Sep 15, 2019

Sunday September 15, 2019 Pam Amick Klawitter

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

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

115A. Buttery Boston bread: PARKER HOUSE ROLL.

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

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

67. See 65-Across: CROSS.

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

1. Roadie's burden: AMP.

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

9. Fateful day for Caesar: IDES.

13. Control: TAME.

17. Like Richard of Almanack fame: POOR.

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

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

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

25. Sharply focused: INTENT.

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

28. Brutus' 551: DLI.

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

31. Medical screening tool: TB TEST.

33. Occupy, as a bar: SIT AT.

35. Overseas seas: MERS.

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

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

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

43. Google __: CHROME.

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

54. Market section: DAIRY.

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

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

58. Crop up: ARISE.

60. Match play?: ARSON. Nice clue.

62. Spoke from memory: RECITED.

64. Corn Belt sight: SILO.

70. Spanish painter who influenced Pollock: MIRO.

71. Ballet need: TOE SHOE.

75. Red Sea nation: YEMEN.

76. South end?: ERN. Southern.

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

80. Refuse: SAY NO.

83. RNs' workplaces: ERS.

84. Soda purchase: LITER.

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

90. Retro photos: SEPIAS.

91. Mercedes subcompact: A CLASS.

94. "No prob": YUP.

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

96. Leatherwork tools: AWLS.

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

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

105. Collar wearer, often: PET.

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

112. Take-home: NET PAY.

114. Drum major's move: TWIRL.

118. Sci-fi figure: DROID.

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

120. Galleria filler: ARTE.

121. Match: SYNC.

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

123. Hard rain?: SLEET.

124. Astonished cries: OHS.


1. Ladybug snacks: APHIDS.

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

3. Sticky-edged squares: POST-ITS.

4. Gunk and grime: FILTH.

5. Gator follower?: ADE.Gatorade.

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

7. Fossil fuel freighter: COALER.

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

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

10. League parts: Abbr.: DIVS.

11. Shoe box spec: EEE.

12. Armenia, once: Abbr.: SSR.

13. Do, as business: TRANSACT.

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

16. Buffalo's county: ERIE.

18. GPS suggestion: RTE.

20. Anthem contraction: OER.

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

23. Good way to take things: IN STRIDE.

27. RR map dot: STN.

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

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

32. Maker of CarbSmart ice cream bars: BREYERS.

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

37. Whip: TROUNCE.

38. __ d'oeuvres: HORS.

40. More genuine: SINCERER.

42. Org. for shrinks: APA.

44. Prefix with scope: HORO.

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

46. Excuses: PARDONS.

48. Wrath, in a hymn: IRAE.

49. Ceremonial pile: PYRE.

51. Muted colors: PASTELS.

52. Job that takes precedence: PRIORITY.

56. Parisian possessive: TES. Your.

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

61. Decides not to go: SKIPS IT.

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

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

66. Checks: REINS IN.

68. Sign of neglect: RUST.

69. Deep-water beauty: OPAH.

72. Kitchen additive: HERB.

74. Novelty "pet": CHIA.

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

78. Levels: TIERS.

79. iPhone downloads: APPS.

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

82. "Manifest" airer: NBC.

85. Over the moon: EUPHORIC.

87. CIA relative: NSA.

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

93. Cat burglar's asset: STEALTH.

95. Tailor's concern: FIT.

97. Pop artist from Pittsburgh: WARHOL.

100. Individual manners: STYLES.

102. "__ Lang Syne": AULD.

104. When it all started: ONSET.

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

107. Off the mark: AWRY.

108. Shore bird: ERNE.

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

113. __-la-la: TRA.

115. Increase fraudulently: PAD.

116. "__ luck?": ANY.

117. Sporty ride, for short: UTE.

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



Sep 14, 2019

Saturday, September 14, 2019, Greg Johnson

Saturday Themeless Puzzle by Greg Johnson 

Today we celebrate an item that goes by many different names depending on where you live. Around here we call this a sub sandwich but I know it is also called a hoagie, grinder, poor boy, hero or what have you. I really like them but when I get one for my lovely bride and I to split, I can only have black olives put on my end.

