Aug 1, 2019

Thursday, August 1st 2019 Jack Murtagh

Theme: Clueless in Los Angeles - but step down and find the unclued related theme entry!

20A. Court address: YOUR + 25A. -: HONOR

18A. World's largest lizard: KOMODO  + 23A -: DRAGON

53A. Percussion piece: SNARE + 57A. -: DRUM

55A. Shotgun type: DOUBLE + 62A. -: BARREL. One of my favorite movies is Guy Richie's "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels". Here is Vinnie Jones, who was a professional football player in England before he moved to acting. Trust me, he was pretty much the same on the field as he was in his movie persona:

The reveal tells us:

40A. Instructions for fire safety ... or for completing four puzzle answers: STOP DROP AND ROLL

Great puzzle - you fill in the first part of the theme entry - then you run out of space, but what? Drop down a square and fill in the second word, unclued. So that takes care of the "STOP" and "DROP" in the reveal, but what is this? A ROLL - Honor roll, Dragon roll (sushi, yay!), drum roll and barrel roll. Woo-hoo! A great puzzle from Jack, there is much to like in this one. I think this might be Jack's first puzzle in the LA Times, so Huzzah! for that.

I had no clue regarding the theme until I noticed that I'd filled in "DRUM" with the crosses, and I just guessed at SNARE. Then I looked at a mostly empty grid, and realized what we were dealing with. I love the unlocking the secret of a puzzle, and this one is up there with my favorites. I respect the creative thought that goes into these. Thanks, Jack, you had me bemused for quite some time. Bravo! - Or, as I have learned from watching the great Tour de France this year - "Chapeau"! *


1. Digital unit: BIT. Bits, bytes, megabytes. No-one thought of terabytes back in the day, that was science fiction. I have a 2TB hard drive to back up my computer, it's the size of Post-It pad and cheap enough to make Captain Kirk's eyes water. We'll come back to the Post-It note at some point, fascinating history for the iconic 3M product.

4. Play the part of: ACT AS

9. Paintball attire, for short: CAMO. I have camo shorts. I think at one point we all did. No longer a fashion item, I wear them hiking (stealth mode so that I don't get eaten by mountain lions).

13. Cry from a card holder: UNO!

14. Religious leader: CLERIC. I didn't really consider a cleric a leader, I thought he/she would be way down on the totem pole, but I guess a flock, and he leads them.

16. Made man?: ADAM. Made from clay, if I recall correctly. Eve was made with clay and a rib?

17. Home for the holidays, say: OFF. I'm off. Actually, not yet, I still have a puzzle to go.

19. Rooftop spinner: VANE. If it's spinning you've got some serious weather heading your way. Buckle up!

22. FDR job-creating program: WPA

27. Catchers with pots: EELERS. Slippery little buggers - have you tried to catch one with your hands?

28. Like the Avengers: HEROIC

31. Twice DVI: MXII. I miscalculated this and ended up with CODEC which I was sure was correct. Nope. Buzzer!

32. Z preceder: A TO. This was a head-scratcher until I parsed it out. A to Z. There's a town near me called Azusa - it was founded as an industrial manufacturing town - they made everything "from A to Z in the USA."

33. Pancake at a seder: LATKE

36. Longtime Sweethearts maker: NECCO. Hands up everyone who has handed out a Love Heart in school! I gave one to Laura. The pain of unrequited love.

43. Marx forte: HUMOR. Not "Communist Revolutionary Theory"? OK, my bad. Not enough squares.

44. Kim and Kourtney's sister: KHLOE. I hate that I know this.

45. Bundle of cash: WAD

46. Toy with a tail: KITE

48. "Spill it": TELL ME

50. Bassett of "American Horror Story": ANGELA. Crosses all the way. I'm sure she's a great actress in a great movie, but never blipped on my radar.

56. Zing: PEP

61. Where Georgia is: ASIA. I struggle with the Europe/Asia divide, it seems very arbitrary

65. Mineral resource: ORE

66. Move: SELL

67. Cocktail garnishes: OLIVES. Why did I go with LEMONS first? That did not work at all. If I order a martini, I get a Gibson - onions, not olives, in my defense.

68. A long time follower?: AGO. "A long long time ago, I can still remember how the music used to make me smile". Let's sing along with Don McLean. I'm sorry you have to click through a couple of ads, but on a side note, why did the post have a picture of Bob Dylan?

69. Scoundrel: HEEL

70. "Aida" setting: EGYPT

71. Dawn phenomenon: DEW. Sundown also, there is a dewpoint in the evening too. That's when it hurts your plants, when you get dew that freezes overnight.


1. Elevate: BUOY. "Boy" in English-English, Boo-eey in American English. I think after 25 years I prefer the latter.

2. Scoop: INFO. 

3. Curds in cubes: TOFU. Food! Mine goes into Pad Thai noodles. Pour boiling water onto the cubes to dry them out - I know it's counter-intertuitive but it works. Then add them to the wok.

4. "Oy!": ACK!

5. High-capacity vehicle?: CLOWN CAR Colorful, and a nightmare for anyone with coulrophobia:

6. Record time?: TEMPO. Is 33/45/78 a tempo? I'm showing my age, everything now is a download. Damn, I'm old.

7. Like noisy fans: AROAR. I suppose so. Still doesn't beat Grantland Rice's "Under a blue-gray sky, the four horsemen of the apocalypse rode again". Sports journalism at its finest.

8. Vicious on stage: SID. The Sex Pistols. I won't link a song, not everyone's cup of tea. I saw them in a basement room in a pub in North London before Sid joined the band, and boy, I have to say they were talented, they caught the moment and caught lightning in a bottle.

9. High-and-mighty: CAVALIER

10. Wise words: ADAGE

11. Regal home: MANOR. Regal? Not so sure, regal means royal. Lords of the Manor were certainly elevated in society, but not royal.

12. Warning signs: OMENS

15. Book form that replaced the scroll: CODEX. Featured in "The Da Vinci Code". And I couldn't remember the spelling.

21. Pi follower: RHO

24. Team in a seasonal verse: REINDEER

26. Boring contraption: OIL DRILL. Hmm. Oil Drill? Not sure that's a thing. "Can you bring me an oil drill"? Said on-one, ever.

28. Diner dish: HASH

29. Words to a backstabber: ET TU! More like a front-stabber if you read the text. I'll give this one a pass.

30. Part of a Clue accusation: ROOM. Colonel Mustard, Candlestick, Library. It's always the blunt instrument that gets you.

31. "Iron Chef America" creation: MEAL. Food! Nice clue. Mystery ingredient, five courses. Just don't get me started on Alton Brown who is the biggest charlatan in food shows, period. I wouldn't trust him to judge my cooking as far as I could throw him, and that's not a long way.

34. Casino gratuity: TOKE. Learning moment. I've tipped the dealers cash or tokens, but never thought of it as a "toke". I must consign that to the memory banks.

35. Canadian road sign letters: KPH, Don't go too fast, eh?

37. Monk's hood: COWL

38. Quahog or geoduck: CLAM. A geoduck is one heck of a clam.

39. Renaissance faire word: OLDE

41. Sphere used to capture a Pikachu, say: POKEBALL. Now this one I need some help with. My brother-in-law is a huge Pokémon Go fan, I'd ask him but he's old enough to know better. What is the sphere thing? It filled itself in.

42. "Zip it!": NOT A PEEP!

47. Fitness portmanteau: TAE-BO. Taekwondo and Boxing. Apparently.

49. Was in charge: LED

50. Small recipe amount: A DASH. Food! I tend to use a couple of dashes.

51. Long time follower?: NO SEE. Clecho with 68A. Nicely done.

52. Chicanery: GUILE

53. Rosemary unit: SPRIG. "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme" Plenty of food! today.

54. Brazen: NERVY

58. "Ice __ Truckers": TV reality series: ROAD

59. Impulse: URGE

60. Cry that may mean "I'm out of tuna!": MEOW! Poor kitty.

63. Microbrewery output: ALE

64. WWII craft: LST. Landing Ship, Tank, I believe.

*I learned that the French also "take their hat off" to someone to show respect. They just abbreviate it to "hat" - hence "Chapeau"!

That's it from me today, here's the grid!