Jun 23, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014 Amy Johnson

Theme: Cocktail Drops Drinks often call for Angostura bitters; today's puzzle calls for entries that can follow BITTER.

17A. *Totally, as sober : STONE COLD. Bitter cold.

21A. *Interior decorator's asset : GOOD TASTE. Bitter taste.

38A. *Facetious treatment suggestion to a bundle of nerves : CHILL PILL. Bitter pill.

59A. *Somewhat deceptive statement : HALF TRUTH. Bitter truth.

65A. Finale to fight to, and what 17-, 21-, 38- and 59-Across each literally has : BITTER END

Argyle here. No fight to the bitter end here. It all went well. I can't say that about last week. I liked seeing the overlapping entries. All in all, a good mix that should be an easy solve. Several partial clechos.


1. Home of Iowa State : AMES

5. Glasgow native : SCOT

9. Back-to-school mo. : SEPT.

13. First name in denim : LEVI. (Strauss)

14. Part of a.k.a. : ALSO

15. Butterlike spreads : OLEOs

19. "Help" signal fired from a gun : FLARE

20. Vivacity : ELAN

23. Maury of tabloid talk : POVICH. "We will have the test results at the end of the show."

25. Gal sib : SIS

26. Sharing word : OUR

27. Mined find : ORE

28. "Damn Yankees" vamp : LOLA. What she wants, she gets.

31. Safe and sound : SECURE

33. Cato's "to be" : ESSE

35. The Big Easy acronym : NOLA. (New Orleans, Louisiana)

37. Ran easily : LOPED

41. Youngest Obama : SASHA

44. Glasgow gal : LASS

45. 1998 Sarah McLachlan song : ADIA. Peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, 1998.

49. Busy in a cubicle : AT WORK

51. Something to keep under your hat? : HEAD. [ha, ha]

53. Mischievous kid : IMP

54. '70s radical org. : SLA. (Symbionese Liberation Army)

55. SSE or NNW : DIR. (direction)

57. "Pucker up!" : "KISS ME!"

63. Florist's container : VASE

64. China's Zhou __ : ENLAI

68. Thunder-and-lightning event : STORM. Catastrophic events of late.

69. Gaga over : INTO

70. Part of NIH: Abbr. : INST. (National Institutes of Health)

71. __ bit: slightly : A WEE. Little more of Glasgow.

72. Scruff of the neck : NAPE

73. Canonized mlles. : STEs. French saints.


1. Capp and Gore : ALs. Capp penned Li'l Abner.

2. Shooting stars : METEORs

3. Develops over time : EVOLVEs

4. Egypt's __ Peninsula, which borders Israel : SINAI

5. Anatomical pouch : SAC

6. Bathtub trouble : CLOG

7. Capital NNW of Copenhagen : OSLO

8. Hubbubs : TO-DOs

9. Subtle marketing technique : SOFT SELL

10. "Enchanted" title girl in a 2004 film : ELLA. "Ella Enchanted"

11. Dense fog metaphor : PEA SOUP

12. Agony : TORTURE

16. Get hot under the collar : SEE RED

18. Something besides the letter: Abbr. : ENCL. (enclosure)

22. Bad-mouth : DIS

23. American master of the macabre : POE or EAP, to some people.

24. Hägar and Helga's daughter : HONI. (l. to r.): Snert, Hamlet, Helga, Hägar, Honi, Kvack (save for future reference.)

29. Kick back : LOLL

30. Islamic deity : ALLAH

32. Coca-__ : COLA

34. Cave feedback : ECHO

36. Vaulted church area : APSE

39. Period in the pen, to a con : HARD TIME

40. "Out of Africa" novelist Dinesen : ISAK

41. Girl Scout accessories : SASHes

42. Home of Georgia Tech : ATLANTA

43. One of the birds that "come back to Capistrano," in song : SWALLOW

46. Voice an objection : DISSENT

47. Bigger than big : IMMENSE. Don't forget you can click on the pictures to see bigger results.

48. Chest-beating beast : APE

50. White wine apéritif : KIR. Blackcurrant liqueur topped up with white wine.

52. Plunge : DIVE

56. Apply during a massage : RUB IN

58. Bollywood wraps : SARIs

60. Bus rider's payment : FARE

61. Fey of "30 Rock" : TINA

62. Internet address letters : HTTP

66. From head to __ : TOE

67. Rehab woe : DTs


Notes from C.C.:

I'd like to share with you a few photos from the third Minnesota Crossword Tournament held at The Landmark Center in Saint Paul yesterday. Those who missed the tournament should be able to buy the puzzles online for $5.

It's fun catching up with Tom Pepper, George Barany, David Hanson, David Liben-Nowell, Dan Kantor, Jay Kaskel, Michael David and our hard-working editor Victor Barocas. I was also delighted to finally introduce myself to the talented Andrew Ries. Also lovely to meet with Peter Broder (author of THE CROSS NERD blog). He traveled from Canada for the event.

We missed you, Andrea Carla Michaels! Wish Don G and Andy Kravis were here too.

Left to Right: Jay Kaskel, Tom Pepper, David Liben-Nowell & David Hanson (David H used "Rosebud" avatar and posted on our blog long long time ago).

Left to Right: George Barany, Andrew Ries, David Liben-Nowell, C.C.,
Tom Pepper, Victor Barocas, David Hanson & Peter Broder 

Please click here for more constructor photos.

I watched Public Enemies long time ago. Don't remember the John Dillinger Minnesota tie at all. It turns out that his girlfriend Evelyn Frechette lived close by and was tried at The Landmark Center.

Jun 22, 2014

Sunday June 22, 2014 Mike Peluso

Theme: "Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da" - Long E sound is changed into short O or "Ah" sound.

23A. Clancy explaining the spelling of his name? : THERE IS NO "I" IN TOM - There is no "I" in team. Tom Clancy would have confused me if he did explain so.

38A. Victoria's Secret seasonal line? : SUMMER BRAS. Summer breeze.

64A. Trading Clue, Monopoly, Life and Boggle? : FOUR-GAME SWAP. Four game sweep. World Series.

75A. Monastery grounds? : LAND OF THE FRA. Land of the free.

98A. Bathrooms decorated in denim? : LEVI'S JOHNS. Levi's Jeans.

116A. Character in "Satanic Star Trek"? : SPOCK OF THE DEVIL. Speak of the devil.

17D. Gorgeous farm gal feeding the pigs? : SLOPPING BEAUTY.  Sleeping Beauty.

49D. Stain left by a pool disinfectant? : CHLORINE BLOTCH. Chlorine bleach.
I hope I got the theme correctly. Sound change gimmick is always hard for me. I don't have problem with consonants or long vowel sound. It's those short ones that bother me, esp short E and short A. I pronounce "bad" & bed" the same.
Mike Peluso is a language expert. He taught French, German, Spanish and Latin at high school level. 
Today's grid is hard to fill. Look at the 18 7-letter entries alone! 6 pairs are stacked along the edges, intersecting at least 3 answers of 6-, 7- or 8- letter long. And a 140-worder. You rock, Mike!

The clue for  PASS GO (19D) should be "Round the Boardwalk corner". Cruciverb has "Round the Broadway corner". 

1. Favoring Mideast unity : PAN-ARAB. I wanted PRO-ARAB, but 2D said "No" immediately.

8. Jungle chopper : MACHETE

15. Creator of a cocky hare : AESOP

20. One who stole from thieves : ALI BABA. Also China's biggest e-commerce company.

21. Like spring jackets : UNLINED

22. __ fast one : PULL A

25. Walks heavily : PLODS

26. Costa __ : RICA

27. It's nothing to Hollande : RIEN. It's human nature to sin. God can't help us.

28. B followers : CDE

29. Blue gem, briefly : LAPIS

30. Provo neighbor : OREM

31. CXXII x V : DCX. 610.

32. 1978 film based on a Harold Robbins novel : THE BETSY. Never saw the film.

36. Square problem? : PEG. Nice clue.

37. Many OCS grads : LTS (Lieutenants)

40. Soup with a bento : MISO. You won't find Miso soup inside a Bento box though. Bento is for cold food. Miso is hot.

41. Run on : GAB

44. Sonora Mrs. : SRA

45. Like adobe : EARTHEN

47. One leading a Spartan lifestyle : ASCETIC

51. Barely move : INCH

54. Serenaded : SANG TO

57. Distinguished types : SCHOLARS

59. Bite-size appetizer : PUPU.  Pu-pu platter.

62. Treasury secretary under Clinton : RUBIN (Robert). From Wiki: He received more than $126 million in cash and stock during his tenure at Citigroup. 

63. Bear's cry : SELL

69. Photo lab process: Abbr. : ENL

70. First album in a Green Day trilogy : UNO. News to me. The ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tré! trilogy.

71. Pro Football Hall of Famer Nagurski : BRONKO. Unknown figure.

72. Chances to golf with Mickelson or McIlroy : PRO-AMS. Yes to Mickelson. What a  gentleman!

73. Salty assent : AYE. The sailor "salt". And 34D. Salt : TAR

74. La Méditerranée, e.g. : MER

77. I'm-here link : OUTA. I use "outta".

78. Susan's "All My Children" role : ERICA

80. Sailing, perhaps : ASEA

81. Attacker of Athens, per Plato : ATLANTIS

83. Type A, often : DYNAMO

85. Reddish horse : ROAN

88. [Headslap] : SILLY ME!

89. Spewed out : EGESTED

93. Itinerary word : VIA

95. Nevada city on US 50 : ELY. What's it famous for?

96. Melville title starter : MOBY

102. Four in a gal. : QTS. I did not see the . after gal.

105. Rose of rock : AXL. Of Guns N' Roses.

106. Cabbage side : COLE SLAW

107. Word with order or reel : GAG

109. Exec : SUIT

110. Rhone tributary : SAONE

112. Prez, to GIs : CIC. We just had this in Splynter's post yesterday: Commander In Chief.

113. Latin 101 verb : ESSE

114. Mozart's "__ kleine Nachtmusik" : EINE

115. Choir voices : ALTOS

120. Legal decrees : DICTA

121. Tiny stinger : FIRE ANT

122. How many a management group is trained : AS A TEAM. Oh, I read "How many" as a unit. Don't. Split it. 

123. One of Israel's 12 tribes : ASHER

124. Spoons : CUDDLES

125. "Don't beat around the bush!" : YES OR NO


1. Keep the beat? : PATROL. Another nice clue.

2. "Sugar Lips" trumpeter : AL HIRT

3. Holiday visitors, perhaps : NIECES

4. Garfield's middle name : ABRAM

5. Nunavut's __ Strait, named for an explorer : RAE. Named for John Rae.

6. "__ in the hand ..." : A BIRD


8. Subatomic particle : MUON

9. Singer DiFranco : ANI

10. "Hot enough for ya?," e.g. : CLICHE

11. Block : HINDER. Deluge in our area due to the excessive rain. Luckily the plumber arrived in time last week, otherwise, our basement might be totally flooded.

12. 1976 airport raid site : ENTEBBE

13. Formula One racer Fabi : TEO

14. Oilers, on NHL scoreboards : EDM (Edmonton)

15. Be relevant : APPLY

16. Faulkner vixen Varner : EULA. So hard to remember her name.

18. Many playlist entries : OLDIES

24. Connecting point : NEXUS. Or what's in D-Otto's hand.

32. Still destroyer : T-MAN. I googled and found out "Still" refers to the "Distilling device".

33. Many a presidential term, historically : ERA. Clinton era, e.g.

35. Bygone fliers : SSTS

39. It may be done on one foot : MRI. I was thinking of some tricky Yoga maneuver. Can you do this, Marti?

40. File __ : MENU

41. Natural sci. : GEOL

42. The pond, in the U.K. : ATL

43. Former Nigerian secessionist state : BIAFRA. No idea. Wiki said it existed from 1967 to 1970, "taking its name from the Bight of Biafra (the Atlantic bay to its south)".

46. Strings with pedals : HARPS

47. Fictitious : ASSUMED

48. Attraction for shutterbugs : SCENERY

50. Sing like Bing : CROON

52. One for whom Apr. is the cruelest month? : CPA. Fun clue.

53. Disgruntled word : HUMPH

55. Father of Tulip Victoria : TINY TIM. Never heard of Tulip Victoria.

56. Like most fleet cars : ON LEASE

58. __ Islands: Malay Archipelago group : SUNDA. So, Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Bali, Timor are all part of the chain. Good to know.

60. Mari de la mère : PERE. Mari = Husband.

61. Lady Liberty's land, proudly : US OF A

65. Bygone theaters : RKOs

66. Menial helper : GOFER

67. __ and all : WARTS

68. Charlotte __ : AMALIE. Capital of the Virgin Islands.

71. Find fault with : BLAME

76. Eastern ideal : TAO. Literally "way". Spelled as "Dao" in Mandarin.

77. No more than : ONLY

79. Sly : CAGY

82. Every one : ALL

84. Scandinavian capital : OSLO

86. Declare frankly : AVOW

87. Biomedical research agcy. : NIH

90. __ Aviv : TEL

91. Apple consumer : EVE. I like this clue also.

92. Strife : DISCORD

94. Teen phase, often : ANGST

96. Israeli desert fortification : MASADA. I bet this is a gimme for Hahtoola, Yellowrocks  & Lucina.

97. Wood sorrel genus : OXALIS. We had this before. Some articles says it's tart and tasty, and that the Algonquin Indians considered it an aphrodisiac.

99. Cut through : SLICED

100. Canine predator : JACKAL

101. Walk casually : SASHAY. Hi there Lucina!

102. Shake : QUIVER

103. Strategic WWII island in the Northern Marianas : TINIAN. Total stranger to me.

104. High seas patron : ST. ELMO

106. Activist Chavez : CESAR

108. Monogamous waterfowl : GEESE

109. Take care of : SEE TO

111. Take heed : NOTE

113. Young newts : EFTS

116. Army E-7: Abbr. : SFC

117. More, on a score : PIU. Italian for "more".

118. 1300 hours : ONE

119. German article : DAS

Hope to see some of you at the third Minnesota Crossword Tournament this afternoon.

Jun 21, 2014

Saturday, Jun 21st, 2014, Barry C. Silk

Theme: Saturday Silkie~!

Words: 70 (missing Q,X)

Blocks: 32

  Yes, it was feeling like we'd get a Silkie today - and the first day of summer, officially 6:51am EDT.  Not a terribly daunting puzzle, with a different looking grid.  Three-letter fill to start, which didn't help me much, but there were a few fills on the first pass, and even more on the Downs. Triple 11- and 7-letter corners, and two 10-letter fills on the inside;

33. Cocktail with rum : BAHAMA MAMA - My friends and I came up with the drink name "Gilligan's Island", which was a total misnomer - the drink consisted of Captain Morgan and Ginger Ale, but the show had a Skipper, not a Captain....and I preferred Mary Ann anyway

37. Crusaded : CAMPAIGNED - Great fill, considering the silent "G"

oooh, uh, Onward?!?!?


1. Image on many Oregon license plates : FIR - Makes sense now

4. Drink containing the antioxidant lycopene : TOMATO JUICE - shoulda had a V-8

15. Rock genre : EMO - Rock? Meh.

16. "I'd have never guessed!" : "IMAGINE THAT"~!

17. Male __ : EGO - Can't believe Mr. Silk threw us all under the bus with this clue

18. Fight site : BATTLEFIELD

19. Doesn't start well? : HOT WIRES - Nice

21. Georgia-based insurance giant : AFLAC - Huh - not AETNA, not GEICO

22. One way to shrink : IN FEAR - made me think of this song, with the lyric "shrinking violet"

23. "Lassie Come-Home" author Knight : ERIC

25. Nautical units : KNOTS - Sort of a 'freebie' for a Saturday

26. Soup served with sour cream : SCHAV - Total WAG; I had SC-A-; never heard of this soup, never had it

31. "You betcha" : YUP - My first thought, and considered it too easy

32. Bring in : EARN

35. Cocktail with sweet vermouth : AMERICANO - never had one

40. Old Venetian judge : DOGE

44. Food franchise initials : IGA - another fill I hesitated on

45. Enjoy on the sly : SNEAK

46. Rancor : VENOM

47. Magazine fig. : CIRCulation

49. Menace at sea : PIRATE - I really wanted to put in KRAKEN

50. Words to un caro : TI AMO - "I love you" of these days

53. Nassau Coliseum player : ISLANDER - Mr. Silk rocks~!  Home town fill - and yes, I AM a Ranger fan, but I will root for the Islanders, just because

55. First Bond actor born after the Bond films began : DANIEL CRAIG - Most logical, and it fit; gratuitous image for one C.C.

