Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011, Peter A. Collins

Theme:  Connect the dots. Click here. The circled letters A through J (the tiny bubbles from 57A) make the outline of (a little fishy from 38A) if you trace a line to each one in alphabetical order after completing the puzzle. (Note, the circles do not appear on the LA Times applet, you can see them if you do the Across Lite version on

19A. Vast expanse (and a fitting setting for this puzzle): DEEP BLUE SEA. 

38A. Somewhat suspect (and a hint to what can be found by connecting the circled letters in alphabetical order): A LITTLE BIT FISHY.

57A. Don Ho hit (and what the O's in this grid represent): TINY BUBBLES.

This was kind of different, I don't remember doing any other connect the dots puzzles, but I'll bet it didn't help anyone very much in solving.  However, this seemed more like a Monday or Tuesday to me today anyway, less than 10 minutes to complete it.


1. Ones minding their peas in queues?: PODS. Pea pods hold their seeds all in a row. There are many stories about the origin of the phrase this plays on, but investigations by the Oxford English Dictionary in 2007 when revising the entry turned up early examples of the use of Ps and Qs to mean learning the alphabet. The first is in a poem by Charles Churchill, published in 1763: �On all occasions next the chair / He stands for service of the Mayor, / And to instruct him how to use / His A�s and B�s, and P�s and Q�s.� It is more likely to be that than any of the more fanciful explanations.

5. __ band: PEP. Student sports boosters.

8. Where the music stops?: HARD C. The last letter of the word music has a "k" sound.

13. Uprising: RIOT.

14. Consider judicially: HEAR.

15. End of __: AN ERA. An overused trite phrase.

16. Bony beginning: OSTE. From the Greek word for bone: osteon.

17. Scots Gaelic: ERSE. Early Scottish variant of Old English Irisc or Old Norse Irskr "Irish"; applied by Lowland Scots to the Gaelic speech of the Highlanders (which originally is from Ireland)

18. They might be executed by a judge: STAYS. Original meaning is to stand (related to editor's "stet"), to come to a halt.

22. York's title: Abbr.: SGT. Alvin York, a Tennessee sharpshooter who was deeply religious/pacifist early on, and a conscientious objector to the war. He took out a German machine gun nest by killing 28 soldiers, but he saved 132 others, so he was fighting to save lives.

23. __ Lanka: SRI. Honorific for "beautiful".

24. Fourth-cen. monastic: ST. BASIL. Of Caesarea, (now Turkey) known for his care of the poor and underprivileged.

26. a.m. beverages: OJS. Skip the juice, which has been pasteurized and is concentrated sugar, eat an orange instead...

29. Citric __: ACID. A weak acid found naturally occurring in citrus fruits, it is added to soft drinks to make them sour. The commercial production technique is cultures of A. niger are fed on a sucrose or glucose-containing medium to produce citric acid. The source of sugar is corn steep liquor, molasses, hydrolyzed corn starch or other inexpensive sugary solutions. After the mold is filtered out of the resulting solution, citric acid is isolated by precipitating it with lime (calcium hydroxide) to yield calcium citrate salt, from which citric acid is regenerated by treatment with sulfuric acid. Yummy! Eat an orange instead...

32. Finesse shampoo maker __ Curtis: HELENE.

33. Shows inattention at a lecture, maybe: NAPS.

35. Shrinking sea: ARAL.

37. Chicago commuter carriers: ELS. Elevated trains.

43. Folksy negative: NAW.

44. Identical: SAME.

45. Very wide shoe: EEEE.

46. Lessens: ABATES. From O.Fr. abattre "beat down, cast down." Related to batter, to fell or slaughter found in abattoir.

49. "Voila!" cousin: TADA. Japanese: Yatta!

51. ENTs, e.g.: DRS. Ear, Nose, and Throat doctors.

52. Bonding capacity measure: VALENCE. Chemistry bonds between atoms to make molecules.

54. Actor Wallach: ELI.

56. Ideal conclusion?: IST. Suffix clue. The most charitable definition of idealist is one who pursues high or noble purposes or goals, such as justice, charity, altruism, equality, fairness, etc. As Terry Pratchett's character "Death" says: "You have to believe in things that aren't true, else how can they become so?"

63. Gaming pioneer: ATARI. The word "atari" in Japanese is a term in the board game of GO for one or more stones that are one move away from being surrounded and thus captured.

