Jun 26, 2017

Monday, June 26, 2017 Bruce Venzke & Gail Grabowski

Theme: No Reveal Monday - B(vowel progression)TT

17A. Cellphone revitalizers: BATTERY CHARGERS

23A. Cake mix giant: BETTY CROCKER

36A. Confection not as sweet as the "milk" variety: BITTER CHOCOLATE

48A. Lowest dresser compartment: BOTTOM DRAWER

57A. Affectionate touches with one's lashes: BUTTERFLY KISSES

Argyle here. While the theme may be simple, the execution is not. Three grid spanning entries and two 12's, all in the language, makes it a worthy Monday puzzle.


1. Cars for stars: LIMOs

6. Vagabond: TRAMP

11. Clock setting for MI and MO: CST. Four counties of the Upper Peninsula in
Michigan and all of Missouri are in Central Standard Time Zone.

14. Go through entirely: USE UP

15. Riveter painted by Rockwell: ROSIE

16. Grazing area: LEA

20. Looker that's usually blue or brown: EYE

21. "Ring around the collar" detergent: WISK

22. Hard-to-resist impulse: URGE

27. Falls back: RECEDES

30. Driver's protest: HONK

31. Japanese soup noodle: UDON

32. Electrical unit: WATT

33. One dressing to be noticed: FOP

41. Muddy barnyard abode: STY

42. Fashion's Chanel: COCO

43. App symbol: ICON

44. Moccasin or loafer: SHOE

45. Tranquilizes: SEDATES

52. New Balance competitor: AVIA

53. USAF truant: AWOL

54. Alien crew in sci-fi films: ETs

62. Right-angle shape: ELL

63. Writer Zora __ Hurston: NEALE

64. Singing sensation Boyle: SUSAN. Where is she now?

65. Take notice of: SEE

66. Lustful deity: SATYR

67. Perot of politics: H. ROSS

1. Job with an oil change: LUBE

2. Dr. Watson outburst: "I SAY!"

3. Parcel (out): METE

4. So last week: OUT

5. Gushed: SPEWED

6. On-the-sly romantic meetings: TRYSTs. With a SATYR?

7. Like much of Maine's coastline: ROCKY

8. Volcanic debris: ASH

9. Actress Farrow: MIA

10. In accordance with: PER

11. Court assistant: CLERK

12. Twilled fabric: SERGE

13. Law enforcement shocker: TASER

18. Ceremonial act: RITE

19. Oozy stuff: GUCK. I wanted GUNK.

23. Flexed: BENT

24. Bush Labor secretary Elaine: CHAO

25. Campus mil. group: ROTC. (Reserve Officers' Training Corps)

26. Aware of, as a scheme: ON TO

27. Barbecue coatings: RUBS

28. Work on a script: EDIT

29. Cosmetics giant: COTY

32. Reporter's question: WHO

33. Fiction's opposite: FACT

34. Oklahoma tribe: OTOE

35. Will-signing needs: PENS

37. Empty hallway sound: ECHO

38. Floor plan division: ROOM

39. Sent a dupe letter to: CCed

40. "You made that up!": LIAR

44. PDQ, in the ICU: STAT

45. Finn's friend: SAWYER

46. Furry "Star Wars" creature: EWOK

47. "Yum!": "DELISH!". A Rachael Ray comment.

48. Innocent sorts: BABES

49. Seed-to-be: OVULE

50. Book name: TITLE

51. Good news on Wall Street: RALLY

54. Canadian gas sign: ESSO

55. Tetley products: TEAs

56. Bank acct. IDs: SSNs. (Social Security number)

58. Chekov's "Star Trek" rank: Abbr.: ENS. (Ensign)

59. Actor Stephen: REA

60. Budgetary excesses: FAT

61. California's Big __: SUR


Jun 25, 2017

Sunday, June 25, 2017, C.C. Burnikel


Husker Gary reporting today where our brilliant LA Times Blogspot mistress C.C. Burnikel has given us a lovely Sunday puzzle with a fun theme and always clever cluing! The title and gimmick she used reminded me of this famous tag line for Steve Martin. She has given us eight, two-word themers where the first word starts with "S" and the second with "QU" which amounts to eight SQU's or phonetically: SCUSE. 

As you can see in the grid, six of the theme fills were horizontal and two more were vertical and intersected two of the horizontal fills. Last Sunday C.C. called this a "classic Gail Grabowski design".

There's  no SCUSE to not enjoy this puzzle and so let's first look at C.C. theme answers:

23. It begins in , April : SECOND QUARTER - Ah April, where I can make my final 2016 payment and fill out another lovely form and my first payment for 2017.

33. Yahoo! Finance offering : STOCK QUOTE - On June 16, a STOCK QUOTE for Yahoo! Inc. would have been $52.59

49. Jamie Lee Curtis or Fay Wray : SCREAM QUEEN - Jamie Lee was a great SCREAM QUEEN in the Halloween franchise. Her mommy was also pretty good at this skill in a Hitchcock classic. Fay Wray only had to contend with an animal that went, uh, ape over her!

86. Test for trivia fans : SPORCLE QUIZ - Probably obscure for most of you but I knew this from subbing. Some teachers let their kids take fun and/or educational quizzes at this online site and they stay occupied. Yay! Below, you must type in as many of the nine countries starting with "L" that you can in 60 seconds. Go!

100. California prison town : SAN QUENTIN - Perhaps you'd like to try the 9 mile swim from SAN QUENTIN to the other famous prison in the neighborhood

117. Pielike veggie dish : SPINACH QUICHE - Looks yummy to me!

15. What screen icons exude : STAR QUALITY - This show calls it the X-Factor

67. Granite excavation site : STONE QUARRY - This wonderful 1979 movie featured characters (including 101. "Far from Heaven" actor : Dennis QUAID)  who called their bike team the Cutters because of the STONE QUARRY industry in Bloomington, IN. They raced the Indiana University team. Guess who won.

Now let's look at the rest of the fill from this SUNDAY's QUEEN of the puzzle


1. Mark Cuban's NBA team : DALLAS

7. Scene : LOCALE

13. Quaint light : GAS LAMP

20. Lizard with a "third eye" : IGUANA - The primitive white spot between his two eyes that only detects light and dark

21. Like grandfather clocks : ANALOG - Digital is just so wrong here

22. Tin mints : ALTOIDS

25. In an imposing manner : GRANDLY

26. Things on rings : KEYS

27. Lemons : DUDS

28. "__ Death": Grieg work : ASES  Ã…se's Death from Peer Gynt. Yeah, I knew that and did not need the crossings. 😅

30. Dot follower : ORG

31. Grips : CLASPS

38. Went for a bite? : FISHED - A statue of a very famous "Gone Fishin'" trip in Mayberry, N.C. Okay it's in Mount Airy, N.C. but still...

41. Review using stars : RATE

43. In __ of : LIEU and 99. Inscribed tablet : PLAQUE - I have received several PLAQUES IN LIEU of cash

44. Glob : WAD

45. Punk rock icon Smith : PATTI - She performed in a benefit concert in 2011 with crossword's favorite Beatle wife

46. Poetic measure : METER

47. Trac II cousin : ATRA

48. Like Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 : IN G 

52. Steamed state : IRE

53. "Blue Sky" Oscar winner : LANGE - She made a controversial appearance before the House Agricultural Committee on the strength of her role in this 1980 film.

55. Bun contents : HAIR

56. Wish undone : RUE

57. Executed : DID

59. Legend in one's own mind : TIN GOD

60. Port of 79-Down : ADEN and 79. Nation across the gulf from Somalia : YEMEN

61. Brat's output : SASS

63. What some wallow in : SELF PITY

66. Give up the single life : WED

67. Prepared for a selfie : SMILED - This smile could be gone in a hurry

69. Dana of "Body of Proof" : DELANY

70. Smooching on the bus, for short : PDA - Have you ever chaperoned an adolescent dance?

73. Some studios : ATELIERS - Yeah, I knew that and did not need the crossings. 😅 400 sq. ft ATELIERS in the Robespierre district of Paris run about €800/month. 

