Showing posts with label Todd McClary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Todd McClary. Show all posts

Jun 9, 2010

Wednesday June 9, 2010 Todd McClary

Theme: PEDALS (65A. Parts of 17-, 26-, 43- and 56-Across) - Pedals are used in each theme answers.

17A. Fitness center array: STATIONARY BIKES. Ours is collecting dust in the basement.

26A. Instruments that often have chord buttons: ELECTRIC ORGANS. Ditto above comment, only in the dining room.

43A. Seamstresses' aids: SEWING MACHINES. I like how it crosses THIMBLE (42D. Monopoly token). Sewing aid also.

56A. Birdlike crafts for lake rides: SWAN PADDLE BOATS. I've never taken one. Shaped like a swan.

All of the theme answers are in plural form. I liked the consistency. Liked the unifier entry too.

Also a bit of computer/internet thread:

32A. 30-day trial versions, e.g.: DEMOS

10D. E-tailer's creation: WEB PAGE

11D. Collaborative Internet project: WIKI. Hawaiian for "fast". Wikipedia is one of the Wikis.

29D. Software installation source, perhaps: CD-ROM

Most of the non-theme entries are rather short. Forty 4-letter answers in the grid. I am eager to see how Jerome & Jazzbumpa amuse us with their anagram and symmetry observations.


1. Entertainer in a kimono: GEISHA. "Memoirs of a Geisha" is a great read.

7. Chew like a chipmunk: GNAW

11. Triumphed: WON

14. Netanyahu's nation: ISRAEL. Netanyahu is the current Prime Minister of Israel. He graduated from MIT (40. Charles River sch.), whose clue stumped me.

15. Seat of Georgia's Floyd County: ROME. Wikipedia says the city was built on seven hills with a river running between them, same as Rome Italy then.

16. Words before testimony: I DO

20. Spray-on salon treatment: TAN

21. Fed. investigators: G-MEN. I tried FBIS first.

22. Speaker's asset: POISE

23. Former 3-Down leader: SHAH. And IRAN (3D. OPEC founding member).

24. Medieval invader's obstacle: MOAT

33. Mete (out): DOLE

34. Hankering: YEN

36. Admit openly: AVOW. Always hesitate between AVOW and AVER.

37. Smoothie fruit: BERRY

39. Muse of history: CLIO. We see her sister Erato more often.

41. ___ boots: '60s fashion: GO-GO

42. Head-turning swimwear: THONG. Not a swimwear, but head-turning nevertheless.
47. Numbers in photo album captions: AGES

48. Genesis forecast: RAIN. 40 days & 40 nights.

49. Hyundai sedan: AZERA. What does Azera mean?

52. Soccer star Mia: HAMM

53. "___ Misérables": LES. The MOREL guy's favorite musical.

60. According to: PER

61. Shorten, perhaps: EDIT

62. "Tracey Takes On..." comedian: ULLMAN (Tracey). Her name escaped me. We had this clue before.

63. Wrong: SIN

64. Anna of "Fringe": TORV. Nope. Not in my radar. An Aussi.


1. Basic idea: GIST

2. Esteban's "this": ESTA

4. Didn't play: SAT

5. Hilltop: HEIGHTS. The clue for MOOR (24D. "Wuthering Heights" setting) should be redone to avoid heights duplication.

6. Baseball family name: ALOMAR. Sandy/Roberto. Nice to see a change from ALOU.

7. __ Torino: 1970s Ford: GRAN. I had never seen any movie concerning the Hmong gang until "Gran Torino", Bill G.

8. "__ gloom of night ...": NOR. "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night ...". Postal Service creed.

9. "Rehab" singer Winehouse: AMY. Train wreck.

12. Sapphic verses: ODES. Sappho was a Greek poet, born in Lesbos, from which the word lesbian is derived. Sappho is a lesbian.

13. Clown costume piece: NOSE

18. Classic fruit soda: NEHI. The drink for Radar (M*A*S*H").

19. Tiny amount: IOTA

23. Garbage transport: SCOW. Boat.

25. Air France destination: ORLY. Air France's hub is Charles de Gaulle Airport. Orly is close by.

26. Red-coated wheel: EDAM. The Dutch cheese.

27. Jeans giant: LEVI'S

28. Push the envelope, theatrically: EMOTE

30. Tent material: NYLON

31. View from the Louvre: SEINE

35. Nutmeg-flavored drinks: NOGS. I always call it eggnog.

37. Dog biscuit shape: BONE

38. Caviar, basically: EGGS

39. It may be stroked in thought: CHIN. Why "in thought"?

41. Compu Kitty or Digital Doggie: GIGA PET. Not familiar with this virtual pet.

44. Shout "Fore!" to: WARN

45. Asian sea: ARAL. Shrinking.

46. Arose: CAME UP

49. Nile dangers: ASPS

50. German couple?: ZWEI. German for "two".

51. Collect from work: EARN

52. Home theater component, briefly: HDTV

53. Dalai __ : LAMA

54. Class action lawsuit abbr. : ET AL.

55. Work IDs: SSNS

57. Commotion: ADO

58. Dept. head: DIR (Director)

59. Told too often: OLD

Answer grid.


Apr 5, 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010 Todd McClary

Theme: Rotogravure Easter connection. Did you find you picture in the Rotogravure wearing your Easter bonnet in the Easter Parade?

17A Hockey attempt that only the goalie is allowed to try to stop: PENALTY SHOT

29A Overall perspective: BIG PICTURE

47A Crisp cookie: GINGER SNAP

59A Narrow victory, or a feature of 17-, 29- and 47-Across: PHOTO FINISH. The finish of the above three entries is a synonym of PHOTO.

Argyle here. My take on the theme is that it is a little weak. does show SNAP as a noun, a shortened version of SNAPSHOT but the same could be said about SHOT. Oh well, it's only a Monday and I hope every one is OK after the shaking they got.


1A Noun followers, often: VERBS

6A Marinara sauce brand: PREGO

11A Was introduced to: MET

14A Tusk material: IVORY

15A "The Ant and the Grasshopper" author: AESOP. Fable.

16A Lennon's widow: ONO

19A Eerie: ODD. Not a good pairing.

20A Ancient Athens foe: SPARTA

21A On the ocean: ASEA

22A Windpipe: TRACHEA

25A Stormy day topper: RAIN HAT. Or bonnet.

28A __-Rooter: ROTO

31A Punk rock offshoot: EMO. Songs of teenage angst?

32A Firefighter's tool: HOSE

33A Hannah Montana's channel, in TV listings: DIS. The Disney Channel.

34A Buzzing instrument: KAZOO

36A Aliens, briefly: ETS

38A Stretchy synthetic: LYCRA. And 53A Waterproof fabric: GORETEX.

42A Rise and fall: BOB

44A __-bitsy: ITSY

46A Trendy: HIP

51A Five-time A.L. batting champ Boggs: WADE

52A 1955 Platters hit: "ONLY YOU".

55A Daybreak: DAWN

56A Become extinct: DIE OUT

58A Have a balance: OWE

64A "That __ close!": WAS

66A Like some barrels: OAKEN

66A Gymnast Comaneci: NADIA. She was the first gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10 in an Olympic gymnastic event(1976 Summer Olympics). She married Bart Conner, also a gymnast, and have a son named Dylan Paul Conner, and are living in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

67A Manhattan-based paper: Abbr.: NYT. New York Times.

68A Feather: PLUME

69A Involuntary contraction: SPASM


1D Celebrity, briefly: VIP

2D Adam's partner: EVE

3D Harry's pal Weasley: RON. Harry Potter of Hogwarts.

4D "Donnie __": Johnny Depp film: BRASCO. A 1997 film loosely based on the real-life events of Joseph D. Pistone, an FBI agent who successfully infiltrated the Bonanno crime family.
DVD cover.

