Feb 26, 2021

Friday, February 26, 2021, Peter Koetters

 Title: Shake that booty

Peter who has had 13 of his 16 major puzzle publications with the LAT, is back after zero 2020 puzzles in one of the papers. I blogged his FIRST and a few others over the years. Today is a simple scramble with the three-letter second word of the phrase being anagrammed to create a different and visually amusing picture. This seemed easy for a Friday but I got lots of sleep while Oo was working. We had some funny ones.

17A. Beneficial tree tapping?: HEALTH SAP. HEALTH SPA. As a Floridian, we have many spas around here; we used to take the sap from the maple trees and boil a whole bunch to make maple syrup. Of course, those who spend a fortune on all those TV ads promising eternal youth...

29A. Wildebeest with a habit?: SMOKING GNU (10). Who knew? 
I do not think they can shoot, but it seems unlikely- for the original words -SMOKING GUN. I do like the picture of cultured wildebeest.

47A. Hoop site?: END OF AN EAR (10). End of Era, not a simple earring.

11D. Hawaiian wedding accessory?: WHITE LEI. Oh my, there are so many inappropriate comments I could make and upset for our current PG-rated blog, but it is a fun twist on a WHITE LIE.  No pictures needed.

37A. Top for a Japanese dish?: SUSHI BRA. Another challenge, but the internet is always there. We also have so many sushi bars in SoFla. Oo works at 9 Face Sushi Cafe
And a reveal:

61A. Reversed, in a way ... and a hint to the creation of five puzzle answers: INSIDE OUT(9). Meh, unnecessary and not helpful for me. But the interspersed 7 letter fill really helped me in getting this done. They are EMINENT, I LOST IT, INHERIT, MATINEE,  REALITY, RIHANNA, and ROTUNDA. 

Now that we have sussed the theme and identified the longer, fill, let's go.


1. It's found in a lock ... or a loch: OAR. A most enjoyable play on words to start the action. 

4. Founder of one of Israel's Twelve Tribes: JUDAH. Jacob's first wife, Leah, bore him six sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. Two other tribes, Gad and Asher, were named after sons born to Jacob and Zilpah, Leah’s maidservant. Two additional tribes, Dan and Naphtali, were named after the sons of Jacob born of Bilhah, the maidservant of Rachel, Jacob’s second wife. Rachel bore Jacob two sons, Joseph and Benjamin. In modern Judaism, it is the descendants of Aaron - the Cohanim and Levites who survived to matter with everyone else part of ISRAEL. Confused yet?

9. Multilevel marketing giant: AMWAY. Is it a PYRAMID SCHEME, there are many pro and con links all taking to multi-level marketing "businesses." Tell me your experiences.

14. "WALL-E" FX: CGIComputer-Generated Imagery; in the joy of blogging, I had the pleasure of the flipbook- the beginning generated movement.

15. __ territory: ENEMY. Not all meanings are related to war. Ask Cubs and White Sox fans.

16. Lake near Squaw Valley: TAHOE. Still one of the most beautiful places on earth. 

19. Leaning: ATILT. A dreaded "A" word.

20. Vex: RILE. Vex comes from the Latin VEXARE to disturb, and they said those six years of Latin study would never come in handy.

21. Come into: INHERIT. Part of my current business, probating estates and seeing who inherits, a word that comes from - you guessed it - the Latin INHEREDITARE. I could go on.

23. Willing subject?: ESTATE. A pun lost because of its juxtaposition making it a really obvious fill.

26. Renowned: EMINENT. Not to be confused with IMMINENT.

32. Wells' Weena et al.: ELOI. Would like another picture of Yvette Mimeux?

33. Mississippi river to the Mississippi River: YAZOO. The Yazoo River was named by French explorer La Salle in 1682 as "Rivière des Yazous" in reference to the Yazoo tribe. It is created by the Tallahatchie River Yalobusha River to form the Yazoo River. Remember the bridge?

34. The Aire runs through it: LEEDS. Alex, rivers for $2,000. LINK

35. Common online interruptions: ADS.

38. Domed building: ROTUNDA. Recently in the news, sadly this ONE.

41. "Give or take" ending: ISH.

42. Actress Tierney: MAURA.

44. Projectionist's stack: REELS.

46. Otherwise: ELSE.

52. One-named "Unapologetic" singer: RIHANNA.

54. Pang: TWINGE.

55. "That completely overwhelmed me!": I LOST IT. It has happened to me 4 times in my life. My father, who I adore, and who was a remarkable man was a rageholic and I have at least a piece of that genetic code.

58. Favorable points: PROS. let's argue the Pros and Cons.

59. Range: AMBIT. ambit (n.) late 14c., "space surrounding a building or town; precinct;" 1590s, "a circuit;" from Latin ambitus "a going round, a circuit, circumference." 

64. Garçon's handout: CARTE. A French waiter gives you a menu. 

65. Go on the stump: ORATE. An 1848 dictionary mentioned "to stump it" was a phrase "borrowed from the backwoods," as it referred to speaking from atop a tree stump.

66. Oklahoma native: OTO. Native American tribe.

67. Binge-watching mealtime aids: TRAYS. So you can sit in the tv room.

68. Not cool at all: NERDY.

69. Mint holder: TIN

1. Earth tones: OCHRES. A word I learned watching my father oil paint.

2. Fair-hiring problem: AGEISM. No problem here though we are trending younger.

3. Venetian marketplace: RIALTO. An interesting HISTORY.

4. Contrail source: JET. This is a trail of condensed water from an aircraft or rocket at high altitude, seen as a white streak against the sky. 

5. John Irving alma mater: Abbr.: UNH. He not only went to the University of New Hampshire, but that is where he was BORN.

6. Lucy's guy: DESI. Do you love Lucy? 

7. "__ Called Ove": 2015 film: A MAN. Based on a novel by Swedish author Fredrik Backman which Tom Hanks has optioned to do an English language version.

8. Honky-tonk line?: HYPHEN. Such a cute clue.

9. Big name in games: ATARI. The first.

10. Play before supper: MATINEE. Another cute clue, not stickball in the backyard.

12. Early internet co.: AOL. I still have my AOL account among my five accounts.

13. Still: YET. Again. 

18. Needing caulking: LEAKY. Maybe that is what I need...

22. LiMu __: ad bird: EMU. Feel free to vent here; not my favorite. 

24. Prom queen topper: TIARA. I would have guessed Prom King but there were not enough letters.

25. Carmaker Ferrari: ENZO. The namesake creation. 

27. Subtle approvals: NODS.

28. Morticia, to Gomez: TISH
30. Came down with: GOT. Hopefully no COVID.

31. Melon, e.g.: GOURD. have you ever tried WIKIDIFF?
MELON VS. GOURD all melons are gourds but not all gourds are melons unless you are using eupemisms.

34. Bochco series: LA LAW. 63D. 34-Down actress: DEY.

35. OAS part: Abbr.: AMER.

36. Surrealist friend of García Lorca: DALI.

39. Prefix with con: NEO.

40. Dexterous: DEFT.

43. "Survivor" genre: REALITY. There is precious little reality in reality TV.

45. Wading bird: SNIPE. Didn't we have this?

47. Half of nine?: ENS.

48. One with an anthem: NATION.

49. Plant deeply: ENROOT. meh.

50. Rainforest rodent: AGOUTI.

51. Lie atop: REST ON. See 24D, supra.

53. Score in a score: NOTES. Lovely play on words.

56. Memo intro: IN RE.

57. Old despot: TSAR.

59. Pretend to be: ACT.

60. Deface: MAR.

62. "__ be fun!": IT'D. Was it? I had a great time

Feb 25, 2021

Thursday, February 25, 2021, Susan Gelfand


Good morning, cruciverbalists.  Long time no sea.  Just squidding.  Malodorous Manatee here hoping that things are going swimmingly for all of you.

You can tell from the reactions of my friends, above, that today's puzzle from Susan Gelfand provided them with some serious guffaws.  Although some solvers might believe that Ms. Gelfand should be made to walk the plankton for her groan-worthy homonyms, I suspect that most of us got through it without having to be brain sturgeons.


At four spots within the grid, Susan Gelfand has paired an everyday item, expression, or name with an adjective and turned it into a mirthful homonym.  A PERCH, a SOLE, a RAY and a SKATE are each a type of fish.  But not here.  Not today.

17 Across.  Noble fish?:  LOFTY PERCH.  LOFTY PERCH has several meanings in everyday use.   Things  fish-related are not among them.

58 Across.  Elastic fish?:  RUBBER SOLE  RUBBER SOUL is an album released by the Beatles in 1965.  The Beetles likely would have enjoyed the pun. 

Rub Her Sole

11 Down.   Massive fish?:  COSMIC RAYS  It was a bit, but not too much, of a stretch to get from Massive to COSMIC.  Some Rays very much enjoy word play.

You Can Call Me Ray or You Can Call Me . . .

30 Down.  Stingy fish?: CHEAP SKATE

Jack Benny - World Renown Cheapskate

That wraps up the fish jokes - at least the ones furnished by the constructor.  At the end of the recap I have "thoughtfully" supplied a link to a song in which other fish jokes, homonyms, and puns are presented.  There are also quite a few (non-fish) homonyms and homophones that Susan (intentionally?) seems to have teed up in the clues/answers along the way and, with your kind indulgence, we might have some fun with those - even if it is, with apologies to my friends, like shooting fish in a barrel.  

Let minnow if you have any suggestions.  Make up your own fish puns.  Don't leave it to salmon else . . . there is no need to be koi about it.

And now . . . .

. . . on to the rest of the puzzle:


1. Distressed cry: YOWL.   Not to be confused with Howl which, by definition, is a different sound . . . and a poem by Allen Ginsberg.

5. Capture, in Westerns: LASSO.

Wonder Woman With Her Lasso of Truth

10. Pond film: SCUM.

14. Singer Brickell: EDIE.

Bob Dole, E.D. Spokesperson

15. Rap sheet entry: ALIAS.  Fat Albert's super villain ALIAS is Fatal Bert.

16. __ Linda, Calif.: LOMA.  Famous for its medical center.

19. Arthur Ashe Courage Award, e.g.: ESPY.

I Know.  I See It, Too. 

20. Radio tuning shortcut: PRESET.  A good way to remember your plaice.

21. Longtime "American Top 40" host: KASEM.  The children of Casey KASEM, from a previous marriage, charged in a lawsuit that his widow had mistreated, neglected and abused him.  More lawsuits followed from both sides.  All were eventually settled.

23. They're sold in bars: SOAPS.  Not, in this case, shots.

They're Sold In Bars

26. Force out: EVICT.  What do you call a snail who has been EVICTed?  A slug.

29. Goes along with: ACCEPTS.

32. Come again?: REECHO.

33. Oldest Musketeer: ATHOS.  Neither Porthos nor Aramis nor D'Artagnan would fit.

Actually, Larry Larsen Was The Oldest

34. Keyboard goofs: TYPOS.

36. Campaigned: RAN.

37. Flute feature: STEM.  As clued, a champagne glass reference.

38. Management opening: MICRO.

Your Crow?

39. Protest, in a way: FAST.  FAST has so many different meanings it is difficult to even begin to play with the word.  Here it is used as a verb.  If you are curious, the link, below, will take you to Merriam Webster:

40. Argentine aunt: TIA.  Today's Spanish lesson.

41. Caffè __: chocolate-flavored drink: MOCHA.

42. Reach via jet: FLY TO.

One Fly Too Many

43. Oliver Twist, for one: ORPHAN.  Did he get a hit . . .

. . . Or Fan?

45. Not farmed out: IN HOUSE.

Out House

47. Spruce up the lawn: RE SOD.  I RESOD in Southern California.  Where do you resod?

48. Jim of "Wide World of Sports": MCKAY.

The Classic Opening

49. Buddy: KIDDO.

51. Much more than a mere fan: ZEALOT.

56. Word of lament: ALAS.  There once was A LASs from Kilglass who had a magnificent ass.  Not rounded and pink, as you probably think, but was grey, had long ears and ate grass.

61. Singer with The Blackhearts: JETT.

Not Joan's

62. Typical: USUAL.

63. Caffeine-rich seed: KOLA.

A Koala

64. Graph lines: AXES.


65. Chaps: GENTS.  I hear that it is relatively easy to get ladies to refrain from eating Tide Pods but not so easy to deter GENTS.

66. Kind of folder: SPAM.

Monty Python


1. Online site whose reviews are reviewed: YELP.


2. Fragrance: ODOR.  If a polite but unclean man was heavily into wordplay would he have a pun-gent odor?

3. Certain partner: WIFE.  What did the string theorist say when his WIFE caught him with another woman?  "Wait, I can explain everything!" 

4. Frees, with "out": LETS.

5. Common carry-on item: LAPTOP.  What do you call a LAPTOP that can sing?  A Dell.

6. Pub order: ALE.

7. What Marcie calls Peppermint Patty: SIR.

8. Fires: SACKS.

9. Fed. workplace monitor: OSHA.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

10. Short item on many a tee: SLEEVE.

12. Diamond authority: UMP.  A baseball reference.

13. Possibly will: MAY.  Possibly, Elaine.

Elaine May What?

18. Many RSVP responses, hopefully: YESES.

22. Notices: SEES.

Sees Candy

24. Top story: ATTIC.

A Tick

25. Medium: PSYCHIC.  What shall we do today?

Pinky - A Famous Sidekick

27. Pure: CHASTE.

28. Scout rider: TONTO.  Scout, in the case of this clue, is the name of a horse.

Scout and Silver

29. What you have on: ATTIRE.

A Tire

31. Dot follower, at times: COM.

32. Piglet's pal: ROO.


33. Tycoon who is an Oregon city namesake: ASTOR.


35. Play a joke on: PRANK.  Usually seen as a noun.  Here used as a transitive verb.

(With Apologies to The Craw)

38. Day named for a satellite: Abbr.: MON.

Show Me The Moonday

39. Winter bug: FLU.

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

41. Anti-DUI org.: MADD.

42. Entrance area: FOYER.  I was in the lobby of a hotel many years ago when I overheard Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky bragging about their prior victories.  They were chess nuts boasting in an open FOYER.

44. Raises: HOISTS.

46. Variable eye colors: HAZELS.

MM Granddaughter - Hazel's Lunch

48. Touchpad alternative: MOUSE.

50. Pharmacy item: DRUG.

52. Sets as a price: ASKS.

53. Circuit: LOOP.

Lupe Lu (Shindig Pilot Episode - 1964)

54. Earthenware pot: OLLA.  A crossword staple.  Ever wonder what one actually looks like?  There are several styles.  Here is one type:

Olla de Hierro

55. Bears or Lions: TEAM.  What, no Tigers?

56. 1977 Steely Dan album: AJA.

57. Latin law: LEX.

Lex Luthor

59. Dog holder: BUN.  One of the wurst references that we have seen here.

60. Diamond tool: BAT.  A flying mammal as we saw yesterday.  An eyelash movement.  A piece of insulation.  A caped crusader.  In this case, another baseball reference.

For those who have, by this point, had more than their fill of homonyms and terrible puns (fishy, and otherwise) you may go now and enjoy the rest of your day.  For those who might prefer to dive a bit deeper into the subject, this marine mammal humbly offers the following ditty first heard on the Doctor Demento Show:

Kip Addotta - Wet Dream




MM Out !
Carp-e diem!