Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

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Everything that appears on this blog is the copyrighted property of somebody. Often, but not always, that somebody is me. For things that are not mine, I either have obtained permission, or claim fair use. Feel free to quote me, but attribute, please. My photos and poetry are dear to my heart, and may not be used without permission. Ditto, my other intellectual property, such as charts and graphs. I'm probably willing to share. Let's talk. Violators will be damned for all eternity to the circle of hell populated by Rosanne Barr, Mrs Miller [look her up], and trombonists who are unable play in tune. You cannot possibly imagine the agony. If you have a question, email me: jazzbumpa@gmail.com. I'll answer when I feel like it. Cheers!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Crossword Puzzle Blogging

Wednesday January 19, 2011  Michael Sharp and Angela Olson Halsted

Theme: TANKS A LOT! Theme entries are all vertical today, and all start, or are topped, with some type of a TANK - and a different type of tank in each case.

3. *"Heads up!" : THINK FAST - a warning to react quickly. A THINK TANK is an organization designed to influence policy.

8. *Pioneering Frank King comic strip featuring Walt and Skeezix : GASOLINE ALLEY. I have vague recollections of this strip from my long-ago youth Skeezix gave it away. A GASOLINE TANK stores fuel in your vehicle, unless you use some type of alternate fuel.

17. *Award-winning author of "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" : SHERMAN ALEXIE. The first of many unknowns for me. He is a novelist and poet. Here is his web site.   The SHERMAN TANK is an armored war vehicle prominently used in WW II by the U.S. and allied forces.  It fired a 75 mm SHELL (not 10 D.)  The German Tiger fired an 88 mm shell.

UPDATE: See Tux's note in comments.

33. *Trendy place for a breather? : OXYGEN BAR, per Wikipedia, an establishment, that sells oxygen for recreational use.  I am not making this up.  An OXYGEN TANK is a simple utilitarian device that allows divers to go underwater without having to hold their breath, and astronauts to complete space walks.

And the unifier, 24 D. Sleeveless summer wear, or what each answer to a starred clue might be said to have : TANK TOPWorthy of a picture.

Hi, gang, JazzBumpa here.  This is a great puzzle from a constructing team that I don't recognize, but it gave me fits: way too many unknowns for my little pea brain to cope with. 


(Note from C.C.: Michael Sharp is Rex Parker. Angela Olson Halsted is PuzzleGirl. Congratulations on the LA Times debut!)

1. They may be indoor or outdoor : PETS.   Gold fish vs dogs, I suppose.

5. Starr with rhythm : RINGO.  The mop-topped drummer who played long ago with some band from England.  Inexplicably, my first thought was of Bart.

10. Angel dust, for short : PCP.  AKA  1-(1-phenylcyclohexyl) piperidine, an antiglutamatergic hallucinigen.  Dangerous stuff.  Skip this, and go for the oxygen.

13. Yearn (for) : ACHE

14. Like a supportive crowd : AROAR

15. Come as you __ : ARE.  Just the way you are.

16. China flaw : CHIP.  Happens when you bang the dishes together.

17. Far from dense : SPARSE.   As in densely or SPARSELY populated.   I like a dense coating of nutmeg, but use parsley SPARSELY.

18. Source of rays : SUN.

19. "West Side Story" duet : TONIGHT.  Worthy of a listen.

21. Prepare to seal, as an envelope : MOISTEN.   Lick it, lick it good!

 23. Classic Welles role : KANE.  Again from Wikipedia -- "The story is a film à clef that examines the life and legacy of Charles Foster Kane, played by Welles, a character based upon the American newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst and Welles' own life."  Hearst was not amused.

24. Whopper : TALL TALE.  Al explained TALL to us last week.  I believed him.

25. Sunscreen letters : SPF.  Sun Protection Factor. 

27. 7-Down's "Casta diva," e.g. : ARIA.  This confused me.  I thought the clue was looking for a character, not a song.

29. UN workers' gp. : ILO.  International Labor Organization.  From its website, "The main aims of the ILO are to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues."

30. Fab rival : ERA.  These are laundry soap products.  Try G-spotting either word, and you'll come up with everything else.  Here is a commercial - good to know if you have kids or outdoor PETS.

31. Agt. under Ness : T-MAN.  Treasury Agent.  Eliot Ness enforced prohibition in Chicago.  His big prize was Al Capone, but they could never convict him for any of his gang-land crimes, so they got him for tax evasion, and violations of the Volstead Act.

32. Hose : NYLONS.  Stockings, that is, not this.  

36. Playwright Hart : MOSS  His plays include You Can't Take It With You, and The Man Who Came To Dinner.  He also did the screenplay for A Star Is Born (19454.)  I wanted BRET, but that's Harte.

38. Place for a bracelet : ANKLE.  Some of them are adornments.  Here is the Lindsey Lohan Model.

40. Suit : EXEC.  Synonyms for corporate big wig.

41. Like some conditional statements : IF-THEN.  IF I knew more stuff, THEN I could have completed this puzzle.

43. Warty amphibian : TOAD.   An outdoor PET.

45. Singer Sumac : YMA.  Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chávarri del Castillo was a Peruvian singer, reportedly descended from the last Peruvian emperor, Atahualpa.

