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Showing posts with label Robin Stears. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Robin Stears. Show all posts

Mar 20, 2020

Friday, March 20, 2020, Robin Stears

Title: Anagram that!

After writing up hundreds of Friday puzzles, it is unusual to fill in all the spaces and not know the theme. But that is exactly why I love crossword puzzles, and it took staring at the reveal and fill positioned in all the regular theme locations (e.g. 17A) to have the light bulb come on. A classic V-8 can in the forehead. I will bet that Steve and others who love the classic British puns and anagram puzzles featured in the London Times etc. will adore this theme. Once I saw the concept, it was so easy. Robin took four very different types of oils- ESSENTIAL, COD LIVER, VEGETABLE, and LAVENDER  and repurposed the letters into fanciful but legitimate alternate fill. This built on a 2018 PUZZLE that Steve stared at, just like I did today. Finding combinations that included all the letters of the oil was most impressive.

Robin has appeared in the LAT since 2009 but has ramped up her mainstream publications with this being her 5th of 2020. Here is a quick LOOK at her construction history. Today, she crammed the grid with 7 letter fill like ACADEMY. ATINGLE, CARTELS, EVASIVE, ICE FLOE, LA PLATA, MASONIC, ODDBALL, OVERRAN, PESETAS, RATRACE, REPTILE, SEASIDE, SO HAVE I, SOLACES , and SOVIETS.

17A. *Bargain on the last day of Oktoberfest?: STEIN SALE.
ESSENTIAL. What makes it essential? The ESSENCE.

26A. *Singer Damone, vis-à-vis actor Morrow?: OLDER VIC.
COD LIVER. Damone was only about 8 months older. Cod Liver Oil was a big threat to kids wanting to stay home from school when I was young.

38A. *Snoopy's specialist?: BEAGLE VET.
VEGETABLE. I was stumped on 36A trying to make it a variation of Olive Oil. Some OILS that didn't make the cut.

53A. *One who'll talk your ear off about osso buco and saltimbocca?: VEAL NERD.
LAVENDER. The silliest of the fill.
and, the reveal:
65A. Basic auto maintenance, and how each answer to a starred clue was created: OIL CHANGE. This is one time I may not have gotten the theme without the reveal.

Across:

1. Incite: PROD. Prodding sounds much meaner, but I grew up in cow country so my mental picture may be wrong.

5. Modern "methinks": IMHOIMHumble Opinion. Language changes the words not the thoughts.

9. Pink flowers in a van Gogh still life: ROSES. He painted this while in the asylum at St.Remy. The color has faded.

14. Water-diverting feature: EAVE. The eaves are the edges of the roof which overhang the face of a wall and, normally, project beyond the side of a building. The eaves form an overhang to throw water clear of the walls. Wiki.

15. It's not optional: NEED. Nice clue.

16. Brigham Young University city: PROVO. Read its HISTORY.

19. Urdu for "palace": MAHAL. Urdu تاج محل‎ (tāj mahal, “crown of palaces.

20. Blunder: ERR.

21. Barbarian in Dante's Seventh Circle: ATTILA. In the river of boiling blood are the violent sinners, such as Alexander the Great and Attila the Hun, Ghibelline tyrants and 13th-century robber barons, "are paying for their heartless crimes" (XII.106). Michael Delahoyde.

23. Butterfield of "Ender's Game": ASA. Almost the theme from Tuesday's END GAME puzzle.

24. Cartomancy deck: TAROT. This is a stretch because cartomancy uses a common deck (or part of one) of cards. This is what my grandmother TAUGHT.

29. Starfleet school: ACADEMYStar Trek.

32. Record holder: SLEEVE. I love this misdirection, especially now that they are producing albums again.

33. Ship: SEND.

34. Accessories for a Red Hat Society lunch: BOAS. This ORGANIZATION is appropriate for many Cornerites.

37. Bond and Bourne: SPIES.

41. Scratching post material: SISAL. Cats prefer woven sisal because their claws do not get caught in the sisal rope. It is a natural fiber derived from the 'agave sisalana' cactus plant and is not the same fiber as coir or jute.

