This blog purely for my own amusement. I like to start the day with a quote, be it amusing, inspiration, or simply something that caught my fancy.

On occasion, I might also include some commentary on the day's crossword puzzle that is published in the Los Angeles Times.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

QOD: The respect of those you respect is worth more than the applause of the multitude. ~ Arnold Glasow.

Today's Theme: LA Confidential. Each of the theme clues inserts the letters "LA" into a common phrase to provide an interesting and funny twist.

16. Move From Crystal to Caesar's? = CHANGE OF PALACE. The common phrase is Change of Place. The Crystal Palace was built in London for the Great Exhibition of 1851. Caesar's Palace is in Las Vegas.

28. Antelope of Questionable Virtue? = LOOSE ELAND. The common phrase is Loose End.

33. "Another Rule, Sorry to Say"? = ALAS A RULE. The common phrase is As A Rule.

43. Greengrocer's Grab Bags? = SALAD SACKS. The common phrase is Sad Sacks. This was the clue that gave me the theme.

53. 1997 Kevin Spacey Film, and a Hint to This Puzzle's Theme = LA CONFIDENTIAL.

1. Rigged support = MAST.

5. Curve of a Cabriole Leg = KNEE.

9. Sheet of Stamps = PANE.

13. “So That’s How It’s Going to Be” = I SEE.

15. An Amulet May Ward It Off, Purportedly = EVIL. Such as the Hamsa.

19. Danish Poker Star Gus = HANSEN.

20. Curling Surface = ICE. Good clue! My parents used to curl.

21. Texter’s “Heavens!” = OMG. Text-speak for Oh my god!

23. Oscar Night Figure = EMCEE.

24. Small, Vocal Bird = WREN. Actually, I think of a wren as being a song bird. This clue implies that it is a noisy bird.

26. ____ Market = FLEA. I don’t understand the attraction of a flea market.

27. Cliff, Carlos, and Derrek of Baseball = LEES. I let the perps give me this surname.

30. Mag Wheels? = EDS. Good misleading clue. Mag is short for Magazine, hence the Editors are the big wheels of a magazine publication.

31. Pound Output = POEM. I wasn’t fooled by this reference to Ezra Pound. We see him and this cluing often in crosswords.

32. Has a Powerful Desire (For) = LUSTS. Powerful desire, indeed.

36. Gait Between Walk and Canter = AMBLE. Didn’t come easily to me.

39. Wine Train Valley = NAPA. I have seen the train tour, but never taken it.

40. MoveOn.org, e.g.: Abbr. = PAC. Stands for Political Action Committee.

46. Hole Maker = MOTH. Great misleading clue! My favorite in today’s puzzle.

47. Mongol Sovereign = KHAN. As in Genghis Khan.

48. Trap, in a Way = TREE. Like that poor cat that gets caught in a tree and must be rescued by the fire department.

49. “Cheers” Waitress = CARLA. Diane also fits and was my first thought.

50. Sixth Rock From the Sun: Abbr. = SAT. Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun.

51. Rye Go-With = HAM. As in a Ham and Cheese on Rye. Definitely not a kosher meal.

52. Repartee = BANTER.

57. Lowdown = INFO. I wanted Scoop, but that didn’t fit.

58. “Exodus” Novelist = URIS. Leon Uris make frequent crossword appearances.

59. Compass ____ = ROSE. I was not familiar with this term. From the diagram, however, it makes sense.

60. Riding = ATOP. Meh!

61. Took Off = LEFT. Not keen on this clue, either.

62. Dot and Flik, in “A Bug’s Life” = ANTS.

1. “Glee” Star Lea ______ = MICHELE. I am a big fan of Glee!

2. Embarrassed = ASHAMED. // And 18-Down: Embarrassing Marks = ACNE.

3. Medium Setting = SÉANCES.

4. Time Indicators of a Sort = TENSES. Grammar lesson for the day.

5. Gung-Ho = KEEN.

6. Rebirth Prefix = NEO.

7. “The Silmarillion” Being = ELF. The Silmarillion is a novel by Tolkien. I have never read any of his books.

