Jul 19, 2018

Thursday, July 19th 2018 Gail Grabowski and Bruce Venzke

Theme: On/Off Switch - replacing one with the other in the theme entries, to whit:

17A. Exhale over scalding coffee?: BLOW ON STEAM. I can't get started without a nice cup of hot Joe. I cracked my (glass) french press this morning ignoring the instructions not to stir the grounds with a metal spoon. I just ordered a stainless steel replacement. That solves one problem.

27A. Discontinue slanted material in articles?: CUT OFF THE BIAS. To cut on the bias is a tailoring term, cutting on a diagonal across the weave.

45A. Visit some animal shelter residents?: CALL ON THE DOGS. My brother and his wife vacation each year on Skiathos, one of the Greek islands. The local animal shelter lets registered visitors take a dog out for a walk, for a fee - a kind of "Rent-a-Dog" service.

61A. Delay passing a congressional bill?: PUT OFF AN ACT. Which is what a filibuster is for. Great word, by the way.

When you see Gail and Bruce on a by-line, you know that you're in for a smooth experience. These two are pros at the constructing game. This one is no exception (although I do have one Yuk! moment, more on that shortly). A nice theme, nothing contrived.

I do question the central PODIUMS entry being clued in the same way as the theme entries (the ..? convention) - it bugged me that it had nothing to do with the theme, but was front and center as if it did. Unless I missed something, entirely possible!

Without further ado, let's go and see what jumps out.


1. New England sch.: UMASS. Didn't even blink! University of Massachusetts.

6. Dominant: ALPHA

11. Chest protector: BIB

14. Up: RISEN

15. Stunt cyclist, e.g.: DARER. This is my "yuk!" moment. Technically correct, but "in the language?" Not so much, IMHO.

16. Valuable extraction: ORE

19. Bit of muesli: OAT

20. Mariners' home, familiarly: SAFECO. Safeco Field, home of Seattle Mariners baseball. It's on the waterfront next door to the football and soccer stadium. Great locations, both.

21. Bilingual subj.: E.S.L. English as a Second Language.

22. July 4th events, briefly: BBQS

23. Five-O cop: DANO. The one with the book.

25. James or Jones of jazz: ETTA

32. Letters of urgency: ASAP. It seems to go without saying in my business world. Everyone wants everything yesterday, and mainly for free.

34. Long of "In Too Deep": NIA. Thank you crosses. Here she is:

35. Broad neckwear: ASCOT. I got tripped up a little here as I had "BARB" for Ms. Streisand before I came back to this one.

36. One in an airport queue: CAB

37. Talking points?: PODIUMS

40. Memorable 1969 bride: ONO

41. Harry's Hogwarts nemesis: DRACO. Potter, meet your nemesis, Malfoy. I think that's right. He's pretty slick at the old "occlumency" thing, apparently.

43. Letters in an unfilled sched. slot: TBA. Could have been TBD, my first thought. Wasn't.

44. From the top: ANEW

49. Classroom "I know! I know!": OH! OH!

50. First name in country: REBA. McEntire.

51. Did a number: SANG. Reba's probably done one or two in her time.

54. Small application: DAB

56. Ear inflammation: OTITIS. I swear it was OTOSIS, so that was a bump in the road for a moment.

60. Fire: AXE. Not a fire axe? No, not a fire axe, The pink slip kind of axe.

63. General Mills cereal: KIX

64. Metal giant: ALCOA. Aluminium. Heh heh - that's cool, no objection from Spellcheck.

65. Debate topic: ISSUE

66. Id follower?: EST

67. Conductor Zubin: MEHTA. Here he is leading the LA Phil through Mozart's Bassoon Concerto K.191.

68. Arms treaty subj.: N-TEST


1. Cities, informally: URBS. I like this - if the suburbs are a distance from the city, the city must be the urb. Awesome.

2. Kunis of "Black Swan": MILA

3. Starting on: AS OF

4. Clinched: SEWED UP. Vive d'equipe de France! Allez Les Bleus! France clinched the World Cup last Sunday with a win over less-fancied Croatia. Formidable! They day after Bastille Day too.

5. Treaded winter vehicle: SNO-CAT

6. Wikipedia lacks them: ADS. I thought of EDS first, in spite of knowing full well that there are editors. I'll give these folks a plug - when they have their next fundraiser, consider contributing. No amount too small.

7. Untimely?: LATE

8. Like alarm clocks: PRE-SET. 

9. Part of HMO: HEALTH. Maintenance Organization.

10. Half of a very high price?: ARM. Add the leg and you're emptying your wallet. Can you pay a leg for a moderately high-priced item?

11. Schmo: BOOB

12. Green Zone country: IRAQ

13. Action at the track: BETS

18. "That's all wrong!": NO! NO! NO!

22. Streisand, in fanzines: BABS. Not BARB. My bad.

24. "The Wizard __": OF ID. Trap well and truly fallen into. Not Oz. I love the strip:

26. They usually end up in hot water: TEAS. Teabags was my first thought, I wasn't a million miles off.

27. Plotting group: CABAL

28. Hill of country: FAITH. More country singers. She should do a duet with Reba. Actually, I just found that she did. You can go look for it if you like, it's on YouTube.

29. iPhone array: ICONS. I used to create icons as a programmer back in the day when you had a canvas of only 16x16 dots and 255 colors. I think I spent too much time messing around with Paintbrush, and not enough time testing my code, in hindsight.

30. Top-drawer: A-ONE

31. Stash: STOW

32. Adapter letters: AC/DC

33. "Waitress" Tony nominee Bareilles: SARA. More gratitude to the cross-Gods from me. I should send 'em a thank-you gift.

37. "Hunny" lover: POOH. Tiggers don't like it though, as wonderfully drawn by E.H. Shepard.

38. Lyft alternative: UBER

39. Fashioned from: MADE OF

42. Heavy shoe: CLOG

44. Saying nay to: AGAINST

46. Plant root growth: NODULE

47. Pastoral roofing: THATCH. I lived in a thatched cottage before I moved to the US. It's been extended and refurbished since I lived there, but still very much recognizable. Thanks to Google Spy - I mean Maps - for the update.

48. Get one's hands on: OBTAIN

51. Sushi go-with: SAKE. I've got a nice selection in the pantry and the fridge for when the sushi moment strikes.

52. Allies' enemy: AXIS. Germany, Italy and Japan in WWII, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey in WWI.

53. Coming right up: NEXT

55. One in an UGG box: BOOT. Apparently you can't buy new, genuine Uggs from an eBay store It's against the retailer agreement to sell them on auction sites. So now you know.

57. Shock, in a way: TASE

58. Post-op areas: ICU'S

59. "Leave it in" mark: STET. When pundits, recently, were calling for Dele Alli to be dropped from the England World Cup soccer team, I started calling him "Stet" Alli. I thought it was funny. Apparently I was in a minority of one.

61. Bobby's wife on "Dallas": PAM. She had the permanently-surprised look and acted with her eyebrows. Linda Gray, who portrayed JR's wife, emoted primarily with her chin.

62. Pilot-licensing org.: F.A.A. Federal Aviation Authority.

And - here's the grid.

This blog now complete, errors and omissions excepted. Just need to post my new disclaimer:

Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information provided on the Thursday Blog, whether disseminated via browser, social media sites and/or mobile applications, Blogger Steve makes no express or implied warranty as to the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information. Blogger Steve provides this information via all online services and platforms on an "as is" basis. While there may be changes to information on topics covered on the Thursday Blog, these changes may or may not be made available electronically on the main page.

There, that should cover my ass this week. Here's the grid!


Jul 18, 2018

Wednesday, July 18, 2018 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: The Great Park Adventure.  The Theme answers in this unusual grid can be combined with the word PARK to yield a meaningful phrase.  The brilliant aspect to it is that the sense of the word PARK is different in each instance.  Let's have a look.

1 D. *It may be political: SCIENCE.  Political SCIENCE is a field of study.  Whether it is an actual SCIENCE is a debate I will not engage at this time.  And politics is outside the limits of discussion on this blog, so caution is advised.  A SCIENCE PARK or RESEARCH PARK is a location where organizations devoted to the study of various aspects of SCIENCE are clustered.

6 D. *Period in the Age of Reptiles: JURASSIC.  This period lasted 46 million years, from 201 to 145 million years ago, when it was succeeded by the Cretaceous Period.  It began with a major extinction event which wiped out over half of all species known to have existed at that time. Two additional, but less severe, mass extinctions happened during the period. JURASSIC PARK is a science fiction movie, based on a book of the same title by Michael Crichton, in which dinosaurs are cloned from the DNA in fossilized remains, and much mayhem ensues.  There are several sequels in the franchise.  The subject PARK is a cross between a theme PARK and a nature PARK, but since it's used as a fiction title, I'll grant it it's own category.

11 D. *New Orleans time zone: CENTRAL.  The continental U.S. has 4 time zones, Eastern, CENTRAL, Mountain and Pacific.  This zone contains all of 9 states, and parts of 6 others.  CENTRAL PARK is located in Manhattan, New York City.  I'm sure it's the best known of New York's municipal PARKS, and was surprised to learn it is only the 5th largest.  It was established in 1857 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962.  I also went to CENTRAL Catholic High School in Toledo many decades ago, but that's off topic.

13 D. *Deep __: SOUTH.  This is a geographic and cultural region of the southern United States, not necessarily defined by state boundaries.  Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas are generally included, along with all or parts of other neighboring states.  SOUTH PARK is an animated TV show for adults, set in the fictional eponymous city, that features satire via dark, surreal humor on a variety of mature topics.

15 D. *Main idea: THEME.  The major topic of a talk, written work or exhibition.  A THEME PARK is an amusement park with a unifying idea or setting.  The Disney PARKS spring to mind. 

And, of course, the unifier -- 54A. Completes a road test maneuver ... or the answers to starred clues, as arranged: PARALLEL PARKS.  This is a parking maneuver in which the vehicle ends up parallel to the street edge or curb.  I used to be pretty good at this, but cannot remember having done it in many, many years.  In this uniquely designed grid, all the above mentioned PARKS are oriented vertically and parallel to each other.  And, as a no-extra-charge bonus, the puzzle is also a pangram, with 6 letters occurring one time each.  IMHO, this is quite stellar.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa in the driver's seat.  Let's take a cruise through the rest of this puzzle.


1. Moo __ pork: SHU.  Sounds like it should be beef, and actually can also be either that or chicken.  This is a northern Chinese dish of stir fried meat, onions and eggs, wrapped in thin pancakes and served over rice.

4. Low-level employment: MCJOB.  Had this entry the last time I blogged.  A lousy job with low pay and limited prospects.

9. Starz competitor: TMCThe Movie Channel.  These are cable channels featuring movies as regular programming.

12. Police: COPS. Slangily.

14. Sweet text: I LUV U.  Because I LOVE YOU has way too many letters.  Possibly influenced by the 1965 Tony Award winning play and resulting 1967 movie romantic comedy LUV.  Or maybe not.

15. "No argument": TRUE.  I agree; amen brother.

16. "Don't make __ hard!": IT SO.  Somehow, I always manage to avoid the easy way.

17. Drew (in): LURED. Was attracted to.

18. Backwoods possessive: HIS'N.  Well, y'all, I ain't so sure 'bout this'n.

19. "__, Brute?": ET TU.  Big Julie's lament, when he was done in by his friends for being too ambitious.

20. Some ski lifts: T-BARS. These are devices which push the skier up the slope by providing a bar on which to sit or lean.

21. "It is the __, and Juliet is the sun": Romeo: EAST.  In this bright metaphor, Romeo refers not only to Juliets's beauty, but also suggests that her affection has relieved the darkness of his rejection by Rosaline.

22. "How cool!": NEATO.  Well done, Will!

24. Former JFK lander: SST. Super Sonic Transport - commercial passenger aircraft that traveled faster than the speed of sound.  The last flight was in 2003.

25. "Burnt" pigment: UMBER.  Raw UMBER is a brown earth pigment containing oxides of iron and manganese.   Heat transforms this into the more richly colored red-brown burnt UMBER by dehydrating the iron oxide.

26. Comic strip woman who married Irving: CATHY.

27. Baja bear: OSO. Spanish is spoken in Baja California.

28. Mac: FELLA.  Just some guy.

29. Language suffix: -ESE.  Englandese, Germanese, Francese.  This isn't working.

30. Prefaced: LED INTO.  Preceded whatever ensued.

33. Au pair's subj.: ESL.  A foreign person who provides housework and/or baby sitting services in exchange for room and board.  So that person might study English as a Second Language.

34. Many Olympic events: RACES. Running, swimming, various down-hill events

35. Wolfs (down): SCARFS. Gobbles, devours.

40. Vistula River city: KRAKOW.  Second largest city in Poland, and an academic, cultural and artistic center that dates from the 7th century.  Early settlements there go back to the stone age.

46. Chef's hat: TOQUE.  Does the hat matter as much as what's under it?

47. Little untruth: FIB.

50. Ewe-ish?: OVINE.  Does this one have Jeffrey feeling sheepish?  How wool we ever know?

51. Uncertainty: DOUBT.   Maybe; maybe not.

52. Master: ACE.  Someone who exhibits excellent skills.

53. Medieval weapons: MACES.  A MACE is a heavy club with a metal hear and spikes.

57. Game before the finals: SEMI. Game involving the last four eligible teams.  The winners move on to the finals.

58. Doughnut finish: GLAZE.  A mixture of confectioner's sugar in milk, applied to a fresh donut and allowed to dry.. 

59. Analogy words: IS TO.  A is to B as Y is to Z.

61. __ II razor: TRAC.  A double-bladed razor.

62. One wearing gloves to work: BOXER.  An athlete who engages in pugilistics.

63. Poolroom array: CUES.  Sticks used to strike the CUE balls.

64. Tax form IDs: SSNSSocial Security Numbers.

65. Pipsqueak: TWERP.  An insignificant silly and annoying person.

66. Omar of "House": EPPS. [b 1973] American actor, rapper, song writer and record producer.


2. Starbucks purchases: HOT TEAS. Alternatives to coffees.

3. Lake Placid, vis-a-vis New York City: UPSTATE.  A place or area farther north, from the coast, or at a higher elevation from one's present location.

4. Jazz vibraphonist Jackson: MILT. [1923 - 1999] His nickname was "Bags."

5. Spritzer mixer: CLUB SODA.  Carbonated water with either potassium carbonate, potassium sulfate or both added to enhance flavor.

7. Intimation: OVERTONE.  A subtle quality, implication or connotation.

8. Blossoms-to-be: BUDS.  a BUD is a growth element on a plant that develops into a leaf, flower or shoot.

9. Subject to court judgment: TRIABLE.  Able to be put on trial.

10. Common paella ingredients: MUSSELS.  Edible marine bivalve mollusks.

23. Skinny toon Olive: OYL.

25. Mysterious craft: UFO. Unidentified Flying Objects, typically suspected of being of extra-terrestrial origin.

31. Stammering sounds: ERS.  Along with ems and ums.

32. Disapproving sound: TSK.  Tongue clucking sounds.

35. Criterion: Abbr.: STD.  Standard, or benchmark against which something may be judged..

36. Craftsmen paid by the barrel?: COOPERS.   They make and repair barrels and casks.

37. Atlantis dweller of comics: AQUAMAN.  I mis-read this as Atlanta dweller, and was vary confused.  He first appeared in MORE FUN COMICS #73 [November, 1941]; then in the late 50's became a founding member of The Justice League.

38. Protocols: RUBRICS.  Statements of policies, purpose or action.

39. Greek cheese: FETA. A Greek white cheese made from the milk of ewes or goats.

41. Tomato variety: ROMA.  A firm, meaty, flavorful tomato, suitable for canning and making paste and sauce.

42. Greed: AVARICE.  Extreme covetous materialism.

43. Creates, as a fuss: KICKS UP.

44. Ragtime dance: ONE STEP.  Shortest direct route from A to B?  With possible KICKING UP.

45. Director Craven: WES.  Best known for horror films of the slasher variety.

47. Uncultivated, as farmland: FALLOW.  Plowed, but left unsown, to restore fertility as a part of crop rotation.

48. Mountaineer's aid: ICE AXE.  Item used by climbers to cut footholds in the ice.  It has a fead with one flat and one pointed end, and a spike on the foot.

49. Richard of "Law & Order: SVU": BELZER. [b 1944] American actor, author and comedian.

55. Pride parade letters: LGBTLesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgendered.  The initialism has been adopted as self-identification by those so described, and is intended to emphasize the the diversity of sexuality and gender identity-based cultures.

56. Heist puller: PERP.  The original meaning of a term [that we have adopted here for some fell purpose of our own] is as the PERPETRATOR of a crime, i.e. the guilty party.

57. City map parts: Abbr.: STS.  Along with Aves. Blvds. and Pkwys.

60. CIA predecessor: OSSOffice of Strategic Services, founded in 1942 to coordinate espionage activities behind enemy lines for all armed forces branches.  other functions included the use of propaganda, subversion and post-war planning.  It was dissolved by President Truman in 1945, and it's functions assigned to other agencies.  In 1946 the Central Intelligence Group was formed by the Presidnet.  The National Security act of 1947 established the Central Intelligence Agency, which then took up OSS functions.

Having completed our maneuver, we are now safely PARKED at the finish line of this UNPARALLELED puzzle.  Hope you enjoyed the excursion.

Cool regards!

Jul 17, 2018

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 Craig Stowe


17. *Air Force topper: FLIGHT CAP.
24. *Subconscious revelation: FREUDIAN SLIP.
The police aren't here to create disorder, they're here to preserve disorder.  - Richard Daley

39. *Solution for an itchy Spot?: FLEA DIP.

52. *Escapes: FLIES THE COOP.

63. Opposites, and what the answers to starred clues literally contain: FLIP SIDES.


1. Excites, with "up": AMPs,   and clecho   33. Excite, with "up": REV.

5. Programs opened with a fingertip: APPs.

9. Furtive attention-getters: PSSTs.

14. When doubled, a fish: MAHI.

15. Computer folder item: FILE.

16. Musical eightsome: OCTET.

19. Go halfsies: SHARE.

20. Creator of the Hundred Acre Wood: MILNE.  Did you read that the original 1926 illustration of the Hundred Acre Wood sold last week for £430,000 ?  That's just short of $570,000.   

21. Onetime comm. giant: ITT

23. Concerning: INRE.

28. Unethical: IMMORAL.

31. __ brûlée: custard dessert: CREME.

32. Wild hog: BOAR.  Steer clear.  Unless you are packing heat and are disease-resistant.  They're often very big,  can be aggressive, and they are smart. Destructive too, as they attempt to sate their insatiable appetites.

35. Up to now: AS YET.

38. Pipe shape: ELL.

42. __-Magnon: CRO.    Neanderthal fossils were discovered in the Neander Valley of Germany in 1829, and a few years later in 1868, the Cro-Magnon fossils were discovered near the village of Les Eyzies, France.  Nice summaries from the Smithsonian. 

43. Honking birds: GEESE,   and  57. Cacophony: NOISE.     "Watching huge flocks of Snow Geese swirl down from the sky, amid a cacophony of honking, is a little like standing inside a snow globe."

45. Cookie container: TIN.  Adult beverage container: TIN

46. Woman in a family tree: AUNT.  Tia in Spanish,  Tante in German. 

47. Armada: FLEET.  You can rent a Nissan Armada at Hertz.  They have a fleet of these large 8 passenger SUVs.  You might not want to drive one in England.  I've read that armadas are not very well-received there.

50. Eurasian grasslands: STEPPEs.

55. Beat really fast: RACE.

56. "Gimme a __": SEC.

61. Not up to the task: INEPT.

66. Ford replaced him as VP: AGNEW.  Getting a lot of air time lately in the LA Times puzzles.

67. Folded Tex-Mex treat: TACO.  The Tejanos first created the fusion of American and Mexican cuisines.  You can get Tex-Mex food pretty much anywhere in the United States.   Even when you go into authentic "Mexican" restaurants, you'll probably see Tex-Mex items on the menu. A Palate Pleasing Union.

68. Daily paper material: NEWS.

69. Back in style: RETRO.

70. Underworld river: STYX.  Or the progressive rock band that originated in Chicago and made it big in the '70s and '80's.   Disagreements among the members about the musical direction the band should take, along with creative and competitive tensions, led to their eventual breakup.   Still, they had 16 Top 40 singles, 8 of which were Top 10.  This was their only # 1.   It's more of a soft/pop rock sound.

71. Stun with a police gun: TASE.


1. Radio switch: AM FM.

2. Landlocked African country: MALI.

3. Three-time Masters champ Mickelson: PHIL.

4. Formally accept, as a delivery: SIGN FOR.

5. Toward the stern: AFT.

6. Camera shot: PIC.

7. Kilt pattern: PLAID.

8. __ tank: SEPTIC.    It’s a cafeteria for bacteria

9. Neg. opposite: POS

10. Deep divides: SCHISMs.

11. Hockey trophy: STANLEY CUP.
Relinking in case you missed it on the March 27th, 2018 review.  The Washington Capitals got past the Penguins and won it this year.  First time to win it all.  13 playoff appearances.  

12. Purple-haired twin on "The Simpsons": TERRI.


13. Brew: STEEP.  I enjoy a good brew, but the charge for some imported beers and ales can be comparatively steep.

18. German gent: HERR. German language honorific, equivalent to Mister in English.

22. Shingle sealant: TAR. The black strip covered by film on the bottom a composition shingle is asphalt. Rather than tar, asphalt roof cement should normally be used on composite shingle roofs around penetrations or other areas where a sealant is needed. 

25. Royal wedding guest, perhaps: EARL.

26. Peter Fonda's beekeeper: ULEE.   Roger Ebert gave the film 3.5 stars (out of 4). 

27. Tide type: NEAP.  4 letters for tide type ?  - EAP and check the crossing clue. 

28. "__ your pardon": I BEG.  "I never promised you a rose garden.  Along with the sunshine, there has to be a little rain sometimes."  The flip side of that single was "Nothing Between Us" according to Wikipedia.

29. Spy story staple: MOLE.

30. Like evildoers: MALEFICENT.  Pernicious behavior. 

34. Laundry tub: VAT.   Wash, wring and rinse, in one easy-to-use setup !

36. Shore bird: ERNE.

37. Youngsters: TOTs

39. Charges for members: FEEs.

40. Part of DJ: DISC.   I got to play DJ last Tuesday while reviewing Bruce Haight's "DJ SET" puzzle. 

41. Really enjoying, as a hobby: INTO.

44. Unexpected hit: SLEEPER.

46. Name officially, as to a position: APPOINT.

48. Sci-fi invaders: ETs.

49. Robberies: THEFTs.

51. Seemingly forever: EONs.

52. Monastery figure: FRIAR.

53. Jessica of "American Horror Story": LANGE.   Never saw the movie or program.  Knew who she is.

54. Panache: ECLAT.  Flamboyance,  ostentatiously showy,  like Liberace.

58. Thought: IDEA.

59. Hems, but doesn't haw: SEWS.    To hem and haw means to dither, to speak hesitantly, usually because one is unprepared to speak or is attempting to avoid saying something in particular. Hem and haw is also used to mean to be indecisive.  Hum and haw is the British equivalent.

60. To be, to Brutus: ESSE.

62. Word before time or piece: TWO.

64. Like an "if looks could kill" look: ICY.   Very unfriendly. Unwelcoming. 

65. Quaint curse: POX.   Elizabethan Oaths, Curses, and Insults    "Five hundred years ago, little in life moved more quickly than a trotting horse. With no media to fill the day, there was nothing but space for song and speech. Elizabethans took a delight with language, weaving together terms to form stinging phrases of wit."

That's enough for now.   Catch you on the flip side.  

Jul 16, 2018

Monday July 16, 2018 Neville Fogarty

Theme: 4 O's. - Each theme entry has a pair of consecutive O's. .

17A. 1970s-'80s fashion inspired by astronauts' footwear: MOON BOOTS.

39A "Was I premature?": TOO SOON?

62A. 1990s cartoon series featuring a classic 8-Down dog: GOOF TROOP. 8D. Mickey Mouse creator: DISNEY.

11D. Teacher's domain: SCHOOL ROOM.

30D. Play some b-ball: SHOOT HOOPS.

Boomer here.  

It has been a fairly ordinary week, but I am looking forward to participating in the PBA50 Pro-Am tournament (I am an Am) to send off the PBA50 tournament this Tuesday in Monticello, MN.  Monticello is a city about 40-50 miles west of the Twin Cities, and carries the moniker of "River City" since the Mississippi flows through the town.  Below are some cards of the bowlers who will participate.  I chose these players because they are past champions of 4 previous PBA50 tournaments that were held at Treasure Island Casino in Welch, MN.  (60 miles south of the Twin cities.) Norm Duke, Pete Weber, Walter Ray Williams, and Parker Bohn III.  They were kind enough to autograph my cards.


1. Carpenter's file: RASP.  Mr. Utin first name ?

5. Necklace pellet: BEAD.

9. Thorns in one's side: PESTS.

14. __ mater: ALMA.
15. Wrinkly citrus fruit: UGLI.  Crazy, if a fruit is Ugly, call it what it is, do not misspell it.

16. Neckwear named for a British racecourse: ASCOT.  I believe you need to have a LOT more money than I to wear one of these.

19. The "a" sound in "above": SCHWA.

20. Like Frosted Flakes' coating: SUGARY.  Frosted Flakes, Golden Crisp, etc. taste good, but I don't think they are good for kids.

21. Responsibility: ONUS.

23. "Above," in verse: OER. "The land of the free, and the home of the brave."

24. DVD holder: CASE.  I suppose, but it could also be a lawyer's pursuit..

26. Series installment: EPISODE.

28. Like easy, well-paying jobs: CUSHY.

31. Traditional 15th anniversary gift: CRYSTAL.  Reminds me of Crystal Gayle - "Don't in make my Brown Eyes Blue"

33. 1993 Presidential Medal of Freedom awardee Arthur: ASHE.  A great tennis player.  His life ended however at the age of 49.

34. Vietnamese soup: PHO.

35. Souped-up vehicle: HOT ROD. Also famous NBA star "Hot Rod" Hundley.  Drafted by Cincinnati and traded to the Minneapolis Lakers.  He became more famous when the team moved to Los Angeles.

38. __ Speedwagon: REO.

41. Fútbol cheer: OLE.  I believe this is Sven's buddy.  I'm from Minnesota, I know all the stories about OLE don'tcha know.

42. NASA explorers: PROBES. Silly me, I always thought they were called Astronauts.  C.C. has John Glenn's autograph. 

44. "Dig in!": EAT.

45. Coke or Pepsi: SODA.  This is another interesting word.  I learned that carbonated beverages were called SODA when I served in southern USA.  Up north we called it POP.

46. Most sour: TARTEST.

48. Humped beast: CAMEL.  I remember when these were awful cigarettes.  I would not even walk a half mile for one.

49. "Who Let the Dogs Out?" one-hit wonder: BAHA MEN.

51. Carry with effort: HAUL.

53. __ Grande: RIO.

54. Colored eye part: IRIS.

56. Citrus-flavored diet drink: FRESCA.  I would not call this SODA or POP.  I might call it TARTEST though.

60. "__ have a clue": I DON'T.  My expression when I am trying to solve these puzzles.

64. Conical home: TEPEE.

65. Short skirt: MINI.

66. First blank on many forms: NAME.

67. Donkeys: ASSES.  I'll leave this alone.

68. Trebek of "Jeopardy!": ALEX.  Not my favorite Canadian.  He's okay on Jeopardy, but I don't like his Colonial Penn commercials.

69. Heavenly spheres: ORBS.


1. Ewes' guys: RAMS.  This is an LA Times puzzle, you'd think this would have a football clue.

2. Moises of the 2007-'08 Mets: ALOU.  Moises, Felipe, and Matty.  I think they were the only trio of brothers to make the big leagues. (Correction: Gloria and Allan just reminded me of the DiMaggio brothers. Thank you!)

3. Urban pollution: SMOG.

4. Dashing style: PANACHE.

5. Regatta markers: BUOYS.

6. Sense of self: EGO.

7. Glee club voice: ALTO.  Not in my book.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but a Glee Club was male voices.  Females sang in Choirs, choruses, and other symphonic names. and ALTO is definitely a female voice tone.

9. "Tell your friends": PASS IT ON. A request in a few commercials,

10. Corner PC key: ESC.

12. Hauled to the shop: TOWED.  We have a car in the apartment lot near our home and there is a car which has a horn blasting frequently.  I wish that was towed.

13. Look steadily (at): STARE.

18. Donkey's cry: BRAY.  I have heard of Bray, but I suppose HEE HAW was too many letters.

22. Final result: UPSHOT.

25. Rebound, like sound: ECHO.

27. H.S. exam for college hopefuls: SAT.  Back when we were kids, this was called the Scholastic Assessment Test, and you needed a decent score to apply for college.  Now it is just called the SAT, and all you need to get into college is a fist full of money.

28. Fisherman's soup fish: CARP.  NO WAY!  In Minnesota if you catch a CARP, you are required by law to dispose of it and you are not allowed to toss it back into the lake.

29. PC manual reader: USER.

32. Prickly flowers: ROSES. The flowers are not prickly, it's the stems.

34. Dorm room decoration: POSTER.

36. Shoppe sign adjective: OLDE.  I think this is the queen's English.  Everything in Britain is OLDE.

37. "Let's Make a __": DEAL.  Pick Me Monty!!

39. Home-wrecking insects: TERMITES. I have never actually seen a termite, but I have seen their supper once or twice.

40. Witness' promise: OATH. Nothing but the truth

43. Sheep cry: BAA. No - this is not the Acronym for Bowlers Anonymous Association.

45. City near Naples: SALERNO.

47. Real mystery: ENIGMA.

48. Terse: CURT.  Famous Bloody Sock Pitcher for the Red Sox in the World Series.  (Gave new meaning to the team name).

49. Big name in water filtration: BRITA.  Never tried this. We buy bottled water for drinking. 

50. Senate staffers: AIDES.

52. Stick on, as a label: AFFIX.  Affix stamp here.  Have you seen the USPS new JFK stamps?

55. Gardener's bagful: SOIL.

57. Fly high: SOAR. Like an eagle.

58. Hair care tool: COMB.  I never knew a comb was a tool.  I don't keep one in my tool box.

59. "Planet of the __": APES.

61. Born, in alumni newsletters: NEE.

63. Single: ONE. Short for a Washington bill.


Jul 15, 2018

Sunday Jul 15, 2018 Joe Kidd

Theme: "Watt's Happening"- W is added to each theme entry.

24A. Unsteady walk while using social media?: TWEETER TOTTER. Teeter-totter.

38A. Lowly short-order cook?: FRYING PAWN. Frying pan.

58A. Bawdier Bavarian britches?: LEWDER HOSEN. Lederhosen.

79A. Beefcake's breakfast: BRAWN FLAKES. Bran flakes.

98A. Return from a salamander farm?: NEWT PROFIT. Net profit.

116A. Drawback of the best place to watch the fight?: RINGSIDE SWEAT. Ringside seat.

3D. Dessert for a large legal firm?: TRIPLE-LAWYER CAKE. Triple-layer cake.

42D. Number for the weight-conscious?: LOW-CAL ANESTHETIC. Local anesthetic.

Can anyone explain the title to me? I don't get it.

We have a relative theme-heavy grid again. Total 100 theme squares. Themage under 95 probably won't cut it for Rich these days.

40 three-letter entries is a bit high. Rich prefers them to be in the low 30s.


1. Beginning: OUTSET. Apt start.

7. Arnold's Terminator, e.g.: CYBORG.

13. Arboretum feature: SHADE.

18. Some ski lodges: A-FRAMES.

20. Longhorn rivals: SOONERS.

22. __ Island: CONEY.

23. Pratt & Whitney helicopter engine with two power sections: TWIN-PAC. Learning moment for me.

26. Fuel for a lorry: PETROL.

28. Leslie Caron title role: LILI.

29. "Count me in!": I'M THERE.

30. Field in acting: SALLY.  Sally Field.

32. Detroit labor org.: UAW. United Automobile Workers. We also have 2D. Agric. labor group: UFW. United Farm Workers.

34. Prefix meaning "billionth": NANO.

36. In reserve, with "on": ICE.

37. It tops a deuce: TREY.

41. 24 minutes, in the NBA: HALF.

44. Tommy's kid brother on "Rugrats": DIL. Wiki says "The show focuses on a group of toddlers, most prominently Tommy, Chuckie, twins Phil and Lil, and Angelica, and their day-to-day lives..."

45. Marquis __: DE SADE.

46. Enjoy courses: EAT.

48. 1840s Rhode Island rebellion leader Thomas: DORR. Unknown to me.

50. In short order: ANON.

52. Nasty storm: NOR'EASTER.

56. Popeye's __'Pea: SWEE.

57. Victorious shout: I WON.

60. X x XXX: CCC. Fun clue.

61. Storage compartments: BAYS. New meaning to me.

62. Sandburg's "little cat feet" arrival: FOG.

63. Mauna __: KEA.

64. Trembling: ASHAKE. Not a word I use.

66. Intellectual: IDEAMONGER. Not a word I use.

70. Deficiencies: SHORTFALLS.

73. Words with a gift: FOR YOU. So in love with this cleansing balm.

74. Lambaste: RIP.

76. Yield as a return: PAY.

77. Fannie __: securities: MAES.

78. Frodo pursuer: ORC.

84. Ilsa __: "Casablanca" heroine: LUND. Such a sweet movie.

85. "... giant __ for mankind": LEAP.

87. Like top Michelin ratings: THREE-STAR. Never been to a Michelin-rated place. You?

88. Toondom's Le Pew: PEPE.

89. Flood barrier: DIKE.

90. "Ahem" relative: HEY.

91. Spoke: ORATED.

93. Maple extract: SAP. Santa loved their locally produced maple syrup.

96. Big top, for one: TENT.

102. Work unit: Abbr.: FT LB.

103. __ Bo: TAE.

105. Stadium reaction: ROAR.

106. PC hookup: LAN.

107. Thai currency: BAHTS. They don't pluralize Baht in Bangkok. Ask Oo.

108. Easily bent: PLIABLE.

112. Kristen of "Bridesmaids": WIIG. She will be in the next "Wonder Woman".

114. Nullify: NEGATE. Also 125. Contradictory word: WASN'T.

119. Dispute decider: ARBITER.

122. En pointe, in ballet: ON TOE.

123. Give an oath to: SWEAR IN.

124. Enlarging, as a hole: REAMING.

126. Some Dadaist paintings: ERNSTS.

127. Brings honor to: GRACES.


1. Bit in a horse's mouth?: OAT. Spitzboov has oatmeal every morning.

4. In a reasonable manner: SANELY.

5. What "E" may mean: EMPTY.

6. Get emotional, with "up": TEAR.

7. Wisconsin winter hrs.: CST. D-Otto grew up in Marion, WI.

8. Distressed cry: YOWL.

9. Enola Gay manufacturer: BOEING.

10. Track circuit: ONE LAP.

11. Eye layer: RETINA.

12. M.A. seeker's hurdle: GRE.

13. Ben Nevis, e.g.: SCOTCH. Not familiar with the brand. 


14. Easily riled types: HOTHEADS. Boomer is one.

15. It's tossed into a pot: ANTE.

16. Road sign ruminant: DEER. We spot a deer roaming in Springbrook trails a few times. Haven't been there after Boomer tripped on a tree root and fell down a few weeks ago. Too many tree roots there.

17. Thornfield Hall governess: EYRE.

19. Searches carefully: SCOURS.

21. Indian term of respect: SRI.

25. "Didn't wanna know that!": TMI.

27. Bomb big-time: LAY AN EGG.

30. Like A/C in most cars: STD.

31. Radio host Shapiro: ARI. "All Things Considered" co-host.

33. Heiress, perhaps: WIDOW.

35. Have credit from: OWE TO.

38. Marshland: FEN.

39. Uncool one who lately is sort of cool: NERD. GEEK too.

40. Scot's nots: NAES. Also 51. Lack of influence: NO SAY.

43. Like Howdy Doody's face: FRECKLED.

45. Crime boss: DON. We also have 67. Crowd around: MOB.

47. Accord: TREATY.

49. Judge's announcement: RECESS.

53. Comics scream: EEK.

54. Warring son of Zeus: ARES. God of war.

55. Bygone Persian title: SHAH. Abejo worked in Iran for some time. Was the Amazon job too stressful, Abejo?

57. "Don't change anything!": I ADORE IT.

58. Actor Chaney: LON.

59. Disturbing bank msg.: NSF.

61. Like some closet doors: BI-FOLD. OK, like this.

62. Last down: FOURTH.

65. Exaggerate on stage: HAM UP.

68. Coastal raptor: ERNE.

69. Overflowing: RIFE.

71. Met regular: OPERA FAN. We have different kinds of operas in China. The most famous is Beijing opera. We also have local operas in Guangzhou and Xi'an. They sing in Cantonese and local Xi'an dialect.

72. Dorm VIPs: RAS.

75. Polite online letters: PLS.

80. "Two owls and __": Lear limerick line: A HEN.

81. More twisted: WRYER.

82. Suffix for fabric: ATOR. Just fabricator. Not a suffix that meaning "fabric".

83. Pope John Paul II's given name: KAROL. Forgot.

84. Went before: LED.

86. Big brass container?: PENTAGON. Another great clue.

88. Favored one: PET.

92. Karaoke performer's problem: TIN EAR.

94. PC key under Z: ALT.

95. "Masterpiece" airer: PBS.

97. Word processing function: TAB SET.

99. Humdinger: WOWSER. Same letter count as DOOZIE.

100. Formosa, now: TAIWAN. Jayce's old haunt. Taiwan has the best snacks. Guangzhou has the best food.

101. Buttinskies: PRIERS.

102. Bluebeard's last wife: FATIMA. Did not know the name. Read the story here. Quite scary.

104. Rooter for the Bulldogs: ELI.

107. Picture book pachyderm: BABAR.

108. Figurehead spot: PROW.

109. Director Wertmüller: LINA.

110. QBs' stats: INTS. Intersections. (Correction: Interceptions.)

111. Mag honchos: EDS.

113. Walk or trot: GAIT.

115. Norman on the links: GREG. "The Shark".

117. Girl in the pasture: EWE.

118. Shipping wts.: TNS.

120. Vegas-to-Denver dir.: ENE.

121. Some NFL linemen: RGS. Right guards.

Here is a selfie of Big Easy's grandson Joshua with the new Wimbledon Singles champion Angelique Kerber. The picture was taken a few months ago when Joshua met Kerber in Miami.

Does anyone have a tip on how to get rid of a small yellow food stain on white pants? I tried baking soda, vinegar, even spray on with WD 40, the stain is still there. I don't even know how I got the stain. I don't eat curry or use turmeric in cooking.