Nov 25, 2022

Friday, November 25, 2022, Emma Oxford


Good morning, Cruciverbalists.  Malodorous Manatee here with today's state-of-the-puzzle recap.  That is, I am here for those of you who have come out of any food-induced stupors that may have been caused by yesterday's feasting.  If you have not yet recovered then you have probably yet to solve the puzzle and are probably also not reading this so . . . never mind.

Today's puzzle setter is Emma Oxford.  I have previously recapped Emma's puzzles and they are always a pleasure.  The clues are often very clever.  Her themes are always creative and today's is no exception.  To grasp what she has accomplished today it helps if you, first of all, know the nicknames for various (in this case six) constituent states of these United States.  Second, it helped to know the postal abbreviations for those states.  Third, you need to like to play with words - in this case by breaking them apart at out-of-the ordinary places.  Here are the six themed clues and answers:

16 Across:  Flower of the Hoosier State?: IN CARNATION.  The Hoosier State is the nickname for Indiana and its postal abbreviation is IN.  INCARNATION becomes Indiana Carnation.

24 Across:  Basement access in the Palmetto State?: SC AREA WAY.  The Palmetto State is the nickname for South Carolina and its postal abbreviation is SC.  SCARE AWAY becomes South Carolina Area Way.

30 Across:  Clothing in the Sunshine State?: FL ATTIRE.  The Sunshine State is the nickname for Florida and its postal abbreviation is FL.  FLAT TIRE becomes Florida Attire.

44 Across:  Girls from the Show-Me State?: MO LASSES.  The Show Me State is the nickname for Missouri and its postal abbreviation is MO.  MOLASSES becomes Missouri Lasses.

50 Across:   Psychedelics from the Evergreen State?: WA SHROOMS.  The Evergreen State is the nickname for Washington and its postal abbreviation is WA.  WASHROOMS becomes Washington Shrooms (slang for mushrooms of the psychoactive type).

62 Across:  Fortified wines from the Ocean State?: RI VERMOUTHS.  The Ocean State is the nickname for Rhode Island and its postal abbreviation is RI.  RIVER MOUTHS becomes Rhode Island Vermouths.

Here is how this looks in the grid:

. . . and here are the rest of the clues and answers:


1. Spanish home: CASA.  La lección de español de hoy

5. Yelped about?: RATED.  Clever.  Nothing to do with a dog complaining.  Having used the food review app, Yelp.

10. Fix: JAM.  Hand up for thinking this had something to do with repair work.  Then thinking it might be pet related.  Nope, Fix is used, here, as in to be in a fix or predicament.  That's probably better than being in a pickle.

13. Actress Taylor-Joy: ANYA.  A web search reveals that she has both a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award.  I wouldn't know her from Eve.

14. Take from commercial to residential, maybe: REZONE.

15. PC core: CPU.  Central Processing Unit

18. Some triage pros: RNS. and 65. Some triage pros: DRS.  Professionals is abbreviated to PROS in both clues.  Registered Nurseand DoctoRS.  See also 59 Down.

19. Opposite of paleo-: NEO.

20. Stand for a presentation: EASEL.  Again, it is not as if we are at a performance of Handel's "Messiah" and getting out of our seats in a show of respect.  Literally, a stand on which you might place your presentation.

21. Clog fillers: 
FEET.  Not the hairs in your sink.  The shoes.

22. Boot: EXPEL.  Not the shoe.  Used, here, as a verb.  Oust.

27. Three-line verse: HAIKU.

        Our own Chairman Moe
        Often writes HAIKU verses
        For our enjoyment

29. Screen __: TEST.  Hand up for first writing in SHOT (well, the second T worked).

33. Rise to the occasion: STEP UP.

37. Refrigerator drawer: BIN.

38. Word before toast or after peach: MELBA.  Created as a surname by opera diva Nellie Melba (born Helen Mitchell) after her hometown of Melbourne Australia.  Such was her fame that several food dishes were named after her.

40. Comm. system in the film "CODA": ASL.  Comm as in communications.

41. Entirely: IN TOTO.  Also, where a dog treat might be located in Kansas.

47. Without: SANS.  From the Old French via Middle English.

49. Sore spots: WELTS.  When Gandhi was on his first hunger strike people would routinely bring him locally-made bread in an attempt to get him to eat.  What people don't understand, though, is that Gandhi was actually a very temperamental man and, prone to anger, he would hurl the bread at his friends sometimes leaving bruises and WELTS.  He justified this behavior by saying that it was all part of his philosophy of naan-violence.

54. Banks known as "Mr. Cub": ERNIE.

57. Think piece?: IDEA.  The result of cogitating, perhaps.

58. Social outcast, metaphorically: LEPER.

60. Portuguese greeting: 
OLA.  Lição de hoje de Portougese.

61. __ sequitur: NON.

66. Clinches the deal: ICES IT.  Idiomatic.  Sometimes we get SEWS UP.

67. Veal or venison: MEAT.

68. "Happy now?": SEE.  Ah, the things people say in crossword puzzles.

69. Bathroom fixture: BIDET.  More French.  Today's let's-skip-the-visual-aid moment.

70. IDs on tax forms: SSNS.  Social Security NumberS


1. Michael who plays Alfred in "The Dark Knight" trilogy: CAINE.  See also 30 Down.  Michael CAINE was in that movie too.

2. Building addition: ANNEX.  Putin is griping about all of the land he is trying so hard to ANNEX.  Oh, Crimea river, Vladimir.

3. Lackey: SYCOPHANT.

4. Level just below the majors: AAA.  A baseball reference.  The Triple A teams are comprised (with a few exceptions) of the best players in the minor leagues.  Below AAA is AA, A, and other tiers.  Altogether there are 209 minor league teams in 19 leagues spread across 44 states and 4 provinces.

5. Instill confidence in: REASSURE.  People keep telling me that alcohol isn't a solution but I've asked my chemist friends and they all REASSURE me that it is.

6. Xipe Totec worshipper: AZTEC.  Hand up for no idea what Xipe Totec was except that it sounded Mesoamerican.  The Z from REZONE was the hint that led quickly to AZTEC.

7. Labor over: TOIL AT.

8. Eclectic musician Brian: ENO.  Among other accomplishments, frequent visitor Brian ENO is known as the creator of "ambient" music.

9. Lair: DEN.

10. Banana Republic alternative: J CREW.  Hand up for first thinking of types of governments.

11. Sleep clinic study: APNEA.

12. Dank and damp: MUSTY.

14. Messenger __: RNA.  Pigeon would not fit.

17. On again: RELIT.  Like a light bulb or a candle.

21. Destiny: FATE.  "Man does not control his own fate.  The women in his life do that for him."    - Groucho Marx

23. Nosh on: EAT.  From the Yiddish nashn.

25. Flea market transaction: RESALE.

26. Educated guess, basically: Abbr.: EST.  ESTimate

28. Traditional garment for Japan's Coming of Age Day: KIMONO.  Despite not being familiar with Coming of Age Day this one filled quickly.

30. Org. in "Miss Congeniality": FBI.   A 2000 film featuring Sandra Bullock as an undercover FBI agent.

31. Three-time Tony winner __-Manuel Miranda: LIN.

32. West __: upscale furniture store: ELM.

34. Misbehave in class, in a way: PASS NOTES.

35. Purpose: USE.

36. "Thx" counterpart: PLS.  PLeaSe and Thanks.

39. Spar above a ship's figurehead: BOWSPRIT.

42. Job safety org.: OSHA.

43. Pitch: TAR.  Neither a baseball reference nor a sales spiel reference.  Pitch is the black viscous substance obtained as a residue through the distillation of organic substances.

45. Last new Olds: ALERO.  Oldsmobile.  A new olds.  Cute.

46. Orch. section: STR. and 50. Orchestra section: WINDS.  In the first of these two, almost identical, clues ORCHestra is abbreviated so STRings is also.

48. Cracked, as a mystery: SOLVED.

51. Love to bits: 

52. First word in a Jane Austen title: SENSE.

53. Attorney general under Reagan: MEESE.  Edwin MEESE.  A polarizing figure in his day.

55. Minnesota representative Omar: ILHAN.  A well-publicized figure due the the fact that she has also been seen as polarizing.

56. Bridge positions: EASTS.  We need one of the first two letters to see if it will be EASTS or WESTS.

59. Triage pro: EMT.  Emergency Medical Technician.  See also 18 and 65 Across.  Is the use of the same clue three separate times a new record?

62. Saguaro segment: RIB.  Saguaro is a ribbed cactus that looks like this:

63. Here, on Métro maps: ICI.  C'est francais n'est ce pas?  ICI is the French equivalent of here.

64. Verbal hesitations: UMS.  Hmm, a bit of a punt to wrap up a very, very entertaining puzzle.

Thanks for the wonderful grid, Emma.   Please feel free to stop by The Crossword Corner and share anything you'd like about the puzzle.


Nov 24, 2022

Thursday, November 24, 2022, Samantha Podos Nowak

 Sports Heroes

I was unable to find a trace of Samantha Podos Nowak in the LA Times database, nor anywhere else on the Internet (Google, Facebook, etc), so this looks like her puzzle debut.   

The characters referred to in Samantha's theme originated in the comic fantasies of the  Marvel Comic Universe (MCU)  and its competitor DC Comics (DC).   As a MCU/DC newbie, I can't begin to explain the world they live in, nor their complex relationships, but the preceding Wiki links can get you started if you're interested. 

The themers all start with the word "When" and end with a "_____" for you to fill in.  The first word of each fill is a character from one of the universes (MCU or DC), followed by a second word giving a common phrase.  The original comics have long since morphed into many movies and video game adaptations and are BIG business.  Several of the characters have appeared in multiple movies, and have been played by multiple actors.  I believe some of the characters have occasionally appeared in both universes.  Here are the themers:

19A. When one of the X-Men needs to communicate with the pitcher, __: STORM SIGNALS (MCU).   Storm is a superhero who first appeared in Marvel Comics in May 1975.  Descended from a long line of African witch-priestesses, she is a member of a fictional subspecies of humans born with superhuman abilities known as mutants. She is able to control the weather and atmosphere and is considered to be one of the most powerful mutants on the planet, and one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe.

33A. When a member of the Justice League has possession of the football, __: FLASH DRIVES.  The Flash is a superhero who first appeared in DC Comics in 1956.  Because he is a speedster, his power consists mainly of superhuman speed. Various other effects are also attributed to his ability to control the slowness of molecular vibrations, including his ability to vibrate at speed to pass through objects. The Flash wears a distinct red and gold costume treated to resist friction and wind resistance, traditionally storing the costume compressed inside a ring.
41A. When one of Marvel's Avengers needs to create a lineup card, __: VISION PLANSVision first appeared in Marvel Comics in August 1968.  He is an android (sometimes called a "synthezoid") built by the villainous robot Ultron.  Originally intended to act as Ultron's "son" and destroy the Avengers, Vision instead turned on his creator and joined the Avengers to fight for the forces of good. Since then, he has been depicted as a frequent member of the team, and, for a time, was married to his teammate, the Scarlet Witch. He also served as a member of the Defenders

You'll notice that each themer is also a reference to either baseball or football and hence the reveal:

50A. Idolized athletes, and an apt title for this puzzle?: SPORTS HEROES.

Let's finish with some real SPORTS HEROES in OUR Universe.

Here's the grid:

Now that we're back on Earth, we'll now consider the rest of the clues.


1. Intro to physics?: METAMETAPHYSICS, a topic explored in depth in the 2005 Sci-Fi fantasy The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  Here's Deep Thought, voiced by Helen Mirren, with the answer to the meaning of life:

5. Fundamentals: ABCSThe metaphysics of OUR reality.

9. __ test: BETA.  This type of test is often done by the programmers.  All of the rest are done by YOU.

13. Monopoly token replaced by a cat: IRON.  Betcha Hahtoolah had something to do with this.
14. "Yeah, why not?": SURE.  But see also 44D.

15. Has status: RATES.  Doesn't it depend on the RATING?

16. Breaking point: LAST STRAW.  Here's the STRAW'S side of the story ...
18. Coming up: ON TAP.  Coming right up!

21. App pop-ups: ADS. Do you get a lot of these when you read Corner comments on your cell phone?

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

25. Called before: NEE.

26. Concentrate: FOCUS.

28. Achievement for a goal-oriented player?: HAT TRICKEver wondered why scoring three goals in one game is called a hat-trick?

36. Spanish Mrs.: SRASenora.

37. High-voiced Muppet: ELMO.

38. Allude (to): REFER.

39. "The Night Circus" novelist Morgenstern: ERINThe Night Circus is a 2011 fantasy novel  originally written for the annual writing competition National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) over the span of three competitions. The novel has a nonlinear narrative written from multiple viewpoints.
Erin Morgenstern

40. Mushroom top: CAP
43. Pronged spears: TRIDENTS.  The TRIDENT is often associated with marine deities such as Poseidon and Neptune because the weapon was most commonly used for fishing.  But they have other uses.
45. Seamaster watchmaker: OMEGA.  These cost thousands of dollars, but they're much cheaper if you buy them used. Every 10 years or so I get a new Timex Ironman Classic.  Last time it was $30 dollars, now it's going for $40 dollars (yikes!):
Timex Ironman Classic
46. "Shoot!": ASK.

47. Airport rental: CAR.

49. "__ Misérables": LES.   Les Misérables is a French historical novel by Victor Hugo, first published in 1862, that is considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century.  The novel follows the lives and interactions of several characters, particularly the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his experience of redemption.  Examining the nature of law and grace, the novel elaborates upon the history of France, the architecture and urban design of Paris, politics, moral philosophy, antimonarchism, justice, religion, and the types and nature of romantic and familial love. Les Misérables has been popularized through numerous adaptations for film, television and the stage, including a musical.  Hand up if you've read the novel?

56. Uncanny: EERIE.  80% vowels!

57. Like a wide load: OVERSIZED.

61. Rise to the top of a news feed, say: TREND.

62. Ham or lamb: MEAT.

63. Sushi wrapper: NORINori is a dried edible seaweed used in Japanese cuisine, made from a red algae genus.  It has a strong and distinctive flavor, and is often used to wrap rolls of sushi ("Maki").
Drying Nori

64. Nasty hangover?: SMOG.  Clever clue.

65. Writer Bombeck: ERMAErma Louise Bombeck (February 21, 1927 – April 22, 1996) was an American humorist who achieved great popularity for her newspaper humor column describing suburban home life, syndicated from 1965 to 1996. She also published 15 books, most of which became bestsellers.
Erma Bombeck

66. Vice president between Quayle and Cheney: GORE.


1. The Brewers, in box scores: MIL.  The Milwaukee Brewers are members of the National League Central division and are named for the city's association with the brewing industry.  Since 2001, they have played their home games at American Family Field, which was named Miller Park through the 2020 season and has a seating capacity of 41,900 people.
2. Cy Young stat: ERAEarned Run Average, the average number of earned runs scored against the pitcher in every nine innings pitched.  Cy Young's career ERA was 2.63.

3. Lean-__: TOS.

4. Aardvark meal: ANTS.  By pure co-incidence, ANT-MAN just happens to be a member of the Marvel Comic Universe

5. __ Martin: ASTON.  Sean Connery chased Dr. No around Jamaica in an Aston Martin in last Thursday's puzzle.  And somebody just bought it last summer for $2.4 million bucks.

6. Beast of burden: BURRO.  Not this guy (lyrics) ...

7. Stuff: CRAM.  Best not to try stuffing it the night before the exam.

8. Follows a pattern, say: SEWS.

9. Stadium sign: BANNER.

10. "The Wallflower" jazz singer James: ETTAJamesetta Hawkins (January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012), known professionally as Etta James, was an American singer who performed in various genres, including gospel, blues, jazz, R&B, rock and roll, and soul. Starting her career in 1954, she gained fame with hits such as "The Wallflower", "At Last", "Tell Mama", "Something's Got a Hold on Me", and "I'd Rather Go Blind".  Here she sings "The Wallflower" backed up by "The Peaches" ...

11. Turquoise kin: TEAL.  Here they are.  Below each color are the "RGB codes" you can use to reproduce the precise hues with a computer:

12. Egyptian snakes: ASPS.  Last week it was MAMBAS, this week it's ASPS.  Maybe we should get St. Patrick in here and drive 'em all out.

15. Webster's shelfmate: ROGETS.  I found only one synonym for ROGET in the online and it  led me to this.
Peter Mark Roget

17. Secret supply: STASHFLASH keeps his secret STASH in his ring.

20. Future resident: INTERNAn INTERNSHIP is actually the first year of a RESIDENCY.

21. Change: AFFECT

22. Buck: DOLLAR.

23. Garlicky dish: SCAMPI.   Here's a recipe.

27. Gp. for the troops: USOUnited Service Organization.  Here's Mr. USO himself with Francis Langford and Patty Thomas entertaining the troops in 1944 ...

28. Old audio systems: HI FIS.

29. Chevy subcompact: AVEO.  The Chevrolet Aveo (sold as Chevrolet Sonic in North America and parts of Asia since 2011) is a subcompact car manufactured since 2002 (by Daewoo from 2002 to 2011).  The second generation Sonic began with the 2012 model year and was also marketed as the Aveo; production ended in October 2020.
2011 Chevrolet Aveo

30. Mideast birthplace of actress Gal Gadot: ISRAELGal Gadot-Varsano (born 30 April 1985) is an Israeli actress, model, and former Miss Israel. Her first international film performance was in Fast & Furious (2009), where she played Gisele Yashar.  By another pure co-incidence it turns out that she's our puzzle's 5th superhero, joining the Justice League in the film Wonder Woman 1984 released in 2020:
Gal Gadot

31. React to an awkward moment, say: CRINGE.

32. "The Wizard of Oz" setting: KANSAS.  Here's Dorothy on her way from KANSAS to OZ ...

34. Gin and tonic: DRINKS.  Cocktail wouldn't fit.

35. Staff symbol: REST.  Take 5 and check this out.

39. Dartboard wood: ELM.  For some reason I always thought they were made of cork.   Here's the history of dart boards.  Two weeks ago I was indebted to CrossEyedDave for posting the epic "joke scene" in Roxanne that resulted when Charlie Wales (played by Steve Martin) lost a game of darts.  For those of you who missed it ...

41. __ interest: VESTED.  Show me a politician without any VESTED interests, and I'll show you a one handed lawyer.

42. Facial mask targets: PORES.  Clever clue.

44. Willing to take risks: DARING.  The cost of living.  See 59D.

47. Half of half-and-half: CREAM.

48. Vital blood vessel: AORTAEverything you might want to know about the AORTA (except maybe for you MD's out there).

50. Hardens: SETS.  Before mixing 5 minute epoxy, make sure you have a PLAN.

51. Make waves?: PERM.  "To PERM?"

52. Cookie with a limited edition Pumpkin Spice flavor: OREO.  Just in time for today's dessert!

53. Word before and after sweet: HOME.

54. "Best. Day. __!": EVER.  Thank you Google ...

55. Join the chorus: SING

58. Herpetologist's employer: ZOO.  We could use one to keep track of all the ASPS, ADDERS, COBRAS, and MAMBAS slithering around the blog.

59. __ on the side of caution: ERR.  We should "ERR on the side of caution" if there is a significant risk of a negative outcome.  Thus tests for cancer should be designed with the lowest possible margin for error: a false negative (type 2 error) would result in a case going undiagnosed and untreated, whereas a false positive (type 1 error) would likely lead to retesting.  Here's more about these  types of errors.

60. Game cube: DIE. The end!


As always, thanks to Teri for proof reading and for her constructive criticism.


Samantha Podos Nowak, you are invited to post anything you'd like to share about this puzzle, its evolution, the theme, or whatever, in the Comments section below.  We'd love to hear from you.

We wish you all a Happy, Blessed, and FILLINGFUL Thanksgiving!

Freedom From Want
Norman Rockwell 1943


Nov 23, 2022

Wednesday, November 23, 2022 Lance Enfinger and Jeff Chen

Theme: A watch with nothing to watch.  Each theme answer is an in-the-language phrase that is repurposed to remove a feature from a timepiece. 

20. "Only a fool would want a little calendar on their timepiece!": DROP DEAD DATE.  A provision added to a legal or trade act, such as a contract or a court order that sets a last-delay date past which certain consequences will automatically follow, such as cancelling the contract, taking property or entering a judgment.  Here, it removes a date indication from the clock face.

26. With 45-Across, "I don't need two silly sticks that rotate on my timepiece!": HANDS OFF THE.     45. See 26-Across: MERCHANDISE.  A phrase used to indicate that someone does not want to be touched or - even worse - groped.  Haven't heard it in a few decades.  Here, it removes the hands from the clock.

37. "Digits on a timepiece? That's ridiculous!": FUDGE THE NUMBERS.  A dishonest process of altering data to fit a pre-conceived concept or theory, or for some nefarious purpose.  Here, it removes the numbers from the clock face - I think.  Not familiar with "FUDGE" used in this way. 

55. "Won't happen as long as I'm around," and a summary of 20-, 26-/45-, and 37-Across?: NOT ON MY WATCH.  The clue explains it perfectly.  Here, all the features indicated in the previous theme answers have been removed from the timepiece, now revealed as a wristwatch.  This leaves it featureless and useless.

What time is it?

I don't care!

Hi, Gang, JazzBumpa on hand [unlike the watch in the theme] and rather pressed for time before the Thanksgiving holiday. We're having a crowd at our house tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to eats, drinks, football and merriment.  Let's see what interesting tid-bits we can find in this timeless puzzle.  Looks like this is Lance's first entry in the L.A. Times. So -- congrats!


1. Brother in "Am I my brother's keeper?": ABEL.  From the story of brotherly non-love in the book of Genesis.

5. Seize: TAKE.  Grab suddenly and forcefully. 

9. Decides not to go to: SKIPS.  Opts out of an event.

14. __ reversal: ROLE.  I swapped a crescent roll for an orange scone.  No - wait.  This is a situation in which someone adopts a role the reverse of that which they normally assume in relation to someone else, who typically assumes their role in exchange. 

15. Train travel: RAIL.  By Rail, actually. 

16. Book review?: AUDIT.  Clever clue.  An official inspection of an individual's or organization's accounts, typically by an independent body. Just in case somebody fudged the numbers.

17. Egg warmers: MAMA BIRDS.  Hens.

19. "Fame" star Cara: IRENE.   Irene Cara Escalera (b. 1959) is an American singer and actress. Cara sang and co-wrote the song "Flashdance... What a Feeling" for which she won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1984. Cara is also known for playing the role of Coco Hernandez in the 1980 film FAME, and for recording the film's title song. Prior to her success with Fame, Cara portrayed the title character Sparkle Williams in the original 1976 musical drama film Sparkle.


 22. Chase off: SHOO.   

24. Golden yrs. fund: IRA.  Individual Retirement Account.

25. Twitter titter: LOL.  Laughing Out Loud

31. Garage occupant: CAR.

Oops -- wrong CAR

32. Rangers goalie Shesterkin: IGOR.  Igor Olegovich Shestyorkin [b. 1985] is a Russian professional ice hockey goaltender for the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League. He was selected by the Rangers in the fourth round, 118th overall, of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

33. Veal cordon __: BLEU.   Thin slices of veal stuffed with cheese and ham and then sauteed. 

42. In years past: ONCE.  - upon a time.

43. Stud farm stud: SIRE.   The male parent of an animal, especially a stallion or bull kept for breeding.

44. "You __ here": ARE.   Signage to indicate your location.

50. Singer DiFranco: ANI.   Angela Maria "Ani" DiFranco [b. 1970] is an American-Canadian singer-songwriter. She has released more than 20 albums. DiFranco's music has been classified as folk rock and alternative rock, although it has additional influences from punk, funk, hip hop and jazz.


 53. Nice street: RUE.   Ha!  A street in that French city, irrespective of its nicety.

54. In very sharp resolution: IN HD.  Hi Definition.

60. Move effortlessly: GLIDE.   Move with a smooth continuous motion, typically with little noise.

61. Keeps safe: LOCKS AWAY.   Secures

65. Tangerine coats: RINDS.  The tough outer skin of certain fruit, especially citrus fruit.

66. Crumbled froyo topping: OREO.   FroYo is premium self-serve frozen yogurt, available in low fat, dairy-free, or no sugar added options.  OREO  is a brand of sandwich cookie consisting of two chocolate wafers with a sweet creme filling. It was introduced by Nabisco on March 6, 1912,

67. Tardy: LATE.  What do you expect, with this watch?!?

68. Baker's supply: YEAST.   Yeasts are eukaryotic, single-celled microorganisms classified as members of the fungus kingdom. The first yeast originated hundreds of millions of years ago, and at least 1,500 species are currently recognized. They are estimated to constitute 1% of all described fungal species.   Bakers get a rise out of them.

69. Loch __ monster: NESS.   The Loch Ness Monster, affectionately known as Nessie, is a creature in Scottish folklore that is said to inhabit Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. It is often described as large, long-necked, and with one or more humps protruding from the water. 

70. Former partners: EXES.  I have one.  Which means I don't have . . . OK, this is confusing.


1. Upper limb: ARM.  A human upper limb, especially the part between the shoulder and the wrist

2. Fluffy scarf: BOA.

3. Tree on the Great Seal of North Dakota: ELM.   Elms are deciduous and semi-deciduous trees comprising the flowering plant genus Ulmus in the plant family Ulmaceae. 

4. String along: LEAD ON.   Mislead or deceive someone, especially into believing that one is in love with or attracted to them.

5. The Schuyler sisters in "Hamilton," e.g.: TRIO.  We saw Hamilton on Sunday.  It was amazing.

6. 50+ group: AARP.   American Association of Retired People.  Like me.

7. "The Secret Life of Bees" novelist Sue Monk __: KIDD.  Sue Monk Kidd [b. 1948] is an American writer from Sylvester, Georgia best known for her novels The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings

8. Conditional programming statement: ELSE-IF.  Use the else if statement to specify a new condition if the first condition is false.  For example: if time is less than 10:00, create a "Good morning" greeting, if not, but time is less than 20:00, create a "Good day" greeting, otherwise a "Good evening".  The programed device evidently is a better time keeper than our dysfunctional watch.

9. Anticipated a tongue depressor, perhaps: SAID AH.  When opened wide with tongue stuck out, what else can you say? 

10. Southeastern Turkey native: KURD.   Kurds or Kurdish people are an Iranian ethnic group native to the mountainous region of Kurdistan in Western Asia, which spans southeastern Turkey, northwestern Iran, northern Iraq, and northern Syria.  As I understand it, when Winston Churchill invented Iraq with a pen stroke in 1921, he deliberately set the boundaries so that the Kurds would not have a home land.

11. Worth emulating: IDEAL.   This scone is a good roll model.

12. __ bean: PINTO.  A variety of common bean. In Spanish they are called frijoles pintos, literally "painted bean". It is the most popular bean by crop production in Northern Mexico and the Southwestern United States, and is most often eaten whole, or mashed and then refried.

13. Construction alloy: STEEL.   Steel is an alloy made up of iron with typically a few tenths of a percent of carbon to improve its strength and fracture resistance compared to other forms of iron. Many other elements may be present or added. Stainless steels that are corrosion- and oxidation-resistant typically need an additional 11% chromium.

18. "The Prime of Miss Jean __": BRODIE.   A novel by Muriel Spark, the best known of her works. It was first published in The New Yorker magazine and was published as a book by Macmillan in 1961.  The movie version, starring Maggie Smith, was released in 1969.

21. Fine print, say: ART.  Continuing the theme idea of repurposing common phrases, this indicates an item of fine art rather then small print I need a magnifying glass to read.

22. Snowboarder White: SHAUN.  Shaun Roger White [b. 1986] is an American former professional snowboarder and skateboarder. He is a five-time Olympian and a three-time Olympic gold medalist in half-pipe snowboarding. He holds the world record for the most X Games gold medals and most Olympic gold medals by a snowboarder.

23. Head of cauliflower?: HARD C.  The initial letter of the word is here considered to be the "head."  Kind of a meh! clue.

27. Mil. rank: SGT.  Sergeant - a noncommissioned officer in the armed forces, in particular (in the US Army or Marine Corps) an NCO ranking above corporal and below staff sergeant, or (in the US Air Force) an NCO ranking above airman and below staff sergeant.

28. "Look at THAT!": OOH.  Gee-whiz, golly, gosh!

29. Hot out of the oven: FRESH.   Don't burn your fingers.

30. Recede: EBB.   Like ocean tide or my hair line.

31. Corp. money manager: CFO.   Chief Financial Officer.  It's not good news when one is in the news.

34. Boxer's restraint: LEASH.  The refers to a type of canine pet, rather than a pugilist. 

35. Goofed up: ERRED.  Made a mistake.

36. Put into play: USE.   Deploy (something) as a means of accomplishing a purpose or achieving a result; employ.

38. Jewel: GEM.   A precious or semiprecious stone, especially when cut and polished or engraved.  Figuratively, a person or thing of value.

39. Peeples of "The Fosters": NIA.  Virenia "Nia" Peeples [b. 1961] is an American R&B and dance music singer and actress. Peeples is known for playing Nicole Chapman on the hit TV series Fame; Pam Fields on the drama Pretty Little Liars; Karen Taylor Winters on The Young and the Restless and Sydney Cooke on Walker, Texas Ranger.  Not to mention whatever her role was in The Fosters.

40. Caterer's vessel: URN.   For your coffee.  Because you deserve it.

41. Combat doctors: MEDICS.   Military jargon.

46. Author Hemingway: ERNEST.   Ernest Miller Hemingway [1899 - 1961]was an American novelist, short-story writer, and journalist. His economical and understated style—which he termed the iceberg theory—had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his adventurous lifestyle and public image brought him admiration from later generations.

47. Alcohol in a Dark 'n' Stormy: RUM.   With ginger beer and lime.  Sounds interesting.

48. Sri Lanka, formerly: CEYLON.  Officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia. It lies in the Indian Ocean, southwest of the Bay of Bengal, and southeast of the Arabian Sea; it is separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. 

49. Breathing exercise direction: INHALE.  Breath in.

50. Hopping mad: ANGRY.   Furious.

51. "For real!": NO LIE.  Not joking.

52. Turner memoir: I TINA.   -- My Life Story is a 1986 autobiography by Tina Turner, co-written by MTV news correspondent and music critic Kurt Loder. The book was reissued by Dey Street Books in 2010

56. Sportsbook offering: ODDS.  Betting features.  That's all I know about it.

57. Became frayed, say: WORE.  The past tense of wear.  Here it means deteriorating.

58. Top poker cards: ACES.   Higher than kings.

59. Ring stats: TKOS.   Technical Knock-Outs.   A boxing term describing a situation where one boxer is judged the winner after knocking the other down three times.

62. Surfboard application: WAX.   Surfboard wax is essential as it gives you a tight grip and creates traction for your feet on your board. The wax also stops you from slipping off when you're paddling out to the waves.

63. Polished off: ATE.   Common crosswordese.

64. "Certainly": YES.  I agree.

Well, this wraps up another Wednesday, I think.  There is no calendar on my watch, so I'm not sure.  Nor do I know what time it is.  Tomorrow is probably Thanksgiving, so have a great one, don't eat too much, and don't argue politics.

Cool regards!


Nov 22, 2022

Tuesday November 22, 2022 Susy Christiansen and Doug Peterson

 Hello Cornerites!

sumdaze here, substitute blogging a second week for our Tuesday star, Hahtoolah.

Today's theme is        Some Assembly Required.

Susy Christiansen and Doug Peterson put together today's puzzle. The connection between the 4 themers is difficult to discern until we see the reveal so let's begin there:

66. Across.  Essentials, or what the first words of the answers to the starred clues are: NUTS AND BOLTS. the basic, practical details

Basically, the first 2 themers give us types of NUTS and the last 2 give us types of BOLTS.



This might be one of those situations where seeing the completed grid up front is helpful.

And now for the 4 themers:

18. Across *  Gift basket retailer known for cheese and smoked sausage: HICKORY FARMS.

Hickory Farms

Hickory Nuts

27. Across *  Oktoberfest venues: BEER GARDENS. "A beer garden (German:  Biergarten) is an outdoor area in which beer and food are served, typically at shared tables shaded by trees. They originated in Bavaria, of which Munich is the capital city, in the 19th century, and remain common in Southern Germany. They are usually attached to a brewery, beer hall, pub, or restaurant" (Wiki)

Beer Nuts

(Note #1:  I like that the constructors chose to not go with another member of the nut family for the 2nd themer. Beer nuts are actually peanuts that have been boiled in water with sugar then salted. 4.5 star recipe)

42. Across *  Robin Williams drama set at a prep school: DEAD POETS SOCIETY.

Dead Poets Society (1989) movie trailer

dead bolt

54. Across *  Classic Ford model: THUNDERBIRD

(Note#2: a small NIT here in that Ford spells "Thunderbird" as one word so "thunder" is technically not the first word of the answer to this starred clue.)

Suzanne Somers drove a 1956 T-Bird in American Graffiti (1973),
directed and co-written by George Lucas.

THUNDERBOLT (noun):  a flash of lightning with a simultaneous crash of thunder.

I got a bit in the weeds on the difference between a lightning bolt and a thunder bolt.

Let's see if we can assemble the rest of the grid:

1. Oktoberfest mugs: STEINS. used at 27A

7. Possessed: OWNED.  not the creepy, demon kind of "possessed"

12. Battleship letters: USSUnited States Ship  The "Mighty Mo" was the last American battleship ever built. 

15. Sit-up kin: CRUNCH.  sit-ups vs. crunches

16. Letter-shaped violin opening: F-HOLE.  a bit of F-HOLE history

17. "Picked" complaint: NIT.  See Note #2 (above)

20. __-la-la: TRA.  a phrase of merriment; said when doing something and trying to make yourself seem innocent; used when there is nothing to say

21. Director Brooks: MEL.  Multi-talented Mel is also an actor, voice actor, comedian, writer, and producer.

22. Soccer family rides: SUVS.  Sport Utility VehicleS

23. More frigid: ICIER.

25. Lyrical: ODIC.  I am not loving this one. It gets my Giant Leap Award.

Giant Leap Award


31. "What's up, __?": DOC.
voiced by Mel Blanc -- not 21A Mel Brooks

33. Unlike Bond's martini: STIRRED.
This happens to me all the time.

34. Wunderkind: PHENOM.  
a person who is outstandingly talented or admired, especially an up-and-comer.

37. Highchair fashion: BIB.

38. Seehorn of "Better Call Saul": RHEA.

2 rheas and a Rhea

46. Actress Hathaway: ANNE. Here is her Oscar-winning performance in Les Miserables (2012).

47. Texter's caveat: IMO.  IMOpinion.  for days when you are not feeling Humble

48. Edit: REVISE.

49. Xylophone kin: MARIMBA.

53. Went first: LED.  as in, "We led the way."

58. Window ledge: SILL.

61. Low voice: BASSO.

62. Hammer target: NAIL.
I wonder if he has any nuts & bolts???

64. Campground chain HQ'd in Billings, MT: KOA.  founded in 1962; more than 500 locations

65. Natural resource: ORE.

71. Broadcaster with regular pledge drives: NPR.
Donate and you might get a tote bag!

72. Deep-seated: INNER.

73. Military gesture: SALUTE.

74. Shaved head?: ESS.  as in the letter "S". "Head" can mean "the front of" as in "head of the class". So the "front of" the word "shaved" is the letter "S".
I filled this with perps then it took me a long time to make sense of it.
S'pose super savvy solvers suspected sneakiness so successfully sussed something sooner!

75. Skewered appetizer served with peanut sauce: SATAY.
Delicious street food in Thailand!

76. Seismic event: TREMOR.  (Hi Jace!)

1. Hard-to-like person: SCHMO. Our Ch. Moe is very likable!
schmo  /SHmō/
  1. a stupid person.
  2. a hypothetical ordinary man.
  3. nounJoe Schmoplural nounJoe Schmoesplural nounJoe Schmos

2. Did one's best: TRIED. and true

3. Type of geometry: EUCLIDEAN.  Hands down, best fill of the day! If you wrote proofs involving lines, angles, triangles, quadrilaterals, etc. in high school, then you did Euclidean Geometry. It is beautiful stuff!

4. Ballpoint pen filler: INK.

5. GIs with chevrons: NCOS.  Non-Commissioned OfficerS

6. Landscaping bush: SHRUB.

7. Compensate for: OFFSET. as in "the gains offset the losses"

8. "Huh ... ?": WHAtttt???? My runner-up for the Giant Leap Award (see 25A).

9. Fin. neighbor: NOR.  FINland is abbreviated, so is NORway.

10. Stately tree: ELM.

11. Long for: DESIRE.

12. Disentangle: UNTIE.  (Hi Jinx!)

13. Warning signal: SIREN.  Did you know that before fire trucks had sirens, Dalmatian dogs  ran alongside the horses to clear the way so the wagon could get to the fire quickly?
Nowadays they mostly just drive the truck.

14. Plays the lead: STARS.

19. First name in fashion: YVES. Saint Laurent

24. Outmoded data readers on PCs: CD DRIVES.

26. Denounces: CONDEMNS.  Haters gonna hate.

28. Corduroy ridges: RIBS.

29. Pinot __: white wine grape: GRIS.  aka Pinot Grigio. This wine pairs better with fish than with your Thanksgiving turkey. Serve ice cold.

30. Ann __, Michigan: ARBOR.

32. Arresting figure?: COP.  Fun wordplay! You have the right to remain silent....

34. Couple's indiscretion, for short: PDA.  Public Display of Affection

35. Female lobster: HEN.  some lobster info. I wish I could unread

36. Rippled pattern: MOIRE.
Kinda groovy!

39. Judge on "America's Got Talent": HEIDI KLUM.  It is interesting that Heidi Klum's symmetrical partner in this grid is EUCLIDIAN.

40. Sci-fi aviators: ETS.  ExtraTerrestrialS

41. Nautical "yes": AYE.
43. Mideast leader: EMIR.

44. "Lara Croft: __ Raider": TOMB.
It is important to dress appropriately when raiding tombs.

45. Animation collectible: CEL.  "Cel" is short for "celluoid", the transparent sheet on which the characters where once hand-drawn. In 1990, Disney switched to computer animation.  prices of desirable cels

50. Aphrodite's love: ADONIS. the god of beauty & attraction

51. Consisting of two parts: BINARY.

52. Galway Bay island group: ARAN.

54. Steakhouse order: T-BONE.

55. Pluckable instruments: HARPS.

56. Computer operators: USERS.

57. Quaint "performed": DIDST.  (archaic) a form of the past tense of "do"

59. State drawing: LOTTO.  Haha! I see what they did there. Not an artistic "drawing".

60. __ pointer: LASER.

63. Letter-shaped brace: L-BAR.
Nuts & Bolts not included

67. Spanish "a": UNA.

68. Blasting material: TNT.  TriNitroToluene

Wile E. Coyote and The Roadrunner in TNT Trouble

69. Aquaman's realm: SEA.
Jason Momoa in Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom (2023)

70. Fútbol fan's cry: OLE.

That's all for today. I look forward to reading your thoughts.

P.S.  Just a reminder... here is Hahtoolah’s note from 11/8/22:

If you are reading this on Tuesday, I will likely be on the crossword puzzle's favorite airline heading towards Tel Aviv.  Part business, part fun.  Unlike the song, however, I do know when I will be back.  See you at the end of the month.  You will be in capable hands during my absence.

Notes from C.C.:

 1) Thanks for subbing for the past two Tuesdays, sumdaze!

2) Hahtoolah is now safely back home. She sent me these two pictures with captions:


 Here I am outside the Agam Museum in Rishon LeTsiyon, Israel.

The Path to Peace is a mosaic creation designed by Israeli artist Tsameret Zamir, on the border wall dividing Israel and Gaza.  Visitors to the area are invited to add their own mosaics.