Jun 24, 2017

Saturday, Jun 24th, 2017, Mark Diehl

Theme: None

Words: 66 (missing J,Q,V,Z)

Blocks: 26

Phew~!  I knew this was going to be a mental workout when I saw the constructor's name, and that certainly held true.  Lots of long entries, with a stagger step of 5 ten-letter answers up the middle.  Extremely deceptive cluing, and for me, unfortunately, some awful proper names (*) - and crossing, no less.  Still, I only red-letter cheated one square, which led to the discovery of one bad entry, and that held up the SW corner, my only problem area - and I managed to finish with one second left on my personal allotted time clock.  My brain is extra extra tired....like the 15-letter climber.  Here's that and some of the long fill;

8d. Like a trenta at Starbucks : EXTRA EXTRA LARGE - I don't 'do' Starbucks - it's my own coffee, or 7-11's

 I found this, too - funny

27d. Doesn't toss and turn : SLEEPS EASY - only with the A/C these days - and hold the trenta....

9d. The Beatles' "Help!" is one : TITLE TRACK - nice clue/answer

 In semaphore, that spells N U J V; half our missing letters

37. Certain racing vehicle : BURLAP SACK - nice. And if you've got the legs, you can rock a burlap sack dress....

27a. Poor working conditions : SWEAT BOXES - uh, like UPS these days - I won the hydration raffle yesterday, so here I am with Donna, our safety girl - she brings me lollipops.    Note my new scanner, which has added to the "poor" working conditions

 Hey now - that's just a crayon in my pocket....


1. It can affect where you stop on a road trip : GAS PRICE - similar answer to last week's start - GAS PUMPS

9. Three-legged table : TEAPOY - new term for me - however when I Googled images, they seem to be more than just "three-legged" tables now

15. Customary : ORTHODOX - Orthorunics~!

16. How old radios are heard : IN MONO - total WAG, but it stayed

17. Fed with a wand : TSA AGENT - another dupe from last week

18. Plugged away : TOILED

19. Botched, with "up" : MESSED - hesitated, seemed to easy for the puzzle

20. Tiny stream : RILL

22. Milk source : EWE - not SOW, but that's 0% 33.3% correct

23. Detail on a map : INSET

24. Judicious : SANE

25*. "I Lost It at the Movies" author : KAEL - perps

26. Took part in a cover-up : LIED

29. __-Tiki : KON

30*. One with all the answers? : ALEX TREBEK - funny, I tried SMART ALEC, which didn't fit

31. Company car advantage : FLEET RATE

32. Identity verification system : BIOMETRICS

34*. Hodges of the Dodgers : GIL - hey, I knew this one~!

38. Baskin-Robbins order : CONE

39. Breezed through : ACED

40. It's under a foot : SOLE - oops, not INCH

41. Eighth of 24 : THETA - oh, got me - not THREE, but the eighth letter of the Greek alphabet

42. Many ATM deposits : CKS - ugh.  Checks are all that I deposit, but this was the weakest of the answers lot

43*. Part of a hip-hop trio name : PEPA - argh~!  I had PE-A, and was thinking peee - a, not peh-pa - as in Salt N' Pepa

44. Makes a good living : DOES OK

45*. Keys on a piano : ALICIA - deceptive; I tried BLACKS

47. Give new life to : RECREATE

49. Abs strengtheners : LEG-UPS - Argh~!  not SIT ups, my bad entry

50. It's rarely taken home : GROSS PAY

51*. Inspector in Elizabeth George mysteries : LYNLEY

52*. Two-time British Open champ : ERNIE ELS - good WAG on my part - did not get out on the course or the driving range this week - but I do want to check out that "Downhill Lie"


1. Ad campaign almost dismissed by its creators for grammatical inaccuracy : GOT MILK~?

2*. Hall of fame : ARSENIO - clever misdirection, but I got it

3*. Nine-time presidential candidate : STASSEN

4. Introduced in stages, with "in" : PHASED

5*. He had a way with words : ROGET - thesaurus guy

6. Named : IDed

7. Bamboozle : CON - semi 'eh' with KON in the puzzle, too

10. Organic compound : ENOL

11. "What __ bid for ... " : AM I - not in my wheelhouse

12. Weapon similar to a halberd : POLEAXE

13. Salary period : ONE WEEK

14. Off-peak calls? : YODELS - that kind of off (the) peak call - har-har

21. Quicker than quick : IN A TRICE

24. Fruit also called a sugar apple : SWEETSOP - never heard of or seen one - I guess I don't get out much (to the tropics)

25. __ beef : KOBE

28. Santa Anita action : BETS - west coast clue - I never heard of the place

30. Michigan city or college : ALMA

31. Decide not to call : FOLD - Poker terms

32*. "Firing Line" host : BUCKLEY

33. Parting words : "I RESIGN."

34. Has a cow : GOES APE

35. All told : IN TOTAL

36. Olduvai Gorge paleontologists : LEAKEYS - not a clue - this is what I found when I went Googling after I finished

37*. "Applause" Tony winner : BACALL

38. Jack in a box lunch : CHEESE - Monterey, that is

41. Tanks cover them : TORSI - tank tops, and upper bodies - nice deception

43. Frosty feature : PIPE - oh, the Christmas character - got me for a long time

We're halfway to UPS Christmas season already

44. Raid shelfmate : D-CON

46. __-de-sac : CUL

48. Muck it up : ERR


Jun 23, 2017

Friday, June 23, 2017, John Lampkin

TITLE: Let's go camping!

John Lampkin is back with another delight. The theme answers in this letter exchange puzzle are all silly and clued with John's special wit. The base phrases are an odd set, but they work. The grid is a bit different with symmetrical 9 letter fill (NW- SE) around a 7 letter middle word and 11 letter downs set out in opposite corners. This makes one work a bit more. He also includes DEEP END, ALL TIME,  RATTLER,  FUSSPOT,   COURAGE,  LEAD DOG as sparkly fill.  Well, let us see how he built this Friday.

