Apr 21, 2018

Saturday, April, 21, 2018, Daniel Nierenberg


On this National Kindergarten Day Daniel Nierenberg has provided us a very worthy test. For me, Husker Gary, this is my fourth blogging effort on a Daniel puzzle - three Saturdays and one Friday. As is my M.O. on his puzzles, I employed the hunt and peck method until the NEAT/NUBIA "N" appeared and I was done!

Now, in honor of my lifetime friend Janet who is retiring after 35 years of teaching Kindergarten, let's see what word play Daniel has for us in our literary sandbox today:


1. Classic dramatic device: FATAL FLAW - The most famous FATAL FLAW in literature?

10. Demonstration of power, perhaps: N-TEST - A-Bombs and H-Bombs are both really N-(Nuclear) Bombs. One splits nuclei and the other fuses them together 

15. Winter carnival attraction: ICE PALACE - A beautiful ICE PALACE constructed in St. Paul, MN a half-hour drive from C.C.

16. Mythical myrtle-and-roses wreath wearer: ERATO - A vowel-rich crossword veteran muse of poetry 

17. Updated "What a shame!": THAT BITES

18. Cane-carrying Mr.: MAGOO and 14. 18-Across and others: TOONS. Did Mr. Peanut enter your thoughts?

19. Country E of Cyprus: SYR - SYRIA - too much in the news

20. Marsh growth: REED.

21. Beauty aisle brand: REVLON - A childhood memory of REVLON. Do you remember the show, this woman who won the big prize and what her category was? (*Answer below the grid)

22. Virus eponym: BARR.

23. Assigns new rankings to: RESEEDS - NCAA Basketball teams are RESEEDED just before the season-ending tournament 

24. Narrow types: BIGOTS - Norman Lear's Archie Bunker made us look BIGOTRY right in the face

27. Caravan components: CAMELS

28. Parting word: ADIOS

29. 1848 classic song about an Alabama-to-Louisiana traveler: OH SUSANNA - "With a banjo on my knee"

32. Court pros: REFS - These pro REFS did not see traveling here in this exhibition game.

33. Lingerie specifications: D-CUPS - It took 33. Waiting room site: DEPOT gave me the correct cup letter

34. Hair products: GELS - Mass use

35. Uris WWII novel: BATTLE CRY 

37. Harass: BESET

38. "Help me out, bro": BE A PAL

39. Nissan compact: SENTRA

40. Actor's dream: STARDOM.

42. Cleverly planned, as a trick: NEAT - Now this is a NEAT trick!

43. Warn, in a way: HISS AT

44. Territory with a palm tree in its seal: GUAM - I did not know Guam's flag or capital

45. Onetime JFK arrival: SST

48. Like some casks: OAKEN - We BIG 10 football fans know Purdue and Indiana play for the Old OAKEN Bucket each year

49. Fate of Peter's father, in kiddie lit: RABBIT PIE - I had no memory of this sad part of the story

51. Sections: AREAS - In 2003, the CIA officially acknowledged that AREA 51 exists

52. Dell gaming brand: ALIEN WARE - At the left is the $4,900 model for serious gamers, uh, not for me

53. Barista's offering: LATTE 

54. Intimidating psychological tactics: HEAD GAMES


1. Makes sense: FITS - Oh that's where it FITS

2. Hurting: ACHY.

3. Run like the wind: TEAR - What JH kids do going to lunch

4. Liable: APT

5. Research subjects: LAB RATS - Our staff and kids were LAB RATS for "Open Concept" classrooms back in the 70's. Retrofitting was expensive after the experiment failed miserably

6. Message disseminators: FLIERS - Is that why they make windshield wipers?

7. Not as punctual: LATER 

8. Justified serious studying for: ACED - Having ACED a test is usually done by serious studying (ROTE memorizing?)

9. Former NFL receiver Welker: WES - After at least six concussions from hits like this, he has retired

10. Sinestro and Professor Zoom, in their respective universes: NEMESES - Here's one, you can google the other if you like. BTW, I'd wager that dime comic is worth a few bucks these days.

