May 27, 2017

Saturday, May 27th, 2017, Jeff Chen

Theme: None

Words: 68 (missing F,J,Q,X)

Blocks: 34

We have not seen a solo Jeff Chen on a Saturday in quite some time.  This one was looking pretty grim for a while, and then one or two words broke it open for me.  Triple spanner stack today, with two 9- and 10-letter climbers crossing - not the usual short 3- and 4-letter words to help out - and thus convenient tie-ins, corner to corner.  Last to fill was the NE, and I was able to finish well within my personal allotted time - but I will own up to turning on red-letters for just one cel, a crossing of a personal name and a clue that I just did not get.  Figures.  The spanners;

35. Make trouble : CREATE A NUISANCE - not exactly in the 'vernacular' I would say, so a bit of a stretch for me

38. 1997 Emmy winner for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series : GILLIAN ANDERSON - for her role as Agent Dana Scully from the X-files, one of my favorite shows of all time

39. It might cause quite a shock : ELECTRIC CURRENT -  I threw in the first word , and waited to see what the second half of the answer would be

¡~pɹɐʍuo (15a.)


1. Crisis advice : DON'T PANIC - ah, Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide advice

10. Military clipping? : BUZZ

14. "Fish" star : ABE VIGODA - got it, but then again, I know no one else from that show

15. It's often transported upside-down : CANOE - got it from the "C", and the clue had me intrigued - I was thinking larger, like something on a flat-bed

They caught the Loch Ness monster~!

16. Parts of many place settings : TEASPOONS - SALAD FORK~?  SOUP SPOON~? Had to wait, missed the plural

17. "Loot" playwright : ORTON - the "T" was a Natick - I tried "S" and "D"

18. Fictional 1847 autobiographer : EYRE - I tried "FINN" first

19. Physics model using an analogy to the solar system : BOHR ATOM

21. Adulterer follower, in slang : TEC - deTECtive, tho I did not get the clue at first because I was thinking "adulterer" was some sort of X-rated reference; I suppose it is, in a way

24. They're framed : CELS

25. British racing cars : MGs

28. Trees whose bark contains the anti-inflammatory salicin : ALDERS - Pondered POPLAR and WALNUT before I saw the plural "S" in treeS

31. Real piece of work : TASK

40. Coder's conditional : ELSE - why 'coder's'~?

41. Bible-toting aunt on "Sanford and Son" : ESTHER - had the "E", seemed Biblically appropriate; semi-clecho with 54d. "Sanford and Son" first name : REDD - the actor, FOXX, whose real name was Sanford

42. The French? : LES - Frawnche for "The"

43. Bite : NOSH

45. Muppets chimp __ Minella : SAL - har-har
47. Made bank : HIT IT BIG - like the second verse from this Spinal Tap song

"Hell Hole" @ 1:20

51. Thickening agent : AGAR

55. Nugget of wisdom : PEARL

56. "Pick it up!" : "LOOK ALIVE~!"

59. The "Iliad" and the "Odyssey" : SAGAS - I had EPICS; this one could not be clued as "palidromic", since that appears at 27d.

60. Like bears and koala bears : UNRELATED - clever

61. False __ : IDOL - I thought of so many other "falses"

62. Best Upset, e.g. : ESPY AWARD


1. Tinder meeting : DATE

2. Follow : OBEY

3. Around : NEAR

4. Boob tube : TV SET - I mentioned this last week

5. Dimple on a die : PIP - I just discovered there is such a thing as "back dimples"

some have gone so far as to get them pierced....

6. Earlier : AGO

7. Neophyte, briefly : NOOB

8. SSN, e.g. : ID No.

9. Problem caused by fallen dough? : CASH CRUNCH

10. MVP of Super Bowls I and II : BART STARR

11. Word that sometimes precedes itself : UNTO - unto unto~? As in do unto....~?

12. Shooter's piece : ZOOM - photo shooter, that is; I was in gangster "gat" mode

13. Peaceful : ZEN - first thought, but hesitated to fill it in

15. Shade of black : COAL - dah~!  Not EBON

20. Distillery leftovers : RESIDUES

22. Wipe out, in snowboarding slang : EAT IT

23. Least obfuscatory : CLEAREST - good $2 word in there; and when you use it, most people are obfuscated

25. Bobby in a '70s chart-topper : McGEE

26. Give the third degree : GRILL

27. Palindromic court star : SELES

29. Cheese with PGI status (protected geographical indication) : DANISH BLUE - uh, sounds like cheese....

30. Pass : ENACT

32. First name in landscape photography : ANSEL - Adams

33. Clotted cream may be put on one : SCONE - ugh - just the name makes me cringe - and my parents are English

34. Superman's kin : KENTS - here on Earth

36. Indians' habitat?: Abbr. : AL CENTRAL - I figured it was Cleveland, but did not know their specific baseball division

37. Brazilian mountain chain : SERRA

44. Essential __ : OILS

46. Bochco drama : L.A. LAW

47. Big enchilada : HEAD

48. Manipulator of the Moor : IAGO

49. They carry charges : IONS

50. It's also called scroggin or schmogle : GORP - learned here at the blog that it stands for "Good Old Raisins and Peanuts"

52. Sanskrit scripture, with "the" : GITA - Got it, since I like the TV show "Ancient Aliens"; it refers to this writing in several episodes

53. Swear to be true : AVER - or AVOW~?  Had to wait.  It's been a while since I've seen this answer.

55. Chi follower : PSI - made me change my EPICS to SAGAS

57. Instrumental : KEY

58. Styled after : Á LA


May 26, 2017

May 26, 2017, Friday, Samuel A. Donaldson

Title: Give them the finger!  Link.

