Dec 25, 2015

Friday, December 25, 2015, Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: I before E and then wait and C. Your Christmas present is a structured anagram wrapped inside a pun without any Christmas carols.

I am back for my final blog of 2015, and fittingly it is to write up a Jeffrey Wechsler creation. By my impromptu count, this will be the 15th one I have done in '15. This is a wide open grid with 63 theme letters and 93 white squares not near a black one (open). The center is a grid spanning fill with triple sevens in the NW and SW and triple sixes in the NE and SE. Each theme fill has has a very consistent four letter ending anagram with an I in the middle and a silent E at the end.

When I saw lite and mite I was thinking maybe a word ladder was coming our way, and tire seemed confirm that until rite popped into my head and then I 'saw' the earlier anagrams. I wish I could come up with a FIRE/ RIFE fill to make it a ladder as well, but I am sure JW already saw that path was closed. Lots of common crossword fill (e.g. AREA, ETNA, ETE. IRA, AMI unusual for Jeffrey) and a few of his trademark multi-word fill. Let's unwrap this baby.

19A. Word game for beginners? : SCRABBLE LITE (12). I like the clue and fill , but I did not see the gimmick here. TILE becomes LITE.

27A. Ordinary little insect? : STANDARD MITE (12). TIME becomes MITE. Very nice clue, I do hate those dust mite pics.
37A. Radial destroyed during testing? : SACRIFICIAL TIRE (15). Sacrificial RITE is what made me understand where JW was going. Funny fill.

45A. Fate of one constantly reliving the past? : CIRCULAR LIFE (12). The ever needed circular FILE  for all of those great interoffice memos that appear in a big firm.

55A. Memoirs of an African river explorer? : I WALK THE NILE (12). We will let Mr. Cash sing us into the rest of the puzzle.


1. Sport enjoyed by Henry VIII : TENNIS. This FACT I learned watching the TUDORS on Showtime.

7. Goes for broke : RISKS ALL.

15. Sitcom friend of Jerry : ELAINE.

16. "It eludes me ... " : I DON'T SEE. And generally I do not care.

17. Olympian drink : NECTAR. Depends on who you ASK.

18. Great Sand Dunes National Park location : COLORADO. You want to see? LINK.

21. It starts in juin : ETE. Juin is June in French, not too hard to guess.

22. Big Ben trio : III. On the clock...

23. Fund-raising target : ALUM. Friday so you get no hint that it is an abbreviation.

32. Chancel neighbor : APSE.

35. Edge : INCH. You can edge toward someone or inch like INCH BY INCH.

36. Metaphoric vilification : MUD.No politics, so no mudslinging.

42. Waterfront org. : ILA. Those fun longshoremen.
43. Penicillin, often : CURE. We will not ask what we are using it to cure.

44. Province of Catania attraction : ETNA. We just had this.

50. "A Day Without Rain" artist : ENYA. She is like a dandelion in the spring. LINK. (2:45)

51. Indefinite pronoun : ONE. Not male or female.

52. U.S. Army award since 1918 : DSMDistinguished Service Medal.

61. Liqueur made with Jamaican rum : TIA MARIA.. Some HISTORY. I never knew this brand was owned by the people who also owned Kahlua.

64. Ancient looker : ADONIS. Slightly censored I guess, here with Venus.

65. Inborn : IMMANENT. One of a confusing TRIO.

66. Hotel supply : LINENS.

67. Security booth site : MAINGATE. Disney?

68. Green Party concern : ENERGY.


1. Frazzled : TENSE. Relax the rest are easy....

2. Choose : ELECT.

3. Mother-of-pearl : NACRE. The inside of the shell or the outside of the pearl.

4. Female rock guitarist Strauss : NITA. Hmm, I WATCH and am reminded of a recent female bassist.

5. "Soon" : IN A BIT.

6. Landlocked European nation : SERBIA. There are 16 landlocked countries in Europe: Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Switzerland and Vatican City, only one has six letters.

7. Dirty __ : RICE. Interestingly, Barry Silk had the fill DIRTY RICE and 20D. Vietnam Veterans Memorial designer : LIN both in his November 14 offering.

8. One with loyal followers : IDOL. and 14D. Confident and loyal sort, so it's said : LEO.

9. Most piano sonatas : SOLI. One player.

10. Square or slip follower : KNOT.

11. Continuous flow : STREAM. Like videos these days.

12. Botanist Gray : ASA. I was ready for this thanks to Mark Bickham and the slew of obscure ASA clues.

13. Wasn't behind anyone : LED.

24. Boundary : LIMIT.

25. Rush hour improbability : U-TURN. Two days in a row. Much nicer than UIE or UEY.

26. Euripides tragedy : MEDEA. An oddly unsuccessful PLAY about the tragedy of Jason.

27. Sun. address : SERmon.

28. Kitchen gadget : DICER. The earlier rice made this easier.

29. Singer DiFranco : ANI.

30. Alabama label : RCA. Does anybody really care about record companies any more?

31. UPS competitor : DHL.

32. Cold __ : AS ICE. All I heard was THIS. (3:15).

33. "The Python Years" diarist Michael : PALIN. Everyone get the spelling correct now?