11. Tour coordinator: TRAVEL AGENT - My TRAVEL AGENT arranged my trips to Florida with the kids but she also accompanied us because once we got there, she knew I ran the show

12. Home on a high cliff, perhaps: EAGLE'S NEST -  Martin Borman's gift of The EAGLE'S NEST retreat to Hitler high in the Bavarian Alps is now a cozy restaurant 

13. Rose: STOOD.

21. Important player in the founding-of-Rome story: REMUS - He was killed by his twin Romulus and hence the name of the city is...

22. Child-raising technique?: BOOSTER SEAT - Declining the BOOSTER SEAT was a landmark for our kids

23. Rough-sounding: RASPY - Joe Cocker's RASPY rendition of  the theme of this show

24. Wire sticker: BARB - Those BARBS on wire helped change ranches into farms

25. What a raised index finger may indicate: IDEA - A more prosaic use

26. Present often mailed: GIFT BASKET

27. Lout: CHURL - I've heard of/used the adjective CHURLISH

29. "Law of parsimony" philosopher: OCCAM - Another school of thought by the co-discoverer of the DNA molecule

30. Brewer, e.g., briefly: NLER National LeaguER

31. Cinema pooch: ASTA - Nick and Nora's doggy

36. Matisse work featuring hand-holding: LA DANSE.

37. Wearing a grin: BEAMING

39. Skate home: SEABED - Talk about your masters of disguises

40. Skimboarding hazard: SHOAL - I hit a STONE at first on my figurative beach skimboard

41. Top prom wear?: TIARA - Amy's dream come true

42. Abu Simbel's region: NUBIA- The pharaonic temples then and now located in the village of Abu Simbel in the most southern Egyptian region of NUBIA

44. Severe blow: GALE - We've had them here all spring

45. Filter target: SPAM - Tons of this is made here in Fremont, NE

46. "Game of Thrones" address: SIRE - I've never seen the show but Thrones and S _ _ _ address. C'mon...

47. Screen-printing targets: TEES - With b/w TV, I never knew what the Superman TEE looked like until mom bought me one

49. Sound from a fan: RAH - Football fan

50. Lindbergh Line airline: TWA - Can you find The Lindbergh Line in two places in this picture? 

A lovely credo for National Kindergarten Day:

With all these lessons in mind, SHARE your comments, BE FAIR and PLAY WELL WITH OTHERS:


a) Show - $64,000 Question hosted by Hal March and sponsored by Revlon
b) Contestant - Psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers
c) Her category - Boxing

Apr 20, 2018

Friday, April 20, 2018, Mike McHugh

Title: Quick turn around!

Another 2018 debut puzzle, the first solo on a Friday this year, though Priscilla Clark did a collaboration here with Jeff Chen. We have had a spate of going in the wrong direction, and this time it was a simple turn the first word around, with a simple reveal if you needed it. For a newbie, the non-theme fill had some real sparkle. We are given ANEMONE, CAKE MIX, ISOTOPE, ITALIANO, OH DEAR ME, SLED RIDE and VINEYARD- fun!

17A. *Pay back: PRATTLE ON(9). PAY <----><----> <---->YAP. The clue backward is YAP, hence the fill. 

28A. *Step back: DOMESTIC ANIMALS (15). STE <----> <----> <---->PETS.

48A. *Snap back: GIVESABADREVIEW(15). SNAP <----><----> <---->PANS.
The reveal-
64A. One way to drive ... and what the last word of each starred clue really means: IN REVERSE (9).


1. Place for a guard: SHIN. I thought this was a clever way to begin.

5. American sports org.: USOCUnited States Olympic Committee.

9. Walk or wind preceder: CROSS. Walk, wind and word!

14. Suffix for the wealthy: AIRE. As in Billion-

15. Actor who's played a doctor and senator on TV: ALDA. Alan- he played Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce in M*A*S*H and Senator Vinick in The West Wing. They were not similar characters. LINK.

