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Dec 25, 2011

Sunday Dec 25, 2011 Doug Peterson

Theme: Christmas Potluck - All the 7 food theme entries are humorously interpreted and clued as if they're brought by the usual holiday favorite characters.

23A. The Little Drummer Boy brought __ : BREAD STICKS

34A. Tiny Tim brought __ : LITTLE SMOKIES

51A. Cupid the reindeer brought __ : ARTICHOKE HEARTS. Too stringy for my taste, Steve!

66A. Jack Frost brought __ : COLD-CUT SANDWICHES

86A. The Nutcracker brought __ : SHELLS AND CHEESE. Never had it. Don't eat cheese.

99A. Rudolph brought __ : RED VELVET CAKE

117A. The Salvation Army volunteer brought __ : BELL PEPPERS

C.C. here. Merry Christmas!

I bet Doug considered putting the cake as the last theme entry, but settled down on the current layout as it produced the smoothest fill. I could be wrong. Maybe Doug wants us to think BELL PEPPERS actually taste better. After all, Gisele B√ľndchen has been misleading her son (with Tom Brady) that broccoli is "dessert".

Here are more Christmas-related fill Doug gave to us:

1A. Enjoy a home-cooked Christmas dinner, say : EAT IN

25A. "The stockings were __ ..." : HUNG

61A. Santa __ : ANA

89A. "A Christmas Carol" epithet : BAH

122A "Four Christmases" actress Witherspoon : REESE

4D. Kid's Christmas Eve cry : I CAN'T WAIT. I can picture how excited Barry G's Joshua is this morning.

6D. Like Kris Kringle : ROTUND

24D. Nick's status? : SAINTHOOD. St Nick.

69D. "The Gift of the Magi," e.g. : TALE. Such a moving love story.

Across:

6. Linear opening : RECTI. Rectilinear. Prefix for "straight".

11. "Don't leave!" : STAY

15. Pretense : SHAM

19. "Funny Girl" subject : BRICE (Fanny)

20. Midnight follower : ONE AM

21. 2011 Home Run Derby winner Robinson __ : CANO. Second baseman for the Yankees. Doug & Tinbeni's team.

22. Dustin's "Tootsie" co-star : TERI (Garr)

26. Barrel of laughs : RIOT

27. Come by honestly : EARN

28. War hero Murphy : AUDIE. I saw this Life magazine with him on the cover at the flea market once. Very musty.

29. Baby barker : PUP

30. In the thick of : AMIDST

32. Kerbside container : DUST BIN

37. 81-Down scanners : WANDS. And 81D. Bag-checking agcy. : TSA.

39. Bosox legend : YAZ. Carl Yastrzemski. Another great player who spent his whole career with one team. LaLaLinda's husband might have no problem spelling his Polish surname. I just can't.

40. See-through piece : PANE. Oh, not this, Splynter!

41. Easily influenced : PLIANT

44. In a frenzy : AMOK

47. 1974 Peace Nobelist from Japan : SATO. Guessed. #1 surname in Japan. ITO is popular there also. Li/Lee is #1 in China.

48. Smartphone component, for short : CPU

55. "__ Theme": "Doctor Zhivago" tune : LARA'S. Love the movie.

57. Military assignment : POST

58. Drums out : OUSTS

59. Scuff, say : MAR

60. Song title words before "music" or "rock 'n roll" : I LOVE. Only know the latter.

62. Fire starter? : BON. Bonfire.

63. Serving to punish : PENAL

65. Prominent landmark : TOWER. Like the Eiffel Tower.

74. Point-and-click shopping : E-TAIL

75. Videotape format : VHS

76. Groovy : FAB

79. Orange-skinned Muppet : ERNIE

80. Word of unanimity : ALL

81. "Of __ Sing" : THEE I

84. Carter of "Gimme a Break!" : NELL

85. Runs through a sieve : RICES

90. Brickmaker's oven : KILN

92. Verdi villain who sings "Era la notte, Cassio dormia" : IAGO. In "Otello". We often has it clued as "Shakespearean villain".

93. Display deference : KOWTOW. Brought back my childhood.

94. "Bossypants" author Fey : TINA. So witty. Dennis loves her.

