Showing posts with label Bruce Haight. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bruce Haight. Show all posts

Jul 16, 2017

Sunday July 16, 2017 Bruce Haight

Theme: "Share and Share Alike" - I'm afraid I'm missing the extra layer in this theme. The paired answers share the same clue numbers & starting letters, but the shared letters PTFFHBDM does not anagram anything.

1A/1D. Like many a postcard scene : PICTURE PERFECT

8A/8D. Imminently dangerous situation : TICKING/TIME BOMB

15A/15D. Achilles' heel : FATAL FLAW
54A/54D. "Need assistance?" : HOW CAN I/ HELP YOU

58A/58D. One of dozens, for millions : FACEBOOK FRIEND. What a great clue.

95A/95D. Poppycock, with "a" : BUNCH OF/ BALONEY. We have more:  83. Poppycock : ROT. Also 124. Poppycock : PAP

101A/101D. Bad person to share appetizers with? : DOUBLE DIPPER

121A/121D. Mr. Spock forte : MIND MELD

If you solve via Across Lite, then all your Down theme entries have the same clue: [ - ]. They're supposed to be blank, but Across Lite software can't handle blank clues, hence the dashes.

There has to be an extra layer of unifier to tie the gimmick today. It feels a bit loose to me, as the theme entry choices are not very limited, as shown by this NYT grid.

Construction-wise, this 140-word grid is lovely, as all Bruce's grids. Big chunks of white spaces, which are very hard to fill cleanly. Bruce is grid wizard. One of those few constructors who keep pushing the envelope.

20. "The NFL Today" analyst : ESIASON. Boomer.

21. Transfers, as a T-shirt design : IRONS ON

22. Girl in Byron's "Don Juan" : LEILA. Wiki says she's a Muslim girl. Leila means "night" in Arabic/Hebrew.

23. Get back (to) : RESPOND

24. Company that merged with Konica : MINOLTA

25. Jason's shipbuilder : ARGUS. The 100-eyed monster. We also have 43. Biform beast : CENTAUR. Horse/man.

26. Big party : FETE. Not FEST or GALA or even BASH.

27. Gross fraction : DOZEN. Got via crosses.

29. Brews for socials : TEAS

30. Hook wigglers : WORMS. Quite a few people were fishing along the bank of Mississippi River when Boomer and I took our walk last week. Obviously Boomer likes Rickie Fowler. I was stunned that he found those orange socks.

31. Artist's talent : EYE. EAR too.

32. Caribbean islander : ARUBAN

34. Not just any old : THE. I don't get this clue.

36. Trig ratio : SINE

37. Hollowed out : CORED

40. Mayo is in it : ANO. Mayo the month.

41. Behold, to Brutus : ECCE

44. Knowledge of spiritual matters : GNOSIS. New word to me.

46. North Pole feature : TUNDRA

48. [Yawn] : I'M BORED. Time to take a walk. Summer in MN is gorgeous.

50. Come together : GEL

51. City on Lake Michigan : GARY. I only know Gary in Indiana & our buddy Gary in Nebraska.

53. Casually arrive, in slang : BOP IN. Not a phrase I use.

62. Classic VW : BEETLE

64. Had the nerve : DARED

65. Tiny messenger : RNA

66. Wise ones : SAGES. Asked my sages Argyle and D-Otto, neither saw extra theme layer.

68. Way to hit? : TRAIL. Oh the real "way".

69. Timed perfectly : ON CUE

70. Lightning particles : IONS

72. Japanese noodle dish : RAMEN. This word is borrowed from Chinese La Mian, literally "hand-pulled noodles".

74. Water collectors : SUMPS

76. 1986 #1 hit for Starship : SARA. Unfamiliar with the song.

77. Gush on stage : EMOTE

79. Saw : MAXIM

81. Spanish royalty : REYES. Kings in Spanish. Or this guy.

84. West Coast NFLer : NINER

85. Musical Keys : ALICIA

87. Stock maker's flavor enhancer : SOUP BONE. Typical Cantonese soup consists of pork bones, dried dates, goji berries, watercress and a few traditional Chinese healing herbs, slow-cooked for at least 3 hours. They have a bowl of soup every day and they have a soup for every season. Do you have soup at home often, Jayce?

89. Short-lived Mormon state : DESERET. Learned from doing crosswords.

91. Chihuahua neighbor : TEXAS

93. Manual reader : USER

94. Deli delicacy : LOX

97. Make busts, say : SCULPT

104. Copied : APED

105. Taoist force : YIN. So in Cantonese cuisine, green mung beans are YIN and you eat the soup/porridge in summer. Red beans are Yang, popular winter food.

107. Unsettling look : STARE

108. "Bus Stop" playwright : INGE

109. Berkeley school, familiarly : CAL

111. Sickly-looking : SALLOW

114. Rouge ou blanc : VIN.  Or COULEUR.

115. Rings : PEALS

117. Like 45 records : MONO

120. Kate of "Th1rteen R3asons Why" : WALSH

122. Bridges, in Venice : PONTI. OK, plural of Ponte, as in Ponte Vecchio.

123. Up against it : IN A SPOT

125. __ cheese sandwich, popular Augusta National menu item sold for $1.50 : PIMENTO. Our Big Easy saw this menu in person. Ticket price for Masters Sunday is probably 1,000 times of the sandwich.

