Oct 24, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013, Marti DuGuay-Carpenter & Jerome Gunderson

Theme: Twist and Shout,  it is anagram time!

Well this Thursday offering from our new Titanic Twosome, had me twisting in the wind in places until I finally shouted Eureka! I used up my anagram last time I blogged this pairing, so you all are on your own. Anagram puzzles are different because either you see it or you do not, which would make it very hard even with the reveal, but remember words like, Change, Shake Up, or in this case SWITCH etc. tell you it is an anagram. Lemonade here pinch writing for our shy Thursday thumper, unraveling the product of two beautiful minds. I am still not used to the day, but this had some very nice intermediate fill, such as NUDISTS, PARASOL, PATROLS, PLOPPED, CATWOMAN and SEAFARER and a couple of real challenges. Let's take a walk on the wild side and see.

20A. *Garden display : FLOWER PETALS. (12).

34A. *Paper fastener : METAL STAPLE. (11).

41A. *Feature of some kilts : KNIFE PLEATS. (11). As the grandson of a Tailor, I am embarrassed to say I did not know this TERM.

51A. Electrician's covers, and a hint to the ends of the answers to starred clues : SWITCH PLATES. (12).

Time to flick to ON and get to work.


1. Like much Oscar-night attire : CHIC. Not an easy one for me to see and I was struggling with 1 down too; This is one of those puzzles where I could provide a link for almost every answer, but I will restrain myself so you can focus on their words.

5. Under-the-sink installation : P TRAP. Is there a hyphen? For all you DIY people.

10. Take a shine to? : BUFF. Okay, maybe a few.

14. Jazz singer Horne : LENA. 70 years ago. LISTEN. (5:05). A real treat.

15. Island near Curaçao : ARUBA. Two of the three Dutch ABC islands off of the Coast of Venezuela.

16. 1930s migrant to California : OKIE. A no no? 23A. Oklahoma tribe : OTOE.

17. Far __ : EAST.

18. River where Romulus and Remus were abandoned : TIBER. My son the archaeology major named his dog REMUS, but after the Harry Potter character!

19. Hot : SEXY. Equal time.

24. Sends regrets : SAYS NO.

28. Crazed Muppet drummer : ANIMAL. A man, a woman and now for you furries, HIT IT. (0:43).

31. Bright light : NEON.

33. Bamboozled : HAD. Tricky clue for a little answer.

36. Where Andy Capp 'angs 'is 'at : 'OME.

37. Noggin : BEAN. Mr. Bean would be at 'ome with Andy.

38. Go in haste : HIE. A Shakespeare word, how cool.

39. Stretch : SPAN.

40. Med. lab letters : LDLLow-density lipoprotein The bad cholesterol. Lipo proteins often lead to liposuction.

45. Actor Wallach : ELI. He played the UGLY. (5:04).

46. Creatures of habit? : NUNS. Really fun example of the minds of our constructors.

47. Unfancy to the max? : LOATHE. Fancy meaning to like, not the adjective. Did it fool you?

48. Ready to be served : SEATED.

50. Three French horns, in a Prokofiev classic : WOLF. A true CLASSIC. (4:11).

57. Take a verbal shot at : ZING. Not to be confused with Bazzinga.

60. Small porch : STOOP. To me, it just means the steps in front of the porch.

61. Sitarist Shankar : RAVI. His famous daughter is Norah Jones, this is ANOUSHKA. (6:23).

62. Busy : AT IT.

63. Mel-Tones frontman : TORME. The velvet fog and muse for Night Court.

64. Place for the first 42-Down? : EDEN. Really cute cross-referential with 42D. Colony residents : NUDISTS. No ant colony for these two, and of course I have to add

65. Opens, as a car trunk : POPS. So many choices.

66. Sprinter's asset : SPEED.

67. Stinky : RANK. May be from our word RANCID?


1. Pitch indicator : CLEF. Man I need to go back to music class, when I was in school I was not only tone deaf, but pitch black.

2. Get back on one's feet : HEAL.

3. "You are __ much trouble!" : IN SO. a common sibling comment.

4. Supervillain with a whip : CATWOMAN, There have been so many beautiful women in that costume, who is your FAVORITE?

5. Pounds a beat : PATROLS.

6. Sheer nonsense : TRIPE. We know of the food made from entrails, so I guess it makes sense for the Slang definition: something, especially speech or writing, that is false or worthless; rubbish.

7. Hick : RUBE.  I guess there were a lot of Reubens in the country.

8. Disable the security system for, say : ABET. Complicated clue for a simple answer.

9. Lightweight umbrella : PARASOL. This is actually from the French to protect from the SOLEIL.

10. Domineering : BOSSY.

11. Maui strings : UKE. Where are all the the Hawaiians?

12. Tough spot : FIX.

13. Tina of "Date Night" : FEY. She is out of work and not happy, I hear.

21. Abbr. for the nameless? : ET AL.

22. Shipping route : LANE.

25. Patronize : SHOP AT.

26. Jet legend : NAMATH. Joe Willie, will the Jets ever have another hero?

27. Danish seaport : ODENSE. I am not really familiar with this city, though I can see the name coming from the Norse god, Odin and therefore a Jerome clue/fill. It looks like Aruba with the orange roofs.

