Feb 1, 2014

Saturday, February 1st, 2014, Doug Peterson

Theme: DP

Words: 72 (missing F,J,Q)

Blocks: 30

  Mr. Peterson is flying solo this Saturday, and while this was a challenging and solvable puzzle, there were too many proper nouns crossing people and places, which takes the enjoyment out of it, at least for me.  Heavy corners today with triple 7's, and triple 6's on the walls.  In the middle we have two 12-letter and 2 9-letter spanners;

19A. Sub : HERO SANDWICH - slightly redundant in my neck of the woods; if I said I was "going for a hero sandwich", my friend's would ask me if I was OK. 

34A. "Arrow-maker's daughter" in a Longfellow poem : MINNEHAHA - I had no clue, but once I had MINNE----, I recalled hearing this name somewhere.  According to Wiki, she's 'another' popular individual in MN

44A. Subject of weekly ratings : TV PROGRAM

55A. Where Superman made his debut : ACTION COMICS - well, I started with MARVEL COMICS, and I am sure aficionados would cringe at the thought - Action was originally published under Detective Comics; it's how we come to have DC Comics today



1. Sign with a sting? : SCORPIO - I gave this one a moment, considered "road" signs, then decided to move on - and just as I clicked to the next clue, the astrology meaning popped into my head, and the V-8 can flew

8. Anatomical blade : SCAPULA - I gave no moment to this one - had to wait on perps; oddly, there were quite a few answers that eluded me this week, and looking back, I am ashamed to admit it. 

15. Key keys for many secretaries : HOME ROW - A,S,D,F <-> J,K,L,; - my typing skills have come from AutoCAD, and keeping a daily journal on the computer for the last 9 years; on my laptop, there's literally an indent on the left end of my space bar, the "A" has worn off its key, and I still have trouble hitting comma, period, colons and quotes

16. "Guess again!" : NO SIREE~! - well then, I'll choose HOSIERY~!

17. Stacked : IN A PILE

18. Free-spirited locale? : OPEN BAR - free = open, spirits = alcohol; the local locale of the blog is Villa Incognito

21. Yahoo! rival : MSN - Microsoft Network - Internet and Email providers; yep, I went with AOL to start.

22. Bar order : RYE - Dah~! Went with ALE first

23. Certain tributes : ODES

27. Fitness brand : AVIA - my first instinct was this fill, but I had AOL in already; this meant "AA" for 4d., and that looked wrong

30. Big name in Tinseltown tittle-tattle : TMZ - Again, this was my first fill instinct; I call it  'hype' news; I can't stand the commercials, never mind the show.  Learning moment; TMZ stands for Thirty-Mile Zone, the 'studio zone' of Hollywood. 

32. Soften : RELENT - neatly followed by:

37. Score directive : LENTO - If the next word was ENTOMB, that'd be really cool.  Well....

38. __ Arizona : USS - I stared at this way too long; it took the middle "S" before the "Duh" hit me

39. Three-time McDonald's LPGA Championship winner : SE-RI PAK - Crossing Iolanthe, Dr. Zhivago and Elko is just brutal, period. 

41. Like the vb. "have" : IRRegular - that's strange; I use the word "have" pretty regularly (From C.C.: Irregular conjugation here.)

42. Loser's metaphor : SHIRT - "lost my shirt when the market crashed"

46. Make lovable : ENDEAR

48. Bolted down : ATE

49. Well-sinewed : ROPY - I went with WIRY to start

50. Face-to-face contest : DUEL - meh, not really - they're about 20 paces apart, at least using pistols.  I can see getting in close using swords, but my mind was stuck on boxing, and even chess

51. Cousin of com : ORG - DAH~!  I put in EDU, since NET wasn't going to work, nor BIZ, but for some reason, ORG completely eluded me. When I first read the clue, I thought it said c o r n , not com

53. Bud abroad : AMI - Frawnch

61. Red wood, perhaps : HOT COAL - I can walk on hot coals - of course, my shoes are ON

64. Asana accessory : YOGA MAT - I had --AT at the end, was thinking "asada", or grilled "meat", so this one took a while to appear

65. Martha's Vineyard paper since 1846 : GAZETTE

66. Train : EDUCATE

67. Like some Thanksgiving turkeys : TRUSSED - ah, not STUFFED

68. Old-fashioned messages : TELEXES


1. With 63-Down, toy from Tibet : SHIH ; 63. See 1-Down : TZU - First and last; paired clues for bookends

2. Froyo holder : CONE - we have a Frozen Yogurt place in town, but in my head, I see it as "Fro-Yo" ; froyo looks like the Spanish word for a kitchen accessory

3. Old Persian poet : OMAR

4. Pro with a tow truck : REPO MAN

5. Uptight type : PRISS - D'oh, I went with PRUDE, slowed me down

6. Gilbert and Sullivan operetta that satirizes Parliament : IOLANTHE - Never heard of this, so after I filled it in using perps, I went to Wiki

7. "Children of Men" star Clive : OWEN

8. White : SNOWY - This was just a downright awesome one-word Saturday clue/answer

9. Staples staple : COPIER - TONER, PAPER, PENCILS didn't fit, and I was AT Staples today - again, the obvious did not occur to me

