Showing posts with label Steve Blais. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Steve Blais. Show all posts

Jan 8, 2015

Thursday, January 8, 2015 Steve Blais

Theme: "Put 'er There!"

17-Across. Film with the song "Maniac" : FLASH DANCE. Memorable song and video. 4:00

24-Across. Film in which Garbo said, "I want to be alone" : GRAND HOTEL. Classic line. 0:10

54-Across. "Unsafe at Any Speed" author : RALPH NADER. Not just about the Corvair. But Holy Cow!  The paperback sells on Amazon for $150?

63-Across. "That's news to me!" : HAD NO IDEA. Really? $150?!?!

The reveal is situated smack dab in the middle of the grid:
38-Across. Private club ritual, and a hint to this puzzle's circles : SECRET HANDSHAKE. The SHAKE indicates that HAND will be mixed up in the other theme entries. Very clever! There was lots to like in this puzzle, so let's get started.


1. Plenty : LOADS. I almost wanted "a ton," but it was too short.

6. Cologne scent : MUSK. I don't really like musky colognes. Or colognes, period.

10. "Now it makes sense!" : I SEE.

14. 2011 Cricket World Cup winner : INDIA. They beat out Sri Lanka by 6 wickets. (Sure, I knew that...)

15. Actress Gray of "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" : ERIN. TV series 1979 - 81. Never saw it. And 37-Across. Buck Rogers portrayer __ Gerard : GIL.

16. Stores in rows : MALL. I was thinking of the racks of storage bins in our garage.

19. Formally proper : PRIM.

20. Philippine tongue : TAGALOG. Never trust Google translator. Especially with languages like TAGALOG!

21. Gillette Mach3 predecessor : ATRA.

23. Uintah and Ouray Reservation residents : UTES.

29. Annoyances : PESTS.

31. Spanish demonstrative : ESO.

32. __ Coast : IVORY.

33. Golfer nicknamed "The Big Easy" : ELS. Gimme.

35. Winter coat : HOAR.

43. Lines of praise : ODE.

44. One on a penny : UNUM. "E Pluribus UNUM." Weird: when I type E Pluribus Unum into Google translate, it gives me the English translation: "Grape." Huh?? More reliable sources assure me that it means "Out of many, one."

45. Scarfed down : ATE.

46. Like a new candle : UNLIT.

48. Showed the way : LED.

50. Treats, as an icy road : SALTS.

57. Real card : RIOT.

58. Desert formation : MESA.

59. Like monastic life : AUSTERE.

61. Non-PC purchase : iMAC.

66. Actress Tushingham : RITA. Should I know her?

67. Slimming option, for short : LIPO.suction.

68. __ position : FETAL.

69. Biz bigwig : EXEC.

70. Twirled : SPUN.

71. Easy paces : TROTS.


1. Elate : LIFT UP.

2. Airing in the wee hours : ON LATE.

3. Words of wisdom : ADAGES.

4. Earthquake, perhaps : DISASTER.

5. Satirist Mort : SAHL.

6. Thin, on the Thames : MEAGRE. My least fav entry.

7. Coffee holder : URN.

8. [that's what it said] : SIC.

9. Massage : KNEAD.

10. "Whose Line Is It Anyway" technique : IMPROV. Drew Carey was the original host in the US. Now it's Aisha Tyler. The cast is more or less the same. Very funny!

11. 1777 battle site : SARATOGA. Gimme.  I bet Argyle, Irish Miss and Spitzboov got this one right away.

12. Yalie : ELI.

13. Street of nightmares : ELM.

18. Husky, for one : DOG. Because "size" didn't fit.

22. Yearns : THIRSTS.

25. Embarrassed : ASHAMED.

26. It may follow eleven : NOON. Doesn't it always follow eleven?

27. Actor Estrada : ERIK.

28. Lovett of country : LYLE.

30. Spade and Hammer : SLEUTHS.

34. Subway map dot: Abbr. : STN.

36. Cavity filler's org. : ADAAmerican Dental Association.

38. Fermented, as milk : SOUR. So, how can you tell when sour cream has gone bad?

39. Novelist Ferber : EDNA.

40. Pen pal? : CELL MATE. Cute clue.

41. Island dance : HULA.

42. More nourishing : HEARTIER. CSO to me?

47. Medicinal syrup : IPECAC.

49. Precise : DEAD ON.

51. Didn't come clean with : LIED TO.

52. Clawed : TORE AT.

53. Advances a base, in a way : STEALS. Rickey Henderson was labeled "The Man of the Steal." (Sure, I knew that...)

55. Gets precisely : NAILS. Did you NAIL this one?

56. Appear in print : RUN.

60. Piano on a piano? : SOFT. My favorite clue.

61. Sore feeling : IRE.

62. Socialize : MIX.

64. With it : HIP.

65. "The Simpsons" shopkeeper : APU. Did everyone memorize my link to the Simpson's characters last week? I told you there would be a quiz!

I'm off to learn a cool SECRET HANDSHAKE. 0:46


Note from C.C.:

I mentioned yesterday that Bill's wife Barbara is an avid quilter. Bills sent me a few pictures. You can see more here. Love this bag. Very Vera Bradley.


Sep 30, 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 Steve Blais

Theme: You can keep your shirt on - Themes start with things you might lose.

17A. Reminder to be polite : MIND YOUR MANNERS. Lose your mind.

23A. Assets-and-liabilities statement : BALANCE SHEET. Lose your balance.

40A. "Congratulations!" : "WAY TO GO!". Lose your way.

51A. 1993 film about a novice Olympic bobsled team : "COOL RUNNINGS" (They were from Jamaica.). Lose your cool.

62A. What risktakers have ... and what the starts of 17-, 23-, 40- and 51-Across can be? : SOMETHING TO LOSE

Argyle here. A lot of names again but fewer abbreviations. (I didn't count them.) Two spanners also. All in all, quite like Monday.


1. Cross in some hieroglyphics : ANKH

5. Guinness of "Star Wars" : ALEC. and 14A. "Star Wars" princess : LEIA

9. Most of its panhandle is in the Pacific Time Zone : IDAHO. Note some of (update) Oregon is Mountain Time Zone.

15. "Hawaii Five-O" nickname : DANO. "Book 'em, Dano!"

16. At lunch, say : NOT IN

20. Pond growth : ALGAE

21. Churn up : ROIL

22. "__-haw!" : YEE. YEE or HEE, gotta wait on the perp.

27. Judge at a base : UMPIRE

30. Flower pot filler : SOIL

31. Something to brag about : FEAT

32. Perform perfectly : NAIL

36. Dance movements : STEPS

39. Rower's blade : OAR

42. Be a contender : VIE

43. Word with whisper or fright : STAGE

45. It's a gas in Canada : ESSO

46. Copper-plated coin : CENT

47. Without ice : NEAT. Finally, right Tin?

49. Millionaire's accumulation : WEALTH

56. Incoming flight info: Abbr. : ARR. (arrivals)

57. Any minute now : SOON

58. Hop out of bed : GET UP

66. Nursery rhyme tart taker : KNAVE. Who knew?

67. Large cross : ROOD

68. Blessing ender : AMEN

69. Repaired, as a shoe : SOLED. From a bygone era.

70. Approximate figs. : ESTs

71. Ties the knot : WEDS


1. __ mater : ALMA

2. Astronaut Armstrong : NEIL

3. Checkmate victim : KING

4. Tasted, with "of" : HAD A BIT

5. "And now, without further __ ..." : ADO

6. 2000s first lady Bush : LAURA

7. 2001 bankruptcy filer : ENRON

8. Stand-up individual? : COMIC

9. Road trip stopover : INN

10. Crime family boss : DON

11. Right in front of one's face : AT EYE LEVEL

12. New recruit : HIREE

13. Beginning : ONSET

18. Magazine subscription period : YEAR

19. Many microbrews : ALEs

24. "Stormy Weather" singer Horne : LENA

25. "Nothing special" : "SO-SO"

26. Bit of Google success : HIT. Easier on your teeth than Bit-O-Honey.

27. Sci-fi transports : UFOs

28. Veggie platter's lack : MEAT

29. Like "The X-Files" cases : PARANORMAL

33. Thumbs-up vote : AYE

34. For what __ worth : IT'S

35. Part of LAPD : LOS. (Los Angeles Police Department)

37. Ice cream buy : PINT. It still could be Edy's.

38. "Family Guy" creator MacFarlane : SETH

40. Wash-and-__ : WEAR

41. Prom attire : GOWN

44. Hair goo : GEL

46. Source of legal precedents : CASE LAW

48. Rear end : TUSH. I still LOL at the end of the clip.

50. "Thick & Fluffy" breakfast brand : EGGO

51. Big barrels : CASKS

52. Maine campus town : ORONO

53. Bete __ : NOIRE

54. Verboten things : NO-NOs

55. Weighty gold bar : INGOT

59. Weighty work : TOME

60. Pre-owned : USED

61. Rollerballs, e.g. : PENS

63. First lady? : EVE

64. Actor Danson : TED. He has gone from Cheers to CSI.

65. QB's scores : TDs


Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to Pje (Pat), the milk man's daughter :-). You can read more about Pat here. She's been a quiet influence in our blog, always offering comfort when someone needs help.

Jul 31, 2014

Thursday, July 31, 2014 Steve Blais

Theme: "I'm All Shook Up"

I thought we were in for a homophone puzzle after I filled in the first two theme answers:

20-Across. Really opens up : BARES ONE'S SOUL.