28. Moseys : AMBLES.

29. Compass point? : NEEDLE. Another one, where you say, damn north, east, south, west are all too short.

30. Venezia's land : ITALIA. For marti our travelling saleswoman.

31. Innocents : NAIFS. The same stem as naive; there is a similar Yiddish word.

32. Foil kin : EPEE. Not tin or aluminum.

35. Deli slicing request : THIN. So why do we get it sliced thin and then out 6 pieces on the sammich?

39. Old salt : SEAFARER. Swabbie, sea dog, tar...or our missing marine?

41. More than suspected : KNEW.

43. Sat (down) ungracefully : PLOPPED. But did not fizz.

44. Hang out in the hammock : LOLL.

49. USAF E-6's : T-SGTS. "Technical Sergeant is the sixth enlisted rank (pay grade E-6) in the U.S. Air Force, just above staff sergeant and below master sergeant. " No longer a rank in the Army and not to be confused with 52D. 'Vette roof option : T-TOP. marti loves those 'letter-word' words.

50. Question before "Yeah, you!" : WHO ME?

53. Pear remnant : CORE. How cute, let's trick them and not use apple.

54. "Yay, me!" : TADA. Almost time.

55. Neck and neck : EVEN. I hope you are keeping up with me.

56. Hole on the green : SINK. Hole the verb, not the noun/ "Man, he holed a 50 footer!"

57. Static jolt : ZAP. Don't drag your feet on the carpet.

58. Skater Midori : ITO. I always link her for dear Clear Ayes, but this time I will pour a Midori sour.

so we can finish up with a

59. Swig : NIP.

What fun it is to toast these two, even with green liqueur on the rocks (sorry Tinbeni). A bit confusing for my Friday brain, but much fun. I leave you with some words from the divine one.

This is another puzzle that Jerome and I co-constructed. I love it that Rich published both in the same month! I was working on a theme idea with the unifier "SWITCH PLATE" that had anagrams of "plate" in it. When I got stuck trying to find good entries, I turned to the master of anagrams and asked for help. He suggested making PLATE plural, and came up with the theme entries.

Having only four entries, I told him I thought I could design a respectable grid, and he said: "I DON'T WANT TO BE PART OF ANYTHING RESPECTABLE!!" So that's how 42-Down got into the grid...

Note from C.C.:

Please click here to solve Marti's "Top Bananas" puzzle published at George Barany's website. Love that banana picture! Click here to see a cool picture of Marti and a funny bio. Who else on our blog can brag that he/she had a hole-in-one? Husker Gary's was a great mulligan.

Oct 23, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 C. C. Burnikel

Theme: VERMILION INTERSECTIONS,  or WHERE REPUBLICANS AND COMMUNISTS MEET AND GREET. [I refuse to call this THE RED WEDDING!]  The starred clues refer to themed answers indicating various shades of red that cross in the grid, [I dare to report with no trace of embarrassment.] 

21A. *Small fruit first cultivated in Oregon : BING  CHERRY.  Wikipedia tells us, "The cultivar was created as a crossbred graft from the Black Republican cherry in 1875 by Oregon horticulturist Seth Lewelling and his Manchurian Chinese foreman Ah Bing, for whom the cultivar is named."


12D. *Chain named for a Stones hit : RUBY TUESDAY, song and restaurant.

 58A. *Vin Scully will be its 2014 Grand Marshal : ROSE PARADE. This New Year's Day festival of equestrians, marching bands and flower-covered floats antedates the Rose Bowl football game by 12 years.  The latter was added in 1902 to help fund the former, which is now the province of the Honda motor car company.  


24D. *"Clue" suspect : MISS SCARLET

Leslie Ann Warren, shown here close to the other suspects - and tantalizingly close to a wardrobe malfunction - stepped in to play Miss Scarlet in the movie version of CLUE when director Johnathan Lynn's first choice, Carrie Fisher, went onto rehab four days before filming started.  Whether she had the DT's is unreported.

And the centrally located unifier:  41A. Humanitarian symbol, and a hint to what happens where the answers to starred clues intersect : RED CROSS.

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa here.  Our fearless leader has blended a colorful cocktail for us today, with an unusual 15 x 16 grid design, and intersecting horizontal and vertical entries long with a creative theme.  Other possibilities include beets, apples, catchup, Bob the Tomato, Rover, Erik the Viking, Lucille Ball and the Rouge River.  Let's see what else she has in store for us.


1. "Let's hear it!" : DO TELL.  I'm all ears.

