Feb 20, 2017

Monday, February 20, 2017 Mark McClain

Theme: No Reveal Monday - A step above just a number sequence.

19. Panama Canal nickname: EIGHTH WONDER

34. When baseball closers usually shine: NINTH INNING

42. NYC thoroughfare that becomes Amsterdam at 59th Street: TENTH AVENUE

57. When time is running out: ELEVENTH HOUR

Argyle here. Missing: {JZ} The theme was easy enough so some of the fill was not. On balance, a good Monday.


1. Soothsayer: SEER

5. Quick fix for an elbow hole: PATCH

10. Underwater vessel: SUB

13. Cuba libre fruit: LIME

14. Lorena of LPGA fame: OCHOA. She played the Tour from 2003 to 2010.

15. Phony: FAKE

16. Votes in favor: YEAs

17. "My mistake": "SORRY"

18. Rice field draft animals: OXENDifference Between Ox and Buffalo(link)

22. Robotic maid on "The Jetsons": ROSIE

23. Inherently: BY NATURE

27. Where to find Lima and llamas: PERU

30. Like farm country: RURAL

31. Thanksgiving tuber: YAM

38. They're often big in showbiz: EGOs

40. Sparkle: GLEAM

41. "I'm hungry enough to __ horse!": EAT A

45. Vert. counterpart: HOR. (horizontal) 63A. TV signal part: AUDIO

46. Gandhi's land: INDIA

47. Garbage email: SPAM

49. "Get moving!": "STEP IT UP!". STAT, ASAP.

53. Wash or spin: CYCLE

60. Computer image: ICON

64. "Giant" author Ferber: EDNA

65. Four-sided campus area: QUAD. (quadrangle)

66. Extended families: CLANS

67. Cincinnati ballplayers: REDS

68. Tennis match segment: SET

69. Saintly rings: HALOs

70. "Garfield" pooch: ODIE


1. Not as forthright: SLYER

2. "Old MacDonald" letters: EIEIO

3. Webzines: E-MAGs

4. Mail again, as a package: RESHIP

5. Fancy-schmancy: POSH

6. Have __: freak out: A COW

7. Pulsate: THROB

8. Like grandpa's jokes, probably: CORNY

9. Contemporary of Mozart: HAYDN. "One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words." ~ Gemälde von Edouard Leon Cortes.

10. Jazz combo horn: SAX

11. Don Ho's instrument: UKE

12. "Gone Girl" co-star Affleck: BEN

15. Mint of money: FORTUNE. Don't be minting your own fortune; it's frowned upon.

20. High school junior, usually: TEEN

21. Merit: EARN

24. Dickens villain Heep: URIAH

25. Totaled, as a bill: RAN TO

26. "Pomp and Circumstance" composer: ELGAR. Sir Edward Elgar.

28. Capital of Latvia: RIGA

29. Sch. near the Strip: UNLV. (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

31. "Abominable" critters: YETIs

32. Insurance rep: AGENT

33. Paris newspaper Le __: MONDE

35. Golfer's starting point: TEE

36. __ Christian Andersen: HANS

37. "Still sleeping?" response: "I'M UP"

39. Regular payment: STIPEND. One you receive, not pay out.

43. Precipitation stones: HAIL

44. A pop: EACH

48. Rescued damsel's cry: "MY HERO!"

50. Enlighten: TEACH

51. Throat dangler: UVULA

52. Bicycle feature: PEDAL

54. Encrypted: CODED

55. Monday, in Le Mans: LUNDI

56. Use the delete key, e.g.: ERASE

58. El __: weather phenomenon: NIÑO

59. Throw away: TOSS

60. Mensa nos.: IQs. (intelligence quotient)

61. Billiards stick: CUE

62. Breakfast grain: OAT

Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to dear Santa Argyle, who just wrote his 748th blog post this morning. Argyle joined me a few months after I started and has been tirelessly guiding us every since. Off the blog, he's also my trusted advisor and sounding board. Thanks for being you, Santa!

Argyle, Jan 29, 2017

Feb 19, 2017

Sunday, Feburary 19, 2017 Derek Bowman

Theme: "Between the Covers" - Seven magazines are inserted into familiar phrases. The first two words in each theme entry form a familiar phrase as well.

23A. Some pool English? : SIDE SPIN EFFECTS. Side spin. Side effects. Spin is now a web magazine.

27A. Ballet phenom? : BREAK OUT DANCER. Break out. Break dancer. Out is focused on  LGBT.
40A. Regular stockings, as opposed to fishnets? : GARDEN VARIETY HOSE. Garden variety. Garden hose. Variety.
63A. 8 or 9, e.g.? : PRIME TIME NUMBER.  Prime time. Prime number.  Time.

