Aug 17, 2017

Thursday, August 17th 2017 Mark McClain

Theme: Insert Coin - the coin-shaped letter "O" is inserted into a phrase, changing the meaning in a thigh-slapping manner.

20. Computer accessory honored in verse? : MOUSE OF POETRY. Muse of Poetry. There are three poetry muses - one for epic poetry, one for lyric poetry and one for love poetry.

28. Olympic dominance by Team USA? : AMERICA'S COUP. America's Cup. Team NZ won this year in Bermuda by a runaway score of 7-1

45. How some medieval knights described their relationships? : JOUST FRIENDS. Just friends.

55. Grammarian's treatise? : THE NOUN'S STORY. The Nun's Story. 1959 movie starring the lovely Audrey Hepburn.

Morning! Apparently I came across as not quite as chipper as usual last week, so I'll try to keep things bright today. This was a real toughie for me, I was staring down a huge quantity of white space after my first pass across and down. I'm not sure the last time I spent 30 minutes on a Thursday-level crossword, but I did on this one.

The theme was nicely done; I'm not generally a fan of pun-type puzzles because of the groan-factor, but these were fun. It took me ages to figure out the theme but once AMERICA'S COUP fell into place that helped with the others. Some obtuse cluing and misdirection added up to a good challenge.

Let's see what else we've got:


1. Bowl over : STUN

5. Hardly prudent : RASH

9. Chophouse order : FILET. Food! If I went to a chophouse, I'd order the chops. This is Simpson's in London, it's been around since 1757. I'd lunch there occasionally when I worked in the City. Back in those days you'd have a bottle or two of a nice red wine and finish up with a glass of port. Then go back to work.

14. Young Clark's love : LANA. I was way off base with this one; at first I thought it was referring to Clark Gable's affair with Lana Turner, but not a bit of it - Clark Kent's high school sweetheart Lana Lang.

15. 90 degrees from norte : ESTE

16. Century plant, e.g. : AGAVE. Agave Americana, more properly. There are several types of agave plants.

17. Hindustani tongue : URDU

18. Boardwalk extension : PIER. These had a habit of "mysteriously" catching fire in the UK, usually when they were falling into a state of disrepair due to the expense of upkeep.

19. Trick : COZEN. A new word for me. "To deceive, win over, or induce to do something by artful coaxing and wheedling or shrewd trickery." I discovered that there is a law firm here in LA called Cozen O'Conner which I find thoroughly amusing.

23. Construction alloy : STEEL. You can add a whole slew of stuff to steel depending on the characteristics you're looking for.

24. RSVP part : S'IL "répondez s'il vous plaît". Don't say "please RSVP", it's annoying as heck.

25. Bud : BRO

33. Virgin __ Records: British label : EMI. A lot of people don't realize that Richard Branson sold Virgin Records to EMI way back in the 90's to keep the airline afloat (or aloft, more correctly).

36. Male delivery : SON

37. Canadian coin since 1996 : TOONIE. Tried LOONIE against all logic as I knew it had been around for longer than that.

38. Landslide victory claim : MANDATE. "Now I have a mandate to do what the heck I like". Usually ends badly.

41. Stretch out : DISTEND

42. Recorded : ON TAPE

43. Mine in Milan : MIO. Tried MIA. Was wrong.

44. Conscription agcy. : SSS. Crosses filled this in for me, I just noticed it now. Selective Service System.

49. "__ Fell": Beatles : IF I. I didn't actually know this was the title of the song. John sounds every bit of his Liverpool background on the track.

50. Chicago's __ Center : AON

51. Post-lecture activity, briefly : Q AND A

60. Strange : ALIEN

62. Watch part : STEM. You can guarantee this one ain't going to be cheap:

63. Potpourri quality : ODOR. I tend to associate odors with bad smells.

64. Did a gainer, say : DIVED

65. Yokohama product : TIRE. They are the shirt sponsor of my soccer team, Chelsea, they're paying $300M for the privilege over five years. I think it's a curse: of the four players from left to right below - the first is no longer a starter, the second is no longer with the club, the third broke his ankle and hasn't yet returned to the team and the fourth did not return for preseason training and is suing the club for illegal restraint of trade.

