Oct 24, 2016

Monday, October 24, 2016 Gail Grabowski & Bruce Venzke

Theme: Welcome! Come right in. - What you hope will greet you at a party.

17A. What snowbirds seek in winter: WARM WEATHER

27A. Ready-to-send correspondence: OUTGOING MAIL

49A. Liqueur holder: CORDIAL GLASS

64A. Ideal party thrower described by the first words of 17-, 27- and 49-Across: PERFECT HOST

Argyle here. These are three things a host should be and I'm sure today's hosts, Gail and Bruce, would be. Don't forget to thank them before you leave.


1. "Handle __ care": WITH

5. Burns with hot liquid: SCALDS

11. Ex-Florida governor Bush: JEB

14. "__ Ben Adhem": ABOU. (may his tribe increase!)

15. Reacts facially to a bad joke, say: WINCES

16. Chopping tool: AXE

19. "Mamma __!": MIA

20. Mecca's peninsula: ARABIA

21. Heat in a microwave: ZAP

22. Indy service areas: PITS. Races have been won and lost in the pits.

23. "Do __ others ... ": UNTO

25. Most doubtful: IFFIEST. Like this C/A?

31. Network with regular pledge drives: NPR. Wait, wait, don't tell me; it's National Public Radio.

32. D-Day French city: ST.-LÔ. 95% destroyed after the 1944 bombardments, known as The Capital of Ruins.

33. Steak orders: T-BONES

37. Calm under pressure: COOL

39. Since Jan. 1, in accounting: YTD. (Year To Date)

41. Folksy account: TALE

42. "Bewitched" witch: ENDORA. (Agnes Moorehead)

45. Buster Brown's dog: TIGE

48. Jamaican music genre: SKA

52. Last word of a verbally cited passage: UNQUOTE

55. "Doctor Zhivago" heroine: LARA. I didn't pick this one last time; now I can.

56. Potpie veggies: PEAs

57. Hydroelectric facility: DAM

59. Quik maker: NESTLÉ. Nestlé Nesquik® No Sugar Added Chocolate Flavor Powder (note the name change. It has been Nesquik since 1999 but Nesquik won't do for a clue.)

