Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 Don Gagliardo and C.C. Burnikel

 Theme: Strong Current. Adding "Flow" to the last word in each of the theme entries creates a new word or phrase.

17A. Online data movement : INTERNET TRAFFIC. This blog generates plenty of that.

22A. "Man in Black" singer : JOHNNY CASH. As I write this, "Folsom Prison Blues" is playing on my iPod, now that's weird.

36A. Symphony or sonata : MUSICAL WORK. Does anyone write sonatas anymore?

46A. Pending : UP IN THE AIR. Just like all my deadlines.

And the unifier:

56A. Conforms, or what each last word of 17-, 22-, 36- and 46-Across
literally does : GOES WITH THE FLOW

Sweet puzzle from Don & C.C. The theme took quite some time to come kicking and screaming into the light, I had all kinds of hare-brained ideas before it all became clear with the unifier. 


1. Seller's caveat : AS IS

5. Whistle blower : REF

8. Fight : OPPOSE

14. Congeniality : BONHOMIE. What a great word! I resolve to use it at least once a week.

16. Edit : REDACT

19. Extinguish : DOUSE

20. Clinch a deal, in slang : ICE IT

21. Thing to do on the cautious side? : ERR. Great fresh clue for this old stalwart.

27. Tempt with, as a carrot : DANGLE

30. "Typee" sequel : OMOO. Herman Melville made very little money from any of his novels, especially this one.

31. Highfalutin : LA-DI-DA

35. Steak order : T-BONE

38. High-tech party notice : EVITE

40. Jungle queen : SHEENA

41. Enjoy a 10-course Chinese meal : DINE. I'm going to Hong Kong shortly, Cantonese Food!

42. Categorize : ASSORT. This usage was new to me, I'd only known "assorted", which I take to mean "uncategorized". Nice learning moment.

52. VCR button : REW. I always have to wait for the cross to decide on REC or REW

53. Big name in transmission repair : AAMCO

54. Cardio-boxing workout regimen : TAE-BO

61. Intensely devoted : ARDENT

62. Shanghai setting : EAST ASIA. Mini-theme emerging here?

63. Woody's wife : SOON-YI Previn, married to Mr. Allen.

64. Mar.-to-Nov. setting : D.S.T. You never really save any daylight, you just move it around.

65. Count (on) : RELY


1. Put up with : ABIDED

2. Arizona neighbor : SONORA. South of the border, down Mexico way.

3. How board game players play : IN TURN. In my house my Mom always asked us to play nicely. The she told us. Then we were sent to our rooms.

4. Ladies : SHES

5. First pres. to visit China while in office : R.M.N. Richard Milhous Nixon, World Traveler.

6. Farm song refrain : E-I-E-I-O

7. Sell for : FETCH

8. Hatch on the Hill : ORRIN. He's a 59D. He plays sonatas too!

9. Boglike : PEATY

10. Adobe file format : PDF. Portable Document Format if you want to get your geek on.

11. Bungler : OAF

12. Lab subj. : SCI.

13. And so forth: Abbr. : ETC.

15. Valuable rock : ORE. I confidently filled in GEM first.

18. Top rating : TEN.

22. Yoda, notably : JEDI

23. Venomous snakes : COBRAS

24. Wild way to run : AMOK

25. Numbered Chan relative : SON. From the Charlie Chan movies. Buffs will know how many sons there were, I just count "lots".

26. Groundbreaking tool : HOE

28. Protein in wheat products : GLUTEN

29. Zap : LASE

32. Suffix with tact : ICS. Hmmm. A suffix? Need to be convinced about this one.

33. Code word : DAH. We had SOS yesterday, three DITs, three DAHs, three DITs in Morse Code.

34. Draft choice : ALE

35. A whole bunch : TONS

36. Former iPod model : MINI

37. Sport : WEAR. You can sport sportswear!

38. Academic Web letters : EDU

39. Bigwig : VIP. Very Important Person (such as Orrin Hatch?)

43. End of a threat : OR ELSE

44. Heat again, as water for tea : REBOIL

45. Like most streets : TWO-WAY

47. Lion-colored : TAWNY. Some of our regulars would prefer "Port-colored" here.

48. French-speaking republic : HAITI

49. CPR expert : EMT

50. Was sore : ACHED

51. Smidgens : IOTAS

54. First day of spring, to Vietnamese : TET

55. Miles away : AFAR

56. Total blast : GAS.

57. Au, on a Spanish periodic table : ORO. With luck your 15D has gold in it.

58. Tokyo, once : EDO

59. Bigwig on the Hill: Abbr. : SEN.

60. Post-WWII pres. : H.S.T.  Harry S. Truman. No use looking up his middle name, the "S" doesn't stand for anything.

That's all  from me!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Monday, January 9th 2012 - Gail Grabowski and Bruce Venzke

Theme: Doohickies! Each of the theme phrases ends with a synonym for an object.

17A. Cosmopolitan piece : MAGAZINE ARTICLE. Not the perfume sampler that falls out when you open this month's edition.

27A. "This can't lose" : ITS A SURE THING. All my picks at Santa Anita racetrack are these until they come in fourth.

48A. Los Angeles Times piece, e.g. : NEWSPAPER ITEM. Brangelina are a tabloid item, something quite different.

63A. Stipulation from a wealthy purchaser : MONEY IS NO OBJECT. I'm still waiting for the day one of my customers says this to me.

The theme certainly didn't jump out at me until I was almost done. I had MAGAZINE ARTICLE and NEWSPAPER ITEM filled in first, and so that led me a little astray with the other two for a short while.

A lot of nice fill and the usual learning moments from Gail and Bruce. Let's take a closer look.