16A. Vermicelli for the greedy or lustful? : VICE-A-RONI (9). RICE-A-RONI the San Francisco TREAT.

38A. Energy drink? : VIMSHOT (7). RIMSHOT.  Who is your favorite comedian? LINK.

10D. Practical approach to preparing saltimbocca? : VEAL POLITIK (11). REALPOLITIK. You want to STUDY?

24D. Pamplona preeners, with "the"? : VAIN IN SPAIN (11). RAIN IN SPAIN. LISTEN.
the reveal
61A. Camper upgrade, literally seen in four puzzle answers : RV TRADE IN (9). A really fun reveal which tells us the we trade our beginning R for a V.


1. Clumps or chumps : CLODS. It takes a mind like JL to realize this relation.

6. Wall Street Journal co-founder Charles : DOW. Along with Messrs Jones and Bergestresser. LINK
They started the Dow Jones Bergestresser averages.

9. 2013 Zipcar acquirer : AVIS. Another sharing venture started in Miami. LINK.

13. Word on mail from Madrid : AEREO. Is there still airmail?

14. Have to shell out : OWE.

15. Break the silence of the lamb? : BLEAT. Such an appreciation for words and humor.

18. Get high : ELATE.

19. Get going : PROD. Like they do with cattle, or tigers.

20. Threat in old Westerns : RATTLER. My brother and I bought a house in Gainesville after law school. We were very surprised when we saw many diamondback rattlers sunning in the middle of the street. Turns out before it was leveled for development, the area was called rattlesnake hill.

John was nice enough to provide this pic.

22. Knuckle under : GIVE.

25. Bungler : OAF.

27. Import : SHIP IN.

28. Nutty : INANE.

30. Slam __ : DUNK.

32. Clever comment : MOT. Bon mot.

33. Word with gown or wreath : BRIDAL. I was not an expert on SPIREA.

35. Sandra's Supreme Court successor : SAMUEL. Ms. Day O'Conner and Mr. ALITO.

37. What's big in London? : BEN. Cute.

40. Texting qualifier : IMOIMOpinion.

43. Glacial mass : ICECAP. Politics.

45. __ milk : MALTED. Malted milk shakes were very popular when I was young.

47. Dedicatee of Lennon's "Woman" : ONO. Not really up on Yoko years.

48. Barrel band : HOOP. And staves.

50. 1937 Shirley Temple title role : HEIDI. Do you remember the MOVIE? 80 years ago!

51. Cover, in a way : INSURE. Not put a top on.

53. Pot leaves : TEA. Not ASH.

55. Comparable : AKIN.

56. Subsequent edition with no changes : REPRINT.

58. Flew : SPED.

60. With 12-Down, Carnegie Hall icon : ISAAC. 12D. See 60-Across : STERN. Cue the VIOLINS.

66. Skeptical sound at Belmont? : NEIGH. Horsies.  The Belmont was a snooze fest this year.

67. Crude stuff : OIL.

68. Dry Italian white : SOAVE. Considered cheap wine when I was younger.

69. Sebaceous gland issue : ACNE.

70. One of several found in a golf cart : TEE.

71. Graceful wader : EGRET. More expertise from JL, beautiful bird.


1. James, for one, briefly : CAValier. 8 NBA championship appearances, 3 titles. He appears to be getting better and better but still not winning it all as much as he would like.

2. Hilo hello accompaniment : LEI. What beautiful alliteration!!!

3. Hobbit hunter : ORC.

4. Where it's not good to go off? : DEEP END. I am seeing more and more of this type of misdirection, like last week's " Bad thing to draw during a test."

5. Birds do it : SOAR. So do butterflies.

6. Thingy : DOODAD. Fun word.

7. Routinely trounce : OWN.

8. Small dam : WEIR. No relation to- did you think of this as well HG and Big Easy?

9. Never surpassed : ALL TIME.

11. Unwelcome response to "Where's the leftover pizza?" : I ATE IT. Who likes cold pizza?

15. Kiss classic : BETH.

17. Milne marsupial : ROO. Kanga too.

21. Referral from dad? : ASK MOM. Such a wonderfully phrased clue.

22. The "Gee" in Bee Gees : GIBB. This is not true, as explained in wiki "They were introduced to leading Brisbane radio DJ Bill Gates by speedway promoter and driver Bill Goode, who had hired the brothers to entertain the crowd at the Redcliffe Speedway in 1960.... Gates renamed them the BG's (later changed to "Bee Gees") after his, Goode's, and Barry Gibb's initials—thus the name was not specifically a reference to "Brothers Gibb", despite popular belief

23. About : IN RE.

26. Fuddy-duddy : FUSSPOT. I have not heard this word in years.

29. Igloo's lack : EAVE. No shed dormers either.

31. "Nope" : NAH.

34. Fungus/alga symbiosis : LICHEN.

36. Bryce Canyon locale : UTAH.

39. Red Guard leader : MAO.

41. Prefix with -terranean : MEDI. Sub?

42. Master of the Valkyries : ODIN.

44. Grit, but not grits : COURAGE. Too true. How many like eating grits? Shrimp and grits are popular.

46. It's never a poodle in the Iditarod : LEAD DOG. Really? MUST READ.

47. "Be right there!" : ONE SEC.

49. Chef's crusher : PESTLE. My wife has two like below. Very important for Papaya Salad.

51. "The Three Sisters" sister : IRINA. Olga and Masha were older.

52. Loaded : RICH.

54. Busy time for CPAs : APRil.

57. Relaxed pace : TROT. A mini-clecho.

59. Relaxation : EASE.

62. Strive : VIE.

63. Temple neighbor : EAR. Cute, not the University where Bill Cosby graduated.

64. Mass ending? : IVE. Because  neither Adoro te devote nor -pike fit.

65. A daredevil might eschew it : NET. Yes, neither C.C nor any of her minions ever works with a NET, even though we might fall. But it is summer now, so enjoy. Lemonade out.

