Nov 22, 2009

Sunday November 22, 2009 Ken Bessette

Theme: Literal Translation - Familiar phrases consisting of an anagrammed word of the capitalized theme clue and anagram indicators.

23A. TOG?: GOT TURNED AROUND. GOT was turned around and became TOG.


51A. FELT?: LEFT IN DISARRAY. LEFT was in disarray and became FELT.

66A. GOES?: ALTER EGOS. EGOS was altered into GOES.

69A. RAGE?: GEAR SHIFT. GEAR was shifted into RAGE.

89A. SING?: OUT OF ORDER SIGN. SIGN was out of order and became SING.

97A. EARTH?: CHANGE OF HEART. Heart was changed into EARTH.

118A. STOP?: POST REFORMATION. POST was reformed into STOP.

I realized the theme is about reverse anagram after seeing all those capitalized theme clues. But I am not a cryptic fan, so the puzzle was a bit tough for me to unscramble. Cheated very early on.

All the above theme answers are actually clues, and the clues are answers. That's why all the clues are capitalized. Correct, Jerome?

I feel this puzzle is to be admired afterward. Lots of cleverly twisted clues.


1. Soft drink option: SODA POP

8. Regal rod: SCEPTER. Symbol of authority.

15. Get ready to eat?: RIPEN. Delicious clue. "Ready to eat?" would be great for RIPE too.

20. Blue books?: EROTICA. The question mark hints at the risqué meaning of "blue".

21. Way over the ocean: AIR LANE

22. Overcome glossophobia: ORATE. Glossophobia is fear of public speaking. New word to me.

25. Law school subject: TORTS

26. Pot creators: ANTES

27. NASA rank: CMDR (Commander). Stumped me.

28. One of Jason's men: ARGONAUT. Jason and the Argonauts. Jason's ship is ARGO.

30. Country's Acuff et al.: ROYS. Roy Acuff, King of Country Music. Rang a dim bell to me.

31. Annual parade city since 1890: PASADENA. Rose Bowl city.

35. Like the vb. "be," e.g.: IRR (Irregular)

36. Shipbuilding wood: TEAK. Water resistant, isn't it?

44. H, as in "Hera": ETA. The letter H in Greek goddess Hera is a vowel.

47. Multicolored: PIED. Ah, the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

49. Cantina fare: TAMALE

50. Symphonic wind: OBOE. Wind instrument.

55. Song on the Beatles' "Revolver" album: TAXMAN. Here is a clip.

57. Political position: STANCE

58. Mecca for N.Y.C. art lovers: MOMA (Museum of Modern Art)

59. Penguin on skates, for short: NHLER. The Pittsburgh Penguins.

61. Nautical pronoun: SHE

62. 1968 self-titled folk album: ARLO. Arlo Guthrie.

63. Cock and bull: MALES. Nice play on "a cock and bull story".

64. Pieces of 8?: ARCS. Is it because of the shape of 8?

74. Squeezes (out): EKES. Ekes out a living.

75. Cancels: NULLS. Thought of nixes first.

76. Island accessories: LEIS. Island in Hawaii.

78. Monk's address: FRA

81. Shocked intakes: GASPS. Nice clue.

84. "All __": 1984 film featuring an old song of the same name: OF ME. Nope. Not familiar with the movie or the song.

85. Overly affected: TOO-TOO

87. Confessions may be given under it: DURESS. Great clue too. I fell into Dennis' trap yesterday and really thought he was adopted.

92. Old Roman road: ITER

93. Picked: CHOSEN

95. Silverware point: TINE

96. Light period: DAY. "Light" indeed.

101. Micro ending: COSM. Microcosm. My initial thought was SOFT.

103. Mortgage pmt. component: INT (Interest)

104. Canal locale: INNER EAR. Not the waterway canal.

106. B'way ticket abbr.: ORCH (Orchestra). Was stymied.

110. "Says who?": IS THAT SO

115. Nitwit: SIMP

116. Mild cigar: CLARO. Learned from doing Xword. Spanish for "clear".

117. It's traditionally placed to the right of the knife: SPOON

123. "Not possible": I CAN'T

124. 12:30, on a ship: ONE BELL. See this list. Are they still using the bell to indicate time?

125. Beckett contemporary: IONESCO (Eugène). No idea. He's a Romanian/French playwright. Theater of the Absurd pioneer. Samuel Beckett was an Irish dramatist. Nobel Literature winner 1969.

126. Stuffs: SATES. Read "Stuffs" as noun.

127. Bargain hunter's stop: TAG SALE

128. Like some markets: OPEN AIR. I miss farmer's markets.


1. Olive Oyl's creator: SEGAR (E. C.). Can never remember his name.

2. Maine town named for a Penobscot chief: ORONO. Good to know.

3. Eccentric: DOTTY

4. Bear witness: ATTEST

5. __ XII, WWII pope: PIUS. There are 12 pope named Pius.

6. Text-interpreting technology, briefly: OCR (Optical Character Reader)

7. Flattened: PANCAKED. Did not know pancake can be a verb.

8. Gulf War foe: SADDAM

9. Poet John who translated Dante's "Divine Comedy": CIARDI. Stranger to me.

11. Mideast political gp.: PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization). Rival of Hamas.

12. Letter before upsilon: TAU. Greek T.

13. Sicilian resort: ENNA. The Sicilian volcano is ETNA.

14. Put through one's paces again: REDRILL. RETRACE jumped to my mind.

15. Copter blades: ROTORS

16. Curling gadget: IRON

17. Legal opening?: PARA. Paralegal.

18. Rebuke before the senate: ET TU. Roman senate. "Et tu, Brute?", Caesar's dying rebuke.

19. Cheep place to stay?: NEST. Puns on "cheap".

24. Ambulance letters: EMS

29. Welcoming ones: GREETERS

31. Revolutionary pamphleteer: PAINE (Thomas)

32. Crowd seen at a film festival?: EXTRAS. Excellent clue.

33. Around the corner: NEAR

34. Marketing pro: ADMAN

37. "Beowulf," for one: EPIC. Beowulf is an epic poem.

39. Indiana senator: BAYH (Evan)

40. Beantown team, casually: SOX. Red Sox.

41. Certain PCs: IBMS

42. Early matchmaker: NOAH. Noah collected a pair of each animal on his ark. Brilliant clue.

43. Type of therapy: GENE. Have never heard of gene therapy before.

44. Film feline: ELSA. The "Born Free" lioness.

45. Aquarium swimmer: TETRA

46. Riding for __: acting overconfidently: A FALL. Courting for danger. New idiom to me also.

48. Yankees' #5, familiarly: DIMAG. Joltin' Joe DiMaggio.

52. Govt. security: T-NOTE. OK, T-Bills mature in one year or less. T-Notes mature in two to ten years. And Treasury Bonds mature in ten or more years.

53. Flight training milestone: SOLO

54. Iowa State home: AMES

56. Classy entranceway: ARCH. Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

60. Metallica drummer Ulrich: LARS. Gimme for Matt (Red State Democrat) I am sure. Alien to me.

63. Slob's creation: MESS

65. Farm storage spots: SILOS

67. Ticker tapes, briefly?: EKGS. The heart ticker chart.

68. Second time to the top: REASCENT. Well, I guess you can just RE anything.

69. Sass: GUFF. Also a new word to me.

70. Pollster Roper: ELMO. Another unfamiliar name. He was the the first to develop the scientific poll for political forecasting. And he predicted the election of President Franklin D. Roosevelt correctly, all three times ((1936, 1940, 1944).

71. Warning: ALERT

72. Far from fragrant: FETID

73. New York town on the Susquehanna: TIOGA. No idea. See this map. I presume it's a Native Indian word. What does it mean, Argyle?

75. Reagan biographer Peggy: NOONAN. "When Character Was King" has been sitting on my bookshelf forever, unread.

77. Discman maker: SONY

78. S&L protector: FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation)

79. Dr. who wrote "Sex for Dummies": RUTH

80. Word after Bay, gray or play: AREA. Bay is capitalized.

82. Magic word: POOF

83. Bite-sized food: SUSHI. Hmm, yummy yummy.

85. Pavarotti, e.g.: TENOR. Oh, by the way, I don't Italian food.

86. Metal containers: ORES. Wow, big containers then.

88. Seaside raptor: ERNS

90. Member of many an idol's fan base: TEEN

91. "Catch Me If You Can" star: DICAPRIO (Leonardo). Great movie.

94. Trendy club: HOT SPOT

98. Super Bowl XLII champs: GIANTS

99. Act as middleman, perhaps: RESELL. A rather commonly used re word.

100. It's not important: TRIFLE

102. Liquefied by heat: MOLTEN. Molten hell.

105. Rock music genre: EMO

107. Mrs. Gorbachev: RAISA. A secret fashionista.

108. Spring bloomers: CROCI. Plural of crocus. I was picturing pansies.

109. Accept, as a coupon: HONOR

110. Egyptian fertility goddess: ISIS. Sister and wife of Osiris.

111. Shelter org.: SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). Animal shelter.

112. Exactly: TO A T. "To a tee" is more common, isn't it?

113. Give an edge to: HONE. I liked this clue too.

114. Disney duck princess: OONA. No idea. Is this princess named after Oona Chaplin?

116. Support staff?: CANE. Got me.

119. Geom. class line part: SEG

120. Airer of baseball's Division Series: TBS

121. Stephen of "Interview With the Vampire": REA. He and ENYA are probably the most famous Irish names in our Xword world, outshining Bono.

122. Swab: MOP

Answer grid.


Nov 21, 2009

Saturday November 21, 2009 Barry Silk & Doug Peterson

Theme: None

Total blocks: 29

Total words: 70

Can you picture the big smile on my face? Just a great puzzle from two of the best crossword constructors. Refreshing long word answers and twisted new clues for some of the regular short entries.

I don't know how Barry and Doug collaborated. I certainly could not not tell who worked on which section. My favorite part is the lower right corner. Simple & interesting to me. Not sure if Doug knows the DF meaning of MORELS (19D. Gourmet mushrooms) on our blog. Barry does, I think. Maybe it's Barry's proposed word? Fantastic!

I had expected a hard struggle when I saw the byline. Was rather surprised that I was able to fill in so many blanks on the first pass. Nailed all the clever wordplay clues except OCHO (22D. Three less than once). Spanish for "eight". I did not know "once" is Spanish for "eleven". I don't like today's mix of English "three" with Spanish "once". How about you?


1. Hired goons: MUSCLE. Slang for "thugs".

7. Snub: HIGH-HAT. Always thought high-hat is a just noun.

14. Power to attract: APPEAL. Don't understand Johnny Depp's appeal. People's Sexist Man Alive again?

15. Like an unexpectedly large gift: GENEROUS

16. Buys time: STALLS

17. Heed: LISTEN TO

18. "The Bridges at Toko-Ri" setting: KOREA. Set during the Korean War.

19. Sticking points?: MIRES. Write down MOOTS first.

20. Suggested actions: DO'S. And Don'ts.

21. "Fantastic Voyage" setting: BLOODSTREAM. No idea. Don't think I want to see the film now I've learned the setting.

24. Bad check letters: NSF (Not Sufficient Funds). Dennis has probably encountered bad checks at his hobby stores.

27. Land buy: ACRE

28. Refuse to make changes: SIT PAT. Same as "stand pat", isn't it?

30. Heroic: EPIC

32. Cologne title: HERR. Got the last R quickly, so no HERR/FRAU wobbling.

34. Rivera with two Tonys: CHITA. I guess Clear Ayes knows which two musicals brought her the two Tonys.

35. Its contents are under pressure: AEROSOL. I was picturing our cooking spray.

37. Authority level: ECHELON

39. Nottingham's river: TRENT. Thames wouldn't fit. Trent is England's third-longest river. River Severn is the longest.

40. 1973 Toni Morrison novel: SULA. See the book cover. Unknown to me.

42. She played WKRP's Jennifer: LONI (Anderson).

43. Fancy watches: OMEGAS. You can find plenty of counterfeit Rolex and Omega in China. Fake Microsoft Windows products too.

47. Defense agency since Nov. 2001: TSA (Transportation Security Administration). In response to the Sept 11 attack. The abbreviation escaped me.

48. Geneticist's pursuit: DNA RESEARCH. Fairly easy to string together today.

51. Keep entirely to oneself: HOG

53. Rhodes with a scholarship: CECIL. Founder of the diamond company De Beers. I obtained his name from crosses.

57. Some tattoos: INITIALS

59. Equivalence: PARITY

60. "I kid you not!": HONESTLY

61. "8 Simple Rules" star John: RITTER. Son of Tex Ritter.

62. Son of Agamemnon: ORESTES (aw-RES-teez). I've linked Remorse of Orestes several times before. He was being chased by the Furies because he killed his mother Clytemnestra, who murdered his father.

63. Biological catalyst: ENZYME. Exists in fresh veggies/fruit. Cooking kills enzyme.


1. Diver's need: MASK. Thought of Tank first.

3. Box for training purposes: SPAR

4. Tabloid subject: CELEB

5. "Deck the Halls" ending: LA LA LA. I vaguely remember we had this clue before.

6. Some commuter lines: ELS (Elevated Railways)

7. They're next in line: HEIRS. Nailed it.

8. Detailed windows: INSETS. Oh, the map closeup windows.

9. Rakes it in: GETS RICH. "Rake it in" is a new phrase to me.

10. Realm until the 19th cen.: HRE. Until 1806.

11. SUV that replaced the Passport: HONDA PILOT. Cars are always my blind spots.

12. Cuckoos in clocks, e.g.: AUTOMATONS. Struggled with the answer.

13. Chinese menu possessive: TSO'S. General Tso's chicken.

15. Quiet aircraft: GLIDER. Drone is quiet too, isn't it? CIA uses drones to kill those targeted terrorists, who can't hear the approach of the drones until too late.

23. Waters of music: ETHEL. Unknown figure to me. Pretty picture.

24. "Super-duper!": NEATO. Just like this puzzle.

25. Solution for a fertility problem, perhaps: SPERM DONOR. So simple in retrospect.

26. Vehicle with a deluge gun: FIRE ENGINE.

29. Patty Hearst's nom de guerre: TANIA. I forgot. Her kidnappers were SLA, often clued as " Radical 1970s gp.".

31. Partygoers may get their kicks out of one: CONGA. D'oh, dance.

33. Switch magazines, maybe: RELOAD. Another clever clue. But you can't fool me with "magazines" any more.

36. "Sorry, Charlie" brand: STARKIST. Here is an old commercial. I was ignorant of the catchphrase "Sorry, Charlie".

38. "Locked room" mystery writer John Dickson __: CARR. Uh-uh, nope. Have never heard of this guy.

41. Restless: UNEASY

44. Hill body: SENATE. Capitol Hill.

46. 2002 Campaign Reform Act co-sponsor: MCCAIN. Gimme. The McCain-Feingold Act.

49. Hawks: SELLS

50. Big name at airports: HERTZ. Car rental.

51. Jaunty greeting: HI HO. Hi-Yo Silver!

54. Normal in Illinois, say: CITY. Normal is a city in Illinois. Easy guess.

55. One often follows a bullet: ITEM. The dot bullet •, not ammo bullet.

56. Instrument played with a plectrum: LYRE. Again, the answer emerged itself.

58. Some NFL pass catchers: TES (Tight Ends)

59. Post- opposite: PRE. Both prefixes. Very straightforward clue.

Answer grid.


Nov 20, 2009

Friday November 20, 2009 Michael Blake

Theme: ADDLE (65A. Confuse - or what to do to four common phrases to form this puzzle's theme answers) - Letters LE are added to the starts of four common phrases, hence ADD LE.

17A. Maximum tolerance for a stand-up comic's jokes?: (LE)NO LIMIT. Jay Leno.

26A. "All Trotsky, all the time" channel?: (LE)ON TELEVISION. Leon Trotsky.

47A. When dogs can't run loose?: (LE)ASH WEDNESDAY

63A. Nuts about Danish toys?: (LE)GO CRAZY. Did not know Lego is based in Denmark.

This puzzle reminds me of Merle Baker's "slangy turndown" IXNAY puzzle, where IX is nixed from familiar phrase. Or Gareth Bain's NIXON one, where letters ON are nixed in every theme answer.

Very clever interpretation of ADDLE, isn't it? It makes adding/deleting a letter puzzle so much fun.

I actually got ADDLE earlier on, but I could not parse it properly to gain any advantage in filling in the themes. Patchy Bozone Layer (The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating) on several spots. Had to peek at the cheat sheet.


1. Symbol of gentleness: LAMB. Jesus is the lamb of God.

5. Torahs' homes: ARKS

14. Fridge problem: ODOR. Fresh pineapple pieces always make our fridge smell good.

15. R-rating reason, perhaps: GORE

16. Longship sailors: NORSE. A longship is a medieval ship used in northern Europe esp. by the Norse. Unknown to me.

19. AT&T Park player: GIANT. San Francisco Giants.

20. Start of a memorable 1961 admonition: ASK NOT. JFK line: "Ask not what your country can do for you..."

21. Force: STRENGTH. A bunch of consonants.

23. Gripe: CRAB

25. Slippery swimmer: EEL. Embien just mentioned unagi (freshwater eel) and anago (saltwater eel) yesterday. I like former. Also love NORI (44A. Edible seaweed used for sushi).

36. It's often left in the copier: Abbr.: ORIG (original)

38. Wolf (down): SNARF. Wrote down SCARF first. Dictionary says SNARF is a blend of snack and scarf.

41. Mountain ride: BIKE. I've never rode a bike along a mountain.

42. Marine threats: ORCAS

46. Clear: NET. Tricky clue for me.

51. Estuary: RIA. Are they really the same?

52. Senior golfer Aoki: ISAO. Crazy vowel combination. Senior golf indeed. I've never seen him play in Senior PGA (Champions Tour) in person.

53. Lover's sweet talk?: NOTHINGS. Sweet nothings. Lovely clue.

58. Precipitated: CAUSED. Wanted RAINED.

62. Cuban boy in 2000 news: ELIAN (González)

66. Plus-size supermodel: EMME. Somehow I thought it's EMMA. Just learned that her original given name is Melissa too. She's about perfect size, no?

67. To be, in Brest: ETRE. Alliteration again. Nothing to beat last time's "Brest milk" clue for LAIT. Awesome. Brest is a seaport in France.

68. Hull damagers: REEFS

69. Signs of nervousness: TICS

70. Interpret, as tea leaves: READ. Would be a difficult clue without the additional "as tea leaves".


1. 1970 hit by the Kinks: LOLA. Not familiar with the song.

3. Religious ascetic: MONK. And REV (22D. Relig. title).

4. You can count on a lot of bucks from one: BRONCO. Bronco habitually bucks. Clever clue.

5. Stirs up trouble: AGITATES

6. CD follower?: ROM. CD-ROM.

8. Den piece: SETTEE. Again, "piece" brought to mind furniture immediately.

9. Saintly: ANGELIC

10. Knock off: DO IN. Both slang for "to kill".

11. Big bore: DRAG. DRIP too.

13. Clockmaker Thomas: SETH. Finally I remembered his name.

18. Doone in Exmoor: LORNA. "Lorna Doone" is set at the wilds of Exmoor, new trivia to me. A 1869 novel by Richard Blackmore.

24. Capital northwest of Rome: BERN. The clue would be valid for EURO too, right? EURO is definitely used in northwest of Rome.

26. He played Ugarte in "Casablanca": LORRE (Peter)

27. "All My Children" vixen: ERICA. Played by Susan Lucci.

29. Sad sound: SOB

30. Skater Slutskaya: IRINA. Always wanted IRENA.

31. Best way to sing: ON KEY. Oh, I am often off-key then.

32. Veto from Lenin: NYET. Russian for "no". Opposite of "Da".

33. Mislead: FOOL

37. Great time, slangily: GAS

40. Sistine Chapel features: FRESCOES. Thought the plural is just frescos.

43. Sacred sites: SHRINES

48. Come out on top: WIN

49. Aerie newborn: EAGLET. Does an owlet live in aerie too?

50. More morose: DOURER. Anyone else wanted SADDER?

53. Adjacent: NEAR

54. Quaint retail adjective: OLDE

55. Sand castle's undoing: TIDE

56. Even share, perhaps: HALF. Was thinking of stock even/odd shares.

57. Huge hauler: SEMI

60. Biblical reformer: EZRA. What did he try to reform? Ezra is a Hebrew name meaning "help".

61. Like blue hair: DYED

64. Tracker maker: GMC. One-time GMC sport ute.

Answer grid.


Nov 19, 2009

Interview with Jack McInturff

Today's "Fools Rush In" is our 9th Jack McInturff puzzle since the switch last March. 7 of his grids are about wordplay.

Many of you probably still remember Jack's "It's IR-IR-tating!" puzzle, in which Jack swapped every IR with RI. His "L-adder" & "Let me C" letter addition wordplay puzzles are all quite memorable.

Jack has had over 120 puzzles published by Rich Norris since he started constructing for LA Times. His puzzles also appeared in NY Times and NY Sun.

What is the inspiration for this puzzle? What are the other theme answers that did not make the cut?

I was shocked to see that this puzzle proposal was first submitted on November 28th, 2008. so I'm hard pressed to remember any inspiration. Normally, it doesn't take that long, but there were many revisions and response times from Rich Norris has increased quite a bit.

My original theme proposal was: CLEAN AND JERK, CRASH DUMMY, APRIL FOOL, INSIDE DOPE AND PROJECT CREEP. Actually there was enough for a 21 X 21 but it didn't happen.

What is your background and how did you get into crossword construction?

I have an Engineering degree, but when I retired a second time it was as Chief Financial Officer of a small Boston college. Don't know how that happened.

I found a simple crossword puzzle maker on my old Macintosh Performa computer and caught the bug. I then invested in Crossword Compiler and joined Cruciverb. The rest was history, as they say.

How would you describe your style? And what kind of theme/fill do you favor or eschew? You seem to be fond of "Word that can follow/precede..." or other wordplay.

Some would say I don't have much style and they would be right. As a result of this question, I made a list of the many types of puzzles that I have seen. This may help my creativity. I enjoyed doing "rhyming" puzzles but then Rich discontinued them. I did like "Word that can follow/precede..." Now Rich has too many of them also.

I try to be creative in my fill. "Orange". the puzzle commentator, once said of a puzzle I did "The fill seems old school". It's probably because I'm 79 years old and that's what I remember. It did give me a wake-up call, however, and I'm trying to be more current. I also like to have biblical or church clues or fill as a reminder of eternal values.

What is the most proud puzzle you've made and why?

The puzzle I am most proud of is my first one published in the LA Times on Friday April 16th, 2004. A friend in San Diego sent us the paper with the puzzle in it and my wife actually framed it.

What kind of books/magazines do you read for puzzle inspiration?

I don't read books for puzzle inspirations. I walk every day for at least an hour and random thoughts or signs I see may trigger an idea. Most of the signs I see these days are "House for Sale" Not very inspirational!

What puzzles do you solve every day and who are your favorite constructors?

I solve the LA Times, NY Times, CrosSynergy and USA Today puzzles. My favorite constructors are the editors Rich Norris, Patrick Berry, and Peter Gordon. I have always liked Lynn Lempel. (His or her?) puzzles are so straight forward and uncluttered.

Besides constructing crossword, what else do you do for fun?

I like to read. Just finished " The Bridge of Sighs" ( Maybe there is a puzzle there somewhere ) I like church activities and skydiving. Just kidding about skydiving LOL

Thursday November 19, 2009 Jack McInturff

Theme: Fools Rush In - Common phrases that end with a synonym of "fool".

20A. Weightlifting event: CLEAN AND JERK

30A. Golf course pest: CANADIAN GOOSE

39A. Spinning toy manipulated with sticks: CHINESE YO-YO

49A. Honest info: STRAIGHT DOPE

So many synonyms for fool: idiot, blockhead, imbecile, jackass, nitwit, etc. I like dummy. Use it almost every day.

I read Jack McInturff's original theme proposal after I was done with the puzzle, and was so glad PROJECT CREEP did not make the cut. A complete unknown phrase to me.

Used Wite-out several times today: AIRPORT instead of ISRAELI for 23A. Ben-Gurion, e.g., and OCEAN instead of BRINY for 28A. Sea. Did you also fall for the traps or was I but a fool?


1. Choir member: TENOR

6. Quite: SUCH. Mine was MUCH.

15. Faulkner's "As __ Dying": I LAY

16. Pearl Harbor site: OAHU. Honolulu is on southeast coast of Oahu.

18. Common nickname for a doter: NANA. I sure miss mine.

19. 66 and others: Abbr.: RTES. Route 66.

26. "It's __ business": NO ONE'S

27. Kind of biological network: NEURAL. Neural network.

32. Corp. money manager: CFO. Now we know the constructor was a CFO before.

35. Fighting: AT IT. Hey, it's back! TER next.

37. Hang onto: HOLD

43. River in Lyons: SAONE (Sohn). See this map. It rises in northeast France and flows to the Rhone River at Lyons.

44. Belfast's province: ULSTER. The long, loose ulster overcoat is named after this county.

45. Early Ford success: MODEL A. And EDSEL (48D. Ill-fated Ford). How is Model A different from Model T, Dennis?

48. Actors, often: EMOTERS.

52. Road sign silhouette: DEER. Deer ticks cause Lyme disease.

53. Debt indicators: IOUS. Wrote down LOSS first. Dennis's Bozone Layer (The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating) definitely fogged my brain.

54. Ticked off: IRKED

59. Dresden's river: ELBE (EL-buh). The North Sea feeder.

60. Landlocked African country: NIGER. Ah, Bush's infamous "Sixteen Word" uranium country.

61. A handful of: SOME

62. Navy commando: SEAL. Our ex-governor Jesse "The Body" Ventura was a Navy Seal.

63. Gothic house feature: GABLE. The triangular section at the end of a pitched roof.


1. La Brea goo: TAR. Brea is just Spanish for "tar".

2. Seventh Greek letter: ETA

3. Christmas quaff: NOG. Hmm, nutmeg.

4. 200 milligrams, to a jeweler: ONE CARAT. Crockett just mentioned last time that carat indicates weight, karat purity.

5. Original primer used to paint the Golden Gate Bridge: RED LEAD. Unknown to me.

6. Source of the Law: SINAI. Does the Law here refer to the Ten Commandments God gave Moses?

7. __ Bator, Mongolia: ULAN. Iterally "red" in Mongolian.

8. Where Jesus turned water to wine: CANA. No idea. Illiterate on Bible.

9. Cape Cod site of a JFK museum: HYANNIS. Hyannis Port. The Kennedy Compound is there.

10. How some jump?: FOR JOY. Got the answer from crosses. Nice clue.

11. Corroded: EATEN

12. Sex researcher Hite: SHERE

13. Mammoth features: TUSKS. Usually, but not always in pairs.

21. Contemporary of Dizzy and Billie: ELLA

22. Finished: DONE. Or OVER.

23. Early Peruvians: INCAS

24. Senate posts: SEATS. Was thinking of the tweet posts from some of the senators.

25. Confrontation: RUN-IN

28. Carried: BORNE. Did not come to me immediately.

29. Classroom drilling: ROTE

31. Come out ahead: GAIN

32. British actor Robert, the original Colonel Pickering in "My Fair Lady": COOTE. Stranger to me. Is Coote pronounced the same as coot?

33. Candidate's handout: FLYER. Or flier.

37. Common crowd reaction in monster films: HYSTERIA. No monster film for me.

39. Colombian city: CALI. The Colombian drug cartel city.

40. Some heroes: HOAGIES. Hero sandwich.

41. Sport for 300-pounders: SUMO

42. Like lovers skipping church?: ELOPING. Valid clue without the question mark too.

43. Pharmaceutical giant that developed Celebrex: SEARLE. Pfizer wouldn't fit. I've never heard of Searle before.

45. Windows predecessor: MS-DOS

46. Alamogordo's county: OTERO. In New Mexico county. Spanish for "height". Again, I strung the answer together from Across.

47. Nightmare, e.g.: DREAM

50. Putter's target: HOLE. Golf.

51. Very big wind: TUBA. Wind instrument. Good clue too.

55. Soviet spy org.: KGB. The East German secret police is STASI.

56. Snakelike fish: EEL. Yep, snakelike. Delicious!

57. Hip-hop Dr.: DRE. I wonder why he named himself "Dr. Dre". Such a Xword friendly name.

Answer grid.


Nov 18, 2009

Wednesday November 18, 2009 Dan Naddor

Theme: BAR (65A. Happy hour site, and word that can follow each last name in the answers to starred clues) - Famous people whose last name can precede the word BAR.

18. *"Seven Year Ache" country singer: ROSANNE CASH. Cash bar. Rosanne Cash is Johnny Cash's daughter. I was not familiar with the song.

20. *"All I Wanna Do" singer: SHERYL CROW. Crowbar. I love "All I Wanna Do". Is this the seed entry, Dan?

32. *Longtime "American Bandstand" host: DICK CLARK. Clark bar. Brand of candy bar.

45. *Notable member of The Second City improv group: JOHN CANDY. Candy bar. I was ignorant on The Second City. Did recognize John Candy's mug when I googled.

59. *French writer who befriended Chopin: GEORGE SAND. Sandbar. "Befriended" is an understatement. They were lovers, though they might not be sexually involved due to Chopin's health.

63. *"The Mark of Zorro" star (1940): TYRONE POWER. PowerBar. I've only seen Antonio Banderas's "The Mask of Zorro".

It's been some time since we last saw Dan's stacked theme style (the first two and the last two theme answers have a 6-letter overlap). Such a tightly focused & colorful BAR unifying theme. Very nice. Heavy themage too, total 63 theme squares.

Today's Dan Naddor Index (non-theme entries with 6 or more letters) is 16. Once again, two of the Down ones, ie, ACRYLIC and CODE RED, intersect three theme entries.

I've been thinking lately how crossword solving can be a very personal experience. Certain answers resonate with some people and bring back sweet memories. I was just musing on George Sand's "I love strongly, exclusively and steadfastly" yesterday morning, and was so pleasantly surprised to see her name in the grid. What were your touch points today?


1. Popular: HOT. And COOL (5D. Not nerdy).

4. Takes steps: ACTS

8. Does some garden maintenance: WATERS. And ADAM (26D. Eden gardener).

15. Masked critter: COON. Raccoon.

16. "Ditto": I DO TOO

17. Ecol. or agric.: SCI

22. 1963 role for Liz: CLEO. "Cleopatra". Shortened name in clue, shortened name in answer.

24. Nissan sedan: ALTIMA. More luxurious than Nissan Sentra but less so than Nissan Maxima, according to Wikipedia. All of them have 6 letters.

26. Mimosa family tree: ACACIA. The gum-yielding tree. I was unaware of its biological classification.

29. Part of TNT: NITRO

36. Lover of Christine, in "The Phantom of the Opera": RAOUL. I could only remember ERIK the Phantom.

38. Gardner of "Mogambo": AVA. And UTA (41A. Hagen of Broadway). Still remember "Yma Dream" sketch from Anne Bancroft? Both Ava Gardner and Uta Hagen were mentioned. And Ida Lupino, Oona Chaplin and many other Xword friendly names.

39. Parkinsonism drug: L-DOPA. I forgot again.

42. Bette's "Divine" nickname: MISS M. The "The Divine Miss M". Bette Midler.

48. "The Merry Widow" composer: LEHAR (Franz ).

50. Time-share units: CONDOS. Thought of Annette and her ordeal in the past 4 years.

51. Rolled oats cereal: MUESLI. Not fond of the taste.

55. Banned pesticide: DDT. Banned in 1972.

56. Voice above tenor: ALTO

66. World's largest river by volume: AMAZON. Nile is the longest.

67. King, to a subject: SIRE

68. Greater N.Y.C. campus: L.I.U. (Long Island University). I got the answer from down fill.

69. Not naked: DECENT

70. City west of Tulsa: ENID. Both Oklahoma cities.


1. "Bonanza" brother: HOSS. I can never remember those brothers name.

3. Hears arguments in court: TRIES A CASE.

4. Painter's medium: ACRYLIC. And CODE RED (46D. Official emergency status). Both connect three of the theme answers.

6. Puccini opera: TOSCA. Puccini answer is always Tosca.

7. Warning from a doghouse: SNARL

8. Best type of situation: WIN-WIN

9. Fruit drink suffix: ADE

10. Bach work: TOCCATA. New word to me. From Italian "toccare" (touch). Dictionary defines it as "a composition in the style of an improvisation, for the piano, organ, or other keyboard instrument, intended to exhibit the player's technique".

11. Catchall abbr.: ET AL. And others.

13. Fashionable London area: SOHO

19. "Just kidding!": NOT

21. Gibraltar landmark: ROCK

25. Fallen space station: MIR. Fell in 2001. Russian for "peace".

27. __ union: same-sex relationship status: CIVIL

30. King Arthur's meeting spot: ROUND TABLE. Camelot! Camelot! Summer lingers through SEP (52D: Labor Day mo.).

31. Finish ahead of: OUTDO

33. Noun modifier: Abbr.: ADJ

34. Friend of Pooh: ROO. From "Winnie-the-Pooh". Kanga's kid.

35. Canadian rd. sign letters: KPH (Kilometers Per Hour). I felt goosey, did not know Canada uses metric system.

37. Fires, with "off": LAYS

40. Very old: Abbr.: ANC (Ancient). Have never seen this abbreviation before.

43. Chat idly: Var.: SHMOOZE. Only knew schmooze.

44. Half a Kenyan rebel: MAU. Mau Mau. Learned from doing Xword.

49. University officer: REGENT

54. Author Shaw: IRWIN. Mindlessly penned in ARTIE the Clarinetist Shaw.

56. Just barely: A TAD

57. __ tick: disease carrier: LYME. Wanted DEER. Lyme disease & deer tick.

58. Gillette's __ II: TRAC. Fell for ATRA, anyone?

60. Spice Girl Halliwell: GERI. Ginger spice.

61. Wood fastener: NAIL

62. Bongo or conga: DRUM

64. Nantes negative: NON. Alliteration again. Nantes is French city on the Loire River. Edict of Nantes.

Answer grid.


Nov 17, 2009

Tuesday November 17, 2009 Bruce Venzke

Theme: Last Word Mess

18A: *Undeveloped home site: VACANT LOT.

26A: *1977 Triple Crown winner: SEATTLE SLEW.

45A: *2,240-pound unit: IMPERIAL TON.

58A: *Huck Finn conveyance: RIVER RAFT.

67A: The answer to each starred clue ends in a big one : BUNCH.

Argyle here. (I say 'Last Word Mess' in the sense that MESS can mean a quantity.)

Not overly thrilled with today's puzzle. If you know your Crosswordese, then entries like 64A: Writer Nin: ANAIS and 33D: Jannings of old films: EMIL should be gimmes. We have had others, like 39A: Pouty expression: MOUE and 43A: A __: valid independent of experience, in logic: PRIORI, quite recently.

I think the result will be that some find it hard and others will think it a bore.


1A: Sirs' counterparts: MA'AMS.

6A: "Fernando" singers: ABBA. ABBA, the source of many earworms, What was the German term again?

10A: Endure: LAST.

14A: Have __ on one's shoulder: A CHIP.

15A: Defeat soundly: DRUB.

16A: Sailor's patron saint: ELMO. Not this ELMO.

17A: Another name for Farsi: IRANI. Persians.

20A: Slangy "Don't lose any sleep over it": NO BIGGIE.

22A: Overdo it on stage: EMOTE.

23A: W. Hemisphere gp. formed to defend against communism: OAS. Organization of American States.

24A: Made changes to: ALTERED.

31A: Tell-all news story: EXPOSE.

32A: One just hanging out: LOITERER. Legitimate word.

37A: Antiquing substance: AGER.

38A: Heartache: WOE.

40A: Evade: SIDESTEP.

47A: Handyman's nickname: MR. FIX-IT.

51A: Poetic dusk: E'EN.

52A: Windy City airport: O'HARE. I was wondering where it was exactly.

53A: At risk: IN DANGER.

61A: Neighbor of Florida's St. Petersburg: TAMPA and 8D: 61-Across NFLer: BUC. Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

62A: Shortly, to Shakespeare: ANON.

63A: Vaulted church part: APSE.

65A: Wisdom of the elders: LORE.

66A: Cattle rancher's tool: PROD. More common to the stockyards. Deluxe model.


1D: Everystreet: MAIN. 'Everystreet', not a legitimate word.

2D: Prefix with bat or phobia: ACRO.

3D: Obsessed fictional whaler: AHAB.

5D: Urn taps: SPIGOTS.

6D: Give counsel to: ADVISE.

7D: Highlands hillside: BRAE. Scottish 30D: Hillside: SLOPE.

9D: Lawyers' org.: ABA. American Bar Association.

10D: "Here, I'll do that": LET ME.

11D: "It's __ nothing!": ALL OR.

12D: Hit, biblical-style: SMOTE. Smite, smote, smitten.

13D: Schlepped: TOTED.

19D: Meas. of a package's contents: NET WT.. Net Weight is the product without package.

21D: It's not quite a hurricane: GALE. Do you have an IDA tale?

24D: Medicinal plant: ALOE.

25D: Luau memento: LEI.

26D: Aegean and Bering: SEAS.

27D: Military vet: EX-GI.

28D: Imitated: APED.

29D: Ripped: TORE.

34D: Underlying cause: ROOT.

36D: Harness lead: REIN.

38D: Cried: WEPT.

41D: Philly cager: SIXER. Basketball

42D: 1979 meltdown site, briefly: TMI. Three Mile Island. An island in the Susquehanna River, near Middletown, Pennsylvania, SE of Harrisburg: scene of a near-disastrous accident at a nuclear plant in 1979 that raised the issue of nuclear-energy safety.

43D: Like the Piper's clothes: PIED. (adj. Patchy in color; splotched or piebald.) pic

44D: Drank on credit: RAN A TAB.

46D: Like many a tux: RENTED.

47D: Story's lesson: MORAL.

48D: Horned safari beast: RHINO.

49D: Party gift: FAVOR.

50D: "I'll see you in my dreams" girl of song: IRENE.

54D: When repeated, Mork's sign-off: NANU.

55D: FBI agent: G-MAN.

56D: Grand in scope: EPIC.

59D: Knock: RAP.

Answer grid.


Nov 16, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009 Nancy Salomon

Theme: A Man of Action - Action phrases ending with synonyms of "huge".

17A: Striding self-confidently: WALKING TALL

60A: Enjoying an extravagant existence: LIVING LARGE

11D: Shooting for the stars: AIMING HIGH

29D: Carrying on conceitedly: TALKING BIG

I'm not sure what else to to call these four words. Three (TALL, LARGE and BIG) relate to size but HIGH is about position. Does that make sense? UPDATE: I see now I should have considered both words in the entries as the theme, so C.C. and I changed my theme title.

Argyle here, it is a scrablely puzzle, 3 X's but no q or z. Two Across theme entries and two Down entries are all 11 letter long and are all 'in the language'. Very tightly focused theme, as is always the case with Nancy's puzzles.

And plenty of 7/8/9 - letter non-theme answers to cohere the whole grid.


6A: Movie music: SCORE. And SONG (31D. iTunes download).

11A: Cigar residue: ASH.

14A: Like loud crowds: AROAR.

15A: "Family Matters" nerd Steve: URKEL. The "Did I do that?" kid.

16A: "I like __": '50s campaign slogan: IKE.

19A: Blender setting: MIX.

20A: Having sufficient skill: ABLE.

21A: No-brainer college course: EASY A.

22A: Lamp-to-plug link: WIRE. I wanted CORD.

23A: God of thunder: THOR. Germanic and Norse mythology.

25A: Short races: SPRINTS. NASCAR Sprint Cup races, however, are not SPRINTS. Go figure!

27A: It's a virtue, so they say: PATIENCE.

31A: iTunes download: SONG. Today's theme SONG.

32A: Midterms, e.g.: EXAMS.

33A: Emitted a delighted sigh: AAHED.

35A: Beaver or boater: HAT.

38A: Tick off: RILE.

39A: Paid to play: ANTED. You put some money in the pot to be dealt into a hand of poker. Small stakes games might have a nickel ante and a quarter limit to any raises.

40A: Hepcat's jargon: JIVE.

41A: Condescending cluck: TSK.

42A: Climbing tool for frozen surfaces: ICE AX.

43A: TV host Philbin: REGIS. I liked it when his wife, Joy, would co-host.

44A: About, in a memo: IN RE.

46A: Words while delivering a blow: TAKE THAT. AND THAT, for a second blow.

48A: Team supporters, collectively: FAN BASE.

51A: Hobbling gait: GIMP.

52A: Tiny pond plant: ALGA.

53A: Aired, as a TV show: WAS ON.

55A: Wolf's shelter: LAIR. Check out the alternate meanings to LAIR.

59A: Dry gently, as tears: DAB.

62A: Brit. record co.: EMI. (Electric & Musical Industries Ltd.)

63A: "Maria __": 1940s song: ELENA. Beautiful.

64A: Kitchen tearjerker: ONION.

65A: Pooch: DOG.

66A: '50s Ford flop: EDSEL. A success in crosswords, though.

67A: Part of a Santa costume: BEARD.


1D: Muted trumpet sound: WA-WA. How about a clip, Jazzbumpa?

2D: Mideast native: ARAB.

3D: Dice throw: ROLL.

4D: Provide a schedule slot (for): MAKE TIME.

5D: Indian title: SRI.

6D: Crop yielding a common sweetener: SUGARCANE.

7D: PC monitors: CRTS. What with flat screens now this might soon be 'former computer terminals or monitors that included a Cathode Ray Tube.'

8D: Gives the nod to: OKAYS.

9D: Went off the wagon, e.g.: RELAPSED.

10D: Right-angled pipe: ELL.

12D: Mini, midi or maxi: SKIRT.

13D: Whammies: HEXES.

18D: Casino sign gas: NEON. The Strip.

24D: "For __ a jolly ...": HE'S.

26D: Towel holder: ROD.

27D: Saucy: PERT.

28D: Graph's x or y: AXIS.

30D: Bother big-time: EAT AT.

34D: Six-sided: HEXAGONAL.

36D: Nike competitor: AVIA.

37D: Try out: TEST.

39D: Game in which "bullets" can be whatever card you decide: ACES WILD. "Bullets" is poker lingo for aces.

40D: 747, for one: JET PLANE.

42D: Nest egg component, for short: IRA.

43D: Sleep lab acronym: REM. That is an acronym not for the sleep lab itself but what they use for a stage of sleep, Rapid Eye Movement, characterized by dreaming.

45D: Org. with dribblers: NBA. National Basketball Association.

47D: Crowned checker: KING.

48D: Washed-out: FADED.

49D: San Antonio mission: ALAMO.

50D: Gutter sites: EAVES.

54D: Trig function: SINE.

57D: Operatic prince: IGOR. Prince IGOR is an opera in Russian by Alekander Borodin.

58D: Tear apart: REND. Past tense can be a tricky RENT.

61D: Soft toss: LOB.

Answer grid.


Nov 15, 2009

Sunday November 15, 2009 Mike Torch

Theme: Ling-uistics - Ling is inserted into familiar phrases.

24A. Migration of gregarious birds?: STAR(LING) TREK. "Star Trek". Starlings are gregarious and noisy birds.

50A. Bovine argument at the lanes?: OX BOW(LING) INCIDENT. I've never heard of the movie "The Ox-Bow Incident". "The" is cut in the new phrase. Bowling lanes.

71A. Game for lazy kids?: ID(LING) TAG. ID Tag.

95A. Drinking too much?: PICK(LING) YOUR BRAIN. Pick Your Brain. Do you find the new phrase amusing?

122A. Courtroom intuition?: LEGAL FEE(LING). Legal Fee.

3D. Result of way too much praise?: EGO TRIP(LING). Ego Trip.

31D. McCarthy suspicion?: RED INK(LING). Red Ink.

58D. Affleck on the mound?: BEN HUR(LING). "Ben-Hur". Ben Affleck. My favorite theme phrase.

74D. Quartet of storytellers?: FAB(LING) FOUR. Fab Four. The Beatles. Did not know fable can be a verb.

Besides the "quartet" in the last theme clue, we also have several Latin "group" clues:

21A. Common sonnet line quintet: IAMBI. Stumped me. Plural of iambus.

42D. Deadly septet: SINS

111D. Salty septet: SEAS

Clever theme and dense theme answers. But the two affixes, real as they are, feel so forced to me:

128A. Prefix with -nomic: GASTRO. Gastronomic. Gastro means "stomach".

82D. Psychological suffix with para-: NOIA. Paranoia. Noia means "conditions of mind".


