Nov 22, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010 Donna S. Levin

Theme: If Only - Five synonyms for what we wish for, the first ones are at the ends of the longest entries with the unifier at the very end(Across) of the grid.

21A. Tokyo monetary unit: JAPANESE YEN. 1 Japanese yen = 0.0120 US dollars or roughly one cent. 10,000 bank note.

26A. 1983 Lionel Richie #1 song: "ALL NIGHT LONG". It reached number one on three Billboard charts (pop, R&B and adult contemporary). This clip(3:39) may make you long for the eighties...or not.

43A. Desolate title tree in a 1936 Fonda/MacMurray western: LONESOME PINE. Full title is "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine" and isn't a western; it is set in the Appalachian Mountains, according to this short Wikipedia article.

50A. TUMS target: STOMACH ACHE. Calcium carbonate used as an antacid to relieve heartburn, acid indigestion, and upset stomach.

65A. Hanker, and a synonym for the ends of 21-, 26-, 43- and 50-Across: YEARN

Argyle here. Solid Monday offering from Donna with a couple of thorns thrown in to keep it interesting.


1. Like some short-term committees : AD HOC

6. How a lot of music is recorded : ON CD

10. Narrow-necked pear : BOSC. Image.

14. Museum with many Spanish masterpieces : PRADO. Located in Madrid, Spain, I envy those of you that have seen it. Spain is on my bucket list. (Hm, "bucket list", good optional theme title.)

15. Eight, in Spain : OCHO

16. Figure skating jump : AXEL

17. Consumed : EATEN

18. Postal delivery : MAIL. I think they will close on Saturdays and when they do, they might as well close for good.

19. Knish seller : DELI. Knish is an eastern-European Jewish or Yiddish snack food. It is a dumpling covered with a dough shell that is either baked or fried. In the most traditional version, the dumpling is made entirely of mashed potato. Jewish Recipes web site.

20. Henna, for one : DYE

24. Hawaii's coffee capital : KONA. How is it? Anybody drinking some this morning?

25. Reader's __: magazine : DIGEST

31. French city where Joan of Arc died : ROUEN. One of those thorns I mentioned, for me at least.

32. Wooden nickel, e.g. : SLUG. I always thought a slug had to be metal.

33. Milk units: Abbr. : QTs. However, milk units from the cow are measured in pounds, with the record being over 70,000 lbs. per year.

36. Old Italian money : LIRE and 55D. Swiss capital : BERN. Such straight forward cluing, it's either Monday or a trap.

37. Parcel of land : TRACT

39. New Age-y emanation : AURA

40. Single : ONE

41. Wine vintage : YEAR

42. Thread holder : SPOOL

46. It's north of the border : CANADA. Not for everybody, eh?

49. Cle. hoopsters : CAVS. Cleveland Cavaliers.

53. Long sandwich : SUB

56. Vaulter's need : POLE. Records jumped with the advent of the fiberglass pole.

57. "Today __ man": stereotypical bar mitzvah announcement : I AM A. TV's Frasier speaks Klingon at Frederic's bar mitzvah. Clip.

58. Hospital staffer : NURSE

60. __ even keel : ON AN

61. Shoemaker McAn : THOM

62. Spud : TATER

63. Camping shelter : TENT

64. Talks and talks : YAKS


1. Copied : APED

2. Open-sided cart : DRAY

3. Loathe : HATE

4. "__ on a Grecian Urn" : ODE

5. Unite : CONJOIN

6. Tuba sound : OOM-PAH

7. "March Madness" org. : NCAA. National Collegiate Athletic Association.

8. Facial feature with a cleft, perhaps : CHIN. Perhaps, the most famous. Image.

9. Distributed sparingly : DOLED OUT

10. No-goodnik : BAD EGG. BAD GUY didn't fly.

11. Daisy variety : OX-EYE

12. Tennis great Monica : SELES

13. Eastwood of Dirty Harry films : CLINT

22. Namibia neighbor: Abbr. : ANG. Angola. Map. Africa.

23. Perform with the choir : SING

24. Kid's scrape site : KNEE

26. Woody's son : ARLO

27. Butcher's cut : LOIN

28. Entice : LURE

29. Ivan the Terrible et al. : TSARS. Russian rulers.

30. Partners' legal entity: Abbr. : LLC. Limited Liability Company (LLC),

33. "Je ne sais __" : QUOI. Literally 'I don't know what', meaning an indescribable quality. "Je ne sais pas" was my answer in French class.

34. Cyclo- ending : TRON. "Tron: Legacy" is an upcoming 2010 science fiction film based on "Tron", the 1982 movie.

35. Shopper's delight : SALE

37. Persistence : TENACITY

38. "Norma __" : RAE. Movie with Sally Field.

39. iPhone downloads : APPs. I knew when I first saw apps(applications) it would become a crossword hit.

41. Wizened "Star Wars" guru : YODA. Sorry but I have to link this song. Yoda, Weird Al.

42. Interstate speed limit, often : SEVENTY. Merely a suggestion. (Right, Dennis?)

43. Bemoan : LAMENT

44. __ razor: logical simplicity rule : OCCAM'S. Thorny.

45. __-jongg : MAH

46. A hundred bucks : C-SPOT. Quick, how many yen is that?

47. Make amends (for) : ATONE

48. Texas Rangers president Ryan : NOLAN. Nicknamed "The Ryan Express", he is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. ( New York Mets, California Angels, Houston Astros, and Texas Rangers) Trivia: His first name is Lynn.

51. Often sarcastic joke response : HA-HA

52. In a frenzy : AMOK

53. Mlle., in Madrid : SRTA. Mademoiselle and Señorita

54. Exploitative type : USER

59. Abu Dhabi's fed. : UAE. United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven absolute monarchies.

Answer grid.


Nov 21, 2010

Sunday November 21, 2010 Gail Grabowski

Theme: Tell Me No More - TMI (Too Much Information) spans across two words in each familiar phrase.

27A. 1929 song co-written by Fats Waller : AIN'T MISBEHAVIN'. Peter Wentz used this phrase in his "Right on Cue" puzzle last year.

44A. Tenderloin cut : FILET MIGNON. What's the traditional food on your Thanksgiving table? We always have wild rice & mashed rutabaga.

59A. Eleventh hour : LAST MINUTE

82A. "Just passing through" : DON'T MIND ME

92A. Construction site sight : CEMENT MIXER

113A. Gulf War defense weapon : PATRIOT MISSILE

15D. Well-meaning error : HONEST MISTAKE. My favorite theme answer.

58D. Wartime operation : COMBAT MISSION

118D. Brief version of this puzzle's title hidden in eight long puzzle answers : TMI

Nice touch to put the unifier as the last fill.

Simple & elegant theme. Gail's puzzles are seldom complicated. She's also quite fond of pinwheel grid for her weekday puzzles, often with 4 theme entries.


1. Furtive utterance : PSST

5. "The Stranger" novelist : CAMUS (Albert). Nobel Literature 1957.

10. Resided : DWELT. The answer is seldom LIVED.

15. Jumble : HASH

19. Scale sequence : LA TI. Musical scale.

20. Stove supplier : AMANA

21. Fiber used for fishing nets : RAMIE. New word to me.

22. Org. concerned with ergonomics : OSHA

23. School founded by Henry VI : ETON. British school, 4-letter, ETON it is.

24. Like a ruined roux : LUMPY. I've never made a roux in my life.

25. Nice thoughts? : IDEES. Nice the French city.

26. Palindromic time : NOON

30. Monetary policy maker, informally : THE FED

32. "Gotta go!" : SEEYA

33. Time in an ad : TONITE. "This evening in ad" would be easier.

34. Broad lowlands : DALES. Like this?

36. 23rd Greek letter : PSI. Can never remember the order.

