Nov 24, 2020

Tuesday, November 24, 2020 / Evelyn Rubin and Ross Trudeau

Bell Bottom Blues.  In today's puzzle, the theme clues are all in the Down position.  The last or "Bottom" word in each theme answer is a type of Bell.  Note, too, that the theme answers are closely related to their corresponding Bell.

3-Down. "Tuesday" special with fowl filling: CHICKEN TACO.  Can you get a Chicken Taco at TACO BELL?

5-Down. Underwater snorkeling done behind metal bars: SHARK CAGE DIVING.  Aristotle recorded accounts of Diving Bells way back in the 4th Century BCE.

9-Down. 19th-century French gift to New York City: STATUE OF LIBERTY.  A brief history of the Statue of Liberty.  In 1915, the Liberty Bell travelled across the United States.

And the Unifier:

25-Down. '70s fashion trend ... and features of 3-, 5- and 9-Down: BELL BOTTOMS.

1. Risqué: RACY.

5. Blunders: SLIPS.

10. Occupied: BUSY.

14. Return from a cave?: ECHO.  Fun clue.

15. Lets loose on: HAS AT.

16. App downloader: USER.

17. Waikiki neckwear: LEIs.

18. Property valuations: APPRAISALS.

20. Fruit tree grouping: ORCHARD.  When I was a kid, the whole family would go to the university orchards and pick apples.  That was always so much fun.

22. Corner PC key: CTRL.   On the Mac, the Control Key is near the corner.

23. Hose problem: KINK.  My initial answer was Leak.

24. Eco-friendly, as a container: REUSABLE.  Due the the pandemic, Trader Joe's doesn't allow customers to bring their own bags anymore. 

28. "That's what __ said!": SHE.

30. Eaves dropping?: ICICLE.

32. Not e'en once: NE'ER.

33. Author Fleming: IAN.  Ian Fleming (né Ian Lancaster Fleming; May 28, 1908 ~ Aug. 12, 1964) was a British naval intelligence officer during World War II.  In 1952, his first Bond novel, Casino Royale, was published.  He died of a massive heart attack at age 53.  The first actor to portray James Bond on Screen was Sean Connery (Aug. 25, 1930 ~ Oct. 31, 2020), who recently died at age 90.

34. Actress Rooney __: MARA.  Rooney Mara (née Patricia Rooney Mara; b. Apr. 17, 1985) is probably best known for her role as Lisbeth Salander in the movie The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  I found the novel too disturbing, so had no desire to see the movie.

35. End of a threat: OR ELSE.

37. Wile E. Coyote explosive: TNT.

38. It precedes beauty, per a saying: AGE.

39. Photog's deg.: MFA.  As in a Master of Fine Arts degree.  Many years ago, I lived across the park from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.  There was a school associated with the museum and I took some photography classes there.  I wasn't very good, but it was fun to learn the arts of developing film.

40. Partnership abbr.: LLC.  Technically, an LLC is a Limited Liability Company.  The clue cries out for an LLP, which is a Limited Liability Partnership.  For those interested, you can read about the differences LLC vs LLP.

41. Not up to the task: UNABLE.

43. Ego: SELF.
44. Vegas action: BET.

45. Fashion designer Rabanne: PACO.  Paco Rabanne (né Francisco Rabaneda Cuervo; b. Feb. 18, 1934) is a Basque fashion designer.  He opened his fashion house in the mid-1960s.  He later began a perfume line, which is where I have seen his name at the cosmetics counter.

46. Mild expletive: DANG IT!

48. Words before "vey" and "gevalt": OYs.  Oy isn't just a word, it is an entire vocabulary.  As a stand-alone, it can mean anything from surprise to joy to horror.  Oy Vey literally means "oh, the pain", but it, too can express any thing from delight to woe and sadness.  It's the Yiddish version of I Am Groot.  The phrase Oy Gevalt is more of a cry of help or protest.

49. Lola in a Manilow song, e.g.: SHOW GIRL.

51. Sing strongly: BELT.  What Barry Manilow was doing above.

53. "Chuck" star Zachary: LEVI.  I am familiar with neither Chuck nor Zachary Levi (né Zachary Levi Pugh; b. Sept. 29, 1980), but he was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

54. Deserved: MERITED.

57. Officially give, as a exam: ADMINISTER.

61. "Get out of the way!": MOVE.

