Jan 22, 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015 Don Gagliardo

Theme: Letter play

19-Across. *Beginning : GETTING GOING. Okey-dokey, so let's get going, then!

26-Across. *They carry remainders : SURPLUS STORES.

44-Across. *Bike safety device : REAR REFLECTOR.

51-Across. *The rest : EVERYONE ELSE.
And the reveal:
65-Across. Both words in each answer to a starred clue begin and end with the same one : LETTER.

I noticed the duplicate letters at the end of the first word and beginning of the second as I was solving, but it required the reveal to get my V-8 moment.

Other possibilities might include:
Since the rules of construction dictate symmetrical theme entries, it is really tough to get 4 entries with the right letter count.


1. Modern "Keep in touch!" : TEXT ME. I kept thinking "Call me"...maybe.

7. Ann's sister : ABBY. The advice columnists.

11. Extras may comprise one : MOB. As in "a cast of thousands."

14. Tennis star Gibson : ALTHEA. One of the biggest success stories of the '50s.

15. The real thing, so to speak : TRUE LOVE.

17. Riddles : POSERS.

18. Regretting a wild night, maybe : HUNGOVER. Who, moi?

21. Field of study : AREA.

24. "We __ Family": 1979 hit : ARE. Remember Sister Sledge from the 70's?

25. Tamper : MESS. (with)

31. Org. where weight matters : WBA. World Boxing Association. Can you name all the weights? I'll start: heavy...

32. Without __: riskily : A NET.

33. On a streak : RED HOT.

36. Capp and Capone : ALs. Cartoonists and crooks can always get together in crosswords.

37. Syr. neighbor : ISR. Syria and Israel.

38. Jueves, por ejemplo : DIA. Spanish "Thursday, for example" clues the Spanish for "day."

39. Natural resource : ORE. I had the O** and almost wrote in Oil. But I am learning my lesson, and decided to check the perps first.

40. Tease : NEEDLE.

42. Vibrater in a wind : REED. The thing that vibrates in a wind instrument. The spelling just "looks" wrong, but is technically correct.

43. Like Gen. Powell : RET.ired.

47. __ Men: "Who Let the Dogs Out" band : BAHA. Oops - used up my you tube limit.  Feel free to link away!

49. Edible Asian shoot : UDO. Everything you wanted to know here.

50. Greek mount : OSSA.

56. Burns poem that starts, "Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie" : TO A MOUSE.

57. Time of your life : OLD AGE.

61. Marching band instrument : SIDE DRUM.

62. Mill around : LOITER.

63. Passing stat. : YDS. Yards, in football.

64. Egyptian symbols of royalty : ASPS.


1. Keep time, in a way : TAP.

2. Symphonic rock gp. : ELO. Electric Light Orchestra.

3. Cadillac sedan : XTS.

4. Store to "fall into," in old ads : THE GAP. From the 70's.

5. Scant : MERE.

6. First word of the chorus of "The Sidewalks of New York" : EAST. side, west side, all around the town...Come on - hum along with me!

7. Parched : ATHIRST.

8. Dark-haired guy : BRUNET. "Dark-haired girl" is brunette.

9. Cask stopper : BUNG.

10. Safecracker : YEGG.

11. Some Cannes films : MOVIE SHORTS.

12. They have hoods and racks : OVENS. Because "redneck pickup trucks" didn't fit.

13. Cold-water hazards : BERGS. Hands up for "floes"?

16. Was impending : LOOMED.

20. Perp subduer : TASER.

21. Egyptian dam : ASWAN.

22. 100 kopecks : RUBLE.

23. Parts opposite points : ERASER HEADS. I have never heard them called anything but "erasers." But I wonder if Don G. intended the clue for the Filipino rock band, who took their name from the surrealistic David Lynch film, "Eraserhead."

27. First name in women's boxing : LAILA. Ali.

28. Racing family name : UNSER. Al, Bobby et al.

29. Bay window : ORIEL.

30. Aptly named novelist : READE.

34. Easily crumbled cookies : OREOS.

35. Betta tankmate : TETRA.

38. "Colonel Jack" novelist : DEFOE.

41. "Oh, my!" : DEAR ME!

42. Uses, as credit card rewards : REDEEMS. But only if one
45. Amasses : RUNS UP. a whole bunch of charges first!

46. Work on together, in a way : COEDIT. This filled with perps, so when I saw it I was trying to figure out how CO-ED IT might be clued.

47. LPGA great Rawls : BETSY. You have to go back to the '50s to remember her, too.

48. Stay clear of : AVOID.

52. "The boy you trained, gone he is" speaker : YODA.

53. Sharing word : OURS.

54. Relax : LOLL.

55. Blackthorn fruit : SLOE.

58. QB's stat : ATT.empts.

59. Turn right : GEE. On the farm, that is.

60. Go wrong : ERR. I hope I did not ERR with any of my comments!

I'm out.

Note from C.C.:

1) Happy 69th Birthday to our LAT constructor John Lampkin! As I mentioned before, John helped me greatly in my earlier days of blogging and constructing. He patiently answered every little question I had about crosswords. He's just incredibly kind and generous to every new constructor.
Lemonade & John Lampkin, March 21, 2012

2) Happy 83rd Birthday to Marge! She had a bad fall in 2013 and has not appeared much on the blog after that. I hope you're still reading our blog Marge. Kazie is now our only representative from Wisconsin, I think.

Jan 21, 2015

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Man Up! The start of each theme entry is a slangy synonym for a male.

17A. Well-worn, as comfy shoes : BROKEN IN. These are pretty broken in - I'm not sure how comfortable they are though:

25A. University of North Carolina city : CHAPEL HILL. UNC was the first college in the US to open to the public.

39A. Firehouse crews : LADDER COMPANIES. I want to have a crack at the rear-steering job.

51A. Relaxing soak : BUBBLE BATH. Ahhh!

64A. Lead singer, and a hint to the beginning of 17-, 25-, 39- and 51-Across : FRONT-MAN. Choose your own favorite front-man link. Here's one of mine - the talented and very confused Noel Gallagher from Oasis.

