Showing posts with label Victor Fleming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Victor Fleming. Show all posts

Dec 28, 2018

Friday, December 28, 2018, Tracy Bennett and Victor Fleming

Title: Themeless Friday with a Mini-Theme

I have been doing puzzle blogging here for close to nine years, Friday for 7 years, I think. I have never been faced with a themeless puzzle, so I have spent a very long time looking for a theme in this cooperative effort from Tracy Bennett and Victor Fleming. We had our debut for TRACY on a Wednesday blogged by Steve. He commented she was getting into themeless puzzles. She had one here on a Saturday with Erik Agard recently. In a comment on xwordinfo, she mentioned that Victor Fleming was her "mentor." I really do not know how to write-up a themeless. There are lots of long, sparkly fill FINITUDE,  IT CAN'T BE, NOT A HOPE, TRAWL NET,  PULLAPART, SATIN DOLL, BULL MARKET FAIR ENOUGH and the mini-theme ALMOST HEAVEN /WEST VIRGINIA. Splynter, where are you when I need you? Here he is suggesting that concept in a C.C. SATURDAY.  So here I go...

5. Like 22-Down, according to a song by John Denver (born 12/31/1943): ALMOST HEAVEN. 22D. See 5-Down: WEST VIRGINIA.


1. Caesar's fault: CULPA. In the incomparable luck of the puzzle, hopefully you all saw IM's mea culpa in yesterdays comments.

6. Big box office success, slangily: BOFF. I do not like this fill, as I always thought it was BOFFO, but says "Theater. a box-office hit.; a joke or humorous line producing hearty laughter. a loud hearty laugh; belly laugh."

10. PC scroll key: PGUP. Page up.

14. Rental brand with a hyphen: U-HAUL. Rental was so unhelpful.

15. Like the 1998 Pikachu Illustrator card: RARE. There’s an old saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” and this card sold at auction in 2016 for more than FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS.

16. Source of fizz: SODA. That is backasswards to me.

17. Stock up time?: BULL MARKET. When stocks are going up it is considered a bull marker; when down a bear market.

19. Does sum work: ADDS. A tiny pun.

20. Hebrew wishing well?: SHALOMשלום is such an important word in Hebrew, and the pun here is wonderful, worth the 25 cents you need to throw in.

21. Shrimper's catcher: TRAWL NET.

23. More than dream: ASPIRE. To direct one's hopes or ambitions toward achieving something

25. Atlanta campus: EMORY. The University.

26. Dreamt, perchance: SLEPT. Shakespeare.

29. Monument Valley features: MESAS. A natural wonder in Utah.  and the clecho 53A. Hilly terrain features: RIDGES.

31. Zero chance: NOT A HOPE.

33. Starfleet Acad. grad at the helm: LT. SULU. Our friend...

38. Woman in the picture: ACTRESS. A tricky generic clue.

39. Old duple-time dances: PAVANES. Duple meter (or duple metre, also known as duple-time) is a musical metre characterized by a primary division of 2 beats to the bar.

40. Some religious sculptures: PIETAS.

41. Limited state: FINITUDE. A finite state or quality. For example, one quickly senses the finitude of his patience.

42. Event with a horse: VAULT. Actually, this is no longer true, as it has been replaced with the vault TABLE.

44. "How Do I Live" singer: RIMES. LeAnn

45. Binary pronoun: HESHE. Is this now an accepted unique pronoun?

49. Quit: RESIGN.

51. "Unbelievable!": IT CAN'T BE. It reminds me of a commercial but I can't remember the product.

57. Retreat: LAIR.

58. Negotiation-ending words: FAIR ENOUGH. This is ridiculously hard, as I have never seen a negotiation end this way.

60. __ hack: LIFE.

61. Hathaway of "Rachel Getting Married": ANNE. Very popular actress, not so much the MOVIE.

62. Willing offer: I'LL GO. Also not easy. But with 64A...

63. Not likely: SLIM. And none.

64. Big name in little bricks: LEGO. We see GO often in this puzzle;  55D. "Too good not to share" breakfast brand: EGGO.

