Showing posts with label MaryEllen Uthlaut. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MaryEllen Uthlaut. Show all posts

Mar 5, 2019

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 MaryEllen Uthlaut


17. Smartphone condition resolved by recharging: LOW BATTERY.  My cell phone only works when it is plugged in. 

32. Unable to see because of reflected sunlight: SNOW BLIND.   Dr Bruce Haight might diagnose this condition as photokeratitis,  but I'm guessing he probably doesn't see many cases in his southern California practice.

38. "The West Wing" actor: ROB LOWE.

46. Martin Waddell book about birds missing their mother: OWL BABIES.

61. Baker's staple, and a hint to this puzzle's circles: MIXING BOWL.

My site search of the Corner suggests that MaryEllen doesn't construct for the LA Times very often but when she does,  it's always pleasant, and fresh.    I enjoyed the cluing and seeing some answers we don't encounter very often.   


1. Like a pendulum's path: ARCED.

6. Tinted: HUED.

10. Loading platform: DOCK.

14. Question before "Yes, you!": WHO ME ?  Simple but lovely.

15. Gumbo pod: OKRA.

16. Dark purple berry: ACAI.  ah-sigh-EE.   Today I learned that they are dark purple and how to pronounce the word.

19. Geeky type: NERD.   I have geeky tendencies that came with the career.

20. Succulent plant genus: ALOE.

21. Went out in the sloop: SAILED.  I can't help but think of John B when I read that word.  It's the only association this landlubber has for it.

23. Not quite closed: AJAR. Hahtoolah has a joke for this word that is rated G - All Audiences.

26. Antlered grazers: ELKS.

29. Brawl: MELEE.   Often seen in Ice Hockey games.  Field Hockey,  not so much. 

30. Short-legged Welsh dog breed: CORGI.  The Queen's favorites. 

34. Quimby girl of kid-lit: RAMONA"...when Cleary wrote from Ramona's point of view, all of the little girl's actions made perfect sense."

36. "The Time Machine" race: ELOI.   H.G. Wells  popularized the enduring Sci Fi trope of time travel, just as Mary Shelley popularized the motif of mad scientists in Frankenstein. 

37. Letters after ems: ENS.   Plurals of the 13th and 14th letters of the English alphabet.  I doubt we would see a similar clue for the 16th letter. 

40. Press into service: USE.

43. __ history: ORAL.

44. Buy eagerly, as discount goods: SNAP UP.

51. One getting private instruction: TUTEE.  Tutor/tutee.  Mentor/mentee. 

52. Pottery remnant: SHARD.

53. What snakes' tongues sense: ODOR

55. Take a nap: DOZE.   Anonymous T !  Wake up !

56. Brunch cocktail: MIMOSA.  Tinbeni can wet his whistle if he likes champagne with his brunch.

58. Hawaiian feast: LUAU.  Poi, pig, poke, pineapple and punch, and hopefully some music to set the mood. 

60. Mishmash: OLIO.  Hodgepodge.

67. Texter's button: SEND.  Please don't text while driving.  Spread the word. 

68. __ out a living: EKED.

69. Bee product: HONEY.

70. Neither calm nor collected: EDGY.

71. Loch __ monster: NESS.   Nellie. 

72. Cell terminal: ANODE.   The other terminal is the cathode.   I ordered a new battery for my cell phone. 


1. Tool for making eyelet holes: AWL.

2. P-like Greek letter: RHO.

3. "Eat Mor Chikin" sign holder in Chick-fil-A ads: COW.

An iconic advertising campaign that started with a pair of rebel cows painting a billboard.

4. Trade restriction: EMBARGO.

5. Word with fair and square: DEAL.  And real.

6. Lodging spots: HOTELS.

7. 58-Across instrument: UKE.   Good choice for a luau. 

8. Go wrong: ERR.   I don't know whether the ad agency was promoting the dress or the clutch,  but I'm pretty sure that mirrors don't work that way.

9. Common work shift: DAYS.

10. Explorer Boone: DANIEL

11. Eyelike spots: OCELLI.    Not your common Tuesday crossword word.  

The Peacock's 'Tuneful' Tail Feathers

12. Tilt dangerously around corners: CAREEN.  A Google site search indicates this word has been an answer in only three LA Times crosswords since C.C. started this blog.   

13. Teased: KIDDED.

18. Sock part: TOE.

22. Atmospheric kind of music: AMBIENT.   We had ambience as an answer in Bruce Haight's puzzle last Thursday,  and it is an uncommon answer,  but we've seen ambient as an answer even less.  We mostly see it as a clue, as in "Ambient music pioneer Brian ___."

23. Plot measure: ACRE.

24. Author Didion: JOAN.  Author, The Year of Magical Thinking

25. Weaponry: ARMS.

27. Tolled mournfully: KNELLED.  A rare answer in LA Times crossword puzzles.  The only occurrence I could find was a Jeffrey Weschler Friday puzzle in 2014.

28. By oneself: SOLO.

31. Sudden attacks: INROADS.  2nd definition.  I think more in terms of the 1st:  Bits of progress, advancements. 

33. Dazzles: WOWS.

35. 50-50 choice, perhaps: A OR B

39. Scott of "Happy Days": BAIO.    He played Chachi. 

40. __-the-minute: UP TO.  I'm jaded by the major news TV outlets and all of the "Breaking News" headlines that are anything but. 

41. Canal in a 1956 dispute: SUEZ

42. Fencing sword: EPEE.

45. Society named for an ornithologist: AUDUBON.   The only occurrence I could find was a Pam Amick Klawitter Friday puzzle in 2016.

46. Seep slowly through: OSMOSE.   Another rare answer.  A Brad Wilber Saturday and a Bruce Haight Wednesday. 

47. Caused to pass (away), as time: WHILED.  A Google site search proved to me that I've never seen this in a clue or an answer for LA Times crossword puzzle.  Only in comments. 

48. Causing to limp, say: LAMING.   Pretty much the same as above, but as far I can tell, no one has ever used this word even in the comments section. 

49. Feeling depressed: BROODY.   We've seen the word in clues, but I couldn't find it as an answer.

50. Geometric category: SOLIDS.

54. Sprint: RUN.

57. "Yes indeed!": AMEN.   You can say that again. 

59. Muslim honorific: AGHA.

62. '50s White House nickname: IKE.   DDE becomes CIC of the country.

63. Simple signatures: XES.

64. Yoko from Tokyo: ONO.

65. United in marriage: WED.

66. Cleaning chemical: LYE.

It's not as if there wasn't a lot of common crossword fill.   There was, and that's not unusual for a Tuesday puzzle.   But I was struck by the uncommon answers, and it added to my enjoyment.   I hope you enjoyed it as well.

Apr 8, 2016

Friday, April 8, 2016, MaryEllen Uthlaut

Title: The fun is in the pun pun.

4 in the language phrases with "FOR' in the center of the phrase have their meaning re-purposed by clues which change the meaning but keep the same words. I think this is our 7th from MaryEllen but our first since November 2013. I love the concept of using Peanuts the comic strip, but I am not sure the clue/fill for WORK fits the theme as its meaning does not change. The meanings of PASS, WATCH and ROOM are changed. And they are all amusing. There also are some 7 letter fill (and one non-theme 9 letter) to make us work. TYCOONS, SNEAKER,  ANAHEIM,  EROTICA,  XEROXES,  FLUFFED,  ENVIRON, HAND OFF,  ARCADIA,  ICED TEA, PERFORMER. I am curious what you all thinks, so let's have at it.

19A. *Assist Charles M. Schulz? : WORK FOR PEANUTS (14). As opposed to chicken feed...anyway  the late Charles Schulz will always be best know for Peanuts. The original expression may come from circus animals.(1.5 MM google hits).

32A. *Free ticket given to Target Field players? : PASS FOR TWINS (12).  A mini-shout out to C.C. and her baseball team. 25 million hits for the phrase. It is STUDIED and watched....
40A. *Timepiece at a stag party? : WATCH FOR DEER (12). But can they tell time? 47 million hits.

53A. *Law office? : ROOM FOR DISPUTE (14). My least favorite despite the 154 million hits.


1. Walks, on scorecards : BBSBase on Balls; with the start of the real season already upon us, this is timely. It takes 4.

4. Rehab hurdle : DTS. Alcoholics often suffer from Delerium Tremens. My math teacher junior year in high school shook like a leaf in the morning.

7. Calm : SETTLE. Calm the flock.

13. "Well, __-di-dah!" : LAH. Back for repeat performance.

14. Deli choice : RYE. Did we have Ham on..last week?

15. Ducks' home : ANAHEIM. Hockey team named from a movie.

16. Some Anne Rice novels : EROTICA. Never read any of these BOOKS. Though clearly all her works have some erotic element.
18. Dupes : XEROXES. Duplication, not being taken in.

21. Completely : IN TOTO. Not Dorothy's dog, but Latin.

22. Wapiti : ELK. In the Deer family.

23. ID checker : TSA. Transportation Safety Administration.

24. "__ any drop to drink": Coleridge : NOR. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

26. Surface : EMERGE.

35. Burn soothers : ALOES.

38. Modern reaction to a riot? : LOL. A laugh riot.

39. Group of species : GENUS.

43. Important Philippines export : NICKEL. Are you keeping up on the worldwide GLUT? There should be a plugged nickel joke inserted here.

44. Bros, e.g. : MEN.

45. Fraction of a joule : ERGAn erg is the amount of work done by a force of one dyne exerted for a distance of one centimeter, but I guess you knew that.

48. Not allow to atrophy : USE. Hmm, the dictionary says, "gradually decline in effectiveness or vigor due to underuse or neglect." My optic nerve atrophy is not from underuse.

50. "My vegetable love should grow / __ than empires ... ": Andrew Marvell : VASTER. This odd METAPHOR from To His Coy Mistress is studied.

58. Option play option, in football : HAND OFF. Sort of, but usually it is pitched out.

59. Home of the god Pan : ARCADIA. In Greece. The HOME.  PAN.

60. Beverage sometimes served with mint : ICED TEA. That should make almost all of the Corner happy. Sorry Tin.

61. Besides : TOO.

62. Inning trio : ENS. A nice misdirection, as it has nothing to do with baseball, just the three Ns in the word.

63. Botched (up) : MESSED.

64. Model of industry : ANT. The modern story of the ANT.
65. Put into words : SAY.


1. Failed miserably : BLEW IT. Very modern fill.

2. Industry leaders : BARONS. Very old fill. Clecho, 5SD. Industry leaders : TYCOONS.

3. Fan letter? : SHORT A. The A in the middle. Also, 31D. First of September? : ESS.

4. Meaning : DRIFT. I get your drift MaryEllen.

6. Prepare tuna, in a way : SEAR.
7. Converse, e.g. : SNEAKER.
8. Take in : EARN.

9. Quaker pronoun : THOU.

10. It may be skillfully created by one who's all thumbs : TEXT. My favorite Clue/fill as the skill my children have texting with their thumbs baffles me.

11. Rests : LIES. Lie down vs. lay down...

12. Acute care letters : EMS. I wanted ICU or CCU but they did not work with perps.

15. Eponymous skater Paulsen : AXEL. To our skaters, one in the sky this move from a Norwegian SKATER.

17. Ring decision : TKOTechnical Knock Out.

20. One putting on an act : PERFORMER.

25. Home of Norway's royal family : OSLO.

27. Bank holding: Abbr. : MTGE. Mortgage.

28. Carafe kin : EWER. Regular crossword word.

29. __ Tin Tin : RIN. It was big when I was little. This week we learned he really won the first Oscar.
30. Shaggy-tailed bovid : GNU.

32. Lot of trouble? : PECK. Son, you are in a peck of trouble. Dictionary says it has been around since 1545.

33. "A Hard Road to Glory" writer : ASHE.

34. Merrie __ England : OLDE.

35. Plant bristle : AWN. Luckily I had this in February with James Sajdak.

36. French narrative poem : LAI. I did not know THIS.

37. Like some stocks, briefly : OTCOver The Counter as opposed to being on an exchange.

41. Misspoke, as lines : FLUFFED. I wanted FLUBBED but the F's would not let me.

42. Surround : ENVIRON. Never heard this in the singular, but....

45. Rachmaninoff's "__-tableaux" : ETUDES. JzB one you know?  LISTEN.

46. Light-sensitive layer : RETINA. The back of the eye.

47. __ spoon : GREASY. Another old expression.

49. Upholstered piece : SOFA.

51. Fancy tie : ASCOT. Perhaps Steve or Nice Cuppa can give us the British perspective and history.

52. Hotel amenity : SPA.

53. Derby, perhaps : RACE.

54. Some bills : ONES. Or tens.

55. Chances : ODDS.

56. Speck : MOTE.

57. It may be mined : DATA. I think I linked data mining before.

58. Objective reference : HIM. One of the objective pronouns.

A different Friday with Coleridge instead of Shakespeare and mostly doable cluing. I had fun, I hope you did. Thanks MaryEllen and all of you. Lemonade out.

Nov 21, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013 MaryEllen Uthlaut

Theme: "I Kid You Not!"

The unifier can be found in the middle of the grid today:
40-Across. Troubled youth literally hiding in each answer to a starred clue : CRAZY MIXED UP KID. Today is anagram day, with four of them hidden in common phrases.

18-Across. *Filet mignon dish named for a goddess : STEAK DIANE.

24-Across. *Emergency supplies : FIRST AID KIT. or FIRST AID KIT. It would be better to avoid this type of ambiguity, but there really are no other common 11-letter phrases that use that particular sequence. And you really want to have all the anagram possibilities.

52-Across. *Pipe-smoking royal : OLD KING COLE.

63-Across. *Fictional rank above Padawan : JEDI KNIGHT.

Just missing the "Q" for a pangram. Did it seem especially easy for a Thursday?  Some of the clues were a little tricky, but I found the fill to be very Monday-level, with nary an obscure name in the bunch!


1. "Are you serious?" : WHAT. (Usually pronounced as WHAAAA??)

5. Handicapper's concern : ODDS.

9. Class __ : CLOWN. I bet CrossEyedDave was the class clown in his school.

14. Doth possess : HATH.

15. Los Angeles, for one : PORT.

16. High nest : AERIE.

17. Opposed party : ANTI.

20. Jet sounds : ROARS.

22. Proactiv target : ACNE.

23. Was in the vanguard : LED.

27. Dog in Baum stories : TOTO.

28. Dangerous fly : TSE TSE.

33. Puffin kin : AUK. Seems they have a playful side, too.

36. Sizable music combo : NONET.

39. Planted : SOWN.

44. Fable : TALE.

45. Makes the scene : COMES.

46. I trouble? : EGO.

47. Slob's napkin : SLEEVE.

50. Spheres studied by Mendel : PEAS. From them, he eventually developed his "Laws of Inheritance."

58. Tailless primate : APE.

61. Explorer on Nick Jr. : DORA. The Explorer.

62. Art support : EASEL.

67. Pro __ : RATA.

68. Where the action is : ARENA.

69. Former Neet rival : NAIR.

70. Similar : AKIN.

71. Face-off locales : RINKS. Hockey face-offs. Hey, Splynter!
72. Low joint : KNEE.

73. Wings, for instance : BAND. Paul McCartney's band on the run...


1. Marina structure : WHARF.

2. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum city : HANOI.

3. Rose essence : ATTAR.

4. Need of a 53-Down : THIRST. and 53-Down. Solution for 4-Down : DRINK.
... of 12-Down. Riesling product : WINE? ...or 48-Down. Stoli and SKYY : VODKAS??

5. Brief missions? : OPS. (Operations.)

6. Hi and Lois's daughter : DOT. Her twin brother's name is "Ditto."

7. Foreboding : DREAD.

8. Cupboard arrangement : STACK.

9. Officers-to-be : CADETS.

10. Floral wreath : LEI.

11. Word-of-mouth : ORAL.

13. Aid factor : NEED.

19. Grow together :, a broken bone.

21. Rock-filled : STONY.

25. It can be viewed with a scanning tunneling microscope : ATOM. Invented by Roher and Binnig. Read more about how it works here.

26. Column style : IONIC. I always want to put "doric" first. Hi Dudley!

29. Paranormal ability : ESP.

30. Tip for a croupier : TOKE. We have had this recently, I think.

31. Large gulp : SWIG.

32. Prefix with skeleton : ENDO. And a clecho with 37-Down. Prefix with skeleton : EXO.

33. Book after John : ACTS. (of the Apostles)

34. River through Orsk : URAL.

35. Broccoli relative : KALE.

38. Metronome settings : TEMPI. Plural variant of tempos.

41. Prize component? : ZEE.

42. "The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook" author Paula : DEEN. Her recipes always seem to begin with "Add two cups of sugar to three pounds of butter..."

43. Stylebook subject : USAGE.

49. Tar Heel State campus : ELON. Just outside Greensboro, N.C.

51. Egyptian amulet : SCARAB.

54. 2010 Supreme Court appointee : KAGAN.

55. Honshu port : OSAKA.

56. Admit to the club : LET IN.

57. Twisty-horned antelope : ELAND.

58. Admitting a breeze, perhaps : AJAR.

59. "Frasier" actress Gilpin : PERI. She played Roz, Frasier's radio producer.

60. Shangri-la : EDEN.

64. Press coverage : INK. OK, I had to think about this. Does the clue literally refer to the ink that covers the printing press roller? Or, does it mean column space in the newspaper ("J-Lo sure gets a lot of ink.") I'll leave it to you to decide.

65. Make haste : HIE.

66. Uno e due : TRE. One + two = three, in Italian.

And that's a wrap for me this week!

Note from C.C.:
Charlotte, Lemonade's beautiful granddaughter, turned one year old. Look how pretty she is. Click on the first picture, you'll see how incredible long her eyelashes are. It's in the genes. Lemonade said he used to have long eyelashes before his corneal transplants. Click here to see all the cute Charlotte pictures in my Ginger Roots archive.

Jul 24, 2013

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 MaryEllen Uthlaut

Theme: Clue! (or in my case, Blockhead!). Fun and Games!

17A *Vessel with heavy armor: BATTLESHIP

30A *Rodent catcher: MOUSETRAP

47A *Military campaign: OPERATION

24D *Professional pursuits: CAREERS

26D *Shakespeare play that inspired a Verdi opera: OTHELLO

and the reveal

64A What the answers to starred clues are: BOARD GAMES

Top of the morning to you. Steve here with MaryEllen's foray into the world of squabbling kids. I liked the theme, the longer downs and some nice fill, both across and down. While I was solving I got the feeling there were a lot of abbreviations in the 3- and 4-letter answers, but when I looked it all over at the end it didn't seem to be the case, so no complaints. I hit a couple of humps along the way, but that's what Wednesday's all about, right?

Let's take a look at everything else:


1 Small thicket: COPSE. I'd be hard-pressed to tell a copse from a thicket. If you told me a thicket was a small copse I wouldn't argue. Throw in a coppice and a spinney and it's woodland confusion.

6 Dry cleaner’s target: SPOT

10 Simple rhyme scheme: A-B-A-B

14 Like many who tweet: AVIAN. TEENS was my first thought here, but I resisted. I have a pair of sparrows nesting in the street sign outside my front door, those guys get up early and don't hold back with the vocals.

15 John’s love: YOKO. Their ballad popped up on my iPod yesterday.

16 “Compliments guaranteed” corn syrup: KARO

19 “Take __ from me!”: A TIP. Your server would say "thank you very much, 20% should do it".

20 Foxy: SLY

21 Without pretense: ARTLESS. I realized I didn't know the true definition of this word. I'd always thought of it as meaning "without class" or something along those lines. Learning moment.

23 Suffix with malt: OSE

24 Algonquian language: CREE

25 Bridge over the Arno, e.g.: PONTE The Ponte Vecchio is the best-known bridge in Florence, but there are plenty more.

27 61-Down prison: GULAG

34 Having a steeple: SPIRED. This is Salisbury Cathedral in England - a beautiful example of a medieval spire. It was built in the 1300's and is more than 400 feet tall - the tallest in the UK.

36 __ Cucamonga, California: RANCHO

37 Trident part: TINE. One of the three prongs. I wonder why the bident and the quatrodent never caught on?

38 Evoking the past: RETRO

40 Continental capital: EURO. "Capital" in the sense of "currency" here.

43 Ranking angel: SERAPH. I find it odd that there's a pecking order of angels. I get that Gabriel has got bragging rights being the Annunciator, but once you've got your wings shouldn't you all be on equal clouds?

45 Protruded: BULGED

50 Snow coasters: SLEDS

51 Versifier’s art: POESY. Thank you, crosses. New word for me today, I'll need to see it at least five more times before I finally can remember it.

52 Varied mixture: OLIO. I've seen this one five times, so now I remember it (and C.C. taught me the difference between this and OLEO when I first started out here!)

54 “The Fox and the Hound” fox: TOD. The old English "todde" means fox. I met someone called Todd Fox once, which seemed a little unfair.

55 Very hot and dry: SAHARAN. This took me a little while because I had a "C" where the "H" should be. See 57D for explanation of muddled thinking on my part.

59 Big bird: EMU

62 Megastar: IDOL

66 Ad writer’s award: CLIO. Check out the Wikipedia description of the 1991 ceremony "The Most Bizarre Event in Advertising History" if you'd like a chuckle today.

67 Actress Petty: LORI. Thank you,  crosses.

68 Military divisions: UNITS

69 Get rid of, in a way: SELL

70 Omar of “House”: EPPS. This is another "I've seen it five times so now I remember it" entry for me.

71 Peeling device: PARER. And a paring device is a peeler.


1 Fare dealers?: CABS. Nice.

2 Like Humpty Dumpty: OVAL

3 “No beast so fierce but knows some touch of __”: “King Richard III”: PITY. Two Bard references today.

4 Emulated Humpty Dumpty: SAT. Two eggman references also. I learned somewhere that Humpty Dumpty was a siege engine deployed to scale the walls of the defenders' castle during the English Civil War in the 1640's.

5 Swell: ENLARGE

6 Part of DOS: SYSTEM. The Disk Operating System is the foundation of Microsoft's fortunes. Bill Gates wrote MS-DOS which ran the IBM Personal Computer, and all PC-compatibles thereafter.

7 “Jem” sci-fi author Frederik: POHL. Thank you, crosses.

8 Migrant on the Mother Road: OKIE

9 First-rate: TOPS

10 APB letters: AKA. Because it was quicker than saying "All Points Bulletin - be on the lookout for Alphonse Capone, AKA Scarface Al". You just say "APB BOLO ....

11 Southern capital with a French name: BATON ROUGE. Red Stick. The red stick was a tree on the banks of the Mississippi festooned with dead animals marking the boundary between two tribal hunting grounds.

12 Record label owned by Sony: ARISTA

13 Crook carrier of rhyme: BO PEEP. Not a police car.

18 Present, Cockney-style: 'ERE. Orl present an' correct, sah!

22 Design detail, briefly: SPEC

27 Clock std.: GST. Greenwich Sidereal Time. You can stand astride the zero meridian line with one foot in each hemisphere at Greenwich (pronounced Grennitch) Observatory in London.

28 News org.: UPI United Press International.

29 Flax product used in paint: LINSEED OIL

31 Gardener’s brand: ORTHO

32 Old Mideast gp.: UAR. The short-lived United Arab Republic comprising Egypt and Syria.

33 Condescending one: SNOB

35 “Oh, fudge!”: DRAT

39 Prefix with center: EPI. We had a little earthquake yesterday morning in LA - a mild 2.5 with the epicenter close to the airport and my office.

41 Color in a Crayola eight-pack: RED

42 Has too much, for short: OD's

44 Light beams: RAYS. Weird stuff, light. In physics terms, it exhibits the behavior of both a wave and particle depending on how you observe it, and it seems to know that you're looking at it and changes its behavior just to mess with your head.

46 Consuming entirely: USING UP

47 Eye doctor’s science: OPTICS

48 Curly-haired dog: POODLE

49 Chuck of “The Delta Force”: NORRIS. "Death once had a near-Chuck Norris experience". One of the many Chuck Norris sayings.

53 Youngster: LAD

56 Not all thumbs: ABLE

57 Cager’s target: HOOP. I forgot the "cager" slang for a basketball player, and instead went off at a barking mad tangent and filled in the missing letter with "C". I decided that the cager was a person who needed to lock up a bunch of chickens, and therefore his target was the coop. Didn't exactly make SACARAN easy.

58 50-and-up group: AARP. This is no longer an abbreviation, it's the official name for the organization and therefore no cluing issue with cluing "group" rather than "gp."

59 Arabian chieftain: EMIR

60 Dole (out): METE

61 Cold War inits.: USSR. Our old friends the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and another clue-pair with GULAG. (Side question to our constructor experts - could you use "CCCP" as an answer to this clue, or is that cheating because the the letters are actually Cyrillic rather than Roman?)

63 Texter’s chuckle: LOL. Isn't laughing out loud more than a chuckle?

65 Gasteyer of “SNL”: ANA

I think that wraps it up. Have a great day and see you all next time.


Jul 15, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013 MaryEllen Uthlaut

Theme: Tinnitus - Four sets of rings.

18A. Banner passed from host city to host city : OLYMPIC FLAG

38A. Things associated with 18- and 57-Across and 3- and 34-Down : RINGS

57A. A bride and groom may write their own : WEDDING VOWS. And exchange rings.

3D. Samsung product : CELL PHONE. With some rings that hardly resemble a ring.

34D. Big top performance : CIRCUS ACT. Traditionally in a ring and a big circus would have three rings under one tent.

Argyle here. The grid is arrayed with the themes forming a ring around the unifier. Our constructor has given us three Sunday puzzles in the past. Interestingly, all, like today's, includes the whole phrase as the theme entry, not just one part. Nothing fusty here.


1. Baglike structure : SAC

4. Frozen drinks : ICEEs

9. Perp's fake name : ALIAS

14. "__ before beauty" : AGE. “Pearls before swine” Dorothy Parker.

15. Religious doctrine : DOGMA

16. Island nation near Fiji : TONGA. It is in the pink area on this MAP.

17. Nothing : NIL

20. Right-angle pipe joint : ELL

21. More than trot : LOPE

22. Take turns : ROTATE

23. Issue a new copy of : REPRINT

25. Female sib : SIS

26. Soggy : WET

27. Unclear, as the future : HAZY

28. Stale-smelling : FUSTY. Related to old wine casks while musty indicates a more moldy source.

30. Make amends : ATONE

32. Taxi customer : FARE

33. Unreturned tennis serves : ACES

37. Venom dispenser : FANG. (or Dorothy Parker)

39. Fair-weather system : HIGH

40. Arborist's concern : TREE

41. Formerly : ONCE

42. "__ and Bess" : PORGY. Opera, first performed in 1935, with music by George Gershwin, libretto by DuBose Heyward, and lyrics by DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin.

43. Pass along : RELAY. Pass the baton.

45. Swamp reptile, for short : CROC

46. "Oh, sure!" : "HAH!"

49. Every bit : ALL

50. Take for granted : PRESUME

53. Melodious piece : ARIOSO

55. Historic periods : ERAs

56. Prodigal __ : SON. Luke 15:11-32 - The Parable of the Prodigal Son.

59. Malt brew : ALE

60. Genuflect : KNEEL

61. Grocery walkway : AISLE

62. Pic taker : CAM

63. Having a lot of cheek : SASSY

64. Post-sneeze word : BLESS

65. Attempt : TRY


1. More rational : SANER

2. Like a twinkletoes : AGILE

4. Place on a pedestal : IDOLIZE

5. One of the original 13 : COLONY

6. Land of pharaohs and pyramids : EGYPT

7. Plus-size supermodel : EMME

8. Plant juice : SAP

9. For no profit : AT COST

10. Barn story : LOFT

11. Relative by marriage : IN-LAW

12. Striped stone : AGATE

13. TV comedian Bob : SAGET

19. Showy spring flowers : IRISES

24. The Lone __ : RANGER

25. Storm-caused sea rise : SURGE

28. __ Feast: cat food : FANCY

29. Yokels : YAHOOs

30. Sternward : AFT

31. Driveway covering : TAR

32. Critical test : FINAL

35. Breakfast staple : EGG

36. Bashful : SHY

38. Deodorant type : ROLL-ON

42. Removes wrinkles from : PRESSES

44. Without difficulty : EASILY

45. Moves like a baby : CRAWLS

46. Keen-sighted birds : HAWKS. Little something for Windhover.

47. Gladiators' venue : ARENA

48. Keeps out of sight : HIDES

50. Ordinary language : PROSE

51. Grinding tooth : MOLAR

52. Nemesis : ENEMY

54. "To a" poems : ODEs

55. Black-hearted : EVIL

58. Chatterbox's "gift" : GAB


Sep 2, 2012

Sunday September 2, 2012 MaryEllen Uthlaut

Theme: "Caution: People Overworking" - Each angry phrase is reinterpreted literally and humorously considering the profession of the people in the corresponding clue.

23A. The border guard __ : WENT OVER THE EDGE. This reminds me of Laura Ling's travails. Lots of North Koreans cross border into North China.

27A. The actor __ : MADE A SCENE

49A. The mechanic __ : BLEW A GASKET

64A. The tailor __ : CAME APART AT THE SEAMS

82A. The chef __ : CAUSED A STIR. My name is Gordon Ramsay, don't you know how to stir?

100A. The elevator operator __ : HIT THE ROOF

108A. The baggage handler __ : COULDN'T GET A GRIP

The answers are all past tense. Very consistent.

When I downloaded the puzzle and spotted the constructor's name, I murmured: "The grammar lady", maybe because I once blogged a grammar-themed puzzle Ms. Uthlaut made.


1. Gyro bread : PITA

5. Not just nerves : FEAR. I'm often nervous about "Not" in the clue as I always have trouble figuring out the part of the speech.

9. Pullers of plows : TEAMS

14. Summer staffing solutions : TEMPS

19. Net trading : E-COMMERCE. Solid e-word.

21. __ ease: uncomfortable : ILL AT

22. Glorify : EXALT

25. Pass on : RELAY

26. Move away : RECEDE. Like tide.

29. Sweet serving, often : DESSERT. I miss fried persimmon cake in Xi'An.

33. Stage of existence : AGE. Wow, am I dumb!

35. Avant's opposite : APRES. "After", as in ___-ski for our adventurous Marti.

36. They're often marked in red letters : EXITS

37. Consonant such as "f" or "v" : SPIRANT. I only know "aspirant".

41. Votes against : NOs & 56. "By all means!" : YES.

42. Hardwood tree : ASH

45. Keep on teasing : RIDE

46. Like major appliance repairs : ON-SITE

47. Neighbor of Russia : ESTONIA

53. "A great __ indicates a great man": Cyrano de Bergerac : NOSE. He meant "A big nose...".

55. Back muscles, briefly : LATs

57. Shabby : RATTY

58. They're heard in a herd : BAAs. Lovely.

59. Bring to the mix : ADD IN

60. Thus : ERGO

61. Very tired : SPENT

63. Capital of Belgium's East Flanders province : GHENT. Gimme, Spitzboov?

70. Spelunkers' haunts : CAVES. We used to have a "Spelunker" poster (Richshiff) on the blog.

71. Bargain and steal : DEALS

72. 40-day period : LENT

73. Dizzying genre : OP ART

74. Like many doilies : LACY

75. Melted together : FUSED

77. Cutter : SAW

80. Sacha Baron Cohen persona : ALI-G. I like Sacha Baron Cohen a lot. But his characters are all ridiculous.

81. "Brave New World" feel-good drug : SOMA

85. Keyboard instrument with bell-like tones : CELESTA

87. Earthshaking events : SEISMS. It'll be an earthshaking event when Windhover goes to a nail salon. I'm thinking CrossEyedDave might go there simply because of his curiosity.

89. Orpheus' strings : LYRE

90. Abbr. after Brooklyn : HTS

91. Many, many years : EON

92. Ragged clothes : TATTERS

94. Lounging footwear : MULES

95. "The Crucible" setting : SALEM

97. Cereal grain : RYE

98. Autocratic, Russian-style : CZARIST

104. Raised : REARED

107. "Farewell, mon ami" : ADIEU

114. Arabian Peninsula country : YEMEN

115. Where many knots are tied : ALTAR

116. Vanilla-flavored drink : CREAM SODA

117. Silver fish : SMELT

118. Like Rod Stewart's voice : RASPY. This song is quite good.

119. Author __ Christian Andersen : HANS

120. Shortly : ANON


1. Bench in the nave : PEW

2. Cover at the bakery : ICE

3. Great deal : TON

4. Tsp. or tbsp. : AMT

5. Unhealthy temperature : FEVER

6. Sets upright : ERECTS

7. Property unit : ACRE

8. Like Gen. Powell : RET'D. His wife loves crosswords.

9. Link : TIE

10. Natural environment : ELEMENT

11. "The Aviator" (2004) actor : ALDA. I watched the movie, don't remember whom he played.

12. Oldest Gabor sister : MAGDA

13. Precipice quality : STEEPNESS

14. Most succinct : TERSEST. My emails are often short, unless I'm tired or sad, then I ramble a bit.

15. Board chairs, e.g. : EXECS

16. Gobbler, for one : MALE

17. Certain drawing : PLAN. For Splynter & Jerome. I wonder if Jerome loves hockey also.

18. Lid irritation : STYE

20. Customs : MORES

24. Processional leader : HEARSE

28. Lost one's lap : AROSE. Ah, that "lap", OK!

29. Louisville race : DERBY. 58. Action at a 29-Down : BETS.

30. Banish : EXILE

31. Aligns oneself (with) : SIDES

32. Dish with many recipes : STEW. I'll let my abundant Thai peppers dry like this.

34. Way to go : GAIT

38. Put up : POST

39. Black as night : INKY

40. Renter : TENANT

42. Ancient garland for the head : ANADEM. No idea. But this is lovely

43. Peaceful occupations : SIT-INS

44. Lacks : HASN'T

48. No longer in style : OLD HAT

50. A cop might put someone under it : ARREST. Nice clue.

51. Nuts (over) : GAGA

52. Perched on : ATOP

54. Promise : OATH. 112. Brief 54-Down : I DO.

59. Things to address : AGENDA

60. Come out : EMERGE

61. Time at a hotel : STAY. Dennis' new house has avocado & lemon trees. I don't think he likes avocados.

62. Bud : PAL

64. It's not so hard to swallow : CAPLET

65. Is of use : AVAILS

66. Genesis father of three : ADAM

67. Gave to another actor : RE-CAST

68. In addition : ELSE

69. Descendants : SEED

70. Mentor : COACH

74. Body shop convenience : LOANER CAR. Made me think of D-Otto's headache.

75. Get really upset : FUME. Another angry word.

76. Red power, initially : USSR. "Initially" always suggests "initials" in Xwords.

77. Phonograph needles : STYLI

78. Buenos __ : AIRES

79. Get by force : WREST

81. Priest's vestment : STOLE

82. Mayor's responsibility : CITY

83. Back at sea : ASTERN

84. Hardly a compliment : SLUR

86. Old TV series with underwater scenes : SEA HUNT. Never heard of it.

88. Cap attachment : EAR FLAP

93. Show at a theater : SCREEN

94. Address from Jeeves : MADAM. Stumper. Never watched "Jeeves and Wooster".

95. Iron alloy : STEEL

96. Cash, in slang : MOOLA

99. Letters from Greece : ZETAS

100. "Airplane!" actor Robert : HAYS

101. The same as before, in footnotes : IDEM

102. "The devourer of all things": Ovid : TIME. I like this kind of quote clue for common words.

103. Often unproductive at bats : OUTS. All too familiar.

105. Engrave : ETCH

106. Taj Mahal home : AGRA

109. Like toast without butter : DRY. You can put fig jam on.

110. Federal agency support org. : GSA (General Services Administration)

111. Director Howard : RON

113. Go for the gold? : PAN. Great clue too.

Answer grid.