Well, it's Wednesday! Steve here with C.C.'s second solo outing of the year. She has quite a prodigious output! I had to hunt and peck a little in the top half - the ELSA/LIN cross was something of a WAG, but there wasn't much else that was going to make sense there, so not too much of a problem in the end.

I didn't get the theme until the reveal and thought it was pretty neat when I saw it. The two long downs were both great - I don't recall seeing either of them in a puzzle before.

Let's check out the rest.


1. Band aid : AMP. Nigel Tufnell's volume controls famously go up to 11.

4. "Lohengrin" soprano : ELSA. The role "Elsa of Brabant" is voiced by a soprano.

8. High-priced : STEEP

13. Saint-Tropez sea : MER. On the French riviera between Marseille and Cannes.

14. Chicken (out) : WIMP

15. Wildly impulsive : MADCAP

19. "Finito!" : I'M DONE

20. Stretches on the road : LIMOS

21. Inventor Nikola : TESLA

23. Director who sued Spike TV for using his name : LEE. The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum. I've got my attorney handy for when Viacom decides to launch "Steve TV".

24. British prep school : ETON. Oh dear - I'm calling this a rare cluing misstep from Rich. Eton isn't a prep school. You attend a prep school before you go on to a school such as Eton.

27. Fives and tens : CASH

29. Clueless : ASEA. If would be fun, if not strictly fair, to clue this without a clue at all!

30. Lennon's love : ONO

32. Door fasteners : HASPS

35. TV radio station : WKRP. I never saw the show, but the call letters are easy enough to remember.

43. Rural road sign silhouette : DEER. I'm never quite sure how to react to these warning signs - the "Falling Rocks" one is another. There's not a lot you can actually do about the potential hazard.

44. Shellac ingredient : RESIN. I discover that it's a bug secretion and is also used as a food glaze! Fun clue pairing with 40D too.

45. Insect egg : NIT

46. Not a pretty fruit : UGLI. Food! It's actually not that bad-looking:

49. Surprise for the taste buds : TANG

56. Almost closed : AJAR

59. Pee Wee Reese's number : ONE. Baseball! C.C. at work here.

60. "Chasing Pavements" singer : ADELE. She won a "Best Vocal Performance" Grammy for the song.

61. English class lesson : USAGE

62. Like a plum tomato : OBLONG. Food! I'm going to go make a sandwich, this puzzle is making me hungry.

66. Royal residence : PALACE. This is the entrance to Hampton Court Palace in London, one of Henry VIII's homes. I used to live close by, needless to say my entryway didn't look much like this.

67. Apple product : IPOD. Fill in the "I" and then wait for crosses.

68. Gift-wrapping time, often : EVE

69. Hinged entrances : GATES. Some gates slide open, are they technically not gates?

70. Beantown hockey great : ESPO. Inspiration for the "JESUS SAVES! But Esposito scores on the rebound!" bumper sticker.

71. Do needlework : SEW


1. Carefree pace : AMBLE

2. Reason for a raise : MERIT

3. Virtual coupon, briefly : PROMO CODE. The ones I get never seem to have much effect.

4. Farm ladies : EWES

5. Civil Rights Memorial architect : LIN. Maya Lin. The inscription comes from Martin Luther King Jr's "I have a dream" speech.

6. Will of "I Am Legend" : SMITH

7. Sleep lab study : APNEA

8. Looks pleased : SMILES

9. Wrapped cantina food : TAMALE. Food! My local Farmer's Market has a stall selling the best tamales I've ever tasted. There's something magical about the masa.

10. Baseball Hall of Famer Roush : EDD. Aha! I was waiting for C.C.'s second baseball reference. I had to wait longer to fill it in though - all crosses. Reds center fielder elected to the Hall in 1962.

11. Bad bacteria : E.COLI

12. Science fair judges, e.g. : PANEL

16. Orange coat : PEEL.

18. Hawaii's __ Coast : KONA

22. Some jerks : SPASMS

25. Burn a bit : CHAR

26. Gibson's "Bird on a Wire" co-star : HAWN.

28. "__ Will Be Loved": Maroon 5 hit : SHE. This is one of those songs that I've heard a hundred times and didn't know what it was called, or who recorded it.

30. Word with country or world : OLD

31. "You wish, laddie!" : NAE

33. Writer on scrolls : SCRIBE

34. Usher's creator : POE. "The Fall of the House of Usher" published in 1839.

36. Nickname for LeBron : KING JAMES. Now back with the Cleveland Cavaliers after his sojourn in Miami. For a guy who is listed at 6'8" and 250lbs, that's one heck of a "Small Forward".

37. Outdoor gear brand : REI. Recreational Equipment Inc, apparently. Crosses for me.

38. L.A. clock setting : PST

40. Shellac : DRUB. I can't find the origin of this usage - anyone?

41. Nitty-gritty : PITH

42. "Wheel of Fortune" purchase : AN "A"

47. Carom : GLANCE

48. Ibex resting places : LEDGES. Here's an Alpine ibex in Italy. I used to see these frequently when I was skiing in the Alps.

50. Political cartoonist Thomas : NAST. The "Father of the American Cartoon". No relation to the publisher Condé Nast, which surprised me.

51. Cartoon flapper : BOOP. Betty Boop cartoons were shown on children's television in the UK when I was a kid. In hindsight, they weren't exactly suitable!

52. Put away, as groceries : UNBAG. It sometimes seems harder work than shopping for them in the first place.

53. "Twilight" heroine : BELLA. Thank you, crosses. I didn't even notice this fill until I was writing up the blog. Bella Swan, as portrayed by Kristen Stewart. Now I know, although in about two minutes time I'll forget all about her.

54. Michael Caine role : ALFIE

55. U. of Maryland team : TERPS. Formally the "Terrapins". How many other team nicknames have a nickname? I can't think of any offhand.

57. Tequila source : AGAVE. The finest blue agave plants are carefully guarded - crop thefts are not unknown during periods of shortage.

58. Make one's Fortune last longer? : RENEW. Not renewing a magazine subscription is a fun way to see how many offers you receive to try to get you back. Sports Illustrated pretty much offer you the editorship if you'll re-sign.

