Jul 31, 2020

Friday, July 31, 2020 David Alfred Bywaters


17. Really cool traffic sound?: KILLER BEEP.

29. Reaction to an impressive flower?: GREENHOUSE GASP.

37. Summer getaway for a young Peter Parker?: WEBCAMP.

45. Waterproofer's guarantee?: LONG TIME NO SEEP.

60. Part of a bad restaurant review on Yelp?: DINING CARP.

68. Remain unsettled, or, read as two words, what five of this puzzle's long answers have: P END.

How fun was that ?  The theme answers, esp. Dining Carp, made me laugh.

You probably got an idea of what to look for after seeing the ending P in a couple of those answers, didn't you ?   Knowing that the P was coming helped me with the others.   I really liked the way David tied them all together with PEND as the reveal.

It was interesting to see consecutive answers at 29 and 30 Down both end with the ING suffix.   David handled the consecutive letters in the crossing answers skillfully.  

BTW,  David offers both old novels and crosswords for you to download at his blog.    In the "About" tab,  David writes, "You can find reviews and All the crosswords here have themes involving modifications either in language or its interpretation.  Their purpose is rather to amuse than to baffle.  I care nothing for hipness; I make no effort to include the latest neologism, celebrity, or TV series."

Sounds to me like that would be a great source of crosswords for the solvers who don't care for all of the pop culture clues and answers.   And as you'll notice when you review the clues and answers for  today's crossword, there's a scarcity of them.  For the few that do exist, I wonder if they are David's clues or the editor's clues.

Moving on.  Let's check it out:


1. Thing with three feet: YARD.   First thought was tripod.  Too many letters.

5. Mucho: LOTSA.   As in the expression, lotsa gusto. 

10. Life __ know it: AS WE.   has changed for most of us.   Mind your three W's. 

14. On the quiet side: ALEE.
15. Has a go: TRIES.

16. Steady guy: BEAU.

19. __'acte: ENTR'.   "Between the acts".   Last Saturday, the clue was    52. Entr'__: ACTE.

20. Hardy: STOUT.

21. Makes blue, maybe: DYEs.   Dye, Green and Brown were cousin's surnames in my family. No Blues.

23. Friendly opening?: ECO.

24. Literary count, familiarly: DRAC.  ula

27. Up in the air: ON HIGH.  

33. Feat: DEED.

34. Large cask: TUN.

35. Mediterranean island nation: MALTA.

36. "__ not over": IT'S.    Yes it is.   Roy said so.

Shankars is a big fan of Roy Orbison.  

40. Go awry: ERR.

41. Kitchen magnet?: AROMA

43. Game with a "Moo!" version for preschoolers: UNO.   U no I didn't know, but it was an easy guess.

44. Future atty.'s hurdle: LSAT.

49. Rio Grande city: LAREDO.  About a 300 mile drive for Dash T.   We normally get Marty Robbins singing Streets of Laredo, but how about some Jim Reeves this time ?

50. Env. directive: ATTN.   Envelope / Attention

51. Short-order order: BLT.   Abejo would order his BLT sans mayo.   Abejo,  I hope you are able to harvest some home grown tomatoes.  We did not plant any this year.  My error.

52. Ceremony: RITE.

54. Beasts of burden: ASSES

58. "How the Other Half Lives" author Jacob: RIIS.   "...a pioneering work of photojournalism by Jacob Riis, documenting the squalid living conditions in New York City slums in the 1880s" - Amazon Book review.

63. Cornerstone word: ANNO.   Latin for year.

64. In need of a sweep: SOOTY.  Like the chimney or hearth of a wood burning fireplace.

65. French friend: AMIE.  Vince Gill, with long hair in 1979: 

That guy can hit some high notes.  Shades of Roy Orbison.

66. Like custard: EGGY.

67. Beginning: ONSET.   From the get go.  Jump street.   Square one.
This song has an instantaneously recognizable beginning:


1. Shaggy beasts: YAKs.  Goes on and on.

2. Came to rest: ALIT.

3. Pull up stakes for one's co.: RELO. cate.   Happened to me.   Houston to Chicago.  From the 5th largest city in North America to the 3rd largest. 

4. Played for a chump: DELUDED.

5. Env. insert: LTR.   Envelope / Letter

6. Eye, to a bard: ORB.

"Cold-hearted orb that rules the night
Removes the colours from our sight
Red is grey is yellow white
But we decide which is right
And which is an illusion"
Graham Edge of  The Moody Blues - A modern bard.

7. Headed for extra innings: TIED.   Major League Baseball is back !

Did you hear about the lineup that Toronto (North America's 4th largest city) had in their opening game of the season ?

The Blue Jays had Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, Vlad Guerrero, Jr. and Travis Shaw batting one through four.   Those first four batters are all sons of retired MLB players.  A first in ML history.

8. "Bye now": SEE YOU.  Later, alligator.  After while, crocodile.

9. Shivering trees: ASPENs.   Quakers.

10. Japanese prime minister since 2012: ABE.   Two syllables in Abe.   Shinzō Abe.

11. Dakar residents: SENEGALESE.  Immediately keyed in Sengallis and almost just as quickly corrected it.  Why in the world I tried Sengallis or where it came from is unknown.

12. What prevents time from slipping away?: WATCH STRAP.  Loved the clue.

13. German capital: EURO.  Gee. 

18. Raison d'__: ETRE.   The most important reason.  

22. One of the Stooges: SHEMP.    Chairman Moe is a fan, as his avatar of Larry, Moe and Curly would suggest.   Shemp was an original stooge but went solo, and was replaced by Curly.   Curly had a stroke in 1946.    Shemp returned to make the trio of stooges complete again.

25. Penny-__: ANTE.   Often meaning petty.   At other times, a poker game that won't break the bank.

26. Fish used for bait: CHUB.   Now this was tricky for me, because chum is fish parts and blood used to attract other fish, typically predator fish like sharks (as in that scene from Jaws).   Chub are freshwater fish, and are commonly used as bait for other larger fish such as bass and catfish.   SansBeach, and other fishing aficionados, please chime in.

28. Supermarket franchise initials: IGA.   Independent  Grocers Alliance.  With the slogan, "Hometown proud."    Not International Grocers Association, even though they are also in Canada, Australia and the Philippines.

29. Initiate: GET ROLLING.  Rock.  Get it ?  You know, Rolling Rock Beer, the beer that made Latrobe famous ?    Or was it Arnold Palmer that made Latrobe famous ?    Do you know who else was from Latrobe ?   Fred Rogers.  Yes, Mr. Rogers !    Plus, there was an apprentice pharmacist from Latrobe that is credited as the inventor of the banana split.    Now where was I ?    Oh, the review.   Time to get rolling. 

30. Striking a chord (with): RESONATING.   My first thought.  Funny how some word associations are so strong.  Like Rolling Rock, and the Laurel Highlands.  It just seems to resonate.

You don't usually see words like resonating in crosswords.  Surely someone somewhere has used it, but I've never seen it.  (I think Lemonade has some tools to check these kind of things.)   But having only about eight years of solving history, I don't have a great purview. 

31. As prompted: ON CUE.

32. Hair line: PART.   Two words in the clue.  Cute word play by David.   Hairline (one word) would be the edge of one's hair, or a very thin or fine line.

33. Old TV control: DIAL.  They used to have these on old phones, too.  Most readers here should have a good visual image of both of those dials.

37. Word with buffalo or wings: WATER.

38. "Frozen" sister: ANNA.   Knew it had to be Elsa or Anna, so I looked to confirm with a perp.  The first one I got was the last A.  

39. Academic: MOOT.
"Whatever was done is done
I just can't recall
It doesn't matter at all" - Greg Lake.

42. Dept. head: MGR

44. Shot spoiler: LENS CAP.

46. "You couldn't have!" retort: I DID SO.

47. Security lighting trigger: MOTION.  

48. Deer sir: STAG.

51. Highlands hillside: BRAE.

53. Short-lived spinoff of "The Dukes of Hazzard": ENOS.   I wonder if this was David's clue ?   Doubtful, given his predisposition to "...make no effort to include the latest neologism, celebrity, or TV series."   He probably had something like "Grandson of Eve".

55. Identical: SAME.

56. Sportscaster Andrews: ERIN.   I wonder if this was David's clue ?   Doubtful, given his predisposition to "...make no effort to include the latest neologism, celebrity, or TV series."   He probably had something like "Welsh name for Ireland".

