Dec 10, 2019

Tuesday, December 10, 2019 David Poole

Double Play.  I'll start today with the unifier, which is very self-explanatory.  

55-Across. Canoeing challenge whose first word can precede the start and whose second word can precede the end of the answers to starred clues: WHITE WATER.

20-Across. *   Fruity adult beverage: WINE COOLER.  We get White Wine and Water Cooler.  A Wine Cooler can be either a special refrigeration unit for storing wine or a carbonated beverage of wine and fruit juice.
White Wine

Wine Cooler

28-Across. *   Black-spotted orange flower: TIGER LILY.  We get White Tiger and Water Lily.

White Tiger

Claude Monet's Water Lilies

38-Across. *   Toy pistols used on stage: CAP GUNS.  We get White Cap and Water Gun.

White Caps on the Ocean

Water Gun, also known as a Squirt Gun.

46-Across. *   Toy car brand: HOT WHEELS.  We get White Hot and Water Wheels.

White HOT!

Water Wheel

1. Chinese sauce additive: MSG.  As in MonoSodium Glutamate.

4. Olympic swimming star Ledecky: KATIE.  Katie Ledecky (née Kathleen Genevieve Ledecky; b. Mar. 17, 1997), has won 5 Olympic gold medals and 15 world championship gold metals.

9. L.L.Bean competitor: J.CREW.

14. Listening organ: EAR.

15. Stereotypical Pi Day celebrants: NERDS.

16. "Drab" color: OLIVE.

17. Handel's "Messiah" et al.: ORATORIOS.  An Oratorio is similar to an Opera.  Oratorios became popular in the 1600s and 1700s because the Church forbid theatrical performances.  Thus oratorios were musical compositions with an orchestra, a chorus and generally a soloist, but without the costuming and theater props.  Oratorios also tended to focus on religious  topics.

19. Creepy film motel: BATES.

22. Put in the mail: SENT.

23. Cowboys QB Prescott: DAK.  Dak Prescott (né Rayne Dakota Prescott; b. July 29, 1993), was born in Sulphur, Louisiana.  The Cowboys lost to the Bears last week.

24. Well-worn pencils: NUBS.

26. "Keystone" police: KOPS.

33. Prefix with center: EPI-.  As in the Epicenter of an earthquake.

34. __ Valley: Reagan Library site: SIMI.

35. Strand at a ski lodge, say: ICE IN.

37. Pitcher's stat: ERA.  As in Earned Run Average.

41. Prefix with natal: NEO-.  As in Neonatal, which refers to newborn babies.

42. Asian food breadcrumbs: PANKO.  I use Panko breadcrumbs when I cook fish.

44. Novelist Leon: URIS.  Leon Uris (né Leon Marcus Uris; Aug. 3, 1924 ~ June 21, 2003) is probably best known for his 1958 novel Exodus, which is about the creation of the State of Israel.

45. They, to Thierry: ILS.  Today's French lesson.

49. Artist Warhol: ANDY.  Andy Warhol (né Andrew Warhola; Aug. 6, 1928 ~ Feb. 22, 1987) died at age 58 from complications of gall bladder surgery.  In 1968, an assassination attempt was made on his life in which he was seriously wounded.

50. "The Good Earth" mother: OLAN.  The Good Earth is a 1931 novel by Pearl S. Buck (née Pearl Sydenstricker; June 26, 1892 ~ Mar. 6, 1973) about family life in China in the early 20th Century.  It is well worth reading.

51. Some SAT takers: SRs.  As in Seniors in High School.

52. Olympian bigwig: ZEUS.  Oh, as in the Greek god of the sky and thunder, not the Olympic games.

61. Safe places?: WALLS.

63. Talus: ANKLE BONE.

64. Orange Muppet: ERNIE.

65. Not tight enough: LOOSE.

66. ER VIPs: MDs.  Medical Doctors are the VIPs in the Emergency Room, but don't forget about the ER nurses, who also play an important role.

67. Cockamamie: INANE.

68. Beginning: ONSET.

69. Automated spam creator: BOT.

1. Cat's cry: MEOW.

2. Indian cover-up: SARI.

3. Concert keyboard: GRAND PIANO.

4. Rap on the door: KNOCK.

5. Sleek, in car talk: AERO.

6. 75% of a quartet: TRIO.

7. Pop star: IDOL.

8. Ancient mystic: ESSENE.  The Essenes were a Jewish sect from about 200 to 1 BCE.  They are considered to be the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

9. Position at work: JOB.

10. Enduring work: CLASSIC.

11. Baptism or bris: RITE.

12. Like Olympic years, numerically: EVEN.

13. "Wild" 1800s region: WEST.