61. Counterclockwise arrow function : UNDO. It's funny how toolbar icons become embedded in our understanding.

63. Cereal grass : OAT

65. "Alley __" : OOP.  A fun basketball play to see.

And with that, mes amis, this is Steve signing off.

Note from C.C.: 

Happy 7th Anniversary to our blog! A big "Thank you" to our sweet LaLaLinda for remembering it. I completely forgot it. I need to be punished!

Dear friends, I became a constructor because of your active participation and constant encouragement. Thank you for being here.

Jan 20, 2015

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 Michael Dewey

Theme: Jump Back Jack - "Are you ready for some football?"

33. Returning to action, and, on a gridiron, what each first word of 17-, 24-, 47- and 55-Across is : BACK IN THE GAME

17. Soccer scoring opportunity : CORNER KICK. Cornerback, defensive position.

24. Vice presidential hopeful : RUNNING MATE. Running back, ball carrier and blocker.

47. Musical symbol : QUARTER NOTE. Quarterback, the field general.

55. Hold that's illegal in amateur wrestling : FULL NELSON. Fullback, blocking and taking the ball straight ahead,.

Argyle here. Are we ramping up for the Superbowl or what? I wouldn't be surprised to find this theme has been done before but it wouldn't detract any of my enjoyment of solving this one. Some other football references included.


1. PBS science series since 1974 : "NOVA"

5. Barton of the Red Cross : CLARA

10. Secret language : CODE. That seems a little off.

14. Fictional rabbit's title : BR'ER

15. Persian Gulf tanker : OILER

16. __ about: roughly : ON OR

19. Lang of Smallville : LANA. Superman's boyhood friend.

20. Hairpiece : TOUPÉE

21. How French dip sandwiches are served : AU JUS

22. Neruda's "__ to Wine" : ODE

27. Cultural no-nos : TABOOs

29. Goings-on : DOINGS

30. Hamilton opponent : BURR. Backstory

31. NFL Hall of Famer Lynn : SWANN. Wide receiver.

39. "Am not!" reply : "ARE SO!". Age old argument over who's a booger.

40. Whacked arcade critter : MOLE. Whac-A-Mole

42. Greek markets : AGORAE

45. Between-meals meals : SNACKS

50. Disney frame : CEL

51. Vaulted church areas : APSEs

52. Singer Newton-John : OLIVIA

54. Table salt, to a chemist : NaCl

59. "Buenos __" : DIAS. "Good Morning"

60. Characteristic : TRAIT

61. Frustrating toy for Charlie Brown : KITE

62. "Rule, Britannia" composer Thomas : ARNE

63. Breaks bread : DINES

64. Shoveled precipitation : SNOW


1. "Football Night in America" network : NBC

2. Guatemala gold : ORO

3. Spinal bone : VERTEBRA

4. River of Pisa : ARNO. Haven't seen this flower in awhile.

5. Habeas __ : CORPUS. "you [shall] have the body"

6. Compare : LIKEN

7. From another planet : ALIEN

8. Camcorder button : REC

9. "Raiders of the Lost __" : ARK

10. Op-Ed piece : COLUMN

11. Deep into the pub crawl, say : ON A JAG

12. Dunkin' __ : DONUTS

13. Take off the board : ERASE

18. Currency since 1999 : EURO

21. Winery process that can take years : AGING

22. Wagering letters : OTB

23. Apply haphazardly : DAUB

25. Potato state : IDAHO

26. __ of the above : NONE

28. Tolkien monster : ORC

31. Look of disdain : SNEER

32. Scale amts. : WTs. (weights)

34. Wii game rides for Mario and Luigi : KARTS

35. "Dies __": hymn : IRAE. (Day of Wrath)

36. Physicians' org. : AMA. (American Medical Association)

37. Soft shoe : MOCCASIN

38. Sommer of films : ELKE
41. Immigrant's class: Abbr. : ESL. (English as a Second Language)

42. Live-in nanny : AU PAIR

43. Stranded motorist's aid : GAS CAN

44. Threat-ending words : OR ELSE

45. Tours of duty : STINTS

46. Campbell of "Scream" : NEVE

47. Info-gathering exchange : Q AND A

48. Ryan with a record seven no-hitters : NOLAN. Some baseball slipped in.

49. Hardy of Laurel & Hardy : OLLIE

53. Classes : ILKs. That seems a little off also.

55. Teleflora rival : FTD. (Florists' Transworld Delivery)

56. Sch. in the smallest state : URI. (University of Rhode Island)

57. Oklahoma tribe : OTO

58. Cutting-edge : NEW


Jan 19, 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015 Gareth Bain

Theme: Top Brass - A bringing together of diverse Generals.

17A. Military bed-making features : HOSPITAL CORNERS. General Hospital, long time running TV soap opera.

28A. Classic jazz vocal group originally composed of four siblings, with "The" : MILLS BROTHERS. General Mills, founded in 1866! (Wiki)

46A. "Special" lobbying faction : INTEREST GROUP. General Interest, like CBS Sunday Morning.

61A. UN organ ... or what the first words of 17-, 28- and 46-Across comprise? : GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Argyle here. Marvelous Monday...and we need it. I worried needlessly when I saw Gareth's name. Two grid spanners, strong corners, good fill with a little crunch to keep it interesting. And I liked the wide range of entries.


1. Pod used to thicken gumbo : OKRA

5. Moonshine containers : JUGS. I stuck in JARS first.

9. "24" superagent Jack : BAUER

14. __-chef : SOUS. Second-in-command in the kitchen. Not a general yet.

