Apr 5, 2020

Sunday April 5, 2020 Paul Coulter

Theme: "The Other Half" - One part of a familiar phrase is replaced by its partner in a "A and B" phrase.

23. Pasta on the barbie?: GRILLED MACARONI. Grilled cheese. Macaroni and cheese.

32. Like the club that Sinatra, Zappa and Capra belonged to?: FULL OF FRANKS. Full of beans. Franks and beans.

51. "Don't forget we're having omelets"?: BRING HOME THE EGGS. Bring home the bacon. Bacon and eggs.

68. Town group that decides what kinds of lawns are allowed?: TURF BOARD. Surf board. Surf and turf.

88. Unexpected eccentric skydiver?: A NUT OUT OF THE BLUE. A bolt out of the blue.

101. Lucky one at the dairy raffle?: BUTTER WINNER. Breadwinner. Bread and butter.

118. Sniffing the jalapeños?: SMELLING PEPPERS. Smelling salts.

Love the first four as the base phrases are all food items and the changes are so smooth.

The last three still have a food item in the theme entries. 88A & 118 are a bit odd-man out to me as the phrases are "nuts and bolts" & "salt and pepper". 


1. Haunt: OBSESS. This Coronavirus model seems to be the most reliable. Click on United States of America, then scroll down to your own state. Minnesota will peak on April 22, 2020. Louisiana and New York on April 9th.

7. Mountain geography feature: GAP.

10. Calypso offshoot: SKA.

13. Pond buildup: ALGAE.

18. Arrive onshore, perhaps: ROLL IN.

19. Slate or Salon: E-MAG.

21. Plop or plunk preceder: KER.

22. Nobelist Bohr: NIELS.  Physics Nobelist.

26. Bill with billions: GATES. Great clue. Great visionary. Thank you, Bill Gates!

27. Brother of Andrew the Apostle: ST PETER.

28. Detective's aid: LEAD.

29. Chilled: ON ICE.

30. Churchill's "so few": Abbr.: RAF. Royal Air Force.

35. Like Stout's Wolfe: OBESE.

40. Buxom: BOSOMY. Not a word I use.

42. Hawaiian for "long": LOA.

43. Some summer shows: RERUNS.

45. Each: A POP.

46. Defense gp. since 1948: OAS.  Organization of American States.

47. Give or take, say: VERB. Another great clue.

55. Sea of troubles: ARAL.

56. On the job, for short: TCB. Take Care of Business.

57. Havens: OASES.

58. Au pair's subj.: ESL. English as a Second Language.

59. How early LPs were recorded: IN MONO.

61. Roswell sightings, briefly: UFOS.

63. Johnson of "Laugh-In": ARTE. Learned from doing crosswords.

64. Peke or Pom: LAPDOG.

65. Angry reaction: SNARL.

73. Legal claims: LIENS.

74. Court contest: TENNIS. Not legal court.

76. Ravel's "Gaspard de la __": NUIT. Listen here.

77. Banned fruit spray: ALAR.

79. Kiwi or rhea: RATITE.

80. "Anderson Cooper 360°" channel: CNN. Also 123. Atlanta-based channel: TBS.

81. Facebook option: SHARE.

84. "The Gold-Bug" monogram: EAP. Edgar Allan Poe.

87. School near Windsor: ETON.

93. Basic video game: PONG.

94. "Saving Private Ryan" craft: Abbr.: LST. Landing Ship, Tank. Also 102. WWII sub: U BOAT.

95. "I, Claudius" role: NERO.

96. "You left me no choice": I HAD TO.

97. Mag man with a mansion: HEF.

98. Square: EVEN UP.

100. Condition: STATE.

107. Splitting target: LOG.

109. Opposite of love: ABHOR.

110. Yours, to Yvette: A TOI.

 111. Largest of the Balearic Islands: MAJORCA. Rafael Nadal was born and got married here.

117. Lush: SOUSE.

122. Makes less unruly: TAMES.

124. Ad headline: SALE.

125. Biblical miracle units: LOAVES.

126. In check: AT BAY.

127. Approx.: EST.

128. Nintendo's Super __: NES.

129. Suppressed anger: SPLEEN.


1. Assns.: ORGS.

2. Diamond used as an abrasive: BORT. Never heard of the term.

3. Tongue trouble?: SLIP. Slip of the tongue.

4. W competitor: ELLE. W magazine is now on hiatus.

5. Bank deposit: SILT.

6. Contemptuous look: SNEER.

7. Beauty: GEM.

8. Doc bloc: AMA.

9. __-12 Conference: PAC.

10. "Cheers!": SKOAL.

11. Martial art with bamboo swords: KENDO. Literally "sword way". Japanese "do" is like Chinese "Dao"/"Tao", meaning "way".

12. "Exodus" hero: ARI.

