Oct 31, 2016

Monday, October 31, 2016 Jerome Gunderson

Theme: Western Williams - Threre Bills from the old West.

20A. Bovine skin once used as a painting surface by Native Americans: BUFFALO HIDE. Buffalo Bill Cody

33A. Untamed equines: WILD HORSES. Wild Bill Hickok.

40A. Rio Grande feeder: PECOS RIVER. Pecos Bill of Texas. (I apologize for the non-PC lyrics that are offensive by today's standards.)

52A. Stack for the bookkeeper to pay ... or, literally, what 20-, 33- and 40-Across' first words constitute: PILE OF BILLS

Argyle here. We haven't had a Jerome for almost year now and with all the CSO's to me, I'm not saying one bad word about it.


1. Words before "Tricked you!": "HA-HA!"

5. Whirled: SPUN

9. Exxon merger partner: MOBIL

14. Musk of Tesla Motors: ELON

15. Syllables from Santa: "HO, HO"

16. Get away from, as pursuers: EVADE

17. Tooth anchor: ROOT

18. Border on: ABUT

19. Female 33-Across: MARES. 33A. Untamed equines: WILD HORSES

23. Nocturnal flier: BAT

24. Partner: ALLY

25. Peruvian peaks: ANDES

27. Music room system: STEREO

30. Zsa Zsa, to Eva: SISTER. Magda, Zsa Zsa, and Eva. Zsa Zsa is in frail health as she nears 100 but is still with us at this point.

32. Toasty: WARM

37. Baba who outwitted thieves: ALI. And there was forty of them!

38. Actor Mineo: SAL. He lives on in crosswords.

39. Med. care option: HMO. (Health Maintenance Organization)

45. Italia's capital: ROMA

46. Halloween goodies: TREATS. I think I'll hand out Sky Bars if I can find them.

47. Equal to, with "with": ON A PAR

49. Like sheep sans wool: SHORN

50. Pained cry: MOAN

51. Guerrilla Guevara: CHE

58. Western writer Bret: HARTE. He created a character called Yuba Bill.

60. Many: A LOT

61. Tidy: NEAT

62. "Know what __?": I MEAN

63. Rural storage cylinder: SILO. Some are repurposed.

64. Scarlett O'Hara's home: TARA

65. IRS examination: AUDIT

66. Go berserk: SNAP

67. "Not great, not bad": "OKAY"


1. Basil or rosemary: HERB

2. Baseball family name: ALOU

3. Pig's foot part: HOOF

4. Insect nest with tunnels: ANT FARM. Tried hill first.

5. Perfect for wading: SHALLOW

6. N'awlins sandwich: PO'BOY. New Orleans, yum.

7. "Nope": "UH-UH"

8. "The Little Red Hen" denial: "NOT I". "Nope, UH-UH"

9. Souvenir: MEMENTO

10. Eggs in a lab: OVA

11. Clip joint?: BARBERSHOP. Are they holding their own against salons?

12. Imagination output: IDEAs

13. For fear that: LEST

21. Stein filler: ALE

22. Pinch from a chef: DASH

26. German article: DER. "der", "die" and "das".

27. Trade: SWAP

28. "Cautionary" account: TALE

29. Leif's father: ERIC, THE RED. Norwegian Viking explorers.

30. Poles and Serbs: SLAVs

31. Not doing much of anything: IDLE

34. "What time __?": IS IT

35. Poet Lazarus: EMMA. She penned, “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

36. Fly high: SOAR

41. Guatemala gold: ORO

42. Eden tempter: SERPENT

43. Rajah's mate: RANI

44. Santa's landing spot: ROOF TOP

45. Met by chance: RAN INTO

48. Catch, as a crook: NAB

49. SeaWorld orca: SHAMU

50. Dough in a wallet: MOOLA

51. "Pet" with Smiley and Winky versions: CHIA

53. Young lady: LASS

54. Model Nordegren once married to Tiger Woods: ELIN

55. Radiator problem: LEAK

56. Tomb Raider's __ Croft: LARA. Video game.

57. Stick around: STAY

59. Mai __: TAI


Oct 30, 2016

Sunday, Oct 30, 2016 Joe Schewe

Theme: "Eekology 101" - Halloween puns.

23A. Ghosts' car safety devices? : SHEET BELTS. Seat belts.

25A. Witches living together? : BROOMMATES. Roommates. This and 23A has extra consonant added.

51A. Dracula's least favorite lunch? : STAKE SANDWICH. Steak sandwich. Total homophone.

70A. Monster's favorite cereal? : SCREAM OF WHEAT. Cream of wheat. Same as 23A/25A.

98A. Dracula's favorite fruit? : NECKTARINE. Nectarine. No surface meaning.

102A. Where werewolves seek stardom? : HOWLLYWOOD. Hollywood. No surface meaning.

32D. Monster's daily newspaper reading? : HORRORSCOPE. Horoscope. Sound alike.

