Showing posts with label Bruce Haight. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bruce Haight. Show all posts

Apr 24, 2018

Tuesday April 24, 2018 Bruce Haight

Theme: Over and Over Again

 I’ve been called up from the minors to pinch-hit for TTP who’s been standing in for Argyle (How ya doin’, Marine?). Bruce gave us a nice early-week challenge with “over” split within the theme answers – twice as O-VER and twice as OVE-R: consistent.

17. Video game preview: DEMO VERSION. No “beta” this morning.

23. Exemplary: ABOVE REPROACH.

38. Romantic jewelry item: LOVE RING. Is this really a thing?

48. Latin phrase about certain effects of alcohol: IN VINO VERITAS. (Words that Tin lives by.)

And the reveal…

59. Social sin ... and what 17-, 23-, 38- and 48-Across are guilty of?: OVER SHARING. 

 Let’s see what else Bruce has hidden in the grid for our amusement.


1. __ jacket: soldier's protection: FLAK. 

5. Reeded woodwinds: OBOES. Hello again, old friend.

10. Like some humor: WRY. Could’a been DRY – I waited for the perps to decide.

13. NASA prefix: AERO.

14. Grow fond of: WARM TO.

16. Elisabeth who played Finlay on "CSI": SHUE. She was good in the role. You may remember her as Jennifer from Back To The Future II and III. She was a little younger then, but so were we.,0,214,317_AL_.jpg

19. Window section: PANE.

20. Naturally bright: SKYLIT. My thoughts were in the intelligence vein.

21. College sr.'s test: GRE. Anyone else misread the clue and ink in SAT?

22. Elevator name: OTIS. He had his ups and downs.

27. Commercial cow: ELSIE. She’s buried in New Jersey.

30. Before, in verse: ERE.

31. Many Louvre paintings: OILS. Perhaps the most famous is the Mona Lisa. She’s hung in the Louvre for more than 200 years.

32. Columnist Maureen: DOWD. NYT readers know her well.

33. End of most work wks.: FRI. Unless you’re a homemaker...

34. Arresting image?: MUGSHOT. Tried GUMSHOE first. Don’t ask why.

37. Boxing legend: ALI.

40. "A Wrinkle in Time" director DuVernay: AVA. She was the first black woman to direct an Oscar nominated film. Here’s a short two-minute film about that.

41. Sewer entrance: MANHOLE.

43. Past its prime: OLD. CSO to moi, among others who hang out here.

44. "My turn!": I’M UP.

45. Soccer score: GOAL.

46. Mineo of film: SAL. Best known for his role in Rebel Without A Clue with James Dean.

47. Muse of memory: MNEME.

52. Johns, to Elton: LOOS. Similar to “John of London” – Elton.

53. Finish in front: WIN. I was looking for a prefix which meant “finish.” D’oh!

54. Long look: EYEFUL. 

58. Riga resident: LETT. Riga is the capital of Latvia, one of the Baltic states. Latvians are called LETTs, and a third of ‘em live in Riga. I always get those three small countries mixed up: Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

62. Significant others, in modern slang: BAES. Was sure this had to be wrong. Nope. Urban Dictionary says it’s a dialectical pronunciation of “Babe.” Others claim it’s an acronym for Best At Everything. I don’t plan to use it anytime soon.

63. __ Creed: NICENE. The Apostle’s Creed is a watered down version.

64. Windy City daily, familiarly: TRIB. The famed Tribune Tower had been home to the newspaper since 1925. The Gothic spires at the top look like they belong on a cathedral. At street level the facade is decorated with 149 stones from around the world – places like the Taj Mahal, the Hagia Sofia, the Parthenon, the Great Pyramid and the Alamo. If there’s a “the” in the place name, there’s probably a stone from it in the tower. The building was recently sold. It’s to be turned into condo units.

65. Take a wrong turn, say: ERR.

66. "Spider-Man" actor Willem: DAFOE. He’s originally from Appleton, not far from where I grew up.

67. Racy Snapchat message: SEXT.


1. Passing fancies: FADS.

2. Oniony soup ingredient: LEEK. It’s an onion relative. They’re both alliums; garlic is too.

3. Military force: ARMY.

4. Powdered drink mix brand: KOOL-AID. 6. Place for mixed drinks: BAR.

5. Be a debtor of: OWE TO.

7. Surgery ctrs.: ORS.

8. Political refugee: EMIGRE. Our shores are not as welcoming as they once were.

9. Shop: STORE.

10. "Such sad news!": WHAT A SHAME! Bummer was too long.

11. Written in mystical, ancient letters: RUNIC. 

12. "Holy moly!": YEESH. I’ve heard sheesh (hiya, Jayce), but I don’t recognize yeesh.

15. Candy box size: ONE POUND.

16. Thread holders: SPOOLS.

18. Vague sense: VIBE.

24. Liveliness: VERVE. Verve records has the worlds largest jazz catalogue including the likes of Stan Getz, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald.

25. Of the Great Lakes, only Ontario is smaller than it: ERIE. And it’s back again!

26. Diana of "Game of Thrones": RIGG. I remember her best as the alluring Emma Peel in the ‘60s TV series The Avengers with Patrick Macnee.

27. Mild cheese: EDAM. 

28. Kinks title woman with "a dark brown voice": LOLA. In one episode Patrick plays Basil and Diana plays Lola, “a slutty, gum-smacking, ale-swilling tart.” Those Brits have a way with the language. 

29. Campaign ad target: SWING VOTER. 

33. Naturally evolving: FOLLOW ON. Awkward.

34. Pop's __ Vanilli: MILLI.

35. Fertility clinic egg: OVUM.

36. Sticky strip: TAPE. So easy. Why couldn’t I think of it?

38. Interlibrary __: LOAN. There must be a better way to clue this.

39. Strong sound from the savanna: ROAR.

42. Raises, as a sail: HOISTS. That word always makes me think of “Hoist by one’s own petard.” After reading the explanation, I still don’t know what it means.

44. Newspaper extras: INSERTS.

46. New York lake named for a Five Nations tribe: SENECA. One of the “Finger Lakes” (Hi, Spitz and I.M.)

47. Yucatán native: MAYA. One of five major Mexican civilizations. How many of the others can you name? (Answers below)

48. "Gee!": I'LL BE.

49. Musical shortcoming: NO EAR. I have a good ear, but I can’t carry a tune. I used to play a mean phonograph, though.

50. Brightly colored: VIVID. NEON was too short.

51. Snicker: TEHEE.

55. Send packing: FIRE.

56. Computer operating system: UNIX. Created in the ‘70s by AT&T’s Bell Labs. It’s still around with several spin-off descendants.

57. Pride Month letters: LGBT. Lesbian, Gay, Bi- and Trans.

60. NBA official: REF.

61. __ Balls: Hostess treats: SNO.

The other four civilizations are Olmec, Teotihuacan, Toltec and Aztec.

With C.C.’s help, the grid will now magically appear below. Desper-otto OVER and out.

Apr 12, 2018

Thursday, April 12 2018 Bruce Haight

Theme: Hard Ates. I'm in Las Vegas, so "ates the hard way" was little craps-inspiration. Except there's no such thing. Sometimes when the reveal is so slick naming the theme becomes a challenge. Which I failed. Moving on:

17A. Carnivores: MEAT EATERS. That's me.

24A. Appliance needed for a hot bath: WATER HEATER

38. Latvia and Lithuania, once: SATELLITE STATES. Satellite states of the old Soviet Union.

47A. 2015 NFL controversy involving air pressure: DEFLATEGATE The Watergate cover-up has a lot to answer for, but at least you know that the latest "gate" is a controversy. The equipment manager for the New England Patriots was accused of letting air out of the match balls that QB Tom Brady would throw that game.

58A. It consists of a couple of couples ... and, when divided differently, a hint to something hidden in 17-, 24-, 38- and 47-Across: DOUBLE DATE. When divided differently, we get "DOUBLED ATE" for the very neat reveal.

I think this is a great puzzle from Bruce. The theme entries are snappy and the reveal is genuinely clever. Even with the quite heavy themage, Bruce still finds a way to add eight- and ten-letter entries in the downs.

We bloggers were discussing the quality of the fill in the LA Times, which C.C. describes as "gluey" on occasion, a polite term for "not very good". There's very little glue in the fill today, this is a high-quality puzzle.

Let's see what jumps out:


1. Jay-Z output: RAP CD

6. Reach great heights: SOAR

10. Attempt: STAB

14. White house?: IGLOO. Nice clue!

15. Fair: EXPO

16. Bear in the heavens: URSA. Two sizes of bear up there. Bear Major and Bear Minor. Sounds like two brothers at private school (or public school in the UK, which is the very opposite of what you would think it means).

19. Invite abbr.: BYOB. Bring your own B(ottle) or B(ooze). I'm not sure I'd be terribly impressed if I received an invitation that actually told me to bring a bottle. BYOB restaurants are great, you can take a great bottle of wine and not get held hostage by the wine list prices.

20. Job application fig.: S.S.N. Do you put your Social Security Number on a job application? I'm not sure this is a thing.

21. Hang around: STAY

22. "National Velvet" sister: EDWINA. Solid crosses filled this in for me. I saw the movie starring Elizabeth Taylor many moons ago.

26. Got the ball rolling?: PUTTED

30. Smooth-talking: OILY

31. "60 Minutes" regular: STAHL. Moderator Lesley.

32. Improvised jazz part: VAMP

34. Element Prometheus stole from Olympus: FIRE. Didn't go well, I seem to recall.

41. Harbinger of spring: THAW

42. "Beetle Bailey" dog: OTTO

43. 1990s-2000s skating champ Slutskaya: IRINA. I always try IRENA first and have to correct it when the cross doesn't work.

44. Davenport's place: IOWA

46. 1974 hit with Spanish lyrics: ERES TU. "It's you". Great 70's video, lots of camera-staring and men with questionable facial hair. I don't recognize the song, I have to confess.

52. Italy's __ Coast: AMALFI. This has been a regular reference recently, it seems.

53. Like arf and meow: ORAL. Fiendish clue. Very nice.

54. Hallucinogenic letters: LSD. Lysergic acid diethylamide

57. "Pleeease?": CAN I?

61. Writer Shere: HITE. Writer on feminism and women's sexuality.

62. Avant-garde: EDGY

63. Font flourish: SERIF. The default font on the blog is a "serif'ed" one.

64. "Regrettably ... ": ALAS

65. Grasps: SEES

66. Like horror films: SCARY


1. What "nothin' but net" shots don't touch: RIMS. No clanging on the basketball hoop. Just a swish as the ball goes through.

2. Periods: AGES
3. Not leave things to chance: PLAN

4. Foldable bed: COT

5. Succeeds: DOES WELL

6. Tuned to: SET AT

7. Daisy variety: OX-EYE. Pretty things.

8. Car ad abbr.: APR. Interest rate on the loan. You pay cash, no loan, no APR.

9. Botanical source of vitamin C: ROSE HIPS.

10. Commuter's cost: SUBWAY FARE. Could also be the picnic you eat on a long commute on the subway.

11. "Have a taste": TRY IT!

12. In harmony: AS ONE

13. Kiddie lit elephant: BABAR. The perfect gentleman, always doffed his hat to a lady. Which prompts a question - can you doff anything other than your hat? If you can't, the "his hat" part of the phrase is redundant, you should just "doff". If you can doff other stuff, what does doffing your shoe look like? We should be told.

18. Somewhat: A TAD

23. __ Taco: DEL. Not your first choice of venue for taco dining in Los Angeles

25. Lover of Shakespeare?: ROMEO. Nice cluing.

26. Sibilant "Yo!": PSST!

27. Its motto is "Industry": UTAH. Thanks, crosses.

28. "Cheerio!": TA-TA!

29. Jittery condition: THE WILLIES. Loved this one.

32. Curriculum __: résumé: VITAE. CV is the term in the UK and elsewhere for your job history.

33. Brief writer, briefly: ATT. Attorney. Took me a while to see this one.

35. Words before and after "what": IT IS

36. Dollars for quarters: RENT

37. Biblical twin: ESAU

39. Good times for beachcombing: LOW TIDES

40. Indefatigable: TIRELESS

45. Lummox: OAF

46. Lat. shortener: ET AL. Et alia if you want to be long-winded about it.

47. Russian country house: DACHA

48. Online message: EMAIL

49. Crush rival: FANTA. Fizzy fruit-flavored drinks. Fanta is most often associated with the orange version, but there are more than 100 flavors worldwide.
50. Overcharge but good: GOUGE

51. Chain known for roast beef: ARBY'S. "We Have The Meats"

54. Actress __ Flynn Boyle: LARA. Best known for her role in Twin Peaks, she appeared in all the episodes.

55. Show signs of life: STIR. I wasn't sure I'd be showing signs of life this morning. I'm at a convention in Las Vegas and last night was the industry association party at a nightclub. With an open bar. I actually felt rather jaunty.

56. Stand up to: DEFY

59. Laudatory poem: ODE

60. Usual Hanukkah mo.: DEC.

I think that does it for me today. Just need to add the grid and I'm done!


Mar 27, 2018

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Bruce Haight and Loren Smith

Bruce Haight and Loren Smith team up to delight us with a puzzle where each of the theme answers start and stop with a W. 

18. "You think anyone cares about MY opinion?" : WHAT DO I KNOW ?

24. Boatload (of) : WHOLE SLEW

39. "Let's see here ... " : WELL NOW.

52. Overall concept of the universe : WORLD VIEW

58. Eye-of-newt concoction : WITCHES BREW

And the reveal:
49. Crammed (into) ... and, when aptly hyphenated, like 18-, 24-, 39-, 52- and 58-Across : WEDGED.  Aptly hyphenated as W-EDGED.


1. "__ show time!" : IT'S.    So many movie scene choices.  This supercut that's 3:45 in duration must have taken hours to edit. 

4. Get some rays : BASK. Sunbathe.

8. Weak, excuse-wise : FLIMSY. Lame.  If it is important to you, you will find a way.  If not, you will find an excuse.

14. Stanley Cup org. : NHLNational Hockey League. Things you might not know about the Stanley Cup

15. "See ya" : TATA.  We recently had the initialism TTFN for Ta Ta For Now.  I thought it originated as texting shorthand, but it apparently originated in the '40s.

16. Change from five stars to three, say : RERATE

17. Drink with jam and bread, in song : TEA.  Lyric in the song "Do-Re-Mi", from the movie Sound of Music.

20. Nocturnal birds : OWLS.  See 50D.

22. HBO miniseries "Big Little __" : LIES.  Haven't seen any episodes.  Wikipedia indicates it's a  mystery drama set in Monterey, CA.

23. Easy-to-scam people : SAPS

27. Caramel-filled candy : ROLO

28. "Hold the Hellmann's" : NO MAYO.  Qué ?  Tengo muchas ganas de mayo.  (see Google Translate, as required.)

29. Protein-building acid : AMINO

31. Mother in Calcutta : TERESA

35. "On the Beach" novelist Shute : NEVIL.  Thank you perps.   Found this overview of the author  Editor Eric's Greatlit: Authors and the novel.     Might be a handy site to bookmark.

36. Texter's #1 pal : BFF.   Best Friend Forever.

41. Finish : END

42. "You win" : I LOSE

44. Ophthalmologist's concern : MYOPIA.  Today's co-constructor, Bruce Haight, is "an ophthalmologist in the San Diego area, originally from Wisconsin."

46. Myanmar, once : BURMA

47. Gives the go-ahead : ALLOWS.  Also lets, but not let's.  Punctuation matters.  

51. Scent : ODOR

55. Guthrie of folk : ARLO

56. Manufacture : MAKE

57. Designer Gucci : ALDO

62. Sense of self : EGO

63. "You can say that again!" : AND HOW !   We are all looking forward to Argyle's return. AND HOW !

64. Christmas season : YULE

65. U.S. House member : REPresentative.

66. "You can say that again!" : YES YES

67. City near Tulsa : ENID.  Located about 105 miles WNW of Tulsa,  about 70 miles NNW of Oklahoma City, and about 110 miles SSW of Wichita.    Nicknamed the "Wheat Capital" of Oklahoma and the United States.

68. Radical '60s campus gp. : SDSStudents for a Democratic Society.


1. Visiting the area : IN TOWN

2. "My Generation" rock band : THE WHO. OK, I could have linked the song in the clue, but decided to link "Love, Reign o'er Me" instead. The songs were ranked #3 and #5 respectively in Rolling Stones magazine's list of the Top 50 Greatest Hits by The Who.

3. Zigzag ski event : SLALOM

4. "Before I forget," in texts : BTW. By The Way. 

5. "Say __": doctor's directive : AAH

6. Buy time : STALL

7. Longtime "Today" co-host Couric : KATIE.

8. Some big dos : 'FROS.  Hairdos, Afros.  NBA Hall of Famer Julius Winfield Erving II. More widely known as Dr. J.

9. Kauai garland : LEI

10. Exasperating : IRKSOME

11. "Holy smokes!" : MAN ALIVE

12. Drop by, colloquially : STOP ON IN.  Homey. Welcoming.

13. Evergreens shrubs : YEWS

19. Drops on the grass : DEW

21. Wood strip : SLAT

25. Glasses and goggles : EYE WEAR.  Corrective and protective, and sometimes both.  An ophthalmologist, such as Dr, Bruce Haight, might recommend these.

26. Achy : SORE

27. Acted without restraint : RAN WILD

30. Overused, as jokes : OLD

32. Shade tree : ELM

33. Foxy : SLY

34. "I'll take that as __" : A NO

36. Lobster eater's protection : BIB 

37. The "F" element in CFC : FLUORINE. Chlorofluorocarbon.  CFCs are widely used as refrigerants. Not good for the ozone. Many will recognize the DuPont brand name of Freon.  Paraphrased from Wikipedia. 

38. Full-size cars of the 1960s-'80s : FORD LTDs.  A brother-in-law bought a new one in '73 or '74 after getting a significant job promotion.  The car was huge, well-appointed, and had a very comfortable ride, along with a large V-8 gas-guzzling engine that was standard equipment back in the day.

40. Lustrous white gem : OPAL

43. Kissy-kissy : SMOOCHY

45. Thomas __ Edison : ALVA

48. Persian Gulf ships : OILERS

50. Descends suddenly : SWOOPSGreat Gray Owl swoops in for a rodent. Beautiful photograph.

52. Used to be : WAS

53. "All right, so long" : OK BYE

54. "Friends" episode, now : RERUN

55. Not 1-Down : AWAY

56. Kitty sounds : MEWS. CrossEyedDave links the best kitty cat videos, but I'll give it a shot with mews.

59. Groundbreaking invention? : HOE.  Nice clue. Also, long clue for such a short answer.

60. Quarterback Manning : ELI.  QB of the "N.Y. football Giants."   Two-time Super Bowl MVP. 

61. Marry : WED

See all y'all later n'at ! 


Mar 15, 2018

Thursday, March 15 2018 Bruce Haight

Theme: Beware the herds of March. A hidden word theme from Bruce, with "herd" being the concealed noun, as the reveal explains:

61A. Certain investor ... and, based on the word hidden in each, what 17-, 26-, 37- or 50-Across is? : STOCKHOLDER

And we have:

17A. Dual-purpose machine : WASHER/DRYER. I had one in my London flat, there was no room for anything bigger. When I moved to the US I was taken about by the size of the appliances, particularly that you could fit more than a six-pack of beer and a pint of milk in the fridge.

26A. End of the end of "Gone With the Wind" : ANOTHER DAY. Tomorrow is ..

37A. Lower : FURTHER DOWN. Tricky clue, could be something to do with a cow, something to do with a sail, all kinds of options.

50A. Place to order matzo ball soup : KOSHER DELI. "All kosher delis are Jewish, but not all Jewish delis are kosher". Discuss. My favorite, Katz's in New York is "kosher style".

Straightforward theme from Bruce today, the theme entries are all solid and there's some nice fill too. Let's dig in and see what we've got:


1. Croquet surfaces : LAWNS. Did you know that the full name of Wimbledon (not Wimbleton, please) where the tennis championships are held is "The All-England Wimbledon Tennis and Croquet Club?" Wimbledon is a great place. There's a golf course I've played on Wimbledon Common where golfers have to wear a red shirt or sweater so that those strolling on the Common can see them coming and be alert for miss-hit balls whistling around their ears.

6. Chic : SMART

11. Christopher A. Wray's org. : F.B.I.

14. Roundish : OVATE

15. Course without much challenge : EASY "A"

16. Neurotic cartoon dog : REN and his buddy Stimpy.

19. Trauma ctrs. : E.R.S

20. Airport limo driver's concern, briefly : E.T.A. I'm glad I didn't have a limo driver meeting me at LAX on Tuesday from Chicago. There was an engineering problem with the plane that needed to be fixed, then a snowstorm that suspended operations for a while, then a de-icing, then Air Force One was flying into LAX which always causes delays for commerical traffic, then we had to wait 20 minutes for a gate to open up. The joys of travel. Added up to about three hours late. I've had worse.

21. "Later, dude" : PEACE

22. Scrawny : GAUNT

24. One in the woods? : BABE. I had "TREE" first. I was wrong, obviously.

28. Water filter brand : BRITA

30. Socialite adopted by the media : "IT" GIRL

31. In-house trial : TEST RUN

36. Cool drink : ADE

40. Court org. : A.B.A. American Basketball Association which merged with the NBA in 1976. Coincidentally I took this picture at the NBA office in Secaucus a couple of weeks ago of a poster which shows a few of the old ABA franchises. Miami Floridians, Oakland Oaks anyone?

42. Shut the door on : EXCLUDE

43. "How pathetic!" : SO LAME!

46. "Tree of Smoke" novelist Johnson : DENIS. Unknown to me, thank you, crosses.

55. Facebook entry : POST

56. Yarn coil : SKEIN

57. Words of urgency : I MUST. There was a breast augmentation exerciser marketed in the UK when I was growing up (I'm being serious) which had the advertising tag line "I Must, I Must, Improve My Bust". I learned this from reading my mom's copy of "Woman's Own" magazine.

59. WWII battle site, for short : IWO. Jima.

60. Rock concert effect : FOG

64. Tokyo-born artist : ONO. Yoko. Food! Ono is also an alternative name for the Hawai'ian wahoo fish.

65. Jazz pianist Chick : COREA

66. Flash of light : GLEAM

67. Word with cell or cent : RED

68. Vacuum attachments : HOSES

69. Like R.L. Stine stories : SCARY. "The Stephen King of children's writing". He looks pleasant enough.


1. Serious state of decline : LOW EBB

2. Personification : AVATAR

3. Pungent condiment : WASABI. Most wasabi you find is simply horseradish with a green food coloring. I get the genuine stuff from my local Japanese market, the flavor is a little more subtle.

4. __ degree : NTH

5. Flow slowly : SEEP

6. Four-door ride, usually : SEDAN. They call 'em "saloons" in the UK.

7. Call in a pool game : MARCO. Took me a while here. I was thinking bank shot, swerve, massé, something along the billiards lines.

8. Until now : AS YET

9. Manhattan liquor : RYE

10. Walmart rival : TARGET

11. Like some revealing slips? : FREUDIAN. Not wardrobe malfunctions.

12. Name associated with alpine rescues : BERNARD. St. Bernard rescue dogs. Don't forget the schnapps!

13. Fashion magazine : IN STYLE

18. Actor Stephen : REA

23. Tango land: Abbr. : ARG. Don't cry for me.

25. Words to a traitor : ET TU? Very apt for today.

27. Vishnu worshiper : HINDU

29. Fizzy prefix : AER-

32. Take the wheel : STEER

33. Appreciative text : THX

34. __ hall : REC

35. Bus. card address : U.R.L. Universal Resource Locator.

37. Baal : FALSE GOD

38. Like 2017 : ODD. 2017 was so last year. Odd number.

39. Lose it, in a way : WEEP

40. Requests : ASKS FOR

41. Trilogy starter : BOOK ONE

44. Sushi fish : AHI

45. Decent sort : MENSCH

47. "Darned if I know" : NO IDEA

48. "Cross my heart!" : I SWEAR!

49. Tempestuous : STORMY

51. Some designer gowns : DIORS

52. Award show VIP : EMCEE

53. Haas of "Witness" : LUKAS. First came to notice playing the role of the Amish boy in this movie. He's had a pretty successful acting and music career since. I'm not sure this is the most flattering picture though:

58. Outfits : TOGS

62. And : TOO

63. Business letters : LLC. Limited Liability Company.

And - the grid.


Notes from C.C.:

Argyle had surgery yesterday. He's stable right now. I'll let you know more information soon. Please continue keeping him in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you!

Dec 12, 2017

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 ~ Bruce Haight

Theme: Special - Festival of Lights.

17A. Potato __: 61-Across dish: PANCAKES

19A. Items in a 59-Across lit for 61-Across: CANDLES

37A. Traditional 61-Across surprise, aptly boxed, and spelled with the only four letters of the alphabet that don't appear elsewhere in this grid: GIFT

59A. 61-Across centerpiece: MENORAH

61A. Two-millennia-old tradition that begins at sunset tonight: HANUKKAH

and an added hint to the center answer. 36A. Pack in cartons: BOX UP

Argyle here. 15x16 pangram. Visual grid.


1. 1960s presidential monogram: LBJ

4. Gremlins and Pacers: AMCs. (American Motors Corporation) Cars from the seventies.

8. Lands' End rival: L.L.BEAN

14. World Cup cry: OLÉ

15. Naked: BARE

16. Cross-referencing phrase: SEE ALSO. Very apt for today's puzzle.

20. Novelist Ferber: EDNA

21. Key with four sharps: E MAJOR

23. Wife of Jacob: LEAH

24. Fervor: ZEAL

25. Rebecca of "Risky Business": DE MORNAY

27. Relaxed condition: LOOSENESS

29. "¿__ pasa?": QUE. "What's up?"

32. One lacking manners: BOOR, not 32D. Dutch South African: BOER

34. Cowboy boot attachments: SPURS

38. Range dividing Europe and Asia: URALS

39. "You gotta be kidding": "YEESH!"

40. Rx items: MEDS

41. Coffee server: URN

42. Long-finned tunas: ALBACOREs

49. Nash priest, not beast: ONE 'L' LAMA

50. Roughly: OR SO

54. Make __ dash for: A MAD

57. Expired: LAPSED

58. Contented sounds: AAHs

63. Football rushing plays: END RUNS. Offense.

64. Greek love god: EROS

65. December 24, e.g.: EVE

66. Figured (out): SUSSED

67. Suffix with ransom: WARE

68. Org. with narcs: DEA. (Drug Enforcement Administration)


1. Pop icon Jennifer: LOPEZ. J.Lo

2. Razor insert: BLADE. I barely remember.

3. Barbara Bush's twin sister: JENNA. On left.

4. Legal org.: ABA. (American Bar Association)

5. Manage somehow: MAKE DO

6. Sweet liqueurs: CRÈMES

7. Bagel seed: SESAME

8. Finds out: LEARNS

9. Actor Cariou: LENWiki. Canadian actor currently playing Henry Reagan the TV series Blue Bloods.

10. In a shoddy way: BADLY

11. She, in Paree: ELLE

12. On an ocean liner: ASEA

13. Quick snack: NOSH

16. Music for a film: SCORE

18. Hardhearted: CALLOUS

22. Actor Voight: JON

26. Take for granted: ASSUME

28. Annie, notably: ORPHAN

29. Campus hangout: QUAD

30. Addresses beginning with "http://": URLs. (Uniform Resource Locator)

31. Letter before tee: ESS

33. Plow-pulling team: OXEN

35. Washing machine cycle: PRESOAK

36. Mormon sch.: BYU. (Brigham Young University)

43. University founder Stanford: LELAND. Father of Stanford University in in Stanford, CA.

44. Malaise, with "the": BLAHS

45. Swiss peak: ALP

46. Kidney-shaped nut: CASHEW

47. 1998 Masters champ Mark: O'MEARA

48. Philadelphia suburb: RADNOR. An unincorporated community I've never heard of.

49. Smells: ODORS

51. Gathered leaves: RAKED

52. Trim whiskers: SHAVE

53. Actor Milo: O'SHEA

Milo O'Shea in Ulysses in 1967

54. Home of Iowa State: AMES

55. Diner handout: MENU

56. Added stipulations: ANDs

60. Regret: RUE

62. "__ as directed": USE


Oct 29, 2017

Sunday Oct 29, 2017 Bruce Haight

Theme:  "Urbanagrams"- Each theme entry is a major US city and its anagram.

23A. A few bars in the West? : SAN DIEGO SONG IDEA

37A. Ticketholder's entitlement in the Southwest? : SANTA FE FAN SEAT

51A. Stage handles in the West? : SACRAMENTO ACTOR NAMES

72A. Complex papers for a pad in the West? : LOS ANGELES LONG LEASES

86A. Do stuff in the Southeast? : RALEIGH HAIR GEL

102A. Heavyweights in the Midwest? : COLUMBUS SUMO CLUB

Puzzle titles don't always reveal the gimmick easily, but this one does, though it won't help your solving much.

You can probably anagram lots of other cities, but your entries have to have enough surface sense and humor value. Otherwise, you won't tickle Rich. You cities have to be big, not EDINA.

Though only 6 entries, they're all very long and occupy a total 100 theme squares. The grid is very Bruce. Very clean & lively. And you'll always see a few entries in his puzzles.

1. Choir voice : ALTO

5. Van Gogh setting : ARLES

10. They might be hatched : PLOTS. Three consecutive gimmes in a row.

15. Jazz trumpeter Jones : THAD. This got me last time.

19. Collectible fossil : SHARK TOOTH. We don't often see long non-themer in Across. How many teeth do you think a shark has?

21. Sound : AUDIO

22. Hamburger man : HERR

25. First name in household humor : ERMA

26. "Don't __" : ASK

27. Twinkle __: Skechers brand : TOES. Guessable. Cute.

28. The palm and olive of Palmolive : OILS

29. Reason to use litmus paper : PH TEST

31. Rubber? : MASSEUR. Nice clue.

33. iPad model : MINI. And 50. Apple since 1998 : iMAC. Also 66. Jobs in the tech industry : STEVE

34. Lumber mill fixtures : RIPSAWS. One of the flea market guys here is specialized in tools. His saws go quite quickly. He always yells at his customers.

36. Gallery works : ART

40. Helps plan a job, maybe : ABETS

43. Cry of exasperation : AARGH

44. Crushed, as a test : ACED

45. Priestly garment : ALB. Learned from doing crosswords.

46. Hot : SEXY

47. Puma competitor : AVIA

48. Place to get off: Abbr. : STA

49. Horse fathers : SIRES. Not "Horse feathers".

57. Wearer of a "Y" sweatshirt : ELI. Yale Bulldogs.

58. Feathered indoor flier : DART. I was picturing fruit flies.

59. Less contaminated : PURER

60. Nabokov novel : ADA

61. Pot cover : TEA COZY. Not on my tea pot.

63. Saturn's largest moon : TITAN

64. Media holder : DVD CASE. Four consonants in a row.

68. "I'm close to winning!" game cry : UNO

69. "__ what?": "What next?" : SO NOW

70. Capsizing deterrent : KEEL

71. Frat house "H" : ETA. We also have 15. Sorority letters : THETAs

77. First of 12 popes : PIUS I

78. Ref. updated quarterly : OED. I brought a Chinese-English dictionary when I came to the US. Have not needed it for ages. Google Translate solves all my problems.

79. Dress like, for the costume party : GO AS

80. "High-__!" : FIVE

81. Mtn. stat : ALT

82. Wee : ITTY

83. Matches a bet : CALLS

85. Social conventions : MORES. Not NORMS.

90. Old Prizm maker : GEO

91. Yoga move named for a pet : CAT POSE

92. Trading post wares : FURS

93. Colonist : SETTLER
97. Summer line : IT'S HOT. We just had our first snow.

98. Extended rental? : LIMO. Another great clue.

99. Fancy cracker spread : PATE. Try the spread on Aldi's crackers.

100. Flurry : ADO

101. Actress Moreno : RITA

107. Eclipse, maybe : OMEN

108. Aardwolf relative : HYENA. Hey, are you guys relatives?

109. Daytona 500, e.g. : NASCAR RACE. Another debut.

110. Give up : CEDE

111. Test for purity : ASSAY
112. Lavished attention (on) : DOTED

113. Wasn't square with : OWED
1. Indian state bordering Bangladesh : ASSAM

2. Two-mile-high capital : LHASA. In China, we spell it La Sa. You can see the Chinese characters here. Both Shanghai and Lhasa are two-word names in Chinese.

3. Loses on purpose : TANKS

4. Chicago airport code : ORD

5. Dined at a restaurant, say : ATE OUT. In Las Vegas, many places have soy sauce on the table. Makes me so happy. My favorite.

6. "Copy that" : ROGER

7. Heads of Parliament? : LOOS

8. Sci-fi staples : ETs

9. Driving away : SHOOING

10. "Without a Trace" actor Anthony La__ : PAGLIA. His face is familiar, not the name.

11. Wilder's "The Bridge of San __ Rey" : LUIS

12. Unmatched : ODD

13. Make, as a knot : TIE

14. S.O.S, for one : SOAP PAD. I love those S.O.S. pads. They work miracles.

16. "This is our stop" : HERE WE ARE

17. Weaponry transfers : ARMS SALES. Sparkly pairs of 9's. 

18. "Darn it!" : DRAT

20. Writers of bad checks : KITERS

24. Inning often not finished : NINTH. Bottom of the ninth.

30. QVC competitor : HSN
32. Mythical forest flutist : SATYR

33. Corday victim : MARAT. This was covered in our world history book also.

34. Parish head : RECTOR

35. Lead-in to bad news : I FEAR

37. Epitome of virtue : SAINT

38. Buckle or button : FASTEN. Also 56. Fleshy "buttons" : NAVELS

39. NCAA Final Four broadcaster : TBS

40. Selling point : ASSET

41. Bluesy Memphis street : BEALE

42. No longer working for The Company : EX-CIA. Notice the capitalized "The".

43. Animator Tex : AVERY
47. Online retail giant : AMAZON. I've never shopped at Walmart website. You? Their model is quite similar to Amazon's.

49. Seat at the racetrack : SADDLE

52. God, in Hebrew : ADONAI

53. Sound off : OPINE

54. Rush hour glut : AUTOS. Followed by 55. Rush hour pace : CRAWL
62. Talk a blue streak? : CUSS

63. "Ha! I was right!" : TOLD YA

64. Painter of ballerinas : DEGAS
65. Norse pantheon : AESIR. They live in Asgard.

67. Soothes : EASES

69. Boil : SEETHE

70. Round mound : KNOLL. The only one I know is that Grassy Knoll.

72. 1928 Gary Cooper romance in which a bouquet plays a vital role : LILAC TIME. Unfamiliar to me.

73. Went longer than : OUTLASTED

74. Invaders of ancient Rome : GOTHS

75. More than checks out : OGLES

76. In progress : AFOOT. And 84. Beached : AGROUND. Both solid A-words.

77. What one never is on a golf course : PAR. I was thinking you can have 1 on a par 3 or par 4 hole, if you're really lucky/good. But 1 is never a par.

82. Prankster's cry : I GOTCHA

83. Only speck of food the Grinch left in each Who's house : CRUMB

85. Shower component : METEOR. Meteor shower.

87. Flammable gas : ETHANE

88. NYSE news : IPO

89. "Let me just interject ... " : IF I MAY

90. Blow a gasket : GET MAD

93. Hooch : SAUCE

94. Old NBC legal drama : LA LAW. Also 96. Covered in court : ROBED

95. Draw forth : EDUCE

97. __-Z: classic Camaro : IROC

98. Moon goddess : LUNA. Chinese Moon goddess is Chang'e, who lives in the moon. That's why we eat mooncakes during Mid-Autumn Festival.

99. Vocal nudge : PSST

103. Yiddish laments : OYs
104. French article : LES

105. __ Paulo : SAO

106. HUN neighbor, to the IOC : CRO (Croatia)


Crosswords LA 2017 puzzle pack is now on sale. Click here. Only $5. The proceeds go to Reading to Kids. Alex Boisvert is the puzzle wrangler/editor this year. See here for the first-ever all-women constructor team.

Oct 19, 2017

Thursday October 19 2017 Bruce Haight

Theme: Aural Plurals - repeat the last letter of each theme answer and listen to the result:

17A. Southern dish, so we hear : BLACK-EYED PP (Peas). Food! I'm happy already.

25A. World's navigable waters, so we hear : SEVEN CC (Seas) I wanted to link the OMD song from the 80's for this, but I went back to listen to it on YouTube, and, actually, it really wasn't very good. I thought that I remembered that the drum riff intro was awesome, but, in hindsight, it was - pants What happened to the bass?I must have imagined it. See  what you think? Maybe I had "drink taken", as my Irish family would say. I was young. Moving on.

36A. Welcome relief, so we hear : A SIGHT FOR SORE II (Eyes)

48A. Suggestive dance, so we hear : STRIP TT (Tease)


57A. Warning hint, so we hear : WORD TO THE YY (Wise)

Another cracking puzzle from Bruce. I tumbled to the theme right off the bat, but that didn't spoil my amusement one bit. The fill is great, the theme entries all very much fun, and those 6's, 8's and 10's in the downs just speak to the quality of the construction.

There are a couple or more candidate theme phrases out there that spring to mind such as THE BIRDS AND THE BB, Yellow Submarine's A LIFE OF EE, TORONTO BLUE JJ, POOL QQ but probably not enough to expand this to a Sunday-size. Shame, because I'm sure Bruce could to a sterling job with a 21x21.

Anyway, great stuff, Bruce! Let's see what else jumps out - BOO! - it is Hallowe'en season after all.


1. Wing it : AD LIB

6. Doing battle : AT WAR

11. Quarterback Brady : TOM. Just this week, the New York Giant's GM at the time, Ernie Accorsi, revealed that he ignored pleas from one of his staff to draft Brady in the 6th round and regretted it ever since. Brady fell to the Patriots and look how that turned out, but Ernie shouldn't be so tough on himself. No-one else saw that coming.

14. "Fun With Dick and Jane" (2005) actress : LEONI

15. Hourglass, e.g. : SHAPE. TIMER sprung to mind first.

16. Political commentator Navarro : ANA

19. Tap site : KEG. Tried BAR first. Then I got to 33A and out it came.

20. Justice Dept. branch : A.T.F.  Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Sounds like a "Bring Your Own" party invitation somewhere out in West Texas.

21. Fair : EVEN

22. What "A" is for, in Sue Grafton's mystery series : ALIBI

24. Hot rod? : SPIT. Food! reference. Think rotisserie.

27. __ Friday : CASUAL. I had CA**AL and was wondering why I'd never heard of CARNAL FRIDAY nor been invited to an event.

30. Savory Chinese snack : TEA EGG Food! A boiled egg is cracked, then boiled again in tea and five-spice powder before being shelled.

31. Manufacturing facility : PLANT

32. Manhattan developer? : BAR. Manhattan as in the cocktail, not the island borough, more of which we see below.

33. #1 texting pal : BFF

41. Sevilla sun : SOL

42. Nice way to say no? : NON. Nice, en France. Sur la mer Méditerranée. I have an unpaid parking ticket from a summer trip to Nice about mumble years ago. Did they seriously expect me to pay? Je dit NON!

So,if you're now driving a 1992 red UK-registered Acura Integra, license plate F488 OLC, and reading this, contemplating a trip to Nice, be warned. You're on the hook for about 500 Francs, converted to Euros now, plus penalties, let's say about twelve billion with accrued interest. Be careful.

43. __ signs : VITAL

44. "I bet!" : OH SURE!

47. Composes, as music for a poem : SETS TO. I've been looking this one up and down for a little while. I'm OK with it, I think.

50. Put on : WORE

51. Hindu class : CASTE. We are heading into Diwali, the great Hindu "festival of light" which runs for five days, this year starting today on the 19th. I was lucky enough to be in Mumbai for Diwali one year, it was quite beautiful.

52. Works on walls : OILS. Not MURALS then? Nope, can't force six letters into four squares.

53. Nursery complaint : WAH!

56. __ Dhabi : ABU

61. "Little ol' me?" : MOI?

62. "Middlemarch" novelist : ELIOT. George Eliot, a pen-name for Mary Ann Evans. She used the nom de plume as she thought she'd have a better chance of publishers accepting her work if they thought she was a guy. Looks like it worked out for her.

63. Flowed back : EBBED

64. Soup cooker : POT

65. Criticize sharply : DECRY. I think sharply and loudly. I'm not sure you can quietly decry.

66. Butch and Sundance chasers : POSSE


1. Goya's "Duchess of __" : ALBA. He painted her a bunch of times, including the famous reclining studies of her dressed and undressed. This one is a little less risqué:

2. Muscle used to raise your hand in school, for short : DELToid. Fun clue.

3. Lollygag : LOAF

4. "Monsters, __" : INC

5. Spokesperson's route? : BIKE PATH. Very nice.

6. Till now : AS YET

7. In those days : THEN

8. Gum ball : WAD

9. Galaxy download : APP. The Galaxy smartphone.

10. Maintain, as roads : RE-PAVE

11. Bookie's work : TAKING BETS

12. Last non-AD yr. : ONE B.C. Apparently we should use BCE/CE now to avoid upsetting sensitive folk.

13. Tricks : MAGIC

18. Wicked : EVIL

23. Cut of lamb : LEG! More Food! I love leg of lamb. I either roast it bone-in for a British-style Sunday lunch, or bone it, butterfly it and grill it for a more Mediterranean-style treatment.

24. Belted out : SUNG, lustily.

25. Burn slightly : SEAR

26. They may ring or have rings : EARS

27. Calculating pros : CPA'S

28. Plus : ALSO

29. Outfit with bell-bottom trousers : SAILOR SUIT. Here's a great clip from the Broadway musical "On The Town" filmed on the streets of the city.

30. Steak named for its shape : T-BONE. Food! Flatiron (another New York landmark!) didn't fit. Tri-tip would work too, it's triangular, hence the name. Someone tried to tell me once that the New York Strip is so-called because it's the same shape as Manhattan. Not buying that one.

34. Bravo automaker : FIAT

35. Dough used in baklava : FILO

37. Letter-shaped fastener : T-NUT. I thought these were the same as wing nuts, but no.

38. One might be made of sheets and pillows : FORT

39. Exceed, as a boundary : OVERSTEP

40. Bris, e.g. : RITE. Crosses filled this in for me, I didn't see it until I came to the write up.

45. Flop's opposite : HIT

46. Gushed : SPEWED

47. Go it alone : SOLO

48. Rapscallion : SCAMP

49. Just not done : TABOO

50. Quick with comebacks : WITTY

52. Funk : ODOR

53. Halloween decor : WEBS

54. All in favor : AYES

55. Literary alter ego : HYDE. Dr. Jekyll's alter, and more unpleasant, ego.

58. Stadium cry : OLÉ!

59. Wrestler Flair nicknamed "The Nature Boy" : RIC. Thank you, crosses. Ric Ocasek from "The Cars" is the only Ric on my radar.

60. "Entourage" channel : HBO "Home Box Office", originally. No longer abbreviated! They make some great original programming. So great that I cancelled my subscription last year. Still trying to figure out the rationale behind that one.

Grid? Here it is! Hasta luego!

Actually, this has nothing whatever to do with the puzzle today, but I came across a recording of "La Bamba" this week (while I was doing my Spanish language homework) that I want to share. Click this link, put your screen into full size, crank up your volume and enjoy three minutes of really joyful music.The producers put together a virtual band from all around the world and recorded the result. Baby-Black-Dombe is only slightly cheating by not singing in Spanish, but the whole thing is fantastic!

Yo no soy marinero, soy capitan, soy capitan!


Sep 27, 2017

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - Bruce Haight

Theme - HOMOPHONIA.  Silly three-word phrases starting with the letter A, and having the indefinite article A in the middle constitute internal echoes.  Actually, the clues themselves are also quite silly.  Call me crazy, but I love the word play in this theme.

17 A. Fall in love with something at the home improvement center? : ADORE A DOOR.  Furniture and appliances are OK, but seldom give you this kind of an opening.

25 A. Bring Bugs into harmony? : ATTUNE A TOON.  TOONS, of course, are cartoon characters.  Bugs is one of the truly great TOONs, and great TOON singers.  And how could he be more ATTUNED than this?

37 A. Get voices in all ranges? : ACQUIRE A CHOIR.  Sopranos, altos, tenors and basses [not to be confused with 61A.]  Anyway, there are no bugs here.

52 A. Severely criticize the store special? : ASSAIL A SALE.  This is a correct usage for ASSAIL - I checked.  Any time you come to The Corner, you get your money's worth

61 A. Criticize the stringed instrument? : ABASE A BASS.  More like degrade than criticize.  But bassist Christian McBride, who I had the great pleasure of preforming with a couple years ago, is above reproach.

Hi, Gang.  JazzBumpa on duty.  Let's see what else Bruce has in store for us.


1. Got taller : GREW.  Use gruesome in a sentence.  OK.  I visited my grandchildren in PA last week.  Since the last time I saw them, they gruesome.

5. Etching supplies : ACIDS.  A mask is used to protect the rest of the surface, and ACID etches into the exposed area to create an image.

10. Ski area in Utah's Wasatch Mountains : ALTA.

14. See 66-Across : RACE.   Here it is --

66. With 14-Across, event with batons : RELAY.  A track and field event of a set distance in which each team has several runners [usually 4.]  At the end of a runner's turn, the baton is handed off to the next runner.

15. Bad news for the waiter : NO TIP.   Rude, too.  We give a minimum 20%, and usually in cash.

16. Classic cars : REOS.   Ransom E. Olds started the Olds Motor Vehicle Company in 1897.  This later became Oldsmobile, a division of General Motors.  He left the company on 1905 and started the REO Motor Car Company in 1905.  It remained in operation until 1975, when assets were liquidated in a bankruptcy proceeding.

19. "Pretty please?" : MAY I.  Childish begging.

20. "Frasier" role : NILES.  Brother of the eponym, Frasier Crane, played by David Hyde Pierce and Kelsey Grammer, respectively. 

21. Debuting on screen : NEW.

23. iPhone, e.g., briefly : PDA Personal Data Assistant.  Anyone still have a Blackberry?

24. Scooby-__ : DOO.  Toon dog.  I was never a fan.

30. Golf tee, e.g. : PEG.

31. "Flashdance...What a Feeling" singer Cara : IRENE.

32. Barbecue pair : TONGS.  A device with two movable arms, either joined at one end or in the middle, used to pick up and hold things.

33. Solo in a spotlight : ARIA.  This is the Italian word for air [not to be confused with Ned Stark's younger daughter.]  An air is simply a song, but an ARIA is a dramatic solo in a opera.   I'm not a fan.

35. Smallish batteries : AAs.

36. Med. condition with repetitive behavior : OCDObsessive Compulsive Behavior.  Every time I type that, I have to go wash my hands.

42. Colony resident : ANT.  Usually under ground.

43. Gallery filler : ART.

44. Went like crazy : SPED.

46. Second thought : DOUBT.

49. Get fuzzy, as vision : BLEAR.

51. Grand __ Opry : OLE.  A weekly country music concert in Nashville, Tennessee, founded in 1925.   Not a fan of this either.

54. "Breaking Bad" org. : DEADrug Enforcement Agency.

55. Org. offering written and road tests : DMV.  Department of Motor Vehicles.

56. Mason jar attachment : LID.  That tops it off.

57. Humdrum : BANAL.  Vapid, insipid, old-hat.

59. Start bubbling : BOIL.  No toil, no trouble, just turn on the heat.

65. Greek peak : OSSA.   Because Etna is in Sicily.

67. Site with tech reviews : c|net.  Technology oriented website

68. __ end : DEAD.  The termination of a road or passage with no exit.  Figuratively, any kind of impasse.

69. Wild West transport : STAGE.  A stagecoach was a closed, horse-drawn vehicle used to carry passengers and mail along regular routes

70. Run-of-the-mill : SO-SO.  Mediocre.


1. __ Joe, Charlie's companion on his tour of Wonka's chocolate factory : GRANDPA.

2. Time before TV : RADIO ERA.  Back in the day.

3. Environment-related : ECOLOGIC.

4. "Where __ you?" : WERE.  Time for excuses.

5. Actress Ortiz of "Ugly Betty" : ANA.  [b 1971] Singer, actress, and domestic abuse advocate.

6. Fish sticks fish : COD.

7. Midori on the ice : ITO.  Olympic skater.  Many videos of various length here.

8. Pop singer Warwick : DIONNE.

9. Binge : SPREE.

10. Reliever's asset : ARM.  Baseball relief pitcher.

11. Seize, as an opportunity : LEAP ON.

12. Pooch in your lap, maybe : TOY DOG.  A breed of dog that has been bred to a reduced size.

13. Most people : ASIANS.  Asia is by far the largest continent, and has by far the highest population density.

18. Actor Morales : ESAI.  Frequent crossword visitor.

22. Keep an eye on : WATCH.  Would you keep an eye on my WATCH, please?

26. Personal attribute : TRAIT. A genetically determined characteristic.

27. Rip (up) : TEAR.  Forcefully pull apart

28. Opens, as an official document : UNSEALS.  Without TEARING it, one would hope.

29. Commotions : TO-DOS.  Disturbances, fracases, brouhahas.

34. Jordan's only port : AQABA.  Located at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba, which extends N-N-E from the Red Sea.

36. In base eight : OCTAL.  My eyes glazed over pretty quickly, but if you're interested in base 8, you can read about it here.

38. No later than : UNTIL.

39. Space : AREA.

40. Tiny tunes player : IPOD NANO. A portable media player, now in it's 7th generation.

41. Big events for film studios : RELEASES.

45. Gives a hand : DEALS TO.   Aha - cards, not a helping hand.

46. Somewhat flabby male physique, informally : DAD-BOD.   Never heard this term before, but I guess I have one.

47. Diffuse slowly through a membrane : OSMOSE.   Moving from the side of the barrier with greater concentration to the side with lesser concentration.

48. Permit to enter the States : U.S. VISA.  Allows the visitor to enter, leave or stay for a specified period.

49. Unwise wager : BAD BET.

50. Country's McEntire : REBA.  [b 1955] Singer, song writer, actress, record producer, and eponym for a TV show.

53. Whopper creators : LIARS.  Prevaricators, not burger flippers.

58. Basics : ABCs.  Early steps.

60. Young chap : LAD.

62. According to : A LA.  Common in English, adopted from French. (Cf. 46 D)

63. Give in to gravity : SAG.  As telephone wires, or protruding body parts.

64. Word after eagle or hawk : EYE.  Either way, sharp vision.

That wraps it up.  Hope you had fun with it.

Cool regards!