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!