Sep 22, 2010

Wednesday September 22, 2010 James Sajdak

Theme: SLAPSTICK COMEDY (36A. Where it's laughable to see the answers to starred clues). Beautiful grid spanning unifier, right in the middle.

17A. *Coconut dessert : CUSTARD PIE

23A. *Facetious name for a fund-raising circuit entrée : RUBBER CHICKEN

46. *Mixer holder : SELTZER BOTTLE ♪♬ ♫ A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer in your pants ♬♫♪

57. *Yellow slipper? : BANANA PEEL Mythbusters.

Melissa here.

What a fun puzzle, very visually evocative. A pangram, too. This is James Sajdak's sixth appearance this year in the LA Times, his themes are always entertaining.


1. Cabo locale : BAJA. See Cabo at the very bottom.

5. Fall, as home prices : SLUMP. Don't remind me.

10. Havana howdy : HOLA

14. Distant start? : EQUI. Equidistant.

15. Insured patient's med cost : CO-PAY

16. Mideast nation : IRAN

19. State bordering eight others: Abbr. : TENN. Tennessee. Borders Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri

20. Krazy of comics : KAT.

21. Backsliding event? : LUGE. Fun clue.

22. Tourist attraction : MECCA

27. Some campus sisters : THETAS

29. Big repair bill reaction : OUCH. Very slapstick-y. And 25D. Bops : CONKS, which crosses two theme answers.

30. "Hee Haw" prop : BALE. Pretty. They make beautiful homes, too.

31. Kuwaiti currency : DINAR

33. Fairy tale legume : PEA. The princess and the pea.

40. Old curse word : POX. "A pox damn you, you muddy rascal, is that all the comfort you bring me?" Henry IV Part II.

41. Overhangs : EAVES

42. Canal that Sal worked on, in song : ERIE. The Boss's cover.

43. Stud farm stud : SIRE

44. Groundbreakers : FIRSTS

51. Mindful : AWARE

52. Rankles : IRKS

53. TV channels 2 to 13 : VHF

56. Lisa's title : MONA. From Wikipedia: "In Italian, ma donna means my lady. This became madonna, and its contraction mona. Mona is thus a polite form of address, similar to Ma’am, Madam, or my lady in English." Slapstick Mona Lisa.

60. "Agreed!" : OKAY

61. Put an __: stop : END TO

62. Janis's comics mate : ARLO. A new clue for Arlo. Well, sort of. The lead characters of this strip are named after 1960s music icons Arlo Gurthrie and Janis Joplin. Wiki says "Many of the most notable jokes are based on sexual attraction, especially Arlo's desire for Janis." Like this.

63. Sale caution : AS IS

64. County northeast of London : ESSEX

65. Oceanic flora : KELP


1. Eponymous German brewer Heinrich : BECK

2. Caribbean color : AQUA.

3. "Don't worry about it!" : JUST RELAX. Be happy.

4. River isle : AIT. An ait (or eyot) is a small island. It is especially used to refer to islands found on the River Thames and it's tributaries in England.

5. Surgical coverage? : SCRUBS. Didn't get this right away, even though I have some in every color.

6. Raccoon ___, "The Honeymooners" fraternal group : LODGE. Did not remember this.

7 Like some echelons : UPPER

8. Printemps month : MAI. Printemps is French for Spring.

9. Joe-__ weed: herbal remedy : PYE. Pretty.

10. Like smart phones, e.g. : HI TECH

11. Vacuum shown lifting a bowling ball in TV ads : ORECK. Bowling balls seem to be the standard for suction.

12. Tilting pole : LANCE. Couldn't have said it better myself.

13. 1997-2006 UN leader : ANNAN. Kofi.

18. Goya's "Duchess of __" : ALBA. Painting.

22. Prefix with scope : MICRO

24. Sch. near the Rio Grande : UTEP. University of Texas at El Paso.

26. '50s Red Scare gp. : HUAC. House Un-American Activities Committee. Some great movies about it - Guilty by Suspicion, Citizen Cohn, The Front.

27. Kitchen meas. : TBSP.

28. Saintly circle : HALO

31. One going down : DIVER. Umm ...

32. Assure victory in, slangily : ICE

33. Gut it out : PERSEVERE

34. Cut out, say : EDIT

35. Bridge assents : AYES. Sailor speak.

37. Take by force : SEIZE

38. Container allowance : TARE. The weight of an empty container.

39. Keyboardist Saunders who collaborated with Jerry Garcia : MERL. Had no idea.

43. Range rovers? : STRAYS. Sneaky clue.

44. Loc. with billions in bullion : FT KNOX

45. "__ girl!" : IT'S A

46. Island where Robert Louis Stevenson died : SAMOA. Was unaware of this trivia.

47. Furry Endor inhabitants : EWOKS. Star Wars creatures.

48. Hawaii's Pineapple Island : LANAI

49. Pickles : BINDS

50. Speak formally : ORATE. Little oral fixation today. Maybe it's just me.

54. War, to Sherman : HELL. William Tecumseh Sherman, Union general during the Civil War. "You don’t know the horrible aspects of war. I’ve been through two wars and I know. I’ve seen cities and homes in ashes. I’ve seen thousands of men lying on the ground, their dead faces looking up at the skies. I tell you, war is Hell!"

55. Hardly a big ticket-seller : FLOP

57. Sewing circle : BEE

58. T or F, on tests : ANS. True or False.

59. Karachi's country: Abbr. : PAK. Karachi is the largest city, main seaport, and financial center of Pakistan.

Answer grid.


Sep 21, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 Robert A. Doll

Theme: Life's a Beach - As the unifier indicates, put BEACH in front of the first word of these four common phrases and you have a connection.

17A. Top banana: HEAD HONCHO. Beachhead - the area that is the first objective of a military force landing on an enemy shore.

23A. Unstable situation, metaphorically: HOUSE OF CARDS. Beach house.

37A. Huge mess: BALL OF CONFUSION. Beach ball.

45A. Gregarious fun lovers: PARTY ANIMALS. Beach party.

58A. Valuable shore property, and a hint to what the first words of 17-, 23-, 37- and 45-Across have in common: BEACH FRONT

Argyle again.

The unifier explains the connection but doesn't really help the solving of the clues. The first three change their meaning when combined with beach but PARTY stays the same. In fact, you can find PARTY ANIMALS at a BEACH PARTY. Toga! Toga!


1. Briquettes : COALS. A sort of progression: Briquettes - COALS - embers - ash.

6. Zip : ZERO

10. Country music pioneer Ernest : TUBB. When I listen to his I'm Walking the Floor Over You, I can't help but think of Poe's, The Tell-Tale Heart. Dost thou think I am mad?

