Nov 16, 2018

Friday, November 16, 2018 James Sajdak,

Title: Let’s get down with UP!

James is  back for his second Friday this year. He was more prolific back in 2011 when C.C. INTERVIEWED him . His roots are Wisconsin based but his presentation is eclectic with only a mini-theme of Oscar winning directors. The theme today should jump out to almost all, with the sweet reveal telling you UP is put at the end of the 4 themers. Swaddling, Said I do and Sheepskin are all nice long fill and words like Panacea and Veldt are cool. From there it is a fun, fairly easy Friday frolic. Lots of stuff from so many fields. Enjoy.

17A. Novice hiker's predicament?: TRAIL MIXUP (10). I am sure he had some gorp in his backpack.

23A. Relief pitcher?: DIAMOND BACKUP (13). This is a play on the name of the Arizona team - the Diamondbacks. 

38A. Flipped ... and what four puzzle answers are?: UPENDED (7).

50A. Showoff with gags?: HOTDOG STANDUP (13). My favorite, combining comedians with showing off.

62A. Tenement for one on the lam?: PERP WALKUP  (10). If you do know the term WALK UP Apartment, this could be tough.


1. "__ simple, duh!": IT'S SO. Well that is a challenge to start us off.

6. Gobi container: ASIA. Cute clue, as the Gobi is in fact in Asia (as am I).

10. Pollutants targeted in Great Lakes cleanups: PCBS. Why were they BANNED?

14. "Sorry, bro": NO WAY. José.

15. Brits' foul-weather gear: MACS. The Mackintosh or raincoat is a form of waterproof raincoat, first sold in 1824, made out of rubberised (notice the spelling) fabric. The Mackintosh is named after its Scottish inventor Charles Macintosh, although many writers added a letter k. The variant spelling of "Mackintosh" is now standard.

16. Devastated sea: ARAL. We have had this so often with illustrations, I feel like I have been there.

19. Taboo: NO NO. Nanette?

20. DUI fighting org.:  SADDStudents Against Destructive 
Decisions has become about much more than drunk driving. LINK.

21. Card game shout: UNO. I learned this game and Skip-Bo from my grandmother who always traveled with various decks of cards. She also loved cribbage.

22. Dairy prefix: LACTO. This clue has milked dry.

27. Spot for a springbok: VELDT. This is the open country, bearing grass, bushes, or shrubs, or thinly forested, characteristic of parts of southern Africa, home to these small antelopes.

29. Allay: EASE.

30. "Cats" source: ELIOT. T.S.

31. Stopped working: DIED. My 5 year old iPhone 5 just up and died causing me to upgrade to a phone I need to learn how to use.

33. Snarky retort: AS IF.

37. Cheshire can: TIN. A dual purpose CSO to Steve, Nice Cuppa etc., as well as our toastmaster.

41. Where Charlemagne reigned: Abbr.: HRE. Holy Roman Empire.

42. Extended account: SAGA.

44. Sources of some barrels: OAKS.They are the preferred wood source for aging whiskey. Today's LESSON.

45. Salty expanse: OCEAN.

47. Boone, to his buds: DAN'L. What you need to KNOW.

49. Put oil and vinegar on, say: DRESS. A salad; you would want it nekkid in public would ya?

56. Swashbuckling Flynn: ERROL. A tribute.
57. Employ: USE.

58. "¿Cómo __?": ESTA. Usted.

61. Digitize, in a way: SCAN.

65. Director Gus Van __: SANT. I hear much about this MAN but only know one movie.

66. Barb: GIBE.

67. "A Fish Called Wanda" Oscar winner: KLINE. When Jamie Lee was young and hot.

68. 3-Canada competitor: ESSO. James worked in Canada.

69. Erelong: ANON. One of my favorite words from Shakespeare. not our trolls. Though I do agree, not all anons are bad, though some should be...

70. Worked with osier: CANED.


1. Cornerback's coups, briefly: INTS. Interceptions in American football.

2. One-third of a WWII film: TORA. This is a movie which shall live in infamy.

3. Wrapping tightly: SWADDLING.

4. Got married: SAID I DO. And I am glad I did.

5. Olive __: OYL. As a small child I was overcome with the irony of Popeye and Bluto fighting for her affections, but like Shallow Hal, I am not into big feet.

6. Acid type: AMINO. The building blocks of life and the key to your health. RESEARCH.

7. Ivanhoe, e.g.: SAXON. I read this over the summer in high school.

8. Post-OR stop: ICU. First to recovery, then only if necessary to the Intensive Care Unit.

9. Nile biter: ASP. I think this is a nail biter pun.

10. Cure-all: PANACEA. Such a cool word.

11. Bunch of baloney: CROCK. Of...

12. Linguistic group that includes Zulu: BANTU. I love seeing this with 24D. Western tip of Alaska: ATTU.

13. Single-master: SLOOP.

18. Silent: MUM.

22. __ Palmas: Canary Islands city: LAS. Las Palmas is a capital of Gran Canaria, one of Spain's Canary Islands off northwestern Africa. A major cruise-ship port, the city is known for duty-free shopping and for its sandy beaches,

25. Closing documents: DEEDS. A repeat from Saturday and CSO to my work which these days is primarily real estate closings, drafting and reviewing deeds and title.

26. Expressed, as farewell: BADE. Fondly, I hope.

27. Checks out: VETS.

28. Oscar-winning director Kazan: ELIA. Two Oscar winning directors in one puzzle?

31. Gives a hand: DEALS. Not helping or clapping.

32. Press: INK.

34. Grad's award: SHEEPSKIN. Such nice letters in  9 letter fill.

35. Nest egg choices: IRAS. Individual Retirement Accounts.

36. Bogs: FENS.

39. Early Atari offering: PONG.

40. __-Frank: 2010 financial reform bill: DODD. This BILL also is a form of CSO as I was also doing loan closings in the 2000s and saw the absurdity of lending practices which were based solely on making money for lenders and mortgage brokers with values inflated by the need to keep selling. While I was growing up, CHRIS DODD's father, Tom, was one of the senators from Connecticut.

43. Enlarge, as a house: ADD ON TO. My father built an addition to our house in 1959 to expand the kitchen and buy a pool table. Good choice.

46. First name in Disney villains: CRUELLA.

48. Verizon subsidiary: AOL.

50. "Siddhartha" author: HESSE.

51. Black-and-white cetaceans: ORCAS.

52. Mission opening?: TRANS. Transmission next to...

53. Supercharger: TURBO.

54. Steamboat Springs alternative: ASPEN. More likely Keystone, or Winter Park.

55. Fresh: NEW.

59. Piece of music: TUNE.

60. Impersonated: APED.

62. Woods gp.: PGA. Tiger, who is half-Thai.

63. Strauss' "__ Heldenleben": EIN.

64. Pedigree-tracking org.: AKC. American Kennel Club.

Some pics from Thailand:
Oo's son- before

Another puzzle in the record books and my sweet Oo had another birthday in Thailan. I hope you enjoyed sharing today's do venture with me. Thank you James and all who responded these words. Lemonade out.

Nov 15, 2018

Thursday, November 15th 2018 C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Tyro Torrent - all the theme entries are novices in various guises:

28A. *Fresh face in a newsroom: CUB REPORTER. The opposite is "a grizzled newspaperman". Now there's a phrase. It was used to describe Chicago Herald-Examiner reporter Ben Hecht among others: "... he had already developed the crusty style of a grizzled newspaperman ..." A mark of respect.

58A. *Fresh face at online gaming: NOOB. Via "Newbie" and "Newcomer" we get to NOOB. Language evolution, folks, I love it. If you are an expert, you used to be "L33T", as in "elite", but I'm sure that has gone the way of the dodo now.

59A. *With 60-Across, fresh face at a dojo: WHITE paired with ...

60A. *See 59-Across: BELT

3D. *Fresh face at boot camp: RAW RECRUIT. Don't mess with your Drill Sergeant.

11D. *Fresh face in the Boy Scouts: TENDERFOOT

51A. Error the answers to starred clues might make: ROOKIE MISTAKE

One thing to note right off the bat is that the symmetry of this puzzle is not "normal", meaning left-right and top-bottom, it is "mirror" symmetry, in this case left-right. This is often done to accommodate an attractive theme that can't be placed in a normal grid, I'm guessing this is the case with this one from C.C. (I could go ask her, but I'm taking a wild stab in the dark).

Another example of when you might see this variation is when there is a pattern or picture depicted in the white/black squares, but unless we've got a four-legged Space Invader/Pokémon hybrid I don't think that's the case here!

Let's see what else jumps out:


1. Passé saver of fave programs: VCR

4. Energized: AMPED UP

11. Sales add-on: TAX

14. Parseghian of Notre Dame: ARA. "The era of Ara" - Notre Dame football from 1964 to 1974, rescuing the program from mediocrity and winning national championships in 1966 and 1973. You wouldn't want to get this look from him:

15. "Alas, it's true": I FEAR SO. I had a few goes at this one, ended up correctly, eventually.

16. Juan Perón's wife: EVA. Don't Cry for Me, Argentina.

17. Level the playing field?: MOW. When I went to watch Chelsea FC play in London in the 80's, the appearance of the ride-on mower pre-game to give the pitch a final trim would be accompanied by this ditty, sung from the terrraces, as he drove, Zamboni-like, up and down the pitch:

"One man went to mow, went to mow a meadow.
One man and his dog (Spot), went to mow a meadow.

Two men went to mow, went to mow a meadow
Two men, one man and his dog (Spot), went to mow a meadow.

Three men went to mow, went to mow a meadow
Three men, two men, one man and his dog (Spot) went to mow a meadow.

Four men went to mow ...."

You get the idea. Amused us greatly at the time. I think the slowest mowing was something like "86 men went to mow ....."

And an excuse for a shameless Chelsea fan link!

18. Was felt very strongly: RAN DEEP

19. Say no to: NIX

20. Medicare section: PART B

22. Big name in shoe stores: DSW. Confession - I was Natick'ed again, two weeks in a row, with this one. The "W" got me.

23. "Same here": AS DO I. ME TOO didn't work. SO DO I didn't work. Eventually got the right letter combo.

25. Camper's heater: STERNO

27. Links targets: GREENS

32. ORD airport postings: ARRS. Arrivals at Orchard Field, now better known as Chicago O'Hare. One of my favorite airports for a layover, it's just a really nice space.

34. Get hitched on the run: ELOPE

35. Giant in nonstick sauté pans: T-FAL. My non-stick skillet is cast iron. Works a treat, but it gives the biceps a workout.

38. Big oafs: LOUTS

40. Saw: MET

41. Galaxy, e.g.: PHONE. Very nice, took me a while to see this one.

42. Practice frugality: SKIMP

43. Tense NFL periods: O.T.'S

44. "Bleeding Love" singer Lewis: LEONA. Thank you, crosses. Close to another Natick here. See 41D

45. Beat in a pie contest, say: OUT-EAT. Don't go up against Joey Chestnut. It's not just Nathan's hot dogs that he likes.

47. Booted out: OUSTED

48. Turncoat: RAT

50. Cable network since 1972: HBO. I tried HSN. Was wrong.

62. "Try again": NOPE

63. Zeus' shield: AEGIS. I knew it! Woo Hoo crosswords!

64. Bike signal: BELL

65. Website for handmade jewelry: ETSY

66. Egg holders: NESTS

67. "Match Game" host Baldwin: ALEC


1. Improvises, in jazz: VAMPS

2. Dubrovnik resident: CROAT

4. Site with many home pages?: AIRBNB. Lovely clue. I started using AirBnB this past year for weekend trips. No complaints at all, some lovely accommodations

5. CalArts degree: M.F.A.

6. Await a decision: PEND

7. George of "MacGyver": EADS

8. Picked from the deck: DREW

9. Find a place for: USE

10. Keith Haring genre: POP ART. We had Op-Art last week. What's next week - Impressionism? I'm taking bets.

12. French postcard word: AVION. "Par Avion" - or Air Mail.

13. Graph line: X-AXIS

21. "I wouldn't lie": TRUST ME

24. Is really boiling: SEETHES

26. Mining find: ORE

27. Hurdle for a future Ph.D.: G.R.E. Or the Graduate Record Examinations test to give it a long name.

29. Red Muppet: ELMO. Ticklish chap.

30. Frost, e.g.: POET

31. Goes (for): OPTS

32. Too: ALSO

33. Amazon Fire TV Stick alternative: ROKU

36. Hathaway of "Ocean's 8": ANNE

37. Take charge of: LEAD

39. __ plug: SPARK

41. Plum-apricot hybrid: PLUOT. I'm sure it's a thing, I've just never seen one, nor, to my knowledge eaten one, cooked with one or written one down.

46. Where bubble tea originated: TAIWAN. AKA boba tea. The upcoming ban on plastic straws here in California is causing some consternation. Now what?

47. Persistently haunt: OBSESS

49. Little laugh: TEHEE. Not sure how to punctuate this. I guess I'll leave it alone.

50. "Start the music!": HIT IT!

51. Carrot or turnip: ROOT. I cooked roasted parsnips on Sunday with a roast chicken. Kind of a carrot-turnip hybrid root. I love the caramelized sugars when you roast root vegetables.

52. "My bad": OOPS

53. Follow orders: OBEY

54. "Top Gun" enemy planes: MIGS

55. "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again" group: ABBA. Late in the day, but here's a music link. ABBA were great listening to when I was a teen. Perfect pop music. Of course, we were all too cool for school to admit it.

56. Ship's backbone: KEEL

57. Glamour rival: ELLE

58. Mobile-to-Knoxville dir.: N.N.E.

61. Dr. Mom's skill: T.L.C.

A couple of abbreviations to wrap things up, and with a background of ABBA - Mama Mia! Here's the grid:


Nov 14, 2018

Wednesday, November 14, 2018, Ed Sessa

Piece of Cake!

You can find 10 different types of cake in the circles found in this puzzle.  (Yes, this is a dreaded circle puzzle.)  The cakes are placed in pairs with one of the cakes "layered" upon the other cake in the pair.  I don't see a connection between the pairs, other than the fact that they all contain the same number of letters.  Despite the circles, the cakes makes for a sweet theme.

6-Across. Tinker Bell's friend: PAN.  //  Layered upon 15-Across.  Garden tool: HOE.

Tinker Bell's pal is Peter Pan.  Do you think they eats PANCAKES?

Despite living in the South, I had never heard of a HOE Cake.  Apparently, it is made with cornmeal and may also be called a Johnny Cake.  Here's Recipe.

14-Across. Low on funds: SHORT.  //  Layered upon 17-Across:  Manx currency:  POUND.

Here's a recipe for Strawberry SHORTcake.

The Pound is the currency used on the Isle of Man.  Here's a Recipe for POUND Cake.

33-Across. Amaretto flavor: ALMOND.  //  Layered upon 36-Across.  Reef creature:  SPONGE.

ALMOND Cake is not a common type of cake, but it looks good.  Here's a Recipe.

Nothing is better than a good SPONGE Cake.  Here's a Recipe.

41-Across. Word that always brings a smile?: CHEESE.  //  Layered upon V8 veggie:  CARROT.

CHEESEcake is a very different type of cake.  Here's a Recipe

Our wedding cake was a CARROT Cake.  The food editor of our local newspaper was a friend and she made it for us.  Here's a Recipe

66-Across. Coke go-with: RUM.  //  Layered upon 69-Across.  English cuppa: TEA.

RUM Cake remind me of the Christmas Holidays.  Here's a Recipe.

Just go buy a box of TEA Cake!  I'm tired of cooking!  I thought Tea Cakes would be more exciting.  Steve, can you enlighten us on the appeal of these Tea Cakes?

And the "icing" that unifies the theme:

64-Across. With 67-Across, what five pairs of answers in the circles represent: LAYER.

67-Across. See 64-Across: CAKES.

Together these to two clues give us LAYER CAKES.

Let's see what tasty treats are in store for us.

1. Hee-hawers: ASSES.

9. Part of WTO: TRADE.  As in the World Trade Organization.  The word World also fits into the spaces provided.

16. Four-bagger: HOMER.  Think of baseball.  The bases are loaded and the batter hits a Home run.  Bases don't have to be loaded, but it's fun when they are.

18. Seriously funny shows?: DRAMEDIES.  Portmanteau of Drama and Comedy.

20. Organ near the stomach: SPLEEN.  I'm pretty sure you can live without one.

22. Doldrums: BLAHS.

23. "Boyz n the Hood" actress Long: NIA.  Boyz n the Hood was a 1991 movie.  I never saw the movie, but apparently NIA Long (b. Oct. 30, 1970) was in the cast.

25. __ shadow: EYE.

26. Hive builder: BEE.

29. Entrance: BEWITCH.  Not the door type of entrance.

35. Trivial matter: NON-ISSUE.

37. Foes of the evil Saruman: ENTs.  Think of The Lord of the Rings.  Actually, I try not to think of those creatures.

38. Logical beginning?: ECO-.  As in ECOlogical.

40. Appear: SEEM.

44. Winding Alaskan river with a Hawaiian name: HULA HULA.  A learning moment.  I had never heard of this river.  It is way north!

48. Upper arm muscle: TRICEPS.

49. Yoga chants: OMs.  I take a yoga class twice a week.  We always chant OM at the beginning and ending of the class.

50. Wrigley Field abbr.: CHI.  As in the Chicago Cubs.

52. Roll in the grass: SOD.  Cute clue.

53. Political spin, say: SLANT.

55. Cocoa company: NESTLÉ.  Because Hershey wouldn't fit.

60. Anno Domini alternative: COMMON ERA.  Anno Domini is a Latin term meaning "In the Year of Our Lord."  It presupposes a belief in Christianity, as this calendar begins with the birth of Christ.  Other faith traditions use different calendars.  We are currently in the year 5779 in the Hebrew Calendar, for example.  For consistency with dates, however, the Christian calendar is used throughout most of the world.  Non-Christian, however, prefer the term Common Era.

65. Hippie's wheels: VW BUS.  I initially tried a VW Bug.

68. Roofing stone: SLATE.

70. More than a little heavy: OBESE.

1. Pharaoh's sacred snakes: ASPS.  These snakes make frequent guest appearances in the puzzles.

2. Look for bargains: SHOP.

3. Heart's companion: SOUL.  As in the phrase Heart and Soul.

4. Sea eagle: ERNE.

5. Martyred bishop of Paris: ST. DENIS.  St. Denis was a 3rd century Bishop of Paris, France.  He was beheaded, and, according to legend, picked up his head and carried it to the location where he wanted to be buried.

6. Advanced deg.: Ph. D.  As in the Doctor of Philosophy degree.  I think I had this answer the last time I did the blog.

7. "You have two choices": A OR B.

8. Writer Zora ___ Hurston: NEALE.  Zora NEALE Hurston (Jan. 7, 1891 ~ Jan. 28, 1960) was an African-American author.  She is best known for her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God.  I have never read this novel.

9. Oscar-nominated film starring Viola Davis: THE HELP.  Viola Davis (b. Aug. 11, 1965) also stars in the television show, How to Get Away with Murder.

10. Towel holders: RODS.  Because Racks was one letter to many for the spaces provided.

11. Mate, across the Channel: AMI.  Today's French lesson.  The Channel in question is the  English Channel that separates England from France.

12. Ruby of "A Raisin in the Sun": DEE.  Ruby Dee (Oct. 27, 1933 ~ June 11, 2014) was married to actor Ossie Davis.

13. Critical-care ctrs.: ERs.  As in Emergency Rooms.  My first thought was ICU, but the clue indicated the plural.

19. Mesoamerican pyramid builders: MAYAS.  I would probably say Mayan, but ...  Here is the famous pyramid at Chichen Itza.  In 2004, we took my parents to visit this pyramid.  We were able to climb to the top then.  It may be off limits now.

21. Petty peeves: NITS.

24. Take __ from: emulate: A CUE.

26. Study hard: BONE UP.

27. Marx collaborator: ENGELS.  As in Friedrich Engels (Nov. 28, 1820 ~ Aug. 5, 1895) who collaborated with Karl Marx (May 5, 1818 ~ Mar. 14, 1883).  No relation to the Marx Brothers.

28. Buildup of fluid: EDEMA.

29. Actress Helena __ Carter: BONHAM.  Helena BONHAM Carter (b. May 26, 1966) has stared in many films directed by Tim Burton (b. Aug. 25, 1958).

30. Passes the threshold: ENTERS.

31. More like the Magi: WISER.  As in the three WISEmen.

32. "Notorious" screenwriter Ben: HECHT.  I am not familiar with Ben HECHT (Feb. 28, 1894 ~ Apr. 18, 1964).  I think he has made guest appearances in the puzzles, though.

34. Israeli leader Dayan: MOSHE.  MOSHE Dayan (May 20, 1915 ~ Oct. 16, 1981) was my childhood hero.

35. Maker of sweet wafers: NECCO.  I still love NECCO Wafers.  They are called such because they are made by the New England Confectionery Company.  My favorites are the chocolate.

39. Collective possessive: OURS.

42. "Missed it by that much": SO CLOSE.

43. Musical wunderkind Bortnick: ETHAN.  Ethan Jordan Bortnick (b. Dec. 24, 2000) began playing the piano at age 3!

45. Columbia University athlete: LION.

46. Auto parts supplier: ACDELCO.  Thank you perps for giving me the name of this company ~ ACDelco.

51. Like some gases: INERT.  Also known as the Nobel Gases.  The ones that occur naturally are Helium (He), Neon (Ne), Argon (Ar), Krypton (Kr), Xenon (Xe), and Radon (Rn).

53. X-rated stuff: SMUT.

54. Get straight?: TRUE.

56. Automaker founded in Sweden: SAAB.  The company went into bankruptcy in 2011.

57. Tot: TYKE.

58. Jeans choice: LEEs.  Levi would also fit into the spaces provided.

59. Scots Gaelic: ERSE.

60. Rite Aid rival: CVS.  CVS stands for Consumer Value Stores.

61. Midnight mouser: OWL.  Cute clue; cute owl.

62. Degree for a CFO: MBA.  A Chief Financial Officer would likely hold a Master of Business Administration degree.

63. Reddit Q&A session: AMA.  AMA stands for Ask MAnything.

I hope you enjoyed this Dessert for Breakfast!

Nov 13, 2018

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 Mark McClain

"pH Test"

18. *Safari head protector: PITH HELMET

26. *Traditional farm equine: PLOW HORSE.

47. *Baked pork cut that sounds perfect for a blanket in the park: PICNIC HAM.

60. *Lever for manual water extraction: PUMP HANDLE.

5D. *Kid's homemade topper: PAPER HAT.

39. Ordeal ... and a hint to the initials of the answers to starred clues: ACID TEST.  - A rigorous and comprehensive test that proves or disproves the value of something.   Here, we also get a hint to the theme answers with the acid test answer.   The pH scale tells us how acidic or alkaline a substance is.


1. Source of spumante wine: ASTI.   Asti (also known as Asti Spumante) is a sparkling white Italian wine that is produced throughout southeastern Piedmont but is particularly focused around the towns of Asti and Alba.- Wikipedia

5. Mr. __: Former name of a Dr Pepper rival: PIBB.  Until this puzzle, I did not know Mr. Pibb is now the former name.  In 2001, a new formula was created and the soft drink was rebranded as Pibb Xtra.  This video is coded to start at the 2:26 mark with a 1996 commercial.  You can start from the beginning if you want to see the early '70's commercials.

9. Light model wood: BALSA.

14. Bore false witness: LIED.

15. Et __: and others: ALIA.

16. Provo native: UTAHN.  If you look closely, you'll also see other Utah related crossword favorites like Salt Lake City,  Uinta,  Wasatch, and Orem. 

17. Beige look-alike: ECRU..

20. Superficial, as beauty: SKIN DEEP.

22. Make possible: ENABLE.

23. Negative connector: NOR.

24. Packers quarterback Rodgers: AARON.  The 34 year old star quarterback of the National Football League's (NFL) Green Bay Packers signed a 4 year $134 million contract extension in August of this year.  I'd be smiling too !

29. Nervous twitches: TICS.

33. Vein discovery: ORE.

34. ... Venus, __, Mars ...: EARTH.   “we are unique individuals with unique experiences” - John Gray,  Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus

35. Like sea battles: NAVAL.

36. Column slant: Abbr.: POV.   Point of view.  Often revealed in (33 Down) -  Pundit's piece: OP ED.    I skip most of them and head to the important stuff. *

37. Overseas business abbr.: LTD.

38. Sheep's call: BAA.

40. Sister Sledge's "We __ Family": ARE.  The four Sledge sisters from Philadelphia hit in big at the height of the disco era in 1979 with this song.  The 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball (MLB) adopted this song as a theme song on their way to winning the 1979 World Series over the Baltimore Orioles.

41. Corp. bigwigs: EXECS.  Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, ET ALIA.

43. Nike alternative: ASICs.   Application Specific Integrated Circuits.   No, wait.  Never mind.  Here it is the name of the the brand of running shoes and sports clothing.

45. __ showing: theater info: NOW.

46. Textile mill worker: DYER. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for dyers and finishers will decline by 24 percent between 2012 and 2022.   I tried to find the job outlook for bakery icers for a comparison, but could only find de-icers.  Ramp agents at the airports.

49. Whirlpool brand: AMANA.

51. Wee bit: DAB.   Brylcreem.  A little dab will do ya.    Well then, Dippity-do !

52. Ship's chart: SEA MAP.

55. Air, mostly: NITROGEN.

62. Intricate garden feature: MAZE.

63. Medieval suit: ARMOR.

64. Backtalk: SASS.

65. Prickly husks: BURS.  We had a chestnut in the treeline of the woods along the back of our property when I was growing up.   When the bur (husk) opens, they're ripe.   Remove the husk, then boil or roast for 20 minutes to soften the skin.  Cool, peel and enjoy. 

66. Nary a soul: NO ONE.

67. London rental: FLAT.

68. Blind part: SLAT.


1. Brewpub pints: ALES.

2. Under the weather: SICK.  A possible side-effect of drinking too many brewpub pints.

3. Hatcher with a recurring role in TV's "Supergirl": TERI.   Melissa Benoist stars as the series' titular character, Supergirl.    Teri Hatcher played villain Queen Rhea.  Supergirl and Queen Rhea duke it out:

4. [Shrug]: I DUNNO.  I dunno why I linked that previous video.  Is anyone here a fan ?   Has anyone here ever been able to sit through an episode ?  Maybe when the grandchildren are around ?

6. Nastase of tennis: ILIE.   Physically gifted and deftly skilled Romanian-born professional tennis player during the 1970s and early 1908s.   An International Tennis Hall of Fame member, he ranked as high as World # 1 in late 1973 and most of 1974.   Enfant terrible.  Nicknamed "Nasty" and the "Bucharest Buffoon" because of his on court antics and histrionics.  John McEnroe was a choirboy compared to Nastase.   In July 2017, the 72 year old Nastase received a 4 year ban by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for his actions and racist comments.  The World Tennis Association (WTA) probably has him on thin ice as well. 

7. Minor role: BIT PART.   Erased "BIT role" as quickly as I entered it because role was in the clue. 

8. Scrooge's "Dang!": BAH.  Humbug.

9. Good, in Guatemala: BUENO.

10. Hawks' home: ATLANTA.  The Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

11. Ewe kid: LAMB

12. "A Light in the Attic" poet Silverstein: SHEL.   I know this name only from crosswords.  I had Shul until I changed Helmut to Helmet.   Don't know where that U came from.  Maybe Canada ?

13. Penny-__: unimportant: ANTE.   I like Wikipedia.   It's not unusual to find a few penny-ante errors in articles every now and then.  But then sometimes I run into obviously vandalized articles, like this one, which has since been corrected:

I also first thought this was a Wikipedia error, but it's a Google knowledge panel error:

19. Roll call answer: HERE.   An appropriate answer for a roll call to, "How many of you were wondering where TTP was going with those comments about penny-ante ?"

21. Woodworking rods: DOWELS.

25. Rubbish container: ASH BIN.   I used a galvanized metal pail as an ash bin.  I used it when  I emptied the ash tray at the bottom of the pot bellied stove.

26. Stockholder's agent: PROXY

27. Protective embankment: LEVEE.  A musical interlude is needed.

28. Install, as a cleric: ORDAIN.

30. Eric Trump's mom: IVANA.

31. Off-the-cushion pool shot: CAROM.

32. Large quantity: SLEW.

35. Daytona 500 org.: NASCAR.  The National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing.  The Daytona 500 is the top event in NASCAR.   Racing began at Dayton Beach in 1903 with a race between Ransom E Olds  and  Alexander Winton.   Richard Petty has the all-time record of 7 Daytona 500 wins.   AJ Foyt won it once.   Mario Andretti won it in 1967, and remains the only foreign-born racer to ever have won it.

42. Ice-climber's boot attachment: CRAMPON.

44. Tabloid fodder: SCANDAL.

47. One of the Three Bears: PAPA.  Can't help but thinking of George "Papa Bear" Halas of the NFL Chicago Bears when I hear or see Papa Bear, but in this clue it's about Goldilocks and the Three Bears.   As an aside, blogging the puzzle can broaden one's knowledge base.  e.g. I had no previous knowledge of  the origins of the Goldilocks tale until reading the Wikipedia article. 

48. Cold War threats: H-BOMBS.

50. Skiing champ Phil or Steve: MAHRE.  In the Olympics: 1976 Innsbruck, 1980 Lake Placid, and 1984 Sarajevo.    The Mahre brothers: Twin skiers who won gold and silver in slalom.

52. Cross over: SPAN.   The UFO Bridge spans the Danube in Bratislava, Slovakia.

53. Tipperary tip jar coin: EURO. The town and county in Ireland, and their current currency.  Learned of this song watching some old movie.

54. Hunter's need: AMMO.

56. Victor's wife in "Casablanca": ILSA. Victor Lazlo and Ilsa Lund, played by Paul Henreid and Ingrid Berman, respectively.   Here's a memorable scene from that movie.  Sam is played by Dooley Wilson.   

57. Ancient France: GAUL.  And present day Belgium, Luxembourg, most of Switzerland, northern Italy,  parts of the Netherlands and of Germany west of the Rhine.  About a third way through its existency, Julius Caesar had the unmitigated gall to invade and conquer almost all of Gaul.

58. Poet Pound: EZRAAnnenberg Learner - Voices and Visions - Ezra Pound

59. Branch home: NEST

61. Bad check letters: NSF.  Non-Sufficient Funds.  Why ?  Why did they come up with this term ?  Why not insufficient funds ?

* Where's that crossword puzzle ?  😀

Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to Big Easy (George Simpson). Hope Diane is recovering quickly from her knee surgery, George!