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

Dec 3, 2016

Saturday, Dec 3rd, 2016, John Lieb

Theme: None

Words: 72 (missing F,Q)

Blocks: 29

Unlike last week's successful struggle, this week's puzzle was just a Google-fest for me; too many proper names that I simply had no clue about - and even some that I should have known, but were cleverly clued with misdirection.  In my humble opinion, there were a few too many "meh" clues in this one, but only because I had never heard the term, or didn't agree with the clue/answer connection.  Oh well - can't claim a win every week.... It was Mister Lieb who introduced us to "Fun Sponge".  A pinwheel grid, with no fill longer than 8 letters, all in the corners;

7a. Free speech inhibitor? : SWEAR JAR - meh.  The clue was trying to be just a little too cute; IMHO, the SWEAR JAR is for the aftermath of "free" speech; it never inhibited me.  I had "B" and "C" in there - a swear BAR makes sense, and so does CAR when you think of cell-phone free train cars - and crossing this cell with a proper name was just Natick

41d. Quality control process with an alphanumeric symbol : SIX SIGMA - new to me.  I looked it up, and the first paragraph made sense, but the rest lost me.

60. Different exercises performed consecutively : SUPER-SET - like most exercise equipment these days, too - e.g. the combo elliptical and stepper; I don't bother with exercise - I just lift everyone else's treadmills for shipping at UPS

2d. "Star Trek: Voyager" actress : JERI RYAN - Googled.  All I could think of was "JANEWAY".  Never got in to this version of Star Trek, even with a character such as Seven of Nine; I just read that she was once Borg....does that make me a Trekkie anyway~?

ONWA-[resistance is futile]


 1. Major clothing chain : TJ MAXX - I thought I'd have a chance at this one, once I got a crossing letter, and it was the last "X"

15. Morsel : WEE BIT - ugh.  TID bit was in there originally, and I refused to let go

16. Tufted tweeter : TITMOUSE

17. Unspecific threat : OR ELSE

18. "Right you are!" : "YESSIREE~!"

19. "Women and Love" author Shere : HITE - Google #4 as I solved; kept getting Women IN Love, from D.H. Lawrence

20. Tach readings : RPMs

22. Norwegian king during the Cold War : OLAV V - filled in the "OLA--" and waited, but I felt the second "V" was a pretty good WAG; either I,V, or X

23. Serial sequence : ARC

24. Attributes : TRAITS

26. Door opener? : DEE - the "D" at the front of the word DOOR

27. Where Martin Scorsese taught Oliver Stone: Abbr. : NYU - I knew it was a film school, but tried USC first.  Oh well

28. Rhein tributary : AARE - filled via perps

29. 16th-century rulers : TUDORS

32. Archaeologist, at times : DATER - as in carbon dating, etc.

34. Capital of Kazakhstan : ASTANA - filled via perps

36. Disdained, with "at" : SNEEZED - oops, I had sneeRed at to begin with

38. Mickey Rooney septet : EX-WIVES

42. Blue on screen : RATED X - "BLOODS" fit, too, a show on CBS, so I was pondering

44. Last Supper query : IS IT I~? - several awkward answers in terms of parsing....

45. Completely overhauled : REDONE - for example, this could also be RED ONE

48. Revival figs. : EMTs

50. Texter's appreciation : THX - when I start typing in my texts, the app fills in the whole word THANKS for me

51. I, perhaps : ONE - the Roman numeral "I"

52. Harsh : SEVERE

54. U.N. ambassador appointed by JFK : AES - filled via perps; Adlai E. Stevenson II

55. 2008 Best New Artist Grammy winner : ADELE

58. Sweet sign-off : X O X O - lots and lots of "X"s.  Seven of "X" (see 2d.)

59. King Ahab's father : OMRI - no clue, but filled via perps, yet again; the Wiki

62. Boxer Rebellion setting : PEKING

64. Cherish : TREASURE

65. Shady Records co-founder : EMINEM - DAH!~!!!  I like Eminem, and I know that he's "Marshall Mathers" and "Slim Shady", too.  Just didn't see the connection.  Googled.

66. Snakes : SERPENTS

67. Event associated with warm climates and big midday meals : SIESTA


1. Driving instructor's reminder : TWO HANDS - CAR driving instructor; with TID bit in the grid, I had T-T---, thought maybe this was a GOLF driving instructor; although a "two hand" reminder on the driving range is also a good tip....

