May 25, 2015

Monday, May 25, 2015 C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Apt - Memorials for Memorial Day.

17A. *Cause championed by Martin Luther King, Jr. : CIVIL RIGHTS. Montgomery, Alabama

26A. *Military branch : AIR FORCE. Arlington, VA

51A. *Five-sided figure : PENTAGON. Southwest side of The Pentagon.

18D. *Bearded Mount Rushmore president : LINCOLN. Western end of the National Mall

35D. *Iconic WWII flag-raising island : IWO JIMA. Arlington National Cemetery

United States Marine Corps War Memorial
61A. Late-May observance, whose first word can follow each answer to a starred clue : MEMORIAL DAY

Argyle here. Moment of silence at 3:00 pm local time. A unique grid from C.C. today. A fitting tribute.


1. Barn birds : OWLS

5. "A Fish Called __":1988 Cleese film : WANDA

10. Jordan Spieth's org. : PGA. (Professional Golfers' Association) Spieth won his first major at the Masters in 2015.

13. Hair-removal brand : NAIR

14. Olympics chant : "USA! USA!"

16. Onassis nickname : ARI

19. Nintendo's Super __ : NES. (Nintendo Entertainment System)

20. Somme summer : ÉTÉ

21. "Love __ Open Door": "Frozen" duet : IS AN. If you want a listen...Link.

22. Paris tower designer : EIFFEL

24. "I __ noticed" : HADN'T

28. Archaeological artifact : RELIC

29. Cold War CIA foe : KGB. (Комите́т госуда́рственной безопа́сности)

30. Assents at sea : AYEs

31. Capital of Libya : TRIPOLI

33. Morally bad : EVIL

36. "Catch my drift?" : "SEE?"

37. On the __: escaping : LAM

38. Like steak tartare : RAW

39. Unused : NEW

42. Reverse, as a computer operation : UNDO

43. Newman song played after a Dodgers home victory : "I LOVE LA"

45. Pass up : SKIP

48. Long or Peeples : NIA. Actresses.

50. "The Grapes of Wrath" family : JOADs

54. Mottled mount : PINTO. What Little Joe used to ride.

55. Sign up : ENROLL

56. Old MacDonald's place : FARM

58. Seething state : IRE

60. Brian of ambient music : ENO. Crossword staple.

64. Org. with narcs : DEA. (Drug Enforcement Administration)

65. Buffalo NHL team : SABRES

66. "__ Dinah": Frankie Avalon hit : DEDE

67. Moth-eaten : OLD

68. Papas' partners : MAMAS

69. Vietnam neighbor : LAOS


1. __ in a blue moon : ONCE

2. "Don't move until I get back" : "WAIT HERE". (but they never do.)

3. Be habitually dishonest : LIVE A LIE

4. __ Lanka : SRI

5. German sausage : WURST

6. Japan's locale : ASIA

7. Words from a beleaguered spouse : "NAG, NAG". Ladies, your husbands will get the job done. You don't need to remind him every six months.

8. "Boy, am I dumb!" : "DUH!"

9. Daisylike flower : ASTER

10. Cook in a skillet : PAN FRY

11. Plato's country : GREECE

12. Theater walkways : AISLEs

15. "Yeah, right!" : "AS IF!"

23. Stable baby : FOAL

25. Guacamole, e.g. : DIP

27. Spain and Portugal : IBERIA

28. NFL linemen : RTs. (right tackle)

29. Japanese robe : KIMONO

32. Young fellow : LAD

34. Actor Kilmer : VAL

39. "Clever thought!" : "NEAT IDEA!"

40. Legendary city of gold : EL DORADO. Home to “The Woman in Gold"?

41. "What __ I thinking?" : WAS

42. At most : UPTO

44. Maria __ Trapp : VON. "Sound of Music" fame.

45. Skimpy swimwear brand : SPEEDO

46. Hound hotel : KENNEL

47. Damaging encroachment : INROAD

49. Break the news to : INFORM

52. Charitable gift : ALMS

53. Sparkle : GLEAM

54. Overly proper type : PRISS. Yes, I tried PRUDE first.

57. Pi r squared, for a circle : AREA

59. Baby blues : EYES

62. CEO's degree : MBA. (Master of Business Administration)

63. "Bad" cholesterol letters : LDL. (low-density lipoprotein)


Note from C.C.:

Big Easy sent me this picture last night. He said:

"Granddaughters Jenna and Kelsey with TOBY KEITH and Jason Aldean today at the Bayou Country Superfest held in Tiger Stadium.  How they got to get a picture with those two is baffling."

May 24, 2015

Sunday, May 24, 2015 Mark Bickham

Theme: "Hatch Job" - Nine birds are hidden in the theme answers.

25A. *Dreamt of : ALWAYS WANTED. Swan, a hard bird to hide, unlike OWL. The *S WAN* pattern phrases are limited.

27A. *Type of surplus store : ARMY NAVY. Myna. The one I visited is run by a private guy.

 32A. *Forgot the past : STARTED OVER. Dove.

64A. *Yellow Monopoly property : VENTNOR AVENUE. Raven.

94A. *School in-crowd : POPULAR KIDS. Lark.
101A. *Tape width, perhaps : HALF-INCH. Finch.

33D. *"Be My Baby" singers : THE RONETTES. Heron.

38D. *Alpine feline : SNOW LEOPARD. Owl, probably the easiest theme entry for Mark.

49D. *Like some flats : LOW RENT. Wren. Crossing the central Across theme answer. Expert gridding work.

 104. Signs of spring that are literally hidden in the answers to starred clues : NESTING BIRDS
I had no idea what the theme was until I came to the reveal. I love puzzles with reveal entries, provided that the gimmick was not obvious from the get-go.

