Apr 27, 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012, Patti Varol

Theme: It's Jelly time! Oops I mean JAM time. Each of the four 14 letter theme answers are clued by the unifier, JAM. Patti, who we just saw in March with her Monday letter progression puzzle, left out BASKETBALL DUNK, but hey it is a complicated little three letter word. We have some music, some people, some easy, some hard and let's get to it, and have some BREAD and BUTTER. (1:55)

20A. See 38-Across : TRAFFIC PROBLEM. Traffic JAM. I guess because cars are jammed together.

26A. See 38-Across : TOUGH SITUATION.In a JAM. Not sure why.

44A. See 38-Across : FRUIT PRESERVES. Just plain JAM.

54A. See 38-Across : JAZZ CLUB IMPROV. You like this JAM.

and the unifier clue:

38A. Clue for four puzzle answers : JAM. Time to cram in the rest of the answers....


1. "The __ Kings Play Songs of Love": Hijuelos novel : MAMBO; living in South Florida when the movie came out, helped me remember this easily. Never read the book. It also introduced American audiences to Antonio Banderas.

6. "But wait, there's more!" : PLUS. Let's Make a Deal or Ron Popeil?

10. Surrounded by : AMID. As opposed to amidst, or that one of hearti's var.?

14. Animated mermaid : ARIEL. Hebrew for Lion of G-d.

15. Mascara target : LASH. Eyelash, not this LASH.

16. Better half, so to speak : MATE. Is it mating season already? Oh I guess that is why I have a grand baby on the way.

17. Did a fall chore : RAKED. I will leave those bad puns alone.

18. Kid's comeback : AM SO. Am Not.

19. Luau strings : UKES. Is this my new Friday word; I wish we had our Hawaiians back.

23. Pathetic : SAD. Yes, their absence along with all of our MIA make me sad, say hello CA and all of you...

24. Where to 'ang one's 'at : 'OME. Nice Cuppa you out there? How about this man.

25. Insightful : KEEN. Sharp.

32. "The Matrix" hero : NEO.

33. Bit of shuteye : NAP.

34. Hi-tech brains? : CPU. Central Processing Unit. Computer brains.

35. Test one's metal : ASSAY. Used in metallurgy, and a var. of ESSAY.

39. Family insignia : CREST. Why would a family want to be known by toothpaste even if their teeth are very white?

41. Like some coll. courses : REQuired. As opposed to elective.

42. Big initials in Detroit : UAW. United Auto Workers is actually The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America.

43. Low digit? : TOE. Very cute foot humor.

50. SFO guesstimates : ETAS. SFO is the airport code for San Francisco, and Estimate Time of Arrival.

51. One is often seen near a dessert array : URN. The coffee kind, not the one with your favorite pet's ashes.

52. RAV4 or TrailBlazer, briefly : UTE. UGH.

58. Turbaned Punjabi : SIKH. Now marti none of your sick jokes here.

59. Feels lousy : AILS. here is the place for sick humor.

60. Professeur's charge : ELEVE. French lesson: Student. Hey Jeannie.

61. Colored part of the eye : UVEA. They do not let me forget my eyes. For you all...LINK.

62. Pool path : LANE.

63. "American Idol" success Clay : AIKEN. LINK.(2:43)

64. Club membership, maybe : PERK. From the odd word perquisite, not to be confused with prerequisite. I love English.

65. Logician's "E," perhaps : ERAT. Quod erat demonstrandum.

66. Numerical extreme : LEAST, At least we are halfway home.


1. Some are mini : MARTS. Apu where are you?

2. Mount sacred to Armenians : ARARAT. I loved a girl from ARMENIA once.

3. Title Gilbert and Sullivan ruler : MIKADO. The most played OPERA?

4. __ Wellington : BEEF. Named for the original Duke, take that John Wayne.

5. Stick-in-the-mud : OLD FOGEY. My kids often think I am an...

6. Connects with a memory : PLACES. The voice is familiar, if I could just place the face...

7. Desktop item : LAMP. Not an ICON, an old fashioned desk, wonderful clue.

8. Outdated globe letters : USSR.

9. Badly rattled : SHOOK UP. We just had Elvis from Gareth.

10. Talisman : AMULET.

11. Reprimand to quarreling siblings : MAKE NICE. C/mon children....

12. Brangelina, for one : ITEM.

13. __ Arc, Arkansas : DES. This may be the most obscure clue of all time, especially from a NYC girl living in new haven with all the yalies.

21. Texter's "If you ask me ..." : IMHO. In My Humble Opinion. Humble?

22. TV's Arthur : BEA. We see her often.

27. A, in Oaxaca : UNA. One in Spanish.

28. Bowled over : IN AWE.

29. Souvenir from Scotland : TAM. Tam O'shanter, a cap, not to be confused with 46D. Spinning toon : TAZ, LINK (6:21)

30. Black __: spy doings : OPS. Operations. NCIS.

31. Zealous type : NUT.

35. "Walk me!" : ARF. Damn, I thought that meant 'feed me', no wonder he got so fat.

36. Inspiring msg. : SERmon.

37. Close game : SQUEAKER. Won by a whisker.

38. Mason __ : JAR. Invented by a guy named John Mason, and used in canning (not jarring) where I grew up we were taught to eat what we can and we can't we can.

39. Polenta base : CORN MEAL.

40. Crank (up) : REV. Vroom, vroom.

42. High-end : UPSCALE. One word or two?

43. She played Lois on "Lois & Clark" : TERI. She used to hang out in SoFla, now she hangs out in pics.

45. Violinist Perlman : ITZHAK. Listen (7:32).

47. Group within a group : SUBSET. The new math,

48. "I've got it!" : EUREKA. Not the vacuum cleaner, the exclamation made by Archimedes when got in a bath and saw he displaced the water. from the Greek I found.

49. Log cabin warmers : STOVES.

53. Olympics segment : EVENT. Ready for the London Olympics? Coming soon.

54. Baloney : JIVE. Don't give me your...

55. One writing a lot of fiction? : LIAR.

56. Prismatic bone : ULNA. A radical new clue for this bone.

57. Ballet class bend : PLIE. There is a ballet school in my backyard. LESSON.(0;52)

58. "How's it hangin', bro?" : SUP. An abbreviation for 'what is up?' and one of my personal favorites.

Answer grid.

Well we are done, it was an interesting journey with all kinds of nice fill, CORN MEAL FRUIT PRESERVES, ITZHAK JAZZ CLUB IMPROV, MAKE NICE, OLD FOGEY, SHOOK UP SQUEAKER, TOUGH SITUATION, TRAFFIC PROBLEM but also lots of three letter fill. Ah well, I had fun and may is around the corner.


L 714

Apr 26, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012 Steven J. St. John

Theme: "My sentiments, exactly!". Each of the grid-spanning theme entries reflect many of my crossword-solving frustrations!

17A. Frustrated crossword solver's cry : I HAVEN'T GOT A CLUE

34A. Frustrated crossword solver's cry : COULD BE ANYTHING

43A. Frustrated crossword solver's cry : IT'S A MYSTERY TO ME

61A. Relieved crossword solver's cry : FINALLY ONE I KNOW

Our last SJx2 was earlier this month, on a Sunday. This one is a fun Thursday puzzler, with appropriate crossword solver's sentiments. I hope you will enlighten us with which phrase was the seed for this one, Steven? And only a "Q" away from a pangram!

Marti here, to explore all the ins and outs.


1. Party boss? : HOST. Not the infamous Tweed, but one who gives a gala.

5. Bunks, e.g. : BEDS

9. Lavish meal : FEAST

14. Wine-growing region : ASTI. Geography lesson. Region famous for its "Spumanti" sparkling wine.

15. Neural conductor : AXON

16. '80s-'90s legal drama : L.A. LAW

20. Kindle competitor : NOOK. Sorry, I use an iPad.

21. Chew toy material : RAWHIDE. Sweet!!

22. Scholarship, e.g. : AID

24. Spits out, as a DVD : EJECTS. Or, as watermelon seeds?

27. Small beef : NIT. Oooh, I bet we'll get one or two on the blog today...

28. Move through muck : SLOG. Some people complain that the day's puzzle was a SLOG. Not today, though!

30. Brand at Williams-Sonoma : OXO

31. Little songbird : TIT. OK, just for you guys...

40. Kindergarten rejoinder : IS TOO. Kindergarteners need some anger management courses...

41. Kan. hours : CST. Central Standard Time in Kansas.

42. Hacienda honorific : SENOR.

46. Formula One racer Fabi : TEO. This guy. (Recognize him?) (It's on his car...)

47. Enzyme suffic : ASE

48. Spirited horse : ARAB

49. Shriner hat : FEZ. Abejo owns several!

52. Two-time Bond portrayer : DALTON. Timothy.

55. PH.D. seeker's exam : GRE. Graduate Record Examination

56. Keys at a bar, perhaps : IVORIES. Piano keys, that is.

59. Onetime larva : PUPA

66. Nice states : ETATS. Not nirvanas, but the word in Nice, France for "states".

67. Co-star of Tom in "Angels & Demons" : EWAN. Tom Hanks and EWAN McGregor (So sexy!!). Sequel to "The Da Vinci Code".

68. Telathon request : GIVE

69. It may be roja or verde : SALSA. Roja = red, verde = green, in Spanish.

70. Shirts with slogans : TEES. "I'm with stupid ---->"

71. Walkout walk-in : SCAB. Fun clue/answer.


1. Yes, in Yokohama : HAI. I immediately thought of Richard Chamberlain in "Shogun", but couldn't find the link!

2. ___ Kosh B'Gosh : OSH. It bothers me that the clue has the answer, twice. (Not that I wouldn't stoop to using it myself...but, it still bothers me!)

3. Superior talents : STANDOUTS

4. Save for later, in a way : TIVO. Have never used it. My Apple TV can record anything.

5. Holdup : BANK JOB. Great movie! Have you seen it?

6. Bus. line : EXT.ension on a bus.iness phone line.

7. Track relentlessly : DOG

8. Show derision : SNORT. I almost snorted wine out my nose when this one filled in! (Remember, I am writing this at 10:00 PM, not 5:30 AM !!)

9. One may be fatal : FLAW. Who wanted "blow"?

10. Per capita : EACH

11. Bold poker bet : ALL IN. This has paid off big time for me online. Anyone else play? (I have won about $2,500,000 in fake dollars. I never use real money...unfortunately!!)

12. Jidda native : SAUDI. Another geography lesson. Often spelled "Jeddah".

13. Short online posting : TWEET. Whatever happened to the "Canary sound" clues? F.Y.I., "Twitter message" was first used by Fred Jackson III in the LAT on Thursday, July 30, 2009 !!

18. Job ad abbr. : EOE.Equal Opportunity Employer. Or EEO, "Equal Employment Opportunity", or EEOC, "Equal Employment Opportunity Commission". Remember them all - they are bound to crop up again.

19. "Delicious!" : TASTY

22. It has defs. for 128 characters : ASCII. American Standard Code for Information Interchange. Here is the full chart, for you would-be programmers out there.

23. "Didn't bring my A-game" : I LOST

25. Business biggies : EXECS

26. By the sea : COASTAL

29. Respond smugly to 23-Down's speaker : GLOAT. Not sporting, old chap!

32. ___-bitsy : ITSY. Again, answer contained in the clue...