14. "As a result ..." : AND SO

15. Country on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula : OMAN. Map.

16. Spot in the ocean : ISLE

19. Depilatory brand : NAIR. Or Neet/Veet.

20. '60s-'70s war site, briefly : NAM

21. "Now it makes sense!" : I SEE

22. Cake finish : ICING

26. Workplace inspection org. : OSHA

29. Comportment : MIEN

30. Louise's gal pal : THELMA. From the 1991 movie, "Thelma & Louise".

33. Buzzing swarmers : BEES

34. Performed : DID

40. "Danny and the Dinosaur" author Hoff : SYD. An "I Can Read" book.

41. Court postponement : STAY

42. Ancient Greek military power : SPARTA. They hit the big time with their movie.

43. Blood fluids : SERA

44. Veggies studied by Mendel : PEAS

52. Assumed name : ALIAS

53. Defensive spray : MACE

54. Marx's "__ Kapital" : DAS

57. Thin curl of smoke : WISP

61. Third man : ABEL and 3D. Father of 61-Across : ADAM

62. High-strung : EDGY

63. Sacher treat : TORTE. The Sachertorte was created by pastry chef Franz Sacher (1816-1907) in 1832 for Prince von Metternich, the Austrian State Chancellor. The prince enjoyed trying new dishes and ordered the chef to create a new cake. Orders were sent to the kitchens where it was instant pandemonium. The head chef was sick and the team of cooks in the kitchen had no idea what to prepare. Franz Sacher, a 16-year old apprentice cook, rolled up his sleeves and created this famous chocolate cake with the ingredients that were available. It consisted of chocolate sponge cake cut into three layers, between which apricot jam are thickly spread between the layers and on the top and sides of the cake. The whole cake is then iced with a velvet-like chocolate and served with a side dish of whipped cream. The Sacher Torte and other recipes made him prosperous, and he operated several cafes and restaurants.

64. Goodyear product : TIRE

65. Member's obligation : DUES

66. What matzo lacks : YEAST


1. "High Hopes" lyricist Sammy : CAHN. "High Hopes" is a popular song, introduced in the 1959 film A Hole In The Head, winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1959. The music was written by Jimmy Van Heusen, the lyrics by Sammy Cahn. A Sinatra standard.

2. Top draft status : ONE A

4. '60s "trip" drug : LSD

5. Early gas company based in Cleveland : SOHIO. Standard Oil of Ohio or Sohio was one of the successor companies to Standard Oil after the antitrust breakup in 1911. It merged with British Petroleum, now called BP(Hiss, boo), in 1968.

6. Districts : ZONES

7. Roast host : EMCEE

8. Bleachers cry : RAH

9. John __ Lennon : ONO. Lennon and Yoko Ono were married in Gibraltar on 20 March 1969, and he changed his name by deed poll on 22 April 1969, adding "Ono" as a middle name. Although he used the name John Ono Lennon thereafter, official documents referred to him as John Winston Ono Lennon, since he was not permitted to revoke a name given at birth.

10. Kid's make-believe phone : TIN CAN. Not make believe. This site can tell you how to make one.

11. Carrier that added "ways" to its name in 1997 : USAIR. USAir in 1979, US Airways in 1997. Of local interest, Mohawk Airlines was an early part of what was to become USAir.

12. Duck hunter's cover : BLIND. Not only for ducks, the meaning "anything that obstructs sight" is from 1530s. In this case, the obstruction of the prey's sight of the hunter.

13. Cold-water hazards : BERGS

18. Its flagship sch. is in Stillwater, west of Tulsa : OSU. Oklahoma State University.

22. Freezes over : ICES UP

23. Oates's musical partner : HALL. Daryl Hall and John Oates, Private Eyes.

24. Divine sign : OMEN

25. Feudal domains : FIEFs

26. Gambling parlors, briefly : OTBs. Off-track betting (OTB)

27. One-horse carriage : SHAY. Two wheeled is correct version but four wheeled carriages are often called shays, also.

28. Had in one's hands : HELD

31. Strolls (along) : MOSEYS

32. Performers' union: Abbr. : AFTRA. The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). AFTA. The After Shave Skin Conditioner.

33. Tarzan's son : BOY

34. Awful : DIRE

35. Letter after theta : IOTA

36. Genetic info carriers : DNAs

38. "Misery" actor James : CAAN. Movie poster

39. Easy targets : SAPS

43. Swingline fastener : STAPLE. Swingline is a brand name for staples and staplers.

45. Touch, cat-style : PAW AT

46. Accused's excuse : ALIBI

47. Choir platform : RISER

48. Likeness : IMAGE

49. "Miracle on 34th Street" setting : MACY'S. One of my favorite movies.

50. Rhine whine? : ACH. Great rhyme.

51. Sandy Koufax or CC Sabathia : LEFTY. Left-handed baseball pitchers(and a mini shout-out to our leader).

54. The first Mrs. Copperfield : DORA. Not the magician. "David Copperfield or The Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery (which he never meant to publish on any account)" is a novel by Charles Dickens, first published as a novel in 1850. Like most of his works, it originally appeared in serial form a year earlier. David, as an adult, first married naïve Dora Spenlow, but she dies. He eventually marries and finds true happiness with the sensible Agnes, who had secretly always loved him.

55. Insects on farms : ANTS

56. Editor's "leave it in" : STET

58. B&B part : BED. Bed and Breakfast inns, usually a private home. Many couples have bought old homes, thinking becoming a B&B will pay the mortgage; it doesn't, for most of them.

59. College URL ending : EDU. Its name is derived from education, indicating its intended use as a name space for educational institutions.

60. Future fish : ROE. Finally, some alliteration.

Answer grid.


Sep 20, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010 Samantha Wine

Theme: Have you seen my... - Three common phrases start with a word that may indicate, say, our car keys when we are in a hurry.

20A. Daydreaming: LOST IN THOUGHT

36A. Failing to grasp a key element: MISSING THE POINT

52A. Not expected back at work until tomorrow: GONE FOR THE DAY

Argyle here.

A compact Monday puzzle from our editor. Samantha Wine is an anagram of "What's in a name?").

Simple theme. Lively theme answers, none of which have been used in any major newspaper puzzle before. The sparse theme entries allow Rich to place 20 six-letter or more non-theme fill, including a wonderful BAILOUTS.

A bit harder than usual, perhaps.


1. Persian Gulf emirate : DUBAI. A small nation with a big footprint.

6. Aptly named novelist : READE. Charles Reade (1814 - 1884) was an English novelist and dramatist, best known for The Cloister and the Hearth. I must have missed that one.

