Sep 22, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014 Marti DuGuay-Carpenter

Theme: ¡Three Amigos! - Actually, besides their first names, this trio doesn't have much in common.

18A. Selling point for a house on the coast : OCEAN VIEW. Billy Ocean

25A. Sin forbidden by the Second Commandment : IDOL WORSHIP. Billy Idol

43A. Fortuneteller's tool : CRYSTAL BALL. Billy Crystal

55A. Cop's night stick, and what the beginnings of 18-, 25- and 43-Across could form : BILLY CLUB

Argyle here. A fun Monday from Marti. Fresh cluing and a few edgy words. My personal trouble spot was the cross of 45-Down(recognition) and 47-Across(spelling).


1. Southwestern plateaus : MESAs

6. "The jig __!" : IS UP

10. Equivalent, in France : EGAL. Liberté! Égalité! Fraternité!

14. Bucking beast : BRONC. He's thrown the 'O' off the back.

15. Brother of Abel and Cain : SETH

16. Prado hangings : ARTE. The Museo del Prado is the Spanish art museum in Madrid.

17. Yoga position : ASANA. My asana position.

20. Amble past : STROLL BY

22. Ranked in the tournament : SEEDED

23. Top bond rating : AAA

24. Red and Yellow : SEAs

30. Auditor of bks. : CPA

33. Crazes : MANIAs

34. Like the Oz woodsman : TIN. and no ice in sight.

35. Avoid like the plague : SHUN

36. Circular gasket : O-RING

37. Meat with eggs : HAM

38. Envelope closers : FLAPS. with ham and eggs.

39. Frozen sheet : FLOE

40. Watch pocket : FOB

41. One taking bets : BOOKIE

42. Aficionado : FAN

45. Crate piece : SLAT

46. Antlered critter : ELK

47. Lounging robe : CAFTAN
50. Hold a parking lot party : TAILGATE. 'Tis the season.

57. Get-go : ONSET

58. New York canal : ERIE

59. Inner Hebrides isle : IONA. Part of an archipelago off the west coast of mainland Scotland...and still part of the United Kingdom.

60. Appraised : RATED

61. Auctioned auto, often : REPO

62. Pirate's booty : SWAG. Pirates are still hanging around?

63. Jackets named for an English school : ETONS


1. Some CFOs' degrees : MBAs. (chief financial officer/Master of Business Administration)

2. Once, old-style : ERST

3. Fly like an eagle : SOAR

4. __ Domini : ANNO

5. Scamp : SCALAWAG. Also, scallywag; especially British, scallawag.

6. Weather map line : ISOBAR

7. Cabinet dept. head : SECY. (secretary of __)

8. Sport-__: off-road vehicle : UTE

9. Gradually introduce : PHASE IN

10. Overhangs around the house : EAVES

11. Crossword puzzle component : GRID

12. Suit to __ : A TEE

13. Lascivious : LEWD

19. Minimum-range tide : NEAP

21. Thailand neighbor : LAOS

24. Wedge of wood : SHIM

25. "Later!" : "I'M OFF!"

26. Alfalfa's sweetheart : DARLA

27. Bagel flavor : ONION

28. Connector of two points : LINE

29. Wild guesses : STABS

30. Grammy winner Khan : CHAKA. Chaka Khan "Ain't Nobody"(4:31)

31. School kid : PUPIL

32. Yosemite photographer Adams : ANSEL. Ansel Adams.

35. Untidy type : SLOB

37. "Joy to the World" songwriter Axton : HOYT. Selective list of Hoyt Axton songs, take a look. List

38. Traditional tales : FOLKLORE

40. Saint from Assisi : FRANCIS

41. "__ Ha'i": "South Pacific" song : BALI

43. Sculptor's material : CLAY

44. Lipton unit : TEA BAG

45. Fifth-cen. pope called "The Great" : ST. LEO. What made him great?

47. Driver with a handle : CBer. Citizens Band Radio

48. Suffix with million or billion : AIRE

49. Fix up and resell quickly : FLIP

50. Sashimi staple : TUNA

51. Tiny biting insect : GNAT

52. Regarding : AS TO

53. High schooler : TEEN

54. Scheduled takeoff hrs. : ETDs

56. Almost on "E" : LOW. (gas)


Sep 21, 2014

Sunday, September 21, 2014, C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Taco Filling

We are very close to the autumnal equinox of equal day and night and I'm sure you'll find this puzzle will give you an equal measure of fun themeage and sparkling fill. It's not jusT A COincidence that our lovely blog mistress is today's constructor! Where else could a brilliant woman from China construct a puzzle about Hispanic food but in America? As she wrote, WHAT A COUNTRY!

C.C. has identified the word TACO as being the filling between words in common phrases just as these fillings below are used in actual tacos! ¡Muy Bueno!

Four of her theme fills were the last two letters of one word and the first two of another

23A. Nissan Bluebird competitor : TOYOTA CORONA - Became the number one nameplate in the world in 1997 surpassing the VW Beetle

66A. February 1945 summit : YALTA CONFERENCE - Many thought FDR was very sick at this conference. He died two months later.

