Nov 1, 2014

Saturday, Nov 1st, 2014, Victor Barocas

Theme: None

Words: 72 (missing F,J,Q,X,Z)

Blocks: 29

  Today marks Victor's Saturday themeless debut - as far as I can tell - for the LAT.  I just dove right in, not having had any experience with this constructor on the weekend; his last LAT contribution was almost a year ago - Nov 20th, a Wednesday.  Got to talking to the waitress about her costume, with the cat ears and the tail...WHERE WAS I~? - Oh, yes - Nothing terribly obscure, a few witty clues, and alas, one bad cell, so no "Ta-DA~!"  Two triple 9-letter corners, a pair of 9-letter downs, and two 8-letter acrosses intersecting a pair of 8-letter downs;

3d. Blue wall decorations : EROTIC ART - Hmmm, let me see if I can find any - I really like the implication in this piece - sort of M.C. Escher
32d. Salad ingredients : SCALLIONS - I like to read about how friends here at the blog trade food advice and recipes - just not in the place to try them myself - yet

O-rabbit N-rabbit W-rabbit ARD~!


1. End of a digression : "WHERE WAS I~?" - as I was saying....

10. Christmas flier : COMET - Ah....SLED and SLEIGH did not fit; then the V-8 can flew....and then a clecho, to boot; 42d. Christmas flier : DASHER - Reindeer~!  This Christmas season is a 'short' one at UPS; just 3 weeks, 3 days between Thanksgiving and Dec. 25th - I already know I am working a full 8hrs on Black Friday - at triple time.  Nice~!

15. Like Gene Kelly's dancing : ACROBATIC

16. Ski resort north of Mount Snow : OKEMO
17. Pollster's challenge : CLOSE RACE

18. Stand in for : ACT AS

19. Wear out : TIRE - FLAG, FAIL, WANE

20. Haywire : KABLOOIE - Odd spelling, but the "word" is common enough

22. Circus prop : STILT - because tent pole was too long ( get it~?)

24. Lyra's brightest star : VEGA - Nailed it - but I am a big fan of astronomy

25. Rosencrantz or Guildenstern : ROLE - Shakespeare characters; DANE anyone~?

26. Netlike : LACY - I threw in "HOLY", but I knew it should have been HOLEY

27. Cabs may be lined up at one : WINE BAR - HAR-HAR~!!! Cabernets - but then again, I would hope to see taxis, too....

29. After : A LA - "in style of", "modeled after"

30. Soaks (up) : SOPS

31. Like some bread : YEASTY

35. Reasons for some low scores : BIRDIES - Ah, golf; I was thinking FICO scores ( I am having an issue with mine right now ), and then SAT/school test scores

37. Handy thing to have when you need a break? : POOL CUE - Har-har~!!  I have two pool cues; a Sneaky Pete for playing, and another for the break - usually puts a lot of stress on the stick

38. Zen awakening : SATORI

39. Arabian checker : REIN - Clever misdirection; I was thinking of some type of Middle Eastern game piece - but we're looking for the Arabian, as in the horse, and the check-er

40. Turkish honorific : AGA

41. Expose a card, say : MIS-DEAL

43. Narrow strip : SLAT

44. Cuisine with a condiment called nam pla : THAI - WAG

47. Body __ : MASS

48. Attacks, as with snowballs : PELTS

49. Campaign fund : WAR CHEST

51. Vier minus eins : DREI - German, 4 minus 1

52. Sundance showing : INDIE - I tried MOVIE, knew it was too simple for Saturday; still, I was 40% right, right?

53. It's usually an eagle : HOLE IN ONE - Here I was on the golf wavelength, but I couldn't s-t-r-e-t-c-h TWO UNDER to fit; on a par-3, a two-under would be a "one"

57. "A Confederacy of Dunces" author : TOOLE - learning moment for me; published after the author's suicide

58. Clinton had a big role in its construction : ERIE CANAL - ah, that Clinton - a little history

59. Begat : SIRED

60. Held in : REPRESSED - I will refrain from my favorite Monty Python, no, I won't....see it @2:00


1. WWII female : WAC - Women's Army Corps

2. Digestive aid, to chemists : HCl - Hydrochloric Acid

4. How a pollyanna sees the world : ROSILY

5. "I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie" author : EBERT - Roger's take on the movie "North", and how it went on to become more

6. Hard or soft finish? : WARE - HardWARE,  SoftWARE

7. __ loss : AT A

8. Nauseates : SICKENS

9. Glaciation period : ICE AGE

10. Combustible rock : COAL

11. 1881 trouble spot : O.K. CORRAL

12. "I'm with you" : "ME TOO~!" - also the name of Luke Skywalker's other, self-centered, R2 unit

13. Outlook service : E-MAIL

14. "__ a world in a grain of sand": Blake : TO SEE - I could not parse this in the 'down', and having it cross OKEMO did not help

21. Nursery bottle contents : BABY OIL

22. Hunks : SLABS

23. Shire in films : TALIA

24. Limo riders : VIPs

27. "Alack!" : "WOE IS ME~!"

28. Many millennia : AEON - I had EONS first

30. iPhone speaker : SIRI - I have an Android phone and tablet; did you hear that Apple is working on a vacuum to compete with the Dyson?  It's called the "i-Suck"

33. Try to dislodge, perhaps : TUG AT

34. "Leda and the Swan" poet : YEATS

36. Home : DOMICILE

37. Pod occupants : PEAS

39. Make whole again : RESTORE

43. Perceived to be : SEEN AS

44. Ridicules : TWITS - I do not know why I went with twiPs, and Poole, especially with POOL CUE in the puzzle and my mother's favorite insult for the Rangers when they're losing ( "those twits" ) - but I did....

