Showing posts with label Morton J. Mendelson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Morton J. Mendelson. Show all posts

Jun 29, 2018

Friday, June 29, 2018, Morton J. Mendelsohn

Title: Somewhere Under the Rainbow.

This is puzzle number 6 here at the LAT for retired PROFESSOR MENDELSOHN a well-published Psychology researcher from McGill University in Montreal. He first published twice in the NYT followed by 5 LATs last year with one being a Friday. MJM uses a theme which we have seen before, where words in the down fill are clued to represent B(under)A phrases. He makes it his own by locating 4 unique to the puzzle world phrases that work. He adds triple stacks of 6 letter words in the NW and SE corners, with doubled up 8 letter fill in the NE and SW which include the sparkly LOOKED IN, MERE HINT and USO SHOWS. He sprinkles some amusing word combos and some geography.  There are included stuff from other puzzles for the week. See how many you recognize. we have:

4D. Carefully consider, literally: ADVISEMENT TAKE (14).  Take UNDER Advisement.

8D. Add to the list of possible perps, literally: SUSPICION PUT (12). Put UNDER Suspicion.

16D. Ail, literally: THE WEATHER FEEL (14). Feel UNDER the Weather.

20D. Rein in, literally: CONTROL BRING (12). Bring UNDER Control.


1. Fix: ATTACH. Not an easy start for me.

7. Egyptian symbols of royalty: ASPS. All you need to know about these SNAKES.

11. Fitness stat.: BMIBody Mass Index. Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson (6'5" 262 pounds)  comes in as "obese" with a reading of 31.1. Yeah, right.

14. Greeted casually, with "to": SAID HI. I did not need the "to."

15. Grill: QUESTION.

17. Classic London theatre: OLD VIC. The Old Vic, originally named the Royal Coburg Theatre, was designed in 1818 by Rudolph Cabanel, where it stands now south-east of Waterloo Station. various.

18. They raise camp spirit: USO SHOWS. SO? Hmm.

19. Arrive on an air taxi: FLY IN. Air Taxi?

20. Cereal box rank: CAP'N. I guess this makes this puzzle crunchy.

21. North-of-the-border gas: ESSO. An example?

22. "Could be better": SO SO. Cute next to ESSO.

24. Second of a Caesarean three: I SAW. VIDI.

26. Undressed: BARE.

29. "Squawk Box" channel: CNBC.

31. Feinted: DEKED. We hockey fans know this term,

35. Cheese townEDAM. Edam is a semi-hard cheese that originated in the Netherlands and is named after the town of Edam in the province of North Holland. Packed in red.

36. Abruzzi bell townATRI. Long ago there was a king in Italy who was known for his goodness and wisdom. King John of Atri believed in justice, and so one day he purchased a great bell to hang in a tower in the village square...

37. The Congo, formerly: ZAIRE.

38. Tune (out): ZONE.  Not related to 33D. White outERASE.

39. Agonize (over): BROOD. This verb was originally used with an object, i.e., ‘to nurse (feelings) in the mind’ (late 16th century), a figurative use of the notion of a hen nursing chicks under her wings.

41. Catching strategy: TRAP. For C.C. What is Trapped? A baseball term that describes the state of a fly ball or line drive that touches the ground just prior to being concealed and secured by a player's glove.

42. Key wood: EBONY. It took a moment too long for me to see this LINK.

44. Hyatt competitor: OMNI. The one in Miami closed but THESE are still open.

45. Horde: HOST.

46. Slow movement: LENTO. In music. 58A. Major relative to F minor: A-FLAT. JzB, help me!

47. Canter: LOPE.

48. Pre-event periods: EVES.

49. Pyramid, to Tut: TOMB.

51. Kindle reader, say: USER. One who uses the Kindle not the device.

53. Quartet named for its members: ABBAAgnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad.

56. Q.E.D. word: ERAT. Quod Erat Demonstrandum.

62. Checked (on): LOOKED IN. With so many oldsters living here, we look in and bring homecooked treats to them.

64. Mock: PSEUDO.

65. Barely a trace: MERE HINT. Like good perfume.

66. Party to a search: SEEKER.

67. Is for some: ARE. Cute, think about it.

68. Declines: SAGS. nothing but un-pc comes to mind.

69. Least well: ILLEST. Not a favorite.


1. Dating from: AS OF.

2. Hard to believe: TALL. Tale. The HISTORY?

3. Not like a sty: TIDY.

5. Slacks material: CHINO.  Versus KHAKI?

6. Kool-Aid alternative: HI-C.

7. Marine opening?: AQUA.

9. Lowly laborers: PEONS. Not since the serf days?

10. Cooking-burger sound: SSS.

11. Dust jacket blurbs: BIOS.

12. Manicures, in a way: MOWS. The lawn, or for Steve and NC and others, the garden.

13. __ many words: IN SO.