38. Snatched violently : TORE

40. Shell container? : GAS TANK. Shell Oil.

50. Mediation org. established by FDR : NLRB (National Labor Relations Board). Was ignorant of its existence.

52. Express discontent : MOAN. Hmm, I think Dennis wants "Express content".

53. WWII photo site, briefly : IWO. Iwo Jima.

54. Bout of indulgence : SPREE

55. Capital of Delaware? : DEE. Capital letter in Delaware.

56. Requiem : DIRGE

57. Record : DISC

63. Name on a compact : ESTEE. Compact mirror.

64. Not snookered by : ONTO

65. Fort Erie's prov. : ONT

66. Creator of sublime lines : ODIST. Real word. No complaint.

67. Blossom bits : PETALS

68. Longish coat : MIDI. Always associate midi with skirt.

70. False appearance : GUISE

71. Revered Tibetan : LAMA. Does this refer to Dalai Lama?

72. Firmly established : STABLE

75. Tapered transport : CANOE

76. Court addition? : IER. Addition to the word coutrier.

77. Pain in the neck : KINK

81. Year's record : ANNAL

84. Black, to a bard : EBON

85. Blog comments : POSTS. Nice "blog" clue.

86. Bit of work : ERG

87. Helpless, in a way : ALONE

89. Govt. smog watchdog : EPA

90. Hot pair : ITEM

91. Cheer alternative : TIDE. Cheer laundry detergent.

95. Tickle pink : DELIGHT

97. Buckwheat noodle : SOBA. Needs drops of sesame oil.

99. Many a bunt, on a scorecard : SAC (Sacrifice)

100. Doesn't split : STAYS

102. Colorful pet store purchases : TETRAS

106. Reach one's destination : GET IN

110. Its members travel in a world of their own : JETSET. Indeed.

116. Morlock prey : ELOI. From "The Time Machine".

117. Low-tech note taker : STENO

119. City on the Po : TURIN. Po River.

120. Damaging downpour : HAIL

121. Pull up stakes, briefly : RELO

122. Muscat native : OMANI. Muscat is the capital of Oman.

123. You might get a ticket for one : U TURN

124. Nerve-wracking exam, for some : ORAL

125. Finely honed : KEEN

126. Big name in Russian ballet : KIROV. Needed crossing help.

127. Has a quick look : PEEKS

128. Cross a stream, say : WADE


1. Courthouse entries : PLEAS. Tricky clue.

2. "Socrate" composer : SATIE (Erik)

3. Rock : STONE

4. Old-style photo : TINTYPE

5. Colombian city : CALI. Colombia's second-largest city.

6. Not to be missed : A MUST

7. Fast ballroom dance : MAMBO

8. Release, in a way : UNPEN. Release the pigs.

9. Greet informally : SAY "HI" TO

10. Club with a big head : DRIVER. Golf club.

11. Dry riverbed : WADI. Like arroyo?

12. Fix, as text : EMEND

13. Alibi, maybe : LIE

14. Research site : TEST LAB

16. Since : AS OF

17. Flat, e.g. : SHOE. I sure was not picturing shoes.

18. What a student might raise : HAND

28. Boom sites : MASTS

29. Lots : A TON

31. Fathers and sons : HEs

35. Avoid a strike, e.g. : AGREE

37. Self-destruct : IMPLODE

39. Consumer application : END USE

41. Vital supply line : AORTA

42. Silent films idol Conrad __ : NAGEL. First encounter with this idol. Quite handsome.

43. Mini exhibits? : KNEES. Sexy clue. I suppose LEGS could be clued this way also.

44. Everydog : FIDO

45. "Bingo!" : I WIN

46. TV series filmed on Oahu : LOST

47. Qom native : IRANI. Qom is a holy city near Teheran.

48. Daring exploit : GEST

49. Figure on a pay stub : NET

51. Belarusian's neighbor : LETT. Latvian.

56. Judge : DEEM

60. Get up on : MOUNT

61. Shoot the breeze, e.g. : IDIOM

62. American of Japanese descent : NISEI. Ni = Two. Sei = Birth. Same character as Chinese.

67. Curfew setters : PARENTS

69. Troubles : ILLS

70. Sacred river of India : GANGES

71. Fruit high in vitamin C : LEMON. All citrus fruits are high in Vitamin C.

72. Palatable : SAPID. Sure sounds like opposite, does it?

73. Govt. security : T-NOTE

74. First name in wilderness photography : ANSEL (Adams)

75. Part of a high-tech tangle : CORD

76. Not active : IDLE

78. Alpine denizen : IBEX

79. "In your dreams" : NOPE

80. Tree trunk bulge : KNAR. Learned from doing Xword.

82. Prayer object : DEITY

83. "Platoon" setting, for short : NAM

88. Slate and Salon : EMAGS. Both on line magazines.

91. "Don't worry about it" : THAT'S OK

92. Radio-active sort? : CBER

93. Swallow something hook, line and sinker : EAT IT UP

94. Revue with fancy footwork : ICE SHOW

96. Old telecom giant : GTE. Merged into Verizon.

98. Holy Roman emperor, 1209-'15 : OTTO IV. Peeked at the answer sheet.

101. Primitive projectile : SPEAR

103. Itinerary : ROUTE

104. Based on __ story : A TRUE

105. Unsportsmanlike look : SMIRK

107. Jeweled topper : TIARA

108. Tale of an ancient siege : ILIAD

109. "Ally McBeal" lawyer : NELLE. Played by Portia de Rossi. Ellen's love.

110. Schmo : JERK

111. S. Grant foe? : E LEE. Weird answer, isn't it? Gen. Robert E. Lee.

112. Lacquered metalware : TOLE

114. __ regni: in the year of the reign : ANNO

115. Room renters : INNS

Answer grid.


Nov 20, 2010

Saturday November 20, 2010 Barry Silk

Theme: None

Total words: 72

Total blocks: 34

Barry anchors his puzzle with a grid spanner flanked by two 11s:

23A. Recipient of a record 16 acting Oscar nominations : MERYL STREEP. So talented.

39A. Playing surface with 24 points : BACKGAMMON BOARD. Could be Barry's seed entry.

47A. It's given for a second : SILVER MEDAL. Great clue/answer.

Triple stacks of 9s in the upper left/lower right & two pairs of paralleled Down 9s complete the grid skeleton.

A formidable challenge to me. Had problems everywhere I went.


1. "Finding a pencil," to Broadway's Charlie Brown : HAPPINES. Happiness is finding a pencil.

10. Proper : LEGIT

15. Like climbing the walls? : IDIOMATIC. Tricky clue.

16. Common compound : OXIDE. Like rust.

17. Scoundrel : REPROBATE. We normally get RAKE or ROUE as an answer.

18. Noble gas : XENON

19. Fashion model Wek : ALEK. Model from Sudan. Very pretty.

20. What 'n' may mean : AND

22. "Parker Spitzer" airer : CNN. Hosted by Kathleen Parker & Eliot Spitzer. Au courant clue. Good one.