34. Like nightmares : SCARY.

38. Hosp. section : ICUIntensive Care Unit.

39. Spoon extension? : FUL. You want one MORE? (2:32).

40. Investment initials : IRA. Individual Retirement Account.

41. Apparel with a message, perhaps : TEE. A xmas present for CED?  LINK.

46. South American crocodilian : CAIMAN. I hope you all remembered these little guys.

47. Developer's offering : LOT. Real estate developer.

48. Checkup request : INHALE. Did you play doctor when you were little?

49. Supply with, as carrots to a food processor : FEED IN. Did we have this recently?

52. 24-hour eatery, often : DINER.

53. Medical support : SLING.

54. Complicated : MESSY. Speaking of which...

56. Big name in early computers : WANG. Does history REPEAT?

57. Expanse : AREA.

58. Home filter target : LINT.

59. The Duchess of Cambridge, familiarly : KATE.

60. "... for __ of woman born / Shall harm Macbeth" : NONE. Jeffrey's dose of Will.

Be bloody, bold, and resolute. Laugh to scorn
The power of man, for none of woman born
Shall harm Macbeth.

61. Robbins of "The Shawshank Redemption" : TIM. One of my top ten favorite movies, from a Stephen King story. TRAILER. (2:11)

62. "__ Man": Spencer Davis Group hit : I'M A this SONG (2:52) followed immediately by its palindromic pal....

63. Côte d'Azur companion : AMI. We end with French, so I will say à bientôt, and hope you all are having a great Christmas.  Thanks for sharing your lives here at the Corner. And JW, thank you for a really great year. Lemonade out.

Notes from C.C.:
1) Happy Birthday to Kathy (Yellowrocks), who's now in New York celebrating this special day with her son and his family. She continues to inspire me with her positive attitude facing various difficulties in life. I'm so happy that she can now dance like she did before her knee surgeries. 

Kathy & Buddha, Japan, 2008

2) Happy Birthday also to Lorraine (Fermatprime), who's been with the blog for a long time. Lorraine is an accomplished math professor and swims daily in her own heated pool. She also does more puzzles every day than most of us.

Thanksgiving, 2015

Dec 24, 2015

Thursday, December 24th, 2015 Herre Schouwerwou

Theme: Last Minute Shopping

20A. *Sports section summary : BOX SCORE. Stark statistics hiding the triumphs and disasters of the game.

29A. *Tatum O'Neal's Oscar movie : PAPER MOON. Tatum cropped up last week also.

36A. *Farfalle : BOW-TIE PASTA. Food! The word actually means "butterflies" in Italian.

43A. *One with deck skills : CARD SHARK. Great clue.

57A. Gift counter request involving the starts of the answers to starred clues : WRAP IT UP. Followed by the word "please", I hope.

Another Christmas-themed puzzle this week, this one dealing with gift shopping. I think this is the LAT debut for the splendidly-named Herre Schouwerwou (I hope I pronounced that correctly!) Congratulations, Herre! He's been published in the NYT three times this year so he's got both coasts covered now.


1. Site in a Steinbeck title : EDEN

5. Hip-hop fan : B-BOY. Kinda. A b-boy is someone who practices b-boying, or breakdancing. Hip-hop is just one of the musical genres that a b-boy dances to.

9. Pack with a plot : CABAL

14. Take-out order? : DELE. Nice clue. I wonder, does anyone edit by hand any more, or are the STETs and DELEs going to go the way of hot-metal printing presses and Etaoin Shrdlu?

15. Not at all refined : RUDE

16. Get melodramatic : EMOTE

17. "No kidding?" : IT IS?

18. Take off : OMIT

19. Turkish coins : LIRAS.

22. Cummerbund folds : PLEATS. It's been a while since I wore one of these. It's always nice to find that it still fits.

23. Him, to Jacques : LUI

24. Letters after a real name : AKA

25. Hyundai rival : KIA. This was a valuable cross for me - helped me out with K-POP and PIETAS.

26. Familiar address : BRO

27. It may lead to a run : ERROR

32. Jeans giant : LEE

34. Become compost : ROT

35. Beaux-__: architectural style : ARTS. The Paris Opera House is a great example of this ornate style.

39. Quick-dial symbol : STAR. I find it amusing that quick-dial wasn't available on a rotary phone, just push-button ones. Therefore you couldn't quick-dial a number on the only phone with an actual dial.