"Wild" Mae West

18. Oolong and pekoe: TEAs.

21. 1921 play that introduced the word "robot": R.U.R.  This play appears with some frequency in the crosswords.  It is a 1920 play by Czech writer Karel Čapek (Jan. 9, 1890 ~ Dec. 25, 1938).  R.U.R stands for Rossumovi Univerzáiní Robots (Rossum’s Universal Robots).  The play takes place in a factory that makes organic, artificial people called as Robots.  These Robots, however, were more like human people rather than the current concept of robots.

25. Euphoria: BLISS.  Also the name of a chain of Yoga studios.

26. Stay fresh in the fridge: KEEP.

27. Celeb with her "OWN" network: OPRAH.

28. Andalusian aunt: TIA.  Today's Spanish lesson.  Andalusia is a region of Spain.

29. Little rascal: IMP.

30. Lively baroque dance: GIGUE.

31. Red Square shrine: LENIN'S TOMB.

32. Give in: YIELD.

34. Grouchy look: SCOWL.

36. Prone to prying: NOSY.

39. Often-bookmarked address, briefly: URL.  As in the Uniform Resource Locator.

40. Grafton's "__ for Noose": N IS.  Sue Grafton (Apr. 24, 1940 ~ Dec. 28, 2017) wrote a series of crime novels, each beginning with a letter of the Alphabet.  The first in the series was A is for Alibi.  She wrote all the way through the letter Y (Y is for Yesterday).  Sadly, she died before she could begin what would have been the final book in the series, Z is for Zero.

43. "80's Ladies" country singer: K.T. OSLIN.  I am not familiar with K. T. Olsin (née Kay Toinette Olsin; b. May 15, 1942).

47. "Yee-__!": HAW.

48. Surround, as with a saintly glow: ENHALO.  Yup.  It's a real word.

49. Graceful steed: ARAB.

51. "Ni-i-ice!": SWEET!

52. Cube root of acht: ZWEI.  German math.

53. Merit: EARN.

54. Forearm bone: ULNA.

56. Part of, plotwise: IN ON.

57. Boxing ref's calls: TKOs.  As in Technical Knock Outs.  A crossword staple

58. "Anything __?": ELSE.

59. Opposite of exo-: ENDO-.

60. "Don't play" music staff symbol: REST.

62. Date regularly: SEE.

Here's the Grid:

Geaux Tigers!
Joe Burreaux, LSU Quarterback

QOD:  One must learn to be silent just as one must learn to talk.  ~  Victoria Wolff (Dec. 10, 1903 ~ Sept. 16, 1992), German-born novelist.

Dec 9, 2019

Monday December 9, 2019 Kurt Mengel & Jan-Michele Gianette

Theme: MEAT OF THE MATTER (60. Issue's most important element ... and a hint to 17-, 30-, 36- and 47-Across) - The start of each theme entry is a type of meat.
17. Career-boosting political spending on local projects: PORK BARREL BILLS.

30. Amateur radio hobbyist: HAM OPERATOR.

36. Zeros: GOOSE EGGS.

47. Paltry sum: CHICKEN FEED.

Boomer here.

Greetings all and happy Monday. This puzzle is not a TURKEY but instead a nice piece of FILET MIGNON, medium rare. I had my quarterly visit with my oncologist Friday and had pretty good news. My blood numbers deserved an "attaboy" and he discontinued the Zometa chemo.  He said I have had enough, and I agreed with him, (and did not throw up yesterday,)  He also cut my steroid dose in half to help control my blood sugar.

And by the way, confidential to TTP and other bowlers, last Monday was 184-215-223 - 622.  My first 600 series since before my diagnosis.  As you read this, I am trying for another one this morning.  


1. "Georgia on My Mind" singer Charles: RAY.  Willie Nelson sings this too.  A little scratchier than Ray.

4. Party music mix, briefly: DJ SET.  DJ used to stand foe Disc Jockey back when disks were 45 RPM records.  I suppose CDs count too.

9. Keep from having kittens, say: SPAY.  I guess they don't have birth control pills for cats.

13. "Big Band" and "Jazz" periods: ERAS.  A low one could earn a pitcher a Cy Young award. I could probably hang a baseball remark on half of the answers,  but C.C. won't let me.

15. Easily fooled: NAIVE.

16. __-in-one: golfer's ace: HOLE.  I have come close a couple of times, but never knocked one in.

20. Speaker sound: AUDIO.

21. Smitten: IN LOVE.  I have a sister who really liked the song "Once in love with Amy".

22. Dancer Duncan: ISADORA.  Wow, there's a name out of the past.  Born in San Francisco and died at age 50 a couple of years before our stock market crashed.  

25. Thurman who played The Bride in "Kill Bill" films: UMA.  I have a bowling buddy, William Whitenour, who hates those films.

26. Chill in the air: NIP.  Looks like PIN spelled backwards.  You really have to hit them hard to get them in the air.

29. Pos. opposite: NEG.

33. "Cats" poet's monogram: TSE.

34. Chief Norse god: ODIN.

35. "Great" dog: DANE.

40. Polite address to a woman: MA'AM.  I think MISS is more polite.  MA'AM is a contraction for MADAM, and we all know what they do for a living.

43. Creme-filled cookie: OREO.  "The Wizard of OZ" is making the rounds on the cable channels.  I think the soldiers that are guiding the Wizard's castle chant OREO.

44. Rx: MED.  5mg LESS of daily Prednisone for me.

51. Madison in NYC, e.g.: AVE.  Named after U.S. 4th President.

52. Polite way to address a man: SIR.  In the Army, this is what we called officers. Everyone else was "Hey You".  Once in a while at the VA Medical Center, someone might call me SIR.  I tell them I was an enlisted man so they don't need to call me sir.

53. Positive vote: AYE.

54. Aspen getaway: SKI TRIP.  "Well they called him Super Skier, as he lined up on the sundeck.  He thought that he would never take a spill.  When they finally brought him down they had to use three toboggans to carry all the pieces of the hill".  (Chad Mitchell Trio)

56. To a greater extent: MORE SO.

59. "There you have it!": VOILA.  I have to reverse two letters to bring up Frank Viola of the 1987 Twins.  Winning pitcher of two games in the World Series vs. the Cardinals.

64. Leave out: OMIT.  I think a catcher for the Baltimore Orioles wears one of these.

65. Prefix with sonic: ULTRA. There is a cosmetics store near our home called ULTA. They charge ULTRA prices.

66. Sunrise direction: EAST.  Here in Minnesota, we have to stare EAST for a long time this time of year.  However the sun never fails to rise, it just sleeps late.

67. Sport played on horseback: POLO.  Makes me think of Marco in the GEICO commercial.

68. Africa's Sierra __: LEONE.

69. Sgts.' superiors: LTS.  Yup, you gotta call them SIR.


1. Change the wall color: REPAINT.  Buy really good paint and you won't have to do it so often.

2. Excites: AROUSES.

3. Football play measure: YARDAGE. Gophers are waiting for a bowl invitation. Probably just as well.  I think Ohio State would have pulverized them.

4. Forensic evidence: DNA. DNA is an acronym for some kind of acid that I cannot spell or pronounce.  But I noticed that you can buy DNA testing kits for outrageous prices.

5. Glass container: JAR. When is a door not a door?  When it's ajar.

6. iPhone assistant: SIRI.  I don't think SIRI knows anything about bowling.

7. Tie, as a score: EVEN UP.  Put an "S" in front of this and have something to drink.

8. "I have to know!": TELL ME.  Follow the yellow brick road,

9. Prison knife: SHIV.

10. Cornmeal dish: POLENTA.

11. "__ the President's Men": ALL.  Great movie about "Deep Throat" and Watergate.  Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman were terrific.

12. "I agree": YES.  Maybe the Wizard can give me a brain and a heart. I already have a lot of nerve.

14. Slide on the road: SKID.  Gotta be careful on Minnesota winter's roads.

18. Word of mock sadness: BOO HOO.  I guess I'll never get back to Kansas.

19. Wild hog: BOAR.

23. Swiss watch brand: RADO.  Never heard of this brand.  My wristwatch runs on a battery and I have to pay someone to replace it about every 20 months.  Whatever happened to "It takes a licking and keeps on ticking."

24. Friends in Lyon: AMIS.  This doesn't look like a word.  I think I'll just call them Munchkins.

27. + or - particle: ION.

28. Opposite of post-: PRE.

31. __ a kind: ONE OF.  Three of a kind may win the poker hand.

32. Commercials: ADS. The Medicare Open Enrollment ended Saturday.  PLEASE tell me the ads have ended also.

36. Yukon automaker: GMC.  I find the Model names of cars and SUVs are fascinating.  Who thinks of these?  Yukon, Equinox, Santa Fe, Tuscon, RAV4, Explorer, Bronco, Durango ??? 

37. "__ to you, matey!": ERES.  And "ERES to you, Mrs Robinson, Heaven holds a place for those who pray, Hey, Hey, Hey.  (Simon & Garfunkel)

38. Many a techie: GEEK.  Best Buy has a whole Squad of them.

39. Bare-naked Lady: GODIVA.  "Seventeen, a beauty queen, she made a ride, that caused a scene in the town."  (Peter and Gordon).

40. Variety show hosts, briefly: MCS.  I know that there are still Masters of Ceremonies, but are there still Variety shows??

41. Sushi tuna: AHI.  Not me- I may eat StarKist, but not too often.

42. Postal service: AIRMAIL.

44. Word before vows or status: MARITAL.

45. Most wicked: EVILEST.  I think the Snake River Canyon was the Evilest.

46. Leaves: DEPARTS.

48. Syrup brand since 1902: KARO.  Wow, we always had a bottle of this in the house when I was young.  I have not seen it for years.

49. Impressive sight: EYEFUL.

50. Quik maker: NESTLE. N-E-S-T-L-E-S  Nestle's makes the very best -- Chocolate.  I guess I watched too much TV when I was a kid.

55. Convenient bag: TOTE.  Dorothy had to TOTE TOTO on her way to OZ.

57. Director Preminger: OTTO.  Dorothy's little dog's anagram.

58. "__ be in England ... ": Browning: OH TO.

60. Floor cleaner: MOP.

61. Broody music genre: EMO.

62. Geographical direction suffix: ERN.  Search me.  I thought it was Ernie Banks' nickname.

63. Daisy __: Li'l Abner's wife: MAE.  I loved all of the antics in Dogpatch.  RIP Al Capp.

Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to dear Hahtoolah (Susan), who has been with our blog for over 11 years and faithfully guided us on Tuesdays for the past year.
Susan  (Hahtoolah)

Dec 8, 2019

Sunday December 8, 2019 Paul Coulter

Theme:  "Pet Sitting" - CAT is placed on top of its usual spots.


19. Beats it: SCATS.

23. On easy street: IN THE LAP OF LUXURY.

32. Curtail: TRUNCATE.

40. Sedentary sort: COUCH POTATO.

51. Battery terminal: CATHODE.

55. Orchestra section leader: FIRST CHAIR.

77. Lively musical piece: TOCCATA.

84. Chart with branches: FAMILY TREE.

92. Pinpoint: LOCATE.

 97. Track foundation: RAILROAD BED.

113. Excoriate: SCATHE. Only familiar with "scathing".

115. Opposite of commends: CALLS ON THE CARPET.

114. One of six hidden in this puzzle, each sitting on an apt location: CAT.

Cute, right? All the CATs are fully embedded in another words. The place where each cat sits is a discrete word in a longer phrase.


1. Medical chart entry: AGE.

4. Author Janowitz: TAMA. One of the literary "brat pack".

8. Green eggs and ham promoter: SAM I AM.

14. USPS deliveries: LTRS.

18. Brown of jazz: LES.

21. Thorny shrub: ACACIA. Never saw one in person. Very pretty.

22. "That's not good": OH OH.

26. Beer buy: CASE.

27. Hall of Famers: GREATS. My all-time favorite. 

28. Put away: ATE.

29. Knife holder: SHEATH.

31. Demands: NEEDS.

37. "__ fair ... ": ALL'S.

38. My Chemical Romance 2-Down: EMO. 2. Category: GENRE.

44. They pick up things: SENSORS. Nice clue.

48. Mailed: SENT TO.

49. Get ready to eat?: RIPEN.

50. Muffin topping: OLEO.

53. Assure: PROMISE.

57. Response in court: PLEA.

59. Blues singer James: ETTA.

60. Tiny lab subjects: AMOEBAS.

61.  competitor: REO. Never heard of Maxwell automobile. Read more here. We also have 89. Former Fords: LTDS.

63. "If it's handcrafted, ... it's on __": ETSY. I've been eyeing a disc necklace there for a few months.

64. Designing initials: YSL.

65. Airline to Stockholm: SAS.

66. Most Dresden residents: GERMANS.

68. H.S. class: BIO.

71. Medical suffix: OMA. .And 74. Anatomical canal: ITER. We also had 93. Harem room: ODA.

76. Its "B" is sometimes turkey: BLT.

81. 1993 Literature Nobelist Morrison: TONI.

83. Brings home: NETS.

86. Chaotic but appealing person: HOT MESS. I learned this phrase from an article about Britney Spears ages ago.

88. Powerless motion?: GLIDING. Another great clue.

90. Boosts, e.g.: AIDS.

91. Sneak off to Vegas, maybe: ELOPE.

95. Part of a Shakespearean soothsayer's warning: THE IDES. Of March.

99. Parenthesis, essentially: ARC.

100. Film __: NOIR.

101. To begin with: AS A START.

105. Bridge positions: EASTS.

110. Repair, as sewn-together edges: RE-SEAM.

112. A in French: UNE.

114. Queens' __ Field: CITI.

121. Choir voice: ALTO.

122. Conservative foe, in the U.K.: LABOUR. Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, etc.

123. Suddenly paid attention: SAT UP.

124. "Yo te __": AMO.

125. Stereotypical angst sufferer: TEEN.

126. Wears slowly: ERODES.

127. High-tech workers: BOTS.

128. Gymnast's goal: TEN. Who's your favorite gymnast?


1. Adjust, as car wheels: ALIGN.

3. Cosmetician Lauder: ESTEE.

4. African menaces: TSETSES.

5. Orthopedic surgery targets, initially: ACLS.

6. Kid's cry: MAA. Farm kids.

7. For face value: AT PAR.

8. Longtime "The Avengers" comics artist Buscema: SAL. Learning moment for me.

9. Pressure lead-in: ACU.

10. Nth degree: MAX.

11. Post-OR area: ICU.

12. Affectations: AIRS.

13. Perchance, old-style: MAYHAP. Not familiar to me.

14. Hour in a pilot's announcement: LOCAL TIME.

15. Response to sad news: THAT'S A PITY. Very nice parallel long entries

16. Hebrew for "head": ROSH.

17. "__ Loves You": Beatles hit: SHE.

20. Annual Jan. speech, in Twitter hashtags: SOTU. State of the Union.

24. Ate: HAD.

25. Bog: FEN.

30. Ecuadoran gold region: EL ORO.

32. Holy scrolls: TORAHS.

33. Emailed a dupe to: CC'ED.

34. Bang-up: A-ONE.

35. "For shame!": TUT.

36. Outer: Pref.: ECT.

39. Deerskin attire: MOCCASINS.

41. Aspirations: HOPES.

42. Proficiency determiners: TESTS.

43. 1992-'93 NBA Rookie of the Year: O'NEAL. Shaq.

44. Slight, as a chance: SLIM.

45. Architect Saarinen: EERO.

46. Attendance count: NOSES.

47. Penn, e.g.: Abbr.: STA.

48. Aching to a larger degree: SORER.

50. Birds-feather link: OF A.

52. Staff builders: HIRERS.

54. Dancer who played a scarecrow: RAY BOLGER. "The Wizard of Oz".

56. Not yet on the sched.: TBA.

57. Quintet: PENTAD. 70. Group of eight: OCTAD.

58. Capt.'s inferiors: LTS.

62. Fed. fiscal agency: OMB. Office of Management and Budget.

66. Acquire: GET.

67. 1966 Michael Caine title role: ALFIE.

69. Aloof: ICY.

71. Wise start?: OTHER. Otherwise.

72. Loot: MOOLA.

73. 2006 Dunst title role: ANTOINETTE.

75. Big name in electric cars: TESLA.

77. Soldier's helmet: TIN HAT.

78. R&B vocalist India.__: ARIE.

79. "Bill & __ Excellent Adventure": TED'S.

80. '50s political initials: AES. Adlai Ewing Stevenson.

82. Self-destruction: IMPLOSION.

85. Charles River sch.: MIT.

87. Like TV's "Supernatural," e.g.: EERIE.

88. Mother of the Titans: GAEA.

94. "60 Minutes" network: CBS.

96. Antarctic features: ICECAPS.

98. Expert in futures?: ORACLE.

102. 252 wine gallons: TUN.

103. Unwanted workers: ANTS.

104. Detox program: REHAB.

106. Berne's river: AAR.

107. Fifth-century bishop in Ireland, familiarly: ST PAT.

108. Most crosswords have one: THEME. Except those low-word count Saturdays.

109. Determined about: SETON.

110. Upset and then some: RILE.

111. Photographer Dora who had a relationship with Picasso: MAAR.

113. Cottontail's tail: SCUT.

116. Certain corp. takeover: LBO.

117. Airport near Tel Aviv: LOD.

118. Go after, in a way: SUE.

119. Surg. sites: ORS.

120. Ike's WWII arena: ETO.

Happy birthday to our cool Jazzbumpa (Ron), who's having a very busy month. He'll be back to guide us next month.