33. Greek letter : THETA. Ok, give us a little help here! "Eta follower", "Iota predecessor"???

35. It may be retractable : DOME. Who else wanted "roof"? Duh!

36. Desert trial : N-TEST. 'K, nuff said.

37. Like non-hydrocarbon compounds : INORGANIC

38. Baseballer married to soccer's Mia : NOMAR. Garciaparra and Mia Hamm. For now...

39. Diving bird : GREBE. Pretty bird.

44. Mountain warble : YODEL. Finally, a music link. (You have to watch this one - she's incredible!) 2:26

45. Takes another look at, as a cold case : REOPENS

49. Small winds : FIFES. Classic, with drums. 8:06. Well worth watching!

50. Musical with the song "A New Argentina" : EVITA. What other musical is there, in Argentina? ("Finally, one I know!") 4:21

51. Divided into districts : ZONAL. I really wanted "zoned" for this one. That's what I get for trying to do "downs" before "acrosses"!

53. Till now : AS YET

54. Rapa ___: Easter Island : NUI. Recognize these?

57. "Peanuts" cry : RATS.

58. She met Rick in Paris : ILSA

60. UPS deliveries : PKGS. Abbr. for "packages". OK, b-cuz UPS is the abbr. of "United Parcel Service". Splynter's forté.

62. Carry a balance : OWE

63. Brush-off on the brae : NAE. "Brae" is the lowland Scots language word for the slope or the brow of a hill.

64. Reproductive cells : OVA. Plural of OVUM.

65. Homespun home : WEB. Another fun clue, not to be confused with internet milieu.

Answer grid.

That's all until next week, folks!


Apr 25, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 Don Gagliardo & C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Food! And not just any old food, this food! Chicken and Mushrooms! Cilantro! Pass Link
me the chopsticks, I'm all in!

So let's see how we got from a blank grid to dinner:

16A. Melodies for a soothing atmosphere : MOOD MUSIC. Not food music?

22A. Positive energy : GOOD KARMA. My friend Heidi has good parking karma in LA - she prays "Hail Mary, full of grace, help me find a parking space". It pretty much always works!

50A. Pick up momentum : GAIN SPEED.. Downhill and out of control, much like my skiing.

60A. 2002 Jodie Foster thriller : PANIC ROOM. An agoraphobic's cry? Panic! Room!

And the reveal(s)

36A. With 39-Across, convenience that might include the dish spelled out by the first few letters of the answers to 16-, 22-, 50- and 60-Across : CHINESE

39A. See 36-Across : TAKEOUT

Happy Wednesday everyone! Steve here, I just got back to my hotel in San Francisco after a Golden State Warriors basketball game across the bay in Oakland.

What a fun puzzle to find waiting for me - a Don and C.C. charmer (and challenge) and I'm in one of the best places in the world for Chinese food. It's funny how things work out. Take the first three letters of the theme answers and there you have dinner waiting for you.

Let's look at everything else - I found this pretty hard work, I had to pick around the middle for a little while before things started to come easier - rather like eating a lobster with chopsticks (which I did on Wednesday)


1. Fodder figure? : SILO Hmm - not a fan of this one - a lovely clue, but SILO?

5. First Greek consonant : BETA

9. Antlered grazers : ELKS

13. Australia's national gemstone : OPAL. The power of crosswords. Two years ago I would have had no idea who's gemstone was whose - now it's easy - easier than wondering if I got the apostrophes in the right place in that sentence.

14. Wail : YOWL

15. Winter forecast : SLEET. Done with with for the year, I hope.

18. "Henry's Crime" actor Reeves : KEANU. Did I tell y'all the story about meeting Keanu and having no clue who he was? Stop me if I've told you this, but one day ....

19. College application part : ESSAY. The hardest part.

20. Nothing to suggest, as foul play : NO SIGN OF. I really liked this roundabout, sneak-up-on-it clue.

25. Home of the Ivy League's Bulldogs : YALE BOWL. Those Ivy League folks have a lot to answer for around here - Yalies, Elis, all kinds of odd things coming out of those wonderful schools.

28. Safe havens : SANCTA. Now, come on. Sanctuary, Sanctuaries - I get those. Sancta, and nary a Latin pointer in sight? I think Rich needs to help us out a little more with this one.

32. Lawyers' org. : A.B.A. The wonderful American Bar Association. Long may she litigate.

33. Shopping center? : PEES. A fine job with this clue, let's face it - the alternatives are not attractive.

35. Pooh-pooh : SCORN. And after PEES? Oh goodness.

41. Course's 18 : HOLES. My course has 19, and you play the 19th twice - once before the first, and once after the 18th. That makes 20, but the math is muddy anyway, so who's counting?

42. Sci. class : BIOL. I loved biology. Except when we dissected worms. Then I didn't love biology.

44. Sorority letter : PSI.

45. Black hair and almond-shaped eyes, e.g. : TRAITS. I was so drawn into the Chinese theme by this point that I spent way too long wondering how to fit ASIANS, THAIS, VIETNAMESE, JAPANESE or anything else in here.

47. Certain sail spars : TOP MASTS

52. Tour in a double-decker bus, perhaps : SIGHTSEE. One word or two? Not sure how to put this. Barry G was on one in London - help us out here?

55. Valium maker : ROCHE. One very rich and verrrrry laid-back drug company

59. Southwestern brick : ADOBE. Let's Photoshop some bricks!

63. Deli subs : HEROS

64. Nile slitherers : ASPS. Word of the day. Slitherer. I will use it.

65. Par for the course : NORM. Or 102 on one of my good days.

66. Unwelcome look : LEER

67. Apollo's instrument : LYRE. A learning experience for me - I just had the Y and LYRE went straight in, but now I know that Apollo played one.

68. "Don't move, Spot!" : STAY


1. Unspecified amount : SOME

2. Wall St. events : I.P.O.S Another punctuation nightmare, these Initial Public Offerings. Hands up who wished they'd subscribed to Microsoft, Apple, Google and all the rest

3. Landlocked Asian republic : LAOS. Aha! I said, the only landlocked Asian republic is LAOS .. we all know that!

4. Gerontologist's study : OLD AGE.

5. Mitt Romney's alma mater: Abbr. : B.Y.U. Has anyone seen "The Book of Mormon" on Broadway? I hear it's very fair towards Brigham Young. He did found a fine school. (Note to the editor - can I say "found a fine"?) (From C.C.: Fine with me. Let's see what BYU graduate Barry G has to say.)

6. Homer's saffron-robed goddess : EOS. Or Marge in a new nightgown?

7. Star shine : TWINKLE

8. Big name in foil : ALCOA, Aluminum Company of America. The British would introduce unnecessary syllables and name it the Aluminium Companium of Americanium.

9. Refined and discriminating taste : ELEGANCE.

10. Low in fat : LEAN. Not me right now, I quit smoking three months ago and I count a pound of weight gain a week. The tough part is over, now I just need to shed the extra padding.

11. Numbers game : KENO. Nice neighbor to KEANU, that was nice.

12. Double __ Oreo : STUF.

15. Alpine competitor's protection : SKI MASK. We called it a "balaclava" back in England, but back then we didn't ski, we wore it as a steel-knit armored protection against French archers. OK, that was in 1854, but still.

17. "Don't interfere," briefly : MYOB. I prefer BYOB, but that's just me.

21. Grads-to-be: Abbr. : SRS. No guarantee the Seniors will still make it to graduation, there's still plenty of time to make a mess of things!

23. "My bad!" : OOPS as the senior who didn't get to graduate said ..

24. Dork : DWEEB. I love this word, I want to know how it came about - anyone?

25. Harbor party site : YACHT. BOSTON or TEA QUAY didn't work.

26. Can't stomach : ABHOR

27. Ali who retired with a perfect 24-0 record : LAILA. Muhammad's daughter, she's becoming famous around these parts.

29. Clucking quarters : COOPS

30. Faith : TRUST. This caused me conniptions for a while - I had T...T and happily filled in TENET. That was very bad.

31. Opposition group : ANTIS

34. Brownstone hangout : STOOP

37. Dennis, much to Mr. Wilson's dismay : NEIGHBOR

38. Will subjects : ESTATES

40. Mont Blanc, par exemple : ALPE. I've skied down this, fast and out of control. Help!

43. "Piece of cake!" : IT'S EASY

46. Bro's playmate : SIS

48. Grand Marquis, for short : MERC. I'd like some help with this one too - I think I can see what's needed here, but the languages don't gel? Am I wrong seeing "Mercedes Benz" for short and "Grand Marquis" in French for the clue?

49. Decks out : ADORNS

51. Landlocked Asian republic : NEPAL. This brought me up short. Full stop, period kind of short, having happily filled in LAOS as the "only" landlocked Asian republic. There's two? What the heck?!!!

52. Satirist Mort : SAHL

53. Nantes notion : IDEE. If this were not all capitals, we must add an acute accent to the first E.

54. Reason for an R rating : GORE. Poor Al, his campaign speeches were not THAT bad.

56. Odd old fellow : COOT. Not fair, Al was not old.

57. Wedding dance : HORA

58. Award for "Modern Family" : EMMY. An award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. My friend Michael Diederich won one for Best Original Animation, and we were all stunned. Oops - let me be clear - we were stunned by how big and heavy these things are, not by the fact that Mike won one!

61. "Fresh Air" airer : NPR

62. Sussex suffix : ISE. Help! I got this with crosses, but I have no idea at all what Sussex-ise means - any idea? Anyone? Lemonade?

Answer grid.

Signing off! Confused on a Wednesday!


1) Note from C.C. & Don:

Don cooked up this theme idea. We originally had MOOD ENHANCEMENT as #1 theme entry, and CHINESE TAKE-OUTS as a unifier. Rich felt the plural was contrived and suggested we split up CHINESE TAKEOUT in the middle.

2) If you're looking for an creative Mother's Day gift, please click here to see a 3-puzzle package Don and I created.

3) Happy Birthday to dear Kazie (with husband Barry, son David & 2 Racing Sausages at Brewers' game last August.). Kazie has been with the blog for almost 4 years and I have benefited greatly from her linguistic talent and friendship. Thanks for being here, Kay!

Apr 24, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 Michael Dewey

Theme: Strong as the Weakest - The last of the unifier can also follow the end of the theme entries.

61A. Elusive evolutionary connection, or the elusive feature of the ends of 18-Across and 3- and 28-Down : MISSING LINK

18A. Florida Keys, e.g. : ISLAND CHAIN

3D. Injury-prone area for pitchers : ROTATOR CUFF

28D. Meat ingredient in many stuffing recipes : PORK SAUSAGE

Argyle here. It appears that this is Michael's debut LAT puzzle but he had a successful Monday debut in NYT in January. He seems to have a future in fine fill.


1. Place to stand around with a round : BAR. I'll drink to that.

4. Musical triad : CHORD. Three or more musical tones sounded simultaneously.

9. Desert plants : CACTI

14. Self-image : EGO

15. New staffer : HIREE

16. Popular email provider : YAHOO. Might want to add "once" to the clue.

17. Field for 19- or 40-Down : ART. and so 19D. Surrealist Salvador : DALI. and 40D. Spanish muralist José María : SERT

20. Master : LEARN

22. "You're on!" : "DEAL!"

23. The Beatles' last studio album : "LET IT BE". Please read the Wikipedia article before arguing about this.

26. Slip-up on the set : BLOOPER

31. Seeping : OOZING

33. Best-selling touchscreen device : iPHONE

34. Co. that makes stuff : MFR. (manufacturer)

36. Tyrolean refrain : YODEL. This area.

38. Ambulance wail : SIREN

39. Middle-earth menaces : ORCs

41. "Get out of my sight" : "GO NOW!"