41. One crunching nos. : C.P.A.

42. Beehive State cap. : S.L.C. Salt Lake City, Utah.

46. "Gotcha" : UH HUH

50. Justice Fortas : ABE

51. Bill's "excellent adventure" partner : TED. I once sat at the next bar stool to Keanu Reeves in my local and chatted to him for a while without having a clue who he was.

52. Shot spot : ARM

54. Native Nebraskan : OTO

55. Complaint about equity : NO FAIR

59. Scheduled to land : DUE IN

60. Pointer's choice : THAT. Eeny, meeny, miny, that.

61. Stories of the ages : LORE

62. Not asleep at the wheel : ALERT

63. Simpson trial figure Kaelin : KATO. I see him around the neighborhood occasionally.

64. Wrongdoings : SINS

65. Some Millers : LITES. Hmmm, OK.

66. Comet, to some : OMEN

67. Part of an extended sentence? : ALSO


1. Safe to bolt down? : EDIBLE

2. Bypass : DETOUR

3. Quack's concoction : ELIXIR

4. Storied loch : NESS. Cold, deep and murky. Just the kind of place to hide a colony of plesiosaurs.

5. Trout source : BROOK

6. Not a fair shake : BUM RAP

7. Jon Arbuckle's dog : ODIE. "Garfield" sometime-antagonist.

8. Moreover : YET

9. Place to pick a rosé : CELLAR. Or wine fridge, in my case. I don't have a cellar. Here's a nice one from Sonoma County made from pinot noir grapes. Cheers!

10. Friend, in Haiti : AMIE. It helps to know that a variety of French is spoken in Haiti.

11. Island in French Polynesia : BORA BORA

12. How harness racers move : AT A TROT

13. Schoolwork : LESSONS

21. Rod who was an A.L. All-Star for 18 consecutive years : CAREW

22. Some religious sculptures : PIETAS. I didn't know this. A pieta is specifically a statue of the Virgin Mary cradling the body of Jesus.

25. Music genre for South Korean artist Rain : K-POP. This is the No. 1 K-pop song of 2015. I'm sure you all know the words.

28. Prayer starter : O LORD. If you were paying attention on Monday, you'd have seen this already this week.

30. Toward the stern : AREAR. Not convinced. I used to sail a lot and I never used nor heard this term. Aft? Abaft? Sure. Arear? Never. What do our US Navy vets here at the Corner say?

31. Contest : MATCH

33. Metal artisan : ETCHER

36. Stocking stuffers? : BARE FEET

37. Device that runs FaceTime : IPAD

38. Economic decline : SLUMP

39. National Enquirer fodder : SCANDAL

40. Middle Eastern salad : TABOULI. Food! What to make when you've got a shed-load of parsley. It's also good made with quinoa rather than couscous for the gluten-intolerant.

44. Stretches on the job : STINTS

45. __ chop : KARATE

47. Fryolator contents : HOT OIL

48. Results of not following directions, maybe : U-TURNS

49. "From your lips to God's ears!" : HOPE SO. I don't believe I'd come across this phrase before.

53. Inform against : RAT ON

56. Concession ending : -AIRE

57. Impact sound : WHAM

58. "Sing it, Sam" speaker : ILSA. Hello again! Didn't we just see you on Tuesday?

60. Ref's ruling : T.K.O. When the boxing referee stops the fight it is a "technical knock-out".

That's about it from me. I've got some last-minute shopping of my own to do before tomorrow. As Herre might say today - "it's a wrap".


Dec 23, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015, Jeff Stillman

Theme: The EYES have it!

Jeff "only has EYES" for us today. His Christmas Eve, Eve (can I say Christmas here?) offering has him dropping the word EYE behind two and into two "in the language" phrases to produce some amusing new verbiage. Jeff is back in the lineup six days after his fun "Magazine-themed" offering from last Thursday where I was in the THROEs of despair for one bad cell.  I'll bet most of you are carrying an "all-seeing EYE" theme symbol with you right now:

Theme Answers:

18. "The 11:00 p.m. flight is now boarding"? : REDEYE ALERT - Emergency or when you absolutely, positively have to be there overnight 

28. Inconsolable freshwater fish? : WAILING WALLEYE - The WAILING WALL in Old Jerusalem or the WALLEYE that required a Cree guide to take off my hook

47. Fearful Iowan? : CHICKEN HAWKEYE - Three species of North American HAWKs or The HAWKEYE team across the Muddy Mo with whom Huskers have a mostly good relationship

