, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: February 2019


Feb 28, 2019

Thursday, February 28th 2019 Bruce Haight

Theme: Pun like a Pirate Day - the five theme answers all have a nautical punning groove going on:

17A. Spot to spread out a ship's map, maybe?: BRIDGE TABLE. The map of the ship itself, not a chart. Those already have a chart table to be spread on.

25A. Sailors dealing with a ship's cargo?: HOLD HANDS

37A. Awesome things near the front of a ship?: BOW WOWS

47A. Backwards glance on a ship?: STERN LOOK

57A. Strength measure of the ship cook's spirits?: GALLEY PROOF. Technically, a galley proof is a proof that's been printed out. Electronic versions are "uncorrected proofs", but no-one's going to argue if you call it a galley. Interesting that "galley" is also a type of ship in keeping with the nautical theme. Here's a Roman one;

I found this a little tougher going than the usual Thursday, it took me a little while to get a foothold in the top half, but then things started falling into place. I liked the puns by and large, I think HOLD HANDS was my favorite.

The grid is nicely done with the stacked 8's in the downs at the NE and SW and the fill is fresh and lively. Nicely done.

However, I do have one major gripe today, but we'll get to that in due course.


1. Hornet and Matador: AMCS. I didn't know this and needed all the crosses. 1970's vehicles manufactured by AMC.

5. Tech-savvy school gp.: A.V. CLUB. The Audiovisual Club.

11. Higher ed. test: G.R.E.

14. Fail to save one's skin?: MOLT. Nice clue, this one, it made me laugh.

15. Bring back to the firm: REHIRE

16. 35-state Western org.: O.A.S. The Organization of American States. All 35 independent states in the Americas are members of the organization.

19. "The Racer's Edge": STP. Originally, it stood for Scientifically-Treated Petroleum. Who knew?

20. "American Gods" actor McShane: IAN. He also starred in a gentle BBC comedy-drama Lovejoy in the 80's, he played the eponymous roguish antiques dealer.

21. Shell material: NACRE

22. Milk by-product: WHEY

23. Yale's Mr. Yale: ELIHU. Nailed it! Thank you, Crosswords Past.

28. Most warm: NICEST

30. Barbershop staple: RAZOR. I talked myself out of YAZOO, I was thinking along the musical lines at first.

31. Industry mogul: CZAR

32. Seedy abode: RAT HOLE. The first flat I lived in in London was above a sweatshop and had no hot water. A rooster lived next door, and the landlord would drop off a pound of bacon, a loaf of bread and two dozen eggs each week so that he could claim he was running a B-and-B (no rent control). We had breakfast, so we're a B-and-B? I moved, eventually, but after a lot of early-morning awakenings from the rooster. I was broke. I was working two jobs (marine insurance filing clerk by day, bartender in an Irish pub by night) but it still a struggle. We've all been there.

36. Sushi choice: EEL

38. Sweetie, in slang: BAE. Short for "babe" or "baby". I don't think you call someone a "bae", you describe someone as your "bae". I think. Check with your nearest teenager.

41. Snore: SAW LOGS

42. Numerous: MANY

43. Gave one's word: SWORE

45. Often recyclable tech products: EWASTE. Electrical or electronic devices.

51. Adams who shot El Capitan: ANSEL I have an Ansel Adams print in my home office of the memorial at Manzanar. He took some wonderful photographs of the camp and the internees.

52. Tiny parasites: LICE

53. Secluded valleys: GLENS

55. __ Lanka: SRI

56. artist: ONO

60. Ref's call: TKO. I tried OUT first, was wrong.

61. "Her cheeks are rosy, she looks a little nosey" girl in a 1962 #1 hit: SHEILA. I'd never heard of this song by Tommy Roe. I'd never heard of Tommy either. This contributed to my gripe, of which more at the bottom.

62. Like crazy: A LOT

63. Sun, in Ibiza: SOL

64. Use a combine: THRESH

65. Soccer followers?: MOMS


1. Restaurant review factor: AMBIENCE

2. Get all preachy: MORALIZE

3. Kind of psychology: CLINICAL

4. Criterion: Abbr.: STD

5. Neighborhood: AREA

6. Climbing plant: VETCH. Part of Swansea City's old soccer ground, Vetch Field, was quite fantastically re-purposed to a wild flower haven when the club outgrew the facilities and moved to a new stadium. Usually these spaces are redeveloped for commercial or mixed-use properties. Kudos to Swansea for preserving some of the open space.

7. One-named "Hollywood Squares" panelist: CHARO

8. Defamation in print: LIBEL

9. Web address: URL

10. Spelling event: BEE

11. "Jeepers, I wouldn't think of it!": GOSH, NO!

12. Not for kids: RATED R. Be careful with R-RATED and RATED-R - I went with the former initially.

13. 2018 awards event hosted by Danica Patrick: ESPYS

18. African herd: GNUS. What do you call a herd of wildebeest that arrive two hours before midnight? The Ten O'Clock Gnus. I'll get my coat, thank you, I'm here all week.

22. GPS navigation app: WAZE. Is this a first in the LA Times? I can't find another reference.

24. QE2 designation: HER. I wanted "HMS" first. I was wrong. The QE2 was an ocean, later a cruise liner, owned by Cunard, based in Southampton. Her predecessor, the Queen Mary, is permanently-moored in Long Beach. We stayed on board a couple of years ago. My family went to wave her off from Southampton on her final voyage. I never thought all those years later I'd be staying on the ship in California. You never know what life will bring.

