Apr 30, 2021

Friday, April 30, 2021, Gary Larson

Theme: BRR!!

Hello Cornerites on this last day of April, 2021. My immediate thought when finishing the puzzle, of course, was to find an appropriate Gary Larson "Far Side" cartoon to complement the Arctic elements of Gary Larson the crossword constructor.

Friday puzzles are not normally "themed" with a reveal, but this one had those kind of entries; all of which were play-on-words for common phrases/items that might be found in the frigid north known as the Arctic.

Let's see if we can make "rime or reason" of them . . .

17-Across. Hors d'oeuvre in the Arctic?: FROST BITE. Pretty straight-forward; FROSTBITE (one word) means injury to body tissues as a result of extreme exposure to the cold. FROST BITE (two words) could mean, as the clue implies, a small "bite"/appetizer in the frozen north.

I thought of a Moe-ku, instead:

Poet Robert craved
Ice cream. Wife said, "No"! He asked:
"Can't I get FROST BITE?"

24-Across. Window treatment in the Arctic?: SNOW BLIND. Medicinenet dot com defines SNOWBLINDness as: A burn of the cornea (the clear front surface of the eye) by ultraviolet B rays (UVB). Also called radiation keratitis or photokeratitis. The condition typically occurs at high altitudes on highly reflective snow fields or, less often, with a solar eclipse.

SNOW BLIND in the clue's context might literally mean a window "blind" made of snow. Or this, maybe?

36-Across. Brittle cookies in the Arctic?: COLD SNAPS. In the literal sense of the phrase, a COLD SNAP is a sudden, brief spell of cold weather.

In this more figurative context, a COLD SNAP might refer to these in a frozen state:

51-Across. Linens in the Arctic?: ICE SHEETS. Wikipedia dot com defines an ICE SHEET as: "In glaciology an ICE SHEET (also known as a continental glacier) is a mass of glacial ice that covers surrounding terrain and is greater than 50,000 square km.

The cluing suggests that bed linen in the Arctic would be SHEETS made of ICE. But of course, I have a Moe-Ku just for this:

Igloo lacked plumbing;
Going out in winter means
Taking an ICE SHEET

60-Across. Money for a rainy day in the Arctic?: SLUSH FUND. The term "SLUSH FUND" generally means a sum of money put aside for illegal or non-accountable purpose/purchase. Not something the IRS would be too happy about finding if they audited your books.

OTOH, the "Arctic version" of SLUSH FUND is decribing the word SLUSH as the condition of partly melted snow or ice; a condition that a rainy day in the Arctic might cause. Might this be a blend of both?

If any of this puzzle caused you a "brain freeze", I will try to ease your pain!

1. "How cute!": AWW. "AWW, isn't he cute in his (27-Across. Jumpsuit:) ONESIE? Yes, this is Moe's grandson (9 or 10 months at the time of this picture)

4. Tree with catkins: ALDER. AN ALDER is a widely distributed tree of the birch family which has toothed leaves and bears male catkins and woody female cones


Do they call this tree
A Pussy Willow? Of course,
'Cause it's got cat kins!
9. Gives for free: COMPS. As a third person present verb; "He COMPS a few bottles of wine at local tastings." But in real estate terms, COMPS is a plural noun and a portmanteau of "comparable listings"

14. Thai language: LAO. A bit of Friday cluing as technically, LAO refers to the indigenous people of Northern Thailand/Laos as well as their language. Thinking of traveling to LAOS? Here is what not to do

15. Reading from an ark: TORAH. My last blog recap also had the word "TORAH". And while I have no idea why this came into my weird brain, I often wonder is this is sung at a Bat Mitzvah with the refrain: TOR - OR - AH Boom-De-Ay?

16. Use: AVAIL. As an advantage, usually. To get a better, more comprehensive insurance plan, he AVAILed himself as a beneficiary to his wife's.

19. LPGA star Korda: NELLY. NELLY Korda (born July 28, 1998) is a professional golfer who has won four times already in her brief career. Quite tall; 5'10". Daughter of former Czech professional tennis star Petr Korda

20. Skywalker mentor: KENOBI. Only fitting that I would get a reference for OBI-WAN KENOBI at (3-Down. One of a "Star Wars" race with its own -pedia:) WOOKIEE.

21. Others, in Oaxaca: OTRAS. Spanish. I had OTROS at first but erased it when I saw it was the "OTRA" OTRO

22. Tempt: BAIT. Oh, don't tempt me . . . another Moe-ku:

Fisherman’s wife’s in
Labor. First child is nigh. He
Waits, with BAITed breath ...

