Showing posts with label Steven J. St. John. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Steven J. St. John. Show all posts

Jul 16, 2016

Saturday, Jul 16th, 2016, Steven J. St, John

Theme: SJSJ

Words: 70 (missing J,V,X,Z)

Blocks: 26

 SJSJ returns 7 weeks later with another Saturday puzzle, and with an identical grid, no less.  Again a crossing spanner and climber, with the triple 10- and triple 8-letter corners.  Did not try the first batch of 10-letter across answers, two of them having "?" clues, but some of the smaller fill that followed I correctly guessed, and that opened up the top quickly.  The last to fall was the lower triple stack, and that was due to a proper name that could have gone any which way.  The 15-letter center;

35a. Appeal for backup? : "CAN I GET A WITNESS~?" - witness my landlord/housemate as he sailed his solar-powered boat from Florida to LI, NY

The article is here

8d. Nearly weightless : LIGHT AS A FEATHER - nailed it with maybe 4 or 5 crossings

ON past 90° WARD~ :7P


1. Highly charged individual? : SHOP-A-HOLIC

11. Castmate of Alda and Swit : FARR - M*A*S*H

15. Mass transportation? : POPEMOBILE

This one is even funnier - but just my opinion

16. Problem solver, at times : IDEA

17. One dealing in signs : ASTROLOGER - I was an Aquarius all my life, but now it seems that there is a 13th astological sign, Ophiuchus, which shifts me to Capricorn - guess I'll have to go back and check to see where it all went wrong

18. Not opt. : REQ'D - really good WAG on my part; optional or standard~?  But - "STD" didn't fit, so then I thought about college courses, and the 'a-ha' moment was upon me

19. Complicated : STICKY

20. " ... __ no fury ... " : HATH

22. Québec journalist's question : QUI - Frawnche for "who?"

23. Speed unit : MACH

24. Intersected : MET - like 35a and 8d.

26. Conversational skills : SEGUES

28. Leaking sound : SSSsss - like the sound from my front tire when the control arm broke free from the ball joint and busted the bead

29. Traditions seen in some circles : HORAS - another healthy guess after getting the consonants

31. Sudden and brief : FLASH - the clue/answer doesn't quite mesh for me....

32. Waters near the South Pole : ROSS SEA - more SSSss's

34. Towel ending : ETTE - Towelette

39. Natural salve : ALOE - gimme

40. Savanna outings : SAFARIs

41. Like snakes but not worms : SCALY

43. Skin product prefix : DERMA - I threw in DERM- and waited

44. Put down roots? : SOD - tried POT - that's 100% 33.3% correct

47. Old London ride : HANSOM

49. Nabokov novel : ADA - I tried ANA, and that's 100% 66.7% correct

50. "Crucifixion of St. Peter" painter Guido : RENI - the "R" was a WAG; the rest was perps - his Wiki, and the painting

51. Four-song discs, briefly : EPs

52. With 46-Down, world creator? : WALT - circumreferential to; 46. See 52-Across : DISNEY - Walt Disney World - never been there

54. Open-flame treat : S'MOREs - standard fare at our fire nights

56. One in a football quartet : DOWN - strangely, I tried "BACK", but there's only three of those, either defense or offense, according to this diagram

58. Pacific swimmer : COHO SALMON - the salmon part I got, and it took a moment for the rest to rise up from the depths of my brain

60. California's Mission Santa __ : INES - I would have gone with "Z" at the end, but it wouldn't jibe with the down answer "NZF"

61. Furtive question : "ARE WE ALONE~?"

62. Football that won't deflate : NERF - too bad the Patriots can't play with them....

63. Pays, old-style : WIRES MONEY


1. Twinges : SPASMS

2. Shade-loving landscape plants : HOSTAs - I am familiar with this plant

3. Public perceptions, as of politics or sports : OPTICS - meh clue for me

4. Lake catch : PERCH - another good WAG

5. Uninhibitedly : AMOK - did not see this until I started writing the blog

6. "Wow!" : HOLY MOSES - we have holEy Moses Cheesecake right here on Long Island - and not that far from my place