15. Jacob's twin : ESAU

16. Happen next : ENSUE

20. Rose pest : APHID

21. Pimply breakout : ACNE

22. On the __: precisely : DOT

23. Civil rights activist Parks : ROSA. Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

26. Chancellor von Bismarck : OTTO

33. Financial claim : LIEN

35. Sport __: versatile wheels : UTE. (utility)

36. OB/GYN test : AMNIO. Shortening of amniocentesis.

37. Goof : ERR

38. Comic strip with Snoopy : PEANUTS

41. Md. neighbor : DEL. Maryland/Delaware

42. Pierre's "There it is!" : "VOILA!"

44. Bigheadedness : EGO

45. "Should __ acquaintance ..." : AULD

50. Mideast strip : GAZA

51. In the mail : SENT

52. Magazine fillers : ADS

55. Intravenous process : DRIP

57. Ride without pedaling : COAST

65. San Antonio battle site : ALAMO

66. Cookie added to a McFlurry : OREO

67. Banned fruit spray : ALAR

68. Make into confetti : RIP UP

69. Enjoy a Kindle, e.g. : READ

70. Printed goof : TYPO


1. Fed. workplace monitor : OSHA. (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)

2. Surgeon general under Reagan : KOOP. Another General.

3. Make haste : RUSH

4. Pain-relieving pill : ASPIRIN

5. Jumbo __ : JET

6. Stars and Stripes land: Abbr. : USA

7. Black-tie party : GALA

8. Relief : SUCCOR

9. Italian pistols : BERETTAS

10. Cape NNW of Cod : ANN. Boston is in between them.

11. Second-hand : USED

12. Franc replacement : EURO

13. What's leftover, with "the" : REST

18. Revered star : IDOL

19. Not hoodwinked by : ON TO

24. Revolve on an axis : SLUE

25. Nick and Nora's dog : ASTA

27. Electrical unit : OHM

28. Be worthy of : MERIT

29. Poet Stephen Vincent __ : BENÉT

30. Turn out to be : END UP

31. Cambodian currency : RIEL

32. Happy sign for a Realtor : [SOLD]

33. Jeans maker Strauss : LEVI

34. Crease remover : IRON

38. Send down using chutes, as supplies : PARADROP. Or some really big stuff.

39. Fleecy footwear brand : UGGS

40. Injured, as a ligament : TORE

43. Table support : LEG

45. Quaint coin-op eatery : AUTOMAT

47. Poet Pound : EZRA

48. Crew member : SAILOR

49. A single time : ONCE

52. Lab gel : AGAR

53. Pastrami purveyor : DELI. Cute alliteration.

54. Lose it : SNAP

56. Remove, as a peel : PARE

58. With skill : ABLY

59. High-five, e.g. : SLAP

60. Rookie : TYRO

62. Outback bird : EMU

63. Mediterranean __ : SEA

64. Clump of turf : SOD


Jan 18, 2015

Sunday, January 18, 2015 Meryl Jackson

Theme:  "Chlorination" - CL (Chlorine symbol) is added to each theme answer.

23A. "Whatever circus act floats your boat"? : TO EACH HIS CLOWN. To each his own.

36A. Assure satisfaction? : CLAIM TO PLEASE. Aim to please.

58A. Pen in Patna? : INDIA CLINK. India ink. Patna is on the south bank of the Ganges.

82A. Loot from a shamrock heist? : CLOVER HAUL. Overhaul. 36D is one word also.

101A. Moviehouse that always cuts to the chase? : CLIMAX THEATER. Sounds very DF. IMAX theater.

120A. How some defensive boxing matches proceed? : CLINCH BY CLINCH. Inch by inch. Double action.

36D. Devious golf course feature? : CLEVER GREEN. Evergreen. Most greens are clever with breaks.

42D. Mouse user's consideration? : CLICK FACTOR. Ick factor.

I think this is Meryl Jackson's first published puzzle. It's an incredible achievement to have your LA Times debut on a Sunday. Sunday puzzles are just challenging to make due to the sheer size. Small dupes happen all the time. I was tripped twice by ATE/EAT in a finished grid.

Skillful theme answer placement also. Meryl intersected two set of answers. I love when this happens.


1. Clambake trash : COBS. Never had clambakes before. Looks delicious.

5. Santa __ : ANA

8. Blue stone, briefly : LAPIS

13. Gastric maladies : ULCERS

19. Award that's a pronunciation of its initials : OBIE. Off-Broadway.

20. Curse : HEX

 21. Solder, for one : ALLOY

22. Approached : NEARED

26. Yacht spot : MARINA

27. 1983 title character who sings "Where Is It Written?" : YENTL

28. "... ain't quite as dumb as __": "How Long" lyric : I SEEM. I thought the answer would start with A, but NEHI (6D. Vintage pop) told me no.

29. Now : AS WE SPEAK. Nice 9-letter entry.

31. Pro __ : TEM

33. Island east of Manila : GUAM. BALI came to me first. It's east of Java.

35. First century Roman emperor : OTHO. I can never remember this guy's name. Thought of the D-less OTTO.

41. Bolts : LOCKS

45. Dazzle : SPLENDOR

47. __-Croatian : SERBO

48. Warehouse item : PALLET

49. Sheikh Zayed was its first pres. : UAE. Wiki said Sheikh Zayed was the president of UAE for 34 years. Gosh, never heard of the guy.

50. Brain matter : IDEA. Not CELL.

52. Jostle : ELBOW

54. Like Chopin's Étude Op. 10, No. 3 : IN E

55. Hand truck user : MOVER

62. Rodent control brand : D-CON

63. Olds models : ALEROs

65. "Beats me" : DUNNO

66. "The Path to Love" author Chopra : DEEPAK. I'm not the spiritual type.

68. Taint : CORRUPT

70. Actress Samantha : EGGAR. Stranger to me.

72. Mythical eagle-lion hybrid : GRIFFIN

75. Supporting words : GO TEAM

77. Rimsky-Korsakov's "__ d'Or" : LE COQ. No idea. PALME would not work. Literally The Golden Cockerel.

79. Chelsea's __ Square, fashionable shopping area : SLOANE. Gimme for Steve. Learning moment for me.

80. Gideon Fell's creator : CARR. John Dickson Carr. Gideon Fell is an amateur sleuth.

85. Madre's milk : LECHE

86. Storm dir. : NNE

87. Onslaught : SIEGE

88. Adams of "Octopussy" : MAUD.  And 97. "Octopussy," e.g. : SPY STORY

90. Knight in a sitcom : TED. Ted Knight. The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

91. "Toodles" : BYE BYE

93. Reunion attendee : UNCLE
100. Body of rules : CANON

103. Remove : X OUT

105. Iams competitor : ALPO

106. Once named : NEE

107. High-rent game property : PARK PLACE

112. Ancient fabulist : AESOP

115. Bugged a lot : ATE AT

119. Hard one to argue with : EGOIST. Don't engage them.

123. Two-__ : SEATER

124. Monotonous piece : CHANT

125. History book time : ERA

126. Pretender of a sort : MIME. Oh I like this clue.

127. Revered Mother : TERESA

128. Straw sources : PINES

129. Bow raw material : YEW

130. Sistine Chapel ceiling depiction : EDEN


1. Fragrance giant that went public in 2013 : COTY.  What fragrance are you wearing now?

2. Wind with a flared bell : OBOE

3. "Très __!" : BIEN. My ex is dating an Indonesian girl. Je ne care pas. Je ne care pas lots of things.