8. Uses Binoculars, Say = ESPIES.

9. Athlete Dubbed “O Rei Do Futebol” = PELE. The Brazilian Pele was known as the King of Football (Soccer).

10. Gardner of “Mayerling” = AVA. Who else could it have been?

12. Gold or Silver = ELEMENT.

17. “Hmm…” = GEE!

22. Roams = GADS. As in a Gad-about-town?

24. Troubles = WOES.

25. Jennifer Crusie’s Genre = ROMANCE. I don’t read Romance novels, so was not familiar with this author.

26. Obstacle for Santa? = FLUE. As in the chimney flue.

28. Mauna ___ = LOA.

29. 2004 Anne Hathaway Title Role = ELLA. A twist on the Cinderella story. I didn’t see the movie.

31. Responded in Court = PLED.

33. King of Comedy = ALAN. Alan King was a comedian before my time.

34. Shed Tool = RAKE.

35. Adds To = UPS. Meh!

36. Sets a Price = ASKS. As in the asking price of an item. Indicates you may barter for a lower price.

37. Jackson Dubbed “Queen of Gospel” = MAHALIA. The new performing arts center in New Orleans is named after Mahalia Jackson.

38. Sticking Out = BLATANT.

40. Helping = PORTION. Oh, as in a helping of food at dinner!

41. In Any Case = AT LEAST.

42. River to Boston Harbor = CHARLES.

44. Seven-Time N.L. Batting Champ Musial = STAN. Stan the Man.

45. Two or Three Bags of Groceries, Say = ARMFUL. Cute clue!

46. Transforming Syllable = MANTRA.

49. Lockup = CAN.

51. Stud Alternative = HOOP. Studs and hoops are earrings.

52. As Good As It Gets = BEST.

54. Corp. Exec = CFO. Stands for Chief Financial Officer. I wanted CEO, Chief Executive Officer.

55. Fury = IRE.

56. “What’s the ___?” = DIF. As in What’s the Difference. Didn’t really like this clue.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

QOD: Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months. ~ Oscar Wilde

Today's Theme: Just Little 'Ole Me. The first word of each theme clues is a punny homonym that rhymes with "OLE", of a common phrase.

17. Money for the Warsaw Government? = POLE TAXES. The common phrase is Poll Taxes.

25. Foot-Tapping Songs? = SOLE MUSIC. The common phrase is Soul Music. This was my favorite theme clue.

35. Songwriting, to Porter? = COLE FIELD. The common phrase is Coal Field.

49. Actor’s Messages from an Agent? = ROLE CALLS. The common phrase is Roll Calls.

58. Grain for Bagels? = HOLE WHEAT. The common phrase is Whole Wheat. This is the only theme clue that doesn’t really make sense because the clue doesn’t match the answer. Yeah, yeah, I know there are holes in bagels. Still …

1. Lee Followers = REBS. Robert E. Lee lead the South in the American Civil War.

5. Works in the Uffizi Gallery = ARTE. Italian lesson. The Uffizi is the art museum in Florence, Italy. We visited the museum many years ago.

9. Gets Ready = PREPS.

14. “____ Rhythm” = I GOT. As in the song, I Got Rhythm.

15. Role for Carrie = LEIA. Carrie Fisher played Leia in Star Wars. The first Carrie that came to my mind was the Stephen King movie, Carrie, which was played by Sissy Spacek.

16. Singer Gorme = EYDIE.

19. Letter Alternative = LEGAL. Oh, as in paper size. I don’t like using legal sized paper.

20. They May Be Precious = STONES. Gems is too short a word.

21. Divulge = TELL.

23. Hydrocarbon Suffix = ENE. The answer just as easily could have been ANE. I really don’t like this sort of clue.

24. Fluorescent Bulb Filler = ARGON.

27. “1984” Protagonist _______ Smith = WINSTON. I remembered this from my high school reading assignment.

29. Cut It Out = DESIST.

30. Place to Be Pampered = SPA.

31. French Mystic Simone = WEIL. I knew the name, but was not aware that she was considered a mystic.

34. Maundy Thursday Period = LENT. Not really sure about this clue. Does this mean that Maundy Thursday falls within the Lenten period?

38. G-Note = THOU. A G-note stands for a Grand, which is slang for $1000.

40. Increase in Intensity, with “Up” = RAMP. As in to Ramp up the sound.

41. Previously = AGO.

44. Weather Map Features = FRONTS.

46. Ardor = PASSION.

52. _____ Asada (Mexican Meat Dish) = CARNE. Carne Asada is my husband’s favorite dish at my favorite restaurant.

53. TV’s Alf and Others = ETS. Alf was an Extra-Terrestrial creature on a TV show that I never had any desire to watch.

54. Skin-Soothing Stuff = ALOE. Aloe makes frequent appearances in crossword puzzles.

55. Bouquets = POSIES.

56. Rob of “90210” = ESTES. He also played Chris on Silk Stalkings. LINK

60. Sport with Clay Pigeons = SKEET. I tried Skeet once when I was in junior high school.

61. Auth. Of Many Quotes? = ANON. Short for anonymous.

62. Old Boston Bruin Nickname = ESPO. Short for Phil Esposito.

63. Newbies = TYROS. Another word that makes frequent crossword appearances.

64. Following = NEXT.

65. Remarriage Prefix = STEP. As in Step-mother.

1. With-The-Grain Cutters = RIPSAWS.

2. Vacation for the Vain? = EGO TRIP. Great clue!

3. Smoked Deli Meat = BOLOGNA. // And 10-Down: 3-Down Might Be On It = RYE.

4. Dictators’ Aides = STENOS. Wow! This was already filled in before I got a chance to read the clue.

5. Wistful Word = ALAS. Ah, woe is me!

6. “Wonder Dog” of Comics = REX. Not familiar with Rex. The only Wonder Dog I know of is Tom Terrific’s dog, Mighty Manfred, the Wonder Dog.

7. Relate With = TIE TO.

8. Drawing Support = EASEL.

9. Willy-Nilly = PELL-MELL. Good word!

11. Enters Carefully = EDGES IN.

12. Rachmaninoff, e.g. = PIANIST. Makes me think of the movie, Shine.

13. Prime = SELECT.

18. Certain Caterpillar’s Creation = TENT.

22. Was in Front = LED.

23. Lend a Hand = AID.

25. Look from Snidely Whiplash = SNIDE.

26. Broken In = USED.

28. Rice University Mascot = OWL. I was just in Houston and saw some OWLS.

32. “___ Picture Paints …”: Song Lyric = IF A. If a picture paints a thousand words, then why can’t I paint you. …

33. Walks With a Cane, Perhaps = LIMPS.

35. Road Marker = CONE.

36. Shunned Ones = OUTCASTS.

37. Clean Air Org. = EPA. Stands for the Environmental Protection Agency.

38. October Revolution Leader = TROTSKY. He was later assassinated in Mexico.

39. It Can Facilitate Drawing = HOLSTER. As in a gun.

41. With the Most Open Windows = AIRIEST.

42. Flipped = GONE APE. My least favorite clue.

43. Convenient, Shoppingwise = ONE STOP.

44. Least Constrained = FREEST.

45. Erie Canal Mule = SAL. Oh, I got a gal and her name is Sal …

47. Flat-Bottomed Boat = SCOW.

48. Ornamental Bands = SASHES.

50. Lindsey of “Labor Pains” = LOHAN. Lindsey is a gifted actress, but has a very troubled personal life.

51. Sierra _____ = LEONE.

55. Cooped (Up) = PENT.

57. Fair-Hiring Abbr. = EEO. Stands for Equal Employment Opportunity.

59. Bagel Topping = LOX. Yum.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

QOD: Anything you are good at contributes to happiness. ~ Bertrand Russell

Today’s Theme: There’s A Sucker Born Every Minute. The theme clues each contain a synonym for the word “DUPE(s)" (38-Down).

38A. 1- and 64-Across, and the First Words of the Four Longest Puzzle Answers = DUPES.