44. Jai __: ALAI.

45. Its first version was egg-shaped: iMAC.


49. Spotted cat: OCELOT. For CED.

51. Argentina's "City of Diagonals": LA PLATA. A CSO to OMK and this CITY.

56. Norse group that fought the Vanir: AESIR. The Aesir (pronounced “ICE-ir”; Old Norse Æsir for multiple gods, Ásynjur for multiple goddesses, Áss for one god, and Ásynja for one goddess) were one of the two main tribes of deities venerated by the pre-Christian Norse.

57. Hypotheticals: IFS.

58. Part of AC/DC: DIRECT. Current.

61. Minn. neighbor: ONTario. We have many visitors from Ontario here in Pompano Beach.

62. A-listers: ELITE.

67. "Who's on First?" catcher: TODAY. You have to be a real fan to recall that position.

First base         Who
Second base What
Third base I Don't Know
Leftfield           Why
Centerfield Because
Pitcher             Tomorrow
Catcher            Today
Shortstop          I Don't Give a Darn! or I Don't Care!

68. Composer Sibelius: JEAN. Fifteen FACTS.

69. While away: KILL. Ah, while away not while away!

70. Note next to a red F, maybe: SEE ME. Since we have so many teachers who read this blog, this may be an ultimate gimme.

71. __-Navy game: ARMY.

72. Downfall of many kings?: ACES. Also a fun clue.

Down:

1. Old Iberian coins: PESETAS. Woth 100 centimos.

2. Grind: RAT RACE. I loved the Lucys.

3. Exceeded, as a budget: OVERRAN. I like "waves of barbarians overran the Roman Empire" and "he must not overrun his authority as governor" better.

4. Agnus __: DEI.

5. MIT center?: Abbr.: INSTitute.

6. Substantial content: MEAT. What a meaty tome.

7. Sun: Pref.: HELIO. We had this in January.

8. The "O" in football's OBJ: ODELL. Beckham Junior.
HIGHLIGHTS.

9. Tach readout: RPM. Revolutions Per Minute.

10. 60 minuti: ORA. Italian lesson.

11. "Me too": SO HAVE I.

12. Hard to follow: EVASIVE. I like this clue.

13. Says "There, there," say: SOLACES. Middle English: from Old French solas (noun), solacier (verb), based on Latin solari ‘to console’.

18. Silver of FiveThirtyEight: NATE. The POLLING PLACE.

22. Spots: ADS.

25. Eccentric: ODDBALL.

27. "What __ can I do?": ELSE.

28. Snake, for one: REPTILE.

30. MIT Sloan deg.: MBAMaster of Business Administration was created in the US.

31. Class with mats: YOGA.

35. Entirely: ALL.

36. Authenticating symbol: SEAL. Now we use stamps for seals on legal papers.

39. North Carolina university: ELON. This is where my friend the late Roger Staley studied as an undergraduate; it is a selective, average-sized private university eminent as a national model for connected and experiential learning.

40. Through: VIA.

41. Khrushchev and Gorbachev: SOVIETS.

42. Baffin Bay hazard: ICE FLOE. Baffin Bay is the body of water between Baffin Island in Canada's Nunavut and Greenland's southwestern coast. It lies north of the Arctic Circle, connecting the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, and is frozen for most of the year.

43. Coastal region: SEASIDE.

46. Like some lodges: MASONIC.

47. Goose-pimply: ATINGLE. An "A" word.

48. Price-fixing groups: CARTELS. In the United States, virtually all cartels, regardless of their line of business, are illegal by virtue of American antitrust laws. Cartels have a negative effect on consumers because their existence results in higher prices and restricted supply. In South Florida, they are WORSE.

50. "Chopped" host Allen: TED. I really did not know this MAN.

52. Way to go: PATH.

54. Spanish red wine: RIOJA. Rioja is a wine region in North Central Spain, 120 Miles south of Bilbao.

55. Less rainy, as a climate: DRIER.

59. Oater actor Jack: ELAM. What a face.

60. Harlem sch.: CCNYCity College of New York.

63. Bagpiper's hat: TAM. Oh the one from shanter!

64. London __: Ferris wheel: EYE.

66. Letters in an APB: AKA. I guess, but they are not mutually inclusive. An All Points Bulletin does not need an Also Know As.


Robin is fast becoming one of our regular setters, with this effort containing so many gems. Be safe everyone, we have canceled the condo Bingo night and our Starbucks no longer allows sitting or loitering. Lemonade out



Notes from C.C.:
1) Happy 82nd birthday to Commander Al (Spitzboov), who served in the Navy Reserve for over 20 years. Al is a very resourceful and creative person. He helped me solve many tricky problems. Here is Al with Argyle.
 
Argyle and Spitzboov
(August 23, 2014, Washington County Fair)
3) Happy 84th birthday to John28man! So glad to hear from you from time to time, John!
 

Mar 8, 2020

Sunday March 8, 2020 Robin Stears

Theme: Losing an Hour - HR is removed from each theme entry.
 
23. Floating flower going under?: SINKING VIOLET. Shrinking violet.

28. Ratio of a synagogue's center column to its roof slope?: TEMPLE SINE. Temple shrine.

52. Simon, partly?: GAME OF TONES. Game of Thrones.

69. Highways pitted with potholes?: TOUGH ROADS. Through roads.

71. Cast of "Caddyshack"?: TEE STOOGES. Three stooges.

87. Hauling beach umbrellas?: TOWING SHADE. Throwing shade.

113. Pointy-bottomed paper cups missing their holders?: CONIC PAINS. Chronic pains.

119. "Someone stole our cash box!"?: THE TILL IS GONE. The Thrill is Gone.

Timely theme today. Extra TH in "THE TILL IS GONE", but it's such a fun entry and clue. (Sorry, mistake on my part. Thanks, Owen! Good eye on the HR In TOUGH ROADS.)

Robin also went with 140. Our normal is 144.  The fill is so solid.
 
Across:

1. __ copy: CARBON.

7. Stopped the ship, in nautical lingo: LAID TO.

13. Female Plymouth Colony settler, say: EMIGREE. We see EMIGRE more often.

20. Bagel Bites brand: ORE-IDA.

21. Nostalgic numbers: OLDIES.

22. Cradlesong: LULLABY.

25. Everywhere: ALL OVER.

26. Montréal morning: MATIN. But then, "bonjour" rather than "bon matin".

27. Longings: YENS.

30. Aerosmith's "Love __ Elevator": IN AN.

31. __ dixit: unproven claim: IPSE.

32. They're selective: CHOOSERS.

33. Tricolor cats: CALICOS.

35. Tony nominee Phillipa of "Hamilton": SOO. Wiki says "Soo was born to a Chinese-American father and a European-American mother". Chinese use Su spelling though.


37. Like a prof. emeritus: RET. Retired.

38. Folklore pests: IMPS.

42. End a slump?: SIT UP. Nice clue.

44. Darts: FLITS.

47. Least ludicrous: SANEST.

49. Org. involved in the Waco Siege: ATF.

55. Jamaican tangelos: UGLIS. The skin looks tough and ugly, but it's quite juicy. Nothing beats sumo oranges though.


56. Stable girls: MARES.

58. Girl in a wool coat: EWE. The clue made me smile.

59. Sell in a hurry: UNLOAD.

61. James Patterson hero __ Cross: ALEX.

62. Playful swimmer: OTTER.

64. Put to work: UTILIZE.

74. Home to Purdue: INDIANA.

75. Like a hawk: AVIAN.

76. Altar attire: ALBS.

77. Revealing type: GOSSIP.

81. Bother a lot: NAG.

82. Nocturnal dorm annoyance: SNORE.

83. Longtime SeaWorld star: SHAMU.

91. Luis Almagro's org.: OAS. Organization of American States. Don't know him. Wiki says he's the 10th Secretary General of OAS. A Uruguayan lawyer.


92. Source of a movie poster quote: REVIEW.

94. Place to stay: MOTEL.

95. Romanov royals: TSARS.

97. Pitcher and poker pro Hershiser: OREL.

98. Portuguese pronoun: ELA.

100. Equinox mo.: SEP.

102. Song refrain: TRA LA LA.

106. Defamatory: LIBELOUS.

110. Word on an Irish euro: EIRE. Harp.



112. Dwarf planet formerly known as Xena: ERIS.

116. Place name from the Greek for "I burn": ETNA.

117. Pablo's last word: ADIOS.

118. Like the moons Titania and Oberon: URANIAN.

122. Film sequel word: REVENGE. Oh, OK, "Revenge of the ...".


123. Make bubbly: AERATE.

124. __ Pieces: REESE'S.

125. Came out: EMERGED.

126. Tuning shortcut: PRESET.

127. Art supporters: EASELS.

Down:

1. __ dust: COSMIC.

2. Grande dame of pop: ARIANA. "Thank U, Next."



3. Thrifty offering: RENTAL. We'll probably go back to Payless next time.

4. They don't cover much: BIKINIS.

5. Hopkins' "Thor" role: ODIN.

6. Tandoori bread: NAN.

7. Is sweet on: LOVES.

8. Dior skirts: A-LINES.

9. Pledges that end an engagement: I DOS.

10. Pickles on "Rugrats": DIL. Learned from doing crosswords.



11. They may be gnashed or gritted: TEETH.

12. Path lead-in: OSTEO.

13. Go by: ELAPSE.

14. Rod Stewart and David Bowie rocked them in the '70s: MULLETS.

15. Not as healthy: ILLER.

16. Treating as unimportant, with "over": GLOSSING.

17. Beatle George's Indian friend: RAVI. Ravi Shankar & George Harrison.



18. Irving Bacheller's "__ Holden": EBEN.

19. Brontë heroine: EYRE.

24. Plaster of Paris component: GYPSUM.

29. Bite: MORSEL.

31. I as in Iris: IOTA.

32. Seabiscuit, once: COLT.

34. Butts: CIGS.

36. Starts to dicker, maybe: OFFERS.

39. Blanc who voiced Bugs: MEL.

40. Chi follower: PSI.

41. HI and OK: STS. States.

43. Katniss' "Hunger Games" ally: PEETA.



45. Letters for short people?: IOU.

46. Spike TV, formerly: TNN.

48. Film part: AUDIO.

49. Early luthier family name: AMATI.

50. Eagle claw: TALON.

51. Slip eponym: FREUD. Freudian slip.

53. Due: OWED.

54. Musical "phone" namesake: SOUSA.

57. Nov. celebrant: EX-GI.

60. Sorting aid on an env.: ATTN.

62. Yes-__ question: OR NO.

63. Done for: TOAST.

65. Freddie Mac purchase: LOAN.

66. Aptly named cooler maker: IGLOO.

67. Marty, in "Madagascar" films: ZEBRA. No idea.

68. Twisty turns: ESSES.

70. World Court site, with "The": HAGUE.

71. Snarl: TANGLE.

72. Mendes and Perón: EVAS.

73. Oxygen's atomic number: EIGHT.

78. Djibouti language: SOMALI.

79. "Letters From __ Jima": 2006 film: IWO.

80. Tire-changing spot: PIT.

82. Toxin fighters: SERA.

83. Sign of being full?: SRO. Standing Room Only.

84. Yon yacht: HER.

85. One of 17 Monopoly props.: AVE.

86. Hat designer: MILLINER.

88. Capone nemesis: NESS. Watched "The Untouchables" in Chinese ages ago.



89. __ projection: ASTRAL.

90. "I __ you!": DARE.

