Nov 24, 2017

Friday, November 24, 2017, Leonard Williams

Title: Bottom's up!

I am back for this post-thanksgiving puzzle. My trip to Thailand to meet my wife's family, renew our vows and get her to doctors who speak Thai was a wonderful experience. Now on to the puzzle.

We have our second puzzle from LEONARD WILLIAMS who has 8 NYT publications, and a 2016 WSJ.  His LAT was a SUNDAY in 2012. This was strange creation, easy in places, but no reveal for the theme. I have blogged enough puzzles where themers all go from bottom to top, but I don't recall one without a reveal.  This will likely upset those who do not like themes but it was all well put together. The five all have second word (read from the bottom to the top) synonymous with "rising."
Two relate to climb/ascent and two relate to hike/increase. I had fun.

3D. Government revenue generator, aptly : ESAERCNI XAT (11). Tax increase.

13D. Hillary's feat, aptly : TNECSA TSEREVE (13). Everest ascent.

15D. Retailer's increase, aptly : EKIH ECIRP (9). Price hike.

23D. What Red Bull provides, aptly : TSOOB YGRENE (11). Energy boost.

27D. Scale a cliff, aptly : BMILC KCOR (9). Rock climb.


1. Old AT and T rival : GTEGeneral Telephone and Electric.

4. __ Na Na : SHA. More from Woodstock.

7. Pigsty : DUMP. These are not synonymous for me. A palace can be a pigsty if not cleaned etc.

11. Least used : RUSTIEST. A Friday stretch.

14. Nightmare reaction : TERROR. This was obscure to me.

16. "Collages" author : ANAIS NIN.  Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell, known professionally as Anaïs Nin, was an American diarist, essayist, novelist, and writer of short stories and erotica. wiki.

17. Grammy winner for "I Believe I Can Fly" : R KELLY.
18. Part of a Requiem Mass : DIES IRAE. Dies irae is a Latin hymn attributed to either Thomas of Celano of the Franciscans (1200 – c. 1265) or to Latino Malabranca Orsini. The hymn is best known from its use as a sequence in the Requiem (Mass for the Dead or Funeral Mass). wiki.

19. Name suffix : III. On any application they ask for suffixes like jr. etc.

20. Ukr. and Georgia, once : SSRS.

21. With legal tender : IN CASH. meh.

23. Even prime : TWO. The only even number that cannot be divided by any other.

26. 2016 World Series Champions : CUBS.

28. Locale : SITE.

29. Con target : SAP.

30. "The Hunger Games" nation : PANEM. Bread. LINK.

32. Pianist Templeton : ALEC. I did not know this COMPOSER.

33. Estadio shout : OLE.

34. Formal reply to "Who's there?" : IT IS I.

35. Foul line shots: Abbr. : FTSFree Throws.

36. "Too rich for my blood" : I FOLD.

38. Loose : LAX.

39. "__ and the Real Girl": 2007 film : LARS. I ended up enjoying this very odd movie.
41. Judicial attire : ROBES.

42. Altar constellation : ARA. The name means ALTAR.

43. Hudson Bay native : CREE.

44. Like kittens : SPRY.

45. Honda subcompact : FIT.

46. Actor Culkin : KIERAN. Macaulay's brother. he continues to act, 2015 in tv series Fargo.

48. Some NCOs : SGTS.

51. Nipper's brand : RCA. Nipper was a mongrel -part fox terrier part jack Russell - from Bristol, England, who served as the model for a painting by Francis Barraud titled "His Master's Voice which was used by RCA

52. Saint of "On the Waterfront" : EVA MARIE.

54. Something to exercise: OPTION. This right so many ways.

57. Particularly noxious: VIRULENT.

58. Cialis competitor: VIAGRA.

59. Periodic table listing: ELEMENTS.

60. Numbered piece: OPUS.

61. Obstinate critter: ASS.

62. That, in Tijuana: ESA.


1. Alumni: GRADS. I know, no mention of abbreviation.

2. North African capital: TUNIS. Tunisia.

4. Emphatic Acapulco assent: SI SI.

5. Rousseau et al.: HENRIS.

6. Like many elephants: ASIAN. Here is Oo after she just fed a lime to an Asian Elephant.

7. Eins und zwei: DREI. Adding in German.

8. Google find: URL.

9. Basic chem. unit: MOLecule.

10. Ask too many questions: PRY.

12. Cold sufferer's boxful: TISSUES.In Thailand they use tissues in place of napkins and paper towels.

14. Sad, to Sartre: TRISTE. French.

22. Is out sick, say: AILS.

24. Pixar title robot: WALL-E.
25. Slanted pieces: OP-EDS.

30. Rice dish : PILAF.

31. Longtime video game name : ATARI.

35. For the taking : FREE.

37. On the market : FOR SALE.

40. Singer Grande : ARIANA. Seems like a very real person, but what do I know.

44. Certain drums : SNARES.

47. Walled Spanish city : AVILA. Not sure, but I immediately thought of out dear Lucina. LINK.

49. Colors : TINTS.

50. __ precedent : SETS A. A little law reference...

51. Fixes, in a way : RIGS.

53. Fall bloomers : MUMS. Mums the flower as well as the WORD.

54. Lacto-__ vegetarian : OVO. They eat milk products and eggs.

55. Domino depression : PIP.

56. Sigma follower : TAU.

I imagine most of us are somnabulant, but I learned today that chicken has more tryptophan than turkey. I renew my thanks to C.C. and all of you for 9 fun years.

Notes from C.C.:

1) As Lemonade mentioned earlier, he and his lovely wife Oo renewed their vows in Thailand. Here are a few pictures.


2) Here is a sweet picture of JD's grandson Truman and Grady. Truman is 10. Grady is 8. JD joined our blog shortly after Truman was born. Almost 10 years. Who else have been with our blog for that long?

Nov 23, 2017

Thursday, November 23rd 2017 Craig Stowe

Theme: Be Quiet! - or Zip It!

58A. Compressed data ... and what the ends of the answers to starred clues form? : ZIP FILE

16A. *Passionate kiss : LIP LOCK. Ziplock. Becoming a generic term now, although a genuine Ziplock comes from SC Johnson.

22A. *Net profit or loss : BOTTOM LINE. Zip-line. I went zip-lining in the rain forest in Costa Rica a number of years ago. Lots of fun. The climb up to the first platform was a little daunting. Those trees are high!

34A. *Take for a spin : TEST DRIVE. Zip drive. You don't see these around much any more. Zip drives were external hard drives for backups and extra storage.

47A. *Password, essentially : SECRET CODE. Zip Code. Altogether now: "Zone Improvement Plan".

Happy Turkey Day from the other side of the Atlantic! Thankfully not a turkey of a puzzle today. It took me a little while to tumble to the theme even with a completed grid, but the clouds cleared after a while (unlike the clouds here in Cornwall, but that makes for great seascapes).

This was Land's End yesterday - next stop, America and turkey!

Let's see what else we've got:


1. They're often run on weekends : ERRANDS

8. Stump : BAFFLE. The theme stumped me for a while until I finally saw the add-a-word gimmick.

14. Keep in office : RE-ELECT

15. ADHD treatment : RITALIN

17. Ballpark : INEXACT. A ballpark estimate. On the British news today I heard that a nuclear power plant, originally budgeted to cost £6bn, will actually cost £34bn, That's off by five ballparks and a bit.

18. Actress Davis : GEENA
19. Long narrative : SAGA

20. Large body of eau : MER. Vive La France!

21. Put __ act : ON AN

25. Cardiff natives : WELSH.

27. "Luck __ Lady": "Guys and Dolls" song : BE A

28. "As I Lay Dying" father : ANSE. Bundren. I only know this name from crosswords.

29. Newsroom VIPs : EDS.  Editors. I always thought it apt that Lou Grant was played by "Ed" Asner.

30. Pelvic bones : ILIA

32. Marsh grasses : SEDGES. A school project taught be the difference between a grass, a sedge and a rush.

36. Relaxing : AT REST

39. Time long past : YORE

40. Flight connection word : VIA. We went LAX - LHR via SFO this trip. Direct on the way back though.

43. Actor LaBeouf : SHIA

44. Eye of el tigre : OJO

45. Many spam messages : SCAMS

51. Equipment not used in "Unplugged" albums : AMPS. My favorite "Unplugged" episodes on MTV were Eric Clapton and The 10,000 Maniacs. Here's the opening number from the latter. It's on my iTunes favorites list.

52. Metal precioso de El Dorado : ORO 

53. Uninspiring : DRAB

54. Key letter : KAPPA. The Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority membership badge is a golden key.

56. Result of a hung jury, often : RETRIAL

60. Oberon's queen : TITANIA. "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Bill the Bard.

61. Underwriter : INSURER. My first office job was working for a Lloyd's of London marine insurance underwriting syndicate. I wrote up premium payment information in a ledger the size of the Gutenberg Bible and weighing about 60 pounds. I volunteered for computer data operations as soon as I got the chance.

62. Be short with : SNAP AT

63. Untouched by time : AGELESS


1. Schubert's "The __ King" : ERL

2. Ruled : REIGNED

3. Strikes down : REPEALS

4. Gracie and Woody : ALLENS

5. Like Crayola's Laser Lemon or Shocking Pink : NEON

6. 1983 Mr. T comedy : DC CAB

7. Wall St. purchase : STK. Hmmm. Common Stock. I'm not a big fan of this abbreviation, but it's perfectly understood in the crossword world.

8. Game with cards : BINGO

9. Starting squad : A TEAM. I was quite surprised not to see this linked with 6D somehow.

10. Business card number : FAX. Becoming increasingly rare. I always wonder which "wonder salesman" sold the first fax machine. "It'll be really useful when someone else gets one. Who you know. And do business with. You know."

11. On fire : FLAMING

12. Driving need : LICENSE. Technically you don't need a license to drive. I'm currently driving a stick shift Nissan SUV with a name I can't pronounce (Quasqui, anyone?) sitting on the wrong side of the car on the wrong side of the road.

