Dec 23, 2010

Thursday December 23, 2010 John Lampkin

Theme: Seasonal puns, tipped off by a "?" in the clue. Wackiness ensues. No revealing entry in the grid.

20A. Seasonal cheeses?: SUMMER BRIES. Summer Breeze by Seals and Crofts.

59A. Seasonal seasoning?: WINTER THYME. Wintertime by The Steve Miller Band.

11D. Seasonal smoked salmon?: SPRING LOX. This one puzzled me a bit as to exactly how it fits in with the theme. There are the Soo locks which open in the spring (closed in winter), and there are types of mechanical locks and latches where the bolt is driven home by a spring. Also spring lock washers. I couldn't come up with a musical connection for this like the others.

35D. Seasonal costume?: FALL GUISE. The Boys (guys) of Fall by Kenny Chesney.

Al here, with John Lampkin continuing his streak for a second Thursday in a row, talk about deja vu. Like Melissa yesterday, I saw several music tie-ins, probably unintended. As per John's style, there are clue echoes present, including one (61D) that the answer is ECHO


1. Ptolemaic constellation that is now divided into Carina (the keel), Puppis (the poop deck) and Vela (the sails): ARGO. That has to be one of the longest clue descriptions for Jason's ship, ever.

5. Utter: SHEER. Used here as an intensifier (utter delight, sheer delight), not "to say out loud".

10. Exxon forerunner: ESSO. Standard Oil, ess oh (S.O.) Along with ENCO, the combined name would have been the 4-letter EXON, but James Exon was governor of Nebraska, so to avoid problems, they added the second X.

14. Miller's product: MEAL. Cornmeal, for example, ground by a milling stone. I really wanted to put BEER instead.

15. Grade leader?: CENTI. Centigrade (100 gradients or degrees) is now called Celsius (after Swedish Astronomer Anders Celcius), because the desire for name recognition is stronger than being reasonable about having an understandable label.

16. Peak: APEX. Latin for top, peak, summit. Can be clued many ways.

17. West Point team: ARMY. U.S. Military Academy.

18A. Mountain nymph: OREAD. Tree nymph: DRYAD Water nymph: NEREID. Along with clecho 61D. Nymph who loved her own voice: ECHO.

19. Hammock support: TREE.

23. Place purveying potent pints: INN. Nice alliteration in the clue. Along with clecho 65A. Potent pints: ALES.

24. Grab from the shelves: SNAP UP.

25. Miller's salesman: LOMAN. Henry Miller's Death of a Salesman, Harry (Hap) Loman.

27. Dickens's Heep: URIAH. Also a 70's rock band.

30. Fried chicken piece: NUGGET. How they're made.

33. Klutzes: OAFS. OAF "a changeling; a foolish child left by the fairies", is related to ELF.

36. "What's cooking?" elicitor: ODOR.

38. Race with batons: RELAY.

39. Finance major's deg.: MBA. Master of Business Administration.

40. Fuming: IN A HUFF.

42. Sitcom planet: ORK. Is Mork & Mindy being rerun on some cable channel lately? It seems to be showing up a lot lately.

43. Pooped: ALL IN.

45. Con __: briskly, on scores: MOTO. Italian musical term.

46. Wheelbarrow feature: AXLE.

47. Empathize: RELATE. As in "I can relate to that".

49. Gallery events: SHOWS.

51. Troll: GNOME. Both are "earth-dwelling spirits", but not really the same. You would get an argument from someone who plays Dungeons and Dragons. Gnomes are small, usually associated with gardens (or Travelocity), and have red pointy hats. Trolls are much larger, hairier, meaner, less intelligent, and seem to densely inhabit blog comment boards.

53. Peak: TIPTOP.

57. Feathered runner: EMU. A ratite (flightless bird) Also related: ostrich, rhea, cassowary, and kiwi. Extinct species: moa and aepyornis.

62. Put down: LAID. Past tense.

64. "__ under pressure": guts, to Hemingway: GRACE.

66. Japanese soup: MISO. Has health benefits due to Omega-3 and vitamin-K content. Tastes good, too.

67. Retirement plans, informally: ROTHS. An individual retirement account, with taxes pre-paid.

68. New kids' block since 1958: LEGO. Examples of Escher structures.

69. Foreshadowing: OMEN.

70. "Cats" poet: ELIOT. T.S. Eliot, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, which I'll skip any links for.

71. Musical syllables: TRAS.


1. Stockpile: AMASS.

2. Old air fare?: RERUN. Like Mork & Mindy.

3. Kind of ray emitted by a supernova: GAMMA.

4. Greek mount: OLYMPUS.

5. Venomous arachnid: SCORPION. Rock you like a hurricane.

6. It may be medicinal: HERB.

7. Nuke-testing dept.: ENER. U.S. Department of Energy.

8. Much modern business: ETAIL. Love it or hate it as a crossword answer, it's so much more convenient than trying to find a parking spot during the Christmas rush.

9. Continue the journey, oater-style: RIDE ON.

10. Corrode: EAT.

12. Dated: SEEN. Past tense of (I'm seeing her. I'm dating her.) And clecho 26D. Dating concern: AGE.

13. Paired pullers: OXEN.

21. Ger. setting: EUR. Germany, Europe.

22. Blue toon: SMURF. You'd be blue too, if there was only one female (Smurfette) in your entire village.

28. Sixth-day creation: ADAM. And all the creatures of the land.

29. Seasonal rooftop noises?: HO-HOS. I wanted HOOFS at first, but then thought it was the wrong spelling for hooves. Turns out it is a legit alternate form, but still the wrong answer.

31. British nobleman: EARL. Had to wait for perps, could have been DUKE.

32. Kid: TYKE.

33. "Rubáiyát" poet Khayyám: OMAR.

34. One-time pal of Baker and Charlie?: ABLE. Pre-1954 U.S. Navy Radio Alphabet. Replaced with the NATO phonetic alphabet: Alpha Bravo Charlie

37. Pianist Laredo: RUTH. Introduced by Van Cliburn.

40. Like trailers on the road: IN TOW.

41. Ottoman: FOOT REST. More precisely, a couch with no arms or back, for laying on, which was so-named because of the perception of Eastern (Ottoman empire) culture.

44. "At Seventeen" singer Janis: IAN.

46. Cloverleaf cover: ASPHALT.

48. Political refugee: EMIGRE.

50. Cleverness: WIT.

52. Join: ENROL. Seems odd to see only one L, but is a legit alternate spelling.

54. Tippecanoe's partner, in an 1840 campaign: TYLER. Tippecanoe (William Henry Harrison, who died shortly after being elected), and Tyler, too.

55. Last in a series: OMEGA. Last letter of the Greek alphabet.

56. Sonoran smackeroos: PESOS. Mexican Money. See? I can alliterate, too.

57. Saint with a fire: ELMO. An electrical corona plasma discharge.

58. Hurt severely: MAIM. I always hear the sequence from the old Kung-Fu TV series when I see this word: Perceive the way of nature and no force of man can harm you. Do not meet a wave head on: avoid it. You do not have to stop force: it is easier to redirect it. Learn more ways to preserve rather than destroy. Avoid rather than check. Check rather than hurt. Hurt rather than maim. Maim rather than kill. For all life is precious nor can any be replaced.