43D. Monsters' cookie-selling group? : GHOUL SCOUTS. Girl scouts. Vowel sound change.

Another debut. Conflagrations, Joe, great grid!

Punny theme is an art I have not grasped. I would not have considered 98A & 102A as they're totally madeup words and make no surface sense other than they sound like certain phrases. But as we've seen a few other LAT puzzles this year, punny theme can involve a variety of changes as long as the result is amusing & the entries are all related to one common thread.


1. Golfer's concern : HOOK. Thought of TRAP first. We also have 16. Golf scorecard number : PAR

5. Spanish appetizers : TAPAS

10. Bill entry : CHARGE

19. Southern cuisine staple : PONE. Not OKRA.

20. __ Coast : IVORY

21. Above-ground, as a ski lift : AERIAL. Got via crosses.

22. Before, to Byron : ERE

27. Retreats : LAIRS. We also have 106. Binge-watching site : DEN

28. Warty amphibians : TOADS. Not NEWTS.

30. Pacific relative of the Canada goose : NENE

31. Muffin man : THOMAS. English muffin. Not Stud muffin.

33. Evening reception : SOIREE

34. "Just to See You Smile" country singer : MCGRAW (Tim)

36. Tool with a blade : SHOVEL

37. More sick : ILLER. Also 40. Firstborn : ELDEST. 89. More spicy : HOTTER. 92. More pleasant : NICER.  94. Most lucid : SANEST

38. Saharan : SERE. Not ARID.

39. Messed up : ERRED. We also have 60. Transpose, say : MISTYPE
42. Spanish noble : HIDALGO. Learning moment for me.

45. One of five inhabited U.S. entities : TERR. D-Otto was stationed in Guam.

46. Seed covering : ARIL. Pomegranate seeds are called arils. I've been OD'ing on them the past few weeks. The season is almost over.

47. Retreat : OASIS

48. Buzz : HUM

50. Iconic WWII island, familiarly : IWO

55. Lennon's lady : ONO

56. State of rest : REPOSE

58. Lumps : CLODS

59. __ tape : DUCT

62. Daycare banes : BRATS. And 113. Like 62-Across : SASSY

63. Anniversary celebration : JUBILEE. No couple beat Chickie & Bill on our blog. Spitzboov and Betty are close.

66. Donald, to Dewey : UNCA

67. Top-rated : PRIMO

68. World __ : SERIES. Timely. No incident. Lots of thought goes into Rich's editing process.

69. U.N. workers' gp. : ILO. Put in ILA first.

74. French vineyard : CRU

77. Unit in a gym : REP

78. Prickle : THORN. Painful to remove the one in our garden last week. Should have just left it there for Mr. Winter.

79. Viscount's superior : EARL

80. Troubles : WOES

81. Place for afternoon refreshment : TEAROOM. Retired folks in Guangzhou gather for afternoon tea & idle chat every day. Neighborhood dim sum is very affordable.

83. Saunters : MOSEYS

86. Reason : CAUSE

87. Failure : BUST

88. Emulated Paul Bunyan : HEWED
90. Help with money, perhaps : DONATE

93. Road hog? : HARLEY

 95. "Ben-Hur," e.g. : EPIC

96. Common teen phase : ANGST

97. Mosaic artist : TILER. I'm impressed by Splynter's bathroom job.

107. Choler : IRE

108. Futuristic 2009 James Cameron film : AVATAR

109. Conjure up : EVOKE

110. Real estate sale : ACRE. I read the clue but pictured "estate sale".

111. Equinox mo. : MAR

112. Negligent : REMISS
114. Story : YARN

1. Officejet Pro printers : HPs. We're now using HP Envy.

2. "__ la la!" : OOH

3. Till bill : ONE

4. Faint : KEEL OVER

5. Shin-related : TIBIAL

6. Declares : AVERS. Or AVOWs.

7. D.C. bigwigs : POLs

8. Works at a gallery : ART. Also 29. Many Manets : OILS

9. Ventricular contraction : SYSTOLE. New word to me.

10. Minnelli movie musical : CABARET

11. One on a drive : HERDER. Oh, cattle drive.

12. Sprang up : AROSE

13. Kia model : RIO

14. Whale group : GAM. Not POD.

15. Slippery __ : ELM

16. Pan in the air : PETER. Peter Pan. Nice clue.

17. Quicken Loans, for one : ARENA. Home to the Cavaliers.

18. Adjust, as a faulty stitch : RESEW

24. Taught to submit : TAMED. Wild animals.

26. "Heaven Can Wait" character : ANGEL
31. Meant to lose : THREW

33. Move obliquely : SIDLE

34. Front man? : MEDIC. Oh, battlefront.

35. Wall Street debacle : CRASH. And 83. Wall Street headlines : MERGERS. Clue echo.

36. UFO-tracking org. : SETI. This will irk Barry G. SETI does not track UFOs.

38. Spanish ayes : SI SI

40. Clear : ERASE

41. Similar to : LIKE

42. Relatives of hems : HAWS

44. Smidgen : OUNCE. Also 65. Smidgen : BIT.  Clue echo again.

46. Perched on : ATOP

47. Chances : ODDS

49. Speck of dust : MOTE

51. Mole, maybe : SPY

52. Curtain fabric : SCRIM

53. Budget competitor : ALAMO. Car rental.

54. __ this world : NOT OF. Not OUT OF.