30. Crowd-__: PLEASER. Moi? Guilty!

31. Tournament pass: BYE. Moe-ku+:

Justin Timberlake
Lost his first golf match after
Getting a Tournament pass.

32. Treaty subject: PEACE. Famous examples of PEACE treaties include the Treaty of Paris (1815), signed after Napoleon's defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, and the Treaty of Versailles, formally ending the First World War between Germany and the Allies. Want to see more? HERE

35. Vivacious: PERT. Time for a visit from our Thesaurussaurus, but it must've known this was a Friday clue:

39. Samoa's capital: APIA. Only in crossword puzzles would anyone think about using this! Four-letter words with three vowels are always useful

42. Something numbered in groceries: AISLE. Mo Pitney - or is it MOE Pitney??! "Clean Up on AISLE Five"

43. Maa, in the movie "Babe": EWE. Cast and crew can be found here. EWE was played by Miriam Flynn

46. Clue's function: HINTING. Except on Friday's where its function is "hunting"!

49. Arcade game gobbler: PACMAN.

54. Actress Cheryl or Jordan: LADD. Cheryl Ladd (born Cheryl Jean Stoppelmoor; July 12, 1951) is an American actress, singer and author best known for her role as Kris Munroe in the ABC television series Charlie's Angels, whose cast she joined in its second season in 1977 to replace Farrah Fawcett-Majors. Jordan is her daughter

55. Words to live by: CREED. I had CREDO at first; and then I found out that: CREED is often a shared and established statement of belief. ... Creed is an English word, and credo is the Latin word it is borrowed from.

56. Bond preference?: SHAKEN. "SHAKEN, not stirred" is a famous line used by 007, aka James BOND, when referring to how he likes his martinis. Here are a few examples:

59. "Aha!": GOT YA'. Did anyone else pencil in "GOT IT" first? I did

63. More cunning: SLIER. The comparative version of (13-Down. Wily:) SLY.

64. Book before Joel: HOSEA. As seen below:

65. Singer's asset: EAR. I kind of equate having a good "EAR" as a singer (hearing the melody as you're about to sing) to having a good "NOSE" to a sommelier when you're about to taste the wine

66. Drink to: TOAST. A CSO to our long-time resident imbiber and blog contributor tinbeni. But as I blogged this puzzle, I knew that the whole "ICE" thing with the Arctic references would be "foreign" to him ;^)

67. Wharton's "__ Frome": ETHAN. Edith Wharton (author) wrote ETHAN Frome in 1911. The novel is a framed narrative. The framing story concerns an unnamed male narrator spending a winter in Starkfield while in the area on business. More info available at Wikipedia dot com

68. Soap-making supply: LYE. Moe-ku:

Author Adele Parks
Was fooled by the bars of soap.
"They're all "LYES LYES LYES"

1. TV ET: ALF. ExtraTerrestrial = Alien Life Form

2. 1970 #1 hit with the line "What is it good for?": WAR. Gotta have another video clip:

4. Memo abbr.: ATTN. ATTN K-Mart shoppers: Clean Up on AISLE 5

5. Western wolf: LOBO. Also the nickname of my neighboring state's athletic teams (University of New Mexico), and a possible CSO to OwenKL

6. Small amounts: DRIBS. I've always heard it used with "DRIBS and DRABS". But which one is smaller? DRIBS or DRABS?

7. Like some kitchens: EAT IN. Usually an area in the kitchen large enough to contain a table and chairs where a family can EAT IN. Duh!

8. MLB scoreboard letters: RHE. Runs Hits and Errors. See image, and a CSO to Wilbur Charles:

9. "Not possible": CAN'T BE. At Thanksgiving, perhaps??!

10. Isn't discrete: OVERLAPS. Do you ever confuse discrete and discreet? I did! But after looking up their definitions, the clue makes sense. OVERLAPS in its noun form means: a period of time in which two events or activities happen together. Kind of like during sports seasons when professional baseball, football, hockey, and basketball games are played concurrently . . . anyway, that's my answer and I'm sticking to it!

11. Listlessness: MALAISE. My "Ray-O-Sunshine" definition: Period when your mother takes a timeout ... MALAISE

12. Hoppy lager: PILSNER. We've had beer references before, so without going into too much detail, a PILSNER is a beer that is rich in its "hoppy" flavor (using hops to add a bitter quality to the taste). So, Moe, aren't ALES also a "hoppy" beverage, and if so, how do they differ from PILSNERs? Ales are made with top-fermenting yeasts that work at warmish temperatures; lagers are made with bottom-fermenting yeasts that need the liquid they're fermenting to be cold and still for a longish time. And now you know.

