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

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.

Mar 16, 2017

Thursday, March 16 2017 Bruce Haight

Theme: RRepeats - the second letter in each theme entry is doubled and the resulting phrase clued according to the first three-letter part

17A. What Dobermans do for dinner? : GRRAB A BITE. Grr!

24A. Super-cold concoction at Baskin-Robbins? : BRRAIN FREEZE. Brr! Combining the two, here's a cold Doberman:

41A. World's stealthiest detective? : SHHERLOCK HOLMES. Shh!

52A. Cutest Baby contest champion? : AWWARD WINNER. Aww!

65A. Massage epiphany? : AHHA MOMENT. Ahh!

Brruce brrings us a nice Thursday offering. A solid 59 letters of theme entries and a generally pleasing fill around those. I might have tried to not repeat the RR with the first two themers as it could indicate all the following entries will follow the same convention. Not a major nit though, the idea is fun. Let's see what jumps out in the rest of the entries.


1. The Miners of the Lone Star St. : UTEP. University of Texas, El Paso.

5. Eurasia's __ Mountains : URAL

9. Fundraising gps. : PTAS. I had the P and tried PACS first until nothing would fit around it and forced a change of mind.

13. Caesar's France : GAUL. We studied Caesar's book "Conquest of Gaul" in Latin class at school. Cracking stuff for schoolboys.

14. Marner of fiction : SILAS. Great book. The movie adaptation starring Ben Kingsley as the eponymous weaver was excellent also.

16. Hindustani language : URDU. Hindi has given us quite a few English words, but I can't find any examples from Urdu.

19. Innocent : BABE

20. Retro wall unit : STONE. Retro? Pretty sure we still build with stone.

21. Titanic undoing : BERG. Least accurate damage assessment ever: "We've just stopped for a short time to take on some ice".

23. Not very bright : DIM

28. Yale alum : ELI

31. Longtime Yankees announcer __ Allen : MEL. No clue. Thanks, crosses.

32. First to play James : SEAN. 007-portrayer par excellence Connery. Dr. No was the first movie in the franchise, released in 1962.

33. Tall and lean : LANK

35. "Sadly ... " : ALAS

38. Box : CRATE

44. Got out of bed : AROSE. I arose early this morning to try to shake myself out of time-change clock-lag. I can fly across 11 or 12 time zones and get no jet lag, but that hour in Spring messes me up. It was nice and peaceful at the top of the Hollywood sign though - I'll find out tomorrow if my body clock is reset.

45. "So __ say" : THEY

46. Crowd-sourced review site : YELP. Can be useful if you ignore the obvious outliers (and the reviews obviously written by the buddies of the establishment).

47. Asian takeout option : THAI

49. Little trickster : IMP

51. See 56-Down : SLY. Sylvester Stallone of the movies. I've met him, his brother plays jazz at my local Italian restaurant. He's not as short as people seem to think. However, he's listed at 5'10" on Wikipedia, but I think that might be a little generous.

57. Security briefing org. : CIA

58. Clothing part that might split : SEAM. Especially if you're wearing a size to small or you've eaten a big dinner.

59. Epic tales : SAGAS

63. Singer James : ETTA

68. Agenda detail : ITEM

69. Gets mud on : SOILS

70. Phi __ Kappa : BETA

71. Banks of 2000s TV talk : TYRA

72. Doing business : OPEN

73. "The Osbournes" patriarch : OZZY. Quite the character. I saw Black Sabbath play in London once with Motorhead and Hawkwind. Quite the eardrum assault. Fun through. Here's Hawkwind - imagine this cranked up to 11. Awesome.


1. Brand of sheepskin boots : UGGS. Australia's finest.

2. Biting : TART

3. Italian capital : EURO. No more Lira. It's a shame a lot of the European currencies disappeared with the introduction of the Euro.

4. Fallback option : PLAN B

5. __ Today : USA. Their distribution network is amazing. I'm always astonished how early the paper is delivered to the various hotels I've stayed in across the USA, even in remote locations.

