May 17, 2021

Monday, May 17, 2021 Kurt Krauss

Theme: FORTIES (39. Decade in which the Slinky debuted ... and a phonetic hint to the answers to starred clues) - Each theme entry has Four T's.

20A. *Inside scoop: SCUTTLEBUTT.

55A. *End-of-broadcasting image on old late-night TV: TEST PATTERN.

11D. *Minor shoplifting crime, say: PETTY THEFT.

29D. *Snitch: TATTLETALE

Boomer here.  

This theme is right up my alley. I mean lane. I was born in the FORTIES of the Truman administration.  After WWII I was part of the "Baby Boomer" Generation.  I dropped the baby adjective when I started bowling and playing golf.  Speaking of which, there are many upscale golf courses that have FOUR TEES. They generally mark them with different color markers. Back tees are blue for Pros and club tournaments.  White tees are for mediocre players like me.  Red tees are usually for the ladies and the shortest distance to the green are yellow, for the younger crowd and beginners.  FORE!


1. Mineral used in much tailor's chalk: TALC.

5. Bridge feat: SLAM.  I played bridge during lunch with some coworkers, now I have found a website where I can play against three other robots.

9. March parade VIP: ST PAT.  My cousins grew up in St. Patrick's Parish in Hudson Wisconsin and March 17 was celebrated famously.

14. Hipbones: ILIA. Plural of ilium.

15. Ripped into pieces, with "up": TORE.  "Oh, she ripped and she TORE and she ran through the door".

16. Football venue: ARENA.  I really do not think football is played in an ARENA.  Most stadiums are open air, and even the Vikings in an enclosed facility is called U.S. Bank Stadium.

17. Rind: PEEL.

18. "Terrible" Russian ruler: IVAN.  Russian? I thought he was a WWE Wrestler.

19. Subsequently: LATER.  See you LATER Alligator, After while Crocodile!

23. Couple: TWO.

24. Civil rights leader Medgar: EVERS.  "Civil Rights leaders are a pain in the neck, can't hold a candle to Chiang Kai-Shek.  How do I know, I read it in the Daily News"." Tom Paxton.

25. Greasy: OILY.

27. Feline metaphor for a wealthy donor: FAT CAT.

30. Actress Bening: ANNETTE.  Never paid a lot of attention until she appeared as Virginia Hill in the Movie "Bugsy".  Mr. Segal hated that name.

33. Brightly colored fish: OPAH.

34. Bathroom fixtures: TUBS.  We only have one TUB in our home.

37. Lucy's best friend in old TV: ETHEL.  Unforgettable Vivian Vance, with Fred Mertz was a favorite for Baby Boomers. 

38. Not dis?: DAT.

41. Part of ESL: Abbr.: ENG.

42. Eight-related: OCTAL.  I'll remember OCTAL the next time I get an 8 on the golf course.

44. Soccer score: GOAL. Yes but do not forget about that other game called hockey.

45. Shaving lotion brand: AFTA.  Use it "AFTA" you shave.

46. Let go: RELEASE.  RELEASE the ball behind behind the foul line. Start by trying to hit the second arrow from the gutter. Right for righties and left for southpaws.  If you miss the head pin move a bit toward the gutter.  If your shot goes high on the head pin or crosses over righthanders start more to the left and vice versa for lefties. 

48. Newspaper chief: EDITOR.

50. Art Deco master: ERTE.

51. More wise: SAGER.

53. Proactiv target: ZIT.  There is no cure, just put something on it and hope it goes away.

60. Farsi speaker: IRANI.

62. Beach bird: TERN.

63. "I had no __!": "What a surprise!": IDEA.

64. Frigid: POLAR.

65. Clapton who sang "Layla": ERIC.  A fellow Baby Boomer who toured with the "Yarbirds".

66. Sail support: MAST.

67. Public to-do: SCENE.

68. Brazilian soccer legend: PELE.  I was never a soccer fan but this guy was the Mickey Mantle of soccer.

69. CPR pros: EMTS.


1. Waitstaff rewards: TIPS.  Also a guy at the racetrack who sells a paper with which horse to bet.

2. Actor Baldwin: ALEC.  There was a different ALEC who played Obi Wan Kenobi.

3. "In __ of gifts ... ": LIEU.

4. Pasadena institute where most of "The Big Bang Theory" characters work: CAL TECH.

5. High, thin heel: STILETTO.  I never knew how ladies could walk in these things.

6. Aficionado: LOVER.

7. Many Yemenis: ARABS.

8. Software options list: MENU.  Or a restaurant list of what kind of pizza to order.

9. Soup crackers: SALTINES.  Oyster Crackers are better.

10. Singer's syllable before la-la: TRA.  "Oh the flowers that bloom in the Spring, Tra La."  The Mikado.

12. Again: ANEW.  No just keep going.

13. Hawaiian tuber: TARO.

21. FDR power project: TVA.  Every old Graybar guy has heard of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

22. Freight weight: TON.  "You load 16 Tons and whatta you get.  Another day older and deeper in debt."  Tennessee Ernie Ford.

26. Allow: LET.

27. Big name in travel guides: FODOR.

28. Lickety-split: APACE.  Medina spirit?

30. Largest continent: ASIA.  No doubt here. It is huge.

31. __-one: long odds: TEN TO.

32. "Pomp and Circumstance" composer: ELGAR.

35. Strong desire: URGE.  I do not have the URGE to leave the mask at home, no matter what the CDC and governor says.

36. "Takin' Care of Business" rockers, initially: BTO. Bachman Turner Overdrive.

39. What a spare replaces: FLAT TIRE.  My Dodge van never had a spare, just a phone number to call for roadside assistance.  The Santa Fe has a spare, but I hope I never need to use it.  

40. Refinement: ELEGANCE.

43. __ Lingus: AER.

45. When the show must go on: AIR TIME.

47. "Comprende?": SEE.

49. MLB's Tigers, on scoreboards: DET.  They passed the Twins in the standings last week.  It could be a season-long battle for last place in the A.L. Central.

51. Cubic meter: STERE.

52. Month of showers: APRIL.  Minnesota had showers we had to shovel.

53. Postal codes: ZIPS. The mail seems to becoming less ZIPpy,

54. Classic Camaro: IROC.  By 1985, I was WAY to OLD to own one of these.

56. Big first for a baby: STEP.  I guess mine was sometime in 1948.

57. Mild Dutch cheese: EDAM.

58. Take it easy: REST.  We went to Las Vegas for a change and a rest.  The slot machine got the change and the bartender got the rest.

59. D.C. MLB team: NATS.  Since we already have the state of Washington. I wonder what they might call the 51st state ??

61. Tandoori bread: NAN.


May 16, 2021

Sunday May 16, 2021 Roland Huget

Theme: "Extra Bedrooms" - BR is added to each familiar phrase.

23A. Toaster oven user?: BROWNER OPERATOR. Owner operator.

34A. Barbecue guests?: BROIL COMPANY. Oil company.

52A Fraternity news contacts?: BROTHER SOURCES. Other sources.

76A. Really dangerous edge?: INVISIBLE BRINK. Invisible ink.

93A. Structural pieces for a tiny Christmas village?: POCKET BRACES. Pocket aces.

110A. Ship's rope?: NAVIGATION BRAID. Navigation aid.

16D. Dirt at the stable?: BRIDLE GOSSIP. Idle gossip.

58D. Fight among poor pool players?: SCRATCH BRAWL. Scratch awl.

I bet many of you immediately guessed the theme after scanning at the title. 

Amazing grid work today. Heavy themage, but only 140 words and 69 black squares. No cheater squares. No surprises, since Roland Huget is also an accomplished themeless constructor.


1. Bleak genre: NOIR. Film noir. Dark crime dramas.

5. Monthly bill: CABLE.

10. Keep time, in a way: CLAP. Had to ask D-Otto. He said "You clap along to the music."

14. Mosey: AMBLE.

19. Locale of the Tomb of Akbar the Great: AGRA. Akbar the Great was the third Mughal emperor (1556 to 1605). He was the grandfather of Shah Jahan, the guy who commissioned Taj Mahal. Shah Jahan was the fifth Mughal emperor (1628 to 1658). So ornate.

20. Set boundaries for: LIMIT.

21. Tanning target: HIDE.

22. "The Sound of Music" matriarch: MARIA.

26. Steinbeck migrants: OKIES.

27. Mounted security system component: SENSOR.

28. Dr. Al Robbins on "CSI," e.g.: CORONER.

29. Stressed out: ON EDGE.

30. Coil of yarn: SKEIN.

32. Pearly coating: NACRE.

33. "1984" working class: PROLES.

38. Milwaukee MLBer through 1965: BRAVE. And 90. Red or Card: NLER. National Leaguer. Cardinal.

39. Student in English class?: NOUN. OK, "student" is a noun.

40. Shed item: TOOL.

41. Certain hip-hop dancer: B BOY.

43. Breakfast choice: EGGS. Not for me. I just need carbs.

46. "Wanna __?": BET.

47. Section that doesn't include the sax, surprisingly: BRASS. There are three straying BR's. Can you locate the other two?

49. Looks rudely at: OGLES.

51. Team golf event: PRO-AM.

55. Hindu title: SRI.

56. Fred Flintstone's boss: MR SLATE.

59. Geeked, so to speak: EAGER.

60. Rachel Brosnahan's "Marvelous Mrs.": MAISEL. "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel".

62. First name in design: COCO. Chanel.

63. Winter Palace rulers: TSARS.

66. Really ticked: IRATE.

68. Little bit: MITE.

69. Use Listerine, say: GARGLE. I use Scope. Listerine is so strong.

71. Deep sleep: SOPOR.

73. Progressive decline: ATROPHY.

75. It shares a small border with BC: IDA. British Columbia.

80. Abate: LET UP.

82. Idyllic places: EDENS.

83. Drake production: RAP CD. Drake also has an impressive Birkin bag collection.

84. Pre-holiday time: EVE.

87. It might be picked: LOCK.

88. Holiday desserts: PIES.

89. iPad assistant: SIRI.

91. Tribe also called the Wyandot: HURON. Here's the Wiki info: "In the early 17th century, this Iroquoian people called themselves the Wendat, an autonym which means "Dwellers of the Peninsula" or "Islanders". The Wendat historic territory was bordered on three sides by the waters of Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe. Early French explorers referred to these natives as the Huron, either from the French huron ("ruffian", "rustic"), or from hure ("boar's head"). According to tradition, French sailors thought that the bristly hairstyle of Wendat warriors resembled that of a boar."

97. Storied: FABLED.

99. Writer __ Rogers St. Johns: ADELA.

101. Slow-moving tree dweller: SLOTH.

102. Words on some Québec road signs: ARRETS. Stops.

103. Creative kind of thinking: LATERAL.

106. Tía's mom: ABUELA. Grandma.

109. Author Calvino: ITALO. Hahtoolah might have dived into his books.

112. Pisa landmark: TOWER. Hi Gary & Picard!

113. Neglect: OMIT.

114. The "five" in "take five," e.g.: BREAK.

115. Impressed?: APED. Did an impression.

116. "The Planets" composer: HOLST. Gustav Holst.

117. Spoil, with "on": DOTE.

118. Taps feed them: SINKS.

119. Red ink: LOSS.


1. Collars: NABS.

2. Fairy tale baddie: OGRE.

3. Removes, as wrinkles: IRONS OUT. I have not ironed anything for ages.

4. Abrasion result: RAW SKIN.

5. Service leader: CLERIC.

6. Half of a vacation rental app: AIR. 34. The other half of 6-Down: BNB. Airbnb.

7. Admired coll. guy: BMOC. Big Man on Campus.

8. Slimming surg. procedure: LIPO.

9. Timeless: ETERNAL. So excited that J-Lo and Ben Affleck are back again.

10. Uncertain: CHANCY.

11. Soda bottle size: LITER.

12. Cherish: ADORE.

13. Word in many rates: PER.

14. Supreme Egyptian god: AMON RA. Sometimes it's AMEN RA.

15. Create a new look for: MAKE OVER.

17. Feudal subject: LIEGE.

18. Relaxes: EASES.

24. Yule tune: NOEL.

25. Color at the stable: ROAN.

29. Nashville attraction: OPRY.

31. Jots down: NOTATES.

35. Future fish: ROE.

36. Dance in a pit: MOSH.

37. Mug for a selfie: POSE.

38. Winter pear: BOSC. Pretty sweet. My favorites are still Korean pears.

41. Like a darker purple: BLUER.

42. Immortal catcher with "-ism" associated with his first name: BERRA. Yogi.

44. Nephew of King Arthur: GARETH. Sir Gareth. Shout-out to constructor Gareth Bain.

45. The __ Company: Walmart foe in 2000s lawsuits: SMILEY. Wiki says It holds the rights to the smiley face in over 100 countries". Wow.

47. Maidenform purchase: BRA.

48. No-good: ROTTEN.

49. Mexican mama bear: OSA.

50. "Make it happen, sister!": GO GIRL. Need "you".

51. Free TV spot: PSA.

52. Place for a post: BLOG.

53. "Wheel of Fortune" action: RE-SPIN.

54. Ipecac, for one: EMETIC.

56. Jimmy __, Saul's real name on "Better Call Saul": MCGILL.

57. Truckers' competition: ROADEO.

61. "No harm done": I'M OK.

64. Remark to the audience: ASIDE.

65. Gift to a Valentine: ROSES.

67. La Brea formations: TAR PITS.

70. Backtalk: LIP.

72. Delivery room docs: OBS.

74. Boxing match unit: Abbr.: RND. Round.

77. Style of expression: VEIN.

78. Composer Satie: ERIK. Or "Crossword editor Agard". MM solves USA Today every day. TTP occasionally. You won't find grids cleaner than USA Today.

79. Unfurnished: BARE.

81. Luau instruments: UKULELES.  And 89. Hieroglyphic beetles: SCARABS. Great fill.

84. One who finesses the tab, facetiously: EL CHEAPO.

85. Notch shape: VEE.

86. Hesitant sounds: ERS.

88. Whale groups: PODS.

90. One with inborn talent: NATURAL.

92. One might begin, "Oh, yeah?": RETORT.

93. Small dress size: PETITE.

94. Couturier Cassini: OLEG.

95. Shuts out, in baseball: BLANKS.

96. Stark heir on "Game of Thrones": ROBB.  Robb Stark is played by Richard Madden.

97. Religious belief: FAITH. Two of Boomer's aunts are Faith and Charity. His mom is Hope.

98. Threepio's pal: ARTOO.

99. Enterprise competitor: ALAMO.

100. Lifeboat crane: DAVIT. Like this.

104. Bell town in a Longfellow poem: ATRI. Have not seen entry for a long while.

105. Property claim: LIEN.

107. "None of it is true!": LIES.

108. Puts in: ADDS.

110. Auction gesture: NOD.

111. Furniture wood: OAK.


May 15, 2021

Saturday, May 15, 2021, David P. Williams

 Themeless Saturday by David P. Williams 

I had a very nice time solving Dave's initial puzzle. It seems incredible that his first puzzle is a themeless Saturday effort. Linking EEPHUS PITCH and AS ALL GET OUT seemed a natural as you'll see. Here's a nice note from Dave:

Hi Gary, 
A brief note below, if you wish to use it.

Since this is my first-ever published puzzle, I’d be remiss if I didn’t pluck the low-hanging fruit and say: “Hello, (Cross)World!” 
I’m grateful to Rich for giving me a shot and also for greatly improving the puzzle with his editing. Any remaining deficiencies are solely on me. I hope the puzzle brightened your day, but if you wish to fulminate, lightning can be directed to .

It's also National Chocolate Chip Day! So get out some milk and do some dunking along while celebrating Dave's first foray into crossword construction. 


1. Exchange with, in sports: TRADE TO - The Colts had to TRADE John Elway TO Denver because he refused to play for them when he graduated from Stanford

8. Changing environment: CABANA - The first of some really "out there" cluing that makes for real challenges. No ecology here, just somewhere to change into or out of your swim suit.

14. "Hang on!": WAIT A SEC.

15. Conceived: IMAGED and 
4. Bold type: DARER Rank up there with HUGER for clanking off my ear

16. Sent abroad: EXPORTED - This company in my hometown has EXPORTED tons of specialty meat to Japan in the last 23 years

17. Source of biblical medicine: GILEAD Here ya go

18. Inadvertently test an audience's tolerance levels: DRONE ON - Our pastor did DRONE ON for 20 minutes when the 100 kids were confirmed two weeks ago. 

19. Color in four-color printing: MAGENTA - Shaquille O'Neal is pitching bottles of ink to refill your printer cartridge. Can you see the MAGENTA bottle in his hand?

20. What suspects may be charged with: TASERS - More funky cluing!

21. Mysterious glow: AURA.

22. What blue may mean, briefly: DEM - From the 1960 election  

23. Giant Mel et al.: OTTS On the list of famous OTTS he is #1 and the only one I recognize

24. Stained glass setting: APSE.

25. Excoriates: TARS - Synonyms for excoriate and none of them are TAR but I see David's intention 

26. High-arcing toss first attributed to Rip Sewell: EEPHUS PITCH - Gotta love this! It's from the Hebrew word "efe" which means nothing. That batter will be as mad 32. "... like you wouldn't believe!": AS ALL GET OUT.

30. Water music?: SEA SHANTIES What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor comes to my mind. How about doing a chorus Spitz?

34. Shelter sound: BARK.

37. Liq. measures: GALS - 20miles/GAL is approximately 8.5kilometers/L

38. Foam footwear: CROC - Popular footwear at MIL's Alzheimer's facility 

40. Former Bolivian president Morales: EVO A turbulent presidency

41. Towel designation: HERS - HERS and OURS

42. Horn home: AFRICA - Another "it must be Saturday" clue 😊 It's easy to see how this name was 46. Figured out: GLEANED.

44. Ones moving to the right: NEOCONS.

47. Completely: IN TOTO - My first fill was ENTIREly wrong

48. Elaborate story, perhaps: TALL TALE - Nebraska cabbages

49. Esophagus: GULLET - You didn't put THROAT first like I did?

50. Bar barrier: AGE LIMIT.

51. Ride: NEEDLE - Kid, tease, nag, harass...

52. Cure-all: PANACEA - Good fer what ails ya! Prof. Pratt's meds probably contained alcohol, cocaine and/or opium


1. Amount often tied to income: TAX RATE.

2. Some wisecracks: RIPOSTES - I'll bet you know the insult that preceded this RIPOSTE. *Answer below

3. Enjoying prime time: AT ONE'S PEAK

5. These, in Cádiz: ESTOS - If Kramer said his line in Spanish, it would be "
ESTOS pretzels me están dando sed"

6. MTV's "__ Wolf": TEEN - A TV version of this Michael J. Fox movie

7. Monk's condition, on the TV show: OCD.

8. Smoke: CIGARETTE - It's great that I rarely see any of these today

9. Friendly-sounding old Commodore computer: AMIGA.
10. Christian in films: BALE An impressive IMDB

11. It may be hidden: AGENDA - "Gee, look at this lovely wooden horse the Greeks have brought us!"

12. More pinlike?: NEATER - More Saturday cluing as in "Neat as a pin"

13. Iconic New Yorker cartoonist Charles: ADDAMS - Of the TV show inspired by his ADDAMS Family cartoon series that started in 1938 he said, "I'm up and down about the show. They are only half as evil as my characters."

14. Linked by custom with: WED TO - Chas ADDAMS said he used the slinky woman he was WED TO as a model for Morticia 

19. Ruminations: MUSINGS - I post my ruminations everyday!

21. Floors: APPALLS.

24. Squared stones: ASHLARS - I've seen them, admired them and even laid them but never knew what they were called.

25. Divine type of rule: THEOCRATIC - Vatican City is too small to show up on the map. Clickable map of countries with THEOCRATIC rule

27. Enjoys: HAS.

28. Dictionary detail: USAGE NOTE.

29. Op. __: CIT - Op CIT or Ibid:

1. Michael Legge, Precious Little (New York: Pod Books, 2015), p. 198.s
2. Danielle Ward, Any Questions? (London: DTRT Publishing, 2017), p. 30.
3. Legge, op. cit., p. 102.


1. Danielle Ward, Any Questions? (London: DTRT Publishing, 2017), p. 30.
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid., p. 39-41.

31. Country whose official language is Dutch: SURINAME - Another artifact of colonialism

33. Song whose second line is "And I will pledge with mine": TO CELIA - First, I learn landscaping blocks are called ASHLARS and now I find out "Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes" is actually is a line from a 17th century poem by Ben Johnson called TO CELIA.

34. Favorable: BENIGN - I would love to be in a more BENIGN climate in the winter

35. One way to go: AVENUE.

36. Dig with a snout: ROOTLE - And the learning keeps on coming. 

39. Space __: CADET.

41. Flamingo, for one: HOTEL - Look carefully to see who was headlining there when this picture was taken

42. Three-time Emmy-winning choreographer Debbie: ALLEN - She also played a very forceful character on Grey's Anatomy

43. Guy: FELLA.

45. Not making any baskets, say: COLD - or not making any putts! Somedays the ball just will not go where you want it.

46. Lady of song: GAGA - Seen here as both a common and proper noun

48. When repeated, sound of impatience: TAP.

*Insult: Bessie Braddock M.P., "You sir are drunk". RIPOSTE: Winston Churchill "You, my dear, are ugly but I shall be sober in the morning!"