Showing posts with label Norm Guggenbiller. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Norm Guggenbiller. Show all posts

Nov 9, 2013

Saturday, Nov 9th, 2013, Norm Guggenbiller

Theme: None

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

Blocks: 38

   This is a new constructor for me, but Norm's last LAT was this year in May.  As for the puzzle, lots of white on the first Across pass, but then some solid perp(endicular)s on the Down run filled in enough to go back and take some W.A.G.s.  Triple 9's in two corners and then a nifty little 4-way spiral of 9-letter words in the center, plus two 11-letter spanners intersecting two 11-letter climbers;

20A. Questionable strategy for a runner? : SMEAR TACTIC - Political office runners, that is

45A. Golf tournament display : LEADER BOARD - Lee Westwood is sponsored by UPS

11D. Bring up something sensitive : TOUCH A NERVE - Didn't quite "Nail It", more like I "pre-drilled" the hole for it - I pre-filled in "-N-E-S-S" for 29A, since a clue using "quality" usually implies this attribute

22D. Bodybuilding goal : SCULPTED ABS - I knew where this was going, but I started with SIX PACK, which was too short, then ROCK HARD, and that wasn't working.  So, for the ladies -

(dreaming) ONWARD~!


1. Long-odds track bets : PERFECTAS - I never understood horse racing bets - here's a link for anyone else who feels the same

10. Early launch rocket : ATLAS - some history

15. Marketing resource : EMAIL LIST - ends up in my SPAM folder

16. Gear part : TOOTH

17. Small-time : PENNY ANTE

18. All, in Assisi : TUTTO - like this?

19. Piece of work : ERG - Ah - not "ART"

22. Tastes : SIPS - had it in, took it out, put it back in

23. Kept from spreading : IN CHECK

24. Media __ : CIRCUS

27. Kind of colorful shirt : ALOHA - I wanted Hawaiian, but it didn't fit - never heard it called an aloha shirt before today

28. Bad blood : ODIUM

29. Stale quality : TRITENESS

33. Fire : ZEAL - Early on, I cannot tell if it's the "AXE" kind of fire, or this, the enthusiasm kind

34. A cup may be one : PRIZE - So where was my mind?  I had --IZE, and thought B-SIZE cup, C-SIZE cup, D-SIZE....oh, a trophy, like in hockey....

 35. Computer menu option : EDIT - gee, FILE, SAVE, UNDO, VIEW, COPY....

36. Polite assent : YES, PLEASE

38. Scrubber's target : GRIME

39. Comedian Fields : TOTIE - quick bio

40. Capitulate : CAVE IN - DAH~! I had giVE IN, which messed me up

41. Soil test measure : PH LEVEL

44. Reduce : PARE - my first thought, and yet one of my last fills

47. Cristal maker : BIC - Totally baffled me - Cristal is Champagne, the 'good stuff'; here the reference is to the pen from the company of disposable products

50. "__ Smith and Jones": '70s TV Western : ALIAS - IMDb

51. Available to order : ON THE MENU

53. "__ honest ..." : I'LL BE

54. Like a tense person's teeth? : SET ON EDGE

55. One who's doomed : TOAST - see 52D

56. Read impatiently : SKIP AHEAD - Like this scene ( @ 0:46 )?


1. Latino Muppet prawn : PEPE - Never heard of him, but I do recognize him

2. It calls for immediate attn. : EMERgency

3. Buzzed : RANG

4. "Jaws" omen : FIN - Na-num.

5. Mythological paradise : ELYSIUM - because Utopeea is not how you spell it

6. Woodworking devices : CLAMPS - ah, not LATHES
7. They have points : TINES - they ARE points

8. Dog star : ASTA

9. Make safe for use, in a way : STERILIZE
Na-num Na-num
10. Diplomacy figure : ATTACHÉ - I went with LIAISON - BZZZT~!!!

12. Singer Lenya : LOTTE - recognize her in "From Russia With Love"

13. Where to see some old clothes : ATTIC

14. Culture __ : SHOCK
Na-num Na-num Na-num Na-num
21. Fed. security : T-NOTE

24. Conspiratorial : COZY - I went with CAGY - seemed more appropriate

25. French bean product? : IDEE - Frawnch for 'idea'

26. River inlets : RIAs
Na-Na Na-Na Na-Na Na-Na Na-Na Na-Na Na-Na Na-Na~!
27. Come about : ARISE - like him?

29. Head out West? : TRAIL BOSS

30. Emmy winner Falco : EDIE

31. __ Valley : SIMI

32. Uzi predecessor : STEN

34. Actor Gallagher : PETER

37. Tennis shutout : LOVE SET

38. Floral-sounding Los Angeles suburb : GARDENA - down in the grey area on this map - never been to L.A.

40. Sonic server : CAR-HOP

41. Braid : PLAIT

42. First response to a call : HELLO

43. Former boxer Ali : LAILA - Daughter of Muhammad

44. Page of music : PATTI

46. Short run, for short : ONE K

47. Eliot title character : BEDE - Adam Bede - a WAG, since I was not sure of BIC

48. "Listen to Your Heart" singer in the musical "Young Frankenstein" : INGA - could have been IGOR for all I know - loved the movie, didn't know there was a musical

49. Prompted : CUED

52. "Big deal" : MEH - and a crossword solver's response to an answer that seems a bit of a stretch for the clue


May 3, 2013

Friday. May 3, 2013, Norm Gugenbiller

Theme: Gold-diggers unite! Anna Nicole Smith and the Life of Riley.

Each of the three similarly clued answers describe someone who is wealthy who takes care of another, usually a person taking advantage of the rich one. This is one of our infrequent puzzles from Mr. Guggenbiller, who also has 3 solos at the NYT, but none in years. A more conventional Friday than we have have seen in a while, with many fun fills like COASTERS, DRIP DRY, LIP READER,  MACEDONIA, MR. CLEAN, ROUGHAGE, and SCARFED. A workout but another different doable effort. I wonder if Cheers made his life miserable.

18A. Supporter # 1 : RICH UNCLE. (9) Mine used to buy us toys, and then kept them in his attic so they would not get broken. Only our little hearts were broken.

24A. Supporter # 2 : SUGAR DADDY. (10).  Like Anna Nicole's 90+ husband. Are they so named because they are suckers?

53A. Supporter # 3 : MEAL TICKET.(10). Ironically, Anna Nicole was the other Howard Stern's meal ticket.

Sort of a reveal,

59A. Supporters 1, 2 and 3 : FREE RIDES.(9).
Bonus themeage:

47D. Where you might be with this puzzle's 59-Across? : FAT CITY.(7). This is a type of slang that adds city to a word to indicate a "location" of some condition. The idea being only rich people could afford getting fat.

On to the rest,


1. Tricky stroke : MASSE. Do not know why, but this popped right into my head. I used to play lots of pool, but I was never good at this shot. Without getting this, the corner would have been a bear.

6. Don't deny : ADMIT. In pleadings, the answer can be as simple as admitted or denied.

11. Fr. address : MME. Mademoiselle. Not an address, but an address. "Bon Jour, MME." This is the cleanest version

14. Belief of more than a billion : ISLAM.

15. It's tossed : TRASH. I was happy with SALAD until I wasn't.

16. Jets coach Ryan : REX. One of the twin sons of coaching legend Buddy Ryan. They finally released Tebow this week. Rex is a foot fetishist. Don't you want to be famous?

17. Watts of "The Impossible" : NAOMI.

20. Hip-hop Dr. : DRE. He is so popular he is back for an encore this week.

21. Carp : GRIPE. Not to be confused with CRIPES.

23. Word with power or panel : SOLAR. This was easy because they were talking on the radio this morning about this awesome CAR. Dennis, there is a used one for sale in Palm Beach for $69,000.00 if you are interested.

27. In transit : SENT. This should be easy but was not.

28. Chosen groups : ELITES.

29. Fiber source : ROUGHAGE. I never really knew this word, but I was always told to eat my salad (back again!) for the roughage. As a child it did not sound appealing at all.

31. Portable digs : TENT. Nice simple clue.

32. Traveling Wilburys co-founder Jeff : LYNNE. More famous from his days with ELO.

33. Nancy Drew's guy : NED. Back again.

34. Sherpa's sighting : YETI. The abominable snowman. I finally got to watch the Castle episode with Ioan Gruffudd, who played Reed Richards, Mr. Fantastic in the Fantastic Four Movies, as well as Horatio Hornblower in the PBS movies. He has been in lots of movies, ladies, and was 'married' to Jessica Alba in the FF movies.

37. Clichéd film assistant : IGOR. Was there any better than Marty Feldman? (1:37).

39. Volume control? : SHH. For three letter fill, I liked this one.

42. Old-style shade : SEPIA. The color of old photographs.

44. Minnesota's St. ___ College : OLAF. Is it real or merely part of the GOLDEN GIRLS?

48. Wood protectors : COASTERS. My mind was all about varnish, etc. for too long.

50. Prison in 1971 news : ATTICA. Generally we do not hear about prisons unless there are escapes or riots.

52. "I ___ stupid!" : AM SO. I often feel that way when blogging.

55. Like wall phones : RETRO. Yes but only if they have rotary dial.

57. Come to ___ : A HALT. This is how to avoid the dreaded A words.

58. Abbr. used for brevity : ETC. Justice Holmes who agreed that brevity is the soul of wit, wrote all of his opinions standing on the theory that weak knees inspire concise writing. Sadly for you all, I am sitting.

61. Asian capital : HANOI. Vietnam.

63. Shakespearean adverb : E'EN. Love my Shakespeare.

64. Aces : GREAT.

65. It may be historical : EVENT.

66. Deg. for Tim Whatley on "Seinfeld" : DDSDoctor of Dental Science. LINK. (1:06) played by Bryan Cranston who is now a big hit on Breaking Bad, after a stint in Malcolm in the Middle.

67. Things found around the house : YARDS. Nicely literal but deceptive clue.

68. Nephew of Donald : DEWEY. No not Huey, nor Louie. Donald was not the rich one.


1. Outlook : MINDSET. These next few are all good and Friday worth.

2. In most instances : AS A RULE. This took all the perps.

3. Red liqueur : SLOE GIN. I always think of it as Pink Gin. Anyone like Singapore Slings? Have some stories....

4. "The Lord of the Rings" hobbit : SAM. Samwise Gamgee, played brilliantly by SEAN ASTIN, (3:21) Gomez Addams' son.

5. Political fugitive : EMIGRE. This is great fill, but the clue was misleading me.

6. Chest chambers : ATRIA. Of the heart.

7. Hang on a line : DRIP DRY. Alliteration is always welcome.

8. Landlocked European country : MACEDONIA. My American geography lack made this a struggle. Alexander the Great and his father Philip II were from there.

9. Qualifying suffix : ISH. This was hardish?

10. Consequently : THUS. I had to work harder to finISH?

11. Magic Eraser spokesman : MR. CLEAN. He was the cool bald guy like Yul Brynner and Kojak.

12. Mishmash : MELANGE. Great word.

13. Put to vigorous use : EXERTED. I hope none of us over-exerted our brains for this one.

19. Bite : NOSH. American Yiddish.

22. Hwys. : RDS.

25. One who may object: Abbr. : ATTY. I wish they would do courtroom objections on TV with some degree of reality.

26. Egg foo ___ : YUNG. Is this real Chinese C.C.? (From C.C.: I never heard of Egg foo young/yung until I came to the US.)

30. Former Prizm maker : GEO.

32. One who can see what you mean : LIP READER. I love this clue, takes thought to get there.

35. Appraisal no. : ESTimate.

36. Overflow : TEEM.

38. Scholarship-offering federal gp. : ROTC. Reserve Officers' Training Corps.

39. Inhaled, with "down" : SCARFED. Just picture a big man at an all you can eat buffet, or Michelle at lunch.

40. Had a big hit : HOMERED. A nice baseball reference.

41. Moves quickly : HASTENS. Do you all remember my hasten Jason poem?

43. Leads : IS AHEAD. Lots of tricky two word fill to parse.

45. As good as ever : LIKE NEW. See, what did I tell you?

46. Salon solvent : ACETONE. Oh the smell! There is a nail place on my walk and I have to circle wide to avoid the fumes; I do not know how the workers do it day after day. All the more reason to do your own grooming.

49. Embittered : SORE.

50. N.L. city : ATLanta.

51. Pledged, in a way : TITHED. One tenth your earnings.

54. Continues : LASTS. This is a trait which is very important if you plan to go to an

56. Unrestrained indulgence : ORGY. Now that we have a theme for our summer solstice party....

60. Portfolio letters : IRA. Individual Retirement Account.

62. Lettered Bklyn. thoroughfare : AVE. A rather esoteric bit of trivia as Brooklyn, N.Y. has all 26, A to Z, and since Z is the end, It is time for me to end my Friday tour having guided us through the pitfalls and joys of another word journey. Half way to summer, and it snowed again. be safe and be warm, but not too warm.

Lemonade out.

Note from C.C.:

Here are 3 more pretty pictures of Lemonade's granddaughter Charlotte. So much much love, hope & pride in the first one. 

Sweet Charlotte & her loving parents

Aug 31, 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012, Norm Guggenbiller

Theme: Ah-Choo! I have a code in my nose!

Each of the four theme answers takes a phrase including a word with the letters "OLD" and by saying them, as you would with a HEAD COLD. creates new and amusingly clued answer. This is our third effort from Norm and there is much I love about this effort. What makes the sound alike so impressive, is like marti last Friday, each fractured homonym is spelled differently. he also squeezes out two 14 letter and two 13 letter theme answers. Some really superb long fill and a couple of stinkers, but a fun Friday for me, now to put you to work.

16A. Weeded carelessly? : HOED (HOLD) EVERYTHING (14). Great visual clue.

28A. Editor's rejection of a tribute? : THE ODE (OLD) HEAVE-HO(13). I love this picturing the proffered poem thrown out the window.

46A. Provoke Olympic winners? : GOAD (GOLD) MEDALISTS. Very timely, but is there a conflict with a non-theme reference to the Olympics?

62A. Purchased, then altered? : BOUGHT AND SEWED (SOLD). Reap (rip?) what ye shall sew?

And the hint,

1A. With 70-Across, what you'd likely have if you said this puzzle's four longest answers : HEAD. 70A. See 1-Across : COLD. I do not recall ever receiving the hint to the theme in the very first clue, but this obviously helped buzz through this effort.


5. Concerning : AS TO. In re for all you fancy people.

9. Frequent settler : DUST. Nice misdirection, and certainly true as there is dust everywhere in Florida.

13. Online "Seems to me..." : IMHO. In My Humble Opinion. Why do opinions need to be humble?

14. Mother of Judah : LEAH. She is an interesting character, one of the MATRIARCHS of Judaism.

15. After-school treat : OREO. Cooookie!

19. ___ glance : AT A.

20. Dote on : PAMPER. You see that is why they call them Pampers, because you dote on your babies!

21. Stop from spreading : STEM. Once again the Gulf Coast must Stem the rising waters.

23. Short : TERSE. Yup.

25. Arctic diver : AUK. We have had this guy before.

27. Jurist in '90s news : ITO. If you need to be reminded he presided over the OJ TRIAL. Jurist is not a member of a jury.

33. Basketball Hall of Famer Robertson : OSCAR. The BIG O (4:20), one of the all time great out of Cincinnati.

34. Like Olympic pools : LANED. So are highways and Clark Kent on a good night.

35. Maker of Golf Street shoes : ECCO. We have had this show company many times, rather than the Latin "behold."

38. Instruction on a cap : TWIST. Do we really need this in writing? Are they afraid we will just break the bottle?

41. Some NFL limemen : CTRS. Centers, who get hit in the head so often, they are often....

42. Type of vb. : IRREGular, which is more acceptable than "Needing for Phillips Milk of Magnesia" as a clue. Irregular verbs do not have the same stem word though conjugation.

44. 1950s war site : KOREA. Among my earliest memories, and then of course there was THIS (0:51).

50. Channel for a spree : HSN. Home Shopping Network.

51. ___ chi : TAI. A very involved martial arts and life force system from CHINA. C.C. any comment? (Morning Tai Chi is quite a sight in almost every big city in China. See this photo from the Shanghai bund.)

52. Ward and others : SELAS. Really norm, and who might these others be? The word is not really a name, but a biblical instruction to pause and contemplate what was read. (Selah).

55. Disapproving utterances : TSKS. How minor is the action to get only on TSK? Followed by a

57. Unpleasant laugh : CACKLE. This is really not a curse word.

61. "Either you do it, ___ will!" : OR I. Well I guess I did it.

65. Mystique : AURA.

66. Word with cast and shadow : OVER. Overcast, overshadow.

67. Fictional sailor : SMEE. Right hook man to the Captain.

68. MapQuest data: Abbr. : RTES. Routes.

69. Sussex stable area : MEWS. If you read enough British Mysteries, you know this TERM.


1. Drummer's pair of cymbals : HI HAT. I had to buy my son a new set of cymbals.

2. Frustrate the director, perhaps : EMOTE. Not related to EMAIL, or ETAIL, unless you are referring to the long distance device to control your TV and you like baby talk..

3. Informal bridge opening : A HEART. Very informal, hi marti!

4. Pentagon org. : DOD. if you watch NCIS, you know this one. Department of Defense.

5. Inventing middle name : ALVA. Thomas ____Edison.

6. Feel : SEEM.

7. Rain delay sight : TARPaulin. Take me out to the ball game, oops its raining. The Marlins AAA team is in New Orleans.

8. "We'll just see about that!" : OH YEAH. Yeah, wanna make something of it!

9. "I'm such an idiot!" : DOH. Homer you are an Icon!

10. "Topaz" novelist : URIS. Leon, most famous for Exodus.

11. Conscious : SENTIENT. Wonderful long fill, and what makes us so special. Same Latin root as sense.

12. Simultaneously : TOGETHER. Carol, Lois, if you are out there, I know what word comes to mind when you think of Simultaneous, but it is not referring to Oscar Robertson!

17. Summer Olympics equipment : EPEES. Little swords for the fencing crowd.

18. Hard to debate : TRUE. It's twue, I tell you, it's twue! (oo sound 1).

22. They might swing : MOODS. This year, VOTES might have been more apt. (oo sound 2).

24. Chased away : SHOOED. Remind you of marti's cat puzzle? (oo sound 3).

26. ___-El: Superman's birth name : KAL. Dad was Jor-El. El is a Hebrew suffix for "of G-d". Israel, Gabriel etc. Siegel and Shuster were both Jewish and there is speculation of a direct influence from the story of MOSES. LINK.

29. Canadian Thanksgiving mo. : OCTober. Those Canadians know how to party!

30. Raven relative : DAW. This is an abbreviation, or otherwise a variant of the jackdaw, one of the other birds in the Corvine (Crow) family. No relation to See Saw Margery Daw.

31. Slezak with six Daytime Emmys : ERIKA. A regular on One Life to Live until it folded last year.

32. Leave : VACATE. I like it better in vacation, but same word.

35. Figure on ice : EIGHT. Another nice clue, and a continuing hello to our skaters, CA and Robin.

36. Placekicker's target : CROSS BAR. Just great long non-theme fill, the bar in between the goal posts in football over which the ball must travel.

37. Produce prolifically : CRANK OUT. Norm was really cranking out some fun fill.

39. Answer to a prob. : SOLution.

40. Ad starter? : TRI.
TRIAD, A group of three, often in music signifying a three note chord. (JzB?)

43. Clock-setting std. : GMT. Greenwich
Mean Time. was established in 1884 at the International Meridian Conference when it was decided to place the Prime Meridian at Greenwich, England. This is where Longitude is 0 0 0.

45. Almost half a glass? : ESSES. GLASS. 40%.

47. Per : EACH.

48. Microscopic alga : DIATOM. One of the great parts of the living Earth. LINK. More new fill.

49. ESPN effect : SLOW MOtion. Norm is on fire with his creativity.

53. Staggering : AREEL. Oh, drat, a dreaded A word!

54. Went (with) : SIDED. You agree with me?

56. "Why not" : SURE. Oh thank you, I hope you mean it and you did not just....

58. Give : CAVE. up in?

59. Wasn't guessing : KNEW. you would agree.

60. Country runners: Abbr. : LDRS. LeaDeRs. That kind of country. The are often full of

63. Hot air : GAS. Which must mean it is my time to

64. Corner key : ESCape.

Answer grid.

Another long day at the office, but it was fun as we closed on five homes for first time home buyers, and the puzzle was a nice segue to get me ready rest. have a great long weekend, and enjoy.


Note from C.C.:

Here is a lovely picture of dear Marge. She said the photo was taken about 5 years ago. Here is a recent photo of her grandson Logan, who's 2 1/2. So cute. Awesome indeed.

Apr 18, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 Norm Guggenbiller

Theme: RHYME TIME IS NO CRIME - IT'S SUBLIME. Unless I'm missing something else, the longest across and down answers are all two or more words, and they all rhyme. But wait - there's more! Each rhyming finale is spelt differently. Oh, the vagaries of the English language!

17A. "Doesn't bother me!" : SEE IF I CARE. Contempt or sarcasm. Do I care which? Does it matter?

35A. After "on," relying mostly on hope in desperate circumstances : A WING AND A PRAYER. This invites an obvious hockey reference, but it's too sad to explore in more depth. I'll just say A PRAYER is all the WINGS have at this point. (sigh!)

57A. "Shake!" : PUT IT THERE. An invitation to the hand shake.

10D. Chick flick subject : LOVE AFFAIR. This is said to be what makes the world go 'round. Or maybe it's just angular momentum.

25D. Schoolyard handshake : PINKY SWEAR. More than just PUT IT THERE; the PINKY SWEAR is a solemn promise "that cannot be broken or counteracted by the crossing of fingers or other such trickery." So there! (from Wikipedia.)

Hi, gang, it's JazzBumpa. I SWEAR, the view from my chair is of five fresh theme answers, four of them at ten letters, and one of them grid spanning, all in perfect symmetry. Very impressive use of language and geometry. Let's check out the rest of the grid.


1. As yet : TO NOW. Shouldn't this include, "with up?"

6. "Atlas Shrugged" writer Ayn : RAND. Terrible writer and sociopath, but who am I to judge?
10. WWII carriers : LST'S. Landing Ship Tanks. These vessels were involved in U.S. military operations in France and the Mediterranean region in WW II.

15. Sautéing acronym, à la Rachael Ray : EVOO. Somebody is going to have to help me with this one. Rachel is cute, fer sure, but I have no clue. (From C.C.: EVOO = Extra-Virgin Olive Oil)

16. Ear-related : OTIC. Is this an OTIC worm?

19. "__ Zapata!": Brando film : VIVA. Here is Marlon with Jean Peters in the 1952 Elia Kazan production.

20. Harbinger of lower temperatures : COLD FRONT. Today was about 15 degrees colder than yesterday, despite all the bright sunshine

21. Man on a misión : SENOR. OK - SENOR (with a tilde) is "Mr." in Spanish, but why is he on a misión? Lucina?

22. Biblical mount : ASS. Did you want Sinai, Horeb, or Ararat? Sorry, they don't fit. And this is a mount that you ride.

23. More than hesitant : LOATH. Reluctant; disinclined; averse.

24. Sign of puppy love? : WAG. A bit misleading, and very cutsey. Who knew it could be competitive?

25. Ben & Jerry's purchase : PINT. I wanted CONE. Either way - YUM! Pick your favorite flavor.

26. Spice gathered by hand from crocus flowers : SAFFRON. I did not know that.

30. Leave no escape route for : HEM IN. That about sews it up.

33. Aquamarine, e.g. : GEM. I wanted a color

34. Carol syllables : FA LA. FA LA or LA LA, needed perp help. No room for a TRA.

39. Stinky : RANK. Which RANK smells the worst: Sergeant, Captain, Private?

40. Floor cleaner : MOP. Swab the deck.

41. __ fit: tantrum : HISSY. The Urban Dictionary says this phrase was originally from the American South, evidently derived from "hysterical." Hey - I'm just the messenger. Don't throw one at me.

42. "500" race-sanctioning group : INDY CAR. I had no idea that was the official name.

44. Boxer Max : BAER. I always thought he played the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk, but it was his brother, Buddy. Another childhood memory smashed.

46. Fed. property agency : G. S. A. The General Services Administration handles all kinds of properties, not just real estate.

47. Prefix suggesting savings : ECONO- ECONO-Whatever, cheap and worth every penny.

49. Sox, on scoreboards : CHI. Lucky guess. Could have been BOS. Either way it's baseball! Tigers won again tonight.

52. Creep : CRAWL. A verb, not a noun

54. Deli sandwich : TUNA SALAD. I'll have a pastrami on rye.

56. Brit of Fox News : HUME.

58. Most draftable : ONE-A. Most eligible for the long-defunct military draft.

59. Fortitude : GRIT.

60. Cardiologist's concern : AORTA. The main supply-line from the heart. In an adult, it's about the size of your thumb. In a new-born, it's about the size of a pencil lead.

61. Cold War initials : USSR. IIRC, they were the bad guys.

62. Year, on monuments : ANNO. That was the year that was.

63. Small fry : TYKES. Little kiddies, riders of trikes.


1. Puccini opera : TOSCA. The big OTIC event in an opera is an aria - a crossword evergreen. Here is one from TOSCA.

2. Butterlike products : OLEOS. Ersatz?

3. Bohr of the Manhattan Project : NIELS. Also a Nobel Prize winner, and father of a Nobel Prize winner. That's some family tree!

4. Ancient Roman poet : OVID. Chick flick appropriate quotes (from "Ah me! love can not be cured by herbs." But -- "All love is vanquished by a succeeding love."

5. Hemming and hawing : WAFFLING. The condition of being torn between two loves, maybe. Let's ask OVID.

6. Apply more varnish to : RECOAT. Straightforward.

7. __-garde : AVANT. Literally, advance guard; refers to experimental or innovative ideas in art, culture and politics.

8. Waters between Great Britain and Europe : NORTH SEA. English Channel wouldn't fit
9. Fawn's mom : DOE. A deer, a female deer. (I hate that song.)

11. Dangerous bottom feeders : STING RAYS. Bottom feeders. Not bottom feeders.

12. DVR pioneer : TIVO.

13. Battle reminder : SCAR. You win some, you lose some.

18. Wrinkle remover : IRON. Not recommended for facial wrinkles.

21. Personal ad abbr. : SWF. Single White Female. Also, a scary movie.

27. Sound system part : AMP.

28. Cheers for a torero : OLES. Looks odd in the plural.

29. Not a one : NARY. Countrified slang.

30. Mata __ : HARI. Margaretha Geertruida "Margreet" Zelle (7 August 1876 - 15 October 1917) was a Dutch woman who became a mail-order bride, circus performer, exotic dancer and courtesan; was later accused of spying for the Germans in WW I, and executed by firing squad in France. (more Wikipedia)

31. Obi-Wan portrayer : EWAN (McGregor). Could have been ALEC.

32. Psychological tricks : MIND GAMES. As in SWF, the movie.

33. Econ. yardstick : GDP. Gross Domestic Product. Something I think about a lot. Really.

36. Org. with a much-quoted journal : A. M. A. American Medical Association. Is there a doctor in the house?

37. Like beer cans before recycling : NO RETURN. Remember disposables? My lovely wife dislikes dealing with returnables, but I don't mind.

38. Dimming gadget : RHEOSTAT. A variable resister that can raise or lower the amount of current flowing to a device, such as a lamp.

43. Lo-__: lite : CAL. The ECONO- of the culinary world.

44. Mackerel-like fish : BONITO. The Spanish word for "pretty." Eye of the beholder, I guess.

45. Pre-med subj. : ANAT. Astronomy is the study of heavenly bodies. ANATomy is the study of earthly bodies.

48. Replace a dancer, perhaps : CUT IN. This one had me stumped for a while. Anyway, it doesn't always work.

49. Paper-pusher : CLERK

50. Gold rush storyteller Bret : HARTE

51. "Don't get any __" : IDEAS. Did your parents even give you this warning?

52. Dynasty during Confucius' time : CHOU. I believe it's pronounced "Joe." Anyway, it was long ago. (From C.C.: CHOU = Zhou in Mandarin, and Zhou indeed has the same pronunciation as Joe.)

53. Legs it : RUNS. As to first base.

55. Hail in a harbor : AHOY. Aquatic "yoohoo," not frozen rain.

57. Sports tour organizer, for short : PGA. Profesional Golf Association.

Answer grid.

Even with 13 3-letter entries, this puzzle has an above average word length for a Wednesday, thanks to 15 entries with 7 or more letters. Lots of freshness in the fill, too. Overall, an enjoyable outing. Hope you liked it as much as I did.


Apr 26, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009 Norm Guggenbiller

Theme: Overheard at the Pub (SS SH)

24A: Nearly matching outfit's problem?: A TOUCH OF CLASH (A Touch of Class)

47A: Wild zebra party?: STRIPED BASH (Striped Bass)

71A: Basket weaving operation?: MESHY BUSINESS (Messy Business)

94A: Ski house that rustles in the wind?: SWISH CHALET (Swiss Chalet)

118A: Washington nonsense?: POLITICAL BOSH (Political Boss)

3D: Frenzy over 1970s-'80s sitcom?: M*A*S*H HYSTERIA (Mass Hysteria)

67D: Assertive simians: BRASH MONKEYS (Brass Monkeys)

I like STRIPED BASH the most. SWISH CHALET is great too. Seeing DEE DEE (125D: Political pundit Myers) below POLITICAL BOSH made me laugh. Some of her views are indeed POLITICAL BOSH.

MESHY BUSINESS is partly transferred. I guess the constructor/editor needs an odd number 13- letter phrase at row #11 (the center theme in a grid has to have an odd number of letters). But they couldn't find a better one. Both MESHY DIVORCE and MESHY BEDROOM are one letter short. Maybe you can think of a better one?

I don't know the meaning of Brash Monkeys & Mass Hysteria. So the humor is lost on me there. My favorite clue today is DOC (12D: Dopey friend?). We had discussions on the 7 Dwarfs' names before. "Happy/Grumpy/Sleepy friend?" would be excellent too.

Tough struggle again. Too many unknowns for me. I felt like I was playing US Open with only 3 clubs in my bag: driver, 7-iron and putter. Some of the clues are tough. For example, OCT (54A: Natl. Pizza month). I would have got it if it were clued as "World Series month". Maybe not. The World Series month this year will extend to November.

Oh, I finally saw Bo Derk's TEN last night. And the RAVEL "Boléro" part kind of disappointed me. It's not as sexy as I had expected. Fun to see both TEN (5D: Perfection symbol) and RAVEL (55A: Tangle) in the grid though, though they are clued differently.

I found this similar themed puzzle in Jim's database. It has STRIPED BASH also.


1A: De Niro's "Raging Bull" role: LAMOTTA. Stumped immediately. Have never seen "Raging Bull". Not familiar with the boxer Jake LaMotta either. He is still alive. Wikipedia says he is also nicknamed "The Bronx Bull".

8A: Herod's fortress: MASADA. Hebrew for "fortress". Another stumper for me. See this picture. Did King Herod build it?

14A: "I can't be the only one thinking this": IS IT ME. Got it with the down help.

23A: Hustler's target: AMATEUR. I don't get this one. Why?

21A: Emcee's deliveries: INTROS

22A: "Sorry": NO SOAP. Did not come to me quickly. I've heard of this slang though.

23A: 32-Down player: COSTNER. And NESS (32D: Capone harasser). From "The Untouchables". Great movie.

26A: Repeat: ECHO

27A: Assimilate: ABSORB. And ATTUNE (83D: Adjust). Same first letter in one-word clue and one-word answer. I start to like this style now.

29A: Name in a B-29 lore: ENOLA. ENOLA Gay. Named after the pilot's mother.

30A: Play-__: DOH. You won't believe it. But really I've never heard of Play-DOH. I suppose the DOH is playing on "dough"?

31A: Sleep lab subject: INSOMNIAC

34A: Vibrations: TREMORS

40A: Zany Martha: RAYE. Very often COCA is clued as "Zany Imogene". Why "Zany" all the time"?

41A: Popular Apple: IMAC

43A: Inter __: ALIA. Among others. Et ALIA is "and others".

44A: Chooses not to accept: PASSED ON. Thought of OPTED OUT first.

50A: Terrestrial salamanders: EFTS. And newt. I learned both from doing Xword.

51A: Shade of gray: STEEL. Did not know STEEL can be a color.

60A: Muscular: TONED. Madonna is so thin now. Her arms are always very TONED. Notice the red string Cabala bracelet?

63A: Outcast: PARIAH

66A: Tonsillitis-treating MDS: ENTS. Trouble for me. I am used to the "Tolkien trees" clue. ENT is Ear, Nose, and Throat.

67A: Catch: BAG. Thought of NAB first.

70A: Brit. recording giant: EMI

75A: Play with robots: R.U. R. The Capek play where the word "robot" is introduced. I tanked. Might have got it if the clue were "Play about robots".

76A: Actor Stephen: REA. "The Crying Game" had a profound impact on me.

77A: Prefix with _ cardium: PERI. Pericardium is the membranous sac enclosing the heart. PERI is prefix "around", cardium denotes an organ/tissue associated with heart. New word to me.

78A: Currency exchange fee: AGIO. A word I keep remembering and keep forgetting.

79A: Zippo filler: BUTANE

82A: Taken for: SEEN AS

86A: Ice dams may form in them: EAVES. Have never heard of the term "ice dams".

91A: Full: SATED

93A: Cleft site: CHIN. I did not know there is a special term for this hollow area in the CHIN.

98A: Betrays, as a spouse: TWO-TIMES. Is there a THREE-TIME? I mean, it's not unusual for a man to cheat on his girlfriend also. By the way, what's your definition of "lovers"? Do they have to have a sexual relationship?

100A: "Fisherman with __": Bazille painting. A NET. Holy hot wick! Where is the fisherman? Where is the net?

102A: Dominican diamond family name: ALOU. Baseball diamond. Not the African diamond diamond. The last ALOU (Moisés ALOU) just retired from baseball.

105A: Sidekick played by Bruce Lee in '60s TV: KATO. From "The Green Hornet". I learned from doing Xword. His Lee has the same character (李) as the Li in Jet Li, just different spelling.

106A: "Romanoff and Juliet" playwright Peter: USTINOV. Nope. He does not look like a man with such a complicated surname. Have never heard of "Romanoff and Juliet" either.

108A: Bummed: SCROUNGED. I like this word. Lots of consonants.

111A: Stamp on a bad check: NSF

114A: Church law: CANON. I wonder where CANON Camera got its name.

116A: Point of maximum Earth-moon separation: APOGEE. Opposite perigee.

117A: Black & Decker rival: SKIL. I forgot this Bosche brand. It was clued as "Big name in tool" last time.

122A: Unlikely protagonist: NONHERO. My goodness. It's a real word.

126A: Web communications protocol: TELNET. No idea.

127A: Steak orders: RIBEYES. Want some?

128A: "Gunsmoke" star: ARNESS (James). His name escaped me this morning. I definitely googled him before. He was Marshal Dillon.

129A Ukrainian port: ODESSA

130A: Goes by: ELAPSES


1D: Tied: LACED. And LOOSES (103D: Unties).

2D: BP merger partner: AMOCO. Merged in 1998. BP is big in China, so is SHELL.

4D: "Airplane!" automatic pilot: OTTO. No idea. Not familiar with the movie "Airplane!". I can't find the name OTTO in this Wiki article. PILOT is also the answer for 81A: Light in the kitchen. But it's only 5 letter. Rich Norris says he will change if it's a long word (6-letter or more) dupe.

6D: Calendar abbr.: TUE. Too vague for me. I need a "Mon. follower" to get the answer.

7D: Rich tapestry: ARRAS

8D: Noxious influence: MIASMA. Metaphorical sense?

9D: Shakespeare title lover: ANTONY. "Antony & Cleopatra". Of course, Romeo came to me first.

10D: Levels: STORIES. British for floors, correct?

11D: Caribbean resort island: ARUBA. The Netherlands has had a strange reach in its history. It also ruled Taiwan from 1624 to 1662, hence the name Dutch Formosa.

13D: Tennis legend: ASHE

14D: Like current regulations: IN FORCE. Tough multiple word answer for me.

15D: Architectural column base: SOCLE. New word to me. Same as plinth?

16D: Capital ESE of Kabul: ISLAMABAD

18D: More, to Miguel: MAS. Know No MAS, No MAS.

19D: Bk. after Galatians: EPH. Before Philippians. I need to commit those Bible books and their order into memory.

25D: Ready in the keg: ON TAP

28D: Brunei's island: BORNEO. See this map. It's the world's third-largest island Island, after Green Land and New Guinea.

31D: Martinique, e.g.: ILE. I had no idea that Martinique belongs to France.

33D: Newspaper no. CIRC

36D: High ground: RISE. Not a familiar definition to me.

39D: Very, to Vivaldi: ASSAI. Allegro ASSAI, very quick.

42D: Two-part glove: MITTEN

44D: Sneeze inducer: PEPPERS

45D: Blazing: AFLAME

46D: Polo Grounds star: OTT (Mel). He played his entire career for NY Giant. HOFer of course.

48D: Where to see piggies: TOOTSIES. Had no idea that TOOTSIE is a slang for foot. Dictionary says it's also a slang for sweetheart/darling/prostitute. What a word!

49D: Prepare for the prom: DRESS UP. No prom in China.

52D: Modern bazaar: EBAY. I wanted MALL again.

53D: Rake over the coals: LAMBASTE. "Rake over the coals" is a new idiom to me.

57D: Somewhat wet: DAMPISH. Only know damp.

59D: Measuring device: GAUGE

62D: Fed. accident investigator: NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board). Created in 1975. I have trouble remembering this abbreviation also.

64D: Louse: HEEL

68D: Mame, to Patrick: AUNTIE. Blanked again. It's from AUNTIE Mame.

69D: Links targets: GREENS. Was thinking of the flags.

72D: Full house sign: SRO

73D: One with a take-out order: HIT MAN. "Take-out" means to murder. Great clue.

74D: New Rochelle college: IONA. See their logo GAELS. Makes great sense, since IONA is also a Scottish Island.

80D: Implied: TACIT

81D: Dust gun output: PESTICIDE. I did not know what a dust gun is.

86D: Birthright seller: ESAU. Often clued as "Biblical twin". Brother of Jacob.

87D: Botanical bristles: AWNS

88D: __: CONG: VIET. Vietnamese is so different in Chinese. I can't make sense of their language at all.

90D: Big bucks: ELKS. Great clue. ELKS are big. Those antlers make me headache.

95D: Buds: CRONIES. Always thought CRONY has a negative tone.

96D: Serious disorder: HAVOC

97D: Atlantic sport fish: TARPONS. Here is a big one. It's silvery. I wonder if the raw fish tastes good.

104D: "You __ Know": Alanis Morissette hit: OUGHTA. Here is the clip. Is it a very well-known song?

107D: The NBA's Archibald et al: NATES. Then NBA later appears as the answer for 123D: 123D: Wizards' grp.

109D: Coax, for instance: CABLE. Coax is short for coaxial. Coaxial CABLE. Hard for me.

110D: History or mystery: GENRE

112D: "Yes __!" SIREE

113D: Dentist's advice: FLOSS. New concept in China.

115D: Intl. alliance since 1949: NATO. Hmm, THE US is a NATO founding member. What a brutal fill the other day.

117D: George of the Jungle's pet elephant: SHEP. No idea. Have never head of "George of the Jungle". Thought it's a dog.

118D: Hi-tech organizer: PDA (Personal Digital Assistant). I am a low-tech dummy. Probably will never own a blackberry.

121D: Set the pace: LED. I like the tense ambiguity in set.

123D: "Starry Night", for example: OIL. Ah, have to show "Starry Starry Night" again. There is always yellow in Van Gogh's blue.

Answer grid.