Jun 1, 2014

Sunday June 1, 2014 Gia Christian

Theme: "The Sound of Victory" - V sound is added to the end of the first word in each theme entry.

22A. Traveler's nightmare due to a road crew strike? : PAVE AS YOU GO. Pay as you go.

27A. Wait on a knight? : SERVE GALAHAD. Sir Galahad.

52A. Rocky in a serious mood? : GRAVE SQUIRREL. Rocky the Flying Squirrel. The base phrase is "Gray squirrel".

88A. Make statues of leading reps? : CARVE SALESMEN. Car salesman

113A. Computer maintenance tool? : DRIVE CLEANER. Dry cleaner. Do you clean your keyboard with Gas Duster? I think I might have ruined our last keyboard that way. The spray was so powerful that  a few keys did not re-bounce easily.

121A. Throw out all your stuff? : SAVE NOTHING. Say nothing.
3D. Ancient greeting? : WAVE BACK WHEN. Way back when.

65D. Crack up during a jackknife? : DIVE LAUGHING. Die laughing.

I mentioned this before: sound addition is more interesting and challenging than simply letter string addition. You need to be really imaginative.

Gia Christian is Rich's alias name, it's an anagram of "Again It's Rich". I love when theme entries intersect, Rich makes it so easy. He did it in his last Sunday also (Nora Pearlstone byline). The only time I made it happen, I was so excited!

1. Cal. sequence : M T W T F. Cool cluster of consonants.

6. One pulling in pushers : NARC. Pushers the drug dealers. Yellowrocks might have seen these professional pushers when she visited Japan.

10. They're grabbed on corners : CABS

14. Fashionable fold : CUFF

18. "__ Ben Jonson": literary epitaph : ORARE. Misspelled in the inscription as O RARE.

19. Similar: Pref. : HOMEO

20. Other, in Oaxaca : OTRA

21. Paris possessive : A TOI

24. Checking aid : REIN

25. Glacial lake : TARN

26. 1954 Emmy winner for Best Female Star of a Regular Series : EVE ARDEN. "Our Miss Brooks".

30. Credit report item : DEBT

31. "Just like that!" sound : SNAP

33. Domingo, e.g. : DIA. Domingo = Sunday. Not the tenor.

34. Enviable mark : A PLUS

35. List of candidates : SLATE

37. Stake for Keats?: Abbr. : ANAG. Stake and Keats are anagrams.

39. Faux pas : SLIP

42. Unacceptable : NOT OK

44. They aren't major players : COGS

46. Social worker's backlog : CASELOAD

49. Actress Rowlands : GENA. Loved "The Notebook"

50. Legendary rescue boat : ARK

56. Pepper's title: Abbr. : SGT. Sgt Pepper.

57. Hems, say : SEWS

59. Dressy accessories : TIE CLIPS

60. Letter-shaped fastener : T NUT

62. Baseball commissioner before Ueberroth : KUHN (Bowie). OK, TTP, Husker Gary & Buckeye Bob, what did this guy achieve? He's before my time (2001).

63. Eighth Avenue subway in New York : A TRAIN. Never been to NY.

64. Joined : SIGNED UP

68. Wee hr. : ONE AM

70. 2000 Gere title role : DR. T

71. Chickadee cousin : TIT

73. Deli specialty : KNISH

74. System used in home decor : FENG SHUI. Cantonese and Hong Kongese are very into Feng Shui.

77. Largest Bay Area county : SONOMA. New trivia to me.

80. Kind of round : OVAL

81. Dated : SEEN

82. Bag on the back : RUCKSACK. Oh, I Just call it backpack.

84. __ Park: Queens area : REGO

85. Log shaper : ADZ

91. Villain Luthor : LEX.  And 95. Singer McEntire : REBA. And 6D. Reagan biographer Peggy : NOONAN. And 89D. Kilmer of "Top Gun" : VAL. And 98D. Wallace of "E.T." : DEE. And 118. Jazzy James : ETTA. All straightforward clues.

92. Ancient mountain crossing, say : TREK

94. Where keyboard users can get tips : PIANO BAR. Rich plays piano. Lots of constructors are musicians.

97. Got on : FARED

99. Gooey stuff : GLOP

100. Small-runway aircraft acronym : STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing). Gimme for Dudley.

103. Pale wine : BLUSH

106. Jewish folklore creature : GOLEM

108. Part of KJV: Abbr. : VER. KJV = King James Version. We had this clue before.

110. Wine seller : SHOP

112. Turkish general : AGHA

117. Became harder to bear : WORE THIN

119. Rajah's spouse : RANI

120. Serious surprise : JOLT

123. Revered one : ICON

124. Bassoon kin : OBOE

125. Continental boot? : ITALY

126. Nearing the hour : TEN TO

127. Personnel office array : PENS

128. Curve : BEND

129. Substance in the sea's H2O : NACL

130. Element #18 : ARGON

1. Tourists' rentals : MOPEDS. I never rented a moped.

2. Tour : TRAVEL

4. Buy for, as dinner : TREAT TO

5. Trepidation : FEAR

7. Asia's __ Darya river : AMU

8. Rules, briefly : REGS

9. Murmured from a cote : COOED

10. Oregon State city : CORVALLIS. Beavers. The Ducks are based in Eugene.

11. Exactly, with "to" : A TEE

12. Two-masted vessel : BRIG

13. Capital SW of Muscat : SANA'A

14. Mail-order purchase enclosure, often : CATALOG. Don't order flowers/plants/seeds from Michigan Bulb. Awful!

15. Pac-12 team : UTAH UTES

16. Really cheap : FOR A SONG

17. Discovery : FIND

19. Doglike scavenger : HYENA

23. Active campus gp. during the Vietnam War : SDS (Students for a Democratic Society)

28. Rebel : RISE UP

29. Hosp. staffer : LPN

32. Racing safety vehicle : PACE CAR

36. Breakfast food : EGG. OK, tell me what's your typical breakfast in the summer?

38. Like old Paris streets : GAS-LIT

40. High school suffix : IOR. Oh, like Junior or Senior.

41. Story opener : PART I

43. Kit __: candy bar : KAT

45. Span. lass : SRTA

47. Newspaper ad meas. : SQ IN (Square Inch)

48. Leader after Mao : DENG. In fact, Hua Guofeng succeeded Mao in 1976, but was ousted by Deng in 1978. This is like cluing OBAMA as "President after Clinton".

50. Would like from : ASK OF

51. Meet with the old gang : REUNE.

53. River islet : AIT

54. "Rigoletto" composer : VERDI

55. Blockhead : LUNK. I need to use this word.

58. Stocking mishaps : SNAGS

61. Domingo, e.g. : TENOR

64. Old porticos : STOAS

66. Dictionary note subject : USAGE

67. Showy flowers : PHLOX. I think JD has this in her garden.

69. PC time meas. : MSEC

71. Gertrude Stein confidante Alice B. __ : TOKLAS. Her lover. Lots of juicy gossip in this book.

72. Many newspaper ads : INSERTS

75. Sloppy stack : HEAP

76. Strip of gear, as a ship : UNRIG

77. Walkout walk-in : SCAB. Nice clue.

78. Year McKinley was reelected : MCM.  1900.

79. 1966 A.L. Fireman of the Year Jack : AKER . Relievers are called "Firemen". I have no memory of this guy at all. Seattle Pilots! Long long time ago.

82. Fixed up : RENOVATED

83. Event to be played in Pinehurst, N.C., in 2014 : US OPEN. Gimme for Argyle.

85. DOJ enforcer : ATF

86. Contest that's over in seconds : DRAG RACE

87. Prepare to shoot at : ZERO IN ON

90. Cornhusker's st. : NEB

93. Temperature units : KELVINS. Learning moment to me.

96. Poppycock : BLATHER

101. Sighed line : OH WELL

102. Senseless : LOONY

104. Eastern faith : SHINTO. Literally "way of the gods". Japanese "To" = Cantonese "Tao". Shin = Gods. In Chinese, it's SHEN.

105. "Please hold" equivalent : HANG ON

107. Not usually an opportunity for advancement : McJOB

109. Amber, for one : RESIN

111. With 116-Down, shared equitably : PRO. And 116. See 111-Down : RATA

113. Plumbing problem : DRIP

114. Hoop site : LOBE. Hoop earrings.

115. North Carolina school : ELON. Rich saves Musk references for Saturdays.

122. Little sucker? : VAC. Nice clue. Little indicates abbreviation.


May 31, 2014

Saturday, May 31st, 2014, Barry C. Silk

Theme: Saturday Silkie~!

Words: 70 (missing Q,Y)

Blocks: 26

  Ahh, such a joy to see a puzzle from Mr. Silk~!  I did not get off to a blinding start, and there were a few geographical proper names that slowed me down, but a few perps and WAGs, and it was done, and in pretty good time.  Low block count, and triple 10-letter pinwheel pattern, with nothing longer than 8 letters on the inside.  Some of the longer fill today;

1a. California/Arizona border reservoir : LAKE HAVASU - So we start with West Coast geography; I had to wait.  I was pretty sure it was "LAKE" something, or something "LAKE"

14d. Type of headlight : SEALED BEAM - pretty dated, now

28d. Winter soil phenomena : ICE NEEDLES

57. Number that's physically impossible to write out in standard form : GOOGOLPLEX- that's 10 to the 10 to the 100 - more here

Onward to the Stanley Cup~!!!


11. Has yet to settle : OWES

15. "Let a new chapter begin" : I'VE MOVED ON

16. Salinger's "__ Stories" : NINE

17. Yellow sticky, often : NOTE TO SELF - I tore off the skin from the back of my fingernail on a cardboard box yesterday, and said out loud "note to self; don't do that again"

18. With 3-Down, Wingey Wallace's comic strip girlfriend : ETTA - coupled with 3d. See 18-Across : KETT

19. __'acte : ENTR - Crossword staple

20. Pkg. measures : WTs - I can't wait for UPS to go back to being a "parcel" company; this time of year in my center, it's all patio furniture, grills, mowers, A/C units, dehumidifiers, hammocks, trampolines, etc.

21. Wife of Jacob : RACHEL - educated WAG on my part, and I was pleased to see it was correct

23. Ominous time : IDES

25. Smiley creator : LE CARRÉ - spy novel character; more here

26. Treated with malice : SPITED

29. 57501 preceder, on envelopes : PIERRE, SD - Great fill; I knew we were looking for a geographical location;  I know that NY zips are 1----, CT is 06---, Jacksonville FL is 32---, and Cincinnati, OH is 45---; I'm looking to move to 98207.  Map here

30. Place : LOCUS

31. __ ball : MATZO

32. A little freedom? : LIBeration

33. Lea grazers : EWES

34. Star of the 1931 film "M" : LORRE - got with perps

35. Film : CINE

36. Yet, poetically : E'EN

37. Toon lead singer in a leopard-print leotard : JOSIE - ah, Josie and the Pussycats - nothing subliminal here....I did not know they made a movie, too - IMDb

38. Outlook : VISTA

39. Building and grounds : PREMISES - COMPOUND worked, too - but are we talking drug dealer estate?

41. Comprehend : FATHOM - Nice

42. Post-reaping sights : SHEAVES

43. Japanese sandal : ZŌRI - I was trying to find a pic of James BOnd in Japanese garb from "You Only Live Twice" that included these sandals

44. Bunches : OODLES

45. Thrice, in Rx's : TER - I tried T.I.D., which was almost there; the Latin is "ter in die"

46. Egyptian Christian : COPT - another crossword staple, but I had to wait on perps for a reminder

50. Nonexistent : NULL

51. Blew up : BOILED OVER

54. "Gotcha" : "I SEE"

55. Liven up : INVIGORATE

56. Experiment : TEST


1. __ drive : LINE - baseball for C.C. - Of course, I am keyed up for the NY Rangers hockey team, who are on their way to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in 20yrs - and that last time, they brought it home~!

2. "The company for women" company : AVON

4. Honored retiree : EMERITUS - nailed it

5. Selling fast : HOT

6. Swore : AVOWED

7. Sleeveless garments : VESTS

8. Summer quaffs : ADES

9. Nuevo __: Peruvian currency : SOL - the only letter I got wrong was the "S"; I went with "N" to start

10. Remove restrictions from : UNFREEZE

11. Like many a garage : ONE-CAR

12. Enthusiastically : WITH RELISH

13. Signs, as an agreement : ENTERS INTO

22. Start to bat? : ACRO - ACRObat

24. __ Arc, Arkansas : DES - another geographical

25. Petrol purchase : LITRE - I watch my BBC Top Gear, so I know that gasoline is "petrol" across the pond, and bought by the litre - in fact, there was a Fiskers Karma in the Riverhead Home Depot parking lot yesterday, and I knew it right away

26. Weighs options : SLEEPS ON IT

27. Dominant team : POWERHOUSE - The Chicago Blackhawks tied their NHL series with the LA Kings last night, so we still have one last game to decide who we are playing next Wednesday

29. Trojan War figure : PARIS

31. Law recipient : MOSES - Ah, THOSE  Laws

34. Takes a bath : LOSES BIG

35. It merged with Travelers in 1998 : CITICORP - I remember the name because of this NYC skycraper, and here's a little story on why it was built on stilts

37. Tease, in slang : JIVE

38. Irreg. spelling : VARiation

40. Xylophonist's tool : MALLET

41. Antecede : FOREGO

43. 1983 Woody Allen title role : ZELIG

45. TV watcher's convenience : TIVO

47. Like zero : OVAL

48. Best of the Beatles : PETE - Pete Best was the original drummer

49. Big natural history museum attraction : T-REX

52. Bride in 1969 news : ONO - More Bealtes

53. N.Z. currency : DOLLar


May 30, 2014

Friday, May 30, 2014, Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: Cross reference mania: "THERE WAS AN OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED A..."

Wow, JW is back and delivering what I anticipate will be a much talked about, much loved and much hated puzzle.

First, by use of perps and intuition you must solve the cross-referenced 29A, 35A and 49A to get to the title of the song (story). Only then can you begin to solve the 8 things which this old lady swallowed. This puts a real premium solving all the perps, which were not all easy, though we do have a goodly amount of 3 and 4 letter fill to help get that done. I did not recall this SONG but in reading the article I do have a vague recollection of the Jeff Goldblum line in the movie. 81 words with an average length of 4.84 is not at all Friday like, but there are many new and interesting fill and some nice decent length ones like ADRENAL, AS BIG AS,  ELITISM,  EMPANEL, LAGASSE,  LIONESS,  MADDENS,  MARIANA,  MASCARA, TWO-TONE, HITS WITH,  STEM CELL. It was just a very odd puzzle for me to complete. The challenge  to the constructor to fit the refrain in the grid and then add each creature, in order as they are recited was daunting. I do not see any customary symmetry, but I am still so naive when it comes to gridding. Of course Friday is the day for experimentation and ingenuity, and this must have been fun if you knew the song. We will have some songs as well, enjoy.

29A. With 35- and 49-Across, start of a refrain whose ending words appear in sequence in the answers to starred clues : THERE WAS AN.(10).

35A. See 29-Across : OLD LADY WHO.(10).

49A. See 29-Across : SWALLOWED A. (10).

6A. *See 29-Across : FLY.(3). The rhyme has all these weird finishes, like here, "Perhaps she'll die."

17A *See 29-Across : SPIDER.(6).or here, "It wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her."

19A. *See 29-Across : BIRD. (4).

20A. *See 29-Across : CAT. (3).

58A. *See 29-Across : DOG.(3).

63A. *See 29-Across : GOAT.(4).

71A. *See 29-Across : COW.(3)

72A. *See 29-Across : HORSE.(5).

Notice the absence of short theme entry symmetry.


1. Whimpers : MEWLS. A word I associate with puppies and kitties.

9. Cooperative group : TEAM. My son works where there are no bosses, only team leaders.

13. Hindu nectar : AMRITA. Luckily, I started doing all the downs, so I had this from the perps as I had no memory of this Hindu (Sanskrit) version of ambrosia.

15. Suitor : BEAU. Are only men suitors?

16. Pierce player : ALDA. Hawkeye, Alan on M*A*S*H.

18. Pool equipment : RACK. Always fun excuse to LINK a pretty one.

21. High-tech card contents : MEMORY.I think my own internal one needs an upgrade.

23. Toned down : MUTED.

24. "Star Wars" saga nickname : ANI. From I the Phantom Menace, also known as baby Darth.

25. Web store icon : CART.

26. Quad Cities city : MOLINE. Davenport and Bettendorf. in Iowa; and Rock Island and Moline in Illinois. Easy for some, but not for me.

27. French income : RENTE. The "E" makes this difficult because they call their government pension, "RENTE."

32. __ bloom: pond buildup : ALGAL. Algae.

33. Additionally : TOO.

34. San Jose Earthquakes' org. : MLSMajor League Soccer. World Cup in Brazil this year, and no Landon Donovan for the US.

41. Dough extruder? : ATMAutomated Teller Machine.

44. It may follow T. : REX. Nice CSO to all the dinosaurs out there reading this.

45. "Washington Week" moderator Gwen : IFILL. No politics, but I like IFILL as FILL.

54. Actress Raymonde of "Lost" : TANIA. Did not recall her, but I was not a big fan of the show. She has a bit of a Penelope Cruz look going on.

55. Withstood the ordeal : BORE UP. When it is good to be bored.

56. Matterhorn's range : ALPS. For his usual biographer, marti, a CSO.

59. "Just me," formally : IT IS I. An old debate in these parts.

60. Immature : CALLOW. I used to get in trouble questioning why they call kids immature or CALLOW YOUTH, which made no sense to complain about since they were just kids.

62. Article in El Diario : UNA.  One is Spanish; does anyone here keep a diary?

64. Decline : WANE.

65. Sign of fish : PISCES.

67. Youngest Brontë : ANNE. A very talented but  doomed FAMILY.

68. Chimps, e.g. : APES. Read all about our closest cousins HERE, no monkeying around.

69. Make a point of : STRESS. I cannot stress the importance of paying attention.

70. Prepare scallops, in a way : SEAR. Try some NOW?


1. Cosmetic product : MASCARA.

2. Put on a jury : EMPANEL. Back in the courtroom.

3. "On __": Stephen King memoir : WRITING.

4. Cover : LID.

5. Subject of recent medical research : STEM CELL. A little SCIENCE.

6. Dread : FEAR.

7. Like many doilies : LACY. I read this as "dollies" and could not think of a single lacy dolly. Well, there was

8. Guffaw : YUK.

9. Roman slate : TABULA. Latin, famous from TABULA RASA, meaning a clean slate.

10. Upper-class rule : ELITISM. People who read Latin and stuff.

11. Major endocrine gland : ADRENAL. More Latin, meaning to the renal.

12. Really ticks off : MADDENS. Only John is famous.

14. Field : AREA.

15. Stew basis : BROTH. Now there are a million stocks you can buy pre-made, see KNORR.

22. "Rocky III" actor : MR. T. Every fool 'no dat.

23. Do some yard work : MOW. and if we add an "E."

26. Call from a Persian : MEOW. Not the Shah, but a kitty.

28. Eastern "way" : TAO.

30. LAX listing : ETDEstimated Time of Departure.

31. Mr. Rogers on a horse : ROY. Often partnered with DALE. 52D. Low-lying locales : DALES. Often partnered with hills, or CHIP.

36. Let go : DROP.

37. Kareem, formerly : LEW. Alcindor, of UCLA basketball fame.

38. Let go : AXE. I get this fill often.

39. Gives suddenly, as bad news : HITS WITH. Am I the only one who went to this...

40. Son-gun connection : OF A. I wonder when weapons replaced female dogs.

41. Comparable to, sizewise : AS BIG AS.

42. Like some sporty shoes : TWO TONE.

43. __ Islands: Guam locale : MARIANA.

46. Draft __ motor: gas furnace component : INDUCER.

47. Hunting 20-Across : LIONESS.A really extruded (yes I like the word) convoluted way of relating to the above CAT, but all cats hunt.

48. "Kicked-up Sandwiches" author : LAGASSE. He does a series of KICKED-UP stuff.

50. Bluegrass guitarist Flatt : LESTER.

51. Him, to Henri : LUI. Straight French.

53. The whole shebang : ALL.

57. Boston __ : POPS. Musical Interlude.

Since memorial day is actually tomorrow.

60. Mob boss : CAPO. Italian for captain.

61. From the top : ANEW.

64. Female in WWII : WACWomen's Army Corps.

66. "No more seats" sign : SROStanding Room Only.

Well I know you all are glad to see me back on Friday, but keep your seats, hold the applause and hang on for the Saturday special presented by Splynter. Lemonade out.

May 29, 2014

Thursday, May 29, 2014 David Steinberg

Theme: "Pawn Stars"

The reveal for this puzzle can be found at 38-Across. Game where the ends of the answers to starred clues are commonly heard : CHESS.

17-Across. *Aperture : LENS OPENING. The most important part of the game, where players set up their pawns and develop their pieces.

24-Across. *Words said between courses : KEEP YOUR FORK. Typically, this refers to a knight that attacks two different chess pieces.

46-Across. *It can be a painful reminder : REALITY CHECK. A direct attack on the opponent's king. It can be painful for a chess champion...

57-Across. *Sister's symbol : SORORITY PIN. When an opponent pins a piece, it means that the piece cannot move because doing so would expose another more valuable piece, like the king or queen.

11-Down. *Part of a class act : SCHOOLMATE. When a player is in mate (short for "checkmate"), it means that his king has no legal move, and he loses the game.

28-Down. *Place to see shell decorations : SAND CASTLE. A move done during the opening, where the king and rook swap sides. It can either be "long" (on the queen's side) where the rook moves three squares, or "short" (on the king's side) where the rook moves two squares:

Six long theme entries, with four intersecting each other, plus a reveal in the center of the grid. I'm as impressed with David's puzzle as I would be watching Kasparov play against Karpov!

The rest of the fill was pretty straight-forward for a Thursday, with only a few misdirections. 


1. Chain named for two oceans : A AND P. I was thinking islands here, not grocery stores. Plus, I had "AGs" at 4-down, so this was the last to fill. Officially, A&P is "The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company."

6. Diet guru Jenny : CRAIG. Kirstie Alley is back as the spokesperson.

11. Slender slider : SKI. Nailed it! (Did you think of the little hamburgers?)

14. Patch plant : BRIAR. If you fall into one, you may need to patch your pants.

15. Cuban dance : RUMBA. Salsa or mambo would also fit...

16. "The Lead With Jake Tapper" airer : CNN.

19. __ polloi : HOI.

20. Suffix with Senegal : ESE.

21. First American to orbit Earth : GLENN. And a clecho at 10-Down. First Russian to orbit Earth : GAGARIN.

22. Oak product ... or source : ACORN. "Mighty oaks from little acorns grow."

26. Email again : RESEND. Do you sometimes regret the fact that you sent it in the first place?

29. Pie perch : SILL.

30. Seed-bearing organ : OVARY.

31. Many a preadolescent : TWEEN. In modern usage it usually signifies a young girl who is "in-between" stages of life: "Too old for toys, too young for boys." But J.R.R. Tolkien used it to describe Hobbits who were post-teenagers: "At that time Frodo was still in his tweens, as the hobbits called the irresponsible twenties between childhood and coming of age at thirty-three."

34. Hiker's reference : MAP.

37. Southernmost Ivy : PENN.

39. Bean used in falafel : FAVA. Served with veggies and tahini sauce - yummm!

40. Call off : END.

41. Underground anchors : ROOTS.

42. Turning part : ROTOR. Remember these?

43. Mine find : COAL.

45. Like some partners : SILENT.

51. Atelier fixture : EASEL.

52. Mission where Jim Bowie fell : ALAMO.

53. Hub WNW of LAS : SFO. McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, San Francisco Airport.  

56. Mohawked muscleman : MR T.

60. In the infirmary : ILL.

61. Hold water : ADD UP.

62. Maudlin : TEARY.

63. Lao-__ : TSE.

64. Irritable : TESTY.

65. Fast-growing school's need, perhaps : ANNEX.


1. Seaman descriptor : ABLE.

2. God with a vulture symbol : ARES. He had lots of other symbols: Spear, helmut, dog, chariot, boar and flaming torch.

3. Diamond group : NINE.

4. Trial VIPs : DAs. What was I thinking by putting in AGs???

5. Scion : PROGENY.

6. Walk on tiptoe : CREEP.

7. Like noses, at times : RUNNY. My allergies have been given a break with all the rain lately.

8. Kind of acid in proteins : AMINO.

9. Hebrew : Ben :: Arabic : __ : IBN.

12. Stock market giant? : KNORR. Soup stock, that is.

13. Confident way to solve crosswords : IN INK. Many Cornerites solve this way. I'm not so confident!

18. Earnestly appealed : PLED.

23. Grey Cup org. : CFLCanadian Football League. Totally filled by perps.

24. "Show Boat" composer : KERN. I have linked "Ol' Man River" sung by Paul Robeson before.

25. Takes advantage of : USES.

26. It's often skipped : ROPE. Nope, "class" wouldn't fit.

27. __ number : EVEN.

31. Nevertheless, informally : THO.

32. Slippery, perhaps : WET.

33. Pothook shape : ESS.

35. Skin So Soft seller : AVON. It has been touted as a mosquito repellent, but DEET is the only thing that works for me.

36. Barbershop division? : PART.

38. Future stallion : COLT.

39. Traditional genre : FOLK. So many to choose from, but here is Woody Guthrie's classic "This Land is Your Land."

41. Gives a tongue-lashing : RAILS AT.

42. Cannoli cheese : RICOTTA.

44. World Cup cheer : OLE.

45. One usually keeping to the right : SEMI. Tractor Trailers are often prohibited from entering the passing lane.

46. Send in : REMIT.

47. British nobles : EARLS.

48. Barbecue venues : YARDS.

49. Influence : CLOUT.

50. Half-woman, half-bird monster : HARPY. Found in classical literature, and also in "The Game of Thrones."

53. Bridge : SPAN.

54. Blaze : FIRE. Hey, C.C.! Loved your puzzle yesterday!

55. Jet-black gemstone : ONYX.

58. Flowery composition : ODE.

59. Kyoto currency : YEN. I have a yen to play some more...

…but my time is up!


May 28, 2014

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 C. C. Burnikel

Theme: Not until you see the whites of their eyes.

Let's start with the unifier.  21 D. No-parking areas, four of which are formed, in a way, by the answers to the starred clues :  FIRE LANES.

Each theme answer can follow the word FIRE, yielding an in-the-language noun or two-word noun phrase. The LANES result from the symmetrical placement of the theme answers.  Two LANES are formed by the theme fill along the vertical edges, and two more LANES are located at the fifth column in from each vertical edge.  Each LANE is made up of three theme answers, so we have a puzzle that is unusually rich in both theme density and number of theme fill entries.

A typical grid has a small number of horizontally-placed long theme answers.  This one has a large number of vertically-placed short theme answers.  Lets sniff them out.

 1 D. *Rocking good time : BALL.  Have a BALL with this puzzle.  A FIREBALL is either,  literally, a ball of fire, a projectile filled with explosives, or a bright meteor.

5 D. *"Holy smokes!" : MAN.  An expression of surprise or dismay.  Don't have a cow.   A FIREMAN is someone whose job is usually [but not always] putting out fires.

10 D. *Frighten : ALARM.  But don't be ALARMed.  A FIRE ALARM is a warning device in case of fire.

14 D. *Cyber Monday event : SALE.  The Monday after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday is used as an e-tail marketing ploy.  A FIRE SALE originally referred to goods deeply discounted due to FIRE damage.  Now it's any sales event at steeply discounted prices, though often occurring under financial distress.

23 D. *Attack forcefully : STORM.  Often a full frontal assault.  A FIRESTORM is a large, powerful FIRE that burns so hot that it produces strong winds.  Less literally, it refers to a raging controversy or strong and sudden outburst.

25 D. *Delivery vehicle : TRUCK.  A FIRE TRUCK does not [usually] deliver FIRE.

34 D. *Authority : POWER FIRE POWER is the destructive capacity of your military arsenal

37 D. *Gem : STONE. Precious or semi-precious mineral matter.   FIRESTONE is the lone proper noun in this conflagration, the name of a tire and rubber company.. 

52 D. *Smoking gun, e.g. : PROOF.  Refers colloquially to a bit of incontrovertible incriminating evidence.  FIREPROOF means impervious or resistant to damage by fire.

55 D. *Down Under gem : OPAL FIRE OPALs, so named because of their vibrant color display, were first discovered in Australia in the second half of the 19th century.

62 D. *Secret to crack : CODE.  A word of many meanings, here indicating a system of symbols used instead of words or letters to conceal the meaning of a message.  In another sense, a FIRE CODE is a set of standards established and enforced by government for fire prevention and safety in case of fire.

66 D. *Picnic invader : ANT.  Frequent cross word invader as well.  FIRE ANTs are fiercely stinging omnivorous ants native to South America.

This is the third puzzle this month by our own dear  C.C., and I have been fortunate enough to blog two.  Raising the coincidence quotient another notch, both of these puzzles have four vertically placed theme elements, and a centrally placed vertical unifier.  Plus, you could be burnt by both themes  High marks for creative, original and consistent thinking.

Lets put on our asbestos underwear, delve into this puzzle, and see if we can avoid being charred.


1. Islands north of Cuba : BAHAMAS.  A string of more than 700 islands, cays, and islets in the Atlantic Ocean southeast of Florida.

8. Earl Grey pouches : TEA BAGS. Flavored with oil of bergamot. My go-to tea.

15. Fruit that's a source of cosmetic oil : AVOCADO.  More oil.  Watch out, this stuff is flammable

16. Hay fever drug brand : ALLEGRA.  The LW is struggling this week.  How are you doin'?

17. Beirut's country : LEBANON.  Middle-eastern coastal country nestled snugly between Israel and Syria.

18. Chicago mayor Rahm : EMANUEL

19. Belt holder : LOOP.   Also Chicago's commercial core

20. Luftwaffe foes of WWII : RAFRoyal Air Force.  Airborn FIRE POWER.

22. Red Cross training course : TRIAGE.  The assignment of degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses to decide the order of treatment of a large number of patients or casualties.

23. LPGA star __ Pak : SE RI.  Will she talk on your i-Phone?

24. Veep before LBJ : RMN.  Vice Prez in the 50s.  AKA Trickie Dickie.

25. Plot surprises : TWISTS

29. Sushi topper : ROE.  Fish eggs.  Yum?

31. Snack on the trail : GORP.  Disgusting sounding name for a trail mix of peanuts, raisins and M&Ms.

35. Aptly named laundry soap : RINSO.  One of the first mass-marketed soap powders over 100 years ago.  It was unable to compete with Tide in the 50's, was modified as Rinso Blue, and was eventually rebranded as Surf.  Rinso brand is still marketed in other parts of the world, but Rinso Blue is now sold exclusively to Smurfs.

36. Roman goddess of agriculture : CERES.  And eponym for the largest body in the asteroid belt, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter - a rock and ice [not FIRE] ball 590 miles in diameter.

38. Letter after pi : RHO.   If you rho, rho, rho your boat, will you get to eat pi?

39. Answering to : UNDER.   This works in two senses.  In an organization you are under the person you answer to, and if you answer to an assumed name, you are UNDER an alias. 

40. Birmingham's st. : ALAbama.

41. 2007 Heisman Trophy winner : TEBOW.  Tim, a University of Florida QB who went on to a flash-in-the-pan career with the Denver Broncos before being traded to the Jets, then the Patriots who cut him last August.  He is now a college football analyst for ESPN.

43. Half of CDII : CCI  402/2 = 201.  Bach sometimes included his musical signature in compositions.  What could C C I mean?

44. It may be precious : METAL.  Especially a certain gold ring.

46. Zinc __ : OXIDE.  Opaque sun block

47. Capsize, with "over" : KEEL.  The keel is on the bottom of the boat - until it KEELs over.

49. Harry Potter pal : RON.  And your humble blogging trombonist, he said, ironically.

50. GM security system : ON STAR. You can use your smart phone to lock your car.

51. Therapists' org. : APA. American Psychiatry Association.

53. Munich article : EINE. Meaning a, an or one.

55. Takes place : OCCURS.

58. Home of Absolut Vodka: Abbr. : SWEden.

59. Like "le" in Fr. : MASCuline.

63. Talk openly about, as one's feelings : POUR OUT.  Could be a heated conversation.  Maybe the Tin Man can come up with an alternate clue.

65. Emphatic denial : I SAID NO. Could be prt of a heated conversation

67. Existing independent of experience, in logic : A PRIORI.  Instead, relating to or derived by reasoning from self-evident propositions.

68. Type of oil : LINSEED.  Yet another flammable oil, this one is colourless to yellowish, obtained from the dried, ripened seeds of the flax plant, and used in paints, varnishes, inks, soaps, and surface protectants.

69. Visa penalty : LATE FEE.  Worse than interest.

70. "Hmm ..." : LET'S SEE  .  .  .   Are we there yet?  Nope - a ways to go.


2. Small Chevy model : AVEO.  Offered from 2004-11.

3. Handbag brand with a bindle-toting icon : HOBO.

4. Put __ on: limit : A CAP.  I wanted A LID.

6. Is crazy about : ADORES.

7. Echolocation device : SONAR.  Originally an acronym for SOund Navigation And Ranging.

8. __ kwon do : TAE.   Martial art

9. Shade provider : ELM TREE.  Sadly retro

11. Actress Annette : BENING.

12. Mexican water : AGUA.  To put out the fuego.

13. 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Maddux : GREG.  BASEBALL! He's the only pitcher in MLB history to win at least 15 games for 17 straight seasons.  Read more here.

26. React to a shot : WINCE.  Hypodermic or basketball?  You be the judge.

27. Typical Sundance film : INDIE.  Independent.

28. Madison-to-Nashville dir. : SSE.

30. Like much lore : ORAL.  Passed down by word of mouth. 

32. Once around : ORBIT.  A circuit of the FIREBALL.

33. '70s sitcom spin-off : RHODA.  From the Mary Tyler Moore show

36. "The Censor" of Rome : CATO.  Marcus Porcius Cato, the elder, holder of many offices in Roman government.  As Censor he was responsible for maintaining the census, supervising public morality [from which we get our modern word censorship], and overseeing certain aspects of the government's finances.  Probably not invited to many BALLs.

42. Strait's "All My __ Live in Texas" : EXS. Which is why he resides in Tennessee.

45. Sign of a changed sheet : ERASURE.  Sheet of paper.  Common when I attempt Sudoku.
48. "House" star Hugh : LAURIE.

50. Tot's bodysuit : ONESIE

54. "Consider it done" : I WILL

56. Nightclub in a Manilow song : COPA

57. Far from chatty : CURT

59. Fail to notice : MISS

60. Cool drinks at kids' stands : ADES

61. Old-time dagger : SNEE

64. Get even with? : TIE

 Well, I had a hot time.  Hope you made it through without burning up your eraser.

Hot regards!

Note from C.C.:

The third Minnesota Crossword Tournament will be held on June 22 at The Landmark Center in Saint Paul. Please click here for more information. The puzzles are all made by our local constructors or constructors with MN ties. The constructors include Tom Pepper, Andrea Carla Michaels,  George Barany, David Hanson, David Liben-Nowell, Dan Kantor, Jay Kaskel, Andrew Ries, Don Gagliardo, Andy Kravis & Victor Barocas (also our editor). A few are our LA Times constructors. All have been published by the NY Times. Trust me on this. You'll love the puzzles. They're all creative &  fun.

George Barany, who made a brilliant tournament puzzle with David Hanson, has a wonderful collection here of all MN constructors.