Also loved the title, "Hatch job", very clever. Mark managed a low 138-worder despite a heavy 10 themers. I'm convinced that you've got to have themeless construction experience to pull off a 138 or lower.
Quite a few clue echos in this grid also.


1. Mound site : INFIELD. Pitcher's mound.

8. 1996 Olympic tennis gold medalist : AGASSI

14. Track fastener : SPIKE

19. Jim Brickman fan, perhaps : NEW AGER. Not familiar with the musician.

20. Gathered in a mass : LUMPED

21. Darlings' creator : BARRIE. Peter Pan.

22. Stay with doggedly : CLING TO

23. Dishes set in gelatin : ASPICS. My grandma always had fried tofu inside her aspics.

24. Canine coat? : ENAMEL. Nice clue.

29. Couple maker : AND

30. Equal : ARE

31. Question of concern : YOU OK?
37. Dope (out) : SUSS

38. Eponymous Belgian town : SPA. Good to know this trivia. And 75. Belgium-based imaging company : AGFA. Have not seen this brand for quite some time.

41. Nincompoop : SCHMO. Joe Schmo.

42. German article : DER

43. Word with dive or drops : NOSE. And 59. Words before dare or ever : DO I

44. War of the Ring force : ENTs. The Lord of the Rings.

45. Pact : TREATY

47. Fix, as a model airplane : RE-GLUE

51. Bleep : EDIT OUT

53. Discernible range : EARSHOT

55. Hinduism's Chandra, e.g. : MOON GOD. Never heard of Chandra. We have a moon goddess called Chang'e in Chinese fairy tales. Same name as China's lunar exploration program.

57. 2005 horror sequel : SAW II

58. Singer Tori : AMOS

61. Scottish export : TWEED

62. Where texts are often read : CELL. Cell phone.

63. ISP option : MSN

67. "Speak up" requests : EHs

70. Base path? : EVIL. Base ="Despicable"  here.

72. Cutting beam : LASER

73. Bouncer's handful : SOT

74. In short order : SOON

75. Some saxes : ALTOS

77. Law office visitors : CLIENTS

79. Part-time player : SEMI-PRO. Not AMATEUR.

81. "I'm outta here" : GOTTA GO. Tiny dupe with 48. Ship out : GO TO SEA

83. Potters' wheels, e.g. : LATHES

85. Home of Mandrake the Magician : XANADU.  Another unknown to me.

86. Part of BOGOF : FREE. "Buy one, get one free"

87. Annoyances : RUBS. "Ay, there's the rub" .

89. They're often found in mice : AAs. Computer mouse.

91. Sign of an omission : CARET. ^.

92. Spots : ADS

93. Deere rival : TORO. Based here in MN.

98. Look forward to : AWAIT

99. Game with an Angry Birds version : UNO

100. Cal. column : TUE

111. Tennyson's "lily maid of Astolat" : ELAINE

112. Cuthbert of "24" : ELISHA

114. Steak __ : TARTARE

115. Thought quite a lot of : ADORED

116. More promising : ROSIER

117. In : ELECTEE

118. Downed with a jolt : TASED

119. Wheelhouse : SPHERE

120. Elizabeth I or Prince Harry : REDHEAD. Prince Harry alone is enough for me. I hope he gets back to that pretty girl he used to date. They were a great couple.

1. Sapa __: ancient South American ruler : INCA. Guessable.

2. Jodie Foster title role : NELL. Nailed this one, though I never saw the movie.

3. Relative of IMO : FWIW

4. Collector's suffix : IANA. ANA is more common, right? Americana.

5. Like rich batter : EGGY

6. Sics on : LETS AT

7. Overwhelmed, with "out" : DROWNED

8. Jackson with a 2015 "Keepin' It Country" tour : ALAN. We also have 102. "The Aviator" actor : ALDA.

9. Austrian painter Klimt : GUSTAV. Marti saw his works in person.

10. Word in current news? : AMPERE. Not current news I had in mind.

11. Scorpion cousin : SPIDER

12. Texas A&M joined it in 2012 : SEC

13. "You're probably right" : I'D SAY SO

14. Some HDTVs : SANYOS

15. Trick : PRANK

16. "Joy of Cooking" author Rombauer : IRMA

17. Capital ESE of Warsaw : KIEV

18. Hard to control : EELY

21. In a fog : BEMUSED

26. Puff __ : ADDER

28. Woke up : ROUSED. Read this, guys.  So many LOL moments. Which is your favorite? Mine is #23.

32. Gets out : SCRAMS
34. Pile up : AMASS

35. "American Pastoral" Pulitzer-winning writer : ROTH (Philip)

36. City near Provo : OREM

39. Spitting sound : PTUI

40. Wine commonly served chilled : ASTI

41. Momentum : STEAM. Lose momentum/steam.

43. Beersheba's region : NEGEV. Hebrew for "dry".

44. Series ender : ET AL

46. Feature of some Roy Rogers numbers : YODEL
50. Expose : UNEARTH

52. "Understood" : I SEE

54. Weigh station unit : TON And 105. Weigh station concern : TARE

56. The __: Horace works : ODES

60. "__ be fun!" : IT'LL

62. Polish brand : CUTEX. And 65. Does masterfully : NAILS. Also 76. Master : LORD

64. Credit giant : VISA
66. Crunched things, for short : NOs (Numbers).

68. Large groups : HORDES

69. Weevil feature : SNOUT

71. Poll position? : VOTE. Great clue. Pole/Poll.

74. Egyptian peninsula : SINAI
77. Journalist who has been a host on all "Big Three" networks : COURIC. So sweet and cheerful.

