Showing posts with label Peter A. Collins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Peter A. Collins. Show all posts

Sep 18, 2019

Wednesday September 18, 2019, Peter A. Collins

Theme:  AT ANY RATE. Each theme answer is the name of a hit song, the first word of which can be used to rate quality.

18. #1 hit for Jerry Lee Lewis: GREAT BALLS OF FIRE. Released in 1957, and also a 1989 film.

28. #1 hit for the Beach Boys: GOOD VIBRATIONS.

49. #1 hit for Johnny Rivers: POOR SIDE OF TOWN.
64. #1 hit for Jim Croce: BAD BAD LEROY BROWN.

Melissa here. I'm impressed with this GREAT theme - two grid-spanners and two near-grid spanners, and ALL hit songs. I wonder which was the seed - perhaps Peter A. Collins will pop in and enlighten us.


1. Starbucks orders, casually: JAVAS. Java is often used interchangeably with "coffee," although technically, it refers to arabica coffee beans of plants grown in Java, Indonesia that produce a usually full-bodied coffee of low to medium acidity. Now you know.

6. Carnival staples: RIDES. The first thing that popped into my head was cotton candy, so I was looking for some kind of food treat.

11. Chance: SHOT. Take one.

15. Perform better than: OUTDO.

16. Scandal-plagued energy company: ENRON.

17. Witness' promise: OATH. "To witness that one sincerely intends to do what one says."

21. Squealed on the bad guys: SANG.

22. Oscar winner Kazan: ELIA. Kazan won directing Oscars for 1947's Gentleman's Agreement and On the Waterfront, the 1954 film that starred Marlon Brando, and a controversial Special Lifetime Achievement Oscar in 1999. There are lots of good movies about the Hollywood Blacklist.

23. Lemonlike fruit: CITRON.

24. Grocery chain with a red-and-white logo: IGA. Independent Grocers Alliance.

26. Like the Ninja Turtles: MUTANT.

33. Vornado product: FAN. Never heard of this brand - logo similar to above.

34. Landscaping tree: PIN OAK. See here.

35. Peter was the first one: POPE.

37. Application: USE.

38. Federal retirement org.: SSA. Social Security Administration.

39. Couple of million?: ELS. Two L's.

42. Farm food: HAY.

43. Justice __ Bader Ginsburg: RUTH. Appointed by President Clinton and took the OATH of office on August 10, 1993. Health update.

45. Get going: BESTIR. Not sure I've heard this word before - tricky,

48. Have bills: OWE.

53. "Let's get together": MEET ME.

54. Best-liked, briefly: FAV.

55. Kite carrier: BREEZE.

58. Italy's Villa d'__: ESTE. So pretty.

60. One of 12 on a die: EDGE. Another tricky one.

67. Brit's kitchen floor: LINO. British LINO is same as American LINOleum.

68. Abates: EASES.

69. Threw in: ADDED.

70. Dispatch, as a dragon: SLAY.

71. Oboist's supply: REEDS.

72. Hired thugs: GOONS.


1. Easy runs: JOGS.

2. General feeling: AURA.

3. Dodge Viper engine: V-TEN.

4. Slowly, in music: ADAGIO.

5. Drunkard: SOT.

6. Genuine: REAL.

7. Undecided: IN LIMBO. Interesting. The word is of Teutonic origin, meaning “border” or “anything joined on.”

8. Advice giver on SiriusXM Radio: DR. LAURA. Had no idea she was still on the air.

9. Canon camera named for a dawn goddess: EOS. Hm. Well ... Eos was a Titan goddess in Greek mythology, but the Canon EOS stands for Electro-Optical System.

10. Winter vehicle on treads: SNO CAT.

11. Convertible type: SOFT TOP.

12. Tiny margin of victory: HAIR. Haha.

13. Another, in España: OTRO.

14. "__ what?": THEN.

19. One of a pair of cartoon slackers: BEAVIS.

20. It's over in France: FINI.

25. National econ. stats: GDPS. Gross domestic products.

27. Grow fond of: TAKE TO.

28. Go from E to F?: GAS UP.

29. __ a customer: ONE TO.

30. "Soon": IN A BIT.

31. Emphatic word of refusal: NOHOW. Didn't realize this was one word.

32. What salmon do upstream: SPAWN.

33. Stole from a coat store?: FUR. Very clever. Shawl, wrap, stole, scarf - what's the difference?

36. __ contact: EYE.

40. River through Dublin: LIFFEY. Flows through Dublin.

41. Span. miss: SRTA. Señorita

44. Neighborhood pal, in slang: HOMEBOY.

46. Attorney general under Ronald Reagan: ED MEESE.

47. Blows one's stack: SEES RED.

50. Mohammad __ Pahlavi: last shah of Iran: REZA. Perped.

51. Farm contraption: SEEDER. Used to plant seeds for beans, cotton, rice, wheat, canola and many types of vegetables.

52. Engage in to excess: OVERDO.

55. OPEC units: BBLS. Barrels. One barrel equals 42 US gallons
One barrel equals 42 US gallons

Read more:
One barrel equals 42 US gallons

Read more:
One barrel equals 42 US gallons

Read more:

56. Mass transit option: RAIL.

57. Barry Humphries alter ego Dame __: EDNA. Australian comedian.

59. Mix, as salad: TOSS.

61. Extinct bird: DODO.

62. __ Stacy: Spider-Man love interest: GWEN.