23. One who crosses the line: SCAB. From blemish … to strikebreaker, the history of the word scab … shows a displacement of meaning from the visceral or physical to the moral register … Just as a scab is a physical lesion, the strikebreaking scab disfigures the social body of labor—both the solidarity of workers and the dignity of work.

25. Wood dresser: ADZ.

26. Gem mounting: BEZEL. Bezel settings use a type of elevated collar which wraps the rim of the diamond in a complete metal edging

27. Pueblo building material: ADOBE.

28. Talked nonstop: RAN ON. Like many of my sentences.

30. Stomach relief, briefly: BROMO.
32. Bolshoi rival: KIROV.

34. Firm parts: Abbr.: DEPTS.

40. Runs out of juice: DIES.

43. Hoo's first?: YOO. Chocolate drink.

50. Social __: MEDIA.

52. Brainstorming staple: EASEL. Whiteboard these days.

53. Operatic Gluck: ALMA.

54. Dutch colonist: BOER. More cute pairing with...

55. Put to sleep: BORE.

57. Unwanted workers: ANTS.

59. Uncle to Ben Solo: LUKE. Ben Solo, Princess Leia's son. A dark warrior strong with the Force, Kylo Ren commands First Order missions with a temper as fiery as his unconventional lightsaber.

60. Vitamin C sources: ADES. Yay! CSO for me!!!!!

61. Libel or slander: TORT.   A civil wrong.

63. Doubtful interjections: EHS.

64. Tire shop meas.: PSIPounds per Square Inch.

We have almost put another month in the corner record books, with HG closing the deal tomorrow with one of his exhaustive explications. I hope to see you all back here next month. Thank you, Morton and cornerites, Lemonade out.

Note from C.C.:
Happy Birthday to dear Barry G, a regular on our blog for many years. How's work, Barry? Do you still have to drive a long way to work? How's Joshua?

July 2, 2016

Dec 21, 2017

Thursday 21st December 2017 Morton J. Mendelson


17A. Whirligig : SPINNING TOY. I'd call it a "spinning top", but that would rather defeat the purpose of the theme.

25A. Mont Blanc, e.g. : ALPINE PEAK. It's probably the least peak-y of the well-known Alps. It's big though. The ski resort of Chamonix sits in the valley below.

37A. Fine woolen wear : CASHMERE SWEATER.

46A. Westminster award : BEST IN SHOW. The Westminster Dog Show. This commercial for Audi never fails to make me laugh.

55A. Motown group ... and what 17-, 25-, 37- and 46-Across comprise? : THE FOUR TOPS. 

It's the same old song.  No, not the theme, the music. The theme entries came pretty easily, just one very minor nit with the toy/top issue I mentioned above.

This is a rare puzzle that I didn't finish. I thought that Charlotteville was in South Carolina, but USC didn't tie with EUREKA and I flat-out could not see VW BUGS, so that V was my blank spot.

Hindsight being 20/20, it couldn't really have been any other letter, but even multiple alphabet runs brought me up short. I'll blame jet-lag, even though I never really get affected by it!

Let's see what else Mr. Mendelson challenged us with:


1. It can generate a lot of interest : CREDIT. The interest can escalate pretty quickly unless you behave. The credit card companies love that.

7. Become less aloof : THAW

11. Texting format, briefly : SMS. Short Message Service. Pictures and what-have-you use MMS, Multimedia Messaging Service.

14. Saint of Ávila : TERESA

15. Opera set in Egypt : AIDA

16. Fell with an ax : HEW

19. Toothpaste-approving org. : A.D.A.

20. Northernmost capital on the Mississippi : ST. PAUL I'm sure C.C. knew this right off the bat. I had to wait for a couple of crosses.

21. Key of Grieg's only piano concerto: Abbr. : A MIN. Nice change from the African Dictator clue.

22. Careful way to play it : SAFE

28. Class-conscious gp.? : P.T.A.

29. Actress de Armas of "Blade Runner 2049" : ANA. Thank you, crosses. I've not seen the new Blade Runner, the original was great.