28. Roy Orbison's "__ Over" : IT'S

30. Robert who played Sam Fujiyama on "Quincy, M.E." : ITO. Not familiar with this actor. Is he related to Judge Ito?

31. Pindus Mountains site : GREECE. And two cross-referenced answers: 7D. Letter from 31-Across : ETA & 25D. Meeting place in 31-Across : STOA

33. Koala bear, e.g. : MISNOMER. Not really bear. Hope Kazie nailed the answer.

38. Big name in financial advice : ORMAN (Suze)

41. Flower also called a marguerite : OXEYE. The "also called" part is unknown to me. Lovely daisy.

42. Warning words : YOU'LL SEE. Didn't come to me quickly.

43. Domain : SPHERE

45. "How about that!" : GEE

46. Gp. with the 1979 top-10 album "Discovery" : ELO. So many ways to clue ELO.

54. Carrier units, briefly : ACs. Sure was not thinking of the Carrier Air Conditioners.

56. Formerly : NEE

57. She played Linda in "Arthur" : LIZA (Minnelli). Stumped me.

58. It's a joint : ANKLE. Devious clue.

60. Peru was its leading exporter in 2009 : ASPARAGUS. Who knows?

64. __ the hole : ACE IN

65. Donut, possibly : SPARE TIRE. Funny clue.

66. British satellite entertainment option : SKY TV. No idea.

67. Fare computer : TAXI METER. Oh, taxi fare.


1. Whiskey's Walker : HIRAM. Learning moment. Hiram Walker.

2. Predecessor of Ginger : ADELE. Adele Astaire? I don't get this clue.

3. Proverbial payee : PIPER. Pay the piper.

4. Daffy contemporary : PORKY. Looney Tunes.

5. E-mail qualifier : IMO

6. Pick up : NAB. Definitely not in the "Pick up" = "Arrest" direction.

8. Lute cousin : SITAR

9. Vista : SCENE

10. Deli delicacy : LOX. Delicious!

11. Suit : EXEC. "Suit" here is slang for "business executive". The clue needs an abbreviation hint.

12. HUD corp. since 1968 : GINNIE MAE. Younger than Fannie Mae.

13. "Whatever" : I DON'T CARE. Great answer.

14. Number of hydrogen atoms in butane : TEN. Well, Al/Jazzbumpa/Husker Gary/Bob might know.

21. What a tiny circle may signify: Abbr. : DEG. Like the tiny circle in 37°.

24. Hangs around : LINGERS

26. 1969 rock opera : TOMMY. Not in my knowledge zone.

27. Snag : PROBLEM

29. Texter's command : SEND

32. Desire personified : EROS. We also have 61. Goddess of peace : PAX.

33. Quantum theory pioneer : MAX PLANCK. Drew a blank also. Nobel prize 1918. German.

34. Early rules for it were developed at McGill University in the 1870s : ICE HOCKEY. New trivia to me.

35. Island near Eigg : SKYE. See this map. Largest of the Inner Hebrides.

36. Rock genre : EMO. Offshoot of Punk Rock.

37. Makeup option : ROUGE

39. Big name in audio : BOSE. Expensive stuff.

40. Phil, say : NLER. National Leaguer. Did you think of Phillies when reading the clue "Phil"? I sure did not.

44. A, overseas : EIN

48. In any case, with "at" : LEAST

49. Piaggio transportation line : VESPA. The scooter maker.

50. Delight : ELATE

51. One, for one : DIGIT. One is a digit. "for one" = "for example".

52. Color similar to Brandeis blue : AZURE. Guessed.

53. Surgery tool : LASER

55. Cut : SLIT

58. Digital camera inserts : AAs

59. Letter carrier: Abbr. : ENV. Not postman.

62. Hebrew name meaning "lion" : ARI. Good to know.

63. Stage occurring several times a night, briefly : REM (Rapid Eye Movement)

Answer grid.


Nov 19, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010 Daniel A. Finan

(Note: We're instructed to "SEE NOTEPAD" in today's puzzle. In puz file (Across Lite), go to View and click on Notepad. It says "Five clues in this puzzle are deliberately left blank". You'd be really confounded if you solved the puzzle via LA Times' website, no Notepad there, despite the instruction. Does your local paper have SEE NOTEPAD also?)

Theme: CLUELESS (61A. Like five answers in this puzzle, literally and figuratively: CLUELESS. Very tricky puzzle, you see un-clued fill, but there is the dash. So the five answers were without clues, and the five answers were all synonyms for CLUELESS, meaning not very smart. I was an pea brain, airhead for a while, sorting this one out.

17A. -: PEA BRAIN. This is one of the more obvious expressions, coming from the idea of one who has brain the size of a pea does not know much.

28A. -: DINGBAT. None more famous than EDITH . Nobody seems to know where this term comes from.

46A. -: AIRHEAD. Also, pretty self explanatory, if all that is between your ears is AIR, you are not likely to be smart.

11D. -: NINCOMPOOP. A really evocative word, I have heard my entire life, but again, nobody knows why it means what it means.

27D. -: SPACE CADET. This comes from someone who has his head in the sky, with no touch with normal thought.

Well, hello all, it is Lemonade here with your Friday report, and this was a very complicated effort, with pitfalls everywhere. It is my second Daniel A. Finan puzzle to blog, the last being the incredible anagram pangram in August. Once again his approach to theme is new, leaving out clues as clues. So, let’s go.


1. "When I __ kid ...": WAS A. I put it in but wondered if there was more to it. Is this referring to the Bill Cosby comedy album?

5. Colorado NHLers: AVS. National Hockey League. The Avalanche; they began as the Quebec Nordiques, but were too close to Montreal, and finally moved to Colorado, where they won the Stanley Cup their first year, beating the Florida Panthers.

8. They may be surrounded at parties: PIANOS. Lovely clue, really nice imagery.

14. Set up: Abbr.: ESTD. Established.

15. Acqua Di __: Armani cologne: GIO. My cologne of choice; ladies?

16. Like a maelstrom: ASWIRL. Ah, an “A” word, what fun.

19. Cash in Nashville: JOHNNY. Did you hesitate and think about Money?

20. Rolls to the gate: TAXIES. What planes do after landing.

21. Colorful cats: CALICOS. So many different color COMBINATIONS .

22. Pitts of early cinema: ZASU. An old favorite from the Tribune puzzles, but we have not seen her lately; I remember her from OH SUSANNAH where she was Gale Storm’s sidekick.

24. Retired New York senator Al D'__: AMATO. As a Senator, he was more famous for controversy and long filibusters, now retired he is 73 and has 2 children, a 2 year old, and a 1 year old. Man must be crazy.

25. Hi-__: FIS. Stands for High Fidelity.

30. Second degree?: MBA. Fooled me completely first time through, but after you get your Bachelor’s , you do get a second degree.

33. In spades: AMPLY. Phrase in spades "in abundance" first recorded 1929 (Damon Runyon), probably from bridge, where spades are the highest-ranking suit.

35. It's usually four: PAR. Though generally there also par 5’s and par 3’s; no record of how 4 became the standard, or even why 18 HOLES . We also have, 34. Golfer's concern: LIE indicating where your ball lies.

36. Former 56-Across team: EXPOS. The Montreal EXPOS went bankrupt, and major league baseball moved the franchise to Washington, D.C., where they are now the Nationals. 56A. Baseball div.: NL EAST. Had to guess.

38. Cuisine that includes phanaeng: THAI. I enjpy THAI food, but most restaurants refer to it as PANANG CURRY.

39. "Entourage" agent Gold: ARI. Played ever so hatefully by Jeremy Piven.

40. English walled city: YORK. A fun tour of Europe is to see the WALLED CITIES .

41. Guard dog command: SIC EM. No doubt from ‘seek them’.

43. "__ be a pleasure!": IT'D.

44. O3: OZONE. If I had not gotten this one, I would never have finished, it opened up the whole south for me.

45. Unlock'd: OPE. I ‘ope not again, soon.

49. Place for flock members: PEW. Very cute, I can picture all the sheep in church.

50. "I __ your long lost pal": Paul Simon lyric: CAN BE. This was part of his work with African music and musicians, with American LYRICS .

52. Salon sound: SNIP. Snip, snip go the scissors, a word many men associate with vasectomy.

54. Given, as custody: AWARDED. I hated divorce work, and quit after the old man pulled gun on me in the hall outside my office; criminals were much safer.

60. Mel Gibson persona: MAD MAX. This was Mel Gibson’s break out hit MOVIE .

63. Ring of color: AREOLE. Alas, C.C., I defer to you.

64. "Popeye" surname: OYL. The hot chick the men had to fight over, Olive.

65. Shell's shell, e.g.: LOGO. Like the clue, simple but effective.

66. Aquarium denizens: TETRAS. A fancy word for resident.

67. "Bottle Rocket" director Anderson: WES. This was his first movie, which he did with the Wilson brothers, with whom he forged a long relationship and did other movies such as The Royal Tenebaums he also directed the fable The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and to show our puzzles all make sense, and fit together, the recent Fantastic Mr. Fox .

68. Colony workers: ANTS. Ant colony, not Americans working for the Brits.


1. Showed relief, in a way: WEPT. Tears of?

2. Deported?: ASEA. Oh oh, another “A” word.

3. Vintage R&B record label: STAX. Despite 30+ years representing musicians, I did not remember this LABEL but then I do rock and roll, not R & B.

4. Madison Ave. symbolizes it: AD BIZ. The home of MADMEN and crazy America, my favorite about Madison avenue was the movie CRAZY PEOPLE with Dudley Moore and Daryl Hannah.

5. Court star with the autobiography "Open": AGASSI. Andre was perhaps a bit too Open in his book, discussing his drug usage, etc.

6. Sundial number: VII. A new way to slip in a Roman Numeral.

7. One learning about the birds and the bees?: SON. My father’s entire speech was, “If you like big breasts, go be a farmer because cows have the biggest; and quality over quantity.” Edited for publication.

8. Kind of party: PAJAMA. Ah, we are back with Dennis at the Slumber party in his PJ’s and once again there is a recurring theme.

9. Get away from the others: ISOLATE.

10. In the slightest: A WHIT. Many a wit has realized all the nice things A WHIT rhymes with, but most of us do not give a …..

12. "Yes __?": OR NO. Damn, that was too easy.

13. Stallone and Stone: SLYS. SLY and the Family Stone; was this their biggest HIT ?

18. Set: READY. How can this be synonymous, when you have to be READY for CAB RIDES. (21D. Taxi stand).

23. Odd, as a sock: UNPAIRED.There is some rich creature somewhere with a bazillion single socks.

25. 1980 DeLuise film: FATSO. A rather sad and poignant movie.

26. "Can you dig it?" response: I'M HIP. Sadly, we actually talked like that.

29. "Wayne's World" co-host: GARTH. Dana Carvey to Mike Myers’ Wayne.

31. Shouldered: BORNE.

32. Out of line: ASKEW. An “A” word.

37. ___ Affair: 1798-1800 France/USA dispute: XYZ. Did anyone watch the HBO series about JOHN ADAMS , he was the president who had to deal with this problem.

42. Hindu meditation aid: MANDALA. Now we hit my weak part of the puzzle, as I did not know this DESIGN , nor

44. "Swan Lake" maiden: ODILE. I never was much on ballet, and only ODETTE came to mind.

47. Wild goats with recurved horns: IBEXES. They do have interesting HORNS .

48. Makes void: ANNULS. More divorce work, bleh.

51. Gladiator's defense: ARMOR. I liked the movie with Russell Crowe.

53. Window-making giant: PELLA. Never heard of them either, but the perps finally got me home.

54. Word in a basic Latin conjugation: AMAT. AMO, AMAS, AMAT; I love, you love, he/she/it loves; when I was in 6th grade, we studied Latin and I was conjugating and said the last one too fast…

55. Tupper ending: WARE. Burp?

57. Many millennia: AEON. Fancy spelling for EON (again a new recurring theme) and a movie showcasing a delightful CHARLIZE THERON .

58. Certain NCO: SSGT. Staff Sergeant.

59. General __ chicken: TSOS.

61. Tipping target, so it's said: COW. Yep, the old sport of COW TIPPING .

62. Drano component: LYE. I would not lie to you about this either.

Well another challenge, conquered, almost a pangram (Q short) with so many new words and clues; thanks Mr. F., and to rest of you , have a great week end, and a better Monday.

Answer grid.


Nov 18, 2010

Thursday November 18, 2010 John Doppler Schiff

Theme: O What a Theme! - O is added to the end of each two-word common phrase and changes the last word into a celebrity name. The theme entries are clued in a wacky manner as indicated by the (?).

17A. Marx as a Druid?: CELTIC HARPO. Druids were an ancient order of Celtic priests in the societies of Western Europe, Britain and Ireland + Harpo Marx. Here is a Celtic (folk, lever or Irish) harp with a little bit of Led Zeppelin.

55A. Well-dressed Swedish actress?: FORMAL GARBO. Greta Garbo, in formal wear never said "I want to be alone." She said she wanted to be left alone, while on vacation. A common celebrity complaint with all the paparazzi fuss today.

11D. Godfather portrayer turned shop owner?: STORE BRANDO. Marlin Brando + store brand. Like Roundy's green beans. Those are also called "private label" brands by the packaged goods industry.

25D. Beatle in a bout?: BOXING RINGO. I can picture Ringo Starr in a grudge match with Yoko Ono.

Al here.

Nice to see a pinwheel theme formation in a weekday grid, and not too many names other than the theme, which did help me get the "ending with O" parts of two answers. I found this easier than yesterday's for some reason.


1. Encircled by: AMONG. Related word: mingle.

6. Persian faith: BAHAI.

11. One with a cover: SPY. Like 61A. Bullwinkle nemesis: BORIS. Badenov and Natasha Fatale. The cartoon spies from Pottsylvania always making trouble for Rocky and Bullwinkle.

14. More of a novice: RAWER. As with a raw recruit. Latin novus: new.

15. Lunch hr. end, often: ONE PM.

16. A victory may break one: TIE.

19. Rio hello: OLA. Portuguese, not Spanish.

20. PD precinct boss: CMDR. Police Department, Commander.

21. Chants of a lifetime?: MANTRAS. Not sure whether Rich or John were trying to be clever with the clue, a play on "chance", but this book actually exists: Chants of a Lifetime is a collection of stories, teachings, and insights from Krishna Das, who has been called "the chant master of American yoga".

23. Works: LABORS. The simple answer this time. Was caught trying to figure out an art or music related answer.

26. Cell component: BAR. A Jail cell. Anyone else thinking biological cell at first? Maybe it refers to a cell phone, but one bar isn't very good, right?

27. Lift with effort: HEFT.

28. Win by __: A NOSE.

29. Built up charges: RAN A TAB. Glad it wasn't "staticy" charges.

31. Parts of personal music libraries: MIX TAPES. I used to make mix tapes from my LPs in the 70's, but does anyone even use cassettes anymore? For that matter, 18D. Vinyl successors, briefly: CDS are probably on their way out as well, with ipods, cell phones and computers storing and playing digital music.

33. Musical intervals: THIRDS. Fifths and sixths would also fit.

36. ASCAP rival: BMI. American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers vs. Broadcast Music Incorporated. Music rights groups that collect license fees and distribute them as royalties. Maybe SESAC, the third such US-based organization, will be in a puzzle someday. I doubt it, though, probably too obscure.

37. First rabies vaccine creator: PASTEUR. Also largely responsible for hand and equipment sanitization for doctors before operations. Prior to Pasteur few doctors bothered to wash their hands. If you listen to some nurses stories, they still don't...

39. Interior decorator's concern: ART.

40. Classic breath freshener: SEN-SEN. Licorice flavored.

42. Certain counter's woe: INSOMNIA. Counting sheep.

44. Iron supplement brand: GERITOL. A marketing ploy, named to sound like "geriatric", and originally targeted towards older people with "tired blood". Unless an actual condition of anemia exists, it is not needed by women past a certain age, and not by men at all. Over-consumption of iron can cause hemochromatosis, a serious condition which needs to be treated by bloodletting.

46. Spread out: WIDEN.

47. Memo opener: IN RE. Latin "in the matter of", form of "res", commonly seen in puzzles clues as "thing, in law".

49. Bengals, on scoreboards: CIN.cinatti football team.

50. Noble address: MILORD.

51. Question of advisability: DO I DARE.

53. There are pins at the end of one: LANE. Bowling.

54. Columnist Landers: ANN.

60. Biker's chopper: HOG. A Harley Davidson motorcycle.

62. Stravinsky and a lab assistant: IGORS.

63. Barcelona bear: OSO. Spanish.

64. Bright: SMART.

65. Not schooled in: NEW AT.


1. Ring piece: ARC. Briefly wanted GEM, but decided to wait and see a perp first.

2. West of Hollywood: MAE. Come up and see me sometime. Called Charlie McCarthy (Edgar Bergen's ventriloquist dummy) "all wood and a yard long".

3. Athena's attendant: OWL. She is the goddess of wisdom (and war, civilization, strength, justice, etc.) In Homeric poetry, Athena is most often referred to with bright or gleaming eyes, like owls that can see in the dark, and was often pictured with an owl. The evolution of this constant association is why owls became associated with wisdom.

4. Discounted price: NET COST.

5. Antonius Block's chess opponent in Bergman's "The Seventh Seal": GRIM REAPER. There's an abbreviation used in internet chat rooms and message boards: "tl;dr" (too long; didn't read) for something that you can't be bothered with or get too bored to read all the way through. To me, that's this wiki article on this play, but I linked it just in case you're curious.

6. Nuclear Nobelist Niels: BOHR.

7. Prefix with gram: ANA. Jerome's favorite wordplay: anagrams.

8. Author Wouk: HERMAN. Among other books, The Caine Mutiny, The Winds of War, and War and Remembrance

9. Paraphernalia: APPARATUS. From Latin prefix "ad-" meaning: to + parare: make ready.

10. "That's my cue!": I'M ON. Show biz.

12. Dinner side, perhaps: PILAF. Rice boiled with broth, often with meat. Turkish pilav, from Persian pilaw.

13. It can raise dough: YEAST. And that can be used in a bake sale to raise dough...

22. Chiang Mai resident: THAI.

23. Ewe kids: LAMBS.

24. Asian cartoon genre: ANIME. Animation, usually adapted from Manga, which is the printed form, somewhat like a comic book.

26. Fortification: BASTION. Middle French bastillon from Old French bastille, literally fortress, stronghold.

29. Musical seconds: RES. Right after Do, a deer.

30. Not charging for: THROWING IN. But wait, there's more!

32. Safe place with a counterintuitive name: PANIC ROOM. A 2002 thriller movie starring Jodie Foster.

34. Less soggy: DRIER.

35. Stop asking for cards: STAND. Poker.

38. Like a USN volunteer: ENL. Enlisted in the US Navy.

41. Parakeet's eats: SEED.

43. Distance on a tank: MILEAGE. Not the army tank.

45. __ del Fuego: TIERRA. Spanish for "Land of fire", named by Magellan. The southernmost tip of South America.

47. Its southern border is about seven times longer than its northern one: IDAHO. Borders six other states + Canada. Name the three states with more state borders.

48. Prohibitions: NO-NOS.

50. Bad start?: MAL. Prefix.

52. HQs for B-2s: AFBS. Air Force Bases.

53. Not leading anyone: LAST.

56. Highest Russian territory, once?: MIR. The former space station. Not an acronym, but a Russian word for (peace, world, society).

57. Kerfuffle: ROW. Spat, ADO, a fight.

58. Grille cover: BRA. A "bug" shield.

59. From Essen to Leipzig, locally: OST. German for east.

Answer Grid.


Nov 17, 2010

Wednesday November 17, 2010 Fred Piscop

Theme: WURST PUZZLE EVER. Add "WURST" to the first part of the theme answers, and you get some variety of sausage. Vegetarians might find this the WURST PUZZLE EVER, but to an omnivore like me, it's quite tasty.

17A. Lennon had one : LIVERPOOL ACCENT. The fab four hailed from LIVERPOOL (nasty image if you think about it.) LIVERWURST, from the German Leberwurst, is liver sausage, obviously. Love it or hate it, this staple of northern and eastern Europe is spreadable, high in fat, and contains pig's liver. In Hungary, my ancestral home, it's used with cheese as a filling for baked pancakes. The things you learn . . .

25A. Go from pillar to post : KNOCK ABOUT. This is not a great correspondence. KNOCK ABOUT means travel widely or wander aimlessly. To "go from pillar to post" is to search widely or be driven by circumstances beyond one's control. KNOCKWURST is a soft sausage made of pork and beef spiced with garlic and other seasonings. And, lest you BARQUE up the wrong tree, here is another KNOCKABOUT.

50A. Josephine Tey title orphan : BRAT FARRAR. "BRAT FARRAR is the story of a young man who takes part in a swindle, and suddenly finds himself the champion of the missing heir that he is impersonating against his victim's conceited twin brother." Tey was a Scottish author of mystery novels. BRAT FARRAR might be her best and most famous. BRATWURST is a sausage made of veal and pork. To a purist, it is made with veal only. I guess I'm not a purist.

And the Unifier:
66. Based on the starts of 17-, 25- and 50-Across, what this crossword might be? : WURST PUZZLE EVER. Reminds me of this.

Hi, gang, it JzB, your Hungarian, pig-devouring, Toledo trombonist. I have to repost Dennis's "Did you know?" from yesterday. "The average American eats the equivalent of 28 pigs in his or her lifetime." We could do WURST, I suppose.


1. Baron Cohen's Kazakh journalist : BORAT. High achievement in low comedy.

6. Dickens alias : BOZ. As the story goes, BOZ was the nickname of his younger brother, Augustus.

9. National Guard challenges : RIOTS. The challenge is to avoid either injuring or being injured.

14. Publicist's concern : IMAGE. When perception trumps reality, IMAGE is all.

15. Bettor's note : IOU. Shortened from "I owe you." Very early textese.

16. Art film, often : INDIE. Independent - not associated with a major studio.

20. Undying : ETERNAL. Forever, and ever. Not an INDIE.

21. Bring to light : UNEARTH.

22. Handle clumsily : PAW. Not to be confused with 62 D.

24. Wallet items, briefly : IDS. Identification, like a driver's license.

31. Rodgers's partner : HART. Lorenz HART was Richard Rodgers's lyricist, before Rodgers teamed up with Oscar Hammerstein. Here is my favorite R&H tune.

35. Part of a TV feed : AUDIO. the sound portion. The Vidio portion is the . . . ah - video

36. Nasty boss : OGRE. Ever have one? My two WURST bosses were really decent people who didn't know jack about how to be a boss.

38. Sigma preceder : RHO. Greek letters. All together now: Rho, rho, rho your beta, gamma down the sigma . . .

39. Eggy bun : BRIOCHE. I'd like one with my BRAT.

42. Vibraphone virtuoso Lionel : HAMPTON. He lost a great deal of memorabilia and recordings when his apartment burned a few years ago. He was a wonderful person, and a terrific musician. He, Teddy Wilson, Gene Krupa and Benny Goodman broke the color barrier in American Music. Here, they also break the land speed record.

44. CIA forerunner : OSS The office of Strategic Services.

45. Chuck : HURL. Throw, not a roast. Remember, we're doing pigs today.

47. "All in the Family" spinoff : MAUDE. MAUDE, played by Bea Arthur, was Edith Bunker's outspoken, liberated, rather overbearing cousin.

48. One of Alcott's women : BETH. And one of my daughters-in-law. She is bringing the kids to our house next week for Thanksgiving. We'll all be giving thanks when Tom returns from Afghanistan, some time in January.

53. Old Gremlin maker : AMC. Why anyone would want to make an old gremlin remains a mystery. I guess they mean American Motors Corporation, which at one time made Jeeps in Toledo. Then it was Chrysler, which, more recently, was purchased with Fiat money

55. Fannie follower? : MAE. The Federal National Mortgage Association, or, Freddie Mac's girl friend. They both have debt issues.

56. Not surprisingly : AS USUAL

60. Esteem : RESPECT. Let's all show just a little bit.

68. "South Pacific" hero : EMILE. Here is his song. Also, see 31 A.

69. Museum-funding org. : NEA. National Endowment for the Arts.

70. Origami bird : CRANE. Why not an albatross?

71. Gave a shot, say : DOSED.

You lucky people get another of my poems, based on a real life experience. It gave me the opportunity to moon a comely lass.


For four straight days I've been flat on my back.
Prospects for tomorrow -- not too bright.
But first I have to face another night
Of nose-runs, insomnia, and cough attack.

Day two they put a needle in my hip,
Pumped in some paste, a substance that is not
The amber liquid I would call a shot:
That lovely Malt, imported in green glass.

When morning comes I'll rise to face tomorrow,
Without a Scottish gift to ease my sorrow,
And if some comely lass of nursely station
Approaches from behind with medication

I'll demure, and if you get my drift,
If she insists, then I will plead the fifth.

-- Jan. 28, 1999, 11:00 pm

Copyright Jazzbumpa. All rights reserved

72. "How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must)" author Coulter : ANN. Here, I will practice restraint.

73. Ready to snap : TESTY. If President Coolidge had been irascible rather than taciturn, would he have been TESTY Cal?


1. Ill temper : BILE. The cluster of the last three answers restores my faith in a benevolent deity.

2. Jump over : OMIT. The quick brown fox omitted the lazy dog.

8. Pilot's alphabet ender : ZULU. Alpha, Bravo . . . or is it Able, Baker . . . Somebody here will know this, fer sure.

9. Reduced to bits : RICED. If you put boiled potatoes through a ricer, the little bits look like grains of rice - until you stir in the butter, etc.

10. Like bill payments? : IN CASH. Very retro answer. Even checks are passe, now. Put it on plastic, pay it on line with 100% recyclable electrons.

11. Wroclaw's river : ODER. Smell something fishy?

12. Sunroof feature : TINT. Tinted glass or plastic, to keep your car from turning into an oven.

13. Adam's third : SETH. The forgotten son, except in crosswords.

18. Bearded Smurf : PAPA

19. "Peer Gynt Suite" dancer : ANITRA

23. Romance : WOO. See 31 A.

25. Barbecue fare : KABOB. Shish kabob is lamb. Pork - I dunno - pig kabobs?

26. Sip : NURSE. As in nurse a beer. Similar to nursing a baby, I suppose. Not to be confused with someone who does 71 A.

27. Praiseful poet : ODIST. Like me, I suppose. C. A. to the rescue, please.

28. Gp. in a 1955 labor merger : C.I.O. Note Abrv. The Congress of Industrial Organizations merged with the American Federation of Labor. All together now: John L. Lewis had a union, C-I, C-I-O . . .

29. "How'm I Doing?" mayor/author : KOCH. I might ask the same question.

30. "This is awful!" : UGH. Hope that's not the answer.

32. Pianist Rubinstein : ARTUR

33. Ida Morgenstern's daughter : RHODA. A mid 70's spinoff from the Mary Tyler Moore show starring Valarie Harper. Nothing Bazarre about it.

34. Office machine supply : TONER.

37. "Bone Dance" sci-fi author Bull : EMMA. This novel was nominated for both the Hugo and Nebula awards.

40. One may be thrown at a pothole : HUBCAP. Do cars have hub caps any more?

41. Drop a brick, so to speak : ERR. To drop a brick is human. Anybody know anything about this expression?

43. It's often two, in mini golf : PAR. the designated number of strokes for a hole.

46. Hotfoot it : LAM. I only know this from the phrase "on the lam," meaning "at large." So, if Sasquach is on the LAM, that's an at large Bigfoot hot foot. Of course, LAM is also in Shish kabob, which is best served hot.

49. Give grief to : HASSLE. I had the first letter as S for a while, and wondered what language I was using.

51. Burroughs swinger : TARZAN. Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote the Tarzan novels. Tarzan was a swinger, but not like Edna St. Vincent Millay.

52. Have a hunch : FEEL. Hence the sympathetic expression, "I have a hunch about your pain."

54. Softened, in a way : MUTED. A Harmon mute is common on trumpet, but rare for trombone. I have one, and it gives a pretty nice sound.

56. Blown away : AWED. Like a trombone in a windstorm.

57. Heavyweights' ring contest : SUMO. Japanese SUMO wrestlers.

58. "Topaz" author : URIS. Leon URIS also wrote Exodus and Redemption.

59. Moon goddess : LUNA. Also, my most favoritest Harry Potter Character.

61. Shiites, e.g. : SECT. Shia and Sunni dissected Islam in the first generation following the death of the prophet in 632.

62. French pop : PERE. Daddy, not soda.

63. NASA "walks" : EVAS. Extra Vehicular Activity.

64. Euro fraction : CENT. One one-hundreth part. Just like our penny, which is also properly called a CENT.

65. Long basket, in basketball lingo : TREY. A shot from beyond the three point line, which is worth (AS USUAL) three points!

67. Path to enlightenment : ZEN. Not so much a path, as a way of thinking and perceiving the universe. ZEN is a Japanese word derived from the Chinese word Chán, which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyāna, which means "meditation" or "meditative state". ZEN also originated in the 7th century. Thank you, Wikipedia.

Answer grid.

Time for me to HURL myself into bed. I have to get up in five hours.



Nov 16, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 Jennifer Nutt

Theme: Confectionery Fixes - The ends of the starred clues answers are ways to get your cacao bean fix. What's your favorite?

18A. *Chicken soup dumpling: MATZO BALL. Image. A dumpling made from matzah meal of white plain flour and water.

35A. *Paleontologist's lucky find: DINOSAUR EGG. Image. Mere coincidence they look like matzo balls.

43A. *Cappuccino seller: ESPRESSO BAR. Image. Espresso Bar in Melbourne.

61A. Confection that can start the ends of the answers to starred clues: CHOCOLATE

3D. *Basic computer component: SILICON CHIP. Image. Mere coincidence they look like matzo crackers.

27D. *Parting smooch: GOODBYE KISS. Clip.(0:35) Warning: Equal Opportunity Kisser.

Argyle here. Oh my, you should have a cup of hot cocoa instead of coffee this morning.

Ambitious lay-out for a Tuesday with the crossing of the long theme entries twice. Visually appealing but not affecting the solving, which was quite easy with some new cluing.


1. Cold shower reactions : GASPS

6. Chicken or turkey : FOWL

10. Hair tamers : GELS

14. Sacro- ending : ILIAC

15. Athletic shoe brand : AVIA. It isn't Latin for "fly". Right, Bob?

16. Stratford's river : AVON. Stratford-on-Avon is a popular tourist destination owing to its status as birthplace of William Shakespeare.

17. Seward's Alaska purchase, to some : FOLLY. At the time, 1867, but they changed their tune when gold was discovered there, 1896.

20. National flower of Scotland : THISTLE. Image

22. Neophyte : TYRO. Beginner

23. Anatomical bag : SAC

24. Zeus' wife : HERA

26. Fight-or-flight response generator : DANGER

30. Ajar, say : OPEN

32. Atop : UPON

34. Typical studio apartment room count : ONE

38. Punch-in-the-gut grunt : "OOF!"

39. "Batt. not __" : INCL. "Batteries not included."