63. They might be loose or tight: ENDS.

65. Ka __: southernmost Big Island point: LAE. The area is also known for its strong ocean currents and winds and is the home of a wind farm.

66. Purse: BAG.

Jun 20, 2019

Thursday, June 20th 2019 Peter A. Collins

Theme: Seasonal Scrambles - each theme entry has a scramble of one of the seasons hidden in it, as the reveal explains:

59A. What happens tomorrow ... and a hint to this grid's circled letters: CHANGE OF SEASONS. We move from spring to summer on Friday.

17A. Brief CV: SHORT FORM RESUMÉ. Summer.

24A. Make music with one's mouth closed: HUM A TUNE. Autumn.

36A Dessert potables : PORT WINES. Winter.

52A. Some facial decor: LIP RINGS. Spring.

Cool theme, I like how the seasons follow each other rather than just appear randomly. My daughter has a LIP RING which I was rather startled by the first time I saw it, but it's grown on me. PORT WINE is my favorite go-to with the cheese plate after dinner. SHORT-FORM RESUMÉ I'm not so sure about, but I did like the overall challenge here. Solid crosses for a lot of proper names. I wonder if Peter suggested to Rich when to run this puzzle and changed the reveal clue accordingly.


1. Hogwarts professor played by Rickman: SNAPE

6. Monk style: BEBOP. Nice misdirection. I was trying to think of another word for "tonsure" when I saw the light. Thelonious Monk.

11. "It's __-win situation": A NO

14. Groovier part of a 45?: SIDE A. How many grooves are there on a standard 45? Two, one on each side.

15. Achille __: hijacked liner: LAURO

16. Baseball commentator Darling: RON. New to me. Crosses solved it for me.

20. Ristorante rice dish: RISOTTO. I can just hear Gordon Ramsay say "Two Wellingtons, one spaghetti and one perfect risotto".

21. Votin' no on: AGIN

22. The geographic center of the 48 states is in it: KANSAS. I need to look this up. I'd like to know exactly where. In the UK, it's somewhere in Leicestershire, I think, 70 miles from the sea. For a reasonably large country, 70 miles from getting wet is not a long way away.

27. Decide that one will: ELECT TO

29. Cargo unit: TON

30. Spanish article: LAS

31. __ deck: cruise ship feature: LIDO. There's a Lido pool in Paris on the Seine. I've swum in it. Not sure that was the best idea I've ever had.

32. System starter?: ECO

34. "Paper Moon" pair: O'NEALS. Ryan and daughter Tatum.

39. Quarterly Nielsen ratings periods: SWEEPS. The sweeps are getting less important. Nielsen survey a week's worth of watching broadcast TV every quarter to set the price of advertising for the next three months on any given show. The problem is - cable. Nielsen don't survey cable, so if you are watching ESPN or HBO you don't count. Have you been watching the World Cup? Fantastic soccer.

42. Wind up: END

43. Free of charge: COMP

47. Ranch nickname: TEX

48. French pronoun: TOI. The 

50. They may hold rosés: CARAFES. I hope you spotted the E-ecute in the clue. I missed it at first, and was off on the VASE trail, Then I looked again.

55. Katmandu native: NEPALI

56. Hard to watch: UGLY

57. Indentations: NOTCHES
. I
64. "Lord, is __?": IT I

65. Under-the-sink fitting: P-TRAP

66. Get ready to refinish: STRIP

67. Writer Rand: AYN. We've had Ayn Rand and Anne Rice today. Completely different writers, but I've enjoyed reading both of their work. I think "Interview with the Vampire" was one of the most stunning novels I've ever read.

68. Some globe users: SEERS

69. With great passion: HOTLY


1. Old conscription agcy.: S.S.S.

2. Bethesda-based medical org.: N.I.H. I had to look this one up after I solved the puzzle, I think this might be a tad obscure?

3. Gussied up: ADORNED

4. Sub need: PERISCOPE. Hard to steerwithout one. You tend to bump into things.

5. Preoccupies a lot: EATS AT

6. Moral flaw: BLOT

7. Terra firma: EARTH

8. Disappoint, in slang: BUM OUT

9. 1967 NHL Rookie of the Year: ORR. One of the most famous photo in sports is Bobby Orr scoring the Stanley Cup-winning goal being tripped while celebrating the win. It is quite wonderful.

10. "The Tell-Tale Heart" writer: POE

11. Salad green: ARUGULA. Called "Rocket" in England, if you ever get a menu and wonder.

12. Insignificant: NOMINAL

13. Zen harmony: ONENESS. There's a spooky commercial running now about ginger beer and oneness, not sure if I like it.

18. Boy who may be adopted: FOSTER SON

19. Took a load off: SAT

22. Kenan's Nickelodeon pal: KEL. Completely clueless about this one.

23. "Green Book" Oscar winner Mahershala __: ALI

25. Van Morrison hit with the line "A fantabulous night to make romance": MOONDANCE. Let's hear from Van the Man.

26. Writer Rice: ANNE

28. Thanksgiving mo. in Canada: OCT. I have a Canadian friend here in LA who hosts a Thanksgiving Dinner in October. It's great, we get to eat turkey twice in two months. I cook turkey at Easter too - it's not particularly traditional, but our family always had an Easter turkey.

33. Fall behind: OWE

35. Reaches after getting away, as a safe haven: ESCAPES TO

37. __-FREE: contact lens solution: OPTI. Thank you crosses, no clue.