Jun 22, 2017

Thursday, June 22 2017 Peter A. Collins

Theme: Office Space - Four corners, four varieties of offices - as the reveal succinctly explains:

38A. With 41-Across, corporate status symbol ... and a hint to the circled letters : CORNER

41A. See 38-Across : OFFICE

Four corners, four offices and two paired reveals across the center. The four offices are clockwise from noon: HOME, TICKET, POST and OVAL. Quite lovely. A couple of years ago I tried to construct a circle puzzle based on OFFICE in an oval shape. I messed around with that idea for way too long and then abandoned it. Peter went in another direction and nailed it.

A "hidden" theme like this is extremely hard to pull off. Kudos to Peter for that - and let's see what else jumps out.


1. Sheepish? : OVINE. Bugger. Why do I always confidently go with USINE which has nothing to do with sheep? First misstep at 1A. Go Steve! Now this is a thing of beauty! Those border collies are quite amazing,

6. Seeks information : ASKS. "Excuse me, what is the descriptive adjective for sheep?"

10. Wave back? : ECHO. Nice. Was playing with EVAW for a while.

14. Fashion flap : LAPEL

15. Eliza Doolittle's creator : SHAW. George Bernard. "Pygmalion" and thence "My Fair Lady". The wonderful Audrey Hepburn.

16. Noah's firstborn : SHEM. Confidently tried SETH first. That didn't help a lot.

17. __ blank (was stumped) : DREW A

18. Big East hoopster : HOYA. If you'd have told me 25 years ago I'd even know that there was a thing called College Basketball I'd have been stumped. 25 years later, not even a thought about the Georgetown U athletics program.

19. One of many on a sweater? : PORE. Great clue. That was me yesterday at my periodontist. Google British Dentisty 1960's and you'll know why my pores were getting a workout. My first dentist (I was five years old) drilled my teeth with a foot-treadle-operated drill and no anesthetic. This was way before Novocaine was available.

20. Headshot, e.g. : PIC

21. Rapper-turned-actor in "NCIS: Los Angeles" : LL COOL J

24. Tiny, made tinier : LIL. Rapper designate also. 'Sup, Cool J?

25. Collect : REAP. As ye sow. so ye shall reap ....

27. Cake grain : OAT ... cake grain? No thanks, I'm inventing vodka!

28. Decadent : EFFETE

30. Perceived Hollywood oversight : OSCAR SNUB. Loved this. Unhappy that Daniel Day Lewis decided this week to hang up his boots. What a fantastic actor. Never snubbed.

33. Gold standard : KARAT

34. Univ. aides : TAS

35. Luau fare : POI. FOOD! It's really good if it's made well. That's a big caveat.

37. Joyful dances : JIGS

43. Hindu title : RANI

44. Modeled for a portrait : SAT

46. See 54-Across : OUT. Cross-reference haters rejoice! Here's one with the second word first! Have at it in the comments section!

47. Tennyson's "__ Arden" : ENOCH. Crosses all the way.

49. Character who debuted in "First Blood" : JOHN RAMBO. I can never remember his first name.

54. With 46-Across, quit working : CONKED. See 46A. Personally, I like it.

56. Fam. member : REL. We say "relation" here. Brits say "relative". Discuss.

57. Spotted : SEEN

58. Terminate : END

59. Genuine, for real : SYNONYM. LOVED this clue. I wish I was so original when I'm cluing a crossword.

62. Bloke : LAD

63. "Rich men sin, and __ root": "Timon of Athens" : I EAT. Obscure? Yes. Gettable with crosses? Yes.

65. Princes, but not princesses : SONS

66. Advice to sinners : ATONE. Not "Don't be a knucklehead and don't it again"? That would be my advice before starting the whole atonement process.

68. __ stick : POGO

69. "Beetle Bailey" pooch : OTTO

70. Slice-and-dice product suffix : -MATIC. Don't. REALLY don't. REALLY DON'T order anything from the TV called -MATIC anything. Period.

71. Crimean War leader : TSAR

72. Lamp gas : NEON

73. Walter White's Pontiac model in "Breaking Bad" : AZTEK Easily one of the ugliest cars designed - ever.


1. Hardly a neophyte : OLD PRO

2. Fluctuates : VARIES

3. Emetic drug : IPECAC. Completely ineffective and, as it transpires, quite dangerous.

4. Never used : NEW

5. Airline since 1948 : EL AL. "To the skies" et al. Sorry, I meant el al.

6. Rubbish bin : ASH CAN. Do we have these anymore? Genuine question.

7. Have a growth spurt : SHOOT UP

8. Drop to the canvas : KAYO. Variations on Knock Out, KO or crosswordese KAYO. Sorry, didn't like this.

9. Marshy hollow : SWALE. I'm not seeing this. A marsh is flat, wet and reedy. A swale is a lovely dry haven in a meadow. Ne'er the twain shall meet.

10. Mentalist's gift : ESP

11. Ill-tempered : CHOLERIC. Word of the day.

12. Ancestry : HERITAGE. Wine style of the day: Meritage. C'mon, I have to get my food/wine hat on sometimes!

13. Morning orders : OMELETS. Food! Mushrooms, cheddar cheese, spinach. Thank you.

22. Setbacks : LOSSES

23. 35th pres. : JFK

26. Indy racer Danica or sportscaster Dan : PATRICK. I watch the Dan Patrick Show most mornings on NBC Sports. Dan has a life-sized stand-up of Danica in his studio. There was an ongoing debate about whether it was Danica, or a stock model of a guy with Danica's face Photoshop'ed onto it, due to the size of the hands. The jury was out - either it was Danica, who has "Man Hands", or it was a Photoshop fake. Very entertaining.

29. Sizzling Tex-Mex dish : FAJITAS. Food! SoCal favorite.

31. Conducted : RAN

32. Didn't say __: had no comment : BOO

36. Words of regret : IF ONLY

38. Camera named for a goddess : CANON EOS. I gave my daughter one for Christmas one year, I made sure it worked first, She almost didn't get it.

39. Five Nations tribe : ONONDAGA. Thank you, crosses

40. "The Big Bang Theory" astrophysicist : RAJ. Thank you, crosses, I know this is a show I should have watched but .....

