Jul 24, 2016

Sunday, July 24, 2016, C.C. Burnikel

Title: Getting Connected 

Our lovely leader has made a fun puzzle whose gimmick was finding two-word phrases where the first word ended in US and the second word started with a B. This yielded the now ubiquitous computer connection acronym of USB (Universal Serial Bus).  Our crafty constructor C.C. also hid the reveal in the very last clue in the puzzle:

120. PC connection found in this puzzle's eight longest answers : USB

Husker Gary here and I am, as Lemon put it once, sherping for C.C. and revealing that I needed the reveal because

128. "I'm an idiot!" : DOH!

The back of this PC shows many common "Getting Connected" options including  6 USB ports

Theme  Fills:

21. Omaha Steaks Private Reserve product : ANGUS BEEF - I'm sure you've got a great steak outlet 20 min from your house  like I do!

27. 2009 recession response : STIMULUS BILL - Staying apolitical, I'll let you decide if it works for you

14. Sacred conviction : RELIGIOUS BELIEF - Staying areligious, I'll let you decide if it works for you

43. Gillette razor for women : VENUS BREEZE -  Gel Bars obviate the need for shaving cream, I read.

92. Eponymous explorer of the Aleutians : VITUS BERING - A 1981 Russian stamp honoring the 300 birthday of Bering  in Denmark. He joined the Russian Navy  in 1704

111. Department of Commerce division : CENSUS BUREAU - Very interesting projection from the Bureau

119. Apple Store support station : GENIUS  BAR- Sheldon, in Big Bang Theory, said this job devalues the word GENIUS and is as mundane as a toll booth operator or waitress 

Now let's get down to the somewhat 42. Not something to kid about : SERIOUS BUSINESS and 
other connections our brilliant Minnepolis friend has for us today:


1. Abbr. for an unfilled slot : TBA

4. Limber : AGILE

9. Literally meaning "stick," it's the first word in a California city named for a 1,000-year-old redwood : PALO - PALO (Stick) Alto (Tall). Learning for me.

13. Bowler's edge : BRIM -  My favorite bowler donner and doffer covering his "little grey cells"

17. Hotfooted it : RAN

18. Merged oil giant : MOBIL

19. Contentious encounter : RUN IN

20. Soft leather : SUEDE - Why were Carl and Elvis so sensitive about these?

23. "Love it!" : I LIKE

24. Dealt __: devastated : A BLOW

25. One doing a bank job? : PERP

26. Protest topics: Abbr. : RTS and 35. Folk legend Joan : BAEZ - She famously sang We Shall Overcome in support of Civil RTS

29. #1 thriller on AFI's "100 Years...100 Thrills" : PSYCHO - As we learned here recently, Bosco was used for blood

31. Stepped to the plate : BATTED

32. Thick carpet : SHAG

33. Bloomingdale's rival : SAKS

36. Mom in the woods : DOE

37. Boiling state : IRE - Different from 49 Across's temp scale but same as 
3. Ticked off : ANGRY

40. Start to sing? : ESS

47. Hustle : SCOOT

49. Celsius, e.g. : SWEDE - Not a SCALE. It's recently been around 37˚C here. Ugh!

51. Blond shade : ASH

52. Try to quiet, as a persistent squeak : REOIL

54. Jamaican spirits : RUMS

55. Caesar's land : TERRA - 200 years after Caesar, Ptolemy made this map of the world and TERRA Incognita

56. Poorly paid workers : PEONS

59. Parks on a bus : ROSA - "The only tired I was, was tired of giving in"

60. Best Play, e.g. : ESPY - This year's winner was the Packer's Hail Mary pass to beat the Lions

61. Morphine is one : OPIATE

63. Sailor's guardian : ST ELMO

65. Easygoing sort : TYPE-B

67. Dockside activity : STOWING

69. Shower with flowers, say : WOO by a 94. Steady : BEAU?

70. Incline to a higher level : SLOPE UP - This is a modern day picture of what is called the Music Box Stairs in LA. I'll bet you remember the famous comedy team that used them in a 1932 movie and what they were moving up these stairs.

73. Let loose : UNTIE

74. "Knock that off!" : STOP IT - Rare is the parent who hasn't uttered these words!

77. Artemis' twin brother : APOLLO

78. Private place? : BASE

80. Subj. for a future vet : ANAT

82. Enclose, as livestock : PEN IN  Now wait a minute...

84. Work outfits for many : SUITS - It started that way in teaching but has devolved into Goodwill chic

85. Pop foursome formed in Stockholm : ABBA

86. E! Online subject : CELEB

88. "Get it?" : SEE - Edward G. Robinson said "SEE" but not "Yeah, SEE"

89. Development areas : UTERI

90. Unfocused images : BLURS - Does  this 48. Give you the willies : CREEP OUT?

96. Oft-chewed item : FAT

97. "You got it!" : YES - The rain in Spain does stay mainly in the plain!

98. Children's advocate LeShan : EDA

100. Will of "The Waltons" : GEER - Grandpa Walton

101. Indian bread : NAAN

103. Shakespearean deceiver : IAGO - Edwin Booth as IAGO in 1871. Yup, he was that guy's  brother

105. Bewhiskered test subject : LAB RAT 

107. Cue : PROMPT - A furry paw on my nose at 5 am is a PROMPT for me

114. Look good on : FIT

116. Taverna sandwich : GYRO - Here ya go...

117. Type of daisy : OXEYE

118. Readily available : ON TAP

121. Basilica recesses : APSES

122. Can't stop loving : ADORE

123. Itty-bitty bits : ATOMS

124. Periodontist's org. : ADA

125. Like many a cause : LOST

126. Madre's hermanos : TIOS - Mi madre tenía tres hermanos (Mom had 3 brothers). Por lo tanto yo tenía tres tíos (Therefore, I had 3 uncles)

127. Brightest star in Cygnus : DENEB - Beautiful part of tonight's sky


1. "The Sound of Music" family name : TRAPP

2. Ruinations : BANES

4. Morning hrs. : AMS

5. Lose it all : GO BROKE

6. "Yeah, right!" : I BET

7. Polygraph blips, perhaps : LIES - "Yes, I'll still respect you in the morning!"

8. Tolkien race member : ELF

9. Prize administered by Columbia University : PULITZER

10. Cartoon style : ANIME

11. Party headed by Netanyahu : LIKUD - Hebrew for consolidation

12. First-year J.D. student : ONE-L

13. Two-time Masters champ Watson : BUBBA - After winning $1.6M at the 2012 Master's, "plain eating" BUBBA celebrated that night at a Waffle House leaving a $148 tip

15. Much-loved star : IDOL

16. Kitten cry : MEWL

19. Cowboy singer Tex : RITTER

20. Military bands : SASHES

22. Lines at Walmart? : UPC'S - I miss prices on items a little

27. 9-5 automaker : SAAB

28. Troop entertainment gp. : USO - In season 10, they made it to M*A*S*H 4077

30. Dig in : HAVE AT IT

31. Air rifle ammo : BB SHOT

34. Easy A, say : SNAP

36. Paine and Hugo, philosophically : DEISTS - Reading Paine's Age Of Reason might challenge your RELIGIOUS BELIEFS

38. Lopsided win : ROMP - The Husker's undefeated 1995 National Champions  41. Won every game : SWEPT in 12 ROMPS

39. Crafts website : ETSY - For a long time, I wanted this to be E-[something] that made sense

40. These, to Luis : ESTOS

44. Puts to work : USES

45. Architect Saarinen : EERO - I'll bet you recognize this wonderful EERO design

46. Madhouse : ZOO

50. Close in : DRAW NEAR 

53. Clapton classic : LAYLA

57. Eye of __: "Macbeth" witches' ingredient : NEWT - Let me be the first...

58. Regatta racer : SLOOP

62. Pioneering computer : ENIAC - Only one Scrabble letter above 1 point

64. Wear a long face : MOPE - Advice to Washington Senators from the Broadway stage - You gotta have hope, Mustn't sit around and MOPE!

66. Lifestyle website targeting female millennials : POPSUGAR 

68. Palais des Nations locale : GENEVA

71. Extreme : ULTRA

72. Assume as fact : POSIT

74. "Ignore this change" : STET - "Forget 87 and put Fourscore and Seven back in"

75. Many a Sunday magazine : INSERT 

76. Coliseum section : TIER

78. Crib sheet user : BABY

79. __-bodied : ABLE

81. Baba or a boxer : ALI

83. "Fat chance, Friedrich!" : NEIN

87. Sources of irritation : BUGBEARS - Nowadays, Dungeons and Dragons heavies 

91. Seamless changes : SEGUES

93. Colorful wrap : SERAPE - Not a Muumuu as it turns out

95. Part of a preschool schedule : NAP TIME

99. Peruvian pair : DOS

102. Yuletide drinks : NOGS - For years mom made this for me at Yuletide because she thought I loved it. Uh, not so much.