11. Check for drinks : TAB. Goes well with 38D "Drinks are on yours truly" : "I'M BUYING"

14. Rocket scientist Wernher von __ : BRAUN. We had Eva Braun yesterday.

15. Use for dinner, as dishes : EAT ON

16. Realm from 800-1806: Abbr. : HRE. The Holy Roman Empire (HRE). The first Holy Roman Emperor is generally considered to have been Otto I, King of Germany. Charlemagne, crowned Emperor of the Romans in 800, was the forerunner of the Holy Roman Empire, largely because he had inaugurated the tradition of imperial coronation by the Pope.

17. Jazzy O'Day : ANITA. Singing Ain't Misbehavin'.

18. On the __: broken : FRITZ. Origin unknown.

19. Approx. landing hr. : ETA

23. More intimate : CLOSER

25. __-mutuel: type of betting : PARI

26. Funny Costello : LOU. Partnered with Bud Abbott.

27. Abel's slayer : CAIN

30. Tsar or emperor : DESPOT. It doesn't mean tyrant, necessarily.

32. It follows the overture : ACT I

34. Pressed for time : IN A RUSH

41. Conceived of : IDEATED, Didn't need to see this word again.

42. IRS agent : T-MAN

43. What ballerinas dance on : TIPTOE

46. Slangy agreement : YEAH

48. HVAC measure : BTU. British Thermal Unit (BTU or Btu)

49. Utah city near Provo : OREM

50. Uproar : TUMULT. Taken straight from Latin

58. Econ. yardstick : GNP. Gross National Product

59. Nebraska city : OMAHA

60. Tee shot : DRIVE. Golf.

63. Mauna __ : LOA. Active volcano on the island of Hawaii.

64. Lees competitor : LEVIS

65. Ocean ship : LINER

66. Bigger picture: Abbr. : ENL.

67. Kosher deli offering : KNISH. Knish Nosh.

68. Sharp-eyed bird : EAGLE


1. Trade name abbr. : DBA. Doing Business As.

2. Caterer's vessel : URN

3. Controversial financial rescues : BAILOUTS

4. Cars : AUTOS

5. "Be right there!" : "IN A SEC!"

6. Get a better int. rate, probably : REFI. Refinancing.

7. Make on the job : EARN

8. Working busily : AT IT

9. "The lady __ protest too much": "Hamlet" : DOTH. We had DOST yesterday.

10. Automaker Ferrari : ENZO

11. Store to "fall into," in old ads : THE GAP. Can you buy both Levis and Lees there?

12. Prefix with -scopic : ARTHRO. And often followed by surgery.

13. "Scram!" : "BEAT IT!"

21. New employee : TRAINEE

22. End result : UPSHOT. 1531; originally, the final shot in an archery match, hence sense of "result, issue, conclusion" (1604).

23. Littleneck, e.g. : CLAM

24. Centers of activity : LOCI. Plural of locus, (in many legal phrases) a place or area, esp the place where something occurred.

28. Actress Swenson : INGA. She was on the TV show, "Benson". She is the one standing behind Benson(Robert Guillaume), on the left. Image.

29. Smartly dressed : NATTY

30. Obstetrician's calculation : DUE DATE

31. Psychic's asset, for short : ESP

33. "Surely I'm not the only one?!" : "IS IT ME?"

35. South Korea's first president : RHEE. Syngman Rhee (1875 – 1965) was President from 1948 to 1960.

37. Altar promise : "I DO"

39. MLB league : NATL.

40. Letter-shaped fastener : T-NUT. An image of one style of T-nut.

43. Flip back and forth, as an on-off switch : TOGGLE

44. Like some denim patches : IRON-ON. Hell, now days, they are ripped on purpose!

45. Letter-writing friend : PEN PAL

47. Circular gridiron gathering : HUDDLE

51. "West Side Story" heroine : MARIA

53. Music genre that experienced a '50s-'60s revival : FOLK

54. Sign of the future : OMEN

55. Sitarist Shankar : RAVI

56. That's partner : THIS. This and that.

57. Corned beef dish : HASH

61. Commercial prefix with -cro : VEL

62. Prior to : ERE. Ere there was Vel-Cro, there was Duct Tape.

Answer grid.


Sep 19, 2010

Sunday September 19, 2010 Jeff Chen

Theme: Location, Location, Location or rather YOU ARE HERE (109A. Mall map phrase, and a homophonic hint to this puzzle's theme) - The first word of each common phrase starts with U, and the second word starts with R. Thus, U R HERE.

21A. Alternative media magazine since 1984 : UTNE READER. Named after the founder Eric Utne. Just a reprint of various articles. I've got no idea on how to pronounce Utne. You?

26A. City improvement program : URBAN RENEWAL

43A. Moving option : U-HAUL RENTAL

50A. "Song of the South" storyteller : UNCLE REMUS. Nice to see a complete name.

63A. Den controller : UNIVERSAL REMOTE

77A. Consumer Reports feature : USER REVIEW. Easy guess.

85A. Score after a 22-Down, usually : UNEARNED RUN


In addition to UNEARNED RUN, we also have:

116A. D.C. team : NATS. Nationals.

118A. League divisions : EASTS. And ARAB (92A. __ League). League clecho (clue echo).

22D. Diamond flaw? : ERROR. Think baseball whenever there's a question mark besides diamond.

Fun puzzle. When I first read the title, I thought of "under", "over", "beneath", you know, those positional prepositions. Got most of the U beginning theme answers, but did not grok the theme until I reached the unifier.

Total 19 Us in the grid. I mentioned before that unlike A, E or other vowels, U is a bit tough to place in the grid. So, there had to be some shuffling around of several theme answers to make the grid work smoothly. Of course, Jeff loves You! Who could forget his last *ULUS?

Congratulations to Jeff on his Sunday debut! Nine theme entries, great start. Do tell us how the theme was developed and what were some of the challenges you faced in constructing this first 21*21.


