Apr 23, 2011

Saturday April 23, 2011 Michael Wiesenberg

Theme: None (or rather E-less)

Total words: 72

Total blocks: 31

Today's puzzle includes a question which appears in the newspaper and in Across Lite Notepad, but not in LA Times on line Java format. Notepad asks: "Can you spot the unusual feature in this puzzle's clues and answers?"

Can you? Did you? I noticed letter E is missing from the clues/answers only after after I solved the grid. Incredible construction, as E is the most popular letter in crosswords. I can't imagine the time and effort that went into building this puzzle. Daunting task!

Some of the clues are a bit stretched due to the E elimination, for example: 56D. Quondam JFK arrivals : SSTs. Quondam is Latin for "former".


1. Hardly an intimidating soul : PUSSYCAT. Nice start.

9. Rap caps : DORAGs

15. In custody of, as a library patron : ON LOAN TO

16. Moon mission : APOLLO

17. Spot to savor old standards : PIANO BAR. "Play it again, Sam".

18. '60s-'70s Saudi king : FAISAL. I can never remember this guy. Wiki said he was assassinated by his nephew in 1975 for unclear reasons. 

19. Sch. north of Gulfport : USM. OK, University of Southern Mississippi.

20. Pull : CLOUT. Noun "pull".

22. Woodworking slot : DADO. See here. We've got two groovy carpenters on the blog: Jerome & Splynter.

23. Natural bath body scrub : LOOFA

26. Canadian prov. : ONT

27. Old Roman port : OSTIA. No idea.

28. Civil rights activist Roy : INNIS. Is he very well-known?

29. Harts : STAGS

31. Org. with a multi-ring logo : IOC (International Olympic Committee)

32. Just okay : NOT SO HOT. Lots of Os in the puzzle.

34. Cockpit abbr. : ALT

35. Show sympathy toward, with "on" : GO SOFT

38. Qom inhabitants : IRANIS. Iranians is more common.

40. Auckland yam : OCA. It's not clued with reference to South American/ Andean due to the E concern.

41. Tough task : NO PICNIC

45. __-fi : SCI

46. Popular talk show : OPRAH

47. Spanish girl : CHICA

51. Bochco drama : L.A. LAW. Steven Boncho produced the show. Unknown fact to me.

53. In this location: Span. : ACA. So how do you say "You're here" in Spanish?

54. Soothing hot drink also known as Lucky Dragon : HYSON. Green tea. I've never heard of Lucky Dragon.

55. Kin of Osiris : ISIS. His sister/wife.

56. Apron : SMOCK

58. Roman 151 : CLI

59. Last innings : NINTHS

61. Short approach, in golf : CHIP SHOT. Hope Husker Gary chips in once in his pointless golf outing today.

64. Quit : GOT OUT

65. Island off California's coast : CATALINA

66. Liquor gulps : SNORTS

67. Butt loci : ASHTRAYS. D'oh, cigarette butt.


1. Vox __ : POPULI. Literally "voice of the people".

2. A choir may sing in it : UNISON

3. Apply strongly, as to start braking : SLAM ON

4. Offspring : SON

5. Shanghai-born NBA star : YAO (Ming). Yao is his surname.

6. Old FNN rival : CNBC

7. Stuck : AT A LOSS

8. Canadian city : TORONTO

9. Crazy : DAFT

10. __-Locka, Fla. : OPA

11. Sports no-nos, informally : 'ROIDS. Steroids.

12. Big companion dog : ALSATIAN. German shepherd? I'm not a dog person.

13. Plants with spiky blooms : GLADIOLI. Quite pretty.

14. Stand-up comics, typically : SOLO ACTS

21. Its motto is "Industry" : UTAH. Our motto is "L'Étoile du Nord" ("The Star of the North).

24. Dry Spanish libation : FINO. Spanish for "refined". Can't have "Sherry" due to E again.

25. So far : AS OF NOW

27. Bird with a strong kick : OSTRICH. I've never encountered an ostrich.

30. Antonym of withdraw : GO IN

33. Trans Am option : T-TOP

35. Young birds : GOSLINGS

36. Birthday, say : OCCASION

37. Bawl out : SAIL INTO. Criticize.

39. Hurting : ACHY

42. Nanny's aid : PRAM

43. "Talking Straight" co-author : IACOCCA (Lee)

44. Mambos' cousins : CHA CHAS

48. Volcanic Italian island known for its spas : ISCHIA. See this map. Learning moment for me.

49. Ant group : COLONY

50. Hill and Bryant : ANITAs

52. Fur tycoon : ASTOR

57. Kin kin : KITH

60. Shanty : HUT

62. Way to stand : PAT. Stand pat.

63. Nikon product : SLR


Apr 22, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011 Scott Atkinson

Theme: The old switcheroo. Each pair of answers trade ER for OO, or vice versa, which are the ending letters in SWITCHEROO. By switching the letters, you get a different and amusing answer. And, the ultimate switch is having all of the theme answers clued in DOWN. How many were deceived like I was by the long answer YOU ARE HERE, which looked like the start of the theme? But, no, here it comes.

