Oct 1, 2014

Wednesday, Oct 1, 2014 Gail Grabowski and Bruce Venzke

Theme: PO BOX.  The theme answers are all two word entries beginning with the letter P and ending with the letter O, so that the P and O BOX in the other letters - a type of bookend theme.

18 A. System with a Porte de Versailles station : PARIS METRO.   The rapid transit system of Paris, France, with 16 lines consisting of 133 miles of rail and 303 stations.

25 A. Instrument using rolls : PLAYER PIANO.   A mechanically driven piano whose playing is controlled by perforated paper rolls.  Sales peaked in 1924, then fell off as phonograph record and radio broadcast music became more common.

47 A. In the U.S., it has more than 950 stations : PUBLIC RADIO.  Radio broadcasting whose primary mission is public service.  Funding sources include license fees, individual contributions, public financing and commercial financing.

63 A. Pasta sauce ingredient : PLUM TOMATO.  A type of oval tomato well suited for sauce making because it is denser and has fewer seed compartments than other tomatoes. Roma is a well known variety. 

And the unifier - 55 D. Many a bus. address, and a literal hint to 18-, 25-, 47- and 63-Across : P. O. BOX.  A Post Office BOX is a locked box with a unique address located at a post office.  Many countries do not have door to door delivery, and this is the only way residents can receive mail.

All the theme answers are straightforward, in-the-language phrases with easily recognizable meanings.  No humor or twists this time.

Hi gang, and rabbit rabbit.  JzB here.  Let's see what the rest of this posting has for us.


1. Lollobrigida of film : GINA. An Italian film star of the 50's, perhaps best known for her ample bosom, who went on to become a photographer and journalist.

5. Just for laughs : IN FUN.  For kicks and giggles.

10. Stand watch for, say : ABET.  Assist in a criminal activity

14. Kosher food carrier : EL AL.  Israeli airline.

15. Half a classic comedy team : MEARA. Anne, along with husband Jerry Stiller.  They are also the parents of actors Ben Stiller and Amy Stiller.

16. Sound from an Abyssinian : PURR.  Cat stuff.

17. Twice-monthly tide : NEAP.  This tide occurs when the moon is in first or third quarter, and the the gravitational forces of sun and moon are operating at right angles, and thus oppose each other.  This is the time when the difference between high and low tides is the least.

20. Not pure : UNCHASTE.  CHASTE refers either to sexual abstinence or being austere and unadorned. UNCHASTE is the opposite.   But some of the most UNCHASTE are the most chased.  Go figure.

22. Respectful bow : CURTSY.  Specifically a type of bow performed by a female in which the knee is bent [in a gesture of submission] while the head is bowed, distinct from the male bow at the waste.

23. Flower part : SEPAL. Anatomy of a bud.

24. River blocker : DAM.

33. Acapulco dough : PESO.  Mexican money.

37. Six-Day War statesman : EBAN.  Originally Aubrey Solomon, born in So. Africa, Feb 2, 1915, died in Tel Aviv, Nov 17, 2002.

38. Ending for bobby : SOXER.  A teen age girl or young woman following the fashion fad of the 40's and 50's that included rolled down white socks with saddle shoes, loafers or oxfords.  The poodle skirt was an optional accessory.

39. Tech support caller : USER. Of computer hardware and software.

40. Long Island airport town : ISLIP.  Near the middle of the south shore.

42. "What __ you thinking?" : WERE.  Well, sometimes I have these brain fades . . .

43. NFLer until 1994 : L A RAM.  The Rams were in Cleveland from 1937 to 1945.  They moved to L.A. in 1946, and thence to St. Louis in 1994.  I guess I'd rather see NFLer in the clue than the fill.

46. Fusses : ADOS. Yesterday, we only had one of them.

50. Defective firecracker : DUD.  Actually, anything that fails to work properly, and is unsatisfactory or useless.

51. Defeat decisively : WHOMP.

56. Most joyful : GAYEST.  In an earlier, simpler time.

60. Vegas hotel known for its fountains : BELLAGIO.

65. Bacon buy : SLAB.  Rasher doesn't fit.

66. Longfellow's "The Bell of __" : ATRI.  Too long to quote in full and too run-on to excerpt.  You can read it here.

67. Knighted golf analyst : FALDO.  Sir Nicholas Alexander Faldo (born 18 July 1957) has 40 professional wins to his credit, including 30 on the European tour, three British opens, and three Masters.  In 2006 he became the lead golf analyst for CBS Sports.

68. Fictional submariner : NEMO.  From Jules Verne's novel 20,000 Leagues Beneath the Sea.

69. Nursery supply : SOIL.  It's a dirty job.

70. Impose unjustifiably : FOIST.

71. Cereal "for kids" : TRIX.


1. Biological group : GENUS.  A principal taxonomic category that ranks above species and below family.

2. Graff of "Mr. Belvedere" : ILENE. She played Marsha Owens, the wife of Bob Uecker's character, George.

3. Anti-discrimination org. : NAACP. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.  

4. Dominant, among animals : ALPHA.  The leader of the pack.

5. Rascals : IMPS. Little devils

6. In order : NEAT. On this blog, as was pointed out yesterday, it means without ice.

7. Cab __ : FARE.  The price of transportation.

8. Ocean State coll. : URI. University of Rhode Island.

9. Daytona 500 org. : NASCARNational Association for Stock Car Auto Racing.  What's a little redundancy when you're going 195 miles per?