Today's constructor is our old Saturday friend Greg Johnson. I include his grid at the top of the write-up because two triple-stack grid spanners looks pretty cool to me! Those ninety cells filled in pretty quickly and gave me a fast finish time when coupled with what seemed to be a lot of familiar fill for this solver.

O.K. let's see what Greg, like Jimmy Johns, has delivered for us today:


1. Suggestion for stress relief: TAKE SOME TIME OFF - Coupled with the next clue

16. Enjoying a solo walk in the woods: AT ONE WITH NATURE - I never felt this more than in the Oregon Redwoods, some of which have been growing for thousands of years

17. It makes a good point: PENCIL SHARPENER - One Redwood can make 50,000,000 pencils to be sharpened

18. Big boat: ARK - The bible said Noah used gopherwood not redwood

19. Needs to remit: OWES - Thus endeth the redwood references 

20. Trick: CON.

21. Yellowy insides: YOLKS.

24. Farm structures: PENS - My wife lived on a farm where the pigs' quarters were call a PEN, never a sty

25. Enters unnoticed: SLIPS IN.

28. Paratha roti ingredient: GHEE (highly clarified butter) What is the difference between a roti, naan, paratha and chapati?

31. Showed joy, ironically: WEPT - An emotional response either way

32. Tricky hoops move that's often an assist: NO LOOK PASS - More commonly seen in basketball (hoops) but Patrick Mahommes uses this in football. 58. Super Bowl IV MVP Dawson: LEN - Was not as exciting as Patrick but started for the 1969 Super Bowl Champs in K.C. and was the MVP of that game.

37. In the past: AGO.

38. Supporters: RETINUE - He always had a lovely one

39. Summary usually including a photo: BIO.

40. Treatment for dry skin: BODY BUTTER - There doesn't seem to be any in my medicine cabinet

42. It's just above street level: CURB - I just loved this clue

43. Road game: I SPY - with my little eye...

44. Ancient French region: ALSATIA (old name for Alsace) For more than 300 years, from the Thirty Years' War to World War II, the political status of Alsace was heavily contested between France and various German states in wars and diplomatic conferences.

46. Summer hire: TEMP - I hired over 300 "TEMPS" in the summer to work in the cornfields for 23 years

49. Check for fit: TRY ON.

50. Chemical suffix: IDE.

51. Vegas hotel with an operatic name: ARIA - I had A _ _ _  and AIDA neither worked for fill nor existed as a hotel

54. Hosp. tubes: IVS.

56. Pasta for vegetarians: MEATLESS LASAGNA 

62. "Pass": I'M NOT INTERESTED - At one time I had several "friends" try to get me into Amway

63. Scopes Trial site: DAYTON TENNESSEE - Like me, John Scopes was a substitute teacher and he wasn't sure he even taught evolution but agreed to be a test case for the ACLU. He was prosecuted by Nebraska's most famous politician William Jennings Bryan, was found guilty and fined $100 (which was later reversed on a technicality).

Restored Court Room In DAYTON, TENNESSEE
Now A Tourist Attraction


1. Dancing suitable for radio: TAP - Cool clue! I can at least hear the rhythm which I lack.

2. Put away: ATE.

3. Hawaiian coffee district: KONA - This part of the Big Island has many coffee growing areas that offer tours and tastings not far from our cwd friend Mauna Loa.

4. Protect from theft, in a way: ENCRYPT - If somebody wants to break your code badly enough...

5. High-end watches: SEIKOS.

6. Barn __: OWL - A woman put on a show from a raptor recovery program and told my kids, "A raptor can never be your friend!"

7. Appropriate prefix for an embezzler?: MIS - MISappropriation is a fancy euphemism for what Bernie Madoff did.

8. Guiding beliefs: ETHOS.

9. Spring harbinger: THAW 

10. Memo opener: IN RE - The "IN" is omitted but the sentiment is real below

11. Guides with scales: MAPS - If you look carefully below, you can see the scale for how far it is from Xi'an where C.C. was born to Guangzhou where she worked before coming to America