127. Wrapped up : ENDED

128. Product of ocean evaporation : SEA SALT

129. Pisa party? : ITALIAN

130. English novelist Charles : READE. Never read any of his books.

131. Nerve junction : SYNAPSE

132. Ones handing out cigars, stereotypically : NEW DADS. Tiny dupe with 45. Changing of the locks : NEW DO


2. Poker phrase : I SEE YOU

3. Rain storage tank : CISTERN. Another new word for me. Carolyn at our flea market used to sell big rain barrels.
4. Record, in a way : TAPE

5. GI morale booster : USO

6. Mixed martial artist Rousey : RONDA. Once unbeatable.

7. "Bewitched" character : ENDORA

 9. One of Chekhov's "Three Sisters" : IRINA. Or MASHA.

10. Fleece : CON

11. Shoestring hassle : KNOT

12. "Land ho!" prompter : ISLE

13. Wrote, as music : NOTATED

14. Grind : GNASH

16. Spray sources : AEROSOL CANS. Great fill.

17. Fertile Crescent waterway : TIGRIS

18. Grads : ALUMNI

19. Misses : LASSES

28. Pueblo people : ZUNI

33. Virtual human companion : NEOPET. Do any of you own these pets?

35. Name that might pop up during a breakfast conversation : EGGO. Cute clue.

38. Just beat : EDGE

39. Idiomatic bits : DRABS. Oh, as in dribs and drabs.

42. Old yellers : CRIERS

47. Cheering deafeningly : AROAR
49. Move up and down : BOB

52. Surface for stretching : YOGA MAT

55. Five-time Kentucky Derby winning jockey : ARCARO (Eddie). Wiki says he "has the most wins in the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes with six".

56. Impulse-conducting cell : NEURON

57. Brainstorm : IDEATE. Not a word I use.

59. Breakdown of social norms : ANOMIE

60. Fundamental rules : CANONS

61. First Turkish president __ Atatürk : KEMAL. Learning moment for me.

63. Twists in a bar : LIMES

67. Add pizazz to an ad, say : SEX IT UP. Another great fill.

71. Kind of radial tire : STEEL-BELTED. Got via crosses.

73. Christianity's __ Creed : NICENE

75. Grinch creator : SEUSS

78. "The Fog of War" director Morris : ERROL. Not many ways to clue ERROL, so you better remember this guy.

80. Personalized music media : MIX CDS

82. Contractor's details : SPECS

86. Something to say to a dentist : AAH. Our Bruce is an eye doctor.

88. Champagne choice : BRUT

90. Suit : EXEC

92. Trendy coffee order : SOY LATTE. Soy is spurned by so many. Now the latest research showed coconut oil is bad too. It's the key cooking oil of our foodie Steve.

96. Leave no room in : FILL

98. Wife of Aeneas : LAVINIA. Stumper for me.

99. Spot in a newspaper : PRINT AD

100. Muscle-to-bone connectors : TENDONS. Tiny bone dupe with the SOUP BONE.

102. Common soccer score : ONE ONE

103. Kampala is its capital : UGANDA. Their official language is English.

106. Unbiased : NO SPIN

110. Out of whack : AMISS

112. Base runners? : AWOLs. Gimme for regulars.

113. Snow __ : WHITE

116. Fries, usually : SIDE

118. Tandoori bread : NAAN. Want some naan pizza?

119. Peak in Thessaly : OSSA

126. Big mouth : MAW


Jul 13, 2017

Thursday July 13 2017 Bruce Haight

Theme: Horse Play - the four theme entries are equine-related homophonic, or near-homophonic phrases.

17A. Arabian's head covering? : BRIDLE VEIL. Bridal veil. Arabian in the horse breed sense.

26A. Mounting problem at Churchill Downs? : STIRRUP TROUBLE. Stir up trouble.

42A. Something well in hand at Waterloo? : REIN OF NAPOLEON. Reign of Napoleon.

55A. Feature of 50-Down? : HORSE VOICE. Hoarse voice.

and ..

50D. '60s TV personality who would especially enjoy this puzzle : MR. ED

A straightforward-enough punning theme from Bruce with the character reveal tucked away neatly at the bottom of the puzzle.

I'm not sure if I'm bothered or not by STIRRUP TROUBLE - it's certainly an outlier from the other three homophone theme entries, both by not being a homophone and the original phrase having three words, not two.

Not a deal-breaker though, so let's see what else we've got:


1. Unit of heat energy : THERM

6. Like wild boar meat : GAMY and  54. Like wild boar meat : LEAN. Nice clecho.

10. Rock-in-pond sound : PLOP. More like a pebble sound. I think a rock would make more of a KA-BLOOSH sound.

14. Bit part : CAMEO. Konstantine Stanislavsky, the great character actor and theatrical director remarked "there are no small parts, only small actors".

15. Matty of baseball : ALOU. Talented family, those Alous.

16. Most Rembrandts : OILS. Here's one that's not - "Self-portrait, Staring". Aptly titled!

19. "Concord Sonata" composer : IVES. Thank you, crosses. Charles Ives composed what is officially titled Piano Sonata No. 2 "Concord, Mass., 1840-1860". I tried listening to it but gave up after a couple of minutes, it's not my cup of tea.

20. Nevertheless : YET

21. Cools quickly : ICES

22. Physicist Rutherford : ERNEST. His research led to the first atom-splitting by nuclear reaction in 1917.

24. Arequipa's land : PERU. Second most populous city in the country.

25. Pats dry : BLOTS

31. Film that's barely shown? : NUDIE. As a side-theme note, Nudie Cohn was the original "Rhinestone Cowboy" known for his flamboyant clothing design (and custom car design too).

32. Carry on : WAGE

33. 2008 TARP beneficiary : AIG

35. Bit that can be split : ATOM. Rutherford from 22A figured this out.

36. Luges, e.g. : SLEDS

38. Attracted : DREW

39. Sci-fi vehicle : POD

40. Midwestern tribe : OTOE

41. Prairie wanderer : DOGIE. A calf separated from its mother.

46. Stole (in) : CREPT

47. Track piece : RAIL

48. "Wait, start again, please" : I'M LOST. As the dogie said to the cowpoke.

50. Track event : MILE. I like that the mile race is still run even though the other race distances with the exception of the marathon are all metric.

51. Horned viper : ASP

58. Bollywood garment : SARI

59. Help in a bad way : ABET

60. Triage MD : E.R. DOC. Ouch. Least favorite fill of the day.

61. Writer Waugh : ALEC. Elder brother of the better-known Evelyn Waugh. He was a prolific writer, but according to his nephew Auberon "[he] wrote many books, each worse than the last". Tough crowd.

62. Bustle : TO DO

63. Symbols among notes : RESTS


1. Frozen dessert chain : TCBY "The Country's Best Yogurt".

2. Overconfident fable critter : HARE. Beaten by the tortoise.

3. Throw off : EMIT

4. White alternative : RED. Vino.

5. "Le Misanthrope" playwright : MOLIERE

6. Allowed from the mound : GAVE UP. Baseball nomenclature - the pitcher gives up a hit or a run.

7. See 45-Down : ALES.

8. "You think I did it?!" : MOI? Accompanied by innocent eyebrow raising.

9. Christmas cracklers : YULE LOGS

10. Destination in a simple itinerary : POINT B. Early Google Maps didn't always give you quite the correct route.

11. Has extravagant ways : LIVES LARGE

12. Fútbol cheers : OLÉS

13. Attractive sound? : PSST! Attention-attracter.

18. Lampshade shade : ECRU

23. Cad : ROUÉ

24. Stuffy : PRIM

25. "Ratatouille" director Bird : BRAD. More crosses, thank you.

26. Word with brim or bean : SNAP. I'd never heard of a snap bean until today. Live and learn.

27. Coach : TUTOR

28. "My word!" : I DO DECLARE!

29. Many a Belieber : TWEEN. Generally agreed to be the pre-teen years between 10 and 12 when your children start to hate you.

30. Refrain from singing as a child? : EIEIO. Old McDonald and his noisy farm.

34. Singer Stefani : GWEN. She recorded a great remake of Talk Talk's 1984 hit It's My Life

36. "Enough!" : STOP THAT!

37. Room at the top : LOFT

38. Kid's tea party attendee : DOLL

40. Singles : ONES

41. "You bet!" : DO I EVER

43. Like much humor : IRONIC

44. Blue blood, for short : ARISTO

45. With 7-Down, bitter brews : PALE. It's the hops in the ale that gives it the bitter note.

48. "Play it once, Sam" speaker : ILSA

49. Spread, maybe : MEAL

51. Supports : AIDS. We have both aid and abet today.

52. Macbeth or Macduff : SCOT. Aye.

53. Muscle Beach display : PECS

56. "That price is negotiable," in ads : OBO

57. Vein output : ORE

I think we just need a grid and a by-line and we're done, so here they are:


May 14, 2017

Sunday May 14, 2017 Bruce Haight

Theme: "For Mom" - Each theme entry is in the pattern of M* O* M*.

22A. Tycoon, e.g. : MAN OF MEANS

27A. Euterpe : MUSE OF MUSIC. Often as a clue for EUTERPE.

44A. Antacid name since 1872 : MILK OF MAGNESIA

63A. Takes action : MAKES ONE'S MOVE. Surprised to see MADE OF MONEY (111A. Rich, and then some). Same verb: Makes/Made.

72A. Encounter stiff competition : MEET ONE'S MATCH. ONE, THE and OF dupes are generally OK.

95A. Willpower : MIND OVER MATTER


122A. Apt time to recognize this puzzle's honoree : MONTH OF MAY. Very nice. Double duty.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms on our blog!

MOON OVER MIAMI is missing. Otherwise, Bruce gives us a near complete set of M* O* M* entries. Perfect partner puzzle to Ed Sessa's POP we had a while ago.

We often see two-word initial grids. Three words are much tougher to pull off even for a weekday.

