Sep 27, 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013 Matt Skoczen

Theme: Old Musicals! 4:59  (1935)

17A. *Doing more than is necessary : GOING OVER THE TOP.

22A. *Where secrets are kept : UNDER ONE'S HAT.

37A. *"The Elements of Style" co-author : E.B. WHITE.

39A. *"We're even!" : IT'S A TIE.


47A. *Words before a flip : HEADS OR TAILS.

58A. Celebration suggested by words that end answers to starred clues : A NIGHT ON THE TOWN.

Well, I have to admit, that the theme eluded me until I got to the reveal.  But I loves me an old musical, and Fred Astaire is at the top of my list...or is it Gene Kelly???

Marti reporting in today, with heartfelt thanks to Lemony for his courageous effort in writing up (yet another) definition puzzle yesterday!


1. Williams' partner in paint : SHERWIN. Timely entry for me - we are buying an investment property that needs a TON of Sherwin-Williams paint!

8. Vivid : GRAPHIC.

15. Former and current Yankee Alfonso : SORIANO. (I only needed 7 perps, and nailed it!)

16. "How sexy!" : OOH LA LA.

19. Decorates on mischief night, briefly : TPS. How naughty!

20. Norwegian saint : OLAF. V-F dilemma...perps made the choice for me.

21. Bad marks in high school? : ACNE.

26. MD's "Pronto!" : STAT.

29. Habituate : ENURE. I wanted "inure." Here's the difference.

30. New York governor before Spitzer : PATAKI. 1995-2006.

33. Prefix with tarsal : META. Foot bones connected to the ankle bone...

34. Mean: Abbr. : AVG. Hi Avg Joe!

41. OK hours : CST. Central Standard Time in Oklahoma.

42. Hot stuff : LAVA.

44. Toady : YES MAN.

45. "Blue Jasmine" director : ALLEN. Woody. New release with Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin. Has anyone seen it?

46. Map speck : ISLE.

53. Household name in household humor : ERMA. Bombeck.

54. Bologna bone : OSSO. Had to wait for perps before deciding on OSSa or OSSO.

55. Local center? : CEE. If you haven't caught on to these "letter" clues, you need to start cramming now:

     Can opener?
     Head of compliance?
     Corner opening?
     Capital of Colorado?
     First character to appear in "Carmen"?
     Chess opening?

63. Frequent park statue visitors : PIGEONS.

64. "Show Boat" (1936) standout : ROBESONPaul. 4:19 Outstanding, indeed.

65. Gives a kick : SEASONS. Bam!

66. Hanging in the balance : AT STAKE.


1. Army NCO : SSGTStaff Sergeant.

2. Earring shape : HOOP.

3. Most massive known dwarf planet : ERIS. Not a clue.

4. Dog star's first name? : RIN. Haha..."dog star" is the common name for Sirius, in the constellation Canis Major (big dog). Rin Tin Tin.

5. It may be covered : WAGON. I had WAG** and wanted WAGer. But that was just a WAG.

6. "__ Chicago": 1937 Tyrone Power film : IN OLD. About the Chicago Fire of 1871.

7. Exploding stars : NOVAE. Anyone else put NOVAs without checking perps??

8. Brit's oath : GOR. Euphemism for "G-d."

9. Balderdash : ROT.

10. Contented sigh : AHH.

11. "Say __" : PLEASE. Ahhhhh.

12. Contrive : HATCH.

13. Actress Massey : ILONA. Another figure from the '30s.

14. French royal name of yore : CAPET. From 987 - 1328.

18. Violinist Zimbalist : EFREM. Retired for the first time in 1949. Then again in 1955.

22. The Colorado runs through it : UTAH.

23. R.E.M.'s "The __ Love" : ONE I. Here's the video. 3:18

24. Bonkers : NUTTY.

25. Use a Pink Pearl : ERASE. Eraser made by Paper Mate.

26. Project detail, briefly : SPEC.ification.

27. They're run at bars : TABS.

28. Chem lab abbr. : AT. WTATomic WeighT.

31. Defeats, as a bill : KILLS.

32. European prefix : ITALO.

34. Green machines? : ATMS. Nice misdirection. Anyone remember these? 0:33

35. Medical lab vessel : VIAL.

36. Item in a pool : GENE.

38. "Did you __?!" : EVER. Having the theme in mind, I instinctively wanted to write EVAH. 3:29

40. Surplus store caveat : AS IS.

43. "Three Sisters" playwright Chekhov : ANTON.

45. Bits of advice from gramps, perhaps : ADAGES.

47. Jalopies : HEAPS.

48. "Sesame Street" striped-shirt wearer : ERNIE.

49. Cuban girlfriend : AMIGA.

50. Latin stars : ASTRA.

51. Enjoys a lucky streak : IS HOT. Parsed differently, the clue could have been "___ the Sheriff."

52. Editor Marshall and singer Lisa : LOEBS.

55. Toledo thing : COSA.

56. "Star Wars" creature : EWOK.

57. Kin of -ess : ENNE.

59. "Woo-__!" : HOO. I'm almost done!

60. Old Opry network : TNNThe Nashville Network.

61. 1942 FDR creation : OSSOffice of Strategic Services.

62. Asian occasion : TET.

And that's it for this week!

Sep 26, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013, Marti DuGuay-Carpenter

Theme: DRAT, GOLLY, EGAD, GEE WHIZ, DAGNABBIT, another Definition Puzzle even when I switch to Thursday.

Hi, Lemonade here to try to do justice to a marti masterpiece and slightly discombobulated by it being a Thursday puzzle. Each of the five theme answers are clued by a  one word non-offensive  'swear' euphemism. We will not speculate on the derivation of the terms, but just enjoy the heavy themeage, and the usual wit and fun in a marti puzzle. 3 grid spanners and two 12's (Total 69 theme squares!!) does not leave room for much flexibility, but once again she slalomed her way though this one.

17A. RATS : PIED PIPER'S TRAIL.(15). The Hamelin guy; didn't you wonder as a child, where he developed the skill of getting rats to follow?

23A. SHUCKS : PREPARES CORN (12). Well all the great corn is gone again, I enjoy fall but hate the loss of the end of the growing season.

39A. DARN : MEND WITH A NEEDLE. (15). I have about 10 pairs of socks....

50A. SHOOT : TAKE A PICTURE. (12). Imagine life before cell phones when not everything you did in life was recorded.

62A. FUDGE : ICE CREAM TOPPING.(15). And her last theme entry, appropriately enough,, the dessert.


1. Ski area helpers : T-BARS. If nothing else, starting with a ski clue should tell you who created this one. And her other favorite, 67A. Time fraction: Abbr. : N-SEC. I am sure you all remember marti loves these Letter-word guys.

6. Finish line? : TA DA. A quick inside reference to what we all wait for when we finish a puzzle.

10. Equal to the task : ABLE.

14. "Live Free __": New Hampshire motto : OR DIE. On every license plate.

15. Some are easily bruised : EGOS.

16. Sound of laughter : PEAL. And bells, hmmm.

20. "Friendly skies" co. : UAL. United AirLines.

21. Garr of "Mr. Mom" : TERI. A nice retrospective of her FILMS. (5:33)

22. "My place or __?" : YOURS. Another classic finish line.

27. Unspecified amount : ANY.

28. One of the Seven Sisters schools : VASSAR. Five are still all women. LINK.

32. Joe's sister in TV's "Under the Dome" : ANGIE. Modern, up to date cluing, just for you. How many of you watch this SHOW?

35. Salinger girl : ESME.

38. Soccer shout : OLE. Sounds like bull to me.

43. Goat quote : MAA. The old Baa/Maa debate.

44. Hurdle for a storied cow : MOON.

45. Offers thanks, in a way : PRAYS.

46. Decides one will : OPTS TO.

49. Itinerary word : VIA. From the Latin word.

57. Setting for "Beasts of the Southern Wild" : BAYOU. Unfamiliar. Hahtoolah?

60. Cloudburst, e.g. : RAIN.

61. Seasonal drink : NOG. And grog?

66. Item on a "honey-do" list : TASK.

68. "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" singer : CROCE. This SONG.(3:05)

69. Computerized city people : SIMS.

70. Former "Entertainment Tonight" co-anchor : TESH. Now for our musical INTERLUDE.(4:09)

71. Ecclesiastical council : SYNOD


1. Replenish a pint of ale, say : TOP UP. We had a debate about this one.

2. Thorny shrub : BRIAR.

3. Jane Eyre's charge : ADELE. Perhaps the most interesting CHARACTER.

4. Free : RID.

5. When sch. often starts : SEP.

6. Plains home : TEPEE.

7. Golden __: seniors : AGERS. You talkin' about me?

8. Classical Greek style : DORIC. We have discussed column before.

9. Stubborn one : ASS. The donkey.

10. They have strings attached : APRONS. Really cute clue.

11. Boyfriend : BEAU. Old timey word from the French.

12. Animal shelter : LAIR.

13. Under-the-sink joints : ELLS.

18. Modest acknowledgment of praise : I TRY. Modest?

19. Banks in fashion : TYRA. Do watch her SHOW? (1:51)

24. Bill stamp : PAID. Is that your Tattoo, Bill G.?

25. From the top : ANEW. Ooo, almost an A word.

26. Hot spot : OVEN. No, not the computer Wi-Fi kind....

29. Pop : SODA. Midwest= Pop, East Coast=Soda.

30. Compatriot : ALLY.

31. Roger who played Lord Marbury on "The West Wing" : REES. I first saw him on CHEERS.

32. BBs, e.g. : AMMO.

33. Spring tide counterpart : NEAP.

34. Hard-to-see pest : GNAT. Does this clue bug you?

35. WWII command : ETO. European Theater of Operations.

36. "Dexter" network, in listings : SHOtime. It is all over, what did everyone think?

37. Word with best or common : MAN.

40. "Don't worry about me" : I'M OK. really I am.

41. Huge production : EPIC.

42. Logician's "E," perhaps : ERAT. Q.E.D.

47. Has to sell : STOCKS. Tricky phrasing, the store has some items, they are in stock, not must sell.

48. Bullish beginning? : TAURus.

49. Chianti, in Chianti : VINO. In Vino Veritas, baby.

51. Wipe out : ERASE.

52. "Eight Is Enough" actor Willie : AAMES. In the interest of balance.

53. Sound quality : PITCH.

54. Workers' backer : UNION. Not so popular any more.

55. "But wait! There's more!" company : RONCO. Our old friend, Ron Popeil.

56. Vandalized, Halloween-style : EGGED.

57. Comedy routines : BITS.

58. Healthy berry : ACAI. My favorite BERRY.

59. Cowpoke's polite assent : YES'M.

63. Tolkien's talking tree : ENT.

64. IBM hardware : PCS. They actually sold off their PC division to Lenovo.

65. Ask too many questions : PRY.

Well I will not ask but once did everyone have a good time? Now you get the double header of a marti puzzle today and looking forward to her write up tomorrow. Not sure I will know what to do with myself. Well enjoy the last of September.

Notes from C.C.:

1) If you have not solved today's NYT, skip this message. If you have, click here. Today's masterpiece is by our Minnesota constructors Tom Pepper & Victor Barocas, both LAT constructors of course!

2) Happy Birthday to the now kidnapped Dennis, who helped me tremendously during the first few years of this blog. Here are two of my favorite Dennis photos:

Sep 25, 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 Mangesh 'Mumbaikar' Ghogre

Theme: Three's company - each of the three theme answers has a abbreviation for a type of business embedded therein. This puzzle has 16 rows and 14 columns with a left to right mirror symmetry. Our norm is 15*15 with 180 degree rotational symmetry.

19A. Animation pioneer : WALT DISNEY.  He had more nominations and won more Oscars than anyone else in history - 59 nominations leading to 22 awards. Mr Crowe of 37A didn't do quite so well.

27A. Warren Harding's successor : CALVIN COOLIDGE. I don't believe he was nominated for any Academy Awards, making him the odd man out here. Serious-looking chap too.

37A. 1999, 2000 and 2001 Best Actor nominee (he won once) : RUSSELL CROWE. He was nominated for The Insider and A Beautiful Mind and won for Gladiator in 2000.

55A. Company's main activity, and a hint to a different three-letter abbreviation hidden in 19-, 27- and 37-Across : CORE BUSINESS

Hello to everyone and hello to Wednesday already - time does fly when you're having fun. Steve here with this pretty fun puzzle from Mangesh. I like how the abbreviations for the different types of business all split on the 2-1 letter count in the "core" of each name.

(One common benefit of the Limited Company, the Incorporation and the Limited Liability Company is the fact that the personal assets of company officers are protected from claims by creditors and by lawsuits.)

Now that we're done with the corporate law lesson, let's see what else we're working with.

I had a couple of do-overs on the way - nothing too tragic but enough to keep me thinking. All good stuff.


1. Pizza Quick sauce brand : RAGU. Food! Well, almost! If you have a Trader Joe's near you, try their pizza dough for an even quicker pizza experience, it's really good.

5. Boxer's weapon : FIST

9. Frankly declare : AVOW. Had my first misstep here with AVER. I'll remember not to jump to conclusions next time.

13. Parade instrument : HORN.  I don't know how anyone manages to walk with these things, let alone play them too.

14. "The Andy Griffith Show" tyke : OPIE

15. Olin of "The Reader" : LENA. Perps all the way. I even had to look up to see if this was a movie, TV show or book reference. (It was a movie).

16. Cheers for a torero : OLES. We've had quite a few of these recently.

17. Like a blue moon : RARE. Didn't we have one last month? A blue moon is the second moon in a single month, and so named because the symbol was colored blue in the Farmer's Almanac (the first moon was colored red).

18. Overcast, in London : GREY. I can never remember which is which now as GRAY/GREY both look fine to me. So I wait for the cross to help me out.

22. Too scrupulous for : ABOVE

24. Peasant dress : FROCK

32. Jacuzzi effect : EDDY

33. 50+ group : AARP

34. Score after deuce : AD IN. This is a tennis term for those who've not come across this bit of crossword-ese before and it's shorthand for Advantage, Server.

35. Line on a map : STREET

43. Japanese fish dish : SUSHI. Food! I had sushi for lunch yesterday, one of two puzzle-coincidences for me today.

44. Battery post : ANODE

46. "Dear" one? : ABBY

47. __ qua non : SINE

51. Duds : TOGS. This has cropped up a couple of times recently, too, no?

52. Cry of pain : YIPE

53. Eat too much of, briefly : O.D. ON. I could easily overdose on sushi.

54. Poems of praise : ODES

58. Coyote's coat : FUR I see a lot of coyotes when I go hiking around LA. They're shifty-looking buggers.

59. Bridge player's blunder : RENEGE. You must follow suit in bridge if you can. Failing to do so is a renege, and you are penalized for this heinous crime.

60. Work on a garden row : HOE. I like the row/hoe rhyme

62. Garden pest : ANT

63. Low points on graphs : MINIMA. Nice word!

64. Benelux locale: Abbr. : EUR. The country grouping of Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg in Europe.

65. Billboard fillers : ADS

66. Lacking a musical key : ATONAL. Me, singing. I confine exercising my pipes to the shower to spare the rest of the world considerable anguish.

67. Souse's woe : DT'S. The bad thing about getting delerium tremens is that your hands shake so badly the only way to get a drink is to swig it straight out of the bottle until things calm down and you can pour into a glass again.

1. Frat letter : RHO

2. Longtime ISP : AOL. Calling your Internet Service Provider America On-Line seems quaint now. My first ISP was Compuserve - my email address was - not exactly the easiest thing for people to remember.

3. Got tiresome : GREW OLD

4. Not in the know : UNSAVVY

5. Old West defense : FORT

6. High-tech release of 2010 : iPAD

7. Voice-activated app for 6-Down : SIRI. Quibble - Siri is on the iPhone, unless she's hiding somewhere very remote on my iPad. I've got the iPad right here and I can't find her.

8. Football supporters : TEES. I looked quizzically at this then remembered - kicking tees.

9. African country that was a French colony : ALGERIA

10. "Well, that's weird" : VERY ODD

11. With 12-Down, sign with an arrow : ONE

12. See 11-Down : WAY

20. Island ring : LEI

21. Patriots' org. : N.F.L. The New England Patriots of the National Football League. They probably have quite a supply of 8D's

22. Serving success : ACE. Two tennis references today.

23. Horrible : BAD

25. Modern film effects, briefly : C.G.I. or Computer-Generated Imagery. It doesn't seem to be given the period-abbreviation treatment in most of the industry literature that I see.

26. Understanding : KEN

28. __ the Great: boy detective : NATE. The junior Sherlock Holmes with his dog, Sludge.

29. Rob Reiner's dad : CARL

30. Hershiser of ESPN : OREL

31. Oil bloc : OPEC. The Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries. I wonder why no abbreviation indication in the clue?

35. FICA benefit : S.S.I.

36. La-la lead-in : TRA

37. Ruddy, as a complexion : RUBICUND. Great word - I want to find someone ruddy tomorrow so I can compliment them on their complexion - or is it not a compliment?

38. Places to plug in mice : USB PORTS. Because "funny-looking 9-pin socket all the way in back of my desktop computer" doesn't fit

39. More reserved : SHYER

40. En pointe : ON TOE. Ballet. I've never seen this translated in the ballet sense though.

41. Place to store cords : WOODSHED. Very nice. A cord of wood, given that it's properly and tidily arranged, occupies 126 cubic feet, and that's a pretty big pile.

42. Beats by a whisker : EDGES OUT

43. For instance : SAY

45. Slalom curve : ESS

47. "Fine" : SO BE IT

48. Words accompanying a shrug : I DUNNO. My last misstep - I had I GUESS first as I had the I and the U

49. Like much metered parking : NOSE IN. Took my a while to see that it wasn't NO SEIN because I had NO idea what that was all about.

50. Head-scratcher : ENIGMA

56. Columnist Bombeck : ERMA

57. Country singer McCoy : NEAL

58. SFO overseer : F.A.A. The Federal Aviation Authority oversees San Francisco International airport. My second puzzle co-incidence as I was in and out of SFO yesterday, and for the first time in memory there was no inbound delay due to fog or air traffic congestion, and no delay leaving to go home. I got upgraded to First both ways, so a happy travel day for me. I ♥ United Airlines (sometimes).

61. Hesitant sounds : ERS

Good luck to Oracle Racing Team USA in the down-to-the-wire America's Cup race today. A pretty amazing comeback whichever way today's race goes.

There it is, as the chef who rolled a chicken salad in a tortilla said - "it's a wrap"


1) Note from C.C.:

For those of you who do not use Across Lite, please click here for the Chronicle puzzle George Barany and Alex Vratsanos made last Friday. He had quite a few links there. Just click on here (A PDF file created from Across Lite). There is another special puzzle he and a friend created for a speical event last Friday. Click here, you can solve interactively too.

2) Note from today's constructor Mongesh:
Rich said in his acceptance mail ... "It's a nice, tight theme and a really 
clean, fun grid". I added the word Mumbaikar to my byline  to pay a 
tribute to my city Mumbai which has been with my  crossword journey
and has given me so much.

Sep 24, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013 Kurt Krauss

Theme: Watch the Birdie - and say "CHEESE". The theme is four kinds of cheese.

17A. *1972 hit with the line "The day the music died" : AMERICAN PIE. American cheese.

26A. *County fair prize : BLUE RIBBON. blue cheese.

40A. *Home-based business : COTTAGE INDUSTRY. cottage cheese.

49A. *Beef-braised-with-tomatoes dish : SWISS STEAK. Swiss cheese.

62A. Green Bay Packer fans ... and a hint to the answers to starred clues : CHEESEHEADS

Argyle here and I've found Monday's puzzle. Anchored by a grid spanner in the middle and a subject dear to my stomach, food! This is a satisfying entertainment.


1. Babbling waterway : BROOK

6. Pillow covers : SHAMS. A decorative cover over the actual pillow case.

11. Healthful facility : SPA

14. Nocturnal primate with a ringed tail : LEMUR. The little guy with the big eyes.

15. Squiggle in "piñata" : TILDE

16. Make a mistake : ERR

19. Feel sick : AIL

20. Sharp turn : ZIG

21. Auction cry : "SOLD!"

22. "I'm innocent!" : "NOT ME!"

24. Pennsylvanie, par exemple : ÉTAT. French.

29. Receding tide : EBB

31. On edge : TENSE

32. Sambuca flavoring : ANISE

35. Place for a polar bear : FLOE

37. Street shaders : ELMS

43. __ II razor : TRAC

44. Tells in a bad way : RATS. Back in the day, "drop a dime".

45. Biblical beasts : ASSES

46. Blue gem, for short : LAPIS. Lapis lazuli, pretty as a burning shot of Sambuca.

48. "I __ you one" : OWE

53. Jones with a locker : DAVY

57. Cagney's TV partner : LACEY. Buddy cop show, ran from 1982-1988.

58. Spring bloomer : IRIS. Hey, Blue.

60. Go head-to-head : VIE

61. Prefix for the birds : AVI

66. Pince-__ glasses : NEZ

67. Prefix meaning "sun" : HELIO

68. Krupp Works city : ESSEN. On the River Ruhr in Germany.

69. Afternoon ora : TRE. Mid-afternoon time in Italia. (3:00 PM)

70. Bagel flavoring : ONION

71. "Star Wars" surname? : DETOO. (R2-D2)


1. Burn brightly : BLAZE. See 32-Across.

2. Send a money order, say : REMIT

3. Alpha's opposite : OMEGA. Start and end of the Greek alphabet.

4. "__ Man in Havana": Graham Greene novel : OUR. Made into a movie the year after it was published.

5. Barbra's "A Star Is Born" co-star : KRIS. Barbra Streisand / Kris Kristofferson (1976), Janet Gaynor / Fredric March (1937), Judy Garland and James Mason (1954).

6. Delay on purpose : STALL. But not on purpose, if it's a car.

7. Many an Indian, religiously : HINDU

8. The Eiger, e.g. : ALP

9. Start of the 16th century : MDI. (1501) Historical Events for Year 1501, LINK. (Slow year)

10. Greeted and seated : SEEN IN

11. Vehicle safety devices : SEAT BELTS

12. First-class : PRIMO. (slang)

13. Former senator Specter : ARLEN. Senator from PA, noted for switching parties.

18. __ salad : COBB. Food!

23. Excessively preoccupied : OBSESSED. Not me!

25. Precedent setter : TEST CASE

27. Boarding school jackets : ETONS

28. Bassoon vibrator : REED

30. "But I don't wanna __ pirate!": "Seinfeld" : BE A. The puffy shirt episode.

32. Do some film work : ACT

33. Partner of neither : NOR

34. Highlight in print, in a way : ITALICIZE

35. Banquet : FEAST

36. Put a match to : LIT. See 32-Across.

38. G.I. grub : MRE. (Meal, Ready-to-Eat)

39. Part of TBS: Abbr. : SYS. (Turner Broadcasting System)

41. Pinot __ : GRIS, Won't burn.

42. Detroit labor org. : UAW. (United Automobile Workers)

47. Film with a classic shower scene : "PSYCHO"

48. Sooner State migrant : OKIE

49. Bias : SLANT

50. Have second thoughts : WAVER

51. Five-letter song refrain : EIEIO. Did you know Farmer McDonald was a really bad speller?

52. Felonious fire : ARSON

54. Salt's "Halt!" : "AVAST!". Hey, talk like a pirate was last week.

55. Audio counterpart : VIDEO

56. Like "Will you marry me?" questionwise : YES/NO

59. Storage building : SHED

63. Clucker : HEN. "Hen, H,E,N,E,I,E,I,O" [buzz]

64. Yale alum : ELI

65. Suffix with Brooklyn : ESE


Sep 23, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013 Jeff Stillman

Theme: Pet Food - The theme entries can begin with "I AM" (IAMS is a pet food brand).

17A. Ending from Ali : THE GREATEST. Former boxing champion, Muhammad Ali.

21A. Ending from Nixon : NOT A CROOK. Former President, Richard Nixon.

39A. Ending from the Elephant Man : NOT AN ANIMAL. His real name was Joseph Merrick and died at 27 from his deformities. The quote comes from a movie about him.

57A. Ending from Lennon and McCartney : THE WALRUS. From a 1967 song by the Beatles, goo goo g'joob.

64A. Ending from Beyoncé : SASHA FIERCE. Recording artist Beyoncé Knowles' third studio album, I Am... Sasha Fierce. Beyoncé says Sasha Fierce is who she becomes when she performs on stage.

71A. Beginning for this puzzle's five endings : I AM

I am Argyle. Where should I begin. What a Monday. Two overlaps of theme entries on a Monday?! I admit I never heard of the last theme entry but it doesn't surprise me; not in my wheelhouse. There are a lot of three letter words (28) but offset by strong fill. Should be many comments.


1. Clods : OAFS

5. Got a chuckle out of : AMUSED

11. Roulette bet : ODD. I bet on RED and lost.

14. Lawyer's assistant, for short : PARA. (paralegal)

15. Vox __: voice of the people : POPULI. Rare crossword.

16. Architect I.M. : PEI

19. Plumbing pipe initials : PVC. Poly(vinyl chloride), the white, solid pipe.

20. Very long time : EON

23. Civil War soldier : REB. First name, Johnny.

25. Unhittable serve : ACE

27. Proverbial waste maker : HASTE

28. Ship's front : PROW

30. Dilbert creator Scott : ADAMS

34. Poet's "at no time" : NE'ER

35. Abandon on an isle : MAROON

37. Superman and Batman wear them : CAPES

42. Parcels (out) : DOLES

43. Car window adornments : DECALS

46. Atlas pages : MAPS

49. Boss's nervousness-inducing note : [SEE ME]

51. Banjo support of song : KNEE. "Oh Susanna"

52. "It's __!": warning shout : A TRAP

54. Humanities major : ART

56. Archer's wood : YEW

61. Miss. neighbor : ALA. "I come from Alabama with my banjo on my knee."

63. Salt, in Quebec : SEL. (French)

68. One: Pref. : UNI

69. Copenhagen's __ Gardens : TIVOLI

70. Hullabaloos : ADOs

72. Annie, for one : ORPHAN

73. Sibilant "Hey, you!" : [PSST!]


1. Make a choice : OPT

2. Backrub response : "AAH!"

3. Not a child of bondage : FREEBORN. Rare crossword.(if ever)

4. Pudding starch : SAGO

5. King Kong, e.g. : APE

6. Sounded ghostly : MOANED

7. Until : UPTO

8. Bird feeder filler : SUET

9. Movie lioness : ELSA. "Born Free"

10. Roadside depression : DITCH

11. Go up against : OPPOSE

12. Spend, as time : DEVOTE

13. Haggle : DICKER

18. Genetic letters : RNA

22. Plunder : RANSACK

23. Turntable no. : RPM

24. Time in history : ERA

26. Ear passages : CANALS

29. Carpentry tool : WOOD SAW

31. __ of mistaken identity : A CASE

32. "Oh, brother!" : "...MAN!..."

33. "Itsy bitsy" waterspout climber : SPIDER

Itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout
Down came the rain
And washed the spider out
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
And the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again.

36. Plains native : OTO

38. Suffix with phon- : EME. PHONEME - "distinctive sound or group of sounds,"

40. Born, in society pages : NÉE

41. Refs' whistle holders : LANYARDS

44. Grant's opponent : LEE

45. Put in stitches : SEW

46. 2009 World Series MVP Hideki : MATSUI. C.C.? (Yankees had a Hideki Matsui Bobblehead Day on July 28 this year to honor his retirement as a Yankee.)

47. Goddess who advised Odysseus : ATHENA

48. Bout before the main event, briefly : PRELIM. (preliminary)

50. Garam __: Indian spice mixture : MASALA

53. Meal, in Milan : PASTO

55. Mai __: cocktail : TAI

58. Bear's home : LAIR

59. "We'd appreciate your answer," on invitations : RSVP

60. "This is bad!" : "UH OH!"

62. Vault : LEAP

65. Half a sawbuck : FIN $10 / $5

66. Comedian Bill, informally : COS. William Henry "Bill" Cosby Jr.

67. Repair quote: Abbr. : EST.


Notes from C.C.:

Crossword LA tournament will be held on October 26, 2013 (Saturday). Please click here for details.

The host Elissa Grossman said "This year's event will include crosswords and puzzle games constructed by Liz Gorski, Jeffrey Harris, Aimee Lucido, Todd McClary, Andrea Carla Michaels, Pete Muller, Trip Payne, John Doppler Schiff, Dave Shukan, Marc Spraragen, David Steinberg and Zoe Wheeler (with development managed by Tyler Hinman). It's likely that Merl Reagle will join us for the event finals. All money raised (over costs) is donated to a great non-profit (Reading to Kids)."

Those are all brilliant constructors. I hope those in Southern California area will participate. You'll have fun! Doug Peterson will there too, and probably our own Steve & Garlic Gal and many other CA area constructors and top solvers.

Sep 22, 2013

Sunday September 22, 2013 Julian Lim

Theme: "Hurry!" -RACE can follow the last word of each them entry.

 23A. *Similarly troubled : IN THE SAME BOAT. Boat race.

 38. *Mythological trick : TROJAN HORSE. Horse race.

 63A. *Design on a shield : COAT OF ARMS. Arms race.

 78A. *Most people can't stand to work in one : CRAWLSPACE. Space race.

 100A. *Fire : GIVE THE SACK. Sack race.

 17D. *"Bor-r-r-ring!" : WHAT A DRAG. Drag race.

 82D. *Bad thing to get off on : WRONG FOOT. Footrace.

 119. Embarking on something exciting, and a hint regarding what this puzzle's starred answers' endings have in common : OFF TO THE RACES

Notice each key word has a non-RACE meaning in the theme entry? Nice!

Notice the 48 6+ letter non-theme entries in this grid?  26 of them are 7-letter answers. Julian Lim constantly amazes me with his stacked corners. He's just amazing.

Julian Lim, XWordinfo

1. Clerics in un monastère : ABBES. French, just for Abejo.

6. Scanner reading : BAR CODE

13. Directory of notables : WHO'S WHO. Do you guys follow this Bo Xilai episode at all?

20. Jeweler's aid : LOUPE

21. "Umbrella" singer : RIHANNA

22. Collaborative instructional website : WIKIHOW. My favorite non-theme entry today.

25. Muslim domain : IMAMATE. I only know IMAM.

26. Like an emcee who's overdoing it : SMARMY

27. Home to millions : SEA. Millions of fish, right?

28. High-tech film effects, for short : CGI (Computer-generated imagery)

30. Worst : PITS

31. Till the cows come home : TO NO END

33. Part of TNT : NITRO

36. Colorado River feeder : GILA

37. Acronymous 13-Down gun : STEN. From Wiki: STEN is an acronym, from the names of the weapon's chief designers, Major Reginald V. Shepherd and Harold Turpin, and EN for Enfield.  And 13D. Global conflict, briefly : WWII

42. Rapids phenomenon : EDDY

45. "That's so sweet!" : OH YOU

46. Where Rome is : NEW YORK. Gimme for Irish Miss & Argyle.

48. "In Dreams" actor : REA (Stephen). Know him, but not the movie.
49. Coral element : POLYP

53. Donne's "Death Be Not Proud," e.g. : SONNET

55. 1996 Summer Olympics star : MIA HAMM. Bill G met her a few times.

57. Good way to find a relic : IN SITU

59. It might involve a bouncing ball : KARAOKE

62. "Crowd Goes Wild" host, familiarly : REGIS. The new Fox Sports 1 program.

66. Secret observer's opening : SPYHOLE. Same as Peephole?

68. 1998 insect-world animated film : ANTZ

69. Draft status : ONE A

70. Psyche's beloved : EROS

71. Some OR workers : LPNs. What Splynter wanted yesterday.

75. Snaps : HAS A FIT

80. Ames native : IOWAN

83. Coal-rich region of central Europe : SILESIA. Learning moment for me. I bet dear Spitzboov knows. Hopefully he'll be back to the blog soon. His wife Betty had an operation last Thursday.

Spitzboov & Betty

85. How stock may be bought : ON A TIP

86. __ Faso : BURKINA. Meaning "Land of Honest People". Formerly Republic of Upper Volta.

88. Loire Valley city : NANTES. Birthplace of Jules Verne.

91. Latin clarifier : ID EST

92. Nitrogen-based dye : AZO. And 76D. Indigo dye : ANIL

93. Skinks and geckos : LIZARDS

96. Straight up : ERECT

98. Novelist Jaffe : RONA

102. Sponsor of PSAs on DUI : MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)

106. Flow forcefully : GUSH

108. Response to "Clean your room," perhaps : GROAN

109. One adding things up : TOTALER. No one uses this word.

111. Old Spice rival : AFTA

112. Seeking, in ads : ISO. No idea. In Search Of.

113. Some ER cases : ODs

116. "Keep dreaming!" : NO DICE

117. Bread with salad? : CROUTON. Nice clue.

123. Mist-ify? : ATOMIZE

124. Psyched : FIRED UP

125. Church responses : AMENs

126. Post-soak condition : WETNESS

127. "Friends" had 10 of them : SEASONS. I watched the first few in Cantonese.

128. Impetuous : HASTY


1. Glitterati groups : A-LISTS

2. Bit of wit : BON MOT

3. Lighter liquid : BUTANE

4. "Heartburn" screenwriter : EPHRON (Nora)

5. Words below a bad grade, perhaps : SEE ME

6. Cup holder? : BRA. Ha ha.

7. Strives : AIMS

8. South Korean president, 1948-1960 : RHEE.  Syngman Rhee. Rhee = Lee = Li. Same character.

9. Pool room : CABANA

10. John __ Lennon : ONO

11. Some court evidence : DNA

12. Face up to an embarrassing mistake : EAT CROW

14. "Forget __": 1964 hit : HIM

15. Striped rainforest critter : OKAPI. Hello!

16. Quiet as a mouse, e.g. : SIMILE

18. Have the __ for : HOTS

19. Have a mortgage : OWE

24. Elec. instrument : SYNTH

29. Like the "Saw" films : GORY

32. Prohibition proponents : DRYS

34. __ peace : INNER

35. Angle symbols : THETAS. No idea. I don't even remmeber what's the Chinese for this term.

36. Singer Halliwell : GERI. "Ginger Spice".

39. Love letter symbols : OOO. Marti's hugs.

40. Letters for occupants? : JUNK MAIL. I don't get this clue.

41. By hook or by crook : SOMEHOW

43. Co-star of Tom in "A Few Good Men" : DEMI. Loved the movie. Loved the Kevin Bacon character in it also.

44. Holiday tubers : YAMS

45. Vision: Pref. : OPTO

47. Marx not seen in films : KARL. Funny clue.

49. Type type : PICA

50. "__, you noblest English": "Henry V" : ON ON

51. Future D.A.'s exam : LSAT

52. First name of two Israeli prime ministers : YITZHAK (Rabin). I just don't know how to spell it.

54. __ in November : N AS

56. Shoe insert : HEEL PAD

58. Some sky lights, to some : UFOs

60. Runs : OPERATES

61. Sedgwick of "The Closer" : KYRA. Her Bacon number is 1.

64. Ancient Indians of the Four Corners region : ANASAZI. New word to me also.

65. Int.-lowering option : RE-FI

67. 1952 Winter Olympics site : OSLO

72. Baguette spread : PATE. Must be ages since LaLaLinda tasted baguette. Gluten-free bread just does not taste great.

73. "JAG" spin-off : NCIS

74. 9, perhaps: Abbr. : SEPT

77. Watch over : TEND TO

78. Reds, on scoreboards : CIN. Where is our Seen? He was quite active on the blog for sometime. The eddyB days.

79. Pique : SNIT

80. Support beam : I-BAR

81. Greek spirits : OUZO

84. Ice skater Cohen : SASHA

87. Close at hand : NIGH

89. Notable age : ERA

90. Religious offshoot : SECT

94. MLB nos. : AVGs

95. Puts a new top on : RE-ROOFS. Thought of PK's trouble with her roofers.

97. Designer cologne : CK ONE

99. Fall : AUTUMN

101. Cybermemos : E-NOTES

102. Puccini's "__ Butterfly" : MADAMA

103. Eatery where "you can get anything you want" : ALICE'S . Arlo Guthrie's " Alice's Restaurant".

104. Respectable : DECENT

105. Not casual : DRESSY

107. "Socrate" composer : SATIE. Erik! My favorite! Cool and hard-working.

110. Rabbi's study : TORAH

111. Galleria display : ARTE

112. Model Sastre : INES. Do you like Trésor? She was their spokesmodel.

114. Dimwit : DODO. Here is our Dodo, in red. Anon-T, look at the second picture clearly, you'll see Garlic Gal's spiky hair. Very cool.

L-R back row: Chickie, Clear Ayes, Garlic Gal
   Front: JD, Lucina, Dodo
June 23, 2011
L to R: JD, Garlic Gal, Chickie & Jill

115. Knock for a loop : STUN

117. Harsh bird call : CAW

118. Cologne meas. : OZs

120. Old-style "Tsk!" : FIE

121. Monk's address : FRA

122. Officejet Pro printers : HPs


Sep 21, 2013

Saturday, Sep 21st, 2013, Brad Wilber & Doug Peterson

Theme BW&DP

Words: 72 (missing J,Q,Z)

Blocks: 30

  The "other" dynamic duo appears again, this time with the authors trading places in the title; DP&BW gave us Saturday's puzzle just 3 weeks ago.  Two meaty corners tied to two grid spanners, with a pair of 10-letter climbers to tie the top and bottom halves together:

17. It's hard to write with one : NON-DOMINANT HAND - I am left-handed, and the hand-held devices UPS drivers use for package deliveries are designed with right-handed people in mind. There are some other obviously "biased" items; guitars, scissors, etc., but did you ever consider that ALL vending machines and ATMs assume you are right-handed?  Tape measures annoy me, I am polling the reading audience today to find out what your dominant hand is <--

53. Hunter's companion : GOLDEN RETRIEVER - I knew we were looking for a dog, but I had to wait for a few perps first

12. "Color me surprised!" : "I HAD NO IDEA~!"   I liked how this crossed 21D. "Hah!" : "TOLD YA~!"

Sorry for any goof-ups....I have spent the last 5 days in UPS driver training; the classes were easy, but the commute would kill me if I had to do it every week....about 90mins to get from Suffolk into NYC - and I'm talking Queens, not Manhattan - and then a minimum 2 hours on the way out.  One-way in miles?  55.  ARRGHH~!! and that's not pirate talk~!  Had this great view though



1. Faux-antique décor : SHABBY CHIC - speaking of Faux, see 7D.

11. Nurses : SIPS - anyone really reaaaly want LPNS ? (can't be); this is the "takes too long with your beer" nurses

15. Words next to many 22-Down : YOU ARE HERE; 22D. Check alternatives : Xes - I found this image, too
16. Malaysian Chinese shoe designer Jimmy : CHOO - Marti NNNNNAILED this one

19. Cub games setting: Abbr. : CDT - Dah~! went with CHI(cago) - nope - Central Daylight Time

20. Hidden Valley competitor : KEN'S - Salad dressings and marinades

22. Small-screen princess : XENA - warrior princess

23. Sing ballads, say : CROON

24. Word in a Le Pew address : CHERI and a clecho of sorts; 49. Star of Looney Tunes' "for Scent-imental Reasons" : PEPE - he's Frawnch~!

26. Tab alternative : DIET COKE - Tab, the cola; movie clip

29. Foe of the fictional spy agency CONTROL : KAOS - "would you believe...?"

30. Pump parts : TOES - On those Jimmy Choo shoes

32. Authorizing : OKing

33. First-aid practitioner, briefly : EMT - Popular this week

34. In reality : DE FACTO

36. Cutting remark : DIG

37. Don't bother : LET BE

39. Jardín occupant : FLOR - Garden and flower in Spanish

40. They're built on benches : PECS - the muscles, and bench presses

41. Pretends : PLAY-ACTS

43. Yupik craft : UMIAK - cool  - or would that be frigid?

45. Thomas who co-created "Free to Be... You and Me" : MARLO - the Wiki

46. Spanish autonomy Castile and __ : LEON

47. Astronomy Muse : URANIA - the ruling planet of my astrological sign is Uranus - check out this link here - rather racy, I must say ( but I don't like my sex 'fast' )

49. Stick with a spring : POGO

50. Brief black-and-white flash? : APB - The 'flash' of a message received in a police car (black & white) is an All Points Bulletin

56. Singer of the children's album "Camp Lisa" : LOEB - I have had this clue/answer on a Saturday before, I believe

57. Prevented from getting unruly : KEPT IN LINE

58. Minute : ITSY - dah~! Went with TINY

59. Biological cooler : SWEAT GLAND


1. What collaborators should be in : SYNC

2. Garment feature that's sometimes detachable : HOOD

3. Family title : AUNT

4. Like some news : BAD

5. Stock character? : BROKER

6. Dweller on the Red Sea : YEMENITE

7. Hutch contents : CHINA - D-Otto's story on Sunday about "faux pas" finishes reminded me of a customer I had waaay back in the day at the home improvement store; a woman came in and asked for a "china closet".  I took her to the RTA furniture department and showed her what we had.  She got very snotty with me, stating that I "must not be very smart", because that's not what she meant.  Turned out that she wanted a porcelain (china) water closet - in other words, a toilet. 

8. European trio in a Christmas song : HENS ...Four Calling Birds, three Frawnch HENS...

9. Soc. Sec. supplement : IRA

10. Rogers __: Toronto stadium : CENTRE - and then there's Rogers Arena, where the Vancouver Canucks play; Roger's got some sweet man-caves, I'd say

11. Cheesy stuff : SCHLOCK

13. Shot glass : PONY - In light of yesterday's wonderful "AA" grid spanner, I have not lifted a PONY in 8years, 8months, 13days

14. Bar supply available at the touch of a button : SODA -yeah, heavy on the Jack, light on the diet coke....

18. Pretentious : TOO-TOO

23. "Welcome to the human network" tech giant : CISCO

24. Desert mount : CAMEL - "Mike, Mike Mike, you know what day it is~!"


26. Passes out : DEALS - anyone else on the "too drunk to stand" = passes out wavelength~?

27. Phil Jackson, for most of the '70s : KNICK - Basketball; the game just interferes with the hockey season

28. Early birds? : EGGS - HAR-HAR~!

29. It may wash up onshore : KELP

31. Leaving for : OFF TO

34. Toots : DEARIE - I had a buddy who called his wife "toots" all the time

35. 2010 Western remake that garnered 10 Oscar nominations : TRUE GRIT -never saw either the original or this one

38. Presently : BY AND BY

40. Success on a mat : PIN - wrestling - don't we have some people here with young'uns who rassle?

42. Haunted house sounds : CLANKS - I went with CREAKS first

44. Farm sound : MOO-ING

46. Ton o' : LOTTA

47. Jamaican hybrid fruit : UGLI

48. Act like a pig, in a way : ROOT

50. Fitness brand : AVIA - athletic footwear

51. Ivy League member : PENN - Dah - went with YALE

52. Cultivated : BRED

54. FF's opposite : REW - Ya know, on those, um, thingies with the tapes that play in them?  Fast Forward and REWind

55. Bent piece : ELL


Note from C.C.:

I got an email from Elissa Grossman, who runs the annual Crosswords LA (this year slated for Saturday, October 26). Please click here for details.

Elissa said "This year's event will include crosswords and puzzle games constructed by Liz Gorski, Jeffrey Harris, Aimee Lucido, Todd McClary, Andrea Carla Michaels, Pete Muller, Trip Payne, John Doppler Schiff, Dave Shukan, Marc Spraragen, David Steinberg and Zoe Wheeler (with development managed by Tyler Hinman). It's likely that Merl Reagle will join us for the event finals. All money raised (over costs) is donated to a great non-profit (Reading to Kids)."

Those are all brilliant constructors. I hope you'll participate. You'll have fun! The great Doug Peterson made the puzzle for the event the past 2 years. Maybe he'll be there this year competing. I think Rich Norris (LA Times Crossword editor) was there last year also.