4. Puget Sound city : SEATTLE

5. Relaxed response : AHH

7. Turning point : AXIS

8. High-tops, e.g. : LACE-UPS

9. Like some choirs : ALL-MALE

10. Ramallah-based gp. : PLO

11. Only state with a two-vowel postal code : IOWA. And 18. 11-Down neighbor: Abbr. : S DAK

12. Dict. entries : SYNS (Synonyms)

13. Not realized : UNMET

14. Lab regulation? : LEASH LAW. Another great clue. Think of dog when you see "Lab".

15. Kind of lane : CARPOOL

16. Iroquoian people : ERIE

17. Soap actress Sofer : RENA. Of General Hospital.

24. Lacking heat, to a cop : CLEAN

25. Showy lily : SEGO

30. Trouble : WOE

32. Dress length : MIDI

34. Côte d'Azur view : MER

37. __ operandi : MODI

38. Forecaster's concern : TREND. Fashion, right?

39. Explorer Tasman : ABEL

40. Reliable : SOLID

43. Game with 80 balls : KENO. I saw it at various casinos. Never played it.

44. WWII weapon : STEN

45. Rash cause, perhaps : SUMAC

46. Author of epistolas : PAOLO. OK, Italian for Paul.

48. Fire inspirers : POKERS

51. Score notation for two singers : A DUE

53. Uncommon blood type, for short : B NEG

56. Goof : ERROR

57. It's not close : ROUT

59. Brit's fireplace : INGLE. I remember this word.

60. Hot state : ANGER

61. Team leader : COACH

62. Green Goblin portrayer : DAFOE. I sure need "Willem" in the clue.

64. Coins : SPECIE

67. Dosage unit : PILL

69. Account : TALE

71. Go nowhere special : ROAM

73. "I'd hate to be __ shoes" : IN HER. I like the movie "In Her Shoes".

74. High-maintenance : NEEDY

76. Slopes challenge : MOGUL. We often see "Mogul" for various ski clues.

78. Put down : QUASH

80. "Street Signs" network : CNBC

81. Novelist Seton : ANYA
83. Word in a boast : VENI. "Veni, vidi, vici".

84. Rapper __ Fiasco : LUPE

87. Parts of writers' queries : SYNOPSES

89. "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice" Oscar nominee Cannon : DYAN. I just told Argyle the other day about a new clue for AVA (DuVernay) & the amazing David Oyelowo. Too bad they're snubbed.

92. Right-angled flier : BOX KITE

94. Nashville awards org. : CMA

95. "Live Young Forever" author Jack : LALANNE. I love my Jack LaLanne juicer.

96. Counts on : EXPECTS

98. Lift : STEAL

99. When to start driving? : TEE TIME. Argyle plays golf in the evening.

101. Transp. group in the Loop : CTA

102. Peter of reggae : TOSH

104. Radical : ULTRA

107. Under-one's-skin type : PEST

108. '40s film critic James : AGEE

109. Big laugh : ROAR

110. Soyuz letters : CCCP

111. K thru 12 : EL-HI. Glue fill.

113. Opposite of buck : OBEY. Verb. Not DOES.

114. Ceremonial pile : PYRE

116. Oklahoma's "Wheat Capital" : ENID. Gimme for most constructors. Not many ways to clue ENID.

117. Crest : ACME

118. "Well __ ..." : THEN

121. Creator of Q and M : IAN (Fleming)

122. Crow cry : CAW

Happy Birthday to Blue Iris (Susan), a school nurse for many years. I enjoy her Bird Seed Salad  every week. It's a simple recipe with endless variations. I hope your physical therapy is doing well, Susan!


Jan 17, 2015

Saturday, Jan 17th, 2015, Barry C. Silk

Theme: Saturday Silkie~!

Words: 70 (missing J,Q)

Blocks: 26

  Welcome to another edition of Splynter 'splains Saturday's Silkie~!  This one was a bear, at least on the first pass - then, little by slowly, with a few sensible W.A.G.s, followed by a dredging of the depths of the dark corners of my mind, I finished - and within my personal time, too.  Quite a satisfying solve.  Intimidating triple 10-letter corners tied together with crossing 8's - add to that a boat-load of proper names and some uncommon items and you get what we have today.  Some of the longer answers;

1a. One is featured in the 1962 Ventures instrumental "The 2,000 Pound Bee" : FUZZ GUITAR - I am a huge fan of the guitar, and I am familiar with Jimmy Page's use of the "fuzz" sound.

13d. Sandusky locale : ERIE COUNTY - knew it was in PA, but didn't get it 'til I had ---UNTY

57a. South side : TEXAS TOAST - clever; I was trying to squeeze "CONFEDERATES" in

26d. Power source : SOLAR PANEL - Two weekends ago I was up in a little, and I mean little, place called South Otselic - it's east of Cortland, NY, and the little cabin we stayed in was totally powered by a wind turbine and solar panels.  My friend Garry owns the land, and did the work; in fact, he owned "Go Solar" down here on L.I., and that's how we met.  Here's pics of the cabin, the wind turbine, and me standing in one of the blades that are part of the real wind turbines up at the Fenner Wind Farm; 80 feet long~!



