Mar 24, 2014

Monday, March 24, 2014 Marti DuGuay-Carpenter

Theme: Ithena - First part has an I, last part has an A.

20. Original Ice Follies slapstick skating duo : FRICK AND FRACK

28. Retaliatory equivalent : TIT FOR TAT

39. Happy heartbeat sound : PIT-A-PAT. How apt.

48. Knickknacky stuff : BRIC-A-BRAC

58. Small, irregular amounts : DRIBS AND DRABS. Origin

Argyle here with a Marti Monday. Neat how the sound of the target vowels match. Nothing forced with any of the entries and they're fun to say, too.


1. Injury reminder : SCAR

5. Pet adoption gp. : ASPCA. Some people bypass the The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and get their cats off the streets.

10. Environs : AREA

14. Nobel Peace Prize winner Wiesel : ELIE

15. U.S.-Canada defense letters : NORAD. (North American Aerospace Defense Command) More than just tracking Santa on Christmas.

16. Having a hard time deciding : TORN

17. Hard to find, to Caesar : RARA. Latin.

18. __ Gay: WWII bomber : ENOLA

19. Thom __ shoes : MCAN

23. "Just one darn minute!" : "SEE HERE!"

24. Amazed reactions : GASPS

27. Three in a deck : TREY

32. Found really groovy : DUG

34. Bud : PAL

35. Challenge : DARE

36. Part of WW II : WAR

42. Like veggies on a veggie platter : RAW

43. Expected landing hrs. : ETAs

45. Prohibition : BAN

46. Opposite of post- : PRE

51. Bible bk. with a sea crossing :

54. Trite : BANAL

55. Opie Taylor's caretaker : AUNT BEE

62. List-ending abbr. : ET AL.

64. 11th-century Spanish hero : EL CID

65. Give off : EMIT

66. Lo-cal : LITE

67. It divides the Left and Right Banks : SEINE. Ah, Paris!

68. Pal at the barbie : MATE. Are the shrimp ready?

69. Run into : MEET

70. More quirky : ODDER

71. Being, to Ovid : ESSE. More Latin.


1. Feudal farmers : SERFS

2. Red wine from Bordeaux : CLARET. More French, sorta.

3. Better ventilated : AIRIER

4. Got through to : REACHED

5. Lend __: listen : AN EAR

6. 14-line verse : SONNET

7. Cattle poker : PROD

8. Ranch newborn : CALF. 56D. 8-Down's milk source : UDDER

9. Purim month : ADAR. The sixth month of the Jewish calendar.

10. Use of one requires a PIN : ATM CARD

11. Groupie's idol : ROCK STAR

12. Significant period : ERA

13. Raggedy doll : ANN

21. Make excited : KEY UP. A rock star's appearence will key up the groupies.

22. Gone by : AGO

25. Prefix with legal : PARA

26. Ladled-out meal : STEW

29. Bucky Beaver's toothpaste brand : IPANA

30. Pub spigot : TAP

31. Envelope part : FLAP

33. Bee Gees family name : GIBB. Close to the theme. "Spicks and Specks" by the Bee Gees.

36. "Dragnet" star Jack : WEBB

37. Gillette razor brand : ATRA

38. Bad weather contingency : RAIN DATE

40. Paving goo : TAR

41. Sales manager's concern : TREND

44. Like the "A" in a Hawthorne classic : SCARLET

47. At the outer edges of the normal curve : EXTREME

49. "Sting like a bee" boxer : ALI

50. Bloodhound or boxer : CANINE

52. White House family : OBAMAs

53. Ledger entries : DEBITS. The red ones.

57. Cosmetician Lauder : ESTÈE

59. Spanish kiss : BESO

60. Iditarod transport : SLED. Dallas Seavey came from behind to win the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Story

61. Battery fluid : ACID

62. Good name for a tree-lined street : ELM

63. Dead heat : TIE


Mar 23, 2014

Sunday March 23, 2014 Annemarie Brethauer

Theme: "Call Me" - The last parts of all 7 theme entries are all cell phone related.

22A. Precursor to reality shows like "Punk'd" : CANDID CAMERA. "Punk'd" is a bit cruel. I do like Ashton Kutcher.

34A. "Oh, I give up!" : FOR THE LOVE OF MIKE. So who's the original Mike?

54A. Unlikely job for one with acrophobia? : STEEPLEJACK. The only one word entry.

71A. Deceptive action : SMOKE SCREEN

88A. 1952 Groucho Marx film : A GIRL IN EVERY PORT. Never heard of the film. In fact, I parsed the answer as A GIRL I NEVER * & could not make any sense.

107A. General Lee, in "The Dukes of Hazzard" : DODGE CHARGER

14D. "That proves it" : I REST MY CASE

Reveal entry:

63D. Where the ends of 22-, 34-, 54-, 71-, 88- and 107-Across and 14-Down can be found : MOBILE PHONE

I smiled at the puzzle title. Reminded me of those crazy "Call Me Maybe" days.

This puzzle has a perfect 100 themes squares. Rich's minimum is 84. Things get tricky when you venture into the +100 territory.

