Jan 31, 2019

Thursday, January 31st 2019 Ed Sessa

Theme: Snow Day - the theme comes from the poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening":

19A. With 63-Across, ending lines of a poem by 72-Across: AND MILES TO GO

63A. See 19-Across: BEFORE I SLEEP

and the unifier:

72A. Poet who used the starts of 24-, 41- and 55-Across to describe the woods: FROST. Robert Frost, of course. The anniversary of his death was on Tuesday, I wonder if that had anything to do with the puzzle appearing this week?

This then kicks off a new set of theme answers:

24A. Alice Sebold novel, with "The": LOVELY BONES

41A. Harmful spells, in the Potterverse: DARK ARTS

55A. Really cool place?: DEEP FREEZER

Slick puzzle from Mr. Sessa. I was impressed with how the reveal of the author's name sent you back to look at the three seemingly-unrelated entries.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.

You might also have noticed that the grid is stretched to 16x15 to accommodate the 12-letter theme entries at 19A & 63A.

There's a couple of nice long downs to tie this all together. I enjoyed the solve today; I couldn't recall the final lines of the poem and so had to unpick those entries letter-by-letter. Let's see what else we can find:


1. Word that appears four times in a 1963 film title: MAD. It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. If I listed the stars credited, I'd be here until Christmas. There's a lot.

4. Roof tiles: SLATES

10. Deadens, as a piano string: DAMPS

15. Media agcy.: U.P.I. United Press International, UNIPRESS in the days of reporting news via telegram.

16. Roadster in the Henry Ford Museum: MODEL A. The museum is wonderful, I had the opportunity to visit a few years ago when I was doing some business with Ford in Dearborn. My rental car on that trip was a fire-engine red VW Jetta. I was actually embarrassed when I drove onto the parking lot - my highly-visible car was the only non-Ford or Lincoln to be seen for miles.

17. How sardines are packed: IN OIL I prefer them packed in brine, the fish is oily enough already.

18. Mythical bird: ROC

21. Hydrocarbon group: ALKYL. The "Y" almost had me stumped, I could not for the life of me remember the crossing "YEGG". I stared it down in the end with an alphabet run.

23. 1995-2006 New York governor George: PATAKI

27. The W in kWh: WATT. Kilowatt Hours.

31. Athlete's peak performance: A GAME

32. Wines and dines: REGALES. I didn't associate this at all. I'd use "regale" to describe telling an entertaining story. I didn't know the alternative definition.

34. Thrill: BANG

36. Credits list: CAST

39. Place for spectacles: ARENA

40. __ Navy: discount retailer: OLD

44. Gen-__: X'ER. Roughly speaking, born from the mid-60's thru the 70's between the boomers and the millennials.

45. Like universal blood donors: O TYPE. Shouldn't it be TYPE O? You don't have an "A Model" Ford or a "Type E" Jaguar. Just sayin'

47. Nantes notion: IDÉE. French.

48. Drill parts: BITS

49. Symbolized: TOKENED. This is my clunker of the day.

52. Roof features: EAVES

54. WWI battle river: YSER

60. "Indubitably!": IT IS SO!

62. Hot pot spot: STOVE

68. __ Van Winkle: RIP

69. Tolkien ringbearer: FRODO. All Sam Gamgee seemed to say in the movies was "Mr. Frodo! Mr. Frodo!" It got a little wearisome.

70. Tell: RELATE

71. Sheep's call: BAA

73. Old-Timers' Day VIP: EX STAR. Hmmm. Not convinced by this one either.

74. Unspecified amount: ANY


1. Diego Rivera creation: MURAL. According to Wikipedia, his full name is Diego María de la Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodríguez. Not sure quite how accurate that is, but I'm repeating what I read. Amazing artist.

2. Speed skater Ohno: APOLO

3. "Mary Poppins" and "Mary Poppins Returns" actor: DICK VAN DYKE. I wonder if his cockney accent has improved in the new movie? It was pretty shocking in the original.

4. Component of the "at" sign: SMALL "A"

5. Chaney of horror: LON

6. Toss in: ADD

7. Beat: TEMPO

8. Cuban boy in 2000 headlines: ELIAN

9. One curing meat: SALTER. When I've got my salting boots on, I use Prague Powder #1, aka "pink salt". Pastrami and Irish bacon. Yum!

10. Saucer, e.g.: DISK. I went for DISH at first, which made a very odd-looking NYC mayor at 23-across.

11. Like many '60s-'70s protests: ANTI-WAR

12. __ juice: MOO. Cow's milk.

13. Trough guy: PIG. Very nice clue

14. Road sign caution: SLO. SLO - MISSING "W" AHEAD.

20. Move gently: EASE

22. Safecracker: YEGG. With the Y cross in ALKYL, came close to foxing me.

25. Initial disco hit?: Y.M.C.A.

26. Smokey, for one: BEAR

28. 1964 Anthony Quinn role: ALEXIS ZORBA. Here's a nice rendition of the famous dance, unsuccessfully attempted by Greek taverna-tourists ever since. It seems to be a law in tourist towns in Greece that the taverna plays this at least twice a night.

