Showing posts with label Scott Atkinson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scott Atkinson. Show all posts

Nov 4, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011, Scott Atkinson

Theme: 90 degree LIE, I think I have the right angle on this puzzle. See this diagram (Notice the four LIEs are symmetrically placed.) In the never ending evolution of the 15 x 15 crossword, today we are treated to a new dimension, turning corners. Two of the 4 theme answers are 17 letter fill, and all 4 are run ons.The first two beginning with LIE and the last two ending with LIE. The beginning of the fill is clued correctly, with the remainder just showing a dash. Since Rich does not permit any rebus puzzles, this is another step in seeking originality. I recently did a NY Times, where the fill ran around, so I was ready. It also is the 4th or 5th Scott Atkinson puzzle I have blogged, and he always makes us work, but then he is an iron man triathlete, so let's get on our bikes and go. I am not sure what order to present the theme answers. Because all the LIE part of the words are in the Down grid, we have as our reveal:

12D. Rest a spell, or a fitting title for this puzzle: LIE DOWN.

1D. Henry Blake's rank in "M*A*S*H*": LIE, with17A. -: EUTENANT COLONEL, yields Lieutenant Colonel, which was the unit's first commanding officer's rank, played by McLean Stevenson on TV.

22D. Landlocked Alpine principality: LIE, with 33A. -: ECHTENSTEIN, yields the tiny nation of Liechtenstein. You want MORE?

44A. Lara Croft portrayer: ANGELINA JOL with 47D. - : LIE, yields Angelina Jolie, who inspired this CLIP. (4:08) BONUS: Jolie is the French word for pretty.

64A. Historic Cold War crossing point: CHECK POINT CHARL with 67D. -: LIE. yields Check Point Charlie, as the extended answer to the clue, the cross over at the Berlin Wall..

Well you asked for no puns, and no add ons, and you got what you wished for. Of course to make the two long words work, we have lots of three letter fill (24 total). What did you think? On to the rest.


1. Some are chocolate: LABS. I had some chocolate lab puppies as my avatar this summer for a while; they were fun.

5. Trim: SHAVE. More like a budget than a face.

10. 1968 self-titled folk album: ARLO. My least favorite Guthrie.

14. "My body's achin' and my time __ hand": James Taylor lyric: IS AT. One of his finest SONGS. (4:07).

15. "Climb aboard!": HOP IN. Sounds more like a train to me.

16. Israel's Iron Lady: MEIR. Former Prime minister Golda. For the boys:

20. Former Calif. base: FT ORD. Fort Ord is a tricky one to parse.

21. "CHiPs" star Erik: ESTRADA. Ladies, hunk or PUNK?

22. China's Chou En-__: LAI. Another part of his name this time.

24. See 25-Down: MEAL, for which you need 25D. Statement before a 24-Across: LET'S EAT.

26. "Dogma" star: DAMON. Matt played our crossword friend LOKI, the impish Norse god (2:02).

27. "Assuming I'm right . . .": IF SO. Part of a logic discussion.

29. Places to treat v-fib: ERS. Ventricular fibrillation (irregular heart beat) Emergency Rooms.

32. Not family-friendly: LEWD. I guess this really depends on the family.

38. Prefix for Caps or Cat: SNO.

39. Confuses: CROSSES UP. Like when your partner trumps your Ace in bridge.

41. Modem owner's need: Abbr.: ISP. Internet Service Provider.

48. Not very much: A TAD.

50. Hr. related to airspeed: ETA. Estimated Time of Arrival.

51. Garr of "Mr. Mom": TERI. One of my favorites, even in this MOVIE (1:21).

52. Patient contribution: CO-PAY.

54. Spanish hors d'oeuvre: TAPA. Yummy.

58. Driver's gadget: TEE. Golf.

59. Like many bazaars: OPEN AIR. Aren't they all?

62. Synopsis: RECAP.

68. Offer as proof: CITE. My token law word, an accepted abbreviation of Citation.

69. Navel variety: OUTIE. Show of hands for the rare protruding belly button.

70. Dramatic opener: ACT I. All plays begin at the beginning even if it is a flashback.

71. Part of AMEX: Abbr.: AMER. American Stock Exchange.

72. Turn aside: DETER.

73. Midway game word: SKEE. The sort of bowling game which spits out tickets.


2. Tempe sch.: ASU. Arizona State University. my cousin Beverly obtained her masters there.

3. Odd-shaped reef denizen: BATFISH. This is not the child of Bruce Wayne and a mermaid.

4. Keep one's word?: STET. This editors word for leaving a passage the way it was originally, is classic old time crosswordese.

5. Post on Facebook, e.g : SHARE. How many of us do Facebook or Twitter?

6. Passport issuer?: HONDA. One the car companies many SUV's not your ID for travel.

7. Fitting: APT.

8. __ squad: VICE. Reminds me of the classic POLICE SQUAD.(3:03)

9. Slaughter in the outfield: ENOS. How fitting, as he was a great St. Louis Cardinal.

10. Ethically unconcerned: AMORAL. See 32 Across.

11. Handles differently?: RENAMES. Not a pot handle, but a CB users name.

13. Seat of Florida's Orange County: ORLANDO. Where my youngest sleeps nightly, I hope.

18. Émile, par exemple: NOM. Our french lesson; NOM= NAME. Jeannnnie?

19. Abbr. on some cheques: LTD. The que tells you it from a place where they use LTD instead of INC for their corporations.

23. Pro Bowl div.: AFC. American Football Conference, the old AFL after it was absorbed by the NFL, and the home of many more Super Bowls than the NFC.

28. Needing no Rx: OTC. Over The Counter.

30. React in shock: REEL. Winning the $245 million Powerball jackpot sent Dudley reeling.

31. "I agree, señor!": SI SI. Oui,oui aussi.

34. Stat for Cliff Lee: ERA. Man, is it really luck or is it me; Earned Run Average; Cliff being one of the Phillies' pitchers who let St. Louis sneak in to the World Series. Sorry Dennis.

35. Share for the fourth little piggy: NONE. In case you forgot, LISTEN.

36. USMC NCO: SSGT. Staff sergeant, Non-commissioned Officer.

37. Parochial school figure: NUN. We had a Catholic girl's high school built in our neighborhood when I was a teenager. Saw lots of NUNS trying to make sure I got none, just like the fourth little piggy.

40. Light touch: PAT. There there, it will be all right little girl.

41. Big name in Chrysler history: IACOCCA. The Ford man who rescued Chrysler and became FAMOUS.

42. Shout after a purse-snatching: STOP HIM. How sexist! What if the thief is a woman?

43. Capital of French Polynesia: PAPEETE. Beautiful place, you think?

45. Personal transport, in science fiction: JET PACK. Rex Ryan's posse? I wonder why they are not more in use by now?

46. Refinery input: ORE. OR crude.

49. Comet colleague: DANCER. On Comet, and Dancer and Prancer; a little early Santa Claus for you all.

53. Tibetan milk source: YAK. Yes, they talk so much in Tibet, the milk just pours from their mouths as they just go on and on.

55. Links nickname: ARNIE. Arnold Palmer, who really will always be Mr. Golf, maybe not the best, but the one who made everyone want to play and watch.

56. '80s baseball commissioner Ueberroth: PETER. He was also head of the Olympic Committee when the US hosted the Summer games.

57. Eastern NCAA hoops gp.: ACC. Atlantic Coast Conference, home of perennial b-ball contenders Duke and NC and many more.

60. Modern music source: IPOD. UPOD, we all pod.

61. Don Juan sort: ROUÉ. A man who dedicates himself to sensual pleasure; hmm. Obviously not encouraged, as the word is from the French rouer which means to break on the wheel, a fun medieval torture.

63. Cries from successful puzzle solvers: AHAS. More fun than the V-8 can in the head.

65. Hairy TV cousin : ITT. The Addams Family, not to be confused with Thing. Itt wore a hat.

66. AAA info: RTE. Route, which is here to remind me to move on down the road.

Answer grid.

It has been fun to read all the comments from our newly recruited members as well as our core. Good to see Carol, Lois and Warren, but I intend to keep pestering all of you who read silently or now and then to come by and say hi on Wednesday November 23, 2011 as we as a nation get ready to give thanks for all we have even, in bad times. We have the Corner, and I hope you enjoyed this brief journey. Thanks Scott A. for another new experience for this long time solver.


Note from C.C.:

Re: Missing Numbers & Theme Clues:

Your local paper format (PDF) is exactly what the constructor & Rich wanted. Across Lite does not allow unnumbered & unclued entries, hence dashes in today's on-line theme clues.

Jul 20, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 Scott Atkinson

Theme: DUCK-LING fling. Five common English words that can serve double duty as either nouns or verbs are adorned with a diminutive LING suffix, yielding another common English language noun, now in an off-beat, humorous diminutive form. Some of them are still verbs, as well.

17A. Very narrow fissure? : CRACKLING. N: 1) As per the clue, 2) A bit of fried pork or goose fat; V: producing a series of snapping noises.

26A. Landfill in a toy city? : DUMPLING. N: 1) As per the clue, 2) A lump of dough cooked in liquid.

38. Minuscule tattoo? : INKLING. N: 1) As per the clue, 2) A hint, 3) A vague notion, 4) (plural) An Oxford University literary discussion group whose members included C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien; V: Communicating in an undertone or whisper (obsolete.)

40A. Dollhouse dress adornment? : BOWLING. N: 1) Tiny BOW, as per the clue, 2) A game in which one knocks down wooden objects with a rolled ball. V: Playing that game.

49A. Where to wear a training bra? : BUSTLING. N: Per the clue, A, AA, or AAA miniscule bosom. (Dare I?) V: Moving energetically.

62A. Very young hobo? : TRAMPLING. N: Son of ON THE ROAD, perhaps. V: Treading in a heavy-footed, damaging manner

And the unifier, 67A. Waterfowl whose young inspired this puzzle's theme : DUCKS. Baby DUCKS are DUCKLINGS.

Wow! Six theme entries, plus a unifier, and very complex wordplay, with layered double, and sometimes triple meanings, a rich musical sub-theme, and a bit of DF. I am AGAPE, but will not DUCK out on you. Lets DUCK INTO the puzzle and see what we can find.


1. Birthday secret : WISH. We make our wishes known. Otherwise, you get what you get.

5. "Back in Black" band : ACDC. Of all the bands that (tried to ) sound like Led Zeppelin, I preferred Led Zeppelin.

9. Visibly amazed : AGAPE. Jaw-droppingly so.

14. __ Domini : ANNO. Latin: In the year of Our Lord.

15. Bodybuilder's supplement : WHEY. Dairy-based protein source.

16. Hand-dyeing craft : BATIK.

19. Vintage violin : AMATI

20. Michael Moore health-care film : SICKO. Unavoidably political, ergo: no comment.

21. Melody : TUNE. We opened the Jazz Fest with this TUNE. Hardest Big Band Chart I've ever played. I have a video posted on Facebook. If you're on and interested, send me an email, and I'll send you a link.

23. Rock 'n' roll middle name : ARON. Alvis ARON Presley

24. Didn't sell : KEPT.

28. CIA part: Abbr. : AGCY. Central intelligence AGENCY.

30. Arthur Fiedler et al. : MAESTRI. Pl. of MEASTRO - orchestra conductors.

32. Hamm of soccer : MIA. From the U.S Gold Cup Championship Team of a few years back.

33. Ryder rentals : VANS. TRUCKS doesn't fit.

34. Where eaglets hatch : AERIE. Alternate spellings of this word always leave me feeling eerily up in the air.

42. Opposite of perfect pitch : NO EAR. OK. But TIN EAR is more idiomatic.

43. Composer __ Carlo Menotti : GIAN. 20th Century Italian-American composer.

44. Transp. group in the Loop : CTA. CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY

45. Pago Pago people : SAMOANS

48. Did a farrier's job : SHOD. Installed horseshoes. A farrier is a specialist in equine hoof care, including the trimming and balancing of horses' hooves and the placing of shoes on their hooves. Now you know.

52. Lacking spice : TAME

54. Chain selling stacks : IHOP. International House of Pancakes

55. Clue in a case : LEAD

57. Dip for a chip : SALSA

60. Mila of "Black Swan" : KUNIS

64. "Fear of Flying" author Jong : ERICA

65. Sneaky trick : WILE. In theory, perhaps.

66. Luke's sci-fi sister : LEIA

68. Black stone : ONYX

69. Enjoys a smorgasbord : SUPS


1. WWII auxiliaries : WACS. Pl of WOMEN'S ARMY CORPS.

2. Calvary inscription : INRI. L. abbrv. "Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews." Calvary was the site of the crucifixion.

3. Twinkie or Ding Dong : SNACK CAKE. Empty calories.

4. Game with sticks : HOCKEY.

5. Pointy tool : AWL

6. Slip in a pot : CHIT. Slang for an IOU

7. Strips of leaves : DENUDES. Remember Agent Orange?

8. Swan constellation : CYGNUS. Use your imagination.

9. The N.Y. Nets were its last champion : ABA. American Basketball Association

10. Warren Harding's middle name : GAMALIEL. You all knew that - right?

11. Asteroids maker : ATARI. Ditto.

12. Spike for a mountaineer : PITON. Drive it into a CRACKLING.

13. Squeezing (out) : EKING

18. Keystone character : KOP. BUSTLING Bumbling gendarmes from the silent movie days.

22. Ambulance VIP : EMT. EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN. Note abbrv in cl & ans.

25. Bur. of Prohibition employee : T-MAN. Treasury Department officers out to collect alcohol taxes.

27. Shrimp relative : PRAWN. What's the difference?

28. Key with no sharps or flats: Abbr. : A MIN. Now this is tricky. A MIN is the relative minor of C MAJ - both with four letters, but no sharps or flats.

29. NFL Hall of Famer Marchetti : GINO. Old time Baltimore Colt.

31. Zambia neighbor: Abbr. : ANG. ANGOLA - also a city in Indiana.

33. Like megapopular web videos : VIRAL. Slang term, meaning passed from person to person, like a virus

35. Cardinal who was a foe of the Musketeers : RICHELIEU

36. Wild about : INTO. How long has it been since anyone asked you: "Are you INTO C B?"

37. "Zounds!" : EGAD. Slang from across the pond.

39. Unwanted playground game teammate : LAST PICK. Yes. That would be me.

40. Recycling vessel : BIN

41. Brewer's kiln : OAST. Crossword stalwart.

43. Yuri who was the first to orbit Earth : GAGARIN. Russian Cosmonaut.

46. Wire measure : MIL. Thousandth of an inch.

47. Punch sequence : ONE-TWO. Take that, and that . . .

48. Some tees : SMALLS. T-Shirt sizes.

49. Pedaled : BIKED. This guy gave his girlfriend a bicycle. Then she peddled it all over town.

50. Freedom, in Swahili : UHURU. Didn't we just see her last week?

51. Part of SST : SONIC. Super SONIC Transport

53. "Antony and Cleopatra" killer : ASP. Slithery crossword stalwart.

56. Tyne with a Tony and Emmys : DALY. The name is familiar, but not the face.

58. Salon sound : SNIP. Cutting hair

59. "What __!": "How fun!" : A GAS. Groovy slang, man. Far out!

61. Palindromic airline : SAS. Scandinavian Airlines System International, if you have an INKLING to travel.

63. Tex-__ cuisine : MEX. Burritos, fajitas, chile con carne, etc. OK. Now I'm hungry.
Fine, intricate puzzle. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I.



Note from C.C.:

Here are a few more "Hard to Believe" pictures from another blog regular. I'm afraid her captions will give her name away easily. I just adore the third picture. She looks gorgeous!

Apr 22, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011 Scott Atkinson

Theme: The old switcheroo. Each pair of answers trade ER for OO, or vice versa, which are the ending letters in SWITCHEROO. By switching the letters, you get a different and amusing answer. And, the ultimate switch is having all of the theme answers clued in DOWN. How many were deceived like I was by the long answer YOU ARE HERE, which looked like the start of the theme? But, no, here it comes.

5D. Convicts' level on a prison ship?: PERP DECK. This was POOP DECK, which comes from the French word--la poupe--meaning the stem. The French comes from the Latin term Pupiss--meaning the head or stem of something. The poopdeck is the raised portion at the rear "stem" or "head" of the ship that overhangs the rest of the deck. Do not get CONFUSED . PERP here means perpetrator, not our own perpendicular.

11D. Narrow passage where catcalls are heard?: BOOING STRAIT. BERING STRAIT is the passage between the easternmost pint of Asia and the westernmost point in North America. Baseball season brings out many of the Boo Birds.

(Notice the clues alternate OO to ER and ER to OO ).

24D. Creative user of worn-out clothes: TATTER ARTIST. TATOO ARTIST is a very popular career though Jews do not believe you should mark your body. I do like the imagery of someone making beauty out of rags.

41D. Evict a "Wizard of Oz" actor? : BOOT LAHR. Poor BERT LAHR, fired despite his wonderful portrayal of the Lion. I like this one too, as I can picture a swift kick in the pants of poor Mr. Lion.

And the oddly placed unifier, 7D. Deceptive swap that literally resulted in 5-, 11-, 24- and 41-Down: THE OLD SWITCHEROO.

Lemonade here. A really fun theme, from my new pal Scott Atkinson. I thought this was an easier Friday, but with wit and some tricks. Let's go to town and see where we are.


1. Victims of a storied loser: SHEEP. I really have no clue, but the perps filled easily.

6. Dough dispensers: ATMS. Becoming a common misdirection.

10. Björn Ulvaeus's group: ABBA. Mamma Mia, what do you think the B stands for?

14. Humiliate: ABASE.

15. Takeout choice: THAI. My favorites are Pad Thai and Pad Siew.

16. Procrastinator's word: SOON. I will have this blog done soon.

17. Mall map phrase: YOU ARE HERE. 10 letters, and 17 across, the theme, right?

19. "King __": KONG. Jack Black, what were they thinking?

20. Forcibly expel: UPROOT. How appropriate for this Passover season where the Egyptians chased away the Jews.

21. Like all kidding?: ASIDE. Why would I do that?

25. Ken, for one: DOLL. Barbie's Beau.

26. Key with all white notes: A MINOR. On a Piano I assume.

27. Unlike decaf, facetiously: LEADED. I drink unleaded often, now.

29. Making into cubes: DICING. Anyone else think of Ron Popiel?

31. Tempt: ENTICE. Oh yeah, baby, behave!

32. Jolly Roger sidekick: SMEE. Captain Hook's first mate.

33. Pampering place: SPA.

36. "The Chosen" author: POTOK. We often speak of Chaim Potok, and his book My Name is Asher Lev.

37. Not here: AWAY. Not a home game.

38. See 38-Down: CTRS, and 38D With 38-Across, large pol. arenas: CONV, convention centers. I like how they played off each other.

39. GWB, for one: PRES. More abbreviations hinted at by the clue.

40. Net addition?: FLIX. The Net Flix streaming to your TV is fabulous; my son has it and you can watch all the great movies.

41. Type of cleansing acid: BORIC. I am sure I have mentioned I used boric acid as an eyewash ingredient for years, and also to keep roaches out of my house. Odd combination.

42. Galley tool: OAR. Very tricky as this word means kitchen on a ship, a proof of a book as well as a ship manned by human oarsmen.

43. Trapper's quest: PELT. You ever wonder how little Minks and Chinchillas became so valuable?

44. Where the House of Grimaldi reigns: MONACO. You can understand why their prince wanted to marry this WOMAN .

45. Northwest Passage ocean: ARCTIC, I like how this is followed by 47A Old Russian council SOVIET, which conjures up the frozen tundra of the old Soviet Union, and the BERING STRAITS.

48. Oversee a museum: CURATE, the verb to describe what a CURATOR does, not to be confused with the noun, and its religious meaning.

50. Subtle taste: HINT. My son made a Porter with just a hint of chocolate.

52. Jerry Rice's 208 is an NFL record: TDS. Touchdowns, and unbelievable record. After dancing, Jerry is now not doing too well trying to be a professional golfer on the nationwide tour.

53. They beg to differ: ANTIS. I like the clue, but I had trouble getting the sound.

54. Shoe annoyance: PEBBLE. How do they get in there anyway?

56. Muckraker Jacob: RIIS. We have had this MAN  before.

57. Hirschfeld drawing: CARICATURE. He made pen and ink come alive is his DRAWINGS .

61. One may be assumed: POSE. Models anyone?
62. All-inclusive: A TO Z. Our friend Mr. A TOZ.
63. Very unpopular: HATED. Really unpopular, wow.
64. Tonsil drs: ENTS. A lemonade special repeat, Ear Nose & Throat.
65. Horse halter: WHOA. Okay, which sicko was picturing Dale Evans' Buttermilk in a halter top?
66. Like non-oyster months, traditionally: R LESS. June, July and August.
Okay, break time, and still no theme?
1. Enunciate: SAY.
2. "The Wire" network: HBO. If you have not seen it, you may want to watch this acclaimed series set in BALTIMORE  .
3. Rivière contents: EAU. Wake up Jeannie, it is French lesson time; rivière means river and eau is water.
4. Rebekah's firstborn: ESAU. Don't you love how he just adds an S and we have the next answer.
6. Playwright Fugard: ATHOL. This writer has appeared three times already this year, the last two in Sunday puzzles.
8. Shopping place: MART. Hence, WAL or K.
9. "Sprechen __ Deutsch?": SIE. YOU, literally Do you speak German?
10. Invites across the threshold: ASKS IN. A Dan Naddor like two word answer which gives odd letter progression until you realize it is two words.
12. Aptly named auto body adhesive: BONDO. Another great 3M product named by their crack staff which gave us POST-ITs.
13. Management target: ANGER. Nice deception here, and a bad movie with Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler.
18. Diminish slowly: ERODE. Is that what is happening to me, I am eroding.
21. Grenoble gal pal: AMIE. Okay, bonus French today. notice the E on the end, that lets you know this friend is a she.
22. Syria's most populous city: ALEPPO. There are many things abut this city to FEAR.
23. Title for Salma Hayek: SENORA. Spanish for married lady, but ever since I saw Desperado, an actress I would like to be NEAR.
26. __-deucy: ACEY. I played this and pretty much every card game I could find as a child; now not so much.
28. Creator in Caracas: DIOS. You need to know Caracas is the capital of Venezuela, and therefore a place where they speak Spanish, Mon Dieu, another language lesson!
30. Big-screen format: IMAX. AVATAR was so amazing in 3-D at IMAX.
34. Compared at the mall, say: PRICED. Mall (4 letters starting in MA) not to be confused with Mart
35. Fancy accessories: ASCOTS. Fancy, or pretentious? NC, any thoughts? These ties are named for the races where they were worn by the European elite.
37. "__ Ask of You": "Phantom" duet : ALL I. Is this a crowd FAVORITE ?
40. Big celebration: FETE.

43. Cuts for agts. PCTS. Percentages which is how agents are paid.

44. "Hardball" network: MSNBC.

46. Picks up: RAISES. Not my first choice, I found this one hard to parse.

48. __ diem: CARPE. Just for me, some good old Latin, meaning seize the day.

49. North, once: UNION. Versus the Confederates.

51. Balearic island: IBIZA. A really beautiful island near Spain, and where I may have to go to get some papers signed to transfer ownership of a hotel in the Dominican Republic. What tough duty. Also a hangout for Hollywood's A list.

54. It's taken on some hikes: PATH. But be sure to put it back so others can use it. Nice clue.

55. Bibliography abbr. ET AL. Latin abbreviation for Et Alia, and others

57. Corvine sound: CAW. Did we just travel to ancient Rome? This is from CORVINUS, which means crow in Latin. The INE ending, like BOVINE and PORCINE was also a clue we were talking animals.

58. Salt Lake athlete: UTE. Like many I prefer Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinnie.

59. Court matter: RES. A token legal term for me, and we are out with

60. Slate workers, for short: EDS. Just as I began, I end not sure why, other than teachers and a blackboard are educators and ED degrees. (Note: EDs are short for Editors. Slate magazine.)

Well, my second of Scott's this month and I hope you enjoyed the switch as much as I did, Limeaid 417 out.

Note from C.C.:

Tomorrow's puzzle includes a question which appears in the newspaper and in Across Lite notepad (Click View), but not in LA Times on line Java format. Please come to the blog around 9:10pm tonight. I'll post the question in the Comments section. The answer to the question appears with next Monday April 25 puzzle.

Updated later: Notepad says: ""Can you spot the unusual feature in this puzzle's clues and answers?"

Apr 8, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011 Scott Atkinson

Theme: Lost in the City or the Country. Each of the six theme answers is capital of a country, with a single letter taken from the name of the country to create a new and wacky phrase. You can perhaps propose a better theme, but the concept is simple, though unstructured. The letter can be a consonant or vowel; it can be first or last or in the middle and the letters taken out WAONIQ, make only NO IQ, AW!

Hello, Lemonade riding the Friday express, and expressing my admiration for this puzzle; so let's do the theme entries.

16A. Celtic quaffs?: CARDIFF ALES. CARDIFF, WALES. Supposedly quite depressing, near the North Sea. Martha Grimes place one of her Richard Jury books there. You do need to know a Quaff is a libation.

30A. Caribbean baby animal?: HAVANA CUB. HAVANA, CUBA.

38A. Arabian guy?: MUSCAT MAN. MUSCAT, OMAN. We see this combination often, as clue or fill.

52A. East Asian "pet"?: BEIJING CHIA. BEIJING, CHINA. The amazingly long lasting CHIA PETS. This leads into a subtheme, with 12D. Capital ENE of Khatmandu: LHASA. This is NOT THE DOG . 24D. Some Chinese restaurant decor: GONGS. 48D. Contemporary of Mao: ZHOU. This LEADER and a clear shout out to our leader.

11D. Iberian bridge?: MADRID SPAN. MADRID SPAIN, which gives us two Spanish speaking countries.

26D. Mesopotamian savings plan?: BAGHDAD IRA. BAGHDAD IRAQ. My favorite, liking the concept of the war torn land setting up savings accounts, when they may be dead by bombing the next day.

This is from the constructor who gave us the RINKY DINKY puzzle last month, and has show some creativity. Lots of intricacies and interactions. So what do you all think? I had lots of fun. Oh let us solve it first.


1. Chuck E. Cheese's order: PIZZA. Wow, a puzzle starting with two Zs; this offering has the highest scrabble score of any I recall, though a K and X short of a Pangram. Couldn't he work a bowl of KIX in somewhere?

6. Disaster response gp.: EVAC. An EVACuation ambulance, which can be by sea, air or land. Hmmm, foreshadowing? We also have, 41A. 911 response initials: EMS. Emergency Medical System, manned by EMT's.

10. Eric the Red's birth year, roughly: CML, 950. This shout out for our Norwegian contingent, was born Erik Thorvaldsson (Old Norse: Eirīkr Þōrvaldsson; 950 – c. 1003 a.d), and was kicked out of Norway for manslaughter. He went to Iceland where he murdered at least three people. He continued his murderous ways until he set out and helped colonize Greenland. His son was Leif Ericcson, the first European to make it to the Americas.

13. Lets go: FREES.

14. Conscious: AWARE.

15. "A likely story!": HAH.

18. Old cereal box letters: RDA. Recommended daily allowance.

19. __-Caps: SNO, the movie theater version of the nonpareils (semi-sweet chocolate with dots of sugar) which we loved as children.

20. Anderson of Jethro Tull: IAN. Okay, though the name sounds Norse, he is a Scottish musician who brought the flute to rock and roll. Is their most famous song AQUALUNG ?

21. Pyle portrayer: NABORS. Jim Nabors, Gomer Pyle, USMC; I guess a shout out to Dennis. While Nabors was a very talented singer he was also the long time partner of Rock Hudson, which shocked the crap out of me.

23. Composer Stravinsky: IGOR; another sighting of this name, spelled with an I.

25. Words of affection from Luigi: CARA MIA, my dear in Italian. Am I the only one who thinks of GOMEZ; whenever I hear this phrase?

26. Club ingredient: BACON, Club Sandwich, not a club you use to hit, or go to get sozzled.

28. Astronaut Grissom: GUS. Gus Grissom, was part of the very first class of astronauts and had been chosen to command the first Apollo mission, when he and Roger Chafee and Ed White died in a fire while training. I was 18 and remember hearing about it like it was yesterday. Gus would have been 85 on April 3.

29. Seed alternative: SOD. Good thing we are not in an earlier puzzle, or I would not know sod all.

32. Impudent: SASSY. I cannot think of a better word to describe our corner ladies.

34. Senescent: AGING. I cannot think of a better word to describe... oops, I mean our first word from classic Latin, from SEN, meaning old (like SENILE, SENIOR) and ESCENT meaning becoming, like ADOLESCENT, ACQUIESCENT, TUMESCENT.

35. Refinery input: ORE. Tricky for me because I thought of OIL.

36. Escape to Vegas, maybe: ELOPE.

37. "__ life!": THAT'S. Let's SING ALONG.

40. Withdrawal concern: DTS. Delerium Tremens, the shakes one gets from alcohol withdrawal. My 10th grad math teacher Mr. Henderson, he would arrive with his coffee and his shaking would make us all nervous.

42. Hardly local: ALIEN, phone home Tinbeni.

43. '70s TV cop played by Robert Blake: BARETTA. Did you watch his murder trial, or his show which had a nice THEME SONG done by Sammy Davis, Jr.

45. Assorted: Abbr.: MISC. Ellaneous. My fourth grade teacher.

46. Farewells overseas: ADIEUS, a weak plural, but our French lesson, Jeannie; farewell, not goodbye.

47. Dinghy thingy: OAR. Bore. Rhyme time.

48. Electrical sound: ZAP. Love those bug zappers, fry you flying fiends!

51. Lighting brand: BIC. They won't let me forget my Cristal Bic story will they?

56. "__ you nuts?": ARE.

57. Matching: EQUAL. No longer the leading sweetener.

58. Agony and ecstasy: MOODS, also a fine book and movie about Michelangelo.

59. Dorm agts.: RAS. Resident Advisers.

60. 640 acres: Abbr.: SQ MI, yes the letter combination looks weird but they tell you it is an abbr, for Square Mile.

61. Opposite of lanky: SQUAT.

Made it halfway, lots of short words, so now the rest.


1. Cpl.'s subordinates: PFCS. Private First Class.

2. "__ (So Far Away)": 1982 hit for A Flock of Seagulls: I RAN, we could have had another country, instead we get this TUNE.

3. Reset: ZERO. Like your combination lock.

4. Letter from London: ZED, how they say ZEE in Merry Olde.

5. "__ was saying ...": AS I.

6. McGregor of "The Men Who Stare at Goats": EWAN. Another entertainer from Scotland, who has done many diverse movies from Moulin Rouge to Star Wars. An actual actor who plays parts, not himself.

7. Feb. sentiment: VAL, Valentine's Day. Sentiment?

8. Circus sites: ARENAS, Circus Maximus in ancient Rome.

9. French Oscar: CESAR. Did you ever wonder about the FRENCH movies? I love Catherine Deneuve.

10. Y for men only?: CHROMOSOME. I like this word, well done.

14. Way out yonder: AFAR.

17. Shrek's love: FIONA. Also a wonderful character on the Showtime series, SHAMELESS. For mature, open minded audiences only.

22. Like much Hawaiian lava: BASALTIC. You want Lave, I will give you stinking LAVA .

23. Complaint while groping: I CAN'T SEE . Well two things, an obvious shout out to me for my eye problems, just slightly sadistic; but let's face it, when I am groping someone, not being able to see does not matter. It is all in the hands.

25. Dice and ice, often: CUBES. Another rhyming clue.

27. Earhart et al.: AVIATRICES. Flying ladies, did anyone watch the movie?

28. Spiritual leaders: GURUS.

30. It may be tipped: HAT.

31. One commonly follows "said": COMMA. Have you ever had a comma happy boss? What, a, pain.

32. Naval acronym: SEALS. SEA, AIR and LAND.

33. Japanese dough: YEN.

39. Stone monument: CAIRN. These are basically ROCK PILES . Also, a Terrier, like Toto in the Wizard of Oz.

41. And those following, in footnotes: ET SEQQ; this one combines my law and Latin backgrounds, as we use this abbreviation whenever we want the reader to read a section of law and those sections which follow. The Latin is literally "and following." The two Qs are the plural.

43. King with a trunk: BABAR. I learned to read with the adventures of this ELEPHANT , and still collect Elephants.

44. Old TV parts: TUBES. my high school roommate had taken a course in TV repair; he taught me that they do not blow up, they implode. Fun.

45. Knight's protection: MAIL. Chain mail, as opposed to chain letters.

47. Ventura County resort: OJAI, a California gimme for our left coasters, and the direction the golf ball breaks on the greens out there.

49. Operatic slave: AIDA.

50. It's behind us: PAST.

53. Elemental suffix: IUM. So many, LITHIUM, SODIUM, HELIUM as well the magnetic metals.

54. MLB execs: GMS. General Managers. As opposed to field managers.

55. Chantilly crower: COQ. Chicken in French, au vin anyone? Trying to get me in trouble at the very end.

Well, I am struggling to get done, so it is time to say sayonora. Until next time


Mar 7, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011 Scott Atkinson

Theme: Reduplication - Four 9-letter words or phrases  that only the rhyming part is the same; the initial part is different. The vowel is different in each entry.

17A. Small-time: RINKY DINK

53A. Fortunate one: LUCKY DUCK

10D. Wham-O footbag: HACKY SACK

29D. Cheap dance hall: HONKY TONK

Argyle here. I couldn't come up with an entry that could have used an "E". Other terms that are occasionally used for this linguistics feature include cloning, doubling, duplication, and repetition. These are fun words to speak and made for a fun Monday.


1A. Pet adoption ctr.: SPCA

5A. Like drive-thru orders: TO GO

9A. Cash alternative: CHECK

14A. Come __ end: conclude: TO AN. As all good things must. English Proverb.

15A. Most eligible for the draft: ONE A

16A. Popular branch of yoga: HATHA. Is there a name for practitioners of yoga?

19A. Have __ with: talk to: A CHAT

20A. Like strictly religious Jews: ORTHODOX

21A. Invite to enter: ASK IN

22A. Fawn's mother: DOE

23A. Family folk: KIN. Alliteration.

24A. Simple to apply, in adspeak: EASY ON

25A. Approx. leaving hour: ETD. Estimated Time of Departure. Close to the actual time, usually, unlike ETD, Estimated Time of Delivery.

26A. Some Ga. Tech grads: EEs. Electrical Engineers.

27A. Pass along softly, as a secret: WHISPER

29A. Coin flip call: Abbr.: HDs.. Unnecessary abbr.

30A. Yuletide spiced ales: WASSAILS. Santa knows wassail, and not that wassail lite stuff, either.

31A. Número after siete: OCHO. Spanish

34A. Fellows: MEN

35A. Stage group: CAST

36A. Occur together: COINCIDE

39A. '60s atty. general who served under his brother: RFK

41A. Elephants, e.g.: TUSKERS

42A. End of a giggle: HEE

43A. Angel dust, briefly: PCP. Don't hear much about PCP these days; bad stuff.

46A. Completely stump: STYMIE. Origin unknown but used by golfers when a competitors ball is between his ball and the hole. Nowadays, the obstructing ball must be moved, the wimps.

47A. "May __ excused?": I BE

48A. Significant period: ERA

49A. Handy bags: TOTEs

50A. Rodin or Michelangelo: SCULPTOR

52A. Evita's married name: PERON. Née Duarte.

54A. Put on a coat?: PAINT

55A. Color of suede shoes, in song: BLUE

56A. __-Seltzer: ALKA

57A. Hockey disks: PUCKS

58A. Dines: SUPS

59A. Mouth off to: SASS


1D. Walked decisively: STRODE

2D. Christie sleuth Hercule: POIROT. He was on the Orient Express when a murder occurred.

3D. On a slant: CANTED. The way wine is stored, to keep the cork from drying out.

4D. Pharaoh's cross: ANKH. This lucky duck has two.

5D. Hot alcoholic drinks: TODDIES. Santa knows hot toddies, too. (Lois is his special "hot toddy".)

6D. Burger toppers: ONIONS

7D. Group with thirtysomethings, briefly: GEN X. Generation X is the generation born after the Baby Boomers, circa 1970 to 1980.

8D. "Mighty" tree: OAK. "Mighty oaks from little acorns grow." English Proverb.

9D. Vehicle's framework: CHASSIS. Ford is still using in their full-size cars, the chassis introduced in 1979, the Panther platform.

11D. Addis Ababa's country: ETHIOPIA.

12D. Television watcher's choices: CHANNELS

13D. Kit __ bar: KAT

18D. Teamed, as oxen: YOKED

21D. Massage reactions: AAHs. shout out to melissa b.

24D. McGregor of "Moulin Rouge!": EWAN

28D. Q-U connection: RST

30D. Like small laddies: WEE

31D. Halloween mo.: OCT.

32D. "Undersea World" explorer Jacques: COUSTEAU

33D. Momentous: HISTORIC

34D. Warehouse gds.: MDSE.

37D. Joins, as stones in a wall: CEMENTS

38D. Colored part of the eye: IRIS

39D. Expresses stern disapproval of: REBUKES

40D. Touchy-__: FEELY

42D. Diaphragm spasm that may be cured by holding one's breath: HICCUP. One way to spell it.

43D. "Downtown" singer Clark: PETULA

44D. Onion soup holders: CROCKS

45D. Hooded coats: PARKAS

50D. "Star Trek" helmsman: SULU

51D. Palmtop computers: Abbr.: PDAs. Personal Digital Assistant (PDA).

52D. Very quietly, to Beethoven: PPP. The dynamic marking for a note played extremely quietly, pianissimo.

53D. Scale abbr.: LBS.



Oct 1, 2010

Friday October 1, 2010 Scott Atkinson

Theme: HEAVE-HO. To get rid of something, a forcible dismissal, as throwing something overboard. Heave, by itself, means "throw." Here the thing thrown is the letter combination HO, from a common phrase, leaving a humorous new uncommon phrase. As much as I love puns, these might have SPANNED a bit too far.

18A. *Ancient Chinese cote occupant? : MING PIGEON. Homing Pigeon - a bird that always finds it's way back to the coop - or "cote." Here, one from the MING dynasty.

25A. *Observation after a Bush walk? : W'S ON FIRST. Who's on first - from the famous Abbot and Costello routine. Here, W is an affectionate term for our 43rd President, who was the managing general partner of the Texas Rangers from 1989 to 1994, best known for trading away Sammy Sosa. Afterwards, he said, "Big Texas (Nolan Ryan) is here. The reason I like to keep Nolan around is he is a reminder that when we got done with the Sammy Sosa trade, there was still some talent on the Rangers."

36A. *Nickname for a so-so Navy officer? : CAPTAIN OK. Captain Hook, whose associate Mr. Smee is an occasional visitor to puzzles. I thought this one was actually funny.

50A. *Habitually drunk panda? : BAMBOO SOT. Bamboo shoot. We all know about the panda who eats, shoots, an leaves. I didn't know he was drunk.

57A. *Kenyan healthcare worker? : RN OF AFRICA. Horn of Africa. A peninsula jutting from East Africa, into the Arabian Sea. Lots of hardship there. Not sure who the Registered Nurse would be, but they could probably use her.

And, of course, the unifier: 42 D. Dismissal, and a hint to how the answers to starred clues were derived : HEAVE HO. This may conjure a variety of images. Discuss in comments, if you dare.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here, feeling quite beat-up by this tough puzzle.

Lots of technical assistance required to get through it in reasonable time. I found the theme to be deeply opaque, and never would have sussed it without the unifier. Technically, very impressive: besides the theme, just 1 Q away from a pangram, a tight cluster of 4 Z's, and a dozen 7-letter non-theme answers. Alas, a total of 39 three or four letter answers reduce the average length to 4.91.


1. Aloe target : RASH. Aloe vera is a succulent yielding a medicinal fluid good for all sorts of skin conditions, including burns. This fill is a bit of rash judgment.

5. Indian royal : RAJA. We often see his wife or daughter.

9. Treat meanly : SHAFT. In the skyscraper of life, a select few get the elevator; the rest get the SHAFT. It's mean to shaft someone on purpose.

14. 1990s Expos manager : ALOU. If it's a baseball clue and a four letter answer, fill in ALOU and move on.

15. Approach shot club : IRON. Golf clubs. I got mine out a few weeks ago for the first time in years. Didn't miss them a bit. Had a good time at a driving range with my grandsons Danny and Ryan, though.

16. "Platoon" co-star : DAFOE. Illustrious actor and Appleton, Wisc. native Willem DAFOE was born William. As the story goes he changed it to "Willem", the way his Scottish childhood babysitter pronounced his name, so people would not call him "Billy".

17. Bubbles : FIZZ. As in Champagne. I heard once that the import duty on the bubbles was more than on the alcohol. Can anybody verify?

20. Tasseled toppers : FEZZES. You all know what they look like. Here is how they get around. Not sure where the Shriners found them.

22. Happy hour order : ALE. Ever on the alert for new clues for this favorite x-word stalwart. But if you want some FIZZ in your FEZ, you're better off with ginger ALE.

23. Partook of : ATE. Why is it part-took, if you ate the whole thing?

24. Bit of dental work : INLAY. INLAY, ONLAY - you always need a perp. I have both.

28. "Hold on!" : SEE HERE. Hold on, I object to what I SEE HERE!

30. Japanese-American : NISEI. Yes, but not necessarily. "NISEI" is a Japanese language term used in countries in North America, South America and Australia to specify the children born to Japanese people in the new country. The Nisei are considered the second generation; and the grandchildren of the Japanese-born immigrants are called Sansei. The Sansei are considered the third generation.

31. "If __ only listened!" : HE'D. This threw me. I and I'D are too short, I HAD is too long. But it won't get me again: I'm paying heed to HE'D!

32. Shade sources : ELMS. But not like they used to be. Once ELM-SPANNED streets were common. At least there are disease resistant varieties.

35. Florida's __ City : DADE. Maybe our Fla. contingent can fill us in.

39. Lead player : STAR. The star of the show. The lead player in the trombone section might or might not be a star.

41. "Even Napoleon had his Watergate" speaker : YOGI. The one and only Lawrence Peter "YOGI" Berra, who learned all about baseball and language from Casey "Good pitching will always stop good hitting and vice-versa" Stengel.

42. I followers? : HOP. IHOP - International House of Pancakes. Lewis Black's health club. Sorry , can't come up with a link.

45. Stoop : PORCH. I think of a PORCH as something more expansive that would not stoop to being a mere stoop.

47. Dry cleaner's supply : HANGERS

53. Sheikdom of song : ARABY. Classic old song.

54. Carpenter __ : ANT. Aunts are not to be confused with siblings.

55. Exxon Valdez cargo : OIL. Big disaster in Prince Willem Sound on March 24, 1989. The ecology of the region has not yet recovered.

56. "All in the Family" family name : STIVIC. Meathead and Gloria, not to be confused with JazzBumpa and the LW (Gloria.) Caused some problems. BUNKER also fits.

61. Genesis brother : SETH. ACH. Automatically filled in ABEL.

62. Many a dance club tune : REMIX. An alternate version of a song, made from a new master.

63. Fiendish : EVIL. But where on earth is the Axis of Fiendishness? Plus, 21 D. It may be evil : EYE. Like this one, I guess. Wrong kind of clecho, though. Is that EVIL, or just unfortunate?

64. The old you : THEE. The archaic second person singular objective case pronoun. Of course, I wanted THOU, the archaic second person singular nominative case pronoun. SEE HERE, I have a hard time being both archaic and objective.

65. '50s flop : EDSEL. But a classic, now, named for Henry Ford's son EDSEL, father of Hank the Deuce..

66. Guitar's fingerboard : NECK. So called because it is narrow compared to the guitar's voluptuous body. But anything that can be done, can be overdone.

67. Repairs, as a green : SODS. The putting green of a golf course. Probably not like this.


1. Picaresque : RAFFISH. Picaresque: involving clever rogues or adventurers especially as in a type of fiction. I guess that works. The things you learn . . .

2. Property recipient : ALIENEE: "One to whom or to which ownership of property is transferred." The things you learn . . .

3. Drunk, in slang : SOZZLED. "Drunk" probably has more synonyms than any other English word. Am I supposed to know them all?

4. Old-fashioned "Way to go!" : HUZZAH. Archaic, I'd say. Hast THOU ever spoken yon word? Has it been spoken at THEE?

5. Wheel parts : RIMS. Perfect for your hot wheels.

6. Paul's "Exodus" role : ARI. Cast of thousands, cost of millions, but it's always ARI.

7. With 56-Down, eponymous bacteriologist : JONAS, and 56. See 7-Down : SALK. Discovered and developed the first safe and effective polio vaccine. This is a well done cross-reference,

8. Saxon opening : ANGLO. ANGLO-Saxon is a collective name for the germanic peoples who migrated to the British Isles around the sixth century. The language they spoke was Englisc, pronounced "English."

9. Star Wars letters : SDI. Prez. Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, commonly called STAR WARS, but without the John Williams score.

10. Witchy woman : HAG. I guess so.

11. Lackin' gumption : AFEARED. I'm Eskeerd to say I had trouble with this one.

12. Under-the-table diversion : FOOTSIE. Nothing I can relate to.

13. Article of faith : TENET.

19. Keystone State founder : PENN. William PENN, not known to have been called either Willem or Billy, the founder and "absolute proprietor" of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future U. S. State of Pennsylvania. He was an early champion of democracy and religious freedom, notable for his good relations and successful treaties with the Lenape Indians. Under his direction, the city of Philadelphia was planned and developed. Well, he got most of it right.

25. "The Optimist's Daughter" writer : WELTY. Eudora WELTY's highly regarded novel.

26. Generic pooch : FIDO. His best friend is ROVER. They don't care much for SPOT.

27. "Out of Africa" author Dinesen : ISAK. Karen somebody - we just had her a couple days ago.

29. Good name, briefly : REP. Reputation. Not a sales Rep.

33. He said "Learn from the masses, and then teach them" : MAO. Chairman MAO Zedong, founder of the People's Republic of China in 1949 and one of the founders of the Chinese Communist party in 1921. To my knowledge, there is no chicken dish named after him.

34. Common sense? : SIGHT. SEE HERE - along with taste, smell, touch, hearing, and the uncommon sense, ESP.

36. Atkins diet no-no : CARB. Carbohydrates, aka sugars and starches. We recently had the good Dr. as well.

37. Gas brand seen at ampm stores : ARCO. I recognize ARCO as the old Atlantic Richfield, acquired by EXXON-MOBIL some time ago. Don't get the clue, though. Anybody?

38. Peeples of "Fame" : NIA. Nope. Don't know her.

39. Reached across : SPANNED. Like a bridge. Or those old ELM trees (sigh.)

40. Powwow communication source : TOMTOMS. Drums used in ceremonial fashion by Native Americas, but versatile in other contexts, as well.

43. Traveled from point A to point A? : ORBITED. The fancy way of going around in circles.

44. Analysts' concerns : PSYCHES. I wanted PSYCHOS. But all of us have PSYCHES - the forces that influence thought, behavior and personality.

46. Clopper : HOOF. Horses go clop, clop, with their hooves.

48. Former RFK Stadium NLer : NAT. Here, the odious "NLer" is an abbrev. indicating that NAT is short for Nationals - a specific team, not the whole league.

49. Mill inputs : GRISTS. Grains to be ground.

50. Ballet rail : BARRE. It's just bar, spelt funnee. Dancers use it in training.

51. Fire indicator, perhaps : SIREN. The alert sound of an emergency vehicle.

52. Green shade : OLIVE. Didn't we just have OLIVES yesterday? I had some tonight.

58. Old cry of disgust : FIE. EGAD! Rather a lot of RETRO in this one, dost thou not think?

59. Rose of rock : AXL. AXL Rose of Aerosmith, here doing the best quasi,-pseudo-ersatz Led Zeppelin song EVAH!

60. Prez, to GIs : CIC. Commander in Chief. Not sure this abrv is valid, but it's too late to quibble.

Answer grid.

I quoted liberally and carelessly from Wikipedia, without attribution - until now. You can probably tell where. I didn't know any of the information transmitted herein. Well, maybe some. Hope this covers it.



Sep 12, 2010

Sunday September 12, 2010 Scott Atkinson

Theme: The Long and Short of It - Long E sound in EE/EA + LL(s) combination in the last word of each familiar phrase is changed into short I.

25A. Wiring woes? : ELECTRIC ILLS. Electric eels.

30A. Pickle processor's invitation? : LET'S MAKE A DILL. Let's make a deal. Awesome entry.

49A. Fruity medication? : BANANA PILL. Banana peels.

61A. Black, gooey knolls near Charlotte? : NORTH CAROLINA TAR HILLS. North Carolina Tar Heels. Nice grid-spanner. But clue/answer duplication with BRAGG (100A. North Carolina fort). I guess there's no other easy way to clue the latter. Still, very bad.

78A. Factories with good morale? : HAPPY MILLS. Happy Meals.

94A. Moonshine equipment that's frozen solid? : COLD HARD STILL. Cold Hard Steel.

103A. Documents bequeathing tiny exercise devices? : HAMSTER WILLS. Hamster Wheels.

Very consistent theme pattern. All the last words have one syllable. I can't think of a good phrase with possible feel/fill & keel/kill transformation. You?

This might be Scott's first Sunday puzzle. If so, congratulations! Fun theme and plenty of entertaining clues. One X away from a pangram.


1. Cuba libre ingredient : COLA. Lime too.

5. Grocery unit : BAG

8. Govt. securities : T-BONDS. Could be T-BILLS also.

14. Pester : NAG AT

19. Former Israeli president Weizman : EZER. Wanted EZRA.

20. Flabbergast : AWE

21. Greek sun god : HELIOS. S ending in Greek always suggests a male figure. As in Zeus.

22. Steer clear of : AVOID

23. Place to park a parka : COAT TREE. Didn't come to me readily.

27. Like Humpty Dumpty, ultimately : IN PIECES. He fell to pieces.

28. Places to go in Gloucester? : LOOS. Gloucester is for alliteration purpose. Great clue.

29. Ballot fallout : CHADS

33. British pop singer Lewis : LEONA. No idea. Looks pretty.

34. Spring mo. : APR

35. Constitutional aid? : CANE. Was thinking of US Constitution rather than physical health.

36. Holiday veggies : YAMS

37. Denali et al.: Abbr. : MTS

40. Disguise for illegal activities : FRONT. Mostly. The ones for FBI/CIA are legal, aren't they?

43. Eponymous dish inventor : PETRI

45. Hi from a float : WAVE. Nice clue.

46. Duff : SEAT

47. Common Market inits. : EEC (European Economic Community)

48. Bobby Orr, once : BRUIN. Boston Bruins.

51. Uneasy desire : ITCH

53. 1953 Leslie Caron film : LILI. Gigi is 1958.

54. Malarkey : BUNK

55. Prefix with trafficker : NARCO. Drew a blank. Narco-trafficker.

56. Hideous : GRUESOME

58. Foot specialist? : BARD. Metrical foot.

59. Toll rd. : TPK (Turnpike)

68. Nonverbal syst. : ASL (American Sign Language)

69. Christmas setups : FIRS

70. "Émile, or On Education" author : ROUSSEAU (Jean-Jacques). Not familiar with the book.

71. Lieu : STEAD

75. Cap'n's crew member : BO'S'N

76. "You're So __": Carly Simon hit : VAIN. Whom is it about again?

77. Ten percenters: Abbr. : AGTS

81. __ State Broncos: Western Athletic Conf. team : BOISE. I know nothing about college sports.

82. "__ du lieber!" : ACH

83. 1975 Pure Prairie League hit : AMIE. First encounter with the band, and the song.

84. Apple with tunes : IPOD. Mine is full of podcast.

85. Soldier, in slang : GRUNT

86. Site of India's Red Fort : DELHI. Pure guess.

88. Math proof letters : Q.E.D.

89. Sweat spot : BROW

90. Support gp. created in 1942 : WAAC (Women's Army Auxiliary Corps)

91. RVer's refuge : KOA

92. Disney's middle name : ELIAS. I forgot.

101. Doughnut shapes : TORI. Plural of torus. Stumped many last time. It looks like this.

102. Chosen one : SELECTEE

106. Rocky address : YO ADRIAN. Great entry.

107. Justice since 2006 : ALITO (Samuel)

108. "Mas Que Nada" bandleader : MENDES. Peeked at the answer sheet.

109. Vietnam Veterans Memorial architect : LIN (Maya)

110. One way to store data : ON CD

111. Eponymous scout Chisholm : JESSE. No idea. Wikipedia says the Chisholm Trail is named after him.

112. Elusive big Scot? : NESSIE. Lock Ness Monster.

113. Calculus prereq. : ALG

114. Ken of "Wiseguy" : WAHL. Nope. He looks familiar though.


1. Mining magnate Rhodes : CECIL. Of Rhodes Scholar fame.

2. Triatomic pollutant : OZONE

3. Bounded : LEAPT

4. Old guild member : ARTISAN

5. Rail amenity : BAR CAR. Have never been to one.

6. "Eight Days __" : A WEEK

7. Skein fliers : GEESE

8. It's usually disregarded when alphabetizing : THE. Fresh clue.

9. "I puritani" composer : BELLINI. Gimme for Jayce.

10. Fútbol shout : OLE OLE. Fútbol is Spanish for football.

11. Williamson of "Excalibur" : NICOL. About King Arthur I presume.

12. Things to connect : DOTS. Connect the dots.

13. Kazakhstan, once: Abbr. : SSR

14. Football party munchies : NACHOS. So messy.

15. Winged, perhaps : AVIAN

16. Yitzhak Rabin's predecessor : GOLDA MEIR. Full name in clue. Full name in answer.

17. Has a cold : AILS

18. Jerry Rice's 208, briefly : TDS. Is that a record?

24. Offer chocolates to, as a dieter : TEMPT

26. Bygone deliverers : ICEMEN

31. In "Rent," it starts with "Seasons of Love" : ACT II. Needed crossing help.

32. "Aw, phooey!" : DARN

33. Hot flower : LAVA. Flower = Thing that flows. Can't fool me.

36. Tug : YANK

38. Rash protection : TALC

39. D-Day target city : ST LO. Also CAEN.

40. Simulate : FEIGN

41. Rocket opening : RETRO. Retrorocket.

42. Come to pass : OCCUR

43. Original : PRIMAL

44. Basel-born mathematician : EULER. OK, Bill G, tell us the highlight of this guy's career.

45. Movie fish : WANDA

46. New Age music player, often : SPA. I've never heard of New Age Health Spa. So the cleverness of the clue is lost on me.

48. Voting groups : BLOCS

49. "I'd go out with women my age, but there are no women my age" speaker : BURNS (George). So he kept dating younger women?

50. Egyptian crosses : ANKHS. Always have trouble remembering the spelling.

52. Riled (up) : HET. Het up.

54. Scot's tot : BAIRN. Literally "child".

57. Like groves : SHADY

58. Euphoria : BLISS

59. One looking for the way? : TAOIST. Tao = Way (in Chinese).

60. Compote fruit : PRUNE

62. From way back when : OF OLD

63. Prepare for a run : TRAIN. I find running makes my legs thick.

64. Metaphor words : IS A

65. By the book : LEGAL

66. Gate fastener : LATCH

67. It's often served with ginger and wasabi : SUSHI. Wasbi is really hot!

71. Celt since 8/4/2010 : SHAQ. Man, I thought he's still in Cleveland.

72. Lacking spice : TAME. Does this refer to food?

73. Skin graft material : EPIDERMIS. such a sophisticated word.

74. Galoot : APE

75. Karate chop, e.g. : BLOW

76. Speak (for) : VOUCH

79. Desert illusion : MIRAGE. Loved "The English Patient".

80. NYSE events : IPOS

81. Thin nail : BRAD. Learned from doing Xword.

85. Pisa airport name : GALILEI. Named after Galileo Galilei.

86. Took two pills, say : DOSED

87. Have humble pie : EAT CROW. Worse than EAT DIRT.

89. Hallux : BIG TOE. Did not know the meaning of hallux.

90. __ Fair : WORLD'S

91. "Constant Craving" vocalist : K. D. LANG. Lois loves her.

93. Endures : LASTS

94. Fountain contents, often : COINS

95. Sanctuaries : ASYLA. Plural for asylum I infer.

96. Try to quiet, as a persistent squeak : REOIL

97. Turner memoir : I, TINA. We had this clue before.

98. Percolate : LEACH

99. 1985-'87 U.S. Open champ : LENDL (Ivan). Nadal today.

100. Loft bundle : BALE. Hi, there, Windhover!

101. Hardly macho, in Manchester : TWEE. Another alliteration.

103. Pilgrimage to Mecca : HAJ

104. LBJ successor : RMN. Can never remember Nixon's middle name. Milhous.

105. Bakersfield-to-L.A. heading : SSE. Educated guess.

Answer grid.