78. 12-time NFL Pro Bowler Junior : SEAU

80. Connie __, winningest MLB manager : MACK. See this list.  He also lost more games than any other manager.

82. Responded to a bad joke : GROANED

84. U.S./Soviet pact : SALT I

88. Gets to : BOTHERS

90. Walk easily : SAUNTER

93. Twisted together : TWINED

94. Ground, say : PUNISH

95. Garment easy to get in and out of : ONESIE. For babies!

96. More swank : POSHER

97. Throw a big party for : REGALE

98. Burning : AFIRE

101. Cops, or pressure from them : HEAT
103. Landlocked land : LAOS. More sticky rice is eaten there than any other country.  I love mochi balls.

106. Brought up : BRED

107. Hard-to-ignore feeling : ITCH

108. Fixed __ : RATE

109. De Matteo of "Sons of Anarchy" : DREA. She's also in "The Sopranos".

110. Apple product : SEED. Real apple.

113. Cut off : LOP

May 23, 2015

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015, Tim Croce and Alex Vratsanos

Theme: None

Words: 68 (missing J)

Blocks: 29

  Well this one was just a complete "Fun Sponge".  I was just about blank on the first few passes, across and down, but then I was able to break through in some areas - but I could get nowhere in the NW, and the combined foreign words/proper names vagueness just dragged this one out way past my personal time, so off to Google I went.  Such a shame, really, but there's got to be one or two puzzles that just beat me up and take my lunch money, or I would not learn anything by trying.  Big, chunky quad-6- and 8-letter corners with two climbers;

3. Eagle touchdown site : TRANQUILITY BASE

12. It might make you comfortable : SOUND INVESTMENT

unward  :7(


1. Strips near the water : ISTHMI - ugh.  strips of land, as in "isthmuses"- so I had an "S" in there for the longest time

7. One giving you a pointer? : UNCLE SAM - he wants you

15. Tire tube, e.g. : TOROID

16. New York racing venue : SARATOGA - horse racing in Argyle's neck of the woods.  I needed the first two "A"s before I remembered this - and I lived in Albany for a few years

17. Sycophantic : SMARMY

18. Skiing maneuver : STEM TURN - did not know this, but I am sure HeartRx did

19. Strands in a tree : TINSEL - Dah~!  I was thinking strands as in "abandons", not strands of silvery metal Christmas decorations

20. Wincing words : I HOPE NOT - "you gonna spend $15K to get your roof fixed~?"

21. Ques. : INQuiry - my first thought, but it seemed a bit of a s-t-r-e-t-c-h

22. Jerry who was head coach of the Utah Jazz for 23 seasons : SLOAN - just the "L" was a WAG; the rest, perps

24. Over the limit, on the rd. : DUI - .08 is the limit here; my first "infraction" was almost 3X that

25. Verdun's river : MEUSE - UGH.  Frawnche.

28. Dominate, in slang : OWN - The NY Rangers 'owned' the TB Lightning last night, winning 5-1; going back to MSG tied 2 games a piece

29. Mighty efforts : PAINS

31. What one might need to leave : EXIT VISA

33. Buff : FIEND - you know what I am a fiend of....the summer is officially kicking in this weekend, and the summer staff has returned to the restaurants - some familiar faces again, and some new cute ones~!

34. Shuttle sites : LOOMS - I took a moment to consider the Space shuttle, or a weaving shuttle - ah ha~!

35. "The Simpsons" shower : FOX TV

36. Drops : SINKS

37. Cuban genre also called the "contradanza" : HABANERA

40. Belgian-born artist with the 2012 Grammy-winning album "Making Mirrors" : GOTYE - total fun sponge

41. Slangy "No reason" : "CUZ" - because.  If I'm writing  dialogue, I spell it " 'cos "

42. Flattened, as a flat : RASED - the flat reference to an apartment building should have clued me into the British spelling of raZed

43. Kid with a trombone : ORY - Did not know this guy

44. Start of a wistful remark : "AH YES...."

46. ID checker : TSA - part of Homeland Security

47. Tiger Electronics' Poo-Chi, for one : ROBOT DOG - I was thinking "robo-pet" at first

50. Give nothing away : CLAM UP; and clecho at 26d. Giving nothing away : STONY

53. Pal of Beegle Beagle : GRAPE APE - I did watch this, I think

54. '60s defense secretary McNamara : ROBERT - I did actually recall this proper name

55. Entering with care : EASING IN - huh - last week, we had Eased Out

56. Right, in a way : AVENGE

57. Smooths : SLEEKENS

58. Liquidated? : MELTED


1. "Let's go" : IT'S TIME

2. ZzzQuil alternative : SOMINEX - eh, I spelled it wrong; happens in the 'down'
4. __-la-loi: outlaw : HORS - more F'n Frawnche

5. Art with no lines : MIME

6. Theocritus works : IDYLS

7. It carried FDR to a 1943 "Big Three" meeting : USS IOWA - I had the first "S" and the last "A", and this was a pretty good WAG

8. Lane on Broadway : NATHAN - Clever clue, but didn't fool me; this guy

9. Theban ruler in "Antigone" : CREON - had to Google

10. Standing __ : LAMP - Ugh, really~?  I mean, I get it, but....

11. Novel ending : ETTE - meh.  I thought it was NoveLLA

13. Not a good way to run : AGROUND - Ooops~!

14. Short prayer? : MANTIS - the bug, that is

23. It may be insured : LOSS

27. Draw out : EVOKE

29. "Cars" studio : PIXAR

30. "Building a healthier world" sloganeer : AETNA

32. Virtual chats : IMs

33. Time keeper? : FOB - I was trying to come up with a magazine Time collector, but it's just the watch chain we're looking for