18. Tennis units: SETS. Game, SET, match! A game in tennis is but one unit of a SET, and a SET is but one unit of a match. One of the few games involving a "ball" in which C-Moe never became very adept

21. Hogwarts mail carrier: OWL. Harry Potter's OWL, Hedwig

22. Short cut: BOB. Cute clue; a shortcut (one word) is a route more direct than the one usually taken; but in tonsorial terms, a short cut can be a BOB. I don't know anyone named BOB who has a BOB, though

23. "__ thoughts?": ANY. A phrase that many of us bloggers use at the close of our recap: "ANY thoughts?"

25. Is the first act: OPENS. A bit of a clunky clue, IMO; I guess that the "first act" of gaining access to a jar of pickles, e.g., is that one OPENS it. ANY (other) thoughts?

26. 2000 Gere title role: DR T. Richard Gere starred in the eponymous movie (OK, it also included "& The Women") as a wealthy gynocologist. Not to be confused with THIS guy:

28. 2019 Uber landmark, briefly: IPO. Initial Public Offering, as in a company whose stock is first offered to institutions and/or public investors. The IPO is underwritten by a bank, normally, and offered for trading on one or several markets

29. Fish in unadon: EEL. Unadon is a portmanteau of sorts; combines the words "unagi and "donburi", ("eel bowl") and is eel filets served over white rice. The dish is prepared "teryaki style"

33. Words of wisdom: ADAGE. Usually a saying in a metaphorical style; e.g., "A penny saved is a penny earned"

34. CBS forensic series: CSI. Last Friday Jeffrey Wechsler clued this as a series in which the musical intro is a tune from The Who

36. Reflective gemstones: CATS EYES. Cymophane is popularly known as "CAT'S EYE". This variety exhibits pleasing chatoyancy or opalescence that reminds one of the eye of a cat. Like this:

37. Swiss peak: ALP. This is almost too easy for a Friday clue

38. Kind of green: PEA. I don't think of a PEA as a "green" (another word for a vegetable), even though it is. I was thinking the color, which PEA also is, as in this shade:

39. Yellowfin tuna: AHI. AHI is the Hawaiian word for "Bigeye Tuna"; the yellowfin is a close relative, and it is usually marketed by that name

40. Highest-pitched woodwind: PICCOLO. The word PICCOLO is Italian for small, and resembles a flute. It is about half the size of a regular flute. Here is how it sounds:

41. Resistance to change: INERTIA. Physics lesson for today: here

43. Obama's first chief of staff: EMANUEL. Rahm Israel Emanuel (born November 29, 1959) is an American politician who served as the 55th mayor of Chicago from 2011 to 2019. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as the 23rd White House Chief of Staff from 2009 to 2010, and as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Chicago between 2003 and 2009. Wikipedia

44. Walletful: WAD. Funny clip!

45. Put the kibosh on: END. Put an end to; dispose of decisively. "He put the kibosh on the deal"

47. Common start of a bumper sticker slogan: I HEART. Any Virginians out there? I want to think that this was the beginning of the "I HEART" bumper stickers, although the original one might have said "Virginia is for Lovers"

48. Outlaw Kelly: NED. NED Kelly was an Australian bushranger, outlaw, gang leader and convicted police murderer. He lived to the ripe old age of 35

50. Staff leader?: CLEF. Music term. Treble CLEF

52. Letter-shaped opening: T-SLOT. A T-SLOT nut is used with a threaded clamp to position and secure pieces being worked on in a workshop. The T-slot nut slides along a T-slot track, which is set in workbench or table for a router, drill press, or bandsaw. ... A T-slot bolt is generally stronger than a T-slot nut and hex-head cap screw. T-MI?

53. Silence: SHUSH. This wasn't even a word until 1920 or so, and its origin is "imitative" ... does that mean it comes from apes??!!

57. Voyaging: ASEA. ASEA is literal; AT SEA is figurative

58. Top medieval Tatar: KHAN. Oh; Genghas KHAN. That guy. I originally saw the word "tater", not Tatar. Which is maybe why I imagined this:

59. Clock-setting std.: GST. Meh. Greenwich Mean Time I get; Greenwich Sidereal Time, not so much. A quick Google search also indicates GST as Goods and Services Tax or Gulf Standard Time (Middle East). Whichever way you parse it, this abbr. did not sit well with me. But YMMV

60. Pop duo __ & Him: SHE. I don't recall this clue so I must've solved it with perps. SHE & Him is an American musical duo consisting of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward. Sounds like music from the early '60's!

