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

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)

Jun 7, 2019

Friday, Jun 7, 2019 Bruce Haight

Process S

18. Paul Bunyan resting his eyes?: SLUMBER JACK.   Lumberjack

28. What a boring sermon might precipitate?: SLEEP OF FAITH.  Leap of faith.

48. Like lectures after a big meal?: SNOOZE WORTHY.  Newsworthy.

62. Unexpectedly mild storm?: SNORE EASTER.   Nor'easter.

Bruce's punny play today should subconsciously induce you to get some more rest as he leads common words and phrases with an S,  and changes spelling as needed.  Click on Process S above if you wonder about the theme title.


1. Leading trio: ABC.  "It's easy as 1,2,3 or simple as do-re-mi, a,b,c,1,2,3, baby you and me, girl."  Name the group.

4. Cheese made from cow's milk: GOUDA.  One of hundreds.

9. Space Invaders platform: ATARI.  Gaming has come along way from the original arcade style single player games like Space Invaders.  I read about colleges and universities offering programs and scholarships in eSports after Husker Gary commented about the college in his city.    Apparently UC Irvine has one of the most noted programs.

14. Swing adviser: PRO.  A golf pro, aka a PGA professional.

15. Come clean: OWN UP.  Fess up, or cop to,  as was in Michael Wiesenberg's Saturday puzzle that Husker Gary blogged.

16. More cold and wet: RAWER.  Weather.

17. Play critic?: REF.   A referee on the field of play, such as in football or soccer.   A nice misdirection.  I wonder if there are eRefs in eSports gaming ?

20. They might be cracked: SAFES.   Safecracker is often yegg in crossword puzzles.

22. Pool tactic: MASSE

23. Sushi garnish: ROE.  Fish eggs.

24. Highly season, as eggs: DEVIL.   Is roe ever deviled ? gives us The Ancient History of Deviled Eggs

26. Head for the hills?: ASCEND.  Climb.

32. Opposite of stiff: TIP.  Loved this one, too.   Even with bad service, I'd leave something on the table.

33. Belgian city in 1917 headlines: YPRES.  Famous WWI battle site.

34. Region bordering Mex.: SO CAL.   Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes.  So Cal is the land of 10,000 quakes.

38. Project Mercury chimp: ENOS.   The USSR had sent Yuri Gagarin into orbit earlier.  The US took a more conservative approach, not wanting to risk a human life.   Enos died less than a year later of unrelated causes.

40. Helpless numbers?: SOLOS.   You are on your own.

42. Ask: POSE.   Query, inquire, question...

43. "Same here": ME TOO.

45. '70s TV talk show: DINAH.   Dinah Shore, of course.

47. Suzuki's Quadracer, for short: ATV.   Didn't know this, but it was easy to figure out.   I read that prior to the introduction of the Quadracer, the sport all terrain vehicle market was dominated by three wheel ATV's.

51. NFLer who was a 2017 Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year honoree: JJ WATT.  This guy is a phenomenal athlete on the field for the Houston Texans.   He's also a class act away from the game, using his celebrity for charitable work that has raised millions to help those in need.

54. Cuffed, old-style: SMOTE.  A learning moment.   I did not know that the second definition of cuff was to strike someone with an open hand.

55. Attention: EAR.  Give me your attention for a moment.

56. Drifters: HOBOS.  Sometimes you can find drifters under the boardwalk, down by the sea. Having some fun, people walking above.  Falling in love.

60. Celebrations with nos.: B-DAYS.  Numbers / birthdays

65. Prefix with -bar: ISO.  You'll hear isobar on The Weather Channel frequently as storms roll in.

66. Pronged: TINED.  As in a fork or a rake.

67. "Fingers crossed": I HOPE.  Wish for luck.

68. Case study?: LAW.   A case study is a detailed examination, but if you study cases, you are probably in law school or in the profession.   Sue me for malfeasance if you disagree.

69. "Love Story" author: SEGAL.   Perps.  Saw the movie with Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neal, but didn't read the book.

70. __ bar: TAPAS.   Have never been.  Will go one day.

71. Part of GPS: Abbr.: SYS.   Global Positioning System.   Owned by the United States.  Operated by the US Air Force.


1. Financing figs.: APRs.  Annual Percentage Rates.   Truth in lending.

2. Depression Era sight: BREADLINE.   And soup kitchens.  

3. Morning aroma source: COFFEE POT.

4. Spewing dirt?: GOSSIPY.   Like a yenta.

5. Night __: OWL.   Shout out to a number of our regulars !  As they say, if the shoe fits, wear it.  While we're at it, let's have a shout out to the early birds here.    What is your chronotype ?

6. One for the money?: UNUM. E. pluribus unum.   It means "Out of many, one."

7. Russian legislative body: DUMA.  Russian studies are not my bailiwick.  But I gather it is sort of like a combination of the US Congress and the departments of the executive branch.

8. LAPD messages: APBS.    Los Angeles Police Department / All Point Bulletins.

9. Stops: ARRESTS.  Clever wordplay.   For instance, a spark arrestor stops (arrests) potentially flammable exhaust particles (sparks) in outdoor equipment and machines that have combustion engines.  Like on that Suzuki Quadrunner, or on a chainsaw.

10. __ Boston: luxury hotel: TAJ.

11. Clued in: AWARE.

12. Drone job: RECON.  Plenty of drones in the air over the flooded rivers, fields and towns after the record rainfalls in May.  

13. Miffed: IRKED.  Some of the golfers in my league have been miffed that the carts have been limited to cart paths only.  The fairways, especially the low lying areas, have been waterlogged. One nearby private course hasn't opened for play yet.

19. Morales of "Ozark": ESAI.  A fine actor that has gained additional fame in crosswords due to his vowel friendly first name. 

21. "The serpent deceived me" speaker: EVE.  The story can be read in Genesis.

25. Cuts: LOPS.

27. Cut of meat: CHOP.

28. Curtail: STEM.

I love those three in row.  Cuts, Cut and Curtail. Lops, Chop and Stem.  How slick was that ?

29. Tolkien hero: FRODO.  From J.R.R. Tolkein's trilogy.   I read the books.   Never saw the movies.

30. Start of a seasonal Spanish greeting: FELIZ.   Feliz navidad.  Prospero año y felicidad.  Merry Christmas and a prosperous year filled with happiness.  The words from the very popular and enduring Christmas song by José Feliciano.

31. Together: AS ONE.   United.   How about a little Rhapsody in Blue ?

35. Metaphorical influence: COATTAILS.  Early in my career a first line manager told me he was riding the second line's coattails to the top.   It was the first time I'd heard the word used in that sense.

36. According to the proverb: AS THEY SAY.  The answer wasn't apparent by the clue alone, and the perps did the lion's share of the work for me.  As they say, good things come to those who wait.

37. Duty: LEVY.  Tax.

39. Cub slugger: SOSA.  Sammy.   For certain,  a polarizing figure,  but ...

"...Many believe he and Mark McGwire helped put baseball on the map again in a resurgent 1998 season that helped make the strike of 1994/95 an afterthought.  Count me among that group, as well.

He deserves all the credit in the world.  People would show up to Wrigley just to see Sosa run out to the right field bleachers and camera bulbs flashed by the thousands every single time he came up to the plate for the better part of a decade.  Waveland was sometimes so packed with ballhawks that there wouldn't be room to walk."  -  Tony Andracki

41. Cuts: SAWS. Clecho back to 25D.

44. Officially injured, in previous baseball lingo: ON THE DL.  Disabled List.

46. Men of La Mancha: HOMBRES.   Today's Spanish lesson.   La Mancha is a region of Spain. Cervantes wrote his classic novel Don Quixote de La Mancha about a man from La Mancha that lost his sanity, aspired to live the life of a chivalrous knight, and among other things, tilted at windmills.

49. Siouan people: OTOEThe Otoe-Missouria Tribe history.  Until reading that article, I did not know that the state of Nebraska gets its name from two Otoe-Missouria words which means “water flat.”

50. Hot __: ROD.

51. Kids: JESTS.  Hey you jests !  Get off of my lawn !

52. __ and Jack, 2019 Gap acquisition: JANIE.  Not familiar, but I gather from a few quick reads that they are purveyors of fashionable clothing for children 0 to 6 years of age.

53. "Guess again": WRONG

57. Tempt: BAIT.

58. Org. concerned with plants: OSHA. Actually, any private workplace, and most public workplaces as well, but I liked the misdirection.

59. "Hold it right there!": STOP.  Halt ! Avast ! Freeze !

61. Scatters in a field: SOWS.

63. Blues-rocker Chris: REA.   We sometimes get actor Stephen. 

64. Radon-regulating org.: EPA.