Apr 23, 2014

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 Matt Skoczen

Theme:  Suddenly it all becomes clear, or Bring on the V-8 can. Each two word theme entry starts with the letters A, and HA, respectively, and represents the unifier in a literal way.  Without the unifier, there would have been no AHA MOMENT for me.  I can't think of anything else these four entries might have in common.

 17A. "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" collaborator : ALEX HALEY.  More famous for ROOTS, perhaps.

 24A. "The helpful place" sloganeer : ACE HARDWARE.  Ace is the place with the helpful hardware man. 

 36A. Many a circus employee : ANIMAL HANDLER.  Somebody has to clean up after the elephants.

 53A. Wayne Manor resident : AUNT HARRIET.  I know nothing about this character.  Do they keep her locked in the attic?

And the unifier -   62A. Light-bulb-over-the-head instance, and a hint to 17-, 24-, 36- and 53-Across : AHA MOMENT

Hi Gang, JzB reporting for duty.  It's been over three months since the Christian Feast of the Epiphany, but that doesn't mean we can't have our own little experiences of sudden and striking realization.  I had one once in a graduate level class on organic photochemistry.  I was spinning my wheels for half the term, then suddenly one day I got it.  Then I couldn't understand why I had ever thought it was hard.  Baffling experience.   Let's see if we can find any startling revelations in today's puzzle.


1. Spice organizer : RACK.  You can alphabetize your spice jars on a wooden structure specifically defined for that purpose.  Or you can randomly place them on a lazy susan, as I do, and hope for the best.

5. 48-Across brand : SOBE.  An abbreviation of SOuth BEach, as in Miami's upscale area.  They make teas, fruit-juice blends and enhanced water beverages, and are owned by PepsiCo.  Along with 48. Iced drink : TEA.  Tin Man - Is ice in tea acceptable?

9. Right-angled supports : L-BARSAvailable in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.

14. K-12, to textbook publishers : EL-HIELementary and HIgh school.

15. Neck and neck : TIED.  As in the score of an even game.   Or this.

16. Slightly moisten : BEDEW.  As if moistened by dew [or whatever.]  Goes back to the 14th century.

19. Green hue : OLIVE.  The only color I allow in a martini.  When Bluto made off with Popeye's best girl, was he OLIVE with envy?

20. Camcorder button : RECord.

21. Google executive chairman Schmidt : ERIC.  Alternate clue, JzB's son. I would have known it then.

22. Had too much, briefly : OD'EDOverDosed, as on Easter candy.

23. Antlered animal : ELKCervus canadensis, one of the largest species in the deer family.

28. Mu followers : NUS.  Mind your mus and NUS.  It's all Greek alphabet to me.  Is that news?

29. Pt. of a sentence : PHR.  Phrase.  Seems like an odd abrv.

30. Vote against : NAY.

31. Certain commuter's destination: Abbr. : STN  Station.

32. Belmonts frontman : DION.  DiMucci.  Do you wonder why?

34. 1930s migrants : OKIES  Escapees from the Oklahoma dust bowl.  About 15% of the population of the state fled to California along Rt. 66.

42. Scheherazade's milieu : HAREM. The "forbidden place," home to the many wives [and concubines] of a polygynous household, off limits to men.

43. Designer St. Laurent : YVES.

45. Tech sch. overlooking the Hudson : RPIRensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Founded in 1824, it is the oldest technological university in the English speaking world.

49. "Just an update" letters : FYIFor Your Information.

52. Pipe bend : ELL.

56. Actress Peeples : NIA.   AKA Virenia Gwendolyn Peeples. She was once young and restless.

57. Sasquatch cousin : YETI.  Distant cousins, I presume.

58. "The Dukes of Hazzard" deputy : ENOS.

59. Mt. Sunflower is its highest point : KANsas

60. Antacid, briefly : BROMO Seltzer.

64. When many take morning breaks : AT TEN. TEN AM also fits. 

65. Proofreading mark : DELE.  Delete.

66. Winans of gospel : CECE.  Not always, though.   C.C. - can you sing like this?

67. Calf-roping loop : NOOSE.  Greek cattle require NUS.

68. Sign : OMEN.

69. You might steer one with your feet : SLED.  Downhill racer.


1. Behind, or hit from behind : REAR END Back side [noun] of a car, for example, or collide with one from the back [verb.]

2. Christian chant : ALLELUIA.   Goes back to Middle English, via late Latin and Greek from Hebrew for a song of praise to God.  Lots of these on Easter.

3. Inspects : CHECKS ON.

4. "Kid-tested" cereal : KIX.  Puffed whole grain corn

5. Pasta or potato, e.g. : STARCH.  Cereal, too, like KIX, Trix or Chex.

6. More slippery : OILIER.

7. Nut-bearing tree : BEECH.

8. Big name in ice cream : EDY.  And a Crossword favorite.

9. Wall St. deal : LBOLeveraged Buy Out.  IPO also fits.

10. Subordinate to : BELOW

11. Athletic brand founded by Adolf Dassler : ADIDAS.  A new fact to quickly forget.

12. Backslide : REVERT.  To a previous inferior condition.  As in forgetting new facts?

13. Birthplace of Bergman and Garbo : SWEDEN.  Ingrid and Greta.

18. Accumulation : HEAP.  Pile up, not necessarily involving a rear end.

25. "Eso Beso" singer : ANKA.  Paul.  That kiss.

26. Picnic worry : RAIN.  Ants, too.

27. Turned green, say : DYED.  She dyed from envy, turning OLIVE.

33. Bethesda-based medical org. : NIHNational Institutes of Health.  American medial research agency, part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

34. Resistance unit : OHM.  Electricity

35. Devious : SLY.

37. Field with roots and logs : MATH.  Clever clue

38. __ rug : AREA.

39. King with three daughters : LEAR.  Regan, Cordelia, and the unfortunately named Goneril.

40. Symbol of balance : EVEN KEEL.

41. Faith : RELIANCE.

44. Italicized : SLANTED.   Some think I have Italicized political views.

45. Sunglass Hut brand : RAYBAN.

46. Mexico's __ Vallarta : PUERTO.

47. Altogether : IN TOTO.   "What happened to the meat balls I was going to have for lunch," inquired the Wizard.  "I believe they are all together IN TOTO," Dorothy replied.

49. Fireworks highlight : FINALE.   A big end, not to be confused with  REAR END

50. Naval petty officers : YEOMEN.  Maybe Spitz can elaborate.

51. "Make __": Picard catchphrase : IT SO.   Go get 'er done.

54. Movie listing listings : TIMES.

55. Bring up again? : REHEM.  Another clever clue.  A HEM is a narrow cloth edge folded over and sewn to provide a finished look and prevent unraveling. REHEMing a dress or skit would make it shorter.

61. What two heads are better than : ONE.

62. Disturbance : ADO.

63. Intro givers : MCS.  Masters of Ceremonies

That wraps up this nicely done puzzle.  Hope your forehead got through it unscathed.

Cool regards!

Apr 22, 2014

Tuesday Apr 22, 2014 Gail Grabowski and Bruce Venzke

Theme: Save the LAST word for me! Bruce and Gale's Tuesday offering was fun to do and to blog for this Husker coming in from the computer bullpen.

20A. Fictional legal secretary : DELLA STREET. She too was instrumental in foiling Hamilton Berger

34A. The 1969 Mets, e.g. : CINDERELLA STORY. Every golfer knows Carl's from Caddyshack

 43A. Cheesy appetizer : MOZZARELLA STICK

And the reveal (also how toy Tonka trucks were built)

58A. Constructed for endurance, and a hint for the word hidden in 20-, 34- and 43-Across : BUILT TO LAST

Let's trek onward to see what slightly LATE Easter eggs Gail and Bruce left for us. 


1. "Battlestar Galactica" genre : SCI-FI. I put 2001 A Space Odyssey at the top of my list. 

6. Rejuvenation destination : SPA

9. Thyroid, e.g. : GLAND. How my doctor found out I had hypo-active thyroid gland

14. Couldn't stomach : HATED. Middle school kids either HATE something or find it AWESOME. Surely their phones have a thesaurus!

15. Weather report backdrop : MAP

16. Bro : HOMIE.

17. Colgate rival : ORAL B

18. Catering dispenser : URN. A staple in every church basement

19. Put on a pedestal : EXALT

23. __-pitch softball : SLO. I've seen a SLEW of friends rack up bad injuries in this game. Check your birth certificate boys!

24. Hubbub : ADO

25. Charlie Parker's instrument : ALTO SAX. Professional muscian who is marrying my daughter named his son Parker in honor of Charlie.

27. Fed. benefits issuer : SSA

30. Chatters : GABS

33. Caseworker's coll. major, perhaps : SOC (Sohsh)

40. "Do __ others ..." : UNTO ...and then split

41. Mormon sch. : BYU

42. Director Kazan : ELIA

48. Historic time : ERA. Is Tiger Woods' over?

49. Arizona county or its seat : YUMA

50. Gives a thumbs-up : OKS. That corral was in Tombstone, not Yuma

51. Prom accessory : CORSAGE. You might want to let her mom pin that on!

55. Menu words : ALA

57. __ Dhabi : ABU

64. Exodus mount : SINAI

66. __ Fring, "Breaking Bad" drug kingpin : GUS. #3 in TV Guide's nastiest villains of all time

67. Elementary seed : OVULE

68. Colorful aquarium fish : TETRA

69. Broom rider : HAG

70. Evenings, on marquees : NITES. Correct spelling if English made sense

71. German industrial city : ESSEN

72. Sound of annoyance : TUT

73. Hemingway's "The __ of Kilimanjaro" : SNOWS


1. Not barefoot : SHOD. Back to flip flops now!

2. Part of TLC : CARE

3. Tilted type: Abbr. : ITAL

4. Guy : FELLA. I remember singing Standing on the Corner from The Most Happy Fella in high school boy's glee or was it in boy's OCTET?

5. Govt. security pass : ID BADGE. My guide mishandled an id badge going through a door in a nuclear power plant and a lady with a machine gun appeared post haste!

6. Lewd material : SMUT. Is this an anachronism today?

7. Henry VIII's last wife Catherine : PARR. Hey, another LAST thrown in. She just outlived him.

8. Breathing trouble during sleep : APNEA. Does snoring = apnea?

9. Inner city areas : GHETTOS. It's now an adjective, as in, "That is so ghetto!"

10. Bagel topping : LOX

11. Stock up on : AMASS

12. Nabisco cookie named for its flavor : NILLA. Gotta love 'em.

13. Rehab program : DETOX. It was painful, but one saved dad. Not my brother.

21. Use an updraft, say : SOAR. Soarin' is a very popular ride at EPCOT

22. "Born Free" lioness : ELSA. Born Free, my dad's an obstetrician

26. Large wedding band : OCTET

27. Bathtub buildup : SCUM. Tut, tut

28. __-Japanese War : SINO

29. 1998 animated film with soldiers, workers and a queen : ANTZ

31. Actress Neuwirth : BEBE. Who could have done Lilith better?

32. In a sneaky way : SLYLY

35. Sleeps lightly : DOZES. I can do a refreshing 5 min. doze. You?

36. Humdinger : LULU. If you're hip, you've heard of this Lulu.

37. Mishmash : OLIO. CC's usual email subject line

38. "Jessie's Girl" singer Springfield : RICK

39. Chatters : YAKS. YAKety Sax was Benny Hill's theme song but I don't think Charlie Parker ever played it.

44. High-spirited horse : ARABIAN. Much preferred to ARAB alone.

45. Sauce brand with "Robusto!" flavors : RAGU. LaVerne and Shirley had the Big RAGU

46. "I __ my wit's end!" : AM AT

47. Oater hangouts : SALOONS. Was Miss Kitty's the most famous?

51. Social stratum : CASTE

52. Big Apple stage honors : OBIES

53. Pipsqueaks : RUNTS

54. Highest unstriped ball : EIGHT. Eight ball was the game of choice in my Uncle's SALOON for us kids

56. Trouble-making chipmunk : ALVIN

59. Tropical party : LUAU

60. USAF rank : TSGT

61. Caddy or Jag : AUTO

62. Large quantity : SLEW.

63. Hardy's "Pure Woman" : TESS

65. "Just the Way You __": Bruno Mars hit : ARE. I'll take the Lettermen's version.