11. Bass output : ALES - Bass - the beer brand; toyed with "LOWS" at first

15. He played the bandit Calvera in "The Magnificent Seven" : ELI WALLACH

16. __ Maar, mistress of Picasso : DORA - all perps

17. Qualified for : ENTITLED TO

18. "The Enemy Below" setting, briefly : WW II - Waaaay before my time; IMDb

19. Zap : LASE

20. Kid's cry : Maa~!

21. Overpower with noise : DEAFEN

23. Airline created by an Act of Parliament : BOAC - British Overseas Airways Corporation

25. Take away : DETRACT - I went with DEPRIVE to start; only 42.8% correct

26. "The Love Machine" author : SUSANN - Since I do not know this person, I was curious about whether this was a first/last name - her Wiki

29. Place to stretch : REST STOP - They're called REST AREAS around here, but I was pretty sure about that second "S" from 11d.

30. In abeyance : ON ICE

31. "Michael" co-screenwriter Ephron : DELIA - I put in NORAH - Bzzzt~! (spelled wrong, to boot); her movie bio page

32. Expected : DUE

33. Tie : LINK - Dah~!  My only bad cell; I had LINE, and since it crossed a "foreign" word....

34. "Hot House" Grammy-winning pianist : COREA - Did not think of Chick until I had C-R-A in place

35. Philadelphia tourist attraction : MINT - ah, not BELL; look for the "P" on dimes, etc.

36. DJIA part: Abbr. : AVG - I thought "DOW" was too simple, but it's what I went with until SOLAR PANEL 'enlightened' me

37. Massenet opera : THAÏS - the Wiki

38. Heraklion's island : CRETE - the clue looked Greek, turned out to be Greek -ish

39. Chimney repair job : RELINING - REPOINTING did not fit

41. 14-Down, for one : MARTYR - I did not know this about St. Pete

42. Some property safeguards : PRE-NUPS

43. "Alice in Wonderland" bird : DO-DO

44. They may be frozen or liquid : ASSETS - this was, like, one of my only fills on the first pass (OK, I had MAA & TASE to start, and that was wrong)

45. Ideal figure : TEN - Mr. Silk is probably referring to Olympic scoring; a woman's figure is ideal if she were, say, a "two" - IMHO   ;7))

46. School with the mascot Big Al : 'BAMA - mostly perps, but makes sense - my mom loves elephants

50. Quill parts : NIBS

51. Food chain group : HERBIVORES - anyone else think something like "IHOP" first?

54. Greek letters : ETAs

55. Gourmands : OVER-EATERS

56. Erato's instrument : LYRE


1. Sense : FEEL

2. Radius neighbor : ULNA - 'dem bones

3. Unpopular spots : ZITS - I knew ACNE was what we were looking for, but I had TASE and felt pretty confident about the "S"

4. Literally, "twice-baked" : ZWIEBACK - I thought it was a cookie (and the last name of a kid I went to high school with); after reading up on it, I prefer Biscotti

5. Rod : GAT - gangsta talk for a gun

6. "Tracey Takes On" author : ULLMAN - and her TV show spawned "The Simpsons" - its first airing was Dec 17th, 1989, and has since surpassed all other TV shows for longevity

7. Intestinal : ILEAC - DaH~! Spelled it with two "I"s

8. Cry of achievement : "Ta-DA~!"

9. Routine : ACT - ah, that kind of routine; I guess UPS has got me thinking "RUT"

10. Botswana neighbor, formerly : RHODESIA - a WAG with half the letters via perps

11. Some October campaigns : AD WARS - we're getting close to another "AD" high point - the Superbowl

12. Fare reduction option : LOW-FAT DIET

14. Keys holder in a Rubens portrait : SAINT PETER - Total WAG with only the two "E"s in place; I'm proud of myself~!

22. Singer James : ETTA

24. Person : ONE

25. Strikes out : DELES - DAH~! Was in baseball, not editing, mode

27. Brown, e.g. : UNIVERSITY

28. Business where lines are short? : SINGLES BAR

29. Equip anew : RERIG

31. Pain relief pill brand : DOAN'S

34. Greenside stroke : CHIP SHOT - then there's the stroke below the belt - that's a chEAp shot

35. 1983 Styx hit that begins in Japanese : Mr. ROBOTO - I liked it when it first came out; now, not so much

37. Flanged fastener : T-NUT

38. Rogue : CAD

40. Existing: Lat. : IN ESSE

41. Francs and beans? : MONIES - Plural of money; clever - loved the clue

43. Winger of "Black Widow" : DEBRA

45. Cretaceous giant : T-REX

47. Stretch : AREA - I get it, but this was the 's-t-r-e-t-c-h' clue for the day

48. Seas overseas : MERS

49. Part of PDA: Abbr. : ASST - Personal Data Assistant, now referred to as a Smartphone

52. Certain threshold : EVE - the next "eve" on my calendar is Feb 8th

53. Brewery sight : VAT


Jan 16, 2015

Friday, January 16, 2015, Julian Lim

Theme: C C senor.

In the never ending CSO's in the world of the LAT, our feerless leader gets her puzzle from Julian Lim, who lives in Singapore. Normally, Julian's puzzles are very hard for me, but this one was just hard enough for a Friday, with a low word count, and the theme, once revealed really helped relieve the stress. The letter "C" is added to the beginning of first and last word of a known phrase or name to create a new and completely unrelated phrase. 3 are two word phrase; 1 has a proper  name, both before and after. I saw no other hidden agenda here, and the reveal which we usually do not get was not a slam dunk reveal so it is a Friday. We have some fun 6 letter fill HONCHO, PHOBIA, PORTIA, PSYCHO, SCROLL, SMOOCH and some longer sparkle BELABOR, GOLIATH, DIES IRAE, DOVETAIL , EMOTICON and NICE SHOT

18A. Jar for leafy vegetable storage? : CHARD CROCK (10). This is difficult on so many layers; first you need to know that CHARD is a leafy vegetable. I hear it mostly as Swiss Chard, and it is called Spinach in South Africa but it is the leafy part of a type of beet. The leaf is quite healthy. HARD ROCK  is a developer of hotels, casino etc., here they have partnered with the Seminole Tribe.