6. Tease : RIB

7. "I was out of town," e.g. : ALIBI

8. Approach midnight : LATEN. Hmmm. I looked sideways at this one when it appeared. I'm still looking askance at it. Not a word I would use.

9. Place to hoist a pint : PUB. I've seen the inside of a couple of these. I pulled pints at the Queen's Arms in Kilburn, north London when I was 19. A lot of Guinness and shots of Bushmills - most of the patrons were Irish demolition workers. Tough crowd.

10. DBA followers : TRADE NAMES. "Doing Business As".

11. Madison Ave. field : AD BIZ

12. In-your-face challenge : SUE ME

15. Feudal laborers : SERFS

18. Protective barrier : BERM. There were a lot of berms bulldozed out of the sand here in Southern California last winter to protect the beach cities with the expectation of major storms. They're very effective.

22. El __ : GRECO. "The Greek". Doménikos Theotokópoulos was born in Crete, but spent most of his life in Toledo in Spain.

25. Authentic : REAL

26. Dole out : ALLOT. If you hand out a large amount you allot a lot.

27. Like birds with worms, so it's said : EARLY. The Early Bird was me this morning. No worms caught though, probably a good thing.

28. Designer Schiaparelli : ELSA

29. Cowardly Lion portrayer : LAHR. Bert in The Wizard of Oz

30. Facing serious trouble : IN HOT WATER

34. Singer who formerly stylized her name with a dollar sign : KESHA, or rather KE$HA

36. "__ du lieber!" : ACH. "Oh, my dear!"

37. Yarn purchase : SKEIN. I misread the clue as "yam" at first which had me puzzled.

39. Squeal : TELL. As in rat someone out.

40. Catch sight of : ESPY. I'd clue this as the sports award, being more "in the language".

42. Raises : REARS

43. Many a gospel song : HYMN

48. Brainstorms : IDEAS

50. Uruguayan money : PESO

52. Nail a test : ACE IT

53. Like Oscar Wilde : WITTY

54. Mackerel relative : WAHOO

55. Beatnik's "With ya" : I'M HIP

56. Repeating movie role for 51-Across : RAMBO. Sly's character.

60. "Sheesh!" : GEEZ

61. Animated bug film : ANTZ

62. Time at a hotel : STAY. I've had quite a few of these in my time.

64. Org. for docs : AMA. American Medical Association.

66. Pint to drink : ALE. In the pub too.

67. AOL alternative : MSN

Short blog today, a lot going on for me. Hopefully no more explications required. The regulars in the comments section can handle any gaps. Here's the grid!


Mar 11, 2017

Saturday, March 11, 2017 Bruce Haight

Theme: None

Words: 70 (missing J,Q,Z)

Blocks: 27

We are witness to Bruce Haight's hitting for the cycle - this is his first Saturday construction for the LA Times, and has now been published every day of the week. Congratulations to Bruce, but I gotta say, too many proper names(*) in this one made it a fun sponge - can't win them all. 10x6 in two corners and triple 8-letter stacks in the others, with two more 8-letter fills as well. 

15. Fizzled : PETERED OUT - what do you call a guy who tires easily~? Peter; how about the guy who's creative~? Art; The guy who stirs up trouble~? Buck - or - Russell; The wealthy one~? Rich; The one who's brutally honest~? Frank. I can go on....

14. Displaying polish, perhaps : OPEN-TOED

52. Symbol of ancient Egypt : SACRED IBIS - dah~! I had ICON, IDOL, and knew it wasn't correct - took a moment to remember the sacred bird - and also the God Thoth

31. "Brava!" : ATTA GIRL - I had the "G", and the "a" at the end of the clue helped me nail this

atta girl~!

Spring ON forWARD~


1. Participated in a movie gunfight, say : SHOT BLANKS

11. Symbol of purity : HALO - not DOVE

16. Junket : TRIP

17. Really hot : EXTRA SPICY

18. Bud : MATE

19. Passes : ENACTS

20. Getaway car driver : WHEELMAN

22. Comforter : DUVET - I have such a resentment for this word, only because my friend's wife used it in a Scrabble game, and I challenged - it's Frawnche - and yet it counted.  Ugh, ugh, ugh.

23. Metered lines : POESY

24. Rudder location : AFT

25. "Now!" : STAT - not ASAP

26*. "Buddenbrooks" author : MANN

27. Farm follower? : E-I-E-I-O - not "STEAD"; this was almost funny....

29. Moolah : GELT - not CASH

30. Pop-up producer : ADWARE

31. How many games are won : AS A TEAM - the NY Rangers finally figured out their Power Play, and still managed to lose on Thursday

35. Cuddled : SPOONED - yeah, one of these days I'll get around to this again

36. Wine flavor component : TANNIN

37. Compact __ : DISC

38. Jerks : TWITS - my mother's affectionate name for the NY Rangers

39. "No __!" : DICE

40*. Inventing middle name : ALVA

44. Six-pack to be proud of : ABS - the 'other' six-pack produces the exact opposite

45*. Big name in '50s-'60s civil rights : EVERS

47. Take turns? : STEER - got it, but pondered DRIVE, too

48. Cuts to a roving reporter : GOES LIVE - Ha~! Nailed it

50. Introductory language class : LATIN I

51. Digging : INTO

54. Shipping hazard : REEF

55. Wary : ON THE ALERT

56. Exam for some college srs. : LSAT

57. Tourist attraction : RESORT AREA


1. Radar pickups : SPEEDS

2. Threaded fastener : HEX-NUT - this is the crenellated version

3. Interval for Rossini : OTTAVA - musical reference, octave

4. Three-line stanza : TERCET

5*. Benjamin of "Law & Order" : BRATT - was never a big fan of his character - I think cutting out Chris Noth's "Mike Logan" was not a good move for the show - tho he did return on "Criminal Intent"

6. Frequency modulation word? : LESS - filled via perps; not sure I "get it"

7. Payroll service initials : ADP - I see this on the UPS truck daily

8. "Forget it!" : "NO I WON'T~!" - I had YOU WISH to start, and it was working for a while

9. German coffeecake : KUCHEN - OK, I'll take das word for it....

10. Optical maladies : STYES

11. Webmaster's code : HTML

12. Ancient Syrian : ARAMAEAN

13. Got ready to grill : LIT A FIRE

21. Focus group member, casually? : EYE DOC - ah.  Clever

23. Date provider : PALM - the tree, not the singles website

26. Average : MEAN

28. WWII battle site, for short : IWO - Jima

29*. Theodor whose middle name was Seuss : GEISEL -even guessing this was "Dr Seuss" did not help at all

30. It adjoins the altar : APSE


32. Surgeon, slangily : SAWBONES

33. Aromatic brew : ANISE TEA - been popular in crosswords lately

34. Blaster : TNT - oops, not GUN

35. Unleashes : SICS

37. Runs : DIRECTS

39*. William of "24" : DEVANE - I liked him as Carter in "Payback"

40*. Fifth-century invader : ATTILA - just read a true "science fiction" novel from Bradbury and Baxter where Genghis Khan meets Alexander the Great in battle

41*. Elvis Presley lyricist Jerry : LEIBER

42. __ facias: jury pool (from the Latin for "make come") : VENIRE - all my Law & Order watching did not get me this

43. Grain bristle : ARISTA - mostly perps

46. Sun block : VISOR

47*. '70s-'80s Egyptian president : SADAT - an another, but I knew this one

49. Permissive : SOFT

50. Suggestive gander : LEER

53. Letter after pi : RHO


Jan 25, 2017

Wednesday, January 25, 2017, Bruce Haight


Bruce has supplied us with a clever puzzle with two switcheroos. First he supplied the names of all the fingers on a hand with cluing/fill that had nothing to do with actual fingers. Secondly he gave the reveal with a two-word phrase DIG IT that could be consolidated to make DIGIT which of course is an alternate name for fingers.


