Feb 18, 2020

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 Craig Stowe

It's just a Jump to your LEFT.

20-Across. *  Billy Crystal comedy featuring a cattle drive: CITY SLICKERS.  City Center.

City Slickers was a 1991 film.

The Central Business District in New Orleans

30-Across. *  Exact look-alike: DEAD RINGER.  Dead Center.

 Dead Ringer was also a 1964 movie starring Bette Davis.

Dead Center

38-Across. *  Daily filming schedule on the set: CALL SHEET.  Call Center.  In my experience, the people at the call center are in some far-off town and often speak with such an accent neither one of us understand each other.

50-Across. *  One in la-la land: SPACE CADET.  Space Center.

And the unifier:
59-Across. Somewhat liberal, or where you might find the first words in the answers to starred clues: LEFT OF CENTER.

1. Govt.-backed investment: T-NOTE.  As in a Treasury Note.

6. Travelocity recommendations: INNS.

10. Comprehends: GETS.

14. Commandment verb involving parents: HONOR.  Fact: Did you know that the 10 Commandments are found in both Exodus and Deuteronomy and that the order of the Commandments differ depending upon one's religious theology?

15. Niño's "nothing": NADA.  Today's Spanish lesson.

16. Difficult exam: ORAL.

17. Kagan of the Supreme Court: ELENA.  Elena Kagan (b. Apr. 28, 1960) is an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.  When she assumed the office in August 2010, she was only the 4th woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice.  Prior to joining the Supreme Court, she was the first female dean of the Harvard Law School.  She makes frequent guest appearances in the crossword puzzles.

18. Fruit grown in bogs: CRANBERRY.  Massachusetts is known for its CRANBERRY Bogs.

22. __, amas, amat ...: AMO.  Today's Latin lesson.

23. Gnaw (at): EAT.

24. Grocery walkway: AISLE.

28. Offshore oil drillers: RIGS.

Oil Rigs as seen from the beach at Grand Isle, Louisiana

34. Stiff-upper-lip type: STOIC.

36. Under, in French: SOUS.  Today's French lesson.  Think of the Sous-chef, who is the second in command in the kitchen, after the executive chef.

37. Graffiti signature: TAG.  Many buildings in Rome are covered in graffiti.

42. Musical gift: EAR.

45. Roman robe: TOGA.

46. Hustle genre: DISCO.

54. Croat or Serb: SLAV.

55. Mexican mister: SEÑOR.  More of today's Spanish lesson.

56. Correct: FIX.

58. "__ had it!": I'VE.  Enough, already!

64. Soap opera genre: MELODRAMA.  A melodrama is a performance with a lot of exaggerated emotion.

67. 1960s jacket style: NEHRU.  The history of the NEHRU Jacket.

68. Cooking spot: OVEN.

69. Large-scale: EPIC.  Cecil B' DeMille's movie The Ten Commandments was an EPIC movie.

70. Warning signs: OMENS.

71. Like fake fruit: WAXY.

72. See socially: DATE.

73. From Lillehammer, say: NORSE.  Lillehammer, Norway was the site of the 1994 Winter Olympics.

1. "My Best Friend's Girl" rock band: THE CARS.  Sadly, Ric Ocasek (né Richard Theodore Otcasek; Mar. 23, 1944 ~ Sept. 15, 2019), frontman for The Cars, died last fall at age 75.  Shortly before he died, he executed a new will, which specifically cut out  Paulina Porizkova (née Pavlína Pořízková; b. Apr. 9, 1965), his wife of 30 years.  They had been in the middle of a divorce, but still shared a house together.

2. Like poker games for high rollers: NO LIMIT.

3. Small takeout order: ONE TO GO.  Strange clue and answer.

4. Tiger mascot with a red scarf: TONY.  Of course, my first thought was LSU's Mike the Tiger, but he doesn't wear a read scarf.

5. Clear data from: ERASE.  //  And 52-Down. Wear away, as a coin surface: EFFACE.

6. Provoke: INCITE.

7. Dealer's foil, briefly: NARC.  Short for a narcotics agent.

8. Southern neighbor of Sask.: N. DAK.  North Dakota is south of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan.

9. Reasonable: SANE.

10. Enters: GOES IN.

11. "To say they __ I dare not be so bold": Shakespeare: ERR.

12. North Carolina __ Heels: TAR.  North Carolina had been was known as the Tar and Turpentine State due to its early industry of distilling pine sap.  The name later evolved into just TAR Heel.

13. Cunning: SLY.

19. Slow-cooked, as short ribs: BRAISED.  Braising is a cooking method that uses both wet and dry heats.  Food is first sautéed or lightly fried, then slowly stewed in a closed pot.  More complicated than my cooking methods.

21. Young chap: LAD.

25. Bilko's rank: Abbr.: SGT.  Sgt. Bilko was a character on The Phil Silvers Show, which ran in the late 1950s.  It was before my time.

26. Grazing area: LEA.

27. Joule fraction: ERG.  This has become a crossword staple.

29. [not my error]: SIC.  More of today's Latin lesson.  SIC is a Latin adverb that is inserted after a quoted word or phrase to indicate that the original quoted passage contained the error.

31. Family name in Mideast politics: ASSAD.  Bashar al-ASSAD (b. Sept. 11, 1965) is the current President of Syria.  The name al-Assad means Lion in Arabic.

32. Homer's "I'm an idiot!": DOH!

33. Feel remorse over: RUE.  Also the French word for Street.

35. Provided food for: CATERED.

39. Tone-__: "Wild Thing" rapper: LOC.
Tone-Loc (né Anthony Terrell Smith; b. Mar. 3, 1966).

40. NYC airport near Citi Field: LGA.  As in the LaGuardia Airport. I flew into LaGuardia the last time I was in New York last summer.  The airport is named in honor of Fiorello H. La Guardia (Dec. 11, 1882 ~ Sept. 20, 1947), the 99th Mayor of New York City.

41. "__ the season ... ": TIS.  Well, it will be the season in about 10 months!

42. Scout leader?: ESS.  Oh, as in the letter "S".  Not keen on this type of cluing.

43. Monkey relative: APE.

44. Sought a political seat: RAN.  Hot topic this year.

47. Move like a mamba: SLITHER.  The Mamba is a venomous snake native to Africa.

48. Carlsbad __ National Park: CAVERNS.  A visit to the Carlsbad Caverns is on my bucket list.

49. Do to death: OVERUSE.

51. Revolutionary territory: COLONY.

53. Nervous twitch: TIC.

57. Noble gas: XENON.  Xenon with the atomic number of 54 is a colorless and odorless gas.  It was first discovered in 1898.

60. Dancer Astaire: FRED.  Fred Astaire (né Frederick Austerlitz; May 10, 1899 ~ June 22, 1987) and his sister, Adele (née Adele Marie Austerlitz; Sept. 10, 1896 ~ Jan. 25, 1981), were both dancers.

61. Spanish appetizer: TAPA.  Yummers!

62. Leave out: OMIT.

63. Verne captain: NEMO.  Jules Verne (né Jules Gabriel Verne; Feb. 8, 1828 ~ Mar. 24, 1905) was a French novelist who is considered the "Father of Science Fiction".  Captain NEMO is the fictional character in 2 of Verne's novels: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and The Mysterious Island.  The former is the better known of the two novels.

64. Work on a lawn: MOW.

65. "Training Day" actress Mendes: EVA.
Eva de la Caridad Méndez (b. Mar. 5, 1974) is on the left.

66. "Superman" villain Luthor: LEX.

Here's the Grid:

QOD:  You think you can do anything, and then you slowly learn how wrong you are.  ~  Miloš Forman (né Jan Tomáš Forman; Feb. 18, 1932 ~ Apr. 13, 2018), Czech-born film director

Feb 17, 2020

Monday February 17, 2020 John R. O'Brien

Theme: JULIUS CAESAR (56. Attributed speaker of the circled words)

20. Deer hunter's dinner, perhaps: VENISON STEAK.

34. Cutting in half, in math class: DIVIDING BY TWO.

42. Nearby: IN THE VICINITY.

Boomer here.  

Interesting - I came, I saw, I conquered. Once again my high school Latin pays off.  Speaking of Julius Caesar's Palace, we drove by it last week on the way to Palace Station and the Fashion Show Mall. I did not conquer Caesar's but I did beat up on a couple of Craps machines.  Not huge, but I did go home with what I brought. It was the Annual meeting of OMEGA (Older More Energetic Graybar Associates), retirees at the Orleans.  I generally give a little of my humor to my "Medicare Miracle" friends. My middle name is Robert and my mother's name was Hope so I give them a little Bob Hope act.  All I needed was Bing Crosby and Raquel Welch.


1. Weed whackers: HOES.  I use the motorized kind with a nylon string that spins.

5. Annoy: MIFF.  Sometimes the craps dice can make you MIFFED.

9. Macbeth, by birth: SCOT.

13. Saintly glows: AURAS.  Las Vegas lights are something else.

15. Impressionist: APER.

16. Lola's nightclub, in song: COPA.  Home of Desi Arnaz' act. I don't think Bob Hope ever played there.

17. Like an old joke: STALE.  Yeah, I told a few of them at the banquet.

18. Wind that's worth a warning: GALE.  Could be Dorothy GALE from Kansas.

19. Idi of Uganda: AMIN.

23. Holy Ohio city?: TOLEDO.  Home of the Mud Hens.

26. Bridal bio word: NEE.

27. Sault __ Marie: STE.

28. "I think," to a texter: IMO.  In My Opinion.

29. Childlike race in "The Time Machine": ELOI.

32. Learn thoroughly: MASTER.  Coming to Augusta in April.

37. Seine summers: ETES.

38. Lincoln or Ford: CAR.  We rented a Ford Escape. If you are a Medicare Miracle don't even think about it.

39. Love, in Spain: AMOR.

47. Fidel who overthrew Batista: CASTRO.  U.S Presidents last 4 or 8 years.  This guy lasted til my hair started turning white.

49. Aussie birds that don't fly: EMUS.

50. San Francisco's __ Valley: NOE.  Another spelling of the name of the guy who floated a ship in a flood.

51. Diplomatic VIP: AMB. Ambassador.

52. NBA tiebreakers: OTS.  Our Timberwolves are usually 30 points behind so no overtime is necessary.

54. Sports team swaps: TRADES.  Twins made a bunch of trades this winter.  "World Series here they come ???"

60. Medical suffix: OSIS.

61. Sentry's "Stop!": HALT.

62. Swiss peak in an Eastwood film title: EIGER. The Eiger Sanction.

66. Eye part: LENS.  Eye of a camera??

67. Oil cartel letters: OPEC.

68. Iced tea wedge: LEMON.  I like a little lemon in iced tea.  But we don't drink it in the frozen tundra,

69. Icelandic poetic work: EDDA.

70. PC repair person: TECH.  Up here they are called the Geek Squad from Best Buy.

71. Avec's opposite: SANS.


1. Suffers from: HAS.

2. One of an inning's three: OUT. "And it's ONE, TWO, THREE Strikes you're out at the old ball game"

3. Pitcher's stat: ERA.  This can be raised if someone sets up a camera in center field and signals the guy with the bat to hit the trash can.

4. Soothing cream: SALVE.  I've tried Blue Emu, Arctic Ice and Biofreeze. I am open to suggestions.

5. Carol kings: MAGI.  "We three kings of Orient are, bearing gifts we traverse afar."

6. Hoppy brews, for short: IPAS.

7. Serious criminal: FELON.  "When a FELON'S not engaged in his employment, or construing his felonious little plans... His capacity for innocent enjoyment is just as great as any honest man's."

8. Portmanteau for a false ally: FRENEMY.

9. "Beat it, feline!": SCAT.  I'm not done yet!!

10. Is remembered: COMES TO MIND.  February 14 comes to mind.  Belated Happy Valentine's Day.

11. Addictive narcotic: OPIATE. In 2018 I needed to take some of that Oxy stuff for pain. I did not feel addicted, but I only took it for a month or so.

12. Oil cartel ship: TANKER.

14. Started the grass-growing process: SEEDED.  Give me a couple of months.  The snow plow guy that does our driveway created some lawn to plant.

21. __ me tangere: "Don't touch me": NOLI.

22. Place to park it: SEAT.  I heard a cheap one at the Super Bowl ran about $2500.00.

23. Ocean motion: TIDE. We wash our clothes with Purex.

24. Skip over: OMIT.

25. Age-old romantic adage: LOVE IS BLIND.

30. A single time: ONCE.  "ONCE upon a time there were three bears".  You know the rest.

31. "__ it my best": I GAVE.  I GAVE the craps machine my best shot.  I like the machine because the minimum bet is very low, compared to the live tables.

33. Graceful pond swimmer: SWAN.

35. "That __ fair!": ISN'T.  Slot machines do not have slots anymore, just a place to slide in your Twenty.  What ISN'T fair are the bright lights promising jackpots in the thousands.  You can't fool me.  However I did win $17.00 on a .40 cent play once.

36. Fedora feature: BRIM.

40. Great Plains tribe: OTOE.  Once in the Great Lakes area, The OTOE moved south through Iowa and Missouri.  I think they are alive and well in Oklahoma.  I guess they couldn't take our winters.

41. Deli breads: RYES.  St. Patrick's day is coming.  Time for corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut on RYE.

43. Pants, briefly: TROU.

44. Someone who's good, and obviously knows it: HOTSHOT.  You're a poet and you don't know it, but your feet show it, they're Longfellows.

45. Skips, as class: CUTS.

46. Tel Aviv's land: ISRAEL.

47. Sweet-talk: CAJOLE.

48. Got a smile out of: AMUSED.  Here goes my intro. "I want to thank the company president for hosting this fine banquet and especially for letting us know that the people that were hired to replace us are doing a helluva lot better than we ever did."

53. Suffix with land or sea: SCAPE.  Or put an "E" in front of it and you're outta here.

55. Spring zodiac sign: ARIES.  Three days after St. Patrick's day.  Hope you have some corned beef left.

57. "Insecure" Emmy nominee __ Rae: ISSA.

58. Knighted actor Guinness: ALEC.  Obi Wan Kenobi.

59. Draw with acid: ETCH.  If you once owned an Etch-a Sketch you are a Medicare Miracle.

63. ABC show for early risers, briefly: GMA.

64. Long, long time: EON.  "A Long, Long time ago, I can still remember how the music used to make me smile."  Don McClean - "American Pie."

65. ICU workers: RNS.


Note from C.C.:

Here is a picture of Boomer in front of The Orleans. It was a long trip. We left home at 2:30am on Sunday and arrived at our hotel room at 6:00pm. Heavy snow plus a few other issues. Boomer's annual Graybar OMEGA gathering went nicely tough. Here is a clip of his old colleagues at the event. The lady at the 1:44 minute mark is the big boss.

Feb 16, 2020

Sunday February 16, 2020 Ed Sessa

Theme: "Change for a Buck" - Anagrams of HORSE span across each theme entry.

26. *Ball game record: SCORE SHEET.

37. *One may be six feet long: HERO SANDWICH.

55. *Historic site in Paris' Latin Quarter: THE SORBONNE.

72. *Epithet for a fair British maiden: ENGLISH ROSE.

87. *Totally ripped: TORN TO SHREDS.
16D. *Car coolant carrier: RADIATOR HOSE.

61D. *Tourist's eye-opening experience, perhaps: CULTURE SHOCK.


102A. 1971 Stones hit, or what can be found in the answers to starred clues: WILD HORSES.

Great title. I'd be stumped and sent a SOS title help to Gary and D-Otto.

The key is to find different combinations of the letter HORSES and make sure they span across two more more words.

Lots of sparkly long fill in the grid, as it's expected from Ed, who's also an accomplished themeless constructor.


1. Ports in a storm: HAVENS.

7. Queens stadium namesake: ASHE.

11. HUN neighbor, to the IOC: CRO. Hungary. Croatia.

14. Wasn't indifferent: CARED.

19. Reading disorder: ALEXIA.

20. Car thief's contact: CHOP SHOP.

22. Cremona strings master: AMATI. Stradivarius' teacher. Sometimes we get STRAD in the grid.

23. How to handle fine china: GENTLY. Pretty tea cup.

24. "In your dreams!": NOT A HOPE.

25. Encouraged through chicanery: LED ON.

28. Was indebted to: OWED.

29. One way to solve crosswords: IN INK.

30. Nomadic Kenyans: MASAI. Maasai is the Wiki spelling.

31. Need an eraser, say: ERR.

33. __ New Guinea: PAPUA.

35. Near-eternity: AEON.

42. Asian holiday: TET.

45. Leveled, with "up": TRUED.

47. Like many indie films: ARTY.

48. Some interruptions: AHEMS.

49. Music to a matador's ears: OLE.

50. "Try it": TASTE THIS. That's baby yellow squash on the left.

53. Diner menu info: PRICE.

54. Apple starter: CRAN.

58. Indian title of respect: SAHIB.

59. Early Earth life forms: BACTERIA.

63. "The Great Dictator" Oscar nominee Jack: OAKIE. Oldie.

64. As an example: FOR ONE.

65. Either of two Indy 500 racers: AL UNSER.

66. Not fulfilled: UNMET.

67. Wanted poster listings: ALIASES.

68. Weaken: DILUTE.

69. Sheik's land, in song: ARABY.

70. Most ready for trouble: ALERTEST. And 76. Ready for trouble: ON THE BALL.

71. Baltic people: LETTS. FINNS too.

74. Burden: ONUS.

75. Yucatán "you": USTED.

81. __ Lingus: AER.

82. "The Jungle" author Sinclair: UPTON. A couple more authors:  94. "The Black Cat" author: POE. 110. "Rabbit" series author: UPDIKE.

83. Smoothie berry: ACAI.

85. Reliever's stat: SAVES.

86. Born, in some bios: NEE.

91. Woodwind piece: REED.

92. Courtroom pro: STENO.

95. Blood of the gods: ICHOR.

97. First name in furniture: ETHAN. There's an Ethan Allen in our neighborhood. The good old Slumberland was closed last year.

99. Intent look: GAZE.

107. Level and plane: TOOLS.

108. Mix thoroughly, as oil and vinegar: EMULSIFY.

111. Musician Minaj: NICKI.

112. Poppycock: NONSENSE.

113. E Street Band notable Van Zandt: STEVEN.  Wiki says he plays plays guitar and mandolin for the band.

114. Hydrocarbon group: ALKYL.

115. Enjoy a run, perhaps: SKI.

116. Director's challenges: EGOS.

117. Most affected by a workout: SOREST.


1. Baddies with pointy hats: HAGS.

2. Actor Guinness: ALEC.

3. Like cobras, but not pythons: VENOMOUS.

4. Web system allowing outside access: EXTRANET. Only knew INTRANET.

5. Frasier's brother: NILES.

6. Obeys a stick-wielding doctor: SAYS AH.

7. Bad marks in high school?: ACNE.

8. "If it fits" item: SHOE.

9. Most popular: HOTTEST.

10. Lead monitor, for short: EPA.

11. Word with line or hound: CHOW.

12. Climbing gear: ROPE.

13. Slanted column: OP-ED PIECE.

14. Islamic leaders: CALIPHS.

15. "Can we see __?": diner's request: A MENU.

17. Thames campus: ETON.

18. Tennis drop shot: DINK.

21. Fleeced: SHORN.

27. "... __ you home to dinner": Shak.: HIE.

32. Flat fish: RAY.

34. Summit: ACME.

35. Motion maker: Abbr.: ATT. Attorney.

36. Period of time: ERA.

38. Mrs. Gorbachev: RAISA. So elegant. Her husband is still alive.

39. Roughly: OR SO.

40. "Shoot!": DARN IT.

41. Weimaraner's complaint: WHINE.

43. Eatery seen in the film "Manhattan": ELAINE'S.

44. Car and Driver yearly listing: TEN BEST.

46. Can't brook: DETESTS.

51. Number of singers in The Chipmunks: THREE.

52. Estate beneficiary: HEIR.

53. Cans for cons: POKEYS. Great clue.

54. Jeweler's measure: CARAT.

56. Clown mascot's first name: RONALD.

57. Thumper's friend: BAMBI.

58. Evening parties: SOIREES.

59. Banking misjudgment: BAD LOAN.

60. Property recipient, in legal language: ALIENEE.

62. Letter-shaped fasteners: T NUTS.

64. Crayola color renamed Peach in 1962: FLESH.

66. Like a "Stat!" instruction: URGENT.

67. Way more than some: A LOT.

69. Composer Bruckner: ANTON. This is like our English Anthony, right?

70. Links army leader: ARNIE. Palmer. "The King" .

72. Ovarian hormones: ESTROGENS.

73. Frosty coat: HOAR.

75. Knowledgeable about: UPON.

77. Manhattan, say: BAR ORDER. Another great clue.

78. Causing avoidance: AVERSIVE. Only know AVERSE.

79. Peggy or Brenda of song: LEE.

80. Hallucinogenic letters: LSD.

82. Fork, for instance: UTENSIL.

83. Japan's largest active volcano: ASO. Mount Aso. We also have 97. Italian hot spot: ETNA.

84. Pondering, with "on": CHEWING.

88. Cars that sound like gems: OPELS. Opals.

89. "__ you really just say that?": DID.

90. Run down a mountain: SCHUSS.

93. Blathering: TALKY.

96. "__ it!": "Get moving!": HOP TO.

98. Hard work: TOIL.

100. Berserk: AMOK.

101. Pueblo people: ZUNI.

103. "That being the case ... ": IF SO.

104. Soapmaker's supplies: LYES.

105. Just makes, with "out": EKES.

106. Mailed: SENT.

109. Watch: SEE.