24A. Actor Jackie's pet fish? : CHANS CARP (9).  We usually see the ARTIST as Jean Arp, founder of Dada, but in German he was Hans. Jackie Chan has had a successful career as a comedic martial arts expert. I was surprised to read that he had done a porno.

50A. Emulate an inveterate swindler? : CON AND CON (9). On and On we go.

57A. Vessel with limited space? : CRAMPED CUP (10). I did not get (r)amped up about this fill, I guess it runneth over.
And the hint:

37A. Opine ... or create four long answers in this puzzle? : ADD ONE'S TWO CENTS. This is not a simple reveal because the symbol for cents, while a C, is really ¢.


1. Sardine cousin : SHAD. These are both generic names for types of herring.

5. "My take is ..." : I'D SAY. The Millennial phrase.

10. Princess from Amphipolis : XENA. If you need the whole STORY.

14. Iota : MOTE. Little things.

15. One-up : OUTDO.

16. "Head With Pipe" artist Nolde : EMIL. No idea.

17. Watchable, in a way : ON TV.

20. 2000s World #1 female golfer : OCHOA. She came, she conquered, she retired; her CAREER. I remember when she came out of Arizona and played the futures tour winning 3 of the 10 events she played. We obviously have some who like the LPGA because we also have 49A. With 60-Down, only South Korean World Golf Hall of Fame inductee : SE RI. 60D. See 49-Across : PAK. She changed the face of golf with her success inspiring the Asian world of golf.

22. Nurture : REAR.

23. Word with cake or break : TEA. Any other day would have CUP added.

27. "__ Love" (Maroon 5 hit) : THIS.

29. Smoking, perhaps : HOT. Interestingly next to another sexist measure of females....

30. Half a score : TEN. Ladies and gentleman, please let us know who think is a TEN.

31. 1959 novel in whose film version Mary Crane became Marion Crane : PSYCHO. Still one of the most unsettling movies of all time. I love that the P crosses with 31D. Psychologist's concern : PHOBIA though some may suggest it is an impermissible dupe of fill/clue... If you have not seen it and are squeamish, do not watch.

33. Giant : GOLIATH. This guy slings back into our radar.

36. Rabbit's friend : POOH. Can you bear any more Winnie references?

41. Literary __ : LION. This was a struggle, while it is  a term I have heard (Mailer was a literary lion) I needed perps to get started.

42. More than hammer home : BELABOR. Very nice fresh fill, which I will not say too often.

43. Video game segments : LEVELS. I do remember  the thrill of new levels back in the days of playing pac man in the bar.

45. Jr.'s jr. : III. The kids are often called Tre.

46. Spot for a soak : SPA.

53. Small songbird : TIT. We must have a GREAT picture.

54. Work on a canvas? : SPAR. Excellent misdirection, not a painting but in the boxing ring.

56. Unfortunate : SORRY.

61. Bard's verb : DOTH. A soupçon of Shakespeare.

62. "See Dad Run" star : BAIO. Scott. Never heard of it.

63. Steer snagger : REATA.

64. Mishmash : OLIO. Along with morel, the word that defines Crossword Corner.

65. TripAdvisor alternative : YELP. My oldest uses their review all of the time for restaurants.

66. "No worries" : IT'S OK.

67. White side, maybe : SLAW. Really, I always have carrots and purple cabbage in mine.


1. More than peck : SMOOCH.

2. Head __ : HONCHO. Comes from Japanese hanchō squad leader, from han squad + chō head, chief. We got it from returning servicemen. Han Solo?

3. Besides : AT THAT.

4. Plymouth's county : DEVON. This area has an interesting HISTORY.

5. Org. with a multi-ring logo : IOC. International Olympic Committee.

6. "No __!" : DUH.

7. Whitewater figure : STARR. Ken. No politics, just a LINK.

8. Pitcher? : AD REP. One who 'pitches' i.e. gives a sales pitch.

9. Green sage : YODA. Now that Episode VII is in the works I am sure we will see more Star Wars references, though Yoda is dead?

10. Survey taker, at times : X'ER. I guess this means one who x'es, checks boxes. A complete meh.

11. Text clarifier : EMOTICON. Since people do not talk and only text, you need some idea of the facial expression to get meaning of the words.

12. Compliment on a course : NICE SHOT. Gary, I am sure your golf game will be ready.

13. Antacid brand word : ALKA. My old pal...

19. Old PC monitors : CRTS. Cathode Ray Tubes.

21. Martin's start? : ASTON. Bond, James Bond.

25. Hollywood glitterati : CELEBS. Eh.

26. Sambuca flavoring : ANISE. Licorice anyone?

28. On a sugar high, say : HYPER.

32. Quaker Honey Graham __ : OHS.

33. Toast, with "a" : GONER.

34. U.S.-U.K. separator : ATLantic.

35. "Truth is more of a stranger than fiction" writer : TWAIN. One of the great minds of all time with a true way with words.

37. The works : ALL.

38. Second section of Verdi's "Requiem" : DIES IRAE.

39. Fit nicely : DOVETAIL.

40. Quarters, e.g. : COINS. So simple, but...

44. Daffy Duck has one : LISP.

46. Move on a screen : SCROLL. To the finish?

47. Shakespearean heiress : PORTIA. My weekly dose of Will. Who said it better?

"The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:"
48. "But I digress ..." : ANY HOW. I am an any way man, Drat.

50. Trainee : CADET. Not just in the service.

51. Marine predators : ORCAS. Whale of a good answer.

52. Bygone birds : DODOS. CSO!

53. Mango tango smoothie server : TCBY. This Can't Be Yogurt. Cousin of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.

55. Prefix with cardial : PERI. The sac where the heart truly is.

58. Post-spill need : MOP.
Hasten jason
Get the basin
Oops plop,
Get the mop.

59. __-Aztecan languages : UTO.

I do not think it is going out on a limb to say that this was a challenge in places; well I had fun I hope you did. Lemonade out.

Jan 15, 2015

Thursday, January 15, 2015 David Steinberg

Theme: "Crop of the Cream"?

