, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: June 2018


Jun 30, 2018

Saturday, June 30, 2018, Brian E. Paquin

Themeless Saturday by Brian E. Paquin

June 30 is set aside to celebrate National Social Media Day. The use of these sites has changed not only me but the bulk of America. It has also opened up arenas for some really nasty business but that is one of the downsides of The First Amendment. 

I consider what we do here to certainly be a cog in the Social Media machinery. I have met some lovely new friends here and deeply value my contact with them through this electronic medium and, yes, SOCIAL MEDIA was in Morton's puzzle yesterday.

I have also made contact with former students and colleagues including my former commuting pal who is now married, living and teaching in Ho Chi Minh City! I could do without the winter postings questioning my intelligence for staying her in the frozen tundra but that is part of game and I enjoy winter. No, really! 

On this day, Brian has supplied us with a worthy challenge that took me a lot longer than last Saturday's puzzle. There were a few fills that took some disassembling even after I got them with solid perpendicular entries including a type of clam that has escaped my purview up to now.

Let's begin our own social media exploration of Brian's Saturday offering on this last day of June:


1. Complies with a "Star Trek" order: MAKES IT SO 

10. Larkish?: HAPPY.

15. Field reporter's signoff: OVER TO YOU - Kind of hard to do if you...

16. Stan's partner: OLLIE.

17. Inspiration for many pop songs: TEEN ANGST - Exhibit A

18. Period of time: SPELL - waethre is a bad SPELL of weather

19. 120 dozen?: TENS  A great hundred, also known as a small gross, is 120 or TEN dozen. That would be 120 of these bad boys!

20. "I Miss You" (1994) R&B singer: AARON HALL - Okay

22. Ring combination: ONE TWO - ONE - right jab, TWO - left hook. THREE - Good night sweet prince.

25. "Carmen" parts: ARIAS.

26. Gun offspring?: SON - "SON of a GUN" is my go-to phrase for a bad golf shot

27. Giving relief to: EASING - Ray later found out it was his own pain that needed EASING in Field Of Dreams. This is the only movie I can remember that had a real emotional effect on me

30. "Growing Up in New Guinea" author: MEAD - The revolutionary book by Margaret MEAD about her time in the Manus Province (after working with plains Indians in Nebraska) before missionaries and other western influences arrived

Margaret Mead directing a group of men playing
sacred flutes in Arapesh 

33. Let out, say: ALTER - I haven't had my DW "take in" any pants for a while

34. In the worst way: BADLY - Our school board wanted a new Middle School in the worst way and by golly that's what they got.

35. Stretch limits: PUSH THE ENVELOPE.

40. Two-time A.L. HR leader Tony: ARMAS - He of the Boston Red Sox of the 1980's

41. Wide-eyed: NAIVE.

42. Razor __: CLAM - Unknown to me and seldom seen here in the Platte River

43. Monty Python co-founder: CLEESE.

45. "Doctor Who" airer: BBC - All you need to know - A favorite show for Sheldon on Big Bang Theory 

48. Eastern European capital: SOFIA, Bulgaria

50. Small '90s-'00s Nissan: ALMERA- As well known as a RAZOR Clam to this blogger and also not found in the Platte River

52. Worked the room: SCHMOOZED.

56. Inventor Sikorsky: IGOR - An invention of his was featured in this 50's TV series

57. "Politically Incorrect" host: MAHER - As far to one side of the political spectrum as others are to the opposite side

58. Great Depression symbol: BREADLINE - Farmers around here were broke but at least could put food on the table

61. Putting to work: USING - I am USING MacOS High Sierra, Version 10.13.4 on my MacBook Pro

62. Dog school focus: OBEDIENCE.

63. Bug: GET TO - As I said last week, LET IT GO! Don't let 'em GET TO ya (Nolite te bastardes carorundorum)!

64. Sycophant: YES PERSON - Fans of The Office know who that is in this picture and who is the 
11. Top dog: ALPHA MALE


1. Guiding principles: MOTTOS -  Mine is, "Nobody is better than I am and I am no better than anyone"

2. Johnson & Johnson brand: AVEENO

3. Wayans family member: KEENEN - Okay

4. "Trophy, Hypertrophied" artist: ERNST - Art is in the eye/checkbook of the beholder

