Showing posts with label Robert W. Harris. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Robert W. Harris. Show all posts

Dec 12, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013 Robert W. Harris

Theme: 100 Years of Puzzling

16-Across. How to start working on a 35-Across : EXAMINE ALL CLUES.

35-Across. Pastime that will celebrate its 100th anniversary on 12/21/2013 : CROSSWORD PUZZLE.

54-Across. How to finish working on a 35-Across : WRITE THE ANSWERS.

17-Down. Inventor of the 35-Across : ARTHUR WYNNE.

Of course, I am well aware of the impending anniversary, and when I saw the clue for 16-A, I immediately checked the letter count at 35-Across. I filled that one and 17-Down immediately, which gave me wide swaths that were filled in seconds, and prevented a lot of mis-steps that I would otherwise have had with the tricky clueing on this one.


1. Keyless : ATONAL. Not like "keyless lock," but lacking a key, musically.

7. Top : BLOUSE.

13. Crude dudes : CAVEMEN. Cute misdirection with 7-Down. Crude meas. : BBL. and 9-Down. Crude fleet : OILERS.

15. Some woodwind players : OBOISTS.

18. Missile spot : SILO.

19. Socially awkward type : NERD.

20. Fish-eating eagle : ERNE.

21. Talking Trans Am of classic TV : KITT. From the '80s TV show.

22. Speak incessantly about : HARP ON. Waffled between "carp on" and "harp on."

24. Spenser's "The __ Queene" : FAERIE.

28. Some elimination rounds : HEATS.

30. Quite a lot : OFTEN.

31. Kirsten of "Melancholia" : DUNST. Never saw the movie. You?

32. Otologist's concern : EAR.

38. Saturn model until 2007 : ION.

39. Pet sounds : MEOWS. I bet dog lovers entered "woofs," right?

40. Nostrils : NARES.

41. Name of eight English kings : HENRY. And who didn't think of this song?

42. Lunch, say : REPAST.

43. It may be used after a break : SPLINT.

46. Requisite : NEED.

48. Quite a while : AEON.

49. Not even semi-pro? : ANTI. Favorite clue of the day!

50. Vocalist James : ETTA. At last...a clue I can relate to!

58. Corrida figures : TOREROS.

59. Gets in order : LINES UP. (As ducks in a row.)

60. Tense : ON EDGE.

61. Satisfies the munchies : NOSHES.


1. Nails, as a test : ACES.

2. Doorman's cry : TAXI.

3. Roundish : OVAL.

4. Literary sea captain : NEMO.

5. Porthos, to Aramis : AMI. French for male friend.

6. Gentle giant in "Of Mice and Men" : LENNIE.

8. __ cit. : LOC. Latin abbr. for "loco citato," or "in the place cited."

10. Seize : USURP.

11. Pool worker : STENO. Are there really still stenos out there?

12. Chief Ruhr River valley city : ESSEN. Our favorite German city makes an appearance.

14. Discontinued depilatory : NEET.

15. Long-established : OLD. I guess I must be long-established.

21. Branches on some trees : KINSMEN. Family trees, that is.

22. Metal fastener : HASP.

23. Adjusted (to) : ATTUNED.

24. Central points : FOCI.

25. High style : AFRO. Nice misdirection.

26. Avenger John Steed's alma mater : ETON. (He's the one on the left…)

27. Thing in court? : RES. Latin for "thing."

29. Limits : ENDS.

31. __ prize : DOOR.

32. Biblical reformer : EZRA.

33. Brown or golden drinks : ALES.

34. Take ten : REST.

36. Made an exit : WENT.

37. Microwave : ZAP.

41. Was indirect : HINTED.

42. Keep from getting out of control : REIN IN.

43. Took care of : SAW TO.

44. Former Argentine ruler : PERON.

45. Longest river in France : LOIRE.

47. Catchall abbr. : ET. AL. More Latin abbr. for "et alia," meaning "and others." And, how I usually include everyone in my morning greeting.

49. Sounds of contentment : AHS.

50. Woolly females : EWES.

51. Composer who was a CBS reporter : TESH (John). Prolific composer and award-winning broadcaster. I couldn't decide which of his works to link, so I'll let you choose your own.

52. Veracious : TRUE. I read this as "voracious" at first.

53. Threatening slitherers : ASPS.

55. Centimeter-gram-second unit : ERG.

56. Shoe part : TOE.

57. __ Balls: Hostess snack food : SNO. They did a tie-in with "Green Lantern" movie by putting these on shelves.  I wouldn't even think about eating one.

And for all our contractors on the blog, this should make you smile. It is what we found underneath the ugly ceramic tiles in the living room next door, woo-hoo!!!:

That's all for today. See you next week!



Note from C.C.:

I failed to mention an important step in yesterday's Big Avatar Picture instruction. Here it is again:

Click on your Blue Name, then "Edit Profile" on the upper right, then scroll down to "Profile Picture", then click on  "From the web. Paste an image URL below". Then paste. Then hit the Right Arrow button on your keyboard. Then wait for your picture to appear. Once it does, click on "Save Profile".

I'm eager to see if any of you can succeed today.

Aug 11, 2013

Sunday August 11, 2013 Robert W. Harris

Theme: "Mock Time" - "Ar" sound is changed into "Ah" (Short O) sound.

22A. Drill presses, lathes and the like? : SHOP OBJECTS. Sharp objects.

24A. Ways a fish avoids capture? : COD TRICKS. Card tricks.

41A. Cop's dog-days domain? : HOT BEAT. Heartbeat.

43A. Queue at a rest room, to a tot? : POTTY LINE. Party line.

67A. Time for promoting awareness about electrical hazards? : SHOCK WEEK. Discovery Channel's Shark Week.