10. One making impressions : APER.  Impressions being the actions of mimicking someone. Thus, an APER is a copy cat. 

11. Intrude, with "in" : BUTT.  To push into a conversation, frex, when not invited, from the head butting actions of  [not necessarily the L. A.]  rams.

12. Blunders : ERRS.  Goofs, drops the ball.

13. "Iliad" setting : TROY. Ancient city in northwest Anatolia [modern Turkey] south of the western end of The Dardenelles.

19. Childhood ailment, typically : MUMPS.  A viral disease characterized by painful swelling of the salivary glands.  Usually it's not serious, but some uncommon complications can be.

21. Wildspitze, for one : ALP. European mountain.

24. Didn't allow : DENIED.

26. Aromatic garland : LEI.  Does everyone who goes to Hawaii get LEIed?

27. Ridiculous : ABSURD.

28. 1945 conference city : YALTA.  Feb 4 - 11.   Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, And Joseph Stalin met to discuss Europe's post WW II reorganization.

29. Home to Cedar Falls and Cedar Rapids : IOWA.

30. Chopped down : AXED.

31. "I, Claudius" role : NERO.  Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 15 December 37 – 9 June 68) was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

32. Unrefined finds : ORES.

33. Juicer refuse : PULP.  The stringy content of the fruit’s endocarp, from which the juice is removed.

34. Son of Isaac : ESAU.  He sold his birthright to his twin brother for a bowl of red pottage.  Nothing good came of this.

35. Belgrade native : SERB.  Belgrade is the capital and largest city in Serbia.

36. Like some presentations : ORAL.   Spoken

41. Letters on tires : PSI.  Pressure, in Pounds per Square Inch.

44. Center : MIDST.   Like this

48. Discontinued : CUTOFF.

49. Nocturnal bird of prey : OWL.

52. Lacks : HASN'T.

53. Obvious flirt : OGLER.  To OGLE is to stare in a lecherous manner.  Not sure this is quite the same thing as flirting.

54. Biscayne Bay city : MIAMI.  Florida.

56. Data in coll. transcripts : GPAsGrade Point Averages.

57. Middle harmony choral part : ALTO.   From the bottom up bass, tenor, ALTO, soprano.

58. Doctor Zhivago : YURI.  His given name

59. Jannings of "The Blue Angel" : EMIL. He received the first Oscar ever presented, for Best Actor in 1929.

60. Indonesian resort island : BALI

61. LAX data : ETDsEstimated Time of Departure.  Or arrival.  Always need perp help.

62. Burglar's haul : LOOT

64. "Little Red Book" writer : MAO.  Zedong or Tse-tung, depending on how the Chinese is anglicized  (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976.)  He founded the People's Republic of China in 1949, which he ruled until his death.  He was either a great leader who modernized China or a brutal dictator, depending on one's point of view.

Thus ends this missive.  Hope you all enjoyed it.

Cool regards!

Sep 30, 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 Steve Blais

Theme: You can keep your shirt on - Themes start with things you might lose.

17A. Reminder to be polite : MIND YOUR MANNERS. Lose your mind.

23A. Assets-and-liabilities statement : BALANCE SHEET. Lose your balance.

40A. "Congratulations!" : "WAY TO GO!". Lose your way.

51A. 1993 film about a novice Olympic bobsled team : "COOL RUNNINGS" (They were from Jamaica.). Lose your cool.

62A. What risktakers have ... and what the starts of 17-, 23-, 40- and 51-Across can be? : SOMETHING TO LOSE

Argyle here. A lot of names again but fewer abbreviations. (I didn't count them.) Two spanners also. All in all, quite like Monday.


1. Cross in some hieroglyphics : ANKH

5. Guinness of "Star Wars" : ALEC. and 14A. "Star Wars" princess : LEIA

9. Most of its panhandle is in the Pacific Time Zone : IDAHO. Note some of (update) Oregon is Mountain Time Zone.

15. "Hawaii Five-O" nickname : DANO. "Book 'em, Dano!"

16. At lunch, say : NOT IN

20. Pond growth : ALGAE

21. Churn up : ROIL

22. "__-haw!" : YEE. YEE or HEE, gotta wait on the perp.

27. Judge at a base : UMPIRE

30. Flower pot filler : SOIL

31. Something to brag about : FEAT

32. Perform perfectly : NAIL

36. Dance movements : STEPS

39. Rower's blade : OAR

42. Be a contender : VIE

43. Word with whisper or fright : STAGE

45. It's a gas in Canada : ESSO

46. Copper-plated coin : CENT

47. Without ice : NEAT. Finally, right Tin?

49. Millionaire's accumulation : WEALTH

56. Incoming flight info: Abbr. : ARR. (arrivals)

57. Any minute now : SOON

58. Hop out of bed : GET UP

66. Nursery rhyme tart taker : KNAVE. Who knew?

67. Large cross : ROOD

68. Blessing ender : AMEN

69. Repaired, as a shoe : SOLED. From a bygone era.

70. Approximate figs. : ESTs

71. Ties the knot : WEDS


1. __ mater : ALMA

2. Astronaut Armstrong : NEIL

3. Checkmate victim : KING

4. Tasted, with "of" : HAD A BIT

5. "And now, without further __ ..." : ADO

6. 2000s first lady Bush : LAURA

7. 2001 bankruptcy filer : ENRON

8. Stand-up individual? : COMIC

9. Road trip stopover : INN

10. Crime family boss : DON

11. Right in front of one's face : AT EYE LEVEL

12. New recruit : HIREE

13. Beginning : ONSET

18. Magazine subscription period : YEAR

19. Many microbrews : ALEs

24. "Stormy Weather" singer Horne : LENA

25. "Nothing special" : "SO-SO"

26. Bit of Google success : HIT. Easier on your teeth than Bit-O-Honey.

27. Sci-fi transports : UFOs

28. Veggie platter's lack : MEAT

29. Like "The X-Files" cases : PARANORMAL

33. Thumbs-up vote : AYE

34. For what __ worth : IT'S

35. Part of LAPD : LOS. (Los Angeles Police Department)

37. Ice cream buy : PINT. It still could be Edy's.

38. "Family Guy" creator MacFarlane : SETH

40. Wash-and-__ : WEAR

41. Prom attire : GOWN

44. Hair goo : GEL

46. Source of legal precedents : CASE LAW

48. Rear end : TUSH. I still LOL at the end of the clip.

50. "Thick & Fluffy" breakfast brand : EGGO

51. Big barrels : CASKS

52. Maine campus town : ORONO

53. Bete __ : NOIRE

54. Verboten things : NO-NOs

55. Weighty gold bar : INGOT

59. Weighty work : TOME

60. Pre-owned : USED

61. Rollerballs, e.g. : PENS

63. First lady? : EVE

64. Actor Danson : TED. He has gone from Cheers to CSI.

65. QB's scores : TDs


Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to Pje (Pat), the milk man's daughter :-). You can read more about Pat here. She's been a quiet influence in our blog, always offering comfort when someone needs help.

Sep 29, 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014 Matt Skoczen

Theme: Good Rap - Three types of wrap I can stand.

17A. Boil out of the pot : BUBBLE OVER. Bubble wrap, my favorite.

27A. Present in lieu of cash : GIFT CERTIFICATE. Gift wrap.

48A. Doctors doing reconstructive work : PLASTIC SURGEONS. Plastic wrap.

64A. Director's "We're done," and hint to the starts of 17-, 27- and 48-Across : "THAT'S A WRAP"

Argyle here. Matt has given us a pleasant start to the week. A couple of spans and tight stacks all around.


1. Headliners : STARS

6. Prefix with final or trailer : SEMI

10. Ward of "CSI: NY" : SELA

14. "Wowie!" : "OH BOY!"

15. Frau's home : HAUS and 67A. Frau's mate : HERR

16. Medicine cabinet swab : Q-TIP

19. Sch. near the Rio Grande : UTEP University of Texas at El Paso.

20. Old Testament twin : ESAU

21. Leaves : GOES. The leaves are turning, getting ready to go.

22. Goethe classic : FAUST. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust is a tragic play in two parts: ... read more here.

23. Sun. message : SER. (sermon)

25. Shortening for pie-making : LARD

35. Genetics lab subject : RNA

36. Mix with a spoon : STIR

37. Hard to lift : LEADEN. Often used to describe one's extremities.

38. Where serve-and-volley tennis players win a lot of points : AT NET

40. Dict. entry : DEF. (definition)

42. Sturm und __ : DRANG. Tumult; turmoil; upheaval; Dunder and Blixem.

43. Attacks : SETS AT. "Sic 'em!"

45. Gin flavoring : SLOE

47. Neither here __ there : NOR

51. Verdi opera : AIDA

52. Turkish bigwig : AGA

53. Where to find Houston St. and Penn Sta. : IN NYC

56. Hammer or saw : TOOL

59. Stadium cheers : RAHs

63. Hawaii's "Valley Isle" : MAUI

66. Requests : ASKS

68. Backyard barbecue site : PATIO

69. Newsman Huntley : CHET

70. Celestial bear : URSA

71. Wield : EXERT


1. Tea brand with a lizard logo : SOBE

2. Consequently : THUS

3. "Dancing Queen" band : ABBA. Sing along!

4. Strong and healthy : ROBUST

5. Word segment: Abbr. : SYL. (syllable)

6. "Scram, fly!" : "SHOO!"