24-Across. Warrants another mention : BEARS REPEATING.

But the third one didn't fit the mold:
45-Across. Greed and jealousy are among them : BASER INSTINCTS.
Hmmm...but it did contain the same letters.

51-Across. Threat of power, and a hint to the starts of 20-, 24- and 45-Across : SABER RATTLING.
The "rattling" indicates that the letters are shaken around, and a classic anagram theme is born.

This is Steve's third LAT puzzle this month, and the second one I have blogged.  They are always fun and fresh, with some clever clues and nice juicy fill. Come with me and see what I mean...


1. Stephen King title city : SALEM. "Salem's Lot." I never read his books or watch the movies. Waaaay too scary for me.

6. USS Enterprise android : DATA. I had to pause for a minute to come up with this guy's name.

10. Drinks slowly : SIPS. The way to drink scotch, right Tin?

14. Beethoven honoree : ELISE.  "Für ELISE."

15. What may make the future tense? : OMEN. Fun clue!

16. Start of a solution : IDEA.

17. Steer catcher : RIATA.

18. Haboob, for one : WINDSTORM.  One of them blew over Phoenix last Friday.

22. Circuit protector : FUSE.

23. Nashville awards gp. : CMACountry Music Association.

31. Astrologer Dixon : JEANE. I always want to put two N's in her name.

32. MD for women : GYN.ecologist.

33. Falco of "Nurse Jackie" : EDIE.

34. River ends? : ARs.

35. Idealist : DREAMER.

39. Dark time in poetry : E'EN. And a semi-clecho at 55-down. Dark time in ads : NITE.

40. "What kind of a name is 'Wilbur' for a man?" speaker : MR. ED. He was a horse, of course...

42. Donation, say : AID.

43. Seating option : AISLE. I always prefer the window - no food carts banging into my ankles, or people crawling over me to get to the bathroom.

49. Trig. ratio : COS.ine.

50. "Bus Stop" playwright : INGE.

57. Autograph signing locale : STAGE DOOR.

59. Call, in a way : RADIO.

60. Ship that sailed to Colchis : ARGO. Jason and his Argonauts.

61. Humerus neighbor : ULNA. Then there is this type of humorous neighbor.

62. Draw together : UNITE.

63. Withdraw by degrees : WEAN.

64. Ingredients in some stews : PEAS.

65. Egyptian pyramid's eight : EDGES. Not "kings."


1. Balkan native : SERB.

2. Latin "others" : ALIA. Usually abbr. as al. And 28-Down. Clarifier usually abbreviated : ID EST. i.e., like this. (Latin for "that is...")

3. One may be habitual : LIAR.

4. Miami Sound Machine singer : ESTEFAN. I hope you appreciate the fact that I linked this singer instead of Beethoven's "Für Elise."

5. Carefully considered : MEASURED.

6. It'll bum you out : DOWNER. I read it as BURN instead of BUM.  I think crossword clues should be PRINTED ALL IN CAPS FROM NOW ON.

7. Henri's lady friend : AMIE. French "friend."

8. Arithmetic column : TENS.

9. Director's "Done with this segment!" : AND...SCENE. I wanted AND..."cut" but it was too short. I had never heard AND...SCENE, so I looked it up.  Seems it was often used by someone auditioning, to let the director know they were finished with their piece. Now it is used in a facetious way. After ranting and raving about something, a person might say AND...SCENE, to indicate that whatever they just said was all an act.

10. Put in place : SITUATE.

11. False __ : IDOL.

12. A : PER. As in $5 PER dozen, or $5 A dozen. How much is corn on the cob in your state?

13. Yosemite __ : SAM.

19. "Brave New World" drug : SOMA.

21. WWII intelligence org. : OSSOffice of Strategic Services. Julia Child was in the OSS.

24. Three-time A.L. MVP : BERRA.

25. Lightens : EASES.

26. "Zounds!" : EGADS.

27. "Quartet in Autumn" English novelist Barbara : PYM. I only know the character in Poe's novel. There once was a PYM from Nantucket...

29. Bohr of the Manhattan Project : NIELS.

30. Code carrier : GENE.

31. It's perpendicular to a threshold : JAMB.

36. Lifted : RAISED UP.

37. A, in Germany : EIN.

38. Sounded right : RANG TRUE. Yep, sounds right to me!

41. Figure with 10 sides : DECAGON.

44. Republic formerly under Danish rule : ICELAND.

46. Court cover-up : ROBE. Cute - not the hiding of evidence, but the judge's covering. Why do they wear robes, anyway?  I should think they could do the same thing in a tuxedo and look far more dashing...