30. Swivel around : SLUE. Great word.

31. Fielding mishap : ERROR

33. Attacking fiercely : STORMING. Usually the castle. With pitchforks and torches.

40. Increased steadily : SPIRALED

41. Rogue : KNAVE

42. Lively, in mus. : ANIM. Animato, in a lively manner.

43. Charlottesville sch. : U.V.A. As I mentioned in the intro, jut could not see this.

45. Majors in acting : LEE

50. Admiral who explored the Antarctic : BYRD

51. x, y and z, in math : AXES

52. 11th Greek letter : LAMBDA. These chaps. Upper and lower case. Λ λ

54. "Hey, ewe!" : BAA!

60. Large shade tree : ELM

61. Run into : MEET

62. Garden figures in red hats : GNOMES. I'm going to launch a line of sundials with a gnome as the gnomon, if somebody hasn't already thought of it.

63. Muddy pen : STY

64. Scalawags : IMPS

65. Grieg wrote only one for piano : SONATA. In E Minor, unlike his one piano concerto. I wonder why he only wrote one of each?


1. Euro parts: Abbr. : CTS. Eurolets are cents. I'm not sure I knew that.

2. Street cred : REP. Urban slang, I'm guessing from "reputation."

3. "__ tu": Verdi aria : ERI

4. Not getting it : DENSE

5. Ain't right? : ISN'T

6. Clavell's "Shogun" sequel : TAIPAN. I boomeranged between SAIPAN, TAIPEI and finally settled on the correct answer.

7. Prepare to advance after a fly ball : TAG UP. Baseball. It's like cricket, except with round bats. And four bases. And a mound. And nine on each side. And a pitcher, not a bowler. And you only have one batter up at a time. And he's not called a batsman. And he has to run if he hits the ball fair. OK, it's nothing like cricket.

8. Schedules of items to deal with : HIT LISTS. I call mine to-do lists.

9. Hubbub : ADO

10. Path : WAY. Pathway!

11. "Tut-tut!" : SHAME!

12. __ blitz : MEDIA. Nice fill-in-the-blank. Took me a while to see this one.

13. Two-time Best Actress winner Hilary : SWANK

18. Simba's mate : NALA. The Lion King. Still on my to-do list (!) to see it on Broadway.

21. Hypothetical evolutionary link : APEMAN

22. Short glasses? : SPECS

23. Set __ for: lure : A TRAP

24. Language that gave us "bazaar" : FARSI. Also khaki, caravan and julep, among others.

26. Sweet'__: coffee additive : N LOW

27. California's motto : EUREKA! I've lived here for 25 years and didn't know this. Made official in 1963, apparently comes from the Gold Rush days.

29. Stylish suit : ARMANI. Depends who's wearing it. I know people who could make an Armani suit look like a bunch of old rags.

32. "Darn it!" : OH RATS!

33. But, to Brutus : SED. Thank you, Latin lessons.

34. See 43-Down : ITALY

35. When the sun rises in the west : NEVER. Took me a while to figure this out. I toyed with SIX AM for absolutely no sensible reason until the penny dropped.

36. Avarice : GREED

38. Mother of Sam and Charlie Woods : ELIN. Tiger's offspring. I recognized the names, but couldn't place them at first.

39. Dreaming phase : R.E.M. SLEEP. Rapid Eye Movement.

43. Man, in 34-Down : UOMO

44. Beetles : VW BUGS. Stymied by the V. It's odd, I would call a VW Beetle a Bug, but not the converse.

46. Innocent ones : BABES

47. Sing the praises of : EXALT

48. Hardly wholesome : SEAMY

49. Sword handles : HAFTS. I associate hilts with swords and hafts with hand axes or hatchets.

50. Relay stick : BATON

53. Spy-fi villain on Crab Key : DR. NO. Nailed it! Thank you, ghosts of crosswords past.

55. "I don't need the deets!" : TMI! Texter's Too Much Information!

56. Fence (in) : HEM

57. Medical suffix : -OMA Haematoma, glaucoma, Sonoma - no, scrub that last one.

58. Odie, to Jon Arbuckle : PET. Garfield's apparently dim-witted co-pet.

59. Org. funded by FICA : S.S.A. Payroll taxes raised by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act fund the Social Security Administration.

I think that does it for me. Hasta luego!


Nov 30, 2017

Thursday, November 30th 2017 Morton J. Mendelson

Theme: Split P's Soup - The clues form the theme with a vowel progression between the two P's

17A. Pap : MUSHY FOOD. About as appetizing as it sounds.

24A. Pep : GET UP AND GO. Nice phrase, difficult to parse from a partially-completed grid.

38A. Pip : DIE SPOT. I tried ONE SPOT first, but TEO'S and GERN at 31D and 24D respectively nudged me that something was amiss.

49A. Pop : MUSIC GENRE. "Pop" is often used derogatively, but there's something about a good pop song that lifts the soul.