5D Graceful woman: SYLPH. Originally referring to any race of spirits inhabiting the air, described as being mortal but lacking a soul.
Paracelsus' word seems to be an arbitrary coinage, but perhaps it holds a suggestion of L. sylva and Gk. nymph. The meaning "slender, graceful girl" first recorded 1838, on the notion of "light, airy movements." Online Etymology Dictionary

6D Worker's reward: PAY RAISE

7D Take it easy: REST

8D F's musical equivalent: E SHARP Is this a good clue?

9D Sticky stuff: GOO

10D Choose (to): OPT

11D __ pork: Chinese dish served with thin pancakes: MOO SHU

12D Win the love of: ENDEAR

13D So far: TO DATE

18D Workout regimen: TAE BO. The name Tae Bo is a portmanteau of tae kwon do and boxing. Developed by Billy Blanks, Tae-Bo is a trademark of Billy Blanks Enterprises.

21D Nervous: ANTSY

22D Wearying journey: TREK

23D Italia's capital: ROMA. When in Italia, spell it as the Romans do.

24D From __: completely: A TO Z

26D Lend a hand: AID

27D How a persona non grata might be greeted: ICILY

30D Arrive: GET IN

32D Balderdash: HOOEY

35D Delivery doc: OB/GYN

37D Beginning phase: STAGE ONE

39D Online dialogue: CHAT

40D Perform in a rodeo, e.g.: RIDE

41D High point: APEX

43D 62-Down sib: BRO. And
62D 43-Down sib: SIS.

45D Mad magazine specialty: SPOOF

47D Drop: GO DOWN

48D Kind of: IN A WAY

49D L.A. Dodgers' division: NL WEST

50D Puzzle with number squares: SUDOKU

51D Moist towelette: WET-NAP. Another

54D Dig sites: RUINS

57D Discussion point: ITEM

59D Rice Krispies sound: POP. Also Crackle and Snap.

60D Holbrook of "Into the Wild": HAL. Emmy and Tony Award winning actor who is one of the great craftsman of stage and screen. He is best known for his performance as Mark Twain.

61D Nev. neighbor: IDA. Idaho (northern neighbor)

63D Cast party braggart, perhaps: HAM

Answer grid.


Aug 20, 2009

Thursday August 20, 2009 Todd McClary

Theme: MIDDLE EARTH (53A: "The Lord of the Rings" region, and a hint to the shared feature of 17-, 28- and 44-Across and 26-Down) - The word EARTH is embedded in each theme entry.

17A: Dispel hostile feelings: CLEAR THE AIR

29A: "Maude" actress: BEATRICE ARTHUR

44A: "Please tell me you're not serious": I DIDN'T HEAR THAT

26D: Scarcities: DEARTHS

Wouldn't it be nice if all the EARTH's were placed in the very middle of each theme answer?

The EARTH in DEARTHS is the only theme entry that is not split between two words. And it's placed in the very middle of the grid and crosses two theme answers.

Once again I jumped around. Got the tie-in answer MIDDLE EARTH first. Then I realized the gimmick immediately, as Pete Muller's INNER EAR grid left a very deep impression on me. Pete split all the EARS between two words. I then climbed upward and filled in all the EARTH immediately. (Updated later: We had a MIDDLE EARTH themed puzzle from Barry Silk on Nov 26, 2008, even the first entry CLEAR THE AIR is the same.)

I will use this strategy for tomorrow's puzzle also. I expect it's a wordplay grid by Dan Naddor and I expect the unifying answer to be placed at the lower right corner.

Granted, the puzzle is designed to be solved from upper left to lower right. Many constructors (like Merl Reagle) tend to place the most sparkliest theme answer or the tie-in theme answer at the end to provide solvers a precious"Aha" moment. But very seldom does the upper left corner crumble easily for me. I have to flit around. I guess I will just do whatever works for me.

There is also a drink sub-theme to make Lois/Argyle happy:

31A: Drink that can follow a shot: CHASER

61A: Item on a cocktail toothpick: OLIVE

24D: Scotch order: NEAT

51D: Malty mugfuls: ALES

All in all, not a difficult Thursday for me. I guessed a lot, and I was right on my guesses.


1A: Simian: APISH. Silly, I always thought simian is a noun.

11A: Queasy, perhaps: ILL

14A: Where the 4077th MASH served: KOREA. Where are the asterisks? I am used to "M*A*S*H.

15A: Mammy's boy: ABNER. From from comic strip Li'L ABNER. Mammy Yokum.

19A: Bay Area airport: SFO. I had SF? sitting there forever. Didn't know San Francisco International Airport's code.

21A: Sound quality?: SANITY. Got me. Nice clue.

26A: RFK Stadium soccer team: D.C. UNITED. Know this name only because of the Freddy Adu hype. Our local soccer team is called Minnesota Thunder.

30A: Ancient spell caster: MAGE. Short for magician. New word to me.

32A: Oldest of the Fab Four: STARR. Noticed the plural form on the intersecting 23D, so filled in STARR in no time.

34A: Creative pursuit: ART. Nice ART & ART crossing in the center.

35A: Streisand cross-dressing role: YENTL. Yenta is rooted in YENTL.

40A: "Born in __": Cheech Marin film: EAST LA. Another guess. Not familiar with the film. Last time it's clued as ""Chico and the Man" setting, briefly".

48A: Mentored ones: PROTEGES. My first reaction: MENTEES?

49A: Words of resignation: NO HOPE

50A: It may be wireless: ROUTER

59A: Nuevo __: Peru's currency: SOL. Obtained the answer from Across.

60A: Causing chill: EERIE

62A: Trough site: STY. Had a friend working for Kraft Foods for many years. He told me pork is the best meat nutrition-wise.

63A: Raid targets: DRUGS. Couldn't keep "bugs" out of my mind.

64A: Play in the tub: SLOSH


1D: "Best in Show" org.: AKC (American Kennel Club)

4D: Aquarium frolicker: SEA OTTER. . Just learned that a male otter is a dog, a female is a bitch and a baby is a whelp/pup.

5D: More puzzling: HARDER

6D: Portrayer of an Oz feline: LAHR. Bert LAHR, Cowardly Lion.

8D: Microscopic crime scene clue, briefly: DNA

9D: Retiree's abundance: LEISURE. Agree?

10D: Knightly news?: ERRANTRY. New word to me. Nice play on Nightly News.

11D: Where it originally was: IN SITU. Latin.

12D: Crane, at times: LIFTER. I was picturing an Origami crane.

13D: Bentsen who said to Quayle, "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy": LLOYD. Because Dan Quayle had constantly been comparing himself to Kennedy. I was aware of the quote. Did not know who said it though.

22D: Fed, research agency: NIH (National Institutes of Health). Can never remember this name.

23D: Selectric typewriters, e.g.: IBMS

27D: Chess move you can make once: CASTLE. Another guess.

29D: Pure: CHASTE. Crossing CHASER.

33D: Cashed in: REDEEMED

36D: Hold spellbound: ENTHRALL

37D: Big Apple neighborhood near the Bowery: NOHO. Short for North of Houston Street. SOHO is South of Houston Street.

41D: More likely to explode: ANGRIER

42D: "Dog the Bounty Hunter" airer: A AND E. It jumped into me immediately after I had ND filled. I am really good at guessing now.

44D: 1950 classic sci-fi short story book: I ROBOT. By Isaac Asimov.

45D: To twice the degree: DOUBLY. Had trouble understanding the grammar of the clue.

46D: Cousin from an "altogether ooky" family: ITT. From "The Addams Family"

47D: Events with some very short rides: RODEOS

48D: Publicity: PRESS

54D: "In My Bed" R&B group __ Hill: DRU. Have never heard of this band.

55D: Archeologist's subject: DIG

Answer grid.

Picture of the Day: Here is a happy photo from our fellow solver Lemonade. From left to right: his son, Lemonade, his other son & his nephew.