26. Drift off: DROWSE

27. Dutch artist Frans: HALS. When I was a kid, we had a print of "The Laughing Cavalier" in our entry hallway - odd because we had very few, if any, prints hanging on the wall. My mother said she "liked his smile".

29. Gardening tool: TROWEL

33. Punching tool: AWL

34. With 42-Down, like some bobsleds: TWO-man or four-man bobs.

35. Harley Davidson's NYSE symbol: HOG

37. Stable environment?: BARN

38. Jazz improv highlight: BASS SOLO. The drum solo is usually a good time to head to the bar for a refresher.

39. Waiting area: ANTE ROOM

40. Some cosmetic procedures: EYE LIFTS

41. Hot under the collar: SORE

42. See 34-Down: MAN

43. Hammered: STINKO. Drunk, badly (and slangily) - in the UK we were "paralytic" - not that I ever was, obviously.

44. "No hard feelings, dude": WE COOL Used in Pulp Fiction, one of my all-time-best-favorite movies. Not to everyone's taste.

46. Winged stinger: WASP

47. Vegas attraction: SLOTS. Took me a while to talk myself off STRIP.

48. Rubberneck: OGLER. Now this presumes that there is a noun for a rubbernecker - oh, wait, there is! It's "rubbernecker". To rubberneck is the verb. One demerit point for this.

49. Stan's slapstick pal: OLLIE. Abbott and Costello. No, wait - who's on first? Laurel and Hardy.

50. Naval bases?: KEELS. Nice clue, made me think a while.

54. Gloating word usually repeated: NYAH. Not NAH? I'm not a fan of these "spell it how you like" words. See also AHH/AAH.

57. Setting at 0 degrees long.: G.S.T.. So her we arrive at my gripe. I'm assuming that GST is supposed to be an abbreviation for Greenwich Standard Time, but that's the problem. The time at the zero meridian is Greenwich Mean Time, or GMT. The only reference to "Greenwich Standard Time" I can find is a source on the web that says it's the time zone in Iceland and Liberia, but when you search "Iceland Time Zone" it comes up as GMT. Ditto for Liberia, furthermore neither of which are on the zero meridian. So I'm calling this out as wrong. If SHEILA had been a little less obscure, maybe I wouldn't have minded so much, but this left me with a DNF, I just couldn't see past GMT.

58. "This is so relaxing!": AHH! Could equally be spelled AAH!

59. West Coast athlete: RAM. Los Angeles NFL player.

And to the victor, the spoils. Not me today, I was done in by GST, SHEILA and spell-it-how-you-like AHH.

Here's the grid!


Feb 27, 2019

Wednesday Febraury 27, 2019 Bryant Shain

Theme: SHUFFLEBOARD (54. Game played on a floor or table, and a hint to this puzzle's circled letters- Three types of boards are scrambled inside each theme answer.

20. Particular: HARD TO PLEASE. Dartboard.

28. Hospital bigwig: CHIEF SURGEON. Surfboard.

44. Formally accuse of wrongdoing: PRESS CHARGES. Chessboard.

Boomer here. 

Melissa lost her internet connection due to the bad weather, so Manager C.C. called me off the bench to pinch hit. Of course, Spring training baseball is in session but I looked out of the dugout and I did not see spring yet here in Minnesota. Continued snow and cold as March comes in like a lion but hopefully will go out like a lamb.  

One more note to follow up on Monday - I am not a big NBA fan however Timberwolves All-Star, Karl Anthony Towns survived a car accident when the car in which he was a passenger was hit from behind by a semi truck. Karl passed  concussion protocol and returned to the court Monday vs. Sacramento and scored 34 points with 21 rebounds, so it seems he is okay.  My bowling is getting better, but nothing over 600 yet.


1. Old Russian ruler: TSAR.  I think this a Bulgarian word for king.

5. Landlocked African nation: MALI.

9. Wedding registry category: CHINA.  C.C.'s native country. The wedding registry is DISHES.

14. Famous final question: ET TU.  How many eggs did you have for breakfast Caesar ?

15. "Ducky" Mallard's alma mater, on "NCIS": ETON.

16. Support people: AIDES.

17. Prefix in juice names: CRAN. "Raspberries, Strawberries, the good wine we brew." The Kingston Trio did not mention cranberries. Not close enough to Thanksgiving,

18. Tends to the lawn: MOWS.  I have heard of this, but we are shoveling the lawn here these days.

19. '50s four-wheeled failure: EDSEL. Strange name.  Edsel Ford was Henry Ford's son and Henry Ford II's father.  I believe the model came out in 1958, when I was a kid and everyone visited car dealerships to view the new models.  I remember some dealerships had canvas tarps over their new models until THE day! The Ford Edsel had a nose on the grill and did not seem to entice acceptance by the public. 

23. Kitchen counter?: TIMER.  I use mine frequently.

24. "__ thought": IT'S A.  __ bird, __ plane, it's Superman !

25. Place to unwind: SPA.

31. Gig gear: AMP.  Okay, but when I see this word, I think of electric current.

34. Lessen: EASE.

35. Tweak, as text: EDIT.

36. Some trucks: DIESELS. Actually auto makers tried to make cars run on diesel but it did not seem to catch on. 

38. The North Pole, for Santa: ADDRESS.  Every time we see Santa in a clue, we think of Argyle.  Interesting, the pastor of my church is father Tom Santa.  In a previous sermon he read some interesting mail that he received around Christmastime.