7. "... and that price is negotiable," in classifieds : OBO - 'or best offer' - and I am thinking about selling my Dodge on Craigslist for parts; $500 OBO

9. Intestinal parts : ILEA - nailed it, but spelled it with a second "I" initially

10. Altoids competitor : CERTS

11. Fragrant tree : FIR - similar to cedar, same family

12. Acceptable : ADEQUATE - the "Q"s in this corner made for a smooth solve

13. Numbers from the audience : REQUESTS - since I selected her for the last SJSJ puzzle  "by request" for a big-legged girl....


14. Salad roots : RADISHES

21. Lover of Bunnies, familiarly : HEFner, the Playboy Bunnies

25. '90s-'00s Angels outfielder Darin with three Gold Gloves : ERSTAD - C.C. may have more

27. Lowlands : GLENS

29. Monopolize : HOG

30. Town with the motto "Alaska Starts Here!" : SEWARD - looks to me like Alaska starts somewhere around Ketchikan, or at least Unalaska

32. Cambodian currency : RIELs - Just finished reading DeMille's 'Up Country', which I think mentions this form of currency

33. Fronts separate them : AIR MASSES

35. Got dough for : CASHED IN

36. 1959 Rod Steiger title role : AL CAPONE - mostly perps

37. Rarity in the voicemail age : NO ANSWER

38. Spanish aunt : TIA

42. "I just stubbed my toe!" : "YOW~!!!" - not the expletive that I usually use....

44. Fatherly advice? : SERMON

45. Score often requiring overtime : ONE-ONE - often in hockey, not soccer

48. Colorful flier : MACAW - had it, took it out, put it back in

50. Rich kid in "Nancy" comics : ROLLO - again, mostly perps

53. Actress Loughlin : LORI - oh, yes, now I remember - "Full House"; I threw in LARA first, and got no "ta-DA~!"

55. Respectful address : MA'AM

57. "Where Discoveries Begin" govt. agency : NSF - the website

59. Come up short : OWE 


May 28, 2016

Saturday, May 28th, 2016, Steven J. St. John

Theme: SJSJ

Words: 70 (missing J,Q,Z)

Blocks: 26

  This is my second SJSJ puzzle, the last one being back in Jan of '13.  Very similar grids, with a crossing spanner and climber, triple 10-letter corners in the across, but today we have triple 8's in the down.  I did not get my "ta-DA~!" because of one letter, and switching to red-letters revealed one other mistake - at the crossing of proper names, which was the only fun-sponge today.  The long answers:

35a. Dynamo's asset : BOUNDLESS ENERGY

8d. Brand with a Magicube : KODAK INSTAMATIC

ON(3-day weekend)WARD~!


1. Instruments mentioned in the Beatles' "Back in the USSR" : BALALAIKAS - the line is at 2:12 of the clip; my Moscow girl did not get out to the USofA....and a semi-clecho at; 19a. USSR component : SOVIET
11. Arguably biased, briefly : UN-PC - I saw this "politically incorrect" sign going to get my power painter, and I had to drive back and snap a pic.  I wonder what they discussed....

15. Resolving : IRONING OUT - well, I hope they ironed out the trouble at Hartwood....

16. Nebula Award winner Frederik : POHL - filled via perps

17. Hanging aid : STUD FINDER - I can't keep one in my tool box or van, because I keep setting it off....oh, come on, that's funny.  At least C.C. appreciates it~!!

18. Gin flavoring : SLOE

20. Direction at sea : ALEE

22. "Cat __ Hot Tin Roof" : ON A

23. It can be added to a million but rarely to a thousand : AIRE - millionaire, thousandaire

24. Ham's transport? : ARK - oh, I thought I was so clever putting in RYE, too.  This is Noah's son, however, and I thought "EGG" was a good answer, as well

26. Woodworking tool : PLANER - don't have one, would like one - and a lathe, too. 

28. Adopt : USE - I tried "OWN"

29. Atheist activist Madalyn : O'HAIR - never heard of her, and my first proper name problem; her Wiki

31. Mil. squad leaders : S-SGTs

32. Phys ed teacher Leonard for whom a band was named : SKINNER - Lynyrd Skynyrd for those who did not know; I learned it from the VH-1 rockumentary.  I did not, however, remember how to spell his name, or the band's, for that matter....

34. Maximum : PEAK

39. Tolstoy title first name : ANNA

40. Be less critical of : LET UP ON

41. Narrow landforms : NECKS -there's lots of land forms called necks here on Long Island

43. Do doer : SALON - I pondered BRUSH

44. Baker's amt. : TSP

47. Hailing from Changwon, say : KOREAN - half perps and WAG

49. Hood et al.: Abbr. : MTs

50. Mascot Misha of the 1980 Olympics, e.g. : BEAR - более России (more Russian)

51. Madrid Mrs. : SRA

52. Groups for biologists : TAXA

54. Italian road : STRADA

56. Internet letters : HTTP

58. On tap : AT THE READY

60. Yet to be settled : OWED

61. Gives up : CRIES UNCLE - I had -----UNDER to start, slowed down the SE

62. Start of a tennis point : TOSS - dah~!  Not LOVE

63. One to follow : PACE SETTER


1. Half an African country, or its capital city : BISSAU

2. Half a beer? : ARTOIS - Stella being the other half

3. Where the Mona Lisa smiles : LOUVRE - le Frawnche musée

4. Bill's "Groundhog Day" co-star : ANDIE - Murray & MacDowell

5. "That's __" : LIFE

6. Subject of the 2013 documentary subtitled "Speaking Truth to Power" : ANITA HILL - the other proper name that got me

7. Slot in a car: Abbr. : IGNition - took too long to figure out

9. Writer of really old stories? : AUEL - did not know her; I do recall the title "Clan of the Cave Bear".  I just read The Golden Compass, and now I am on to book II; side note, two stars from the movie also appeared in Casino Royale

10. Throat trouble : STREP

11. Increases : UPs -OK, I shall up this week's leg picture, by request, to a non-skinny, "gams with meat" girl


12. Not anymore : NO LONGER

13. Frustrating sequence : PHONE TAG

14. Blue forecast : CLEAR SKY

21. "The Big Easy" of golf : ELS - good WAG

25. Eastern royals : RANEES

27. Winter X Games host : ASPEN - I was not sure if this was the "X" games, or the tenth Olympic games - which, as I looked later, were held in Grenoble, France, 1968

29. Approved : OK'D - OKed, IDed/ID'd, I sometimes wonder which one is "OK"

30. Outcome : RESULT

32. Charmer's target : SNAKE - snake charmer

33. Take back : REPOSSESS

35. Strategy involving a cushion : BANK SHOT - ah, billiard table cushions

36. Less than a few : ONE OR TWO

37. Opens at the warehouse : UNCRATES

38. Confrontational start : NON - non-confrontational

42. Met : SAT

44. Legislation opposed by the Sons of Liberty : TEA ACT

45. Burden : SADDLE - I got "saddled" with sorting this week at UPS, so that a trainee could work my assignment; I think he should have been trained before this holiday week.  I am just glad to have reached my first three-day weekend of the year - but now we're into Cidiot Season....

46. Slight chance : PRAYER

48. Org. founded on the 100th anniversary of Lincoln's birth : NAACP - seems fitting

50. Sportscaster Musburger : BRENT

53. More, in ads : X-TRA

55. In alignment : TRUE - gotta keep my studs level and true - the bathroom project progresses, and yesterday I began the process of moving in to my new space~!

57. APB senders : PDs - All Points Bulletin, and Police Departments

59. Half a bray : HEE - did you try the other half, HAW~??


Feb 19, 2016

Friday, February 19, 2016, Steven J. St. John

Theme:  I almost MIST the theme.

Another blast from the past constructor returns. SJSJ, who pumped out 12 puzzles for the LAT and then disappeared for a few years. He gives us an usual grid with four down fill including the reveal as the theme. You can read his 2013 INTERVIEW in which he expressed his desire to do innovative themes. Many you may have only a HAZY memory of his prior efforts, but I do not thinks this one was too MURKY. What it does feature are some great sparkly fill: EMOTERS,  AT LEAST,  SASSOON,  TRAILER,  HAIRPIN,  NEUTRAL, CLUSTERED TOTAL LOSS,  HUMILIATE,  UNFREEZES and two which are longer than the theme answers: SWEET AS HONEY,  HIGH SPIRITED. Getting all of these and using a minimum of three letter fill was excellent. Let's look.

3D. Suspected of misdeeds : UNDER A CLOUD (11). Brings to mind this from my childhood.
8D. Spent : OUT OF STEAM (10). I am too, I cannot pick any link.

29D. Psychedelic rock classic of 1967 : PURPLE HAZE (10). We start this week with Purple Rain and now we are in a Haze.

And the reveal:
23D. State Department neighborhood ... and what 3-, 8- and 29-Down all have? : FOGGY BOTTOM (11). There is a STORY about this name. I wonder how many knew this trivia? I got the fill from the perps, not sure if I would have recalled the name. Time for a tune.

1. Fry : SAUTE. We are starting out with another puzzle that Steve would enjoy. This is from the French for Jumped, I guess because the oil is so hot?

6. Kung __ chicken : PAO. In which the meat is sauteed!!

9. Market Fresh sandwich and salad seller : ARBY'S. Three food clues to begin, wow.
14. Time of old Rome : ANNUM. Year in Latin.

15. Unevenly distributed, in a way : CLUSTERED.

17. Brought on : LED TO.

18. Write-off : TOTAL LOSS. March 15, business tax return day is fast approaching.

19. Charming : SWEET AS HONEY. This was hard and took a lot of perps but is very fresh fill.

21. D.C.'s Walter __ National Military Medical Center : REED. I learned of this hospital when Eisenhower had his heart attack.

22. Mennen lotion : AFTA.

23. Govt. mtge. insurer : FHA. Federal Housing Administration

26. One hoping to provide many happy returns? : CPACertified Public Accountant (I wonder what they call private accountants?).

28. Hammer number : RAP. MC Hammer that is.

30. Big name in hairstyling : SASSOON. Vidal.

32. Hyperbola part : ARC.

33. Sudden stream : SPURT.

35. Pull on : TUG AT.

36. Flee : BOLT.

38. Adjudicates : TRIES. And the companion 31D. Seek redress : SUE.

40. Maple syrup target : EGGO. The waffles. Food!

41. Nearly : ABOUT.

43. Take badly? : POACH.  Tricky clue and a cooking term.

45. Taoist complement : YIN. Love the compliment complement deception.

46. Uncommitted : NEUTRAL.

48. Farrow of film : MIA. She was young once (PEYTON PLACE) and caught the eye of Frank and other older men.Sinatra. Her mother was Maureen O'Sullivan who went to school with Vivian Leigh in England.

49. Ottoman title : BEY.

50. Tack on : ADD.

51. "A Death in the Family" author : AGEE. One of many who died young from hard living in the 1950s. LINK.

53. Relative of Rex : FIDO. More Rover, Rex and Fido talk?

55. Energetic and enthusiastic : HIGH SPIRITED. Great long fill and never used before.

59. Run up the score on : HUMILIATE. I bet the New England fans did not like this ARTICLE.

62. Place for a Char-Broil : PATIO.

63. Removes restrictions on, as funds : UNFREEZES. Freezing assets is a very powerful tool for law enforcement.

64. Hole __ : IN ONE. Golf.

65. Third-longest African river : NIGER. behind the Nile and the Congo; 14th longest in the world.

66. Uncertain no. : EST.

67. Handles : NAMES.


1. "Do the Right Thing" pizzeria : SAL'S. The downs too start with food.
2. From the top : ANEW.

4. Certain student : TUTEE. 

5. Hams : EMOTERS. I think they are really over-emoters.

6. First-serve figs. : PCTS. Tennis percentage which are "in."

7. Island reception : ALOHA.

9. If nothing else : AT LEAST. Or maybe at the very least.

10. Depend : RELY.

11. Pal : BRO.

12. Start of an engagement? : YES. Really cute clue for a simple fill as it is accurate that the engagement starts when he/she says yes.

13. '60s protest org. : SDS. Students for a Democratic Society. This GROUP was very active during my college days.

16. Big bag carrier : SANTA. A nice CSO to Argyle. Do you carry one of these BAGS?
20. Modify to fit : ADAPT.

24. Philly trademark : HOAGIE. Food again!

25. "They that have done this deed are honourable" speaker : ANTONY. Our Friday dose of Shakespeare. JULIUS CAESAR  Act 3, Scene 2.

26. Changing place : CABANA. A familiar site for all Floridians.
27. Examined closely : PROBED. Some ALIEN ideas?

34. Brazilian-themed Vegas hotel, with "The" : RIO. Home of the WSOP.
37. Tsk relative : TUT.

39. Nebula Award genre : SCI FI.

42. One may begin with "In a world ... " : TRAILER. Movie trailer.  LINK

44. U-shaped, more or less : HAIRPIN.

47. Longhorn rival : AGGIE. Texas rival Texas A&M.

52. Adlai's running mate : ESTES. In JFK wanted the nomination as VP and Stevenson wanted him but the delegates picked KEFAUVER. He served with Al Gore's father and made many enemies by being against segregation.

54. 1997 Elton dedicatee : DIANA.He redid his tribute to Marilyn.

55. "Spenser: For __" : HIRE. I really enjoy the books created by Robert PARKER.

56. Annoyance : PEST.

57. Hessian article : EINE.

58. Achieves : DOES.

59. Fifth-century conqueror : HUN.  ATTILA anyone?

60. Athlete's wear, for short : UNIform. Not to be confused with university in the English speaking world.

61. It increases during plant growth: Abbr. : MFG. I love this clue, as manufacturing clearly increases when a plant gets bigger.

Welcome back SJ squared. Thanks for the ride. Italian festival week end here.
Enjoy all. Lemonade out.

May 25, 2013

Saturday, May 25th, 2013, Steven J. St. John

Theme: SJSJ

Words: 70 (missing B,K,Q)

Blocks: 28

  My last SJSJ puzzle was back in January - and today's looked deceptively simple, starting with a 3-letter word, which I got, but then I stared at a wash of white for the longest time; I got a break "spang" in the center with 33A., and it all filled in from there - save ONE letter.  Oh well.  We had crossing 10-letter entries today:

31. Not likely to fall : SURE-FOOTED

8. Intensified : HEIGHTENED

35. Road hog? : GAS-GUZZLER

27. Ponder : PUZZLE OVER - so true~!

O         N         W         A         R         D         ~         !


1. Bug spray target : ANT - I don't mind ants and spiders; every other insect and arachnid creeps me out

4. Hospital bug : STAPH - I had STREP, and I knew that wasn't quite right

9. They're usually password-protected: Abbr. : ACCTs

14. Where the buck stops? : DOE - I am still looking for the doe that stops me; I don't usually go for blondes, @ 11D.

15. Opening of a memorable walrus song : I AM HE - "I am the Walrus", The Beatles

16. F follower in vintage TV : TROOP - F-Troop, which I watched in re-runs as a kid

17. Pius XII's successor : JOHN XXIII - listed as "blessed", crossing;  4D. One of five popes, ironically : SIXTUS - #5 1585-90; here's the list of them all

19. Totaled : RAN TO

20. Trailer caution : UNRATED - Motion Picture trailers, that is

21. Breaks down slowly : GNAWS AT - meh, yeah, I guess

23. "Beowulf" translator Heaney : SEAMUS

24. John of "Harold & Kumar" movies : CHO

25. Confused : LOST - ah, not ASEA

26. Firms : TONES - as one's body

27. __ melt : PATTY - not BACON....