60A. Pup : YOUNG SEAL. Had YOUNGSTER until nothing would work in the SW corner.

Good Morning from 39,000 feet!. It's cold outside, as the in-flight website shows:

I never cease to be amazed by technology. This wireless internet caper at this altitude is nothing more than dark magic and hocus-pocus to me.

Anyway, back to the puzzle. A nice alphabet progression from Morton, and four of the five theme entries are new to all the major puzzles which makes for a nice fresh feel to the grid.

Let's see what else catches the eye:


1. WC : LAV Common term in the UK, from whence I just returned. I can stop talking like Dick Van Dyke in "Mary Poppins" now.

4. Cardiff-born : WELSH

9. Many Dickens kids : WAIFS

14. Action film gun : UZI

15. Kauai greeting : ALOHA. Greeting and farewell. Handy word.

16. Northern home : IGLOO

19. Like hardened mud on boots : CAKED

20. Asks too many questions : PRIES

21. Central points : FOCI. Some prefer "focuses", but that's the verb, not the noun.

23. Mountain legend : YETI

30. Getting-started instruction : STEP ONE. Self-assembly furniture, the bane of modern life, usually starts with counting the screws, washers and what-not and finding yourself one short of something.

32. 1976 Dylan song about his first wife : SARA. I'd not heard this track before. When I listened to it, I would have sworn it was Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler if I didn't know it was Bob.

33. Like FM radio, typically : IN STEREO

36. Old lab heaters : ETNAS. We used Bunsen burners in school. Handy for setting fire to just about anything within reach, including your classmate's tie. I'm surprised we survived school sometimes. One of my friends once went home unawares with a flask of sulphuric acid in his overcoat pocket, slipped in there by another chum.

37. Playa __ Rey: L.A. community : DEL. Between the Marina and the airport. It's pretty peaceful in spite of the proximity to LAX.

41. Biol. or chem. : SCI. 

42. Places to find stacks : IHOPS. And blue roofs.

44. Some DVD bonus tracks : OUTTAKES. Some of the best parts of Pixer's movies are the specially-created "outtakes" that they run with the credits at the end of the film. The animators have a lot of fun with those.

46. Little dipper? : OREO We take Oreos by popular request to the UK when we visit. For some reason they're rather expensive over there. Also, the more unusual M&M flavors, Lawry's garlic salt and bean dip. It always fascinates the TSA guys when they open the bag.

47. Lovey-dovey : AMOROUS

51. Sounds of activity : HUMS

55. __ beer : NEAR. And pretty much pointless, in my humble opinion. Also known as "small beer." There's a tombstone in the grounds of Winchester Cathedral in England which serves as a dire warning against drinking this stuff. I was just there the other day.


56. Legendary moralist : AESOP

57. Angiogram image : AORTA

64. Counterintelligence targets : SPIES

65. The life of Paris? : LA VIE

66. Tre meno due : UNA. 3-2=1 in any language.

67. Disconcerting gaze : STARE. I get uncomfortable when cats stare at me. I know they're plotting something dire.

68. Stingray kin : SKATE

69. Salary : PAY


1. Like poorly made Cream of Wheat : LUMPY. Is this also pap?

2. Clear blue : AZURE

3. Stay and catch up : VISIT

4. Techniques : WAYS

5. "The Hobbit" being : ELF. "E" and wait for the crosses.

6. WC : LOO

7. "Homeland" channel, for short : SHO. Showtime.

8. Enjoyed themselves : HAD FUN

9. Contemporary pagan religion : WICCA

10. In contact with : AGAINST

11. Kind : ILK

12. A Capulet, to a Montague : FOE. Romeo and Juliet.

13. Cover for a bald spot? : SOD

18. Art theft, e.g. : HEIST. Art and bank vault robberies always seemed to be "heists". Everything else is plain old larceny.

22. Unlatch, poetically : OPE'

24. "Deadwood" actress Jewell : GERI

25. Fencing sword : EPÉE

26. "Should I have waited?" : TOO SOON? Often the question comes after a joke in bad taste regarding a recent tragic event.

27. Lenox china brand : DANSK. Crosses all the way.

28. Word with period or note : GRACE. One of these little notes on the stave. They're barely played before a quick segue into the note following.

29. It might be a mirage : OASIS

31. Koppel and others : TEDS

33. By the seat of one's pants, e.g. : IDIOM

34. Indira Gandhi's father : NEHRU. A lot of people think Mahatma Gandhi was Indira's father. Nehru was the first Prime Minister of India following independence from British rule.

35. Plumlike fruits : SLOES. Take a bottle of gin, a generous handful of sloes, prick the berries all over with a needle, steep in the gin for a few days or longer - voila, sloe gin.

36. Classic accusation : ET TU?

39. Be catty? : PURR

40. Missouri River native : OTOE

43. Laser device : POINTER. I've got one on my PowerPoint remote clicker for presentations. Dogs love chasing the red dot around the room.

45. Clambake leftovers : ASHES

47. Ottoman honorific : AGA

48. Ice dancing Olympic gold medalist Davis and Oscar winner Streep : MERYLS. I knew the actress, not the dancer.

50. Pull the plug on : CEASE

52. Run through : USE UP

53. 2016 Disney film set in the South Seas : MOANA. I think I saw film. By the fact I "think" I saw it probably means it wasn't a Disney classic.

54. Spread apart : SPLAY

56. Tommie of '60s-'70s baseball : AGEE. Nailed it!  Thanks to many crosswords under my belt.

57. Hee-hawing animal : ASS

58. Choose : OPT

59. Narrow inlet : RIA

61. Barrel wood : OAK

62. The Cavaliers of the ACC : UVA. University of Virginia, naturally.

63. It may be picked : NIT. But never, ever here at the Corner.

That about rounds it off. I'll leave you with this cloudscape in London last Sunday, and the grid. The iPhone really does take pretty good photos sometimes!


Oct 13, 2017

Friday, October 13, 2017, Morton J. Mendelson

Title: Text speak meets grid spanner = WTF _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

How interesting that after last week where Jeffrey inserted an acronym (IOUS) to create new fill, MJM uses initialisms as the introduction to a 15 letter in the language phrase. As someone who has used initialisms my entire life (e.g. DKDC), this was easier than it might have been, as getting a word from the perps got me started. When texting first was available, a friend and I would send each other
letter strings and try to solve them. The insane responses were usually better than the intended comment. Anyway, many fun words with interesting etymology. Off we go.

The themers:

17A. TW ... : DO NOT MAKE A RIGHT (15). Two Wrongs...

25A. DCYC ... : BEFORE THEY HATCH (15). Don't Count Your Chickens...

44A. CI ... : NEXT TO GODLINESS (15). Cleanliness Is...

58A. AGT ... : MUST COME TO AN END (15). All Good Things...

The rest:


1. Yanks' foes: JAYS. No, they are playing Houston in the ALCS.

5. Operation designed to hurt: STING. Hurt? To me, they either defraud someone (the oldest was by the Praetorian guard who sold the Roman Empire to Julianus in 193 C.E.) or to arrest someone. LINK.

10. Shipboard resident: SWAB. I think of swabbie/y, but the Urban dictionary says: "This term, frequently used by non-sailors to refer to sailors, is most likely a contraction of the term "swabbie" or "swabby", presumably derived from the notion of sailors "swabbing the deck". "Swabbie/y" is currently in use only among the elderly; 'swab' is the more common term among young people." Proving once again, I am elderly.

14. CFO, e.g. : EXEC.

15. Not as likely to mess up: ABLER.

16. Walk without getting anywhere? : PACE. I like this definition.

20. Shoelace site: INSTEP. Did you ever think about the origin of this word? Sounds like it is backwards - it is where you step in the shoe. But, the dictionary says: "late Middle English: of unknown origin; compare with West Frisian ynstap ‘opening in a shoe for insertion of the foot.’"

21. Shipboard chums: MATEYS. Mini-clecho with 10A.

22. Tenn. neighbor: ALA. Abbr. - abbr.

24. Apartment listing abbr. : RMS.

34. Nice with? : AVEC. The Nice, France trick.

35. Gobs and gobs: SLEWS. More dictionary- from the Irish Slaugh.

36. Cart for heavy loads: DRAY. "for delivering beer barrels or other heavy loads, especially a low one without sides."

37. Filly's brother: COLT.

38. Fighter eulogized by Bill Clinton, among others: ALI.

39. Old-time teacher: MARM. Based on a variant pronunciation of ma'am.

40. "The Grapes of Wrath" figure: OKIE.

41. Beams: GRINS.

43. Prime real estate? : EDEN. I like this clue.

47. Downed a sub, say: ATE.

48. In-law's wife, possibly: SIS.

49. Refrigerates: CHILLS.

53. One of a biblical ten: PLAGUE. Commandments clearly did not fit.

62. Like quality beef: AGED.

63. One "sitting lonely on the placid bust," in a classic poem: RAVEN.
“But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before -
On the morrow, he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.’
Then the bird said, 'Nevermore.”

64. Course with relevant tangents: TRIG.

65. Regular guys: JOES.

66. Finals, e.g.: EXAMS.

67. Spot: SITE. Mira, there she goes!


1. "Star Wars" warrior: JEDI. How many have seen THE Trailer?

2. Nerve cell part: AXON.

3. Cravings: YENS.

4. Ewan McGregor, for one: SCOT. More Star Wars.

5. They're often free: SAMPLES.

6. Sched. question mark: TBA.

7. Kind: ILK. A repeat.

8. Once called: NEE. Not FKA.

9. Sir Georg Solti's record 31: GRAMMYS.  Did you know? LINK.

10. Rotating rod: SPIT.

11. Conduct: WAGE. Like war.

12. Hurting: ACHY. I almost linked "Achy Breaky Heart" which was triple platinum in Australia, and number 2 on Blender magazine's 50 Worst Songs Ever.

13. Puts money (on): BETS.

18. Dash: TEAR. Tear down the stairs.

19. Not at all reflective:: RASH. Impulsive.

23. On the lam: AT LARGE.

24. Backs up a videotape: REWINDS. Backs up? Made me think of re-recording.

25. Cobb salad ingredient: BACON.

26. Bring to mind: EVOKE.

27. Composer Mendelssohn: FELIX. He looks like a young Gene Wilder. Almost a CSO; I wonder if Morton's family removed the extra "S" and the "H." Then lent them to the green stamp people.

28. Good-sized wedding band: OCTET.

29. Prefix for "sun" : HELIO. I know only this one. Hélio Castroneves.

30. Madison Ave. Pitchers: ADMEN.

31. Carpentry, e.g.: TRADE. CSO.

32. Worries: CARES.

33. Church numbers: HYMNS.

41. Reacted to an arduous workout: GOT SORE.

42. Shoes without laces: SLIP ONS. Aha! More shoe references.

45. Gymnast's powder: TALC.

46. Ibiza, por ejemplo: ISLA. Spanish.

49. Key of the finale of Brahms' Symphony No. 1: CMAJ. Lots of classical music.

50. "Les Misérables" author: HUGO.

51. "Now it's clear": I SEE.

52. Old Fords: LTDS.

54. Hard-working colonizers: ANTS.

55. Spice Girl Halliwell: GERI. Still recording.

56. Second, e.g.: UNIT.

57. Sharp side: EDGE.

59. Reach capacity, with "out": MAX.

60. Actress Mendes: EVA. Many pretty pictures.  For Splynter.

61. President pro __ : TEM. Pres·i·dent pro tem·po·re.  Latin.

Well, MJM and I have finished our work here, so it is time to bid you all adieu and hope you enjoyed the puzzle, exposition and enjoy the upcoming weekend.  It is not often I get to reference a West Frisian word. Thank you Morton - I had an Uncle Morton - and all readers - be you a lurker, a regular or unpredictable member. Lemonade out.

Mar 27, 2017

Monday, March 27, 2017 Morton J. Mendelson

Theme: Borrowed Words - Lexical borrowing is the adoption of individual words or phrases in their native language and used "as is" in our English.

39A. With 42-Across, cars like BMWs and Audis ... or 18-, 24-, 53- and 63-Across: FOREIGN. 42-Across: IMPORTS

18A. Writer's chief work (Latin): MAGNUM OPUS. (great work)

24A. Done deal (French): FAIT ACCOMPLI. (fact accomplished)

53A. English, in many non-English speaking countries (Italian): LINGUA FRANCA. Literally "Frankish tongue". Good definition by Merriam-Webster. LINK Read the "Did You Know?" section.

63A. Young sensation (German): WUNDERKIND. (a wonder child)

Argyle here. Don't shoot the messenger.


1. Ponzi scheme, e.g.: SCAM

5. Impersonated: APED

9. Your __ Highness: ROYAL. 37D. Princess' headpiece: TIARA

14. Drilled bowling ball feature: HOLE

15. Artist Magritte: RENE

16. Shah of Iran, in 1979-'80: EXILE. ??

17. Bahrain big shot: EMIR. Kingdom of Bahrain is a small Arab monarchy.

20. Sphere of influence: AMBIT. The adjective form is ambient.

22. Drinking glass edges: RIMs

23. Ambulance initials: EMS. (emergency medical service)

28. Farm country skyline highlights: SILOS

29. Nissan model: SENTRA

33. "Take me for a walk!": [ARF!]

36. Expel from office: OUST

38. Amazon's business: E-TAIL

44. Rhett's last words: A DAMN

45. Siamese, now: THAI

47. __ dye: food-coloring compound: AZO. Infrequently seen fill.

48. Live (in): RESIDE

50. Lover of Euridice, in a Gluck opera: ORFEOWiki  Previously clued as Monteverdi title character. Not Monday friendly.

58. Word with health or day: SPA

61. Oboist's need: REED

62. Lagoon-enclosing isle: ATOLL

67. Sinister: EVIL

68. Cortés subject: AZTEC. I believe this refers to Cortés personally governing the Aztecs, making them his "subjects".

69. Wrinkle, as a brow: KNIT

70. San __, Italy: REMO

71. Suppose for argument's sake: POSIT

72. Many van Goghs: OILS

73. Killed, as a dragon: SLEW


1. Harvest bundle: SHEAF

2. Grammar class subject: COMMA. Also, in the news.

3. Legal defense mechanism?: ALIBI

4. Advantages: MERITS

5. Shortstop's asset: ARM. He has to rifle the ball to first base to beat the runner.

6. Green soup veggie: PEA

7. Thoroughly absorb: ENGROSS

8. Jeans fabric: DENIM

9. Dreaming phase: REM SLEEP. (rapid eye movement)

10. Kitchenware brand: OXO

11. Frightened exclamation: [YIPE!]

12. University fund-raising target: ALUM

13. A smaller amount of: LESS

19. Quartet assigned to bases: UMPs. In the big leagues, at least.

21. Mai __: TAI

25. Plumber's challenge: CLOG

26. Dracula's title: COUNT

27. Avid about: INTO

30. Skater Lipinski: TARA. Roller skating as a nine-year-old.

31. Nabisco cracker: RITZ

32. "Wait, there's more ... ": "ALSO ... " for a limited time.

33. Miles away: AFAR

34. Traveled by bike: RODE

35. Abbey titles: FRAs

40. Oscar winner Jannings: EMIL. The first Oscar recipient and one of the first persons you learn when doing crosswords.

41. Roundabout, as a route: INDIRECT

43. Offend slightly: MIFF

46. Entertainer who often got tied up in his work?: HOUDINI. Cute clue.

49. Part of DOE: Abbr.: ENERgy

51. Historic period: ERA

52. Many top-rated TV shows of the late '50s/early '60s: OATERS. Westerns.

54. Gordon __, "Wall Street" antagonist: GEKKO. "If you need a friend, get a dog."

55. James Joyce work: NOVEL. CSO

56. Weather, in poems: CLIME

57. Permit: ALLOW

58. Tit for tat, e.g.: SWAP

59. "The Godfather" novelist Mario: PUZO. It was on TV this weekend.

60. Teeny colonizers: ANTs

64. Agnus __: DEI. (Lamb of God)

65. Zip, in soccer: NIL

66. Wino's woe: DTs. (delirium tremens)


Jan 5, 2017

Thursday, January 5th 2017 Morton J. Mendelson

Theme: Emoticon Explications :)

Four theme phrases clued by their emoticons:





Four emoticons - these ones are described as "sideways, Latin only". These were the first, simple ways of denoting a facial expression in textual form and used in early chat rooms. They've now developed into a quite complex sub-language, and also sparked the development of the graphical emojis that you find on your mobile phone.

One of my favorites is the portrait of Homer Simpson  ~(_8^(I)

This puzzle looks to be the LA Times debut for Morton, so congratulations are in order. He's been published in the New York Times prior, but I can't see any history in the LAT. Four nice in-the-language phrases matching the facial expressions.

Let's see what else we've got:


1. Gucci of fashion : ALDO

5. Manual reader : USER

9. Certain highlands musician : PIPER. The Great Highland bagpipes, the ones you're probably most familiar with, are inflated by blowing down the chanter. Irish pipes use a bellows instead, so all those pipers you see on St. Patrick's Day are using the wrong instrument. Also, this tune, which you also hear a lot on March 17th is called "Scotland the Brave". Never ceases to amuse me.

14. Celebrity : LION. This is our local celebrity lion - the mountain lion which hunts in Griffith Park.

Photograph by Steve Winter/National Geographic

15. Salon service : PEDI

16. Eco-friendly spa brand : AVEDA.  Salon brand also - they make hair products as well.

20. Gazpacho ingredient : TOMATO' Food! Basic recipe, I give mine a bit of zing with a dash of balsamic and Worcestershire sauce (repeat after me - wuster sauce, not war-sester-shyre!)

21. Grammatical unit : SENTENCE

22. Make up for skipping classes, perhaps : CRAM. I did my fair share of this back in the day.

24. Scholar's deg. : PHD. 

30. Carpooling calc. : ETA. I think this refers to the time you're going to get picked up when you're part of a carpool. Makes a change from the airport clues though.

33. Frigid end? : AIRE

34. Straight man : STOOGE. Were the Three Stooges all straight men? Patricia Heaton from "Everybody Loves Raymond" was one of the best.

35. Bust : NAB

36. Vegetation : FLORA

38. Tarzan creator's monogram : ERB. Edgar Rice Burroughs. He owned a ranch a few miles from me in the San Fernando Valley, which is now the neighborhood named "Tarzana".

39. Virus named for a Congolese river : EBOLA

41. Trains above the road : ELS. Giving Ernie a rest today.

42. Allows to attack : LETS AT

45. "Smack That" rapper : AKON. Thank you, crosses.

46. Manhattan part : RYE. Bartenders tell me that the only cherries that you should use are the ones made by Luxardo. Cheers!
49. Pro : FOR

50. Cabinet dept. with an Office of Science : ENER. A guess, but seemed reasonable.

51. Dined at a table for one : SAT ALONE

56. Near-failing grade : D-MINUS

62. Reached, as expenses : RAN TO

63. Veiny cheese : BLEU. Food! Here's English Stilton, "The King of Cheeses".

64. Work with needles : KNIT

65. Med. specialty : OB-GYN

66. Couture line : SEAM. Nice clue/answer combo.

67. Gels : SETS


1. Came to rest : ALIT

2. Long drive? : LIMO. Took a couple of beats to see this one.

3. Brown digs? : DORM. Brown University.

4. Many an Albee play : ONE-ACTER. I tried ONE-ACTED first which had me looking sideways at "FLODA"

5. Puts on the internet, e.g. : UPLOADS. Like I'll do with this blog in a few minutes.

6. Poivre companion : SEL. I was given a set of electric pepper and salt grinders this Christmas, appropriately made by Peugeot, a French car company. What a car manufacturer is doing making kitchen equipment I have no idea.

7. Slow Churned ice cream : EDYS. Dreyer's out here in the West. Same stuff.

8. Swarming (with) : RIFE

9. Where many aces can be seen : PAR THREE. Most holes-in-one on the golf course come on the shorter par-3 holes. I've never made one, but I gave a club to a friend of mine, and he hit a hole-in-one with it the very next time out on the course. I claim an assist.

10. Like some academic walls : IVIED. Some baseball grounds too, Wrigley most famously.

11. Menial worker : PEON

12. Part of NEA: Abbr. : EDUC.

13. Demolish, in Devon : RASE. "Fawlty Towers" was based on a hotel in Torquay in Devon, which is a long way round of saying that John Cleese would be called John Cleeze here.

18. Gillette brand : ATRA

19. Remove wooden pins from : UNPEG

23. Sacred songs : MOTETS. Learning moment. I knew the word, I didn't know that they were sacred.

25. Mass consumption? : WAFER. Nice. Communion wafer.

26. Like links-style golf courses : HILLY. "Hilly" isn't the first adjective I'd choose to describe a links course. The Old Course at St. Andrews, the most famous of them all, is as flat as a pancake.

27. Sprang up : AROSE

28. Razzie Award adjective : WORST

29. Easy to prepare, as desserts : NO-BAKE

30. Mushroom in Asian cuisine : ENOKI. Food! I'm getting full here. Also known as enokitake, Great in noodle bowls.

31. Raptor's weapon : TALON

32. Go out with __ : A BANG

37. "The Jazz Singer" singer : AL JOLSON

40. Applicants with low credit scores, to loan officers : BAD RISKS

43. Dutch banknotes : EUROS

44. Günter Grass novel, with "The" : TIN DRUM

48. __-plié: ballet movement with knees half-bent : DEMI. Not known, but the "half-bent" makes this easy to guess.

49. Like marbled steak : FATTY. Food! I cooked a prime rib roast on New Year's Day. I dreamt about it last night. I wonder about myself sometimes.

* For extra credit, what's unique about the word "dreamt" in the language?

51. Houston pro, locally : 'STRO. Baseball's Astros. We had the long version of the name yesterday.

52. Captain who says, "For hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee" : AHAB. From "Moby Dick."This monomaniac was in our "Captains" puzzle a couple of Thursdays back.

53. Sharp flavor : TANG

54. Well-used crayons : NUBS

55. Creator of Perry and Della : ERLE. Crosses for me. Perry Mason, Della Street, Erle Stanley Gardner.

57. Diamond complement : NINE. I had to stare this one down before the penny dropped. Nice players on a baseball team.

58. Minute, e.g. : UNIT

59. Some NCOs : SGTS

61. __ shooter : PEA

That wraps it up for me. Time for dinner!