62. Fictional sailor's pies? : POPEYE TARTS - What many think is junk breakfast food or pastries for Olive Oyl's main squeeze

Let's look at Jeff's "easy on the EYE" (there's a bottomless pit of variations) puzzle:


1. Dictionary abbr. : ADJ - I know one ADJECTIVE I feel is way over-used today

4. Pests repelled by cedar : MOTHS

9. Give birth to : SPAWN - These Brown Bears are EYEING SPAWNing Salmon

14. __ Kappa Epsilon: U.S./Canada frat with more than 250 chapters : TAU

15. Skylab's path : ORBIT - When Skylab fell out of ORBIT in 1979, most of it landed in sparsely populated SW Australia. A motel in Balladonia, Australia (pop. 20) used some reclaimed parts of for a "museum" (back right in photo)

16. Impish type : PIXIE

17. Out of the ordinary : ODD

20. Rabies victim : MAD DOG

22. Org. making raids : DEA - After proclaiming his innocence for years, AROD finally admitted to years of PED use to the DEA last year. 

23. Fruity coolers : ADES

24. Capital near the Gulf of Tonkin : HANOI - Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) has 3x the population  

26. Figure out : GET

34. Trac II cousin : ATRA

35. "Frasier" sibling : NILES - The episode where they take an Auto Shop class is my favorite

36. Out of use : OLD

38. "The Shoop Shoop Song (__ His Kiss)": Cher hit : IT'S IN - I'll take Betty Everett's '64 version everytime

40. Suffix with chlor- : IDE - See Sodium ChlorIDE in 9 Down and 39 Down

41. Lexus competitor : ACURA

43. Personal quirk : TIC - Can also be a poker "tell"

44. __ in the right direction : A STEP

46. Rock 'n' roll middle name : ARON - Not what Vernon had put on his son's grave

51. Stallone nickname : SLY

52. More resentful : SORER

53. Star with tons of fans : IDOL

56. Darling : PET 

59. Go kicking and screaming : RESIST - Rage, Rage!!

65. "I'm impressed!" : GEE

66. Speak from a podium : ORATE - T'will soon be everywhere! 

67. Zagreb native : CROAT

68. Whammy : HEX - "Big bucks, no Whammy's!"

69. Party dip : SALSA

70. Laughs heartily : HOWLS

71. Rubble creator : TNT - Hey, Rubble's creator was Hannah Barbara!


1. Tiny power source : ATOM

2. Cry from a crib : DADA - DADA getting top billing for a change

3. Two-time Emmy winner for "Taxi" : JUDD HIRSCH

4. Capital of the Comoros : MORONI - If you knew this, you're a better geographic man than I am Gunga Din!

5. Its state tree is the Douglas fir : OREGON

6. Up in the air, on a sched. : TBD

7. Hurried, old-style : HIED - A word of Shakespearean times - "Hie thee hence, or lose your life!" i.e. "Get outta here or you're dead!"

8. Case for an ophthalmologist : STYE - Aha, another EYE reference

9. Salt scrub venue : SPA - I may "go gently into that good night" before I get one of these 

10. "Ecce homo" speaker : PILATE - "Behold the Man. Hey, I'm just the Roman Prefect here..."

11. Cut down : AXED - NOT the past tense of ASK!

12. Toaster-to-plug link : WIRE

13. Brooklyn hoopsters : NETS - NBA team formerly of New Jersey. As of yesterday they were 8 - 20

19. Bald __ : EAGLE - BALD EAGLEEYE - Yul Bryner with great vision?

21. __ Lama : DALAI - I shopped an H around trying to spell this first

25. Start to burn : IGNITE

27. Disney queen who sings "Let It Go" : ELSA - Dylan Thomas would beg to differ

28. "Let me catch up!" : WAIT - Uh, never mind, go ahead!