93A. Promo for a prominent baby doctor's book? : SPOCK PLUG. Spark plug. Dr. Spock.

95A. Deity's online forum comment? : GOD POST. Guard post.

115A. Aid in moving an army bed? : COT WHEELS. Cartwheel. Two of the base phrases are one-word entries. Consistent.

117A. Late-afternoon marina observations? : DOCK SHADOWS. Dark shadows.

When did you grok the theme? I did not understand what's going on until SHOCK WEEK appeared.

This type of theme is often tricky for me to grasp, probably for other non-native English speakers as well.


1. GPS determination : LAT (Latitude)

4. Hint : SHADE

9. BlackBerry downloads : APPS

13. '70s tennis star Nastase : ILIE. Look at his personal life.  Reminds me of Wilt Chamberlain.

17. Altar agreement : I DO

18. One working on a bench? : PIANIST. Piano bench.

20. Mmes., in Monterrey : SRAs

21. Cloister group : NUNS

26. Small, in Saint-Lô : PETIT

27. 12-Down, e.g. : JET. 12. Retired flier : SST.

28. Hostile calls : HOOTS

30. Serving a purpose : UTILE

31. Summary : RECAP

33. Verbally assault : LAY INTO

35. Nasty : SNIDE

36. Rubs out : ERASES

38. External hard drive capacity prefix : TERA. We don't have a external hard drive.

39. Part of a fancy setting : CHINA

47. "__ Was a Rollin' Stone": Temptations hit : PAPA

51. Basketball tactic : PRESS

52. Some religious sects : CULTS

53. Hard-to-approach type, perhaps : SNOB

54. One going on and on : PRATTLER

56. Waterproof cover : TARP. So is mascara.

58. Pea house : POD. Ha ha, "Pea house". Our sugar peas are not doing well this year. The beefsteak tomatoes are still green. Too cold a spring. The weeds are doing great!

60. __-pitch : SLO

61. Most inane : SILLIEST. Not insane. Super funny. Thanks, Dave.

62. Clothing line : SEAM

64. Many an ex-lib : NEO-CON. Ex-liberal.

66. Short read? : MAG

71. Passé TV hookup : VCR

72. Fixed beforehand : PRE-SET

75. Funny Johnson : ARTE

76. Rebel's crime : SEDITION

80. Collecting Soc. Sec. : RET (Retired)

81. Tear : RIP

83. Other considerations : ANDs. Often this kind of little fill stumps me.

85. Ready for the sea : SAILABLE. Spell checker does not like this word.

86. Feed bag feed : OATS

88. Makes : EARNS

90. __ cuisine : HAUTE

92. Property title : DEED

97. Absinthe flavoring : ANISE

98. Topog. map stat : ELEV

99. Just down the road from : NEAR TO

103. Bold poker bet : ALL IN

105. Electromagnetic physicist Michael : FARADAY. I forgot. Lemonade linked this last this guy appeared. 

108. Enjoy, as a hammock : LIE ON. I'm not a camper. When I look at this picture, I think of mosquito spray, not how enjoyable Dave's hammock is.

109. Fields of study : AREAS

110. Lazy __ : SUSAN

111. Actress Peeples : NIA

113. Check endorser : PAYEE

120. Sri Lanka setting : ASIA

121. Courtroom fiction name : ERLE. Erle Stanley Gardner.

122. Add value to, as a deal : SWEETEN

123. Unwanted phone connection : TAP

124. Mao's successor : DENG. Here he is again. I didn't like him. He caused confusion in our ideology of China. 

125. Lock openers : KEYS. So straightforward.

126. Op-ed piece : ESSAY

127. "The Fountainhead" writer Rand : AYN


1. Speech imperfection : LISP

2. Stick : ADHERE

3. Horn blower : TOOTER

4. Bro or sis : SIB

5. Muslim's pilgrimage : HAJJ. HADJ is a variant.

6. Slippery as __ : AN EEL

7. Urgings, as of one's conscience : DICTATES. Never thought it can be a noun.

8. New England hrs. : EST

9. Fop's tie : ASCOT

10. Diplomatic formality : PROTOCOL

11. Inflates, as a résumé : PADS

13. Signs off on, in a way : INITIALS

14. Clear : LUCID

15. Woven linen tape : INKLE. Stranger to me. Which part is the INKLE?

16. Latin 101 word : ESSE

18. Fertilizer ingredient : POTASH

19. Warm-weather top : T-SHIRT

23. Typesetting measure : PICA

25. Like undercooked eggs : RUNNY. How do you like your eggs cooked?

29. __ shoestring: with little to spend : ON A

32. Streisand classic : PEOPLE

34. Baker's supply : YEAST

35. Doesn't divulge, as bad news : SITS ON

37. Emphasize : STRESS

40. URL initials : HTTP

42. Big __: WWI cannon : BERTHA. Callaway brand as well.

43. Cocoon occupants : PUPAE

44. Dedicate, as a book at a signing : INSCRIBE. David Sedaris inscribes funny stuff. The title of his Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls is actually from an inscription.

45. Court plea, briefly : NOLO. Nolo contendere.

46. Jet-black, in verse : EBON

47. Correspondent's "Oh, and another thing ..." : PPs

48. NPR journalist Shapiro : ARI

49. South Carolina state tree : PALMETTO. Been a long time since we drove to Myrtle Beach & played tons of golf.

50. Map collection : ATLAS

52. Work for a captain : CREW. Ship.

55. Detroit athlete : TIGER. For Jazzbumpa & LaLaLinda's husband.

57. Set as a price : ASKED

59. Crafty sort : DEVIL

63. Bungle : MESS UP

65. Slices in a pizza, often : OCTAD. Don't miss this Pizza Crust recipe. My first pizza is a  thick-crusted shrimp & pineapple at Pizza Hut Guangzhou. That's my ideal pizza as well.