13. Sweater material: ANGORA.

14. Jungle climber: LIANA.

15. Arrive: GET IN.

16. Smart follower: ALECK.

17. Saint-Saëns trio: ESSES. Just the three letters in Saint-Saëns.

20. Walk clumsily, like the Jabberwock slayer: GALUMPH.

24. Blah: DRAB.

25. Bank (on): RELY.

31. Features of beer and sponges: FOAMS.

32. Pays: FOOTS.

33. June 14 honoree: FLAG. We have the best flag in the neighborhood. Thanks, Spitzboov!

34. Fuddy-duddy: FOSSIL.

35. Uranus, e.g.: ORB.

36. Ernie's pal: BERT.

37. Obama attorney general Holder: ERIC.

38. Getting too many rays: SUNBURNING.

39. Coll. major: ENG.

41. WWI battleship Graf __: SPEE.

44. "Beat it!": SHOO.

46. Leering sort: OGLER.

47. Colonial bloodsucker: VAMPIRE BAT. "Colonial" because they live in colonies. Wish all the bats would just disappear from this world.

48. Wear down: ERODE.

49. Wouldn't stop talking: RAN ON.

50. Modern sources of reflections: BLOGS. Most blogs, yes.

52. Brewer's oven: OAST.

53. Architect Saarinen: EERO.

54. This, in Toledo: ESTA.

60. Kiara's mother in "The Lion King": NALA.

62. Dart: FLIT.

63. NYC dance troupe: ABT. American Ballet Theatre.

65. Throat problem: STREP.

66. "Cool beans!": NEATO.

67. Austrian composer Webern: ANTON. Also unknown to me.

69. Full-length: UNCUT.

70. "Babe" in the 1995 film, e.g.: RUNT.

71. Dry Spanish sherry: FINO. We had this before.

72. Sticker in a bar: DART.

75. Undercoat: SEALER.

78. Mormon prophet, or the Utah city named for him: LEHI.

81. One in a roundup: STEER.

82. Pedestrian startler: HORN.

83. In conflict with, with "of": AFOUL.

85. "Crimes and Misdemeanors" actor: ALDA (Alan)

86. Short stroke: PUTT.

89. Brief warning about the links?: NSFW. Not Safe For Work.

90. Shows for the first time: UNVEILS.

91. "How's that again?" words: EHS.

92. Help-wanted ad abbr.: EOE.

97. Luther's crime, per the Diet of Worms: HERESY.

98. Carbon compound: ENOL.

99. Splendor: POMP.

101. It's enough for Juan: BASTA.

103. Hitching aid: THUMB.

104. Where mariners go: TO SEA.

105. Poetic feet: IAMBS.

106. Bikini blast: N TEST.

108. Iona College athletes: GAELS.

112. Asian genre influenced by The Beatles: J POP. When I left Guangzhou in 2001, Namie Amuro was hugely popular.

113. Australian export: OPAL.

114. Debussy's dream: REVE.

115. Hudson Bay nation: CREE.

116. NBA part: Abbr.: ASSN.

118. Canonized Mlle.: STE.

119. "At Seventeen" singer Janis: IAN.

120. 2019 MLB World Series champs' division: NLE. National League East.

121. Some appliances: GES.

Happy 79th birthday to dear Irish Miss, the sunshine of our corner. This picture is so precious. Those simple, loving and chatty days! Thanks for being my friend and supporting me and this blog all these years, Agnes! Boomer cherishes and always finds strength and comfort in your cards.
L-R: Anne, Agnes, Eileen, Mary, and Peggy.
St Patrick's Day, 2019

2) Happy Birthday also to Abejo (Bradley), the certified master gardener! Bradley worked in Iran for a few years, hence his handle Abejo, Persian for "beer".
Left to Right: Abejo, WikWak, Madame DeFarge and TTP, 7/19/2018

Apr 4, 2020

Saturday, April 4, 2020, Brian E Paquin

Themeless Saturday by Brian E. Paquin

Brian E. Paquin is the author of today's puzzle. He is our retired computer systems developer, and now crossword constructor from Kingston, Ontario. He and I were of very like mind today as I polished this puzzle off very quickly (I have sworn off  saying my solving times here).

On Brian's last themeless Saturday he included actress Anna Paquin as fill and said she might be some distant relative as she was born in Winnipeg, Ontario.

Here was Brian's gracious reply to my inquiry about this puzzle:

Hi Gary,

Not a lot to say about it...I liked the way it turned out, except maybe for the S/E corner.   41A ESSE, 41D EKEOUT and 54D SST are all tiresome entries to me.  But if there is to be a weak area, then the S/E is my choice.  Solvers will have enjoyed the better parts by the time they get there.