104. Until now : AS YET

105. Day after dimanche : LUNDI - "Subway, Work, Sleep" "Like a typical Monday" 

106. Mischievous droid, familiarly : ARTOO - The surname is DETOO

108. "Sorry about that" : MY BAD

109. Home of Velázquez' "Las Meninas" : PRADO - Madrid Museum

110. Holy scroll : TORAH

111. Its burning is a major source of Beijing smog : COAL

112. Fair : EXPO

113. Place for a row : BOAT

114. Big bash : FETE

115. Aware of : IN ON

119. Roam (about) : GAD

Now for some CHIVALROUS BANTER from the GRACIOUS BUNCH that frequent this little Kool-Aid word stand of ours:


(Ed Note: I fixed that littler mistake Owen, Thanks! Gary)

Jul 23, 2016

Saturday, Jul 23rd, 2016, Ed Sessa

Theme: None

Words: 68 (missing F,J,Q,X,Y)

Blocks: 28

     A little over a month since we had a puzzle from Mr. Sessa, and I reviewed that construction after I completed this one.  Similar solving experience, again, with getting a few of the long fills quick, but struggling with the proper names, again.  I did find some of the "definition" clues to be somewhat off-base, but I let them slide, and finished under my personal time.  Grids were very similar, too - triple 9's in the across, and paired 11- and 10-letter fills on the 'inside' downs.  The 11-letter answers;

11. Informal talk : BULL SESSION

22. Plane lane : AIR CORRIDOR - I learned there were "lanes" when I went flying with the architect I used to work for; we flew out of ISP (MacArthur airport, Islip, LI, NY) and being so close to JFK and LGA, you really had to stay in "your" lane....

Winona, MN -> Wales, AK -> Rincón de los Sauces, Argentina~!


1. One not to upset? : APPLE CART - my first pass I read this as "too"; with some crossings filled in, I realized the difference

10. Title from the Aramaic for "father" : ABBOT - seen this before in crosswords, but it didn't come to me without some crossings first

15. Subject of the 2015 Erik Larson nonfiction bestseller "Dead Wake" : LUSITANIA

16. Hurricane peril : SURGE - thought there might be a slight deception with singular/plural, and pondered WINDS

17. Perilous situation : PRECIPICE

18. Water park attraction : SLIDE - Splish Splash is right around the corner from my place, and I have been, but only once

19. Saruman soldier in "The Lord of the Rings" : ORC - this or ENT, so I left it blank

20. Guttural utterance : CROAK - not GROAN; that shows up later at 40a.

21. Bygone : OLDEN - made me change my "ASSIGNS" to ASSORTS

22. Similar : AKIN

23. Goes downhill : WORSENS - I had LESSENS at first

25. Flat-bottomed boats : DORIES - this came to mind, but I hesitated to fill it in

28. 19th-century dancer Lola : MONTEZ - no clue; this middle right section had me baffled for too long

29. Still : INERT

30. Takeout order? : MINUS SIGN

33. Poolroom powder : TALC

34. Capital of South Africa : RANDS - OK, I cheated - I have a 'money' chart in my dictionary

35. Fizz flavoring : SLOE

36. Used in an undignified way : STOOPED TO - eh.  Around here, it's more like "behaved" than "used"

38. Test on the air : PILOT - always reminds me of the post-titles scene from Pulp Fiction

39. Hags : CRONES

40. Pained reactions : GROANS

41. Four-time Depp role : SPARROW - Captain Jack, of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films

43. Either 2010 "True Grit" director : COEN - didn't see the movie, but this was a good WAG

44. Musical instruction : "HIT IT~!"

45. Even slightly : AT ALL

47. Justice Fortas : ABE - filled via perps

50. Indicator of a private thought : ASIDE

51. Riddick portrayer : VIN DIESEL - Pitch Black was a great movie; the Chronicles not so much; did not see "Riddick" from 2013

53. __ house : MANOR - oops, not OPERA

54. They often precede garage sales : ESTIMATES - I threw in "CLEAN OUTS"; but this is the 'other' reason for emptying the garage - the future man-cave

55. Some RPI grads : ENGRs - a Spitz and Splynter shout-out

56. Fitting place for sneaks : SHOE STORE - there's a "friend of Bill W." I know who calls the last row of chairs at a 12-step meeting the "Shoe Store" - sneakers, loafers and slippers; I went on to add flip-flops


1. Maker of TBONZ treats : ALPO - oops, not IAMS

2. Run well : PURR

3. Minute part of a minute, for short : PSEC - I tried NSEC; a picosecond falls between a nanosecond and a femtosecond; billionth, trillionth and quadrillionth of a second

4. ID with a photo : LICense

5. iPhone movie purchase : eTICKET

6. Garb named for an island : CAPRIS - somewhere between short and pants, and now like this~!

Wolford Bella Capri

7. Cation's opposite : ANION - way too easy, so I filled it in and expected it to be wrong

8. Costa __ : RICA

9. Art form offering plenty of kicks? : TAEKWONDO - the Wiki

10. Puts into groups : ASSORTS

12. Wedding planner's nightmare : BRIDEZILLA

13. City near the Great Salt Lake : OGDEN

14. Many Beliebers : TEENS - Justin Bieber fans

24. Sisyphus' stone, e.g. : ONUS - a "pointless task" just came up in a conversation recently, and I was curious to know where the story originated - this is why I do crosswords~!  The Wiki

25. Morse "H" quartet : DITS

26. Go __ great length : ON AT

27. Changing places : RELOCATING

28. They may be thin : MINTS - red lines didn't fit

30. Stirred things up : MADE WAVES

31. "And?" : GO ON....

32. Realizes : NETS - another "eh" - I prefer GETS or SEES; 'realizes' was a s-t-r-e-t-c-h in another recent puzzle

34. First female attorney general : RENO - WAG, had the "O"

37. Pub orders : PORTERS - semi-referential to; 48d. 37-Down, e.g. : BEER

38. Minor matches : PRELIMS - funny - I switched "CLEAN OUTS" to "ESTATE---", which left the "T" at the end of this answer - and I thought a prelit match was sort of dangerous....

oh, that kind of match....

40. Best Supporting Actress two years before Cloris : GOLDIE - clues phrased like this, which are great if you know the answers, are useless if you don't - like I was.  The movie was Cactus Flower from 1969 - I'm from 1971.  IMDb

41. Disgrace : SHAME

42. Fibonacci or Galileo : PISAN - from this city....

43. Poem division : CANTO

46. Mrs. Addams, to Gomez : 'TISH - Morticia

Tish, that's Frawnche~!

47. Concerning : AS TO

49. Besides that : ELSE

52. Parental encouragement : "EAT~!!!"


Jul 22, 2016

Friday, July 22, 2016, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: Ah HA!

My Friday foil is back with an add a word edition that leaves us laughing. First, I had a blast working with Jeffrey in creating the Mel Brooks tribute puzzle. Mel certainly is one who can elicit much laugh-out-loud response. JW also has been concentrating on light-hearted themes, puns and and a good time had by all. I am getting very used to his style, his use of multiple word fill and his sense of humor. With 67 squares in the theme, and with three grid-spanners there are not many long sparkly fill, but he does squeeze in AVALANCHE,  WEB FOOTED,  THREE PUTT, and  BALD EAGLE.

17A. Convent seamstress' workshop items? : HABITS AND PIECES (15). I grew up near a convent and watched many nuns march on my street. They wore the full habit.
When my niece was three, and when she saw them walking, she asked who all the kings were.

24A. Enlightened kid? : BILLY BUDDHA (11). How cool is it that Monday's puzzle made this fill so much easier. This is my favorite theme fill--Billy Buddha...classic.

36A. Bichon Frise pack leaders? : THE FRENCH ALPHAS (15). A CSO to our now busy and hopefully rich marti who loves skiing the Alps.

48A. Sandwich in the desert? : SAHARAN WRAP (11). This seems the least inventive and most obvious pun, but perhaps the seed entry.
And the hint..(not a reveal)

57A. Request for relief, and a hint to the formation of this puzzle's four other longest answers :
I COULD USE A LAUGH (15). JW seems intent on making us laugh while we cry over some of the tougher clues.


1. It reportedly had an impact on beachgoers in 1975 : JAWS. But they forgot...

5. Pyle player : NABORS. The slackjaw picture link recently also made this easy. Raymond Burr's other half.

11. Seventh of 24 : ETA. I remembered that the greek alphabet had 24 letters.

14. Finished : OVER.

15. Got away from : EVADED.

16. Rented : LET. There were signs, room to let when I was child.

20. Viet Cong org. : NLFNational Liberation Front.

21. Zagros Mountains locale : ASIA. In Iran, a fact which I did not know, but the perps made it an easy guess.

22. Period in ads : NITE. A made-up word.

23. __ Paulo : SAO. Part of the 2016 Olympic controversy where Brazil will host 28 Olympic sports — including rugby sevens and golf, which were added by the International Olympic Committee in 2009. These sporting events will take place at 33 venues in the host city of Rio and at 5 venues in the cities of São Paulo (Brazil's largest city), Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Brasília (Brazil's capital), and Manaus. Wiki. Also, 60D. Braz. neighbor : URUguay. Uruguay is ranked first in Latin America in democracy, peace, lack of corruption, e-government,and is first in South America when it comes to press freedom, size of the middle class and prosperity. Wiki.

28. Rodeo loops, essentially : NOOSES. How macabre.

30. Cranial projections : EARS. So soon after C.C. and Tony's puzzle.

31. Deca- minus two : OCTA. This should be "minus duo."

32. Goya subject : MAJA. She is back with or without her clothes. And 26D. Gulf of California peninsula : BAJA.

33. Not yet on the sched. : TBATBAnnounced.

41. Resting place : BED. This was so obvious that it was hard.

42. Laudatory lines : ODES.

43. 1968 self-titled folk album : ARLO. I get him often, and I never tire of complaining about his performance at Woodstock.

44. Hindu sovereign : RANI. And,  4D. Indian honorific : SRI. There was much I did not know about this WORD.

45. Called : PHONED. Home?

52. Thom McAn spec : EEE.

54. Obstruct : CLOG. Another shoe clue?

55. Suffix for those who are flush : AIRE. Flush with money, honey, Billion....

56. To the point : PAT. Another Friday I do not completely get; maybe from the definition like in a pat answer..." having been already prepared and therefore said without thinking much about the question."Dictionary.

62. Alley end? : OOP. Hyphenated in the dictionary and the mini-theme of my write up.

63. Spanning : ACROSS. Sneaky crossword clue/fill.

64. WWII Normandy battle site : ST. LO.

65. "Life Is Good" rapper : NAS. A crossword regular.

66. Weakens : BLUNTS. Definition: 2. To make less effective; weaken: blunting the criticism with a smile. v.intr.

67. Historical Cheyenne rivals : UTES. Native American Tribes.


1. St. __ University : JOHNS. I know them from Big East basketball.

2. Dramatic influx, as of fan mail : AVALANCHE. A very convoluted clue.

3. Ducky? : WEBFOOTED. A very literal clue.

5. Mysterious monster, familiarly : NESSIE.  Do you Loch these monsters?

6. Fulfills a need : AVAILS.

7. Everyday : BANAL. Followed by...

8. Not everyday : ODD.

9. Commission recipient, often : REPresentative. Generally a sales rep.

10. Deterrent announced in 1983: Abbr. : SDIStrategic Defense Initiative.

11. Legendary Castilian hero : EL CID. I remembered the name from the Movie.

12. Effectiveness : TEETH. It is time they put some teeth into the helmet-to-helmet rule.

13. Bamboozled : AT SEA.

18. File extensions : TABS.

19. Loose __ : ENDS.

25. "Okey-doke" : YEAH.

27. River through Orsk : URAL. Twice this week.

29. Stumblebum : OAF.

31. Nev. option for pony players : OTB.  They shut down in New York, but are still out in the MECCA for gamblers.

32. Podium VIPs : MCS. Emcees, or Master of Ceremonies.

33. Green disappointment : THREE PUTT.  When Stenson three-putted the first green for bogey on Sunday, I thought that the pressure was going to get to him and Phil (who birdied) was going to get his second Claret Jug.

34. Image on cabbage? : BALD EAGLE. So many terms for MONEY.

35. Japan's largest active volcano : ASO. I really am not up on my knowledge of VOLCANOES.

37. Stormy ocean output : ROAR.

38. __ Valley: San Luis Obispo County wine region : EDNA. Nope, means nothing to me. CHAIRMAN?

39. Freudian denial : NEIN.

40. Legendary man-goat : PAN.

44. Old World Style sauce brand : RAGU. A cute old one.  LINK.

45. Vivaldi was ordained as one : PRIEST. Ordained kinda gives it away, but who knew? A puzzle with nuns and priests...How many of you recall that Vivaldi was known as "il Prete Rosso," or "the Red Priest?"  LINK.

46. Beset : HARASS.

47. Berliner's wheels, perhaps : OPEL. A German car.

48. Descendant : SCION. Also an automobile.

49. Heavy hitter in the light metals industry : ALCOA. Aluminum Company of America,

50. Court activity : HOOPS. Basketball...

51. Aired, as a sitcom : WAS ONEndeavour which is set in the 60's, was on Sunday nights.

53. Value system : ETHOS.

58. Black __ : LAB. My son's dog is half black lab, half boxer. He is a big sweetie.

59. CXXX quintupled : DCL.

61. Sun Devils' sch. : ASUArizona State University,

I can't believe it is all over so soon. Welcome home Jeffrey after your foray into other days of the week. Also welcome to summer all; it is quite steamy here is So. Fla. Come visit. Lemonade out.