7. Beginning on : AS OF.  Let's get going.

11. "Essence of Man" cologne : BRUT.  Sure.

15. Bar game fodder : TRIVIA.  Little things.

16. Old Roman coin : LIRA.  Not the ancient Roman Denarius, but the pre-1999 modern Italian currency.

17. Light, to a moth : LURE.  Can be a fatal attraction.

18. Cooks, in a way : STEAMS. Or gets angry.

19. Up the creek : IN TROUBLE.  Without a paddle: in BIG trouble.  Creek of your choice.

23. Ruler divs. : CMS.  Centimeters.  2.45 cm = 1 in.

26. '80s-'90s German chancellor : KOHL.  Helmut.

27. Brief brawls : SET TOS.  Often seen in hockey and occasionally in baseball games.

30. Kansas City footballer : CHIEF.  Only maybe.

32. L.A. commuter org. : M.T.AMetropolitan Transit Authority.  Boston, too.

33. 16-Across replacer : EURO.   Told ya!

34. Daniel Barenboim's opera house : LA SCALA.  In Milan.

36. "Agreed!" : ITS A DEAL.  Let's shake on it.

40. Surg. sites : O.R.S.  Operating Rooms.

43. BART stop : STAtion

44. Jumble : MISH-MASH.  Hodge podge.  Olio. 

46. Haiti's elder Duvalier : PAPA DOC.  President for life.

48. Somewhat, in music : POCO.  Spanish and Italian for "a little bit."

49. Oaf : APE.  Ya' big galoot.

51. Facebook option : SHARE.  Just last night I shared this vid of granddaughter Amanda's girl-guy pom routine.

52. Facebook option : STATUS.  And an immediate clecho.

55. Tool with teeth : RAKE. Because I wouldn't call a fork a tool.

57. Part of Mac OSX: Abbr. : SYStem

61. Chevy pickup : SILVERADO.  Better than a chariot.

63. "My goose is cooked!" : I'M DEAD.  Lost in the playoffs.

68. Clothing patch site : KNEE. Often scraped or simply worn through.

69. 72-Across speaker : GAEL. Some Scottish guy, perhaps.

70. Angry outburst : TIRADE.  Rant and rave.

71. "It's for you," on an env. : ATTN.  To the attention of.

72. 69-Across's tongue : ERSE. Though this word means "Irish" it refers variously to the languages of Ireland, The Hebrides and Scottish Highlands. Go figure.

73. Patron of lost causes : ST. JUDE.


1. Rehab symptoms : DTSDelerium Tremens, Latin for shaking frenzy, a symptom of withdrawal from alcohol or other sedative hypnotics.  Can be fatal if not treated.

2. Crumb : ORT.  A table scrap.

3. Bind : TIE.  Fastening fascination.

4. Actress Longoria : EVA.  Occasionally subject to wardrobe malfunctions.  You can seek them out if you wish.  That's why we have THE GOOGLY. [You can be a Googly Ogler.]

5. Life partner? : LIMB.  Ah, yes.  Life and LIMB. 

6. Vision-correcting surgery : LASIK.  Reshaping the lens with a laser.

7. Come down to earth : ALIGHT

8. "Arrowsmith" Pulitzer decliner Lewis : SINCLAIR. The first U.S. writer to receive the Noble Prize in literature.

9. Sports MD's specialty : ORTHopedics.  For all the beatings the bones and muscles take.

10. Orbitz info : FARES.  Lower the price of traveling.

11. Said suddenly : BLURTED.  And soon regretted.  [Trust me. I know these things.]

13. Google revelation : URLUniversal Resource Locator, aka, web address.

14. Titleist holder : TEE.  Golf ball perch.

20. Valuable rock : ORE.

22. Oasis seekers : NOMADS.

23. Ben-Hur's vehicle : CHARIOT.  Not as good as a SILVERADO.

25. "Gimme a __" : SEC. Well how much SECs do you need? Or maybe that should be "How many?"

28. Stump figures : ORATORS.  Talk is cheap.

29. Comfort : SOLACE.  SOLACE is golden.

30. Treads heavily : CLOMPS. Like a jack-booted thug.

31. Henhouse locale : FARM.

35. Rural expanse : LEA.

37. Brown v. Board of Education city : TOPEKA, Kansas.

38. FICA-funded org. : Social Security Administration

39. Nile snakes : ASPS.  Cleo's bane.

42. Game in which one player doesn't speak : CHARADES.  It's all an act.

45. Pizza-making need : HOT OVEN.

47. Contented sighs : AHS.

50. It can shorten a sentence : PAROLE. As can deleting a run-on subordinate clause.

53. Put to work : USE.

54. Suit material : SERGE.

56. Trims text, perhaps : EDITS.  Like deleting a run-on subordinate clause. I estimated that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows would have been more than 100 pages shorter if Rowling simply wrote better sentences.  Seriously.

59. Allen's successor on "The Tonight Show" : PAAR.  Or PARR.  Always need perp help.

60. Give off, as rays : EMIT.  Like sunshine.

61. Reggae kin : SKA.

62. Bankbook abbr. : INTerest

64. Sixers' #6 : DR. J. I didn't have his number.

65. Vichy water : EAU.  My French is all wet.

66. Put in : ADD.  As one's 2 cents worth.

67. Start to dig? : DEE.  I will refrain from adding my 2 cents worth, lest I give this fill a bad grade.

Nice puzzle, not too hard for a Wednesday, and lots of fun on the way.  I'm not seeing RED.  How about you?

Cool regards, everyone,

Oct 22, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 Bruce Venzke and Gail Grabowski

Theme: "Is that your final answer?" - The ends of the theme entries are synonyms of END. 

17A. It's heedless to go off it : THE DEEP END

28A. Car-waxing result : LUSTROUS FINISH

47A. Motion on a mound : PITCHER'S WIND-UP

63A. Director's cry, and hint to the ends of 17-, 28- and 47-Across : "THAT'S A WRAP!"

Argyle here. (I hope.) Sure got a quick send off in the NW corner. No hobos in sight.


1. Jay who's on late : LENO

5. Crop up : ARISE

10. 1974 CIA vs. KGB spoof : S*P*Y*S

14. Vehicle behind dogs : SLED

15. Summer skirt material : LINEN

16. McDonald's founder Ray : KROC

19. Davenport's state : IOWA

20. One-__: biased : SIDED

21. Ancient Mexican : AZTEC

23. HIV-treating drug : AZT

24. "Hold on __!" : A SEC

26. Family nicknames : MAMMAs and 59D. Grandma : NANA

33. Letters linking real and assumed names : AKA. (also known as)

34. Lures : ENTICES

35. Himalayan republic : NEPAL

38. Invoice add-on : TAX

39. Choir room hangers : ROBES

43. "Over my dead body!" : "NO SIREE!"

46. org. : ADA. (American Dental Association)

51. Dwarf planting : BONSAI
                               Visit Page

52. Polish prose : EDIT

53. Mil. training center : OCS. (Officer Candidate School)

54. Wood shop tool : LATHE

58. Prefix meaning "culture" : ETHNO

61. Work hard : TOIL

65. Savvy about : ONTO

66. __ voce: softly : SOTTO

67. Skye of "Say Anything ..." : IONE
68. Mark for removal : X OUT

69. Deplete : USE UP

70. Start of a classic Christmas poem : 'TWAS


1. D-Day fleet : LSTs. (Landing Ship, Tank)

2. Pre-college, for short : ELHI

3. Must have now, in memo-speak : NEED ASAP

4. Most peculiar : ODDEST

5. Stein filler : ALE

6. Kelly in Electrolux ads : RIPA. Notice the music.
7. Mother of Don Juan : INEZ

8. Transmitted : SENT

9. Natural to a region : ENDEMIC

10. Enjoy a winter sport : SKI

11. Some charity golf tournaments : PRO-AMs

12. Cry of surprise : "YOWZAH!"

13. Sings like Ella : SCATS

18. German river : EDER

22. Wicker worker : CANER

25. Runner Sebastian : COE

27. Sushi bar soup : MISO

28. PC linkup : LAN

29. Tiny Tim's instrument : UKE

30. Loosen, as laces : UNTIE

31. "Act Naturally" singer Ringo : STARR

32. Puts back together : FIXES

36. Picnic crashers : ANTS

37. From around here : LOCAL

40. Infielder's mistake : BAD THROW

41. Academic address ending : .EDU

42. Breakfast syrup source : SAP

44. Massage technique : SHIATSU. Wiki LINK.

45. Female in the flock : EWE

47. __ Raceway: Pennsylvania NASCAR track : POCONO

48. Latin for "where it originally was" : IN SITU

49. Creative output : IDEA

50. Blockhead : NITWIT

51. Anti-crow's-feet treatment : BOTOX

55. Pres. Jefferson : THOS. Abbreviated written form of Thomas.

56. Despise : HATE

57. Words to a traitor : "ET TU?"

60. Unlocks, poetically : OPES

62. Subdivision unit : LOT

64. Bread for dipping, say : SOP. We've been getting both versions of the word.
The real end.


Oct 21, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013 Erik Agard

Theme: S > > > s - Take a 5-letter word that starts with an S and is still a word after you chop off the S. Repeat the resulting word, add an S and hope it makes sense. Find an appropriate clue and you're done.

17A. German cars bought by Riyadh residents? : SAUDI AUDIS

21A. Cafeteria carriers gone missing? : STRAY TRAYS

54A. Streamlined onion relatives? : SLEEK LEEKS

59A. Stories you've heard a bajillion times? : STALE TALES

10D. Out-of-tune string instruments? : SHARP HARPS

27D. Neato water sources? : SWELL WELLS

Argyle here. You could say these are rhyming anagrams with the rows overlapping and the columns intersecting. Ambitious for a Monday but complex is Erik's forte.