45. Asian capital : HANOI

46. Zeal : ARDOR

48. Haggler's target : PRICE

50. Mind : HEED

51. Roebuck, but not Sears : DEER - nyuck-nyuck-nyuck

54. Word with stick or service : LIP - Lipstick, Lip Service; the smell of some lipsticks is very erotic; see 3d.

55. "Auld Scotland wants __ skinking ware": Burns : NAE

56. Days of yore, in days of yore : ELD


Oct 31, 2014

Friday, October 31, 2014, Doug Peterson

Theme: A, that's a wrap.

One word of a common phrase is wrapped in As, with an A inserted at the beginning of the word, and an A inserted at the end of the word. Doug has been a prolific and skilled constructor for the past 12 years, and was among the early INTERVIEWS C.C. did after the change to LAT puzzles. He was very forthcoming and helpful. Doug also edits and collaborates with others. Doug does many themeless puzzles, but this version of add a letter was fun with the added layer of complexity adding both beginning and end. Not a crusher Friday, and some nice long non-theme answers like I’LL PASS, BAD PATCH, GOTTA RUN, MEAL TIME, RAIN DROP, all of which are compound fill. Multi word fill seems to be the focus here, but most were not obscure. Well I see the bat-signal so it is time to save Gotham and solve the puzzle.

17A. *Media member with a curly tail? : PRESS AKITA, (10). Press kit + AA=

25A. *With 50-Across, travel guide that touts Oranjestad's worst hotels and restaurants? : ARUBA THE. (8) 50A. See 25-Across : WRONG WAY (8). Rub the Wrong Way becomes a travel guide from hell.

38A. *"Whatever you say, wise goddess!"? : ALL RIGHTY ATHENA. (15). All right then, let's read about this GG. LINK.

 61A. *Refrigerator on the front lines? : AMANA OF WAR. (10). I like this one best
And the reveal.

64D. Smallish batteries, and a hint to how the answers to starred clues are formed : AAS.(3).


1. Common telenovela theme : AMOR. Spanish soap operas are all about LOVE.

5. Travel needs for many : VISAS. Another area I know very little about.

10. Lose, in a Vegas game : BUST. Isn't it odd how this repeat fill can be both so sad and so nice?

14. Amplify, in a way : MIKE. I have heard the phrase 'mike-up' so I guess this makes sense, but it took a while.

15. Not available : IN USE. Also known as Occupied, Occupado.

16. Fit : ABLE.

19. Word with barn or storm : DOOR. I think we have a puzzle where DOOR was the hidden end to the theme answers.

20. Sorceress jilted by Jason : MEDEA. Well, thanks for the CSO, but she was not a nice WOMAN . With the mini-theme: 67A. Legendary galley : ARGO. Galley is a type of ship (I linked recently that discussion) and this was Jason's.

21. "Not interested" : I'LL PASS.

23. Seahawks' org. : NFC. National Football Conference. Interesting, especially as they began in the AFC.

26. "Time to split!" : GOTTA RUN. Modern shortspeak spelling.

30. Ore. setting : PST. Pacific Standard Time.

31. José __: frozen Mexican food brand : OLE.
32. Sitar selections : RAGAS. Read all about IT. Raga to Ragga to Reggae?

34. Santa __ Mountains: coastal California range : CRUZ. West Coast Warriors, you want to expand?

42. In-land link? : LA LA. This may have begun with bedtime music but as a phrase is attributed to Los Angeles and the attitudes there.

43. Henie on the ice : SONJA. Back again so soon? Never forget Carol.

44. Grammy-winning "We Are Young" band : FUN.

45. Cybernotes : IMS. Instant Messages.

48. Six, for many : MEAL TIME. Sadly here in So.Fla, this is when the second shift eat dinner.

54. "King Kong" studio : RKO. Radio-Keith-OrpheumHISTORY.

55. Franklin's note : HUNDRED. It is all about the Benjamins.

56. "Cheers," e.g. : TOAST.

60. Qatari potentate : EMIR.

65. In __ parentis : LOCO. A hark back to last week's Latin exercise, "in the place of parents."

66. What a shin guard protects : TIBIA.

68. __ school : PREParatory. Been there.

69. How-to units : STEPS.

70. Actor Gosling : RYAN. We end this part with this face: His eyes do not match, but don't tell Eva.


1. Digital clock toggle : AM/PM.

2. Squishy area : MIRE. I enjoy the Ocean Spray commercials in the bog in Maine.

3. Didn't deny : OKED. Tricky, as I was thinking verbal assent.

4. Feel offended by : RESENT. Context, as it looks just like RESENT.

5. Itinerary word : VIA. More Latin.

6. India __ : INK.

7. Fashion designer Anna : SUI. For me a mostly unknown DESIGNER who reminds me of C.C. Only because of Target have I heard her name.

8. Buzzing with activity : ASTIR. A word!

9. Close securely : SEAL UP.

10. Run of lousy luck : BAD PATCH. I guess if you fix your clothes and do a bad job might be where this phrase meaning a run of bad luck comes from?

11. Threat to a WWII destroyer : U-BOAT. A German submarine.

12. Splash clumsily : SLOSH. People who are sloshed often splash clumsily.

13. Clipped : TERSE. All perps, but reasonable in retrospect.

18. Trip to see the big game? : SAFARI. Really nice mis-direction, no Super Bowl here.

22. Birth announcement abbr. : LBS. Lesbian Baby Sister? Oh, pounds.

24. Climbing challenge : CRAG.

25. Subject for da Vinci : ANATOMY.

26. One may go into an empty net : GOAL. Very common in Hockey where teams pull the goalie in the last minute when down.

27. Earthenware pot : OLLA.

28. Bluff betrayer : TELL. The TV popularity of poker seems to be waning, though I think everyone learned about 'tells' from watching the World Series of Poker, Rounders etc.

29. Words of disgust : UGHS.

33. Holiday song closer : SYNE. Scottish for 'since.'

35. S&L offering for homeowners : REFInance.

36. Word on the Great Seal of the United States : UNUM. And still more Latin, E Pluribus.

37. Novelist Grey : ZANE. Great writer of westerns.

39. Shower harbinger : RAIN DROP.

40. Cracked open : AJAR. When is an A word not an A word.

41. Have words with : TALK TO.

46. Dept. head : MGR. Manager.

47. Workout garb : SWEATS.

49. Beyond reasonable limits : TOO FAR. All right this time you went too far!

50. Young wolf : WHELP. I used to love reading Jack London's books.

51. One may be going around : RUMOR. better than the flu.

52. Ready if required : ON ICE.

53. Not turn away : ADMIT. Not turn away, oh as in they had to turn away thousands who went to see Taylor Swift at Times Square.

57. Not right : AWRY. And then everything went awry.

58. Multigenerational tale : SAGA. Not related to RAGA.

59. Suffix with Jumbo : TRON. A shout out to the scrappy KC Royals.

62. Mount Rushmore figure, familiarly : ABE.

63. Tang : NIP. Nope, no idea.

Well this is the last day of this month; remember to turn your clocks back on Sunday, and enjoy the extra sleep. Thanks Doug P. always good to see your work; also thanks for an amazing performance by Madison Bumgarner. Lemonade out.

Oct 30, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014 Jerry Edelstein

Theme: Capital Anagrams

Today I'll start with the reveal. 35-Across. With 37-Across, sentence openings, and what the ends of 16-, 23-, 47-, and 57-Across can be when rearranged : CAPITAL 37-Across. See 35-Across : LETTERS. I had to stare at my grid for a few seconds before the theme hit me.

16-Across. Postal service : EXPRESS MAIL. LIMA, Peru.

23-Across. Brigades, e.g. : ARMY UNITS. TUNIS, Tunisia.

47-Across. "You made your point" : SAY NO MORE. ROME, Italy.

57-Across. Form small teams at school : WORK IN PAIRS. PARIS, France.

Do you know why London was not included in the theme entries?


1. Crawled, perhaps : SWAM.

5. Broadway show whose title woman can "coax the blues right out of the horn" : MAME. I had to hum a few bars before I remembered her name. And I never knew about 26-Down. Arthur who won a Tony for 5-Across : BEA. I have only seen the film version starring Rosalind Russell.

9. Renege, with "out" : COP.  I had "opt" and then "bow" before the perps finally led me in the right direction.

12. Andalusian appetizer : TAPA.

13. Accord competitor : ALTIMA. Honda Accord and Nissan ALTIMA.

15. Hole starter : AWL.

18. __-pitch : SLO.

19. Kanakaredes of "CSI: NY" : MELINA. This lady. I recognize her face, but had no clue about her name. All perps.

20. Plastered : SLOSHED.

22. Curled-lip look : SNEER.

25. The tar, in Spanish : LA BREA. Yes, we knew that, didn't we?

27. Anonymous John : DOE.

28. "The Black Cat" author : POE. Three letters? No hint of Abbr? Go with the flow and enter POE.

31. __ moss : PEAT.

32. Mountains dividing Europe and Asia : URAL.

40. Hop follower : SKIP. and a jump.

41. Modest dress : MIDI.

42. NASCAR __ : DAD. A rather derogatory term for middle class men, synonymous with "redneck." The term was used during the 2004 election, referring to the democrats' attempts to regain the southern male vote.

43. Lion or tiger : CAT.

45. Exercises begun in a supine position : SIT UPS.

50. "... if you want to __ man's character, give him power": Lincoln : TEST A. The partial could have been avoided by clueing it as "Head of Italy?"

54. Part of 56-Across : LOCATOR. 56-Across. Google hit : URLUniform Resource Locator.

55. Eats pretzels, say : NOSHES.

60. What "I" may indicate : RTE. Interstate. I-90, I-91, I-93 and I-95 all run through Massachusetts. Did you know that even numbered interstates run east-west, and odd-numbered ones run north-south?

61. Common soccer score : ONE ONE.

62. Only : MERE.

63. June honorees : PAs.

64. Blind component : SLAT.

65. Breyers competitor : EDYS.


1. Restrains : STEMS. I'll try to stem my nit-picking.

2. Like Madame Tussauds figures : WAXEN.

3. Traditional temptation : APPLE.

4. "Manhattan" Oscar nominee Hemingway : MARIEL. 1979 Woody Allen film. Her career has spanned nearly 40 years, and she still looks great.

5. Galaxy gp. : MLS. I was clueless.  The Los Angeles Galaxy are a team in Major League Soccer.

6. Source of 20s, briefly : ATM.

7. Harmful gas : MIASMA. Great word.

8. One of the Brontës : EMILY.

9. Dishonorably dismissed : CASHIERED.

10. Bird that's probably not wise and certainly not old : OWLET. Cute.

11. Trudges : PLODS.

13. Fit __ fiddle : AS A.

14. One way to think : ALOUD.

17. Mesmerized : ENRAPT.

21. Porcine sniffer : SNOUT.

23. Kazakhstan border sea : ARAL.

24. Collecting Soc. Sec. : RET.

28. IBM 5150s, e.g. : PCs.

29. Furniture wood : OAK.

30. Inner circles, in astronomy models : EPICYCLES. The Ptolemaic universe used EPICYCLES to explain the movement of the planets.

