Apr 23, 2010

Friday April 23, 2010 Jerome Gunderson

Theme: W(in)! - W is inserted into the start of the first word of each common phrase.

17A. Stonemason's goal?: (W)ALL IN A DAY'S WORK. All in a Day's Work.

27A. Flirt's mascara stains?: (W)INK BLOTS. Ink Blots. Fun clue. Vivid image.

48A. Dermatology class videos?: (W)ART FILMS. Art Films. I sure don't want to see those videos.

62A. Inherited wealth?: (W)ILL- GOTTEN GAINS. Ill-gotten Gains.

One of the easiest letter (or letter string) addition/deletion/substitution Friday puzzles I've done. But it's packed with fun. Jerome's playfulness is in full display.

Seeing GELDINGS (4D. Kelso and Funny Cide) made me smile. Thought of Dan Naddor's suggested clue for Jerome: "Gone nuts, horsewise?". Probably too much for Rich.


1. Lively Cuban dance: CONGA. Obtained the answer from Downs.

6. They can be loose or tight: ENDS. Loose/tight ends. Awesome clue.

10. Shade of red: BEET

14. Sharon of Israel: ARIEL. Still in coma.

15. Bobby's informant: NARK. New to me. Looks like a variant of NARC, doesn't it? Bobby = Cop in Britain.

16. Moisturizer brand: OLAY. My favorite brand.

20. Word before or after dog: SLED. Nice clue too.

21. Islamic spiritual guide: IMAM

22. Contemptible people: SWINE.

25. Biography opener?: AUTO. Autobiography.

30. Fanciful idea: WHIM. I've got a lot.

34. "It's what's hot in pain relief" brand: BENGAY

35. Feudal estate: FIEF. Can you think of any other 4-letter word starting and ending in letter F?

37. Caesar's morning meal?: OVA. Eggs in Latin.

38. "Man is __ himself when he talks in his own person": Wilde: LEAST. Not familiar with this line.

39. Chain with pieces, briefly: KFC. Chicken pieces. Got me.

40. Rose petal pest: APHID

42. PC program: APP (Application)

43. French 101 infinitive: ETRE. To be.

45. Bustle (with): ABOUND

46. High-tech unit: BYTE

50. With wild abandon: AMOK

52. Chiwere speaker: OTOE. Easy guess. Chiwere is a new word to me also.

53. End of a series: OMEGA. Greek alphabet series.

58. Curdle: CLOT

65. Celtic language: ERSE

66. Whitecap formation: FOAM

67. Befuddled: AT SEA

68. Feat: DEED

69. Minnesota __: FATS. Pool player. He's in Paul Newman's "The Hustler".

70. Antares or Betelgeuse: M STAR. No idea. Star classification often stumps me. M is the tiny orange dot.


1. Crow cacophony: CAWS. CC alliteration.

2. Like much lore: ORAL. Like some of the Minnesota Fats stories.

3. River from Lake Victoria: NILE

5. Frazier foe: ALI. Joe Frazier. Boxing.

6. Glossy paint: ENAMEL

7. Zip, to Zapata: NADA. Alliteration again.

8. Like many a rescue: DRAMATIC. Great clue & Answer.

9. Something to look up to: SKY. Fooled me last time. Again today.

10. Certain pet, in totspeak: BOWWOW. Dog.

11. Childlike Wells race: ELOI. From "The Time Machine".

13. Kid: TYKE. I liked the consecutive kid clues in this corner.

18. "Build it somewhere else" acronym: NIMBY (Not In My Backyard)

19. Flier with a bent nose: SST

24. Shark or Penguin footwear: SKATE. San Jose Sharks and Pittsburgh Penguins. NHL teams.

27. Obviously sad: WEEPY

28. Unsuitable: INAPT

29. Buyer's proposal: OFFER

31. Boring: HO-HUM

32. Political columnist Molly: IVINS. She had a sharp tongue, esp when she lashed out against W.

33. Anti-DUI org.: MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)

34. Betray a confidence, perhaps: BLAB

36. One-named male model: FABIO. Not my type.

39. Volcano in the Sunda Strait: KRAKATOA. Also the name of the island, between Java and Sumatra. Violent eruption in 1883.

41. Skunk relatives: POLECATS. I like the four long Downs.

44. Company quorum?: TWO. Two's a company. Three's a crowd.

45. "Sweet" river in a Burns poem: AFTON. "Flow gently, sweet Afton".

47. Made 3 on a par-5: EAGLED. Two under par (on a par-3 hole, that would be hole-in-one). One under par = Birdie. One over par = Bogey. Loved Al's Eagle, Albatross, Condor, Ostrich & Turkey list last time.

49. Clan emblems: TOTEMS

51. Mad, e.g., briefly: MAG. The Mad Magazine.

53. Due: OWED

54. Bog down: MIRE

55. Word suggesting options: ELSE. Or Else.

57. Doc's "Now!": STAT

59. Tilt: LIST

60. Pre-military rank?: ONE A. Top draft status.

61. Royal Russian of yore: TSAR.

63. Amiss: OFF

64. Pinup's leg: GAM. Jennifer Aniston has the perfect gams.

Answer grid.

Here are a few beautiful pictures from Jazzbumpa's last Florida trip. Click on each one, it will enlarge. My favorite is the one titled Picnic. Lovely colors. Lovely clan. Is that you in "A Message in a Bottle", Jazz?


Apr 22, 2010

Thursday April 22, 2010 Jack McInturff

Theme: LILY TOMLIN (57A. "All of Me" actress whose first name is a hint to this puzzle's theme) - The first word of each theme answer is a type of lily.

18A. Father of Sam and Charlie: TIGER WOODS. Tiger Lily. See this photo. Tiger's wife Elin holds their daughter Sam, and Charlie is in Tiger's arms. The clue struck me as obscure, esp for non-golfers who don't follow the Tiger scandal.

20A. South Pacific site of large stone statues: EASTER ISLAND. Easter Lily.

35A. Continuously: DAY AFTER DAY. Daylily. The dried flowers of some daylilies are commonly used in Chinese cuisine, though the word daylily itself is new to me. We just call them golden needles.

54A. Asian draft animal: WATER BUFFALO. Water Lily. Did not know water buffalo are used as draft animals.

Hmm, we seem to have a trend for longer unifier now. At least, Jack loves longer ones. In his last PO' BOY puzzle, PO is inserted into each common phrase and no BOY is to be found.

A year ago, we would just have four theme entries with a defining LILY at the lower right corner of the grid. I do love the LILY TOMLIN hook. Symmetrically it balances out TIGER WOODS nicely. Jack also provides us with lots of nice long words with 6 or more letters. I counted 20. Awesome!

Favorite clue today is BED (12D. Something that goes with breakfast?). Bed and Breakfast. I was thinking of crossword.


1. Tsp. and tbsp.: AMTS

5. Old orchard spray: ALAR

9. Abu __: DHABI. Capital of the United Arab Emirates.

14. Separate by color, say: SORT. Wanted CODE.

15. Angle function: SINE

16. Barely flowed: OOZED

17. Hairy "pet": CHIA

22. Casual evenings: NITES. Nice clue.

23. Dull: TIRESOME

27. One might be snappy: DRESSER. Great clue too.

30. Anti vote: NAY

31. __ Kan: Alpo rival: KAL, Kal-Kan. What's the name origin for this pet food company?

32. Some game enders: MATES. Chess game.

34. They come and go: FADS. Nailed it.

39. Enter: GO IN

41. Search stealthily: PROWL

42. Abate: EBB

43. Rosemary's portrayer: MIA (Farrow)

46. Hides: STASHES

50. Mind: LISTEN TO

53. Clinton Labor secretary Robert: REICH. Man, I can never remember his name.

60. __ on the shoulder: A TAP

61. Author __ Rogers St. Johns: ADELA. I confuse her name with Fred Astaire's sister ADELE.

62. __ sci: POLI. Political science. Not a familiar abbr to me.

63. Pointed end: CUSP

64. Feature of Oregon sales: NO TAX. Got the answer from crossings.

65. Singles: ONES.

66. Latin I word: ESSE. To be.


1. Go up: ASCEND

2. Angora fabric: MOHAIR. Angora goat.

3. Sad, to Sarkozy: TRISTE. Good alliteration.

4. Churchill or Roosevelt, e.g.: STATESMAN

5. Star sci.: ASTR. Astronomy.

6. 10% of DXXX: LIII. 10% of 530=53.

7. Apprehension: ANGST

8. Catch from a pier: REEL IN

9. "The Soloist" co-star: DOWNEY. Robert John Downey, Jr. I've never seen "The Soloist".

10. Robbery accessories: HOODS

11. Nitrogen-based dye: AZO. Azo dye. Learned from doing Xword.

13. Psyche parts: IDS. Id, ego, and super-ego are the three parts of Freud's psyche definition. Lois is a master at this stuff.

19. Avis lead-in: RARA. Rara avis.

21. Samuel Johnson work: ESSAY

24. "You bet": OKAY

25. Alfred E. Neuman is its mascot: MAD. The Mad Magazine.

26. Overhead transports: ELS

28. LAX posting: ETA

29. Court decision maker: REF. Tennis court. (Update: Basketball court. Sorry for the error.)

33. Indy 500 advertiser: STP

34. Mask: FALSE FACE

35. Ownership call: DIBS

36. Speech hesitations: ERS

37. Malarkey: ROT. Malarkey is a new word to me.

38. Happy, for one: DWARF. "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". Stymied me.

39. Hair stiffener: GEL

40. Geisha's sash: OBI

43. Spareribs separator: MEAT AX. It's just called cleaver, isn't it?

44. Keen on: INTO

45. Musical direction after ritardando, perhaps: A TEMPO. No idea. Waiting for Jazzbumpa for more explanation.

47. Gap: HIATUS

48. Mercedes sedan category: E-CLASS. So, E stands for executive, Dennis?

49. Quaint retail word: SHOPPE. Ye Olde Shoppe. I used to think Ye stands for "you" until I read Spitzboov & Jazzbumapa's "the" discussion on the blog a few days ago.

51. Tony winner Tharp: TWYLA. Got her this time.

52. Sweater synthetic: ORLON

55. Peevishness: BILE

56. Les États-__: UNIS. The US in French.

57. Data-sharing syst.: LAN (Local Area Network).

58. Chapel vow: I DO

59. Ease, with "up": LET

Answer grid.

I just added "Search This Blog" box below "Blog Archive" at the right end of the blog front page. Simply type in "Jeannie's Meatloaf" or anything we've discussed at the blog writeup or Comments section, the related posts should appear at the very top of the blog.


Apr 21, 2010

Wednesday April 21, 2010 Donna S. Levin

Theme: WHAT'S THAT RACKET? - The last word of each phrase is a synonym for RACKET, meaning loud noise.

17A. Consequence of the subprime mortgage fiasco: REAL ESTATE CRASH

25A. Exit spectacularly: GO OUT WITH A BANG

42A. Punished severely, with "on": LOWERED THE BOOM

55A. Complaint from one trying to concentrate, perhaps, and this puzzle's title: WHAT'S THAT RACKET?

So indulgent in the middle: SHOP, WOK, EAT, WINE, GALLO, CREPE, KEG .. then a GORGE and SPASM at the end.

melissa bee here.


1. Harpsichord relative: PIANO. A harpsichord looks a lot like a piano, but the sound comes from the strings being plucked, like a harp.

6. Doorframe part: JAMB. The upright pieces that form the sides of the door opening.

10. One of Hammett's Charleses: NORA. Dashiell Hammett's The Thin Man series, featured Nick and Nora Charles.

14. Aggressive poker bet: ALL IN. Wiki's explanation.

15. Spooky-sounding lake: ERIE (sounds like "eerie")

16. Musician Clapton: ERIC. Change the world.

20. Start of something? ESS. The letter S in the word Start. Fantastic clue.

21. Accident investigation agcy.: NTSB. National Transportation Safety Board.

22. Lowly assistant: FLUNKY

23. Swindle: ROOK. Synonyms for scam or defraud.

24. Move quickly, as clouds: SCUD. "To run or skim along swiftly and easily." I can never see this word without thinking of Arthur Kent, the scud stud.

31. Get out of bed: ARISE

32. Hunan pans: WOKS. Hunan Food (very hot) is one of the major cuisines in China. From Hunan Province where Mao Ze-Dong was from. "Hunan pan" is a nice rhyming clue for singular WOK.

