Jan 28, 2022

Friday, January 28, 2022, Dan Schoenholz

  Welcome to Dan Schoenholz' world where things always fit together; or do they? 

This is his 9th LAT publication along with 26 NYTs of which 11 are Sundays. He started here with a Sunday back in 2010 and has never ventured into end of the week themeless grids. He has commented that he likes "interlocking" theme answers and this is a doozy. (Maybe?) How to "suss" his fill? 

We start with 
16A. Reason for a robot's knee trouble?: JOINRUST (9). Well that makes sense, but JOINT TRUST is also a real method of Estate Planning. You just need to borrow the T. hmm.
So we moved on to 
29A. Drinking espresso before bed, say?: NIGHERROR. another simple fill as strong coffee  will keep most awake, but NIGHT TERROR is also very real as night terror, also called sleep terror, a sleep disorder causing feelings of panic or dread. (I had my sleep study on Monday, results in 10 days). hmm2
Next we find
36A. Flushing problem?: TOILEISSUE would be a difficulty if you could not flush, but TOILET TISSUE is very much an important concept in the loo. hmm3
43A. Babe who never lied?: HONESRUTH; I never heard that about the ballplayer but I do know of the phrase HONEST TRUTH which is a bit redundant. hmm4
57A. Mom and dad's rhythmic genre?: PARENRAP, my kids have never needed to fear hearing style of music from their parents but the Movie  PARENT TRAP (twins seperated at birth) did further Haley Mills' career and then spawn the Patty Duke Show (identical cousins). hmm5

Thank you C.C. for teaching me how to deal with the new rules for using the XWord info site which allowed me to show these long non-theme fill: ARSENAL, PGA TOUR, PODCAST, SPHERES, TREEBOA, ON PATROL, SANTA ANA, BEG FOR MERCY and NINTENDO WII. An impressive array. If Dan does not stop by we are our own, and may never know what he had in mind, but I had fun.


1. Exhibit wanderlust: ROAM. It was for me and many others I guess a joy to start with filling 1A.

5. Graceless sort: OAF. Boom, there was 5A and we are going great.

8. Settled things: DEBTS. Oops, time to begin to work. The noun not the verb.

13. Revolution site: AXLEThe Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round Now we already are confronting Friday misdirection, not a coup, but a coo.

14. Church niche: APSE. If you have been in a church you know the  large semicircular or polygonal recess where the altar is. If not, now you do.

15. Beethoven wrote just one: OPERA. The STORY.  The music.


18. Behind bars: CAGED. This is easy fill if you think of historic zoos; a bit dicey thinking about human prisoners; not very popular thse days for either group. mb, thoughts?

19. Figure (out): SUSS. A word crossword solvers could not exist without that was stolen by a famous constructor...

20. "Gross!": ICK. This first appeared in this quotation in 1965. "Together we dragged [the fish] flopping on the grassy bank, where it smacked its tail and made Lecia sidestep with an odd daintiness. She actually said ick. "— Mary Karr. ICKY goes back to 1929.

22. Gratified: FED. If you think of an ego this makes more sense.

23. Run things: MANAGE. That is why they are called managers.

26. Ad for a good cause,  briefly: PSAPublic Service Announcement.                                      

27. Japanese port city: KOBE. We leave out basketball and beef for this old CITY.

28. Yellowfin tuna: AHI. Aha! Ahi is back. All you need to know to be a bit more informed and confused. LINK.

32. Orange County seat: SANTA  ANA. The double A caught my eye but was not part of the theme.

35. Tibetan priest: LAMA. The one "L" one; hello Dahli.

39. Hang: PEND. Many judges do not rule on the spot. 

40. Like beat cops: ON PATROL. This concept dates back to the 1690s and is from the French words meaning "to go the rounds in a camp or garrison, march about as a guard," from patrouiller ‘paddle in mud.'

46. Greek X: CHI. So much to know about a single LETTER.

47. Chances: ODDS

48. Vacuum's lack: AIR. Or hoses.

49. Biological catalyst: ENZYME. A substance produced by a living organism which acts as a catalyst to bring about a specific biochemical reaction. Dictionary.

52. Sgt., e.g.: NCONon-Commissioned Officer.

53. Little mischief maker: IMP. The definition of an imp is a young demon (historically) or a child (in modern times) who misbehaves just for the fun of misbehaving. An example of an historic imp is a very small mythical creature that plays tricks on people. An example of a modern imp is a five year old child who hides from their mother in a grocery store.

54. Penélope who is the only Spanish actress with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: CRUZ.

55. Georgia rivals of the Tide: DAWGS. Georgia won the big game this year.

62. Like many elephants: ASIAN. Both species are endagered.  In Africa, there are approximately 415,000 individuals left whilst in Asia, a mere 40,000.


63. Former partners: EXES

64. Flow like lava: OOZE

65. Clown elevator: STILT. I really like this clue.

66. Source of early glistening: DEW
Dew Is Glistening
dew is glistening, morning Sun
caressing Earth where we are one
step away from feeling something new
by Lawrence

67. Low-level worker: PEON. I hope I never get peed on.


1. Indian friend of Sheldon and Leonard: RAJ. Koothrappali. In real life he married a beauty queen.

2. Big name in kitchenware: OXO. A very common fill.

3. Ring master: ALI. Not the circus but the boxing ring. Muhammed and his daughter Laila.

4. Organization name that means "table" in Latin: MENSA. The word mensa translates “table” in Latin; similarly, mens means “mind” and mensis means “month.” The name “Mensa” is reminiscent of “mind, table, month."

5. Magnum __: OPUS. The plural is opera.

6. Animal in some fables: ASS.  Aesop's moral of the ass who dressed in a lion skin to scare others, "A fool may deceive by his dress and appearance, but his words will soon show what he really is."