35. Trouble : FAZE - as in "that did not --- me"

36. Sisterly : SORORAL - ah - the other kind of sister

37. Christiaan who invented the pendulum clock : HUYGENS - this guy

38. Rise again : RESURGE

39. Modified : ADAPTED

40. Indulges and then some : GORGES

41. Most of his works were for solo piano : CHOPIN - a WAG having just the "I"

44. Bit of grandmotherly advice : ADAGE

45. Ejection interjection : "SCRAM~!"

48. Tyke of vintage TV : OPIE

49. Quite a run : TEN-K

51. "A temporary insanity curable by marriage," per Ambrose Bierce : LOVE - cute

52. Explorer Tasman : ABEL


May 22, 2015

Friday, May 22, 2015, Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: Add an E, and listen carefully. Sounds like JW is back punning away.

A quick return visit to Friday from Mr. Wechsler, with another punny effort, where the first word of each them answer is transformed by the addition of an “E” creating a sound-alike with a completely different meaning to the word and to the resulting phrase.  This effort is a classic-looking Friday with word count down and average word length in excess of 5 letters. Lots of original fill, with the NW corner featuring a beautiful stack of three new fill for the LAT (A TALL ONE, TIE BOLTS and SCRUPLES) crossing ALBUMEN. The SE has the new JOY OF SEX, little used ABORTIVE and YOU DA MAN, crossing the brand new GOLF TAN. To fill a grid with this much originality must be a dramatic amount of work. The theme fill are all funny and the I enjoy the visual look of the puzzle, which has many blocks also has lots of open squares. He does use two cheater squares to accommodate the two 14 letter themers in the 10-14-14-10 pattern, rather than the more common 10-13-13-10. He includes fill from many generations and interests which added to my enjoyment. How about you?

18A. Chorus of cows? : MOOED MUSIC (10). (MOOD Music). You think they practice in unison? LINK. (1:37).

25A. Environmentalist priests? : COLLARED GREENS (14). (COLLARD Greens). A stretch but I really like the play on COLLARD.

41A. Assessed penalties against nonconformists? : FINED THE WAYOUT (14). (FIND the WAY OUT). The trickiest, because you have to parse WAYOUT as defining an unconventional person.

53A. Barbie after a bit too much bubbly? : WINED UP TOY (10) (WIND-UP Toy). I am familiar with liquored up, not so much wined up, but then I might have been more impatient in my youth.


1. H.S. concerns : SATS. Scholastic Achievement Tests. I think the world is finally getting away from the idea that standardized tests are a predictor of anything. 56D. H.S. subject : ENGlish.

5. Place to pick up a kitten : SCRUFF. I will leave it to the cat experts to pick the link of a mother carrying her baby by the scruff of the neck.

11. "Raiders of the Lost Ark" threat : ASP.

14. Psych ending : OTIC. Just what the clue tells you-psychotic.

15. They may be seen on slides : AMEBAE. Many ways to spell this crossword staple.

16. Black __ : SEA.

17. He dethroned Carnera in 1934 : BAER. Max, who along with brother Buddy was a successful fighter. Max is probably more famous for losing to James J. Braddock, the Cinderella Man
20. Egg component : ALBUMEN. Reminds me of the old FOLK, POLK joke.

22. Make : REALIZE. I guess he means profit.

23. Relaxed pace : LOPE.

24. Cubist Fernand : LEGER. I am not familiar with this ARTIST.

31. Way to get a deal started : ANTE. card deal. Another quick turn around from yesterday's theme.

32. Cajuns' 18th-century ancestors, for example : EXILES.  Spicy READING?

33. Disarray : MESS.

34. Burkina Faso neighbor : BENIN. One of many African nations I have heard the name and know precious little else.

35. Noisy nesters : JAYS. Blue Jays are amazing. I have a tie just like that.

39. Apologia's opposite : TIRADE.

40. Mitch Miller's instrument : OBOE. From the early 60's, did you SING-A-LONG?

45. Rio Grande feeder : PECOS. Rivers; the Pecos being famous from all the oaters we see in puzzles. Black Bart, the meanest SOB west of the Pecos!

46. "Suit the action to the __ ... ": Hamlet : WORD. Loves me some Shakespeare. Cool phrase.

47. Slightly : A LITTLE.

50. Shade on the links? : GOLF TAN. Fun clue, and if you look at the farmer's tan both the men and womenb golfers have, you can enjoy this clue.

55. __ Valley: Reagan Library site : SIMI. A gimme to the left coasters.

57. Like some Olympics milieus : ALPINE. Skiing marti?

58. Actor Peters of "American Horror Story" : EVAN. The only character in all of the EPISODES. Never seen it.

59. Paris' Pont __ Arts : DES. French - PONT Italian PONTE. Both mean bridge. The Paris one is a pedestrian bridge and the des just means of.

60. PLO chairman before Mahmoud : YASSER. ABBAS succeeded ARAFAT.

61. Spinoff of TV's "Hercules" : XENA. People love her for her X.


1. Buckwheat noodle : SOBA. Use your noodle in cooking NOODLES.

2. Bar order : A TALL ONE. I used to order these all of the time. LINK.

3. Industrial fasteners : TIE BOLTS.

4. What con artists lack : SCRUPLES. I wonder why they say 'artists.'

5. " __ thing" : SAME. Different day.

6. "Seriously?!" : C'MON.

7. __ Speedwagon : REO. The GROUP (3:50).

8. Outstanding, in slang : UBER. I am go under on the uber.

9. Lose energy : FADE.

10. The Muses, e.g. : FEMALES.
11. Give, as a job : ASSIGN.

12. Captures : SEIZES.

13. Bankers Life Fieldhouse athlete : PACER. More basketball for you marti; they did not make the playoffs this year.

19. To whom Chance said, "You're not workin' as many bees these days" : ULEE. You say BEE, I say ULEE.

21. __ culpa : MEA.

25. Rotating piece : CAM. Do not get shafted.

26. Bridge call : REBID.

27. Apply : EXERT.

28. Shore seen on TV : DINAH. Burt Reynolds' old girl friend and a true friend to the LPGA.

29. Ice-skate, say : GLIDE.

30. Fix up : RENEW.

35. 1972 Alex Comfort best-seller, with "The" : JOY OF SEX. Link.

36. Unsuccessful : ABORTIVE.

37. "Awesome job, bro!" : YOU DA MAN. The really common yell at a golf tournament.

38. Wimbledon unit : SET. Tennis anyone?

39. High school concern : TEST DAY.

41. Like Lewis' Aslan : FELINE. in Narnia.

42. Baker's variety : ICINGS. Lick the bowl. This one even tinman can tolerate.

43. Importance : NOTE. Easier with "of."

44. Punching tool : AWL.

45. Emulated a 41-Down : PAWED. Not to be confused with mawed.

48. 2003-'11 Brazilian president, familiarly : LULA. hard to comment with no politics, but LINK a can.

49. "House" actor : EPPS. Omar.

50. Out of the park : GONE. Baseball, it's going, going, gone! A home run!

51. Open hearing, in law : OYER. Still heard in some courtrooms.

52. Historic voyager to Hispaniola : NINA. Ah, Chris Columbus and his ships.

54. "__ the gift to be simple ... ": Shaker song : 'TIS. Not as exciting exit song, but here it is. Coincidentally, I lived in Ann Lee Cottage in high school. LISTEN. They were very simple people, but since they were celibate, they were very crafty. They needed to find something to do with their hands.

I had an exceptionally good time; some originality, some variety and some humor. Great way to start a holiday week end. Thank you Jeffrey. Do not forget to honor all who have died serving our nation, but also enjoy. Lemonade out.

May 21, 2015

Thursday, May 21, 2015 Peter A. Collins

Theme: "Deal Me In!"

Without the reveal, I had no clue what the theme might be. So let's start with that:
69-Across. Poker request, and a literal hint to what's hidden in the answers to the starred clues : ANTE UP.

Aha!  All of the starred clues were "down" answers. And you can find ANTE climbing "up" the grid in each one, like 3-Down. *Cold War fleet :

10-Down. *Honey and Boo Boo, e.g. : PET NAMES. I was thinking along the line of bears!

27-Down. *Wings eaters' aids : WET-NAPS.

31-Down. *Austroasiatic language : VIETNAMESE. The language family has nothing to do with Austria. In Latin "austro" means "south."

39-Down. *Prepare for a bath : GET NAKED. And then?


1. GM car buyer's option : ONSTAR.  Love it when I fill in 1A immediately.

7. Make more powerful, with "up" : SOUP. Anyone else want "beef"?

11. White lie : FIB.

14. Illinois River city : PEORIA.

15. "Gift From the Sea" author __ Morrow Lindbergh : ANNE.

16. Milk : USE.

17. Go back : REVERT.

18. Not quite closed behind you : LEFT AJAR.

20. Foreman foe : ALI.

21. She played TV's Maude : BEA. Arthur.

23. Food processor job : MINCING.

24. Serengeti scavenger : HYENA.

26. Try to hit : SWAT AT.

28. Turn to the right, say? : TIGHTEN. "Right-y tight-y, left-y loose-y."

30. Chess activity : MOVES.

34. Tailless cat : MANX. They are named after the Isle of Man.

36. Poetry or painting : ART.

37. Published in installments : SERIAL.

38. George's lyrical brother : IRA. The brothers Gershwin.

39. Strangers' exchanges : GLANCES. As good an excuse as I will ever get to link Ol' Blue Eyes. 2:04

41. Important time period : ERA.

42. Protective embankments : LEVEES.

44. "So it was you!" : AHA!

45. Work meas. : FT. LB. Foot pound.

46. "Cat got your tongue?" : SAY IT.

47. East Lansing athlete : SPARTAN.

49. Banded rock : GNEISS.

51. Easy __ : AS ABC. Had to check perps before deciding on "pie" or ABC.

54. Pub pick : PALE ALE.

57. Jan. honoree : MLK. Martin Luther King.

59. Stain : MAR.

60. Dancing style that went viral on YouTube in 2013 : TWERKING.

62. Mocha resident : YEMENI.

64. Studio creation : SET.

65. Poet __ St. Vincent Millay : EDNA.

66. Cooks slowly : ROASTS.

67. Crown installer: Abbr. : DDS. AHA! Saturday we had DMD.  DDS is more Thursday-friendly, I guess.

68. Poker request : DEAL.


1. Angel Network charity founder : OPRAH.

2. Hockey Hall of Famer Cam : NEELY. Gimme - he played for the Boston Bruins, and is now president of that organization.

4. Square root of nove : TRE. Italian "three."

5. Auto safety device : AIRBAG.

6. Give a star, perhaps : RATE.

7. See 61-Down : SAL. 61-Down. With 7-Down, Hayworth title role, with "My" : GAL. From 1942.

8. Like some bands : ONE MAN.

9. Out of shape : UNFIT.

11. McIntosh alternative : FUJI. Duh!  The edible apples, not computers.

12. "This __ outrage!" : IS AN.