7. Roof overhang : EAVE

8. Rolled oats cereal : MUESLI. From the fine folks that also bring us spelt flour.

9. Jerusalem's land: Abbr. : ISR. (Israel)

10. Cop show wheels : SQUAD CAR

11. Caesar's disbelieving words : "ET TU...?"

12. Golfers' concerns : LIES

13. Date bk. entry : APPT. (appointment)

18. "Snowy" heron : EGRET
22. Breakfast sandwich item : FRIED EGG

24. Deliriously happy : ECSTATIC

26. CIO partner : AFL. The American Federation of Labor / Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO)

27. Clutch tightly : GRASP

28. "__ inside": chipmaker's slogan : INTEL

29. Classic orange soda : FANTA

30. Get __ of: throw out : RID

31. Rapunzel feature : TRESS

32. Hersey's "A Bell for __" : ADANO

33. Mortise insert : TENON

34. Some MIT grads : ENGRs. (engineers)

39. Charles Lamb, notably : ESSAYIST

41. Winter ailment : FLU

44. Three times daily, on an Rx : TID. (Latin: ter in die)

46. Tough tests : ORALS

49. Novelist Willa : CATHER. There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm. ~ Willa Cather

50. Auditory canal blocker : EARWAX. Don't stick 16-Across in there.

53. Colorful old Apple : iMAC

54. "Parsley is gharsley" poet Ogden : NASH

55. Microwave : NUKE

57. Paddles, e.g. : OARS. Noun or verb, either works.

58. Mexican's "other" : OTRA

60. Comic Johnson : ARTE

61. Word with spray or style : HAIR

62. Laundry challenge : SPOT

64. Day before Fri. : THU.

65. Swinger in the jungle : APE


Sep 28, 2014

Sunday September 28, 2014 Dana Olsen

Theme: "Ah, Me!" - Clues are key today, all two words in the pattern of * Me.

23A. "Trust me" : TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. For the first/last theme slot, 15's are easier than 13's to deal with.

39A. "On me" : THIS IS MY TREAT. Heard this a lot in Guangzhou.

71A. "Help me" : HOW ABOUT A HAND?. A middle 13-letter entry is like a middle 7 in a 15*15.

100A. "Tell me" : WHAT'S THE STORY?

118A. "Search me" : I HAVEN'T GOT A CLUE. "Beats me" works as well.

16D. "Let me" : I'LL BE GLAD TO DO THAT. Two long 17's in the Down slots today.


I saw no label for Dana Olsen in our blog, so this must be a debut. Congratulations! 

This grid is expertly laid out with only 68 black squares, sure feels like it's designed by an old pro.


1. Man with memorable thumbs : EBERT (Roger). Straight shooter.

6. Watch displays, briefly : LCDs

10. Indian butter : GHEE. Secret to good naan.

14. Brief concession : I GIVE. The "brief" made me think the answer is an abbr.

19. Opposite of neo- : PALEO

20. Childlike sci-fi race : ELOI

21. __ cloud: distant solar system region : OORT

22. "Amadeus" director Forman : MILOS. Liked the movie. Don't remember the director. Wiki said he also directed One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

26. Latvians, e.g. : BALTS

27. Caribbean music genre : SKA

28. Extremely cold : GELID. Not a word I use.

29. Mother in a colony : QUEEN BEE. Nice clue.

31. Accuse of misconduct : IMPEACH

35. Soprano Dame Nellie __ : MELBA

37. Westminster gallery : TATE

38. Condiment for pommes frites : SEL. I was surprised that our foodie Steve never had  creamed honey. How about you, Marti/D-Otto/Yellowrocks/Avg. Joe?

43. Classic muscle car : GTO

46. Spring : LEAP. Verb.

48. Match decision : TKO. Boxing match.

49. Bad news from home? : YER OUT. Home plate.

50. Quarterback's call : PLAY

51. Voice of the difficult homeowner in "Up" : ASNER (Ed)

53. __'acte : ENTR

56. What a pump may supply : AIR

57. Small amounts : DRAMS

58. Manchester measurement : METRE

59. __ dream: optimist's philosophy : DARE TO

62. Ogled : LEERED AT

64. Expel : OUST

66. Tennessee team : TITANS

68. Linda's role in "Dynasty" : KRYSTLE. Linda Evans. I forgot. We had her a few months ago.

69. Form 1040 no. : SSN

74. Poetic contraction : O'ER

75. Faculty retirees : EMERITI

77. List in a subsequent printing, perhaps : ERRATA

78. Auctioneer's word : SOLD

80. Dixie bread : CORN PONE. I just call it "corn bread".

82. Themes : TOPICS

84. New York governor Andrew : CUOMO

87. Opera highlights : ARIAS

88. Clumsy sort : OAF

90. Three-time speed skating gold medalist Karin : ENKE. No idea.

91. Passed, as a bad check : KITED

92. Students' goals: Abbr. : DEGs (Degrees)

93. Vote out : UNSEAT

96. __ Jima : IWO

98. Edible herring : SHAD

99. Sturdy wood : ASH

104. Is for you? : ARE. I got it immediately.

105. Chamber music piece : TRIO

107. Greet warmly : SEE IN. As I mentioned to Husker Gary, we live in a ghetto area. I seldom open our door. It looks like the drug guy is moving away, so that's good news.

108. Jordan, for one : NBA STAR

110. Goes over again : REHASHES

114. Davis of "Dr. Dolittle" : OSSIE

116. Bit of chat room shorthand : IMO

117. Beth preceder : ALEPH. First Hebrew letter.

124. Nobelist Curie : MARIE

125. Line at the dock : ROPE

126. ER tests : ECGs

127. Like a wolfman : HAIRY

128. Transports using runners : SLEDS. Nice clue also.

129. Fancy pitcher : EWER

130. Actor John __-Davies : RHYS. Wiki said "He is perhaps best known for playing the dwarf Gimli in The Lord of the Rings trilogy". Another unknown figure to me.