88. Strong morning drink : ROBUSTA COFFEE- One of the two main types

115A. Christmas rental : SANTA COSTUME - Argyle apparel?

and three used the A as an article

29A. "That's enough out of you!" : PUT A CORK IN IT 

45A. Didn't panic : KEPT A COOL HEAD - Despite someone saying "Put a cork in it"

108A. Yakov Smirnoff catchphrase : WHAT A COUNTRY - Part of his funny 1985 beer commercial

Add in great six ten-letter vertical fills and learning and we have an very nice Sunday!

1. Gardener's enemy : APHID - Literally small suckers

6. C to C, say : OCTAVE - It's the interval between Some and where when you sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow. OH COME ON, you tried it, didn't you?

12. Anti-drug ads, e.g. : PSA'S - Public Service Announcements. There are some graphic anti-texting ones out now

16. Try a little of : SIP 

19. World's largest energy consumer : CHINA - It takes a lot for 1.3 billion people

20. Like some pullovers : HOODED

21. No-luck link : SUCH - CCR sang "I ain't no senator's son"

22. Likewise : TOO

25. Family rec center : YMCA - The largest one in North America will be here in Fremont, NE after the aquatic center is added this fall

26. Unified : ONE - Italy just before it was unified

27. Artist Yoko : ONO

28. Berserk : AMOK

32. Conclude one's case : REST - TV's Perry Mason seldom had to REST his case before someone jumped up and confessed in open court

34. Bordeaux bud : AMI 

35. They bite : TEETH - so do these in your TACO

36. Notable survivor of the Trojan War : AENEAS - Also Homer's subject in The Aeneid

37. Felix Leiter's org., in Bond films : CIA - Anybody remember Gust Avrakotus?

38. Golfer's pocketful : TEES - They can be hard to get in the ground in February

40. Pen handle? : BIC - Ever had a waiter with a dozen in his apron?

42. German gripe : ACH - Is ACH du lieber (ADL) "OMG" in Deutsch?

43. Storied ball dropper : GALILEO - I didn't try it but I was where he did it more than 400 yrs after the event

52. CCXI x V : MLV - Just a minute...

53. Attila, for one : HUN - Did someone ever call him "hon"?

54. Firth or fjord : INLET

55. 1,000-yr. realm : HRE - On what show did Linda Richman say, "The Holy Roman Empire was neither Holy, Roman nor an Empire, Discuss..."

56. Org. that promotes hunter safety : NRA

57. Sour British brew : ALEGAR - VineGAR made from ALE according to Webster

59. Sno-Cat feature : TREAD - Keep that end down and the tin side up

60. __ Mason: investment giant : LEGG - Okay

61. Lang. of Luther : GER - He wrote his 95 Theses in Latin which were then translated into his native German. The original Castle Cathedral door in Wittenburg, where they were posted, burned but his Theses are on the bronze door there now

62. Mmes., in La Mancha : SRAS

63. Lamb Chop creator Lewis : SHARI

64. Cartoon girl with a talking backpack : DORA - The Explorer, but how 'bout Dumb DORA

65. Campus bigwig : DEAN - Wormer?

70. Doggy bag item : BONE

73. "__ you one" : I OWE - Can I get that in writing?

74. Creek croakers : TOADS

75. Meat order specification : LEAN - Makes for the best TACOS

78. "Just the Way You __" : ARE - She loved me that way when we were first married...

79. Works at home, maybe : UMPS - Going unnoticed is a perfect game for them

80. Prepares, as for action : GIRDS

81. Heavy herbivores : HIPPOS - Africa's most dangerous animal after the mosquito

83. Remote button : REW 

84. Milano Mr. : SIG - Signore abbr.

85. Split causes : RIFTS - A 1912 Republican RIFT gave us POTUS Woodrow Wilson

86. PC-to-PC system : LAN - Local Area Network

87. Letter before chi : PHI

91. Like a sleeping baby : ANGELIC 

93. "Wheel of Fortune" buy : AN E - Thanks Vanna!

94. Lap dog, briefly : POM - ...eranian

95. Newspaper section : ARTS - Ah yes, the thea-tuh!

97. Crossed paths with : MET - Remember the guy going to St. Ives?

98. City with a Kansas State campus : SALINA

101. Café lighteners : LAITS - Cafe au lait- I'll have mine straight up Mr. Barista

105. WWII domain : ETO - European Theater of Operations

106. USAF noncom : TSGT - Tech Sergeant (E-6)

110. Corn holder : SILO - Also missiles

112. "That feels so nice!" : AAH

113. Rand who created John Galt : AYN

114. Political period : TERM - Some would love limits on these

118. Weightlifting beneficiary : PEC - Want good PECS?

119. Actress Lena : OLIN

120. Oscar winner Kidman : NICOLE - She won while she was still feeling empty after her divorce from Tom

121. Spikes, as punch : LACES - Field goal holders are supposed to get the football LACES away from the kicker

122. Atlanta-to-Miami dir. : SSE

123. Teases, with "on" : RAGS

124. Initial phases : ONSETS

125. Quite heavy : OBESE


 1. Lineman? : ACTOR - Clever! I have nightmares about acting and not knowing my lines

2. Mealtime annoyances : PHONE CALLS - It's an election year

3. Classic Western shout : HI YO SILVER

4. Rescuer of Odysseus : INO - I learned her name and gender

5. Some Dropbox contents : DATA

6. "Seriously!" : OH COME ON

7. Browsing activity marker : COOKIE - I clear these out of my browser periodically

8. A.L. East team : TOR - onto Bluejays

9. Become a mother, maybe : ADOPT - We did ADOPT a kitten on September 10th and she saw no reason why  I should be doing my LA Times Crossword on my lap desk as I do every morning
10. Field of action : VENUE