1. Stops stalling : ACTS

5. Concert souvenirs : STUBS

10. Spongy ball brand : NERF

14. It's often fenced : LOOT

15. Toys that need wind : KITES

16. Electric co., e.g. : UTIL.

20. Without help : ALONE

21. FDR's successor : H.S.T.

22. Milo of "Ulysses" : O'SHEA

23. Nothing at all : ZERO

25. Inner Hebrides isle : IONA

32. Sinbad's transport : ROC

33. Part of SASE: Abbr. : ENV.

34. Support at the meeting : SECOND

37. Somewhat wet : MOIST

40. Caesar of comedy : SID

42. Do over, as a bow : RETIE

43. Island greetings : ALOHAS

45. Whole bunch : TON

47. Stein filler : ALE

52. "Show Boat" author Ferber : EDNA

53. School since 1440 : ETON

54. McCartney bandmate : STARR

57. Signal for immediate assistance : SOS

59. Cooks cakes : BAKES

66. Banquet hall vessels : URNS

67. Plant in Greek legend : LOTUS

68. Productive start? : ANTI

69. Pest in a swarm : GNAT

70. Nautical speed units : KNOTS

71. Heath-covered wasteland : MOOR


1. __ mater : ALMA

2. Shade of black : COAL

3. Like many lunch orders : TO GO

4. Song section : STANZA

5. Do a downhill run : SKI

6. Two-bit gamblers : TINHORNS

7. Colorado natives : UTES

8. "Vamoose!" : BEAT IT

9. Outdated geopolitical letters : S S R

10. Pain in the neck : NUISANCE

11. Carve in stone : ETCH

12. Make hopping mad : RILE

13. Dog bugger : FLEA

18. Snazzy duo? : ZEES

19. More stylish : TONIER

24. Wish one hadn't : RUE

26. Cries of surprise : OHS

27. "__ la Douce" : IRMA

28. Chisel, e.g. : TOOL

29. Offspring : SCION

30. Musical with the song "A New Argentina" : EVITA

31. Was able to reach : GOT AT

35. River through Sudan : NILE

36. Consider : DEEM

38. Most diaphanous : SHEEREST

39. Cheap and gaudy : TAWDRY

41. Deduces, slangily : DOPES OUT

44. Hyphenated ID : S.S.N.

46. Table tennis table divider : NET

49. Relay, as information : PASS ON

50. Lyndon Johnson's son-in-law Charles __ : ROBB

51. Experiencing serious traffic : IN A JAM

54. Self-satisfied : SMUG

55. Undecided : TORN

56. "The King and I" role : ANNA

58. Not snookered by : ONTO

60. Numbers game : KENO

61. Prefix with plasm : ECTO

62. Ruckus : STIR

64. Class : ILK

65. WWII espionage gp. : O.S.S.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday, Jan 6 2012 - Ki Lee

Theme: It's a wrap! Each theme entry wraps around to the first square to complete the word or phrase. The down grid-spanner provides the hint.

17A. *Major financial concern : ECONOMIC COLLAPS (E) This foxed me for a while as I had ECONOMY from my spelling of SHYEST.

22A. *Numbers field? : ANESTHESI (A)  Very nice misdirection in the clue here. I couldn't think of a mathematics subject area until my numb brain woke up

50A. *Fantasized : DAYDREAME (D)  I tried DAYDREAMT as the past tense before I got the theme; did you know that "dreamt" is the only word in the English language that ends in "amt"?

59A. *Misrepresent, in a way : TAKE OUT OF CONTEX (T)  Quite a few of us don't bother to pronounce the final "T" of "context". I wouldn't be surprised to see Webster's allowing CONTEX in about 20 year's time.

7D. Hint for understanding this puzzle's starred answers : BACK TO SQUARE ONE.  I had to go and do this with a few of the entries today.

Very tidy theme; I like that the first and last theme entries are phrases and the two middle ones are single words giving a neat symmetry. The long down hint entry was nicely done.