70A. Snowfall during the Olympics? : WINTER GAMES COAT. Winter Games. Winter coat. Both Will Shortz and Mike Shenk worked for Games magazine at one time.

94A. Doghouses and scratching posts? : PET PEOPLE PROJECTS. People is inserted into "Pet projects". What are "Pet people?" though.  Pet owners?

112A. Goal for a teacher's pet? : GOLD STAR RECORD. Gold star. Gold record. I leafed through Star from time to time. In Touch and US Weekly have better paper quality.

119A. Subscription deal promos ... and a hint to this puzzle's seven other longest answers : 

Despite eight long theme entries, this puzzle only has 138 entries. The top and bottom pair have a 8-letter overlap and the fill do not suffer. Amazing.

Our blog label suggests that this is Derek Bowman's first Sunday LAT. He did have a NYT Sunday in 2010.
XWord Info photo


1. Mouth Healthy org. : ADA

4. Lineal beginner : MATRI. Got via crosses.

9. Gibbons, e.g. : APES

13. __ palm : BETEL. Not ITCHY.

18. Long and drawn-out, say : TORTUROUS. Describes my tooth trouble aptly.

20. Meredith Grey's half sister on "Grey's Anatomy" : LEXIE. Also got via crosses. She looks sweet.

22. 14th-century Russian ruler : IVAN I
25. "Save Me the Waltz" writer Fitzgerald : ZELDA

26. Vote in : ELECT
29. "The Fountainhead" author Rand : AYN

30. More agile : SPRYER. Spelling check prefers SPRIER.

33. Two by two : IN PAIRS

34. Shoebox letters : EEE

35. Chess pieces : MEN. Do any of you play chess? My Dad loved Chinese chess.

37. Holds (up) : PROPS'
49. Old DJs' assortment : LPs

51. Same, for starters : EQUI

52. Military wear, for short : CAMO

53. Courted : WOOED

54. Logan of "60 Minutes" : LARA. Brave girl.

55. One in a rib cage : LUNG

56. Sends out : EMITS

58. Shone : GLISTENED

61. "Fuller House" actor : SAGET (Bob) I wonder why the Olsen twins declined the opportunities.
66. Word for a lady : SHE, Nice new clue.

68. PC file extension : EXE

69. "Wish Tree" artist : ONO

79. "It's the Hard-Knock Life" soloist : ANNIE

83. Vulcans, for one : ALIEN RACE. Solid fill.

84. Biker's invite : HOP ON

86. Skip it : PASS. Not OMIT.

87. Gentle : KIND. So many kind souls in our blog.

88. Territories of a sort : TURFS

91. Writer __ Neale Hurston : ZORA

92. Samarra's land : IRAQ

93. Use (up) : EAT
98. White choice, familiarly : CHARD. Chardonnay. Not a wine drinker, This & CAB always stump me.

100. Deli option : RYE

101. Texting qualifier : IMO

102. Nickname in satirical music : WEIRD AL. Grid-friendly name.

106. Transferred to computer memory : READ IN

109. __ tai : MAI

116. DVD player option : EJECT

118. Paragon : IDEAL. Here is a picture of JD and Bob taken during their vacation a few weeks ago. So sweet.

122. Punk, e.g. : GENRE

123. Bologna bride : SPOSA. Learning moment for me.

124. Cry from Poirot : SACRE BLEU! We often see SACRE or BLEU. Nice to see the full exclamation.

125. Jane Austen specialty : IRONY

126. Cabinet dept. with an atom on its seal : ENER. And 127. Cabinet dept. first led by Hamilton : TREAS

128. Op-__ : EDS. Not ART.
1. Hopelessly lost : AT SEA

2. Tatted covering : DOILY. Nothing TATTOO-related.

3. Eve who played the principal in "Grease" films : ARDEN

4. Exuberant review term : MUST-SEE

5. Dadaist Jean : ARP

6. Paris pronoun : TOI

7. Show for quick feedback : RUN BY. When in doubt about certain themes/fill,  I ask Argyle, D-Otto & Boomer.

8. Val d'__: French ski resort : ISERE. I recognize one name: ALPS.

9. Two before Charlie : ALFA. NATO alphabet.

10. Sneak a look at : PEEK INTO

11. Former pen pal? : EX-CON. Never tired seeing this type of clue.

12. Exercise done from a supine position : SIT-UP

13. Unusually strange : BIZARRE. Another sparkly fill.

14. Yet : EVEN SO

15. Powder source : TALC

16. Köln closing : ENDE. Just German for "End".

17. Defense attorney's challenge : LIAR

19. Gumshoe : TEC (Detective)

21. "¿Cómo __?" : ESTA

24. Eponymous physicist : FERMI (Enrico). Wiki says he is called "architect of the nuclear age",

28. Potluck fare : DIPs

31. What "p" may stand for : PENCE, OK, British Pound parts.

32. Completely make over : REVAMP

36. "TMI!" : EEW

38. Hatched backup : PLAN B. I lost a piece of extremely hard-to-remove old caulk strip to the wall on Thursday. It slipped inside and I could not get it out. I had no PLAN B. Just ignored it and re-caulked the whole bathtub with TTP's detailed instructions. Also chose the Vinegar option from this article. The bathtub looks great right now. There are still a few stubborn spots between the wall tiles that refuse to come clean. I'll try the Baking Soda option next Tuesday. Maybe it can remove the rust spot on our kitchen sink faucet as well.