29. USPS assignment : RTE - U P S, too; I was out with my buddy Jim tonight - he has a postal route

30. Huff : SNIT

33. Mesa natives : ARIZONANS - I read this as "relatives" first, so I was thinking "BUTTE"

38. Magic power : MOJO - reminds me of Austin Powers - "yeah, baby, yeah~!"

42. Material flaw : RIP - Fabric

43. Laid the groundwork for? : TILED - I did some tiling in the rental apartment at mom's house; I really need to update my blog

44. Didn't quite expect : HOPED

45. God that leaves one smitten : EROS

47. Insurance salesman Ryerson in "Groundhog Day" : NED

48. Stephen King classic : MISERY - Not "CARRIE"

49. In a single effort : AT ONE GO - I had IN one go to start; missed the "in" in the clue

51. Lore components : SAYINGS

52. Capital near the Red Sea : SANA'A - map

53. Celebrity perks : V.I.P. PASSES - makes me think of another music link

55. Employ with vigor : EXERT

56. Dr. Dean __ of talk radio : EDELL

57. Somme one : UNE - Frawnch

58. They might be hitched : RIDES

59. Spur part : ROWEL - new word for me; I had RODEL; see 51D.

60. Humanities dept. : PSYchology


1. Fiddles with : ADJUSTS

2. Situation when the first pitch is thrown : NO ONE ON - Baseball for C.C.; I wanted "opening day", then I stared at NOON -ON for a long time

3. Like many "Argo" militants : TEHRANI - those in Tehran, Iran

5. Mortgage payment component : TAXES - not here on Long Island; the tax bill comes separately twice a year

6. "__ the Falling Snow": Enya song : AMID

7. Golden ratio symbol : PHI - I know what this means, but I have a hard time describing it to others; Wiki does a pretty good job

9. Blade brand : ATRA

10. __ space : CRAWL - NYS cashed my check for filing to be a Home Inspector; going to be seeing my share of crawl spaces soon, I hope

11. Hang out (with) : CONSORT - SO - I was consorting with George, Jim, Bob, Kev, Mark, Jack and Chris tonight, downtown Patchogue....

12. Cookbook phrase : TO TASTE - ...speaking of which, there were some ladies....

13. Laid eyes on : SPOTTED - I "laid eyes" on a cute blonde at the club tonight; reminded me of Taylor Swift....

18. Ice-breaking aid : NAME TAG - ...the blonde did not have one....

22. Over the hill, say : NOT FAR - distance, not age - which is how we felt in the club tonight....

24. Saw your breath while singing, maybe : CAROLED - ...her name could have been Carol....

28. Quaint pointing word : YON - ...YON blonde....

31. Giving a once-over, with "up" : SIZING - and yes, I was sizing her up~!

32. Subtle absorption : OSMOSIS

34. Symbol of tiredness : RUT - I tried ZZZ first, since I considered there may be "ZZ" with SiZing - I was one square off

35. Pompadour sporter : GREASER - This guy?

36. One way to Martha's Vineyard : AIR TAXI

37. Showed affection for, in a way : SPOONED

39. Begins to share : OPENS UP - in a counseling session

40. Maker of Natural Glow lotions : JERGENS - um, don't go there....


41. Meandering journey : ODYSSEY

44. Georgian greeting : HI, Y'ALL - I lived in Jacksonville, Fla - they speak Georgian there, too~!

46. Catch : SNARE

48. Butcher block wood : MAPLE - I knew this, made me change my "Carrie"

50. Vittles : EATS

51. Jet : SPEW - Got me; I had SPED first

54. Swear words : I DO