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


Aug 31, 2018

Friday, August 31, 2018, Ross Trudeau

Ttile?  Spellcheck anyone?

My first wrangle with Ross Trudeau and my first time dealing with a theme that is in the clues as well as in the fill. His initial LAT was the New Years Day puzzle. Ross is the son of the cartoonist Garry Trudeau, the Pulitzer-winning creator of "Doonesbury."  Ross is a digital media producer in Cambridge, Mass. He has had many NYT and the new Puzzle Society puzzle publications. Ross did stop by in January and revealed his full name is Richard Ross Trudeau (R Ross Trudeau) in his H Ross Perot puzzle. He has added a wonderful array of 7 and 8 letter fill. AVENUE C,  CONTENT,  DEROSSI,  DOG LIKE,  ETONIAN,  I-PHONES,  LEERERS,  LIVEN UP, MARIANO, RAT HOLE,  REACT TO,  CINNAMON,  ENSNARLS,  ENTREPOT, and INTEGERS. The solve was fun, and I enjoyed the double duty requiring both the auto-correct of the clue and the fixing of the automobile required in the fill. We also had an accent on words with accents.

17A. Blub needing replacement: BROKEN TAILLIGHT (15).

24A. Dashbaord warning: CHECK ENGINE (11).

36A. Prolbems caused by nails, maybe: FLAT TIRES (9).

48A. Resutl of lengthy nonuse, maybe: DEAD BATTERY (11).
The reveal:
57A. Suggestions in a text message ... and what 17-, 24-, 36-, and 48-Across may require, literally and figuratively?: AUTO CORRECTIONS.
The bonus fill:
12D. They might offer 57-Across:   i-PHONES.


1. Summer refreshers: ADES. Even though it is not a real word, I love starting with a CSO to me.

5. Hot tub features: JETS. The water jets.

9. Welcomed to one's home: HAD IN. As opposed to 'ate out'.

14. Anti-fur-farming org.: PETAPeople for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

15. Taking care of business: ON IT.

16. Split to get together?: ELOPE. Really cute thoughtful clue/fill.

20. GM navigation system: ONSTAR. The LINK.

21. Maiden name indicator: NÉE. From the French.

22. Parcel of land: LOT. Part of the US/Canadian SYSTEM.

23. Chi follower: PSI. You want to LEARN.

27. Father of the Edomites: ESAU. This is close to RELIGION.

29. Not well done: POOR. Rare? Nope.

30. Scratched (out): EKED.

31. Eggnog spice: CINNAMON. Combine milk, cloves, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and cinnamon in a saucepan, and heat over lowest setting for 5 minutes. Slowly bring milk mixture to a boil.
In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar. Whisk together until fluffy. ...
Stir in rum, cream, 2 teaspoon vanilla, and nutmeg.

34. __ Park, Colo.: ESTES.  The HISTORY.

38. Cheering loudly: AROAR. Meh.

40. Tangles: ENSNARLS.

44. First name in stunt cycling: EVEL.

45. No longer exists: ISN'T.

47. "I Am __": Jenner reality show: CAIT. Sorry, I missed this, or is it still on?

52. "Appropriate for all children" rating: TV-Y. For programs designed to be appropriate for all children.

53. The Vitamin Shoppe alternative: GNC. General Nutrition Centers.

54. Santa __ winds: ANA.

55. "Faust" dramatist: GOETHE. This author's appearance was foreshadowed this week.

61. Evoking the past: RETRO. I think I may be the personification of this trend.

62. Popped stopper: CORK.

63. Fingerprint, perhaps: CLUE. Often used by Edgar awarded writers.

64. Disdain: SCORN.

65. Pard's ride: HOSS.

66. Didn't go bad: KEPT. Food, not a juvenile delinquent.


1. Msg. for a squad car: APB. All Points Bulletin.

2. Portia of "Arrested Development": DEROSSI. She married Ellen.

3. James Bond or George Orwell: ETONIAN. Famous GRADUATES of Eton.

4. Nordstrom competitor: SAKS.

5. Whale of a guy?: JONAH. A very cute biblical clue.

6. Import/export port: ENTREPÔT. I did not know this word which means a port, city, or another center to which goods are brought for import and export, and for collection and distribution.

7. Aunt in Madrid: TIA. And in my extended family.

8. Smashed: STINKO.

9. Launcher of many ships?: HELEN. For all the newbies (less than two years reading the blog) we coined the standard for admiring female pulchritude - the milihelen. 1000 is a more complete review than one to ten.

10. Foreman rival: ALI.

11. Resembling a dingo: DOGLIKE. Be careful around these WILD DOGS.

13. Earned: NETTED.

18. And so on: Abbr.: ETC. Yadda, yadda.

19. Ogling ones: LEERERS. My favorites are Tom and Norman.

23. Bench press muscle: PECtoral.

25. Tweets, snaps, pics, etc.: CONTENT.

26. Passes with mediocrity: GETS A C. Hmm, 38D. Street in Manhattan's Alphabet City: AVENUE C HISTORY.

28. Prepare to fly, as a flag: UNFOLD.

32. Like: À LA. JzB gets his accent grave..

33. Legendary Yankees closer, familiarly: MARIANO. Rivera, the all-time baseball saves leader. LINK.

35. Kamala Harris, e.g.: Abbr.: SEN. No politics, but a rising Democrat STAR.

37. 5 and 10, e.g.: INTEGERS. A whole number.

39. Laugh at, say: REACT TO. nearby 42D. Add zip to: LIVEN UP.

41. Filthy dwelling: RATHOLE. Unpc for the poor rats.

43. Filthy dwelling: STY. An odd clecho.

44. Mystery awards: EDGARS. Named for the acclaimed first mystery writer, Edgar Allan Poe.

46. Symbol of stiffness: STARCH.

49. Brunch sizzler: BACON.

50. Ice in a pub: ROCKS.

51. Thus far: YET.

56. Clock sound: TICK. Tock.

58. NHL legend Bobby: ORR. Don't you love this next to?

59. Outback hopper: ROO.

60. Game-match link: SET. Game-set-match and such is the end of my game today as well.

Well, that was fun; welcome to Friday Ross and we have finished off another month. I thank you all for your birthday wishes and for solving and writing here. Lemonade over and out.