93. Home or FAQ, e.g.: WEB PAGE.

96. Heavy hammers: SLEDGES.

99. Listed at sea: LEANED.

101. Dress size: PETITE.

103. Easy on the ears: ARIOSE. Not a common word.

104. Duettist with Diana in "Endless Love": LIONEL.

105. Do taxing work?: ASSESS.

107. Cupcake topper: ICING.

108. Ready in the keg: ON TAP.

109. One who helps you find your place: USHER.

111. Fjord, for one: INLET.

113. Antidote: CURE.

114. City once known as Provo Bench: OREM. Learning moment for me. 

115. Church part: NAVE.

116. Flight sked info: ETAS.

117. In the Red?: ASEA.

120. Middle of a memorable palindrome: ERE.

121. Extreme umbrage: IRE.





Evan Birnholz, the brilliant Washington Post crossword constructor, kindly asked me to guest-construct a puzzle for the Post to celebrate International Women's Day 2020. You can solve the puzzle here.

C.C.

Feb 11, 2020

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 Robin Stears

The Mating Game.  The word Mate can be placed after each word in the starred answers to give us a new concept.

17-Across. * Expensive flying option: FIRST CLASS.  First Mate and Classmate.


28-Across. * Space for home projects, e.g.: WORK ROOM.  Workmate and Roommate.

43-Across. * Collaborative activity: TEAM PLAY.  Teammate and Playmate.



56-Across. * Payment method being replaced by mobile banking: PAPER CHECK.  Paper Mate and Checkmate.

And the Unifier:
63-Across. Aussie pal, or what can follow each word in the answers to starred clues: MATE.


Across:
1. Catch sight of: ESPY.

5. Nudged with one's snout: NOSED.

10. Come clean, with "up": 'FESS.  Not to be confused with Fess Parker (né Fess Elisha Parker, Jr.; Aug. 16, 1924 ~ Mar. 18, 2010), who played Daniel Boone on television.


14. Escape: FLEE.

15. Greek marketplace: AGORA.  Today's Greek lesson.


16. Ski resort near Salt Lake City: ALTA.  This ski resort is not on my radar.


19. Greenish-blue: TEAL.  Also a duck.


20. Egg: Pref.: OVI-.

21. Warning word often preceded by a color: ALERT.

22. Scarlett of Tara: O'HARA.


23. Chemical reaction named for its two processes: REDOX.  A Redox reaction is one in which one species is reduced and another is oxidized.


25. Rhoda's sister: BRENDA.  A reference to the Mary Tyler Moore spin-off sit-com, Rhoda.  Apparently, Rhoda had a sister on the show whose name was Brenda.  Brenda was played by Julie Kavner (b. Sept. 7, 1950), who is best known for being the voice of Marge Simpson on The Simpsons.  Brenda is in the yellow sweater.


26. __ of Capricorn: TROPIC.  The Tropic of Capricorn is the circle of latitude that contains the subsolar point on the December Solstice.  In other words, it is the southernmost latitude where the sun can be directly overhead.  It's northern equivalent is the Tropic of Cancer.  Both the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer are books written by Henry Miller in the 1930s.  Both books were banned in the United States on grounds of obscenity.  In 1961, the United States Justice Department ruled that their contents were no obscene.


30. Old fast jets: SSTs.  As in SuperSonic Transport, a crossword staple.

31. Augusta National signature shrub: AZALEA.  They have such beautiful flowers.


33. __ Titanic: ill-fated ship: RMS.


34. Of the seventh planet: URANIAN.


35. Snake's sound: SSS.


38. Red wine choice: MERLOT.  The name Merlot is believed to derive from the French word merle, which is short for blackbird.  The color of the wine is very dark, like a blackbird.


39. Atomizer output: MIST.


45. 1920s-'30s "Blonde Bombshell" Jean: HARLOW.  Jean Harlow (née Harlean Harlow Carpenter; Mar. 3, 1911 ~ June 7, 1937), was an actress and sex symbol in the 1930s.  Sadly, she died very young.  She was only 26 years old when she died of some sort of respiratory failure.  During her short life, however, she managed to marry and divorce 3 times.