63. Dad, to grandpa: SON

66. Cutoff point: END

67. C to C, in music: OCTAVE

68. Richard of "A Summer Place": EGAN. A Summer Place is a 1959 romantic drama film. Richard Egan (1921 - 1987).

69. Org. with a PreCheck Program: TSA. (Transportation Security Administration)

70. Sets free: LOOSES

71. Facts and figures: DATA


1. Electric guitar effect: WAWA

2. Letter-shaped beam: I-BAR

3. __ Bora: Afghan region: TORA

4. Scrooge's "Nonsense!": "HUMBUG!"

5. Worry about something, slangily: SWEAT IT

6. Cloak-and-dagger org.: CIA. (Central Intelligence Agency)

7. Animated bug film: ANTZ

8. Bar mitzvah toast: L'CHAIM or l'chayim, lechayim, lehayim; literally, to life.

9. What fries are fried in: DEEP FAT. Is DEEP a type of FAT now?

10. Ukr. or Lith., once: SSR. (Ukraine or Lithuania, former Soviet Socialist Republics)

11. Actor Foxx: JAMIE

12. Freeway off-ramps: EXITS

13. Savage sort: BEAST

18. Tipplers: WINOs

22. Cockpit figure: PILOT

24. "I'm __ human": ONLY

26. Little lie: FIB

27. First fairy tale word: ONCE

28. Second fairy tale word: UPON. 18D to 28D, modern fairy tale?

29. Trampled (on): TROD

30. '80s-'90s crime boss John: GOTTI

34. Mission Control org.: NASA. (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)

35. Benevolent fraternal group: ELKS. The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

36. Salty expanses: SEAs

38. Center of power: LOCUS. plural loci.

40. Bygone phone feature: DIAL

43. Pal of Piglet: ROO. Both are pards of Winnie the Pooh.

44. Radio City Music Hall design style: ART DECO

46. Cursory looks: GLANCEs

47. Long-legged wader: EGRET

50. "... near and __ my heart": DEAR TO

51. Assailed verbally, with "out": LASHED

52. Surprise win: UPSET

53. Bright signs: NEONs

54. Press conference format, briefly: Q AND A. (Questions and Answers)

58. Degs. for choreographers: MFAs. (Master of Fine Arts)

60. Old Roman robe: TOGA

61. Future D.A.'s exam: LSAT. (Law School Admission Test)

62. Sicilian volcano: ETNA

64. D.C. big shot: POL

65. Morn's counterpart: EVE

In 2009, at age 92, Dame Vera Lynn became the oldest living artist to make it to No. 1 on the British album chart. She now lives in Sussex, England, with daughter Virginia as her neighbor.


Oct 23, 2016

Sunday, October 23, 2016, C.C. Burnikel


This wonderful C.C. Sunday puzzle, which she told me is her favorite of the year, is clever on many levels. As I sometimes do, I decided to put the grid at the front of the write-up to better display the intricacy of her work. Her gimmick is revealed in the lengthy clue of 

52. Ownership claim ... and a hint to the relationship of each answer to a starred clue to a word it intersects : IT'S MINE

As you can see below she intersected an entire word (clued with an *) with the front or back part of a multiple word phrase. The icing on this word cake was that the stand-alone word required adding an 'S so that the conjoined phrase made sense and truly showed the title of "IT'S MINE". Wow!

Stupid me barged through this exercise oblivious to the juxtaposition of two words that are connected (darn trees do block the forest). When I ran across the reveal, I laughed out loud and quoted that great American philosopher Homer Simpson by exclaiming, "Doh!"

Coupled with C.C.'s always fiendish/clever cluing this was truly a great time. She said it was a very difficult construction but we all benefit from her efforts.

Let's take a look at her possessive pairing genius:

5. *Second-longest reigning British monarch : VICTORIA and 22. Ill-kept confidence : OPEN SECRET yield VICTORIA'S SECRET by making the first word possessive and using the second word in OPEN SECRET. Wearing items from here might guarantee you will have a very OPEN SECRET...

9. *First of all? : ADAM and 24. Seasonal drink : APPLE CIDER yield ADAM'S APPLE by making ADAM possessive and using the first word in APPLE CIDER. This is the Laryngeal Prominence on the thyroid cartilage that is usually much more prominent in men.

75. *Noted WWII lifesaver : SCHINDLER and 39. Consequence of the telemarketing boom : NO CALL LIST yield SCHINDLER'S LIST. (I think you have the idea). I only made it halfway through this powerful movie and left after a scene with children.

42. *English surgeon Henry : GRAY and 44. Vet student's workplace : ANATOMY LAB  yield GRAY'S ANATOMY. Here is Henry's original drawing of the larynx with the Thyroid Notch/Adam's Apple


85. *Memorable 1968 role for Mia : ROSEMARY and 115. 1990 #1 rap hit : ICE ICE BABY gives us ROSEMARY'S BABYSomethin' ain't right with that BABY

93. *First human woman, in Greek myth : PANDORA and 117. Specialized slicing tools : BOX CUTTERS yield PANDORA'S BOX that of course contains all the evils of the world. It appears that Pan might be shopping at 

Now for I. Indiana home for Jackson 5  - GARY and II. Court ruling without a trial - SUMMARY JUDGEMENT which yield GARY'S SUMMARY:


1. Twinkler : STAR

5. Block from the White House : VETO - C.C.'s original clue was Block from Obama and Rich modified it. I like 'em both

9. Sunburn salve : ALOE

13. Others, in Oaxaca : OTROS - 
OTROS también les encantará este rompecabezas (Others will also love this puzzle)

18. Almond __: candy : ROCA - I have learned that this is a thing

19. Like jeggings : TIGHT - Standard clothing in schools today

20. Fist bumps : DAPS - A more complicated DAP

21. Talked a blue streak? : SWORE

26. Tossed a bone to : PLACATED

27. Playground retort : AM SO - Are not, AM SO, Are not, AM SO, ad nauseum

28. Up-to-the-minute : LATEST

29. "I never __ purple cow ... ": Burgess : SAW A - "I'd rather see one than be one"