38. Forbes rival: INC Well good luck to INC's circulation numbers. Never heard of you.

39. Lesser Antilles isl. country: ST. LUCIA. A beautiful spot in the Caribbean.

40. Ponderous: WEIGHTY
41. Clarify: EXPLAIN. I used to work with a guy who would say "Let me 'splain you". it got to be quite a joke.

44. Qualifying phrase: OF A SORT

45. "Hacksaw Ridge" director Gibson: MEL

46. Tire letters: PSI. I think my tires are 32/24 on the front and back,

49. Brush aside: IGNORE

51. Go over again: REHASH. Usually no point. Accept and move on.

53. Rembrandt van __: RYN. Why do I always want to fill in RJN?

54. As of yet: SO FAR

58. Cookbook amts.: TSPS. I messed up yesterday smoking chicken. The cookbook called for 1 tbsp on wood chips, I decided more is better, and used two. Bad idea. All you can taste is smoke.

60. Modern rte. finder: G.P.S. Not Google Maps? I use my Garmin GPS sailing, but on-the-road navigation is firmly in the hands of Google.

61. Tour de France time: ÉTÉ I love the TV coverage of the Tour de France. This year will be bittersweet as Paul Sherwen, one of the the co-commentators and one of the voices of the Tour passed away this year from heart failure at the young age of 62. I was shocked when I heard the news.

62. Zilch: NIL

63. Make like a mole: SPY

And the grid:


Feb 21, 2019

Thursday, February 21st 2019 Peter A. Collins

Theme: Drink Up - the four theme entries conceal a juice read from bottom to top - as Peter more succinctly puts it in the reveal:

25D. Supercharge, and a hint to what's literally hiding in the four longest Down answers: JUICE UP

3D. Grand Prix, for one: MOTOR RACE. Carrot. Interestingly, Formula One racing cars don't use superchargers, you'd think they would. They use electrically-assisted turbochargers. Here's the famous Monaco Grand Prix in 2018

5D. Edible elephant, say: ANIMAL CRACKER. Clam. I think the sheep is something of an outlier in the Animal Cracker "family".

19D. Skillet dish with ham and peppers: WESTERN OMELET. Lemon. And Food! Officially, it shouldn't have cheese in it, but who makes the rules?

36D. FAQ spots: HELP PAGES. Apple. FAQ is one of those words that used to be written as an abbreviation, now it's a thing of itself. Frequently Asked Questions was the origin.


1. '90s-'00s Olympic soccer notable: HAMM. The great Mia on the US Women's National Team.

5. Literary captain: AHAB. I bet Starbuck wished he'd thought of opening a coffee shop rather than risk life and limb on a whaling ship.

9. Leaks slowly: SEEPS

14. Burn soother: ALOE

15. Zippo: NADA. If the downtrend in smoking continues, Zippo will eventually sell zippo.

16. Computer text code: ASCII. The American Standard Code for Information Interchange, which is something of a mouthful.

17. They're not loyal: RATS

18. Unyielding: IRON WILLED

20. Golfing group: TWOSOME. There's a course near me that sends out fivesomes at the weekend. I hated playing there, it was grindingly slow.

22. Base for money: TEN. I was tempted by "tin" as the base for a coin. No, the decimal number system. When I was growing up in the UK, the currency system was crazy - one pound was made up of 20 shillings, and there were 12 pennies in a shilling. The smallest coin was a farthing, which was a quarter of a penny. Learning money mathematics was a slog. The UK converted to decimal in 1971, incredibly recently if you think about it.

23. Swallowed: ATE

24. "Harry Potter" reporter __ Skeeter: RITA. Compete guess, but this worked out for me.

25. Not much: JUST A TAD. Or a farthing!

27. Anthem contraction: O'ER

29. Blue, on the Danube: BLAU. Strauss' The Blue Danube used in the soundtrack of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Ends a little abruptly here!

31. Noir hero: 'TEC

32. Lose oomph: FLAG

34. Movie SFX: CGI

35. Purim heroine: ESTHER

39. Centers of attention: FOCI

40. What unfixed malfunctions usually do: RECUR

42. Flight-related prefix: AERO-

43. "Burnt" color: SIENNA. Could be "umber", except for here. Not enough letters!

45. Coastal bird: ERN

46. Sound of an angry exit: SLAM

47. LSU conference: SEC

48. Chicago-style pizza chain, informally: UNO'S. Uno Pizzeria and Grill. Creator of the Chicago-style deep dish pizza in 1943, causing arguments with New Yorkers ever since.

50. Education org.: P.T.A.

51. Started, as a conversation: STRUCK UP. You can strike up a conversation or a band.

55. Car dealer's abbr.: M.S.R.P.

57. Acct. that may be rolled over: I..R.A.

58. Half a numbers game: KEN. KenKen. I just tried it for the first time. Fun!

59. Seattle pro: SEAHAWK. NFL player.

62. Going back, in a way: TIME TRAVEL

65. Arch type: OGEE

66. Often harmful bacteria: E.COLI

67. Basmati, for one: RICE. Food! I love basmati, I get it in 10lb sacks from the local Indian market, way cheaper than the supermarket brands. I cooked some just last night to go with tandoori-style chicken and garlic lentils.

68. "What, will these hands __ be clean?": Lady Macbeth: NE'ER. Lady M. bemoaning the fact she can't seem to get Duncan's blood off her hands.

69. Thick: DENSE

70. "Futurama" creator Groening: MATT

71. "Baseball Tonight" channel: ESPN. ESPN started so that some people on the East Coast could watch Hartford Whalers hockey games via satellite. Look how far it's come.