11. Skype appointment : E DATE - Okay

12. Futures dealer? : PSYCHIC - Hey pick the lotto numbers!

13. Sport with a referee called a gyoji : SUMO - The gyoji had better stand back!

14. Ghana's capital : ACCRA - Home to 2.3 million

15. "Hurry up!" : SHAKE A LEG

16. Wiltshire monument : STONEHENGE - The Autumnal Equinox tomorrow will draw an, uh, interesting crowd to STONE HENGE

17. Ancient region of Asia Minor : IONIA - Now in Turkey

18. Millay and Milton : POETS - Edan St. Vincent and John respectively

24. Bobby Jones, for his entire golfing career : AMATEUR - He made his living as a lawyer and retired from competition at 30

30. Time to swing : AT BAT - A C.C. puzzle without baseball? OH COME ON!

31. Snow measure : INCH - One inch of rain can equal ten inches of show. We had a three inch rain last week...

33. __ chi : TAI

39. Downhill, e.g. : SKI RACE - Going down a mountain on two slats at interstate highway speeds? What could possibly go wrong, Marti?

41. Makes sense : COHERES

43. Robin Roberts' show, initially : GMA - Good Morning America. Also the great first line to the chorus of City of New Orleans

44. Jokhang Temple city : LHASA

46. Cuban Liberation Day month : ENERO

47. Court figure : PLAINTIFF - PLAINTIFF Stella Liebeck wanted $18,000 from McDonalds for spilling hot coffee on her leg. They refused and she wound up with $600,000 from a court

48. "Airplane!" hero Striker : TED - Funniest movie ever?

49. It has keys and stops : ORGAN - Where do you even start?

50. Geometry product : AREA

51. "Shucks!" : DARN

58. "Let's Get It On" singer : GAYE - Marvin

59. Signs of spring : THAWS

60. Men with manors : LORDS - Cute! LORD Grantham will be back in his Downton Manor soon on PBS!

63. Temporary fix : STOP GAP - Stop gap tax levies never seem to go away

64. Jordan River outlet : DEAD SEA - Lowest land point on the planet

65. Like some pockets : DEEP

67. Put a cap on : LIMIT - A LIMIT OF five potato chips? Yeah, right!

68. Strong suit : FORTE

69. Hold on tight : CLING

70. Virologist who worked with Epstein : BARR - Nearly 95% of adults have had had the Epstein Barr Virus sometime in their life

71. Layered snack : OREO

72. Big name in athletic shoes : NEW BALANCE

76. Nonsense : APPLESAUCE - Famous APPLESAUCE scene with horrible Bogie imitation from cheesy TV

77. Koufax quartet : NO HIT GAMES - One of the true gentlemen of the game who also retired at 30 because of extreme arm pain from his incredible curve ball

79. Clay or Webster, briefly : US SENATOR

80. Picture file suffix : GIF

81. Millennium Falcon pilot : HAN SOLO - Princess Leia became Mrs. HAN SOLO in the book series

82. [Not a typo] : SIC - Yore (SIC) enjoying C.C. puzzle, ain't (SIC) you?

85. Punic Wars fighter : ROMAN - How Rome beat Hannibal and the Carthaginians
86. Some fruit pie crusts : LATTICES

89. Workbook chapter : UNIT - Unit One in science books is always measurement

90. Op-Ed pieces : COLUMNS

92. Rescue pro : EMT - We have full time ones here but small towns depend on volunteers

96. Add more flavoring to : RE-SALT - The driveway has frozen over again and so...

98. Exchanges : SWAPS

99. "Now I remember" : AH YES - A big part of the song Maurice Chevalier sang to Hermione Gingold

100. Amtrak express : ACELA - Capable of 150 mph

102. "__ big deal!" : IT'S NO 

103. Get ready for a fight : TRAIN - On his first morning of TRAINING, Rocky drank raw eggs. Remember?

104. Matches audio to video, say : SYNCS - The Husker radio broadcast does not SYNC with the TV. The audio for the Fresno game was 3 seconds late

107. This and that : THESE

109. HP Photosmart insert : ORIG - Don't forget your ORIG. on the HP copier

111. Where the Storting makes legislative decisions : OSLO

116. Ballet support? : TOE

117. Check : TAB

Husker Gary

Sep 20, 2014

Saturday, Sep 20th, 2014 Brad Wilber

Theme: BW

Words: 72 (missing Q,X)

Blocks: 35

  Another solo Saturday from Brad Wilber, with a deceptively easy-looking grid.  I found today's puzzle had what I would call "reverse solvability" - that is, the long answers filled in with little effort, but the shorter ones really baffled me.  8- and 6-letter triple stack corners that did not look intimidating, and just two 10-letter phrases crossing two of the four 9-letter runs rounding out the longer spans;

6d. Moles may cross them : ENEMY LINES

30d. One might include "Go skydiving" : BUCKET LIST

o, a, r d n w....?!?!


