Showing posts with label Josiah Breward. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Josiah Breward. Show all posts

Mar 20, 2009

Friday March 20, 2009 Josiah Breward

Theme: Vowel Movement






This puzzle is a bleeding AIG mess for me. I am really not into clue-as-theme style crossword. Not good at defining things.

Have never heard of dung beetle. Ai ya, that smells. Luol Deng was alien to me also. Wikipedia says he is a British born in Sudan. I thought Deng is an exclusive Chinese surname, as in Deng Xiao-Ping, the long time Chinese Communist Party leader. If Deng were Tim Geithner, AIG would have returned those bonuses immediately. Or he might have taken an exit strategy from the expensive bailout weeks ago. He was rather ruthless, you know, with Tiananmen Square Incident. But he also opened our door to foreign investment.

I only know GILL (44A: Four fluid ounces) as a a girl's name or fish organ. Not familiar with the measurement meaning. But since OUNCE (47D: Light weight) is an answer, "ounces" should not be allowed in the clue.

So, this will be the last Wayne R Williams puzzle for many of you whose paper only carries TMS Daily from Monday to Friday. Maybe you can come to the Comments section at the end of this blog entry and tell me how long you've been working on TMS Daily puzzle and who got your started.

I am sure we will have fun with LA Times Daily. It's of much superior quality and edited by a highly respected crossword professional Rich Norris. Go to their website and print out the hard copy if your paper decides to go with another syndication.


11A: Boxer's stats: KOS. Sometimes the clue is singular form "Boxer's stat".

14A: Fragment: SCRAP. Did not come to me readily.

20A: Currier's partner: IVES. Or the Big Daddy in "Cat on Hot Tin Roof". I really liked that role.

21A: Old-fashioned dagger: SNEE. Now I've learned SNEE is "Old-fashioned", DIRK is not.

32A: President Garfield's middle name: ABRAM. Blanked again this morning.

52A: City south of Moscow: TULA. Forgot. Nice map. Wikipedia says TULA is the administrative center of TULA Oblast, where Leo Tolstoy was born and buried. Oblast is like our state, right?

53A: Big mil. brass: GENL. Always thought the abbreviation for general is GEN.

62A: 1900: MCM. Paris Métro was opened in 1900. So easy to navigate the Métro in Paris, even if you don't speak the language.

63A: Pong producer: ATARI. I suppose someone can make a Pang, Peng, Ping, Pong & Pung puzzle as well. Can you believe Pung is a word? It's a boxlike sleigh drawn by one horse. Peng is a Chinese mythological bird. Also a popular given name, as in Chinese ex-Premier Li Peng.

65A: Vegetable ball: PEA. Does not sound cute to me.

66A: Safin of tennis: MARAT. Have never heard of this tennis player. He defeated Pete Sampras and won US Open in 2000, then won Australia Open in 2005. How to pronounce his name? The same as MARAT who was killed in his bathtub?


2D: Fort Worth sch.: TCU. Texas Christian University. Very strange name, the Horned Frogs.

5D: Smeltery by product: SPEISS. New word to me. Same pronounciation as "Spice". Dictonary says it's literally "food" in old German.

7D: Bone cavity: FOSSA. Also a new word. The plural is FOSSAE.

9D: Radio static letters: EMI (ElectroMagnetic Interference)

10D: LIRR terminus: NYC. LIRR stands for Long Island Rail Road, the busiest commuter railroad in North America.

11D: Sandra's "Speed" co-star: KEANU. "Bullock's "Speed" co-star" would be REEVES. Basic crossword rule: given name in clue, given name in answer; surname in clue, surname in answer. He emits more miliadonis now.

12D: Start of a path?: OSTEO. Osteopath. New word to me. I wanted PSYCHO.

13D: Sub-Saharan region: SAHEL. Another very forgetable word. This arid region, stretching cross six countries from Sengal to Chad.

18D: AL-NL honoree: MVP. Justin Morneau is AL MVP in 2006.

22D: High times: BOOMS. I wrote down NOONS. Often see NOON clued as "High time?". Completely forgot the question mark. "High Noon" is Bill Clinton's favorite movie.

23D: Wrinkly fruits: UGLIS. I finally had an UGLIE earlier this month. Not bad. Maybe my expectation was very low. It's kind of juicy, but not very sweet.

25D: Son of Leah: LEVI. No idea. Would have got it if the clue were LEVI Strauss.

26D: Campfire whoppers: YARNS. After some beer, probably.

32D: Anderssen of chess: ADOLF. No, no, nope. Have never heard of ADOLF Anderssen, the German chess master.

33D: Blue or Cross: BEN. BEN Blue was a Canadian-Amercian actor and comedian (the guy on the left). BEN Cross is an English actor. Both were unknown characters to me.

34D: Break in the audience: AISLE

35D: "Plaza Suite" setting: HOTEL. Got it from across fills. "Plaza Suite" is a play by Neil Simon.

38D: Footnote wd.: IBID. So close to IBIS the long-legged wading bird.

40D: Ernest of country music: TUBB. First encounter with this singer. Wikipedia says his nickname is "Texas Troubadour".

45D: Shoelace ends: AGLETS

46D: Tread heavily: STOMP. This Lucy stomping grapes barbie is quite pretty. Not very collectible though. The Lucy & Ricky 50th Anniversary Barbie is the hottest. Very hard to find one in unopened new condition.

48D: Muslim scholars: ULEMA. Or ULAMA. Arabic for "wise man". Appeared in our puzzle before. And of course I could not remember it.

49D: Marketplace of yore: AGORA. Ah, Socrates' shopping mall.

50D: Accord with: BEFIT. Can you give me an example to show how they are interchangeable?

51D: Like Brahms piano trio No. 1: IN B. Pure guess.

58D: Female of the flock: EWE. So sweet. I love EWE, Honey.

60D: Rent out: LET. Reminds me of the "Letters?" clue for LANDLORDS in LA Times last Friday. Very clever.

Here is the answer grid (Thank you again, Barry G).

Also, Crockett found out that the puzzle The Oregonian carries this week is an United Media Syndication. I hope you guys all vote for LA Times Daily in the end.


Mar 13, 2009

Friday March 13, 2009 Josiah Breward

Theme: A.A. Group

1A: All confused: AT SEA

17A: Eroticism: APHRODISIA

28A: World of scholars: ACADEMIA

45A: Gardens of trees: ARBORETA

58A: Capital of Ethiopia: ADDIS ABABA

67A: Old World lizard: AGAMA

5D: Loss-of-hair condition: ALOPECIA

11D: Jerry Stiller's wife: ANNE MEARA

35D: Janet Suzman film, "Nicholas and __": ALEXANDRA

40D: Mechanical men: AUTOMATA

I have never heard of that Janet Suzman movie. ALOPECIA & AUTOMATA are complete unknowns to me. I just learned this morning that the plural form of certain Greek ma-ending words end in ta. Like stigma, the plural form is stigmata.

Do you like the theme? I am not enthralled by it at all. Feel bored actually. I counted 35 letter A's in this puzzle. This puzzle by Patrick Berry for NY Times on March 21, 2002 has 69 A's.

Too many ER suffixes for my taste:

47A: Debate participant: ARGUER

26D: Storyteller: RELATOR

27D: Scenery chewer: EMOTER

I've got quite a few "So long" emails from our TMS solvers in the past week. Maybe I did not make my point clear. TMS just decided to stop using Wayne R Williams' TMS Daily puzzle on March 22. We will get LA Times Daily starting on March 23, 2009 Monday. LA Times Daily is part of TMS also. And you can always get LA Times on line if your paper does not carry the puzzle. Just print it out if you prefer solving on paper as I do. Click on Print, then Blank Puzzle, you will get a empty grid with clues on.

I like the small but tight community we've built here. Don't leave. I need your participation to make this crossword corner vibrant.


14A: Transferred design: DECAL. Bumper sticker is a kind of DECAL, isn't it?

15A: Corridor: HALL. I wonder who first thought of the HALL of Fame idea. It sure sounds better than Corridor of Fame. Was Don Mattingly rude to reporters during his career as Bert Blyleven was? Why isn't he in HOF yet?

19A: Module: UNIT. Always think of NASA's LEM when I see the word "Module".

21A: Shriver of tennis: PAM. Have never heard of this girl. Her facial bone structure does look like Maria Shriver. Wikipedia says they are cousins.

22A: Top berths: UPPERS

24A: Silver server: TEA SET. Have never had any tea served in a silver server before.

26A: Cash in: REDEEM

33A: Hindu mystic: SWAMI. Literally "master" in Sanskrit. Guru is "teacher". Yoga is "union".

38A: Mrs. Fred Flintstone: WILMA. Got her name from down clues. TV characters are definitely my Achilles' heel.

40A: Of the ear: AURAL. Or OTIC.

44A: Singer Ritter: TEX. John Ritter's dad.

53A: Wish bestowers: GENIES. So if you had one wish from a GENIE, what would it be?

64A: Jazz pianist Art: TATUM. No idea. Is he blind?

67A: Old World of lizard: AGAMA. I forgot. His tail is so long.


3D: Unstressed vowel: SCHWA. The inverted "e", as in the either end of "America". I've never had problem pronouncing SCHWA, it's the vowel in bad/bed, sax/sex that confuses me.

6D: Leveling piece: SHIM. The yellow piece he is trying to insert? It's a new word to me.

8D: Ring king: ALI. Bush gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. Can you believe Marilyn Monroe was a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient also (1952)?

9D: Acclaim: PLAUDIT

25D: Emma of "Dynasty": SAMMS. Barry G's younger day crush.

29D: Vienna's river: DANUBE. Here is the map. Vienna is Wien in German. The river flows from southern Germany into the Black Sea.

42D: Holy war: CRUSADE. The Muslim CRUSADE is Jihad.

50D: Mazda model: MIATA. No idea. I know nothing about sports cars. MIATA means "reward" in old German.

52D: Andes ruminant: LLAMA. Just learned this morning that the gestation period of LLAMA is 11 1/2 months (350 days). And the average gestation period of elephants is 22 months. Poor elephants!


Mar 8, 2009

Sunday March 8, 2009 Josiah Breward

Theme: All This Time

1A: Former: ONE-TIME

29A: Football break: HALFTIME SHOW

37A: Strikeout victim: THREE-TIME LOSER

52A: Freelance work: PART-TIME JOB

67A: Classic Ken Kesey novel: SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION

86A: Cash incentive: OVERTIME PAY

99A: Guinness concerns: ALL-TIME RECORDS

107A: A need for speed: NO TIME TO LOSE

128A: Whenever: ANYTIME

I had a very hard TIME solving this puzzle. Without the theme hint, I doubt I could finish it. Lots of pauses and write-overs. Strange to see 1A as a theme answer.

I am still not sure about STP (57A: potent hallucinogen). Do you have the same answer? I wrote down LSD first. STP is always "The Racer's Edge".

Nice to see ATONEMENT (79D: Ian McEwan novel) gets some recognition. Unfortunately, IAN (5D: Singer Janis) is an answer in the grid. So ATONEMENT has to be reworded. A plain "Reparation" would work.

Scroll down the page to see Argyle's blog on Stan Newman's Newsday "Baloney Sandwich" puzzle.


15A: Mature insect: IMAGO. Larva, pupa & IMAGO.

20A: Attack by bombers: AIR RAID. I was thinking of AIR STRIKE.

21A: Awakening: AROUSAL

22A: Hurler Ryan: NOLAN. The strikeout king, steroid free. HOFer. Very conservative political leaning.

23A: Philosopher Langer: SUSANNE. Guessed. Have never heard of this American philosopher. She wrote "Philosophy in a New Key".

25A: Oar holder: THOLE. Th' Hole.

33A: Hydroxyl compound: ENOL. "Hydroxyl" means nothing to me. The answer is always ENOL for a 4-letter compound clue: "Organic compound", "Carbon compound", whatever.

47A: Pirate in "Peter Pan": SMEE. Captain Hook's cohort.

49A: Assn.: SOC. Society?

50A: Feeling no need for apology: UNASHAMED. UNABASHED has the same amount of letters.

61A: Forthcoming: INSTORE

62A: CD alternative: DAT (Digital Audiotape)

63A: Founder of Stoicism: ZENO. ZENO of Citium. Different from ZENO of Elea.

66A: Latin handle: ANSA. Plural is ANSAE.

74A: Karras of "Webster": ALEX. The big guy. Total stranger to me.

75A: Years, to Yves: ANS. Le Nouvel AN (New Year's Day). ANS is more often clued as a shortened form for "Answers".

78A: Plant similar to verbena: LANTANA. Here some LANTANA. And verbena.

81A: Friend on the Left Bank: AMI. Ennui! Partial clue is more interesting here. But who AM I to argue?

89A: Mid-range golf club: SEVEN IRON. My first round of golf was played with SEVEN IRON and putter only.

92A: Winter Games grp.: IOC. "Summer Games grp." as well.

93A: Patriotic org.: DAR. "Patriotic women's org." to be exact.

95A: Nymph of mythology: OREAD. The mountain nymph. Like poor Echo.

96A: Feinstein or Wiest: DIANNE. Sounds like DIANNE Feinstein is going to run for Governor of California governor in 2010. I like DIANNE Wiest in "Hannah and Her Sisters". Can't stand her in "Law & Order".

103A: Annapolis grad.: ENS. Ensign. Does "swabbie" apply to commissioned officer also? Does ENS have to attend boot camp and read Blue Jacket Manuel as well?

114A: Thompson of "Family": SADA. Which one? I wrote down EMMA. Liked her a lot in "Sense and Sensibility".

118A: NH compound: IMINE. No idea. Dictionary explains IMINE (or AMINE) as "a compound derived from ammonia and containing the bivalent NH group combined with a bivalent nonacid group." What is NH?

123A: Brief look-see: RECON. I always wonder which military division usually conducts those RECON missions. Air Force?

125A: Transfers some power: DEPUTES

126A: Praying figure: ORANT. I forgot. Here is an early Christian painting of Noah in ORANT gesture. I had this image of Noah being an old, thinly-built man. Maybe I confuse him with Moses.

127A: Parliament of Israel: KNESSET. Interesting, the "Parliament of Japan" is called Diet.