33. Consume: EAT

35. Cellar stock: WINE

36. Blin, in Blois: CREPE. Dessert anyone? Alliteration. Blois is a city in Central France. Blin is singular of Blini.

38. Chip's buddy: DALE. Disney chipmunks.

39. Frat party staple: KEG

40. Mindless repetition: ROTE

41. Championship: TITLE

46. Guns: REVS.

47. Word after open or seven: SEAS

48. Take big steps: STRIDE. Didn't know stride necessarily implied big.

51. Hit or miss? VERB. Favorite clue/answer, so sneaky.

52. Special __: military force: OPS. Highly trained police or military groups that conduct special operations.

58. Aqueduct feature: ARCH. Like this.

59. Lob: TOSS

60. Narrow canyon: GORGE

61. Cook in the microwave: NUKE

62. Fencer's weapon: EPEE

63. Tic, e.g.: SPASM. i've treated a few of those.


1. Peel: PARE

2. Martinique et Re'union: ILES. French island in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Nice beaches.

3. "__, poor Yorick!": Hamlet: ALAS. Kenneth Branaugh in my favorite version.

4. Zilch: NIL. Zero.

5. Musically monotonous: ONE NOTE

6. Zippy watercraft: JETSKI

7. Like about 20% of Israeli citizens today: ARAB

8. Univ. near Harvard: MIT. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge.

9. Stud muffin photos: BEEFCAKE. His brother lived next door to my brother in Texas. Everything's bigger there.

10. Chilean poet Pablo: NERUDA. No idea. Interesting guy. Won the Nobel Prize in 1971.

11. Algerian seaport: ORAN. Rote. Yves Saint Laurent was born in ORAN.

12. Game played on a world map: RISK. Have you ever played?

13. Sore: ACHY. Starting to feel like i'm at work.

18. Store in a hold: STOW

19. Clover-shaped suit: CLUBS

23. Artful stratagem: RUSE

24. Engage in retail therapy? SHOP. Not a shopper. I prefer other therapies.

25. Stare in wonder: GAWK. Here.

26. Bay window: ORIEL

27. New Wave band __ Boingo: OINGO

28. Tammany Hall name: TWEED. William Marcy (Boss) Tweed was the political boss of the Tweed Ring and Tammany Hall.

29. "Peachy keen!": NEATO

30. Carlo Rossi winemaker: GALLO

34. Be rife (with): TEEM

36. Sports car named for a small warship: CORVETTE

37. Info in AAA TripTiks: RTES. Routes. TripTiks is a trip planning tool for AAA customers.

38. "That's mine!": DIBS

40. Saxes and oboes: REEDS

41. They usually have strings attached: TEA BAGS. Great clue.

43. Twist in pain: WRITHE

44. Scary African fly: TSETSE. Haven't seen the dreaded 'half a fly' for a while.

45. Frau's spouse: HERR. Courtesy title in German, equivalent to Sir or Lord.

48. Ugly duckling, actually: SWAN. Children's story.

49. Drive-__ window: THRU

50. Pinion partner: RACK. Common steering mechanism.

51. Still life subject: VASE. Like this.

52. Gumbo pod: OKRA

53. Things for hanging things: PEGS

54. Stern's opposite: STEM. From stem to stern.

56. Emulate Kanga: HOP. Kangaroo.

57. Radar gun aimer: COP

Answer grid.


Apr 20, 2010

Tuesday April 20, 2010 Kevin Christian

Theme: RIGHT onyms - Three semantic definitions of RIGHT.

20A. RIGHT: SYNONYM FOR JUST. (meaning the same)

38A. RIGHT: HOMONYM FOR WRITE. (sounding the same, meaning different)

50A. RIGHT: ANTONYM FOR LEFT. (meaning the opposite)

RIGHT is capitalized because normally it's an answer. Clue/Answer shift today.

I'm Argyle and I'm back.

First, let me say there are no helper/cheater squares in this puzzle, ok. Second, welcome to a new constructor today, assuming it's not a new anagram of our editor.

A rather easy Tuesday puzzle but quite nice. We have a good start to the week.


1A. Indian region known for its tea: ASSAM. Map (from a tea blogger.)

6A. Etta of old comics: KETT. Etta Kett was launched as a single panel by Paul Robinson in Dec., 1925, it originally offered tips to teenagers on manners, etiquette and the social graces. Robinson, however, saw a narrative potential, devising a strip of wholesome humor that maintained a readership over five decades. Drawing with a polished, clean-line style, he expanded his teenage characters into a daily strip and Sunday page about energetic Etta Kett, her middle-class family and friends in a suburban setting (and becoming a crossword staple).

10A. Winery vessels: VATS.

14A. "The Lord of the Rings" hero: FRODO. Portrayed by Elijah Wood in the movie even though Frodo is a middle-aged hobbit in the book.

15A. Trendsetting: EDGY.

16A. Words after laugh or whoop: IT UP.

17A. Lisa of "The Cosby Show": BONET. They say Bill Cosby was not happy when she was in the movie, Angel Heart.

18A. Popular depilatory: NAIR. (a hair removal product)

19A. Frozen breakfast brand: EGGO.

23A. Stephen of "The Crying Game": REA.

24A. Charged particle: ION.

25A. Polar bear's domain: ARCTIC.

29A. Nonpaying train rider, perhaps: HOBO.

32A. Balloon-breaking sound: POP.

35A. Irritant "in your side": THORN.

36A. Verdi's title princess: AIDA. Opera.

37A. Brett Favre's number: FOUR. Football

41A. Thor's father: ODIN. Thor is the Norse god of thunder. He is a son of Odin and Jord.

42A. Mideast bigwig: EMIR.

43A. __, meenie ...: EENIE.

44A. Anatomical egg holder: SAC. The "egg sac" or ovary.

45A. Maxwell Smart's nemesis: KAOS. The bad guys on the TV spoof of spy shows.

46A. Make plump: FATTEN.

47A. That boat: SHE.

49A. Ending for refuse: NIK.

58A. Comedian Roseanne: BARR. She does have Chutzpah: 64A. NERVE.

59A. "One giant leap for mankind" site: MOON.

60A. Figure of speech: IDIOM.

62A. Colored part of the eye: IRIS.

63A. Feel concern: CARE.

65A. Use a keyboard: TYPE.

66A. Help badly?: ABET. (help illegally)

67A. Prepare to be knighted: KNEEL.


1D. Langley or Laughlin: Abbr.: AFB. (Air Force Base) Langley AFB is in Hampton, VA, and Laughlin AFB is located near Del Rio, Texas.

2D. Sellout signs: SROS. (Standing Room Only)

3D. PlayStation maker: SONY.

4D. Yemen port: ADEN.

5D. Ramada, for one: MOTOR INN.

6D. Land of Obama's father: KENYA.

7D. Cheese in red wax: EDAM.

8D. "Yay, tomorrow's Saturday!": TGIF.

9D. Neophyte: TYRO.

10D. Mission __, California: VIEJO. A city located in southern Orange County, California in the Saddleback Valley. There is no Spanish mission in Mission Viejo, and the name is an ungrammatical use of a masculine adjective with a feminine noun. The correct Spanish term meaning "old mission" is "misión vieja." Per Wikipedia.

11D. How banks are usually robbed: AT GUNPOINT.

12D. Port pullers: TUGS. Aliteration

13D. Dog in a primer: SPOT. Do they still use, "SEE SPOT RUN. RUN, SPOT, RUN."?

21D. Japanese information technology giant: NEC. NEC Corporation is one of the world's leading providers of Internet, broadband network and enterprise business solutions.

22D. Brazilian hot spot: RIO.

25D. One of the Musketeers: ATHOS

26D. Valerie Harper role: RHODA. A spin off of the Mary Tyler Moore TV show.

27D. "FoxTrot" or "Dilbert": COMIC STRIP.

28D. Suffix with cyclo or jumbo: TRON.

29D. Old sound systems: HI-FIS.

30D. Febreze target: ODOR.

31D. Ingot: BAR.

33D. Bellybutton type: OUTIE.

34D. Fuss over oneself: PREEN.

36D. Bullets and such: AMMO.

37D. Worry: FRET.

39D. Affirmative vote: YEA.

40D. Vulnerable spot in a chain: WEAK LINK.

45D. Barbie's guy: KEN.

46D. Christmas tree choice: FIR.

48D. Trigger, e.g.: HORSE. Let's play match the horse and rider. Roy Roger and Trigger. Dale Evans and ?

49D. Three trios: NONET. A group of nine.

50D. More than 51-Down: A BIT.

51D. Not even 50-Down: NARY. Cute combo.

52D. Village People disco hit: YMCA.

53D. Ancient kingdom near the Dead Sea: MOAB.

54D. "Look out, golfers!": "FORE!".

55D. Snake-and-fruit story setting: EDEN.

56D. Blaze: FIRE.

57D. "Slithy" thing in "Jabberwocky": TOVE.

61D. Filmmaker Gibson: MEL.

Answer grid.


Apr 19, 2010

Monday April 19, 2010 Mike Peluso

Theme: Fantasy Baseball Players - Common phrases are humorously interpreted and clued as if they were baseball players.

20A. San Francisco players not paying attention?: SLEEPING GIANTS. San Francisco Giants. NL West.

25A. Minnesota players from old Bangkok?: SIAMESE TWINS. Minnesota Twins. AL Central.

49A. Anaheim players tripping over their own feet?: FALLEN ANGELS. Anaheim Angels, or rather Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. So awkward. AL West.

57A. Pittsburgh players from old Algiers?: BARBARY PIRATES. Pittsburgh Pirates. NL Central.

Ha ha, no AL/NL East is represented. Loved the theme. Very creative.

Two more baseball references:

35A. DH's stats: RBIS.

12D. Throws wide of the base, say: ERRS.

Besides my beloved Minnesota Twins, Mike also gave us my hometown XI'AN (18A. Central Chinese tourist city) and ANG (40D. Director Lee). Ang Lee is from Taiwan. Ang is simply spelled as An (meaning "peace") in Mandarin Chinese, just like the An in Xi'An.

Also, An/Ang is spelled as Ahn in Korean, like Philip Ahn, the "Kung Fu" actor, who stumps many solvers every time he appears in our puzzle.


1A. Anti-fur org.: PETA. They sure hate Anna Wintour.

5A. Ambassador's forte: TACT.

9A. Eggs on: URGES.

14A. Oft-palmed cards: ACES. Ah, this could be clued as baseball related too.

15A. Prefix with cultural: AGRI.

16A. H.H. __: author known as Saki: MUNRO. I only know his alias name Saki, which appears in our puzzle often.

17A. Conks: BOPS.

19A. Tall tale tellers: LIARS. Triple alliteration.

23A. Haberdashery accessory: TIE TAC.

24A. URL ending for 52-Across: EDU. And 52A. Longhorn State sch.: TCU.

32A. Hot time in Alsace: ÉTÉ. Summer in French. We also have IDÉE (22D. __ fixe: obsession).

36A. Artist M.C. known for illusionary work: ESCHER. Here is his "Drawing Hands" again.

37A. Snacks at the bar: NUTS.

39A. Robert E. Lee's org.: CSA.

41A. Classify: SORT.

42A. African with pierced lips: UBANGI. New word to me. Man, Painful to look.

45A. Terminates: ENDS.

48A. iPhone, e.g.: PDA.

53A. Word in an oxymoronic Michael J. Fox movie title: FUTURE. From his film "Back to the Future".

62A. Omega's opposite: ALPHA. Greek alphabet.

63A. Eye, on the Eiffel Tower: OEIL. As in the illusional Trompe L'oeil. French for "trick the eye".

64A. Anchovy containers: TINS. Salty, salty!

65A. Trig function: COSEC.

66A. Double Dutch need: ROPE.

67A. Slurpee alternative: ICEE.

68A. Adjust a little: TWEAK.

69A. Overwhelms: AWES.

70A. Crows' cries: CAWS. CC alliteration.


1D. Blue Ribbon brewer: PABST.

2D. Bacteria in rare meat: ECOLI. In veggies too. Like the spinach scare a couple of years ago. Terrifying!

3D. Plains dwelling: TEPEE.

4D. Balance sheet heading: ASSETS.

5D. Hack with a meter: TAXI CAB.

6D. Backwoods "anti": AGIN. Opposite "Fer".

7D. Jagged rock: CRAG.

8D. Faint hues: TINGES.

9D. Mötley Crüe duo?: UMLAUTS. The two diacritical dots above Mötley Crüe.

10D. Destroy: RUIN.

11D. Pesky biter: GNAT.

13D. Sailor's "Mayday!": S-O-S.

21D. Duo: PAIR.

26D. Voice amplifier, briefly: MIC.

27D. German steelworks town: ESSEN.

28D. English johns, briefly: WC'S.

29D. Chain restaurant with a blue roof: I-HOP.

30D. Dweeb: NERD.

31D. Mlle., in Barcelona: SRTA.

32D. A sufficient amount, in slang: ENUF. Quite a few abbreviations in this grid.

33D. Oompah brass: TUBA.

34D. List shortener. Abbr.: ET AL..

38D. NBC show where Chase, Belushi, Radner at al, got their big breaks: SNL.

43D. Recoup: GET BACK.

44D. Machu Picchu builder: INCA. Both Sallie & Clear Ayes have been there.

46D. Makes dirty: DEFILES.

47D. Derogatory remark: SLUR.

50D. __ borealis: AURORA.

51D. Radio interference: STATIC.

54D. City on the Erie Canal: UTICA.

55D. Take again, as vows: RENEW.

56D. Mountain curves: ESSES.

57D. Huff and puff: BLOW. Rhyme.

58D. Church section: APSE.

59D. Emu cousin of South America: RHEA. Both flightless.

60D. Cry of pain: "YEOW!".

61D. Sherlock Holmes's smoke: PIPE.

62D. Perform: ACT.

Answer grid.

Argyle & C.C.

Apr 18, 2010

Sunday April 18, 2010 Kathleen Fay O'Brien

Theme: T for Two - Second letter T in each double T containing common phrase is dropped, changing mostly short vowel sound into long vowel sound.

23A. Outwitting a Plymouth parent?: MIND OVER MAT(T)ER. Mind Over Matter. Mater is British for "mother". Plymouth is a seaport in England. Short A to long A sound shift.

29A. Loony misanthrope?: MAD HAT(T)ER. Mad Hatter, the character from "Alice in Wonderland". Short A to long A.

44A. Japanese sleuth who always follows you around?: PERSONAL MOT(T)O. Personal Motto. Moto = Japanese sleuth. Short O to long O.

67A. Farm child of destiny?: FAT(T)ED CALF. Fatted Calf. Killing the fatted calf to celebrate something. Calf = Farm child. Short A to long A.

88A. Reservation about smoking?: CIGARETTE BUT(T). Cigarette Butt. No sound change.

103A. Like an Idaho farmer?: IN TAT(T)ERS. In Tatters. Taters = Idaho potatoes. Short A to long A.

113A. Recollections of an aggressive dog?: BIT(T)ER MEMORIES. Bitter Memories. Short I to long I.

37D. Bulletin board hardware blueprint?: PLAN OF A T(T)ACK. Plan of Attack. Tack = Bulletin board hardware. No sound change.

42D. Muppet monster quote about a more adorable snack?: COOKIE CUT(T)ER. Cookie Cutter. Have never seen "Sesame Street" and don't know Cookie Monster. Short U to long U.

No double T containing phrase with possible short E to long E sound shift, Al/Argyle?

I liked the title. Nice play on "Tea for Two". Neat theme concept too. Also liked the consecutive clues for ALIAS (71A. Perp's red herring) and ALIBIS (72A. Perps need good ones). Wish LATINA (95D. Selena, for one) is clued as "Sonia Sotomayor, for one". J.Lo played Selena in the movie.

Quite a challenging puzzle to me. So many unknown names. I definitely need a partner to solve a Sunday crossword. Anyone? Anyone?


1. Hides with evil intent: SKULKS. Nice string of consonants.

7. Take by force: HIJACK

13. "Grease" doo-wop group: SHA NA NA. Easy guess.

20. Surfing at one's desk: ON LINE

21. Singer Ray with the Glenn Miller Orchestra: EBERLE. Total stranger.

22. Eastern Mediterranean city: TEL AVIV. Must be an instinctive fill for Haltool.

25. Go in for: REPLACE

26. Pilot's announcement, briefly: ETA

27. Fuse: WELD

28. Boundary: Abbr.: LIM (Limit). Meh on the abbr.

30. Abbr. on a store door: HRS

31. Rots: GOES BAD

33. Farm crawler: ANT. Ant farm.

34. Pre-knotted tie: CLIP-ON

38. 19th Greek letter: TAU. Cross shaped. Greek has 24 letters.

39. "Do it, __ will!": OR I

40. Abalone products: NACRES

43. AA co-founder: BILL W. Bill Wilson. Got me again.

47. Lanchester of "Bride of Frankenstein": ELSA. Just the clue Lemonade wanted last time.

48. Source of "Once more unto the breach": HENRY V. Not familiar with the line. Only know "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers ...".

49. Relevant: ON TOPIC

53. Clancy hero: RYAN

54. Daisy lead-in: UPSY. Upsy-Daisy.

55. Man with a respected thumb: EBERT (Roger). Film critic.

59. Cub Scout leader: AKELA

60. Online "Jeepers!": OMG

62. Borneo sultanate: BRUNEI. I like this map. It's on the South China Sea.

63. Drink from a press: CIDER. Thought of JUICE first.

64. "Mazes and Monsters" novelist: JAFFE (Rona). No idea. See the book cover.

70. "Steppenwolf" writer: HESSE (Hermann)

73. Present mo.: DEC. I wanted APR, our current "present" month, not the gift "present".

74. Fountain treats: MALTS

75. Made higher: UPPED. As an ante.

76. Pre-1917 Russian ruler: TSAR

79. Native Americans with a Sundance ceremony: UTES. I thought many Native Indian tribes have this ceremony.

83. Pick a lock, say: BREAK IN

85. "Does no one else think this way?": IS IT ME

87. Anklebones: TALI. Plural of talus. We also have ULNA (3D. Forearm bone).

92. H.S. health class: SEX ED

93. Chat with: TALK TO

96. Hard lumber: ASH

97. Son of, in Arabic names: IBN. Like Scottish Mac or Mc.

98. Flourish: THRIVE

99. Transfer __: RNA

100. Menu listing: OPTIONS. Computer menu.

102. Detective's cry: AHA

107. Bounced check letters: NSF (Not Sufficient Funds)

108. Gazed at: EYED

109. Electronic surveillance gp.: NSA (National Security Agency)

112. Lands: ALIGHTS

116. Having teeth: DENTATE. New word to me.

117. Spotted wildcat: OCELOT. Hi, there!

118. "Dallas" dynasty: EWINGS

119. Mussel eater: SEA STAR

120. Crystal-lined stones: GEODES

121. Magnate: TYCOON


2. Sweater choice: KNIT

4. Flipped top?: LID. Oh, flipped coffee top.

5. Expertise: KNOW-HOW

6. Shropshire's river: SEVERN. Got from crosses.

7. Roundup group: HERD

8. Apple alternative: IBM. Not MAC?

9. "All the fun you think they had": Erica Jong: JEALOUSY. No idea. I bet Lois was thinking of something else. What does "Jealousy is all the fun you think they had" mean?

10. Clarinetist Shaw: ARTIE

11. South Carolina university: CLEMSON

12. Plunk opener: KER. Kerplunk.

13. Pricey strings: STRAD. AMATI too.

14. Listen to: HEED

15. Coleridge's "sacred river": ALPH. Barry just clued it as "River of Xanadu" yesterday.
16. Simba's mate: NALA. In "The Lion King".

17. Rama, to Vishnu: AVATAR. Hindu incarnation.

18. __ Creed: NICENE

19. Wards off: AVERTS

24. Ernie of the PGA: ELS

29. Post office sackful: MAIL. Mostly ad now.

31. Comic Shandling: GARRY. First encounter with this guy.

32. Victoria's Secret buy: BRA. What's your favorite bra color?

34. Trucker with a handle: CB'ER

35. Flower with a pad: LILY. And SEGO (110. Type of 35-Down).

36. "You used to be a much better liar, Sam" speaker: ILSA. In "Casablanca".

38. Addition column: TENS

40. Start to stop?: NON. Nonstop.

41. Diplomatic specialist: ATTACHE. My ex-boss the Marine worked in American Embassy in Taiwan for some time.

44. Energy: PEP

45. Went too far: OVER DID IT

46. Central theme: MOTIF

48. Show of affection: HUG

50. Brand of women's socks: PEDS. Have never heard of this brand.

51. Guadeloupe has cinq: ILES. Guadeloupe is an island in the eastern portion of the West Indies; an overseas territory of France. Cinq = Five in French.

52. Give a hoot: CARE

56. Florida pros: BUCS. Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

57. Bambi's aunt: ENA

58. Cath. or Luth.: REL (Religion)

61. Portable utensils set: MESS KIT. Military utensils.

62. Loyal Nixon friend Rebozo: BEBE. Gimme for Melissa.

64. Door feature: JAMB

65. Banned fruit spray: ALAR

66. Manicurist's need: FILE

67. Flora's partner: FAUNA. Flora and Fauna.

68. Mont Blanc, e.g.: ALP. Did you think of PEN also?

69. Helpful hint: TIP

73. Rap's Dr. __: DRE

76. 1970 Poitier title role: TIBBS (Virgil). From "In the Heat of the Night". My favorite Poitier movie.

77. Wow: STUN

78. Qty.: AMT

80. Shout to a driver: TAXI

81. Contour map no.: ELEV (Elevation)

82. Potato salad, say: SIDE

84. "__ Crazy": Paul Davis hit: I GO

86. Self-named sitcom: SEINFELD

89. Chats: RAPS

90. Body shop fig.: EST

91. Precarious place, metaphorically: THIN ICE. Nice entry.

92. Like late-afternoon castings: SHADOWY

93. Basic chords: TRIADS

94. Mother of the Shakers: ANN LEE

98. Lincoln Center landmark: THE MET

100. Skater Brian: ORSER. His name escape me again.

101. Bony prefix: OSTEO

102. Sailor's okay: AYE. Aye, Aye, Sir.

104. FBI personnel: AGT

106. James of jazz: ETTA. Etta James.

108. CPR pros: EMTS

109. Bolivian boy: NINO. Alliteration.

111. Part of AMA: Abbr.: ASSN

113. Cranberry source: BOG. Nice play on "Cranberry sauce".

114. Shad delicacy: ROE

115. Rocker Ocasek: RIC

Answer grid.


Apr 17, 2010

Saturday April 17, 2010 Barry Silk

Theme: None

Total words: 68

Total blocks: 33

No three-letter entry. A pair of stacked ten-letter entries in each of four quadrants. 34 Across answers and 34 Downs. Very similar to Barry's Sept 26, 2009 themeless Dennis blogged. Same number of blocks/words too.

A good opportunity for us to see variations of a grid with several identical answers, including the seed entry COLE HAMELS (10D. Pitcher who was a 2008 post-season standout for the Phillies), B-CUP, T-TOP & SLEDS. The previous puzzle has a scrabbly JAZZ in today's BRED slot.

My favorite clue today is POTATO CHIP (48A. It's hard to eat one). Deliciously clued. Wish LULU (25D. Pip) were clued differently to tie in with TO SIR (46D. "__, With Love": 1967 hit).


1. Stood for: MEANT

6. Lingerie spec: B-CUP. Jennifer Anison's bra size.

10. Collectible frames: CELS

14. Within legal provisions: AT LAW. Attorney-at-law is the only phrase I know that contain this phrase.

15. Quite: OH SO. Didn't come to me easily. Quite/OH SO tough. OK.

16. German auto: OPEL. Crockett's first car.

17. "I Fall to Pieces" singer: PATSY CLINE. Here is a clip. Always nice to see a full name.

19. Court zero: LOVE. Tennis court.

20. Silently activated signal: STILL ALARM. Defined as "A fire alarm transmitted silently, as by telephone, rather than by sounding the conventional signal apparatus". New to me.

21. Crossed (out): EX'ED

22. Left __: rewarded: A TIP

23. Words before "I remember it well," in a "Gigi" song: AH YES. Too bad, I don't remember it. Gimme for Clear Ayes, I am sure.

24. Hardly thrilling: BLAH

28. Model: EXEMPLAR

31. Gernreich of fashion: RUDI. Learned his name from doing Xword.

32. Party occasion: RETIREMENT. Nice clue.

35. Passed by: ELAPSED

37. Goes ballistic: LOSES IT. Made me think of Lois again. I imagine she has a hot, hot temper.

38. Gravel transports: DUMP TRUCKS. Great entry, good use of letter U.

40. Start to type?: LINO. Linotype. Can't get stereo out of my mind. At least, I was in the right direction.

41. Doesn't get hung up on: SEES PAST

42. Center's job: SNAP. Football.

43. Authoritative orders: FIATS

45. Excellent, in recent slang: PHAT. How recent?

47. Glimpse: ESPY

54. River of Xanadu: ALPH. Stumped me. From Coleridge "Kubla Khan".

55. Factory outlet: SMOKESTACK. Oh, always thought it's just called chimney.

56. Bit of Realtor lingo: RELO

57. Not at all pleased: SORE

58. Destined for markdown: Abbr.: IRREG

59. Choreographer's unit: STEP

60. Get rid of: TOSS

61. Like non-oyster months, traditionally: R-LESS. Like May/June/July/August. Nailed it.


1. Some are genetic: MAPS. Have never heard of this gene term.

2. Division politique: ETAT. French state.

3. Some choir singers: ALTI. Plural of ALTO, which is in Barry's old puzzle.

4. Org. that included the New York Cosmos: NASL (North American Soccer League)

5. Choreographer Tharp: TWYLA. Can never remember her name.

6. Made a mess of: BOLLIXED UP. Got me again. For a while I actually used bollixed in the blog write-up.

7. Collectible involving seeds: CHIA PET

8. Seagoing mil. readiness force: USNR (United States Naval Reserve). Was unaware of this abbr..

9. Work with feet: POEM. Poetic feet. Barry's previous puzzles have POETS, clued as "Meter experts". Poetic meter.

11. Strong adhesive: EPOXY RESIN. See EPOXY alone more often.

12. It holds water: LEVEE. Of course I was thinking of the idiom "hold water".

13. They have runners: SLEDS. Was picturing baseball runners rather than skating blades.

18. Reception staff: CATERERS

23. They may be brown or cream: ALES. I just loved the "It", "They" & "They" words in the clues I highlighted in green.

24. Gave rise to: BRED

26. Lump in one's throat: ADAM'S APPLE

27. 51-Down's pace: HIPPETY HOP. And HARE (51. Leveret, e.g.). Leveret is a young hare. I was stumped.

29. Offerings at some parlors: MILKSHAKES

30. Male gland: PROSTATE

33. Historic Atlantic crosser: NINA. Nina, Pinta and the Santa Maria.

34. Sporty sunroof: T-TOP

36. Bernadette et al.: Abbr.: STES. Have never heard of this Sainte Bernadette. French, obviously.

39. Takers of prisoners: CAPTORS

43. Chill causes: FEARS. Alliteration. Did you think of fever also?

44. Key: ISLET. Clues are just tricky today.

48. "Hey, you!": PSST

49. Novel with the chapter "Farming in Polynesia": OMOO. Sequel to "Typee". Melville novel.

50. PC key: CTRL

52. Summer coolers: ICES. Fell into ADES trap, Barry G.

53. FedEx truck filler: Abbr.: PKGS (Packages).

Apr 16, 2010

Friday April 16, 2010 Dan Naddor

Theme: Losing (bat)TLE - TLE in a *TTLE ending common phrases are dropped.

17. Princeton jazzman?: JERSEY CAT(TLE). Jersey Cattle. Princeton = Jersey. Jazzman = Cat.

21. "Egg-laying for Dummies," etc.? : CHICKEN LIT(TLE). Chicken Little.

27. What a New York baseball owner would do to ensure player fitness?: TEST ONE'S MET(TLE). Test One's Mettle. Owner for the NY Mets.

42. Sign outside a boarded-up JFK?: AIRPORT SHUT(TLE). Dan also gave us ARR (37A. LAX datum) and TSA (31D. Airport safety gp.). TSA = Transportation Security Administration. Established after 9/11.

50. Little Londoner?: PEANUT BRIT(TLE). Peanut Brittle.

56. Carpet-cleaning android?: VACUUM BOT(TLE). Vacuum Bottle. Android = Bot. Short for Robot.

Besides battle, I could also think of mottle, scuttle, whittle. What else?

Today's Dan Naddor Index (non-theme entries with 6 or more letters) is 20. Pretty high, esp considering the 60 theme squares. And a themeless like 72 words.


1. Fire starter?: MIS. Start of the word Misfire. Awesome clue. We also have 5D. Fired (up): PSYCHED. Fire echos.

4. Squabble: SPAT. And 41D. Quarrels: DUST-UPS

8. Exorbitant: STEEP

13. Mo. in 1781 in which Cornwallis surrendered: OCT. Cornwallis was the British general who surrendered to George Washington on October 19, 1781. Unknown to me.

14. "__ Really Going Out With Him?": Joe Jackson hit: IS SHE. Easy guess.

16. Volcanic flowers?: LAVAS. Flow-ers = Things that flow. I can hear Lois utter "Holy hotwick!".

19. Retirement legislation acronym: ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act).

20. One way to run: AMOK. Run amok.

23. Disappear: VANISH

25. Par __: AVION

26. Subj. including grammar: ENG. Instinctively filled in ESL.

32. It's hard to cut through: RED TAPE. Thought of DIAMOND.

33. Company with toy trucks: HESS. Some old beat-up toys are worth quite some money.

34. Young hooter: OWLET

38. Its youngest British member, Elise Tan Roberts, was admitted at age 2: MENSA. This girl is smart indeed. I drew a blank.

39. Pres. Jefferson: THOS. Was unaware that it's short for Thomas.

40. Like Wiener schnitzel: BREADED. Have never had schnitzel.

44. Joker: WAG

47. Figure of speech: TROPE

48. Hard to endure: SEVERE

54. Rte. through Houston: I-TEN

55. Litmus reddeners: ACIDS

58. Indian royal: RANEE. So is RAJAH. Also 5 letters. (Update: Sorry for the error earlier.)

59. Parts of some support systems?: D-CUPS. Bras. We also have AREOLA (45D. Colored circle around the pupil). Are(a) + ola. So, A or B Cup?

60. 100%: ALL

61. Imitators: APERS

62. Latin infinitive: ESSE. To be.

63. Hope unit: RAY. Ray of hope.


1. Desert known for Joshua trees: MOJAVE. I forgot again.

2. Nickname for a player who performs under pressure: ICEMAN. Not familiar with this slang. Thought of CLUTCH player.

3. Like espresso: STRONG

4. Bonn pronoun: SIE. German "you".

6. Author Sholem: ASCH. Author of "The Nazarene". Pronounced like ASH, right?

7. Pad __: Asian noodle dish: THAI. Rice noodle.

8. Record holder: SLEEVE

9. Sullied: TARNISHED

10. Not a good sign: EVIL OMEN

11. Facility: EASINESS

12. Jr.'s exam: PSAT

15. Abbr. often following a comma: ETC.

18. Brew follower?: SKI. Brewski.

22. Classic Welles role: KANE. "Citizen Kaze". Rosebud.

24. "Let it stand": STET. For editors.

28. Genesis: START

29. Shipping container weights: TARES. The old shipping allowance is TRET.

30. Day star?: OPRAH. Daytime talk show star. Meh!

32. Squad car cop, often: RESPONDER

34. Taxonomic suffix: OTA. A plural suffix occurring in taxonomic name. The singular is OTE, according to the dictionary.

35. Choppy seas feature: WHITECAP

36. Nancy's region: LORRAINE. Here is a good map.

38. Dole: METE

40. Author Harte: BRET

43. Works: OPUSES. Plural can be opera too.

44. Bachelor pad amenity: WET BAR

46. One way to break the news: GENTLY. Nice clue.

49. Get-up-and-go: VIM

50. Legal hire: PARA. Need "for short".

51. Underwear initials: BVD. What's your brand? I like Etam's thongs.

52. Sprint: RACE

53. "ER" areas: ICUS

57. "What's the __?": USE

Answer grid.

Happy 82rd Birthday, Dot!


Apr 15, 2010

Thursday April 15, 2010 Nancy Salomon

Theme: FILLING IN (65A. Subbing, and taxpayer's responsibility vis-à-vis the ends of 17-, 29- and 49-Across) - The end of each common phrase can be filled in.

17A. Doing what's just not done: IN BAD FORM. Fill in the form.

29A. You can't go back from it: POINT OF NO RETURN. Fill in the return. Excellent entry. Great clue too.

49A. Early: AHEAD OF SCHEDULE. Fill in the schedule. Another nice grid-spanner.

Rich saves this particular puzzle for the Tax Day. Perfect!

Jerome understands Nancy's style better than I do. But I feel that Nancy is not into heavy themage. She likes to use three or four phrases for a very focused and pointed theme.

Lots of entertaining clues in this puzzle. My favorite is DENT (18D Unwelcome impression). But after Annette's "Accidentally on Purpose" crossword & sex revelation last night, this FILLING IN suddenly takes a different meaning.


1. NYPD alerts: APBS. APB = All-Points Bulletin.

5. Disdainful upperclassman?: SNOB. Got me. Great clue.

9. Greeting often requiring lip-reading: HI MOM

14. Jacob's first wife: LEAH. Sister of Rachel, Jacob's second wife. Here is Chickie again. Our Leah.

15. Numerical prefix: OCTA. Prefix for "eight".

16. Hersey's bell town: ADANO. Hersey's "A Bell for Adano".

19. Sank in a cup: HOLED. Golf hole is also called cup. Another golf reference is TEE (43D. Links launching point).

20. Citi Field NLer: NY MET

21. Crunch targets: ABS

23. 26-Across supply: ICE. And OPEN BAR (26. Place where liquor flows freely?)

24. Cupid's master?: SANTA. Was thinking of the love Cupid rather than Santa's reindeer. I am a dummy, Argyle!

32. Museum pieces: ART

33. Paid player: PRO. Alliteration.

34. Elastic wood: YEW

35. Not for neatniks: MESSY. Sometimes I just can't tell what part of speech the clue is asking for.

38. Sphere: ORB

40. March honoree, briefly: ST PAT

44. Many a lap dog: TOY

46. Stereo jack letters: MIC

48. Fish story: LIE

55. Way back when: LONG AGO

56. Vincent's successor as baseball commissioner: SELIG. Bud Selig is the only commissioner I know of.

57. Dickens pen name: BOZ. I forgot.

58. Tattoo site: ARM

60. Part of MO: MODUS. MO = Modus Operandi.

62. Tennyson work: IDYLL

68. Where Hercules slew a lion: NEMEA. No idea. Ancient Greek city.

69. Former VOA overseer: USIA (United States Information Agency).

70. Spicy Spanish stew: OLLA. Triple alliteration.

71. "Awake and Sing!" playwright: ODETS (Clifford). Also the playwright for "Waiting for Lefty".

72. Crash site investigator: Abbr.: NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board)


1. Three-time '60s-'70s heavyweight champ: ALI

2. Quakers of the Ivy League: PENN. Did not know Penn's sports team is called Quakers. Is there a SHAKERS also?

3. Watches for money: BABYSITS. Did not come to me immediately. We also have TYKE (73A. Little shaver).

4. Medicine man: SHAMAN

5. Convertible type: SOFT TOP

6. Cpl. or sgt.: NCO

7. __ vez: again, to Alonso: OTRA. I am used to the "other" clue.

8. Shoots in a forest?: BAMBOO. Nailed it.

9. "Gotcha!": HAH

10. Marriage agreement: I DO

11. Pricey Southern California beachfront city: MALIBU

12. Like some garages: ONE CAR

13. Contemporary: MODERN

22. Agile: SPRY

25. High style: AFRO. Can't keep HAUTE out of my mind.

27. Wide shoe markings: EEES

28. Cereal box abbr.: NT WT

29. Dawber who played Mindy: PAM

30. Miner's matter: ORE. Alliteration.

31. Benchmarks: NORMS

36. Unaccompanied: STAG. Wanted LONE.

37. "Ready are you? What know you of ready?" speaker: YODA. He lives to be 900 years old, right?

39. Popular pens: BICS. I am using Paper Mate. You?

41. Thug: PLUG-UGLY. New word to me.

42. Affect adversely: AIL. Alliteration.

45. Tranquil discipline: YOGA. Made me think of Lucina.

47. Site of many a student experiment: CHEM LAB

49. Lacking pigment: ALBINO

50. Like some sweatshirts: HOODED

51. Digestion aid: ENZYME. Al is an expert on this stuff. I just know that if you eat plenty of raw veggies/fruits, you won't need any enzyme supplement.

52. On a lark: FOR FUN

53. "The Time Machine" race: ELOI

54. Terse childish denial: DID NOT. We also have NAE (67. Scottish refusal).

59. Niagara Falls feature: MIST

61. Epitome of smoothness: SILK. Oh, Barry!

63. Certain do-over: LET. Tennis.

64. Scale syllables: LAS

66. Fleur-de-__: LIS. Literally "lily flower".

Answer grid.