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


May 31, 2019

Friday, May 31, 2019, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: Boris: “Do you agree?” Natasha: “ДА!”

My regular doubles partner here at the Corner, Jeffrey Wechsler is back on a Friday with one of his classics - an add letters puzzles to create funny fill. Today DA is added and I hope it did not addle your brain. DA is the yes in Russian, an abbreviation for DAD in Britain (I think-Steve?) and a common shortcut for District Attorney. He also sneaks in the amusing non-themer DADAIST, along with many other sparklies like ANALYST,  DOGGIES, I'M ALONE, MASCARA, ON A DATE, PORGIES, STENCIL, ALARMING, MACARENA, MIRRORED, and SEDATION. We also have many apostrophes and the usual trickery in some cluing. On with the fun.

17A. Short-order bear?: FRYING PANDA (11). If you can have a Kung-fu Panda why not one in the kitchen making your lunch, using a FRYING PAN.

24A. News item from Hoda Kotb?: TODAY STORY (10). The 4th-hour anchor is away with her new adopted BABY. It is too soon to watch TOY STORY.

34A. Skeptical response to "Here's the drink I owe you"?: SAY IT ISN'T SODA (13). Obviously not the response of a teetotaller.

46A. Element of avant-garde music?: DARING TONE (10). I think the tonality or lack thereof of Arnold Schoenberg was more daring. I have a cousin who married a Schoenberg.

55A. Prosecutor ... or what four long puzzle answers have received?: ASSISTANT DA (11). So maybe this is the one he had in mind. I hope he doesn't mind my subversive write-up, but I just must have fun. On with the show. 


1. Just right: APT. Not an easy start, but it is Friday.

4. Some pets, in totspeak: DOGGIES. Totspeak is a term I think was developed solely for crossword fill like OWIE, WAWA and oh yeah DADA!

11. Ronda Rousey's sport, initially: MMAMixed Martial Arts.

14. Supporting: FOR. Not a beam but a person.

15. Tempting text to a lover: I'M ALONE. Sounds like some kind of illicit rendezvous.

16. McShane of "Deadwood": IAN. Ian has been one of my favorites, I think Steve also, since his days as LOVEJOY. However, in the John Wick 3 movie, he is not a nice man, and that is not a nice movie. Halle Berry continues to look nice, though.

19. Label for some Usher releases: RCA. Do people care about record labels anymore?

20. Words from a bell ringer: IT'S ME. Not in the tower, but at your front door. Obviously not an academic visitor.

21. Pen part: NIB. All you ever wanted to know about PENS.

22. Continental border river: URAL. This divides Europe and Asia.

23. Coolidge who wasn't president: RITA. This mostly Cherokee and mostly forgotten SINGER was married to Kris Kristofferson as well as having hits like...

27. L'Oréal's Voluminous Carbon Black, e.g.: MASCARA. I love having this in the puzzle with 12D. Popular '90s  dance:  MACARENA.

29. Longtime preceder of Johnny?: HERE'S. Both Ed McMahon and Jack Nicholson made this famous.

30. Maurice Sendak/Carole King musical "Really __": ROSIE. A hard Friday fill but a wonderful collaboration between the creator of Where the Wild Things Are and the very talented Ms. King,  subject of the Broadway hit Beautiful.

33. "__ you clever!": AREN'T. Yes, he is.

38. Apollo's birth island: DELOS. This Greek god has great BACKSTORY.

39. Nautical pole: SPRIT. I will leave the words to our sailors.

40. Saw: ADAGE. Nope, just letters here.

41. At the movies, maybe: ON A DATE. Here too.

50. Bird's biological class: AVES. I like this followed by...

51. Bill distributors: ATMS. Since birds have bills.

52. Detroit labor gp.: UAWUnited Auto Workers.

53. Research support: GRANT.

54. Sundial marking: III.

58. Luke, to Anakin: SON.

59. Sign maker's aid: STENCIL. Do they need them any longer?

60. Court fig.: ATTorney. Not an abbreviation popular in the profession.

61. "Star Trek" spin-off, briefly: TNGThe Next Generation.

62. Fish also called sea breams: PORGIES. This little FISH is one the many considered as a kosher fish. Catfish are not.

63. Future 62-Across: ROE. JW just egging you on.


1. Validate: AFFIRM.

2. "The quality of mercy is not strain'd" speaker: PORTIA. "It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven." Merchant of Venice Act IV, Scene I. Jeffrey and I both love our Friday Shakespeare.

3. Secret meetings: TRYSTS.

4. Order the Beef Wellington, say: DINE.

5. Bit of texting shock: OMG.

6. Space: GAP.

7. Endocrine __: GLAND.

8. Ancient region of present-day Turkey: IONIA. I always thought it was in Greece.

9. Not continue past: END BY. Also Use By.

10. Ahab's milieu: SEA.

11. Did the same as: MIRRORED.

13. Pro with a couch: ANALYST. Psycho-

18. Apple product: IMAC.

22. Unborn, after "in": UTERO. Literal Latin.

24. Unhurried pace: TROT.

25. Refreshing place: OASIS. Or maybe you want to visit...

26. Siskiyou County peak: SHASTA. I am sure this was a gimme for our West Coast contingent.

28. Gotten up: ARISEN.

31. Many a cable co.: ISPInternet Service Provider. Not related to 55D. Cleopatra's "poor venomous fool": ASP. A double dose of Will from Act V, Scene 2.
"Poor venomous fool
Be angry and dispatch. Oh, couldst thou speak,
That I might hear thee call great Caesar ass."

32. 2001 scandal subject: ENRON.

34. It puts people out: SEDATION. A very nice clue for a Friday deception.

35. Frightful: ALARMING.

36. Ones using asanas: YOGIS. And so many of your neighbors. 12 FAVORITES.

37. Pitchfork part: TINE. Actually any fork.

38. Arp, for one: DADAIST.

42. "Phooey!": DARN. Probably the tame version of what JW is thinking about my silliness.

43. Video game figure: AVATAR.

44. Take care of: TEND TO.

45. Wayne Manor and environs, e.g.: ESTATE. An odd Batman reference?

47. Relish: GUSTO.

48. Law enforcement tool: TASER.

49. In arrears: OWING.

53. Hoedown misses: GALS. Not misses, but misses. Not related to Hoda Kotb.

56. Chem. or phys.: SCI.

57. Bun package closer: TIE. If you keep your legs tied together you will not get a bun in the oven.

We have made it through another Friday challenge from Jeffrey. It always feels good to solve and then discuss one of his creations. I hope you had fun and I will leave you with the grid and another picture of a classic DA. Lemonade out.

May 30, 2019

Thursday, May 30th 2019 Ross Trudeau

Theme: Anagrams - the reveal explains what we're looking for - three "diapers" anagrams in the theme entries:

52A. New father's task, maybe ... and what the three other longest puzzle answers have in common?: CHANGING DIAPERS

And so we find:

17A. Dreamed of a career in politics: ASPIRED TO OFFICE. The alternative spelling of the past tense of "dream" is "dreamt", which occupies a singular place in the English language. Anyone know what's unique about the word?

26A. Took part in a revival: PRAISED THE LORD. And passed the ammunition, if you were Chaplain Forgy on the U.S.S New Orleans during the Pearl Harbor attacks in 1942.

42A. "We can't win!" and "It's useless!": CRIES OF DESPAIR. Accompanied by wailing and gnashing of teeth. Which brings me to the question of the day - what does a teeth-gnashing look like? The expression is so familiar that I never stopped to think about it before.

Fun puzzle from Ross today, it was a pretty straightforward solve even though there were quite a few unknowns for me, the crosses were all solid. By the time I'd worked my way down to the reveal, the theme entries were all complete, so it was just a case of admiring the elegant anagrams.

None of the theme entries have appeared in the major puzzles before, which is neat. There's one other "unique" word in the puzzle, we'll get to that later. Let's see what's what in the fill:


1. Hairy swinger: APE

4. Blue semiprecious stone: AZURITE. New to me. Pretty color:

11. Vainglory: EGO

14. "Blue Bloods" actor Selleck: TOM

15. Joint Chiefs member: GENERAL. There are six generals and an admiral on the current Joint Chiefs of Staff.

16. Bubbly title: DOM. Dom Pérignon, produced by the champagne house Moët & Chandon and named for a Benedictine monk who introduced a number of wine-making techniques and methods in the 1600's.

20. Mythical hunter: DIANA

21. Considerable stretches: EONS

22. Thames academy: ETON. Posh school across the river from Windsor Castle. You'd think the Queen would have sent her boys there as it's about five minutes walk from the castle, but she and Phil the Greek packed them off to a school in the north of Scotland.

23. Old Opry network: TNN. The Nashville Network, later The National Network.

24. Nice picnic spot?: PARC. The city of Nice, France.

25. Burn soothers: ALOES

29. Hit one out, in baseball parlance: GO DEEP

30. Atomic number of nitrogen: SEVEN

31. TV commentator Navarro: ANA

32. Fort Collins sch.: C.S.U. Colorado State U.

34. Cone producer: FIR

35. "Amscray!": GIT!

38. Singer Lopez: TRINI. I thought this person had passed me by thus far, but when I went look her up, I discovered firstly it's a man, and secondly he recorded "If I Had a Hammer" which I know from when I was a kid.

40. Name on a "Little Women" book jacket: LOUISA. M. Alcott.

45. "Something to Talk About" singer: RAITT. Quite a few proper names in the puzzle today.

46. Low-quality: POOR

47. Mining supply: TNT

48. Subject of the documentary "Blackfish": ORCA. The film deals critically with the treatment of orcas at SeaWorld.

49. __-g: ZERO. Took a while for the penny to drop on this one.

50. Terra __: COTTA. Resisted the temptation to fill in "FIRMA".

55. Luv: HON

56. Candy bowl holder's rule on Halloween: ONE EACH

57. __ generis: SUI

58. Short albums, for short: EP'S. Extended play 45's. Usually two songs on each side. Officially, an EP has a running time of less than 25 minutes and no more than four tracks.

59. "Afterwards ... ": AND THEN

60. Word before cow, dog or lion: SEA


1. Somewhat: A TAD

2. Physics particle: POSITRON. An electron and a positron go into a bar. The positron says "It's your round". The electron asks "Are you sure"? "I'm positive" comes the reply.

3. Spanish stuffed pastry: EMPANADA. Yum!

4. Taj Mahal city: AGRA

5. Zombiepocalypse start?: ZEE. What a great word!

6. Like a zombie: UNDEAD

7. Snappy comebacks: RETORTS

8. Japanese show set in a kitchen: IRON CHEF. I loved the show. It thought it was funny when the English voice-over translator would include the "mmmm" sounds the judges were making and add the laughs "ha ha ha" too.

9. New Mexico resort: TAOS

10. Pixie: ELF

11. Publishing house hiree: EDITOR

12. Start admitting both men and women: GO CO-ED

13. Fodder for soothsayers: OMENS

18. Navel variety: INNIE. Wait for the crosses.

19. Pen denizen: FELON

24. Soft drink choices: PEPSIS

25. Last Olds models: ALEROS

26. Dustin Johnson's org.: P.G.A. Need to be careful here - DJ belongs to the PGA TOUR. The Professional Golfer's Association of America is for club professionals.

27. Confidential: SECRET

28. More wicked: EVILER

33. Still wrapped: UNOPENED

35. Garganta of "Femforce" comics, e.g.: GIANTESS. Crosses all the way.

36. "No kidding?": IS IT TRUE?

37. Road gunk: TAR

38. Saturn's largest moon: TITAN

39. "It's not coming to me": I FORGET

41. "High five!": UP TOP!