20. About whom Alice said, "... perhaps as this is May it won't be raving mad" :

29. Dirty politics : SMEAR CAMPAIGN.

44. "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" event : DANCE MARATHON.

53. Dessert topper ... or a literal hint to what's hidden in 20-, 29- and 44-Across :

Hmmm, I seem to have hit a pattern of hidden jumbled word themes lately. I guess WHIPPED is the hint that it is CREAM that gets all mixed up today.  Last week we had circles to help us out.  This week, we were on our own. I think I like it better this way, for a late-week puzzle. Your experience may vary.   


1. Impresses big-time : WOWS. The Trans Siberian Orchestra WOWS audiences all over the world with their over-the-top laser light / pyrotechnics displays.

5. Aquarium growth : SCUM. Anyone else fill in "alga" without checking perps? ("Guilty.")

9. Development site : TRACT.

14. Desktop since 1998 : iMAC. Yep, that's what I'm typing on right now.

15. Cream-filled cake : HO HO. Nit: The brand name is Ho Hos. So one cake is a Ho Ho?
16. Try to pick up : HIT ON.  "I seem to have lost my phone number. Can I have yours?"

17. __ mining : DATA. Read here why some supermarket chains put the beer next to the baby diapers.

18. Slaughter in baseball : ENOS. I knew the clue was referring to the guy named Slaughter, but do you think I could remember his first name?

19. Facebook posting : EVENT. Since when is a picture of your lunch an "event"?

23. Guffaw syllable : HAR.

24. PC heart : CPUCentral Processing Unit.

25. Doodlebugs and polliwogs : LARVAE.

33. Enjoyed a trail : HIKED.

35. Skin care brand : OLAY crossing 22-Down. Skin care brand : ALMAY.

36. Like many a joke : OLD. Did you hear the one about...? [Insert 23-Across here.]

37. "Gotcha, man" : I DIG.

38. Count : TALLY.

40. Baffin Bay sight : FLOE. They can be beautiful, but...

41. Molokai memento : LEI. My book club read MOLOKA'I by Alan [sic] Brennert.  Great book, but I wish he'd learn how to spell ALLEN.  ;-)

42. Game divided into chukkers : POLO.

43. Bleachers filler : CROWD.

48. Only vice president born in D.C. : AL GORE.

49. Word of feigned innocence : MOI? I associate the term with Miss Piggy.

50. Shares an email with : CCs. Shout out!

57. Bossa nova ancestor : SAMBA.

60. Agent's favorite sign : SOLD.

61. Ticklish Tyco toy for tots : ELMO. Nice alliterative clue.

62. Posture problem : STOOP. I wish I had a nickel for every time my mother told me to "Sit up straight!"

63. Bed covering : SOIL. Garden bed. Although on second thought, it could apply to my cat's beds. And, why is it that they love to jump up on the white coverlet when they come back inside with muddy paws??

64. Knighted Guinness : ALEC.

65. Ed Asner septet : EMMYS.

66. Trap, in a way : TREE.

67. Knight's neighbor : ROOK. Chess.


1. Side to side? : WIDTH.

2. Beach near Utah? : OMAHA. Crucial targets during the allied invasion on the Normandy coast. Map.

3. Sport invented using boards and a clothesline : WATER SKIING. In 1922, Ralph Samuelson had a brilliant idea.

4. It may involve wiring : SCAM. and 12-Down, 4-Down : CON. I associate a police "wire" (microphone) with a "sting" operation, not so much a SCAM. [Update: Many scams include wiring money to the scammer, on the promise of receiving the millions of dollars that are waiting for you. ]

5. Mountain guide : SHERPA.

6. See eye to eye : CONCUR.

7. "This spells trouble!" : UH-OH.

8. __ pit : MOSH. Do they still do MOSH pits? "That was so '80s!"

9. Curative treatment : THERAPY.

10. Baseball's career save leader : RIVERA. (Siggghhh...more baseball.)

11. Had : ATE.

13. Big bang producer : TNT. Oh, not Chuck Lorre or Bill Prady?

21. Served to perfection? : ACED. Tennis serve.

26. Solo instrument for which six Bach suites were written : VIOLONCELLO. It was the precursor to the modern day cello.

27. Radiant : AGLOW.

28. Put the kibosh on : ENDED.

30. Eldest March sister : MEG. Gaaaah!  I filled in "Amy" at first.

31. Lemon or tangerine : COLOR.

32. The whole schmear : ALL.

33. Broom-__: comics witch : HILDA.

34. Perfectionist's goal : IDEAL.

38. Marisa of "The Wrestler" : TOMEI.

39. Mode lead-in : À LA.

40. Pendulum direction? : FRO. It only goes in two directions: to and fro.

42. "Could happen" : PERHAPS.

43. Smart : CHIC.

45. Drive rider : COWBOY. Cattle drive.

46. 2001 Audrey Tautou title role : AMELIE. It seems to have received high ratings on IMDb.

47. Take baby steps : TODDLE. I wanted "totter," but at least I checked the perps first.

51. Stan Lee had one in "The Avengers" (2012) : CAMEO. "Super heroes? In New York? Give me a break!" Watch here - he shows up at 5:12.

52. Clothes protector : SMOCK. Hands up for "apron" first?

54. Sibilant summons : PSST.

55. __ Tax: $15 Monopoly fee : POOR.

56. Derriere : REAR. A friend of mine sold pharmaceuticals in N.H., and spent the first month telling all the physicians that she was their new rep for the Derry area...

57. Coeur d'Alene-to-Sun Valley dir. : SSE.

58. Cabbage source? : ATM. Cabbage, dough, lettuce, moola, etc. etc. etc.

59. Palindromic tat : MOM. Surprisingly, very few guys get tats that say "Able was I ere I saw Elba."

That's all I got!

Note from C.C.:

I mentioned JD's New Zealand/Australia adventure yesterday, the Big Easy (George) sent me these two pictures. Which year did you visit the Down Under, George? 

Regarding the second picture, he said

"The 'Bride' and the 'Bride' that I captured a photo of in Wellington Botanical Gardens. I don't know if it was before or after the ceremony but neither of them were women."

Big Easy and his wife Diane