30. New Mexico county bordering El Paso : OTERO and 27. Chicago's __ Center : AON. Natick for me -I chose unwisely at their crossing for my standard one bad Sunday cell 

32. Dance partner : ESCORT

34. Mr. or Mrs. : ABBR and 
83. Country on St. George's Channel : IRE.

36. Hard-to-imagine period : EON

37. It's charged : ION - Here are two atoms becoming charged IONS and voila - Sodium Fluoride

38. Winds up or winds down : ENDS

45. Talks like Daffy : LISPS

47. Mo. town : ST.L. - Sorry ST.L., the Rams belong in L.A.

48. Like a paddling surfer : PRONE

49. With 113-Across, "Funeral in Berlin" author : LEN and 113. See 49-Across : DEIGHTON 

50. Waikiki wingding : LUAU

51. Sounded nostalgic about : SIGHED AT - One man's lament

55. Tiger, e.g. : CAT

56. Churchill, notably : ORATOR - "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat" May 1940

58. Curaçao cocktail : MAI TAI

60. American Red Cross founder Barton : CLARA 

62. Prankster's missile : WATER BOMB

64. "Popeye" pirate : SEA HAG 

66. Racing Unsers : ALS

68. Zen garden piece : STONE  and 74. Potted dwarf : BONSAI - I feel peaceful just looking at it

69. Match made in heaven : SOUL MATES

71. Kept from squeaking : OILED

73. Lifesaver, initially : EMT

77. Sticks figure : YOKEL

79. Drive-thru burger chain whose name has two hyphens : IN-N-OUT

81. Make a home : RESIDE

82. Squat : NIL - Nuttin' 

84. Summary : OVERVIEW

86. It has Air, Mini and Pro versions : I-PAD

88. Part of a circ. : SEG(ment)

89. Fervently wishes : PRAYS

91. Stooge with a bowl haircut : MOE - MOE's younger brother Curly replaced their brother Shemp  in the trio 

92. Center of Florida? : EPCOT

94. Govt. guidelines : STDS

95. Name on the 1984 album "My Kind of Country" : REBA

96. Cologne cooler : EIS - Ich möchte keine EIS in meinen Scotch (I don't want any ice in my scotch) Tin?

97. NYC commuter letters : MTA

98. Thunder sound : PEAL

100. Pains : THROES

103. Courier and Roman : FONTS - or a seasonal one

105. King with a pipe : COLE

108. Very destructive : LETHAL

111. Nursery cry : MAMA

119. Chugged, say : DRANK

120. Links seen at : URLS - Electronic links not grass ones

121. Doctoral candidate's hurdles : ORALS - Not intimidating at all

122. Furry sci-fi creature : EWOK

123. Huffy states : SULKS

124. Duma vote : NYET - Nyet, Nyet Nannette!

125. Lose intensity : WANE

126. Prevent : DENY


1. Letters connected to theater capacity : SRO - Sure, you can get some SRO tix to see the Cubs in their first World Series in 71 years!

2. Collectible baseball card brand : TOPPS  - C.C. gave me a George Brett TOPPS card that is prominently displayed in my sunroom 

3. Boston-to-D.C. rail service : ACELA

4. Took off : RAN AWAY

6. Blue heron kin : EGRET

7. Peter Benchley thriller : THE DEEP 

8. Giants great Mel : OTT - A 1933 Doudney Mel OTT rookie card will set you back $532

10. Slip : LAPSE

11. Facing : OPPOSITE - Our crossword friends, recto and verso, are opposite/facing pages

12. Bilingual subj. : ESL

13. Award declined by George C. Scott : OSCAR - Goldie Hawn shrieked, "Oh my God, the winner is George C. Scott!" She knew he had said he would not show up.

14. Company with a blue bird logo : TWITTER

15. Used Lyft, say : RODE

16. Mining haul : ORES

17. Barcelona-born muralist : SERT - File under Learned/Forgot

19. Leaves for a Chinese dinner : TEA

23. Line crosser : SCAB - A 2000 movie with a more gentle name for football SCABS who crossed a union line

25. SpaceX CEO Musk : ELON

31. Carlo __: wine brand : ROSSI

33. Money immediately available : COLD CASH

35. Book jacket entry : BLURB

40. It's in our genes : DNA 

41. Disappeared from view : SET

42. Looks really happy : GLOWS

43. Upgrade, as on Yelp : RERATE

46. Send for : SUMMON

47. Type of massage : SHIATSU

48. Student advocacy gp. : PTA

50. Folk tales : LORE

53. Earth goddess : GAEA

54. Subj. with unknowns : ALG

57. Approaching the hour : TEN TO

59. Coarsely insulting, as language : ABUSIVE

61. Vice squad incursions : RAIDS

63. Classic for which Pavarotti won a Grammy : O SOLE MIO

65. Frenzied : HECTIC

67. Did some farm work : SEEDED - The Sower on top of the capital in Lincoln, Nebraska

70. Legal scholar Guinier : LANI

71. Lacking width and depth : ONE-D

72. Worst of the worst : DREGS

74. Drink, in Dover : BEV

76. Hot : IRATE

78. Foreman stat : KO'S

80. Have a loan from : OWE TO

82. "Fresh Air" airer : NPR

87. Treat on a stick : POPSICLE

90. "Really, Captain Obvious?" : YA THINK?

94. Scheduled : SLOTTED

96. Perry's creator : ERLE - Stanley Gardner

97. CalArts degree : MFA - Maybe not the best degree to find a job

99. Eight, to Mozart : ACHT - He wrote his first symphony when he was ACHT

101. Street fare seekers : HACKS - aka Taxis. Named for Hackney Cabs in Britain. Hackney is the name for a horse suitable for driving or riding

102. Luxurious fur : SABLE - Wearing this fur can be risky

104. Bonnie or Clyde : TEXAN

106. Lerner collaborator : LOEWE

107. Company with an ironically crooked logo : ENRON - Many pensions at Nebraska Natural Gas disappeared with them

108. Shadow targets : LIDS

109. Beige shade : ECRU

110. Marsh duck : TEAL

112. Computer game title island : MYST

114. Gloomy fellow : GUS

116. Ballerina's hairdo : BUN

117. Tool for Cupid : BOW

118. Hawk's domain : SKY

Now it's time for I. McGuffey book - READER and II. Viewer's opinion - AUDIENCE FEEDBACK which yield READER'S FEEDBACK:

Oct 22, 2016

Saturday, Oct 22nd, 2016, Brad Wilber & Samuel A. Donaldson

Theme: None

Words: 70 (missing Q,Z)

Blocks: 32

   Brad Wilber is a familiar name, but I did not recognize the co-author today - he has contributed several times to the LA Times, mostly Fridays.  The grid itself looked like a typical weekday puzzle, not so intimidating.  I forgot to set the clock, but I do believe I went over my allotted personal time.  The triples on the left and the crossings of the names in the SE slowed me down, again, and had to guess for most of them.  Triple 10-letter corners in the Down, and a pair of 11-letter climbers crossing a pair of 9's;

8. They may provide track details : SLEEVE NOTES - I filled this in, but did not make the connection - I was thinking "track" as in horse racing, not albums/CDs

 back half of a sleeve from a 1985 album

29. Turning point? : USE BY DATE - har-har

23. Signs of infrequent cleaning : DUST BUNNIES

 you might not want to look too closely

44. Line after Casca's "Speak, hands, for me!" : "ET TU, BRUTE~?" - the whole phrase



1. Rose of rock : AXL - of Guns N' Roses fame

4. Incidental catches by South Pacific tuna fishermen : OPAHS

9. Mall Santa, probably : TEMP

13. Endodontic therapy : ROOT CANAL - the "-dontic" part helped me out

15. "Finding Dory" studio : PIXAR - "Finding Nemo" characters return

16. Reject : PUSH ASIDE - ah, the verb, not the noun. 

17. As expected : ON CUE - strange.  I nailed this.

18. Roundup group : STEERS - POSSE was not long enough

19. When the French fry? : ÉTÉ - Frawnche summer

21. Terrible's two : ARs - the two "R"s of teRRible

22. Presented an invention? : LIED - clever

24. Compared with : VIS-À-VIS - from the Frawnche for face to face

26. Canada's highest peak : LOGAN - OK, I cheated.  I looked at a list of mountains in Canada

31. World leader whose name shares its last four letters with a state : OBAMA - this was my first guess, since it had occurred to me in the past that Obama and Alabama had the common ending

32. Together : SANE - Oh, that kind of together

33. "South Park" kid : STAN - or KYLE~!?  I went with STAN, then switched, and then switched back

34. Station that employed Lou Grant : WJM - before my time; perps

35. WWI hero portrayed by Gary Cooper : SGT. YORK - again, before my time

38. Bond yield: Abbr. : INTerest

39. Creepy look : LEER - I saw your wolfish look yesterday, Lemonade

41. Not much at all : A BIT - SOME~?  A FEW~?

42. Golfer with an "army" : ARNIE - R.I.P.

46. Longtime Indiana senator Dick : LUGAR - perps and two WAGs

47. Hall of Fame outfielder Richie of the '40s-'50s Phillies : ASHBURN - perps and two WAGs

48. Automaker that introduced headlight wipers : SAAB - oops, not AUDI, but I was close

50. Last pres. born in the 19th century : DDE - not sure if we were looking for a short name, or initials.  At first I had was "E" in the middle, since I misspelled the Frawnche crossing

51. Dr. for women : GYNecologist

52. Cold-stricken : RHEUMY - Dah~!  Not CHILLY - that's 33.33% 100% correct, tho

56. Coventry coolers : GAOLS - argh~!  I was stuck looking for some sort of drink to 'cool' off.  This is the clink, the brig, the gulag, the pokey....

58. Corfu locale : IONIAN SEA - my "OMA" WAG was a big help here

61. Impressive lineup : ARRAY

62. "A Room With a View" author : E.M. FORSTER - his Wiki

63. Final crossing? : STYX

64. Nixon-Brezhnev missile pact : SALT I

65. Approved : OK'D - again, had it, took it out, put it back in


1. Some dadaist works : ARPS - ooo, close, I went with ARTE

2. Cross off : X OUT

3. Shake, as a tail : LOSE - when you are 14d.

4. Ovoid winds : OCARINAS

5. So five minutes ago : PASSÉ

6. Young Darth's nickname : ANI - Anakin Skywalker

7. Victimized : HAD

9. __ can : TIN

10. Dig action : EXCAVATING

11. Senegal neighbor : MAURITANIA - I got it, but don't ask me how I knew it

12. Common computer manual step : PRESS ENTER

14. Running, with "on" : THE LAM - a Blue Öyster Cult song~!

15. Browning field : POESY - I had a feeling POEMS was not going to last

20. River through Umbria : TIBER

25. Break fillers : ADS

26. Focus of an EPA phasedown introduced in 1973 : LOW LEAD GAS - I tried "NON" at the start, but it was not jibing for me

27. Curiosities : OBJETS D' ART - more Frawnche - we got hit hard today~!

28. Mathematical approach to military strategy, say : GAME THEORY

30. "Speak!" : "SAY IT~!"

36. Chess luminary Kasparov : GARRY - Larry, Barry, Garry, I tried them all

37. Much of Botswana : KALAHARI - SAHARAN did not fit - because I was too far north

40. Barbecue seasoning : RUB

43. 17th-century Flemish painter : RUBENS

45. Film Warren commissioned? : BUGSY - I had the "--GSY" part, so I hardly read the clue

49. Hilarious : A RIOT

53. "Teach __ number our days": Psalm 90 : US TO

54. Like doormats : MEEK - I like this door mat

more funny ones here

55. Sale area : YARD - ah, took a moment.  I like "yard saleing"

57. Negligent : LAX

59. Medical suffix : OMA - a cancerous growth/tumor

60. Org. with Colts and Cowboys : NFL - and a gimme to end the day