Oct 28, 2021

Thursday, October 28, 2021, Jerry Edelstein


Today's puzzle was constructed by LA Times Crossword veteran Jerry Edelstein, whose last appearance here was on August 18, 2021.  Today he appears in a MASTER's TOURNEY, turning the last word of each themer into the first half of the reveal. 

Here are the seeds:

 20A. Retiree's investment goal: INCOME STREAM.  A CSO to JzB.

34A. Performers in cages: LION TAMERSMarcus Loewe, Samuel Goldwyn, and Louis Mayer generated quite an INCOME STREAM by TAMING this LION:

42. Cornell's "Far Above Cayuga's Waters" and others: ALMA MATERS.  A CSO to any of our Cornell alums on the Corner.  Hands up please!

And the reveal:

 54A. "Mona Lisa" and "Guernica" ... and, in a different way, the last words of 20-, 34- and 42-Across: MASTERPIECES.  That is, the last word of each themer is an anagram of MASTER*.  I found the contrasts between these two masterpieces to be intriguingly dissonant.

Leonard da Vinci's masterpiece, the Mona Lisa, is one of the most well-known works of art in the world.  It's difficult to visit the painting in the Louvre because it's always surrounded by enormous crowds.  Instead we'll take a virtual tour.  After the brief intro, click the start button.  You can control the tour by clicking on the small menu icon on the right side of the screen. 

The Mona Lisa has inspired many other works of art, including this one.  The painting is pretty high-maintenance, demanding one of the largest insurance premiums of any painting in the world, and all for just 4.4 sq ft. of canvas (poplar actually).  

The painting suggests many emotions, but for me it is iconic of serenity

Mona Lisa, The Louvre
30 in × 21 in

Pablo Picasso's masterpiece Guernica, on the other hand, is iconic of the madness and horrors of war, depicting the  April 26, 1937, bombing of Guernica, a Basque Country town in northern Spain which was bombed by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy at the request of the Spanish Nationalists:

Guernica, Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain
11 ft 5 in high x 25 ft 6 in wide


1. Lose it: GO MAD.  Madness is a frequent theme in art, literature, and music, e.g. the aforementioned Guernica or Shakespeare's King Lear (CSO to Ol' Man Keith) or Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor.  Here's Lucia losing it after just murdering her husband Arturo on their wedding night, the aftermath of an "arranged" marriage:

6. Winner of 22 Grand Slam singles titles, second-most in the Open Era: GRAFStefanie Maria Graf (born 14 June 1969) is a German former professional tennis player. She was ranked world No. 1 for a record 377 weeks (only player, male or female, to be No. 1 for more than 7 years) and won 22 Grand Slam singles titles, which is the second-most since the introduction of the Open Era in 1968 behind  Serena Williams (23).
Steffi Graf
10. Not talk, with "up": CLAM.

14. Gulf State native: OMANI.  A citizen of OMAN,  a country occupying the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula at the confluence of the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea.

15. Jedi who lived to be 900: YODA.  See 23A.  See also MASTER in 54A.

16. Dance with a chair: HORA.  As a left hander, I'm also left footed.  In fact I'm so left footed that I have TWO of them.  Maybe this will help me the next time I'm invited to a Jewish wedding:

  17. Ice shelf breakaways: BERGS

18. Relaxing melodies: MOOD MUSIC.  Winter's on its way and here's a bit of MOOD MUSIC for relaxing with your sweetie:

22. __4: Toyota SUV: RAV.

23. Happy eating word: NOM.  Yes it's in the Scrabble Dictionary.  The word originated as an an onomatopoeic adjective coined by the Cookie Monster, a NOM DE PLUME of puppeteer, actor, and film maker Frank Oz.

24. ABC early show, briefly: GMA.

27. Wandered: STRAYED.

31. Eclipse shadows: UMBRAS.  From the Latin for SHADOW.


33. Kung __ shrimp: PAOHere's a recipe.

37. River in the Congo: EBOLAThe river and the virus.

40. Female in a field: EWE.

41. Loyal subject: LIEGE.

45. Hobbyist's buy: KIT.

46. It often follows a crash: REBOOT.  AKA the "Blue Screen of Death"  (BSOD).  Save this link in the unlikely event that this should ever happen to you.  Oh, but you won't have any way to access it will you? 😖

47. Overthrows: DEPOSES.  Speaking of BSODS, there are some tech companies I'd like to DEPOSE

50. Federal benefits org. founded under FDR: SSA.  So we're talking about the "Federal benefit" of all that hard earned money that was withheld from my paycheck for 53 years?

51. Hit hard: RAM.  See 46A.

53. Write "ere" for this answer, say: ERR.  Yeah, "This clue has on" too.  Just sayin' - this is a slippery slope!

60. Debate provision: EQUAL TIME.

63. Spice native to Indonesia: CLOVE8 Surprising Health Benefits of Cloves.

64. Hide in the shadows, say: LURK.  There are a lot of people who just LURK on the Corner, but we still love you!

65. "Garfield" dog: ODIE.  Known for his copious amounts of saliva.  Pretty obvious that Jim Davis is a cat person.  A CSO to .חתולה


66. Southend-on-Sea's county: ESSEXSouthend-on-Sea is a resort town on the North shore of the Thames estuary, to the east of London in county ESSEX:
County Essex

67. Movie "Citizen": KANE.  Spoiler alert:  ROSEBUD was the brand name of Kane's childhood sled.

68. Parallel __: PARK.

69. Snookums: DEARY.


1. East Asian desert: GOBIFor your next vacation, here are twenty interesting facts about the GOBI desert and some stunning photographs.    And for the grandchildren, Mongolian dinosaurs!

2. It can be a good sign: OMEN.

3. Designer Jacobs: MARCMarc Jacobs (born April 9, 1963) is an American fashion designer. He is the head designer for his own fashion label, Marc Jacobs, and formerly for Marc by Marc Jacobs.

4. Wool from a rabbit: ANGORA.  Awe, aren't they cute?  There's money to be made raising Angora rabbits, if you want to try your luck.

5. Sudden loss of courage: DISMAY.  The closest our friendly Thesaurus comes to that is "disCOURAGEment".  I think the cluer is stretching it today:
6. Where to see rats and reps: GYMSREPS I know about, but GYM RAT?  I'm unclear on the concept:
7. Cheer: ROOT

8. Fancify: ADORN.

9. What many pop songs end with: FADE OUT.  The greatest FADE OUT of all time:

10. Buddy: CHUM.

11. __ Altos, California: LOS.

12. Jackie's second: ARIAristotle Socrates Onassis  (January 20, 1906 – March 15, 1975), commonly called Ari , was a  shipping magnate who amassed the world's largest privately-owned shipping fleet and was one of the world's richest men. But before Jackie his partner was Maria, considered by many to be the greatest soprano of the 20th century ...
Maria Callas

... except  of course for the even greater soprano Rosa Ponsellesinging this aria from La Traviata (check out some of the comments comparing her with Callas). When she retired from opera she came to Baltimore and used to sing in our Church choir (really!).  Sadly it was long before our time.

13. Big __: MAC.

19. Me or you or a dog named Boo: MAMMAL. Let's see, we're: warm blooded (✓),  hairy (✓), ... I could go on, but I think that narrows it down enough.

21. Daredevil Knievel: EVEL. Robert Craig Knievel (October 17, 1938 – November 30, 2007), professionally known as Evel Knievel, was an American stunt performer and entertainer. Over the course of his career, he attempted more than 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps. Knievel was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999. He died of pulmonary disease in Clearwater, Florida, in 2007, aged 69, sans BOOTS.

24. Early Olympians: GREEKS.  Apparently the early Olympic games were plagued by many of the same problems as we see today.
Panathenaic amphora,
a victory prize from ca. 530 BC depicting a foot race,
Terra Sigillata slip attributed 
to the painter Euphiletos.

25. Name related to Peggy: MARGIE An old nickname applied to an even older name.

26. Gems, for example: ASSETS.

27. Pickles on a plate, often: SPEARS.  Britney Spears has been in a pickle for the last 13 years or so, but things are starting to look up for her.

28. Puts on hold, as an agenda item: TABLES. Aside from a necessary noun in the kitchen, TABLE can be verbified in American English, e.g., to remove from item from consideration during a formal meeting or other procedure; and in British English, curiously, its meaning is the opposite: it denotes placing an item on an agenda.  One can also "lay one's cards on the TABLE" ("to be candid") and "under the TABLE" ("intoxicated" or "secretive"). 
29. Wandering vacuum: ROOMBA.  Robotic vacuum cleaners have been around for a while.  The next new thing is robotic lawn mowers

30. What you eat: DIET

32. Fat meas.: BMI. Body Mass Index, how you can tell whether you need to watch your 30A and tips on the right approach.

35. Part of IOU: OWE

36. Uncool one who lately is sort of cool: NERD.  We've been over this before, but I think there is a difference between the words GEEK and NERD,  but YMMV.   As I think I'm both, it probably doesn't matter.  

38. Philosopher __-tzu: LAOLAO TZU (6th-5th Century-531 BC), the father of Taoism and the author of the Tao Te Ching.

39. Seeing no evil?: AMORALToday's Morality lesson:  'Unmoral', 'Immoral', 'Nonmoral', and 'Amoral' all have prefixes meaning "not."  So which to use when?  Ted's quote in the latter link seemed timely at the time, but I guess times change.

43. Not moving: AT A STOP.

44. Flow slowly: SEEP.

48. Having a tag on it, maybe: PRICED. Or the "it" on a playground?

49. Unsettling closing words: OR ELSE.

52. Site of the Cave of Zeus, in myth: Abbr.: MT IDA.  Apparently there is some dispute about the exact birthplace of Zeus: in a cave on Mt Ida in Western Crete or  the Psychro cave further to the East.  Another possibility is that Zeus and his twin brother Jupiter were swapped at birth.  This happens a lot in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, but it's the first time I've heard of it happening in Greece.

54. Put together: MAKE.  OTOH, MAKING a marble statue means taking things apart, bit by bit.

55. Kuwaiti ruler: EMIREmir , sometimes transliterated amir, amier, or ameer, is a word of Arabic origin that can refer to a male monarch, aristocrat, holder of high-ranking military or political office, or other person possessing actual or ceremonial authority.  See here for more on this frequent denizen of Crosswords. 

56. Give a strong impression (of): REEK. Rhymes with LEEK, featured at the annual Polk County Tennessee Ramp Tramp Festival, where there's a whole lot of REEKING goin' on.

57. __ Nostra: COSA.

58. Even one time: EVER.

59. Like some knockouts: SEXY.  This clue/fill is relevant to a dispute currently going on within a prominent restaurant chain regarding new "uniform" requirements, but as this is a family blog I won't reveal it.

60. Rockies bugler: ELK.  With an S an ORDER  Without an S a MAMMAL (see 19D).

61. Sine __ non: QUA.  The grid is the SINE QUA NON of a review and after I dispatch the next clue, it will be forthwith.

62. Coffee hour sight: URN.  Crosswordese.



And special thanks to Teri for proof reading this puzzle and for her constructive suggestions.
And thanks to TTP for his suggested correction of the reveal definition.

Oct 27, 2021

Wednesday, October 27, 2021, Craig Stowe


16. Big name in plant food: MIRACLE GRO.

28. "Despite my best attempts ... ": TRY AS I MAY.
36. "That makes more sense": I SEE NOW.

43. Kitchen gadget: CAN OPENER.

56. Home with a between-floors entrance ... and what can be found on puzzle rows 3, 6, 8 and 10?: SPLIT LEVEL.
Hi all, Melissa here. This theme was a real challenge to sort out. In rows 3, 6, 8 and 10, there is a word that can precede LEVEL that is SPLIT across two words. GROUND LEVEL; ENTRY LEVEL; NOISE LEVEL (Thanks, Owen!), ENERGY LEVEL. See?

 Row 10 contains the reveal 56A, SPLIT LEVEL.
 Whew! That was a brain workout! Maybe some of you got it faster than I did.


1. Like many a basement: DAMP.

5. Hold dear: VALUE.

10. Breakfast companion?: BED. Bed & Breakfast.

13. __ vaccine: ORAL.

14. As a companion: ALONG. That was tricky. "She came along/as a companion."

15. Soup du __: JOUR. French. "Made for a particular day," or "of the day."

18. Reverse: UNDO.

19. Also: TOO.

20. G.I. entertainment often featuring Bob Hope: USO SHOW. Anyone watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel? I re-watched from the beginning and am back to Season 3 where Miriam is performing at USO SHOWs. Season 4 is expected in early 2022.

22. Through street: ARTERIAL. An arterial road or arterial thoroughfare is a high-capacity urban road that sits below freeways/motorways on the road hierarchy in terms of traffic flow and speed.

26. Hollywood Walk of Fame symbols: STARS.

27. Get duded up: PREEN.

30. Bladed tool: HOE.

31. Enjoyed the buffet: ATE.

32. [as per the original]: SIC. “Intentionally so written.” When used after the quoted material, “sic” indicates that the words preceding it are an exact transcription from the original source, including any spelling mistakes, non-standard spelling, or grammatical errors. 

33. First section of the "Divine Comedy": INFERNO.

40. Witticism: MOT.

41. Big bang letters?: TNT.

42. Keep __ distance: AT A.
47. Greek wraps: GYROS.

49. Take the floor: ORATE.

50. Unlike bikinis: ONE PIECE. Bathing suits. Bikinis are, of course, two pieces.

52. Handicraft worker: ARTISAN.

54. Something up one's sleeve: ARM. Haha.

55. Jackson family musician born Toriano: TITO. The third of the ten Jackson children.

62. Smooth (out): EVEN.

63. Events with kings and queens: PROMS.

64. Shade of blue: NAVY.

65. "__ Rosenkavalier": DER. German. The Knight of the Rose or The Rose-Bearer is a comic opera in three acts by Richard Strauss. 

66. Lathered up: SOAPY.

67. Slush Puppie parent company: ICEE. Have heard of Icee of course, but not Slush Puppie.


1. __ Pérignon: DOM.

2. "Hereditary" director Aster: ARI. Horror film. Which explains why I hadn't heard of it.

3. Deface: MAR.

4. Missouri River feeder: PLATTE.

5. Heroism: VALOR.

6. Blonde beverage: ALE.

7. Part of a cord: LOG. Nice clue.

8. Like a mob scene: UNRULY.

9. They might clash on stage: EGOS. Off-stage, too.

10. Actress Helena __ Carter: BONHAM.

11. Email program named after writer Welty: EUDORA. A Eulogy For Eudora.

12. Half-asleep: DROWSY.

15. Supreme Court figure: JUSTICE.

17. Filmmaker Ethan or Joel: COEN. The Coen Brothers. Fans will enjoy this video, You Know It's The Coen Brothers IF ...

21. Davis of "Do the Right Thing": OSSIE. He played De Mayor. Do The Right Thing is often listed among the greatest films of all time. In 1999, the film was deemed "culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress, in its first year of eligibility, and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry

22. "East of Eden" brother: ARON. Twins Aron and Caleb.

23. Sailing hazard: REEF. Below, the crew of Team Vestas Wind with their boat after it ran into a coral reef near Mauritius. How the Team Vestas Wind crash really happened, and the crucial things we can learn from it.