I think this is Annemarie Brethauer's first Sunday puzzle. And it's amazingly smooth and clean. Hardly any "Owen's Law" (every puzzle must have nits) moments. Congrats, Annemarie! 


1. Matter of faith : DOGMA. CREDO is 5-letter also.

6. Statutes : LAWS

10. Plays the harpy : NAGS

14. Puckish sort : IMP

17. Brooks Robinson, notably : ORIOLE. He spent his whole career with the Orioles. I once pulled a Brooks Robinson auto. Highlight of my card-collecting career.

19. John's 2008 running mate : SARAH (Palin)

20. Schubert classic : AVE MARIA

24. Least likely to make a faux pas : POLITEST. Also 105. Most fair : BLONDEST

25. Blackthorn fruit : SLOE

26. Beach feature : DUNE

27. Test in a small room, maybe : TRY ON. "Small room" here refers to "Fitting room", right?

29. Comes in last : LOSES

30. Sploshed : SPILT

32. Apothecary's bottle : PHIAL. I just call it Vial.

33. Guard : SENTRY

39. Singer Grant : AMY

40. Plant sometimes called a false shamrock : OXALIS. Unaware of this trivia. They do look similar, Irish Miss.

41. Australia's lang. : ENG

42. Intimate : IMPLY

44. __ Martin Cognac : REMY

45. Collar target : FLEA

47. Hank who voices Moe Szyslak : AZARIA.  "The Simpsons".

50. Soup holder : CUP. Most Cantonese have long-simmered soup every day. Have you been to Chinatown, Splynter?

53. "Annie" couple? : ENS. Letter N in Annie.

57. Pet shop purchase : LEASH

59. Perch : ROOST

60. Spinner in the wind : VANE. Nice clue.

61. Fell from grace : LAPSED

62. Slide preparations : SMEARS

64. North Pole explorer : PEARY (Robert). Must be a gimme for Spitzboov.

66. Straightened (up) : TIDIED

67. "Walk on By" singer Warwick : DIONNE

68. Narrated : TOLD

69. Honda, even in reverse? : CIVIC. Pangram. Hence "Even in reverse" (I meant Palindrome. Thanks, Lemonade.)

70. Reporter assigned to a platoon, e.g. : EMBED. When will "60 Minutes" bring back Lara Logan, Bill G?

74. Dancer Charisse : CYD

77. Mario Kart console : WII

78. Lampoon : SATIRE

80. Shells out : PAYS

81. Botanical balm : ALOE

82. Bath sponge : LOOFA. Or Loofah. Made from silk gourds. Common summer food for me. The Hmong farmers here grow all kinds of veggies I eat in China.

84. A pop : PER

85. Seal, in a way : TAPE UP

87. Girl o' my heart : PEG. "Peg o' My Heart".

94. Many a cottonwood : POPLAR. Also 99. Colorado resort : ASPEN

96. River nymph : NAIAD

97. Solo : ALONE

98. Rose pest : APHID

100. Smart __ : ALEC

101. Nimbus : AURA

110. Sexy sleepwear : LINGERIE. Does your daughter still work at Victoria's Secret, Dave?

111. "Silas Marner" novelist : ELIOT

112. Lacing aid : EYELET

113. Opposite of six, on a die : ONE

114. Gather : REAP

115. Phoned : RANG

116. Uplift : EDIFY


1. Severinsen and a dwarf : DOCS. The dwarf clue is enough for me. I don't quite get Johnny Carson's appeal. Was he that good?

2. Spoken : ORAL

3. Futurist painter Severini : GINO. Total stranger to me. So what does this picture try to convey?

4. Without pretension : MODESTLY

5. "Fight of the Century" contender : ALI

6. Barely believable : LAME

7. "... such stuff / As dreams __ made on": Shak. : ARE

8. Wild African pig : WARTHOG

9. "Funny Girl" actor : SHARIF (Omar). I wonder if he still lives in Egypt.

10. Italia seaport : NAPOLI

11. Stratford's river : AVON. Our Ol' Man Keith lived there for a short period.

12. Brylcreem, e.g. : GEL

13. Request at a sitting : SMILE. I don't get this clue. What sitting?
15. King novel : MISERY

16. Sitting duck : PATSY

18. Swirling currents : EDDIES

19. __ Domingo : SANTO

21. Without a key : ATONAL

23. Select : CULL

28. Edible tuber : YAM. Not YAM related, but what do you call those stacked bread in the left? Too thick to be nan.

31. Upsilon follower : PHI

32. __ code : PENAL

33. "Ice Road Truckers" truck : SEMI

34. Links cry : FORE. For golfers like Husker Gary.

35. Team in a field : OXEN. Loved the clue.

36. Ewes' guys : RAMS

37. Second in command : VEEP

38. Starfleet captain : KIRK. Star Trek.

43. Legendary attendant of Charlemagne : PALADIN. Not legendary enough. Never heard of him.

45. Own (up) : FESS

46. "Never __ Me Go": Kazuo Ishiguro novel : LET

47. Slightly open : AJAR

48. Screwball : ZANY

49. Lowest gin card : ACE

51. Secondhand : USED

52. Prof's degree : PHD

54. What's-his-face : SO AND SO

55. Went like the dickens : TORE

56. Skirt : EVADE

58. Really amazing, to a dude : EPIC. So EPIC success for Kenye West to lobby and put Kim K on Vogue cover? Don't remember Anna Wintour had to defend her cover choice before. Probably an epic fail for her.