57. LAX info : ETA

59. One usually has six sides : DIE. This got me last time.

60. The Sierra Nevada's Mount __ : MUIR. Guessable.

61. Bay, say : INLET

62. Fiber source : BRAN. I admire those who eat brown rice or whole wheat. I've got to eat white rice.

63. Catcalls : JEERS

64. River through Orsk : URAL

67. Salon job : PERM

68. One-horse carriage : SHAY

70. Pompous gait : STRUT

71. Stopped waffling : CHOSE

72. Origin : ROOT

73. Overrun with crabgrass : WEEDY

75. Odometer control : RESET

76. One with an instruction manual : USER

80. Port feature : WATERWAY

82. Unawares : ABACK. OK, taken unawares/aback.

84. Symbols of wisdom : OWLS

85. Boils : SEETHES

86. __ Island : CONEY

88. Animator Bill and others : HANNAs. No other famous Hanna.

89. Eponymous comet tracker : HALLEY

90. Casual jacket fabric : DENIM. Finally threw away my black leather jacket. Too many cuts and scratches. I might consider a denim jacket next. Much easier to maintain.

91. Art form with singing : OPERA
93. Part of Hispaniola : HAITI

94. Outfit at the track : SILKS. Race track.

97. Ark units : TWOS

99. Carwash challenge : TAR

100. Blvd. cousin : AVE

101. Butter from a farm : RAM. Butt-er.

103. In vitro cells : OVA

104. Andean stew veggie : OCA. Never had it.

105. '60s-'70s teammate of Esposito : ORR

Oct 29, 2016

Saturday, Oct 29th, 2016, Peter Wentz

Theme: None

Words: 70 (missing J,Q,Z)

Blocks: 28

We have not seen Mr. Wentz since I last blogged his Saturday contribution back in Jan of 2012.  Today's grid is different from that puzzle, having the two 15-letter entries crossing in the center, with triple 8's and almost triple 10's in the corners.  Looked bleak at the beginning for me, but then a few answers fell into place, with some beneficial WAGs, and only one instance of cheating - I red-lettered to see why the SW corner was not working out.  Oh well.  Still, a fun solve.  The long answers;

35. "Pretty much goes without saying" : IT'S ALMOST A GIVEN

8. Hotel dining room option : BREAKFAST BUFFET - dah~!  I had -- -- BOOTHS, and it was good for a while....



1. Lie quietly? : PLAY DUMB

9. 1996 gold medalist in men's singles : AGASSI

15. Chipped in from off the green, perhaps : SAVED PAR - I filled in MADE PAR, and it wasn't long enough

16. Picture appropriate for Valentine's Day : ROM-COM - my personal favorite - also the only one I own; Rotten Tomatoes has a better summary than IMDb

17. "You can trust me" : I DON'T LIE

18. Nursery purchase : MANURE

19. Closes a hole, say : SEWS

20. Snowman in "Frozen" : OLAF - saw this movie not long ago on regular TV

22. Like most ears : LOBED

23. Marx work : DAS KAPITAL

25. What adults with youthful faces often get : CARDED

29. Something on a disk : FILE

30. Symbol that increases a musical note's duration : DOT - nailed it, since I play guitar

32. In conflict with, with "of" : AFOUL 

33. Nape covering : MANE - dah~! Not HAIR; 100% 25% correct

34. Sage : WISE - oops, the adjective, not the noun; I had GURU to start

38. Hose holder : REEL - my preferred "hose holder"

39. Leavers of pheromone trails : ANTS

40. Bowl sections : TIERS - not fooled, I knew this was the sporting arena

41. Star, in verse : ORB - I thought it was just planets that got the poetic 'orb'

42. Roman commoner : PLEB - got it; short form of plebeian

43. Series of classes : COURSE - my first thought, but I hesitated

44. Marked by uproar : TUMULTUOUS

47. Ristorante herb : BASIL - filled via perps

48. "Murder in the First" gp. : SFPD - not familiar with this show, on TNT, and I see it was just canceled

49. Home of A. Wyeth's "Christina's World" : MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art; I did not know this was a painting, so the answer was not forthcoming; I have to say, I am moved by this artwork; can't say why, and I guess that's why it's considered "art"

53. Yoga command : EXHALE

55. Couldn't remain still : FIDGETED

57. Wobble : TEETER

58. Volunteered : ENLISTED

59. Tests : ASSAYS

60. Drives : TEE SHOTS - more golf, but my parse was TEES ---, and I was not making the connection; this is the noun, not the verb


