In today's Los Angeles Times
crossword by Mary Lou Guizzo, "'We have the meats' fast-food chain" is ARBYS. Yes, "We have the meats" is a really dumb slogan. Anyway, ARBYS is a "homophonic hint to the six longest puzzle answers," all of which are two-word phrases with the initials RB: ROYALBLUE, RACINGBIKE, ROGERBACON, RODEOBULL, RUSTBUCKET ("Dilapidated ship") and ROOFTOPBAR ("Tavern with a view").
The first Arby's was opened in 1964 in Boardman, Ohio. Many people think the name "Arby" represents "RB" for "roast beef." Indeed, in the 1980s the company's slogan was "America's roast beef, yes sir" (A-r-b-y-s). But the name actually stands for the Raffel Brothers, Forrest and Leroy, who founded the chain. There are now around 3500 Arby's restaurants in the United States and Canada. The chain is jointly owned by Wendy's Restaurants and Roark Capital Group.
The theme of Gary Cee's Daily News
crossword is SPINCYCLE ("Washer action") and the four long answers include the letters S, P, I and N in various orders:
1978 Cheech & Chong comedy: UPINSMOKE
Academy Award winner for American Beauty
Gilbert & Sullivan operetta set on a ship: HMSPINAFORE
Besides Charlie Chaplin, only director on Time
's list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century: STEVENSPIELBERG
And that may well be the longest clue in crossword puzzle history!
The Universal crossword includes STEPSISTERS, ELEVATORMAN and ESCALATORCLAUSE. What---no phrase beginning with STAIR? An escalator clause, also known as an escalation clause, is a contract stipulation which allows for one person to pass rising costs on to another. It is explained at http://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/escalatorclause.asp
And are there any hotels or department stores which still have elevator operators? I can't imagine a hotel owner paying $50,000 a year for someone to stay in an elevator just to push buttons which the guests are perfectly capable of pushing.
Today's NEA crossword has more three-letter words than usual. Among them are the overused words ADE, AIL, ARC, ATE, ESA (not used in English), LEA, ODE and RYE. At least there was no ALE or IRE or SPA. Maybe tomorrow.
I hope everyone has a happy 2016. I would love to see more people posting here. It's simple: You solve a crossword, then you talk about it. Of course nobody has to be as verbose as I