1D: Tobacco kiln: OAST

2D: New Zealand island territory: NIUE. No idea. Sounds like a randomly made-up word. Look at the map on the right. It's pretty far away from New Zealand. I wonder what NIUE means in native language.

3D: Old Gaelic: ERSE. This is another bothersome word. Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic and Celtic confused the hell out of me.

4D: Layered nets: TRAMMELS. Ah me. No sir, have never heard of TRAMMEL net.

6D: Manhattan buyer: MINUIT. He bought Manhattan for only at 60 guiders, appoximately $1,000 in today's money. I knew this crazy deal. Did not know this guy's name. Go Dutch! Have you heard of Dutch courage & Dutch uncle?

8D: Go, in Glasgow: GAE. Pronounced like GAY.

9D: One end of a sleeve: ARMHOLE

10D: Snook: ROBALO. Got the answer from across fill. Did not know "Snook" is a kind of fish.

14D: Havelock or Perry: ELLIS. Havelock ELLIS was a British psychologist who wrote "Studies in the Psychology of Sex". And Perry ELLIS was an American ashion designer. I got it from across fills as well.

15D: Office speakers: INTERCOMS

16D: Scale of minerals: MOHS. MOHS scale. It measure the hardness of minerals. 1 for TALC, 10 for diamond. Perfect!

28D: "Philadelphia" director: DEMME (Jonathan). Saw the movie. Did not pay attention to who directed it. DEMME won Oscar for "The Silence of the Lambs".

30D: Commonest protein in muscle: MYOSIN. No. Beyond my ken. "Myo" is a prefix for "muscle".

37D: Wyomia of track: TYUS. "Ah me" again. I had TYU? forever. She is the first woman athlete ever to successfully defend her sprint title in a subsequent Olympics.

45D: Film material: ACETATE. I should have known, but I don't. I actually use these sheets to protect my collectible magazines.

51D: Spumante source: ASTI. Wine region.

52D: Offspring: PROGENY

60D: Literary bits: ANA. Sometimes it's clued as "Santa ___ winds".

62D: Gum substitute: DEXTRIN. Impossible for me. Sounds so toxic. Dextr(o) is a prefix for "to the right", but I don't think it applies here.

64D: Awe-inspiring: FEARSOME. Like this puzzle. But it inspires no "awe" from me.

65D: Nice water?: EAU. Plural is EAUX. "Nice" has lost all its playfulness to me. Try "Sand water?" next.

67D: Pasonlini movie: SALO. Forgot. The movie is based on Marquis de Sade's "The 120 Days of Sodom". Looks very sadistic.

69D: Writing-on-the-wall word: MENE. Total mess here. I definitely googled this word before. I think I saw the "writing-on-the-wall" of Tribune Media Service (TMS). It looks bleak.

71D: Mandela's nat.: RSA (Republic of South Africa). Mandela was born in UMTATA, which was clued as "Capital of Transkei" in yesterday's puzzle.

73D: Venezuelan river: ORINOCO. See this map. I only know Enya's "ORINONCO Flow".

80D: Christian creed: NICENE. I probably need to see this word 3 more times to remember it.

83D: Fox's title: BR'ER. Uncle Remus tales. BR'ER Rabbit appears in our puzzle more often.

85D: Added stipulations: ANDS

90D: Ecole student: ELEVE

91D: Resolves, as a disagreement: IRONS OUT

96D: "Casino" star: DE NIRO. Is "De" a sign of his Italian root? Too many F words in "Casino". I did not like it.

97D: Atom with a variable nucleus: ISOMER

98D: New York prison: ATTICA. Sing Sing is also in NY.

100D: Magnetic flux density units: TESLAS

113D: "The Ring of the Nibelung" role: ERDA. First time I heard of "The Ring of the Nibelung", a "cycle of four epic music drama by Wagner".

115D: Graph starter?: ALTI. Have never heard of Altigraph. It's "an altimeter equipped with a device for recording its measurements on a graph". I am too frustrated to check the meaning of "altimeter". Simply hated this clue. Why not "Prefix for high"?

117D: African fox: ASSE. Also called Cape Fox. Hey, buddy, nice to see you again!


Mar 4, 2009

Wednesday March 4, 2009 Josiah Breward

Theme: Bar Hop

17A: "Frasier" location: CAFE NERVOSA

56A: "Family Guy" location: DRUNKEN CLAM

11D: "Friends" location: CENTRAL PERK

24D: "I Love Lucy" location: BABALOO CLUB

Of the above 4 sitcom locations, CENTRAL PERK was the only gimme to me. "Friends" was a very popular show when I lived in Guangzhou (Canton). I had difficulty adjusting to the English dialogues when I first moved here. Had been so used to their Cantonese conversations.

Easy solving though. Lots of gimme 3-letter words are structured in the grid to help. If the constructor Josiah Breward (aka Willy A Wiseman, alias name of our editor Wayne R. Williams) wanted this puzzle to be more difficult, he would have reclued many entries. Take DCCI (54D) for example. He used the most straightforward number clue 701. "Start of the 8th century" would be very hard, and "First year of John VI's papacy" would be very very hard if not impossible. I really think a puzzle should be made more difficult by tough cluing rather than putting in some obscure or imagined words.

Some extra notes:

Due to the increase of the posters in the past two days, I've decided to lift the 100 comments limit I imposed a few months ago. But the 5 posts/per day/per person rule still applies. I would appreciate your efforts in sticking to that. I am very interested in a detailed first post of your crossword solving experinces, but please keep your post #2 to #5 concise and succinct.

Also, you might have noticed, I've been less involved in Comments section as I once was. I simply don't have the time/access to the computer. If you need an immediate answer to a crossword clue or want a prompt reply to some question, please ask Dennis. He has agreed to help me responding to the inquiries, which means he obviously won't be bound by the 5 post limit.

As I said before, every comment is forwarded into my mail box. So I will still read every one of them in the evening time. And I will address the unanswered questions on the next morning. I won't be able to thank each of you for the great answers you provide to me on the blog or via private mails, but I am truly grateful for your help. Every bit of information/post is valued, including the negative remarks.

I will try my best to make my main blog entry as informative as possible. And I need your active participation to make this crossword corner vibrant and entertaining. Serious crossword discussions are welcome, so are simple poems, sports talk, music links, jokes, movie star gossips, favorite food, etc.

Please join the fray and let's entertain ourselves, esp when the puzzle gets very boring. Let's Nero-fiddle and leave the burning Rome to those ELECTED (53A: Chosen by vote). Let's have some fun.


1A: Humbles: ABASES. Nothing ABASES the pachydematous Rod Blagojevich, who just signed a 6-figure book deal to expose "the dark side of politics". Is that a doctored photo?

25A: Break in the audience: AISLE

26A: __ diem (seize the day): CARPE. The late Twins great Kirby Puckett used to say "Don't take anything for granted, because tomorrow is not promised to any of us." This motto originally came from Horace's poem: CARPE diem quam minimum credula postero (Seize the day and place no trust in tomorrow). "Seize the day tomorrow" is "CARPE diem cras". How to say "Seized yesterday" then?

29A: Letter after zeta: ETA. Greek H. Or "JFK infor" occasionally.

30A: Asta's mistress: NORA. Nice to see Asta as a clue rather than answer. NORA Ephron is a great candidate for NORA clue too. I like her "Sleepless in Seattle". Have to admire Carl Berstein for not revealing the Deep Throat secret to Ephron while they were married.

31A: Facing the pitcher: AT BAT. Always fun for me to see NL pitchers AT BAT. But I kind of like AL's DH too. I wonder who first thought of this DH idea.

40A: Valuable dental items: GOLD TEETH. Any diamond teeth?

42A: At bay in a bay: TREED. I don't get this. Does the second bay refer to bay tree?

46A: Indy-winner Luyendyk: ARIE. Learned his name from doing Xword. He is a two-time Indy 500 winner. Is ARIE Dutch for Ari? It sounds like a nickname to me.

47A: Oar holder: THOLE. What kind of wood is THOLE made of?

65A: Mark of infamy: STIGMA. Good clue. I wanted ANTONY. Mark Antony & Cleopatra. Also thought of the Watergate Deep Throat Mark Felt.


5D: Nine: pref.: ENNEA. I've never used a word with ENNEA as a pref.

6D: Wonder of Motown: STEVIE. Who is the singer at 0:58?

7D: Actor Telly: SAVALAS. All Greek words of male gender end with letter S. That's why we always see S at the end of those Greek male surnames.

8D: Substitute for soap: AMOLE. This word has appeared in our crossword so often that it's become a gimme to me, though I have no idea what exactly is AMOLE.

18D: Put on a revival: RESTAGE. And RERENT (14A: Find a new tenant). There should be a limit on these prefixes.

21D: Feldon of "Get Smart": BARBARA. Pure guess. Have never heard of "Get Smart".

30D: Bk. after Ezra: NEH. Before Esther.

34D: Bit of clowning: SCHTICK. Very nice word, 5 consonants. Vowels are boring!

38D: Napoleon's marshal: NEY. Marshal Michel NEY, "bravest of the brave". He was arrested, tried and executed after the Waterloo.

47D: Two toppers: TREYS. Crockett's "Deuce toppers" is better.

56D: Fly-fishing action: DAP. Not a familiar "action" to me.

58D: USN big shot: ADM. Thought of Obama's Security Adviser James Jones immediately. Forgot he was a Marine general. Both ADM and general are 4-star ranks.

Dennis flitted occasionally to my blog in Feb, 2008. But a year ago today, he started his daily morning comment and I could count the days when he was missing. Thanks for the interesting information & humor you bring to us every day, Dennis. To quote Xchefwalt, "you are the funniest guy I've never met".


Feb 18, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 Josiah Breward

Theme: Go, Sow Your Wild Oats





If you have a better theme title, please come to the Comments section. I first wrote down "Go with the Flow" as all the theme clues rhyme with "Flow", but they are quite strict, all starting with letter S and ending with OW.

WINTER WHITE sounds strained to me. Besides, it's clued as a noun while the other three are all verb phrases. I dispute the clue for YEASTY (49D: Like bad bread). It's simply not true. Or should I say "a lie" given the lively blog discussions on TRUER yesterday.

This puzzle is a Hydra monster to me. I struggled hard.

Barry Silk has constructed a special puzzle for us. Click on iPaper and then print it out. Argyle will blog this puzzle on Sunday Feb 22. I hope you save it and solve it only on Saturday evening or Sunday morning.


6A: Jazz pianist Jankowski: HORST. Stumper immediately. Have never heard of this German pianist.

15A: City southeast of Rome: UTICA. No idea. Here is a map. I can't find UTICA. (Addendum: This is the correct map. It's in NY State. I was thinking of Italy.)

19A: Born in Boulogne: NEE. Another alliteration, the same with "Born in Bordeaux".

20A: Bishop's district: DIOCESE. ARCHDIOCESE is the district of Archbishop, who reports directly to the cardinal, right?

22A: Angel dust, abbr.: PCP. I forgot. It's still an illegal drug, isn't it?

25A: Willie Wonka's creator: DAHL(Roald). His name simply escaped me. Have you watched the Johnny Depp movie?

30A: Hope/Crosby co-star: LAMOUR (Dorothy). Here they are, "Road to Bali". I have never seen any of their "Road to ... " film.

32A: Athletic org.: YMCA. Penned in NCAA first. Can't seem to associate YMCA with "Athletic org.". My friend Linda goes to Y for workout sometimes.

40A: Game bird: WOODHEN. New bird to me. It's a flightless bird of the rail family. They look very dumb. So, the male of WOODHEN should be woodcock then. Oh, no, woodcock is a different bird of wading species. WOW (11A: Holy cow!), What do you call female woodcock then?

48A: __ Beach, S.C.: MYRTLE. I love the golf courses there. And the seafood.

50A: Cartwright or Down: ANGELA. Easy guess. I know neither of them. Who is ANGELA Down?

56A: Jellyfish: MEDUSAS. Nope. Here is a red MEDUSA. Named after the ugly Gorgon MEDUSA I suppose. Don't look at her too long, you don't want to be turned into a stone.

59A: U.S. dance grp.: ABT (American Ballet Theatre). First encounter with this abbreviation.

64A: __ Paese cheese: BEL. This cheese appeared on a Sunday TMS puzzle before. I like the package. So green. Poor dairy cows. So many of them have been turned into hamburgers.

65A: Pipe material: BRIAR. Thought that's how we got BRIAR Pipe. It turns out that I was wrong.

66A: Roofing material: TERNE. No idea. This roofing is TERNE metal coated.

68A: Cordage fibers: ISTLE. This word just looks so wrong. I tried to associate it with thISTLE and whISTLE when it appeared in our puzzle last time. But obviously it did not work. I forgot the damned word completely.

69A: Streisand movie: YENTL


2D: Fauna starter?: AVI. Prefix for bird.

5D: Football kick: ONSIDE. Not familiar with this football term. Only know PAT value is ONE.

6D: Rabbit residence: HUTCH. Good to know. Could only think of the briar patch.

7D: The Moor of Venice: OTHELLO. IAGO was clued as "Othello conniver" yesterday.

8D: Journalist Jacob August: RIIS. Googled this journalist. Very strange surname. He wrote a biography on TR, the 4th greatest American president, according to the latest C-span survey.

10D: Abe Lioncoln's boy: TAD. Nice trivia.

21A: Quito's country: ECUADOR. Their monetary unit is SUCRE, which was clued as "One of Bolivia's capitals" yesterday.

22D: "The Silver Streak" co-star: PRYOR. Got the answer from intersecting clues.

23D: Comet heads: COMAE. Plural of COMA. Brutal clue. I've never heard of Comet COMA before.

31D: Element fig: AT WT. Always want AT NO.

34D: __ majesty: LESE. High treason. Learned from doing Xword. What is the French root word for LESE?

41D: Pass through a membrane: OSMOSE

44D: Occurring in small stages: GRADUAL. I don't get this one.

47D: Dubbers: NAMERS. Annoy ERS repetition.

53D: Ill-gotten profit: LUCRES. I wanted LOOTS. Definitely need a "filthy" hint for LUCRES.

63D: Dolores __ Rio: DEL. Oh dear, I thought it's river. Have never heard of this Mexican actress. She looks so beautiful. I would say 999 millihelens, enough to launch 999 ships.


