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

Mar 31, 2020

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 Kevin Christian and Bruce Haight

What are Little Girls Made of?   Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice.

16-Across. Sweetened, as something harsh to hear: SUGAR-COATED.

24-Across. Variety, idiomatically, with "the": SPICE OF LIFE.

38-Across. Loaded bakery item: EVERYTHING BAGEL.  Yummers!  My favorite kind of Bagel; especially good with cream cheese and lox.

47-Across. "Don't make any sudden moves": NICE AND EASY.

And the Unifier:

59-Across. What the starts of 16-, 24-, 38- and 47-Across make?: LITTLE GIRLS.

And, just so the boys don't feel left out:

1. Fords and Chevys: AUTOS.  Because Cars was too short.

6. Trick: FOOL.

10. Electric guitarist's need: AMP.  A crossword staple.

13. "When __ we three meet again": "Macbeth" opening line: SHALL.

14. Baseball card transaction: TRADE.

15. "You think I did it?!": MOI?  Here's workout video to do at home, since we can't go to the gym.  My trainer prepared several nice videos for me to do at home until the fitness center opens again.  Her video is a bit more strenous than Miss Piggy's.

18. Had a bite: ATE.

19. Culturally pretentious: ARTY.

20. Coffee container: URN.  John Keats wrote an Ode on a Grecian one.

21. __ nerve: OPTIC.

23. Daisy __: Li'l Abner's wife: MAE.

27. Amazes: AWES.

29. "A," in pilot shorthand: ALFA.

30. Bulova competitor: TIMEX.  Both are watches.  I think of Bulova is being a bit more upscale than the Timex watch, however ...

32. Give a hoot: CARE.

34. Credit in a footnote: CITE.

41. Surrender, as land: CEDE.

42. "Star __: The Rise of Skywalker": WARS.  I stopped watching the Star Wars films decades ago.

43. Molecule parts: ATOMS.  Chemistry 101.

44. Recipe instruction: STIR.

46. Aid in crime: ABET.  A crossword staple.

52. "No more sharing," briefly: TMI.  Textspeak for Too Much Information.

55. Island in "Jaws": AMITY.

56. Bethesda research org.: NIH.  As in the National Institutes of Health, where you can get the latest information on Covid-19.

57. Mythical man-goat: FAUN.  Roman mythology.  A Satyr is it's Greek counterpart.

58. Cacophony: DIN.

63. Ltd., across the pond: INC.  Clever!  Going East to West, instead of the usual West to East across the pond.

64. Sooner State natives: OKIES.  An Okie is a resident of Oklahoma, but is also a somewhat derogatory term used to describe migrant workers during the Great Depression during the 1930s.  Here's the reason why Oklahoma is nicknamed the Sooner State.

65. Jump for joy: EXULT.

66. In the past: AGO.

67. Rump: REAR.

68. Brainy bunch: MENSA.

1. Black tea from India: ASSAM.  Assam is a state in northeastern India and is known for its tea plantations.

2. "Star Trek" lieutenant: UHURA.

3. Worked closely with a partner on a task: TAG TEAMED.

4. Skin care brand: OLAY.  A crossword staple.

5. Camera initials: SLR.  As in Single Lens Reflex camera.  We see this a lot in the puzzles, but what does it really mean?  I'll let the the Britannica explain.

6. Old Paris coin: FRANC.  I lived in France before the Euro.  We went to Switzerland and had to exchange our French Francs for Swiss Francs.  Before returning to France, we went into a Swiss chocolate shop and plopped the remainder of our Swiss Francs on the counter and asked to purchase as much chocolate as our money could buy.

7. Horse morsel: OAT.

8. Shelley's "__ to the West Wind": ODE.

9. Batted first: LED OFF.

10. Stradivari's tutor: AMATI.  Antonio Stradivari (1644 ~ Dec. 18, 1737) was an Italian stringed instrument maker.  He is best known for his violins.  He is believed to have crafted over 950 violins, of which approximately half that number are known to have survived through the centuries.  Nicolò Amati (Dec. 3, 1596 ~ Apr. 12, 1684) came from a family of violin makers.  He is known for adopting the form of the violin to give it a greater power of tone.  He is said to have taught Stradivari, however, this may or may not have been correct.  Stradivari is said to have begun an appreticeship at age 12 under the guidance of the aged Amati.  A Brief History of Amati and Stradivari.

11. Central idea: MOTIF.  I was so sure that Theme was the correct answer.

12. Cake serving: PIECE.  I wanted a Slice of cake.

14. Singer Amos: TORI.  Tori Amos (née Myra Ellen Amos; b. Aug. 22, 1963) won a full scholarship to the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University at age 5.  She was expelled 6 years later, at age 11, for musical insubordination.

17. Pair in a pint: CUPS.

22. Appease: PLACATE.

24. Hot: SEXY.

25. Makes on the job: EARNS.

26. Cassini of fashion: OLEG.  Oleg Cassini (né Oleg Aleksandrovich Cassini Loiewski; Apr. 11, 1913 ~ Mar. 17, 2006) was an American fashion designer with an interesting ancestry.  He was born in Paris, France to an Italian Countess and a Russian diplomat.  He ultimately made his way to the United States and became a naturalized citizen.  He designed costumes for Hollywood, but is probably best known for his White House connection.  In 1961, he became Jackie Kennedy's exclusive couturier.
28. "No more for us": WE'RE SET.

30. Noir sleuth: TEC.

31. "__ been wrong before": I'VE.

32. Zin cousin: CHARD.  Think of the Red and White wines of Zinfandel and Chardonnay.

33. Broadcast: AIR.

35. "Time for me to split": I GOTTA RUN.

36. President pro __: TEM.  Pro tem. is short for Pro Tempore.  Article One, Section Three, Paragraph 5 of the United States Consitution reads:  "The Senate shall chuse (sic) their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States."  The President pro tempore is the second highest ranking officer in the Senate.  The current President pro tem is Senator Chuck Grassley from Iowa.  End of civic lesson.

37. Hallelujah trio?: ELs.  As in the letter "L".  I wasn't fooled by this clue.

39. Bed size: TWIN.

40. Life-changing household arrival: BABY.

45. Pop star Swift: TAYLOR.  Taylor Allison Swift (b. Dec. 13, 1989) is only 30 years old, but she seems to have been around forever.

46. Tennis great Arthur: ASHE.  Our good friend Arthur Robert Ashe (July 10, 1943 ~ Feb. 6, 1993) makes another guest appearance in the crossword puzzle.

47. First name in 1970s gymnastics: NADIA.  As in Nadia Comăneci (b. Nov. 12, 1961).  In 1976, at just the age of 14, she was the first gymnast to be awarded a perfect 10 at Olympic Games.

48. Cyberchatting: IMING.  As in Instant Messaging.

49. __ de Mayo: CINCO.  A brief history of Cinco de Mayo.

50. Oversized keyboard key: ENTER.

51. Feels poorly: AILS.

53. Thinks (over): MULLS.

54. Photo-sharing website, familiarly: INSTA.

57. Prix __ menu: FIXE.  Today's French lesson.  The phrase means Fixed Price.

60. '50s presidential nickname: IKE.

61. Aunt in Acapulco: TIA.  Today's Spanish lesson.

62. Great fielding play, say: GEM.

Here's the Grid:

QOD:  It’s not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.  ~  René Descartes (Mar. 31, 1596 ~ Feb. 11, 1650), French philosopher

Stay safe everyone and please mind the stay-at-home orders.  This is serious, folks. My sister is a nurse in a hot-spot area.  She said she has never been more scared in all her 30 + years of nursing.  She is tapped to work on the frontline.  After working all day, she has to go home and make masks for her staff!  She said that the hospital is having to use trucks to haul out the bodies.  Please mind the orders and stay the requisite distance from others.  We need you all to come back to continue this crossword community.  Maria from The Sound of Music reminds us to Stay at Home.

Feb 20, 2020

Thursday, February 20th 2020 Bruce Haight

Theme Wildlife Safari - as the reveal across the center tells us what to look for:

36A. Tot's plaything ... and a feature of 17-, 25-, 48- and 59-Across: STUFFED ANIMAL

We're looking for an animal "stuffed" into the theme entries, to wit:

17A. Tackled the job: HAD A GO AT IT. Goat. Personally, I'd clue this as "Tried to tackle the job". If you have a go at something, you try it, it's moot whether the attempt was successful or not. Minor quibble.

25A. Range for a manhunt: SEARCH AREA. Hare. There was a great "hare hunt" in Britain in the late 70's. Author and artist Kit Williams created a jeweled, golden hare and buried it, and then published a picture book, "Masquerade" , which he said contained all the clues necessary to find the piece. It caused quite a stir and sparked a huge treasure hunt. which lasted quite some time before the jewelry was found. As time went on and the hare still hadn't been located, a canny West End theatre producer adapted the book into a stage play starring Roger Rees. People flocked to the performances hoping to gain extra clues or insight into the secret location. They didn't, but the producer made a lot of money (and yes, some of it was mine!).

48A. Intercepting, as at the pass: HEADING OFF. Dingo.

59A. Ready to start the day: UP AND ABOUT. I wanted "Up and at 'em" right until it didn't fit, and there was no stuffed animal. Cue rethink.

Straightforward enough theme from Bruce, I call this kind of theme a bonus - you don't need the theme to solve the puzzle, and, really, it's just a nice after-party treasure hunt to find the prizes. I do like when the circles don't make an appearance when not needed (unlike these kind of theme puzzles where the "treasure" skips up and down between rows).

And so let's continue the journey:


1. Play with strings: STRUM

6. Blubber: FLAB. Possibly the result of eating too much ....

10. __ buco: OSSO. Food! The classic recipe calls for veal shanks which are not to some people's taste. I make a version with beef shank, the all-important marrow is there.

16. Place to talk shop?: MALL. Fun clue.

19. Passionate: AVID

20. Second sequel's number: III. Unless you're a Star Wars fan, in which case I believe the second sequel was the fifth in the trilogy, of course none of that makes sense.

21. Sacred chests: ARKS

22. Thrash: WHOMP. Fun word.

23. Winter coat?: SNOW

28. Arizona landforms: MESAS 

30. TourBook-issuing org.: AAA

31. Designer monogram: YSL. Yves St. Laurent. He has one of those names which you can't imagine being attached to anything other than his profession. Do you see your tax guy or your mechanic being called Yves St. Laurent?

32. "Hasta la vista": SEE YA! 

33. Comic strip frames: PANELS

40. Forklift load: PALLET

41. Stuffy-sounding: NASAL

43. Many AARP mems.: SRS. Seniors. I started getting AARP membership invitations when I turned 50. There didn't seem to be a lot of upside to membership, I got the same discounts with AAA or just turning up. It was when I started getting mailers from Forest Lawn Cemeteries that I started feeling a little old. I got over that.

46. Issa of "The Hate U Give": RAE. Thank you, crosses.

47. Dire: GRAVE

53. Christmas poem opener: 'TWAS

54. "Hasta la vista": ADIOS! This is a Corner-coined "clecho" - same clue, echoed for a different entry.

55. "The Daily Show" host: NOAH. Trevor. He took over from Jon Stewart after being a writer on the show.

57. Nos. on driver's licenses: HTS. Heights. At least they aren't prone to change as much as WTS.

58. Sharp turns: ZAGS. Can you zag before you zig? Or zag and zag again? We should be told.

62. Succulent plant genus: ALOE

63. Gumption: GRIT

64. __ toast: MELBA. How do you know you've made it as an opera singer? You have toasted bread named for you. It seems a stretch, but Dame Nellie Melba should be proud. (Her real name was Helen Porter Mitchell, but "Mitchell Toast" didn't catch on in the Melbourne diners).

65. Sew a patch on, perhaps: MEND

66. Possessive pronoun: HERS

67. Roundup critter: STEER. Rawhide!


1. Deep rifts: SCHISMS. Mostly religious, I think.

2. New recruits: TRAINEES

3. Hobbyist's contraption: RADIO SET. Did anyone build their own short-wave radio set and transmit to the great beyond? The Internet has mostly replaced the thrill of hearing a Russian sea captain reply from his spy boat trawler

4. Sch. founded by Jefferson: U.VA.

5. Prefix with bytes or bucks: MEGA. A megabyte of storage used to cost megabucks. Those days are long gone.

6. Oddball: FLAKE

7. Tons o': LOTSA'

8. "The Rookie" actress Larter: ALI. Again, crosses, I thank you.

9. Club alternative: BLT. More Food! If you've ever had a BLT with a slice of bread in the middle, you've got a crossover club/BLT - the middle slice of bread is what defines a club - which makes a Big Mac a club sandwich.

10. Home of Minor League Baseball's Storm Chasers: OMAHA. What a great name. The minor league teams in all sports have the best names. Who wouldn't root for the Alberquerque Isotopes, the Hartford Yard Goats or the Brighampton Binghampton Rumble Ponies? And if the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimps ever made it to the big leagues and the World Series, I know where my $5 bet is going.

11. Cooking show adjective: SAVORY

12. Covers with goop: SLIMES

13. Bud from way back: OLD PAL. Slap on the back, old mate, old pal, old buddy. Wait, what's with the "old"?

18. "Grey's Anatomy" settings, for short: O.R'S. First instinct was E.R's, then ah! Surgery!

22. 33-Down's purview: WHALING. Cross-reference clue, but not far to look for the second part.

24. Path to the top: WAY UP

26. Charged: RAN AT

27. Normandy city: CAEN

29. Trips where big cats are spotted: SAFARIS. Here we are mid-Bruce safari. How apt.

33. Ship owner who described Ahab as "ungodly, god-like": PELEG. I remember him by "Peg Leg" and forget the "G". Has anyone actually read Moby Dick? I'm currently working my way though "The Gormenghast Trilogy" which I abandoned some many years ago. I'm not sure I'm going to get through it this time.

34. Stand buy: ADE

35. "Good thinking!": SMART

37. Custard dessert: FLAN

38. Considering everything: AS A WHOLE

39. Conduit created by volcanic activity: LAVA TUBE. Is this a thing? I guess vulcanologists would say so. Yellowstone National Park is one enormous caldera, so when that lava tube goes rogue, hello Idaho!

42. Cigarette ad claim: LESS TAR. Amazing to think that you could still post ads claiming your cigarettes were "cleaner", although we don't seemed to have learned a whole lot if the vaping ads and businesses are anything to go by.

43. Superhero acronym involving Hercules, Zeus, Achilles and three others: SHAZAM. No clue. Researching "Shazam superhero" I find a lot of names that don't add up to an acronym. So I'll thank the crosses, and move on, wondering why "Oggo" didn't make it into the mix.

44. Killian's, originally: RED ALE

45. Former Southeast Asian capital: SAIGON. Now Ho Chi Minh City. Do the residents still call it "Saigon"? I wonder. On my bucket list for the food!

49. Gave a shot, say: DOSED

50. Studio sign: ON AIR

51. Formatting menu list: FONTS

52. It's not hot long: FAD

56. Ones acting badly: HAMS

59. "So gross!": UGH!

60. Ante-: PRE- This was a little tricky, the clue seems to want you to find a word which would fit after "Ante-" - bellum, diluvian, one of those - but when you look closely you see you need to find a prefix, and lo, there is "Pre-". Great cluing for what might be brushed off as throwaway fill. I love these little gems.

61. Exacta or trifecta: BET. I famously bet a trifecta at Santa Anita on the wrong race - my friend and I arrived a little later than planned and we'd unknowingly missed the first race. I confidently consulted the daily racing form, wagered a two-dollar trifecta on the (already run) first race and my numbers 3-1-6 came up in what was actually race two. I didn't recognize the horse's names on the way round, but I was wasn't complaining when I cashed in the ticket.

And that is the secret to sports betting! Bet the wrong race!

Thanks to Bruce for an entertaining zoological journey. Here's the grid and I'm off to get some much-needed beauty sleep! (I need sleep, but beauty would be a bonus!)


Jan 23, 2020

Thursday January 23rd 2020 Bruce Haight

Theme: Cash Up - Five theme entries in the downs contain currencies running south-to-north:

3D. New Year's Day event in Pasadena: ROSE PARADE. Peso, or $ in most Latin counties (the Philippine Peso symbol is ₱.) There's what possibly is an urban legend that there is an upsurge in U-Haul rentals in the East and Midwest after the Rose Parade when the lovely Californian weather is usually on parade, along with the floats and people decide to move.

10D. Finish impressively: END WITH A BANG. Baht, or ฿.

21D. Lamb Chop puppeteer: SHARI LEWIS. Lira, or ₺. The Italian Lira is now defunct, having gone the way of the Euro, but Turkey still has theirs.

25D. It helps you go places: TRAVEL BUREAU. Ruble, or ₽. The symbol was officially adopted in 2013 following a public poll.

34D. Get support, in a way ... and what the puzzle circles do: RAISE MONEY. Yen, or ¥. I like how this is both the reveal and a theme entry in its own right.  Clever.

Another solid puzzle from Bruce, and again, we're looking at a 16x15 grid; I think this is the third Thursday in a row sporting that grid configuration. It's not impossible to place the two 12-letter theme entries in a 15x15 grid, but adding the extra row gives a little more elbow room and potentially a less scrappy fill. Bruce is just a "J" short of a pangram here, when I see Q, X and Z in a puzzle I start to look out for the J's, K's, V's and W's.

Let's take the grand tour:


1. Spunky: SCRAPPY

8. Longest-serving Japanese prime minister: ABE. Shinzō Abe, who is the current prime minister and has held the office since 2012.

11. Ave. crossers: STS.

14. Steel foundry input: IRON ORE

15. Traction-improving: NON-SLIP

17. "Try some!": TASTE IT! I need no further encouragement.

18. Lamaze class attendee: DAD-TO-BE

19. Expectant time: EVE.

20. One of the family: SIS

22. About 24% of the U.S. Congress: WOMEN

23. Stations: DEPOTS. Are these synonymous? To my mind, stations are for passengers and depots are for freight or stabling locomotives on the rail network.

26. Place for choppers: HELIPORT

29. Not quite right: AWRY

30. Oodles: A LOT

31. Broadway song that begins, "The most beautiful sound I ever heard": MARIA. From "West Side Story".

33. Brief encounter: BRUSH. Brush off, brush by and a brush with the law are all brief encounters of different types.

34. Flag thrower: REF. American Football. I can't think of another sport where a flag is thrown to indicate that an infringement has occurred.

37. Co-tsar with Peter I: IVAN V. Nice clue, I enjoyed the "co-star" play on words.

38. Saucepan cover: LID

39. Missile Command game company: ATARI

41. Place to stay: LODGE

42. Newcastle Brown __: ALE. A very famous beer in the UK. Like the Bass "Red Triangle" symbol, the iconic blue star logo, which was introduced in 1928, is instantly recognizable.

43. Starts bubbling, maybe: BOILS

44. Fleecy one: EWE

45. Loafs: LAZES

47. Strong suit: ASSET

48. Lost, as a big lead: BLEW

49. Way back when: ONCE

50. Rum drink: DAIQUIRI. I wasn't sure how to spell this, I had to let the crosses help me out.

54. Competition that includes snowboarding: X GAMES

57. Pianist Rubinstein: ARTUR

58. California's __ Gabriel Mountains: SAN. The backdrop to the Rose Parade. Pasadena is in the San Gabriel Valley.

60. Egg cells: OVA

61. Like the most busy busybody: NOSIEST

64. Mid-Michigan city: SAGINAW. I first learned this city from Simon and Garfunkel's song "America" from their Bookends album.

67. Uganda's capital: KAMPALA

68. Accessory for an Aquaman costume: TRIDENT

69. Before, in poems: ERE. 

Maid of Athens, ere we part,
Give, oh, give me back my heart!
Or, since that has left my breast,
Keep it now, and take the rest!
Hear my vow before I go,
Ζωή μου, σᾶς ἀγαπῶ

Lord Byron - Maid of Athens

I'm not sure I understand the device of the last line in Greek - it translates as "My life, I love you!" but it doesn't rhyme with "go", neither in Greek nor English. Any scholarly folk have any idea what Byron was doing here?

70. Coffee hour sight: URN. It was a vase with feet last week.

71. "Sounds right to me": I'D SAY SO


1. Positioned: SITED

2. Really want: CRAVE. Why can't I crave kale? It's always fried chicken or truffles.

4. Tiny toiler: ANT

5. Name in eerie fiction: POE

6. Proper to a fault: PRISSY

7. Himalayan legend: YETI

8. "Furthermore ... ": AND

9. Fluffy wrap: BOA

11. Sportscast technique: SLO-MO

12. River near Vatican City: TIBER. Rome's river. The name of Trastevere, one of my favorite districts in Rome, comes from the latin Trans Tiberim, "beyond the Tiber".

13. Exhausted: SPENT

16. "Hold it!": STOP

24. Short, in a way: OWING

27. Gives the slip: ELUDES

28. Part of LAPD: LOS. Because none of the alternatives of Angeles, Police or Department would fit.

31. Pedometer unit: MILE. This is a little odd, I think. I wanted "step" at first, because that's what pedometers measure. A pedometer, strictly speaking, doesn't measure distance although it can provide an estimate based on an individual's stride length.

32. Swear: AVOW

33. Sport coat: BLAZER

35. Writer Gardner: ERLE

36. Rock that, oddly, loses to paper: FIST. I was trying to think of a type of rock at first, something along the TALC lines, then the penny dropped.

40. Puccini opera: TOSCA

46. Boxer Laila: ALI

49. Ventura County city: OXNARD

50. German word of gratitude: DANKE

51. Wildly cheering: AROAR. I've grown to like this word, I thought it was a little contrived when I first encountered it.

52. Knocker's words: IT'S ME!

53. Zinger: QUIP

55. Chris of "Captain America": EVANS. Thank you, crosses.

56. Handled: SAW TO

59. Wine made from Muscat grapes: ASTI

62. Camera type, for short: SLR. Single-Lens Reflex. When introduced, allowed the photographer to frame the picture looking through the lens of the camera, rather than a separate viewfinder lens.

63. You basked for it: TAN

65. USO show audience: GI'S

66. Wyo. neighbor: IDA.

That just about wraps it up for today!


Jan 16, 2020

Thursday, January 16th 2020 Bruce Haight

Theme Side of Beef - the six theme entries sit on the sides of the plate - as the reveal entries suggest:

41A. With 45-Across, meat cut that suggests six aptly placed puzzle answers: FLANK and 45A. See 41-Across: STEAK

So we go look for the flanks of the puzzle, and sure enough we find:

1D. "Squarely unconventional" Nissan: CUBE. Cube steak isn't steak, cubed - it's the shape of the holes that the tenderizer makes which brings us to ....

13D. __ chocolate: SWISS. Cube steak and Swiss steak are really the same thing - cube steak is put through a tenderizer known as a "swisser", and guess what, so is Swiss steak. The result though, as chicken-fried steak, is rather lovely. My gravy is a basic white sauce, garlic powder, a ton of dried sage and cracked black pepper. I believe KFC stole my recipe :) This is not KFC:

26D. Tavern order: ROUND. The nicest words to hear - "My round!".

38D. Slacks alternative: SKIRT. Ever had steak fajitas? You've had skirt steak. The old "butcher cuts" are the cheapest, and best, you just have to know how to cook them. The Interwebs are your friend.

56D. Vegas __: STRIP. Usually a New York Strip, but here decamped to Las Vegas!

67D. Keister: RUMP.

Another 16x15 grid this week to accommodate the theme, which I liked - Food! But a couple of minor nits for me, the repeat of the SWISS/CUBE themers and, when we get to 17A, the other niggle. All minor though. I like Bruce's puzzles, usually a solid theme, some misdirection, and some entries to discuss (or argue!) about. Let's go and see what's in store:


1. Barbecue remnants: COBS. This one puzzled me. I know the answer from crosswords past, but I wanted to look up the etymology of the word and I drew a blank. I assumed it had got something to do with coal cobs, but I couldn't find a reference to burned-out barbecue coals - then Lemonade came to the rescue, he pointed out that the clue is referring to corn cobs! Silly me.

5. Personal identification?: ITS ME!

10. Rolaids rival: TUMS. I prefer this clue to last Thursday's.

14. Iris layer: UVEA

15. Part of a "Star Wars" name: DETOO. R2-D2.

16. "__ it first!": I SAW

17. Tower of London guards: BEEFEATERS. It's a nice word, but there's steak in the theme, so I would either have tried to avoid this fill or tried to find a "matching" entry at 69A to complement it.

19. Local bond, briefly: MUNI

20. PC key: ENTER

21. Classic car: REO. Ransom E. Olds' car company, based in Lansing, Michigan.

22. Frozen floaters: BERGS

23. Celebratory smokes: CIGARS

25. 2019 awards for Giannis Antetokounmpo: ESPYS. He won both "Male Athlete of the Year" and "NBA Player of the Year" hence the plural.

26. Elaborate style: ROCOCO. A little over-elaborate for my taste, but you can't deny the artistic brilliance:

29. Checks out: EYES

31. Artist Yoko: ONO. I think YOKO/ONO or ONO/YOKO has rescued more crosswords than can be counted in grains of sand.

32. "Nashville" actress Judith: HOAG. Who she? See 18D.

35. Currently: AS IT IS

39. Vases with feet: URNS

43. Understand, in slang: GROK. Well known in these parts, as we often find people "grok the theme".

44. Kremlin refusal: NYET in denial as is ...

46. "Me? Never!": NOT I! denial again!

47. Original "Star Trek" studio: DESILU

49. Princess from Alderaan: LEIA. One of the few "Star Wars" characters I don't have to think too hard about.

51. Links standard: PAR. Not my standard, that's for sure. Why is it called "golf"? Because all the other four-letter words were already used.

52. Manilow song site: COPA. I'll spare you the earworm.

54. Giants' div.: NL WEST. Baseball's San Francisco Giants

56. Mopes: SULKS

59. __ bag: DOGGIE. Not Doggy?

62. Sporty car features: T-TOPS

63. To's partner: FRO

64. Fitting tool: SIZER. Rings, I think.

68. Lower-APR deal: RE-FI

69. Restaurant list not for everyone: SECRET MENU. Fun, but generally not so secret - pretty much anyone who eats at the In 'N Out burger chain knows about "animal style"; there's a similar secret item at Disneyland's Tomorrowland, the Galactic Burger "alien style".

71. Shiraz's land: IRAN. Nailed it! Not IRAQ! I'm off to do a lap of honor around the FLANKS.

72. Giants and Titans: TEAMS. I'm going to guess the New York Giants in this case, to match the NFL's Tennessee Titans. We've had both GIANTS today.
* So, name the other five pairs of team names across Hockey, Football, Baseball and Basketball. 30 seconds, go!

73. Physics matter: ATOM

74. Nectarine centers: PITS

75. Donkeys: ASSES

76. Filing tool: RASP


2. Baker: OVEN

3. Vegetable that may stain a cutting board: BEET

4. Seattle-based insurance giant: SAFECO. I had no idea this lot were an insurance company, I've even been to Safeco Field in Seattle and it never crossed my mind to wonder about the company with the naming rights.

5. Mont. neighbor: IDA.

6. Colorful fish: TETRA

7. Range rover: STEER. Home, where the deer and the antelope (and apparently the steer) play. No discouraging words though, to make you feel ...

8. Gloomy: MOROSE

9. Daybreak deity: EOS

10. One involved in multiple problems?: TIMES SIGN. Did you learn your Times Tables by rote? I can still chant "One 12 is 12, two 12's are 24,  .... "

11. Take by force: USURP

12. Shabby: MANGY

18. "The Art of Loving" author Fromm: ERICH. With Judith HOAG at 32A, this was a near-Natick for me, I'm not sure I've heard of either. "H" seemed the best guess, and so it was.

22. Honey bunch: BEES

24. Blunders: GOOFS UP

27. Deli specification: ON RYE. Yes please, I love a deli sandwich on rye, preferably pastrami from Katz's in Manhattan's Lower East Side. What a great Food! puzzle today!

28. Traffic markers: CONES

30. Talking on and on: YAKKING

33. __-rock: ALT

34. Highlander: GAEL

36. Overused theme: TROPE. Nope, a cliche is an overused theme. A trope is the use of figurative language, an image or a figure of speech, which may be commonly recurring.

37. Bits: IOTAS

40. Map markers: STICK PINS. I thought these were called push pins - stick pins are much more decorative and used as costume jewelry or lapel decorations. Would you put these in a map?

42. Scottish rejection: NAE

48. Result of a poor investment: LOSS

50. Crème de la crème: A-LIST

53. Commercial charges: AD FEES

55. German city where the Bauhaus movement began: WEIMAR. And the Weimar Republic.

57. Where embryos grow: UTERI

58. Like much diet food: LO-FAT

60. Black-and-white whales: ORCAS

61. Grammy winner Eydie: GORMÉ. Thank you, crosses.

65. Letter that rhymes with three others: ZETA. Not Catherine Zeta-Jones?

66. Nephew of Cain: ENOS

69. Transit map abbr.: STA.

70. Snaky shape: ESS

Today I learned that Safeco is an insurance company, and I learned the name of a Grammy winner. File away for for future use!

* From 72A earlier, the teams are:

Cardinals - Arizona (NFL) and St. Louis (MLB)
Kings - Sacramento (NBA) and Los Angeles (NHL)
Panthers - Carolina (NFL) and Florida (NHL)
Rangers - Texas (NBA NFL) and New York (NHL)
Jets - New York (NFL) and Winnipeg (NHL)

I hope I got that right, I was testing my own memory!

And hopefully, accurately, the grid:


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.