Nov 12, 2018

Monday November 12, 2018 Matt McKinley

Theme: : INSIDE STORY (54. Facts known to a select few ... and a hint to each set of circled letters) - Three type of stories span across each theme entry.
17. Forgetful moment: MENTAL LAPSE. Tall story.
26. One arguing for the unpopular side: DEVILS ADVOCATE. Sad story.

41. Education division governed by a board: SCHOOL DISTRICT. Old story.

Boomer here.  

I would like to thank all of the veterans out there for their service to our country. I was also part of the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1970. I did not serve in Vietnam, however I worked in the US Army Hospital in Fort Campbell, KY and then was sent overseas to a Nike Missile battalion in Hardheim Germany. I never was a big fan of beer, and certainly did not care at all for the German version, but many of my friends loved it. 

I also would like to remember the Armistice day blizzard of 1940.  My mother would mention it every year about this time. The day started warmly but then temperatures dropped around 50 degrees F and nearly two feet of snow fell in Minnesota. I believe around 50 people lost their lives that day. Armistice Day was created to honor the end of WWI (Century being honored this week in Paris).  After WWII, Dwight Eisenhower changed it to Veterans Day in 1954. 


1. Tempo similar to lento: LARGO.  A key in Florida

6. Quacked insurance name: AFLAC.  Known for clever commercials on TV.  Much better than Medicare supplement ads.

11. Film watcher's channel: TMC. There are so many movie channels on cable now, I can't keep up with all of them.

14. Plane, to Pierre: AVION.

15. "Fighting" Notre Dame team: IRISH.  What though the odds be great or small, Old Notre Dame will win over all. Knute is a great Norwegian name.

16. Listening organ: EAR.  I do not consider an ear an organ.  You cannot play church music on it.

19. Falsehood: LIE.

20. Request: ASK.  And you shall receive.  Wear an 80s jersey and you may also receive.

21. Great enthusiasm: GUSTO. Go for Schlitz beer.

22. Revise, as text: EMEND.

24. Indian lentil stew: DAL.  "How 'bout them Cowboys !"

25. Sporty sunroofs: T-TOPS.  Popular in the 70s.  I don't see them much any more. I suppose folks did not want to spend the money on them.

32. Absorb the lesson: LEARN.  PBA Senior member Bob Jr.

33. Applauds: CLAPS.  Roll a 7 against the point and it's CRAPS.

34. Effort: TRY.

35. Rowing tools: OARS.  Gently down the stream.

36. "Cha-__!": register sound: CHING.  That's the way you spell it, but it never makes that sound.