60. "Mon Oncle" director: TATI.

63. Put on: DON.

Answer grid.

Here is a fantastic Lunar Eclipse picture John Lampkin took on Tuesday. Perfect image for today's theme.


Dec 22, 2010

Wednesday December 22, 2010 Dan Naddor

Theme: Secret Panel - The end of each theme entry can precede PANEL.

17A. Escapes dramatically from prison : GOES OVER THE WALL. Wall panel, a lightweight decorative or protective panel which can be fixed directly to internal walls.

28A. Narrow defeat, e.g. : HEART BREAKER. Breaker panel, the main distribution point for electrical circuits in your home.

38A. Warning about wind chill, say : WEATHER ADVISORY. Advisory Panel, a group of persons selected to .. well .. advise.

46A. Steinbeck novel set in Monterey : TORTILLA FLAT. Flat panel, as in TV or computer.

61A. The lead pipe, the wrench or the candlestick, but not the rope: BLUNT INSTRUMENT. Instrument panel, on aircraft and automobiles, etc.

54D. Discussion group, and a word that can follow the ends of this puzzle's five longest answers : PANEL. Arguably, the most famous secret panel in the world.

Melissa here.

Another one from Dan Naddor. Clever as always, just a few unknowns for me. Had deja vu in several spots, and maybe i'm just in a musical state of mind, but i saw lots of musical references.


1. Is down with : HAS. Fooled me, I was thinking the slang usage ...

4. Walk through puddles : SLOSH

9. Energize, as a crowd : AMP UP. As in amplify.

14. Mean Amin : IDI. Ha, rhymes. (♫ You're a mean one ...)

15. Nomo with two no-hitters : HIDEO. Born in Osaka, retired in 2008.

16. Europe's longest river : VOLGA. Nasa image.

20. Laurie of "House" : HUGH. TV drama on FOX.

21. Vitamin __: PABA : B-TEN. Vitamin B10, better known as PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid), is a water-soluble vitamin that is in the B family; often referred to as part of the B-complex.

22. Peke squeak : YIP. Pekingese. Great clue. Little yappy dog.

23. Torrid : STEAMY. Member this?

26. Impulses : URGES

33. Blubber : SOB

36. Potentially slanderous remark : SLUR

37. Boxer's wear : ROBE

43. Concerning, in memos : IN RE

44. 13 popes : LEOS. I'm one too. A leo, not a pope.

45. Part of UCLA : LOS. University of California, Los Angeles. Largest UC campus in terms of enrollment.

51. Computer data acronym : ASCII. Pronounced ASK-ee, it is an acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interchange, and is a code for representing English characters as numbers, with each letter assigned a number from 0 to 127. For example, the ASCII code for uppercase M is 77. Most computers use ASCII codes to represent text, which makes it possible to transfer data from one computer to another.

52. Sandal parts : STRAPS

56. Gumshoe : TEC. Detective.

58. "The Time Machine" race : ELOI

60. "Dies __" : IRAE. Deja vu.

66. Dogpatch's Hawkins : SADIE

67. "Silas Marner" author : ELIOT. T.S. Eliot.

68. Opposite of alt, in Augsburg : NEU. German for old and new.

69. Preferred option : PLAN A. Rarely executed ... always have a plan b.

70. "__ at 'em!" : LEMME. Put 'em up.

71. European peak : ALP (The hills are alive)


1. Euphoric feelings : HIGHS. (Ain't no mountain ...)

2. One point from a service break : AD OUT. Tennis. Ad = advantage. “Ad-in” is if the server is ahead, while “ad-out” is if the non-server won the point after deuce (40-40). If the player with the advantage wins the point, he wins the game. If not, the score reverts to deuce – the only time a score ever goes backwards in tennis. The game keeps going until the player with the “ad” wins the point. In this way, a tennis match can last a very long time, much like baseball.

3. Prolonged attack : SIEGE.

4. HBO alternative : SHO. Home Box Office and Showtime.

5. Actress Tyler : LIV (♬ Steven Tyler's daughter)

6. Tribute that usually rhymes : ODE. Deja vu.

7. Belgrade native : SERB

8. Back porch luxury : HOT TUB

9. Right, as a wrong : AVENGE

10. Do some yard work : MOW

11. Mr. Potato Head maker : PLAYSKOOL

12. Wrinkly fruit : UGLI. Just sounds funny.

13. Insect feeler : PALP. New to me. Palp, labial palp, and maxillary palp.

18. Bygone Mideast despot : SHAH

19. Frau's partner : HERR. See this pretty regularly.

24. Dovetail : MESH

25. Where Bill met Hillary : YALE. Didn't know.

27. Canal zones? : EARS. Nice.

29. 1921 sci-fi play : RUR. Karel Capek's play. Finally got this one down.

30. Refrain syllables : TRA LA. Deja vu.

31. Longest river in Spain : EBRO

32. Husband-and-wife creators of Curious George : REYS. (♪ Jack Johnson did a great Curious George soundtrack.)

33. Houlihan portrayer on "M*A*S*H" : SWIT. Hot Lips Houlihan.

34. Vintner's prefix : OENO. Deja vu.

35. Sporty 1960s-'70s Plymouth : BARRACUDA (or Ann and Nancy Wilson's version)

39. Hanoi holidays : TETS.

40. Rock's __ Leppard : DEF. ♫♪♬ Gunter glieben glauchen globen ♫♪♬. My favorite Def Leppard tune is Photograph.

41. Encyc. units : VOLS. Volumes of Encyclopedias. So archaic now, everything's on CD or online.

42. "Time __ a premium" : IS AT

47. Summer cooler : ICE TEA

48. "Hi-__, Hi-Lo" : LILI Jimmy Durante's version.

49. Big name in small trains : LIONEL (♬ also Lionel Richie)

50. Svelte : TRIM

53. Gladiator's milieu : ARENA. (Musician's milieu, too.)

55. Frame : SET UP. Like Dr. Richard Kimball, in The Fugitive.

56. Recipe abbr. : TBSP. Tablespoon.

57. Airline to Ben Gurion : EL AL

59. Man, for one : ISLE. Isle of Man. Located in the Irish Sea, between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland.

62. Palindromic diarist : NIN

63. Tiny guy: TIM. Herbert Buckingham Khaury (April 12, 1932 – November 30, 1996), better known by the stage name Tiny Tim, was an American singer, ukulele player, and musical archivist. He was most famous for his rendition of "Tiptoe Through the Tulips." He died in 1996, after suffering his second heart attack - on stage.

64. Bulg. neighbor : ROM. Bulgaria and Romania.

65. Versatile vehicle, for short : UTE. Short for Utility Vehicle.

Answer grid.


Dec 21, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 Steve Salitan

Theme: How's the Weather? - Four 2-word common terms that end in a word that could describe precipitation (in increasing intensity), plus the unifier at the very end, where it belongs.

17A. Throat soothers: COUGH DROPS

23A. Edible pastry decorations: CAKE SPRINKLES

47A. High-quality bed linen: PERCALE SHEETS. Percale describes the weave of the fabric, not its content.

57A. Wet bar containers: ICE BUCKETS

65A. Phenomenon described by the ends of 17-, 23-, 47- and 57-Across: RAIN

All wet Argyle here.

Boy, did this one rain on my parade. A very Tuesday-like theme but some of the fill....


1. It has more than 5,000 feet : MILE

5. With 60-Across, noodle product derived from "The San Francisco Treat!" : PASTA; 60. See 5-Across : RONI. My first splash; automatically put RICE-A.

10. Game with trump cards : SKAT

14. Tehran's land : IRAN

15. "A work of __ a confession": Camus : ART IS. Albert Camus (1913-1960) was a representative of non-metropolitan French literature. His origin in Algeria and his experiences there in the thirties were dominating influences in his thought and work.

16. Whittle : PARE

19. Help in a holdup : ABET

20. Raggedy doll : ANN.
Image with her brother, Andy.

21. Stackable cookie : OREO

22. Not chronic, as illness : ACUTE. Defined as a disease with an abrupt onset and usually a short course.

27. Hurting the most : ACHIEST

29. Going badly in the mil.? : AWOL

30. Answer : REPLY

31. Stingless male : DRONE BEE. Since DRONE means a bee, the answer is redundant.

35. Org. in Tom Clancy books : CIA

36. Gonzalez in 2000 news : ELIAN

38. Send packing : AXE

39. Ancient Roman language : OLD LATIN. As opposed to new Latin?

42. Exxon competitor : CITGO. Get their gas at the pump.

44. Eve's partner : ADAM

45. Like a costly victory : PYRRHIC. Splash! Two R's, what's up with that? I see he(
image) was a king and could spell his name any way he wanted.

51. Dislike and more : ABHOR

52. __ scale: talc-to-diamond : MOHS. Hardness scale.

53. Yokohama yes : HAI. The word for yes in Japanese.

56. SpongeBob, e.g. : TOON

61. Very cold : GELID

62. Saragossa's river : EBRO. Spain
Map. Saragossa is Zaragoza in Spanish; no idea why we haven't had that yet!

63. Swedish furniture giant : IKEA

64. Asia's __ Mountains : ALTAI. New to me.


1. Isinglass : MICA. A mineral that separates readily into thin, tough, often transparent layers.

2. It's pumped in gyms : IRON

3. Liftoff spot : LAUNCHPAD. Over thought it, was looking for a stain remover. LOL

4. Class with vocab. lists : ENG. Or any language class, not just English.

5. West Coast team in the 1998 World Series : PADRES. New York Yankees vs. San Diego Padres. The Yankees swept the Series in four games. No need for a rubber game.

6. Collar, as a thug : ARREST

7. Small porch : STOOP. Not much more than a set of steps; a city thing.

8. Service reward : TIP

9. Beast of burden : ASS

10. Wall hole filler : SPACKLE. A paste-like substance that fills in small holes, cracks and seams that can be sanded smooth to prep a wall before painting.

11. Afghanistan's capital : KABUL

12. Mountain ridge : ARÊTE

13. French noodles? : TÊTEs. Heads.

18. Fake : HOKEY

22. Soon, to the bard : ANON

24. Plague : AIL

25. __ avis : RARA

26. Victorious shout : "I WON!". Finally, not, "I win!".

27. Sacramento's __ Arena : ARCO. Named for another gas company.

28. Provide with a roof : CEIL. To provide with a ceiling.

31. Clamor : DIN

32. King David's wife : BATHSHEBA. From a Hebrew phrase meaning “daughter of the oath”, she was the mother of Solomon.

33. Military vet : EX GI

34. Job rights agcy. : EEOC. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

36. End-of-list abbr. : ET AL.

37. Green wedge in a gimlet : LIME. Vodka or gin

40. New Hampshire city known for its annual motorcycle week : LACONIA. Big around here but common knowledge?

41. Purim's month : ADAR

42. Getting gradually louder, in mus. : CRESC.. Crescendo. I didn't see the abbreviation of music; rain in my eyes.

43. Subway under B'way : IRT. Interborough Rapid Transit.

45. Irrational fear : PHOBIA

46. Violinist Menuhin : YEHUDI. We had Itzhak Perlman yesterday.

47. Father: Pref. : PATRI. Patriarch

48. Digital novel : E-BOOK

49. River of Lyons : RHONE

50. Refine, as ore : SMELT

54. Longfellow's bell town : ATRI. Poem. CA?

55. "Help __ the way!" : IS ON

57. Supermarket chain with a red-and-white logo : IGA. Independent Grocers Alliance.

58. Animation frame : CEL

59. Plop lead-in : KER

Answer grid.


Dec 20, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010 Gary Cee

Theme: Play Time - Each of the words in the theme entries can proceed the word GAME.

17A. Miniature data storage device: MEMORY CARD. A device with many shapes and names(examples). A MEMORY GAME, in its simplest form, is recalling the position of a item to form a pair. CARD GAME doesn't need an explanation.

24A. Teen group sleepover: PAJAMA PARTY. Also known as a slumber party. PAJAMA GAME was a Broadway musical, based on the novel 7½ Cents and made into a film staring Doris Day in 1957. PARTY GAMES, I miss them.

38A. With 40-Across, in an advantageous position (and what both words in 17-, 24-, 47- and 60-Across can be): AHEAD OF.... And 40A. See 38-Across: ...THE GAME

47A. Like an actor who doesn't miss a line: WORD PERFECT. I wonder why the word processing application wasn't used as the clue. The meaning like 2D. To __: precisely : A TEE seems out-dated to me. WORD GAME: Fictionary comes to mind. PERFECT GAME is a baseball game in which no opposing player reaches base or a 300-point game in bowling. C.C.'s husband, Boomer, has several.

60A. Bobby Vee hit with the line "I come bouncing back to you": RUBBER BALL. The song. RUBBER GAME is needed to decide the winner if a series is tied at an even number of wins. The use of the word Rubber to describe a tiebreaker is believed to have originated in the English game bowls(lawn bowling). And that's the BALL GAME.

Argyle here. Gosh, I don't know if I got anything left in me to comment on the rest of this ambitious Monday puzzle but I'll try.


1. Things to make notes on : PADS

5. Gate clasp : LATCH

10. Woeful word : "ALAS!"

14. Home of the Osmonds : UTAH

15. Impressive display : ARRAY

16. Coke or Pepsi : COLA

19. Like many a movie twin : EVIL

20. Faraway friend who likes to write : PEN PAL

21. Traditional stories : LORE

23. New England hrs. : EST. Eastern Standard Time.

27. Bolivian high points : ANDES The South American mountain range.

31. Above-the-street trains : ELS

32. Second afterthought, in a ltr. : PPS

33. Heckle : JEER

34. Writer's deg. : MFA. Master of Fine Arts (MFA).

35. Itzhak Perlman's instrument : VIOLIN. A virtuoso; feel free to link your favorite piece.

41. Tears to shreds : RIPS UP

42. Seaman's call for assistance : SOS

43. Baseball's Slaughter : ENOS. During a 19-year baseball career, he played from 1938-1942 and 1946-1959 for four different teams, but is noted primarily for his time with the St. Louis Cardinals.

44. Not masc. : FEM.

45. Old Mideast org. : UAR. United Arab Republic.

46. Digs for : SEEKS

51. "Toto, __ a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore" : I'VE

52. Encl. with a manuscript : SASE. Self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE).

53. Gap : HIATUS

58. Require : NEED

62. Ricelike pasta : ORZO

63. Judges hear them : PLEAs

64. Sicilian volcano : ETNA

65. Wine glass part : STEM

66. Occupied, as a desk : SAT AT

67. Hurdle (over) : LEAP


1. It gives you gas : PUMP. Good one.

3. Rhett's last word : DAMN

4. Hit the mall : SHOP

5. 1971 Clapton classic : "LAYLA"

6. Pop-up path : ARC

7. Song refrain : TRA, LA, LA. A great song with many lyrics. "Tra la la Boome de ay, I lost my mind today, won't miss it any way."

8. Pool shots : CAROMS. Sometimes called the "kiss" shot, the carom shot involves bouncing your ball off another to get it in the pocket.

9. Beast that grew two heads every time it lost one : HYDRA

10. King topper : ACE

11. Where romantic couples park : LOVERS' LANE

12. Crème de la crème : A-LIST

13. Like the sea : SALTY

18. Jay-Z performances : RAPS

22. "Silas Marner" foundling : EPPIE

25. Funny Foxworthy : JEFF

26. Orbital high point : APOGEE

27. Barely open : AJAR

28. Pop your pop might have liked : NEHI

29. Suspended animation : DEEP FREEZE

30. Took off the board : ERASED

34. Floor-washing aid : MOP

35. Videotape format : VHS. The Video Home System is better known by its abbreviation VHS and I was expecting something more technical.

36. Response to "You all right?" : "I'M OK"

37. Storied loch : NESS. In Scotland.

39. Down in the __ : DUMPS

40. Raced : TORE

42. Wager that isn't risky : SAFE BET

45. Bond girl Andress : URSULA. Image.

46. Hullabaloo : STIR

47. Indigent imbibers : WINOs. We haven't seen much alliteration lately.

48. In full view : OVERT. Covert - hidden from view. Whoopi, on the View.

49. Wild West brothers : EARPs. There were six brothers: Newton (from their father's first marriage), James, Virgil, Wyatt, Morgan and Warren. There were also three sisters: Martha, Virgina and Adelia. Web site.

50. Where the toys are : CHEST. How is the latest "Toy Story"?

54. One slain by Cain : ABEL

55. Westminster gallery : TATE

56. Forearm bone : ULNA

57. Open-handed blow : SLAP

59. __ Pérignon : DOM. Champagne.

61. Sheep sound : "BAA!"

Answer grid.


Dec 19, 2010

Sunday December 19, 2010 Don Gagliardo

Theme: Product Placement - Part of each common phrase is replaced by a familiar product name (with homophonic sound).

22A. Fruity beer? : MULBERRY BUSCH. Mulberry Bush. We also have ANHEUSER (11D. Big name in brewing).

34A. Aftershave impact? : BRUT FORCE. Brute Force. Brut aftershave.

37A. Ponderings from behind a plow? : DEERE DIARY. Dear Diary. John Deere.

52A. Half a cereal swap? : TRIX OF THE TRADE. Tricks of the Trade.

79A. Popular vodka-drinking locale? : BIG SKYY COUNTRY. Big Sky Country (Montana). Skyy vodka. Blue bottle.

98A. Camera in need of screw-tightening? : LOOSE CANON. Loose Cannon. Canon camera.

101A. Habitual depilatory cream user? : NEET FREAK. Neat Freak. Neet/Nair, our crossword stalwarts.

113A. Breakfast for the road? : TRAVELER'S CHEX. Traveler's Check.

Fun theme. For a change, I purposely avoided the theme title when I downloaded the puzzle., Grokked the gimmick after filling in BRUT FORCE.

Also three baseball references in the grid:

67A. Ex-Blue Jays manager Gaston : CITO. Might be tough non-baseball fans. Don't think this guy is a well-known figure.

1D. Pitcher Galarraga who lost a perfect game on an umpire's bad call : ARMANDO. Here is the bad call clip. The umpire is Jim Joyce. Classy guy. Armando pitched the day Boomer and I attended the Twins game for my birthday.

83D. Baseball's Garciaparra : NOMAR. Married to Mia Hamm.

You can read Don "Hard G"'s notes at the end of my write-up for his inspirations.


1. Muscle memory? : ACHE. Terrific clue. Original too.

5. Puccini's "La __" : BOHEME

11. Picks up : ABSORBS

18. Campus quarters : ROOMS. We often see QUADS in a grid.

20. Instrument for Charlie Parker : ALTO SAX. Bird.

21. "People might be listening" : NOT HERE

24. Addressee of the 4/14/1970 message "we've had a problem" : HOUSTON. "Houston, we've had a problem".

25. Second ending? : ARY. Secondary.

26. Extinct "great" bird : AUK. I have no idea the Great Auk is extinct. Since mid 19th Century.

27. Some health club exchanges : RECIPES

29. Addition word : AND

30. Like Jack : NIMBLE. Jack Sprat, right? He could eat no fat. What a boring life. (Corrections: Santa just told me it's from the "Jack be Nimble" nursery rhyme.)

32. CXVI x X : MCLX. 116x10=1,160

39. Fades, with "down" : DIES

40. Fervor : ARDOR

41. "... __ TV!": end of a parental threat : OR NO

42. B'way sellout sign : SRO (Standing Room Only)

43. How hot-button issues are contested : BITTERLY. Needed crossing help.

45. Padre's boys : NINOS

48. Rodent on a bank : RIVER RAT. Was just checking on the slang meaning of the phrase the other day.

49. Coffee ord. : REG. Ord. is order?

56. One facing Venus? : SERENA. Oh, the Williams sisters.

58. Scrawny toon dog : REN. Stimpy's pal.

59. Warning to drivers : SLO

60. Outlaw Kelly : NED. Has anyone seen the movie?

61. Go-ahead : APPROVAL

63. Gray : ASHY

65. Moving van supplies : PADS

69. NYC gallery : MoMA

70. Pacific mammal that uses rocks as tools : SEA OTTER. Interesting trivia.

73. Casual affection? : LUV. I Luv U.

74. "Car Talk" airer : NPR

77. Salmon on a bagel : LOX

78. Palindromic Daryl : HANNAH. She dated JFK Jr.

84. Until now, in a CPA's report : YTD

85. Follow a new job : RELOCATE

87. "Don't try to be __" : A HERO

88. Taj Mahal spires : MINARETS. With an onion-shaped crown.

89. "The Big C" network : SHO. Not familiar with this TV series.

90. Actress Rogers : MIMI. Married to Tom Cruise once.

94. Sun Tzu's "The __ War" : ART OF

97. Durbeyfield daughter : TESS. "Tess of the D'Urbervilles".

103. Tenacious Roman senator : CATO. Cato the Censor.

104. English poet __ Manley Hopkins : GERARD. The guy who wrote "The Windhover".

105. "V" visitors, e.g. : ETS. Don't get the clue. Why "V"?

106. Close to a delivery : IN LABOR

108. Mauna __ : KEA. Always have to consider LOA.

109. Chicago-to-Knoxville dir. : SSE

110. Property tax rate : MILLAGE. New word to me. Dictionary says a mill is one tenth of a cent.

117. Frenzied : IN A STEW

118. Corrode : EAT AWAY

119. French school : ECOLE. Its student is ELEVE.

120. Clothing category : CASUALS

121. Steps over fences : STILES

122. Pianist Myra : HESS. A dame.


2. FedEx, e.g. : COURIER. Our Splynter works for UPS. I adore that picture.

3. Flock leaders : HOLY MEN. "Flock" seldom refers to birds in Xword.

4. Diplomatic H.Q. : EMB

5. Women's rights activist Nellie : BLY

6. Wagering venue, in brief : OTB. Offtrack betting.

7. Like most pay rates : HOURLY

8. Devereux's earldom : ESSEX

9. Either of two bks. of the Apocrypha : MACC. No idea. It stands for Maccabees.

10. Showed : EXHIBITED

12. Help up : BOOST

13. RV filler? : STU. Alphabetically. R S T U V.

14. Understanding cries : OHs

15. Use foam on, as a fire : RETARD

16. Rodeo ride : BRONCO

17. E-mailer : SENDER

19. Black Panthers co-founder : SEALE (Bobby)

20. One was lost in a film about Indiana : ARK. Indiana Jones.

23. Wished one could take back : RUED

28. Use Shout on, say : PRE -TREAT. Shout is capitalized.

31. __ Zoo : BRONX

32. Cattail site : MARSH

33. __-Magnon : CRO

35. Stumble : FALTER

36. Jazz musician Kid __ : ORY. Trombonist. Ron would link something special here.

38. Elemental variant : ISOTOPE

39. Prima donna : DIVA

43. Phoenix, in myth : BIRD. We have a similar mythical bird called Fenghuang, known as Chinese phoenix.

44. Coarse file : RASP

46. Aegean island : IOS. Got it via crossings.

47. Giants' org. : NFL. NY Giants.

48. Bus sched. info : RTES

49. Disgust : REVOLT

50. Captivate : ENAMOR

51. Component of the Perseus cluster : GALAXY. And 102D. Star in Orion : RIGEL. Two fill for Spitzboov & Bill G.

52. Like many tabloids : TRASHY. I've got to stop reading them.

53. Find a new table for : RESEAT

54. Under control : IN HAND

55. It may be in sight : END. No end in sight.

57. Storage acronym : ROM

62. Stadium rainwear : PONCHOS. Rain ponchos.

64. Quaint pointing word : YON

66. Like lemurs : ARBOREAL

67. Salad veggie : CUKE

68. Campus creeper : IVY

71. Levy at the dock : TARIFF. Awesome clue. I actually read it as "Levee".

72. At the time specified : THEN

73. Versatile WWII ships : LSTS. LST = Landing Ship Tank.

75. Author who influenced Conan Doyle : POE

76. Sci-fi play written in Czech : R.U. R. The Capek play where the word "robot' was first used.'

80. Hans Brinker's pair : ICE SKATES. Just had this talk on the blog Comments section.

81. Hoods' rods : GATS

82. Search engine name : YAHOO

86. Post-prime time fare : LATE NEWS

88. Witticism : MOT

89. Serious elbow-bender : SOT. So many slang for drunk.

91. Where children were given "broth without any bread" : IN A SHOE. "There Was An Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe".

92. Tasty mouthfuls : MORSELS

93. Page locators : INDEXES

94. Listless : ANEMIC

95. Eye's image receiver : RETINA

96. Magnetic measures : TESLAS. Named after Nikola Tesla.

98. Like a metamorphic stage : LARVAL

99. Hungarian spa city : EGER. I forgot. We had this clue earlier this year.

100. Word that stops fire? : CEASE. What fire?

103. Raccoon cousin : COATI

107. Playground problem : BRAT

108. Something to play in : KEY. Got me.

111. Sch. where "Geaux Tigers" signs are seen : LSU

112. Loss leader? : AT A. At a loss.

114. Farm lady : EWE. Lady, how dignified!

115. "Deck the Halls" syllables : LAs.

116. Pounder of "Avatar" : C.C.H. Total stranger to me.

Answer grid.

Notes from Don:

"Product Insertions":

That may not be the title of this puzzle. Whatever the title of this puzzle ended being, it came about with some difficulty. Many Sunday puzzles are title driven, but this one was commercially driven. Probably at least two years ago, I noticed how fun it might be to take a commercial product name that has been altered from a word, and substitute it in a phrase to come up with a wacky alternate version. This is even harder than I just made that sound. I consulted the guru, John Lampkin, because he had experience with Sunday puzzles, I had none, and I thought that this could make a Sunday puzzle. We hashed over many possibilities, and this was about a year and a half ago. The subject was dropped for a while, but I picked it up on my own early in this year. I guess I wanted to further punish myself. I struggled greatly with this puzzle, but received encouragement and help from Rich, and we finally came up with a set of theme answers where we think most people will be familiar with the products. I would like to acknowledge and thank John Lampkin’s assistance on this puzzle because he did put some time into it. I cannot remember and I don’t have time to go over correspondences, but I am fairly certain that John has at least a couple contributions in this puzzle. This puzzle proves that it is very helpful to have a least another set of eyes looking at a puzzle theme."

Dec 18, 2010

Saturday December 18, 2010 James Sajdak

Theme: None

Total words: 72

Total blocks: 28

I think this is the first James Sajdak themeless we've encountered since the switch. He mostly focuses on themed puzzles.

No grid spanners or intimidating long stacks today. In fact, no entry is longer than 9 letters. The eight 8s & seven 7s are pretty good. I especially like the below consecutive entries:

61A. Nearly die laughing : BUST A GUT

63A. Zayre department stores creation : T. J. MAXX. Scrabby.

65A. Qualifying words : AS IT WERE. In a way.


1. Beliefs : CREDOS. Thought of TENETS first.

7. Caber throwers : SCOTSMEN. The large pole they toss is called caber. New to me.

15. Paris jilted her for Helen : OENONE. No idea. Literally "wine woman". Oeno is prefix for "wine".

16. Obama's birthplace : HONOLULU. Only know he's born in Hawaii.

17. Jaguar's coat? : CAR WAX. The question mark did not prevent me from thinking of the big cat.

18. "Two thumbs way up!" : I LOVED IT

19. Simile center : AS AN. Wise as an owl.

20. Quick to the helm : YARE. Meaning the ship is easily maneuvered. Learned from doing Xword.

22. Ancient "Prose" and "Poetic" works : EDDAS. "Poetic Edda" & "Prose Edda".

23. Autobahn sight : OPEL

25. Wipe the floor with, so to speak : DRUB. Defeat easily.

27. "__-mite!": J.J.'s exclamation on "Good Times" : DYNO. Not in my radar. Dynomite!