42. Pelt : FUR

43. Register printout : RECEIPT

45. Home city of Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper : TORONTO. One of those two better be syndicating the LA Times puzzle, or there will be trouble, eH? Don't have any doot aboot it. Canadian Eh! may need to mediate..

48. Cock and bull : HES. Masculine plural - wasn't sure how to punctuate it, so you get it in the raw form.

50. Muppet master : HENSON

51. Giant in Cooperstown : MEL OTT

52. Small cap : BEANIE

53. Next up : ON DECK. Lemonade, tomorrow

55. Bagless vacuum pioneer : DYSON. I love how he sounds so British. And all balls, too.

60. Staff member? : NOTE

61. Crib cry : MA-MA

64. Craggy peak : TOR

67. Tornadic Looney Tunes spinner : TAZ

It's been a long day, so I'm done (put a fork in me) . Grid below. I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Thursday. Those of you in tornado territory - be careful. Those of you in insanely hot territory - look after yourselves.


Jun 21, 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 C.C. Burnikel

Theme:  The RAT's nest.  Each theme answer has the word RAT comfortably snuggled deep inside.

18 A. Swimmer who medaled at five Olympic Games : DARA TORRES.  She competed in 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000 and 2008.  In 2008, at age 41, she became the oldest American olympic swimmer.  She won silvers medals in her three events that year.

24 A. Subjected to harsh criticism : UNDER ATTACK.  Verbal attack. Topical, but let's not go there.

36 A. Soccer deadlock breaker : EXTRA TIME. Overtime in American Football and basketball.

51 A. Many a Sports Illustrated cover figure : STAR ATHLETE.  Well sure, sports magazine, star athletes - a perfect fit.  Not always how it works out, though.  I was unable to locate an SI cover of DARA TORRES.  So this will have to suffice.

And the unifier -- 58 A. Suspicious comment ... and a hint to what's hidden in 18-, 24-, 36- and 51-Across : I SMELL A RAT.    This is the comment of a suspicious person - perhaps in a noirish movie - rather than a comment one should be suspicious of.  The expression goes back to at least 1851, and might be based on a cat's ability to detect a RAT by scent, even if it is out of sight.

Note that the letters R, A and T are broken across two words in each answer, and, as a nice touch, the break point alternates between after and before the A.

Hi, gang, it's JzB, who actually has been a lab RAT, of a sort, in the distant past.  Let's put on our lab jackets and see if we can find any other RATS in the labyrinth that C. C. has set out for us today.


1. "MasterChef" tools : PANS.  Cooking tools used on the TV show.

5. Street shader : ELM.  The once great shade source on many American streets, long since devastated by Dutch Elm Disease.   Resistant varieties are now available.

8. Very dangerous : TOXIC.   Poisonous - as related to certain substances or persons in relationships.

13. Maker of Anew skin care products : AVON.  

14. Have to have : NEED.  In my marketing class many years ago, I learned that advertisers do not distinguish between wants and needs.  My protest that I need transportation, but want a Porsche Carrera went unheeded.

16. Cuban dance : RUMBA.  The term has long since lost whatever specificity it may once have had, and is applied to many styles of dance and music with a latin flair.  Here is a modern example from Mexico.

17. Fancy wheels : LIMO.  Usually stretch versions of vehicles for transporting partiers, prom goers, bride's maids, et. cet.

20. Apparel : GARB.  Clothes.

22. Exodus peak : SINAI.  The mountain where Moses received the 10 Commandments.  It took no time at all for them to get broken.

23. Actor's rep. : AGT.  Agent.

26. Turn a different color : DYE.  Did you see that red head Harry was with?  Yeah, that's his wife.  I thought he was married to a brunet!?!   He was, but she DYED.

27. Belgian detective played by Ustinov, Welles, Finney and others : POIROT.   Hercule, an Agatha Christie character who appeared in 33 novels, over 50 short stories and one play between 1920 and 1975.

28. Knight in shining armor : SAVIOR.  If being saved from a fire-breathing dragon counts as salvation.

30. Fast Company magazine competitor : INC.   Titles of business oriented magazines.

31. Nobelist Bohr : NIELS.  He received his prize in 1922 for contribution to the understanding of quantum theory.  Some of Einstein's friends thought that Albert was interesting, but NIELS was a Bohr.

35. Pot promise : IOU.  Promise to pay in a poker pot.

39. "Bad" cholesterol, initially : LDL. Low Density Lipoproteins are the culprits; cholesterol gets the bad rap.

41. Battery-free calculators : ABACI.  Not only that, they're also digital!  A competent operator is also lightning quick.

42. Mama bear, in Chihuahua : OSA. Spanish. 

45. Home to about 740 million : EUROPE.  includes Spain.

48. Christmas cupful : EGG NOG.

50. Fort Myers-to-Orlando dir. : NNE.

55. Grazing spot : LEA.  An open field.

56. Oohed and __ : AAHED.  As at babies - human and otherwise.

57. Bottom : TUSH.  The posterior of a person.

61. Connected (to) : TIED.

63. Cook, as dumplings : STEAM.  Or vegetables.

64. "Game of Thrones," for one : SAGA.  A long story of heroic achievement.  GoT is certainly long.  Whether anyone lives long enough to actually achieve heroically is very much up in the air [as are the dragons.]

65. Architect Saarinen : EERO.  [1910-1961] Born in Finland, he grew up in Bloomfield Hills, MI.

66. Fruity desserts : TARTS.  An open pastry, often filled with fruit and/or custard.

67. Butterfly catcher : NET.   At the end of the day, a butterfly catcher records his NET gain.

68. "Got it" : I SEE.  Comprendo!


1. Best bud : PAL.  Amigos, not flowers.  These days: bestie.

2. French city on the Rhone : AVIGNON.

3. Inclined to wander : NOMADIC.

4. Noisy sleeper : SNORER.  Guilty

5. Go "pfft" : END.  Disappear in a puff of smoke?

6. Bare minimum : LEAST.  It's the bare minimum I could do.

7. __ badge : MERIT.  Boy scout's symbol of achievement.

