Showing posts with label Stu Ockman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stu Ockman. Show all posts

Jun 6, 2019

Thursday June 6th 2019 Stu Ockman

Theme Unoften Opposites - all the theme entries are unusual antonyms:

22A. Rarely used antonym of harmless: NOCUOUS. Innocuous. These fine gentlemen make up the metal band Nocuous. I'll check 'em out on YouTube and report back.

33A. Rarely used antonym of disheveled: KEMPT. Unkempt.

39A. Rarely used antonym of unidentified: ONYMOUS. Anonymous.

46A. Rarely used antonym of crude: COUTH. Uncouth.

57A. Rarely used antonym of cruel: RUTHFUL. Ruthless.

5D. Rarely used antonym of bumbling: GAINLY. Ungainly.

50D. Rarely used antonym of friendliness: COOLTH. Warmth.

What a great idea this puzzle is. I had a lot of fun figuring out the unknowns in the theme entries, new to me were NOCUOUS, ONYMOUS, RUTHFUL, GAINLY and COOLTH. Oddly enough, as I'm typing this, Google has highlighted all the theme entries as "unknown" to its spell-checker. They might like to have a chat to Webster's and the OED and see if they can use their word lists.

With the theme entries not being the longest in the grid, and no asterisks or reveal, then it's the common cluing that sets you on the rights track of what to look for.

Having enjoyed the antonyms, let's see what else we've got to talk about:


1. Fourth of eight: MARS. The Planets. Let's have some background music courtesy of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and "Mars" from "The Planet Suite" by Gustav Holst.

5. Classic Pontiacs: GTO'S

9. "Shrek" ogress: FIONA. I've never figured out why Shrek has a Scottish accent.

14. Colorado-based sports org.: U.S.O.C. The United States Olympic Committee.

15. Boomers' lobbying group: AARP

16. Equally hot: AS MAD

17. Ousted Iranian: SHAH. The last incumbent of "The Peacock Throne".

18. Flat-package furniture retailer: IKEA. Put it together, realize you've got one piece upside-down or back-to-front and take it all apart and start over.

19. Me.-to-Fla. highway: US ONE

20. Greek: HELLENE. From whence "hellenic".

24. Serve as a foundation for: UNDERLIE

26. Text titter: HEE

27. Grab the tab: PAY. 

28. Quick, speculative stock transaction: DAY  TRADE

36. Jorge's hand: MANO

37. Nae sayer: SCOT. We've seen this clue before, but it still makes me smile.

38. Mets' div.: NLE. MLB's National League East.

42. Inc. cousin: LLC. Incorporated, and Limited Liability Company.

43. Bullring bravos: OLÉS

45. Time line units: ERAS

48. Entrée topped with pineapple rings: BAKED HAM. Yeek! That's a throwback.

50. Tuna holder: CAN

51. Fizzy prefix: AER-ated.

52. Sticker on organic produce: ECO-LABEL. Voluntary labeling. Green Stickers, for example on appliances, are compulsory.

61. American Girl product: TOY DOLL

62. Very, in music: ASSAI. "Allegro Assai" - "Get your skates on, we've got to finish this song before we get booed off the stage".

63. British peer: EARL

65. Rossini's "Largo al factotum," e.g.: ARIA. I can see the Aria hotel from my window, I'm in Las Vegas. C.C. has a couple of pictures of her in front of the hotel. There are some fantastic restaurants inside.

66. Blown away: IN AWE

67. Pinch at the table: SALT

68. Space: ROOM

69. Small songbirds: LARKS

70. Dash gadget: TACH. I've got one on my dashboard, but I don't pay any attention to it. I did when I drove a stick-shift, but now it's just there for fun, my car makes all the decisions on when to change gear.

71. "¿Cómo __ usted?": ESTÁ. The formal or respectful way to ask "Yo, wassup?"


1. __ pork: Asian dish: MU SHU. Food!

