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

Sep 6, 2019

Friday, September 6, 2019, Bruce Haight

Title: Football season is here once again as is

One of my Friday regulars, Bruce Haight is back with his position paper on the NFL. All five of the themers are two-word phrases with the second word representing a football player's role. The clues all mention football players but the fill has an alternate meaning totally unrelated to the sport. It would have been super cool if he could have presented the offensive line in order, but hey I am feeling greedy. As always he fills in the blanks with some fun words and phrases like PANACHE, TAKEN TO, CLAM ROLL, FLIED OUT,  I AM TOAST, and ON COURSE. Well luckily DORIAN did not stay on course to destroy us, so let's solve a puzzle.

18A. Philanthropic football player?: GIVING BACK (10). I like the pseudo alliteration

24A. Football player who's PR-savvy?: MEDIA CENTER (11). Do people still have these central places for TV, music, DVDs, etc?

36A. Football player with a line?: FISHING TACKLE (13). Football players don't usually use a line, though form one.

50A. Football player with management skills?: BUSINESS END   (11). I associate that phrase with the barrel of a pistol.

57A. Football player at the beach?: COAST GUARD (10). I grew up near the Coast Guard Academy and was going to go there for college until they learned how blind I really was.


1. Source of seasonal color: LEAF. One of the things I miss about New England.

5. Like bubble baths: SUDSY. Silly.

10. Golfer at Royal Troon, often: SCOT. I want to go in the spring.

14. "I'm buying!": ON ME.

15. "America" soloist in "West Side Story": ANITA.

16. It parallels a radius: ULNA. He is trying hard to trick you, mathematics people.

17. Hot spot: OVEN. Not for a computer or a cellphone.

20. Varieties: KINDS.

22. "Diana" singer: ANKA.

23. Stooge Howard: MOE. We all miss Chairman Moe and his contributions.

27. Head for the hills: RUN.

28. Spots: ADS.

29. Groovy cousin: RAD. More like an evil nephew.

30. Usher: ESCORT.

32. No different from, with "the": SAME AS. Same old, same old.

35. "One more thing ... ": ALSO. Remind you this?

40. Work out ahead of time: PLAN. Oo is a planner, I am not.

41. Appropriate: SEEMLY.

42. Targets: AIMS AT.

45. Fjord kin: RIA. Water, water everywhere.

46. Book jacket info: BIOgraphy.

49. Goal feature: NET. Soccer (futbol) basketball and more.

54. Hubbub: ADO.

55. Fictional hunchbacked helper: IGOR. Eegor, or Eyegor?

56. Like many windows: PANED. Also many bad puns - pained ones.

61. It's abuzz with activity: HIVE. Who doesn't love bee humor?

62. Cover for an ear: HUSK. And corny humor!

63. Ending with poly-: ESTER. Want a cracker.

64. Chills: ICES.

65. "At Last" singer James: ETTA.

66. Monopoly stack: DEEDS.

67. Friend of Mary Poppins: BERT. Dick Van Dyke.


1. Start of a kid's show-offy cry: LOOK MA. Seen in many professional sporting events.

2. Painfully wished one had: ENVIED.

3. Changes, as a law: AMENDS.

4. Luxury handbag brand: FENDI. This BRAND.

5. Give somewhat: SAG.

6. Start to cycle?: UNI.

7. Backless sofa: DIVAN. This is a long low sofa without a back or arms, typically placed against a wall.

8. Period of work: STINT. Meh.

9. "Sandman" or "Joltin' Joe": YANKEE. CSO to Tinman.

10. Long sandwich: SUB. A mini-clecho with...

11. Seafood sandwich: CLAM ROLL.

12. Headed the right way: ON COURSE.

13. Fallen for: TAKEN TO.

19. Long-nosed fish: GARS.  Gar, any of seven species of large North American fishes of the genera Atractosteus and Lepisosteus, in the family Lepisosteidae. Gars, which are related to the bowfin in the infraclass Holostei, is confined chiefly to freshwater, though some of the species descend to brackish or even saltwater.

21. Joe's 2008 election counterpart: SARAH. I have almost forgotten her. Governor PALIN?

25. Lingerie item, briefly: CAMILINK.

26. Blissful settings: EDENS. Our garden is growing here.

31. Like dried mud: CAKY.

32. Govt. IDs: SSNS.

33. Time of one's life?: AGE.

34. Harsh: STERN. Howard?

36. Hit one that was caught on the warning track, say: FLIED OUT. Baseball for C.C.

37. Acknowledgment of being sunk?: I AM TOAST.  Slang meaning "a goner, person or thing already doomed or destroyed" is recorded by 1987, perhaps from the notion of computer circuits being "fried."

38. Parisian friend: AMIE. Just French.

39. Hold tight: CLASP.

40. Pizazz: PANACHE. What a fun word, meaning flamboyant confidence of style or manner.

43. Barely more than not at all: A BIT.

44. Pulled: TUGGED. Carol Burnett's ear?

46. "No fighting, now": BE NICE.

47. "The nerve!": I NEVER.

48. Weird to the max: ODDEST.

51. Drunkard: SOUSE.

52. Ticked off: IRATE.

53. Indian title of respect: SAHIB. This is a word of Arabic origin meaning "companion". As a loanword, it has passed into several languages, including Persian, Kurdish, Turkish,[1] Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, Pashto, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, and Somali.

58. Reggae relative: SKA.

59. Wine choice: RED. White? Rosé?  Another Moe, CSO.

60. No and J: DRS. The Bond movie and the basketball player.

We are past our first hurricane scare in two years, and now the days are getting shorter but the puzzles are not. I really like the rotation of Friday constructors that Tom and I get to discuss. Now if we had a couple of female creators, it would be in balance. Be well all. Lemonade out.

Aug 16, 2019

Friday, August 16, 2019 Bruce Haight


17. Railway inspector's attire?: TRACK SHOES

22. Blackjack dealer's attire?: DECK PANTS.  

33. Corporate director's attire?: BOARD SHORTS.

49. Toothpaste maker's attire?: TUBE SOCKS.

57. Roadside mechanic's attire?: FLARE JEANS.

Bruce suggests seemingly appropriate pieces of attire for various occupations.   Funny.   I got them all easily enough, but I don't know what deck pants are, and never heard the term before.  Regardless, solving the puzzle was good Friday fun, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. 


1. Congress, with "the": HILL.  Because of Capitol Hill of course.   Like saying the Oval Office or the White House when figuratively referring to the executive office / presidency.

5. Bashes: GALAS.  The fun kind of bashes, rather than verbal or physical attacks.

10. Whistle blower: COP.  Not ref(eree).

13. Burden: ONUS.  

14. It often follows an overture: OPERA.   For example, the overture from the Barber of Seville.

15. "That's not good": OH NO.  If you concatenate those two little words you get OHNO,  the last name of Winter Olympics great Apolo.   He was good !

16. Help during spelling: WAND.    Saurcerus.  Soarcirrus.  Sorersirus.   Sorceress.

19. 60 minuti: ORA.   Minuti definitely sounded Italian.   Rossini would have got that ORA quicker than I did.   Maybe not though, because he was too busy writing operas to do crossword puzzles.   I read he was prolific.

20. Oodles: A TON.

21. San Jose skaters: SHARKS.   My nephew is a huge fan.   Huge I tell you.   He gets season tickets and walks to the SAP Center for games.   He took us to a nearby restaurant that had great steaks and ribs.   For you locals, I think it was Henry's World Famous Hi-Life.

25. With 18-Down, '30s-'40s band leader: ARTIE, and 18. See 25-Across: SHAW.    ARTIE SHAW.

26. Israeli military hero: DAYAN.  Moshe.

27. Writer born Herbert George: HG WELLS.   Did not know his first and middle names, but had H-W--L- at the time, and the answer popped out.    HG is a seen here at the Crossword Corner as an abbreviation of Husker Gary, our Saturday sherpa.

29. Floor support?: YEA.

31. Leader who was painted by Warhol: MAO.
"In this example from his Mao series, Warhol melded his signature style with the scale of totalitarian propaganda to address the cult of personality surrounding the Chinese ruler Mao Zedong (1893–1976). Nearly fifteen feet tall, this towering work mimics the representations of the political figure that were ubiquitously displayed throughout China. Warhol’s looming portrait impresses us with the duality of its realistic qualities and its plastic artificiality."   Mao - The Art Institute of Chicago

32. Canon model: EOS.
You would probably have to be a serious shutterbug or a professional to shell out the dinero to purchase one of these jewels.  For instance, the EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera (body only) would set you back ~ $2800.  Add a lens such as the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM for ~ $2100,  a memory card ~ $65, and a few other accessories, and you've spent some serious coin.   

37. Disneyland's Main Street, __: USA.  I've never been to Disneyland, but I've been to Disneyworld a couple of times.  Disneyworld also has a Main Street, USA.

39. Lead-in to X, Y or Z: GENList Of Generations    Millenials seem to be the subject of so much flak.  It seems to me that members of every generation bash subsequent generations, as their generation was bashed by those prior.  "What's the matter with kids these days ?!?"    

40. West Bank gp.: PLO.

41. Word with jam or joint: SESSION.  Or when plural, with Jeff.

44. Wipe off: ERASE.

48. Equalizes: EVENS.

53. Crude, as humor: RIBALD.

55. Deduce, with "out": SUSS.   A skill used by solvers. 

56. Sea-__: TAC.   I believe that if Sea-Tac is hyphenated, it is a reference to the airport, which has been around since the 1940s.    If it is not hyphenated, it is a reference to the city, which has only been around since 1990. 

59. Don Corleone: VITO.

60. W competitor: ELLE.   Did not know of W magazine.

61. Gloss over: ELIDE.
  1.  transitive verb
    If you elide something, especially a distinction, you leave it out or ignore it.
  2.  transitive verb
    In linguistics, if you elide a word, you do not pronounce or write it fully.
    COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers
62. Finished: OVER.

63. You might be shocked to meet one: EEL.   Never had eel.   C.C. taught me last Sunday that it must be cooked and never eaten raw as the blood is highly toxic.   I don't think I was the only one.  Hi Lucina !

64. Things to avoid: DON'TS.

65. __ Point: WEST.


1. "Strange ... ": HOW ODD.

2. Measured two-dimensionally: IN AREA.

3. Madness: LUNACY.

4. Trip provider: LSD
And there ain't no road just like it
Anywhere I found
Running south on Lake Shore Drive heading into town
Just slippin' on by on LSD, Friday night trouble bound

I know, but I like the song...

5. Must, informally: GOTTA.  On another day or in other parts of the country, hafta or havta. 

6. It has strings attached: APRON.

7. Relied (on) for support, to a Brit: LEANT.   Someone should create a puzzle with these American English and British English variants, a la "Relieved wheat ?" with Spelled Spelt as the answer.  Or not.

8. Basketball's three-point line, for one: ARC.

9. Nordstrom competitor: SAKS.    Had a card for shopping at Saks in the Galleria Houston.   Bought a few suits and ties there.  Have never been in a Nordstrom.

10. Laughs gleefully: CHORTLES.  A word that seems to be gaining in popularity.

11. About 2.2 lbs.: ONE KILO.

12. Do demons' work: POSSESS

15. Midwestern hub: O'HARE.   The primary hub for United Airlines, and the third largest hub for American Airlines. 

20. Sleep disorder: APNEA.

23. Floor: KAYO.  Knock Out to K.O. to kayo.  That's my guess.

24. Bygone Mideast sovereign: SHAH.

28. Sticky stuff: GOOP.

30. Ship that survived the Clashing Rocks: ARGO. From the 1963 Movie.  Hey !   There's Jason ! CSO !    And Triton to save the Argo.

According to someone named Datsmaharse who posted at

The original Argonautica passage by Apollonius Rhodius:
"Then a vaulted billow rushed upon them, and the ship like
a cylinder ran on the furious wave plunging through the hollow sea. And the eddying current held her between the clashing rocks; and on each side they shook and thundered; and the ship's timbers were held fast.
Then Athena with her left hand thrust back one mighty rock and with her right pushed the ship through"

31. AOL rival: MSN.   Two of the web's oldest content providers with AOL in 1989 and MSN in 1995.  CompuServe and Prodigy were a couple of others.

33. Game involved in several Costner films: BASEBALL.   Field of Dreams, Bull Durham, For Love of the Game.

34. Bad impression: DENT.   Chicago Bear HOF'er Richard Dent made a great impression in that magical 1985 season and in Super Bowl XX.   Longtime Bears fan Madame Defarge had season tickets for years and years.  Through thick and thin.  No fair weather fan, she.

35. Like four midyear months: R LESS.   You are supposed to do something with oysters in these months.  Or maybe not do something.   Anyway, May, June, July and August.

36. Snapper rival: TORO.   Lawn products companies named after animals.   No thanks.  I'll stick to my Deere and Scag which were named after people.  OK,  people are animals too.  

37. Access charge: USER FEE

38. Figaro's hometown: SEVILLE.  Wow !   Small world.  We were just discussing Rossini's "Il barbiere di Siviglia"  above at Overture / Opera.

42. Capture: SNARE.

43. Man, for one: ISLE.

45. Like some volcanoes and military personnel: ACTIVE.

46. Hockey gear: SKATES.

47. Go along with: ESCORT.

50. Bolt with great speed: USAIN.  He's fast at ~ 28 mph.

51. __ cake: BUNDT.  DW used to make the best rum cakes. 

52. Word containing three of itself: ESSES

54. Worked a party, briefly: DJ'ed.   Disc Jockeyed.   Part of desper-otto's past.  At a radio station.  Maybe spun a platter at a party or two...  Who knows ?  Maybe he'll tell us. 

58. "Xanadu" rock gp.: ELO.   Electric Light Orchestra.   Here's a version of the song from the soundtrack of the movie:

I wonder if desper-otto ever DJ'ed any ELO...

59. Promise: VOW.

Jul 23, 2019

Tuesday July 23, 2019 Bruce Haight

 Theme: MADE R E PAIRS (61A. Fixed things ... or, in four parts, what you've done when filling in 18-, 26-, 37- and 52-Across?) - Each theme entry is in the pattern of R* E*.

18. Realm first led by Augustus: ROMAN EMPIRE.
26. Result named for expanding circles from a rock tossed into a pond: RIPPLE EFFECT.
37. Did something a bit shocking: RAISED EYEBROWS. This is a 16*15 grid.
52. Hobnobbed (with): RUBBED ELBOWS.

Boomer here, filling in for Hahtoolah, who's traveling.

If you find you are having trouble with this puzzle just RE do it. Great to be back again. Church is having a garage sale and I was happy to donate some stuff.  Now I can park in my garage without having to worry about whether I can get the van doors open.
1. Losing streaks: SLUMPS.  Twins have a guy named Sano who is a slump engineer.

7. Payroll dept. IDs: SSNS. I would not give this to anyone.  Last 4 is okay, but now the VA asks once in awhile for the whole thing.  I don't refuse because I need whatever I went there for.  But don't give it to Equifax.

11. "Jay Leno's Garage" airer: CNBC.  I used to like Leno on the Tonight show, but this effort is so so.

15. "Rock the __": hit song for The Clash: CASBAH.

16. "All right, sure": OH OK.

17. Like some company softball teams: CO-ED.

20. Fibber: LIAR.  Pants on fire

21. "How sweet __!": IT IS.  Jackie Gleason made it famous.  He was a terrible bowler though.

22. Carry with effort: HAUL.  Or if you have to do it yourself, rent a U-HAUL. 

23. Take forcibly (from): WREST.  You may end up wrestling.

25. ISP that includes Bing: MSN.  We have MSN but I never saw Mr. Crosby.

29. Litter box visitors: PET CATS.  We have no pets, but judging by TV and Internet ads, selling pet food must be a billion dollar industry.

31. Biblical boat: ARK.  I once played Noah in a play at an all girls school, Regina H.S. in Minneapolis.  There were only two guys in the play. God was from De La Salle.  The play was Noye's Fludde by Benjamin Britten.  Guess he never took spelling.

32. Head across the Atlantic?: LOO.  Skip to my ____.

33. "I wonder ... ": HMM. "And I can't help but wonder where I'm bound, where I'm bound..."  Here is my rendition.

34. Mos. and mos.: YRS.

36. Carton sealer: TAPE. A famous product from 3M in my home state.

42. Price to pay: COST.

43. Put to good __: USE.  Lately, due to lack of strikes, I need to put my plastic spare ball to good USE.

44. Tractor-trailer: RIG.  Careful where you park it in Florida.  Alligators may get you.

45. "Eww!": UGH.

46. Nourished: FED.  Sure is a lot of three letter answers.

48. "Can't argue with that!": NO DOUBT.
56. St. Patrick's Day mo.: MAR.  March 17 to be exact.  Many Irish in St. Paul hit the famous Irish pubs and lift a glass to good old St. Pat.  I was in Chicago once on March 17 and the festivities seemed to equal that of Minnesota.

57. "My Fair Lady" lady: ELIZA. Ms. Doolittle.

58. God with a bow: EROS.  I don't think he was from De La Salle.

59. Nimble: SPRY.

60. "Check it out!": LOOK. Also a famous magazine.  I have not seen one for awhile.

64. Youngest Brontë sibling: ANNE.  Charlotte was the oldest and lived the longest.  Anne died at age 29.

65. Rim: EDGE.  Ford's smaller SUV.  I once had an Explorer, but now it seems that model is trying to compete with a Navigator.  I have been searching the web, but all I get now is a ton of car dealer ads while I play Solitaire.

66. Rue: REGRET.  For a few days we regretted having CenturyLink as our ISP provider.  Things are okay for now.  We are just wondering if we might get a credit on our bill.  Or at least a "WE'RE SORRY"!

67. Garden planting areas: BEDS.  Ours are doing fine in the summer heat.  But the weeds seem to be doing as well as the flowers.

68. Watermelon bit: SEED.  We get seedless from Aldi.  But they do have little tiny seeds that tend to get caught in my dentures.  (Dentures is a new name for false teeth, for those of you who remember years gone by.)

69. Goes over the posted limit: SPEEDS.  Not me!!  It will raise hell with your insurance rates.

1. Keep to a tight budget: SCRIMP.  Always.  I never pay over $35.00 for a round of golf.

2. Taoism founder: LAO TSE.

3. Govt. moneymaker: US MINT.  I used to love the statehood quarters but now they seem to overwhelm the market with clever coins. I have a few Westward Journey nickels, and some Sacagawea golden dollars.  I also collected silver proof sets from 1999-2008 (Statehood Quarters) but I don't chase coins anymore.  Too Many.   

4. CFOs' degrees: MBAS.  Twins have Max Kepler - Master Batting Average Slugger.

5. Sautéing vessel: PAN.  Also, Peter's last name.

6. Complaint to Mom after a sister's slap: SHE HIT ME.  Then Hit her back !!

7. Absorb: SOP UP.

8. Swindle decoy: SHILL.  Minnesota State Fair Midway is coming soon.  Maybe they are not all shills, but there are some questionable games.

9. Neighbor of Den.: NOR. I have no Danish ancestors, but a few Norwegian, Yah sure.

10. Barbecue rod: SKEWER.

11. Staff symbol in viola music: C CLEF.

12. Ordinance that sets quiet hours: NOISE LAW. We REALLY need this on the 4th of July.  Some people are still setting off noisy stuff.  (I'd like to use a different word, but C.C. won't let me.)

13. Police who may enforce a 12-Down: BEAT COPS.  Interesting.  We live in a suburb of around 80,000 people, but I have not seen a beat cop. They prowl in squad cars.

14. USN officer: CDR.  That's big time I believe, just under Admiral.

19. Travel aids: MAPS.  I used to have a drawer full but now just use Google. 

24. Nats' former stadium, briefly: RFK.  I was serving in Fort Campbell when we heard that Robert Kennedy was shot.  1968 was a terrible year to remember.  First MLK and then RFK.  Recently we celebrated events in July of 1969.  I was in Germany then.  Better times.  Jackie Gleason's wish come true.

26. He sheep: RAMS.  Los Angeles had a great NFL team last season. We have the Vikings. You never know.

27. Make simpler: EASE.

28. Tip of a wing tip: TOE.  A popular dress shoe, years ago.  Have not seen any lately, but I don't look down often.
30. Gambler's IOU: CHIT.  A form of CHAT.

34. "Definitely!": YES.

35. Deli bread: RYE.  Generally have corned beef and sauerkraut on rye around March 17.

36. Deli order: TO GO.  Definitely Pizza.

37. 2016 "Star Wars" prequel: ROGUE ONE.  Enough Star Wars.  Nissan has a small SUV called a ROGUE.

38. Light hair color: ASH BLOND.

39. "My man!": DUDE.  Big Lebowski.  A real DUDE but a lousy bowler. 

40. Web access programs: BROWSERS.  If you wear ugly pants, you may have a browser on your trousers.

41. Frees (of): RIDS.

42. Tough mutt: CUR.

46. Tasseled hat: FEZ.  Zuhrah in Minneapolis.  Shriners do many good things for the community.

47. Mingo portrayer on "Daniel Boone": ED AMES.

48. American-born Jordanian queen: NOOR.

49. Tennis official: UMPIRE. They have a lot hanging around the court.  The one in the chair is the umpire.

50. Like jail cells: BARRED.

51. Steamy get-togethers: TRYSTS.

53. Triathlon rides: BIKES.  Swim about 2 miles, then ride a BIKE 25 miles, then get off and run ten miles.  Big deal - I play 18 holes of golf on a cart.

54. Flowerpot spot: LEDGE.  Our home has no LEDGES large enough to hold a flowerpot.

55. Kennel club classification: BREED.

59. Fragrant herb: SAGE.  Thanksgiving is coming. Load up on SAGE for the stuffing.

60. Science class: LAB.

62. Beverage suffix: ADE.  Lemonade in the Shade, served by an Old Maid.

63. __ Boys: auto parts chain: PEP.  Kellogg's used to sell a PEP cereal, but I have not seen it for a long time.  I get my PEP from Grape-Nuts.

Jul 12, 2019

Friday. July 12, 2019, Bruce Haight

Title: Even STRANGER THINGS, Eleven's little brother Nine.

Bruce offers us a 15 x 16 puzzle where the theme is the grid which contains 72 words and uses only 9 letters in the alphabet!!!!!!!!!
We do have a reveal- 64A. Country spelled with the only nine letters used in this puzzle's answers: SINGAPORE (9). Gimmick puzzles can be a lot of fun but seldom have such perfect reveal. I was very impressed by the skill required to bring this home while maintaining the left/right symmetry. The only cheater squares are the three on each side of  SINGAPORE. The puzzle allowed for such sparkly fill as APENNINES, APPEASING, ENGAGES IN, PING PONGS, ASIAN PEARS, and REGRESSION. No doubt some of the fill was a bit obscure, but the final result was all doable once you understood you did not need any alphabet runs. We have some music, some tv, some food.... well it is time to work.


1. Getaway spots: SPAS. This was a good start for me.

5. Prefix with phobia: AGORA. Initially, I had left this blank, but when I had filled ARGO and ANGORA, I came back put AGORA in. I did not quite get the theme at that point, but it made sense.

10. 2012 Best Picture: ARGO. Ben Affleck.
14. Subside: EASE.

15. Place to start an IV: PREOP. Do you think it needs a hyphen? Pre-op. Nicely misleading clue because I was trying to decide where they were sticking me.

16. Accessories: GEAR.

17. Yeats' birthplace: ERINWILLIAM BUTLER YEATS appeared in a comment this week. Not only a well-respected poet, but he was also very proud of his Irish heritage.

18. Dissect in class, in a way: PARSE. A common crossword concept.

19. "To share, or not to share?" food brand: EGGO. No waffling on this answer.

20. Butters up, maybe: PRAISES. Unless it is your waffle...

22. Long-haired cats: ANGORAS.  This BREED.

24. Prefix with -gon: NONA. This is geometry -a plane figure with nine straight sides and nine angles.

25. Zip: NONE. Hmm, next to each other.

26. Fill in: APPRISE.

29. Wintergreen family herb: PINESAP. This is any of several yellowish or reddish parasitic or saprophytic herbs (genus Monotropa) of the wintergreen family resembling the Indian pipe. It has nothing to do with the SAP from a pine.

32. Once called: NÉE. For a female.

33. Assigning to, as blame, with "on": PINNING.

35. Multitude: SEA.

36. Hoppy brew, briefly: IPAIndia Pale Ale. Very hoppy.

37. Search tools: ENGINES.

38. Apple platform: IOS.

39. Formal addressees: SIRS.

41. Factions in "West Side Story": GANGS.

42. Word in family business names: SONS.

43. Former CNN journalist David: ENSOR. I no longer watch any national news but seems like a NICE man.

45. Misunderstanding metaphor: GAP.

46. Pick up: SENSE.

47. Bird seen in only one state: NENE. CSO to our Hawaii readers.

49. Letters near zero: OPER. If you remember the classic telephone.

51. Germane: APROPOS.

54. Like some doubts and injuries: NAGGING.

58. Polish for "dumplings": PIEROGI. Food.

59. Less experienced: GREENER.

60. Football's "Boomer": ESIASON. A HOF quarterback, sort of.

61. Inflation-indexed U.S. savings bond: SERIES I. What is FOR SALE now.

62. __ Marino: SAN.

63. W-2 info: SSN.


1. Trickle: SEEP.

2. Last of three Catherines: PARR. She was an interesting woman, and here is a LINK to a wonderful historical website.

3. Far East fruit: ASIAN PEARS. This looks like an apple but tastes like a pear and is available in the street markets in Thailand and some large Asian markets here in Florida. Many of the fruits named in this THAI FRUIT LINK are grown in Homestead. Just be careful of the Durian.

4. Ranking: SENIOR. My card says "senior assistant" meaning I am old.

5. Settling down: APPEASING.

6. French fat: GRAS. Foie gras...a delicacy that extends back thousands of years, based on a rather barbaric CUSTOM.

7. Anthem word with an apostrophe: O'ER the ramparts we watched...

8. Parks in American history: ROSA.

9. Corno Grande's range: APENNINES. A complete unknown despite talking with my son and d-i-l about their time in Italy, but nothing here. Geography is clearly my weakest subject.

10. Early personal milestone: AGE ONE. Weird phrasing.

11. Word in medicine that sounds bad but is often good: REGRESSION. Another word that goes both ways - sometimes good, sometimes bad. re·gres·sion (rē-gresh'ŭn), such as shown:
1. A subsidence of symptoms.
2. A relapse; a return of symptoms.

12. Infatuated: GAGA.

13. Spanish medals or metals: OROS. Spanish Gold.

21. Take potshots: SNIPE.

23. Loud ringers: GONGS.

26. Biscotti flavoring: ANISE. Alphabetically first, but man they make many FLAVORS.

27. Jacques of PBS' "Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home": PEPIN.
I did not know this SERIES or M. Pepin       
28. Does: ENGAGES IN.

29. Goes back and forth: PING PONGS. A nice visual clue.

30. Long periods: AEONS.

31. So yesterday: PASSE.

34. 1493 Lisbon arrival: NINAHEADLINE.

40. Only Mexican state that borders Baja: SONORA.

42. Composer Rachmaninoff: SERGEI. I really did not know his first name. Listen.
44. They get carried away: REPOS.

46. "Night Moves" singer: SEGER. Listen and watch.
48. Scrubbed, as a launch: NO GO.

50. Cut back: PARE.

51. Parrots: APES. Funny, two animals used to mean imitates.

52. City on the Arno: PISA. You can see the river through the town.

53. Hold back: REIN. You need to control your joy at getting this Friday puzzle.

55. Supermodel Sastre: INÉS. This was the last of the total unknowns for me. She is quite pretty and more. Sorry for the removed info.

56. Loch of note: NESS. No Eliot for Boomer.

57. Silly look?: GRIN. Yes, what my face looks like now that I made it to the end.

Bruce always delivers some fun and creativity, and today was a classic. I feel blessed to do Friday puzzles because they are so diverse and this was an incredible challenge to create without making it clunky. Thanks, Bruce. Lemonade out.

Jun 27, 2019

Thursday, June 27th 2019 Bruce Haight

Theme: Corporate Takeover - the theme entries are clued punningly as commercial operations:

16A. Place to get gifts?: PRESENT COMPANY. "Present company" seems tied to the word "excepted" in my mind. Anyone else?

24A. Place to get fireplace equipment?: POKER DEALER. Disney's "Toy Story 4" is in theaters shortly and apparently features the poker-playing dogs from the movie "Up".

35A. Place to get movie actors?: EXTRA FIRM. Food! As in extra firm tofu, I use it for my pad thai noodles.

49A. Place to get laundry detergent?: ALL BUSINESS. I rarely see ALL on the shelves on my shopping forays. Is it exclusive to Walmart?

57A. Place to get help with estate planning?: PASSING CONCERN. A problem that keeps soccer coaches awake at night. Did anyone else think the England v. Cameroon game in the World Cup was one the most bizarre sports events you've ever witnessed? Quite strange.

And to the summary!

Enjoyable puzzle from Bruce. It was a pretty much left-to-right and top-to-bottom solve for me, I was firmly on the Haight wavelength today. I caught myself entering "PASSING COMP .." and then realized it must be something else, it was too similar to 16A and didn't make sense in the context of the theme.

All the theme entries are fresh, but the fill less so - maybe that's why there wasn't a lot holding me back. The puzzle is only the "Z" short of a pangram - I wonder if Bruce tried to find a place to slot one "Z" in there somewhere?

Let's go and look at what catches the eye:


1. "Welcome to Kauai!": ALOHA!

6. Channel bobber: BUOY. Pronounced "BOY" in the UK. Makes as much sense as "BOO-EE" here in the US.

10. Persian for "crown": TAJ

13. "Service at the Speed of Sound" fast-food chain: SONIC. I've never been in one, they're relatively scarce here in California, and we already boast the king of all burger chains - In N Out. If you've got a couple of spare minutes, check out the late, great Anthony Bourdain describing the glorious food item that is the In N Out burger.

14. Tolstoy title name: ANNA

15. Moment or way lead-in: IN A

19. Web statistic: HITS

20. Cruet contents: OIL. A cruet set always seemed so posh to me when I was a kid, something that exotic people had on their dining table. We had salt, (white) pepper and a bottle of malt vinegar.

21. "Yay me!": I RULE!

23. French friend: AMI

27. Hedy of Hollywood: LAMARR. She wan't just a pretty face - she and co-researcher and composer George Anthiel were inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for their wartime work developing radio guidance systems.

29. Stick with a boat?: OAR

30. Singer DiFranco: ANI

31. Roman fountain: TREVI

32. "Rebel Yell" singer Billy: IDOL

34. Grasp, in slang: GROK. Well known around these parts referring to when you finally see the theme in a puzzle.

38. Put up with: BEAR

41. Techniques: WAYS

42. Liver spreads: PATÉS. Food! You could leave the accent out and have a collection of bald heads.

46. Prefix with catastrophe: ECO-

47. Online help page: FAQ

48. "My turn": I'M NEXT

53. Shopkeeper who by his own admission sells "surprisingly expensive" penny candy at the Kwik-E-Mart: APU. 

Customer 1: I need one twenty-nine cent stamp.
Apu: That's a dollar eighty-five.
Customer 2: I want two dollars worth of gas, please.
Apu: Four-twenty.
Martin: How much is your penny candy?

Apu: Surprisingly expensive.

54. Silent performers: MIMES

55. Oz. or lb.: AMT. I tried QTY first, but it looked a little odd.

56. "Instinct" star Cumming: ALAN. A very talented stage, film and TV actor, as well as performing in cabaret.

61. Park it, so to speak: SIT

62. Slope overlooking a loch: BRAE. Alan Cumming would know this, he's Scottish. Did you know there are five inlets named as lochs around Pearl Harbor?

63. Speak formally: ORATE

64. Pair of allies?: ELS. Nice clue. Two "L"s.

65. "G'day" addressee: MATE, followed closely by "Throw another shrimp on the barbie while I shout us all stubbies".

66. Put on the back burner: DEFER


1. It can cover a lot: ASPHALT. Another nice clue. I'm always tempted to put an extra H in there ... ASHPHALT - then it looks wrong and out it comes.

2. "Dallas" production studio: LORIMAR. I couldn't believe I didn't hesitate on this one. "Dallas" was enormously popular in the UK. The BBC caused all kinds of rumpus among the traditionalists when they announced the shooting of J.R. on the prime BBC news broadcast after the episode was aired.

3. Former: ONE-TIME

4. Sound neither an actor nor a hiker wants to hear: HISS.

5. Top fighter pilot: ACE

6. Dyeing art: BATIK

7. "I give up!": UNCLE!

8. Peace activist Yoko: ONO. Beatle fans on one or other side of the Yoko divide should enjoy this picture published today of John and Paul during the recording of "Abbey Road", taken by Paul's wife Linda. He says "... it reminds me that the idea we weren’t friends is rubbish. We were lifelong friends, our relationship was super-special." which might put paid to the notion that Yoko was instrumental in the breakup of the band.

9. Thanksgiving veggie: YAM

10. Royal topper: TIARA. Wasn't sure about the "royal" part here. Anyone can wear a tiara.

11. Ring-shaped: ANNULAR

12. Host of a "garage" show since 2014: JAY LENO

17. Jordan's Queen __: NOOR

18. Berth place: PIER

22. Composer Satie: ERIK. Here's "Gymnopédie No.1" beloved of unimaginative ad agencies all over the world.

24. __ fixe: PRIX

25. They may be pitched: ROOFS

26. Spanish surrealist: DALI

28. Say with conviction: AVER

32. Mosul native: IRAQI. I'm never quite sure about the middle east cities, I know I should be ashamed. IRANI/IRAQI  to me means "wait for the crosses".

33. Calendar square: DAY

34. FBI agent: G-MAN

36. Christmas poem contraction: 'TWAS

37. Tach nos.: RPMS. I wanted REVS, but the crosses I had already completed wouldn't let me.

38. Ray: BEAM

39. Total or partial event: ECLIPSE

40. Outlook alternative: AOL MAIL. Is this still a thing? I suppose it is. My first email address was with Compuserve, later acquired by AOL. In the early days, you couldn't choose your own email address, it was your 10-digit Compuserve account number. Mine was something like Hardly memorable.

43. One steeping in a cup: TEA LEAF

44. One-sided, in legal proceedings: EX PARTE

45. Huge surprise: STUNNER

47. Complain: FUSS

48. Analogy words: IS TO. There's a whole existential debate about analogies that I began to read and fell down the rabbit hole that is the Internet. I emerged an hour later with my head spinning with examples from linguistics, mathematics, artificial intelligence, anatomy and other areas I can't wrap my head around. I'll stick to "like" as evidenced in a Washington Post competition entry: "Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever." Wonderful.

50. Conquers: BESTS

51. Pester: NAG AT

52. One sporting a mic: EMCEE

56. "Back forty" unit: ACRE

58. Tech giant that sold its PC division to Lenovo: IBM. Lenovo have done a pretty good job with the tech acquisition. My last three work laptops have all been Lenovos. My personal laptop is a Chromebook, to the chagrin of my techie chums. I love it (I'm writing this blog on it as we speak).  I've not found anything I can't do on this that I did on the PC.

59. New Deal agcy.: N.R.A. The National Recovery Administration.

60. Drift (off): NOD

Well, the puzzle didn't make me nod off, so huzzah! for that. Here's the grid, "one Z short of the pangram." Do you have any expressions for someone not "quite there"? The British have "One sandwich short of a picnic", the Australians "two bricks short of a full load" (or "he's got kangaroos loose in the top paddock" which has to be my all-time favorite, but not quite fitting this theme).

OK, as you were, back to business. Here's the grid.


Jun 11, 2019

Tuesday, June 11, 2019, Bruce Haight

The ESSENCE of S.  What happens when you add the letter S to the beginning and end of a common word?  You get today's rhyming puzzle puzzle!  Our constructor, Bruce Haight must like the letter "S".  His Friday puzzle also added an "S" to give us a sleepy-time puzzle.

 17-Across. Run out of pants?: LACK SLACKS.

Poor Peter Rabbit.  He is without slacks!

25-Across. Steal tent holders?: TAKE STAKES.

40-Across. Share sewing cylinders?: POOL SPOOLS.  These pool noodles are the closest I could find to a Pool Spool.

44-Across. Praise Guinness products?: TOUT STOUTS.

A Stout Man Touting Stout.

52-Across. Discuss cornfields?: TALK STALKS.

67-Across. Cook escargots perfectly?: NAIL SNAILS.

1. Singer Cyrus: MILEY.  //  1-Down. Long-distance runner: MILER.  I liked how Miley and Miler crossed.  Miley Cyrus (née Destiny Hope Cyrus; b. Nov. 23, 1992) has come a long way since her Hannah Montana days.

6. Captain with a whalebone leg: AHAB.  Captain Ahab is a fictional character in Moby Dick, the whaling novel by Herman Melville.  As the novel begins, we learn that the Captain had been on a previous whaling voyage and a great white whale had bitten off the Captain's leg, so he now depends upon a whalebone prosthetic.  Moby Dick is basically a revenge novel, where Captain Ahab is out to strike back at the whale.

10. Secretly sends an email copy to: BCCs.  As in Blind Carbon Copies.  Although the actual Carbon Copy is now obsolete, the abbreviation for it remains.

14. Cry of domination: I RULE!

15. Sensible: SANE.

16. "Well, hello there": OH, HI!

19. Dickens' Little __: NELL.  Little Nell is a character in The Old Curiosity Shop, by Charles Dickens.  It is about a young orphan girl (Nell, of course), who lives with her grandfather in his shop.  The novel was published as a weekly series, and was a real nail biter for its readers.  Sort of like an old-timey Game of Thrones.

20. Airport approx.: ETA.  As in Estimated Time of Arrival.  This is a crossword staple.

21. Vintage Ford: MODEL T.  Henry Ford is supposed to have said about the Model T that "any customer can have a car painted in any color that he wants so long as it is black."

22. Many a bagpiper: SCOT.  My sister plays the bagpipe.  This is not her.

23. Relaxation: REST.

27. Apt. units: RMs.  As in Rooms in an Apartment.

29. XV ÷ V: III.  Roman math.  15 ÷ 5 = 3.

30. For a specific purpose: AD HOC.
33. Remington rival: BRAUN.  Both company make electronic grooming tools.

37. Hamilton's bill: TEN.  I recently say a production of Hamilton.  Sadly, Lin-Manuel Miranda did not play Alexander Hamilton in the version I saw, but it was still fantastic!  Oh, and Alex is the face of the $10 bill.

42. Choose in a booth: VOTE.

43. Pharmacy tablet: PILL.  They come in all shapes, sizes and colors.

46. Benchmark: Abbr.: STD.  As in Standard.

47. Carb-loading meal: PASTA.  Yummers!  I particularly like squid ink pasta.

48. Fill in for: ACT AS.

49. Lap dog, briefly: POM.  As in a Pomeranian.  They are cute dogs.  My sister had one, but it was a nasty little thing.

51. Spot with saunas: SPA.

58. Kudrow of "Friends": LISA.  I was never a fan of Friends.  I don't think I ever watched an entire episode.  I found Lisa Kudrow's character particularly annoying.

62. Arouse, as an appetite: WHET.

63. Skin care brand: AVEENO.  //  And 73-Down: 63-Across rival: OLAY.  Aveeno is a brand of skin care products that is owned by Johnson & Johnson.  One of its active ingredients is derived from Oats, hence the name, which is a derivation of the Avena sativa, the scientific name for oat.  Olay is owned by Proctor & Gamble.  Aveeno is more of a total skin care line, whereas Olay is more of a facial line of skin care products.

65. Eminem genre: RAP.  Rapper Eminem is his professional name.  His given name is Marshall Bruce Mathers, III (b. Oct. 17, 1972).  He never looks very happy.

66. "You betcha!": YEAH!

69. Cut with a surgical beam: LASE.

70. Fish organ: GILL.

71. "Fiddler" busybody: YENTE.  Written as יענטאַ in Hebrew.  It's actually a Yiddish word, and was originally just a girl's name common in Eastern Europe.  It became synonymous with a busybody in the United States in the 1920s.

72. Yemen's Gulf of __: ADEN.

74. Medical pictures: X-RAYS.  So that's where my ring went!

2. Steaming mad: IRATE.

3. "Star Wars" creator George: LUCAS.  George Walter Lucas, Jr. (b. May 14, 1944) created Star Wars over 40 years ago.  Sequels and prequels are still being made.

4. Yellowstone grazer: ELK.  Don't mess with a Mama Elk and her baby.  There were some incidents of injury to people earlier this year.

5. Polite rural assent: YES'M.

6. Carne __: burrito filling: ASADA.  It's grilled beef, but the secret is in the marinading.

7. Czech diacritical mark: HACEK.  It looks like an inverted circumflex.  An example can be seen in the name of the city, Český Krumlov, which known for its beautiful castle.  I was there exactly 11 years ago today while visiting my cousin who lived in Prague.  For our blog readers, may I suggest The Book of Splendor, by Frances Sherwood.  It is a novel mostly about Prague, but some scenes take place in Český Krumlov.

8. Joint for a bracelet: ANKLE.

9. Outdoes: BESTS.

10. Tree in a tray: BONSAI.  This was my favorite clue of the puzzle.

I am Groot.

11. "Look at that!": CHECK IT OU!

12. Actress Sevigny: CHLOË.  Chloë Sevigny (b. Nov. 18, 1974), has been in a number of independent movies and cable TV series.  She's about to be in a new movie with Bill Murray and Adam Driver called The Dead Don't Die.

13. Delta deposits: SILTS.  More than you ever wanted to know about the Mississippi River Delta.
18. A great deal: LOTS.

24. Social media troublemaker: TROLL.  We occasionally get Trolls on the blog.  We try not to feed them.

26. Element #50: TIN.  Hey, Tin!  Come back, there is no Ice in today's puzzle!

28. Mic holders: MCs.  As in Master of Ceremonies.

30. Phone downloads: APPS.

31. "Finish that job!": DO IT!

32. Polite "Hang on": HOLD, PLEASE.

33. Chorus for the villain: BOOS.

34. Lopsided win: ROUT.

35. Utah ski resort: ALTA.

Looks like some rugged skiing.

36. Battleship initials: USS.  Commissioned ships and vessels in the United States are designed with USS, which stands for United States Ship.  Care to guess the name of this ship?

38. "At Last" vocalist James: ETTA.  She was my guest the last time I provided commentary for the blog.

39. Loch with monster stories: NESS.  Earlier this week, the BBC reported that the Loch Ness monster might be real.

41. Student advocacy gp.: PTA.  As in the Parent Teacher Association.

42. Outspoken: VOCAL.

45. One in a bar array: TAP.

47. U.K. leaders: PMs.  As in Prime Ministers.  Theresa May just resigned from her position as Prime Minister.  How will the United Kingdom select its next PM?

50. "In that case, fine": OK, THEN.

51. Govt. IDs: SSNs.  As in Social Security Numbers.

52. Choreographer Tharp: TWYLA.  In the 1960s, Twyla Tharp (b. July 1, 1941) formed her own dance company.

53. In first place: AHEAD.  You might be inclined to shout 13-Across if you win.
54. Latin ballroom dance: TANGO.  It takes two.

55. Be useful to: AVAIL.

56. Soprano role in Bizet's "The Pearl Fishers": LEILA.  We recently saw a production of this at the Houston Grand Opera.

57. Green shade with an Irish name: KELLY.

59. Skater Slutskaya with two Olympic medals: IRINA.  Irina Slutskaya (b. Feb. 9, 1979), won a Silver Medal in 2002 and a Bronze Medal in 2006 in the Olympics.  She also a two-time World champion skater.

60. Like the ocean: SALTY.

61. Vaulted church areas: APSES.

The Apse of the Notre Dame Cathedral before and after the fire.

64. Black gemstone: ONYX.
68. Bubbly prefix: AER-.

 Here's the Grid:

I'll leave you with a QOD:  I just read an 800-page history of the Scottish Enlightenment and, honestly, I may as well just start it again now, because I cannot remember a single thing.  I can barely remember where Scotland is.  ~  Hugh Laurie (né James Hugh Calum Laurie; b. June 11, 1959)