May 25, 2020

Monday May 25, 2020 Paul Coulter

Theme: ESSAY TEST (55. Exam answered in a blue book ... and a phonetic hint to 17-, 23- and 44-Across) - Each theme entry is in the pattern of S* A* and they're all study-related:

7. Old enough to start kindergarten: SCHOOL AGE.

23. Attend a foreign university, say: STUDY ABROAD.

44. Kind of exam with brief responses: SHORT ANSWER.

Boomer here.  

Greetings and best wishes for a great holiday! I am happy to join you in remembering friends and loved ones which have gone before us.


1. Terrible reviews: PANS.  I am not going to abuse this puzzle with cookware.

5. Dots in the Seine: ILES.  The Seine, the Seine, when will I again, meet her there, Greet her there on the moonlit banks of the Seine.  (Kingston Trio and others)

9. Shoelace tip: AGLET.  I hate when they fall off.

14. Baseball's Hershiser: OREL.  Dodger great with an odd first name.

15. Pie à la __: MODE.

16. Singer Lopez: TRINI.  He had a hammer.

19. Divided Southeast Asian island: TIMOR.

20. Sing to romantically: SERENADE.

21. Roll the dice: GAMBLE. There are many ways to gamble in Nevada, but my favorite is craps.

22. Academic URL ending: EDU.  Many are trying to decide whether to open in the fall.

25. Way to get off base?: JEEP.  I drove a Jeep at Fort Campbell.

26. Wind quintet wind: OBOE.

27. Native Alaskan: ALEUT.  Many Aleutian islands off Alaska's horse's leg.

30. Ability to float: BUOYANCY. We had many families in MN spending time at lakes and campgrounds this weekend.  Lots of kids bring plastic float toys.

34. Spill the beans: SING.  Sing a song, Make it simple to last the whole night long.  Don't worry if it's not good enough.  (Carpenters)

35. Done to __: perfectly cooked: A TURN.  I think you may have to give it A TURN to make sure it's done on both sides.

37. Numbered book part: PAGE.

38. Sonic, in gaming: HEDGEHOG.  If you can stand their looks, you may want to keep one in your garden to get rid of pests.

40. Old photo tone: SEPIA.  Reddish brown.

41. Dept. with a sun on its seal: ENER.

42. Carbon monoxide's lack: ODOR.  Texas Rangers Rougned.  Second baseman with a funny name.

48. Scratch the surface of: MAR.  More than one could be a planet.

51. Attached, as a corsage: PINNED. I guess there could be a bowling reference here.

52. Go up, as prices: INCREASE. Groceries are not too bad, except toilet paper. Gasoline is working its way up.  $1.79 per gallon here in MN. Was 1.49 two weeks ago.

54. Beelike: APIAN.

56. Pontificate: SPOUT.  I'm a little teapot short and stout.  Here is my handle and here is my SPOUT.  (Kid's song)

57. Fab Four fellow: PAUL.  McCartney. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

58. Assert as true: AVER.

59. Three-card con: MONTE.  Nickname for Colin Montgomerie, British pro golfer

60. Heidi's range: ALPS.  Huge mountain range in Europe.  Often an answer on "Jeopardy".

61. Jared of "Panic Room": LETO.


1. Rapper's entourage: POSSE.  Hey Chester, fix one up for Marshall Dillon.  We need to catch bank robbers.

2. Rainbow-shaped: ARCED.  A decent bowling shot may arc from the 15 board out to ten. Then back to carry the back row.  For an arced golf shot - use the correct club.  That's all I know.

3. '60s jacket style: NEHRU.  I lived in the 60's but never had a NEHRU.  Funny collar.

4. Gin flavor: SLOE.  SLOE is a berry for this gin.  Slow is how you should drink it.

5. Behind-schedule comment: I'M LATE.  I'M LATE, for a very important date.  White Rabbit in Wonderland.

6. Amass, with "on": LOAD UP.

7. Barely defeated: EDGED.  Time to LOAD UP the edger with some of that plastic string and EDGE the garden.

8. Observe: SEE.  I joined the Navy to see the world, but what did I see - I saw the SEA.

9. "Way to go, fella!": ATTA BOY.  You can say it, but no high fives.  Social Distancing is the rule these days.

10. Scary scythe bearer: GRIM REAPER.

11. Dance under a bar: LIMBO.  How low can you go, Chubby Checker.

12. __ Gay: WWII bomber: ENOLA.  I was not alive in 1945, however I believe this B-29 was payback for the Pearl Harbor attack.  I don't think I agree with this but I was not around then.

13. Out of gas: TIRED.  Nope, I still have a way to go.

18. Initial stage: ONSET.  Interesting word in this age of Covid-19.  Stay safe.

21. West African country: GABON.

24. Part of BYO: YOUR.  Add a "B" for Bottle ??

25. Inexorable force: JUGGERNAUT.

27. Blond shade: ASH.  I think I have mentioned this before.  In a short time of my life, I used to smoke a pipe.  I bought tobacco from "Ashes" in a shopping center.  The owner was George Ash.

28. Fish story, so to speak: LIE.  So remember if you lie, Everyone will know.  The Boogie Man will get you..  Your nose is gonna grow.  Johnny Crawford.

29. Call off: END.  A tight lineman in the NFL.  I wonder if they will play this year.  Probably for TV only.  That's okay with me.  I have not been to a game since the Metrodome.

30. Software glitch: BUG.

31. Day break?: NAP.  Don't BUG me, I'm taking a NAP.

32. Cinematic FX: CGI.

33. Vote for: YEA.  I am amazed that Congress still uses this word to tally votes.

35. Leading in the race: AHEAD.

36. In tatters: TORN.  Elmore "RIP" Torn was an American Actor.  He passed away last July. R.I.P. RIP

39. Diplomatic accord: ENTENTE.

40. "My bad!": SORRY.  "I'm Sorry, So Sorry, please accept my apology". Brenda Lee.

42. Says "My bad!": OWNS UP.

43. Car window stickers: DECALS.  There was a time when nearly every car had decals for where they had been.  Now bowling centers and golf courses don't give decals so my van windows are clear.

44. Involuntary jerk: SPASM.

45. Safari heavyweight: HIPPO.

46. Gibson garnish: ONION.  I do not drink alcohol now so my onions garnish a hamburger.

47. Rope fiber: SISAL.

48. "Circle of Friends" author Binchy: MAEVE.

49. Balance sheet item: ASSET.  A lot of assets slipped away in February.  Hope you all are okay.  Thank the stars, they did not whack Social Security.

50. Back in style: RETRO.  I have been watching RETRO baseball and golf on TV for a month.  I'm ready for the real thing again.

53. And others: Abbr.: ET AL.  No others, we are done.  Thanks for playing.

55. Org. concerned with PCB's: EPA.


May 24, 2020

Sunday May 23, 2020 Pam Amick Klawitter

Theme: "Top to Bottom" - Definition puzzle with a "Down" layer. Each theme entry defines the second part of each clue.


5D. Downgrade: KINDERGARTEN. No kindergarten when I grew up.

10D. Downplay: THE CRUCIBLE. It's an Arthur Miller play. Here, it's an example rather than defining PLAY.



67D. Downcast: THEATER GROUP

70D. Downdraft: ORDER IN A PUB.

Pam seems to be fond of definition puzzle. We just had her "Get Going" earlier this month.

As I mentioned before, definition puzzles tend to have made-up entries. No "all caps" clues for this one. Just an extra "Down" element.


1. Dodge a conviction: WALK. And 58. Help the bad guys: ABET.

5. Kin kin: KITH.

9. Amazon review rating units: STARS. Alas, still no umeboshi for me. Amazon has another glitch.

14. Gathered dust: SAT.

17. Morlock prey: ELOI.

18. Logical opening: IDEO. Ideological. And 85. Prefix with cortical: ADRENO. 123. Gator tails?: ADES. 26. New start?: NEO. 55. Surgery opening?: NEURO.

19. Swift's brutish race: YAHOOS.

20. Backing: PRO.

21. Easter precursor: LENT.

22. What's expected: NORM. I finally caved in and went to the local Asia store for my salt kelp,  umeboshi, fermented tofu, etc. Sadly lots of stuff are out of stock. There are just not enough planes to fly from Asia to the States.