13. Menu heading : ENTREES

15. Ranchero's rope : RIATA

19. Reliable income source : STEADY JOB

21. Run a tab, say : OWE

23. End piece? : OBIT

24. Work on the docks : LADE

26. Scurries : HIES

31. D-Day transport : LST. Landing Ship, Tank.

32. Title of honor : SIR

33. December has two big ones : EVES. Christmas and New Year, of course.

34. Hint of remorse : TEAR

35. Cross : ROOD. Here's the Church of the Holy Rude in Stirling, Scotland. Different spelling, same eventual meaning, once you put the schoolboy snickering behind you.

36. Puts in order : ASSORTS

37. "__ our letters do not well agree": Brutus : THEREIN. More Bill the Bard today. From Julius Caesar:

Therein our letters do not well agree.
Mine speak of seventy senators that died

By their proscriptions, Cicero being one.

38. Stuffing in stuffed shells : RICOTTA

40. Anne Rice character : VAMPIRE

41. Destroys, as a 40-Down : IMPALES. After a lot of shenanigans with garlic and mirrors.

42. Aesop's "The __ in the Lion's Skin" : ASS

44. Florida horse-breeding city : OCALA. I confuse this with Acela, the DC - New York express. I'm easily confused.

46. Detergent measure : CAPFUL

48. Ritzy Twin Cities suburb : EDINA. Nailed it! C.C. knows this in her sleep.

49. Characteristic : TRAIT

50. Just making, with "out" : EKING

55. Stained glass setting : APSE

57. Knock : RAP

58. '70s-'80s Pakistani leader : ZIA. General Zia. Took power in a military coup. It didn't end well, let's just put it out there.

59. Critical care ctrs. : E.R.'S

And that's it from me, except for a "Happy Thanksgiving" to everyone, especially everyone who read this far!

Oh, and the grid, of course.


Nov 22, 2017

Wednesday November 22, 2017 - Johanna Fenimore

Theme: WELL, THAT WAS UNPLEASANT!  The first word of the theme answers are adjectives describing things that might make you curl your lip, cover your eyes, plug your nose and leave in disgust.

18. Last one in, so they say : ROTTEN EGG.  Swimming pool/hole cry, and a nasty sulfurous odor.

29. Bad thing to end on : SOUR NOTE.  Indeed, the first rule of the musician's code is to always end on a good note.  A sour note in the middle of a tune might be forgotten, or better yet, not noticed. But at the end - it's a poor statement that might be remembered.  By analogy, can apply to any situation that ends badly.

34. Serious carelessness, in tort law : GROSS NEGLIGENCE.   Per Wikipedia, the "lack of slight diligence or care" or "a conscious, voluntary act or omission in reckless disregard of a legal duty and of the consequences to another party."  In a different, more vernacular, sense, something GROSS is disgusting.

43. Place at the very bottom : RANK LAST.  To have an unsuccessful competitive season or tournament.  Somebody has to end up there.  In a different sense, RANK describes an offensive odor.

55. Trait of one given to obscenities : FOUL MOUTH.  A person with a FOUL MOUTH utters what we used to call "bad words."  Odors and struck baseballs can also be FOUL.

And, tucked deep into the far corner [but I can still smell it]  the unifier:  67. Reaction to the starts of the five longest puzzle answers : YECCH.  A vocalized expression of disgust.

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa on duty.  Let's set the unpleasantness aside, and and seek the good stuff in this puzzle.  With 5 theme entries, including a grid-spanner, plus the unifier, it's thematically rich.


1. Minty Derby drink : JULEP.   Now this more like it!  Bourbon, crushed ice, sugar and fresh mint, typically served in a tall frosty glass.  A Kentucky Derby tradition.

6. Shopping extravaganza : SPREE.  An event of self-indulgence, carousal, or extreme activity.

11. ABC show for early risers, briefly : Good Morning America.  A news and pop-culture program shown from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. in all time zones, live in the Eastern Zone and on broadcast delay in the others.

14. "Ditto," more formally : AS AM I.  Me too.

15. "Can't win 'em all" : I LOST. Somebody always goes home disappointed.  Wish it were the other guy.

16. Conniving "2001" computer : HAL.

17. Copperfield's field : MAGIC.  David Seth Kotkin [b 1956] aka David Copperfield is an American illusionist who has grossed [in yet another sense of the word] over $4 billion in ticket sales, more than any other solo entertainer in history.   He also owns 11 islands in the Bahamas, called Musha Bay, which he uses as a private resort.

20. Complain : KVETCH.  Something I assume Mr. Kotkin would have little cause to do.

22. __ extra cost : AT NO.  It's all included.

23. Banged shut : SLAMMED.  As a door, frex.

27. Cover the spread? : CATER.  My first reaction was - eh?  But a CATERER provides the victuals, aka "the spread," for an event.  Clever!

28. More unsure : WARIER.  More cautious, actually.  Is a person who is less unsure under wary?

32. Feels lousy : AILS.  Hurts or has a tummy ache.

33. Casual "You game?" : WANNA.  "Do you want to?" in short mouth.

41. Westminster landmark : ABBEY.  The Collegiate Church of St. Peter at Westminster, opened in 1090 C. E.,  is a large, mostly gothic structure located in the City of Westminster, London.

42. Indifferent responses : MEHS.  I'm not impressed.

47. Letter-shaped shoe fastener : T-STRAP.  A description that fits to a T.

49. Tablet download : E-BOOK.  Electronic Book to be read on your portable device. I have sheet music on mine.

50. Becomes depleted : RUNS DRY.  Gets all used up.

51. "Tickle Me" toy : ELMO.  Fuzzy red muppet.

52. Tries one's hand (at) : HAS A GO.  This always reminds me of the scene in Raymond Carver's short story, "Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?" when Mitchell Anderson asks Marian, "Would you like to HAVE A GO at it?"  And she does.

57. Held the deed to : OWNED.

62. Dawn goddess : EOS.  The rosy-fingered goddess who opens the gates of heaven so that the sun may rise.

63. Naturally lit lobbies : ATRIA.  A large open air or sky light covered space surrounded by a building.

64. Connect with : TIE TO.  Make an association between

65. Apt. divisions : RMS. Rooms, with or without views.

66. Oyster bead : PEARL. A more or less spherical calcium carbonate object produced within the soft tissue of a mollusk.  They have long been prized as gem stones.


1. Traffic snarl : JAM.  I deal with it several times a week.

2. Mex. neighbor : USA.  Los Estados Unidos de Mexico and the United States of America.

3. Fall behind : LAG.

4. Old U.K. record label : EMI.

5. Hand raiser's cry : PICK ME.  There's always that one kid in the back of the classroom  .  .  .

6. Fathered : SIRED.  Begat.

7. Devious scheme : PLOT.

8. Campus cadets' org. : ROTCReserve Officers' Training Corp.

9. Bk. before Job : ESTHer.

10. Summer on the Seine : ETE.  French

11. "In the __": Elvis hit : GHETTO.

12. Refrigerator art holder : MAGNET.  We currently have several photos in place.

13. Climate Reality Project chairman : AL GORE.  ]b 1948]  Former congressman, senator, vice president and presidential candidate.

19. Indian flatbread : NAAN. A leavened  oven-baked flat bread common in south and central Asia.

21. Bible transl., e.g. : VERsion.   Who knew there were so many?

23. Party loot : SWAG.  Things given away as gifts, usually for promotional purposes.

24. Den : LAIR.  Where the Lions live.  They'll need to be better than they have been against the Vikings tomorrow, and I'm not a liar.

25. Guthrie of folk : ARLO.  Who provided us with another Thanksgiving Day tradition.  [Warning: it's a little over 18 minutes.]

26. __ Piggy : MISS.  And her handsome beau, Kermit.  It's a match made in a bog.  Or maybe a sty.

27. Rock climber's handhold : CRAG.   In rock climber's lingo, a crag is any climbable cliff.  But I think the intended meaning here is an outcropping that can be grasped.

29. "Full House" actor : SAGET. Bob [b 1956] as Danny Tanner from 1987-95.  He's also done several other TV and movie projects.

30. Like a child without siblings : ONLY.  I was one for 6 1/2 years.  It's almost like my parents raised to ONLIES.

31. Start of a cycle? : UNI-.  Half a bicycle.  I'm not fond of cutsie affix clues.

33. Woven traps : WEBS.    The work of spiders.  Here is one of my better haiku.

on the silken strands
sad fly plays a minor chord
 orb weaver's delight

35. Polio vaccine pioneer : SALK.  Jonas [1914-1995]

36. Kevin Durant's org. : National Basketball Association.

37. CPR specialists : Emergency Medical TechnicianS.

38. Geek : NERD.  Call him/her for your computer or cell phone issues.

39. Sear : CHAR.  Burn or blacken the surface of something.

40. Award for athletes : ESPY.  Granted by sports TV network ESPN.

43. Sailor's jacket : REEFER.  A thick, close-fitting, double breasted coat.  I believe this word might also have another meaning.

44. Flowering : ABLOOM.  Buds are busting out all over.

45. Half a rhyming "easy to do" phrase : NO MUSS.  No fuss, no bother.

46. Menthol cigarette brand : KOOL.  First introduced in 1933.

47. Harbor helper : TUG.  A boat that moves other larger boats by pushing or towing them in hard to maneuver places.

48. Highfalutin : SNOOTY.  Elitist.

50. 1986 Indy 500 winner Bobby : RAHAL. [b 1953]  Winner of 3 championships and 24 races in the CART open-wheel series.

52. Table d'__: fixed menu : HOTE.  Meal with a fixed price and few options.  You get what you get.

53. Mystical glow : AURA. A supposed emanation surrounding living creatures, allegedly discernible by certain adept individuals.

54. Cookbook verb : STIR.  What ya got cookin'?

56. "The Amazing Race" prop : MAP.  To determine the next leg of the adventure.

58. LPGA golfer Michelle : WIE

59. Japanese tech company : NEC

60. And more: Abbr. : ETC

61. [Facepalm] : DOH!

Hope you enjoyed this adventure, and escaped with your senses and sensibilities unscathed.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.  We'll have 10 family members joining us to celebrate.

Nov 21, 2017

Tuesday, November 21 2017, C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Fluff Up

16. Advocacy group descriptor : SPECIAL INTEREST

22. Decathlon event : JAVELIN THROW

51. Draw upon : CALLIN TOPLAY

60. 1999 Winona Ryder drama set in a mental hospital : GIRL INTERRUPTED

40D. Dryer screen used to "catch" a hidden word in 16-, 22-, 51- and 60-Across? : LINT TRAP

Another fun and stellar offering from our C.C. Two impressive grid-spanners. All across theme answers, with a downer reveal, so to speak.

1. Swelled head : EGO

4. Short-lived fashions : FADS

8. Tennis venue : COURT

13. Color similar to khaki : TAN

14. Bowling venue : ALLEY. Apt for a Burnikel puzzle.

15. Florida senator Marco : RUBIO

19. Remove from power : OUST

20. Pyramid scheme, e.g. : SCAM

21. "Can't Fight This Feeling" band __ Speedwagon : REO. From Wikipedia: "They named the band REO Speedwagon, from the REO Speed Wagon, a flatbed truck Doughty had studied in transportation history, and the initials are those of its founder Ransom E. Olds. Rather than pronouncing REO as a single word as the motor company did, they chose to spell out the name with the individual letters each pronounced ("R-E-O")." Another classic, below.

26. One in Montréal : UNE

27. Period often named for a leader : ERA

28. Disruptive forum commenter : TROLL

31. Pub projectile : DART

33. Actor Sharif : OMAR

36. Two-dimensional calculations : AREAS

38. Mighty Dog shelfmate : ALPO

39. Kathmandu's country : NEPAL

41. Apple juice eponym : MOTT

42. Bathroom bars : SOAPS

44. Freeway hauler : SEMI

45. Tend to a simmering sauce : STIR

46. Raise a stink : GRIPE

48. Gerund syllable : ING

50. __ roll: winning : ON A

55. Toss in : ADD

58. Bread with tikka masala : NAAN. Recipe.

59. Wiggled digits : TOES

65. Bath-loving Muppet : ERNIE

66. Zagreb native : CROAT

67. "I don't __ you anything!" : OWE

68. Kia headquarters city : SEOUL

69. URL opener : HTTP

70. Archery bow wood : YEW


1. Martians, e.g., for short : ETS

2. Hole in one's story : GAP

3. Bogey : ONE OVER PAR. Golf.

4. Old-fashioned clothes presser : FLAT IRON

5. Every last bit : ALL

6. Jefferson, religiously : DEIST

7. Lip-__: mouth the words : SYNCH. Don't usually see an H at the end. 

8. Coffee-mate competitor : CREMORA

9. "It can be __ little secret" : OUR

10. Lyft alternative : UBER

11. Climb : RISE

12. Dog that bit Miss Gulch : TOTO

14. Supermarket walkway : AISLE

17. Pool stick : CUE

18. Sharp-tasting : TART

22. Last Supper traitor : JUDAS

23. Like old watches : ANALOG

24. Roster entries : NAMES

25. Rewards for early birds? : WORMS

29. "Anna Karenina" novelist : LEO TOLSTOY. Nice first and last name here.

30. Salma Hayek or Sofia Vergara : LATINA

32. Debate issue : TOPIC

34. Gibbon, e.g. : APE.
Gibbons are apes in the family Hylobatidae. Gibbons freak out over rodent:

35. Insert with force : RAM IN

37. Wander from the path : STRAY

43. Droopy-eared pooch : SPANIEL

47. Stylish vigor : ELAN

49. Date, with "with" : GO OUT

52. Bathroom stall fastener : LATCH

53. Motionless : INERT

54. Oomph : PEP

55. Quite some time : AGES

56. Threatening : DIRE

57. First Bond movie : DR. NO

61. Lucy of "Elementary" : LIU

62. Poppycock : ROT

63. Farm female : EWE

64. Morning moisture : DEW

Nov 20, 2017

Monday, November 20, 2017 ~ Kurt Mengel and Jan-Michele Gianette

Theme: "The wheels on the bus ..." - go like today's theme; round and round.

17A. Hand from the audience: ROUND OF APPLAUSE

27A. Group one likes to hang with: CIRCLE OF FRIENDS

48A. Area in which one has power: SPHERE OF CONTROL

63A . 1970 Temptations hit with the subtitle "That's What the World Is Today": BALL OF CONFUSION

Argyle here. Four grid spanners, impressed?. Consistent middle word; either be all the same or all be different, so long as it's consistent. A couple of old pro constructors, always a duo. Plethora of proper names.


1. Gospel truth: FACT

5. Previous time of life: PAST

9. Broadway bombs: FLOPS

14. Southwestern stewpot: OLLA

15. Texter's modest "I think ... ": IMHO. (in my humble opinion)

16. Choosing rhyme starter: EENIE

20. Actor __ Ivory Wayans: KEENEN

21. Castle barrier: MOAT

22. Con man's sucker: SAP

23. Robert of "The Sopranos": ILER

25. Is the right size: FITS

34. Prefix with logical: ECO

35. Shrunken Asian sea: ARAL

36. Braid: PLAIT

37. Jump: LEAP

39. Blue cartoon papa: SMURF

42. "Zip-__-Doo-Dah": A-DEE

43. Clear, as an argument: LUCID

45. Holiday trees: FIRS

47. "Hometown Proud" supermarket chain: IGA

"Hometown Sad"
52. Royal sari wearer: RANI

Rani Mukherjee Looks
53. Indian nurse: AMAH

54. Plugs for products: ADS

57. Swallow hard: GULP

59. Frightened, in dialect: AFEARD. "I don't believe in ghosts but I've been AFEARD of them all my life."

66. Sing like Bing: CROON. Bing Crosby.

67. Actress Jessica: ALBA

68. Creative spark: IDEA

69. Frets: STEWS

70. Close at hand: NEAR

71. Droops like an old sofa: SAGs. A more user friendly clue.


1. Road split: FORK

2. Skin soother: ALOE

3. Game with suspects: CLUE

4. Kind of acid in red wine: TANNIC

5. First settlers: PIONEERS

6. Big initials in bowling: AMF. CSO to Boomer.

7. Bedding accessory: SHAM

8. Fill to the brim: TOP OFF

9. Soft penpoint: FELT TIP

10. Pasture: LEA

11. Responsibility: ONUS

12. Italian tower town: PISA

13. Ooze: SEEP

18. Singer Reese: DELLA. Early Della.

19. Two of a kind: PAIR

24. Wander: ROAM

26. Actress Ward: SELA

27. Basic anatomy units: CELLS

28. Freeze over: ICE-UP

29. Insect trapped in a "motel": ROACH

30. Pillow down, say: FLUFF

31. Low point: NADIR

32. San __ Padres: DIEGO

33. Take illegally: STEAL

38. Jetty: PIER

40. Costa __: RICA

41. How the wise men came: FROM AFAR. Too soon for the song.

44. Fire-breathing beasts: DRAGONS

46. Major mix-up: SNAFU

49. Sufficient, in texts: ENUF. (enough)

50. Tin Man's need: OIL CAN

51. Grad student's paper: THESIS

54. Grade school basics: ABC's

55. Pointed pub flier: DART

56. __ gin fizz: SLOE

58. Flag holder: POLE

60. Verdi title princess: AIDA

61. "Walkabout" director Nicolas: ROEG

62. Genetic carriers: DNAs

64. Weather map "L": LOW

65. Org. with Lakers and Clippers: NBA. (National Basketball Association)


Nov 19, 2017

Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 Paul Coulter

Theme: "Twists and Turns" - Two words in each common phrase change place, in all but one where one word is replaced by its homophone.
1A: With 22- and 126-Across, saying about the difficulty of dieting? : A WAIST

22A. See 1-Across : IS A TERRIBLE THING. And 126A. See 1-Across : TO MIND. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

36A: Proverb about creeps getting their just deserts? : TIME WOUNDS ALL HEELS. Time heals all wounds.

69A: Handles every objection? : ANSWERS ALL THE NOES. Knows all the answers.

96A. Fed up with a corporate VIP? : BORED OF THE CHAIRMAN. Chairman of the board.

114A. Spars during dance music? : PUNCHES TO THE BEAT. Beat to the punches. Isn't the saying "beat to the punch"?

The last one has no homophone change, turned, but not twisted.

I don't think I've seen a theme entry broken into three symmetrical parts. Very creative. Otherwise, we would have lost a 30-letter fun themer.


7. 1956 hot spot : SUEZ. Suez Canal Crisis. We also have 86. '60s hot spot : NAM

11. Healthful getaway : SPA

14. Lodge : STOW

18. Social classes : CASTES. Caste system still exists in India.

19. Trick joint? : KNEE

20. Consequently : THEN

21. Big name in spydom : HARI (Mata)

25. Part of Kurdistan is in it : IRAN

26. Code word : DAH. DIT too.

27. Bluesman Redding : OTIS

28. Nada, across the Pyrenees : RIEN. "De rien".
29. Grocery section : AISLE

30. Mrs. Addams, to Gomez : TISH

33. Deck (out) : TOG

34. Like the most popular beaches : SANDIEST. When was the first time you saw the ocean?
42. World Heritage Site org. : UNESCO

45. Surgeon's patient? : TREE. Tree surgeon.

46. __ Aviv : TEL

47. Difficult position : SPOT. In a spot.

48. Middle X or O : TAC

49. "Things Fall Apart" novelist Chinua __ : ACHEBE

52. Crisis of the middle ages? : SAG. Ha ha.

54. Flour may be made with it : SOY. I eat tons of soy products. Never tried flour though.

55. "__, Sing America": Langston Hughes poem : I TOO

57. Prynne's stigma : RED A. "The Scarlet Letter"

58. Street fleet : CABS. Not CARS.

61. Irregularly notched : EROSE. Like these leaves.

63. Tidal extreme : LOW WATER

66. Calf-roping loop : NOOSE

68. Cartoon genre : ANIME

72. __-Roman wrestling : GRECO

73. Like cornstalks : EARED

74. Cadillac SUV : ESCALADE
77. Mercury astronaut Cooper, to friends : GORDO. Learning moment for me.

78. Website for techies : CNET

79. Big celebration : FEST

81. More than tickle : SLAY. Our Peg! We also have 93. Tickled : AMUSED

82. Troy, N.Y., tech school : RPI.  Our Spitzboov & Irish Miss!

83. Lao Tzu's "way" : TAO. Lao Tzu spoke Mandarin, so he would have used DAO.

85. You don't have to face the music to do it : LISTEN. Thought the answer would be a noun.

87. Cremona crowd? : TRE. Three.

88. Lined up, with "in" : A ROW

90. IV league? : RNs. Cute.

92. Democratic donkey designer : NAST (Thomas)
101. Comic book artist's supply : INDIA INK. Ink was invented in China. Paper too.

102. __ Friday's : TGI

103. Winter cord : WOOD

106. Plant life : FLORA

109. "__ Nacht": German parting : GUTE

110. Vintner's prefix : OENO

111. Lingerie item : BRA

113. Noble title : LORD

119. Biblical brother : ABEL. Also the given name of The Weekend.

120. Principal : ARCH

121. Whaler's direction : THAR

122. Home to Napoli : ITALIA

123. Like a yenta : NOSY

124. "Not impressed" : MEH

125. __-Coburg: former German duchy : SAXE
1. Vinegary : ACID. Any of you tried sherry vinegar?

2. Attended : WAS AT

3. Japanese beer brand : ASAHI

4. Shades-wearing TV cousin : ITT

5. "Didn't I tell you?" : SEE

6. Original Dungeons & Dragons co. : TSR. It stands for Tactical Studies Rules.

7. Trail access aid : SKI TOW

8. Tolerant : UNBIGOTED. I only know BIGOTED.

9. Fish that can swim backwards : EELS

10. What's at the heart of every calzone? : ZEE. Just the middle letter.

11. Reacted skittishly to : SHIED AT

12. Broke : PENNILESS

13. "The Ice Storm" director Lee : ANG

14. Islamic worshippers : SHIITES. I spell it as "worshipers". You?

15. Experienced crew : TARS

16. __ agreement : ORAL

17. Press release? : WINE. Nailed it.

20. Dilutes : THINS

23. Mechanically, after "by" : ROTE

24. Business : TRADE

29. Hearth residue : ASH

31. Google Maps lines: Abbr. : STs

32. Kool-Aid alternative : HI-C

34. Bygone blade : SNEE

35. "Enchanted" girl in a 2004 film : ELLA. The film title is "Ella Enchanted".

37. Bygone bird : MOA

38. Graffiti and such : URBAN ART

39. Hydrated magnesium sulfate : EPSOM SALTS. For hot baths.

40. Baggy : LOOSE

41. Eye affliction : STYE. Also 76. Checked out : EYED. Any of you wear Acuvue Oasys? I had two abrasions on my right eye. Been having antibiotic drops. Need to see the doctor again next week.

42. Payment made each mo. : UTIL

43. Gp. joined by Montenegro in 2017 : NATO

44. Environmental activist : ECO-WARRIOR

50. Canadian tribe : CREE

51. German gentlemen : HERREN. Plural of HERR.

53. Italy's largest port : GENOA

56. Had : OWNED

58. Ultra-aloof type : COLD FISH

59. Nova Scotia hrs. : AST

60. Strong request : BEHEST

62. Cambodian currency : RIELS. Like Chinese, their language do not have plural form.

64. English race place : ASCOT

65. Small partnership : TWO

67. "Bravo!" : OLE

68. RSA ruling party : ANC. African National Congress

70. Ed.'s request : SAE

71. Ferrara family name : ESTE. Often clued as [Noble Italian family].

72. Start playing for money : GO PRO. Tiny clue dupe with 80. Going rate? : ESTATE TAX
75. Challenge : DARE

77. Screen __ : GRAB. Not SHOT.

78. Assemble, as a computer system : CONFIGURE

84. J.Lo's main squeeze : A-ROD.  Beautiful couple.

85. Deficiency : LACK
89. In a strange way : WEIRDLY

91. Firm in principle : STAUNCH. Consonant-rich.

92. "Buffalo Stance" singer Cherry : NENEH. Another learning moment for me.

94. Big mouth : MAW

95. A, in Acapulco : UNO

97. Paternity suit evidence : DNA

98. Thumb : HITCH

99. Brush aside : IGNORE

100. Very funny one : RIOT

104. Dagger-shaped editing marks : OBELI. Plural of Obelus. No dagger here.

105. Exhaust : DRAIN

106. Custard concoction : FLAN. Amazed that pie crusts were nowhere to be found yesterday at Cub Foods. Did get rutabaga though. We only eat rutabaga once a year, thankfully.

107. Western wolf : LOBO

108. Mining haul : ORES

110. Dept. of Labor arm : OSHA

112. Hardly more than not at all : A TAD

114. Nonstick cooking spray : PAM

115. UFO crew, so it's said : ETs

116. Big success : HIT

117. WWII command : ETO (European Theater of Operations, 1942-1945)

118. Emeril catchword : BAM

Lemonade spent three weeks in Thailand with his wife Oo. Look at these two amazing pictures. He said "It was good to be king".

Nov 18, 2017

Saturday, Nov 18th, 2017, Ed Sessa

Theme: None

Words: 68 (missing J,Q,Z)

Blocks: 25

From no Saturdays this year to two months in a row for Mr. Sessa, again with a triple-axis symmetrical construction, and for the second week in a row, we have a hashtag pattern of 15-letter spanners and climbers crossing the grid.  I believe this might be the second hardest crossword grid to work; although there are plenty of words that connect the corners together, the chunky 7x7 corners are unforgiving if you have nothing to work with.  I was stumped in the North until I was able to solve the two climbers - which I had  an inkling about, but not enough to commit to filling them in.  The 4 big clues/answers;

17a. Evidential standard : REASONABLE DOUBT - hear it all the time on Law & Order

3d. Happy way to end : ON A POSITIVE NOTE

A positive note~? Is that a B+, or a B#~?

12d. More than just stabs : EDUCATED GUESSES - or in the crossword sense, educated WAGs

54a. Foil-wrapped treats : CHOCOLATE KISSES - started to put Klondike Ice Cream in, but it didn't fit.


1. Buy in quantity : STOCK UP - "shop at BJs/Costco" didn't fit

8. Places of rapid growth : HOTBEDS

15. Commiserate : CONDOLE - one cel from my "ta-DA~!" was the "L" here; I had condone, and I knew it was not working with6d.

16. One taking the prize : AWARDEE

19. Old Egyptian symbol of royalty : ASP

20. Former Defense secretary who wrote "Worthy Fights" : PANETTA - filled via perps

21. __ scan : CAT - CAT~? or PET~?; had to wait

22. Pronoun not heard as often as it should be : WHOM - for whom the bell tolls

24. 2016 presidential candidate : RUBIO - I thought it was rubiN, and that was close enough

25. British art house : TATE

26. Player over 21, perhaps : LOSER - cards, and blackjack; I took $135 at poker last week

28. Common base : TEN

29. __ Hebrides : OUTER

30. Large beer mugs : SEIDELS - this filled via perps, and I had to go to Google to see if it was right; oddly, it also led to a reference about an EYE TEST, also in the puzzle, below

32. Ones in their 40s, e.g. : GEN-XERS - guess that's me

34. Crime scene barrier : TAPE - huh; filled this in, and never noticed it was correct until now

35. Squeezed (out) : EKED

36. Greet warmly : SMILE AT

39. One convinced by a drive : PLEDGER - my first thought was cars, then it was golf, and then I got it; public broadcasting TV

42. Chekov's first name on "Star Trek" : PAVEL - I typed in ANTON, and knew that was not right - I kept recalling this scene from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (P.S., ironically, the "new" guy who plays Chekov is named Anton Yelchin, but I can't get into the new characters)

"...rank, Admiral" @ 1:45

43. #4 at Boston Garden : ORR - hockey great

45. "__ Got Mail" : YOU'VE

46. Said yes to : OK'ED

47. Monty Python product : SPOOF - I pondered SKITS, which could work with the singular/plural of 'product'

49. Trickle : SEEP

50. Kricfalusi cartoon canine : REN - I had no clue about the name, but three-letter cartoon dog is usually REN - the Wiki

51. Taking away : REMOVAL

53. Sign at a popular play : SRO

57. Winner of the Breaking News Reporting Pulitzer for 2016, briefly : LA TIMES - hey~!! A group shout-out~!

58. Most loaded : RICHEST - the owner of the winery might have the dollars, but not a lot of sense

59. Exam involving reading letters : EYE TEST - and for the second week in a row, we will hear from Zed in Men In Black

 60. Chicken requests : BREASTS


1. Hard-to-read words : SCRAWLS

2. Ballerina's footwear : TOE SHOE

4. IRA options : CDs

5. Surgeon general under Reagan : KOOP - I could picture the guy's face (you can't forget it, really), but it took the "-OO-" before I could recall his name - C. Everett

6. __ nerve : ULNAR

7. A toy piano is often seen in it : PEANUTS - Schroeder

8. Uncertain : HALTING

9. Have because of : OWE TO

10. Cry with a flourish : "Ta-DA"~! - I did not get my "ta-DA~!" once the grid filled

11. Main man : BRO - I tried C E O

13. Con, half the time : DEBATER - as opposed to "pro"

14. They may be Irish : SETTERS

18. Neuwirth of "Cheers" : BEBE - one of the only proper names I actually knew

23. Got the gold, say : MEDALED

25. Black-tie wear : TUXEDOS

27. Turn back : REPEL - like the bad guys in a James Bond movie

29. In tune : ON KEY

31. Pastoral expanse : LEA

33. Sea scavenger : EEL - did not know they were scavengers; three letters and one "E" was already there

36. Trivia quiz website : SPORCLE - never heard of it, and it looked funny in the grid; the website is here - I played the "mis-matched movies" game, and missed one - only because I got too itchy with the mouse finger

37. What some do while the sun shines? : MAKE HAY

38. Rigging support : TOPMAST

39. Words of wisdom : PROVERB

40. Hillary's conquest : EVEREST - not the politician aiming for the presidency

41. Announces again, in a way : REPOSTS - the 21st century way - although I am not on Facebook

44. Heart : ROOT

47. Two-time US Open winner : SELES - I had just the last "S", so it was not EVERT

48. Hindu ascetic : FAKIR - filled via perps

51. Cooking apple named for an Ohio township : ROME - oops, I had POME

52. Minute parasites : LICE

55. Op. __ : CIT - the period made this clear that it would not be "ART"; instead the Latin 'opere citato', the "work already cited", found in footnotes

56. Doo-wop syllable : SHA