13. Baffin Bay sight : BERG.

19. Matthew Fox or Peter Coyote : ACTOR. They sound like they could be in the book "Wind in the Willows," along with Mr. Toad and Mr. Badger.

22. Latin stars : ASTRA.

25. Put the kibosh on : NIX.

29. Dutch portraitist Frans : HALS. A master of portraiture.

32. Countess' husband : EARL.

33. Big chunk : SLAB.

34. Wire units : MILS.

35. House painter's calculation : AREA.

37. Char : SEAR.

40. Great divide : CHASM.

43. Peak in an Eastwood film : EIGER. "The Eiger Sanction." 1975.

45. Scale fourths : FAs. After do, re and mi. Want to learn all about solmization?

47. Earth pigment : SIENNA.

48. Tangle with : TAKE ON.

50. Say "prob'ly," say : ELIDE.

52. African language group : BANTU.

53. Like new bills : CRISP.

54. VA concern : PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

55. Gobsmacked : AWED. Great word, "gobsmacked."

56. Al Green's "__ Stay Together" : LET'S.  Great classic love song, but I already linked one today...

58. Harp constellation : LYRA.

63. Yoga __ : MAT. Ommmmm....


May 20, 2015

Wednesday, May 20th 2015 Michael Dewey

Theme: Kobe Bryant Masterclass - hoops moves from all over the floor.

17A. Complete set of recollections : MEMORY BANK. My recollections may be complete, but sometimes my memory bank doesn't want to let me make a withdrawal, at least not without a battle.

26A. Den fixture : TELEVISION SET. This seems archaic, or at a minimum dated. If I walked into Best Buy and asked to look at "television sets" there would probably be some sniggering. That's if I could remember what I went in there for in the first place.

43A. Climber's aid : GRAPPLING HOOK. More the "assault" type of climbing, rather than recreational.

55A. Thrill-seeker's leap : BUNGEE JUMP. I think I'd have a heart attack before I was half-way down if for some reason I was forced to do this.

63A. NBA scoring attempt, which can be preceded by the ends of 17-, 26-, 43- and 55-Across : SHOT. All basketball. Bank shot (off the backboard and into the hoop), set shot (usually a free-throw), hook shot (one-handed aerial move) and jump shot (airborne version of the set shot).

This is one of the most famous jump shots of all time - Christian Laettner's buzzer-beater as Duke edged Kentucky 103-102 in the 1992 NCAA Championship Final.

A Wednesday welcome to you all. Steve here with Michael's hoops-fest, timely as the NBA teams enter the Conference Finals phase of the play-offs. This was pretty much plain sailing for me, a left-to-right, top-to-bottom solve. I didn't look for the theme until I'd finished with the "T" in "SHOT", but I did enjoy the ride.

Let's see what else we've got going on here:


1. Swerves : ZAGS. Can you zag-zig, or do you always have to zig first?

5. Decorated one : HERO

9. Selects, with "for" : OPTS

13. Hockey violation : ICING. Like offside in soccer, which doesn't really help anyone who doesn't know either sport.

15. 1998 Sarah McLachlan hit : ADIA. A beautiful song, it's worth enduring the 15 seconds of commercials over on YouTube.

16. Pebble Beach cry : FORE. I've never played at Pebble Beach, the green fees are incredibly expensive. I've had my picture taken on the famous 18th green though.

19. Elite Eight letters : NCAA. The term for the last eight teams remaining in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's annual basketball championship.

20. Nile snake : ASP. Run!

21. "__ to please" : I AIM

22. Check : LOOK IN. Don't we need an (on) here?

24. Written words : TEXT

25. Price-regulating blocs : CARTELS

30. Screenplay units : SCENES

31. Extinct flightless bird : DODO

32. Pledge : VOW

35. Start to fall? : PRAT. Pratfall.

36. Olive __ : OYL

37. Spot to grab a bite : DELI

38. South, in Soissons : SUD. Obscure little town in northern France, but the name looks "French enough" for me to not cause any problems.

39. Sweater material : WOOL

41. Fries in a little butter : SAUTÉS. Food! You can sauté in other fats too.

46. Vacation options : CRUISES. I've never been on a cruise, I think I'd feel trapped.

48. Rover exploration site : MARS

49. Bit of fruit in a box : RAISIN. All the raisins produced in the US are grown right here in California. The HQ of Sun-Maid is right up the street from me.

50. Rubberneck : GAPE. A bad California freeway habit.

51. Consumes : HAS

54. Pay for a hand : ANTE. In betting parlance, the price for getting into the card game.

58. Headliner : STAR

59. In unison, on a score : A DUE. Shown on a shared score where both musicians should play the same notes.

60. Steadfast belief : DOGMA

61. __ d'oeuvres : HORS. Food! Finally!

62. Revolutionary sewer : ROSS. Not a sprial waste-water pipe, but needle-wielding Betsy. Nice clue


1. MillerCoors malt beverage : ZIMA. Never tried one. Never will. It's not sold in the USA any more, but apparently you can still buy it in Japan.

2. High-paid pitchers : ACES

3. Hitch in one's step : GIMP. To be honest, I've only seen this used in a derogatory fashion to describe someone physically handicapped.