29. Web site : ATTIC - CobWEBS that is

30. Spread out : WIDEN 

31. Talmud letters : ALEPHS - Can you find one in this Hebrew Word Search?

32. "Couldn't agree more" : YOU'RE RIGHT

33. Jetson who attends Little Dipper School : ELROY - From the same peeps that created Rubble

37. Hamlet or Ophelia : DANE

39. Component of ocean H2O : NACL - Harvesting Sea Sodium ChlorIDE in Thailand

42. Bakery display : CAKES - Our Cross-EYEd Dave's electronic specialty

45. Video calling option : SKYPE - SKYPING grandkids from Long Beach, CA impressed us more than it did them.

48. Fiji's 500-plus : ISLETS

49. Like some matters of the heart? : AORTAL

50. Forcibly removes : WRESTS

53. NYSE debuts : IPOS - Largest Intial Public Offerings 

54. Cartoon explorer with a talking backpack : DORA - I wonder if she ever bumps into Carmen San Diego

55. October birthstone : OPAL

57. Make a lasting impression? : ETCH

58. Hawaiian starch source : TARO - I suspect our Chef Wendy in Kauai is an expert

60. Not overlooked : SEEN

61. Smartphone message : TEXT - Not quite getting it yet, are you Dad?

63. Word of support : YEA

64. Chairs may be arranged in one : ROW - Not important in C.C.'s flower garden :-) 

EYE'll bet there'll now be a lot of EYE-opening comments to follow although some of us won't see EYE to EYE (All right EYE quit)! 

Husker Gary

 (Thanks for the Answer Grid, Owen!)

Dec 22, 2015

Tuesday, December 22, 2015 Jerry Edelstein

Theme: I've got the crumpets - Can you find the TEA?

17A. "Calm down" : "TAKE IT EASY"

23A. BBC nature series with the episodes "Jungles" and "Mountains" : PLANET EARTH

37A. Adorable : AS CUTE AS A BUTTON

45A. Delayed flight, e.g. : LATE ARRIVAL

58A. Warm cupful ... and, literally, what's hidden in the answers to 17-, 23-, 37- and 45-Across : A SPOT OF TEA

Argyle here, old chap. Hello! Did you find the TEA hidden in the themes? Two x-xx and two xx-x. A grid spanner. Reveal in the lower right corner. I say, pretty ship-shape, eh wot?


1. Workers who cross picket lines : SCABS

6. Stare in disbelief : GAPE

10. Con game : SCAM

14. Kept from squeaking : OILED

15. "Yikes!" : "EGAD!"

16. Thomas __ Edison : ALVA

19. Salacious look : LEER

20. Bar in a bathtub : SOAP. Not cake this time.

21. Pint or pixel : UNIT

22. Former Russian rulers : TSARs

25. Starter's gun : PISTOL

29. CVS pickups : RXs. (prescriptions)

30. Inventor Howe : ELIAS. Invented a sewing machine with a lock-stitch. It required placing the eye of the needle at the point.

31. Ark measurement : CUBIT. What's a cubit? Go ask Noah.

34. "Dexter" network, briefly : SHO. (Showtime)

40. Chatter : YAK

41. Greek sandwiches : GYROS. The English spelling, ok?

42. Not throw out : REUSE

43. Rapper Dr. __ : DRE

44. Riviera film festival site : CANNES. The 69th Cannes Film Festival will take place 11-22 May 2016 if you plan on attending.

51. Dropped the ball : ERRED

52. "You're __ 30 seconds!": backstage warning : ON IN

53. Prefix with space : AERO

57. Trim, as a photo : CROP

60. Optimism : HOPE

61. Ancient France : GAUL

62. Film critic, at times : RATER

63. Pitcher with a flared spout : EWER

64. This, to Esteban : ESTA

65. Thin nails : BRADS


1. They're way more than social drinkers : SOTs

2. "Later, dahling!" : "CIAO!". Heard at Cannes.

3. __-Seltzer : ALKA

4. Driver's warning : [BEEP!]

5. 1980s missile prog. : SDI. (Strategic Defense Initiative)

6. Davis of "Commander in Chief" : GEENA. (on ABC)

7. Another time : AGAIN

8. Something to stick with? : PASTE

9. Ice cream maker Joseph : EDY

10. Dips for tortilla chips : SALSAs

11. Simple to understand : CLEAR. Conversely, 43D. Not as simple to understand : DEEPER

12. Sidestep : AVERT

13. Bog : MARSH

18. Rock's Jethro __ : TULL

22. Relating to roughness or smoothness, say : TEXTURAL

23. Ph.D. candidate, e.g. : POST GRAD. Postgraduate student.

24. Chicago daily, familiarly : TRIB

25. Austin __: Tennessee university : PEAY. Named in honor of Tenn. Gov. Austin Peay.

26. Ingrid's role in "Casablanca" : ILSA

27. Under the weather : SICK

28. Letter after sigma : TAU

31. Sleeping or slot follower : CAR

32. GI show sponsor : USO. (United Service Organizations)

33. __-relief : BAS. An old friend returns.