43. Gumbo veggie : OKRA

44. "24" superagent Jack : BAUER

46. Diamond surface : FACET

48. Fa-la link : SOL

49. "Sure, let's do lunch" : "I'M FREE"

51. Everest expert : SHERPA. The native guides.

53. The one in a one-two, usually : LEFT JAB. Followed by a right cross. (boxing)

55. Explore caves : SPELUNK

58. Top Olympic medals, in Barcelona : OROs. Spanish gold.

60. Bandleader Kay : KYSER

67. Give the heave-ho : AXE

68. Committee type : AD HOC

69. Lamp dwellers : GENII

70. Something to chew : GUM. Literally.

71. Fort __, Indiana : WAYNE

72. Pilfer : SWIPE

73. New Orleans-to-Miami dir. : ESE


1. What really matters : BE ALL. Clue/answer seems incomplete, not all.

2. Come to terms : AGREE

4. Cheaply made : CHINTZY

5. Bathrobe designation : HIS

6. NBA's Magic, on scoreboards : ORL

7. Tackle Tolstoy, say : READ. Tried to, once, but he busted the tackle.

8. Cygnus supergiant : DENEB

9. One-eyed monster : CYCLOPS. And seldom seen as an answer.

10. Sigh of pleasure : AAH!

11. All the tea in China? : CHA. Literally, again. Chinese word for tea.

12. You, to Yves : TOI. You need some French.

13. + molecule, e.g. : ION

21. Carnival setting : RIO

24. Bookstore sect. : BIOG. (biographies)

25. Words before "time" or "the line" : END OF

27. Buckeye's home : OHIO. Where have you gone, Buckeye? The Pretenders (6:13)

29. Año beginning : ENERO. Spanish.

30. Kidney-related : RENAL

32. Actress Rowlands et al. : GENAs. Seen here with James Garner in "The Notebook".

34. Big name in oil : MOBIL

35. Bowling score sheet division : FRAME

37. Highland waters : LOCHS

42. Blubber : WEEP

45. Shout "Hallelujah!" : REJOICE

47. One who can do a perfect Vulcan salute : TREKKIE

50. Come by honestly : EARN

52. Tissue box word : PLY

54. 5-time A.L. batting champ Wade : BOGGS. Primarily with the Boston Red Sox.

56. Connection : NEXUS

57. Krispy __: doughnut chain : KREME

59. Did in, as a dragon : SLEW

61. Animal's gullet : MAW

62. Mont. neighbor : IDA.

63. Just short : SHY

64. Holy Trinity member : SON. (Father, SON, and Holy Spirit)

65. Pasta suffix : INI

66. 1-Across quickie : NIP


Note from C.C.:

This info is for those who own their own blogs and do not like the look of the new Blogger interface.

To go back to the old Blogger format, just click on the Blogger logo (white B inside an orange square) on the upper left corner of your screen, then click on the Blogger Options button on the upper right corner (besides English/under Me), then click on Old Blogger interface.

Apr 23, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012 Bonnie L. Gentry and Victor Fleming

Theme: Rhodes Scholar - Yes, that's what you'll be when you get these four homonyms of ROHD.

20A. Providence native, for one : RHODE ISLANDER

34A. Skipped the saddle : RODE BAREBACK

41A. Steered the skiff beachward : ROWED TO SHORE

56A. Crosby/Hope film : "ROAD TO MOROCCO"

Argyle here. The theme is tight and the lengths are long. Many opportunities for musical links. On the Road Again(2:35) Willie Nelson - Michael(Row the boat ashore)(2:46) The Highwaymen.

Bonnie and Victor's last LAT duet was on Sept. 20, 2009, a Sunday. Link.


1. Get really high : SOAR. Honestly, what was your first thought?

5. Overhaul : REDO

9. Archipelago unit : ISLE

13. Six-sided shape : CUBE

14. Captain's "Hold it!" : "AVAST!"

16. Corrosive liquid : ACID

17. Gillette razor brand : ATRA

18. Do a two-step, say : DANCE

19. Broadway award : TONY. Neat clecho, 33D. Off-Broadway award : OBIE

23. Spectacular failure : FIASCO

24. Nutritional fig. : RDA. (Recommended Daily Allowance)

25. Writer LeShan : EDA

28. Part of PST: Abbr. : STD. (Pacific Standard Time)

29. Saintly glow : HALO

32. Marries in secret : ELOPES

36. Cathedral niche : APSE

39. Hot brew : TEA

40. Wedding vows : I DOs. Or perhaps, "Never again!".

46. Tentacle : FEELER

47. Petrol station name : ESSO. Get it? In other countries, gas is petrol and Exxon is still Esso.

48. Juan Carlos, to his subjects : REY. King of Spain.

51. RR terminus : STA.

52. Prime rib au __ : JUS

54. "From the halls of Montezuma" soldier : MARINE. (2:24) Performed by The President's Own United States Marine Band.

60. Visibly wowed : AGOG

62. "Vacation" band, with "The" : GO-GO'S

63. Baseball stitching : SEAM

64. Kate, to Petruchio, eventually : WIFE. From The Taming of the Shrew, a comedy by William Shakespeare.

65. China's Zhou __ : ENLAI

66. "__ la Douce" : IRMA. IMBd.

67. Well-protected : SAFE

68. Desires : YENs

69. Armchair quarterback's channel : ESPN

Another musical interlude: On the Road Again(4:57) by Canned heat. (A tie-in with 1-Across?)


