May 23, 2018

Wednesday May 23, 2018 Gail Grabowski and Bruce Venzke

Theme:  LIGHT-HEADED (60. Feeling woozy ... and a hint to the first words of the answers to starred clues)- Synonym theme. 

17A. *Precarious position: SHAKY GROUND.

38A. *1979 boxing sequel: ROCKY II.
11D. *Hall of Fame pitcher with the 1930s Cardinals: DIZZY DEAN.

31D. *Very small chance: FAINT HOPE.

C.C. here, filling in a Wednesday blogging gap.

From the byline, we can see that this puzzle's idea was Gail's. Constructor who dreams up the theme normally has her/his name come up first in byline order. So, this is a GAB puzzle (Gail and Bruce). If Bruce's name comes up first, then we'll have BAG (Bruce and Gail) puzzle. That's their code.

Some of you know I have low blood pressure. When the numbers get too low, I feel DIZZY. I don't use ROCKY to describe light-headedness though. I'm a happy person if I can make 92/65. Tough job! Very odd problem for someone who loves all kinds of pickled stuff. 


1. Italian fashion label: PRADA. Two more five-letter candidates: FENDI & GUCCI.

6. Invasive Asian vine: KUDZU.

11. CSI lab sample: DNA.

14. "Cosmos" host: SAGAN (Carl).

15. Symphonic winds: OBOES.

16. + or - particle: ION.

19. Zoo opening in Britain: ZED. Just the opening letter: Zoo

20. Long-lasting needlework?: TATTOO. Cute clue.

21. Hero of Uris' "Exodus": ARI.

22. Business magnate: CZAR.

23. Lowest in fat: LEANEST. We also have 28. Most coquettish: COYEST Also .46. Not as clear: HAZIER.

25. "And __ off!": THEY'RE.

27. Take it easy: REST. So glad you're now "clean as a whistle", dear Spitzboov!

Spitzboov, Betty & Argyle 
28. Grade-schooler: CHILD.

29. Fido's poodle amie: FIFI.

32. Classification prefix meaning "arrangement": TAXO. Learning moment for me.

34. What candidates "press" a lot of: FLESH.

37. Time division: ERA. FYI, Dave 2, "Lucy Baines" is a song by Chad Mitchell Trio. D-Otto burned a special CD for Boomer, who's been blasting those songs.

40. Wanted poster letters: AKA.

41. Do an airport maintenance job: DE-ICE.

43. Eager about, with "on": KEEN.

44. Foul mood: SNIT.

45. __ Ark: NOAH'S.

47. "Get outta there!": SCAT.

49. Bronchial woe: ASTHMA.

51. Totally puzzled: AT A LOSS. For words.

54. Journalist Paula: ZAHN. Have not watched anything by her after her CNN days.

55. It has a dozen signs: Abbr.: ZOD. OK. Zodiac.

57. Low clouds: STRATI.

59. "Evil Woman" band, briefly: ELO.

62. Knock: RAP.

63. Former Houston hockey team: AEROS. Houston Aeros (1994–2013). Wiki said they were the "AHL affiliate of the NHL's Minnesota Wild. The team is now the Iowa Wild." I forgot. I don't follow the Wild.

64. Tequila plant: AGAVE.

65. Citrus suffix: ADE.

66. __-Roman wrestling: GRECO.

67. Doled (out): METED. 


1. Subtle summons: PSST.

2. 1986 Indy 500 champ Bobby: RAHAL. Not UNSER.

3. Colorful quartz: AGATE.

4. '60s TV show whose title means "doctor" in Swahili: DAKTARI. Unknown to me.

5. "Do I have a volunteer?": ANYONE? Anyone?

6. "MASH" setting: Abbr.: KOR. Korea.

7. WWII sub: U BOAT. Sometimes it's E-BOAT.

8. Gloomy: DOUR.

9. Apex: ZENITH.

10. Amer. money: USD.

12. Lack of musical skill: NO EAR.

13. Agassi of tennis: ANDRE.

18. Heads for: GOES TO.

22. Honeycomb unit: CELL. I'm loving Aldi's raw honey lately.

24. Puts into piles: STACKS.

26. LP player: HI FI.

29. Gave grub to: FED. Here is a typical kitchen in Guangzhou. My friend Carmen's home. One light soy sauce, one dark soy sauce, olive oil, peanut oil, white pepper, salt and sugar. Oh, Jayce, I just learned yesterday that 胡椒粉 and 花椒粉 are different. Carmen, you and Boomer use 胡椒粉. But my brother uses 花椒粉  (Sichuan peppercorns powder).
30. Anger: IRE.

33. Jaguar model: XKE.

35. Hit the slopes: SKI.

36. Fez, e.g.: HAT. Hi, Abejo!

38. Scold, with "out": REAM.

39. One way to pay: IN CASH.

42. "Walking in Memphis" singer Marc: COHN.

44. Attic function: STORAGE. Gotta 50's baseball cards there?

48. Chi. White Sox or Bos. Red Sox: AL TEAM.

49. Hyundai sedan: AZERA.

50. Tossed __: SALAD.

51. For a special purpose: AD HOC.

52. '70s-'80s Egyptian president: SADAT.

53. Actor Carell: STEVE. Or [L.A. Times Crossword Corner blogger Marron]. Such a cool picture!

56. Folklore brute: OGRE.

58. Carded at a club, briefly: ID'ED.

60. Fall behind: LAG.

61. Chinese menu surname: TSO.


May 22, 2018

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 Debbie Ellerin


Debbie drops these baked goods into our thoughts to sweeten our day.

16. Bed buyer's concern: COMFORT, and 17. Still on the plate: UNEATEN.   FORTUNE cookie.

23. "Oliver Twist" criminal: FAGIN, and 25. "Sommersby" star Richard: GERE.  GINGER cookie.

45. Bump up against: ABUT, and 47. Coastal flock: TERNS.  BUTTER cookie.

53. Massage technique meaning "finger pressure" in Japanese: SHIATSU, and 55. Stocking attachments: GARTERS.  SUGAR cookie.

34. With 36-Across, mass-produced ... and what each of four black squares in this puzzle is?: COOKIE CUTTER.

1. Far from homogeneous: DIVERSE.

8. Fight back: RESIST.

14. Threatening: OMINOUS.

15. Red hot chili pepper: CAYENNE.  Add a half-teaspoon or more to your next batch of chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies.  Don't knock it until you try it. 

18. Suffix for Gator: ADE.  Gatorade.  Developed by researchers at the University of Florida.

19. Like cactus-friendly climates: ARID.   The Prickly Pear is the official state plant of Texas.

Tender cactus leaves (nopalitos) are nutritious substitutes for green beans, okra, squash, and bell pepper. Its top production occurs in the summer months when other vegetable plants are out of season. Texas Cactus Council

20. "__ making a list ... ": HE'S.

21. Family guy: SON.

26. Deeply absorbed: RAPT.

27. Clickable pic: ICON
Anonymous T borrowed this familiar image to use as the desktop ICON for a Windows program he wrote for use by C.C.'s blogging team.   The program eliminated repetitious pre-blogging work.  Great job Anon T !   Thanks again !

28. Skippy rival: JIF.

29. Roadie's load: AMP.

30. San Antonio Spurs coach Popovich: GREGG.
PK would know he's called "Pop" or "Coach Pop"   He is the longest tenured coach in the NBA and in all major sports leagues in the United States.   He has a record-setting 21 consecutive winning seasons, and has won 5 NBA Championships as the head coach of the Spurs.

31. Worth having: OF USE.

37. "Spun" tales: YARNS.  Madame Defarge knows about yarns that do not include dubious amounts of exaggeration. 

38. Arm bone-related: ULNAR.

41. News letters: UPI

42. Trike rider: TOT.

43. Having no slack: TAUT.

44. Soft French wheel: BRIE. Why Some Cheeses Come in Wheels and Others in Blocks

48. Blues-rocker Chris: REA.

49. Somerhalder of "The Vampire Diaries": IAN.

50. Two in a row?: OARS.

51. Prompt on stage: CUE.

59. Rodeo ropes: LASSOES.

60. Massachusetts site of Phillips Academy: ANDOVER.  Prestigious university prep school that is named in many rankings as the best high school in the country.  About $54K/yr if you can get your child or grandchild accepted.   I scanned the alumni list.  Didn't get past the B's.  The Bush's,  Bill Belichick, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Humphrey Bogart...  although the Casablanca actor was expelled.

61. This one or that one: EITHER.

62. Dangerous wave: TSUNAMI.

1. Bashful pal: DOC.  They of Sleeping Beauty

2. Texter's "If you ask me": IMO.

3. Vigor's partner: VIM.

4. "Terrible" French kid: ENFANT.  "Enfant terrible, which literally means "terrifying child" in French...could be anyone - young or old - whose behavior shocked others. Now the term is also often applied to young, successful newcomers who shock or scare old-timers with their new approaches, easy successes, or disregard for tradition."   Paraphrased from Merriam Webster.

5. Crucifix: ROOD.

6. Foolproof: SURE FIRE. "What's a sure fire way to fail your driving test ?"

7. Guinness suffix: EST.

8. Carted off to jail: RAN IN.

9. Looked at closely: EYED.

10. "The __ is calm tonight": "Dover Beach" opening: SEASummary and Analysis

11. Coming up: IN THE FUTURE.

12. Show contempt: SNEEREmotional body language - Sneer explained

13. Present perfect, for one: TENSE.

15. Saving one's bacon?: CURING.  Fun clue. 

19. Really excited: AGOG.

21. Polynesian nation: SAMOA.

22. One who strikes while the iron is hot: OPPORTUNIST

24. Top pitcher: ACE. Nat Max Scherzer 7W - 1L,  1.78 ERA,  104 SO, 0.85 WHIP.  Those are ACE stats.

25. Birthday present: GIFT.

26. Risqué: RACY.

28. Soup du __: JOUR.

30. Essence: GIST.

32. Vintage hue on a photo app: SEPIA.

33. Scary-sounding lake: ERIE.

35. Nautical speed unit: KNOT.

36. Cross-sectional X-rays: CATSCANS.

38. Development site: UTERUS.

39. Metallica drummer Ulrich: LARS.

40. Woman with a habit?: NUN.

44. Nantes native: BRETON.

Nantes is a city on the Loire river and is the capital of Brittany, a region of  France. 

Bretons are an ethnic group located in this region.

45. Flier's window alternative: AISLE.

46. Iranian faith: BAHAI.

47. Stun gun brand: TASER.

50. Winnebago relative: OTOE.

52. Pakistan's national language: URDU.

54. Mt. St. Helens output: ASH.

55. Mobster's piece: GAT.

56. "2 Fast 2 Furious" actress Mendes: EVA.   Eva and partner Ryan Gosling

57. Sleep acronym: REM.  "Rapid eye movement sleep (REM sleep, REMS) is a unique phase of sleep in mammals and birds, distinguishable by random/rapid movement of the eyes, accompanied with low muscle tone throughout the body, and the propensity of the sleeper to dream vividly." Wikipedia.

58. Indian title: SRI.  "...a polite form of address, like "mister" in English, or as an epithet for the names of Hindu deities."  Yogapedia

Here's the grid:

May 21, 2018

Monday May 21, 2018 Jake Braun

Theme: INSIDE JOKE (61. Humor shared by a select few ... and by this puzzle's circles) - Three synonyms of jokes are hidden in three theme entries.

17A. Like #1 hits: TOP RANKING.

29A. Stands for sheets with notes: MUSIC RACKS.

44A. For a full license, it's 17 or 18 in most states: DRIVING AGE.

Boomer here.  

Good morning all.  I am sure you were able to CRACK a GAG while you solved this puzzle.  Much simpler Monday offering than last week. We finally got two new doors on our humble home last week.  Now C.C. can open them with one arm, and I can open them without the colorful language.

1. Pet adoption org.: ASPCA.

6. Sore after exercise: ACHY. Billy Ray Cyrus had a Breaky Heart

10. Landlocked African nation: CHAD. Okay, but my clue would have been Mr. Mitchell of the famous 60s Trio.

14. They're entered in court: PLEAS.

15. One of Pittsburgh's three rivers: OHIO. What is round on the ends and High in the middle?

16. Hawaii County seat: HILO. A song of love is a sad song, Hi Lili, Hi Lili, Hilo.

19. Wide-eyed: AGOG.

20. Buffet fuel: STERNO. This would be a backwoods buffet.  Most casino buffets use steam tables.

21. Sewn medical treatment: STITCHES.

23. 36 inches: YARD.  How many were in Tom Brady's passing stats this year?

25. "So that's your game!": OHO.

26. Auto loan default result: REPO.

35. Key with one sharp: Abbr.: E MIN. I think this was my grade on my first Latin test.

36. Rice field: PADDY. A fixture in Vietnam, but also Paddy O'Furniture is a famous Irish furniture store.  Is Irish furniture always green?

37. Shirt with a slogan: TEE. First time I've seen this word in a puzzle without a golf reference.

38. School basics: ABCS.

39. Pub beer orders: PINTS.

40. Cup of joe: JAVA. How many names can you think of for coffee?

41. Writing desk room, perhaps: DEN.

42. Classic orange soda: FANTA. A Coca Cola Company product - comes in many flavors but I don't see it in stores around Minnesota.

43. Inch or mile, e.g.: UNIT. Also a term for an Army Company.  Add a "wit" and it's what the sergeant called any one of us.

47. Macy's department: MEN'S. - History lesson.  Macy's in Minnesota was once Dayton's, owned by the family of our current Governor, Mark.  Dayton's was very popular years ago.  Macy's is high class but a bit on the pricey side.

48. LeBron, e.g., briefly: CAV. Looks like the Celtics are handling Mr. James pretty well in the playoffs.

49. Nose-in-the-air type: SNOB.

51. Challenging words: I DARE YOU. Sometimes you get "Double Dared"

56. Privy to the scheme: IN ON IT.

60. Sushi seaweed: NORI. This is seaweed that people eat! Not me.

63. Leg joint: KNEE.

64. Litter yippers: PUPS.

65. Sufferer healed by Jesus: LEPER.

66. Apt "ayes" anagram: YEAS. All in favor ?

67. Exxon, formerly: ESSO.

68. Substitutes' squad: B TEAM.  As opposed to the team of George Peppard and Mr. T who called everyone "Sucka", not lollipop. 


1. Tenants' qtrs.: APTS.

2. Vegas machine: SLOT.  Remember the old machines where you put coins in the slot.  Now they only take paper money.

3. Le Pew of skunkdom: PEPE. A famous skunk created in the 40s.  I think he fell in love with Penelope Pussycat.

4. Bags you don't check: CARRY-ONS.  I really hate it when people carry on bags that my bowling balls would fit into, then stuff them overhead. Two other cross-referenced answers: 31. 4-Down attachments: ID TAGS. 34. 4-Down may be stored under them: SEATS.  Not the bowling ball size though.

5. Yoga position: ASANA.

6. Hunky-dory: A-OK.  NASA talk in Houston I believe.

7. Letters after phis: CHIS. It's Greek to me.

8. Dash, as of a spice: HINT.

9. Quotable Berra: YOGI.  One of my all time favorite Yankees.  "When you get to a fork in the road, Take it."  Finished his career as a Met.

10. "One, two, one-two-three" dance: CHA CHA.

11. Like more efficient gas: HIGH OCTANE. Since Octo is eight in Spanish and ten in Month number, why is high octane 89-92 ? 

12. Botanical balm: ALOE.  Add VERA and we have a plant on our deck.

13. Kennel barkers: DOGS.

18. Usual: NORM. After the movie "Psycho" I think people stopped naming their sons, Norm. (Apologies to any Normans here on the blog today).

22. Whig rival: TORY.  I think people believe that Whigs and Tories became Republicans and Democrats, however after the big wedding Saturday, I think there's a bit of Whig in all of us.

24. Fooling: DUPING.

26. Check, as an invoice: RE-ADD.

27. Fireplace glower: EMBER.

28. Park place with tables: PICNIC AREA.

30. North Pole letter recipient: SANTA. Memories of Argyle here.

32. DJ's assortment: CDS.

33. Actor Costner: KEVIN.  One of my favorites, especially as Crash Davis in "Bull Durham".  I think he bought into a casino in Deadwood, SD but it did not do well.

39. Flying Peter: PAN.

40. 747, e.g.: JUMBO JET. We don't see them much any more.  The 737 seems to be the jet of choice these days.

42. Pentagon side count: FIVE.  Hand slap gimme.

45. Isn't the same for everyone: VARIES.

46. Oklahoma city: ENID.

50. 16 oz.: ONE LB.  Okay - Libra is Latin for scale. That is how "pound" got the "LB" abbreviation.  This is why Latin drove me insanis.

51. Pitch-black: INKY.  I once scored 208,000 on a Pac Man machine at Great America Amusement Park in Northern Illinois.  When I finally lost there were about ten people behind me watching.  Inky was one of the characters in the game.  I think he was the blue one.

52. All finished: DONE. Almost

53. "Jeepers!": YIPE.

54. Heavy burden: ONUS.

55. Govt. mail agency: USPS. - We have 80,000 people in Brooklyn Park.  The mail gets delivered, but not always on time.

57. "Uh-uh": NOPE.

58. Flat-package furniture chain: IKEA. We have a huge IKEA store near the Mall of America. 

59. Senate six years: TERM.  33 seats are up for grabs in 169 days!

62. Prefix with metric: ISO.


May 20, 2018

Sunday May 20, 2018 C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Shifting - G is shifted back one position in each theme entry.

21A. Steepin' oats in water?: SOAKIN' GRAIN. Soaking rain.

27A. Marathoner's lookin'-happy flush?: RUNNIN' GLOW. Running low.

53A. Result of tossin' an old mitt on the fire?: BURNIN' GLOVE. Burning Love.

82A. Layin' off football legend Red?: FIRIN' GRANGE. Firing range. Red Grange.
111A. Takin' first place at the Olympics?: GETTIN' GOLD. Getting old.

119A. Muttered complaint about a toe woe that's really hurtin'?: BLEEPIN' GOUT. Bleeping out.

3D. Lettin' the family elder onto the plane?: BOARDIN' GRAMPS. Boarding ramps.
58D. Preparin' husbands-to-be?: TRAININ' GROOMS. Training rooms.

Rich helped me tweak the clues. I original forced all the elided "Ing" word in the starts of the clues.

After Rich OK'ed my theme entries (you don't need to send-in clued grids for Sunday puzzles), I fiddled with a few grids. Was super-excited when I discovered that I could intersect four of the Across theme entries with two other Down entries. This does not happen often. 


1. Fatah party chairman: ABBAS.  Mahmoud.

6. Battle souvenirs: SCARS.

11. Vanilla extract meas.: TSP. Time for overnight oats again. You need a little big vanilla extract..

14. Super Bowl stats: TDS.

17. Fairy tale villain: CRONE.

18. Saintly glows: AURAS.

19. "Desperate Housewives" character: BREE.

20. __ & Chandon Champagne: MOET.

23. Take, as advice: HEED.

24. A few: SOME.

25. Provider of a big lift: CRANE. Oh, I like the image. Rich's clue.

26. Bush and Nixon: Abbr.: VPS. Bush Sr.

29. Whale group: POD.

30. Lack of trouble: EASE.

32. "See ya later": I GOTTA GO.

34. Processed food?: ATE.

35. Hopkins' role in "Thor": ODIN.

37. Johnson Space Center humanoid project: ROBONAUT. Gary probably knew this.

39. Put faith in: TRUSTED.

41. Dunham and Horne: LENAS. Bad fill. Plural name is always undesirable.

43. Disallow: BAN.

44. "Cool it!": STOP.

46. Great Lakes natives: ERIES.

47. Beaufort scale word: GALE.

49. Pol. neighbor: LITH. Lithuania.

51. __ wait: lurk: LIE IN.

56. Chinese ethnic group that's the world's largest: HAN. I'm a Han. We have 56 ethnic groups in China. 92% are Han people.

57. Org. seeking far-out life: SETI.

60. Physicians' org.: AMA.

61. 50% of MIV: DII.

62. Fledgling: NASCENT.

64. Goat sound?: HARD G. Just the letter in Goat.

66. 2007 National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee: HAMM. Mia. Thanks for correcting my clue errors, Rich!

68. 1995 Stallone title role: DREDD.

70. Stand for a canvas: EASEL.

72. Base information?: DATA. Lovely. Rich's clue. Not DATA plan yet, Big Easy, the front door was prioritized. Always took me forever to open it and remove the keys, but things got impossible the past few weeks. 

73. Energize: AMP UP.

75. Split into thirds: TRISECT.

77. Gym exercise unit: REP.

79. "__ the Senate!": Darth Sidious: I AM. Not familiar to me.

80. Snippy retort: IS SO.

81. Occurrence: HAP. Not a word I use. Wish I could have removed it. Gluey.

85. Unrefined: CRASS.

87. Custardy pastry: FLAN.

88. Voice-activated iPad app: SIRI.

89. Blink, say: REACT.

91. Sign word beckoning a Canadian driver: ESSO.

94. Waze lines: Abbr.: STS.

96. Surprise in a bottle: GENIE.

99. In an edgy way: TESTILY.

101. Pigs with four tusks: WARTHOGS. Wiki says "The tusks are used for digging, for combat with other hogs, and in defense against predators – the lower set can inflict severe wounds."

104. Petri dish gelatin: AGAR.

105. Blur in a tabloid pic: UFO.

106. "Cheers" actress Bebe: NEUWIRTH.

108. Escalator handle?: OTIS.

110. Cape Town locale: Abbr.: RSA. Republic of South Africa.

113. Phase out: END.

115. First king of Crete: MINOS.

117. Mushroomed: GREW.

118. Brownie, maybe: GIRL.

122. Yale's Ingalls Rink designer Saarinen: EERO.

123. Males who meow: TOMS. D-Otto and his wife take care of quite a few meowers. The other Tom is a dog person. 

TTP's buddy Charlie

124. "Nothing for me": I'M SET.

125. Cause for a pause: COMMA.

126. "L.A. Law" actress: DEY (Susan).

127. CDC overseer: HHS. Health & Human Services.

128. Sounds shocked: GASPS.

129. Big Bertha's birthplace: ESSEN. 


1. Apt. coolers: ACS.

2. Etiquette on frat row: BRO CODE.

4. "My Way" lyricist: ANKA.

5. It flows below the Pont Neuf: SEINE. Pont Neuf = New Bridge.

6. Droop: SAG.

7. Slider option: CURVE BALL. Bert Blyleven! Also 98. Nolan Ryan's 1.69 in 1981: Abbr.: ERA. And 42. Dove into home, say: SLID.

8. "I don't give __!": A RAP.

9. Granola morsel: RAISIN. I love throwing in raisins in my coleslaw.

10. Job application no.: SSN.

11. Former Senator Lott: TRENT.

12. Witnessed visiting: SEEN AT.

13. Purebred family tree: PEDIGREE.

14. "You missed it": TOO LATE! Left my aloe vera plant on our deck two days ago. It rained unexpectedly. I hope my plant survives.

15. Reduces in rank: DEMOTES.

16. __ prunes: STEWED.

19. Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir: BHUTTO.

20. Chinese sauce additive: MSG. Here is the hugely popular sauce in China. With MSG of course. What Jayce said before, MSG never gave me headache or other discomfort.

22. In the area: NEAR.

27. Beat soundly: ROUT.

28. Keep healthy: NOURISH.

29. D.C. dealmaker: POL.

31. One may be choked back: SOB. Still tear up easily thinking of Argyle. Always thought he would be back.

33. Deep cuts: GASHES.

36. Chapati alternative: NAAN. Chapati is also called Roti.

38. Chip topper: ONION DIP.

40. "Nothing Compares 2 U" singer O'Connor: SINEAD.

45. Prepares (for): PLANS.

48. Geraint's beloved: ENID.

50. Show stoppers: TV ADS.

52. Trainee: INTERN.

53. Island band The __ Men: BAHA. No other way to clue BAHA.

54. Fish sauce taste: UMAMI. Fish sauce is an important ingredient in Kimchi making.

55. Saddle bands: GIRTHS.

56. Summer itch cause: HEAT RASH. I developed sun rash on my arms a few summers ago. Very odd. All gone now.

59. Luggage tie-on: ID TAG.

63. Director DeMille: CECIL.

65. Up for it: GAME.

67. Mideast capital: MUSCAT.

69. Wipe clean: ERASE.

71. Centipede's many: LEGS.

74. Popular soup mushroom: PORCINI. Porcini Risotto for Blue Hen, our gourmet chef.

76. Diligence: EFFORT.

78. Fuddy-duddy: PRIG.

83. Unable to back out: IN TOO DEEP.

84. 58.4 square miles, for Minneapolis: AREA. The first time I heard of Minneapolis was when I was watching "In the Line of Fire". The lady was killed simply because she was from Minneapolis.

86. Verbosely: AT LENGTH.

89. Foul caller: REFEREE.

90. Arcane stuff: ESOTERY. Spell check does not like this word.

92. Gulps down: SWILLS.

93. Reddish-brown chalcedony: SARD.

95. SFPD rank: SGT.

97. Postulate starter: I ASSUME.

99. Pulled: TUGGED.

100. Manga series about gaming: YU-GI-OH. Yu-Gi = Game. Oh = King.

102. Louise's pal: THELMA.

103. __ Valley: SIMI.

107. They often get hooked: WORMS.

109. From that time: SINCE. My grandma and me in our little kitchen. She was kneading that big dough when I came into the kitchen. She was about 80 or 81 then. All her clothes were hand-made.

112. Quantity in a brace: TWO.

114. Capone adversary: NESS.

116. Oxfam and PETA, for two: NGOS. Non-Governmental Organizations.

119. Trending: BIG.

120. Hoops stat: Abbr.: PTS.

121. What a Hawaii vacationer may come home with: TAN.


May 19, 2018

Saturday, May 19, 2018, Jeff Chen

A Themless Saturday puzzle by Jeff Chen

The third Saturday in May has  been designated National Armed Forces Day and I am happy to call attention to such a noble day. Many thanks to all who have served and especially to our veterans who blog here with us.

Today's puzzle comes to us from Jeff Chen who has an MBA from the Foster School Of Business at the University of Washington. Here he is displaying an incredible grid he created.

One thing that caught my eye on Jeff's fine puzzle was a plethora of J's. He had nine in all but the stair step of four J's in the middle stands out like an honest politician. I wonder if that was just serendipity. Last Saturday's Greg Johnson puzzle only had one J - DON'T JINX IT!

Every corner had speed bumps for me but worked out beautifully with Tintinnabulation being my last head scratcher but the bell finally rang and I got it. Yeah, I know, don't quit your day job!

Here are the balance (MBA, get it?) of Jeff's Saturday-worthy clues:


1. Begin another chapter, e.g.: WRITE - ...and the plot thickens

6. Gets high at a moment's notice?: JET SETS - I don't think these are people I want to, uh, "get high with" at a moment's notice!

13. Country name on "The Woman in Me": SHANIA - Now, on the other hand, Shania... 

14. Cell package: DATA PLAN.

15. Suppressed guffaw: TITTER.

16. Art using locks: JIU JITSU - "When I say no..."

17. Verbalize: UTTER.

18. Double over?: FOLD - An elementary teacher taught me this FOLDING mnemonic 

19. Grave: TOMB and 8. Part of a historic 19-Across name: TAJ - It costs 1,000 rupees to enter the TAJ MAHAL to see the TOMB of Mumtaz Mahal.  It is open everyday but only Muslims can enter on Friday


20. Bit of tintinnabulation: PEAL - The Moon has no air, so if a bell is rung there does it make a TINTINNABULATION? 

21. NBA great __ Olajuwon: HAKEEM - The two most famous NBA stars with Nigerian parents. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo                          Hakkem Olajuwon

23. MIT mentors: RAS - Resident Assistant. In our dorm their thankless job was to keep beer out of the dorm

24. Lilly of pharmaceuticals: ELI.

25. Insert into an email, as a video: EMBED.

26. Buckets: A TON - It is supposed to rain buckets today

28. Hard-boiled genre: FILM NOIR - Turner Classic Movies is a good place to find them

30. Self-titled 2001 album: J.LO Jennifer LOpez, her boyfriend (our cwd friend A ROD) and their four children from other marriages 

31. Voter's choices: YES OR NO - It surprised me on Tuesday how many bond issues around here got a YES vote!

32. Worried about losing one's place?: JEALOUS

36. Spree: JAG

37. Source of trial figures: JURY LIST - This is the JURY LIST of the men who found Al Capone guilty. Judge Wilkerson got wind that the original panel had been bribed by Capone and so he swapped Capone's original jury with these men who had been empaneled for another trial across the hall

38. Asian genre influenced by The Beatles: J POP Japanese POP music. Here's sample with Japanese lyrics and the English translation. 30 seconds should give you the idea that this ain't Mozart!

40. Throws out: JUNKS - Those temporary taxes never seem to suffer this fate

41. Debt-laden Wall St. deal: LBO - Leveraged Buy Out

42. Small Indian state: GOA - Yeah, I'd go with small

43. Hardware with elongated heads: T BOLTS.

45. Awestruck: AGOG and 25. Unable to look away: ENRAPT and  I think some of these 600 kids were this on Monday during my Manned Space Flight presentation. Uh, that's yours truly in the Carrot Suit.

46. Game with a 2210 A.D. edition: RISK - An angry Ukrainian took exception when Kramer 
52. Hint at, with "to": ALLUDED to negative characteristics about Ukraine while playing RISK with Newman 

48. Et __: ALIA

49. Arcade giant: ATARI.

50. Retirement obstacle: INSOMNIA- Retire for the night

53. Dessert analog to turducken: PIECAKEN.

54. Puts on: STAGES - Let's PUT ON A SHOW!

55. George Carlin was the first, briefly: SNL HOST - TV Guide announcement 

56. Firefighter, at times: HOSER - A popular Omaha event


1. Slight fiction: WHITE LIE - Think carefully before you answer Honest Abe

Does this dress make me look fat, Abe?
2. Faddish '80s-'90s hairstyles: RAT TAILS.

3. Agents' gathering: INTEL - His skill and diligence at gathering INTEL by decoding Japanese messages made the difference at Midway

4. Level with fans: TIER - Wanna see the Yankees and Dodgers in Yankee Stadium? The price depends on which TIER you choose - $24 - $2,000.

5. __ trumpet: EAR - Eh? Not quite the same as my Bluetooth hearing aids!

6. Given a sentence to complete: JAILED - With Nebraska's "good time" law and good behavior, you can get out after completing only half that sentence 
7. Manuscript with dense notes?: ETUDE - I would say the notes in this Chopin ETUDE are pretty dense!

9. Hot rod?: SPIT - Improvisation

10. Corrida combatant: EL TORO 

11. Eponymous explorer of Australia: TASMAN - Abel TASMAN was the first European to see this area that is now a southern state of Australia 

12. Intentionally overlooks: SNUBS.

13. Make one's eyes pop out: STUPEFY.

14. Nickname for tennis star/prankster Novak Djokovic: DJOKER.

18. Icon often pictured with wind-blown hair: FABIO - Heartthrob FABIO then and now

21. Chinese ethnic group: HMONG - In Grand Torino Clint Eastwood plays an ex-marine that helps a HMONG family

22. Ringgit spenders: MALAYS - The price of a Big Mac Combo meal in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia is RM15 (three of these ringgits) which is about $4

27. Passing charge: TOLL.

29. Magical power: MOJO - Gotta get your MOJO workin!

30. Yanks: JERKS - Derek Jeter was one Yank who wasn't a JERK!

32. Post-fall cabal: JUNTA - Zimbabwe’s new President, Emmerson Mnangagwa is being accused of having formed a JUNTA after overthrowing Mugabe last year

33. Pressure indicator: OIL GAUGE.

34. Part of it was a 2016 campaign issue: US BORDER - Mama don't allow no politicking here

35. Cheap smokes: STOGIES - Famous STOGIES of song at :50

37. Assange of WikiLeaks: JULIAN - A man without a country

38. Hum along, say: JOIN IN - If you don't know the words, just make 'em up like my mother did!

39. Scores, with "a": PASSEL - Dropping an "R" after a vowel and before a consonant is common in English like PARCEL - PASSEL and Curse - cuss

40. City where Jake Blues was in prison: JOLIET - Played by brilliant, disturbed John Belushi

42. Some movie set techs: GRIPS - Here they are setting up a camera dolly

44. Hold-up targets: BANKS.

45. Hold-up man?: ATLAS - He did not hold up the aforementioned institutions

47. "Mayor" author: KOCH - Ed

49. One not often hitting the high note: ALTO - ALTO daughter had no shot at the soprano ingenue lead of Laurey in Oklahoma. She was a great Ado Annie

51. Leader with a jacket named for him: MAO - When paired with my Nehru and Eisenhower jacket, my wardrobe is internationally complete!

52. Elastic wood: ASH.

Hug a serviceman today and then comment: