Dec 13, 2018

Thursday, December 13th 2018 David Alfred Bywaters

Theme: Eying "OR" - we look and find an alternative within the theme entries:

17A. Should we name the kid after the eldest Brady son or the James Bond author?: GREGORIAN? Greg or Ian?  Mr. Fleming had rather a rakish look about him:

I worked for the family bank in London a number of moons ago - Robert Fleming & Co. are no longer with us. Not my fault, or at least, not all my fault.

26A. Should we roll this old piano away or put it in order?: WHEEL OF FORTUNE? Wheel off, or tune? This one was the standout of the theme answers - the OR is not in any way at all easy to parse.

45A. Should we read a religious pamphlet or watch a movie ad?: TRACTOR TRAILER? Tract or trailer?

61A. Should we work on the experiment or go for a swim?: LABOR POOL? Lab or pool? Fortunately for the US audience, "labour" has lost the apparently superfluous "U".

I liked this one. The OR appears mostly where you might expect, and then the "Wheel of Fortune" entry quite takes you by surprise. I wonder if this was the seed entry that David saw and then went looking for more?

I didn't speed through this, I had a more NW-SE progress, then worked back and across. The top right corner was tricky, I didn't know Ngaio Marsh, but the downs eventually filled that in for me.

Let's see what else we can find:


1. "__ just won't do": THIS

5. "What a relief!": PHEW!

9. New Zealand mystery author Ngaio __: MARSH. So far from my wheelhouse that the house didn't even have a place to put the wheel. I'll need to go and read some back catalog from one of the "Queens of Mystery".

14. Automaker whose name means "Hark!" in Latin: AUDI! Very festive. "Audi" is more literal than the more poetic "Hark!" - "Listen!" would more fit the bill. However, let's try this stab at translation - I probably butchered it, but I gave it my best grammar school shot:

Audi! En canentes angeli:
 "Gloria Regi infanti;"

15. Peace of mind: EASE. Crackly audio but this will never get old. I sounds like it did coming out of my cheap stereo when I was a kid.

16. Expiate, with "for": ATONE

19. Done in: SLAIN

20. "Cray" and "totes adorbs," e.g.: SLANG. Oddly, I know that it should be "cray cray" for completely crazy. Why "adorbs" means "adores" I'm lost. The "totes" part is obvs, being as I live in the Valley. Totally. Whatever. Talk to the hand.

21. Same old routine: RUT

22. Moans and groans: CARPS. "Totes Carps Deems". "Seizes the Day" in the Valley.

23. Trip letters: LSD. Bad trip, good trip, roll the dice. Interesting history for the drug though.

25. __ it coming: HAS. Jumped in with "HAS". Should have waited.

34. Word in many hymn titles: PRAISE!

35. Bit: IOTA

36. Unheard-of?: NEW

37. '50s-'60s car features: FINS. Cadillacs. If you want a fun read, "How the Cadillac got its Fins" by Jack Mingo is an old book I found in my Hilton hotel room back in 1994. Want to know how the Post-It note came about? It's all in there.

38. Continental currency: EUROS. Sneaky plural.

40. As it happens: LIVE

41. Swampy area: FEN

42. Places for me-time: SPAS

43. Some party reminders: EVITES. Usually annoying.

48. Operate: RUN

49. Neutral possessive: ITS. Not IT'S. Not sure? Learn from "It's an apostrophe". I love that, saved my grammatical life a few times.

50. Sharp: ACRID

53. Mass vestment: ALB. I paid enough attention as an Altar Boy to know which was what.

55. Swear words: OATHS

60. Self-reproach: SHAME

63. Low prime: SEVEN. 1, 3, 7, 11, 13 ...

64. Lying on: ATOP

65. Austen's aspiring matchmaker: EMMA. My eldest nephew is getting married in Winchester next week - site of Jane Austen's tomb and the home of my Alma Mater. I'll be blogging from the UK next week.

66. Unexpected pleasure: TREAT

67. Mailed: SENT

68. Move slowly: SEEP


1. License plates: TAGS. Really? I put my tags on my license plate, they stick in the upper-right corner. I just renewed mine.

2. Spew, as insults: HURL. Also a less-pleasant act into a handy receptacle.

3. Notion: IDEA

4. One finger for a fastball, say: SIGN

5. According to: PER

6. Salon creation: HAIRDO

7. Isaac's eldest: ESAU

8. Departed: WENT

9. It may run during a sad movie: MASCARA. This one I loved. Thank heavens I don't wear mascara, I'd be blotchy-cheeked most movies. I cry at the slightest provocation.

10. Classic song title words before "my love has come along": AT LAST! Etta James classic.

11. Bust a gut: ROAR 

12. Tonsorial sound: SNIP. A tonsure is a monk's haircut - the "pudding bowl and bald bit on top" look. Not the most fetching, in my humble opinion.

13. Cooped-up layers: HENS

18. Looks untowardly toward: OGLES

24. Consider overnight: SLEEP ON

25. Uncomfortable situation: HOT SEAT

26. More twisted, in a way: WRIER. There's usually one entry each week that I didn't see until I came to look back at the puzzle. This one filled itself in. Personally, I'd have tried WRYER first? This a new one on me.

27. Quick Draw's co-creator: HANNA. Quick Draw McGraw. William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. I was honored to visit with Joe in his Orbit City office just off the 101 freeway in Los Angeles. It was furnished like an 18th century library. Quite an amazing experience. This was the front entrance, you would never have guessed what was behind it:

28. Oktoberfest cubes: EIS. You put ice in your beer? Not me!

29. Guinness adjective: FIRST. This had me for the longest while. I was fixated on the stout, not the Book of Records.

30. Rock's __ Fighters: FOO

31. Make one: UNITE

32. Not once: NEVER

33. Ovine animals: EWES

34. [It disappeared!]: PFFT!