62. Item of interest?: LOAN.

63. SALT topic: N-TEST.  The Strategic Arms Limitation Talks were about attempts to control nuclear weapons.

64. Sign of things to come: OMEN.

65. Slack-jawed: AGOG.

66. Beaujolais grape: GAMAY.  Everything you wanted to know about Gamay Wine, but were afraid to ask.

67. Nine-digit IDs: SSNs.  As in Social Security Numbers.  This has become a crossword staple.

1. Realtor's move: RE-LO.  As in Relocation.  This has become a crossword staple.

2. Taiwanese laptop brand: ACER.  I learned of this brand of laptop from doing the crossword puzzles.  It appears with some frequency.

4. Super Mario's dinosaur: YOSHI.  I have heard of Super Mario, but didn't know he had a dinasaur.

6. W. Coast cop force: LAPD.  As in the Los Angeles Police Department.

7. Web access co.: ISP.  As in Internet Service Provider.  We see this often in the puzzles.

8. Package: PARCEL.  With the holidays coming up, and with the pandemic, there will be fewer gatherings and more sending of parcels to family and friends.

10. Road section for public transit vehicles: BUS LANE.

11. 50-st. country: USA.

12. French salt: SEL.  Today's French lesson.

13. Wall cal. periods: YRs.  As in Years.

19. Org. that handles returns: IRS.  As in the Internal Revenue Service.

21. Kangaroo or kinkajou: ANIMAL.  My first thought was Mammal, but I wasn't sure whether or not a  Kinkajou was a mammal,  It is, but the perps led me to Animal as the correct answer.  The Kinkajou is a cute little critter.

24. Early electronics co.: RCA.

26. TV journalist Stahl: LESLEY.  Lesley Rene Stahl (b. Dec. 16, 1941) is a long-time journalist and a reporter on 60 Minutes.

27. Puts up: ERECTS.

28. Crunch cousins: SIT UPS.

29. ESPN journalist Storm: HANNAH.  Hannah Storm (née Hannah Lynn Storne; b. June 13, 1962) began her career as the first female host on CNN Sports Tonight, where she worked from 1989 until 1992.

31. Wrath: IRE.

36. Roof support beam: RAFTER.

39. Ryan of "You've Got Mail": MEG.  Meg Ryan (née Margaret Mary Emily Hyra; b. Nov. 19, 1961) just celebrated her 59th birthday.  She starred in You've Got Mail with Tom Hanks.

42. Game with strikes and a ball: BOWLING.  Hi. Boomer!

43. NBC revue that gave us "More Cowbell": SNL.  As in Saturday Night Live.

47. Label for two "Aretha" albums: ARISTA.

50. Mil. head honcho: GEN.  As in a General.

52. Stretches at a wedding?: LIMOs.  As in a Limousine.

54. Tableland: MESA.  Hi, Lucina!

55. Like some oxymoronic odds: EVEN.  Funny!

56. Lairs: DENS.

57. Mobile home: Abbr.: ALA.  Cute clue!  The city of Mobile is on the Alabama coast.  The George Wallace Tunnel on I-10 goes through mobile.  The traffic is always back-up there.

58. Boxer or Borzoi: DOG.  I wasn't fooled by this clue even thought I was not familiar with the Borzoi.  The dog is also known as the Russian Hunting Sighthound, but I never heard of that either.

59. Chairman mentioned in the Beatles' "Revolution": MAO.

60. Pro __: TEM.  Today's Latin lesson.  The phrase means "for the time being."

Here's the Grid:

Happy Thanksgiving!  It will be a quiet one for us with no family gathering, but we are thankful for all the little joys in our lives.

Nov 23, 2020

Monday November 23, 2020 Joseph A. Gangi

Theme: STRING TRIO (61. Ensemble playing in this puzzle's circles) - String of letters in each theme entry form a string instrument.

17. Sacred, as a promise: INVIOLABLE.

36. University leader: CHANCELLOR.

42. High-ranking foreign diplomat: AMBASSADOR.

Boomer here. Congrats to Joseph A. Gangi's LAT debut.

VIOLA was a Twins pitcher in the 1987 World Series. My ticket stubs from that event are now CELLO wrapped.  And BASS is a popular Minnesota fish. Stay stay safe for the holidays ahead.


1. Archaeological sites: DIGS.

5. Farm trough contents: FEED.  Pigs will gather around.

9. Gambler's calculation: RISK.  I think Kramer and Newman battled at this game with cheating optional.


13. "Right now!" letters: ASAP.  If you say so, I thought it meant as soon as possible,

14. Home for monks: ABBEY.  I loved the Beatles "Abbey Road" album cover where they walked in single file in a crosswalk.

16. Lake with Canada's southernmost point: ERIE.  The Great Lakes are a wonder of the world.  It is amazing how they wind their way from Minnesota to New York.

