Jan 31, 2021

Sunday January 31, 2021 Paul Coulter


Theme: "Sportscast" - Each familiar phrase is humorously re-interpreted as if it's a action by the sports player in the clue.

 22A. The troublesome soccer player __: KICKED UP A RUCKUS.

 34A. The bombastic archer __: SHOT HIS BIG MOUTH OFF.

 44A The frugal lacrosse goalie __: SAVED IT FOR LATER.

 63A. The daredevil baseball pitcher __: THREW CAUTION TO THE WIND.

 81A. The politically ambitious sprinter __: RAN FOR PRESIDENT.

 90A. The lucky football receiver __: CAUGHT A FALLING STAR.

 111A. The foolhardy hockey player __: SKATED ON THIN ICE. - My favorite.

Fantastic title, Paul! So the first words are all verbs in past tense. They're all verbs associated with the sports player. 

I suspect this is the puzzle Paul mentioned that Rich asked him to dial down on the black squares.


1. Apollo's home: HARLEM. The Apollo Theater.

7. Cartesian concept: IDEE. French for "idea". Also 20. Former French coin: SOU.

11. Edwards, in Calif.: AFB. Air Force Base.

14. Spitting sound: PTUI. Saw this fill in Paul's June 17 puzzle. 

18. Early ball game score: ONE ONE.

19. His given name was spelled with horseshoes in the show's intro: MR ED. Minister Ed.

21. Ride, but not in a nice way: TAUNT.

25. Fragrant root used in perfumes: ORRIS. Looks pretty.

26. Actor Morales: ESAI.

27. Covent Garden architect Jones: INIGO. Learned from doing crosswords.


28. Sprightly: AIRY.

29. Chop finely: MINCE.

30. "Sure": YEP.

31. Biol. and chem.: SCIs.

32. Genetic "messenger" initials: RNA.

33. Many a Degas: PASTEL.

39. The Destroyer, in Hinduism: SHIVA.

42. Appearance: MIEN. Another word I only saw in crosswords.

43. 2020, por ejemplo: ANO.

50. Printer function: SCAN.

54. Mideast gulf port: ADEN.

55. Unassuming: MEEK.

56. Dash lengths: EMS.

57. Point a finger at: BLAME.

58. "Downton Abbey" title: EARL.

59. Open, as a bottle: UNCAP.

62. Fisherman with pots: EELER. Really miss freshly grilled eels.

70. Beat, e.g.: ROUTE.

71. Scolds, with "out": CHEWS.

72. Live wire's opposite: WIMP.

73. First name in mystery: EDGAR. Edgar Allan Poe.

74. Pro: ACE.

75. Vintner's prefix: OENO. For Chris.

76. European auto: OPEL.

80. Back talk: SASS.

86. Nintendo debut of 2006: WII.

88. "Dies __": hymn: IRAE.

89. Power source: MOTOR.

99. Masterful: ADROIT.

100. Feverish, maybe: ILL. Read this article before you take your vaccine shot. Basically don't take painkillers. Fever is normal.

101. Judge: DEEM.

102. Marienbad, for one: SPA. Wiki says it's a spa town in Czech Republic. Never heard of it.

105. Sting: SMART.

106. Single chip, perhaps: ANTE.

107. In pieces: APART.

109. Big name in cosmetics: OLAY. Getting quite pricey these days.

110. Pig out: BINGE.

114. Astrological ram: ARIES.

115. Part of HMS: HER.

116. Coatrack parts: PEGS.

117. Kvetch: YAMMER. I noticed both Hahtoolah and Anon-T used "Yummers" to mean "Yummy".

118. Principal, for one: HEAD.

119. Magazine VIPs: EDS.

120. "Dilbert" intern: ASOK. Been a long time since we last saw this guy.

121. Scornful smiles: SNEERS.

1. Contrived: HOKEY.

2. Biscotti flavoring: ANISE.

3. Go back over: RECAP.

4. Mythical trickster: LOKI.

5. Biloxi-to-Mobile dir.: ENE.

6. Sawbones: MEDICO.

7. Mischievous: IMPISH. Hi there, Spitzboov!

8. Slow party, say: DRAG.

9. MIT Chapel designer Saarinen: EERO. I know this!

10. Dean's email address ending: EDU.

11. For the __: ASKING.

12. Early hr.: FOUR AM.

13. On a tight schedule: BUSY.

14. Louisiana's county counterpart: PARISH.

15. Request help from: TURN TO.

16. Halloween charity: UNICEF.

17. What history repeats?: ITSELF. Not this brutal pandemic.

21. Whopper topper: TOMATO.

23. Condo, e.g.: UNIT.

24. Ship's-keel constellation: CARINA. Learning moment for me also.

31. Herring prized for its roe: SHAD.

33. "Piano is not my forte," e.g.: PUN.

34. Reindeer in "Frozen": SVEN.

35. "Don't worry about me": I'M OK.

