Jan 22, 2020

Wednesday, January 22, 2020, Jared Tamarkin



28. Compel to land, as a plane: FORCE DOWN.

48. Red or white unit: BLOOD CELL.

58. Speaking Spanglish, say ... or a hint to what's hidden in 20-, 28- and 48-Across: CODE SWITCHING.

Took me a bit to crack this CODE and realize the theme - the word CODE is SWITCHed up and spans across two words in three theme answers. A real mix of gettable and huh? words made this one last a little longer than a typical Wednesday. An enjoyable solve when it was finally completed.


1. Construction guideline: SPEC. Specifications, also called specs, are the details for the work that needs to be completed in a construction project and includes information such as materials, the scope of work, installation process, and quality of work.

5. Pitfalls: TRAPS.

10. Bible book that chronicles the conversion of Paul: ACTS. Acts of the Apostles, the fifth book of the new testament.

14. Rake prong: TINE.

15. Soprano Fleming: RENÉE. Renée Fleming names six of her all-time favourite soprano arias, below.

16. Fluctuate: VARY.

17. 500 sheets of paper: REAM.

18. "I'm on __!": A ROLL.

19. Access, as a computer program: OPEN.

23. Characterized by: PRONE TO.

24. Provide parenting for: RAISE.

27. Art Deco icon: ERTÉ. Romain de Tirtoff was a Russian-born French artist and designer known by the pseudonym Erté, from the French pronunciation of his initials. Erté was known for his glamorous opera sets, jewelry, costumes, and graphic arts. His work is quintessentially emblematic of the Art Deco style in its use of tapering lines and simplified ornamentation inspired by the natural world.

32. Massage therapist's employer: SPA.

34. Penn. neighbor: DEL. Pennsylvania and Delaware.

35. Handling the situation: ON IT.

36. Lilly of pharmaceuticals: ELI.

39. Coffee cup insulators: SLEEVES. My daughter and I traveled to Burbank, CA earlier this month to take the Gilmore Girls fan tour at Warner Brothers. Luke's coffee was served (exceptionally good) with the Luke's SLEEVES, along with pop-tarts and other GG-inspired fare (those are dragonfly shortbread cookies).

42. Texting format, for short: SMS. Short Message Service.

43. "Boogie Nights" actor Reynolds: BURT.

45. Night school subj.: ESL. English as a Second Language.

46. Fashion plate: FOP. Wikipedia: Fop became a pejorative term for a foolish man excessively concerned with his appearance and clothes in 17th-century England. The pejorative term today carries the connotation of a person, usually male, who is overly concerned with trivial matters (especially matters of fashion) and who affects elite social standing.

51. Put one over on: FOOL.

54. Islamic denomination: SUNNI. The larger of the two main branches of Islam, which differs from Shia in its understanding of the Sunna, its conception of religious leadership, and its acceptance of the first three caliphs (rulers).

55. Oregon city near the mouth of the Columbia: ASTORIA.

62. Competent: ABLE.

64. Suck-up: TOADY. Huh? A person who behaves obsequiously to someone important. The word toady has a gross, yet engaging history. Not familiar with this word.

65. Afrikaans speaker: BOER. Huh? The Dutch and Afrikaans noun for "farmer." In South African contexts, "Boers" refers to the descendants of the proto-Afrikaans-speaking settlers of the eastern Cape frontier in Southern Africa during the 18th and much of the 19th century. From 1652 to 1795 the Dutch East India Company controlled this area, but the United Kingdom incorporated it into the British Empire in 1806.

66. Shiraz's land: IRAN. Shiraz is the fifth-most-populous city of Iran and the capital of Fars Province. 

67. Make one's case: ARGUE.

68. Cupid's wings: ALAE. Wings or flat winglike process or structure, such as a part of some bones and cartilages. ALAE is the plural form of ALA. This is an awfully scientific term for a fictional character - but common enough in crosswords.

69. Anti-DUI org.: MADD. Mothers Against Drunk Drivers.

70. Tango moves: STEPS.

71. "This is for you": HERE.


1. Guitar support: STRAP. Not stand.

2. Missouri River capital: PIERRE.

3. Fill with affection: ENAMOR.

4. Fixes in place: CEMENTS.

5. Activist's handout: TRACT.

6. Install new shingles on: RE-ROOF.

7. Quote book abbr.: ANON. Anonymous.

8. Ill-gotten gains: PELF. Huh? Money, especially when gained in a dishonest or dishonorable way. New to me.

9. Move for money: SELL.

10. Guacamole ingredient: AVOCADO.

11. Underwriting?: CAPTIONS. Nice clue.

12. Roman three: TRE.

13. Many a crossword clue: Abbr.: SYN.

21. Ocean trenches: DEEPS.

22. Fury: IRE.

25. Enjoy the pool: SWIM.

26. Tonsillitis-treating MDs: ENTS. Ear, Nose and Throat specialists.

29. Former "Entertainment Tonight" co-anchor Nancy: O'DELL.

30. Make growl, as an engine: REV.

31. Sheet music symbol: CLEF. Any of several symbols placed at the left-hand end of a staff, indicating the pitch of the notes written on it.
33. Actor Baldwin: ALEC.

36. Goes back out: EBBS.

37. Humdinger: LULU.

38. Like a rock-solid contract: IRON CLAD.

40. Language suffix: ESE.

41. Start of civilization?: SOFT C.

44. Constantly: TO NO END.

47. Bureaucratic bigwig: POOHBAH. Grand Poobah is a term derived from the name of the haughty character Pooh-Bah in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado.

49. Impersonated: DID.

50. On the injured list: LAID UP.

52. Camden Yards player: ORIOLE. Major League Baseball ballpark located in Baltimore, Maryland.

53. One-dimensional: LINEAR.

56. Eye annoyances: STYES.

57. Be on the same page: AGREE.

59. Share-a-ride pickup hrs.: ETAS. Estimated Time of Arrival.

60. Microsoft Excel command: SORT.

61. Compensation: WAGE.

62. Crossbow wielder's asset: AIM.

63. Maidenform garment: BRA.


Note from C.C.

Here are two great pictures from the Gilmore Girls tour Melissa and her daughter took earlier this month at Warner Brothers'. Click here to see more.

lorelai's house
on the couch at "central perk" from friends

Jan 21, 2020

Tuesday, January 21, 2020 Chase Dittrich

Tennis, Anyone?  Tennis: the game that is played on a variety of surfaces.  Note that each answer is a three-letter phrase.

20-Across. Be noisy, or equip for tennis?: MAKE A RACKET.

34-Across. Enjoy oneself, or be ready for tennis?: HAVE A BALL.

46-Across. Sue, or leave for tennis?: GO TO COURT.

60-Across. Be helpful, or enjoy playing tennis?: LIVE TO SERVE.

1. Sound of disbelief: GASP.

5. Feature of some debit cards: CHIP.  Chips are also found on credit cards.

9. Ford Fusion, e.g.: SEDAN.

14. Latin "others": ALIA.

15. __ erectus: HOMO.  What Does it Mean to be Human?  The first skeletal remains of a Homo erectus was discovered in 1891.

16. To the point: TERSE.

17. Wander aimlessly (about): MILL.

18. Israeli carrier: EL AL.  El Al has become a crossword staple.  The first scheduled flight on El Al was in July 1949.  The name of the company roughly translates from the Hebrew to "to the skies."  I usually fly El Al when I go to Israel.

19. Pisces follower: ARIES.

23. Brewery tub: VAT.

24. Admin. aides: ASSTS.  Administrative aides are Assistants.

25. Tickle pink: AMUSE.

27. Beauty contest prize: TIARA.
31. Ready for dinner: SEATED.  Just a few more people at this dinner than in attendance at my dinner parties.

38. Upside-down "e," in phonetics: SCHWA.  This symbol indicates an "uh" sound in the pronunciation of a word.

39. Dictator Amin: IDI.  Idi Amin (May 17, 1925 ~ Aug. 16, 2003), whose full name was Idi Amin Dada Oumee, was known as the Butcher of Uganda.

40. Shenanigan: ANTIC.

42. Gridiron "zebra": REF.

43. Chocolate source: CACAO.

49. Requires Febreze, maybe: SMELLS.

51. "Les MisÈrables" escape route: SEWER.

52. Cosmopolitan spirits: VODKA.

54. Order to a sloucher: SIT UP.

58. Classic Jaguar: XKE.  This 1969 model can be yours for only $102K.

64. __ Gras: MARDI.  The countdown is on!  Everything you need to known about Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

66. Chief Asgard god: ODIN.

67. Sentence structure element: NOUN.  Silly me, I wanted it to be a Verb!

68. Crime that might involve accelerants: ARSON.

69. Sit in park, say: IDLE.

70. Spilled the beans: TOLD.

71. Online magazine with a "Dear Prudence" advice column: SLATE.  You can also listen to a Slate Dear Prudence podcast.

72. Hair salon supplies: DYES.

73. Relaxing resorts: SPAS.  The Ein Gedi Spa on Dead Sea is very relaxing.

1. Ray type: GAMMA.  Gamma rays are penetrating electromagnetic radiations arising from the radioactive decay of the atom's nucleus.

2. Identity-concealing name: ALIAS.

3. Jockey's apparel: SILKS.  Everything you wanted to know about Jockey's Silks but were afraid to ask. The colorful attire dates back to the Romans.

4. Bob Ross accessory: PALETTE.  I was not familiar with the name Rob Ross (né Robert Norman Ross; Oct. 29, 1942 ~ July 4, 1995).  I recognized his picture, however, and realized that he has made guest appearances in the crosswords in the past.  He also hosted a show on PBS entitled The Joy of Painting.

5. Singer with a Best Actress Oscar: CHER.  Cher (née Cherilyn Sarkisian; b. May 20, 1946) won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in Moonstruck.

6. Hi, in Barcelona: HOLA.  Today's Spanish lesson.

7. Apple desktop: iMAC.

8. Music genre with accordions: POLKA.

9. Easter Island sights: STATUES.  Easter Island was annexed to Chile in 1888.  It was "discovered" by Dutch explore Jacob Roggeveen on Easter Sunday in 1722, hence its name.

10. End of a musket?: -EER.  As in the Three Musketeers.

11. Convenience for diners on the go: DRIVE THRU.

12. Well out of the harbor: ASEA.

13. Chick site: NEST.

21. Tibet's continent: ASIA.  The country is a lot larger than I thought.

22. First-responder letters: EMS.  As in Emergency Medical Services.

26. Cul-de-__: SAC.

28. Lawyers' org.: ABA.  As in the American Bar Association.

29. Struck the bell: RANG.

30. Singers below mezzo-sopranos: ALTOS.

32. Decorative pitcher: EWER.

33. Nutty: DAFT.

34. Minute Maid fruity juice boxes: HI-Cs.  I looked at Hics for the longest time.  Hics?  Hics?  What could that mean?  Then the lightbulb went on.

35. NBA commissioner Silver: ADAM.  Adam Silver (b. Apr. 25, 1962) has been the commissioner of the National Basketball Association since January 2014.

36. The other way around: VICE VERSA.

37. Miller __: beer brand: LITE.

41. "Don't have a __, man!": COW.

44. Teléfono greeting: ALO.  More of today's Spanish lesson.

45. Long-established: OLD LINE.

47. Prefix with pool or pit: CESS-.  As in a Cesspool or a Cesspit.  No images for the breakfast crossword crowd.

48. Points in the right direction: ORIENTS.

50. Tackle a slope: SKI.  Tackling the bunny slope.

53. Circumvent: AVOID.

55. Unit being deployed: TROOP.

56. Throat dangler: UVULA.

57. Remains unsettled, as a payment: PENDS.

58. Dec. holiday: XMAS.

59. Two-time NBA MVP Malone known as "The Mailman": KARL.  Karl Malone (b. July 24, 1963) is from Summerfield, Louisiana.  He had a long career with the Utah Jazz.  He was known as The Mailman because he delivered the plays.

61. Whirlpool: EDDY.

62. Dominoes piece: TILE.

63. Smallest bills: ONES.

65. Part of an ellipsis: DOT.

Here's the grid:

QOD:  All I required to be happy was friendship and people I could admire.  ~  Christian Dior (Jan. 21, 1905 ~ Oct. 24, 1957), French fashion designer

Notes from C.C.:
1) Today we celebrate the 72nd birthday to our caring Madame DeFarge. Happy Birthday, Janice! I just love this picture.
Left to Right: Abejo, WikWak, Madame DeFarge  and TTP, July 19, 2018
2) Our blog turns 12 year old today. I'm eternally grateful for my hard-working blogging team, faithful regulars and others who have supported us over the years.