Feb 11, 2009

Wednesday February 11, 2009 Josiah Breward

Theme: The Scarlet Letters

17A: John Cougar Mellencamp hit: CHERRY BOMB

26A: Hit by the Psychedelic Furs: PRETTY IN PINK

43A: Hit by Chris DeBurgh: THE LADY IN RED

58A: Hit by Sting: DESERT ROSE

Why not "Hit by John Cougar Mellencamp" for 17A? It would be more consistent with the other three clues.

An odyssey for me this morning. The center grid where NUBIA/OMBRE/PRAIA intersects one another is very hard. As for the theme entries, I've heard of LADY IN RED and DESERT ROSE. Have forgotten all about CHERRY BOMB, I think someone linked that song before. PRETTY IN PINK is new to me. What a weird band name: The Psychedelic Furs.

There should be a "var." mark with the clue for TABU (9D:Prohibited). I have zero familiarity with SENSORIA (39D: Human CPUs), but "CPUs" should not be part of the clue, as it indicates an abbreviated answer.


1A: Collier's access: ADIT. Often clued as "Mine entrance". Coal + ier = Collier (coal miner)

15A: Snorer's peril: APNEA. What caused this sleep order?

19A: U.S. weather grp.: NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). New to me.

20A: Diarist Pepys: SAMUEL. Pepys has the same pronunciation as "peeps". His diary recorded the Great Fire of London (1666). Funny how that year is called "Annus Mirablis". It's a perfect "Annus Horribilis". Why do all those Latin words end in letter s?

34A: Women's Lib opponent, perhaps: MCP (Male Chauvinist Pig). Know the phrase, but the abbreviation did not come to me readily.

38A: Three-player card game: OMBRE. Or OMBER. From Spanish hombre (man). It's "a card game popular in the 17th and 18th centuries and played, usually by three persons, with 40 cards." Completely unknown to me.

41A: Cape Verde capital: PRAIA. No idea. See this map. Does it belong to Africa then? Wikipedia says Cape Verde was a Portuguese colony until 1975. About 71% of the population is Creole of mixed black African and Portuguese descent. And more than 85 percent of the population is Roman Catholic. Most of the Africans are Muslims, right?

53A: Ancient region in Asia Minor: AEOLIS. Or Aeolia. Another unknown to me. All I could think of is Ionia. Well, look at here, I was not that far off. I don't understand this part. How is Odysseus' Aeolus island connect with AEOLIS? Are they the same?

60A: Artist Mondrian: PIET. The Dutch painter famous for his "Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red". Also see this PIET Mondrian inspired Nike shoe.

61A: Anaheim player: ANGEL. Awkward Los Angels Angels of Anaheim. Yesterday's Rod Carew (7-time A.L batting champ) finished his career with the Angels.


4D: Maneuvering rocket: THRUSTER. I don't know. Like this?

10D: "Where the Wild Things Are" writer: SENDAK. I googled this author. Not familiar with the book.

11D: To have: Fr.: AVOIR. Santa, Je veux AVOIR this for Christmas.

18D: Right-hand page: RECTO. Reminds me of Barry G's outburst over RECTI (clued as "Belly muscles"). The singular form is rectus. RECTI is the same as abs, aren't they?

27D: Apple choice: ROME. Here is a clip for those who love the real ROMA.

29D: Nile region: NUBIA. No idea. Here is a map. Wikipedia says "most of NUBIA is situated in Sudan with a quarter of its terriory in Egypt. And in ancient times it was an independent kingdom." Why does this word sound so DF to me?

36D: Cowboy's chum: PARD. Short for Parter. Is it a common slang? I've never heard of it before.

46D: Sun: pref: HELIO

56D: Meeting: abbr.: SESS. This S-laden word is often found either at the bottom or the rightmost edge of the grid.


Feb 3, 2009

Tuesday February 3, 2009 Josiah Breward

Theme: A Sacred Journey

17A: 1941 Bing Crosby movie: BIRTH OF THE BLUES

40A: 1937 Paul Muni move (with "The"): LIFE OF EMILE ZOLA

61A: One of Donne's sonnets: DEATH BE NOT PROUD

None of the above theme answers was familiar to me. I thought there would be an odyssey of struggle waiting ahead when I read the clues. Was surprised that most of them crumbled quickly.

Had trouble with HMO (62D: Ins. choice). "Insurance" did not come to my mind readily at all. I need an additional word "Medical" for the clue, either "Medical Ins. choice" or "Med. Insurance choice".

Besides "LIFE OF EMILE ZOLA" and "LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL", what other movie titles include the word LIFE?


1A: Painter's base: GESSO. Wikipedia says GESSO was "traditionally mixed with animal glue, usually rabbit-skin glue". Does modern GESSO contain any animal product?

29A: Yellowish-green olivines: PERIDOTS. Nice rings. Peridot is the August birthstone. Don't know how it differs from emerald.

32A: University in Waco: BAYLOR. The largest Baptist university in the world.

37A: Seraglio: HAREM. I forgot the meaning of "Seraglio". Italian for "enclosure". I often wonder if men really are not allowed inside HAREM.

46A: Heroic in scope: EPIC. Watched "Gandhi" the other day. Couldn't fully understand his mindset. Overly idealistic.

49A: Supporter: ADHERENT. Supporter of a "cause", isn't it? Nehru was an ADHERENT of Gandhi's philosophy and legacy, but he is not an ADHERENT of Gandhi, right?

55A: Dope or skinny: INFO. And FACT (57D: Actual event).

58A: One of the Ionian Islands: CORFU. Here is the map. Upper left corner. Prince Philip was born there. Lots of decorative stuff on his uniform.

69A: Van Duyn and Washbourne: MONAS. Van Duyn was a Pulitzer-winning poet (1991). Washbourne played Higgins' housekeeper Mrs. Pearce in "My Fair Lady" (1964). Did not know the former, and forgot the latter.

72A: Some golf tournaments: OPENS. "Some tennis tournaments" too. Rafael Nadal just won Australia Open. Stunning. Another history in the making.

73A: Dutch painter: STEEN (Jan). Here is his painting offered at European Fine Art Affair last year. With the current global economic crisis, I don't expect any "shock and awe" in 2009, unless it's another Rembrandt.


2D: Samuel's mentor: ELI. I guessed. Bible is definitely my Achilles' heel. Holy smoke, is it really ELI Manning?

13D: Durante feature: NOSE. A prominent NOSE indeed.

22D: Cameos and pippins: APPLES. I've had enough APPLES this winter. I am craving fresh peaches & nectarines.

27D: Adam's second: ABEL. And ONAN (59D: Judah's son). No trouble with either of them.

28D: Tom, Dick or Harry, etc.: NAME. What's so special about those three names? They don't rhyme or anything. Or are they just random picks?

35D: Bounces back: REACTS. I suppose so.

41D: Big pot of stew: OLLA. Olio can be "Big pot of stew" too.

43D: Japanese fighter of WWII: ZERO. No idea. Strange number ZERO. Why not name their fighter EIGHT? 8 is a lucky number for both Chinese and Japanese.


