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Jan 31, 2008

Cruciverbalist Word of the Day

Please have a look at here.

I love these clever clues of the month.

Clues:

Caesarean section? ................................ICAME
Device with a Jackson hole? ....................ATM
Master of the double take? .....................NOAH

It's very simple to sign up, and it's free. And you will receive your crossword Word of Day every day. The guy who runs the website is Paul Stynsberg. I think he is based in MN also.

C. C.

Thursda, Jan 31, 2008 Alan P. Olschwang

Theme: Quip

17A: Start of the Quip: The wise
23A: Part 2 of the Quip: Parent never
36A: Part 3 of the Quip: Knows the answers
49A: Part 4 of the Quip: To his child's
63A: End of the Quip: Riddles

Went through lots of googling on the middle and right lower corners. I am still not sure of my answers for 41D: Giving business to: I have NEEDLING. But it does not make any sense. "Giving the business to" means Patronizing, no?

Apercu:

13A: Side to Side: LATERAL

16A: Greek Letter: CHI

21A: Hoad of Tennis: LEW. I didn't know him. He is in Tennis Hall of Fame.

22A: Dubline's land: EIRE. I cannot tell the difference between EIRE and ERIN. Oh, and ERSE.

26A: 2005AL MVP: AROD. Justin Morneau is the 2006 AL MVP. His name has 4 vowels. I wonder when he will be clued in the Star Tribune Crossword. Nice guy.

32A: San_, Italy: REMO. Unknown to me. But gettable.

34A: Faux pas: GAFFE. Yes, indeed. GAFF is a large fishing hook.

42A: "JFK" Director: STONE (Olive). One of my husband's favorite movies. Don't like Kevin Costner's Louisana accent in "JFK".

44A: Greek Letters: ETAS

47A: Arikara: REE. Indian tribe, Dakota area. RHEE is the first President of South Korea.

54A: All-inclusive: A TO Z

55A: Beret or beanie: CAP. I put HAT first. Struggled mightily there.

56A: Rely on: LOOK TO.

61A: Heaven's gatekeeper: ST. PETER.

65A: Cockney aspiration: OPE (Open). Did not know the meaning of cockney. Then I spent a long time trying to figure out what this a cockney guy aspires to. Lives in the west end of London?

66A: Wreaths for the head: ANADEMS. Archaic expression of garland for the head. Greek origin. Tough!

69A: English exports: I have MGS. What the heck is MGS? Am I wrong here? (UPDATE: MG is a British sport car)

70A: Clean-air watchdog grp: EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

Down Clues:

1D: Contingencies abbr: ALTS (Alternative)

3D: "Nana" star: STEN (Anna). "Nana" is Zola's work. The film tanked. Sten never made it to the "the Next Greta Garbo".

5D: Phythem instrument: CASTANET. A percussion instrument held in palm, spanish origin. See here for more explanation. It looks like this.

6D: _du Diable: ILE. Inferable. It's part of the Iles du Salut (Salvation Island), off the coast of French Guiana.

9D: Arthur of "Maude": BEA. Learned her name from doing crossword. I don't watch any sit-coms.

10D: Long play part: ACT IV. Nailed this one. Fooled me once, shame on - shame on you, fool me, you can't get fooled again.

12D: Down source: EIDER

19D: Vacillated: SEESAWED. Easy.

20D: One way to reduce overhead: DOWNSIZE. Let's what Mr. Romney is good at. This word brings chill to my spine.

21D: Put the pedal to the metal: LET HER RIP. "Put the pedal to the metal" means "make something go forward, floor it, drive your car as fast as possible". Here is the etymology: "based on the idea that you push the pedal (= part worked with the foot) down to the floor of a car to go as fast as you can."

36D: "Animal House" setting: FRAT. Never see the the movie, is it good?

40D: "The Clan of the Cave Bear" author: AUEL (Jean M. Auel). Never heard of the author. I like her name though. The book is a historical fiction. She is still alive.

41D: Giving the business to. I have NEEDLING. Does not make any sense. Please explain to me.

46D: RSVP in the affirmative: ACCEPT .

52D: Jackrabbits: HARES.