1. You might do it after making a wish : BLOW

5. Equally undesirable : AS BAD

10. Sitting around : IDLE

14. Stopped sitting around : ROSE

15. "10 Things __ About You": 1999 comedy : I HATE

16. Symbol of courage : LION

20. Already old, with "so" : LAST WEEK

21. Words before "Do I have to?" : AW GEE

25. Quits : STOPS

28. Caring but strict approach : TOUGH LOVE

32. Get ready for a concert : TUNE UP

34. Orch. section : STR

35. Noted 16-Across portrayer : LAHR

36. Put away : ATE

37. Some awards : PLAQUES

40. "Dracula" director Browning : TOD

41. Kid's reward, maybe : STAR

43. __ Dhabi : ABU

44. Electronic music genre : TECHNO

46. Certain settler's tract : HOMESTEAD

49. "It's nobody __ business" : ELSE'S

52. Dispossess : EVICT

55. Japan and China are in it : EAST ASIA

62. "You said it!" : AMEN

63. "Exodus" actor : MINEO

64. "The __ Affair": Jasper Fforde novel : EYRE

65. Squabble : SPAT

66. Fired, as a cartridge : SPENT

67. Epitome of thinness : REED


 1. Songwriter Jacques : BREL

2. Crazy, in a Ricky Martin song : LOCA

3. Baja bears : OSOS

4. Lost it : WENT APE

5. Name meaning "beloved" : AIMEE

6. Slowest to mix, perhaps : SHIEST

8. Flight coordinators: Abbr. : ATC

9. "Gloria in Excelsis __" : DEO

10. Hostility : ILL WILL

11. Rect. bisector : DIAG.

12. Run easily : LOPE

13. Massachusetts motto opener : ENSE

18. Confesses : OWNS UP

19. Whip part : LASH

23. Native Rwandan : HUTU

24. Everglades wader : EGRET

25. Put away : STASH

26. All, in Asti : TUTTO

27. Graveyard shift hr. : ONE AM

29. Promising words : OATHS

30. "Pop Up Video" airer : VH ONE

31. Subject of the biography "The Man Who Loved Only Numbers" : ERDOS

33. Prefix with -pus : PLATY

38. Retired : ABED

39. Apparently do : SEEM TO

42. Insignificant amount : RED CENT

45. Grime fighter : CLEANER

47. '60s-'70s Japanese leader : SATO

48. Make really uncomfortable, in a way : DEAFEN

51. Fancy neckwear : ASCOT

52. LAX postings : ETAS

53. Siren : VAMP

54. Big name in furniture : IKEA

56. Lid trouble : STYE

57. "Able was __ ..." : I ERE

58. Fired : AXED

60. Thinking-on-one's-feet indicators : UMS

61. It may be left on a table : TIP

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thursday, Jan 5, 2012 Victor Barocas

Theme: All for one, and one for all






Each of the four main characters of Alexander Dumas' novel "The Three Musketeers" concealed in the grid. Athos, Porthos and Aramis were the "three"; D'Artagnan was not yet a Musketeer, he was bidding to join the ranks of those elite.

Nicely misleading at first, I was wondering what SEAPORT and HOSTESS could thematically have in common until I got the unifier at 40A, then the penny slowly dropped.

I don't think I'm alone in visualizing the four as being swordsman with suitably flashing blades, but the Musketeers really did carry muskets. I suppose the early Hollywood scriptwriters didn't find firearms as romantic or dramatic as cold, hard steel, and therefore that's the image we've been carrying ever since.


1. The "u" sound in "circus" : SCHWA I did not know this, learned something right off the bat.

6. Even if, for short : THO

9. Ladle cousin : SPOON. Certainly a much smaller relative.

14. "Yond Cassius has __ and hungry look" : A LEAN. Maybe he'd been given spoon-sized helpings.

15. Water in Côte d'Ivoire : EAU. Plenty of this off the Ivory Coast.

16. Dispute : ARGUE. You can have an argument, can you have a disputment?

17. Spicy Indian dish : CURRY. Food! I've been told the word is unknown in any of the languages spoken in India.

18. One side of the GW Bridge : NYC. De udder end is in Noo Joisey.

19. Preserves, in a way : SALTS. The verb, not the plural noun. Salted Jellies anyone?

20. Rotterdam, for one : SEAPORT. The one in the Netherlands, not the one in New York. There's a Curry Road in Rotterdam, NY.

22. Party person : HOSTESS. She's the one with the mostest.

24. Schnozzola : SNOOT. You cock a snoot to be described as snooty.

26. Tell it like it isn't : LIE. GW of 18A fame never told one.

27. TV's Dr. House, e.g. : LIMPER. Wanted LIMEY at first, until it didn't fit.

30. Enjoy a kiddie pool : WADE. That's a deep kiddie pool. I paddle.

32. Many a GI : PVT. Plenty of Joes, but more Privates in the General Infantry

35. Plains native : OTOE. I think I might have seen this before?

36. "... from my snow-white pen the __-coloured ink": Shak. : EBON. Nice "Shak" to clue the abridged "EBONy".

38. Bender : SPREE. Drinking, not shopping?

40. With "The," classic novel, each of whose major characters is hiding in a row of this puzzle : THREE MUSKETEERS

43. Thrift, briefly : SANDL. A flip-flop missing a toe? No, a Savings & Loan.

44. Crack : STAB. Something you can't do with a musket, but perhaps D'Artagnan had a crack at it.

45. Snug retreat : NEST. Feathered, preferably. Or is that a bad thing?

46. Super Bowl highlights, for many : ADS. Hand up for trying TDS first. The commercials are usually more entertaining than the touchdowns.