7. Amulet: FETISH. This is an inanimate object worshiped for its supposed magical powers or because it is considered to be inhabited by a spirit. Similar: juju, talisman, charm, totem, icon, idol or image. Think about that when you look at your icon.

8. Park on the water?: DOCK. Another fun clue/fill. 

9. Clean Air Act org.: EPAEnvironmental Protection Agency.

10. Seek leniency: BEG FOR MERCY. This is a debut in the LA Times. 

11. Amazonian arboreal snake: TREE BOA. This appeared in the LA Times only in a Sunday, February 24, 2013.

12. Further down?: SADDER. So true.

14. Longtime Tottenham football rival: ARSENAL. Do we have many football fans here besides or British contingent?

17. Pull: TUG.

21. Popular adoptee: CAT. What you need to KNOW.

23. Miguel's more: MAS. Spanish lesson.

24. Reaction to a light bulb turning on?: AHA. Metaphorically? An idea? Or finding your partner in someone else embrace?

25. GameCube successor: NINTENDO WII. Wiki's HISTORY.

26. Gp. with many of the best drivers: PGA TOUR. Gold for HG, Moe and others.

27. Brat go-with: KRAUT. A bad word in the 30s and 40s.

30D. Like Beethoven's Sonata Op. 109: IN E.

31. Snow queen in "Frozen": ELSA. My granddaughters have been obsessed with the sisters.

33. Eases, with "down": TONES. If you are going to complain, do it reasonably; tone down your attack.

34. Helps out: AIDS. From the French.

37. Acct. earnings: INTerest.

38. Ranges of influence: SPHERES. Your sphere of influence (“SOI” or “sphere”) are the people in your personal and professional network with whom your opinion holds some weight. More to it in politics.

39. Online entertainment: PODCAST. My oldest boy loves them as he drives.

41. Omega, in physics: OHM. Ohm on the range.

42. Fail to be straight: LIE. A bit obscure. 

43. Pilots on the road: HONDAS. Where else would you find an automobile?

44. One might be doffed in Dundee: TAM. Tam o'shanter cap.

45. Muscular: RIPPED.

50. "The Sound of Music" extra: NUN

51. "Tres Hombres" band: ZZTOP. The full album.

53. Ain't proper?: ISNT. An old favorite clue/fill.

54. Captain's help: CREW. Make it so.

56. Milk purch.: GALlon.

58. Let go: AXE. Fire, a spray deodorant, or my old band client.

59. Anonymous plaintiff in a landmark case: ROE. No politics! 

60. __ dye: AZO. They create pretty colors but are DANGEROUS.

61. Home near a barn: PEN. Do not be a pig about it.

Another month about to slide into the record books; HBDTY nephew Jonathan; good luck to the world and all of us; keep Boomer and any who ail in your thoughts and prayers and take time to enjoy life. Thank you Dan, Lemonade out

Jan 27, 2022

Thursday, January 27, 2022, Bruce Venzke

A word ladder puzzle starts with a word at the bottom of the ladder and ends with a word at the top.  Or, in this case, vice versa.  You must form a sequence of words (a word ladder).  On every rung of the ladder you must place a new word that only differs from the previous word by a single letter. 

Good Morning, Cruciverbalists.  Malodorous Manatee here with today's puzzle by Bruce Venzke.  The Xwordinfo site lists nineteen puzzles attributed to him and he had an LAT puzzle reviewed here on January 3rd of this recently-commenced year.  Boomer refers to him as "the legend" and today's word ladder construction does not diminish his reputation in any manner.

A couple of preliminary thoughts:  GOAT is old-time slang for the person who messes up and thereby costs the team a win.  These days, though, it also has another, almost opposite meaning as the acronym for Greatest OAll Time.  Of course it can also mean, well, a goat.  This might have been a bit confusing theme-wise if, as I did, you solved 17 Across first among the #'ed clues having, at that point, no idea of where this was all headed.  Also confusing is the fact that, other than that they are all "marked" with the # sign (suggesting that they are related to each other in some way) there are no clues for the answers on the eight rungs of the ladder.   We are forced to "perp" one or more of those answers and then we must also recognize what it going on - i.e. that we are in the midst of solving a Word Ladder Puzzle.  Those unfamiliar with this type of construction may have felt like our friends above . . . or below.  Here are the steps on the ladder:

17 Across:  #1: GOAT  Commence at rung #1

20 Across:  #2: GOAD  Change the T to a D

26 Across:  #3: LOAD  Change the G to an L

30 Across:  #4: LORD  Change the A to an R

44 Across:  #5: LARD  Change the O to an A

51 Across:  #6: HARD  Change the L to an H

55 Across:  #7: HERD  Change the A to an E

58 Across:  #8: HERO  Change the D to an O, et voila! You've gone from being a GOAT to being a HERO in eight easy steps

The "reveal" comes at 36 Across:  What takes place in eight puzzle answers when read in sequence: CHANGE OF FORTUNE.

Here is how it appears in the grid:

The placement of the eight "rungs" within two sets of successive rows, both spanning the width of the puzzle, is quite impressive.

. . . and now for the rest of the story:


1. "The Divine Comedy," e.g.: EPIC.  In the traditional sense.

5. Bubbly brand: ASTI.   
Franciacorta  è superiore.  How does a manatee know this, I hear you ask?  Our resident sommelier.

9. They're not gentlemen: CADS.  The etymology of CADS is a bit complicated.

13. Robusto! sauce maker: RAGU.

14. Letter on a dreidel: SHIN.  There are four letters on a dreidel.  Nun, Gimel, Hey and SHIN.  They are the first letters of  the Hebrew words Ness Gadol Hayah Sham which translates as A Great Miracle Happened There.

15. Archaeological site: RUINS.

Agrigento, Sicily Photo by MM

18. Continues despite hardship: SOLDIERS ON.  Idiomatic.

22. Common lot size: ONE ACRE. 1/640 of a square mile.

23. Go up: ASCEND.

27. __ & Perrins: Worcestershire sauce brand: LEA.

28. Terse memo from the boss: SEE ME.  We have seen this one before.

29. What Phobos orbits: MARS.  Our name for the the larger, and innermost, of the two natural satellites of MARS although the locals likely have a different name for it.

31. UFO passengers: ETS.  Unidentified Flying Objects are supposedly occupied by Extra TerrestrialS.  Perhaps they come from MARS.

32. Billiards backspin: DRAW.  Jargon.

34. School auxiliaries, for short: PTAS.  "For short" suggests abbrv.

41. Some reddish deer: ROES.  Roe, a deer, a reddish deer.

42. Like granola bars: OATY.  Not ricey or wheaty.

43. Hot __: ROD.

Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen - 1974

46. What many leaves do in autumn: TURN.  This muddled marine mammal first tried to make things work with FALL (which seemed like a nice bit of word play when paired with Autumn).

48. Part of la famille: FRERE.  Today's French lesson.  Brother.

50. Bonding and binding words: I DO.  For those into bondage, I suppose.

52. Wears out: DOES IN.  If a female deer strays is that a DOE SIN?

53. Ones who belong: MEMBERS.

56. Spies: OPERATIVES.

62. Barbershop accessory: STROP.

The Barber on the Left Is Stropping a Straight Razor

63. Final critical moment: NICK.  In the NICK of time.  From the Latin nictare.  To wink.

64. Jump that's often a triple: AXEL.  Not to be confused with AXLE.

Midori Ito - 1992

65. Farm females: SOWS.  Often, EWES.  Sometimes HENS.

66. Comic book shrieks: EEKS.  Not to be confused with EKES.

67. Take care of: TEND.


1. Bit of work: ERG.  Equal to the work done by a force of one dyne acting through a distance of one centimetre.  Got it?

2. Kung __ chicken: PAO.

3. Market chain with a red oval logo: IGA.

4. Jewelry piece that's been cleaved or shaped: CUT GEM.  A bit of a punt.

5. Long-time Syrian president: ASSAD.  First Hafez al-Asaad and then Bashar al-Assad.  Like father like son.

6. Wearing wingtips, say: SHOD.  Not a bird reference.

7. Up to, in ads: TIL.  UnTIL

8. Like some pools: INDOOR.  This could have several answers.  Thanks, perps.

9. Belief: CREED.

10. Subtle glow: AURA.

11. Real estate transaction requirements: DISCLOSURES.

12. One might keep you up: SNORER.   A snoring person might keep you awake.

16. Golf's Slammin' Sammy: SNEAD.  Decades ago someone came up with the idea to resolve all of the strife in the Middle East by holding a winner-take-all golf tournament.  One of the countries decided to cheat and imported Slammin' Sammy to play for them under the alias of Sheikh SNEAD.  Afterwards, when asked to explain his disappointing second place finish, Sheikh Snead replied "I just could not beat Rabbi Palmer."

19. Behind the eight ball: IN A SPOT.  Idiomatic.

21. Tense: ON EDGE.  Idiomatic.

23. "Wait __!": A SEC.  Wait!  Wait!  Don't tell Me!

24. Green of Austin Powers films: SETH.  #1 of four proper nouns in a row (the first three are actors).

25. He was The Joker on TV's "Batman": CESAR ROMERO.  #2

26. London-born Rat Packer: LAWFORD.  #3

29. Chinese chairman: MAO.  #4  Not to be confused with our own Chairman Moe.

30. Map line: Abbr.: LAT LATitude

33. Remedy for a freeze: RESTART.  A computer reference.  The technique would not be applicable here:

Elk Avenue, Crested Butte, Colorado

35. Attempt to get: TRY FOR.

37. Doze: NOD.  This mindless marine mammal first tried to make NAP work.

38. Devotee: FAN.

39. Negative words of agreement?: NOR I.  What to reply when asked if  you, also, do not want some dried edible seaweed.

40. Biblical plot: EDEN.  Ah, a parcel of land rather than a conspiracy.

44. Long rides?: LIMOS.  Nice word play.

45. Masters: ADEPTS.  Noun or verb?  Noun.

47. Bearish: URSINE.  Tautological.

49. Cardinal's headgear: RED HAT.  Not a reference to the College of Cardinals.  Or, perhaps, it is.

St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Cap

51. A lot more than a little: HEAPS.  Slang.

52. Classroom furniture: DESKS.

54. Sweat spot: BROW.   "By the sweat of your brow you will produce food to eat . . ."  Genesis 3:19  

55. "Dang!": HECK.  DRAT  DARN  RATS  DAMN (or a couple of omissions)

57. Compete: VIE.  Solver:  "What's a three-letter word for compete?"  Dracula:  "VIE"  Solver:  "It's for a crossword."

59. Application file suffix: EXE.  Another computer reference.

60. Cartoon canine: REN.

61. Overdone: OLD.  Used too often.  Like OREO?


Jan 26, 2022

Wednesday January 26, 2022 Darryl Gonzalez

Theme:  We'll Get Along Swimmingly or This Puzzle Is All Wet.   You can choose.

It will make more sense if we start with the unifier.

39. '70s-'80s series about the Drummond family ... and what the starts of four long answers are: DIFF'RENT STROKES.  This was 
an American television sitcom that aired on NBC from November 3, 1978, to May 4, 1985, and on ABC from September 27, 1985, to March 7, 1986. 

Two black kids from Harlem, Arnold Jackson and older brother Willis, are welcomed into the family of wealthy New York businessman Philip Drummond when their mother, his housekeeper, passes away. The two brothers become part of the Drummond family and learn various lessons about life."  I wasn't a regular watched, but did see this show occasionally.  It was pretty good.

Back to the puzzle: the first word of each theme answer is a specific stroke used in swimming.

17 A. Oxymoronic '80s sci-fi film title: BACK TO THE FUTURE.  This is classic.

The BACK STROKE: Lie on your back and flutter your legs while circling your arms in a windmill motion. You swim on your back and propel yourself backwards. 

28 A. Out-of-the-way access: SIDE ENTRANCE.  Possibly good for sneaking in or out.

Although not one of the official four strokes in competitive swimming, the sidestroke is a great survival technique. This is commonly used by lifeguards because you can hold onto another person and keep them above water while you swim. Lie on your side and scissor your legs to propel yourself forward.

47 A. Place for a pen: BREAST POCKET.  A pocket on the front of a shirt or jacket, located over the chest.

The BREAST STROKE: Float with your stomach facing down, then move your arms in a half-circle motion in front of the body. Bend your legs, then kick back with good timing, and you’ll propel yourself up and forward. This is a great workout and is recommended for those who swim for exercise.

65. Seafood order: BUTTERFLY SHRIMP.  To butterfly a shrimp means to do a lengthwise incision on the front or back of the shrimp in a symmetrical way. Since it should be symmetrical or equally alike, both sides of the shrimp must have the same form when opened – like the shape of a butterfly with wings extended.

The BUTTERFLY STROKE: An excellent workout and common competitive stroke–possibly because it tests a mature swimmer–the butterfly is performed by bringing your arms up above your head, then pushing them down into the water to propel yourself forward. Your legs perform a dolphin kick, in which they stay together and kick simultaneously in a bobbing fashion. 

Hi, gang, JazzBumpa on duty.  I'm not much of a swimmer, but lets dive right in to the puzzle.


1. Natural sand bank: BERM.  A flat strip of land, raised bank, or terrace bordering a river or canal.  I guess it could be sand.

5. Historic times: AGES.  As, free, the jazz AGE.

9. Standing at attention, say: ERECT.  Upright, as a good soldier should be.

14. Diva's solo: ARIA.  From operas and oratorios.  If Game of Thrones were an opera there could be an Arya ARIA.

15. Meter starter: DECI-.  Meaning one tenth of.

16. Cookie maker's tool: MIXER.  To blend all the ingredients

20. "Jeopardy!" contestant: ASKER.  That's the way this show works.   Answers must be in the form of a question.

21. Cub slugger: SOSA.  Samuel Peralta Sosa [b 1968]  is a Dominican American former professional baseball right fielder. He played in Major League Baseball for 19 seasons, primarily with the Chicago Cubs. After playing for the Texas Rangers and Chicago White Sox, Sosa joined the Cubs in 1992 and became regarded as one of the game's best hitters. [Wikipedia]

22. Paradise: EDEN.  The perfect place, if you can keep it.

23. Anasazi home setting: MESA.  A table land in the American South-west.  The Ancestral Puebloans, also known as the Anasazi, were an ancient Native American culture that spanned the present-day Four Corners region of the United States, comprising southeastern Utah, northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, and southwestern Colorado.  [Wikipedia]

25. "__ the season ... ": TIS.  To be jolly, so cheer up, dammit!

27. Crowd no., often: ESTimation.

33. It's its own square: ONE.  Also the loneliest number.

34. Nice water?: EAU.  French.  Do you think it's nice?

35. Lanai greeting: ALOHA.  Welcome to Hawaii

44. Enjoying a scone, maybe: AT TEA.  We have tea at 4:00 every afternoon.  Sadly, though, I have to watch my carbs.

45. Call to Jude?: HEY.


 46. RN workplaces: ORS. Operating Rooms.

52. African snake: ASP.  As Cleopatra well knew, as the story goes.  But historians dispute the manner of her death

55. Major NJ airport: EWR.  Newark - Liberty International Airport.

56. Prepare to mail: SEAL.  As an envelope.

57. Small deer: ROES.  These are small deer native to Europe, reddish and grey-brown, and well-adapted to cold environments.

59. NYC's __ River: EAST.  A salt water tidal estuary in New York City. The waterway, which is actually not a river despite its name, connects Upper New York Bay on its south end to Long Island Sound on its north end.  Who knew?

61. Salamanca snacks: TAPAS.  Salamanca, in northwestern Spain, is the capital of Salamanca province, part of the Castile and León region.  Appetizers or snacks in Spanish cuisine.

68. Frisky swimmer: OTTER.  Some aquatic creatures are fish.  others are otters.  Either way, they're all wet.

69. "The Clan of the Cave Bear" protagonist: AYLA.  The Clan of the Cave Bear is a 1980 novel and epic work of prehistoric fiction by Jean M. Auel about prehistoric times. It is the first book in the Earth's Children book series, which speculates on the possibilities of interactions between Neanderthal and modern Cro-Magnon humans.

70. Fencing tool: EPEE.  A sharp-pointed dueling sword, designed for thrusting and used, with the end blunted, in fencing.

71. Feature of Mike and Ike candy?: RHYME.  Oblong, chewy, colorful candies coming in many flavors.  The only rhyming aspect I can figure out is in the name.

72. Pour: TEEM.   TEEM means to be full of or swarming with.  I can't relate it to pour.

73. Look after: TEND.  As sheep or children.


1. Quick Draw's sidekick __ Looey: BABA.


 2. Historic times: ERAS.

3. "Casablanca" hero: RICK.  Also classic.


 4. Bully's challenge: MAKE ME.

5. Turmoil: ADO.  A state of agitation or fuss, especially about something unimportant.

6. Enjoys the beach, say: GETS A TAN.  Don't forget your sunblock.  You want a TAN, not a burn.

7. Canyon comeback: ECHO.

8. Afternoon break: SIESTA.  Nap in Spanish

9. Long-legged runner: EMU.  Big bird.

10. Serious ceremony: RITE.  By definition

11. Radiate: EXUDE.  

12. Roman goddess of agriculture: CERES.  In ancient Roman religion, Ceres was a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships.  [Wikipedia]

13. Stoke-on-__: English city: TRENT.  Known for its pottery.

18. Plant with a trunk: TREE.

19. Gladly, to Shakespeare: FAIN.  Archaic word meaning done with pleasure.

24. Old-time knife: SNEE.  A large knife.  The word has cognates in other Germanic languages. 

26. Sign of surgery: SCAR.

28. Pop at a counter: SODA.  Pop in some regions, soda in others.  or even soda pop.  What do you say?

29. Down but not out: IN IT.  As, for example, the Chiefs with 14 seconds left.

30. Slick: DEFT.  Said of something done in a neatly skillful and quick manner, as for example Matthew Stafford to Cooper Kupp, as can be seen here.

31. Babe and a doctor: RUTHS.  Baseball star George Herman Ruth, Jr. [1895 - 1948] and Dr. Karola Ruth Westheimer. [b. 1928]

32. "Do Ya" rock gp.: ELO.  Electric Light Orchestra.


 36. "That's enough!": OK OK.  TMI; stop it already.

37. "You are __": mall map info: HERE.

38. Exec.'s helper: ASST.  Assistant.

40. Big mo. for chocolate purchases: FEB.  Thank you, St. Valentine.

41. Steakhouse order: RARE.  Style of cooking.

42. Established method: SET STYLE.  I'd call a standard operating procedure, but OK.

43. Work at a keyboard: TYPE.  As I am doing right now.

48. Pretty pitcher: EWER.  A large jug with a wide mouth.  Might or might not be pretty as a picture.

49. 1994 Peace co-Nobelist with Rabin and Peres: ARAFAT.  Mohammed Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf al-Qudwa al-Husseini [1929 - 2004] popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar, was a Palestinian political leader. 

50. Solemn vow: OATH.

51. Brit's Bordeaux: CLARET.  Unofficial reference to red Bordeaux wines.

52. Garden recess: ARBOR.  A shady garden alcove with sides and a roof formed by trees or climbing plants trained over a wooden framework.

53. TV's "__ Park": SOUTH.


 54. Tom of the Traveling Wilburys: PETTY.  Thomas Earl Petty [1950 - 2017] was an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and actor. He was the lead vocalist and guitarist of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, formed in 1976. He previously led the band Mudcrutch, and was also a member of the late 1980s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys.


 58. Stop, as a flow: STEM.

60. Roy Rogers' birth name: SLYE.  Leonard Franklin Slye [1911- 1998] aka Roy Rogers was an American singer, actor, and television host. Following early work under his given name, first as co-founder of the Sons of the Pioneers and then acting, the rebranded Rogers then became one of the most popular Western stars of his era.

62. Plumbing part: PIPE.

63. "Right you are!": AMEN.

64. Went too fast: SPED.

66. Before, to a poet: ERE.

67. Yosemite __: SAM.

This wraps up another Wednesday.  Hope you didn't flounder.

Jan 25, 2022

Tuesday, January 25, 2022 David Poole

All Aboard!

37-Across. Freight train components ... or a hint to each group of circled letters: BOX CARS.

Note that the circles are arranged to make a "box".  Rearrange the letters in the circles and you get a make of car.  Altogether, we get six different cars.  Top row, left to right, we get an Audi, an Opel, and a Jeep.  Bottom row, right to left, we get a Mini, an Alda (or possibly a Lada), and a Ford.  [Both the Alda and Lada seem too obscure for a Tuesday puzzle.]

1. Uber alternatives: CABS.  Not wines, this time.

5. Thyroid, e.g.: GLAND.

10. Managed music for a wedding reception, briefly: DJ'ED.

14. Sword handle: HILT.  //  And 16-Across. Olympic sport with two accents: ÉPÉE.

15. Lasso wielder: ROPER.

17. Biblical birthright seller: ESAU.  The story of Jacob and Esau can be found in Genesis 25:19-34.

18. Tylenol competitor: ALEVE.  Both are pain relievers.  The active ingredient in Tylenol is Acetaminophen; in Aleve, it's Naproxen.

19. Warning from a reckless driver?: FORE.  A golfing reference.

20. Lost traction: SLID.

21. Runs out of steam: TIRES.

22. MP3 player: iPOD.  Sadly, Apple no longer makes iPods.  

23. "__ now!": "Seinfeld" mantra spoken by Frank Costanza: SERENITY.  Episode 159, Season 9.  It was first aired on October 9, 1997.

25. Many an IRS worker: CPA.  A shout out to the Certified Public Accounts who read this blog.

27. Artemis program org.: NASA.  A program of the future.

28. Storm warning: THUNDER.

32. Medicare section for ambulance services: PART-B.  There are 4 parts to Medicare.

35. Rossini's "William Tell" has a famous one: OVERTURE.  Sometime mistaken for the theme song to the Lone Ranger.

36. Tavern tipple: ALE.

40. 911 responder, briefly: EMS.  Emergency Medical Services.  There are many types of EMS's.

41. Its trill begins "Rhapsody in Blue": CLARINET.  A musical composition by George Gershwin.

43. D sharp equivalent: E-FLAT.

45. Singing, dancing and acting: TALENTS.  We found some hidden talents last Tuesday.

46. Draped dress: SARI.  Everything you wanted to know about the sari, but didn't know to ask.

48. "Yuck!": UGH.  Nothing Ugh about this puzzle.

49. Really botched: MESSED UP.

53. Sous-chef's job: PREP.  A sous-chef is to the chef as the vice president is to the president.

56. Decree: EDICT.

58. __ song: cheaply: FOR A.

59. Wild West Wyatt: EARP.  Best known for being involved in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

60. Back biter?: MOLAR.  Cute clue.  I just had to have a filling replace in one of my molars.

61. Far from flashy: DRAB.  Hand up if you tried Dull before Drab.

62. Gallic gal pal: AMIE.  Today's French lesson

63. Carne __: taco filling: ASADA.  Today's Spanish lesson.  Hi, Lucina!

64. Manet medium: OILS.  Not to be confused with Monet, who also painted in oils.

65. Ilk: KIND.

66. Designed to punish: PENAL.  Franz Kafka wrote a short story about a penal colony.  It was quite gruesome.

67. Pole on the Bounty: MAST.

1. "The Queen's Gambit" game: CHESS.  The Queen's Gambit is a 1983 novel by Walter Tevis.  It was later made into a Netflix miniseries.

2. Flier's seat option: AISLE.  I prefer an aisle seat when I fly.

3. Major's successor: BLAIR.  Tricky clue for those of us on this side of the pond.  Tony Blair succeeded John Major as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

4. Nero, to Seneca: STUDENT.  Seneca was an ancient Roman philosopher.  I wonder if he taught Nero to play the violin.

5. On the house: GRATIS.  Today's Latin lesson.

6. Nabokov title girl: LOLITA.  A book that has been banned in many countries.

7. Mimic's forte: APERY.

8. Actress Campbell: NEVE.  She is often seen in horror films.

9. Fran of "The Nanny": DRESCHER.  She has a very nasal and annoying voice.

10. Insubordinate: DEFIANT.

11. Genre for some Tokyo-based bands: J-POP.

12. Designer Saarinen: EERO.  He used to make frequent guest appearances in the crossword puzzles.

13. Monopoly card: DEED.

24. Apprehending: NABBING.

26. Maritime money handlers: PURSERS.

28. FDR power project: TVA.  The Tennessee Valley Authority was created as a part of Franklin D. Roosevelt programs during the Great Depression.

29. "Hamilton" climax: DUEL.  He wasn't using an épée.

30. Funny Bombeck: ERMA.  She wrote a syndicated column that appeared in many American newspapers.

31. Remainder: REST.

32. Treaty: PACT.

33. Penne __ vodka: ALLA.  Today's Italian lesson.  Can you guess what it is made of?

34. Actual: REAL.

35. Canadian Thanksgiving mo.: OCT.  Hi, CanadianEh!

38. In a position of fame: ON THE MAP.

39. Ballot marks: X'ES.

42. Signed on for another tour: RE-UPPED.

44. Feudal lord's domain: FIEFDOM.

46. Cuban-born Grammy winner Jon: SECADA.  I'm not familiar with this musician.

47. Starlike: ASTRAL.

49. Italian fashion center: MILAN.  How Milan became the Fashion Capital.

50. Ill-fated ship Andrea __: DORIA.  The SS Andrea Doria, which sank off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts in 1956, was named after the Genoese admiral Andrea Doria.

51. Eurasian range: URALS.

52. Blue Ribbon brewer: PABST.  Everything you wanted to know about Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer, but didn't know to ask.

53. Pinnacle: PEAK.

54. Malek of "Mr. Robot": RAMI.  He also portrayed Freddie Mercury in the 2018 film,  Bohemian Rhapsody.

55. St. Patrick's home: ERIN.  Also known as Ireland.

57. Medicine amount: DOSE.  A spoonful of sugar will help the medicine go down ...

Tell me what you learned.


Jan 24, 2022

Monday January 24, 2022 Jerry Edelstein

Theme: Anagram Time

20. Nicholas II was the last one: TSAR OF RUSSIA.

34. Hopping western rodents: KANGAROO RATS.

44. Meteor: SHOOTING STAR.

58. Tasks in music, painting, etc.: ARTS PROJECTS.

Boomer here.  

Today is the day I STARt Radiation.  Been there done that about three and a half years ago.  I don't remember many side effects but C.C. does.  Last week I had a taste of physical therapy and occupational therapy.  Things went well but I have more to come after I take care of a few other appointments at the VA.

Boomer OT grip strength test, VA, 1/21/2022

1. Baghdad is its capital: IRAQ.

5. Really slow parties: DRAGS.  Really FAST stock car races.

10. Bloke: CHAP.  Ollie's buddy Stan.

14. Hindu spiritual adviser: GURU.  While I was in the VA hospital recovering from surgery, I was visited by a couple of Catholic spiritual advisers.

15. Latin for "gold": AURUM.

16. British nobleman below a marquess: EARL.  "Duke, Duke, Duke of EARL".  Gene Chandler.

17. Rifle range rounds: AMMO.  It's been a long time since I was on a rifle range.

18. Failure to exercise appropriate care: NEGLIGENCE.  I did not hear this word, but I was told what might happen if I failed to exercise.

22. Nod up and down: AGREE.  So I nodded up and down!

25. Enjoy the slopes: SKI.  We have Olympic size ski slopes here in MN.  I am sure we will see more in Beijing.

26. Nav. rank: ENS.  Same as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army.

27. Bath bathroom: LOO.  Skip to my ???

28. "To make a __ story short ... ": LONG.

32. Jessica with two Oscars and three Emmys: LANGE.  Born in Cloquet, Minnesota but also lived in Stillwater, MN for a length of time.

38. Jai __: ALAI.

39. Formal "Door's open": ENTER.

40. Green Hornet's sidekick: KATO.  Short for MANKATO, MN

47. Glide on a rink: SKATE.  Lots of High School and College Hockey in our state.  Waiting to see how players do in Beijing.

50. Soon, in Shakespeare: ANON.

51. Well output: OIL.  Prices have risen drastically over the past year.

52. Tic-__-toe: TAC.

53. __ Lingus: AER.

56. Submit a résumé (for), as a job: APPLY.  Not me.  I had a job, but now I am too old.

63. Like hastily made plans: LAST SECOND.  We do not do this.  I have all of my appointments in writing, and we usually leave an hour before the appointed time and arrive early.

64. Berra or a bear: YOGI.  Pride of the Yankees. O Booboo.

68. Dip __ in: test the water: A TOE.  My TOES are pretty numb.  I just use my hand.

69. Meeting leader: CHAIR.

70. Enjoy, as gum: CHEW.

71. Well-mannered man: GENT.

72. Works at, as a bar: TENDS.  Used to be an afterwork stop and the bartenders knew us pretty well.

73. __ sapiens: HOMO.


1. Supermarket initials: IGA.  We do not have these in our area, but I've heard of them.


2. Mojito liquor: RUM.  "Away, away with RUM by gum, the song of the temperance union",

3. Chair's elbow rest: ARM.  And sometimes I have to push up on the ARMS to get up. All of you over 70 -- tell the truth.

4. Repeat exactly: QUOTE.

5. Scully on "The X-Files": DANA.

6. Regretful sort: RUER.

7. 2012 Affleck film that won Best Picture: ARGO. Corn Starch.

8. Large bodies of water: GULFS.  GULF of Mexico is huge.

9. Smug grin: SMIRK.  Not that funny.

10. Chicken cacciatore quintet: CEES.

11. "Dear Evan __": 2015 musical: HANSEN.

12. Curving, like the sun crossing the sky: ARCING.  Like a golf ball flying off a three wood.

13. Polite request starter: PLEASE.

19. What a plea deal concedes: GUILT.  We have a trio of cops in trouble from the George Floyd incident on trial at this time.

21. Ward of "House": SELA.

22. __-Seltzer: ALKA.  SPEE DEE's commercial.

23. Objective: GOAL.  He shoots !  He SCORREES !!

24. Barrett of gossip: RONA.

29. Creme-filled cookie: OREO.  One of my favorites, but not a treat for diabetics.

30. It's forbidden: NO NO.

31. Have to, in slang: GOTTA.  Sometimes it's a NO NO but sometimes I just GOTTA have a piece of pie.

33. Questions: ASKS.

35. Main point: GIST.

36. Horse rider's strap: REIN.  Also Santa guiding his sleigh.

37. Florence's river: ARNO.

41. Where division leaders sit, vis-à-vis the standings: ATOP.  On TOP of Old Smokie?

42. What a dog wags: TAIL.

43. Paris airport: ORLY.

45. Jalopies: HEAPS.  Mine was a 1953 Dodge.

46. Tiny biting insect: GNAT.

47. WWII prison camp: STALAG.  Colonel Hogan lived there and made a TV show.

48. Self-defense technique: KARATE.  Never tried it.

49. Responds to, as a tip: ACTS ON.

54. Build: ERECT.  Myself and all kids my age had an ERECTOR set when we were young.

55. Tamiflu producer: ROCHE.

57. "Fooled you!": PSYCH.

59. Editor's "keep it": STET.

60. Folk singer Baez: JOAN.  Song writer of folk music.  I think she was a close personal friend of Bob Dylan.

61. Oklahoma city: ENID.

62. Some USN officers: CDRS.  I believe our friend Spitzboov had this rank.

65. "I get it now!": OHO.

66. Diamond, for one: GEM.  "Baseball Field" did not fit.

67. __ Jima: IWO.  A major battle by U.S. forces in 1945.



Jan 23, 2022

Sunday January 23, 2022 Michael Schlossberg


Theme: "Nuts!" - Each theme entry is punnily rephrased as if it's super-fan of something.

23. Hex nut?: WITCH DOCTOR.

32. Palm nut?: FORTUNE TELLER.

50. Date nut?: HISTORY BUFF.

65. Wing nut?: STUNT PILOT.

71. Butternut?: PASTRY CHEF.

91. Doughnut?: BANK MANAGER.

104. Wheel nut?: RACECAR DRIVER.

120. Chestnut?: BODYBUILDER.

Fun theme. It's tougher than it looks. First, each * nut must be an in-the-language phrase, then each answer is a person who can be a fan of the first part of the clue.


1. Spanish for "prairie": PAMPA. Not LLANO.

6. __ wind: SOLAR.

11. "Carmina Burana" composer: ORFF (Carl). German composer. Sometimes we see the  "O Fortuna" clue.

15. Breaks down: ROTS.

19. Verdi creations: ARIAS.

20. Milan fashion house: PRADA.

21. Letter-shaped support: I BAR.

22. Hose color: ECRU.

25. Paints the town red: LIVES IT UP. Great fill.

27. Sinus-clearing aids: NETIPOTS.

28. Boilermaker ingredient: BEER.  The beer & whiskey cocktail.

30. Go in for: REPLACE.

31. Cool, in a way: FAN. Verb "fan".

34. Encircle: HEM IN.

37. "__ Bop": Cyndi Lauper song: SHE.

39. Fiver: ABE.

40. "Curious George" co-author Margret: REY.

41. City on the Skunk: AMES.

42. Audrey of "The Da Vinci Code": TAUTOU.  Do you like her "Amélie"?

45. Flavorful: SAPID. Not a word I use.

47. It's almost always fishy: SEA.

52. Brewers' gadgets: TEA BALLS.

54. "Sorry, can't do it": ALAS NO.

55. Customary: STOCK.

58. Mischievous glance: SLY LOOK.

59. Bit: IOTA.

62. "Sorry not sorry": SUE ME. Also 34. "Funny not funny": HA HA.

64. Old Bruins nickname: ESPO. Phil Esposito. Boston Bruins.

74. Folksy Guthrie: ARLO.

75. Abdominal scar, actually: NAVEL. Boomer's scar is healing nicely.

77. Earth goddess: GAIA.

78. One in the alley's back row: NINE PIN.  Ha, alley!

81. Pueblo building material: ADOBE.

84. Breakfast cereal magnate: C.W. POST. Post cereals, headquartered here in MN.

89. Zigzagged, in a sport: SLALOMED.

94. Drink with a painful homophone: ALE. Ail.

95. Packed (with): LADEN.

97. "Phooey!": OH DARN.

98. Family figure?: TREE. Great clue.

99. Kind of blanket or paint: WET.

100. Bubbly prefix: AER. Oh OK, like aerate.

102. New Haven collegian: ELI.

103. FDR had three of them: VEEPS.

110. Card game cry: GIN.

111. "C'est magnifique!": OOH LA LA.

112. "How ya __?": DOIN'.

113. Punter's metric: HANG TIME.

118. Reggie Jackson nickname based on his postseason success: MR OCTOBER. Jeter is Mr. November.

122. Impress: ETCH.

123. "Game of Thrones," for one: SAGA.

124. Dodge: ELUDE.

125. Hawaiian veranda: LANAI.

126. Squirrels' haunts: OAKS.

127. Train station, e.g.: STOP.

128. Bob who was the voice of Future Ted Mosby in "How I Met Your Mother": SAGET. Sadly he's gone.

129. Muscular, in modern lingo: SWOLE. Instead of SWELLED.


1. First to move, usually: PAWN.

2. Indy champ Luyendyk: ARIE. Only two clue options for this fill.

3. Glove: MITT.

4. Protest group, perhaps: PACIFISTS.

5. Sooty receptacle: ASH PAN.

6. Allow as a handicap: SPOT. I don't get this clue.

7. "LOTR" menaces: ORCS.

8. Delt neighbor: LAT.

9. Tangy Mexican sauce: ADOBO. I just learned that it has paprika instead of the  red chili pepper. So it's not hot.

10. More desirable to collectors: RARER.

11. Massage parlor services: OIL RUBS.

12. Triple Crown stat: RBI.

13. Packers QB before Rodgers: FAVRE. Brett Favre. Aaron Rodgers.

14. Streaming service offer: FREE TRIAL.

15. "Match Game" regular Charles Nelson __: REILLY.

16. In base eight: OCTAL.

17. Fighters' pact: TRUCE.

18. Word that's its own synonym when a "b" is added to the end: SUPER. Superb.

24. Family title?: DON. Mafia family.

26. Fly past: SPEED BY.

29. Due-in hr.: ETA.

32. Former embryo: FETUS.

33. Bourbon order: NEAT.

35. Pianist Gilels: EMIL. We had him before. Soviet pianist.

36. Arizona College of Nursing city: MESA.

37. "Here's a thought ... ": SAY.

38. Center of activity: HUB.

42. Move en masse: TROOP.

43. Many times o'er: OFT.

44. Aerial enigmas: UFOS.

46. Old Spanish dough: PESETA. Replaced by EURO of course.

47. Splash (through): SLOSH.

48. Split to come together: ELOPE.

49. Request from: ASK OF. So what do you call this treat? Boomer calls it Bismarck.

51. "Will do": ON IT.

53. Novelist Waugh: ALEC.

56. Golf green insert: CUP.

57. Mauna __: KEA.

60. Preserved, as sardines: TINNED.

61. Like: ALA.

63. Chinese sauce additive: MSG. Xi'an has not had any new cases for a few days. Andy was able to visit the supermarket yesterday. He bought some kelp (for salad), sesame seeds, and this addictive Lao Gan Ma chili sauce.

65. Prefix with belt, in slacks: SANSA. Not familiar with Sansabelt. Jack is wearing the brand.

66. What a wavy line may mean in music: TRILL.

67. Long bones: ULNAE.

68. Advent air: NOEL.

69. Eggs in a lab: OVA.

70. "Chopped" host Allen: TED. I caught a few "Chopped" over the years.

72. Costa __: RICAN.

73. Sign of boredom: YAWN.

76. Western wolf: LOBO. Followed by 79. Skunk cousin: POLECAT.

80. "Haven't the foggiest": I'M AT A LOSS. Another great fill.

82. "Phooey!": BAH.

83. Week add-on: ENDER.

85. Inventor's protection: PATENT LAW.

86. Nasty sort: OGRE.

87. Ooze: SEEP.

88. A fourth of doce: TRES. 1/4 of 12.

90. Out of juice: DEAD.

92. Penn of the Harold & Kumar films: KAL.

93. Hosp. test in a tube: MRI.

96. MC Chris genre: NERD RAP. Google shows that "Simply put, it's any hip hop beat paired with an emcee (or multiple microphone fiends) rapping about geek culture."

 99. Big name in jam: WELCH'S.

101. Maracanã Stadium city: RIO.

103. Watches: VIGILS.

104. "Did my heart love till now?" speaker: ROMEO.

105. Main artery: AORTA.

106. As much as possible: CHOCK. Ful.

107. Capital near Casablanca: RABAT.

108. Empaths pick them up: VIBES. There was a psychic in the neighborhood where I grew up. People would give her money, or fresh fruit or other goodies so she could tell others what was wrong in their life.

109. __ Gay: ENOLA.

110. Serengeti bovine: GNU.

113. London's __ Park: HYDE.

114. Help in a risky way: ABET.

115. Passport fig.: ID NO.

116. It may include several courses: MEAL. Chinese Spring Festival is coming!

117. One in a wet quintet: ERIE. Nice clue angle.

119. __ trip: EGO.

121. Exposed, with "up": DUG.

We met with the SCI (Spinal Cord Injury) doctor at the VA hospital last Wednesday. Then Boomer had a PT session. He also had a session with the OT (Occupational Therapist) last Friday. He'll have weekly sessions with the PT/OT starting on Feb 7th. 

Boomer starts his radiation tomorrow morning.