59. Artist Magritte : RENE

61. Not taped : LIVE

62. __ Valley, Calif. : SIMI

64. Slipshod : POOR

65. Actress Sommer : ELKE

66. Binds : TIES

67. Web revealer : DEW. This refers to dew drops on a spider web, yes?

68. "OMG, stop telling me all this!" : TMI

69. Call out : CRY

71. Doe's beau : STAG

72. Use : SPEND

73. Give a hoot : CARE

74. "Pinocchio" goldfish : CLEO. Saw this clue before. Still forgot.

75. "In __ Eyes": Peter Gabriel hit : YOUR

 76. Agcy. : DEPT

79. Miles off : AFAR

81. Stood before the court : APPEARED

83. Flashing flirtatious looks : OGLING

84. Self-playing instrument : PIANOLA

85. Lozenge : TROCHE

86. Writer Rand : AYN

87. Ribbed fabric : POPLIN. Learning moment for me.

89. Keeping up (with) : IN STEP

90. Kool Moe Dee genre : RAP

91. German ballads : LIEDER. Plural of Lied.

92. Worker with many keys : VALET. Car keys.

93. Fridge juice: Abbr. : ELEC. V8 moment!

94. Cellist Casals : PABLO

95. One doing sums : ADDER. I'm a preferrer of the snake clue.

99. Cambodia setting : ASIA. Hope they find the plane soon. The tone in various Chinese blogs is getting extremely harsh.

100. All aflutter : AGOG

102. Hybrid citrus fruit : UGLI. It's in our grocery store.

103. Snorkeling site : REEF

104. Affectedly cultured : ARTY

106. Before, to Byron : ERE

108. Continuous babble : DIN

109. "I see," at sea : AYE


Mar 22, 2014

Saturday, Mar 22nd, 2014, Ed Sessa

Theme: None

Words: 72 (missing J,Q, 2wks in a row)

Blocks: 34

Mr. Sessa is another dreaded Saturday constructor for me, and today was just what I expected from him.  To be fair, this one had an even distribution of "dig down deep", vagueness, proper names, and letter-count entries - two near-spanners of 14, two 11- letters, four 9's, two 8's, and six 7's.  Some of the longer answers;

20a. Whistle-accompanying words : GET A LOAD OF THAT - the wolf whistle comes to mind

30a. Create norms for : STANDARDIZE

39a. They're undeveloped : BLANK SLATES

52a. 1998 Coen brothers comedy : THE BIG LEBOWSKI - IMDb - gotta admit, I have not seen it, and I have heard it's great - didn't know it was the Coen Bros.

Ow, da R.N.~?


1. 1953 comeback hero? : SHANE - before my time; "Come back" refers to the closing scene

6. Blood __ : CLOT - ah, not "TYPE"

10. Stare : GAWP - my only WTF moment today; I have heard of gawK, not this -  but KAR (13d.) made no sense to me

14. China from America : LENOX - an "educated WAG"

15. Mishmash : HASH - rhyme time

16. Historic act signed by Pres. Nixon : OSHA - the Occupational Safety and HEALTH Administration (D'oh~!)

17. Gut feeling : AGITA - I considered "HUNCH", but I sensed it wasn't playing nice with my other answers

18. Gardner with plots : ERLE - learned from doing crosswords

19. Peterhof Palace resident : TSAR - my first inkling, but CZar, or TSar?

23. Marble counter feature : SLAB TOP - meh, a marble counter IS a slab top, no?  maybe it's my construction background....

24. Bearish? : URSINE

26. Yet, poetically : E'EN - 'PC' for "even" - that is, Poetically Correct

27. Woodworking tool : ADZE - nailed it; but it was a bit of a WAG

29. "Solaris" author Stanislaw __ : LEM - His 1961 book became a 1972 movie, and then it was remade in 2002 with George Clooney

34. Strengthen, in a way : ARM

35. Window component : PANE - we've been "vagued" by this before; HEAD, RAIL, JAMB, SASH, SILL, an STOP would all work

36. It's at eye level : EAR - drawing instruction lesson #1 - I like when the proportions are distorted in caricatures

37. A deadly sin : ENVY - ah, not LUST

38. Tedious : OLD

43. "King Kong" studio : RKO

44. "Symphonie espagnole" composer : LALO

45. Experiences : HAS

46. Chocolate-covered candy : KIT-KAT - I can't stand their TV commercials at all

48. Assigned work : SET TASK - ROUTINE fit, too

55. __ Southwest Grill: restaurant chain : MOE'S

56. "Movies You Grew Up With" channel : FLIX

57. Get behind, as a desk : SIT AT

58. Fix : CURE - not MEND, DARN, HEAL

59. Topnotch : A-ONE

60. Where to find Independence Hall? : C NOTE - very good - the image on the back of a $100 bill

61. Wee : ITSY - not TINY or IOTA

62. Medicare Advantage gps. : HMOs

63. Keats' "The Eve of St. __" : AGNES


1. Converts into metallic waste : SLAGs - doesn't sound right, but it's the back-formed verb from the word for the by-product of ore smelting

2. German idealism pioneer : HEGEL - I tried HESSE first

3. Baker with Grammys : ANITA

4. "Pay attention," in legal papers : NOTA BENE - Latin for "note well"

5. Lofty : EXALTED

6. For peanuts : CHEAP

7. Pastry maker's ingredient : LARD

8. Munch Museum city : OSLO

9. Gangsters' foes, in old films : "THE FUZZ", the heat, Five-O

10. Fourth-century Germanic invaders : GOTHS

11. Cop's quarry : ASSAILANT

12. "Of all the gall!" : "WHAT NERVE~!"

13. Course number : PAR - Golf Course

21. O'Neill's daughter : OONA - another crossword learned name

22. One leaving in spring? : TREE - LEAF-ing, that is

25. Woman-holding-an-atom statuettes : EMMYs - some history

27. Hersey bell town : ADANO

28. Clive Cussler hero Pitt : DIRK - anyone recall who DIRK DIGGLER was?

30. Foon's cousin : SPORK - oh, duh - my first thought was that a "Foon" was a type of bird, and STORK was looking pretty good....

31. Chat to settle a spat : TALK IT OUT

32. Inclusive phrase : AND OTHERS - nice to see "et alia" spelled out

33. Utter : REAL

37. White House theater location : EAST WING

39. Yak : BLAB

40. Queen born Dana Owens : LATIFAH - Rapper/songwriter turned movie and TV star

41. Cowboy singer Wooley : SHEB - Learning moment - I have heard of THIS song, but not its performer

42. Play that inspired Puccini : La TOSCA

47. Nurse Ratched creator : KESEY - "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", Ken Kesey's 1962 novel, and the great 1975 film - one of three to take all 5 major awards

48. Classifies, as kittens : SEXES

49. __ Martin : ASTON - James Bond's DB-5 was in "Goldfinger", which reappeared in "Skyfall"; the latest model was the DBS in Quantum of Solace - more here

50. Blade holder, maybe : SKATE

51. Wingless fliers : KITES - Great, more kites

53. Latch (onto) : GLOM

54. Start to type? : LINO - a LINOtype machine was used in printing

55. 2006 Verizon acquisition : MCI


Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to dear PK, the real one. PK used to be a newspaper reporter and must have exposed plenty of dirty tricks in those days. I hope it's a lovely day & you can work on your garden, PK.

Mar 21, 2014

Friday, March 21, 2014, John Guzzetta

Theme: Scrambles are not anagrams, or are they? If you listen to MONTY PYTHON, the new words do not have to be words.

This is an anagram, oops, a scrambled letter puzzle in which the letters in the word FEAST are shuffled inside other theme answers. This is a very common theme, but with a lovely unifier. This is John's second LAT, both this month. The puzzle does not really feel like a Friday with too many 3 and 4 letter words, but there is much originality and challenge such as EFFLUENT, POTATO GUN,  STUNT KITE, EMULATION and in the theme TASTEFUL JOKE, GWEN STEFANI, MOVEABLE FEAST, and  OFFICE STAFF.

We begin with the reveal:

35A. Pentecost, e.g., and what can literally be found in this puzzle's four other longest answers : MOVEABLE FEAST (13). This clue was very difficult for me. while I have studied Christianity, the existence of these 25+ feast days was beyond my ken, and Barbie was no help either. My thought was of the memoirs of HEMINGWAY. Once filled, I loved this new way to tell us the puzzle has anagrams scrambled letters.

17A. Annual Christmas party group : OFFICE STAFF. (11) When I worked with big companies, the competition to look great among the staff was entertaining, and troublesome, and often not tasteful.

29A. Humor that won't offend : TASTEFUL JOKE. (12) "There is this guy driving down the road. He’s got 17 penguins in his car. This cop sees him, stops him, and says, “I don’t know what’s going on here. But you’ve got to take these penguins to the zoo.” The guy’s like, “OK.” The next day the guy is driving and he has the same 17 penguins in the car. The same cop pulls him over and says, “Look, man, I stopped you yesterday and I told you to take these penguins to the zoo.” The guy says, “I took them to the zoo. Today we’re going to the beach.”

43A. Exercised caution : PLAYED IT SAFE. (12)

57A. Singer with the debut solo album "Love. Angel. Music. Baby." : GWEN STEFANI. (11). LISTEN. (3:30).

On to the rest...


1. Chess ploy : GAMBIT. This term is used by most mystery writers to explain a plot twist, I will defer to the chess players out there, but I note chess has been central in the plot of two TV mystery/detective shows recently. Thoughts?