Off to golf league on a beautiful spring day. I hope we aren't, uh, LAST!


Apr 21, 2014

Monday April 21st, 2014 David W. Cromer

Theme: Faking It - The four theme entries all begin with a synonym for "fake".

17A. Man-made organic pump : ARTIFICIAL HEART

27A. Dish not made from the reptile it's named for : MOCK TURTLE SOUP. Food! The old recipe on Wikipedia is not for the faint of heart.

46A. Pseudonym : FICTITIOUS NAME

62A. Finger-pointing perjury : FALSE ACCUSATION

Welcome to the new week - Steve here pinch-hitting for Argyle whose computer has got a fit of the sulks (I think that's the technical term).

After the conniptions of the last couple of puzzles this was a perfect antidote; pretty much a top-to-bottom solve. The theme was crisp and there was no unifier so "figure it out yourself". Two 15 and two 14-letter theme entries made for a nice grid.

Let's see what else we've got:


1. Campus drilling gp. : R.O.T.C. I just realized I didn't know what the acronym stands for and had to look up "Reserve Officers' Training Corps". Now I know.

5. Repairs, as a lawn's bare spot : SODS

9. On the higher side : UPPER

14. Fictional lab assistant : IGOR. Bonus points for knowing the movie with the line "No, it's pronounced "Eye-gor".

15. Be certain : KNOW

16. Garbo of the silver screen : GRETA. Her feet were not large - the rumor was started by the columnist Walter Winchell when she turned down his request for an interview.

20. Take care of : SEE TO

21. Start of Caesar's incredulous question : ET TU

22. GI rations : M.R.E.s We had a discussion recently about the accuracy of "Meals, Ready to Eat".

23. 1040 publisher: Abbr. : I.R.S. So last week.

25. Prefix meaning "high" : ALTI-

34. Kissing pair : LIPS. Nice cluing.

35. Out __ limb : ON A

36. Get a feeling about : SENSE

37. Feed bag morsel : OAT

38. Like a soloist on a dark stage : SPOTLIT

41. Fill up on : EAT

42. Barn-raising sect : AMISH. Are the Amish the only group that barn-raise? Seems a very sensible approach to a problem.

44. Electrified particle : ION

45. Falls behind : LAGS

50. "The Lord of the Rings," e.g. : EPIC. Because "bloated nine-hour CGI mega-movie franchise that takes terrible liberties with the books" didn't fit.

51. Encouragement "on the back" : PAT

52. Bog fuel : PEAT. We've had PEAT a couple of times recently, including "(Three) PEAT" yesterday.

55. Capone nemesis Eliot : NESS. 

"Speak softly and carry a big Thomson Sub-Machine Gun"
58. Triangular Greek letter : DELTA

65. Sing like Bing : CROON

66. 50+ org. : AARP. I'm eligible to join, but I seem to get just as good deals with AAA.

67. Company with bell ringers : AVON. If you don't have a doorbell, what do they do?

68. Shell out : SPEND

69. Zebras, to lions : PREY. It strikes me as odd that in "The Lion King" you never see Scar and company actually eating anything. It does give me an excuse to link to this song though.

70. Actor Hackman : GENE


1. Narrow inlets : RIAS

2. Folklore monster : OGRE

3. Carryall with handles : TOTE

4. They give films stars : CRITICS. Nice clue again.

5. Slalom item : SKI

6. It may be enough : ONCE

7. "Just __": Nike slogan : DO IT. The Nike "Swoosh" logo was designed by a student at Portland State University and sold to Phil Knight for $35.

8. Try to whack, as a fly : SWAT AT

9. "Gross!" : UGH

10. Logical proposition : PREMISE

11. Apple relative : PEAR

12. To be, to Brigitte : ETRE. One of our "French 101" words.

13. "Peanuts" phooey : RATS

18. Tuning __ : FORK. I tried to use one of these once to tune my guitar. I had to abandon the idea and go back to my electronic tuning meter.

19. Break in the action : LULL

24. Break in the action : STOP. Neighboring Clechos.

26. Word with tube or pattern : TEST

27. Florida metropolis : MIAMI

28. Vision-related : OPTIC

29. Game with Skip cards : UNO. I've never played this game - anyone?

30. Mathematical comparison : RATIO

31. Wee hr. : ONE A.M.

32. Grammarian's concern : USAGE

33. Lizards and snakes, for some : PETS

34. Do nothing : LOAF

38. Use FedEx : SHIP. Hey Splynter - your competition just got name-checked. What's that all about?

39. Comical Costello : LOU

40. Clouseau's rank: Abbr. : INSP. Did you know the good Inspector has been played by Peter Sellers, Alan Arkin, Roger Moore and Steve Martin?

43. Cowboy's hat : STETSON. I was in Texas last week and treated myself to a fine pair of cowboy boots. I drew the line at the hat though.

45. Reason for an ump's safe call : LATE TAG. C.C. can explain this if we need clarification.

47. Emmy winner Fey : TINA

48. Arctic expanse : ICECAP

49. It means nothing to Juan : NADA

52. Inferiors of cpls. : PFCS. My only misstep to day was to put "PVTS" here first. Privates, First Class is the correct answer.

53. Tombstone lawman : EARP.

54. Burn-soothing substance : ALOE

56. Mark from a surgical procedure : SCAR

57. Having no doubt : SURE

59. Occurring as you watch it : LIVE

60. Huckleberry Hound, for one : TOON

61. Songstress Murray : ANNE

63. Conclusion : END. Except it's not, there's one more answer ...

64. Plant gathering information : SPY. Saving the best until last; this was my favorite clue today.

That's all I've got - everyone have a good day!


Apr 20, 2014

Sunday April 20, 2014 Matt Skoczen

Theme: "I'll Be Waiting" - "Call me" needs to be inserted to all answers to the starred clues.

25A. *2012 Hot 100 #1 song in both the U.S. and Canada : MAYBE. "Call me Maybe".  And 98A. See 25-Across : CARLY RAE JEPSEN HIT. Every girl & her mother were singing this song 2 years ago. Linked relentlessly on our blog. This is still my favorite cover.

