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Feb 28, 2018

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 Paul Coulter

Theme: CAPITAL IDEAS.  This one is unusual.  Four country names cross the names of their capital cities.  They are arranged in two country-capital pairs, each of which is diagonally symmetrically placed in the grid.  Each country is placed across and each capital is placed down.  Lots of geometric thought went into this arrangement.  Note that the grid symmetry is 180 degree rotation around the central cell - the G of GRIDLOCK. Also, quite a trick finding the places that make this work.

3 D. With 17-Across, where the Duma sits : MOSCOW.
17 A. See 3-Down : RUSSIA.

13 D. With 23-Across, where the Hellenic Parliament sits : ATHENS.
23 A. See 13-Down : GREECE.

42 D. With 52-Across, where the Assembleia Nacional sits : LUANDA.
52 A. See 42-Down : ANGOLA.

45 D. With 58-Across, where Parliament sits : OTTAWA.
58 A. See 45-Down : CANADA.

And the centrally-placed, vertical, grid-spanning unifier -- 7 D. Legislative impasse ... and what occurs at this puzzle's circles? : CAPITAL GRIDLOCK.  Without getting political, this refers to the inability of congress to pass meaningful legislation due to intractable competing interests.  In the puzzle, the crossing of the countries with their capital cities locks both into the grid.  Nicely done.  And a lesson in the spellings of CAPITAL and CAPITOL, for those like me who need it.

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa here. Let's unlock the grid.

Across

1. Fitting the season : TIMELY.  Our daffodils are about 2 inches tall, but the crocuses have yet to make an appearance.

7. Innermost part : CORE.  Of an apple or nuclear reactor, among other things.

11. Gp. known for travelers' checks? : TSA.  The Transportation Safety Administration checks the travelers before they board airplanes.  Clever misdirection.

14. Ancient markets : AGORAE.  In ATHENS.  I wanted a terminal S, but the perps took care of that.

15. Erelong : ANON.  Soon.

16. Bow (out) : OPT.  You can also OPT in.

18. Sullen look : POUT.  Girls in my family, across the generations, have an infamous lower lip pout.

19. "Well, __-di-dah!" : LAH. An expression of derision directed at the pretentious.

20. Nutmeg spice : MACE.  Nutmeg is the ground seed-stone of the nutmeg plant.  MACE is the dried fibers of the surrounding fruit.

21. NY engineering sch. near Albany : RPIRensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a private research university and space-grant institution located in Troy, N. Y.  To the best of my knowledge, Helen never matriculated.

25. Enero to enero : ANO.  From January to January is one year in Spain, just like everywhere else.

26. Charcuterie fare : MEAT.  This is a store selling cold cooked MEATs.

27. Tippi of "The Birds" : HEDREN.  Famous Hitchcock movie.


28. Black bird's call : CAW.  Vide supra.

29. Necessitate : ENTAIL.

31. Goes on and on : GABS.  Blah, blah, blah.

32. Fish often fried : COD.  From the north Atlantic.

33. "The Thin Man" actress : LOY.


34. Zeta follower : ETA.  Letters from ATHENS.

35. Pack away : STOW.

37. Ratings for family-friendly films : PGS.  No sax or violins.

38. Rathskeller draft : BIER.   Contents are closely regulated.

39. __ goo gai pan : MOO.   Americanized Chinese cuisine - a stir-fried dish of chicken with button mushrooms and vegetables.

40. Wine-and-cassis drink : KIR.   Cassis is a black current liquer.  KIR is a measure of cassis topped up with white wine, usually drunk as an apéritif.

41. Cooped-up female : HEN.   Chicken lady.

42. Break in the action : LULL.  Time out.

43. 20 Questions category : ANIMAL.  Along with vegetable and mineral.  One of my long ago colleagues, a PHD physicist, chose something he claimed as vegetable, and nobody could suss it.  Turned out to be crude oil.

45. Food scrap : ORT.  Crossword fodder.

48. More unsightly : UGLIER.

50. Minor body-shop job : DENT.

51. Lipton product : TEA.  I happen to be sipping a mug of Twinings Earl Grey at the moment.

53. Inc., in London : LTD.  Designations for a limited liability corporation.

54. Wild guess : STAB.  Shot in the dark.

55. Class-conscious org.? : The National Education Association is a professional organization for teachers and support personnel.  Another misdirection.

56. Bouncing effect : ECHO.

60. "Spring forward" letters : DSTDaylight Savings Time.

61. À la mode : CHIC.  Per the current fashion, rather than served with ice cream.  Will be passé in no time.



62. Confessor : AVOWER.  I knew to avow meant to assert.  Didn't know it also meant to confess.  Learning moment.

63. Enzyme suffix : -ASE.   An enzyme is a large molecule that aids chemical reactions in biochemistry.

64. Watch word? : TICK.  It's companion is TOCK.

65. Word on a lost-dog poster : REWARD.

Down

1. Airport surface : TARMAC.  Pavement, generally made from tar and crushed rock.

2. Galápagos lizard : IGUANA.  A large arboreal lizard native to Central and South America.  Be careful in Florida.

4. Hebrides language : ERSE.  Scottish Gaelic.

5. French narrative poem : LAI.  A rhyming, counted-syllable form.

6. Like closing financial reports :  YEAR END.

8. "Oh Yoko!" dedicatee : ONO.  Japanese mulimedia artist and activist, best known as John Lennon's second wife.

9. Or so : ROUGHLY.  An approximation.

10. __ nous : ENTRE.  Just between us,

11. Stand : TOLERATE.  Put up with.

12. Long key : SPACEBAR.  On your keyboard.

22. Bit of butter : PAT.  A non-specific rather small quantity, so-called because fancy restaurants would pat butter into a mold to give it a decorative shape, such as a flower.

24. Enter cautiously : EDGE IN.

26. Cat call : MEOW.

30. Platform for Siri : IOS.  Operating system for Apple branded mobile devices.

32. "Cookin' With __": rapper/chef's web show : COOLIO.  Artis Leon Ivey Jr. (born 1963) is an American rapper, actor, chef, and record producer.

35. Overconfidence : SMUGNESS.  More like excessive pride.

36. Bridge entrance structure : TOLL GATE.  Only if it's a bridge that requires that a toll be paid.

37. ATM code : PINPersonal Identification Number.

38. One-swallow drink : BELT. Slug, gulp.

40. Pakistani port : KARACHI.  The CAPITAL of Sindh Province and, with 21.1 million residents, the most populous city in the country, and also a major industrial and financial center.

41. Railroad maintenance vehicle : HAND CAR.

44. Bumped into : MET.

46. Library patron : READER.

47. "The Canterbury Tales" inn : TABARD.  This is a real place, established in 1307, that was often used by pilgrims on the way to Canterbury.  Also the name of a peanut-shell-strewn tavern, back in the day, just down the road from my alma mater.

49. Campaign poster word : ELECT.  Vote for me!

54. White flakes : SNOW.  Winter is going.

57. Hawaiian Punch alternative : HI-C.  A fruit juice flavored drink made by the Minute-Maid division of the Coca-Cola Company.

59. Hail, to Caesar : AVE.  Latin word of greeting.

That's it for another Wednesday.  Hope you were able to work through it.

Cool regards!
JzB


Feb 27, 2018

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 ~ Jake Halperin

Theme: Synonym Toast - The ends of the theme words are loose synonyms for business.

17. Regularly go out (with): KEEP COMPANY

23. Getup for Woody of "Toy Story": COWBOY OUTFIT

38. What "2 + 2 = 4" is an example of: BINARY OPERATION

50. Preferred way of doing things: BEST PRACTICE

61. Front part of a hand tool, say ... and the last word of 17-, 23-, 38- and 50-Across?: BUSINESS END (i.e., the chain on a chain saw is the business end.)

Argyle here with what I thought was one of the toughest Tuesdays we've had in awhile. YMMV

Across:

1. Actress Swenson: INGA. I remember her from Gretchen Kraus, Benson, ABC, 1979-86.


5. Pops out, as a DVD: EJECTS

11. White lie: FIB

14. "Little" Dickens girl: NELL. The Old Curiosity Shop is a Dickens' novel.

15. Golf goof: MISHIT

16. Mined metal: ORE

19. Old horse: NAG

20. Rip off: STEAL

21. URL suffix for charities: .ORG

22. __ time: never: AT NO

27. Like some consonants, as the nasal "n": PALATAL

30. Actress de Matteo: DREA. Andrea Donna "Drea" de Matteo is an American actress, known for her role as Angie Bolen on ABC's "Desperate Housewives".


31. Press into service: USE

32. Invalidate: VOID

35. "The Lion King" lion: SIMBA. Simba was inspired by Disney's "Bambi ".

42. "Say cheese!": "SMILE!"

43. Spreadsheet info: DATA

44. Baton Rouge sch.: LSU. (Louisiana State University)

45. Unlikely to throw dirty clothes on the floor: NEAT. 2-Down. Old hair-removal brand: NEET

47. Word after systems or psycho: ANALYST

54. "__ girl!": ATTA

55. __Kosh B'gosh: OSH. (children's apparel)

56. Listless feeling: ENNUI

60. Old electrical unit: MHO. Reverse of OHM.

64. Emeril exclamation: "BAM!"

65. Tarzan and others: APEMEN

66. Like villains: EVIL

67. Having five sharps, musically: IN B

68. Creates anew, as a password: RESETS

69. Alluring: SEXY



Down:

1. Color printer refills: INKs

3. TV show about a high school choir: "GLEE"

4. Llama-like mammal: ALPACA

Da Ya Think I'm Sexy















5. Expressive punk genre: EMO

6. Good name for a phys ed teacher?: JIM

7. Finland's second-largest city: ESPOO. FYI, West of Finland's largest city, Helsinki.


8. Careful: CHARY

9. Overbearing leader: TIN GOD

10. Messy room: STY

11. Group of related typefaces: FONT FAMILY

12. Tehran native: IRANI

13. Fathered, in the Bible: BEGOT

18. Congeal: CLOT

22. Accepted the loss, financially: ATE IT

24. Like permed hair: WAVY

25. "True __": HBO vampire series: BLOOD. I don't have HBO.

26. Constellation bear: URSA

27. Watering holes: PUBS. 61-Down. Watering hole: BAR Clecho.

28. "Sure __ standing here ... ": AS I'M

29. Shrine in Moscow's Red Square: LENIN'S TOMB

33. Hoppy beer, for short: IPA. (India pale ale)

34. Coup __: D'ÉTAT. Literally meaning a "stroke of state" or "blow against the state".

36. Big cheese: BOSS

37. "Sometimes you feel like __ ... ": classic candy jingle: A NUT



39. "Prince Valiant" queen: ALETA

40. Bring in: REAP

41. Hindu princess: RANI

46. Traveling acting band: TROUPE

48. Half of all blackjacks: ACEs

49. Contact __: LENSES

50. Disney deer: BAMBI

51. Filmmaker Coen: ETHAN

52. Pack animals: ASSES

53. Bell tower sound: CHIME

57. Campbell of "Scream": NEVE. Also of "Mad Men"


58. Windows alternative: UNIX

59. In a lazy way: IDLY

62. Earn after taxes: NET

63. Naval rank: Abbr.: ENS. (Ensign )

I'll leave you with this Queen parable.




Argyle

Feb 26, 2018

Monday, February 26, 2018 ~ Robert E. Lee Morris

Theme: No Politics - Theme word can be to the right of the target word(center).

17A. School group excursion: FIELD TRIP. Center Field.(baseball)

31A. First single by a rapper to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100: "ICE ICE BABY". Center Ice.(hockey)

36A. Somewhat conservative, politically ... and where the first word of 17-, 31-, 43- and 60-Across can literally be found: RIGHT OF CENTER

43A. Economize: CUT CORNERS. Center cut.(meat)

60A. Actor's pseudonym: STAGE NAME. Center Stage(theater)

Argyle here in the middle which happens to be where the reveal is.

Across:

1. Perp chaser: COP

4. "E pluribus unum" language: LATIN

9. Agreement to stop fighting: TRUCE

14. Tycoon Onassis, familiarly: ARI. Aristotle Onassis, second husband of "Jackie" Kennedy.

15. Enticing smell: AROMA

16. Steam, e.g.: VAPOR

19. Santa __ racetrack: ANITA


20. Absolute: TOTAL

21. Ad infinitum: NO END

23. Oakland's county: ALAMEDA


26. WWII craft: LST. (Landing Ship, Tank)

27. Prime rib au __: JUS. Prime rib with its own natural juices from cooking.

30. Costner's "The Untouchables" role: NESS. Kevin Costner/Eliot Ness.

34. Feudal drudge: SERF

35. In the altogether: NAKED

41. Pink cocktail, for short: COSMO

Cosmopolitan

42. Greek "i": IOTA

46. __ Linda, Calif.: LOMA. (Spanish for "beautiful hill")


50. Vintage auto: REO

51. Earl Grey, for one: TEA

52. Optometrist's test: EYE EXAM

54. Infant in a crèche: JESUS

56. Railroad in Monopoly: B AND O

57. Continuous humming sound: THRUM

63. Reeves of "Bill & Ted" films: KEANU

Wyld Stallyns 


64. More than ready: EAGER


65. Civil War soldier: REB. A subtle SO to our constructor?

66. Winning: ON TOP

67. Operative: AGENT

68. Evidence on "CSI": DNA. (Crime Scene Investigation/DeoxyriboNucleic Acid)

Down:

1. Lounging robe: CAFTAN

2. Baltimore bird: ORIOLE. The Baltimore Orioles are in the same division as 6-Down. Canadian A.L. East team: TOR. The Toronto Blue Jays.

3. Michelangelo sculptures: PIETÀs. He was working on this Pietà when he died.


4. Soup scoop: LADLE

5. Singer Garfunkel: ART. Did You Know: Despite being a native New Yorker, Garfunkel is a lifelong Philadelphia Phillies fan.



7. "You can count on me!": "I'M IN!"

8. Seaport in Italia: NAPOLI. (Naples)

9. "Rabbit ears" on an RCA cabinet, back in the day: TV ANTENNA

10. Mapmaker __ McNally: RAND

11. News org. since 1958: UPI. (United Press International)

12. Camper's snoozing spot: COT

13. Pitcher's stat: ERA. (Earned Run Average)

18. Hightails it: LAMS

22. Upper-left PC key: ESC. (escape)

24. Lose weight: DIET

25. Prefix for phobia meaning "height": ACRO. Acrophobia.

27. One of the Blues Brothers: JAKE. John Belushi was "Joliet" Jake Blues. Dan Aykroyd was Elwood Blues.

28. Ride for hire: UBER

29. Pink Floyd guitarist Barrett: SYD. Song originally written by Syd as a teen during the height of Bob Dylan mania in Europe (pre-Pink Floyd).



32. Jennifer Hudson's "Dreamgirls" role: EFFIE


33. Slugger's club: BAT

34. Typical Western: SHOOT 'EM UP

36. Don Juan: ROUE

37. Analogy words: IS TO

38. Yukon automaker: GMC. ((General Motors Truck Company))

39. Apple throwaway: CORE

40. Craftsy website: ETSYLink

41. "Lookin' Out My Back Door" band, initially: CCR. (Creedence Clearwater Revival)

44. High-__ graphics: RES. High Resolution.

45. Queasy feeling: NAUSEA

46. Like unfatty meat: LEAN

47. Ventura County's largest city: OXNARD. Henry Oxnard ... intended to name the settlement after the Greek word for "sugar", zachari, but frustrated by bureaucracy, named it after himself.(1897) History

48. Lunatics: MAD MEN

49. Single-celled organism: AMOEBA

53. Film critic Roger: EBERT

54. Jupiter's wife: JUNO. Roman deities.

55. Guys-only: STAG

57. Boxing outcome, for short: TKO. (Technical KnockOut)

58. Farm clucker: HEN

59. Stool pigeon: RAT

61. Cake candle count: AGE

62. Mil. bigwig: GEN. (general)

Did it seem like a baseball sub-theme to you? Think I'll sit and look out my back door.




Argyle

Feb 25, 2018

Sunday Feb 25, 2018 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: "Kinda Sorta" - ISH is added to each theme entry.

23A. Snow in southwest England? : CORNISH FLAKES. Corn flakes.

36A. Golf-loving priest's dream? : PARISH FOR THE COURSE. Par for the course.

48A. Pastry with a metallic taste? : STEELY DANISH. Steely Dan.

66A. Result of certain radar screens conking out? : WEATHER VANISHES. Weather vanes.
  
86A. Media outlet in Pennsylvania Dutch country? : AMISH FM RADIO. AM/FM radio.

94A. General-use gesture? : ALL-PURPOSE FLOURISH. All-purpose flour.

112A. Cause of an origami flaw? : FOLDING MISHAP. Folding map.

Three first word changes. Four second word changes. No odd man out.

The new words and the old words share no root. Jeffrey is truly the master of letter addition theme.

Across:     
 
1. JFK's 109 : PT BOAT


7. Gives in : BENDS

12. Egg white protein : ALBUMIN

19. Ronzoni rival : BARILLA. Here in Minnesota, Creamette is very popular.


20. Open, as an aspirin bottle : UNCAP

21. Quarters and halves : COINAGE

22. It's often written in stone : EPITAPH. Headstone.

25. Snack : EAT. Verb.

26. Hayseeds : HICKS

28. Salad bar container : CRUET

29. EKGs may be done in them : ERs. Also 83. CPR provider : EMT. Also 99. Source of brain research data: Abbr. : EEG

30. Nice : PLEASANT. Like our regulars on the blog. You guys are the best!

33. Waikiki wreaths : LEIS

34. Rte. finder : GPS

43. Cal. locale of the Latino Walk of Fame : EAST LA. Guessable.

46. Bottom-row key : ALT

47. Fixed : IMMOBILE 

52. Steamed : MAD

53. Boodles, for one : GIN. Learning moment for me.



54. Renaissance painter della Francesca : PIERO. Forgot. We had him before.


55. Auto body problem : RUST

56. Eye layer : UVEA

59. "Gracious!" : OH MY

60. Since Jan. 1, in accounting : YTD

61. Start of many a riddle : WHAT

63. Ben Gurion carrier : EL AL. Don't know how Steve puts up with the constant flying hassles.

64. Freight unit : CRATE

70. Ski resort aids : T-BARS

72. Mishmash : OLIO

73. "M*A*S*H" roller : JEEP. Here is a Chinese military jeep.


74. Dec. setting in Denver : MST

77. Lea sounds : BAAS

78. Rum-and-water drink : GROG

79. Tusker hunted as game : BOAR

81. Hostile calls : HOOTS
 
84. Brazilian map word : SAO

89. '90s golf club-making innovation : TITANIUM. Boomer bought a Big Bertha at the 2nd Swing a few years ago. I don't remember the LOFT (13. It's measured in degrees for golf clubs).


92. Coughing, perhaps : ILL. Try Robitussin cough drop. It worked for me. Such a tough flu.

93. Provides fare for : CATERS

100. Unresponsive (to) : DEAF

101. Like delicate fabric : FINE-SPUN. My childhood clothes were all made from the cloths my grandma wove. Rough fiber.


105. The Jungfrau, e.g. : ALP

107. Makeup malfunction : SMEAR

109. Take as one's own : CO-OPT

111. Binary code basic : ONE
  
116. "Just like us!" : SO ARE WE

119. Genteel café relative : TEA ROOM. Now I'm like Abejo. I bring my own loose jasmine tea with me.

120. Conclude : CEASE

121. Feeling guilty : ASHAMED

122. Charming small-town street array : AWNINGS

123. Old lab heaters : ETNAs

124. Became less hostile : THAWED

Down:

1. Like decrees from Francis : PAPAL

2. Overused : TRITE

3. It might come from the horse's mouth : BIT

4. Portuguese hi : OLA. No suffix today.

5. Nuclear decay emission : ALPHA RAY. Got via crosses.

6. Sesame seed paste : TAHINI. You can get it at Trade Joe's.


7. Rudolph's dad, e.g. : BUCK. Oh, the reindeer.

8. Baseball Hall of Famer Slaughter : ENOS

9. ATM maker : NCR

10. See 51-Down : DANCER. And 51. With 10-Down, Waikiki entertainer : HULA

11. Scrooge visitor : SPIRIT

12. Flu symptom : ACHE
 
14. Fed. budget unit : BIL. We also have 79D. Tell what's due : BILL and 27D. Small change: Abbr. : CTS

15. Merkel of "Destry Rides Again" : UNA

16. Fixes : MAKES RIGHT. Sparkling fill.

17. Eisner's successor at Disney : IGER

18. Fabled loch : NESS

19. Attraction for a cartoon coyote : BEEP

24. Dish using seaweed : SUSHI. I'll tackle the eel roll first.


31. More to the point : APTER

32. Less healthy-looking : SALLOWER

33. Auction array : LOTS

34. "I approve" : GOOD

35. Stout server : PUB

37. Pediatrician Asperger : HANS. I did not know his given name.


38. Move like a moth : FLIT

39. Poet Lazarus : EMMA

40. Entertainer of the Year org. : CMA. Garth Brooks is a multiple winner.

41. Muck : SLIME

42. Child's counting word : EENY

43. Notice : ESPY

44. Feuding : AT IT

45. Acorn, functionally : SEED

49. "Phooey!" : DRAT

50. Name on a spine : AUTHOR. Book spine.
  
57. Mayflower roller : VAN

58. Prophet associated with Passover : ELIJAH

59. Western alliance: Abbr. : OAS (Organization of American States)

62. Is down with : HAS

63. Bolivian president Morales : EVO. Since 2006. Wiki says he is "widely regarded as the country's first president to come from the indigenous population".


64. Role in "Evita" : CHE

65. Put another way : REPHRASE

66. Existed : WAS

67. Symphonic rock gp. : ELO

68. European capital on its own gulf : RIGA. Also 80. European capital : OSLO
 
69. Feudal peasant : SERF

70. Sri Lankan people : TAMIL

71. Armed forces strategy : BATTLE PLAN. Another great fill.
 
74. Manner : MODE

75. Commotion : STIR

76. General __ chicken : TSO'S

77. Head of Byzantium? : BETA. Just the first letter.

78. Rise : GO UP

82. Court declarations : OATHS
 
84. Warm and comfy : SNUG
 
85. "The __ bites shrewdly; it is very cold": Hamlet : AIR

87. Annoy : MIFF

88. Eponymous apple grower : MCINTOSH
 
90. Mimic : APE

91. Web surfing tool : MODEM
 
95. North Atlantic navigation worry : SEA ICE

96. Part of a telemarketer's gear : EAR SET. I just call it earphone.

97. "The X-Files" sighting : UFO
 
98. Attacks, as a wrapped gift : RIPS AT

102. Vichy verse : POEME. Also a Lancome fragrance.

103. Matchless? : UNWED. Ha ha.

104. Requirement : NEED

105. Aqua Velva alternative : AFTA
 
106. Movie mogul Marcus : LOEW. See also 108. Theaters associated with 106-Down: MGMS

107. Neck, in Nottingham : SNOG

109. Acapulco abode : CASA

110. Unlocks, in verse : OPES

113. Wash'n __ towelettes : DRI

114. Charged thing : ION

115. Dynasty after the Qin : HAN. Zhou, Qin, Han, Tang are four dynasties whose capital was Xi'an. Most of you know how I got my Mandarin name Zhouqin.


117. "Eureka!" : AHA

118. Cold and rainy : RAW


The 41st American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (March 23-25, 2018) will be held at the Stamford Marriott in Stamford, Connecticut. For those who attend, don't miss the Cru Dinner organized by the great Mike Alpern.

The Cru Dinner officially kicks off the tournament and is a great opportunity to meet with constructors and fellow solvers. Our own Jeffrey Wechsler stopped by there last year. He's been ACPT judge for a few years.

The space is limited, so be sure to contact with Mike (alpernm@aol.com) as soon as possible.

C.C.

Feb 24, 2018

Saturday, February 24, 2018, Neville Fogarty and Doug Peterson

THE NEVILLE AND DOUG SHOW


Husker Gary reporting on today's fun puzzle that comes to us from Neville Fogarty and Doug Peterson. Two triple stacks of tens is always impressive! Two of the long fills ,which are usually so helpful, were unbeknownst to this solver out on the Great Plains. Also, some of the clever cluing left welts from my forehead slaps! "Will run you" led the list!


Here is C.C.'s interview with Neville  where it is revealed he was an 11-year-old Jeopardy! "Back to School Week" (October 3, 2000) contestant with a pet fish named Bob Saget. He also lists Doug as one of his inspirational constructors. 

 In the interest of equal time, here is C.C.'s interview with Doug Peterson where it is revealed "I listen to loud heavy metal music when I’m constructing my puzzles. (Not loud enough to wake the neighbors.) Believe it or not, it helps me concentrate."



Now let's explore the themeless puzzle this talented duo produced for us today. As is my wont, I will start with the long fills. As I mentioned before, two of them were not all that helpful to moi (marked in red)!

1. Arcing "American Ninja Warrior" obstacle : WARPED WALL  2. __ moment : AHA - that's what they are called!




15. "This is news to me" : I HAD NO IDEA - Ya gotta love the cerebral, deadpan humor of Rita Rudner 




17. Noting : TAKING DOWN - Here's how they do it in this venue and 22. "Guilty as charged" : I DID IT - What the stenographer in the OJ trial never had to TAKE DOWN




58. Producer Rhimes' TV production company : SHONDALAND - Shonda Rhimes' company logo and its first hit show and now I've now seen a buncha episodes





63. Sci-fi franchise since 1984 : TERMINATOR - TERMINATOR 2 - 3D was a favorite attraction for my kids 

at Universal Studios Orlando. It is now shut down as these parks must change with the times.


65. Weekend night events, usually : SLEEPOVERS - Been there, hosted those! 😲



Here's the rest of Neville and Doug's fill:


Across

11. Cut on a Jackson 5 album? : AFRO - Oh, hairCUT!



16. Used miles, perhaps : FLEW - If you've got the frequent flyer miles...

18. Romney's 2012 running mate : RYAN - He's now Speaker Of The House



19. Letters of address for Washington and Lee? : EDU -It is https://www.wlu.EDU for Washington and Lee Unversity

20. Great in scope : EPIC



21. Extended narratives : ARCS - Can you see the ARC with the movie Titanic?



25. "Whispers of Immortality" poet : T.S. ELIOT - 32 lines - half about death and half about eroticism (so I read)

27. Norman or Eugene : CITY - Oklahoma U and Oregon U cities were chosen as red herrings for a simple clue

28. Kentucky Bourbon Barrel __ : ALE 


30. Includes in the mix : ADDS

31. Former Radiohead label : EMI - They did okay with these lads



32. Lemons may be among them : USED CARS - There's a 🍋 among our bloggers too 

35. Letter's needs : TENANTS - If you've got apartments to let, you will need TENNANTS

37. Continuous : ONGOING - Congress's many ONGOING investigations of themselves never seem to end

41. Links with : TIES INTO - It turns out the Star Wars TIE IN with this lollipop was not, uh, well thought out. No one seems to want to put their mouth into Jar Jar's mouth. Duh!

43. __ Today: magazine for teachers : NEA - Our state passed a law that to join the local and state education associations and you also HAD to join the NEA whether you liked their politics or not.

44. Start to bat? : ACRO - ACROBAT

46. Once called : NEE 

47. Court suspension : STAY

48. Pacific states? : TRANCES - Nothing to do with WA, OR or CA but a pacified state of mind

51. Onion offering : SATIRE



53. Meany in an Irving title : OWEN



54. Actress Miranda of "24: Legacy" : OTTO - I have never partaken but am sure she's just fine

56. Monk's title : DOM - This bottle of  1964 DOM 49. Will run you : COSTS about $2,000

57. __ swing : MOOD 

62. Brief plea : NOLO - NOLO (I do not wish) Contendre (to contend). I don't admit guilt but will take take the consequences with no chance of being retried. 

64. Footnote notation : IDEM - Ibid didn't cut it


Down

1. Marx asset : WIT - A Marx TOY was always an asset at my house but so was the WIT of the Marx Brothers 

3. Win big : RAKE IT IN - It appears the house is RAKING IT IN here



4. Combs differently? : PDIDDY - Sean Combs -> Puff Daddy -> PDIDDY - 

5. Lassitude : ENNUI - The only popular song with ENNUI in the lyric that I know of. It's at 30 sec but I recommend the whole song



6. Pursue persistently : DOG - Deputy Samuel Gerard did DOG Richard Kimble in The Fugitive

7. Spacious : WIDE

8. Took in : ADOPTED - Nah, you've seen enough pix of our ADOPTED kitty

9. Corps of Discovery Expedition explorer : LEWIS - Sorry CLARK, you're out, LEWIS you're in. 

10. Cavalry weapon : LANCE - A modern Cavalryman and his weapon



11. "Yes, sad to say" : AFRAID SO

12. Casting choice : FLY ROD

13. Jerks, say : REACTS - Hey, he had it coming!



14. Dominates : OWNS - Frank Lary was a pitcher in the 50's/60's for a mediocre Detroit Tiger team but he OWNED the Yankees 

22. Rapper-turned-actor : ICE-T


23. It has a torch and two branches on its back : DIME - Here's the obverse and the reverse side with aforementioned items

24. Hint : TASTE 

26. Key __ : LARGO -  A lovely song by a one-hit-wonder. If you knew his name, you're a better man than I am Charlie Brown!



29. Minus : LESS

32. Pairing : UNION - Last Saturday Joann and I celebrated the 51st anniversary of our UNION. I bought her this cake because it has 1) Dairy Queen Ice Cream, 2) Ghirardelli Chocolate, 3) strawberries and 4) a 51 on top. And, oh yeah,  it  also covered Valentine's Day.



33. Parlor purchase : CONE

34. Payments for hands : ANTES - You have to pay to play



36. Unsystematically : AT RANDOM

38. Hint : INTIMATE - This is the long "a" version of this word

39. __ miss : NEAR - Burchard, Nebraska's Harold Lloyd certainly had one here!



40. "Got to Give It Up" singer : GAYE - I'd love to insert his wonderful version of I Heard It Through The Grapevine but two songs are plenty.

42. Coming up : IN STORE 

44. "Alias Grace" author : ATWOOD



45. Big Easy cuisine : CREOLE

47. Canonized Norw. king : ST OLAV - SLEEPOVERS eliminated ST OLAF

50. Waters with pipes? : ETHEL - She did indeed have a set of pipes! Hardest/cleverest clue of the puzzle for me.

52. Town in a 1945 Pulitzer-winning novel : ADANO - The John Hersey story of an Italian-American soldier replacing a church bell in this town in 1944 Sicily that the Fascists had destroyed

53. Prefix for all : OMNI

55. Big sport's words : ON ME - My cheap friend usually did that after most everyone had left the bar

59. Fall off : DIP

60. Conjunction that reverses to a man's name : NOR - NOR flips to RON.



61. Pepper and others : DRS - The others are many and inferior


Thanks Neville and Doug! Now what say you?

DA GRID