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


Nov 30, 2018

Friday, November 30, 2018, Dan Margolis

Title: Cue Q.  LINK.

I blogged Dan's debut here back 5 + years ago, click if you want to REMEMBER. I do not believe James Bond was the inspiration, but perhaps we can induce Dan to stop by and let us know. In the interim, the theme is straightforward, though a bit varied. There are 5 themers and a reveal. The first two have CU replaced, the third has one of its two CUs replaced. Next has CUE, and the last CCU. It is consistent because in each and every case it is the sound kju that is replaced. he does provide a reveal if you hadn't gotten the hint, though it too could be confusing. 56 theme spaces do not leave much room for outside sparkle but did leave room for lots of linguistics. We see many languages featured in this grid and I have highlighted some that I saw but maybe not all, or even correctly. The time change adjustment makes this blog harder than doing it in Thailand. See for yourself...

10A. Like many Miamians: QBAN (4). My son is married to a young lady of CUBAN descent.

17A. Not to be tolerated: INEXQSABLE (10). If I had used all the bad puns that came to mind with this theme, you likely would have found it INEXCUSABLE.

26A. Unruffled: COOL AS A QCUMBER (14). While scientifically correct - cucumbers internal temperature will be 11 to 20 degrees cooler and its surroundings, the phrase was first recorded in a poem by the British poet John Gay 'New Song on New Similies' in 1732: "Cool as a cucumber could see the rest of womankind". This is challenging because of the double "CU" but the second is not pronounced with the long U.

43A. Potentially lifesaving efforts: RESQ OPERATIONS (14). RESCUE operations are organized procedures to bring people or a person out of danger, attack, harm, etc. Collins dictionary. Here the replaces CUE

62A. Charge: AQSE (4). I ACCUSE (J'ACCUSE in the original) was made famous from a letter written by Emile Zola defending Alfred DREYFUS.
The reveal:

56A. Words before entering ... and a hint to five puzzle answers: THAT'S MY CUE (10).

and that is mine to get on with reviewing and discussing...


1. Accommodate: ADAPT.

6. "Who, me?": NOT I. Very formal.

14. Craft pointed in two directions?: CANOE. We begin our world of words with a word that came to us from mid 16th century: from Spanish canoa, from Arawak, from Carib canaoua .

15. __à-brac: BRIC. French.

16. Bear overhead: URSA. The famous Major and Minor
constellations. Latin for bear.

19. Farm feed: OATS.

20. Pasture moisture: DEW. Not the same as Mountain Dew.

21. One of the two most recent Pac-12 members: UTES.

22. Xerxes' empire: PERSIA. This guy...

24. Krombacher output: BIER. This German BREWER makes beer which is bier in German (CSO to my son's current career in craft beer distribution).

25. In __: undisturbed: SITU. Latin, meaning “in position. We hear it in archaeology (CSO to my son's graduate school time).

32. Native American shelter: WIGWAM. This is from Algonquian language.

33. Polynesian carving: TIKI. This from the Maori language. In Māori mythology, Tiki is the first man created by either Tūmatauenga or Tāne. He found the first woman, Marikoriko, in a pond; she seduced him and he became the father of Hine-kau-ataata.

34. Waze suggestion: Abbr.: RTE. I never heard of this app (WAZE) until this year and now I have seen it often including in last Saturday's Puzzle Society by Chris King.

35. Flubs: ERRS.

36. Dominate: OWN. Tom Brady owned Peyton Manning.

37. "La Vie en Rose" singer: PIAF. The troubled but talented French singer

38. Duffer's dream: ACE. A golfer who is not very good who wishes for a hole in one.

39. Final notes: CODA. From Italian, the concluding passage of a piece or movement, typically forming an addition to the basic structure

41. Gym wear: SWEATS.

46. One often paying a fee: USER.

47. Seagoing shortening: BOSN. Boatswain.

48. Stay put: REMAIN.

51. Stare slack-jawed: GAPE. Better than agape.

52. Sleeve: ARM.

55. Like __ of sunshine: A RAY. A golden ray?

59. Beatles song that begins, "Is there anybody going to listen to my story": GIRL.


60. Exude: OOZE.

61. Like some kitchens: EAT IN. These are usually the most popular room in the house.

63. Old-style "Wow!": EGAD.

64. Exceedingly: NO END. Did I mention we are going to see the King and I tonight


1. Stinging: ACID.

2. Many a "Hamlet" character: DANE.  Friday Will S; cool. Well, he was Prince of Denmark...

3. Freshly: ANEW.

4. Curse: POX. A Shakespearian word.

5. Drink with blanco and plata varieties: TEQUILA. This is a Mexican liquor made from an agave. Interestingly to me, the two types mentioned really are the same though there are other KINDS.
6. Grizzlies, e.g., for short: NBAERS. Odd mascot.