12. Tanning time on the Riviera: ETE - Knowing the French word for summer is de rigueur  in Crosswordland

13. Smidgen: OUNCE - A smidgen of prevention is worth a lot of cure

14. Trademarked refrigerant: FREON - The EPA has mandated that the manufacture of FREON must be halted by 2020

15. Decorative greenery: FERNS.

22. Pregame managerial decision: LINEUP - This 1961 LINEUP was powerful. Can you name the Yankees pictured here with the number of HR's they hit that year? (*Answer at bottom of write-up)

23. Complicated: KNOTTY - Along with being Dr. Seuss, Theodore Geisel was also a political cartoonist as seen in this 1942 example

24. Cheerleader's asset: PEP.

25. Makeup-applying aid: SWAB.

26. Toy brand with a Taj Mahal set: LEGO - $370 at Amazon

27. 2001 Apple debut: I POD - I still have mine but don't 28. Approach: GO NEAR it anymore 

29. Like most labor rates: HOURLY.

30. Squeak (out): EKE.

33. Short stories?: LIT.

34. Border on: ABUT.

35. "Hey" assistant: SIRI - I could say this into my iPhone, "Hey, SIRI, what's the name for a four-letter Japanese noodle?" She would probably suggest UDON or SOBA

36. Polite-to-slurp Japanese noodle: SOBA All you need to know

38. NFL ball carriers: RBS - Besides Running Backs, the NFL has QBs, FBs, HBs, DBs and CBs (Pluralizing acronyms)

41. Pup squeak: YIP.

42. Solicit support from, as voters: CANVASS - Part of my granddaughter's job

45. "Indeed": SO I SEE.

46. Hardly outgoing: TIMID.

47. Swelling: EDEMA Is using ice to reduce EDEMA the wrong thing to do?

48. Not-so-nice sort: MEANY.

49. Sample: TASTE - Don Fanucci had a different way of saying he wanted a TASTE of illegal activity 

51. Vocal range: ALTO.

52. Bit strap: REIN 

53. "And __ it ironic": Alanis Morissette lyric: ISN'T - A fun listen!

55. Mil. ranks: SGTS - From the world of fiction: Friday, Bilko, Schultz, Snorkel, Stryker...

57. Day care attendee: TOT - Day care is a cash cow for many churches in our town

59. Valiant's boy: ARN.

60. Formerly named: NEE.

61. Drink suffix with Power: ADE.

Order a sub to be delivered and then comment on Greg's puzzle. 

*Yankee LINEUP (l to r) was Roger Maris, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Elston Howard, Moose Skowren, and Johnny Blanchard.

Sep 13, 2019

Friday, September 13, 2019 Steve Faiella

"Non-rhotic Dancing"

15. Time for an Oktoberfest tradition?: POLKA NIGHT.   Poker night.

23. Movie about a Jewish wedding staple?: HORA FILM.   Horror film.

33. Festive Brazilian gathering?: SAMBA OCCASION.   Somber occasion.

48. One in a line of frolicking sea creatures?: CONGA EEL.   Conger eel.

56. Wedding reception highlight ... and a feature of four puzzle answers: FIRST DANCE.

Common phrases change meanings to well known dances by replacing the "r" sound of the last syllable of the first word to a short "a" sound.   Reminds me of talking with some folks from New England.   I can hear Wilba dropping the R sounds as I read his words.

This is Steve's debut on the grand stage of the LA Times crossword.  Great job, Steve !


1. Pretend to be: ACT.  Or,  do something.  Don't just sit there.  Get moving.  It's good for your metabolism and general health.

4. Center: MIDST.

9. Foot, in zoology: PES.   Latin.

12. "Isn't __ Lovely": Stevie Wonder hit: SHE.  Great musician, songwriter and singer. 

13. Toyota until 2006: CELICA.  In 1979, Toyota introduced the Celica Supra.
Here's the 2020 Supra, minus the Celica:

14. Posted: SENT.

17. Erase: UNDO.   The electronic version, as compared to using that little piece of rubber on the top end of your #2 Ticonderoga.