Trophy, Hypertrophied - 1919

5. Stop: Abbr.: STA.

6. It's charged: ION - Hey, we science guys deserve a slightly arcane joke once in a while!

7. "Rack City" rapper: TYGA - It took me about 3 seconds to get the gist of his lyrics

8. McGwire rival: SOSA - They are giving credit for saving baseball after a strike and then making baseball own up to its steroid problem

9. Left in the dust: OUTRAN.

10. President after Anwar: HOSNI - Mubarak

12. "I would like that!": PLEASE DO 

13. Difficult sort: PILL.

14. Scream: YELL 

21. Dot follower: ORG.

23. Paintball mementos: WELTS 

24. Citizenship promise: OATH - 
Here's one - I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.

28. Understand: SEE.

29. Sherlock's adversary Adler: IRENE - Lovely Lara Pulver is a great IRENE to Benedict Cumberbatch's SMUG, off-the-wall Sherlock in this recent BBC iteration

31. Lofty peak: ALP.

32. Tint: DYE - My hair vanity has not reached that point yet!

33. Lighting event?: AHA MOMENT - While Dr. Percy Spencer was working on a magnetron for military radar in 1946, he reached into his pocket and discovered his chocolate peanut cluster had melted. His AHA MOMENT turned into the invention of the microwave oven. The next day he put popcorn next to the device

34. Angled cut: BEVEL

35. Super __: PAC - To whom do I make out the check senator?

36. Browser bookmark: URL - Part of today's special day

37. Blockbuster: SMASH HIT - The list

38. "Auld Scotland wants __ skinking ware": Burns: NAE - Burns tribute to his beloved Haggis, and "NAE skinking ware that jaups in luggies" translated here

39. Passport endorsement: VISA.

43. Tech boss: CIO  - Chief Information Officer

44. Big name in taking it easy: LA-Z-BOY - A great couch potato option

45. Kicks off: BEGINS - The NFL wants to make kickoff ssafer and they are implementing these new rules

46. Super Bowl 50 champ: BRONCO - It was said of Peyton Manning in Super Bowl 50, "He was the oldest quarterback to start a Super Bowl and he played like it." The Broncos' defense won this game and Peyton was just along for the ride with his ineffective passing.

47. Lean dangerously: CAREEN

49. Waive: FORGO.

51. Bannister, for one: MILER - Having a last name that is also a common noun allows for crossword mischief 

53. Trophy holder: CASE - Sir Roger Bannister and his Trophy CASE

52. Self-satisfied: SMUG - You just knew SMUG Biff Tannen would get his just desserts before the closing credits in Back To The Future 

54. "Law and Order: CI" actress Kathryn: ERBE  - Okay

55. They leave a lot of room for improvement: DEES - Despite what you might think, this letter never graced any of my report cards

59. Payroll service co.: ADP.

60. 21-spot item, typically: DIE - ...and six sides. Add up the spots

Now use our social media to give us your well-considered, thoughtful commentary:


Jun 29, 2018

Friday, June 29, 2018, Morton J. Mendelsohn

Title: Somewhere Under the Rainbow.

This is puzzle number 6 here at the LAT for retired PROFESSOR MENDELSOHN a well-published Psychology researcher from McGill University in Montreal. He first published twice in the NYT followed by 5 LATs last year with one being a Friday. MJM uses a theme which we have seen before, where words in the down fill are clued to represent B(under)A phrases. He makes it his own by locating 4 unique to the puzzle world phrases that work. He adds triple stacks of 6 letter words in the NW and SE corners, with doubled up 8 letter fill in the NE and SW which include the sparkly LOOKED IN, MERE HINT and USO SHOWS. He sprinkles some amusing word combos and some geography.  There are included stuff from other puzzles for the week. See how many you recognize. we have:

4D. Carefully consider, literally: ADVISEMENT TAKE (14).  Take UNDER Advisement.

8D. Add to the list of possible perps, literally: SUSPICION PUT (12). Put UNDER Suspicion.

16D. Ail, literally: THE WEATHER FEEL (14). Feel UNDER the Weather.