57. Went fast: SPED.    Answers flowed today.  Got the scheme early.   Never saw the reveal until starting the write up.  Shame on me.  Then realized how clever it was.

59. __ sauce: SOY.

61. Mineral suffix: ITE.  A few examples would be  jerrygibbsite, jimthompsonite and joesmithite.

62. Paper read on the LIRR or Metro-North, perhaps: NYT.   Long Island RR, and the common abbr for the New York Times.

Jul 30, 2020

Thursday, July 30th 2020 Roland Huget

Theme: Planetary Craft - the puzzle is crafted so that four planets - aka worlds - are split across two theme entries. To wit:

17A. Flirts with: MAKES EYES AT and 19A. Coffee server: URNSaturn. I've made eyes at a coffee urn in early-morning meetings when the coffee has just arrived and I've not had my morning caffeine fix.

23A. All thumbs: INEPT and 24A. Nefarious: UNETHICAL. Neptune.

36A. Square things: GET EVEN and 38A. Put many miles on: USE A LOT. Venus. My car came to end-of-lease last week and is going up for auction next month. Whoever gets that car is going to be happy - it's three years old with less than 15,000 miles on it and looks brand-new. So I didn't use it a lot.

51A. Where to find a hammer and anvil: MIDDLE EAR. and 53A. Unifying idea: THEME. Earth.

and the reveal:

59A. Not remotely on the same page ... and what can literally be found in four puzzle rows: WORLDS APART.

A "bridge the gap" theme from Roland - a clue to these themes is where the reveal mentions "puzzle rows" rather than "puzzle entries".  I filled in "MIDDLE EAR" and "THEME" and "Middle Earth" jumped out at me - then I got to the reveal itself and all became clear. I liked a lot that "THEME" was part of the theme; I'm sure that wasn't just a happy coincidence.

Good job all round from Roland - there's some great fill around the theme entries, and a couple of new ones too, which helps to keep things fresh. Let's take a look:


1. Vitamin amts.: RDA'S. The clue implies an abbreviation, it appears that "RDA" without the periods is now accepted usage. Makes punctuating this entry a lot simpler!

5. Come by: OBTAIN.

11. Pancake syrup source: SAP. The sap of the maple tree. I don't eat breakfast pancakes so I'd never eaten maple syrup until recently where a recipe I was using called for it. I was surprised it wasn't just sweet, it had a depth of flavor that I didn't expect.

14. Isn't informal?: AIN'T. I like these clues.

15. Southwestern community: PUEBLO.

16. __ Fáil: Irish coronation stone: LIA. The Stone of Destiny. Last used for a coronation around 500AD.

20. Picks up gradually: GLEANS.

21. Type of wave or spree: CRIME.

28. Web address feature: DOT.

29. Enliven, with "up": SPICE.

30. Parker and Waterman: PENS. I used Parker fountain pens at school - we had to write with pen and ink, woe betide you if you tried to sneak a ballpoint in there. Consequently all our fingers were ink-stained from refilling the darn things.

31. Sanford of "The Jeffersons": ISABEL.

34. Amusement park shuttles: TRAMS.

42. Catch on: SEE IT.

44. Lily's role in "All of Me": EDWINA. Lily Tomlin co-starred with Steve Martin in this 1984 comedy.

45. Smoothie berry: ACAI. Goji or Acai? Wait for the crosses - the "I" doesn't help you.

48. YouTube journals: VLOGS. Video Logs, formally. I subscribe to quite a few YouTube channels, you can lose yourself down some very quirky rabbit holes very quickly!

50. Water source: TAP.

55. "Caveman" diet: PALEO.

56. Chicago suburb: AURORA. It seems mean to describe it as a suburb, it's a city in its own right and in the top 115 most populous in the country. Here's the William B. Green residence. Familiar-looking architecture? Yes indeed, it was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

58. New Haven Ivy Leaguer: ELI.

64. Barbecue piece: RIB.

65. Surpass: EXCEED.

66. Allergic reaction: ITCH.

67. Slalom shape: ESS.

68. Speech platforms: ROSTRA. Thank you, Latin lessons of yore. Nouns ending in "-UM" are generally neuter, and pluralized with "-A".

