Jun 29, 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012, Stephen Edward Anderson

Theme: Fun with the 'fun'etic alphabet, NATO style.

Each of the 5 theme answer are familiar abbreviations presented as they would be called out by a pilot on his radio. The ultimate in clecho themeage. This was a puzzle where you either got the gimmick or you were doomed to much hard work. I lucked out and was off to the races. This is our second puzzle from Mr. Anderson who had his debut here the day after Thanksgiving, 2011, where C.C. was generous enough to blog so I could hang with my sons. So what do you think gang? What was your initial reaction? A few tough proper names (no J!) but not many long words, except for two excellent non-theme fill in FACSIMILE and EMPHASIZE. Time to work it.

17A. Brightness measure, to a pilot : INDIA QUEBEC.(11) Brightness as measured in an Intelligence Quotient test.

26A. Green light, to a pilot : OSCAR KILO.(9) OKAY.

39A. It's dropped for a trip, to a pilot : LIMA SIERRA DELTA. (15)Ah the sweet smell of the 60's with the LSD in bloom.

50A. Undergraduate degree, to a pilot : BRAVO ALFA.(9) Bachelor of Arts.

62A. Den centerpiece, to a pilot : TANGO VICTOR. (11) Does anyone still have their TELEVISION as a centerpiece in a room?

No need for a unifier, so lets see the cluing skills....


1. Knocks the socks off : WOWS. A nice upbeat start.

5. Nab in a sting : ENTRAP. Well, it depends on the sting; the police do not like it when you use this word for their operations, as ENTRAPMENT is forbidden.

11. Airwaves monitoring grp. : FCC. Federal Communications Commission. Foxtrot Charlie Charlie.

14. Wide-mouthed jug : EWER. Veh is mir, this vase keeps showing up.

15. Sister of Venus : SERENA. The legendary tennis sisters.

16. RR listing : ARRival.

19. Pool tool : CUE. Rhyme time.

20. Letters after some officers' names : RETired.

21. Ukr. et al, once : SSRS. Okay, time to retire this fill.

22. Let up : EASED.

24. Dangle limply : DROOP. Man, that sounds worse than sagging.

29. Ireland's ___ Féin : SINN. No comment, it would be POLITICAL.

31. State through which the Brahmaputra River flows : ASSAM. Central INDIA.

32. Work on a wall : FRESCO. From the Latin meaning fresh. Don't get fresco with me hearti!

35. Upper limb : ARM. and 68A. It's out on a limb : HAND. I have to hand to him; a mini clecho.

36. Cousin of -esque : ISH. Funny, she did not look SHREWISH.

43. Strike caller : UMPire. Cute clue, and baseball for our F L.

44. Terr. divided in 1889 : DAKota. You take the North, I am keeping the South.

45. Rules of order documenter : ROBERT. Your reading ASSIGNMENT. Judge. "Order in the Court". Groucho. " I'll have a martini."

46. Gorp consumer : HIKER. GORP, more letters, everyone remember?

49. Lyric poet Teasdale : SARA. POET. It was really great to hear from Clear Ayes.

53. Watching : EYING. Oh goody, an eye reference.

57. Hem over, say : RESEW. Hmm, kinda like an A word.

58. William Saroyan's son : ARAM. Nope, means NOTHING to me.

60. 1988 noir remake : DOA. Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan in happier days, redoing the old solve my own murder plot. The 50's versions starred Edmond O'Brien. NCIS did one as well.

61. Mono- relative : UNI. Only one way to understand this clue.

66. ___ Perce tribe : NEZ. Not to be confused the eyeglasses. The name comes from the French meaning pierced nose, though it was the Chinook who used piercings. A Columbia river tribe hounded and chased by the US Cavalry in 1877.

67. Crew activity : OARING. I used to go with me 'Oney, right Steve?

69. Funny shirt, perhaps : TEE. Hee.

70. Loud metallic sounds : WHANGS. Man, where are Carol and Lois when you need them to tell us the morel of this untold story.

71. "A Death in the Family" author : AGEE. The must mean the work of the author James Agee, not the great arc in Batman by Jim Starlin in the 80s.


1. Strange : WEIRD. All this work and we are only half way home.

2. Title holder : OWNER. Not the champ, but the poor chump who bought a home in 2006.

3. Closely affiliated with : WED TO. I don't know, I am not married to this fill.

4. Indian honorific : SRI. has the root meaning of radiance, or diffusing light, much like the English word "illuminate" (per wiki).

5. ABA titles : ESQS. Esquires, for our lawyer ref.

6. Cell using a synapse : NEURON. Mine are not synapsing on all cylinders.

7. Locks of Love donation : TRESS. This GROUP.The shed a new light on an old problem, to keep kids from wigging out.

8. Gray in an outfit : REBel.

9. Game show purchase : AN E. Pat, Vanna....

10. Three-time '70s ABA champs : PACERS. They moved lock stock and three pint shot into the NBA, but they are losing Larry Bird, exec of the year.

11. Xerox, e.g. : FACSIMILE. One of the lawyers I work with will never use the word 'fax.' Nice fill.

12. Mean, and then some : CRUEL.

13. Words to live by : CREDO.

18. Edible suspensions : ASPICS. I always thought aspics were just ICK, but maybe you like PIG TROTTERS

23. Dossier initials : AKA. Also Known As.

25. Tasmanian mount : OSSA. I have a devil of time recalling this 5000 foot mount off of Oz.

27. Vocalist Vikke : CARR. She really had many HITS. (2:43). Any favorites?

28. Capital north of Addis Ababa : ASMARA. Capital of ERITREA.

30. "Haven't the foggiest" : NO IDEA. I hear you dude.