33. Coach Parseghian : ARA.

34. '60s hallucinogen : LSD.

36. Old Bristol-Myers toothpaste : IPANA.

37. Beer choice : LITE.

38. College email ending : EDU.

39. Extreme summit : TIPTOP.

41. Former space station : MIR.

44. "Solve __ decimal places" : TO TWO. I was much more ambitious, and wanted to solve "to ten" decimal places.

45. Reddish-brown horse : SORREL.

46. Bagel choice : SESAME.

47. Eat loudly : SLURP. Like cowboys eating beans...

48. Main artery : AORTA.

49. Mars pair : MOONS. Phobos and Deimos.

51. Drew back : SHIED.

52. NFL analyst Bradshaw : TERRY. Former Pittsburgh Steeler. How about those crazy uniforms last Sunday? They looked like jailbird bumblebees!

53. Beasts of burden : ASSES.

55. St. Louis-to-Chicago dir. : NNE.

58. Place to see RVs : KOA.

59. NFL mistake : INT.erception. None for Brady last Sunday.

That's it from me - your turn!

Oct 29, 2014

Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014 Allen E. Parrish

Theme: RHYMES WITH BOOZE:  Four chosen theme entries in pinwheel array all rhyme with CHOOSE, and all are spelt differently.  Not much more to say about it.  Let's round them up.

20 A. Classic country song with the lyric "I've lived my life in vain" : BORN TO LOSE.  Here's a more urban version of the saddest song ever.

58 A. Writer/director known for his coming-of-age films : JOHN HUGHES.  The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, etc.   I guess he liked Molly Ringwald.  Here he is [center] with Molly and Matthew Broderick.

39A. Manners expressed in letters : P'S AND Q'S.  I don't think this is quite right, and it took me a long time and lots of perps to suss.  Per the Urban Dictionary, the expression comes from the days of printing presses, when type was set one letter at a time.  Since the the press letters were reverse images, it was easy to confuse the mirror image lower case letters p and q.  So, mind your p's and q's means pay attention to details. Also, this just sounds better than saying, "Mind your b's and d's.

11 D. Deduction on many paychecks : UNION DUES.   Contrast 1 D.

34 D. 24/7 information provider : CABLE NEWS.   Whether this is news or infotainment is open to interpretation.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here, your tour guide for today.  Straightforward theme.  The cleverness is in finding alternative ways of representing the sound of OOZE.  And then fitting them into the grid, of course.  Rather an unusual grid, too, with two theme entries in the vertical.


1. Part of 10/29/14 : SLASH.  The slanted line separating the numbers in the clue.  Starting with a self-referential clue.  How nice.

6. With the bow, to a violist : ARCO   As distinguished from pizzicato, or plucked.

10. "The Godfather" novelist : PUZO.  Mario. 

14. Its strings are tuned in perfect fifths : CELLO.  A perfect fifth is an interval such as A to E. Cello strings are tuned to C, G, D, and A.  The vibrational frequencies are in the ratio of 3:2.  Other perfect fifths: Pinch, Johnnie Walker, Talisker, Lagavulin.

15. Gulp (down) : WOLF.  Here, unlike in Winterfell, WOLF is a verb.

16. Alternative to Windows : UNIX.  Computer operating systems.

17. Geometric products : AREAS.  Regions enclosed by shapes.

18. Patron saint of Norway : OLAF.   Ólafr Haraldsson, (995 – 29 July 1030.)   Not the most saintly saint ever.

19. Evening, informally : NITE

22. Pass the welcome mat : GO IN.  Enter and sign in, please.

23. Gambler's method : SYSTEM.  An attempt to outsmart the random arrangement of the cards, and overcome the statistical advantage enjoyed by the house.  Good luck with that.

24. Image handlers, for short : PR MENPublic Relations, aka spin.

26. "Clueless" actress Donovan : ELISA.  Not as clueless as I am on this clue.  But I see she played Amber in both the movie and TV series.

29. Ice cream treat : SUNDAE.  A scoop or two, covered with flavored syrup and/other other optional toppings, limited only by your imagination.  Suitable for any day of the week.


32. L x XLVIII : MMCD.  Roman Numeral math.  How nice.  50 x 48 = 2400. 

35. Support for a weak joint : TAPE.

37. Deforestation remnant : STUMP.  Bottom part of a tree trunk.

38. __-Locka, Florida : OPA.   Per Wikipedia, Opa-locka is a city located in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population was 15,219. The city was developed by Glenn Curtiss and was based on a One Thousand and One Nights theme. Opa-locka has the largest collection of Moorish Revival architecture in the Western hemisphere. Its streets have names like Sabur Lane, Sultan Avenue, Ali Baba Avenue, Perviz Avenue and Sesame Street. Opa-locka has an area of 4.2 square miles (11 km2) and is located in the northwestern area of Miami-Dade County, Florida.

41. Queen Victoria's realm, e.g.: Abbr. : EMPire

42. Kibbutz teacher : RABBI

44. Steady fellow : BEAU.  As in courtship.

45. U.K. mil. awards : DSOsDistinguished Service Order, generally presented to officers ranking Major and above..

46. Buzzard's grippers : TALONS.  Bird claws

48. Big name in appliances : AMANA

50. Les __-Unis : ETATS.  United States in French.  How nice.

52. California wine region : SONOMA.

56. Newsletter choice : FONT.  A selected type face and size.

61. Genesis son : ABEL.  Brother and murder victim of Cain. 

62. Golden rule word : UNTO.  More Bible

63. Showy flowers, for short : GLADs.  Gladiolus.

64. "Deadliest Catch" narrator Mike : ROWE.   This is another TV show I've never seen, or even knew about.

65. Not quite dry : DAMP.  Not quite wet, either.

66. Eagle's hideaway : AERIE.  In Old Latin, a level piece of ground, but in English, probably via medieval French, an eagle's [or other raptor's] nest high in a tree or on a cliff.  Funny how that works.  Or for American Eagle, this.

67. Place for private dining? : MESS.  Military jargon, and a clever misdirection.  Privates are low ranking, and eat in the mess hall.  Is cleaning up the mess corporal punishment?

68. First name in mysteries : ERLE Stanley Gardner, American lawyer and author, of Perry Mason fame.

69. Political essay : TRACT, aka monograph, a short treatise on a single topic, often political, or religious. 


1. Picket line crossers : SCABS.  Union busting.

2. "Bad, Bad" Brown of song : LEROY.

3. A's and Jays : ALERsAmerican League baseball teams, the Oakland Athletics and Toronto Blue Jays.

4. Not on the level : SLANTED.   Literal.

5. Inexpensive lodging : HOSTEL

6. Missing reveille, perhaps : AWOL Absent Without Official Leave.

7. Chewy candy brand : ROLO.

8. Purse fastener : CLASP.

9. Bids : OFFERS.

10. Strong-smelling : PUNGENT.  A fellow with stinky word plays is a PUN GENT.

12. Rigatoni alternative : ZITI.  Pasta by any other name.

13. Field team : OXEN.  Former bulls.

21. Drops : OMITS.  Leaves out.

25. Rumple, with "up" : MUSS.  The other kind of mess.

27. "Born From Jets" automaker : SAAB.  Per Wikipedia: "Svenska Aeroplan AB (aktiebolag)" (Swedish for "Swedish Aeroplane Company Limited") (SAAB) was founded in 1937 in Trollhättan, with the merger of Svenska Aero AB (SAAB) and Linköping based VASJA the headquarters moved to Linköping. The style "Saab" replaced "SAAB" around 1950.

Originally manufacturing aircraft, the company sought ways in which to diversify its business. In the late 1940s the company began manufacturing cars at its Saab Automobile division was based in Trollhättan. The first car was the Saab 92; full-scale production started December 12, 1949, based on the prototype Ursaab.

Probably more than you wanted to know.

28. Sleep __ : APNEA.  Suspension of breathing.

30. Arsenal supply : AMMO.  Bullets, frex.

31. "Love & Basketball" actor Omar : EPPS.

32. Media mogul Zuckerman : MORT.  U.S. News and World Report, among many other things.

33. Film-rating org. : MPAAMotion Picture Association of America.

36. Mild cheese : EDAM.   I keep waiting for Stilton or Jarlsberg.

39. Colada fruit : PINA.  Actually, Piña, Spanish for pineapple.    The piña colada, made with rum, pineapple juice and coconut cream is the national drink of Puerto Rico.

40. Suppress : QUASH.  Stifle.

43. Pop holders : BOTTLES.  Here in the Midwest, carbonated soft drinks, known as sodas in other places, are called pop.

45. Pendant earring, say : DANGLER.  It hangs and swings.

47. Children's hosp. co-founded by Danny Thomas : ST JUDE.  The patron saint of hopeless cases.

49. Chewy candy : NOUGAT.  A confection of honey or sugar with roasted nuts and whipped egg whites.

51. Sub tracker : SONAR SOund Navigation And Ranging, a system for detecting underwater objects by  emitting a sound and tracking the echo.

53. "BUtterfield 8" novelist : O'HARA.  John.  His 1934 novel was made into a movie in 1960.  Elizabeth Taylor won her first Academy Award for her leading role as Gloria Wandrous.

54. Physician at the front : MEDIC.  Military Dr.

55. It's a good thing : ASSET.

56. Growing concern? : FARM.  Clever clue.  Concern, as in business, growing as in vegetables.

57. Double-reed woodwind : OBOE.  Here they are, along with a couple of cor anglais, playing Swan Lake.  In less capable hands, the oboe sounds more like a duck.

59. Standard Web page code : HTML. Hyper Text Markup Language.

60. "You wish" : NOPE.  Slangy denials.

There you have it.  Rather a nice romp with a musical sub-theme and some tasty treats along the way.  Hope it was satisfying.

Cool regards!

Note from C.C.:

Happy 89th Birthday to dear Dodo, a very active member of our blog a few years ago. Our Californian Coven (Chickie, JD and Garlic Gal) visit Dodo every year when Lucina alights on CA. We miss you, Dodo!

Left to right: Chickie, Lucina, Garlic Gal, JD, and Dodo, June 4, 2014

Oct 28, 2014

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 Gail Grabowski and Bruce Venzke

Theme: Two for Tuesday - Each half of the two word answer is theme related.

16. *Tailor's fabric marker : CHALK PENCIL. Chalk mark, Pencil mark.

23. *Like a job that doesn't cause ulcers : LOW STRESS. Low mark, Stress mark.

34. *Anna Sewell novel narrated by a horse : "BLACK BEAUTY". Black mark, Beauty mark,

49. *Icon in bill-paying software : CHECK BOOK. Check mark, Book mark.

59. "Remember what I said!" ... and a hint to what can follow each part of the answers to starred clues : "MARK MY WORDS!"

Argyle here. The Gail/Bruce twosome gave us an ambitious Tuesday that seems a tad flat to me. Is it just me?


1. Plant owner: Abbr. : MFR. (ManuFactureR)

4. Quieted (down) : CALMED

10. Novelist Clancy : TOM

13. Go it alone : SOLO

14. Starting squads : A-TEAMS

15. Commotion : ADO

18. Fortysomething, e.g. : Xer. Gen X followed the Baby Boomers.

19. Parts of stairs : RISERS. The piece that is between the treads, often missing on cellar stairs.

20. Paving supply : TAR

21. "Suits" actress Torres : GINA

22. Oft-blessed outburst : [ACHOO!]

25. Nonstick kitchen brand : PAM

26. Pro offering IRA advice : CPA

28. Netherworld : HADES

29. Uppity one : SNOB

31. Chapter in a geology text, maybe : ERA

33. Finished first : WON

38. Early hrs. : AMs

39. Misspell or misspeak : ERR

40. Woodshop tools : SAWS

43. "NCIS" actor Joe : SPANO. Agent Fornell

46. Personal connections : INs

48. Extinct emu-like bird : MOA

53. Top-selling Toyota : CAMRY. Mid-Size Sedan.

55. __ Hashanah : ROSH. Last month.

56. "Bambi" doe : ENA. The aunt.

57. Runway figures : MODELS

58. "What was __ do?" : I TO

61. Jazz genre : BOP

62. Layered rock : GNEISS

63. Pull up stakes, to Realtors : RELO. Relocate.

64. USCG rank : ENS. Ensign.

65. Hardly boastful : MODEST

66. Dreyer's partner in ice cream : EDY


1. Tribesman in a Cooper title : MOHICAN. "The Last of the Mohicans" set in my locale.

2. Apparently spontaneous public gathering : FLASH MOB. Dudley(from last night), it sounds like you had the makings of a good flash mob.

3. Logger's contest : ROLEO. Pay attention to the commentary.

4. Spending limits : CAPS

5. Completed the course? : ATE. Cute.

6. Slowly, to Mozart : LENTO

7. Colorful parrot : MACAW

8. Mideast leaders : EMIRS

9. High-speed www connection : DSL. Not that fast in this FiOS age.

10. Rolled up to the jetway : TAXIED. Jetway? Don't hear that often.

11. Danish birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen : ODENSE

12. Marshy tract : MORASS

13. Torn-off paper pieces : SCRAPS

17. McDonald's founder Ray : KROC

21. Research funding sources : GRANTS

23. Carefree diversion : LARK

24. "__ shalt not ..." : THOU. Thou shall not pass, dog!

27. Push-up targets, briefly : PECS. Chest muscles.

30. Boil briefly, as asparagus : BLANCH

32. Honest __ : ABE

33. Tip off : WARN

35. Out of control : AMOK

36. Composer Satie : ERIK. Extensive write-up with this LINK.

37. Whined : YAMMERED

41. Urbane : WORLDLY

42. States as fact : SAYS SO

43. Book copier of yore : SCRIBE. Like in this yore, 45D. __ Fables : AESOP'S

44. Particle of light : PHOTON

47. Garbage vessel : SCOW

50. Bingo relative : BEANO

51. No right __: road sign : ON RED

52. Jack of "The Texas Rangers" : OAKIE. (1936 movie)but he was so much more. He's the one in the middle in this clip.

54. Really love : ADORE

57. Computer game title island : MYST. More for the Gen Y crowd.

59. Studio with a lion mascot : MGM

60. Submissions to an ed. : MSS. (Manuscripts)


Oct 27, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: Body Parts by the Number - Just in time for Halloween, some fun decorations for the lawn. Or combine them all into one freakish monster.

17. Casino machines : ONE-ARMED  BANDITS

28. Novelty item whose user always wins a coin toss : TWO-HEADED NICKEL

49. Cooperative picnic running contest : THREE-LEGGED RACE

61. Game involving eight knights : FOUR-HANDED CHESS. Link

Arghoul here. What a delightful terror! Jeffery has given us with four grid spanners to boot. I see a couple Easter eggs, too. Be on the look out for them. (Easter egg - an unexpected feature included as a joke or a bonus.)


1. Indian prince : RAJAH

6. Bert, to Ernie : PAL

9. Formal agreement : PACT

13. __ Gay: WWII bomber : ENOLA

14. Dutch cheese : EDAM

16. Tibet's continent : ASIA

20. Small stream : CREEK

21. Dashboard prefix with meter : ODO

22. Fleur-de-__ : LIS

23. Sound from a Guernsey : MOO

25. Intense fear : TERROR

27. Suffix with formal or custom : IZE

32. Divide into shares : ALLOT

33. Foldable self-cooling device : FAN

34. Eyeglasses glass : LENS

35. From __ to riches : RAGS

38. Connecticut Ivy : YALE

40. Nailed, as a test : ACED

43. Banking convenience, briefly : ATM

45. Log home : CABIN

53. Actor Stephen : REA

54. Strikes lightly : TAPS ON

55. Work on a hem, say : SEW

56. Org. auditing 1040s : IRS

57. Comedian Margaret : CHO. I don't find her that amusing but her outfit is just right for Halloween.

58. Opinions : VIEWS

66. Head of the manor : LORD

67. Christian of couture : DIOR

68. Weddings, e.g. : RITES

69. French summers : ÉTÉs

70. Twice five : TEN

71. Perturbed : UPSET


1. __ Speed Wagon: classic truck : REO

2. "Today" anchor-at-large Curry : ANN

3. Snoopy, when he's wearing shades : JOE COOL

4. Banned fruit spray : ALAR

5. Loser to the tortoise : HARE

6. Looked when you shouldn't have : PEEKED

7. Contribute : ADD

8. In 2014, it fell on September 1 : LABOR DAY. 2015, Monday, September 7

9. Writing tablet : PAD

10. "... my way" : "... AS I LIKE"

11. "__ Kane": Welles film : CITIZEN

12. Fez danglers : TASSELS

15. "Like a Prayer" singer : MADONNA

18. Prefix with physics : META

19. Formal "Me neither" : "NOR I"

23. NYC subway org. : MTA. (Metropolitan Transportation Authority)

24. Hooting bird : OWL

26. TKO signaler : REF

29. Massive group : HORDE

30. Train schedule abbr. : ETA

31. Easy to grasp : CLEAR

36. Round Table knight : GALAHAD

37. "Drive faster!" : "STEP ON IT!"

39. Flat panel TV component : LCD. (liquid-crystal-display)

40. Slightly : A TRIFLE. A British trifle.

41. Cigar with open, untapered ends : CHEROOT

42. Sign of a changed test answer : ERASURE

44. British sports cars : MGs. (Morris Garages)

46. Droopy-faced hounds : BASSETS

47. Freezer cubes : ICE

48. Hot off the press : NEW

50. Scratch into glass, e.g. : ETCH

51. Run the country : GOVERN

52. City near Tulsa : ENID

59. Earth tone : ECRU

60. Blender speed : WHIP

62. Charing Cross and Abbey: Abbr. : RDs

63. Forest female : DOE

64. Understand : SEE

65. Former Air France jet, briefly : SST. (SuperSonic Transport)


Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to Boomer, who's thoroughly enjoying his volunteering work for his old high school (Benilde-St. Margaret's). Look at their 2014-2015 roster on the right, two of the kids are from Shanghai and one from Vietnam. The host families are very supportive of kids' bowling interest. They have to pick up the kids after each practice/match.

Tim (Boomer's friend), Boomer & C.C., 2003

Oct 26, 2014

Sunday October 26, 2014 Melanie Miller

Theme:  "Give It a Go" - GO is added to each theme entry.

27A. Fruit found in the back of the fridge? : DIRTY OLD MANGO. Dirty old man. I don't put mangoes in the fridge. I treat them like bananas.

45A. Class on an African river? : CONGO COURSE. Concourse.

58A. Newspaper issue for arrogant readers? : EGO EDITION. e-Edition. I don't think we'll give up our Star Tribune unless they give up. I need a real newspaper on hand.
67A. Google an African nation? : LOOK UP TOGO. Look up to.

83A. Cruise for drummers? : BONGO VOYAGE. Von voyage. Poor Jayce. My high school chemistry teacher was equally discouraging.

95A. Pasta sauce checkout line? : PREGO REGISTER. Pre-register.

35D. Old MacDonald's signature dance? : FARMER'S TANGO. Farmer's tan.

40D. Inexpensive game with cards? : BARGAIN BINGO. Bargain bin.

Very tight theme set, every GO is attached to the end of the first /last word.

A bit of unusual grid set-up, as the first theme answers starts on Row 4 rather than Row 3. The fill reminds me a bit of Gail's Sunday grids, super clean & smooth. No obscure or junky fill. No shock and awe entries either.

Melanie Miller is one of the constructors for the Crossword LA tournament. You can click here to get the puzzle set for only $5. All proceeds go to Reading to Kids. Other constructors include Patti Varol, Byron Walden, Trip Payne, Merl Reagle and David Quartfoot. You'll also get two warm-up puzzles from Andrea Carla Michaels and Susan Gelfand. Amy Reynaldo was the Puzzle Wrangler and she got the very best constructors (all from California or with California ties) for the tournament.


1. Like many horses : SHOD

5. Wood used in guitar-making : ALDER. Ash too.

10. Bob up and down, say : FLOAT

15. Five tenths : HALF

19. Hefty volume : TOME

20. Fill, as old water bottles : RE-USE

21. Fiennes who played Lord Voldemort : RALPH. I like him in The English Patient.

22. Sandbox boo-boo : OWIE

23. Forearm bone : ULNA

24. Irritate : GRATE

25. Sharp mountain ridge : ARETE. I always think of Spitzboov when I see this word. He knows a lot of geographic term and iceberg related stuff.

26. Distribute, with "out" : METE

30. Lyrical homage : ODE

32. Month named for a general : JULY. Named for Caesar.

33. Russian-born Deco designer : ERTE

34. Given the lowdown : BRIEFED

38. Fish recipe instruction : DEBONE. Did you know that most of frozen salmon we have here in the US are sent to China to debone? So, the fish we eat are twice frozen, at least.

41. Claude's "Thanks" : MERCI

43. Salon service : HAIR CARE. Put some coconut oil in your conditioner.

44. Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium city : OMAHA. Gimme for Gary/Joe/Ergo.

47. Zodiac symbol : RAM

48. Get, as a degree : EARN

49. 1905 Peter Pan player Adams : MAUDE. No idea. The Bond girl is MAUD Adams.

50. Moderate pace : TROT

51. Kid's comeback : AM SO

52. Horse and buggy : RIG. This is a new meaning of RIG to me.

53. Slip : LAPSE

54. Suppressed : SAT ON

56. Belief system : CREED

57. '70s extremist gp. : SLA (Symbionese Liberation Army). They kidnapped Patty Hearst, who was granted a full pardon by Clinton.