47A. *Source of the song "The Hostess With the Mostes' on the Ball" : MADAM. "Call me Madam". And 27A. See 47-Across : BROADWAY MUSICAL
71A. *Memorable 1851 novel line : ISHMAEL. Call me Ishmael. And  34A. See 71-Across : OPENING OF MOBY DICK

91. *Parting request : LATER. Call me later. And 58A. See 91-Across : DO KEEP IN TOUCH

78A. *Van Heusen/Cahn classic : IRRESPONSIBLE. "Call Me Irresponsible". And 110A. See 78-Across : SINATRA STANDARD.

119. *"This is going to sound dumb ..." : CRAZY. Call me crazy. 65A. See 119-Across : AM I NUTS?

122A. 1980 Blondie chart-topper, and what's needed to make sense of the answers to starred clues : CALL ME

I grokked gimmick early on, still a difficult solve. Cross-references drove me crazy.

This puzzle is very tough to construct as well, as all the long & short entries have to be placed symmetrically. Heavy themage. Total 124 theme squares & 13 theme entries. As I mentioned before,  the more theme answers you have, the more challenging the gridding become. So, a total 124 theme squares of 7 or 9 theme entries is much much easier than 12 or 13. Hence a special black square allowances today: 86. Rich's Sunday limit is 78.


1. Hardly orderly : SLOPPY

7. Angler's quarry : BASS

11. Suffix with einstein : IUM. Thought of IAN, though I knew Rich would not clue a solid name as a prefix or suffix.

14. Clench : GRIP

18. More arch : WILIER

19. Type of exam : ORAL

20. Kinshasa-to-Cairo dir. : NNE. Kinshasa the capitol of Democratic Republic of the Congo, the largest French-speaking country.

21. Inclined (to) : PRONE

22. Cherubim, e.g. : ANGELS

23. Storybook meanie : OGRE

24. HCH successor : FDR. Never knew Hoover's middle name: Herbert Clark Hoover. And 11D. "... a date which will live in __": 24-Across : INFAMY

26. "Cool!" : NEATO

30. Golfer Aoki : ISAO

32. Humble : DEMEAN

33. Some airport displays, briefly : LEDs

41. "I Guess __ Rather Be in Colorado": John Denver song : HE'D

42. Bogus blazer : GAS LOG. Blaze-r. I was picturing a jacket.

43. Breakfast pastry : DANISH. Have you tried avocado toast for breakfast? Heaven!

50. Regretful one : RUER

51. Actress Joanne : DRU

54. Chiwere speakers : OTOES

56. Most clichéd : STALEST

62. Literary hodgepodge : ANA. The girl in "Fifty Shades of Grey" is called Ana also.

63. Pod-bearing tree : ACACIA

64. Ship substitute : SHE

69. It may be false : LABOR

74. Blot : MAR

75. Of last month : ULTIMO. So what are "Of this month" & "Of next month" then?

77. Energizer choice : AAA

83. Hurling goo at : SLIMING

87. Wintry mix component : SLEET

88. Small bit : TAD

89. Henriette, to Henri : AMIE. I don't know who Henriette is.

92. Lakota tribe : OGLALA

95. Rapscallions : KNAVES

97. X, to Xanthippe : CHI

104. Serious, as a reader : AVID

108. Clarifier beginning : I MEANT

109. Fluency : EASE. I don't get this clue either.

115. Lion __ : TAMER

120. Courtroom VIPs : DAs (District Attorneys)

121. Emilia's husband : IAGO.  "Othello".

123. Eyes a little too long : OGLES.  Marti must have seen "Jupiter and Io" in person. The painting will be in Minneapolis next year. Can you see Jupiter's head? I'd like to hear PK's musings on dark clouds or this particular dark cloud.

124. Bracketing criterion : AGE

125. Place for a coin : SLOT

126. Apathetic : STOLID

127. Ratted (on) : TOLD

128. Many a pol. talk show guest : SEN

129. Voiced relief : SIGH

130. Group doctrines : TENETS


1. Adult cygnet : SWAN

2. Conga formation : LINE

3. Actress Kurylenko of "Oblivion" : OLGA. Never saw "Oblivion". But Olga is in "Quantum of Solace".

4. Cobbler holder : PIE TIN

5. Hastert's successor : PELOSI. House Speaker. Dennis Hastert.

6. Jr. and sr. : YRS

7. Philistine : BOOR

8. 2012 political thriller : ARGO

9. Poet Teasdale : SARA

10. Iditarod critter : SLED DOG. Our JD met with Iditarod Hall of Famer Jeff King.

12. Staying gray, say : UNDYED

13. Siren relative : MERMAID. I don't know if Mermaids agree.

14. Holy quest vessel : GRAIL

15. Rolls partner : ROYCE

16. __ shape: not well : IN BAD

17. Preps, as potatoes : PEELS

21. Cameron and Blair of Eng. : PMs. Prime Ministers.

27. Spade player : BOGART. Sam Spade.

28. www word : WEB

29. Donald Duck, to his nephews : UNCA

31. Luanda is its cap. : ANG (Angola). I'd prefer Lee of course.

34. Electrician's units : OHMs

35. Three-__: consecutive sports titles : PEAT

36. Historic Icelandic work : EDDA

37. Corvallis sch. : OSU. Oregon State University.

38. Ran away : FLED

39. WWII Italian river : MORO. Learning moment for me.

40. Tie feature : KNOT

44. "Was __ blame?" : I TO. Of course.

45. March composer : SOUSA

46. Leigh's counterpart in the 1998 version of "Psycho" : HECHE (Anne)

48. Shepard in space : ALAN

49. Bill of fare : MENU

51. Art __ : DECO

52. Raise : REAR

53. Bars in stores : UPC

55. Silverstein of kid-lit : SHEL

57. Ate in bed, say : SAT UP. Do you eat in bed? I don't.

59. Skewered dish : KABOB

60. Shakespeare's "Richard __" : III

61. Sounding stuffy : NASAL

65. Novelist Kingsley : AMIS

66. Actress Thomas : MARLO

67. Like some marked-down mdse. : IRREG

68. __-mo : SLO

69. "Mona __" : LISA

70. Enclosed in : AMID

72. Thunderstorm formation, perhaps : HAIL

73. Bear whose porridge was too cold : MAMA

76. "We Know Drama" network : TNT

79. Unadon fish : EEL. Unadon is literally "eel bowl".  Did your daughter-in-law ever treat you with grilled unagi, Yellowrocks?

80. Opp. of legato : STAC

81. Climbing or fast follower : LANE

82. Key of Haydn's Symphony No. 29 : E MAJ

83. Oozed : SEEPED

84. Hard-to-reach problem, at times : ITCH. Lovely clue. 

85. Classic pop : NEHI

86. Backbone : GRIT

90. "__ been had!" : I'VE

93. Private retreat : LAIR

94. Large fleets : ARMADAS

95. "The Hunger Games" heroine : KATNISS. This might stump some. Katniss Everdeen. Played by Jennifer Lawrence.

96. FICA funds it : SSA

99. "Gil Blas" novelist : LESAGE. I learned this name from cluing BLAS. 

100. China's Sun __ : YAT-SEN. The lady on the left is his wife Soong Ching-Ling. Sun & Chiang Kai-shek were brothers-in-law. The three Soong sisters were all married to the rich & powerful.

101. Genetic code carrier : RNA

102. Big spread : ESTATE

103. Kevin of "SNL" : NEALON

104. Cravat cousin : ASCOT

105. Sign of the maiden : VIRGO

106. Counting everything : IN ALL

107. Confused partner? : DAZED. Dazed and Confused.

111. Burrell and Pennington of TV : TYs

112. Spanish surrealist: DALI

113. All excited : AGOG

114. Van Halen's David Lee __ : ROTH

116. Lille girl: Abbr. : MLLE. De Gaulle was born in Lille.

117. Discharge : EMIT

118. Bordeaux, e.g. : REDs. Tricky clue. No obvious hint for plural.

122. Ala. clock setting : CST. Alabama. I first thought of Alaska.


Apr 19, 2014

Saturday, Apr 19th, 2014, Alan Olschwang

Theme: None

Words: 72 (missing J,W,X)

Blocks: 33

   Today's offering was all "try, try again", as most of my first round answers were incorrect; a lot of the others were W.A.G.s.  I checked on Alan's last Sat-LAT puzzle, and it was a similar experience back in Sep '13.  Just two triple 10 corners, with some longer fill inside as well. Lots of multi-word solutions (*), which can be a bear at times.  Alas, Alan, I had to cheat to find out where I went wrong - F%&*n' Frawnche got me, and so did the baseball - C.C. will be so disappointed....

ON -Stanley-WARD~!


1*. Treat that comes in Mint Oreo and M&M's flavors : DQ BLIZZARD - Phew~!  What a way to start~!  I knew we were looking for some sort of ice cream treat - this is the 'shake' offered at Dairy Queen ( hence, D Q )

11. Emcee's prop : MICrophone

14*. One with a lot to be concerned about : AUTO DEALER - HAR-HAR~!  a CAR lot to be concerned about

15. Ones place : TILL - singles in the register

16*. Attract considerable attention : CAUSE A STIR

17. Contemporary of Dashiell : ERLE - if Alan says so

18. Fitness gurus?: Abbr. : EDs - got me this time; Fitness, the magazine, and its EDitors

19. His, to Jacques : A LUI - ugh, Frawnche

20. Mandela's birth town : UMTATA - all perps

22. Follies name : FLO

23*. It has a bonnet and a boot : MOTOR CAR - I watch the BBC version of Top Gear, so I knew the British words for 'hood' and 'trunk' - that and both my parents were born in England

25. Top : ACME - OK, not APEX

28*. Court tactic : TRASH TALK - gonna see a lot of this on the ice, too, for the next two months.  My buddy Mike took me to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs at Madison Square Garden Thursday night, and the Flyers lost, 4-1~!   Let's Go Rangers~!!!

30. Ruin : DOOM

31. Farrier's tool : RASP - A farrier is a blacksmith, but around here, more a horse(shoe) person

32*. Words from a follower : I SEE

33. Place known for its lines, briefly : DMV - nice misdirection; I don't much need to wait in line at the Dept of Motor Vehicles any more; I just renewed my registration online this week

34. Poe title stowaway : PYM - all perps; the Wiki

35. Churchill's "so few": Abbr. : Royal Air Force

37. Jupiter or Mars : GOD - Planet was a wee bit too long

39. Shoe spec : EEEE - and this is a wee bit too wide

41. Many months : AGES - dah~! Not EONS

43. "A Room With a View" view : ARNO

44*. Time of youthful innocence : SALAD DAYS - learning moment; it's from Shakespeare

46. Pope piece : POEM - Alexander Pope, that is

47. 1930s home for Capone : ALCATRAZ

48. Response to a cape flourish : OLÉ

50. Co-star of Matthew in "The Lincoln Lawyer" : MARISA - McConaughey, and Tomei - IMDb

51. Beautiful people of futuristic fiction : ELOI

53. O's and A's org. : MLB - I mis-read this, and just put in NLE for National League East - which is completely and utterly wrong; and I know this, because I like the Orioles, and they're American League, and the A's are in the West....I repeat, I am a hockey fan

56. Copious amounts : A TON - not LOTS

57*. Work out : GET IN SHAPE

60. Zaire's Mobutu __ Seko : SESE - president of what was then called Congo; see 43d.

61. Inside look? : ULTRA-SOUND

62. Next yr.'s frosh, perhaps : SRs - high school seniors might go on to be college freshmen

63*. You might hear it before you get up : PLEASE RISE


1. Carp family member : DACE

2. College hangout : QUAD - DAH~!! Not DORM, not RATH

3. A/C measure : BTUs

4. LAPD part : LOS

5. Impossible to top : IDEAL

6. Fanatical devotion : ZEALOTRY

7. Pitts of silents : ZASU - all perps

8. Nissan models : ALTIMAs

9. Big name in outdoor gear : REI - Recreational Equipment, Inc.

10. Adviser once described as "a cross between Henry Kissinger and Minnie Mouse" : Dr. RUTH - I can see that

11. Scotts offering : MIRACLE-GRO
 12*. "Sure, let me try it" : I'LL TAKE ONE

13. Forecast word : CLEAR - but chilly, at least for another week - I am in no hurry for the heat and humidity, thank you

15. Brilliant fish : TETRAs

21. Theme : MOTIF

22. Like an executrix: Abbr. : FEMale - the "ix" ending

24. Fish eater : OSPREY

25. Stick in : ADD

26*. Follows : COMES LATER

27*. Traverse : MOVE ACROSS

29. Beach shelter : RAMADA - learning moment; straight up definition -
an open shelter, often having a dome-shaped thatched roof, and installed especially on beaches and picnic grounds.

34. Bog fuels : PEATS

36*. The moment after : AS SOON AS

38. Bubbly title : DOM Perignon

40. Tennyson's "lily maid of Astolat" : ELAINE - again, WAGs and perps

42. Montreal daily : GAZETTE

43. "Congo" attacker : APE - Michael Crichton - read the book, saw the movie

45*. Revive, as a bad memory : DRAG UP

47. Get a load of : AMASS

49. Crinkly gauze : LISSE - according to the dictionary, it's made from silk thread.  From the Frawnche, again

52. Old Vatican coin : LIRA

53. One of Hawaii's five counties : MAUI

54. ICU personnel : LPNs

55. "Ecclesiastical History of the English People" author : BEDE

58. Bulky center? : ELL - b-u-L-k-y

59. Old TV knob : HORizontal - DAH~!!! not UHF or VHF


Apr 18, 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014, Peter Koetters

Theme: How would you like your puzzle? Over-easy? No I will have it scrambled.

Another Friday where we mix up some letters and get new fill. Peter has done a few puzzles here, I blogged his first LAT back about three years ago, and this is his first for 2014. Really a mostly straightforward Friday with a classic mix up letters theme. There are some difficult proper names; you need to know some mythology, some old-time baseball, some Gilbert & Sullivan, some rock  roll, some history and some literature. A nice bundle, as a Friday should be. So let us see how the letters arrange themselves.

17A. Fish-derived supplement : COD LIVER OIL  This is one of those oddities where a scrambled version of a word can be built from either direction. Having to down a tablespoon of this supplement was one of the fears of childhood in my youth.

24A. Prince Charles' closetful : SAVILE ROW SUITS. The London street where the Tailors toil. Steve any comments?


37A. Leaving the jurisdiction, perhaps : PAROLE VIOLATION. The legal system has gone away from Parole to a new type of supervised release.

48A. 1982 Joan Jett & the Blackhearts hit : I LOVE ROCK'N ROLL.

59A. Literary orphan ... and what 17-, 24-, 37- and 48-Across each contains? : OLIVER TWIST,

The rest.


1. Famiglia nickname : MAMMA. Italian for family.

6. Celtic language : WELSH. One of 4 which remain spoken. I wonder why the basketball team was never pronounced the "keltics.'

11. Base enforcers, briefly : MPS. Military Police. Interesting because it is a plural but no place to put the S.

14. Menu listings : ITEMS.

15. Muse with a lyre : ERATO. She appears so often I am no longer amused.

16. Bugler in a forest : ELK.

19. Behold : SEE.

20. Diners Club competitor : AMEX. I think American Express would debate this clue.

21. Binding promise : I DO. And you will.

22. Tool that's not for crosscuts : RIP SAW.  I hope you have SEEN all the types of saws. Maybe Splynter will come by and give more personal information on sawing.

27. Title stuffed bear in a 2012 film : TED.  More from the mind of Seth MacFarlane. TRAILER. (2:07)

28. Valley where Hercules slew a lion : NEMEA. The first of his labors. LINK. More myth, 3D. Vengeful sorceress of myth : MEDEA. A little shout out to me, as she was married to Jason.

29. Site of the Alaska Purchase transfer ceremony : SITKA. Back in 1867 we bought Alaska from the Russians, and the ceremony took place in this southeastern city. With a population of 8,881 in 2010, Sitka is the fourth-largest city by population in Alaska. By land, it is the largest in the United States. (per wiki and others).

33. Blues home: Abbr. : STL. The hockey franchise.

34. Cellular messengers : RNAS.

41. Brest pals : AMIS. I think it works better with milk.

42. Most soldiers : MEN.

43. Hall of Fame umpire Conlan : JOCKO. Those of us who love baseball and study the game know this MAN, but I cannot imagine many here know the name.

44. App writer : CODER. My meh of the day.

46. "... against a __ of troubles": Hamlet : SEA. Take arms...

54. Luxury watch : BULOVA. Luxury?

55. Bailed-out insurance co. : AIG. American International Group, Inc. The STORY.

56. Mislead : FOOL. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

58. "The Prague Cemetery" novelist : ECO. I think we recently had this PHILOSOPHER , for a different book (Foucault's Pendulum) back in January.

62. It may be fresh or stale : AIR.

63. Milk source : UDDER. Would you drink human milk as an adult?

64. Sculled : OARED. A word I also do not like, also 50D. Underground worker : CAVER.

65. House and Howser : MDS. Medical Doctors.

66. Bygone monarchs : TSARS.

67. Winemaking tool : PRESS.


1. Mineral found in sheets : MICA.

2. Basic matter : ATOMS.

4. Appomattox bicentennial year : MMLXV. 2065.

5. Faulkner's "__ Lay Dying" : AS I. A novel often regarded as one of the best by an American author. Link.

6. Did lawn work : WEEDED.

7. Proofer's find : ERROR.

8. Thai native : LAO. I find the history of the countries and the designation confusing, so maybe you can READ and explain it to me.

9. Last words in a drink recipe, perhaps : STIR WELL.

10. "Total patient" treatment : HOLISM. Holistic medicine does not mean natural medicine, but the two are intertwined.

11. Like one expected to deliver? : MESSIANIC. I really do not get this fill at all, as my knowledge of the word relates to a Messiah.

12. Fabric fold : PLEAT.

13. Slants : SKEWS.

18. Revolting : VILE.

23. __ Rico : PUERTO.

25. Angled ltrs. : ITALics.

26. Not misled by : ON TO.

29. Where to get wraps and scrubs : SPA.

30. "Are you going?" response : I AM. Insane?

31. French and Italian flags : TRICOLORS. Many nations have three colors on the flag including the US; do you all watch the show on flags?