23. Kind of lead a closer often has to protect: ONE-RUN. And 8. One that usually leaves the park: HOMER.

24. Hop on the bandwagon: JOIN.

25. People's 2019 Sexiest Man Alive: LEGEND (John)

27. Drop-down item: MENU.

29. Grammy channel: CBS.

30. Patient person?: NURSE. Nice clue.

31. Sense: FEEL.

33. Copter topper: ROTOR.

35. Tarnished: TAINTED.

37. More than just asks: IMPLORES.

41. Dawn: SUN UP.

43. "Now __ heard it all!": I'VE.

44. Austin __: Tennessee university: PEAY. Wiki says "the university was established in 1927 and named for then-sitting Governor Austin Peay, who is further honored with "Governors", the name of the university's athletic teams.

45. Conquest for Caesar: GAUL.

47. Osso __: BUCO.

48. Court break point: RECESS.

52. 1971 New York prison riot site: ATTICA.

54. Phil Collins' longtime band: GENESIS.

56. First name in student loans: SALLIE. Mae.

57. Big 12 Cowboy's rival: SOONER.

59. Buzz creator: BEE.

61. Twilights, in verse: EENS. Twilight is plurable?

62. Vocalist: SONGSTER.

64. Long border range: URAL.

66. Dives into, as a workload: ATTACKS.

69. Dundee denials: NAES.

70. Speak with style: ORATE.

71. Makeshift weapon: SHIV.

72. Luray attraction: CAVERNS.

75. Burgundy and Weasley: RONS.

76. Landed with a line: REELED IN.

80. Novelist Waugh: ALEC.

81. Ref. whose recent updates include "chillax" and "whatev": OED. Oxford English Dictionary.

83. Ward of "FBI": SELA.

86. College URL ending: DOT EDU.

89. Madison in "Splash," e.g.: MERMAID.

91. Acorn coats: TESTAE. No idea. Plural of "testa".

92. Thumbs-ups: YESSES.

93. "... kissed thee __ killed thee": Othello: ERE I.

94. Foreshadow: BODE.

96. Cut down: HEWN.

97. "Told you so!": SEE.

98. Laundry cycle: RINSE.

100. Furthered the development of: NURTURED.

102. Eager beaver's demand: ME FIRST.

106. Leading airplane features?: NOSES.

108. Farm gatherings: EGGS.

109. Red-carpet honorees: ELITE.

110. Thurman of "Pulp Fiction": UMA.

112. Maker of BILLY bookcases: IKEA. Looks nice.

114. Outback offering: RIB-EYE.

118. Small craft: DORY.

119. Acknowledge the general: SNAP TO.

121. Folksy Guthrie: ARLO.

124. "Great" primate: APE.

125. Post-Christmas event: RETURN.

126. "Forbidden" perfume: TABU.

127. One of a seagoing trio: Niña. 68. 127-Across feature: TILDE.

128. Beethoven's "__ Adieux" Sonata: LES.

129. Horses originally developed in a desert climate: ARABS.

130. Sty feed: SLOP.

131. He played Ricky in early TV: DESI. "I Love Lucy".


1. Competently: WELL.

2. Sheltered, at sea: ALEE.

3. Time-consuming: LONG.

6. Sworn statement: I DO. And 37. Bridge call: I PASS.

7. Stint: TERM.

9. __ Salvador: SAN.

11. Simple choice: A OR B.

12. Haul out of bed: ROUST. And 15. Crop up: ARISE.

13. Phishing target, briefly: SSN.

14. Wear with pride: SPORT.

16. Fit as a fiddle: TONED.

28. Cardinals, e.g.: Abbr.: NOS. Numbers.

30. Skin care brand: NIVEA.

32. Field: LEA.

34. Heavy burden: ONUS.

36. What some put on to feel better about themselves: AIRS.

38. Anti-harassment movement: ME TOO.

39. Anti-apartheid author Alan: PATON. He wrote "Cry, the Beloved Country".

40. Cube makeup: SUGAR.

42. Prepare for a selfie: POSE.

46. Syr. neighbor: LEB.

49. TVA output: ELEC.

50. Descend: SINK.

51. House mtg.: SESS. Session.

53. "Dog Whisperer" Millan: CESAR.

60. Simplify: EASE.

63. Canadian gas: ESSO.

65. Very confused: AT SEA.

72. Suffragist Elizabeth __ Stanton: CADY. Learning moment for me also.

73. Skin soother: ALOE.

74. November honorees: VETS. We're going to the big VA hospital on June 5th. A bit nervous to be there for a few hours. The blood draw area is always a zoo. But we have the KN 95 masks Spitzboov kindly sent to us.

76. Home detector target: RADON.

77. Block: DETER. Our Asia store has this sign.

78. Blown away: IN AWE.

79. Interminably: NO END.

82. Part of FEMA: Abbr.: EMER.

84. Rights movement shorthand: LIB.

87. Maker of Zero-Turn mowers: DEERE.

88. Functions: USES.

90. City that aptly rhymes with "casino": RENO.

95. Word on a bill: DUE.

99. What a mouse may evoke: EEK. Boomer just set up a trap two days ago. We have a troublemaker in the basement.

101. __ Fridays: TGI.

102. Podium handout: MEDAL.

103. Bolt to tie the knot: ELOPE.

104. Sends packing: FIRES.

105. One working on pitches: TUNER. Don G is one.

107. There aren't quite enough of them in musical chairs: SEATS. I don't get this clue.

111. Hari of espionage: MATA.

113. Sea devastated by irrigation projects: ARAL.

115. Actress Falco: EDIE.

116. Urges: YENS.

117. Morales of "Jericho": ESAI.

119. Span. title: SRA.

120. __-80: old computer: TRS.

122. Bit of Wall St. news: LBO.

May 23, 2020

Saturday, May 23, 2020, Sheryl Bartol

Saturday Themeless by Sheryl Bartol

Debbie Ellerin                  Sheryl Bartol
Today's constructor is Sheryl Bartol and in my search to contact her, I ran across the fact that she had co-authored a puzzle with Debbie Ellerin who is a frequent LA Times Saturday constructor. So I contacted Debbie and got the wonderful reply that SHERYL IS DEBBIE'S SISTER! Here is Sheryl's response to my note:

Hi Gary,

   Thanks for reaching out.  By way of background on me, I live in Evanston, IL and learned to construct puzzles from my sister (and sometimes co-constructor) Debbie Ellerin.  In retirement, in addition to constructing an occasional puzzle, I spend my time working with a homeless agency in my community “to end homelessness, one person at a time”. I also love traveling with my husband and three kids (and look forward to getting back to it post-pandemic), and competing in my family’s fantasy football league. 

I am excited about my debut LA Times puzzle and my first themeless puzzle.  I started the puzzle with the entry PROMPOSAL after being intrigued by the elaborate prom invitations devised by my children’s high school classmates. Other early longer entries were FORCEQUIT and MANOAMANO, which I thought were unique phrases. As I completed the fill, I was drawn to some words with personal connections. I am not sure if these clues survived the editing process, but I associate UPPER with the area of Michigan, that was home to my husband’s family. CREPE and EDAM were related to some of my travels, and I clued DESPERADO and HER with references to favorite Eagles and Beatles songs. The clue for APU came from my son Andrew who is a big Simpsons fan! All those hours of Simpsons watching finally paid off :)

Take care,

Now let's explore what the other of these two lovely sisters has to offer today with her LA Times and themeless debut:


1. Program shutdown of last resort: FORCE QUIT - If I push Command + Option + Esc, I get this window that allows me to FORCE any open program to QUIT if I choose it and hit Return

10. Like hair needing more rinsing: SUDSY - Not SOAPY it turns out

15. Shares secrets with: OPENS UP TO - Kids who do this to teachers can put the teacher in a difficult position 

16. Champs-Élysées lunch choice: CREPE - Shown below is the Crêpe salée chèvre miel et crêpes sucrées Nutella et spécialité banane (
Savory Crêpe with goat cheese and honey and a sweet specialty Nutella and banana Crêpe) from the Creperie Framboise Champs-Elysees (White circle on map just off the Champs-Elsysse)

The CREPE dish mentioned above          The restaurant very near the Champs-Élysées

17. Spring roll wrapping: RICE PAPER - The steps showing the ingredients placed on RICE PAPER and rolled up with the finished product at the top

18. "The Tetons and the Snake River" photographer Adams: ANSEL - The master of b/w photography

19. Hardware item: T-NUT 65 of them at Menards

20. "The Office" actress Ellie: KEMPER Her IMDB

22. Zip in your step: PEP.

23. "__ Majesty": "Abbey Road" track: HER A 23-second "throwaway" song that was "hidden" 14 seconds after the last track on Abbey Road. 

24. Hung in there: PERSEVERED.

26. Cool: RAD - The verb synonym  FAN didn't cut it

27. Rewards: DESERTS Get what you deserve as "just DESERTS"

29. Pan flying: PETER - I was watching this at Grandma Opal's house the night my youngest sister was born

32. Aquatic diver: LOON.

34. Hawaiian staple: TARO.

35. Iowa college town: AMES - A 3-hr drive from my home to AMES for a Husker FB game (Huskers are 86 - 17 -2 against the Cyclones)

36. Hills complement: DALES - For me the Army Song will always start, "Over hill, Over DALE" but I'm not sure any more.

37. Cylindrical cheese: EDAM.

38. Word on a door: PUSH - Don't you all know the classic Far Side cartoon about this?

39. "A Holly Jolly Christmas" singer: IVES - Can you OD on a song? 

40. Wed on the sly: ELOPE.

41. Home of the Curve, the Pirates' Double-A team: ALTOONA 

43. Milk purch.: GAL.

44. "Bye!": SEE YA LATER - Yeah, we all know the next word in the Bill Haley and The Comets' song

47. Clean Water Act org.: EPA.

50. Support: AID.

51. Ill-__: like a poor clay model: SHAPEN.

52. Cultivated: GREW.

53. Ruler's domain?: ROOST - I know who rules the ROOST here!

55. In direct competition: MANO A MANO - Below #94 is going MANO A MANO with #79 which will 3. Come again: RECUR  all game long

57. Get used (to): INURE - How do you INURE yourself to this violence?

58. Senior's elaborate ask: PROMPOSAL - Last week it was 21. Down in Erik and Leslie's puzzle

 School dance invite portmanteau: PROMPOSAL - It appears Brooke said Yes

59. Notable Titanic casualty: ASTOR - John Jacob ASTOR was the richest passenger aboard the RMS Titanic and was thought to be among the richest people in the world at that time with a net worth of roughly $87 million when he died (equivalent to $2.3 billion in 2019).

60. Crumbly toppings: STREUSELS - Cinnamon coffee cake with STREUSEL topping!


1. Tenth word of the Gettysburg Address: FORTH - Yeah, I had to figure out if Fourscore is one word or two

2. Speak up: OPINE.

4. Tech review site: CNET CNET's best products for 2020

5. Medium claim: ESP - A medium with true ESP would be, uh, rare

6. Shook: QUAKED - The building on flexible pads doesn't SHAKE/QUAKE as much

7. Michigan's __ Peninsula: UPPER - You take the 5-mile long Mackinac Bridge, as seen here from the International Space Station, to get there from the lower Michigan peninsula 

8. They may follow bullets: ITEMS - This is an actual Power Point slide with bullet ITEMS that appeared sequentially (with sound of course) as I talked on planets with 7th graders. 

9. Undermines: TORPEDOES - A principal that didn't like me TORPEDOED a proposal I was making to the school board at the last minute. It passed anyway.

10. Close ones: SCARES - Wow!

11. Item near a sugar bowl, perhaps: URN.

12. Eagles title antihero: DESPERADO - Elaine's boyfriend was a huge fan of this song

13. Cop's surprise: SPEED TRAP - Hey, you were warned!

14. Site with many pans: YELP.

21. Ties up: EVENS - Carlton Fisk would not have gotten to hit his historic, game-winning home run in the 12th inning of Game 6 in the 1975 World Series if pinch-hitter Bernie Carbo had not hit a 3-run home run to EVEN the score in the 8th 

24. Putt-putt standard: PAR - PAR is 2 on every Putt-Putt® golf hole

25. Share around the campfire, say: RETELL.

26. Work on hooves: RESHOE - My farrier friend also works on giraffe hooves

28. "Have __": SOME.

29. Tevye, to Tzeitel: PAPA - She and her sisters don't want PAPA or Yente to make a match for them

30. Mayonnaise and salad dressing: EMULSIONS A definition and a picture of EMULSIONS

31. Tried: TESTED OUT.

32. Illumination with a blob: LAVA LAMPS - They do a great job of showing how the heat inside the Earth melts rock to a liquid or LAVA which makes the LAVA rise to the surface and erupt. Plus the kids think they are cool!

33. Bullfight holler: OLE.

36. "Empty Nest" actress Manoff: DINAH  Her IMDB

40. Cup handle: EAR.

42. World metaphor, in Shakespeare: OYSTER - I doff my hat if you know the play and the speaker of this line: "
Why then the world's mine oyster, Which I with sword will open" (*answer below the grid)

43. Mapping subject: GENOME Here 'ya go!

45. Disassembled: APART.

46. Domingo, e.g.: TENOR - A wonderful three minutes of the Three TENORS singing Nessum Dorma (A wonderful 
50. Bizet's "Habanera," for one: ARIA from Puccini's Turandot). Left to right - Placido, Jose and Luciano.

47. Remove entirely: ERASE.

48. Correctional: PENAL.

49. Some mil. absentees: AWOLS.

52. Scientifically engineered crops, for short: GMOS A good cartoon explanation 

54. "Sold out" sign: SRO - The Husker VB sellout streak is at 268 at the 8,000+ seat Devaney Coliseum and the Standing Room Only tix ain't cheap!

56. Toon shopkeeper who once worked a 96-hour shift: APU - Apu Nahasapeemapetilon - The Kwik-E-Mart proprietor in The Simpsons.

*Pistol speaks the line to Falstaff in The Merry Wives Of Windsor

May 22, 2020

Friday May 22, 2020 Kevin Christian

Theme: "Before and After" by Kevin Christian 

(Kevin is a veteran constructor, and he appears here often. C.C. interviewed him back in 2015.)

TTP emailed me last week asking if I'd be willing to sub for him this morning. That could mean only one thing – everyone on his a-list had already turned him down. I don't often get a shot at late-week puzzles, so I was happy to take this opportunity to make a fool of myself.

Methinks Kevin may be a Wheel of Torture fan. Each 3-word themer is a mash-up of two common phrases. The middle word can cleverly be expressed as a word or as a single letter. That gives us…

17a. One studying the waters near England
IRISH SEA STUDENT – Irish Sea / C Student (I can relate!)

27a. Communication device with a fancy patterned case
TIGER EYE PHONE – Tiger Eye / iPhone (I cannot relate.)

47a. Part of a Chinese restaurant’s expenses?
OOLONG TEA BILL – Oolong Tea / T-Bill

62a. Nutrition for a leading insect?
QUEEN BEE VITAMIN – Queen Bee / B Vitamin

As an added bonus (at least for me), there is no reveal that someone might miss in his haste to solve.

Here’s what else Kevin served up for our breakfast crunch today.


1. Conference giveaways: SWAG

5. Tampa NFLers: BUCS   I was thinking “Bucks” but nope, “Buccaneers.”

9. Place for a phone no.: ID TAG

14. Capital of Cuba: PESO

15. Drama honor: OBIE

16. “Odyssey” enchantress: CIRCE

20. Cool kin: NEATO

21.Loud sound:ROAR.

22. Comprehends: GETS

23. Jackson of country: ALAN. You might remember Midnight in Montgomery.

25. Namesake of a speed ratio: MACH. Named for Austrian physicist Ernst Mach (1838-1916). Mach I is the speed of sound – about 767 mph. Of course, 0 mph is known as “Mach’s nichts.”

32. Benefit: AID

33. Equine parent: SIRE

34. People pairs, say: ITEM. People magazine. Didn’t last.

36. Dinner party insert: LEAF.  in the dining room table.

38. There are two pennies in a classic one. ADAGE

41. Word with wing or life: SPAN

42. Value system: ETHIC. I’m never sure if it’ll be Ethic or Ethos. Perps will decide.

44. Irritated: SORE

46. Be indisposed: AIL

51. Unpleasant look: LEER. Sometimes it’s OGLE.

52. Bloom support. STEM

53. Radio switch: AM/FM

56. Lush: WINO. The noun, not the adjective.

58. Swindles: REAMS. I was not familiar with this usage. Now I am.

65. Old Northwest competitor: US AIR

66. Nixon or Agnew, once: VEEP

67. Storage structure: SILO. In my ute, dairy farmers filled them with chopped corn stalks.

68. Insurance giant: AETNA. Named after our old cw friend, Mt. Etna.

69. Misses the mark: ERRS

70. “That hurts!”: YEOW. I thought of several colorful possibilities for this 4-letter answer.


1. Public relations specialty: SPIN

2. Are in the past?: WERE. Tense answer.

3. “Heat of the Moment” band: ASIA. You Tube’s got it, if you’re interested.

4. Attend alone: GO STAG

5. Only 21st-century four-time World Series champs, on scoreboards: BOSton. (C.C. would’ve known this immediately. Moi, not so much.)

6. Geekiest of geeks: UBERNERD. I believe it’s a single word.

7. “Buh-bye!”: CIAO

8. Street on TV since 1969: SESAME

9. IV site: ICU (I tried ARM first.)

10. Imbibed in small doses: DID SHOTS. I learned many years ago that this can be a recipe for close-range sidewalk inspection.

11. Playhouse locale, perhaps: TREE

12. Unwanted spots: ACNE. Could’ve been SPAM.

13. Comprehends: GETS (I tried SEES first.)

18. Donut features: HOLES

19. Speed ____: TRAP

24. “Nessum dorma,” e.g.: ARIA. I’m not much of an opera fan (surprise, surprise), but I found Nessum Dorma to be particularly moving near the end of The Sum Of All Fears as the co-conspirators get their comeuppance.

26. Antepenultimte Greek letter: CHI. I first became acquainted with this 64-dollar word back in ‘61 when the Limeliters performed Have Some Madeira, M’Dear. You’ll hear “antepenultimate” – second from last -- at the 4:21 mark. If you’ve never heard the song, it’s a real treat. If you have heard the song, it’s still a real treat.

27. Connect with: TIE TO

28. State with a Sawtooth Range: IDAHO (I suspect Ray-O-Sunshine will have some fun with this one.) Looks pretty.

29. Beer-making ingredient: YEAST (I thought it was just grain, water, malt, and hops.)

30. Country between China and India: NEPAL

31. Office chore: EMAIL (I don’t think of it as a chore.)

32. Newcastle Brown ___: ALE

35. NBC show with many Second City alumni: SNL. Saturday Night Live. From day one. Gilda Radner, John Belushi, and Dan Aykroyd to name a few.

37. “I’d like to know more.” FILL ME IN

39. Peruses: GOES OVER

40: Part of Q.E.D.: ERAT  What was to be shown.

43. Iowa campus: COE. It’s in Cedar Rapids on First Avenue S.E., just up the street from the former KHAK studios. Now how did I know that?

45. Roeper’s former partner: EBERT. Richard Roeper became the co-host after Gene Siskel died.

48. Rookie, briefly: NEWB. I think it’s pronounced “Noob,” though it could be New-B.

49. Lament: GRIEVE

50. “Whatevs”: I’M EASY

53. Ocean shade: AQUA

54. Erato, for one: MUSE

55. Exploit: FEAT (Could’a been DEED.)

57. “In thy dreams!” NEER. “Thy” clues us that it’ll be old-timey.

59. Parisian friend: AMIE

60. “The Phantom Tollbooth” protagonist: MILO. Not a clue! Plus, I misread Tollbooth as Toothbrush.

61. “The Hunger Games” president: SNOW. Donald Sutherland played him in the movie.

63. FDR “fair practices” agency: NRA. No, not that NRA, the National Recovery Administration.

64. URL addresses: IPS. The only IPS I’m familiar with is “Inches Per Second“ from the old tape-recorder days. Feel free to educate me in the comments.

That does it! C.C. will now make the completed grid magically appear. Desper-otto out.