10. "Hold on __!" : A SEC

11. Source of a slow leak, perhaps : PINHOLE

12. Sub finisher? : URB - SubURB - I went with ARU first -  SubARU

13. Bucolic spot : LEA

14. __ Arann: Irish carrier : AER - Again, seems obvious now that I am done

20. Physician married to Tonya Gromeko : DR. ZHIVAGO

24. "A Bronx Tale" director : DE NIRO

25. Lead on : ENTRAP

26. Dark 'n' __ (rum and ginger beer cocktail) : STORMY

27. Kept occupied : AMUSED

28. Four-armed deity : VISHNU

29. Favorable track position : INSIDE - I'm on the inside track to being recalled to drive for UPS; I've been back on the pre-load side since Jan 10th.

31. Outlet : MART

33. Nevada city : ELKO
35. Verb in first-year Spanish : ESTA

36. Patient request: Abbr. : APPT

40. Trio preceding an exchange : AREA CODE

43. Tightens, as a corset : RELACES

45. Sign of displeasure : GRIMACE - I put GRUMBLE in first; 57% correct

47. Take a turn : ROTATE

52. Beside oneself : RILED

54. Heavy hitter : MOGUL

56. Storable sacks : COTS - ah, that kind of sack

57. It may be heard in Orel arguments : NYET - Russia, that is; I was stuck on the OrAl we had Wednesday, and thought it was a biblical reference

58. Theater giant? : IMAX

59. " The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" co-star Blanchett : CATE

60. Some Fr. martyrs : STEs

61. Lic. number : HGT - I started with D.O.B., which didn't help. The abbr in the clue told me it couldn't be AGE, then a-ha~! either WGT or HGT

62. Shell mover : OAR - dah~! that kind of shell

Splynter(ed), from Wednesday's 11d.

Jan 31, 2014

Friday, January 31, 2014, Julian Lim

Theme: Before and after

Our Singapore scribe, Julian Lim, has given us 4 grid spanning theme answers, where two phrases which share a common word are put together into a single answer. ABC, the single response is made up of  both AB C and A BC. The A's are all coins (Penny, Nickel, Quarter & Dime).

Julian usually gives me fits and this was no exception, the theme jumped out at me, so that helped, but some of the hard ones were really hard. The puzzle was also heavy on initialisms. Some interesting fill like  EMERITI, EXECUTE,  IN A SUIT, LET'S SEE, MIXTAPE, RIP OPEN, SENECAN, STETTED and TONE LOC and some very up to date fill like  DROPBOX and KINECT. The corners with their side by side 7 letter down fill gave this kind of a themeless feel for me, and I know Mr. Lim does those well. But the DAYO and TONE LOC and even ST. BEDE were very challenging; ah well let's get to it.

17A. Snap of part of one's portfolio? : PENNY STOCK PHOTO. You have Penny Stock followed Stock Photo.

32A. What a Canadian band owes annually? : NICKELBACK TAXES. Nickleback is a successful Canadian family band that makes lots of money and must pay taxes, and if they are late they will owe Back Taxes.

38A. Cheap Valentine's Day gift? : DIME-A-DOZEN ROSES. I do not think there is much left for a dime a dozen, but a dozen roses generally still does the trick.

57A. Injury sustained before the semis? : QUARTER-FINAL CUT. Did anyone watch the Australian Open Tennis with all the upsets?


1. Out of the rat race, maybe: Abbr. : RETired. A nice gentle beginning.

4. Country inflection : DRAWL.

9. Discombobulate : ADDLE. If you make it Discombobulated, it is 15 letters and a prime crossword fill.

14. Chatter's caveat : IMO. In My Opinion.

15. Family nickname : AUNTY. She is the most popular of relatives, for crosswords it seems, she is also always at reunions. The AU I guess.

16. Prized mushroom : MOREL. A real shout out to C.C. and the Corner, as along with the Loon (our blog bird) we have this as our fun phallic fungus.

20. Chocolatey, circular cereal brand : OREO O'S.  Great letter combination but I have never seen this LINK.

21. Gerrymanders, say : REMAPS. No way to explain without politics, but it comes from Elbridge Thomas Gerry, the 5th Vice-president who also was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. from Marblehead, Mass.

22. Medication unit : PILL.

23. Brawl : FRAY. Comes from the same Latin stem as Friction.

25. Org. with den mothers : BSA. Boy Scouts of America.

27. Zone for DDE : ETO. European Theater of Operations.

28. Big name in 30-Across : MCAN. Thom McAn, a once leader in retail shoe sales, now just a name at Sears and K-Mart. Founded in Worcester, Mass.

30. Flats, e.g. : SHOES. Yes they did not make heels.

36. "Gun Hill Road" star Morales : ESAI.  Great CW vowel name, who I know better from NYPD Blue.

37. Recover : HEAL. I meant heel.

45. Sassy ones : SNIPS. All perps.

46. Indian intern in "Dilbert" : ASOK.

47. Business card abbr. : EXTension. Mine is 11, if you call.

48. Far from draconian : LAX.

49. Smartphone downloads : APPS. 11D. Big name in cloud storage : DROPBOX. Speaking of APPS.

51. Giants lineman Chris : SNEE. His father- in-law is the coach, Tom Coughlin. Chris played his college ball at Boston College.

