Sep 20, 2019

Friday, September 20, 2019, Kathy Wienberg and Lewis Rothlein

Title: Your serve, it is AD OUT.

A new pairing of constructors brings us a different variation on the remove letters theme. I wonder if Kathy and Lewis got together after a crossword tournament encounter? We have a take out two letter theme to allow for an amusing result, clued appropriately. I believe AD has been used before as the basic Bigram of constructors, but no example comes to mind. Of course, my mind has a mind of its own.

While this appears to be a first-time collaboration, it seems to be a seamless effort. Humor and variety. It has some sparkle with

Time for the theme.

20A. What included a top hat, for Lincoln?: GETTYSBURG ADDRESS. (15). At 6' 4" tall, Abe made quite the impression at a time when people were shorter.

26A. Unvarnished inventions?: BARE NAKED LADIES (13). It is all lies, but you should get to know this entertaining Canadian group. LINK.

43. Citi Field catcalls?: FLUSHING MEADOWS (13). I love the kitty reference, and the Mets still haven't been the same since they moved into the new park.

53A. Joe-induced speaking clarity?: CAFFEINE ADDICTION.(15). Why is coffee called JOE?
The reveal:
47D. Ubiquitous YouTube button ... and a hint to four long Across answers: SKIP AD. Now it is time to skip to the puzzle.


1. "... harmony in the motion and magnitude of the __ ... ": Copernicus: ORBS. While Copernicus wrote extensively about orbs and the planets moving around the sun, I believe it was Kepler to whom the quote should be attributed.

5. Out, perhaps: A BED. He got home and he was out like a light.

9. Maintain: CLAIM. I maintain that I am unique in every way.

14. Stable newborn: FOAL. A baby horsie. Though they often aren't that stable in the stable. LINK.

15. Particle in a beam: MOTE. There is so much more to this than I knew - a game Destiny and reading from the Christian Bible as well as what I thought.

16. Lifetime parent: A AND E. One of the most confused and confusing networks. LINK.

17. Asian tourist city: AGRA. Home of the Taj Mahal.

18. Initial game payment: ANTE. Payment is a stretch but it is Friday.

19. Lengthy sentence: RUNON. I love RUNON sentences as has often been pointed out here at the blog both my detractors and my fans who are so kind.

23. Prohibition __: ERA.

24. Support gp. founded under FDR: USO. While the UNITED SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS primarily bring to mind Bob Hope, they are so much more.

25. Like Yosemite's El Capitan: SHEER.

31. P&L report column: YTD. Year To Date.

32. Symbol of ease: PIE.

33. Part of a baby's repertoire: COO. This verb is from 1660s, "to utter a low, plaintive, murmuring sound," echoic of doves. Compare, in the same sense, Danish kurre, German girren; also Hindi kuku "the cooing of a dove."

34. Stops lying?: RISES. Great misdirection.

37. One often stands alone in a split: PIN. A quick CSO to Boomer and TTP and a reminder of the unknown to me -PIN OAK.

38. Devote, as time: SPEND.

40. Gp. inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017: ELO.

41. They're often seen on trees: KIN. Hah hah - family trees, not Pin Oaks.

42. Disposed of: ATE.

48. "The Night They Invented Champagne" composer: LOEWE.
A classic movie and SONG.

49. Mentalist Geller: URI.

50. Sch. in Manhattan: KSU. Kansas State University is on the way to Denver.

57. Get around: AVOID.

58. Food stamp?: USDA.

59. 67, for Beethoven's Fifth: OPUS.

60. Invisible turnout?: NOONE.

61. Unlikely: TALL.

62. Olive Oyl's mother: NANA.

63. Wound up: ENDED.

64. Goes after: SUES. Meh.

65. Go around in circles?: EDDY. Whirlpool.


1. 18 or 21, typically: OF AGE.

2. Court rival of Rafael: ROGER. Nadal and Federer.

3. Bill for shots: BARTAB. Not inoculation.

4. Picket fence piece: SLAT.

5. Assembled: AMASSED.

6. Small chocolate-covered candy: BONBON.  This is what I see

7. Classic accusation: ET TU. Brute.

8. Moccasin leather: DEERSKIN.

9. Asked for ID: CARDED.

10. Victory wreath: LAUREL. I hope it is a Hardy one.

11. Lestat de Lioncourt creator: ANNE RICE. It started here...

12. Promises at the altar: I DOS.

13. YMCA part: MENS.

21. Mongolian tents: YURTS.

22. Butter used to deep-fry samosas:  GHEE. Ghee is a form of highly-clarified butter that is traditionally used in Asian cooking. Like butter, ghee is typically made from cow's milk.

27. Agreement word: AYE. We all missed yesterday's talk like a Pirate Day.

28. Mimicry: APING.

29. Geological time span: EON.

30. Scandinavian roofing material: SOD.

34. Whistle-blower: REF. Cute.

35. Down with the flu: ILL.

36. Deep South cuisine: SOUL FOOD.

37. Pesto ingredients: PINE NUTS. Today is the anniversary of my mother's birth so here is a story. When I bought first house in Gainesville, we had many pine trees and I had learned about the sweet nut inside the pinecones. My mother tasted some and had an immediate anaphylactic reaction. Sorry, Mother Dnaveear.

