(Edited later: Sheila Welton is an anagram of "It's Halloween", so this puzzle was created by editor Rich Norris.)
Theme: "Something wicked (or at least vaguely strange) this way comes".
Theme: "Something wicked (or at least vaguely strange) this way comes".
Top o' the Morning! Steve here with our Hallowe'en puzzle from Sheila Welton which has a cornucopia of creatures that might variously be described as hideous, mildly scarifying, cute or just plain odd. On a scale of mild (camera-shy Nessie) to extreme (the totally outrageous and poop-in-your-pants-nasty Grendel) she's get 'em all.
I have to defer to CC and ask if this is Sheila's first puzzle in the LAT? (From C.C.: I think so. The relevant short theme entries made this grid tough to construct, esp the four corners. Congratulations, Sheila!) I don't see her in any previous write-ups. If so - congratulations on a lovely debut, and come back with more!
1A. Mythological fire-breather : CHIMERA. A monstrous fire-breathing female creature. Sounds just like all my exes. 4 out of 5 on the Scary Scale.
8A. Man-horse creature : CENTAUR. From memory, he was rather a gentle soul, given to clomping around in the woods playing songs on a lyre. If they were teen-pop-boy-band songs, I might give you the benefit of the monster-doubt. 1 on the Scary Scale. 2 if playing Boyz II Men or *NSYNC.
28A. Labyrinth dweller : MINOTAUR. Total bully, this guy. I visited Knossos on my first honeymoon with my first 1A. It was oddly rebuilt - you couldn't really tell what was Minotaur-old and what was recently-refurbished concrete. He rates a 4 on the Scary Scale for hiding around corners and bellowing.
31A. Elusive loch dweller, familiarly : NESSIE. Odd Lady Out here, as she is real. This elusive and rather charming plesiosaur lives in Loch Ness, Scotland, and is famously camera-shy. The best defense against a monster-attack by Nessie is to point a camera in her vague direction and she disappears. If only vampires were so obedient about garlic and crucifixes the world would be a much safer place. 1 on the Scary Scale for the Greta Garbo factor.
48A. Riddler foiled by Oedipus : SPHINX. I'm not buying the two riddles, by the way. Look 'em up and they're pretty lame. Bilbo had a better joust with Gollum in "The Hobbit". Sphinx rates a 3 on the Scary Scale for devouring herself when bested by Oedipus.
50A. Fictional destroyer of Tokyo : GODZILLA. His/her fear factor went out of the window with the chihuahua and the Taco Bell commercial. "I think I need a bigger box". Rates a 3, and that's only for living off past terrorisation. Hey - I just invented a new word!
71A. Beowulf's victim : GRENDEL. Oh lordy. Grendel was so horrible that my sister, studying English at Oxford University, refused to tell me what "Beowulf" was about. I was 11, I could've handled the truth. YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH! Six on a Scary Scale of Five.
And the unifier: 72A. What each of seven answers in this puzzle is : MONSTER. I had MUNSTER first as I didn't look at 68D and confidently filled in the obvious Hallowe'en entry and then went searching for Morticia and all the rest in the puzzle and drew an obvious blank.
Nice, fun puzzle. Thanks to Sheila for a good Wednesday!
There's some other stuff too, so let's check it out.
15. Tangled or disentangled : RAVELED. Wonderful stuff. If you're not unraveled, you must be raveled! I resolve to use this word today.
16. Employee's security pass : ID BADGE. It's a bad day when they ask for it back. It's happened to me a couple of times. I'll tell you the story one day.
17. Like Napoleon on Elba : IN EXILE. "Able was I, ere I saw Elba." Not really, NB - you were pretty dis-abled, being in exile and all.
18. Nonsense : TWADDLE. This blog, on a Steve Wednesday.
19. Elementary : BASIC. I learned computer programming at school just after the abacus was retired, and learned "Beginner's All-Purpose Symbolic Instuctional Code". It worked out well for me given that I've had a career in technology. I could still churn out a few "GOSUB 510's" if anyone needs them.
20. Teacher's answer book : KEY. Why is it a key for the teacher and a 1D for the pupil?
Boo! Scared you! Chimera!
21. Guitarist Barrett : SYD. Founder member of Pink Floyd and key to their success.
22. About, in dates : CIRCA. Nice Roman legacy c.BC157
25. AEC successor : NRC. Who? What? Oh - Atomic Energy Commission (Yay! Cheap Power! Glow in the Dark Watches!) to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (No! The China Syndrome! Three-headed Fish!)
35. Powerful health care lobbying gp. : AMA. Our old friends the American Medical Association.
36. Internet letters : HTTP. Crossword constructors love Tim Berners-Lee, and the Hypertext Tranfer Protocol, amongst others.
38. Singer Ronstadt : LINDA
39. Massage style : SHIATSU. I had the "S" and put SWEDISH first. I'm not sure if that's suitable for a family blog, I'm not up on correct vs dubious massage practices.
42. Champs-__: Paris boulevard : ELYSEES. Super-cool thoroughfare from the Arc De Triomphe at the North to the Place de la Concord at the south. It's one of those streets you really have to walk if you get the chance.
44. __-face: smooching : KISSY.
45. Law office hire : PARA. Not impressed with this one - I get paralegal, but I'm not sure you ever call someone a para? Happy to be corrected.
47. Not in the clergy : LAY
53. Match part : SET. Best of six games wins a set, best of five sets of six games, and you have a tennis match.
Boo! Centaur! I don't quite know what he's got in his hand. Doesn't look like a lyre to me.
54. Erased : UNDID
55. Leader of the pitching staff : ACE
58. Nipper's org. : RCA. I'm never sure if Nipper is trying to bark into the gramophone, eat it or listen to it. Did I read somewhere it was the Chairman's dog?
60. Godliness : PIETY. Asepsis must be next to piety in that case.
64. Brahe contemporary : GALILEO. Fortuitous that I had ???ILEO and realized that whoever Brahe was, there can't be many other people he lived alongside other than Mr. Drop Balls From The Leaning Tower of Pisa.
67. Temples with up-curved roofs : PAGODAS
69. Paper-folding art : ORIGAMI
70. No help : INUTILE. Last of all to complete. I'd never heard this word, and I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to remember it for next time (if there ever is a next time).
Boo! Minotaur! Yep, he's a badass:
1. Final exam no-no : CRIB. It's not a crib, it's a student's key.
2. '80s tennis star Mandlikova : HANA
3. Folk singer Burl : IVES
4. Arizona neighbor : MEXICO. Quibble. I like the misdirection here (I had NEVADA first) but please, like-for-like. Mexico's neighbor is the USA. Arizona's neighbor is the state of Chihuahua. Oh! Godzilla again!
5. Draw forth : ELICIT
Boo! Camera-Shy Miss Ness:
6. Cath. or Prot. : REL. We don't discuss Religion or Politics on this blog, so the Catholic vs. Protestant conversation must take place elsewhere. (But did you see Notre Dame on Saturday? WOOO HOOO! GO IRISH!) Sorry, parentheses excuse the outburst.
7. Juice drink suffix : ADE. The University of Florida Gators (home of Gatorade) didn't fare so well on Saturday. Sorry.
8. Name as a source : CITE
9. Keenan's actor father : ED WYNN. Had to wait for crosses. Now I know the two-N thing. Until the next time when I forget it.
10. Bulls org. : NBA. The Nebraska Bull Alliance. Fighting for the rights of Omaha Steaks. Actually, no, the National Basketball Association looking after the interests of the Chicago Bulls. I like my version (especially if you have read Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" while we're on the subject of beef and Chicago).
11. Smidgen : TAD. Great words, both clue and answer.
12. Puts in : ADDS
13. Like Cinderella's stepsisters : UGLY. Is ugly equally in the eye of the beholder?
14. Bassoon, e.g. : REED.
Boo! Sphinx! What have I got in my pocket?
20. Small racer : KART. Had to wait for crosses for the C or K.
23. Cheers from tiers : RAHS
24. Prankster : CUTUP
26. Count (on) : RELY
27. Forensic detectives, briefly : CSIS. Crime Scene Investigators. No-one would ever have known this if it wasn't for TV.
28. Trick-or-treaters' costume items : MASKS. Because SHEETS WITH HOLES CUT FOR EYES doesn't fit.
29. Beatnik's "Got it" : I'M HIP. Or, as the acetabulofemoral joint said to the femur "want to snuggle up? I'm hip"
30. J. Carrol __: TV's Charlie Chan : NAISH. All crosses.
32. Fishhook-to-line connection : SNELL. All crosses
33. Perfect : IDEAL
34. Cinch course : EASY A. I never seemed to have any of these.
37. Big name in Argentine politics : PERON. Eva (Evita) didn't cry much for Argentina, nor did husband Juan.
40. With no warranties : AS IS
Boo! Tokyo in danger! Big Lizard!
41. Emmy winner Daly : TYNE
43. "Shane" star Alan : LADD
46. Océano filler : AGUA
49. The "X" in XFL, so some thought : XTREME. Actually, it didn't stand for anything. Or so they said. To avoid litigation from an existing organization called "Xtreme Football League". The best explanation was the NFL (National Football League) actually stood for "No Fun League" and XFL stood for "Extra Fun League".
51. Homemade pistol : ZIP GUN
52. Imbeciles : IDIOTS. Usually those making and firing 51D's
55. Awestruck : AGOG
56. "The Alienist" author Caleb : CARR
57. Nobelist Wiesel : ELIE. Thank goodness for good constructing and editing in this whole SW section. Major problems for me all around.
59. Slinky's shape : COIL
61. Cut and paste, e.g. : EDIT
62. Story : TALE
63. River of Flanders : YSER. I always have to think about this, there's a river in the Savoie region of France named "Isers" and I can never remember which has the I or the Y or the extra E
65. Car starter: Abbr. : IGN. My ignition was AWOL the other day, a jump start and a new battery and all is good.
66. Young fellow : LAD. Not Alan?
67. Milne's absent-minded Mr. : PIM
68. It begins with enero : ANO
Boo! Finally, the worst of 'em all - Grendel - he came at you out of nowhere and ate 11-year-olds like me for an appetizer:
Happy Hauntings everyone - and to all our east coast friends weathering the storm, you have our love and best wishes. Come through safe and well.
Notes from C.C.:
1) Here is a wonderful picture of Husker Gary (in shorts!) taken last week. He said: "While it won't rival JD's great pix, I am attaching a picture with two unusual elements that might be fun to post.
1. The beautiful fall foliage in our backyard around our deck
2. Me actually cleaning off the table so we can eat outside.
2) Part VI of JD's Italy trip: Tuscany.
|Tuscany is stunning, filled with hilltop towns, vineyards, and is a patchwork of green. This is wine country...chiante and barelo among the best.|