131. Kate's TV roomie : ALLIE. Quite a few names in this puzzle.


1. Skillful, kiddingly : EPT

2. Farm cry : BAA

3. The Hartford logo : ELK

4. Candy company mogul Harry : REESE

5. Suri's parents, in entertainment media : TOMKAT. Happy times. Now North West's parents are everywhere.

6. "Ben-Hur" author Wallace : LEW

7. Tub trouble : CLOG

8. "The Sound of Music" song : DO-RE-MI

9. Edges furtively : SIDLES

10. Parting word : GOODBYE

11. Old TV knob abbr. : HOR

12. La Salle of "ER" : ERIQ

13. Words to Brutus : ET TU. And 18. Being, to Brutus : ESSE

14. "What a loooong day!" : I'M BEAT

15. Really big : GIANT

17. Formal choice : VOTE

24. America's Cup entry : YACHT

25. Obscured by haze : FILMY

30. Louisiane, par exemple : ETAT

31. Mullah's faith : ISLAM. Liked what PK/Jayce said yesterday. That part of the world is a circle we can't square.

32. Reagan's second attorney general : MEESE (Ed). And 42. Reagan's alma mater : EUREKA
34. Followed a trail, say : HIKED

36. Gillette razor : ATRA

40. Piano composition : SONATA

41. Stir up : ROIL

44. Cantina fare : TAMALE. I see this at Trader Joe's. You don't put cheese in your tamales, Lucina, do you?

45. Raw bar item : OYSTER

47. Machu Picchu locale : PERU

50. Corp. exec : PRES

52. Sends again : RE-SHIPS

54. Erie or Huron : TRIBE

55. Comeback : RETORT

57. Marine maintenance site : DRY DOCK. Not a familiar term to me.

60. Bull: Pref. : TAURO

61. Like many home movies : ON TAPE

63. Seashore fliers : ERNS

65. Miss Gulch's bugbear : TOTO

67. Participated temporarily : SAT IN

69. "If You Go" singer Jon : SECADA. Another new name to me.

70. Campfire snacks : S'MORES

72. Johnny's "Edward Scissorhands" co-star : WINONA (Ryder)

73. Cope : HACK IT

76. Genetic strands : RNAs

79. Baseball Hall of Famer Aparicio : LUIS. We pulled an autographed Luis Aparicio card a few years ago.

81. Word with Side or End : EAST

83. Affix, as a button : SEW ON

85. Anne of comedy : MEARA

86. Harder to account for : ODDER. D-Otto, in Mandarin, Yangtze is "Chang Jiang". Chang = Long, Jiang = River. So "Long River". People from Guangzhou/Hong Kong/Macao where Cantonese is spoken will know Yangtze.

89. Spill, with "up" : FESS

93. "Oops" : UH OH

94. Enjoyed a friend's mom's cooking : ATE OVER. Yellowrocks, can you share your recipe for the Green Beans Amandine?

95. "__ Dreams": 1986 #1 hit : THESE. Never heard of it.

97. Once around : ORBIT

100. They may be made after coin tosses : WISHES

101. Former Disney exec : EISNER (Michael)

102. Tell : SNITCH

103. Big name in pianos : YAMAHA

106. Expeditious : RAPID

109. L.A.'s region : SOCAL

110. Smacks into : RAMS
111. Flier to Ben Gurion : EL AL

112. Sinn Fein's land : EIRE. I always associated Sinn Fein with IRA.

113. Production : SHOW

115. Like French toast : EGGY

119. Barbary __ : APE

120. Covert WWII gp. : OSS (Office of Strategic Services). Now CIA.

121. Rapper __ Kim : LIL

122. Sch. with a Narragansett Bay campus : URI

123. Storm feature : EYE


Sep 27, 2014

Saturday, Sep 27th, 2014, Mark Bickham

Theme: None

Words: 70 (missing W)

Blocks: 35

  Well, I saw Mark Bickham's name on this one, and figured I was in for the long haul, but then I noticed that the grid was not so daunting, and as a result, I have to say I just smoked through this puzzle.  Lots of "Z"s, and we got the "Q" and "J", but alas, no place for the "W".  Oh well.  Two spanners, and two 11-letter climbers, and not much else lengthwise.  Splynter is suffering from a prolonged head cold, and a stiff back from hockey, so it's going to be a short one today;

23. Popular '60s-'70s garb : BELL BOTTOM PANTS - threw it right in there, and it worked

46. Some sightings : CLOSE ENCOUNTERS - one of my favorite movies - the Third Kind, that is

4. Pioneers : TRAILBLAZES - The verb, not the noun - I couldn't get blazeRs to fit

27. "Chicago" song : ALL THAT JAZZ - I had the "Z" from OZONE, and that helped

OW, darn~!