16. What captions can capture: AUDIO. I love the alliteration, even though it is not accurate.

19. Pay homage, in a way: KNEEL. A very im[portant way.

20. Basil sauce: PESTO. Don't use Thai basil.
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (can sub half the basil leaves with baby spinach)
1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan-Reggiano cheese (about 2 ounces)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts (can sub chopped walnuts)
3 garlic cloves, minced (about 3 teaspoons)
1/4 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more to taste

21. Teed off: DROVE. Not angry, well-done misdirection.

23. __ Fridays: TGI.

24. Hideout: LAIR.

26. Like some sale quantities: LIMITED.

32. She played Mia in "Pulp Fiction": UMA.

33. "I did it!": TADA. A solvers' best friend.

34. Prefix with thermal: EXO.

35. "Puss in Boots" baddie: OGRE. Am not much of a fan of the story or the movie, but OGRE is always a good answer.

37. Brown in a Croce title: LEROY.
"And it's bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog"

39. Houston suburb named for initials from the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad: KATY. We have a  CSO to D-O; I did not know the name was derived from the MKT Railroad Company and was commonly referred to as "the K-T," which was also its stock exchange symbol.

43. 2018 Super Bowl designation: LII.

45. Compared with: THAN.

47. Tilling tool: HOE.

53. Buttercup family member: ANEMONE.  Gardening TIPS.

54. Beat at the buzzer: EDGE.

55. Benching units: Abbr.: LBS. Bench pressing.

56. Big name in little trucks: TONKA.

58. Many a UAE resident: EXPAT. Is this true?

62. Chain with a dog-and-cat logo: PETCO.

66. Really dug: ATE UP.

67. Command to Rover: COME. Sit, Roll Over!

68. Mindless repetition: ROTE.

69. Gumbo server: LADLE.

70. Govt. branch: EXEC.

71. PR firm's forte: SPIN.


1. '90s-'00s NFL Pro Bowler Warren: SAPP. His STATS.

2. Take on: HIRE.

3. Accts. funded annually, perhaps: IRAS.

4. Prickly plant: NETTLE.

5. Chi.-based flier: UAL.

6. Downhill excursion: SLEDRIDE. It is one of the only things I ever missed from childhood.

7. Bleach feature: ODOR.

8. Rapeseed oil: CANOLA. Oh, that explains it all.

9. Baking convenience: CAKE MIX.

10. Winning streak: RUN.

11. 2003 self-titled folk album: ODETTA. The VOICE of the Civil Rights movement.

12. Superman co-creator Jerry: SIEGEL.

13. Cones and cubes: SOLIDS.

18. Doomed, slangily: TOAST.

22. Resort near Cape Cod, with "the": VINEYARD. Reason to visit New England include these ISLANDS.

25. Napoli native: ITALIANO.

27. "It's just a scratch": I'M OK.

28. Outkast, for one: DUO.

29. Texter's "Shocking!": OMG.

30. Damage: MAR.

31. Magna __: CARTA. Magna Carta Libertatum was so much more than most REMEMBER.

36. I, O or U: ELEM. Iodine (53) - Oxygen (8) - Uranium (92). Nice misdirection.

38. "My goodness!": OH DEAR ME.

40. Rarely served fish?: AHI.  Ahi tuna is usually served uncooked.

41. Low digit: TOE.

42. Archery wood: YEW.

44. Uranium-238, e.g.: ISOTOPE. Defined as each of two or more forms of the same element that contain equal numbers of protons but different numbers of neutrons in their nuclei, and hence differ in relative atomic mass but not in chemical properties; in particular, a radioactive form of an element.

46. Beersheba's locale: NEGEV. Beersheba, also spelled Beer-Sheva, is the largest city in the Negev desert of southern Israel

48. Female bud: GALPAL.

49. Still being tested, as software: IN BETA. You can learn it all makes SENSE.

50. __ interest: VESTED.

51. "Mind your manners": BE NICE. Or you will end up as one of the ...

52. Irritations: VEXERS.

57. Polk's middle name: KNOX. James Knox Polk was an American politician who served as the 11th President of the United States. He previously was Speaker of the House of Representatives and Governor of Tennessee.