66. Eric who founded an eclectic reader : UTNE

67. Autobahn autos : OPELS. The other four-letter German car brand.

68. Strongbox alternative : SAFE

69. The ten in "hang ten" : TOES. You hang'em over the edge of your surfboard.


1. Frequents dive bars, say : SLUMS. As in "he's slumming it".

2. Deck with a Hanged Man : TAROT. There's a bunch of weird-looking cards in a Tarot deck.

3. Inordinate : UNDUE

4. Queasiness : NAUSEA. Not a good feeling.

5. Certain auction offering : REPO

6. "Fat chance!" :  AS IF!

7. Intervenes : STEPS IN

8. Stout-hearted : HEROIC

9. It's not debatable : FACT

10. "Young Frankenstein" helper : IGOR. "Eye-gor." I've posted the link to the scene before. Here it is again if you missed it.

11. Slugabed : LAZYBONES. Nice clue/answer.

12. Christmas lead-in : EVE

13. Coffee break time : TEN

21. "Slippery" tree : ELM. First I've heard of it. Learning moment. Apparently you can make tea from the leaves.

22. Joy : ELATION

26. Place for digs : RUINS

27. Essays appearing daily : OP.ED'S

29. "Get on Your Feet" singer : ESTEFAN. Gloria. Thank you crosses, I didn't know the song.

30. Anonymous '70s litigant : ROE vs Wade.

31. Song on the album "ABBA" : SOS. Why I didn't fill this in right away is beyond me. How many Abba songs are there with three letters? I needed the S to get me going with this one.

32. Bed at a base : COT

33. The Oxford Dictionaries 2015 "Word" of the Year is one : EMOJI. A stab in the dark and nailed it! Note the quotes around "Word". This is the emoji which was used:

The 2012 Word of the Year was "omnishambles" which I love.

34. "__ Constant Sorrow": folk classic : MAN OF. Thank you crosses, never heard of it.

35. Easy to figure out : INTUITIVE. Unlike this crossword, for me anyway.

39. Wagner's "__ Rheingold" : DAS

40. Fitting : APT

41. Gambling cube : DIE

43. Trivial matter : MINUTIA

46. Perches : ROOSTS

47. Kicks off the field, briefly : DQ'S. Disqualifies.

48. Skipped : SAT OUT

52. Greet quietly : NOD TO

53. Airborne intruder : DRONE. Annoying as heck, these things. Can ruin a perfectly peaceful hike. The creepy dude who lives on my street likes to fly his over other people's back yards.

54. Lew in old movies : AYRES. Best known for "All Quiet on the Western Front".

56. Dog trainer's word : HEEL. Could be STAY, so wait for a cross.

57. Good things to make meet : ENDS

58. Soft ball : NERF

59. "Hook" pirate : SMEE

60. Commotion : ADO

61. Impertinence : LIP. Great little word.

Stick a fork in me, I'm done!


Aug 16, 2017

Wednesday, August 16, 2017, Kurt Mengel & Jan-Michele Gianette

TITLE: Time To Move Your Vowels!

Kurt and Jan-Michele have given us a fun variation of a Bruce Venzke/Gail Grabowski puzzle I blogged July 19 of this year. Bruce and Gail progressed through the vowels nesting them between N & T at the start of two-word phrases.  Similarly, Kurt and Jan-Michele placed their vowel progression betwixt M _ SS at the end of multiple word phrases as you can see below:

Throw in a generous dash of proper nouns, mythological creatures, Spanish and some muppets and you have the ingredients for a lovely Wednesday exercise. I caught on early and wondered what the fill for MUSS would be. Not to worry!

Let's first look at the theme fills from Kurt and Jan-Michele:

20. Sustained nuclear chain reaction requirement : CRITICAL MASS - This is an illustration of the reaching of critical mass in 1942 in an underground squash court at the University of Chicago as part of The Manhattan Project

27. Really botch things : MAKE A MESS - After spending $20B for 2,000 new trains, the French found out they are too wide for 1,300 platforms which will cost millions more to retrofit

35. Haphazard : HIT OR MISS - Ask Ford Motor Company

45. Edible seaweed : IRISH MOSS - Got any catsup?

51. A breeze to use, in adspeak : NO FUSS NO MUSS - Looks easy to me and more palatable than Irish Moss.

Kurt and Jan-Michele definitely did not aMASS a MESS and gathered no MOSS or MISS a trick in this MUSSless puzzle:


1. Feathered Nile wader : IBIS 

5. Tropical hardwoods : TEAKS

10. Title of respect : MAAM

14. Have a flat? : RENT

15. Barbera's partner in cartoons : HANNA - They had quite a stable

16. Sea eagle : ERNE

17. Designer Schiaparelli : ELSA crossing 2. __ Paese: Italian cheese : BEL (Beautiful country) got my Natick right up front and I got it, uh, right 

18. Moving : ASTIR

19. Journalist Jacob : RIIS - His muckraking was very discomforting for Tammany Hall

23. Room where you may have to stoop : ATTIC - Anne Frank's hiding place

26. One working with dough : KNEADER - or with a puppy

31. Port and claret : WINES

32. __-Magnon : CRO

33. The Cowboys of the NCAA's Big 12 : OSU - Their sugar daddy Boone Pickens is an "awl man"

34. __ one's time: waited : BIDED

38. Tires (out) : POOPS  

40. Give in to the munchies : EAT

41. __ green : PEA

44. Emmy nominee Fischer of "The Office" : JENNA - She played sensible Pam against Steve Carrell's eccentric Michael

48. 1992 Disney film featuring a magic lamp : ALADDIN

50. Wild West brothers : EARPS - Most famous residents of Pella, IA in their boyhood

55. Moscow news acronym : ITAR - Informatsionnye Telegrafnoye Agentstvto of Rossi (Information Telegraph Agency of Russia)

56. Retired racehorses, often : SIRES - Studs works too

57. Thames museum : TATE

61. 35-Down house : CASA and 35. Tegucigalpa's country : HONDURAS - Aquí están algunas CASAS en Tegucigalpa (Here are some homes in Tegucigalpa) 

29. That, in Tegucigalpa : ESO - Es por ESO que podría ser agradable vivir allí (That is why it might be nice to live there)

62. "I give!" : UNCLE

63. Ticklish Muppet : ELMO - Oh, that's how it works!

64. Inexact figs. : ESTS

65. "My heavens!" : EGADS - Your EST was $400 and the bill is $1,200! EGADS!

66. Prince's "Purple __" : RAIN


1. Intense anger : IRE

3. GEICO product: Abbr. : INS

4. One of Barbie's siblings : STACIE - I totally, for sure didn't know if it was spelled STACEY

5. Pad __ : THAI

6. Right direction? : EAST - A country boy is just as likely to say "Turn EAST" at the stop sign rather than "Turn Right".

7. Opposed : ANTI

8. Madison Square Garden hoopsters : KNICKS - Hopeless hoopsters recently 

9. Clear wrap : SARAN

10. Mythological swimmers : MERMAIDS - How long do you have to be at sea to mistake one for the other?

11. Daughter of King Minos : ARIADNE - Associated with mazes and labyrinths

12. Liqueur flavoring : ANISEED - Also called ANISE. It's flavor is in many things but I love it in my black jellybeans!

13. Mr. and Mr. : MESSRS

21. HDTV maker : RCA

22. Explorer with Clark : LEWIS - They had it much tougher than Armstrong and Aldrin and were darn lucky to have Sacajawea!

23. "Preacher" network : AMC

24. Black goo : TAR

25. Ref's ruling : TKO - One of these quieted Rhonda Rousey 

28. Zingers : MOTS - One of the kings:

30. More definite : SURER

34. Information units : BITS 

36. Tablets that can't be swallowed : IPADS - What's a crayon?

37. __ tai : MAI

38. Jai alai balls : PELOTAS - Number 40 catches the PELOTA in his cesta and returns it. I wonder if one sips a Man Tai while watching Jai Alai?

39. Observing Ramadan, say : ON A FAST - My colleague in a multinational school in Brooklyn said Muslim kids didn't have much energy during Ramadan

41. __ favor : POR

42. Sixth sense letters : ESP - If you've seen Ghostbusters, you know he never had a chance

43. Stubborn beast : ASS

44. Muppet who plays lead guitar in The Electric Mayhem : JANICE

45. Baseball division : INNING - 33 of 'em!

46. Blokes : HE'S

47. Become an expert in : MASTER 

49. Point of contention : ISSUE

52. Killer whale : ORCA

53. Blend : MELD 

54. Doesn't allow to rust : USES - What moms might be saying this time of year

58. Mobile's st. : ALA

59. "Enough gory details, thanks" : TMI - ...and then the doctor had to...

60. Ages and ages : EON - Either a generic term for a long time or scientifically, a billion years

What say you?

Aug 15, 2017

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 ~ C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Circles - A jumble of the word, DASH, inside the circles.

16. "Baywatch" star: DAVID HASSELHOFF

22. Pull-out money holder: CASH DRAWER

37. Frantic rush, and what's literally found in each set of puzzle circles: MAD DASH

49. Poker table experts: CARD SHARKS

59. Like football linemen: BROAD SHOULDERED

Argyle here. CC hasn't given us a pinwheel today but two grid spanners instead.


1. Arizona site of Sun Devil Stadium: TEMPE

6. "I beg your pardon?": "WHAT?"

10. College sr.'s test: GRE. (Graduate Record Examinations)

13. Prettify: ADORN

14. Post-bath wrap: ROBE

15. Window box dirt: SOIL

19. "I couldn't agree more!": "AMEN!"

20. Dined: ATE

21. Coastal raptor: ERNE

26. Entry in a ledger's plus column: ASSET

29. Horse opera setting: OLD WEST

32. On the run: LOOSE

33. "La La Land" Best Actress Stone: EMMA

35. Flat-bottomed boat: SCOW

36. College URL ender: .EDU

40. Lowest sudoku number: ONE

41. Swindles: CONS

43. Funny folks: WITS

44. How pastrami is often ordered: ON RYE

46. Secondary wager: SIDE BET

48. Silently greet: NOD AT

53. Bit of fish tank growth: ALGA

54. Mined metal: ORE

55. Emerged from slumber: WOKE

63. Motown genre: SOUL

64. Website with filmographies: IMDb. (Internet Movie Database)

65. Made more tolerable: EASED

66. Total up: ADD

67. Civil rights activist Parks: ROSA

68. Unemotional: STONY


1. "I did it!": "TA-DA!"

2. Wax-coated Dutch cheese: EDAM

3. Relocate: MOVE

4. Charles, William and Harry: PRINCES

5. Wrap up: END

6. Extreme anger: WRATH

7. Swindled, slangily: HOSED

8. Core muscles: ABs. The abdominal muscles.

9. Casual shirt: TEE

10. Publicly state one's views: GO ON RECORD. Funnier as GOON RECORD.

11. Replete (with): RIFE

12. Pixie: ELF

15. Mole-like mammals: SHREWS

17. Suffers from: HAS

18. More than risqué: LEWD

23. "Up and __!": "Rise and shine!": AT 'EM

24. Oblong tomatoes: ROMAs

25. "Sorry to say ... ": "ALAS ... "

26. Smart __: wiseguys: ALECs

27. "Same here!": "SO DO I"

28. Big name in music streaming: SOUNDCLOUD. New to me. Wiki entry.

30. "Mortal Kombat" agent __ Blade: SONYA

A publicity photo of Bridgette Wilson as Sonya in the film Mortal Kombat

31. Short cyber post: TWEET

33. Touches up, as text: EDITS

34. Summer hrs. in Billings: MDT. (Mountain Daylight Time)

38. Wonderstruck: AWED

39. Hit the horn: HONK

42. Steven of "The Patriot" (1998): SEAGAL

45. "That's easy!": "NO SWEAT!"

47. Actor Pitt: BRAD

50. Parka parts: HOODS

51. Vacation spot near Curaçao: ARUBA

52. Seminary subj.: REL. (religion)

53. Former Yankee who was the youngest MLB player to hit 600 home runs: A-ROD. Alex Rodriguez.

56. Guesstimate words: OR SO

57. "Peachy-__!": KEEN

58. Whirling current: EDDY

59. Youth org. with merit badges: BSA. (Boy Scouts of America)

60. Title of respect: SIR

61. Med. care provider: HMO. (health maintenance organization)

62. __ Moines: DES


Aug 14, 2017

Monday, August 14, 2017 ~ Gail Grabowski & Bruce Venzke

Theme: Bookends - Same letters at start and end of theme entries.

65A. Wander aimlessly ... and a hint to a divided word in the answers to starred clues: BUM AROUND

17A. *Half a percussion pair: BONGO DRUM

24A. *Fill-in-the-blanks agreement, e.g.: BUSINESS FORM

34A. *Cake soaked in alcoholic syrup: BABA AU RHUM

44A. *Brand for bubble blowers: BAZOOKA GUM

52A. *Security device that may be silent: BURGLAR ALARM

Argyle here. A lot of entries for a Monday but little trouble. Gotta love a puzzle with FONZARELLI.


1. Rifle range rounds: AMMO

5. Rainfall measure: INCH. Lately, that should be plural.

9. Transitional state: LIMBO

14. Bread buy: LOAF

15. NYC area above Houston Street: NOHO. Not as famous as SOHO.

16. Hunter constellation: ORION

19. "__ bleu!": SACRÉ

20. From India, say: ASIAN

21. Civil uprising: RIOT

23. Account exec: REP. (representative)

28. Post-WWII feminine flier: WAF. Women in the Air Force (WAF), organized in 1948 and active until 1976.

31. Small swallow: SIP. No, not a bird.

32. __ bubbles: SOAP

33. Bigheadedness: EGO

39. Cake pan trademark: BUNDT

42. Zilch: NIL

43. Africa's Sierra __: LEONE

47. Trivial point: NIT

48. Yet again: ANEW

49. High-arcing tennis shot: LOB

51. Purported UFO fliers: ETs. (Extra-Terrestrial)

57. Opposite of WNW: ESE

58. __ about: roughly: ON OR

59. Soothed: EASED

63. Golf analyst Nick: FALDO

68. Get ready to compete, bodybuilder-style: OIL UP

69. Parting words?: OBIT. (Obituary)

70. Actress Hayworth: RITA

National Screen Heritage Award of the National Film Society (1978)

71. Crisscross frameworks: GRIDS. The answer is right there in front of us!

72. London gallery: TATE

73. __-bitsy: ITSY


1. Actress Jessica: ALBA

2. Cattle chorus: MOOs

3. Salon service with a pedi: MANI. (pedicure/manicure)

4. Gift __: chattiness: OF GAB

5. Hoosier St.: IND. (Indiana)

6. Here-there link: NOR

7. Butter-making device: CHURN. I found one like this in our horse barn.
8. Bro: HOMIE

9. One in need of spiritual guidance: LOST SOUL

10. Gershwin brother: IRA

11. Emcee's need: MICROPHONE

12. Destructive insect: BORER

13. Hr. after noon: ONE PM

18. Burden: ONUS

22. Mount of Greek myth: OSSA. In Greek mythology, the Aloadaes attempted to pile Mount Pelion on top of Mount Ossa in an attempt to scale Mount Olympus.

25. Bro, to a sis: SIB. (sibling)

26. "Brusha, brusha, brusha" toothpaste: IPANA

27. Cab ride price: FARE

28. Jack of "Dragnet": WEBB

Jack Webb Harry Morgan Dragnet 1968

29. Water, to Juan: AGUA

30. Full last name of a "Happy Days" cool dude: FONZARELLI

35. Gargantuan: BIG

36. __ in the conversation: A LULL

37. Self-storage compartment: UNIT

38. Citi Field team: METS. The New York Mets, National League East division.

40. Doorbell sound: "DONG!" (the DING! is broken.)

41. Figure skating jumps: TOE LOOPS

45. Nine-time U.S. skating champ Michelle: KWAN

46. Extinct emu-like bird: MOA

50. Uncle Remus rabbit's title: BR'ER

52. Confuse: BEFOG

53. TWA competitor: USAIR. Both names are no longer in use.

54. Many a modern assembly-line worker: ROBOT

55. Caribbean resort isle: ARUBA

56. New Zealand settler: MAORI. What they think of us? Pic

60. Hearts or clubs: SUIT

61. Sinus docs: ENTs. (ears, nose, throat)

62. WWII turning point: D-DAY. June 6, 1944.

64. Defective firecracker: DUD

66. Cambridge univ.: MIT. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

67. Munched on: ATE


Aug 13, 2017

Sunday August 13, 2017 Paul Coulter

Theme: "Past Due"- One word in each common phrase is replaced by its past tense.

22A. Chant by lumberyard workers during a lockout? : LONG TIME NO SAW. Long time no see, which originated in Chinese, right?  好久不见 is literately "long time no see".