68. Typically reddish-brown ape : ORANG

69. Smokers' buys: Abbr. : CTNS (Cartons)

70. "Annie Hall" actress : KEATON (Diane).

72. Paid players : PROs. Tiger. Tigers.

73. Get as a return : REAP

74. It might match cuff links : TIE PIN

77. Big rig fuel : DIESEL

78. Bullfight cry : OLE

79. Actor Beatty : NED. Wish I had never seen Deliverance.

82. Mates : PALS

84. Did a smith's work : SHOED

87. Reprobate : SCALAWAG. Great entry.

89. With regret : RUEFULLY

91. Progress : ADVANCES

94. Kosher deli buy : KNISH. Never had KNISH before. The sweet corn here is $3 for a dozen at the Farm Stand yesterday, Irish Miss.

95. Thyroid and pituitary : GLANDS

96. Clavell novel set in Hong Kong : TAI-PAN. Literally "Big Boss". Cantonese. Tai = Big. Pan = Boss. Both Cantonese and English are spoken in Hong Kong.

98. Historic chapter : ERA

100. Enjoy a story, say : READ. Have you read My Lunches with Orson yet? Sounds very juicy.

101. Prius automaker : TOYOTA

102. Like some airline tickets : ONE WAY

103. Got up : AROSE

104. Allow to enter : LET IN

106. Beasts of burden : ASSES

107. "Heavens!" : YIKES

109. Many a prep sch. : ACAD

110. Sun-cracked : SERE. A regular in our old Tribune days.

112. Film terrier : ASTA. The Thin Man.

114. "Baseball Tonight" channel : ESPN

116. Frightened reaction : EEK

118. Have yet to pay : OWE

119. "Ahem" cousin : HEY

Marti sent me this picture yesterday. She said: "This is one of my favorite flower arrangements, I make at least one every year, when the milkweed pods are ripe. Doesn't it look like a bunch of parakeets sitting around a garden?"

It fooled Boomer, me too if I had not read Marti's note.


Dec 9, 2011

Friday December 9, 2011 Robert W. Harris

Theme: Computer Terms for Dummies - Humorous re-interpretation of computer terms in non-computer sense.

17A. Correspondence between philistines? : YAHOO MAIL. Not a Yahoo Mail user.

25A. Telecommuting congressional aides? : HOME PAGES. The House is ending their page program.

38A. Grand Central waitstaff? : TERMINAL SERVERS. Desper-otto might know this term. Not me. He was an Application Developer.

47A. Drum major's concern during a parade through narrow streets? : BAND WIDTH

59A. Single-cut and rat-tail? : FILE TYPES. I've never heard of either the file type. Not a tool guy, obviously.

C.C. again. Lemonade called me on Wednesday afternoon, but I could not hear clearly what he said other than he was hospitalized. I hope it's nothing serious and he could return to us soon.

Part of today's gimmick delighted me as this is one of my favorite theme types. Part confused me due to my unfamiliarity with the theme answer or the clue.


1. Goya subject : MAJA. Naked and clothed. Crossing MAYA (1D. Builders of the Tikal temples).

5. Party guy, perhaps : STAG

9. Brought down : RAZED. This puzzle is a pangram, all 26 letters are used at least once.

14. "El __ brujo": de Falla work : AMOR. "Love, the Magician", according to Wiki. Unfamiliar to me.

15. Prefix with foil : AERO. What is aerofoil?

16. Adversary : ENEMY

19. Analogy symbol : COLON. Damn it: English :: Ta Ma De: Chinese

20. Rescinds : ANNULS

21. Poetic time reference : ERE

23. Social conclusion : ITE. Socialite.

24. Chromosome component : DNA

28. Barely got, with "out" : EKED. No other way to clue this little word.

30. Fin. neighbor : NOR (Norway)

31. Off-rd. vehicle : ATV

32. Charge : FEE. Quite pricy to get Geek Squad for a home visit.

33. Currency on which Marconi appeared : LIRA. No idea. Marconi appeared on 2,000 lira note. LIRE is the plural of "lira". (Sorry for the error earlier.)

34. Explore : GO INTO

41. Record holder : SLEEVE. Was thinking of a person.

42. Fleming and others : IANs

43. Ex-NBAer Unseld : WES. Stranger to me. Wiki said he spent his whole career with the Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets.

44. India neighbor, to the IOC : NEP. OK, Nepal.

45. The Tupolev Tu-144, e.g. : SST. The clue means nothing to me.

46. Like Magellan, often : ASEA

51. Dada co-founder : ARP (Jean)

52. Ring cheer : OLE

53. Like Beethoven's Sonata Op. 109 : IN E

54. Count Almaviva's valet, in opera : FIGARO. "The Marriage of Figaro".

57. Bobby __ : SOXER

62. Fall breaker : CHUTE

63. Behan's land : ERIN. Brendan Behan was an Irish poet. Another new name to me.

64. Sister of Rachel : LEAH. Jacob's first wife. And the real name of our dear Chickie.

65. Refuges : OASES

66. Like core courses: Abbr. : REQD (Required)

67. First name in humor : ERMA (Bombeck)


2. "God is not __ ...": Numbers : A MAN.

3. Baler maker : JOHN DEERE. Great entry.

4. In the area : AROUND

5. Big wholesale club : SAM'S

6. 1773 jetsam : TEA

7. NFL's Cardinals, on scoreboards : ARI

8. Artificial being of Jewish folklore : GOLEM. Inspired Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein".

9. Molecules that respond to stimuli : RECEPTORS

10. "Wheel of Fortune" purchase : AN O

11. Woody Allen film : ZELIG. Mockumentary (1983).

12. Ham it up : EMOTE

13. Physics class units : DYNEs

18. Rock-__: jukebox brand : OLA. I only know Wurlitzer.

22. Oxalic acid, e.g. : REAGENT. Whatever.

25. Wedding ring? : HORA. Ring dance.

26. Teacher of spoken language to the deaf : ORALIST. Spellchecker does not like this word.

27. Tel __ : AVIV

28. Immature newts : EFTs

29. Balance beam? : KEEL. OK, sailors, explain it to me.

30. Back-row bowling target : NINE PIN

33. Balls of energy : LIVEWIRES. Dennis is one. Don't think he ever had a quiet day.

35. Where many columns are found : NEWSPAPER

36. One with a trunk : TREE

37. Greek peak : OSSA. Mt Ossa.

39. Fix up : MEND

40. Window part : SASH

46. Varicolored pattern : ARGYLE. Look at our Argyle's socks.

47. Milk flavorer since 1928 : BOSCO

48. Hello, to some Americans : ALOHA

49. Link : NEXUS

50. Put off : DEFER

51. River island : AIT. Same as "islet", correct?

54. Ward (off) : FEND

55. Staples purchase : REAM

56. Workplace inspection org. : OSHA

58. Juillet is part of it : ETE. Juillet = July.

60. Glower inducer : IRE

61. Matter state: Abbr. : LIQ (Liquid)

Answer grid.

1) Happy Birthday to our always caring and attentive Hahtool!

2) Please click her (Chicago Tribute's website) if you're not happy with the new LA Times crossword format.


Jun 17, 2010

Thursday June 17, 2010 Robert W. Harris

Theme: Double Features - Each theme answer contains two movie names, the "short" & circled one is a single word and placed orderly from left to right (the first and last one are actually in perfect symmetry).

17A. Alan Alda feature with a Will Smith short: CALIFORNIA SUITE. The circled (green color) movie title in the answer is ALI (Muhammad, the boxer). Interesting to see 54D. Branch of Islam: SHIA in the grid, which means "followers of Ali", and is based on the teaching of Muhammad and his successor (cousin) Ali. Coincidence?

27A. William Hurt feature with a Warren Beatty short: ALTERED STATES. Circled movie: REDS.

47A. Barbara Stanwyck feature with a Dustin Hoffman short: NO MAN OF HER OWN. Circled movie: HERO.

62A. Michael Redgrave feature with a Helen Gahagan short: THE LADY VANISHES. Circled short movie name: SHE.

I found this a little tough for a Thursday, especially getting started in the southwest corner. Maybe because I was a bit anxious at starting to be a regular once per week.

Al here, hope you all had a good time with this one, I know I liked the challenge. So, let's get started.


1. Tired: LIMP. Wow, a DF answer right off the bat...

5. Hall & Oates hit "__ Smile": SARA.

9. Beast of burden: LLAMA. An "orgle" is the mating sound of a llama or alpaca, made by the male. The sound is reminiscent of gargling, but with a more forceful, buzzing edge. Males begin the sound when they become ready to mate and continue throughout the act—from 15 minutes to more than an hour. That must be as annoying as a vuvuzela...

14. Higher than: OVER.

15. GM subsidiary since 1929: OPEL. Wir Leben Autos (we love cars)

16. Lady who reportedly exchanged barbs with Churchill: ASTOR. Nancy Witcher. A Viscountess, the first woman to sit as a Member of Parliament.

20. Like some condors: ANDEAN.

21. Net worth factor: DEBT. Yes, your only worth in the US is to go into debt, to keep the economy going. I know I've done my share of patriotic duty...

22. __ leaf: TEA.

23. Part of a process: STEP.

25. They take vows: NUNS. From the WTF department: "Nunnery" is slang for a brothel??

32. Prefix with sac: OVI. Usually a deposit of insect or arachnid eggs.

33. Familiar saying: SAW. Old English "sagu" (proverb), also Old Norse "saga", which is from an Old English root "secgan" (say), also related: sage.

34. Fuses, as ore: SMELTS. From German schmeltzan, which contains the word melt.

36. Prepare to fire on: AIM AT.

39. Terhune collie: LAD. Albert Payson Terhune is the author of "Lad: a Dog".

41. Hot fragment: EMBER.

42. Sets aside for later consideration: TABLES. In parliamentary sense, originally "to lay on the (speaker's) table for discussion", but it has come to mean to postpone indefinitely.

44. "Excellent!": RAD. Slang shortening of the word "radical".

46. Montana motto word: ORO. "Oro y Plata" (Spanish: Gold and Silver)

51. Frantically: AMOK. To run amok first recorded 1670s, from Malay amuk "attacking furiously." Earlier the word was used as a noun or adj. meaning "a frenzied Malay," originally in the Portuguese form amouco or amuco.

52. Management ally of a sort: SCAB. Meaning of "strikebreaker" first recorded 1806, from earlier sense of "person who refuses to join a trade union" (1777), probably from the meaning "despicable person"

53. Former flier: SST. The Concorde's last flight was on November 26, 2003.

56. Dick of adventure fiction: MOBY. I was trying to come up with a detective name, like MOTO or CHAN.

58. WWII encryption machine: ENIGMA.

65. Ipse __: DIXIT. A Latin phrase meaning he himself said it. The term labels a statement asserted but not proved, to be accepted on faith. Usually from a person of standing, such as Aristotle.

66. Grand Marquis, briefly: MERC. A Mercury full-size car, equivalent to a Ford Crown Victoria. I think I heard a rumor that Ford will shut down the Mercury line soon.

67. Depressing situation, with "the": PITS. Said to be a shortened form of armpits. Could be worse...

68. "Gymnopédies" composer: SATIE. Eric, a frequent crossword clue.

69. Spot: ESPY. Old French: espier, to spy.

70. Kiln for drying hops: OAST. Frequent crossword fill.


1. Crazy, in a Ricky Martin song: LOCA. Living la vida loca (the crazy life) Hot stuff!

2. Russian John: IVAN.

3. Blend: MELD. One for Argyle and Tinbini: The original reference is to whiskey-making.

4. Christian guide: PRIEST. Greek Presbyteros, to Latin prester, to Old English preost.

5. Norman athletes: SOONERS. Norman, Oklahoma, Oklahoma University.

6. Boston Marathon mo.: APR. Abbreviated clue (month) = abbreviated answer

7. Split apart: REND. Also rive and rent, all related.

8. Klingons, e.g.: ALIENS. Latin alienus, belonging to another, variant of Latin alius (other), related: alias.

9. Job application line: LAST NAME.

10. Fightin' Tigers' sch.: LSU. Lousiana State University.

11. Working: AT IT. OK, right, "working"...

12. Small particle: MOTE.

13. Region: AREA.

18. Inevitable outcome: FATE.

19. Borders: ABUTS.

24. Big ring: PEAL. From a bell. Clever clue, I was thinking bathtub and wondering: There's a name for that?

26D. 31-Down opposite: STEM. and 31D. 26-Down opposite: STERN.

27. Bird-related: AVIAN. Latin avis. (Rara Avis = rare bird, a pecular person)

28. Dance at a bar: LIMBO. The bar you bend under, not the one where you get bent out of shape.

29. Doc, for one: DWARF. Happy, Dopey, Sneezy, Grumpy, Bashful, Sleepy, and a list of about 50 unused names.

30. Attention-getting joint: ELBOW. Especially a poke in the gut.

32. Cereal grass: OAT.

35. Sign at a popular musical: SRO. You have to want to see a show pretty badly to pay and have to stand up all the way through it...

37. __ mater: ALMA. Bountiful mother.

38. Rice, to Montana: TEAMMATE. Tight End and Receiver both were the right length, too.

40. Some code signals: DAHS. And DITS. Morse code pulses.

43. Hair net: SNOOD.

45. Propriety: DECENCY. Appropriateness.

48. "I find that acceptable": OK BY ME.

49. Indian royal: RANI. For Queen, or the alternate spelling of RAJA for king.

50. San Luis __: OBISPO. Saint Louis, the Bishop. Halfway between San Fran and L.A.

53. Agreed-on guidelines: Abbr.: STDS. Standards. We have a saying at work, "The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from". Unofficial, of course...

55. Message often sent using thumbs: TEXT. I'm not one for doing phone text myself; I prefer the feel of a real tactile interface.

57. First name in fashion: YVES. Saint Laurent.

59. Karmann __: sports car: GHIA. Multiple car name clues today. This one's a VW.

60. 1986 World Series champs: METS. Game 6 is another coincidental movie theme tie in for this puzzle.

61. Helper: Abbr.: ASST.

63. First-century date: LII. 52. Wasn't thrilled with the clue for this. Could have been clued Caesar's deck, or something else helpful, instead of random unguessable Roman letters.

64. Dada daddy?: ARP. Jean, but also went by Hans. The other founders of the Dada movement were Max Ernst and Alfred Emanuel Ferdinand Grünwald.

LA Times website has no circles since its software does not support circled squares. You can see our Answer Grid to identify where circled letters are.


Note from C.C.:

I am very pleased to announce that Al will blog Thursday puzzles from now on. Al has been a quiet hero, always there when I have a computer or crossword related question. Welcome on board, Al.

Jan 7, 2010

Thursday January 7, 2010 Robert W. Harris

Theme: Imaginary Places - Familiar two-word phrases ending with "locations" are punnily reinterpreted in correspondence to their clues.

18A. Where yearbooks are made?: ANNUAL PLANT. Annual plant grows and dies in a season.

26A. Where Hershey's makes new discoveries?: CHOCOLATE LAB. Chocolate Lab has chocolate-colored coat.

47A. Where astronauts worship?: SPACE MISSION. SPACE STATION anyone?

60A. Where littlenecks try their luck?: CLAMS CASINO. Littlenecks are soft clams, aren't they?

Robert W. Harris's LAT "Giant Leap for Mankind" puzzle was published on the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moonwalk. He seems fond of science.

Melissa Bee blogging.


1. Cool one: CAT. Two for the price of one.

4. Overused: STALE

9. Drink with a "generation": PEPSI. Barry Manilow wrote the jingle (at 4:00).

14. Kitchen catchphrase: A LA. In the manner or style of. Chicken A La King.

15. Implied: TACIT. A tacit agreement.

16. Betting everything, in poker: ALL IN

17. Food made from 35-Down: POI. And TARO (35D. Source of 17-Across).

20. Uncaptured: AT LARGE

22. Spring celebration: EASTER

23. Surrender: CEDE

24. Beam: RAY

25. That, in Monterrey: ESO. Spanish. Monterrey, Nuevo León, México, is the third largest city in Mexico. The "City of the Mountains."

31. Long, on Lanai: LOA. The Hawaiian name "Mauna Loa" means "Long Mountain." Largest volcano on the planet.

32. Broods: MOPES

33. What some tickets are for: SEATS

37. Russian-born Deco designer: ERTE. C.C. has drilled this one into my head.

39. Anger: IRE

40. Bare-bones subj? ANAT. Anatomy. Great clue.

41. Some religious observances: FASTS. Like Ramadan, or Lent.

43. Rub out: ERASE

46. College sr.'s test: GRE. Graduate Record Examinations.

50. Prof's helpers: TAS. Teaching Assistants.

53. Bullring cry: OLE

54. It will come back to you: ECHO

55. Esoteric: ARCANE

57. Maddened: ENRAGED

63. Living cell constituent: Abbr.: RNA

64. Prefix with tropic: HELIO. Prefix for "sun".

65. Unwise homebuilder's material, so the story goes: STRAW

66. Put together: ADD

67. Lip-curling look: SNEER

68. Early five-and-dime entrepreneur: KRESS (S. H.)

69. Howard of the Three Stooges: MOE


1. Bit of bullring gear: CAPA. says cape originates from 16th century Sp. capa. Never understood this "sport".

2. Loads: A LOT

3. Men's formalwear: TAILCOATS

4. Made-it-big status: STARDOM. On the heels of Jazzbumpa's question yesterday, "you know you've made it big when ____."

5. Hybrid fruit: TANGELO. Tangerine and grapefruit or pomelo. UGLI appears more often in our puzzles.

6. Teen's concern: ACNE

7. Actress Lucy: LIU. One of "Charlie's Angels".

8. Two after epsilon: ETA. Greek alphabet. Nice change from the standard airport abbreviation clue.

9. Melonlike fruits: PAPAYAS. Papaya enzyme is a useful ingredient to treat ACNE.

10. Wings with blueprints: ELLS. Building additions.

11. Likely spot for dinner? PLATE. Cute.

12. Trig functions: SINES

13. Words about a speaker, briefly: INTRO

19. Sharon of "Boston Public": LEAL. Had no idea.

21. Post-WWII nuclear org.: AEC. Atomic Energy Commission. According to wikipedia, it was established in 1947 to foster and control the peace time development of atomic science and technology. Abolished in 1974 when it's functions were reassigned to other agencies.

24. Stitch over: RESEAM

26. Staff symbol: CLEF

27. Romanian dance: HORA. The circle dance often seen in traditional weddings and other celebrations.

28. Individually: APIECE

29. Lafayette's land: TERRE. French for "land". General Lafayette of American Revolutionary War.

30. Arthur who played Maude: BEA.

34. Cardiologist's request: ANGIOGRAM. X-ray that shows blood flow through an artery or vein.

36. Early submachine gun: STEN. Never heard of it.

38. "The War of the Worlds" invaders, e.g.: ETS. Extra Terrestrials.

42. One buying time, perhaps: SPONSOR. Advertising time.

44. Raw or burnt pigments: SIENNAS. WM, can you elaborate?

45. Typical home-loan contract obligations: ESCROWS

48. Actor Baldwin: ALEC

49. ___ Na Na: SHA. Musical group from the sixties.

50. Dash instruments: TACHS. Tachometer of a car measures engine RPMs.

51. Senator Specter: ARLEN. Democrat, PA.

52. Model Proportion: SCALE. I only know model train scales, smallest to largest: Z, N, HO (Half O), S, O, and G. Dennis, do other models have similar scales?

56. Friend, in France: AMIE. Female AMI.

57. Pierce Brosnan's homeland: EIRE. Irish name for Ireland.

58. Prefix meaning "within": ENDO. As in Endoscope. ECTO is the prefix meaning "outer".

59. Miami-____ County: DADE

62. Narrow channel: Abbr.: STR. Strait. Strait of Gibraltar.

A celebration of Dan Naddor's life will be held at 1 p.m. today. Here is a great writeup of Dan's crossword career & philosophy in LA Times. Rich Norris mentioned that there are more than twenty Dan puzzles in LA Times pipeline and they will be published throughout the year.

Answer grid.


Nov 1, 2009

Sunday November 1, 2009 Robert W. Harris

Theme: "That Hurts" - OW in inserted into familiar phrases.

23A. Distinctive Farrah Fawcett feature?: SH(OW)Y LOCKS. Shylock is a loan shark, named after Shylock in "The Merchant of Venice". I wanted SHAGGY LOCKS.

29A. Candlemaker's monthly receipt?: TALL(OW) ORDER. Tall order = Tough task. Candles were made of tallow.

41A. Rollerblading partner of movie camera pioneer Bell?: H(OW)ELL ON WHEELS. Completely stumped me. Not familiar with the base phrase Hell on Wheels or the movie camera pioneers Bell & Howell.

67A. Methods of separating chaff from grain?: WINN(OW)ING WAYS

90A. People afraid of playing the stock market?: TRADING C(OW)ARDS. I like this entry a lot. I collect baseball trading cards and I am definitely a trading coward. Stupid stock market.

108A. Borders for oval paintings?: B(OW)ED FRAMES. Is this a bowed frames, WM?

115A. Including Monopoly money in a trousseau?: D(OW)RY HUMOR. Hilarious.

I knew the gimmick before I even got started. The theme title is very self-revealing, though I thought the inserting word is OUCH, which is too tough as an insertion I suppose.

How long did you spend on this puzzle? I did not peek at the cheat sheet until 45 minutes into the solving, very rare for me on a Sunday. Hope I can be so engaged and self-disciplined next Sunday.


1. Illinois-based brewery: PABST. Somehow I thought PABST is based in Wisconsin.

19. Correspond: AGREE

20. Some antique radios: RCAS

22. Haughty: ALOOF. Rod Carew is rather aloof. He does not seem to enjoy interacting with fans at all.

25. Earth: SOIL

27. "The Banger Sisters" costar: HAWN (Goldie). Have never seen this film. Looks fun.

31. One at a brayer meeting?: ASS. Ass brays. Nice clue.

33. Coinage: SPECIE. Money in the form of coin. I was stumped last time. Again today.

36. Herbal array, perhaps: TEA BAGS. Perhaps.

39. Son of Seth: ENOS

40. Bluffing strategies: RAISES. Poker. I was thinking of Kim Jong-il's bluffing one-upmanship.

47. Key to getting out of trouble?: ESC. Computer key.

53. On a liner, e.g.: ASEA. AT SEA too.

54. Sharp barks: YAPS. Dogs.

56. Sources of cabinet wood: ALDERS. I wonder if our kitchen cabinet is made of alder.

59. Response to being cut off: HONK. My husband does so often.

60. Jalapeño feature: TILDE. Good clue. Hot!

62. Returning lover's question: MISS ME? Felt silly struggling with this answer.

64. Single show: EPISODE

66. __ Karate: old aftershave: HAI. See this vintage ad. Unknown to me. Hai is simply "Yes" in Japanese and Cantonese.

71. Hindu honorific: SRI

72. Display case: ETAGERE. To display your knickknacks.

74. Know somehow: INTUIT

77. Ted Williams wore it: NINE. Gimme. Mantle's number is 7. Ruth 3.

78. What the heirs split: ESTATE

83. Diminishing returns: LESS. Can you make two sentences for me? I don't understand how the clue & answer are interchangeable grammatically.

86. Proverb ending?: IAL. Proverbial.

87. Bonding words: I DO.

95. 1990s Toyotas: PASEOS. No idea. "Paseo" is Spanish for "a walk" or "a stroll."

98. Copter's forerunner: GIRO (JAHY-roh). Short for autogiro. I forgot also. Gyro is a prefix for "circle"/"spiral". Sandwich too of course.

99. Tennis wear item: SNEAKER. Odd to see a singular noun.

102. Trying experience: ORDEAL

105. Scot's cap: TAM

106. Corn Belt st.: NEB. And TENN (29D. State bordering eight others: Abbr.).

110. Laundry basketful: LOAD

112. The Mideast's __ Strip: GAZA. In the hands of Hamas.

113. As a friend, to Fifi: EN AMI. Fifi is short for Josephine. French name.

117. "__ Grows in Brooklyn": A TREE

118. Actor Santoni: RENI. Nope. Wikipedia says this guy was in "Dirty Harry".

119. Heaviest modern fencing weapon: EPEE. Did not know this trivia.

121. Gardeners, at times: HOERS

122. Nick and Nora's pooch: ASTA. In "The Thin Man".

123. Pills, briefly: MEDS

124. Whimpered: PULED. Got it this time.


1. Former Turkish title: PASHA. The other Xword Turkish titles are: AGA/AGHA & BEY.

2. Horrified: AGHAST. Always a tricky answer for me, regardless how it's clued.

3. Use Google, e.g.: BROWSE. SEARCH seems fit the clue better, doesn't it?

4. Hanging on by a thread: SEWN. Not "hanged on by a thread"?

5. "Miss Pym Disposes" author: TEY (Josephine). See the book cover. She's clued as "Mystery writer" in our puzzle a couple of weeks ago.

6. Mentor's charge: PROTEGE

7. __ homo: ECCE. Latin for "Behold the Man".

8. Fermented Japanese brews: SAKES. Mirin is the cooking rice wine.

9. "Wild Bill" Donovan's WWII org.: OSS. The CIA forerunner.

10. Gets agitated, Bart Simpson-style: HAS A COW. Nailed it.

11. Put an end to: ABOLISHED

12. Deviousness: GUILE

13. Normandy battle site: ST. LO. Near CAEN, another battle site.

14. Ecclesiastical law expert: CANONIST

16. Behind-the-scenes band worker: ROADIE. And TOTERS (17D. 16-Downs, e.g.). I like cross-references.

18. "I shall be there __ you": "King Lear": AFORE. Poetic "before".

24. Alternative to immediate purchase: LAYAWAY. Not familiar with this payment plan.

30. Prosperity: WEAL. Learned it from doing Xword.

32. Black, to Blake: EBON. Poetic "black". Alliteration again.

34. Menial worker: PEON. Serf is "Menial worker" too.

37. In front: AHEAD

38. Mention casually: SLIP IN. Is this a common phrase?

40. Give fresh life to: RECREATE

42. Catch, as a dogie: LASSO

43. Dubuque-to-Chicago dir.: ESE

44. Like some elephants: ASIATIC. I just do not like Asiatic.

50. Rocket stage: BOOSTER

51. She played Honey Ryder in "Dr. No": ANDRESS (Ursula). I was clueless. See this photo.

52. Yarn units: SKEINS

53. Greek goddess of wisdom: ATHENA. Athens was named after her.

55. Identity crises?: AMNESIAS. My favorite clue today.

56. Nitrogen compound: AMINE

57. 40-day period of penitence: LENT. Fasting sounds very hard.

58. Observe covertly: SPY

61. Barnyard female: EWE. Can't fill in this answer without thinking of our ASCETIC (or Hedonist) Windhover.

63. Houlihan portrayer: SWIT (Loretta). "Hot Lips" from "M*A*S*H".

69. Former "SNL" character Father __ Sarducci: GUIDO. Uh-uh, nope. Wikipedia says he was played by Don Novello. The only GUIDO I know is the music guy. ELA used to be clued as "Guido's high note".

70. Spouses of sports nuts, facetiously: WIDOWS. Golf/baseball are the only two sports I watch.

73. "Really!": GEE

76. Hooch holder: FLASK

79. Bit: TAD

80. Wheel correction: ALIGNMENT

82. "Done so fast?": ALREADY?

85. Regular guys: STEADIES. New definition to me. I always connect steady with dating partner.

91. Massage deeply: ROLF. Named after Ida Rolf. The inventor of such method. Stumped me.

92. Most populous African country: NIGERIA. I had ALGERIA first.

93. Pinot __: GRIS. Penned in NOIR.

94. Brightest star in Scorpius: ANTARES. Ant(i) = rival. Ares, Greek god of war, equivalent of Roman Mars. The planet Mars is of red color. So, Antares, "Rival of the Mars", has to be red and bright I suppose.

