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:


May 18, 2018

Friday, May 18, 2018, David Alfred Bywaters

Title- D-lete! D-lightful.

D is for David Alfred Bywaters who removes himself from the theme answers by ejecting the letter "D" from a word in a common phrase. The symmetry with D at the end of three of the fill and at the beginning of the last two is great. The wit of the resulting phrases is also very pleasing. Parsing the D from dejection into d-ejection was also very impressive. Like most of the DAB Friday efforts, there are many short fill, especially here where he has six theme answers. He does offer OIL BASE,  PRESOAK,  SEE HERE  and TROTSKY as long fill. I seldom nitpick but I wish he had not used
ADD at 45 across. If we had AWL (leatherworking tool) crossed by WISC. (Minn. neighbor) and MOLE (Mexican sauce) the only D in the puzzle would have been DEJECTION/DIM. That would have been elegant. IMO.

16A. Shakespeare's riverside haunt?: BAROF AVON(9). Stratford-upon-Avon is a market town and civil parish in the Stratford-on-Avon District, in the county of Warwickshire, England, on the River Avon, 101 miles (163 km) north-west of London, 22 miles (35 km) south-east of Birmingham, and 8 miles (13 km) south west of Warwick. Wiki.

24A. Snow-day play?: SLUSH FUN(8). I know I never found slush enjoyable to play in.

35A. Essential pig?: KEY BOARD (7). Pig, hog, and boar essentially describe the same animal, but there are some distinctions. A boar is an uncastrated male domestic pig, but it also means a wild pig of any gender. A hog often means a domestic pig that weighs more than 120 lbs. (54 kilograms). Pigs are also called swine. Wiki

38A. Biblical voyage serving that probably upset some passengers?: DARK MEAT (7). Myoglobin is the hemoprotein (an oxygen-carrying protein) responsible for giving dark meat its reddish color. The more myoglobin, the darker the meat and the richer the nutrients. Myoglobin provides muscles with the oxygen they need during exercise or movement. Since chickens are flightless birds, they use their legs and thighs to get around, making them darker than the breast or wings. Various. 

47A. Poor wig maintenance?: DRUG ABUSE (8). The funniest of the theme fill, as the picture of someone abusing their toupee, is pretty rib-tickling.
And the reveal- 
59A. Sadness ... or, read another way, what five puzzle answers have in common: D-EJECTION.


1. IMDb listing: CAST. I like it when a puzzle begins with a hidden anagram.

5. Sylvester and others: CATS.

9. Biblical voyager: NOAH. Did you all like this version?

13. Put out in the open: AVOW.

14. Predecessors of much email: Abbr.: LTRS.

15. Pasta tubes: PENNE. Penne is the plural form of the Italian penna, deriving from Latin penna (meaning "feather" or "quill"), and is a cognate of the English word pen. Wiki.

18. Spanish wine region: RIOJA. Our own Chairman Moe could explain it; all I have is this LINK.

19. On fire: LIT.

20. Irresistible desire: LUST.

21. Plead to be given: BEG FOR.

22. Overjoys: ELATES. A favorite word of C.C.

26. Need to return the favor to: OWE. To all of our teachers, I think the "to" in the clue is unnecessary.

27. Decks: KAYOS. K. O., informal - knock (someone) to the ground with a punch.

28. Fake: SHAM.

31. Ambitious sort: TYPE A. Type A personality behavior was first described as a potential risk factor for heart disease in the 1950s by cardiologists Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman. It is a personality type characterized by ambition, high energy, and competitiveness, and thought to be susceptible to stress and heart disease. Wiki.

32. H.S. course: SCI.

40. Cork's place: Abbr.: IRE. The largest county in Ireland  - LINK. The county is in dark green.

41. "There's no choice for me": I MUST.

43. Takes responsibility for: OWNS. To all of our teachers, I think the "for" in the clue is unnecessary.

44. Shut: CLOSE.

45. Tack on: ADD.

50. Nap: SIESTA.

54. Kind of family: ONE CAR. Oo and I have decided to listen to this ADVICE.

55. World's most cultivated avocado, named for its developer: HASS. The LINK.

57. Roleo surface: LOG. This is the rodeo inspired name for the SPORT of log-rolling.

58. Goes down: SINKS. In the early days of the blog, this would have generated many DF comments.

61. Steps over a fence: STILE. Definition: an arrangement of steps that allows people but not animals to climb over a fence or wall.

62. Line 32 items on 1040 forms: IRAS. A new clue for one of the most common crossword words. I do not have the FORM memorized.
63. Not working: IDLE.

64. "Ah, right": I SEE.

65. Cousteau's milieux: MERS. French for seas.

66. Not as much: LESS.


1. Internet provider: CABLE.

2. Help: AVAIL.

3. In a way, in a way: SORTA.

4. __-faced: TWO. Worse than a one car family.

5. Sentence component: CLAUSE.

6. Off-road rec equipment: ATVS.

7. Lenin frenemy: TROTSKY. Two weeks in a row - what are the odds?

8. Nine-digit ID: SSN.

9. Horseplay outbursts?: NEIGHS.

10. Switch words: ON/OFF.

11. Pear variety: ANJOU.

12. Basketball Hall of Fame announcer Chick: HEARN.

15. Treat before washing: PRESOAK.

17. Went really fast: FLEW.

21. Seller's need: BUYER. Such a simple concept.

23. Sepulcher: TOMB.

25. Wash against gently: LAP AT. The waves from the ocean here in Pompano Beach are usually quite gentle.

28. __ patrol: SKI.

29. QE2 designation: HER. Spitzboov will remind us why ships are shes.

30. Word of assent: AYE. Aye aye, good juxtaposition.

31. Bridge support: TRUSS. I had this fill less than a month ago on April 22, 2018.

32. Finalize, with "up": SEW.

33. Cylindrical container: CAN.

34. Word often improperly punctuated: ITS.

36. Kind of paint: OIL BASE.

37. PepĂ© Le Pew's pursuit: AMOUR. Un autre chat comme Sylvester.

39. Fashion: MODE.

42. "Wait a minute!": SEE HERE.

44. Barnyard sound: CACKLE.

45. Gauge: ASSESS.

46. Pancake, for one: DISC.

47. Martini partner: ROSSI. Not a nice Caprese salad, but the vermouth partner.

48. Apartments or condos: UNITS.

49. "Friend Like Me" singer in "Aladdin": GENIE. The late great Robin Williams.

51. Arrive at a base, maybe: SLIDE. A baseball reference for C.C.

52. Trade things: TOOLS.

53. Keats' "The Eve of St. __": AGNES. The first stanza of a long poem (the indents are the authors)
St. Agnes' Eve—Ah, bitter chill it was! 
       The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold; 
       The hare limp'd trembling through the frozen grass, 
       And silent was the flock in woolly fold: 
       Numb were the Beadsman's fingers, while he told 
       His rosary, and while his frosted breath, 
       Like pious incense from a censer old, 
       Seem'd taking flight for heaven, without a death, 
Past the sweet Virgin's picture, while his prayer he saith.

56. Open slightly: AJAR.

59. Badly lit: DIM.

60. Shop __ you drop: TIL. Not anymore.

Another D-day here on Friday. My grandson is already 8 months old. It is raining, raining and raining and I am okay. Hope you enjoyed the puzzle, thank you David and all of you reading these words. Lemonade out.