52. "Venerable" Eng. monk : ST. BEDE.  An 8th century monk who was canonized while still alive. LINK.

55. Motion-sensitive Xbox accessory : KINECT. The Microsoft answer to the Wii.

60. Two-footer : BIPED. Cute.

61. High-muck-a-muck : MR BIG. Or a recurring character in Sex and the City.

62. Had a taco : ATE. Or you could have....

63. Makes tender, in a way : STEWS.

64. "We __ please" : AIM TO. The rest of the sign in the Men's room reads, "so please aim, too."

65. Composer Rorem : NED. Getting to be a regular.


1. Unwrap in a hurry : RIP OPEN. How to slow them down. LINK.

2. Retired professors : EMERITI. Plural of Emiritus, Latin E = "from" and meritus = "merit." Those who have earned the right to retire.

3. "Funky Cold Medina" rapper : TONE LOC. No clue. Listen? (4:28).

4. Ballpark rallying cry based on a 1950s hit : DAY O. More music; I have no idea about the ball park reference, but I do remember Harry Belafonte and this Banana Boat SONG. (3:02).

5. "Twin Peaks" actor Tamblyn : RUSS. A wonderful performer who was the lead Jet in West Side Story, the psychiatrist in the cult classic Twin Peaks and even worked with his daughter Amber in Joan of Arcadia.

6. Barbecue buttinsky : ANT.

7. Commerce gp. headed by Roberto Azevêdo : WTO. World Trade Organization.

8. Girdle material : LYCRA. A brand name for Spandex. IMAGE.

9. Letters on some faces : AM/PM. Clock faces.

10. Capital west of Dubai : DOHA. A too late shout out to our River Doc.

12. "Well, now ..." : LET'S SEE.

13. "Turn to Stone" band : ELO. Electric Light Orchestra.

18. Exiled Cambodian Lon __ : NOL. The palindromic despot.

19. Critical : KEY.

23. One-named Milanese model : FABIO. He was (is?) cute.

24. Protein producer : RNA.

26. Mule kin : ASS. A shout out to...oh never mind.

28. Arizona landscape features : MESAS. A shout out to our desert dwelling dears.

29. Sporting, with "in" : CLAD. Just a loincloth.

30. Desolate : STARK. Also the family name from Winterfell in Game of Thrones.

31. Symbolic ring : HALO. Trickery.

33. Put in storage : KEEP.

34. It may include a checking account : CHESS. Oh, a punny clue; last Friday's Chess themed episode of Bones was wonderful. IMO.

35. Atlantic City game : KENO. There is a great scene with Sid Caesar and Keno in what movie?

38. High-tech connection letters : DSL. Digital Subscriber Line

39. Formally attired : IN A SUIT. In the old days my daily attire, but still a nice long fill.

40. Homemade collection of songs : MIXTAPE. Lots of great movie plots around this form of musical compilation. How many of you have ever made one for a loved one?

41. Shock : ZAP.

42. Like some Lake Erie residents : SENECAN. Native American tribe.

43. Fulfill : EXECUTE. Like the game plan Denver and Seattle each hope to..... in the Super Bowl.

44. Undid a dele : STETTED. Never seen STET as a verb.

49. Fruity quencher : ADE. A nice Friday shout and the subject of a big debate at the Fiend a few days ago, as this may not be a word!

50. Prefix with frost : PERMA. A portmanteau of permanent and frost to represent under 0 degrees C. for two or more years.

51. Hit with skits and bits : SNL. Saturday Night Live.

53. Cook up : BREW. Not beer this time Tin, or is it?

54. DFW schedule data : ETDS. Estimated Time of Departures.

55. Use needles : KNIT. My youngest is dating a knitter; interesting to see a 20 something take it up.

56. "Othello" schemer : IAGO.

57. Brees and Brady: Abbr. : QBS. QuarterBacks. Our Super Bowl shout out.

58. T.G.I. time : FRIday.

59. ThinkPad maker : IBM. International Business Machine. The Apple of my childhood.

Well the puzzle, like the month went quickly. I hope you all have a Super Sunday (with Football,  Downton Abbey , and BBC's Sherlock there is much going on) and we will see how Floyd Mayweather Jr. does in his $10,000,000.00 bet on Denver. Lemonade out.

Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to dear Bill G! Love your lunch & bike ride reports. Love your animal tracks.

Bill G & Grandson Jordon, Oct 18, 2012

Jan 30, 2014

Thursday January 31, 2014 Ed Sessa

Theme: TROJAN HORSES ( 55A. Devious traps, and a hint to surprises found in 20-, 29- and 48-Across) -A horse is hidden inside each theme entry.
20A. Emulate the successful bounty hunter : CLAIM A REWARD. Mare.

29A. "To the best of my memory" : AS FAR AS I RECALL. Sire.

48A. "Shalom aleichem" : PEACE BE UPON YOU. Pony.

C.C. here. I'll just list all the entries and come back with more comments later.