8. Three-horse vehicle : TROIKA.

9. "__ Song": Taylor Swift hit : OUR.   On YouTube for anyone who is interested.

10. Satellite service for road trips : XM RADIO.  They might also play it there.

11. "Pretty please?" : I BEG YOU.   Can I - huh, huh?

12. Furniture wheel : CASTER.  Mounted in such a way that it can roll in any direction.

15. Fox's "X-Files" partner : DANA.  Scully, played by Gillian Anderson, partner of Fox Mulder, played by David Duchovney.

19. Tic __: mints : TACS.  Candy or breath mint?  You decide.

21. Borough bordering Yonkers : BRONX.  The northernmost of New York City's 5 boroughs.

24. Wire service co. : UPI.  United Press International.

25. Butting heads : AT IT.  Vying, perhaps.

29. Go toe-to-toe : VIE.  At it again, maybe.

32. Stretch in history books : ERA. A time period notable for some characteristic.

33. Research site : LAB.  Also home to some RATS.

34. Metro stop: Abbr. : STAtion.

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

37. "Law & Order: SVU" actor : ICE-T.  Tracey Lauren Morrow.

38. Power : MIGHT.

39. Ambien alternative : LUNESTA.   Sleep aid drugs.

40. Starry-eyed sort : DREAMER.  LUNESTA user?

42. Baby's bodysuits : ONESIES.  Or adults'.

43. "As I predicted!" : SO THERE.  Told ya'!

44. What candles may signify : AGE.  Well - that takes the cake!

45. Volunteer, in a way : ENLIST.  In the armed forces or other organization.

46. Bible book with 150 poems : PSALMS.  I recently had a chance to play this beautiful Russian Hymn based on psalm 74.

47. Footnote shorthand : ET AL.  And others - a list shortener.

49. Muscles strengthened by lunges : GLUTEI.  Is this a mini-theme, or am I getting a little behind?

52. Cries of discovery : AHAS.  Or Eurekas.

53. Showed once more : RERAN.  As a TV show.

54. Maxim : ADAGE.  An old saw.

59. Fast no more : EAT.  Slowly. Eat slowly.  Chew every bite.

60. Parlor art, for short : TAT.  Body art, applied at a tattoo parlor

62. Girl in a forest : DOE.  A deer, a female deer.

That wraps another Wednesday.  C. C. gave a fine puzzle to while away a few well-spent moments. Hope you made it through OK.  Now - who moved my cheese?

Cool Regards!


Jun 20, 2017

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 Roger & Kathy Wienberg

Theme: W-I-D-E - in the circles. If no circles, the reveal should make it clear anyway.

17A. Caribbean island group: WEST INDIES

23A. Independence Day colors: RED, WHITE, AND BLUE

37A. Auto visibility aid with intermittent settings: WINDSHIELD WIPER

48A. "How about that!": "WELL I'LL BE DARNED!"

60A. Extensive ... and what's literally seen in this puzzle's circles: WIDESPREAD. (wide spread)

Argyle here. A few of us may suffer from WIDESPREAD but let's not go there. This couple gave us  a Tuesday puzzle on March 14.


1. Fancy tie: ASCOT

6. Facts and figures: DATA

10. Herring family fish: SHAD

14. Pageant topper: TIARA

15. Broadcast with greater image resolution, as TV shows: IN HD. (High-Definition)

16. Sign over: CEDE

19. Golf outing spoiler: RAIN

20. Mature: AGE

21. "Give all thou __": Wordsworth: CANSTInside of King's College Chapel, Cambridge.

22. Helping hands: AIDES

26. Olive product: OIL

27. Vicinity: AREA

28. Piano-bass-drums jazz group, e.g.: TRIO

31. __ apso: dog: LHASA

34. Bumped into: MET

41. Atypical: ODD

42. Ballplayer with "SD" on his cap: PADRE. San Diego Padres.

43. Quartet that covered "Woodstock," initially: CSNY. (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)

44. Jamaican fruit: UGLI

46. Royal flush card: ACE

56. Cereal grass disease: ERGOT

57. Broadcaster: AIRER

58. "Don't Bring Me Down" rock gp.: ELO. (Electric Light Orchestra)

59. From the top: ANEW

62. "The __ of the Ancient Mariner": RIME

63. Actor Guinness: ALEC

64. Augment: ADD TO

65. Gardener's purchase: SEED

66. Playbill listing: CAST

67. Cuts with a light beam: LASES


1. Battling it out: AT WAR

2. Prolonged battle: SIEGE

3. Scoped out with bad intentions: CASED

4. Table scrap: ORT

5. Meditative Chinese exercise: TAI CHI

6. Neglected to: DIDN'T

7. Ouzo flavoring: ANISE

8. Consonant before iota: THETA. ϴ, eighth letter.

9. Promos that interrupt programs: ADS

10. Old manuscript copier: SCRIBE

11. Illumination on helmets: HEADLAMPS

12. Farewell: ADIEU

13. Tightly packed: DENSE

18. Polished body part: NAIL

22. Play to __: tie: A DRAW

24. Lumberyard purchase: WOOD

25. Former OTC watchdog: NASD. [Over-the-counter (stock) / National Association of Securities Dealers (merged with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in 2007)]

28. Couple: TWO

29. Get __ of: discard: RID

30. "I'd like this favor": "INDULGE ME"

31. Cookie jar cover: LID

32. Ship's pronoun: HER

33. Malt brew: ALE

35. Poetic twilight: EEN

36. "These are the times that __ men's souls": Paine: TRY

38. Bowler's challenge: SPLIT

39. Flag down, as a cab: HAIL

40. Cake decorator: ICER

45. Emitted an aura: GLOWED

46. Orange drinks: ADEs

47. __ tunnel syndrome: CARPAL

48. Has on: WEARS

49. Orange Muppet: ERNIE

50. Muhammad's boxing daughter: LAILA

51. __ one's time: waits patiently: BIDES

52. Standing straight: ERECT

53. Non-negotiable things: NEEDS

54. Fill with glee: ELATE

55. Extinct birds: DODOs

60. WWII GI Jane: WAC. (Women's Army Corps)

61. Dietary guideline letters: RDA. (Recommended Dietary Allowance)


Jun 19, 2017

Monday, June 19, 2017 Mark Feldman

Theme: No Reveal Monday

17A. Shrewd person, to a food critic?: SHARP COOKIE

29A. Important person, to a food critic?: BIG CHEESE

47A. Despicable person, to a food critic?: ROTTEN EGG

66A. Lazy person, to a food critic?: COUCH POTATO

Argyle here. NW corner gave me pause but then it was off to the races. Now I have to race thru the blog because a line of T-storms are racing this way.