37A. Citi Field shortstop or second baseman? : MET IN THE MIDDLE. Meet in the middle.

53A. Timid FBI agent? : CHICKEN FED. Chicken feed.

67A. Bunch of cattle reading menus? : DROVE IN RESTAURANT. Drive-in restaurant.

83A. One evoking yawns on an Alaskan island? : KODIAK BORE. Kodiak bear.

97A. Help when it's time to give up? : LENT ASSISTANCE. Lend assistance.

119A. Provide with surfacing material, as a pool parlor? : GET THE FELT FOR. Get the feel for.

Of the seven theme entries, two changes happen in the front, three in the back, one is in the middle. A nice mix. Consistently putting the changes in front or back are quite daunting, as Paul's choices are rather limited. 

MET IN THE MIDDLE and LENT ASSISTANCE are a bit different, as they themselves are solid in the language phrases. 

So many sparkling long fill in the Down slots, Paul!


1. Make out : NECK

5. Barley brew : ALE

8. Swedish cinematographer Nykvist : SVEN. Unfamiliar to me. Wiki says he was nominated for Academy Award for Best Cinematography for The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

12. Candy mogul Harry : REESE

17. Brazilian berry : ACAI. This Acai Bowl looks amazing. Trader Joe's now carries frozen acai puree packets.

18. Subject for a bar discussion : LAW

19. Pew's place : NAVE

20. Certain Ukrainian : ODESSAN

25. Brunch cocktails : MIMOSAs

26. Scene of sworn statements : ALTAR

27. Finish second : PLACE. Win. Place. Show. We also have 23. Horse race pace : TROT

28. Gothic architecture feature : GABLE

30. You can dig it : ORE

31. Chop off : LOP

33. "Be __": "Help me out here" : A PAL

34. Like real estate moguls : ACRED. Not a word I use.

35. Hit hard : SMITE. Not a word I use.

43. WWII org. that froze food costs : OPA. Googled afterwards: Office of Price Administration.

44. Ring spot, maybe : TUB. Nice clue.

46. Old Nair competitor : NEET

47. "Manhattan" Oscar nominee Hemingway : MARIEL

48. Hound : NAG

49. Anti: Abbr. : OPP. Followed by 50. Adversaries : FOES

52. Advisories : ALERTS

56. Beverage with a lizard logo : SoBe. Short for South Beach

60. Moore of "G.I. Jane" : DEMI

61. Pen : ENCAGE

62. Oft-quoted auth.? : ANON

64. Fall lead-in : PRAT

66. Canadian capital? : CEE. Canadian.

72. Lith., once : SSR

74. To be, in Tours : ETRE

75. It may be raised at a party : CAIN. Raise Cain. I was thinking of toast.

76. Accustomed (to) : INURED

79. Jack of "Rio Lobo" : ELAM. He's a gimme to me now.

81. Narcissus' love : SELF. Ah, not ECHO.

85. Chinese temple : PAGODA. This Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is very close to our home. It was built in 652 to to store the Buddhist scriptures.

88. Bring down : RUIN

90. Flue residue : ASH

91. Church kitchen server : URN

92. Hunk : ADONIS

93. British submachine gun : STEN. We saw this entry a lot in the old Wayne R. Williams days.

95. ER personnel : RNs

96. Crib sheet user : TOT. Cute clue.

101. Hidden : INNER

104. Sarducci in early "SNL" skits : GUIDO

105. Pastoral plaints : BAAs

106. Iowa campus : COE. Coe College.

107. Entrepreneur's deg. : MBA

110. Like Cheerios : OATEN. I like overnight oats. Just can't get into Cheerios.

111. Pays to play : ANTES

113. "Transcendental" Liszt piece : ETUDE

117. Place with care : ARRANGE

122. Fountain treats : SUNDAES. What's your favorite dessert?

123. Sheltered at sea : ALEE

124. Baseball rally killers, briefly : DPS (Double Plays)

125. Hang loosely : LOLL

126. Counter seat : STOOL

127. Lays down the lawn : SODS. Also 95. Tends to a lawn's bare spot : RESEEDS

128. '60s radical gp. : SDS. Students for a Democratic Society.

129. Direction in Durango : ESTE


1. "The Lion King" lion : NALA

2. Earth Day subj. : ECOL

3. Prominent angle : CANT. Can you give me an example?

4. Capital of Rwanda : KIGALI. Got via crosses.

5. Ring master? : ALI. Great clue as well.

6. Spot for a bulb : LAMP

7. Young female sheep : EWE LAMB

8. Vehicle with caterpillar treads : SNO-CAT. I did not know there's a term for those continuous treads.

9. Healing aid patented in 1872 : VASELINE. Great fill.

10. Actress Mendes : EVA

11. Historic London prison : NEWGATE. Wiki says "The gate/prison was rebuilt in the 12th century, and demolished in 1904. The prison was extended and rebuilt many times, and remained in use for over 700 years, from 1188 to 1902."

12. Like some summer school classes : REMEDIAL

13. Spaniard's "that" : ESO

14. "Happy Motoring" company : ESSO

15. Moselle tributary : SAAR. Not ORNE.

16. Bay State motto opener : ENSE. This will appear again. You just need to remember it.

20. Old card game named for the Spanish for "man" : OMBRE. Helpful clue.

21. Fix : DILEMMA. Noun "Fix".

24. Where small animals may be picked up : NAPE

29. Eight, in Essen : ACHT

32. Bugbear : PET PEEVE. Another great fill.

35. Hall of Fame pitcher Warren : SPAHN. This is the original Hartland statue. He was with Milwaukee Braves then. We have a copy made in the 1980s I think.

36. Puff, notably : MAGIC DRAGON. Puff is the only Magic Dragon I know. Chinese are often called "Descendants of the Dragon". You'll see dragon dance in Chinese Spring Festival. "Hoping one's son will become a dragon" is an idiomatic saying, meaning you hope your son succeed.

38. Capone nemesis : NESS

39. 1856 Stowe novel : DRED

40. Beeline : DIRECT ROUTE

41. "I can help" : LET ME

42. Dinsmore of kid lit : ELSIE. Learning moment for me.

43. First word of "The Raven" : ONCE

45. "Buffy" airer after The WB : UPN

49. Rock band known for quirky, viral videos : OK GO. Unfamiliar with the band.

50. Aromatic herb : FENNEL

51. Carbon monoxide's lack : ODOR

54. Wheels : CAR

55. Laissez-__ : FAIRE

57. Alternative : OPTION

58. Stigmatize : BRAND. Oh, I learned a new word from my eye doctor the other day: Astigmatism.

59. Evian, e.g. : EAU

63. Japanese computer giant : NEC

65. Period of the first dinosaurs : TRIASSIC. New word to me also.

68. Sci-fi staples : ETs,. Also 114. Roswell sightings : UFOS

69. Storytelling pseudonym : SAKI. I sure need "H.H. Munro" in the clue.

70. Pharaoh's symbol : ANKH. Chinese emperor's symbol is dragon. All emperors wore dragon ropes.

71. Essence : NUB

72. Flower part : SEPAL

73. English glam rockers since the '70s : SLADE

77. Diamond flaw : ERROR. Baseball.

78. Bad impression? : DENT

80. Alpes sight : MONT

82. Guitar line : FRET

84. "At Seventeen" singer Janis : IAN

86. Slash : DIAGONAL

87. Soften : ASSUAGE

89. With sustained force : UNABATED

93. Pro or con : SIDE

94. 1992 presidential also-ran Paul : TSONGAS. No idea. He lost to Clinton. 

98. Positions : SITES

99. 1598 edict city : NANTES. Edict of Nantes. I learned from doing crosswords.

100. Like the Pope: Abbr. : CATH (Catholic).

102. Carol : NOEL

103. Irritate : NETTLE

107. Come together : MASS. I did not know MASS can be a verb.

108. Champagne designation : BRUT

109. New Yorker cartoonist Peter : ARNO

112. Bay Area cop gp. : SFPD

115. Chowderhead : DOLT
116. Agatha contemporary : ERLE

118. Big deal : ADO

120. "Eldorado" rock gp. : ELO

121. Double curve : ESS

Happy Birthday to dear Chickie (Leah), who joined our blog in 2008. So happy to see her stay busy and active.
Chickie & Bill
Happy Birthday to Spitzboov's sweet wife Betty as well! They've been married for 52 years. Does Betty solve crosswords, Al?