1. Floating platforms : RAFTS

6. Guy or fellow : MALE

10. Haughty sort : SNOB

14. Creepy starer : OGLER

15. Top military draft category : ONE A

16. Skid row denizen : HOBO. No, no; a wino or a bum but not a hobo.

19. Not many : A FEW

20. Releases (on), as an attack dog : SICs

23. QB's mishap : INT. (interception)

24. Tennis icon Arthur : ASHE

25. Makes a choice : OPTS

26. Drawing upon : USING

28. 100-yard race : DASH

30. Shoulder wrap : SHAWL

32. "Once __ a time ..." : UPON

34. PC software : APPs

38. Rose of baseball : PETE

39. Hard to hear : FAINT

40. Was a passenger : RODE

41. Figure skater's leap : AXEL

42. Uncle Remus's __ Rabbit : BR'ER

43. Nursery-rhyme Jack or his wife : SPRAT. 11D. Like Jack 43-Across's diet : NO FAT

Jack Sprat could eat no fat.
His wife could eat no lean.
And so between them both, you see,
They licked the platter clean.

44. Put down, as floor tile : LAID

46. "__ my case" : I REST

48. Fixes with thread : SEWS

50. Plastic coffee container designed for a Keurig brewer : K-CUP

51. Sports enthusiast : FAN

57. Pie à la __ : MODE. Oops. 33D. Dessert with a crust : PIE. Often made with fruit.

58. Basketball's __ "The Pearl" Monroe : EARL. Wiki

61. Bad to the bone : EVIL

62. Promgoer's concern : ACNE

63. Leaning somewhat : ATILT. An A-word but better than ALOP.

64. Lousy grades : DEEs

65. Like so : THUS

66. inventory : SHOES. LINK


1. Big name in vermouth : ROSSI. Martini & Rossi®

2. A second time : AGAIN

3. Vary irregularly, as prices : FLUCTUATE

4. Koppel and Knight : TEDs. One newsman on TV and one TV newsman on WJM.

5. __ Lanka : SRI

6. Teeth-and-gums protector : MOUTHGUARD

7. Conductor Previn : ANDRÉ

8. "Star Wars" princess : LEIA

9. "Piece of cake!" : EASY

12. Does as directed : OBEYS

13. Curtain call acknowledgments : BOWS

18. Part of YMCA: Abbr. : ASSN.

22. How-__: instruction books : TOs

24. Feel lousy : AIL

28. Insult comic who was a frequent Johnny Carson guest : DON RICKLES. Johnny strikes back.


29. Crumb-carrying insect : ANT

30. Relaxation center : SPA

31. Put a curse on : HEX

35. Financial planner's concern : PORTFOLIO

36. Handheld computer, briefly : PDA. (personal digital assistant)

37. Go down in the west : SET

39. "The X-Files" gp. : FBI. On the TV series.

43. Ninth mo. : SEP.

45. Pop the question : ASK

47. Ploy : RUSE

48. Work really hard : SLAVE

49. Spooky : EERIE

50. Reeves of "Speed" : KEANU

52. Dancer Astaire : ADELE. Fred's sister.

53. Homes for chicks : NESTS

54. Future flower : SEED

55. J.D.-to-be's exam : LSAT. (Law School Admission Test)

56. __ A Sketch : ETCH

57. Trig or calc : MATH

60. Prof.'s helpers : TAs. (teaching assistant)


Note from C.C.:

For those who missed my link last time, here is the Washington Post article on today's constructor Erik Agard. Don't miss the weekly puzzles he posts on his blog.

Oct 20, 2013

Sunday October 20, 2013 John Farmer

Theme: "Grid Lines" - Familiar phrases are re-interpreted as if they are lines spoken in the situation specified in the clues.

23A. Borderline? : PAPERS, PLEASE. The airport immigration officers actually just looked at my visa. The visa guy at the American Consulate in Guangzhou checked my various papers.

29A. Deadline? : I'M IN HEAVEN. I'm still undecided about heaven.

43A. Beeline? : I LOVE YOU, HONEY. For Melissa, who is taking extended leave from our blog due to family matter.

60A. Skyline? : GET OFF OF MY CLOUD. The Rolling Stones song. Slight dupe with the OFF at the intersecting RUNOFF.

68A. Dateline? : YOUR PLACE OR MINE. So apt.

90A. Neckline? : KISS ME, YOU FOOL. Argyle said it's "A classic line from romantic comedies". Where did it originate?

102A. Unemployment line? : YOU'RE FIRED. Donald Trump.