75. Titles of respect : SIRS

76. Bath buggy : PRAM - Lady Mary could drive from 1 hr. west from Downton Abby to Bath, England to get a PRAM for her baby

77. Lidocaine brand : ICY HOT 

80. Sch. with a Harrisburg campus : PSU - Football scandals have rocked this fine school 

81. Summer in Provence : ETE

82. Burial isle of many Scottish kings : IONA Yeah, I knew that and did not need the crossings. 😅

83. Ersatz fat brand : OLEAN

84. Activity-tracking letters : GPS - "Oh where, oh where has my little dog gone?"

90. Clyde cap : TAM - You might find one on IONA

91. Jacob's twin : ESAU

93. Poker pile : CHIPS

94. Charlotte __ : RUSSE - "Oh great! Another women's clothing store!" 😡

95. Is for two? : ARE - Stan  is one but Stan and Ollie ARE two

96. Stop : QUIT

97. Lyon lover's word : AIME - Je t'aime (I love you)

98. Golf phenom Jordan : SPIETH - Where are the golfers with personality?

103. Pennysaver revenue source : AD SALE

105. American rival: Abbr. : UAL - Give me the cheapest fare. End of discussion

106. Topps figure : STAT

108. Historic Tuscan city : PISA - After teaching about Galileo at PISA for decades, I had a breathless moment when I walked through the arch and saw the leaning tower for the first time

109. Wikipedia entries : BIOS - Isn't C.C. about due to have an entry?

113. "Right on!" : I HEAR YA

120. Prisoner's restraint : LEG IRON - I'll bet you know what character is trying to rid himself of said restraints here

121. __ à trois : MENAGE - What were you thinking?

122. Sophisticated : URBANE

123. Pain reliever : ANODYNE - Yeah, I knew that and did not need the crossings. 😅

124. Think highly of : ESTEEM

125. Eldest Dashwood daughter in "Sense and Sensibility" : ELINOR


1. Pancake shape : DISK

2. Pulitzer novelist James : AGEE - I wonder if C.C. and Boomer have this AGEE card in their collection.

3. "Peanuts" fussbudget : LUCY

4. Golden Triangle country : LAOS

5. Taylor of fashion : ANN

6. Seat at Churchill Downs : SADDLE - Pretty Spartan

7. Heaps kudos on : LAUDS

8. Living it up : ON A SPREE

9. Budget choice : CAR - Once again, show me the price on your rental CAR

10. Ski resort near Snowbird : ALTA

11. "How to Succeed ... " composer Frank : LOESSER - Ya gotta dig pretty deep to find Music and Lyrics by Frank LOESSER.

12. Everglades bird : EGRET

13. Practical joke : GAG

14. "Today" weather anchor : AL ROKER

16. Future sound? : LONG U - FYOO' CHER - The first "U". Love it!

17. Help out : AID 

18. 16th-century date : MDL - July 7, 1550 is the traditional date chocolate is believed to have been introduced to Europe

19. Aspiring therapist's maj. : PSY

24. Squat beneficiary : QUAD - Wow!

29. Pool-heating option : SOLAR

31. __ seeds: omega-3 source : CHIA - From a silly gift to health food

32. Fill to the brim : SATE

34. Ticket for speeding, say : CITE - Oldest daughter got out of a speeding ticket in Lincoln but when the officer saw her then last name and  said he liked me as a teacher. "Dad, that's the only time it's been worth knowing you!"

35. Being in debt : OWING

36. Latin ballroom dance : TANGO - Al Pacino and Gabrielle Anwar doing the TANGO in Scent Of A Woman 

37. Barely beat : EDGED

38. False impression : FACADE

39. Words of resignation : I TRIED - no comfort when first words were 110. Volunteer's offer : I CAN

40. Strict : STERN

42. Looks after : TENDS

45. "Baloney!" : PSHAW

46. Granola cousin : MUESLI

50. Baseball mascot partner reintroduced in 2013 : MRS MET - They have both come and gone since the 1960's

51. California's state bird : QUAIL - You're my age if you know who sang, "Hey Bird Dog keep away from my QUAIL"

52. Remains in neutral : IDLES

54. "__ takers?" : ANY

58. Mil. roadside danger : IED - Improvised Explosive Device

59. Christmas strands : TINSEL

62. Escapes slowly : SEEPS

64. Mall handouts : FLIERS

65. Medicare program offered by private insurers : PART C 

68. Hosp. employees : DRS - Many DRS around here have abandoned their private practices to be "employees" of our hospital for legal reasons

70. "In Search of Lost Time" novelist : PROUST -The Guinness Book Of World Records says it is the longest novel of all time 

71. Breakfast pastry : DANISH

72. Blow away : AMAZE

73. "I knew it!" : AHA

74. It may be served with pickled ginger : SUSHI - I am not a big fan of ginger but it appears you can get it like this

76. Spark : PIQUE - These daily exercise never fail to PIQUE my curiosity

77. Tiny bits : IOTAS

78. Santa __ : CLARA

84. Dieter's setback : GAIN

85. Masters strokes : PUTTS

87. Strong cotton : PIMA

88. Where to see slanted columns : OP-ED PAGE - Where you might find Charles Krauthammer and Paul Krugman side-by-side

89. Lake bordering Ontario : ERIE - Last Sunday, Gail Grabowski's ERIES were The Cat Nation People

92. "Lolita" (1962) actress : SUE LYON - In ads the promo was, "How did they make a movie out of this?" The answer seems to have Nabokov's screenplay make Lolita 16 instead of 12 as in the novel and toned down the content

93. Happy hour offerings : CANAPES

98. Scout's accessory : SASH - His SASH runneth over

102. Response at the door : IT'S ME

104. Order to attack : SIC 'EM

107. Windshield option : TINT

109. Netanyahu of Israel, familiarly : BIBI

111. "This is horrible!" : OH NO - Ah, Mr. Bill!

112. Interpreter of signs : SEER

113. Wharf workers' org. : ILA - International Longshoreman's Association - Were they the bad guys who beat up Terry Malloy (Brando) in this gritty movie?

114. Egg source : HEN

115. Narcissist's problem : EGO

116. Hydrocarbon suffix : ANE

118. "Not gonna happen, lassie" : NAE - "Timmy is not in the well girl!"

119. Bing result : URL

Well, I SHOULD QUIT and let you guys hold forth with your pertinent and impertinent remarks.

Jun 24, 2017

Saturday, Jun 24th, 2017, Mark Diehl

Theme: None

Words: 66 (missing J,Q,V,Z)

Blocks: 26

Phew~!  I knew this was going to be a mental workout when I saw the constructor's name, and that certainly held true.  Lots of long entries, with a stagger step of 5 ten-letter answers up the middle.  Extremely deceptive cluing, and for me, unfortunately, some awful proper names (*) - and crossing, no less.  Still, I only red-letter cheated one square, which led to the discovery of one bad entry, and that held up the SW corner, my only problem area - and I managed to finish with one second left on my personal allotted time clock.  My brain is extra extra tired....like the 15-letter climber.  Here's that and some of the long fill;

8d. Like a trenta at Starbucks : EXTRA EXTRA LARGE - I don't 'do' Starbucks - it's my own coffee, or 7-11's

 I found this, too - funny

27d. Doesn't toss and turn : SLEEPS EASY - only with the A/C these days - and hold the trenta....

9d. The Beatles' "Help!" is one : TITLE TRACK - nice clue/answer

 In semaphore, that spells N U J V; half our missing letters

37. Certain racing vehicle : BURLAP SACK - nice. And if you've got the legs, you can rock a burlap sack dress....

27a. Poor working conditions : SWEAT BOXES - uh, like UPS these days - I won the hydration raffle yesterday, so here I am with Donna, our safety girl - she brings me lollipops.    Note my new scanner, which has added to the "poor" working conditions

 Hey now - that's just a crayon in my pocket....


1. It can affect where you stop on a road trip : GAS PRICE - similar answer to last week's start - GAS PUMPS

9. Three-legged table : TEAPOY - new term for me - however when I Googled images, they seem to be more than just "three-legged" tables now

15. Customary : ORTHODOX - Orthorunics~!

16. How old radios are heard : IN MONO - total WAG, but it stayed

17. Fed with a wand : TSA AGENT - another dupe from last week

18. Plugged away : TOILED

19. Botched, with "up" : MESSED - hesitated, seemed to easy for the puzzle

20. Tiny stream : RILL

22. Milk source : EWE - not SOW, but that's 0% 33.3% correct

23. Detail on a map : INSET

24. Judicious : SANE

25*. "I Lost It at the Movies" author : KAEL - perps

26. Took part in a cover-up : LIED

29. __-Tiki : KON

30*. One with all the answers? : ALEX TREBEK - funny, I tried SMART ALEC, which didn't fit

31. Company car advantage : FLEET RATE

32. Identity verification system : BIOMETRICS

34*. Hodges of the Dodgers : GIL - hey, I knew this one~!

38. Baskin-Robbins order : CONE

39. Breezed through : ACED

40. It's under a foot : SOLE - oops, not INCH

41. Eighth of 24 : THETA - oh, got me - not THREE, but the eighth letter of the Greek alphabet

42. Many ATM deposits : CKS - ugh.  Checks are all that I deposit, but this was the weakest of the answers lot

43*. Part of a hip-hop trio name : PEPA - argh~!  I had PE-A, and was thinking peee - a, not peh-pa - as in Salt N' Pepa

44. Makes a good living : DOES OK

45*. Keys on a piano : ALICIA - deceptive; I tried BLACKS

47. Give new life to : RECREATE

49. Abs strengtheners : LEG-UPS - Argh~!  not SIT ups, my bad entry

50. It's rarely taken home : GROSS PAY

51*. Inspector in Elizabeth George mysteries : LYNLEY

52*. Two-time British Open champ : ERNIE ELS - good WAG on my part - did not get out on the course or the driving range this week - but I do want to check out that "Downhill Lie"


1. Ad campaign almost dismissed by its creators for grammatical inaccuracy : GOT MILK~?

2*. Hall of fame : ARSENIO - clever misdirection, but I got it

3*. Nine-time presidential candidate : STASSEN

4. Introduced in stages, with "in" : PHASED

5*. He had a way with words : ROGET - thesaurus guy

6. Named : IDed

7. Bamboozle : CON - semi 'eh' with KON in the puzzle, too

10. Organic compound : ENOL

11. "What __ bid for ... " : AM I - not in my wheelhouse

12. Weapon similar to a halberd : POLEAXE

13. Salary period : ONE WEEK

14. Off-peak calls? : YODELS - that kind of off (the) peak call - har-har

21. Quicker than quick : IN A TRICE

24. Fruit also called a sugar apple : SWEETSOP - never heard of or seen one - I guess I don't get out much (to the tropics)

25. __ beef : KOBE

28. Santa Anita action : BETS - west coast clue - I never heard of the place

30. Michigan city or college : ALMA

31. Decide not to call : FOLD - Poker terms

32*. "Firing Line" host : BUCKLEY

33. Parting words : "I RESIGN."

34. Has a cow : GOES APE

35. All told : IN TOTAL

36. Olduvai Gorge paleontologists : LEAKEYS - not a clue - this is what I found when I went Googling after I finished

37*. "Applause" Tony winner : BACALL

38. Jack in a box lunch : CHEESE - Monterey, that is

41. Tanks cover them : TORSI - tank tops, and upper bodies - nice deception

43. Frosty feature : PIPE - oh, the Christmas character - got me for a long time

We're halfway to UPS Christmas season already

44. Raid shelfmate : D-CON

46. __-de-sac : CUL

48. Muck it up : ERR