1. Game with triples and doubles : DARTS. Was picturing baseball.

6. Strike out : OMIT. Thought of baseball again.

10. Rogen of "Knocked Up" : SETH. Have never seen "Knocked Up". Sounds goofy.

14. Singer's syllable : TRA

17. On the ball : ALERT

18. Composer of the "Brandenburg" concertos : BACH. Got it via crosses.

19. Virile : MACHO

20. Scold, with "out" : CHEW

23. Woolf's "__ of One's Own" : A ROOM

24. Overhaul : RE-DO

25. Consequence of selfish acts, some say : BAD KARMA. Great fill.

29. Pulitzer category : DRAMA

31. Napa prefix : OENO. Prefix for "wine".

32. Old commercial prefix with mat : FOTO

33. Tabasco, por ejemplo : ESTADO. "State". I was thinking of the hot sauce.

37. Sully : SOIL

39. Gazed amazedly : MARVELED

46. Place : SITE

47. One way to swing : FRO. To and fro.

48. Driving __ : RANGE. Golf.

49. Swimming cap brand : VOIT. Unknown to me.

53. Food scrap : ORT. Also OAT (38D. Feedbag morsel).

54. Secure in a harbor : MOOR

55. Monopoly buys: Abbr. : AVES

56. Go with the flow : ADAPT

57. They're often not on the menu : SPECIALS. Some are.

60. Fluish feeling : AGUE. Learned from doing word.

61. Terse negation : IT ISN'T

66. Coke collectible : BOTTLE. It has become a huge industry, all kinds of Coke collectibles.

68. Cajun vegetable : OKRA. Have you tried fresh okra? Not so mushy at all.

69. Desert menaces : RATTLERS

73. Indian dignitary : RANEE

74. Calendar col. : TUES. And NOV (28. Calendar pg.). Calendar clecho. Click here and thumb up the definition, if you have not voted. We also have AUG (36D. What "8" may represent: Abbr.). In calendar too.

75. Short smokes? : CIGS. Cigarettes.

76. Droid : BOT

80. School in Durham : DUKE. Coach K & the lacrosse scandal are all I know about Duke.

81. Feudal lord : LIEGE

83. Rose-rose-rose-rose connector : IS A. Gertrude Stein. "Rose is a rose is a rose..."

84. Distillery vessels : VATS

87. "No prob!" : NOT AT ALL

90. Herr's partner : FRAU

91. Patterned marbles : AGATES

93. Bibliographic abbr. : ET AL

95. It eats shoots and leaves : PANDA. I've yet to read "Eats, Shoots and Leaves".

102. Recites effortlessly : REELS OFF

107. Quarter, e.g. : COIN

108. Like a stadium full of cheering fans : AROAR

111. Capital NNW of Santiago : LIMA. Harvested a few precious lima beans this year.

112. Illegal lending tactic : USURY

113. Chapter 11 issue : DEBT

114. Allied (with) : SIDED

115. Black and tan half : ALE. According to Wiki, Black and Tan is "a drink made from a blend of pale ale and a dark beer such as a stout or porter".

117. Memorable periods : ERAS


1. Smear : DAUB

2. Resort near Snowbird : ALTA. See this map. Utah ski town. I forgot again.

3. Tear to pieces : REND

4. Tough journey : TREK

5. Equivocate : STRADDLE

6. He bested Clinton in 2008 : OBAMA. I like how it parallels MADAM (7. Speaker's title, perhaps).

8. Curling surface : ICE

9. Unlike a dead end, briefly : THRU

10. Kitchen wrap : SARAN

11. Field involving scarcity and elasticity : ECONOMICS. Not a familiar references. Nice rhyme.

12. Superhero based on a god : THOR. Norse thunder god.

13. "Smooth sailing from here!" : HOME FREE

14. Chaney title role : THE WOLF MAN. Was shocked I got it.

15. Unwanted letter of fiction : RED A. "The Scarlet Letter".

16. MP's quarry : AWOL

19. Silents actress Normand : MABEL. Can never remember her name.

20. Minotaur's island : CRETE

27. Agitate : ROIL

30. Moving about : ASTIR

33. Continental money : EUROS

34. Astute : SHARP

35. Oncle's spouse : TANTE. French for "aunt". Oncle is "uncle".

40. View from Nantucket: Abbr. : ATL. Tricky clue.

41. Burst : ERUPT

42. "__ thou know who made thee?": Blake : DOST

44. Develop slowly : EVOLVE

45. Rope loop : NOOSE

46. Look of disdain : SNEER

50. Throat projection : UVULA

51. "Something to Talk About" Grammy winner : RAITT (Bonnie). Nice song. To answer Husker Gary's questions: No, I've never heard of "Now or Never". And yes, Elvis is known in China, but definitely not as popular as Eminem or Jay-Z. Kids now rap nonsense everywhere.

52. Comet brand before it was reassigned to Mercury : EDSEL. Unknown trivia to me. Whatever, flop.

54. "You've got __" : MAIL. So so movie.

55. Gelling agents : AGARS

58. More adorable : CUTER

59. Lay to rest : INTER

60. Cockeyed : ASKEW

61. Diagnostic machine : IMAGER. No idea. Diagnostic of what?

62. Rug rats : TOTS

64. Lecherous sorts : ROUES. Pronounced as roo-EY.

65. Eleniak of "Baywatch" : ERIKA. First encounter with this lady.

66. Low man : BASSO. low voice. I was in the serf style low man direction.

67. Revolving door recommendation : ONE AT A TIME. Gorgeous entry.

70. Film critic Roger : EBERT

71. Scoundrel : ROGUE

72. British guns : STENS

73. Bankrupt : RUIN

74. Boxer's dream : TITLE BOUT. Is this like boxers's Superbowl?

75. Get ready to play, as a CD track : CUE UP

78. Noted WWII bride : EVA BRAUN. Hitler's bride. Got me.

79. Kilmer of "The Saint" : VAL

80. Chromosome component : DNA

81. Language involving fine print? : LEGALESE. Nailed it.

82. Wash. neighbor : IDA

85. www addresses : URLS

86. Four-time presidential candidate : NADER

88. Combat zone : ARENA. We often see ETO clued as DDE's arena.

89. Sailor : TAR

90. Godmother, at times : FAIRY

94. Uphill pullers : T-BARS

96. Curaçao neighbor : ARUBA

97. __-foot oil : NEATS. No idea. What's commonly used?

98. Winner of seven straight NCAA hoops championships : UCLA

99. Labor : TOIL

100. __ Minor : URSA

101. Fictional alter ego : HYDE. Jekyll's alter ego.

103. Sunni relative : SHIA. How they keep fighting each other is beyond me.

104. Weighty refs. : OEDS

105. Stew : FRET

106. Some raiders : FEDS. Was quite scared when conducting my first raid with Pinkerton.

110. Anthem preposition : O'ER

Answer grid.