1. Pirate inducted at Cooperstown in 1988 : STARGELL - Ah, Baseball to start; took some perps for me to WAG this one; I am sure C.C. nailed it - she can elaborate (From C.C.: I think he's TTP's favorite player, lifelong Pirate.)

9. Tuning shortcut : PRESET - I was in a guitar frame of mind; this is more like your AM/FM, Sirius and Pandora kind of tuning; I call my Pandora station "Myynde Wax" - there's a story behind it....

15. Try to pick up : COME ON TO - There's a girl at the restaurant where I built the benches that likes to scratch my back; do you think it's an attempt to "come on to" me~??

16. Make wrinkly : RUMPLE - I was tempted to try "CREASE"

17. Auto safety feature : HEADREST - simple, but effective

18. Capital with an Algonquin name : OTTAWA - Albany (NY) fit, too, but....

19. Abound : TEEM

20. Many a jayvee athlete : SOPH - tried "TEEN" first

22. Org. with an online Patriot Index : D.A.R. - Daughters of the American Revolution

23. Loan applicant's asset : STEADY JOB - It's getting close to new car time; I have a steady job, a high credit score, and a Dodge with 251,000 miles on it

26. Barnyard cries : BRAYS

28. Much of the New Testament is attributed to him : PAUL - I waited on perps

29. Longtime Ivory rival : LIFEBUOY - soap makers - makes me think of "A Christmas Story"

31. 11-Down skill : CPR - circumreferential, ugh; 11. 31-Across pro : EMT

32. Ins. giant : AIG

33. Citrus whose juice is used in Asian cuisine : YUZU - new to me; the Wiki

34. Give as a task : ASSIGN - Don't get me started on "tasks"....

36. Brno natives : CZECHs

40. 1960s role for Bamboo Harvester : Mr. ED - I had 'M-ED' and had to duck to avoid the V-8 can

42. Word with run or jump : SKI - ski run, ski jump

43. Self-satisfied sound : "HEH~!"

44. Requiem Mass segment : DIES IRAE - the full phrase

46. "The Phantom Tollbooth" protagonist : MILO - all perps

47. Loin cut : T-BONE - toyed with throwing this in to start; then the "N" showed

49. Words of resignation : C'EST LA VIE - Frawnche - but it does remind me of this video

51. URL ending : ORG - uhhh, .com, .edu, .biz....

52. Did a sendup of : APED - mimicry

54. Heroine with notable buns : LEIA - hey now, these buns

55. Pungent condiment : WASABI

57. Took for a ride : SWINDLED

61. Standoffish type : ICICLE - back in college, there was a girl all the guys referred to as the "ice princess" - ironically, she asked ME out....

62. Like the trade winds : EASTERLY

63. Hitching post attachment : TETHER

64. Stop and go, say : ANTONYMS


1. Ivy, e.g.: Abbr. : SCH - meh. 

2. Part of Italy where Calabria is, figuratively : TOE

3. Curtis Cup contenders : AMATEURS - Golf - sort of like the Ryder Cup; more here

4. Bridge do-over : RE-DEAL

5. Hurt in a ring : GORED - Ask Evander Holyfield

7. West Point grads: Abbr. : LTs

8. Much : LOTS OF

9. Hold (up) : PROP

10. Performer in every episode of "Laugh-In" : RUTH BUZZI

12. Relaxing outing : SPA DAY

13. Super Bowl XXXIII MVP : ELWAY

14. Drops during lows : TEARS - my last fill was the "R"; took a moment to see 'drops' as a noun and not a verb

21. Jump, in a way : OBEY

23. Employer of vets: Abbr. : SPCA - ah, those kind of vets

24. Four-note piece : TAPS

25. It may be up : JIG - "Surrender...the jig is up"

27. Casanova : ROUE

32. Accommodating : AGREEABLE

35. Hacker's cry : "I'M IN~!"

37. Knight life ideal : CHIVALRY - it's not dead

38. Port opener : HELI - heliport

39. Braking system component : SHOE - I think they need replacing on my van, but I am still working on the leaf spring

41. Ones spotted in casinos : DICE - this could have been very deceptive, indeed; ones, spotted, dice....lots to work with

42. Carrier to Copenhagen : SAS - Airline

44. Lallygags : DOGS IT

45. Site with an important part in a 1956 film? : RED SEA - part?  Har-HAR~!!!

46. Winless horse : MAIDEN

47. Specifically : TO WIT

48. Reinforce : BRACE

50. Measures taken slowly? : LENTO - musical direction

53. Seaside strolling spot : PIER

56. Rats along the Rhine? : ACH - exclamations; "Rats~!" and "Ach~!"

58. Peaked : WAN - skin color, 'to wit'

59. London's earliest water pipes were made with it : ELM - I wanted "WOOD"; did not realize we were looking for a specific type

60. Beginning to function? : DYS - DYSfunction(al) - don't I know it


Sep 19, 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014 Jacob Stulberg

Theme: Happy Talk like a pirate day. 9/19/2014. The HISTORY.

It is not uncommon for certain holiday or special days to have puzzles constructed to honor these occasions, and I have my first to blog. This one involves a quip leading to a grid spanning very silly reveal. Structurally, I have not written up a quote/quip type so  this will be interesting. I do like vertical grid spanning fill. Oddly Jacob's very first LAT was a Friday quote puzzle, but marti and I had switched so she did the write up of that effort.  Some nice fill like ENAMEL, ENMESH, HAT TIP, PAPAYA, PESETA, STIFLE, ELATEDLY,  ENTRYWAY, HEAT RASH, HIGH BEAM,  RYE BEERS,  SABOTEUR, but still many 3,4 and 5 letter fill for a Friday. I guess the question the audience will answer is whether the reveal was witty enough. This is my third Jacob this year, and usually I work very hard to solve his words. I guess like potato chips, I can't solve just one.

17A. Start of a riddle : WHAT'S. (5)
30A. Riddle, part two : A PIRATE'S. (8)
49A. Riddle, part three : FAVORITE. (8)
64A. End of the riddle : MOVIE. (5)

Well the favorite movie is of course; TA DAH!

7A. Answer to the riddle : ARRRRRRRRRRRRGO. (15). Of course there is a degree of poetic license in determining the 12 "R"s but either it is funny or it is not. LINK.

1. Caesar in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," for one : CHIMP. Also in the Dawn.

6. Road __ : MAP.

9. Long-legged wader : HERON. Door ONE or Door TWO.

14. Halos : AURAE. When you develop cataracts you have halos dominate your visual field.

15. Bold alternative : ERA. Detergent brand names; did not fool me this time.

16. Really ticked : IRATE.

18. "Shirt Front and Fork" artist : ARP. We get Jean often; like the painting?

19. Well-mannered fellows : GENTS. Old fashioned and likely to remember the 35A. Polite gesture : HAT TIP.

20. Summertime woe : HEAT RASH. On the edge of the breakfast test?

23. "__ Shorty": Elmore Leonard novel : GET. Get reappears; if you did not read the book, you can watch the MOVIE.  (2:34). 20 years already.

24. Sumptuous meals : FEASTS.

27. Some microbrews : RYE BEERS. As implied the beer is made from rye rather than barley malt. If you need suggestions, my son reads the BEER ADVOCATE.

29. Rm. coolers : ACS. Air Conditioners.

32. Big piece : SLAB. Good term when ordering beef.

34. Kazakhstan, once: Abbr. : SSR.

39. Chevrolet SUV : TAHOE. Actually a well regarded product, part of Chevrolet's post bankruptcy recovery.

41. Mystery guest moniker : MR X.

43. Highs and lows, perhaps : MOODS.

44. Suppress : STIFLE. Did you all thinks of this lovely couple?

46. KOA visitors : RVS. Kampground of America. Recreational Vehicles.

48. Mice, to owls : PREY. This has a definite cruel tinge to it.

52. Buddy : MAC.

53. Monkey wrench wielder? : SABOTEUR. The one who sabotages your endeavors.

56. Catch in a web : ENMESH.

58. Many a lap dog : TOY.

59. Coat closet locale, often : ENTRYWAY. For all you northerners who actually own and wear coats.

61. Dropped the ball : ERRED. To forgive divine.

63. Sellout sign, briefly : SRO. Standing Room Only.

68. Lagoon border : ATOLL. Did someone say LAGOON? (2:47).

69. Goad, with "on" : EGG.

70. Heroic stories : EPICS.

71. Like a string bean : LANKY. They are often left-handed pitchers, unless they were Mickey Lolich.

72. Burnt __ crisp : TO A.

73. Unauthorized disclosures : LEAKS.  The WIKIPEDIA on Wiki Leaks.


1. Farm field cry : CAW. Crows hunting the corn.

2. "That's a surprise" : HUH.

3. Lyricist Gershwin : IRA. George was the music.

4. British subject? : MATHS. Cute misdirection; we say math or mathematics.

5. Currency replaced by the euro : PESETA. Only a billion choices.

6. Beef, e.g. : MEAT.

8. Melonlike fruit : PAPAYA. Never thought of papaya that way.

9. Headlight setting : HIGH BEAM. Can you believe he has melons and high beams juxtaposed? I have to LINK. (6:36)

10. "Let us part, __ the season of passion forget us": Yeats : ERE. Short and sweet:
by: William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
UTUMN is over the long leaves that love us,
And over the mice in the barley sheaves;
Yellow the leaves of the rowan above us,
And yellow the wet wild-strawberry leaves.
The hour of the waning of love has beset us,
And weary and worn are our sad souls now;
Let us part, ere the season of passion forget us,
With a kiss and a tear on thy drooping brow
11. Singer's asset : RANGE. We had a discussion on range this summer.