20D. Rein in, literally: CONTROL BRING (12). Bring UNDER Control.


1. Fix: ATTACH. Not an easy start for me.

7. Egyptian symbols of royalty: ASPS. All you need to know about these SNAKES.

11. Fitness stat.: BMIBody Mass Index. Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson (6'5" 262 pounds)  comes in as "obese" with a reading of 31.1. Yeah, right.

14. Greeted casually, with "to": SAID HI. I did not need the "to."

15. Grill: QUESTION.

17. Classic London theatre: OLD VIC. The Old Vic, originally named the Royal Coburg Theatre, was designed in 1818 by Rudolph Cabanel, where it stands now south-east of Waterloo Station. various.

18. They raise camp spirit: USO SHOWS. SO? Hmm.

19. Arrive on an air taxi: FLY IN. Air Taxi?

20. Cereal box rank: CAP'N. I guess this makes this puzzle crunchy.

21. North-of-the-border gas: ESSO. An example?

22. "Could be better": SO SO. Cute next to ESSO.

24. Second of a Caesarean three: I SAW. VIDI.

26. Undressed: BARE.

29. "Squawk Box" channel: CNBC.

31. Feinted: DEKED. We hockey fans know this term,

35. Cheese townEDAM. Edam is a semi-hard cheese that originated in the Netherlands and is named after the town of Edam in the province of North Holland. Packed in red.

36. Abruzzi bell townATRI. Long ago there was a king in Italy who was known for his goodness and wisdom. King John of Atri believed in justice, and so one day he purchased a great bell to hang in a tower in the village square...

37. The Congo, formerly: ZAIRE.

38. Tune (out): ZONE.  Not related to 33D. White outERASE.

39. Agonize (over): BROOD. This verb was originally used with an object, i.e., ‘to nurse (feelings) in the mind’ (late 16th century), a figurative use of the notion of a hen nursing chicks under her wings.

41. Catching strategy: TRAP. For C.C. What is Trapped? A baseball term that describes the state of a fly ball or line drive that touches the ground just prior to being concealed and secured by a player's glove.

42. Key wood: EBONY. It took a moment too long for me to see this LINK.

44. Hyatt competitor: OMNI. The one in Miami closed but THESE are still open.

45. Horde: HOST.

46. Slow movement: LENTO. In music. 58A. Major relative to F minor: A-FLAT. JzB, help me!

47. Canter: LOPE.

48. Pre-event periods: EVES.

49. Pyramid, to Tut: TOMB.

51. Kindle reader, say: USER. One who uses the Kindle not the device.

53. Quartet named for its members: ABBAAgnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad.

56. Q.E.D. word: ERAT. Quod Erat Demonstrandum.

62. Checked (on): LOOKED IN. With so many oldsters living here, we look in and bring homecooked treats to them.

64. Mock: PSEUDO.

65. Barely a trace: MERE HINT. Like good perfume.

66. Party to a search: SEEKER.

67. Is for some: ARE. Cute, think about it.

68. Declines: SAGS. nothing but un-pc comes to mind.

69. Least well: ILLEST. Not a favorite.


1. Dating from: AS OF.

2. Hard to believe: TALL. Tale. The HISTORY?

3. Not like a sty: TIDY.

5. Slacks material: CHINO.  Versus KHAKI?

6. Kool-Aid alternative: HI-C.

7. Marine opening?: AQUA.

9. Lowly laborers: PEONS. Not since the serf days?

10. Cooking-burger sound: SSS.

11. Dust jacket blurbs: BIOS.

12. Manicures, in a way: MOWS. The lawn, or for Steve and NC and others, the garden.

13. __ many words: IN SO.

23. One who crosses the line: SCAB. From blemish … to strikebreaker, the history of the word scab … shows a displacement of meaning from the visceral or physical to the moral register … Just as a scab is a physical lesion, the strikebreaking scab disfigures the social body of labor—both the solidarity of workers and the dignity of work.

25. Wood dresser: ADZ.

26. Gem mounting: BEZEL. Bezel settings use a type of elevated collar which wraps the rim of the diamond in a complete metal edging

27. Pueblo building material: ADOBE.

28. Talked nonstop: RAN ON. Like many of my sentences.

30. Stomach relief, briefly: BROMO.
32. Bolshoi rival: KIROV.

34. Firm parts: Abbr.: DEPTS.

40. Runs out of juice: DIES.

43. Hoo's first?: YOO. Chocolate drink.

50. Social __: MEDIA.

52. Brainstorming staple: EASEL. Whiteboard these days.

53. Operatic Gluck: ALMA.

54. Dutch colonist: BOER. More cute pairing with...

55. Put to sleep: BORE.

57. Unwanted workers: ANTS.

59. Uncle to Ben Solo: LUKE. Ben Solo, Princess Leia's son. A dark warrior strong with the Force, Kylo Ren commands First Order missions with a temper as fiery as his unconventional lightsaber.

60. Vitamin C sources: ADES. Yay! CSO for me!!!!!

61. Libel or slander: TORT.   A civil wrong.

63. Doubtful interjections: EHS.

64. Tire shop meas.: PSIPounds per Square Inch.

We have almost put another month in the corner record books, with HG closing the deal tomorrow with one of his exhaustive explications. I hope to see you all back here next month. Thank you, Morton and cornerites, Lemonade out.

Note from C.C.:
Happy Birthday to dear Barry G, a regular on our blog for many years. How's work, Barry? Do you still have to drive a long way to work? How's Joshua?

July 2, 2016

Jun 28, 2018

Thursday, June 28 2018 Christopher Adams

Theme: The wheels on the bus ... Round and Round
17A. Generous nature: HEART OF GOLD. The Infinite Improbability Drive powered the space ship "Heart of Gold" in Douglas Adams' quite wonderful "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy".

28A. Exercising control over one's own affairs: SELF-GOVERNING

44A. 1945 Physics Nobelist who discovered the exclusion principle: WOLFGANG PAULI

"The best that most of us can hope to achieve in physics is simply to misunderstand at a deeper level."

58A. Eighteen holes ... and a hint to this puzzle's circled letters: ROUND OF GOLF. The 18th hole at St. Andrews. Don't hit into the Royal & Ancient clubhouse or the High Street.

A thoroughly entertaining puzzle from Christopher. I think this is a debut for him in the LAT, although I've seen a couple of his puzzles over at the Fireball site where he's known for his puzzles with a hidden super-theme, or "meta".

The theme letters really are a true "round" as they progress through FGOL, LFGO, OFLG and finally landing on GOLF. Nicely done.

I looked for a hidden twist, and eventually satisfied myself by convincing said self that the 18 "holes" are represented by 18 "O"s in the puzzle. Pure fluke, I'm sure, but I found the search entertaining.

Super construction too, those stacked 8's in the downs are not easy to pull off and not force anything to make it happen. Let's see what else jumps out.


1. Barfly: SOT

4. Covered with new grass: SODDED

10. Quick snooze: NAP

13. "Fortunate Son" band, briefly: CCR. Credence  Clearwater Revival's unofficial "Most American Song Ever".

14. Imagines: IDEATES. Lovely, vocabulary-expanding word.

16. "Science Friday" host Flatow: IRA. Thank you, crosses.

19. S&L offerings: CDS. I like the quirk in English where the plural of an abbreviation puts the "s" at the end, but the full phrase is pluralized differently - here "Certificates of Deposit".

20. Fortified Portuguese wine: MADEIRA. Fascinating wine-making process. The island of Madeira was the often the last port of call for ships sailing to the West Indies or the New World and fortified wine was able to stand up to the rigors of a long sea voyage.

21. Lingering traces: ECHOES

23. Eternally: ON END

24. Org. Edward Snowden worked for: NSA

27. Cigna rival: AETNA. Originally the Aetna (Fire) Insurance Company of Hartford, CT; the name was meant to evoke thoughts of fire-spewing Mt. Etna.

31. Ultrasound goo: GEL

32. One who minds his manor: LORD. Nice clue.

33. Bridal bio word: NÉE

34. Speak (up): PIPE

37. Arabian Peninsula resident: OMANI

39. Admit, with "up": 'FESS

40. World Cup chant: OLÉ. There's been plenty of those in this World Cup. The group stages wrap up today. Some low-odds favorites are already going home - Spain, Poland and, amazingly, Germany among them.

41. Persian Gulf republic: IRAN. Another World Cup country eliminated in the group stages this week.

42. CBS forensic series: CSI. One of the few shows I actually watched. The original series based in Las Vegas was excellent.

48. Bottled water brand: EVIAN

49. "__ out!": YER. An opportunity for an umpire at the plate to get all theatrical on themselves.

50. Minor dents: DINGS

53. Church official: RECTOR

55. "Just watch me!": I CAN TOO!

57. Programming pioneer Lovelace: ADA

61. Hubbub: DIN

62. Blinking diner sign: EAT HERE. I should hang one of these on my front door!

63. Asian New Year: TET

64. "District 9" extras: E.T.S Sci-Fi horror flick. I probably won't watch it. Horror movies scare the bejasus out of me and I don't sleep well. "The Exorcist" had me sleeping with the light on for a month, and I've never played Side 2 of "Tubular Bells" since.

65. Blended: MELDED

66. Texter's "No way!": OMG!


1. Loser: SCHMO

2. Indian, for one: OCEAN. Because neither "cuisine" nor "motorcycle" fit, amongst many others.

3. Baseball deals: TRADES

4. Go unused: SIT IDLE. If you're a baseball player, that usually means an impending 3D.

5. Musk, e.g.: ODOR

6. Neutralize, as a snake: DEFANG

7. Peace Nobelist Hammarskjöld: DAG. Sadly, a posthumous Nobel prize. The Secretary-General of the UN died when his plane was apparently shot down on the way to peace negotiations in the Congo.

8. WWII zone: ETO. European Theater of Operations.

9. Take-out order?: DELE. World Cup fans would clue "DELE" as an English national team midfielder!

10. Ingredient in therapeutic gum: NICOTINE

11. Battle of the Bulge region: ARDENNES

12. Excerpts: PASSAGES

15. Microchip found in cameras, briefly: SD CARD. Bzzzzz! Microchip? No, it's not. It's a removable storage medium. I just bought one for my Canon Eos camera.

18. Go back on a promise: RENEGE

22. One with nest eggs: HEN. 

25. One-named "A Seat at the Table" singer: SOLANGE

26. HarperCollins romance imprint: AVON. Thank you, crosses. I only know of the cosmetics direct-to-consumer company.

29. Native plants: FLORA. Compare and contrast with FAUNA

30. CNN correspondent Hill: ERICA

34. Coca-Cola sports drink: POWERADE

35. "Two thumbs up!": I LOVED IT!

36. New Orleans NBA team: PELICANS. One of the less-threatening US sports franchise names. Unless you're a fish. Golden State Herrings anyone?

38. Quite a few: MANY

39. Clerk's chore: FILING. My first office job. I was an underwriter's clerk at a London marine insurance company. Thank heavens computers arrived and I punched my (punch card) ticket out of policy-filing hell. I did learn "specie" back in those days though, that's come in handy in recent crosswords.

41. Deliberately overlook: IGNORE

43. Decongestant brand: SUDAFED

45. Blubber: FAT. This filled itself in. I might have been tempted by "CRY" though.

46. Rated (oneself) highly: PRIDED. "I prided myself on well-filed claims forms when I was an underwriter's clerk". Actually no, but I did pride myself on the mirror-finish of the floors I polished in the wee hours at the county hospital prior to my first office job

47. All things considered: IN TOTO

51. Clay being of Jewish folklore: GOLEM

52. Introduction to geometry?: SOFT G. These "soft" answers always stump me until the "ahhhh" moment.

54. Ramble: ROAM

56. Essence: CORE

59. 4 x 4, for short: UTE. "What's a 'ute'?" My Cousin Vinny.

60. Art Ross Trophy org.: NHL "Awarded to the player who leads the league in points at the end of the regular season". Currently held by the splendidly-named Connor McDavid. No doubt about his provenance.

And .. here's the grid. Four World Cup football matches today and I get a day off watching tomorrow, the first rest day in two weeks. It's a tough life!


Jun 27, 2018

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 Bill Zagozewski

Theme:  Failure of imagination on my part, maybe, but I can't come up with anything better than the reveal:

60. "Careful now" ... and a hint to what's hidden in 17-, 27- and 46-Across: EASY DOES IT.

Unless I'm missing something else [always a possibility] this indicates that in the two-or-three-word theme entries, the penultimate word ends in E, and the last word starts with Z; the spoken letters E-Z being phonetically equivalent to EASY.  See - it's not hard.

17. Marmalade ingredient: ORANGE ZEST.  So, it's ZEST, not PEEL, as I originally entered, and the jar in my fridge lists as an ingredient.   I'm a big fan of this jam-like preserve, but my lovely wife doesn't like it at all.  

27. Sign near school playgrounds: DRUG FREE ZONE.  Keeping our kids clean and sober.

46. Theoretical lowest temperature: ABSOLUTE ZERO.  Take some cold comfort in knowing there is a limit to how cold it can get.  This is ZERO on the Kelvin scale, -273.15 Celsius, or -459.67 Fahrenheit. Anyone for some ice cream?

Hi gang, JazzBumpa on duty.  Let's proceed and see how E-Z  today's puzzle is.


1. Far direction?: EAST.   There's a near EAST and a far EAST, which can be reached by traveling west.  That is circular reasoning.

5. Frankfurt's river: ODER.  Es gibt twei Frankurt.  Frankfurt am Main und Fankfurt an der Oder.  The Oder river rises in the Czech Republic and flows north-ish through Poland and defines 187 Km of the Germany-Poland border.  At 525 Km, the Main is the longest river completely contained in Germany.  It meanders in every direction imaginable, but ultimately westward, where it joins the Danube at the city of Mainz.  Strangely, the two names are not related.

9. Word repeated in a historic FDR quote: FEAR.  Nothing to FEAR here, move right along.

13. Formal "no" from 14-Across: VETO.  A bill passed by both houses of congress can be signed into law by 14. A or vetoed.  To over-ride a veto requires a two-thirds majority vote in both houses.

14. White House VIP: POTUS. President Of The United States.

16. Tomb Raider's __ Croft: LARA.

19. Takes the stage: IS ON.  After waiting in the wings, perhaps.

20. Hunter constellation: ORION.

21. Violent windstorm: TEMPEST.  Traces utimately back to Latin Tempus, meaning time, via Tempastas, meaning season.

23. Ceaselessly: NO END.  Going on and on and  .  .  .

26. City in Florida or Italy: NAPLESNAPLES [Napoli] Italy is a city in southern Italy, not far from Mt. Vesuvius.   It dates to the 2nd millennium, B. C. and has many centuries of important art and architecture.  NAPLES, FLA is an up-scale city in souther FLA on the Gulf of Mexico, surrounded by miles of white sand beaches.

31. Geological period: EON.  In geology and astronomy, one billion years; casually, an indefinite but very long time period.

32. __ trap: SET A.  Literally, make a trap ready to catch an animal; figuratively, invent a plan to catch someone doing something wrong.

33. Bear in two constellations: URSA.  Major and Minor, AKA Big and Little Dippers.

36. Symbol of rank: BADGE.

39. Former U.N. leader Hammarskjöld: DAG.  Swedish economist and diplomat who served as the 2nd Secretary General of the U. N.

40. Biblical song: PSALM.   A sacred hymn, specifically in the O.T Book of Psalms.    Here is a setting of Psalm 74 in the Russian chant style by Russian composer Pavel Chesnikov, arranged by Holland, that we performed last year.  One of the most beautiful compositions I've ever played.

42. Division on a Clue board: ROOM.  Have you played the Harry Potter version?  It murders the players.

43. Sardine holders: TINS.  Metal containers.  Cans also fits.

45. Philosopher __-tzu: LAO.  Ancient Chinese philosopher and writer, and founder of Taosim.  Quote: "Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step."

50. Brownish horse: SORREL.  A horse of various reddish-brown hues, with same color or lighter mane and tail.  Sometimes also called chestnut; there is confusion and controversy about the two names.

53. Yarn: STORY.  Generally one that challenges the willing suspension of disbelief.

54. Mathematical proposition: THEOREM.  A proposition that is not self-evident, but can be proven by a chain of reasoning.

56. City near the Great Salt Lake: OGDEN. In the Bee Hive State.

59. Prego competitor: RAGU.  Pasta Sauces.

64. Turkmenistan neighbor: IRAN.  Turkmenistan is South of Uzbekistan, North of Afghanistan, North-east of Iran.

65. Green __: THUMB.  High level of gardening ability.

66. Actress Blanchett: CATE.  Among her many other roles, she portrayed the Elf Queen Galadriel.

67. Remain undecided: PEND.  Decisions  .  .  .

68. "Haven't decided yet": I MAY.  Still thinking  .  .  .

69. Topple from power: OUST.  Via the voting booth, or revolution.


1. Bolivian leader Morales: EVO.  President since 2006, and the first to come from the indigenous population.

2. Prefix with dynamic: AERO-.  Relating to the motion physics of air or other fluids around moving bodies.

3. Headliner: STAR.  An actor or other performer, not a celestial body.

4. Weight-training activity: TONING. Body definition from moderate muscle building and loss of fat.

5. Bar gadgets: OPENERS.  For various kinds of bottles.

6. Egg qty.: DOZ.  They usually come in cartons of 12.  Note abrv. in cl. & ans.

7. Bastille Day saison: ETE.  French Summer.

8. Fall color: RUST.  This year sure is going by quickly.  Autumn leaves are various shades of red.

9. Diving gear: FLIPPERS.  Quasi-fish feet.

10. Prop for Picasso: EASEL.  Art supporter.

11. Came up: AROSE.  Emerged, became apparant.

12. Flies off the handle: RANTS.  Loses it.

15. Shorthand expert, for short: STENOgrapher.

18. Cause for an "Oops!": GOOF.  Error, mistake, faux pas.

22. "Don't be such a baby!": MAN UP.  Be brave or tough enough to deal with it.

24. Must: NEED TO.  Meet or satisfy a requirement.

25. Nuts and bolts, so to speak: DETAILS.  God is there - or the devil, depending on your point of view.

27. Cotillion girl: DEButant.  Young ladies introduced to polite society at a formal ball.

28. Katy Perry hit with the lyric "Louder, louder than a lion": ROAR.

29. PC command after an "Oops!": UNDO.  I can realate.

30. Hershey bar in a red-and-yellow wrapper: ZAGNUT.  Peanut brittle and cocoanut with a small amount of cocoa - no chocolate to melt and make a mess.

34. Mall event: SALE.  Price reduction promotion.

35. Bygone apple spray: ALAR.  Daminozide, a plant growth regulator used to keep unripe apples from falling off the tree from 1963 to 1989, when it was voluntarily withdrawn doe to cancer fears.

37. Skirt: GO AROUND.  Evade, avoid.

38. Fireplace bit: EMBER. Glowing ash.

41. Sound from the pasture: MOO.  The song of cows.

44. Stuck with, as a friend: STOOD BY.  A friend, indeed.

47. Wintry mix component: SLEET.  Frozen rain.

48. Therefore: ERGO.  Hence, for that reason, consequently.

49. Bayou music style: ZYDECO.

50. __ mining: STRIP.   A form of extraction, most commonly used for coal, in which the surface soil and rocks are removed to reveal the mineral, which is then extracted with heavy machinery.

51. Midwestern hub: O'HARE.  Chicago airport.

52. Lear daughter: REGAN. The  middle child. Her sisters are Cordelia and the eldest, unfortunately named Goneril.

55. Half a fish: MAHI.  No better than half a fly.  MEH!

57. Jacob's twin: ESAU. Biblical antagonists.

58. Quibbles: NITS.  Half a fish, for example.

61. Bottom line: SUM.  Of an added-up column of numbers.

62. Singer Sumac: YMA. [1923-2008] Peruvian coluratura soprano with a vocal range of over 4 1/2 octaves.

63. Saigon holiday: TET.  Vietnamese lunar new year.

That's it.  Not to hard, not too E-Z, and not bad, though I had my half-nit, or so. Thus endeth another Wednesday.

Cool regards!

Note from C.C.:

Here is a picture of JD's grandson Truman at his 5th grade graduation. Click here to see all the Truman pictures I've archived. JD joined our blog shortly after Truman was born, so he grew up with our blog.