Updated later:

Tomorrow is Chinese Spring Festival and 2014 is Year of the Horse. So I'm super-delighted with this puzzle from Mr. Ed.


1. Like many abbreviated terms in footnotes : LATIN. Et al.

6. "Hurlyburly" playwright David : RABE. Unknown to me.

10. Beer : BREW

14. __ ballerina : PRIMA

15. "Foaming cleanser" of old ads : AJAX

16. Champagne Tony of '60s golf : LEMA. 1964 British Open winner.
17. Biblical peak : SINAI

18. Confused state : DAZE

19. Plodding haulers : OXEN

23. Halloween creature : BAT

26. Three NASCAR Unsers : ALs

27. Part of D.A.: Abbr. : ATT (Attorney)

28. __ Fáil: Irish "stone of destiny" : LIA. I learned this from doing Xwords.

33. Chem lab event : REACTION

34. A.L. lineup fixtures : DHs (Designated Hitters). For LaLaLinda.

35. Baby powder ingredient : TALC

36. Siesta : NAP

38. Missal sites : PEWS

42. Grind : RUT

45. Start of a green adage : WASTE NOT

51. Adolphe who developed a horn : SAX. He invented Saxophone.

52. "Do the Right Thing" director Spike : LEE

53. Intraoffice IT system : LAN

54. Attach, as a codicil : ADD

59. Mechanical method : ROTE

60. Open and breezy : AIRY

61. Initial-based political nickname : DUBYA. Bush 44. (Correction: Bush 43. Thanks, John.) I liked the movie "W.". We also have ARI (2D. Bush spokesman Fleischer).

65. Touched ground : ALIT

66. Govt.-owned home financing gp. : GNMA

67. Made calls at home : UMPED. Great clue.

68. Chest muscles, briefly : PECS

69. Early temptation locale : EDEN

70. Mails : POSTS

1. 12-in. discs : LPS

3. Sardine holder : TIN

4. Colorful Apple : iMAC

5. Finger painting? : NAIL ART. Fresh entry.

 6. Hilton rival : RADISSON. Good one also.

7. In __: stuck : A JAM

8. Cairo market : BAZAAR

9. Pushed (oneself) : EXERTED

10. Explode : BLOW

11. Store name derived from the prescription symbol : REXALL

12. "Bam!" chef : EMERIL (Lagasse)

13. Film fish : WANDA.  "A Fish Called Wanda".

21. Second half of a ball game? : ALAI. Jai alai.

22. Cut with acid : ETCH

23. 1984 Olympics parallel bars gold medalist Conner : BART. Stranger to me also. 1984 is China's first Summer Olympics.

24. Out of port : ASEA

25. Nonstick cookware brand : T-FAL

30. Seaport of Ghana : ACCRA

31. Bowled over : IN AWE

32. Tree with quivering leaves : ASPEN

37. Mitt Romney's 2012 running mate : PAUL RYAN. Like the entry, not the person.

39. "The Celts" singer : ENYA

40. Stacked fuel : WOOD. Hi there Manac! Sorry for stealing your picture. I could not make the link work.

41. Poker game : STUD

43. Bruins' campus: Abbr. : UCLA

44. Like most new drivers : TEENAGE. Do you love this song also?

46. Hot springs resorts : SPAS

47. Strengthened : TONED UP

48. Prisoner's reward : PAROLE

49. Strikingly unusual : EXOTIC

50. Trailing : BEHIND

51. Purse part : STRAP

56. New York team : JETS

57. "Him __": romantic triangle ultimatum : OR ME

58. Bout of beefy battlers : SUMO

62. ER vitals : BPs. Oh, Blood Pressure.

63. "However ..." : YET

64. Product promos : ADS


Jan 29, 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 C.C.Burnikel

Theme: ALL CAPS. Each theme entry clues a state abbreviation by its capital except 46A, punctuates the resulting two-letter form and adds the solution of the second part of the clue to get to the final answer.

Wow, that took me almost as long to explain as C.C. probably spent coming up with the idea!

4A. Hartford market checker's action? : C.T. SCAN. Get your Computed Tomography scan in Connecticut.

17A. Boise jewelry? : I.D. BRACELET. Identify yourself in Idaho.

31A. Harrisburg loudspeaker network? : P.A. SYSTEM. Address your public in Pennsylvania.

41A. Jackson hair styles? : M.S. DOS. Microsoft boots your computer in Mississippi. I wanted to put AFROS here before I figured out the theme, and then one shows up at 53D!

46A. Tulsa bull pen? : O.K. CORRAL. Host your neighborhood gunfight in Oklahoma.

64A. Richmond medical center? : V.A. HOSPITAL. The Department of Veteran's Affairs takes care of you in Virginia

70A. Baton Rouge equipment? : L.A. GEAR. Get your Angeleno kicks in Louisiana.

Morning all! Steve here in a rather chilly Manhattan (18F as we speak) checking out the weather before the "Big Game" on Sunday. I can't call it by its proper name otherwise I'll get sued by the NFL! I'm scooting back to Los Angeles later today to defrost.

I thought this was a neat theme and execution from C.C. today; I was a little bamboozled at first but then had my "aha" moment with OK CORRAL and things went a lot more swimmingly after that.

Two minor nits - the 1A "Question Mark" clue was the only one of these not theme-related, and the second word of the 41A theme entry is technically also an abbreviation, the only one of the six.

Let's see what else caught my eye:


1. Fly-by-nighter? : OWL

10. To be, to Brutus : ESSE

14. Pod resident : PEA

15. La Quinta rival : RAMADA

16. Mocked, in a way : APED

19. Radius neighbor : ULNA. The smaller of the two forearm bones. I broke my right one a couple of times as a kid before my mother pretty much told me if I did it again I'd wish I'd never come home.

20. Huffington Post piece : ESSAY

21. Catches on, with "up" : WISES

23. Helen Reddy's "__ Woman" : I AM

24. Signs of approval : NODS

26. Seek, as a fugitive : HUNT

28. Like Mont Blanc : ALPINE. It's the tallest of the Alps and forms part of the border between France and Italy.

35. China's Chou En-__ : LAI

36. "My Fair Lady" composer : LOEWE.  I can't miss up the opportunity to link to the lovely Audrey Hepburn singing a Lerner and Loewe classic.

38. Piddling : MERE

39. Best of Hollywood : EDNA

42. Pull an all-nighter, perhaps : CRAM

43. "The Ides of March" actor Gosling : RYAN

44. Grind to __ : A HALT

45. Environmental prefix : ECO. Have you ever heard of anything being eco-unfriendly?

48. Lyric poems : EPODES

51. New Rochelle campus : IONA. 20 miles north of where I'm sitting. Very cool old seal.

52. Agenda unit : ITEM

53. Every little bit : ALL

54. Like Richard Burton, by birth : WELSH. Because "Hell-Raiser" doesn't fit.

58. First name on a 1945 bomber : ENOLA

62. Commotion : FLAP. Also part of a 1945 bomber.

66. Start from scratch : REDO

67. Pass by : ELAPSE

68. Spleen : IRE

69. Evangelist Roberts : ORAL. Quiet in the back.

71. Doo-wop horn : SAX


1. Mayberry kid : OPIE

2. Unites : WEDS

3. Physical exam tests : LABS

4. Coloring stick : CRAYON

5. "Tic __ Dough": old TV game show : TAC

6. Small diving ducks : SMEWS. Small enough to escape my attention all these years. They can't even be good to eat, otherwise I'd surely have heard of them. Pretty though.

7. City SW of Bogotá : CALI

8. Lemony drinks : ADES

9. Cager Archibald : NATE. Nathaniel "Tiny" Archibald, basketball Hall-Of-Famer. Of course I had no clue (and thankful for the crosses) being as he retired in 1984 and I didn't see a pro basketball game until 1993.

10. Evian water : EAU

11. Broke into small, sharp pieces : SPLINTERED.

12. Contest for a seat : SENATE RACE. I prefer musical chairs, much more fun.

13. Cheese in a red coat : EDAM. Food! Finally!

18. Delhi royal : RANI

22. Hardly outgoing : SHY

25. Beach town NW of San Diego : DEL MAR. "Where the Surf meets the Turf". The Del Mar Racetrack hosts the Grade 1 Pacific Classic Stakes each summer. Pretty place.

27. "Semper Fi" org. : U.S.M.C. Just north of Del Mar is Camp Pendleton, the West Coast base of the United States Marine Corps.

28. Last Olds model : ALERO

29. Playboy : LADY KILLER

30. Rum-and-coconut drink : PINA COLADA

31. Organ part : PEDAL

32. Illegally off base, briefly : A.W.O.L. Marines Absent Without Leave at Del Mar?

33. Six-line sonnet section : SESTET. Crosses helped me out here. I was going to use this as an excuse to quote one of my favorite Shakespeare sonnets, but then I discovered that it's Italian sonnets that have an octave followed by a sestet, whilst English ones have a quatrain followed by a couplet. I'll forget all that by tonight.

34. Bulletin board postings : MEMOS

37. Workplace protection agcy. : O.S.H.A.

40. Like most Internet trolls: Abbr. : ANON. We have our share of Anons on this blog, but most of them appear to be shy, rather than trolls, which is rather different. Unless they're cute trolls:

47. Unpolished : RAW

49. Eye : PEEPER

50. Upscale hotel chain : OMNI. Is this one in San Diego where all the Marines who go AWOL from Camp Pendleton stay when they've been to the track at Del Mar? There's a Ramada and a La Quinta close by too. Now there's a mini-theme for you!

52. "Fingers crossed" : I HOPE

53. Curly hairdo : AFRO

55. Stunt legend Knievel : EVEL

56. Singer's syllables : LA LA. Not to be confused with L.A. in 70A

57. Chase, as flies : SHAG. I had SWAT first, which slowed me down a tad.

59. Elevator man : OTIS

60. "60 Minutes" correspondent Logan : LARA

61. "Jeopardy!" fixture, to contestants : ALEX. "Crosswords for 600 please, Alex." "Answer: Rich Norris keeps this newspaper's puzzle on track".

63. Capitol Hill fig. : POL.

65. Fed. benefits agency : S.S.A.

That about wraps it up from me. I've got a nice view of the Chrysler Building from my hotel room which makes a change from the backside of the hotel next door that I'm usually looking at. Keep warm, everyone!


Jan 28, 2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 David Poole

Theme: Double Time - Geometric sequence.

20. 2002 Sandra Bullock film : "TWO WEEKS NOTICE"

24. 1981 Alan Alda film, with "The" : "FOUR SEASONS"

45. 1988 John Cusack film : "EIGHT MEN OUT"

54. 1984 Molly Ringwald film : "SIXTEEN CANDLES"

Argyle here. This ought to make our mathematicians happy. Tight theme: all movie titles.


1. Scale units: Abbr. : LBs.

4. Does as told : OBEYS

9. Jazz singer Carmen : McRAE


14. Pop-up path : ARC

15. Gold purity unit : KARAT

16. Greeted the day : AROSE

17. Resembling an equine : HORSELIKE

19. Some IRAs, informally : ROTHs

22. Like the articles "a" and "an": Abbr. : INDEF. (indefinite article)

23. Baseball Hall of Famer Speaker : TRIS

31. Spread throughout : PERMEATE

35. Enjoy eagerly : LAP UP

36. Blue hue : AQUA

37. TV host Philbin : REGIS.

40. Zip : NADA

41. They're the littlest in their litters : RUNTS

43. Peter and Paul, but not Mary : APOSTLES

48. Deserve : EARN

49. "Don't count your chickens before they hatch," e.g. : ADAGE

59. Former Portuguese colony in China : MACAU. Little over 11 sq. mi.

60. Unwilling : RELUCTANT

61. Unifying idea : THEME

62. Storm drain cover : GRATE

63. Fish eggs : ROE

64. Sharon of "Cagney &amp; Lacey" : GLESS

65. Toys that have their ups and downs : YO-YOs

66. Month after Feb. : MAR. Can't come soon enough.


1. "Chicago Hope" Emmy winner Christine : LAHTI

2. "Peanuts" family name : BROWN

3. New England food fish : SCROD

4. "Cow's Skull with Calico Roses" painter Georgia : O'KEEFFE

5. Bundle in a barn : BALE

6. "CHiPS" star Estrada : ERIK

7. Gabs and gabs : YAKS
           "Hey, this is a personal discussion."

8. Angioplasty implants : STENTS

9. Word before arts or law : MARTIAL

10. Buttery bakery buy : CROISSANT

11. Campus recruiting org. : ROTC

12. Arthur of tennis : ASHE

13. Some MIT grads : EEs. (electrical engineer)

18. Stockholm's country: Abbr. : SWE. (Sweden)

21. Mined material : ORE

25. Sculling blade : OAR. Oh, ha-ha.

26. Beehive State native : UTE. (Utah)

27. Lear's middle daughter : REGAN. (Goneril, Regan and Cordelia)

28. Iridescent gem : OPAL

29. Without a thing on : NUDE

30. Health resorts : SPAs

31. Remove the rind from : PARE

32. Kin of iso- : EQUI. “equal”

33. Hierarchy level : RUNG

34. Trig finals, e.g. : MATH EXAMS

38. Wall St. event : IPO. (initial public offering)

39. Trifling amount : SOU

42. Easter Island attractions : STATUEs

44. Batting postures : STANCES

46. G.I. ration : MRE. (meal ready to eat)

47. E, in Einstein's formula : ENERGY

50. Banned bug spray : DDT. since 1973

51. Clock radio feature : ALARM

52. Salami selection : GENOA. (hard salami)

53. Fragrant compound : ESTER

54. Political satirist Mort : SAHL

55. Slurpee alternative : ICEE

56. Fiddling emperor : NERO

57. Potter's purchase : CLAY. Good alliteration.

58. Coupe or convertible : AUTO

59. Appt. calendar entry : MTG. (meeting)


Jan 27, 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014 Patti Varol

Theme: Meanwhile, back at the lodge - Things you might find around the base of the mountain after a day on the slopes.

17A. Hitchhike : BUM A RIDE. Ski bum.

25A. Far from being in agreement : POLES APART. Ski poles.

39A. What a pep talk is meant to do : LIFT ONE'S SPIRITS. Ski lift (and spirits for Tenbeni).

51A. Graduation garb : CAP AND GOWN. Ski cap.

63A. Time relaxing in a chalet, and where the first words of 17-, 25-, 39-, and 51-Across may appear : APRÈS SKI. After ski.

Argyle here. Patti may have been inspired by Marti for this puzzle. A couple of moguls make it a bit harder than usual but a smooth run down Mount Monday.


1. Apply, as with a cotton swab : DAB

4. Dinner bills : TABs. Can you run a tab for dinners?

8. Defeat decisively : THRASH

14. Dean's email suffix : .EDU

15. Overlook : OMIT

16. "Respect" singer Franklin : ARETHA. The Queen of Soul.

19. Rented : LEASED. Maybe a little A-frame chalet in the mountains.

20. Write back : REPLY

21. Amazement : AWE


23. Pod fillers : PEAs

24. Out of the wind : ALEE. The warming hut.

28. More in need of moisturizer : DRIER. Your skin after a day on the mountain.

30. __ noire: dreaded thing : BÊTE. A person or thing especially disliked or dreaded: literally, black beast. (or a good name for a diamond ski run.)

31. Before today : AGO

33. Contact lens care brand : RENU

35. Indian prince : RAJAH

43. Pixieish : ELFIN

44. Strong veiny cheese : BLEU

45. Chanced upon : MET

46. Chess corner piece : ROOK. Castle.

49. Pizazz : OOMPH

55. Quantity of 53-Down : REAM

58. Grifter's game : SCAM

59. Diminish : EBB

60. Prima __: opera star : DONNA

61. Schoolchildren : PUPILS

66. Some nuclear trials : A-TESTS

67. Earth's natural satellite : MOON

68. Archaic : OLD

69. Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo : NERUDA. Ode to Broken Things.

70. Graph's x or y : AXIS

71. Nintendo's Super __ console : NES. (Nintendo Entertainment System)


1. Actress Messing of "Will & Grace" : DEBRA


2. "I challenge you to __!" : A DUEL

3. Took out, gangland-style : BUMPED OFF

4. Conservative Brit : TORY

5. Bordeaux boyfriend : AMI

6. Offer at Sotheby's : BID. (auction house)

7. Great bargain : STEAL

8. "Honor Thy Father" writer Gay : TALESE

9. 1,000-year Eur. realm : HRE. (Holy Roman Empire, 962–1806)

10. Come back into view : RE-APPEAR

11. In a total fog : AT SEA

12. Use wool clippers on : SHEAR

13. Owned, in the Old Testament : HADST

18. K.C. Royal, e.g. : ALer. Baseball.

22. E.B. White's "Charlotte's __" : WEB. Hey, man, check this out; there at the bottom. Wiki.

25. Ball-__ hammer : PEEN

26. Normandy river : ORNE. In northwestern France.

27. Naturally lit courtyard : ATRIUM

29. Clothing patch type : IRON-ON

31. Pale or malt brew : ALE

32. Baseball's Hodges : GIL. Played most of his career for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers.

34. PC-to-printer port : USB

36. "Sesame Street" puppeteer : JIM HENSON

37. Had a meal : ATE

38. FDR successor : HST

40. Italian dessert sometimes made with espresso : TIRAMISU

41. Like much post-Christmas business : SLOW

42. Drudge : PEON

47. Black Sea port : ODESSA

48. Old USSR spy gp. : KGB

50. Golf instructors : PROs

51. TV from D.C. : C-SPAN

52. Sharp, as an eagle's eyesight : ACUTE

53. Photocopier supply : PAPER

54. Only U.S. president born in Hawaii : OBAMA

56. Foot-to-leg joint : ANKLE

57. Hotel cleaning crew : MAIDS

60. Cozy rooms : DENS

62. U.K. business abbr. : LTD

64. Chicken __ : POX

65. French king : ROI

Argyle here.

Jan 26, 2014

Sunday January 26, 2014 Mark Feldman

Theme:  "Just Say No" - No is inserted into each common phrase.

24A. Congressman lacking influence? : LEGISLATIVE NOBODY. Legislative body.

31A. Inexperienced company leader? : NOVICE PRESIDENT. Vice president.

53A. Conquer one's Pachelbel addiction? : KICK THE CANON. Kick the can. Click here. Jayce probably needs to conquer his Pachelbel addiction. I'm not familiar with the guy or his Canon.

69A. Flight getting in at 12:00? : NOONTIME ARRIVAL. On-time arrival.

85A. Chamber group income? : NONET REVENUE. Net revenue.

103A. Promo line for an open wine bar? : BOTTOMLESS PINOT. Bottomless pit.

116A. Unimportant orbiter? : MINOR SPACE STATION. Mir Space Station.

Last Sunday we had "Oh, No!", today we have "Just Say No". Eager to see what's the gimmick for next Sunday's LAT.

Three NO's are attached to the beginning of the first word, one attached to the start of the second word, three are inserted inside the word. This multiple approach in letter insertion does not happen often with LAT.


1. Paddle : OAR

4. Peter who produced James Taylor's debut album : ASHER. Unknown figure to me.

9. Stash : STORE

14. Old Dodge : ARIES

19. Pair : DUO

20. Now, in Spain : AHORA. Vowel-rich, like most foreign words in Xwords.

21. Yam, e.g. : TUBER

22. Time-share unit, often : CONDO

23. Investment adviser's suggestion, for short : IRA. Are you still thinking of retiring, TTP?

27. Where you might see "Hello" : NAME TAG. Hello, my name is ...

29. Take on : HIRE

30. O. Henry device : IRONY

36. Wit : CARD

39. Those, in Spain : ESOS

40. Myth ending : ICAL. Mythical.

41. __ room : REC. And 46. __ room : HOTEL.

44. Really enjoyed : ATE UP

49. 1987 Costner role : NESS (Eliot)

50. Slightly, to Salieri : POCO. Italian.

51. Cheerleader's accessory : POM-POM

56. Doe in "Bambi" : ENA

57. Becoming fond of : TAKING TO

61. Rib : NEEDLE

62. "Smokey and the Bandit" city : TEXARKANA. Tex-Ark-ana. Sort of portmanteau word.

64. Scout group : TROOP

68. Tart fruits : SLOES

72. Santa ___ : MARIA

75. "Oklahoma!" aunt : ELLER

76. Gashed : LACERATED

80. Ukrainian port : ODESSA

82. Teacher's concern : ABSENTEE. Me in college. I bet Yellowrocks seldom missed her classes. Great news about your shoulder.

84. Altar vow : I DO

89. Bland stuff : PABLUM

91. Significant periods : ERAS. Cultural Revolution is certainly the most important period in my life. Been through quite a bit of the nightmares in my life.

92. Angry : IRED. Spell check does not like this word.

93. Scrawny : GAUNT

97. Family member : NIECE

98. __ Aviv : TEL

99. FDR's mother : SARA. Oh, I did not know this.

100. They're expected : PARS. For the pros.

102. Keats creations : ODES

109. Slow movement : LARGO

111. "You really think that's true?" : IS IT

112. At : TOWARDS.  I often struggle with one-word clues.

121. See 122-Across : OUT. And 122. With 121-Across, force from hiding : SMOKE

123. Persona : IMAGE

124. First-aid kit item : GAUZE

125. Half and half : ONE. Simple & effective clue.

126. Some are dominant : GENES

127. Colorado resort : ASPEN

128. Bugs' nemesis : ELMER

129. Not many : FEW


 1. Thor's father : ODIN

2. Ghostly glow : AURA

3. Gad about : ROAM

4. Finnish architect Alvar __ : AALTO. Splynter might have heard of this guy. Not me. What's his most famous work?

5. Bundle, as wheat : SHEAVE

6. Greedy : HOGGISH. Not a word I use.

7. "___ tu": Verdi aria : ERI

8. Most daring : RASHEST

9. Oldest Beatle : STARR. My former boss is named Ringo because he liked Ringo Starr. Most people in Hong Kong have a Chinese name & an English name.

10. One in a class by himself? : TUTEE. Nice clue for a blah fill.

11. Kimono sash : OBI

12. Gun : REV

13. Before, in poems : ERE

14. __ squash : ACORN.  This looks yummy & perfect for D-Otto who just went through a yankage. Never had cranberries before. I bet raisins work as well.

15. Automaton : ROBOT

16. Part of, plotwise : IN ON

17. Whirlpool : EDDY

18. Tofu base : SOY. Have any of you tried fermented Tofu? It's definitely an acquired taste. Sort of like Blue cheese.

25. Sass : LIP

26. Ratings giver : NIELSEN

28. Eventually become : END UP

32. Gentle sound : COO

33. Ruin : SINK

34. "New Jack City" actor : ICE-T

35. Short run : DASH

36. 10th century French king : CAPET. Hugh Capet. Stranger to me.

37. Make amends : ATONE

38. Big name in real estate : RE/MAX

41. Sonata section : RONDO

42. Pierre's school : ECOLE

43. Scoop holders : CONES

45. Hearty entrée : POT ROAST. I just can't seem to like beef.

47. Hosp. test : EKG

48. One who more than just trash-talks? : LITTERBUG. Ha ha.

50. Spanish dish : PAELLA

52. Deadly shark : MAKO

54. Mrs. Dithers in "Blondie" : CORA

55. Special delivery? : CESAREAN. Nice clue also.

58. Classic Welles role : KANE

59. Part of IBM: Abbr. : INTL

60. Clinch : NAIL

63. Liqueur flavorings : ANISES

65. Heraldic border : ORLE

66. Setting for Camus' "The Plague" : ORAN. Gimme!

67. Ancient Celt : PICT

70. Average : MEAN

71. Nixon, in the '50s : VEEP. To Ike.

72. "Haystacks" series painter : MONET. Monet, Manet dilemma.

73. Be gaga over : ADORE

74. Kind of artery : RENAL

77. Did floor work : TILED.  And 113. It may be 77-Down : ROOF

78. Draw out : EDUCE

79. Field protectors : DOMES

81. British bluebloods, informally : ARISTOS

83. Vast amount : SEA

86. Part of Q.E.D. : ERAT

87. ___ Beach, Fla. : VERO

88. Wax-wrapped cheese : EDAM

90. Regional life : BIOTA

94. Steal the spotlight from : UPSTAGE

95. Drop off : NAP. And 101. Drop off : SNOOZE

96. Isotope of hydrogen : TRITIUM. Learning moment to me also.

103. Penniless : BROKE

104. Fairy tale baddies : OGRES

105. Feudal lord : LIEGE

106. City near Düsseldorf : ESSEN

107. Pose : SIT

108. One with a title : OWNER

109. Green shade : LIME

110. Before long : ANON

114. Buggy site : DUNE

115. Brood : STEW

116. Stir-fry additive : MSG. Not in my stir-fry. Nor do I use any cornstarch.

117. Actress Zadora : PIA

118. Morning hrs. : AMs

119. Cover : CAP

120. Singer Bachman : TAL. Canadian singer. Also an unknown figure to me.