58D: Tittering Machine painter: KLEE. Swiss painter Paul Klee. See the painting.

60D: Peak in Thessaly: OSSA. MT OSSA. Greek again.

62D: Shoes's tip TOE & 63D: Aries animal RAM are gimmes.

Stay warm!

C. C.

Jan 30, 2008

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 Philip J. Anderson

Theme: Places with embedded famous names

21A: Place for bandleader Les?: Brownsville (TX)
52A: Place for singer Anita: Bakersfield (CA)
3D: Place for actor Brad: Pittsburgh (PA)
30D: Place for pitcher Cy: Youngstown (OH)

First, I have a question for you. Do you know if we have own Star Tribune editor for this crossword or is this also a syndicated crossword like the New York Times? Are you guys all doing the Star Tribune crossword?

If you did last Sunday's crossword (Jan 27, Josiah Breward, People Persons), you might also have noticed the several variations with the spelling of the answers, like the Swiss City on the Rhine answer(Basel instead of Basel), Encircle (Girt instead of Gird), Experts (Mavins instead of Mavens), which caused problems for quite a few solvers. I want to make a suggestion that they add the words like "variation" or "alternative spelling" or some hints in the clues.

I emailed Star Tribune Editor Will Tacy asking for the contact person, no answer. My email was probably junked. Then I called him yesterday morning and left a message. Again no feedback. I am so disappointed. And they gave away the Homer Hankies only to new subscribers who signed up on the spots during Twins Fest last Saturday. A Twins Fest is not complete without a Homer Hanky! What's going on with them?

Anyway, I digressed.

I like Wednesday crosswords. I think my first cheat-free crossword will be a Wednesday, or a Tuesday. Monday is always tough for me. I sailed through smoothly until I stumbled upon the very heart of the crossword.

I had no idea what to put for 29D: Subarctic forest (TAIGA), I did not know the meaning of 38A: Anabaptist sect (AMISH). Somehow I was thinking of a rare insect. There was a family of 4 or 5 Amish people selling homemade organic jams (I adore their raspberry jam), jellies, homegrown tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, apples, pumpkins, etc, at Annandale Flea Market. They had a very rustic cabin booth. Nice people. Oh, 34D: Indian colonialists (SAHIB) is also too hard for me.

Apercu:

1A: Dog food brand: ALPO. Purina Alpo. Dave Lee of WCCO approves this message/line!

15A: Sharpen: HONE. Saw John Edwards last night. He has honed in on his Corporate Greed message. It was -15F, almost unbearable with the brutal windchill. But people sweat inside, the place was packed. His hair did look like a $400 cut, impeccable, not as thick as it looked on TV though.

19A: Publicized Cuban refugee: ELIAN (GONZALEZ). What a nightmare for Janet Leno.

21A: Place for bandleader Les? Brownsville. Had no idea who Les Brown was. But easily inferable from the down clues.

49A: 1944 Physics Nobelist: RABI, Isidor Isaac Rabi. The name for 1943 Physicist Nobelist: OTTO (Stern)

63A: Japanese deer: SIKA. Did not know this. It's small, reddish deer native to Japan.

66A: Polanski film: TESS. Inferable. I say, drop the charges. The young girl has forgiven him, hasn't she?

Down Clues:

5D: Singer Dinah: SHORE. Great golfer. The current LPGA major Kraft Nabisco used to be called Dihah Shore.

8D: Snakes: MEANDERS

27D: "Rouen Cathedral" painter: MONET. I tend to confuse him with MANET.

29D: Subarctic forest: TAIGA. Have to remember this little simple word.

30D: Place for pitcher Cy? Youngstown. Our Cy Young is gone this morning, dealt to the Mets. Johan Santana pitched the very first baseball game I watched. He was not very good then. But he has been brilliant in the past several years. Mr. Forbes #107 Pohlad Got My Goat.

31D: "Seascape" playwright: Albee (Edward). "Seascape" won Pulitzer in 1974.

32D: Alcoholic hone beverages: MEADS. I wonder how & why honey is fermented. Natural honey seems perfectly sweet to me.

34D: Indian colonialists: SAHIB. Indian names tend to have this silent "h". Gandhi, Nehru, Sahib. I always want to spell Gandhi to be Ghandi.

61D: _ Choy (Chinese vegetable): Bok. These Cantonese spelling is very annoying. When you go to China, ask for Bai Cai.

Have a great day!

C. C.

Jan 29, 2008

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2008 Diane C. Baldwin

Theme: The Clintons' Tactics to Get Elected?

39D: Hillary Clinton _ Rodham: NEE
20A: Do the Utmost: Move Mountains
37A: Flaunt the Boundaries: Push the Envelope
57A: Find a Scapegoat: Shift the Blame

Ted Kennedy said so yesterday when he endorsed Obama.

I am LOATH (63A: Reluctant) to say I cheated again. I was ensnared on the upper middle corner, I wanted so much for a "the" inside 17A to balance with 37A and 57A.

I don't know what to put for 6D Latch (onto, GLOM). I thought of HASP first, then promptly dismissed the idea after I inked in LOGO (7D: Brand symbol). I was picturing in my mind how a shepherd is trying to get his goat (22D: TEASE). And I could not figure out what to put for 8D Rambunctious: (UNRULY) since I had DYE instead of LYE for 25A: Potash. A huge mess.

I want to put into use the new words I've learned from doing the Star Tribune crossword puzzle. Please correct me if you spot a mistake. I am really willing to learn. I also want to thank those who kindly responded to me via Comments and emails regarding my questions in this blog. It means a lot to me. I hope with your help I can finish one puzzle sans Dictionary/Google/Boomer soon.

OK, here is my Apercu:

6A: Stuff to the gills: GLUT. I thoughts GLUT was a noun.

23A: Prickly-topped plant: TEASEL. Tea, Teas, Tease, Teasel. Have to remember this word for Scrabble.

33A: Marshal Dillon: MATT. Fictional character, from Gunsmoke.

49A: Massive Amounts: SLEWS. I only know "a slew of".

62A: Your Majesty: SIRE. I put in SIRS first, as I thought 60D European Capital was OSLO, but corrected myself after I got the BLAME from 57A.

70A: Nerve fiber: AXON. New to me. RETE is a network of nerve fibers.

Down Clues:

3D: Schooner features: TOP MASTS. The dictionary says "schooner" is a sailing vessels with two or more masts, rigged fore and aft. I might fill in with TWO MASTS if I did not have the across clues. I have never been in a sailing vessel before.

6D: Latch (onto): GLOM. New word for me.

12D: Foreigner in Latin America: GRINGO. Last week Lou Dobbs called Bush, Pelosi & Reid as "Three Amigos" when the three reached an agreement on the $150 Billion Stimulus Package.

22D: Try to get one's goat: TEASE. Does "Tease" has a meaning of "Annoy" in a non-facetious way? Mrs. Robinson teased Dustin Hoffman, but he was not annoyed, was he? Here is one of the explanations of the origins of "To Get One's Goat". I think I like this one "Various places suggest this is because in old times a person's goat would be their only source of milk, so they'd be understandably miffed if someone took it!"

23D: Interim worker: TEMP. Lewinsky, Monica Lewinsky!

36D: Profession: AVOWAL. Try AVOCATION next time.

50D: Tack on snow: SLALOM. Should be a gimme.

That's all.

C. C.

Jan 28, 2008

Monday, Jan 28, 2008 Robert A. Doll

Theme: All Wet - the first word of each two-word phrase is a river.

17A: Cousin to the Yellow Finn potato: YUKON GOLD. Here is Wolfgan Puck's Potato Salad recipe. Pretty good.

40A: Don Adams cartoon character: TENNESSEE TUXEDO. Never heard of it, but easily gettable.

66A: Cowboy of tall tales: PECOS BILL. Never heard of this "Legendary American Coyboy".

11D: Sign of an a-one greeting: RED CARPET

36D: Bad roll of the bones: SNAKE EYES

I SEARCHED (31A: Use Google) quite a bit for this puzzle. Sometimes Monday crossword is not Monday to me. The same with those Sudoku star rating, don't you think so?

I still do not understand 36D: Bad roll of the bones: SNAKE EYE. Why? I don't understand the meaning of the clue, and I don't know why SNAKE EYE is the answer.

All my trouble started with 7D: _ Never fly! I put PIGS instead of IT'LL immediately, in fact, it's the first word I inked in this morning. I put down EGG instead of EGO for 4D Swelled head.

Here is a recap:

Across Clue:

5A: Pass over lightly: SKIM

14A: Ship's Slammer: BRIG (Jail)

21A: Protuberance on the head: ANTLER

39A: Lapdog, briefly: POM for Pomeranian.

52A: Everglades bird: EGRET

64A: Manufactured fiber: RAYON

72A: Fake coin: SLUG. Did not know. I always associated SLUG with HIT HARD. Baseball ball sluggers like Twins #33 Justin Morneau slugs, hard. Barry Bonds is maybe a fake.

73A: Singer Moffo: ANNA

Down Clues:

1D: Sci-fi classic "The ___": ABYSS. I feel so sorry for myself that I do not know any of this Sci-fi stuff.

2D: Vinegar bottle: CRUET. My vinegar stays in its original bottle.

5D: Official seal: SIGNET.

9D: Al Jolson's real first name: ASA.

10D: Land of Xerxes: PERSIA. Never heard of this king before.

13D: Ms. Redgrave: LYNN. She was twice nominated for Oscar and won a Golden Globe. I hope Julie Christie wins this year. "Away from Her" is good.

53D: Small sharks: TOPES.

61D: Prosperity: WEAL. Woe and Weal.

Let's DO WELL (60A: Prosper) this week.

C. C.

Jan 27, 2008

Sunday, Jan 27, 2008 Josiah Breward

Theme: People Persons

23A: Dean: College Officer
37A: Don: Oxford Fellow
97A: Mark or patsy: Swindler's Sap
116A: Dick: Hotel Detective
17D: Earl: British Nobleman
44D: Victor: Successful Rival

I worked my tail off (as Ron Gardenhire often says), still could not figure the upper right and lower left.

Now I need your help.

14A: Eleventh Greek Letter: LAMBDA.
22A: Common mushroom: AGARIC
25A: Poughkeepsie: MARINT. Is it right? VASSAR is the only one I know. (Updates: This college should be MARIST)
19D: Moss Hart's autobiography: ACT ONE

Here is the problem with 40A: Swiss city on the Rhine: Basee? What happens to BASEL? (Update: The correct answer should be BASLE, Swiss variant on Basel)

Lower left corner:

107A: Extremely scanty: EXIGUOUS
115A: Experts: MAVENS (Updates: the correct answer should be MAVIN, alt spelling for Maven)
120A: Old French card game: ECA_TE (ECARTE is the correct answer)
123A: Timothy who was James Bond: DALTON
96D: Mexican tourist destination: OAXACA

What is 108D: Encircle: GE_T (Correct answer should be GIRT, another spelling of GIRD)

Updates later:

I zipped through the upper left corner (The clues down made it easy) and felt very smart, for about half a minute, then my old self came back.

Here are some summaries:

6A: William Shatner series: Star Trek. No idea. Never watched Star War or Star Trek.

14A: Eleventh Greek Letter: LAMBDA, impossible for me. Had to cheat to find it out. The spelling is so weird.

22A: Common Mushroom: AGARIC. The only common mushroom is the white button mushroom sold at Rainbow. Morel is another mushroom that appeared in the Star Tribune crossword last week.

25A: Poughkeepsie college: MARIST.

33A: Guitarist Flatt: LESTER. Don't know this guy.

40A: Swiss City on the Rhine: BASLE.

42A: "Les Preludes" composer: LISZT

45A: Scuffle: TUSSLE

48A: Burden of proof: ONUS. This word and ONEROUS keep making appearances.

49A: Never existed: WASNT. Boomer helped me with this one. I left lots of space empty in the middle part of the puzzle.

53A: Pampas plain: LLANOS. I was not sure of the plural S initially. But decided that 55D: Went up and down has to be SEESAWED, like Dow last Wednesday, 625 points of swing.

56A: Fed. transport agcy: ICC. for what?

62A: Sensed by touch: TACTUAL. I knew Tactile.

64A: Cure starter?: EPI. I could only think of manicure and pedicure.