1. Brawl: MELEE

6. See 27-Down: BOOKS. 27-Down. With 6-Across, records that might be "cooked": THE

11. L.A. Galaxy's org.: MLS. (Major League Soccer)

14. Alpine climber's need: ICE AX

15. Asinine: INANE

16. Goal: AIM

19. African antelope: GNU

20. Hide: CONCEAL

21. Like skunks and zebras: STRIPED

23. Hitching post?: ALTAR. Cute.

25. 44-Across VIP: KING. 44-Across. High school dance: PROM

26. James Bond's school: ETON

33. Prevent, as a robbery: THWART

36. Female neigh sayer: MARE

37. Betray: SELL OUT

39. Avian symbol of pride: PEACOCK

46. Doze off: DROWSE

52. Math average: MEAN

53. Fencing sword: ÉPÉE

54. Witch trial town: SALEM

57. Impressive banquet displays: SPREADS

61. Acknowledged a military superior: SALUTED

65. Weeding tool: HOE

68. CIA forerunner: OSS. (Office of Strategic Services)

69. Vaudeville show: REVUE

70. "He loves me" piece: PETAL

71. Tetley product: TEA

72. Class-ending pair?: ESSes

73. Rub off the page: ERASE


1. Uncategorized stuff: Abbr.: MISC. (miscellaneous)

2. Repeat: ECHO

3. With the fat trimmed off: LEAN

4. Auditory passage: EAR CANAL

5. Kick out: EXPEL

6. Where DNA tests are performed: BIO LAB

7. Singer Yoko: ONO

8. Acorn sources: OAKS

9. Make using yarn: KNIT

10. Reader of tea leaves: SEER

11. Member of the crow family: MAGPIE

12. White sale goods: LINENS

13. Blotch: SMUDGE

18. "Cool" hipster: CAT

22. President married to Mamie: IKE. The Eisenhowers.

24. Outer edge: RIM

26. Out-of-this-world beings, in brief: ETs

28. Wise bird: OWL

30. Space: GAP

31. Rep on the street: CRED

32. When repeated, "Great speech!": "HEAR, hear!"

34. Weapon in Clue: ROPE

35. Spoil: TURN

38. Water-testing digit: TOE

40. Traveler to work: COMMUTER

41. Must pay: OWE

42. Civil War org.: CSA. (Confederate States of America)

43. Boy doll: KEN

45. Classic British sports cars: MGs

47. Did over, as a movie scene: RESHOT

48. Be against: OPPOSE

49. Revered Mother: TERESA. Saint Teresa of Calcutta.

50. Casual top: TEE

51. Deep cuts: GASHES

55. Once around, in a race: LAP. My first lap has just about run.

56. Secretly tie the knot: ELOPE

58. Land parcel: ACRE

59. "Easy __ it!": DOES

60. Santa Fe and Tucson, in the auto world: SUVs. (Sport utility vehicle)

62. "Cheerio!": "TATA!"

63. Greek vowels: ETAs. [H]

64. Give (out) sparingly: DOLE

67. Prompt on stage: CUE


Jun 18, 2017

Sunday June 18, 2017 Gail Grabowski

Theme: "Pop Culture"- DAD spans across each theme entry.

23A. Brand created in Toronto in 1904 : CANADA DRY. Now owned by Dr. Pepper.

25A. 23-Across buyer : SODA DRINKER. Pepsi in our household.

42A. School social worker's concern : CHILD ADVOCACY

89A. Alert precipitated by heavy rain : FLOOD ADVISORY. I sure don't miss the rainy season in Guangzhou. Rains every day.

108A. Audio system connector : IPOD ADAPTER. I've hit Stop Download on a few podcasts.

110A. Annual Silver State celebration : NEVADA DAY. Google shows it's October 27 this year. That's Boomer's birthday.

32D. Newspaper revenue source : CLASSIFIED AD

38D. Gorilla Glue, for one : WOOD ADHESIVE. Our fridge handle was broken a while ago. Fixed with Super Glue. Amazing.

Reveal entry:

111. Today's honoree, found in this puzzle's eight longest answers : DAD

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers on our blog!

Gail's puzzle is a nice sequel to Bruce Haight's Mother's Day puzzle. Classic Gail design: Six theme entries Across. Two Downs.

I mentioned this before, Gail and Bruce Venzke name their puzzle GAB if Gail's name comes up first, e.g., Gail comes up with the theme. They name their puzzle BAG if Bruce's name comes up first.

They seem to collaborate only on weekday puzzles. All Gail's Sundays have been solos.


1. Physics calculation : MASS

5. They may be broken on purpose : LAWS. Thought of EGGS first.

9. "You gotta be kidding me!" : AW MAN

14. Aussie bedrolls : SWAGS. This is new to me.

19. Comics pooch : ODIE . "Garfield".

20. Put in other words, say : EDIT. Gail is a total pro. Her puzzles won't need much editing from Rich.

21. British county : SHIRE

22. Garlicky mayo : AIOLI. Looks similar to Steve's mayo.

27. Bank protection : LEVEE. Riverbank.

28. Country : RURAL. Adjective "Country".

29. Web search tool : ENGINE

30. Cleared out : VACATED

33. British peers : EARLS

34. Some basilica singers : ALTI.  Altos is more common. 

35. "How about that!" : I'LL BE

36. Kin of -trix : ENNE

37. "The Dark Mirror" antagonist, e.g. : EVIL TWIN. Never heard of the movie.