1. Full of: Suff.: OSE. As in verbose. Often clued as "Sugar suffix".

4. Played (around): HORSED

10. Helmsman's challenge: SHOAL. Sandbank.

15. PC programs: APPS (Applications)

19. Truck stop sight: RIG

20. Ring of color: AREOLE. Or AREOLA (AREa + OLA). Like these two rings. And of course, the beautiful Katrina Kaif.

22. Model T contemporaries: REOS

26. Eden-to-Nod direction: EAST. East of Eden.

27. Release to attack: LET AT. Release the dog?

29. President who attended Eureka College: REAGAN. Eureka College is in Illinois.

30. Responds to "Come again?": ITERATES. "Come again?" = "Excuse me?"

32. Go from pub to pub: BARHOP. My wasted precious youth in Guangzhou.

36. Yr.-end period: DEC

37. Gary's home: INDIANA. Gary is a city in Indiana. Nailed it.

41. Squirrel's partner, to Boris and Natasha: MOOSE. From "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show".

44. Mosque toppers: DOMES. What's the name of the prayer cap Muslims wear?

48. Very softly, in music: PPP. P, PP & PPP all indicate "soft" in varying degree.

53. Will Varner's daughter-in-law in "The Long, Hot Summer": EULA. Got the answer from crosses.

55. Beethoven dedicatee: ELISE. "Für Elise".

56. Krakatoa's country: INDONESIA. Easy guess. I've never heard of Krakatoa, an volcanic island in Indonesia.

57. Bounces on a court: DRIBBLES. Basketball.

59. Handful: FEW. Not many.

62. Home in bed, maybe: SICK

63. Radical campus gp.: SDS (Students for a Democratic Society)

65. Most passengers in "Titanic," e.g.: EXTRAS. The cast, not the real passengers.

68. Disney lioness: NALA. "The Lion King" lioness. I wrote down ELSA ("Born Free" lioness) first. And today ELSA is clued as 118D: Supermodel Benitez, an unknown Mexican model to me.

73. As a joke: IN FUN

80. Like many home movies: ON TAPE

84. West Point letters: USMA (United States Military Academy)

87. Like material goods: TANGIBLE. Tangible goods.

89. Amusement park rides: MONORAILS

92. Best of the best: ELITE. Crème de la crème.

94. Declined: SLID. As price.

99. Part of TGIF: IT'S

100. 1972 U.S./Soviet pact: SALT I. Well, I am sure it's not called SALT I at that time.

101. Denounces: DAMNS

102. Write: SET DOWN. And PENS (114D. Writes). I love this kind of clue echos.

104. Southernmost Canadian prov.: ONT (Ontario)

108. "__ at the Opera": A NIGHT. Nope, have never heard of this Marx Brothers film.

111. Temporary fixes: STOPGAP

116. Conqueror of Mexico: CORTES (Hernando). Also an unknown figure to me. Wikipedia says his expedition caused the fall of the Aztec empire.

121. Rank below marquis: EARL. The answer emerged itself.

126. __ breve: ALLA. An indication to play in cut-time. Alla is Italian for "according to the". Learned from doing Xword.

127. Mural opening?: INTRA. Intramural. Valid (and clever) prefix cluing.

129. Half of dos: UNO

130. Smirnoff alternative: SKYY. So blue. No wonder the name.

131. State in northeast India: ASSAM. The tea state.

132. Certain Nebraskan: OMAHAN. Warren Buffett is called "Oracle of Omaha".


1. Dental floss brand: ORAL-B

2. It's usually a hit: SIDE A. Cassette. I was thinking of baseball hit.

4. Concerns, with "with": HAS TO DO. Multiple words again.

5. Scrap: ORT. One of the very early crosswordese I've learned.

7. Angry: SORE

8. First name in scat: ELLA (Fitzgerald). The scat queen.

9. Condescend: DEIGN

10. Enlists: SIGNS ON. Penned in JOINS IN first.

11. Monopoly token: HAT

12. Ahab's father in the Bible: OMRI (OM-rahy). No idea.

13. Help the wrong way?: ABET

14. Enjoyed: LIKED

15. Three-digit ID: AREA CODE

16. Gardening moss: PEAT

17. Photographer's suggestion: POSE. Too short for SAY CHEESE.

18. Old Atl. crossers: SSTS. Atl. = Atlantic.

28. "Kung Fu" actor: AHN (Philip). I mentioned a few times before that the Korean name Ahg = Chinese Ang (as in Ang Lee). It can be either surname or given name.

33. Digital dots: PIXELS

35. "If the fans don't come out to the ballpark, you can't stop them" speaker: YOGI (Berra)

39. Made a racket: NOISED. I was picturing tennis racket rather than "noise' racket.

40. Nursery reactions: AWS

43. Credits follow it: ENDING. D'oh, film credits.

46. City WNW of Stillwater, Oklahoma: ENID. Easy guess.

47. RR stops: STAS

48. Pitcher Martinez: PEDRO. With the Phillies. Not really a bad World Series for him.

54. Didn't miss __: A BEAT

60. Beach birds: ERNES

61. Conestoga driver: WAGONER. Did not know wagon can be a verb. Also did not know the real name for this kind of wagon.

66. Good-sized sizes: XLS. Needs an abbr. hint in the clue.

67. Apt name for a cook?: STU. A good name indeed. Stew.

69. Opposing forces: ANTIS

71. Under consideration: IN MIND

72. Outfit: ATTIRE

75. Illuminated indirectly: UPLIT. Uplight is a verb?

76. Calls for: NEEDS

80. Flatware company, or the New York community where it began: ONEIDA. Literally "erected stone".

81. Calls the game: UMPS. Baseball.

83. Part of the pkg.: INCL. ENCL too.

85. Bit of plankton: ALGA

88. Rat-__: A-TAT

90. Ready for action after an injury, in sports: OK TO PLAY. I can't believe I was right.

91. Mozart's No. 1 through No. 41: SYMS. Symphonies? New abbreviation to remember then.

93. Scale divs.: LBS

96. A buck: ONE CLAM. Nailed it. Clam is slang for money.

97. "What's the __ Wond'rin'": "Carousel" song: USE OF. No idea. Here is a clip.

98. Nine-sided shape: NONAGON. Nona is a prefix for 9.

103. Mich. neighbor: WIS

105. Shire of "Rocky": TALIA. She also played the annoying Connie in "Godfather". Most of the actor/actress today were gimmes to me.

107. Ragú rival: PREGO. Ah, we just had plenty of discussion on tomato sauce.

109. Co-creator of Yogi and Boo Boo: HANNA. Hanna-Barbera cartoons. YOGI is an answer in the grid, albeit clued differently.

110. Town on the Firth of Clyde: TROON. Royal Troon Golf Club has held several British Opens.

112. Converse: TALK. Oh, I was thinking of "opposite' converse.

113. Paris hub: ORLY. Charles de Gaulle too.

115. Some NCOs: SGTS

117. Squad: TEAM. Sports squad.

119. Group that opposed the Jedi: SITH. "Star Wars".

123. Neighbor of Scorpius: ARA. Latin for "altar". Three letter star is always ARA.

124. Org. with a lot of heaters?: NRA. Heater is slang for "gun". It's an "Org. with a lot of haters" too, gun-haters.

Answer grid.

To Canadian solvers, your Mail and Globe Saturday 21*21 is by Wayne R. Williams (the previous TMS editor) and the puzzle is not on-line. Do feel free to post questions at the Comments section if you need help.