1A. Court Jester = FOOL. A FOOL can be Duped.

17A. Country Singer with the 1961 Hit “Crazy” = PATSY CLINE. A PATSY can be Duped.

56A. Shameful Emblem in Genesis = MARK OF CAIN. A MARK can be Duped.

64A. Hammer or Sickle = TOOL. A TOOL can be Duped.

10D. Hockshop Receipt = PAWN TICKET. A PAWN can be Duped.

29D. Remora = SUCKER FISH. A SUCKER can be Duped. Remora was a new word for me today.

5. Zoo Barriers = MOATS.

10. Sourdough’s Ground Breaker = PICK. A sourdough refers to a gold miner from the California goldrush. A miner needed a Pick to mine for gold.

14. Quint’s Boat in “Jaws” = ORCA.

15. Polite = CIVIL.

16. Yemen Seaport = ADEN. A location I learned through doing crosswords.

19. Trickery = WILE. This also goes well with the puzzle’s theme.

20. ___-Mo Replay = SLO. Stands for Slow Motion.

21. Vicinity = AREA.

22. Submerged While Sitting Poolside, as One’s Feet = DANGLE.

24. Australian Folk Hero Kelly = NED. No idea.

25. Mine Entrance = ADIT.

26. 49th State = ALASKA.

30. Like the Son in a Parable of Jesus = PRODIGAL.

34. Bill of Fare = MENU.

35. Sudden Ache = PANG.

36. Heal = CURE.

37. Old Norse Mariner = ERIC. As in Eric the Red, whose son was Lief Ericson.

39. Retain = KEEP.

40. Cranny’s Relative = NOOK. As in the nooks and crannies.

41. Russia’s ____ Mountains = URAL.

42. “Beau _____” = GESTE. A frequent crossword guest.

43. Kitchen Areas, Perhaps = DINETTES. I thought dinette referred to furniture, not an area.

45. Fastening Pin = COTTER. No idea.

46. Cereal Grain = RICE. I don’t really think of rice as being a cereal grain.

47. Also = TOO.

48. Sponge for Grunge = LOOFAH.

51. Play a Round = GOLF.

52. Timing Lead-In = TWO. As in Two-Timing, I suppose. Meh.

55. “The Time Machine” Race = ELOI. Even though this appears often in crossword puzzles, I can never remember the correct answer!

59. Puppy Bites = NIPS.

60. Mindy, to Mork? = ALIEN. I never watched Mork and Mindy. Not keen on Robin Williams.

61. Teen Bane = ACNE.

62. Reggae Musician Peter = TOSH.

63. Doofus = NINNY.

1. Dandies = FOPS. There’s an old-fashioned word for you!

2. Shouted, Say = ORAL. Really?

3. Septi- Plus One = OCTO. Septi is the prefix for 7, hence Octo is the prefix for 8.

4. Vegas Opener = LAS. As in Las Vegas.

5. Joel Who Was the First Actor to Portray Dr. Kildare = McCREA. I was only aware of Richard Chamberlain’s portrayal of Dr. Kildare.

6. No Longer Squeaky = OILED. My favorite clue of the puzzle

7. Adidas Rival = AVIA. I wanted Nike.

8. Badge Material = TIN.

9. Snow Pack? = SLED DOGS. Good tricky clue.

11. Beatnick’s “Got It” = I DIG.

12. Calaboose Compartment = CELL. As in a jail cell.

13. Pants Part = KNEE. Not really keen on this clue.

18. 2009 Series Winners = YANKS. The New York Yankees won the Baseball World Series in 2009.

23. Lend a Hand = AID.

25. Synthetic Fiber = ARNEL. Not familiar with this fiber.

26. Congressionally Change = AMEND.

27. The King of France? = LE ROI. Quite literally “the king of France.”

28. Atom with a Negative Charge = ANION.

30. Mamas’ Mates = PAPAs.

31. Hotel Client = GUEST.

32. Sharp Ridge = ARETE. No idea.

33. With 45-Down, Middle Ages Quarantine Area = LEPER. // And 45-Down: See 33-Down = COLONY. Leper colonies were not restricted to the middle ages. There was a leper colony in Louisiana that still had patients in the mid-1990s. Leprosy is now called Hansen's Disease.

35. Put Through a Sieve = PUREE.

38. “The Flying ________”: Wagner Opera = DUTCHMAN. I saw The Flying Dutchman at Chicago’s Lyric Opera several years ago.

42. Explode = GO OFF.

44. Padre’s Hermana = TIA. Today’s Spanish lesson. Your father’s sister is your aunt.

47. Memento = TOKEN.

48. Pre-Easter Period = LENT.

49. Hodgepodge = OLIO. Another word I learned through doing crossword puzzles.

50. “Uh-oh, I Dropped It” = OOPS!

51. Big Smile = GRIN.

52. Crisp, Filled Tortilla = TACO.

53. Sot = WINO.

54. First-Year Law Student = ONE-L.

57. Ring Icon = ALI. As in Mohammad Ali.

58. Sylvester, e.g. = CAT.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

QOD: Music is the shorthand of emotion. ~ Leo Tolstoy

Today's Theme: Don't Play with Your Food! The first part of the first word of each of the theme answers is also the name of a food, however, it is used, not as a food, but rather to describe the action of the last word.

20. Arborist's handiwork = PRUNED TREE.

26. Windshield nuisance = SQUASHED BUGS.

44. Result of an errant brushback pitch = BEANED BATTER. This was a toughie for me. I was thinking the "pitch" referred to an ad-man's pitch, not a baseball pitcher's pitch.

55. Deli sandwich filler = CORNED BEEF,

1. Raise, as Produce = GREW.

5. Go Badly Together = CLASH.

10. Stylish = CHIC.

14. Instant, in Product Names = REDI. Oh, as in Reddi-Whip. But that’s spelled with two “d’s.” What about Redi-Mix? This answer didn’t come easily to me.

15. Madre’s Milk = LECHE. Part 1 of today’s Spanish lesson. I just found a recipe for Tres Leche cake that I might try soon.

16. Bride’s Ride = LIMO. I didn’t get to ride in a limo at my wedding.

17. Busy, Busy, Busy = AT IT.

18. Time _____ Time, Repeatedly = AFTER. Time After Time is also a Cyndi Lauper Song.

19. “The Wizard ____”: Comic Strip = OF ID. I sometimes read The Wizard of Id.

20. All There = SANE. // And 9-Down: Not There = HERE.

23. Development Developments = HOMES.

24. Jazz Guitarist Montgomery = WES. I’m not familiar with him.

25. Shocking Swimmer = EEL. A nice new fresh clue for the Eel, which often appears in crosswords.

31. Average Guys = JOES. He’s just an average Joe.

34. H.S. Elites = SRs. As in High School Seniors. I didn’t know they were considered “elite.”

35. Older Woman’s Young Lover, Facetiously = BOY TOY.

36. Place to Make Deposits, Briefly = ATM. Stands for Automatic Teller Machine.

37. Bouquet Delivery Letters = FTD. What does this stand for?

38. Dream Letters = REM. Stands for Rapid Eye Movement.

39. Novelist Fleming = IAN. Ian Fleming wrote the James Bond books. Are these really considered novels?

40. Alabama’s Only Seaport = MOBILE. We almost moved there nearly 20 years ago.

42. Monopoly token = CAR. Another token is a Hat.

43. Chip in a Pot, Maybe = ANTE. // And 49-Across: Chip in a Bowl = NACHO // And 21-Down: Chip-Tossing Declaration = I’M IN.

47. HDTV Brand = RCS.

48. Out of Use, as Words = OBS. Stands for obsolete, I suppose.

53. World Dodo Population = ZERO. Good clue! The Dodo are now extinct.

57. Blue Book Filler = EXAM. I used a lot of blue books in college.

58. Dust Bowl Refugees = OKIES.

59. Pier Gp. = ILWU. Stands for International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

60. Religious Recess = APSE. It’s found in a cathedral.

61. Center = MIDST. Usually see this word as “amidst.”

62. Amber Brews = ALES.

63. Dieter’s Goal = LOSS.

64. Care For = SEE TO.

65. Branching Point = NODE.

1. Boardroom Diagram = GRAPH.

2. Fashionably Dated = RETRO.

3. Intense Dislike = ODIUM. The new word of the day.

4. One Sitting on the Stand = WITNESS. My favorite clue of this puzzle.

5. Attired = CLAD. I initially tried Wore.

6. How Liberals Lean = LEFTWARD. Really?

7. Helen Hunt or Holly Hunter, e.g. = ACTRESSES.

8. “Jeez Louise!” = SHEESH!

10. Quite Near = CLOSE BY.

11. Pretentious, Informally = HI-FALUTIN’. Really not keen on this clue and it’s response.

13. Programmers’ Writing = CODE.

21. ABA Member’s Title = ESQ. Short for Esquire. I don’t use this title.

25. Ancient Kingdom Near the Dead Sea = EDOM.

27. You, in Yucatán = USTED. Part 2 of today’s Spanish lesson.

28. Longtime “At the Movies” Co-Host Roger = EBERT. His co-host was Gene Siskel. I loved their movie reviews.

29. Capricorn’s Animal = GOAT. Zodiac reference.

30. Holiday Song Closer = SYNE. The song sung on New Year’s Eve.

31. Doorway Side = JAMB.

32. Siouan Tribe = OTOE. I learned about this tribe from doing crossword puzzles.

33. Humiliate = ENBARRASS.

37. Pet Pest = FLEA. Good clue!

38. Disorderly Place = RAT’S NEST.

41. Salaries, Wages, Etc. = INCOMES.

42. Hack’s Service = CAB RIDE.

43. Graceful Steed = ARABIAN.

45. One Taking Bets = BOOKIE.

46. Conclusion = END.

50. Yo-Yo Ma’s Instrument = CELLO.

51. Hacked = HEWED. I got this one through the perps.

52. Worth Having = OF USE.

53. Zest = ZEAL.

54. Trade Show = EXPO.

55. Dot-___:e-Businesses = COM. As in Dot.coms.

56. This, to Pablo = ESTO. Part 3 of today’s Spanish lesson.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

QOD: Secrecy is the freedom tyrants dream of. ~ Bill Moyers

Today's Theme: For Pete's Sake! The first word in each of the theme clues is the surname of a somewhat famous Peter.

17. Legendary Saying that Creates Spring Chickens? = FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH. The famous Pete is Pete Fountain.

38. Grammy Revoked from Milli Vanilli = BEST NEW ARTIST. The famous Pete is Pete Best.

60. Portland Trailblazers' Home = ROSE GARDEN ARENA. The famous Pete is Pete Rose.

71. Name That Can Precede the First Word of 17-, 38-, and 60-Across = PETE.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

QOD: The more you find out about the world, the more opportunities there are to laugh at it. ~ Bill Nye

Today's Theme: Find Out. In today’s puzzle, the word in a common phrase beginning with “D” is replaced by the letter “F” to make an amusing twist.

23. Flight Attendant's Reminder When Serving Alcohol? = THIS IS NOT A FRILL. The common phrase is: This is not a drill.

32. Equine Exhibition With Poor Visibility? = FOG AND PONY SHOW. The common phrase is: Dog and pony show.

45. Stick Around for Sautéing? = HANG OUT TO FRY. The common phrase is: Hang out to dry.

64. Energizing Bluegrass Instruments? = FUELING BANJOS. The common phrase, which is actually the theme music for the movie Deliverance, is: Dueling Banjos.

75. Craze For Some Moms? = STAY-AT-HOME FAD. The common phrase is: Stay-at-home Dad.

95. Pixie Dust? = FAIRY PRODUCT. The common phrase is: Dairy product. This was the clue that make me figure out today’s theme.

104. Written warning About Gangster Gotti? = FEAR JOHN LETTER. The common phrase is: Dear John letter.

119. Imposing Monetary Penalties with a Nice Chianti? = WINING AND FINING. The common phrase is: Wining and dining.