32. Winter bane : FLU. InFLUenza.

33. Canyon viewpoint : RIM. time for a rim shot?

34. Play up : EMPHASIZE. Like this PIC of Marion Cotillard, who was great in Midnight in Paris.

35. Old flood insurance? : ARK. I Noah where he got this clue, very cute.

37. The Bosporus, e.g.: Abbr : STRait. The name comes form mythology just in time for this MOVIE which is I guess bombing.

38. One may be in the ring : HAT. This clue is old....

40. '50s-'60s chief justice Warren : EARL. The justice who surprised Ike.

41. Shekels : DO RE MI. Cousin of dough.

42. Selling point? : EBAY.

47. "___ seen enough!" : I'VE. No we must march on to the finish.

48. Bow and scrape : KOWTOW. More shout out to our F L; word is borrowed from kòu tóu in Mandarin Chinese (per wiki).

49. Luau garb : SARONG. Did anyone ever do them better than Dorothy Lamour?

50. Force to be borne : BRUNT. I can take it.

51. Zellwinger of "Chicago" : RENEE. She has had an interesting career. LINK.

52. Dickens villain : FAGIN. Oliver Twist.

54. "Hello! I'm..." badge : ID TAG.

55. Nary a soul : NO ONE.

56. Word just before a duel? : GARDE. and right after "EN."

59. Many sports nos. : AVGS. Averages.

63. "That feels great" : AAH. AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH, we are almost done.

64. Org. for a marksman : NRA. They aim to please, they are the National Rifle Association.

65. When doubled, a dance : CHA. Cha cha cha, time for me to dance away for another week, be well all.

Answer grid.


Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to Barry G, the Cal Ripken Jr. of this blog. I know I can always count on him to give me solid feedback on my theme ideas and grid entries. 生日快乐!

Jun 28, 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012 Angela Olson Halsted and Doug Peterson

Theme: Classical Elements, mixed with people...

20A. Tree-hugging actress? : DORIS EARTH DAY. Doris Day is a real classic. So is Earth Day - save the world, plant a tree.

33A. Inner-tubing activist? : ROSA WATER PARKS. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, and became a legend for civil rights. Water parks are, unrelated to civil rights?

40A. Poor-shooting comedy star? : LUCILLE AIR BALL. Lucille Ball was a real air-head, to be sure. An air ball misses the target completely, which is something our next entry would NEVER do!

57. Pontiac-driving basketball player? : LARRY FIRE BIRD. Larry Bird, the ex-Boston Celtics superstar, just announced his retirement as the President of the Pacers. Live long and prosper, my friend! The Fire Bird is a classic car (from the same era as Larry Bird and the Celtics).

Marti here, to take you through the other elements of this puzzle...


1. Melodramatic "Rats!" : ALAS

5. Rooms with microscopes : LABS

9. Descendant : SCION

14. "There Is Nothin' Like a ___" : DAME. From "South Pacific"

15. 1988 World Series MVP Hershiser : OREL

16. NJ-based supermarket chain : A AND P. "The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company"

17. "Yeah, right" : I BET

18. Life in León : VIDA

19. Subordinate to : UNDER

23. "Entourage" agent Gold : ARI. Never heard of this. "Vapid" description must be why...

24. WWII journalist : PYLE. Gomer? No, ERNIE!

25. Yellow Brick Road accessory : OIL CAN. I'm a bit rusty, can you refresh my memory on this one?

28. Silver Bullet Band leader Bob : SEGER. These guys.

30. Old map inits. : SSR. Real old.. Soviet Socialist Republic

32. "___ we alone?" : ARE

38. Blows away : AWES

39. Ohio-based faucet maker : MOEN. I like their ad. (Ooops, that's Delta's ad that I like!) Moen? Booorring!

46. Campfire remnant : ASH

47. 1994 speed skating gold medalist Jansen : DAN. His sister died from leukemia.

48. Backup crew : B-TEAM

50. Uncommon : SCARCE

53. Nonstick kitchen brand : T-FAL

56. ___ gratias : DEO

60. Trooper on the road : ISUZU

62. Modest attire : MAXI

63. Show you're in : ANTE

64. Ruthless bosses : CAPOS

65. Mötley ___ : CRUE. Music (?) link. 4:42

66. Stalk in the garden : STEM

67. Target competitor : KMART. "Attention Kmart shoppers!"

68. Cranks (up) : AMPS. See 65A...

69. TV brother whose real name was Eric : HOSS. "Bonanza" role played by Dan Blocker.


1. Brand with a three-stripe logo : ADIDAS. Correctamundo!

2. Peon : LABORER

3. Mapmaker Vespucci : AMERIGO

4. UFO-tracking org. : SETI. Search for Extra Terrestrial Intellignce.

5. ___-dovey : LOVEY

6. Serif-free font : ARIAL. LIKE THIS

7. Physician's prescription : BED REST. (I think I need some right now!)

8. Crate piece : SLAT

9. King Abdullah, for one : SAUDI

10. Grand ___ : CANAL. In Venice. Anyone else been? You either love it or you hate it...

11. Race-sanctioning biggie : INDY CAR. They even have their own web site. Dang'd if I know what it's all about...

12. Homage in verse : ODE

13. "Science Friday" network : NPR. National Public Radio.

21. Urban planner's concern : SPRAWL

22. "Saw" genre : HORROR. I never saw it...