65. Judge: DEEM. To pass judgement, to form an opinion. Related to doom, which also meant judgement, condemnation.

66. "Please allow me": MAY I. Or, with "mother" a children's game similar to Simon Says.

67. Old dwelling for 68-Across: TEPEE. From Dakota (Siouan) thipi "dwelling, house."

68. Western natives: UTES. (Utah) from Spanish yuta, name of the indigenous Uto-Aztecan people of the Great Basin, perhaps from Western Apache (Athabaskan) yudah "high" (in reference to living in the mountains).

69. Ready for use: PREP.  Used as the verb form here, to get ready.  PREP is apparently one of those words, like "rhino" that we use without considering it an abbreviation.

70. 20% of seventy-six?: ESSES. There are 10 letters in "seventy-six", two of which are the letter "s", so 2 is 20% of 10.

71. Gambling area: PIT.  We just recently had pit boss.

72. Bad lads: CADS. Shortening of Cadet, "a jumped-up member of the lower classes who was guilty of behaving as if he didn't know that his lowly origin made him unfit for having sexual relationships with well-bred women." [Anthony West, "H.G. Wells: Aspects of a Life," 1984]


1. Urge: PROD.

2. Seine feeder: OISE. French rivers.

3. Heap affection (on): DOTE. Or what a mairzy eats.

4. Self-help segments: STEPS.  A 12 step program is a set of guiding principles outlining a course of action for recovery from addiction, compulsion, or other behavioral problems.

6. Lessen: EASE.

7. Basketball ploy: PRESS.  Short for pressure. Often called a full-court press, this is an attacking defense employed in the backcourt before the ball crosses center court, where the objective is to force a turnover.

8. Argues (with): HAS A BEEF.

9. Tiny crawler: ANT. Also formerly called an EMMET from *ai- "off, away" + *mai- "cut," (maim).  Thus, its name means "the biter off".

10. Like much real estate, annually: REASSESSED. Originally meant to fix the amount of tax on, so to place a value on.

11. Bombay product: DRY GIN. Bombay is a brand name of  gin distributed by Bacardi.

12. Way to relocate a king: CASTLE. A chess maneuver which protects the king and frees up the rook.

14. Like rotini: HELICAL. Pasta.

20. Support in a dresser drawer: BRA.

21. Sudan neighbor: Abbr.: ETH.iopia.  Today's geography lesson.

25. Kate's sitcom pal: ALLIE. 80's sitcom starring Susan St. James and Jane Curtin.

26. "Leaving __ Jet Plane": ON A. We've had lots of Peter Paul and Mary lately, so here's the guy that wrote the song.

27. Flier to Tokyo: JAL. Japan Airlines.

28. Lumbar punctures: SPINAL TAPS.  Cerebro-spinal fluid analysis can be used to diagnose certain neurologic disorders, particularly infections (such as meningitis) and brain or spinal cord damage.

30. Inflames: IRES.

31. Pat: DAB AT.

34. Declare: STATE.

36. 5-Down's capital: LIMA. along with 5D. See 36-Down: PERU.

39. ATM output: TWENTIES.

40. Latin hymns: TE DEUMS. Literal translation: "Thee, O God, we praise".  According to the Devil's Dictionary (Ambrose Bierce) on the similar sounding word tedium:  Many fanciful derivations of the word have been affirmed, but so high an authority as Father Jape says that it comes from a very obvious source -- the first words of the ancient Latin hymn Te Deum Laudamus. In this apparently natural derivation there is something that saddens.

41. Slip floater, to its owner: HER. Boats referred to with feminine gender.

42. "Absolutely!": YES.

46. Fly: AVIATE. Latin "avis", bird.

47. Moistens with drippings: BASTES.

48. Acoustics, e.g.: Abbr.: SCI. One of the sciences.

50. Priestly garb: ALB.

53. Turn out to be: END UP.

55. High-tech debut of 1981: IBM PC.

58. "__ do fear thy nature": Lady Macbeth: YET I.  "It is too full o' th' milk of human kindness." She is expressing doubt that he has the backbone for the ruthless action it will require to take and retain the kingship.

59. Epitome of redness: BEET.

60. Pasternak heroine: LARA. Dr. Zhivago...

61. Scrutinized: EYED.

62. Uses a straw: SIPS.

64. R&B artist Des'__: REEYou gotta be.


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