Let's see what Brian has developed for us today from north of the border:


1. One of the partying elite: A-LISTER.

8. Dessert option: A LA MODE 

15. Emphasize strongly: RAM HOME - Every government agency is trying to RAM HOME wha we must do be safe(r)

16. Online group study: WEBINAR - When I think of all those trips to The University of Nebraska at Omaha I made to get my Masters...

17. Visiting the Louvre, say: IN PARIS - What Rick and Isla will always have

18. Namesake of brunch sauce: HOLLAND - HOLLANDAISE sauce originated in Normandy, France in 1651 as Sauce Isigny not HOLLAND. [Side note - French fries are said to have originated in Belgium and Crab Rangoon in San Francisco] 

19. Sweet after-dinner drink: PORT WINE - On the subject of name derivations, PORT WINE came from the Portuguese city of Oporto

21. Cpl., for one: NCO - Non Commissioned Officer

22. Some street performers: MIMES - Wait a minute... 

25. __ learning: ROTE 

26. Conks out: DIES.

27. "The Cookie Never Crumbles" co-author Wally: AMOS - Famous AMOS

28. Stick: MIRE.

29. Apollo unit, briefly: LEM - Here's the ascent stage of the Lunar Excursion Module taking off from the Moon to reunite with the Command Module that was still orbiting the Moon so the three astronauts could return to Earth. 

30. Flour bag abbr.: LBS.

31. Enthusiastic well-wisher: BACKSLAPPER - Gone with hand shaking for now

35. Retire: PUT OUT TO PASTURE - Subbing keeps at least one foot out of the pasture

37. Took over in a supervisor's absence: HELD THE FORT - After President Reagan was shot, Alexander Haig strode into the West Wing and said he was in charge, i.e. HOLDING (DOWN) THE FORT. Some thought, "Well, 38. __-di-dah: LAH"

40. __ web: DARK Here 'ya go

41. To be, in Latin: ESSE - "
ESSE aut non ESSE illud est quaestio" - Hamlet's musing

42. Hardy title teenager: TESS - TESS of the d"Ubervilles 

44. Small store: MART.

45. 12-time NBA All-Star Olajuwon, as originally spelled: AKEEM - Alt. spelling on this card

46. Big bird: EMU - If commercials are supposed to be annoying to stick in your mind, the poor EMU and his witless handler are successful

47. Dessert made with Oreos: DIRTCAKE - How 'bout adding some (Gummy) worms?

49. Fell behind: RAN LATE.

51. Baseball's Browns, since 1954: ORIOLES - They started as Milwaukee Brewers in 1881 but moved to St. Louis in 1901 as the Browns where they played for 52 years and then became the Baltimore Orioles in 1954 which they still are 39. So far: YET.

1891 Milwaukee Brewers
55. Camera maker that merged with Konica: MINOLTA.

56. What financial projections are compared with: ACTUALS - Everybody's 2020 financial projections are pretty much trash now

57. Guile: SLYNESS.

58. "We're done": THAT'S IT - Going to Husker games?


1. Bush press secretary Fleischer: ARI.

2. PC linkup: LAN - Local Area Network

3. Little rascal: IMP.

4. Pentagon and others: SHAPES - Those pentagonal home plates are still in storage

5. Corrida chargers: TOROS - Corrida is a word meaning bullfight

6. Muslim noble: EMIR 23. Permeate: IMBUE IMBUE used in The Call an EMIR might say

7. They're not for everyone: RESTRICTED AREAS - It'd be about a 20 hr drive for me to get to this famous RESTRICTED AREA

8. 1957 Marty Robbins hit: A WHITE SPORT COAT to wear to the 13. Prom, say: DANCE. - This avid Marty Robbins fan first put his less famous song A BIG IRON ON HIS HIP which fit but the title is only BIG IRON and, uh, wrong!

9. Spaghetti Western director Sergio: LEONE - The Danish National Symphony performs the haunting theme from the spaghetti western The Good, The Bad and The Ugly with plenty of voices but not one discernible word. [A Danish orchestra directed by a Japanese-American woman that is the theme for an American-Style western directed by an non-English speaking Italian man shot mostly in Spain]

10. Up to it: ABLE.

11. Wire measure: MIL - 1 MIL wire is .001" thick

12. Without thinking: ON AN IMPULSE - Last week I showed my prized Superman shirt of my misspent yute. ON AN IMPULSE I thought I could fly and took a leap. I told mom and the doctor I was pushed.

14. Hungarian mathematician Paul: ERDOS - The one unknown for me but if you're interested

20. Museum piece: WORK OF ART.

22. "Happy Days" character Ralph: MALPH - If you really care, you'll know which one he is in this picture

24. Promising forecast: MOSTLY SUNNY - Is the same as partly cloudy?

26. Commerce, e.g.: Abbr.: DEPT 

28. "Do the __!": MATH - Can I afford this Ferrari on a retired teacher's income? 

29. Stand the test of time: LAST.

31. Target: BUTT - Being the BUTT of the joke is misery for some and a 
32. Playful prank: LARK to others

33. Scrub away: ERASE - 44 sec. video of amazing 3D art and ERASING it

34. Alter, as a skirt: REHEM - This dress has had some significant REHEMMING

36. Poems of honor: ODES.

41. Just manage: EKE OUT.

42. Contract listing: TERMS - Selling my MIL's house contained TERMS where she had to pay for a new roof

43. Text alternative: E-MAIL 

44. Catchers' catchers: MITTS - The first catcher to use one was thought of as a sissy

45. Curly-tailed dog: AKITA - Can't we all use a cute picture today?

47. Valley: DALE.

48. Bridge structure: ARCH - For some reason, the General W.K. Wilson Bridge is called the Dolly Parton Bridge. 

50. Actor Chaney: LON.

52. Scale notes: LAS - A note to follow SO(L)

53. Skull and Bones member: ELI - These three members of this secret society at Yale later became presidents. The Video Daily Double Jeopardy question for the far left man is, "Who is the only president to later become Chief Justice Of The Supreme Court?"

54. Old boomer: SST.

I add for no apparent reason: If Brian drove from his home in Kingston, Ontario to Buffalo, N.Y. he would travel from  the east end of Lake Ontario to the east end of Lake Erie. 

Note from C.C.:

Constructor Todd Gross created a series of YouTube videos on themed crosswords. Click here for his latest "For the Birds". I would not have seen the extra layers without his explanations.

Apr 3, 2020

Friday, April 3, 2020, David Van Houten

Title: Let's go to the movies.

David is back for his second LAT publication. I blogged his debut in January. This time he adds to a one-word movie title and clues the new phrase with a reference to the movie chosen. A simple and tight theme. Just as with last week's puzzle which TTP blogged, this grid is more similar to an early week effort with no long fill outside the theme. The most striking thing is that the puzzle is just an "M" short of a pangram. So...

20A. Never heard of a 1996 Robin Williams movie?: DON'T KNOW JACK (12). This MOVIE is the first of two Diane Lane movies that David has chosen.

37A. "You grabbed the wrong Stephen King movie"?: THAT'S NOT IT (10). This MOVIE is not for you if you do not like horror.

43A. Essay about a 2015 Christina Applegate movie?: ON VACATION (10). This MOVIE is the second generation of Griswolds travels.

58A. Start a 2001 Keanu Reeves movie?: PLAY HARDBALL.(12). This MOVIE which was an early effort of Michael B. Jordan.


1. "Get outta here!": SCAT. Various theories of the ETYMOLOGY.

5. Snatch: GRAB. 28A. Have a sudden inspiration?: GASP.

9. Give up: QUIT.

13. Sweater outlet?: PORE. We have a friend who suffers from Hyperhidrosis. A classic use of the homonym misdirection.

14. Concerning kidneys: RENAL.

16. Annapolis sch.: USNAUnited States Naval Academy

17. "Roots" author Haley: ALEX.

18. Actress Graff: ILENE. You may know her work but not her NAME. She has been a puzzle regular since 2003.

19. Ain't fixed?: ISN'T. Cute.

23. Wipes away: ERASES. My mind immediately went HERE.

24. Juegos Olímpicos prize: ORO. Spanish for Olympic Games and Gold.

25. Road crew's supply: TAR.

31. Sexually attractive: NUBILE. One of my favorite words when I started chasing women. Definition of nubile. 1: of marriageable condition or age nubile young women. 2: sexually attractive —used of a young woman a nubile starlet.

33. Magical phrase starter: ABRA. Cadabra.

39. The Parthenon, e.g.: RUINS.

41. Cry from a card holder: UNO.

42. Roof worker: TILER.

46. Fallon's predecessor: LENO. Do they really hate Jimmy Fallon?

47. __ symbol: STATUS.

48. Ancient queen, familiarly: CLEOpatra.

50. Immigrant's subj.: ESLEnglish as a Second Language. I am eternally grateful for this course.

51. Rap name contraction: LIL. 66A. "Rhyme Pays" rapper: ICE-T. 56D. Better, to a rapper: ILLER. Urban dictionary...iller
adj: more ill, better, sweeter, cooler.

53. Like some numerals: ARABIC.

61. Rattle: FAZE.

64. Flower girl, perhaps: NIECE.

65. Paella pot: OLLA.

67. Unsettled states: SNITS.

68. __ fee: USER.

69. Sainted historian: BEDE. An interesting HISTORY.

70. Backbone or spine: GRIT. Or 25D. Words on a spine: TITLE. Definition 2 for "spine": the part of a book's jacket or cover that encloses the inner edges of the pages, facing outward when the book is on a shelf and typically bearing the title and the author's name.

71. Weight allowance: TARE.


1. Garden tool: SPADE.

2. Rainbow flag component: COLOR. There are others.

3. Fan belt?: ARENA. Belt indeed.

4. Messages sent from cells: TEXTS.

5. Is amused by: GRINS AT.

6. Move, in Realtor-speak: RELOcates. Not an easy time for these sellers either.

7. From the top: ANEW.

8. Scruggs' strings: BANJO. A musical interlude.

9. Nestlé product suffix: QUIK. Suffix?
10. Initials before a state's name, sometimes: USS. Navy.

11. Imaret, say: INN. Miriam-Webster tells us that this is an inn or hospice in Turkey. I have some friends from Istanbul, but they have not taught me that word.

12. Bit of ink: TAT.

15. Profits (from): LEARNS.

21. Brew holder: KEG. A CSO to my beer brewing and selling family.

22. Matter: COUNT.

26. 1979 sci-fi classic with three sequels and two prequels:  ALIEN.

27. In style again: RETRO.

29. Close: SHUT.

30. Go to pieces: PANIC. My certain reaction if I spent much time with Sigourney Weaver.

32. Bubble, in a way: BOIL. To me-
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.

33. Emanated (from): AROSE.

34. Diamond strategies: BUNTS. No baseball yet.

35. Same-state opponent, often: RIVAL. Auburn/Alabama. Florida/Florida State/Miami.

36. Future doc's subj.: ANATomy.

38. Plane, e.g.: TOOL. Not up in the air, but...

40. Racing craft: SCULL.

44. Chinese and Indians: ASIANS. And so many more.

45. Most closely related: NEAREST.

49. Chicago airport code: ORD. O'Hare originally named Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field opened in 1942. Midway (MDW) opened in 1926.

52. Not true: LYING.

54. Give or take: ABOUT. Circa.

55. Modeling wood: BALSA. This WOOD is a CSO to our Canadian friends.

57. Shannon's county: CLARE. Learn MORE.

58. Townshend of The Who: PETE. More music.

59. Son or daughter, often: HEIR. Rather macabre.

60. When Juliet says, "Go ask his name": ACT I. Our Friday Shakespeare reference.

61. Little lie: FIB. Such an absurd concept.

62. Frequent winner: ACE. This leads us to the end...

63. British jazz element?: ZED. The middle Zs.

There you have it, the first Friday of April and some fun stuff that shouldn't have over-worked your stressed brain. Be careful, be safe. Wash your hands, gargle with warm saltwater. Thank you for being a cyber family I can count upon. Lemonade out.

Apr 2, 2020

Thursday, April 2nd 2020 Alan DerKazarian

Theme: OM .... G! (Cue crying).

61A. Scream-evoking horror film technique ... and a hint to what's hiding in five puzzle rows: JUMP SCARE

This is one of those puzzles which I call an "aftertheme" - there is no way that the reveal helps you solve the puzzle, especially in this case as it comes pleasingly-placed at the end. Instead you solve the puzzle, find the reveal and then go back theme-hunting to make sense of it.

In my case, I'd never heard of the phrase "jump scare", and with the "J" crossing the unknown "AJA" it took me a WAG to go for the only letter which vaguely made sense and with that I finished the puzzle.

Per our friends at Wikipedia "A jump scare (often shortened to jumpscare) is a technique often used in horror films, haunted houses, video games, and Internet screamers, intended to scare the audience by surprising them with an abrupt change in image or event, usually co-occurring with a frightening sound, mostly loud screaming".

So now I went back to look for the five puzzle rows, and discovered "TERROR", "FRIGHT", "ALARM", "START" and "PANIC", all synonyms for SCARE and find that they "jump" across a black square in the grid.

Thanks to Alan for treasure hunt!

So there we are. I think it's nice that Rich seems to have abandoned the "circles" gimmick in the puzzles - this is a great example where there could have been circles to point up where the theme entries are. I find the detective work after the fact much more satisfying than being led to water and told to drink.

I don't do scary movies. I snuck into "The Exorcist" at 14 and couldn't sleep without the light on for a month. "The Omen" and "Carrie" didn't do a whole lot to settle my nerves either. Many years later I decided that I was old enough to watch "The Ring" and regretted it for days afterwards. I've cried in all the "Toy Story" movies, what chance do I have with the scary stuff?

So let's go and explore the rest of today's topics:


1. Egyptian god with an ibis head: THOTH. I thought I knew this one, but I stumbled and stuttered until eventually the crosses helped me out.

6. One who crosses the line: SCAB. Picket lines. I've never been a militant, but I did join a picket line last year and I was cold, wet, mostly miserable but felt I was doing something very right.

10. Blight-stricken tree: ELM. We had three gorgeous elm trees behind my childhood house in England. One year they didn't leaf in the spring. The next year they were dead and gone. They were more than 100 years old.

13. "Donnie Brasco" actress Anne: HECHE

14. Flap: TO-DO

15. Corp. leaders: CEOS

17. Lay to rest: INTER

18. With 42-Across, part of a psychologist's battery: RORSCHACH. Part of the theme. A poll - how many people knew how to spell this right off the bat? I didn't, I had ROR, a blank bit and "ACH". The middle was eventually filled in, but that was a toughie.

20. Seven-time Wimbledon winner: GRAF. Steffie. A class act.

21. Wisconsin city on the Mississippi: LA CROSSE

22. HDTV part, for short: HI-DEF. This was a tricky clue, as HI-DEF forms two parts of "HDTV".

24. They may be civil: RIGHTS. Wars, ceremonies and law didn't fit, so I was left with rights. And right I was.

25. Singing stars: DIVAS

27. "60 Minutes" regular: STAHL

31. Strong brew: ALE. It can be strong, but doesn't need to be. IPA is strong as it was brewed to transport to India in the 1850's and needed hops and alchohol to preserve it in the kegs on the way. The British soldiers didn't object.

34. Deadly: LETHAL

37. West Point team: ARMY. I oddly tried to force "USMA" in here before I saw sense.

38. Prom adornment: CORSAGE

40. Hear about: LEARN OF

42. See 18-Across: TEST

43. Stella __: Belgian beer: ARTOIS. STELLA! The logo is a star - hence Stella - the Star of Artois. I like beer trivia.

45. Düsseldorf direction: OST. Damn. I jumped the gun with EST and then suffered when ARNE didn't look right. I could have helped myself by looking two clues down, and realizing that EASTS and EST probably wouldn't work together in a quality puzzle.

46. Hard work: SWEAT

48. Bridge seats: EASTS

50. __ Zee: Hudson River area: TAPPAN. I was tempted by "ZUIDER" thinking that the Dutch would transport their native names (New Amsterdam, Harlem being anglicised examples) then recalled the bridge. Which I spelt as TEPPAN, I must have had teppanyaki food on the brain.

53. Divine fluid: ICHOR. A completely new one for me. This was my second-to-last entry - ICHOR crossing OSIER was another near-Natick.

57. Laszlo Kreizler, in a Caleb Carr novel: ALIENIST

60. Nylons: HOSE

63. Broadway orphan: ANNIE

64. US Open stadium namesake: ASHE

65. Surrealist Paul: KLEE. He didn't stick to one thing, there's the hand of Mondrian, Picasso and other influences in his paintings.

66. Paragon: MODEL

67. It may be gross: TON

68. Barrie pirate: SMEE. "Peter Pan".

69. Leaders of industry: CZARS. TSARS/CZARS - wait for the crosses.


1. Fried chicken choice: THIGH. My favorite, not just for fried chicken. The best flavor and easy to cook. I use thigh meat more than any other cut of chicken, when I get my boning knife out, stand back, I can skin and debone 10lbs of chicken thighs in five minutes flat.

2. Painter __ de Toulouse-Lautrec: HENRI. He was nicknamed "Teapot" by the good ladies of the Pigalle and the Moulin Rouge. He was not very tall, but had, allegedly, an impressive "spout".

3. Two quartets: OCTAD. Tried OCTET, didn't work, changed it.

4. Jay Powell chairs it: THE FED

5. That girl: HER

6. Orchestra sect.: STR. I'm never a big fan of this when I see it. Would you know how to shorten woodwinds, brass or percussion? No, and neither would anyone else. Let's consign this to the dustbin of desperate crossword fill.

7. Not very friendly: COOLISH

8. "What __": "Ho-hum": A DRAG

9. Amazon crime series based on Michael Connelly novels: BOSCH. Thank you, crosses.

10. Satellite communications giant: ECHOSTAR

11. Grazing sites: LEAS

12. Soft shoes: MOCS

16. That girl: SHE. SHE and HER today.

19. Old PC monitors: CRT'S. Cathode Ray Tubes, I hate to think how many of these ended up in landfills.

23. Adidas rival: FILA. I think Adidas might look down their nose at Fila being described as a rival. Nike for sure, Puma probably in soccer equipment, maybe New Balance for running shoes. Fila? That's a stretch. How do you pronounce Adidas? It depends where you come from, and Adidas doesn't have a published company "standard" unlike Nike (NYK-ee). If you're from these shores, then you're likely to say "a-DEE-das". If you're from Europe, mostly "ADD-EE-DAS".

24. Yelp user, say: RATER. HATER would equally fit here. How many Yelp reviews have you read with One Star because the restaurant wasn't equipped with ESP and didn't know that the reviewer was recently vegan, even when she ordered the medium-rare rib-eye and IT WAS MY FIANCES B-DAY AND THEY DIN LET US SIT AT THE TABLE I WANTED BCOS S/O ELSE HAD BOOKED IT AND THEN CHARG US 4 THE CAKE I BOUGHT IN AND FEED ME STAKE WHEN I TURNED VEAGAN ON FRIDAY. THEY ARE LIARS. I WON GO BACK LOL". I feel sorry for restauranteurs the world over.

26. Brightest star in Lyra: VEGA

28. River of Pisa: ARNO. Yeah, me ARNE looked odd when I goofed on OST/EST

29. Gps. with copays: HMO'S

30. Ride-sharing option: LYFT. I do wonder why Uber and Lyft are always described as "ride-sharing" services? I know you can share a ride with them, but I wonder what proportion of their revenue comes from ride-share? They were never touted as ride-share services, they were launched as alternatives to calling your local taxi firm for a ride, getting stuck on hold, then being told "15-to-45 minutes" and riding in a rattletrap that stank of cigarettes and a driver that refused to take credit cards and complained he wasn't getting enough tips. Uber and Lyft are not perfect, but they are a hell of an improvement over the "service" before.

31. Ballet divisions: ACTS

32. Early movie mogul: LOEW

33. Gaelic language: ERSE

35. Take out __: A LOAN

36. Island rings: LEIS

39. Fox River, in TV's "Prison Break": STATE PEN

41. Spot of wine?: ASTI

44. Source of a homeopathic oil: TEA TREE. I've used this to cure sporadic outbreaks of dry skin. I'll abide by the "breakfast test" and won't gross you out with more graphic descriptions.

47. They may be fake: TANS

49. Slangy nose: SCHNOZ. I have a friend who is an animation artist. I don't drink any alcohol in January; he drew a caricature of me the day I stepped down from the wagon one February 1st on a bar napkin with a crayon. I never thought I had a schnoz, but the artist doesn't lie!

51. Chooses: PICKS

52. Church song: PSALM

54. Passport producer: HONDA

55. Willow twig: OSIER

56. Lively dances: REELS

57. "The Birth of a Nation" actress __ Naomi King: AJA

58. A deadly sin: LUST. These are tricky waters to navigate. As well as the Ten Commandments, you have the Seven Deadly Sins, the Eternal Sins against the Holy Ghost and the Sins that Cry to Heaven for Vengeance. It seemed like every theologian worth his salt came up with a new list. I think we should just be nice to each other and leave it at that.

59. "If u ask me": IMHO

62. Shoebox letters: EEE

63. "Breaking Bad" network: AMC

That pretty much wraps up this Thursday. I hope you're all taking care of yourselves and being extremely careful in these unusual times. If you're starting to get a little stir-crazy and want to talk to someone other than the walls or the dog, please don't hesitate give me or any of the bloggers a shout and we'll be happy to talk crosswords, or anything else. You can zing me an email through my blog link to keep your personal information secure and I'll be in touch. I'm not sure I'll talk any more sense than the dog, but at least the accent might entertain you.

And .... drum roll ... here's the grid!


Apr 1, 2020

Wednesday April 1, 2020 Debra Hamel

Theme: "Who's What" Rephrased - The second word in each theme entry changes its original meaning.
17. Mythical hunter's shots of liquor?: ORION'S BELTS.

27. First mortal woman's moving supply?: PANDORA'S BOXES.

48. Greek hero's stilettos?: ACHILLES' HEELS.

63. Early man's computers?: ADAM'S APPLES.

Boomer here again. Melissa will be back next Wednesday.

Happy to be here and healthy. We are in a phase of a lock down, however we are allowed to travel to grocery stores, post office, banks, and gas stations.  With those kind of limits, I'm afraid the bank or gas station won't see me for awhile. Not sure if golf courses will open.  I have heard a few up here in MN have special rules.  But the high temps are in the 40s and some low 50s, so we won't worry about cow pasture pool for awhile.


1. Like some questionable characters: SHADY.  The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane, Has the town in a whirl.

6. Buffalo team: BILLS.  I prefer Benjamins

11. Pro with a gurney, briefly: EMT. Electrical Metallic Tubing.

14. Grade of tea leaves: PEKOE.

15. Parting mot: ADIEU.  ADIEU, ADIEU my friend ADIEU, I can no longer stay with you.

16. Menagerie: ZOO.  We have two zoos in the Twin Cities.  I wonder if they have to keep the monkeys six feet apart.

19. With 22-Across, Lady Gaga, Madonna et al.: POP. 22. See 19-Across: STARS.  I like Diet Pepsi.  I'm not allowed to eat chocolate stars.

20. Work the bar: TEND.  I guess you would call the guy a legal Tender.

21. Remove from power: OUST.

24. Law school accrediting org.: ABA.  American Bar Association.  I wonder if the Bartender is a member.

26. Numbered ballpark souvenir: JERSEY.  I have a few unnumbered Twins JERSEYS.

33. Amherst sch.: UMASS.

34. "That was close!": PHEW.

35. He or I: ELEM. H is Helium. I is Iodine.

38. Plywood wood: FIR.  We have a huge pine tree in the yard.  I don't think it qualifies as a FIR.

39. Chicken soup, some say: CURE ALL.  Take with Abiraterone and Prednisone.

42. "Selma" director DuVernay: AVA.

43. Plant with fronds: FERN. We have an Asiatic Lily.  Maybe it's time to add a Fern.

45. Tablet: PILL.  See 39A.

46. Capp chap: ABNER.  Daisy Mae's Beau. I hope the virus does not cancel Sadie Hawkins Day.

51. Paper or plastic, say: OPTION.  Our grocery stores still offer that option.  In St. Paul you need to pay for either one.  I think it's .05 or .07.

53. Letters for William or Catherine: HRH. His/Her Royal Highness.

54. Mill fodder: GRIST.

55. Shop clamp: VISE.

58. Free speech org.: ACLU.  Civil Liberties.  Stay in your house and like it.

62. N.L. West, for one: DIV.  I had to stop and think what sport they were talking about.

66. Genesis name: EVE.  I know Adam and EVE, Cain and Abel, but then I can't name another pioneer until NOAH.

67. Lazybones: IDLER.

68. Lyric poem: EPODE.

69. Where Schumer is a sen.: NYS.  New York State.  I like Chuck.

70. Stalks in a marsh: REEDS.

71. Royal-ly made?: TYPED.  Of course I remember using a Royal Manual Typewriter.  ding.


1. Shout target: SPOT.  See Dick, See Jane.  See SPOT, See SPOT run

2. "Take it": HERE.

3. Similar (to): AKIN.

4. Whatsits: DOODADS.  Used to love getting DOODADS on Halloween.

5. Currency with the ISO code JPY: YEN.  I think it takes about 108 YEN to buy a dollar.

6. Hindu title of respect: BABU.  I think he was Luke Skywalker's buddy.

7. Mid-month day: IDES.  We just passed the Ides of March a couple of weeks ago. "How many eggs did you have for breakfast Caesar ??"  "Et tu Brute".

8. Light air: LILT.

9. Chair umpire's call: LET.  LET'S LET the ref call it and serve again.

10. Harry, Duke of __: SUSSEX.

11. Toll plaza choice in many states: EZ PASS LANE.  The only one's I've ever seen in MN is at the MSP airport parking ramp.  You can use it if you used a credit card to get in.

12. Mandy of "This Is Us": MOORE.

13. __-turvy: TOPSY.

18. Rise dramatically: SOAR.  Like a Rory McIlroy pitching wedge.

23. Willow, but not Buffy: TREE. Something Mr. McIlroy might use that wedge to get a ball over.

25. Bartlett alternative: BOSC.

26. Bit of slack facial flesh: JOWL.

27. __ pastry: PUFF.  The magic dragon, lived by the sea. Peter, Paul, and Mary.

28. Parisian gal pal: AMIE.

29. Stories: NARRATIVES.

30. Time for fooling: APRIL.  Absolutely!!  Today is the Day.

31. Narrow racing boat: SHELL.  All the Shell gas stations were changed to something called "Super USA"  Gas is around $1.70 per gallon.  Of course I had a discount at Holiday and paid $1.59 eight days ago.  Since then I made a trip to a grocery store.  I may have gas in the tank for months before I need to fill up again.  Gas stations are open but never busy.  I wonder if they will get a few bucks on the stimulus law.

32. Memphis music festival street: BEALE.

36. Robbie's daredevil father: EVEL.  Tried a trip across the Snake River canyon years ago.  Evel left us in 2007.

37. Where Mark Watney grew potatoes in a 2015 film: MARS. The movie is "The Martian".

40. __ the air: UP IN.  I've knocked down a ten pin, a 5 pin and a 7 pin but I never had to shoot at a U PIN.

41. Comic actor Bert: LAHR.  Cowardly Lion in one of my favorite vintage movies. If a movie was released before I was born, may I call it "Vintage"??

44. Mark Harmon TV drama: NCIS.

47. Advice from Bobby McFerrin: BE HAPPY.  Don't Worry, BE HAPPY !

49. Bloviator's output: HOT AIR.

50. Kind of butter used in skin care: SHEA.  No Mets Game today.

51. Poet Nash: OGDEN.  "Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker"

52. In on, with "to": PRIVY.

55. Lowland: VALE.

56. Wrote online, briefly: IM'ED. Instant Messaging.

57. Old pol. divisions: SSRS (Soviet Socialist Republics). 

59. Sound made by hitting coconut halves together: CLOP.  "The Horses are entering the track".

60. News article intro: LEDE.

61. Employed: USED.  Actually, USED cars are on someone's lot, waiting to be employed.

64. Ike's monogram: DDE.  Between HST and JFK.

65. Adopt-a-thon adoptee: PET.