55. "Pay attention, man!" ... and, in a different way, what the end of each answer to a starred clue refers to : DIG IT/DIGIT - Fun! Here are some DIGITS being used to DIG IT.

Here's the "handy" grid with the theme and reveal fill that as you can see is further enhanced by the appearance of the fingers being in order from LITTLE TO THUMB.

Now let's look at Bruce's well-executed theme fill:

18. *"C'mon, loosen up!" : LIVE A LITTLE - A PINKY swear gives us an alternate name for our tiniest DIGIT

23. *Place for lefts and rights : BOXING RING - Waddaya think? A little gaudy?

40. *Compromise : MEET IN THE MIDDLE - George was sure she was giving him the infamous MIDDLE finger. 

52. *Market measure : STOCK INDEX - Several Husker VB girls had their INDEX fingers raised after winning the 2015 National Championship.

62. *General principle : RULE OF THUMB - A good use of that DIGIT that separates us from most of the animal world and my assessment of C.C. and the rest of you word warriors here at our little conclave!

Now let's explore some more of the fine fill Bruce has, uh, fingered for us today:


1. Put a spell on : HEX

4. Organizes from best to worst, say : SORTS - One of my favorite Excel features

9. Arizona landforms : MESAS

14. Wrath : IRE

15. Longtime "At the Movies" co-host : EBERT - He listed Casablanca and Citizen Kane among his ten best

16. One bit : AT ALL

17. Shake up : JAR - Definitely a little JAR! Cell phone user?

20. Do penance : ATONE

22. Certain string musician's need : VIOLA BOW - Re-hairing a bow

26. "Star Wars" extras : ET'S

27. Word of passione : CARA - Ya gotta love Jay and the American's singing CARA Mia - My Beloved in Italian

28. Cheek : SASS

31. "Alas!" : AH ME

34. Elementary bit : ATOM

37. Water nymph : NAIAD

43. Orchard trees : PEARS

44. "Ready are you? What know you of ready?" speaker : YODA

45. Low in fat : LEAN

46. Supermodel Banks : TYRA

48. Gross : ICKY

50. PD alert : APB - Calling all cars!

58. French president Hollande : FRANCOIS - His progression of domestic partners in chronological order. He didn't always tell them that someone else was coming in from the bullpen.

61. Sees red : BOILS

65. Bygone muscle car : GTO

66. Holiday visitor : IN-LAW

67. "Science of Logic" author Georg : HEGEL

68. Shy person's note? : IOU - A day late and a few dollars shy

69. Branch quarters : NESTS - Nests are fine, but... 

70. Philadelphia pro : EAGLE

71. "Major Crimes" network : TNT


1. Muslim veil : HIJAB

2. Sister of Calliope : ERATO

3. Maker of ColorQube printers : XEROX

4. One-named singer portrayed by Jennifer Lopez in a 1997 film : SELENA - SELENA on the left and JLO on the right playing Selena in Jennifer's breakout role.

5. Japanese sash : OBI

6. Gun, as a V8 : REV

7. Roman fountain : TREVI

8. Spot : STAIN

9. Pony Express concern : MAIL - Orphans preferred? Yikes! 

10. Vocalist James : ETTA

11. Plopped down next to : SAT BESIDE

12. Apportion : ALLOT

13. Boatloads : SLEWS

19. Stack under a tarp : LOGS

21. "Close, but no cigar" : NICE TRY 

24. Family nickname : GRAN(ny)

25. Threadbare : RATTY

29. Boy in "Star Wars" prequel films : ANI

30. "I wish I could" : SADLY NO

31. Bit of band gear : AMP

32. Small snicker : HEE

33. Sub filler : MEATBALLS

35. "So THAT's what's going on here!" : OHO - I'm shocked there is gambling going on in here!