18. Deplorable sort: LOUSE.  A parasitic insect too !

19. Where to find letters on tracks: MAIL CAR

21. Medical events in a 1977 Robin Cook thriller: COMAS.  "...Susan researches what happened to her date and discovers Boston Memorial’s dirty secret: their rates for patients lapsing into coma during surgery are above the norm."  Forgotten Bestsellers - Review at

24. Celebrity chef Garten: INA.  The self-taught chef of "The Barefoot Contessa" fame.

25. Set of values: ETHOS.  Beliefs.

28. Thinks intently (over): MULLS.  Ponders.

29. Impedes, with "up": GUMS.  Gear driven machinery needs oil and lubricants to run smoothly.  Dust, dirt and debris can turn the lubricant into a heavy viscous sludge that prevents smooth operation.  It was from the industrial age that we got the expression, "Gums up the works".

31. Paramedic letters: EMT. Emergency Medical Technician.    Lifesaver.

32. Old brew revived in the 2000s: PBR.   Pabst Blue Ribbon.   Husker Gary had "Pabst dispenser" on Saturday.

38. Rapper will.__: i am. is the singer / songwriter / frontman and more for the Hip Hop group Black Eyed Peas.   If you are not otherwise familiar with them,  you may have heard part of the lyrics from their song "Let's Get it Started" in the Walmart back to school commercials.

39. Stick in a lock: OAR.  Interestingly enough, the u or o shaped devices attached to the gunwales* of a rowing boat that secure the oars are called oarlocks.  Sometimes this language makes complete sense.

* sides, for you other landlubbers.

40. Jazz vocalist Laine: CLEO.  Didn't know, but perpable:

42. See 14-Down: ACIDS.

45. Charged: RAN AT.   Possibly ran up, if you charged too much on your credit card.

47. Reservoir creator: DAM.

50. Increases, with "up": RAMPS.  Drop the R and you get the same effect.

52. Creator of a sci-fi "Traveller": HG WELLS.  HG Wells is credited with creating the sci-fi concept of time travel.  The character in The Time Machine is known only as the Time Traveller.  He meets Eloi and Morlocks in the future.  

53. Schroeder's toy: PIANO.   Good grief !   A love triangle.   Lucy is in love with Schroeder, but the prodigy's true love is the classical compositions of Ludwig van Beethoven.  Name that toon.

55. Getting __ years: ON IN

60. Rolled __: OATS.

61. Conceptualize: IDEATE.  In a sense, incubate.

62. One may be bruised: EGO.   One may be interlocked: Lego.

63. MIT, for one: SCH.

64. "Cool!": NEATO.  Rad.  Phat.  Awesome.  More ?

65. Yang's opposite: YIN.


1. Nile danger: ASP.

2. John of "Star Trek" (2009): CHO.   Also of "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle" fame.

3. 1967 Etta James hit: TELL MAMA. I don't remember this song:

4. Target section: MENS.

5. Nastase on the court: ILIE.

6. Archaeological site: DIG.

7. Jerks: SCHMOS.

8. Member of Genghis Khan's horde: TATAR

9. Write (in) tentatively: PENCIL.  Perhaps with a #2 Ticonderoga. 

10. Ultimate objective: END-ALL.

11. Weather headliners: STORMS.   Dorian dominated the news for a couple of weeks.  Terrible tragedy in the Bahamas.

13. Reason: CAUSE

14. With 42-Across, corrosive substances: SULFURIC.

16. Camping letters: KOA.  The world's largest system of privately held campgrounds. New 2019 Campgrounds     Jinx can tell us more, perhaps about best and worst experiences.

20. Shakespeare's plays are full of them: IAMBS.
 Well la di da !

21. Slangy smoke: CIG.arette.

22. Heavy weight: ONUS.

23. Glowing barbecue bit: HOT COAL.  Do you start your grilling with Kingsford, Royal Oak or chunks of hardwoods, known as lump charcoal ?

26. Orioles, e.g.: TEAM.  MLB AL East cellar dwellers of late for this once perennial powerhouse.

27. Medical care gp.: HMO.

30. Bits: SMIDGENS.

32. Prefix with sail: PARA

34. __ metabolism: BASAL.  Just read base metabolism.  The minimum body processes needed to keep you alive without using artificial means. 

35. Recyclable item: CAN.

36. Source of status: OLD MONEY.  Old money as with the Vanderbilts.   As compared to new money like the Gates.

37. Tide table term: NEAP.   Spitzboov nailed this with the N.

41. Sounds heard at an ashram: OMs.  A monastery in Indian religions.

42. Blessing evokers: ACHOOs.  Bless you.

43. Colombard grapes product: COGNAC.  Had a cognac exactly once in my lifetime.  Not my cuppa, but it was at once the best and worst cognac I've ever had.

44. Part of, as a gang: IN WITH.   I'm in with the in crowd.   I go where the in crowd goes.

45. Live: RESIDE.  Got the answer quickly after changing the vowel in the clue from a long i to a short i.

46. Sports news: TRADE.

49. Like the Hollow Tree Factory bakers: ELFIN.  You can get Uncommonly Good cookies made by elves using magic ovens from the Hollow Tree Bakery.

51. Santa __: ANA.  He ordered the attack on the Alamo, and then later ceded Texas.  Wait, no, that was two n Anna. 

53. Exam for jrs.: PSAT.   Juniors / Preliminary SAT.   Rick Singer and Mark Riddell can get your scholastically challenged girls into USC with a high SAT or ACT score and an athletic scholarship to the water polo or crew teams.

54. "Leave __ me": IT TO.  I'm leaving it all up to you.  You decide what you're gonna do.  Or are we through ?

57. Stephen of "The Crying Game": REA.  He was nominated for an Academy Award in this movie. This three letter answer should be a gimme for any LA Times solver, as it seems to be Rich's go to clue for this answer.

58. Movie SFX: CGI.  Special effects / computer generated imagery

59. DMV wait time, seemingly: EON.   Hyperbole for the time spent at the Department of Motor Vehicles.   Illinois residents know that they will have to get a Real ID if they want to take a domestic flight or enter any federal facilities starting Oct 1, 2020.   The current drivers license does not meet federally mandated requirements.  I've read some of the stories and talked to some people who have waited for hours at the DMV only to be rejected because they didn't have the required documentation.  Here's a link to what is required:  Real ID Documentation Checklist

Check your answers here:

Sep 12, 2019

Thursday, September 12th 2019 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: Back to Square One - and how is that? Let's explain.

40A. Classic American board game symbolized by this puzzle's circles: CHUTES AND LADDERS. In the UK, and, I believe, Canada, the game is called "Snakes and Ladders" although there are many variations. There are even a chain of coffee shops headquartered in Toronto called "Snakes and Lattes".

The game originated in ancient India under the name Moksha Patam, and traveled to the UK to be called "Snakes and Ladders", faithful to the Indian original, and thence to the Americas, where Milton Bradley renamed it "Chutes and Ladders" and produced the first US version in 1943. I hope the clue refers to the name of the US version, and not the provenance.

It's an interesting study of morality, the ladders reward virtue and the snakes, or chutes, punish transgression. The phrase "back to square one" originated from the game.

Here's a game board preserved in the National Museum in Delhi:

OK, history lesson over.

Jeffrey served up a wonderful puzzle here, it takes great skill to be able to hide the theme entries in multiple adjoining fill, and note that the "downwards" entries are all "chutes" and the "upwards" entries are all "ladders".

Downwards: TRASH, MAIL and LAUNDRY
Upwards: ROPE, FIRE and STEP.

As always, Jeffrey hides some landmines, so just when you think you have the thing beat, you find a section that you stare at, fiddle with, write stuff in, take stuff out, you just can't figure it out. For me this week was the top-center, I had terrible trouble getting that straight.

So Bravo! Mr. Wechsler. Let's take a look at what we have:


1. "Are you getting 100%?" cereal: TOTAL

6. Lover: FLAME. As I mentioned above, this section took me an age to figure out. I just couldn't see FLAME, OILER and even when I finally tripped to PULLMAN I was lost.

11. Excludes: BANS

15. Place to play: ARENA

16. Gulf of Oman vessel: OILER

17. Neutral tone: ECRU

18. Charcuterie fare: MEATS. Food! Originally a way of preserving meats, mainly pork, before refrigeration. Nowadays extends to pates, sausage, and all kinds of interesting stuff.

19. Quaint sleeping coach: PULLMAN CAR. The UK railways ran various all-Pullman services which were first-class only. White tablecloths, candles, waiter food service. I have a couple of Pullman cars on my model railway.

21. Target, as a receiver: PASS TO

23. "Moonlight Sonata" opening movement, e.g.: ADAGIO. Here's Beethoven's masterpiece adagio. Don't bother reading the snarky comments below the piece, it's amazing how those keyboard warriiors want to find some, any excuse to criticize. I think comments should be closed for YouTube.

24. Stand buy: ADE. Lemonade, Ice-T :) What was that commercial for? It was funny.

25. Dromedary feature: HUMP

28. Hybrid fruits: UGLIS

31. Cheerleader's cry: GO TEAM! Or GO WRONG TEAM! as this USC cheerleader celebrates Vince Young's winning touchdown in the 2006 Rose Bowl which confirmed Texas as the National Champions. Ooops.

33. Top __: BANANA

34. "Garfield: __ of Two Kitties": A TAIL. Unheard of, but an easy guess.

37. Deceptive appearance: GUISE

39. __ Plaines: DES

44. Fish often fried: COD. Back in me youth, we ate fish on Fridays, as did all good Catholics (or bad Catholics, in our case, but we had to keep up appearances). The local "chippy" was my mother's night off cooking, we had take-out of fried fish and chips. Three choices, battered cod or haddock; or my dad's favorite, breaded plaice. Wrapped in genuine newsprint. Happy days.

45. Famille member: ONCLE

46. Out of practice: RUSTY. Like my piano skills, I might be able to knock out a "Moonlight Sonata" but I'd have the dogs howling, and not at the moon.

47. Deceptive: TRICKY. A bit like Jeffrey's puzzles.

50. Took to heart: HEEDED

52. Sleep soundly?: SNORE. Loved this clue/answer.

53. Classic movie theaters: RKO'S. RKO had a crack at "verticalization" before anyone had even thought of the term. They figured that if they were producing the movies, they may as well air them in their own theaters and take the box office directly without giving a cut to the theater owners.

54. Maple yield: SAP

57. Martial arts teacher: SENSEI. Literally "one who comes before". An honorific shared in both Chinese and Japanese.

61. Knesset country: ISRAEL. The Israeli Parliament.

63. Brit's afternoon drink: A SPOT OF TEA. Tough to parse if you have all the letters from crosses: ASPOTOFTEA. What? It's the "POT" that throws you.

67. Raised landform: BUTTE

68. Stable baby: FOAL

69. Befuddled: AT SEA

70. It was originally a sitting meditation pose: ASANA. Now a yoga position.

71. Capital on the Tiber: ROME

72. With 22-Down, intimidate: PSYCH (out).

73. Reach: GET AT


1. __ Bay Rays: TAMPA. When did they drop the "Devil" part of the name? C.C. would know.

2. Nymph associated with Artemis: OREAD. Not one, but many. These were mountain nymphs, allegedly aggressive, but they didn't seem to have any trouble attracting attention. I wonder why?

3. Needle: TEASE

4. Tiny tunnelers: ANTS

5. Eighteenth, usually: LAST HOLE. My last hole is the nineteenth - the clubhouse bar.

6. Clotheshorse: FOP

7. Sch. with a Brooklyn campus: LIU. This innocuous little fill was the source of a good 20 minutes of head-scratching - couldn't see past NYU. NYU went in, came out, went in, came out, we do the hokey-pokey and we turn about and end up with NYU all over again. Long Island University - of course. Now if you were asking about Iced Tea, you'd be speaking my language.

8. Penne __ vodka: ALLA. Food! I know you wanted "A LA", as did I - but we are speaking Italian, not French. Here's my dinner tonight - ragu Bolognese I made yesterday (the flavors develop if you leave it overnight), linguine, Parmegiano Reggiano, basil from my own bush and - the killer - a poached egg. So I present "Lingine alla Bolognese con l'uovo" in my terrible Italian.

9. Fuse: MELD

10. Writer Bombeck: ERMA. I still struggle to remember ERMA vs IRMA. Sorry, Irma - I mean, Erma.

11. Inoffensive: BENIGN

12. Praise: ACCOLADES

13. New Deal agcy.: NRA

14. __ La Table: cookware shop: SUR. There's one next to the original Farmer's Market on Fairfax here in LA. It has a magnetic attraction - when I shop the market, I swear they teleport me in there and do the hypnosis finger-snap just after I've finished buying something. I have a rather lovely paella pan from my last telekinetic moment, but I have to say it's had a lot of use.