69. Radar's favorite soda: NEHI. You can still get this stuff. Anyone know what it tastes like?


1. The one for ewe?: RAM.

2. Figure out: DIAGNOSE.

3. Art that may be covered by a sock: ANKLE TAT. This is new fill. It appears that no-one gets a tattoo any more, they get "ink" or a tat. On one of our trips to England not so long ago, we stopped off in Blackpool, an old resort town on the Irish Sea. We parked across the street from a place which proudly had "TATTOO'S" writ large on the storefront. I don't think I'd trust them with punctuating my tat.
4. Allow to soak, as tea: STEEP.

5. Conducting business: OPEN.

6. Purchases all of: BUYS UP.

7. Informal top: TEE.

8. Crunch targets: ABS.

9. Dockworkers' org.: I.L.A. The International Longshoremen's Association.

10. V-shaped slit: NOTCH.

11. Gold miner's water trough: SLUICE.

12. Lindbergh, e.g.: AIRMAN. Amongst many things. This one wins Obscure Random Clue of the Day award, very Thursday-like.

13. Discussion groups: PANELS.

18. Perched: SAT.

22. Tool for cutting with the grain: RIPSAW.

23. "Gotcha, man": I DIG. I doubt either have been heard in daily life since ... oh ... the jazz era? Woodstock? A while ago, anyway.

25. Small point: NIT.

26. Neutral shade: ECRU.

27. Pokes fun at: TEASES.

29. Record holder: SLEEVE. With vinyl making a mini-comeback, record sleeve printing firms are back in business!

32. Next to: BESIDE.

33. Night before: EVE.

35. __ school: MED.

37. Khartoum's river: NILE. You can't argue with that. Khartoum is at the confluence of the Blue Nile and the White Nile, which together form the Nile.

39. Knowledgeable, as in a particular field: LITERATE.

40. Protesting, maybe: ON A MARCH.

41. Sticky stuff: TAPE.

43. Ode title words: TO A. Keat's "Ode to a Nightingale" is a little long to post here in full, but the first verse is well known (or at least, the first few lines):

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
         My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
         One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
         But being too happy in thine happiness,—
                That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees
                        In some melodious plot
         Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
                Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

45. Current unit: AMPERE.

46. Viagra competitor: CIALIS.

47. Deviates from the script: AD LIBS.

49. Landscaping equipment: GRADER.

52. Farther down: LOWER.

53. Singing syllable: TRA. la la.

54. Hitchhiker's welcome: HOP IN. Do people still hitchhike? My buddy and I took a trip when we were 17 from the UK to the south of France and Spain and back in the days when it was still a thing.

57. Food safety org.: USDA.

60. Good Grips utensil brand: OXO.

61. Coke alternatives: RCS. RC Cola. I suppose you can pluralize it, you can have Cokes and Pepsis, so why not (although "pepsis" sounds like a some kind of infection!)

62. Court call: LET. "Let the Prisoner Go"? Nah, tennis. I don't watch a lot of tennis, but the last tournament I saw there were no net-cord judges anymore. When did those folk get phased out? They were a fixure at Wimbledon.

63. How-hot-it-feels stat.: T.H.I. The Temperature Humidity Index. I like LA's dry heat, I get grumpy in humid places unless I'm on vacation in a pair of beach shorts.

And I think that's about it. Here's the grid with the theme entries highlighted in what my MacBook paint tool calls "Banana".


Jul 29, 2020

Wednesday, July 29, 2020, Jeffrey Wechsler


17. "Shane" star: ALAN LADD.

27. Melville's "handsome sailor": BILLY BUDD.

48. "Wabbit" hunter: ELMER FUDD. Shhhhh. He's hunting wabbits.

64. Woman who married the 16th president: MARY TODD. (Abraham Lincoln's wife.)

9. "Saturday Night Live" cast member since 2017: CHRIS REDD.

11. Half of a longtime country duo: NAOMI JUDD. With Wynonna, The Judds.

37. Former CBS anchor with a Peabody and five Emmys: ROGER MUDD.

38. Ten-time NBA All-Star who is now a Laker assistant coach: JASON KIDD.

Melissa here. Beautiful! Eight themers, four across, four down. 


1. One of the fam: SIB. Sibling.

4. Peeved: SORE.

8. Small quick breads: SCONES.

14. "Strange Magic" rock gp.: ELO. Electric Light Orchestra.

15. Revlon rival: AVON.

16. Defeat decisively: THRASH.

19. Cactus bud: AREOLE. Areoles are modified branches, from which flowers, more branches, and leaves (when present) may grow. Universal in the cactus family (at least in the juvenile phase) and have not so far been found in any other plant family. Almost all species of cactus have tufts of spines that develop from the areoles.

20. Lo-cal brew: LITE ALE.

21. Beam splitter: PRISM.

22. Lend __: pay attention: AN EAR. "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears" is the first line of a speech by Mark Antony in the play Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare.

23. Gives the nod: OKS.

24. NYC subway line: IRT. Interborough Rapid Transit.

31. Indian royal: RAJAH.

33. Egyptian goddess: ISIS.

34. Sidestep: ELUDE.

35. Spanish "for": POR.

38. Positions: JOBS. Noun, not verb.

39. Nike rival: ADIDAS.

40. Bakery allures: AROMAS.

42. Put right: MEND.

44. Dr. who co-founded a record label: DRE.

45. Has a fit: RAGES.

46. Sentry's shout: HALT. Who goes there?

47. __ pad: STENO.

54. Always, to 53-Down: EER.

55. Emergent: NEW.

57. Feminine German article: EINER.

58. Earns: MAKES.

60. Model offering interior views: CUTAWAY.

62. "__ Rouge!": Kidman film: MOULIN.

65. "Same experience for me": AS DID I.

66. Snare: TRAP.

67. GPS display: RTE.

68. Table salt additive: IODIDE.

69. Up to the task: ABLE.

70. Persona __ grata: NON. Unacceptable or unwelcome person.


1. Naval test site: SEALAB. US Navy's 'Aquanauts' Tested the Boundaries of Deep Diving. It Ended in Tragedy.

2. "Fighting" Big Ten team: ILLINI. University of Illinois athletics.

3. Waterside inn: BOATEL. Never heard of that, but makes perfect sense.

4. Pay: SALARY. Noun, not verb.

5. Shape of Ford's logo: OVAL.

6. Went by Segway: RODE.

7. Finale: END.

8. Barren: STARK.

10. Mining hauls: ORES.

12. Subj. for a non-native speaker: ESL. English as a Second Language.

13. Stevie Wonder's "Isn't __ Lovely": SHE.

18. Sci-fi author Stephenson: NEAL. American writer known for his works of speculative fiction.

21. They're full of beans: PODS.

25. "M*A*S*H" corporal who hears choppers before anyone else: RADAR.

26. This and this: THESE.

28. Life stories: BIOS.

29. __ port: USB. Universal Serial Bus.

30. Grim: DISMAL.

32. "Rope-a-dope" boxer: ALI

35. Examine grammatically: PARSE.

36. Give a speech: ORATE.

39. Start a pot: ANTE.

41. Guys: MEN.

43. "Slippery" tree: ELM.

46. Adheres (to): HEWS. 1. Chop or cut. 2. Conform or adhere to. A contronym, often referred to as a Janus word or auto-antonym, is a word that evokes contradictory or reverse meanings depending on the context.

49. Key in again: RETYPE.

50. Turin-based automaker: FIAT.

51. Still on the hanger: UNWORN.

52. __ rights: red-handed: DEAD TO.

53. England's first poet laureate: DRYDEN.

56. Choice word: EENIE.

59. Et __: and others: ALII. "Et al." is an abbreviation. When read aloud, you pronounce the full term "et alii" (or "et alia") - same as you would say "et cetera" when reading aloud the "etc." abbreviation. Alternatively, you could say "and others" - same as you would say "for example" when reading aloud the "e.g." abbreviation.

60. Paleo no-no: CARB. Keto  and Atkins no-no, too.

61. Eurasian range: URAL. The Ural Mountains or simply the Urals, are a mountain range that runs approximately from north to south through western Russia, from the coast of the Arctic Ocean to the river Ural and northwestern Kazakhstan.

62. Avril follower: MAI. French - April and May.

63. Baja bear: OSO.

64. NYC subway org.: MTA.