36. First responder : MEDIC - At Omaha Beach

38. It borders the Fla. panhandle : ALA

39. Hideout : DEN

41. Medit. country : ISR

42. Big name in big rigs : MACK - Inside the most expensive MACK truck 

47. Dating from : AS OF

49. Cat dish tidbit : KIBBLE

50. Nasal spray brand : AFRIN

51. Danish fruit : PRUNE

53. Parishioner's pledge : TITHE

54. Milo of "Barbarella" : O'SHEA - Sorry, Milo, yours is not the first name that leaps to mind when I think of Barbarella 

56. John of The Red Piano Tour : ELTON

57. Strikes through : X'S OUT

59. "Far out!" : NEAT

60. Stockholder's assets? : COWS

63. Trendy boot brand : UGG

64. Blanc heard but not seen : MEL - Not necessarily as in this classic routine (Si, Sy, Sue, Sew) with Jack Benny.

Now let's get your DIGITAL comments:

Dec 27, 2016

Tuesday, December 27, 2016 Bruce Haight

Theme: L&N - Ellen(el and en).

16A . Shellfish dish in a cream sauce: LOBSTER NEWBERG

24A . Drivers' ID figures: LICENSE NUMBERS

41A. Chemical used for quick freezing: LIQUID NITROGEN

54A. The Times in Los Angeles, e.g.: LOCAL NEWSPAPER

62A. Popular afternoon talk show, familiarly, and a homophonic hint to this puzzle's four longest answers: ELLEN

Argyle here but instead of Ellen, I'm here with Sarah, plain and tall. To tell the truth, I didn't notice the puzzle was 14 wide and 16 tall until I went to print it out. So all the grid spanners are only 14 letters. Still a fine puzzle despite starting with HAJJI.


1. Pilgrim to Mecca: HAJJI

6. Give and take: SWAP

10. Bay Area airport letters: SFO. San Francisco International Airport

13. Hang trimmings on: ADORN. When does your tree come down?

14. Folded Mexican fare: TACO

15. Head, slangily: NOB. 1690-1700; perhaps variant of knob.

19. WWII spy gp.: OSS. (Office of Strategic Services)

20. Feature of some sweatshirts: HOOD

21. Poetic tribute: ELEGY

22. Subtle facial signal: WINK

23. Ready for ice skating: FROZEN. The first ice shanties are appearing on the lakes. Some day I intend to take a trip eastward and find the line where an ice shanty becomes a bobhouse.

28. Convention clip-on: ID TAG

29. Genetic material: DNA

30. Fringe benefit: PERK

31. Swiss currency: FRANC

33. Clotheshorse: FOP

36. "My gal" of song: SAL. The nearest we'll get to Erie today.

37. Visibly nervous: QUAKY

38. Exhort: URGE

39. Prefix with cycle: UNI

40. Irritant "in your side": THORN

47. Stores, as ashes: INURNS. Yes, we've had it before.

48. Ark builder: NOAH

49. Rub off the board: ERASE

50. "Will you let me?": "MAY I?"

51. Texter's "Wow!": [OMG]

57. Acorn tree: OAK

58. Moon goddess: LUNA

59. Eastern guru: SWAMI

60. Part of wpm: Abbr.: WDS. (words)

61. Capp of comics: ANDY. You may find him in the snack aisle.


1. Saintly glow: HALO

2. Big fusses: ADOs

3. Steve who co-founded Apple: JOBS

4. Some sons: Abbr.: JRs

5. Latest fad: IN THING

6. Scoring unit, in golf: STROKE

7. Tool needed at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry: WAND

8. Expert: ACE

9. Apple computer discontinued in 2006: POWER MAC

10. Hay fever symptom: SNEEZE

11. Painter of fakes: FORGER

12. MDs that bring out the kid in you?: OBGYNs. (Obstetrician/Gynecologist)

17. Ages: EONS

18. Oozy gunk: BLOB

22. Watered down: WEAK

23. __ bone (no laughing matter, really): FUNNY

24. ChapStick targets: LIPS. Not chop sticks, eh?

25. Creative process output: IDEA

26. PC key: CTRL

27. Minn. neighbor: N. DAK

31. "Slush" moneys: FUNDS

32. Word with drop or fall: RAIN

33. Kissable fairy tale figure: FROG

34. Less kissable fairy tale figure: OGRE. Cute pairing.

35. State founder William: PENN

37. Exacta relative: QUINELLA. A bet in which the first two places in a race must be predicted, but not necessarily in the correct order. The exacta must be predicted in the correct order.