5D. Convicts' level on a prison ship?: PERP DECK. This was POOP DECK, which comes from the French word--la poupe--meaning the stem. The French comes from the Latin term Pupiss--meaning the head or stem of something. The poopdeck is the raised portion at the rear "stem" or "head" of the ship that overhangs the rest of the deck. Do not get CONFUSED . PERP here means perpetrator, not our own perpendicular.

11D. Narrow passage where catcalls are heard?: BOOING STRAIT. BERING STRAIT is the passage between the easternmost pint of Asia and the westernmost point in North America. Baseball season brings out many of the Boo Birds.

(Notice the clues alternate OO to ER and ER to OO ).

24D. Creative user of worn-out clothes: TATTER ARTIST. TATOO ARTIST is a very popular career though Jews do not believe you should mark your body. I do like the imagery of someone making beauty out of rags.

41D. Evict a "Wizard of Oz" actor? : BOOT LAHR. Poor BERT LAHR, fired despite his wonderful portrayal of the Lion. I like this one too, as I can picture a swift kick in the pants of poor Mr. Lion.

And the oddly placed unifier, 7D. Deceptive swap that literally resulted in 5-, 11-, 24- and 41-Down: THE OLD SWITCHEROO.

Lemonade here. A really fun theme, from my new pal Scott Atkinson. I thought this was an easier Friday, but with wit and some tricks. Let's go to town and see where we are.


1. Victims of a storied loser: SHEEP. I really have no clue, but the perps filled easily.

6. Dough dispensers: ATMS. Becoming a common misdirection.

10. Björn Ulvaeus's group: ABBA. Mamma Mia, what do you think the B stands for?

14. Humiliate: ABASE.

15. Takeout choice: THAI. My favorites are Pad Thai and Pad Siew.

16. Procrastinator's word: SOON. I will have this blog done soon.

17. Mall map phrase: YOU ARE HERE. 10 letters, and 17 across, the theme, right?

19. "King __": KONG. Jack Black, what were they thinking?

20. Forcibly expel: UPROOT. How appropriate for this Passover season where the Egyptians chased away the Jews.

21. Like all kidding?: ASIDE. Why would I do that?

25. Ken, for one: DOLL. Barbie's Beau.

26. Key with all white notes: A MINOR. On a Piano I assume.

27. Unlike decaf, facetiously: LEADED. I drink unleaded often, now.

29. Making into cubes: DICING. Anyone else think of Ron Popiel?

31. Tempt: ENTICE. Oh yeah, baby, behave!

32. Jolly Roger sidekick: SMEE. Captain Hook's first mate.

33. Pampering place: SPA.

36. "The Chosen" author: POTOK. We often speak of Chaim Potok, and his book My Name is Asher Lev.

37. Not here: AWAY. Not a home game.

38. See 38-Down: CTRS, and 38D With 38-Across, large pol. arenas: CONV, convention centers. I like how they played off each other.

39. GWB, for one: PRES. More abbreviations hinted at by the clue.

40. Net addition?: FLIX. The Net Flix streaming to your TV is fabulous; my son has it and you can watch all the great movies.

41. Type of cleansing acid: BORIC. I am sure I have mentioned I used boric acid as an eyewash ingredient for years, and also to keep roaches out of my house. Odd combination.

42. Galley tool: OAR. Very tricky as this word means kitchen on a ship, a proof of a book as well as a ship manned by human oarsmen.

43. Trapper's quest: PELT. You ever wonder how little Minks and Chinchillas became so valuable?

44. Where the House of Grimaldi reigns: MONACO. You can understand why their prince wanted to marry this WOMAN .

45. Northwest Passage ocean: ARCTIC, I like how this is followed by 47A Old Russian council SOVIET, which conjures up the frozen tundra of the old Soviet Union, and the BERING STRAITS.

48. Oversee a museum: CURATE, the verb to describe what a CURATOR does, not to be confused with the noun, and its religious meaning.

50. Subtle taste: HINT. My son made a Porter with just a hint of chocolate.

52. Jerry Rice's 208 is an NFL record: TDS. Touchdowns, and unbelievable record. After dancing, Jerry is now not doing too well trying to be a professional golfer on the nationwide tour.

53. They beg to differ: ANTIS. I like the clue, but I had trouble getting the sound.

54. Shoe annoyance: PEBBLE. How do they get in there anyway?

56. Muckraker Jacob: RIIS. We have had this MAN  before.

57. Hirschfeld drawing: CARICATURE. He made pen and ink come alive is his DRAWINGS .

61. One may be assumed: POSE. Models anyone?
62. All-inclusive: A TO Z. Our friend Mr. A TOZ.
63. Very unpopular: HATED. Really unpopular, wow.
64. Tonsil drs: ENTS. A lemonade special repeat, Ear Nose & Throat.
65. Horse halter: WHOA. Okay, which sicko was picturing Dale Evans' Buttermilk in a halter top?
66. Like non-oyster months, traditionally: R LESS. June, July and August.
Okay, break time, and still no theme?
1. Enunciate: SAY.
2. "The Wire" network: HBO. If you have not seen it, you may want to watch this acclaimed series set in BALTIMORE  .
3. Rivière contents: EAU. Wake up Jeannie, it is French lesson time; rivière means river and eau is water.
4. Rebekah's firstborn: ESAU. Don't you love how he just adds an S and we have the next answer.
6. Playwright Fugard: ATHOL. This writer has appeared three times already this year, the last two in Sunday puzzles.
8. Shopping place: MART. Hence, WAL or K.
9. "Sprechen __ Deutsch?": SIE. YOU, literally Do you speak German?
10. Invites across the threshold: ASKS IN. A Dan Naddor like two word answer which gives odd letter progression until you realize it is two words.
12. Aptly named auto body adhesive: BONDO. Another great 3M product named by their crack staff which gave us POST-ITs.
13. Management target: ANGER. Nice deception here, and a bad movie with Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler.
18. Diminish slowly: ERODE. Is that what is happening to me, I am eroding.
21. Grenoble gal pal: AMIE. Okay, bonus French today. notice the E on the end, that lets you know this friend is a she.
22. Syria's most populous city: ALEPPO. There are many things abut this city to FEAR.
23. Title for Salma Hayek: SENORA. Spanish for married lady, but ever since I saw Desperado, an actress I would like to be NEAR.
26. __-deucy: ACEY. I played this and pretty much every card game I could find as a child; now not so much.
28. Creator in Caracas: DIOS. You need to know Caracas is the capital of Venezuela, and therefore a place where they speak Spanish, Mon Dieu, another language lesson!
30. Big-screen format: IMAX. AVATAR was so amazing in 3-D at IMAX.
34. Compared at the mall, say: PRICED. Mall (4 letters starting in MA) not to be confused with Mart
35. Fancy accessories: ASCOTS. Fancy, or pretentious? NC, any thoughts? These ties are named for the races where they were worn by the European elite.
37. "__ Ask of You": "Phantom" duet : ALL I. Is this a crowd FAVORITE ?
40. Big celebration: FETE.

43. Cuts for agts. PCTS. Percentages which is how agents are paid.

44. "Hardball" network: MSNBC.

46. Picks up: RAISES. Not my first choice, I found this one hard to parse.

48. __ diem: CARPE. Just for me, some good old Latin, meaning seize the day.

49. North, once: UNION. Versus the Confederates.

51. Balearic island: IBIZA. A really beautiful island near Spain, and where I may have to go to get some papers signed to transfer ownership of a hotel in the Dominican Republic. What tough duty. Also a hangout for Hollywood's A list.

54. It's taken on some hikes: PATH. But be sure to put it back so others can use it. Nice clue.

55. Bibliography abbr. ET AL. Latin abbreviation for Et Alia, and others

57. Corvine sound: CAW. Did we just travel to ancient Rome? This is from CORVINUS, which means crow in Latin. The INE ending, like BOVINE and PORCINE was also a clue we were talking animals.

58. Salt Lake athlete: UTE. Like many I prefer Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinnie.

59. Court matter: RES. A token legal term for me, and we are out with

60. Slate workers, for short: EDS. Just as I began, I end not sure why, other than teachers and a blackboard are educators and ED degrees. (Note: EDs are short for Editors. Slate magazine.)

Well, my second of Scott's this month and I hope you enjoyed the switch as much as I did, Limeaid 417 out.

Note from C.C.:

Tomorrow's puzzle includes a question which appears in the newspaper and in Across Lite notepad (Click View), but not in LA Times on line Java format. Please come to the blog around 9:10pm tonight. I'll post the question in the Comments section. The answer to the question appears with next Monday April 25 puzzle.

Updated later: Notepad says: ""Can you spot the unusual feature in this puzzle's clues and answers?"

Apr 21, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011 Neville L. Fogarty

Theme: Backronyms, sort of. Common internet TLAs (Three-Letter Acronyms) are reinterpreted as a new phrase, and the pairings appear together, each pair on the same row in the grid..

17A. Acquire incriminating info (on), as hinted by 19-Across: GET THE GOODS.

19A. "I'm heading out," in netspeak: GTG. Got To Go.

32A. "Here's how I see it," in netspeak: IMO. In My Opinion

33A. Lament about a lost opportunity, as hinted by 32-Across: I MISSED OUT.

38A. "Break time's over," as hinted by 41-Across: BACK TO WORK.

41A. "Oh, and did I mention ...," in netspeak: BTW. By The Way.

55A. "That's too funny!" in netspeak: LOL. Laugh Out Loud.

56A. Charity for young alopecia sufferers, as hinted by 55-Across: LOCKS OF LOVE. Getting long hair cut short to make wigs.

Hi all, Al here. That's one way to minimize the effects of having small abbreviations as grid fill, make them be part of the theme!  Eight theme entries today; it's "odd" to have a high even number of clues.


1. "__: Legacy": 2010 sci-fi sequel: TRON.

5. Chihuahua city: JUAREZ.

11. Is for all?: ARE. Verbs, forms of "to be".  I am, he is, you are. Just another reason English is maddening to learn.

14. Top-notch: A-ONE.

15. 2010 World Cup campeón: ESPANA. Champion, Spain.  Waka Waka. I could have linked a vuvuzuela vid instead...

16. Polar abbr.: NEG. Battery poles, negative and positive.

20. Ethically indifferent: AMORAL. Neutral, as opposed to immoral.

21. Facebook friends, e.g.: USERS.

23. Pearl weights: CARATS. 1 carat = 200 milligrams, 0.007055 oz, the weight of an average carob seed.

25. Stone's 14: Abbr.: LBS. One stone = 14 pounds.  no longer a "legal" measurement, but still customarily used to express a person's weight. Not all stone measures are the same, just as troy pounds do not equal avoirdupois pounds.  So a pound of feathers really does weigh more than a pound of gold...

28. First-century B.C. pharaoh, briefly: CLEO.patra

29. "... but a __ without a cat!": Alice: GRIN. Alice in Wonderland, the Cheshire Cat.

30. Pay-per-view event: BOUT. Old English byht, a bend, in the sense of a circuit, as a plow path. Evolved to a "round" of any sort of exercise, to a round at fighting, or of drinking.

31. Color in a stable: ROAN. Reddish brown cattle or horses.

36. Unexpected issue: SNAG. The stump of a tree or a branch, Old Norse snaggi, a clothes peg. From the sense of steamboats getting caught on stumps lodged in riverbeds.

37. Bracelet bit: BEAD. From Old English gebed "prayer", as the beads of a rosary.

44. Bullish start?: TAUR. Latin prefix form of taurus, the bull.

45. Eliza's 'elper: 'ENRY. George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion. Oh, ok, if I must, the movie My Fair Lady.

46. Storied cocky racer: HARE. Aesop's fable

47. Poet Pound: EZRA.

48. Check out: SEE.

49. Slatted containers: CRATES.

51. Rich soils: LOAMS.

53. Wood shop device: C CLAMP. Shaped just as it is named.

61. Scrape up, with "out": EKE.

62. Turn right?: ORIENT. To right something, as in to put it in an upright position, not to "gee" as per horse instructions.

63. Mideast airline: EL AL. Hebrew, to the skies.

64. "Norma __": RAE. Sally Field. The subject matter of unions has been much in the news of late.

65. Large TV family: BRADYS. It's the story/ of a lovely lady/ who was bringing up three very lovely girls...

66. Marathon prep, maybe: TEN-K. 26.2 miles (42 Kilometers) vs 6.2 miles (10 Kilometers)


1. Playground runaround?: TAG.

2. Fish delicacy: ROE. I wonder about the first person who thought it would be a good idea to eat fish eggs.

3. Michigan neighbor: ONTARIO. As has been previously mentioned, a part of Windsor Canada lies south of Detroit.

4. Court figure: NET MAN. Tennis, badminton?  Others?

5. Greets the visitors: JEERS. Sports rivals, not Big Box Mart.

6. Open org.: USGA. Golf.

7. Good-lookers: APOLLOS. Adonises.

8. 1991-'96 Indian prime minister: RAO.

9. Put the kibosh on: END.

10. Silents star Pitts: ZASU. Two family members named EliZA and SUsan each wanted her to be named for them.

11. "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" autobiographer: ANGELOU. Maya.

12. Private place: RETREAT.

13. Exhorts: EGGS ON. From Latin exhortari "to encourage, stimulate"

18. Gossip-worthy: HOT.

22. New England catch: SCROD. A guy hops into a cab and asks the driver, "My good man, take me someplace where I can get scrod." The cabbie replies, "Pal, that's the first time I've ever been asked that in the passive pluperfect subjunctive."

23. "Avatar" spec. effects: CGI. Computer Generated Imagery.

24. Upper limb: ARM.

26. Water bearer, maybe: BUSBOY.

27. One in a herd: STEER.

30. It often gets away, so we've heard: BIG ONE.

33. Cartridge filler: INK. Printers, not ammunition.

34. Partners: MATES.

35. Deadwood's terr.: DAK. An HBO series about crime and corruption in early South Dakota.

36. "Get lost!": SCRAM. Could be a shortened form of "scramble" or possibly from German "schramm": depart.

38. Antitank weapon: BAZOOKA. From name of a junkyard musical instrument used as a prop by U.S. comedian Bob Burns; extension of bazoo, slang for "mouth" or "boastful talk", probably from Dutch bazuin "trumpet."

39. Civil War love song: AURA LEE. The melody was used by Elvis for "Love Me Tender".

40. Totaled: WRECKED.

41. Robin's way down: BATPOLE. Robin's pole was smaller in diameter than Batman's.  Just sayin'...

42. Uno e due: TRE. Italian (I think).

43. Bentley of "Ghost Rider": WES. Played a demon, Blackheart, pitted at the end against Nicolas Cage's Johnny Blaze, who sold his soul to Mephistopheles, Blackheart's father.

44. One taking a lot of notes: TELLER. Bank notes, i.e. money.

46. Claudius' nephew: HAMLET.

49. Congeals: CLOTS. As with cream or blood.

50. Brit. fliers: RAF. Royal Air Force.

52. Pig at the table: SLOB. I wanted CHOP or LOIN first, but tricksy Thursday.  Although, there wasn't too much of this today.

54. "Ohio" folk-rock quartet, initially: CSNY. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.

57. Hockey great: ORR. Bobby.  Played defense, but won the league scoring title.

58. "Covert Affairs" org.: CIA. Central Intelligence Agency.

59. Soccer mom's need: VAN. Don't see all that many station wagons any more, or at least, I don't.

60. Hooved grazer: ELK.


Apr 20, 2011

Wednesday, April 20,, 2011 Don Gagliardo and C.C. Burnikel

 Theme - CLANDESTINE CLAN - each asterisked theme answer contains a hidden family member, spanning words, and stated familiarly.  (Good Lord, I just used "asterisk" as a verb.  Don't tell my daughter.) 

21 A. *Ages : FOREVER AND A DAY.  Or the 12th of Never perhaps.  That's a long long time.  DAD spans three words.  Hi Dr. Dad!

29  A. *Surgery prep area : SCRUB ROOM.  I read recently that doctors are more careless about hygiene than they should be, and neckties are horrible germ carriers.  Hence the need to scrub.  BRO is brother, of course.  I am one.

39 A. *"Aha!" : JUST AS I SUSPECTED.   Sometimes I get it right, but that might be by accident.  Wow.  SIS spans three words.  Makes BRO seem like a piker.  Well, my SIS is pretty industrious.

48 A. *Bout with very big contestants : SUMO MATCH.  Those SUMO wrestlers are big guys, aren't they.  We can let MOM get away with only spanning two words, 'cuz MOMs work hard all the time.

And the unifier --  59 A. Groundbreaking sitcom, and a hint to four different three-letter words concealed by starred answers : ALL IN THE FAMILY.  Archie, Edith, Gloria, and the Meat Head. 

Constructors' notes are at the end.  Full disclosure - I gleaned the theme title from the notes.  It's been a great few days for me, with the granddaughters' dance competition, performing with Wayne, and now getting inside this puzzle from the dynamic duo of Don and our own gracious hostess.  No walk in the park for me, but achievable with good Wednesday level effort, and lots of fun, to boot!

I'm quite proud of myself for detecting the theme and sussing the unifier before I saw it.  Finding nothing in common among the first three theme answers, I started probing for hidden words, and had an "aha!" moment when I found them.  Wonderful pattern with 5 theme entries, the center one spanning the special 16 x 15 grid, and just a Q and Z away from a pangram.

Hi gang, it's JazzBumpa.  I guess including Bumpa was too much to hope for, but Gloria, the lovely wife is implied in the unifier, and, ironically, I sneak in at 69A.  Well, the family's all here.  Let's stop in for a visit.


1. Berlin Olympics star : OWENS.  Jesse

6. Test sites : LABS.  Not N-tests.  Just LABoratories for more mundane experiments.  In one of my jobs we had a sign that said, "What we need in this laboratory is more labor and less oratory."  Everybody's a comedian.

10. Unexpected result : UPSET.  The Wings are up 3 games to none against whoever they're playing.  No UPSET there, except the other team's fans might be UPSET.

15. "The King's Speech" Oscar winner Firth : COLIN.  I like the scene in Bridget Jones's Diary where he beats up the other, even more annoying British guy.

16. Touched down : ALIT.  Landed, not scored a touchdown.

17. Pheasant ragout : SALMI.  Never heard of it.  But now that I know about it, I want some with a cold RYE BEER!

18. Far from fresh : TRITE.  Nothing trite about this puzzle.

19. Snack in a shell : TACO.  TACO means sandwich in Spanish.   Once, in Mexicali, I ordered a Jamon con Queso Taco, and got a ham and cheese on white bread.  It was an unexpected result, but I wasn't UPSET.  There might have been a Dos Equis in the mix somewhere. 

20. Garden figure : GNOME.  Little bearded statues that protect gardens from the evils of black magic

24. Spelling on screen : TORI.  I believe she's famous for being well known, though I might have that backwards.

25. Old Olds creation : REO.  The initials of Ransom Eli Olds who gave us the REO Speedwagon, and much later your father's Oldsmobile.

26. Minnesota twins? : EN'S.  There are two letters "N" side by side in Minnesota.  What's round on both ends and hi in the middle?

27. Buff : FAN.  Aha!  Like a  film buff, frex.  Not JUST AS I SUSPECTED.  I put in FIT, because NAKED wouldn't FIT.

33. Glob suffix : ULE.  A GLOBULE is something smallish and roundish.

34. Mack Sennett lawman : KOP.  Keystone KOPs from old comedy.  Seems like they never got their man.

35. Hard-twisted cotton thread : LISLE.   The manufacturing process burns off lint and fiber ends.  This  leaves a smooth finish.  Hmmm.  So does Lagavulin.

45. "Really __ ...": "Tears of a Clown" lyric : I'M SADNo. 1 hit for Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.

46. __ tai : MAI.  A MAI tai is concoction of rum and fruit juice.  Does it have a smooth finish?

 47. Form 1040 calc. : AGI.  Adjusted Gross Income.  The sum of income from all sources, less certain specified deductions.  An intermediate number in your tax calculation.

53. Droid : BOT.  Two abbreviated words that have become accepted as stand-alones, derived from android and robot, respectively, both meaning mechanical humanoids.

54. Go on and on : YAK.  Talking or playing.  It can be a bit Kopish, capiche?

56. Prefix with moron : OXY.  An oxymoron is a self-contradictory expression, like "jumbo shrimp" or "tasteful trombonist."

57. He succeeded Boutros : KOFI. U.N. Secretaries General KOFI Annan and Boutros Boutros Ghali -- golly!

64. Arab big shot : SHEIK.  This word is properly pronounced "shake."

65. Sleek, in car talk : AERO.  AS in AEROdynamic.

66. Live : EXIST

68. Like the Vikings : NORSE.  They came from the north, in ships.

69. Fairway club : IRON.  Tiger has a rough time, since he does not always use his wood in a fair way.  Ironically, I, RON, would never do such a thing.

70. Religious practices : RITES.

71. Led Zeppelin's "Whole __ Love" : LOTTAThis calls for a link.

72. At sea : LOST.  Nice not to see ASEA in the grid.

73. Foam opener : STYRO.  STYROfoam is expanded polystyrene.


1. Fall mo. : OCT.  October.  Abrv in cl. & ans.

2. Klingon officer in the "Star Trek" franchise : WORFLovely, uh -- man.

3. "The Untouchables" co-author, 1957 : ELIOT NESS.  I used to watch the TV show, and never had any idea NESS wrote the book.

4. Powerful liquid, for short : NITRO.  NITROglycrine for long, or 1,2,3-trinitroxypropane for even longer. It's explosive stuff.  Handle with care.

5. Derisive looks : SNEERS.  See 51 D.

6. Incurring a fine, maybe : LATE.  At the library, perhaps.  Been there, done that.

7. Banned apple spray : ALAR.  We don't see this old crossword stalwart much any more.  It's N-(dimethylamino)succinamic acid for long.

8. Antacid choice, briefly : BICARB.  Sodium Bicarbonate, less briefly. 

9. He who is without sin? : STONER.  Let the one without guilt cast the first stone.  I don't think anybody qualified.  By odd coincidence, the word "sin" in Spanish means "without."  By odder coincidence most STONERS were actually sinners.  I'm taking this on faith.

10. Links gp. : USGA.  The United States Golf Association, a bunch of good sports.  They have links, so I don't need to include one.

11. Prevalent all over : PANDEMIC.  Here, the word is an adjective, meaning widespread or general. As a noun, it means a PANDEMIC disease.

12. Memorial __-Kettering: NYC hospital : SLOAN.  This is a cancer center in NY City.

13. Tube awards : EMMYS

14. Draw : TIE.  An even-score result at the end of the game, not something TIED with a drawstring.

22. VapoRub maker : VICKS.  This brings back awful childhood memories . . .

23. Durante's "Inka Dinka __" : DOOThis doo call for a link.

27. Japan's highest mountain : FUJI.  Is it true there's a film on it?

28. Grad : ALUM.  Graduate and ALUMnus, for long.

30. Reine's spouse : ROI  Queen and King in French.

31. FedEx rival : U P S  United Parcel Service.

32. Bullring shout : OLE!

36. Balance : STABILITY.  Not falling down.   Here is an example, from right in the family.

37. Kids' block : LEGO.  You can make anything with them. Leggo my LEGO.

38. Do some cutting : EDIT.  Remove all those superfluous, unnecessary extra words that actually give to  a probably already too-long sentence even more gratuitous expanse, for no good reason.

40. It usually includes crossed-off items : TASK LIST.  I put in TO DO LIST, which caused me some grief.

41. Soccer star Freddy : ADU.  Sorry.  Don't follow soccer.

42. Thurman of "Kill Bill" : UMA.  A very demur lady.

43. Used a stool : SAT

44. "__ card, any card" : PICK A.  Magician's come-on.

49. Many a Fed. holiday : MON.  Monday is the day of choice, since it gives a long week end.

50. Beefy stew ingredient : OX TAIL.  Never tried it.  Maybe with a RYE BEER . 

51. "You saved me!" : MY HERO.  Reminds me of Dudley Do Right.

52. Big hits : HOMERS.  Home runs from base ball.

54. Shout of delight : YAHOO!

55. All ears : ALERT.  Tell me more.

58. Handy "Mr." : FIXIT.  Steroetypical name for a handy man is Mr. FIXIT.

60. Swedish furniture chain : IKEA.  Amanda loves this place.

61. Mythical archer : EROS.  One of the Greek Deities. God, I love this guy!

62. Type type : FONT.  Great repetitive clue.  This font is called Georgia, BTW

63. River of Flanders : YSER

64. NBC hit since '75 : SNL.  Saturday Night Live, long running show and long-time crossword stalwart.

67. Chicken general? : TSO.  I've still never had General TSO's chicken.  Though I have had the Colonel's.  I guess I struck out on today's culinary offerings.

Answer grid.

Well, I enjoyed our visit, but now it's bed time.  Y'all come back right soon, now, capiche?


Notes from C.C. and Don:

This puzzle was also accepted last November. The idea came to me when listening to an interview about clandestine operations. I thought of having clan or kin or other synonyms embedded in front of phrases with a unifier ALL IN THE FAMILY or IT'S ALL RELATIVE, but couldn't work out a coherent theme set. Don wisely guided us to where the theme sits today.

We chose the 16-letter JUST AS I SUSPECTED as center fill because it's a lively phrase and the embed SIS mirrors the DAD span, hence a special 16*15 grid. It's challenging and fun to span key words (all limited to 3 letters) in the middle rather than embed them in front or at the end. We hope you like our work.

Apr 19, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 John Lampkin

Theme: Home Bodies - Five animals from across the land who have where they are found as part of their name. (Like Broadway Joe?)

(There is a constructor's note at the end.)

18. Grassland burrower : PRAIRIE DOG

23. Mojave lizard : DESERT IGUANA

37. Flippered ocean critter : SEA LION

51. Sure-footed Rockies denizen : MOUNTAIN GOAT

60. Playful swimmer : RIVER OTTER

Argyle here. Click on the name to get an image. Not much to say. Good continuation of the week.


1. Chase, as a fly : SHAG. As a fly ball, not the insect.

5. Comme ci, comme ça : SO-SO. French phrase meaning, literally, “like this, like that.”

9. Whaler's rear end : STERN. Har, that would be the back end of the boat.

14. "__ Fly With Me": Sinatra standard : COME. Clip(3:21)

15. Swan's "Swan Lake" wear : TUTU

16. Hawk's home : AERIE. No TUTU wearing hawks.

17. Boo-boo, in tot talk : OWIE. Crossword 2D. Canadian comic Mandel : HOWIE

20. "Hungarian Rhapsodies" composer Franz : LISZT

22. "My __!" : GOODNESS

26. Boulevard, e.g. : ROAD

27. Comical Coca : IMOGENE. Classic clip(1:11) with Sid Caesar.

31. "You betcha!" : "YES SIREE!"

35. Bad doings : EVIL

36. Soft drink suffix : ADE

41. Jack Horner's last words : "...AM I". Nursery rhyme.

42. Zoom or macro : LENS

44. Orange-and-black-winged butterflies : MONARCHS. See John's link at the bottom.

46. Dangles a carrot in front of : ENTICES. For such a common phrase, this is the only photo I could find of an actual occurrence.

50. Jay with jokes : LENO

56. Prayer set to music by Schubert and Gounod : AVE MARIA. Here is the search results from YouTube. Pick your own version to hear.

59. 1945 conference site : YALTA. Yalta is a city in Crimea, southern Ukraine, on the north coast of the Black Sea. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and General Secretary Joseph Stalin discussed Europe's post-war reorganization. It had been preceded by the Tehran Conference in 1943. We had something about that recently.

63. Object of worship : IDOL

64. Some '80s Chryslers : K-CARS

65. Crescent's tip : CUSP

66. It flows through Egypt : NILE

67. Feel intuitively : SENSE

68. AMA concerns : HMOs

69. Slippery fish : EELs


1. Chew out : SCOLD

3. Not quite right : AMISS

4. Old coots : GEEZERS. Old coots following a miss?

5. "The Racer's Edge" : STP

6. "... __ daily bread" : OUR. From the Lord's Prayer.

7. College football immortal Amos Alonzo __ : STAGG. Stagg played football as an end at Yale University. 30D. "Boola Boola" singers : ELIs. 31. "Boola Boola" university : YALE

8. "Yes, yes, Fifi" : "OUI, OUI". French, French.

9. Verbally refused : SAID NO

10. Like most adolescents : TEENAGE

11. Earth, in Germany : ERDE

12. 60-Across habitats, to José : RIOs

13. Strips in a photo lab : NEGs

19. Wander : ROAM

21. Cinq moins deux : TROIS. French, French, French (5-2=3)

24. Container weight : TARE

25. Gray matter creation : IDEA

28. Flood emergency op : EVAC. the Emergency Volunteer Air Corps organizes general aviation pilots, amateur radio volunteers, and others to be of assistance during disaster.

29. Gp. that funds psychiatric drug testing : NIMH. National Institute of Mental Health.

32. Paradise : EDEN

33. Email status : SENT

34. "Slippery" tree : ELM. There are approximately 30 to 40 species of elm. Slippery elm is useful as a natural herb.

38. Kansas city : IOLA. As of the census of 2000, there were 6,302 people. As of the census of 2000, there were 32,170 people in Natick, MA.

39. R.E.M.'s "The __ Love" : ONE I

40. Au pair : NANNY

43. Almost boils : SIMMERS

45. Hair-raising product? : ROGAINE

47. Like some sandpaper : COARSE

48. Continental coin : EURO

49. Tattletale : SNITCH

52. "Paper Moon" Oscar winner O'Neal : TATUM

53. Nostalgic record : OLDIE

54. Ring-shaped reef : ATOLL

55. Fairy stories : TALES

56. Torah holders : ARKS

57. Smoking or drinking, some say : VICE

58. "__ Almighty": 2007 film : EVAN. Starring Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, Lauren Graham.

61. That, in Toledo : ESO. Spanish

62. Fast-spinning meas. : RPS. Revolutions Per Second, when it's too fast for RPM.


Constructor's Note:

This puzzle is a direct response to Scott Atkinson's fun LAT offering of Monday, 6/28/2010 where he used a "double animal name" theme with TIGER SHARK, ELEPHANT SEAL, SPIDER MONKEY, and TURTLE DOVE. After saluting Scott and kicking myself for not thinking of it first, I realized I could raise the stakes a notch by getting three layers in there: a critter, it's habitat, and it's characteristic behavior. Some fun!

Oddly, I've never photographed any of these species, but I do have a nice image of a pair of mating MONARCHS. [pic attached]. For those of you contemplating trying this at home, do not, I repeat, do not attempt this in a hammock.

Best to you all,