Showing posts with label Patti Varol. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Patti Varol. Show all posts

Jul 11, 2017

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 Patti Varol

Theme: Shhh! - Variations on a theme.

20A. "Hush": "PLEASE BE QUIET"

32A. "Hush": "DON'T SAY A WORD"

41A. "Hush": "PUT A SOCK IN IT"

57A. "Hush": "BUTTON YOUR LIP"

Argyle here with Constructor and Editor, Patti Varol. I notice a subtle increase in harshness in the HUSHes, IMO.


1. Like a rough winter: HARSH

6. Opera number: ARIA

10. "Beat it!": "SCAT!"

14. Nebraska city on the Missouri: OMAHA

15. "Shoot!": "DARN!"

16. Bear whose bed was too hard: PAPA

17. Like granola bars: OATEN

18. Arabian sultanate: OMAN

19. "College GameDay" airer: ESPN. (Originally an initialism for Entertainment and Sports Programming Networks)

23. Funnyman Caesar: SID. Argument to Beethoven's 5th.

24. It's often heated up for dinner: OVEN

25. Table salt additive: IODINE

28. Banishment: EXILE

30. FYI relative: BTW. (For Your Information / By The Way)

31. Cincinnati ballplayer: RED

36. Cathedral area: APSE

39. Ocean west of Eur.: ATL. (Atlantic)

40. Murray or Roddick of tennis fame: ANDY

46. Big bird Down Under: EMU

47. Pizza __ restaurant: HUT

48. Ready to pour: ON TAP

51. Forbidden actions: TABOOs. 44D. Forbidden action: NO-NO

53. Payroll IDs: SSNs. (Social Security number)

55. Lav of London: LOO. Head, john, little house outback.

60. "Shake a leg!": "C'MON!"

62. Pakistan neighbor: IRAN. 8D. Baghdad's land: IRAQ

63. Despicable character: LOUSE

64. Painter Chagall: MARC

65. Fictional sleuth Wolfe: NERO

66. Tacked on: ADDED

67. Hathaway of "Interstellar": ANNE

68. Olympian's goal: GOLD

69. Marsh stalks: REEDS


1. Basketball targets: HOOPS

2. Charlotte __: U.S. Virgin Islands capital: AMALIEWiki link

3. Like adult movies: RATED X

4. __ butter: cosmetic moisturizer: SHEA

5. Space pilot who insists, "I take orders from just one person: me": HAN SOLO

6. Photoshop software developer: ADOBE

7. Budget noodle dish: RAMEN

9. Retirement income source: ANNUITY

10. Radar gun reading: SPEED

11. Like some durable skillets: CAST IRON

12. Smartphone download: APP. (Application)

13. Almond-colored: TAN

21. Fairly matched: EVEN

22. Where Grant Wood's "American Gothic" house is: IOWA

26. Geeky type: NERD

27. Jacuzzi effect: EDDY

29. Inventor's spark: IDEA

30. "__ Ha'i": "South Pacific" song: BALI

The lyrics can be found on the YouTube link.

33. Ambassador's asset: TACT

34. E*TRADE purchase: Abbr.: STK. (stock)

35. Light bulb unit: WATT

36. In __: moody: A PET

37. Mountain cat: PUMA

38. Tough to budge: STUBBORN

42. Small liquor amount: SHOT

43. Giving the boot: OUSTING

45. Completely cut off: INSULAR

49. Refer (to): ALLUDE

50. Self-assured: POISED

52. Postal scale unit: OUNCE

53. Hairbrush target: SNARL

54. Church council: SYNOD

56. Pages for opinions: OP EDs

58. Cookie shaped like two of its letters: OREO. A new clue for an old answer.

59. Biked, e.g.: RODE

60. Nashville awards gp.: CMA. (Country Music Association)

61. Guy: MAN


Notes from C.C.:

1) Chickie (Leah) was not able to post from her Blogger account. She sent me below. Hopefully she'll return to our blog soon.

"Please send my thanks to everyone on the Corner. The virtual hugs, condolences, and thoughts for me on Bill's passing are so very comforting."

2) Happy birthday to dear CanadianEh!, who's been with our blog for a few years. Her comments are often always so warm and insightful. Dinner at the winery, CanadianEh!?

Jan 27, 2017

Friday, January 27, 2017, Patti Varol

Title: Tennis Anyone?  The real reveal?

Patti is here with her first 2017 puzzle, which structurally is like her last Friday effort. LINK. Using the inspiration of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes who wrote all of his legal works standing, I am here typing at my makeshift standing desk. This may end up being brief, but then brevity is the soul of wit I am told. The theme are all one word clues, which are brought together on the tennis court.

17A. POINT : TAPERING END ( 11). The fill are literal responses to the clue.

23A. GAME : SAFARI ANIMALS (13). There does not appear to be any relation in the fill.

50A. SET : FILMING LOCALE (13). A little more difficult for me.

59A. MATCH : FIRE STARTER (11). Then the unmarked reveal...

