, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: November 2017


Nov 30, 2017

Thursday, November 30th 2017 Morton J. Mendelson

Theme: Split P's Soup - The clues form the theme with a vowel progression between the two P's

17A. Pap : MUSHY FOOD. About as appetizing as it sounds.

24A. Pep : GET UP AND GO. Nice phrase, difficult to parse from a partially-completed grid.

38A. Pip : DIE SPOT. I tried ONE SPOT first, but TEO'S and GERN at 31D and 24D respectively nudged me that something was amiss.

49A. Pop : MUSIC GENRE. "Pop" is often used derogatively, but there's something about a good pop song that lifts the soul.

60A. Pup : YOUNG SEAL. Had YOUNGSTER until nothing would work in the SW corner.

Good Morning from 39,000 feet!. It's cold outside, as the in-flight website shows:

I never cease to be amazed by technology. This wireless internet caper at this altitude is nothing more than dark magic and hocus-pocus to me.

Anyway, back to the puzzle. A nice alphabet progression from Morton, and four of the five theme entries are new to all the major puzzles which makes for a nice fresh feel to the grid.

Let's see what else catches the eye:


1. WC : LAV Common term in the UK, from whence I just returned. I can stop talking like Dick Van Dyke in "Mary Poppins" now.

4. Cardiff-born : WELSH

9. Many Dickens kids : WAIFS

14. Action film gun : UZI

15. Kauai greeting : ALOHA. Greeting and farewell. Handy word.

16. Northern home : IGLOO

19. Like hardened mud on boots : CAKED

20. Asks too many questions : PRIES

21. Central points : FOCI. Some prefer "focuses", but that's the verb, not the noun.

23. Mountain legend : YETI

30. Getting-started instruction : STEP ONE. Self-assembly furniture, the bane of modern life, usually starts with counting the screws, washers and what-not and finding yourself one short of something.

32. 1976 Dylan song about his first wife : SARA. I'd not heard this track before. When I listened to it, I would have sworn it was Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler if I didn't know it was Bob.

33. Like FM radio, typically : IN STEREO

36. Old lab heaters : ETNAS. We used Bunsen burners in school. Handy for setting fire to just about anything within reach, including your classmate's tie. I'm surprised we survived school sometimes. One of my friends once went home unawares with a flask of sulphuric acid in his overcoat pocket, slipped in there by another chum.

37. Playa __ Rey: L.A. community : DEL. Between the Marina and the airport. It's pretty peaceful in spite of the proximity to LAX.

41. Biol. or chem. : SCI. 

42. Places to find stacks : IHOPS. And blue roofs.

44. Some DVD bonus tracks : OUTTAKES. Some of the best parts of Pixer's movies are the specially-created "outtakes" that they run with the credits at the end of the film. The animators have a lot of fun with those.

46. Little dipper? : OREO We take Oreos by popular request to the UK when we visit. For some reason they're rather expensive over there. Also, the more unusual M&M flavors, Lawry's garlic salt and bean dip. It always fascinates the TSA guys when they open the bag.

47. Lovey-dovey : AMOROUS

51. Sounds of activity : HUMS

55. __ beer : NEAR. And pretty much pointless, in my humble opinion. Also known as "small beer." There's a tombstone in the grounds of Winchester Cathedral in England which serves as a dire warning against drinking this stuff. I was just there the other day.


56. Legendary moralist : AESOP

57. Angiogram image : AORTA

64. Counterintelligence targets : SPIES

65. The life of Paris? : LA VIE

66. Tre meno due : UNA. 3-2=1 in any language.

67. Disconcerting gaze : STARE. I get uncomfortable when cats stare at me. I know they're plotting something dire.

68. Stingray kin : SKATE

69. Salary : PAY


1. Like poorly made Cream of Wheat : LUMPY. Is this also pap?

2. Clear blue : AZURE

3. Stay and catch up : VISIT

4. Techniques : WAYS

5. "The Hobbit" being : ELF. "E" and wait for the crosses.

6. WC : LOO

7. "Homeland" channel, for short : SHO. Showtime.

8. Enjoyed themselves : HAD FUN

9. Contemporary pagan religion : WICCA

10. In contact with : AGAINST

11. Kind : ILK

12. A Capulet, to a Montague : FOE. Romeo and Juliet.

13. Cover for a bald spot? : SOD

18. Art theft, e.g. : HEIST. Art and bank vault robberies always seemed to be "heists". Everything else is plain old larceny.

22. Unlatch, poetically : OPE'

24. "Deadwood" actress Jewell : GERI

25. Fencing sword : EPÉE

26. "Should I have waited?" : TOO SOON? Often the question comes after a joke in bad taste regarding a recent tragic event.

27. Lenox china brand : DANSK. Crosses all the way.

28. Word with period or note : GRACE. One of these little notes on the stave. They're barely played before a quick segue into the note following.

29. It might be a mirage : OASIS

31. Koppel and others : TEDS

33. By the seat of one's pants, e.g. : IDIOM

34. Indira Gandhi's father : NEHRU. A lot of people think Mahatma Gandhi was Indira's father. Nehru was the first Prime Minister of India following independence from British rule.

35. Plumlike fruits : SLOES. Take a bottle of gin, a generous handful of sloes, prick the berries all over with a needle, steep in the gin for a few days or longer - voila, sloe gin.

36. Classic accusation : ET TU?

39. Be catty? : PURR

40. Missouri River native : OTOE

43. Laser device : POINTER. I've got one on my PowerPoint remote clicker for presentations. Dogs love chasing the red dot around the room.

45. Clambake leftovers : ASHES

47. Ottoman honorific : AGA

48. Ice dancing Olympic gold medalist Davis and Oscar winner Streep : MERYLS. I knew the actress, not the dancer.

50. Pull the plug on : CEASE

52. Run through : USE UP

53. 2016 Disney film set in the South Seas : MOANA. I think I saw film. By the fact I "think" I saw it probably means it wasn't a Disney classic.

54. Spread apart : SPLAY

56. Tommie of '60s-'70s baseball : AGEE. Nailed it!  Thanks to many crosswords under my belt.

57. Hee-hawing animal : ASS

58. Choose : OPT

59. Narrow inlet : RIA

61. Barrel wood : OAK

62. The Cavaliers of the ACC : UVA. University of Virginia, naturally.

63. It may be picked : NIT. But never, ever here at the Corner.

That about rounds it off. I'll leave you with this cloudscape in London last Sunday, and the grid. The iPhone really does take pretty good photos sometimes!


Nov 29, 2017

Wednesday, November 29, 2017, Claire Muscat and David Steinberg


Claire and David have given us a very clever Wednesday offering featuring Matroyshka DOLLS that stack up and nest inside each other as you can see here:

Husker Gary on duty for a tour of what our  two constructors have done graphically in their wonderful puzzle as you can see in the grid below. They have the letters for the word DOLL in the circles getting progressively and symmetrically closer and closer, until they culminate in the single word DOLL. (Could this reveal have worked without the circled DOLL letters?)

But wait, there's more! They have added the two adjectives that describe this arrangement - NESTING and STACKED in a very neat seven letter stack at the bottom (part of 7, 8, 9/9, 8, 7 letter corners) as shown in the reveals: 

42. With 68-Across, each successive one of a set graphically depicted by this puzzle's circles : NESTING - DO and LL eventually NESTING at the bottom

45. Arranged like the 68-Acrosses in the answers to starred clues are designed to be : STACKED - DO and LL STACKED until NESTING at the bottom. Other visuals for STACKED were considered but...

68. *See 42-Down : DOLL - Here is a seasonal Matroyshka set 

Pretty cool, huh?

Now let's look at the theme fill elements:

18. *Is unsuitable : DOESN'T FIT THE BILL - At first glance it might appear that Earl Boykin DOESN'T FIT THE BILL to play against Shaquille O'Neal

32. *Literary character with an evil alter ego : DOCTOR JEKYLL - John Barrymore transistioning from the good Doctor Jekyll to the evil Mr. Hyde in the 1920 silent movie of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic

50. *Threshold : DOOR SILL - This kitty is protecting hers!

Let's set off to see what else Claire and David have nested in this stack of clues


1. Schooner features : MASTS - or BEERS

6. Frosty coating : RIME

10. Shine : GLEAM

15. Advil competitor : ALEVE

16. __ of March : IDES - The soothsayer Spurinna warned Caesar to beware

17. EVE's companion, in a 2008 Pixar film : WALLE

21. "__ ideas?" : ANY

22. "Back to the Future" vehicle : DELOREAN - At 88 mph the question becomes not "Where is the DeLorean?" but "When is the DeLOREAN?"

23. Wild place : ZOO - Famous for much wild life in Lincoln, NE!

24. Rays or Jays : TEAM

26. RAM part : MEMORY - I remember when 64K of Random Access Memory was a big deal

27. First light : DAWN

28. Egyptian snake : ASP

30. Wide shoe spec : EEE - President Obama seems pretty impressed with the width and length of his Shaquille O'Neal autographed shoe

38. Anti-cruelty org. : PETA

39. "Hold up!" : WAIT

40. Radiate : EMIT

Bob Dylan
42. Twangy-voiced : NASAL - This guy's NASAL voice hasn't kept him from a big career 

43. Breakfast order : EGGS

44. BFFs : FAVES

46. Gets a glimpse of : ESPIES - Not in my verbal or written quiver 

48. Most innocent : PUREST

49. Canonized Mlle. : STE - Joan Of Arc may be the most famous one

55. Bus depot: Abbr. : STA - Marilyn Monroe starred in a 1956 movie about a Bus Depot in Tonganoxie, Kansas

56. Corrida opponent : TORO

58. Paddock sound : WHINNY

Walt and Hank
59. Hank's job on "Breaking Bad," briefly : NARC - Hank is not too happy with his meth cooking brother-in-law in this scene

60. Modern-day Persian : IRANI

62. Tiny annoyance : GNAT

63. Former One Direction singer Zayn __ : MALIK - No idea/interest

64. Frequent presidential candidate Ralph : NADER - You can't 67. Skim (over) : GLOSS over the fact that a lot of people didn't like Gore or Bush

65. Fairy tale baddie : OGRE - Except for Shrek

66. In reserve : ASIDE - How much money do you have set ASIDE for that inevitable rainy day?

69. Knight's horse : STEED


1. Angry with : MAD AT

2. Without assistance : ALONE

3. "Later!" : SEE YA - Wouldn't wanna BE YA!

4. Family room sets : TVS - We now have way more TV'S than the number of channels we  used to have

5. Final email step : SEND - Think before you hit SEND!!

6. Search quickly through : RIFLE

7. Figure of speech : IDIOM

8. Way around D.C. : METRO - A 10 min. Uber ride would have taken a half hour on the METRO for us in March

9. Perfume compound : ESTER

10. No Doubt lead singer Stefani : GWEN - Now, her I know!

11. Chocolate dog : LAB

12. "My Fair Lady" heroine : ELIZA - Here is Wendy Hiller as ELIZA in the 1938 non-musical movie Pymaglion. A role that Audrey Hepburn later made famous.

13. Let happen : ALLOW

14. Fruit that's still a fruit when two of its letters are switched : MELON - Switch the first and third letters and you get my first car

19. What sirens may do : TEMPT - Greek mythology tells of these creatures who used enchanting music and lovely voices to lure sailors to their doom on rocky shores

20. Actress Salma : HAYEK

25. Chinese liquor brand : MAOTAI - Alexander Haig warned President Nixon to not actually drink any of this very potent liquor during toasts. Dan Rather called it "liquid razor blades"

27. San Diego suburb : DEL MAR - A city of 4,356 whose name means "By The Sea" and is home to a famous horse racetrack 

29. Climbed : SCALED

31. The Eiffel Tower, aptly? : EYEFUL - Cute! Granddaughter did not go up the tower last week because of the daunting lines

32. Western outlaw : DESPERADO

33. Be indebted to : OWE

34. Cleaning cloth : RAG

35. Irish dance : JIG - For some reason a guy is doing pushups while the girls are dancing a JIG

36. "Close Encounters" beings : ETS - I loved the cantina scene from Star Wars

37. Hides one's true self : LIVES A LIE - Fewer people have to do this now

38. Idyllic : PASTORAL

41. Take for a first drive : TEST RIDE - Al Pacino played a blind man who took a Ferrari for a TEST RIDE in Scent Of A Woman

47. Farm mom : SOW

48. Tissue layer : PLY - Some schools save money with single PLY toilet tissue. Yikes!

51. "What a nightmare!" : OH GOD

52. Fab Four drummer : RINGO - The luckiest man in Rock 'n Roll history?

53. [Don't touch my bone!] : SNARL

54. Info a spy might gather : INTEL

57. Dollar bills : ONES

59. Condé __ : NAST - The man who is credited with giving us our modern version of Santa Claus with this 1881 drawing in Harper's Bazaar

61. Recipient of much Apr. mail : IRS

63. More, in Madrid : MAS Esas son todas las pistas. No hay más. (That's all the clues. There are no more.)

Now feel free to stack and nestle your comments:

Nov 28, 2017

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 ~ Agnes Davidson & C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Do Not Fold, Staple, Spindle, or Mutilate - Okay, these four entries you can FOLD.

17A. Sunbather's spread: BEACH TOWEL. Shake your beach towel well be for folding.

29A. Cards to bet on: POKER HAND. LOL, you fold your poker hand if you don't have the cards to bet on.

45A. Brunch dish: HAM OMELET. Please mix the ham with the eggs before you fold it.

61A. Coupe-back contraption: RUMBLE SEAT. Folded up when not in use. Good place for backseat drivers.

39D. Instructions next to a perforated line ... or a hint to 17-, 29-, 45- and 61-Across: FOLD HERE

Argyle here. I have started my Christmas season with this present from Irish Miss and C.C.


1. "House" actor Epps: OMAR. See yesterday's puzzle.

5. Plant-sucking insect: APHID

10. Gala affair: BALL. Could be a BAsh.

14. Went by bus: RODE. No rumble seat but ... .

15. Wear away: ERODE

16. __ Day VitaCraves Multivitamins: ONE A

19. Spelling contests: BEEs

20. Intended: MEANT

21. Lend support to: AID

23. Wrestling surface: MAT

24. "In case you weren't listening ... ": "AS I SAID ... "

26. Like lambs: OVINE

28. Pat-on-the-baby's-back intended result: [BURP!]. I like that intended result.

32. Cut and pasted, say: EDITED

35. New York Harbor's __ Island: ELLIS

36. Penpoint: NIB

37. Tough problem: DILEMMA

39. Evergreen tree: FIR. Got your Christmas tree yet?

42. Jelly beans, e.g.: CANDY. Alternate clue: Canes for your fir.

43. Waiting for customer support, often: ON HOLD

49. Singer Fitzgerald: ELLA

50. Speak from the soapbox: ORATE

51. "Help!"-ful pot scrubbers?: S.O.S PADS

54. Texter's "I'm shocked!": [OMG!]. (Oh My Goodness)

55. Down in the dumps: SAD

58. Glee: MIRTH

59. Movie "Citizen": KANE

65. Yet again: ANEW

66. "Ditto": "ME, TOO!"

67. Try to persuade: URGE

68. "Women and Love" writer Shere: HITEA book report.

69. What Buffy does: SLAYS. TV show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and she does.

70. Lowly worker: PEON


1. Poet's planet: ORB

2. Stooge with Larry and Curly: MOE

3. Tracy/Hepburn battle-of-the-sexes comedy: ADAM'S RIB

4. Proof of purchase: RECEIPT

5. Insurance giant: AETNA

6. Bit of expert advice: PRO TIP

7. "__ about that!": HOW

8. It's in your head: IDEA

9. Cold-cuts seller: DELI

10. Songwriter Dylan: BOB. HO, Ho, Ho! He didn't wrte this one.

11. Iron-poor blood condition: ANEMIA

12. Womack of country: LEE ANN

13. Withstood wear and tear: LASTED

18. Consumes: HAS

22. Wilde's "The Picture of __ Gray": DORIAN. First published complete in 1890. Wiki LINK

24. German automaker: AUDI

25. Large, innocent-looking peepers: DOE EYES

27. VCR format: VHS. (VideoCassette Recorder/Video Home System)

28. Batman player Affleck: BEN. Don't tell anyone but he's really Bruce Wayne.

30. Dutch airline: KLM. Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij N.V.

31. Red Muppet: ELMO

33. "My Cup Runneth Over" singer: ED AMES

34. Eat in style: DINE

38. Cholesterol letters: LDL. (Low-density lipoprotein) Bad one.

40. Afflictions: ILLS

41. Nutritionist's fig.: RDA. (Recommended Dietary Allowances)

42. Camp bed: COT

44. Warms, as canned soup: HEATS UP

45. Pipe smoked in trendy bars: HOOKAH. If a hookah smoking caterpillar has given you the call ... Call Alice 555-4321

46. Fashion designer Giorgio: ARMANI

47. Fridge sticker: MAGNET. But not the ones with stainless steel doors.

48. Peppermint Patty, for one: TOMBOY. "Guess what, Chuck. Disaster time. Our teacher wants us to read a book during Christmas vacation."

52. Farm facilities: SILOs. Just down the road from me.

53. Opposite of post-: PRE

56. Hugging limbs: ARMS

57. Paces-and-pistols encounter: DUEL

60. Meadow mom: EWE

62. LIRR overseer: MTA. (Long Island Rail Road/Metropolitan Transportation Authority)

63. In the past: AGO

64. Boxing count: TEN. "He's out!"


Nov 27, 2017

Monday, November 27, 2017 ~ Mark McClain

Theme: The Three Amigos - synonyms.

20A. Seaside shade provider: BEACH UMBRELLA

37A. Philatelist's volumes: STAMP ALBUMS

44A. Practice that develops a variety of employee skills: JOB ROTATION

59A. Kid's imaginary companions, and what's literally found in this puzzle's circles: SECRET FRIENDS

Argyle here. Bit more secret with out the circles but you should know where to look for them, spanning the two words. Definitely a male slant to the entries but are there feminine equivalents?


1. The "m" in E = mc²: MASS. This formula states that the equivalent energy (E) can be calculated as the mass (m) multiplied by the speed of light (c) squared.

5. Put into force: ENACT

10. Wood-shaping tool: ADZE

14. Severely damaged sea: ARAL

15. Morning show featuring Al Roker: TODAY

16. Drubbed or whipped: BEAT

17. Calf-length skirt: MIDI

18. Lady's canine love: TRAMP. "Lady and the Tramp" Disney Movie (1955)

19. Omar of "The Mod Squad": EPPS. Popular guy in crossword land.

23. Bone: Pref.: OSTEO

24. Second person: YOU. I am first person.

25. Grammy category: RAP

28. "Don't play" music symbols: RESTS

32. "I'll do that!": "LET ME!"

34. Opposite of pos.: NEG.

40. Soothing succulent: ALOE

42. Inclined: ATILT. 'A' words. 53D. Come to light: ARISE

43. Sitter's nemesis: BRAT

47. Letters after ems: ENS. Alphabetically speaking.

48. "Not __!": "Quiet!": A PEEP

49. Macho guy: HEMAN

51. Not agin: FER

52. Musician's gift: EAR

55. Curriculum __: résumé: VITAE

64. Remove a rind from: PEEL

66. "Ask me if __": I CARE

67. Pigeon banter: COOS

68. Drops the ball: ERRs

69. Country south of Egypt: SUDAN

70. French I verb: ÊTRE. (to be)

71. Path behind a ship: WAKE

72. Poet's muse: ERATO

73. Taken in, as a movie: SEEN


1. Cuban dance: MAMBO

2. Spring zodiac sign: ARIES

3. '70s-'80s Egyptian president Anwar: SADAT. Ended in assassination.

4. Deli machine: SLICER

5. Caesar's ides-of-March words: "ET TU?"

6. Good name for an average guy: NORM

7. Not much (of): A DAB

8. Top-selling Toyota: CAMRY

9. Blood bank spec: TYPE 'O'

10. Second son: ABEL

11. Act of leaving: DEPARTURE

12. Microwave: ZAP

13. Sci-fi beings: ETs

21. Long-handled garden tools: HOEs

22. Break in the action: LULL

26. Capital of Jordan: AMMAN

27. Annoying types: PESTS

29. "Now!" in the OR: "STAT!"

30. Brit's sign-off: TA-TA

31. Northampton women's college: SMITH. Smith College is in Northampton,MA. Established 1871 (opened 1875).

33. Flow back: EBB

34. City south of Baghdad: NAJAF. Minneapolis and Najaf are Sister Cities since 2009.

35. Wed on the wing: ELOPE

36. Lose it big-time: GO BERSERK

38. Ballet dip: PLIÉ

39. Tiny physics bit: ATOM

41. Poetic palindrome: ERE

45. Oil gp. that includes Iraq: OPEC. (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries)

46. "Avatar" race: NA'VI. The movie.

50. Nephews' sisters: NIECEs

54. Happen multiple times: RECUR

56. Govt. security: T-NOTE

57. Love dearly: ADORE

58. German steel city: ESSEN. "European Green Capital 2017"

60. Beyond that: ELSE

61. "Look what I did!": "TA-DA!"

62. Group with pledges: FRAT. (college fraternity)

63. Nevada gambling city: RENO

64. Church bench: PEW

65. Notable time: ERA


Nov 26, 2017

Sunday Nov 26, 2017 Erik Agard

Theme: - "Outside Shots" - PIC bookends each theme entry.

24A. *Trademark on Sealy's home page : POSTUREPEDIC. See here. I presume they just trademarked the name, not the technology.

38A. *Like the "Hunger Games" trilogy : POST-APOCALYPTIC

45A. *1998 Bullock/Kidman film involving sorcery : PRACTICAL MAGIC. Never saw the movie.

60A. *Certain pie lover : PIZZAHOLIC. Do you guys love Hawaiian Pizzas?

64A. *One might help find a lost animal : PET PSYCHIC. Our local WCCO used to have a psychic on from time to time. Not just a pet psychic. She dealt with all kinds of questions.
80A. *Checkout choice : PAPER OR PLASTIC. I always bag myself.

88A. *Furry, green baseball mascot : PHILLIE PHANATIC. Alliteration. This will bring a big smile to Barry Silk.

104A. *Like a 107-Down : PHOTOGRAPHIC.

Reveal entry:

107. Shot surrounding the answers to starred clues : PIC

Veteran solvers can often figure out the theme without the reveal. But often editors require constructors to put a reveal in the lower right, just in case some of the newbies can not grok the theme.

Erik's puzzles are often tricky and nuanced. His grids often have an extra layer. At times, he also makes this type of simple but fresh themes. Treat yourself with his Food for Thought. 

Our grid today is also very Erik, clean and modern. And as always, he debuted a few new sparkly entries. Not often do we see a pair of 11's, 10's, paralled 9's, four 8's fill in Down fill alone.


1. Security gp. with wands : TSA. And 96. 1-Across check : SCAN.  Not an ideal cross-reference due to TSA abbr.

4. They can print rcpts. with check images : ATMs

8. Hooch : BOOZE

13. __ Spumante : ASTI

17. Minor league ice org. : AHL. American Hockey League. Calder Cup for the champions.

18. Asked too much : PRIED

20. Chinchilla, e.g. : RODENT

22. Give temporarily : LOAN. Had LEND first.

23. Los Angeles athlete : RAM

26. Lamb pen name : ELIA. Charles Lamb.

27. "Show me the evidence!" : PROVE IT. Great fill.

29. Green Giant morsels : PEAS

30. Some oral meds : GEL CAPS

32. Perfect places : EDENs

33. Nearly 25% of a marathon : TEN K. About 6.2 miles.

34. Marvin Gaye's label : TAMLA. Unknown to me.

36. Understand : SEE

37. "We need to talk" : A WORD. Partial clue would be easier for me.

41. Chocolate __ cake : LAVA

42. Oinker : PIG

43. Is yet to be decided : PENDS

44. Descartes' sum : I AM. I think, therefore I am. I like our Jayce's interpretation. His "donc" makes more sense to me.

49. Make it necessary to decrypt : ENCODE

52. Pepper typically hotter than a jalapeño : SERRANO. I planted them once. The shifted to Thai peppers the next year.

53. Paddle : OAR

54. Conestoga traveler : WAGONER

55. Bars in aisles, briefly : UPC

56. Good name for a funeral director? : MORT. Thought of D-Otto's pop.

57. See 80-Down : BEAR. And 80. With 57-Across, storied hot-porridge eater : PAPA

59. "Ugh, I've heard enough" : TMI
67. "Law & Order: __" : SVU. I've only watched "Law & Order".

68. Walk with a pack : HIKE

69. Brown rectangle? : QUAD. Brown University.

70. "Ben-__" : HUR

71. Outlook alternative : AOL MAIL. Both Rich Norris and Will Shortz use AOL.

74. Joe dispenser : URN

75. Part-time player : SEMI-PRO. Same letter count as AMATEUR.

79. Most loyal : TRUEST

84. "Every kiss begins with __": jeweler's slogan : KAY

85. Trash : WASTE

86. Long swimmer : EEL. The most delicious food in the world!

87. Gauge on the dash : TACH

93. Toast opener : HERE'S

94. Swanson on "Parks and Recreation" : RON

95. Retract : UNSAY
97. Bespectacled "Scooby-Doo" character : VELMA. Stranger to me.

98. Downward dog surface : YOGA MAT. Another sparkly 7-letter fill.

100. Two-part tune : DUET

101. Mechanics' jobs : REPAIRS. Wish I were efficient as Splynter/TTP/D-Otto. They DYI everything. I could not even take out a bad deck board.

103. Ends' partners : ODDS

108. Came into : GOT

109. End of a bed : FOOT

110. Classic palindrome ending : PANAMA. A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!

111. Tuscan hill city : SIENA

112. "__ takers?" : ANY

113. Acronymic anxiety about being excluded from the fun : FOMO. Fear of Missing Out.

114. Progress tracker : METER

115. Team of players : CAST

116. Veto : NIX


1. Rain delay cover : TARP

2. Some free downloads : SHAREWARE

3. "Talk to Her" Oscar-winning screenwriter Pedro : ALMODOVAR. Probably the most famous Spanish filmmaker. "Volver".

4. Tack on : APPEND

5. One below quatre : TROIS. "Quatre" is hard to pronounce for me.

6. Ocean spray : MIST

7. Chess player's pride : SET
8. Lose cohesion : BREAK APART. Opposite 69. TV drama partly set on a Louisiana farm : QUEEN SUGAR. A great pair of 10's in the middle.

9. "My bad" : OOPS

10. Tribute in verse : ODE

11. Alphabetiser's ending : ZED

12. Puzzles : ENIGMAS

13. Guinness of "Star Wars" : ALEC
14. Embarrassingly outdated : SO LAST MONTH. Fresh fill.

15. Tamsui River capital : TAIPEI. Tamsui means "freshwater". Sui=Water, same as the Shui in Feng shui.
16. "Gimme one moment" : IN A SEC

19. Fools : DUPES

21. Protective lymphocyte : T CELL

25. Pay for a pad : RENT

28. City named by Cortés : VERACRUZ. Got via crosses.

31. Placing, as bricks : LAYING

33. Ancient wrap : TOGA

34. Author Morrison : TONI

35. Power couple? : AC DC. Nailed it.

37. Swiss high points : ALPS

38. __ de gallo : PICO. Looks so fresh.

39. Board game piece : PEG

40. Rabanne of fashion : PACO. Unfamiliar figure to me.

42. Go to bat (for) : PINCH HIT

46. Spanish snack : TAPA

47. Barracks officer, slangily : LOOIE

48. Artist Chagall : MARC

49. Another name for abalone : EAR SHELL. Makes sense. It does look like an ear.

50. God head? : DEMI. Demigod.

51. Benét or Bellinger of R&B : ERIC

54. Hip-hop hitmaker Fetty __ : WAP
56. "Letter from Birmingham Jail" initials : MLK

57. Bingo relative : BEANO. Notice Rich never used "Gas remedy" or something similar?

58. Airport screen no. : ETD

60. H.S. exam : PSAT

61. Novello for whom British music-writing awards are named : IVOR. Used to stump me.

62. Former South African monarchy : ZULU KINGDOM. Another fresh fill.

63. Engine stuff : OIL

64. Engine sound : PURR
65. Arizona retirement city : YUMA

66. Comedian Alonzo's self-named sitcom : CRISTELA. Wiki says "She is the first Latina woman to create, produce, write, and star in her own US network show".

72. Square serving? : MEAL

73. Refuge : ASYLUM

75. What a script may be written on : SPEC

76. Grouse family bird : PTARMIGAN. So well-blended.

77. Pilaf-like product : RICE-A- RONI

78. Publisher Adolph : OCHS

81. Pale : ASHY

82. School gp. : PTA

83. Free __: carte blanche : REIN

85. The Irons of soccer's Premier League : WEST HAM. Wiki says "The club was founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks and reformed in 1900 as West Ham United". Irons sounds better than Ham.

88. Remove with force : PRY OFF

89. African American folk magic : HOODOO

90. Like Candy Crush purchases : IN-APP. In-app purchases.

91. Taiwanese PC brand : ACER. I'm using one.

92. Lines at the door? : TA TAs. Not the Black Friday lines.

93. Jazz devotee : HEPCAT

97. Blood lines : VEINS. Literally.

99. Regarding : AS TO

100. Head : DOME

101. Long-necked pampas bird : RHEA

102. River of Hades : STYX

105. First character in this clue : ONE. The clue number 105.

106. Bit of body art : TAT


Here are a few more sweet photos of Lemonade's cute grand kids. Owen sure grows up quickly.

One more sweet picture of JD's grandsons:

Left to Right: Grady (Truman's little brother), Truman, Cameron and Dylan (Cameron's little brother)