12. River mammal : OTTER.  Playful creatures.

13. Makes a home : NESTS.

21. Egyptian snakes : ASPS. Snakes nest as well.

22. Actor Green of "Robot Chicken" : SETH. Did you ever WATCH?

24. Doesn't take anything in : FASTS. No food is hard but okay, it is the no liquid that makes fasting so difficult; just a few weeks away.

25. Fanfare : ECLAT.

26. Tokyo-based brewery : ASAHI. An obligatory BEER link.

28. Bar, in law : ESTOP. You are estopped from asking me about the "E."

31. Suffix with Mao : ISM. Never thought of this as a separate doctrine BUT.

33. Smashing, at the box office : BOFFO.

36. Singer with the Mel-Tones : TORME.

 37. A muse may inspire them : IDEAS.

38. "Fooled you!" : PSYCH. Anybody watch the TV show?

40. With joy : ELATEDLY. If you get happy after everyone else are you belateldly elatedley?

42. Louis __, eponym of the Kentucky city : XVI. The specific French king the city was named after.

45. All square : EVEN. Right Steven?

47. Lose sleep (over) : STEW.

50. Square one : OUTSET. You see it is the first square not a square square.

51. Tooth covering : ENAMEL.

53. Pinch : STEAL. Tinman, he tried but it just did not make it.

54. Cardiologist's concern : AORTA. And getting paid.

55. Lakers coach __ Scott : BYRON.

57. Nearsighted one : MYOPE. My 'ope you see better when you get older.

60. Activity on a mat : YOGA. Not my favorite, but I guess since you must BYOM....

62. Image on the Michigan state flag : ELK. Maybe Sheldon will elaborate this fall.

65. Through : VIA. Just Latin.

66. "Gross!" : ICK.

67. Small opening? : ESS. We end with a beginning letter of a word clue.

Ahoy, time for me to shove off for another week; be careful out there and see you next time. Lemonade out.

Note from C.C.:

Today we celebrate Allen's birthday! I'll have to associate him with a pirate so next year I won't make the same mistake again. 

Marti mentioned yesterday that they'll celebrate this coming Sunday "by attending an Oktoberfest event at The Vienna restaurant. The food is bound to be authentic, and I believe The Stratton Mountain Boys will be taking up their oom-pah instruments to provide music. Should be lots of fun!!"

Allen & Marti
Dave sent Allen the cake ingredients yesterday :-). Let's see what he comes up today.

Sep 18, 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014 Julian Lim


18-Across. "Take your time" : NICE AND EASY. I immediately thought of this.

24-Across. 1993 film loosely based on the Jamaican bobsled team : COOL RUNNINGS. I never saw the film, but who doesn't know the team?!?

46-Across. NCAA regional semifinals, familiarly : SWEET SIXTEEN. National Collegiate Athletic Association. Basketball.

55-Across. Green-skinned movie villain : WICKED WITCH. From "The Wizard of Oz."

In this puzzle, the reveal is placed smack in the middle of the grid:
37-Across. Beginning auspiciously ... like 18-, 24-, 46- and 55-Across? : OFF TO A GOOD START. The theme refers to synonyms, or slang terms, for "GOOD."  NICE is easily substituted for GOOD. COOL and SWEET are relatively modern slang terms.  But I was surprised to find out that WICKED as a synonym for "good" is regional to Boston! (OK, I confess - I have used the term.)


1. Scavenging seabird : ERN.

4. "You gotta be kidding me!" : AW, MAN!

9. "Cast Away" star : HANKS. Other than "Wilson," his basketball volleyball sidekick, Tom HANKS was basically a one-man show in that movie. [Correction - thanks to Anon. @ 11:24]

14. With 12-Down, Rodin sculpture : THE. and 12-Down. See 14-Across : KISS.

15. "__ the big deal?" : WHAT'S.

16. Bustling : ABOIL.

17. Sound that may be averted by holding one's breath : HIC. Or not drinking the whole bottle...

20. Machu Picchu dweller : INCA.

22. Mashed taro, mostly : POI. The only other ingredient is water!

23. Promising words : OATHS.

27. Cry : WEEP.

28. Graphic beginning? : GEO.graphic.

29. Sass : LIP.

32. Watch carefully : GUARD.

34. Equipped : ABLE.

36. __ wave : SINE.

40. Works on, as homework : DOES.

41. Vocalist Vannelli : GINO. Never heard of him.

42. Heavy reading? : TOMES. Literally!

43. Ukr., once : SSRSoviet Socialist Republic. Ukraine ceased to be one with the dissolution in 1991.

44. Disney World visitor's airport, on bag tags : ORL.ando.

45. Bluish hue : CYAN. RGB = 0, 255, 255.

51. Acadia National Park locale : MAINE. Gimme!

53. Word with game or room : WAR.

54. Like lingerie models : SEXY. I would have added the word "most" before "lingerie models."

58. __City: computer game : SIM.

59. Bull on a glue container : ELMER. Borden's originally made ELMER's glue. Elmer was so named because he was supposedly the mate of "Elsie" the cow, another Borden's logo.

60. Beaufort __ : SCALE. Measurement of wind force.

61. World Cup cheer : OLÉ.

62. Anoint : BLESS.

63. Celebrated 2014 sports retiree : JETER. Derek is playing his 20th (and final) season with the New York Yankees, winning many awards during his stint.

64. Site site : NET.


1. Moral code : ETHIC.

2. Safari sight : RHINO.

3. Colorful candy since 1847 : NECCO WAFER. NECCO = New England Confectionary Company. Their plant in Revere, MA is unmistakeable.

4. Grass bristle : AWN.

5. Throw together : WHIP UP. I like to WHIP UP a frittata every so often, throwing together whatever I have in the 'fridg.

6. Georgia's __-Bibb County : MACON. Bibb county just merged with MACON this year, after the referendum was approved in 2012.

7. Enjoyed some home cooking : ATE IN.

8. Codebreaker's org. : NSANational Security Agency.

9. Tried one's hand : HAD A GO.

10. Provides inside information for, say : ABETS.

11. 2014 Russell Crowe title role : NOAH. Have not seen this latest epic from director Aronofsky.

13. Foxy : SLY.

19. "You don't have to" : NO NEED.

21. They may be red : ALERTS.

25. More than modify : REDO. Would that be a "mulligan," Husker G.?

26. Dome-shaped abode : IGLOO.

29. "Love Actually" co-star : LIAM NEESON. It's all about love...actually.

30. Memo words : IN RE.

31. Chinchillas, at times : PETS.

32. "American __": Neil Gaiman novel : GODS. Hugo and Nebula award-winning fantasy novel. Anyone read it?

33. Sci-fi staples : UFOS.

34. Like acrobats : AGILE. I would have added the word "most" before "acrobats."

35. "__ appétit!" : BON.

36. Weasel kin : STOATS.

38. "It's a deal!" : AGREED.

39. Charon's river : STYX.

44. Title holders : OWNERS.

45. Group with a common bond : CIRCLE.

46. "Oliver Twist" bad guy : SIKES. Despicable "friend" of Fagan's, who beat his dog until the dog needed stitches. He got his just desserts in the end, though.

47. Double : TWICE.

48. Grabbed a stool next to : SAT AT.

49. Banishment : EXILE.

50. Queens athlete, for short : NY MET.

51. Flour producer : MILL.

52. Peak : ACME. It's always an apex/ACME dilemma for me.

55. Site site : WEB.

56. Paper with NYSE news : WSJ. New York Stock Exchange news is covered in the Wall Street Journal.

57. Part of HRH : HER. Royal Highness.

That's all for now!

Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to Marti's husband Allen! Hope you can take a day off working on the next door house and enjoy this special day.

Allen (Ole Miss alum) mentioned he yelled this when he was 8 years old:

Hotty Toddy
Are you ready?
Hell yea!
Damn right!
Hotty Toddy, gosh almighty,
Who the hell are we?
Flim Flam, Bim Bam, OLE MISS GOD DAMN!

Sep 17, 2014

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 Gareth Bain

Theme: COCONUT - what else?  The first word of each two-word theme answer relates to something derived from the fruit - which botanically is a drupe, not a nut - of the COCONUT tree, cocos nucifera.

 16. *Butcher's appliance : MEAT GRINDER.   A device used make big chunks into small chunks for burgers and sausages.  COCONUT MEAT  is the rich white lining that is contained within the shell of a coconut.

 24. *Prankster's balloon : WATER BOMB.  You can get your friends as mad as wet hens.  Here are instruction for making one out of paperCOCONUT WATER is the clear liquid inside young, green coconuts.  It has been marketed as a natural energy drink.

50. *Allowance for the cafeteria : MILK MONEY.  Literally, money to be spent on MILK, or figuratively for the entire lunch.  COCONUT MILK is a rich, high fat liquid extracted from grated COCONUT MEAT.

 57. *Monet work : OIL PAINTING.  Made with oil based rather than water based paints.

COCONUT OIL, derived from dried COCONUT MEAT is used as a cooking oil and flavoring in South-east Asian cooking, and in beauty products. 

And the unifier -- 36. Fruit that can be the source of the starts of the answers to starred clues : COCONUT.  So many uses for this versatile, healthful and nutritious tropical fruit.

Hi gang, JzB here, once again united with Gareth on a Wednesday.  Seems like old times. Let's see what he has in store for us.


1. Expensive : HIGH.  Priced

5. GUM rival : ORAL-B.  Oral care products.   News to me

10. Conference with UVA and UNC : ACC.  The Universities of Virginia and North Carolina are in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

13. Guthrie at Woodstock : ARLO.  Woody's Boy

14. "__ Unchained": 2012 Tarantino film : DJANGO.  From IMDB:  "With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner." 

15. Arctic explorer John : RAE.  He roamed all over the far northern reaches of Canada.  Interesting fellow.

18. Not just some : ALL.  Every one, without exception.

19. Square peg, socially speaking : DWEEB.  Misfit. Sheldon Cooper is the prototype.

20. Sharp-eyed hunter : EAGLE.  Raptor

22. Time for fools? : APRIL.  Only for a day

28. Ride the wind : SOAR.  Like an EAGLE.

29. Lip applications : BALMS.  To protect and to sooth.

30. Persons : ONES.  Are you one of the ones who got this right away?

31. Ready to be driven : IN GEAR.  Cars and trucks.

33. "Cagney and __": '80s cop show : LACEY.  This show, starring Sharon Gless as Christine Cagney and Tyne Daly as Mary Beth LACEY, ran from 1982-1988.

35. Newspaper filler : ADS.  Revenue sources, too.

38. "No more details, please!" : TMI. Too Much Information.

41. "Right?!" : I KNOW.  Yeah, right.

42. Ruined, as hopes : DASHED.

44. Picture on a screen : ICON.  On your computer, phone or tablet.

47. Fast food package deal : COMBO.  Have it their way, for a special price.

49. Sock part : HEEL.  The part of the sock that covers the same part of the foot.

52. "A Change Is Gonna Come" singer/songwriter Sam : COOKE.  I remember Sam, but not this song.  What a voice.

53. Catch on the range : LASSO.  Capture with a looped rope.

54. Time to attack : H-HOUR.  I've heard of D-Day, but not H-HOUR.  What about M-Minute? 

56. Bass brew : ALE.  Nothing fishy about it.

 63. Pewter component : TIN.  An alloy of 85-99% TIN with copper, antimony, bismuth or lead.  But maybe the previous entry is for our TIN man.


1. Amateur radio operator : HAM.  Per Wikipedia:  "The term 'ham radio' was first a pejorative that mocked amateur radio operators with a 19th-century term for being bad at something, like 'ham-fisted' or 'ham actor'. It had already been used for bad wired telegraph operators.  Subsequently, the community adopted it as a welcome moniker"

2. Fury : IRE

3. Nice duds : GLAD RAGS.  One's best dress-up clothing.  I can't find anything on the origin of this phrase.

4. Start the wrong way? : HOT WIRE.  "The wrong way" meaning illegally, since hot wiring is a way to start up and steal a parked car.

5. "The Song of Hiawatha" tribe : OJIBWA.  Also know as the Chippewa, they were living in the Lake Superior region when Europeans arrived.

6. Operated : RAN.  As a vacuum cleaner.

7. "Your point is ...?" : AND.   Explain yourself.

8. T size : LGE.  Large shirt.  Cf. 12 D.

9. Tree-damaging insect : BORER.  Elm bane

10. Catherine's home : ARAGON.   Catherine, the daughter of Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon, was betrothed to Prince Arthur, heir to the English throne, at the age of 3.  They were married when she was 16, but Arthur died 5 months later.  She then went on to marry his younger brother, Henry VIII.  Eventually, he grew tired of her inability to bear him a son, and set her aside in favor of his mistress Anne Boleyn.  None of this ended well. 

11. "I hope to hear from you" : CALL ME.  Or text.  Maybe we'll face time.

12. People people : CELEBS.  People in People magazine.


14. Dr. with Grammys : DRE

17. Salon supply : GEL.  Hair goo

21. "About __": Hugh Grant film : A BOY.   From IMDB: "Based on Nick Hornby's best-selling novel, About A Boy is the story of a cynical, immature young man* who is taught how to act like a grown-up by a little boy."  *Portrayed by the insufferable Hugh Grant.

22. Oman locale : ASIA.  At the South-east extremity of the Arabian peninsula.

23. Fishing spot : POND.  Small body of water.

25. "It'd be my pleasure" : ALLOW ME.   Let me help you.

26. Eliot Ness, e.g. : T-MAN.   A special agent of the U.S. Treasury Department.

27. Pre-euro Iberian coin : ESCUDO.  Spanish and Portuguese for shield.  At different times in history Spain had gold and then silver Escudos.  It was the currency of Portugal until the introduction of the Euro.

29. Rodeo horse : BRONCO.  A feral or untrained horse prone to unpredictable behavior, used in rough riding events.

32. Comic strip cry : ACK.

34. Greek vowel : ETA.  Seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, uppercase Η, lowercase η. 

37. Ring-tailed scavenger, to Crockett : COON.  Aka RACOON, a medium sized North American mammal noted for its dexterous front paws, facial mask, ringed tail, and appearing in Crockett's hat.

38. Formulate a possible explanation : THEORIZE.  Let me see  .  .  .

39. Overly compliant : MEEK

40. Doing nothing : IDLE.

41. Cartoonist's supply : INKS.

43. Called out : SHOUTED

44. Behind-schedule comment : I'M LATE.   Or something a zombie should say.

45. Viagra alternative : CIALIS. Bathtubs are optional, I think.

46. "Full House" twins : OLSENS.   They were born in 1986 and shared the role of Michelle Tanner in 191 episodes from 1987 (!) to 1995.  They went on to appear in various other roles, then reappear as fashionistas.

48. Manually : BY HAND.  As opposed to by machine

51. Freeloader : MOOCH.  Or this.

52. Put one over on : CON.

55. "__ Master's Voice" : HIS.  Nipper the dog in an iconic conic ad for RCA Victor, representing their record label and the Victor Talking Machine.

58. Nest egg item, for short : IRAIndividual Retirement Account

59. Auction unit : LOT.  By way of illustration, one last video.

Pretty smooth Wednesday ride I thought.  Hope you got through without straining your coconut.


Cool regards!