95. Humanities degs. : BAs

97. One-horse carriages : SHAYS

105. Get comfortable with : ADAPT TO

109. 1992 Wimbledon champ : AGASSI. Wow, he and his wife has been hot in Xword lately.

110. Kitty, maybe : PET

111. Dinero : LUCRE

113. Illegal USMC status : AWOL. Illegal in every military branch.

114. Attention : CARE

115. Glittery mineral : MICA

119. Change one's story? : EDIT. Great clue.

120. Period of prosperity : BOOM

121. Followers of various animals? : EIEIO. Another fun clue.

123. HR dept. data : SSNs

124. Inning sextet : OUTS

125. 2001 bankruptcy filer : ENRON. We have the Crooked E golf balls in our display case.

126. "What the Butler Saw" playwright : ORTON (Joe). Forgot. This guy stumped me last time.

Down:

1. Drew away : EBBED

2. Horowitz contemporary : ARRAU (Claudio). Chilean pianist.

3. Fan belts? : TIERS. Oh, in the stadium.

5. Marge's TV neighbor : NED

7. Seat of Oklahoma's Garfield County : ENID

8. Director DeMille : CECIL

9. He played Sulu on "Star Trek" : TAKEI (George)

10. Facebook exchanges, briefly : IMs

11. "A Charlie Brown Christmas" writer : SCHULZ (Charles). Grew up here in MN.

12. Hosiery hue : TAUPE. Like the color of her dress.

13. Raggedy redhead : ANN

14. Pad for posers? : YOGA MAT. Ha ha, Marti, JD and Lucina are all posers!

15. Light, as a match : STRIKE

16. Temple title role : HEIDI. Shirley Temple is still alive.

17. Developed : AROSE

18. Hands, slangily : MITTS

29. Sch. meeting group : PTA

31. Yosemite's El Capitan and others : MONOLITHS. Same as obelisks, right?

33. French bench : BANC. And "French bank" is "banque".

35. Trike rider : TYKE

36. Getaway destinations : SPAs

38. The shoe department in its flagship store has its own zip code : SAK'S. 10022 SHOE.

41. Storybook bear : PAPA

42. Scientology guru Hubbard : L RON

43. "No sweat!" : IT'S A CINCH. Great entry.

45. Encountered : MET

46. Noncommittal comments : OHs

47. Manger bedding : STRAW. Interesting for me to read your STRAW & HAY education a few days ago. Avg Joe is no ordinary guy.

48. Squinter's lines : CROW'S FEET. Annoying wrinkles.

49. Cover with concrete : PAVE

50. Icon clicker : USER

52. Gold unit : OUNCE

53. Mass conclusion : AMEN

54. Mapmaker __ McNally : RAND

56. Itch soother : ALOE

62. What are "smiling at me" in an Irving Berlin classic : BLUE SKIES. Like the song, Bill G? So cheery.

63. Amigo : PAL

64. Subsisted (on) : LIVED

67. Route 66 migrant : OKIE

68. Many a Jazz fan : UTAHN. Utah Jazz.

70. Threshold : SILL

71. Songbird with an onomatopoeic name : CHICKADEE. What tree is this?

72. Basil or rosemary : HERB

73. Teatro Rossini highlight : ARIA

77. "And don't forget ..." : ALSO

78. Cooled, in a way, with "on" : BLEW

82. "Macbeth" trio member : HAG. Argyle knows the "Macbeth" lines quite well.

83. Grandson of Eve : ENOS

84. Times, at times : NEWSPAPER. And 88D. The __: Georgetown University 84-Down : HOYA.

86. Balkan native : SLAV

87. Grace's "Rear Window" role : LISA. Another great movie. My favorite Grace Kelly movie is "To Catch a Thief". Yours?

91. Left hanging : IN LIMBO

94. Sports bar array : TV SETS

95. Second-string squads : B TEAMS

96. Charade : ACT

98. Obsess over : HARP ON. I'm obsessed over Mac's Lady Gaga pink lipstick. I'm not HARPING ON it though.

99. Olympic events : RACES

100. Old-school oath : EGADS

101. "Mack the Knife" singer : DARIN (Bobby). Boomer's Karaoke must-sing song.

102. Lake Buena Vista attraction : EPCOT

103. Anne or Calvin of couture : KLEIN. Love Anne Klein's silk scarves, the solid color ones.

104. Swiss mathematician : EULER

106. Message since 2006 : TWEET

107. Statue subject : TORSO

108. Pal of Kent and Lane : OLSEN (Jimmy). "The Daily Planet".

112. Adman's award : CLIO

116. Broke poker player's note : IOU

117. Blossom buzzer : BEE. Hi there Melissa!

118. Debate side : PRO. And CON.

Answer grid.

I'd like to share with you this HAIKU (72A. Three-line verse) from the wonderful "Baseball Haiku" book Ant kindly sent to me:

home run drive
into the cornfield-
fielder and girlfriend disappear

Happy Birthday to Fermatprime and Yellowrocks! Make today special!

C.C.

Dec 24, 2011

Saturday, Dec 24th, 2011 Jack McInturff

Theme: None

Words: 72

Blocks: 33

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all ~!! This is not Jack FROST nipping at your nose, but Jack McInturff nipping at your noggin - or is that egg-nog doing that???

I just checked to see when we last saw Jack McInturff, and he gave us our Thanksgiving Eve puzzle, too - now he is here with our Christmas Eve puzzle, and I do believe it is his first Saturday puzzle, tho he has given us Sundays before. I have to admit, this was the first time I went to Google to find an answer because I got stuck in the NE corner, and it was due to my mistake of thinking SGTS was the E-7 rank; more at 10D....

Anyway, this one was tough, and I cheated, but what can I say....triple 9's and 8's in a pinwheel fashion, with those frustrating one word clues, and some deception as well. I do like the early morning brain battle.

Onward ~!

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen ~!

Comet, Cupid, Donder, and Blitzen ~!

ACROSS:

1. Totally : STONE COLD

10. Rigs on the road : SEMIs

15. Annual All-American Soap Box Derby site : AKRON, OHIO - I knew this answer, but couldn't recall the city, so I put in OHIO, and waited....

16. Old French capital? : FRANC - how funny is this??? I was stuck on SOU and ECU for so long from doing crosswords, that FRANC totally eluded me until I changed my 10D answer

17. One may be marching : BRASS BAND

18. Keyboardist who founded Return to Forever : COREA - did not know this; I am sure JazzB was "HIP" to him; a little clip for you

19. Rembrandt van __ : RYN - I WAGed at RIN, should have known it was a "Y"; also 32A. Rug with a long pile : RYA - standard in crosswordese

20. Certain protests : SIT-INs - or bed-ins, as done by our last clue/answer

22. "Friends" actress, familiarly : JENnifer Aniston, my personal fave from a show I did NOT watch

23. Spread __ : EAGLE

26. Pmt.-lowering option : RE-FInance

27. Lacking a partner : ODD - as in socks, not people....ah.

28. Blessed event? : SNEEZE - by not reading this as Bless -ED, I was able to nail it

30. Italy's Como, per esempio : LAGO - Italian for Lake

33. Fancy layer : GILT - UGH ~! This one stumped me, and had to go letter cycling before the "G" made sense in both across and down....

35. "__ out!" : YER - not GET, which also has the central "E"

36. Giant in a 2000 merger : AOL - America On Line, did not know this (From C.C.: The AOL./Time Warner merge. Debacle.)

37. 1980s Screen Actors Guild president : ED ASNER - boy this guy gets around in crosswords, doesn't he!?!? Such user/solver-friendly letters, and his 'full' name

40. "The Complaint of Peace" essayist, 1521 : ERASMUS

42. Eastern Med. country : LEBanon

43. Ophelia's niece, in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" : EVA

44. TV Stone Age pet : DINO - the Flintstones "dog", so to speak

45. Court figs. : D.A.s - District Attorneys, part of the LAW side of LAW & ORDER, a favorite TV show of mine

46. Lacking : SANS - French, 'without'

48. Town across the Connecticut River from Springfield, Mass. : AGAWAM - map

52. Ring support : OLE - AH ~!! The cry from the crowd ~!! The ring being the bullfight

53. Baker's meas. : TSPs

55. Puck's eatery : SPAGO - not in my wheelhouse - this place

56. Veep before LBJ : RMN - A WAG, tho I knew he was in politics for a long time, Richard Milhous Nixon

57. Candy heart phrase : BE MINE - I tried being cute with "I LOVE U"

59. Gnarly : RAD - Helps to have a teenager in one's life for this kind of language - in my case it was my generation that typically found "cool" things to be Gnarly, and RAD - but I never said either word unless I was trying to be sarcastic - think Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

60. Big name in insurance : AETNA

62. One of two in a historic 1869 Utah meeting : IRON HORSE - Dah ~!!! I knew it was the two trains meeting at Promontory Summit, but STEAM TRAIN didn't fit, nor LOCOMOTIVE

65. "Sharky's Machine" author : DIEHL - this guy; WAGed the "H"

66. Classroom concern : TARDINESS

67. Wee hr. : ONE A.M. - I am DONE at UPS as of 9am this morning - spent all week getting up at 12 midnight for a ONE A.M. shift, getting out at 9-10am. How about you Dennis? Are you 0 & 1 w/u now?

68. Deliberate : SLEEP ON IT - De-li-BER-ate, as in a jury, not De-LIB'rate, as in an intentional act

DOWN:

1. Buffalo skaters : SABRES - Hockey Hockey Hockey ~!! My Rangers beat their Winter Classic rivals the Philadelphia Flyers, once again, this time 4-2. The outdoor game is a week from Monday, and New Year's Eve is an alumni (there's some CW for you) game of the retired types - should be a lot of fun, yes eddyB ~?

2. "Tumbleweeds" cartoonist : T.K. RYAN - good way to get a four-consonant word in the grid, with T-K-R-Y - this guy and his strip

3. Fruit in a knock-knock joke : ORANGE - OK, OK, I wanted Banana, and you get 'em both~!

4. Negatives : Nos

5. Cannes duo : ENS - ah, not the French number, but the two "N"s in the word caNNes

6. Picnic trash : COBS - Corn centers, leftover

7. 2011 Canadian Open champ Sean : O'HAIR - golf, this guy

8. Architectural support : LINTEL - A steel L-bar that spans a masonry opening over a window or door, e.g., and carries the weight of the load above; also decorative, as in this instance

9. "Chariots of Fire" executive producer : DODI FAYED - more famous for his romantic link and death with Princess Diana

10. E-7 Army personnel : SFCs - the killer for me, a Sergeant First Class - my friend Jim is in the Army, has about 6 years left, and the last I heard, he was an E-6, and deployed to Afghanistan; I wonder if he got holiday leave....

11. Ranch closing? : ERO - Ranchero

12. Mint family herb : MARJORAM

13. "Help me" : I NEED YOU - too long to fit on a candy heart ???

14. Checkout counter newspaper fodder : SCANDALS - Aww, I wanted UFO IS GOD, or something much more investigative - I was looking for that scene from MiB where they "check the hot sheets", the supermarket tabloids

21. Gulf of Guinea country : NIGERIA

24. Staying power : LEGS - ah, yes to say "it has legs" means it (or they) will last - all I want for Christmas is these two hot legs

25. Web issues : EZINES - hey, I don't mind the E- or A- words, but I am getting tired of all the I- things you can buy these days; I am getting rid of my i P.O.S. for Christmas

29. Raise : ELEVATE

31. Asian swingers : ORANGs - Primates, but I thought they didn't do much in the trees

34. Sends : TRANSMITS

37. Poe poem written at the time of the California Gold Rush : EL DORADO - here

38. Cardplayer's request : DEAL ME IN

39. Type of ballot : ABSENTEE

41. Suds source : SOAP - not FOAM, and not BEER

47. Cochlea shape : SPIRAL

49. Underground home : WARREN


50. Two-time U.S. Open champ : AGASSI - tennis

51. Unassuming : MODEST

54. Nighttime disturbance, at times : SNORE

57. Healer : BALM

58. Cologne conclusion : ENDE - more French, I believe (C.C.: German for "end".)

61. New Deal home loan gp. : NHA - Here's a great site that lists all of them, I think

63. Trendy : HIP

64. "Double Fantasy" artist : ONO - not a fan

Answer grid.

I have one last 2-hour shift at UPS at 7am today, sorting overnight Air packages, and then I am back to my regular schedule on Tuesday

- yea ~~!!!!

Splynter