4. Winter product prefix : SNO- Food! Here's a Sno:LA frozen yoghurt from the famous Los Angeles Farmer's Market on Fairfax:

5. They can be hard to kick : HABITS

6. Red-wrapped cheese : EDAM. Turning into a food-fest here.

7. __ Tin Tin : RIN

8. One end of California's Bay Bridge : OAKLAND. More California today. The new Bay Bridge is now open, the old one which had a span collapse in the 1989 Lomo Prieta earthquake is being dismantled. Here's the two southern spans side-by-side from San Francisco to Treasure Island:

9. Buzzworthy : OF NOTE

10. Rarely used Oval Office strategy : POCKET VETO. Lovely expression. Basically, the President vetoes a bill by not taking any action - essentially keeping his hands in his pockets.

11. Way to ski : TRAIL

12. Connery and Penn : SEANS

14. Feel the pain of a loss : GRIEVE

18. Graph line : Y-AXIS. I vaguely remember being taught which direction this axis goes, but it's deep in my MEMORY BANK and not easily found.

23. Thereabout : OR SO

24. Camping shelter : TENT

25. "Sweet!" : COOL

26. Recipe amts. : TSPS. I rarely measure any more, although I cooked a recipe from an English website the other day that confused the heck out of me as it was all metric. I now know that 15g is roughly a large tablespoon, 5g is roughly what we have here, a teaspoon.

27. Color similar to sand : ECRU

28. Rock band soloist : LEAD GUITAR. Hmmm. I'd say that Keith Richard is lead guitarist with the Rolling Stones, he plays lead guitar. Would you say that The Edge is U2's lead guitar? What do you all think? While you're pondering that, let's rock the first track on U2's Joshua Tree album

29. Rustic writing : IDYLL

33. Faux butter : OLEO. I always like seeing this as it reminds me of the time C.C. first taught me the difference between OLEO and OLIO.

34. Tide rival : WISK

36. "Careless me!" : OOPS

37. "Stupid me!" syllables : DUHS. I had a minor misstep with DOHS first, quickly corrected.

39. "What __ thinking?" : WAS I

40. Holiday party perk : OPEN BAR

41. Hogwarts potions master : SNAPE. Played by Alan Rickman in the movies.

42. Settled : AGREED

44. Steplike platforms : RISERS

45. Computer desktop array : IMAGES

46. Computer headache : CRASH

47. Totaled : RAN TO

50. Bearded antelopes : GNUS. A gnu is an antelope designed by a committee.

51. Romcom actor Grant : HUGH. I think he's pretty typecast at this point, he does always seem to play the same role.

52. BBs, e.g. : AMMO

53. Trivial tiff : SPAT

56. Japanese salad veggie : UDO. Final Food! reference today. I'm replete.

57. "__ Boys": "Little Men" sequel : JO'S

Here's the grid, and that's it from me!


May 19, 2015

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 Marti DuGuay-Carpenter

Theme: What you don't want your panties in - Again, the reveal is in the clue. Re-imagine a common thing as a group of people.

17A. Bunch of builders? : ERECTOR SET

55A. Bunch of valets? : PARKING LOT

10D. Bunch of contortionists? : ELASTIC BAND

24D. Bunch of cryptologists? : DECODER RING

Argyle here. Bunch of Corner constructors? ( ?????  )


1. Netherlands dairy export : EDAM

5. Needle : TEASE

10. Car designer Ferrari : ENZO. 19-Across. Ferrari, e.g. : AUTO

14. O'Hara plantation : TARA

15. Hunt of "As Good as It Gets" : HELEN. Stars: Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear and a Brussels Griffon. (no Westie)

16. Café au __ : LAIT. (French for "coffee with milk")

20. Salty expanse : SEA

21. Peter, Paul and Mary, e.g. : TRIO

22. White terrier, familiarly : WESTIE

24. Finished : DONE

25. "He __ Heavy, He's My Brother" : AIN'T

26. Derby drinks : JULEPS. The Belmont Jewel is the official drink of the Belmont Stakes. Created by mixologist Drew Revella, this drink is made with small-batch bourbon shaken with pomegranate and lemonade.
29. Talking heads : PUNDITS

32. Adidas rival : ASICS

33. Magazine unit : PAGE

34. Bloke : CHAP

36. Gambling town at the foot of the Sierra Nevadas : RENO

37. Found new digs : MOVED

38. Sonny & Cher surname : BONO

39. Took to court : SUED

40. Phone button abbr. : OPER. (operator)

41. Historic Vegas hotel, with "the" : SANDS

42. Before-marriage contracts, briefly : PRENUPS. (prenuptial agreement)

44. Mix at a party : MINGLE

45. Like Santa's cheeks : ROSY. Juleps and Jewels, ho, ho, ho!

46. Cottage cheese lump : CURD. deja clue.

47. South Dakota's capital : PIERRE

50. Boarding pass information : GATE

51. Boxing stat : KOs. (knock out)

54. Not pro : ANTI

58. Tend to a pressing task : IRON. Clever misdirection.

59. Not from Earth : ALIEN

60. Soccer superstar : PELE

61. Bumper defect : DING. DENT slowed me up.

62. Scatterbrained : DITSY

63. Sewer's row : SEAM


1. Hot times in Cannes : ÉTÉs. (French for "summer")

2. Take a chance : DARE. And one that does, is a DARER.

3. Word with gray or play : AREA

4. Scottish name prefix : MAC

5. Rose protectors : THORNS. Let not the fear of the thorn keep you from the beauty of the rose.

6. Like many a Poe story : EERIE

7. Too : ALSO

8. "What'd I tell you?" : "SEE!"

9. Woven together : ENTWINED

11. Ship-related: Abbr. : NAUT. (nautical)

12. Pasta that sounds like two letters : ZITI. (zee tee)

13. Oklahoma tribe : OTOE

18. Sporty sunroofs : T-TOPS

23. Finish : END

25. Wood shop tool : AUGER. Ahh, the ice augers are all put away.

26. Cookie holders : JARS. My favorite.

27. Run out of : USE UP

28. Ship with staterooms : LINER

29. Lays down blacktop : PAVES

30. Bit of beach footwear : THONG

31. Mortgage-issuing inst. : S AND L. (savings and loan association)

33. Flanders Fields flower : POPPY

35. One in a model's repertoire : POSE

37. Computer user's accessory : MOUSE PAD

41. Warning to pull over : SIREN

43. Swe. neighbor : NOR. (Sweden/Norway)

44. Crime on the Bounty : MUTINY

46. Bakery array : CAKES. CED specialty.

47. Picked up the tab : PAID

48. Crucifix inscription : INRI. Latin "Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum" ("Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews").

49. Prince William's alma mater : ETON

50. Spunk : GRIT

51. Swiss surrealist Paul : KLEE

Black Columns in a Landscape, 1919
52. "Return of the Jedi" dancing girl : OOLA. Lives on in crosswords.

53. Wineglass feature : STEM

56. __ Baba : ALI. A poor woodcutter who discovers the secret of a thieves' den.

57. High-tech rte. finder : GPS. deja clue.


May 18, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015 Tom Uttormark & C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Three for One - Three answers for each theme entry...what a deal.

17A. Whole-grain food ... or two universities : BROWN RICE. Brown in Providence, RI; Rice in Houston, TX.

40A. Soviet military force ... or two ants : RED ARMY. Reds; Army.

64A. Bridal bouquet flower ... or two waters : WHITE ROSE. White water, rough river rapids; Rose water, rose petals steeped in water.

11D. Immigrant's document ... or two rooms : GREEN CARD. Green room, where TV guests wait before going on. Card room, often set aside from the rest of the casino; bit quieter.

35D. Aristocrat ... or two moons : BLUE BLOOD. Blue Moon(3:35). Blood moon, when the moon is in a total eclipse, it takes on a deep red hue because of light filtered through Earth's atmosphere.

Argyle here. Tasty little treat today. Nothing forced at all. Decent fill. update: Lemon pointed out that all the entries start with a color.


1. Prepare, as water for tea : BOIL, and maybe some 1-Down. Spongy sweet cake : BABKA. Something for Steve.

5. Koi or goldfish : CARP. As has been mentioned here before.

9. Toaster waffles : EGGOs. Also with tea?

14. Taj Mahal city : AGRA

15. Great Salt Lake site : UTAH

16. Start of a tennis point : SERVE

19. Fuss in front of a mirror : PREEN. Titivate.

20. Native land of many recent marathon winners : KENYA

21. Look after : TEND

23. Show flexibility : BEND

24. Agreement : ASSENT

26. Dispatches, as a dragon : DOES IN. They're all done in now.

28. Bubble and churn : ROIL. Now where did I put that eye of newt?

30. Retail security employee : MALL COP. It's a franchise for Paul Blart.

33. Corn discards : COBs

36. GPS display : MAP. 42-Across. GPS suggestion : RTE

38. Aquafina rival : DASANI

39. Gmail alternative : AOL

43. Careful with money : FRUGAL. No, not cheap.

45. Stocking part : TOE

46. Altar promises : I DOs

47. Lasting forever : ETERNAL. What those altar promises were suppose to be.

49. Toasty : WARM

51. Expenditures plan : BUDGET

53. Capulet killed by Romeo : TYBALT. How did this sneak in here?

57. Six-time Emmy winner Tyne : DALY

59. Close tightly : SEAL

61. Jazz singer Jones : NORAH

62. Double-reed instruments : OBOES

66. Regional plant life : FLORA

67. Simple choice : A OR B

68. Part of EMT: Abbr. : EMER.

69. Delivery co. with a white arrow outlined within its logo : FED EX

70. Pro votes : YEAs

71. Have the nerve : DARE


2. Grim Grimm guys : OGRES. Full scale alliteration.

3. Waffle cookers : IRONS. Maybe make some for tea, also.

4. Courtroom team : LAWYERS

5. Nasty mutt : CUR

6. Going __: fighting : AT IT

7. Went fast : RACED

8. Wunderkind : PHENOM

9. Sixth sense letters : ESP. (extrasensory perception)

10. Small pet rodents : GERBILS

12. Broiling spot : OVEN

13. Texter's button : SEND

18. Prefix with second : NANO

22. Doomed one, in slang : DEAD MEAT. Like a Star Trek crew member in a red shirt beaming down to the surface.

25. Intervals between causes and effects : TIME LAGS

27. Delight at the comedy club : SLAY

29. Young boy : LAD

31. Suspicious of : ON TO

32. Desserts with crusts : PIES. Steve definitely should have blogged today.

33. Sidewalk eatery : CAFE

34. __ cloud: remote solar system region : OORT. Another non-Monday entry.

37. "__ the Bunny": touch-and-feel baby book : PAT.

40. "The Fountainhead" writer Ayn : RAND

41. Line of seats : ROW

44. Swiss cheese : GRUYÈRE. See, more food!

named for the medieval Swiss town of Gruyères
46. Cabin fever complaint : "I'M BORED"

48. Wiggle room : LEEWAY

50. Baseball Hall of Famer Sandberg : RYNE

52. Western resort lake : TAHOE

54. Coffee lure : AROMA

55. Surgical beam : LASER

56. "Voilà!" : "THERE!"

57. Tip, as one's hat : DOFF. (better than unhat)

58. Skilled : ABLE

60. Old Italian coin : LIRA

63. Doo-wop horn : SAX

65. "Superstation" letters : TBS. (Turner Broadcasting System) "Very Funny"