67A: Correct text: EMEND. Put Amend first.

68A: Feign: DISSEMBLE

72A: Psychologist Havelock: ELLIS. I remember googling his name before, then I forgot quickly. I will probably forget again. Is he very famous?

75A: President's financial grp.: CEA (Counsel of Economic Adviser). Ben Bernanke used to be Bush's CEA head.

76A: Panamanian dictator: NORIEGA. He is still alive.

78A: Hosp. intake locations: ERS. I put in ICO hastily in the beginning. Did not pay attention to the plural form.

84A: Beam supporting a pitched roof: RAFTER

94A: Like Rattan furniture: CANED. Had to check the dictionary to see what's the meaning of Rattan. Kind of Malay palm used for wickerwork and cane. Yesterday it's NIPA for Malay Thatch. Must be the climate there, conducive to all kinds of palms.

95A: Chan's Portrayer: TOLER. Sidney Toler.

97A: Mark or Patsy: Swindler's Sap. Learned something new today.

107A: Extremely scanty: EXIGUOUS. Never heard anyone using this word before.

120A: Old French card game: ECA_TE. What is it?

121A: Sort of: In a Sense

122A: God of east wind: EURUS. And God of west wind is Zephyrus. God of north wind is Bureas, God of south wind Notus. And God of winds is AEOLUS. If you want more information on their Roman equivalent, Here is more information.

123A: Timothy who was James Bond: DALTON. I like the current Bond: Craig, Daniel Craig.

124A: Zero option: No Escape.

Down Clues:

8D: _-Romeo: ALFA

11D: AAA in the UK: RAC. What does that stand for?

13D: Horny: pref: KERATO. I want it to be rhino something.

18D: Of the back of a tooth: DISTAL.

29D: Whimper: MEWL.

38D: Stupid ones: DUNCES. Next time I will remember.

43D: Judges chambers: In Camera. Heard "In Chambers" often on Law & Order.

49D: Depression agcy: WPA (Works Project Admin)

52D: Sora: RAIL. Bird. Note for myself: The Italian word for evening is Sera.

60D: Actress Vaccro: BRENDA. Doesn't ring a bell.

70D: Servile: MENIAL.

71D: No-good-nik: BADDIE.

80D: Spruce stuff: RESIN. Not the stuff to spruce you up.

94D: Medical insignias: CADUCEI. Almost impossible for me to infer. According to Greek Mythology, Cadueus is "A winged staff with two serpents twined around it, carried by Hermes." according to Greek Mythology. Now it's "a representation of this staff used as an emblem of the medical profession and as the insignia of the U.S. Army Medical Corps."

96D: Mexican tourist destination: Oaxaca. Never heard of it. Anyone been there before?

99D: Hindu ritual suicide: Suttee. The clue scared me. Hindu & suicide, a ritual? The dictionary explains Suttee as "The now illegal act or practice of a Hindu widow's cremating herself on her husband's funeral pyre in order to fulfill her true role as wife.". Good! It is also spelled as Satis. Maybe the clue should reflect this past practice.

102D: Al of Indians: ROSEN. My husband knows almost everything about baseball.

112D: Writer Buchanan: EDNA. A crime fiction writer. I don't read crime fiction.

118D: Menlo Park initials: ALVA. I can never remember Edison's middle name.

That's all.

C. C.

Jan 26, 2008

Saturday, Jan 26, 2008 Tom Pruce

Theme: None?

I could not identify a theme for this puzzle. Please let me know if there is one.

I cheated a few times, but managed to finish this puzzle within 45 minutes. That's a very good time for me.

Here are what tripped me:

16A: Antenna: AERIAL.

31A: Troublesome: ONEROUS. It was clued as Burdensome on Thursday's Star Tribune.

32A: Malay Thatch: NIPA. Kind of palm in Southeast with leaves for thatching. New to me.

55A: Brief summary: APERCU. The spelling of this word drives me nuts.

57A: Like a requiem: DIRGEFUL. Appeared in Star Tribune a few days ago, the same clue.

4D: Blue Hen St: DEL. I got the answers from the across clue, but had no idea that Delaware is nicknamed Blue Hen. I wish I were born and grew up here in the US, I would have nailed this one, and many others I suppose.