41. Opposite of endo-: ECTO.

42. Flat-bottomed vessel: SCOW.  I spell this BOAT.

43. Daisy Ridley's "The Last Jedi" role: REY.

49. Blue Jays' home: Abbr.: TOR.  My only touch in Toronto was a plane change on the way to New Hampshire.

50. Mimicked: APED.

51. Small lizard: GECKO. Not a car insurance ad.

57. Fluffy-eared "bear": KOALA. Not a soft drink.

60. Hair-removal brand: NAIR.

61. Vintage ski lift: T BAR.  I wish they had these on some of the golf courses that I have played.

62. Arouse, as wrath: INCUR.

63. Basic French verb: ETRE.  Still do not like foreign words in puzzles.

64. Theta follower: IOTA.  I am not sure if Greek letters are foreign words.  This one means a little bit.

65. Tank fish: TETRA.  You won't catch these fish in Minnesota's 10,000 lakes. I think this is another Greek prefix meaning four or five.  I think a TETRA blast would mean 5 strikes in a row, without leaving a TETRA pin.

66. "Keep it __": REAL.  This is a confusing word.  I see it in front of "Real Estate".  Is there a "Fake Estate"?

67. Provide job support for?: ABET.  Five dollars on the Pass Line please.


1. __ support: TECH.  Someone just called trying to sell me tech support.  I lied and said I don't have a computer.  That always makes them go away.

2. Classic Fender guitar, for short: STRAT.  Earlier this month we remembered the death of Buddy Holly 60 years ago on February 3, in Iowa.  Buddy made his Fender Stratocaster famous, Oh Boy!

3. Arcade pioneer: ATARI. Yup, I had a bunch of these old video game cartridges.

4. "Walk This Way" rap trio: RUN DMC.

5. Many a D.C. landmark: MEMORIAL. I have never visited D.C.  I bet it would be very interesting.

6. Perched on: ATOP. Old Smokie ?

7. Good-for-nothing: LOWLIFE.

8. Mini-maps: INSETS.  Sometimes on line, you can enlarge them.

9. 14-Across speaker: CAESAR.  He's the one who ET TU eggs.

10. Go underground: HIDE.

11. Cards checked at the door: IDS.  Saw this in a previous puzzle.  I've told you about the IDS tower - the tallest building in Minneapolis.

12. French word in bios: NEE. I think it means "Ma'am, what was your surname before you got hitched."

13. Syst. for the hearing-impaired: ASL.

21. Giggle: TE HEE.

22. Sun Devils' sch.: ASU.  I heard that it snowed this year in the state of Arizona.

25. Passover feast: SEDER.

26. Self-assurance: POISE.  There seems to be a lot of self-assured POISE going on in the MLB millionaires baseball camps this spring.  We shall see.

27. On pins and needles: ANTSY.

29. Curvy letter: ESS.

30. Berlin's home: Abbr.: GER.  How can GER be an abbreviation for Deutschland ?

31. Showing mastery: ADEPT.

32. Prefix with brewery: MICRO. If you like a craft beer. My keyboard says it can also be a prefix for soft.

33. Rocker Frampton: PETER. Pumpkin eater.

37. Scrubbing brand: SOS.  These are made from steel wool. Be careful.

38. Unlike this ans.: ACR (Across)

39. Technically flawed comic poetry: DOGGEREL.

40. Nerdy sort: DWEEB.

42. Tragic end: SAD FATE.  See the Buddy Holly story above.

45. Much of North Africa: SAHARA.  Formerly a casino in Las Vegas.  The Sahara Avenue is still there but the casino is gone.

46. PC brain: CPU.

47. Noted bunny lover: HEFNER.  The last of the Playboy mansions has closed and Hugh left us in 2017.  Quite a story.

48. Nova __: SCOTIA.

52. Skewered meat: KABOB. Shish ?

53. Give a political speech: ORATE. Did not care much for the orations at the Oscars. Nobody thanked me.

54. Put-down: SLUR.

55. Turkey bacon?: LIRA.  Old Italian bacon as well.

56. "Well, shoot": DRAT.

57. Modeling convenience: KIT.  I loved these things when I was a kid. Glued together a lot of planes and cars.

58. Tip jar bill: ONE.  This is an expensive task for our government to print these bills. They have tried Susan B. Anthony, Sacagawea, and President golden dollars, but nothing catches on.  People stubbornly continue to fill their wallets with dollar bills that last about two years, and scorn the coins which will last a lifetime.

59. Perform: ACT.


Notes from C.C.:

The 42nd American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (March 22 to March 24) will be held at the Stamford Marriott in Stamford, Connecticut. For those who attend, don't miss the Cru Dinner organized by the great Mike Alpern, who welcomed his first grandson a few months ago.

The Cru Dinner (6 pm to 8 pm, Friday, March 22)  officially kicks off the tournament and is a great opportunity to meet with constructors and fellow solvers. The space is limited, esp this year, so be sure to contact with Mike as soon as possible.

Feb 26, 2019

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 Peter Koetters


17. *Wonderland feline known for disappearing: CHESHIRE CAT.

56. *Da Vinci's "La Gioconda," to some English speakers: THE MONA LISA.

11. *"Have a nice day" graphic: HAPPY FACE.

33. *Celtic peepers of song: IRISH EYES.  "When Irish eyes are smiling, sure, they steal your heart away..."

JJM's children.  Smiling Irish eyes !

48. Expression shared by the answers to starred clues: SMILE.
I hope that Peter's puzzle brought a smile to your face. 


1. Brewery in Golden, Colorado: COORS.  Looks like a pretty big operation.

6. Fast-food package deal: COMBO.

11. Color variant: HUE.

14. Gelatin garnish: ASPIC.

15. French word of farewell: ADIEU.

16. 24-hr. cash source: ATM.  Mixed messages here:

19. Nonstick spray brand: PAM.

20. "Hints from" columnist: HELOISE.

21. Weaken from disuse: ATROPHY.

23. Manhattan area to the right of Central Park, on maps: EAST SIDE.

25. __ a soul: NARY.

26. Corp. symbols: TMS.  Trademarks.

27. Stopgap remedy: QUICK FIX.

31. Small jazz groups: TRIOS.

34. "Designing Women" actress Delta: BURKE.   She played Susan Sugarbaker.

35. Senate approval: AYE.

36. One of a bath towel pair: HERS.

37. Rocky outcroppings: CRAGS.

38. Capone facial mark: SCAR.   Chicago's Public Enemy # 1 in 1930.

39. Prefix with dermis: EPI.

40. Laundry slide: CHUTE.

41. 7-Down and such: POEMS.

42. Virus-transmitting insect: MOSQUITO.   The most dangerous creature on earth.

44. __ Francisco: SAN.   Capone spent four and a half years at a little island off the San Francisco coast.  

45. Sting or smart: HURT.

46. Musical wrap-ups: REPRISES.

51. Free sample restriction: ONE EACH.   “1.46 pounds of summer sausage and beef stick samples.”

54. Title savant in a 1988 Oscar-winning film: RAIN MAN.   The movie won four Academy Awards, including Best Actor in a Leading Role for Dustin Hoffman as Rain Man (Raymond).  CSO to Rainman (Ray Hedrick) on this blogspot who co-constructed crosswords with C.C. and Mark McClain.

55. Invest in: BUY.

58. Scratch (out): EKE.

59. Dog-__: folded at the corner: EARED.

60. In finer fettle: HALER.

61. "Absolutely": YES.

62. Swiped: STOLE.

63. Gothenburg native: SWEDE.


1. Secret stash: CACHE.

2. "Straight Outta Compton" actor __ Jackson Jr.: O'SHEA.   "The son of  O'Shea Jackson, Sr., actor __ Jackson Jr."  would have made the answer too obvious.
He played his father in the movie.

3. Some German cars: OPELS.

4. Italian rice dishes: RISOTTOS.

5. Religious rifts: SCHISMS.

6. Gave a darn: CARED.

7. Neruda wrote one to common things: ODE.

  • Ode to things
  • Ode to the table
  • Ode to the chair
  • Ode to the bed
  • Ode to the guitar
  • Ode to a violin in California
  • Ode to the dog
  • Ode to the cat
  • Ode to some yellow flowers
  • Ode to a cluster of violets
  • Ode to the gillyflower
  • Ode to a bar of soap
  • Ode to a pair of socks
  • Ode to the dictionary
  • Ode to a pair of scissors
  • Ode to a box of tea
  • Ode to the spoon
  • Ode to the plate
  • Ode to the orange
  • Ode to the apple
  • Ode to bread
  • Ode to the artichoke
  • Ode to the onion
  • Ode to the tomato
  • Ode to French fries.
He must have been getting hungry towards the end.

8. Layered mineral: MICA.

9. '50s-'60s nonconformists: BEATNIKS.

10. Run faster than: OUT RACE.  No woman has ever run faster than Florence Griffith-Joyner.   She ran the women's 100 meter dash in a world record 10.49 seconds in 1988.   She also set the 200m world record that year. 

In 2009, Usain Bolt set the men's world record for the 100 meter dash with a time of 9.58 seconds.     He was clocked at at an amazing 27.58 MPH - fast enough to get a speeding ticket in a school zone !   He also set the 200m record that year. 

Those four records still stand.   But when it comes to running fast, no land animal can out race a cheetah.   It can go 0 to 60 MPH in about 3 seconds.   That's faster than most production cars.    

12. Great Salt Lake state: UTAH.

13. TV award: EMMY.

18. Egyptian fertility goddess: ISIS.

22. "Mork & Mindy" planet: ORK.

24. Largest ring of latitude: EQUATOR.

28. Hard-to-ignore impulse: URGE.

29. Start of Popeye's existential maxim: I YAM.

30. Gen-__: post-boomers: X'ERS.

31. The bad guys: THEM.

32. Auctioned auto, perhaps: REPOA repossession for an unpaid loan. 

34. Champagne choice: BRUT.

37. Idle talk: CHIT-CHAT.   Small talk.  Fiddle-faddle.   In the study of languages, the phrase chit-chat is an example of reduplication.   Other examples would be ding-dong,  zig-zag,  boob-tube, hip-hop and kitty-cat.  Thought Co: Reduplicative Words

38. Kin by marriage: SON-IN-LAW.

40. Oversees, as a gallery collection: CURATES.

41. Social outcasts: PARIAHS

43. "__ Sera, Sera": QUE.  Such a pretty voice.

44. Stretch across: SPAN.

47. Slowly wear down: ERODE.

49. Relaxed, as rules: EASED.

50. Hunter's trap: SNARE.

51. Do as you're told: OBEY.

52. Zap for dinner: NUKE.

53. Courageous one: HERO.

57. Country singer Tillis: MEL.  Let's have some honky-tonk music with a steel guitar.  "You walked across my heart like it was Texas."   Ah, sing it Mel.

Note from C.C.:

The prostate cancer surgery for Nina's (Inanehiker) brother is now re-scheduled to 12:30 today at the VA hospital in San Antonio, Texas. Please continue keeping him in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you!

Feb 25, 2019

Monday February 25, 2019 Ed Sessa

Theme: 50. WHERE'S THE FIRE. ("What's your hurry?" ... and a literal hint to what's hiding in 20-, 27- and 42-Across)

20. Tricolor flier in Dublin: FLAG OF IRELAND.

27. Quality sound reproduction: HI-FI RECORDING.

42. "And suppose my answer is no?": WHAT IF I REFUSE.

Boomer here.

Hello Everyone from the frozen tundra. It's been a rough February here in Minnesota, We have shattered the old February snow record and received about four feet of new snow just this month! It is piled high wherever the plows can find room, but it makes driving a bit treacherous because it's hard to spot ongoing traffic. I have spent 69 of my 71 years here so I guess I am up to it, but I don't think C.C. is liking it too much. We are keeping warm in our igloo.


1. Sources of nuclear energy: ATOMS. An atom is so tiny and yet you can split one and blow something up.

6. Wolf call: HOWL.  Our Timberwolves had a howl moment this past Friday.  Karl A. Towns was injured in a car accident.  Not sure how long he will be out.

10. Banned pollutants, briefly: PCBS. Nasty chemicals.  I cannot spell the name poly something or other.

14. Exodus mount: SINAI.

15. Author Wiesel: ELIE.  Author of 57 books.

16. "I smell trouble": UH OH.

17. Tavern mug: STEIN.  "Here's to the fellow who couldn't think small …" Ode to Billie Sol.

18. Get off the lawn, as leaves: RAKE.  Don't have to rake leaves here yet.  Please pass the shovel.

19. Noncurrent currency of Italy: LIRA.  It would take 1700 lira to buy one dollar.  ( I am not that smart, I Googled it. )

23. Longtime forensic drama: CSI.

25. The first "T" in TNT: TRI.  I thought it was "TURNER",  I watch a lot of TV.

26. Bitcoin, notably: E MONEY.  I never did understand the bitcoin phenomena. I know a lot of money was made - or lost.

31. Prefix with violet: ULTRA.

32. Shipshape: NEAT. Order of 86 proof Scotch.

33. Mineral hardness scale: MOHS.

34. "The game is __": Sherlock Holmes: AFOOT.  When is a sock not a sock ?

36. "Alas!": AH ME.

40. Waves to ride on: SURF. "Let's go surfin' now, everybody's learnin' how"  Beach Boys.

41. Hit that barely gets over the infield: BLOOP.  Spring training has started. "Batter up !"

46. Panini cheese: ASIAGO. Sounds like a night club across the Pacific "Asia a Go Go"

48. "Alice" diner owner: MEL.  Not a diner I would like to have a meal.  In fact I don't think I would like any place called a "Diner"

49. "That's all __ wrote": SHE.

54. Stereo preceder: MONO.  Right on.  I am old enough to remember mono players.

55. Length times width: AREA.

56. Erode: EAT AT.  Not at Mel's Diner.

59. Blue dye: ANIL.  Never heard of this.

60. Storm-producing weather systems: LOWS. And when the storm hits it produces depression.

61. Wharton's Ethan: FROME.

62. Must have: NEED.  I need a shovel.

63. Crafter's website: ETSY.  Never bought anything from them, I wonder if they sell etsy betsy teeny weenie bikinis

64. Brown-toned photo: SEPIA.


1. Stubborn animal: ASS.  Blame the poor donkey.  I could think of better clues, but I won't. 

2. Chickadee relative: TIT.  I could think of better clues, but I won't.

3. 20% expressed as a fraction: ONE FIFTH.  A bottle of liquor.

4. Snail or junk follower: MAIL. Newman says there is no junk mail.

5. "New York, New York" crooner: SINATRA.  "Start spreadin' the news."

6. Valiant: HEROIC.

7. Disney snowman: OLAF.  We have a famous St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.


8. User-edited site: WIKI.  Known for their leaks.

9. Eyed wolfishly: LEERED AT.

10. Don, as boots: PULL ON.  I don't wear boots.  Socks are tough enough to pull on.

11. China's __ Kai-shek: CHIANG.  "Civil rights leaders are a pain in the neck.  Can't hold a candle to Chaing Kai shek.  How do I know? I read it in the Daily News."  -  Tom Paxton.

12. Carried: BORNE.

13. Shielded from the sun: SHADY. There's a Shady Oak Lake in Hopkins, MN, and a Shady Lady Saloon in Sacramento, CA.

21. College sr.'s exam: GRE.

22. Send out: EMIT.  Doesn't seem right.  Did you "EMIT" Christmas cards?

23. Buddy: CHUM.  I remember Chum Gum, (You could share with a friend.)  and goofy Chum Lee on the "Pawn Stars" show.

24. Grain storage area: SILO.  Lot of silos in Minnesota full of soybeans, waiting for prices to rise.

28. Tax-collecting agcy.: IRS. Yes, I've heard of them. Just sent them about five pages.

29. Like most light switches: ON/OFF.  You cannot have both.  Pick one.

30. Classic roadster: REO.

34. Used car lot event: AUTO SALE.  I keep seeing these "Carvana" ads.  Order a car or sell a car online.  Has anyone tried them ?

35. The "F" in TGIF: Abbr.: FRI.  Okay - Is the "G" for God or Goodness ?

36. Furry sitcom ET: ALF.

37. Landing site for Santa's sleigh: HOUSETOP. "Up on the housetop reindeer paws, out jumps good old Santa Claus."

38. Dance in a pit: MOSH.

39. Olympic fencing event: EPEE.  So, if there is a lot of people with swords, is that an "epeedemic"?

40. Wise one: SAGE.  Also a spice you put in turkey stuffing.

41. Opinions: BELIEFS. "I believe that children are our future.  Teach them well and let them lead the way."  Whitney Houston - "Greatest Love of All".

42. Dog at a cookout: WIENIE.  A teenie one could be a bikini.

43. Ramis of "Ghostbusters": HAROLD.  Liked him better with Bill Murray in "Stripes".

44. "Doesn't bother me at all": I'M EASY.

45. NFL official: REF.  And NBA and NHL.  But MLB has UMPs.

46. "Oh, no, bro!": AW MAN.

47. Dazzled: SHONE.

51. Relaxed running pace: TROT.  We have a trotters track in the Northern suburbs.  I have never been there.  Horses are unpredictable. I prefer Dice.

52. Fells with an ax: HEWS.

53. Steak order: RARE.

57. Mate, across the Channel: AMI. Or -- could be the end of a chess match.

58. Tazo product: TEA.  C.C. favorite thirst quencher.


Notes from C.C.:

1) Dave 2 called me yesterday. He is finally back to his assisted living apartment, but he has no internet connection yet. He was so happy that his friends missed him! Hopefully he's back online soon.

2) Please keep Nina's (Inanehiker) brother in your thoughts and prayers. He's having prostate cancer surgery today down at the VA hospital in San Antonio, Texas.

Feb 24, 2019

Sunday February 24, 2019 Gail Grabowski

Theme: "Prep-positioning"-  Different prepositions are inserted into eight theme entries.
23A. Revenue for a monarchy?: KINGDOM INCOME. Kingdom come.

39A. Kids nagging parents about lack of air conditioning?: HOT OFFSPRING. Hot spring.

58A. Bungalow inundated with vacationing relatives?: OVERRUN HOME. Run home.

85A. Funny BBQ scene that got cut?: SPIT OUTTAKE. Spit take.

101A. Unlikely winner of a trite joke contest?: CORN UNDERDOG. Corn dog.
123A. Group unhappy with election results?: DOWNCAST PARTY. Cast party.

16D. Preview from St. Peter?: AFTERWORLD TOUR. World tour.

52D. "You're a big girl now"?: MATURITY UPDATE. Maturity date.

Such a simple but fresh theme. There's an art to Gail's simplicity, whether theme choice or grid design. She works hard to avoid uncommon abbreviations or strange names to make her entries easy.

I don't recall seeing 146-word Sunday grid. Looks like Rich allows it now. Great news.


1. Cheese companion: MAC.

4. Brewery fixtures: VATS.

8. Minute dispute: SPAT.  Small "minute".

12. Sandal features: T STRAPS.

19. "Barefoot Contessa" cook Garten: INA. An Instagrammer I know bumped into her in Paris a few months ago.

20. Journalist Larson: ERIK. Learning moment for me.

21. Pro shop purchase: POLO.

22. Group bar orders: CARAFES.

26. Crêpe cousin: BLINTZE. With blackberry sauce.

27. "My mom is gonna kill me!": I'M DEAD.

28. San Simeon family: HEARSTS. Hearst Castle.

30. Sleep __: MODE.

31. Running total: TALLY.

32. "The Hurt Locker" backdrop: WAR.

33. Upscale automaker: AUDI.

35. It might be generic: DRUG. When I was a kid, we paid about 0.15 cents for each doctor visit. Drugs were free. How China has changed!

38. Novelist Waugh: ALEC.

44. Which one: WHO.

45. Predator and Iconia computers: ACERS. My monitor is Acer.

47. Jack Reacher creator Child: LEE.

48. Dept. formed under Carter: ENER.

49. Bread grain: OAT.

50. Agassi rival: SAMPRAS (Pete)

53. Muses' domain: ARTS.

55. Massage offering: OIL RUB.

57. Important span: ERA.

63. __ column: concrete-filled steel support: LALLY. Another learning moment for me.

64. Rope in: ENTICE.

66. Quite a stretch: EONS.

67. Freshly stained: WET.

68. Dr. Leary's turn-on: LSD.

69. Sullen: DOUR.

70. Old Venetian coin: DUCAT.

72. Capital that's home to the Potala Palace: LHASA. Dalai Lama used to live in the Potala Palace.

74. "This is my __": STOP.

77. Dodge logo critter: RAM.

79. Poor, as excuses go: SAD.

80. Ghee-brushed bread: NAAN. Xi'an style Naan. The Muslim Quarters has the best food.

81. Unwitting victim: STOOGE.

83. Puts the worm on: BAITS.

88. It's often bookmarked: URL. This is what I love about Firefox. Very neat bookmarking system.

89. Be there: ATTEND.

91. Decorative jug: EWER.

92. It may be lit during the holidays: FIR TREE.

94. Withdrawn: SHY.

95. They may be wireless: BRAS.

98. Ristorante suffix: INI.

99. Links army leader: ARNIE. Arnie Palmer.

100. Loan letters: IOU.

104. Vicksburg soldiers: REBS.

108. One of Tom Brady's three: ESPY. Guess how many Tiger Woods has?

110. "JAG" spin-off: NCIS.

111. Has too much: ODS.

112. Piazza De Ferrari city: GENOA.

113. Humorist Barry: DAVE.

115. Takes care of a toy?: PET SITS. Nice fill/clue.

119. "To conclude ... ": LASTLY.

120. Govt. water-testing sites: EPA LABS.

125. SoCal daily: LA TIMES. Oh, hey, shout-out.

126. Pre-calc course: TRIG.

127. Rich deposit: LODE.

128. Job ad abbr.: EOE.

129. Pose a greater climbing challenge: STEEPEN.

130. "I'll get this one": ON ME.

131. Chuck: TOSS.

132. Chekov's orig. "Star Trek" rank: ENS.


1. NHL Hall of Famer Stan: MIKITA. Stranger to me.

2. Dog or dogie: ANIMAL.

3. It may be scented: CANDLE.

4. WWII surrender celebration: VE DAY. Victory in Europe Day.

5. 2016 MLB retiree: A-ROD.

6. Virginia senator Kaine: TIM. Clinton's running mate.

7. Vail toppers: SKI HATS.

8. Gp. advocating adoption: SPCA.

9. Substandard: POOR.

10. Charity: ALMS.

11. Line dance step: TOE TAP.

12. On the job, initially: TCB. Taking Care of Business.

13. "Rebel Without a Cause" actor: SAL MINEO. With James Dean and Natalie Wood.

14. The Bee Gees, e.g.: TRIO.

15. New-product div.: R AND D.

17. Candy invented in Austria: PEZ. There's a guy in our flea market who specialized in Pez dispensers.

18. Dallas-to-Houston dir.: SSE.

24. Easy pill to swallow: GEL CAP.

25. Pianist Peter: NERO.

29. Confident: SURE.

32. Less favorable: WORSE.

34. Unpleasant noise: DIN. I love the quietness in winter.

36. DIY mover: U HAUL.

37. Sidestepped: GOT BY.

39. Flung with force: HEAVED.

40. Put on conspicuous display: FLAUNT.

41. Seedless plants: FERNS.

42. Green of "Robot Chicken": SETH. Read more about it here.

43. Question doggedly: GRILL.

46. Shoe with lots of holes: CROC. Never tried Crocs.

50. Tourney ranking: SEED.

51. River of Pisa: ARNO.

54. "Who cares?": SO WHAT.

56. Roundup catcher: LASSO.

59. Postgame staple: RECAP.

60. Band aide: ROADIE.

61. Should have said: MEANT.

62. Area 51 creatures, it's said: ETS.

65. Doggone mad: IRATE.

71. Battleship letters: USS.

72. Hugh of "House": LAURIE. Also a novelist.

73. "Just __": ASKING.

75. Fiend of fantasy: OGRE.

76. Legendary soccer star: PELE.

78. "Morning Joe" network: MSNBC.

80. Ad infinitum: NO END. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

82. Hatcher of "Desperate Housewives": TERI.

83. Jazz count: BASIE.

84. Pal of Aramis: ATHOS.

86. Relative who shares your birthday, perhaps: TWIN. Our blog twins.

Joann's sister Joyce, their mother Martha and Joann

87. "Hair" styles: AFROS.

90. Queen's mate: DRONE BEE.

93. Mother canonized by Pope Francis: TERESA.

96. Hammer throw trajectory: ARC.

97. Impudent sort: SNIP.

99. Pasta water prep instruction: ADD SALT.

102. Did, but doesn't now: USED TO.

103. Campus recruiting gp.: ROTC.

105. Dining selection: ENTREE. Do you have Port of Subs in your area?

106. Balladeer Michael: BOLTON. "How can we be lovers if we can't be friends?"

107. Give the okay: SAY YES.

109. Bush or Clinton, once: YALIE.

112. Rubbernecks, with "at": GAPES.

114. Seductive sort: VAMP.

116. Struggling to decide: TORN.

117. Triathlon component: SWIM.

118. "Picnic" playwright: INGE (William)

119. Bygone Fords: LTDS.

120. 2015 Payne Stewart Award honoree Ernie: ELS.

121. Touch gently: PAT.

122. Return ID: SSN.

124. Great Lakes' __ Canals: SOO.


I failed to reach Fermet Prime on Friday and Saturday. Her friend Malcolm said she might be released from the hospital next Monday February 25. He said "The hospital would like Lorraine to go to a rehab situation, they object to her going back to her house unless she has twenty-four hour help."  

In the meantime, we can send cards to:

Lorraine Foster
8735 White Oak Ave.
Northridge, CA 91325


Feb 23, 2019

Saturday, February 23, 2019, Jim Quinlan

Themeless Saturday by Jim Quinlan

On the last Saturday in February we celebrate National Tongue Twister Contest Day. So let's see how you would do with these two beauties. For this contest let us know which you think, the Guinness or MIT nomination, is the winner of hardest limerick ever.

Guiness Candidate               M.I.T Candidate

Today's constructor is Jim Quinlan. I could not find much about him on the web but did run across this "musing" from him that sounds like something that crosses my mind on many occasions:

I can't help but anagram and make wordplay with stop signs when I'm driving. It's annoying. Those big white letters just ask to be messed with. POTS, TOPS, SPOT, OPTS. Am I alone in this? I hope so. Anyway, "Stop Sign" sounds an awful lot like "Stop Sighin'!" ["Quit feeling sorry for yourself!"]  or "Stop lyin! [Quit telling falsehoods!] 

Four speed bumps for me:

26. "A Farewell to Arms" setting: Abbr.: WWI - I wasted time trying to think of a country. I associate Hemingway with the Spanish Civil War but that book would have been For Whom The Bell Tolls not this one set in Italy

33. Strauss creation: LEVIS - I wasted time with OPERA before LEVI's riveted blue jeans came to mind  

32. Start to stop?: NON - I wasted time with ESS

51. "Wow!": OOH - I wasted time with GEE

Let's what else Jim has for us before I have to go see Sally selling seashells by the seashore.


1. Like some VIP treatment: ALL ACCESS - I think I'd rather have gone to Crystal's party

10. Global Chic designer: IMAN - The now 63-yr-old widow of David Bowie

14. Dog trainer's hand signal, say: VISUAL CUE - Awww

15. It'll blow over soon: CRAZE - Cabbage Patch Kids, fidget spinners, hula hoops, etc.

16. Running smoothly: IN A GROOVE - I'm sure Boomer has been in one of these frequently for his many high scores in bowling

17. Schindler with a list: OSKAR - I've said it before, it's a movie where I couldn't stay until the end

18. Stings: SET UPS - Real movie fans will remember when Johnny Hooker and Henry Gondorff SET UP Doyle Lonnegan Give me my money back! (4 min.)

19. Academic acronym: STEM.

21. The past, in the past: ELD - An archaic use, better known now as the root for ELDER

22. Beat but good: ROUT  and 
58. Shut out, in a game: BLANK

48. Writer of anthropomorphic tales: AESOP - AESOP's tortoise did ROUT the hare

24. Absorption processes: OSMOSES

29. Algerian seaport: ORAN - Where America started WWII in across the Atlantic in November of 1942 during Operation Torch 

31. __ Pig: British preschool TV show: PEPPA - I landed on this show once as it is near ESPN on our channels. It is a syrupy departure from the Looney Tunes, et al of my ute

35. Mexican president after Calderón: NIETO.

37. Gets all mushy: BREAKS INTO TEARS.

40. Kipling's "Lone Wolf": AKELA.

41. Feudal servants: SERFS - Not peons this round

42. Daffy depiction?: CEL hurry, only one left!

43. Can't get enough of: ADORE.

45. Abounding: RIFE.

46. Anti-discrimination initials: EEO.

47. Mexico's largest lake: CHAPALA - Just south of Guadalajara 

49. Cunning: ARCH - Iterations of Batman's most attractive ARCHENEMY (Halle Berry's my fav)

52. Passed on: OKED -  _ _ E D was not DIED. I then OKED the correct fill

54. Very little: A TASTE.

60. "Pardon, sir ... ": SAY MISTER - "SAY MISTER Burnikel, did you get this one?"

62. Salon option: RINSE.

63. Counting-out rhyme opening: ONE POTATO - ONE POTATO, two potato, three potato, four...

64. Flexible, in a way: AC/DC - We have this radio and it can go either way

65. Secretly communicate in class, pre-texting: PASS NOTES - I see very little of this in 2019 schools post-texting


1. Dollar competitor: AVIS - EURO currency gave way to a rental car company

2. Feature of a busy amusement park: LINE - Everyone says how they "hate" the It's A Small World Ride at Magic Kingdom, but even it has very long LINES

3. What needs to be passed on the way to the bar, briefly?: LSAT.

4. Foretell: AUGUR - Shakespeare's Sonnet CVII - "And the sad AUGURS mock their own presage; I
ncertainties now crown themselves assured" says these foretellers aren't always successful

5. Musical "Late Late" segment: CARPOOL KARAOKE A lovely 23 minute version with Sir Paul singing his timeless music in the car while touring Liverpool with a big finish!

6. Snowstorm news: CLOSURES - This last big show is going to happen today on a weekend so NO CLOSURE. Sorry teachers, er, kids!😏

7. Prefix with tourism: ECO - ECOtourists and ECOwarriors are frequent puzzle visitors

8. Explorers, e.g.: SUVS - Ford's version

9. Manage: SEE TO 

10. Gp. concerned with cheaters: IRS 

11. Stops the fight: MAKES PEACE - Teddy won the Nobel Peace Prize for helping MAKE PEACE and end the Russo-Japanese War in 1906

12. Rhododendron family bloomer: AZALEA TREE - AZALEAS ring the famous 12th hole at the Master's and are a sure harbinger of spring

13. __ out: gets excited in a geeky way, in slang: NERDS

15. Popular place for lurking trolls: COMMENT SECTION - Our COMMENT SECTION follows my diatribe. Trolls should remain under the bridge

20. Psychic's claim: ESP.

23. Former TV talk show host Smiley: TAVIS - TAVIS has some issues these days

25. Taylor tot: OPIE - That's sheriff Andy's boy

26. Sun and Sky org.: WNBA - I just blogged these two teams two weeks ago and still got fooled for a while. Arrrggghhh!

27. Unlikely "TGIF" exclaimer: WORKAHOLIC.

28. "Little help?": I NEED A HAND - The clue is short for, "Can I get a little help here?"

30. Pilot's digit: NINER - Can you see the 29 on the runway amid the tire marks. Runway 29 is short for a heading of 290 (WNW) where the 0 is dropped and we get Runway Two-NINER

34. Narrow furrow: STRIA - Nourison's twilight, twister, STRIA carpet

36. 2017 Tony winner about the '90s Israel-PLO accords: OSLO The Playbill

38. Somewhat off: ALOP - Merriam Webster Dictionary says, "Huh?" Oxford English says, "Lopsided"

39. Cloverleaf segments: OFF RAMPS.

44. Mammal with a rack: ELK - That's one... 

47. G.I. Joe nemesis: COBRA.

50. Lacks choices: HAS TO.

53. Perfumery that created Tabu: DANA - DW's fragrance when we were dating. Ahhh...

55. Bit of sports trivia: STAT - "Whose home run record did Babe Ruth break when he hit 60 in 1927?" (*Answer at the bottom)

56. French bean?: TETE.

57. Winged god: EROS.

59. Situation Room gp.: NSC - The National Security Council was formed by President Harry Truman

61. Assent: YES.

Time for you to toot your own horn:

* Babe broke his own record of 59 home runs in 1921

Note from C.C.:
Happy 80th Birthday to dear  Keith Fowler (Ol' Man Keith), longest-living Fowler on record. How are you celebrating this milestone, Keith?

  This picture is more recent.