36. Polite address: SIR.

37. __ canto: BEL.

38. Dinghy drivers: OARS.

39. Org. funded by FICA: SSA.

40. "If I __ to do it again ... ": HAD.

41. "__ seen worse": I'VE.

45. Apple variety: IMAC.

46. Prefix with byte: TERA.

47. Mediterranean sailing vessel: FELUCCA. Another unknown.

48. Milk source: TEAT.

49. Authorize: EMPOWER.

50. Passel: SLEW.

51. City WSW of Bogotá: CALI.

52. "Absolutely!": AMEN.

53. Unhip type: NERD.

57. Honk: BEEP.

58. The America's Cup trophy, e.g.: EWER.

59. One-eighty: UIE.

60. With "and" and 67-Down, occasionally: NOW. 67. See 60-Down: THEN.

61. Brain and spinal cord: Abbr.: CNS. OK, Central Nervous System.

63. "__ bien!": TRES.

64. "Today" co-host Kotb: HODA.

65. Floor coverings: RUGS.

66. LAX listings: ETAS.

68. One of three seen in Wood's "American Gothic": TINE. Amy Schumer & JK Simmons.

69. Managed care gps.: HMOs.

74. "Tosca" tune: ARIA.

75. Make the first bid: OPEN.

76. Aroma: ODOR.

77. One often talked down to?: PET. Cute.

78. Brian of ambient music: ENO.

79. Env. contents: LTR.

82. Salmon serving: FILLET.

83. Fla. NBA team: ORL. Orlando.

84. Italy's equivalent of the BBC: RAI. Radiotelevisione Italiana.

85. Muslim leader: IMAM.

86. Omelet ingredients for some diets: WHITES.

87. "The Addams Family" cousin: ITT.

90. Algerian quarter: CASBAH. Looks hilly.

91. Look up to: ADMIRE.

92. Astronomy Muse: URANIA.

93. Consumed greedily: GORGED.

94. Squealed: FINKED.

95. Sites for vows: ALTARS.

96. Birthplace of Solidarity: GDANSK. Poland.

97. Muralist José María __: SERT. Rockefeller Center muralist.

98. Moon of Saturn: TETHYS. One more learning moment.

102. Gunk: SLIME.

103. Reggie Miller, for his entire NBA career: PACER.

104. Australia's __ Rock: AYERS. Stunning color.

106. "Hard Road to Glory" author: ASHE.

107. Cool drinks: ADES.

108. "We have met the enemy and he is us" toon: POGO.

109. "My treat": ON ME.

112. Antipollution org.: EPA.

113. "At Seventeen" singer Janis __: IAN.

Happy birthday to dear Bill G! Here is a picture of Barbara, Bill and their three grandkids. This picture was taken quite a while ago when Bill still went out daily for his bike ride and coffee. He'd then mentioned to us what he saw and what annoyed him (kids glued to their phones). I missed those days, Bill! 

Look, so many deer visited D-Otto's backyard a few days ago.


Jan 30, 2021

Saturday, January 30, 2021 Joe Deeney

 Saturday Themeless by Joe Deeney 

Joe and his 
lovely daughter born in April

Here we have another challenging Saturday pinwheel-style puzzle consisting of 10-letter troikas by Joe, our Supply Chain Project Manager in Massachusetts.

Here is what Joe had to say about this puzzle: 

Hi Gary,

Thanks for reaching out. All is well here, hope the same for you.

This is the same grid layout as my puzzle published in the LA Times July 25, 2020 (hg - both are posted just below). This puzzle originally started life as an offshoot of that puzzle. I submitted that original puzzle to the New York Times and got a polite rejection, noting they especially liked the NE corner. I decided used that corner to design what would become this puzzle and submitted it to them - they passed again. I submitted the original puzzle to 
Rich which he accepted. At that point I rebuilt the NW corner of today's puzzle, since it was the same as the original, and sent that on to Rich as well, and was very happy to get the thumbs up from him on it.

As I look at the puzzle today, LISLE and BEREA stick out as fill I wouldn't tolerate anymore, but I hope there is enough fun among the long answers to make up for those clunkers.


                    Today's grid and Joe's identical 7/20/20 grid
Let's Take Off!


1. Ones who usually know what to do with their hands: CARDSHARPS - This CARD SHARP (SHARK) isn't dealing hands off the top of the deck

11. She taught Butch and Sundance Spanish for their Bolivian robberies: ETTA.

15. Turn yellow: CHICKEN OUT.

16. Level: SHIM - Using a SHIM (noun) to SHIM (verb) up a doorframe to level

17. Italian menu word meaning "hunter": CACCIATORE - I not only got it, I spelled it correctly!

18. Rig: SEMI - "See ya on down the road, Jack!"

19. Spot about being green, for short: PSA - Public Service Announcement telling you to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle so we don't 30. Exhaust: USE UP our natural resources 

20. Earthquakes or Fire, briefly: MLS TEAM.

22. Kind of engine: JET.

23. Lhasa __: APSO - Lhasa is the capital of Tibet and APSO is the Tibetan word for hairy

24. Snack chip: DORITO.

26. Row houses?: FRATS - FRAT row in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

29. Agamemnon pair: NUS Αγαμέμνονα

32. In again: RETRO - 80's? I wore those Converse Chuck Taylor's twenty years before that.

33. Only: LONE.

34. Social science classic: DAS KAPITAL - A rare first edition Marx signed four days after its 1867 publication 

36. DEA employee: AGT - We see lots of AGENTS clued here

37. Research Triangle city: RALEIGH.

38. Green of "Casino Royale": EVA - She is wearing a V-NECK like we saw in Jeff Stillman's Thursday puzzle

39. French archipelago: GUADELOUPE - In the Lesser Antilles

41. Cello's lack: FRET.

42. City with a Cleveland Browns training facility: BEREA, Ohio on Lou Groza Boulevard (you have to be a real (old) NFL fan to know of Lou "The Toe" Groza

43. Network operated by the U.S. Space Force: GPS - A GPSIII satellite just before launch by the U.S. Space Force last year

44. Hosiery thread: LISLE - I knew from doing cwd's and Joe said he would not use again.

45. Theater company?: ESCORT.

47. Vet school subj.: ANAT.

49. DIRECTV parent: ATT 
50. Hotel convenience: MINIBAR  Check out the cost of a Snickers and a Coke 

53. Get rid of: AXE.

56. "Kills bugs dead" brand: RAID - My ants seemed to be taking a shower in RAID but this stuff wiped 'em all out in an hour

58. It doesn't affect a starting pitcher's win-loss record: NO DECISION - In this summary below, C. Morton pitched 7.0 innings but did not get the win because R. Osuna was the pitcher of record when the Astros scored the winning run.

60. Permanently mark: ETCH.

61. Hard to follow, facetiously: CLEAR AS MUD - Try to explain baseball's infield fly rule to someone. 

62. True: REAL.

63. Trials with blindfolds, perhaps: TASTE TESTS.


1. Soyuz initials: CCCP Союз Советских Социалистических Республик

2. Revelations: AHAS.

3. Like una heredera: RICA - Heredera means heiress and RICA means rich

4. XXV x XXVIII: DCC - Screenshot of an online Roman numberal calculator I used

5. Cuts corners: SKIMPS - This package SKIMPS on the shrimp

6. Recovers: HEALS.

7. Snack with an unappetizing name: ANTS ON A LOG - Celery, peanut butter and raisins. What's not to like?

8. Square __: ROOT - My online Roman Numeral calculator does not appear to do square ROOTS.

9. Unmitigated: PURE.

10. Place: STEAD - During the Civil War men could pay someone to go fight in their STEAD

11. Start at the beginning?: ESS Start

12. Nerves: THE JITTERS - Never had 'em from coffee

13. Cause of many fictional paradoxes: TIME TRAVEL - In Back To The Future Marty McFly meets his mom and dad when he was their age

14. "Did it start already?": AM I TOO LATE.

21. Transmute: MORPH - Sir Isaac Newton's notes for transmuting lead into gold with the "philosopher's stone"

23. Put away the dishes?: ATE.

25. Portuguese royal: REI - Across the Pyrenees in Spain it is REY

26. Olympics opening ceremony VIP: FLAG BEARER - Soviet weightlifter Yury Vaslov carried the 35-lb flag with one hand for a full five minutes

27. Threat to world peace: ROGUE STATE and people who 
37. Provide new pieces for?: REARM them

28. Ross Sea locale: ANTARCTICA - About 3,000 miles south of Melbourne

31. Flutters with excitement: SKIPS A BEAT - There was this JH dance once... 

34. Indian lentil stew: DAL All you want to know

35. Spend time in a cellar, perhaps: AGE - I'm seem to be doing that above ground 

40. __ juvante: with God's help: DEO - Latin

41. Honda subcompact: FIT - Their 5-door subcompact

44. Roundup tool: LARIAT - Unlike a lasso, a LARIAT is made of stiffer rope so that the noose stays open when it is thrown

46. Bit of color: TINCT.

48. Mother-of-pearl: NACRE - A familiar cwd substance

51. Pelican St. city: NOLA - New Orleans LA

52. Shakespearean warning word: IDES 
Beware the IDES of March: Soothsayer warning Julius Caesar of the Ides of March - the day on which he was assassinated. Illustration for Julius Caesar from an edition of William Shakespeare's works published 1858.

53. Designs: AIMS.

54. Cancel: X-OUT - Also a golf ball that has a slight cosmetic defect is sold for much less is called an X-OUT

55. The odds are with them: ENDS - Every house has a drawer full of odds and ENDS

57. UPS alternative: DHL and...

59. Seattle-to-Reno dir.: SSE.