59. Support, with "up": PROP.

60. Product of white Muscat grapes: ASTI. Asti (also known as Asti Spumante) is a sparkling white Italian wine that is produced throughout southeastern Piedmont but is particularly focused in the towns of Asti and Alba. Made from the Moscato Bianco grape, it is sweet and low in alcohol and often served with dessert.

61. New driver, usually: TEEN.

63. __-de-sac: CUL.

65. Continental trade gp.: EEC. The European Economic Community was created in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome, which was signed by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany.

Well, there is much to talk about; welcome Mt. McHugh. Please stop by and tell us your story and you will hear some of ours. Thank you Corner, and thank you for the incredibly beautiful spring. Lemonade out.

Apr 19, 2018

Thursday April 19 2018 Mark McClain

Theme: To Enlightenment - find the path.

17A. *Look for a specific passage in, as a book: PAGE THROUGH. Flip, flip, flip - there it is! I've done this a thousand times. I like the phrase.

26A. *About 22% of an average 18-hole golf course: PAR THREES. A "classic" par-72 18-hole golf course will have four par-threes, four par-fives and 10 par-fours. Of course (ha!), all is variable. Muirfield, one of the "classic" links courses in Scotland began with just 14 holes. St. Andrews began life with 22 holes. They met in the middle at 18.

37A. *Point where it starts to hurt: PAIN THRESHOLD. Ow!

51A. *Like baklava layers: PAPER-THIN. Food! You should be able to read a newspaper through the pastry when it's rolled out.

61A. Explorers ... and ones who can determine what the answers to starred clues have in common?: PATHFINDERS

Nice clean puzzle from Mark, the reveal is nicely-placed at the foot of the puzzle, and the hint is clear - look for "PATH" in the theme entries. Symmetry with the theme entries starting with "PA" and broken with the second part beginning with "TH". Pleasing, maybe just to me.

Let's go and look around:


1. Space station wear: G-SUITS. Nice enough entry, but you don't wear a G-suit in the space station, where there's zero G's - you don't need one. Fighter pilots wear them.

7. "Walk Like __": Four Seasons hit: A MAN. The best version of this I ever heard was by a British a cappella group I saw performing in a pub in London in 1980. Sadly, no recording of that survives, but here's the single they recorded in 1983 that went to number 1. They were quite amazing. No special effects, just voices.

11. Sharp-tack link: A SA

14. Stage of intensity: DEGREE

15. Pitch a fit: RANT

16. Happened upon: MET

19. It's near the midpoint of the Miss. River: ST. L. St. Loius. No "on scoreboards" reference?

20. Rap sheet data: CRIMES

21. Place Sundance liked to see: ETTA. Very nice. Etta Place, mysterious associate of the Butch and Sundance "Wild Bunch".

22. "Gotcha!": PSYCH! I'd never heard this before - the "gotcha" moment after a teasing lie. "Hey - your car is getting towed! Psych!".

28. Every time: ALWAYS

30. Key: ISLET

31. Salt formula: NACL. Good old Sodium Chloride. Don't under-use it when you cook.

32. Sprain application: ICEBAG. I'd be more likely to use an ice pack, but that's just me.

42. Watch creepily: LEER AT

43. Corn syrup brand: KARO. My sister-in-law in England asked me to bring some over on my last trip. She's just starting a cake-decorating business, and apparently neither corn syrup nor marshmallow fluff exist across the pond. Who'd a thunk it?

45. Chimney plumes: SMOKE

49. Largest cat in the genus Leopardus: OCELOT. Pretty! They can hunt by low speed-stalking, or high-speed in-your-face full-on assault. They like to swim too. Don't be a small mammal or an iguana.

56. Change as needed: ADAPT

57. Musical meter maid: RITA. The Beatles "lovely" one.

58. Exposes, in a way: RATS ON

60. Gender-neutral possessive: ITS. No apostrophe. If you're not sure - "It's an apostrophe". Contraction of "it is".

66. Numeric prefix: TRI-

67. Tête output: IDEÉ. "Je pense, donc je suis"

68. Canadian dollar coin: LOONIE. I liked the story that a loonie was smuggled in and frozen in the rink at center ice in the hockey arena at the Salt Lake Olympics and Canada won the gold medal in the men's tournament for the first time in 50 years.

69. Buddhist school: ZEN

70. Give up: CEDE

71. Con target: STOOGE


1. Macroeconomics abbr.: GDP. Gross Domestic Product. I studied Economics at school back when Adam Smith wrote "The Wealth of Nations" and no-one could agree how to measure GDP. I don't think it's changed.

2. Bering, for one: SEA. Thank you, Dutchman Vitus Bering for exploring it, so the rest of us didn't have to go up there and freeze our nadgers off.

3. Footwear brand: UGG

4. Wrath: IRE

5. Easily peeved: TETCHY

6. Very, to Schumann: SEHR. Your German lesson for the day.

7. Candle emanation: AROMA. We had "SMOKE" earlier, so here's an alternative.

8. Catcher Joe with a trio of consecutive Gold Glove Awards (2008-10): MAUER. Thank you, crosses. C.C. would have known this without pause - he is the first baseman for the Minnesota Twins.

9. Fretful feeling: ANGST

10. Indefinite ordinal: NTH. It must have been tempting to clue this with reference to 14A.

11. Heineken brand: AMSTEL. They used to be competitors. The Amstel river flows through Amsterdam. Heineken bought them out in 1968. The best bargain in Amsterdam used to be the Heineken brewery tour before these things were common. The tour lasted about 30 minutes, then you could spend as long as you liked in the tasting room for the princely sum of about $2. Eventually word spread too wide, and like all good things, the tour came to an end.

12. Parlor piece: SETTEE

13. Finally: AT LAST

18. Material flaw: RIP

21. LPN workplaces: ER'S. Emergency Rooms where those amazing Licensed Practical Nurses ply their trade.

22. __ for gold: PAN

23. Open-handed hit: SLAP

24. Fem. advocacy group: YWCA. Young Women's Christian Association. I was a member of the London Central YMCA for quite a few years - they had the most amazingly affordable gym and swimming pool for many, many miles around and slap-dab in the center of London. I even made the swim team. I believe that year they were short of talent.

25. City WSW of Bogotá: CALI

27. Expensive: HIGH

29. Where it's at: SITE. I didn't see this until now, crosses filled it in for me.

33. 2008 biopic starring Benicio del Toro: CHE. The famous "Che Lives" poster from the 70's. My sister had one on her bedroom wall:

34. Blow it: ERR

35. Arthur with two Emmys and a Tony: BEA

36. Concerning: AS TO

38. Met or Nat: NL'ER. More baseball to keep C.C. happy!

39. Signed off on: OK'ED

40. Refrain syllables: LA LA.

41. Stop talking about: DROP

44. Legendary Giant: OTT. Mel. Baseball!

45. Quick squirt: SPRITZ

46. __ d'hôtel: MAÎTRE. The one you need to impress to get a table at a popular restaurant.

47. Decides to join: OPTS IN

48. Mauna __: KEA. or LOA. Wait for the crosses.

50. "All the Light We __ See": 2015 Pulitzer novel: CANNOT. This is really fantastic book that I read a couple of years ago. If you want to see a brilliant mind at work, read Anthonys Duerr's wonderful novel.

52. Woodworking, e.g.: TRADE

53. Despised: HATED

54. "With this ring, __ ... ": I THEE

55. Bad check letters: NSF. "Not Sufficient Funds". This can have rather unhappy consequences.

59. Lubricates: OILS

61. Photo: PIC

62. __-wop: DOO

63. Roxy Music co-founder: ENO. Brian, he of "Elevator Music". Roxy Music really were ground-breakers in pop - here's their first big hit from 1972. I remember watching Bryan Ferry and wondering which planet he came from! Brian Eno is the guy with the blond hair and psychedelic tie on the other side of the stage from Bryan Ferry. David Bowie and his "Ziggy Stardust" persona landed the same year. Good times.

64. Fix badly?: RIG. But if you rig it well, is it still fixed badly?

65. Observe: SEE.

That's about it from me - I've still got Roxy Music rocking in the background, so I'll sign off with the grid!

(with Roxy Music seguing into the Bob Dylan-penned song "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall")


Apr 18, 2018

Wednesday, April 18 2018, Agnes Davidson & C.C. Burnikel


16. What constant stress does, healthwise: TAKES A TOLL.

24. Old West folklore cowboy: PECOS BILL.

49. Very expensive: BIG TICKET.

59. Taunts on the field: TALKS TRASH.

37. Things gathered by aficionados ... or what the ends of 16-, 24-, 49- and 59-Across can be?: COLLECTORS ITEMS.

Melissa here. Love this theme from our own duo. So fun and clever, and a sparkly grid-spanning reveal, right in the middle.


1. __ Romeo: Italian car: ALFA.

5. Machu Picchu people: INCAS.

10. __ Plaines: DES.

13. Copier room quantity: REAM.

14. Spanish peak: MONTE. Monte is Spanish for mountain.

15. With 27-Down, Captain Picard: JEAN.

18. Disney woman loosely based on Andersen's Snow Queen: ELSA.

19. Draw out: ELICIT.

20. Flustered state: DITHER.

22. Bathroom fixture: BASIN.

26. FedEx alternative: U.S. MAIL.

28. Arsenal inventory: AMMO.

29. "What was __ was saying?": IT I.

30. Japanese rolls: SUSHI.

33. Dip __ in: test: A TOE.

41. Patella's place: KNEE.

42. Decorate: ADORN.

43. Video game letters: NES.

44. N.Y. Cosmos org.: NASL. North American Soccer League.

47. Wee bit: SMIDGE.

54. Indian __: OCEAN.

55. Enthusiastic reply to "Who knows the answer?": I DO I DO.

56. More lax: LOOSER.

58. Muscat money: RIAL. Muscat is the capitol of Oman.

63. Barracks beds: COTS.

64. Forest fixtures: TREES.

65. Citrus hybrid: UGLI. Grapefruit, orange, and tangerine.

66. Brooklyn __, N.Y.: HTS.

67. Medicinal plant: SENNA.

68. Techie, often: NERD.


1. Co-star of Jackie on "The Honeymooners": ART.

2. __ & Perrins steak sauce: LEA.

3. Happy face that's put on: FAKE SMILE.

4. Bedelia of kiddie lit: AMELIA.

5. Apple choice: iMAC. Sneaky.

6. "Reward" for poor service: NO TIP.

7. 20 fins: C NOTE. $100. Fin is French for five. Correction (thanks NB & YR): Per Wiki, "The $5 bill is sometimes nicknamed a "fin."

8. Braves, on sports news crawls: ATL.

9. Once in a long while: SELDOM.

10. Indian city on the Yamuna River: DELHI. Sad.

11. Studio support: EASEL.

12. Doghouse "Don't come any closer!": SNARL.

15. Water-propelled craft: JET BOAT.

17. "Truman" actor: SINISE.

21. Belief ending: ISM.

22. General Motors brand: BUICK.

23. __ Martin: British car: ASTON.

25. Tahrir Square city: CAIRO. Capitol city of Egypt.

27. See 15-Across: LUC.

31. Follow furtively: STALK.

32. Mason's tray: HOD.

34. Youngster's time of life: TENDER AGE.

35. Luxury timepiece: OMEGA.

36. City on the Ruhr: ESSEN.

38. Soup legumes: LENTILS.

39. Most Soc. Sec. recipients: SRS.

40. Secret to the max: INMOST. If you say so.

45. Give a leg up: AID.

46. Lawn care giant: SCOTTS.

48. Post-winter river thaw: ICE RUN. I was thinking a different kind of ICE RUN.

49. Canoe wood: BIRCH. Any John McPhee fans? 

50. Nincompoop: IDIOT. Love the clue.

51. Kids on a farm?: GOATS. Who knew this is a thing?

52. First name in daytime TV: ELLEN. Same number of letters as OPRAH.

53. Arcade coin: TOKEN.

57. Mount of Greek myth: OSSA. Wikipedia.

60. "__ You Lonesome Tonight?": ARE.

61. Camera type, for short: SLR. Single-Lens Reflex.

62. Put in a secret place: HID.