Sep 18, 2010

Saturday September 28, 2010 Robert H. Wolfe

Theme: None

Total words: 70

Total blocks: 32

Hallmark of Bob's Saturday themeless: three grid-spanners, all colloquial expressions:

17A. "Beats me" : I HAVEN'T GOT A CLUE

36A. Reservation opening : ON SECOND THOUGHT

52A. "And afterward?" : WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

He must have a notebook full of 15-letter common expressions. Besides the above three 15s, Bob also gives us 11 more multi-word entries.

D, R, S & T are probably the most frequently used English consonants in crossword grid. Today we have 27 Ts. T can start or end a word. Form consonant blend like TR, TW or ST. Very versatile, just like S, but much better looking. Too many plural S or third person singular S at the bottom/right edge can make a boring grid. Singular ASS, SOS, SAS, ASSESS is not much better.


1. "Get going!" : SNAP TO IT. I sure did not start well.

9. Bantam : PETITE. Always associate bantam with chicken, not person.

15. Consort of Gustav I : KATARINA. I did not even know who Gusatav I was. According to Wiki, he's the founder of modern Sweden.

16. Like many barber shops : UNISEX

19. Bulbs in the kitchen : LEEKS. Not light bulbs. ONIONS can be clued this way also.

20. Speed : ROCKET. Can you make a sentence for me to show how they are interchangeable?

21. Wins approval : SELLS

23. Fellow : GENT

24. Contraction of a sort : TIC. Muscular contraction. Twitch. Great clue.

25. Botanical opening : STOMA. Greek for "mouth". New to me.

27. "Oh, sure!" : I BET

31. Italian classic : O SOLE MIO. Classic what? Food? Car? Beauty? I sure needed "song" in the clue.

34. Many a Middle Easterner : SEMITE

38. Arrives at : GETS TO

39. Vaulter's target : CROSSBAR

40. Before, before : ERST

41. Cast : THREW

43. Gasteyer of "SNL" : ANA. Learned from doing crossword.

44. Main call : AHOY. Bounding main. Ocean.

45. Points at dinner : TINES. The fork points.

47. In the habit of : USED TO

50. Big fan : FIEND

56. Explosive solvent, as it was formerly called : TOLUOL. Sigh! Nope. Luckily the crossing ETUI (49D) has become a gimme, otherwise letter U can be a wild noun guess.

57. Some tiny rods and spheres : BACTERIA. Too sophisticated a clue for me.

58. Funny bit : SHTICK. Consonants rich.

59. Versatile auxiliary wind-catcher : STAY SAIL. Stumped me again.


1. Word with run or jump : SKI

2. "No way!" : NAH

3. Regardless of the consequences : AT ALL COSTS. Nice entry.

4. "Star Trek" character __ Chekov : PAVEL. Mystery answer for me. Have never watched "Star Trek".

5. Poem with the line "Who intimately lives with rain" : TREES

6. Pen emission : OINK. Nailed it. Pig pen. I've been thinking lately why Jayce says sometimes clever clues please him, sometimes annoy him. Clues such as OINK are lovely. A big "Aha" or "D'oh" when you get it. On the other hand, "Chinese bread" (normally question mark is not provided on Saturdays) for RENMINBI will irk many, simply because most solvers are not familiar with the currency. A clever clue will not help. But try to commit RENMINBI (literally "people's money") to your memory, it will come up in a puzzle some day.

7. Stats for QBs : INTS. Interceptions I suppose.

8. Touching game : TAG

9. Fake it : PUT ON A SHOW. Great answer too.

10. Pass : ENACT. As law.

11. Little sucker : TICK. Fun clue.

12. You usually can't walk to one : ISLE. Draw a blank.

13. Ger. : TEUT. OK, Teuton/Teutonic.

14. Computer filename ending : EXE

18. Utah County city : OREM. South of Salt Lake city.

21. Moe, for one : STOOGE. The other two are Curly & Larry.

22. "The Spirit" comics writer Will : EISNER. First encounter with this guy.

23. Emotionally therapeutic episode : GOOD CRY. Do you cry easily?

25. Convince using flattery : SMOOTH TALK. Beautiful phrase.

26. Badge material : TIN

27. "God's Other Son" radio host : IMUS (Don). Not familiar with the show.

28. Swing time? : BIG BAND ERA. Gorgeous clue/answer.

29. Flammable gas : ETHANE

30. Bright swimmers : TETRAS. Brightly colored fish.

32. "O, swear not by ... the fickle moon ... __ that thy love prove likewise variable": "Romeo and Juliet" : LEST. Man, Shakespeare gives me trouble all the time, esp his damned quotes, never know what the guy wanted to express.

33. Outside: Pref. : ECT. Or ecto. Opposite of "endo-".

35. Aurora's counterpart : EOS. Greek dawn goddess. Also learned from doing Xword.

37. Three abroad : TRE. In Italy. Uno, due, tre. Sometimes it's clued with a tricky "It's over due?".

42. Shooter's target : HOOP. Basketball.

44. Literally, "for this" : AD HOC

45. Petulant : TESTY

46. Laura of "ER" : INNES. Total stranger.

47. "That's not good!" : UH OH

48. Old man of the sea : SALT. Slang for "sailor", but why "old"? It's not used any more? Or just playing on Hemingway's book title?

49. Small tool case : ETUI

50. Great achievement : FEAT

51. Tambo Colorado builder : INCA. Was ignorant of Tambo Colorado. The Inca adobe complex in Peru.

52. Mg. and kg. : WTS (weights)

53. "Frontline" airer : PBS

54. Noon indicator : XII. Clock/watch. Got me.

55. Chess champion who succeeded Botvinnik : TAL (Mikhail). The Latvian chess champion. I don't know who Botvinnik is, but the three-letter chess guy is always TAL, meaning "rain", "dew".

Answer grid.


Sep 17, 2010

Friday September 17, 2010 John Lampkin

Theme: AP IP - AP is replaced by IP in the first word of each two-word common phrase.

17A. Ballet? : TIP DANCING. The base phrase is Tap Dancing.

27A. Photo session with a klutz? : TRIP SHOOTING. Trapshooting. Constructor John Lampkin is an avid photographer and recently shot some scenes at sea on the Maine Coast the day after Hurricane Earl blew by. In other words, he did some TRIP SHOOTING OF WATER. See his dramatic images here.

47A. Part of a barber shop review? : SNIP JUDGMENT. Snap Judgment. Fun clue.

62A. Christmas morning ritual? : RIP SESSION. Rap Session. Such an evocative answer.

The first and the last both have one consonant in front of IP, the middle pair have a double consonant blend. I like the symmetry, intended or not.

I wonder if John tried three blend consonant clusters like STR, you know, Strap Down to STRIP DOWN. Sounds good to me.