7. "Nor to their idle __ doth sight appear": Milton: ORBS. A line by John Milton, the blind poet, in a sonnet to CYRIAK SKINNER.

8. Up to, in ads: TIL.

9. Chip maker: ICEPICK. A very difficult clue to parse, luckily the perps were there. Keebler fit.

10. Number needed for official business: QUORUM. Tricky since the answer is not a number, these meetings are often mind-numbing.

11. Support group?: BRAS. Hard to think of bras as a group; they never had a hit album.

12. Italian wine region: ASTI.

13. Rocket launcher: NASA.

18. Anger: STEAM.

23. Holder of needles: ETUI. Not Eric but ➡

24. Bends over forward: BOWS. Alfonse? Gaston?

25. Newspaper ad meas.: SQIN. This is used as an acronym for SQare INch.

26. "Odyssey" sorceress: CIRCE. Inspired so many imitations including GOT's Cersei

27. Cruel sorts: OGRES.

28. Fighting big-time: AT WAR.

29. Beach Boy Wilson: BRIAN.

30. States overseas: ÉTATS. French and related languages.

31. Whistle blowers: REFS. Nice misdirection; not whistleblowers.

32. Sport: WEAR. My grandmother even in senility always commented when my mother was sporting a new outfit.

36. Frankfurt's river: ODER.

37. McJob holder: PEON.

39. Mozart's "__ fan tutte": COSI. Italian, they all do it.

40. Like pedi-showing shoes: OPEN TOE. Not open tutte.

41. Bus route components: STOPS. Such a fancy word for a bus stop.

42. Stable visitors: WISEMEN. Not one who has it together but who went to a specific stable.

44. Veep before Gore: QUAYLE.

45. Let up: ABATED.

48. Sitar music: RAGA. I do not think I knew this. The word is from Sanskrit.

49. Actor La Salle: ERIQ. I wish I could think of the actor who first came to mind with a toothpick in his mouth, but this is ERIQ.

50. Blemishes: MARS.

51. Controversial Mideast strip: GAZA. Hard to discuss as a non-political issue but here is some HISTORY.

52. Partie d'une comédie: ACTE. French.

53. Destruction: RUIN. A  "u" sound but not kju.

54. Use thread on threads, say: MEND. I like this clue/fill a lot.

57. Monopolize: HOG.

58. Former hoopster __ Ming: YAO. A mini CSO to my sweet Thongyao. In Chinese Yáo, literally means ‘precious jade.' Or maybe not- Jayce? Barry G.?

I made it to the end, in a sort of zen/zombie state and I hope made some sense here and there. Thank you, Dan and all who read and write. Lemonade out.

Nov 29, 2018

Thursday November 29th 2018 C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Codology - I go to my Irish roots with the informal word for "an act of bluffing or deception." Here C.C. gives us six genuine "-ologies" each with an alternate definition. How many of those six did you know the genuine one? I scored three for sure, and one roughly-maybe.

16A. Study of a portentous woodchuck?: PHILOLOGY. Study of languages in oral and written historical context. Phil as in Punxsutawney Phil and his Groundhog Day winter prediction. I didn't know that a woodchuck was a groundhog, or vice-versa. Now I'll never forget.

23A. Study of tears?: CRYOLOGY. The study of snow and ice, or refrigeration. And bawling, like I do every time I watch "Ghost".

51A. Study of common articles?: THEOLOGY. Nature of God and religious belief. Or The Study of "the", per C.C.

62A. Study of hiking choices?: PATHOLOGY. The cause and effect of diseases.

9D. Study of literary tools?: PENOLOGY. I thought this one might be a bit of the old codology - but, it's the study of punishment of crime and prison management.

38D. Study of lids and caps?: TOPOLOGY. The study of a particular place. It has a special meaning in mathematics, the definition of which I understand about as well as I understand Tibetan:

"... a branch of mathematics concerned with those properties of geometric configurations (such as point sets) which are unaltered by elastic deformations (such as a stretching or a twisting) that are homeomorphisms ..."

Thanks to C.C. for this puzzle, and for bailing me out last week with the blog, I completely forgot that it was Thursday, hence the need for a last-minute pinch-hit. It's amazing what she does to keep us all on track.

Back on the subject of Irish codology, you might like to spend a few minutes enjoying Flann O'Brien's physics lesson.


1. Goat quote: MAA. Tried BAA. Failed.

4. Monorail users: TRAMS

9. Driving range instructors: PROS. Golf ones. Mine was an LPGA tour pro and she could hit the ball a country mile. I couldn't.

13. Central cooling systs.: A/CS

14. Kick: OOMPH

15. She converted to Judaism after marrying her comedy partner: MEARA. Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller.

18. Opposition group: ANTIS

19. Submits returns online: E-FILES

20. Prevents legally: ENJOINS

22. Hoppy brew, for short: IPA. India Pale Ale, as we should all know by now.

24. Humanities maj.: SOC. Sociology. Didn't make the grade as one of C.C.'s themers, so abbreviated and relegated to the fill.

26. Dash gauge: TACH. Tachometer. Rev counter to me.

29. Slovenia neighbor, to the IOC: CRO. Croatia, as abbrevated by the International Olympic Committee.

30. Player of The Bride in "Kill Bill" films, familiarly: UMA. Ms. Thurman, less familiarly. Here she is about to have her breastplate pierced by a hypodermic administered with "a stabbing motion" by John Travolta in Pulp Fiction:

31. Made a blunder: ERRED

33. Take suddenly: GRAB

37. Small store: MART

39. Fuzzy fruit: KIWIS

41. Exercise in a studio: YOGA

42. Android operating system named for a cookie: OREO

43. Trusty mount: STEED

45. Shaving cream type: GEL

46. "American Experience" network: PBS

49. Bart's bus driver: OTTO

50. Draw upon: USE

55. That woman: SHE

57. Echo Dot-waking words: HI ALEXA! Siri on my phone never seems to understand me. I wonder if Alexa would do a better job.

58. Cornell's home: ITHACA

61. Others, in Cuba: OTROS

65. Tells all: SINGS

66. "At the Movies" co-host: EBERT. In 1975, he became the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.

67. Shepherd's pie piece: PEA. Mmmm, Food! When I cook lamb shanks, I add an extra one to the pot especially for turning into shepherd's pie. If someone serves you a "shepherd's pie" made with ground beef, you can look disdainfully at the plate and point out that it's a cottage pie.

68. Craftsy website: ETSY

69. Brother in Roman lore: REMUS. He and Romulus had a rocky relationship. Or maybe that should be a hilly relationship.

70. Give a darn: SEW. Nice!


1. It may have an "X": MAP. I wondered why a BAP would have an X? I went on a wild ride of imagination, as a bap in parts of the UK is a colloquial name for a type of bread roll. Then the BAA/MAA penny dropped. What do you do with a bap? Make a "chip butty" of course:

2. Physical discomfort: ACHE

3. "Whatever!": AS IF I CARE! These entries can be the devil to parse, this one no exception.

4. "Missed your chance!": TOO LATE!

5. Romeo or Juliet: ROLE

6. "A Sorta Fairytale" singer Tori: AMOS. I was going to link the video on YouTube but it's a little weird.

7. New car stat: MPG

8. More timid: SHYER

10. 7:11, e.g.: RATIO. Because "Convenience Store" doesn't fit.

11. Circular gasket: O-RING

12. Impertinent: SASSY

15. The Masters, e.g.: MAJOR. By tradition, professional golf's first major of the year. It's the only major which is an invitational tournament, and is always played over the same course - Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. The course was laid in the 1930's on an old flower nursery. The scenery is stunning.

17. Carmex target: LIP. I use this magic stuff I get OTC in England called Zovirax, I think it's only available on Rx here.

21. MoMA location: NYC. The Museum of Modern Art in New York. There's a fabulous restaurant in the atrium.

23. Puppy plaything: CHEW TOY

24. Heavyweight fight?: SUMO

25. "Rubáiyát" poet: OMAR

27. First rescue boat: ARK. Nice!

28. Football Hall of Famer Carter: CRIS. Respected TV pundit now. One of the players to make a successful transition to broadcast.

32. Count calories: DIET

34. Officers who follow their own code: ROGUE COPS. One of my favorite entries today.

35. Many months: AGES

36. Christian of "The Big Short": BALE

40. Matching group: SET

44. Throw back some Absolut, say: DO SHOTS. DO A SHOT didn't work. More tricky parsing.

47. Sanctify: BLESS

48. Chi __: SOX. It's a C.C. puzzle, so there's baseball in here somewhere. Presenting to you the Chicago White Sox.

51. "All __ in favor ... ": THOSE

52. Bandleader's cue: HIT IT!

53. Works for: EARNS

54. Rubbernecker: GAPER

56. Evil film computer: HAL. I think I mentioned before that if you go one letter up in the alphabet from HAL you get IBM.

58. Thing: ITEM

59. Dead-end sign word: THRU. No Thru Road.

60. Screenwriter James: AGEE

63. Wartime prez: ABE. That's a long war ago. Abe Lincoln.

64. Veer off course: YAW

And with that, the grid:


Nov 28, 2018

Wednesday, November 28, 2018, Gary Cee

Theme: A Breed Apart. 

17. High-tech classroom: COMPUTER LAB. The Labrador is the most popular dog breed by registrations (191,988) worldwide. (Wikipedia.)

23. Fighter at the Olympics: AMATEUR BOXER.

51. Court long shot: THREE POINTER.

61. Astute attorney: LEGAL BEAGLE.

38. Military IDs ... or what 17-, 23-, 51- and 61-Across have: DOG TAGS. Clever - each answer is 'tagged' with a breed of dog. I guess you could call it Collar-ID. Snort.

Melissa here. Several clues related to New York made me wonder if our constructor is from there. Yes.


1. Mary Oliver, e.g.: POET.

5. Tweak: ADJUST.

11. Obliterate in a flash: ZAP. Good description for microwaving food.

14. Prefix with sphere: ATMO. Greek, combining form meaning “air,” used in the formation of compound words.

15. Self-moving vacuum: ROOMBA. Tried to put an H in there somewhere.

16. "I __ you one": OWE.

19. Starchy grain: OAT.

20. Bygone Persian rulers: SHAHS.

21. Long-jawed fish: GAR. Gar species of New York, below:

22. Present: HERE.

27. Man-horse hybrid: CENTAUR.

30. Synagogue reading: TORAH.

31. Country between Vietnam and Thailand: LAOS.

32. Quaint contraction: TIS.

34. Type of coffee or whiskey: IRISH.

37. Congressional statute: ACT.

41. Life highlights, briefly: BIO.

42. Moby-Dick, e.g.: WHALE.

44. Hula strings: UKE.

45. Pungent quality: BITE.

46. Rice dish: PILAF. defines Pilaf as: a Middle Eastern or Indian dish of rice (or sometimes wheat) cooked in stock with spices, typically having added meat or vegetables. A quick google search turns up recipes for Moroccan, Japanese, Armenian, Asian, Indian, Persian, Lebanese, Russian, Turkish, Italian, and Greek versions.

49. "The Shawshank Redemption" extras: INMATES.

54. __ hog: ROAD.

55. Org. whose returns were never sales: IRS.

56. Get to: REACH.

60. Trellis climber: IVY.

64. Golf peg, or where it's used: TEE. Not being a golfer, C.C.'s explanation in Sunday's write up (87D) of TEE colors in MN was interesting - are the colors not standard?

65. Long cold spell: ICE AGE. Opposite of a cold snap.

66. Image in a botanical print: LEAF.

67. Make a typo, say: ERR.

68. Litter box visitor: PET CAT.

69. Pre-Easter season: LENT.


1. D.C. influence gps.: PACS. Political Action Committees.

2. "However," in tweets: OTOH. On The Other Hand.

3. "Handsome, clever, and rich" Jane Austen character: EMMA.

4. Headwear with tails: TOP HATS.

5. Works on walls: ART. Sneaky. Works used as noun, not verb.

6. Stag's mate: DOE.

7. Longtime Univision news anchor Ramos: JORGE.

8. Two dots above a vowel: UMLAUT.

9. Pizza chain in many food courts: SBARRO.

10. Bar bill: TAB.

11. Madagascar!, in the Bronx: ZOO EXHIBIT. Anyone seen it?

12. In the know: AWARE.

13. Pan in Neverland: PETER.

18. Inst. with the fight song "On, Brave Old Army Team": USMA.

22. Frost: HOAR.

24. Jay-Z's "D.O.A. (Death of __-Tune)": AUTO.

25. H.S. subject that covers all the angles?: TRIG. Nice clue.

26. Jewish ritual: BRIS.

27. Jaguar's weapon: CLAW.

28. Individually: EACH.

29. "Fat chance!": NOT A PRAYER.

33. "The Simpsons" disco devotee: STU.

35. Locale: SITE.

36. Soil-clearing tools: HOES.

38. Mark for omission: DELE.

39. Related: AKIN.

40. Well-mannered man: GENT.

43. Made up things: LIED. Could also be LIES as a noun - needed 54A ROAD to be sure.

45. Reveal everything: BARE ALL.

47. Individually: APIECE.

48. Draw a blank: FORGET.

50. Nothing but: MERE.

51. Done to death: TRITE.

52. Float in the air: HOVER.

53. Actor Oscar __ of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi": ISAAC. I've only seen him in Inside Llewyn Davis. Did not know that he was born in Guatemala. His family settled in the US when he was five months old.

57. Pulitzer-winning author James: AGEE.

58. Close-knit group: CLAN.

59. Test by lifting: HEFT.

61. Backtalk: LIP.

62. Alternative to JFK or EWR: LGA. NYC's three major airports: JFK = John F. Kennedy International, EWR = Newark Liberty International, LGA = LaGuardia.

63. Perfecta or trifecta: BET.

Nov 27, 2018

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 Jeff Stillman


3. *Educational outing: FIELD TRIP. Field hand

10. *Social elite: UPPER CRUST. Upper hand

21. *Gambler's stoic expression: POKER FACE. Poker hand

28. *Quick-cook side dish: MINUTE RICE. Minute hand

36. Without a doubt ... or what the starts of the answers to starred clues are?: HANDS DOWN. Different types of hands are in the down answers.


1. Transvaal treks: SAFARIS.

8. Quarters: FOURTHS.

15. Big building: EDIFICE

16. Political power structure: APPARAT. -"The administrative system of a communist party, typically in a communist country."    New to me # 1.