1. Roxie __, "Chicago" role: HART

2. "There oughta be __": A LAW

4. Soccer superstar Lionel: MESSI. Subject of furious debates among fans - who is better, Messi, Ronaldo or Neymar?

6. Fabled also-ran: HARE

7. Hubbub: ADO

8. Xhosa's language group: BANTU

9. French holy women: SAINTES

10. Bilingual subj.: E.S.L.

11. Grand display: ÉCLAT

12. Mary-in-mourning sculpture: PIETÀ. Here's Michelangelo's original in St. Peter's in Rome:

13. Agreed (with): SIDED

21. Wagering shorthand: OTB. Off-Track Betting. There's at least one bookies on every English high street.

26. Take the role of: ACT AS

27. Does in: OFFS

28. Morlock victims: ELOI. The two races in H.G.Wells' novel "The Time Machine". Ties in nicely with 62A.

30. Memorable time: AGE

33. Infomercial brand: GINSU. Knives you can cut soup cans with. Quite why you'd want to subject your knives to that treatment I have no idea.

37. Q.E.D. word: ERAT

38. Type of tomato: ROMA. I chop a couple of 'em into my garlic lentils.

41. Spigoted server: URN. Time for tea.

44. Suit go-with: NECKTIE. Less and less nowadays. I have quite a collection of ties but rarely seem to wear one any more.

49. Fed. benefits agency: S.S.A.

51. Located: SITED

52. Jiffy: TRICE

53. Hispanic penguin in "Happy Feet": RAMON. I only know this from crosswords, but it's ingrained now.

54. Render harmless: UNARM. I prefer "disarm", but I think we've had this conversation before.

56. Lake Geneva river: RHONE. Second European river today. The Rhone valley is a beautiful part of France, and home to some great wineries.

59. Religious offshoot: SECT

60. Bawl: WEEP

61. "Ol' Man River" composer: KERN. "There's an old man called the Mississippi ..." 

63. Raised trains: ELS. I particularly associate the El with Chicago.

64. Through: VIA

Which brings us to ... the grid. See you all next time!


Notes from C.C.:
1) Dave 2 is finally back to his assisted living place today. Hopefully he'll be on the blog soon.

2) Last night I got an email from Malcolm, longtime friend of  Fermet Prime (Lorraine Foster). He told me Lorraine "fell in the night a couple of hours ago in her bathroom, it took her 3 hours before she was able to reach her phone and get the paramedics to come. She’s in a local hospital and is going to have an operation for her broken hip this evening at 9:30 (I’m writing his at 5:10 PM on Wednesday February 20, 2019)."

Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. I've asked Malcolm for an address to send Lorraine cards. Will let you know.

Jun 18, 2018

Monday June 18th, 2018 Peter A. Collins

Theme: FOREIGN LANGUAGE ( 37. What's left when you remove the first and last letters of the answers to starred clues)

20A. *Indiana university: PURDUE. Urdu.

22A. *Thin metallic layer: PLATING. Latin.

53A. *Raucous party: SHINDIG. Hindi.

56A. *Uniform top: JERSEY. Erse.

Boomer here.

The theme feels thin today. But the candidates are limited to start with.  Spent most of the weekend watching the U.S. Open golf tournament on TV.  I really don't care to see the best players in the world make double bogeys. My playing buddies and I make double bogeys all the time.  The difference being that we don't have some idiot yelling "Go in the hole" after every tee shot.  I don't mind that the rough is ankle high or there are ten bunkers around every green.  Accuracy is a must in golf.  But greens are the target.  Why make the surfaces of greens the consistency of my driveway?  Anyway, hats off to Brooks Koepka for his stellar performance !


1. "See ya!": TA TA.

5. Potato chip, to Mr. Chips: CRISP.

10. Barbershop singer: BASS.  We had two bass levels in my high school glee club.  I was a second bass.  But in baseball I played center field.  We also have bass in our Minnesota lakes.  Let's see, probably at least 200 bass each in 10,000 lakes, that's 2 million fish.

14. Israel's Abba: EBAN. This could be a forbidden use of e cigs, those nasty vapor things.

15. Book of maps: ATLAS.  Charles Atlas course, Roy Rogers horse and only the shadow knows.  Ah do you remember those...(Statler Brothers)

16. Shoot out: EMIT.

17. Classic theater name: ROXY.

18. Alabama march city: SELMA.Think of all the hate there is in Red China!
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama!
Ah, you may leave here, for four days in space,
But when your return, it's the same old place,
We survived the eve of destruction.

19. Caesar's cover-up: TOGA. Get one for the party at Animal House, Delta Tau Chi!

24. Water vapor: STEAM.

25. Hex: WHAMMY.

27. Pacific cyclone: TYPHOON. I'll take their word for it.  I think we call them hurricanes in the US.

29. Yesterday's hit: OLDIE.  Oldie but a goodie.  But that was yesterday, and yesterday's gone.  Yes, I watch some of those Pat Boone, Time Life half hour commercials, but I have not purchased.

33. "Aladdin" monkey: ABU.

35. Museum filler: ART. Mr. Garfunkel

36. Sanctify with oil: ANOINT.

41. Yearly records: ANNALS.

42. Choice from a tap, for short: IPA.  This is an acronym for some kind of India beer.  I had to Google it to learn.

43. "If I Ruled the World" rapper: NAS.

44. Vermouth name: ROSSI. They make Vermouth and Wine.  You may make a martini after you finish this puzzle.

45. Employed full time: ON STAFF.

48. "You convinced me": I AGREE.

50. Shelter resident: POOCH. A pooch can be a small dog.  However in the NFL it is a kick that goes about 20 yards to avoid a threatening returner like Pharoh Cooper.

57. On the wall, as art: HUNG.

58. Home of the NBA's Heat: MIAMI.  Used to be pretty good when they had LeBron

61. Meat safety org.: USDA.

62. Caesar's surprised words: ET TU.  Brutus to Caesar "How many eggs did you have for breakfast, Caesar ?" Caesar - "Et Tu Brute"

63. Fruit served in balls: MELON. We just serve it in squares and triangles.  It tastes great, and doesn't roll off your plate.

64. Cross paths: MEET.

65. "__ Fiction": 1994 Tarantino film: PULP. Never saw it.  Not a big fan of John Travolta.

66. County near London: ESSEX.

67. Part of DOS: Abbr.: SYST.


1. U. of Maryland team: TERPS. A Terrapin is a sort of turtle.  Heckuva name for a football or basketball team.  Almost as bad as Gophers!  Maryland joined the Big 10 a few years ago.  I think there are 14 schools in the Big Ten, so four of them must be small. Sorry, Husker Gary, Nebraska is not small. A welcome competitor.

2. Close to: ABOUT.

3. Spring onslaught at the IRS: TAX RETURNS.  Interesting name.  I pay income tax every Spring, but so far, none of it has ever been returned.

4. Soon: ANY DAY.

5. Beer purchase: CASE.

6. 66, for one: Abbr.: RTE. So famous even a Northern lad has heard of this famous highway, although I don't think I have ever traveled it.  It runs from Chicago through St. Louis, OK City, Albuquerque and on into Los Angeles.  I think there was a famous TV show with Martin Milner about Rte. 66

7. Sick: ILL. Chicago may be ILL.

8. Chinese watercraft: SAMPAN.

9. One starts, "The Lord is my shepherd": PSALM.

10. Pig-tailed Muppet: BETTY LOU.

11. Mine, in France: A MOI.

12. "__ on the dotted line": SIGN.  I have not seen a dotted line to sign on, Has anyone?  Most lines are ______________

13. Buck: STAG.  We used to call these parties where you don't bring a date.

21. One working at home?: UMP.  Some of these guys get a theatrical kick out of calling strike three.  I can't stand it.  No one goes to a ball game to see an Umpire, (except maybe his Mom.)

23. In a crowd of: AMONG.

25. Unlike new clothes: WORN.  Also unlike our driveway.

26. Crisis telephone: HOTLINE.

28. Some Halloween figures: HAGS.  "I'll get you my pretty, and your little dog, too" 

30. "Gorillas in the Mist" author: DIAN FOSSEY. 46. Subject for 30-Down: APE.  In the funny papers - Alley Oop

31. "Young Frankenstein" role: INGA.

32. Cézanne's summers: ETES.  Maybe we could get ETES at IHOb.

33. Way, way off: AFAR.

34. U2 frontman: BONO.  I prefer a clue of Cher's Hubby - I got you babe!

36. Vet school subj.: ANAT.

38. Relaxing, as restrictions: EASING UP.

39. Trojan War epic: ILIAD.  I think this was written by Homer.  Maybe when "All Rise" Judge hits one out, John Sterling can call "It is high, it is far...ILIAD"

40. Church area behind an altar: APSE.

45. Bacchanalian revelries: ORGIES.

47. Discussion platforms: FORUMS.

49. "I wannit!": GIMME. "a head with hair, long beautiful hair, shining gleaming, streaming, flaxen waxen",  Did I mention I do Karaoke

51. Surrenders formally: CEDES.  Don't give up, we're almost done.

52. Marriott alternative: HYATT.  Both are a bit pricey.

53. "George of the Jungle" elephant: SHEP. Shep was an original Stooge, see below.  I think he was replaced by Curly.

54. Native Rwandan: HUTU.  Heard on the basketball court.  "Throw the Ball" "HU TU ?"

55. IHOP's "I," originally: Abbr.: INTL. IHOP has become IHOb now.  Have a burger with your pancakes??

56. Hex: JINX.

59. Baseballers Kaline and Rosen: ALS. I am privileged to have watched Al Kaline play a few games against the Twins at Metropolitan Stadium

60. Head Stooge: MOE. Larry, and my favorite "Curly".  I had a bowling teammate named Carl and we called him Curly.  But he wasn't a stooge.


Aug 5, 2017

Saturday, Aug 5th, 2017, Peter A. Collins

Theme: None

Words: 70 (missing J,Q,Z)

Blocks: 26

  We have not seen a Saturday construction from Mr. Collins since 2013; his most recent LA Times contribution was a Thursday puzzle this past June; that last Saturday grid was in June, as well.  I looked over my review from that one, and wrote that I had trouble with the long answers, but not the proper names.  This time, I breezed through the long answers, but got stuck on the shorter ones.  Imagine that.  The grids, however, are similar, with a non-intimidating look, the long fills on the 'inside', and triple 10-letter corners no so easy to parse in the Down.  Some of the longer fill;

17. Layoff order? : "DON'T START IN ON ME~!" - my attitude at UPS lately

51. Words shouted out an open window : "LEARN HOW TO DRIVE~!" - yes, I am good for this - along with HANG UP THE Fkn PHONE~!!!

Or this one~?

7. Giving up the ball after a fake punt, say, in football lingo : TURN OVER ON DOWNS - timely clue/answer - I saw pre-season football on TV this Thursday~!

On Wed.~!(8/9)


1. Part of the back forty : ACRE - for some reason I thought "back forty" was related to the states after the original colonies (hence my first thought being UTAH); in a sense, I was right - see here

5. Genghis Khan subject : TATAR - ah, as in a member of the lower class, not "a" class

10. Go after, as flies : SHAG - I had SNAG.  Shag~?  Yeah, baby, yeah~!

14. Words of self-pity : I'M A FAILURE

16. One heading for the cape? : TORO - my first fill was KENT, as in Clark, on his way to becoming Superman

19. Remnant : END

20. Water carriers : MAINS - I tried EWERS; this is a clever clue for the pipes of a city system

21. Rooney and Griffith : ANDYS

22. "Haven't the foggiest" : DUNNO

23. Calligraphy problems : SMEARS - knew what we were looking for, pondered SMUDGE(s)

24. Law school course : ETHICS

27. Area between highlands : VALE

29. Word whose meaning can be the same when read backward : PAT - and the reverse, TAP, which makes a very clever clue

30. Take the wrong way? : POACH - got it, but had STEAL to start

31. ADHD drug : DEXEDRINE - no clue, filled via perps, WAGed the "R" (tho it made sense)

33. Triangle relationship : SINE

34. Removed a cylinder from, maybe : CORED - kept thinking about car engines at first

35. Kurylenko of "Quantum of Solace" : OLGA - I know her well

36. Like throwbacks : OLD SCHOOL

38. Reacted to a call at home, maybe : BOOED - baseball fans

39. Came together : MET

40. Notable feature of Africa : HORN

41. Father's changing room : VESTRY - after the third look at this clue, I realized the father here refers to a priest.  A-ha~!

42. Plug : STOP UP - hah~!  I was looking for a "PITCH" like a sales campaign

44. Like "The Age of Reason" doctrine : DEIST

46. One of Israel's 12 tribes : ASHER

47. Vermouth name : ROSSI

48. Took : WON

54. Go south : TANK

55. Compilation publication since 1984 : UTNE READER

56. Factory regs. : STDs -the factory standard table for the back of an Airstream trailer does not work with reclining chairs, so my landlord's buddy who was in town for two weeks asked me to build him a custom one....

57. 30% of essentials : ESSES - hey, D-Otto, he does math like us~!

58. Proceed : WEND


1. Hamilton, to General Washington : AIDE

2. "What are you waitin' for?' : C'MON

3. Author born Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum : RAND - first (pseudo) name AYN

4. Baby newt : EFT

5. Cronus and Rhea, e.g. : TITANS

6. Harlem Renaissance writer Locke : ALAIN - filled via perps

8. Word in many degrees : ARTS

9. Outdoor gear giant : REI - seen this one before, so I have gotten used to it

10. Georgia's __ Mountain : STONE

11. Acura MDX relative : HONDA PILOT - my first "long answer" fill, and I was on a roll

12. Elite military member : ARMY RANGER

13. Sees only one person : GOES STEADY

15. To the same degree : AS MUCH - I had AS WELL to start

18. Called : NAMED

22. Does a kitchen job : DICES

23. Dog follower : SLED - oops, not STAR

24. Bath additive : EPSOM SALTS - I have added this to my bath in the past

25. Head rest? : TOILET SEAT - clever, but I got it from --ILE----T

26. Like some combat : HAND-TO-HAND

28. Winter Olympics maneuver : AXEL

31. Word with front or pocket : DOOR - my bathroom has a pocket door, and I just finished helping a friend frame out and trim his new bathroom pocket door

32. Stick in a cage : ROOST - the noun, not the verb

34. Martial arts move : CHOP

37. Agitate : CHURN

38. Not relevant to : BESIDE

41. Shade providers at golf clubs : VISORS - I like the trees that line the courses I play for shade; Cedars has more trees than Sandy Pond.  My golfing buddy Fred just invested $700 in a set of clubs - I was a little more frugal, and spent $42 on a pull cart from eBay.

43. Exec's extras : PERKS - first thought, second guessed; I was thinking we need an abbr. because of exec

45. Competitor of Helena : ESTÉE - got it.  Upon reading both Wiki pages, they had quite a lot in common; Lauder; and Rubenstein

47. Breaks down : ROTS - the answer I was thinking we were looking for at 54a.

48. Off the mark : WIDE - not AWRY

49. Rising spot : OVEN - ah, not EAST

50. Stereotypical techie : NERD

52. Tangerine or peach : HUE - obviously FRUIT was not going to fit, and I had the "E" already

53. Unadulterated : RAW - so why is an "Adult" film considered "RAW", too~?


Jun 22, 2017

Thursday, June 22 2017 Peter A. Collins

Theme: Office Space - Four corners, four varieties of offices - as the reveal succinctly explains:

38A. With 41-Across, corporate status symbol ... and a hint to the circled letters : CORNER

41A. See 38-Across : OFFICE

Four corners, four offices and two paired reveals across the center. The four offices are clockwise from noon: HOME, TICKET, POST and OVAL. Quite lovely. A couple of years ago I tried to construct a circle puzzle based on OFFICE in an oval shape. I messed around with that idea for way too long and then abandoned it. Peter went in another direction and nailed it.

A "hidden" theme like this is extremely hard to pull off. Kudos to Peter for that - and let's see what else jumps out.


1. Sheepish? : OVINE. Bugger. Why do I always confidently go with USINE which has nothing to do with sheep? First misstep at 1A. Go Steve! Now this is a thing of beauty! Those border collies are quite amazing,

6. Seeks information : ASKS. "Excuse me, what is the descriptive adjective for sheep?"

10. Wave back? : ECHO. Nice. Was playing with EVAW for a while.

14. Fashion flap : LAPEL

15. Eliza Doolittle's creator : SHAW. George Bernard. "Pygmalion" and thence "My Fair Lady". The wonderful Audrey Hepburn.

16. Noah's firstborn : SHEM. Confidently tried SETH first. That didn't help a lot.

17. __ blank (was stumped) : DREW A

18. Big East hoopster : HOYA. If you'd have told me 25 years ago I'd even know that there was a thing called College Basketball I'd have been stumped. 25 years later, not even a thought about the Georgetown U athletics program.

19. One of many on a sweater? : PORE. Great clue. That was me yesterday at my periodontist. Google British Dentisty 1960's and you'll know why my pores were getting a workout. My first dentist (I was five years old) drilled my teeth with a foot-treadle-operated drill and no anesthetic. This was way before Novocaine was available.

20. Headshot, e.g. : PIC

21. Rapper-turned-actor in "NCIS: Los Angeles" : LL COOL J

24. Tiny, made tinier : LIL. Rapper designate also. 'Sup, Cool J?

25. Collect : REAP. As ye sow. so ye shall reap ....

27. Cake grain : OAT ... cake grain? No thanks, I'm inventing vodka!

28. Decadent : EFFETE

30. Perceived Hollywood oversight : OSCAR SNUB. Loved this. Unhappy that Daniel Day Lewis decided this week to hang up his boots. What a fantastic actor. Never snubbed.

33. Gold standard : KARAT

34. Univ. aides : TAS

35. Luau fare : POI. FOOD! It's really good if it's made well. That's a big caveat.

37. Joyful dances : JIGS

43. Hindu title : RANI

44. Modeled for a portrait : SAT

46. See 54-Across : OUT. Cross-reference haters rejoice! Here's one with the second word first! Have at it in the comments section!

47. Tennyson's "__ Arden" : ENOCH. Crosses all the way.

49. Character who debuted in "First Blood" : JOHN RAMBO. I can never remember his first name.

54. With 46-Across, quit working : CONKED. See 46A. Personally, I like it.

56. Fam. member : REL. We say "relation" here. Brits say "relative". Discuss.

57. Spotted : SEEN

58. Terminate : END

59. Genuine, for real : SYNONYM. LOVED this clue. I wish I was so original when I'm cluing a crossword.

62. Bloke : LAD

63. "Rich men sin, and __ root": "Timon of Athens" : I EAT. Obscure? Yes. Gettable with crosses? Yes.

65. Princes, but not princesses : SONS

66. Advice to sinners : ATONE. Not "Don't be a knucklehead and don't it again"? That would be my advice before starting the whole atonement process.

68. __ stick : POGO

69. "Beetle Bailey" pooch : OTTO

70. Slice-and-dice product suffix : -MATIC. Don't. REALLY don't. REALLY DON'T order anything from the TV called -MATIC anything. Period.

71. Crimean War leader : TSAR

72. Lamp gas : NEON

73. Walter White's Pontiac model in "Breaking Bad" : AZTEK Easily one of the ugliest cars designed - ever.


1. Hardly a neophyte : OLD PRO

2. Fluctuates : VARIES

3. Emetic drug : IPECAC. Completely ineffective and, as it transpires, quite dangerous.

4. Never used : NEW

5. Airline since 1948 : EL AL. "To the skies" et al. Sorry, I meant el al.

6. Rubbish bin : ASH CAN. Do we have these anymore? Genuine question.

7. Have a growth spurt : SHOOT UP

8. Drop to the canvas : KAYO. Variations on Knock Out, KO or crosswordese KAYO. Sorry, didn't like this.

9. Marshy hollow : SWALE. I'm not seeing this. A marsh is flat, wet and reedy. A swale is a lovely dry haven in a meadow. Ne'er the twain shall meet.

10. Mentalist's gift : ESP

11. Ill-tempered : CHOLERIC. Word of the day.

12. Ancestry : HERITAGE. Wine style of the day: Meritage. C'mon, I have to get my food/wine hat on sometimes!

13. Morning orders : OMELETS. Food! Mushrooms, cheddar cheese, spinach. Thank you.

22. Setbacks : LOSSES

23. 35th pres. : JFK

26. Indy racer Danica or sportscaster Dan : PATRICK. I watch the Dan Patrick Show most mornings on NBC Sports. Dan has a life-sized stand-up of Danica in his studio. There was an ongoing debate about whether it was Danica, or a stock model of a guy with Danica's face Photoshop'ed onto it, due to the size of the hands. The jury was out - either it was Danica, who has "Man Hands", or it was a Photoshop fake. Very entertaining.

29. Sizzling Tex-Mex dish : FAJITAS. Food! SoCal favorite.

31. Conducted : RAN

32. Didn't say __: had no comment : BOO

36. Words of regret : IF ONLY

38. Camera named for a goddess : CANON EOS. I gave my daughter one for Christmas one year, I made sure it worked first, She almost didn't get it.

39. Five Nations tribe : ONONDAGA. Thank you, crosses

40. "The Big Bang Theory" astrophysicist : RAJ. Thank you, crosses, I know this is a show I should have watched but .....