I mentioned last week how constructors pride themselves in debuting a new word/phrase, today we have WINGNUT (24D. Hand-tightened fastener). With the I & U (from two pre-set theme answers) in place, John could have gone with DISH OUT or FIRE UP or any other existing choices. He went extra mile and got WINGNUT. Safe clue. No political controversy. I loved the fill also because it's a nickname for carrier based fighter pilot. Familiar with the term, Spitzboov?


1. Bulldogs' home : YALE. Yale Bulldogs.

5. Controversial 2009 Nobelist : OBAMA. Controversial indeed.

10. Tevye's toast subject : LIFE. Tevye is the father in "Fiddler on the Roof". L'chaim (literally "to life")!

14. Airline with a King David Lounge : EL AL

15. Drink disparaged by W.C. Fields : WATER. "I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it."

16. Bridal gown shade : ECRU

19. Iberian Peninsula invader : MOOR (756-1492)

20. Cartographic detail : INSET

21. Au pair in a ring? : KTS (Karats). Au = Gold (Thanks, Dennis) chemically. Why pair? The "Au pair" play is lost on me.

22. Salsa instrument : BONGO

23. Can't commit : SEESAWS. Hey, CC alliteration.

25. "Don't gimme that!" : C'MON

32. Realtors' database: Abbr. : MLS. Dictionary says it stands for Multiple Listing Service. Not a familiar term to me.

35. Abbr. part, often : INIT (Initial). Drew a blank.

36. "The nerve!" : I NEVER

37. Court cry : OYEZ. Used to think it's O YES. Another CC alliteration.

39. Airborne annoyances : GNATS

41. Dynamic opening? : AERO. Aerodynamic.

42. Gibbon, e.g. : SIMIAN

44. Naldi of silents : NITA. Lives forever in Xword due to her Xword friendly name.

46. Use a seed drill : SOW. What is a seed drill?

50. She played Elizabeth I in "Elizabeth" : CATE (Blanchett). Very sculpted face.

51. Wrote a Dear John : ENDED IT

55. Shot to the face? : BOTOX. Man, I understands the humor, but this clue still sounds a bit violent to me.

58. ESP, e.g. : PSI. Just learned the telepathy meaning of PSI a few weeks ago.

60. Predawn : EARLY

61. Pundit's piece : OP-ED. Alliteration.

64. Area between gutters : LANE. Bowling.

65. Come about : OCCUR

66. Further : ELSE

67. Line discontinued in 2004 : OLDS

68. Military camp : ETAPE. Learned from doing Xword.

69. Blonde, at times : DYER


1. Elusive Himalayans : YETIS

2. "Drop me __" : A LINE. Or A NOTE.

3. Dropping the ball, so to speak : LAPSE. Hmm, "so to speak", I bet Lois seldom lapses.

4. First arrival : ELDEST

5. MYOB part : OWN. MYOB = Mind Your Own Business.

6. English, maybe : BACKSPIN. The pool term "English". Can it also mean SIDE SPIN, Lois?

7. Arguing : AT IT

8. Good guy : MENSCH. Nice consonants-rich word.

9. Its mon. unit is the peso : ARG (Argentina)

10. Throat-soothing brew : LEMON TEA. Iced Lemon Tea is very popular in Hongkong.

11. Macintosh's apple, e.g. : ICON

12. __ legs : FROG. Delicious! Delicacy in Guangzhou.

13. Prefix with bond or dollar : EURO. We had this clue before.

18. Game company first called Syzygy : ATARI. Unaware of the trivia. What does Syzygy mean?

22. Godsend : BOON

26. What misters do : MOISTEN. Misters = Ones who mist. Notice it's not capitalized?

28. Ford muscle car, to devotees : STANG

29. Lithographer James : IVES

30. Fabled fiddler : NERO. Alliteration. Nero fiddles while Rome burns.

31. Generate interest : GROW

32. Damp area growth : MOSS

33. The Eagles' "__' Eyes" : LYIN'

34. Big Mack : SEMI. Nice play on "Big Mac".

38. 60606 and 70707, e.g. : ZIP CODES. Awesome clue. Where are those two places, by the way?

40. Proctor's announcement : TIME IS UP. Another debut entry.

43. "Iliad" hero : AJAX. He rescued the body of Achilles and killed himself when Achilles' armor went to Odysseus.

45. Much of Chile : ANDES

48. Portray : DEPICT

49. Ribbed : TEASED

52. How deadpan humor is delivered : DRILY

53. Terse concession : I LOSE. Always wanted I LOST.

54. Jazz pianist McCoy __ : TYNER. Sorry, Sir, don't know you. I am sure Jazzbumpa will pick a smooth link for us.

55. New Mexico's official neckwear : BOLO. Can you picture Gunghy with a bolo tie?

56. Fire __ : OPAL. The fill-in-the blank clues today are not that easy.

57. Be inclined (to) : TEND

59. Shelter org. : SPCA

62. Some eggs : ROE. Now I see "egg", I see IRA. Nest egg.

63. Long lead-in : ERE. Erelong.

I did not notice any clecho (clue echo), you? Go there and thumb up, lurkers. Thanks.

Answer grid.


Sep 16, 2010

Thursday September 16, 2010 David J. Kahn

Theme: SPORTS BARS (58A. Places where you can watch (and whose end can follow the ends of) the answers to starred clues) - A double-layered theme. All the two-word theme answers (with sports-relate clues) can be seen in SPORTS BARS, and the last word of each answer can also proceed BARS.

17A. *Powerful punch: RIGHT CROSS. Boxing/Cross bars. Found in luggage racks and soccer (and football) goals.

26A. *Where the tight end is positioned, in football lingo: STRONG SIDE. American Football/Side bars. An edge column on a web page, or SUV accessories that you can step on to enter the vehicle.

50A. *Shot pioneered by Wilt Chamberlain: FINGER ROLL. Basketball/Roll bars. A protective cage in a racing vehicle.

11D. *2010 St. Andrews competition: BRITISH OPEN. Golf/Open bars. Free drinks.

25D. *Wimbledon event: MEN'S SINGLES. Tennis/Singles bars. The "meet" market.

Al here.

As usual, ramped up for a Thursday. Seven names, tricky and several cross-referential clues, and a bit unusual. It seems to me that vertical theme answers in a weekday puzzle are seen less often than not. The constructor was able to intersect the two verticals with two horizontal ones and brought us a total theme squares of 60. Pretty dense.

David J. Kahn (Rich Norris is the taller one) is a constructor known for his tribute puzzles. He's made 140 puzzles for NY Times alone.


1. Piano pro: TUNER. You can't tuna piano, but you can tuna fish. And 49D. Needing a 1-Across: FLAT.

6. Fizzy drink: COLA. Sugar, caramel color, caffeine, phosphoric acid, high fructose corn syrup, coca extract, kola nut extract, lime extract, vanilla and glycerin. Notice that sugar is actually there twice, in first and fifth place. And whoever thought it was a good idea to drink phosphoric acid?

10. Kellogg School deg.: MBA. Master of Business Administration. I'm guessing Kellogg that is part of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

13. UV ray absorber: OZONE. O-Zone is the Moldovan pop group responsible for this internet meme sung in Romanian.

14. x and y, perhaps: AXES. Graphing lines.

15. Blackberry lily, e.g.: IRIS.

19. "Still Life With Old Shoe" artist: MIRO. Joan. Psychedelic...

20. Together, in music: ADUE. For two musicians.

21. Ham: EMOTER. Bad acting.

23. Depict artistically: LIMN. Originally to "illuminate" manuscripts by adding artwork.

29. Polar buildup: ICE CAP.

31. Extremists: ULTRAS.

32. West pointers, sometimes?: VANES. Wind indicators, originally "fane" from Old English "fana", a flag, banner, or piece of cloth.

33. Sulky state: SNIT. Not a horse carriage, but supposedly related nonetheless. A sulky is a one-person conveyance, thus considered to be used by stand-offish people (because there wasn't room for two).

34. See 59-Down: SHOP. 59D. With 34-Across, country club feature: PRO. Pro Shop, where you buy golf equipment and supplies. Sports theme related clues

37. It prints many scheds.: IRS. Tax forms are called schedules. Latin schida: "one of the strips forming a papyrus sheet". Yes, that's about how old taxes are...

38. "Spartacus" Oscar winner: USTINOV. Peter. A 50 year old movie.

41. Mined matter: ORE.

42. Sitcom pal of Fred: DESI. Arnaz and Mertz, I Love Lucy.

44. Shades that fade in fall: TANS. Suntans. This threw me for a bit wondering how brown leaves could fade any further.

45. Bond trader's phrase: AT PAR. Selling a bond at the same price it was issued. Bonds make money by paying dividends.

47. Not completely: IN PART.

49. Admirals' concerns: FLEETS. Enema, enemy, both to be feared.

53. Knife of yore: SNEE. Snickersnee?

54. Like "ASAP" memos: URGENT. Being cynical here, but urgency create by a memo seems to be something created artificially rather than something that is a real emergency...

55. Beer-making aid: OAST. For drying hops.

57. Kerouac's Paradise et al.: SALS. Salvatore Paradise is the "narrator" of On The Road by Jack Kerouac.

64. "Don't change it": STET. Anyone miss this "standing" crossword answer?

65. Liver nutrient: IRON. The liver stores a multitude of substances, including glucose (in the form of glycogen), vitamin A (1–2 years' supply), vitamin D (1–4 months' supply), vitamin B12 (1-3 years' supply), iron, and copper.

66. Bother persistently: NAG AT.

67. Curly shape: ESS.

68. "Forget about it": NOPE.

69. Like an evening in a Frost title: SNOWY. "Whose woods are these, I think I know..."


1. Rocky hill: TOR. From Old English "torr" for tower (of rock).

2. Weapon designer __ Gal: UZI. Uziel Gal, born Gotthard Glas.

3. Nutmeg-topped drink: NOG. Earliest record from 1690s, “old, strong type of beer brewed in Norfolk,” of unknown origin. Now a sweetened dairy-based drink whipped with eggs and spiked with various alcohols. Does anyone drink it "plain" (or even at all?)

4. Add pizazz to: ENHANCE.

5. Like many a volunteer: Abbr.: RETD. Retired (so they have time on their hands?)

6. Wedge-shaped mark: CARET. A circumflex, atop the "6" key.

7. Kitchen gadgets brand: OXO.

8. Haitian seaport __ Cayes: LES.

9. Be convinced about: ASSENT TO.

10. Cocktails similar to a Buck's Fizz: MIMOSAS. Champagne + orange juice but combined in different proportions. Grenadine may also be added, but is not an "official" ingredient.

12. Made public: AIRED.

16. Peeved: SORE. and 23D. Really, really 16-Down: LIVID. And 51D. Really 16-Down: IRATE.

18. Where some signs change: CUSP. Latin cuspis: pointed end, (as with a tooth) is the imaginary line which separates any two signs of the zodiac. The Leo/Virgo cusp dates between August 19 and 26, so people born in that range are said to have characteristics of both.

22. Retail VIP: MGR. Manager.

24. Sympathetic words: I CARE.

27. Meet unexpectedly: RUN INTO.

28. Actor Ken and others: OLINS. Sometimes clued with Lena, no relation.

30. Barry Bonds's alma mater, briefly: ASU. Arizona State University.

33. Fab Four member: STARR. Since we just had this recently, I filled it without hesitation, and it was right...

35. Wax eloquent: ORATE. Latin oratus, pp. of orare "pray, plead, speak before a court or assembly". Maybe I'm imagining a connection to orale, (clued as papal fanon), which is part of the vestments the pope wears during a pontifical mass. Fanon also relates to fane (the VANE answer earlier) as a piece of cloth.

36. As such: PER SE.

39. Gets going: STARTS IN.

40. Batman before George: VAL. Val Kilmer was in between Michael Keaton and George Clooney.

43. Consumes: INGESTS.

46. Treaty subject: TEST BAN.

48. Reliever's spot, for short: PEN. In baseball, a relief pitcher warms up in the bullpen.

50. Hoo-ha: FUSS. Perhaps an alteration of force, or imitative of bubbling or sputtering sounds, or from Dan. fjas "foolery, nonsense." No further comment on slang meanings for Hoo-ha, I wouldn't want to cause a fuss...

52. Ben player on "Bonanza": LORNE. Ben Cartwright was played by Lorne Greene (Lymon Himon Green).

56. Payroll figs.: SSNS. Figures, social security numbers.

60. Rider of Dinny the dinosaur: OOP. Alley Oop, the caveman comic strip. Never mind that dinosaurs and cavemen didn't live at the same time.

61. In days past: AGO.

62. Untrained: RAW. As in a military recruit.

63. Place to serve slop: STY. Old English sti, stig "hall, pen". Is that why they're called "mess" halls?

Answer Grid.


Note from C.C.: Urban Dictionary has approved and published my submission of Dennis' definition of "blitch" (a blend of blog and glitch). Please visit here and thumb up #4. Thanks.

Sep 15, 2010

Wednesday September 15, 2010 Mike Peluso

Theme: ICED IN (48. Stranded at the ski lodge, perhaps, and a hint to this puzzle's hidden theme) - ICED is hidden in the middle of four two-word common phrases, each with the first word ending in ICE and the second beginning with D, as well as being the answer to the unifier.

16A. What b.i.d. means, in prescriptions: TWICE DAILY. It comes from our old friend Latin, BIS IN DIE.

26A. Some rear entrances: SERVICE DOORS. When I was a kid, I worked in a grocery store unloading the trucks through the back door.

44A. The first official one was November 11, 1919: ARMISTICE DAY. The end of World War I, which became a holiday in 1938 and was changed to VETERAN’S DAY to acknowledge those who served in later wars.

59A. Many are German shepherds: POLICE DOGS. I wonder if the GERMAN connection with the war was intentional.

Happy Hump Day all, Lemonade here.

I thought this was pretty difficult puzzle, from one of our regular constructors, MIKE PELUSO, who told C.C. in the interview, this letters in the middle theme, is his go to grid. I often would do the puns and anagrams from the London Times with my mother, and the third type of fill was recognizing words created by other words running together, so the theme was obvious, even before the reveal, but I found much of the fill hard.


1. "Mamma Mia!" group: ABBA. What do you all think of the movie?

5. Social rebuff: SNUB. For our Norwegian followers, this term is mid-14c., "to check, reprove, rebuke," from Old Norse, snubba "to curse, scold, reprove. Also 29D. Chief Valhalla god: ODIN.

9. Tunesmith Porter: COLE. How about a little FRED and GINGER doing one of his standards.

13. Hang-glide, say: SOAR. And 45D. Wax-winged flier of myth: ICARUS, along with dad DEADALUS. Glided too high.

14. RL and TL automaker: ACURA. I have a friend who will not drive anything else, but they seem just okay to me.

15. Top: APEX.

18. Masters champ between Fuzzy and Tom: SEVE. Fuzzy Zoeller won his only- Masters in 1979, Tom Watson won his second in 1981, leaving Seve Ballesteros to win his first of two in 1980; obscure if you do not love golf, but a great tournament.

19. ___ spill: OIL. Bad taste after the BP mess? With 34D. 19-Across holder: DRUM.

20. When Good Friday occurs: LENT. And what do our Catholics all give up?

21. Like citrus juices: ACIDIC.

23. Many a realty deal: RESALE.

25. North African port: ORAN. We just had this about two weeks ago, clued then as ALGERIAN SEAPORT, otherwise I would never have known.

32. Garage, perhaps: ADD ON.

35. Minuscule bits: IOTAS. And 64A. Seat of Allen County, Kansas: IOLA. This is actually a common clue in the NY Times, but I thought it was a tough cross with 50D. Brit's fireplace: INGLE, which I only have heard of from INGLENOOK.

36. Dover is its cap.: DEL. Delaware, cap. Is an abbr., so the ans. is one as well.

37. Feudal laborer: SERF.

38. "__ clear day ..." : ON A. YOU CAN SEE FOREVER .

39. Beatles girl who paid the dinner bill: RITA. A WAG, but it is their in the LYRICS .

40. __ de vie: brandy: EAU. Literally, the water of life. This fruity brandy is not aged in a wooden cask, so it remain CLEAR .

41. Singer K.T.: OSLIN. NO CLUE .

43. Eye or ear follower: CANDY. Ear Candy??? Huh?

47. Detective fond of aphorisms : CHAN. Who did you like better Warner Oland, or SIDNEY TOLER ?

52. Deep bow: SALAAM. Part of the Islamic RITUAL .

55. Wild party: BASH.

57. Transfer __ : RNA. Back once more.

58. Dubai leader: EMIR.

62. Pull-down item: MENU. No, not your pants.

63. Still-life subjects: EWERS. VASE , is this a Wednesday word?

65. Tees off: IRKS. Sadly, I do not play often enough, so teeing off does irk.

66. Like morning grass: DEWY.

67. Kadett automaker: OPEL. Also a somewhat obscure reference to an out of service car, but one that kept resurfacing IMAGE .


1. Fur giant: ASTOR. JOHN JACOB there is much written about this family; I enjoyed Gore Vidal’s books on the growth of America, from BIRR on.

2. Knife named for a frontiersman : BOWIE. One of the many brave men who died at the ALAMO.

3. Gets water out of: BAILS.

4. Softball pitch path: ARC.

5. CAT procedure: SCAN. CUTE .

6. Jour's opposite: NUIT. Our French Day and Night lesson; I always feel more french at night.

7. Link letters: URL.

8. San Francisco and environs: BAY AREA.

9. Vegas attraction: CASINO. There is so much more there TO DO .

10. Page with views: OP ED.

11. __ Johnston, former fiancé of Bristol Palin: LEVI; talk about trying to stretch his 15 minutes.

12. Corp. VIP: EXEC.

14. Like __ in the headlights: A DEER.

17. Sitcom with a coming-out episode: ELLEN, and she keeps on. Oprah is taking her audience to Australia, with John Travolta flying the plane.

22. Slimeballs: CADS.

24. Dating from: AS OF.

25. Pump figure: OCTANE.

27. Benny's instrument: VIOLIN; a great Humanitarian.

28. Greek column style: IONIC.

30. On Soc. Sec., maybe: RETD; again the abbreviation determines the answer.

31. Off, so to speak: SLAY. A new word and an old one.

32. On the briny: ASEA.

33. Letter starter: DEAR.

39. Martha of comedy: RAYE. SLAPSTICK QUEEN .

41. Workers' protection gp.: OSHA.

42. Ready to mail : STAMPED.

43. Stashed supply: CACHE.

46. Frisbees, e.g. : DISCS. We recently alluded to WFDF .

49. Slump: DROOP.

51. Like a cold sufferer's voice: NASAL; every time I blog, the puzzle hits home, and I have a cold today.

52. Weigh station rig: SEMI.

53. AKC part: Abbr.: AMER. Okay another abbreviation, enough already.

54. Sausage unit: LINK.

55. Lost, as a big lead: BLEW. Oh, oh, putting these two clues together is dangerous.

56. Open to breezes: AIRY.

60. Have obligations: OWE.

61. Giovanni's god: DIO. Equal time for our Italian speakers.

Answer grid.

Here are a few nice pictures Warren took with his iPhone during his recent trip to Hawaii. The bromeliad is so pretty and delicate.

Well another Wednesday in the books, I hope you enjoy this effort; I think it will take a bit longer than the last two days. Happy Birthday Megan!

Until next time, your humble servant