7. Antique cane topper : KNOB. I was looking for something more esoteric like WOLF.

11. Home of the N.Y. Rangers : MSG. Madison Square Garden.

14. Fund-raising targets : ALUMNI. The requests never stop.

15. Wrath, in a hymn : IRAE. Not to confuse, 41A. "This American Life" host Glass : IRA.

16. Scarfed down : ATE

19. Small group : DUO. Three's a crowd, two is a duo? More numbers,  24A. Thrice due : SEI. Italian for 6. (3x2).

20. Brightened, with "up" : LIT. Her eyes lit up whenever George Clooney came into the room.

21. Bible book : RUTH.  The story of Ruth and Boaz is important in understanding kindness and conversion. To which we all say....

22. "Let it be so!" : AMEN.

25. Wetlands protection org. : EPA. Environmental Protection Agency. ???????????

26. "Driving Miss Daisy" setting : ATLANTA. The other Georgia.

31. Long poem : EPOS.

33. One of two Pauline epistles: Abbr. : CORinthians.

34. "__ for Innocent": Grafton novel : I IS. I recently was rereading some of her early work to see where she went wrong, and was reminded that her next door neighbor, Henry Pitts, the retired baker also constructed crossword puzzles. Her 'clues' were not great.

40. Same old thing : RUT. I assume for the wagon wheels. To get out, sometimes you must....

42. Run : FLEE.

48. Theatergoer's option : MATINEE.

49. Fla. NBA team : ORLando Magic, having lost Shaq years ago and Dwight Howard more recently, this is a tough place to coach.

50. Maker of "3 Series" cars : BMW. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG.  4D. ASCAP rival : BMI. Broadcast Music, Inc. Aren't you glad we already discussed this company?

53. "Beloved" author Morrison : TONI.

54. Fromage hue : BLEU. Fromage = Cheese,  in French; Bleu = Blue an anagram?

55. Yay relative : RAH. I believe they are cousins.

56. Part of a disguise : WIG.

61. Loan letters : IOU. Cute.

62. Lisa's title : MONA. Do you think of Mona as Lisa's title? Really means like Madam Lisa.

63. Passes : ENACTS.

64. Relaxing retreat : INN. Or better yet, this LINK.

65. Against : ANTI.

66. Winning run, perhaps : STREAK.


1. Pens for Dickens? : GAOLS. Nice two level trickery, as we first must see the 'pen' to mean penitentiary, not what CD wrote with. Then recalling the British term GAOL is needed to solve.

2. Caine title role : ALFIE. What's it all about?

3. Civilian garb : MUFTI. Since it is casual FRIDAY.

5. Grow : INCREASE.

6. Jams : TIE UPS. Traffic.

7. Social group : KITH. KIN you believe it, it is back so soon!

8. Org. co-founded by Gen. George Wingate : NRA. National Rifle Association. HISTORY. Did not know this fact. I wonder if this covers 32D. Relative of a T-shirt launcher : POTATO GUN. See it Believe IT.

9. Knucklehead : OAF.

10. Happen to : BEFALL. Not what it is when Summer ends....

11. Got some attention : MADE NOISE. Used by TV commenters ad nauseam.

12. Flier that may have four lines : STUNT KITE. So much I do not know about KITES. I did read The Kite Runner.

13. Prefix with thermal : GEO.

18. "Right away!" : STAT.

23. Key abbr. : MAJ. And a related (?) 46D. Fifths on a staff : SOLS. Music people can explain why this means G Major, but with STAFF in a theme fill, I am surprised to see staff in a clue.

26. "He makes no friends who never made __": Tennyson : A FOE. Not to be confused with the author of Robinson Crusoe.

27. Grass-and-roots layer : TURF. Unlike a BG mistake here.

28. '50s Dem. presidential hopeful : AES. Adlai Ewing Stevenson, II, son of the vice-president under Grover Cleveland.

29. Good, in Hebrew : TOV. Mazel Tov all.

30. Brilliance : ECLAT.

31. Effort to equal others : EMULATION.

36. Hill worker : AIDE. Capitol Hill.

37. Creamy spread : BRIE. More soft cheese.

38. Flowing out : EFFLUENT. The Latin stem "E" from, "AD" to.

39. Tankard contents : ALE. yeah Beer.

40. Tach no. : RPM. Revolutions Per Minute.

44. Dark side : YIN. More from Lao Tse. LINK.

45. It's hard to untangle : ENIGMA. Wrapped in a mastery, hidden in a puzzle.

47. Knifelike ridges : ARETES. A word I know solely from solving puzzles.

50. Support : BRACE.

51. __ ray : MANTA.

52. Chef's tool : WHISK. Not my first thought.

54. __ B'rith : BNAI. Children of the Covenant. The first covenant, circumcision on the 8th day.

56. Nintendo's __ mini : WII. Not to be confused with WWI.

58. Finished on top : WON.

59. Dr.'s specialty : ENT. Ear, Nose, Throat.

60. Distant : FAR.

On a personal note, as we approach the 5th Anniversary of the switch to the LA Times puzzle (March 23, 2009) I want to extend a special thanks to Rich Norris and his staff, not only for providing us with so many fun challenges, but also for encouraging our own C.C and marti who have become such accomplished constructors in their own right.

Happy Spring all and I hope we entertained and informed, Lemonade signing off with a poem I happened across. (Not to usurp Owen, but it was so coincidental). See you next time.

Do you know a teacher you think may be a cheater
If you shop at ‘Harrods’ are you considered posh
If your car breaks down, do you call the RAC.
When you  play pool or polo do you go round in a loop
If you prick your hand on a rose thorn is it rather sore.
Is life all doom and gloom and you get in a mood.
Do you live in a world you think is vile or evil
Does your alarm emit a bleep at a set time
Do you dare to pick up a dear book to read
Do you head for the toilets when you want to read T S Eliot

Jan Allison
28th Feb 2014

Mar 20, 2014

Thursday, March 20, 2014 Kevin Christian

Theme: It's Not What You Think…

17-Across. It's not a swine : GUINEA PIG. It's actually a rodent, as is 43-Across.

21-Across. It's not an equine : SEAHORSE. It's actually a marine fish.

35-Across. It's not an amphibian : HORNED TOAD. It's actually a lizard.

43-Across. It's not a canine : PRAIRIE DOG. It's actually a rodent, like 17-Across.

53-Across. It's not a rodent : TITMOUSE. It's actually a bird.

62-Across. It's not an ursine : KOALA BEAR. It's actually a marsupial.

Six theme entries, with four of them overlapping, could make some compromises in the fill. But I found this to be quite smooth. I also thought the theme was very fresh, and enjoyed filling in each entry with the "pseudo-name."

At first I thought we had another puzzle by Rich Norris, until I remembered that the "pseudo-name" he uses is GIA Christian, not Kevin. ("Again, it's Rich.")


1. At attention, say : ERECT.

6. Whale group : GAM. Hands up for "pod"????

9. Caught at a rodeo : ROPED.

14. Grammy-winning Jones : NORAH. I really love this one - it has special meaning for me.

15. CXVIII x V : DXC. 118 x 5 = 590

16. Officer on the Enterprise bridge : UHURA.

19. Alert to drivers : SIREN.

20. Vinyl item : RECORD.

23. Zilch : NADA.

25. Hot times in Lyon : ETES. As Splynter says, "Frawnch" for "summers."

26. MST part: Abbr. : STD. Mountain StandarTime. Hey, it's MDT already!

29. Endow : VEST.

31. __ projection : ASTRAL.

38. Million finish : AIRE. Millionaire.

39. Mayflower Compact signer : ALDEN.

40. Patriots' Day mo. : APR. I think this holiday is officially celebrated only in Massachusetts, the day of the Boston Marathon.

41. Former U.S. Army post near Monterey : FT. ORD.

42. Big name in game shows : MERV. Griffin.

45. "Remington __" : STEELE. 1980's romance-comedy-detective show, starring Pierce Brosnan.

47. Enthusiasm : ZEAL.

48. Common rebus pronoun : EWE.  I had a really cool rebus puzzle to post here, with a picture of an EYE, a tin CAN, an image of the SEA and a picture of a EWE. Oh well, technology got the better of me.

49. Avis adjective : RARA.

51. "Stay" singer Lisa : LOEB. Sorry, I used up my one link on Norah Jones...

57. Lacking the wherewithal : UNABLE.

61. Confess : ADMIT.

64. Seven-year phase : TEENS. 13-19 year olds. Funny, I always thought of teens as being a ten-year stretch. But I counted on my fingers, and YEP!  It's only seven years. It just seems longer, when you are a parent of one, I guess...

65. SASE, e.g. : ENC. Self addressed stamped envelope - enclosure.

66. Ben Stiller's mother : MEARA.

67. Biography Channel owner : A AND E. Seems weird to see A&E spelled out.

68. Most of AZ doesn't observe it : DST. Daylight Savings Time.

69. Freddy Krueger's haunts: Abbr. : ELM ST.


1. Tech sch. grad : ENGR.

2. Rake : ROUE.

3. Idle in comedy : ERIC. Of Monty Python fame.

4. Leica competitor : CANON.

5. Title "ungainly fowl" of poetry : THE RAVEN. Funny how it overlapped 36-Down, NEVER MIND…(so close to "nevermore"!!!)

6. Natl. economic indicator : GDP. Like EST or EDT, I always struggle with GDP or GNP. Fill in two letters, wait for perps to confirm the third.

7. x, y or z : AXIS.

8. Blues singer Bobby of song : MCGEE. "But feeling good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues…"

9. Fraternity events : RUSHES.

10. Columbus school : OHIO STATE.

11. Sign of feline felicity : PURR.

12. "__ Tu": 1974 hit : ERES. Mocedades, "It's You."

13. Hamlet, for one : DANE.

18. Contributed : ADDED.

22. Slightly : A TAD.

24. Sirius or Vega : A STAR. Not just a star, but an "A" star.

26. Counterfeits : SHAMS.

27. Available, on a real estate sign : TO LET. Sounds more European to me. I'm used to seeing "For Rent."

28. Rapper who co-founded Beats Electronics : DR. DRE.

30. November birthstone : TOPAZ.

32. __ Janeiro : RIO DE. meh.

33. Bow go-with : ARROW.

34. Dove's perch : LEDGE.

36. "Don't bother" : NEVER MIND.

37. Disney mermaid : ARIEL.

41. Identifier in a folder : FILE NAME.

43. Machu Picchu locale : PERU.

44. Lover of Christine, in "The Phantom of the Opera" : RAOUL.

46. "Tao Te Ching" author : LAO TSE. Attributed to him, but I believe its true authorship is uncertain. Loosely translated as "The Classic Path to Virtue."

50. Tried to date, with "out" : ASKED.

52. Tower city : BABEL.

53. "See ya" : TA-TA.

54. What a light bulb may signify : IDEA. TA-DA!!

55. The Untouchables, e.g. : T-MEN.

56. Eras upon eras : EONS.

58. Smile broadly : BEAM.

59. Metallica drummer Ulrich : LARS. The first Dane to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

60. Q.E.D. word : ERAT. Quod erat demonstrandum. "Which had to be demonstrated."

63. Pretend to be : ACT.

That's all for this week, folks!


Note from C.C.:

1) Happy Birthday to dear Spitzboov (Al), who has been faithfully contributing to this blog for a few years. Al served in the Navy Reserve for over 20 years and retired as Commander. This morning I had a bonding moment with Al. I made my breakfast Al Style 5 minutes only. I had been using the wrong water to oats ration previously. (Ratio! Thanks, Owen). Too much water. By the way, D-Otto, I tried the Test Kitchen steel-cut oats with dates & toasted walnuts & soy milk on Tuesday. Great result. I'll experience with coconut milk tomorrow. (Experiment. Thanks again, Owen)

Spitzboov & his lovely wife Betty, US Coast Guard Academy, New London, CT,
August 2012
2) Happy Birthday to John28man as well. The lady in his avatar picture is his wife. They were in a restaurant in Vienna, Austria. Do you spend every winter in Arizona, John?

3) To regular commenters: Please email me ( if you want to be included in our blog birthday list. I'd love to see a picture of you too.

Mar 19, 2014

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 Jim Horne and Jeff Chen

Theme: THE I's HAVE IT, or I-YI-YI, or OH MY, MY I.  If you noticed the somewhat unusual grid, you probably also spotted the big letter I in the middle.  With my keen powers of observation, that was the LAST thing I noticed. But It's just the beginning. Every vowel in every fill word is the letter I.  There are also a few vowel-less entries. I might nit-pick - instead I'll  identify them as illustrious enhancements.  Also, there's a unifier, though it's not identified as such in the cluing.  I'll get to it in due time.

Jim and Jeff continue their assault on the alphabet.  Just five weeks ago, I blogged their puzzle in which every entry contained the letter H.  And just 11 days ago we had the no E puzzle by Bruce Haight.  Is this a pattern? 

Hi, Gang.  There's no I in JazzBumpa, nor in team, but that doesn't mean that you and I can't team up to work our way through this I-mazing puzzle together.  Let's have at it.

1. Conflict in FDR's presidency : WWII.  Here, the I's become the Roman numeral 2.  WW I was supposed to have been the war to end all wars.  You can see how well that worked out.

5. Readies, as presses : INKS.  Perfect job for a squid.

9. Pod prefix : TRI.  Of course, I wanted cephalo-, not the three-legged camera holder.

12. Rise : HILL.   Topography.

13. Carding at a door : I.D.-ING.  Identifying those over/under age.  I'll take the over.  I got carded at a Lion's game a few years ago, thinning grey hair not withstanding.

14. Indian honorifics : SRIS.  The don't spell SIRS properly.

15. Stops for Carnival custs. : ISLS.  Carnival Cruise line customers and islands.  Brief stops, come to think of it.

16. Finger, e.g. : DIGIT.  Toe, too.

17. Elton's "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" duet partner : KIKI.  I remember the song, but Kiki Dee is but a long faded memory.

18. T'ai __ : CHI   An exercise regimen consisting of graceful and slow movements that relax and strengthen both body and mind.  It dates from the 11th century.

19. Billy clubs : NIGHT STICKS.  Head breakers.

21. Indian language : HINDI.  My massage therapist is married to an Indian guy from Goa, where they speak Portuguese.

23. User-edited site : WIKI.  Even I could be an editor.

24. Model in a bottle : SHIP.  Not necessarily.

27. Outer coating : SKIN.  Should be bottle. See above.

29. Capital of Georgia : TBILISI. Not Atlanta, though it fits and has all wrong vowels.  Say it three times real fast. 

32. Works without a script : WINGS IT.  Or a result of being unprepared.

36. "This tape will self-destruct in five seconds" fictional spy org. : I .M. F.  Not the International Monetary Fund.

37. Architect Maya __ : LIN.  She did the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

38. Bug : IRK.  Irritate.

39. 24-hr. info source : CNN.  There is no I in news.

40. Longing to see : MISSING.  I am keenly aware of your absence.

 42. Yellowish embellishment : GILDING.  Thou shalt not embellish lilies yellowishly.

44. "Sent" folder contents: Abbr. : MSGS.  Short, i-less messages.

45. Small cut : SNIP

46. Tizzy : SNIT.  Hissy fit.

48. Singer Minaj : NICKI.  Seek a link if you are so inclined

52. Maintaining shoe gloss, in a way : SPIT SHINING.   Instructions.

58. Popular show : HIT.

59. Friends and neighbors : KITH.  Middle English, from Old English cȳthth; akin to cūth, meaning "known," recognizable today as it's antonym, uncouth.

60. "Lemon Tree" singer Lopez : TRINI.

61. S&P 500 bank : CITI.

62. NFL stats : INTS.  Football Interceptions.

63. Easy two-pointer : TIP IN.  Basketball.  Just in time for March Madness.

64. Diner orders, briefly : BLTS.  Bacon-lettuce-tomato [no I so far] sandwiches - [Darn!]

65. Letter before omega : PSI. It's all Greek to me.

66. Start of a library conversation : PSST.  Could I have your attention, without batting an I?

67. Señor's assent : SI SI.  I agree.  Does C. C.?


 1. Question of choice : WHICH.  'Round the cauldron - which witch?

2. Words often heard before may and might : WISH I. There is an I in WISH.

3. "You Be __": 1986 Run-D.M.C. hit : ILLIN'.  Per 23A, The slang term illing means to "be uncool and unrelaxed", "be acting crazy", "be 'tripping' or 'bugging' ", or "be acting 'wack' "

4. They, in Tours : ILS.  French.  Is ILS Illin'?

5. "Got it, man" : I DIG.  Retro 60's slang.

6. At hand : NIGH.

7. Make socks, e.g. : KNIT.

8. Pepper and Bilko: Abbr. : SGTS.  There is no I in Sergeant.

9. Prank : TRICK.

10. __-Tikki-Tavi: Kipling mongoose : RIKKI.  Cobra fighter from the Jungle Book.

11. Egyptian fertility goddess : ISIS.

13. Despot Amin : IDI.  Very illin' dude.

14. Street sport : SKIING.  Now, this is tricky.  Olympic medalist Picabo Street.

19. Ones who reject established institutions : NIHILISTS.  A bit understated.  It's a belief that current conditions are so bad that existing society should be destroyed.

20. Instant : TWINKLING.  I assume this is condensed from the phrase, "In a twinkling of an I."

22. One way to get online, briefly : DSLDigital Subscriber Line.  I's everywhere.

25. "Of Thee __" : I SING.  Sweet land of liberty.

26. Sonar pulses : PINGS.

27. Way more than sips : SWIGS.  Two ways to go at your Guinness.  Before I caught on, I wanted GULPS.

28. Beer from Japan : KIRIN.  It's also good for a sip or a SWIG.

29. "A Christmas Carol" boy : TIM.

30. Ratio involving ht. and wt. : B.M.I.  Body mass index, briefly. 

31. Suppositions : IFS.  They occasionally travel with ANDS or BUTS.

33. __-fi : SCIScience Fiction.

34. Accommodating place : INN.  A place with accommodations.  Nice, fresh clue

35. Series with Capt. Picard, to fans : TNG. There's no I in Star Treck: The Next Generat -- oops!

41. Horseshoe makers : SMITHS.

43. Printer spec. : DPIDots Per Inch.

46. Quick rides : SPINS.

47. Ness foe : NITTI.  Gritty guy.  Per 23A: Francesco Raffaele Nitti (January 27, 1886 – March 19, 1943), also known as Frank "The Enforcer" Nitti, was an Italian American gangster. One of Al Capone's top henchmen, Nitti was in charge of all strong-arm and 'muscle' operations.  Eliot Paul Ness joined the U.S. Treasury Department in 1927, working with the Bureau of Prohibition, in Chicago.  Fun times.

49. Spicy pepper : CHILI.

50. Saint __ and Nevis: Caribbean country : KITTS.  More formally, St. Christopher.  These neighboring West Indies Islands form a single country.

51. Formal "Who's there?" reply : IT IS I.  Finally, it is the unifier

52. Miss on purpose : SKIP.

53. Web address letters : HTTPHyperText Transfer Protocol.

54. "Elegy for __": memoir about writer Murdoch : IRIS.  Per the font of all knowledge, she was an Irish-born British author and philosopher, best known for her novels about good and evil, sexual relationships, morality, and the power of the unconscious.

55. Pinches : NIPS.  A word with many meanings, here I take it to be arrests, as by a police officer.  You may ponder other meanings at your leisure.

56. Part of FDR: Abbr. : INIT. Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Initials.

57. Diarist Anaïs : NIN.  Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell (February 21, 1903 – January 14, 1977) was an author born to Spanish-Cuban parents in France.

61. "Mike & Molly" network : CBSColumbia Broadcasting System, which unfortunately contains an I.

That wraps it up.  A pleasant journey, and quite an I full, with some musical interludes and interesting authors. Hope you injoyed it.  I'll be off-line today, and will try to check in this evening. 

Cool Regards!