41. Infamous 1974 bank robbers: Abbr. : SLA. Symbionese Liberation Army

47. Plastic __ Band : ONO

48. Hypotheticals : IFs

49. Noisy disturbance : TUMULT.  We also have 55. Inner turmoil : ANGST. This Chinese character means "serene"/"quiet".

50. Fence material? : LOOT. Great clue.

51. "I'm getting to it" : SOON

52. Curious to a fault : NOSY

54. Galileo's birthplace : PISA. Gary & Joann were there.

55. Partner of 46-Down : AAH. And 46. Partner of 55-Across : OOH
56. Talk show medium : AM RADIO

59. Cat Nation people : ERIES

61. Industry heavyweights : TITANS. Tech-driven, these days.

63. Airport sign : ARRIVALS

64. Flutter : FLAP

66. Colorful appetizer platter items : VEGGIES. Here in our local flea markets, the veggies stands are mostly operated by Hmong people. I'm so happy to get veggies like water spinach & Daikon radishes.

68. "The Call of the Wild" ride : SLED

69. Outdoor party focal point : TAILGATE. Hi there BlueHen.

72. Run off : ESCAPE

74. "Swing Shift" Oscar nominee : LAHTI. I sure need Christine in the clue.

77. Free sample constraint : ONE EACH

78. Farm denizen : ANT. Ant farm.

79. Exiled Shah Mohammad __ Pahlavi : REZA. I only know him as the Shah.

81. Press Secretary Spicer : SEAN. Sorry you did not get to meet the Pope.

82. Taylor's husband between Wilding and Fisher : TODD

83. City near Tulsa : ENID

85. Still developing : UNRIPE

87. Return ID : SSN. Tax return.

88. Former "How Do Your Children Grow?" PBS host LeShan : EDA

92. Follower's suffix : ITE. Not IST.

93. Getting into the wrong business? : MEDDLING. Russia!

95. Duncan of the Obama Cabinet : ARNE

96. They're on the house : EAVES. Another great clue.

98. Sandberg in Cooperstown : RYNE. Iconic picture. Quite a few names in this puzzle.

99. Biker's headgear, perhaps : DORAG

101. Weeds out : FILTERS

103. Confirm, as a password : RE-TYPE

106. Descriptor in lotion commercials : SILKY. Or a smooth Saturday LAT Barry-style.

107. Wrangler material : DENIM

114. Goes for the lure : BITES. You won't believe the fishing stuff in our Fleet Farm. So many lakes here. Did you use to fish in your Wisconsin puddles when you were a kid, D-Otto?

115. Espresso order : LATTE

116. "Agreed!" : AMEN

117. Whittle : PARE

118. Aromatherapy choice : SCENT. I wish Dr Teal's has non-scented Epsom Salt.

119. Far-reaching : BROAD

120. Put to sleep, perhaps : BORE

121. Some emailed files : PDFs

1. Comfy footwear : MOC. Moccasins.

2. Crown-installing org. : ADA

3. Sloth, e.g. : SIN
4. Aquanaut's habitat : SEA LAB

5. Time off : LEAVE

6. Tacked on : ADDED

7. Power conduit : WIRE

8. Squalid quarters : STY

9. Gave one's word : ASSURED

10. Fingerprint pattern : WHORL

11. Big name in auto maintenance : MIDAS. Do you have ABRA in your area? They fixed our back bumper. So pleased with their service. Midas overcharges.

12. Word near Kazakhstan, on maps : ARAL

13. Composer Rorem : NED

14. Holy : SAINTLY

15. Improvise : WING IT

16. Golfer Isao : AOKI. Never saw him in person. We go to 3M Championship every year. Free admission, thanks to 3M.

17. Secluded spot : GLEN

18. Many a retired racehorse : SIRE

24. Get a hint of : DETECT
26. Piece of the past : RELIC

28. Charged : RAN AT

30. Brand measured in drops : VISINE. We also have 45. Brand with a spokesstork who sounds like Groucho : VLASIC. Sparkly fill, though nothing beats these pickles. CrossEyedDave's favorites. He probably likes the spicy version.

31. Completely behind : ALL FOR

33. Run over : END LATE
34. Online icon : AVATAR

36. Difficult to find : ELUSIVE

37. Start to tour? : ECO. Eco-tour.

39. How sun-dried tomatoes are packed : IN OIL

40. "Tut-tut" evokers : NO NOs

43. Military drill syllable : HUP

44. "You've found the right person" : I'M IT
51. File command option : SAVE AS. Another great fill.

53. Cried out : YELLED
57. __ Butterworth : MRS

58. Streamlet : RILL

60. Trilogy, often : SAGA. We also have  104. Many a Charlton Heston movie : EPIC

62. Meeting staple : AGENDA

63. Bad-mouth : ASPERSE. Never used the verb. Only the noun "Aspersion".

65. Campaign funding org. : PAC

67. Bringing home : EARNING

69. Clan symbol : TOTEM

70. Battery pole : ANODE

71. Mr. Right : THE ONE

73. Opera star Pinza : EZIO ."South Pacific". I talk like Bloody Mary.

75. Culinary guard in ancient Rome : TASTER

76. Landscape artist George : INNESS. Unfamiliar to me.  Here is his "Delaware Water Gap".

78. Samaritan's offering : AID

80. National Humor Mo. : APR

84. Creamy quaff : NOG

85. Factor in tanning : UV RAY

86. It's usually down for the night : EYELID. Ah, I was not thinking of my own face.

89. Go by quickly : FLY PAST

90. Like some index cards : LINED

91. Claret or burgundy : DARK RED

94. England's first poet laureate : DRYDEN. I need "John" in the clue.

97. Bank offering for smartphones : ATM APP. Is this a thing? Does it help you find ATMs?

99. Word of agreement : DITTO

100. "All the Love" singer Adams : OLETA. Forgot. We had her before.