28. Accused : ON TRIAL. Needed crossing help.

30. Nothing to brag about : SO SO

32. "The Social Contract" author : ROUSSEAU (Jean-Jacques). I wonder if anyone has actually read this book.

34. Product with a secret sauce : BIG MAC. Close to Thousand Island dressing, a la Wiki.

38. Rotter : CUR. We also have 50. Rotter : LOUSE.

39. Divide, in a way : TRISECT

41. Purchase from Sajak : AN I. Got the AN? easily.

42. Channeling device? : STEREO. Why? I don't get the clue.

44. Piecemeal? : A LA CARTE. Nice clue.

46. Poetic peepers : ORBS. Eyes.

48. Just about knock down the door : STORM IN

49. O'Neill title flora : ELMS. was ignorant of his play "Desire Under the Elms".

52. First name in design : EERO ( Saarinen). Son of Eliel Saarinen.

54. Substantial content : MEAT. A LOT jumped to me.

55. Pouts : MOUES. Like this cute boy. .

57. Name for lime based on its chemical composition : CALX. New word to me. Has some calcium in it I suppose.

59. Fleshy-leaved plant : ALOE

66. Band aide : ROADIE

67. Took back : RECANTED

68. Quakers with deep roots? : ASPENS. Quaking aspens.


1. Chewable stimulant : COCA. Oh, coca leaves.

2. Deduce : REASON OUT

3. Delight beyond measure : ENRAPTURE

4. Drags : DOWNERS

5. Words before budget or mission : ON A

6. Hot : SEXY

7. Bake, as eggs : SHIRR. Shirred eggs.

8. Plant with flamboyant foliage : COLEUS. I only use "flamboyant" to describe a person. Not flowers.

9. Plastic __ Band : ONO. Formed by John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1969.
10. Carroll's "slithy" thing : TOVE. "Jabberwocky".

11. London hauler? : SLED DOG. Jack London's "Call of the Wild". Got me.

12. Not clear : MUDDY

13. Boy's name seen in 2000 papers : ELIAN (Gonzalez). Year 2000.

14. Wacky : NUTSO

21. Dwight's two-time adversary : ADLAI ( Stevenson)

24. Surgeon for whom a mouthwash is named : LISTER. Listerine.

26. Stubby-tailed feline : BOB CAT

28. Tolkien meanies : ORCS. From "The Lord of the Rings".

29. Oxygen-consuming organism : AEROBE. Aero + (Micr)obe. Makes sense.

31. "Being on a __ stops me from getting Alzheimer's": Jerry Stiller : SITCOM. Not familiar with this quote.

33. Third most populous nation: Abbr. : USA. After China & India.

35. Tea tray spread : MARMALADE. I like honey.

36. Immunity offerer : ANTITOXIN. Was thinking of exemption "immunity".

37. Javier's hundred : CIEN. Spanish for "hundred".

40. East Los Angeles bus line with a sun in its logo : EL SOL. Educated guess.

43. __ Stone : ROSETTA

45. Welcome center freebie : AREA MAP

47. Tied down : SECURE

49. Put away for a while : EMBAR. Imprison.

51. Score sheets? : MUSIC. Not sports.

53. Like most movies : RATED

56. Cut : SAWN

58. More, in adspeak : XTRA

60. Zsa Zsa has eight : EXES. Wow, really?

62. Pick up : GET

64. Relative of Chas.? : JOS. Chas. = Charles. JOS = Joseph. Had to get help from Argyle.

Answer grid.

Happy Birthday, Maria, wherever you are. Hope you are still solving LAT puzzles and following our blog.


Dec 17, 2010

Friday December 17, 2010 Paul Cuerdon

Theme: Take your CUe from Paul - The letters CU, which are the atomic symbol for Copper, text speak for See You, and the first two letters of constructor Paul’s last name, are added to one word of a common two word expression to convey a different but witty new phrase. There is some symmetry with the first and last CU added to the second word, and the CU added to the first word in the middle two.

18A. Raised to the ninth power?: DOUBLE CUBED. Your DOUBLE BED becomes a mathematics riddle, a cube cubed is 3 x 3 = 9.

24A. Poison literature? : CURARE BOOKS. Our RARE BOOKS dealer is closing after 40 years in Fort Lauderdale. I like the idea of the poison pen implication.

50A. Most adorable flier?: CUTEST PILOT. I wonder what John Glenn thinks of this? We are nearing the 50th anniversary of the first humans to orbit the earth, Yuri Gagarin in April and Alan Shepard in May.

55A. Original Anglican assistant priest?: FIRST CURATE. A CURATE is a clergy who assists the rector or vicar, particularly in the English Church. It comes from the same stem as “cure” and “curator,” Medieval Latin cūrātus, from cūra: spiritual oversight. Was this a First Rate Clue?

47D. Element whose chemical symbol is used in this puzzle's theme: COPPER. Did this help anyone?

I do not know Mr. Cureton (if that is a real person) and find it either brilliant or troubling that the first two letters of his name are the key to the theme. I found most of the fill very straightforward, so the theme jumped out at me when I had CURARE BOOKS, though the start with AZTEC and BEIRUT was not an encouraging beginning.

Lemonade here, ready to lead you to the promised land of a finished Friday.


1. Iron pumper's pride: ABS. Not to niggle, but the pumpers care about their pecs and lats and bis and tris; abs are for everyone. Needless to say, this was my slow period.

4. Some macaroni: ELBOWS. Okay, I was at the store today, and almost bought ELBOWS, opting instead for tri-color rotini. Now I am cooking.

10. Fosbury's high-jumping technique: FLOP. What? I just had this Dick (Fosbury) in a puzzle I blogged; you saw the link, so I will not repeat myself.

14. Zuider __: ZEE. One of my favorites from childhood, the sound of these Dutch words just pleased my ear. The ZUIDER ZEE (South Sea) was an inlet off the North Sea, where oil is now being drilled. The Dutch dammed the sea so it no longer exists.

15. One who may need technical terms explained: LAYMAN. When a doctor uses the phrase, “Let me put this to you in layman’s terms“ it is not a good sign. But, it also has religious meaning, like 4D. Respected one: ELDER. Also, a church term, for a layman who participates in services etc.

16. Like much early TV: LIVE. Oh for the fun of it all. Sid Caesar, George Burns, Milton Berle….

17. Element in pewter: TIN. Which is why they share the gray color.

20. Weather, in a way: ERODE. I understand this but it was not the first to come to mind. I would have gotten weathered and eroded more easily.

22. Little bit: TAD. Little bit made me think of these two, who just opened on BROADWAY .

23. Washday brand: ERA. Whatever happened to the Equal Rights Amendment?

28. "Bad" cholesterol letters: LDL. Low Density, as opposed to good, High Density Lipo proteins.

29. "__ tuned!": STAY. Right next to one of my favorite silly British comedians: 30. Hill on British TV: BENNY. Who does not get in a better mood when listening to his theme Yakity Sax by Boots Randolph, or his silly SKITS .

31. Total amount bet: POOL. This comes from horse racing where the wagering pool determines the final odds and payouts.

32. See 44-Across: GABLES. 44A. With 32-Across, feature of a noted New England home: SEVEN. This novel was Hawthorne’s follow up to The Scarlett Letter and is based on a real house still in SALEM which Hawthorne visited often as it was owned by a cousin. There is speculation he wrote the book out of sadness for his ancestors’ part in the killing of the Salem “witches.” Interestingly, Patricia Cornwell, has set much of her latest Scarpetta novel Port Mortuary in Salem.

34. Do some gardening: PRUNE. I grew up learning gardening from my father, who grew roses, peonies and had many flowering bushes and trees, so we were forever PRUNING which is a bit harder than it looks. Not to be confused with making plums into prunes, or having your fingers wrinkle in the pool.

35. They may be noble or precious: METALS. All you need to KNOW about the difference.

38. Waited: PAUSED.

39. Skill determinants: EXAMS. Personally, I think they measure skill at taking tests.

40. Madagascar mammals: LEMURS. . Did you watch any of the MOVIES ?

43. Learning method: ROTE. My favorite was KYLE ROTE who like another SMU star, Don Meridith, died this year. His son, Kyle, Jr., eschewed football, to become a soccer star (football?).

45. Alveoli, e.g.: SACS. The tiney air sacs in your lungs.

49. Monitor, for short: CRT. Cathode Ray Tube. Being phased out by plasma, LCD and LED. 64A. Watch displays, briefly: LEDS. LEDs--Light Emitting Diodes, were first made famous in the watch worn by James Bond in the ‘70s. They are not to be confused with LCDs-Liquid Crystal Display, though they both use liquid gel.

52. Eldridge Cleaver's "Soul on __": ICE. I read this in college, a very interesting book.

53. More than plan: ACT. Like Nike says, just do it!

54. Hoarse: RASPY. Anyone want to hear my hoarse joke again? Damn, no reason to get nasty!

60. Spring mo.: APR. Bring May showers…

61. Manual reader: USER. Not in my family; we have not met a manual that inspired anyone to read yet.

62. Dome opening, in architecture: OCULUS. At first, I was confused by the extra CU, and since I am not familiar with this TERM but figured this was a shout out to me, since it means EYE in Latin. Always amazed how Rich know which puzzles I blog.

63. Corp. bigwig: CEO.

65. Prepares for the next turn in the alley: RESETS. The first of mini-sports corner, a shout out to bowling. Then baseball, 21D. Any Wrigley Field contest until 1988: DAY GAME. Golf: 34D. Hole number?: PAR. Football, 38D. Football play: PUNT. And, weight lifting: 51D. Lift in a gym: PRESS. Like a bench, or military press. I use dumbbells now.

66. Directional ending: ERN. Eastern, western etc.


1. Tlaxcalteca enemies: AZTECS. Had no idea, but when letters finally came, it looked like it belonged with “teca.”

2. Cedar Revolution city: BEIRUT. Not all familiar with the NAME though I was aware of the struggle against Syria, as I had friend from Lebanon. memories, a nice Jewish boy and a girl from Lebanon; my great aunt married a man from there, and father would always ask him what is was like to be a Lesbian. Our family gatherings were always fun.

3. Lady of Spain: SENORA. Our Spanish lessons revisited. And our tricky Spanish, 42D. Mayo, e.g.: MES. Mayo, the month of May, Mes. Month in Spanish.

5. Film doctor with 7 faces: LAO. A wonderful movie with TONY RANDALL .

6. LDS-owned school: BYU. Latter day Saints, or better known as Mormons.

7. Fed. number-crunching gp.: OMB. Office of Management and Budget.

8. '70s-'80s TV family: WALTONS. A very successful family series based on a book and movie that ran during the ‘70s also.

9. Deceitful: SNEAKY.

10. Word after blue or bird: FLU. Blue Flu being the term used to describe work absences by police,, who are forbidden to strike for pay raises, but who developed flu symptoms to not work and force the cities to pay them more.

11. Defamatory: LIBELOUS. I am beginning to think there really is a conspiracy, since we have this again, and last time I was accused of giving legal advice by defining the term; you are all on your own.

12. Cooked really well?: OVERDONE. Like THIS ?

13. Biked, in Bristol: PEDALLED. Ah ha, Bristol England, not the one in Connecticut where ESPN was born, because the British use two “L”s where we Americans think one will do. Travelled etc.

19. S&L offerings: CDS. Certificates of Deposit, not Compact Discs.

25. Falls back: EBBS. and flows; you all still with me?

26. __ Air: Los Angeles community: BEL. And a great Chevy in the ‘50s.

27. It's next to nothing: ONE. Well a tricky clue, I like it.

31. Frederick the Great's realm: PRUSSIA. I always had trouble with the geography and politics of Germany and Russia and this Kingdom which annexed 46D.French border region: ALSACE. Along with LORRAINE, one of the French provinces which was part of the Franco-Prussian War.

33. Gore and Franken: ALS. To democrat liberals are we. The poor girl on Jeopardy did not know George H. W. Bush called Gore the Ozone man.

35. Forgiving: MERCIFUL. Which sits perfectly with 36D. Deal with, as demons: EXORCISE.Certainly a merciful act.

37. Ragged: TATTERED.

40. Romaine, e.g.: LETTUCE. Why are there now choices of 17 different lettuces? And that is only at McDonalds!

41. Anticipatory time: EVE. Erev in Hebrew, and a perfect clue with the 24th fast approaching.

44. Aid: SUCCOR. Another English word directly from Latin.

48. "Sophie's Choice" author: STYRON. A powerful novel, with the movie heralded as Meryl Streep’s best acting performance, for which she won an Oscar. Not a happy film.

50. Jazz lover: CAT. Hep Cat, Cool Cat.

56. Most coll. applicants: SRS. Seniors in high School

57. Toys __: R US. Gee, it isn’t backwards.

58. Samuel Adams Summer __: ALE. Oh, and we finish with the shout out to my craft brewing, beer swilling children who are headed home for the holiday. Love you boys. Thanks Paul. Sam Adams is the first American micro-brewery to become macro, and the beer is not bad.

59. Boy king: TUT. Well, my grandmother used to look at me and go, Tut, Tut all the time, so I guess it time for me to go.

Answer grid.

A reasonable Friday, mostly easier, but lots of new stuff. Thank you for welcoming me into your homes, I like many of the new avatars and the new voices, as well as the old ones, so keep up the good work. In the meantime COOKIE!


Dec 16, 2010

Thursday December 16, 2010 John Lampkin

Theme: Classical puns. Beethoven-related subject matter with naughty (altered) meanings. 62A. Naughty—and with 63-Across, composer Beethoven? (born 12/16/1770): LEWD. 63A. Toupee: WIG. (Ludwig)

20A. Naughty object of Beethoven's affections?: IMMORAL BELOVED. Immortal beloved is the name used in three love letters composed by Beethoven.

38A. Beethoven's naughty opus?: EROTICA SYMPHONY. The Eroica (heroic) symphony was originally dedicated to Bonaparte while the revolution was on and idealistic, but when NB later declared himself Emperor, Beethoven became disgusted and went to the table where the completed score lay. He took hold of the title-page and scratched the name Bonaparte out so violently with a knife that he created a hole in the paper and later renamed it.

53A. Where to hear Beethoven's naughty music?: BANNED CONCERTS. Band concerts like JZB performs in? Jazz, do you play any "improved" classical works?

Hi all, Al here.

Well, John has managed to blend a little bit of English (cryptic) clue phrasing into today's puzzle. A word like "naughty" can simply mean that the words or the arrangement of letters in a word are not behaving correctly, or can be a play on words. Also scattered throughout the puzzle are some additional bonus clue references to Ludwig Van (which, incidentally, is what we named our first Dodge Caravan, oh, so many years ago).


1. A whale has a long one: JAW. Yeah, right, his jaw was the first thing that came to mind.

4. Short pencil: STUB.

8. Sign of military respect: SALUTE.

14. Tokyo-born artist: ONO. That kind of blends together, doesn't it? Tokyoko.

15. Lake Titicaca is partly in it: PERU. The rest is in Bolivia, where the city of Copacabana also lies.

16. Previously, previously: ERE NOW.

17. Pure: VIRGINAL. Not naughty.

19. Nursery rocker: CRADLE.

22. X rating in old Rome?: TEN. A naughty Roman numeral. At least it wasn't a math problem.

23. Cringe: COWER. Actually unrelated to "coward", which comes from Old French coart. Cower comes from German kuren or kauren "lie in wait", or similar Scandanavian words kura, kure, to squat and to doze.

24. Dollar bills, e.g.: CASH. Sigh, had ONES at first.

27. Choir male, often: TENOR. As in the finale to Beethoven's Symphony No. 9.

30. Mil. honors: DSMS. Distinguished Service Medals.

33. Ding Dong relatives: HOHOS.

35. Yoga position: LOTUS. It's not only a yoga position.

37. Swipe: COP. Northern British dialect, "to seize, to catch," possibly from Latin capere "to take".

41. Agcy. concerned with fraud: FTC. Federal Trade Commission.

42. Malaise symptom: NO PEP.

43. __-ground missile: AIR-TO.

44. Nordstrom rival: SAKS. Started in Tennessee, now owns McRae’s, Parisian, Younkers, Herberger's, and Carson Pirie Scott & Co. which included Bergner's and Boston Store.

46. Biblical beasts: ASSES. Sampson slew an entire army with only the jawbone of an ass. Hmmm, isn't that what Congress does?

48. Romeo or Juliet, e.g.: TEEN. Hormones are wasted on the young.

49. Semi-sheer curtain fabric: VOILE. Apparently it can be used for more than just curtains. Ok, this is just wrong...

51. Doctrine: ISM. In Latin a doctor was a "religious teacher, adviser, scholar".

59. ::: COLONS. A colon is Latin for "part of a poem". Meaning evolved from "independent clause" to the punctuation mark that sets it off.

60. Parker and Roosevelt: ELEANORS.

61. "CBS Evening News" anchor: COURIC. Katie. I think someone must have said "Could you turn that up? I can't hear you."

64. Anxiety: UNEASE.

65. Dieter's triumph: LOSS. Clever meaning reversal clue.

66. Boozer: SOT.


1. Rocker Bon __: JOVI. It takes a certain kind of confidence to sing a duet with Luciano Pavarotti.

2. Lively, to Beethoven: Abbr.: ANIM. Animato

3. Low life?: WORM.

4. High point?: SPIRE. From Old English spir "sprout, shoot, stalk of grass. A spear of asparagus.

5. High-rise occupant: TENANT. Apartment dweller.

6. River through southern Russia: URAL.

7. Socket insert: BULB. I confidently entered BALL for this first...

8. Novus ordo __: Great Seal phrase: SECLORUM. Translated, means "A new order of the ages". It was meant to signify the beginning of the new American era, beginning in 1776. The symbolism of the Great Seal explained.

9. Cupid's missile: ARROW. Eros, Amor. Son of Venus (and Mars). With Psyche, had a daughter named Roman: Voluptas (voluptuous) or Greek: Hedone (from which we get hedonism).

10. Like trees in summer: LEAVED. I had to hesitate whether it should be an F or a V.

11. Sign of stress?: UNDERSCORE. Underlined text to be stressed, or emphasized. Also italics or bolding.

12. Squealed: TOLD. Ratted on.

13. She used to be a lambkin: EWE. A pet name perhaps, John?

18. Began to win a lot: GOT HOT.

21. Environmental subgroup: ECOTYPE. a genetically distinct geographic variety, population or race within species, which is adapted to specific environmental conditions.

24. Toque wearers: CHEFS.

25. Heart line: AORTA.

26. Provocation potential, as of a Howard Stern segment: SHOCK VALUE.

28. Passed, as time: ELAPSED.

29. Busybodies' active organs?: NOSES.

31. Three-card con: MONTE.

32. Watch, secret agent-style: SPY ON. Used here as a verb, not James Bond's Rolex 1016 Explorer.

34. Transgression: SIN. Like being naughty...

36. Steamy resort: SPA.

39. Come together: COALESCE.

40. Scary contract hirees: HITMEN.

45. State bordering Arizona: SONORA. Estado Libre y Soberano de Sonora in Mexico.

47. Tendons: SINEWS.

50. Longtime civil rights leader Roy: INNIS. National Chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) since 1968.

52. A plethora: SCADS. Cornish name for a type of fish abundant on the British coast; perhaps a variant of shad. From Late Latin, plethora "fullness" originally a medical word for "excess of body fluid".

53. Timely benefit: BOON.

54. Pocket vibrator, at times: CELL. They might sell more if they had an intensity setting in place of volume.

55. Dairy bar: OLEO. In the dairy case, I suppose, but since it is mostly trans-fat, you shouldn't really eat it.

56. Garden lines: ROWS.

57. Beethoven's "Archduke," for one: TRIO. Piano Trio No. 7 Op. 97 in B-flat major. It was dedicated to the amateur pianist and composition student of Beethoven, Archduke Rudolph of Austria.

58. High-ranking NCO: SSGT. Staff Sergeant.

59. Hosp. heart ward: CCU. Coronary Care Unit. Could also be Critical Care Unit.

Answer Grid.

Along with today's puzzle, John has provided some more samples of his photographic composition work related to three of today's fill (ASSES, NOSES & LOTUS). You can see them here.