34. Shock : STUN

35. Garden spigot attachment : HOSE

36. Change for a five : ONEs

38. Spyglass user : EYER

39. Five-and-__ store : TEN. Now that's going way back.

44. "__ Buy Me Love": Beatles hit : CAN'T

45. Café lightener : LECHE. It's Spanish.

46. Traffic light symbol : ARROW

47. Figure of speech : TROPE. The figurative or metaphorical use of a word or expression.

48. Bouquet for a señorita : ROSAS. Deceptive. ROSAS is roses whereas a bouquet may be other flowers.

49. Computer fodder : INPUT

50. String quartet instrument : VIOLA

53. Many miles away : AFAR

54. "At Last" singer James : ETTA

55. Lakeside stalk : REED

56. Rowboat pair : OARS

58. Birthday number : AGE

59. Eye, poetically : ORB


Note from C.C.:

Happy 71st Birthday to dear Misty! So pleased to hear your Christmas party went well. I'm raising my mug of tea to celebrate this special day, Misty!

Dec 21, 2015

Monday, December 21, 2015 Joel Mackerry

Theme: Ho, Ho, WHOA! - He's watching you but who's watching out for him?

1A. With 71-Across, seasonal visitor who'd appreciate being warned about the ends of 20-, 37- and 56-Across : SANTA. And 71A. See 1-Across : CLAUS

37A. Former lovers : OLD FLAMES

20A. Boasting, metaphorically : BLOWING SMOKE

56A. Accidental attack on allied forces : FRIENDLY FIRE

Argyle *<;o)> here. Thank goodness for Kevlar and Nomex suit to keep Santa safe.


6. Shed one's feathers : MOLT

10. Pacific island nation : FIJI

14. In the slightest : A WHIT

15. Arabian ruler : EMIR

16. Confident words : "I CAN"

17. Andean pack animal : LLAMA

18. __ Day vitamins : ONE A

19. Four-sided fig. : RECT. (rectangle)

23. Gas, to a Brit : PETROL

26. __City: computer game : SIM

27. By way of : VIA

28. One who shuns company : LONE WOLF

31. Primary pursuit in the working world : CAREER

33. Ottawa's prov. : ONT. (Ontario)

34. Reformer Jacob : RIIS. ("muckraking" journalist)

36. They end round numbers : ZEROs

40. __-load: prep for a marathon : CARBO. (carbohydrate)

43. Beige shade : ECRU

44. "Goldfinger" novelist Fleming : IAN

47. "Anchors __": Navy fight song : AWEIGH. Anchors are "aweigh" when they are clear of the sea bed.

49. Not let go of : HANG ONTO. The bane of hoarders.

52. Eng. majors' degrees : BAs. (Bachelor of Arts)

53. "Of course, Pierre!" : "OUI!" "Yes!"

55. Did the tango : DANCED

60. Computes the total : ADDS

61. Retro phone feature : DIAL. So is the curly cord these days.

62. Purple flower : LILAC

66. Enlist again : RE-UP

67. Longtime "Tonight Show" host Jay : LENO

68. Words of defeat : "I LOST"

69. Blissful place : EDEN

70. Lawn border : EDGE


1. Actor Mineo : SAL

2. Leatherwork tool : AWL

3. FDR home loan org. : NHA. National Housing Act of 1934.

4. Musical tone color : TIMBRE

5. With nowhere to go but up, as one's spirits : AT A LOW

6. Cat call : MEOW

7. Marriott competitor : OMNI

8. Claims on property : LIENs

9. Like "Hamlet" : TRAGIC

10. Accounting partnership, e.g. : FIRM

11. Become frozen : ICE OVER

12. Onassis' last wife, familiarly : JACKIE "O"

13. Crying : IN TEARS

21. Prayer-opening words : "O, LORD"

22. Pollution portmanteau : SMAZE. A mixture of smoke and haze.

23. West Bank gp. : PLO. (Palestine Liberation Organization)

24. Many millennia : EON

25. Demolition initials : TNT

29. The "vie" in "c'est la vie" : LIFE

30. Swipe : FILCH

32. Hi-__ monitor : RES. (High-Resolution)

35. "Nobody doesn't like __ Lee" : SARA

37. Geisha's sash : OBI

38. Access Facebook, say : LOG ON

39. World, in a Latin saying : MUNDI. "Sic transit gloria mundi" “Thus passes the glory of the world”

40. Cost of a taxi : CAB FARE

41. Gave, as a medal : AWARDED

42. Trace evidence at a crime scene, e.g. : RESIDUE. "Send it to the lab!"

44. Business abbr. : INC. Incorporation or incorporated?

45. Dined : ATE

46. Wordless agreement : NOD

48. Circle around a quarterback : HUDDLE

50. Appetizing dinnertime aroma : GARLIC. Not to vampires.

51. Playwright Eugene : O'NEILL

54. Sheepish admission : "I LIED"

57. "Monday Night Football" channel : ESPN. (originally an acronym for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network)

58. Yin and __ : YANG

59. Arctic sheet : FLOE

63. Mauna __ : LOA. A different flow.

64. Sch. in Tempe : ASU. (Arizona State University)

65. Pennies: Abbr. : CTs. (cents)¢


Dec 20, 2015

Sunday, Dec 20, 2015 Garry Morse

Theme: "La-la Land" - Each two-word theme entry has LA & LA in them.