47. Pageant symbols : TIARAS.

48. What a QB tries to avoid : INT.erception.

51. Multipart story : SAGA.

52. Auditioner's goal : ROLE.

53. Gossip columnist Barrett : RONA.

54. "Copacetic, man" : I DIG.

56. Exits : GOES.

57. Caught at the theater : SAW.

58. Amount past due? : TRE.  HaHa!  Irish Miss, did you get this one? Italian due = two and tre = three.

Marti, out!

Jul 23, 2014

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 Steve Blais

Theme: "Say CHEESE"! Famous grins amuse us this Wednesday.

17A. "Alice in Wonderland" critter known for disappearing : CHESHIRE CAT. Great start - here's John Tenniel's original illustration:

27A. Painting partly shown on the original cover of "The Da Vinci Code" : MONA LISA. I was fortunate to see Leonardo's original in the Louvre many years ago - here's the selfie version:

36A Ubiquitous Mad Magazine guy : ALFRED E. NEUMAN. Way too many picture hits on Google to choose from. Today is "Make your own Mad Magazine Link Wednesday". 

47A. "Batman" villain : THE JOKER. I'm not sure what Jack is so happy about - he has court-side season tickets for the Lakers.

59A. Some emoticons, and defining features of 17-, 27-, 36- and 47-Across : SMILEY FACES and what a nice motto for this Wednesday!

Hi everyone - Steve here having fun with Mr. Blais's puzzle today. I loved the clever theme and the long downs around it. ANALOGOUS TO had me watching each letter fill in with the crosses, and I was convinced that I'd got something wrong until finally I saw it with only the "N" to go.

I'm time-shifting again today - I'm back in Rio de Janeiro until Saturday. If only I could time-shift a week or two backwards and I could have watched some World Cup games! I didn't plan this trip very well at all. My bad. Let's head onwards:


1. Auto whose griffin logo was recently discontinued : SAAB. I think it's more than the logo that was discontinued - didn't the entire brand get 16A'd?

5. Log on to : ACCESS. After at least three failed userid/password combo attempts in my case. I locked myself out of my own laptop yesterday.

11. "Family Guy" daughter : MEG. Thank you, perps!

14. Beige cousin : ECRU

15. Hail from a distance : CALL TO. Hey, Bubba! The Swiss yodel, it seems a little more poetic.

16. Lumberjack's tool : AXE. The "E" can be chopped off with no hard feelings, but then it loses it's crossword-qualification letter count.

19. Cousins, say : KIN. Because KISSING doesn't fit.

20. Lost it : HAD A FIT

21. It may be bulletproof : VEST. If I was in the line of fire, I'd be worried about the "may" qualifer.

22. Free-for-all : BRAWL. Donnybrook in the land of my fathers.

25. Hates : DETESTS

31. Half an etiquette list : DON'TS. I prefer the Do's.

32. Free TV ad : P.S.A. Public Service Announcement. Check out the UK''s Road Safety mascot "Tufty the Squirrel" from the 1960's and 70's. I think Policeman Badger needs a course in immobilizing an accident victim before dragging him to the sidewalk.

33. Pepsi, e.g. : COLA. And 29D, and a cross too! These always have me worried that I'm seeing double.

35. In favor of : FOR

41. Cry to a toreador : OLE. Or a cry to a soccer team.

42. Clumsy boats : ARKS. Why clumsy? You're a craft filled with all the world's species, you're bound to be a little sluggish making a sharp turn into Port Mt. Ararat.

43. Part of an ear : COB

45. Getting on in years : AGING. What, me?

50. Tummy-showing shirt : CROP-TOP. There was an article in the NYT this week about how much tummy was acceptable to show wearing one of these. The jury was out, but the photo-examples were fun.

52. "__ obvious!": "Duh!" : IT'S SO

53. Aussie sprinters : EMUS

54. Blue Staters, collectively : THE LEFT. No comment. One of the rules of this blog. Read 'em - they're up there on the right.

58. __ Cruces : LAS

63. Sinusitis-treating MD : ENT

64. Requiring less effort : EASIER. Not so much this crossword today. Thanks, Steve for a fun challenge!

65. Bend : WARP

66. Sci. course : BIO

67. Stick : ADHERE

68. Haywire : AWRY


1. Short time : SEC. Small word, and a great and clever clue. I love these gems.

2. Günther's gripe : ACH. Some German today. "Oh"!

3. "Blessed __ the pure in heart ..." : ARE

4. Poppycock : BUSHWA. AESL (American English as a Second Language) for me today. I resolve to use this in a sentence as soon as possible.