46. Hard-rock link : AS A.  Or, "Grey as a mouse, Big as a house."

47. Eye hungrily : OGLE.   And in a rude way.

48. Hunk : GOB.   A big ol' chunk o' somethin', and not this.

49. Polite links response : GOLF CLAP.  A quiet smattering of polite applause.

53. Loll : LAZE

55. Outfit : CLOTHES

56. Drive crazy : DERANGE.  I believe this is the first time I've seen DERANGE used as a transitive verb.  I once DERANGED a kitchen, for remodeling.

59. Back talk : LIP

60. Like former admirals : EX-NAVY

62. Surefooted goat : IBEX.  Well-endowed fellows.

63. Pre-holiday day : EVE

64. Handle with skill : WIELD

65. Hindu royal : RANI

66. Shriner's cap : FEZ

67. Lowly workers : SERFS

68. Part of Q.E.D. : ERAT.  The complete phrase is, "Quod ERAT demonstrandum," that which was to be demonstrated - or, in the vernacular: "See - told ya!"


1. Warsaw __ : PACT.  An alliance of eight European communist countries, from 1955 through 1981, to counterbalance N.A.T.O.

2. Bounce : ECHO.  A sound that bounces back. 

4. Dark brown pigment : SEPIA

5. Mesmerized : RAPT

6. George's musical partner : IRA.  More than just partners - they were a band of brothers.

7. Bellini opera : NORMA.  The tragic story of the love of NORMA, a Druidess, for Pollione, the Roman Proconsul.

9. 1990s "Inside Edition" host : O'REILLY

 10. Shells, e.g:  PASTA.  Not the 75 mm variety.

11. Unusual companion? : CRUEL.  This took me a long time to suss.  These words are paired in the phrase "CRUEL and unusual punishment," prohibited by the 8th Amendment to the U.S Constitution.

12. 10-Down type : PENNE.  More PASTA, cylinder shaped with slanted ends.

20. Tiny biter : GNAT.  Should be obvious, but I needed perp help.

22. Lifted : STOLE.  The fur lifter STOLE a mink STOLE.

25. Climbing lane occupant : SEMI.  A climbing lane is an extra lane in the highway, designated for large vehicles that can't climb hills quickly.  I've seen them, but never knew the name, so I was stumped.

26. Univ. employee : PROF.  A Professor. Note abrv in cl and ans.

28. John in Scotland : IAN.  The Scottish version of the name, not to be confused with his English cousin, Loo.

34. Hard-to-find clownfish : NEMO.  From the eponymous movie.

35. Picketer's bane : SCAB.  A worker who crosses a picket line during a strike.

37. Vertical passage : SHAFT.  I've got mine!

39. Captain Kirk's record : LOG. I believe every episode of the original Star Treck series started with a Captain's Log entry

42. Stays away from : ESCHEWS.   My favorite bumper sticker says: "Eschew Obfuscation."

44. Pricey : DEAR.  Experience teaches a dear school.  That confused me when I was a kid.

49. Staff symbol : G CLEF.  I'm a bass (F) cleff guy.

50. Drab color : OLIVE. 

51. 1990s-2000s Braves catcher Javy : LOPEZ.  I had  _ _ PEZ, so it was an easy guess.

52. Ed of "Up" : ASNER.  I forgot.  Very poignant movie.

54. Rumble in the Jungle setting : ZAIRE.  Challenger Muhammed Ali knocked out world heavyweight champion George Foreman in the 8th round.  This was one of Don King's early ventures, and he cooked up the deal with Mobutu Sésé Seko.

56. Netflix shipments : DVDS
57. Actress Rowlands : GENA.  She played Gloria.

58. __ poll : EXIT.   Polling of voters leaving the voting site is considered to be highly accurate.

61. "Go Simpsonic With the Simpsons" composer Clausen : ALF.   No idea.  This is the 1999 sound track album.  Can't find a YouTube vid, so here is the album cover.

Cross-posted at The Corner. 


BadTux said...

In fairness to the Sherman tank, the predominant German tank when it was designed in 1940-1941 was the Panzer IV, which mounted a.... 75mm gun. Given that fewer than 5,000 Tiger and Tiger II tanks were produced, vs. around 48,000 Sherman tanks (of which the latter half of the production used much stronger 76mm guns), clearly the U.S. was aiming for quantity, not quality... but at least early in the war, the Sherman was reasonable quality too.

The best tank of the war was, of course, the Soviet T-34, which is still in existence today in a much up-armored, up-gunned, and up-engined form as the Russian T-90 tank. And the original T-34 was armed with a.... 76mm gun, later upgraded to an 85mm gun with a new turret which dropped the loader and put in an auto-loader to allow it to have a bigger gun in the same sized turret ring. The T-34 was faster, had better shaped armor, and more stopping power than any other tank of 1941, it was a truly unpleasant surprise for the German invaders, instantly rendering the Panzer III that had served so well in France obsolete...

And therein is your WW2 tank lesson for today ;).

- Badtux the Technology Geek Penguin

Jazzbumpa said...

Tux -

Thanks for the tank lore.