34A. With 36-Across, question for the court : TENNIS  (6) and 36A. See 34-Across : ANYONE (6).

For anyone who has played or watched Tennis (the amazing Williams sister are playing for the Australian Open title as I type) point, game, set and match track how a tennis match progresses, and they are skillfully in order here. An appropriate puzzle for the first grand slam event of the year.

Not much else in the longer fill, SEE PAST, IN A RUSH,  HAIRCUT,  EGG DROP, IMPOSE ON and  ORIENTAL but some tricky proper names to be addressed.


1. Like much of the Southwest : ARID. Deserts are dry; desserts sweet.

5. Summer music? : DISCO. Wonderful old deception but I was a big Donna Summer fan.

10. Org. funded by FICA : SSA. Social Security Administration.

13. Under-the-sink brand : COMET.

15. "Paper Moon" Oscar winner : O'NEAL. Tatum O'Neal won the 1973 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

16. Like ibuprofen, briefly : OTC. Over The Counter.

19. Jiff : SEC.

20. "Nothing planned that day" : I'M OPEN. To suggestion, maybe, or I'm free.

21. Engineering sch. on the Hudson : RPI. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a cso to some of our own. Putting it nest to...

22. Sport with masks : EPEE. Might trick some to think of a hockey goalie.

26. Move a finger or two, maybe : PEEK. a-boo.

28. Physics units : RADS. You cacc call Sheldon to explain THESE.

29. Signs over : CEDES.

30. 1945 Pacific battle site, familiarly : IWO. Jima.

31. Superfan : NUT.

32. Superhero played by Chris Hemsworth : THOR.. So many named Chris.

40. Exercise woe : ACHE.

42. Alex Dunphy, to Luke, on "Modern Family" : SIS. She has grown up.

43. Mojito ingredient : RUM.

44. "Not a problem" : IT'S OK.

47. Stuff in a backpack : GEAR. Not any more.

49. Little stretches : FIBS. Just like the clue/fill.

53. Captain Picard's counselor : TROI. Star Trek:TNG

54. Unexpectedly by itself, as in the dryer : ODD.

55. Kenya neighbor : UGANDA. EAST AFRICA.

58. Storybook baddie : HAG. The ugly witches.

61. Programming pioneer Lovelace : ADA. A gimme for our math and Computer people, but I only knew of Linda. LINK.

62. Stopped lying : AROSE. To tell you the truth, this was trocky.

63. Sphere : REALM.

64. Common scale extreme : TEN. From one to....

65. Org. chart headings : DEPTS. Org. tells you the answer is an abbr.

66. Crack up : SLAY. Comedy.


1. When Lear disinherits Cordelia : ACT I.  More friday Shakespeare.

2. "Home on the Range" verb : ROAM.
Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam,
Where the deer and the antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the skies are not cloudy all day.

3. Take unfair advantage of : IMPOSE ON.

4. "Quantum Healing" author Chopra : DEEPAK. So stale, you might day 9D. Dated : OLD.

5. Throw on : DON. And his gay apparel.

6. Ilsa portrayer : INGRID.

7. Overlook, as a fault : SEE PAST.

8. "A Doubter's Almanac" novelist Ethan : CANIN. I guess I no longer read the NYT Book section on Sunday. This  MAN.

10. Under-the-sink brand : SOS PAD. Or did your family use Brillo?

11. "Remington __" : STEELE.

12. Hacker's goal : ACCESS.

14. Nonkosher : TREF. An americanized word pronounced TRAYF.

18. Pressed for time : IN A RUSH.

22. Manicurist's tool : EMERY. Only when they are bored?

24. Expose, with "on" : RAT.

25. Desktop assortment : ICONS.

26. Cherry center : PIT.

27. Lamb parent : EWE. Not me.

31. "Pink Friday" singer Minaj : NICKI. Lots of names.

33. Coiffure : HAIRCUT. $150.00 /$10.00

35. "The End of America" author Wolf : NAOMI. Too POLITICAL for here.

37. Avenue after Reading Railroad : ORIENTAL. Monopoly.

38. Worn end : NUB. Pencil

39. Scrabble three-pointers : EMS.

41. Wonton alternative : EGGDROP. Soup choices.

42. Brazilian map word : SAO. Paulo.

44. "Maybe less" : IF THAT.

45. Intemperate speech : TIRADE. That was almost a trap.

46. Apple's "Think different," e.g. : SLOGAN.

48. Like Meg March, in "Little Women" : ELDEST.

49. Emergency signals : FLARES.

51. Bete __ : NOIRE. I had this recently.

52. Food thickener : AGAR.

56. Poet Walter __ Mare : DELA. Missed him when studying Poetry. LINK.

57. Large number : ARMY.

59. Pokémon Go, e.g. : FAD.

60. French possessive : SES.

Well the month is almost done; this was slow going as some of the proper names were hidden from my brain. Hey it is Friday. My six week wait for an epidural is almost done so maybe I will have more to say next week.  Lemonade out. Thanks Patti.

Dec 31, 2016

Saturday, Dec 31st, 2016, Patti Varol & Doug Peterson

Theme: PV & DP

Words: 70 (missing K,Q)

Blocks: 30

Our third installment from this duo to close out 2016, and this time Patti gets 'top billing'.  A smattering of fills on my first pass, a few gaffes, a few WAGs, and I called it done - but no ta-DA~!  So I had to go back and check where I went wrong, though I was fairly certain it was in the spanner at 34a.; turned out I had another mistake at the proper name for 42a.   Oh well.  Finished within my personal allotted time, and now I am freezing as I compose the write-up; see 31a.  One 15-letter spanner, one 15-letter climber, two 12-letter fills, and paired 10s in the down corners;

34. First volume of a Beverly Cleary series : BEEZUS AND RAMONA - I recognized the author's name, but only the "Ramona" part from any titles

8. "You're skating on thin ice" : DON'T EVEN GO THERE - I had "eveR", since I had no idea about the 15-letter spanner crossing here

23. They're hard to put down : PAGE TURNERS - nailed it.  The last Page Turner I read was "The Racketeer" from John Grisham - now I am on to "The Broker".  I was reluctant to read his stuff because I knew the books revolved around lawyers (and frequently jails/prisons, too) the way Crichton's revolves around genetics, Patterson & Kellerman around murder mystery, etc. - but I am glad I started with "The Litigators", which was quite humorous

43. Comedy team staples : STRAIGHT MEN - I have heard this phrase, but couldn't think of an example - and then I read the list here at the Wiki, and I see quite a few I recognize - which includes James May from the British Top Gear series



1. Not much : JUST A TAD

9. "__ Weeks": classic Van Morrison album : ASTRAL

15. Caravaggio masterpiece that pictures Pontius Pilate with Jesus : ECCE HOMO - the painting

16. Raise : PARENT

17. Iconic building with "point" offices : FLATIRON - dah~! Not PENTAGON, tho I realize there would need to be the phrase "with THE" in the clue

18. Market array : BRANDS

19. What stars have : FAME - I tried EGOS

20. Specialty docs : ENTs

22. In order : TIDY

26. Dauntless : STOUT

29. Spray holder : VASE - ah - I forgot that a "spray" is kind of floral arrangement

30. Site of monkey business : ZOO

31. Get a winter coat? : ICE UP - I am afraid my apartment will ICE UP this weekend - we lost the furnace, which includes the hot water, and won't get repaired until Tuesday.  Always on a holiday weekend....

32. Part of an inheritance : GENE - ah, that kind of inheritance

33. River to the Severn : AVON - another good WAG

37. Cornerstone word : ANNO - I figured EST'D was not going to last

38. Hauls : LUGS - I had TOWS to start

39. 2009 A.L. MVP Joe : MAUER - filled via perps

40. Spectrum band : RED

41. 1969-'70 Broadway musical that ends with a fashion show : COCO

42. Brandt of "Breaking Bad" : BETSY - beSsy seemed just as likely - I have not watched a single episode of this show, but I got a Firestick for Christmas from my landlord, so I can watch everything now - but first I am making my way through "Burn Notice"

46. Benjamin portrayer : HAWN - Goldie, as in Private Benjamin; I was thinking BRAD or PITT, for Benjamin Button

47. Cries of surprise : O-HOs - oops, went with A-HAs

48. John follower : ACTS - Bible chapters

52. Fleet destroyed by the Protestant Wind : ARMADA

54. Ovid, for one : EPIC POET

56. More expensive : DEARER - started as DEEPER

57. Bought back : REDEEMED - Blue Öyster Cult song, too


58. Joshua tree habitat : DESERT - as for what got filled in first, I WILL NOT EVEN GO THERE

59. Tests using Snellen charts : EYE EXAMS

I can read line 7


1. Bridges of Los Angeles County : JEFF - once I changed my "building", this actor's name (and not a structure) occurred to me

2. Home of the Herb Alpert Sch. of Music : UCLA - I had the U and A

3. Hustle : SCAM - ah, the noun, not the verb

4. Head of the Sorbonne? : TÊTE - Frawnche

5. Sushi choice : AHI - made my PENTAGON wrong

6. Eagerly unwrapped : TORE AT - Not even a week ago - I got a Millennium Falcon Bluetooth music player

7. In with : AMONG

9. SFPD alert : APB

10. "Nausea" novelist : SARTRE - I recognize the name, but not much else - the Wiki

11. Express, say : TRAIN

12. Orbital maneuver : RENDEZVOUS - learned this word from reading the 'adapted' novel of The Empire Strikes Back - but I was about 9, and read it literally as ren-dez-vows

13. "Years of Minutes" author : ANDY ROONEY - good WAG with the "OO" in place

14. SFPD ranks : LTs

21. Resolute policies : STANDS

23. __ platter : PU PU

24. One working on keys : USER - computer keys

25. Wreck locator : SONAR - shipwrecks

26. When, in Act IV, Juliet drinks the potion : SCENE THREE

27. "The O.C." and "Gossip Girl" : TEEN DRAMAS - never watched any of them

28. Taverna liqueur : OUZO

31. Structural pieces : I-BARS

32. Riata twirler : GAUCHO

33. Basic Latin word : AMAT - ah.  I had AMAS

35. Rough going : SLOG - popular Saturday Crossword descriptor

36. "Yes!" : AMEN

41. __ block : CINDER

42. Next to : BESIDE - the blue-eyed girl from some time back sat BESIDE me yesterday - my heart was galloping in my chest....

44. Clued in : AWARE

45. Glum : MOPEY

48. Crown : APEX

49. Food __: after-eating drowsiness : COMA - did not suffer this on either holiday this year

50. Come down hard : TEEM - like rain

51. FDA output : STDs - Tried RDAs first

52. Throw into the mix : ADD

53. "The lie that enables us to realize the truth": Picasso : ART - I think I just read this in a book on novel writing

Cubism, get it~?

55. Volcano center? : CEE - VolCano


Nov 11, 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016, Patti Varol

Title: Time to clean the kitchen

Patti V., who doubles as Rich Norris' assistant at the LAT, has turned on the creative juices again in 2016 with 5 puzzles in the last 10 weeks. Today we have a variation of the definition puzzle, where words that are associated with each other - here items in a kitchen - are used as clues for completely different things. My only nit was including both DISH and PLATE and leaving out KNIFE, but then I realized there really are no other meanings for knife that do not relate to cutting. This is a very friendly puzzle with some new material as well as bringing back some memories from the 50s and 60s. We have as additional long fill ARTESIAN,  READ UP ON, PLEASE HOLD and  DEAN MARTIN. Cool, let's do it!

17A. Spoon : HUG TENDERLY (11). Do you want to be an EXPERT?

24A. Dish : SPREAD GOSSIP (12). Garbage Of Stupid Silly Ignorant People. I think it implies dishing dirt.

38A. Fork : BRANCH IN THE ROAD (15).  Who can forget Yogi Berra's saying "When you come to a fork in the road, take it"

49A. Plate : COAT WITH GOLD (12). I have nothing here except the old joke about the man (in the old un-pc days it was a Polish man) who won an Olympic gold medal and was so proud he had it bronzed.

60A. Bowl : PLAY TEN PINS (11). Boomer, is this acceptable or only used with duck pins?
In Canada, the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia, the game is commonly referred to as just "Bowling". In New England, "bowling" is usually referred to as "ten-pin bowling" or "big-ball bowling", because of the smaller diameter, lighter weight ball used in the Worcester, Massachusetts-conceived sport of candlepin bowling from 1880, and the similarly "small-ball" sport of duckpin bowling (conceived in 1895), popular in the Northeast United States


1. Assuming it's true : AS FACT.

7. "Bloom County" penguin : OPUS. I gratuitously linked him recently.

11. Jams : PJS. Jammies-yes. Jams?

14. After-dinner gathering : SOIREE. The forties and fifties were filled with soirees.

15. Go in different directions : PART. Part company.

16. Service to redo : LET. Tennis. 46D. Org. for netmen : ATP. The Association of Tennis Professionals  HISTORY.

19. Flight status info : ETA.

20. In addition : ELSE. Put it in, took it out, put it back.

21. "The Fault in __ Stars": John Green novel : OUR. if you like crying...

22. Leader's domain : REALM.

28. Chatter boxes? : RADIOS. I like the clue and remember the nights before we had TV and listening to all those great voices.

31. Light weight : OUNCE.

32. It may precede bad news : I FEAR. I fear we have run out of caviar, deah.

33. Beavers, e.g. : HATS. I bet you did not know all of THIS.

35. "Girls" channel : HBO.

42. Icarus, to Daedalus : SON.

43. Bar employee: Abbr. : ATTY. Please let us never have att as fill for lawyers.

44. String quartet member : CELLO. A string quartet is a musical ensemble of four string players – two violin players, a viola player and a cellist – or a piece written to be performed by such a group. ... The string quartet was developed into its current form by the Austrian composer Joseph Haydn, with his works in the 1750s establishing the genre. Wiki.

45. Prefix with arch : MATRI. Patri anyone?

48. Bulldozer companion : LOADER. LINK. Can you name them all?

53. Marx with a horn : HARPO. Or many horns.
54. Vienna's land: Abbr. : AUStria.

55. The munchies, e.g. : URGE.

59. Hairy TV cousin : ITT. Great theme song to the Addams Family.
64. Flowery welcome : LEI.

65. It's retold often : LORE.

66. Greet on the street : TOOT AT. A rhymsical clue.

67. Roadside shelter : INN.

68. "Oh, ew" : YUCK.

69. Fancy, and then some : ORNATE.


1. New York stadium named for a sports great : ASHE.

2. __-searching : SOUL.