47. Luncheon follower? : ETTE. Has anyone ever eaten at one of these?

49. Takes a position : OPINES. A good puzzle today, in my opinion.

51. Eggs, biologically : OVA

52. Biden's 2008 counterpart : PALIN. Not sure either Joe or Sarah would appreciate the comparison.

54. Boxer from California : BARBARA. She's one of my Senators.

58. Letter : MISSIVE. Is a ten-page letter a massive missive?

62. __ a time : ONE AT. Luncheonette Etiquette dictates you are served one at a time

63. One in an unhappy chorus : BOO. Two boos and it's an owie.

65. Shroud city : TURIN. You ladle soup out of a Turin? Oh no, that's a tureen. Spooky shroud though.

66. Wind: Pref. : ANEMO. An anemometer measures wind speed. Say "anemometer" three times quickly.

67. Coffee holder : URN. It held tea last time I came across it here, I hope Rich rinsed it out.

68. '30s Chan portrayer : OLAND. Warner Oland. A name to add to the very short list of "Swedish Actors I know".

69. Control tower tracker : RADAR. Radio Detection And Ranging. Warner Oland is now on mine.

70. Game for it? : TAG. You're It.

71. Some iPods : NANOS. Mine's a Classic.


1. Pouches : SACS. I wanted to French-pronounce pouches "poo-shays" when I saw the answer.

2. This is one : CLUE

3. A sister of Demeter : HERA. Those Greeks, difficult to keep them all straight.

4. "Star Trek" measure : WARP SPEED. Cap'n, I cannae hold her much longer!

5. Whomever : ANYONE. "Whomever for Tennis?" doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

6. Nearing the hour : TEN TO. This sounds like Greenwich Mean Time to me. It's "ten of" PST.

7. Farm gathering : HAY. Make it while the sun shines.

8. Pained interjection : OUCH. That reminds me, I need to make a dentist appointment.

9. As fresh as they come : SASSIEST. Don't waste your Scrabble S's on this word.

10. Chatter : PRATE. Chatterers chat, prattlers prate. Why don't chattlers chat or prattlers prat?

11. Seriously check out : OGLE. Don't do this in front of your Significant Other. Trust me on this.

12. Inning enders : OUTS. Technically only the third out ends the inning.

13. Largest Scottish loch by volume : NESS. Contains the largest Scottish monster by volume.

21. Composer of the 2005 opera "Our Town" : ROREM. Of course he was. I'll take Victor's word for this.

23. Word with man or maid : OLD. I wanted MER first, then couldn't get Ethel Merman out of my mind.

25. Texas dance : TWO STEP. You take three steps in Alabama, according to Lynyrd Skynyrd.

27. Many, informally : LOTSA.

28. "__ to Be You" : IT HAD.

29. E'ens' counterparts : MORNS. Mornings for Evenings, not Odds for Evens.

31. "Puppy Love" singer : ANKA. For my generation it was Donny Osmond.

32. Get ready for the prom, say : PREEN. Who preens, the guy or the girl?

33. Frost product : VERSE. Who takes the road less travelled by? I take the freeway, I live in LA.

34. Medical battery : TESTS. Not a pacemaker power source.

37. Exceed 21, in a way : BUST. A blackjack "darn" moment.

39. The Crimea, e.g. : PENINSULA. Let's have the Lake Erie and Put-In  Bay conversation again!

41. Car in a shaft : ELEVATOR. I'm from the old country, we have lifts.

42. Where Christ stopped, in a Carlo Levi title : EBOLI. I thought this was a tropical disease.

48. La Brea goo : TAR. Funny how goop and goo are the same thing. Waste of a good P there.

50. One of six in a V-6 engine : PISTON. Cylinder and Spark Plug wouldn't fit.

51. "Dreams From My Father" memoirist : OBAMA

53. Surrounded by : AMONG.

54. Tusked mammal : BOAR. Is a long-winded tusker a bore?

55. Alexei Karenin's wife : ANNA. I thought her last name was Karenina?

56. English horn, for one : REED. It's brass, but it's a reed instrument. Causes confusion about where to sit in the orchestra.

57. Lie alongside : ABUT. Has to be close enough to touch, I think.

59. Caspian Sea country : IRAN

60. Rosso o bianco : VINO. Magnifico. What's your favorite Italian wine?

61. Closes : ENDS. I'm almost at the close.

64. Tuscan time period : ORA. How much wine can you drink  in an hour?

That's it from me today.