38. Poker-faced: STOIC.

39. Nave seat: PEW. You find them in the main part of the interior of a church.

41. New Zealand bird: KIWI.

42. Reception aids: AERIALS. I gave up cable and now use an HD antenna.

44. 1959 Fiestas hit: SO FINE. I hope you like it.

45. Followed: HEEDED.

46. Confused mess: MUDDLE. This is late Middle English (in the sense ‘wallow in mud’)

51. Squeak or creak: SOUND. Rhyme time.

52. Take back: UNSAY.

53. Prop for Chaplin: CANE.

54. The Bard's river: AVON. Finally, our Shakespeare!

55. Biblical hunter: ESAU. Jacob was a farmer, Esau a hunter.

56. Atmosphere: TONE.

I am worn out with all the music links I have followed. Hope you had a good time and welcome autumn. Also, I am dedicating this write up to my mother, may she rest in peace. Thank  you, Kathy and Lewis, see you again.

Sep 19, 2019

Thursday, September 19th 2019 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: Squeaky Clean - who's washing your dishes?

17A. Tall display of dishwashing liquid?: IVORY TOWER.

27A. Global donation of dishwashing liquid?: JOY TO THE WORLD.

42A. Rock band's preferred dishwashing liquid?: DAWN OF THE DEAD. The Grateful Dead.

57A. Using dishwashing liquid in the shower?: SUN-BATHING.

A quiet sashay down Aisle 11 in the grocery store and dish washing options galore. I use Palmolive, so I was not represented here. Simple enough theme, but nicely done. As always, Jeffrey pays attention to the fill and makes sure there's nothing clunky to make you wince. Some nice longer downs as always - Jeffrey and C.C seem to be masters at that aspect of construction.


1. Barista's concoction: BLEND. I started on the wrong foot here with LATTE, and I still think it's a more appropriate answer to the clue. Baristas don't blend the coffee, they brew whatever beans are blended for them.

6. Domino dots: PIPS.

10. Rotating rod: SPIT. Barbecue! Food!

14. Construction rod: REBAR.

15. Square __: ROOT.

16. Skirt with a flounce: TUTU.

19. MiG developer: USSR. In an oddly non-Soviet personal recognition move, in 1939 the USSR named the MiG fighter airplane for its developers - Artem Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich.

20. Wee: TINY.

21. Soy sauce taste: UMAMI. The fifth "taste" - salt, sweet, sour, bitter and umami - savory or meaty. When I need an umami "bomb" to season a casserole, for example, I go with a mixture of soy sauce, anchovy paste and Marmite.

22. Sleuth of radio, movies and TV: CHAN. Jackie.

23. Sitcom star from Melmac: ALF. Crosses all the way, this series passed me by.

25. Sticker: DECAL.

32. Set in a golf bag: IRONS. Arnold Palmer was once asked what he did if he was caught in a lightning storm when he was out on the golf course. He responded "I walk down the fairway and hold a one-iron high in the air". When asked if that was wise, he told the interviewer "Yes, even God can't hit a one-iron".

34. TV exec Arledge: ROONE. Head of ABC Sports and later ABC News.

35. Barcelona bear: OSO.

36. Short dog, for short: PEKE.

37. Or so: ABOUT.

38. 1956 crisis site: SUEZ. A kerfuffle over a canal.

39. Chest-beating beast: APE.

40. Darts: FLITS.

41. Slow, to Ravel: LENTE. Here's a great excuse to revisit one of the great performances in Ice Dance from 1984 - Jayne Torville and Christopher Dean interpret Ravel's Bolero. The dance won them the Gold medal at both the 1984 Olympic Games and the World Championships.

45. "Supergirl" actor Jon: CRYER. He's most famous, I think, for his role in "Two and a Half Men".

46. It can be thin but not fat: AIR.

47. Glance through: SKIM.

48. Goaded, with "on": EGGED.

52. Seed used in smoothies: CHIA. Do the pets get smoothied too?

56. "O brawling love! O loving __!": Romeo: HATE. A tad conflicted, was our boy Romeo:

“Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate!
O any thing, of nothing first create!
O heavy lightness, serious vanity,
Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms,
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health,
Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!
This love feel I, that feel no love in this.”

59. "__ that a lot": I GET.

60. One likely to snap: CRAB. I've just finished the latest season of "Deadliest Catch". Those king crab are snappy little buggers, steer well clear.

61. Spree: BINGE.

62. Like everything in a she shed: HERS. Is a "she shed" really a thing? I've only encountered the expression on a rather lame insurance company commercial.

63. Ballpark figure: OUTS.

64. Aconcagua's range: ANDES. 22,841 feet and the highest mountain outside Asia.


1. Pram pusher: BRIT. A baby carriage, more formally a "perambulator".

2. Son of Leah: LEVI.

3. Black, to a bard: EBON.

4. Zero, quaintly: NARY A ONE.

5. Martini specification: DRY. The only way, in my book. Ice, gin (NOT vodka!). Shaken. Glass. Twist. Drink.

6. Dance with a queen: PROM. Nice clue, it took a while for me to see this.

7. Captain Kirk's home state: IOWA. We learn something every day.

8. Common greeting card content: POEM.

9. Far from soothing: STRIDENT.

10. Masonry finish: STUCCO.

11. Bully: PUSH AROUND.

12. "Everything's ready to go!": IT'S ALL SET!

13. Chance at the spinner: TURN. Wheel of Fortune? There are some grand "Wheel" bloopers, some of which are not fit for a family publication. I'll leave it at that.

18. Clump of dune grass: TUFT.

24. Fleur-de-__: LYS. Finally - I got my LIS/LYS mojo. Nailed it!

26. Baa ma: EWE.

27. One whose work is laughable: JOKE WRITER.

28. Heavenly path: ORBIT.

29. Gear bit: TOOTH.

30. Word with hot or dog: HOUSE.

31. Zonk out: DOZE.

32. Tablet with Air, Pro and Mini models: IPAD.

33. Update the look of, as a product: REPACKAGE.

37. Like some bistros: AL FRESCO.

38. 1957 Coasters chart-topper with the refrain "Gonna find her": SEARCHIN'. Crosses, but solid. No real problem.

40. Opponent: FOE.

41. Fragrant chain: LEI.

43. MLB team with Mr. and Mrs. mascots: N.Y. METS. Crosses, but solid. I think this might be the refrain of the day for me.

44. Duchamp genre: DADA. Marcel Duchamp and Salvador Dalí play chess:

47. __ Tzu: SHIH.

49. Trusted advisor: GURU.

50. Pesky bug: GNAT.

51. Goes back: EBBS.

53. Rear: HIND.

54. "Picnic" playwright: INGE. Crosses, but solid, here we go again. A 1953 play by William Inge which, I suspect, would be long forgotten except it was the Broadway debut for Paul Newman.

55. Forever: AGES.

58. Placeholder abbr.: T.B.A. To Be Advised.

I'm going to give the rest of this blog over to the cryptic puzzle which appeared in the UK's Guardian broadsheet last Thursday while I was in the UK - the top and bottom rows spell out a quite forthright political opinion. I encourage you to read the resulting article and click the interview with the constructor, who is also a heart surgeon. (Puzzles in the Guardian and Telegraph are published under a pseudonym, the Times puzzles are published anonymously).

And now here's the grid in all its glory:


Sep 18, 2019

Wednesday September 18, 2019, Peter A. Collins

Theme:  AT ANY RATE. Each theme answer is the name of a hit song, the first word of which can be used to rate quality.

18. #1 hit for Jerry Lee Lewis: GREAT BALLS OF FIRE. Released in 1957, and also a 1989 film.

28. #1 hit for the Beach Boys: GOOD VIBRATIONS.

49. #1 hit for Johnny Rivers: POOR SIDE OF TOWN.
64. #1 hit for Jim Croce: BAD BAD LEROY BROWN.

Melissa here. I'm impressed with this GREAT theme - two grid-spanners and two near-grid spanners, and ALL hit songs. I wonder which was the seed - perhaps Peter A. Collins will pop in and enlighten us.


1. Starbucks orders, casually: JAVAS. Java is often used interchangeably with "coffee," although technically, it refers to arabica coffee beans of plants grown in Java, Indonesia that produce a usually full-bodied coffee of low to medium acidity. Now you know.

6. Carnival staples: RIDES. The first thing that popped into my head was cotton candy, so I was looking for some kind of food treat.

11. Chance: SHOT. Take one.

15. Perform better than: OUTDO.

16. Scandal-plagued energy company: ENRON.

17. Witness' promise: OATH. "To witness that one sincerely intends to do what one says."

21. Squealed on the bad guys: SANG.

22. Oscar winner Kazan: ELIA. Kazan won directing Oscars for 1947's Gentleman's Agreement and On the Waterfront, the 1954 film that starred Marlon Brando, and a controversial Special Lifetime Achievement Oscar in 1999. There are lots of good movies about the Hollywood Blacklist.

23. Lemonlike fruit: CITRON.

24. Grocery chain with a red-and-white logo: IGA. Independent Grocers Alliance.

26. Like the Ninja Turtles: MUTANT.

33. Vornado product: FAN. Never heard of this brand - logo similar to above.

34. Landscaping tree: PIN OAK. See here.

35. Peter was the first one: POPE.

37. Application: USE.

38. Federal retirement org.: SSA. Social Security Administration.

39. Couple of million?: ELS. Two L's.

42. Farm food: HAY.

43. Justice __ Bader Ginsburg: RUTH. Appointed by President Clinton and took the OATH of office on August 10, 1993. Health update.

45. Get going: BESTIR. Not sure I've heard this word before - tricky,

48. Have bills: OWE.

53. "Let's get together": MEET ME.

54. Best-liked, briefly: FAV.

55. Kite carrier: BREEZE.

58. Italy's Villa d'__: ESTE. So pretty.

60. One of 12 on a die: EDGE. Another tricky one.

67. Brit's kitchen floor: LINO. British LINO is same as American LINOleum.

68. Abates: EASES.

69. Threw in: ADDED.

70. Dispatch, as a dragon: SLAY.

71. Oboist's supply: REEDS.

72. Hired thugs: GOONS.


1. Easy runs: JOGS.

2. General feeling: AURA.

3. Dodge Viper engine: V-TEN.

4. Slowly, in music: ADAGIO.

5. Drunkard: SOT.

6. Genuine: REAL.

7. Undecided: IN LIMBO. Interesting. The word is of Teutonic origin, meaning “border” or “anything joined on.”

8. Advice giver on SiriusXM Radio: DR. LAURA. Had no idea she was still on the air.

9. Canon camera named for a dawn goddess: EOS. Hm. Well ... Eos was a Titan goddess in Greek mythology, but the Canon EOS stands for Electro-Optical System.

10. Winter vehicle on treads: SNO CAT.

11. Convertible type: SOFT TOP.

12. Tiny margin of victory: HAIR. Haha.

13. Another, in España: OTRO.

14. "__ what?": THEN.

19. One of a pair of cartoon slackers: BEAVIS.

20. It's over in France: FINI.

25. National econ. stats: GDPS. Gross domestic products.

27. Grow fond of: TAKE TO.

28. Go from E to F?: GAS UP.

29. __ a customer: ONE TO.

30. "Soon": IN A BIT.

31. Emphatic word of refusal: NOHOW. Didn't realize this was one word.

32. What salmon do upstream: SPAWN.

33. Stole from a coat store?: FUR. Very clever. Shawl, wrap, stole, scarf - what's the difference?

36. __ contact: EYE.

40. River through Dublin: LIFFEY. Flows through Dublin.

41. Span. miss: SRTA. Señorita

44. Neighborhood pal, in slang: HOMEBOY.

46. Attorney general under Ronald Reagan: ED MEESE.

47. Blows one's stack: SEES RED.

50. Mohammad __ Pahlavi: last shah of Iran: REZA. Perped.

51. Farm contraption: SEEDER. Used to plant seeds for beans, cotton, rice, wheat, canola and many types of vegetables.

52. Engage in to excess: OVERDO.

55. OPEC units: BBLS. Barrels. One barrel equals 42 US gallons
One barrel equals 42 US gallons

Read more:
One barrel equals 42 US gallons

Read more:
One barrel equals 42 US gallons

Read more:

56. Mass transit option: RAIL.

57. Barry Humphries alter ego Dame __: EDNA. Australian comedian.

59. Mix, as salad: TOSS.

61. Extinct bird: DODO.

62. __ Stacy: Spider-Man love interest: GWEN.

63. They might be loose or tight: ENDS.

65. Ka __: southernmost Big Island point: LAE. The area is also known for its strong ocean currents and winds and is the home of a wind farm.

66. Purse: BAG.

Sep 17, 2019

Tuesday September 18, 2019 Evan Mahnken

Theme: EASY ON THE EYES. (33. Pleasing to look at ... or a phonetic hint to a two-letter sequence in 16-, 20-, 51- and 56-Across ) - Each theme entry contains EZ. (Edited later: Each Z is on top of letter I. Thanks, Anon and Mark S.)

16. Amazon founder: JEFF BEZOS.

20. Very focused, as an athlete: IN THE ZONE.
26. Voices one's view: OPINES.  We got a lot of OPINES from the last debate in Houston.
51. Expatriate American poet arrested for treason in 1945: EZRA POUND.
55. Had a smoke: LIT UP.  Not me for the last 18 years.  What does everyone think about these relatively new flavored Vapers?  We have had one death in Minnesota.

56. Aztec emperor: MONTEZUMA.

62. Dog food brand: IAMS.

Boomer here again. Tough last Sunday in the Minnesota world of sports.  After the Twins took two from Cleveland on Saturday they looked like the bad news bears on Sunday.  The Vikings looked careless and stupid at Lambeau Field on Sunday also. They were certainly not IN THE ZONE.


1. Activist Parks: ROSA.  Very famous lady.  I would not call her an activist though.  She was just sitting in the seat that she to which was entitled.

5. First bird to attack in "The Birds": GULL.  Seagulls are beautiful birds with white feathers and gray trim.  I seem to remember the Hitchcock birds were black like crows.

9. "¿Qué __?": PASA. What??

13. Overly neat, say: ANAL.  I decided not to touch this answer. And no photo. 

14. Irish New Ager: ENYA.

15. Deep sleep: SOPOR.

18. 2001 bankruptcy headliner: ENRON. I still have some Pinnacle golf balls with Enron logos.  I know I have mentioned it before. But the same answers keep coming up in these puzzles.

19. Corn serving: EAR.  I hear with my ear but get my corn out of a can.

22. "Of course!": AHA.

24. Some dadaist art: ARPS. Jean Arp or Hans Arp.

27. Scolds: BERATES.

29. Clear dirty dishes from: BUS. "Just hop on the bus, Gus, Make a new plan Stan.  There must be fifty ways to leave your lover."  (Paul Simon) 

30. HS promgoers: SRS.  Yup, I remember a senior being someone who is 17 or 18 years old.  Now I think you need to be over 62,

31. Tops of waves: CRESTS.  I have never tried surfing but I am amazed by those that can.

32. Small batteries: AAS.  We have been searching for 9 volts for our smoke detectors.  Not in stock or very expensive.  Next stop Target.

39. Bash into: RAM.  This is an LA Times Crossword.  Shouldn't the clue be "Player at the LA Memorial Coliseum on Sundays?"

40. Rapscallions: KNAVES.

42. Soak (up), as gravy: SOP.  Standard Operating Procedure.

45. Halves of qts.: PTS.  A field goal will get you three.

46. Look over again: RE-CHECK. I would usually double-check.

47. Like Goldilocks' first bowl of porridge: TOO HOT.  Yeah, I remember the story, but I am pretty sure that bears do not eat porridge.

49. Send to the canvas: KAYO.  Famous for Ali opponents.

50. Code-breaking org.: NSA.

53. Tiresome grind: RUT.  Named after an ugly road.

60. One-eyed "Futurama" character: LEELA.

61. Earnest request: PLEA.

63. LAX landing list: ARRS.  Arrivals.

64. Some 35mm cameras: SLRS.

65. Open-handed hit: SLAP.  Also a wild hockey shot.


1. Koothrappali on "The Big Bang Theory": RAJ.

2. Common bill: ONE.  George Washington got that one because he was President number one.

3. Low-crime part of town: SAFE AREA.

4. __ Romeo: sports car: ALFA.  You better have 40 to 80 grand lying around if you want to own one.

5. "Gosh!": GEE. Whiz!

6. Opens, as a parka: UNZIPS.

7. Rhone cathedral city: LYONS.  Sue Lyon was "Lolita" but I really enjoyed her with George C. Scott in "The Flim Flam Man".

8. At the back of the pack: LAST.

9. Swindler with a scheme named for him: PONZI. There were a lot of these going around in the eighties.  I think folks have wised up a bit now.  I was approached but I am not quite that stupid.

10. Cooks' wear: APRONS.  Yes but there is also one at the end of my driveway.

11. Earlier: SOONER. "Oh Oh Oh klahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plain."

12. "Gunsmoke" actor James: ARNESS.  Marshal Dillon was born in Minneapolis in 1923.

15. Leaks slowly: SEEPS.

17. Like an overtired child, perhaps: BRATTY.

21. One may be hidden under a welcome mat: HOUSE KEY.  I cannot believe that people do this.

22. "Grey's Anatomy" network: ABC.  I am old enough to remember when our choices were NBC and CBS.  ABC came along a bit later.

23. "__ goes nothing!": HERE.

25. Fall back on: RESORT TO.

28. Beast of burden: ASS.  I will also leave that answer alone.  Sorry.

29. Scroogean scoff: BAH. Humbug!!

32. 20s dispenser: ATM.  I have said this before.  In Las Vegas the ATMs dispense Benjamins.  Then you go back to the tables and turn them into 20s.

34. "Old Town Road" rapper Lil __ X: NAS.

35. Cry after a stunning performance: ENCORE.  When I performed solo in the Benilde H.S. Glee Club, no one ever "ENCORED" me.  But I did once bring the house town when I rode on the MTA at a parish in Crystal.  "Poor Old Charlie"

36. Slangy assent: YAH.  "She loves you Yah Yah Yah."  Beatles on Ed Sullivan's Show, circa 1963.

37. Happening later: EVENTUAL.

38. Moments, briefly: SECS.  60 of them equals a MIN.

41. Caribbean music: SKA.

42. __ Artois: Belgian beer: STELLA.  I have never liked beer. Lucky me. However my short hitch in Germany rated German beer as the worst.

43. More slimy: OOZIER.

44. Stout relative: PORTER.

45. Dad: POPPA.  This seems old.  I never heard anyone call their dad Poppa.

46. Original "SNL" cast member Gilda: RADNER.

48. Lugs: HAULS. I have three bowling balls and two pairs of shoes I lug into the bowling centers.

49. Small hill: KNOLL.

52. Baseball's "men in blue": UMPS. I am not able to understand why Joe West and Laz Dias are still holding this job,

54. Guns from Israel: UZIS. I know nothing about guns - Nor do I want to know.  Thank you.

57. Univ. aides: TAS.

58. UFC fighting style: MMA.

59. Egyptian snake: ASP.  She gets what she wants irregardless of price, Yeah did you see her ring that was some hunk of ice!  She has 30 minks that she's never worn twice, What kind of life is that?  Would you take that kind of life it it was offered to you?  You can bet Cleopatra's ASP you would.  (Chad Mitchell Trio).


Sep 16, 2019

Monday September 16, 2019 Paul Coulter

Theme: START OF PLAY (63. Opening kickoff, say, and what both parts of 17-, 30- and 47-Across can be) - Both words in each theme entry can precede PLAY.

17. Football non-passing offense: RUNNING GAME. Running play. Game play.

30. Get one more card for twice the bet, in blackjack: DOUBLE DOWN. Double play. Downplay.

47. Car engine measure: HORSE POWER. Horse play. Power play.

Boomer here.  Hello from the Land of 10,000 lakes. We had a deluge of rain last week but the good news is a return to summer today and all week. I will be hitting the golf links tomorrow but I am pretty busy bowling which ignores the weather. 170-191-214-575 last Thursday.  Maybe it's coming back.


1. Really big hit: SMASH.  "The game of life is hard to play".  It'S M*A*S*H

6. Numero uno, with "the": BEST. We have a "Best Buy" near our home. Not sure if it is a really Best Buy.  C.C. and I stopped in last week. I saw refrigerators priced at over $3500.00!

10. One always ready with quick comebacks: WIT.  So's your old man !

13. W.C. Fields persona: SOUSE. Sorry, I've heard of W.C. But I am not old enough to remember his antics.

14. Strand during a sleet storm, say: ICE IN.  Sleet is a bit of a mixture of rain and snow.  We don't see that much in MN.  We get only lots of snow.

16. Green prefix: ECO.

19. Fish eggs: ROE.  Does not appeal to me. I have heard that you can turn some of it into caviar with a little curing and salt. You can have it.  Earlier some kids in Edina MN pulled a 70 year old sturgeon (and about 7 feet long) out of a creek that was about 3 feet deep.  Not sure if it had ROE.

20. __ the table: arrange silverware and such: SET.  6 wins in a tennis match.

21. MBA or MFA: Abbr.: DEG.

22. Behind, or hit from behind: REAR END. My Van got whacked two years ago in St. Paul.  Amazing Abra found a perfect rear bumper assembly on their network and had it fixed in one day.

24. Farm song refrain: EIEIO.  "Old McDonald had a farm"  "And on this farm he had a hamburger, French fries, and a chocolate shake."

26. Hasenpfeffer, e.g.: STEW.

27. Open-and-__ case: SHUT.

34. 36-Across skunk Pepé: LE PEW.  Mel Blanc took leave of Bugs Bunny to be Pepé's voice.

36. Warner Bros. creation: TOON. Yes he is in Warner Brothers CARTOONS. Th Th That's All Folks!

37. Author Tolstoy: LEO.  Astrological sign. We left behind on August 23 I think.

38. European peak: ALP.  It's a big mountain but also an Electric Utility in Alexandria MN.

39. "Gosh, look at the time": IT'S LATE. "You better get on home"  (Ricky Nelson)

42. Sundial seven: VII.  How do they tell time with these things above the Arctic Circle??

43. You, to Goethe: SIE.

44. "Peter Pan" dog: NANA.

45. Sediment: DREGS.

51. Arthur of tennis: ASHE.  I was never much of a tennis fan, but this man was the Tiger Woods of tennis.  The first and only African-American to win a bunch of titles and awards in his chosen sport.  Sadly passed away at age 49,  RIP Mr. Ashe.

52. "Unforgettable" singer: COLE.  His real name was Nat Adams Coles.  But to me he was a King!

53. Peter, Paul or Mary: SAINT.  I get it but I do like their music.  Especially "Right Field".

55. Philosophy school with no classes?: MARXISM.

58. Biol. or geol.: SCI.

59. "Bingo!": AHA.

62. Australian bird: EMU.  Electrical and Mechanics Union.

66. Sailor's "Help!": SOS. Dot Dot Dot  Dash Dash Dash Dot Dot Dot.  Thank you Mr. Morse.

67. Woodsy path: TRAIL.  "Happy Trails to You."  Roy Rogers.

68. Deed: TITLE.  I remember that "Title Deed" was printed on all of the Monopoly property cards.  Thank you Parker Brothers.

69. Gallery hangings: ART.  Paul's pal, Mr. Garfunkel.

70. Bldg. with a pool: YMCA.

71. "I Am of Ireland" poet: YEATS.


1. Lat. and Est., once: SSRS.  Super Seniors.  You have to be over 70 to bowl in the "Super Senior classification" in the Midwest Senior Classic tournaments. Now that I made the age, my bowling went over the hill. 

2. Grimace: MOUE.

3. Em, to Dorothy: AUNT.  "We're off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz".

4. Nine-digit ID: SSN.  I have had the same number for 60 years. Plus I think my card is 40 years old.

5. Alpine heroine: HEIDI.

6. Astros Hall of Famer Craig __: BIGGIO.  Played 19 years for the Astros. Inducted into Cooperstown in 2015.

7. Cardio readout: ECG.  I am going to assume that my heart is okay.  They check my BP and pulse when I go in but I don't remember getting a stethoscope treatment at all.

8. Blacken: SEAR. Add an "S" and a Roebuck and you have a failed retailer.

9. Schedule opening: TIME SLOT.

10. Human/canine shape-shifters: WEREWOLVES.  Minnesota Basketball team We are.

11. Screen symbol to click on: ICON.

12. Open-__ shoes: TOED.  I have a pair of Under Armors but I rarely wear them.  What if I dropped a bowling ball on my foot??

15. Tidied, as a room: NEATENED.

18. Require: NEED. "Do you NEED anybody"? (Beatles Sgt. Pepper's) They got by with a little help from their friends.

23. Cabernet color: RED.  Cincinnati baseball player.

24. Summer in Lyon: ETE.

25. Western bad guys: OUTLAWS. I kind of miss the old Spaghetti Westerns.

27. Cut drastically, as prices: SLASH.  "Black Friday" is less than two months away, BUT the best deals usually come around December 23.

28. Prefix for "sun": HELIO.

29. Elite group: UPPER CRUST.  My favorite is "No Upper Crust"  Pumpkin Pie.  On the day before Black Friday.

31. Fancy neckwear: BOA.  A big snake.

32. Mull over: WEIGH.  Oh, that's the first think the clinic does before the BP and pulse.  I am at 184 but my old 38" waist pants are too big, but I have trouble fitting into 36.  Why don't the pants guys make a 37" waist.  Or is that just in the upscale Men's wear that charges $5.00 per inch??

33. Bam, bang or boom: NOISE.

35. Sommelier's menu: WINE LIST.

40. Complex woven textile: TAPESTRY.  "Season's change with the scenery, weaving time in a TAPESTRY, won't you stop and remember me?"  (Simon and Garfunkel)

41. __-Caps: candy: SNO.  Last week it was mountains.

46. Backstabber: RAT.

48. Fenway team, familiarly: SOX. Also a team at Guaranteed Rate Field. South side of the Windy City.

49. SoCal Latinx neighborhood: EAST LA.

50. Puerto __: RICO. I'm sure we all are relieved that Dorian missed that poor island.

54. Really cool: NIFTY.

55. Big butte: MESA.  Butte is a city in Montana.  Mesa is in Arizona.

56. Love, in Lima: AMOR.

57. Hat-tipper's word of address: MAAM.

59. Opposite of baja: ALTA.

60. "Stop right there!": HALT.  Gimme your Dough.

61. Shipboard yeses: AYES.  I still maintain these are "AYE AYES".

64. Rocker Ocasek: RIC.

65. Dessert pastry: PIE. I used to work at a restaurant named after Matt Perkins.  They served decent food and excellent desserts.  Many of them are closing around here. Do you have one where you live?  They still advertise on TV.


Sep 15, 2019

Sunday September 15, 2019 Pam Amick Klawitter

Theme: "It's a Plus" - Six Greek letters (ETA, CHI, PHI, TAU, PSI & RHO) form six plus signs (crosses) in this puzzle. - I'll just list the long theme entries as they all span across various words. But as you can see from the Answer Grid, more theme entries are involved. This grid is very demanding.

22A. Wall Street threat: HOSTILE TAKEOVER.
47A. "Way to go!": HIP HIP HOORAY.
86A. Puts an early stop to: NIPS IN THE BUD.

115A. Buttery Boston bread: PARKER HOUSE ROLL.

14D. Preemptive action, proverbially: A STITCH IN TIME.

53D. Popular charity event: SILENT AUCTION.
65. With 67-Across, what appears in each set of circles: GREEK.

67. See 65-Across: CROSS.

Such a creative theme. As I said earlier, this grid is very challenging to fill due to the three Across & three Down theme material. Pam have little maneuver room.

1. Roadie's burden: AMP.

4. It isn't meant to be taken seriously: FARCE.

9. Fateful day for Caesar: IDES.

13. Control: TAME.

17. Like Richard of Almanack fame: POOR.

19. Schools of thought: IDEOLOGIES. 26. Amber and silver: ALERTS. Both parts of the ETA crossing.

21. "Carmen on Ice" Emmy sharer Brian: ORSER.

24. With 98-Down, Broadway's first Evita: PATTI. 98. See 24-Across: LUPONE.

25. Sharply focused: INTENT.

27. Emmy winner for 1997's "George Wallace": SINISE. Unaware of the film. He'll always be Lieutenant Dan to me.

28. Brutus' 551: DLI.

29. What gym members try to get in: SHAPE.

31. Medical screening tool: TB TEST.

33. Occupy, as a bar: SIT AT.

35. Overseas seas: MERS.

37. Source of sticker shock?: THORN. Stick-er.

39. Some window units: ACS. And 73. Freeze over: ICE UP.

41. Sandal feature: T STRAP. A few other letter openers: 45. Program blocker: V CHIP. 50. Rock memoir: I TINA. 108. F equivalent: E SHARP.

43. Google __: CHROME.

51. "Oh, and another thing," on a ltr.: PPS.

54. Market section: DAIRY.

55. Idaho exports: RUSSETS. Boomer makes terrific potato salad. The key is the Spin Blend, which is only available at Walmart in our area.

57. Its "C" once stood for "cash": NCR.

58. Crop up: ARISE.

60. Match play?: ARSON. Nice clue.

62. Spoke from memory: RECITED.

64. Corn Belt sight: SILO.

70. Spanish painter who influenced Pollock: MIRO.

71. Ballet need: TOE SHOE.

75. Red Sea nation: YEMEN.

76. South end?: ERN. Southern.

77. Dangerfield's "There goes the neighborhood," e.g.: EPITAPH.

80. Refuse: SAY NO.

83. RNs' workplaces: ERS.

84. Soda purchase: LITER.

89. Rusty with a bat: STAUB. Wiki says "He was the only major league player to have 500 hits with four different team."

90. Retro photos: SEPIAS.

91. Mercedes subcompact: A CLASS.

94. "No prob": YUP.

