Showing posts with label Julian Lim. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Julian Lim. Show all posts

Aug 20, 2016

Satuday, Aug 20th, 2016, Julian Lim

Theme: None

Words: 70 (missing J,Q,X)

Blocks: 32

  OK, is it just me, or was this one way too easy for a Julian Lim puzzle~?  Perhaps there were enough clues in my wheelhouse to have the right number of crossings in the right places to cruise right on through in less than half my personal allotted time - and that includes an additional minute to find the one letter I had wrong before the ta-DA~! was mine.  All the proper names filled via perps and educated WAGs, too.  Hey, I'll take it~!  Triple 10-letter corners in both across and down, with two more 10's and two 9's;

25a. Sidecar ingredient : TRIPLE SEC - Yesterday marked 4,242 days for me - which in terms of "The Hitch-hiker's Guide the Galaxy" must have some significance....

44a. Dairy Queen offerings : BLIZZARDS

7d. Where Ulysses rests : GRANT'S TOMB - oh, I thought it was George Washington....Bugs Bunny humor

30d. Emulates a bad waiter? : CUTS IN LINE - I'm linking this song again, since this is one of the lines

 Paul Simon The Afterlife @ 2:10



1. "The Winds of War" actress : ALI MACGRAW

11. Bon __ : MOT - it was this or "AMI".  And I went with the latter.

14. "Love in the First Degree" all-female group : BANANARAMA - I know of very few female groups, and not too many of them are 10 letters long; the song title made no difference to me

15. Emotion betrayer : TONE

16. Knocked out : ELIMINATED

17. Emergency op : EVACuation

18. Emblem : TOTEM - HA~!  Anon-T and I had a small discussion about the "Cricket Bat" in Spinal Tap; the manager refers to it as "totemistic; a good solid piece of lumber in your useful"

19. New Mexican? : NENE - not fooled, but I thought it was "BEBE"

20. Ho Chi __ City : MINH - gimme

21. Busts, e.g. : ART - too easy

23. "The Legend of Zelda" currency : RUPEES - don't know this, but I had half the letters from the Downs

31. Jump __ : START

32. Happy __: old snack brand mascot : HO HO

33. Pulls some strings? : STRUMS - I had a feeling it was on this wavelength, but for me, a strum is striking the strings; to pull them usually gives you an artificial harmonic - or maybe it's a semi-reference to a PULL-off and hammer-on technique....

35. Slovenia neighbor, to the IOC : CRO - via perps; not much into this Olympics, tho I did see Water Polo, Field Hockey (that's icing~!) and Men's Singles Badminton - love me some badminton~!

36. Singer Lambert with the album "Trespassing" : ADAM - perps

37. Angiography concern : AORTA - I WAGed this over "HEART"

38. Crisply and detached, to an orch. : STACcato

39. Talks acronym : TED - Nailed it; their site

40. Tops : AT MOST - "Tops" in this sense reminds me of "Die Hard" and the Feds on the gunship helicopters; scene 328, here

41. Driver's protest : HONK - this is what I figured, but by now, I was thinking it was way too easy
42. Mine finder : SONAR

46. Publisher Ochs : ADOLPH - I had ADO--H

48. "__ won't!" : "NO I..."

49. Quo warranto, e.g. : WRIT - this filled via ALL perps

50. Short-lived '80s sports org. : USFL - I tried MISL; we had the NY Arrows, right here on L.I., playing at the Nassau Coliseum; their goalie was Shep Messing, and he had a fitness club mere miles from my house
53. Whimpers : MEWLS

58. Lift : RIDE - ah.  I was stuck in the verb sense of "to raise", not "drive"

59. Grammy-winning Santana song : MARIA MARIA

61. Maintain : AVER

62. Regardless : IN ANY EVENT

63. Podded plant : PEA - again, I said....really~?

64. Restraining order, say : DETERRENCE


1. Help with a job : ABET - had the whole phrase last week

2. "Mission: Impossible" theme composer Schifrin : LALO - again, perps

3. Still vying : IN IT

4. Jerry Herman musical : MAME - didn't know it, and "HAIR" didn't work

5. Kind of magnetism : ANIMAL - I like this kind of "attraction"

6. Preserve, in a way : CAN - dah~!  Not JAR; that's 100% 33.3% correct

8. Word after going or before hike : RATE - going rate, rate hike

9. Hymn ender : AMEN

10. Bit of fishing attire : WADER

11. Penn, for one : MOVIE ACTOR - that would be Sean Penn; I pondered TRAIN DEPOT (Penn Station, NY)

12. At the store, perhaps : ON AN ERRAND

13. AAPL and GOOG : TECH STOCKS - nailed it

15. Entice : TEMPT

22. Came together again : RESAT

24. Letters before some state names : USS

25. Shout after the last shot : THAT'S A WRAP - I've been on two movie sets

26. Part of Beverly Hills' Golden Triangle : RODEO DRIVE
it's in the middle

27. "Honestly?!" : "I HAD NO IDEA~!?!"

28. Popular toy, for short : POMeranian

29. Documentarian Morris : ERROL - again, perps, and just the "E" to get

34. __ ball : MATZO

38. Oldies syllable : SHA-na-na, and I went with "TRA" first

40. "Leaves and Navels" artist : ARP - some other examples of the artist's work

43. Modify : ALTER - I had EMEND first

45. "The Lion King" composer Hans : ZIMMER - only had to guess the first "M"

47. Sticky : HUMID - like it's been for two weeks here; this has been the worst summer at UPS since my first - and my first was only bad because I had never experienced it before

51. Sound : SANE

52. "Animal House" group : FRAT

54. Gable neighbor : EAVE - carpentry terms~?  C'mon....too easy

55. Singer of complex songs : WREN - ah, clever

56. Michael's brother in "Prison Break" : LINC - I figured this show was short lived - I mean, once they got out, what's the point of watching...?

57. Make full : SATE

60. City on the Firth of Clyde : AYR - and yes, it was all perps


Jun 30, 2016

Thursday, June 30th 2016 Julian Lim


17A. Imbibing no more : ON THE WAGON. Not me - see below.

23A. Tropical quencher : COCONUT WATER. "Coconut" came quickly. "Water" took forever. My quenchers in the tropics tend to have something a tad stronger than water in them.

38A. "The Deer Hunter" ordeal : RUSSIAN ROULETTE. Great movie. I remember clearly when I first saw it in the theater in London. Here's the theme "Cavatina" played on a spanish guitar by the immensely talented John Williams.

50A. Restaurant mascot with an electric guitar : CHUCK E. CHEESE. Thank heavens I never have to go to these places anymore. The child decibel level is quite staggering. No wonder Mr. Cheese needs amplification.

And the unifier:

61A. Based on the ends of 17-, 23-, 38- and 50-Across, unwanted thing that this puzzle lacks : FIFTH WHEEL. Four kinds of wheels, and we don't get a fifth variety. Neat reveal.

"Come with us, they said - it's going to be fun!"
Happy Thursday everyone.

Late Edit: It's C.C.'s birthday, so a BIG shout-out to her!

Slick puzzle from Julian - smooth themers, a couple of 9's and 10's in the downs intersecting two theme entries each and some nice fill.

It's been a funny old week from an English perspective - this time a week ago when I last blogged, the UK was committed to Europe, David Cameron was the Prime Minister, the opposition party had a shadow cabinet, England were still in the Euro soccer championships and the English team had a coach.

None of the above is now true. What's that got to do with the crossword? Nothing, but it's a sobering thought. Let's move right along.


1. Work with dough : KNEAD

6. Like long shots : SLIM. Like Iceland beating England last week. Slim to none. I called it, I really should have called the bookie before the game.

10. Commando weapons : UZIS

14. "Bates Motel" airer : A AND E

15. Third follower : HOME. I'm finally starting to recognize these. Baseball diamond, third base to home.

16. Stereotypical spoiler : NANA. Tricky one this, I was a long way down the "spoiler alert" plot-line path and getting nowhere when the crosses helped me out. Grandmothers stereotypically spoil the little brats, often by taking them to Chuck. E. Cheese and smile dotingly when they scream the place down.

19. Expression of pre-weekend gratitude : TGIF. Friday can't come soon enough, sometimes.

20. Okay : SO SO

21. Disturbance : ADO

22. Identify the source of : TRACE

27. Text digitization meth. : O.C.R. Optical Character Recognition, the way a computer scans and converts text.

30. Cut some blades : MOW. Mower blades, grass blades, very nice.

31. Singer Liz : PHAIR. I had "UNTO" for 25D at first which gave me the rather odd name NHAIR. At least it looked totally wrong so made me think about fixing it.

32. Pop quiz reaction, perhaps : GROAN. I had ___AN and decided "OH, MAN" was totally correct. And it mostly wasn't.

34. Geneva-based commerce gp. : W.T.O. World Trade Organization. As with most of these quangos and institutions, headquartered in lovely places.

35. Poet who wrote about shrimp, "At times, translucence / Is rather a nuisance" : NASH

"A shrimp who sought his lady shrimp
Could catch no glimpse
Not even a glimp.
At times, translucence
Is rather a nuisance".  

Ogden Nash.

42. Parts of an old item? : EXES. Great clue. I don't have any exes who live in Texas, at least I don't think I do.

43. Lively : GAY

44. For two, in Paris : A DEUX

45. Stocky dog : BOXER

47. "Delicious!" : MMM. YUM went in, and stuck it out tenaciously until almost the very end.

49. __ sequencing : DNA.

54. Actress O'Donnell : ROSIE.

55. Noun half? : ENS. Four letters in "noun", 50% of 'em are "n"s

56. "Red" hindrance : TAPE

60. Hazmat-monitoring org. : OSHA

64. Square __ : FEET. FOOT first, soon changed.

65. 37-Down plus two : OCTO- Those who are irritated by prefixes and cross-referential clues get a twofer annoyance here. Perfectly fine with me.

66. Buenos __ : AIRES. On my bucket list. I've not made it to Argentina yet.

67. Subdue, in a way : TASE. Quite a few missteps today - I had TAME first. I wasn't sure what a BUSHEM, horticulture is not my forté, obviously.

68. Dudes : GUYS

69. Check (out) : SCOPE       


1. "Get Smart" crime org. : KAOS. Weird logo.

2. Prefix with bot : NANO-. The scaremongers will tell you that these little buggers will soon take over the world. They're more likely to be embedded in your socks to tell your washing machine to go easy on the over-agitation or cleaning your blood.

3. Sinus docs : ENTS Ear, Nose and Throat specialists.

4. Formed for a particular purpose : AD HOC. Usually committees.

5. "E.T." actress Wallace : DEE. Thank you, crosses.

6. It grows toward evening : SHADOW.

"Reclining in my armchair,
My eyes wandered to the horizon far
And saw darkness invading the Earth
Lost, so lost in the marauding loneliness
I watched the shadows of evening
Thickening around me and spreading a pall"

Lengthening Shadows by Valsa George.

7. Prepare to surf : LOGON. Because "open browser and go to" didn't fit.

8. Texting qualifier : IMO. IMHO, I've only ever seen the "humble" version. In my option.

9. Dudes : MEN

10. Lacking experience : UNTRAINED

11. Appraised like many big-city eateries : ZAGAT RATED. Pretty much any restaurant can put a "Zagat Rated" sticker in their window. They don't have to tell you that Zagat rated it one of the worst places in town.

12. How seafood is shipped : IN ICE. Wanted ON ICE. Wasn't allowed to have it.

13. Less dicey : SAFER

18. Texas I-35 city : WACO

22. Grounded flier since 2001 : TWA. SST went in, and eventually game out. I don't really think of TWA as grounded, more acquired as a bankrupt concern by American Airlines.

24. Present preceder? : OMNI-

25. Till : UP TO

26. You, once : THOU

27. Brute : OGRE

28. Main point : CRUX

29. Plants with stickers : ROSE BUSHES. Is a thorn a sticker? I suppose it is, never thought of it that way before.

33. Colleague : ASSOCIATE

34. Droll : WRY

36. Leave flabbergasted : STUN

37. 65-Across minus two : HEXA-

39. "The Morning Watch" novelist : AGEE

40. One may stop traffic : NARC. Very nice. Some clever cluing today.

41. Makes oneself scarce : LAMS. Aother I've never thought about - I'd never considered "lam" as a verb, more an "on the lam" noun. Perfectly good usage though.

46. Jaguar classic : XKE. Ah, the classic and now very expensive E-Type. Here's a convertible version in iconic British Racing Green. My old XJS was the same color.

47. Certs alternative : MENTOS. Thank you, crosses. I don't eat a lot of candy. I eat plenty of everything else!

48. Fit well : MESH

50. "Tomb Raider" heroine Lara : CROFT

51. Book after Daniel : HOSEA

52. Hard to hoist : HEFTY

53. Code of conduct : ETHIC

57. Flight-related prefix : AERO- I thought there might be a tad too many prefixes today, but I just went back and counted four total. Not so bad.

58. Fledgling's sound : PEEP

59. Ultimatum word : ELSE. Or else! Empty ultimatum thread sometimes. Can be disarmed with the "Or else what?" question response.

61. Magic show effect : FOG

62. Post-op place : I.C.U. Intensive Care Unit.

63. "It __ a Very Good Year" : WAS. Originally recorded by Bob Shane with The Kingston Trio. Too late in the blog for a music link though.

I think that should do it for me. Here's the grid!


Feb 27, 2016

Saturday, Feb 27th, 2016, Julian Lim

Theme: None

Words: 66 (missing F,Q)

Blocks: 35

I literally made a face ( to nobody in particular ) when I saw the constructor's name - I've never had much success with a Julian Lim puzzle, so why should today be any different~?  Have to admit to red-letter help, but no Google cheats - and that's an accomplishment, seeing the number of proper names * in the grid.  However, I am going to chalk this one up in the "win" column, as I somehow found the will to tough it out until I got my "ta-DA~!" and just over my personal allotted time.  Lowest word count I have seen on a Saturday, too.  Two spanners, two 13-letter spanners, and two 11-letter spanners;

20. Masters home : AUGUSTA NATIONAL - I was thinking golf to start, so I did not fall into some sort of "----MANSION" trap

48. Not as much : TO A LESSER EXTENT - very pleased I got this, tho I had to wait on perps and then allow it to coalesce in my brain
23. Chef's staples : SALT AND PEPPER - sort of echos the other 13-letter fill;

45*. Jet Tila and Mario Batali : RESTAURATEURS - I was pretty confident about the "-EURS" part at the end, so I tried "---AMATEURS", but no.  I do not recognize these names, but I am very familiar with the concept, seeing as I am regularly involved in the restaurant business - but I was looking for the "N", (restauraNteurs) which the dictionary says is an "Americanism" for the Frawche root word for 'providing food'

24. Shimmering South American denizens : NEON TETRAS - aquarium staple

40. Canterbury tales subject : ARCHBISHOP



1. Spot for a ride? : CAR AD - it took some time to parse this; now I think it's clever

6. Floored : AWED - an early WAG that worked

10. Pinking sound : SNIP - I happen to know that pinking shears are scissors, so another early WAG that stayed to the end

14. Meteorological prefix : ANEMO - meaning "wind"

15*. "United States of Tara" Emmy winner Collette : TONI - Perps

16. Corsair's syllables : YO HO - ho and a bottle of rum~!

17*. Colleague of Charms teacher Flitwick : SNAPE - good thing I am into Harry Potter - Filius & Severus; two guys with "tenure" at Hogwarts  :7))

18. Fly, commonly : LURE - or "A Lure", the first restaurant I started working at

19. "Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabella," e.g. : NOEL - WAG

25. "Earth still holds __ her gate": Thomas Nashe : OPE - one of only four 3-letter fills

27. Juvenile : KID - the noun; I was in "adjective" mode at first

28. Man in black : NINJA - because (Johnny) CASH was too short, and "AGENT K" too long

32. Harvard's motto : VERITAS - needed a few perps to recall this

35. They'll put you down : ABASERS - pondered TEasers

37*. 2000s Vienna State Opera conductor : OZAWA - here's where the proper names started dragging me down

38*. Joelle Carter's "Justified" role : AVA

39. Geriatrics concerns: Abbr. : SRs

50*. Stop on the Turin-Genoa railway : ASTI

51. Pad __ : THAI - seems obvious now, but this just did not come to me

52. Place to find an argument, perhaps : ESSAY - COURT, ISSUE, nothing was working in the SE for me

53. Best selling point : PEAK - not PLUS, not PERK

54. Smokescreen : RUSE - not DUPE

55. Myrrh, e.g. : RESIN - I can never remember this

56. Get in on the deal : ANTE

57. Goes (for) : OPTS

58. Lifted : STOLE - theft synonyms


1. Condominio, por ejemplo : CASA

2. __ mirabilis: wonderful year : ANNUS - I went with annu-I

3. When Star Wars began : REAGAN ERA - because "A Long Time Ago..." would not fit

4. Shot container : AMPULE - ah, meds, not liquor

5. Inflicts on : DOES TO

6. Land down under? : ATLANTIS - I'm a big fan of "Ancient Aliens", and I am reading two books from authors featured on the show; this "lost" city is a popular topic

7. Hurt, as feelings : WOUNDED

8. All ears, say : ENRAPT

9. One cutting in the kitchen : DIETER

10. Abstract : SYNOPSIS - the noun, not the adjective, again

11. 2007 #1 hit for Alicia Keys : NO ONE

12. "It's been said ... " : "I HEAR..."

13. Exit __ : POLL - oops, not PLAN - that's 50% correct, but only 25% right

21. 31-syllable Japanese poem : TANKA - OK, who else went with HAIKU~!?  I was inspired to share with you my ventures into "limerickal" poetry; see below

22. "Dandy for your teeth" toothpaste : IPANA - really good WAG

25. Lacto-__ vegetarian : OVO

26. Candy created in Austria : PEZ

29. K-Cup competitor : NESPRESSO

sophisticated filter

30. Fantasy lit initials : J.R.R. - my first thought, but I figured the "T" for Tolkien needed to be in there

31. Sancho's "steed" : ASS

33. Sentence opener in many teens' stories : "I WAS LIKE..." - great clue/fill

34. Parisian fruit pie : TARTE - had it in, took it out....

35. Where to see some kites : AVIARIES - not AQUARIAS, which I know is completely wrong, but I mixed up my kites with skates

36. Scold vigorously : BASTE

38. Apprised (of) : ABREAST - always want to keep "a-breast" of the situation

41. 1961 Lenin Peace Prize recipient : CASTRO

42. Keep from spreading : HUSH UP

43. Spelling experts? : HEXERS - I knew we were looking for WITCH or WIZARD here

44. Get-go : OUTSET

45. 1953 A.L. MVP Al : ROSEN

46. Trouble greatly : EAT AT

47. Mail lead-in : SNAIL - snail mail~!  The good ol' Post Office

48. Spanish morsel : TAPA

49. Newcastle's river : TYNE - dah~! Not TYRE


The KID with an AWED puzzle bent

The clues I do wrest

To keep you A-BREAST

My ESSAY on what J. Lim meant

I HEAR what PEZ DOES TO your teeth

So take one’s toothbrush from its sheath

Know you just wanna

Brush with IPANA

‘fore they EAT AT whats underneath


Dec 19, 2015

Saturday, Dec 19th, 2015, Juliam Lim

Theme: None

Words: 68 (missing J,Q,X,Y)

Blocks: 32

Ugh - I'm sorry, but I just don't like Mr. Lim's puzzles :7((  Every time I get one on a Saturday, I cringe.  Today was no exception.  I had the right fills, and yet could not finish up the NE and SW corners - not without red letters, one Google cheat, and a hail Mary WAG.  Still not sure what some of the answers mean.  Might have to do with excessive 'cardboard box syndrome' I'm suffering from, and a head cold, to boot.  Quadruple corners of 9-letters, with two inner 10's crossing two more inner 9's;

30. Supplanting : PRE-EMPTING - like football and '60 minutes' on Sunday nights, or the president's TV address

31. Goodyear variety : TIRE SIZES - I need tires on the Dodge - also a new ignition switch, but I'm so close to 300,000 on the odo that I will invest the money to cross that milestone

7. It's hard to put down : PAGE TURNER - I have yet to put my TV up in my room, going on 7 weeks now.  That's how busy I've been.  However, it has led me to reading nearly everything on my room-mates shelves - I've read "The Lost Symbol", half the 'Alex Cross' books, and "The Litigators", a book I was reluctant to read because I sensed that all of Grisham's books were about lawyers, and here was no exception - but this one was really good

38. It may be green : CHINESE TEA

ON Sela WARD~!


1. High-end beer-serving eatery : GASTROPUB - what~? it's not HOOTERS~?  I'm shocked~!

"I'll have the third from the left"

10. First husband of Bathsheba : URIAH - half perps/half WAG

15. Drink with Campari and sweet vermouth : AMERICANO - I think this has been in crosswords before - Mr. Lim left out the club soda

16. San Francisco : BART :: Philadelphia : __ : SEPTA - I tried METRO, which is, uh, 20% right~? Or is that 40%~?  Anyway, my buddy Mike is from Philly, so I could have called him to find out what the scheduling is down there

17. Islands visited by Darwin : GALAPAGOS - a good, solid fill that had me wondering if I could be wrong

18. Bill toppers : STARS - It takes me too long to remember that "bill" in this sense is the playbill

19. Like some plugs : SHAMELESS

20. Got hot for a while : WAS IN - I really don't know, but I think this is a poker/cards reference; I got hot, so "I'm in"

21. H.S. exam : PSAT

22. Distresses : NAGS AT - yeah, some of the cluing NAGS AT me

23. Silver fish : SMELT - I put in sPelt - that is totally 80% correct

26. Driving forces : URGES

29. __ ale : PALE - again, I got caught thinking "nah, too easy"

35. Wave back? : ECHO - tried EDDY

36. Pointless : INANE

37. Word after big or bright : IDEA - again, too easy~?

40. Holds up : ROBS - ah, that kind of holds up - not LASTS, ENDURES, etc.

41. Stone measure : CARAT - gaffed the "C" with a "K"

42. Storyteller from Thrace : AESOP

43. "Awesome, bro!" : "ROCK ON~!"

Van Halen - Stay Frosty

47. ThinkPads, e.g. : IBMs

49. ooVoo alternative : iCHAT - had zilch on this one; my Google, and having -C-AT, WAGed the rest

50. Dish cooked in seasoned broth : RICE PILAF - healthy fill (pun intended) after a few perps - wanna be a monk~? see 43a. above

55. Left-hand page : VERSO - opposite the RECTO

56. Childhood friend of Paul Cézanne : EMILE ZOLA

57. Secretary of war under Teddy : ELIHU - perps and WAG

58. Defame : DISCREDIT

59. Deferential denial : NO, SIR

60. How fries are usually served : ON THE SIDE


1. Stifles : GAGS

2. Asian nurse : AMAH

3. Ward of "Gone Girl" : SELA - also starred in "The Fugitive" movie, and season two of "House, M.D."

4. Treat cruelly, as another's feelings : TRAMPLE ON

5. Most developed : RIPEST

6. College of Central Florida city : OCALA

8. Some, in Seville : UNOS

9. Order giver : BOSS

10. Naval recovery ship for some Gemini missions : USS WASP
I seem to recall something about Frank Sinatra last week

11. Change the price of : RETAG - meh

12. "Not for me" : I PASS - a Juliam Lim puzzle~?  12d.

13. Ventricle neighbors : ATRIA

14. Is without : HASN'T - dah~! I thought NEEDS, LACKS, so the "S" went in, and messed me up

22. Site of ancient Greek games : NEMEA

23. What some write on : SPEC - all the reading is helping me with my own fiction novel idea

24. Eponymous physicist Ernst __ : MACH

25. K thru 12 : ELHI

27. Calf snagger : REATA - one of those "variant" spellings; I am sure it's legit, but "meh"

28. James Watson, notably : GENETICIST - notably, I did not know this

30. Resident on the Arno : PISAN

32. Partnership-forming words : I DOs

33. Mount from which Moses saw the Promised Land : NEBO - and then he brought forth the 15, oy, 10, 10 commandments~!

34. Sound of surprise : GASP

39. Outing led by a naturalist : ECO-TOUR

42. Unit in Ohm's Law : AMPERE - I = V/R, where I = current in amperes, V = volts, and the resistance, "R"

43. Torn asunder : RIVEN - I mentioned a different RIVEN last week....or is it the same~?

44. 3M sponge brand : O-CEL-O
45. Ruth's __ Steak House : CHRIS - never heard of it

46. GOLEAN cereal maker : KASHI - I have heard of this, from commercials

48. Gush forth : BELCH

50. Second take : RE-DO

51. "Let's go!" : "I'M IN~!"

52. Lombardy city : LODI

53. "Put __ on it!" : A LID

54. What "All are architects of," per Longfellow : FATE


Oct 31, 2015

Saturday, Oct 31st, 2015, Julian Lim

Theme: Happy Halloween~!

Words: 70 (missing X )

Blocks: 27

  We last saw today's constructor on a Saturday way back in January; I mention this not only because it's true, but I had just returned from upstate NY where my friend Garry has his wind- and solar-powered cabins - and this weekend I move into his house in Flanders. As for the puzzle, I was hoping it would not be too much of a brain-drain.  Gave myself a pat on the back for getting thru most of the gird, but it was a WAGfest in the NW.  Triple 9's crossing triple 7's in the corners are make for one of the worst kinds of grid - it usually means proper names/two-word answers/extreme vagueness;

1. Reaction to a piece of cake : NO PROBLEM - I seriously considered "YUM YUM YUM" because I had the "M"; I also pondered "LET THEM", as in "eat cake"

29. Amazon visitor's need : WEB ACCESS - hmmm, which Amazon~? The River, or the "go-to" online site for shopping~?

46. "Sure, let's!" : "I'M UP FOR IT~!"

60. Attempt : HAVE A GO AT - user-friendly vowel/consonant grouping; have a "goat~?"



10. Ustream offering : NET TV - oops, not VIDEO

15. Hyperlink feature : UNDERLINE - frequently seen in email addresses, between parts of names;

16. Missouri River city : OMAHA

17. Qatar-based broadcaster : AL JAZEERA - the Wiki (From C.C.: I think this underline is what 15A refers to, right, TTP/D-Otto?)

18. Equate : LIKEN

19. Org. concerned with pedagogy : NEA - $2 word for the method of teaching

20. Parliament : London :: Storting : __ : OSLO - sounded Scandinavian

21. "As if I care!" : "BITE ME~!"

22. Blending aid, briefly : CAMO - short for camouflage, Frawnche for "smoke in the face"

24. Not high : SOBER - 3,949 days and counting

26. Some univ. proctors : TAs

27. Balances (out) : EVENS

32. Make easier to eat, as fruit : DESEED

34. Noted source of rubies and sapphires : SRI LANKA

35. French vineyards : CRUS

37. Rank quality : ODOR - my first thought was about smell, but I ended going with ONE-A....bzzzt~!

38. Like some courses : REQUIRED

42. Cannonball consequence : SPLASH

48. Knighted conductor : SOLTI

49. "'I __ you liked your drink,' sez Gunga Din" : 'OPE

50. Confines : CAGES

52. Farm food : SLOP

53. Ford model : TAURUS

56. Senate minority leader : REID

58. Otolaryngologists, e.g.: Abbr. : DRs - long word for a short abbr.

59. Patronized, in a way : ATE AT

62. It's open at the end of the fall : CHUTE - ah, parachute - at least you hope it's open at the end....

63. Cattle site : OPEN RANGE

64. Works with keys : TYPES

65. Microbrewery product : WHEAT BEER - ooh, I was close with CRAFT beer


1. Far from clear-cut : NUANCED

2. Like some new mothers : ON LEAVE

3. "Death Comes to Pemberley" author : P.D. JAMES - utter WAG from mostly perps; a link to her website

4. "In Dreams" actor : REA - we saw him last week

5. Ingredient in some Italian wedding soup : ORZO - the little bits of pasta; I like the little bits of meatball; interesting fact about the soup's name origin here

6. Approve : BLESS

7. Hide : LIE LOW - oops, not LAY low

8. Covers up, in a way : ENROBES - I like when confectioners "enrobe" their treats in chocolate

9. Word of apology : MEA - we also saw this last week

10. __ me tangere : NOLI - Latin for "touch me not" - new to me - some history

11. Put out : EMIT

12. Stop for a bit : TAKE TEN

13. 1994 Jim Carrey film : THE MASK

14. Samuel Barber opera : VANESSA - WAG

21. Intertwines : BRAIDS - pondered SPOONS first

23. Like some hotel room coffeemakers : ONE CUP - I had one in my room when I stayed in Delaware

25. River from Cantabria to Catalonia : EBRO - ha-HA~! Nailed it from crossword experience~!

28. Finishing stroke : SERIF - TAP-IN (golf) fit, too, but it wasn't working for me

30. Old cobblestone road sounds : CLOPS

31. Mexican novelist Fuentes : CARLOS - WAG and perps

33. Large pigs : DUROCS - new to me; I only know this Durock

36. Shot contents : SERA - ah, the needle kind of shot

38. Babysitter's reading, at times : RIOT ACT - LULLABY and WANT ADS fit, too

39. Therapist's asset : EMPATHY - I pondered "GOOD EAR" to start

40. What waiters often do : QUEUE UP - those who wait; I spent 90mins in DMV to register my van yesterday - with no signal for my cell phone

41. The "rh" in "rhapsody," e.g. : DIGRAPH

43. Wrapping words? : "ALL DONE~!"

44. Cloud function : STORAGE - the web-based servers kind of cloud; RAINING did fit, tho

45. Cool cat : HIPSTER

47. Tube : TEE-VEE

51. Italian town with a biannual horse race : SIENA - perps

54. Give stars to, say : RATE - OK, how would you rate her~!?

55. Salt Lake City team : UTES

57. Dash : DART

60. wiki__: collection of online manuals : HOW

61. Jaw : GAB


Note from C.C.:

Crosswords LA puzzles are available here. $8 for the whole pack plus some bonus puzzles. All proceeds go to Reading for Kids charity.

Apr 23, 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015 Julian Lim

Theme: "Puff"

17-Across. *Skedaddling : TURNING TAIL. Colorful phrase to start us off!

27-Across. *Food often served with ranch dip : BUFFALO WINGS. Yum! ( I looked back at the first theme entry and noticed the avian parts.)

45-Across. *Weigh, with "at" : TIP THE SCALES. (Uh-oh, so much for my bird theory...)

59-Across. *Real ordeal : TRIAL BY FIRE. (Aha! By jove, I've got it. DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS, right?)

35. With 38-Across, band with the hit "Radioactive," and a hint to the ends of the answers to starred clues : IMAGINE 38-Across. See 35-Across : DRAGONS. Yes, I can just imagine. Oh, you mean the band? 4:03ì

Fun theme, and a fresh reveal. The fill also made the solve very enjoyable for me. You?


1. "Carrie" Oscar nominee : SPACEK. Ah yes, I had nightmares for weeks after seeing that one.

7. Letters about time : AM-PM.

11. __ Fit: video exercise game : WII. Gimme - I use mine every day!

14. Acid neutralizer : ALKALI.

15. Restaurant chain named for a Mozart opera : COSÌ tutte.

16. It's often cured : HAM.

19. Physician's org. : AMAAcademy of Model Aeronautics.  Doctors do like their toy planes! ;-)

20. Snack brand creator Wally : AMOS. He's famous, ya know.

21. Karaoke option : DUET.

22. Take one's sweet time : DALLY. Are you eating sweet pickles slowly if you DILLY DALLY?

24. Half a score : TEN. "Four score and seven years ago..." A score is 20 years.

25. Auction cry : SOLD.

26. Lamp emission, if you're lucky : GENIE. Fun entry and clue!

30. __ Navidad : FELIZ.

33. First-line national anthem word : SEE.  Tricky clue. "Say", "can" or "you" also fit... And then we have 41-Across. First-line national anthem word : SAY. Well, at least I eliminated one choice at 33-Across!

34. Prefix with caching : GEO. How's your knee doing, CrossEyedDave? Is it still keeping you from geocaching?

42. Pigs out (on) : ODs.

44. __ attitude : CAN DO.

50. Sensible : LEVEL.

51. Stats for Mike Trout : RBIs. Total WAG. Born in 1991, he's just a baby, for gosh sake!

52. Meditator's intonations : OMs.

55. Sand bar : SHOAL.

56. Appear : SEEM.

57. Purveyor of many flat packs : IKEA. I just put together 8 new base cabinets for my kitchen remodel. Not from IKEA.

58. Burst : POP. Did you wonder if it was present or past tense, too?

62. Part of UCSD: Abbr. : CAL. Univ. Cal. San Diego.

63. Cheese that's sometimes stuffed : EDAMKeshi Yena is a traditional stuffed Edam cheese dish that is common on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao.

64. Begin gently : EASE IN.

65. Cut : AXE.

66. Smashes : RAMS.

67. They're often ruled : ROOSTS. Who rules yours? (Here, it's our cats.)


1. Occupied, as a table : SAT AT.

2. Nice pen : PLUME. The French city Nice. Were you fooled? My mistake was thinking "stylo," which is more like a ballpoint or fountain pen. A PLUME would be an old-fashioned quill pen, I think. Kazie?

3. Firestone Country Club city : AKRON. The home of the WGC's Bridgestone Invitational golf tournament every August.

4. Spam holders : CANS. Were you thinking email junk folders? Nope, that was reserved for 31-Down. Phishing scam, e.g. : EMAIL HOAX. Nice fill.

5. Lilly of pharmaceuticals : ELI. Gimme.

6. In a way : KIND OF.

7. Played the part of : ACTED AS.

8. Asset in a castle siege : MOAT.

9. Chi follower : PSI. Χ and Ψ. Penultimate Greek letter before Ω.

10. Shower problem : MILDEW.

11. Beating heavily, as with a sledgehammer : WHALING ON. Yikes! What a visual.

12. Post-apocalyptic Will Smith film : I AM LEGEND. Will Shakespeare? IAMB LEGEND.

13. "Perhaps" : I MAY.

18. __ of Mexico : GULF.

23. Young Darth's nickname : ANI.

25. Singer Quatro : SUZI. Over 50 years on the rock scene!

26. Church attachment? : GOER. and 32-Down. Church attendees : LAY PEOPLE.

27. Popular : BIG.

28. Took charge of : LED.

29. Just fair : SO-SO.

30. __ bump : FIST.

36. "O Holy Night," for one : NOEL.

37. Journalism VIPs : EDs.

39. Far from fails : ACES.

40. It's often bought at an island : GAS.

43. Horror movie sounds : SCREAMS. Like me, when watching "Carrie" for the first time.

46. Dam-building org. : TVA. Tennessee Valley Authority.

47. __-skelter : HELTER. brrrrrr...shades of Charles Manson.

48. First fratricide victim : ABEL.

49. Loosen (up) : LIMBER. A must, when using your WII Fit.

52. 1930s migrants : OKIES.

53. Worthiness : MERIT.

54. Composer Saint-__ : SAËNS. Jayce likes his "Danse Macabre." 7:09

55. Org. for strays : SPCASociety for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

56. Place that gave its name to a cat breed : SIAM.ese.

57. "Say that's true ... " : IF SO.

60. No. for the health-conscious : RDARecommended Daily Allowance. I must confess, I don't always get mine.

61. Retired NBAer Ming : YAO. The 7' 6" Houston Rocket. Off the court, he is a white rhino and elephant conservationist!

That's all I got.

Jan 24, 2015

Saturday, Jan 24th, 2015, Julian Lim

Theme: None

Words: 64 (missing J,Q,Z)

Blocks: 37

  I would have to say I did a 43a. on this puzzle - but I did actually finish, with just one cheat, and one bad cell.  I consider it a victory.  A rare grid structure, with a high block count and a pair of central staircases of 4,5,6,7,7,8-letter words, but the ambiguous and nebulous cluing made this one a real grind.  Always the case with Mr. Lim on Saturday.  Two climbers of 12 letters and two spanners of 13;

6d. One of an elite eatery trio : MICHELIN STAR - I did not get this until I read that there's only "three" stars given out; technically, you can actually get zero, but that's not very elite....

18d. Subject of a 1996 holiday craze : TICKLE ME ELMO - DAH~!!! the --MEEL--- in the middle just messed me up; I went to Google and typed in "1996 holiday craze" and he came up; I was taking shots at him upstate

22a. Run using water, as a plant : HYDRO-ELECTRIC - ah, that kind of plant; at first I was thinking of the "roots and leaves" kind, and yes, those do run, using water, but....

35a. Greeting words : NICE TO MEET YOU



1. Meg, to Jo : SIB - no clue to start, but I surmised it would be "SIS" or something - a Little Women reference

4. Lighter : LAMP - ummm, meh

8. Fashion first name : COCO - Chanel; I was born one month after her death

12. Cathedral feature : CRUCIFIX - ummm, yeah, but I can find that in a local church, too - I was thinking more like PIPE ORGAN, which didn't fit

14. "Frère Jacques," e.g. : CANON - a musical canon, referring to the "in a round" style of singing;   hey - two birds with one stone~!

Frère Jaques on Pipe Organ

15. Heartfelt class? : AEROBICS

16. Dismiss, in a way : WAVE AT - meh.  I would wave OFF to dismiss

17. Adopted : RAN WITH

18. Daughter of Oceanus : TELESTO - there's more about the Saturnian moon on the internet than the mythology

19. Monopoly acquisition : DEED

20. Installments : EPISODES

24. Unsettled items : I.O.U.s

25. Gets absorbed : SINKS IN

26. Lightweight boxer? : PUP - Har-har~! Boxer, the dog breed

27. Redcap's workplace: Abbr. : STN

28. "__ Down In Darkness": Styron novel : LIE - Perps, all perps

29. Little projectiles : BBs - we shot Elmo with a .22

32. Hardly keeps cool : SEES RED - I was seeing the red of his fur....or is that Stoat?

34. Rock __ : SALT

37. Like some pasta : HOME-MADE

38. Full of vitality : GO GO

39. Filing aid : DIVIDER

40. Call before a head-to-head contest : EN GARDE

43. Reacted to a sock : REELED - yep, this puzzle punched me in the gut

44. Fruit sometimes fried : PLANTAIN - I had the "P", but still struggled to think of a fruit - then the V-8 can flew

45. City on the Rhone : ARLES - I threw in ESSEN, which was only 20% correct

46. Like some fancy stationery : EMBOSSED

47. Forest coat : MOSS

48. "Walkabout" director Nicolas : ROEG - just an 'ugly' clue/fill; more here

49. Many boomers: Abbr. : SRs - Baby-boomers, who are well on into Senior Citizen status now


1. Plastic surgeon's concern : SCAR - scaB?  The crossing didn't help

2. "Roger that" : "I READ YOU" - always reminds me of this scene - "Do you like movies with gladiators?"

3. Reduced to ashes : BURNED UP

4. Drive in the bedroom? : LIBIDO - cute

5. Words with throw or have : A FIT - ugh; throw yes, have, meh. Just MHO

7. Spots for private shoppers?: Abbr. : PXs - Private, Army style

8. Gave : CAVED IN

9. "Almost ready!" : "ONE SEC~!"

10. Covers : COATS - like paint

11. More than not sure about : ONTO - implying some sort of shadiness

13. Quails : COWERS - ah, the verb, not the bird

14. Nutritionist's unit : CALORIE

16. Lincoln Center locale : WEST SIDE - I had ----S-D-, and it kinda came to me; had to guess EAST or WEST

21. Sword's superior? : PEN - "The PEN is mightier than the SWORD~!"

22. Not square : HIP - your social quality

23. Venerable : ESTEEMED

27. Forms a new state : SECEDES - had it, spelled it with two "C"s, took it out, put it back in

29. Aquatic plant that reduces erosion : BAY GRASS - Total WAG from "B------SS"; in fact, it was not until the write-up that I actually noticed it did not change

30. More rare, in a way : BLOODIER - ah, like your steak

31. __ Redman, Gary Sinise's role in Stephen King's "The Stand" : STU - I thought it was SYD, but then "nice to meet you" had to be correct

32. Like expressions? : SIMILES - an expression using the word "like"; 'her eyes are like pools of water'

33. Fuel __: reactor component : ROD - nuclear reactors

34. Rabbit predators : STOATS - new clue for the old "ermine/mink kin" answer.  I found this video of a stoat hypnotizing a rabbit

35. They have plots : NOVELS - yes, they do

36. Traditional beverage : EGG NOG

37. Prefix meaning "sacred" : HIERO - so, Hieroglyphs are sacred carvings, eh?

39. Scotch serving : DRAM - thank God it was not three letters~!

41. Local theater, informally : NABE - short for "neighborhood" (ney-bər-hoo d)

42. Purposes : ENDS

44. __ se : PER - Latin, "in itself"


Jan 16, 2015

Friday, January 16, 2015, Julian Lim

Theme: C C senor.

In the never ending CSO's in the world of the LAT, our feerless leader gets her puzzle from Julian Lim, who lives in Singapore. Normally, Julian's puzzles are very hard for me, but this one was just hard enough for a Friday, with a low word count, and the theme, once revealed really helped relieve the stress. The letter "C" is added to the beginning of first and last word of a known phrase or name to create a new and completely unrelated phrase. 3 are two word phrase; 1 has a proper  name, both before and after. I saw no other hidden agenda here, and the reveal which we usually do not get was not a slam dunk reveal so it is a Friday. We have some fun 6 letter fill HONCHO, PHOBIA, PORTIA, PSYCHO, SCROLL, SMOOCH and some longer sparkle BELABOR, GOLIATH, DIES IRAE, DOVETAIL , EMOTICON and NICE SHOT

18A. Jar for leafy vegetable storage? : CHARD CROCK (10). This is difficult on so many layers; first you need to know that CHARD is a leafy vegetable. I hear it mostly as Swiss Chard, and it is called Spinach in South Africa but it is the leafy part of a type of beet. The leaf is quite healthy. HARD ROCK  is a developer of hotels, casino etc., here they have partnered with the Seminole Tribe.

24A. Actor Jackie's pet fish? : CHANS CARP (9).  We usually see the ARTIST as Jean Arp, founder of Dada, but in German he was Hans. Jackie Chan has had a successful career as a comedic martial arts expert. I was surprised to read that he had done a porno.

50A. Emulate an inveterate swindler? : CON AND CON (9). On and On we go.

57A. Vessel with limited space? : CRAMPED CUP (10). I did not get (r)amped up about this fill, I guess it runneth over.
And the hint:

37A. Opine ... or create four long answers in this puzzle? : ADD ONE'S TWO CENTS. This is not a simple reveal because the symbol for cents, while a C, is really ¢.


1. Sardine cousin : SHAD. These are both generic names for types of herring.

5. "My take is ..." : I'D SAY. The Millennial phrase.

10. Princess from Amphipolis : XENA. If you need the whole STORY.

14. Iota : MOTE. Little things.

15. One-up : OUTDO.

16. "Head With Pipe" artist Nolde : EMIL. No idea.

17. Watchable, in a way : ON TV.

20. 2000s World #1 female golfer : OCHOA. She came, she conquered, she retired; her CAREER. I remember when she came out of Arizona and played the futures tour winning 3 of the 10 events she played. We obviously have some who like the LPGA because we also have 49A. With 60-Down, only South Korean World Golf Hall of Fame inductee : SE RI. 60D. See 49-Across : PAK. She changed the face of golf with her success inspiring the Asian world of golf.

22. Nurture : REAR.

23. Word with cake or break : TEA. Any other day would have CUP added.

27. "__ Love" (Maroon 5 hit) : THIS.

29. Smoking, perhaps : HOT. Interestingly next to another sexist measure of females....

30. Half a score : TEN. Ladies and gentleman, please let us know who think is a TEN.

31. 1959 novel in whose film version Mary Crane became Marion Crane : PSYCHO. Still one of the most unsettling movies of all time. I love that the P crosses with 31D. Psychologist's concern : PHOBIA though some may suggest it is an impermissible dupe of fill/clue... If you have not seen it and are squeamish, do not watch.

33. Giant : GOLIATH. This guy slings back into our radar.

36. Rabbit's friend : POOH. Can you bear any more Winnie references?

41. Literary __ : LION. This was a struggle, while it is  a term I have heard (Mailer was a literary lion) I needed perps to get started.

42. More than hammer home : BELABOR. Very nice fresh fill, which I will not say too often.

43. Video game segments : LEVELS. I do remember  the thrill of new levels back in the days of playing pac man in the bar.

45. Jr.'s jr. : III. The kids are often called Tre.

46. Spot for a soak : SPA.

53. Small songbird : TIT. We must have a GREAT picture.

54. Work on a canvas? : SPAR. Excellent misdirection, not a painting but in the boxing ring.

56. Unfortunate : SORRY.

61. Bard's verb : DOTH. A soupçon of Shakespeare.

62. "See Dad Run" star : BAIO. Scott. Never heard of it.

63. Steer snagger : REATA.

64. Mishmash : OLIO. Along with morel, the word that defines Crossword Corner.

65. TripAdvisor alternative : YELP. My oldest uses their review all of the time for restaurants.

66. "No worries" : IT'S OK.

67. White side, maybe : SLAW. Really, I always have carrots and purple cabbage in mine.


1. More than peck : SMOOCH.

2. Head __ : HONCHO. Comes from Japanese hanchō squad leader, from han squad + chō head, chief. We got it from returning servicemen. Han Solo?

3. Besides : AT THAT.

4. Plymouth's county : DEVON. This area has an interesting HISTORY.

5. Org. with a multi-ring logo : IOC. International Olympic Committee.

6. "No __!" : DUH.

7. Whitewater figure : STARR. Ken. No politics, just a LINK.

8. Pitcher? : AD REP. One who 'pitches' i.e. gives a sales pitch.

9. Green sage : YODA. Now that Episode VII is in the works I am sure we will see more Star Wars references, though Yoda is dead?

10. Survey taker, at times : X'ER. I guess this means one who x'es, checks boxes. A complete meh.

11. Text clarifier : EMOTICON. Since people do not talk and only text, you need some idea of the facial expression to get meaning of the words.

12. Compliment on a course : NICE SHOT. Gary, I am sure your golf game will be ready.

13. Antacid brand word : ALKA. My old pal...

19. Old PC monitors : CRTS. Cathode Ray Tubes.

21. Martin's start? : ASTON. Bond, James Bond.

25. Hollywood glitterati : CELEBS. Eh.

26. Sambuca flavoring : ANISE. Licorice anyone?

28. On a sugar high, say : HYPER.

32. Quaker Honey Graham __ : OHS.

33. Toast, with "a" : GONER.

34. U.S.-U.K. separator : ATLantic.

35. "Truth is more of a stranger than fiction" writer : TWAIN. One of the great minds of all time with a true way with words.

37. The works : ALL.

38. Second section of Verdi's "Requiem" : DIES IRAE.

39. Fit nicely : DOVETAIL.

40. Quarters, e.g. : COINS. So simple, but...

44. Daffy Duck has one : LISP.

46. Move on a screen : SCROLL. To the finish?

47. Shakespearean heiress : PORTIA. My weekly dose of Will. Who said it better?

"The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:"
48. "But I digress ..." : ANY HOW. I am an any way man, Drat.

50. Trainee : CADET. Not just in the service.

51. Marine predators : ORCAS. Whale of a good answer.

52. Bygone birds : DODOS. CSO!

53. Mango tango smoothie server : TCBY. This Can't Be Yogurt. Cousin of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.

55. Prefix with cardial : PERI. The sac where the heart truly is.

58. Post-spill need : MOP.
Hasten jason
Get the basin
Oops plop,
Get the mop.

59. __-Aztecan languages : UTO.

I do not think it is going out on a limb to say that this was a challenge in places; well I had fun I hope you did. Lemonade out.

Oct 18, 2014

Saturday, Oct 18th, 2014, Julian Lim

Theme: None

Words: 70 (missing J,Q,X,Z, two weeks in a row)

Blocks: 32

  I saw Julian's name in the constructor's line, thought "oh, boy", and despite the deceptive appearance of the grid, I was right - just 4 gimme answers on the first pass across (AIM, VEGAN, WIIs and NEE ).  Down was not much better until I got to the SW, and nailed the two 9-letter fills there.  That gave me hope, and I fought my way through some of the vague clues to an 'almost' finish - Frawnche got me, perped with a proper name.  Ugh.  Anyway, double 9-letter corners and two 11-letter climbers;

8. Be flexible : PLAY IT BY EAR - Started with "STAY----" and that wasn't working.  "Wanna go bowling after work? - Let's play it by ear."  Musically, I have gotten better on the guitar, but I was never quite so good as to "play it by ear"

23. TV cooking show? : BREAKING BAD - The "?" let me know it was not going to be "HELL'S KITCHEN" ( and it wasn't going to fit anyway ).  The 'cooking' in this particular drama was Crystal Meth, if I'm not mistaken - it's on the list of DVD shows to watch for me

ooh~! ooh~! OnWARD~! (see 53a.)


1. Its General Test consists of six sections: Abbr. : GRE - yeah, not SAT; this is the Graduate Record Examinations

4. "NYPD Blue" Emmy winner Gordon : CLAPP - all perps

9. Senseless : DAFT - I like Daft Punk myself

13. Tone-deaf, say : NON-MUSICAL

16. Topic preceder : IN RE

17. Its airport is in the subcity of Bole : ADDIS ABABA - no clue, but with just a few letters in place, there weren't many places to choose from at that point

18. Rafts : A TON - meh

19. Houdini's birth name : WEISS - Erik Weisz, then Ehrich Weiss

20. Annual milestone, briefly : B-DAY - I always abbr. Birthday in my journal this way

21. "Raise Your Glass" singer : PINK - link away~!

22. Auction giant : SOTHEBY'S - ah - I learned there's no "U"

24. Ham-handed : INEPT

26. Lake Biel feeder : AAR - my first thought, but I hesitated

27. Mil. installation named for a 4-Down general : Ft. BRAGG - I needed 4D to get it; 
4D. Lee side: Abbr. : CSA - Confederate States of America - and one of it's Mil. generals

29. "Nothing to it" : SIMPLE AS ABC

34. Phone bill encl. : SAE - Self-Addressed Envelope; I don't remit payment this way for anything anymore

35. "London Fields" writer : AMIS - DAH~!!  No clue - first name Martin; published in 1989

36. Like some self-appointed critics : ARTSY

37. Encouraging start? : ATTA - as in "Atta boy/girl~!!"

38. Out of action, perhaps : ILL

39. Dog named for an island : SKYE TERRIER

41. Sunny spots : SOLARIA - because lanais and atria and window sills didn't fit - however, veranda was a possibility

43. Marksman's asset : AIM - I hope so

44. Likely Meatout supporter : VEGAN - Meatout?  Really?

45. Video game series set mostly on Azeroth : WARCRAFT - World of Warcraft; I watched my one-time step-son play this; not as fascinating as Final Fantasy, IMHO

50. __ nut : PINE - had to wait on perps

51. Object : GOAL - object, as in the noun, and more like 'objective'

53. "What have we here?" : HELLO - Well, we have a new blue-eyed girl that has caught my attention - and this one is much more my speed, I think; for one thing, she's in the program, and over a year, too - so she's my new "51a".  Don't know her name yet, but I do know who to ask to find out - and this time I am not screwing it up, C.C. - I will say "Hello"....should I wear my suit~? (gratuitous self-image, but C.C. did request I post it )

54. MMXIV and others : ANNI - Get your Roman calculators out; this is 2014, and the Latin for 'years'

55. Vet's souvenir : BATTLE SCAR

57. Super Mario Galaxy systems : Wiis

58. Initially : AT THE START

59. "Tout de suite!" : STAT - more Frawnche

60. Oreck competitor : DYSON

61. Once called : NEE


1. Vexes, with "at" : GNAWS

2. Ballet with a hoedown : RODEO - um, yeah, I can see that

3. Go no further : END IT - like relationships

5. Cheney chief of staff Scooter __ : LIBBY - couldn't remember the name until --BBY

6. Specialized schools: Abbr. : ACADemys

7. Out-of-favor sunscreen compound : PABA - Learning moment; the Wiki

9. It's often disposable : DIAPER - I hate when these things come thru the UPS system - the perfumes in them really irritate my nose

10. Aperitivi followers : ANTIPASTI

11. Private community entrance : FRONT GATE

12. Prep for a marathon : TEN-K - I don't run, but my buddy Ed does; he's finished marathons, and I won't even start to THINK about one

14. "Oops" elicitors : MISHAPS

15. Dollar bill depiction, familiarly : US SEAL

25. It has six of the seven rainbow colors in its logo : NBC - OK, so which part of ROY G. BIV is missing....

27. __ food : FAST - could have been a circum-referential clue to 30d

28. Drive, e.g. : GEAR

29. Je ne __ quoi : SAIS - ARGH~!!!!; 'nuf said

30. McDonald's slogan : I'M LOVIN' IT - it's getting dated, if you ask me; Justin Timberlake recorded the actual song in 2003

31. Eon parts : MILLENNIA

32. "Game of Thrones" girl __ Stark : ARYA - Don't have HBO/Starz, but I have caught some moments of this show and "Black Sails" when I have been over at my buddy Mike's house

33. __-Foy, Quebec : STE - Ugh, and still more

37. Theatergoers often share one : ARMREST

39. Málaga Mrs. : SRA

40. Lucre : RICHES

42. One hostile to seniors : AGEIST

45. Juice amounts? : WATTS - Juice as in electricity - cute. 

46. E'en if : ALTHO

47. Highway covered in "The Milepost" : ALCAN - the Alaska Highway, or the Alaska-Canadian Highway, and its website

48. Solar __ : FLARE - massive

49. Patisserie product : TORTE - I did drafting for a pastry shop when I worked for the architect, so I knew this term

50. Cat's catchers : PAWS

52. Like some high-fiber cereal : OATY

56. College basketball TV analyst Elmore : LEN