101. Flu symptom : FEVER

102. Fatuous : INANE

103. Messy meal : RIBS
105. Haul : TOTE

106. Yard or boom : SPAR

107. How-to presentation : DEMO

109. NATO member since 2009 : ALB. OK, Albania.

110. Collar : NAB

112. Boxer's comment : ARF

113. No denial? : YES.  Ah, yes!


Jun 17, 2017

Saturday, Jun 17th, 2017, Erik Agard

Theme: None

Words: 70 (missing J,Q,X,Z)

Blocks: 26

Mr Agard has yet another Saturday grid for us, his last one on May 20th.  Not as quick as the last puzzle, it took nearly all of my personal allotted time - however, I did not have cheat (much).  Just a quick red-letter check about a proper name I didn't think was correct, and the rest of the proper names filled themselves in, although we are looking at some rather vague answers today - hey, it's Saturday.  One spanner, two 10s and no corner blocks this week, thus chunky 8x6 crossings.  Some of the longer fill;

35. Modern pizza option : GLUTEN-FREE CRUST - I thought it would be something about online ordering or cel phone apps

6. Break bread? : MAKE CHANGE - I had some crossings from the first pass, but still feel pretty good for getting this one right away

31. "That wasn't exactly honorable of me, was it" : "I FEEL DIRTY" - started out as "i feel SILLY, and GUILTY did not fit

   (see 24d.)


1. Where regular payments are made : GAS PUMPS - I make payments 3-4 times a week at this debit drain; I bought my new used Grand Caravan in October with 76K miles on it, and I'm already at 97K.  What do you call a guy who works at a gas station~?

9. Arena cannon fodder? : T-SHIRT - nailed it - the "ice girls" at hockey games and such will come out and launch one with something like the home team's logo on it

15. Agent : EMISSARY

16. Weighs in : OPINES

17. Soybean product also called yuba : TOFU SKIN - ugh.  To each his own

18. "__ Butterfly" : MADAMA - got me with the "A" and not the "E"

19. Stint for Björn Borg or Björk : SET - nice pairing - one for a tennis (set), one for a musical (set)

20. Get back : RECOVER - so when do I get back my 'life', WC~?

22. Messenger substance : RNA

23. Its services include water taxis : UBER - I tried BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) - figured some municipality had to offer them

25. Give up : CEDE

26. Skinny one : SCRAG

28. Shunned ones : PARIAHS

30. Private phone connection : TIE LINE - I had tiP line

32. In vitro cells : OVA

33. Govt. bureau dealing with explosives : ATF - Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms

34. Memo abbr. : ATTN

40. Collateral takeback, for short : REPOssession - Mississippi S's in there

41. You can still blow it up after you pop it : GUM - har-har

42. Loafer letters : EEE

43. Certain radio receiver : AM TUNER

45. Debate-ending procedure : CLOTURE - I wanted cloSure, but it was not working with my downs - yet it stems from the Frawnche for closure

49. Lasso feature : NOOSE

50. __ trip : ROAD

52. Pet reindeer in "Frozen" : SVEN

53. Chapel Hill inst. : UNC

54. It stops the bleeding : STYPTIC - uh, well Band-Aid did fit...I thought this was a medical device, not a medical 'agent'

57. Post-Civil War pres. : USG - Ulysses S. Grant - I pondered Andrew - - Johnson, couldn't recall his middle initial, turns out he doesn't have one (that I could find)

58. Chinese philosophy mainstay : LAO TSE

60. Mongo Santamaria jazz standard whose title is rhymed with "cocoa hue" in Oscar Brown Jr.'s lyrics : AFRO BLUE - long way to go for a very vague clue - I had aLTo blue

62. Introduces : ADDS IN

63. Reach the limit : HIT A WALL

64. Stank up a storm : REEKED

65. They do dos : STYLISTS


1. Rises : GETS UP

2. Protozoan genus : AMOEBA

3. Baker's tool : SIFTER

4. Nittany Lions' sch. : PSU

5. Foe in a four-plus-decade "war" : USSR - that would be the "cold" war

7. Consumer Reports data : PRICES

8. Church council : SYNOD

9. "As I see it ... " : TO ME... - to me, this is just a little bit of levity each week

and that's a Viper, not a 'Vette

10. Not at all all over : SPARSE - missed the second "all" in the clue for a while

11. Secreted : HID

12. First director to win back-to-back Oscars since Mankiewicz : INARRITU - not a clue, but the perps filled it all in - his Wiki - I liked the reference to 'the three amigos of cinema'

13. Left things : REMNANTS - or things left

14. One screening fliers : TSA AGENT

21. Chevy sportster : 'VETTE

24. Unrestrained : RIOTOUS - Went golfing for the first time in 11 years at a local par 3 nine hole course, and I'm glad I did not bother with a score card - my swing count was "unrestrained", but I did do really well on the 8th; a solid drive, a good chip, and nearly holed the putt.  Now the urge to play won't go away....

27. Some reds : CLARETS

29. "__ Maria" : AVE

33. Branch : ARM

35. Finely detailed : GRANULAR

36. Drink from a stand : LEMONADE - shout out~!

37. In line with safety regulations : UP TO CODE - great fill; a lot of what I have to do with my second job requires being up to code

38. Like a fox : FURRY

39. Boardroom cheese? : CEO - guess you'd say they were the BIG cheese

44. Mythical Highlander : NESSIE - and here I thought they finally caught the beast a few weeks ago....(15a.)

45. Conniption : CAT FIT

46. Palate protrusions : UVULAS - if you must see, there's an image here

47. Spring (from) : RESULT

48. Editor of two "Das Kapital" volumes : ENGELS - via perps

51. Warm-blooded fish : OPAHS - oops, not ORCAS - what 3/5ths correct, but only 20%~???

55. Take care of : TEND

56. Holiday stocking bummer : COAL - I received some coal as a gag gift last year

59. "You messed up" : TSK tsk, tsk

61. MD airport : BWI