39. Old Mideast org.: UAR. United Arab Republic, 1958-1971. Egypt and Syria.

40. Short, for short: LI'L. Quick - any offers other than Li'l Abner?

42. Campus figure: STUDENT

44. Sun screen: VISOR

46. Black Sea peninsula: CRIMEA

47. Colorful prize: RIBBON

50. Second: Abbr.: ASST.

51. Pop diva in "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again": CHER

52. Wild party: RAVE

53. Word often said with a sigh: ALAS

54. Stuck in traffic, say: LATE. I hate being late, but I had to call just today and say "I'm stuck in traffic, I'll be there about ten minutes late", and this is when I allowed myself an hour for a 35 minute drive.

56. Big primates: APES

57. Weighty work: TOME

58. Browser button: HOME. I'm just looking at my browser as I type this and I don't see anything that looks like a "home" button? Can someone point it out for me?

59. Manual comeuppance: SLAP

62. Choose: OPT. Out or in?

And, there we are. A fun puzzle, I'm packing for my first two-week vacation in about 25 years or so, I'm going back to the UK for the wedding, Christmas and a lot of relaxation. I'm so used to travelling with a carry-on, I'm not sure what do to with a checked bag!

See you next week from the other side of the common-language divide. And here's the grid:


Notes from C.C.:

1) Have a wonderful vacation, Steve!

2) D4E4H had his Pacemaker installed on Tuesday. He was feeling a bit weak when I talked to him yesterday, but he sounded cheerful. He'll be out of the hospital today. Hopefully he will show up on the blog once he gains his strength. Please continue to keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Dec 12, 2018

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 Jeff Stillman

Theme - TEA SET 

-- OR --

JUST TEASING.  Several TEA varieties cross each other in this well brewed array.

17 A. Indian town in the Himalayas: DARJEELING. Once a summer resort for the British Raj elite, with Mt. Kanchenjunga in the background.  It is famous for the distinctive black tea grown on plantations that dot its surrounding slopes.

3 D. Like some shampoos: HERBAL.  These shampoos are infused with HERBS, based on traditional holistic medicine concepts, to cleanse the hair and maintain a balance among body, mind and spirit.  HERBAL TEAS are made from HERBS, spices and other plant materials, generally not including traditional tea, nor containing caffeine.

37A. There's always a hole in one: GREEN.  On a golf course, the GREEN is the target area, and the goal is to sink your ball into the hole in the fewest number of strokes.  Best, of course, is a hole in one.  GREEN TEA is made from the leaves and buds of Camellia Sinensis plants, like ordinary oolong and black TEA, but without the withering and oxidizing processes.

11 D. Massage therapy oil type: LAVENDER.   The distillate of this small, aromatic evergreen shrub of the mint family is used perfumes and to promote relaxation and healing.

LAVENDER TEA is made from the purple flower buds. It is purported to be relaxing, promote sleep, reduce inflammation and promote healing

68 A. Treated, as a sprain: ICED.  This can help to minimize swelling, reduce bleeding and reduce muscle spasms and pain.  ICED TEA can be any variety of tea served over ice.  Might I recommend LAVENDER when you have a sprain?

40 D. William IV's prime minister: EARL GREY.   Charles, 2nd Earl Grey, was a prominent Whig politician and served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1830 to 1834, which tenure saw the passing of the Great Reform Act of 1832 and the abolition of slavery in the British Empire in 1833. In 1808, he also succeeded his uncle as third Baronet, of Howick. [Wikipedia]

The so-named TEA is flavored with oil of bergamot, a variety of orange grown in France and Italy.  It is my afternoon TEA of choice.

And the unifier: 66 A. Pay attention to detail ... and, homophonically, what three pairs of puzzle answers do: CROSS THE TS.  Along with cross -- I mean dot -- the eyes, to make everythign complete and tidy. Here the three pairs of TEAs cross, so the double meaning is clear.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here, and not yet in my cups. So, armed with this bracing set of brews, let us venture forth, T's dotted and I's crossed, to solve this puzzle's remaining mysteries.


1. Israel Philharmonic music director Zubin: MEHTA. [b 1936] He also founded the Bombay Symphony.

6. Hook-shaped ski lift: J-BAR.  Pushes you uphill by the butt.

10. Calculator button: PLUS.  Addition function

14. Common Era starting date: ONE AD.  One C. E. I would think.  YMMV.

15. Hebrides language: ERSE.  A Gaelic tongue.

16. Low-tech leaf-blower alternative: RAKE.

19. "Best Song __": One Direction hit: EVER.

Watching this is optional - 6+ minutes

20. Flow's partner: EBB.  As of tides, frex.

21. The "P" of rock's ELP: PALMER. Along with Emerson and Lake.

Because Karn Evil 9 takes a half hour

22. Badlands landform: MESA. Table land -  an isolated flat-topped hill with steep sides.  MESA is the Spanish word for table.

23. Angles: SLANTS.  I have mine.  What's yours?

25. Spring singer: ROBIN.  This bird is traditionally the harbinger of Spring.

27. Prefix with graph: TELE-.  The long-distance transmission of textual or symbolic (as opposed to verbal or audio) messages without the physical exchange of an object bearing the message. Thus semaphore is a method of telegraphy, whereas pigeon post is not.

28. Glass of public radio: IRA. [b 1959] Ira Jeffrey Glass is an American public radio personality and the host and producer of the radio and television show This American Life.