3. Initial encounter in a romcom : MEET CUTE - so completely unaware of this phrase, I still couldn't believe it even after I looked it up - here.  I have to admit, I went to pay my rent for the second time at my landlord's bank (not MY bank) because he is in Florida  - the first time I made this trip was Halloween when the tellers were dressed as "Snap, Crackle, and Pop".  However, the cutie I stepped up to yesterday was none of those characters, and when I asked, she said she was on the drive-thru as a Cinnamon Toast Crunch Baker....I like cinnamon.  Does this count as a meet-cute~?

4. Fit : ABLE

5. Frat letters : XIs

6. Former Nissan SUV : XTERRA

7. Hinders : STYMIES

8. "Bullets Over Broadway" Oscar winner : WIEST

9. Sci-fi staples : ETs

10. Recess rejoinder : "AM SO~!"

11. Stir up : ROIL

12. Katy of "High Noon" : JURADO - M, B, C, J~? Take your pick

13. Sincere sign-off : AS EVER - or is it A SEVER~?

14. Player of Kent : REEVES - ah, yes.  I knew it was not Christopher REEVE; but then I recalled the character was played by George REEVES in the 50's

21. Flaunt : PARADE

24. Fiction's Lord Greystoke : TARZAN - yeah, this one eluded me for too long

25. Pringles alternative : STAX - I did get it partially right - I laid in LAYS first 

30. Ill-conceived : UNWISE

31. Stand for 45-Down : DAIS - a circumreferential clue that I figured out; 45. They involve insult comedy : ROASTS - I just watched the roast of Rob Lowe

33. First name in architecture : EERO - first name this week, last name last week (Saarinen); I did not know he died at age 51 - I am only 5 years younger than that

35. Hybrid cuisine : TEX-MEX

37. "Nos __": 2000s French-Canadian drama set in a summer home : ÉTÉS - utterly unsolvable from my point of view; and not just because it's Frawnche; filled via perps, but with 'summer' in the clue, ÉTÉ would have been a good WAG

39. Total assets? : VITAMINS - ARGH~! The cereal Total.  Got me good.

100% of 12 vitamins and minerals~!

40. One way to connect nowadays : ETHERNET

43. Allots : DEVOTES

46. Stomach : ENDURE

47. Superior, vis-à-vis Michigan : DEEPER - Great Lakes

49. Metaphors, e.g. : TROPES - OK, this word sounded familiar, but I still looked it up to be sure.  Googled.

53. Wield : EXERT

56. Vault : LEAP

57. Language that gave us "plaid" : ERSE - yeah, CELT was not right

59. Tom Joad, e.g. : OKIE - I did actually know this one

61. Flare producer : SUN - Nice 'double flare' with the flared skirt, too

63. "Big four" record company : EMI


Oct 25, 2016

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 John Lieb

Theme: Philosophy - Live for the moment.

18A. "We're done here. Please leave": YOU MAY GO NOW

30A. Lone source of local entertainment: ONLY GAME IN TOWN

45A. Eschew modern conveniences: LIVE OFF THE GRID

57A. Like the child of your first cousin, to you: ONCE-REMOVED. (still a first cousin)

56D. Modern-day carpe diem spelled out at the starts of 18-, 30-, 45- and 57-Across: YOLO. (you only live once)

Argyle here. Carpe diem and the day is Tuesday. If you are Bond, James Bond, then You Only Live Twice. I liked today's pairing of RANT AND RAVE and YOSEMITE SAM.


1. __ for the course: PAR

4. Proverb: ADAGE

9. Wire fence stickers: BARBS. Inventors had a field day with this type of fencing.

14. Winner of the most 2016 Olympic medals: USA. 46 golds, 37 silvers and 38 bronzes. 44-Across. Part of 14-Across: Abbr.: AMERica.

15. Prize founder: NOBEL

16. Accustom (to): INURE

17. __ Tin Tin: RIN. Yo, Rinny! But who was Sgt. Preston's dog? (No, not Tige.)

20. For mature viewers: RATED R

22. Foot prettifier, briefly: PEDI. (pedicure)

23. Miss. neighbor: ALA. (Alabama)

24. Grape-Nuts cereal brand: POST. Developed in 1897 by C. W. Post, no grapes or nuts were harmed in the making of this cereal.