47. Let out, as fishing line: UNREEL.

48. Vodka brand, familiarly: STOLI.  It's more formal name is Stolichnaya.  It has an interesting history.

49. Group of musical notes: CHORD.


50. Lauder of makeup: ESTÉE.  Estée Lauder (née Josephine Esther Mentzer; July 1, 1906 ~ Apr. 24, 2004), was the founder of the cosmetics company that bears her name.


54. Auto title ID: VIN.  As in the Vehicle Identification Number.

55. Word after King or Hong: KONG.

58. Impulse: URGE.

59. Prepare, as Parmesan: GRATE.

60. Et __: and others: ALII.  Today's Latin lesson.  This is commonly abbreviated as Et al.

61. Bridge "no bid": PASS.

62. After, in French: APRÈS.  Today's French lesson.

Down:
1. Serious attempts: EFFORTS.

2. Thin fragments: SLIVERS.

3. August birthstone: PERIDOT.  It's generally a beautiful yellowish-green stone.


4. Cry of success: YES!

5. Table salt, to a chemist: NaCL.  Also known as Sodium Chloride.  The symbol for Sodium is Na, which comes from the Latin word Natrium.

6. Look at rudely: OGLE.

7. Skyrocket: SOAR.



8. Once, once upon a time: ERST.

9. Some govt. lawyers: DAs.  As in Districe Attorneys.

10. Priest's title: FATHER.

11. __ Roosevelt, first lady for 12 years: ELEANOR.  Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (Oct. 11, 1884 ~ Sept. 7, 1962) was the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  She led an interesting life in her own right.

12. Celebrity status: STARDOM.

13. Respectful bows: SALAAMS.

18. Curbside cry: TAXI.

22. Like Mindy's alien husband: ORKAN.  A reference to Mork and Mindy, the sit-com that ran from 1978 to to 1982.  I wasn't a fan.


24. Covert missions: OPs.  As in Covert Operations.

25. Inhalation: BREATH.

27. "The Office" star Steve: CARELL.  Steve Carell (b. Aug. 16, 1962) was born on the same date and same hospital as my sister.


28. Without vigor: WANLY.

29. Miscellany: OLIO.

32. Swedish singer Larsson with the Top 20 hit "Never Forget You": ZARA.  I am not familiar with Zara Larsson (b. Dec. 16, 1997).



34. Called balls and strikes: UMPED.  Think baseball.

35. Snobby: STUCK UP.

36. Portuguese lady: SENHORA.  Today's Portuguese lesson.

37. South Seas wrapped garments: SARONGS.

39. "The A-Team" actor: MR. T.  The A-Team was a television show from the 1980s and Mr. T was one of the characters.  That's my entire knowledge of the show.


40. Randy Newman song played at Dodger Stadium: I LOVE LA.  Randy Newman (né Randall Stuart Newman; b. Nov. 28, 1943) lived in New Orleans as a child.  Some of his songs are about Louisiana.



41. Formally request: SOLICIT.

42. Hostess sponge cake: TWINKIE.  When I was in the grocery story yesterday, I saw that you can now buy Twinkie flavored coffee.


44. Joins the flow of traffic: MERGES.  I just hate it when the car in front of me stops at the top of the entrance ramp.


46. "Just gimme __!": A SEC.

50. Wild West Wyatt: EARP.  Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp (Mar. 19, 1848 ~ Jan. 13, 1929) is probably best known for his role in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, although his role was minor compared to that of his brother, Virgil.

51. Practice boxing: SPAR.



52. A beret covers it: TÊTE.  More of today's French lesson.


53. "__ Tu": 1974 hit: ERES.  I am not familiar with this musical piece.  Apparently, it was Spain's entry into the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest where it received 2nd place.  The following year it peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 10 chart.  Still doesn't ring a bell.



56. Tiger Woods' org.: PGA.

57. Sandwich meat: HAM.



Here's the Grid:

QOD:  You can only hold your stomach in for so many years.  ~  Burt Reynolds (Feb. 11, 1936 ~ Sept. 6, 2018), American actor