32. Disputed Balkan republic : KOSOVO.  As with many an interesting story of CONLICT.

33. Vice principle : SIN.

35. Hunky-dory : A-OK. A word coined by our astronauts.

36. __-cone : SNO.

38. Taurus birthstones, perhaps : EMERALDS. Since many born under the sign of the Bull are born in May, they get the gleaming green gem.

39. Florida's __ Beach : VERO. One of the many small beach town along the Atlantic coast.

40. Out of a jamb? : AJAR. har de har har, har.

45. Pious : DEVOUT.

46. They're often on a slippery slope : SKIERS. Hopefully...

47. MIT grad, often : ENGR. Engineer.

48. Construction girder : I-BEAM. The I from the song made this easy.

49. Understandable : LUCID.

51. Sun Tzu's "The Art __" : OF WAR.

52. Longest river in France : LOIRE. A common clue/fill.

53. Gets knocked off : LOSES.

57. Old Fords : LTDS. Limiteds.

60. Gilbert and Sullivan princess : IDA. I know some G & S but not this one.

61. Part of an inning : TOP. When the visitors bat.

Another Friday done, and for those of you observing best wishes for today and Easter. I am off to rest up from the cold weather. Lemonade out.

Note from C.C.:

Here are  a few lovely pictures from the Australia trip Kazie  her husband Barry took a couple of weeks ago. Click here for more. Kay was born and grew up in Australia.

  Barry and Kay on Tamborine Mountain, overlooking Brisbane


  Another friend laying down the law to some pet llamas


Rainbow lorikeets feeding 

Apr 17, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014 Stu Ockman

Theme: Tribute Puzzle

1. 59-Across role in 27-Across : EGON. Spengler.

17. 1978 film co-written by 59-Across : ANIMAL HOUSE.

27. 1984 film co-written and co-starring 59-Across : GHOSTBUSTERS.

44. 1993 film co-written and directed by 59-Across : GROUND HOG DAY.

59. This puzzle's honoree (1944-2014) : HAROLD RAMIS.

67. 59-Across was its original head writer : SCTV. Second City Television.  Breeding ground of many fine comics.

Although he has had several NY Times puzzles, I believe this is the LA Times debut for Stu Ockman. I had no idea who HAROLD RAMIS was, but the movies all filled in easily. Since he just died in February of this year, the tribute seemed appropriate and timely. Let's see what else is in the cards today.


5. Yenta : GOSSIP.

11. Sneaky chuckle : HEH.

14. Fish found in a film : NEMO.

15. Finger-shaped dessert : ECLAIR.

16. __ pro nobis : ORA. "Pray for us," Latin.

19. Ross musical, with "The" : WIZ. Diana Ross.

20. Reached, as goals : MET.

21. Zapped : LASED. I had tased at first.

22. Sly : CAGEY.

24. Server's warning : IT'S HOT. When they bring that sizzling, smoking cast iron pan containing your fajita to the table, do you really need to be told, "Careful, it's hot"???

26. 1997 Home Run Derby winner Martinez : TINO. All perps...

33. "__ la vista, baby!" : HASTA. Arnold Schwarzenegger's classic line in "Terminator 2."

36. Stout sleuth, in more ways than one : WOLFE. Is that a stout beer he's drinking?

37. Drench : SOP.

38. Pacers, e.g. : AMCs. Funny looking cars made from 1975-80.

39. "That's enough!" : CAN IT.

40. "Smiling, petite ball of fire," to Philbin : RIPA. Kelly.

41. Not paleo- : NEO.

42. Arrive : GET IN.

43. Assuages to the max : SATES.

47. Skye slope : BRAE. The Scottish Isle of Skye has BRAEs instead of hills.

48. Medicinal syrup : IPECAC.

52. Pastoral poems : IDYLS.

54. 5th Dimension vocalist Marilyn : McCOO. Her classic "Wedding Bell Blues." 3:01

57. Horseplayer's hangout, for short : OTBOff Track Betting.

58. Turkey : DUD.

62. Funny Philips : EMONo clue.  But on Thursdays, I guess "Expressive rock genre" would be too easy.

63. "Lost" actress de Ravin : EMILIENo clue. I never watched the show.

64. Fade : WILT.

65. GI's address : APOArmy Post Office.

66. Bulletin board admins : SYSOPs. SYStem OPerators.


1. As a friend, to Fifi : EN AMI.

2. "The Balcony" playwright : GENET. Quite a shady character.

3. Neglects to mention : OMITS.

4. 2-Down, par exemple : NOM. French "name."

5. Italian dessert : GELATO. Am I the only person in the world who doesn't like ice cream?

6. Protest singer Phil : OCHS.

7. Gin fizz fruit : SLOE.

8. King Faisal's brother : SAUD.

9. "__ for Innocent": Grafton novel : I IS. I think she is up to "W Is for Wasted."

10. On the nose : PRECISE.

11. "'Sup?" : HOW GOES IT?

12. Scary-sounding lake : ERIE. Eerie.

13. Not clear : HAZY.

18. Don Ho "Yo" : ALOHA.

23. Aardvark snack : ANT.

25. 5'10" and 6'3": Abbr. : HGTS. Heights.

26. Titmouse topper, perhaps : TUFT.

28. Mown strip : SWATH. Will we ever be mowing again? I woke up to snow on the ground yesterday morning!

29. "Pagliacci" clown : TONIO.

30. Showy jewelry : BLING.

31. Clue weapon : ROPE.

32. Cruise ship conveniences : SPAS.

33. Chill out : HANG.

34. AMA member?: Abbr. : AMER.ican Medical Association.

35. "Ruh-roh!" pooch : SCOOBY DOO.

39. Give up : CEDE.

40. Comedic Martha : RAYE.

42. Grinds in anger, maybe : GNASHES.

43. Flavor : SAPOR. Like sweetness or sourness.

45. Modern address : URL.

46. Some are light-emitting : DIODES.

49. "Cathy," for one : COMIC. ACK!

50. Skewed : ATILT.

51. "The Amazing Race" network : CBS TV.

52. Flash, perhaps : IDEA.

53. Get rid of : DUMP.

54. 3-D images : MRIs.Magnetic Resonance Imaging(s).