57. Charlton's "Earthquake" co-star : AVA - IMDb

58. Redealt, say : STARTED OVER

59. No. with a prefix : TELephone

60. It includes the Jurassic period : MESOZOIC ERA

61. Close : END - Great way to "end" the Across clues


1. Budget-squeezing announcement : FEE HIKE - we had this discussion at Home Depot yesterday while building grills; we are trapped on Long Island, unless we're willing to pay $15 to cross the Geo. Washington Bridge - highway robbery?

2. Response to "Did you clean your room yet?" : I'M GONNA - Aww, ma~

3. Support : ROOT FOR - I don't care that the Rangers lost in the Stanley Cup - they played ALL the games they could have played this season.  Not much to "rebuild", either.  Rick Nash, however....

4. Fibula neighbors : TIBIAS

5. Astrologer Sydney : OMARR - I read my daily and love horoscopes before starting work at UPS each morning

6. King's demise : MATE - Chess finale - that kind of king, not "The King" ( Elvis ) or Martin Luther

7. CIA employees : AGTs - ah, not G-Men

8. Up to, in ads : TIL - unTIL

9. Most fit to serve : ONE-A

10. Lynne of ELO : JEFF - forced me to change my insurance company (21a.)

11. Not worthless : UTILE

12. "Gotcha" : "I HEAR YA"

13. Element #20 : CALCIUM - semi-cheat; I have a Periodic Chart app on my phone - can you say nerd?

14. JFK announcement : ETD - Dah~!  not e.t.A

20. Brand used with wings : WET-NAP - Thought it might be "HOT-NIP" or something like that, for a spicy sauce

24. Pro concerned with losses : CPA - my CPA got me a huge return this year - thank you Home Inspection classes~!

26. Military nickname : SARGE

27. 20th-anniversary gift : CHINA - A list, for those curious

28. Czech diacritical sometimes called an inverted circumflex : HAČEK - not a clue, but I WAGed it right the first time. "Little hook", according to Wiki

29. Make __ dash : A MAD

30. Police vehicle : VAN - so vague; this is Saturday cluing

33. "__ Green": Kermit's song : BEIN' - I prefer the Rainbow Connection

34. Today : MODERN

36. More, in Mexico : MAS

37. Title for Obama: Abbr. : CIC - Commander In Chief

38. Shake up : AGITATE - Nailed it, but that's not sayin' much

39. Mooring areas : MARINAs

41. Out, perhaps : ON A DATE - One of these days....

42. Didn't let bygones be bygones : GOT EVEN

43. Shade of green : EMERALD

46. Levitra competitor : VIAGRA - Left out Cialis....I don't watch TV, but when I am at mom's house after hockey, I end up watching Jeopardy, and I can't stand the commercials for these drugs - but really, what else can they depict?

48. 2011 revolution locale : CAIRO

49. Diligent worker : PLIER

51. City on the Moselle : METZ

52. Bar in the kitchen : OLEO - margarine

53. Camaro __-Z : IROC

54. Statistic in baseball and hockey : SAVE - so here's another thing C.C. & I have in common~!

55. Mil. honor : DSM - Distinguished Service Medal

56. Fifth-century date : CDI - 401 in Roman numerals


Jun 20, 2014

Friday, June 20, 2014, Jacob Stulberg

Theme: One is the loneliest number. I am avoiding any politically incorrect reference to LAY'S, in deference to the breakfast rule.

The major challenge in this puzzle was sussing a theme, which appears to be four items found at the end of fill,  which do not appear by themselves when eaten (i.e, they're always in plural form). I may be all wrong as after some 200 puzzles write ups, I just am not sure. I blogged Jacob's first publication last year (a quote theme)  and see he has had a NYT as well as another here in March since then. The long fill was the theme and reveal, but there also were: AMENITY, ASIATIC, LABELED, ORATION, GO TO SEED, HABITATS which are nice. Remarkably few proper name references so this should be doable by most. Left handed reliever Jesse Orosco was probably the most obscure along with the YMCA reference to Geneva but I know baseball and the perps were easy because it had to be a place, so it was all good.  I also do not want to rock the boat, so let us head out into the sea of clues/fill.

24A Source of much government history : NATIONAL ARCHIVE. (15) It have been featured in many action movies, and you always get chives with your baked potato or cream cheese, not a chive.

32A Tax-exempt outlet : DUTY-FREE SHOP. (12) Having the Bahamas close by helps getting some great buys on imports without paying the excise tax. Well a beer related clue; I learned so much about hops in the past few years.

40A. Theme of many a ballad : ROMANTIC LOVE. (12) This is the odd one out as like the others it is the end of the fill, but it alone spans two words.

50A. Warning to a would-be rebel : DON'T ROCK THE BOAT.(15) One oat...nah. One clue.

18A. With 56-Across, memorable snack food slogan ... or a hint to what's hidden at the end of 24-, 32-, 40- and 50-Across : BETCHA CAN'T.(10) and 56A. See 18-Across : EAT JUST ONE.(10) I grew up eating Wise potato chips, so when this campaign started I gladly ate just one.


1. "Good one!" : HA HA.

5. See 55-Across : PAUL. More cross-referencing.55A. With 5-Across, musician for whom a classic Gibson guitar model is named : LES. The inventor of the electric guitar, and pioneer with his wife Mary Ford.

9. Lexicographer's concern : USAGE.They write dictionaries, not much plot but lots of big words.

14. Dutch export : EDAM. Cheesy answer.

15. Big Apple sch. : CCNY. The City College New York. Actually part of the CUNY system, so the full name is the The City College of the City University New York LINK.

16. Procreates : SIRES. The word  procreate sounds biblical to me.

17. Monk's wear : ROBE. More biblical stuff.

20. Company name tag? : INC. Cute , as most states require INC., Co.  etc at the end of the name.

22. Glass on a radio : IRA. From This American Life. We have had this a number of times, I had in in March in a John Guzzetta puzzle. I think Gershwin is being retired.

23. Symbol of industry : BEE. Busy as a...

30. Campaign staple : ORATION. Has anyone read much Cicero?

31. Surveillance device : SPYCAM. You are on camera half of your life now; get used to it.

35. Crash site initials : EMS.  Emergency Medical Service

36. Eggs that may be served with grits : ROE. This clue was fishy.

37. Roadside purchase : GAS. Which you get from the burrito you foolishly bought at the 7 11.

46. 1980s Mets relief star Jesse : OROSCO.  World Series HERO. Started I believe with the Twins.

49. Like some elephants : ASIATIC. They come in African and Asiatic? Why not ASIAN?

53. Souse's woe : DTS. Delerium Tremens. Not just a beer, but the shakes and eventually the pink elephants which are neither African or Asian.

54. A little light : RAY. A DO(E), a female deer?

61. Bound : LEAP. Tall buildings...

64. Desolate : STARK. Where they lived, Winterfell, was all of that. 19D. Desolate : HARSH. A mini-theme as well as clecho.

65. Series curtailer : ET AL.

66. They lack pelvic fins : EELS. Well, I have a pelvis but no pelvic fin

67. Short and sweet : TERSE. Sweet in a not very sweet way.

68. Deprives (of) : ROBS. Tempted to write ROBB just to be consistent.

69. June observance : D-DAY. We always should thank the soldiers and their families,


1. Start of some royal titles : HER. Does PIA count as the rest of the expression?

2. Flap : ADO. Is quiet 'adont'?

3. Rainforests, for many : HABITATS. Wonderful people building and helping others.

4. Hotel pool, say : AMENITY.

5. Banned chem. pollutant : PCB. All you wanted to know and more about these Polychlorinated Biphenyls

6. More than just pass : ACE.

7. No later than : UNTIL.

8. Wet suit material : LYCRA. Gratuitous

9. "Covert Affairs" airer : USA. The network not the country.

10. [Not my typo] : SIC. Latin for thus.

11. Like some numerals : ARABIC. Like 1, 2, 3 etc.

12. YMCA world headquarters city : GENEVA. Never knew this but it makes sense..

13. Value : ESTEEM. How do Italians remove wrinkles?

21. Do : COIF.

24. Bump on a branch : NODE. Much better than being a bump on a log.

25. Calla lily family : ARUM.

26. Logical connector : NOR.

27. End of __ : AN ERA.

28. Nav. noncom : CPOChief Petty Officer.

29. Right triangle part: Abbr. : HYPotenuse.

33. Quite a stretch : EON.

34. Ripped into : SET AT.

37. Deteriorate : GO TO SEED. Always wondered about this expression since seeds begin life, but then as vegetables go bad..

38. Adidas competitor : AVIA.

39. Religious faction : SECT.

40. Queue after Q : RST. A cute way for an alphabet string.

41. Text-scanning technology, briefly : OCR. Optical character recognition,

42. Secures, in a way : MOORS. How many own boats?

43. Native suffix : ISH. Moorish, Turkish, Spanish

44. Sky, to Sarkozy : CIEL.  Simple French.

45. Called : LABELED.

46. Most unusual : ODDEST.

47. Perform a pirouette, say : ROTATE.

48. GM navigation system : ONSTAR. They advertise often. LINK. (0:54) I guess we are to forget about the recalls and non-recalls.

51. Supply with a spread : CATER.

52. City near Lake Biwa : KYOTO. A new way to clue an old answer.

57. PSAT takers : JRS. In high school.

58. Luau entertainment feature : UKE. CSO to our lost battalion of Hawaii posters.

59. Pinch : NAB.

60. Some Bronx lines : ELS. We couldn't have Ernie again so soon.

62. Like : A LA. as Splynter would say, frawnch.

63. Would-be social worker's major: PSY. My undergraduate and graduate field.

Well, tomorrow starts summer and the days start getting shorter. We do get closer to the NFL season. Today is 5 year wedding anniversary for son one, so I get to babysit my grandpuppy. LPGA playing their open at Pinehurst number 2 this week, should be fun. Thanks for the puzzle Jacob and thanks for the rest Corner. L714 out.

Note from C.C.:

Happy 60th Anniversary to dear Chickie and her husband Bill! Chickie has a backyard full of fruit trees. I saw a bag of dried persimmon at Trader Joe's the other day and thought of you.

Jun 19, 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014 Jerry Edelstein

Theme:  Michael Jackson

17. Harebrained schemes : CRAZY IDEAS. They are often off the wall.

22. Noted sitter : HUMPTY DUMPTY. He fell off the wall and cracked himself up.

36. With 37- and 38-Across, big hit : LONG.
37. See 36-Across : FLY.
38. See 36-Across : BALL. If it's not a home run, it probably bounced off the wall.

47. Cause of bad luck, so they say : BROKEN MIRROR. All I have to do is look in one to break it - it doesn't have to fall off the wall.

56. Bizarre, and what 17-, 22-, 36/37/38- and 47-Across can be, in one way or another : OFF THE WALL.

There are lots of ways to be off the wall. Here we have one figurative off the wall reference, one fictional, and two that could literally either bounce or drop off the wall.  Marti here, to pick up the pieces.


1. Licensed med. personnel : RNS. Checking the perps didn't help much - between RALPH, NAURU and SALEM, all I got was the "S"!!! Cross referenced at 64-Across. Workplaces for 1-Across : ERS.

4. Heavens : EDENS. Edens to Betsy!

9. Relations : KIN.

12. Wireless mouse batteries : AAAs.

14. Fuzzy __ : NAVEL. Peach schnapps and OJ. Great for brunch.

15. How-to presentation : DEMO.

16. One of a kind : LULU.

19. Lay the groundwork : PREPARE.

21. Live-in help, perhaps : NANNY.

26. Squirt : IMP.

27. Hardly a deadeye : POOR SHOT. Any takers?

31. "We __ amused" : ARE NOT. (Oh yes, we are!)

34. Role for Liz : CLEO.patra. Elizabeth Taylor.

35. Personality part : EGO.

39. Catchall abbr. : ETC.

40. Miscellany : OLIO.

42. Pushed : GOADED.

44. Makes tawdry : CHEAPENS.

46. Acct. datum : AMT. I wish the amount in my account were a little higher...

52. __ New Guinea : PAPUA.

55. Gets : OBTAINS.

60. Half DX : CCLV. I prefer this type of clue much more than "Year in so and so's reign…"

61. Campaign funders, briefly : PACS. Political Action Committees.

62. Guts : MOXIE.

63. 1980s surgeon general : KOOP. The only surgeon-general to become a household name. Do you remember why?

65. Jacket material : TWEED.

66. Elevs. : HTS.


1. "Invisible Man" writer Ellison : RALPH. Full name RALPH Waldo Ellison, named for - (guess who?)

2. World's smallest island nation : NAURUMap.

3. Capital south of Olympia : SALEM.

4. Protect, in a way : ENCRYPT. I am fascinated by the Navajo Code Talkers of WWII.

5. Challenged : DARED.

6. Perón of Argentina : EVA.

7. Pince-__ : NEZ.

8. Like some dogs and devils : SLY.

9. Sharp : KEEN.

10. One-named supermodel : IMAN. I can never remember if it IMAm, InAm or IMAN.

11. Prone to prying : NOSY.

13. Dining : SUPPING.

15. Decisive times : D-DAYS. Do you know what the "D" stands for? Spoiler here.

18. Short beginning : INTRO.

20. Sphere lead-in : ATMO. Meh. And another: 33-Down. Confer ending : ENCE.

23. Able to give a firsthand account : UP CLOSE…and personal.

24. "Holy __!" : MOLY!

25. "The Pit and the Pendulum" author : POE. Would you believe, I filled it in as "EAP" at first? D'uh!!

28. Proceed : HEAD.

29. Stare rudely at : OGLE.

30. Related : TOLD.

31. Baldwin of "The Cooler" : ALEC. In gambling parlance, a "cooler" is a player who seems to cause other players to get unlucky, thus "cooling" down their hot streaks.

32. "Portnoy's Complaint" novelist : ROTH. It came out in 1969 - and immediately created a public outrage.

37. Informer : FINK.

38. Dugout convenience : BAT RACK. It's where they hang their keys.

40. Talk show tycoon : OPRAH.

41. Durocher of baseball : LEO. "The Lip."

42. Bet : GAMBLED.

43. Skip past : OMIT.

45. Is up against : ABUTS.

48. "Cross my heart!" : NO LIE!

49. Maker of Caplio cameras : RICOH. Never heard of this camera:

50. Like septic tanks : ON LOT. Anyone else scratch their heads over this one? Septic tanks are always located ON the LOT of land that they serve.  Town sewer systems draw sewage through sewer lines to a central processing system at another central location. All you want to know, here. (Really, you actually clicked that link???)

51. SASE inserts, often : RSVPS. I used to get invited to a lot of weddings. Now I look through the obituaries to plan my social calendar.

52. Leader who wears the Ring of the Fisherman : POPE. Also called the "Piscatory Ring."

53. Quite a way off : AFAR.

54. Low-ranking GIs : PFCs.

57. CPR pro : EMT.

58. "Man!" : WOW.

59. Tool often swung : AXE. "Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the AXE.": Abraham Lincoln.

That's all I have for now!


Jun 18, 2014

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 Andrew J. Ries

Theme: O's Only. Each name has no vowels other than "O".

17A. Rolling Stones guitarist : RON WOOD. Prior to the Stones, he was Rod Stewart's sideman with "The Faces". Tearing it up in 1972 in London.

25A. Harpers Ferry raider : JOHN BROWN. His soul goes marching on.

50A. Legendary Manhattan restaurateur : TOOTS SHOR. When Charlie Chaplin complained about having to stand in line, Toots told him to entertain the others while they were waiting.

61A. "The Joy of Painting" artist : BOB ROSS. Ron Wood may have started with one of Bob's kits, he's an accomplished water-colorist.

20D. Regular on Bob Newhart sitcoms : TOM POSTON. He played the bumbling George Utley.

and the reveal

39A. 1976 horror classic ... and, read another way, group that appears at 17-, 25-, 50- and 61-Across and 20-Down : THE OMEN. Alternatively, THE O-MEN. Flashback nightmares for me; after watching The Exorcist and this terror-fest at an early age, I swore off horror movies for ever.

Good morning all! Steve here with Andrew's Wednesday Workout, and I confess this was a real tester for me. Bob Ross and Tom Poston were both unknowns, and there was some real crunch in the fill. I thought this was a tremendous puzzle. Six theme entries, some sparkly non-themers and not much wince-worthy made for a really fun test. One of the highlights in the fill that I loved was the OMEGA/OMICRON pair - not only a shout-out to the main theme, but I'd never made the "Mega" and "Micron" connection before. A great learning moment.


1. Part of a Genesis-inspired costume : FIG LEAF

8. Tom in an alley : MALE CAT. Hanna-Barbera's version. I can still remember the theme song pretty much word-for-word.

15. Good-natured : AMIABLE. I had to leave this alone and go back to it - I couldn't understand why AMICABLE wouldn't work when I had the "AM" and the "LE"

16. Vivid language : IMAGERY

18. Fuddy-duddies : CODGERS

19. "__ said it!" : YOU

20. Cross at a frat : TAU

21. Bloke's bathroom : LOO. I tried "LAV" first against all common sense.

22. "RUR" playwright : CAPEK. This was about as tough pulling this from the inner recesses of my brain as pushing a strand of wet spaghetti uphill.

28. Trash emanation : ODOR. Not PONG, which was my first thought. I seemed to have my English head screwed on today, it might be a side-effect of watching the World Cup and calling "soccer" "football" again.

29. Sponge, as a smoke : BUM

30. TNT part : TRI. Nitrotoluene is the rest. Makes a big bang when it's all put together.

31. Chain including the Matterhorn : SWISS ALPS. I've skied the Matterhorn. Well, the ski-able bits at the bottom. It looks mightily impressive from the Swiss side, but from the Italian side it just looks like a craggy lump.

Matterhorn, Italian-style
34. Cancel, NASA-style : ABORT

38. "Oh, wow!" : MAN

41. "Hunh?" : WHA'?

42. Weed control giant : ORTHO

44. George Orwell or George Eliot : PSEUDONYM. Eric Blair and Mary Evans. Evans used a man's name to ensure her works would be taken seriously. Orwell is famously known for Animal Farm and 1984, his other books are also worth exploring, he was a wonderful writer.

46. Hoppy brew, for short : I.P.A. India Pale Ale. Beer shipped to the British troops in India in the 1800's would often arrive spoiled due to the long sea journey and the heat. Faced with a lot of sulky faces in the ranks, the IPA recipe was developed - it increased the hops and alcohol content to act as natural preservatives.

48. Road surface : TAR

49. Re-re-re-re-shared link on Facebook, e.g. : MEME

54. Fall beverage : CIDER

55. Roadie's unit : AMP. Jackson Browne's homage to the roadies and the fans.

56. Dawson in the first Super Bowl : LEN

57. Soft slip-on : MOC. I'm not sure if I knew this or WAG'd it. The latter, I think.

58. More prepared : READIER

65. Suitable for tweens, usually : PG-RATED. The more common usage is "Rated PG" but this variant is perfectly OK.

66. Weaken from disuse : ATROPHY

67. Ancient provincial governors : SATRAPS. Dear Perps. Thank You. Kind Regards, Steve.

68. Suffragist Elizabeth Cady __ : STANTON. You'd better be up on your suffragists today. There's a potential Natick with 57D if you're not careful.


1. Not within walking distance : FAR. Kind of an odd clue here - something can be far, but still walkable, just a long walk. No? The Proclaimers didn't think 500 miles was too far.

2. "I'd say," in texts : IMO. In My Opinion. Usually seen with an embedded H for 'Humble".

3. Rickey ingredient : GIN. Perps all the way. I'd never heard of a Rickey. I discover it is gin (originally bourbon), lime juice and soda. Cover your ears, Tinman - it's got one cube of ice in it.

4. Ones doing case studies : LAWYERS

5. Tablet download : EBOOK. Tortuous brain-path from apps, through painkiller pill scripts to the final result.

6. Baseball's Moises : ALOU. I knew the name, but little about the man. I looked him up, and discovered he had a rather novel way of toughening his hands as he didn't wear batting gloves. I'll let you read it for yourselves if you're interested. Not over breakfast, probably. C.C. surely knows all about him.

7. Gave lunch to : FED

8. Old Testament prophet : MICAH

9. PayPal figure : AMOUNT

10. Young chap : LAD

11. Quiche base : EGG. Food! And is this a misdirection or - shhhhhh - a mistake? The base of the quiche filling is egg, but the base of the quiche itself is pastry. What say all y'all?

12. Hip-hop star Green : CEE-LO. I sat next to Mr. Green on a flight from New York to London. Bizarrely, I was listening to "Crazy" on my iPod when he boarded and sat next to me.

13. "This way" symbol : ARROW

14. "The Pluto Files" author Neil deGrasse __ : TYSON.

22. Fruity cocktail, familiarly : COSMO. It's a cocktail-fest in the downs today!

23. Pitching duel? : AD WAR. Loved it.

24. Writing end : POINT

25. Minty Derby cocktail : JULEP. That makes three cocktails in five minutes, I'd better slow down *hiccup*

26. Product name : BRAND

27. Baby-back goodie : RIB. Perfect, ribs and quiche to go with the cocktails.

29. "Dang it!" : BAH

32. Local stations : STOPS. Yeah, I guess so. Local stops could also be stations.

33. Makeup mishap : SMEAR

35. Didn't lease : OWNED

36. Sample, for example : RHYME. Lovely clue.

37. Worker with show tigers : TAMER

40. 31-Across locale: Abbr. : EUR

43. Bomb opposite : HIT

45. Greek for "little O" : OMICRON. As I mentioned at the top, I loved this pairing with 51D and the cunning tie-in to the theme. When I realized O-micron and O-mega indicated the size of the letter I was thoroughly entertained and educated. Bravo, Andrew!

47. Dreaming, say : ASLEEP

50. Canvas covers : TARPS

51. Greek for "big O" : OMEGA

52. Mesmerizing designs : OP-ART. This was a gimme for CrossEyedDave!

53. Steers the steers : HERDS. Another nice clue.

54. Deadly snake : COBRA

57. Suffragist Lucretia : MOTT. I'm up on my British suffragettes, not so much the US suffragists. Crosses took care of most of Mott, and I think I knew Ms. Stanton, so potential Natick nastiness avoided.

59. Patriotic women's org. : D.A.R. I'm blindly going to call this one: "Daughters of the American Revolution" and not fact-check to see if I really have learned this one from crosswords. How did I do?

60. Feminizing Spanish suffix : ITA

61. English lit degrees : BAs Bachelor of Arts-es (way to make an ugly-looking plural!)

62. Choose : OPT

63. "Homeland" airer, briefly : SHO. Showtime, usually part of a premium cable package.

64. Specimen, for example: Abbr. : SYN. I got the answer through crosses, but I stared at this for ages trying to understand it before the penny FINALLY dropped. SYN is an abbreviation for "synonym", and "specimen" & "example" are synonyms. Devious!

 Well, that's it from me. I'm in sports junkie heaven. World Cup soccer! GO USA!


Note from C.C.:

1) Today's constructor Andrew J. Ries is from St. Cloud, Minnesota. Andrew also made a puzzle for the the third Minnesota Crossword Tournament which will be held on June 22, 2014  at The Landmark Center in Saint Paul. Please click here for more information.

2) In case some of you skipped the comments yesterday, Steve linked a fantastic picture of him at the bike leg of the 1989 Winchester Triathlon.


Jun 17, 2014

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Race originally held in Kailua-Kona - The events of the race in the order in which they are held.

19A. Pool session for grown-ups : ADULT SWIM. 2.4-mile

39A. Motorcycle designed for acrobatic maneuvers : STUNT BIKE. 112-mile

58A. Baseball play that may be foiled by a pitchout : HIT AND RUN. 26.2-mile

20D. Ironman event comprised of the last words of 19-, 39- and 58-Across : TRIATHLON. You have to complete the race in 17 hours to be an Ironman.

Argyle here, no Ironman though. We do have a stunning Tuesday puzzle. Certainly a unique grid for any day of the week.


1. Fish often dipped in wasabi : SASHIMI. "Thin slices of raw fish", from Japanese.

8. Pasadena institute where most of "The Big Bang Theory" characters work : CALTECH. (California Institute of Technology in Pasadena)

15. Meeting expectations : UP TO PAR

16. Late : OVERDUE. A punch line, "And they're all overdue".

17. Florida NASCAR city : DAYTONA

18. "Absolutely!" : "NO DOUBT!"

21. "Well, hello there" : "OH, HI"

24. Land of the Incas : PERU

25. Hoops cable channel : NBA TV

29. Catch on : LEARN

31. Disgusting : VILE. and its anagram, 32D. Wicked : EVIL

33. Aunt Bee's charge : OPIE

34. Dishwasher cycle : DRY. Is "You wash, I'll dry" a thing of the past?

35. Operatic solo : ARIA

37. City with canals : VENICE

41. What flower girls toss : PETALS. For those women followed by a train.

44. In good health : HALE

45. Underwire garment : BRA. Love a healthy bra!

                No wires here.

48. Mounted on : ATOP

49. Post-shower powder : TALC

51. More than just a good buy : STEAL

53. Local news hr. : TEN PM

55. Left dreamland : WOKE

57. Slight advantage : EDGE

61. Double-crosser : TRAITOR

64. Freeway entrances : ON RAMPS

68. Bump from behind : REAR END. What can happen if someone doesn't merge smoothly on the above.

69. Champions : WINNERS. What anybody that can complete a triathlon is, no matter in what time.

70. Sticks : ADHERES

71. Cuddles : NESTLES


1. South, at the Sorbonne : SUD. French and more French, 42D. Summer, at the Sorbonne : ÉTÉ

2. Org. for shrinks : APA. (American Psychological Association)

3. Barnyard pen : STY

4. Malarkey : HOT AIR

5. Shuffle or nano : iPOD

6. "Don't be a wuss!" : "MAN UP!"

7. "The Stepford Wives" novelist : IRA LEVIN

8. Foreign service officer : CONSUL

9. Declare to be true : AVOW

10. Showed the way : LED IN

11. Glenn Miller's instrument : TROMBONE

12. Prof's email suffix : .EDU

13. Baby bear : CUB

14. Riled (up) : HET

21. Passé : OLD. Yes, you don't hear "het up" much anymore.

22. That woman : HER

23. Stable diet? : HAY. Cute.

26. Bee: Pref. : API

27. Nervous mannerism : TIC

28. Crew neck alternative : VEE

30. Part of NIH: Abbr. : NATL. (National Institutes of Health)

36. Auto body concern : RUST. More so here in the NE. Related 46D. Car-cleaning cloth : RAG

38. Scratches (out) : EKEs

39. Deep blue gem : SAPPHIRE

40. Retreat : BACK DOWN

41. Gentle touch : PAT

43. Huge amount : TON

45. Resting place : BED

47. Bar brew : ALE

50. Medals and trophies : AWARDS

52. Rent payer : TENANT

54. Bishop's hat : MITER

56. "How to Build a Classic Golf Swing" author Els : ERNIE. He tied for 35th in the US Open.

59. Sound of music : TONE. TUNE was close but....

60. Footed vases : URNS

61. __-la-la : TRA

62. Color to stop at : RED

63. "That feels good!" : "AAH!"

65. "Spaceballs" director Brooks : MEL

66. Start to heat? : PRE

67. Cobra's warning : [SSS!]


Note from C.C.:

Below is my original skeletal grid. Rich suggested me to intersect theme entries. He made me look clever. Thanks, Rich!