26. Big Board letters: NYSE. (New York Stock Exchange)

33. Pop in a glass: SODA. Not the same as pop in his cups.

34. Wonder: AWE

35. Longtime name in Syrian leadership: ASSAD. Hafez al-Assad and his son, Bashar al-Assad.

36. Prereq for a lifeguard: CPR. (CardioPulmonary Resuscitation)

37. Fred Flintstone's boss: MR. SLATE

40. CBS logo: EYE

41. Yoga position: ASANA. Number of positions

43. Conservationist's prefix: ECO. (ecological interaction)

49. Worrisome grades: DEEs

50. Misplace: LOSE

51. Tennis do-over: LET

52. Open house offering: TOUR

54. Great suffering: MISERY

62. Great Lakes' __ Canals: SOO

63. Baseball legend Satchel: PAIGEThe Official Satchel Paige Home Page.

64. Dior skirt style: A-LINE

65. "__ the President's Men": ALL by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward.

66. Does' mates: STAGS

67. Cares for: TENDS

68. Sound on Old MacDonald's farm: MOO


1. Sound of a contented kitty: PURR

2. Great Wall setting: ASIA

3. Deliver a tirade: RANT AND RAVE

4. Sometime soon: ANY DAY

5. "Let's Make a Deal" selection: DOOR. Often three doors but what's behind them?

6. __ Dhabi: ABU

7. Emerald, e.g.: GEM

8. Slip by: ELAPSE

9. Texas city of 1.3 million, familiarly: BIG D. Dallas.

10. Consecrates with oil: ANOINTS

11. It may be unearned: RUN

12. Compadre: BRO. (Brother)

13. Clinch, with "up": SEW

19. Mythical Himalayan: YETI

21. Singer Fitzgerald: ELLA

24. Feline feet: PAWS

25. Brunch servings: OMELETS

27. Ill-tempered Looney Tunes character: YOSEMITE SAM

28. Persuaded: SWAYED

29. Week or rear add-on: ENDER. Better to have a weekender than a rear-ender.

30. "My bad!": "OOPSIE!"

31. Needlefish: GAR

32. Scottish denial: NAE

33. Nearly boil: SCALD. Nearly a repeat of yesterday.

37. Long March leader in 1930s China: MAO. Mao Zedong.

38. Tylenol target: ACHE

39. One may be stubbed: TOE

42. Retirement fund: NEST EGG

44. Belligerent god: ARES. Greek god of war, son of Zeus and Hera.

46. Chimney part: FLUE. Now is the time to have it checked before the heating season. PSA

47. Word processing category involving page dimensions: FORMAT

48. Moves smoothly: GLIDES

53. Lodes and lodes: ORES

54. Patch up: MEND

55. Hershey's caramel candy: ROLO. A treat for trick-or-treaters.

57. Black __: covert missions: OPS. (see 59-Down)

58. D.C. ballplayer: NAT. Washington Nationals.

59. Spy novel org.: CIA. (Central Intelligence Agency)

60. "¡Viva el matador!": "¡OLE!"

61. __ Scully, Dodger announcer for 67 seasons: VIN


Oct 21, 2015

Wednesday, October 21, 2015, John Lieb

Title: CC Rider

We denizens of this site quickly saw our lovely leader C.C. in the gimmick of double C's in each two word phrase where the first word ends in C and the second word begins in C. However, John's fine hump day offering invoked the original use of CC for the Carbon Copy method of producing a messy facsimile as seen in this blurry CC of an interesting 1958 typewritten letter from Eleanor Roosevelt to JFK.
Today, of course it is mainly used as a way to send a duplicate email to another recipient electronically sans the messy paper

Theme answers:

16. Three-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee : ERIC CLAPTON - First as a member of this group, then a member of Cream and then as a solo artist

22. Master thespian's skill : DRAMATIC CHOPS -Yeah, I've heard she's got 'em. Do you remember this movie?

49. Brew produced without pesticides : ORGANIC COFFEE - This must be good  because it says so!

58. "One Thousand and One Nights" transport : MAGIC CARPET - Or a ride offered by this group

The theme reveal:

65. Duplicates, briefly ... and a hint to 16-, 22-, 49- and 58-Across : CC'S 

John's fun gimmick could also have referred to CC's of medicine, Closed Captioning  we use for Downton Abbey or, as previously mentioned, the very nice lady in Minneapolis who runs this electronic popsicle stand.


1. Punch kin : ADE - Not a JAB

4. Refuse : TRASH - Turn down garbage - REFUSE REFUSE

9. Debussy's sea : MER - I'll bet you can figure out this 1914 American song lyric here in French "Par la MER, par la MER, par la belle MER" (*answer at the bottom)

12. __ Scotia : NOVA

14. Makes arrangements for : SEES TO - What Joann will do for our kitty when we travel again

15. Chopper : AXE

18. Sleep phase initials : REM

19. 1990s Polish president : WALESA - Lech, the electrician who became president, helped Poland into a post-communist era

20. Ocean State sch. : URI - The Fightin' Rams of the University of Rhode Island

21. California's __ Valley : SIMI

25. Pretentious sort : SNOB - Dontcha just hate 'em?

27. Used Grecian Formula on : DYED - Not enough vanity with me for that

28. Uses for a fee : RENTS

29. Civil War nickname : ABE

30. Artist's shade : HUE

31. "La Bamba" actor Morales : ESAI - A frequent flyer on this airline

33. Burroughs' feral child : TARZAN - I think we know the pithy dialog below

35. Welcomes to one's home : ASKS IN

39. Actress Sommer : ELKE

41. Sets for binge watchers : TVS - Hey, it's a Jetson's marathon!

42. Rapid-fire weapon : UZI

43. Fireplace piece : GRATE

46. Maker of Air Zoom sneakers : NIKE - How would these look on a 69 yr old retired teacher? Yeah, I thought so too.

48. Eyewear, in ads : SPEX

52. Regatta implements : OARS

53. Shout of support : RAH

54. Burglars' concerns : ALARMS

57. Former AT&T rival : GTE

60. See 62-Across : LEE

61. Endless, poetically : ETERNE

62. With 60-Across, big name in desserts : SARA - They had the best jingle with a double negative that was in C.C.'s lovely Monday puzzle.

63. Harris and Asner : EDS - I best remember Ed Harris as Gene Kranz uttering, "Failure is not an option" in Apollo 13

64. Gave the wrong idea : LED ON


1. Once again : ANEW

2. Latina toon explorer : DORA - The Explorer

3. Superhero's nemesis : EVILDOER

4. Long Island Iced __: cocktail : TEA - No Lipton in there!

5. Public stature : REPUTE

6. Not sidesaddle : ASTRIDE - It would never do for Lady Mary of Downton Abbey to sit ASTRIDE

7. Hard to arouse : STOIC - Even sidesaddle, she would look STOIC

8. Sweetie pie : HON

9. Ohio county or its seat : MARION - Named for "The Swamp Fox" Francis Marion. Look who played him on TV

10. Not obliged to pay : EXEMPT - UN envoy and their parking tickets

11. Neglectful : REMISS

13. Harsh : ACERB - ACERBIC is a form more familiar to me

14. Focus of an annual 26-Down contest : SLAM DUNK 

17. Jefferson Davis was its only pres. : CSA - The story of Jeff Davis being captured while disguised in  women's clothes was untrue but gained a life of its own

21. Mideast chieftain : SHEIK - Do you remember Ray Stevens' now VERY un-pc song about the "SHEIK of the burn in' sands"?

23. Reply to Bligh : AYE

24. Ill-mannered : CRASS

25. Convened : SAT

26. Hoops gp. : NBA

30. Drummer Alex Van __ : HALEN

32. Avoid embarrassment : SAVE FACE - Better than this

34. Epsilon followers : ZETAS 

36. Large political spending org. : SUPER PAC - They raised $828,224,700 for the 2012 election 

37. Ending with civil or social : IZE

38. Put the kibosh on : NIX - 1935 Variety headline translated - "Rural people don't like movies about rural people"

40. Behind bars : ENCAGED

41. Ring result, briefly : TKO

43. Help in many a search : GOOGLE

44. Like many violent films : R-RATED MPAA says "This rating is given for strong and frequent language and violence, nudity for sexual purposes and the abuse of drugs."

45. Goes with the flow : AGREES

47. Asian MLB outfielder with a record 10 consecutive 200-hit seasons : ICHIRO - As a Mariner, Yankee and Marlin (after playing for the Orix Blue Wave in Japan for 9 years)

48. Craftsman retailer : SEARS 

50. Really boiling : IRATE

51. Jeb Bush's st. : FLA

55. Cougar maker, for short : MERC

56. Dots on a subway map: Abbr. : STAS - The Kingston Trio sang "Charlie handed in his dime at the Kendall Square STAtion and he changed for Jamaica Plain"

58. Voice legend Blanc : MEL

59. Channel founded by Turner : CNN

*Song lyric in English was "By the SEA, by the SEA, by the beautiful SEA"

A rerun of a something I have previously posted: If our blog mistress's doctor wanted to sent her med dosage to Walgreens and a copy to her, he would "CC the CC's to C.C." 

