Showing posts with label John Farmer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Farmer. Show all posts

Feb 27, 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015, John Farmer

Theme: Where did I hide that TV show?  I guess I will start at the bottom and work my way up.

Whenever I see a Friday with lots of black squares I know there is a visual aspect to solution, in this case the visual is revealed both by circles (if you do not have them, the 'theme' is virtually impossible to find) and by 55A. Appears ... and the contents of this puzzle's circles? : SHOWS UP (7). Words like BACK, UP and DOWN in a reveal let you know direction. This is a return trip for John, who. spoke with CC in 2012 . This layout has many short words, but quite a bit of longer fill like ATE DIRT, CHOLERA, ESKIMOS, ETHICAL, GULF WAR, NEMESES, PATRONS, PEACHES, PRIOR TO, SHOWS UP, TOO LATE. I am confused as to whether we were supposed to give up using the word Eskimo, but the rest are fun.

I will treat the hiding places for the theme, as the theme answers.

2D. Bit of deception : HOCUS POCUS(10). Which is basically a self-referential clue then. Reading from the bottom up, we see COPS revealed. This show launched Spike TV. Nicely juxtaposed with the Police.

8D. Realization often preceded by "Whew!" : IT WAS ALL A DREAM (14). I would bet this was the seed entry, and Mr. Farmer, while creating one of his more common themeless puzzles, noticed that DALLAS, (4:07) with its most famous episode, was hidden in this fill.

13D. Rodgers and Hart title lyric that precedes "I get no dizzy spells" : THIS CAN'T BE LOVE (14). I tried really hard to find a connection between CSI and these LYRICS but I had no success; did I miss something?

20D. James Brown memoir : I FEEL GOOD (9). Did they ever sing any James Brown on GLEE? EPISODE 21 season 1.

29D. One way to lighten the mood : CRACK A JOKE.(10) Nice fill, with a J! Well Telly Savalas as KOJAK (0:46) with his lollipop was a fun cop show....

1. Fall follower? : THUD. Well this puzzle did not begin with a BLAM.

5. Ophidian menace : ASP. Somewhat obscure, as OPHIS is Greek for snake.

8. Brightness stats : IQS. Paired with, 46A. Hardly bright : DIM.  Some intellectual elitism?

11. Arts supporters : PATRONS.

14. Frat letter : RHO.

15. Son of Akhenaten : TUT. The boy PHARAOH.

16. On the level : ETHICAL.

17. Battle of Khafji conflict : GULF WAR.

19. "Battle it out" quintet : AEIOU. Like facetious, a place to find the vowels in order, I guess.

20. Plasma particle : ION. Okay scientists, explain how plasma is a hot ionized gas consisting of approximately equal numbers of positively charged ions and negatively charged electrons.

21. Loafer's lack : LACE. The shoe, not your lazy neighbor.

22. Some audiobooks : CDS.

23. Pro shop supplies : SHAFTS. Golf clubs are made of many different materials, and having your clubs reshafted is not uncommon.

Now the question becomes is there a genteel way to ask our audience about whether they prefer stiff shafts...

26. Opposite of bids : ASKS. This is from the stock markets, as well as any auction.

27. Kool-Aid alternative : HI-C. Well they are drinks, but one primarily in powder form, one in liquid...

28. "__ Eterno": 2004 sports documentary : PELE.

29. Boorish : CRASS.

30. Detergent with Oxi Booster : ERA. Three letters had to be FAB or...

31. Bone: Pref. : OSTEopath? Osteoarthritis?

32. "Seasons in the Sun" songwriter : BREL. This BELGIAN was popular when I was young.

33. Dot on an MTA map : STN.

34. "Love in the Time of __": García Márquez work : CHOLERA. This winner of the NOBEL PRIZE for Literature. I am afraid was not on my radar. This was a very hard fill, especially as it crosses three (3) of the five theme holding fill. In the end, it was I FEEL GOOD that put me on the right track.

36. ICU staffer : LPN. Licensed Practical Nurses can work in the Intensive Care Unit.

39. "Can't argue with that!" : TRUE.

41. Former car-financing org. : GMAC. General Motors Acceptance Corporation. This became ALLY during the bailout process of 2009.

42. It may come after you : ARE. You are here. Not following you.

43. Court attire : ROBES. Does the 21st century really need the judiciary in robes?

45. Rooting sound : OINK. Certainly true of Arkansas fans, but he meant 'rooting', not 'rooting'. This word has many meaning, and they use pigs to root out truffles; also perhaps KZ can confirm this word means 'shagging' in Oz. Depending on your partner, it may have more meaning.

47. "Agreed!" : AMEN.

48. Title girl in a 1965 #1 hit : RHONDA. I was in high school.

50. Sushi topper : ROE. Bear in mind that fish eggs, are also known as CAVIAR.

51. Mall draw : SALE.

52. Sci-fi suffix : OID. Interesting factoid about androids and humanoids who use steroids and become freakazoids....

53. Signs of dissatisfaction : JEERS.

57. "Missed your chance!" : TOO LATE.

59. Brief facilities? : LAVatories.

60. Zing : PEP.

61. Early Alaskans : ESKIMOS. Help me Rhonda? Opps wrong clue.

62. Memphis-to-Nashville dir. : ENE.

63. Year abroad : ANO.

64. Payroll deduction, perhaps : DUES. In the old days union dues were common deductions.


1. The Police, most of the time : TRIO. The Police not the police. I am sure if you would get this wrong, it would sting.

3. A, in Argentina : UNA. Can you imagine a puzzle with each of these USA, UMA, UTA, UNA, UPA, UVA, ULA, UCA, UFA, UGA, UBA, UEA as fill?

4. ISP option : DSL. Digital Subscriber Line.

5. Shoptalk : ARGOT. Meh, this is more specific a term meaning a special language.

6. Treats as persona non grata : SHUNS.

7. D.C. figure : POLitician. How cool that this is next to...

9. Charlatans : QUACKS.

10. Hardly gloss over : STRESS.

11. Still-life subject : PEACHES. Really?

12. Swallowed one's pride : ATE DIRT. Dirt is not the only four letter word that fits, but....

18. Roadside warning : FLARE.

24. Inclusive pronoun : HE/SHE. Are there any safe comments?
Now if we shave that Adam's apple, and put on lipstick- maybe.

25. Quartet member : ALTO. I am confused because ALTO is for female voices with baritone, tenor and base for males not to mention soprano, contralto, mezzo-soprano, counter-baritone. So what quartet is this?

32. Word before or after name : BRAND. Brand name = name brand.

35. Key of Dvorák's "New World Symphony": Abbr. : E MINor.

37. Before : PRIOR TO.

38. They can't be beaten : NEMESES. An interesting plural.

40. Get Wired again : RENEW. The capital W lets you know this is referring to the magazine, Wired so it is a subscription that is being renewed.

43. Fight in the sticks : RASSLE.

44. Fred Astaire, by birth : OMAHAN. I am sure a fact known to our Nebraska contingent. HG?

48. President François Hollande's birthplace : ROUEN. Not to speak politics, but do many Americans know much about this socialite SOCIALIST?

49. Whale relative : HIPPO. Isn't SCIENCE grand!?!

54. Bulldog fans : ELIS. The mascot at Yale is the Bulldog, also at UGA.

56. Facial spot : SPA. Ha ha, not a Zit.

57. Brother of Jack and Bobby : TED. All gone now.

58. College Football Playoff champion crowned Jan. 12, 2015 : OSU. The Ohio State University. The third national championship for coach Urban Meyer.

Funny, yesterday we had 72 words and only 29 blocks with today having 74 words, 42 blocks (8 cheater squares), so many ways to build a grid. Anyway, while many of you may not get into this style, I really enjoyed this. It was good to have John back. Here comes March...Spring? Lemonade out

Oct 20, 2013

Sunday October 20, 2013 John Farmer

Theme: "Grid Lines" - Familiar phrases are re-interpreted as if they are lines spoken in the situation specified in the clues.

23A. Borderline? : PAPERS, PLEASE. The airport immigration officers actually just looked at my visa. The visa guy at the American Consulate in Guangzhou checked my various papers.

29A. Deadline? : I'M IN HEAVEN. I'm still undecided about heaven.

43A. Beeline? : I LOVE YOU, HONEY. For Melissa, who is taking extended leave from our blog due to family matter.

60A. Skyline? : GET OFF OF MY CLOUD. The Rolling Stones song. Slight dupe with the OFF at the intersecting RUNOFF.

68A. Dateline? : YOUR PLACE OR MINE. So apt.

90A. Neckline? : KISS ME, YOU FOOL. Argyle said it's "A classic line from romantic comedies". Where did it originate?

102A. Unemployment line? : YOU'RE FIRED. Donald Trump.

111A. Foul line? : THAT'S NOT FAIR. So who are you rooting for: Cardinals or the Red Sox? Ortiz was never that good when he was with the Twins.

Total 100 theme squares. Perfect. 

I'm so happy to blog a John Farmer puzzle. As I mentioned before, John always delights me with his creative themes or innovative approach to a tried theme.

John Farmer, Xword Info

In today's puzzle, John arranged all his theme entries in Across. Since his shortest theme entries have 10 letters, he did not put any 10-letter non-theme fill in Across to confuse solvers. He put them (4) in Down. The grid also features two smooth 9's and eight lovely 8's.


1. Chocoholic, e.g. : ADDICT. I'm not. You?

7. Stadium near Citi Field : ASHE

11. Young socialite : DEB

14. Corsica neighbor : ELBA

18. Maternity dress choice : MUUMUU. How unusual. Four U's.

19. Agenda details : ITEMS

21. Actress Gardner : AVA

22. Cry out for : NEED

25. McCarthy era paranoia : RED SCARE. Thank God I did not join the Chinese Communist Party. US government would not have approved my immigration.

27. "Citizen Kane" prop : SLED. Rosebud.

28. Civil rights leader Chavez : CESAR

31. Course expectation : PAR. Golf course.

32. Copier abbr. : LTR

34. Progressing according to plan : ON TARGET

35. Natural selection adherent : DARWINIST

40. Port for a mouse : USB. Remember the old days when we had to use wired mouse & keyboard?

42. Anger : IRE

45. Refrain syllable : TRA

46. Beaut : GEM

49. Arizona tribe members : PIMAS. So are HOPIS.

50. Timber fungus : DRY ROT

51. Remedy for wearing of the green? : SOD. Golf green, correct?

52. Emerald City pooch : TOTO. "The Wizard of Oz".

53. Precursor to rocksteady music : SKA. Wiki said Rocksteady is "a successor to ska and a precursor to reggae".

54. Airport accessible via BART : SFO

55. Almond-flavored cordial : AMARETTO

57. She brought Tzeitel and Lazar together : YENTE. Saw "Fiddler on the Roof" long long time ago. Don't remember those names.

64. Children's author Asquith : ROS. She stumped some last time. Click here.  I presume she writes those posts herself?

65. Apt. ad spec : RMs

66. Number on some watches : VII

67. Chem. pollutant : PCB

74. Some former polliwogs : TOADS

77. Get together at the factory, in a way : UNIONIZE

78. Words With Friends 10-pointer : ZEE.

79. Art to dye for? : TAT (Tattoo)

80. Big biceps, at the gym : GUNS

81. Reason for a 33-Down : TIE. 33D. Post-election election : RUNOFF

82. "The quality goes in before the name goes on" manufacturer : ZENITH. Owned by LG now.

86. Pal of Porky : DAFFY

88. Old spy gp. : OSS ( Office of Strategic Services). 1942-1945. Later became CIA.

89. Raided the fridge : ATE

92. Cholesterol abbr. : HDL. The good one.

93. "__-haw!" : YEE

94. Source of "helicopter seeds" : MAPLE TREE. I don't know those seeds are called "helicopter seeds".

95. 1989 Roseanne Barr title role : SHE-DEVIL. Never saw it. With Meryl Streep.

99. __ Paulo : SAO

102. Popular : HOT. Lots of girls are rocking these Phillip Lim for Target bags.

104. Shrub in a patch : BRIER

106. West Coast sch. : UCLA

110. Spider-Man, for Peter Parker : ALTER EGO

114. MS Word files : DOCS

115. Big time : EON

116. Lucifer : SATAN

117. What John has and Joan does not : SHORT O. Tricky clue. Joan has LONG O.

118. Washed-out : ASHY

119. "Do, or do not. There is no __": Yoda : TRY

120. Respond to flattery, maybe : MELT. Ha ha.

121. Shown the door : OUSTED


1. Current units : AMPS

2. __ citizenship : DUAL

3. Bamboozle : DUPE

4. Chatted with online : IM'ed

5. Mangy mutt : CUR

6. Birthplace of the Italian Renaissance : TUSCANY. And 20D. Six, in 6-Down : SEI

7. Feels bad : AILS

8. Underhand : STEALTHY

9. Cupid's target : HEART

10. Ambulance letters : EMS

11. "Dream Lover" singer : DARIN (Bobby)

12. It may be blessed : EVENT

13. Reason to keep something under your hat? : BAD HAIR DAY. Now my hair grows longer and I'll have lots of bad hair days in winter.

14. Keep in a coop : ENCAGE

15. Pull up stakes : LEAVE

16. Artist's headgear : BERET

17. Yemen coastal city : ADEN

24. "... and that's final!" : PERIOD

26. California mission founder Junípero : SERRA

30. Stage name of musician Richard Melville Hall : MOBY

31. Fruity concoctions : PIES

35. Green Teletubby : DIPSY. Learning moment for me.

36. How great minds think? : ALIKE

37. The Colosseum, the Forum, etc. : ROMAN RUINS

38. Ky. neighbor : WVA

39. __ La Table: high-end cookware shop : SUR. Never heard of it. Google shows they have one store in ritzy Edina.

41. Words before keys or wheels : SET OF

44. Approximately : OR SO

45. Agee of '60s-'70s baseball : TOMMIE. I think I have this card. Not worth anything.

46. Defend : GO TO BAT FOR

47. Response to a double-crosser : ET TU

48. Atmosphere : MOOD

51. 2000 US Open champ Marat __ : SAFIN. Unknown figure to me.

52. AT&T, e.g. : TELCO

56. Dept. store slip : RCPT

58. TimeCutter mowers, e.g. : TOROS

59. "A Season on the Brink" airer : ESPN. About Bobby Knight. It's ESPN's first TV movie, per Wiki.

60. Torino thanks : GRAZIE

61. Show runner : EMCEE

62. J.A. Prufrock's creator : TSE (T.S. Eliot)

63. Egg: Pref. : OVI

68. Old Serbian auto : YUGO

69. Heavy load : ONUS

70. Source of patter? : LITTLE FEET. Pitter patter of little feet.

71. Hall of Famer who played the same position as Pee Wee : OZZIE (Smith). Shortstop. My first reaction is ERNIE (Banks). Anyone thought of ROBIN (Yount) or even HONUS?

72. Big name in little candy : REESE'S

73. Saks department : MEN'S

75. Green Goblin portrayer in Spider-Man films : DAFOE (Willem)

76. Fashion : STYLE

83. Forever celebrated : IMMORTAL

84. Constant Comment, e.g. : TEA. Wow, never heard of this tea. But I drink loose Chinese tea anyway.

85. Character in "Ben-Hur"? : HYPHEN. Wickedly clever clue, John!

86. "Happy Trails," e.g. : DUET

87. p.m. : AFT

89. Dangerous snake : ADDER

90. Petty on a track : KYLE. Son of Richard Petty.

91. Medium-dry sherry : OLOROSO. Mean "scented" in Spanish.

92. Charge against Galileo : HERESY

95. Some parts of Handel's "Messiah" : SOLOs

96. Storage cabinet : HUTCH. China hutch.

97. Snap : VIGOR

98. Dramatic __ : IRONY

100. Wind down : ABATE

102. "Blah ..." : YADA. I bet Husker Gary watched every "Seinfeld" episode. I probably missed a few.

103. Skid row woe : DTS

105. "__ It Romantic?": Rodgers and Hart song : ISN'T

106. Roswell craft : UFOS

107. Express lane roller : CART

108. Diet-friendly : LITE

109. Yankee nickname : A-ROD. Aroid.

112. Play killer : HAM

113. Cal. column : THU (Thursday). Calendar.

For those solvers whose paper only carries LA Times Sunday grid, I'd like to share with you this lovely poem our regular OwenKL wrote:

Ode to Crossword Puzzles

Owen Lorion, 5/11/98

Oh, grid of lines, squares black and white,
You can ofttimes be my delight
As I wrack my brain at your odious challenge,
Then try for the crosswords, an olious melange.
My spelling was poor -- you helped to improve it.
My hubris was great -- you helped to reprove it.
I once thought I had a wide vocabulary,
But often you send me to thumb my dictionary.
Proper names are the worst, of people and places;
I'm forgetful of maps, I'm forgetful of faces.
And then there's those words, archaic, obscure,
That I'm learning to use with aplomb so demure.
But my favorite task, that makes puzzles a dream,
Is to guess at the thesis, to determine a theme.
Some puzzles don't have this. Fie on them, fie!
I want puzzles with riddles, like ice cream on pie.
I want puns, I want wordplay, and what is more
I want to wish cruciverbalists my thanks galore!

Apr 13, 2013

Saturday, Apr 13th, 2013, John Farmer

Theme: None

Words: 70 (missing J,Q,V,X)

Blocks: 27

   Hey~!  I finally finished a Farmer Saturday without red-letter help, and in a respectable time as well~!  There were many "alternate" answers to clues today, which could have led to a much harder solve, and some clechos, too.  Pretty pinwheel with a staircase center, triple 9's, triple 8's.  Worth a mention at the top today:

15A. Coroner's conclusion : "IT'S MURDER~!" - Frequent segment in TV shows like "Law & Order", "CSI", "Rizzoli & Isles", etc; personally, I like "CUPPI" - Case Undetermined Pending Police Investigation

67A. Something to throw when you're down : PITY PARTY - I was at a birthday party tonight; anyone here been to a "pity" party lately?

14D. Villainous : SINISTER - from being on the left hand side, which in the Latin is Sinistral, and "unfavorable"; right-handedness is Dextral; I am 'sinister' by the way....

36. One of The United States' six : TIME ZONE








1. Trial run for a far-fetched argument, say : LAUGH TEST - not familiar with this phrase; I was trying to get LITMUS TEST to fit

10. Developing areas : WOMBS - had UTERI to start

16. China from Japan : IMARI

17. Escape : STEAL AWAY - an Ozzy Osbourne song, for those who care; speaking of "Escape", I am looking at a 2006 Ford Escape hybrid, $9K, 68,000mi, 36MPG - depending on the UPS outcome

18. Pre-heist job : RECONaissance - I had "SCOPE", as in 'case the joint';  conflicted with my first choice for 53A."...overhead view" = (tele)SCOPE

19. Begin to develop : BUD - they're showing up here~!  I just whacked down much of the apple tree in our backyard; it was literally choking itself, and the inedible fruit attracts wasps

20. Provençal sauce : AIOLI - that 'eh' crossword garlic mayonaisse

21. As a friend, to François : EN AMI - eh, more Frawnch

22. Encumbrance : ONUS

24. Tender cuts : LOINS

26. Familia titles: Abbr. : SRAs

27. Buddha's birthplace, per most scholars : NEPAL

29. Slack : DOG IT

31. Lake of the Woods prov. : ONTario

32. "Hanging __ Moment": 2001 Lifehouse hit : BY A

34. "When pigs fly!" : "NO CHANCE~!"

36. Winter Palace rule : TSARISM - I put in TSARINA to start(?); also could have been CZARISM, too, and thrown you

40. Not so cool : NERDIER - the 'hip' kind of cool

41. Whistling past the graveyard, so to speak : IN DENIAL - or knee deep on a trip to Egypt....

43. May honoree : MOM

44. __-jongg : MAH

45. Pitch indicator : G CLEF and then the "G" moves to the backside in   56A. Cause of a hair-raising experience? : ZERO G - and a clecho with 35D. Pitching specialists : AD MEN - different kind of pitch, tho

47. BB? : BETAS - um, as in two "B"s ??? (Note from C.C.: I don't get the clue either.)

51. Manages somehow, with "out" : EKES

53. Aid for an overhead view : STILT - ah, not SCOPE;  stilts so you can see over heads

55. Nobel Laureate portrayed in "A Beautiful Mind" : NASH

58. Regatta racer : SLOOP - ah, not YACHT

60. Sew up : ICE - ah, not END

61. Philip Glass's "Waiting for the Barbarians," e.g. : OPERA - with a title like that, I can envision the Viking Fat Lady singing

62. Author whose only published novel won a Pulitzer : HARPER LEE

64. Saltpeter : NITER - Every time I see 'saltpeter', my mind says "hey, that's NITER, right~? Or maybe I'm wrong~?"; then the perps fill it in....

65. "Be right with you!" : "ONE SECOND~!"

66. Schoolboy jackets : ETONS - From the school outside London, which is NOT in continental Europe; see 1D.


1. Westernmost capital in Continental Europe : LISBON - (Portugal); I stopped myself before finishing "LONDON"

2. Harmonize : ATTUNE

3. Tapped out : USED UP

4. TV debut of 1975, for short : GMA - Good Morning America, not "SNL" - Saturday Night Live

5. Dance in a raffia skirt : HULA - can't pass up a "skirt" link....

6. Track : TRAIL

7. Title director in a 1994 biopic : ED WOOD - did not see this movie

8. Aquarium attraction : SEA LION

9. Fitting activity : TRYING ON  - and clecho 48D. Fitting employee : TAILOR

10. Spy wear, maybe : WIRE

11. Tarot cards, e.g. : OMENS - I have a deck of TAROT cards; I like them for the art, but I do treat them as having an "aura", so they're wrapped in silk - not Barry Silk, mind you

12. Salad component : MACARONI

13. Modern-day male bonding : BROMANCE - I am just not into the "Hangover"-type movies, and I do not consider any of male friends as part of a Bro - mance. 

23. 1999 Stanley Cup finals competitor : SABRE - from Buffalo; not STARS, the winners in 1999; Dallas made it to the Cup final the next year, too, but lost to the NJ Devils; tonight it's Rangers v. Islanders for 7th place in the Eastern Conference - should be a game worthy of the early rivalry between these two teams that has not had much weight lately, since the Islanders last playoff appearance was 2003

25. Unlikely command to a Chihuahua : SIC 'EM

28. Prone : LYING - we had this discussion recently

30. Beat : THROB

33. Converse rival : ASICS - Sneaker companies

37. Hostile environment : SNAKE PIT - also the name of Slash's band for two albums after Guns N' Roses - the first one was titled "It's Five O'clock Somewhere", Tin~!

38. Follow : ADHERE TO

39. Jukebox setting : MALT SHOP

42. "Sweet __": Oscar-winning song from "Waikiki Wedding" : LEILANI

46. Piece of broccoli : FLORET

49. Rise : ASCENT

50. Ally of the Brat Pack : SHEEDY - I mis-read this on the first pass as "RAT" pack; in the 80's, the "Brat Pack" included these actors/actresses

52. "Either/Or" writer Kierkegaard : SØREN - Also mentioned in the "Types" personality book that I frequently talk about; more here

54. Stowe slave girl : TOPSY - not familiar with her; all perps for me

57. Long-nosed fish : GARS - did the fish(es) fool you?

59. Sound often prohibited? : PEEP - "Not a peep from you, young lady~!"

63. Kelly Clarkson record label : RCA

    I passed my UPS driving test despite stalling at a green light in traffic; I was prepared for the crappiest stick-shift they could find (all the 'good' trucks were out on deliveries) and I actually "delivered" a package, as opposed to 'driving around the block' I have to wait for either a really busy Spring/Summer, or the next contract in August, when new terms might lead to more retirements.  Thanks for the kind words~!