1. Sharp group : MENSA. Nailed it.

6. Stage award : OBIE

10. "Kisses, dahling" : MWAH. Air kiss sound.

14. NASA nods : A-OKs

18. Beatles' "White Album" song whose title follows "If you want me to" : I WILL. Got via crosses.

19. Cost of living? : RENT. Nice clue.

20. "Yikes!" : OH NO

21. Beatnik's "Gotcha" : I'M HIP

24. Biblical verb : DOTH

25. Bete __ : NOIRE

26. On one's game : IN A GROOVE. Bruce is on top of his game.

29. Unyielding : SET

30. Map feature : SCALE. And 39. Map abbr. : AVE. Map clue echo.

32. Crux : HEART

33. Resort of a sort : SPA

36. One brought to a potluck : DISH. So what's your signature dish?
40. Drubbing : ROUT

41. Boater or bowler : HAT

48. Remove : DETACH

50. Con : ANTI

51. K.T. of country music : OSLIN. Not many ways to clue her.

52. Offer to pay : BID

54. Venezia casino winner : SETTE. Seven. Venice. Anyone been to The Venetian in Vegas?

55. Fill with merchandise : STOCK

57. Transcript info : GPA
58. One digging hard rock? : MINER. Gimme for regulars.

60. Just like that : AS IS

61. Greet with a beep : HONK AT

67. Metro barrier : STILE

70. Title of honor : SIR

71. Russian refusals : NYETs. Also 53. Reject : DENY

77. Toy, perhaps : LAP DOG

81. Novelist Seton : ANYA. Learned from doing crosswords.

82. Invite to one's loft, say : ASK UP

83. Jones many keep up with? : DOW. Great clue. Not the "Joneses."

86. Blush relative : ROUGE Also 74. Compact supplies : EYE SHADOWS

87. Dummy Mortimer : SNERD. I used to confuse him with SNERT.

89. Do wrong : SIN

90. One way to split : IN TWO

92. Move, at Coldwell Banker : RELO

93. Heave-ho : OUSTER

99. Medical research org. : NIH

100. Comics resident of the Okefenokee Swamp : POGO

102. NATO founding member : USA. And 104. Part of NATO: Abbr. : ORG

103. Jimmy on sausage labels : DEAN
105. Brass, e.g. : ALLOY

107. Prayer leaders : IMAMs

109. 76-Down brand : RCA.76. Best Buy buy : HDTV. Triple alliteration. Agnes' forte.

114. Land : TOUCH DOWN

120. Major pain : AGONY

121. Becloud : BLUR

123. Pond denizens : NEWTS

124. Indian tourist city : AGRA. Taj Mahal. Xi'an is popular with tourists also.

125. Bind, in a way : GLUE

126. Swerves : VEERS

127. Gas across the border : ESSO. Northern border.

128. Highlander : GAEL

129. Clutter : MESS

130. "Fiddler" meddler : YENTE. My high-school best friend was introduced to her husband by a matchmaker. They're still together.
1. "La Bohème" role : MIMI

2. McGregor of "Trainspotting" : EWAN

3. Familia girl : NINA

4. Trudges : SLOGS

5. Creamy sauce : ALFREDO. Are those basil?

6. __ Biscuit, product debut of 1912 : OREO. New trivia to me. Biscuit sounds salty.
7. '50s-'60s sitcom nickname : BEAV

8. "The Wreck of the Mary Deare" author Hammond __ : INNES. Stranger to me.

9. "MIB" characters : ETs. Men in Black.

10. Construction units : MODULES

11. Word of possession : WHOSE

12. Mandatory bet : ANTE

13. Words after "jolly" in an iconic ad : HO HO HO. The Jolly Green Giant.

14. Affaire de coeur : AMOUR

15. "Really?!" : OH IS THAT SO. Sparkly fill.

16. Diva Te Kanawa : KIRI

17. Something to build on : SPEC. On spec.

21. Cons : INMATES. The facial place I used to visit  in Guangzhou was next to the police station. I could hear cops yelling and beating. In those days, I just thought bad guys deserved it.

23. Theme : MOTIF

27. Whiz : MAVEN

28. Big beef : FEUD. Not KOBE.

31. Kid's plea : CAN I

33. Ping-Pong shot : SMASH

34. __ bean : PINTO. I think these are the beans Boomer uses in his Chili.

35. "Good Eats" host Brown : ALTON

37. Sun blocker : SMOG

38. Briefcase fastener : HASP

40. Ruin, weatherwise : RAIN ON

42. "Double, double toil and trouble" time : ACT IV

43. This and this : THESE

45. Energize : KICK-START. Another great fill.

46. Rock genre : GLAM

47. Heron cousin : IBIS

49. Baseball or football : TEAM SPORT
56. Simpson trial figure Kaelin : KATO. Forgot. We had him before.

58. Chicago exchange, briefly, with "the" : MERC. Oh, Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

59. Stagger : REEL

62. Fey in American Express ads : TINA

64. "Pronto!" : ASAP

65. Do-it-yourselfer's buy : KIT. TTP almost DIYs everything. From computers to water leaks. What a guy.

66. Hollywood Walk of Fame symbol : STAR

68. Not as much : LESS

69. __ Pie : ESKIMO. Never had it.

