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May 22, 2010

Saturday May 22, 2010 Victor Fleming

Theme: None

Total words: 66 (Four intersecting grid-spanners)

Total blocks: 30

No theme today, Saturdays are themeless, although I think the answer for 8D. Educated Guesses was a good name for this puzzle. There were a lot of initial fill-ins that I wasn't entirely sure of, but they just felt right somehow.

Al here today, killing time while waiting for some off-hours processing to finish for work.

Across:

1. McCarthy era phenomenon: RED SCARE. Technically, the second one, from 1947-1957 in which the Cincinnati Reds temporarily renamed themselves the “Cincinnati Redlegs” to avoid the money-losing and career-ruining connotations inherent in being ball-playing “Reds”. The first Red Scare was from 1917-1920.

9. Trysting relationship: AFFAIR. What one "has to do" from Old French à faire "to do".

15. Flattered, in a way: IMITATED. Imitation is the sincerest of flattery -- Charles Caleb Colton.

16. Grand Canal span: RIALTO. Contracted from Rivoalto and named for the canal (Latin rivus altus "deep stream") which it crosses.

17. 1985 John Irving best-seller: CIDERHOUSE RULES. Made into a movie starring Spiderman (Tobey Maguire) and the latest Alfred (Batman's butler) Michael Caine, who also was the lead in a movie called Alfie.

19. Architect Saarinen: ELIEL. And his son EERO (who designed the Gateway Arch among other structures). If you don't know these two names by now, just resolve to commit them to memory if you're planning on doing more crosswords.

20. Baby's asset: CUTENESS.

21. Goes back: RETROGRADES. Straight from the Latin: retro- backwards, Gradus: steps.

24. "Shucks!": RATS. An interjection. Remember Schoolhouse Rock?

25. Displays, with "out": TROTS. Originally connected with showing off horses in 1838, it was recorded as slang later by 1845. A recorded connection with "the runs" precedes both of those by 30 years.

30. Rested: TOOK FIVE. Roughly the amount of time it takes to smoke a cigarette. Here's a better use of your five minutes.

35. Frequent saver: GOALIE. Hurling, association football, Gaelic football, International Rules Football, handball, ice hockey, field hockey, netball, water polo, bandy, lacrosse, floorball.

36. Medical malpractice issue: INFORMED CONSENT. For instance, if someone says OK to having a procedure done, but only because they felt intimidated, whether by the influence of the practitioner's strong expression of convictions, or they were cowed by the perceived difference in education on the subject, then it's an issue.

38. Naval construction worker: SEABEE. CB, Construction Battalions.

39. Garden entrance component, perhaps: GATEPOST.

40. Beefy-T maker: HANES. Tee shirt manufacturer.

41. A psychic may see one: AURA. When there is "a certain air" around someone. From Greek aura: gentle breeze

42. It's right before the end: HOME STRETCH. The straightaway from the last turn to the finish line on a horse racetrack.

49. Goes before: PRECEDES.

53. "Corporations have been enthroned and ___ of corruption in high places will follow": Lincoln: AN ERA.

54. Cryptozoologist's subject: LOCH NESS MONSTER. Crypto: hidden. Zoology: animal studies. (Zoo from Greek zoion, a living being)

57. Celebrate a promotion, maybe: EAT OUT. There was probably a raise involved as well...

58. Grin measure?: EAR TO EAR. A creepy Cheshire cat.

59. Shows exhaustion: DROOPS.

60. Aviation pioneer: SIKORSKY. Igor. A Russian immigrant, he designed the first multi-engine fixed-wing aircraft, the first airliner, Pan-am flying boats, and the first viable American helicopter.

Down:

1. Sous chef's gadget: RICER.

2. '60s boxing champ Griffith: EMILE. Not a boxing fan, unknown to me.

3. Finished the job: DID IT.

4. Guide: STEER. The verb, not a Sherpa.

5. Swindler Ponzi, at birth: CARLO. The Ponzi Scheme.

6. Sports fig.: ATH. Figure and Athlete, both abbr.

7. Popular '20s auto: REO. Educated Guess, three letters, old car, that had to be it.

8. They're not wild: EDUCATED GUESSES. Intuition isn't entirely psychic...

9. Narrow ridge: ARETE. From Latin "arista": ear of grain. OK, that's what it says, but I don't see the connection.

10. Early Ford supplier: FIRESTONE.

11. Woodland spirit: FAUN. Latin Faunus, Greek Pan. A goat-man/god similar to a satyr. A faun is man still in intimate communion with Nature, a satyr is a man still swayed by bestial passions.

12. Everyone, in Essen: ALLE. alles alles auch sind frei.

13. Suburban followers?: ITES. Suburbanites. A suffix clue made a bit trickier by the plural phrasing, so the sense of individual letters, not the whole syllable.

14. 18th-century sewer: ROSS. Betsy Ross. Sewer = One who sews. Not something with a manhole cover... There is some debate about the story of the flag origin, but the lack of actual records either way makes it difficult or even impossible to prove or disprove.

18. Brewski: SUDS. Beer slang. Using compressed nitrogen instead of carbon dioxide makes the "SUDS" richer, and more aromatic.

22. Ugly buildup: GRIME. from Middle English "grim": dirt, filth.

23. Show approval, or disapproval: RAVE. A rave review, or to show signs of delirium, i.e. rant.

26. Grating sound: RASP. Wolfman Jack comes to mind.

27. It's sold in bars: OLEO. Sticks, maybe. I've never heard of them as bars... Unless maybe as the contents in baked goods...

28. Pie containers: TINS. The origin of the frisbee.

29. Paving stone: SETT. Quarried or shaped to have square edges, cobblestones are natural shapes.

30. Mrs. Addams, to Gomez: TISH. He became especially amorous whenever she spoke French. I wonder if that wasn't put in there to slip something past the censors.

31. Service rank: ONE-A.

32. "Confessions __ English Opium-Eater": 1821 De Quincey work: OF AN.

33. Capital of Hyogo Prefecture: KOBE. Or a dishonored Basketball player. Settled out of court, and is playing again.

34. Shower and change, say: FRESHEN UP.

35. Touched: GOT AT. I thought maybe got "to", got at sounds like more than just touching.

37. Traffic units: CARS. Could have been vans.

41. "Life With Father" co-star Leon: AMES. Before my time.

43. "Night Music" playwright: ODETS. Also before my time.

44. Sought aid from: RAN TO. Frankly Scarlett...

45. "Christ's Entry Into Brussels in 1889" artist: ENSOR. James. Lots of names today, it seems.

46. Beans of Paris?: TETES. French for "heads".

47. Reason to lubricate: CREAK. I'll put oil on my floor then?

48. Potter of fiction: HARRY.

49. Asked in earnest: PLED.

50. Jungle warning: ROAR.

51. Plasm lead-in: ECTO. Prefix, ectoplasm. Also called the cortex, the outer smooth part of a cell's cytoplasm. Unless you're one of the ghostbusters, that is, then it's just slime from paranormal activity.

52. Half a track sound: CHOO. And the other half is AH. (Correction: The track sound is choo-choo. Thanks, Anonymous @6:54am.)

55. It follows April in Paris: MAI. French for May.

56. Where "Shazbot!" is a curse: ORK. From Mork and Mindy, an alien who reported back to Ork how badly we humans treat each other for very silly reasons. The show jumped the shark when they added Jonathan Winters as a very large baby. Because that just wasn't believable.

Answer grid.

Al

May 21, 2010

Friday May 21, 2010 Mike Peluso

Theme: PLANE TALK ( 63A. This puzzle's title?) - Part of a plane related two-word common phrase is substituted by a homonym, and the resulting punny phrase is humorously clued.

17A. Capri beach chairs?: ISLE SEATS. Aisle Seats. Isle of Capri.

25A. Quiz a Roman judge?: TEST PILATE. Test Pilot. Pilate is the Roman judge who ordered the crucifixion of Jesus.

38A. Affable terriers?: FRIENDLY SKYES. Friendly Skies. Skye terriers.

51A. Really dark beers?: BLACK BOCKS. Black Box. I am not familiar with the Bock beer.

Nice theme. I like the pun on "plain talk" too, though I do feel the resulting phrases are just the opposite of the tie-in PLANE TALK.

Quite a few creative clues today. My favorite is ALTAR (60A. Where to see an approaching train?). D'oh, the wedding gown "train".

Across:

1. Like a javelin's path: ARCED

6. Balancing pro?: CPA. Nailed it.

9. 2.3, roughly: C-PLUS. Oh, I don't know this equivalent.

14. "The Wreck of the Mary __": DEARE. Have never heard of this film (1959). Starring Gary Cooper.

15. Steak seasoning: RUB. Alliteration.

16. Picked up: HEARD. Did not come to me immediately.

19. Rhythmic feet?: IAMBS. Poetic feet.

20. Faint: DIM

21. "The Metaphysics of Ethics" author: KANT

22. Camera type, briefly: SLR (Single-Lens Reflex)

23. Sailing, say: ASEA. Alliteration.

30. Play with a brushing motion: STRUM. I see, play with musical instrument.

32. Fights in the sticks: RASSLES. Hillbilly for "wrestles".

33. Idealist: DREAMER

37. Post-WWII alliance: OAS

42. "Who, me?": MOI. Who will educate us about French when Kazie leaves for Oz next Wednesday? She'll be gone for a whole month!

43. They're not content to see you: RAISERS. Poker term "see", to match (a bet). Got me.

44. Stays in memory: LIVES ON

47. Greek fabulist: AESOP

55. See 54-Down: REMO. And SAN (54D. With 55-Across, Italian site of a post-WWI Allied conference). I only know it as a resort.

56. Golfer's concern: LIE. The position of the golf ball. We also have PUTTS ( 7D. Uses the "flat stick," in golf). "Flat stick" is slang for putter, which is flat comparing with other clubs.

57. Many a Middle Easterner: ARAB

59. Tokyo-based chip maker: NEC. Was unaware that NEC makes chips.

65. Like a game in baseball's record books: NO HIT. And MLB (42D. Bud Selig's org.). Selig is the current commissioner.

66. Sitcom E.T.: ALF

67. Coco rival: ESTEE (Lauder). Cosmetics.

68. Traveling options: TOURS

69. Pin site: MAT

70. "Grace Under Fire" star Butler: BRETT. Total stranger to me. A male sounding name.

Down:

1. Puma competitor: ADIDAS

2. Put up a fight: RESIST. I've learned to yield.

3. Less windy, say: CALMER

4. Bard's preposition: ERE. Before.

5. Certain sergeant's post: DESK

6. Rail relative: CRANE

8. Workout targets. ABS. This is for Jeannie. Clear Ayes likes Ryan Reynolds too.

9. Tex-Mex restaurant chain: CHILI'S. Headquartered in Texas.

10. Bits of wisdom?: PEARLS. Pearls of wisdom.

11. Flight: LAM

12. Suffix with sub- URB. Suburb.

13. 1968 Columbia U. protesters: SDS (Students for a Democratic Society). Why Columbia U in particular?

18. Put away: EAT. Not the "put away" I have in mind.

22. Hardly dense: SPARSE

24. BMW competitor: AUDI

26. Small diamonds: TREYS. Of course, I was picturing real diamonds, not playing cards.

27. Soothing lotion: ALOE

28. Chai and oolong: TEAS

29. Mountain road feature: ESS

31. Desert Storm mess, briefly?: MRE (Meal Ready to Eat). Again, I was in real snafu mess direction. Not military meal mess.

34. Prepare for court, perhaps: ENROBE. OK, for the judge.

35. Town in a 1945 Pulitzer-winning novel: ADANO. Hersey's "A Bell for Adano".

36. 11th-century year: MLI. 1,051.

38. Prevent: FOIL

39. 1972 Kentucky Derby winner __ Ridge: RIVA. Mike used the identical clue in a Sunday puzzle last year. I simply forgot. The horse won 1972 Belmont Stakes as well.

40. Malay Peninsula's Isthmus of __: KRA. See this map. Stumper for me.

41. Belgian river: YSER

45. Iced pastry: ECLAIR

46. Sidesteps: SKIRTS

48. Legislative century: SENATE. Senate has 100 members.

49. It's folded and filled: OMELET. Nailed it.

50. Sink, as a billiard ball: POCKET

52. __ lily: CALLA

53. "Make today delicious" food giant: KRAFT

58. U.K. network, with "the": BEEB. Nickname for BBC I suppose.

60. Hill dweller: ANT

61. Manchester head?: LOO. Ha ha, toilet "head". I was tricked again. I thought of MAN, since MAN starts the word Manchester.

62. Cal. column: THU

63. Robin's "Mork & Mindy" co-star: PAM (Dawber). Easy guess.

64. Dungeons & Dragons co.: TSR (Tactical Studies Rules). No idea. Wikipedia says TSR was purchased in 1997 by Wizards of the Coast, which no longer uses the TSR name for its product.

Answer grid.

C.C.

May 20, 2010

Thursday May 20, 2010 Dave Eckert

Theme: Seconds - All the theme answers are clued as definitions of "Seconds".

17A. Seconds: AIDES FOR DUELERS. The attendants of duelers.

24A. Seconds: EXTRA HELPINGS. Who doesn't go for seconds?

41A. Seconds: INFERIOR GOODS. I liked this entry and 24A, as we often use the seconds in plural form.

55A. Seconds: TICKS OF THE CLOCK. A bit contrived.

Like David Cromer's ACE puzzle last Wednesday, normally all letters of the clue for this kind of definition puzzle are capitalized. I wonder why this one is an exception.

A nice 74-worder debut from Dave Eckert. You can see he put lots of time and effort on each clue, and I think Rich kept most of his originals. Very refreshing. My favorites are:

50A. They may be felt on the range: STETSONS. Felt hat.

9D. Its home is on the range: SAUCEPAN. Tricky clue. Range echo.

40D. Cinematic opening, but not ending?: SOFT C. Refers to letter C in the word Cinematic. Brilliant clue.

Across:

1. Thick piece: SLAB

5. Kelly's cohort: REGIS (Philbin).

10. __ bath: SITZ. From German verb "sitzen," meaning "to sit.". I've never heard of it before.

14. Corduroy feature: WALE. New word to me.

15. "West Side Story" role: ANITA. I just mentioned this role in my Rita Moreno comment yesterday.

16. Flowering succulent: ALOE

20. Appreciative: GRATEFUL

21. Privacy metaphor: CLOSET. Oh, in the closet.

22. Troubled insurance giant: AIG. Tragic.

23. Dry, like some Spanish wine: SECO. Our sec.

30. They have caps: KNEES. Kneecaps. I also like PEWS (60. Seats with kneelers).

31. Enjoy New York, say?: READ. New York magazine. I was stumped.

32. Hit hard: RAM

34. Isle where Saint Columba died: IONA. No idea. Don't know Saint Columba. Must be an Irish.

35. Received, as a salary: DRAWN

37. "See ya": TATA

38. Ring decision: TKO (Technical Knockout).

39. Part owner of Chrysler since 2009: FIAT. Was ignorant of this fact.

40. Nasal spray brand: SINEX. Vicks Sinex. P&G brand. New to me.

45. Env. directive: ATTN

46. Sound from Sandy: ARF. Alliteration. Sandy refers to Little Orphan Annie's dog, correct?

47. "Jeopardy!" clue, e.g. : ANSWER

57. Tribe related to the Iowa: OTOE. Always connect them with Lois' Oklahoma, not Iowa.

58. "One for My Baby" composer: ARLEN (Harold). Here is Frank Sinatra's version.

59. Samoan seaport: APIA. Alliteration.

61. Some designer dresses: DIORS. Partly alliteration.

62. Discreet attention-getter: PSST

Down:

1. Ill-gotten gains: SWAG. Slang for booty.

2. Place to hibernate: LAIR

3. "Crimes and Misdemeanors" actor: ALDA. Have never seen the movie.

4. Sugar source: BEET. Alliteration.

5. Weaver's fiber: RAFFIA. See this raffia palm. I wanted RATTAN. It's used in weaving too.

6. Once, perhaps: ENOUGH. Once is enough.

7. Madonna's "Material __": GIRL. She is too much for my taste.

8. "__ be my pleasure!": IT'D

10. Oater setting: SALOON

11. Places in la mer: ILES

12. Went like the dickens: TORE. Nice clue.

13. Citrus peel: ZEST

18. Chicago tower builder: SEARS

19. 1961 Heston role: EL CID

23. Did in: SLEW

24. Japanese mushroom: ENOKI. With thin & long stems. I use them for soup occasionally. Enoki is short for enokitake, the ending "take" means "mushroom", as in shiitake.

25. It's a gas: XENON. Noble gas.

26. Some like it hot: TEA. Saw this clue before. Still like it. I am in love with "it"/"they" type clues.

27. Troubadour's Muse: ERATO. Muse of poetry.

28. Piano type: GRAND

29. Stuffs: SATES

30. Frontiersman Carson: KIT. Was unaware of this guy. Kit is a girl's name to me.

33. "Mad __": 1979 Gibson film: MAX. No idea. What's it about?

35. Rural route: DIRT ROAD. Alliteration.

36. Showers, e.g.: RAIN

37. Uncle, in Uruguay: TIO. Alliteration.

39. Regales: FETES

42. United Kingdom's Guy __ Night: FAWKES. Bonfire Night. My lethologica moment.

43. To a certain extent: RATHER. It's like yesterday's "To the third degree", Bill G, I had difficulty understanding the exact part of speech of the clue again.

44. Salad makings: GREENS

47. Straddling: ATOP. Wait for Lois to comment.

48. Evening, informally: NITE

49. Harbor vessel: SCOW

50. WWII battle site: STLO

51. Reaction to freshness?: SLAP. I keep forgetting the slang meaning of "fresh".

52. "My bad!": OOPS

53. Mark Harmon TV series: NCIS ( Naval Criminal Investigative Service). Stymied me.

54. Game using only cards higher than six: SKAT. I only know it's a card game for three.

56. Part of T.G.I.F.: Abbr.: FRI. Called to mind Gunghy's funny WTF observation last time when we had MTWTF.

Answer grid.

C.C.

May 19, 2010

Wednesday May 19, 2010 Don Gagliardo

Theme: B-29 -There are total 29 letter B's in the grid.

17A. Trivial Pursuit edition: BABY BOOMER. Both words of the four 10-letter theme answers start with B. Constructor's note is attached at the end of my write-up.

27A. Luxurious soak: BUBBLE BATH. Four B's in this entry alone.

39A. Enola Gay, e.g. (and a hint to this puzzle's unusual feature): B-TWENTY-NINE. Strange to see B-29 spelled out, isn't it? Very creative tie-in! I had no idea that Enola Gay is a B-29 type bomber though.

53A. Party recyclable: BEER BOTTLE

64A. Place for low-priority issues: BACK BURNER

Besides the above five nominal theme entries, there are 38 other B-containing words/phrases in the grid. Total 43 (out of the 78 entries). With his "Hard G" and the previous K & W puzzles, now Don Gagliardo holds four records.

Again, quite a few music references (Don is a piano technician):

10A. Beatles nonsense syllables OB-LA. "... Ob-la-Di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!..". New to me. I like how it intersects LET IT BE (12D. Beatles song with "Mother Mary"). Nice Beatles echo.

14A. "__ Mio": 'O SOLE. "My Sun".

67. Moreno with Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards: RITA. She's Anita is "West Side Story".

13. Franklin of soul: ARETHA

31D. Like bass notes: LOW

41D. Bach's "Mass __ Minor": IN B. Another B.

Don's puzzles are always marked by long Down entries. In today's grid, there are four 8-letter answers, five 7-letter entries and ten 6-letter answers.

Across:

1. To the third power: CUBED. Had difficulty understanding the exact part of speech of the clue.

6. Motorcyclist's hog: BIKE. Hog is a slang for motorcycle.

15. Prefix with mensch: UBER. Übermensch. Superman.

16. Uncle Remus title: BR'ER. Br'er Rabbit/Fox

19. Download source: SITE. Website.

20. Pugilists' gp.: WBC (World Boxing Council). Only know WBA (World Boxing Association)

21. Give it a shot: TRY

24. Smidgen BIT. Wanted TAD.

25. Flight to Eilat: EL AL. Literally "skyward". Eilat is Israel's southernmost city, according to Wikipedia.

30. Asian palm: BETEL. Ah, poor Dennis' Vietnam memory. Both the nut and leaves are chewable, correct, Dennis?

32. Très __: very little: PEU. Un petit peu = a little bit.

33. Word in a Flintstone yell: YABBA. "Yabba dabba doo!".

34. ISP with chat rooms: AOL

36. Gp. that has issued more than 420 million IDs: SSA. Doesn't really sound like a lot.

38. Braves' div.: NLE (National League East)

42. "Phooey!": BAH

43. Ball belle: DEB. Alliteration.

44. "Pick a number from __ ...": ONE. Crossing A NO (37D. "I'll take that as __" ).

45. "Idol" success Clay: AIKEN. The most famous "Idol" non-winner.

47. Ballot choices: X'ES

49. Fiber-rich cereals: BRANS

56. Tongue trouble: SLIP. Slip of the tongue. Alliteration.

57. Show with "Celebrity Jeopardy!" spoofs, briefly: SNL

58. Dadaist Jean ARP. The Dada pioneer.

59. Like many dicts.: ABR (Abridged)

61. Post-op area: ICU

62. Getting the job done: ON IT

68. '40s film critic James: AGEE. Had no idea that he's film critic.

69. Guadalajara "good": BUENO. Alliteration.

70. Max of '30s boxing: BAER. Learned from doing Xword.

71. Proof of ownership: DEED

72. "The Beverly Hillbillies" star: EBSEN (Buddy)

Down:

1. Spider's doing COBWEB

2. In working order USABLE. And BRIBABLE (11. Like one who can be bought). Two able ending words. Venal means bribable too. I tend to confuse venal with venial.

3. Hare-hunting feline: BOBCAT. Oh, I was ignorant that bobcat eat hare. Hare with morels, that's what those people eat in Renoir's "Luncheon of the Boating Party". I love "Amélie", Dudley.

4. Cambridgeshire cathedral town: ELY. Often it's just clued as "English cathedral town".

5. Plastic user's concern: DEBT

6. Keep afloat: BUOY UP

7. ThinkPad maker: IBM. We also had POD (22A. i follower). iPoD.

8. Stay active: KEEP BUSY

9. Flamboyant Flynn: ERROL

10. No longer used, as a word: Abbr.: OBS. OK, obsolete I suppose.

18. Celestial sight: ORB. Alliteration.

23. Actress Susan: DEY

26. Sofa material: LEATHER

28. Safest option: BEST BET. Both word start with B also.

29. Pennants: BANNERS

35. Headed up: LED

39. Collectible plastic jewelry: BAKELITE. Kitchenware too.

40. Words clicked to see more: NEXT PAGE. Nice entry.

42. Two-year periods: BIENNIA. Plural of biennium. I obtained the answer with crosses.

45. Take in: ABSORB

46. Hoops org.: NBA

48. Quenched: SLAKED

50. Dior skirts: A-LINES. First introduced by Christian Dior in 1955.

51. Christianity's __ Creed: NICENE

52. Press forward: SPUR ON

54. "... for there is nothing / either good __, but thinking makes it so": Hamlet: OR BAD. Easy guess.

55. Tidal action: EBB

60. Hick: RUBE. Parallels with RUB (66. Erase, with "out")

63. La Brea material: TAR

65. Average mark: CEE

Don's note:

The inspiration for this puzzle comes from Crossword Corner. I was asked about a puzzle that was memorable, and one that stood out was where I had 30 K’s in the grid. I had a lot of favorable response to that one. It got me thinking how I could do that again. My first thought was B-52. Would you believe I thought I could put 52 B’s in a puzzle? I was lucky to get 29. I also thought the puzzle should have two-word phrases where each word begins with B. It is a simple idea, but very difficult to pull off when it comes to filling a grid. I think it went back and forth to Rich at least three times. Many thanks to C.C.!

Answer grid.

C.C.

May 18, 2010

Tuesday May 18, 2010 Timothy L. Meaker

Theme: Trip - Counterculture phrase formed by the first two words of 20A, 37A, 53A, and coined by 66A in the 1960's.

20A. Provide some room illumination: TURN ON THE LIGHT

37A. TV promo exhortation: TUNE IN TONIGHT

53A. Disappear from the radar, so to speak: DROP OUT OF SIGHT

66A. Timothy who preached the message found in this puzzle's theme: LEARY. Notice the constructor's name Timothy also?

Argyle here.

Today's puzzle is like a mini-quote. Dr. LEARY recommended the use of LSD to achieve his message ("Turn on, tune in, drop out"), resulting in "trips". Unfortunately, some of these trips turned back. I hope no one here has a flashback from doing this puzzle.

Ah, yes, the puzzle. Easy theme (if you can remember the '60's) with decent fill. I'm blogging from my sister's laptop so I'm somewhat discombobulated.

Across:

1A. Resolute about: SET ON.

6A. Unwanted e-mail: SPAM.

10A. Church recess: APSE.

14A. Wind: Prefix: ANEMO. A typical wind anemometer.

15A. Doily material: LACE.

16A. Dom Perignon producer, familiarly: MOËT. Moët et Chandon champagne.

17A. Grammy winner Jones: NORAH. She is the daughter of Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar. (An echo of the '60's.)

18A. Gillette razor: ATRA.

19A. College in New Rochelle, N.Y.: IONA.

23A. In the past: AGO.

24A. Monogram of a '50s White House aspirant: AES. Adlai Ewing Stevenson.

25A. Speedy: RAPID.

27A. "Popcorn" shellfish: SHRIMP.

30A. Conditions: IFS.

32A. Anthem contraction: O'ER.

33A. On the fence: NOT SURE.

36A. Really long time: EONS.

40A. Decorative vases: URNS.

41A. Bright spot on a lunar halo: MOONDOG.

42A. Brit's rainwear: MAC (Mackintosh)

43A. Hymnals may be found in one: PEW.

44A. Marked down: ON SALE.

48A. Emergency tire: SPARE.

50A. Lab greeting: "ARF". Labrador Retriever.

52A. Teachers' org.: NEA. National Education Association

58A. Kennedy half, e.g.: COIN. The half dollar coin.

59A. Resting on: ATOP.

60A. Dote on: ADORE.

61A. Thoreau's Walden __: POND. Published in 1854, the title didn't mention the pond. "Walden; or, Life in the Woods"

62A. Jeweler Lalique: RENÉ. Renowned for his stunning creations of perfume bottles, vases, jewelery, chandeliers, clocks and in the latter part of his life, automobile hood ornaments. I did not know that.

63A. More under the weather: ILLER. The only real clunker in the bunch.

64A. Golden Fleece ship: ARGO.

65A. Went lickety-split: SPED.

Down:

1D. December temps: SANTAs. Can you believe it, this gave me trouble!

2D. "Stop!": "ENOUGH!".

3D. More than just fear: TERROR.

4D. Arabian Sea nation: OMAN.

5D. Manhattan area above Houston Street: NOHO. Stands for North of Houston Street . Soho is South of Houston.

6D. Pool table layer: SLATE.

7D. They may be beaten: PATHS.

8D. Farm unit: ACRE.

9D. Cafeteria offering: MEAL.

10D. Chihuahua gal pal: AMIGA. Spanish for "girlfriend". Chihuahua doesn't refer to the dog but the state in northern Mexico.

11D. Express disdain for: POOH-POOH.

12D. Conscious: SENTIENT.

13D. Greek vowel: ETA.

2D1. Quiet period at day care: NAP TIME.

22D. 1040-issuing org.: IRS.

26D. AMA members: DRs.

28D. Holiday buildings?: INNS. A reference to the movie, "Holiday Inn"?

29D. Bartender on "The Simpsons": MOE.

30D. Red meat nutrient: IRON.

31D. Keep away: FEND OFF.

34D. Winter blanket: SNOW.

35D. __-Aztecan languages: UTO. Got from the perps.

36D. Bacon go-with: EGGS.

37D. Hidden way out, maybe: TRAP DOOR.

38D. Hardly sympathetic: UNCARING.

39D. Electrical particle: ION.

40D. Speaker's hesitations: UMs.

43D. Get-up-and-go: PEP.

45D. Zambia neighbor: ANGOLA.

46D. "PBS NewsHour" anchor Jim: LEHRER.

47D. Hash house, e.g.: EATERY.

49D. Sonata movement: RONDO.

50D. Make things right: ATONE.

51D. Blocked (off), as a crime scene: ROPED.

54D. Dory propellers: OARS.

55D. Sun Bowl Stadium coll. team: UTEP. The University of Texas El Paso.

56D. Go to sea: SAIL.

57D. Goofing off: IDLE.

58D. 22-Down employee: CPA.

Answer grid.

Argyle

May 17, 2010

Monday May 17, 2010 Jack McInturff

Theme: A Man and his Horse - Celebrity cowboys and their horses.

17A. Cowboy who rode the end of 25-Across: ROY ROGERS. And 25A. Sensitive gun-firing mechanism: HAIR TRIGGER. Trigger was Roy's horse and his dog was Bullet.

31A. Cowboy who rode the end of 41-Across: LONE RANGER. And 41A. Anti-gold standard policy that climaxed in the Bryan-McKinley campaign: FREE SILVER. Some might say that the Lone Ranger wasn't strictly speaking, a cowboy and they'd be right. "FREE SILVER" policy can't be really explained in a few sentences. The gist of it was that it would promote inflation, which would make it easier for the little guy to repay loans and debts. The big financial institutions were against it.

46A. "Good Morning America" weatherman: SAM CHAMPION. And 58A. Cowboy who rode the end of 46-Across: GENE AUTRY. I'm partial to Gene because he sang "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer". I'm not familiar with this weatherman.

Argyle here.

Although I liked the theme (total 60 theme squares), I find many problems with the puzzle on the whole. The Lone Ranger not being a cowboy, I mentioned already. It would have been nice if Champion/Autry order could have matched the first two, the rider then his horse. But of course, the total number of letters of the pair dictates their order symmetrically.

There are obscure people, at least, obscure by Monday's standards. And then there is the glaring (because they are so close together) answer as part of a clue. 6D. Fragrant resin: ELEMI. /37D. Varnish ingredient: RESIN.

An ambitious effort with heavy blocks in two corners but I feel it falls short of a good Monday puzzle.

Across:

1A. Diagnostic procedure: SCAN.

5A. Potatoes' partner: MEAT. (meat and potatoes)

9A. Robert Burns and Sean Connery, e.g.: SCOTS.

14A. Inner Hebrides isle: IONA. Off the western shore of Scotland. Nice echo.

15A. Et __: and others: ALII. (masculine plural)

16A. Seer's card: TAROT. The whole deck is known as tarot, also

19A. Santa __ racetrack: ANITA. Horse racing, appropriately.

20A. Hustlers: CON MEN.

21A. Underage one: MINOR.

22A. Place to wipe your shoes: MAT.

27A. Three, in Tours: TROIS. French

29A. Enero begins it: AÑO. Enero / AÑO, today; año / ENERO, yesterday.

30A. Early bird's victim: WORM.

38A. Pat down, as dirt: TAMP.

39A. Came to: AWOKE.

40A. Flying shore scavenger: ERNE.

43A. Gen-__: post-baby boomers: X-ERs.

44A. One quarter of M: CCL. 1000÷4=250

45A. 10th-century emperor known as "the Great": OTTO I. 912-973 Considered by many historians to be the founder of the Holy Roman Empire.

53A. __ Arbor, Michigan: ANN.

54A. Golf tournament kickoff, often: PRO-AM.

55A. Basketball big man: CENTER. Big means tall; the player closest to the basket where his/her height helps in getting rebounds.

57A. Acrobat software creator: ADOBE. Founded in December 1982 by Charles Geschke and John Warnock, it was named after Adobe Creek which ran behind Warnock’s home in Los Altos, California

62A. Croatian-born physicist Nikola: TESLA. The only Nikola I know.

63A. Always: EVER.

64A. Olin of "Chocolat": LENA. I've never seen this movie. Is it any good?

65A. Legree-like look: SNEER. Another Simon. Simon Legree was a slave owner in Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin.

66A. Designer Saarinen: EERO. Son of Eliel, also a Finnish architect and furniture designer.

67A. Test: EXAM.

Down

1D. Knight's title: SIR.

2D. Whisper sweet nothings: COO.

3D. "__ questions?": ANY.

4D. Drug cop: NARC.

5D. __ Carta: MAGNA. Briefly, the first document forced upon an English King to limit his powers by law and protect individual privileges.

7D. Broadcaster: AIRER.

8D. Old-fashioned denial: 'TISN'T.

9D. Endurance: STAMINA.

10D. "My turn?": "CAN I GO NEXT?".

11D. Round sealing gasket: O-RING.

12D. From head __: TO TOE.

13D. Ringo of the Beatles: STARR.

18D. Fireworks cries: OOHs.

22D. Workweek sequence: Abbr.: M T W T F. Tricky.

23D. Like a cheering crowd: AROAR.

24D. Velvet-voiced Mel: TORMÉ.

26D. Harder to find: RARER.

28D. Flawless: IMPECCABLE.

31D. Boxer Ali: LAILA. Muhammad Ali's daughter.

32D. "Wise" bird: OWL.

33D. Turkey mo.: NOV..

34D. __ out a living: EKE.

35D. Reclusive actress Garbo: GRETA.

36D. Bankrupt energy giant: ENRON. ENRON's leaders are reclusive now.

42D. Lay on thick, as cream cheese on a bagel: SCHMEAR. Most reference this as a small amount.

45D. Fit to serve: ONE-A.

46D. Tiffs: SPATS.

47D. Shakespearean forest: ARDEN. The setting for Shakespeare's play "As You Like It".

48D. Maine's state animal: MOOSE.

49D. Fibber or Molly of old radio: McGEE.

50D. "Pet" irritation: PEEVE.

51D. Kind of tube or ear: INNER.

52D. Alamogordo is its county seat: OTERO. In New Mexico. (Map) I think we've had it before but I don't know why!

56D. Occupy the throne: RULE.

59D. Stereotypical cowboy nickname: TEX. A slight echo.

60D. Genetic transmitter: Abbr.: RNA.

61D. Candied veggie: YAM.

Answer grid.

LA Times website does not work. You can download the puzzle here.

Argyle

May 16, 2010

Sunday May 16, 2010 Bonnie L. Gentry

Theme: Mark Time - Each theme answer contains GPA ( 110D. Scholastic mean, briefly, hidden in this puzzle's seven longest answers).

27A. It's a racket: PING-PONG PADDLE. Indeed. A racket. I am very fond of "it" or "they" containing clues.

41A. S.O.S, for one: SCOURING PAD

64A. "Come again?": BEG PARDON? Would be interested to know what Dennis was thinking.

89A. Group in power: RULING PARTY

101A.State of inaction: HOLDING PATTERN

15D. You might get it in your pajamas: MORNING PAPER. Another "it".

58D. More than a walk-on: SPEAKING PART

All of ING-ending phrases are in-the-language. Not the simple ING progress verb form.

Of all the theme answers, I like BEG PARDON the most.

Quite a few sports references in the grid too:

15A. National League East team: METS. But YANKEE (30A. New Englander) is not clued as baseball related.

40. Bobby Orr, for most of his career: BRUIN. Boston Bruins. Good to see Orr as a clue.

40. Mile High athlete: BRONCO. Denver Broncos. I've never heard of Mile High Stadium. Don't follow football.

80. Baseball Hall of Famer Wilhelm: HOYT. Pitcher. Have no recollection of his name, though I might have one or two of his baseball cards.

Very enjoyable puzzle. As the norm with Sunday puzzle, lots of entertaining clues. MESA (108. Big butte) made me laugh. Precious!

Across:

1. Group of notes: CHORD. Wanted SCALE.

6. Is, in Ixtapa: ESTA. Ixtapa is a beach resort in Mexico. Unknown to me. Alliteration.

10. Prefix with grain: MULTI. Multigrain.

19. Renée's "Chicago" role: ROXIE. Catherine Zeta-Jones played Velma.

20. Milky Way ingredient?: STAR. Sweet clue. I bet many thought of the chocolate bar first.

21. Guesstimate word: ABOUT

22. Speed-skating rink, e.g.: OVAL

23. Invites the public: OPENS

24. You can't go when you're in it: PARK. Another tricky "it".

25. Districts: ZONES. Plunked in AREAS first.

26. Pantheon site: ROME. And GODS (103D.Pantheon figures). Pantheon echo. We also have ITALIA (56. Venezia's land). Venice.

32. Begin to use, as resources: TAP

33. Just so: NEAT. I don't get this clue.

34. Most violent: GORIEST

35. __ de corps: ESPRIT

38. Caravan stopovers: OASES

43. Trevi Fountain coin count?: TRE. And TRI (99. Bi- plus one). I have no objections to words of same roots.

44. Gelling agents: AGARS

48. Having just seen a ghost, maybe: PALE

49. Mechanical connectors, half the time: MALES. Wikipedia says the "female" connector is generally a receptacle that connects to and holds the "male" connector. I've never heard of this term before. Sounds so DF.

50. Jumping contest entrants: FROGS

52. __ du jour: bistro special: PLAT. Sipped on SOUP first.

53. Hundreds of wks.: YRS. I liked the clue.

54. Cavalry blade: SABER. And EPEES (114. Duel-purpose equipment).

58. Feed store?: SILO. Would be a tricky though still valid clue without the question mark.

59. Alpine mont: BLANC. Mont Blanc. Highest mountain in the Alps.

60. Managing: COPING

61. Acts of faith?: LEAPS. Leaps of Faith.

68. Like urban populations: DENSE

69. In __ and out ... : ONE EAR. A 6-letter fill-in-the-blank partial. An exception to the 5-letter limit rule.

71. Pottery ovens: KILNS

72. Frankenstein aide: IGOR. I often confuse him with the "Othello" villain IAGO.

74. Throw a feast for: REGALE

75. Data transfer unit: BAUD. No idea. It's named after the French inventor J.M. E. Baudot.

76. Odessa's home: TEXAS. Ukraine too.

78. "Like that's gonna happen!": HAH

81. "Gymnopédies" composer Satie: ERIK

82. 1936 Olympics champ: OWENS. The only 1936 Olympics champ I can think of.

84. Simple fellow: SIMON. What? I only know Simon as a guy's name.

85. Seat of Hawaii County: HILO

86. Plebe's denial: NO SIR

88. Some hangings: ART

91. Asian menu assurance: NO MSG. Great entry.

93. Musical "don't play": TACET. Literally "Be silent". Same root as "tacit", Jazzbumpa?

94. "Very well": SO BE IT

95. Disconnects: HANGS UP

98. Knot, as of hair: HANK. A hank of hair.

100.Justice of the peace customer: ELOPER. Have never heard of Justice of Peace.

109."Enough already!": I GIVE.

111.Dig find, perhaps: TOOL. Primitive tool.

112.Part of a TV signal: AUDIO

113.Constantly: EVER

115.Command after "Oops!": UNDO. Nice clue.

116.Touches the tarmac: LANDS

117.Brooding place: NEST

118.Soup scoop: LADLE. Alliteration.

119.Thorn in one's side: PEST

120.Cut drastically: SLASH

Down:

1. Harvester's haul: CROP. And OXEN (3. Farmer's helpers).

2. Northern Arizona native: HOPI. They make beautiful ollas. Today's constructor is from Scottsdale, AZ, the same city as our Lucina and Frenchie.

4. Sound right: RING TRUE

5. Lose heart: DESPAIR

6. Armchair QB's channel: ESPN. Nailed it.

7. Men-only affair: STAG. And LONE (12. Sans companions lone)

8. Field shield: TARP. Rhyme.

9. Hot Springs National Park state: ARKANSAS

10. Tribute and Miata: MAZDAS. Had trouble obtaining the answer.

11. It might have a nut at each end: U-BOLT. Another "it".

13. Digital watch abbr.: TUE

14. Dress shop compliment: IT'S YOU

16. Draw forth: EVOKE

17. Emulates a horse whisperer: TAMES. I loved the movie "The Horse Whisperer".

18. Frozen drops: SLEET. And RAINS (46. Gully fillers).

28. Most favorable: OPTIMAL. Nice non-est ending entry.

29. Scout's good work: DEED

31. Mezzo's moment: ARIA

34. Sportscaster Gumbel: GREG. Oh, his mug is very familiar.

35. See from afar: ESPY

36. Wound remnant: SCAR. Scab too.

37. Campaign vets: POLS. And TREND (43. Exit poll indication).

38. Eye impolitely: OGLE

39. One making a good impression?: APER. Indeed. Fun clue.

42. Mover and shaker: NABOB. Learned this phrase from Agnew's "nattering nabobs of negativism". I can see Dennis nodding in agreement.

45. Exhausted: ALL IN

47. Frontier transport: STAGE. Stagecoach.

50. What the dauntless lack: FEARS

51. [Quoted verbatim]: SIC. Only ten 3-letter words in this grid.

54. Rope fiber: SISAL. Can never remember this word.

55. Needing spicing: BLAND

57. Ruckuses: TODOS

59. High 80s, roughly: B PLUS. Oh, good to know. We did not have A, B, C grading when I was college.

61. "Space Cowboys" actor __ Dean: LOREN. Nope. First meeting with this actor.

62. Start of a new año: ENERO. January.

63. Tutelage: AEGIS. Sometimes it's spelled as egis.

65. "La Dolce Vita" actress: EKBERG (Anita). I peeked at the answer sheet.

66. Beanstalk menace: GIANT. From "Jack and the Beanstalk".

67. President who appeared on "Laugh-In": NIXON. "Sock it to me?".

70. '20s-'30s Flying Cloud, e.g.: REO. I think we had this clue before.

73. Rap genre: GANSTA

76. Scrabble piece: TILE.

77. Throw off: EMIT. New meaning of "throw off" to me.

79. Cathedral voices: ALTI. Plural of alto?

83. Slender-bodied stinger: WASP

84. Silently endure difficulty, in slang: SUCK IT UP. Cool fill.

85. Chronic: HABITUAL

87. Greeted the judge: ROSE

89. "Atlas Shrugged" author: RAND (Ayn)

90. Internet gateways: PORTALS

92. Spark in a bookshop: MURIEL. Muriel Spark, Scottish novelist. Unknown figure to me.

93. "Thy Neighbor’s Wife" author: TALESE (Gay). Stumper also.

95. Studly sorts: HE-MEN

96. Naproxen brand: ALEVE

97. Small victory margins: NOSES. Win by a nose.

98. Crude abode: HOVEL

101.Zipped: HIED. And NONE (102.Zip). Zip echo. Different meanings.

104.Conspiracy theorist's subject: PLOT

105."Show Boat" author Ferber: EDNA. Several authors in today's puzzle.

106.Clears (of): RIDS

107.Small snack: NOSH. Alliteration.

Answer grid.

Happy 89th Birthday to Jazzbumpa's mom!

C.C.

May 15, 2010

Saturday May 15, 2010 Barry Silk

Theme: None

Total words: 70

Total blocks: 36

Barry anchors his puzzle with three 15-letter Across entries right in the middle of the grid, and intersects them with another two 15 Down grid spanners:

34A. Minor league team with a locomotive in one of its logos: READING PHILLIES. Phillies' AA affiliate based in Reading, PA. Here is their logo. Unknown to me. You can always find some Phillies' reference in Barry's puzzles.

38A. He played Will Scarlet in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves": CHRISTIAN SLATER. Saw the movie. But all I can remember is Kevin Costner.

39. New England setting: EASTERN TIME ZONE. And BOOLA (47. New England cheer word). Boola Boola. Yale's fight song. Nice New England echo.

5D. Someone to build a team around: FRANCHISE PLAYER. Like Twins' Joe Mauer.

10D. Runway displays: FALL COLLECTIONS. Loved this entry.

There are also 16 7-letter entries, including those triple stacks in each corner.

Across:

1. Move to new places?: SHUFFLE. Move the play cards to new places. Got me.

8. Exotic vacations: SAFARIS. A happy fill for JD who just safaried last year.

15. Bird known for hovering in a headwind: KESTREL. Hence nickname windhover. Hovering directly above IRELAND (17. Bunratty Castle site). A shout-out to Windhover and his wife Irish. I am not familiar with Bunratty Castle.

16. Like some birthstones: OPALINE

18. Source of relief?: BULLPEN. Relief pitchers.

19. Best Actress winner for "Two Women": LOREN (Sophia)

20. Wagner's father-in-law: LISZT

21. Look at, to Livy: ECCE. As in "Ecce Homo", "Behold the Man".

24. Suffix with fluor-: ESCE. Fluoresce.

26. 1930s Kansas governor Landon: ALF. I only knew him as the guy who ran against F.D.R. in 1936.

29. Cupcake: HON

30. Racer Fabi: TEO. Former Formula One racer. Waiting for more lessons from our racing expert EddyB.

31. Entrepreneur-aiding org.: SBA (Small Business Administration)

40. Soft & __: Dial product: DRI

41. "MS. Found in a Bottle" author: POE. I guessed.

42. Pres. title: CIC (Commander in Chief)

43. Nancy Drew's boyfriend: NED. Another guess. I've never read any Nancy Drew story.

44. Problems: ILLS

45. Where some "SNL" regulars got their start: SCTV. Second City Television. Unknown to me.

50. Child's retort: I AM SO

54. Seek acceptance at: APPLY TO

57. Mexican salamander: AXOLOTL. Stumper. Strange looking word. Strange looking too. Does it live in the water only?

59. "New York Mining Disaster 1941" was their first U.S. hit in 1967: BEE GEES. The answer emerged itself.

60. Like some academic positions: TENURED

61. They aren't on the program: ENCORES. Didn't come to me readily.

62. Gives in: ASSENTS

Down:

1. Black & Decker competitor: SKIL. I forgot this tool brand again.

2. Long lunch?: HERO. Nailed it.

3. Beta tester, e.g.: USER

4. Army post named for a CSA general: FT. LEE. In Virginia. I just found out that there's another Ft. Lee in New Jersey.

6. Author Deighton: LEN

7. "We '__ our bloomin' own": Kipling: 'ELD. Held?

8. ___ sister: SOB

9. "The Simpsons" shopkeeper: APU. Learned from doing Xword.

11. Divorcée Lowell in an '80s sitcom: ALLIE. From "Kate & Allie".

12. Tough currents: RIPS. New definition to me.

13. Spanish name meaning "chaste": INEZ. I mentioned this trivia on the blog before.

14. Elated: SENT. I know Argyle will link "You send me".

22. Restraint: CONTROL

23. Locomotives: ENGINES

24. Cultural group members: ETHNICS

25. Like many tsunamis: SEISMIC. Great C-ending word.

26. Like rainbows: ARCED

27. Operettist Franz: LEHAR. Famous for "The Merry Widow". Hungarian composer.

28. Modern Persian: FARSI

31. Squelch: SIT ON. The bad news.

32. Designer Geoffrey: BEENE. First encounter with this fellow.

33. Comparable to a beet: AS RED

35. Morse "E": DIT

36. Light hit: PAT

37. __-Boy recliner: LAZ

44. Volunteer's words: I'LL GO

46. Prize: VALUE

47. Symbol of innocence: BABE

48. Exposed: OPEN

49. Nigeria is its most populous member: OPEC. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa.

51. Poetic period: MORN

52. Go back on the dele?: STET. "Don't change".

53. Defunct GM line: OLDS

55. Beginning of Time?: TEE. The beginning letter of Time. Why capitalized Time?

56. Org. in the 1946 film "Cloak and Dagger": OSS. Forerunner to C.I.A..

58. Strikes (out): X'ES

Answer grid.

C.C.

May 14, 2010

Friday May 14, 2010 Matt Ginsberg & Pete Muller

Theme: ON END (50D. Upright, and what's been removed to form this puzzle's theme answers) - The "ON" end in each two-word familiar phrase is dropped.

18A. Underwear that never needs washing?: MAGIC JOHNS (ON). Eww! Magic Johnson.

20A. Attack of Tolkien's Ents?: TREE SURGE (ON). Tree Surgeon. Interesting career. New to me. We often see ENT clued as "Tolkien's tree creatures". The above two theme answers overlap.

32. Press watering hole? MEDIA BAR (ON). Media Baron. Like Rupert Murdock. More familiar with the title Media Mogul.

44A. English horn?: ANGLO SAX (ON). Anglo Saxon.

56A. Chest bump cousin? BELLY BUTT (ON). Belly Button.

61A. Fido's greeting? WELCOME WAG (ON). Welcome Wagon. The last two theme answers also overlap.

Might be our first LAT from Matt Ginsberg (The happy Pete Muller is in the middle. The guy with glasses is Peter Gordon), who has constructed quite a few puzzles for NY Times.

Very nice theme concept. Entertaining clues too. Some made me laugh. BELLY BUTT conjures up a fun image. Do you like the tie-in ON END?

I was quite fond of the four long Down non-theme answers. I liked how they paralleled each other and crossed two theme answers.

Filled in CHINA instead of ENLAI (51D. 1972 host to Nixon). Zhou Enlai indeed hosted Nixon during the latter's historic visit to China in Feb 1972. But ENLAI is a given name, while the clue Nixon is surname. I dig when clues and answers fully correspond to each other.

Across:

1. Dell drivers: Abbr. : CPUS. Dell computers.

5. Holy struggle: JIHAD. Literally "struggle" in Arabic. More accurate a translation than "Holy war".

10. Like some activists: ANTI. And WET (26. Against prohibition).

14. Cellar prefix: OENO. Prefix for "wine", as in oenophile.

15. Place to live: ABODE

16. Roger Rabbit, e.g. : TOON

17. Noted cat suit wearer: LAHR (Bert). The Coward Lion of "The Wizard of Oz".

22. Imperiled layer: OZONE

23. Per: A POP

24. Spigoted vessel: URN

27. Judy Jetson's brother: ELROY. Literally "the king". From "The Jetsons".

29. Pretend to be: POSE AS

34. Main ideas: THEMES. Can't avoid the word "theme" for the tie-in 50D.

38. Hip to: IN ON

39. African capital: ACCRA. Ghana's capital.

41. Give a ticket to: CITE

42. Colorado conqueror: RAFTER. Colorado River I suppose.

46. Many a Type A suffers from it: STRESS. And ANTSY (48. Like many a Type A). I don't really know the characteristics of Type A people. But don't all people suffer from stress from time to time and get antsy occasionally?

49. Garden tool: HOE

52. Hesitation: HEM

53. 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., e.g. : ADDR

54. Boutros-Ghali's successor: ANNAN (Kofi)

63. Concerning: AS TO

64. Bump on a log: KNAR. Learned from doing crossword. Wait for Argyle for the bump link.

65. Flat condition?: BROKE. New meaning of "flat" to me. Of course I was thinking of apartment.

66. Put away: STOW

67. Peter Gunn's girlfriend: EDIE. No idea. Have never heard of Peter Gunn before.

69. "Around the Horn" channel: ESPN

Down:

1. Piece maker?: COLT. Piece is slang for firearm.

2. High-fiber fruit: PEAR. True.

3. Without precedent: UNHEARD OF. Awesome entry.

4. Conflict sources: SORE POINTS. Not enough blanks for my HOT SPOTS.

5. Clog, as a copier: JAM UP

6. Support beam: I BAR

7. Boss on "The Dukes of Hazzard": HOGG. I peeked at the answer sheet.

8. Tours ta-tas: ADIEUS

9. Solstice mo. : DEC

10. It covers everything: A TO Z. Nailed it.

11. "Ain't gonna happen": NO HOW

12. Winchester weight: TONNE. Alliteration.

19. Prophet with a fishy story?: JONAH. I thought he was swallowed by a whale.

21. Miso bean: SOYA. Miso soup is delicious!

25. Put on sale, say: RETAG

27. Kuwaiti VIP: EMIR

28. "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" star Headey: LENA. Total stranger to me. Great body.

29. __-10 conference: PAC

30. Ocean predators: ORCAS

31. Bag behind a mound: SECOND BASE. Depend on where you stand.

33. Dancer's warmup aid: BARRE

35. Is very wary of: MISTRUSTS

36. JFK approximations: ETAS

37. Hot: SEXY

40. OR VIPs: RNS (Registered Nurses). I bet it's a gimme for our Chickie & Lois, who both have a RN daughter. I thought of Oregon naturally.

43. Biology opening: ETHNO. Man, we've seen a lot of this entry lately. Nice clue though.

45. 1955 title role voiced by Barbara Luddy: LADY. Obtained the answer via crosses.

47. Fire proof: EMBERS. Was thinking of proof against fire. Not "evidence" proof.

49D. Ethan of "Fast Food Nation": HAWKE

53. Rags-to-riches author: ALGER (Horatio)

55. Plot part, perhaps: ACRE. Triple alliteration. Did you think of story plot also?

57. Hairy sci-fi critter: EWOK. The "Star Wars" creature.

58. Michigan, for one: LAKE. Not enough space for my STATE.

59. 'Vette roof option: T-TOP

60. Hamlet's kin: TOWN. Tricky capitalized hamlet placement. The constructors/edior want to trap you with Shakespeare's Hamlet and his DANE kin.

62. Management sch. offering: MBA

Answer grid.

C.C.

May 13, 2010

Thursday May 13, 2010 Gareth Bain

Theme: Let's Anagram! - The first words of all theme answers are all anagrams of "Cats".

17A. Demonstrates sincere intentions: ACTS IN GOOD FAITH. Plural act. (Update from Argyle: Acts is third persona verb. Not a plural noun.)

28A. Wonderful thing, in old slang: CAT'S PAJAMAS. Bee's knees. Possessive cat. I would not have liked the answer if it were just a plural cat. It'd be the same scheme as the plural act.

46A. Jazzy vocal style: SCAT SINGING

57A. Stereotypical movie epic feature: CAST OF THOUSANDS. What's your favorite epic movie? I liked "300". Muscular Spartan soldiers.

Gareth also weaved three "capitals" in his clues:

10A. Capital south of Quito: LIMA. Peru's capital. Quito is the capital of Ecuador.

25A. Capital replaced by Abuja: LAGOS. Nigeria's old capital. Gareth lives in South Africa. He probably thinks it's incomprehensible that I had never heard of Abuja or MAURITANIA (31D. Senegal neighbor). North of Senegal.

64A. Capital of Oman: RIAL. Currency "capital". The capital city is Muscat.

Surprised OSLO (56D. Nobel Institute site) is not clued as "Norway's capital". Probably too much.

Nice to see TAI (20A. __ chi) and JET LI (48. Martial artist co-star of "The Forbidden Kingdom") in one grid. Jet Li is a big part of my childhood memory. A real mainland Chinese cultural icon, unlike the Hongkong born Jackie Chan or US born Bruce Lee. Cantonese and Koreans often spell Li as Lee, as in Ang Lee.

By the way, Rich Norris apologized for the ANG clue error yesterday. He said the error was "discovered a couple of days ago and corrections were issued to all newspapers and web site." Obviously Cruciverb still had the wrong clue when some of us downloaded.

Across:

1. Be in a funk: MOPE

5. 1979 sci-fi blockbuster: ALIEN. And ETS (43D. They're out of this world).

14. Filthy deposit: CRUD. Couldn't jam in MONEY.

15. Gentle prod: NUDGE

16. "Trinity" novelist: URIS (Leon)

21. At no time, to Bernhard: NIE. German for "never". Bernhard means "strong, brave bear". Is it a typical German name? I only know golfer Bernhard Langer.

22. Like much junkyard metal: RUSTY

31. Humanities degs.: MAS.

34. Prefix with musicology: ETHNO. Ethnomusicology. Defined as "the study of social and cultural aspects of music and dance in local and global contexts", according to Wikipidia. New to me. Makes sense, with ethno's "race"/"culture" prefix meaning.

35. Work with notes: OPUS. Musical notes.

36. Sea dog: SALT. Both slang for sailor.

37. Cosby often wore one on his show: SWEATER. Bill Cosby. I was stumped.

39. Egg-cooking aid: SPATULA. Was picturing the coddled egg porcelain cup.

41. Waterproof cover: TARP

42. "Zip-__-Doo-Dah": A-DEE

44. Comic Cheech: MARIN. Cheech and Chong (Tommy). We also have Arnold STANG (33D. Old-time comic Arnold), whose name simply escaped me.

48. Long __: JOHNS

49. Cause of reduced visibility: MIST

50. Draws back: SHIES

53. "In Treatment" network: HBO. Easy guess.

54. Bustle: ADO

62. Either of a Monopoly pair: Abbr.: UTIL. Got the answer via crossed.

63. Informed: AWARE

65. Ricky portrayer: DESI (Arnaz). "I Love Lucy".

66. Lose one's mind: GO MAD

67. Put on the canvas: KAYO. KO (knockout) spelled out.

Down:

1. Aspiring MD's hurdle: MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)

2. Black-and-white swimmer: ORCA

3. "Shake!": PUT IT THERE. I don't get the clue.

4. Paper heads, briefly: EDS (Editors)

5. Eight-time LPGA Player of the Year Sorenstam: ANNIKA. Loved Annika. Lorena Ochoa too. Sad to see Ochoa retire so early.

6. Downhill racer: LUGE

7. Words sealed with a kiss: I DO. Sweet clue.

8. Psyche part: EGO

9. Composer Rorem: NED. Nice to meet you, sir.

10. Island bashes: LUAUS

11. It regulates the size of the pupil: IRIS. I totally dig "it"/"they" clues.

12. Specialized glove: MITT. Baseball glove.

13. Washed-out: ASHY

18. Joint that's jumping: IN SPOT. Why "jumping"?

19. Bushy styles, for short: FROS

24. "I can do it with my eyes closed!": A SNAP

25. Yorkie's perch: LAP

26. Tickles pink: AMUSES

27. [Horrors!]: GASP. The square brackets suggest non-verbal behavior or gesture.

28. Jai alai basket: CESTA. See this picture. The jai alai ball is called "pelota". Learned from doing Xword.

29. Like Russia and Japan, for most of 1904-'05: AT WAR

30D. River crossed in Joshua: JORDAN. Jordan River. Easy guess. Who crossed the river? Jesus?

32. Last-ditch bet: ALL IN. Poker bet.

36. Harts: STAGS

38. A pop: EACH

40. Prenatal tests, for short: AMNIOS. Amniocentesis. New word to me also.

46. Passable: SO SO

47. Permeated: IMBUED

50. Gulf War missile: SCUD

51. Odium: HATE

52. Sister of Osiris: ISIS. Or wife of Osiris.

53. dance: HORA. The Jewish wedding dance. Wikipedia says "Hava Nagila" is a Hebrew folk song, meaning "let us rejoice".

55. Decisive '40s event: D-DAY

58. __ end: cloth remnant: FAG. New word to me.

59. Thematic number on 61-Down: TWO. And ARK (61. Early craft). Noah's Ark. Everything in pairs.

60. Scene stealer: HAM

Answer grid.

C.C.

PS: Happy Birthday, Jeannie!

May 12, 2010

Wednesday May 12, 2010 David W. Cromer

Theme: Four Aces - All the theme answers are clued as definitions of "ACE".

17A. ACE: FLAWLESS SERVICE. Filled in FL* immediately, then I wanted FLYING something.

28A. ACE: VENTURA IN FILMS. Movie "Ace Ventura".

45A. ACE: BANDAGE ACRONYM. I only use Johnson & Johnson's Band-Aid. Have never heard of Ace Bandage.

59A. ACE: HALF OF BLACKJACK. Got the answer via crosses. Don't play Blackjack.

No hole-in-one (golf), or pitching star (baseball) or perfect serve (tennis), the aces I am familiar with.

David also gives us three math terms:

63. Geometry calculation: AREA

46D. Geometry calculations: ANGLES. Nice intersection.

48D. Advanced math subj.: CALC. Quite a few abbrs. in this grid.

ANG (51A. "Spider-Man" director Lee) was an easy fill. But I don't remember Ange Lee directed any "Spider-Man" movie. "Hulk", yes.

Across:

1. Pest control target: ROACH

6. Get down the road?: PAVE. Great clue.

10. Hired soldier, briefly: MERC. Mercenary I presume.

14. Big name in foil: ALCOA

15. Ongoing auction site: EBAY. Baseball card mecca.

16. Asian domestic: AMAH

20. Abe Lincoln's boy: TAD. Learned from doing Xword.

22. "Gerontion" poet's monogram: TSE. Easy guess.

23. Just out: NEW. Then we have EFTS (53D. New newts). New duplication. Meh!

24. Acts as lookout, say: ABETS

33. Knotted scarf: ASCOT

34. Reunion attendee: NIECE

35. Ripped: TORN

38. Help for a busy mgr.: ASST

42. Small amounts: IOTAS

44. 100 clams: C-NOTE. Clam is slang for a dollar. Got me.

49. Door squeaker: HINGE. I liked this clue.

50. Flight component: STAIR. Flight between floors.

52. Drink with a string in it, perhaps: TEA

55. Letters in a business name: LLC. Did you want LTD also?

56. One of the three states of matter: GAS. And Solid & Liquid.

65. Message obeyed by Alice: EAT ME. Wonderland cake message.

67. Narrow aperture: SLIT

68. Cornered: TREED

Down:

1. Huck's ride: RAFT

2. Earthenware pot: OLLA. I really love this olla. Some artist signed piece can cost a ton.

3. Phillips, e.g.: Abbr.: ACAD. Phillips Academy.

4. Leather source: COW

5. Largest flatfish: HALIBUT. Oh, I did not even know halibut is flatfish.

6. Dinero replaced by the euro: PESETA (puh-SEY-tuh). The former Spanish currency. I forgot.

7. Six-pack muscles: ABS. Beautiful abs.

8. Seemingly endless: VAST

9. Places for pupils: EYES. We also have SYST (66A. Part of CBS. Abbr.).

10. Dallas cager, familiarly: MAV. Dallas Mavericks.

11. "8 Mile" rapper: EMINEM

12. The Andrettis, e.g.: RACERS. OK, EddyB, your turn to comment.

13. Masticates: CHEWS. Masticate is a new word to me.

19. Dig find: RELIC. Thought of Lemonade's son.

24. Making reparations: ATONING

25. They're often sensitive to allergens: SINUSES

27. Rigby of song: ELEANOR. "Eleanor Rigby", the Beatles' song.

28. Napa Valley vessel: VAT

29. Juan's "that": ESO

30. Maker of bar code scanners: NCR

31. "Collages" novelist: NIN (Anaïs)

37. Joplin work: RAG

39. Young fellow: SON

40. Porcine abode: STY. Pigs will be happy with this clue: "abode", so dignified.

41. President pro __: TEM. Robert Byrd is the current President pro tempore of the Senate.

44. Nocturnal noisemaker: CRICKET

45. Like computer code: BINARY. Two digits.

47. Words of relief: AT LAST

49. Mirthful sounds: HAHAS

54. Genesis victim: ABEL. First ever victim. The second son of Adam and Eve, slain by his brother, Cain.

56. Concert receipts: GATE. Not a S ending answer. Tricky clue.

57. Wile E. Coyote's mail-order house: ACME

58. List of appts.: SKED. Cavil away!

61. Flowery welcome: LEI

62. It holds the mayo: JAR

Answer grid.

Notes from the constructor:

I've done a few definition themes before and the word ACE struck me as a good candidate while watching a rerun of "Ace Ventura". I did have to reconstruct the whole puzzle however after learning that ACE was an acronym for a bandage produced by 3M. I originally had "Ventura in Movies" and "Bandage Producer". The other two entries are the same.

C.C.