61. Thumbs-down: NAY. I almost always give a "thumbs-up" on Facebook . . .

62. Hip-hop Dr.: DRE. Too similar to 26-Down? DRT and DRE in the same puzzle. How did Gary leave out THIS guy?!

The grid:

See y'all in a couple of weeks . . . ANY thoughts?!

Apr 29, 2021

Thursday, April 29, 2021 George Jasper

I reckon' that George Jasper has been ramblin' thru these parts at least since July 10, 1917 (blogged by our beloved Argyle) and today George treats us to a word scramble about Western drifters.

Tumbling Tumbleweed
By The Sons of the Pioneers

 We'll start with the reveal ...

58. Drifters in some Western scenes ... and a hint to what's hidden in the three other longest puzzle answers: TUMBLEWEEDS.  And here are the scrambled answers

17. Wrongly-named winner in a 1948 headline: THOMAS DEWEY.  I remember it well - I was 17 months old at the time. And the real winner was HARRY S TRUMAN, and as we all know, the S doesn't stand for anything:

28. To the point: SHORT AND SWEET.  For example

Scottish Shortbread

44. Teamwork-inspiring motto: UNITED WE STANDThis timely phrase has been used by countless statesmen and leaders throughout US history.  It originally dates back to AESOP's fable of the The Four Oxen and the Lion.

1. Yanks' NL counterparts, on scoreboards: NYM.  The New York Mets play in Citi Field:

4. Looks at phone pics, say: SCROLLS.  Technology has appropriated this term from the period dating back to Biblical times.  Its most iconic usage was in the scrolls used to record the PENTATEUCH, the Jewish Old Testament.  But it is much more than that.

11. Stew ingredient: PEA.

14. Remote battery size: AAA.  This is the rest of them ...

15. Pedicure focus: TOENAIL.  Commonly thought of as a purely cosmetic procedure, but they are also an important aspect of healthy foot care.  They even rate their own entry in WebMd.

16. Burning: LIT.

19. MD treating canals: ENTEar Nose and Throat.  A clecho with 35D.

20. Rival of ancient Athens: CORINTH.  The city dates back to the Neolithic era and has been a center of East-West trade since the historical era.  St. Paul taught there, and the city was invaded by the Turks in 1715, an event depicted in Rossini's tragic opera, The Siege of Corinth.  Here's the overture led by Georg Solti (10 min):

21. Remove from its box: UNCASE.  Not exactly common usage.

23. Use a block and tackle on: HOIST. My first ceramic studio was on the back porch on the 3rd story of a big frame house.  I used one of these to haul several tons of clay and supplies up to it:
Block and tackle

24. Egg head?: OVI.  Plural of eggs?  I don't get it.  A CSO to someone who does.

27. Bridge positions: EASTS.  Hands up from those who had HANDS first.

31. "That's __-brainer!": A NO

32. "Exodus" novelist: URIS.  This the modern EXODUS of Holocaust survivors to found the modern state of Israel.  But it has obvious parallels to the 2nd Book of the PENTATEUCH (see 4A).

33. Common game piece: DIE.  Plural DICE:
Snake Eyes!

34. Floppy: LIMP.  Remember these?
Floppy Disks (8", 5.25", 3.5"

37. Felt under the weather: AILED.

39. Spy in "Spectre" (2015): BOND.  Daniel Craig and co-star Léa Seydoux.

40. "Skylanding" artist: ONO.   Yoko installed this sculpture in Jackson Park, Chicago in 2016 to promote World Peace and US-Japanese relations:

41. Record concern: BLOT.

42. Pique condition?: IRE.

48. Plant anew: RESOW.  While this won't work for all vegetables, early spring crops like lettuce, spinach, and radishes can be RESOWN in the Fall.  All of this depends on the vegetable and what US "hardiness zone" you're in. For those interested, I have Word file with an extensive chart of veggies with Spring/Fall planting dates for Maryland (zones 5b-8a) plus lots of other info from Mel Bartholomew's Square Foot Gardening.  If you'd like a copy, send me an email to the address in my profile.

49. Fleet VIP: ADM.

50. Cutlass model: CIERA.

53. Stella __: Belgian brew: ARTOIS.  I would have taken you to their website, but under-aged Cornerites would not be admitted. 

55. College member: ELECTOR. Nice misdirection.  George is talking about this college, much in the news the past year.

57. Minute: WEEWEE was the clue for SMA (Scots' slang) in the last puzzle I blogged.

61. PC linkup: LAN.  Local Area Network.  Used for PC communications confined to a "local area", e.g. a single building.  They use either ETHERNET (connected via wires) or WIFI (connected via "radio waves").  The former is faster and more reliable, but the latter is much more flexible and easier to set up. 

62. Zagreb's country: CROATIACroatia is just across the Adriatic from Italy:

63. Musk of Tesla, e.g.: CEO.  A visionary and one of the richest men in the world.  However IMHO he has far too much unchecked power.  For example the world-wide STARLINK data network he is building using fast moving low-level satellites is ruining the night sky for astronomers; and his plan to "terraform" Mars to make it suitable for colonization is pure science fiction fantasy.  I'd welcome it if he goes on the first trip!

64. Yearbook sect.: SRS.

65. It's usually inadmissible: HEARSAY.

66. Truck weight unit: TON.

1. "You betcha!": NATCH.  Naturally!

2. Google rival: YAHOO.  The creators of this site were apparently unaware that the term was originally the name of  'the crude, dirty “brutes” of the land of the Houyhnhnms' ('win ims') in Gulliver's Travels, by JONATHAN SWIFT: "The YAHOOS are irrational people and represent the worst side of humanity. By contrast, the wise and gentle Houyhnhnms, their masters, are rational horses and represent humanity at its best."

3. New Zealand natives: MAORISPolynesian settlers to New Zealand in the first half of the 14th Century.

4. Two-time NL home run leader Giancarlo: STANTON.  Formerly known as Mike Stanton, here's Giancarlo in action.

5. Damage, so to speak: COST.

6. On a big streak: RED HOT.

7. Capital __: ONE.

8. Saul's field in "Better Call Saul": LAW.

9. Stead: LIEU.  All those luscious vowels!

10. Cunning: SLYNESS.  The legendary slyness of the fox goes all the way back to several fables of  AESOP (see 22D below).  My favorite treatment of the wily fox is a fairy tale opera by Leoš Janáček about a fox named "Sharp-Ears" in The Cunning Little Vixen.  We saw a CGI enhanced performance of this in Cleveland a few years back and it was absolutely stunning:
11. "Be my guest!": PLEASE DO.

12. Relatively famous physicist?: EINSTEIN.  Nice misdirection.

13. Bore witness: ATTESTED.

18. Minor accident: MISHAP.

22. Cornfield cry: CAW.  One of them must have dropped her cheese:
25. Leapt: VAULTED.

26. Legal memo opener: IN RE.

29. "Fantastic Mr. Fox" author Dahl: ROALD.  A children's story, made into a stop motion animated feature film with an all star cast (George Clooney, Merrill Streep, etc.), directed by Wes Anderson in 2009. 

30. "Ta-da!": DID IT.

34. "Love Is a Hurtin' Thing" crooner: LOU RAWLS (December 1, 1933 – January 6, 2006) was an American record producer, singer, composer and actor.  The song was released in 1966 on the album, The Legendary Lou Rawls

35. Where peripheral vertigo originates: INNER EAR.  A popular place.  This answer was in the last puzzle I blogged, clued with "Cochlea site".  See also 19A

36. Bastes, as turkey: MOISTENS.

38. Original site of golf's John Deere Classic: IOWAThe John Deere Classic is a professional golf tournament on the PGA Tour. It is now played annually in July, the week before the British Open, at TPC Deere Run in the Quad Cities community of Silvis, Illinois.
39. "No arguing!": BE NICE.

41. Cast a spell on: BEWITCH.

43. IndyCar venue: RACEWAY.

45. In addition: TOO.

46. Silvery food fish: SMELTSA tiny fish which is reportedly good eating:

47. Learn about: DETECT.

51. "Not my first __!": RODEO.  Surprisingly this meme allegedly originated in the 1981 bio-pic "Mommie Dearest" about the life of Joan Crawford, starring Faye Dunaway.  The scene actually takes place in a Pepsi-cola board room meeting, where  Crawford has replaced her recently deceased husband.  The Board is trying to  remove Crawford, who is proving difficult, but she stands her ground in a profanity laced rant that ends with "This ain’t my first time at the rodeo!".  This scene is likely fictional, but the meme stuck and later became the basis for a CW song by Vern Godin:

52. Burning desire?: ARSON.

54. "Fine with me": SURE.

56. "Star Wars" princess: LEIA.  I think this is the one that started it all: a hologram projected by the Droid R2D2.  As this is a family blog I couldn't use a lot of the newer ones.

59. Extinct emu-like bird: MOA.  The inclusion of this clue must have been intentional, as these birds became extinct within a few hundred years of the arrival of the first MAORI settlers in New Zealand (see 3D above).  Prior to their arrival, the MOA's only natural enemy was the HAASTS EAGLE, shown here attacking a pair of the birds:

60. Stout server: BAR.  They really know how to serve it here:

Here's the grid:



Apr 28, 2021

Wednesday, April 28, 2021, Jerry Edelstein


20. Public transit commuter's nightmare: BUS LINE STRIKE.

32. Access point indicator on many streets: MANHOLE COVER.

43. Have fun on a diamond: PLAY BASEBALL.

58. Acting affectedly ... and, based on what can go with the three parts of 20-, 32- and 43-Across, this puzzle's title: PUTTING ON AIRS

Wow, that's a lot of airs. 

20A:  Airbus: an aircraft designed to carry a large number of passengers economically, especially over relatively short routes. Airline: an organization providing a regular public service of air transportation on one or more routes. Air strike: an attack made by aircraft.

32A: Airman: a pilot or member of the crew of an aircraft, especially in an air force. Air hole: a hole or passage that allows air to pass through. Air cover: protection from aircraft for land-based or naval operations in war situations.

43A: Airplay: broadcasting time devoted to a particular record, performer, or musical genre. Airbase - a base for the operation of military aircraft. Air ball - in basketball, a shot that misses the backboard, rim, and net entirely.

Melissa here. 


1. Kid around: JEST.

5. Abacus unit: BEAD.

9. Promote heavily: PUSH.

13. Fever with chills: AGUE.

14. "I do" site: ALTAR. Aw.

16. "A Death in the Family" Pulitzer winner: AGEE.

17. Word with head or meal: BONE. I think we all know what a bonehead is. Bonemeal is an organic fertilizer for plants made from animal bones and slaughterhouse waste products.

18. Supply chain intermediary: WHOLESALER.

22. Blow up: ERUPT.

24. "
¿Cómo __?": ESTA. Spanish for "How are you?"

25. Some systems pros: Abbr.: EES. Not 100% sure, but I'm thinking this refers to Electrical Engineers.

26. Mal de __: MER. Seasickness. In French, mal means "bad" or "sick" and mer means "sea."

27. Beaujolais, e.g.: RED. Wine.

30. Bird on a court: LARRY. Larry Bird, basketball player, coach and executive in the National Basketball Association. Widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time.

37. Pretentious with a paintbrush, say: ARTY.

38. Hindu teacher: SWAMI.

39. "Mamma Mia!" group: ABBA.

46. Shopping __: SPREE.

49. High-__ monitor: RES. Resolution.

50. Meadowland: LEA.

51. Arg. neighbor: URU. Argentina vs. Uruguay.

52. Withdraw by degrees: WEAN.

56. Make sense: ADD UP.

62. Kind of fortitude: INTESTINAL.

63. Copied: APED.

66. __-do-well: NEER.

67. Arduous jobs: SLOGS.

68. "La maja desnuda" artist: GOYA. Oil on canvas painting that portrays a nude woman reclining on a bed of pillows. Goya created a pendant of the same woman identically posed, but clothed, known today as La maja vestida (The Clothed Maja).

69. Old Norse poetic work: EDDA. Body of ancient Icelandic literature contained in two 13th-century books commonly distinguished as the Prose, or Younger, Edda and the Poetic, or Elder.

70. Canadian gas: ESSO. Stands for the S and O of Standard Oil

71. Plant support: STEM.


1. Poke: JAB.

2. Alter __: EGO.

3. Like one who got careless at the beach: SUNBURNT.

4. Get set to drive: TEE UP. Golf.

5. Scold, with "out": BAWL.

6. K-12, for short: ELHI. Elementary through high school.

7. Make amends: ATONE.

8. Lowlands: DALES. LEA and DALE today.

9. Late-night TV pioneer: PAAR. Jack. Second host of The Tonight Show from 1957 to 1962. Johnny Carson took over after him.

10. Harder to watch: UGLIER.

11. Catcher of the Golden Snitch, in Quidditch: SEEKER. Harry Potter.

12. Rejection of religious dogma: HERESY.

15. Remainder: REST.

19. Like an old joke: STALE.

21. Houston MLBer: STRO. Short for Astro.

22. Stone or Watson: EMMA. Actresses.

23. Raise: REAR.

28. "Frozen" snow queen: ELSA.

29. Like morning grass: DEWY.

31. Many an Omani: ARAB. Oman is a country occupying the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula at the confluence of the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea.

33. Pre-release buzz: HYPE.

34. Dry 27-Across, briefly: CAB.

35. Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan __: OMAR.

36. Gripping device: VISE.

40. Hairless area: BALD SPOT.

41. Veal cordon __: BLEU. The truth is, while chicken cordon bleu gets its name from the French term for blue ribbon (denoting excellence), this dish actually stems from Switzerland. The base of this dish, the breaded chicken is commonly known around the world as schnitzel.

42. Swim __: do one full pool circuit: A LAP.

44. Lamb Chop creator Shari: LEWIS. Now I'm hungry.

45. Actor Morales: ESAI.

46. Lying face-up: SUPINE. Opposite of prone.

47. Spruced up, as a spruce: PRUNED.

48. Groovy?: RUTTED. Cute.

53. Middle-earth tree creatures: ENTS. Ents are a species of beings in J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy world Middle-earth who closely resemble trees.

54. Deft: AGILE.

55. They're forbidden: NO-NOS.

57. They're boring: DRAGS.

59. Trillion: Pref.: TERA.

60. Scolds to death: NAGS. That sounds severe.

61. Too: ALSO.

64. Set one's sights on: EYE.

65. Beaver's project: DAM.

Apr 27, 2021

Tuesday, April 27, 2021 Robert E. Lee Morris

Poker Face and Aces Up.

6-Down. Doctors rarely make them these days: HOUSE CALLS.  Our family pediatrician made house calls when we were little.  Once my sister was too sick to make the trip to the doctor's so my mom asked the doctor to make a house call.  When the doctor arrived, my sister was hiding under the bed and wouldn't come out.  Mom was not amused.

11-Down. Artillery metaphor for a volatile sort: LOOSE CANNON.

25-Down. First major leaguer to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases in a season: JOSE CANSECO.  In 1988, Jose Canseco (né José Canseco Capas, Jr.; b. July 2, 1964) became the first member in the 40-40 club.

30-Down. Asian feline breed: SIAMESE CAT.

And the Unifier:

63-Across. Hickok's last hand, it's said ... and what's literally found in four Down puzzle answers: ACES UP.  In each of the 4 theme answers, the word "Aces" is spelled "up".

Legend has it that Wild Bill Hickok (né James Butler Hickok; May 27, 1837 ~ Aug. 2, 1876) was holding a poker hand consisting of the Ace of Spades, the Ace of Clubs, the Eight of Spades and the Eight of Clubs when he was shot and killed.  The term "Aces Up" apparently refers to having 2 pair, with Aces being the higher pair, hence the reason that Aces is spelled "up" in today's puzzle.  [Thanks, Joseph!  I couldn't have fully understood today's theme without your help.]

You would have thought he would have combed his hair before getting his picture taken.

I am placing the grid here today so you can see the Aces.  

Note the nice symmetry of the word "Aces" in the theme answers.  The first word in each phrase ends in "SE" and the next word begins with "CA".

1. Disappear: PERISH.

7. Pop star Lady __: GAGA.  Lady Gaga (née Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta; b. Mar. 28, 1986) may have gotten her stage name from the Queen song, Radio Ga Ga

11. "__ Miz": LES.  Les Miz is the musical version of Victor Hugo's 1862 novel Les Misérables.  I read the book years ago (in an English translation).  I have also seen the musical numerous times.  It is a fabulous story.

14. Not against hearing, as a suggestion: OPEN TO.  I am open to an alternative theory on today's theme.

15. Amo, __, amat ...: AMAS.  Today's Latin lesson.

16. Mork's home planet: ORK.  I never undestood the attraction of Mork and Mindy.  It was too crazy for me.  The show ran from the Fall of 1978 through May 1982.

17. Martin of "Mission: Impossible": LANDAU.  Although Martin James Landau (June 20, 1928 ~ July 15, 2017) appeared in numerous movies and television shows, he is probably best known for his role as Rollin Hand, the "Man of a Million Faces", in Mission: Impossible.

18. Excuse designed to elicit sniffles: SOB STORY.

20. Happening soon: IN STORE.

22. PDQ: ASAP.  Pretty Darn Quick and ASoon APossible.  Not to be confused with PDQ Bach, the infamous 21st child of Johann Sebastian Bach.

23. Mexicali's peninsula: BAJA.  Also known as Baja California.

The entire peninsula.

Portion of the peninsula showing Mexicali.

26. Roof overhang: EAVE.  Soffits are under the Eaves.

27. Dole (out): METE.

28. Angsty music genre: EMO.

29. The "A" in RAM: ACCESS.  As in Random Access Memory.

31. The "A" in USNA: Abbr.: ACAD.  As in the United States Naval Academy.

32. USO show audience: GIs.  Did you know that the term GI might have originally stood for Galvanized Iron, which was the material used to make military buckets?  By World War I, the term was expanded to include all things army related, and later became used to describe soldiers.

33. Ball game delayer: RAIN.

34. Mallorca, por ejemplo: ISLA.  Today's Spanish lesson.

36. Make potable, as seawater: DESALT.

38. Not yet visible, as a fingerprint: LATENT.

40. Con's place of confinement: CELL.

41. Robin Cook medical thriller: COMA.  This novel was first published in 1977.  I read it many years ago.  Robin Cook (né Robert Brian Cook; b. May 4, 1940) is a physician and many of his books focus on medical issues.  Coma explores the black market of organ donation.

42. Currently: NOW.

44. Compact Chevy SUV: TRAX.

46. Elon Musk company concerned with travel to Mars: SPACEX.

48. Italian hour: ORA.  Today's Italian lesson.

49. Payment in Monopoly: RENT.

50. LAX landing hrs.: ETAs.  Estimated Time of Arrival has become a crossword staple.  Where did the X come from?

51. Fort full of gold: KNOX.  Fort Knox is Maine's largest historic fort.  This was one of the last places I went with my mother before she died.  The gold is not stored at this fort, however.  You have to go to Kentucky for that fort.

52. "In that case ... ": IF SO.

53. Grime-fighting P&G mascot with folded arms: MR. CLEAN.

55. Evil: FIENDISH.

57. Lowlife, slangily: CREEP-O.

61. Inc. relative: LLC.  As in a Limited Liability Company.

62. Melville novel: OMOO.  Omoo is the sequel to Typee.  Both books make occasional appearances in the crossword puzzles.  Herman Melville (Aug. 1, 1819 ~ Sept. 28, 1891) spent much of his early years as a sailor on merchant ships.  Both Typee and Omoo are based on Melville's experiences in the South Pacific.  Of course, Melville is best known for Moby Dick.  I wonder if anyone other than scholars ever reads these books.

64. "Evil Woman" rock gp.: ELO.

65. Nashville's st.: TENN.

66. Until now: TO DATE.

1. D.C. pro: POL.

2. Govt. pollution watchdog: EPA.  As in the Environmental Protection Agency.

3. Stimpy's sidekick: REN.  Ren is the sociopathic Chihuahua and Stimpy is the dim-witted Manx cat.

4. Nepal neighbor: INDIA.

5. Comics icon Lee: STAN.  Stan Lee (né Stanley Martin Lieber; Dec. 28, 1922 ~ Nov. 12, 2018) was the primary creative leader of Marvel Comics.  He makes frequent guest appearances in the crossword puzzles.

7. Kitchen appliance: GAS OVEN.  A brief history of the oven.

8. Loves, in Spain: AMORES.  More of today's Spanish lesson.

9. Comedian Kaplan: GABE.  Gabe Kaplan (né Gabriel Weston Kaplan; b. Mar. 31, 1945) is best known for his role as the teacher on the 1970 sit-com Welcome Back, Kotter.  I never watched this show.

10. Donkey: ASS.

12. List of mistakes: ERRATA.  More of today's Latin lesson.

13. Chatted via webcam: SKYPED.  Do people still use Skype?  We use either Zoom or FaceTime.

19. Steamed cantina food: TAMALE.  Hi, Lucina!

21. Implied: TACIT.

23. Plead with: BEG.

24. Surrounded by: AMID.

29. Disappearing Asian sea: ARAL.  Another crossword staple.

35. Lay's chips-in-a-can brand: STAX.

37. Church caretaker: SEXTON.  The Sexton also served as the gravedigger in days of old.

38. Express opposite, trainwise: LOCAL.

39. Bull in a corrida: TORO.  Still more of today's Spanish lesson.

41. Get the hang of it: CATCH ON.

43. Candle material: WAX.

44. Insignificant thing: TRIFLE.

45. Pharmacy follow-up order: REFILL.

47. Individual: PERSON.

51. Weak-__: wimpy: KNEED.

53. Actor with no lines: MIME.

54. West Coast gas brand: ARCO.

56. "i" topper: DOT.  That little dot is formally called a Tittle.

58. That, to Pedro: ESA.  Still more of today's Spanish lesson.

59. Delay, with "off": PUT.

60. Reveal, to a poet: OPE.

That's all folks!


Today is my Dad's 91st birthday.  He would appreciate the image below.