Apr 22, 2018

Sunday April 22, 2018 Victor Barocas

Theme: "Number One Fan"- EGO  is hidden in the very middle each theme entry.

23. Neighbor of Montenegro: HERZEGOVINA.

34. Knew unfavorable things about: HAD THE GOODS ON.

43. Put the blame on: SCAPEGOATED.

56. In the "Other" column: UNCATEGORIZED.

67. Solving a problem boldly: CUTTING THE GORDIAN KNOT.

77. Tony Gwynn, notably: SAN DIEGO PADRE.

94. Ill-advised: MISBEGOTTEN

102. Complaint about monotony: HERE WE GO AGAIN.

117. Narcissistic trait exhibited perfectly by this puzzle's eight other longest answers: EGOCENTRISM.

In this type of hidden theme, often the hidden word span across two or more words. In today's case, we have a few one-word entries due to extra "centrism" layer.

Nice to see Victor Barocas' byline again. He's incredibly talented and self-effacing.

Left to right:

C.C., Tom Pepper, George Barany, Victor Barocas, Michael David & David Liben-Nowell. Missing David Hanson (Rosebud).


1. Jennifer Saunders Britcom: AB FAB. Absolutely Fabulous.

6. Supporting structure: TRUSS.

11. When tripled, "and so on": YADA. "Seinfeld".

15. Scandinavian language: SAMI.

19. PowerPoint unit: SLIDE.

20. Greek goddesses of the seasons: HORAE.

21. K.C. Royal, e.g.: ALER. American Leaguer. Gluey.

22. Snapchat co-founder Spiegel: EVAN. Husband of Miranda Kerr.

25. Gaiety: MERRIMENT.

27. Fleeced female: EWE.

28. Put up: ERECT.

29. Goalkeeper's success: SAVE.

30. Mournful melody: DIRGE.

31. Fleece-seeking vessel: ARGO.

37. Cabinetmaker's cylinder: DOWEL ROD. We also have 4. Carpentry tool: ADZ.

41. Obama : Bo :: FDR : __: FALA.

42. Pre-riot state: UNREST.

45. Bamm-Bamm's mom: BETTY. The Flintstones.

47. Like Chichén Itzá pyramids: MAYAN.

48. Harp constellation: LYRA.

49. Brought in: HIRED.

51. "Don't Bring Me Down" rock gp.: ELO.

54. Comparison phrase: IS TO.

60. Knuckler's lack: SPIN. R. A. Dickey was a Twin, ages ago.

63. T or F, maybe: ANS. The initial of our TTP.

65. Astronomer Hale: ALAN.

66. Japanese comics: ANIME.

73. Favorite's surprise: UPSET. Dupe with 126. Beginning: ONSET.

74. Learning method: ROTE.

75. Knee-injury initials: ACL.

76. Uncle __: BEN'S. Not BUCK.

82. Sailor's saint: ELMO.

84. U.N. worker protection gp.: ILO. International Labour Organization.

85. Normand of silents: MABEL.

86. Part of Q.E.D.: ERAT.

88. Port near Sapporo: OTARU.

92. Holy, to Henriette: SACRE. I have fond memory of this place.

96. "A Fish Called Wanda" actor: CLEESE.

99. Important pipe: MAIN.

101. German state named for a river, with "the": SAARLAND. The Saar River.

106. Audible alert: BEEP.

107. Greek marketplace: AGORA.

108. Plot measure: ACRE.

109. "Swell!": NEATO.

112. Caraway-flavored bread: RYE.

115. Exam for intellectual property lawyers: PATENT BAR. Debut entry.

120. Medical suffix: ITIS.

121. Actress Fanning: ELLE.

122. Eatery freebies: MINTS.

123. Command to attack: SIC 'EM.

124. Japanese PCs: NECS.

125. Useless, battery-wise: DEAD. Yay, my 11-year-old iPod came alive again.

127. Imitation: APERY.  Not a word I use.


1. 1975 Wimbledon champ: ASHE.

2. Botched: BLEW.

3. "Ask me anything": FIRE AWAY.

5. Wax maker: BEE.

6. "__: Ragnarok": 2017 superhero film: THOR. Chris Hemsworth.

7. Meander: ROVE.

8. Robert of "Vega$": URICH.

9. Resident of America's highest capital: SANTA FEAN. Hi there Owen!

10. Coral __: SEA.

11. Piano brand: YAMAHA.

12. Advil alternative: ALEVE. Boomer's hands sometimes have these spotty purplish spots. They often go away in a few days. His bowling buddy Don said it's due to various pain killers. Boomer had another bad fall a few weeks ago due to the stupid snow. Hurt his shoulder/elbow pretty bad. He had to take those pain killers.

13. Reduction of legal constraints, briefly: DEREG.

14. Part of ETA: Abbr.: ARR.

15. With a touch of sweetness: SEMI-DRY.

16. Opposed: AVERSE.

17. Tropical fruits: MANGOS. I once bought two mangoes that refused to ripen. Very weird.

18. What manslaughter lacks: INTENT. That would be murder.

24. Composer Telemann: GEORG.

26. Words of denial: I DON'T.

29. Mo.'s largest airport: STL.

32. Did some home maintenance: REPAINTED.

33. Narrow valleys: GLENS.

35. Pops: DAD.

36. Surpass: OUTDO.

37. Mil. award: DSM.

38. Plant also called a New Zealand yam: OCA. Still have not found these tubers in our local grocery stores.

39. Wuyi Mountains tea: OOLONG. Gimme for me.

40. It breaks in the morning: DAY.

44. Play about Capote: TRU.

45. Actress Vaccaro: BRENDA. Stranger to me.

46. Mind reader?: EEG.

49. Anaheim baseball cap feature: HALO.

50. Name dropped by TASS in 2014: ITAR.

51. Paperless periodical: E-ZINE.

52. Subpar car: LEMON.

53. "Waiting for Lefty" playwright: ODETS.

55. Earth tone: TAN.

57. Not free-range: CAGED.

58. Fled on foot: RAN.

59. Item gifted with a fountain pen: INK BOTTLE. I used to dread our calligraphy class.

60. "Pardon me, Giulia": SCUSI.

61. Post-larval: PUPAL.

62. "__ problem": IT'S NO. Tiny dupe: 68. "Lord, is __?": Matthew: IT I.

64. Dance floor flasher: STROBE.

69. What optimists don't give up: HOPE.

70. List-ending abbr.: ET AL.

71. Summer brew: ICE TEA. Or ICED TEA. Spring is finally here. Reaching 60s today. Our first 60s in five months.

72. Every one of: ALL.

78. Roast host: EMCEE.

79. Needlefish: GAR.

80. Controlling: REINING IN.

81. RN workplaces: ERS.

83. "S.W.A.T." star Shemar: MOORE. Unfamiliar to me.

87. Crunch targets: ABS.

89. Not for free: AT A PRICE.

90. Toon canine: REN.

91. Grand Forks sch.: UND. University of North Dakota.

92. One looking ahead: SEERESS. Great clue.

93. City near Lake Nasser: ASWAN.

94. Hamm of soccer: MIA.

95. Neighbor of Cameroon: GABON.

96. "Cat's in the Cradle" singer Harry: CHAPIN.

97. Papal representative: LEGATE.

98. Designed to light a fire?: EROTIC. Oh!

99. Damaged: MARRED.

100. Iron __: AGE.

103. Triangular building feature: GABLE.

104. City including the former site of a Seminole War fort: OCALA. Vowel-rich.

105. Glowing signs: NEONS.

110. Entr'__: ACTE.

111. Evaluate: TEST.

113. Flemish river: YSER.

114. One of 11 for Julia Louis-Dreyfus: EMMY.

116. Texas senator Cruz: TED.

117. Moody rock genre: EMO.

118. PreCheck org.: TSA.

119. Swindle, in slang: RIP.

I don't have any update on Argyle. I got overly optimistic last Sunday when he replied quite a few emails. Since then I have not been able to reach him. His friend Jennifer said he's doing OK and he's been using his computer. So let's hope he'll stop by the blog when he feels like it.

Thanks again for the well wishes and cards (weekly from Agnes!) you've sent to him.  And your tablet gift, D-Otto. And your ready-to-Amazon external keyboard, Anon-T.

Thank you so much for the kindness and generosity.


Apr 21, 2018

Saturday, April, 21, 2018, Daniel Nierenberg


On this National Kindergarten Day Daniel Nierenberg has provided us a very worthy test. For me, Husker Gary, this is my fourth blogging effort on a Daniel puzzle - three Saturdays and one Friday. As is my M.O. on his puzzles, I employed the hunt and peck method until the NEAT/NUBIA "N" appeared and I was done!

Now, in honor of my lifetime friend Janet who is retiring after 35 years of teaching Kindergarten, let's see what word play Daniel has for us in our literary sandbox today:


1. Classic dramatic device: FATAL FLAW - The most famous FATAL FLAW in literature?

10. Demonstration of power, perhaps: N-TEST - A-Bombs and H-Bombs are both really N-(Nuclear) Bombs. One splits nuclei and the other fuses them together 

15. Winter carnival attraction: ICE PALACE - A beautiful ICE PALACE constructed in St. Paul, MN a half-hour drive from C.C.

16. Mythical myrtle-and-roses wreath wearer: ERATO - A vowel-rich crossword veteran muse of poetry 

17. Updated "What a shame!": THAT BITES

18. Cane-carrying Mr.: MAGOO and 14. 18-Across and others: TOONS. Did Mr. Peanut enter your thoughts?

19. Country E of Cyprus: SYR - SYRIA - too much in the news

20. Marsh growth: REED.

21. Beauty aisle brand: REVLON - A childhood memory of REVLON. Do you remember the show, this woman who won the big prize and what her category was? (*Answer below the grid)

22. Virus eponym: BARR.

23. Assigns new rankings to: RESEEDS - NCAA Basketball teams are RESEEDED just before the season-ending tournament 

24. Narrow types: BIGOTS - Norman Lear's Archie Bunker made us look BIGOTRY right in the face

27. Caravan components: CAMELS

28. Parting word: ADIOS

29. 1848 classic song about an Alabama-to-Louisiana traveler: OH SUSANNA - "With a banjo on my knee"

32. Court pros: REFS - These pro REFS did not see traveling here in this exhibition game.

33. Lingerie specifications: D-CUPS - It took 33. Waiting room site: DEPOT gave me the correct cup letter

34. Hair products: GELS - Mass use

35. Uris WWII novel: BATTLE CRY 

37. Harass: BESET

38. "Help me out, bro": BE A PAL

39. Nissan compact: SENTRA

40. Actor's dream: STARDOM.

42. Cleverly planned, as a trick: NEAT - Now this is a NEAT trick!

43. Warn, in a way: HISS AT

44. Territory with a palm tree in its seal: GUAM - I did not know Guam's flag or capital

45. Onetime JFK arrival: SST

48. Like some casks: OAKEN - We BIG 10 football fans know Purdue and Indiana play for the Old OAKEN Bucket each year

49. Fate of Peter's father, in kiddie lit: RABBIT PIE - I had no memory of this sad part of the story

51. Sections: AREAS - In 2003, the CIA officially acknowledged that AREA 51 exists

52. Dell gaming brand: ALIEN WARE - At the left is the $4,900 model for serious gamers, uh, not for me

53. Barista's offering: LATTE 

54. Intimidating psychological tactics: HEAD GAMES


1. Makes sense: FITS - Oh that's where it FITS

2. Hurting: ACHY.

3. Run like the wind: TEAR - What JH kids do going to lunch

4. Liable: APT

5. Research subjects: LAB RATS - Our staff and kids were LAB RATS for "Open Concept" classrooms back in the 70's. Retrofitting was expensive after the experiment failed miserably

6. Message disseminators: FLIERS - Is that why they make windshield wipers?

7. Not as punctual: LATER 

8. Justified serious studying for: ACED - Having ACED a test is usually done by serious studying (ROTE memorizing?)

9. Former NFL receiver Welker: WES - After at least six concussions from hits like this, he has retired

10. Sinestro and Professor Zoom, in their respective universes: NEMESES - Here's one, you can google the other if you like. BTW, I'd wager that dime comic is worth a few bucks these days.

11. Tour coordinator: TRAVEL AGENT - My TRAVEL AGENT arranged my trips to Florida with the kids but she also accompanied us because once we got there, she knew I ran the show

12. Home on a high cliff, perhaps: EAGLE'S NEST -  Martin Borman's gift of The EAGLE'S NEST retreat to Hitler high in the Bavarian Alps is now a cozy restaurant 

13. Rose: STOOD.

21. Important player in the founding-of-Rome story: REMUS - He was killed by his twin Romulus and hence the name of the city is...

22. Child-raising technique?: BOOSTER SEAT - Declining the BOOSTER SEAT was a landmark for our kids

23. Rough-sounding: RASPY - Joe Cocker's RASPY rendition of  the theme of this show

24. Wire sticker: BARB - Those BARBS on wire helped change ranches into farms

25. What a raised index finger may indicate: IDEA - A more prosaic use

26. Present often mailed: GIFT BASKET

27. Lout: CHURL - I've heard of/used the adjective CHURLISH

29. "Law of parsimony" philosopher: OCCAM - Another school of thought by the co-discoverer of the DNA molecule

30. Brewer, e.g., briefly: NLER National LeaguER

31. Cinema pooch: ASTA - Nick and Nora's doggy

36. Matisse work featuring hand-holding: LA DANSE.

37. Wearing a grin: BEAMING

39. Skate home: SEABED - Talk about your masters of disguises

40. Skimboarding hazard: SHOAL - I hit a STONE at first on my figurative beach skimboard

41. Top prom wear?: TIARA - Amy's dream come true

42. Abu Simbel's region: NUBIA- The pharaonic temples then and now located in the village of Abu Simbel in the most southern Egyptian region of NUBIA

44. Severe blow: GALE - We've had them here all spring

45. Filter target: SPAM - Tons of this is made here in Fremont, NE

46. "Game of Thrones" address: SIRE - I've never seen the show but Thrones and S _ _ _ address. C'mon...

47. Screen-printing targets: TEES - With b/w TV, I never knew what the Superman TEE looked like until mom bought me one

49. Sound from a fan: RAH - Football fan

50. Lindbergh Line airline: TWA - Can you find The Lindbergh Line in two places in this picture? 

A lovely credo for National Kindergarten Day:

With all these lessons in mind, SHARE your comments, BE FAIR and PLAY WELL WITH OTHERS:


a) Show - $64,000 Question hosted by Hal March and sponsored by Revlon
b) Contestant - Psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers
c) Her category - Boxing

Apr 20, 2018

Friday, April 20, 2018, Mike McHugh

Title: Quick turn around!

Another 2018 debut puzzle, the first solo on a Friday this year, though Priscilla Clark did a collaboration here with Jeff Chen. We have had a spate of going in the wrong direction, and this time it was a simple turn the first word around, with a simple reveal if you needed it. For a newbie, the non-theme fill had some real sparkle. We are given ANEMONE, CAKE MIX, ISOTOPE, ITALIANO, OH DEAR ME, SLED RIDE and VINEYARD- fun!

17A. *Pay back: PRATTLE ON(9). PAY <----><----> <---->YAP. The clue backward is YAP, hence the fill. 

28A. *Step back: DOMESTIC ANIMALS (15). STE <----> <----> <---->PETS.

48A. *Snap back: GIVESABADREVIEW(15). SNAP <----><----> <---->PANS.
The reveal-
64A. One way to drive ... and what the last word of each starred clue really means: IN REVERSE (9).


1. Place for a guard: SHIN. I thought this was a clever way to begin.

5. American sports org.: USOCUnited States Olympic Committee.

9. Walk or wind preceder: CROSS. Walk, wind and word!

14. Suffix for the wealthy: AIRE. As in Billion-

15. Actor who's played a doctor and senator on TV: ALDA. Alan- he played Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce in M*A*S*H and Senator Vinick in The West Wing. They were not similar characters. LINK.

16. What captions can capture: AUDIO. I love the alliteration, even though it is not accurate.

19. Pay homage, in a way: KNEEL. A very im[portant way.

20. Basil sauce: PESTO. Don't use Thai basil.
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (can sub half the basil leaves with baby spinach)
1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan-Reggiano cheese (about 2 ounces)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts (can sub chopped walnuts)
3 garlic cloves, minced (about 3 teaspoons)
1/4 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more to taste

21. Teed off: DROVE. Not angry, well-done misdirection.

23. __ Fridays: TGI.

24. Hideout: LAIR.

26. Like some sale quantities: LIMITED.

32. She played Mia in "Pulp Fiction": UMA.

33. "I did it!": TADA. A solvers' best friend.

34. Prefix with thermal: EXO.

35. "Puss in Boots" baddie: OGRE. Am not much of a fan of the story or the movie, but OGRE is always a good answer.

37. Brown in a Croce title: LEROY.
"And it's bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog"

39. Houston suburb named for initials from the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad: KATY. We have a  CSO to D-O; I did not know the name was derived from the MKT Railroad Company and was commonly referred to as "the K-T," which was also its stock exchange symbol.

43. 2018 Super Bowl designation: LII.

45. Compared with: THAN.

47. Tilling tool: HOE.

53. Buttercup family member: ANEMONE.  Gardening TIPS.

54. Beat at the buzzer: EDGE.

55. Benching units: Abbr.: LBS. Bench pressing.

56. Big name in little trucks: TONKA.

58. Many a UAE resident: EXPAT. Is this true?

62. Chain with a dog-and-cat logo: PETCO.

66. Really dug: ATE UP.

67. Command to Rover: COME. Sit, Roll Over!

68. Mindless repetition: ROTE.

69. Gumbo server: LADLE.

70. Govt. branch: EXEC.

71. PR firm's forte: SPIN.


1. '90s-'00s NFL Pro Bowler Warren: SAPP. His STATS.

2. Take on: HIRE.

3. Accts. funded annually, perhaps: IRAS.

4. Prickly plant: NETTLE.

5. Chi.-based flier: UAL.

6. Downhill excursion: SLEDRIDE. It is one of the only things I ever missed from childhood.

7. Bleach feature: ODOR.

8. Rapeseed oil: CANOLA. Oh, that explains it all.

9. Baking convenience: CAKE MIX.

10. Winning streak: RUN.

11. 2003 self-titled folk album: ODETTA. The VOICE of the Civil Rights movement.

12. Superman co-creator Jerry: SIEGEL.

13. Cones and cubes: SOLIDS.

18. Doomed, slangily: TOAST.

22. Resort near Cape Cod, with "the": VINEYARD. Reason to visit New England include these ISLANDS.

25. Napoli native: ITALIANO.

27. "It's just a scratch": I'M OK.

28. Outkast, for one: DUO.

29. Texter's "Shocking!": OMG.

30. Damage: MAR.

31. Magna __: CARTA. Magna Carta Libertatum was so much more than most REMEMBER.

36. I, O or U: ELEM. Iodine (53) - Oxygen (8) - Uranium (92). Nice misdirection.

38. "My goodness!": OH DEAR ME.

40. Rarely served fish?: AHI.  Ahi tuna is usually served uncooked.

41. Low digit: TOE.

42. Archery wood: YEW.

44. Uranium-238, e.g.: ISOTOPE. Defined as each of two or more forms of the same element that contain equal numbers of protons but different numbers of neutrons in their nuclei, and hence differ in relative atomic mass but not in chemical properties; in particular, a radioactive form of an element.

46. Beersheba's locale: NEGEV. Beersheba, also spelled Beer-Sheva, is the largest city in the Negev desert of southern Israel

48. Female bud: GALPAL.

49. Still being tested, as software: IN BETA. You can learn it all makes SENSE.

50. __ interest: VESTED.

51. "Mind your manners": BE NICE. Or you will end up as one of the ...

52. Irritations: VEXERS.

57. Polk's middle name: KNOX. James Knox Polk was an American politician who served as the 11th President of the United States. He previously was Speaker of the House of Representatives and Governor of Tennessee.

59. Support, with "up": PROP.

60. Product of white Muscat grapes: ASTI. Asti (also known as Asti Spumante) is a sparkling white Italian wine that is produced throughout southeastern Piedmont but is particularly focused in the towns of Asti and Alba. Made from the Moscato Bianco grape, it is sweet and low in alcohol and often served with dessert.

61. New driver, usually: TEEN.

63. __-de-sac: CUL.

65. Continental trade gp.: EEC. The European Economic Community was created in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome, which was signed by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany.

Well, there is much to talk about; welcome Mt. McHugh. Please stop by and tell us your story and you will hear some of ours. Thank you Corner, and thank you for the incredibly beautiful spring. Lemonade out.