's the grid! My work here is done.


Nov 1, 2015

Sunday Nov 1, 2015 Jacob Stulberg

Theme:"Repossessed" - Theme entries are all in the pattern of A's B + B's C, but each B's C now belongs to A.

 22A. Cheap metal lacking an owner? : NOBODY'S FOOL'S GOLD. Nobody's Fool. Fool's gold.

 38A. Victims of a physicist's scam? : SCHRODINGER'S CAT'S PAWS. Schrodinger's cat. Cat's paws.

 54A. Rich kind of cake baked by a newspaper employee? : PRINTER'S DEVIL'S FOOD. Printer's devil is a new term to me. See here. Devil's food.

 79A. Easy jobs that are meant to be? : DESTINY'S CHILD'S PLAY. Destiny's Child. Child's play.

95A. Singer Clooney's delicate flowers? : ROSEMARY'S BABY'S BREATH. Rosemary's Baby. Baby's breath. I grokked the theme when this answer emerged. My solving is always very jumpy.

116A. Aristocrat's sunrise-to-sundown trip? : LORD'S DAY'S JOURNEY. Lord's Day. Day's journey.

Only 6 entries, but they occupy a total of 108 theme squares. I'll definitely need 144 words for anything over 100.

This grid is solidly made. Look at the lower right corner. So smooth and clean.


1. Highlander : GAEL

5. Nile dangers : ASPS

9. Cold __ : CALL. Not CASE.

13. Muslim dignitary : EMIR

17. Peak west of the Ionian Sea : ETNA

18. Hoops : B-BALL. My dad loved NBA games and could name those top players easily. Those two characters are Chinese for Jordon.

19. Like kiwifruit : OVOID

21. Tiny arachnid : MITE

25. How many modern TV shows may be seen : IN HD

26. "Maybe" : I'LL SEE. I could not parse my own answer.

27. Swinging time? : AT BAT. Nailed it.

28. "Twittering Machine" artist : KLEE

30. "I'll throw your dagger __ the house": "Twelfth Night" : O'ER

31. "Rock 'n' Roll Is King" gp. : ELO

32. Power dept. : ENER

34. Home of Lihue Airport : KAUAI. Got via crosses.

36. Private student : TUTEE

43. Topiary trees : YEWS

44. Organ to lend or bend : EAR

45. 82-Down's river : ARNO. And 82. European city whose university was officially established in 1343 : PISA Also 61. 2006 World Cup champion : ITALY

46. Drags to court : SUES
47. Enjoyed the lake : SWAM. Also 11. Gaze over, as a lake : LOOK ACROSS

50. Sushi option : EEL

51. "True Detective" network : HBO

52. Classic Ford : T-BIRD

60. Spanish article : LAS. And 106. Apennines article : UNA
62. Playground retort : ARE SO

63. Big rigs : SEMIS

67. Subject of Odysseus : ITHACAN

69. Fangorn Forest denizen : ENT. The Lord of the Rings. 

70. Most intimate : CLOSEST

72. Show gratitude to : THANK

73. "Step __!" : ASIDE

76. State as fact : CLAIM

78. Like : A LA

83. "Same here" : DITTO. Not ME TOO.

85. Some smartphones : LGs

86. Lift or squat : REP Also 5. Crunched muscles : ABs

87. Belief systems : ISMs. Funny to look back on all the Marxism, Leninism, Maoism I was taught in school. 

88. Dance in a pit : MOSH

89. Arrange in a cabinet : FILE

91. Chat : JAW

92. Major Pa. and N.J. routes : TPKs

101. Conductor Walter : BRUNO. Got via crosses.

102. Blender brand : OSTER

103. Land east of the Urals : ASIA

104. Symbol of strength : OAK

107. Hit the road : WENT. Tricky tense.

109. On edge : TESTY. Oh, TTP, my Google is back. I was on edge for two days. Changing Google Instant predictions to "Never" solved my blank page problem. But the Adobe Flash continues to crash for my Firefox, even if I have the updated version. OK with Boomer's Explorer.

112. Loser's fatal mistake? : SNOOZE. You snooze, you lose. I thought it might be diet-related.

114. Airman or seaman : RANK

119. "Good one!" : NICE!

120. Daft : INANE

121. Bad lighting? : ARSON. Nailed it.

122. Ire : BILE

123. Heap : SLEW

124. What leaders hold : SWAY. Easy in retrospect.

125. Nincompoop : BOOB

126. One may start with the striking of a gavel: Abbr. : SESS (Session)


1. Spirit in a bottle : GENIE

2. Chain components, perhaps : ATOLLS. Island chain.

3. As a whole : EN BLOC

4. China neighbor : LAOS. Lots of people speak French there.

6. "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" setting : SAFARI. I wanted SAHARA.