20. Bonn : Wasser :: Barcelona : __: AGUA

22. See 72-Across: OUT

26. Soccer star Rapinoe: MEGAN

27. Beer belly: PAUNCH

29. Unlikely to react: INERT

30. Likely to react?: SASSY

31. "Scram, varmints!": GIT

32. 2017 "Hello, Dolly!" Tony winner: MIDLER. Bette, of course.

33. TV's Arthur: BEA

34. Billing nos.: ACCTS

35. "This __ / Doth to our rose of youth rightly belong" (Shakespeare): THORN. The "thorn" of love.

Countess: Even so it was with me when I was young:
If ever we are nature's, these are ours; this thorn
Doth to our rose of youth rightly belong;

All's Well that Ends Well, Act III sc i.

36. Intrusive MP3 files: AUDIO SPAM. Is this a thing? I know the two words go together, but had anyone ever had an unwanted intrusion of MP3 files? I know U2 came in for some flak a while ago when they gave their latest album away free to anyone who had an Apple iTunes account, but I can't think of anything which might come close to spam. Anyone?

38. Aerodynamic: SLEEK

41. __ sauce: SOY

42. Bridal gown storage option: DRESS BAG. Hmmm, OK.

43. It'll never work: DUD

48. Big Easy cuisine: CREOLE. Food!

49. Co-worker of Lane and Olsen: KENT. Superman in his day job.

51. "Where __ sign?": DO I

54. Pulled a chair up to: SAT AT

55. Insurance giant: AETNA. Founded as the Aetna (Fire) Insurance Company of Hartford, Connecticut. Why Aetna? Based on the name of Etna, the active volcano beloved of crossword constructors.

56. Skirt fold: PLEAT

58. Dove, e.g.: SOAP

59. Young salamanders: EFTS

60. Wee: ITSY

62. Sleight of hand: RUSE

63. Egypt's cont.: AFRica. If you'd like a little different take on the by-now bland "Toto" song, here's my favorite Norwegian heavy metal and legendary cover artist Leo Morachiolli. Ear defenders advised for the weak at heart, or hearing.

64. Jack of "Barney Miller": SOO

65. Common Market letters: EEC. European Economic Community.

66. Hot tub sigh: AAH!

I'm in the UK for a few days, I'm crossing my fingers that civil war doesn't break out while I'm here and the hordes descend on Heathrow Airport with pitchforks and torches. If that happens, I'll just pop into the pub for a pint or two and maybe a spot of tea and wait for it to rain. The last time there were major riots in England when I lived there it was during a spell of nice weather. Once it started raining, the rioting subsided. No-one likes to riot in the rain.

Pip-pip, old Chaps! Toodle-oo!


Note from C.C.:

Happy 60th birthday to dear Steve, the Cal Ripken Jr. of our blog. Steve has a busy job and travels often, but he always prioritizes our blog and writes many posts on the road. Thank you so much for your incomparable dedication and humor, Steve!

Steve and Jill, June 12, 2016
Tea at The Queen Mary

Sep 11, 2019

Wednesday, September 11, 2019, Ed Sessa

Theme: People who live in glass houses ...

Here's something I don't remember seeing before. In three theme answers, the first word is a kind of rock - but, for a little twist, add the word ROCK to the fourth theme answer to get ROCK HUDSON.

17. Psychedelic decorative light: LAVA LAMP.

24. Not even a little high: STONE SOBER.

48. Structure renamed for a president in 1947: BOULDER DAM.

35. New York waterway: HUDSON RIVER.

57. Simon & Garfunkel hit, and hint to the starts of 17-, 24-, 48- ... and 35-Across, too!: I AM A ROCK.

Melissa here. First Wednesday in a month or so with no circles. Does that make us square?


1. Braying beast: ASS.

4. "Diamonds & Rust" folk singer Joan: BAEZ.

8. Hop, skip and jump: CAVORT. Tricky. I was thinking goat parkour.

14. Where lowers lie: LEA. Lower Lea Valley. I don't know if that's the lower lea this refers to or not - but I learned lots about the location of the 2012 Olympics and it's redevelopment in preparation for the games. Facilities and infrastructure built to host the 2012 events are enjoying new life as hotels, apartments, offices and community facilities. Look.

15. Ready and willing partner: ABLE. Nice clue.

16. "Booksmart" director Wilde: OLIVIA. Released May 2019. Four stars on

19. Beaus: ROMEOS. Okay.

20. Savory taste: UMAMI.

21. Board game gadget: SPINNER.

23. University of Nevada city: RENO.

27. Set up: ENTRAP.

29. Chinese "way": TAO. Clued last Wednesday as "Eastern principle."

30. Aqua in Aquitaine: EAU. French.

31. Whoopi's Oscar role in "Ghost": ODA MAE.

34. Palm fruit: DATE.

38. Leaning: BIAS.

40. OTC antacid brand: ZANTAC.

41. Possess: OWN.

42. Notable time span: ERA.

44. EPA mandates, taken together: ECO LAW. Had not heard this phrase before, but it makes sense.

52. Arp contemporary: DALI. Salvador Dali and Jean Arp.

53. Behind: KEISTER. Oh.

54. Type, as data: KEY IN.

55. Develop a liking for: TAKE TO.

59. Gobsmacked: AMAZED. Last Wednesday it was "Bowl over" for AWE.

60. Story of life after death?: OBIT. Perfect.

61. Quaint "Tsk!": FIE. I usually think of FIE is a somewhat angry exclamation, and tsk as disapproving.

62. Zealous crusades: JIHADS.

63. Letters on Broadway-bound letters: NY, NY. New York.

64. Craze: FAD.


1. Magnetism: ALLURE. Ooh la la.

2. Ship captains, e.g.: SEAMEN.

3. Eminent scholar: SAVANT. I usually think of an autistic SAVANT, like Charlie in Rain Man, but the first definition is "a learned person, especially a distinguished scientist." Correction (thanks Husker Gary): Raymond was the autistic savant in Rain Man, not his brother Charlie. Younger Charlie could not say Raymond and so he called his older brother Rain Man.

4. Lingerie brand: BALI.

5. Justice league?: Abbr.: ABA. American Bar Association. Clever.

6. Nightmare loc. of film: ELM ST.

7. Youngest Marx brother: ZEPPO.

8. Eye part: CORNEA.

9. Mets slugger Pete who won the 2019 Home Run Derby: ALONSO. Perps to the rescue for those like me who don't follow baseball.

10. Video-sharing site: VIMEO.

11. Dominate: OVERBEAR.

12. Brazilian vacay destination: RIO.

13. Prof's helpers: TAS. Clued last Wednesday as "Some grad students."

18. Kissy-kissy: AMOROUS. That was unexpected.

22. Doctor in training: INTERN.

24. Places for scrubs and wraps: SPAS.

25. "Mangia!": EAT. Italian. As Lidia Bastianich says, "Tutti a tavola a mangiare!" (Everyone to the table to eat!)

26. Poe's "The Murders in the __ Morgue": RUE.

28. Do the math: ADD.

32. "Amadeus" subject: MOZART.

33. Actress Gasteyer: ANA. Best known for her time as a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1996 to 2002. 

34. Unscrambling device: DECODER.

35. Jewish Festival of Lights: HANUKKAH.

36. Checkout counter unit: ITEM.

37. Shark or Dyson, briefly: VAC.

38. Short cut: BOB. Ohhhhh .... hair.

39. __ Jima: IWO.

42. Worked on text: EDITED.

43. Repairs, as infield grass: RESODS.

45. Fire: LAY OFF. Ohhhhh .... that kind of fire.

46. Pianist de Larrocha: ALICIA. I didn't know her name before. Beautiful.

47. Signaled slyly: WINKED.

49. Gibbons of TV talk: LEEZA.

50. __ Sanders, only athlete to play in both the Super Bowl and World Series: DEION.

51. Sheikdom of song: ARABY. The Beatles.

55. __ Mahal: TAJ.

56. Mate, across the Channel: AMI. French for friend.

58. 60 secs.: MIN.

Notes from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to dear Husker Gary, author behind this fantastic Crossword Corner map. Email him if you want to be included in the map. On and off the blog, Gary has always been a caring friend and trusted sounding board for me. He has helped me numerous times with his super creative clues.