38. "I was afraid of this": "UH OH!"

40. Walk aimlessly: TRAIPSE

41. Stay under the radar: LIE LOW

42. Bit of progress: INROAD

43. Duck calls: QUACKS

44. __ Major: Big Dipper constellation: URSA. The Big Bear.

45. More or less: IN A WAY

46. Mattel specialty: TOYS

50. Fix: MEND

51. October birthstone: OPAL

52. Viral internet phenomenon: MEME. Yes, we've had it before.

53. Put on a happy face: GRIN

55. Religious sister: NUN

56. Leatherwork tool: AWL


Notes from C.C.:

1) Here is a great article about our constructor Bruce Haight. Bruce was rejected 38 times in a row and he never gave up. 38 puzzles are the result of hundreds of ideas (often only one puzzle is made after 10 or more idea brainstorming, Cruciverb checking, etc). Now Bruce is one of the top constructors in the business, constantly striving for originality and innovation.

2) Happy Birthday to Dudley, who's been with the blog for over six years. Dudley has his own plane and can fly anywhere on a whim. Dudley started the "Rabbit, Rabbit" tradition on our blog. It's said at the start of each month for good luck. This picture was taken during Montana's visit to Northeast in September, 2013.
Left to right: Marti, Dudley, Hondo & Montana

Dec 15, 2016

Thursday, December 15th, 2016 Bruce Haight

Theme: Oh Captain! My Captain! Four of them lurking in the grid:

17A. D-Day code name : OMAHA BEACH. Ahab. He of the pathological preoccupation with Moby Dick in Herman Melville's book.

24A. Again : ONE MORE TIME. Nemo, Jules Verne's skipper of the Nautilus. He also popped up in the movie "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" - a fun flick from 2003.

49A. Cleaner with a blade : SQUEEGEE MOP. Queeg. Ineffectual captain in The Caine Mutiny. SQUEEGEE is a great brand name.

58A. 1957 #1 song title that appears in the line after "I'm in love" : ALL SHOOK UP. Hook. Another monomaniac, this time in J.M.Barrie's Peter Pan. With pleasing symmetry for this puzzle, Melville provided Barrie with the inspiration for the character.

35A. Indication of cooperation with ones hidden in this puzzle's four other longest answers : AYE, AYE, CAPTAIN!

Very nice effort from Bruce, I wonder if QUEEG was the seed that germinated the idea for this puzzle? Enjoyable romp through a selection of Masters and Commanders. Let's see what else we've got.


1. Moves with effort : PLODS. Also a mildly derogatory term for British policemen, from Enid Blyton's character "P.C. Plod"

6. Golden Fleece ship : ARGO. Aye, aye, Jason!

10. Tach nos. : RPMS. Should be RsPM in Steve World. I find it funny that cars with a fully-automatic transmission have a tachometer in the dash. It serves no useful function whatsoever.

14. Any "30 Rock" episode, now : RERUN

15. Trial version : DEMO. Had "BETA" first. That didn't stay in too long.

16. Tahari of fashion : ELIE. Thank you, crosses. I discover he is an Israel-Iranian fashion designer.

19. Carroll specialties : PUNS. The Mock Turtle's teacher was nicknamed "tortoise, because he taught us". Most of Carroll's puns are homophones - he was writing for a ten-year-old and kept the humor simple.

20. Got elected : WON

21. Influence : PULL

22. Loaf : DOG IT

23. Official lang. of Trinidad and Tobago : ENG. The Queen's version, naturally.

27. Oktoberfest souvenirs : STEINS. Cheers!

29. Actor Stephen : REA

30. Clear : NET

31. Balkan native : SERB

32. "Key Largo" co-star : BACALL. Had the "B", but had to wait. Could be BOGART.

40. Red hair and green eyes : TRAITS

41. Some PX patrons : NCO'S

43. George Lucas' alma mater: Abbr. : USC. University of Southern California here in Los Angeles. His family foundation gave the film school $10m a couple of years ago. He graduated in 1967.

46. Having one sharp : IN G

47. It makes a lot of dough : BAKERY

53. Bishops and pawns : MEN. Chess people, not chess men. After all, there's a couple of queens in there.

54. "The Last Supper," for one : MURAL. Leonardo's masterwork at the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milano.

55. NBA part: Abbr. : NATL.

56. Keep __ distance : AT A

57. Pains : AILS

61. Hunted one : PREY

62. Security lapse : LEAK

63. Dr. Evil portrayer in Austin Powers films : MYERS. Funny guy.

64. Lab fluids : SERA. Que sera, sera - whatever lab fluids will be.

65. Garage sale caveat : AS IS

66. Capital on the Aar : BERNE


1. Masterful ability : PROWESS

2. Soothing brew : LEMON TEA

3. Citrus greenhouse : ORANGERY. Kensington Palace in London have converted theirs to a restaurant. Nice place for a cup of soothing lemon tea. Posh digs. The Peter Pan statue is close by. Our 58A captain would not approve.

4. "I can't believe I missed that!" : DUH!

5. Wisconsin-based tool manufacturer : SNAP-ON

6. Young adult fiction writer Griffin : ADELE. Fresh new clue. Gives Fred's sister, the singer and Jane Eyre's charge a break from crossword duty.

7. Sphere of influence : REALM

8. Sierra or Yukon : GMC.

9. "I'm impressed!" : OOH!

10. Move, roots and all : RE-POT

11. Connect to a power source : PLUG IN. The mobile worker's perennial problem. It's getting easier to find laptop power at airports nowadays though.

12. Dr. Evil's cohort : MINI-ME

13. Italian sonnet closing : SESTET. Italian referring to the word, not the sonnet itself. The second part of the sonnet being the closing six lines. The first eight are called the octave. Here's Bill the Bard with the closing of Sonnet 18:

But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.
     So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
     So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

18. Subject that may come up in a frank discussion? : BUNS. Nice clue. I like Hebrew National franks.

22. Provided the hands : DEALT

25. Ocean predators : ORCAS

26. Garner : REAP

28. "Su-r-r-r-re" : I BET

32. Pantyhose shade : BEIGE

33. Vegas routine : ACT

34. Tall and thin : LANK

36. Disney daughter of King Triton : ARIEL. The Little Mermaid.

37. Masculine principle : YANG

38. Fridge convenience : ICE MAKER. My fridge doesn't have one. There's no water line to the fridge location, so there's not much point.

39. Point at which commitment occurs : NO RETURN. I'm flying to Honolulu on Sunday. 1,260 miles out from LAX is just about PNR for that trip.

42. Neural junction : SYNAPSE

43. Some road atlas pgs. : U.S. MAPS

44. Knight's attendant : SQUIRE

45. Stone-pushing Winter Olympian : CURLER. I love watching curling in the Olympics. You only get to see the sport once every four years, unless there's an ESPN 24-hour curling channel that I'm missing.

47. Those two : BOTH

48. Self-possession : APLOMB

50. Cushy class : EASY A. This was a struggle - I was trying to think of a luxurious cabin class.

51. Zhou __ : EN LAI

52. Mardi Gras purchases : MASKS

58. Harper Lee's home st. : ALA.

59. Avignon article : LES. Avignon's got a 12th century bridge that only spans a small part of the Rhone. It kept getting washed away in floods and eventually the good burghers of Avignon got sick and tired of rebuilding it so it was abandoned in the mid 1600's.

60. Santana's "__ Como Va" : OYE. Came a little too late for a music link so I'll save it for next week.

And with that, here's the grid!