42. Drive-in server: CAR HOP. My local Bob's Big Boy in Toluca Lake still features car hops on weekend nights. The Friday night has a classic and custom car show in the parking lot; Jay Leno often turns up with one of his prized collection.

43. Puerto __: San Juan natives: RICANS

44. "Camptown Races" refrain syllables: DOO-DAH

45. Valium maker: ROCHE

49. "A People's History of the United States" writer Howard: ZINN. This is the other unique word in the puzzle, which I find surprising. I'd not heard of the author before, so thank you, crosses.

50. "High Hopes" lyricist: CAHN

51. China setting: ASIA

53. Small Indian state: GOA

54. Puck's place: ICE. Topical as the Stanley Cup Finals are underway.

If you're still wondering about "dreamt", it's the only word in the English language which ends "amt".

That should do it for me. Here's the grid!


May 29, 2019

Wednesday May 29, 2019 Roland Huget

Theme: ROUGHHOUSE (61. Rowdy play, and what's hidden in each answer to a starred clue) - Four different simple shelters are hidden in each theme entry.

17A. *Cocktail ingredient often made with a mallet: CRUSHED ICE.

40A. *Sleep: SHUT EYE.
11D. *Quarterback's underhand move: SHOVEL PASS.

29D *Restraint on a prisoner: LEG SHACKLE. Thought they're called "leg irons".

C.C. here, filling in another blogging gap.

Classic 5-themer grid with a 7 in the middle. You won't get sparkly 8 or 9 non-theme fill in this grid design, but the fill will be clean.  

I like the re-phrase of the reveal entry.  Nice wordplay. The shelter is consistently contained in one word.  

1. Was short: OWED.

5. Cut short, NASA-style: ABORT.

10. "Got it": I SEE.

14. "The Great" detective of kid-lit: NATE.

15. "Green Acres" co-star: GABOR. Eva. Youngest of the three Gabors.

16. Tobacco plug: CHAW.

19. Come up short: LOSE.

20. Hand-held allergy treatment: EPIPEN. D-Otto has one in his fridge.

21. Invite to one's home: ASK OVER.

23. Not from a bottle: ON TAP. 35. They may be 23-Across: ALES.

26. Swivel around: SLUE.

27. Seasoned sailors: SALTS. This is OK, but you guys don't like TARS, right?

30. Automated blog participant, for short: BOT.

32. Runs in neutral: IDLES.

36. Anne of Green Gables or Annie: ORPHAN.

38. Orchestra __: PIT.

39. Skit bit: GAG.

41. Ottoman bigwig: AGA. Or AGHA.

42. 911 response letters: EMS.

43. Stick a stake in, as a vampire: IMPALE.

44. Pale: ASHY.

45. Totally sexy: SO HOT. And 48. Strongly craves, with "after": LUSTS.

47. La-la lead-in: TRA.

49. "Sorry to say ... ": ALAS.

51. Blazer material: TWEED.

53. Performer's "Nailed it!" gesture: MIC DROP. Even Obama did it.

56. Followed: TAILED.

60. Rubs the wrong way: IRKS.

64. Cuba libre mixer: COLA. China has Future Cola.

65. First name in cosmetics: ESTEE.

66. Persia, now: IRAN. Hi there Abejo. Also, WikWak, hope you read all these birthday greetings from our blog regulars back in April.

67. From the top: ANEW.

68. Direct: STEER.

69. Brooding place: NEST.


1. Some time ago: ONCE.

2. What wet boards may do: WARP.

3. Special case: ETUI.

4. Cruel rulers: DESPOTS.

5. Contract negotiator: AGENT. Who's the most powerful sports agent right now? I only know Mark Steinberg. Oh also Jerry Maguire.

6. Naughty: BAD.

7. Kimono accessory: OBI.

8. Almond __: crunchy candy: ROCA.

9. Hair piece: TRESS.

10. Apple backup service: ICLOUD. We have Google Cloud.

12. Maneuver carefully: EASE.

13. Still-life subject: EWER.

18. Coop group: HENS.

22. Ryan's "French Kiss" co-star: KLINE.

24. Sudden: ABRUPT.

25. Toaster pastry: POP TART. I bet many of you have never had egg tarts. So good.

27. Learned advisors: SAGES.

28. Enterprise competitor: ALAMO.

31. Long-armed institution: THE LAW.

33. "Magic" ball digit: EIGHT.

34. Collar inserts: STAYS.

36. Unit of resistance: OHM.

37. Cry from a pro: AYE. One who's for.

40. Raga instrument: SITAR.

44. Port on some stereos: AUDIO IN.

46. Familiar saying: OLD SAW.

48. Sister of Rachel: LEAH. Here is the Leah on our blog. Chickie.

Left to Right: Chickie, JD, Garlic Gal and Lucina.
June 3, 2015

50. Aloe targets: SORES.

52. Former anesthetic: ETHER.

53. Layered rock: MICA.

54. Common club choice on a par-three hole: IRON. Short par-three.

55. Publish in an online forum: POST.

57. Tackle box item: LURE.

58. Those, in Tijuana: ESAS.

59. Minor progress: DENT.

62. 4 x 4, briefly: UTE.

63. "Hmm": GEE.


May 28, 2019

Tuesday May 28, 2019 Craig Stowe

Theme: NORTHERN LIGHTS (14D. Arctic spectacle ... and what the answers to starred clues have?) -The north part of each theme entry can follow "light".

 3D. *The next one starts in 2026: YEAR OF THE HORSE. Light-year.

10D. *Iffy: TOUCH AND GO. Light touch.

21D. *Rare medical service these days: HOUSE CALL. Lighthouse.

29D. *Exhibiting: SHOWCASING. Light show.

Boomer here again.  

Happy to be back, and I hope you all had a happy but meaningful holiday, maybe remembering a loved one who has left us.  My heart goes out to the folks in Oklahoma who were hit by Tornadoes similar to those recently in Missouri.


1. Long sails: VOYAGES.  Sinbad was famous for these.

8. Interrupt, with "in": BUTT.  I hate to admit it, but I used cigarettes and sometimes tossed the butt.  (Quit in 2001)

12. Unsightly sight: EYESORE.  Every city has them.  In Minneapolis it was the Metrodome.  Now it's the Timberwolves.

13. Christens with oil: ANOINTS.  We have this monthly at church.

17. Frigid: GLACIAL.  History tells us that Minnesota was glacial.  The glaciers turned into 10,000 lakes.  (more or less)

18. Game that's pointless for one team?: SHUTOUT.  Twins pitchers are doing this frequently to opponents.

19. Director Howard: RON.  One of constructors' favorites is OPIE.  Played by ___.

20. Sighs of pleasure: AHS.  Preceded by Ooohs

22. Like dad jokes: CORNY.  Corny as Kellogg's Corn Flakes.

23. Aberdeen resident: SCOT.  I suppose there is a guy named Scot in Aberdeen South Dakota ??

25. Symbol on Nike stores: SWOOSH.  They changed their pro golf hats to perpendicular letters.  Also I noticed Tiger stumping for Bridgestone golf balls.  Maybe Nike got out of the golf ball market.  Phil M. once called Nike clubs and golf balls that Tiger was using as "inferior equipment."

27. Put a strain on: TAX.  IRS can be stressful, especially this year.  I am convinced it was due to the government shutdown earlier this year.

28. 1980s sitcom ET: ALF.  What's it all about Alfie ??

29. Junior in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: SEAU.

30. "Love __ reason, reason none": Shak.: HATH.

32. Volleyball court divider: NET.  Or the income you report on your 1040.

33. Half a matched set: HERS.

34. Disturbed state: UNREST.

37. Google alternative: YAHOO.  Cheer for the (insert your team here) today ! 

39. MBA or Ph.D.: DEG.

41. Villainous Vader: DARTH.

42. Combo in the ring: ONE TWO.  Buckle my shoe.

44. Jagged rock: CRAG.

46. Neither companion: NOR.

47. Pawn: HOCK.  I quit watching "Pawn Stars" of Las Vegas.  Rick never pays what it's worth.

48. Aviation prefix: AERO.

49. It's not true: LIE.  No political comments allowed.

50. "Now I get it!": OHO.  Add an "I" and you get a Buckeye state.

52. Leaves confused: ADDLES. Leave off the "S" and you get a brain.

54. Sushi ingredient: RICE.

55. Tangle behind many a desktop: WIRES.  That's for sure - Computer, phone, electric fan.

57. Type: ILK.

58. Circle div.: SEG.

59. Teach bit by bit: INSTILL. Years ago, we took photos in stills at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.  It's a big country, especially to drive from Minneapolis to Billings just to bowl.
C.C.& Boomer, 2002
61. "Here's the best part": GET THIS. "You've got a head start, if you are among the very young at heart.

65. Lasting forever: ETERNAL.  I believe there is still an eternal flame at the grave site of JFK in the Arlington National Cemetery.   

66. In plain sight: OVERTLY.

67. Like hollandaise sauce: EGGY.  I made holiday potato salad yesterday, a little eggy I suppose. 

68. Removed from power: DEPOSED.


1. Chill (out): VEG.

2. Olive or Castor of toondom: OYL. Popeye's sweetheart's surname.

4. Natty neckwear: ASCOT.  We don't see them anymore.  But we still may see bagpipes.

5. Cross the threshold: GO IN.

6. Stat for Jacob deGrom: ERA.  We have a bunch of Twins with less than 3.00.

7. Actress who won a Golden Globe and an Emmy for "Once and Again": SELA WARD.

8. Low opera voice: BASSO.  Okay it's a stretch.  I was a 2nd Bass in the high school glee club which is as low as you go.

9. Granite State sch.: UNH. University of New Hampshire. UnHuh

11. Jackson 5 brother: TITO.  Sorry, I never liked their music, especially that little guy, Michael.  

15. Sushi ingredient: TUNA.  I don't know about sushi.  We always buy it in a can for sandwiches.

16. "Come Sail Away" rock band: STYX.

23. Japanese electronics giant: SANYO.

24. Concealing no weapons: CLEAN.  I keep my clubs clean, my putter is the weapon. 

25. Drop in on: SEE. He joined the Navy to see the world, but what did he see, he saw the sea.

26. Moo __ pork: SHU. You would think "MOO" would indicate cow.

31. Song syllable: TRA. Oh the flowers that bloom in the Spring Tra La ….

35. Hard to read, facially: STOIC.

36. Number of Chicago Cubs' World Series wins: THREE.  Twins have two, and they have not been around for 120 years.  Maybe if Cubs replaced Wrigley ???  I was there once before the lights.  Paid ten bucks to park on a guy's front yard, and got a seat with a whole lot of ABC (already been chewed) Wrigley gum under it.  I think TTP had a similar experience a while ago.

38. Platte River native: OTO.

40. Zeus or Ares: GREEK GOD.

43. Authorized, briefly: OK'D.

45. Horace's "__ Poetica": ARS.  Sounds more like a Horse's Ars.

50. Boo-boo: OWIE.  I haven't heard this since my sisters were 5 years old.

51. Help for a stumped solver: HINT.

53. Lulu: DILLY.  Reminds me of Howdy Doody's buddy, Dilly Dally.

54. Back in style: RETRO.

56. Raison d'__: ETRE.

58. Escalator part: STEP.  If you take it, ride it.  I do not like people who have to climb the moving steps.  It's okay if you need to go to the bathroom.
60. Internet connectivity annoyance: LAG.  I believe this might be a golf shot where you need to stay short of trouble.  Some may call it a lay up, but then basketball fans won't get it. 

62. "Killing __": TV thriller starring Sandra Oh: EVE.

63. Land in l'eau: ILE.

64. Australian airport code: SYD.


May 27, 2019

Monday May 27, 2019 Bruce Venzke & Gail Grabowski

Theme: CAUGHT IN THE RAIN (52A. Surprised by a shower ... and a hint involving certain outer letters of 20-, 32- and 40-Across) - RAIN is broken up in three different ways.

20. Olive Garden, e.g.: RESTAURANT CHAIN.

32. Winning big: RAKING IT IN.

40. Breakfast cereal with dried grapes: RAISIN BRAN.

Boomer here. 

Greetings from the land of the Minnesota Twins!  They are off to a great start of the season.  We'll see how they do against better teams coming up.  Brewers, Rays, and Indians.  So the puzzle theme is RAIN.  We have had plenty of that recently up North, but I am not complaining.  

The devastating tornadoes in Missouri breaks my heart.  I cannot imagine if my home was destroyed by weather. In church yesterday, we offered a prayer for those in the Show Me State that were affected.  

1. Boxing contest: MATCH.  Smokey the Bear says "Only you can prevent forest fires."

6. Covered with frosting: ICED. Iced tea is a great summer drink

10. Morticia Addams, to Gomez: TISH. Itt's true.  You rang?  My sister used to call me Lurch.

14. Beef recall cause: E. COLI.  Twins pitcher Kyle Gibson battled this in the off season.
Kyle Gibson

15. __ Scotia: NOVA.

16. "Sounds good": OKAY.

17. Pulsate: THROB.  Could invade your legs with too much golf.

18. Long, hard trip: TREK.  Star Trek - Gateway to the final frontier.

19. Curly salon job: PERM.  If this hairdo is a permanent, why do you need one every six months?  Yeah, I know... You grew different hair.

23. Tokyo, formerly: EDO.  Do Japanese husbands and wives say this at the altar?

24. USN NCO: CPO.  Remember CPO Sharkey Don Rickles.  I don't, I never liked Mr. Rickles.

25. Enlightened cry: AHA.

26. HBO rival, briefly: SHO.  I bought Showtime for awhile in the 1980s.  I never missed "Bizarre" hosted by John Byner .  Live from Toronto Canada. I never paid for HBO.

27. Cologne squirts: SPRITZES.

35. "Did __ something wrong?": I DO.  I know Americans say this at the altar.

36. Suspicious (of): WARY.

37. Pelican State sch.: LSU.  One of the many sports teams with a nickname of the Tigers.

38. Strings at luaus: UKES.  National music maker of Hawaii.  (Tiny Bubbles)

39. Adam's mate: EVE.  I don't think they ever had to say I DO.

44. "Ask Ann Landers" sister column: DEAR ABBY.  Dear Abby is a celebrity grandmother of Dean Phillips who happens to be our third district congressman from the state of Minnesota.

46. Feel poorly: AIL. "Ail, Ail, the gang's all here".

47. Mex. neighbor: USA.  Wishing all a solace Memorial Day.  "God Bless America."

48. Former JFK lander: SST.  I believe the Super Sonic Transports are now all grounded.

49. Govt.-issued aid: SSI.  I have one.  Never put it on line or give it to a junk phone caller.

58. Gorbachev's land: Abbr.: USSR.

59. "What a great __!": IDEA.

60. No longer squeaking: OILED.  I have also heard of this to be an adjective of one who may have over imbibed.

61. Mets' old stadium: SHEA.  Shea Stadium replaced the old Polo Grounds where Willie Mays got his start, and Bobby Thompson hit "The shot heard 'round the world". (Both in 1951).

62. Expected result: NORM.

63. Wind instrument commonly played horizontally: FLUTE.  We have a musician in the choir at church who plays the flute.

64. Sassy: PERT.

65. Yucky stuff: GLOP.  I believe this is what cost Maximum Security big time in the "Most exciting two minutes in sports".

66. UPS competitor: FEDEX.  I little more sophisticated than UPS.  I think they fly (almost) everything to Memphis in the first hours, then sort it by destination and send it by plane to the addressee the next morning.


1. 39.37 inches, in Liverpool: METRE.  How many METRES are required for a first down ?

2. Felt the pain: ACHED.  A round of golf will make your body ache, but nothing is worse than a bad tooth.

3. Trunk of the body: TORSO.

4. Solidify: CLOT.  Great to stop the bleeding, but not good in your lung.

5. Small charcoal grill: HIBACHI.  These were popular when tailgating was a great picnic before a sports game.  Now a lot of the parking is in ramps, or tailgating is prohibited.

6. "101" course title word: INTRO.

7. Former "Iron Chef America" chef Cat __: CORA.

8. Tied, scorewise: EVEN.  OR Making a par on every hole, or balancing birdies with bogies.

9. '60s TV show whose title means "doctor" in Swahili: DAKTARI.

10. Astaire headwear: TOP HAT.  I am not old enough for Fred Astaire, but I remember seeing many pictures of past Presidents wearing Top Hats in inaugural parades.

11. Swedish retailer: IKEA. We have one near Mall of America.  I went there once but was not impressed.  I would be interested in your comments, because the brand seems successful.

12. Delhi dress: SARI.

13. Choir number: HYMN. In church yesterday, the choir ended with "America the Beautiful" in honor of Memorial Day.

21. "... wish __ a star": UPON.  Thank you Jiminy Cricket, and Walt Disney.

22. Spot for stubble: CHIN.  Double this and get the name my sister Connie calls C.C.  

C.C. & Connie, Feb 2019
 26. Wild blue yonder: SKY.  "Off we go".

27. Spacek of "Bloodline": SISSY.

28. Spitting sound: PTUI.  This is pretty gross.  I do not see it often nor do I do it.

29. Viral concern at the Rio Olympics: ZIKA.  I have heard that mosquitoes carry this virus.  We have plenty of mosquitoes in Minnesota, but I have heard of no virus.

30. Garden of __: EDEN.  Many cities have borrowed this name.  We have Eden Prairie, a Western suburb of Minneapolis.  A nice place to visit but I can't afford to live there. 

31. Maritime emergency letters: SOS. … --- … Save our ship

32. Enthusiastic review: RAVE.

33. Room size calculation: AREA. They used to use measuring tape.  Now it is done by laser technology.

34. Smooth-talking: GLIB.  Go Lie In Bed

36. Abandon bachelorhood: WED.  When people say I DO

38. Website ID: URL.  I used to know what this meant, but now I am so tired of three letter acronyms, I just don't care any more.  LOL

40. Foolhardy: RASH.  There is a PBA Bowler named Sean Rash.  He is not a favorite among competitors and they gave him the nickname of "Diaper". 

41. Letting up: ABATING.

42. Bandmate of Crosby and Stills: NASH.  "You, who are on the road, must have a code, that you can live by."

43. Attempt "more than one can chew," in an idiom: BITE OFF.  This would be a good name for a remedy that would ease the itch of mosquito bites.

45. Nickelodeon toon tot: RUGRAT.

48. "Forever" post office purchase: STAMP.  It's really a great idea for the USPO.  I bought a hundred when they were still 50 cents, and now I save a nickel every time I use one.

49. José's "L'chaim!": SALUD.

50. Seven, in Spain: SIETE.  Sieben in German but I'm not sure if I spelled it right.

51. Handy list in the back: INDEX.

52. Zodiac transition point: CUSP.

53. Tennis legend Arthur: ASHE.  A tragic story.  Ashe was a great tennis champion and a revered black athlete when there were not so many. Mr. Ashe had a heart problem and was given a transfusion of bad blood, which ended up causing his death at age 49.

54. Icon tapper: USER.

55. Talent show for 17 seasons, briefly: IDOL.  A so called talent show where some winners advanced to fame, while others proved they had no talent.

56. Fictional sleuth Wolfe: NERO.

57. Stir to anger: RILE.  I know it has no reference, but the answer reminded me of an old TV show with William Bendix called "The Life of Riley".  Something every man pursued in the 1950's.


May 26, 2019

Sunday May 26, 2019 Kevin Salat

Theme: "Abracadabra!"- IT is added then removed from each consecutive theme entry.

23A. For-display-only Greek deli items?: FAUX PITAS. Faux pas.

25A. Twenty minutes of juggling and acrobatics?: SHORT CIRCUS. Short circuit.

46A. Alien with high heat tolerance?: SUN VISITOR. Sun visor.

48A. Einstein's asset?: GREAT BRAIN. Great Britain.

87A. Play part for a giant god?: TITAN LINES. Tan lines.

89A. Bachelor pad?: SINGLE DIGS. Single digits.

111A. Musician evoking compassion?: PITIED PIPER. Pied Piper.

113A. Resist extra calories at Thanksgiving?: DEFY GRAVY. Defy gravity.


68. Magic words ... and a hint to four side-by-side pairs of puzzle answers: NOW YOU SEE IT NOW YOU DON'T.

We've seen dropping IT and adding IT theme before, but never in the same puzzle.

Keven also elevated this puzzle by putting theme entries consecutively. Such an elegant way to display the theme. As a result, we have one grid spanner and four 20-worders. 


1. Mosque leader: IMAM.

5. Language from which "cummerbund" is derived: URDU.

9. Banjo sound: TWANG. Wish I had never seen "Deliverance".

14. Social division: CASTE.

19. Nixed, at NASA: NO GO.

20. Sisters: NUNS.

21. Oklahoma Air Force base: VANCE.

22. Lift up: HOIST.

27. Live: ON AIR.

28. Stumble over: TRIP ON.

30. Capital south of Oklahoma City: AUSTIN.

31. Like things that go bump in the night: EERIE.

34. Pasture sound: MOO.

35. Cubs' org.: MLB.

36. Actor Alda who wrote the best-seller "If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?": ALAN. Such a long title.

38. Game winner: OOO.

41. Dietary claim: LESS FAT.

43. Salsa singer Cruz: CELIA.

45. "If u ask me ... ": IMO

50. Backup group: B TEAM.

51. Starts after a crash: REBOOTS.

53. Get a feeling: SENSE.

54. Racetrack ratios: ODDS.

55. "SpongeBob SquarePants" setting: SEA.

58. Maryland coll. team: TERPS.

59. Season trio: Abbr.: MOS. Months.

60. Milne hopper: ROO.

61. Herculean acts: FEATS.

63. It may be matched: SET.

64. Hogwarts' first High Inquisitor __ Umbridge: DOLORES. We just had this name yesterday. Related to dolor.

72. Hosp. triage expert: ER NURSE.

73. Ear piece?: COB.

74. Rush's Neil known for his 360-degree drum set: PEART. Learning moment for me.

75. Foxlike: SLY.

76. Shares an email with: CCS. And 79. Driller's deg.: DDS.

77. It's fed on streets: METER.

80. Recover: HEAL.

81. Old calculators: ABACI. I'm probably the only one on the blog who used the abacus at school.

84. Tranquilized: SEDATED.

86. New Zealand native: MAORI.

93. NBA's Magic: ORL.

94. Cats in Cádiz: GATOS.

95. Simon & Garfunkel genre: POP FOLK.  I thought it's "Folk rock".

96. Rent: LET.

97. Palindromic bread: NAAN.

99. "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" channel: CNN. Anyone tried his classic spaghetti with garlic, anchovies, and parsley?

100. Toon collectible: CEL.

101. Après-ski drink: COCOA.

103. Bills featuring Ben: C NOTES.

105. Five o'clock phenomenon?: SHADOW. Five-o'clock shadow.

107. Microwaved: NUKED.

116. Poker strategy: RAISE.

117. Ten out of ten: IDEAL.

118. Standard Oil brand: ESSO.

119. On the calm side: ALEE.

120. Daily Planet name: OLSEN. Jimmy Olsen.

121. Pond critters: NEWTS.

122. Flabbergast: STUN.

123. Camera component: LENS.


1. Facts and figures: INFO. And 40. Info in this puzzle?: ONE DOWN.

2. Lamentation: MOAN.

3. Lo que un desierto no tiene: AGUA.

4. Spunk: MOXIE.

5. Aussie college: UNI. British college too.

6. Boring routine: RUT.

7. MyHeritage service: DNA TEST. No need for me. Just Han Chinese in my blood. Did you know China is shaped like a rooster?

8. KGB country: USSR.

9. Expensive Super Bowl purchase: TV SPOT.

10. "Yippee!": WAHOO.

11. Auth. unknown: ANON.

12. ATM maker: NCR.

13. Earn a perfect report card: GET ALL A'S.

14. Phi followers: CHIS.

15. Ventricular outlet: AORTA.

16. Archimedes, by birth: SICILIAN.

17. Dangerous waves: TSUNAMIS. Literally "harbor wave" in Japanese.

18. Sci-fi staples: ETS.

24. Qualifying match, briefly: PRELIM.

26. Ark unit: CUBIT.

29. Turkish hospice: IMARET. Our old regular.

32. High-__ monitor: RES.

33. Grammar best-seller "Woe __": IS I.

35. Crosses paths: MEETS. This is indeed our Hahtoolah (Susan) with llama. So nice to finally see her. She's always the mysterious Corn Poppy. 


37. Zilch: NONE.

38. "One of Us" singer Joan: OSBORNE. We had her before.

39. Like some pet cats: OUTDOOR.

42. Backing: FOR.

43. Midriff-exposing shirt: CROP TOP.

44. Ruby Red vodka brand: ABSOLUT.

47. Biological duct: VAS. Also stranger to me.

48. Eames' "Law & Order: CI" partner Bobby: GOREN. I've only watched the original "Law & Order".

49. Fix a lawn: RESOD.

52. Wisest choice: BEST BET.

55. Gertrude McFuzz creator: SEUSS.

56. Effortlessness: EASE.

57. "No thanks, I already __": ATE. Common Chinese greeting: "Have you eaten yet?"

59. Keeps from drifting: MOORS.

61. Compelling: FORCING.

62. Formally withdraws: SECEDES.

64. Group of two: DYAD.

65. Perfume ingredient: ROSE OIL.

66. Make bigger: ENLARGE.

67. Job that requires cutting class?: STYLIST. Ha.

69. Joshua tree genus: YUCCA.

70. Minuscule bits: IOTAS.

71. Marry: WED.

77. Runners occupying bases: MEN ON.

78. Like many used cars: RESOLD.

80. "You __ to be there": HAD.

81. Heaps: A TON.

82. Like some children of mixed marriages: BIRACIAL.

83. Athens attacker, in Plato: ATLANTIS.

84. Dizzying Playskool toy, at times: SIT N SPIN.

85. Word with party or skinny: DIP.

86. Vietnam's __ Delta: MEKONG. Look at what she found! Dragon fruit. Quite pricey here in the US.

88. Tied, as skates: LACED.

90. Rams' football gp.: NFC WEST.

91. Sticky stuff: GOO.

92. Partners' abbr.: LLC.

95. Diver's quest: PEARLS.

98. Racket: NOISE.

100. Copier, maybe: CHEAT. One who copies.

102. Hearing-related: AURAL.

104. Many a gamer: TEEN.

105. Eject: SPEW.

106. Poems of praise: ODES.

108. Healthy salad green: KALE.

109. "Why __ bother?": EVEN.

110. Indigo and henna: DYES.

111. Backing: PRO.

112. Suffix with chlor-: IDE.

114. Seminoles' sch.: FSU.

115. "... the dew of __ high eastward hill": "Hamlet": YON.


Inanehiker (Nina) just wrote me yesterday with below message. She also sent me two Before and After pictures.

"We have had a wild ride here in Jefferson City since the tornado went through on Wednesday night.
Lots of destruction -but only a few injuries and no loss of life. One of our congregation had the roof taken off her apartment building - but her ceiling and apartment was amazingly intact!

We had been rehabbing a 100 year old house in a low income neighborhood - to move into when it was done probably December to minister to the neighborhood. But is now pile of rubble. Good thing for insurance which will help some- we are planning at this point to just clear it out and start a new build, but we will see. 

We were in our current house and fine.  We have been out helping clear trees brush and rubble from the area. Our church building is fine- but another friends church is rubble as well.  School finished for the year that day before- so no scramble to figure that out.

Just wanted to give you a quick update - not a lot of time to be on the blog :)"


Here is video that shows not all but a portion of the damage. 
At the end of this this article, there is a link to their denomination's crisis relief. Here is the address again:

901 East 78th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55420-1300
Designate the check with the memo: Tornado Response 3890

Or you can donate to the American Red Cross - with direction to Jefferson City Tornado Relief.

Thanks for your help!


May 25, 2019

Saturday, May 25, 2019, Daniel Nierenberg

Themeless Saturday by Daniel Nierenberg 

Today we celebrate that lovely "fruit of the vine" - National Wine Day.

Wine provides us so many cwd fills like TUN, CRU, OENO, PORT, ASTI, SEC, ROSE', NAPA, etc.

It also can be employed as a welcome reward in solving or for drowning one's sorrows for not solving. Hmmm... what vintage goes best with a Saturday Themeless Puzzle?

Our constructor today is Daniel Nierenberg who is working on his PhD in molecular biology,  Info on Daniel (Click on Read More). The empty cell you see below at 43 across/33 down shows you the location of my only error. DELORES seemed like a fine Cranberry to me and NAXES worked as well for an emery-rich Greek island. Buzz! Sorry, we were looking for an O. Thanks for playing Gary, we have some lovely parting gifts for you.

43. The Cranberries vocalist O'Riordan: DOLORES -  A now deceased lead singer for this group who was born in Ballybricken, Caherelly, Ireland in the east end of Limerick County

33. Greek island known for emery: NAXOS - The island of NAXOS is the red dot from where these emery rocks were taken

   Island of NAXOS                                    Emery rocks from this island 

Let's see what else Daniel has prepared for us in his puzzle lab today:


1. Golden __: RICE - Yeah right, I'm the only one who had _ _ _ E and put in RULE. Why this GMO rice is controversial

5. Soreness treatment: HEATING PAD - Ice first

15. Russian region rich in minerals: URAL - Nickel oxide, gold, platinum, chromite, coal , bauxite, talc, fireclay, etc. Probably no emery 

16. Marketeer in the 2016 film "War Dogs": ARMS DEALER Movie trailer

17. It's to be expected: NORM.

18. Baroque chamber work: TRIO SONATA - J.S. Bach and his son C.G.E. Bach wrote many of these for usually two violins and a bass

19. Prefix meaning "within": ENDO - ENDORSE - EN (IN Latin for in or on) and DORSE (Dorsum - Latin for back)

20. Solo on-screen: HAN - Wanna go trick or treating?

21. Epithet for Tim: TINY.

22. Attended to barking dogs?: SAT How sore feet became known as barking dogs

23. Bump-related: NODAL - NODAL corn root development as a function of planting depth

27. "One Time 4 Your Mind" rapper: NAS 

28. One may have its own tartan design: CLAN - Not just a SCOT

30. Adobe creation: ACROBAT.

32. Sitcom shoe salesman: AL BUNDY - Ed O'Neill as AL BUNDY and later as Jay Pritchett 

34. Fauvism pioneer: MATISSE - Named for les FAUVES (French for wild beasts) Read all about it

38. Lively dances in duple time: POLKAS - 96-yr-old MIL can still POLKA!

39. Lusters: SHEENS.

40. Test involving reading letters: EYE EXAM - No kids, 20/200 is very bad vision!  It means you need to be 20' away to see what a normal eye can see 200' away.

42. Considers closely: PEERS AT - See above

45. Trilogy, often: SAGA.

46. Super __: PAC 

49. Meal involving charoseth, a symbolic fruit paste: SEDER - A good bet for a cwd meal with five letters

50. Silent welcomer?: MAT - Ours

51. Narrow shore point: SPIT - Here are several

53. Boxer's statement?: ARF - Sandy wasn't a Boxer but as seen in this 1927 water color by Little Orphan Annie's creator Harold Gray, ARF was his only line

55. Drought-stricken: SERE - An old cwd friend

56. Place with flexible classes: YOGA STUDIO 

60. Get around?: COIL - The modus operandi for a Boa Constrictor 

61. Prying aid: CLAW HAMMER - A right and wrong way

62. "Radames' Letter" musical: AIDA From Rice and Weber's broadway musical AIDA

63. Film genre named for a supporting performer: HORSE OPERA - Clever cluing for slang indicating Western Movies

64. Went like the wind?: BLEW.


1. Online role-playing game involving magical stones: RUNE SCAPE - Guiness recognizes it as the largest MMORPG (Massively Muliplayer Online Role Playing Game). I wonder if a player can 41. Change, briefly, as game software: MOD (modify) the game

2. Steel, for one: IRON ALLOY.

3. Bridge site: CARD TABLE - Also fun cluing

4. Saint in a Brat Pack title: ELMO - Meh... 

5. Old ownership word: HATH - 30 days HATH September... 

6. Misjudgment: ERRANCY 

7. Key with all white notes: A MINOR - No sharps or flats in the key signature

8. Chicken general: TSO All you need to know

9. Lab coat attachments: ID'S - Dr. Frankenstein probably didn't wear one

10. "The Matrix" hero: NEO - The producer wanted Sandra Bullock for the role but she declined and Keanu Reeves got the part

11. Thomas Wolfe alter ego Eugene: GANT More

12. Bagel choice: PLAIN - ONION BAGEL was in our "OB-themed" Monday puzzle

13. Insurance giant: AETNA.

14. Horse-drawn wagons: DRAYS - Wagons for heavy loads usually without sides

24. Abbey title: DOM - On this Wine Day, what could be more appropriate than to mention the fine champagne developed by the Benedictine monk 
named Pierre Pérignon in the Champagne region of France who was a DOM in the Abbey of Hautvillers 

42. Water in a green bottle: PERRIER - Another French drink but from the Gard region of France

25. Humiliates: ABASES.

26. Metal-working tool: LATHE.

29. Heated quickly: NUKED - My popcorn is NUKED in the microwave

30. Certain agency goal: AD SALE Mad Men showed this so well

31. Levels: TIERS.

35. Cooking agent in some Indian cuisine: SESAME OIL - We would not have all the ingredients in our cupboard for this Chatpatta Channa and Potato Salad

36. Hitchhike successfully: SNAG A RIDE - Not from me I'm afraid

37. Attorney's specialty: ESTATE LAW - They are supposed to solve heir problems

44. Text file with instructions: READ ME - Uh, probably not gonna...

46. "Fooled you!": PSYCH.

47. Ohno on skates: APOLO Most medals won by an American winter olympian

48. Relaxing smoke for some: CIGAR - Elaine and Jerry relax 

52. Shooting marbles: TAWS - A shooter TAW among target marbles 

54. __ song: FOR A 

55. Sign of healing: SCAB.

57. Goose, e.g.: SHE - What's good for the Goose is good for the Gander

58. Asian path: TAO.

59. One making calls at home: UMP - There are those who want to use technology to take away some of those calls

On a personal note, celebrating with wine in late May is/was a tradition in my former profession. Some of the kids were even as excited as we teachers were to head out for summer. 😙