37. Delighted shout from the roller coaster: WHEE.

38. Summer hrs. in Oregon: PDT.  We turned our clocks back last week. 

39. William __, early bathysphere user: BEEBE. Monday word???

40. Exclaimed: CRIED.

44. Peer: EQUAL.

45. Humble dwelling: HUT. I think this is where the first little pig lived.

46. Aleut relative: INUIT.

47. Louvre Pyramid architect: I M PEI. A Frank Lloyd Wright competitor, I think.

50. Govt. agent: FED.

53. Windy City rail initials: CTA.  Not to be confused with the MTA of Boston.  (Poor old Charlie)

57. Funhouse reaction: EEK.  No funhouse ever scared me.  I only eek at snakes.

58. Wafer named for its flavor: NILLA.

59. Like a funhouse: EERIE.  More like the Twilight Zone.  Do do do do

60. Dr. of rap: DRE.

61. Best Buy "squad" members: GEEKS.  We have used the Geek Squad several times. Amazing how they can fix computers.

62. Faked, in hockey: DEKED.  Then, "He shoots, he scooorrres !"


1. Dalai __: LAMA.

2. NYC's Madison and Lexington: AVES.  Duh … I would think we have Aves in every city.

3. Hockey enclosure: RINK. Most have boards now, but when I was a kid we played hockey on wide open rinks

4. Received: GOT.

5. Rescheduled after being canceled, as a meeting: ON AGAIN. The stock market has been on a gain fairly recently.

6. Afflicts: AILS.

7. House with brothers: FRAT.  In a Fraternity, if you F a class you are a RAT.

8. Slimming surgery, for short: LIPO.  Better to just eat less don'tcha think.

9. Braying beast: ASS.  No comment

10. Frito-Lay corn snacks: CHEETOS.  Delicious, but they might turn your fingers orange.

11. Blessed with ESP: TELEPATHIC.

12. Primary thoroughfare in many towns: MAIN STREET. This was a book by Sinclair Lewis, reflecting on his life in a small town, Sauk Centre MN.

13. Believability, for short: CRED.  I SEE RED when I see half a word.

18. Break in the action: LULL.  Wishing for a lull in the California fires.

23. Soft shoe: MOC.  Another half a word

24. TiVo products: DVRS.  Wanna buy a vowel ??

25. Freq. sitcom rating: TV PG.  See above.

26. Right smack in the middle: DEAD CENTER.

27. Threat from a fault: EARTHQUAKE. Another California dread. My sisters have lived through several.

28. NFL list of games, e.g.: SCHED.  Nothing for my Vikings this week.  The NFL added bye weeks to the schedules a few years ago.

29. Crook's cover: ALIBI.

30. Claire of "Homeland": DANES.

31. Observed closely: EYED.

32. Cuts (off): LOPS.

36. Phone in a purse: CELL. These things are incredible now. I see people reading their email on their phone.

37. Legal document: WRIT.

39. Enjoying the ocean: BOATING.  We have 10,000 lakes to enjoy.  Don't need an ocean.

40. Enjoyed the ocean: CRUISED. ditto

42. Yves' yes: OUI.  One of the three French words I know.  (The others are FRIES and TOAST)

43. Biblical pronoun: THEE.

46. Cooled with cubes: ICED.  That's why it's called ICED Tea, not Ice Tea.

47. Ocean map dot: ISLE.

48. Cereal go-with: MILK.  Every morning.

49. Smooching in a crowded park and such, briefly: PDAS.  Public displays of Affection, but also a personal data something or other, like a cell phone.

50. Road divide: FORK.  As Yogi once said, "If you come to a fork in the road, take it".  Speaking of pretty good all time catchers,  Joe Mauer announced his retirement a couple of days ago.

51. Lake that's a homophone of 59-Across: ERIE. The most common crossword Great Lake by far!

52. Lightened, as hair: DYED.  I think if you lightened it, it's bleached.  Darken it would be dyed.

55. Nietzsche's "never": NIE.

56. Casual shirt: TEE.  I have some of these.  But I also have a few in my golf bag.


Notes from C.C.:

Happy birthday to Rich Norris, editor of LA Times Daily Crossword. Often half or more of clues in our daily puzzles are Rich's creations. And he always helps constructors to make the theme tighter and fill cleaner. He's just a quiet and generous soul.

Rich and his wife Kim

Nov 11, 2018

Sunday November 11, 2018 Patti Varol

Theme: "Hunger Games" - Each theme entry starts with a synonym for "eat" and it's punnily clued as what a hungry person whose profession is mentioned in the clue might do.

23. A hungry actor might __: CHEW THE SCENERY.

30. A hungry film critic might __: TAKE IN A MOVIE.

53. A hungry locksmith might __: BOLT THE DOOR. This is a really hungry locksmith.

68. A hungry librarian might __: DEVOUR A GOOD BOOK.

 89. A hungry janitor might __: BITE THE DUST.

107. A hungry banker might __: DOWN PAYMENTS.

120. A hungry angler might __: SWALLOW THE BAIT.

What a great title, so apt describing what's happening in this puzzle. 

You all know Patti is Rich's assistant. She's also the editor for The Crosswords Club. This puzzle represents nicely what Patti is looking for in a puzzle: fun theme, tight theme set and clean fill. No weird abbreviations or entries only known to sports/musical fans, etc.

Patti Varol


1. Comfy cover-up: CAFTAN. Same structure as tunic.

7. Didn't toss: KEPT.

11. Elemental variant: ISOTOPE.

18. Loosen, in a way: UNLACE. Here is D-Otto's Hook and Loop New Balance, in case you wonder. He said they're the most comfortable walking shoes.
19. "Spare me your excuses": SAVE IT.

21. Spot for doodles: NOTEPAD.

22. Land at Mexico City Airport?: TIERRA. Spanish for "land". Nice misdirection.

25. Poison sumac exposure risk: ITCH.

26. Nonstick cookware brand: T-FAL.

28. "It matters how you get there" app: LYFT.

29. Dollars for quarters: RENTS.

34. Compote component: FRUIT.

36. Polish literature?: EDIT. Another fun clue. Of course I was thinking of Poland.

37. Exile: CAST OUT.

39. Bird feeder food: SUET.

43. "How you holdin' up?": FEEL OK?

46. "No __ done": HARM.

48. Subjects of the film "Blackfish": ORCAS. Unfamiliar with the film.

50. Music-licensing org.: BMI. OK, Broadcast Music, Inc.

51. Not quite right: AMISS.

52. Some is changed regularly: OIL. And  56. Pentagon address: SIR. Love both clues.

57. Clever barb response: OH SNAP.

60. Loch with a mystery: NESS.

61. Seriously ticked: IRATE.

62. Cartoon desert island sight: TREE.

64. Passé: OLD. This bag was super popular in China around 1981. Imagine my surprise when I saw Cameron Diaz sported it again.

65. Special forces mission: RAID.

67. Competed using blades: SKATED.

73. Cherry-topped dish: SUNDAE.

76. Venerable English school: ETON.

77. Dinghy need: OAR.

78. "Thor: Ragnarok" actor Idris: ELBA. Sexiest Man Alive.

82. Live, TV-wise: ON AIR.

83. Bouquet bearer: VASE.

85. Mariano Rivera, memorably: YANKEE. Rich is a Yankee fan. Patti loves her Mets.

88. Alley in comics: OOP.

92. Shade: HUE.

93. Curved plumbing piece: P TRAP.

95. Call __ day: IT A.

96. Monopoly buy: HOTEL.

97. Somber notice: OBIT.

99. CafePress purchase: T-SHIRT. Barry G has a shop at CafePress.

100. Comes together: GELS.

102. Kellogg's toaster pastry: POP TART. Never had one.

104. Philistine: BOOR.

105. Inched: CREPT.

113. Point of contention: ISSUE.

116. Swearing or swearing-in words: OATH.

118. Cookie grain: OATS.

119. Mystique: AURA.

124. Lanai furniture material: RATTAN. Never saw a rattan palm in person. Looks very spiky.

126. "One man's struggle to take it easy," for "Ferris Bueller": TAG LINE.

127. Intimidating words: OR ELSE.

128. Password preceder: USER ID.

129. Poor rating: ONE STAR.

130. Actress Falco: EDIE.

131. Reason: SANITY.


1. Measure up: CUT IT.

2. Singer Baker: ANITA.

3. 14-time Grammy-winning banjoist Béla: FLECK.

4. North Carolina team: TAR HEELS.

5. Unlike this ans.: ACR. Across.

6. One who picks up a lot: NEATNIK.

7. Mexican painter Frida: KAHLO.

8. Night before: EVE.

9. Chapel bench: PEW.

10. Champ's collection: TITLES. The kids Boomer coached the past eight weeks finished 3rd in their division (4 teams) last Friday.

11. Trains: INSTRUCTS.

12. A behavioral sci.: SOC.

13. Ferrell's "SNL" cheerleading partner: OTERI.

14. Guiding principles: TENETS.

15. Willing to listen: OPEN.

16. Auto store buy: PART.

17. "Grand" ice cream brand: EDY'S.