Sam (not from TV) Donaldson is back for my third time to blog his work. A really creative grid with only 32 blocks and the likely controversial theme content 11-4-9-4-11. The unwritten rule about theme fill being the longest fill...well I bet some will object. For me, the central fill makes that rule seem silly for this puzzle.

Mr. D. also worked a bunch of fun stuff into his grid like OX TEAM, SIN TAX,  OLD VIC, KAVNER, SAL SODA, TABULAR,  ACREAGE, DESK SET, OPEN TOE,  ALTIMAS,  PLATYPI, KEPT FIT,  ODDBALL, REISSUED, VAN DAMME...this puzzle is a keeper.

17A. Prioritizes self-interest : LOOKS OUT FOR (11). Looks out for number one is a very popular phrase, both by those in favor and opposed.

34A. Championship team cheer : WE'RE (4). We're number one! The puzzle blogging family!!!

35A. Words needed to complete four puzzle answers : NUMBER ONE (9). The oddly placed reveal that made this an awfully easy Friday.

38A. "Let's Make a Deal" choice : DOOR (4). Being home 24/7 I managed to see a few minutes of Wayne Brady as Monty Hall....I quickly closed door number one.

58A. Object of a serious hunt : PUBLIC ENEMY (11). Is is me, or have they stopped publicizing the FBI 10 most wanted list (and the public enemy number one)?


1. Smelling __ : SALTS.

6. Olympic racers : LUGES. This was made tricky by the author.

11. Paving goo : TAR.

14. Dispatch boat : AVISO.  Here is the HISTORY.

15. Unpleasant chores : SLOGS. Vague.

16. Missile from Venus? : ACE. Nice deception- Venus Williams, a tennis service.
19. Sports __ : BRA. More Venus?

20. Levy on liquor : SIN TAX.

21. Printed again : REISSUED.

23. Dedicated works : ODES.

24. Nicholas and Peter : TSARS.

26. Buck : CLAM. Old fashioned words for money.

27. Matched office accessories : DESK SET.

29. Alternative to throwing out : STORAGE.

31. Spots : ADS.

32. Treat roughly : MAUL.

40. Square placed on a square board : TILE. Scrabble anyone?

41. Scaled diagram : MAP.

44. Stayed in shape : KEPT FIT. Venus?

47. Eccentric : ODD BALL.

49. Not free, with "for" : A FEE.

50. Bygone "SNL" rival : MAD TV. Not a real rival.

52. "At Last" singer James : ETTA. A classic. I love this.

53. "Timecop" star : VAN DAMME. He is still working. LINK.

55. Diamond mine? : I GOT IT. Great baseball misdirection. When I was 6 or 7, in a family game a pop-up was hit my way. I yelled, " I got it, I got it, I think I got it!" Family was in stitches.

57. Fanatic : NUT.

60. "Evil Woman" band : ELO.

61. __ Gay : ENOLA. Isn't time to put this trivia out to pasture?

62. "It's __!": "We've been tricked" : A TRAP.

63. Numbered rd. : RTE.

64. Aired anew : RERAN.

65. Vermouth bottle name : ROSSI. The bottle I remember.


1. Grill-cleaning solution : SAL SODA. Not to be confused with Baking soda.

2. Ducked : AVOIDED.

3. Nala, notably : LIONESSLion King.

4. "Shame!" : TSK TSK.

5. McGwire's 1998 rival : SOSA. Mark and Sammy - baseball, number 3.

6. Team with a live tiger mascot : LSU. A gimme for Susan, Big Easy, Boo and others.

7. UHF component : ULTRAUltra High Frequency.

8. Fetching employees? : GOFERS. Those who fetch- go for.

9. Altruist's opposite : EGOIST. Deducible.

10. Ukr. and Lith., formerly : SSRS. The U made them united.

11. Like spreadsheets : TABULAR. Reminded me of  these BELLS.

12. Plot : ACREAGE. Easy if you do real estate.

13. Name for a help file : READ ME.

18. Ones working together on a farm : OX TEAM. Sorry Sam, but my meh of this puzzle.

22. Slope of loose stones : SCREE. Similar to talus...yeah that helps. My unknown even after filling with perps.

25. Concert souvenir : STUB. I used to save my backstage passes.

28. Blue character : SMURF.

30. Possessed : OWNED. No exorcist needed.

33. Umpire's call : LET. Tennis.

35. Famous : NOTED.

36. Laugh-a-minute sort : RIOT.

37. It was originally established as the Royal Coburg Theatre : OLD VIC. The HISTORY.

38. Fallback provision : DEFAULT.

39. Showing off a pedi, perhaps : OPEN TOE.  You think SPLYNTER?

41. Shouldn't be ignored : MATTERS. It....

42. Nissan models : ALTIMAS.

43. Duck-billed mammals : PLATYPI. Latin plural -us leads to -i.

44. Julie who voices Marge Simpson : KAVNER. Rhoda's little sister.

45. Not susceptible : IMMUNE.

46. Emmy winner Jeffrey of "Transparent" : TAMBOR. I loved him as Hank.

48. Suspect : BE ON TO.  Onto?

51. Street of mystery : DELLA. She worked for Perry.

54. Mimic : APER.

56. Reverse, e.g. : GEAR.

59. Creator of Q and M : IAN. Fleming and he also created Bond, James Bond.

RIP Roger Moore, you were a fun Bond. Slowly trying to get back in shape, and this work out helped. Samuel made me work for the solve and it was a great . Hope you enjoyed the puzzle and all have a great Memorial Day. My oldest granddaughter has a dance recital to highlight my week end.
Thanks Mr. D. Lemonade out.