5D: "Presumed Innocent" Writer: SCOTT TUROW. He wrote ONE L also. Saw him at Celebrity Jeopardy last Oct. Very intelligent man.

12D: Alan Ladd film, "The Blue _": DAHLIA. Never watched it.

30D: Clan pattern: TARTAN. Here is more information if you want to have a better understanding of the Clan Tartan.

36D: Vindictive: VENGEFUL.

40D: Buddhist scriptural language: PALI. Nope, never heard of it. The Encyclopedia Britannica says Pali is the "sacred language of the Theravada Buddhist canon, a Middle Indo-Aryan language of north Indian origin".

43D: Singer Cyndi: LAUPER. I always thought her name is LAUDER.

C. C.

Jan 25, 2008

Friday, Jan 25, 2008 Willy A Wiseman

Theme: Golf

20A: Strouse/Adams musical: Bye Bye Birdie
29A: Cooked a bit: Parboiled
45A: "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" bird: Albatross
51A: Hidden advantage: Ace in the Hole
10D: Kiddy Frightener: Bogeyman
38D: Erne: Sea Eagle

I do not see any other theme related words, do you?

I got WEBB for 1D: Golfer Karrie right off the bat. My husband and I follow LPGA closely. I have an autographed card of Webb.

I finished the lower left and right corners quickly, but googled furiously for the middle parts. I also stared at the upper right corner for a long time, unbelievably hard for me.

These are the reasons for the long tanglement there:

9D: Hawks' former arena: OMNI Coliseum. Did not know it. My knowlege of NBA is limited to KG, Yao Ming & the Target Center for the Timberwolves. They are winning now, at least.

13D: Brit. Med. syst.: NHS (National Health Service)

8D: Back of a 45: B SIDE. I was thinking of gun. Now looking back, gun clue would be .45

7D: Frequenter: DENIZEN

24A: Sleep symbol: ZEE. I put REM (Rapid Eye Movement) immediately.

8A: Sewing spool: BOB PIN? Am I wrong here? (update: It should be BOBBIN)

Here are more troubles for me today:

25A: Norse giant: YMIR. The Norse Gods I know are ODIN and THOR. Maybe they are not giants.

40A: "the Rose Tattoo" start: MAGNANI (Anna). She won an Oscar for her performance in this movie.

41A: French City: AMIENS. A city in North France.

44A: Bandleader Xavier: CUGAT. No, no memory of this guy.

65A: Singer O'Connor: SINEAD. She is the singer who torn up a photo of Pope John Paul II, then her career went downhill. I like her "Nothing Compared 2 U".

5D: Energetic ones: LIVE WIRES?

29D: Pulpy refuse: POMACE, new word for me. Dictionary says it's the pulpy residue from apple or other fruits after crushing. See here.

30D: Bad blood: ANIMUS. Heard of this word before. Never used it. Enmity is bad blood too.

C. C.

Jan 24, 2008

Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 Alan P. Olschwang

Theme: Quip

17A: Living in the past
28A: Has only one
46A: Thing in its
61A: Favor it's cheaper

I had to cheat a few times to dig this one out.

15A: Vega's constellation LYRA. It's in yesterday's Star Tribune crossword 58D, the same clue. I always have problems with this LYRA, LIRA (coin before euro), lIRE (alternate spelling of lire) stuff. Besides, 7D Peer __ proves to be hard to me too. I remember I scanned a short paragraph on Peer GYNT in the newspaper yesterday. But I did not read. I spent way too long time analyzing Colin Covert's Oscar Lineup. Covert is my favorite critic, of any kind. He paints with words.

Speaking of Oscar, 65A: Five-Star review: RAVE. 40D: Give a rotten review to: PAN.

34A: Jose of Dance: LIMON. Had no idea who he was. Googled, and found out he was a pioneering dancer from Mexico. See here.

53A: Before, before: AFORE. I felt panic when the answer is obviously not erst.

67A: Not avec: SANS. Should it be clued as Pas avec?

3D: Sitarist Shankar: RAVI. Know he is Norah Jones' father, but can never remember his name.

24D: Merkel: UNA. No idea who she is. The only Merkel I've heard of is the German Chancellor Angela. Want to see Bush gave Ms. Merkel the unwelcome surprising massage? See here.

26D: Copier brand: RICOH. Saw the ad all the time, just could not remember how to spell.

54D: FDR's dog: FALA. Did not know this. Oh, his mother's name is SARA.

59D: _ex machina: DEUS. Literally, God out of machine, some improbable character in a fiction.

I am so happy that I got 43D: Burdensome: ONEROUS & 35D: Constant carper: NIGGLER.

C. C.

Jan 23, 2008

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2008 Annabel Michaels

Theme: 1/23/2008

17A: ONE TWO THREE
11D: ZERO EIGHT
60A: TWENTY THIRD
33D: OF JANUARY

I spent an insane amount of time trying to figure out the left down corner. I put in BEEP for 55D: Signal with a horn, but then I was not so sure of PLY for 65A: Double Over. In fact, I thought "Double Over" means spy. And, I was not certain of BOUDOIR for 55A: Woman's sitting room. I kept imagining a separated, white-walled, Persian rug decorated room those Muslim women live in Saudi Arabia, or Kuwait.

24A: Golfer's Porter: CADDIE. Steve Williams is probably the coolest (and the richest) porter in the golf world.

41A: Enjoin Solemnly: ADJURE. Another new word for me. It has nothing to do with join.

49A: Spooned: NECKED. Never heard of this expression.

63A: Dyer: TINTER. Only knew tint, never used tinter in any sense before.

42D: Soft Italian cheese: RICOTTA. I heard of this cheese before, from Rachel Ray. Yummo for her. No No for me.

50D: Fuzzy Fruits: KIWIS. Somehow I wanted to fill in UGLI, which is not fuzzy.

I don't understand why 35D: Shirtsleeves is ARMS. Did I make a mistake? It means not wearing a jacket according to this dictionary.

I also tend to confuse AVER and AVOW a lot. See 12D: Declare as true: AVOW. (Update: I don't think the clue of the Star Tribune is correct. Declare as true should be AVER.)

C. C.

Jan 22, 2008

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 Ed Voile

Theme: Dollar and Cent

17A: Buck: DOLLAR BILL
61A: $ relative: CENT SYMBOL
11D: Highest price: TOP DOLLAR
35D: Guileless ones: INNOCENTS

I still have not finished the puzzle. Googling does not help.

Can not figure out what is 1A: Episodic TV show. Now I have ser_es. The clue of 4D does not help. Off one's feet:_ll. I initially put cola instead of soda, but corrected myself quickly after the doll bill clue. (Update: Thanks to a reader, now I got the 1A to be SERIES and 4D to be ILL. The clue for 4D is off one's feed, not feet).

I also have problem with 49A: Foolish old fogies. Now I have co_ts. The blue of 43D: Bossy's bellow: si_. I thought of Elsie the Cow, and his bellow is moo. (Update:The answer for 49A should be COOTS. And I was wrong earlier on 43D, it should be MOO.)

This puzzle has a sub theme of space agencies. We have 41A NASA & 5D ESA (European Space Agency clued as NASA's International Space Agency partner). We also have 41D European defense assn (NATO). I thought NATO also protects the interests of the US, though it's based in Brussels. David Petraeus will be a good commander for NATO. He has proved himself to be a very competent professional.

Congratulations to my husband, who bowled another 700 series last night. This is his 4th in 2008.

C. C.

Jan 21, 2008

Monday, Jan 21, 2008 Josiah Breward

Theme: Dry

17 A: Stranded: HIGH AND DRY
37A: Rehearsals: DRYRUNS
59 A: Fearless, in the house?: NOT A DRY EYE
11D: Ginger ale maker: CANADA DRY
33D: Sober refrain: HOWDRYIAM (never heard of this word before)

A bit tough for me to chew on a Monday.

6 Across: Cuddly George Lucas creature: EWOK. Never watched Star Wars. I did easily get EWO_ easily from down clues, and could not figure out the last letter.

9 Down: type of electron tube: KLYSTRON.

Comics John BYNER (34D: Comic John) and ROSEANNE (38D: Single-Name comic) made appearances also.

C. C.