39. Jag : SPREE

40. Comes together : GELS

41. Cyan relative : AQUA

42. Tolled : RUNG

43. Took in : DIGESTED

44. "The Kite Runner" boy : AMIR. Thank God for this boy. Otherwise, we'll need a "Var." mark.

45. Unleavened Indian flatbread : ROTI. I bet Steve makes his own at times.

46. Hindu mystic : YOGI

47. Place of control : HELM

48. Jon Arbuckle's dog : ODIE

50. __ City: Baghdad suburb : SADR

54. Tangy treat : LEMON PIE

57. Pirate shipmate of Starkey : SMEE

59. __-Cat : SNO

60. Sushi offering : TUNA. Thought of ROLL.

62. At that point : THEN

64. "All My __ Live in Texas": George Strait hit : EX'S

65. Support pro : TECH

67. Blunder : ERR

70. Waterskiing hurdle : WAKE

71. Hipbone-related : ILIAC

72. Closers often open it : NINTH. Inning.

73. Post-WWII commerce agreement : GATT. Replaced by WTO in 1995.

74. "... __ o' kindness ... ": Burns : A CUP

75. Only : MERE

76. Exude : OOZE

77. Each : A POP

78. Like some love affairs : TORRID. Normally don't end well.

80. DEA agent : NARC

81. Attends : IS AT. I prefer partial for this fill.

82. Law office abbreviations : ESQs

85. Supermodel Campbell : NAOMI

89. Empty storefront sign : FOR LEASE. Fresh fill.

90. Secret agent : SPY

94. "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" singer : PRESLEY

95. Blue-pencil : EDIT

96. "Vive __!" : LE ROI

97. Generic trendsetters : JONESES. Keeping up with the Joneses.

99. "Oh, shucks" : AW DARN. Another fresh fill.

103. Super Bowl XXXIV champions : RAMS. 1999. I was still in China.

104. Hang : DRAPE

105. Incandescent bulb gas : ARGON

107. Young partner : ERNST. Oh, Ernst & Young.

108. "Be __ ... " : A DEAR

109. Haggard of country : MERLE

110. Didn't procrastinate : ACTED

111. Chorused "Who's there?" response : IT''S US

112. 1958 winner of nine Oscars : GIGI. This many? I watched the film a while ago. So so. 

113. Polish-German border river : ODER

114. Fallon's predecessor : LENO

115. Kingpin : CZAR

117. Bush in Florida : JEB

120. Curling surface : ICE

121. Second Amendment org. : NRA


Feb 18, 2017

Saturday, Feb 18th, 2017, Craig Stowe

Theme: None

Words: 68 (missing Q,X)

Blocks: 30

  First Saturday LA Times crossword for Mr. Stowe, as far as I can tell; his other constructions have made it on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Three more for the "complete set".  I did quite well with this one, just one cheat for a proper name in the NE so I could get started up in that corner.  Lots of "nailed it" answers for me today, and they're especially pleasing when the crossings jibe.  Triple 10-letter Across corners, two 11-letter climbers and a 13-letter spanner;

10. Rectangular Manhattan attraction : CENTRAL PARK - I really need to see more of this place; all I really know about the spot is what I have seen in TV shows ( Law & Order, e.g. ), and this great scene from the movie "Die Hard with a Vengeance"

23. Conversational softener : JUST KIDDING

Raymond was "just kidding"

33. Its Gold Medal features a profile of Franklin : PULITZER PRIZE - learning moment for me



1. Neutral : ACHROMATIC - with regard to color; in music, a 'chromatic' scale includes all twelve notes of a scale - which reminds me of this 'song'; if you grew up with "Headbanger's Ball", you might recognize it

And here's a clip on how to play the song

11. Farm animals : EWES - I tried SOWS first

15. Reacts to staying up, perhaps : SLEEPS LATE - I gotta sleep late Sunday, have a semi-overnight at the restaurant to prep for fireproofing the ceiling

16. "St. Matthew and the Angel" painter Guido : RENI - my cheat

17. The Hugo Awards are presented at one : CONVENTION - I am in New York City today - my buddy Mike with the games company has a booth at the Javits Center for the Toy/Games Convention, and I am going to bring two of the three board games I 'invented'

18. What hearts may do : RACE - 2017 is off to a good start - someone new makes my heart race

19. Queen __ Revenge: Blackbeard's ship : ANNE'S - good WAG

20. Reams : A LOT

21. Mil. addresses : APOs

22. Tree in a carol : PEAR - you'll find the Partridge there

23. Some subordinates: Abbr. : JRs

24. Turn in : RAT OUT - ah. Not RETIRE

26. __-chef : SOUS - I know the guys who fill this role at the restaurants

28. Home to many warthogs : SAVANNA - that's the area of Africa, not the state of Georgia (OK, different spelling, but I thought it was funny )

29. Eastern servants : AMAHs - couldn't remember this at first

31. Store accessibly : FILE

32. With 37-Across, "No problem" : IT'S - circumreferential to; 37. See 32-Across : OKAY

36. Vintage tape format : VHS

38. Moore co-star : ASNER - another WAG

39. Like thou, say : ARCHAIC - nailed it, and spelled it correctly

41. Three-time Tour de France champion LeMond : GREG

42. See 48-Across : POLAND - partial referential clue to; 48. __-Neisse Line, western border of 42-Across : ODER

43. Albanian currency : LEK

44. Traipse : ROAM

49. Two-point contest? : DUEL - har-har

51. 122-square-mile republic : MALTA

52. "Green Mansions" heroine played by Audrey Hepburn : RIMA - I tried riTa, did not get my ta-DA~!; checked the crossing, and oops

53. Plus : IN ADDITION - nailed it

55. 1860s-'70s Black Hawk War combatants : UTES

56. Digital emergency signal : NINE-ONE-ONE

57. Uncle __ : BEN'S - another shot in the dark that was correct

58. Become decent? : GET DRESSED - nailed it - hah~!


1. Songwriters' org. : ASCAP - American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers

2. Knockoff : CLONE - makes me think of the street vendors in NYC - wow, that's a good price for a Rolex~!

3. Salon coloring : HENNA

4. U-turn : REVERSAL

5. "... the morning __ her golden gates": Shakespeare : OPES

6. Yahoo! alternative : MSN - dah, not AOL

7. Rite sites : ALTARS

8. Apes' lack : TAILS - humans, too

9. "__, Sing America": Hughes : I, TOO

11. Improved book list? : ERRATA

12. Adapt in a dangerous way : WEAPONIZE

13. Come across : ENCOUNTER

14. Naps : SIESTAS

25. Not inclined : AVERSE

27. Toledo native : OHIOAN - I was an Ohioan for two and a half years - worked on a made-for-TV movie there

28. Military address : SIR

29. Venus counterpart : APHRODITE - nailed it from --RH--E

30. Goons : MUSCLEMEN - "goon" is the affectionate name for the fighters in hockey games, too

31. "Bossypants" memoirist : FEY - Tina, of SNL fame

34. Efron who voiced Ted in "The Lorax" : ZAC

35. Thankless bunch : INGRATES

36. Product originally called Croup and Pneumonia Salve : VAPO-RUB - this reminds me of SNL, too

40. Give a hard time : HARASS

41. Fixed, in a way : GELDED - oh, that kind of fix

43. Rested (against) : LEANT

45. Hodgepodges : OLIOs - making a return on Saturdays recently

46. Fix things : ATONE - oh, that kind of fix

47. Shaggy : MANED - I was "maned" back in my Headbanger's Ball days

50. Together, in Toulouse : UNIE - Frawnche

51. Vein locale : MINE

54. "L'Âge __": Buñuel-Dalí surrealist film : DOR - perps


Feb 17, 2017

Friday, February 17, 2017, Mark Feldman

Title:  I'll have two spoons, please.

Mark Feldman is here with his first puzzle of 2017; his last was a fun Spoonerism Puzzle. This time Mark out does Reverend Spooner by reversing the words in a two word phrase, not just the beginnings. Each requires the new first word be a sound-a-alike of the old second word. He then clues the fill with a silly meaning, and the hilarity ensues. He also finishes the grid with some challenges and some excellent choices such as ENDEARS,  MAHATMA,  DEADPAN,  SEA STAR, CHORALES,  HEADLESS, TOREADOR, TOASTERS,  SOUL MATES and the previously unseen in the LAT- SEVERALLY.

The theme fill:

17A. Ladies' man with laryngitis? : HOARSE STUD (10). After successful racing careers, many champion race horses spend their time making their owners rich. SECRETARIAT.

28A. Infant at bath time? : BARE BABY (8). Baby bear has been a star for years. thanks to Goldilocks.

44A. High schooler just hanging out? : IDLE TEEN (8). Teen idols have been around seamlessly since  SINATRA.

58A. Ordinary-looking fashion VIP? : PLAIN MODEL (10). An un-pc twist on model plane  builders.


1. Earth tone : OCHER. My father painted in oils which is where I learned this word.

6. Popular speaker : BOSE. I have a Bose radio.

10. Unlike Wabash College : COED. Wabash College is a small, private, liberal arts college for men, located in Crawfordsville, Indiana, United States. Wikipedia.

14. "Voilà!" : THERE. Jeannie, where are you?

15. Over : UPON.

16. Company with a Select Guest loyalty program : OMNI. A HOTEL chain.

19. Ultimately earns : NETS.

20. Airport NNW of IND : ORD. INDianpolis and Chicago, O'Hare which originally was called ORcharD Field. 27D. Rail system that services 20-Across : CTA. Chicago Transit Authority.

21. Spicy cuisine : CREOLE. Time for some RECIPES.

22. A native of : FROM.

23. Goneril's husband : ALBANY.  Our Friday Shakespeare REFERENCE. Harder than capital of New York?

25. Revered sage, in India : MAHATMA. None more famous than Ghandi?

27. Sweeps, e.g. : CLEANS. I made this too hard at first...think spys.

29. 1995 "Live at Red Rocks" pianist : TESH. I will control my urge to post my family pics from Red Rocks.

30. African scourge : TSETSE.

32. Indian silk-producing region : ASSAM. Part II, India.

34. Suffix with ethyl : ENE.

35. "Same here" : DITTO.

40. Counsel : ADVISE.

43. Cheer : ROOT.
Take me out
To the ball game
Take me out
To the crowd
Buy me some peanuts
And Crackerjacks
I don't care if
I never get back

For it's root, root, root
For the home team
If they don't win
It's a shame
For it's one, two,
Three strikes you're out
At the old ball game!

48. Highest peak in the Armenian plateau : ARARAT. It is mostly in Turkey. LINK.

50. Armed ocean dweller? : SEASTAR. We used to call it the STARFISH. Marine scientists have undertaken the difficult task of replacing the beloved starfish's common name with sea star because, well, the starfish is not a fish. It's an echinoderm, closely related to sea urchins and sand dollars. ... Most sea stars also have the remarkable ability to consume prey outside their bodies. wiki, i think.

51. Makes it right : ATONES.

52. Pride parade letters : LGBT. Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans.

53. "Macbeth" spot descriptor : DAMNED. Another double dip, this time Shakespeare. "Out, Out..."

55. Division of the Justice Dept. : ATF. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

57. Buffalo's county : ERIE. CSO to many.

60. Marketing opener : TELE.

61. "What a shame" : ALAS. Great word for our poets.

62. Really like : ADORE.

63. Aren't really, maybe : SEEM.

64. Nasdaq competitor : NYSE. New York Stock Exchange.

65. Like Vikings : NORSE.


1. Emperor after Galba : OTHO. He was number TWO in the year of Four Emperors, a year I learned all about from my son.

2. Bach works : CHORALES.

3. Word associated with Sleepy Hollow : HEADLESS. Do any watch the TV show? I enjoyed the crossover with Bones.

4. Goof : ERR.

5. Checkout correction, perhaps : RESCAN.

6. "Point Break" co-star : BUSEY.

7. Vision: Pref. : OPTOmetrist.

8. They're meant for each other : SOUL MATES. With all of our long married here at the Corner this might be a CSO.

9. Makes beloved : ENDEARS.

10. Informal discussion : CONFAB.

11. Last book of Puzo's "Godfather" trilogy : OMERTA. Silence? Spawned by this author...54D. "Serpico" author Peter : MAAS.  He also wrote The Valachi Papers and Underboss.

12. Bury : ENTOMB.

13. Alarm : DISMAY.

18. "Trophy, Hypertrophied" artist : ERNST. Max.
24. __ Men: "Who Let the Dogs Out" band : BAHA.
26. Follow : HEED.

28. Dahomey, since 1975 : BENIN.

31. One at a time : SEVERALLY. Jointly and severally in the law means "all are obligated and each is obligated."

33. Actor Damon : MATT. He works!

36. OPEC founding member : IRAN.

37. Ring fighter : TOREADOR. That is bull!

38. Pop-up items : TOASTERS.

39. As of 1937, he was the all-time N.L. home run leader until Mays surpassed him in 1966 : OTT. Mel had 511, I think.

41. Like many a successful poker player : DEADPAN. And comedians.

42. Consumed : EATEN.

44. Keys : ISLETS.

45. Unilever deodorant brand : DEGREE.

46. Likely to change : LABILE. Used in medical context mostly, I think.

47. Regard : ESTEEM.

49. Serling's birth name : RODMAN. Dennis loses out to this bit of trivia- Rodman was shortened to Rod.

51. Ouzo flavoring : ANISE. Licorice.

56. Hightail it : FLEE.

59. "Star Trek: DSN" changeling : ODO. Poor René Auberjonois. He was always challenged in Deep Space Nine. I like him best in Boston Legal.

So we traversed the mine field and emerged with another successful Friday in the books. Thanks you so much Mark, a sense of humor always helps, especially as I continue to struggle. Caudal epidural 2 was Wednesday. Sorry for the choppy write up, but I had fun. Lemonade out.

Notes from C.;C.:

1) Happy 50th wedding anniversary to dear Gary and his wife Joann! I'm lucky to have met them and got to know them over the years. Their love and support for each other are so inspiring. So unconditional.

2) Happy Birthday to Chairman Moe (Chris), our wine and beer expert, author of daily Puzzling Thoughts.

Chairman Moe, his wife, Oo & Lemonade,  Sept 10, 2015

Feb 16, 2017

Thursday, February 16, 2017 C.C.Burnikel

Theme: Stock Showdown - who would you back in a race between a Harley, a Ferrari and an Avis rental car?

The reveal sets up what we're looking for in the theme:

66A. Market representative? : TICKER SYMBOL

and indeed we find that the very apt ticker symbol and the company it represents intersect each other in the three theme pairs:

8D. Auto with a prancing horse logo, whose company 66-Across ends 18-Across : FERRARI and
18A. Fitness challenge : OBSTACLE RACE

Here's the 2016 Formula 1 model. Sex on a stick.

49A. Bike whose company 66-Across ends 26-Down : HARLEY and
26D. Unreserved way to go : WHOLE HOG

"Hog" was originally the nickname for a Harley dating back to the 20's, and adopted later as an acronym by the Harley Owners' Group.

50A. Name on a shuttle, whose company 66-Across ends 24-Down : AVIS and
24D. Alternative energy vehicle : SOLAR CAR

This car, developed by the University of Sydney, is set to be the first street-legal solar vehicle when it is registered in Australia in 2017.

Before we get into the meat of the theme and the puzzle, let's just get one thing clear regarding 39D. This puzzle was created last year and was accepted for publication in August 2016, so don't try to read anything more into it.

Clever theme from C.C. She told me that it went through quite a lot of back-and-forth with Rich at the concept stage before it was ready to go. Out of the many thousands of companies traded on NASDAQ and the NYSE there are precious few with a punny symbol, and even fewer where it can intersect the name.

Note the consistency in that the ticker symbol is the final word of a two-word phrase - good stuff. Add in some nice crunchy fill and a polished layout (and C.C's "trademark" baseball references) and you can't get much better. Let's see what else jumps out:


1. Truly wretched : ABJECT. Great start.

7. E equivalent, on scores : F FLAT. Both notes are en-harmonic equivalents, but not regarded as the same note.

12. Bygone space station : MIR

15. Reaction to a comeback : TOUCHÉ! 

16. Contact : REACH

17. Long-necked bird : EMU

20. Metz moniker : NOM. I'm finally getting it that Metz is in France, not Germany. Mon nom est Étienne, en français.

21. Colo. setting : M.S.T. Mountain time for the Colorado folks.

22. See-through : SHEER. Like these curtains, which were the first examples of sheer fabric that sprung to my mind. Honestly, Officer ...

23. Even-odds situation : TOSS-UP

25. Scand. land : SWEden. Cold and dark over there at the moment.

27. Not much : A DAB. I tripped up on this one - I had A TAD first, corrected the T with FREEDOM and then forgot to go back and fix the B.

29. Nosebag fill : OATS. Also used in porridge,as C.C. noted on Sunday. Use rolled oats, not instant.

30. Male pal, in slang : BRAH. This is a Hawai'ian islands expression. The hipster surfer dudes in Southern California have picked up on it, and frankly, it sounds quite wrong coming from an Orange County high schooler.

32. Cold sore relief product : ORAJEL. You can get Zovirax OTC in the UK which blasts a cold sore into extinction within 24 hours if you use it the second you feel that first tingle.

35. Cellist with multiple Grammys : YO YO MA

38. Baseball collectibles : MINI BATS. You can't get much more mini than this:

41. Pure : SINLESS. Pure as the driven snow, like me, hence my admiration for sheer curtains.

43. Stated as fact : AVERRED

45. Sits in a cell : DOES TIME

48. Set up in a glade, say : ENCAMP

51. Lamb sandwich : GYRO. Food! I've waxed lyrical about these before. The Mad Greek, Baker, CA off the I-15.

54. Pamplona kudos : OLÉS

56. Outrage : IRE

57. Mountain predator : COUGAR

60. Trojan War epic : ILIAD

62. Church based in SLC, Utah : L.D.S. Latter Day Saints, the Mormon church in Salt Lake City.

65. Center : HUB

69. Foofaraw : ADO

70. "American Buffalo" playwright : MAMET

71. Erie Canal city : ALBANY

72. Passel : TON. A bunch, a pack, an indeterminate number. I like the word.

73. More than amuses : SLAYS

74. Greenery : PLANTS


1. Splitting target : ATOM

2. Short cuts : BOBS. Oh - haircuts!

3. Reagan-era slogan : JUST SAY NO

4. Outer: Pref. : ECT-

5. Run after : CHASE

6. __ support : TECH. Shot myself in the foot with ARCH first. This whole top-left corner was nothing but trouble for me, with the exception of the Nancy Reagan slogan.

7. Liberty : FREEDOM

9. Mike Trout's team, on scoreboards : LAA. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, clumsily. I've been to Angel Stadium - it's one of the few sporting venues where they don't completely fleece you for parking, beer and a dog.

10. Check no. : ACCT.

11. "Sons of Anarchy" actor Rossi : THEO. Thank you, crosses.

12. Brainy bunch : MENSA

13. Passing remark? : I'M OUT. See ya! No, wait, I've got some more puzzle to blog.

14. Beef cuts : RUMPS

19. Field : LEA

28. "Hulk" star Eric : BANA. Thank you, crosses. My blecho for today.

30. Fly-__: air passes : BYS. A USAAF formation usually comes over the top of my house on January 1st on the way to and from the Rose Bowl fly-by. One year there was a stealth bomber too, that was an eerie sight.

31. Juicer's juice? : ROID. Steroids. Nice clue.

33. Nonsense : JIVE

34. "__ Holden": Irving Bacheller novel : EBEN. What? Who? Crosses all the way. I discover it was published in 1900 and was a best-seller in 1901 and 1902.Now I don't feel so bad.

36. Cactus League spring training city : MESA, Arizona. I went to a spring training game between the Reds and Giants a few years ago in nearby Scottsdale. Really good fun. The Giants won the World Series that year.

37. Neil deGrasse Tyson subj. : ASTRonomy.

39. Blizzard restriction, perhaps : TRAVEL BAN

40. Final Four matchup : SEMI. Semi-final in a single elimination competition. Four to be winnowed down to two for the final.

42. Rural storehouse : SILO

44. Plays usually involving the SS : DPS. Double plays. Shortstops.

46. "I'm a fan!" : ME LIKEY!

47. Shoelace holders : EYELETS. You thread your aglets through your eyelets when you're putting laces in your shoes.

51. IM option : G-CHAT. Google Chat instant messaging.

52. "Seriously?" : YOU DO?

53. Apply, as sunscreen : RUB ON. I spray mine on, then rub.

55. Respectful word : SIR

56. Pastoral piece : IDYLL

How sweet is the Shepherd's sweet lot
From the morn to the evening he strays;
He shall follow his sheep all the day,
And his tongue shall be filled with praise.

For he hears the lamb's innocent call,
And he hears the ewe's tender reply;
He is watchful while they are in peace,
For they know when their Shepherd is nigh.

"The Shepherd" by William Blake

58. Stop-offs before big dates, maybe : ATM'S

59. Muscat money : RIAL. They don't come out of  ATM's in Oman, they come out of these things: آلة الصراف الآلي

61. Rush job letters : ASAP

63. "Knock it off!" : DON'T!

64. Stallone and Stone : SLYS

67. Nashville awards gp. : C.M.A. Country Music Association.

68. Mgmt. degree : M.B.A. A Master's degree in Business Administration.

I think that should do it from me. Happy Thursday, everyone!


Feb 15, 2017

Wednesday, Ed Sessa, February 15, 2017


Husker Gary at the humpday helm today and as you can see below in the grid the homonyms for TO, FOUR, WON, SAIL and GOODBYES are employed to make the marketing slogan you see here at the right. How cool is that? Uh, it took me a while to see it. You?

Theme fills

20. *More than is wise : TO (TWO) A FAULT - C'mon that's funny! 

26. *Luxury resort chain : FOUR (FOR) SEASONS - Yeah, this FOUR SEASONS buffet in Singapore seems to qualify as Luxury

36. *Dominated the election : WON (ONE) BY A LANDSLIDE - Attributed to Joe Kennedy when he was backing JFK's presidential race

44. *Complete with ease - SALE (SAIL) THROUGH - She did! 


54. Farewells ... or, homophonically and read top to bottom, what the first words of the answers to starred clues represent? : GOOD BYES 

BTW, I got this TWO FOR ONE SALE - GOOD BUY last month and they are great:

Watt ells does Ed half four us two day:


1. See 1-Down : FOOD paired with 1. With 1-Across, Whoppers and McRibs, e.g. : FAST for a clever start in the NW corner!

5. Risk taker : DARER

10. Minimally : A TAD

14. He sang about Alice : ARLO - He sang about Alice for over 18 minutes

15. Ooze with : EXUDE

16. Bond's first movie foe : DR NO - You mean someone other than Ursula Andress was in that movie?

17. Word with interest or service : SELF - Marty McFly had to go back to 1955 to see a FULL service station like here

18. Lavin of "Alice" : LINDA

19. Water retainer : DIKE

22. River racers : SCULLS

24. Rose of Guns N' Roses : AXL

25. Poetic pair : COUPLET - How many times have you read these wonderful couplets to a child?

31. "__ to leap tall buildings ... " : ABLE - ...or FROM a tall building

32. "David Copperfield" villain : HEEP

33. Cain, to Abel, informally : SIB(ling)

41. Teachers' org. : NEA

42. Sufficient, to Shakespeare : ENOW - Methinks there are many at this site who know of whom the Bard is speaking when he wrote "I must not think there are evil ENOW to darken all his goodness". I had to look it up.

43. Working hard : AT IT

48. Descends, as a rock wall RAPPELS - I'm not sure I have courage ENOW to give this a go

52. Fluke-to-be : ROE - Baby fluke eggs

53. Worried : UNEASY

59. Fly in the ointment : SNAG

60. Fly-fishing catch : TROUT - A trout going after that fly

62. Tennis score : LOVE - It's means nothin' 

63. Floor piece : TILE

64. "Maybe, just maybe" : I HOPE

65. Big name in furniture : IKEA

66. Clairvoyant : SEER And now, the great SEER, soothsayer, and sage, Carnac.... the Magnificent. Johnny often called the question to this answer the funniest bit he ever did in this character. That question to this answer is at the bottom of this write-up.

67. Got by : COPED

68. See 58-Down : PENN with 58. With 68-Across, "Milk" Oscar winner : SEAN


2. Embossed cookie : OREO - Another clue for the ubiquitous OREO

3. Southwestern clay pot : OLLA

4. Remove respectfully : DOFF - Dr. Suess had a Hat DOFFING Cat as well as tales of Green Eggs and Ham

5. First-class : DELUXE

6. Armpit : AXILLA - Hey, don't look at me, I didn't know either! :-)

7. Squirt : RUNT

8. Teacher's deg. : EDD - Doctor of Education degree - usually seen as EdD. 

9. Thought (out) : REASONED

10. Make sense : ADD UP

11. Composer's embellishment : TRILL - Do you have any problems with National Antems sang with "Triplets, quintuplets, mordents, TRILLS, turns, six-note slides and grace notes?"

12. Bracelet spot : ANKLE - How Lindsay Lohan disguised hers while under arrest. A fashionable felon?

13. Biblical verb : DOEST - Perhaps thou DOEST but shouldst thou?

21. Toy inserts usually not included : AA'S - Batteries

23. Crescent points : CUSPS

25. Either "The Man Who Wasn't There" director : COEN - My favorite COEN brothers' movie is Fargo

26. Doe's dear : FAWN

27. Wind in a pit : OBOE

28. Arm bone : ULNA - About 12" below your AXILLA

29. Bull Run soldier : REB - Johnny REB showed this would not be a quick war

30. Over-the-shoulder garb : SHAWL

33. In __: as placed : SITU

34. "Understood," in hippie-speak : I DIG

35. "Little Women" sister : BETH

37. Verbal nods : YESES

38. Kind of geometry : ANALYTIC - How far did Yogi have to throw? Piece 'o Pythagorean Cake for our math heads!

39. "The Giver" novelist Lowry : LOIS - What? Ed didn't use Superman's girl friend here?

40. Thai language : LAO - Everyone knows hello is ສະບາຍດີ

45. Entertainers on the road : TROUPE

46. Partner of hollered : HOOTED

47. Wine choice : RED

48. Reddish-brown colors : RUSTS

49. Singer Lennox : ANNIE - One reviewer's list of ANNIE'S Top 10 songs omitted my favorite - Sweet Dreams

50. "Positive thinking" advocate : PEALE

51. "Your table's ready" signaler : PAGER

54. Sticky stuff : GOOP

55. Radar dot : BLIP

56. Team connection : YOKE - A YOKED means of crossing Nebraska before I-80

57. All tied up : EVEN

61. Letter after pi : RHO

Carnac answer/question: The answer is "Sis, Boom, Bah". And the question is "What sound does an exploding sheep make?"

Weed luv four ewe two comment:

Husker Gary


Note from C. C.:

Happy Birthday to dear Skip (Hondo on the blog), who is a huge fan of UConn women's Basketball. Skip is also an expert on vintage sports cards & attends shows often on weekends.
Left to right: Marti, Dudley, Hondo & Montana (Sept 2013)