29. Religious belief: TENET

30. Dynasts of old Russia: TSARS. TS or CZ? Wait for a cross.

33. What H, O or N may represent: GAS. Hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen.

34. Pirate riches: BOOTY

35. Choir group: ALTOS

37. __ lift: SKI

38. Tiny bit: TAD

41. Lair: DEN

42. Great Barrier __: REEF. You might as well print the letters with the grid for this one. The same might be said for SKI LIFT too.

43. Hot streak: TEAR

46. Stretches: PERIODS

48. Sweet root: BEET. Sweet? I'd call them more peppery than sweet.

50. Actress Falco: EDIE

51. Itch: DESIRE

53. Evening star: VESPER. The planet Venus when it appears in the evening sky. The Romans named the morning incarnation of Venus as "Lucifer" even though they recognized it was the same celestial body. The Vesper is also the cocktail that James Bond orders "shaken, not stirred". Gin, vodka and Kina Lillet.

56. Southend-on-Sea's county: ESSEX. Easy for me, probably not for the majority of you. Dick Van Dyke's cockney character would call it "Sarf-end"

57. Focus group surveys: POLLS

58. Water brand: EVIAN

59. Give back: REPAY

61. Harness race pace: TROT

63. Fave pal: BFF. Bestie or"Best Friend Forever".

64. Be in the wrong: ERR

65. Egg __ yung: FOO. Foo! I mean Food!

66. "Mangia!": EAT!

67. Zeta follower: ETA. The initial reaction is that zeta is the last letter in the Greek alphabet, but it's not by a long way - a long way from omega.

With that, stick a fork in me, I'm done. Here's the grid:


Jan 30, 2019

Wednesday, January 30, Doug Peterson

Theme: Break Wind. The last word of each theme answer can precede "wind."

17. Blink of an eye: SPLIT SECOND. Second wind.

24. "The Life of Pablo" hip-hop artist: KANYE WEST. West wind.

38. Comb and scissors, to a stylist: TOOLS OF THE TRADE. Tradewind.

50. Tucked-in clothing part: SHIRT TAIL. Tailwind.

62. Musical ensemble ... or what the ends of 17-, 24-, 38- and 50-Across comprise: WIND QUARTET.

Melissa here.  Good morning, we made it to mid-week, greeted by another clever Doug Peterson puzzle.


1. Arrangement holder: VASE.

5. Pursues with bloodhounds: TRACKS.

11. Pampering, briefly: TLC. Tender loving care.

14. Mideast airline: ELAL.

15. Ace, in poker: BULLET. From Making a bet in poker is often called "firing a bullet." Firing two bullets (leading on the flop and turn) when bluffing is a move that successful players make, but it is something that should only be done occasionally.

16. That lady: HER.

19. Poison __: villain in Batman comics: IVY.

20. Tip of a wingtip: TOE CAP

 21. Oprah's channel: OWN.

22. Quick cut: SNIP.

23. Former Soviet orbiter: MIR.

26. Half-brush partner: DUSTPAN.

29. Old AT&T rival: GTE.

30. '60s pigskin org.: AFL.

31. Grows faint: DIMS.

34. Hank with 755 homers: AARON.

42. Sean of "Stranger Things": ASTIN.

43. In any way: EVER.

44. Bakery order: PIE.

45. Aunt, in Andalusia: TIA. Andalusia is in southern Spain.

47. Flat-lying volcanic flow: LAVA BED.

55. __ heartbeat: IN A.

56. Formally surrender: CEDE.

57. Did some laps: RAN.

58. Put into gear?: CLOTHE. All perps.

61. Liquid in a drum: OIL.

64. Lyrical tribute: ODE.

65. Periodic reviews: AUDITS.

66. "M*A*S*H" star: ALDA. Hawkeye, ordering a martini:

67. "Deck the Halls" contraction: TIS.

68. Inky goofs: SMEARS.

69. Set in a purse: KEYS. Sneaky.


1. Suit piece: VEST.

2. Gravy Cravers pet food brand: ALPO. I saw Gary Cravers and couldn't figure out who he was and why he had his own pet food brand.

3. Stephen King novel featuring vampires: SALEM'S LOT.

4. Draw forth: ELICIT.

5. Butter amt.: TBSP.

6. Kick oneself for: RUE.

7. Major maker of can material: ALCOA.

8. Rodeo __: CLOWN.

9. Saxophonist with 17 Grammy nominations: KENNY G.

10. Normal: Abbr.: STD. Standard.

11. Your, old-style: THINE.

12. Wranglers competitor: LEVIS.

13. Chamber in a vampire movie: CRYPT.

18. Pool protector: TARP.

22. Get bleeped, maybe: SWEAR.

24. Item in a kitchen block: KNIFE.

25. Coup d'__: ETAT. French origin, literally 'blow of state.'

26. Pollster's collection: DATA.

27. Aerial enigmas: UFOS.

28. Hurly-burly: ADO. Oscar Hammerstein's lyric for the song "Honey Bun" in South Pacific: "Her curls are hurly-burly." 

32. "Total Request Live" network: MTV.