65. Permit: ALLOW.


1. Chicago's "North Siders": CUBS. Baseball- CUBS to the North, WHITE SOX to the South.

2. "Don't think so": UH UH.

3. __ land: LA LA. A CSO to our friend Linda who I hope is doing well now.

4. Separate: PULL APART.

6. Cold reaction: BRR.

7. Symbol of might: OAK TREE. There have been many POEMS extolling the Oak.

8. Famille members: FRERES. Brother, in French families.

9. Cheese served with kalamata olives: FETA. Made from sheep and goat milk. READ.

10. One of a Biblical 150: PSALM. These are poems of praise originated in Hebrew literature and revered also by Christians.

11. "What terrible news!": GOD NO. Oddly placed.-

12. Whence milk: UDDER. A very literal answer.

13. Irish pub pie: PASTY. A pie or turnover, especially one with a savory filling including seasoned meat, fish, or vegetables. These are popular in more places than Irish pubs.

18. Energize: AMP. If you think of being "amped" this makes sense.

24. Provocative little ones: IMPS. Next to amp, this is a cute use of a common fill.

26. __ bean: SNAP.

27. Math points: LOCI.

28. Marion's conclusion: ETTE.

30. Actor Thicke on Canada's Walk of Fame: ALAN. Alan Thicke was born on March 1, 1947, in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada as Alan Willis Jeffrey. He died in 2016.

32. Mountain near Pelion: OSSA.  Tough unless you are up on your Greek geography or mythology. Pelion a wooded mountain in Greece, near the coast of SE Thessaly, which in Greek mythology was held to be the home of the centaurs, and the giants were said to have piled Mounts Olympus and Ossa on its summit in their attempt to reach heaven and destroy the gods. This story has given rise to the phrase pile Pelion on Ossa, meaning to add an extra difficulty or task to something which is already difficult or onerous.

34. Ellington classic: SATIN DOLL.

35. Coined word?: UNUM. E Pluribus...cute clue.

36. News article intro: LEDE. Often mistaken for "lead"

37. Avails oneself of: USES.

39. Drupe remains: PITS. A drupe is any fruit, such as a peach, cherry, plum, etc., consisting of an outer skin, a usually pulpy and succulent middle layer, and a hard and woody inner shell usually enclosing a single seed, or pit.

41. Hardly turning oneself in: FLEEING. The fleeing felon.

43. Polished: URBANE. Thin David Niven.

45. Roman septet: HILLS. Septet = 7. Seven Hills of Rome, the group of hills on or about which the ancient city of Rome was built. The original city of Romulus was built upon Palatine Hill (Latin: Mons Palatinus). The other hills are the Capitoline, Quirinal, Viminal, Esquiline, Caelian, and Aventine (known respectively in Latin as the Mons Capitolinus, Mons Quirinalis, Mons Viminalis, Mons Esquilinus, Mons Caelius, and Mons Aventinus).

46. Much cashless commerce: E-TAIL.

47. Ursula K. Le Guin's genre: SCI-FI. This acclaimed AUTHOR died in 2018.

48. Polyamorous anime subgenre: HAREM. I understand the words but knew nothing about this graphic genre of anime where there is a possibility of a polygamous romantic relationship. It is a reverse harem when it is more than one boy involved. You can look it up yourselves.

50. Wrath: IRE. Maybe the most common fill in crosswords.

52. Pan name: T-FAL. Also very common fill. Lots of hyphens today.

54. Seaside soarer: GULL.

56. Take third: SHOW. WIN/PLACE/SHOW. Easy if you bet on horses.

59. __ Speedwagon: REO. I will leave you with some music and a sincere thanks to Tracy and Victor providing my first themeless review, C.C. and the rest of our bloggers for help and reassurance in my efforts and to all of you I wish healthy, happy, successful 2019.

Nov 8, 2014

Saturday, Nov 8th, 2014, Bruce Venzke & Victor Fleming

Theme: None

Words: 72 (missing Q,X)

Blocks: 28

   I did today's puzzle in two stages; I had to stop about 80% of the way through, but that was OK, because I was drawing a blank in the NW and SW corners.  Upon returning to the game, I noticed the WAGs I was reluctant to try were actually the correct answers - go figure.  Oh, and an alphabet-run technical DNF, which bummed me out(*). Bruce last appeared on a Saturday, Dec 7th, in 2013, and Victor's last Saturday was back on July 7th, 2012 (LAT) - two Victors in a row~!  Triple 10-letter pinwheel design with a pair of 7- and 8-letter fills as well;

17a. Group with many hits : COSA NOSTRA - Learning moment; I did not realize this was another name for the Sicilian Mafia - hence, the "hits" - more like whacks

12d. Get romantic : BILL AND COO - I have heard of the "COOing" part, but the "BILL"~?  I looked it up; it's a bird reference - now I get it

63a. They go down to the wire : CLOSE GAMES - I tried HORSE RACES

28. Some astronauts : SPACEWOMEN - Dah~! My first thought, and yet it seemed too simple - here's a list

O N W Ra Ds~!


 1. Staff leaders : MAJORDOMOs - no clue to start, then I got as far as MAJOR----

11. Common rhyme scheme : ABAB - Good guess to start

15. In top form : AT ONE'S BEST

16. Wheels : RIDE - I am hoping to buy a new ride this weekend - a 2002 Ford Escape

18. Menlo Park middle name : ALVA - Thomas Edison

19. Fuse, as ore : SMELT

20. Comic strip about a high schooler : ZITS - I like it

22. She plays Watson in "Elementary" : LIU - Lucy

23. Fourth most populous U.S. island : OAHU - I threw in GUAM;  BZZZT~!  50% correct in all the wrong places

26. Reach : CONTACT - as on one's phone

28. Surveillance aid : SPYGLASS - I'd like to live on Spyglass Lane - there's one in my neighborhood

32. Steelers ownership family name : ROONEY

33. Nanki-__ : POO - I have heard this, but I went and looked it up afterwards - oh right - the Mikado

34. Prowler : SNOOP

36. Landlord's assets: Abbr. : BLDGs

37. "... men in __" : A TUB

39. Locks that are picked : AFROs

41. Victoria's Secret spec : D CUP - HA~! I threw this in, and upon doing the write-up realized I was right - I'm sure Dennis nailed it

Hello, blue-eyes - I bet you didn't even notice they were blue (her eyes)

42.* Longtime name in baseball broadcasting : CARAY - the "Y" was my downfall, in 43d., too

44. Inset site : ATLAS

46. Valuable elemento : ORO - goldo, in Spanisho

47. "And wilt thou pledge me this for time __?": Aeschylus : ETERNE - mostly perps

49. Takes a powder : SKIPS OUT - 'round here, SKIPS OUT means someone ran off in the night without paying the rent

51. Goes south : WORSENS

53. Rested from flight : ALIT

54. "He's mine, __ am his": "Coriolanus" : OR I - two quote partials doesn't sit well with me

55. Lases or tases : ZAPS

57. Verdi aria : ERI TU

61. Star followers : MAGI - 'Tis the season once again

66. Repeat : ECHO - 'Tis the season once again
- is there an echo in here~!?

67. Revealing : TATTLE-TALE - like a sign

68. Table tennis club's supply : NETS - um, I guess they would

69. Plots : STORY LINES - ah, that kind of plot


1. Apple array : MACS

2. It may be ionized : ATOM - see "onward"

3. Muralist Orozco : JOSÉ

4. Where a turtle might be seen : ON A LOG - sure, why not; the last one I saw was trying to cross Rt 25, which is a 50mph road - I believe he made it

5. Some prom night wear : RENTALS - oh, the tux....never mind....

6. Brit. military award : DSO Distiguished Service Order

7. Delivery pros : OBStetrician - from the Latin "to stand by"; the medical specialist that deals with pregnancy and childbirth

8. City on the Moselle : METZ

9. "Hamlet" courtier : OSRIC

10. Electric generator component : STATOR

11. Celestial altar : ARA

13. Amy Dickinson, e.g. : ADVICE GURU

14. Mole, maybe : BEAUTY SPOT - I do not think of them as beauty; just spots

21. Stereotypical status seeker : SNOB

24. Rival of Martina and Chris : HANA - Mandlíková, Czech tennis star

25. Patriotic nickname : U.S. of A.

27. Spoiled the surprise : TOLD

29. Kid's birthday party contest : POTATO RACE - never had one

30. "No argument" : YOU'RE RIGHT - upon returning to the grid, I was able to get past "YOU", which was all I had filled, and started thinking "YOU'RE" - Duck~!

31. Prepares for filing : SORTS

35. Grammy category eliminated in 2009 : POLKA - I did not know this

38. Illegalizes : BARS - I had BANS, and that threw me

40. Zip (through) : SAIL

43*. Santa __ Valley: California wine region : YNEZ - ugh - really~? Oh well - I'm sure our California contingency got it no problem

45. Catalog giant : SPIEGEL

48. Adopts : ENACTS

50. Low clouds : STRATI

52. Paint-spill sound : SPLAT - uhhh, whooo(ups)~?

56. __ speak : SO TO - ugh - all perps

58. "Project Runway Canada" host : IMAN

59. Commuting leader? : TELE - telecommuting

60. Doesn't let sit : USES

62. Cyclades island : IOS

64. Harp, e.g.: Abbr. : STRing instrument

65. Bridge expert Culbertson : ELY


Jul 7, 2012

Saturday, Jul 7th, 2012, Victor Fleming

Theme: None

Words: 70

Blocks: 32

Lots of proper names*, and only six 3-letter words today, but enough clues where I found a foothold, and then gradually worked the puzzle from there. Very little in the way of vagueness, and just a couple of write-overs, for me, as well.

One 15-letter grid spanner;

36A. "Got it?" : DO YOU UNDERSTAND? - I had an inkling about where this was going; just had to wait on a few perps - forced me to change my shirt from a POLO to a "KNIT" (see 34D.)

and one 15-letter climber;

8D. Frustrated cry from an experienced pro : I'M TOO OLD FOR THIS - a five-word answer, (well, 6 technically), and like our Thursday "C", "E" and "T" puzzle, we had a run of 3 "O"s. Like Indiana Jones said in Raiders of the Lost Ark - "It's not the years, it's the mileage".

On w-a-r-d-s ~!!!


1. Military motto, familiarly : SEMPER FIdelis, the US Marines

9. '90s-'00s Lifetime sitcom in which viewers chose the name of the title character : OH BABY - never heard of it, but easy enough to get; not a "Lifetime" person, you could say

15. Site of noisy games, perhaps : PLAYROOM

16. Country estates : VILLAS - Not MANORS

17. Making with difficulty : EKING OUT - I tried winging this by filling in ------ING, but I was wrong

18. Slip away : ELAPSE

19. Chat up : COME ONTO - How come no women ever try to chat me up? - oh, that's right, I don't go to bars anymore....

20. Breakfast serving : RASHER - new word for me; had to look it up - both my parents are born and raised in England, but we always had BACON, never "rashers" - bangers and mash, that's different

21. That, to Teresa : ESO - Spanish

22. Many a S.A. miss : SRTA - and again - or is this Portuguese?

23. Adjective often used with skepticism : LIKELY - Tried RARELY first; turned out it was not LIKELY the answer

28. Do as expected : OBEY

30. 38-Down, e.g. : SCHool

33. Its production ended in 2004 with a Final 500 Edition : ALERO - Oldsmobile's last car

34.* "Around the Fish" artist : KLEE - Paul, with a little about the painting here

35. Time spent : STAY

39. Dismayed utterances : YOWs - not really a "dismayed" sound for me; more of a startled response

40. Baking instruction : SIFT

41. Mum : MATER - I am guessing that this is "Brit-speak" for mom - "mum" I get, but I had to look up Mater. If you ask me, Mater is this guy

42. Winter track maker : SKI

43. Pi opening? : OCTO - Ugh ( that's dismayed ) OCTOPI - more than one octopus. The "?" needed....

44. Oscar night sight : TUXEDO - not TROPHY

45. Staples array : TAPE - Strange - I tried PENS again, two weeks in a row. I was in Office Max a month ago - they DO have an array of pens to choose from, I must say

47. Brief way? : RTE

49. Opt for home cooking : DINE IN

51. Sin : TRESPASS - Growing up, I knew that I was not allowed to "trespass" on Selden campus property, but I never quite understood why GOD was unhappy about this....

57. Swatch Group products : OMEGAs - Watches - found here

58. Vote : HAVE A SAY

59. Undisturbed : IN SITU

60. What you might get from a jerk : ICE CREAM - Tried BACK ACHE, but we are looking for a soda jerk, a malted, and so on....

61. Flings : TOSSES

62. Reel from a shot : SEE STARS


1. What some build on : SPEC - this discussion came up earlier in the week

2. "The Heart of Northeast Nevada" : ELKO - More here

3. Do mayhem to : MAIM - meh on this

4.* In-your-face '50s-'60s talk show host Joe : PYNE

5. Hence : ERGO

6.* Longtime "60 Minutes" regular : ROONEY

7.* Hall of Fame Chargers quarterback Dan : FOUTS

9. Superintendent : OVERSEER - this week I have been the "overseer" of nine (9~!) cats, and they have spent most of the time hiding in the closet - I slept on the couch tonight, and caught them all coming down to eat late - Jack, Jill, Patch, Luna, Superstar, Ben, Mr. T, Tommy-boy and Tres~!

10.* Swank of Hollywood : HILARY

11. Siren sound : BLAST

12. Meditation goal : ALPHA STATE - I have a meditation group Wednesdays at 11am

13. General headquarters? : BASE - not sure about the "?"

14. Belgian river : YSER - four letters....

23. __ man : LADY'S

24. "__ to You": Whitney Houston's last album : I LOOK

25. Case maker : KEY WITNESS - I was looking for someone who "makes" cases; not this legal version of the person who takes the stand in court

26. Bow wielder of myth : EROS

27.* Journalist Dobbs : LOU

29. Root vegetable : BEET - huh - I WAGed this, and never looked back

31. Like rattan chairs : CANED

32. Plane opening? : HYDRO - Hydroplane, doesn't need the "?", I think

34. Golf shirt, e.g. : KNIT - not POLO

35. Pringles-like Lay's product : STAX

37. Decennial govt. activity : U.S. CENSUS - I knew this, but the "U.S." part messed me up

38. Home of the NCAA's Mustangs : SMU - Southern Methodist University team

43. Relaxant : OPIATE

44. Rabbit ears sporter, once : TEE-VEE - the long abbreviation for Television

46. Zeus' shield : AEGIS

48. Slight sign : TRACE

49. "Now!" : DO IT~!- Makes me think of AHHHnold in Predator

50. "__ expert, but ..." : "I'M NO..." - two answers with "I'm" in them

52. "Just a coupla __" : SECS

53. Split : PART - Irony is that today marks what would have been my 5-year wedding anniversary - but we did 53D three years ago....

54. Like Columbus, much of the time : ASEA

55. Moselle tributary : SAAR - those four-letter Euro rivers; map

56. R. Schumann wrote four : SYMS - as in Symphony? eh, OK - I checked to be sure here

Answer grid.