17. Asian setting of a 2017 PBS documentary by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick: VIETNAM.

18. Not belowdecks: TOPSIDE.

19. Snakelike fish: EEL.

20. Golf club part: GRIP.

22. Mend one's sinful ways: REPENT.

23. Paul of "Ant-Man": RUDD.

25. GI entertainers: USO.   United Services Organization.
"Just prior to the onset of America’s involvement in World War II in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought to unite several service associations into one organization to lift the morale of our military and nourish support on the home front.  Those entities – the Salvation Army, Young Men’s Christian Association, Young Women’s Christian Association, National Catholic Community Services, National Travelers Aid Association and the National Jewish Welfare Board - became the United Service Organizations or, the USO." - USO.ORG

26. Many soap opera meetings: TRYSTS.

27. Scottish caps: TAMS.

29. Ray of fast food: KROC.

31. Nuclear pioneer Enrico: FERMIFermilab is west of here in Batavia, Illinois.  Scientists there smash subatomic particles to solve the mysteries of matter, energy, space and time for the benefit of all.

33. Kickoff aid: TEE.

34. Physical therapy, briefly: REHAB.

39. French __ soup: ONION.

40. Appt. book blocks: HRS.

41. Mountains between Europe and Asia: URALS.

By convention, the line of demarcation between Western Asia and the European part of the 'supercontinent' of Eurasia, is along the Ural Mountain range, the Ural River, the northern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains, and the Turkish Straits.

The Ural Mountain range, the natural boundary between Europe and Asia, extends about 2,100 km (1,300 mi) south from the Arctic Ocean to the northern border of Kazakhstan.

Text and image from the Nations Online Project.

42. Channel for school sports: ESPNU.

43. Frequently, in verse: OFT.

44. December temp: SANTA.  Temporary, not temperature.

45. Skater Lipinski: TARA.  "In the long program At the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Lipinski performed seven triples, including a historic triple loop/triple loop combination and, at the end, a triple toe/half loop/triple Salchow sequence, to overtake Michele Kwan for the gold medal.

She became the youngest ladies' Olympic figure skating champion and the youngest individual gold medalist, a record that had stood since Norwegian Sonia Henie won the same event at the 1928 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, also at age 15."  - Wikipedia

47. Combat vet's affliction, briefly: PTSDPost-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

48. Bombard with noise: DEAFEN.

52. Tax whiz: CPA.   Among other potential services

54. Spanish "this": ESTO.

57. Nonresident hospital employee: EXTERN.  New to me # 2.

       1.  a person working in but not living in an institution, such as a nonresident doctor or other worker in a hospital.
        a student participating in a temporary training program in a workplace.
        "the opportunity to shadow alumni mentors as externs provides students with experience impossible to gain in the classroom"

        2. (in a strictly enclosed order of nuns) a sister who does not live exclusively within the enclosure and goes on outside errands.

 58. Gutter locale: EAVE.

60. Party bowlful: DIP.

61. Brutish: BESTIAL.

63. Dilapidated digs: RATHOLE.

65. Contrived sentimentality: TREACLE.  New to me # 3.

  1. British term for molasses.
  2.      cloying sentimentality or flattery.

    "enough of this treacle—let's get back to business"
 66. Funded: ENDOWED.

67. Like the oldest bread: STALEST.

68. Emails anew: RESENDS.


1. Break, as ties: SEVER.

2. French parting: ADIEU.

4. Toward the stern: AFT.

5. Mark on a table from a wet glass: RING.

6. Wax-winged flier of myth: ICARUS.

7. Their winners go to the finals: SEMIS.

8. The 1% in 1% milk: FAT.

9. Portuguese wine city: OPORTO.  Portuguese: Porto.  English: Oporto.   Previously explained here at crossword corner dot blogspot dot com.

11. Sounding like Popeye: RASPY.

12. Tastes: TRIES.

13. "Wish I __ said that": HADN'T.

14. Decides to leave in the manuscript: STETS.

24. Bourne portrayer: DAMON.  Jason / Matt

30. Enjoy a recliner: REST.

31. Enemy: FOE.

32. Nav. rank: ENS. Naval / Ensign

33. Norse god with a hammer: THOR.

35. Dry-__ board: ERASE.

37. PC key near Ctrl: ALT.

38. Org. with merit badges: BSA.

46. Chronological records: ANNALS.

47. Stately 16th-century dance: PAVANE.  New to me # 4.
  1. a stately dance in slow duple time, popular in the 16th and 17th centuries and performed in elaborate clothing.
    • a piece of music for the pavane.

48. Financial obligations: DEBTS.

49. Wield, as influence: EXERT.

50. Perplexed: AT SEA.

51. __ monitor: OB/GYN device: FETAL.

53. Peeling device: PARER.

55. Like many shower stalls: TILED.

56. Opinion columns: OP EDS.

59. JFK postings: ETDS.

62. Tennis do-over: LET.

64. Furrow maker: HOE.

Nov 26, 2018

Monday November 26, 2018 Pam Amick Klawitter

Theme: FORTISSIMO (63. Very loud, musically ... its symbol hints at four puzzle answers) - Each theme entry is in the pattern of F* F*.

17A. Concern after heavy rain: FLASH FLOOD.
23A. Like G-rated movies: FAMILY-FRIENDLY.

39A. Shore dinner: FISH FRY.

52A. American Revolution leader: FOUNDING FATHER.
Boomer here. 

Yabba Dabba Dooo!  Fred Flintstone would love this puzzle!  And I have to tip my hat to the Minnesota Gophers on Saturday. They played 60 minutes of Fantastic Football at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison Wisconsin and brought Paul Bunyan's Axe home Finally after Fifteen years of Frustration.


1. Identical: SAME.

5. "Mountain" soft drinks: DEWS.  Diet Pepsi is my favorite.  Dew is too tart.

9. Burn the midnight oil at college: CRAM.  Did you see the Rams vs. Chiefs last week ?

13. Urgent request: PLEA.  Not Guilty

14. Forgo the church ceremony: ELOPE.  Go to Nevada, they have the weakest laws.

16. Lo-cal: LITE.  Diet Pepsi

19. Inflated ones often clash: EGOS.  Lego my EGO,

20. Kinda: SORTA.  This is Sorta Notta Word.

21. Airport near Tel Aviv: LOD.

22. Isn't feeling up to par: AILSFRED FUNK has not been up to par for a few years.

27. Natural soother: ALOE.  Aloe, Aloe, Would you like some of my tangerine ?

28. Salon jobs: SETS.  Tennis matches.

29. Singer Jimmy or actor James: DEAN.  I was only 8 years old when James died in a car wreck.  I remember Jimmy selling sausage,  I didn't know he could sing.

32. Litter member or user: CAT.  In the cradle.

34. Sewn connections: SEAMS

38. Bruins legend: ORR.  The greatest offensive defenseman who ever played the game.

42. "Not happenin'": NAH.

43. Pace for Paganini: TEMPO.  A Ford in the 1990's.  Never was a popular as the Mustang,

45. Noon on a garden dial: XII.

46. Like Godiva: BARE. Seventeen, a beauty queen, she made a ride, that caused a scene.

47. Choir voice: ALTO.  A bit lower than soprano.

50. Tool for a duel: EPEE.

58. Woman's name often spelled without its "e": ANNE.

59. Progressive spokeswoman: FLO.  There were FLO FLASHBACKS on the final "Alice" episode.

60. Airport concern: DELAY.  George said "Answer the phone 'Van Delay Industries'"

62. Multi-platinum Diamond: NEIL. "Sweet Caroline" was my favorite.  Later in life he said it was about Caroline Kennedy.  I have my doubts.

66. Boarding site: GATE.

67. Cosmologist Carl: SAGAN.

68. Chicago commuter system, familiarly: THE L.  I have not spent a lot of time in Chicago, but I always thought it was called the "EL"  Short for Elevated Railway.  Maybe TTP will know for sure.

69. Snow conveyance: SLED. With a little old driver so lively and quick.  I knew in a moment it must be Saint Nick.

70. Earns after taxes: NETS.

71. Doomed: SUNK.  LeBron has SUNK many rubber balls into those NETS


1. Sun protection nos.: SPFS.

2. __ a sudden: ALL OF.

3. Stiller's partner: MEARA.  Tiger's buddy MARK O'

4. __ Kodak: EASTMAN.  "I've got a Nikon Camera, Gonna take a photograph, mama don't take my Kodachrome away."

5. Bit of OED info: DEF.

6. Building add-on: ELL.  What might you call the add-on if it is round ??

7. Literary Virginia: WOOLF.  Who's afraid of her?

8. Clues for a bloodhound: SPOORS.

9. Detox diet: CLEANSE.

10. Unbending: RIGID.

11. Coral island: ATOLL.  Price for driving on a busy highway

12. Having lots of loose ends: MESSY.

15. Vedder of Pearl Jam: EDDIE.

18. Flag down, as a cab: HAIL.

24. Focuses of activity: LOCI.

25. Passing words?: YEAS.

26. Website for handmade art: ETSY.  Possible Mississippi Senator?  Find out tomorrow.

29. Morse code unit: DOT.  Hi and Lois' twin daughter.  (Ditto's sister)

30. Palindromic "before": ERE.  And I heard him exclaim ere he drove out of site.

31. Drew Brees' asset: ARM. The LAW has a long one.

33. Texter's gratitude: THX. "Thanks for the Memories"  Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Bing Crosby, you pick.