5. Biting, as wit : ACID

6. Siena sweetie : CARA. Italian - it's language-fest in the down clues today!

7. Staff notation : CLEF. Do-re-me ..... Marti? Singalong?

8. Spanish folk hero : EL CID. Canadian-eh's folk hero - The Sid:

How aboot some hockey, eh?
9. Put into words : STATED

10. Lush : SOT

11. Gets a move on : MAKES TRACKS. Nice!

12. Is more than a dream : EXISTS. Whenever I see or hear "a dream" I can hear The Cure's Robert Smith's vocals on "Just Like Heaven" and his apparent flat note. It's a great song, but the "dream" at 2:14 always sounds like nails on a chalkboard to me. What say you musicians? It's still on my Top 10 song list on my iPod but that  "draaam" always wakes me up.

13. Classy guys : GENTS. Classy john too.

18. Site of many school lockers : HALL

21. Rattler's poison : VENOM. I have to watch out for these little buggers when I'm out hiking. The babies are the most dangerous, they give you the full plunger of poison, they haven't yet learned to give you just enough to get you to go the heck away.

22. Image file letters : BMP. Bitmap. Basically this was a full pixel-accurate copy of the image that took up a boatload of file space. The JPEG format and derivatives made life a lot easier.

23. Flor del amor : ROSA. A rose, by any other name.

24. Corresponding with : ANALOGOUS TO. My star of the week, month or possibly all-time. As a down, you can't really recognize the letter sequence as it fills and you're trying to break the string into all kinds of unworkable segments. Brilliant!

26. Protein source for vegans : TOFU

28. __ hockey : ICE. Canadian-eh must be happy today. Eh? Tin-man - don't look.

29. Pepsi, e.g. : SODA. I hear a clecho. And a blogcho - Tin-man - don't look.

30. Watchful : ALERT

34. Egyptian cross : ANKH

37. Decides with a coin : FLIPS. We toss in England.

38. Monthly expense : RENT

39. Flagstaff-to-Roswell dir. : E.S.E. 8.7 light-years via Alpha Centuri. Remember that the next time you run out of fuel for your warp drive in Area 51 when you were just out for a quick galatic-joyride.

40. Rejections : NOES

44. Pal : BRO

45. Big name in high fashion : ARMANI

46. Lost one's temper : GOT MAD

48. Short time : JIFF. Clecho-echo-oooo. Yodelling clues today. Where's the Alpenhorn?

I hate it when I lose my iPhone
49. Quebec/Ontario border river : OTTAWA. Now I know it's a river too.

50. Walk of Fame honoree : CELEBrity. Is CELEB common enough now for no abbreviation or shortened indications in the clue? I guess so.

51. Engage in online fraud : PHISH. Help. I am stranded Rio with brasil police arrest and no wallet my hotel have my bag and will not release unless I give deposit money and they then give me phone and my possesses so I can wire me bail out of prison from bank. Wire now and I pay on sunday. Today is march and it rainy. I won Nigeria lottery on twesndsday.

55. Nobelist Wiesel : ELIE

56. Creepy look : LEER

57. Literary governess Jane : EYRE

59. Poseidon's realm : SEA

60. Cornfield call : CAW

61. Take a wrong turn, say : ERR. I've never heard that from the passenger seat before - "Oh, I think you erred - we're going the wrong way". It's more like "WOOOOAHH - San FRANCISCO?" What kind of BUSHWA driving is this?"

62. Binoculars user : SPY

Well, that was fun. More fun than spending an unexpected 24 hours in Houston airport on Thursday/Friday because my connection from LA was 2 hours late and I missed my Rio flight. Oh well!

Bom dia! My hovercraft is full of eels.


Jul 10, 2014

Thursday, July 10, 2014 Steve Blais

Theme: "What Are You Wearing?"

17. Like him or her : THIRD PERSON.

30. Reagan/Carter debate catchphrase : THERE YOU GO AGAIN.

44. Fail completely : TAKE IT ON THE CHIN.

57. Weakening, in a way, or what 17-, 30- and 44-Across are literally doing : WEARING THIN. Each of the theme entries is "wrapped" in the word THIN.  The word is broken in three different ways, which is a good thing. Let's see what else Steve has thrown at us this week.


1. Limo rider : CELEB.rity. Short limosine, short VIP.

6. Skilled : ADEPT.

11. Old map letters : SSR.

14. Smetana's "The Bartered Bride," e.g. : OPERA. "Aida" would have been too easy for a Thursday. But this comic opera is one of the Czech Republic's most famous.  Although I personally enjoy the overture, Act II features lovely Czech folk music. 4:14

15. Super Mario World dinosaur : YOSHI. No clue.

16. Own, to Burns : HA'E.

19. Morticia's cousin : ITT. "The Addam's Family."

20. Roman sun god : SOL.

21. Bon __ : MOT. French for "witty remark."

22. Years in Madrid : ANOS.

23. Campfire remains : ASH.

26. Cleaning tool : MOP.

28. Easily perturbed : ORNERY. I think of ORNERY as mean-tempered or stubborn.

34. Disney film based on Chinese folklore : MULAN.

35. Steed's partner : MRS. PEEL. Great misdirection for "The Avengers."

36. Giant thing in a kids' game : STEP. Complete instructions for "Mother May I?" here.

37. Problem with pictures : REBUS. Another great misdirection.  Literally, a problem, that uses pictures. Narragansett beer put out a series of coasters with rebus puzzles on them. See how many you can figure out here. (***Answers, below.)

38. Neeson of "Taken" : LIAM.

41. "Dead Souls" novelist Gogol : NIKOLAI.

43. Summation symbol in math : SIGMA.

47. Mobster's code of honor : OMERTA.

48. Bart, to Homer : SON. Man, will I ever sort out all these characters?

49. __-Mex : TEX. Burritos and tacos and chili (Oh my!)

50. "Alice" diner : MEL'S.

51. Nonetheless, briefly : THO.

54. "Oedipus __" : REX.

56. Completely : ALL.

62. Inconclusive result : TIE.

63. Edmonton skater : OILER. Do you follow hockey, CanadianEh! ?

64. Gladiator's venue : ARENA.

65. Row : OAR.

66. First name on a historic B-29 : ENOLA.

67. Long and lean : LANKY.


1. Base bed : COT. Aha!  Here's the COT I was looking for at 1-A on Tuesday!

2. Bk. before Philippians : EPH.esians.

3. Hawaiian ring : LEI.

4. Messes up : ERRS.

5. 13, to many : BAD OMEN.

6. Sailor's agreement : AYE.

7. Temporary quarters : DORM.

8. Canadian gas brand : ESSO. It's Exxon in the US of A.

9. Occasions for shooting stars? : PHOTO OPS. Cute clue.

10. Its chemical symbol is Sn : TIN.

11. Illuminate, with "on" : SHINE A LIGHT.

12. Zen enlightenment : SATORI.

13. Certs ingredient : RETSYN. Remember these ads?

18. Sneaky tactic : PLOY.

22. Like cherubs : ANGELIC.

23. Alternatives to tellers, briefly : ATMs.

24. Close : SHUT.

25. "Light in My Darkness" author : HELEN KELLER.

27. Grapefruit cousin : POMELO. Have you ever had Pomelo wine? Very fresh and zingy.

29. Singer Carly __ Jepsen : RAE. "Call Me Maybe."

31. Slender swords : RAPIERS.

32. Like some legends : URBAN.

33. Columbia garb : G SUITS. The space shuttle Columbia, not the school in NY. Not to be confused with G Strings.

37. Add gradually to a cycle : ROTATE IN.

39. Gallic girlfriend : AMIE.

40. Tailless feline : MANX.

42. Young fox : KIT.

43. Dakar is its capital : SENEGAL.

44. __ paste : TOMATO. I used to always end up with half a can of tomato paste that would just turn moldy and eventually get thrown out.  Now I take a piece of saran wrap, plop tablespoons of paste onto it, cover with another piece of saran wrap,  and stick it in the freezer. Once frozen, I put it into a freezer bag - whenever I need a tbsp of paste, I just cut one of the blobs off the saran warp and put the rest back in the freezer.

45. Bloomer of bloomers fame : AMELIA.

46. __ of plenty : HORN. I always have one of these on my Thanksgiving table.

52. Radiant ring : HALO.

53. Hershiser of ESPN : OREL.

55. Ad come-on word : XTRA.

57. Angst : WOE.

58. Portfolio holding, briefly : IRA.

59. Egg layer : HEN.

60. Octopus' defense : INK.

61. Bit of Senate dissension : NAY.

***Click here for the answers to the Narragansett rebus puzzles.

'Til next week!

Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to Don G, who turns 60 years old today! I was so lucky and privileged to be mentored by Don.

Don & his wife Barbie

Apr 30, 2014

Wednesday April 30th, 2014 Steve Blais

Theme: Multiple Meltdowns. Each theme entry features some form of personal crisis.

17A. What an angry mermaid might do? : GO OFF THE DEEP END

26A. What an angry Santa might do? : HIT THE ROOF

46A. What an angry Humpty Dumpty might do? : GO TO PIECES

59A. What an angry witch might do? : FLY OFF THE HANDLE

Good morning everyone - Steve here with Mr. Blais' latest. Four solid theme entries and one possible unifier hidden away at 57D. I enjoyed the cluing style for the theme, and I had a couple of missteps here and there but nothing too dramatic. Let's see what else we've got.


1. Minor error : LAPSE

6. Catcall : JEER. Sports fans are prone to do this after a 1A.

10. Vishnu incarnation : RAMA. Just one of his ten avatars.

14. "This Old House" carpenter Norm : ABRAM

15. Like many a shoppe : OLDE. Often seen with "Ye" and "Gifte" also.

16. Color of Death's dart, in "Venus and Adonis" : EBON. Nice clue for the poetic "black". I didn't realize that Shakespeare wrote the poem.

20. Not many : SOME

21. Pop's bro : UNC. Do you cry "Uncle" if he's got you in a headlock?

22. Hard to figure out : KNOTTY

23. "Baseball Tonight" airer : ESPN. Originally the "Entertainment and Sports Programming Network". Pretty much just sports now.

25. Not good : POOR

30. Frozen dessert franchise : TCBY. All crosses, I'd never heard of this chain.

34. Part of NCAA: Abbr. : ATH. From the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

35. Don't exist : AREN'T

36. Pong developer : ATARI

37. Supermodel Cheryl : TIEGS. Multiple cover appearances for Sports Illustrated and Time magazines.

39. 1860s govt. for four years : CSA. This was my last fill in the grid - I had CIA for no good reason at first, and then saw that ONIET wasn't going to cut it.

40. Still in bed : NOT UP

41. Accustom : ENURE

42. Western Wyoming county : TETON. Home of the Grand Teton National Park.

44. __-Foy, Quebec : STE

45. Tabula __: blank slate : RASA

48. Opportunity, metaphorically : DOOR. "As one door closes another opens".

50. Backside : REAR

51. Verdict challenge : APPEAL

54. Spot for a facial : SPA

56. Pool float : RAFT

62. Undecided : TORN

63. Smallest Great Lake by volume : ERIE. Lake Ontario is the smallest by area.

64. Where subs are assembled : DELIS. Because "Naval Shipyards" doesn't fit.

65. __' Pea : SWEE

Scooner Seawell Georgia Washenting Christiffer Columbia Daniel Boom
66. Actress Meg : RYAN

67. Skilled : ADEPT


1. Internet connectivity frustrations : LAGS

2. Peek-__ : ABOO

3. Titan who gave fire to humans : PROMETHEUS. Zeus was annoyed about this, and shackled him to a rock to have his liver eaten anew each day by a raven. Not one to be trifled with, that Zeus fellow.

4. Least risky : SAFEST

5. "Unbelievable" techno-funk band : EMF. This was their first single and topped the charts in many countries including the USA, but not their native UK.

6. Philosopher Locke : JOHN

7. Gas alternative: Abbr. : ELEC

8. Former "Tonight Show" announcer Hall : EDD

9. Be strongly pervaded with : REEK OF. Usually in a bad way.

10. Keep apprised of one's activities, as a superior : REPORT TO

11. Assist with a crime : ABET

12. Chamonix peak : MONT. I confidently filled in ALPE first. I've skied Mont Blanc from Chamonix. The village is pretty.

13. Garcia of "Ocean's Eleven" : ANDY

18. Pitch-changing pro : TUNER. I was thinking baseball for the longest time. Nice misdirection.

19. Brian who produced or co-produced several Talking Heads albums : ENO. Brian's been popular in recent puzzles.

24. Terrible twos, one hopes : PHASE

25. Chips-to-be : POTATO

26. Fan's opposite : HATER. Plenty of the anti-Lakers variety here in Los Angeles.

27. Turner memoir : I, TINA

28. Parish head : RECTOR

29. First stage : ONSET

31. String-pulling game : CAT'S CRADLE. It's been a long time since I played this game - I'd almost forgotten about it.

32. Ogre : BRUTE

33. "Holy mackerel!" : YIPES

36. Lennox of the Eurythmics : ANNIE. The foodie anthem: "Sweet dreams are made of cheese, who am I to dis a Brie? I Cheddar the world and the Feta cheese. Everybody's looking for Stilton"

38. Elementary level : GRADE ONE. Hmmm - not sure about this one as clued. Wouldn't "First Grade" be more correct? I think of "grade one" as "of the best quality".

43. Book club leader for 15 years : OPRAH

46. One following a course : GOLFER. Following very approximately in my case. I've seen parts of golf courses rarely visited by humans. I once had to climb down a cliff in Wales to retrieve my driver from the rocks below - my hands were so cold it flew out of my grip when I teed off. We repaired to the clubhouse for medicinal whisky and a fireside seat shortly afterwards.

47. Worked for : EARNED

49. Big ape : OAF

51. Times to call, in ads : AFTS. Afternoons.

52. Field machine : PLOW

53. Flammable pile : PYRE

54. Branch of Islam : SHIA

55. Hammer part : PEEN

57. Lose one's cool : FLIP. This could be the theme unifier, but it's not noted as such. I'm going to call it anyway.

58. Quiz : TEST

60. Do one's best : TRY

61. Aquafresh tube letters : ADA. Toothy smiles all round.

And with that, I'm done!


Note from C.C.:

Here are a few beautiful photos from JD's Puerto Rico trip. (Correction: Costa Rica trip.)  Please click here for more pictures and her notes. She made a whole album of 97 brightly-colored pictures.



Dec 17, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 Steve Blais

Theme: Away to the window I flew - The first word of the theme entries can follow FLASH.

17. Canasta, e.g. : CARD GAME. Also a game with melds. FLASH CARD - educational aid.

23. Exasperate, metaphorically : DRIVE TO DRINK. Just don't drive from drink; take a cab. FLASH DRIVE - Stick it in your USB port. More

37. '60-'70s Canadian folk-rock icon : GORDON LIGHTFOOT. Famous for a Wreck. FLASH GORDON - Intrepid space traveler who battled Ming the Merciless

48. The same as it was hundreds of years ago, say : FROZEN IN TIME. Unaffected by global warming. FLASH FROZEN - Food is frozen in such a very short period it prevents the forming of large crystals.

60. Spontaneous gathering, and a hint to the starts of 17-, 23-, 37- and 48-Across : FLASH MOB. A YouTube favorite here on the Corner.

Argyle here. Similar to Monday's puzzle. Four theme entries but taking the first word this time, the two corner blocks are in rows instead of the columns and there is a spanner. This has a unifier instead of a reveal if you get my drift. Fifty-five theme entry blocks as opposed to fifty yesterday. Still satisfying and amusing.


1. Butter square : PAT

4. Young newts : EFTs

8. Most gentle : TAMEST

14. Brew that may be pale or dark : ALE

15. Baseball family name : ALOU

16. Environmentally friendly auto : ECO-CAR

19. Coke competitor : RC COLA

20. Hot-dish holder : TRIVET. Or hot flat iron holder.

21. Fleischer of the Bush White House : ARI. For President George W. Bush, from January 2001 to July 2003.

22. Train stopping at every sta. : LOCal

27. Barbecue fare : RIBS. Arc-shaped, finger-staining snack food?

30. Roamed without restraint : RAN FREE

31. "The Simpsons" storekeeper : APU. Or Ned, owner of The Leftorium.

32. Agitate : ROIL

33. Most characters on "The Big Bang Theory" : NERDS

41. "That's not in the script!" evoker : AD LIB. What Tim Conway was good at on the Carol Burnett Show. (unedited with extra footage)


42. Competes : VIEs

43. Capote nickname : TRU

44. Not at all deceitful : ARTLESS.

47. Honeyed liquor : MEAD. Liquor made from fermented honey.

52. Stimpy's sidekick : REN

53. Promise to pay, for short : IOU

54. Bottom, to baby : TUSHIE

58. Uphill climb : ASCENT

62. Bald spot coverer : TOUPEE

63. "__ Misbehavin'" : AIN'T

64. Plains tribe : OTO

65. Takes an oath : SWEARS

66. Butterfly catchers : NETs

67. __ Antonio : SAN


1. Diplomat's goal : PACT

2. Banned apple spray : ALAR

3. Garr of "Tootsie" : TERI

4. More than willing : EAGER

5. Old-style clothes presser : FLAT IRON

6. Alley prowler : TOMcat

7. "Peggy __ Got Married": 1986 film : SUE. IMDb

8. Intense fear : TERROR

9. Traffic backup causes : ACCIDENTs

10. Comfy shoe : MOC

11. Food-poisoning bacteria : E. COLI

12. Manicure spot : SALON

13. Liner notes listing : TRACK

18. Redbox rentals : DVDs

21. DOJ enforcer : ATF. (Department of Justice/Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives)

24. Resort WSW of Boulder : VAIL. Shout out to Montana.

25. Add some pep to : ENLIVEN

26. Coral formation : REEF

27. Ravi Shankar genre : RAGA

28. Apple with tunes : iPOD

29. Folksy Ives : BURL


32. "The Bucket List" director : ROB REINER

34. Repetitive learning : ROTE

35. Toon explorer with a monkey friend named Boots : DORA

36. It may be ear-piercing : STUD

38. Rodrigo __ de Vivar: El Cid : DIAZ. All perps.

39. Basic idea : GIST

40. Reluctant to commit : HESITANT

45. Govt. securities : T-NOTES

46. Sch. with a Brooklyn campus : LIU. (Long Island University)

47. Interlock, as gears : MESH

48. Houses with Greek letters : FRATs

49. Plant anew : RESOW

50. Just as planned : ON CUE

51. Mandatory items : MUSTs

55. Managed care gps. : HMOs

56. Minuscule amount : IOTA

57. Dark, to a poet : EBON

59. Anti-pollution org. : EPA

60. Cooling device : FAN

61. Prevaricate : LIE. FINI, and that's no lie.