Husker Gary

Apr 4, 2015

Saturday, Apr 4th, 2015, John Lieb

Theme: None

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

Blocks: 27

   I have done well with Mr. Lieb's puzzles in the past, but today it was looking pretty bleak.  The first across pass yielded only about 5 answers, and then on the down run, little more.  Caught a break with a few well-placed W.A.G.s, and I happened to know a few of the proper names, too.  Alas, I did cheat - one look-up, and one verification - so I have to admit to a DNF.  Drat.  Two spanners, two 10-letter movie reference* climbers, and triple 9-letter corners made up the long fill;

17a. Donkey in "Shrek" et al. : ANIMAL SIDEKICKS - when one "ponders" other animal sidekicks, one might recall a TV show from '79-'81;

54a. "Been there, done that" : "NOT MY FIRST RODEO" - I found a little history here

13d. 2014 A.L. MVP : MIKE TROUT

28d. Wet blanket, in modern lingo : FUN SPONGE - new phrase to me, but I do like it - I'll use it to describe the way vague circumferential Saturday clues suck the joy out of some puzzles



1. Franchise spawned in the '60s : STAR TREK - my personal favorite of the show's variations was "The Next Generation", which was my generation's version; the original was a bit too dry for me, and the latest version of the franchise, the "young" original crew, just doesn't do it justice, IMHO

9. Away for the summer, maybe : AT CAMP - nailed it; felt like I was off to a good start

15. White Sox nickname, with "the" : PALE HOSE - I thought this might be a specific person, but it's a reference to their uniform - white socks = pale hose

16. Longtime Ottoman Empire territory : BOSNIA

19. Dedicate : DEVOTE

20. Lug : TOTE

21. Worked (up) : HET

22. They're just looking : EYERS - oh, those 'socket sets'

23. Cries for attention : "HEYS~!"

24. NFLer Ronnie for whom a defensive award is named : LOTT - the Wiki

25. Remote power source : AA CELL - almost got me thinking "distant", and not TV/DVR

27. Land overseas : TERRE - I had terrA to start; good enough for me

28. Univ. staff : FACulty - not TAs; made the SW very slow in solving

31. Prevent from going to seed : MOW

32. Organization level : ECHELON

34. Sam Samudio's spoken opening in "Wooly Bully" : UNO DOS - link away~!

36. Sea-dwelling Greek god : NEREUS - Poseidon didn't fit; neither did NEPTUNE, the Roman version

37. Most populous OPEC nation : NIGERIA - OK, I cheated - sort of....I went and found a list of OPEC nations, because I had ---ERIA; ALGeria would have worked, too, but only 23% the population

39. Ask to be excused, with "off" : BEG

40. It merged with Sprint in 1983 : GTE

41. Command before a click : SMILE - dah~! Stuck in computer, not camera mode

42. Treated for traction, in a way : SALTED - Did anyone else think of this traction~?
45. Cocktail party fare : PÂTÉ - ya know, I have always heard this word in jokes, on TV, etc., but never actually knew what it was

46. Securely : FAST - as in "the bolt held the door fast"; there's quite a few homographs for 'fast'

47. Overseas denials : NEINS - Ach~! German~!

51. Taxonomic suffix : OTA - what I found was that this guy is of the subclass "pterygota"

52. "The Secret of __": 1982 animated movie : NIMH - I remembered the name, but not the movie - IMDb trivia

53. "Working Class Hero" songwriter : LENNON

57. "Brighton Rock" author : GREENE - I was missing the first letter, and "G" seemed to make the most sense, but I did Google to check

58. Doing a lawn job : AERATING

59. Lamb treats : ESSAYS - oh, so crafty - Charles Lamb, not "KEBABS" as I first tried

60. Hoodwinks : MISLEADS


1. Garden aid : SPADE - I tried "STAKE" off the "S" in Star Trek

2. Second-longest-serving Chief Justice : TANEY - perps

3. Not out of the game : ALIVE

4. Suckerfish : REMORA

5*. Song featured in "Moonstruck" : THAT'S AMORE

6. Break for a certain wannabe : ROLE - ah.  Crossing the "Sox" clue, this was way too vague for me; now I get it - an actor wannabe

7. Mariner cap insignia : ESS

8. "Reservoir Dogs" actor : KEITEL - and a lot of other Tarantino movies, too

9. Disables the alarm, say : ABETS - cute

10. Tip in Vegas : TOKE - seen this in crosswords before; not the 'toke' I grew up with

11. TV franchise since 2000 : CSI

12. Relay part : ANCHOR LEG

14. Acceptable form of back talk? : PAST TENSE - Har-har~!

18. His epitaph includes "knight" and "man of letters" : DOYLE - Sir Arthur Conan

23. Fell : HEW

24. Creepy look : LEER

26. Mozart title starter : COSI

27*. 1927 Buster Keaton film : THE GENERAL - totally not my generation - IMDb

29. Some film artists : ANIMATORS - q.v. 52a

30. Ponders : COGITATES

33. "For a life gone digital" news source : CNET

35. Editor's mark : DELE - or STET~? I can't tell with these crossings~!

38. "Same here" : "AS AM I"

39. Deli order : BLT

43. Hindu community : ASHRAM - dredged this one up from the depths

44. Represent : DENOTE

46. High winds : FIFES - ah, not like "zephyr", but high-pitched musical instruments

48. Bhopal locale : INDIA - well, the spelling should have clued me into a 'general' idea of where to find it

49. Continuously : NO END

50. Makes out, across the Pond : SNOGS - learned from "Harry Potter"

52. Part of a Fifth Ave. address : NY, NY - I'm here in LI, NY

53. A and P, e.g.: Abbr. : LTRS - More deceptive if it had been clued A & P - as in the mrkt

55. Apology opener : MEA - culpa

56. Dante's half-dozen : SEI - Italian "six"


Dec 25, 2014

Thursday, December 25, 2014 John Lieb

Theme: "Santa's Helpers"

Merry Christmas, everyone! This was a very fun puzzle, hiding Santa's little helpers in the grid.

18. Eponymous Detroit exec : EDSEL FORD.

19. Speaks for __ : ITSELF.

31. Keebler cookie brand : E.L. FUDGE.

32. "Go right ahead" : FEEL FREE. Help yourself to another E.L. FUDGE cookie, Santa!

54. Actress Jenna et al. : ELFMANS. I remember her from "Dharma & Greg."

55. Third quarters? : TWELFTHS. 1 quarter is a quarter, 2 quarters are eighths, and 3 quarters are twelfths?

36. Seasonal children's book about a watchful worker, who is graphically represented eight times in this puzzle : THE ELF ON THE SHELF. The book comes with a posable elf.
Unusual grid, with 16 columns instead of the typical 15.  And unusual theme, but really cute with all those ELFs posing on their 3-black-square-shelves! (See diagram at the bottom.) I found this one to be Friday-tough in certain sections. I'm curious to see if you had the same problems I did, so let's go over them one by one: 


1. Resting places : CAMP SITES. Not sure how the two are necessarily related, but perps forced me.

10. Port south of Hamilton, Ont. : ERIE, PA. Shout out to Abejo!

16. Approximately : ON OR ABOUT.

17. One in a shower : METEOR. Great clue. I was picturing something like this.

20. "Gnarly!" : RAD.

21. Lean-__ : TOs. In your resting place?

22. Bit of baby talk : GOO.

23. Vine genus : CLEMATIS. A couple perps gave me this one - I grow them every summer on a trellis in my garden.

27. Gains : PROFITS.

33. Star Wars letters : SDI. Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative.

34. Author Fleming : IAN.

35. Swiss river : AAR.

43. Feminine principle : YIN. Male is Yang.

44. Guitar, slangily : AXE. This took three perps. But the ELF nailed it, I bet.

45. __ green : PEA.

46. Dives : PLUMMETS.

50. Gives a hand : DEALS TO.

56. '80s Peppard co-star : MR. T. On "The A-Team."

57. Pres. after JAG : CAA. James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur.

58. Canada's smallest prov. : P.E.IPrince Edward Island.

59. 1962 Best Picture title locale : ARABIA. Lawrence of.

62. Refuel, as red blood cells : OXYGENATE. I filled it in immediately.

66. House speaker before Boehner : PELOSI. She, on the other hand, took a couple perps.

67. House flipper, e.g. : RENOVATOR. The ELF did a Mickey Mouse job on his kitchen reno.

68. 2002 eBay acquisition : PAYPAL.