May 25, 2017

Thursday May 25th 2017 Victor Barocas

Theme: Occupational Apt-itude Three materials are paired with one of three artisans:

18A. Virginia politician for whom a university is named : GEORGE MASON. Their men's basketball team made it to the Final Four in the NCAA tournament in 2006 having never won a game in March Madness before. Quite the story.

24A. Magical literary orphan : HARRY POTTER. I've vaguely heard of him; he's a wizard or something.

33A. "Close to You" singer : KAREN CARPENTER. Lovely voice. Passed away sadly young.

42A. "Westworld" actress (who complements 33-Across?) : EVAN RACHEL WOOD. I always hesitate with her first name.

47A. 1960 Olympic boxing gold medalist (who complements 24-Across?) : CASSIUS CLAY. He fought as a light-heavyweight in 1960.

60A. "Basic Instinct" star (who complements 18-Across?) : SHARON STONE. I won't mention the infamous (or famous) leg-crossing scene. Ooops - I just did.

Clever puzzle from Victor. I thought I'd spotted the theme after the first two entries and when I filled in the third I wondered why no-one had done this theme before. Then came the fourth and the clever symmetry. Slick stuff. A whopping 72 letters of theme-age doesn't leave a lot of room for much in the way of long fill, but there's some nice 7's and 5's to keep thing ticking along. Let's take a look.


1. Reggae relative : SKA. It's Madness, I tell you.

4. Amount before deductions : GROSS. Nicely matched with 62D.

9. Unpleasant : HARSH

14. "U R funny!" : LOL!

15. Vital supply line : AORTA. Vital? I'd say.

16. Throat dangler : UVULA. Lovely word this, but - what on earth is it for?

17. Bran source : OAT

20. Ride on runners : SLED

22. __ Testamento : NUEVO. That's a new one on me.

23. Custard base : EGG. Food! The French call it "Crème anglaise". My mom used to make it from powder out of a tin. I don't think the French would have been impressed.

27. Meeting vote : YEA

28. Falls phenomena : MISTS. Here's one from Iceland at Skogafoss. Pretty.

39. Old World Style sauce : RAGU. Food! The stuff in the bottle is labelled "Old World Style". The made-from-scratch recipes such as ragù alla bolognese don't bear a whole lot of resemblance. There are many claims for the "original" recipe Bolognese, but the official version resides in the Bologna Chamber of Commerce placed there by the Accademia Italiana della Cucina, so that one seems pretty legit.

40. Formal orders : DICTA

41. Pet peeve? : FLEA

45. Analyze, in a way : PARSE

46. __ Lingus : AER

55. Like the name "Will," for an estate lawyer : APT. Or "Bill" for any kind of lawyer.

58. Get behind : TRAIL

59. If-then-__: programmer's flow : ELSE.


64. Letters between names : AKA

65. Where "Ratatouille" was cooked up : PIXAR. The studio. Food! I really wanted PARIS for this as that's where the movie was set but was dissuaded by the R which I had in place.

66. Refuge : HAVEN

67. Came together : MET

68. Not at all trustworthy : SLIMY

69. Glacial ridge : ARÊTE. Here's the North-East arête back in 1921.  A lot less traffic on the mountain back then.

70. Agency creations : ADS


1. Walk through puddles : SLOSH. Wellington boots are handy for a good puddle-sloshing.

2. It isn't really a bear : KOALA. Still cute.

3. Make different : ALTER

4. __ order : GAG

5. Sushi topper : ROE

6. Home of Stephen King's alma mater : ORONO. I only learned this from crosswords.

7. Structural support : STRUT. Should really be a strutural [sic] support in my book.

8. "Full House" star Bob : SAGET

9. "Think of it as an indulgence" : HUMOR ME

10. Oscar-nominated director DuVernay : AVA. Thank you, crosses.She won Best Director at Sundance in 2012, the first African-American woman to win the award. She comes from down the road in Long Beach and graduated UCLA.

11. Subterfuge : RUSE. Great word, subterfuge. Latin subterfugere ‘escape secretly,’ from subter- ‘beneath’ + fugere ‘flee.’

12. Uphill climb : SLOG

13. Pal around (with) : HANG

19. Big night : EVE

21. Dress rehearsals : DRY RUNS

25. "__-haw!" : YEE

26. It is really a bear : PANDA. Also cute.

29. Effective, as a rule : IN FORCE

30. D-Day city : ST LÔ. The city was practically destroyed in prolonged fighting during the 1944 liberation of France.

31. Set up for a drive : TEED

32. Mrs., in Madrid : SRA

33. Polynesian intoxicant : KAVA. This almost foxed me due to the EVAN name uncertainty.

34. Seaweed product : AGAR

35. Pres. title : C.I.C.
36. Günther's gripe : ACH!

37. Hwy., e.g. : RTE.

38. Micronesian republic : PALAU

39. Weightlifter's unit : REP

43. Parish house : RECTORY. Home to a rector. A parson lives in a parsonage, a vicar in a vicarage, a dean lives in a deanery and a priest lives in a priestary - wait no, in a presbytery, just to spoil things.

44. Director Anderson : WES

48. Prince Valiant's son : ARN. Thank you, crosses. Never saw the TV series.

49. Beyoncé's "I Am... __ Fierce" : SASHA

50. Lute kin : SITAR

51. "How do __ thee?" : I LOVE. From Elizabeth Barrett Browning's 43rd sonnet:

Let me count the ways. 
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, 
when feeling out of sight For the ends of being and ideal grace. 
I love thee to the level of every day's Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. 

I love thee freely, as men strive for right.

52. Camel relative : LLAMA

53. Sought answers : ASKED

54. "I Am of Ireland" poet : YEATS

55. Nile hazards : ASPS

56. Knight who co-founded Nike : PHIL. He's worth a couple of bucks now. I bought a pair of Nike running shoes back in 1982. The sole of one came unglued within a week and the store refused to exchange them. I never shopped there again and I've never bought a pair of Nikes since.

57. One in an airport line : TAXI

61. Bash : RAM

62. Amount after deductions : NET

63. Chemical suffix : -ENE

Here's the grid, and that's it from me!


May 24, 2017

Wednesday May 24, 2017 C.C. Burnikel

Theme: CONNECTS THE DOTS ( 37. Makes sense of a situation ... and, literally, what the quartet of answers to starred clues does) - DOT spans across each theme entry.

18A. *Submarine weapon launcher : TORPEDO TUBE

20A. *Catchall phrase : AND OTHERS

53A. *Martial arts maneuver : JUDO THROW.  For a ground finish.

57A. *Guacamole source : AVOCADO TREE

Hello everyone and welcome.  Boomer here, live from Minnesota.  No 300's to report, no hole in one to brag about. 

1. "No great shakes" : MEH - Questionable word

4. Croque madame meat : HAM- Almost a backward 1-Across.

7. Red Cross supply : PLASMA

13. Often hoppy brew : ALE

14. "The Reader" actress Lena : OLIN

16. Yell : HOLLER - Give a holler for the Minnesota Twins.  First place in the AL Central.  But it's a long season.

17. Vote of support : YEA - Just a fancy word for "Yes".  I think Congress invented it, or made it up. 

22. Pyeongchang's peninsula : KOREA - I cannot figure out how so many men and women from South Korea make a fortune in the U.S. playing golf, while North Korea spends its time and money on weapons.

23. Parts of hearts : ATRIA

24. Satisfied sighs : AAHS

26. Find a place for : USE

27. Country that shares a 3,300-mile border with Argentina : CHILE - I have a golf buddy named Jorge who is from Chile.  Great guy and a good bowler as well.

29. Quiet time at day care : NAP

32. iPhone talker : SIRI

34. Small battery size : AAA - overused in crosswords, but sometimes you need three vowels back to back to back.

35. Works on one's plumage : PREENS

40. "Anchors __" : AWEIGH - I learned something, I always thought it was Anchors Away.  Now I wonder what aweigh means ??

41. Leaves for socials? : TEA - Another frequent crossword filler

42. Sweater, usually : KNIT - Is a knitting needle a Knit Pick ?

43. Legal profession : BAR - the legal exam is a bar.

44. Mocha's land : YEMEN- When I see coffee, I think of Brazil - but yes, Yemen produces mocha coffee.

46. Bespectacled friend of Snow White : DOC - Did you know that Dwarfs and Dwarves are both accepted plurals of Dwarf.  Doc is the only one of seven who is not named with an adjective.  If you did not know this important fact of life, you may be Dopey.

47. Bun or beehive : UPDO - I cannot believe this is a word.

48. Praline piece : PECAN - Remember Jimmy Carter?  He and Miss Lillian raised pecans in Plains, Georgia. Not sure if he made as much money as when he was President, but he never called anyone a nut. 

50. "I __ thought of that" : HADN'T

59. Cleanup hitter's stat : RBI. Here I am in uniform for the Hopkins Babe Ruth League age 13 or 14. In my 15-year-old year, Honeywell no longer sponsored and my team became Hopkins Merchants. I think I was #10 Center Drug.

60. Illuminated like some domed structures : TOP-LIT

61. Crumb carriers : ANTS- spend their lives under hills. 

62. Told too often, as a joke : OLD - Reminds me of Milton Berle who told the same jokes for years.

63. Snarky expressions : SNEERS

64. East, in Munich : OST - I was in Munich once.  Oktoberfest 1969. Never liked the taste of beer, but still had a good time.  

65. Short shirt : TEE - No Way - Tee Shirts are not short. 


1. Early Yucatán dweller : MAYA- I would have clued "Miss Moore of the Minnesota Lynx".

2. Justice Kagan : ELENA - Supreme woman of the high court!

3. Eye candy : HEAD-TURNER - Atlanta Braves owner

4. Eye candy : HOTTIE

5. Wahine welcome : ALOHA - A bit generic.  Wahine is a woman, normally a girlfriend or a wife

6. Swampy ground : MIRE

7. Prof.'s degree : PHD - A PHD is a doctor of Philosophy.  Why is it not DPH ?

8. "Listen to me!" : LOOK HERE - When I was in Tennessee, many of the good old boys would say "Lookie here".

9. Choir voices : ALTOS - Sopranos never fits.  I was a Bass. Not a fish. 

10. Disparaging remark : SLUR

11. "Don't Let __ Lonely Tonight": James Taylor : ME BE

12. General vicinity : AREA - Ground that Byron Buxton covers in center field.  "Put me in coach, I'm ready to play--Today". John Fogarty

15. "TED Radio Hour" broadcaster : NPR 

19. Morales of "NYPD Blue" : ESAI - Constructors love those four letter names with three vowels.

21. Family name of three popes : ORSINI - I'll take your word for this

25. Greek leader? : ALPHA - Second letter is BETA.  I have also found it interesting that  ALPHABET is our word for the whole bunch

27. Laser pointer chaser : CAT

28. Quickness : HASTE

29. Crayola shade similar to Atomic Tangerine : NEON CARROT - Amazing!  When I was a kid we had red blue green yellow orange purple, etc.

30. Opposing : ANTI

31. Wordless whisper : PSST

32. Wound covering : SCAB - Never liked this word.  BandAid did not fit.

33. Skunk River state : IOWA - Somewhere south of me.  Land of pork and corn - yum.

34. Needed a massage : ACHED

36. Subject of the musical "Mayor" : ED KOCH - presided at Simon and Garfunkel's Concert in the (Central) Park.

38. Carrier to Cairo : EGYPTAIR - I wonder if they overbook and drag people off their planes.

39. Much-used base : TEN - I would clue "Number of pins in a rack".

45. Magic spell : MOJO

46. Not fancy at all : DETEST - For those of you who might detest this puzzle, Take up Golf and see how you like that.

47. "I give!" : UNCLE - I wonder if pro wrestlers hollered this when caught in a four figure leg lock.

48. Keats and Yeats : POETS -  He's a poet but he don't know it, but his feet show it--- they're long fellows.

49. Highborn : NOBLE - We have a "Noble Avenue" a half mile from our house.  I think you have to be a Duke or Earl to live there.

50. They're sometimes felt : HATS

51. Mary Kay rival : AVON

52. Lowdown : DOPE - Finally, and adjective for me preparing this blog.

54. Actress Hagen : UTA

55. Beijing-born Bond villain : DR NO - Roger Moore, RIP

56. Off-target : WIDE - An adjective for my golf shots.

58. Rehab hurdle : DTS


Notes from C.C.: 
1) The Sixth Minnesota Crossword Tournament will be held at the beautiful Landmark Center in Saint Paul on Sunday, June 11, 2017. 

Constructors include Christopher Adams, George Barany, Victor Barocas (also our editor), David Hanson, Andy Kravis, Mark McClain, Andrea Carla Michaels, David Liben-Nowell, Tom Pepper, Andrew J. Ries and our own Jeffrey Wechsler, who's flying to MN again this year to help the tournament. Hope to see some of you there.

2) Indie 500 Crossword Tournament will take place on June 3, 2017. Angela Olson Halsted is PuzzleGirl who used to run the LA Confidential blog.

2) To foodies on our blog, hope you check out "The Gefilte Manifesto: New Recipes for Old World Jewish Foods", co-authored by Liz Alpern, daughter of the great Mike Alpern, who organizes the annual Cru Dinner. Liz appeared on the cover of last month's Hadassah Magazine. What fish is that?

May 23, 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 Ed Sessa

Theme: Two Different Words That Start With The Same Two Letters - La/La

20A. *Teaching aid for learning foreign tongues: LANGUAGE LAB

59A. *Deep blue gemstone: LAPIS LAZULI

5D. *Superboy's girlfriend: LANA LANG

11D. *Satisfaction after setbacks: LAST LAUGH

35D. *Cowboy star with a bullwhip: LASH LARUE

41D. 2016 Best Picture (no, wait; it wasn't!) ... and a fitting place for the answers to starred clues?: LA LA LAND

Argyle here. All the other letters except J and Q. Entries in rows: 2, columns: 4. Cute reveal.


1. Place for wet cannonballs: POOL

5. Volcanic rocks: LAVAs

10. Move like a river: FLOW

14. Vineyard unit: ACRE

15. Plant used in tequila production: AGAVE

16. Spencer of "Good Morning America": LARA

17. Really wiped out: BEAT

18. Private's denial: "NO SIR!"

19. Like many resold items: USED

23. Tot's piggy: TOE

24. Like an accurate hockey shot: ON GOAL

25. Arbor Day month: APRIL

27. Brute: BEAST

30. Tackled, as a task, with "at": HAD A GO, hopefully done...

33. With competence: ABLY

36. Orderly: NEAT

38. "__ I lie to you?": WOULD

39. Spy org. created under Truman: CIA. (Central Intelligence Agency)

40. Appetizer often served with duck sauce: EGG ROLL

42. Prefix with centric or caching: GEO

43. Dermatologist's surgical tool: LASER

45. "__ girl!": ATTA

46. "Believe" singer: CHER. The song featured audio processor software, Auto-Tune, which became known as the "Cher effect".