26. Torah container : ARK

27. Nintendos Super ___ : NES. (Nintendo Entertainment System)

29. Morales of "NYPD Blue" : ESAI. This guy.

31. Many-axled roller : SEMI. Why are they called "semis". Are they only half-finished?

34. Masked worker : WELDER. Vague clue. I was looking for a Zorro type...

35. On the Aegean : ASEA. Our obligatory "A" word

36. Zen garden bit : PEBBLE

37. Future RN's course : ANAT.omy

40. Refrain syllables : LAS. meh

41. Pac-12 member : USC. University of Southern California, or University of South Carolina? "Pac" leads me to believe it is the former.

42. Taco Bell menu item : CHALUPA. Looks like heart-attack material, to me.

43. Army base? : ANT FARM

44. Provided a segue for : LED INTO

45. Ophelia's avenger : LAERTES. From "Hamlet"

49. Dial-up hardware : MODEMS

51. Tonsorial tool : RAZOR. From the Latin tōnsōrius, relating to shaving.

52. Pie maker's pride : CRUST. Not wouldn't want to eat it, trust me!!

54. Bring together, dating-wise : FIX UP

55. Sign before Taurus : ARIES

58. Classic disco hit : YMCA. Oooh, I just couldn't resist...(Makes reading this whole write-up worth it, don't you think???) Our own Lemonade was the FL lawyer for The Village that where you get all you dance moves, lemony??

59. Major party : BASH

60. "That's disgusting!" : ICK

61. Newsman Donaldson : SAM

Answer grid.

That's it for this week. Any questions? E-mail me!


Jun 27, 2012

Wednesday, June 26, 2012 Don Gagliardo & C.C. Burnikel

Theme: By Golly! It's a Wednesday Puzzle! By Steve

A nice fun puzzle from the Dynamic Duo. Prefixing the first word of the theme answers with "By" gives you four variations of what are usually lumped together as "OMG" moments in today-speak.

The unifier at 45D ties everything together nicely, and gives me something to work with for the theme title of the blog (phew!).

Or a late-breaking news story: Jiminy Cricket! George Jetson's gummed up the works on the Jupiter Probe!

20A. Cause a major snafu : GUM UP THE WORKS. SNAFU is such a great acronym, and no, the F does not stand for "fouled". This is military slang, they don't fool around.

32A. Spacely Space Sprockets employee : GEORGE JETSON. Hero of the Hanna-Barbera classic series.

41A. Pioneer 10 or Voyager 1 : JUPITER PROBE.

57A. Umbrella-carrying Disney character : JIMINY CRICKET. Disney and Hanna-Barbera in one theme!

and the reveal:

45D. This puzzle's title, based on the starts of 20-, 32-, 41- and 57-Across : BYLINES

A lot of fun stuff to look at today. Let's get started!


1. Bombards with junk email : SPAMS. This is commonly-understood now but I don't know how junk email got be called spam. Anyone?

6. Bk. after Proverbs : ECCL. Always, always have to wait for the crosses with the Bible Study questions. Thank goodness we don't have to remember how to spell Ecclesiastes.

10. Lingering effect : ECHO

14. Colorado snowboarding mecca : ASPEN. Yodelers here strive for a 10A!

15. Laze : LOLL

16. Phenom : WHIZ.

17. Davis of "Commander in Chief" : GEENA. She'd have been able to defend herself pretty handily with a bow and arrow rather than rely on the Secret Service. She was a semi-finalist in the US Archery Olympic Qualifying competition in 1999.

18. Un-PC purchase? : iMAC. Funny, I was in the Apple store today picking up an iPad. The sales assistant scanned the bar code with his iPhone, swiped my credit card with his iPhone, I signed the sales receipt on his iPhone with my fingertip and when I got home an email copy of the receipt was waiting for me - on my Dell Laptop, Windows XP.

19. Grain that's rolled : OATS

23. Educator LeShan : EDA. What's her Shortz Factor?

24. Wear a long face : POUT

25. Kicked out : OUSTED. You're allowed to POUT when this happens.

28. 2011 PGA Player of the Year Luke : DONALD. Men's golf WHIZ.

30. Barrister's deg. : L.L.D. Doctor of Law.

31. Clinch, in slang : ICE, as in ice the deal, or put the game on ice.

36. Part of PGA: Abbr. : ASSN. Luke Donald, a Professional Golfer, is a member of this association.

39. Rating from Moody's : AAA. Not a sore-throat exam.

40. Elusive : EELY. Could also be a Yale undergrad trying to hide after a sporting defeat at the hands of Harvard.

46. Shipping magnate Onassis : ARI. Poor Aristotle lost two-thirds of his name because of us cruciverbalists.

47. Benz- finish : ENE. I wanted wax, clear coat and tire dressing after a car wash.

48. Quaint love letter opener : MY DEAR. Really? I hope this intro didn't go on to say what Rhett Butler was warming up to!

52. Dollar deal? : RENTAL. I use Avis for my car hire needs. I like seeing my name up in lights on the board when you go to pick up the car. I know there's 100 names up in lights, but it's the little things that makes the road warrior world tolerable.

54. Make better : HEAL

56. Flagstaff-to-Tucson dir. : S.S.E. Here's a question for CC and Don - we all know the three-letter abbreviations now, but we never see the "South by South East" or "SbSE" for the finer intervals. "North by North West" was a well-known movie - isn't that a good enough reason for allowing NbNW?

60. Pop star : IDOL

62. Pop : SODA, I'm flying to the Midwest tomorrow - isn't there some code I have to know when I'm ordering a soda in Ohio?

63. Gullible : NAIVE

64. Ear piece : LOBE

65. Works on the road : TARS

66. Chair designer Charles : EAMES. Austin Powers probably furnished his office with these.

67. Light beer ad word : LESS. Hopefully referring to "filling" and not "calories" or "carbs", otherwise we'll be having words with Messrs. Busch, Coors and Miller.

68. Persian for "king" : SHAH. Really? I never knew!

69. Bar shot : SNORT. Or, in my world, a bar-joke laugh from my friend Heidi when she's had a couple of snorts. She snorts.


1. Went south, in a way : SAGGED. Never happened to me. Moving on.

2. Bogus : PSEUDO

3. Theoretical proto-person : APEMAN. I loved this, I had the A and E and was trying to see how AMOEBA-MAN could be contracted to fit.

4. Item in a diner host's stack : MENU. Food! Finally!

5. "Made from the Best Stuff on Earth" drink brand : SNAPPLE. I like the Scottish soda IRN-BRU tag line "Made from Girders". It looks and tastes like it could easily have been brewed from left-overs from the Forth Bridge.

6. Yale of Yale : ELIHU. I'm sure only his mother called him Elihu, and only when he'd forgotten to do his homework.

7. Night sky streaker : COMET.

8. Tiger's weapon : CLAW. Tiger's Wife's Weapon: 9-Iron

9. "Hey Lover" rapper : LL COOL J. Fantastic! When I was filling in the grid I kept looking sideways at how this was shaping up - then it all came clear

10. Furry sci-fi critters : EWOKS

11. Chew out : CHASTISE. Somehow I'd rather be chastised than chewed out.

12. Googler's success : HIT. See 8D alternative clue/answer

13. Parts of lbs. : ozs. Sixteen ounces make a pound. Why, I have no idea. It's a perfectly good random number. Just like fourteen pounds make a stone. Oh, and twenty ounces make a pint in the UK, not sixteen as here.

21. Big fuss : TO-DO

22. Not minding one's manners : RUDE

26. Green sci. : ECOL. I saw a headline in the LA Times a couple of years ago saying "Ecology is the new hot major for UC students" which rather made me chuckle.

27. Turn down : DENY

29. Lambs: Lat. : AGNI. This took crosses, French culinary references for "agneau" and realizing Agnus Dei school is down the street and I roughly know what it means. A lot of work for four letters!

30. Jet giant : LEAR. But they're little jets! I'm going in a little one tomorrow, I've got a 45 minute hop from Cleveland to Dayton, but it's a Canadair, not a Lear.

33. Hard to come by : RARE. Like room to spread out on a Canadair Regional Jet.

34. Reason for braces, perhaps : GAP. Not the store, although a GAP store in London may well sell braces, you just wouldn't put 'em on your teeth.

35. Ready to drive : TEED. The first tee is a moment of joy in any Luke Donald wannabe's Sunday morning. The ball is teed up, the scorecard is blank, the green fairway beckons invitingly - and then you slice your drive out onto the street, just like I did last weekend (and most weekends before that).

36. Cracked a little : AJAR

37. "You betcha!" : SURE. Fargo-soundtrack subtitle.

38. Damage control efforts, imagewise : SPIN JOBS

42. Sports group : TEAM

43. Joins up : ENLISTS

44. Epps of "House" : OMAR. One day I'll finally remember as I'm confidently writing in OMER that I'm WRONG!

49. Alaska native : ESKIMO

50. Love letter sign-off : AS EVER. This sounds like a cop-out to me. If I got a letter starting "MY DEAR" and ending "AS EVER" I'd be wondering where the romance went.

51. Take back to the lab : RE-TEST

53. Mah-jongg pieces : TILES. I'll tell you all a story one day about how I got to play Mah-jongg one afternoon in Beijing during the last Olympic Games with three locals who had never seen a European before, let alone one who actually knew how to play.

54. Many-headed monster : HYDRA

55. PayPal funds : eCASH. or E-CASH, I wasn't sure how to punctuate this one.

58. Wordsmith Webster : NOAH. Where would be be without the Webster's Dictionary? Well, we'd be stuck with the Oxford English Dictionary and never able to say "color", "neighbor", "winningest" or "dude".

59. James of "The Godfather" : CAAN. Sonny Corleone portrayer. It still gives me the willies when Michael lays the "You have to answer for Santino" line on Carlo, you just know his day isn't going to end well.

60. Below par : ILL. Unless you're Luke Donald, then you're feeling pretty good about yourself.

61. One may be fawning : DOE. Awwww!

Answer grid.

That's about all I've got. A quick fact-check and I'm off to the airport for a day in Dayton. Have a great Wednesday!


Note from C.C. & Don:

Don came up with this theme. We only have 4 theme entries, but they all have 13 or 12 letters. So we had to start with Row 4 and the three J's in the theme answers gave up trouble while filling this grid. LL COOL J (9D) was locked in from the very start, so was BYLINES of course.

Jun 26, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 Marti DuGuay-Carpenter

Theme: S'z - Interesting. Drop the ending ES sound of a common phrase and replace it with an actual S and the ending sound is then closer to a Z. Then clue accordingly.

20A. Shrine to wild animal parks? : TEMPLE OF ZOOS. zoo(z) - Zeus

33A. Cows' reactions to having their hair and makeup done? : STYLING MOOS. moo(z) - mousse

41A. Trashing toilets in London? : BUSTING LOOS. loo(z) - loose

51A. Bake mud pies? : COOK ONE'S GOOS. goo(z) - goose

Argyle here. That is my take on the theme; Marti will explain it, I'm sure. The double O's may figure in there, also.


1. [I'm shocked!] : [GASP!]. The brackets indicate a sound rather than a spoken word.

5. "Who's on First?" catcher : TODAY. "I don't know" - third base.

10. Ad writer's award : CLIO. CLIO was a Greek muse. about Clio.

14. __ of passage : RITE

15. Coeur d'__, Idaho : ALENE. Map It's up in the pan handle or, as some prefer, North Idaho.

16. Miami hoopsters : HEAT

17. Concept, in Cannes : IDÉE. French.

18. Contemporary of Byron and Shelley : KEATS. The three Romantic poets of the early nineteenth century.

19. Points the rifle : AIMS

23. Red __: cinnamon candies : HOTS. "Hot enough for you?"

24. "__ Room": old TV show for preschoolers : ROMPER

If you want to learn more, go to this site.

28. On the beach : ASHORE

31. Econ. measure : GNP. (Gross National Product) Not the same as Gross Domestic Product. JzB, please explain.

32. Mimic : APE

36. Place for a margarita's salt : RIM

37. Reel-to-reel medium : TAPE

38. City area, briefly : URB

39. 451, in old Rome : CDLI. To over the road truckers, this would parse: Commercial Drivers License, Class 1.

40. Haile Selassie's land: Abbr. : ETH. (Ethiopia)

45. Regret : RUE

46. Prov. bordering Quebec : ONT. Ontario Map.

47. Round gaskets : O-RINGS

48. Guard at the gate : SENTRY

50. "Let's call __ evening" : IT AN. Not yet.

57. Ivy, e.g. : VINE

60. Roo's mom : KANGA

61. Cookbook author Rombauer : IRMA

62. Nefarious doings : EVIL

63. St. __ fire : ELMO'S

64. Grandma : NANA

65. Be a snitch : TELL

66. Run-down : SEEDY

67. Smooth-tongued : GLIB


1. "True __": John Wayne film : GRIT. U.S. Marshal Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn.

2. Classroom assistant : AIDE

3. Wineglass feature : STEM

4. Way to see through a door : PEEPHOLE

5. Go on a break : TAKE TEN. For when "Take Five" won't do. Take Ten.(3:12)

6. Bread spreads : OLEOs

7. Refusing to listen : DEAF. Clue seems to be asking for a verb.

8. 1998 animated bug movie : "ANTZ". Woody Allen as a neurotic ant. (Of course.)

9. "Make up your mind!" : "YES OR NO?"

10. Deep cleft : CHASM

11. Waikiki welcome : LEI

12. Sam-__: Seuss character : I AM

13. NBA tiebreakers : OT's. (overtime)

21. Petty of "Tank Girl" : LORI. Her IMDb site.

22. Klutz's cry : "OOPS!"

25. Convict's absolution from the governor : PARDON

26. Literary postscript : EPILOG. I remember the TV series, "The Fugitive", always ended with an epilog.

27. Negligent : REMISS

28. Colorful fall flowers : ASTERS

29. Michelangelo's David, for one : STATUE

30. - : HYPHEN

31. Mongolian desert : GOBI

34. Sudden wind : GUST

35. "The A-Team" muscleman : MR. T

39. Desperately hanging on : CLINGING

41. NYC division, briefly : BORO

42. Disconnects, as oxen : UNYOKES

43. Like "bein' green," to Kermit : NOT EASY

44. Mardi __ : GRAS

49. Immune system lymphocyte : T-CELL. Named after Mr. T.

50. Coin phrase beginning : IN GOD

52. Curly cabbage : KALE

53. "My treat!" : "ON ME!"

54. Spoken : ORAL

55. Prefix with potent : OMNI

56. Swedish automaker : SAAB. Former Swedish automaker. Omni was a former Dodge compact.

57. Nov. 11 honoree : VET

58. "__ had enough!" : I'VE. Time to wrap this up. There's nothing after this.

59. Zip : NIL


Added later (C.C.):

Congratulations to Spitzboov & his lovely wife Betty on their 47th wedding anniversary!

Jun 25, 2012

Monday June 25, 2012 Geoffrey Lewis

Theme: An Exercise - XXXXL, four phrases hiding an XL in the middle. First, the unifier.

62A. Size whose letters are hidden in the answers to starred clues : EXTRA LARGE

Then two across and two down.

17A. *Magnifying glass, e.g. : CONVEX LENS

38A. *Benefit of an unsuccessful stock trade, at filing time : TAX LOSS

11D. *From the library of, in Latin : EX LIBRIS

37D. *Construction worker's meal : BOX LUNCH

Argyle here. A sizable exercise for a Monday but very doable. Geoffrey debut was back in February. This grid is more of a pinwheel layout; 10's and 8's w/ a 7 letter center.


1. Dr. Frankenstein's helper : IGOR. Let's go, indeed.

5. Use a loom : WEAVE

10. Diner handout : MENU

14. Factual : TRUE

15. Big name in kitchen foil : ALCOA

16. Wood choppers : AXES. George Washington did not have wood choppers.

19. Honorary law degs. : LLD's. Doctor of Laws.

20. Ad __ committee : HOC

21. Seamen's agreements : AYEs

22. Bigfoot cousin : YETI

24. Chris who won 18 Grand Slam singles titles : EVERT. Wow! Wooden rackets and no grunts.

26. Not a risky wager : SAFE BET

29. Absolute ruler : DESPOT

31. Parade percussion instrument : BASS DRUM. XL bass drum.

32. Art aficionado's hangout : MUSEUM

34. Filly's father : SIRE

35. Old CIA rival : KGB

41. Michael Douglas, to Kirk : SON. At a black tie affair, Image.

42. Winged archer : EROS

44. Dry red wine : CLARET

46. Cotton, wool, etc. : TEXTILES

49. The Okefenokee and others : SWAMPS. Geography lesson.

53. Popular painkiller : TYLENOL

54. African virus : EBOLA

55. Part of USC: Abbr. : UNIV. University of Southern California.

56. Liquidate : SELL

59. Put the cuffs on : NAB

60. Band of outlaws : GANG

65. Walk to and fro : PACE

66. Paper purchases : REAMS

67. Transfer from pitcher to glass : POUR

68. Humorist Mort : SAHL. Still going, web site.

69. Span. girls : SRTA's. (Señoritas)

70. Golfer's pocketful : TEEs


1. Made you scratch : ITCHED

2. Phonograph record feature : GROOVE. How many grooves on a record?

3. Pound segments : OUNCES

4. Test, as an engine : REV

5. Like fake fruit : WAXY

6. Glamour rival : ELLE. (magazines)

7. High cards : ACES

8. Otto __ Bismarck : VON. Wiki article.

9. Piece-of-cake school courses : EASY A's

10. Ice-creamy drinks : MALTEDS. Haven't had one in years; I'll take care of that today.

12. Homer's neighbor : NED

13. Navy ship letters : USS

18. Enjoy Red Lobster, say : EAT OUT

23. Abysmal grades : EFs. Is it better to drop a course and get an I(Incomplete) rather than an F?

25. Turning speed: Abbr. : RPM. (revolutions per minute)

26. South Pacific island nation : SAMOA

27. Continental coin : EURO

28. Feds under Ness : T-MEN

30. Airport safety org. : TSA. (transportation security administration)

31. Chicago cagers : BULLS

33. Perform at the top of one's game : EXCEL

35. Etta of old comics : KETT 36. Writer Zane : GREY 40. "Black Beauty" author Anna : SEWELL 43. Manager Casey : STENGEL. A string of old proper names.

39. Next yr.'s alums : SR's

45. Filing aid : TAB

47. Ristorante suffix : INI. Menu offerings ending in INI? Not that many, really.

48. Aficionados : LOVERS. Of an object, not each other.

50. President with a doctrine : MONROE. An attempt to keep the Old World out of the New World.

51. Bubonic __ : PLAGUE

52. Curved swords : SABERS

56. ER doc's "Right away!" : "STAT!"

57. Columnist Bombeck : ERMA

58. Girl : LASS

60. Loc.-finding tool : GPS. (global positioning system)

61. Little battery : AAA

63. Gen-__: boomer's kid, probably : Xer

64. Spot-on : APT

Looking back over the puzzle now, it seems a little dated.


Note from C.C.:

Today is Argyle's 300th LA Times write-up for us. Off the blog, he's my trusted sounding board for theme ideas and always gives me constructive feedback and advice on various issues. Thanks for being there, Santa!

Jun 24, 2012

Sunday June 24, 2012 Joel D. Lafargue

Theme: "Novelties" - TT is inserted into common phrase.

23A. Not a waste of time carving? :
WORTH THE WHITTLE. Worth the while.

36A. Tinker Bell's blabbing? :
FAIRY TATTLES. Fairy tales.

60A. Municipal mascot? :
TOWN CRITTER. Town crier.

87A. Pane in an infested attic? :
BATTY WINDOW. Bay window.

108A. Lollipop for a dog? :
SETTER SUCKER. Seer sucker.

127A. Butterfly? :
FREQUENT FLITTER. Frequent flier.

15D. Duke's Droid? :
PATTY PHONE. Pay phone.

78D. Where smoking remnants are stored? :
BUTTS DEPOT. Bus depot.

This is our first encounter with Joel D. Lafargue. Google shows has quite a few puzzles in the Simon & Schuster series, apart from his NY Times in 1997.

This puzzle is a pangram, e.g., every letter is used at least once in the grid. It has a total 96 theme squares. Rich's minimum is 84. Gridding gets more challenging if you have over 100 theme squares. Very often you end up with way too many 3-letter words, hence more abbrs & undesirble fill. This grid has 24 3-letter words. Sometimes we get this many in a 15*15 grid.


1. Pay to see cards :

5. He played Senator Vinick on "The West Wing" :
ALDA (Alan)

9. "Ma! (He's Making Eyes __)": 1921 song :
AT ME. Easy to get. Don't know the song.

13. Urge forward :

18. B&O part :

19. Mistake :

21. Marina feature :

22. Mazda two-seater :

26. Anti-apartheid author Alan :
PATON. No idea. He wrote this book: "Cry, the Beloved Country".

27. Art in a park :

28. Noticed :

29. Union chapter :

31. "Star Trek" spinoff, briefly :
TNG (The Next Generation)

32. Alway :

33. Jupiter, to Saturn :
SON. Not the planets I was picturing.

34. Tendency toward disorder :
ENTROPY. We used to have a poster using this as his avatar name.

42. Screenplays :

45. "Not __ eye in ... " :
A DRY. 2D. "There'll be __ time ..." : A HOT. 37D. Like __ in the headlights : A DEER. 39. In __: miffed : A PET. 59D. __ the finish : IN AT. 5 partials. 1 more than Rich's Sunday limit.

46. Busy IRS mo. :

47. __ Team :

50. Frome of fiction :
ETHAN. Edith Wharton's "Ethan Frome".

51. Farm spread :

52. Type of daisy :

54. Be of use :

57. Name whose Japanese symbols mean "ocean child" :
YOKO. I mentioned this on the blog before.

58. Foul-smelling :

64. Revival prefix :

65. Political theorist Hannah :
ARENDT. Well, she does have the political look. Stranger to me.

67. First skipper? :
NOAH. Clever clue.

68. Run-down urban dwelling :

70. Not quite closed :

72. Blade :

75. Sushi bar soup :
MISO. A little Tofu, a few sprinkles of green onion. Simple & perfect.

76. Amount so far :

80. Whom Cordelia called "As mad as the vex'd sea" :
LEAR. Cordelia is King Lear's youngest.

82. "Maybe later" :

86. It has a Bklyn. campus :
LIU (Long Island University). Splynter knows. He attended RPI though. Same as Spitzboov.

91. 27-day pope of 1605 :
LEO XI. Such a short reign.

92. __'acte :

94. Range rover :
STRAY. Nice clue.

95. Blue shoe material of song :

97. Limo passenger, often :
VIP. We saw a beat-up limo in flea market last week.

98. Place and Kett :

100. Flight units :

103. Moo goo __ pan :
GAI. Literally "Chicken" in Cantonese. Mandarin is "Ji". Quite different. "Ye Ji" means "wild chicken", slang for "hooker".

104. "Smooth Operator" singer :
SADE. So, Grumpy, what kind of music do you like?

105. Eponymous microbiologist Louis :

111. Most cherished :

114. "Norma __" :

115. Previously :

116. "Color me surprised" :

118. Airbus A380, vis-à-vis most other planes :

119. Bond foe :

121. Clumsy mistakes :

125. Breakfast cereal prefix :
ALPHA. Alpha-Bits.

130. Franny's title brother, in a Salinger novella :
ZOOEY."Franny and Zooey". Learning moment for me. I think it's time to put Zooey Deschanel on the clue map. She's everywhere now.

131. Support girder : I-BAR

132. Yes-Bob link :

133. Italian peak :
ETNA. In Sicily.

134. Pre-deal round :

135. Silent yeses :

136. Comes out with :

137. Retinal cells :


1. Intimidates :

3. Old Sicilian coin :

4. Hard-to-win game :
LOTTERY. Our neighbor Dwayne won $100K some time ago. Now he lost his house.

5. Like net income :

6. __-di-dah :

7. Club charges :

8. Angels' div. :
AL WEST. Pujols is heating up.

9. On-target :

10. Best-seller list datum :

11. Juicy gourd :
MELON. I love seedless mini watermelons. You? I wish I could grow them in MN.

12. Raises :

13. Plead with :

14. "O patria __": "Aida" aria :

16. Thames school :

17. Kent's Smallville sweetie :
LANG (Lana)

20. It's periodically rung out :
THE OLD. [Deskpalm!]

24. "The Kingfish" Long of early 20th-century politics :
HUEY (Long). For Haltool. I thought his nickname is "The King" due to "All the King's Men".

25. __ tube :

30. Circle piece :

35. Sympathetic sorrow :

36. Farmer Al __: Paul Terry toon :
FALFA. Did you nail this, eddyB? I drew a blank.

38. Boiling :

40. Check for fit :

41. Burn the surface of :

43. Hoodwinked :

44. Schnozzola :

48. Prefix with fauna :

49. Quarterback Hasselbeck :
MATT. For the Titans.

52. Pin money source :

53. Furry sci-fi creature :
EWOK. "Star Wars".

55. Gossip page pair :

56. Colleague of Trotsky :
LENIN. "Colleague" struck me as funny. I guess I'm used to the "Comrade" address.

61. Turkic flatbread :

62. Hot dog topping :
CHILI. Recipe for disaster.

63. Do some cobbling on :

66. Cheerios :

69. Dust speck :

71. Band with the 2010 album "Infestation" :
RATT. Very helpful clue.

73. Wetland :

74. St. Louis's __ Bridge :
EADS. Named after its designer Eads.

76. Catch some z's :

77. Utah's __ Mountains :
UINTA. I can never remember this name.

79. P.O. deliveries :

81. Coloring cosmetic :

83. Evans's news partner :
NOVAK (Bob). Heavily involved in the Valerie Plame leak scandal.

84. Nitrous __ :

85. Drop remover :

88. China's Sun __-sen :
YAT. Chiang Kai-shek succeeded him. They were brothers-in-laws.

89. Forks in the road :

90. Have on :

93. Assess :

96. Neutralizes, as a bomb :

99. Shipping routes :

101. Hidden :
PERDU. I thought it's "Lost" due to English translation of Proust's "A la Recherche du temps perdu".

102. Rude looks :

104. Moped's cousin :

106. Rhody the Ram's sch. :
URI (University of Rhode Island)

107. Brightly colored perch :
REDFIN. OK, makes sense.

109. Court activity :
TENNIS. Not judge's court.

110. Fruit with a wrinkly rind :
UGLI. Quite juicy and sweet.

112. __-Croatian :

113. Traction aid

116. Mideast strip :

117. Tar Heel State university :
ELON. I bet Jayce has a better & topical clue for ELON.

120. Another, in Ávila :

122. Bart and Lisa's bus driver :
OTTO. "The Simpsons".

123. Await judgment :

124. Ladies in Mex. :

126. Half a bray :
HEE. Hee-haw.

128. PT separators :
QRS. Man, alphabet. P Q R S T.

129. Enchanted :
FEY. JFK once described Jackie's style as "fey". That's how I learned this meaning.

Answer grid.


Jun 23, 2012

Saturday, Jun 23rd, 2012, Barry C. Silk

Theme: Saturday Silkie

Words: 70

Blocks: 37

Another Silkie in June ~! Today's puzzle was easier than both Wed and Thu as far as I am concerned - but then again, I was on the right wavelength with clues that I felt confident about when giving it the WAG - ( Wild Ass Guess...not so Wild today ). Odd grid today, too, with triple drops of 8's in the NW and SE, plus quads of 6's in the other corners; 4 10-letter answers -

21A. How waiters take orders : ONE AT A TIME - ever have a waiter/waitress take your table's order withOUT writing it down~?; impressive, especially when they get it right

52A. Best Picture of 1995 : BRAVEHEART - Better times for Mel Gibson; Have not actually sat through the whole movie, and I don't plan to, either - just came back from seeing Prometheus - ***spoiler alert ~!*** ( just my blog only, though....)

8D. Nutritious intake : SQUARE MEAL - I have discovered Greek yogurt; trying to eat better now that I am 'getting older'....

28D. It's tested using the scientific method : HYPOTHESIS

OnWARD Orthorunicans~!!!


1. Lose focus : BLUR

5. Ones arguing about diamonds: Abbr. : MGRs - Managers - I recall the days of Billy Martin of the Yankees; tried UMPS first, since I WAG-ed this as a baseball diamond reference

9. They may help you find seats : STUBS - ticket stubs

14. Race assignment : LANE - Swimming, e.g.

15. Major oil exporter : IRAQ - IRAN, OPEC, any other 4 letter places?

16. Principle : TENET

17. Press : URGE - not IRON

18. In __: unmoved : SITU - straight Latin

19. Between, overseas : ENTRE

20. Mild oath : EGAD

23. Floral accessory : LEI - Aloha

24. Musical membrane : DRUM HEAD - Here I am in my little studio, and my Ludwig '65 Blue Sparkle set

25. Stridex target : ACNE - ah, yes, I remember the days....

27. "Golly" : "OH GEE"

29. Some IDs : SSNs - Social Security Nos, and also; 64A. Old political divs. : SSRs - Soviet Socialist Republics

30. Marsupial that may be no larger than a rabbit : WALLABY - Image

32. Wyo. hours : MST - Wyoming is on Mountain Standard Time - do they skip Daylight Savings??

34. Cold War deal : SPY SWAP - One of the better James Bond 007 moments, IMHO, from "Die Another Day", where he spent 14 months in captivity, then got "swapped"

35. Cityscape feature : EDIFICE - not SKYLINE, but then again, that's redundant, again

40. Pre-1868 Tokyo : EDO

41. Remote pair, often : AA CELLS - Remote control batteries

42. Govt. investigative org. : NTSB - National Transportation Safety Board

46. Olympics host of 1956, 1960 and 2006 : ITALY - Considered TOKYO, but with 40A in the clues....

48. Lesage novel "Gil __" : BLAS - meh, French; the Wiki

49. 24 between Berlin and Hamburg, e.g. : AUTOBAHN - never been, but I would like to, one day, take a speed drive down such a road - is this a "route number"? ( there's two rt24 roads here on Long Island; one in Nassau, the other Suffolk County )

51. Tax shelter initials : IRA - common crosswordese

55. Black : INKY - not EBON

56. 2005 A.L. Hank Aaron Award winner : ORTIZ - a little help, C.C.~?? (From C.C.: David Ortiz. "Big Papi". Linda can tell you more about him. He was lousy when he was with the Twins. On the DL often. Alas! )

57. Swing around : SLUE

58. Where a stud might be found : LOBE - ear, not WALL

59. Get back together : REUNE - is this slang for Reunite? I could not find it in any online dictionary (!?!)

60. They're charged : IONS

61. One may be habitual : LIAR

62. __ guitar : STEEL - Like this one on the cover from Dire Straits

63. Friday et al.: Abbr. : SGTs - Sergeant Friday, Dragnet fame


1. They're rarely enforced : BLUE LAWS - like not being able to work or buy liquor on Sunday; back when I was sixteen, and working for Grossman's Lumber ( based in MA, do you remember them BarryG~? ), Sunday was DOUBLE time - and I worked an 8-hr shift every time

2. Stock designation : LARGE CAP - if you say so; perps got this one for me

3. Bungling : UNGAINLY

4. Swamp thing : REED - tried FERN to start

5. Protein-rich paste : MISO

6. Alfred E. Neuman feature : GRIN

7. Like "Toy Story" : RATED G

9. Cook, in a way : STEAM

10. They can follow points : TENTHS - as in .10

11. Loosens : UNTIES

12. Sportscaster Len who wrote "Spanning the World" : BERMAN

13. Mounts : STEEDS - horses, the noun

22. Super __ : TUESDAY - election fodder

26. Some transit lines : ELs - Elevated trains

27. Shortest book in the Hebrew Bible : OBADIAH

31. Dazzle : AWE

33. Personal quirk : TIC

36. 2, at times: Abbr. : FEBruary, as the months go - my B-day is 2/9/71

37. The Ohio River forms its southern border : ILLINOIS - Map

38. Candy once touted by a giraffe : CLARK BAR

39. Trying ones : ESSAYERS

42. "Return to Mayberry" actor : NABORS - Jim, who went on to his own "Gomer Pyle" TV show

43. Tank top : TURRET - nice deception, but I nailed it - not T-SHIRT

44. Phidias' "Zeus at Olympia," e.g. : STATUE - One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

45. Ox, say : BOVINE

47. Like old recorded music : ANALOG

50. Chisel's edge : BEZEL - tried BEVEL first; makes more sense; I think of a watch face when I hear BEZEL; Google feels the same way - try 'chisel bezel'....

53. Squirt : RUNT

54. Hardy's "Pure Woman" : TESS

55. Maladies : ILLS

Answer grid.