Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011, Gareth Bain

THEME: Kooky Curriculum. Each of the five, in the language phrases, is reclued with the second word a synonym for the credit hours needed to procure a degree, producing a new and witty study.  We have one of the most dependable and entertaining of the stable of regular contructors giving as a nice Friday work out with very few proper names, and lots of misdirection and wit. Lemonade here to lead you through the amazing maze of words, and the five (5) theme answers including a central grid spanner.

18A. Part of an astronomy degree?: LUNAR MODULE. Some university schedules are set in groups of requirements, called modules, so there the study of the moon would be the Lunar Module, as is the LEM which took the astronauts across the moon's surface.

24A. Part of a surgery degree? CUTTING CLASS. My favorite image, as surgeons do  consider themselves cutters, and we all have cut some classes.

36A. Part of a physics degree?: COLLISION COURSE. Even here I have trouble with Physics, even though I know objects do collide, and I guess one could study that. Neils Bohr, where are you? (hmm)

47A. Part of an economics degree?: MONETARY UNIT. We all study money, one way or another.

55A. Part of a theology degree?: GRACE PERIOD. Ah, the extra time we are given to pay a bill before going default, becomes a class where we study (a) how to say a prayer before a meal? or (b) achieving a state of tranquility with divinity?

Okay on with the show...


1. Tool used for loosening: HOE. Gee Gareth, we all hate not getting 1 across and this was tricky; how do you spell wrench or screwdriver in three letters? Oh, loosening the earth to plant something, it is spring.

4. What some chambers hold: AMMO. Chambers of a revolver, not bedrooms, I guess it must be Friday.

8. Put down: ABASED.

14. Calder Cup org.: AHL. The trophy at the end of the minor league hockey season of the American Hockey League, named for Frank Calder, first president of the NHL. Pretty obscure.

15. Take it easy: LOAF. Probably adapted from German landl�ufer
vagabond�, a compound of land �land� and l�ufer �runner.� 

16. __ threat: performer who can sing, dance and act: TRIPLE.

17. Ergot host: RYE.  Fascinating stuff which grows in rye bread as it goes bad, creating a substance with hallucinegenic properties. If you want the history and the alleged tie to the Salem Witch trials and LSD read this LINK .

20. All of us, to Bugs: DOCS.  What's up?

22. Like Inverted Jenny stamps: RARE? Do we have any philatelists among us?

23. As it __ : WERE.

27. Reward of a kind: RAISE. In this economy not getting a pay cut is a bonus.

28. "Good move, torero!": OLE. This means bullfighter; only English speaking people call the man with the cape the Matador; in Spanish, it is Matador de Toros, the killer of the bulls.

29. Shot target: FLU. How many had the shot this winter?

32. Component of some screwdrivers, briefly: STOLI.  A Russian vodka made from wheat and rye, full name Stolinyacha, which means Capital

34. West of Brooklyn: MAE. Very tricky, not another borough, but the creator of the buxom blonde persona. BOMBSHELL .

35. Crabby  SOUR. Sourpuss is such an evocative word, and so accurate.

40. Responsibility: ONUS. Burden.

41. Gp. for GPs: HMO. Group for General Practitioners, the non-specialists.

42. Like mottoes: PITHY. Pith being the core of a plant or an idea.

43. They're often sold in blocks, for short  TIX.  Tickets.

44. Bra part: CUP. I never thought of bras having parts; I have never taken one apart.

45. Surprise, sometimes: PARTY. How many have had their birthday's sprung on them? 

51. Bit with a nucleus: ATOM.

53. Act the affectionate grandparent: DOTE.  It works with grand nephews and nieces as well, see latest avatar of little Mia.

54. High-grade cotton: PIMA.  The best sheets.

58. Code word for "N" in the old U.S. Phonetic Alphabet: NAN.

59. Rather, once: ANCHOR.  Dan, the man.

60. Security concern: MOLE. The underground spy named after the gopher like animal.

61. __ salad: EGG. You got any other three letter salads? Eel?

62. Mendel's field: BOTANY. Yes, it was with plants he studies genetic progressions.

63. Actor Morales: ESAI. He was a regular back in the old pre LA Times days, where they loved that vowel combination.

64. The car in Thurber's 1933 story "The Car We Had to Push": REO.  Again, you know any other three letter cars from 1933?


1. Repeated cacophonic sound?: HARD C. Not our friend Don.

2. Words to a kidder: OH YOU. Sometimes, but today I am being serious.

3. Hoover rival: ELECTROLUX.  I still remember when my mother got hers.

4. Without exception: ALL. Hmm, so simple.

5. Grieves: MOURNS. Our thoughts to all who have lost anyone, a sad part of life we all most face.

6. Conduct: MANAGE. Like a business, not a symphony and not the noun.

7. Joan __: OF ARC. My favorite French Maiden Warrior appears again.

8. Gas station convenience: ATM.  Convenience? They charge you to get money for things you pay too much for, eh!

9. Shop for books: BROWSE.  In this day and age of web browsers, it was hard to focus on this 1870s meaning.

10. White House staffers: AIDES.

11. Type of poker?: SPUR. I wanted STUD, but I guess we are referring to attachment riders use to poke their horses to get them going.

12. Model Macpherson: ELLE.  Beautiful export from Oz, SIRENS.

13. "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" author Brown: DEE. A very interesting perspective of the mistreatment of the indigenous tribes of the Americas, which may not be accurate, but is a major best seller.

19. Bit of kindness from a bank: RELOAN. Kindness? Really, I have been a banker and a loan is not a kindness.

21. Gate divisions, at the track: STALLS. Where they line up before, "They're off!"

25. Unusual clock number: IIII. I have actually seen this instead of IV, but why?

26. Smart __ : ALEC. Baldwin?

29. Clementine's dad, for one: FORTYNINER. SONG .

30. Verdant: LUSH.  Green, like a golf course.

31. 1934 chemistry Nobelist: UREY. Never heard of this expert on ISOTOPES who trained with puzzle favorite Neils Bohr.

32. Caber thrower: SCOT. We remain in the highland to watch this SPORT.

33. "Unbreak My Heart" singer Braxton: TONI. LISTEN .

34. Milking murmur: MOO. Always alliterative.

35. Get ready to play: SUIT UP. Baseball players?

37. Ostracize: SHUN.

38. Bar: IMPEDE.  Like impediment.

39. Down-home theater: OPRY.  Grand olde.

44. "Be serious!": COME ON.

45. Artificial turf sites: PATIOS. Does anyone still have astroturf patio?

46. Ring of color: AREOLA. Where is C.C. now that you need her with her classic link? (Note from C.C.: Here is the link. )

47. Eponymous Yemeni seaport: MOCHA. Eponymous meaning taking the name of, and Mocha being now a coffee chocolate drink, though the seaport was the home of the leading naturally flavored coffee in the 1700s.

48. Singer with the 1995 album "Velvet and Brass": TORME. The VELVET FOG .

49. JPEG file content: IMAGE. Which picture format do you prefer?

50. Suggestive dance: TANGO. Aren't all dances suggestive? Marlon Brando? Paris?

51. Pisa's river: ARNO.  No new slant on this clue.

52. Savoir-faire: TACT. Quick French lesson; SAVOIR: to KNOW, FAIRE: to DO, together to know what to do.

55. Dubious "gift": GAB. Ah, the blarney stone.

56. Wield a crowbar: PRY.

57. Agnus __: DEI. We finish with a classic crossword clue. So I will leave you with best wishes for a wonderful Father's Day week end, and an entertaining US Open golf tournament and more questions than answers.

Answer grid.


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