Jan 30, 2009

Friday January 30, 2009 Josiah Breward

Theme: Change of Location

17A: Pretend to be confident: PUT UP A GOOD FRONT

37A: Empty-nester's weight problem: MIDDLE-AGE SPREAD

54A: Australia's Never-never: THE BACK OF BEYOND

A couple of things first:

1) From now on, I will only comment on answers that I feel deserve attention. As I've been blogging TMS puzzles for over a year, some of answers are not fresh to me any more, though they might stump certain new solvers. If you need immediate answers for the missing entries and the rationale behind the cluing, just visit the Comments section and ask.

2) Please respect the etiquette in blogging comments. Read others' posts before you post yours. No need to reply to questions that have already been addressed by others, unless you have something new to add.

Back to the puzzle. I've never heard of "Never-never land" or THE BACK OF BEYOND before. Thought the answer might be OUTBACK OF BEYOND. I don't think I fully understand the constructor's logic in putting FRONT in the back, MIDDLE in the front and BACK in the middle. Am I missing something here?


1A: "Seascape" playwright: ALBEE (Edward). Besides "Seascape", he also wrote "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?". Another frequent crossword playwright is James AGEE, who wrote "A Death in the Family" and the screenplay for "The African Queen". Both were Pulitzer winners.

6A: Arthur Marx's stage name: HARPO. I wonder why those Marx Brothers all have a letter O at the end of their names. Why not ER? You know, Harper, Groucher, etc.

22A: Hit with a blackjack: SAPPED. This is a new meaning of SAP to me. Dictionary says it's also a noun, meaning a "leather-covered hand weapon or a blackjack."

28A: Brownish grays: TAUPES. Like the color of her gown.

32A: Florence flooder: ARNO. I would prefer "Florence flower?" (flow-er) rather than "flooder". Is flooder a well-accepted word?

33A: Defoe character: CRUSOE. He and Man Friday, that's all I know about this Defoe novel.

45A: Denim buys: LEVIS. My instinctive response was JEANS.

50A: Make certain: ASSURE. Thought of ENSURE first. Besides the "Gurantee against loss" definition, INSURE also has "Make certain" meaning.

61A: Van Dine's Vance: PHILO. Have never heard of this fictional detective PHILO Vance. Not familiar with the author Van Dine either.


3D: Flying mammal: BAT. How bats sleep upside down is beyond me. But again, I did not know that turkeys fly.

4D: Second-largest bird: EMU. Oh, I did not know this trivia. The largest bird is ostrich.

5D: Descried: ESPIED. I confused "Descried" with "Decried".

8D: Botanical anchor: ROOT. These sweet potato chips look delicious.

9D: Schools of whales: PODS. "Schools of seals, dolphines" too. Learned this meaning several months ago.

22D: Transparent fakes: SHAMS. Why "Transparent"?

29D: Indicate by signs: AUGUR. So close to the hole making tool AUGER in spelling.

44D: Hogs the mirror: PREENS. I liked this clue. Reminded me of my college years. One of my roommates (we had 7 girls living in a tiny room) hogged the mirror all the time. She was very pretty.

45D: Gracefully slender: LITHE. Sam Snead could still kick the top of a 8-foot ceiling in his late 70s. Very LITHE. And he loved steak, potatoes and ice creams all his life. Exercise probably plays more roles than diet in terms of enhancing human longevity.

46D: Mrs. Fred Mertz: ETHEL. Cute barbie set. From the Chocolate Factory episode I suppose.

51D: Coating: SKIN. How come? Coating of what?

57D: "The __ and the Pussycat": OWL. I guessed. I've never heard of this poem before.


Jan 24, 2009

Saturday January 24, 2009 Josiah Breward

Theme: None

Total blocks: 31

Total words: 70

Do you know the shortcut to calculate the total words? You add the number of upper-left corners (the numbered squares that form the starts of two entries), and then add that to the grid's highest number. So, in today's grid, the number of those upper-left corners is 7: BRIGADES/BLACKLIST, RIBALD/RESPECTERS, WEBER/WOODSHED, RSO/RATIONALES, SAUK/SOLAN, CGI/CEDER and CMDR/COOGAN. And the grid's highest number is 63 (Across). Therefore, the total word count is 70. Learned this trick from Patrick Berry.

I struggled with this puzzle. Felt like a snowflake falling into Hades. So many abbreviations. I would prefer "Gesture of obeisance" over "Gesture of respect" for CURTSY (19A), as RESPECTERS (9D: Those showing deferential esteem) is an answer in the grid. But is RESPECTER even a word?

I think I've had enough Josiah Breward/Willy A Wiseman (aka Wayne Williams, our editor) puzzles.


1A: Military units: BRIGADES. So their commanders are called Brigadier Generals, I presume?

17A: Suffered anguish: AGONIZED. And ATE CROW (33A: Suffered humiliation). One painful puzzle.

23A: Beer buys: KEGS. I wrote down ALES, which are not really beer, right? I've never had ale before.

24A: Unit of magnetic flux: WEBER. Named after German physicist Wilhelm Eduard WEBER, a total stranger to me. I was thinking of TESLA, which is surprisingly related to WEBER. It equals to one WEBER per square meter.

25A: Sides of a cube: SIX. OK, a cube does have SIX sides. Why did I think it should have eight sides?

27A: Brit. quartermaster: RSO. Regimental Signals Officer? Not sure of this answer. (Addendum: RSO stands for Regimental Supply Officer).

29A: B.C. fuzz: RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police). I did not know that "fuzz" is slang for cop.

32A: Letters on a GI's letter: APO

37A: Like peekaboo fashions: SLITTED. Like this ?

39A: Source of hyoscyamine: HENBANE. No idea. Maybe hens know. Dictionary says HENBANE is of the nightshade family, having sticky, hairy fetid foliage and greenish-yellow flowers, and possessing narcotic and poisonous properties esp. destructive to domestic fowls." This word 'hyoscyamine" does sound very toxic.

40A: Computer mavens: TECHIES. I was shocked to see Microsoft/Intel laying off such a high percentage of their employees, very spooky.

43A: Hebrew letter: YODH. No idea. It's the 10th letter of the Hebrew alphabet. I only know the first letter Aleph. The first letter of Arabic alphabet is Alif.

44A: Pub. submissions: MSS (Manuscripts)

45A: Karachi's nat.: PAK. Have never seen Pakistan abbreviated this way before. She is my favorite PAK, a young LPGA Hall of Famer. Her name is acturally (Se Ri) PARK, a very common Korean surname meaning "simple". Baseball fans probably know Chan Ho PARK, a new Philly.

46A: PC pic: CGI. Computer-Generated Imagery? I got this from the down fills.

53A: Singer Gibb: ANDY. Here is his "I Just Wanna Be Your Everything". Not a familiar ANDY to me. I like him.

54A: "The Kid" star Jackie: COOGAN. I googled this kid. He looks intelligent.

58A: Canonical hour: COMPLINE. Stumper. It's "the last of the seven canonical hours, or the service for it, originally occurring after the evening meal but now usually following immediately upon vespers."


1D: Exclude: BLACKLIST. Ostracize has 9-letter as well.

2D: Household novel: ROGUE MALE. Here is the book cover. I've never heard of the book or the author. I thought "Household" is just a "household", and ROMANCE does not fit.

3D: Like noncarbon-based compounds: INORGANIC. I found the best organic whole cashew (raw) in a SuperTarget store a couple of months ago. So sweet and fresh. Much better than the Trader Joe's ones.

7D: Suffix in linguistics: EME. As in morpheme. I misread the clue as "Suffix in language", so my answer was ESE.

8D: Grasslike plant: SEDGE. I can never commit this swamp SEDGE into my memory. I think my brain is full.

13D: The king of France: LE ROI. Louis XIV is called LE ROI Soleil. Why would he want to dress that way?

14D: Start of a rehab program: DETOX. "Start"? I thought the whole process is called DETOX.

27D: Fundamental grounds: RATIONALES. I was thinking of PRINCIPALS (I always confuse principal with principle), which also has 10 letters.

28D: Haste: SPEEDINESS. They are not the same to me. Haste has a negative understone.

30D:Dangerous insulation mtl.: PCB. Learned from doing Xword. I don't know why they are "Dangerous".

34D: Out of control: RAMPAGING. Reminds me of those RAMPAGING looters in Baghdad after the invasion. I wonder how many valuable piceces are missing from their National Museum.

35D: All in all: ON BALANCE

36D: About to swoon: WEAK-KNEED. When? When you see this?

47D: Gannet goose: SOLAN. SOLAN goose, yes, but not "Gannet goose".

50D: Spandex brand: LYCRA. I wonder why DuPont named it LYCRA. It's not a Greek/Roman/Egyptian goddess or anything, right?

54D: Letters for Spock or Riker: CMDR (Commander). Not a familiar abbreviation to me.

55D: Eye defect: suff.: OPIA. As in myopia. New suffix to me also.


Jan 19, 2009

Monday January 19, 2009 Josiah Breward

Theme: Meal Time

20A: Residence inn: BED AND BREAKFAST

40A: British bread-and-cheese meal: PLOUGHMAN'S LUNCH

55A: Sweet following eating: AFTER DINNER MINT

I have never heard of PLOUGHMAN'S LUNCH before. Ploughman probably will not eat those bitter endives in the middle. What is the stuff on that front white cup? Looks deliciously chunky.

Not a well-thought theme. If BREAKFAST and LUNCH are located at the end of the phrase, so should be DINNER. You know, like CHRISTMAS DINNER, 15 letters, perfect. What other *DINNER ending phrases can you think of? BUSINESS DINNER is one letter short.

Easy sailing this morning. Very doable puzzle. I got SEE (23A: Match a raise) from down clues, but I don't understand the cluing. How so?


1A: Calgary team: FLAMES. Here is a hockey puck with FLAMES logo. That's a very hot name. We have Wild in Minnesota. Edmonton Oilers is also based in Alberta.

10A: Novelist Oz: AMOS. "A Tale of Love and Darkness" sounds intriguing.

14A: City on the Rio Grande: LAREDO. Is this city somehow related to "The Streets of LAREDO"? The title of the sad baseball movie "Bang the Drum Slowly" comes from that song.

18A: USN big shot: ADM. What's the equivalent Marines/Army/Air Force big shot? GEN?

24A: Singer Moffo: ANNA. The answer revealed itself after I filled in the down clues. Have never heard of this opera singer.

25A: CCCII tripled: CMVI. Roman 906.

29A: Grp. of D.C. advisors: NSC (National Security Council). Here is a list of those who attend the NSC meeting. General James Jones will coordinate those meetings for Obama.

31A: Chicago singer Peter: CETERA. No idea. I do love Chicago's "Hard to Say I'm Sorry/Get Away". "Chicago" here refers to the band name.

37A: Bay window: ORIEL

44A: "Les Preludes" composer: LISZT. Here is a clip.

45A: Old-time roofing material: SLATE. "Old-time"? Does it mean that SLATE is not used as roofing material any more?

64A: Harem area: ODA. Turkish for "room". Derived from odalik, meaning "a chamber girl" or "a concubine", according to Wikipedia.

67A: Eskimo knife: ULU. Have never heard of ULU knife.

68A: Potential looter: RIOTER

69A: Medieval slave: ESNE. Sometimes is SERF. I don't know how those two are different from each other.


4D: Physical opening?: META. Metaphysical. Will Rogers probably would want this clue to be "I have never MET A man I didn't like". Our editor dislikes partial fills though.

9D: Love affairs: ROMANCES. They are not the same, are they? To me, "Love affair" implies a sexual and illicit relationship.

10D: Former PLA leader: ARAFAT. Hard to associate ARAFAT with Nobel Peace prize winner.

21D: Simple brooms: BESOMS. New brooms to me. Very twiggy.

27D: "Twelfth Night" role: VIOLA. I guessed. Have never read "Twelfth Night".

30D: Patsy Cline classic: CRAZY. Here is the song. Can't find Willie Nelson's CRAZY on YouTube. It's pretty good too.

33D: Belly muscles: RECTI. Singular is rectus. Another new word to me. I am convinced that I don't know my own body.

41D: Worked freelance: HIRED OUT

42D: End of a spat?: ULA. Spatula. Also "End of a form" (Formula).

47D: "__ Fideles": ADESTE. Semper is also 6-letter.

49D: Rugged range: SIERRA. "Rugged ridge" would be ARETE.

52D: Move sideways: SIDLE. There is no difference in my pronunciation of SIDLE and SADDLE.

55D: Winglike structures: ALAE. The adjective is ALAR, though often clued as "Banned spray".

59D: Synthesizer maker: MOOG. I have never heard of Bob MOOG or MOOG Synthesizer.

62D: British wheel: TYRE. British TYRE hits kerb.


Jan 13, 2009

Tuesday January 13, 2009 Josiah Breward

Theme: Double Talk

17A: The true state of things: WHAT'S WHAT

26A: Regular guy: MAN'S MAN

36A: Biographical reference book: WHO'S WHO

48A: Up-and-comer: HOTSHOT

55A: Another chore done!: THAT'S THAT

How does HOTSHOT fit in here? Because it has a letter S in the middle? Too flimsy as a theme answer. Besides, HOTSHOT is an ace, and "Up-and-comer" is a rising star, they are not synonymous to me.

MAN'S MAN is a "Regular guy"? Really? Not a rugged macho type he-man?

I did not enjoy this puzzle at all. Yawned all the way through the solving.

I don't know what the heck is happening inside Tribune, but it's not a good sign when we've been offered so many puzzles from Josiah Breward (our editor himself) in the past 2 months. He seems to have stopped accepting new puzzles from our regular constructors. And I expect more Breward puzzles in the future, if there is actually a future with Tribune.

Enough's enough! Hmm, I wonder why he did not use this phrase as his theme answer.


9A: Climb: SCALE. SCALE a mountain? I've never heard of this usage. SCALE a fish, yes.

15A: Romaine: COS. The Greek island where Romaine lettuce was first introduced is actually KOS.

19A: Inventer Howe: ELIAS. Why "Inventer" instead of "Inventor"? I used to think that Singer invented the sewing machine.

22A: Spaces between leaf veins: AREOLES. The plural can also be AREOLAS, AREOLAE. The singular form is AREOLA. Just had this clue last Sunday.

30A: Hobo's sack: BINDLE. Bundle does not fit. This BINDLE is so small.

31A: Gelling agent: GELATINE. I simply can't stand this 3 letter repetition.

35A: Celtic god of sea: LER. Or Lir. New to me. Only know Roman sea god Neptune. The Greek counterpart is Poseidon, the brother of Zeus/Hades/Hera.

39A: Iranian desert, Dasht-e __: LUT. See this map. Foreign to me. "Dasht" means "desert" in Persian I presume?. Oh by the way, why Iran is not considered an Arab country? What's the difference between an Arab country and an Muslim country?

43A: See through fabric: VOILE. French for "veil".

47A: Apollo 10 astronaut: CERNAN (Eugene). Not a familiar figure to me. Wikipedia says CERNAN is the last man on the moon. Both he and the Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, graduated from Purdue University.

49A: Some postal workers: SORTERS. Does this refer to the people or the machines?

50A: Pugilist's stat: KOS (Knockouts). See TKO more often.

51A: __ En-lai: CHOU. It's Zhou En-Lai to us. Cantonese spelling can be so different. CHOU (Zhou) is also a powerful dynasty in China, with its capital in Xi'An.

62A: Satellite of Jupiter: ELARA. No idea. Easily obtainable though. Wikipedia says it's named after the mother by Zeus of the giant Tityus. Look at this list, Zeus is such a womanizer. And he married his sister Hera. So DF.

64A: Ho or Pardo: DON. Have never heard of the singer DON Ho or TV announcer DON Pardo.


1D: Partner of hem: HAW. Is teamster here a verb?

2D: Old English letter: EDH. Sometimes the answer is ETH.

9D: "Morning Train" singer Easton: SHEENA. I googled her name. Here is the clip. Also the singer for Bond movie "For Your Eyes Only".

21D: Guitarist Joe: WALSH. Here is his "All Night Long". Saw this clue somewhere before.

27D: Body axis: MIDLINE. Holy moley. I did know know I have a MIDLINE in my body.

28D: Ring-shaped: ANNULAR

41D: Writer Caldwell: ERSKINE. Another google. He is the author of "Tobacco Road".

46D: Certain sandals: THONGS. Or "Certain beachwear". What a perfect body shape!

49D: Snowboarder White: SHAUN. No idea. See this photo cover. Wikipedia says he is known for his shock of red har, for which he has become known as "The Flying Tomato".

53D: Stevedores' grp.: ILA (International Longshoremen's Association)


Jan 11, 2009

Sunday January 11, 2009 Josiah Breward

Theme: EE - to - OO

23A: Weak force?: POOR PRESSURE (Peer Pressure)

40A: Pink tiles of a skylines?: CORAL ROOF (Coral Reef)

61A: Fell trees?: TUMBLE WOOD (Tumbleweed)

71A: Successful dive?: CLEAN SWOOP (Clean Sweep)

90A: Endearment for a cowgirl?: SUGAR BOOTS (Sugar Beets)

111A: Cancel filming?: SCRATCH SHOOT (Scratch Sheet)

16D: Chandler's nautical novel: THE BIG SLOOP (The Big Sleep)

67D: Yellow swimming holes?: BANANA POOLS (Banana Peels)

Do you know that Sugar Beets are actually white-rooted? I always had this image that they were all red-colored like our regular beets. Had never heard of Scratch Sheet before, but SCRATCH SHOOT was very easy to infer.

Great theme idea. The title is a bit too straightforward for my taste though. I think I prefer something more subtle, can you think of a better one?

The clue for PGA (119A: Org. of Couples and Love) made me laugh. Brilliant use of the names of Fred Couples and David Love III.

What's your answer for 57A: S Kubrick movie? Right now I have AMI. But it does not make any sense to me. My intersecting fill is STEAMERS for 39D: Miner's tamping bars, an answer I am not sure either. (Addendum: The answer for S. Kubrick movie is MMI (2001: A Space Odyssey). And the answer for 39D is STEMMERS.)


1A: Builds up: ACCRUES. My instinctive thought is ERECTS. An addition of "interest" would have made the answer easier for me.

19A: Controversy: POLEMIC. I am more familiar with its adjective polemical.

33A: Ambler and Lindros: ERICS. Have only faintly heard of ERIC Ambler the English author. The hockey player ERIC Lindros is foreign to me. Was he good?

45A: Frank of "Wagon Train": MCGRATH. I googled. Is that he the guy on the picture?

51A: Strikes with a club: BLUDGEONS. I tend to confuse this word with dungeon.

68A: French city known for textiles: LILLE. De Gaulle was born here (close to the Belgium border).

69A: Pertinent: APROPOS. The opposite is malapropos.

70A: Bric-a-brac holder: ETAGERE. I suppose you can call this plant stand ETAGERE too.

73A: Chair craftsmen: CANERS

74A: Tomlin and Pons: LILYS. Barely remember French soprano LILY Pons, who appeared in our puzzle not long ago.

81A: Cast rays of light upon: IRRADIATE

86A: Base cops: MPS (Military Police)

94A: Italian actress Eleonora: DUSE. Uh-uh, no idea. This actress has been dead for almost 85 years.

104A: Fox follower?: TROT. I thought of Fox NEWS first.

117A: High fashion: COUTURE. I think Vogue's Anna Wintour will get the British Ambassador job. Want a bet?

119A: Lohengrin's love: ELSA. I can never remember this girl's name.


1D: Computer brand: APPLE. Don't think I will ever get one, so used to PC.

3D: Blocking passage through: CLOSING UP. Football term? What does it mean?

6D: Leprechaun's land: EIRE. ERIN does not fit.

8D: Degree with teeth: DDS (Doctor of Dental Science).

9D: Carpenter tools: ROUTERS. Have never heard of ROUTERS as "Carpenter tools".

10D: Borealis and australis: AURORAE. Aurora is Roman goddess of dawn (Eos in Greek mythology).

11D: Fairy-tale girl: GRETEL. "Hansel and GRETEL". I learned from doing Xword. Have never read any Grimm story.

24D: Distinct mus. tones: STAC. How come LEG is not a legit abbreviation of legato then?

43D: Poet Metastasio: PIETRO. Another google. Have never heard of this Italian poet.

46D: Calculator key abbr.: CLR

47D: Newman movie: HOMBRE. Here is the poster. Is it worth seeing?

58D: Ribbed fibrics: TWILLS

59D: Ventilated, in a way: HOLEY. I suppose so, "in a way". Weird looking word.

60D: Having domes: CUPOLAED. I only know the noun form cupola.

66D: And others: Lat: ET ALII (masculine plural). ET ALIAE is feminine plural. ET ALIA is neuter plural.

76D: Cleverly amusing: FACETIOUS. The only word with all the vowels in its proper order is FACETIOUSLY I think.

85D: Marilyn Monroe movie: BUS STOP. Here is a nice clip. Have never seen the movie either.

86D: Mr. Peanut's eyewear: MONOCLE. Do you collect any Mr. Peanut item?

92D: College treasurer: BURSAR. New word to me. Rooted in bursa, Latin for purse.

101D: "The Dresser" director Peter: YATES. One more google. Is he very well-known? This film does not look interesting to me.

103D: Nuncupative: ORAL. I guessed. My first encounter with "Nuncupative".

114D: Italian possessive noun: SUA. Italian for "his", SUO is "her". Both new to me.