19. Labyrinthine: MAZY.

20. How a sharp incline rises: STEEPLY.  Start at the top and it becomes a ski slope.

21. Steak orders: T BONES.

23. Confer knighthood on: DUB.  Don't make fun of my golf game.  Thanks.

24. Homer's story of 67-Across: ILIAD. 67. Helen's city: TROY.

26. __ XING: crosswalk sign: PED.  Railroad crossing look out for the cars.  Can you spell that without any Rs?

29. Full of attitude: SASSY.  There is a gluten- free restaurant in Minneapolis called SASSY Spoon.  I've never been there though.  I like gluten.

31. Appear: SEEM.

34. Woodshed tools: AXES.  Paul Bunyan Land in Brainerd, MN has one of his AXES. 

39. Join (in): PARTAKE.  Minnesota has limited the number of folks to PARTAKE with family for Thanksgiving.  Please stay safe.

41. Be worthy of: DESERVE.  I am sure that none of us DESERVE the coronavirus.

44. Bump off: DO IN.

45. Part of GPS: Abbr.: SYST.

46. Goes on a tirade: RANTS.  Billy Martin never liked umpires much.

48. "__-haw!": YEE.  I think it's supposed to be HEE.  I've seen a few shows.

49. 28-Down entrant: HORSE.  His name was not Mister Ed. 

51. "Ready, __, fire!": AIM.  Ready, AIM, Bowl. Vaccines are coming.

53. "Our thoughts are with you": WE CARE.

56. Museum contents: FINE ART. C.C. and I visited a museum in Minneapolis years ago.  Not my favorite thing to do, sorry. 

60. Swear to be true: AVOW.

64. Storm relief org.: FEMA.  I am sure they had plenty to do at our Gulf Coast this year.

65. Woven fabric: TWILL.

66. TV award: EMMY.  I vote for Seinfeld.

68. Carry out instructions: OBEY.

69. Dark or marble breads: RYES.  Great for Reuben sandwiches.


1. Orator's platform: DAIS.

2. "__ that special?": ISN'T.  Thank you for that, Church Lady.

3. Contributed to the cause: GAVE.  I donated some decent food to the Hyundai dealer and did not ask for a lower price. Isn't that special ??

4. Did undercover work: SPIED.

5. Alternative plans: FALL-BACKS.  FALL has arrived in Minnesota and snow is BACK. 

6. Online auction site: EBAY.  I used it a lot with baseball cards and other collectibles 15 years ago.  Now it has become a bit more complicated and postage is really high.

7. Retreat, as the tide: EBB.

8. Md. neighbor: DEL.  " What did DELaware, she wore her brand New Jersey. 

9. Updated, as a kitchen: REMODELED.

10. Tehran's land: IRAN.  If I RAN the zoo sad young Gerald McGrew, I'd make a few changes and here's what I'd do.  Dr. Suess.

11. 7 or 11, say, in shoes: SIZE.  Wouldn't fit me, I have big feet.

12. Piano's 88: KEYS.  I do not think that even Liberace used all 88 of them.

15. Aptly named brand of coolers: YETI.

18. 27, for Beethoven's "Moonlight": OPUS.

22. Bags on a diamond: BASES.  Who's on First, What's on Second, I don't know's on Third.  Abbott and Costello.

24. "This __ test": IS A.  "If it had been an actual emergency we would have advised you to lie in the mud and crawl."

25. President before Richard: LYNDON.  "Guess who all was there on my date with Lucy Baines. 12 of Linda's Roomates, 11 LIFE reporters. 10 Texas Rangers, 9 Supreme Court Judges, 8 Sting Ray salesman, 7 Secret service, 6 Guided Missiles --- LYNDON B Himself.  4 Beatles 3 congressmen 2 baptizing clergy.  Lucy Baines and me.  Chad Mitchell Trio.

26. Nickname for Hemingway: PAPA.  LYNDON was Lucy'S PAPA.

27. Finals, say: EXAMS.

28. Annual Kentucky race: DERBY.  I have never been there in person, however we have Canterbury Downs Southwest of the city and they simulcast the DERBY so you can lose your money without driving so far.  We do not have OTB.

30. Wool clippers: SHEARS.

32. Youngest Jetson: ELROY.  ELROY Face pitched for the Pirates before my time.

33. Motion picture: MOVIE.  Minnesota Governor Tim Walz paused the MOVIE theaters for at least a month last Friday.  Bowling centers, bars and restaurants went down also.  However restaurants may still be open for takeout and delivery.

35. Set aside for later use: STASH AWAY.

37. "Of course!": CERTAINLY.  "A horse is a horse, of course, of course." Mr. Ed.

38. "The Son of Man" painter Magritte: RENE.

40. Noted fur tycoon: ASTOR. Yeah but he also smuggled opium into China.

43. "Lost" actor Daniel __ Kim: DAE.

47. Perform in a choir: SING.  Yes I did.  I think MTA was my best.  Kingston Trio.

50. Take a breather: REST.  Okay, I will.

52. Taxi calculator: METER.  We found out it was an expensive way to travel in Las Vegas a few years ago.

53. Float, as an aroma: WAFT.

54. Happily-after link: EVER.

55. Crooner Perry: COMO. My older sister's favorite.  Remember "Hot Diggity" ??

56. Put in a folder: FILE.

57. Force to be reckoned with: ARMY.  Yes I was in there too.  But you never had to reckon with me I reckon.

58. Frosty coating: RIME.

59. Mattel specialty: TOYS.  Christmas is coming, How about LEGO ?

62. Tango need, so they say: TWO.

63. Spare bone?: RIB.  Spare RIBS sound good, but Turkey even better.  HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE.  Stay safe and wear a mask.


Nov 22, 2020

Sunday November 22, 2020 Joe Grzybowski

Theme: "Ch-ch-ch-changes" - CH is added to each familiar phrase.

23. Headline announcing Thomas Kingsford's 1842 process?: A STARCH IS BORN. A Start is Born. Thomas Kingsford was a former chemist who invented a process for manufacturing corn starch. Learning moment for me.

37. Breakfast product made from trees?: ALL BRANCH CEREAL. All-bran cereal.

49. Place for the good guys?: MENSCH ROOM. Men's room.

66. Mad Hatter's cup?: CHALICE IN WONDERLAND. Alice in Wonderland.

79. Apex predator at the feeder?: SHARK FINCH. Shark fin. Shark fin soup is special treat during Chinese New Year.

90. Literary slugger making cookies?: CASEY AT THE BATCH. Casey at the Bat. "... but there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Casey has struck out."

109. What keeps the church singers healthy?: CHORAL HYGIENE. Oral hygiene.

Looks like it's a debut for Joe Grzybowski. Most constructors start making weekday puzzles first, as Sunday puzzles are just tough to fill.  Amazing achievement!

And Joe gave us a 138-worder. Our norm is 144 words.


1. Respectfully tip: DOFF. Boomer always tips his hat at others in our walks.

5. Shopper's delight: SALE. 17. 5-Across alert: AS IS.

9. Four-time NFL Pro Bowl safety __ Chancellor: KAM. Dr. Ed just mentioned limiting proper names in his grids. We get quite a few today: 15. Newscaster Lindström: PIA. 18. Garfield's foil: ODIE. 77. Field and Ride: SALLYS. One more plural: 52. Cook Paula et al.: DEENS. 97. Soong __-ling: Madame Chiang: MEI. 102. Composer Saint-Saëns: CAMILLE. 119. 2000 Peace Prize recipient Kim __-jung: DAE. 5. Vanzetti's partner: SACCO. 25. __ Bigelow, echoically nicknamed 20th-century wrestler: BAMBAM. 32. Somali-born supermodel: IMAN.  42. Former NPR host Hansen: LIANE. 45. "SNL" alumna Oteri: CHERI. 59. Astronaut Wally: SCHIRRA  56. Half-elf married to Aragorn: ARWEN.61. Turner on a screen: LANA. 68. Pulitzer-winning Chicago journalist Mike: ROYKO. 73. Exiled religious leader: DALAI LAMA. 79. "The Blacklist" star: SPADER. 84. Actress Lamarr: HEDY.100. ESPN journalist Kenny: MAYNE. Most are common, some are tough.

12. Computer addresses: Abbr.: IPS. Just google "What's my IP address" (Internet Protocol), you'll find yours.

19. Elemental bit: ATOM.

20. Street in Montréal: RUE.

21. Farm equipment: SEEDERS.

26. Peak in Exod.: MT SINAI.

27. Speeds: RACES.

28. Poet's "in a trice": ANON. Or some nice commenters on our blog. I can recognize Vidvan's voice in a few. The amount of stuff he know!

29. Secret supplies: STASHES.

30. English cheese town: STILTON. So, Chairman Moe, is my bottle of wine dead also? It's a special gift from Jimmy B. I thought we could just age it.

33. Ovid work: AMORES. "To be loved, be lovable".

35. The Beatles' "__ Loser": I'M A.

36. Gimlet garnish: LIME.

43. "Hold your horses!": IN A SEC.

46. Approx. landing time: ETA.

47. Carnival city: RIO.

48. Mid-12th-century date: MCLI. 1,151.

51. Tissue swellings: EDEMAS. And 54. Medical suffix: OMA.

55. Little laughs: HEES. And 95. Conniving laugh: HEH HEH.

56. From the top: ANEW.

57. Ancient German: TEUTON.

59. Eye layer: SCLERA.

62. Fast-food franchise started in Rocky Mount, NC: HARDEE'S. Never been to one.

65. Do penance: ATONE.

69. Pants fabric: CHINO.

70. Tops that bare arms and midriffs: HALTERS.

71. Bites: NOSHES.

72. __ vinegar: OIL AND. Rare 6-letter partial.

74. Secluded valley: GLEN.

75. Lad in Limerick: BOYO. A boy or a lad. Learning moment for me as well.

76. MD's request: MRI.

85. Gets steamed: IRES. Gluey.

87. Golfer's concern: LIE. Uphill lie. Downhill lie.

88. Part of a split: PIN.

89. Worth remembering: OF NOTE.

96. Email button: SEND.

98. All but one of the balls in 9-Ball: SOLIDS.

99. D.C.'s __ Row: EMBASSY.

106. Lift one's spirits?: TOPE. Liquor "spirits". Here's the popular Chinese cooking "spirits".

107. Bike part: CHAIN.

108. Low-tech traveler's reference: US ATLAS.

114. Puts on a pedestal: ESTEEMS.

115. Give a leg up: AID.

116. Legal claim: LIEN.

117. Promo on the tube: TV AD.

118. Sault __ Marie: STE.

120. Apt. listing abbr.: RMS.

121. Pain in the neck, e.g.: ACHE. Ouch, ATLGranny. Wish you a quick recovery.

122. Evergreen shrubs: YEWS. Oh, my friend Carmen just sent me this picture of her visiting the chrysanthemum flower show in Guangzhou yesterday. Life there has been back to normal for a few months. Malls, parks, restaurants are all crowded. Same in Xi'an.


1. __ double take: DO A.

2. Consumes to excess, briefly: ODS.

3. It's thrown in anger: FIT.

4. Courageous: FEARLESS.

6. Greek goddess of wisdom: ATHENA.

7. Daily Planet name: LOIS. Lane.

8. Ambulance initials: EMS.

9. Swedish monetary units: KRONOR. But Sweden is an EU remember. Odd that they don't use euros.

10. Second-largest Illinois city: AURORA.

11. Skin Bracer maker: MENNEN. Aftershave.

12. Beliefs: ISMS.

13. Ruffled-edge underskirt: PETTICOAT.

14. Kind of oil used in hummus: SESAME. I saw a bottle of chickpea miso at our local grocery store the other day. I was surprised.

15. Phnom __: PENH.

16. Wrath, in a hymn: IRAE.

22. Win over: DISARM.

24. Informer: RAT.

30. Remote: SLIM. As chance.

31. Spork prong: TINE.

33. Voice above tenor: ALTO.

34. Attached with spiral hardware: SCREWED.

38. Many August births: LEOS.

39. That guy: HIM.

40. Transition area between plant communities: ECOTONE. See this.

41. Nuts that put the joy in candy bars?: ALMONDS. Almond Joy.

44. Levels of authority: ECHELONS.

50. Get to: REACH. Rich allows stray letters in fill. Two extra CHs in this grid.

51. Home of the Ewoks: ENDOR.

53. Closes securely: SEALS OFF.

58. Home of Canyonlands National Park: UTAH.

60. Habaneros and jalapeños: CHILIES. I can handle a few slices of jalapeños.

62. Like sledding terrain: HILLY.

63. Feeds the pot: ANTES.

64. Tijuana mister: SENOR.

67. Aerie newcomers: EAGLETS.

69. Demetri Martin, e.g.: COMIC.

75. Judge's seat: BANC.

78. Ignited: LIT.

80. Top numbers: HITS. Nice clue.

81. Extreme foolishness: INSANITY.

82. Negatives: NOES.

83. UPS boxes: CTNS.

86. Arab or Hebrew: SEMITE. Also 93. Hebrew God: ELOHIM.

91. Showed anger, perhaps: YELLED.

92. Wheels involved in a crime, maybe: HOT CAR.

94. Two-legged supports: BIPODS.

101. Trending: BIG.

102. Lines before yours, say: CUES.

103. Admin. aide: ASST.

104. Pal: MATE.

105. Latin 101 verb: ESSE.

107. __ Stic: retractable Bic pen: CLIC.

110. In the manner of: ALA.

111. Night before the big day: EVE.

112. Rural regrets: NAW.

113. Magazine VIPs: EDS.