1. Eats, with "up" or "down" : SCARFS

2. Bat for a higher average than : OUT HIT

3. Overseas : ABROAD

4. Curls up with a book : READS

5. Commercial on AM or FM : RADIO AD

6. Actresses Gabor and Longoria : EVAs. And another three-letter actress. 61D. Italian actress Scala : GIA

7. Frontiersman Boone, familiarly : DAN'L

8. Hollywood award : OSCAR

9. "Musta been something __" : I ATE

10. Scrabble sheet : SCORE PAD

11. Surprise 2012 New York Knick standout Jeremy __ : LIN. Is Linsanity Over? - Businessweek.

12. Joseph of ice cream fame : EDY

15. Painfully sensitive : TENDER

21. Off-the-wall effect : ECHO

22. Chip's partner : DALE. The cute little chipmunks, not the dancers. Sorry, Lois.

26. Geometric art style : DECO

27. Raises a question : ASKS

30. "Panic Room" actor Jared : LETO. Busy boy; actor, director, producer, musician, and occasional model.

31. More than chubby : OBESE

34. Fishing line holder : REEL

35. Sighs of relief : AAHs. What you do when the stupid dog next door stops its...

36. Barking sounds : ARFs

37. One writing verse : POET

38. Quit cold turkey : SWEAR OFF

42. __ vu: familiar feeling : DÉJÀ

43. Plod : TRUDGE

44. Diffusion of fluids, as through a membrane : OSMOSIS

45. Thunderous noise : ROAR

48. Potato presses : RICERS

49. Pitch a tent : ENCAMP

50. Naval petty officer : YEOMAN

53. Full of rocks : STONY

55. Riveter painted by Rockwell : ROSIE

57. Architectural S-curve : OGEE

58. Eye lasciviously : OGLE

59. Sound of suffering : MOAN

60. "How cute!" sounds : "AW!"s

Apr 22, 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012 John Lampkin

Theme: "Hiss Story" - Snake puns. One word in each common phrase is replaced by a sound-alike snake name. Snake crawling paths are symbolized by consecutive black squares in the middle of the grid (I think).

24A. Healthy, happy newborn snake? : BOUNCING BABY BOA. Bouncy baby boy. This clue brought a big smile.

38A. Wild and crazy snake? : PARTY MAMBA. Party member. Fun clue also.

59A. Schmoozing snake? : SOCIAL ADDER. Social ladder. A consonant is added.

84A. Dashing young snake? : RACER BLADE. Razor blade. Not familiar with racer snake.

99A. Snake in the glass? : WINDSHIELD VIPER. Windshield wiper.

3D. Poolside snake's shedding spot? : COBRA CABANA. Copacabana.

62D. Run-of-the-mill snake? : ASP PER USUAL. As per usual.

40D. Classic Belushi comedy, or an apt description of this puzzle's grid? : ANIMAL HOUSE. Too broad a term. It's not really needed for this theme. I wonder if this entry came up at John's filling process.

100D. Warning from the critters that appear to be slithering through the grid? : SSS. Remember Marti's snake puzzle?

Can you tell John's playful personality by his theme clues? Outstanding!

You'll also notice that there are two long Down fill of the same letter count as the paralleled theme entries:

2D. Essential self : INNER SPIRIT

63D. The Information Age : INTERNET ERA

Constructors/editor try to avoid that for fear that solvers will be confused by what the real theme entries are. Two reasons for their existence today:

1) Theme answers all have question marks in the grid and all have "snake" in them;

2) Already 80 black squares in the grid. You don't want to go over that.

How about you point out John's distinctive clechos (clue echos) to me for a change?


1. Potato press : RICER.. I like potatoes stir-fried, with a splash of vinegar.

6. Point the finger at : ACCUSE

12. Endure : LAST

16. Local govt. unit : TWP (Township)

19. Jumper cable connection point : ANODE

20. Small bite : MORSEL

21. Sea lion predator : ORCA. What's the lifespan of orcas?

22. Calder Cup org. : AHL (American Hockey League). Minor league.

23. Out of favor : IN BAD. Can you make a sentence for me?

27. Amen prompter : SERMON

29. Future J.D.'s hurdle : LSAT. Shout out to my favorite JD.

30. Aircraft pioneer Sikorsky : IGOR

31. Shepard in space : ALAN

32. Roth investments : IRAs

33. Polish prose : EDIT

35. Persian Gulf leader : EMIR

36. Great Smokies st. : TENN

37. Foreign policy gp. : NSC (National Security Council). I used to think those Secret Service guys were rather cool.

41. Giggle : TEHEE

42. Taster's sense of taste : PALATE

44. Pro foe : ANTI

45. Made a profit on, perhaps : RESOLD

46. Put the __ on: quash : KIBOSH

47. NFL analyst Collinsworth : CRIS. His face looks familiar.

48. Moral misstep : SIN. For Dennis, who knows how to sin backward. He was once innocent, PK!

49. West Bank initials : PLO

50. Kneeling figure, in art : ORANT. Like this. I learned from doing Xword.

51. Injure gravely : MAIM

52. McDonald's arches, e.g. : LOGO

53. A word from P.M. Roget : SYN. Roget's Thesaurus.

54. Fragrant wood : PINE

55. Miraculous food : MANNA

56. Sun-withered tea : OOLONG. Literally "black dragon" in Chinese. Long = Dragon. Oo (Wu in Mandarin) = Black.

58. Critic's bestowal : STAR

61. Transportation option : RAIL

65. Pipsqueak : SQUIRT

67. Takes cover : HIDES

68. Ain't put right? : ISN'T. Right!

69. Conk on the head : BOP

72. Poi ingredient : TARO. Freshly baked taros is quite tasty. Similar to the texture of potatoes.

73. Deposits in 52-Down : ORES. 52D. Mineral-laden deposits : LODES

74. Barren : EMPTY

75. Top gun : ACE

76. "Now __ seen everything!" : I'VE

77. Sierra Club founder : MUIR (John)

78. Self-conscious smile : SIMPER. New word to me.

79. Delaware Valley tribe : LENAPE. Also new to me. Wiki said they're also called Delaware Indians.

81. 1998 Literature Nobelist Saramago : JOSE. Portuguese. Has anyone read his books?

82. Ship's treasurer : PURSER. Gimme for Spitzboov, eddyB & D-Otto. Never heard of it before.

83. Dens : LAIRS

87. Some OR staff : RNs

89. No longer fooled by : ONTO

90. Bumps hard : RAMS

91. Seemingly forever : EONS

92. Tune two croon : DUET. Who's your favorite duet of all time?

93. Jumpy critter : FLEA

94. "Cheerio!" : TA TA

95. What there oughta be : A LAW

97. Full of vitality : YEASTY

103. Peasant's porridge : GRUEL. Millet gruel is comfort food to me.

104. Siesta time: Abbr. : AFT

105. Beachfront property? : SAND. Fun clue.

106. "Sexy!" : OO LA LA. For you, Splynter.

107. Driving hazard : GLARE

108. Kisses, in letters : X'ES

109. Charon's waterway : STYX

110. Woven fabrics : TWILLS

111. Soup partner : SALAD


1. Trail mix tidbit : RAISIN. Reminds me of Steve J. St. John's RAISIN D'ETRE puzzle two weeks ago.

4. Red-coated cheeses : EDAMS

5. Update, in a way : RE-DO

6. Embassy VIP : AMB (Ambassador)

7. "Enough already!" : COOL IT. And 47. "Enough already!" : CAN IT!

8. Like a curmudgeon : CRUSTY

9. Middies' sch. : USNA. I used to think most Seals attended USNA. The Dummy set me straight.

10. Shakers, but not movers : SECT

11. Quarterback Manning : ELI.

12. Robert of "Prizzi's Honor" : LOGGIA. Stranger to me.

13. Shaded area : ARBOR

14. Surgery memento : SCAR

15. Bar account : TAB

16. Makes the rounds at an affair : TABLE HOPS. I was thinking of love affairs.

17. Sportscaster Keith Jackson's catchphrase : WHOA, NELLY! Thought it's spelled as "Whoa, Nellie!"

18. Anticipated : PLANNED ON

25. Radiant auras : NIMBI. Aurae might be a better clue. Yes?

26. "Bullitt" director : YATES (Peter)

28. Below, quaintly : 'NEATH

34. Dr. with Grammys : DRE

35. "Nurse Jackie" extras, briefly : EMTs

38. Over and done with : PAST. LaLaLinda's "good old days" Yaz post moved me greatly. Then LA CW Addict's subsequent comforting post to Linda just teared me up. Here is part of what he said: "..I did not know about this blog at the time. If I had, I thought, how nice it would have been to stop in and see Dad on my way home from work, so that we could have shared so many of the music clips and movie out-takes provided by you kind folks..."

39. Yacht basin : MARINA

41. Part of a dovetail joint : TENON. Fits into a mortise.

43. They keep to themselves : LONERS

45. Strictness : RIGOR

46. Keystone cutups : KOPs

48. Cobbler's inventory : SOLES

51. Computer shortcut : MACRO

55. Wavy fabric pattern : MOIRE. See this pattern.

56. Harder to explain : ODDER

57. "__ Fairy Tales" : GRIMMS'

59. Smooth-tongued : SUAVE. I recently listened to a John Barry ("James Bond" composer) interview. Man, was he smooth-tongued.

60. Less stuffy : AIRIER

64. Roughly six trillion mi. : LTYR (Light-year)

66. Small swabs : Q-TIPS

69. Everything, informally : BALL OF WAX. Great entry.

70. Marine flora and fauna : OCEAN LIFE

71. Hair shirt wearers : PENITENTS. What's a "hair shirt"?

74. Dún Laoghaire's land : EIRE

77. Comfy slip-ons : MOCs

78. Full of bubbles : SUDSY

80. "We're on __ to nowhere": Talking Heads lyric : A ROAD

81. Malcolm-__ Warner of "The Cosby Show" : JAMAL

82. Camera move : PAN

84. Hard-core, filmwise : RATED-X

85. "Little help here, bud?" : BE A PAL

86. Poet Amy : LOWELL. Oh, how I miss Clear Ayes!

88. Done at the salon : STYLED

90. Hardly fair : RAINY. Rainy and cold here. But I think my peas and cucumbers planted in March survived.

92. Alfalfa's heartthrob : DARLA. "Our Gang".

94. Pointer's word : THAT

95. Assert : AVOW

96. Taylor of "Six Feet Under" : LILI

98. Breakfast fare : EGGS

101. Web address part : DOT. Hi there, Dot!

102. Dorm figs. : RAs. Our dorms were guarded by an old couple who would not allow any boys in after 11:00pm.

Answer grid.

John Lampkin met with Annette and Lemonade during his Florida nature talk last month. Here is a beautiful picture of Annette & Lemonade. Gorgeous shirt, Annette! Here is a fun picture of Lemonade & John.


Apr 21, 2012

Saturday, April 21, 2012, Barry C. Silk

Theme: Saturday Silk

Words: 72

Blocks: 29

I had a feeling this was going to be a Silkie, and I was right - and a tough one, at least the first two across and down passes for me - and then my WAG at 57A sliced it open for me. Two hard to place 14-letter spanners;

33A. Ancient inhabitant of Western Europe : NEANDERTHAL MAN - tried to make NETHERLANDIAN fit, not that this has ANYthing to do with the clue....

39A. 1997 Spacey/Crowe movie : L.A. CONFIDENTIAL - a movie I am sad to say I have not seen - IMDb

and two just-as-difficult-to-place 11-letter climbers;

10D. Hot air : IDLE CHATTER

24D. Variance issuer, often : ZONING BOARD - we call it the 'building department' here, and a variance is a deviation from the building code - usually something like how close to the property line a structure can be - and in my experience, the code and the people who enforce them has gotten WAY out of control....

Ultimately, I solved it with only two "cheats". but on the whole, too many proper names, dates, and foreign words made this one less than enjoyable for me....oh well....

Onward ~!


1. Calm : AT PEACE

8. High chairs? : SKI-LIFT - I was hip to this one, but not right away - HeartRx got it, right?

15. Experts : MAESTRI - plural of maestro

16. Harvard's __ Library : WIDENER - this guy, who perished on Titanic

17. Attacked on the fly : STRAFED

18. 1996 Olympics city : ATLANTA - my first "cheat" - I tried CALGARY, with the "L" in the right place, but Calgary was the host in '88, and their NHL Flames were the Stanley Cup winners in '88-89

19. 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner : TUTU - Desmond

20. Per diem hire : TEMP - my first and only confident fill

22. Longish blog post : ESSAY - I was hoping it was not going to be "E-page" - that's a long post for our little corner, no?

23. Blue Note's parent co. : EMI - music publishing

24. Diddly : ZERO; and 38A. Diddly : NOT A BIT

25. BYU, e.g. : SCHool - Brigham Young University

26. What gets Obama started? : LONG O - I was hip to this mis-direction - the ō to start Obama

28. Reaction at the gas pump : OUCH~!!! - I can still find regular for $3.95

30. Juillet is in it : ETE - The month of July, in summer, as seen on a "Fraunch" (French) calendar

37. Cite : MENTION

41. Around-the-world journalist : BLY - not familiar with her - the Wiki - interesting

42. __ country : GOD's - isn't this Florida? Oh wait, that's "God's Waiting Room"

43. Pelé's given name : EDSON - Edson Arantes do Nascimento - Soccer player

45. Like many dicts. : ABRidged

46. Naturalist on California's state quarter : MUIR

49. Sold-out letters : SRO - Standing Room Only

50. Thrifty rival : ALAMO - Car rental - I am hoping to use Budget - see the bottom of the blog

53. Red states?: Abbr. : SSRs - Getting to be a regular bore here, now

54. Sylvia of jazz : SYMS - again, not familiar with this person

55. Tommy's forte : PINBALL - Tommy, from The Who, the Pinball Wizard - not a fan, at all.

57. Follower of the Bushido code : SAMURAI - sounded Japanese, and it fit, so....

59. Western port named for a fur tycoon : ASTORIA - John Jacob Astor, and a little geography, too - at the top of Oregon

60. Trendy : À LA MODE - straight French, "according to the fashion" - definition

61. Time to relax : LAZY DAY - When it rains, I like to call it a "lazy day"

62. Crowd annoyance : ELBOWER - one who elbows


1. Pilsner choice : AMSTEL - Beer

2. Youngest Oscar winner : TATUM O'NEAL - HEY~! I knew this one ~! I liked her in "Rescue Me", right fermatprime?

3. Relevance : PERTINENCY - I had "E" at the end, with BLE 41A - had to peek to see the "Y"

4. Old Testament twin : ESAU

5. Org. that added "Explosives" to its name in 2003 : ATF -Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms - if they reworked it, they could be "F.E.T.A" (see 13D.)

6. Center of the Minoan civilization : CRETE

7. Large sea duck : EIDER - I knew this from the book "Journey to the Center of the Earth"

8. Meet deal : SWAP

9. Young beaver : KIT

11. __ law : LEASH

12. Some seaside retreats : INNS

13. Spanakopita need : FETA - NO clue what this is - but with F_T_, I had the WAG

14. Inbox, sometimes : TRAY - the 'analog' version

21. Early Alcázar castle resident : MOOR - slightly foreign, but I know castles..

25. "Bei Mir Bist Du __": 1930s song : SCHON - foreign words...

27. Enemy of un ratón : GATO - MORE foreign words; I am guessing rat and cat....

29. "The Best of the Alternative Press" magazine, familiarly : UTNE and MORE foreign words.....

30. International Washington neighborhood : EMBASSY ROW - this area of D.C.

31. Custom : TAILOR-MADE

32. Tolkien creature : ENT - The trees that walk ( Clerks II, but I won't link it )

34. Help with : DO FOR - what can I DO YOU FOR~???

35. Chisholm Trail city : ENID

36. Installed, as brick : LAID - or, er, 34A

37. Org. with an "At Bat" app : MLB - is this true, C.C.? I have the NHL app, of course - and our first team to move on, the Nashville Predators - sorry JazzB (From C.C.: Have to ask Seen/Husker Gary. True?)

40. Mil. honors : DSMs - Distinguished Service Medals

44. Comparatively curious : NOSIER

45. South __, N.J. : AMBOY - I knew this, but then again, I was born in Paterson, NJ - don't hold it against me....

47. Latin bears : URSAE - Ursa Major and Minor, the big and little bears of the night sky

48. "That __": signoff : IS ALL - 's ALL, Folks~! did not fit

50. "C'mon, be __!" : A PAL

51. Crossword-solving Simpson : LISA - from the cartoon "The Simpsons" -she's the brainy one with saxophone chops

52. 1998 animated film : ANTZ

53. Leave rolling in the aisles : SLAY

54. Ring contest : SUMO

56. __ Fáil: Irish coronation stone : LIA - this monolith - easy, lois

58. Fairy queen of folklore : MAB

Answer grid.

I am curious about those Mid-west regulars who stop in here at the blog - I am praying to be moving to Las Vegas in June, and I will be driving across the country at a "leisurely pace" - anyone need a deck built? Or maybe just a quick visit from a Saturday blogger??


P.S. - Am I the first to blog with the "new" format? It sucks for us authors, let me tell you....

(From C.C.: Argyle does not like the new format either. No change on my side yet. Maybe it varies by regions?)