111A. Foul line? : THAT'S NOT FAIR. So who are you rooting for: Cardinals or the Red Sox? Ortiz was never that good when he was with the Twins.

Total 100 theme squares. Perfect. 

I'm so happy to blog a John Farmer puzzle. As I mentioned before, John always delights me with his creative themes or innovative approach to a tried theme.

John Farmer, Xword Info

In today's puzzle, John arranged all his theme entries in Across. Since his shortest theme entries have 10 letters, he did not put any 10-letter non-theme fill in Across to confuse solvers. He put them (4) in Down. The grid also features two smooth 9's and eight lovely 8's.


1. Chocoholic, e.g. : ADDICT. I'm not. You?

7. Stadium near Citi Field : ASHE

11. Young socialite : DEB

14. Corsica neighbor : ELBA

18. Maternity dress choice : MUUMUU. How unusual. Four U's.

19. Agenda details : ITEMS

21. Actress Gardner : AVA

22. Cry out for : NEED

25. McCarthy era paranoia : RED SCARE. Thank God I did not join the Chinese Communist Party. US government would not have approved my immigration.

27. "Citizen Kane" prop : SLED. Rosebud.

28. Civil rights leader Chavez : CESAR

31. Course expectation : PAR. Golf course.

32. Copier abbr. : LTR

34. Progressing according to plan : ON TARGET

35. Natural selection adherent : DARWINIST

40. Port for a mouse : USB. Remember the old days when we had to use wired mouse & keyboard?

42. Anger : IRE

45. Refrain syllable : TRA

46. Beaut : GEM

49. Arizona tribe members : PIMAS. So are HOPIS.

50. Timber fungus : DRY ROT

51. Remedy for wearing of the green? : SOD. Golf green, correct?

52. Emerald City pooch : TOTO. "The Wizard of Oz".

53. Precursor to rocksteady music : SKA. Wiki said Rocksteady is "a successor to ska and a precursor to reggae".

54. Airport accessible via BART : SFO

55. Almond-flavored cordial : AMARETTO

57. She brought Tzeitel and Lazar together : YENTE. Saw "Fiddler on the Roof" long long time ago. Don't remember those names.

64. Children's author Asquith : ROS. She stumped some last time. Click here.  I presume she writes those posts herself?

65. Apt. ad spec : RMs

66. Number on some watches : VII

67. Chem. pollutant : PCB

74. Some former polliwogs : TOADS

77. Get together at the factory, in a way : UNIONIZE

78. Words With Friends 10-pointer : ZEE.

79. Art to dye for? : TAT (Tattoo)

80. Big biceps, at the gym : GUNS

81. Reason for a 33-Down : TIE. 33D. Post-election election : RUNOFF

82. "The quality goes in before the name goes on" manufacturer : ZENITH. Owned by LG now.

86. Pal of Porky : DAFFY

88. Old spy gp. : OSS ( Office of Strategic Services). 1942-1945. Later became CIA.

89. Raided the fridge : ATE

92. Cholesterol abbr. : HDL. The good one.

93. "__-haw!" : YEE

94. Source of "helicopter seeds" : MAPLE TREE. I don't know those seeds are called "helicopter seeds".

95. 1989 Roseanne Barr title role : SHE-DEVIL. Never saw it. With Meryl Streep.

99. __ Paulo : SAO

102. Popular : HOT. Lots of girls are rocking these Phillip Lim for Target bags.

104. Shrub in a patch : BRIER

106. West Coast sch. : UCLA

110. Spider-Man, for Peter Parker : ALTER EGO

114. MS Word files : DOCS

115. Big time : EON

116. Lucifer : SATAN

117. What John has and Joan does not : SHORT O. Tricky clue. Joan has LONG O.

118. Washed-out : ASHY

119. "Do, or do not. There is no __": Yoda : TRY

120. Respond to flattery, maybe : MELT. Ha ha.

121. Shown the door : OUSTED


1. Current units : AMPS

2. __ citizenship : DUAL

3. Bamboozle : DUPE

4. Chatted with online : IM'ed

5. Mangy mutt : CUR

6. Birthplace of the Italian Renaissance : TUSCANY. And 20D. Six, in 6-Down : SEI

7. Feels bad : AILS

8. Underhand : STEALTHY

9. Cupid's target : HEART

10. Ambulance letters : EMS

11. "Dream Lover" singer : DARIN (Bobby)

12. It may be blessed : EVENT

13. Reason to keep something under your hat? : BAD HAIR DAY. Now my hair grows longer and I'll have lots of bad hair days in winter.

14. Keep in a coop : ENCAGE

15. Pull up stakes : LEAVE

16. Artist's headgear : BERET

17. Yemen coastal city : ADEN

24. "... and that's final!" : PERIOD

26. California mission founder Junípero : SERRA

30. Stage name of musician Richard Melville Hall : MOBY

31. Fruity concoctions : PIES

35. Green Teletubby : DIPSY. Learning moment for me.

36. How great minds think? : ALIKE

37. The Colosseum, the Forum, etc. : ROMAN RUINS

38. Ky. neighbor : WVA

39. __ La Table: high-end cookware shop : SUR. Never heard of it. Google shows they have one store in ritzy Edina.