55. USAF Academy home : COLO.rado.

56. Swindle, in slang : CLIP.

60. March girl : AMY. One of the "Little Women."

61. Baby-viewing responses : AWs. Lemonade's granddaughter induces her share, I'm sure!

That's it from me for now!


Apr 16, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 Gareth Bain

Theme: Trick Shots. The first word of all the theme answers can precede "SHOT" to create a new phrase.

17A. *Tyke's dinnertime perch : BOOSTER SEAT. Just hearing "booster shot" as a kid was enough to strike fear into my heart. I didn't do well with needles.

25A. *Unfair deception : CHEAP TRICK. Floyd Mayweather notoriouly knocked out Victor Ortiz in 2011 with what was alleged to be a cheap shot. The referee looks as startled as Ortiz! This is a little different from the other theme entries as both words could be paired with "SHOT".

37A. *Insignificant amount : DROP IN THE BUCKET. Roger Federer is the master of the tennis version of the drop shot.

48A. *Numero uno : HEAD HONCHO. I live in the city of the head shot, and those of many an unknown actor adorn the walls of hairdressers and convenience stores.

And the reveal:

59A. Try, or a hint to the first words of the answers to starred clues : GIVE IT A SHOT

Hola, Amigos! Steve here with a nice Gareth Bain outing. Some very fun cluing and a tight theme adds up to a cheerful Wednesday.


1. Monarchy : REALM

6. Many a class reunion tune : OLDIE

11. "Captain Phillips" actor Hanks : TOM. I saw this movie recently - very intense. I was actually shaking at the end.

14. __ ink : INDIA

15. Fishing spots : PIERS. Hand up for HOLES first.

16. Title heartbreaker in a Three Dog Night song : ELI

19. "I'm not a crook" monogram : RMN. Richard Milhous Nixon, or more appropriately, "Tricky Dicky".

20. Rogue : RASCAL. Nice placement with the previous answer.

21. Plowing measure : ACRES. I wonder why this word escaped the US English spelling reform that transforms meter/metre and liter/litre amongst others.

23. Ad Council ad, briefly : P.S.A. Public Service Announcement. Crosses for me, I didn't know this abbreviation nor the connection with the Ad Council.

28. Energetic : ACTIVE

31. Obvious joy : GLEE

32. "Spider-Man" trilogy director Sam : RAIMI

33. Feel sorry about : RUE

34. Quipster : WIT

42. Weekend TV fare for nearly 40 yrs. : S.N.L.

43. Reading after resetting : OOO. I'm assuming this is referring to a car's mileage trip odometer? If so, what's the protocol for using letters to denote what are really numbers?

44. "Roots" hero __ Kinte : KUNTA

45. Scandinavian port : OSLO

47. Comeback : RETORT

53. Used to be : WAS

54. Lover of Euridice, in a Monteverdi work : ORFEO. I was scratching my head wondering why ORPHEUS wasn't going to fit and began pondering whether Euridice had more than one lover. Then the penny dropped with the reference to the Italian composer.

55. Decide not to ride : HOOF IT

58. Cambridge sch. : MIT

64. Rocks found in bars : ICE. Uh-Oh - don't look, Tinbeni.

65. Software buyers : USERS

66. Kevin of "Cry Freedom" : KLINE

67. Audio receiver : EAR

68. Tag cry : NOT IT

69. Loosened : EASED


1. Cage component : RIB

2. Ambient music innovator : ENO. Immensely talented gentleman. And for a man with a three-letter last name, he certainly makes up for it with what precedes it - his full name is Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno.

3. Worship : ADORATION

4. Brainy Simpson : LISA

5. Yoga class supply : MATS

6. Onetime rival of Sally Jessy : OPRAH. Sally Who? Before my (USA) time.

7. Stocking thread : LISLE

8. Mark of concern : DEE

9. Roth __ : IRA.

10. Collection of heir pieces? : ESTATE. Another fun clue.

11. Country singer Gibbs : TERRI

12. Ancient Mexican tribe known for carved stone heads : OLMEC

13. Capital WSW of Moscow : MINSK. The capital of Belarus. It looks quite pleasant from a distance.

18. "__ homo" : ECCE

22. Style reportedly named for Ivy League oarsmen : CREW CUT. The Germans call it a bürstenschnitt; I doubt we'll be seeing that in the crossword any time soon.

23. Western chum : PARD

24. Lasting marks : SCARS

26. Hot-and-cold fits : AGUE

27. Working class Roman : PLEB. I thought this was a slangy term for "plebeian" but as it's not clued that way I guess it's a word in itself.

29. Collapse inward : IMPLODE

30. Sundial hour : VII. One of my personal "Hall of Fame" words is "gnomon" - the shadow-caster on the sundial.

33. Greek consonant : RHO

35. "Don't tell me, don't tell me!" : I KNOW THIS. The puzzle-solver's mantra.

36. Neon swimmer : TETRA

38. Court plea, briefly : NOLO. Nolo Contendere, or a plea of "No Contest".

39. Multi-cel creature? : TOON

40. Commonly four-stringed instrument : UKE

41. Bits of ankle art, say : TATS. I'm tattoo-free - more needle-phobia.

46. Former Japanese military ruler : SHOGUN

47. Horseradish, e.g. : ROOT. A lot of the wasabi served in Japanese restaurants outside Japan is likely to be a mixture of horseradish and mustard, dyed green. I've had the genuine stuff freshly grated using a piece of sharkskin and the flavor is more subtle than the substitute.

48. Pal, slangily : HOMIE

49. Novelist Jong : ERICA

50. "... happily ever __" : AFTER

51. Oteri of 42-Across : CHERI

52. Lift : HOIST

56. Knockoff : FAKE

57. Land surrounded by agua : ISLA

60. Prefix with metric : ISO

61. Doc who administers a pet scan? : VET

62. United : ONE

63. English poet Hughes : TED. This Poet Laureate was fond of writing odes to dead things. Charming chap!

I'm in Texas this week - the first time I've actually set foot in the state (I don't count changing planes as visiting a state or a country). I'm hoping to track down some famous barbecue tonight!

As a Texan might say "It's a wrap, and bigger than any wrap you've seen before".