22A. Cocktail made with Southern Comfort : ALABAMA SLAMMER. What's your favorite cocktail?

28A. Starbucks order : VANILLA LATTE. I remember the first time I visited Starbucks in Guangzhou. Holy smokes! I spent almost 100 Chinese Yuan for a cup of a coffee and a tiny piece of sweet something. The delicious lunch at the local diners cost about 10 Yuan.

57A. Windows material : PLATE GLASS
74A. With "The," 2002 Steven Pinker best-seller subtitled "The Modern Denial of Human Nature" : BLANK SLATE. Not familiar it the book or the author.

100A. Security measure : BURGLAR ALARM

108A. Modifying words : RELATIVE CLAUSE. New phrase to me.
31D. Steinbeck novel set in Monterey : TORTILLA FLAT

42D. Dog once shunned because it wasn't black : CHOCOLATE LAB. Did not know this.

Simple & elegant theme. Reminds me of my R2- D2 theme a while ago. Oh, Argyle, I just noticed two of the pictures in your write-up are now invalid. At least, no lawyer or law firm wrote to me to remove those two pictures. I get those requests from time to time.

Nice grid design. Another low-word 140. I like the themer overlaps at the top and bottom. The top is especially clean.


1. Dance with a queen : PROM. Great clue. Stumped me though. Skipped to the next entry immediately.

5. Facebook tally : LIKES

10. Bug : IRK

13. Conductor's setting : TEMPO. I was thinking of a place for "setting".

18. Texter's guffaw : ROFL. Rolling On Floor Laughing.  And 35. Texter's "Beats me" : IDK. I Don't Know.

19. The Little Mermaid : ARIEL

20. Catching-on cry : AHA

21. Survived the test : BORE UP. All crosses.

25. Rat, for one : RODENT

26. Plural French pronoun : ILS. They. Did you try CES also?

27. Mets' rival : NATs

30. Origins : ROOTS

32. Common Market inits. : EEC

34. From, in German names : VON. Did your wife grow up in Germany, D-Otto?

36. __ student : MED

37. How some flowers are planted : IN ROWS. I'm not fussy about flowers. Green beans, yes.

39. Kate, before being "tamed" : SHREW

41. Joined in a film lab : SPLICED

43. Eponymous band location : E STREET. Springsteen's E Street Band.

45. Geologic time unit : EON

46. 22-year-old golf phenom Jordan who won the Masters, U.S. Open and FedExCup in 
2015 : SPIETH. Great role model for kids. Tiger was too cold to fans.

47. Syrup source : TREE SAP

49. Disreputable : SHADY

50. 12-member oil gp. : OPEC
54. Eighth-century year : DCCI. Put in DCC, then waited.

59. Italy's La __ : SCALA

60. Like some hygiene : ORAL. White teeth do not equate to healthy teeth. Learned it the hard way.

61. Prince __ Khan : ALY. Mindlessly put in AGA.

62. Chicago mayor Emanuel : RAHM. In hot water right now. What's the matter with Illinois, TTP?

63. Reproductive units : SPORES

64. Like an ill-equipped rowboat : OARLESS. Waited for crosses.

66. Wranglers, e.g. : JEEPS. Not JEANS.

68. Sub compartment : AIRLOCK. Drew a blank.  

69. King who succeeds his father, say : DYNAST. Not a word I use. Dynasty, yes.

70. Of the highest quality : A-ONE

71. Old televangelist org. : PTL

72. Old, to Oskar : ALTE. Just German for "old". It's "Lao" in Chinese, hence Lao Tze, literally "Old master".

73. Takes it easy : LOAFS

77. School barometer : TEST

78. Ltr.-bottom letters : ENCL. Is the mail delivery is your area reliable?

79. __ cum laude : MAGNA

80. Cough drop : LOZENGE

82. "The Joy Luck Club" author : AMY TAN. Love the book.

84. Dog days mo. : AUG

85. Cut back on food intake : ATE LESS

89. How food may be salted : TO TASTE. I love pickled food and eat it every day. I should probably cut down on my salt intake.

91. Threaded hardware : SCREW

93. "... baked __" : IN A PIE. 6-letter partial.

94. Passel : TON

95. GPS offering : RTE

96. School attendance drop-off cause : FLU. Nice clue.

97. __ Miguel, largest of the Azores : SAO

99. Balearic island : IBIZA. I first heard of this place from my old colleague Adam, who was quite a party animal.

104. Machu Picchu dweller : INCA

106. Film lover's collectible : CEL

107. Web browser? : SPIDER. Another brilliant clue.

111. Nuts in some ice cream : PECANS. I've tried nearly every brand of walnuts. All smell a bit moldy, though the taste is totally fine. Do you have the same problem?

112. Fair-hiring initials : EEO

113. Gradually gather : GLEAN

114. Anesthetize : DRUG

115. "Later!" : SEE YA

116. One of 400,000-plus in the U.S. : ATM. Holy smokes! I had A?? earlier on, just did not think of ATMs.

117. Before the crowd : EARLY

118. Drive-thru transactions: Abbr. : DEPS. OK, deposits.


1. Grassland : PRAIRIE

2. Deodorant options : ROLL-ONS

3. In some respects : OF A SORT. Simple in retrospect. I just could not see the answer.

4. Diamond org. : MLB

5. Dalai __ : LAMA

6. Steamed : IRATE

7. X's in some letters : KISSES

8. Slender fish : EEL. Your local grocery store (Asian section) should carry this brand. So good.
9. Pole or Croat : SLAV

10. Irritated response to "Aren't you awake yet?" : I AM NOW

11. Bonn's river, in Bonn : RHEIN

12. Marx not seen in films : KARL. Nailed it.

13. Mechanic's set : TOOL KIT

14. "Ring Cycle" goddess : ERDA. German for "earth", right?

15. Tryster's request : MEET ME. Never sent or heard of this request.

16. Gave up the ball : PUNTED

17. Chose, with "for" : OPTED

21. Basketball Hall of Famer who was inducted while a U.S. senator : BRADLEY (Bill). No idea. I don't care basketball. Do care politics. But Wiki said he left the Senate before I came to the US.

23. Comeback : ANSWER

24. Expert : MAVEN

29. Fatty compounds : LIPIDS

33. Look the wrong way, maybe : CHEAT. Tricky clue.

38. Look beyond : SEE PAST

40. Leeway metaphor : ROPE. I wanted ROOM.

41. Muscle malady : SPASM

44. Blinking and sweating, in poker : TELLS. Thought of my brother. We used to play Chinese-style poker. He was not good. By the way, PK, my brother still lives in Xi'an, in the same apartment we grew up.

46. Persian sovereigns : SHAHS

48. For instance : SAY
49. Offended smack : SLAP

51. __ officer : PAROLE

52. Chooses : ELECTS

53. Vampire's bed? : CASKET. Indeed.

54. Idle drawing : DOODLE. And 55. Drawing stick : CRAYON

56. Envelope-to-the-forehead TV persona : CARNAC. Stumped me also. Johnny Carson character.

58. __ salad : GREEK

59. It starts in Mar. : SPR

63. Sailing component? : SILENT I. Cruel clue. This refers for the first i, correct? Sailing.

65. Superman's symbol : ESS

66. Big name in fabric stores : JO-ANN. Never been there. Maybe this Joann frequents that place.

67. Sicilian resort : ENNA

68. Attending an afternoon social : AT TEA

70. Pond plants : ALGAE

71. Guerra's opposite : PAZ. Peace. Guerra = War.

74. One swinging in a box : BATTER. Baseball.

75. Derogatory remark : SLUR

76. Theater sections : LOGES

79. "Goodness me!" : MY STARS!

81. Friendly : GENIAL

83. 1963 hit on the flip side of "Candy Girl" : MARLENA. Never heard of it.
84. Integra maker : ACURA
86. Gastronome : EPICURE. Our Steve. I don't know anyone who's more foodier than Steve. From Japanese to Indian to French, he knows them all.

87. Judges : SIZES UP

88. What landlubbers lack : SEA LEGS

89. Piece on top : TOUPEE. Oh, on top of your head.

90. How chop suey may be served : ON RICE. Chop suey is American Chinese food.

91. Race with gates : SLALOM. Another nice clue. Are you still reading us, Marti?

92. Relinquishing of rights : WAIVER
94. Cookbook amts. : TBSPS

96. Speedy : FLEET

98. Oscar winner at age 10 : O'NEAL (Tatum)

101. Down Under howdy : G'DAY

102. Vicinity : AREA

103. Monthly budget amt. : MTGE

105. Harlem sch. : CCNY. I had CUNY first.

109. Dockworker's org. : ILA

110. Stick in : ADD

So some of you know that Boomer has been in a slump this season. He bowled his 20th perfect game on Friday Dec 11. One of his friends got it on camera. Click here. Boomer was pretty excited about the breakthrough, but started a new slump in no time :-)