95. "Now!": PRONTO

96. Program producing pop-ups: ADWARE

97. Pretender: SEEMER. Man, it's listed in the dictionary.

100. Dentist's concern: ENAMEL

101. Alter, as area boundaries: REZONE

102. Island folk magic: OBEAH (OH-bee-uh). The West Indian sorcery. It escaped me. We had it a while ago.

103. House martins nest under them: EAVES

104. Become a pair without an affair: ELOPE. Wedding affair. I was thinking of the extramarital affair.

107. Displayed openly: BARED

109. __ avis: RARA. Like Kazie. She is so unique and linguistically talented.

111. Didn't pay yet: OWED. This whole puzzle is OW-ed.

115. Jackson was the first to become pres.: DEM. Andrew Jackson. New trivia to me. Lincoln is the first Republican president.

Answer grid.

Note to solvers in Canada: What's on your paper today, "That Hurts" or "Not in Canada"?


Jul 20, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009 Robert W. Harris

Theme: Giant Leap For Mankind

16A: 57-Across, 12-Down or 24-Down: ASTRONAUT

35A: Landing site of 7/20/1969: TRANQUILITY BASE

57A: 16-Across Neil: ARMSTRONG

12D: 16-Across Buzz: ALDRIN

24D: 16-Across Michael: COLLINS

42D: __ 11, mission celebrated in this puzzle: APOLLO

Bonus fill : 9D: 35-Across is on it: MOON. Where they landed. Its symmetrical partner EERO (53D: Architect Saarinen) is not part of the theme, hence bonus.

Argyle here.

It was forty years ago today when, at 02:56 UTC on July 21 (9:56pm CDT, July 20), 1969, Armstrong made his descent to the Moon's surface and spoke his famous line "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind". See this picture of the APOLLO 11 crew.


1A: Federal job safety org.: OSHA. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

15A: Early programming language: COBOL. Its name is an acronym for COmmon Business-Oriented Language.

18A: Secretly stock up on: HOARD.

19A: Wicker furniture maker: CANER.

20A: One of a crab's grabbers: PINCER. PINCERS pinch.

21A: Gaza Strip gp.: PLO. Palestine Liberation Organization. Hamas controls West Bank.

23A: TV kid "in the middle": MALCOLM. A sitcom on the Fox Network, the series was first broadcast on January 8, 2000, and ended its six-and-a-half-year run on May 14, 2006. Frankie Muniz as Malcolm. "Boss of Me Now", theme song by 'They Might Be Giants'. (Full Version)

26A: Sch. with a Providence campus: URI. University of Rhode Island. Hey, Dr. Dad.

27A: Holy, in Le Havre: SACRE. SACRE bleu!

32A: Dawdling type: DALLIER; 48A: More foamy, as soap: SUDSIER; 43D: More squarish: BOXIER.

40A: What bikinis expose, informally: TUMMIES. And 42A: Sit-up targets: ABS. On the beach.

41A: Informed about: IN ON.

45A: Yemen city: ADEN.

46A: Pretentious one: PSEUD. Shortened pseudointellectual: a person of fatuously earnest intellectual, artistic, or social pretensions.

47A: "The Tell-Tale Heart" author: POE.

51A: Naval noncom: Abbr.: CPO. Chief Petty Officer.

52A: Yoked beasts, collectively: OX TEAM.

56A: It's slightly larger than a quart: LITER.

61A: Ogles: LEERS.

62A: Asian desert: GOBI.

66A: Mother of Castor and Pollux: LEDA. LEDA's twin sons are famous for their fraternal affection and regarded as the protectors of persons at sea. LEDA is also mother of Helen of Troy.


1D: " __ mouse?": OR A.

3D: Wintertime drink: HOT COCOA.

4D: Gillette razor: ATRA. What would constructors do without this Gillette razor?

5D: Sleep disorder: APNEA.

6D: Oyster's gem: PEARL.

7D: __ de Cologne: EAU.

8D: Former fast flier, for short: SST.

10D: Beaded calculator: ABACUS.

11D: Bullring VIP: TORERO.

15D: Sweep's milieu: CHIMNEY. The environment or a setting for the worker cleaning your flue is the CHIMNEY.

17D: "Drinks are __": ON ME. Not heard often enough!

20D: Braids: PLAITS.

21D: Sibilant "Hey!": PSST.

25D: Hardy of Laurel and Hardy: OLLIE.

32D: Kind of bullet that expands on impact: DUMDUM. The Hague Convention prohibits the use in international warfare of DUMDUMS.

33D: Got ready to fire: AIMED.

34D: Score-producing stats: RBIS.

36D: Highly luminous cosmic objects: QUASARS. Quas(i-stell)ar.

37D: Often-amusing story: ANECDOTE. Don't take it for poison; there you need an antidote.

38D: Gazpacho, e.g.: SOUP.

39D: Within: Pref.: ENDO. Opposite ECTO.

44D: Part of a living room set: SETTEE.

46D: Methodist, e.g.: Abbr.: PROT. Methodist is one of the PROTestant churches.

49D: Poetry feet: IAMBS. Metrical feet.

50D: Borden mascot: ELSIE. Elsie, the cow, and family.

55D: Russia's __ Mountains: URAL.

57D: Part of USDA: Abbr.: AGR. United States Department of AGRiculture

58D: French king: ROI. The oldest son of a French ROI is called DAUPHIN.

60D: Coll. student's concern: GPA. Grade Point Average.

Answer grid.