19. Ponzi scheme, e.g.: SCAM.

20. Psalm pronoun: THY.

24. Sincere attempts: EFFORTS.

27. Oft-chewed item: FAT. Tiny clue/answer dupe with one of the themers.

31. Defiant response: I DO SO.

32. TiVo predecessor: VCR.

33. Foot that's part of a meter: IAMB. Poetic foot.

35. Four Corners state: UTAH.

38. City on Lake Erie: TOLEDO.

40. WWII sub: U-BOAT.

41. Gush on stage: EMOTE.

42. Wiped out: TIRED.

43. Ramadan ritual: FAST. I can't imagine the will it takes not to eat.

44. Abu Dhabi dignitary: EMIR.

45. Name on Irish euros: EIRE

46. Veda reader: HINDU.

47. Resembling: A LA.

49. Omega rival: SEIKO. Only Grand Seiko.

52. Capital north of Berlin: OSLO.

54. Like some bagels: ONIONY. We also have 71. Breakfast-on-the-run pickup: DONUT.

55. Pond papa: DRAKE.

58. Stopped at sea, with "to": HOVE. Another learning moment for me.

59. Chatters: PRATES.

63. Terrier on "Frasier": EDDIE.

66. Before now: AGO.

67. Fit to be tied: SORE.

69. Word before or after "mother": EARTH.

70. Outcome: RESULT.

72. Really feel the heat: BAKE. Excited that the local Hmong farmers here started to grow Asian sweet potatoes. The ones I got at the farmers' market this year were so good. Taste of Xi'an.

73. Pulitzer-winning Ferber novel: SO BIG.

74. Work together: UNITE.

75. Present at birth: NATAL.

79. Actress Petty of "Orange Is the New Black": LORI.

80. Tusked critter: BOAR.

81. Cal. entry: APPT. Thank God for Google Calendar and reminders.

83. Naysayer's weapon?: VETO POWER. Great fill.

84. Highly skilled in: ADEPT AT.

86. Often-seared tuna: AHI. You can find it in your local Aldi.

87. English Derby town: EPSOM.

90. Last element in Pandora's box: HOPE.

91. Lawn-Boy parent company: TORO. Based here in MN.

94. Menace: THREATEN.

98. Texter's "Oh, and another thing ... ": BTW.

99. Geoffrey the Giraffe's store: TOYS "R" US. Still open in China.

101. River racers: SCULLS.

103. Stick (to): ADHERE.

104. Carlsbad Caverns dweller: BAT.

106. Bright again: RE-LIT.

108. White __: NOISE.

109. Party spread: PATE.

110. __-Grain: breakfast bar brand: NUTRI.

111. Blue eyes, e.g.: TRAIT.

112. Baseball Hall of Famer Koufax: SANDY. One guy at our flea market has this Life magazine.

113. Ratio phrase: IS TO.

114. Adult cygnet: SWAN.

115. Herb used in turkey dressing: SAGE.

117. E'en if: THO.

121. "Based __ true story": ON A.

122. Retirement spot: BED.

123. "Moonlight" Oscar winner Mahershala __: ALI.

125. Comparison words: AS A.

Boomer updates:

We had a consultation with a radiation oncologist on Thursday. Then Boomer got tattooed. He's going to start his daily radiation treatment on Nov. 14th. The procedure ends on Nov. 28th. Weekends are rest days. At the moment, they're just going to focus on the area where he has the T 11 fracture.

He's also going to have more blood work done next week. Then we'll meet with Dr. Thomas Downs for the monthly follow-up. Eager to see if the Eligard shot works on him. So far, Boomer still has not had any hot flashes, so I'm a bit nervous. 

He's also going to have the Zoledronic acid infusion next week.

Happy Veterans Day to all the veterans on our blog: Spitzboov, Boomer, Jayce, D-Otto, TTP and Anon-T! Sorry if I forget others.


Nov 10, 2018

Saturday, November 10, 2018, C.C. Burnikel

Themeless Saturday By C.C. Burnikel

Sunny day... Today we celebrate a TV show that has been an institution for decades. It dispenses the message of learning, good manners and tolerance. 

My favorite song from the show is Kermit's It's Not Easy Being Green, of which Ray Charles said

“The words say 'It’s not easy being green,' but the song is about knowing who you are. And in it you hear Jim’s (Henson) message most clearly. He believed that people are good and that they want to do their best and that no matter how or why we might be different from anybody else, we should learn to love who we are and be proud of it.”

Rubber Ducky was a close second. 😙

Our own blogmistress C.C. steps up to the plate today and hits a home run with her lovely construction. In keeping with today's National Day, I must comment how C.C. has taught me so much about crosswords and has done it in such a pleasant and patient way. I would have been proud to have her as a colleague in my teaching profession. Further, she has inspired many of us to reach beyond our grasp and construct with her guidance and I know I am very grateful for that. Many of my friends now think I'm smart because my name is listed as a co-author on an LA Times puzzle.

C.C. has mastered her craft to such a degree that she can entertain us no matter the day or level of difficulty. My attempt at research shows this is her third Saturday LA Times submission, both of which were blogged by Splynter. 

Let's see what else C.C. has to teach us today "where the air is sweet":


1. Cheese manufacturing by-product: WHEY - A lesser man would say, "this is a nice WHEY to start" but I won't!

5. 2017 events for SNAP and Blue Apron: IPOS - Initial Public OfferingS

9. Dolt: CLOD.

13. Green feature: HOLE - If you get a HOLE-in-one on this African-shaped green in South Africa, you win a million dollars.

14. Soup bar staple: MINESTRONE.

17. Dwarf planet named for a Greek goddess: ERIS  - About the same size as Pluto but with an even more eccentric orbit

18. Annual awards for which many adolescents vote: TEEN CHOICE This year's winners

19. "Do I dare to eat a peach?" poet: T.S. ELIOT - From The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock

21. Ready to go out: DRESSED.

22. Underground rodent: SEWER RAT - 'nuff said

24. Grafton's "__ for Alibi": A IS - What better series to feature on Sesame Street Day?

25. Oceanus, for one: TITAN - We saw the statue of this Greek/Roman TITAN of the sea at the Trevi Fountain

6. Only work Michelangelo ever signed: PIETA which is found at St. Peter's only a short distance from the Trevi Fountain 

26. Shot in a tiny cup: ESPRESSO - Don Fanucci's demitasse of ESPRESSO has the same caffeine as a big cup of regular coffee Caffeine content in ESPRESSO compared to Regular Coffee

31. Top: CREST.

32. Bar at the garage: AXLE.

33. "Rich Man, Poor Man" novelist: SHAW - Irwin

34. Owns: HAS.

35. Bliss: ECSTASY - for both parent and offspring 

38. Cold draft, perhaps: ALE- Mentioned last week on National Beer Day

39. "This other __, demi-paradise": Shak.: EDEN - The lovely passage from Richard II that ends in "This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England"

41. Obsessed mariner: AHAB - Many, including Gregory Peck himself, thought he was miscast as the lunatic AHAB in the 1956 movie of Moby Dick

50. Stops presenting evidence: RESTS - In this wonderful role, I'm sure Peck's Atticus Finch felt confident after his defense RESTED

42. Like sea lions: EARED - Pinnipeds compared
44. Set free: RELEASED - On this date in 1967, The Moody Blues RELEASED Nights In White Satin

46. Data breach causes: HACKS - Is any data really safe?

47. Welcome sight?: MAT.

48. Small two-seater: SMART CAR - There's even room for one perp

51. Herald: USHER IN.

55. Soften: ASSUAGE crossing and 43. Set in motion: ACTUATE were my last fills

56. Rash-causing shrubs: POISON OAKS.

58. Quite some time: AGES.

59. Source of potential matches: DATING POOL - I haven't dipped my toe into that POOL for well over 50 years

60. Out house?: TENT - C.C. clever cluing! Here's an outhouse TENT for when you are living in another TENT serving as an "out" house.

61. Vein valuables: ORES.

62. "If all __ fails ... ": ELSE - read the directions

63. Body shop figs.: ESTS - Their ESTIMATES are usually pretty good


1. Sharpens: WHETS - In my first teen job at a local nursery, we carried WHET stones for the knives we used

2. Shrewd bargain: HORSE TRADE - Often concluded in halls of Congress

3. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Award was renamed for him: ELIE WIESEL - He had armed guards with him when he spoke at our high school 

4. "We should!": YES LET'S

5. "Tough decision!": I'M TORN - How can I tell my coffee group I am on the fence?

7. Together: ONE - Paul Stookey of PP&M wrote The Wedding Song which has, "They shall travel on to where, The two shall be as ONE"

8. Dispatch: SEND.

9. Mass symbols: CROSSES - Here's one suspended at the front of our St. Pat's Church

10. Hi's wife, in comics: LOIS - Some Hi and Lois cwd fill. Oh, Hi and Lois is a pun!

11. Some time ago: ONCE.

12. House document: DEED - The DEED to the famous South Fork Ranch featured in Dallas

15. Tough spots: SCRAPES.

16. "__ Eyes Were Watching God": Hurston novel: THEIR - Zora Neale Hurston's tale of Janie Crawford "ripening from a vibrant, but voiceless, teenage girl into a woman with her finger on the trigger of her own destiny."

20. Fit to be tied: IRATE - Some politicians from four days ago

23. Some online banners: TEXT ADS - Ads for MAN BAGS started appearing on this page after it had appeared in a puzzle here recently 

27. Big piece: SLAB - Of course it can be a big piece of a pastry but it is also what we called a big piece of concrete 

28. Divers' protection: SHARK CAGES - For $99 on Oahu's north shore, you can get this experience below which could include a visit from 49. Powerful sharks: MAKOS.

29. Pitcher?: SALES AGENT - We got a cheap Branson Vacation Package but we had to listen to a SALES AGENT pitch time-shares

30. Outstanding: OWED - It's not how much the car costs or how much the salesman says he is giving you for your car, it is what is OWED when you're all done

31. "Believe" singer: CHER.

32. Court immortal: ASHE - His statue now stands on Monument Ave. in his hometown of Richmond, VA. Debate continues about tearing down the other statues on that street that celebrate Confederate heroes 

36. Certain director's concern: CASTING - Their infamous CASTING couches have been much in the news

37. Quite some time: YEARS.

40. Waterloo: NEMESIS - This is the man-made "Lion's Hill" near Waterloo, Belgium on the battlefield where Napoleon met his, uh, Waterloo. For a fee you can climb its 225 steps for a panoramic view

45. Alphabetically first Baseball Hall of Famer: AARON - The last on this alphabetical list was a SS who was elected in 1999 and has a last name beginning with "Y". *Answer is at the bottom of this write-up and I'll bet C.C. and Boomer know who it is.

46. Major headache: HASSLE.

51. Bun, e.g.: UPDO.

52. Skyrocket: SOAR - The Blue Angels know how

53. "Women and Love" author: HITE - Ouch!

54. "You wish": NOPE.

57. Yahoo! sister company: AOL.

With apologies to Sue Grafton, B IS also FOR Birthday today. So let me share a picture of my wife's twin Joyce, their mother Martha and my wife Joann on this day, the sisters' 72nd birthday.

Don't be a grouch, give us your comments:

*Robin Yount is the last name alphabetically at Cooperstown.