33. Seaside souvenir: SHELL. It is increasingly common to see rules against collecting shells, due to "unintended environmental repercussions."

35. Competition where rhymes are exchanged: RAP BATTLE.

36. Garfield housemate: ODIE.

37. Have to have: NEED.

39. Petrol purchase: LITRE.

40. Tizzy: SNIT.

41. Cy Young Award winner's stat: ERA.

46. Naturally lit courtyard: ATRIUM.

48. Home improvement guru Bob: VILA.

49. Fur-lined jacket: ANORAK. Also, according to Wikipedia, "British slang which refers to a person who has a very strong interest, perhaps obsessive, in niche subjects."

50. Hurry along: SCOOT.

51. "America's Got Talent" judge Klum: HEIDI.

52. Lazes around: IDLES.

53. "Storage Wars" network: A AND E.

54. "The Jungle Book" setting: INDIA.

58. Get bleeped, maybe: CUSS.

59. Actress Lamarr: HEDY.

60. Flight sked info: ETAS.

62. "That __ close!": WAS.

63. NFL period: QTR. Quarter.

Jan 29, 2019

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 Frank Virzi

"Paper Cutter"

16. *Killjoy: PARTY POOPER.  A wet blanket.

20. *Face consequences for poor decisions: PAY THE PIPER.  More on that in the review.

34. *Furniture restorer's chemical: PAINT STRIPPER.   I've stripped more furniture than Carter has pills. 

50. *Airborne unit member: PARATROOPER.   All U.S. military paratroopers go to "Jump School" at Ft. Benning, GA. 

55. Stationery supply with a blade ... and a hint to the answers to starred clues: PAPER CUTTER.

BTW,  Frank created one of my favorite puzzles.  It's one that every Chicago Cubs fan should solve and frame for their man cave or diva den. 

Let's slice up today's puzzle and see what we got.


1. Tricky road curves: ESSES.

6. Too hasty: RASH.   The upshot of making a rash decision might be paying the piper, possibly leading to the following self criticism:
10. "Boy, am I dumb!": DUH.

13. Bowl over: SHOCK.  Technically, pins are inanimate objects, but Boomer shocks them and sends "ten in the pit" quite frequently.

14. Valpolicella wine brand: BOLLA.   Where's Chairman Moe when you need him ?   Selling wine of course.   I'll leave descriptions to the oenophiles.   Please chime in if you've tried this wine.

15. Suffix with project or percent: ILE.

18. Metro stop: Abbr.: STA.   There are 242 stations served by Metra in the Chicagoland area.

19. State south of Wash.: ORE.   I read the history of the Tucker Sno-Cat.   It is made in Medford,  Oregon.

22. Like Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial: SEATED.

24. Yom Kippur observers: ATONERS.

25. Italian wine hub: ASTI.   Another Italian wine reference from Frank.

26. South African golfer Ernie: ELS.   Nicknamed "The Big Easy" due to his physical size and fluid golf swing.   CSO to our own Big Easy here at the Corner who also loves golf.

28. Make a wool cap, say: KNIT.   Hello Madame !  Here's a link to William Safire's  The Fumbelrules of Grammar.    I had to look it up the other day after you mentioned it.

29. MLB exec Joe who was the Yankees' manager for 12 seasons: TORRE.   Joe Torre bio at

32. Wrangler's ropes: LASSOS.

37. Wild cards, maybe: DEUCES.

38. Arrive at: GET TO.

39. "At Last" singer James: ETTA.

40. Charged particle: ION.

41. Recipe amts.: TSPS.  Teaspoons. 

45. Polar expedition vehicles: SNO-CATS.
 "... Sir Vivian Fuchs’s 2,158-mile 1958 Trans-Antarctic expedition, a journey that constituted the first land crossing of Antarctica..."

48. '70s-'80s FBI sting: ABSCAM.   One U.S. Senator, five U.S. House Representatives, and five other state and local politicians paid the piper for accepting bribes in the undercover operation. 

53. Tijuana gold: ORO.

54. "__ little teapot ... ": I'M A.  short and stout.

57. Min. part: SEC.  Minute (short i, stress on the first syllable) or minute (long i, stress on the second syllable) is an example of a heteronym.  ie, same spelling, different pronunciation and meaning.    I think Rich employs heteronyms for misdirection and to amp up the difficulty of clues when editing, especially later in the week.   Do you recall the "Flower in la Seine" clue in C.C.s Sunday puzzle ?    Here's a RECKord of heteronyms to diLIBerATE

58. Companionless: ALONE.  Again, naturally.   Remember Biz Markie from the other day ?   The judgement that changed the hip hop recording industry

59. Quai d'Orsay's river: SEINE.  Whoa !   Thank you perps.    I learned that it's an area on the left bank of the Seine.   There's a street there with the same name that houses many French government offices.  Consequently,  the French use Quai d'Orsay to refer to the French government, similar to the English referring to Downing Street for English government.    

60. WNW opposite: ESE.

61. Swiss watch brand: RADONice looking watches.   I'm not a watch wearer and have no idea where they rank.

62. Trial rounds: HEATS.


1. Señor's wife: ESPOSA.

2. Stock market purchases: SHARES.

3. Furious with: SORE AT.

4. Outer: Pref.: ECT.

5. Video conferencing choice: SKYPE.

6. Carrot or turnip: ROOT

7. Dominant dogs: ALPHAS.

8. Wintry pellets: SLEET.

9. Marx brother with a horn: HARPO.

10. Mete out, as PEZ candy: DISPENSE.

11. Hidden, as motives: ULTERIOR.

12. Publishing family: HEARSTS.

14. __ Wonder: Robin: BOY.   The Dynamic Duo superheros Batman (Bruce Wayne) and the Boy Wonder Robin (Dick Grayson) thwart evil villains in Gotham.  

17. Note-taking aid: PAD.

21. Classic '30s-'50s vocal quartet, with "the": INK SPOTS. I don't think I'm familiar with any of their songs. This one was apparently one of the famous ones:

While listening to it, I scanned the comments and came across this remark,    "I remember the first time I heard this song: I was sippin' an egg cream with some doll at some greasy-spoon diner in the Bowery.  Some mug came in and served me more lip than his face could handle.  After a little chin music, I paid my nickel, grabbed the dame and took it on the lam."    Sounds like lines out of a film noir.

23. Lake on the border of Bolivia and Peru: TITICACA10 Interesting Facts About Lake Titicaca

26. Critical-care ctrs.: ERs.

27. Release: LET GO.

30. Queen's "Another __ Bites the Dust": ONE.

31. Shares again on Twitter, briefly: RTS.

32. Set a match to: LIT.

33. Befitting: APT.

34. Love handles?: PET NAMES.

35. Grand Prix, e.g.: AUTO RACE.

36. Han and Leia's son Kylo __: REN.   Star Wars stuff.

37. Loathe: DESPISE.

40. 14-legged crustacean: ISOPOD.

42. Nova __: SCOTIA.     One of the Canadian provinces.  Halifax is the capital and the timezone is AST.   Crosswords reinforce some bits of knowledge.

43. Mother or father: PARENT.

44. Gooey campfire treats: SMORES.  The Girl Scouts are selling cookies now.   I don't understand why they sell them in January.   I bought Thin Mints and whatever they call the peanut butter cookies.  Not the S'mores though.    

46. For face value: AT PAR.   Typically used in accounting and finance.  The face (stated) value of  a stock, bond or financial instrument.

47. Song syllables: TRA LA.

48. NRC forerunner: AEC.  Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Atomic Energy Commission.  The AEC was responsible for both promotion and regulation of nuclear energy.   Both critics and supporters of nuclear energy agreed that the regulatory function should be separated.  In 1974, the NRC was created with the passage of the Energy Reorganization Act.  - Paraphrased from     

49. Hair salon staple: BRUSH.

51. Winery prefix: OENO.   A wine sub theme today.

52. Opposite of post-: PRE.

56. Shirt with a V-neck, perhaps: TEE.

Jan 28, 2019

Monday January 28, 2019 Susan Gelfand

Theme: COOL CAT (38. Hipster, and based on their initials, what each of 16-, 22-, 52- and 61-Across is?) - Each well-known person has a AC initial.

16. "360°" CNN anchor: ANDERSON COOPER.

 22. "Uncle Vanya" playwright: ANTON CHEKHOV.
52. "Appalachian Spring" composer: AARON COPLAND.

61. 19th-century steel industry philanthropist who built an eponymous concert hall: ANDREW CARNEGIE.

Boomer here.  

Excuse me, I am an electric guy. When I see "A C" I think of alternating current. Good morning and enjoy the weekend off with no meaningful football. Bowling has been a little tough this past week.  I will keep you all informed.


1. Take it easy: LAZE.  That was a pretty easy clue.

5. Cabo's peninsula: BAJA.

9. Sheepish smile: GRIN.  I really never saw a sheep show its teeth.

13. Cabinet dept. with an oil derrick on its seal: ENER.

14. Immortal racehorse Man __: O WAR.  Man O'War lived to the ripe old age of 30, which I suppose is about 150 in people years. The horse was a legend when I was young, however he was superseded by Secretariat in the early to mid seventies. The interesting thing is the gambling. I wonder how many fans would show up at the Kentucky Derby if no wagering was allowed.

15. What kneaded dough should do: RISE.  Aaron Judge "All Rise"

19. Bud: BRO.  I thought Bud was a beer.

20. "How disgusting!": ICK.

21. Gave medicine to: DOSED.  So THAT'S what it's called. I am getting dosed several times every day. Sometimes when I have DOZED I have to get DOSED.

27. Yoga posture: ASANA.

28. Krypton or xenon: RARE GAS.  The real rare gas is the stuff under $2.00 per gallon.

32. Semester: TERM.

34. Pea surrounder: POD.  I remember Ollie telling Stan that they were like two peas in a pod uh.

35. One of about 268,600 in Tex.: SQ MI.  Republican did not fit.

36. You, to Yves: TOI.

41. Blender setting: MIX.  I just have 1 through 9 on my blender.  But I have heard of Tom, a silent movie Western star.  He's buried at Forest Lawn.