1. Penultimate Greek letters : PSIs - those last three three-letter letters always get me; PHI, CHI, PSI - but I guessed correctly this time - I should remember "fee-cheap-sigh"

2. Prepare for a crossing, perhaps : LADE - dah~!  I tried PACK, but I was 100% 25% correct

3. Put out in the open : AVOW

4. Hungers : YENS

5. Banned pesticide : DDT

6. Send to the cloud : UPLOAD - the internet cloud, and I do not store anything there - it's not part of my daily routine for the kind of work I do, nor do I care to have my personal items out in the open, so to speak

7. Posts : MAILS

9. Quarterback's asset : ARM

10. Shot stopper : GOALIE - KEVLAR was not working; I shoulda known this one....

11. Childish rebuttal : AM NOT - ARE SO~?  AM TOO~?  bzzt.

12. Certain explorer : SCUBA DIVER

13. They may be upset about being upset : SORE LOSERS

14. Chatted with, briefly : IMed

21. Blacks out : FAINTS - oh, that kind of black out; I was familiar with the non-sober kind

23. Texas-based tech giant : DELL

24. Urgent call : PLEA - oops, not NEED (I had the "E")

25. 2011 revolution locale : CAIRO

26. Net : AFTER TAXES - I figured it was something like "TAKE HOME" and pay-related

27. Sight from the Oval Office : ROSE BUSHES - I put in GARDEN, and which made all the sense in the world, but did not get me anywhere with the crossings

28. __ citizenship : DUAL - both my parents had DUAL citizenship, here and the United Kingdom, their birthplace

31. Future, e.g. : TENSE

33. Musée de l'Orangerie collection : MONETS - or MANETS~?  I'm never sure - a quote from the remake of Ocean's Eleven

34. 2012 Nintendo debut : WII U - one of those fills which would never stand a chance in a crossword were it not for the way technology moves forward - the Wiki

36. Place to see Santa : MALL

37. Cutlass competitors : GTOs - muscle cars - I am going to pick up my new minivan today~!

42. Weight machine feature : PULLEY - not PLATES, which contributed to my mess in the corner

 43. Get very close : CUDDLE - tried NESTLE first

45. Mazda sports car : MIATA

46. Put forward : OPINE

47. __ testing : BETA

49. Open-textured fabric : MESH - oops, not LACE

50. One of the Ringling brothers : OTTO

51. Conform to : MEET

52. Goes on to say : ADDS

54. Stumbling sounds : ers....

56. Company makeup, largely : GIs - Ah, the military type of company



Oct 28, 2016

Friday, October 28, 2016, Darin McDaniel

Title: How do I parse ? Warlock actor's conjunctions?: JULIAN'S ANDS.

There are 612 people in the US named Darin McDaniel: our Darin McDaniel  had One (1) NYT published puzzle in 2010, a Sunday no less! That PUZZLE (spoiler alert- this has the answers) was a delight. He then had One (1) LAT five years ago that was also a DELIGHT. Today, Darin who went to the same high school as the late great Merl Reagle, found six known entertainers who had last names that both began and ended with the letter "S." He then removed the first S to reveal a new word and paired that with a word that used the removed "S" as a possessive. He then clued the new phrase with wit. I love word play and deception and this was fun, simple once you got the gimmick, and it is a smooth pangram! With 70 spaces used up in the 6 themers, there was not room for much else but we did get ASPIRED, BAPTIZE, ALL WISE, BLUEBIRD and OLD SALTS. If you hate proper names go home now, otherwise hop on for the ride.

17A. "What's My Line?" comedian's craft brewery? : SOUPY'S ALES (10). This old COMIC.

23A. Pop diva's fruit stand? : BRITNEY'S PEARS (13). This DIVA.

30A. American Idol winner's amusement chain? : JORDIN'S PARKS (12). This WOMAN.

39A. Rapper's shopping center properties? : BIGGIE'S MALLS (12). This MAN.

49A. Guitarist's cash register company? : STEPHEN'S TILLS (13). This ROCKER.

59A. "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" comedian's flooring store? : RYAN'S TILES (10). This not old COMIC.


1. Arafat's successor : ABBAS. lat name clue, last name answer. LINK. More...45D. Syrian ruling family : ASSADS. Some HISTORY.

6. City near Yorba Linda : BREA.

10. Brief responses to common concerns : FAQS. Frequently Asked Questions.

14. Composer of a seven-movement work that excludes Earth : HOLST.  I could recall the PLANETS but not his name.

15. Tach count : REVS. Revolutions measured on your tachometer.

16. "... even now / __ myself to thy direction": "Macbeth" : I PUT.
From overcredulous haste. But G-d above
Deal between thee and me, for even now
I put myself to thy direction and
Unspeak mine own detraction, here abjure
The taints and blames I laid upon myself...

19. Sail support : SPAR.

20. R.E.M.'s "The __ Love" : ONE I. A love song?

21. Heifetz's teacher : AUER.

22. Present : HERE.

27. City of northern Spain : OVIEDO. Northern Spain

29. David and Bird : LARRYS. Seinfeld and the Celtics, quite a pair,

34. In a blue state : SAD.

35. Nile reptile : ASP.

36. Corvallis sch. : OSU. In this case, Oregon State University. The Beavers.

45. Equally speedy : AS FAST.

48. Forest bovine : WILD OX. Very popular in the Torah. More Bible, 61A. Número de Mandamientos : DIEZ. The ten Commandments.

53. Collate : SORT. Having copiers that collate was great.

54. Film on water : SCUM. Pond scum anyone?

55. Toddler's drink : WAWA. Bobwa? Not last week's musical clue.

58. Farm opening? : AGRIculture.

62. Frank of 1950s Broadway : ANNE. The PLAY starred Lee Strasberg's daughter Susan.

63. Basketwork fiber : ISTLE. We have had this little used word a few times but not since 2013; it was very popular in the NYT for years. I wonder if AGAVE is used to make a 66A. Jai alai basket : CESTA.

64. Bone-dry : SERE.

65. Hwy. crossings : JCTS. Junctions.


1. "Understood" : AH SO. For me this is almost a pejorative.

2. Windfall : BOON.

3. Symbol of happiness : BLUEBIRD. My go to...

4. Had ambitions : ASPIRED.

5. Mess : STY.

6. Big name in coffee makers : BRAUN. More famous for their RAZORS, I think.

7. Civil War signature : R. E. LEE.

8. __ other: alternating : EVERY. Maybe we could blog that way.

9. Sancho's "steed" : ASS. Sancho Panza faithful squire to Don Quixote...

10. Pole users : FISHERS. I guess the name comes from people who fish, but don't we really say fishermen (fisherwomen, fisherperson)?

11. Materialize : APPEAR.

12. Slate source : QUARRY. noun: a place, typically a large, deep pit, from which stone or other materials are or have been extracted.

13. Burnout cause : STRESS.

18. Squelched : SAT ON. Ideas or rumors, not people, hopefully

24. Forest's 2006 Oscar-winning role : IDI. He came a long way from A Crying Game and Species
25. 35mm camera option : SLR. Single Lens Reflex.

26. Where the Indus flows: Abbr. : PAKistan.

27. IHOP orders : OJS. Orange Juices.

28. U.S. news source since 1942 : VOA. Voice of America.

31. Slump : SAG.

32. Tire pressure meas. : PSI. Pounds per Square Inch.

33. Parody : APE.

36. Veterans of the briny : OLD SALTS. With 57D. Where to find 36-Down : ASEA.

37. __-pitch : SLO. I think they only use this term in CANADA, so hey EH.

38. Steel giant, as it was known from 1986-2001 : USX. Before that they were known as X.

39. Cleanse spiritually : BAPTIZE. No religion but an ancient rite.

40. Book ending : ISH.

41. Co. merged into Verizon : GTE.

42. Moves in a school : SWIMS. I love this clue, nice and tricky.

43. .001 of an inch : MIL.

44. Omniscient : ALL WISE

46. Cheap smoke : STOGIE.

47. "Cyrano de Bergerac" Best Actor (1950) : FERRER.

50. "Bye Bye Bye" band : NSYNC. They were Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick, Joey Fatone, and Lance Bass.
51. Meager : SCANT.

52. iPod contents : TUNES.

56. Shoemaker's strip : WELT. Shoes 101.

59. British rule in India : RAJ.

60. Hold 'em tell, maybe : TIC. We are talking Poker. The WSOP final table starts on this Sunday, 8 Million to the winner.

Well that was over quickly with lots of music; welcome to Fridays Darin. Thank you all for coming to my party. Lemonade out.

Oct 27, 2016

Thursday, October 27th 2016 Ed Sessa

Theme: Mind the Gap! Removing the space between each pair of circled entries gives you four kinds of gaps:



INCOME gap and

TRADE gap.

As the reveal tells you:

54A. With 57-Across, negotiate ... and what needs to be done to make sense of this puzzle's circles : CLOSE

57A. See 54-Across : THE GAP

Very clever theme from Ed. I confess to a rare Did-Not-Finish today - I was personally natick'ed by the U in the crossing of LAU and EUBIE. Neither name was familiar to me. LAW and EWBIE looked like they might work, but alas, no.

On a side "gap" note, Bank Underground Station in the City of London has the biggest gap between the train and the platform on the entire system. My morning and evening commutes for at least ten years were serenaded by the dulcet recorded tones of actor Oswald Laurence intoning "Mind the Gap". Here's a rather charming news item on his voice, and how his widow would travel through Embankment station to listen to him after he passed away.

Let's see what else we've got:


1. Dench of "Philomena" : JUDI. A Dame Commander of the British Empire now. Not that there's a lot of Empire left to command.

5. Alternative strategy : PLAN B

10. "Ladies First Since 1916" sneakers : KEDS. Learning moment. Keds marketed the first canvas-topped "sneakers".

14. Tourney format, briefly : ELIM. Elimination tournament. An alternative format is the round-robin. The FIFA World Cup is a combination of the two.

15. Secretary Thomas Perez's department : LABOR

16. Chicken vindaloo go-with : NAAN. Food! I could list about 200 other go-withs off the top of my head, but not many with four letters. Vindaloo was originally a pork dish from the southern part of India, but has now morphed into a restaurant staple of chicken, lamb or shrimp, with an expectation of a two-alarm fire chili heat level.

17. Sister of Rachel : LEAH

18. Jazz pianist Blake : EUBIE. Part 1 of my Natick. I discover he was a ragtime and jazz musician and appeared in the movie "Scott Joplin" in 1977.

19. Logician's word : ERGO. Latin "therefore". Descartes' "Cogito, ergo sum", or "I think, therefore I am". Near chlecho with 56D - I'd have been tempted to clue them both identically.

20. Sasquatch, for one : LEGEND. I have a soft spot for Sasquatch. The first LAT puzzle that I had published (with C.C.) used the word.

22. Rub the wrong away : ERASE. Lovely clue - it's easy to read "way" rather than "away".

24. Head covering : RUG

25. Walk of life : SPHERE. Some sporting spheres here, courtesy of the master of the red headband, Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits.

29. Home of the Oregon Ducks : EUGENE. Careful with that axe.

32. Limited portions of : RATIONED

34. L.A. commuter org. : M.T.A. Now branded as "Metro".

35. German coal region : SAAR. You need at least one conforming cross here to decide between RUHR and SAAR.

37. New York Harbor's __ Island : ELLIS. My boss, Larry Ellison's last name was taken by his adoptive father to recognize his point of entry into the United States.

38. Large pears : BOSCS

41. Sing-along syllable : TRA-

42. Colonial hero Silas : DEANE. Thank you, crosses. He had something of a checkered career.

43. Home of the Imagination! pavilion : EPCOT

44. Cookout choice : RIBS. Food! I cook my ribs "in". I sous-vide them and then throw them in a 500F oven to give 'em a nice sear.

46. Animation sheet : CEL

47. Extremely focused : DIALED IN

49. Promising performers : COMERS. I've always heard this along with "up and ..."

52. Carpentry tool : SANDER

53. "That's so __!" : YOU

61. Poet Angelou : MAYA

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
Of things unknown but longed for still
And his tune is heard on the distant hill for
The caged bird sings of freedom.

64. Dry up : PARCH

66. Sing in the shower, say : SOLO. I think I sound pretty good in the shower. Which is weird, because I can't hold a note out of it.

67. Fivers : ABES. "Honest" notes:

68. Bored with it all : BLASÉ

69. Fingerprint feature : LOOP. Cousin of the whorl and the arch.

70. Skin condition : RASH

71. Sasquatch kin : YETIS. They're getting quite common around these parts this week!

72. Mid-month time : IDES. Chum of the Nones and the Kalends.


1. Crystallize : JELL

2. Film beekeeper : ULEE. Played by Peter Fonda in 1997.

3. Laptop screen meas. : DIAGonal measurement. My ThinkPad is 14" corner-to-corner.

4. "Anybody around?" response : I'M HERE

5. Certain campus newbies : PLEDGES

6. Renowned '70s-'80s batting coach Charley : LAU. Second part of my Natick. I'm sure you've all heard of him. Not me.

7. French friar : ABBÉ

8. Roulette bet : NOIR. One of the basic roulette strategies, betting on red or black.

9. Chicken serving : BREAST. More Food! I mostly cook thighs, rather than breasts, for flavor and texture.

10. Desk space : KNEE-HOLE

11. Whisperer's target : EAR

12. Hammarskjöld of the UN : DAG. Secretary-General from 1953 until 1961 until he was tragically killed in a plane crash.

13. __-Caps: candy : SNO

21. One with a habit : NUN. It's getting close to Hallowe'en and the "alternative" nun costumes.

23. Spotted : SPIED

26. Wrap around : ENLACE. Not my first thought. Nor my second, come to that.

27. "This Is Spinal Tap" director : REINER

28. Motown flops : EDSELS. Nice misdirection. Was thinking musical acts at first.

29. War zone journalists : EMBEDS. The practice of "embedding" journalists with the military began during the Persian Gulf war in 1993.

30. Ideal setting : UTOPIA

31. Lawn maintenance accessory : GAS CAN. Tried GAS CAP. Was wrong.

32. __ to go : RARIN'

33. Sleek horse : ARAB

36. Abruzzi bell town : ATRI

39. Payment required of known deadbeats : COLD CASH

40. 1943 penny metal : STEEL

45. Grain cutters : SCYTHES. Can be grim coves, those reapers.

48. Pay a call : DROP BY. Had DROP IN first.

50. Awe-ful sound? : OOH! Think "fireworks" and the like.

51. Breakfast mix : MUESLI. Food! I like mine with Greek yoghurt and a few slices of banana.

55. Word with bake or fire : SALE

56. Logician's "E" : ERAT. Quod Erat Demonstrandum.

58. Yummy : GOOD

59. 70-Across application : ALOE. Cross-referential misery for some. I like them.

60. Boston __ : POPS

61. Spoil : MAR

62. Esq. group : A.B.A. American Bar Association for all those Esquires out there.

63. Assent : YES

65. CBS series with a N.Y. spin-off : CSI. Crime Scene Investigation. Originally based in Las Vegas, then spin-offs aired based in Miami and New York. Almost 800 episodes have been made, one of CBS Television's most successfully franchises.

And ...  here's the grid, all circled for your delectation.


Oct 26, 2016

Wednesday, Oct 26, 2016 Patti Varol

Theme: Mere Pittance - Each theme entry is a slang for "paltry sum".

18A. Peanuts : CHICKEN FEED

38A. Peanuts : SMALL POTATOES. Remember the black squares on both sides of this entry are not cheaters. The tricky 13 demands the black squares.

58A. Peanuts : CHUMP CHANGE

C.C. here, swapping blogging slot with Husker Gary, who wrote last Sunday's post.

At first, I thought this might be a Definition type, which often runs on Thursday or Friday. But no SCHULZ'S STRIP or BALLPARK SNACK or other made-up phrases. Patti has a tight set of all  solid in- the-language phrases.


1. Wander (about) : GAD

4. Fragrant bloom : LILAC. The scent is a bit overwhelming for me.

9. Utter disorder : CHAOS

14. Second person in Eden : EVE

15. Kitchen sponge brand : O-CEL-O.  Love 3M. They sponsor the annual Champions Tour here in our area.

16. Full of moxie : NERVY

17. Like many a gray day : WET
20. Sales meeting aid : GRAPH. Not CHART.

22. Feel crummy : AIL. Was on antibiotics for 2 weeks. Man, I felt so crummy. The periodontist is going to take off the stitches this morning. Yay!

23. Coal __ : TAR

24. Most populous continent : ASIA

25. Date night destination : CINEMA

28. One of a gallon's 16 : CUP

30. Like a successful business, presumably : WELL-RUN. Like 3M.

32. Stand against : OPPOSE

34. Northern California city : EUREKA

37. Birch family tree : ALDER

41. Hardly fresh : STALE. Hope you have Aldi in your neighborhood. This week's boxed Medjool dates are incredibly fresh.

42. Bit of photography equipment : TRIPOD

43. Southern California team : LAKERS. Not ANGELS or PADRES. Lakes are originally from Minnesota, "Land of 10,000 Lakes".

45. Inside information : LOWDOWN

49. Copper source : ORE

50. Hits the road : SPLITS

53. Albany-to-Buffalo canal : ERIE

54. Former Air France jet : SST

56. Geologist's division : EON. Not ERA.

57. Tops by a slight margin : EDGES
62. Picnic invader : ANT
63. Ready to hit the hay : TIRED. Also 66. Used up : SPENT
64. Invalidate : ANNUL
65. Maiden name preceder : NEE
67. Pond critters : NEWTS. Not FROGS.
68. Mexican Mrs. : SRA
1. Gaudy trinket : GEWGAW. Not a word I use.
2. Opposed : AVERSE

3. Enlargement advantage : DETAIL

4. Scot's swimming spot : LOCH
5. German "I" : ICH

6. Welcoming wreath : LEI

7. Highway through the Yukon : ALCAN (Alaska-Canada)

8. Newswoman Roberts : COKIE. NPR.

9. "Erin Burnett OutFront" channel : CNN

10. Pick up with effort : HEFT

11. Geographically based trio : AREA CODE

12. Makes trite, in a way : OVERUSES

13. Hoff who wrote the "Henrietta" children's books : SYD

19. Red "Sesame Street" puppet : ELMO

21. Light beer? : PALE ALE. Color-wise.

25. Biceps exercise : CURL

26. Not at all handy : INEPT

27. "Trainwreck" director Judd : APATOW. He was on the Bill Cosby crusade from the very start.

29. Pay-__-view : PER

31. Kings, e.g. : RULERS

33. Lumbered : PLODDED

35. "MASH" setting: Abbr. : KOR (Korea). Land of Kimchi & Tteokbokk. The latter is a street food, as  ubiquitous as our WIENER (47. Ballpark snack)

36. Lopsided : ATILT

38. Sci-fi fleet vessel : STARSHIP

39. Leave no doubt : MAKE SURE

40. GI addresses : APOs

41. __-mo : SLO

44. What a freelancer may work on : SPEC

46. Hearts, but not minds : ORGANS
48. Lipton rival : NESTEA

51. Lindsay of "Mean Girls" : LOHAN. She was once so promising.

52. Foolish : INANE

55. Anti-counterfeiting agts. : T MEN

57. Slim swimmers : EELS

58. Euro divs. : CTs

59. West Coast hrs. : PDT

60. Houston-to-Dallas dir. : NNW

61. Belly : GUT

Oct 25, 2016

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 John Lieb

Theme: Philosophy - Live for the moment.

18A. "We're done here. Please leave": YOU MAY GO NOW

30A. Lone source of local entertainment: ONLY GAME IN TOWN

45A. Eschew modern conveniences: LIVE OFF THE GRID

57A. Like the child of your first cousin, to you: ONCE-REMOVED. (still a first cousin)

56D. Modern-day carpe diem spelled out at the starts of 18-, 30-, 45- and 57-Across: YOLO. (you only live once)

Argyle here. Carpe diem and the day is Tuesday. If you are Bond, James Bond, then You Only Live Twice. I liked today's pairing of RANT AND RAVE and YOSEMITE SAM.


1. __ for the course: PAR

4. Proverb: ADAGE

9. Wire fence stickers: BARBS. Inventors had a field day with this type of fencing.

14. Winner of the most 2016 Olympic medals: USA. 46 golds, 37 silvers and 38 bronzes. 44-Across. Part of 14-Across: Abbr.: AMERica.

15. Prize founder: NOBEL

16. Accustom (to): INURE

17. __ Tin Tin: RIN. Yo, Rinny! But who was Sgt. Preston's dog? (No, not Tige.)

20. For mature viewers: RATED R

22. Foot prettifier, briefly: PEDI. (pedicure)

23. Miss. neighbor: ALA. (Alabama)

24. Grape-Nuts cereal brand: POST. Developed in 1897 by C. W. Post, no grapes or nuts were harmed in the making of this cereal.

26. Big Board letters: NYSE. (New York Stock Exchange)

33. Pop in a glass: SODA. Not the same as pop in his cups.

34. Wonder: AWE

35. Longtime name in Syrian leadership: ASSAD. Hafez al-Assad and his son, Bashar al-Assad.

36. Prereq for a lifeguard: CPR. (CardioPulmonary Resuscitation)

37. Fred Flintstone's boss: MR. SLATE

40. CBS logo: EYE

41. Yoga position: ASANA. Number of positions

43. Conservationist's prefix: ECO. (ecological interaction)

49. Worrisome grades: DEEs

50. Misplace: LOSE

51. Tennis do-over: LET

52. Open house offering: TOUR

54. Great suffering: MISERY

62. Great Lakes' __ Canals: SOO

63. Baseball legend Satchel: PAIGEThe Official Satchel Paige Home Page.

64. Dior skirt style: A-LINE

65. "__ the President's Men": ALL by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward.

66. Does' mates: STAGS

67. Cares for: TENDS

68. Sound on Old MacDonald's farm: MOO


1. Sound of a contented kitty: PURR

2. Great Wall setting: ASIA

3. Deliver a tirade: RANT AND RAVE

4. Sometime soon: ANY DAY

5. "Let's Make a Deal" selection: DOOR. Often three doors but what's behind them?

6. __ Dhabi: ABU

7. Emerald, e.g.: GEM

8. Slip by: ELAPSE

9. Texas city of 1.3 million, familiarly: BIG D. Dallas.

10. Consecrates with oil: ANOINTS

11. It may be unearned: RUN

12. Compadre: BRO. (Brother)

13. Clinch, with "up": SEW

19. Mythical Himalayan: YETI

21. Singer Fitzgerald: ELLA

24. Feline feet: PAWS

25. Brunch servings: OMELETS

27. Ill-tempered Looney Tunes character: YOSEMITE SAM

28. Persuaded: SWAYED

29. Week or rear add-on: ENDER. Better to have a weekender than a rear-ender.

30. "My bad!": "OOPSIE!"

31. Needlefish: GAR

32. Scottish denial: NAE

33. Nearly boil: SCALD. Nearly a repeat of yesterday.

37. Long March leader in 1930s China: MAO. Mao Zedong.

38. Tylenol target: ACHE

39. One may be stubbed: TOE

42. Retirement fund: NEST EGG

44. Belligerent god: ARES. Greek god of war, son of Zeus and Hera.

46. Chimney part: FLUE. Now is the time to have it checked before the heating season. PSA

47. Word processing category involving page dimensions: FORMAT

48. Moves smoothly: GLIDES

53. Lodes and lodes: ORES

54. Patch up: MEND

55. Hershey's caramel candy: ROLO. A treat for trick-or-treaters.

57. Black __: covert missions: OPS. (see 59-Down)

58. D.C. ballplayer: NAT. Washington Nationals.

59. Spy novel org.: CIA. (Central Intelligence Agency)

60. "¡Viva el matador!": "¡OLE!"

61. __ Scully, Dodger announcer for 67 seasons: VIN