Aug 30, 2018

Thursday, August 29th 2018 Lewis Rothlein

Theme: Cloth Ears. My mother used to tell me I had "cloth ears" if I misheard something. Here we have four potential "oh, I thought you said ...."

17A. Fabricated "Murphy Brown" star?: CANVAS BERGEN. Actress Candice.

23A. Fabricated "Help!" star?: JOHN LINEN. Beatle Lennon.

Here are the Fab Four, with Lennon in a linen suit, narrowly avoiding death by a Number 39 bus (en route from Willesden to Waterloo) on their return journey across the Abbey Road zebra crossing. Paul might already have been dead, if you believe the stories. If you squint your eyes and look to the right of the bus you can see the road that I used to live on. I used to walk across Abbey Road to get to the pub where I had an evening job pulling pints of Guinness and serving up shots of Bushmill's whiskey.

50A. Fabricated "Girls" star?: LENA DENIM. Actress Durham.

56A. Fabricated "La La Land" star?: RAYON GOSLING. Actor Ryan.

and the unifier across the middle:

33A. Clergy ... and four answers in this puzzle?: PEOPLE OF THE CLOTH

Another odd-shaped puzzle Thursday, perhaps Rich has a new trend going? That's three in a row this month. The unifier here is 16 letters, so if you want to keep that as a grid-spanner, then something has to give, and that something is the traditional 15-wide constraint.

This looks to be Lewis's LAT debut, he's been in the NYT before, once with this moniker and twice with a middle "E" initial.

Full disclosure, I'm not a fan of "sounds like" themes; the kinda-sorta-homophone thing is way too subjective for me. There's a world of difference between LINEN/LENNON (close)  and DENIM/DURHAM (miles apart) but that's just me. I do like the "Fabricated ..." cluing though, that's very neat.

The fill is full (!) of nice stuff. Let's go look:


1. Sickly complexion: PALLOR

7. Eugene of "American Pie" movies: LEVY

11. Grand Canyon hrs.: MST. Mountain time. Funny that a canyon is on Mountain time, no?

14. Current unit: AMPERE. Amp for short and convenient.

15. Finnish telecom giant: NOKIA. Bumps in the road for these folk. Anyone have a Nokia phone?

16. Something to slip on?: ICE. The question mark is a little odd, it's not exactly misdirection. I get "slip on" in the "lingerie" sense, but I think it's a reach for a checho with 35D.

19. Omega-3 source: ROE

20. Ongoing: ACTIVE

21. It can get you down: SKI RUN

26. Scents: ODORS

27. Coalition creators: UNITERS. No, flat out no. Never been used in common parlance. Oh! You Uniters! You creators of coalitions! Nope.

28. Olympians using boards: DIVERS. Fun clue. Lugers, snowboarders, skeleton folks ... no, no and nope again. Oh! Summer Olympics!

30. Often-injured knee ligament, for short: MCL. I went with ACL first, didn't we all? Anterior, Median, and no doubt posterior ligaments. The ACL seems to get the worst of sports injuries. I love it when people say they ruptured their "crucial" ligament. Most of them are. The knee ligaments are "cruciate" ones. They cross over.

31. Illinois River city: PEORIA

41. Fragrant blooms: LILACS

42. MLB scoreboard letters: RHE, or more accurately, R    H    E. Not a word. Runs, Hits and Errors. Would you accept PINR in your crossword?

43. Metallic sounds: CLANKS.

45. Like some relations: SPATIAL

49. Language student's challenge: SLANG

52. Knocks their socks off: WOWS 'EM

54. Soccer star Messi: LIONEL Vote now: Messi, Maradona, Pele,  Best, Ronaldo, Puskas, Buffon, Cryuff. GOAT. Write-in votes welcome.

55. Whichever: ANY

61. Urban center?: BEE. The letter "B". It's in the middle of "urban".

62. "Your game": I LOSE

63. Paradise: UTOPIA

64. Old union member: Abbr.: SSR. A soviet socialist republic, no longer a member of the "U" in USSR.

65. Sicilian volcano: ETNA

66. Studio dweller: TENANT. Can't I own a studio? Weird clue.


1. __-Man: PAC

2. Q&A session on Reddit: AMA. Ask Me Anything, apparently. Good to know.

3. Clinic worker: Abbr.: LPN. Licensed Practical Nurse. Where do the theoretical ones go to get certified?

4. Eastern Mediterranean region: LEVANT. With "The", usually. Egypt to Turkey and eastwards to a loosely-defined area of Saudi Arabia and Iraq. It's that "loosely" that usually starts arguments.

5. Expert in futures?: ORACLE. The Oracle at Delphi. The jury is out on the accuracy of Pythia. She might have been taking the ....

6. Mix again: RE-STIR. Take verb. Add "RE". Done and done.

7. Frequent Mastroianni co-star: LOREN. Sophia. Marcello co-starred in many of her movies.

8. Ticker tape, briefly?: EKG. Nice.

9. Goes (for): VIES

10. Grammy-winning satirical artist Al: YANKOVIC

11. Magnet for a narcissist: MIRROR

12. Searches high and low: SCOURS

13. Winter temp range: TEENS. Terrible clue. It depends where you are. You don't write directional clues relative to where you are, you don't write time-based clues depending on what year you are in, you certainly don't write this clue.

15. Campbell of "House of Cards": NEVE.

18. Storage spots: BINS

22. Noble objective: IDEAL

23. Checkers move: JUMP

24. Whenever: ONCE. "Whenever upon a time". "Whenever, I met the president". "It happened whenever that I ....". Really?

25. City whose state's postal code is half its name: HILO. Thumper.

28. "Shoulda thought of that!": DOH!

29. Slight reaction?: IRE

31. One-striper: Abbr.: PFC

32. "The X-Files" subjects: ETS

34. Thinks ahead: PLANS

35. Something to slip on: LINGERIE. See 16A grump.

36. Large deer: ELK

37. Allied gp. since 1948: OAS. Organisation of American States. Tip of my tongue.

38. "Are you out __?": OR IN. I'd say "IN" first before "OUT". There's a few fills here which stretch the "in the language" rule, this is one. You can't just swap stuff around. "Feast or famine" doesn't really work as "Famine or feast". 

39. Drunken noodles cuisine: THAI

40. Nautical wheel: HELM

43. Duplicates: CLONES

44. Billy McBride on "Goliath," e.g.: LAWYER

45. Smooch in a lift: SNOG. Lift = elevator in the UK; Smooch = snog. Fair. When I was a yoot, smooching was slow-dancing, snogging frowned upon.

46. Prove successful: PAN OUT

47. Carol beginning: ADESTE. Fidelis. Oh come, all ye faithful.

48. Rat out: TELL ON

49. Clinic supply: SWABS

50. Writer Mario Vargas __: LLOSA

51. A, to Merkel: EINE. Angela Merkel. She might have said that "A" was her vorname initial.

53. __ liquor: MALT

57. "Round __ virgin ... ": YON. A Christmas mini-theme in August! How nice.

58. Pub initials: IPA. India Pale Ale. We've been over this before.

59. Diarist Anaïs: NIN

60. Noir pistol: GAT. Quite what makes it "noir" - I'm open to suggestions. Is it always black? Always used in French movies? Is there a super-villain named "Noir" who uses a "gat"? I need to know, if only for next time.

And that .... is that. Well, it would be if I posted the grid, so here it is::


Aug 29, 2018

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 Craig Stowe

Theme: SHORT CUTS.  The word SHORT is cut up and shuffled into the theme answers. They locations of these letters are - or should be - indicated with circles.

17. Follow-up vaccination: BOOSTER SHOT.  Re-exposure to an immunizing antigen to increase or restore immunity.  I thought it was a snort of alcohol for a devotee of college athletics.

26. Bit of equine trickery: GIFT HORSE.  Unhappy memory for Trojans, but, somehow otherwise, not to be looked in the mouth.

36. Tall tale: FISH STORY.  An improbable, boastful tail.

52. Part of Ursa Minor: NORTH STAR.  Polaris, a trinary star system with a yellow super-giant and two small companions.

61. Cheat at checkout ... and a hint to the circled letters: SHORT CHANGE.  Literally, not give back sufficient CHANGE for a large bill.  Figuratively, to treat unfairly by withholding something of value.  In the theme fill, the word SHORT is CHANGED by re-ordering its letters.  This would be tough to spot if you didn't get the circles

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa here to check out this puzzle and see to it we don't get cheated out of anything. Let's start at aisle 1.


1. Script deviations: AD LIBS. Spontaneous, not formally prepared speech.

7. Shallot, e.g.: BULB.  A type of onion, with a milder flavor.

11. "Wicked!": RAD.  Slang words for "good."

14. Knitted shoe: BOOTEE.  Infant's foor wear.

15. "The African Queen" screenwriter James: AGEE.

16. Bird on Australian coins: EMU.  A large flightless bird that is one of the cultural icons of Australia.  Here it is on a postage stamp.  Inexplicably, this is not the mascot of Eastern Michigan University.

19. Cul-de-__: SAC. Literally, the bottom of a sack, but generally used to indicate a dead-end street.

20. Birth announcement abbr.: OZS.  Along with Lbs.

21. MontrÈal mates: AMIS.  French speaking friends from our neighbor to the north..

22. Defeat soundly: CRUSH.  Stomp, bash, trounce.

24. Clip-on accessories, perhaps: TIES.

29. Fax forerunners: TELEXES.  Per Wikipedia, they comprised a public switched network of teleprinters similar to a telephone network, for the purposes of sending text-based messages.

32. Florida produce: ORANGES.  Citrus fruit.

33. Turkey neighbor: SYRIA.  South of Turkey, north-west of Iraq.

34. "__ news?": ANY.  Update, anyone?

35. Supreme leader?: ESS.  First letter of the word.  The type of self-referential clue that diminishes the quality of a puzzle.

40. Airline to Oslo: SAS.  Scandinavian Airlines.

43. Shoot the breeze: YAK.  Chew the fat.

44. Watts of "Twin Peaks" (2017): NAOMI.

47. Kind of illusion: OPTICAL.  See some here.

50. Drive back, as attackers: FEND OFF.  Repel hostile adversaries.

54. Mine, in MontrÈal: AMOI.

55. Justice Samuel: ALITO.  Appointed by George W. Bush and on the bench since January, 2006.

56. Organic fuel: PEAT.  Boggy ground consisting of partly decomposed vegetable matter.  Not the only organic fuel.

59. Directional suffix: -ERN.   All's quiet on the -ERN front.

60. Tank or tee: TOP.  Article of informal clothing worn on the torso.

65. Birthday card number: AGE.  These numbers keep increasing.

66. Currency for 19 countries: EURO.  It was introduced on January 1, 1999.

67. Apartment dweller, typically: RENTER.

68. Barrett of Pink Floyd: SYD.

69. Gas in a sign: NEON.  A noble gas [chemically inert] with atomic number 10 and atomic weight of 20.1797, having a density about .9 * that of air.

70. Like the smell of a brewery: YEASTY.  Brewers' yeast transforms carbohydrates to alcohol under low oxygen conditions.


1. Costello's cohort: ABBOTT.  Comedy partners

2. Humdingers: DOOZIES.  Things that are remarkable or outstanding.  "Humdinger" is a word of uncertain origin that arose in the U. S. in the late 19th century.  It might simply be a mash-up of hummer and dinger, older words of similar meaning.  DOOZIE is of unknown origin.  It is definitely not derived from the name of the Duesenberg motor car, as is sometimes suggested.  The use of the word predates the 1920 introduction of the automobile by more than 20 years.

3. How some scripts are adapted from novels: LOOSELY.  ASoIaF mavens take note.

4. "__ go time!": IT'S.  A challenge to fight some one; or a realization that the moment for decisive action has arrived.  Also, this year's advertising slogan for the Detroit Visitor's Bureau.

5. Software prototype: BETA. A test version of the package, prior to its commercial release.

6. Appear to be: SEEM. Give the impression or sensation of having a particualar quality.

7. Operatic voices: BASSI.  Italian plural of BASSO.

8. "Gross!": UGH.  Eeew!

9. Zodiac sign: LEO.  July 23 to August 22.  We are now in Virgo.

10. "You __!": "Bingo!": BETCHA.  Of course.

11. Make a comeback: RESURGE.  To regain popularity or strength after a decline.

12. Stockpiles: AMASSES.  Accumulates.

13. New title for Meghan Markle: DUCHESS. Of Sussex, having married Prince Harry on May 19th of this year.

18. Semis: RIGS.  North American term for large trucks.  More generally, a RIG is an apparatus or device designed for a specific purpose.

23. "This Is Us" Emmy nominee __ Cephas Jones: RON.  No idea.

25. Feudal laborer: SERF.  Laborers who were bound to a particular piece of property.

27. Word processing choice: FONTLetter character style.

28. "Have a sample": TRY ONE.  A tiny morsel.

30. A dozen ova?: XII.  OK.  Ova is latin for eggs; eggs are generally sold by the dozen; and XII is the Roman numeral for 12.  Still  .  .  .

31. Helpful courses for underachievers: EASY As.  A class where a high grade can be achieved with minimal effort.

34. Inquire: ASK.

37. "Don't move!": HALT.  Stay put.

38. Campaigned: RAN.  As for public office.

39. Diminutive Jedi master: YODA.

40. Mozart works: SONATAS.  Musical selections for solo instruments.  Here is a well known example.

41. Expression of regret: APOLOGY.  I'm sorry!

42. Like Ronald McDonald's sleeves: STRIPED.  Advertising mascot in a clown outfit.

45. They may be precious: MOMENTS.  Sweet memories, or overly cutsie ceramic miniatures, if you're in to that sort of kitsch..

46. "My memory fails me": I FORGET.  What was i saying  .  .  .  ?

48. Cousin of Gomez Addams: ITT.  From the Addams Family TV show.

49. Selected: CHOSEN.

50. Lose sleep (over): FRET.  Worry.

51. Sunday best: FINERY.  One's best clothing.

53. It may say "World's Okayest Cook": APRON.  A protective and/or decorative garment worn over the front of one's clothing, and tied in the back.

57. __ for help: A CRY.  S.O.S. perhaps.

58. Quaker pronoun: THEE.  Obsolete singular objective case version of "you."  A relic of the English language's Germanic roots.

62. Shade: HUE.  An attribute of color determined by its wavelength distribution, independent of brightness or intensity,

63. Conquistador's treasure: ORO.  Spanish gold.

64. Actress Ortiz of "Ugly Betty": ANA.

Betty's more fashionable sister

Well, that wraps up another Wednesday. Make sure you have all your nickels and dimes - and marbles, too, just to be on the safe side.
Cool regards!

Aug 28, 2018

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 Joe Deeney

Fish Stories - You should have seen the one that got away ! 

20. Place at the track?: FINISH SECOND.

28. Hard-to-fold bed linens: FITTED SHEETS.

44. Senior British military rank: FIELD MARSHAL.

55. Phrase including hand gestures symbolized by the puzzle circles:  IT WAS THIS BIG

OK, these fish weren't hidden very well, especially given the circles, but (and I hope you saw it),  if you count the letters between FI and SH,  you'll notice that the distance is increasing by 2 each time.   The span from the head to the tail of the fish is getting progressively bigger !  Like those "Top this !" fish stories.   Neat !

I believe this to be a debut for Joe Deeney at the LA TIMES Crossword.   I didn't struggle to complete the puzzle, but did have to check or fill in perps to get more answers than usual.


1. Uneducated guess: STAB.

5. Recreation in which players become characters, for short: RPGSRole Playing Games.  Know what they are, but have never been in or played one.

9. Get rid of: SCRAP.

14. Word before or after brand: NAME.  McDonald's is a name brand in the fast food industry.  The Big Mac is a McDonald's brand name.  Not a fan, but McDonald's will do in a pinch.  Haven't had a Big Mac since I was a preteen, so about 50 years.  Eins ist genug !   Test your Drive-Thru Diet.    Anyway, as you know, many brand names get adopted into our everyday language, such as kleenex, scotch tape, popsicles, q-tips and chapstick.

15. Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity chain: IHOP.
 16. Pup: POOCH.

17. Figure skating leap: AXEL.

18. Launched at great speed: CATAPULTED.

22. Calf's suckling spot: UDDER

23. Stuntman Knievel: EVEL.  Watched the documentary Being Evel  about him a few weeks ago.  That guy was nuts. 

24. Lioness of film: ELSA.

31. Airport rental: CAR.

34. Have title to: OWN.

35. Mexican pyramid builder: AZTEC.

36. Herb in Italian seasoning: OREGANO.

39. Lively, musically: UPTEMPO.  Unlike "old country," many "new country" hits have more of an upbeat, uptempo, almost pop sound. 

41. Ready to bloom: IN BUD.

42. No. on a grad's résumé: GPA

43. Va. winter hours: EST

49. Unload for cash: SELL

50. Yale students: ELIs.

51. "Better in Time" singer Lewis: LEONA.  No idea. 118M views of this YouTube:

58. Russian ballet company, familiarly: THE BOLSHOI.

61. Deadly shark: MAKO.  Typed in orca.  Typed over with MAKO.  No smudges or wite-out needed.

62. Bad-tempered: SURLY.

63. Mario __: Nintendo racing game series: KART.  Had to let perps solve it.

64. "It's my time to shine!": I'M ON.

65. Leg joints: KNEES.

66. Iowa State city: AMES

67. Screwball: ZANY.


1. Major mess: SNAFU. Situation Normal - All Fouled Up

2. No. on an IRS form: TAX ID.

3. Make changes to: AMEND.

4. "You are beyond __!": "Incredible!": BELIEF.

5. High in calories: RICH

6. Early stage of a clinical trial: PHASE TWO.

7. Avenged a wrong: GOT EVEN.   Getting even is not a good way to live a life, but it is a plot line of many westerns.

8. Completely forgot, in slang: SPACED.

9. Created, as a web: SPUN.

10. Portmanteau brand for flu symptoms: COLDEEZE.  Never used it.  May have seen a commercial.  Perps needed.

11. Nonsense: ROT.  URL Rot is one term for when you try to link to a page that no longer exists.

12. Blackjack half: ACE. Had to check perps.  Could have been ten.

13. Scholar's deg.: PHD.

19. Campaign pros: POLS. Politicians.

21. __ Lanka: SRI.

25. "I got this": LET ME

26. Dance moves: STEPS.

27. Fancy necktie: ASCOT.

29. Truck weight unit: TON.

30. Fedora, e.g.: HAT.

31. Elaborate dos: COIFS.

32. Golfer Palmer, to fans: ARNIE.   Fierce competitor.  Adored by his fans, who became known as "Arnie's Army."

33. Billy Idol's "__ Yell": REBEL.  I like the song. Probably the only one in this crowd that does.

37. Easily fooled: GULLIBLE.

38. Use an abacus: ADD.

39. FedEx Office alternative: UPS STORE.  The local UPS Store was opened as "Mail Boxes Etc" but then rebranded to The UPS Store.  Officially,  the article The is part of the trademarked name.   

40. Dismissive sound: PAH.  Or a tuba sound.  Hi Abejo !

42. "A Time to Kill" novelist John: GRISHAM.  Most of his book titles start with an A.

45. Kitten cry: MEWL.  I started with meow. 

46. "North to the Future" state: ALASKA

47. Actor Mahershala of Netflix's "Luke Cage": ALI.  Remembered his name from the last time.

48. B'way show with the song "Valjean's Confession": LES MIZ.  Never heard of the song, but the perps made it the only possible answer.

52. 44th president: OBAMA.

53. Canon competitor: NIKON.  Canon, hmm. Camera or copier/printer device ?  Epson (printer brand)  will be the answer on another day. 

54. Terrible pain: AGONY.   Also, the name of one of the three hills that basic training soldiers marched up and down at Ft Knox.  The other two were Misery and Heartbreak.  I believe we did a 20 mile and 15 mile night march.  Grueling in combat boots with all the gear. 

56. Hasbro specialty: TOYS

57. Oldies, in their day: HITS.  Song hits.

58. "Shame on you!": TSK

59. Attila the __: HUN.

60. Bard's "before": ERE.

Aug 27, 2018

Monday August 27, 2018 C.C. Burnikel

Theme: ROT - Each theme is in the pattern of R* OF T*.

17. Sam Houston served twice as its president: REPUBLIC OF TEXAS.

28. General guideline: RULE OF THUMB.

47. Credible quality: RING OF TRUTH.

59. Hint that a storm is approaching: RUMBLE OF THUNDER.

Good Morning. Limping Boomer here, trying to get past a bit of an arthritis flare up.  Minnesota State Fair is going nuts, as I mentioned last week, C.C. and I are figuring what to do with the money we saved by not going.  I spent my half at the pharmacy.


1. Apple remnant: CORE.  And from the Garden of Eden, picked the apple he was eatin' and I swear that I'm the one what et the core. ("Great Historical Bum" My buddies - Chad Mitchell Trio.)

5. Picket line crosser: SCAB.  I respect labor unions however I was never a member and I'm not sure I respect this label.

9. Proverbial waste maker: HASTE.

14. Like die-hard fans: AVID.

15. Furry red Muppet: ELMO. Tickled to see him in a puzzle.

16. Snake River state: IDAHO.  River made famous by Evel Knievel.

20. Rapper Dr. __: DRE.  Sorry fans, I despise RAP

21. Shade tree subject to blight: ELM.  I think Ash is more threatened.  However there was a nightmare on Elm's Street.

22. Lubricated: OILED.  Bowling lanes get oiled - some heavy, some not so much.  I like medium.

23. Black __ : covert missions: OPS.  Donald Sutherland in "JFK".

25. Cost for an online pop-up: AD RATE.  Indeed - Online pop ups are a pain.

31. Safari automaker: GMC.  GM almost went under like Enron.  I'm glad they survived, I think they make decent vehicles.

34. Wraps up: ENDS.  Th Th That's all folks.  - "Porky"

35. Fish trapped in pots: EELS.  I really don't think eels are fish.

36. "Word is ... ": I HEAR.

38. Geronimo's tribe: APACHE. Also a Fort in the Bronx.

40. Board meeting outline: AGENDA.

41. Motherless calf: DOGIE. Get along little one, and don't call me Doogie.

42. Tear canal: DUCT.

45. Actresses Long and Vardalos: NIAS.

46. Jeanne d'Arc, e.g.: Abbr.: STE.

50. Intermittent, as fog: PATCHY.

51. "To each __ own": HIS.  Why is it never "her" own.

52. Bill Belichick, e.g.: COACH. To heck with Bill, how about our new Gopher Women's Basketball coach, Ms. Lindsay Whalen.

54. Boathouse item: OAR.

56. One __ million: IN A.

63. Quite heavy: OBESE.

64. Cookie in dirt pudding: OREO.  It took a while, but I knew I would find a four letter word with three vowels.

65. Extremely tired: BEAT.  Beat the drum and hold the phone, the sun came out today!  John Fogerty, "Centerfield"

66. Desires: WANTS.

67. Florist's arrangement: POSY. Add an "E", Buster, and you have a catcher of Giants.

68. Indy 500 racers: CARS. Calling those things that run at Indy "cars" could be a bit of an understatement.


1. Birthday __: CARD.  Cards are nice, but I have had WAY too many birthdays!

2. Finished: OVER.

3. One's golden years: RIPE OLD AGE. (See my comment on one down.)

4. Academic URL ender: EDU.

5. Pitch successfully: SELL. "Strikeout" was too long of a word.

6. Long-term weather conditions: CLIMATE.

7. "The Walking Dead" channel: AMC.  Acronym for American Motors Corp.  I once owned a 1975 Pacer.  However, Sadly, AMC went the way of the Packard and Studebaker.

8. Unhappy fan's shout: BOO. Halloween is only two months away. Is your sheet with holes clean??

9. Win the jackpot: HIT IT BIG.  Joe Mauer passed Rod Carew on Friday for hits in a Twins Uniform - 2086.  Only Kirby Puckett has more. 

10. One-named "Skyfall" singer: ADELE.

11. __-Coburg, Bavaria: SAXE.

12. Former Mississippi senator Cochran: THAD. He served 40 years in the Senate but resigned last Spring due to health concerns.

13. Dawn goddess: EOS.

18. Kiss, in Cancún: BESO.  "I'll send you all my love, every day in a letter....Sealed with a Beso."

19. Shaving lather: FOAM.  Don't they have Menthol anymore?  I used to like it.

24. Joe of "My Cousin Vinny": PESCI. Really liked him in "Casino".

26. FedEx rival: DHL.

27. Country with 11 time zones: Abbr.: RUS. Russia.  I did not know they had 11 Soviet time zones.  But I know Russia is in our news at least 11 times a day.

28. Curls up with a Kindle: READS.  When I was a kid, we had this thing called a book.

29. Take out of its container, as a houseplant: UNPOT.  This is a new word used out west to harvest the cannabis garden.

30. Service charge: FEE.  Add an "R" and you don't have to pay it.

31. "That's super-creative thinking!": GENIUS IDEA.  Whoever thought of the internet, or casino gambling.

32. Angry with: MAD AT.

33. Wall Street disaster: CRASH.  1929 must have been terrible. We managed to live through 1987 and 2007.

37. Painter Matisse: HENRI.

39. Performer of the 12 labors, to the Greeks: HERACLES.  Not to be confused with Hercules who was the Roman All Star Wrestling champion of the world.

40. Justice dept. division: ATF.  I don't care much about Tobacco which people use to kill themselves.  But PLEASE do something about firearms and drunk drivers that kill others.

42. Party gp. chaired by Tom Perez: DNC.

43. "That's gross!": UGH.

44. Prairie canines: COYOTES.  Interesting name for the Arizona NHL Hockey team,

48. "Am __ only one?": I THE.

49. Drive-__ window: THRU. We have a Starbucks near a grocery store we frequent.  Sometimes there are 20 cars in line at their drive up window.

50. Blue Ribbon beer: PABST. What'll you have ?  I liked their commercials.

52. 1962 Missile Crisis country: CUBA.  I was 15.  Probably too young to understand what a serious situation this was.

53. Dark clouds, to some: OMEN.  Between NMEN and PMEN

55. Sailor's hail: AHOY.  Ahoy Hoy, Alexander Graham Bell's suggestion to answer the phone.  Also an off the wall GEICO Commercial. 

57. Close by: NEAR.

58. Creative pursuits: ARTS.

59. Movie theater division: ROW.

60. Comics' Alley __: OOP.  The man in the funny papers we all know ---

61. To's partner: FRO. See one down.  You may send a birthday card "to" a relative or friend, but do you get one "fro" them ?

62. Peacock logo network: NBC.  National Broadcasting Company.  They now control several news stations on cable along with their huge free network channel.


Note from C.C.:

Today we celebrate the 70th birthday of Lemonade (Jason), our Friday Sherpa since March 2010. After all these years, his passion and devotion to each of his post remains unchanged: searching, researching and finding the perfect links/clips. Thanks for being here for us, Lemonade!

Aug 26, 2018

Sunday August 26, 2018 Robin Stears

 Theme: AmazeBalls* - Ball can follow both part of each theme entry.

23. *Convenient carrier: HANDBASKET. Handball. Basketball.

25. *Small, flat legume: BUTTER BEAN. Butterball. Beanball.

44. *Octal system: BASE EIGHT. Baseball. Eight ball.

47. *Item found in a parlor: CUE STICK. Cue ball. Stickball.

64. *Pneumatic silo declogger: AIR CANNON. Air ball. Cannonball.

74. *Fund for fun: PIN MONEY. Pinball. Moneyball.

77. *Path for a promising young exec: FAST TRACK. Fastball. Trackball.

99. *It covers the Batmobile: BLACK PAINT. Black ball. Paintball

101. *Brie, e.g.: SOFT CHEESE. Softball. Cheeseball.

No reveal but theme entries are starred, puzzle title is starred also.

This type of both words can follow/precede type is quite hard to pull off. Tricky to find solid in-the- language phrases. 

Robin is very fond of this theme type, as we've seen in the past. The grid is also classic Robin. Very clean.


1. Takes the odds: BETS.

5. Flop's opposite: SMASH. Smash hit.

10. Anchored: MOORED.

16. Braying beast: ASS. Alliteration.

19. Audition piece: ARIA.

20. 1988 Summer Olympics site: KOREA.Widely watched in China. 

21. From C to C: OCTAVE.

22. __ Victor: RCA.

27. Braille bits: DOTS.

28. Poet Pablo Neruda, e.g.: CHILEAN. Boomer's 87-year-old golf buddy Jorge is Chilean.

30. "My treat": ON ME.

31. Distinctive Rolls Royce feature: GRILLE.

34. Many a text writer: SCHOLAR. We also have 96. Old copiers: SCRIBES.

36. Hikes from the center: SNAPS.

37. Wilson of "Pitch Perfect" movies: REBEL. Australian actress. 

38. Heinz Field player: STEELER.

39. Rapid __: TRANSIT.

41. Nickname for young Skywalker: ANI.

42. Ramshackle shelters: LEAN-TOS.

43. One way to get you: RUSE.

51. Like Fran Drescher's voice: NASAL. Never into "The Nanny".

52. Cheerleaders' handfuls: POMPOMS.

56. Your cousin's 81-Across, maybe: MOM. 81. See 56-Across: AUNT.

57. Plague critter: LOCUST.

60. Pudding starch: TAPIOCA. Used in Bubble tea, popular drink in Guangzhou.

61. Carne __: ASADA.

63. Subject of a Dean Martin classic: AMORE.

66. "Your table's ready" gizmo: PAGER.

67. Chekov on "Star Trek": PAVEL.

68. Directed: STEERED.

69. Last to arrive: LATEST.

70. French article: UNE.

71. Proclaims: ASSERTS. Google claims one of our May posts has a link/image/video that breaks their policy. Been a week of 1) Remove the link 2) Send in Request for Review 3) Nope, problem still exists. Repeat. Repeat. Why don't they just tell you which link is bad?!

72. Passionate: FIERY.

82. Fouls up, as plans: DERAILS.

85. "The Crow" actress Ling: BAI. Chinese. Very edgy.

86. "The Star-Spangled Banner" quartet: STANZAS.

89. "Les Misérables" girl: COSETTE. Fantine's daughter.

90. __ Ste. Marie: SAULT.

92. Prefix with centric: HELIO.

93. Barbaric: BRUTISH.

94. Worrisome engine sound: RATTLE.

95. Teatro __ Scala: ALLA.

98. Right on the map: EAST.

107. Ottoman bigwig: BEY.

108. Cooling-off period?: ICE AGE. Nice clue. Tiny clue/answer dupe with 5. Ice __: SKATE.

109. City of NE Italy: UDINE. Unfamiliar to me.

110. Garbage hauler: SCOW.

111. B-day numbers: YRS.

112. "Full House" surname: TANNER.

113. Award for "Mr. Mercedes": EDGAR. Unfamiliar with this Stephen King novel.

114. Lift one's spirits?: TOPE. Good old clue.


1. "Phooey!": BAH.

2. Significant time: ERA.

3. Bronze component: TIN.

4. Tack room item: SADDLE.

6. Shade of green: MOSS. The name of Boomer's doctor at the Orthopedic Urgent Care is Kelli Greene. Alas, the Methylprednisolone she prescribed has not worked its magic yet. And the pain spot has moved from left hip to lower/middle back.

7. What Indiana sought: ARK.

8. "What did I tell you?": SEE.

9. Chopper: HATCHET.

10. Calder pieces: MOBILES.

11. Telescope eyepiece: OCULAR.

12. Weasel relative: OTTER.

13. Pro follower: RATA.

14. 102-Down opposite: EVEN. And 102. 14-Down opposite: ODD.

15. "__ Rosenkavalier": DER.

16. Spots for sports: ARENAS.

17. Trattoria entrée: SCAMPI.

18. Least extreme: SANEST. Lower back/hip pain can drive you insane. Boomer normally has very high pain threshold.

24. Weevil's target: BOLL.

26. Tied-under-the-chin topper: BONNET.

29. Prefix with gram: HOLO.

31. Take the wrong way?: GRAB.

32. Sofer of soaps: RENA.

33. Sacred Nile bird: IBIS.

34. Longtime "60 Minutes" reporter: STAHL. She always wears pretty earrings.

35. Small price to pay: CENT.

36. Backtalk: SASS.

38. Sonic the Hedgehog maker: SEGA.

39. "Mr. Citizen" autobiographer: TRUMAN. Another learning moment.

40. Regrets: RUES.

42. Santa has a famous one: LIST. How I miss our own Santa!

45. Acclimatize: ENURE.

46. Art supporter?: EASEL.

47. Fashion first name: COCO.

48. Pixel pattern: IMAGE.

49. Secret stuff: CODES.

50. Target rival: KMART. I love these Target bath towels. So soft and light. And only $3.99. You can get a new one after a couple months. Little luxury in life.

52. Worrywart, at times: PACER.

53. Eye-fooling genre: OP ART.

54. Extraction sites: MINES.

55. Golden or Walden: POND.

57. Drink from a bowl: LAP UP.

58. Spender of rials: OMANI

59. Group of 13, traditionally: COVEN. Here is our corner blog California Coven.
L to R: JD, Garlic Gal, Chickie & Jill, 2013.
60. Genealogy chart: TREE.

61. Spaced out: APART.

62. Lustful deity: SATYR.

64. Portfolio listings: ASSETS.

65. Wee: ITSY.

69. Rents: LETS.

71. "Frozen" princess: ANNA. We see ELSA often.

72. Conviction: FAITH.

73. "Cast Away" setting: ISLE.

75. Fanatic: MANIAC

76. Anise liqueur: OUZO.

77. Dieter's concern: FATS. Both fats and carbs raise our A1C, correct?
78. Lie next to: ABUT.

79. Birdsong: CALL.

80. Toy with a tail: KITE.

82. Skeptic: DOUBTER.

83. Italian noble family: ESTE.

84. Budget bin record: REISSUE.

86. Ramshackle: SHABBY.

87. One taking a lot of notes: TELLER. Oh, I like this clue.

88. Soothes: ALLAYS. I'm also rubbing this St John's Wort oil on Boomer. So many positive reviews on Amazon. Thanks again for delivering it quickly to us, D-Otto!

89. React to an awkward moment: CRINGE.

90. Military band: SASH.

91. Bear witness: ATTEST.

93. Queen lead guitarist __ May: BRIAN.

94. Track figure: RACER.

96. Animal lovers' org.: SPCA.

97. French city where William the Conqueror is buried: CAEN. Did not know this trivia.

98. Italian smoker: ETNA.

100. Many an IKEA buy: KIT. We've only been to IKEA once. It's close to Mall of America.

103. Newton fruit: FIG. Trader Joe's Organic Turkish Figs are the best.

104. Green prefix: ECO.

105. Sponge (up): SOP.

106. Woolly mama: EWE.

The super cool crossword constructor Brendan Emmett Quigley visited Minnesota last Tuesday. Our local constructor and solvers had another gathering. You can see more pictures here. Brendan publishes two free puzzles at his site every week, Monday and Thursday. And he has been doing that for many years. Just amazing!

First Row: Brendan Emmett Quigley, David Hanson (Rosebud), Tariq Samad and Victor Barocas.

Second Row: C.C., Ron Dahlquist, George Barany, Theresa Horan (Teedmn), Chris Adams, Stew Lelievr and David Liben-Nowell
Marcia Brott was there somewhere inside Barnes & Noble also.  

Aug 25, 2018

Saturday, August 25, 2018, Patti Varol and Doug Peterson

Themeless Saturday Puzzle by Patty Varol and Doug Peterson

What could be a better followup to yesterday's ICE CREAM puzzle by Jeffrey Wechsler than a day that celebrates one of the true delights made with it? 

Latrobe, PA is famous for being the home of golfing legend Arnold Palmer but in 1904 an apprentice pharmacist in Latrobe, David Strickland, invented a banana triple ice cream sundae that sold for a dime which was twice the price of other sundaes and it was a huge hit. Strickler bought the drug store and although his invention endures, the building was torn down years ago.

Latrobe is celebrating The Great American Banana Split Festival yesterday, today and tomorrow with many events. I wonder if anyone washes down a banana split with an Arnold Palmer? 

On this day celebrating this legendary sweet treat, Patty Varol and Doug Peterson have concocted this lovely puzzle that entertained me greatly but took 23 minutes before I could put the cherry on top! Patty is our esteemed editor Rich's very able assistant as well as being a constructor herself and I have received some great feedback from her and some "thanks, but no thanks" notes as well. I blogged a puzzle Doug constructed with Neville Fogarty this past February.
Patty Varol                    Doug Peterson
Let's see what else Patty and Doug have for us today as this (soda) jerk tries to make sense of it:


1. Knot remover: NECK RUB 

8. Not pointless?: ON TOPIC - Politicians always steer debate back to their talking points rather than staying ON TOPIC

15. Took too many courses?: OVER ATE - We had Thanksgiving FOOD COMA recently which could include the portmanteau 21. Hybrid roast: TURDUCKEN (a deboned chicken stuffed into a deboned duck stuffed into a turkey)

16. "Marvelous": HOW NICE.

17. Sent along: RELAYED - Norman Rockwell captures Americana as well as anyone

18. One pulling his weight around Christmas: BLITZEN  - But neither he nor his friends would let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games

19. Caper: ANTIC.

20. Stuff on the deck: STAIN - After 15 years we have given up on STAINING and a 37. House coat: PAINT JOB and so we are installing a synthetic deck this week

22. Proactiv target: ZIT.

23. European underground nickname: THE TUBE.

25. Forbids: BANS.

26. Flood insurance, once upon a time: ARK - Professor Paul Esperante and others believe this could be the remains of Noah's ARK in Eastern Turkey near Mt. Ararat

29. Copycat's talent: APERY - I suppose... 

30. Alley goop: TAR - I like the play on Alley Oop! 

31. Toasting candidate: RYE BREAD

33. Grizabella the Glamour Cat's solo: MEMORY - It is the show stopper from Andrew Lloyd Weber's Cats

36. Single from Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks": TANGLED UP IN BLUE - Has never crossed my turntable, CD player or MP3 device

38. Some navels: INNIES.

39. Puerto Rico's __ de Morro: CASTILLO - CASTILLO (San Felipe) de Morro 

40. Hosp. sections: ERS where they are prepared to 58. Do an inside job?: OPERATE if need be

41. Warehouse supplies: SKIDS.

42. Darn things: SEW.

43. Vince with 18 CMA Awards: GILL - Not familiar with any of Vince's work that got him those Country Music Awards

45. Lacking versatility: ONE NOTE - Can you decipher this equivalent phrase? (* answer below grid at end of blog)

47. Raised eyebrow, e.g.: ARC.

48. Nine Inch Nails founder Reznor: TRENT - Okay

49. Stomach: ABIDE - Do you, like me, no longer ABIDE things you did years ago?

53. Brewery sugar: MALTOSE.

55. Where old records may be kept: JUKEBOX - Five plays for a quarter in my 6. Sporty truck, briefly: UTE (Yeah, I know it's a Utility Vehicle but I couldn't resist)

57. Congo line?: EQUATOR - Here are people in the Democratic Republic Of Congo (formerly Zaire and Belgian Congo) standing on said line

59. Fair rewards: RIBBONS - Granddaughter got many purples at the Lancaster County Fair this year

60. Small restaurants: BISTROS.


1. "Brothers & Sisters" matriarch: NORA - NORA is played by...

2. Square: EVEN - Game sevens are played when the series is EVEN at three games apiece 

3. Gael, for one: CELT

4. Nocturnal Asian snake: KRAIT - India's deadliest, 10X more poisonous than a cobra

5. Singer ranked #10 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time: RAY CHARLES - Too many hits to pick a favorite but this one always moves me

7. Framework for retiring: BED STEAD - No IRA here

8. "Yowza!": OH BABY - Sounds like a Ray Charles lyric to me

9. "Honestly!": NO LIE - Truman won??

10. Matching: TWIN - The TWINS and their mother - Joyce, Martha and my bride  Joann

11. Toronto's prov.: ONT - Would you do The Edge Walk from the 1800' foot tall Toronto, ONTARIO CN tower?

12. Party bites from the toaster oven: PIZZA ROLLS - A fav around here

13. Maroon at a chalet, maybe: ICE IN - A meteorological event not a color scheme 

14. Coppers: CENTS  - A man in England was not allowed to pay a £800 debt using 166 kg (365 lbs) of these 1 cent coppers

24. Olympic gear: EPEES.

25. Film fawn: BAMBI - Disney refused to let the National Forest Service use BAMBI in their anti-fire PDA's after one year and so Smokey the Bear was invented in 1944

26. Basic studio class: ART I - My college class so-named was boring beyond belief because all we did was take notes

27. "Deadpool" actor Reynolds: RYAN Deadpool is the highest grossing R-rated movie of all time

28. Group concerned with good breeding: KENNEL CLUB - Looking like your owner is not necessary 

30. Camper's anchors: TENT STAKES - Not quite enough here. Definitely a 33. Bungle: MISDO.

32. Speakeasy circulator: B-GIRL - Father Mulcahy, "Why Hawkeye, I earned my way through divinity school as a B-GIRL in San Francisco!"

34. Word with home or slide: RULE - I might as well show my math students a buggy whip as much as a slide RULE. 

35. Stinging response: YEOW.

41. Ugly looks: SNEERS.

43. Xbox devotee: GAMER - How many hours/day is too many?

44. Kirkuk native: IRAQI - McDonalds is not allowed in Northern Iraq so... 

45. Name on "The Magnificent Ambersons" theater poster: ORSON - Mercury Players ORSON Wells, Agnes Morehead, Joseph Cotten, et al moved on to this project after Citizen Kane.

46. Pulitzer-winning film critic: EBERT - Of the above movie, EBERT wrote, "The Magnificent Ambersons" (1942, a masterpiece with its ending hacked to pieces by the studio...)

48. Terry's role in the original "Wizard of Oz": TOTO - Terry/TOTO's memorial at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery (dog picture for our Irish Miss)

50. Structural beam: I-BAR - A baby I-BEAM?

51. Inflict on: DO TO - "What did you DO TO your hair?"

52. They're split: EXES - George Strait sings that all his EXES live in Texas while he hangs his hat in Tennessee. 

54. Check for drinks: TAB = Jay Z's bar TAB that included an $11,000 tip. I've never heard of Ace Of Spades Champagne. 

56. Org. with an "Odd News" web page: UPI - They recently led with a Calgary Museum that says it now has the world's largest working Rubik's Cube

If you can't get away to Latrobe, PA for the festivities today, why not leave a comment:


*45 Across deciphered is "One Trick Pony"