35. Gasteyer of "SNL": ANA.

36. Draw graffiti on, say: MAR.

37. Noted seashell seller: SHE.  I wonder how many she sold.  You can pick them up for free.

39. Decide not to call, in poker: FOLD.  Aces and Eights are not enough.

40. Feudal holding: FIEF.

41. Seacrest morning co-host: RIPA.  Kelly jumped from "All my Children" soap to morning show host.

44. Like some den walls: PANELED.

46. Directives: BEHESTS.

48. Spats: TIFFS.

49. Borrowed, as a library book: ON LOAN.

51. Predicted takeoff hrs.: ETDS.

52. Dracula's canines: FANGS.

53. Tatum or Ryan: ONEAL.  "Paper Moon."  Tatum was great but is Tatum really a girl's name?

54. Bring together: UNITE.

55. New York's Ausable Chasm, e.g.: GORGE.  I am thinking Colorado has better ones.

56. Yale founder Yale: ELIHU.

57. Budget noodle dish: RAMEN.

61. Egg-white omelet's lack: YOLK.  What did the farmer say when he dropped an egg on a hen.  "That's a yolk on you".

64. Bit of body ink: TAT.  You get these free before your radiation treatment.

65. Shoo-__: easy winners: INS.


Note from C.C.:

Belated "Happy Birthday" to Picard (Robert)! I hope it was a day of fun and adventure, Robert.

Picard and Ed Asner

Nov 25, 2018

Sunday, November 25th, 2018 , Gail Grabowski

Theme:  "For-gone Conclusions" - FOR is removed from each theme entry.

27A Horses' feeding period?: STALL TIME. Stall for time.

29A. Nightly newscaster's preparation?: REPORT WORK. Report for work.
49A. Easter feast, say?: SPRING DINNER. Spring for dinner.

63A. "We're driving around in circles"?: LOST WORDS. Lost for words.

84A. Ticket selling for a major golf event?: OPEN BUSINESS. Open for business.

101A. Severe dip in contributions during a telethon?: CAUSE ALARM. Cause for alarm.

104A. Hurricane tracker closeup?: EYE DETAIL. Eye for detail.
36D. What may accompany hunger pangs?: FOOD THOUGHT. Food for thought.

40D. Result of a faulty tab setting?: MARGIN ERROR. Margin for error.

Hmm, no subtlety. The puzzle title is literally telling us what the theme is. 

Gail again started her theme entries in the 4th row rather than the traditional 3rd tow.  She also made sure none of her fill is longer than the theme fill. Subtlety of a pro constructor.

1. Minor dustup: TIFF.

5. Ladder danger: FALL.

9. Jeff who started an online bookstore in 1994: BEZOS. No minimum limit for free shipping at Amazon right now.

14. Give form to: SHAPE.

19. Free speech org.: ACLU.

20. New Balance competitor: AVIA. D-Otto favors former.

21. Put on, as pressure: EXERT.

22. Development units: HOMES.

23. React to too much sun, perhaps: PEEL.

24. Overcharge: SOAK.

25. "Silas Marner" girl: EPPIE. Unknown to me.

26. Penetrating winds: OBOES. Wind instruments. You don't want to feel the penetrating winds in Minnesota.

31. Burpee product: SEED.

32. It has strings attached: APRON.

33. Fed. financial gp.: OMB. OK, Office of Management and Budget.

34. Sight in an unfinished attic: RAFTER.

37. Southwest worker: PILOT.

39. "You may say I'm a __": Lennon's "Imagine": DREAMER.

43. Waiting room read: E BOOK. VA has few Wi-Fi spots.

44. Where dos are done: SALON.

45. Dire prophecy: DOOM.

47. Hang open: GAPE.

48. House with layers: COOP. Lay-ers.

52. One in a workout count: REP.

53. Unexpected: ODD.

54. River to South Carolina's Winyah Bay: PEE DEE.

55. Genesis matriarch: EVE.

56. "Megastructures" channel, familiarly: NATGEO. Anyone watches it?

58. Tennis surprise: NETBALL.

60. Govt. agents: T MEN. 90. Iconic 60-Across boss: NESS. Eliot Ness.

61. Document preparer: TYPIST.

62. Museum posting: Abbr.: HRS.

68. Anna's "The Accountant" co-star: BEN.  Ben Affleck and Anna Kendrick.

69. Red Guard member: MAOIST. Dark period.

72. Lanai neighbor: MAUI.

73. Tour guides, e.g.: LEADERS.

77. Enemy of Mr. Bill, in old "SNL" skits: SLUGGO.  Learning moment for me.

78. Start a course: EAT.

79. "Once Is Not Enough" author: SUSANN. Jacqueline Susann.