60. Lacking manners : COARSE

61. Muslim leaders : IMAMS

63. Place for worms? : CAN. And 64. Places for outlets : WALLS.

65. Chilean lady : SENORA

71. Shop __ you drop : TIL. I can shop for hours without buying anything.

74. Striped cat : TABBY

75. Grammy winner Lena : HORNE

76. Radio station, say : AIRER

77. Excitement : ADO

78. Mayberry sot Campbell : OTIS. I think Gary or Tinbeni mentioned this guy before.

79. Hr. portions : MINs
80. Super-small : EENSY

81. Holier-than-thou sort : SNOB
82. Web portal letters : MSN

86. Bird with a hooked beak : EAGLE

87. Events with tiaras : PAGEANTS. Have any of you watched Here Comes Honey Boo Boo?  So glad it's canceled.

89. Ryan of "The Beverly Hillbillies" : IRENE

90. Adorn in relief : EMBOSS

91. Newspaper fillers : STORIES

92. Spanish liqueur : ANIS

93. High male voice : ALTO

94. Historic Nevada city : ELY. Historic because?

100. 1998 Apple debut : iMAC

103. Pitchfork feature : PRONG

105. Pay : REMIT

106. More than some : A LOT

108. Remove forcibly : OUST

109. Bangladesh neighbor : INDIA

110. IRS requirement for many : E-FILE

111. Big-time blow : GALE

112. Plate cleaners, at times : UMPS. Great clue. The Royals have to win tonight!

113. Stun gun : TASER

114. Farm fathers : SIRES

115. "__ Enchanted": 2004 film : ELLA. Anne Hathaway movie. She's a good singer.


1. RV connection? : STU. Alphabet.

2. Own : HOLD

3. Bus lead-in : OMNI

4. Last letter? : DEAR JOHN. Kids nowadays break up via text.

5. Diamond pattern : ARGYLE. Hi there, Santa.

6. First name of boy detective Encyclopedia Brown : LEROY. Is he the inspiration for Bad, Bad Leroy Brown?

7. Like some college majors : DUAL

8. Formed, on a bus. sign : ESTD.  I read it as "Bus sign".

9. Surface again : RE-EMERGE

10. Wrought-up : FRANTIC

11. __-screen TV : LARGE

12. Baking ingredient : OLEO. Never had it before. Does your wife eat butter, Jayce/Barry G?

13. Likely : APT

14. Creative thinker : THEORIST. I guess those guys are creative.

15. Household skills class : HOME EC

16. More than impress : AWE
17. On, in a way : LIT

18. Entry price : FEE

28. Sandwich fish : TUNA

29. Western U.S. service station chain : ARCO

31. Ominous : DIRE

34. Business tycoon : BARON. I was stunned by Mark Zuckerberg's fluent Chinese last week.  He conducted a 30-minutes Q & A in Chinese. Both Facebook and Twitter are blocked in China, by the way.

36. Clears : ERASES

37. Out of fashion, in France : DEMODE. Démodé.

38. Bundles of energy : DOERS

39. Terminal communication : EMAIL.  Terminal made me think of airport.

41. "Eek!" evoker : MOUSE

42. Put a halt to : ENDED

43. Georgian Bay's lake : HURON

45. Tough heads : CAPOS. Mafia bosses.

46. Maestro Klemperer : OTTO. I've been to Appleton, D-Otto. I remember they have a Cracker Barrel there.

49. Volcanic fluid : MAGMA

51. Shrunken inland sea : ARAL

53. "Rescue Me" star Denis : LEARY

54. Commercial interest : STAKE

55. Native of Hokkaido : AINU. Here it is again.

56. Rose or violet : COLOR

59. Picture of an envelope, e.g. : ICON. Wow, so easy in retrospect. Mail me.

60. Cleverly guarded : CAGEY

62. Riot squad concerns : MOBS. China executed 8 Muslim extremists earlier this year for their terrorist act in Oct 2013. In America, the procedure would take forever.

64. No __ for the wear : WORSE

65. Treads heavily : STOMPS

66. Greatly bothers : EATS AT

67. Hungers : LONGS

68. Roughly speaking : OR SO

69. Many a church song : PAEAN

70. Bit : TINGE

72. Fan favorites : IDOLS

73. Hoops may hang from them : LOBES. Earrings.

75. Subtle suggestions : HINTS

79. Financial drain : MONEY PIT. Great fill.

80. Dilapidated buildings, say : EYESORES. Another great one.

81. Deliberate destruction : SABOTAGE. Three in a row.

83. Leave in a hurry, slangily : BAIL

84. Oil partner : VINEGAR. My grandma used to make persimmon vinegar with the persimmons from our front yard trees. Xi'An has a big Muslim Quarters where the persimmon cakes are must-eats. No unrest there. We've been living peacefully together for centuries.

85. Copier insert: Abbr. : ORIG

86. Rescue team, briefly : EMTs

88. Builds : ERECTS

90. Upper crust groups : ELITES

92. Golfer with an "army" : ARNIE. He was at the TPC here a few months ago for the Champions Tour.

93. Nimble : AGILE

95. Sci-fi carriers : PODS

96. Interest-lowering option, briefly : RE-FI

97. Kuwaiti ruler : EMIR

98. Israeli carrier : EL AL

99. It's called in class : ROLL

100. Note in lieu of cash : IOU. Thought of the poor Madame Bovary.

101. Not exactly talkative : MUM. Are you still reading us, LaLaLinda?

102. Dangerous reptile : ASP

104. Genetic messenger : RNA

107. Drink from a bag : TEA. Good for tired eyes also.