2. Pale with fright: ASHEN

3. Wonka creator Dahl: ROALD

4. Drag: SCHLEPP

6. "Star Trek" actor: TAKEI

7. Vein glory?: ORE. Nice clue.

8. Life time: SPAN. Another nice clue, some fun ones today.

9. Tap: FAUCET. Ah, a nice reminder of me British roots, fank you, Guv'ner.

10. Publishers, e.g.: ISSUERS

11. Melville novel: OMOO

12. Half an Orkan farewell: NANU. Robin Williams' great entrance onto the grand stage. "I am Mork, from Ork; I come in peace - Nanu Nanu". I think it's like "aloha" - it's both hello and goodbye.

13. Fruity drinks: ADES

21. Poet's muse: ERATO. I know this, but I went with ERATA for no good reason. The perp eventually corrected my mistake.

23. "Such a tease!": OH YOU! This always reminds me of the Seinfeld episode when he forgets his new date's name. He resorts to "Oh, you!".

25. Sushi bar finger food: EDAMAME. Food! My local sushi bar serves them with sea salt and togarashi. Yum.

29. Years in España: AÑOS

30. Gp. with a "Know Your Rights" web page: ACLU

31. Simpleton: DOLT

32. Sharply outline: ETCH

33. Gearshift topper: KNOB

34. Scat legend Fitzgerald: ELLA

35. Submissive: MEEK

36. Vidal's Breckinridge: MYRA

40. India's first prime minister: NEHRU

41. Like the skin of most fish: SCALY. I looked up the list of scale-less fish, out of interest. There's some pretty scary ones in that community.

44. Seattle NFLer: SEAHAWK

47. How some risks are taken: ON A DARE. Usually very stupid ones, uploaded to YouTube.

49. Goes against: DEFIES

53. PC key combo for "copy": CTRL-C

54. New York City divisions, informally: BOROS. I surprised myself that I didn't hesitate over this one.

55. "The Waste Land" poet: ELIOT

56. Peruvian grazer: LLAMA

57. Amtrak track: RAIL

58. Annapolis inst.: U.S.N.A. United States Naval Academy, natch.

59. Ruler until 1917: TSAR

60. "__ we forget": LEST. Lest us not forget on this "Day of Days" - the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings on June 6th, 1944.

64. Battery size: AAA

Update on Nocuous, the band. I listened to one of their tracks on YouTube, and discovered that their musical genre is "black metal". Per the good folks at Wikipedia:

"Black metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. Common traits include fast tempos, a shrieking vocal style, heavily distorted guitars played with tremolo picking, raw recording, unconventional song structures, and an emphasis on atmosphere. Artists often appear in corpse paint and adopt pseudonyms."

Probably not the most melodious track I've ever heard, but I kinda-sorta liked it. I was the 86th hit on the post, a little short of the best-to-date 6.2 billion views of "Despacito" by Luis Fonsi. I'm sure they'll catch up eventually.

Here's the grid, and I'll get my coat.


Notes from C.C..:

Here are three pictures of Melissa's granddaughters Harper and Jaelyn and their parents. So beautiful!

Feb 2, 2018

Friday, February 2, 2018, Stu Ockman

Title: Bottom's UP!

We have another visual puzzle, with the theme fill presented updside down, so you need to read from the bottom to the top. All five themers are very popular cocktails, and to add to the degree of difficulty in constructing, Stu uses only mixtures beginning with the letter "M."  Oddly we don't see the inimitable martini. This is a wonderful CSO to Tinbeni and my bartending son who works at Poka Lola Social Club in Denver mixing up amazing yummies like the CLOVER CLUB. 2oz Plymouth Gin, .5oz dry vermouth, .5oz raspberry syrup and .75oz lemon juice. Also timely after we had the SAZERAC last Saturday.

This is our second puzzle from Stu who appeared here in 2014. He does have 10 NYT publications, the last two in 2017. There are as always on Friday, some challenging cluing and some very fun fill like A BIT ODD, BEATS IT, DELIVER, ONE MORE, SARANAC SESAMES, SLIM JIM (my favorite) SOLACES (James Bond)  TOPMOST, TWO PAIR and YES OR NO. He then puts these sparkly fills in the difficult triple stack pattern in each corner.

4D. Tequila, triple sec and lime juice : ATIRAGRAM (9). MARGARITA has become a favorite cocktail. ent

10D. Champagne and orange juice : ASOMIM (6). MIMOSA along with the Bloody Mary are the Brunch drinks here.

21D. Bourbon, water, sugar and garnish : PELUJ TNIM (9). MINT JULEP is the drink of choice at the Kentucky Derby. Anyone here follow the richest race in thorobred racing last Sunday at Gulfstream Park here in So Fla?

36D. Whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters : NATTAHNAM (9). MANHATTAN was the drink of choiceof my brother's f-i-l.

44D. White rum, sugar, lime juice, soda water and garnish : OTIJOM (6). MOJITO has become quite popular in Florida bars.
And the reveal:

59A. Bar exhortation ... and a hint to how to answer five puzzle clues : DRINK UP (7). The drink names are read UP, from bottom to top.


1. __ Lake, village near Lake Placid : SARANAC. There are advantages to growing in the Northeast with lots of relatives, some of whom went to this  LAKE .

8. Skedaddles : BEATS IT.

15. Somewhat off : A BIT ODD. Fridays usually have many multiple word fill.

16. "Choose!" : YES OR NO. See I told you.

17. Come through : DELIVER.

18. Poker holding : TWO PAIR. A dangerous hand.

19. A or O : ALER. This simple glue fill took longer than I like.

20. Easy pace : LOPE.

22. Clipper trio : MASTS. The ship not the basketball team. Now Blake Griffin is gone, too.

23. "Ninja Scroll" genre : ANIME. I did not know the movie, but my kids watched lots of anime.

25. Domain introduced in 2001 : BIZ.

26. Rod Stewart's "__ May" : MAGGIE.

29. Shuttle site : LOOM. You want to learn to WEAVE? Or play in the dirt? 40A. Fertile soil : LOAM.

31. Affirmative act : NOD.

34. Outlying community : EXURB. From about 1955, a region or settlement that lies outside a city and usually beyond its suburbs and that often is inhabited chiefly by well-to-do families. (MW).

35. Tesla, e.g. : AUTO. This also took way too long to parse.

36. "Not a chance" : NOPE.

37. "Zorba the Greek" Oscar winner Kedrova : LILA. I liked the movie, did not recall the actress.

38. Bottom of a food chain? : MCJOB. A new way to clue.

39. Abruzzi bell town : ATRI. This LINK starts
"At Atri in Abruzzo, a small town
Of ancient Roman date, but scant renown..."

41. Picasso output : ARTE.

42. Mar. honoree : ST PAT. March 17, St. Patrick's Day.

43. "r u kidding?!" : OMG. An exclamation of surprise.

44. Team that pulls for you : OXEN. Attempted sports misdirection.

45. Like an earworm : CATCHY.

46. Peugeot's 208 or 308, e.g. : GTI.

47. Tony winner Menzel of "Wicked" : IDINA. I had the pleasure of watching her perform as Elphaba on Broadway in July of 2005 with my sons. It was awesome. She is becoming very popular with all those vowels.

49. Feature of many a Hawaiian restaurant : LANAI. Defined: porch, veranda. We have many in SoFla.

52. Cast off : EMIT.

53. Olympian queen : HERA.

57. Lock-picking tool : SLIM JIM. It is two words. I am sure the car thieves love the fact that they can buy at Walmart with DIRECTIONS.