69. False claims : PRETENSES.


1. Pressure : COERCE.

2. Still __: nonetheless : AND ALL.

3. Rapper who played Chuck Berry in "Cadillac Records" : MOS DEF.

4. Calculus lead-in : PRE.

5. Pitcher Maglie : SAL.

6. Pugilists' org. : IBFInternational Boxing Federation. Of course, the ELF nailed it.

7. Schoolmate of Blair, Jo and Natalie on "The Facts of Life" : TOOTIE. The brace-wearing, roller-skating girl who always said "We're in trouuuu-ble!"

8. Barcelona bread : EUROS. So much easier to remember the currency of all the European countries now, isn't it?

9. Criteria: Abbr. : STDS. Standards.

10. Ellis Island arrival : ÉMIGRÉ.

11. Update the workshop : RETOOL. Santa promised that next year, the ELF would actually get some power tools.

12. Cancellation notice : ITS OFF.

13. Big shoes to fill? : EEE.

14. Beltway insider, for short : POL. The Capital Beltway in Washington, D.C., that is.

15. Sound from the pound : ARF.

24. Deliberate : MUSE. The verb, not the adjective.

25. Extra: Abbr. : ADD'L.

26. "I've waited all week for this!" : TGIF. My regular comment every Friday.

27. Phnom __ : PENH.

28. Requiem title word : IRAE. "Dies Irae," or "Day of Wrath."

29. Blue-green shade : TEAL.

30. Medieval peon : SERF. I kept reading this as "Medieval POEM."

32. The way it goes : FATE.

34. "New Sensation" band : INXS. I always used to pronounce this as "inks," until I found out it should be "In ex-ESS."

36. Kind : TYPE.

37. Incline : HILL.

38. Ample, informally : ENUF. Have you had ENUF with the ELF, already?

39. Feed in a stable : OATS.

40. Sport with blades : EPEE.

41. Elite commando : SEAL. Acronym for SEa, Air and Land.

42. Word with mile or marathon : HALF.

47. 1997 Hanson #1 hit : MMMBOP. Never heard this one. It reached #1 in 27 countries, including the US.

48. Tomei of "My Cousin Vinny" : MARISA. Ah, MARISA, good to see you back!

49. Require : ENTAIL.

50. Wrestler Johnson known as "The Rock" : DWAYNE.

51. March observance, for short : ST. PATS.

52. Hall of Fame placekicker Lou Groza's apt nickname : THE TOE. I totally forgot this one.

53. Basketry twigs : OSIERS.

55. One imposing levies : TAXER.

57. Inc. cousin : CORP.

59. Online store offering : APP.

60. Stephen of "In Dreams" : REA.

61. Prince __ Khan : ALY.

63. Grasped : GOT.

64. Christmas __ : EVE. Bad ELF!  You get coal in your stocking this year.

65. Indian flatbread : NAN.

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good...morning?

Marti Elf

Notes from C.C.:

1) Please click here for a special "Gift Exchange" puzzle from Erik Agard, who made two of my favorite LA Times Monday puzzles last year. Quite a few bloggers, crossword constructors, top solvers contributed to the clues. 

2) Happy Birthday to our always positive and caring Yellowrocks (Kathy). Hope you have a fantastic visit with your son, grandson and daughter-in-law today. We also say Happy Birthday to our math professor Fermatprime, who's been with the blog since 2009. Happy Birthday also to car expert Zcarguy, who pops in to the blog from time to time. I faintly recall Zcarguy grew up in Lebanon. 

Kathy & Buddha, Japan, 2008. Kathy speaks Japanese.
Fermatprime (Lorraine)

Zcarguy & his wife

Dec 20, 2014

Saturday, Dec 20th, 2014, John Lieb

Theme: None

Words: 70 (missing F,J,Q,X,Y,Z)

Blocks: 29

  We have seen John before, this year, and I thought I was going to sail to a quick finish - I was racing through some of the long fill - but then the NE did me in for too long....oh well.  Oh, and I was totally off-point in a minor area of the SE, too.  Long line of unused letters today, but we have had seven on a Saturday.  Triple 9-letter across corners, triple 8-letter downs, and two 12-letter spanners;

32. 1970 Top 40 song with the lyric "And I'm lucky that you're mine" : RUBBER DUCKIE - I think I've heard it - link away~!

38. Nickname for the NFL draft's last pick : Mr. IRRELEVANT - half perps, half educated guess - but it makes sense; the Wiki


1. Go figure? : DO THE MATH - I have been looking for funny T-shirts for Christmas - I liked this one
10. Scented candle option : LILAC - Once I filled AVE MARIA, and WAGed CAROUSED, the ---AC made me realize this was not "TAPER"

15. One may become an exurb : RURAL AREA

16. Carew's Twins roommate : OLIVA - Oh, I know C.C. nailed this one~!

C.C. & Tony Oliva

17. Monopoly duo : UTILITIES - I started putting in RAILROADS, which fit - but there's FOUR of those.  Duh. 

18. Inspiration for some Yahtzee categories : POKER - Had it, took it out, ended up trying it again

19. Reasons for handshakes : DEALS

20. Large volume : TOME

22. Alt-rock subgenre : EMO

23. Material for Caesar : GAGS - Ah, Sid Caesar

24. Russian crepes : BLINI

26. Egyptian __: cat breed : MAU - once I saw it, the V-8 can flew

27. Warm time for Nancy? : ETE - Is Nancy Frawnche~? I guess....

28. Nursery nourishment : LOAM - Good WAG on my part - I was in that nursery, not the kiddies

29. Slinky ad feature : STAIRS - oh, THAT Slinky - you know my mind was here - and see, Nancy is American, I'm sure

34. Restraining device : MANACLE

37. Numskull : AIRHEAD

40. High regard : ESTEEM

41. Alice's workplace : MEL'S - the Alice of TV fame

42. 1956 milestone for Ford: Abbr. : IPO - I put in LBO - which is, um, totally wrong

45. __ anglais: English horn : COR

46. Actor Ken and others : OLINS

48. Hitch : TOUR - the 'meh' clue for the day

49. Its Batman version contains a Joker : UNO

50. Like some annoying blog posts: Abbr. : ANON - let's see who pops in today~!

51. Coming-out party? : BELLE - har-har

52. Quality of a good math proof : RIGOR - still no algebra

54. Zen-like "Caddyshack" mantra : BE THE BALL - I have to admit, I'm not a big fan of this movie

57. Grenoble's river : ISERE

58. Hoops matchups : ONE-ON-ONES - basketball, not earrings

59. Former lab heaters : ETNAS - outdone by Bunsen

60. Like many lotteries : STATEWIDE


1. Lowly worker : DRUDGE

2. Best in a mess : OUT-EAT - I had OUT--T, and this just wouldn't come to me

3. ER protocol : TRIAGE

4. "Vapor Action" brand : HALLS

5. 2013 NCAA Men's Ice Hockey champs : ELIs - another WAG

6. Place to wrestle : MAT

7. George W.'s first press secretary : ARI - perps

8. Driver's appointment? : TEE TIME - nailed it

9. Sports : HAS ON - I had the "---ON" part, so no misdirection for me

10. Make big strides : LOPE

11. U.N. workers' gp. : ILO

12. 2002 Lil' Bow Wow film : LIKE MIKE - I had '--KE--KE', and a vague recollection crept into my mind - IMDb

13. Prayer sung by Desdemona in "Otello" : AVE MARIA

14. Carried on : CAROUSED

21. Makes bad calls? : MIS-DIALS

24. Hall of Fame pitcher who managed the Yankees to a 1978 title : BOB LEMON - more baseball for C.C.

25. Tag : LABEL

28. Ill-gotten loot : LUCRE

30. Chances : TURNS

31. Vier times zwei : ACHT - German 4 X 2 = 8 - still no algebra

32. Special : RARE

33. Poetic rapper : RAVEN - ah, that kind of rapper - as on a door....

34. Only woman with two Nobel prizes, formally : Mme CURIE - Oddly, I filled this in with only the -CU- in place; and she WAS French, technically - the Wiki

35. Insurance fraud perpetrator, perhaps : ARSONIST

36. Ammonia component : NITROGEN

39. Distinguished : EMINENT - I think the "arsonist" clue made me read this as "extinguished" first

42. Historic island palace : IOLANI - I'm a big fan of Hawaii Five-O, both the old and the new - some trivia, including the palace

43. __ pork : PULLED - I, um, had BALLed pork to start - my palace was LElani, and, well, cut me some slack - it's been a long month

44. Uncreative threat : OR ELSE

47. Latin rock group Los __ : LOBOS

48. First sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy : TEBOW

50. "Iliad" war god : ARES

51. Factor opening : BENE - benefactor

53. Mouths, anatomically : ORA

55. See 56-Down : TEA - circumferential, I got all the letters via perps

56. With 55-Down, sore throat soother : HOT