42. Hubbubs: ADOS.  Not to be confused with Adieus which mean good by - see you later.

44. Like Letterman's humor: WRY. Sorry, I liked Johnny Carson better.  Cast your vote in the Comments section.

45. "See ya later": TA TA.  Adieu sounds much better.

47. Dugout seats: BENCHES.  Yup, and in Cincinnati, one of them belonged to Johnny. 

49. Put together, as equipment: RIG UP.

56. Lustrous bit of wisdom: PEARL.  Has anyone ever found one of these in an oyster?

59. Tokyo's former name: EDO.

60. When repeated, a Gabor: ZSA.  Don't confuse her with Eva of Green Acres.

66. Nod off: DOZE.  Careful if someone tries to DOSE you.

67. Prefix with correct: AUTO.  They are selling these on Carvana now. The next McDonald's of car dealerships.

68. Dunham of "Girls": LENA.  I know her, Ole's wife.  I have plenty of stories about them.

69. Snow transport: SLED.  I had an American Flyer.  Friends and I would fly down the hill below the ball field at Burnes Park, Hopkins, MN.

70. H.S. math subject: GEOM.

71. Clog fillers: FEET.


1. Becomes aware of: LEARNS.

2. Explanatory comment written in the margin, say: ANNOTATION.  Don't scribble on my homework.

3. British alphabet ender: ZED.  Here's a story for Canadian Eh.  I have relatives in Saskatoon. Their surname is Grayczyk.  My cousins visited one time many years ago, and there came a time when the guy my age was asked to spell his name. When he got to "Z" I had no idea what he was talking about.

4. Bard's "before": ERE.

5. Title cop played by Titus Welliver: BOSCH.

6. Came to: AWOKE.  In China, after you AWOKE you make breakfast in A WOK.

7. First mo.: JAN.  Pretty easy. I was thinking of one of the three stooges.

8. Rainbow shape: ARC. Somewhere over it, Birds fly. Why oh why can't I.

9. Slots cut with a chisel: GROOVES.  Lookin' for fun and feeling groovy. (I like Simon and Garfunkel, almost as much as the Chad Mitchell Trio.)

10. Fabric flaws: RIPS.

11. "Got it": I SEE. "I See" said the blind man, but he really didn't.

12. Bookish type: NERD. I don't think we had "Nerds" when I was young. Were they invented in  "Animal House" ??

17. Rock's Ocasek: RIC.

18. Dumpster emanation: ODOR.  We have had this before.  I always think of Rougned of the Texas Rangers.

19. Sheep bleat: BAA.

23. Half and half: ONE. That's interesting.  I was trying to think how I could get Coffee lightener into three letters. 

24. Agent on a bust: NARC.

25. McDonald's founder Ray: KROC.  This is debatable.  There were actually six fast food places franchised by the McDonald brothers in California in the forties.  Ray Kroc got involved around 1954 and opened McDonald's restaurants everywhere.  I guess it's not there anymore, but the golden arches in Des Plaines, Illinois is questionably the first McDonald's. Kroc owned the San Diego Padres for about ten years, until his death in 1984.  He was rumored to have 600 million dollars at the time of his death.    

26. Dove into vigorously, as work: HAD AT.

29. Stylish men's monthly: GQ MAGAZINE.

30. Parisian pal: AMI.

31. Common dinner hour: SIX.  Mine is FOUR. I get hungry early.

33. Grass cutter: MOWER. I am so old that when I grew up I mowed the lawn with a push mower.  You know, the kind with two wheels and a long handle, and you never had to put gas in it.

34. Two-__ tissue: PLY.  Have you ever tried to pull apart a Kleenex ?

36. Restaurant bill: TAB.  Coca Cola's first shot at a sugar free soda.  The diet drinks of today taste a little better.

37. Poem of praise: ODE.  "It was the 3rd of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day."  For Billie Joe.

39. Approximately: OR SO.

40. Baseball rain delay cover: TARP.  Sometimes used at Target Field for a snow delay.

43. Like Capone's face: SCARRED.

46. Up to, informally: TIL.

48. Partner of hearty: HALE. Revolutionary War hero Nathan, or Golfer Mr. Irwin.

50. Vote out of office: UNSEAT.  Lots of legislators are concerned about 2020. 

51. Kiss in a busy store, for short: PDA. Public Displays of Affection.

53. "Sweet!": NEATO.  I haven't heard this since Haight-Ashbury was a busy intersection.

54. PC drive insert: CD-ROM.

55. Buff suffix: OON.  I was thinking of that rich guy in Omaha (ETT) because the places where I love to eat only have one "ET"

56. Footballer's shoulder protection: PADS.

57. Hydroxyl compound: ENOL.  This stuff and the ADZE sound like something you need to "Ask your doctor if they are right for you".

58. Axe relative: ADZE. See above.

62. Happy tail movement: WAG.

63. Billiards stick: CUE.

64. Legendary seasonal helper: ELF.  only 331 days until Christmas.

65. "Holy cow": GEE.  That's a WHIZ of  CLUE 


Jan 27, 2019

Sunday January 27, 2019 C.C. Burnikel

Theme: "Extreme Weather" - Each themer is bookended by a bad weather term.

23. Many a character in "The Americans": SLEEPER AGENT. Sleet.

29A. Jenna, to Barbara: TWIN-SISTER. Twister.

55A. Amtrak service: HIGH-SPEED RAIL. Hail.

91A. Elegant carousel rider?: DELUXE LUGGAGE. Deluge.

112A. Bit of racket sport equipment: SQUASH BALL. Squall.

124A. "Enough already!": STOP RIGHT NOW. Snow. (Thanks, Paul!)

38D. Place to keep things: STORAGE ROOM. Storm.

45D. PlayStation 4, for one: GAME CONSOLE. Gale.

Rich helped me with the deluge entry. I originally had another 13-entry FLESH AND BLOOD (Flood). Rich said "Flood isn't weather, it's a consequence of weather". 

Would be cool to have tornado, monsoon, cyclone or blizzard, but I just could not find solid in-the-language phrases.


1. Navajo relative: APACHE.

7. Main points: GISTS.

12. They're thrown in anger: FITS.

16. Germany-based shipper: DHL. Last time when I talked to Splynter, he was expecting a new job offer.

19. Tank-emptying gadget: SIPHON.

20. According to script: ON CUE.

21. Burger King beverage option: ICEE.

22. Dinner order?: EAT. There was no black square between 21A and 22A when I started. Added it later as I just could not get clean fill.

25. "Seriously!": NO REALLY. 60. "My bad": PARDON ME. 73. "By all means!": PLEASE DO. 88. "Methinks ... ": I DARE SAY. And 94. "Pay attention": LOOK AT ME. I like spoken phrases.

27. Four years, in some cases: TERM.

28. Out of the sack: RISEN.

31. Teen heartthrob: IDOL.

33. Author Zora __ Hurston: NEALE.

35. DDE's wartime command: ETO. European Theater of Operations.

36. Martini go-with?: ROSSI. Rich's great clue. Lots of clues in my puzzles are Rich's creation. I had a straightforward "Martini's partner".

39. Flower in la Seine: EAU. Rich's "flow-er" as well.

41. Almost-ready software products: BETAS.

44. Premium beef: ANGUS.

48. Most likely: APTEST.

50. Today's fortysomethings, e.g.: XERS.

52. Empty storefront sign: FOR LEASE. And 54. Sellout sign: SRO.

59. Pin cushion?: MAT.

62. "To sum up ... ": IN A WORD.

63. Photo sources: NEGS. Negatives.

64. Snowboarder White: SHAUN. Very successful. A la Wik: He is a three-time Olympic gold medalist. He holds the record for the most X-Games gold medals and most Olympic gold medals by a snowboarder, and has won 10 ESPY Awards.

65. Stud location: EAR.

67. Green Day drummer __ Cool: TRE.

68. Draw forth: EDUCE.

70. Punished, as a teen: GROUNDED.

76. Discover: LEARN.

77. Online forum VIP: MOD. Moderator.

79. Original "Nashville Now" airer: TNN.

80. Snap: CINCH.

83. Animal house: BARN.

84. University of Wisconsin city: MADISON. D-Otto's alma mater.

90. Blood system letters: ABO.

93. Eggs, to a biologist: OVA.

96. Neeson of "Silence": LIAM.

97. Tablet download: APPLET.

99. 1983 Michael Keaton role-reversal movie: MR. MOM.

100. 1836 battle site: ALAMO.

103. Delta rival: Abbr.: UAL.

105. "Here will __ me till the break of day": Shak.: I REST. Rich's clue, of course.

106. Common practice: LAW.

108. November birthstone: TOPAZ.

110. Due cubed: OTTO. Oh hi, how's the new TV? (Added later: Due is Italian for "two".)

117. Vacation twosome, perhaps: WEEKS. Also Rich's misdirect.

119. Acquired, with "by": CAME.

123. Get more points than: OUTSCORE.

127. Untruth: LIE.

128. Backup military org.: USAR. U.S. Army Reserve.

129. Heroic Schindler: OSKAR.

130. Play the piccolo: TOOTLE.

131. Covert __: OPS.

132. Lily variety: SEGO.

133. Can't do without: NEEDS.

134. World __: SERIES.


1. Part of ADA: Abbr.: ASST.

2. Tidy sum: PILE.

3. Copycat: APER. Gluey fill.

4. Lingerie top with spaghetti straps: CHEMISE.

5. Triple-jump element: HOP.

6. Calendario starter: ENERO. Calendar.

7. Dress like: GO AS.

8. Roles for young women: INGENUES.

9. Movie clip: SCENE.

10. Large wine cask: TUN.

11. Not get everything you want: SETTLE. Rich's clue as well. I tend to be confused with this type of "Not..." clue.

12. Done, in Dijon: FINI.

13. Desktop image: ICON.

14. Far from talkative: TERSE.

15. Get everything you want: SEE IT ALL.

16. Pec neighbor: DELT.

17. Robust: HALE.

18. Approx. 5.88 trillion miles: LT-YR. Light year.

24. Really peeve: RILE.

26. In unison: AS ONE.

30. Like nail polish being blown on: WET.

32. Shame: DISHONOR.

34. Playing hooky, say: ABSENT.

36. Carpentry files: RASPS.

37. "Queen Sugar" co-producer: OPRAH. The other producer is Ava DuVernay,

40. Business end of a cutting tool: AX HEAD.

42. "The Mod Squad" hairdo: AFRO.

43. Rise dramatically: SOAR.

46. Lexicographer's concern: USAGE.

47. Venn diagram regions: SETS.

49. Pewter metal: TIN.

51. N.Y. tech school: RPI. Spitzboov had a great suggestion for me: DREADNOUGHT.

53. Travels: RIDES.

56. Fed. agents: G MEN.

57. Tombstone lawman: EARP.

58. Resided: DWELT.

61. When repeated, rock group named for the villain in "Barbarella": DURAN. Learning moment for me. Rich's clue of course.

63. Skin flick: NUDIE.

66. Dance track, often: REMIX.

69. Falling apart: DECREPIT.

71. Like goals not attained: UNMET.

72. Doctor's order: DOSE. That Zytiga is sure toxic. It makes Boomer light-headed at times.

74. Real puzzle: ENIGMA.

75. Arm-leg connector: AND A. Gluey partial.

76. Delivery process: LABOR.

78. Sour cream blob: DOLLOP.

81. Stalagmite sites: CAVES.

82. Ritz-Carlton alternative: HYATT.

83. Soothing ointment: BALM.

85. __ mater: ALMA.

86. Fight with seconds: DUEL. Again, Rich's misdirecting "seconds".  Thanks, Rich!
87. Rapa __: Easter Island: NUI.

89. Turkish dignitary: AGA. Also 91. West Asian capital: DAMASCUS.

92. Wound cover: GAUZE PAD.

95. Caffeine-rich nuts: KOLAS.

98. Exam monitor: PROCTOR.

101. The NBA's Hawks: ATL.

102. It merged with Coors in 2005: MOLSON. Their stock symbol is TAP.

104. Norse prankster: LOKI.

107. "__ fault is that?!": WHOSE.

109. Got up: AWOKE.

111. Some USAF NCOs: TSGTS. Technical sergeants.

112. Tune sung alone: SOLO.

113. One-liner: QUIP.

114. Western natives: UTES.

115. Act the blowhard: BRAG.

116. Sleek, in car talk: AERO.

118. Goofs: ERRS.

120. Opponent: ANTI.

121. Lawn problem: MOLE.

122. Woolly mamas: EWES.

125. "The Waste Land" monogram: TSE.

126. Plot device?: HOE.

Not much updates on Boomer this week. No doctor visit or blood draw. He's been busy sorting and moving various baseball cards, books and other sports collectibles. Now I have my own dedicated bookshelves.


Jan 26, 2019

Saturday, January 26, 2019, Andy Kravis and Erik Agard

Themeless Saturday Puzzle by Andy Kravis and Erik Agard

Today's holiday takes me back to a candy treat we always had during Christmas at Grandma's house. She had a bowl of assorted nuts (plus a houseful of the same) and a plate of peanut brittle. 

It was much darker and thicker than this shown here but I remember it very fondly. Now that my teeth are much older and not likely to be replaced as they were when I was 10, I don't indulge any more but I fondly remember the taste!

Today's constructors have made a mark on TV gaming as well. Andy became a millionaire on Million Second Quiz with Ryan Seacrest. As you can see below, Erik was threatened with a pie by Alex Trebek because Alex, a dedicated crossword solver, was frustrated by this puzzle Erik created with Tracy Bennett and I blogged here. Did you do better than Mr. Trebek on that August 18th exercise? In our gmail exchange, Erik told me that he and Tracy started with the middle stack on that puzzle and worked out from there. Erik also told me he won on Jeopardy that day!

Andy Kravis                             Erik Agard 


1. Selection process including the Sky and the Sun: WNBA DRAFT  - I didn't look up who the Connecticut Sun drafted in the Women's National Basketball Association 2018 draft but here's who the Chicago Sky took

10. Anna of "The Emoji Movie": FARIS She was the voice of Jailbreak

15. Lip-syncing accompaniment?: AIR GUITAR - Is Hugo Chavez also Lip-synching at the U.N.?

16. "Me too": AS AM I.

17. Bingo center square: FREE SPACE.

18. Hasbro game that requires twisting and pulling: BOP IT - If you're interested

19. Spacewalk initials: EVA - NASA's first Extra Vehicular Activity was a space walk in 1965 by Ed White. NASA's most famous EVA occurred on July 20, 1969

20. Ready for fumigation: TENTED Tenting by Termite Terry

22. Metaphorical low area, with "the": PITS - Also very active place during the Indy 500 😏

23. Gathering tools: RAKES.

25. Film dialect that uses subject-object inversion: YODA SPEAK.

27. 1990s gaming release, initially: SNES - Super Nintendo Entertainment System

28. "LOTR" initials: JRR - Here 'ya go:

29. Visitor center: SHORT I - The center of the word Visitor is a SHORT I

30. Course with fruit, perhaps: ART CLASS - Heads we do fruit, tails we do nudes

33. Sure-footed critters: ASSES - 'Nuff said

34. Licorice, e.g.: ROOT - Here's a bunch of licorice herb roots

35. Increase: HIKE - A tax HIKE in gov't speak is a "revenue enhancement"

37. Commented on EweTube?: BAAED.

40. Ironically, designation for the fourth film release in a classic sequence: EPISODE I - George Lucas made the first Star Wars movie in 1977. He later labelled it IV so he could make assorted prequels and sequels.

44. Remove the zest from: UNPEEL - "Hey, don't throw that lemon peel away, I need zest for my martini!"

46. Record no.: RPM - David Seville recorded the Chipmunks at half the RPM's and then played them back at normal RPM's

47. Tablets brand ... or, cutely, what they treat: TUMS - Tums for your tummy

49. Saves for the future: SALTS AWAY

51. Hardly taciturn: VOCAL - "Where's my dinner?"

52. Whack: STAB - Every Saturday I take a whack/STAB at blogging 

53. Andalusian city on the Costa del Sol: MALAGA- MALAGA is a city in the province of MALAGA on Spain's Costa del Sol. 

55. One in a conflict, maybe: EGO - Conflicts involving EGO's can result in a 56. Utter: TOTAL disaster

58. 2017 hit comedy about a women's weekend getaway: GIRL'S TRIP -  Rated R (for crude and sexual content throughout, pervasive language, brief graphic nudity and drug material). Rotten Tomatoes assessment

60. QB's protection, in football lingo: O-LINE - Offensive LINE

61. Type of gland: ENDOCRINE All you want to know

62. Hangs: PENDS - Any decision in this house PENDS until there is a mutual decision 

63. Where I-35 and I-80 intersect: DES MOINES - The last time I was here, I turned left and met Boomer and C.C.


1. Symbols of thinness: WAFERS - WAFER THIN = Twiggy to me

2. End point of the Noble Eightfold Path: NIRVANA Here 'ya go

3. CBer's opening word: BREAKER - BREAKER 19 is a request to use channel 19 on a CB radio. The CB craze during the 55mph oil embargo days had many people talking like they were all "good ole boys". Play as much of this song that starts with BREAKER 19 and you will hear as much of the lingo anyone should want

4. Golden __: AGE - Many modern TV sitcoms seem to be rehashing I Love Lucy plots that were from what some say was TV's Golden AGE

5. Decisively outraces: DUSTS - Usain Bolt has DUSTED about everyone

6. Begging to be picked: RIPE 7. Nonetheless: AT ANY RATE - this is one person's opinion

8. Two and one, for two: FACTORS - Yes, 2 and 1 are the FACTORS of 2 because 2 x 1 = 2

9. Trapped, in a way: TREED.

10. Old-style dope?: FAB - Dope is current slang for "cool" 11. In contrast with: AS OPPOSED TO FAB which is so yesterday!

12. Narrow-bladed swords: RAPIERS A guide to foils, epees swords and RAPIERS

13. Do in a bit: IMITATE - Will Jordan had a famous "comedy bit" where he "did" Ed Sullivan

14. Winter Paralympians' equipment: SIT SKIS that can negotiate the 48. Inclines: SLOPES.

21. Legal pros: DAS - District AttorneyS

24. Jersey Shore rockers since the '70s: E STREET BAND - Bruce Springsteen's backup band

26. Visored military cap: SHAKO - A French-made Shako for those who 50. Engaged in: WAGED war in the American Civil War

28. Companion of A-Rod: J-LO - A portmanteau of Jennifer Lopez

31. Works on programs: CODES - I don't think I could sit all day and produce CODES

32. Where some subs are fixed: SHIP YARDS - Hitler fixed his subs in his nearly impregnable submarine pens. I tried to get my subs fixed in a Deli here at first

36. Belief: ISM.

37. No-parking area: BUS STOP.

38. Literary France: ANATOLE - ANATOLE - A Nobel-winning Frenchman of letters

39. Lang. test for top students: AP LATIN - Advanced Placement LATIN. Good Luck with this sample question: 

41. Cajun confection: PRALINE - Billboards used to tell you to get one here

42. Skincare brand from the Greek for "beautiful wax": EUCERIN.

43. Envision: IMAGINE 

45. Fast flight: LAM - In this TV series of my ute, David Janssen as Dr. Richard Kimble was on the LAM every week

51. Explorer da Gama: VASCO - VASCO's voyage can be compared to America's moonshot. The spice trade he started made Portugal a very wealthy nation. Who knew 54. Latch (onto): GLOMming onto black pepper, etc. could be so profitable?

57. Arles article: LES LES blogueurs ici sont très intelligents! (The bloggers here are very smart)

59. Piece of TNT?: TRI - TRI Nitro Toluene - BOOM!

A very nice and hardly brittle puzzle by our TV stars today. Comment away: