Showing posts with label Alex Eaton-Salners. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alex Eaton-Salners. Show all posts

Nov 17, 2017

Friday, November 17, 2017, Alex Eaton-Salners


Husker Gary in the cockpit for one more Friday. Alex's puzzle today has the word GREAT escaping the puzzle on all sides! Alex has taken ten phrases that start with the word GREAT and has put them on the perimeter of the gird sans that leading word. I have decided to try to show both ideas with the grid below where I have chosen a graphic that illustrates the entire phrase and placed it so that it abuts (a fav word here) the word that would follow GREAT.

Here are Alex's GREAT themers starting in the NW and going clockwise.

1. "Holy cow!" : SCOTT - SCOTT had to be correct but the implied GREAT didn't hit me until the next fill. I sometimes confuse Doc Brown's phrase with what Clark Kent's boss used to say on TV.

6. "Atta girl!" : JOB and 13. Considerable achievement : SUCCESS - Both remind me of our lovely blogmistress C.C.!

9. Like thinkers : MINDS - The GREAT ones here often do think alike and then there's yours truly

49. Scotland's island : BRITAIN - Scotland's division with Britain is the Cheviot Hills seen here and not Hadrian's Wall as I thought

74. Wheeler Peak's national park : BASIN - Defined as being a contiguous watershed between the Rockies and the Sierra Nevadas and Cascades with no outlet to the sea as you can see in the yellow part of the map above

73. Bonobo, for one : APE - A word I appreciate greatly as a noun and not as a verb

72. Dogs in the AKC's Working Group : DANES - GREAT is a pretty good adjective here

42. Oldest of the Seven Wonders : PYRAMID - Using cosmic rays, scientists have recently discovered evidence of a hidden chamber in the GREAT PYRAMID where Khufu is 53. Lay to rest : ENTOMBed

1. Blue Ridge range : SMOKIES - Our only trip through the beautiful GREAT SMOKIES range was in a driving rain storm.

and the reveal

39. Landmark that, in a way, is a border feature of this puzzle and a hint to what's missing from 10 answers : GREAT WALL - Finally we see our word escapee that is forming an implied WALL around the grid! 

The FLOTUS touring the GREAT WALL last week
...and now for Alex's other, uh, GREAT clues!


14. Group that bestows a "Select" distinction on five board games annually : MENSA - The 2017 winners

15. Barnyard mother : EWE - Not so much on HEN, COW or SOW

16. Paris parting : ADIEU

17. Arkansas' __ National Forest : OZARK - Kind of a gimme doncha' ya think?

18. X, maybe : TEN 

19. Something to talk about : TOPIC

20. Kit__ bar : KAT

21. Ones responsible for paper cuts, briefly? : ED.S -  Clever!

23. Comedian Rogan : JOE - I've never seen him work

25. 39-Acr. locale : PRC - Of course that wall in the reveal is located in the Peoples Republic of China!

26. Like Vivaldi's "Spring" : IN E - In the puzzle I blogged last Friday, I showed Ray Charles's great Mean Woman Blues also written IN the key of E

27. More diverse : MOTLIER - This is one Shakespearean word that has stuck with me

29. Suffix with brom- : IDE

30. "Bambi" doe : ENA - ENA and her daughter Faline are on the right. ENA is Bambi's aunt and becomes his mother-in-law

31. Jane of fiction : EYRE

32. __ Island: NYC prison site : RIKERS - A destination for many a bad guy on Law And Order

34. Blood fluids : SERA - Plural for serum. Getting diptheria SERA/antitoxin to Nome in 1925 was done by dogsled in a heroic effort 

36. Director Riefenstahl : LENI - Adolph's favorite filmmaker

38. Buenos __ : AIRES

42. Gumby's pony : POKEY

45. Othello, for one : MOOR - Olivier and Dame Maggie Smith as Othello and Desdemona 

46. Workers' rights org. : NLRB - National Labor Relations Board - a 1935 board established by FDR

50. "... through __ window breaks?" : YONDER - Leonardo DiCaprio and Clare Danes as Romeo and Juliet

52. Together, in Toulon : UNIE - Notre famille a besoin d'être unie (Our family needs to be united)

54. Back to front? : IER - You can put IER on the back of front to get FRONTIER

55. Line score initials : RHE - Baseball fans will recognize this 1956 line score as perhaps the most famous in baseball history

56. Taken (with) : SMITTEN 

58. Egg: Pref. : OVI

59. In the manner of : A LA - Next Friday's blog should be A LA Lemon

60. P.O. box item : ENV

61. Short order? : BLT -BLT and mayo started out as diner lingo but are now mainstream

62. Badminton need : NET

63. Familia member : MADRE

65. Tuna variety : AHI

67. Tippett's "King Priam," for one : OPERA and 69. "King Priam" is based on it : ILIAD - Nice juxtaposition 

70. "Kidding!" : NOT

71. Argentine soccer superstar : MESSI - Lionel MESSI plays for FC Spain for $42,000,000/ year


2. "The Card Players" artist : CEZANNE - What does it say about a Qatari family who can spend $250,000,000 for this painting? 

3. Winning steadily : ON A TEAR

4. Train syst. across Russia : TSR - Trans Siberian Railway - Dr. Zhivago inspired great interest in this railway but the train scenes were actually shot in Finland

5. "I wanna go too!" : TAKE ME

6. LAX-to-JFK flight shortener : JET STREAM - LA to NY takes about 40 min. less

7. Be shy : OWE

8. Dog star : BENJI

9. Stand-up's need : MATERIAL

10. Words often heard after "shall live?" : I DO - " long as we both shall live" (or decide  we can't do this anymore)

11. Colder : NIPPIER

12. Tragic heroine of Irish legend : DEIRDRE - New to me but I like the painting

22. Watson's creator : DOYLE - No, I am not going to say "Elementary..."

24. Anthem preposition : OER - It is sung five notes before the real test of hitting the note for "FREE" without going into falsetto 

28. Offered free use of, as a library book : LENT OUT - They LENT OUT every Hardy Boy Mystery to me in my ute!

33. Pottery oven : KILN

35. Treated like wine : AGED

37. "You're safe with me" : I WON'T BITE - Unless...

40. Some field starters : RYE SEEDS - RYE is used as a winter cover crop here

41. Red-headed Disney princess : ARIEL 

43. "Très chic!" : OOH LA LA 

44. Add, as raisins to bread dough : KNEAD IN - As this cute little kitty is learning to do

47. Elsa or Nala : LIONESS

48. Game with two-toned discs : REVERSI - When I played this game, it was known as 45 Across

51. Watergate pres. : RMN - It's usually the coverup that gets 'em

57. Donald Jr.'s mom : IVANA

64. Singer Carly __ Jepsen : RAE 

66. Hip follower : HOP - The rhythms are infectious but some of the "lyrics" are so offensive 

68. Green sphere : PEA

As Tony the Tiger would say, we are ready for your GRRRRREAT comments:

Sep 8, 2017

Friday, September 8, 2017, Alex Eaton-Salners

Title: Crazy 8s.  The MEANING? Interestingly, today's date has meaning to some as well. LINK.

Alex is back with a visual rebus puzzle, like the old Concentration game. The number 8 can be presented in a few ways, with the most common being similar to a sideways infinity symbol. However, one can place a "o" on top another "o," and also create an eight. This puzzle has six down fill, including the reveal, where the word 'eight' is replaced with the visual. Since most puzzles have at least some across fill in the theme, it took a while to see the direction Alex had taken. Knowing my audience I expect a mixed bag of reviews, but I liked it when the light bulb came on. Like most visual puzzles, if you understand what is going on, the rest is easy. For me, seeing so many OO words made the theme and solve possible to suss. There are some uncommon fill, UP SOLD, CLOSEUP, SHUTOUT, AS I SEE IT, OVERRODE, RETROFIT and SAO PAULO.  So many almost religious fill....On with the show:

3D. '70s-'80s show about a big family : OO IS ENOUGH (10). Eight is Enough overcame the death of the actress playing the mother (John Travolta's girlfriend)  Diana Hyland in the first season.

7D. Obsolete audio technology : OO TRACK (7). The eight track player did not last long. HISTORY.

9D. Federal housing assistance program : SECTION OO (9). Section 8 was part of the Housing Act of 1937.

30D. Treasure chest coins represented graphically by two consecutive letters in six puzzle answers (including this one) : PIECES OF OO (10). Pieces of eight explained in the introductory link.

32D. 1875 Alcott novel : OO COUSINS (9). Never read it.

40D. Budget motel chain : SUPER OO (7). We have one NEARBY.  But I like this ONE better.


1. Short pants? : TROUsers. The only time I have ever seen or heard the abbreviation was in the phrase, "Drop trou."

5. "Gloria in Excelsis __" : DEO.

8. Where JFK, Nixon and Carter served : US NAVY. This was harder than it needed to be because 'where' obscured the answer/

14. Brazil's largest city : SAO PAULO. Sao is the Portuguese version of San in Spanish.

16. Military builder : SEABEE. More Navy as the nickname is a heterograph of the first initials "C.B." from the words Construction Battalion.

17. "In my opinion ... " : AS I SEE IT.

18. MLB single-season recordholder for most hits : ICHIRO. The ageless Japanese star is still playing, now for the Marlins.

19. Skier's destination : RESORT.

20. Musical set in Manhattan's East Village : RENT.

22. Shooting marble : TAW. Like Tiddlywinks and the Monopoly iron, unknown to the youth.

23. "Xanadu" gp. : ELOElectric Light Orchestra. THE SEVENTIES.

24. Youngest Simpson : MAGGIE.

26. O'er there : YOND(er?)- and now a word from our sponsors: "adverb  and adjective archaic

28. Somewhat, to Saint-Saëns : POCO. I am confused as S-S was a French composer and musician. 11D. Somewhat : A BIT.

29. Against: Abbr. : OPPosed.

31. Spanish pronoun : ESO.

32. Pen pal's greeting? : OINK. 555!

33. Removes, as a temporary hem : UNPINS.

36. No-hitter, usually : SHUTOUT. But not always.

38. Shot with more detail : CLOSEUP. Cool camera clue.

39. Hogwarts subjects : MAGICS. Time for Potter break?

40. Ford maverick? : SOLO. Han Solo - the lack of capital "M" made this easy. My first new car was a Ford Maverick. I paid $3,000.00 for it. I got $3,150.00 in trade for my next car.

41. Windy City transit initials : CTA. Chicago Transit Authority.

42. Blue Shield offering : HMO.

43. Energy field : AURA.

44. Hardy title teenager : TESSTess of the d'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented. 

45. Carpathian Mountains locale : EUROPE. The Carpathian Mountains form a 1,500km-long range in Central and Eastern Europe. They stretch west to east in an arc from the Czech Republic to Romania. Wiki.

47. Do diner work : BUS. All restaurants with servers.

48. Roadie's box : AMP.

51. Product made from fermented rice : SAKE.

52. Game typically with 81 squares : SUDOKU. A favorite of many of our solvers.

55. "Scram!" : BEAT IT. Who can resist this LINKMORE.

57. Make less vulnerable to earthquakes, say : RETROFIT. Or what Rich does to the puzzles he receives.

59. Straying : ERRANT.

60. Countermanded : OVERRODE.

61. Wee : TEENSY.

62. Muesli bit : OAT.

63. Repairs with turf : SODS.


1. Russia had one in the 20th century : TSAR. One and only one: Nicholas II.

2. Level, in London : RASE.

4. Induced the purchase of add-ons, say : UPSOLD.

5. "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love," e.g. : DUET. Loved Roberta FLACK.

6. Brother of Peyton : ELI. More Mannings on the way?

8. Employing : USING. Many employees would applaud this honesty.

10. "No thanks" : NAH.

12. Aloe __ : VERA.

13. "That smarts!" : YEOW.

15. Flight-related prefix : AERO.

21. I problem? : EGO.

24. Pyrénées peak : MONT.

25. Mike of "Next Friday" : EPPS. There is internet buzz on another sequel in this franchise.

26. Rural agreement : YES'M.

27. Org. that inspects workplaces : OSHA.

28. Any of 12 popes : PIUS.

33. Uma's role in "The Producers" : ULLA.

34. Squirrel's hoard : NUTS.

35. Escape destinations : SPAS.

37. Fourth dimension : TIME.

38. Essence : CORE.

43. Hunky-dory : A-OK. I believe this was coined by the astronauts.

44. Elizabeth I's line : TUDORS. She was the last of the line.

46. Shabby : RATTY.

47. "Hamilton" role : BURR. Two weeks in a row.

48. Help with a job? : ABET. Oh, that kind of job!

49. "A __ formality" : MERE. Sounds conflicted.

50. Shave : PARE.

52. Editor's mark : STET.

53. Captain hanged for piracy : KIDD. William Kidd may or may not have been a pirate.

54. Pac-12 team : UTES. The University of Utah.

56. Salon offering : TAN.

58. Spacewalk initials : EVA. Extra-vehicular activity.

As we await the imminent landfall of Irma, I hope you enjoyed this puzzle, and while I do not like hurricanes, I pray for all in its path and and that it does not wander toward Texas. Thank you Alex, Lemonade out.

Note from C.C.:

Here are two pictures I snipped from Lemonade's Facebook. He and his wife Oo and their friends went for a short cruise to celebrate his birthday.


August 26-29, 2017

May 30, 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 Alex Eaton-Salners

Theme" You Can Take That To The Bank - You have a nice selection of banks to choose from.

17A. Mike and Carol's blended TV family: BRADY BUNCH. Branch Bank.

27A. Musical group with conga drums: SALSA BAND. Sandbank, of Provincial Park Ontario.

32A. Had a religious awakening: FOUND GOD. Food Bank.

45A. Lost it all: WENT BUST. West Bank, Paris. Palestine/Israel West Bank. Thank you, CanadianEh!

53A. Where to learn to crawl?: SWIM CLASS. Swiss Bank, where you're a number, not a name.

61A. Kitty Hawk locale ... and what the circled letters graphically represent: OUTER BANKS. Off the coast of North Carolina and Virginia.

Argyle here. If you don't have the circles, the outer letters of the themes form a type of bank.


1. Lather on lattes: FOAM

5. Stage performer: ACTOR

10. Tag sale tag words: AS IS

14. A6 automaker: AUDI

15. Prepare (oneself), as for a shock: BRACE

16. Gridiron strategy: PUNT

19. __ Major: URSA. The Big Dipper.

20. "Mamma __!": 5-Down musical: MIA. Abba.

21. Chinese currency: YUANWiki.

23. Season ticket holder, probably: FAN

24. Willem of "American Psycho": DAFOE.  Spider-Man's "Green Goblin".

29. Share parts with: OVERLAP

31. HBO's "Game of __": THRONES

34. Fish-and-chips fish: COD

35. Start of some email subj. lines: FWD. (forward)

36. Military day's march: ETAPE. Hello old friend.

39. __ jar: TIP

42. Upper limb: ARM

48. In any case: AT LEAST

52. Sticks (to): ADHEREs

55. Hungry, probably: UNFED

56. "For __ a jolly ... ": HE'S

57. Japanese noodle: SOBA

58. Texter's "Yikes!": "OMG!"

59. Folk singer Seeger: PETE

66. "Got it, man": "I DIG". Hippy talk.

67. Dinner holder: PLATE

68. "Star Wars" princess: LEIA

69. Tickle Me Elmo toy company: TYCO

70. Clout: SAY SO

71. Risqué message: SEXT. A text message of a suggestive nature.


1. Adjective for a British Invasion foursome: FAB. The Beatles!

2. Couple's possessive: OUR

3. Oral health org.: ADA. (American Dental Association)

4. Around 10:00 a.m.: MIDMORN

5. "Dancing Queen" pop group: ABBA

6. Grand __: wine label words: CRU. A wine that displays this label is supposed to exhibit (translated into English) Great Growth.

7. Country singer Tucker: TANYA

8. Paranormal: OCCULT

9. Discuss to death: REHASH

10. "The Simpsons" shop owner: APU

11. Steak-lobster combo, on menus: SURF AND TURF

12. Off the wall: INSANE

13. Where season ticket holders sit: STANDS

18. Triangular road sign: YIELD

22. Drug cop: NARC

24. Remove respectfully, as a hat: DOFF

25. Say openly: AVOW

26. Like medieval Europe's social structure: FEUDALISTIC

27. Catch sight of: SPOT

28. Heckler's cry: BOO

30. Grow old: AGE

33. Margery of kids' rhyme: DAW

Seesaw Margery Daw
Johnny shall have a new master
He shall earn but a penny a day
Because he can't work any faster

37. Pod veggies: PEAs

38. Cease: END

40. "Oh, of course!": "I SEE!". Echo of 66-Across.

41. Combat vet's affliction, briefly: PTSD. (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)

43. Dream letters: REM. (rapid eye movement)

44. Apple computers: MACs

46. Hitchhiker's digit: THUMB

47. Cincinnati NFL team: BENGALS

48. Chimney receptacle: ASH PIT

49. Like some hunting jackets: TWEEDY

50. Single-masted ships: SLOOPS. Remember, "We come on the Sloop John B".

51. __ rasa: clean slate: TABULA

54. Skewered Indonesian dish: SATAY.  Various sauces but mainly peanut sauce.

58. Twistable cookie: OREO

60. Self-worth: EGO

62. UFO crew, supposedly: ETs. (extraterrestrials)

63. Alumna bio word: NEE

64. "Kid Tested" cereal: KIX

65. Minded the kids: SAT


May 17, 2017

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 Alex Eaton-Salners

Theme - LET"S ALL TAKE A BOUGH.  Vertical theme entries all start with, and are therefore TOPPED by letters that spell the name of a TREE.  Let's start with the unifier.

55 A. Canopy creators ... or what can literally be found in 6-, 10-, 24- and 34-Down : TREE TOPS.

Coming back down to earth we have the theme entries.

6 D. Brain part that produces melatonin : PINEAL GLAND.  It is tucked into the groove between the two halves of the thalmus, near the center of the brain.  It is so-named because its shape resembles that of a pine cone.  Topped by a PINE, an evergreen, and the first of our TREEs.

10 D. Cartographer's table : MAP LEGEND.  An inset that explains the meanings of symbols and other features used on the map.  The maple tree is prized for its lumber, used for furniture and decorative purposes.

24. Reason for a parking restriction : FIRE HYDRANT.  FIR trees are can be distinguished from other members of the pine family by their needle attachments and cone shapes.

34 D. "Wascally wabbit" hunter : ELMER FUDD.  Something we all knew.  But it gives me an excuse to post this --.

ELM TREES were used along streets all over America as decoration and to provide shade.  Most of these were lost to Dutch elm disease, caused by a microfungus carried by bark beetles.  Disease resistant varieties have since been developed.

Look for a clue gimmick when the theme arrangement is vertical.  This one is clever, with the tree names topping the theme fill entries.  Two of the four trees are hard woods, and two are conifers.   The conifers are adjacent to the vertical center line, and the hard woods farther toward the edges.

Hi, Gang, Jazzbumpa on duty, lumbering through this puzzle.  Let's see what we can saw.


1. Produced, biblically speaking : BEGAT.  Was the father of.

6. Racetrack stops : PITS.  For fuel and quick tire changes.

10. Finance majors' degs. : MBAS.  Master of Business Administration.  I have one.

14. Kagan associate : ALITO.  Supreme Court Justices.

15. Not yet out of the running : IN IT.  To win it, no doubt.

16. Strong lobby for seniors : AARP.  America Association of Retired Persons.  I belong.

17. One who wants to come home? : BASE RUNNER.  Baseball reference.  Most do not make it, though.

19. Insanity, in court : PLEA.  A formal statement in response to a charge, not [necessarily] a description of behavior.

20. Makes eligible for, with "to" : ENTITLES.  Supplies a legal or just right to something.

21. Sign up : ENLIST.  Or enroll, which sadly has the same number of letters.

23. Albacore, e.g. : TUNA.  Something fishy here.

24. Price of a crosstown ride : FARE.  In a bus or cab.  

25. 19th Greek letter : TAU.  

28. Eight pts. : GAL.  Pints and gallons, guys and gals.

29. "Just think!" : IMAGINE.

33. In unfamiliar territory : AT SEA.  Without a paddle.

35. "An Officer and a Gentleman" star : GERE.

37. Black, in poetry : EBON.

38. Castro of Cuba : RAUL.  Fidel's brother.

39. Adjust to fit : ALTER.  As clothing.

40. Statistician Silver of ESPN's FiveThirtyEight : NATE.  

41. British baby buggy : PRAM.  Short for perambulator.

42. "The cow is of the bovine ilk / One end is moo, the other, milk" poet : NASH.  Ogden.

To keep your marriage brimming
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you’re right, shut up.

-  Ogden Nash

43. Floppy disk successor : CD-ROM.  Data storage media.

44. Solemn ending? : SILENT N.  Holy N, Batmen.

46. Vote in favor : YEA.  parliamentary procedure.

48. What's up to you? : SKY.  Sometimes hidden by clouds.

49. Cheese coat : RIND.  More than you want to know.  

50. TiVo products : DVRS.  Digital Video Reordings.  Nobody tapes any more.

52. Confuse : BAFFLE.  Wait . . . what?!?

59. Free speech org. : ACLU.  American Civil Liberties Union.  We won't talk about it here.

60. Three, to nine : SQUARE ROOT.  A number that when multiplied by itself yields another specified number.  Round roots are things like carrots.

62. Get rid of : SHED. Discard, as leaves, skin, hair or clothing.

63. Change directions : TURN.  Don't get steered the wrong way

64. Box cutter insert : RAZOR.  Actually a blade.

65. Top dog : HEAD.  Of an organization.

66. Not hard : SOFT.  Pretty straight forward.

67. Prefix with foam : STYRO-.  Expanded polystyrene.  I worked with it on my first job.


1. Innocent one : BABE.  One who is at a severe disadvantage in the woods.

2. Panache : ELAN.  Confidence, flair, style, enthusiasm.

3. Heart of the matter : GIST.  Get the point?

4. Absorbed the loss : ATE IT.  Financial indigestion.

5. Haitian island whose name is Spanish for "turtle" : TORTUGA.  Located north of the north-west arm of the main island.

7. Overnight stops : INNS.

8. 50-50, e.g. : TIE.  Even score in a sport or game, usually settled by some sort of overtime play.

9. Party decoration : STREAMER.  Colorful ribbons used for ornamentation.

10. Cartographer's table : MAP LEGEND.  An inset that explains the meanings of symbols and other features used on the map.

11. Indonesian island : BALI.  Immediately to the east of Java, it is home to most of Indonesia's Hindu minority.

12. "Iliad" war god : ARES.  Greek.  Mars to the Romans.

13. Petty argument : SPAT. It caused a SPAT what he spat on my spats.

18. Forearm part : ULNA.  The longer of two forearm bones, extending from the elbow to the little finger.  The radius extends from the elbow to the thumb side of the hand.

22. New Deal prog. : NRA.  The National Recovery Administration was created in 1933, under the National Industrial Recovery Act.  It had a two year charter and expired in 1935.  At that time the Supreme Court also determined that it infringed on separation of powers and was therefore unconstitutional.  Many of its provisions reappeared under the National Labor Relations Act that same year.

25. Camping cover-ups : TARPS.  Baseball diamonds, too.

26. Centipede creator : ATARI.  Electronic game company.

27. Garden-variety : USUAL.  Typical

30. Bridge beams : I-BARS.  Structural elements named for their cross-sectional profile, which resemble the letter I.

31. Against the rules : NOT OK.  Let the OK - Okay battle begin.

32. Redcoat, to a Minuteman : ENEMY.  American revolutionary war.

36. Sci-fi visitors : ETS. Extra-Terrestrials - off world entities, who sometimes claim to be friendly.

39. Colonies crawling with critters : ANT NESTS.

43. Board game with an "Unemployment Office" corner : CAREERS.

45. Zip : NIL.  Zilch.  Nada

47. Penultimate word of many fairy tales : EVER.  Penultimate -- hmmmm.  I wonder what comes after?

51. Classic guitar, briefly : STRAT.  Fender Stratocaster.  Costing $600, and up.  Buddy Holly's were stolen twice in April, 1958.

52. Shindig : BASH.  Spree, blow out.  Have fun, but make good choices.

53. Bruise symptom : ACHE.  Owie!

54. One in the doghouse? : FLEA.  One hopes not

55. Gang land : TURF.  Claimed territory.

56. Like slime : OOZY.  Moving like this?

57. Substandard : POOR.  Like certain movies from 1958.

58. Houston athlete, for short : 'STRO.  ASTRO evidently has too many syllable to be spoken conveniently.  The STROs are currently atop the A. L. Western division.  Let's give them a bough.

61. Status __ : QUO.  The current state of things.

That wraps up another Woden's Tag.  Hope you got through it without feeling board.  But now I have a strange desire branch out - maybe even join a splinter group.  Perhaps I should just go with the phloem.  Now it's time to leaf.

Cool regards!

Mar 3, 2017

Friday, March 3, 2017, Alex Eaton-Salners

Title: Look up! It's a bird, a plane - Superman!?! No, sorry, not this time.

Alex E-S makes a quick return to Friday with an imaginative "no clue" puzzle.  Each theme fill is a type of flying machine. Thus, each one becomes an Unidentified Flying Object  as they are flying objects not identified in a clue. This approach requires the solver to get the down fill to get at least one of the theme filled. Because of the difficulty of seeing the theme, the puzzle doe have lots of doable, short fill. He did squeeze in OOMPAHS, CARLS JR.,  BUTT PACK and  HER HONOR. The flying machines are diverse, but otherwise I see no other common element.

18A. No Clue : HELICOPTER (10).

23A. No Clue : GOODYEAR BLIMP (13).

38A. No Clue : BIPLANE (7).

53A. No Clue : HOT AIR BALLOON (13).

61A. No Clue : HANG GLIDER (10).

70A. Area 51 phenomena ... or what five puzzle answers are? : UFOS (4). In the purest sense and not relating to aliens. So how did we get the grid filled.....


1. Outdo : BEST.

5. So far : TO DATE.

11. "Happy Valley" airer : BBC. I never saw or heard of this SHOW which generated such wonderful reviews.

14. Joie de vivre : ELAN. Interesting as this positive sounding approach to life, can lead to one becoming...

15. Ethically indifferent : AMORAL.

16. Spat ending : ULA. Don't flip over this bizarre clue/fill. Spatula.

17. Dart : FLIT.

20. Friction reducer : OIL.

21. Benin neighbor : TOGO. Not to be confused with 64A. When repeated, an "Animal House" chant : TOGA.

22. Most Rwandans : HUTUS. Some of the HISTORY.

27. Snowboard feature : STRAP. No idea; my Colorado son snowboards. I used to ski.

28. Brass band sounds : OOMPAHS. Tuba or not tuba, that is the question.
31. Money in Miyazaki : YEN.

33. Free org. for law students : ABA. They figure if you join in law school, you stay and pay once you are out in the world.

34. Rob Roy, for one : SCOT. I was fixated on the DRINK for a while, then the book and MOVIE until I left it and came back. The LINK.

35. "Whatevs" : MEH. A regular Corner comment.

41. Poet inspired by the Battle of Baltimore : KEY. Francis Scott, and the Star Spangled Banner. When I saw poet, three letter fill and Baltimore, my mind went to Mr. Poe. Or did it?.

42. Trapezoid measure : AREA.

44. Brooklyn pro : NET. The current worst team in Basketball.

45. Droop : SAG.  No chance I will say anything here.

47. Home of the "All-Natural Burger" : CARL'S JR. This West Coast Hamburger CHAIN is famous for its raunchy  COMMERCIALS

49. Bobby who lost to Billie Jean in the Battle of the Sexes : RIGGS. Bobby was an aged star who defeated Margaret Court in the first battle of the Tennis Sexes.

57. Riksbank currency : KRONA. The currency of Sweden's central bank.

59. Flower from the Greek for "rainbow" : IRIS.

60. "Lenore" poet : POE.  And guess who appeared! Not a poem I know well.

65. Latin trio word : AMO, amas amat.

66. Epoch when modern mammals emerged : EOCENELEARN.

67. Swindle : ROOK.

68. Its debut Apr. 1971 broadcast covered Senate hearings on the Vietnam War : NPR. Imagine, this started in our lifetime.

69. Periods of growth : SPURTS. I am still waiting for mine.


1. Muddles : BEFOGS.

2. Family name in Jane Austen's "Persuasion" : ELLIOT.  Her final NOVEL. You can read it online for free.

3. Hand : SAILOR.

4. Explosive stuff : TNT.

5. Lake straddling a Western border : TAHOE. One of the most beautiful places on earth.

6. Tag Heuer competitor : OMEGA. Watches.

7. Sorrow : DOLOR.  Latin.

8. "Entourage" agent Gold : ARI. I did not hear much about the MOVIE.

9. Sea follower? : TAC. The airport, Sea-tac. - Seattle Tacoma.

10. Hebrew G-d : ELOHIM. Transliteration is so hard.

11. Infantry equipment carrier : BUTT PACKLINK.

12. Color on le drapeau français : BLEU. The blue on the flag of France.

13. Animated film primarily set in Radiator Springs : CARS. WATCH.

19. Some heels : PUMPS. Love the clue/fill.

21. Laid-back : TYPE B.

24. V-J __ : DAY.

25. Taiwanese tea drink : BOBA. We are more used to it being called Bubble tea - Taiwanese tea-based drink invented in Taichung in the 1980s. Most bubble tea recipes contain a tea base mixed/shaken with fruit or milk, to which chewy tapioca balls and fruit jelly are often added. It has been embraced by most Asian restaurants.Various sources and personal experience.

26. Quicken product : LOANS. They started out with accounting software, but are major player in the mortgage field.

29. Plot device? : HOE. Getting it reading for planting, not a prostitute movie..

30. Bachelor pad, perhaps : STY.  Men tend to be messy when left alone.

32. Raphael or Leonardo, in fiction : NINJA. Of the hard shelled kind.

33. __-rock music : ALTernative.

35. Cheese go-with : MAC.

36. Dead-ball __: early baseball period : ERA. Before Babe Ruth.

37. Judge's address : HER HONOR.I am sure this caught all the sexists.

39. Prefix with scope : PERI.

40. Sandwich and Salisbury VIPs : EARLS. Or Grantham.

43. As company : ALONG.

46. Jazz pianist Evans : GIL. The letters were easy, but I never knew of this somewhat  TRAGIC man.

48. Play grounds? : STAGES. Very nice misdirection.

50. Disappear : GO POOF. Good thing he added the F.

51. Bit of baby talk : GOO GOO. Ga Ga?

52. Tiptoes, say : SNEAKS.

54. Backseat driver, e.g. : RIDER. meh.

55. Spiner of "Star Trek: T.N.G." : BRENT. He played the android - DATA - and also appears in both Independence Day movies. ODD.

56. Buenos __ : AIRES.

57. Mongol sovereign : KHAN.

58. Increase, with "up" : RAMP.

62. Hack : LOP.

63. "ER" setting : ICU. The TV show often had the doctors and patients in ICU.

64. Play about Capote : TRU. He died young, a month short of his 60th birthday.

Well golly, we are the end already. Too many short fill to be difficult but there are some challenging fill. It was very hard if you did not understand the gimmick. Alex is showing off his versatility and I expect to see him often this year. I also expect you all to let me know your thoughts. I am off to another new doctor. Will catch up with you after that.
Lemonade out.