82. Nicki Minaj genre: RAP.

83. Unkind remark: DIG.

87. Puff pastry cheese: BRIE.

88. Publisher Adolph: OCHS.

91. Consider with care: WEIGH. As pros and cons.

92. Around the corner: CLOSE.

93. Predetermined steps: SET PLAN.

95. Historic caravel: PINTA.

96. Took in the sights: TOURED.

97. Escape: LAM.

98. Something in the air: AROMA. 100. 98-Across, often: LURE.

109. Case place: COURT. Law case.

110. Italy's "Supreme Poet": DANTE.

111. Twitter's bird, e.g.: LOGO.

112. Belgian capital: EURO. Currency again. Brussels is beautiful in this time of the year.

113. Scorch slightly: SINGE.

114. Actress MacDowell: ANDIE.

115. Aviation pioneer Sikorsky: IGOR.

116. Bond was kicked out of it: ETON.

117. Entered into a deal: ANTED.

118. Cross with: MAD AT. Followed by 119. Fresh answers: SASS.

120. Number with words: SONG.


1. Brewpub array: TAPS.

2. "Rhyme Pays" rapper: ICE-T.

3. Pet peeve?: FLEA. Cute clue.

4. Period, to British grammarians: FULL STOP.

5. "Hurry it up!": FASTER.

6. Bypass: AVOID.

7. Hemsworth of "The Hunger Games": LIAM. The tall guy.

8. Common camp site: LAKE.

9. Pub game with balls: BEER PONG. Sparkly fill.

10. Whiz: EXPERT.

11. Youngest Marx brother: ZEPPO.

12. Mythical hunter: ORION.

13. Team backer?: STER. Teamster.

14. Skeptic's demand: SHOW ME.

15. Droopy-shaped purse: HOBO BAG. Slouchy.

16. Bow-toting god: AMOR.

17. Cheat, in a way: PEEK.

18. Serious extreme?: ESS. Serious.

28. Garlic relative: LEEK.

30. Agony: TORMENT.

32. Without peer: ALONE.

34. Info-gathering mission: RECON.

35. Quarters: ABODE.

37. Bud on a drive: PARD

38. First name in '70s tennis: ILIE (Nastase)

39. Slip into: DON.

41. Pentathlon gear: EPEES.

42. Provide more room for growth: RE-POT.

44. While: SPELL.

45. Salvage crew member: DIVER.

46. Upright: ON END.

49. Pommes frites condiment: SEL. French fries.

50. How-to lesson: DEMO.

51. Maker of Wayfarer sunglasses: RAYBAN.

54. Turn a Monopoly corner: PASS GO.

57. Used Charmin for shenanigans, for short: TP'ED.

59. Sea cell: BRIG.

60. Bi- equivalent: TWI.

64. What diviners interpret: OMENS.

65. Former Swedish imports: SAABS.

66. Bolshoi outfit: TUTU.

67. Part of 1/2: SLASH.

69. Passé PC system: MS DOS.

70. "Off with her head!" head owner: ALICE. "Alice in Wonderland".

71. Star that's a draw: TOP NAME. The biggest star I've met in person is Harmon Killebrew. How about you?

74. USCG rank: ENS.

75. It's often merit-based: RAISE.

76. Ticket number you don't want to see: SPEED.

79. City near Pisa: SIENA. Another Italian reference: 101. Trevi toss-in: COIN.

80. Blood bank quantity: UNIT.

81. Arcade giant: SEGA.

85. Bard's bedtime: EEN.

86. Competition in lanes: SWIM MEET.

87. Challenging golf hole starting points: BLUE TEES. White tees are for average golfers. Red tees  for lady golfers. Gold tees for seniors. Black tees for tournament players. Just the set-up in golf courses here in MN.

89. Blow the budget: SPLURGE.

92. Center: CORE.

94. Hung in there: LASTED.

95. "The Merchant of Venice" heroine: PORTIA.

96. Some exposed-beam homes: TUDORS.

98. Actress De La Garza: ALANA. "Law & Order".

99. Scientific dept.: R AND D.

100. Blocks often disassembled and reassembled: LEGOS.

102. Polly, to Tom: AUNT. Tom Sawyer.

103. Sistine Chapel ceiling figure: ADAM.

104. Bulldog supporters: ELIS.

105. Discipline with poses: YOGA. GOAT YOGA just sounds so strange.

106. Lot purchase: AUTO.

107. Resolve, with "out": IRON.

108. Dull, maybe: LONG.

109. J.E.B. Stuart's side: CSA.

Boomer updates:

We met with the radiation oncologist Dr. Esther last Monday and continued Boomer's daily radiation. Boomer decided to take Abiraterone (the chemo drug) after he completed the radiation treatment next Wednesday. We don't want to compound his discomfort, esp after that dreadful experience with the Zoledronic acid infusion two weeks ago.

One more meeting with Dr. Esther tomorrow morning and 3 more radiation treatments, then a blood draw (monthly procedure), then the chemo drug. The neurosurgeon department is going to arrange a MRI scan soon to see the result of the radiation.