1. Early 20th-century Met baritone Pasquale : AMATO - With -M-TO in place, I went Italian....

6. City on the Nile : GIZA - ah, I forget it happens to be a city, and not just a plateau

10. "'Sup" : "HI YA" - I have a UPS logo shirt, but the letters are S'UP

14. Three-time Oscar-winning director : CAPRA

15. OS X basis : UNIX

16. Scholarly Islamic title : IMAM

17. Rasp : CROAK

18. Place to pick up some pets : NAPE - Dah~! Went with SPCA, knowing there was no abbr. in the clue - nice misdirection

19. Yankees coach Tony : PEÑA

20. 10% of MDX : CLI - I needed Husker's calculator again; 1510 x .1 = 151

21. Common file folder abbr. : MISCellaneous

22. Reno and others: Abbr. : AGs

28. Thick-trunked tree : BAOBAB

29. Put on a pedestal : IDEALIZE - IDOLIZE was too short

30. Bee product : QUILT - Dah~! Not HONEY, but I know better on Saturday

31. Followed : RESULTED

32. Makes a decision : ACTS - Not OPTS, but I was 50% correct

35. Word with lake or lick : SALT - Salt Lake, and salt lick - I had a bunny growing up

36. World's largest user of cheese, according to its website : PIZZA HUT - DOMINO'S was too short, but I bet they could give them a run for the title

40. Goes after, as flies : SHAGS - Yeah, baby, yeah~!!!!

44. Alternative-medicine staple : ALOE VERA - Fresh clue for a crossword staple - and the full answer, too

45. Fastball, in slang : HEATER - the season is running out, and the hockey is coming in~!

48. Airline with headquarters in Amstelveen : KLM

49. Energy source : ATOM - I tried WIND first

50. Improv session : JAM

51. Premium factor : RISK - like for your 17yr-old son's car insurance payment

53. Two-band : AM/FM

54. Bashes : GALAs

56. Etonic competitor : AVIA - Sneakers

57. Extend one's service : RE-UP - Military

58. __ layer : OZONE - Nailed it

59. One might be staked : TENT - Vampire did not fit....

60. Mallorca, e.g. : ISLA

61. Quetzalcoatl worshiper : AZTEC


1. Clemson Univ. is in it : ACC - All perps

2. Only actor to speak in Mel Brooks' "Silent Movie" : MARCEAU - The mime, and his only word is "No."

3. Ill-fated 1967 mission : APOLLO I - Capsule fire took the lives of three astronuats; Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee

5. Poison __ : OAK - OAK or IVY~?  IVY or OAK~?

6. Hit the gas : GUN IT

7. Agitated : IN A STIR

8. Routing aids : ZIP CODES - Yesterday I caught a package bound for Southold, but with a Brooklyn address - bad zip code

9. Send packing : AXE - Dah~! Not CAN

10. Not square : HIP

11. "Seriously" : "I MEAN IT"

12. Asia's longest river : YANGTZE - got it with the "A" and "T" in place; the Three Gorges Dam displaced 1.3 million people; more facts here

13. Got a lot of : AMASSED

21. __ mentality : MOB

23. Summer party invitation letters : BBQ - DAH~! Not BYO....

24. Part of Wayne's world : BATCAVE - Clever misdirection, and I did not fall prey to it; BRUCE Wayne, not Wayne & Garth

25. Neighbor of Tempe : MESA - Cities in Arizona

26. Eponymous skater Axel : PAULSEN - The Wiki

33. What you once were? : THEE - Cute - "...but I wish I could wrap myself / in thee"

34. Last things written on applications? : SURNAMES - Har-har

36. Super saver? : PACK RAT

37. "No harm done" : "I'LL LIVE"

38. Enhances the details : ZOOMS IN

39. Considerate : TACTFUL

41. Got stuffed, maybe : ATE A LOT

42. Material : GERMANE - by definition, relevant; pertinent

43. Yearbook sect. : SRs

45. Buzz : HUM

47. __-Loompas: Dahl characters : OOMPA - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

52. Dennings of "2 Broke Girls" : KAT

53. NPR journalist Shapiro : ARI

54. __ long way : GO A

55. Hardly a long time : SEC


Note from C.C.:

I got below sweet note & picture from Irish Miss last night. Never saw Ruth or Mantle play in person, I have to agree with what Jorge Posada said about Jeter. To me, he is the #1 Yankee, on and off the field.

"My great (grand?) nephew and his wife went to see the Yankees vs the Red Sox game tonight.  They first had dinner in the Italian North End of Boston and who was there, dining alone, but Derek Jeter.  Since the main reason for them attending this game was to see Jeter, this was an added plus, more so because he didn't play tonight.  However, being the class act that he is, he very graciously posed with my g-nephew's wife."

Sep 26, 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014, Susan Stanislawski

Theme: Sounds like....PHUN

A sound-alike pun puzzle where common F words are replaced with sound alike PH words and clued whimsically. I believe this is Susan's debut LAT though I did see a cute Monday NYT she had published in April, 2012. I enjoyed the wit in this effort though again, it did not seem like a Friday to me. There were some nice fill like NAG NAG,  OMERTA,  SEA HAG,  SLIDER, HEXAGON,  RAKES IN, AMEN AMEN,  ANTI-HERO,  SPEAKS UP. Maybe there is more hidden; anyway let us get going as it has been a busy week.

17A. Seriously uncool dairy product? : NON-PHAT MILK. If phat still a positive term?
 (Fat to phat).

24A. Enjoy a TV psychologist? : HAVE ONE'S PHIL. Dr. Phil McGraw, of whom I long ago had my fill. (Fill to Phil).

46A. Followers' flowers? : PHLOX OF SHEEP. Flocks of sheep; love that sheep in the fill means a follower not the animal. The flowers which we had growing wild in my neighborhood. LINK. (Flocks to phlox).

56A. Sign on a hacker's door? : GONE PHISHIN' (11).  Gone fishin' replaced by THIS.
(Fishin' to phishin.)


1. Hamlet, for one : DANE. A gimme start to those who love them some Shakespeare.

5. Happy hour sandwich : SLIDER. This took longer, as I wanted to have a HOAGIE to go with 18D. Composer Carmichael : HOAGY.  Who does not remember STARDUST? (3:19)

11. Modern film effects, briefly : CGIComputer-generated imagery.

14. Troubled cry : ALAS.

15. Roman board game similar to modern backgammon : TABULA. Well THIS is a Friday clue, rather than __ rasa.

16. Cartoon Chihuahua : REN.

19. Farm resident : ANT. I hope no one fell for this old trick, eieio.

20. Mauna __ : KEA. It's higher than LOA.

21. Sitcom world : ORK. How timely with the passing of Robin Williams.

22. Nail polish brand : ESSIE. All perps. LINK.

28. Long cold spell : ICE AGE.

31. Renée's "Chicago" role : ROXIE.

32. Pulitzer author McMurtry : LARRY. He has written lots of BOOKS, but for me it was TV's Lonesome Dove.

33. Church cry : AMEN AMEN. And the equally balanced 65A. Response to constant carping : NAG NAG.

37. Boom, e.g. : SPAR. These sailing terms are beyond me, but it filled. I am sure Jeannie would have explained it; spitzboov?

38. Chose, with "for" : OPTED.

40. Flier on the beach : KITE. Not in So. Fla.

41. Mad Max or Dirty Harry : ANTI-HERO. A nice trick answer.

43. "__ directed" : USE AS.

44. Serape wearer : SENOR.

45. They may be pulled : STUNTS.

50. Isabella, por ejemplo : REINA. Spanish for Queen.

51. Teacup feature : EAR. Next time you are holding one....

52. These, to Thierry : CES. Just french.

55. WWII battle site, for short : IWO.

61. "__ and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance": '70s best-seller : ZEN.

62. Code of silence : OMERTA. They have had so many rat on each other from Sammy the Bull to the Goodfellas I am not sure there is a mob anymore.

63. Sleekly designed : AEROdynamic.

64. Masthead VIPs : EDS. Newspapers, editors.

66. Last little bit : DREG.


1. Dungeonlike : DANK.

2. Natural heartburn remedy, some say : ALOE.

3. The Darlings' dog : NANA. Did you know there is a Disney WIKIA. A friend of my children appears in the Peter Pan online series. LINK.

4. Alleged ability : ESP.

5. Feel a strong need (for) : STARVE.

6. Traditional Hanukkah serving : LATKE. Potato pancake, and they are good all year.

7. "THINK" sloganeer : IBM.

8. Issue of MADD : DUI. Driving Under the Influence.

9. Addition, perhaps : ELL.

10. Collects a lot of, as chips : RAKES IN.

11. Attend uninvited : CRASH.

12. Bottled spirits : GENII. Never quite sure how to spell, usually think of

13. Big name in chips : INTEL. Computer chips

23. Doesn't remain silent : SPEAKS UP.

24. Indiana player : HARRISON.  This one got me, as I filled in the answer and a blank look on my face until I realized we were having a Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones reference.

25. They provide addresses : ORATORS. Cute clue.

26. Iditarod terminus : NOME. The dogsled race.

27. Marked, as a ballot : EXED.

28. "Sing it, Sam" speaker : ILSA. Casablanca.

29. Skip on the sea : CAP'N.

30. Q.E.D. word : ERAT.

34. Carriage : MIEN. A nice Friday word.

35. Nouveau-Mexique, e.g. : ETAT. All French, New Mexico and State.

36. Head of the Untouchables : NESS. Which did you prefer ONE or TWO.

38. Sonoma prefix : OENO. Relating to wine.

39. TA's boss : PROFessor. Teaching Assistant.

42. Honeycomb cell shape : HEXAGON. Six-sided; and the next is 49D. Penta- plus two : HEPTA.

43. Development sites : UTERI. The old choice between Cherie Oteri or...

45. Witch who was a Popeye nemesis : SEA HAG.

46. Cherish : PRIZE.

47. Cut down : HEWED.

48. Community service club, with "the" : LIONS. They do much good work for blind people. READ.

52. "Believe" singer : CHER. Some love HER.

53. Cork setting : EIRE. UK or not?

54. Kiss and cuddle, in Kent : SNOG. A word learned from the British mysteries I have read; sounds like a good choice. A step on the shag latter.

57. Medical suffix : OMA. A word end that sadly often means a person's end. LINK.

58. Pic source : NEGative. Are there negatives any more? I am not positive?

59. Northwest end? : ERN. NorthwestERN.

60. Blue : SAD. Did anyone ever wonder about this use of blue? We love blue skies, bluebirds and lagoons(oops that was last week).

Well do not be too sad, Splynter will be here tomorrow to entertain. May you all be inscribed in the Book of Life for a sweet year. Lemonade out.

Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to Dennis (Left on the photo), who helped me greatly the first few years with this blog. He's also the first blog regular I collaborated with. Still waiting for our NYT. Been ages.


Sep 25, 2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014 C.C. Burnikel

Theme: "Oh, my aching..."

17-Across. *Hobby shop purchase : MODEL TRAINSome people get carried away with the hobby.

21-Across. *World Wildlife Fund symbol : PANDA BEARTimeline.

55-Across. *Florida city with over 400 miles of canals : CAPE CORALNice to look at, but aren't they full of alligators?

61-Across. *"Movin' Out" choreographer : TWYLA THARPI couldn't find a link that had decent sound and light to do this musical justice.

The reveal is found at 37-Across. Common sports injuries ... and a hint to hidden words that span both parts of the answers to starred clues : PULLED MUSCLES. DELToid, ABdominal, PECtoral and LATissimus muscles are all prone to injury...just ask me! I like how C.C. "stretched" them across the two words.

It seemed pretty easy for a Thursday, but I guess I was on C.C.'s wave length today!


1. Stick on the ground : TWIG.

5. "Notes on a Scandal" Best Actress nominee : DENCH. Love that Dame!

10. Legal suspension : STAY.

14. "How awful!" : OH NO! Mr. Bill!

15. Villa on the Volga : DACHA.

16. After the bell : LATE. Not what some teen girls ever want to be.

19. Rte. 66 goes through it : OKLA.homa, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain!

20. African capital with a metro : CAIRO.

23. Health care org. : AMAAmerican Medical Association.

24. Matter, in law : RES.

26. Burning sign : ASH.

27. "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" channel : CNN. He's a bit raw around the edges, at times.

28. Glittery strand : TINSEL.

30. Utter : STATE.

32. Sweet and sour : TASTES. Nice misdirection.

36. Extremely dry : ARID.

41. Die down : WANE.

42. Kenyan's neighbor : SOMALI. I almost did a double take when the second "A" went missing. Oh, but it is the natives of the countries who are neighbors!

43. John of England : ELTON. "Loo" was just too short.

45. Spurred : GOADED.

49. Showy wrap : BOA.

50. Yale alum : ELI.

53. Batteries for mice : AAs.

54. Something to grind : AXE.

58. Lets up : EASES.

60. European range : ALPS. We're making plans already for next year's trip.

63. Flight unit : STEP.

64. Movie toy in a cereal box, e.g. : TIE IN.

65. Inner: Pref. : ENTO. Hands up for "endo?"

66. Hoopla : TO DO.

67. Early stage : ONSET.

68. Sauna phenomenon : MIST. I like mine with steam.


1. Alley prowler : TOMCAT.

2. End of many a riddle : WHO AM I? This one definitely dates me:

"I give milk and have a horn. WHO AM I?"  
(Answer appears after 62-Down.)

3. Mauritius' ocean : INDIAN.

4. Movie trailer? : GOER. Moviegoer.

5. Banned pesticide : DDT.

6. Notable Old West brothers : EARPS.

7. Sweet Sixteen org. : NCAANational Collegiate Athletic Association.

8. Holiday dishes? : CHINA. HaHa, fun misdirection!

9. Ones working around the clock? : HANDS. Cute clue!

10. Disorderly sort : SLOB.

11. "Be well!" : TAKE CARE.

12. Its 2011 landing marked the end of the Space Shuttle program : ATLANTIS.

13. Pined : YEARNED.

18. "Because we're worth it" sloganeer : L'OREAL. Cosmetics.

22. Relaxed remarks : AHs. In the 68-Across.

25. "Anything __?" : ELSE.

29. Fla. University named for a pope : ST LEO. "The Great." He makes a return visit this week.

31. Actress Shire : TALIA. In "The Godfather" she played Connie Corleone.

33. Vikings seek them, briefly : TDs. Touch downs. C.C.'s home team!

34. Rock genre : EMO.

35. Total : SUM.

37. Silicon Valley city : PALO ALTO.

38. Yet to be used : UNTAPPED. Brand new or pristine would also fit. Just sayin'...

39. Epic tale : SAGA.

40. Hanger hangout : CLOSET. My mind was on the type of hanger Dudley stores his planes in.

41. Online program : WEBCAST. Does anyone here listen to "Ted Talks"? Very informative, interesting, and sometimes funny.

44. Japanese electronics giant : NEC. Nippon Electric Company, Ltd.

46. Aquafina rival : DASANI.

47. Puts forth : EXERTS.

48. Coup target : DESPOT.

51. Game most people lose : LOTTO. How true. Even the winners often end up in bankruptcy.

52. Novelist Shaw : IRWIN.

53. Kate's sitcom pal : ALLIE.

56. Old Bruin nickname : ESPO. Phil Esposito, one of the world's greatest hockey players.

57. Shouts of support : AYES.

59. Polite interruption : AHEM.

62. Raid target : ANT.

*Answer to riddle: A milk truck.  Do you remember when they delivered to your house?

(I do.)

Notes from C.C.:

George Barany and Dave Hanson constructed this fantastic puzzle for the Minnesota Crossword Tournament in June. You can download in puz or PDF or solve on line. Let me know what you think. I loved it!

George also hosted this puzzle from Alex Vratsanos, who made today's NY Times.