7. Garden area : PLOT

8. Housekeeper's bete noire : SLOB

9. Bill sharer : CO-STAR. Movies.

10. Part of ERA: Abbr. : AVG

12. Dramatist Hellman : LILLIAN

13. Longtime Brit. music label : EMI

14. Mythical creature in Dante's "Inferno" : MINOTAUR

15. Words that have a ring to them? : I THEE WED. Nailed it.

16. Right : REDRESS

18. "Toodle-oo!" : BYE NOW

20. NASA was formed during his admin. : DDE. I thought it was established in JFK era.

23. Company excelling in many fields? : DEERE. Nice clue.

24. L.A. athlete : LAKER

29. Reputed UFO fliers : ETs

33. Magazine VIPs : EDs

35. In working order : USABLE. Not STABLE.

37. Advantages : UPSIDES

39. Choir selection : HYMN

40. Far from flush : NEEDY

41. It's quite a blow : GALE. Another great clue.

42. "Africa" band : TOTO

47. Divide into shares : SPLIT. I wanted ALLOT.

48. Ire : WRATH

49. Tyler who voices Lana on "Archer" : AISHA. Co-host of CBS's morning show "The Talk". Nice bouncy hair.

50. Bilingual subj. : ESL. Clue & answer dupe partly.

51. "Java" jazzman : HIRT

53. Upper garment parts : BOSOMS

55. Traveler's purchase : TICKET. 56. 55-Down datum: Abbr. : ETA

57. Charged, infantry-style : RAN AT

58. Wind farm features : VANES

59. __ point : FOCAL

64. They often have multiple courses : MEALS. Reminds me of the traditional Chinese wedding in countryside & the sumptuous meals. My youngest aunt was carried in a Jiao like this on her wedding day.

65. Imam's faith : ISLAM

66. Goes nowhere : STAYS

68. "What happened next?" : AND THEN

69. Nestlé dessert brand : EDY'S

71. Tupperware topper : LID

74. Novelty item with an eyeglasses variety : SILLY STRAW. Total stranger to me.

75. Drink, e.g. : INGEST

76. Like Bit-O-Honey candy bars : CHEWY

77. Impudence : LIP

80. Talk show furniture : SOFA

81. Dungeness delicacy : CRAB

83. Epitome of deadness : DOORNAIL

84. Distribution : ISSUANCE

88. Homer Simpson's boss : MR. BURNS. I just love this corner.

90. Some decals : IRON-ONS

91. Two-time NFL sacks leader __ Allen : JARED. He was a Viking before? No idea.

92. "Conan" channel : TBS

93. Pen : PRISON

94. He played Klaatu in "The Day The Earth Stood Still" (2008) : KEANU

96. Shorten, in a way : MOW

97. Designer Johnson : BETSEY. Drew a blank as well. Nice straight hair. The power of flat iron.

98. States as fact : SAYS SO

99. Multimetallic Canadian coin : TOONIE

100. Nut trees : HAZELS

105. "Flowers for Algernon" author Daniel : KEYES

108. Nutmeg State collegian : ELI

110. "Born From Jets" sloganeer : SAAB

111. Newbie : TYRO

113. Solar system components : ORBS

115. Garden district on the Thames : KEW

117. Forensic ID : DNA

118. Snow or nose follower : JOB. This type of "what or what follower" clue & fill-in-blank with multiple answers like "Cold ___" are not as easy as they seem.

Below is more detailed information on Crossword LA tournament. Go there and get those fantastic puzzles.

I'd like to thank Barry G, D-Otto and Splynter for test-solving my puzzle and giving me constructive feedback. Also for the unsung hero Todd McClary for helping me shape the puzzle. Todd came up with the smooth upper left corner.


Message from Alex Boisver/Elissa Grossman:

"Hi all.

The Crosswords LA tournament was just held (October 24), at the Fowler Museum at UCLA, and featured new puzzles from some top constructors.  Just as we do every year, we are selling the puzzles from the tournament, with some proceeds going to support the local Reading To Kids charity.  In addition, we're selling what we're calling a "mega pack" -- all the crosswords from the tournament, plus some bonus puzzles.  It's $6 for the basic pack, $8 for the mega pack, and full details are below. If you're interested, head over to

The basic pack includes (all puzzles in PUZ and PDF format):
- Warm-up puzzle (Andrea Carla Michaels and Joel Elkins)
- Puzzle 1 (C.C. Burnikel)
- Puzzle 2 (Jeffrey Harris)
- Puzzle 3 (Sam Donaldson)
- Puzzle 4 (Patti Varol)
- Puzzle 5 (Trip Payne)
- Finals Puzzle (easy and hard versions -- Doug Peterson)
- Tie-breaker puzzle (Ronald Allen)

The mega pack includes all the above, plus:
- Team puzzle race (John Doppler Schiff)
- Bonus crossword (Erik Agard)
- *Outside The Box Preview Rows Garden Puzzle (Joon Pahk)
- *Diagramless Kickstarter Preview (Brendan Emmett Quigley)
- Kaidoku (Alex Boisvert)

*These two puzzles have previously been published at and Brendan's diagramless kickstarter, respectively.  All others have never before been published.