31. Dug up dandelions, say: WEEDED.  Removed weeds from the lawn or garden

34. Scout's discovery: TALENT.  Some person with performing ability.

38. Hot state: IRE.  Hot under the collar.

41. Spy film poison: CYANIDE.  Polonium TEA would be more topical.

43. Record label for Pink: RCA.

Probably not Ira

44. Facebook option: SHARE.  Copy a post to your own page.

46. Surfer's gadget: REMOTE.  Channel surfing, not in the English Channel -- Traditional tool for couch potatoes, and now also everyone, since modern TVs don't have any dials.

48. Gourmet mushrooms: MORELS.  Morchella, the true morels, is a genus of edible sac fungi closely related to anatomically simpler cup fungi in the order Pezizales. These distinctive fungi have a honeycomb appearance due to the network of ridges with pits composing their cap. Morels are prized by gourmet cooks, particularly in French cuisine. [Wikipedia]

50. D.C. bigwig: SENator.

51. "Unique everything" website: ETSY.  Where people sell their craft items.

55. Peruvian pack animal: LLAMA.  South American camel analog.

57. Not quite spherical: OBLATE. Flattened at the poles.  Which one could also say of a candidate who loses in a landslide.  Wow - that election was really OBLATE!

59. Hence: ERGO.  Logically following.

61. Divination: AUGURY.  The interpretation of omens or signs to predict the future.  I interpret a red octagonal sign to mean I will be stopping soon.

64. Med. centers for former soldiers: VA'SVeteran's Administration facilities.

65. Actress Sorvino: MIRA. [b 1967] She won the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Woody Allen's Mighty Aphrodite.

69. Some jewelry stores, informally: KAY'S.  AKA Kay Jewelers

70. Chill-causing: EERIE. weird, spooky and frightening.

71. Small dogs: TOYS.

72. Lightly burn: SEAR.

73. Brings into harmony: SYNCS.  From SYNCHRONIZES.


1. Disinclined to brag: MODEST.  Unassuming or moderate in the estimation of one's abilities or achievements.

2. Provide power to: ENABLE. Grant or concede the authority or means to do something.

4. __ Mahal: TAJ.  Monument in Agra.

5. Highly skilled: ADEPT.  Proficient at some activity.

6. Take shape: JELL.  Firm up

7. Fedora feature: BRIM.  The protecting edge at the bottom of a hat.

8. Ed with Emmys: ASNER.  In categories of Lead Actor,  Supporting Actor, Guest Actor, and Outstanding Single Performance.

9. Sprout anew: REGROW.  Like hair or fngernails.

10. English football's __ League: PREMIER.  We call it soccer.

12. Luau strings: UKES.

13. Blood bank fluids: SERA.   Plural from of the clear liquid that can be separated from clotted blood.  The term "serum" also is used to designate any normal or pathological fluid that resembles serum as, for example, the fluid in a blister.

18. How a cinch is done: EASILY.

24. After-tax amount: NET.

26. Give rise to: BEGET.

29. Stern: REAR.  Back end of a boat.

30. Two of Henry VIII's wives: ANNES.  ANNE of Cleves and ANNE Boleyn.  Also, three Catherines and a Jane.

32. Common Market initials: EECEuropean Economic Community.

33. Genetic matter: DNA.

35. Big name in fast trains: ACELA.  Amtrak service along the North-East corridor.

36. Umpire's cry: TIME.   Granting a brief time out to either the batter or the pitcher.  Not the cry one would think of first.

38. Dogma: ISM. Suffix that has become an informal stand-alone.

39. Greek consonant: RHO.  Strangely, "your boat" in Greek - το σκάφος σας -  has no RHO.

42. Certain angels: DONORS.  Patrons.

45. Winds new film into: RELOADS.  As a movie reel.

47. Ribbonlike fish: EEL.   Slippery, too.

49. Slaps sharply: SMACKS.  Not SPANKS.

52. Bar: TAVERN.  Place to get a drink that is probably not ICED TEA.  [Except, perhaps, for Long island]

53. Harsh criticism: STATIC.  Angry or critical talk.

54. Toadies' answers: YESSES.  Sycophants' fawning agreements.

56. Subtle glows: AURAE.

58. Hard-drive units: BYTES.  Memory units

59. Put forth: EMIT. Let out, produce or discharge something.

60. P.R. part: RICO.  The other part is PUERTO.

62. "La maja desnuda" painter: GOYA.

63. Cold War letters: USSR.  Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, aka, the 20th Century Russian Empire

67. "Hold it!": HEY.  Just stop right there.  Because we're done!

There you have it.  That wraps up another Wednesday.  Hope all your letters were in order.  Now - anyone for a nice cuppa?

Cool regards!

Dec 11, 2018

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 Michael Krebs & Theodore Krebs


1. With 18-Across, R.E.M. guitarist: PETER.  PETER BUCK - You might recall his guitar work in this song.

18. With 35-Across, 10-time "SNL" host who was Belushi's straight man in samurai routines: BUCK. BUCK HENRY playing the straight man opposite John Belushi

35. With 44-Across, hitter of 755 home runs: HENRY. HENRY (Hank) AARON.  Historic # 755.

44. With 57-Across, "Breaking Bad" actor: AARON. AARON PAUL - Played Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad.

57. With 68-Across, Garfunkel's partner: PAUL. PAUL SIMON.  You're Breaking My Heart

68. With 1-Across, one of the Twelve Apostles: SIMON. SIMON PETER.  Saint Peter.

39. What six people in this puzzle might be said to possess: TWO FIRST NAMES.

Very clean puzzle.  I liked how the names wrapped.  It must have taken quite a bit of effort to find the right names to make this puzzle work out so well.


6. Microscope glass: LENS.

10. All snuggled in: COZY.  A nice place to be, perhaps with a blanket in a comfy chair and a good read.

14. Support piece: BRACE.  Hopefully Abejo is getting accustomed to his. 

15. 1998 Sarah McLachlan hit: ADIA.

16. Black-and-white cookie: OREO.

17. Anglo-__: SAXON.

19. Restaurant handout: MENU.

20. Gritty film genre: NOIR. So many great films.  Fritz Lang directed this noir with Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, and Broderick Crawford. The story line and cinematography evoke grit.

22. "We are gathered __ today ... ": HERE.  Because of the pleasure we derive solving crossword puzzles and for sharing our experiences with like-minded friends. 

24. "Say that's true ... ": IF SO.  "If your supposition is correct, then..."

27. Speedway event: RACE.

29. Entertainment award quartets, for short: EGOTs.  New to you too ?  I think it's fill that I've forgotten.   Fifteen People Have Won Them

33. Swiss skiing spot: ALP.  How about the Jungfrau or Grindelwald ?

34. Pops, to tots: DADAs.

36. "Perhaps I'm wrong": MAYBE NOT.  I was certain I was correct, but perhaps I'm wrong.  You may be right.

38. Takes effect: SETS IN.

41. Climbs, as a cliff: SCALES.

42. Staggered: TEETERED.

45. Gives (out) sparingly: DOLES.

46. Passé TV accessory: VCR.

47. Sediment layer: DREGS.

48. Courtroom cry: OYEZ.

49. Big Apple team: METS.

50. Weak end?: NESS.  Elliot's end ?

52. Anti-cruelty org.: PETA.

54. Green gemstone: JADEJade Gemstone Information

59. Zest: OOMPH.

63. Big Aussie birds: EMUs.  Someone was asking about the size of big birds the other day.

64. Taj Mahal city: AGRA.

65. Worker, briefly: PROLE.

66. Ocean motion: TIDE.  A dangerous rip tide
 67. Depend (on): RELY.


1. "Arthur" TV station: PBS.  American / Canadian educational cartoon aimed at children 4-8 years.  I had no idea this series has been running for 21 years ! 

2. Notable time: ERA.

3. Withholding __: TAX.

4. Lodge opening?: ECONO.  This one is in Des Moines, IA.

A brand in the Choice Hotels lodging chain.
5. Nevada casino city: RENO.

6. Chocolate dog: LABRADOR.

7. Emory email ender: EDU.  Peter Buck of R.E.M. attended Emory University for a short while.

8. Wall recesses: NICHES.

9. "For heaven's __!": SAKE. More points off my man card.

10. Impatient after-school text to a parent: COME GET ME. Mom, where are you ?!!!

11. Salem is its cap.: ORE.

12. Buddhist sect: ZEN.

13. "__ busy?": YOU.

21. Tehran residents: IRANIs.

23. Warms up, as leftovers: REHEATS.

24. Dr. Seuss' Sam-__: I AM.

25. Sideless train unit: FLATCAR.

26. Invasive computer program: SPYWARE.

28. Scratching-post attachment: CATS TOY.

30. With no breaks, as a tennis set: ON SERVE.  In tennis, a "break" is when the receiving player or team has won a game in a match against the serving player or team.  "On serve" describes a match were neither opponent has broken the other's serve.  Big Easy, can you have Dianne vet my statements ?

31. Cut into four-inch pieces, as a footlong sub: TRISECT

32. Dict. entry: SYN onym.

34. Pass rusher's team: DEFENSE. American rules football.

37. Meaty spaghetti sauce: BOLOGNESE.   J. Kenji López-Alt  of Serious Eats offers his version:

38. React to dust: SNEEZE.

40. Script for TV: TELEPLAY.

41. Down or blue: SAD.   There's a prescription for that.

43. Rx writers: DRs.

45. Rx quantity: DOSAGE.

49. New Zealand native: MAORI.

51. Prepare for a boxing day?: SPAR.

53. A++: TOPS.

54. Airbus product: JET.   Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Cessna, Gulfstream...

55. French buddy: AMI.

56. Failed firecracker: DUD.

58. Clickable link: URL. Uniform Resource Locator

60. Boo-boo kisser: MOM.  Moms are the best !

61. Gaza Strip gp.: PLO.

62. "An egg's way of making another egg": Samuel Butler: HENHe's too deep for my current station in life.

Dec 10, 2018

Monday December 10, 2018 Frank Virzi

Theme: BOTTOM LINE (30D. Net profit, and what the answers to starred clues have) - The bottom word of each theme entry can precede "line".

3D. *Nominal leader: FIGUREHEAD. Headline.

6D. *Atmospheric wind that aids an eastbound U.S. flight: JET STREAM. Streamline.

9D. *Boston tax protest of 1773: TEA PARTY. Party line.

36D. *Failed, as a business: WENT UNDER. Underline.

39D. *2016 film wrongly announced as Best Picture: LA LA LAND. Landline.

Boomer here. 

Mom used to hang clothes on the clothesline. John Charles Daly hosted "What's my Line?"  We had a busy week last week. I finished my radiation on Nov. 28th. Relaxed a few days but then had a much needed major makeover to our bathroom. This week is a doctor visit Wednesday, then a Graybar Electric retirees' Christmas luncheon on Thursday at the boss's Country Club, the TPC in Blaine where the 3M Championship (Senior tour) played for many years.  Now it has become a regular PGA tour stop.