61. Highest : TOPMOST. It is one word.

62. Consoles : SOLACES. An encore appearance.

63. Bun seeds : SESAMES. Don't forget the special sauce.

64. Request at a bar : ONE MORE. Bonus alcohol fill.


1. Actress Thompson : SADA. The mother in the successful TV series Family.

2. Doomed shepherd : ABEL. Also a second 2018 appearance.

3. Irk : RILE.

5. Sweet Potato Awareness Mo. : NOV. Who decided this? Who cares?

6. Emperor relative : ADELIE. Great misdirection- Penguins. LINK.

7. Jewel box item : CD-ROM. Defined: a thin plastic case for a CD or DVD — called also jewel case. I only knew jewel case.

8. Eight bits : BYTE. Not a dollar in the modern world.

9. "Ick!" : EEW. I also prefer the EWW spelling.

11. Utah's state gem : TOPAZ. The Topaz became the State Gem in 1969 (Utah Code). It is a semiprecious gem found in Beaver, Juab and Tooele counties of Utah. But again, who cares.

12. Mmes. across the Pyrenees : SRAS. French to Spanish.

13. Down but not out : IN IT.

14. Rocky hills : TORS.

24. Bird's bill : NIB. and maybe 51D. Bites playfully : NIPS.

25. Bonehead : BOOB. Hmm, is this 31D. Sometimes offensive, briefly : NOT PC.

26. __ Yello : MELLO.

27. Assumed truth : AXIOM. I was actually a math major when I began college.

28. Soviet labor camp : GULAG.

30. Oklahoma tribe : OTOE.

32. Dr. Phil was her frequent guest before getting his own show : OPRAH. Even Oprah makes mistakes.

33. Eros or Eos : DEITY.

35. Real estate parcel : ACRE.

38. Dress style : MAXI.

42. __ Salvador : SAN. San/El what else is there?

45. Pomelo relative : CITRON.  My wife is on a big POMELO kick to help my body recover from last year. The CITRON is an part of Jewish ceremonies for Sukkhot. See below for Oo and the thick pomelo rind.

46. Beta follower : GAMMA. Α α alpha, άλφα; Β β beta, βήτα;
Γ γ gamma, γάμμα

48. Playground comeback : DID SO.

49. Amphibious assault transports, for short : LSTS. Landing Ship, Tank - LINK.

50. Botanical balm : ALOE.

52. 911 response gp. : EMTS.

54. Kitchen gadget brand : EKCO.

55. One with second thoughts : RUER.

56. Abbey area : APSE.

58. British author's conclusion? : ISE. As opposed to IZE.

60. Terre dans la mer : ILE. Frawnche, as Splynter would say.

A tight puzzle with some challenge. February is on the March. Thank you Stu and all of you who read and write. Lemonade out.

As I promised, here is the grid and Oo getting the most out of Pomelo...

I do not know why the "J" in mint julep or the "t" in St. Pat have been bleached out.

Apr 17, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014 Stu Ockman

Theme: Tribute Puzzle

1. 59-Across role in 27-Across : EGON. Spengler.

17. 1978 film co-written by 59-Across : ANIMAL HOUSE.

27. 1984 film co-written and co-starring 59-Across : GHOSTBUSTERS.

44. 1993 film co-written and directed by 59-Across : GROUND HOG DAY.

59. This puzzle's honoree (1944-2014) : HAROLD RAMIS.

67. 59-Across was its original head writer : SCTV. Second City Television.  Breeding ground of many fine comics.

Although he has had several NY Times puzzles, I believe this is the LA Times debut for Stu Ockman. I had no idea who HAROLD RAMIS was, but the movies all filled in easily. Since he just died in February of this year, the tribute seemed appropriate and timely. Let's see what else is in the cards today.


5. Yenta : GOSSIP.

11. Sneaky chuckle : HEH.

14. Fish found in a film : NEMO.

15. Finger-shaped dessert : ECLAIR.

16. __ pro nobis : ORA. "Pray for us," Latin.

19. Ross musical, with "The" : WIZ. Diana Ross.

20. Reached, as goals : MET.

21. Zapped : LASED. I had tased at first.

22. Sly : CAGEY.

24. Server's warning : IT'S HOT. When they bring that sizzling, smoking cast iron pan containing your fajita to the table, do you really need to be told, "Careful, it's hot"???

26. 1997 Home Run Derby winner Martinez : TINO. All perps...

33. "__ la vista, baby!" : HASTA. Arnold Schwarzenegger's classic line in "Terminator 2."

36. Stout sleuth, in more ways than one : WOLFE. Is that a stout beer he's drinking?

37. Drench : SOP.

38. Pacers, e.g. : AMCs. Funny looking cars made from 1975-80.

39. "That's enough!" : CAN IT.

40. "Smiling, petite ball of fire," to Philbin : RIPA. Kelly.

41. Not paleo- : NEO.

42. Arrive : GET IN.

43. Assuages to the max : SATES.

47. Skye slope : BRAE. The Scottish Isle of Skye has BRAEs instead of hills.

48. Medicinal syrup : IPECAC.

52. Pastoral poems : IDYLS.

54. 5th Dimension vocalist Marilyn : McCOO. Her classic "Wedding Bell Blues." 3:01

57. Horseplayer's hangout, for short : OTBOff Track Betting.

58. Turkey : DUD.

62. Funny Philips : EMONo clue.  But on Thursdays, I guess "Expressive rock genre" would be too easy.

63. "Lost" actress de Ravin : EMILIENo clue. I never watched the show.

64. Fade : WILT.

65. GI's address : APOArmy Post Office.

66. Bulletin board admins : SYSOPs. SYStem OPerators.


1. As a friend, to Fifi : EN AMI.

2. "The Balcony" playwright : GENET. Quite a shady character.

3. Neglects to mention : OMITS.

4. 2-Down, par exemple : NOM. French "name."

5. Italian dessert : GELATO. Am I the only person in the world who doesn't like ice cream?

6. Protest singer Phil : OCHS.

7. Gin fizz fruit : SLOE.

8. King Faisal's brother : SAUD.

9. "__ for Innocent": Grafton novel : I IS. I think she is up to "W Is for Wasted."

10. On the nose : PRECISE.

11. "'Sup?" : HOW GOES IT?

12. Scary-sounding lake : ERIE. Eerie.

13. Not clear : HAZY.

18. Don Ho "Yo" : ALOHA.

23. Aardvark snack : ANT.

25. 5'10" and 6'3": Abbr. : HGTS. Heights.

26. Titmouse topper, perhaps : TUFT.

28. Mown strip : SWATH. Will we ever be mowing again? I woke up to snow on the ground yesterday morning!

29. "Pagliacci" clown : TONIO.

30. Showy jewelry : BLING.

31. Clue weapon : ROPE.

32. Cruise ship conveniences : SPAS.

33. Chill out : HANG.

34. AMA member?: Abbr. : AMER.ican Medical Association.

35. "Ruh-roh!" pooch : SCOOBY DOO.

39. Give up : CEDE.

40. Comedic Martha : RAYE.

42. Grinds in anger, maybe : GNASHES.

43. Flavor : SAPOR. Like sweetness or sourness.

45. Modern address : URL.

46. Some are light-emitting : DIODES.

49. "Cathy," for one : COMIC. ACK!

50. Skewed : ATILT.

51. "The Amazing Race" network : CBS TV.

52. Flash, perhaps : IDEA.

53. Get rid of : DUMP.

54. 3-D images : MRIs.Magnetic Resonance Imaging(s).

55. USAF Academy home : COLO.rado.

56. Swindle, in slang : CLIP.

60. March girl : AMY. One of the "Little Women."

61. Baby-viewing responses : AWs. Lemonade's granddaughter induces her share, I'm sure!

That's it from me for now!