24. "Leave __ me": IT TO.

25. Exist: ARE.

27. Letter after upsilon: PHI.

29. Helper: Abbr.: ASST.

31. Payment before a deal: ANTE. Card games. A stake put up by a player in poker and similar games before receiving cards.

34. Sentiment: EMOTION.

35. Lures (in): ROPES.

36. Concerning: IN RE. Latin for "in the matter of."

37. Snitch (on): NARC. Used to mean someone who secretly gives inside information to the police, informing on others who are engaging in illegal activity.

38. Chiwere speaker: OTOE. Chiwere is a Siouan language originally spoken by the Missouria, OTOE, and Iowa peoples, who originated in the Great Lakes region but later moved throughout the midwest and plains.

39. Used to be: WAS.

41. Royal flush card: TEN. More with card games. An ace-high straight flush, such as A♦ K♦ Q♦ J♦ 10♦, is called a royal flush or royal straight flush and is the best possible hand in high games when not using wild cards.

43. Like many candies: COATED.

44. Get in: ARRIVE. What time did you get in/arrive?

45. Ramble on and on: NATTER.

46. Amateur: NONPRO. Not a term I've heard used before, but it works.

47. Birth announcement word: GIRL.

48. Sana'a native: YEMENI. Sana'a is the capital, and largest city in Yemen. 

 51. One taking a fall: PATSY. Why is it called a patsy?

53. Egyptian slitherers: ASPS. Snakes.

57. Mauna __: LOA.

58. Little devil: IMP.

59. Device that may be wet or dry, briefly: VAC.

60. End of the day: EVE. Evening.

61. Cleaning ingredient: LYE.
Note from C.C.:
Happy 74th birthday to Boomer, who continues to bowl and coach the kids despite his various health issues.


Oct 26, 2021

Tuesday, October 26, 2021 Daniel Sweren-Becker and Daniel Neussbaum

One Word, Many Definitions:

20-Across. *   Island known for its bars?: ALCATRAZ.  Alcratraz was once a Federal Penitentiary.  It is now a museum.

35-Across. *   Tom Sawyer's creator: MARK TWAIN.  See also 29-Across.  Mark Twain was the Pen Name of Samuel Langhorn Clemens (Nov. 30, 1835 ~ Apr. 21, 1910).  Mark Twain was actually a term that was used by Mississippi River steamboats crew, which measures the depth of the water.  The term literally means "mark number two", which signifies 12 feet: the safe depth for a steamboat on the river.

45-Across. *   Highest peak in the Alps: MONT BLANC.  A Montblanc Pen is an expensive writing instrument.

And the unifier:

58-Across. What the answers to starred clues are, in different ways: PEN NAMES.

And, we have an additional theme clue posing as a French lesson:

29-Across. __ de plume: NOM.

An another interesting definition of the word Pen.  Did you know a Female swan is called a Pen?

1. Conservatives' foes, briefly: LIBs.  As in Conservatives and Liberals.  'Nuff said.

5. Word with run or drive: TEST.  As in a Test Run or a Test Drive.

9. More than nudge: SHOVE.

14. Inactive: IDLE.  Not to be confused with 2-Down. Adored singer, say: IDOL.  Since these two words cross, does this make the Idol Idle?

15. Muppet who doesn't use the pronoun "I": ELMO.

16. One faking it: POSER.

17. Frame of mind: MOOD.

18. Landed: ALIT.  This has become a crossword staple.

19. Student's measuring stick: RULER.

22. Windshield shades: VISORS.

23. Homer's neighbor: NED.

24. Thrill: ELATE.

26. Part of a play: ACT.  Hi, OMK!

31. Polar masses: ICE CAPS.

38. In a wistful way: SADLY.

39. Soft French cheese: BRIE.  Yummers!

40. Dunks, Blazers and Jordans: NIKEs.  All are models of Nike athletic shoes.

42. Corned beef specification: LEAN.

43. Happening: EVENT.

47. Bureaucratic sticking points: RED TAPE.

49. Sign of a sellout: SRO.  Standing Room Only.  The Fire Marshal might have something to say about a SRO performance.

50. __ Vegas: LAS.  Sin City.  Las Vegas has a very interesting history.

51. Slides uncontrollably: SKIDS.

53. Not online, for short: IRL.  Text-speak for IReal Life.

55. Best of the hits: TOP TEN.  Casey Kasem (1932 ~ 2014) can still be heard on some oldie radio stations.

63. Opera solos: ARIAS.  I have to include this aria from Carmen.  The first post-Covid live performance of the Houston Grand Opera will be Carmen.

64. Steep rugged cliff: CRAG.

65. Indianapolis NFLer: COLT.  The team began in Baltimore, then in the 1980s, moved to Indianapolis.

Logos of the team over the years.

66. Linguistic group that includes Zulu: BANTU.

67. Bee home: HIVE.

68. Green smoothie green, perhaps: KALE.  This is a very trendy leafy vegetable.  The idea of putting Kale in my morning smoothie, however, is not for me.

69. Somnology study: SLEEP.

70. Mellowed in a cask: AGED.

71. Winter fall: SNOW.

1. Peruvian capital: LIMA.

3. Voting unit: BLOC.

4. Family car: SEDAN.  More families in my neighborhood are apt to have an SUV over a Sedan.

5. Remove, as the wall in Reagan's demand to Gorbachev: TEAR DOWN.

6. Jazzy Fitzgerald: ELLA.  Ella Fitzgerald (née Ella Jane Fitzgerald; Apr. 25, 1917 ~ June 15, 1996) make occasional guest appearances in the Crossword Puzzles.

7. Tyra Banks portmanteau for happy peepers: SMIZE.  How to Smile with your Eyes.

8. Little one: TOT.  Followed by 9-Down: Little ones: SPRITES.

10. Obsolescent doctor visit: HOUSE CALL.  When we were kids, the family pediatrician made house calls.  My sister was sick once, too sick for my mother to feel comfortable taking her to the doctor's office, so Dr. Wilson came to the house.  When he went into my sister's room, she was under her bed and holding tight to the slats, so couldn't be pulled out from under the bed.

11. Viking trading post now a world capital: OSLO.

12. Zig or zag: VEER.

13. Boots the ball: ERRS.

21. Camper's quarters: TENT.
22. Little sucker?: VAC. *  Cute clue.

25. Bedding: LINENS.  Everything you wanted to know about linens, but didn't know to ask.

26. "Waves of grain" color: AMBER.

27. Slice the turkey: CARVE.

28. True partner: TRIED.  Tried and True!

30. Badly injured: MAIMED.

32. "It's __!": "Sold!": A DEAL.

33. Opening strategy: PLAN A.  In 2020, I was on a committee planning a region conference.  That was our Plan A.  When Covid came along, we had to go to our Plan B and hold our conference via Zoom.

34. Lip-__: mouths the words: SYNCS.

36. Campus setting for Neil Young's "Ohio": KENT STATE.  Ohio is the anti-war protest song.

37. When repeated, classic New Orleans refrain: IKO.  The history of the Mardi Gras song Iko Iko.

41. Like guitars and sitars: STRINGED.

44. Starts to learn, as a hobby: TAKES UP.

46. Delivered: BORN.

48. ATM user's need: PIN.  As in a Personal Identification Number.

52. Parsley piece: SPRIG.  What is a Sprig, anyway?

54. Doesn't have: LACKS.

55. Bar bills: TABS.

56. Spoken: ORAL.

57. Tree with cones: PINE.

59. House overhang: EAVE.

60. Gripe: MOAN.

61. Cockney greeting: 'ELLO.

62. Ragout or goulash: STEW.  Yummers!

64. Half a Latin dance: CHA.

Here's the Grid:



Happy Halloween!