42. Pelt : FUR

43. Register printout : RECEIPT

45. Home city of Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper : TORONTO. One of those two better be syndicating the LA Times puzzle, or there will be trouble, eH? Don't have any doot aboot it. Canadian Eh! may need to mediate..

48. Cock and bull : HES. Masculine plural - wasn't sure how to punctuate it, so you get it in the raw form.

50. Muppet master : HENSON

51. Giant in Cooperstown : MEL OTT

52. Small cap : BEANIE

53. Next up : ON DECK. Lemonade, tomorrow

55. Bagless vacuum pioneer : DYSON. I love how he sounds so British. And all balls, too.

60. Staff member? : NOTE

61. Crib cry : MA-MA

64. Craggy peak : TOR

67. Tornadic Looney Tunes spinner : TAZ

It's been a long day, so I'm done (put a fork in me) . Grid below. I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Thursday. Those of you in tornado territory - be careful. Those of you in insanely hot territory - look after yourselves.


May 21, 2015

Thursday, May 21, 2015 Peter A. Collins

Theme: "Deal Me In!"

Without the reveal, I had no clue what the theme might be. So let's start with that:
69-Across. Poker request, and a literal hint to what's hidden in the answers to the starred clues : ANTE UP.

Aha!  All of the starred clues were "down" answers. And you can find ANTE climbing "up" the grid in each one, like 3-Down. *Cold War fleet :

10-Down. *Honey and Boo Boo, e.g. : PET NAMES. I was thinking along the line of bears!

27-Down. *Wings eaters' aids : WET-NAPS.

31-Down. *Austroasiatic language : VIETNAMESE. The language family has nothing to do with Austria. In Latin "austro" means "south."

39-Down. *Prepare for a bath : GET NAKED. And then?


1. GM car buyer's option : ONSTAR.  Love it when I fill in 1A immediately.

7. Make more powerful, with "up" : SOUP. Anyone else want "beef"?

11. White lie : FIB.

14. Illinois River city : PEORIA.

15. "Gift From the Sea" author __ Morrow Lindbergh : ANNE.

16. Milk : USE.

17. Go back : REVERT.

18. Not quite closed behind you : LEFT AJAR.

20. Foreman foe : ALI.

21. She played TV's Maude : BEA. Arthur.

23. Food processor job : MINCING.

24. Serengeti scavenger : HYENA.

26. Try to hit : SWAT AT.

28. Turn to the right, say? : TIGHTEN. "Right-y tight-y, left-y loose-y."

30. Chess activity : MOVES.

34. Tailless cat : MANX. They are named after the Isle of Man.

36. Poetry or painting : ART.

37. Published in installments : SERIAL.

38. George's lyrical brother : IRA. The brothers Gershwin.

39. Strangers' exchanges : GLANCES. As good an excuse as I will ever get to link Ol' Blue Eyes. 2:04

41. Important time period : ERA.

42. Protective embankments : LEVEES.

44. "So it was you!" : AHA!

45. Work meas. : FT. LB. Foot pound.

46. "Cat got your tongue?" : SAY IT.

47. East Lansing athlete : SPARTAN.

49. Banded rock : GNEISS.

51. Easy __ : AS ABC. Had to check perps before deciding on "pie" or ABC.

54. Pub pick : PALE ALE.

57. Jan. honoree : MLK. Martin Luther King.

59. Stain : MAR.

60. Dancing style that went viral on YouTube in 2013 : TWERKING.

62. Mocha resident : YEMENI.

64. Studio creation : SET.

65. Poet __ St. Vincent Millay : EDNA.

66. Cooks slowly : ROASTS.

67. Crown installer: Abbr. : DDS. AHA! Saturday we had DMD.  DDS is more Thursday-friendly, I guess.

68. Poker request : DEAL.


1. Angel Network charity founder : OPRAH.

2. Hockey Hall of Famer Cam : NEELY. Gimme - he played for the Boston Bruins, and is now president of that organization.

4. Square root of nove : TRE. Italian "three."

5. Auto safety device : AIRBAG.

6. Give a star, perhaps : RATE.

7. See 61-Down : SAL. 61-Down. With 7-Down, Hayworth title role, with "My" : GAL. From 1942.

8. Like some bands : ONE MAN.

9. Out of shape : UNFIT.

11. McIntosh alternative : FUJI. Duh!  The edible apples, not computers.

12. "This __ outrage!" : IS AN.

13. Baffin Bay sight : BERG.

19. Matthew Fox or Peter Coyote : ACTOR. They sound like they could be in the book "Wind in the Willows," along with Mr. Toad and Mr. Badger.

22. Latin stars : ASTRA.

25. Put the kibosh on : NIX.

29. Dutch portraitist Frans : HALS. A master of portraiture.

32. Countess' husband : EARL.

33. Big chunk : SLAB.

34. Wire units : MILS.

35. House painter's calculation : AREA.

37. Char : SEAR.

40. Great divide : CHASM.

43. Peak in an Eastwood film : EIGER. "The Eiger Sanction." 1975.

45. Scale fourths : FAs. After do, re and mi. Want to learn all about solmization?

47. Earth pigment : SIENNA.

48. Tangle with : TAKE ON.

50. Say "prob'ly," say : ELIDE.

52. African language group : BANTU.

53. Like new bills : CRISP.

54. VA concern : PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

55. Gobsmacked : AWED. Great word, "gobsmacked."

56. Al Green's "__ Stay Together" : LET'S.  Great classic love song, but I already linked one today...

58. Harp constellation : LYRA.

63. Yoga __ : MAT. Ommmmm....