40. Bon __: witticism : MOT. French for 'good word'.

41. Sit in traffic : IDLE

42. Utmost degree : NTH

47. Baseball's Diamondbacks, on scoreboards : ARI. Arizona

48. Apollo program org. : NASA. National Aeronautics and Space Administration

49. Wee : TINY

50. Bunny or kangaroo : HOPPER

52. Came out with : SAID

54. Recede : EBB

57. Ahmadinejad's land : IRAN. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the sixth and current President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

59. Body surfer's ride : BREAKER

65. Come up : ARISE

66. Crest : PEAK

67. Coup d'__ : ÉTAT. French, overthrow of the state.

68. Correct, as a stitch : RESEW

69. Torah holders : ARKS

70. Geologic stretches : EONS. Should this be ERAS?

71. A barque has at least three : MASTS. This image may clear up your questions about what a barque is.


1. Birthday buys : GIFTS

2. Hawaii hi : "ALOHA"

4. Buddies : PALS

5. Grain-cutting tools : SCYTHES. It is an art to swing a scythe and this painting shows a very important part of it. It is nigh on impossible to cut without a razor sharp blade. Windhover, do you swing one?

6. Hall of __: athletic standout : FAMER

7. Breakfast for Brutus? : OVA. The old Roman is having eggs for breakfast.

8. Two-time 1980s skating gold medalist Katarina : WITT

9. Quick brown fox's obstacle? : LAZY DOG. "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" is an English-language pangram, used in typing lessons.

10. Cameroon neighbor : GABON. Africa Map.

11. "The Loco-Motion" singer Little __ : EVA. Clip.(1:16) On Shindig 1965.

12. Texter's guffaw : LOL

13. Tina Fey was its first female head writer, briefly : SNL

19. Asian ape : ORANG

21. Singer Horne : LENA. One of the greats.

25. Sky lights : AURORAS

28. __ Gay : ENOLA

29. Send for consultation : REFER

31. D.C. go-getter : POL. Yes, but is he just going to get our money?

33. Tennis's Sampras : PETE

35. Shore of Hollywood : DINAH

36. Words before the talk show guest enters : INTRO

37. Masked men at home? : UMPS

41. Charged particle : ION

43. Diciembre follower : ENERO. Spanish December / January

44. Frozen cake maker : SARA LEE

45. Recipe direction : STIR

46. Holstered pistol, e.g. : SIDEARM

51. Selections : PICKS

53. Looks out for, as a partner in crime : ABETS

55. Plague : BESET

56. Beer and ale : BREWS

58. Belg.-based peacekeeping gp. : NATO. The NATO headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium.

60. Place : AREA

61. Tax pro : CPA

62. "I've Grown Accustomed to __ Face" : HER

63. Wine barrel wood : OAK

64. Brown shade : TAN

Answer grid.

Here are a few wonderful photos of the Lopez family making & enjoying traditional tamales. Click here (2:35pm) to see Lucina's secret recipe.


Nov 15, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010 David W. Cromer

Theme: It's a bird, it's a ... - Plane, a jet, to be precise according to the unifier. The first theme requires a two-word verb phrase while the next two are single verbs; altogether, they describe a plane flight.

20A. Lose a few pounds: TAKE OFF WEIGHT

37A. Act defiantly toward: FLY IN THE TEETH OF, 'In the Face' is more common.

54A. Find ideal employment: LAND A GREAT JOB

58D. You might be on one if you do the starts of 20-, 37- and 54-Across: JET

Argyle here.

A perfunctory Monday puzzle rather easy to solve but was an ambitious construction. Six letter stacks in two corners, two near grid spanning themes and a third that made it all the way. It takes a lot of work to make it look easy.


1. Estimator's words : OR SO

5. It's cut and styled : HAIR

9. "Of __ I Sing" : THEE

13. Kathmandu's country : NEPAL

15. Part of A.D. : ANNO. Anno Domini, which is Latin for "year of our Lord". Now sometimes referred to as the Common Era, Christian Era, or Current Era (abbreviated as C.E. or CE).

16. Sniggler's prey : EELS

17. Maliciousness : SPITE

18. Not so much : LESS

19. Bivouac : CAMP

23. Opposed (to) : AVERSE

24. Pekoe, e.g. : TEA

25. "Far out!" : "RAD!". I don't believe "RAD" ever got much use.

28. Legal thing : RES. By itself, RES is Latin for thing; it starts many legal terms.

29. They're exchanged at the altar : I DOs

32. Make fun of : TEASE

34. Sweet snack with coffee : DONUT

36. Northern California peak : SHASTA. Located at the southern end of the cascades in Siskiyou County.

41. __ Pieces: candy brand : REESE'S

42. Brings up : REARS

43. Make into law : ENACT

44. Bank claim : LIEN

45. Fashion that doesn't last : FAD

48. Canadian A.L. team, on scoreboards : TOR. TORonto, north across Lake Ontario from Buffalo, NY. The Blue Jays.

49. Crude in a tanker : OIL

51. Invent : CREATE

58. Monopoly square with bars : JAIL

60. Yves's girlfriend : AMIE. A Frenchman's girlfriend.

61. Country with a wall : CHINA

62. Poet __ St. Vincent Millay : EDNA. Her Columbia County, NY, farmhouse, which she christened Steepletop, is within miles of my sister's house.

63. Heavenly music maker : HARP

64. Kids' flying toys : KITES

65. Clothes : TOGS

66. Norway's capital : OSLO

67. Open-and-shut __ : CASE


1. GM navigation system : ONSTAR

2. Fix potholes in : REPAVE

3. Volleyball smashes : SPIKES

4. Wild West movie : OATER

5. One of two equal portions : HALF

6. From the beginning : ANEW

7. Maps within maps : INSETS

8. Talk radio host O'Donnell : ROSIE.

9. PC support pro : TECH

10. Summer itch cause : HEAT RASH

11. Stately tree : ELM

12. Psychic's claim : ESP. Extrasensory perception (ESP)

14. Some summer babies, astrologically : LEOs

21. Deceptive moves : FEINTS

22. Collect : GATHER

26. Regarding : AS TO

27. Unable to hear : DEAF

30. "Of course I knew that!" : "DUH!". Followed by a smack to the head with a V-8 can. (D'oh is when someone else smacks you with a V-8 can.)

31. "SNL" alum Cheri : OTERI.

33. Food, on a diner sign : EATS. Or the whole

34. Computer insert : DISC

35. Common pickup capacity : ONE TON. A half-ton is more common.

36. Afterworld communication meeting : SÉANCE

37. Get all worked up : FRET

38. Letterman rival : LENO. Late night talk show hosts.

39. Horse that isn't two yet : YEARLING

40. Golfer's gadget : TEE

44. Alpaca cousins : LLAMAs

45. Tex-Mex serving : FAJITA

46. Makes reparations (for) : ATONES

47. Lower in rank : DEBASE

50. Wyoming neighbor : IDAHO

52. __ of lamb : RACK

53. Value system : ETHIC

55. "Woe is me!" : "ALAS!"

56. "__, Interrupted" : GIRL. It is a best-selling 1993 memoir by American author Susanna Kaysen, relating her experiences as a young woman in a psychiatric hospital in the 1960s after being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. The memoir's title is a reference to the Vermeer painting Girl Interrupted at her Music. It was a 1999 drama film, starring Winona Ryder, Brittany Murphy, Angelina Jolie, Whoopi Goldberg and Vanessa Redgrave.
The painting.

57. Bank takeaway : REPO

59. Bustle : ADO

Answer grid.


Nov 14, 2010

Sunday November 14, 2010 Jeff Chen

Theme: Physical Therapy Session - Each two-word common phrase starts with initials P & T.

23A. It begins with H : PERIODIC TABLE. H = Hydrogen.

29A. Place to take a date? : PALM TREE. Date palm. Medjool dates are the best.

35A. Worker with a fork : PIANO TUNER. Don "Hard G" is one.

46A. Wood shop item : POWER TOOL

57A. One may be used in child support cases : PATERNITY TEST

69A. You can't put it down : PAGE TURNER. What are you reading now?

75A. All-bark, no-bite type : PAPER TIGER

83A. Windshield downer : PARKING TICKET. Good answer/clue.

97A. History feature : PAST TENSE. Needed crossing help.

106A. Intimate exchange : PILLOW TALK. Sweet.

115A. Number that may be shocking : PRICE TAG

126A. Endurance level of a sort : PAIN THRESHOLD. My husband has amazing tolerance for pain. He bowls with painful elbow/wrist all the time.

Simple theme. Nicely executed.

Since no unifier or any specific order is needed for the theme entry placement, Jeff had the freedom to move the phrases (a few are short) around to bring out the smoothest Sunday LAT I've solved this year. The fact that all the answers contain mostly common letters sure helped too.

Thoroughly enjoyable. No obscure words/names to frustrate me.


1. Target : AIM FOR. Easy start.

7. Zany : MADCAP

13. Standout in a small pond? : BIG FISH. Big fish in a small pond.

20. "Pizza by the slice" chain : SBARRO. The name stumped me last time.

21. Cactus bump : AREOLE. Much prefer "Ring of color" clue.

22. Centers for Disease Control headquarters site : ATLANTA

25. Soaked up, as a spill : BLOTTED

26. Barnyard abode : STY

27. Fit together : MESH

28. Hip-hop doc : DRE. Dr. Dre.

30. Detection device : SENSOR

32. Skipper's direction : ALEE

34. A very long time : EONS

39. Some are narrow : ESCAPES. Narrow escapes.

43. Rice-A-__ : RONI

44. Looked for lampreys : EELED

50. Chopin's Opus 10 works : ETUDES

53. One of seven : ASIA. Seven continents.

55. Video game giant : SEGA

56. NY tech. school since 1824 : RPI. When were you there, Spitzboov?

61. Blotch : STAIN

63. VAIO computer maker : SONY. VAIO = Visual Audio Intelligence Organizer. Learned this name from an old Barry Silk puzzle.

64. Took to the airport, say : SAW OFF

68. Brontë who wrote "Agnes Grey" : ANNE

77. Present-day Persia : IRAN

78. Swarmed : TEEMED

80. U.S. dept. concerned with radioactive waste : ENER

81. "Inception" filmmaker Christopher : NOLAN. Of Batman fame.

90. Actress Thurman : UMA

91. Island at the edge of the Bering Sea : ATTU. Westernmost of the Aleutians.

95. Face-off : DUEL

96. Beethoven's "Waldstein," e.g. : SONATA

100. __ toast : MELBA

103. The toe of an Asian "boot" : OMAN. "Boot" of the Arabian Peninsula? I am ignorant of this reference.

104. From way back when : OLD TIME

109. __ City: Baghdad suburb : SADR

112. "__ said!" : NUFF

114. Essence : NATURE

119. One way to sway : FRO. To and fro.

121. Chapeau site : TETE. "Head" in French.

122. __ tai : MAI

125. 1881 Pasteur vaccine target : ANTHRAX. I remember the scare right after 9/11.

129. Cold War follower : DETENTE

130. Harshly criticize : SCATHE. Scathing remarks.

131. Discordant to many an ear : ATONAL

132. Paris's Champs __ : ELYSEES. More romantic walking along the streets in the evenings.

133. Sommelier, e.g. : SERVER

134. Pestilent fly : TSETSE. Hey, a full fly.


1. Lethal snakes : ASPS. And 10. Lethal snake : COBRA. Clecho. Please come here and cast your vote.

2. "As if!" : I BET

3. Mrs. Lincoln : MARY

4. Calendar abbr. : FRI

5. Words from a balcony : O ROMEO. By Juliet.

6. Squirrel, for one : RODENT

7. Speed of sound : MACH ONE. First reached by Dennis' idol Chuck Yeager.

8. Pianist Tatum : ART

9. __ in the water : DEAD

11. Gene variant : ALLELE. Can never remember this word.

12. Capital of Poland? : PEE. The capital letter in Poland.

13. Ali the woodcutter : BABA

14. "__ cost you!" : IT'LL

15. Grab, in slang : GLOM. Glom onto.

16. Most plump : FATTEST

17. Preamble : INTRO

18. "Card Players Quarreling" artist : STEEN (Jan). See the painting.

19. Underworld god : HADES

24. Time edition : ISSUE. Do you think Tina Brown will save Newsweek?

29. Cowboy legend __ Bill : PECOS

30. Catty : SNIDE

31. Send along : RELAY

33. Uncanny ability : ESP

35. Get set : PREP

36. Itty-bitty bit : IOTA

37. "Sometimes you feel like __ …" : A NUT. Do you?

38. See 127-Down : REST. And 127. With 38-Down, what's left : THE.

40. Amaze : AWE

41. Cribbage piece : PEG

42. Some are named for presidents : ERAS. We live in the Obama era.

45. "__ Irae" : DIES

47. Borneo rainforest dweller : ORANG

48. Offer a thought : OPINE

49. Big boat : LINER

51. While lead-in : ERST. Erstwhile.

52. Muzzle : SNOUT. Nose.

54. Memo order : ASAP

58. Memo opening : INRE

59. Daly of "Judging Amy" : TYNE

60. It flew its last flight in 2001 : TWA. Oh, I didn't know this.

62. Clavell's "__-Pan" : TAI. Tai = Big. Pan = Boss.

65. Start the bidding : OPEN

66. __ shui : FENG. Feng = Wind. Shui = Water.

67. Worries : FRETS

69. Dorm wall art : PINUP

70. Wavy lines, in comics : AROMA

71. Bashes : GALAS

72. "Bambi" doe : ENA. His aunt.

73. Brit. or Byzantine : EMP (Empire)

74. Pore over : READ

76. The Stooges, e.g. : TRIO

79. Jazz combo member : DRUM

82. Pertaining to all 50 sts. : NATL

84. Opposite of spoil : KEEP

85. Bad, in rap slang : ILLIN. What?

86. 100 simoleons : C-NOTE. So many slang for "dollar": cabbage, clam, buck, etc.

87. __ Sutra : KAMA

88. List-shortening term : ET AL

89. Place to put a tiger, in old ads : TANK. Put a tiger in your tank.

92. Media mogul Turner : TED

93. "Rizzoli & Isles" station : TNT

94. Manipulating : USING

98. Primitive light sources : TORCHES

99. Critter on Australia's coat of arms : EMU. Hey there, Kazie!

101. Gibberish : BLATHER

102. Adjust : ALTER

105. Obliterate : EFFACE

107. Consume more than : OUTEAT

108. Jerks : WRESTS. Oh, not the "jerks" I pictured.

109. "Black bird" pursuer of fiction : SPADE. Sam Spade in "The Maltese Falcon". Got me.

110. Synthetic fabric : ARNEL. Just refuses to sink into my memory bank.

111. Simple tune : DITTY

113. Brother in a hood? : FRIAR. Saw similar clue before.

116. Eagle by the shore : ERNE

117. Pop __, Chok'lit Shoppe owner in "Archie" comics : TATE. Learning moment to me.

118. Cancels : AXES

120. Airing, as a sitcom : ON TV

122. The Alps' __ Blanc : MONT

123. Regretful word : ALAS

124. Not doing anything : IDLE

126. They're usually under signatures: Abbr. : PSS

128. Work the soil : HOE

Answer grid.