1. Strains to lift: HEFTS. Did he publish Playboy magazine ?

6. Scribble (down): JOT.

9. Former Russian despots: TSARS. This has always been a difficult word for me to pronounce.

14. Dickens' Heep: URIAH.  "David Copperfield" was published over 150 years ago, and yet Uriah Heep lives on as a villain and a heavy metal band.

15. Cain raiser: EVE.  This story is even older than Charles Dickens' stories

16. Florida's __ Center: EPCOT. Been there, done that. I was a little disappointed. I liked Disney World better.

17. Nabisco cookie with a pastry jacket: FIG NEWTON. Y'er darn tootin'

19. "Cold Case Files" airer: A AND E.

20. Seminoles' sch.: FSU.  Florida State, home of Disney World and the Epcot Center.

21. Lukewarm reviews?: EHS.

22. Sadden: DEPRESS.

24. Gulf Coast Florida city: SARASOTA.  On the Western shore.  Luckily the hurricanes left it alone this year. (Thanks for the corrections.)

27. Scrape or scratch: MAR.

28. F equivalent, in music: E SHARP.

29. Investigations: PROBES.

33. Hostess snack: HO HO.  There's a guy in a red suit that may be hollering this soon.

35. Sound from a tabby: MEOW. Or it could be your sound if you accidentally hit your thumb with a hammer.

37. Wee hr.: TWO AM. Yup, it's when I take a pain pill.  The wee is optional.

38. Barley brew: ALE.  Okay, I don't drink beer.  You all may argue whether this is lager, pilsner, or just plain beer.

39. __ Fáil: Irish coronation stone: LIA.

40. Joseph of ice cream fame: EDY. Famously delicious ice cream.  I think Nestle's owns the name now, but the ice cream is still unique.

42. "Cats" monogram: TSE.  T. S. Eliot. At least they are not going for chairman Mao's middle name.

43. Mazda sports car: MIATA. A fancy sports car that is surprisingly affordable.

45. City bond, briefly: MUNI.

47. Suit to __: A TEE. I hit golf balls off these.

48. The "M" in LEM: MODULE.

50. Like red-line traffic, on Google Maps: STOP GO.  You can "Stop Go" but if you go to jail, you cannot pass go nor collect $200.

52. For example: SAY.

53. Lights that darken: SUN LAMPS.

56. Kate of "Steve Jobs": WINSLET. A 2015 movie.  I am not much of a movie fan, unless it's about baseball.

Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman

60. SSW opposite: NNE.

61. Bucolic setting: LEA.

62. __ Gay: WWII bomber: ENOLA.  We have just experienced the "Day of Infamy" 77 years later.  "Enola Gay" was payback which was questionable, but I understand..

63. Succeeded big-time: MADE A MINT.  Current market conditions might include a "Junior Mint".

66. "Over the Rainbow" composer Harold: ARLEN. "Where happy little bluebirds fly".

67. Grow older: AGE.  Seems like when you get older, the only thing that grows is the waistline.

68. The Lindy, e.g.: DANCE.  How LOW can you GO ?

69. Tally again: RE-ADD.

70. Hide-hair link: NOR.

71. Jouster's ride: STEED.


1. Blows like the Big Bad Wolf: HUFFS. Puffs and down goes the roof.

2. Pension law acronym: ERISA.  Retirement Security

4. Beachgoer's color: TAN.

5. "Good grief!": SHEESH.  Charlie Brown lamented grief.  I used to bowl against a guy who was nicknamed "Sheesh".  Guess why.

7. Lacto-__ vegetarian: OVO.

8. Look after: TEND.  Then sleep under a haystack.

10. Cousin of a snowfinch: SPARROW.  The SP (500) ARROW was pointing down this week.

11. Most common skin condition in the U.S.: ACNE.

12. Fishing sticks: RODS.  Sticks are cane poles.  I don't think I would call a sleek fiberglass rod a stick.

13. Fr. holy women: STES. Saints

18. End of many a riddle: WHO AM I?

23. Holy Roman VIP: Abbr.: EMP.  The holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman but consisted of much of Western Europe.  Napoleon destroyed it.

25. Japan's largest active volcano: ASO.

26. PFC's address: APO.  When I was in the Army, APO stood for Army Post Office, and was for overseas location.  Stateside I received mail at Fort Campbell, KY 42223.

31. Lessen, as pain: EASE.

32. Hook's right hand: SMEE.

33. Soccer great Mia: HAMM.  No relation to Theo Hamm, who made "Hamm's the beer refreshing" in St. Paul, MN.

34. Mishmash: OLIO.

41. Singer Warwick: DIONNE.  "The Morning I wake up …"

44. Wrestled: TUSSLED.

46. Battleship initials: USS.

47. Turkish chief: AGA.

49. Peacock tail feature: EYE.

51. Tells it to the judge: PLEADS.  Been a lot of these in the news lately

54. Pound's 100, in England: PENCE.  Sing a song of six.

55. Totally full: SATED.

56. Be dressed in: WEAR. So Where do you WEAR it?

57. Regarding, on memos: IN RE.

58. Pelican St. city: NOLA.  Mardi Gras will be here before you know it.

59. Fed chasing Capone: T- MAN.  That time of year is coming too!

64. In the past: AGO.  "A long, long time ago... I can still remember how the music used to make me smile,"

65. Doorstep welcomer: MAT. I never knew that guy was named Matt.


Note from C.C.:

Here is a picture of the reception area at the VA Radiation Oncology. I sat opposite that "Thank You Veterans" sign every morning waiting for Boomer. Lots of candies in that basket over the counter. This place just feels warmer and friendlier than other VA places. 