41. Words before keys or wheels : SET OF

44. Approximately : OR SO

45. Agee of '60s-'70s baseball : TOMMIE. I think I have this card. Not worth anything.

46. Defend : GO TO BAT FOR

47. Response to a double-crosser : ET TU

48. Atmosphere : MOOD

51. 2000 US Open champ Marat __ : SAFIN. Unknown figure to me.

52. AT&T, e.g. : TELCO

56. Dept. store slip : RCPT

58. TimeCutter mowers, e.g. : TOROS

59. "A Season on the Brink" airer : ESPN. About Bobby Knight. It's ESPN's first TV movie, per Wiki.

60. Torino thanks : GRAZIE

61. Show runner : EMCEE

62. J.A. Prufrock's creator : TSE (T.S. Eliot)

63. Egg: Pref. : OVI

68. Old Serbian auto : YUGO

69. Heavy load : ONUS

70. Source of patter? : LITTLE FEET. Pitter patter of little feet.

71. Hall of Famer who played the same position as Pee Wee : OZZIE (Smith). Shortstop. My first reaction is ERNIE (Banks). Anyone thought of ROBIN (Yount) or even HONUS?

72. Big name in little candy : REESE'S

73. Saks department : MEN'S

75. Green Goblin portrayer in Spider-Man films : DAFOE (Willem)

76. Fashion : STYLE

83. Forever celebrated : IMMORTAL

84. Constant Comment, e.g. : TEA. Wow, never heard of this tea. But I drink loose Chinese tea anyway.

85. Character in "Ben-Hur"? : HYPHEN. Wickedly clever clue, John!

86. "Happy Trails," e.g. : DUET

87. p.m. : AFT

89. Dangerous snake : ADDER

90. Petty on a track : KYLE. Son of Richard Petty.

91. Medium-dry sherry : OLOROSO. Mean "scented" in Spanish.

92. Charge against Galileo : HERESY

95. Some parts of Handel's "Messiah" : SOLOs

96. Storage cabinet : HUTCH. China hutch.

97. Snap : VIGOR

98. Dramatic __ : IRONY

100. Wind down : ABATE

102. "Blah ..." : YADA. I bet Husker Gary watched every "Seinfeld" episode. I probably missed a few.

103. Skid row woe : DTS

105. "__ It Romantic?": Rodgers and Hart song : ISN'T

106. Roswell craft : UFOS

107. Express lane roller : CART

108. Diet-friendly : LITE

109. Yankee nickname : A-ROD. Aroid.

112. Play killer : HAM

113. Cal. column : THU (Thursday). Calendar.

For those solvers whose paper only carries LA Times Sunday grid, I'd like to share with you this lovely poem our regular OwenKL wrote:

Ode to Crossword Puzzles

Owen Lorion, 5/11/98

Oh, grid of lines, squares black and white,
You can ofttimes be my delight
As I wrack my brain at your odious challenge,
Then try for the crosswords, an olious melange.
My spelling was poor -- you helped to improve it.
My hubris was great -- you helped to reprove it.
I once thought I had a wide vocabulary,
But often you send me to thumb my dictionary.
Proper names are the worst, of people and places;
I'm forgetful of maps, I'm forgetful of faces.
And then there's those words, archaic, obscure,
That I'm learning to use with aplomb so demure.
But my favorite task, that makes puzzles a dream,
Is to guess at the thesis, to determine a theme.
Some puzzles don't have this. Fie on them, fie!
I want puzzles with riddles, like ice cream on pie.
I want puns, I want wordplay, and what is more
I want to wish cruciverbalists my thanks galore!

Oct 19, 2013

Saturday, Oct19th, 2013, Doug Peterson & Brad Wilber

Theme: DP&BW

Words: 72 (missing Q,X,Z)

Blocks: 30

This one from our flip-flopping Saturday Duo was 50/50 for me.  I smoked through the top half, but then faltered in the bottom. Ended up taking my usual solve time. Two grid spanners:

17A. Irish folk song that was a Grammy-winning vehicle for Metallica :  WHISKEY IN THE JAR - Nailed it - a music link must....the 'official' video is more to the point, but it won't pass the "breakfast test"

but then....

53A. Woolf pack? : BLOOMSBURY GROUP - a complete unknown; learning moment

Six 10's:

1A. Italian for "little ribbons" : FETTUCCINE

12D. Asian aluminum exporter : TAJIKISTAN - Crossword constructors gotta love places with these names - map

15A. High anxiety? : ACROPHOBIA - nailed it; I know my "fear of heights" $2 word

25D. Late 1990s Nasdaq phenomenon : DOT COM BOOM - anyone here fall into this bust?

57A. Iron Man and Captain America, e.g. : TITLE ROLES - I wanted "-- HEROES", or something like that

59A. One who goes out regularly : STEADY DATE - I'm accepting applications today

And four 8's:

6D. Subcompact that debuted in 1975 : CHEVETTE - My buddy Jeff owned one in high school, and he used to like to say he had a " 'Vette "

26A. Neurologist's concern : MIGRAINE

41A. Goldbricks : GOOF OFFS - I tried GOOSE (E)GGS, but it had only one "E"; definition

35D. Seemed to own the runway, say : SASHAYED



11. Site of the Delicate Arch : UTAH - not featured in Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade, tho

16. Cold caller's reward : SALE

19. Montréal label : NOM

20. Anxious times for some : EVES - Like kids at Christmas

21. One of the halogens : IODINE - I had "SODIUM" (BZZZT~!), which is the other half of the "salt" equation; alkali metals + halogen gas = salt; periodic chart

22. Pressure source : PEER - "everybody's doing it; you're nobody if you don't~!"

23. Criticize : KNOCK

24. Make some concessions : ADAPT

29. "Get real!" : C'MON

30. Old autocrat : TSAR

32. Problematic lighting? : ARSON - firebug crime

34. Cranky : PECKISH

36. Be a burden to : TRY - "You're peckishness is TRYing my patience~!"

37. Come about : OCCUR

39. Cave-dwelling princess in Donald Duck comics : OONA

40. Mariner's org. : NASA - Dang it~! Fooled me again - not sports related; Husker got it, I'm sure

43. Rise to the top : SHINE

45. Unifying idea : MOTIF

46. Great Lakes catch : CHUB - I had SOLE, then CRAB, then CRUB....which doesn't sound any less appetizing than the actual answer

47. "Epitaph for a Spy" novelist : AMBLER - Eric, and the Wiki

49. "The Godfather" Oscar nominee : CAAN - I tried PUZO; I was 'right' - list of awards

50. Union busters of the 19th cen. : CSA - the Union of the North, and the Confederate States of America

56. Venting venue : BLOG - No one vents on OUR blog....

58. __ Martin: cognac brand : RÉMY - another potable NEVER over ice


1. Play the sycophant to, with "over" : FAWN

2. Agree by repeating : ECHO - like sycophants - "oh, yes, yes, sir~!"

3. Barber shop request : TRIM

4. Set-__: rows : TOS - a Set-to is a fight; a rOW, not rOE

5. Homeowner's concern : UPKEEP - Now that I am working as a driver 7am to 6, 7, 8, 9pm, my UPKEEP is a lot harder

7. Not as forthcoming : COYER

8. Winged University of Miami mascot : IBIS

9. Writer who said "What I cannot love, I overlook" : NIN - Anais

10. Busy with courses : EATING - Those courses

11. With 33-Across, Saturn or Mercury site : USED CAR and 33A. See 11-Down : LOT

13. Freed from radio music : ALAN - Perhaps could have used a "?", since this is a proper name here; Alan Freed - his Wiki

14. Present : HERE

18. Shout of triumph : HOORAH - DAH~!!!  I had hooraY, and that just messed me up

22. One-star write-up : PAN

23. Heineken distributor in Japan : KIRIN

24. Standard Oil offshoot : AMOCO

26. Sharks whose teeth were used in Maori jewelry : MAKOs

27. Old tongue that gave us "rotten" and "egg" : NORSE

28. Gaelic music star : ENYA

29. Thick-soled shoe : CLOG

31. Speak derisively : SCOFF

34. For now : PRO TEM - Latin, pro tempore

38. Focus of an annual festival in New Mexico : UFOLOGY - Once I put the "U" and New Mexico together, this became an 'educated' WAG - Roswell; a "great place to crash~!"

40. Penpoint : NIB

42. Ones for the record book : FIRSTS

44. Strongly motivated : HUNGRY

46. "Cheers" role : CARLA - Coach, Cliff, Diane and Woody fit, too

47. 48-Down, e.g. : ABBReviation

48. M.'s counterpart : MademoiseLLE

49. Clever : CUTE - this stymied me for a long time

50. It gets flat over time : COLA - or SODA....

51. Steak-and-kidney-pudding ingredient : SUET - Eww

52. Abbey nook : APSE - or NAVE....

54. Was taken in : BIT - I had "FIT", like clothing taken in; this is like the people taken in, or 'bit', but the DOT COM BOOM

55. Fly __ : ROD


Note from C.C.:

I hope our readers in Southern California will take part in this year's  Crossword LA to be held next Saturday Oct 26. Our own Steve will be there competing. Do say hello to today's co-constructor Doug Peterson, who will be volunteering at the event. Look, I found this nice photo of Brad & Doug & Tyler Hinman.