3. Tree fruit : FIGS.

4. Like some wells : ARTESIAN. This CONCEPT fascinated me as a chikd.

5. One of a Chicago duo : CEE.

6. Group of like voices : TENORS. We all the most famous group of three tenors but how about this GROUP which sings...

7. Purcell's "Dido and Aeneas," e.g. : OPERA.

8. Four score, often? : PAR. Really fun deception as more than half of all gold holes are played a par of 4.

9. Address bar address : URL.

10. "Lie Down in Darkness" author : STYRON. A truly influential writer who along with others started the Paris Review as well as authoring The Confessions of Nat Turner and Sophie's Choice.

11. Request before the music starts : PLEASE HOLD. 33D. Order before the music starts : HIT IT.

12. Beijing-born action hero : JET LI. Was he a STAR in your world C.C.?

13. Passport mark : STAMP.

18. Payable : DUE.

23. "I didn't mean that" key : ESC.

25. Bordeaux butcher's offering : PORC. French word for pork.

26. Eccentric : DOTTY. I think of Aunt Clara from Bewitched.

27. Write effusively : GUSH.

28. Smokehouse order : RIBS.

29. Coiffure style : AFRO.

30. '60s-'70s variety show host : DEAN MARTIN. After leaving Jerry Lewis, Dean has his own show.
34. Colony occupant : ANT.

36. Agricultural bundle : BALE.

37. Reminder to take out the trash? : ODOR.

39. Big name in WWI espionage : HARI. She is back. The 100 year anniversary of her execution will be in October 2017.

40. Green sci. : ECOLogy.

41. Research : READ UP ON.

47. Like some paper towels : TWO PLY.

48. Underscore? : LOSE TO. Very tricky; we use the other meaning of underscore often in legal writing.

49. Some like it hot : CHILI.

50. Like Cheerios : OATEN. To me they are more often eaten.

51. "Frida" star Salma : HAYEK. Seeing her with Antonio Banderas in Desperado was eye opening!

52. Prepare to remodel, maybe : GUT. Of the 16 definitions for this word, 4 are verbs.
13. (Cookery) to remove the entrails from (fish, etc)
14. (esp of fire) to destroy the inside of (a building)
15. to plunder; despoil: the raiders gutted the city.
16. to take out the central points of (an article), esp in summary form

56. Poet Dove : RITA. I like poetry but I am not up on my POETS.

57. Pest in a swarm : GNAT. Not a midge.

58. Where el sol rises : ESTE. Sun rises in the east even in Spanish speaking places.

61. Murderers' Row teammate of Babe : LOU. Ruth and Gehrig.

62. Part of a hinged-door floor plan symbol : ARC.

63. Fish-fowl link : NOR.

Wow, we are done already. Well I hope you enjoyed our kitchen duty and don't forget to turn out the lights when you are done. Thanks PV, it was fun. And thank you my bride Oo who will have a birthday tomorrow.  Lemonade out.
                                                  Celebrate all veterans now and before!!!

Oct 26, 2016

Wednesday, Oct 26, 2016 Patti Varol

Theme: Mere Pittance - Each theme entry is a slang for "paltry sum".

18A. Peanuts : CHICKEN FEED

38A. Peanuts : SMALL POTATOES. Remember the black squares on both sides of this entry are not cheaters. The tricky 13 demands the black squares.

58A. Peanuts : CHUMP CHANGE

C.C. here, swapping blogging slot with Husker Gary, who wrote last Sunday's post.

At first, I thought this might be a Definition type, which often runs on Thursday or Friday. But no SCHULZ'S STRIP or BALLPARK SNACK or other made-up phrases. Patti has a tight set of all  solid in- the-language phrases.


1. Wander (about) : GAD

4. Fragrant bloom : LILAC. The scent is a bit overwhelming for me.

9. Utter disorder : CHAOS

14. Second person in Eden : EVE

15. Kitchen sponge brand : O-CEL-O.  Love 3M. They sponsor the annual Champions Tour here in our area.

16. Full of moxie : NERVY

17. Like many a gray day : WET
20. Sales meeting aid : GRAPH. Not CHART.

22. Feel crummy : AIL. Was on antibiotics for 2 weeks. Man, I felt so crummy. The periodontist is going to take off the stitches this morning. Yay!

23. Coal __ : TAR

24. Most populous continent : ASIA

25. Date night destination : CINEMA

28. One of a gallon's 16 : CUP

30. Like a successful business, presumably : WELL-RUN. Like 3M.

32. Stand against : OPPOSE

34. Northern California city : EUREKA

37. Birch family tree : ALDER

41. Hardly fresh : STALE. Hope you have Aldi in your neighborhood. This week's boxed Medjool dates are incredibly fresh.

42. Bit of photography equipment : TRIPOD

43. Southern California team : LAKERS. Not ANGELS or PADRES. Lakes are originally from Minnesota, "Land of 10,000 Lakes".

45. Inside information : LOWDOWN

49. Copper source : ORE

50. Hits the road : SPLITS

53. Albany-to-Buffalo canal : ERIE

54. Former Air France jet : SST

56. Geologist's division : EON. Not ERA.

57. Tops by a slight margin : EDGES
62. Picnic invader : ANT
63. Ready to hit the hay : TIRED. Also 66. Used up : SPENT
64. Invalidate : ANNUL
65. Maiden name preceder : NEE
67. Pond critters : NEWTS. Not FROGS.
68. Mexican Mrs. : SRA
1. Gaudy trinket : GEWGAW. Not a word I use.
2. Opposed : AVERSE

3. Enlargement advantage : DETAIL

4. Scot's swimming spot : LOCH
5. German "I" : ICH

6. Welcoming wreath : LEI

7. Highway through the Yukon : ALCAN (Alaska-Canada)

8. Newswoman Roberts : COKIE. NPR.

9. "Erin Burnett OutFront" channel : CNN

10. Pick up with effort : HEFT

11. Geographically based trio : AREA CODE

12. Makes trite, in a way : OVERUSES

13. Hoff who wrote the "Henrietta" children's books : SYD

19. Red "Sesame Street" puppet : ELMO

21. Light beer? : PALE ALE. Color-wise.

25. Biceps exercise : CURL

26. Not at all handy : INEPT

27. "Trainwreck" director Judd : APATOW. He was on the Bill Cosby crusade from the very start.

29. Pay-__-view : PER

31. Kings, e.g. : RULERS

33. Lumbered : PLODDED

35. "MASH" setting: Abbr. : KOR (Korea). Land of Kimchi & Tteokbokk. The latter is a street food, as  ubiquitous as our WIENER (47. Ballpark snack)

36. Lopsided : ATILT

38. Sci-fi fleet vessel : STARSHIP

39. Leave no doubt : MAKE SURE

40. GI addresses : APOs

41. __-mo : SLO

44. What a freelancer may work on : SPEC

46. Hearts, but not minds : ORGANS
48. Lipton rival : NESTEA

51. Lindsay of "Mean Girls" : LOHAN. She was once so promising.

52. Foolish : INANE

55. Anti-counterfeiting agts. : T MEN

57. Slim swimmers : EELS

58. Euro divs. : CTs

59. West Coast hrs. : PDT

60. Houston-to-Dallas dir. : NNW

61. Belly : GUT

Oct 2, 2016

Sunday, October 2, 2016 Thomas Bianchi & Patti Varol

Theme: "Beatles Mash-up" - Each theme entry is a mash-up of two Beatles' songs.

27A. Cold War defector's observation? : I'M A LOSER BACK IN THE USSR. I'm a Loser. Back in the USSR.  Defectors tend to have high esteem.

43A. Promise to the IRS? : WE CAN WORK IT OUT, TAXMAN. We Can Work It Out. Taxman.

67A. "Please take the van, dear"? : HONEY, DON'T DRIVE MY CAR. Honey Don't. Drive My Car.  Not familiar with "Honey Don't". But the mashup is fantastic.

90A. Agreement with a Scandinavian furniture maker? : LET IT BE NORWEGIAN WOOD. Let It Be. Norwegian Wood. The latter is also a very popular Japanese novel we all secretly read in high school. So mild by today's standards.

108A. Words from the brokenhearted? : TELL ME WHY YOU WON'T SEE ME. Tell Me Why. You Won't See Me. The latter is unknown to me.

Only 5 theme entries, but they're all very long, occupying a total of 101 theme squares. I mentioned before that somehow grid spanners for a 21*21 are tougher to deal with than spanners for 15*15.  19 & 20 are tricky too. 15 or under are friendlier.

Congratulations on your LAT debut, Thomas Bianchi! Are you this professor? The six characters on the podium says Ocean University of China, which is based in Tsingtao, famous for its beer.

Patti is Rich's assistant and editor for The Crossword Club. She taught me by example what a clean puzzle is. Don't miss this great interview. Patti is also a super fast solver. She probably nails every Sunday puzzle in 8 to 10 minutes, or even faster.

1. Really silly : APISH. Not a word I use.

6. All-__: high-end cookware : CLAD. Holy smokes, D-Otto/Steve/TTP, look at the price.

10. Scribble : JOT

13. Chows down : EATS

17. Looie's underling : NON-COM

19. Mata __ : HARI

20. Condo, say : UNIT

22. Work for a captain : CREW

23. Transfer, in a way : DECANT. Oh, wine.

24. "The Rachel Papers" novelist : AMIS (Martin)

25. Attorney general after William Barr : JANET RENO. We also have HARPER LEE (116. 1961 Pulitzer-winning novelist) and ANAIS NIN (89. "A Spy in the House of Love" novelist). Three full names. Wonderful. All women.

30. Physicist Mach : ERNST

31. Double-crosser : RAT

32. Pommes frites sprinkling : SEL

33. Shelf-filling bks. : OED (Oxford English Dictionary). 20 volumes.

34. Accident initials : EMS

37. Platform for Apple mobile devices : IOS

38. Disinclined : AVERSE. I used to think CenturyLink's 1 Gig package is ridiculous. Man, how time has changed!

41. Antique auto : REO

49. In a crowd of : AMONG

50. Cover up : HIDE

51. Have : OWN

52. "You got that right!" : AMEN

54. Colorful salamander : NEWT. Looks like a plastic toy.

55. Bias : SPIN

57. Dublin-born rocker/activist : BONO

59. "Fantastic!" : BRAVO

60. Facetious way to vote : OFTEN.  Not really "facetious" for All-Star fan voting. You can vote up to 30 times.

62. Volvo competitor : SAAB

64. Holiday evergreen : FIR

66. Entomologist's tool : NET

72. Netizen's guffaw : LOL

73. Agnus __ : DEI

74. Follow : HEED

75. "Gladiator" setting : ARENA

76. Traveler's aid : ATLAS. Today's kids probably will never touch a real atlas.

78. Druid, for one : CELT

80. Formerly, formerly : ERST

81. Pizza Quick sauce brand : RAGU. Staple in our house.

85. Layer of ore : VEIN

86. Beheld : SAW

87. Vehicle for hire : TAXI. And 56. Human-powered 87-Across : PEDICAB

89. Creator of a cocky hare : AESOP

96. In-flight info : ETA

97. Leans (on) : RELIES

98. Nashville awards org. : CMA

99. Storied abduction craft : UFO

100. Barely make, with "out" : EKE

103. Sign of a hit : SRO (Standing Room Only)

105. WWII female : WAC

106. Assume as fact : POSIT

117. Aspiring atty.'s exam : LSAT

118. Protective finish : ENAMEL

119. Many a folk song writer: Abbr. : ANON. Or many a blog commenter.

120. Hospital fluids : SERA

121. Forget about : OMIT

122. Highway postings : LIMITS

123. Van __, Calif. : NUYS. What's it famous for?

124. Gravel alternative : TAR

125. IRS auditor's requests : RCTS (Receipts)

126. Longship language : NORSE. Wiki says "Longships were a type of ship invented and used by the Norsemen for trade, commerce, exploration, and warfare during the Viking Age."

1. "The King __" : AND I

2. Work with a writer of its ilk contained in it : POEM. Can you explain this clue to me?

3. South American native : INCA

4. Deli sight : SCALE

5. In tribute to : HONORING

6. Meeting illustration : CHART

7. Moussaka meat : LAMB. Never had Moussaka. Wiki says it's eggplant-based.

8. The Habanera from "Carmen," e.g. : ARIA

9. Separate : DISCRETE

10. Self-defense method : JUJITSU. Which one do you use: Jujitsu, Jiu-Jitsu or Jujutsu? The Ju part is the same as the Ju in Judo, meaning "gentle". Jitsu means "technique".  Below is how Jujitsu & Judo are written out in Japanese/Chinese. Notice the first character Ju is exactly the same? The Do in Judo is the same as Chinese "tao", meaning "way".

11. "... roasting __ open fire" : ON AN

12. Salon supply : TINTS

13. Light brown : ECRU

14. Childish comeback : ARE SO

15. Needing a chill pill : TENSE

16. War metaphor : SWORD

18. Aptly named Vt. ski resort : MT. SNOW

21. Braves' All-Star pitcher Julio : TEHERAN. Easily obtainable via crosses. It's also the alternative spelling of Tehran, I think.

26. Fax predecessor : TELEX

28. "Put a tiger in your tank" brand : ESSO

29. Big name in corn syrup : KARO. Some Korean Hot Pepper Paste (Gochujang) have corn syrup. Some have rice syrup. I can't tell the difference. They're just delicious.

34. McGregor of "Trainspotting" : EWAN

35. Internet __: viral item : MEME

36. Garbage barge : SCOW

38. Analogous : AKIN

39. YouTube clip, for short : VID. I recently discovered this song. Lovely.

40. School for some princes : ETON

42. He played Yuri in "Doctor Zhivago" : OMAR

44. Composer Bruckner : ANTON

45. Savanna heavyweight : RHINO

46. Some bargains : TWOFERS

47. Freezer maker : AMANA

48. "When pigs fly!" : NEVER. Followed by NOT (53. Word in most Commandments)

55. Eye problem : STYE

57. Meter writer : BARD

58. Japanese sash : OBI

59. __ Mawr : BRYN

61. Agents of Uncle Sam : FEDs

62. Leave in, to an editor : STET

63. Sports drink suffix : ADE

65. "How __ Your Mother": CBS sitcom : I MET. Not a dupe of METS (114. 2015 National League champs). Patti's team.

67. Most of the RMS Queen Mary, now : HOTEL. Have any of you boarded that ship?

68. Skateboarding leap : OLLIE. We just had this a few months ago.

69. Red Wings' org. : NHL

70. Brazilian airline : VARIG. Total stranger to me.

71. Panama-born MLB Hall of Famer : CAREW (Rod). Used to bowl in Boomer's league.

72. Head, for short : LAV

77. Price of hand delivery? : ANTE. Oh, poker hand.

79. Decorative pitcher : EWER

80. They're no longer together : EXES. I really like Jennifer Aniston. She's so sweet and kind.

82. Not worth __: valueless : A SOU

83. Loaf, with "off" : GOOF

84. Beehive, e.g. : UPDO

86. Rubberneckers : STARERS

87. Like some pasta : TRICOLOR

88. Amaze : AWE

91. Caller ID? : IT'S ME. Fun clue.

92. When a ball may be dropped : NEW YEAR

93. "Challenge What's Possible" skin care brand : OLAY. Been using it since college.

94. Computer image : ICON

95. Dutch brewery : AMSTEL

100. "__ Frome" : ETHAN

101. Sandra's "Speed" co-star : KEANU

102. "The Jetsons" boy : ELROY

104. Young hooter : OWLET

106. Annie of "Ghostbusters" : POTTS. We just had her recently.

107. Día de San Valentín sentiment : TE AMO. It's these three characters in Chinese.

109. ICU caregivers : LPNs

110. Mount Olympus VIP : HERA. VIP made me think the answer might be abbreviated.

111. Letters at Camp Lejeune : USMC

112. "Stop right there!" : WAIT

113. Qatari chieftain : EMIR

115. "If all __ fails ... " : ELSE


Sep 20, 2016

Tuesday, September 20 2016, Patti Varol

Theme: Watch Your Step!

17. Adjusted sales figure on which some royalties are based : NET RECEIPTS. SAFETY NET.

28. Wood-finishing tool : BELT SANDER. SAFETY BELT.

37. Brass instrument played like a trumpet : VALVE TROMBONE. SAFETY VALVE.

45. Long, narrow mollusks : RAZOR CLAMS. SAFETY RAZOR.

60. Motto for the cautious ... or a hint to the starts of 17-, 28-, 37- and 45-Across : SAFETY FIRST

Melissa here. Straightforward theme, although I needed 60A to get it. Kept wondering what a VALVET was before the rest of 37A filled in. 


1. Pilothouse wheels : HELMS. Started off with an unknown - the clue meant nothing to me. A d'oh moment later.

6. Sphere in a library : GLOBE

11. Cheering syllable : RAH 

14. Use a broom : SWEEP

15. Lubricate again : RE-OIL

16. Touchdown approx. : ETA

19. Bus. get-together : MTG

20. Gentle touch : CARESS

21. Letter that opens with a click : EMAIL

23. Headache treatment : ASPIRIN

26. Concerning, on memos : IN RE. In Regard.

27. Seasonal bug : FLU

33. Tennessee senator __ Alexander : LAMAR. Unknown.

36. Zoo critter with striped legs : OKAPI

42. "Sure, I'll give you a ride" : GET IN

43. Sleep audibly : SNORE

50. Hotel divs. : RMS. Rooms.

51. Poet Khayyám : OMAR

52. Place for meditation : YOGA MAT

55. Intense personality : TYPE A

57. Response to a clever put-down : OH SNAP!

59. Actress Hagen : UTA. Learning moment.

65. Washington MLBer : NAT. Washington Nationals.

66. Mount in Exodus : SINAI

67. Lucky break : FLUKE

68. Genetic info letters : DNA

69. Seagoing mil. training group : NROTC. Naval Reserve Officers Training Corp.

70. Spine-tingling : EERIE   


1. QVC rival : HSN. Home Shopping Network.

2. Baaing mom : EWE

3. Tennis do-over : LET

 4. Gracias, across the Pyrenees : MERCI

5. Hurled weapon : SPEAR

6. "The Heart of the Matter" novelist Graham : GREENE

7. Hawaiian floral rings : LEIS

8. "Uh-oh!" : OOPS

9. Stand-up routine : BIT

10. Besides : ELSE

11. Send back, as to a lower court : REMAND 

12. Clothing : ATTIRE

13. "Marvelous" Marvin of boxing : HAGLER

18. Bed with high sides : CRIB

22. Yellow "Despicable Me" character : MINION

23. CIO partner : AFL

24. Balkan native : SLAV

25. Shoe company with a cat in its logo : PUMA

29. Doone of Exmoor : LORNA

30. Ref's ruling : TKO. Technical Knock Out.

31. Retired newsman Donaldson : SAM

32. LAPD alerts : APB'S

34. 1990s veep : AL GORE

35. Camper driver, for short : RV'ER

38. And so on: Abbr. : ETC

39. Shop __ you drop : TIL

40. Par : NORM

41. Clever Bombeck : ERMA 

44. Contractor's fig. : EST

45. Portly : ROTUND

46. "The Joy Luck Club" novelist : AMY TAN

47. Mexican revolutionary played by Brando : ZAPATA

48. Word before "Pizza" or "River," in film : MYSTIC

49. PlayStation maker : SONY. This was my one wrong entry - tried SE for SEGA. Nope.
53. Social faux pas : GAFFE

54. Lots and lots : A PILE

56. Part of AAA: Abbr. : ASSN

57. Point __ return : OF NO

58. Qualifying race : HEAT

61. __ conditioner : AIR

62. Capek's robot play : RUR. Another learning moment.

63. Slide down the slopes : SKI

64. Collarless shirt : TEE