Radiation Oncology, VA Medical Center, Minneapolis

Dec 9, 2018

Sunday December 9, 2018 Paul Coulter

Theme: "Culinary School"- Each cooking utensil is punnily re-phrased:
23A. Pie company exec?: PASTRY WHEEL. The big wheel.

25A. Bad brunch review?: OMELET PAN.  Our Steve has a Japanese style Tamagoyaki pan.

37A. Neighborhood with meat purveyors?: BUTCHER BLOCK.

55A. ATM code you rotate regularly?: ROLLING PIN.

84A. Thief at a fertility clinic?: EGG POACHER. Never used one.

98A. Nasty group of directors?: CUTTING BOARD.

16A. Stadium for a boxing match?: PUNCH BOWL.

118A. Journalists covering a spicy story?: GARLIC PRESS. Makes me smile. Thinking of our Garlic Gal.

What a fun theme. Tight set and amusing clues. 

I think Paul is a foodie and often makes puzzles while hungry.


1. 8 for O, e.g.: AT NO. Atomic Number.

5. Quibbles: CARPS.

10. "M*A*S*H" actor: ALDA. Four A's in his name.

14. Like bachelor parties: STAG.

18. Excel: SHINE.

20. Autumn color: OCHRE.

21. Tea party host: MARCH HARE. Sparkly fill.

26. Find new quarters for: RE-HOUSE.

27. Winter fall: FLAKES. So lucky that the big snow fell here only after Boomer completed his radiation. 

29. Film units: REELS.

30. Michelangelo masterpiece: PIETA.

31. MSN competitor: AOL.

32. Cooking fat: SUET.

34. Guadalajara girls: NINAS.

43. Air freshener scent: LILAC.

46. Performed, in Shakespeare: DIDST. Just DID now. We also have 108. Old will?: SHALT.

48. How surprise party guests should arrive: EARLY.

49. Blanched: WAN.

50. Yours, in Tours: A TOI.

51. Doc bloc: AMA.

52. Keisters: SEATS.

54. "Momo" author Michael: ENDE. Not familiar with the book.

59. FICA benefit: SSI.

60. Unit in Ohm's Law: AMPERE.

62. Costa del __: SOL.

63. Female antelope: DOE.

64. Mellow: SOFTEN.

66. Looked lecherously: LEERED.

67. Suffix meaning "living substance": PLASM. Dictionary gives these three examples: endoplasm,  neoplasm and cytoplasm.

69. Not yet on the sched.: TBA.

70. Coast: GLIDE.

72. Like many churches: SPIRED.

75. Light: IGNITE.

78. Adaptable truck, for short: UTE.

79. "Bravo!": OLE.

82. Barbershop parts: TENORS.

83. Batman and the Boy Wonder, e.g.: DUO.

87. AA and AAA, e.g.: ORGS.

88. Takes from a deck: DRAWS. Deck of cards.

90. "Do Ya" rock gp.: ELO.

91. "I see": AH SO.

92. Starry-eyed agreement, often: I DO.

93. Area below the abdomen: GROIN.

95. Leslie of "Gigi": CARON. "Crazy Rich Asians" flopped in China. It just does not click with Chinese.

97. Holders of roasts: SPITS.

101. Like Dennis the Menace: PESKY.

103. Part of Q.E.D.: ERAT.

104. Bit of baby talk: GOO.

105. Leg bone: TIBIA. And 125. Bone on a menu: OSSO.

111. Work (out): REASON.

114. Inflexible: ADAMANT.

121. Wood preservatives: CREOSOTES. I learned this word from another puzzle.

122. Farm refrain: E I E I O.

123. Spock's father: SAREK. Another learning moment for me.

124. Firm employees: Abbr.: ATTS. One tiny letter dupe with 100. Dept. of Justice bigwigs: AGS.

126. Some NCOs: S SGTS.

127. Time at the inn: STAY.


1. Cleopatra killer: ASP.

2. Choreographer Twyla: THARP. So flexible.

3. Japanese-American: NISEI.

4. Without delay, as payment: ON THE NAIL. Is this a common phrase? Never heard of it.

5. Intimidates: COWS.

6. Advil target: ACHE.

7. MLB scoreboard abbr.: R H E. Runs, Hits, Errors.

8. Homes built indoors: PREFABS.

9. Traitors: SELL-OUTS.

10. Crazily: AMOK.

11. Like a flimsy excuse: LAME.

12. Backstage theater workers: DRESSERS.

13. An MRI may reveal a torn one: ACL.

14. "Fiddler on the Roof" setting: SHTETL. Yiddish for "small town".

15. Bind, in a way: TAPE. D-Otto told me about this tape, which fixed our dryer vent leaks nicely.

16. Asian sea: ARAL.

17. Mil. bigwigs: GENS. Generals.

19. Arousing: EROTIC.

22. As a result of this: HEREBY.

24. Chinese currency: YUAN. Chairman Mao's image is on all the paper money.

28. __-rock: ALT.

33. Modern address: URL.

35. Commonly used saws: ADAGES.

36. Gullible sort: SIMP.

38. Cut out: CEASE.

39. "You lose a lot of time, __ people": Marian Anderson: HATING.

40. Dog tag datum: OWNER.

41. Close-knit group: CADRE.

42. Injured, in a way: KNEED.

43. Drummer Ulrich: LARS. Metallica.

44. "Am __ late?": I TOO.

45. Hang loosely: LOLL.

47. Place for an honoree: DAIS.

53. Collection of heir pieces?: ESTATE. Fun clue.

54. Blunt blade: EPEE.

56. Do-nothing: IDLER.

57. Wikipedia policy: NO ADS.

58. Words indicating a delay: NOT NOW.

60. Thomas associate: ALITO. Supreme Court.

61. Euripides tragedy: MEDEA. Lemonade knows the full story.

65. "Criminal Minds" agcy.: FBI.

67. Some Olympians, nowadays: PROS.

68. Leaf's central vein: MIDRIB.

71. Two-time Tony winner Patti: LUPONE.

72. Zeno, notably: STOIC.

73. Concealed: PERDU. French word.

74. Bullion unit: INGOT.

76. Natural fertilizer: GUANO. Not HUMUS.

77. Hungarian wine region: EGER.

79. "I wasn't expecting you": OH HI.

80. "__ we forget": LEST.

81. God with a quiver: EROS.

85. Hardly haute cuisine: GLOP.

86. Large South American rodents: CAPYBARAS. Learning moment again.

88. Easy paces: DOGTROTS.

89. Misers: SCROOGES.

93. Saddle-holding bands: GIRTHS.

94. Tiny messenger: RNA.

96. Keats, in a Shelley title: ADONAIS.

97. Economizes: SKIMPS.

99. AT&T and Verizon: TELCOS.

102. Opp. of legato, in music: STAC.

106. Still: INERT.

107. Baffled: AT SEA.

108. Humane org.: SPCA.

109. On the disabled list, say: HURT.

110. Without __: riskily: A NET.

112. Farm females: EWES.

113. "Not to mention ... ": ALSO.

114. Came down: ALIT.

115. "Vaya con __": DIOS.

117. Bit of heckling: BOO.

119. "Andy Capp" cartoonist Smythe: REG. Stranger to me.

120. __ blue: SKY.

D4E4H's caretaker Lynn sent me this email yesterday:

"This is Lynn writing. David wanted me to tell you what's going on with him. A week ago Tuesday he had a heart attack. He was taken to the hospital and put in ICU for 7 days. During that time they put in two stents. One on the left on Friday of that week and one on the other side on Monday. They couldn't do both the same day because of his kidneys being bad. They also want to put in a Pace Maker but had to send him to another hospital downtown for that. When that new hospital took him down for this Pace Maker they found he had an infection in his legs so postponed it until he could get rid of the infection. They are scheduled to put it in Monday, Dec. 10th. If he still has the infection they will send him home and wait until the infection clears up and then bring him back. Meanwhile he says he is on vacation just sitting in his room eating and watching TV. "
I then called Dave. He said the nurse at his assisted living place made the right decision and sent him to ER. He still has his humor intact, admitting he's "stubborn as a mule".  Hope the surgery tomorrow is smooth. Please keep Dave in your thoughts and prayers.

Happy birthday to dear Hahtoolah (Susan), who's been with our blog for almost 10 years. She's an incredibly fast learner. I was stunned to see a scheduled post with perfect format just a few hours after I emailed her the puzzle and the blog instructions. She never ceases to amaze me with her astute observations and spot-on quotes. Thanks for being part of our blog team, Susan!

Boomer Updates:

The side effects from the radiation seem to be mostly gone. Now Boomer can swallow food without any discomfort. He does have stomach ache at times, esp after a meal. Not sure if it's from Zytiga or ibuprfen or oxycodone. 

Monthly meeting with Dr. Thomas Downs next Wednesday, then a blood draw. Eager to see if his PSA is lowered further.

Thanks for your continued support. Boomer and I get emotional and encouraged reading your comments and emails.


Dec 8, 2018

Saturday, December 8, 2018, C.C. Burnikel

Themeless Saturday Puzzle by C.C. Burnikel

December 8 is Be A Time Traveler Day. Most would first think of Back To The Future for a reference but for me, I think of a little movie called Peggy Sue Got Married

While Marty was delivered to his parents' high school days by Doc Brown's Delorean he was forbidden to do anything that might effect the "time-space continuum". However, Peggy Sue passed out at a class reunion and traveled back to her adolescence and wound up as an actual participant in her own high school days. 

That is the one time of my life I would like to have a "do over". Peggy Sue knew how the blowhards, science geeks, et al turned out and she got to interact with them with an adult perspective. Wouldn't you like another shot?

I could also have picked to be at Ford's Theater the night of April 14, 1865... 

Our blog mistress and puzzle master has provided us with a lovely weekend diversion. Her triple stacks of 11's in the NE and SW corner and layers of triple 8's in the NW and SE were wonderful.  She never fails to amaze but NE corner took me quite a lot of time.

Here she is at the Treasure Island Casino and Bowling Lanes where Boomer was in a tournament. I'm sure she was there to support Boomer's competitive bowling  just as she is now supporting him with his health issues.

Those flowers make me long for spring which is still quite a ways away. Sigh...

Now lets see what our maven from Minneapolis has for us today.


1. Top that turns: SCREW CAP - An eponymous John Mason Jar who pioneered the SCREW CAP jar in the 1850's

9. Fictional brother with a green hat: LUIGI - Mario's sibling. How does a girl from China know this stuff?

14. Like some snowsuits: ONE PIECE.

15. Lacks the wherewithal to: CAN NOT 

16. Vacant, as positions: UNFILLED - When substitute teaching jobs go UNFILLED, the staff has to take those classes during the times they are not scheduled with kids. 

17. Sets free: LOOSES - "He has LOOSED the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword"

18. General who's the subject of the 2012 biography "All In": PETRAEUS - An affair with his co-biographer Paula Broadwell led to a series of events that forced him to resign as the head of the CIA. Did he 24. State (verb) secrets: BLAB to her?

20. Org. whose employees may have to lift 70-lb. bags: TSA - Handling heavy baggage and surly customers all day is not my idea of a ideal job.

21. Country star at age 13: RIMES - LeAnn was the little girl with the big voice

25. "Va-va-__!": VOOM - A catchphrase for Ed Norton on The Honeymooners

26. "You got that right!": AMEN.

27. Puck, say: DISC  - How 'bout shooting that DISC for big money

46. 1983 Mr. T comedy: D.C. CAB - Is that Mr. T wearing the hockey jersey above with his name on the back? 

28. Bouquet __: GARNI - Literally garnished bouquet - "A bunch of herbs typically encased in a cheesecloth bag, used for flavoring a stew or soup"

29. Resting place: BED - Our Lily's perch, scratch pad, bird lookout and sometimes BED

30. Raymond James Stadium pro: BUC - Tampa Bay BUCaneers of the NFL

31. Some stingers: HORNETS - Their sting might necessitate using an 
4. Camp nurse's item: EPIPEN (EPI nehprin PEN)

33. Took off, slangily: BAILED - BAILED out of a perfectly good airplane

35. Nice, for one: RESORT - I assume all 25 of these things are, uh, nice

36. Holy smoke: INCENSE - Fun clue! This smell seems acrid to me

38. Lines of thought?: Abbr.: EEG.

39. Long on-screen: NIA - Perhaps best known as Will's girlfriend in Fresh Prince

40. Feature: TRAIT - My kids hate it when they detect a TRAIT of my wife or me in their behavior

41. Hits hard: RAMS.

43. Bad thing to catch: FLAK - "Oh, getting too close to the truth!"

44. Mirror image: SELF.

45. Have trouble with chess?: LISP - We Big Bang fans immediately think of Kripke 

46. "There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact" author: DOYLE - Prepare for a 3 minute blizzard of deductive reasoning by DOYLE's Sherlock Holmes

47. Gain competitor: FAB - Laundry detergents

48. Frequent Robert De Niro co-star: JOE PESCI - Google the pen scene from Casino if you don't mind graphic violence

50. Bar supply: OLIVES.

52. Portrayer of Nero in "Star Trek" (2009): ERIC BANA - If you're interested

56. Skateboard moves: OLLIES  - No skateboard? No problem. Ollie on your friend  

57. Bright lipstick color: CORAL RED.

58. President who had 15 children: TYLER - Tyler men had children late in life. President Tyler fathered Lyon when he was 63 and Lyon had Lyon Jr. when he was 71 and Harrison when he was 75. As of 2017, both Lyon Jr. and Harrison survived over 200 years after  their grandfather President John was born.

59. Subarus named for a NYC area: TRIBECAS - TRIangle BElow CAnal St. in NYC and yet another look-alike car of today


1. Measly amount: SOU - French coins of little value when minted

2. Jake Tapper's channel: CNN.

3. Court official: REF - This show-boating REF is emphatically calling blocking  

5. Cunning: WILES 28. Maddux in Cooperstown: GREG was a Hall Of Fame pitcher who survived on his WILES, not his fastball that was 10 mph slower than the one that most have today.

6. Gael or Breton: CELT.

7. Tart: ACERBIC

8. Piano trio: PEDALS - What the PEDALS do

9. The elephant is its national animal: LAOS - Seems right

10. Game with a colorful deck: UNO.

11. Marketing limitation: IN-STORE ONLY  - One way to get 'em off the computer and into your brick and mortar facility 

12. Faces a jury: GOES ON TRIAL 

13. Alleged perp's denial: IT'S A MISTAKE - The San Quentin Theme Song

15. Driver, e.g.: CLUB - Even in this 100-yr-old hickory set, the driver is the biggest CLUB

19. Pricing word: EACH - "Oh my word! I thought that was per dozen!"

21. Furry talisman: RABBIT'S FOOT.

22. "Seriously?!": I MEAN REALLY, did you think I'd fall for that?

23. Insurance may cover one: MEDICAL BILL - BC/BS Medicare has me covered!

25. Handymen's transports: VANS  - Ya gotta love this one!

27. Lemons: DUDS.

30. Like paper clips: BENT.

32. Valuable rocks: ORES and 
37. Lake in four states and Canada: ERIE - Two cwd stalwarts

34. First name in early exploring: LEIF - Christopher who?

38. Chinese ruler until 1912: EMPEROR - China's last EMPEROR was Pyui who was overthrown and Sun Yet-sen was installed as the provisional president of the new Republic Of China 

42. Facet: ASPECT.

43. Minor flaw: FOIBLE - All mine seem to be fairly major

45. Perfect season spoiler: LOSS - The New England Patriots went 18 - 1 in the 2007 season and their only loss was in the Super Bowl by this highly improbable finish!

48. Raspberry: JEER.

49. Multilingual assistant: SIRI - She demands precise language

51. Compete: VIE.

53. Parabolic path: ARC - The ARC of a home run Mickey Mantle hit in 1960 over the right field roof in Detroit. The landing spot was found and measured to be 643' and is listed by Guinness as the longest homer in MLB regular season history.

54. "Read Across America" org.: NEA - I see the next day for this National Education Association event  is Saturday, March 2, 2019 and I will mention that on my blog that day (If C.C. let's me keep blogging!)

55. Showstoppers?: ADS - For $9/month I get an incredible selection of options and no TV ADS with Netflix!

Now let's look to the future, not the past and carry on a conversation about C.C.'s offering today:

Note from C.C.:

Happy birthday to dear Jazzbumpa (Ron), our cool Wednesday guide. Ron never fails to entertain us with his humor and wits. He and I worked a few puzzles in the past, and I know how much time and attention he gave to each clue, always trying to amuse and tickle.