72. Wall builder : MASON

73. Boredom : ENNUI 

75. Certain bond, briefly : MUNI. Boring but safe.

78. Caused by : DUE TO

79. Rubberneck : OGLER

80. Maestro Solti : GEORG. One more name 91. Author Chomsky : NOAM

84. Outstanding : OWED

85. Modeled, say : WORE

88. Arranges strategically : DEPLOYS

90. "In my opinion ... " : I'D SAY

94. It's on the house : ROOF. Literal. Not FREE,

96. X, at times : NUMERAL. Got via crosses.

97. Progressive movement : MARCH. I like this new clue angle.

98. Antipasto fish : ANCHOVY

101. Exerciser's accessory : GYM BAG. Nice.

106. Slowly, in music : LENTO

107. Toughen : INURE. Or ENURE.

108. Ripped off : STOLE

110. Website charge : AD FEE

111. Locks in a barn? : MANE. Another great clue.

112. What seems like forever : AGES

113. One of Chekhov's "Three Sisters" : OLGA

115. Duty : ONUS

116. Pac-12 team : UTES. Utah Utes.

117. Harbinger : OMEN

118. Imperfection : WART. Do you know Wabi-sabi? There's beauty in imperfection.

119. Where Anheuser-Busch is BUD : NYSE

122. "Ben-Hur" studio : MGM

May 1, 2017

Monday, May 1, 2017 Bruce Haight

Theme: Down in front - Allow me to ush you to your seat. Let me see your ticket. Right this way.

20. Bygone airplane area: SMOKING SECTION

36. Line up: STAND IN A ROW

43. Position behind the steering wheel: DRIVER'S SEAT

57. "Exactly!" ... and a hint to where 20-, 36- and 43-Across' ending words may be found: "THAT'S THE TICKET!"

Rabbit rabbit! Argyle here. Not an arena ticket either, no aisle or tier. Easy-peasy but not insulting our intelligence puzzle, IMHO. Interesting note: no J,Q,U,X,Y,or Z.


1. Sacrificial __: LAMB

5. Paintball impact sound: [SPLAT!]

10. "__ of Green Gables": ANNE. "Are we facing Anne overload? With a new series and 3 TV movies, we might find out soon." CBC News

14. Geometry calculation: AREA

15. Largest city in North Africa: CAIRO

16. Yule song: NOEL

17. Some toy dogs, for short: POMs. (Pomeranians)

18. Llama habitat: ANDES. The South American mountain range.

19. Weekend-starting letters: TGIF. (Thank God It's Friday)

23. Subsided: EASED

24. Statutes: LAWs

25. Electric car brand: TESLA !!

29. Apple music players: i-PODS

33. Home for mil. jets: AFB. (Air Force Base)

39. Be concerned: CARE

41. "Cut corners" or "slash prices": IDIOM

42. Landlocked African republic: MALI

46. Part of a relay race: LEG

47. Coffee lightener: CREAM

48. "Rubber Duckie" singer on Sesame Street: ERNIE

50. Mocking remark: GIBE

53. Works with a needle: KNITS

62. Mop, as decks: SWAB

63. "Fingers crossed": "I HOPE"

64. "Drinks are __!": ON ME

65. Unit seized by a narc: KILO. (kilogram, 2 lb 3 oz)

66. Some surrealist paintings: DALIs. (Salvador Dalí)

67. Info: DOPE

68. Composer Stravinsky: IGOR. The story of "The Rite of Spring". (40:56)


69. Pass, as a law: ENACT

70. Wide-spouted pitcher: EWER


1. Forgetful moment: LAPSE

2. Cinnamon roll lure: AROMA

3. Notes to staff: MEMOs

4. Slam dunk or lay-up: BASKET ball.

5. Read electronically: SCAN

6. Twinge of hunger: PANG

7. Tupperware covers: LIDs. [Urp!]

8. Staggering: AREEL. I don't want to hear about A-words.

9. Puccini opera: TOSCA. More traditional than "The Rite of Spring".

10. Designed to minimize junk email: ANTI-SPAM

11. Scrubbed, as a NASA mission: NO GO

12. Nuremberg no: NEIN. (negation)

13. North Pole worker: ELF. They're off for the summer.

21. "Beware the __ of March": IDES

22. Bed size: TWIN

26. Mix: STIR

27. Chaps: LADS

28. Licorice-flavored seed: ANISE

30. Spoken: ORAL

31. Big name in pineapples: DOLE

32. Big gulp: SWIG

33. Band with a voltage symbol in its logo: AC/DC

34. Jamie of "M*A*S*H": FARR. Max Klinger.

35. Soft French cheese: BRIE

37. Not just a talker: DOER

38. "__ idiot!": "Doh!": I'M AN

40. "Green Acres" co-star: EVA GABOR

44. Radiate: EMIT

45. Word with bar or torch: TIKI

49. Make cryptic: ENCODE

51. Back of a hit 45 record: B-SIDE. But sometimes a hit, too.

52. Patriot Allen: ETHAN

54. "No need to tell me": "I KNOW". Teenager's answer to everything.

55. Phoenix suburb: TEMPE

56. Take the wheel: STEER. Hands up for those that have switched drivers while moving.

57. Bird's nest component: TWIG. Big twigs in an osprey's nest.

58. Symbol of sanctity: HALO

59. Mexican "Hi!": "¡HOLA!"

60. Grand-scale film: EPIC

61. Experiment: TEST

62. Schuss or slalom: SKI


Apr 17, 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017 Bruce Haight

Theme: Change Lanes to Pass - but as always, keep to the right.

17A. Friends of man's best friend: DOG LOVERS. Lovers Lane.

24A. Sport involving some rolling on the grass: LAWN BOWLING. Bowling lane.

37A. Forgetting the unpleasant parts: SELECTIVE MEMORY. Memory lane.

47A. Tidy sum that doesn't sound like much: PRETTY PENNY. "Penny Lane" Beatles (Back story)

58A. Highway segment for slower traffic ... and, literally, what 17-, 24-, 37- and 47-Across each has: RIGHT LANE

Argyle here(in the middle lane, usually). Except for two corners, NE and SW, everything is well interconnected and a fun solve.


1. Drop a line from the dock, say: FISH

5. Normandy battle town: ST. LO

9. Massage targets: ACHEs

14. Together, musically: A DUE. (in Italian)

15. Chips __!: cookies: AHOY

16. Formal-sounding will?: SHALL

19. Columbus craft: PINTA. The actual name of Pinta is unknown. Wiki link

20. For each one: APIECE

21. Diving lake bird: LOON. Our crossword bird.

22. Knight's title: SIR

28. QB-to-receiver six-pointer: TD PASS. Touchdown pass.

30. Rent-a-car giant: AVIS

31. Landed: ALIT, leading to 43. Sitting on: ATOP

32. TV show shown before: RERUN

34. Banned bug spray: DDT. The U.S. banned DDT for agricultural use in 1972.

41. "Good" cholesterol initials: HDL. (High-Density Lipoprotein)

42. Wishes: HOPES

44. List of computer options: MENU

45. "Movin' right along ... ": "ANYHOO...". Humorous alteration of ANYHOW.

52. Overhead trains: ELS. Shortening of elevated trains.

53. Steak order: RARE

54. Contemporary radio station named for its former "easy listening" playlist: LITE FM. (generic name)

56. Leaves out: OMITS

61. Used up: SPENT

62. "So THAT'S what you mean": "I SEE"

63. Physics particle: ATOM

64. Bacon work: ESSAY

65. Lysol target: GERM

66. Drive-__ window: THRU


1. Craze: FAD

2. Knot-tying words: I DO

3. Drug test placebo: SUGAR PILL

4. Beatles' second film: "HELP!"

5. File-renaming command, at times: SAVE AS

6. "Supernatural" network: THE CW. The "CW" name is an abbreviation derived from the first letters of the names of its two parent corporations (CBS and Warner Bros). OK then.

7. Oscar winner Sophia: LOREN. In 1962, she won a Best Actress Oscar for "Two Women", a foreign-language film.

8. Kvetching cries: OYs

9. Nile snake: ASP

10. Flu symptoms: CHILLS

11. Asian capital: HANOI

12. "Tiny Dancer" singer John: ELTON

13. Much street talk: SLANG

18. Many Rembrandts: OILS

22. Squirrel away: STASH

23. Loafed: IDLED

25. Exposes: BARES

26. Reproductive cell: OVUM

27. Cellar reds and whites: WINE

29. Gobbled down: ATE

32. Tear to pieces: RIP UP

33. New Year's __: EVE

34. "Duh ... figure it out!": "DO THE MATH"

35. Slobber: DROOL

36. Printing goofs: TYPOs

38. Newscaster Huntley: CHET

39. Broadway award: TONY

40. Possibly will: MAY

44. Medit. volcano: MT. ETNA

45. Song before the game: ANTHEM

46. Vladivostok veto: NYET. Russian.

47. Narrative writing: PROSE

48. Boat launching aids: RAMPS

49. Great Lakes natives: ERIES

50. Beethoven dedicatee: ELISEFür Elise(3:38)

51. Algeria neighbor: NIGER

55. London apartment: FLAT

57. Muddy pen: STY

58. Fix, as a fight: RIG

59. Neither here __ there: NOR

60. Down Under bird: EMU


Apr 1, 2017

Saturday, Apr 1st, 2017, Brad Wilber

Theme: None

Words: 70 (missing J,Q,Y)

Blocks: 32

  We have not seen a solo Saturday from Brad since 2015; he contributed on two Saturdays last year.  I struggled with this one from Mr. Wilber, mostly by filling in the wrong answers on my first pass, and unwilling to let  them go.  Lots of one-word clues which can run into ambivalence and vagueness very quickly One 13-letter and two 11-letter spanners, chunky 8x6 corners in the NW and SE, and almost triple 8s in the opposing down corners.  Separation of the corners from the rest of the puzzle made it difficult to move from one area to another, too.  Some of the longer fill;

35a. Chart-topping instrumental of '76: THEME FROM SWAT

32a. Headed for a stall, quite possibly: OVERHEATING

38a. Time's Best Comedy Sketch of the 20th Century: WHO'S ON FIRST

19d. Fish with a prehensile tail: SEAHORSE

23d. Essentially:  IN EFFECT

24d. 1992 Nestle acquisition: PERRIER


April FOOLs~!

And now for the real puzzle....

Saturday, April 1st, 2017, Bruce Haight

Theme: Gotcha~!!!

Words: 72 (missing J,Q,V,W,X,Z)

Blocks: 29

Sorry, I couldn't resist~!  Three out of four weeks with a Bruce for a constructor - isn't that the nick-name for any guy from Australia~?  Anyway, a slightly themed puzzle for today, with a clever visual in the grid depicting something akin to the last Across clue featuring escalator; S T A I R S.  As for the rest of the challenge, it was looking grim on the first pass, but again, I did better with my first Down pass, which gave me something to work with on my second go.  Finished within my personal time, and nary a cheat or Google.  Chunky 8x8 and 6x6 corners with an ascending trio of "escalators" in the center.  Some of the longer fill;

15a. Slender smoke : PANATELA - I am making my way through Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware novels, and his detective, Milo Sturgis, occasionally smokes a panatela

11d. Concert tix flashed at a singles bar, say : DATE BAIT - never heard the phrase; if they're offering Rangers tickets, I'm in - I hope she would be, too....

32d. It could involve a disappearance : MAGIC ACT

57. Like an escalator, and, aptly, like the six-letter word that begins where 40-Across ends : AT A SLANT



1. Shuttle facility : SPACE LAB

9. Auto shop purchase : RADIAL - I suppose "tire shop" would have been too easy for Saturday

16. Thorny shrub : ACACIA

17. Emotionally withdrawn : IN A SHELL

18. Buries : INTERS - I tried EMBEDS

19. Little laughter : TITTER

20. In a pinch : IF NEED BE

22. Autumn shade : OCHER - oops, not OCHRE

23. Many profs : PHDs

24. Oktoberfest supply : BIER

25. Transportation option : UBER

26. Whopper inventor : LIAR - ah, that kind of whopper....

27. Unites for a purpose : BANDS - usually with "together"

28. Jaunty topper : TAM


29. __ golf : MINI - oh, I would have gone with SKIRT; at least it could be answered MAXI, too

30. Ja, across the border : OUI - Yes, in German and Frawnche

31. Beezus' little sister, in Cleary books : RAMONA - learned from doing crosswords

33. Perfect : SPOT ON - I had SUPERB first, but then wondered if it was the verb perfect, and not the adjective perfect

36. Proper : APT

37. Delight at the comedy club : SLAY

38. Super __ : PAC - ugh, I had no clue

40. Hitches : SNAGS

43. Punxsutawney headliner : PHIL - the groundhog winter/spring weather forecaster for all of us, located in PA

44. Default result : REPO - default on payments

45. Doughnuts, geometrically : TORI - Latin plural of torus

46. "Growing Up in New Guinea" author : MEAD - just had to guess the "A"

47. Joint component : TENON - partnered with Mortise.  I am buying a biscuit joiner this weekend for two projects - fixing a split table, and building a new side station top

48. Hatchling from a green egg : EMU CHICK

50. Art incorporating architectural elements : MURALS - I considered this, and then it filled via perps

51. Judge's declaration : NO BAIL

52. Rule with many exceptions : I BEFORE E - seen this recently, too

54. Software giant : ORACLE

55. Yak, yak, yak : RATTLE ON

56. One way to break the news : GENTLY


1. Say scornfully : SPIT OUT

2. Emergency exit device : PANIC BAR

3. Something detested : ANATHEMA

4. Furniture mover : CASTER

5. Heavens : ETHER

6. Creepy look : LEER

7. Entirely : ALL

8. Its sung in the same act as "Some Enchanted Evening" : BALI HA'I

9. Comes down : RAINS - yesterday and today, in my neck of the woods

10. Unpopular spots : ACNE

12. Stuck at the ski lodge, maybe : ICED IN - run away Tin~!

13. Sack for company? : AIRBED

14. Surgical tools : LASERS

21. Wartime prez : FDR

23. Fruity cocktail word : PIÑA

26. Fuzz : LINT

27. Lift : BUOY - good WAG on my part from the "Y"

29. Challenging locks : MOPS

30. Colorful ring tone producer? : OPAL - I watched this cool NOVA episode on gems while I was in Delaware

33. Arrived home evasively : SLID

34. Clearing : OPEN AREA

35. Layered dessert : NAPOLEON

37. Colombian singer formerly a coach on "The Voice" : SHAKIRA

39. Agree : CONSENT

40. Hearing aid, briefly? : STENOGrapher - a bit meh, but the clue sort of salvages the "non-word" fill

41. "That's it for me" : NO MORE - "NO MORE  for me thanks, I'm drivin'"

Daffy Duck

42. Oranjestad native : ARUBAN

43. Pumping target, for short : PECtoral

44. Casino table do-over : RE-ROLL - I had REDEAL to start, slowed down the SE corner

46. Daughter of Billy Ray : MILEY

47. Medford school with a Boston campus : TUFTS - perps.  I work at UPS in Medford, LI - but it's not the same place....

49. Tobogganing spot : HILL

50. Prefix with carpal : META

53. Swing in a box : BAT - Baseball reference; I am sure C.C. is all keyed up for the new season


Mar 20, 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017 Bruce Haight

Theme: And it's a grand day to be sure!

17A. Change one's route to avoid heavy traffic, say: MAKE A DETOUR. Grand tour.

23A. Likely successor to the throne: HEIR APPARENT. Grandparent

37A. "You're confusing me": "I DON'T UNDERSTAND". Grandstand, verb or noun.

48A. Sprained ankle, often: SPORTS INJURY. Grand jury.

59A. Climactic show ending, and a literal hint to this puzzle's circled letters: GRAND FINALE. The word in the circles can follow GRAND and they are the final word in their entries.

Argyle here. We have a quick return of Bruce Haight, a grid spanner; we have circles, a tight theme, a very necessary reveal. I hope we all have great week on this first day of spring.


1. Negative attention from the press, briefly: BAD PR. (bad public relations)

6. Deep-voiced opera singer: BASSO

11. "I knew it!": "HAH!"

14. Blazing: AFIRE. AWORD.

15. Gossip spreader: YENTA

16. Abu Dhabi is its cap.: UAE. (United Arab Emirates) Visit Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, if you dare.

19. Org. for marksmen: NRA. (National Rifle Association)

20. "You __ here": ARE

21. Pipe-cleaning brand: DRANO. (Not recommended for tobacco pipes.)

22. Composer Stravinsky: IGOR. His wife's name was "Katya".

26. Magnificent: SUPERB

29. Epps of "House": OMAR. His IMDb page.

30. Have no doubt: KNOW

31. Fabulist mentioned by Aristotle: AESOP. (fabulist - a person who composes or relates fables.)

34. Soda: POP

41. Capitol Hill fig.: POL

42. Quarrel: ARGUE

43. Machu Picchu resident: INCA

44. "Me neither!": "NOR I!"

46. Sacred river of India: GANGES

53. "Peter Pan" beast: CROC. Tic-toc croc.

54. Safe place?: VAULT

55. Help in finding the hidden treasure: MAP

58. Kept under wraps: HID

62. Blanc who voiced Bugs: MEL

63. "__ bet?": WANNA

64. Kind of panel or system: SOLAR

65. Keats work: ODE

66. Annual celebrations, for short: B-DAYS

67. Plot surprise: TWIST


1. The Crimson Tide, familiarly: BAMA. (Alabama)

2. In the distance: AFAR

3. Storied water barrier: DIKE. Dutch boy story, perhaps.

4. Ante-: PRE-. Prefixes.

5. Page turner: READER

6. Way to play music if you can't read it: BY EAR

7. Insurance giant: AETNA

8. Busybody: SNOOP

9. Good name for a lover of hearty meals: STU

10. Paddle: OAR

11. Gut feeling at dinner time?: HUNGER PANG

12. Packers quarterback Rodgers: AARON. Green Bay Packers, Green Bay, Wisconsin.

13. EKG organ: HEART

18. Smidgen: DRIB. Often found as dribs and drabs.

22. Nest egg acronym: IRA. (Individual Retirement Account)

23. Previously cut, as timber: HEWN

24. Penniless: POOR

25. Gig equipment: AMPs

26. Decide not to go to: SKIP

27. Loosen, as a knot: UNDO

28. Cylindrical water toy: POOL NOODLE

31. Director Lee: ANG. Taiwanese-born Ang Lee, not "Spike" Lee.

32. School URL ending: .EDU

33. "Comprende?": "SEE?". Spanish to English.

35. Fairy tale starter: ONCE

36. High-tech appt. books: PDAs. (personal digital assistant)

38. Sharp-tasting: TART

39. "Exodus" author Leon: URIS

40. Minuscule: TINY

45. Tolkien beast: ORC

46. __ of Mexico: GULF

47. Whistler, but not his mother: ARTIST

48. Blockhead: SCHMO

49. Jimmied (open): PRIED

50. The first Mrs. Trump: IVANA

51. Mary Poppins, e.g.: NANNY

52. Biblical betrayer: JUDAS

55. Timbuktu's country: MALI

56. "__, poor Yorick!": Hamlet: ALAS

57. Cheeky: PERT

59. Pres. #43: GWB.(George Walker Bush)

60. "Cool!": "RAD!"

61. "Immediately!": "NOW!"


Notes from C.C.:

1) Happy Birthday to dear Spitzboov (Al), our always cheerful and knowledgeable imp (Spitzboov is Low German for "rascal/"imp".) Spitzboov served in the Navy Reserve for over 20 years & retired as Commander. He continues to support the Navy in any way he can. The Annin flag he sent to me after I got my US citizenship is from the Navy. Hopefully you and Betty can meet with Argyle again this year.

Argyle and Spitzboov
(August 23, 2014, Washington County Fair)

2) Happy Birthday to John28man as well! He pops in on the blog from time to time.