95. Word in a White House title: FIRST. Oh, OK. First Lady.

96. Leatherwork tools: AWLS.

99. Exams for future 88-Downs: LSATS. And 88. See 99-Across: DAS.

101. Winter driving aids: CHAINS.  Followed by 103. They're driven: AUTOS.

105. Collar wearer, often: PET.

106. Celebrate an anniversary, say: EAT OUT. Boomer and I will be celebrating our 20-year anniversary next May.

112. Take-home: NET PAY.

114. Drum major's move: TWIRL.

118. Sci-fi figure: DROID.

119. "Agnes Grey" novelist: ANNE BRONTE. Involved in the RHO crossing.

120. Galleria filler: ARTE.

121. Match: SYNC.

122. De-grayed?: DYED. I like this clue also.

123. Hard rain?: SLEET.

124. Astonished cries: OHS.


1. Ladybug snacks: APHIDS.

2. Like a romantic evening: MOONLIT. Last Thursday was the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. People all ate mooncakes. Chinese myth says that there's lady lives in the moon. Her picture is often on the mooncake tin, which often contains four mooncakes.

3. Sticky-edged squares: POST-ITS.

4. Gunk and grime: FILTH.

5. Gator follower?: ADE.Gatorade.

6. Wrap again, as an ankle: RE-TAPE.

7. Fossil fuel freighter: COALER.

8. Paul's "The Prize" co-star: ELKE. Sommer.

9. "__ that": "On me": I GOT.

10. League parts: Abbr.: DIVS.

11. Shoe box spec: EEE.

12. Armenia, once: Abbr.: SSR.

13. Do, as business: TRANSACT.

15. Team with a skyline in its logo: METS.

16. Buffalo's county: ERIE.

18. GPS suggestion: RTE.

20. Anthem contraction: OER.

21. TV kid in Miss Crump's class: OPIE.

23. Good way to take things: IN STRIDE.

27. RR map dot: STN.

30. Theater opening?: AMPHI. Amphitheater. Hahtoolah is in Sicily right now. She just sent me this Greek theater pic. Hello, ODEON!

31. Maier with a swimwear label: TOMAS. No idea. Wiki says that "From 2001 to 2018, he served as Creative Director at Italian luxury lifestyle brand Bottega Veneta".

32. Maker of CarbSmart ice cream bars: BREYERS.

34. Part of NCAA: Abbr.: ATH. And 36. Part of the NCAA: Abbr.: SCH.

37. Whip: TROUNCE.

38. __ d'oeuvres: HORS.

40. More genuine: SINCERER.

42. Org. for shrinks: APA.

44. Prefix with scope: HORO.

45. Tom Cullen's title on "Downton Abbey": Abbr.: VISC. OK, Viscount.

46. Excuses: PARDONS.

48. Wrath, in a hymn: IRAE.

49. Ceremonial pile: PYRE.

51. Muted colors: PASTELS.

52. Job that takes precedence: PRIORITY.

56. Parisian possessive: TES. Your.

59. "Mamma Mia!" song: SOS. Here is the song most Chinese are familiar with. I was unaware that it was a copy of their "Gimme Gimme Gimme" until a few months ago. That singer was so popular when I was young.

61. Decides not to go: SKIPS IT.

63. "__ Mine": George Harrison book: I ME.

65. Red letters?: GOP. We're a solid blue state.

66. Checks: REINS IN.

68. Sign of neglect: RUST.

69. Deep-water beauty: OPAH.

72. Kitchen additive: HERB.

74. Novelty "pet": CHIA.

75. "Just wait ... ": YOU'LL SEE. Great fill.

78. Levels: TIERS.

79. iPhone downloads: APPS.

81. Bakers get a rise out of it: YEAST.

82. "Manifest" airer: NBC.

85. Over the moon: EUPHORIC.

87. CIA relative: NSA.

92. Largest city on the island of Hokkaido: SAPPORO. Known for their ramen. 

93. Cat burglar's asset: STEALTH.

95. Tailor's concern: FIT.

97. Pop artist from Pittsburgh: WARHOL.

100. Individual manners: STYLES.

102. "__ Lang Syne": AULD.

104. When it all started: ONSET.

106. LAX postings: ETDS. 109. LAX posting: SKED. Schedule. Also 111. LAX postings: ARRS.

107. Off the mark: AWRY.

108. Shore bird: ERNE.

110. Right-to-left lang.: HEB. Hebrew. Traditional Chinese is read from right to left also.

113. __-la-la: TRA.

115. Increase fraudulently: PAD.

116. "__ luck?": ANY.

117. Sporty ride, for short: UTE.

Here are a few more pictures from Hahtoolah. The place is Taormina, Sicily. What's that tree behind her? I see some fruit.