47. Theater guides: USHERs

49. Sun-related: SOLAR

51. Plunders: LOOTS

53. Died down: ABATED

57. Place to de-stress: SPA

62. Angelic glow: AURA

64. Dreadlocks wearer: RASTA

65. "__ la Douce": IRMA. (1963 romantic comedy starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine)

66. Essential point: CRUX

67. Promotional connection: TIE-IN

68. Black, to a poet: EBON. Shakespeare's jet?

69. Ship's backbone: KEEL

70. Mortimer on Bergen's knee: SNERD

71. See 63-Down: ROSE63-Down. With 71-Across, rocker whose first name anagrams a West Coast airport code: AXL. (LAX / Los Angeles Airport)


1. Picasso who painted Gertrude Stein: PABLO

2. Arctic or Indian: OCEAN

3. Sumatran ape: ORANG. (orangutan)

4. Allow to pass: LET GO BY

6. Intensely excited: AGOG

7. Ming museum piece: VASE

8. Hometown of St. Teresa: ÁVILA, in 52-Down. Iberian Peninsula country: SPAIN

9. High-ranking angel: SERAPH

10. Winter ailment: FLU

12. Layered cookie: OREO

13. Get one's tootsies wet: WADE

21. Dubai's fed.: UAE. (United Arab Emirates)

22. Saloon slugfest: BRAWL

26. Altar words: I DO

28. Sonic the Hedgehog game company: SEGA

29. Small fruit pies: TARTs

31. Pure joy: GLEE. Eating tarts.

32. What the nose knows: ODOR

33. Civil rights gp.: ACLU. (American Civil Liberties Union)

34. Skewed view: BIAS

37. Terrier on the Yellow Brick Road: TOTO. Not in Kansas.

40. Filmdom's Flynn: ERROL

44. Fair-hiring letters: EEO. (Equal Employment Opportunity)

46. Comparatively outlandish: CRAZIER

48. Inaugurates: STARTS

50. Case workers' org.?: ABA. (American Bar Association)

54. Supercharger: TURBO

55. "St. __ Fire": ELMO'S

56. "Cheers" waitress: DIANE. (Shelley Long) Different bar from 50-Down.

57. Potato holder: SACK

58. Like 24-karat gold: PURE

60. "__ skies of blue and clouds of white ... ": "What a Wonderful World": I SEE

61. Recipe instruction: STIR


May 22, 2017

Monday, May 22, 2017 Jake Braun

Theme: Play Ball! - Choose your team.

69A. Sports org. for the players that begin the answers to starred clues: MLB. Major League Baseball

17A. *Found middle ground: MET HALFWAY. New York Mets.

39A. *Hockey rink divider: RED LINE. Cincinnati Reds.

58A. *Shaft from the sun: RAY OF LIGHT. Tampa Bay Rays.

10D. *"Unforgettable" crooner: NAT KING COLE. Washington Nationals.

25D. *Jimmy Olsen, notably: CUB REPORTER. Chicago Cubs.

26D. *"The Tonight Show" host after Johnny Carson: JAY LENO. Toronto Blue Jays.

Argyle here. Symmetry! Pin wheel with a bullseye. Consistency! All three letter teams. A reveal tucked in the SE corner. Quantity with quality and a couple of learning moments. Yes, I liked this puzzle(Can you tell?).


1. Task: JOB

4. Suddenly paid attention: SAT UP

9. Take __: snooze: A NAP

13. Wows: AWEs

15. One may drift in from the kitchen: AROMA

16. Scarlett's plantation: TARA

19. Caesar's stunned words: "ET TU!?"

20. Dirt road depressions: RUTS

21. Tots' three-wheelers: TRIKEs

23. __ Wall Street: 2011 protest: OCCUPY

26. Kind of delinquent: JUVENILE

28. Resort island near Venezuela: ARUBA

29. Chart with roads: MAP

30. Rainier or Rushmore: Abbr.: MTN. (mount)

31. Sad sound: SOB

32. "It's my call": "I SAY SO"

35. Eye provocatively: OGLE

38. Corn serving: EAR

41. 102, to Caesar: CII

42. 69-Across list of games, briefly: SKED. MLB

44. Garden-tidying gadget: WEEDER

45. Texter's "Holy cow!": "OMG!". (Oh my God)

46. In favor of: PRO

48. Suffix with chlor-: INE

49. __ Waldo Emerson: RALPH

51. Reach a total of: AMOUNT TO

54. Self-effacing: MODEST

55. Friendliness: WARMTH

56. Temporary calm: LULL

57. FBI employees: AGTs.

64. Fictional pirate often addressed as "Mr.": SMEE. Capt. Hook's bo's'n.

65. Like basic wall switches: ON/OFF

66. Boyfriend: BEAU

67. "B.C." cartoonist Johnny: HART

68. Would like: WANTs


1. Rush hour tie-up: JAM

2. Have to pay: OWE

3. Racetrack risk: BET

4. Like many pretzels: SALTY

5. Cousins of woofs: ARFs

6. Stranded motorist's need: TOW

7. Actress Thurman: UMA

8. Fee-based home entertainment: PAY TV

9. Eroded, as savings: ATE INTO

11. Soviet cooperative: ARTEL. One of the learning expo's. "The Artel (association) is another term for the collective ownership and operation of industry. It is one of the oldest and most widespread institutions in Russia." ~ Manya Gordon. Even the Wiki page is short.

12. Temporary stop: PAUSE

14. Foundation plant: SHRUB

18. Live-in household helper: AU PAIR

22. Sleep stage: REM. (rapid eye movement)

23. Desert respites: OASES

24. Sound from a lily pad: CROAK

27. Opportunity for growth: UPSIDE

29. Finally arrived: MADE IT

33. Stitch: SEW

34. Winner's number: ONE

36. Uneven gaits: LIMPS

37. Quarterfinal contestants count: EIGHT

40. Jazzman Garner: ERROLL

43. Percussionist's kit: DRUM SET

47. Toronto's prov.: ONT. (Ontario)

50. Actor's unwritten line: AD LIB

51. Flooded: AWASH

52. Igneous rock, once: MAGMA

53. Fielder's assist, e.g.: THROW

54. Bobbles: MUFFs

56. Hit high into the air: LOFT

59. Santa __ winds: ANA

60. Partner of hither: YON

61. Precious stone: GEM

62. Uncooperative "2001" computer: HAL

63. Spot for a bath: TUB

Please excuse my abbreviated version today. I lost my Google Chrome bowser somehow.


May 21, 2017

Sunday, May 21, 2017, Agnes Davidson and C.C. Burnikel


Eleven days ago, it was my privilege to blog a fun Wednesday offering by our blog mistress C.C. and fellow blogger/constructor Agnes Davison - Irish Miss to us regulars (and irregulars for that matter).  (Correction: Davidson.)

Today our own version of Cagney and Lacy present us with nine substitutions where, as you can see in the grid below, an H in one word of a common phrase is changed to an M which results in a silly phrase and accompanied by clever cluing. 

Getting the gimmick early facilitated the solve and a good time was had by all! Let's see what silliness tempered with expertise our friends presented in today's themers, some of which actually exist:

22. Check for doneness? : FEEL THE MEAT (HEAT) - This man does this for a living

24. Drama written in code? :  MORSE (HORSE) PLAY - Here ya go!

36. President's daily delivery? : MAIL (HAIL) TO THE CHIEF - If you send MAIL TO THE CHIEF of the Winnebago tribe in Winnebago, NE, he'll pick it up here

51. North Pole yoga need? : SANTA MAT (HAT)

67. Iditarod trainee? : MUSH (HUSH) PUPPY - How cute is this Siberian Husky?

81. Ace accountant : TAX MAVEN (HAVEN) - A company in Manimajra Chandigarh, India

93. Cat's tail, maybe? : MOUSE (HOUSE) DETECTIVE

110. Spy with a sweet tooth? : DONUT MOLE (HOLE)

112. Burrower servicing borrowers? : MONEY (HONEY) BADGER - A group in an online game called EVE. Nah, I hadn't heard of it either.

Now let's look the rest of C.C.'s and Agnes's High Minded entries


1. Library attention-getter : PSST

5. Secretly kept in the message loop, for short : BCCED - Blind Carbon CopiED- They'll never know you told everyone!

10. Prior president who swore in two subsequent presidents : TAFT - Our 350 lb. president had this bathtub made, became the Chief Justice and swore in Coolidge and Hoover

14. Spicy : RACY

18. Trick : DUPE

19. NutraSweet developer : SEARLE - Aspertame used under the name NutraSweet has been controversial

20. Donor drive target : ALUM

21. Penne __ vodka : ALLA

26. Tylenol result, ideally : RELIEF

27. Juice-and-fish-broth product : CLAMATO  - It sounds like an SNL made- up product

29. Weather Channel concern : STORM

30. Brown on a shelf : DAN - I love Dan's books but in other quarters...

31. USC, for one : SCH

33. Like most cheeseburgers : CALORIC - -

35. Teeny tiny : WEE

40. Poppycock : ROT

42. IMF division?: Abbr. : INTL International Monetary Fund

43. Vintage vehicle : REO

44. It helps you focus : LENS - In action -

45. Bronco's bailiwick : CORRAL

48. "The Simpsons" disco devotee : STU

49. Chew the fat : JAW

50. Wish were here : MISS - My lovely bride always misses her kitty when we travel

53. Universe of Energy locale : EPCOT - A good dark, cool place to take a nap after you've seen it as many times as I have

55. Cell dweller : CON - Not all CONS are in cells in Joe Arpaio's AZ jail

56. Having a kick : TANGY

58. Preventative power : VETO

59. Foam finger number : ONE

60. "That hurts!" : OUCH

62. The end of its name is also its natl. airline : UAE and 118. Milan moolah : EURO - The UAE airline is the sponsor of the AC Milan Soccer team and this jersey will cost you €89,95
63. Scout rider : TONTO

64. Yoga position : ASANA

69. Mayflower notable : ALDEN - Below is a picture of John Alden's 8th Great Granddaughter Norma Jean Mortenson Baker who became, well, you know...

70. Waits for an agent, maybe : HOLDS

71. The __ Store : UPS - United Parcel Service

72. Minor tiff : SPAT

73. It's only make-believe : ACT - Are you faking it?

74. "That's clear" : I SEE

75. Plants of immortality, to ancient Egyptians : ALOES

77. God in the Vatican : DIO - An expose' of the Vatican's Bank Of God

78. SeaWorld performer : SHAMU

83. Lab gel : AGAR

85. Grafton's "__ for Burglar" : B IS - Sue's titling gimmick is always an easy fill

86. Usually single-stranded molecule : RNA 

88. Twists, e.g. : DANCES - Morticia and Lurch gettin' down

89. Scheme : PLOT

90. Had the most points : LED

91. Short cut : SNIP

92. Sun. speech : SER and 98. Yawn-inducing : BANAL  - Verbal Sominex at our church 

96. Sharp criticism : JAB

99. Rulers in a line : DYNASTS - I suppose a DYNASTY would have these

101. You can't live without it : AIR - You can go 3 min without AIR, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food. Give or take.

102. Tolkien monster : ORC

103. Taste enhanced by shrimp paste : UMAMI - A tasty clue we've had quite often as of late

105. Make more than : OUT EARN

107. Joined forces : ALLIED

115. Sea once home to 1,100-plus islands : ARAL

116. Dell operator : USER

117. Chews the scenery : EMOTES

119. Bear's advice : SELL - Warren Buffet - "Buy when everyone else is SELLING"

120. Pharmacy pickups : MEDS

121. Big Pharma dept. : R AND D

122. Aligned, with "in" : SYNC


1. Sharable doc format : PDF

2. Court figure : SUER

3. "C'mon, let's go!" : SPEED IT UP - After 50 yrs., I just sit in the car and wait!

4. Like revealing memoirs : TELL ALL

5. Hearty comfort food : BEEF STEW - Dinty Moore in our house

6. Short filmmaker? : CAM - This breakout hit from the Sundance Film Festival was shot with the CAM on an iPhone 5S and this is one of its 89. Movie promoters : POSTERS

7. Exhibit with a baby : CRECHE - The one with Jesus can't be put on public property

8. Its logo contains Hebrew letters : EL AL - "To the skies" in Hebrew

9. Separates : DETACHES

10. Wrapped Mexican fare : TAMALES

11. Many : A LOT OF 113. Weather-sensitive airport stat : ETD'S - A LOT OF ETD'S were altered by 100 mph winds in Omaha last week

12. Public outcry : FUROR

13. Corp. symbols : TMS - 

14. Mesmerized : RAPT

15. Give the green light : ALLOW

16. Limerick neighbor : CLARE - Not much of a common dry land border

17. "I did it!" : YAY ME

19. Pronoun for a skiff : SHE

23. Salon treatment : TINT

25. Accompanist? : ESCORT - When you need a good ESCORT in Louisville, KY...


28. Common town ctr. : MAIN ST

32. John of "Star Trek" (2009) : CHO - Only the first generation Star Trek peeps are in my memory bank

34. Twist in a tale : IRONY - I'll bet you know the elements of this short story from the master of IRONY - O'Henry

36. Wrong at the start? : MIS

37. Certain entrance fee : ANTE

38. Speak : ORATE

39. Assure : CLINCH

41. John of "Hairspray" (2007) : TRAVOLTA 

45. Shrewd : CAGEY

46. Change, as a will : AMEND

47. Foamy eye-opener : LATTE

49. First name in virology : JONAS - After contracting polio, FDR started the March Of Dimes that provided much funding for Salk's vaccine that came too late for the president

50. Mop tamer : MOUSSE

51. Acknowledge the general : SNAP TO and 76. Acknowledge the general : SALUTE

52. Tom or Jerry : TOON

54. Denounces : CONDEMNS - SILENT N was a fill for "44 A Solemn ending" on Wednesday 

55. "Off" is often printed on one : COUPON 

57. Live-in nanny : AU PAIR - French for "on par" or "equal to"

61. LaserJet printers : HPS

63. Dash gauges : TACHS

64. Words after make or take : A HIT - If you have to take A HIT to make A HIT, you may need new friends  

65. "That's a shame" : SO SAD - "Dear Dad, No mon, no fun, your Son" "Dear Son, Too bad, SO SAD, your Dad"

66. Siri's Amazon counterpart : ALEXA

67. Grand Canyon rentals : MULES

68. Computer download : UPDATE - After missing several new roads, I paid to UPDATE this system in my car

73. Lines for an audience : ASIDE - Frank does this all the time in House Of Cards

75. Big name in labels : AVERY - We use AVERY 5360 labels for Christmas card address labels

79. One who may cease to exist when underappreciated? : MR NICE GUY - Never made my collection

80. USC part: Abbr. : UNIV

82. Nailed the test : ACED IT

84. Filmy fabric : GOSSAMER - Sinatra sang "A trip to the moon on GOSSAMER wings" was just One Of Those Things

85. Backstabbed : BETRAYED and 96. Biblical backstabber : JUDAS

87. Jungle chest-beater : APE who never 93. Treated very roughly : MAULED Fay Ray

90. Floral ring : LEI

91. Progress : STRIDES  

94. Yoplait competitor : DANNON

95. Cuba libre ingredient : COLA - Hmmm... what brand of COLA should I use?

97. Love, Italian-style : AMORE - "When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie"

100. Loop in a cattle drive : NOOSE

104. Think (over) : MULL

106. Arco de Constantino locale : ROMA - Isn't that building to the right famous too? 😁

108. Versatile NFL defenders : LBS - An average NFL LB weighs 235 LBS

109. "Nebraska" Oscar nominee : DERN - A wonderful movie about small town life and aging

111. Tight-lipped : MUM

114. Mythical bird : ROC

Hoping you don't need the Heimlich Maneuver after my commentary, let's hear from you, the Huddled Masses: