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

Feb 28, 2019

Thursday, February 28th 2019 Bruce Haight

Theme: Pun like a Pirate Day - the five theme answers all have a nautical punning groove going on:

17A. Spot to spread out a ship's map, maybe?: BRIDGE TABLE. The map of the ship itself, not a chart. Those already have a chart table to be spread on.

25A. Sailors dealing with a ship's cargo?: HOLD HANDS

37A. Awesome things near the front of a ship?: BOW WOWS

47A. Backwards glance on a ship?: STERN LOOK

57A. Strength measure of the ship cook's spirits?: GALLEY PROOF. Technically, a galley proof is a proof that's been printed out. Electronic versions are "uncorrected proofs", but no-one's going to argue if you call it a galley. Interesting that "galley" is also a type of ship in keeping with the nautical theme. Here's a Roman one;

I found this a little tougher going than the usual Thursday, it took me a little while to get a foothold in the top half, but then things started falling into place. I liked the puns by and large, I think HOLD HANDS was my favorite.

The grid is nicely done with the stacked 8's in the downs at the NE and SW and the fill is fresh and lively. Nicely done.

However, I do have one major gripe today, but we'll get to that in due course.


1. Hornet and Matador: AMCS. I didn't know this and needed all the crosses. 1970's vehicles manufactured by AMC.

5. Tech-savvy school gp.: A.V. CLUB. The Audiovisual Club.

11. Higher ed. test: G.R.E.

14. Fail to save one's skin?: MOLT. Nice clue, this one, it made me laugh.

15. Bring back to the firm: REHIRE

16. 35-state Western org.: O.A.S. The Organization of American States. All 35 independent states in the Americas are members of the organization.

19. "The Racer's Edge": STP. Originally, it stood for Scientifically-Treated Petroleum. Who knew?

20. "American Gods" actor McShane: IAN. He also starred in a gentle BBC comedy-drama Lovejoy in the 80's, he played the eponymous roguish antiques dealer.

21. Shell material: NACRE

22. Milk by-product: WHEY

23. Yale's Mr. Yale: ELIHU. Nailed it! Thank you, Crosswords Past.

28. Most warm: NICEST

30. Barbershop staple: RAZOR. I talked myself out of YAZOO, I was thinking along the musical lines at first.

31. Industry mogul: CZAR

32. Seedy abode: RAT HOLE. The first flat I lived in in London was above a sweatshop and had no hot water. A rooster lived next door, and the landlord would drop off a pound of bacon, a loaf of bread and two dozen eggs each week so that he could claim he was running a B-and-B (no rent control). We had breakfast, so we're a B-and-B? I moved, eventually, but after a lot of early-morning awakenings from the rooster. I was broke. I was working two jobs (marine insurance filing clerk by day, bartender in an Irish pub by night) but it still a struggle. We've all been there.

36. Sushi choice: EEL

38. Sweetie, in slang: BAE. Short for "babe" or "baby". I don't think you call someone a "bae", you describe someone as your "bae". I think. Check with your nearest teenager.

41. Snore: SAW LOGS

42. Numerous: MANY

43. Gave one's word: SWORE

45. Often recyclable tech products: EWASTE. Electrical or electronic devices.

51. Adams who shot El Capitan: ANSEL I have an Ansel Adams print in my home office of the memorial at Manzanar. He took some wonderful photographs of the camp and the internees.

52. Tiny parasites: LICE

53. Secluded valleys: GLENS

55. __ Lanka: SRI

56. artist: ONO

60. Ref's call: TKO. I tried OUT first, was wrong.

61. "Her cheeks are rosy, she looks a little nosey" girl in a 1962 #1 hit: SHEILA. I'd never heard of this song by Tommy Roe. I'd never heard of Tommy either. This contributed to my gripe, of which more at the bottom.

62. Like crazy: A LOT

63. Sun, in Ibiza: SOL

64. Use a combine: THRESH

65. Soccer followers?: MOMS


1. Restaurant review factor: AMBIENCE

2. Get all preachy: MORALIZE

3. Kind of psychology: CLINICAL

4. Criterion: Abbr.: STD

5. Neighborhood: AREA

6. Climbing plant: VETCH. Part of Swansea City's old soccer ground, Vetch Field, was quite fantastically re-purposed to a wild flower haven when the club outgrew the facilities and moved to a new stadium. Usually these spaces are redeveloped for commercial or mixed-use properties. Kudos to Swansea for preserving some of the open space.

7. One-named "Hollywood Squares" panelist: CHARO

8. Defamation in print: LIBEL

9. Web address: URL

10. Spelling event: BEE

11. "Jeepers, I wouldn't think of it!": GOSH, NO!

12. Not for kids: RATED R. Be careful with R-RATED and RATED-R - I went with the former initially.

13. 2018 awards event hosted by Danica Patrick: ESPYS

18. African herd: GNUS. What do you call a herd of wildebeest that arrive two hours before midnight? The Ten O'Clock Gnus. I'll get my coat, thank you, I'm here all week.

22. GPS navigation app: WAZE. Is this a first in the LA Times? I can't find another reference.

24. QE2 designation: HER. I wanted "HMS" first. I was wrong. The QE2 was an ocean, later a cruise liner, owned by Cunard, based in Southampton. Her predecessor, the Queen Mary, is permanently-moored in Long Beach. We stayed on board a couple of years ago. My family went to wave her off from Southampton on her final voyage. I never thought all those years later I'd be staying on the ship in California. You never know what life will bring.

26. Drift off: DROWSE

27. Dutch artist Frans: HALS. When I was a kid, we had a print of "The Laughing Cavalier" in our entry hallway - odd because we had very few, if any, prints hanging on the wall. My mother said she "liked his smile".

29. Gardening tool: TROWEL

33. Punching tool: AWL

34. With 42-Down, like some bobsleds: TWO-man or four-man bobs.

35. Harley Davidson's NYSE symbol: HOG

37. Stable environment?: BARN

38. Jazz improv highlight: BASS SOLO. The drum solo is usually a good time to head to the bar for a refresher.

39. Waiting area: ANTE ROOM

40. Some cosmetic procedures: EYE LIFTS

41. Hot under the collar: SORE

42. See 34-Down: MAN

43. Hammered: STINKO. Drunk, badly (and slangily) - in the UK we were "paralytic" - not that I ever was, obviously.

44. "No hard feelings, dude": WE COOL Used in Pulp Fiction, one of my all-time-best-favorite movies. Not to everyone's taste.

46. Winged stinger: WASP

47. Vegas attraction: SLOTS. Took me a while to talk myself off STRIP.

48. Rubberneck: OGLER. Now this presumes that there is a noun for a rubbernecker - oh, wait, there is! It's "rubbernecker". To rubberneck is the verb. One demerit point for this.

49. Stan's slapstick pal: OLLIE. Abbott and Costello. No, wait - who's on first? Laurel and Hardy.

50. Naval bases?: KEELS. Nice clue, made me think a while.

54. Gloating word usually repeated: NYAH. Not NAH? I'm not a fan of these "spell it how you like" words. See also AHH/AAH.

57. Setting at 0 degrees long.: G.S.T.. So her we arrive at my gripe. I'm assuming that GST is supposed to be an abbreviation for Greenwich Standard Time, but that's the problem. The time at the zero meridian is Greenwich Mean Time, or GMT. The only reference to "Greenwich Standard Time" I can find is a source on the web that says it's the time zone in Iceland and Liberia, but when you search "Iceland Time Zone" it comes up as GMT. Ditto for Liberia, furthermore neither of which are on the zero meridian. So I'm calling this out as wrong. If SHEILA had been a little less obscure, maybe I wouldn't have minded so much, but this left me with a DNF, I just couldn't see past GMT.

58. "This is so relaxing!": AHH! Could equally be spelled AAH!

59. West Coast athlete: RAM. Los Angeles NFL player.

And to the victor, the spoils. Not me today, I was done in by GST, SHEILA and spell-it-how-you-like AHH.

Here's the grid!


Feb 14, 2019

Thursday, February 14 2019 Bruce Haight

Theme: Tool Box - all the answers around the edge of the puzzle are tools, as the reveal explains:

35A. Takes a casual drive ... and a literal description of 10 puzzle answers: TOOLS AROUND

In clockwise order, starting from the top left:

1A. Queen, e.g.: RULER. Measure twice, cut once.

6A. Fell for the joke: BIT.

9A. Put away for future reference: FILE. I'm terrible at filing; if I file something away I'm almost guaranteed to forget about it.

16D. Work (out) with effort, as an agreement: HAMMER ... closely followed by ..

45D. Swindle: CHISEL

63A. Fire __: DRILL

62A. Spied: SAW

61A. Laryngitis symptom: RASP

37D. Polo need: MALLET

1D. Wi-Fi conduit: ROUTER. Any network, as a matter of fact, not just a wireless one.

Nice theme from Bruce today. Even with the puzzle completed it took me a few beats to notice all the tools around the edge of the puzzle, I was looking for entries with a tool wrapped "around" the word at first. The trick of this theme is to clue the entries other than referencing the tool itself. The only one which comes close to breaking this rule is the MALLET entry - a polo mallet is very close to the tool.

Some fresh entries in the fill including TURNOVERS, USB DRIVES, CK ONE and UPRATE. Let's see what else we've got to discuss:


13. purchase: OPERA. "The source for classical music" according to their website.

14. Sch. with a Tempe campus: A.S.U. Arizona State.

15. Flooded: AWASH

17. "Little Book of Mind-Power" author: URI GELLER. Didn't take long to guess this one once the UR was in place. Huckster of the highest order, this chap. Pretended to bend spoons all with the power of his mind.

19. Battery inventor Alessandro: VOLTA. I wonder why "volt" dropped the final "a"? After all, Ohm and Ampère kept their last letters. We should be told.

20. Stand food: TACO

21. Danish city named for a Norse god: ODENSE. Not ODESSA then, as I confused myself.

23. Place for a shot: ARM

24. Gate info: E.T.A. Estimated Time of Arrival. An aircraft arriving at the gate within 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival time is considered to be "on time". Incidentally, departure time is when you push back from the gate, so as long as you're off the gate, you've departed on time, even if you then spend an hour getting de-iced and another hour waiting in line to take off.

25. Conversation stumbles: ERS, along with ahs, ums and fillers "you know", "kind of" and all the other irritants.

26. Gives the nod: OK'S

27. Hasty escape: LAM. Interesting, I'd not seen the verb form like this before, I was more familiar with "on the lam".

28. Superman specialty: RESCUE

30. Wrigley Field feature: IVY. Baseball's famous Chicago landmark. If a ball gets stuck in the ivy, it's ruled a double; a runner at first can't advance beyond third base.

31. Like beds in cleaned hotel rooms: MADE

32. Peter of "9-1-1": KRAUSE. Crosses all the way. He's been seen a lot on TV, but I don't think he ever crossed my path of consciousness:

34. Tunisian currency: DINAR

37. Bearings: MIENS

39. Casual eatery: BISTRO

40. Ending to avoid?: -ANCE. I'm not a big fan of these types of fill, neither the suffix nor the prefix variants. There's a prefix example at 59A also.

41. Interject: ADD

42. Touchdown site: TARMAC

46. "Well, __-di-dah!": LAH

47. Shooting initials: SLR

48. "Jeopardy!" record-setter Jennings: KEN

49. Spa emanation: AAH

50. Source of some '60s trips: LSD

51. 1840s-'50s home to Liszt: WEIMAR

53. End of an old boast: VICI

54. Military camp: ÉTAPE. Specifially, a place to camp after a day's march. Étape is also used to describe a day's stage in a cycle race, particularly le Tour de France.

56. Luxury accommodations for bigwigs: VIP SUITES

58. Church offering: TITHE

59. Prefix with warrior: ECO-

60. 1960 Wimbledon champ Fraser: NEALE. More crosses. I'd never heard of this chap, but he's got a very impressive grand slam tournament record, not just at Wimbledon. He won the men's singles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, doubles at all four majors, and mixed doubles at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open. Not bad for an amateur!


2. Raise from three to four stars, as a hotel: UPRATE. I like the word. I've seen it used more in a performance-improvement context, but it works for me here too.

3. Classic cameras: LEICAS

4. So: ERGO. Cogito, Ergo sum. I think, therefore (so) I am.

5. Singer Carly __ Jepsen: RAE. I know her from the crosswords now. Her music isn't really to my taste, but I'm sure Carly Rae doesn't care.

6. Gets thinner on top: BALDS. Balds? Nope, doesn't work for me. "He is balding" sure. "He balds?" Not likely.

7. "So THAT's what's going on here!": I SEE

8. Hoops goofs: TURNOVERS. I was trying to make AIR BALLS work somehow.


10. __ Jima: IWO

11. Space cadet's world: LA LA LAND. "And the Oscar goes to ......" Ooops!

12. Erik of "CHiPs": ESTRADA

18. Cosmetics giant: L'OREAL

22. What's up?: SKY. Cloudy skies here today.

25. Pierre's bills: EUROS

29. Designer fragrance: CK ONE. Calvin Klein cologne.

30. "To repeat ... ": I SAID ...

31. Trivial: MINOR

33. PC storage options: USB DRIVES. I tried "STICKS" first, that didn't work out so well.

34. "Hands of Stone" boxer Roberto: DURAN

35. Fortune 500 IT company: TECH DATA. I know I should have, but oddly I've never heard of this outfit. For a company with revenues last year of $37bn, that's quite a surprise.

36. Frisky whiskered critters: OTTERS. Clever, too. They've been seen to use stones as tools to open shellfish.

38. Excited: IN A STIR

41. Tap outflow: ALE

43. Tiki bar cocktail: MAI TAI. Second Thursday in a row that we're drinking mai tais.

44. Small battery: AA CELL

47. Win the first four World Series games: SWEEP. The last time it happened was 2012 when the Giants swept the Tigers.

48. "Whammo!": KAPOW!

52. Flaky mineral: MICA

53. Contender: VIER. "She is vying for the title".

55. Acidity nos.: PHS

57. German conjunction: UND. "Donner und blitz", thunder and lightning.

Here's the grid, colorfully identifying the theme entries around the edge, and with that I'm done.


Jan 18, 2019

Friday, January 18, 2019, Bruce Haight

Title: Letter sounds

One of our regular Friday contributors is back with a puzzle, which I expect will be debated. The clues give you a hint of what is going. For example, the "B" in 17 A is read as "BE" which makes "EZR" the interpretation "EASIER." Once you get the idea then the puzzle is not too difficult for a Friday. But you need to get the push from the crosses. We have had various letter sound puzzles before, but none quite like this one. I related to 4 of the themers, but I struggled with sounding out JQZ. Which is a significant fill because it was the cornerstone of making this puzzle a pangram using three of the least used letters. Of course, once I sussed the sound, it was one so obvious. There really are so many types of HOT TUBS, I like the fact that the clue with a letter/word let us know the fill will also need the same. With two grid-spanners and 29 other blocks used in the theme, it is awesome to also get  COZUMEL, ERITREA, HURTLED, I LOST IT, MENORAH, ONEONTA, PETTILY, PLATOON, SENEGAL, and SILENT C. Heavy on geography again. Damn, I wish I had studied harder.

17A. Likely to B surprisingly difficult: EZR SAID THAN DONE (15). Easier said than done is something that is easy to suggest, but much more difficult to make happen. Like keeping CED's cats of the furniture.

23A. One might Q Shamu: NML TRAINER (10). Q - cue. An animal trainer worked with Shamu who was the first killer whale (orca) which appeared in shows at SeaWorld San Diego in the mid/late 1960s.

38A. U can soak in one: JQZ HOT TUB (9). Jacuzzi jets provide serious therapeutic benefits. 

54A. Something to C at Carnegie Hall: PNO RECITAL (10). "Piano" was only easy to grok because of the word recital. Of course, there is only one way to get to Carnegie Hall for a PIANO RECITAL.  Practice!

61A. Possible reason Y lights get turned off: NRG CONSERVATION (15). Energy conservation is a political subject these days. I pass.


1. Figura de __: Spanish skating move: OCHO. The figure eight which is a skating move translated to Spanish. A CSO to our dear departed Clear Ayes and a winsome friend Robin.

5. Besides: ALSO.

9. Cut back a lot: SKIMP. Skimp and save. No comment considering the times.

14. It might not be proper: NOUN. An oldie but goodie clue/fill combo.

15. Secular: LAIC. Adjective for the lay = non-cleric.

16. Edmonton athlete: OILER. The greatest, Wayne Gretsky, started there.

20. __ space: OUTER. Could be inner, also.

21. Spring bloom: IRIS. The iris family is closely related to the lily and amaryllis families, differing from them in having three stamens rather than six. A shout out to our representative from Delaware.
A repeat from yesterday - clued differently.                                                   
22. __-fa: set of musical syllables: SOL. Do re mi ...

26. Cycle starter: TRI. Here in So.Fla. the look like this...

27. Place to drive from: TEE. A CSO to Gary and George and more.

28. Not irr.: STD. A standard clue/fill.

29. Affirmative reply: YES I AM. No, I am not.

32. "The Aviator" (2004) Oscar nominee: ALDA.

34. Buffoons: OAFS.

37. "The fool __ think he is wise ...": "As You Like It": DOTH.  Will S. two days in a row.
As You Like It, Act 5, Scene 2: "The fool doth think he is wise but the wise man knows himself to be a fool"

41. Biblical hunter: ESAU. As Jacob and Esau grew older, Esau liked the outdoors and became a good hunter, while Jacob lived the quiet life of a shepherd.

43. It was originally called a "Biscuit": OREO. Since its maker was the NAtional BIScuit CO., this should not be a surprise. When the cookie was first introduced in 1912, it appeared as an Oreo Biscuit, which changed in 1921 to Oreo Sandwich.

44. They're mostly on the phone: APPS. I like this clue/fill though no hint to it maybe being an abbreviation.

48. Bygone predators: T-REXES. I still find this scene captivatingly frightening.

50. Long-legged runner: EMU.

52. Bulldog booster: ELI. Yalie from Jeopardy Thursday night.

53. Component of a sweep, maybe: WIN.

58. Downed: ATE.

59. Countenance: MIEN.

60. Lenya of "From Russia With Love": LOTTE. Quite a lady.

65. They're changed on the road: GEARS. Like 44A, I loved this very nice clue for simple fill.

66. Sandwich staple: TUNA. I am a fan.

67. Frequently: A LOT.

68. French greeting: SALUT. A French shalom.

69. Reach: SPAN. Fighters have their's measured.

70. Out of __: SYNC.


1. College town WSW of Albany: ONEONTA. Another shout out to upstate New York contingent.
The COLLEGES. Geography 1.

2. Island resort near Cancún: COZUMEL. Cozumel is an island and municipality in the Caribbean Sea off the eastern coast of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. G 2.

3. Went like a runaway train: HURTLED.

4. It's a start: ONSET. Again, simple but tricky.

5. Lord of the ring?: ALI.

6. Brit's bud: LAD. Steve, still used?

7. Sub (for): SIT IN. A CSO to Gary.

8. Earthy tone: OCHRE. This is an earthy pigment containing ferric oxide, typically with clay, varying from light yellow to brown or red. Also, OCHER is acceptable.

9. Juniors, maybe: SONS. In families, not schools.

10. Razz: KID.

11. "My temper got the best of me": I LOST IT.

12. Holiday candle holder: MENORAH. It is much more than that. LINK.

13. Heat at a meet, for short: PRELIM. Preliminary round.

18. LAX landings: ARRS.

19. Opposite of stuffy: AIRY.

24. Entire range: A-TO-Z.

25. Shoshone Falls state: IDAHO. They are higher than Niagara. LINK. G 3.

30. Academic address ending: EDU. EDUcation.

31. Nagano noodle: SOBA. Soba noodles are Japanese noodles that are made from buckwheat flour.  Their nutty flavor works well as a base for stir-fries and salads. Oo like them in soup.

33. "Iliad" warrior: AJAX. I had one red betta and I named him Ajax. See above.

35. Behind: FOR.

36. Handle the wheel: STEER.

39. Ont. neighbor: QUE. Ontario - Quebec. G 4.

40. Heavy reading?: TOME.

41. Coastal East African country: ERITREA. G 5.             
  ↢ West Africa                                                    East Africa  ↣

42. Coastal West African country: SENEGAL. G 6.

45. In a small-minded way: PETTILY.

46. Army outfit: PLATOON.

47. Bit of obscenity?: SILENT C. A witty way to hide the answer. No controversy here from me.

48. Musical saw sounds: TWANGS. You decide.

49. Bias: SPIN. Doctor?

51. Pauley Pavilion Pac-12 team: UCLA. Where the basketball team plays.

55. Fits one within another: NESTS. Nesting dolls are back.

56. Best: ONE UP.

57. Frat letters: IOTAS.

59. Guinness book adjective: MOST.

62. French vineyard: CRU.  A vineyard or wine-producing region in France. 2. A grade or class of wine: premier cru.

63. Biological chain letters: RNARibonucleic acid is a polymeric molecule implicated in various biological roles in coding, decoding, regulation, and expression of genes. RNA and DNA are nucleic acids, and, along with proteins and carbohydrates, constitute the three major macromolecules essential for all known forms of life.

64. Moving aid: VAN.

Speaking of moving, it is time for me to be moving on. I hope you had as much fun as I did. Thanks, Bruce and all of you who read our words.

                                                   Bonus geography from our trip.

Dec 27, 2018

Thursday December 27th 2018 Bruce Haight

Theme: Corner Crossing Crowd - the first and last name theme entries connect with each other in one corner:

1A. Popular peck picker: PETER 
1D. ---: PIPER. This one's a bit of an outlier as the other theme entries emerge - a character from a rhyme, rather than from a cartoon or a movie.

6A. Sinister "Smallville" supervillain: LEX.
6D. ---: LUTHOR. Superman's nemesis.

9A. Ghastly gargantuan gorilla: KING.
9D. ---: KONG.

31A. Conniving carrot cruncher: BUGS.
31D. ---: BUNNY.

35A. Fantastic Four foe: DOCTOR.
35D. ---: DOOM. This was all crosses for me, but not too much of a struggle.

50A. Tall toon toothpick: OLIVE.
50D. ---: OYL. The focus of Popeye's affections.

54A. Flirty Fleischer flapper: BETTY.
54D. ---: BOOP. Oddly, these cartoons were played on British TV in the children's programming. In retrospect, a strange place in the schedule considering the subject matter.

60A. Dedicated DC damsel: LOIS.
60D. ---: LANE. Another from the Superman comics.

Impressive alliterative theme today. I wonder if Bruce played with PETER PARKER rather than PIPER as he would have been more of a fit with the rest of the theme entries, but that would mean stacking 6's in those corners, not always easy.

Let's see what else we've got:


13. Peaceful: IRENIC. A new word for me today. Derived from the greek word for "peace".

15. Wire service initials: UPI. United Press International. The HQ is in Florida.

16. Music halls of old: ODEA. Odeon in the singular.

17. Black-and-white bears: PANDAS.

18. Like the most rarefied air: THINNEST.

20. DFW postings: ETDS. You need help to decide between ETA, ETD and ARR.

21. Queens tennis stadium: ASHE. The legendary Arthur Ashe. The arena is home to the US Open.

23. Small type size: AGATE. 5.5 typographical points.

24. Seafood delicacy: ROE.

25. "I'm Free" musical: TOMMY. The composer, Pete Townsend, would object to the term "musical". He composed it as the first "rock opera". Here's Elton John as the Pinball Wizard.

27. White House foreign policy gp.: NSC. National Security Council.

30. __ school: PREP. Prep schools in the US prepare the students for college. In the UK, they prepare them for a school (which are private). Go figure.

38. Self-disqualification: RECUSAL.

40. Camden Yards team: ORIOLES. Baltimore ball club.

42. Fret (over): AGONIZE.

43. Like a short report: ONE PAGE.

44. Acted badly: SINNED.

45. Sticky situation: MESS.

46. "You said it": AMEN.

49. NFC East team, on crawl lines: NYG. New York Giants.

51. Big Pharma watchdog: Abbr.: FDA. Food and Drug Administration.

58. "Me? Never!": NOT I!

61. Scenic viewpoint: OVERLOOK.

63. Certifying exams: BOARDS.

65. Wine opener?: OENO-

66. It may be brown or golden: ALE.

67. Ball State University city: MUNCIE. Something else I didn't know today. The crosses were solid.

68. Soft call: PSST!

69. "Criminal Minds" agent: FED. I've never seen the series, which currently runs to 309 episodes. I don't think I have time to catch up on all those.

70. Chilly temps: TEENS.


2. Millay's muse: ERATO. The muse of love poetry. Edna Millay was a poet and Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

"What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why, 
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain 
Under my head till morning; but the rain 
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh 
Upon the glass and listen for reply, 
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain 
For unremembered lads that not again 
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry."

3. Leanings: TENDENCIES.

4. Objectives: ENDS.

5. Narrow inlet: RIA.

7. Transitory things: EPHEMERA. Lovely word.

8. Number between I and XI?: XII. Tricky one, this. The number 12 sits between 11 and 1 on a clock face. Inverting the two clue numbers makes it even more obscure.

10. Creative spark: IDEA.

11. Fit together, as matryoshka dolls: NEST. Russian dolls, more informally.

12. Portal: GATE.

14. One side in "Gone With the Wind": Abbr.: CSA. Confederate States of America.

19. Word of dissent: NAY.

22. Indy brand: STP. Octane-boosting additive. I'm sure there are others, but STP seems to have the monopoly on race car sponsorship.

26. Digital video files: MPEGS. For the Moving Pictures Expert Group, a standards organization for audio and video compression.

28. Dots on a transit map: STOPS.

29. Pop genre?: COLA.

32. What may be resorted to when words fail: USING FORCE.

33. Long look: GAZE.

34. Downhill racer: SLED.

36. Writer Sarah __ Jewett: ORNE. An writer new to me.

37. Majestic: REGAL.

39. Element of change?: COIN. Fun clue/answer combination.

41. Florida State athlete: SEMINOLE.

47. Called forth: EVOKED.

48. Safety device: NET.

52. Brought to ruin: DID IN.

53. Horse relatives: ASSES.

55. Pre-revelry nights: EVES. There's a couple of them at this time of year!

56. Teller's stack: TENS.

57. Leisurely pace: TROT.

59. "Let's put smart to work" company: IBM. Pure guesswork, but I got this first time.

62. Buffoon: OAF.

64. Last word of "Casey at the Bat": OUT.

"But there is no joy in Mudville - mighty Casey has struck out."

And I think that's the cue for my last out of the day. I'll be back on the west side of the Atlantic by next week. Here's the grid!


Notes from C.C.:

Happy 59th Birthday to our adventurous pilot Dudley, who started "Rabbit, Rabbit" tradition on our blog. This picture was taken during Montana's visit to Northeast in September, 2013.

Left to right: Marti, Dudley, Hondo & Montana

Oct 31, 2018

Halloween, Wednesday, October 31, 2018, Bruce Haight

 Spooktacular  Halloween! Bruce Haight has given us a Frightening puzzle for this Halloween.
From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties

And things that go bump in the night,

Good Lord, deliver us!

 ~ Scottish Poem
17. Actor who's anxious to get the Halloween party startled?: BOO BRIDGES.  Long lost brother of Beau Bridges (né Lloyd Vernet Bridges, III; b. Dec. 9, 1941).
24. Sci-fi character trying to creep it real?: MISTER SPOOK.   Mr. Spock's evil twin.
35. Comedian who says no body's perfect?: RED SKELETON.  As in Red Skelton (né Richard Skelton; July 18, 1913 ~ Sept. 17, 1997).  He had lots of amusing characters in his repertoire.  When I was a kid, I thought his surname really was Skeleton.
49. Pop group whose music is in en-crypted files?: SPICE GHOULS.  Kin to the Beastie Boys.  Very appropriate since one of the members was known as Scary Spice.
58. Actor who frights for every part?: SCARY GRANT.  As in Cary Grant (né Archibald Alec Leach; Jan. 18, 1904 ~ Nov. 29, 1986).
And the unifier:
42. Like this puzzle's theme?: HAUNTED.

What other scary things appeared in today's puzzle?


1. Story with many chapters: SAGA.  I can really get lost in a good Saga.

5. Hoops gp. since 1996: WNBA.  As in the Women's National Basketball Association.

9. Colorado tribe: UTEs.

13. Curved fastener: U-BOLT.  Not to be confused with Usain Bolt.
15. Remote batteries: AAAs.

16. Former Persian ruler: SHAH.  The last Shah was Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (Oct. 26, 1919 ~ July 27, 1980).  He was shah from September 1941 until he was overthrown by the Iranian Revolution in February 1979.
19. Only: MERE.  I initially tried Sole.

20. Man __: trendy hairstyle: BUN.
21. Neighborhood: AREA.

22. Sonnet line fivesome: IAMBI.

23. Communications co. with a blue-and-white globe logo: ATT.
27. Bends to retie laces, say: STOOPS.  Or a place to sit.
29. Velvet-voiced Tormé: MEL.  As in the singer Mel Tormé (Sept. 13, 1925 ~ June 5, 1999).  I remember him from being the hero of the Honorable Judge Harry T. Stone from the sit-com, Night Court.
30. Air rifle ammo: BBs.

31. One might put stock in it: SOUP.  How to make a Soup Stock.

32. Small keyboard: SPINET.  It doesn't look so small to me.
39. Zero: NOT ONE.  The perps gave me this answer, which I initially parsed as NO TONE.

40. Composer who was a CBS reporter: TESH.  As in John TESH (né John Frank Tesh; b. July 9, 1952).  I think he was more of an entertainment reporter, not a news reporter.
43. Medium ability: ESP.  As in ExtraSensory Perception.

46. __ de deux: PAS.  A ballet dance for two people, generally a man and a woman and a Red Sox player.
47. Everycity, USA: PEORIA.  But does it play in Peoria?

53. __ shot: FLU.  I got my Flu shot.  Did you get yours?

54. Pear centers: CORES.

55. __ B'rith: B'NAI.  B'nai B'rith is a Hebrew phrase that means "Children of the Covenant".  Founded in 1843, B'nai B'rith is the oldest Jewish service organization the world.

56. Former Fed chair Bernanke: BEN.  As in Ben Bernanke (né Ben Shalom Bernanke; b. Dec. 13, 1953).  He served as the 14th Chairman of the Federal Reserve from February 2006 through January 2014.
57. Just barely: A TAD.

61. Show impatience, in a way: PACE.

62. Opposite of away: HOME.

63. Actor Nick: NOLTE.  As in Nick Nolte (né Nicholas King Nolte; b. Feb. 8, 1941).
64. Ice cream brand: EDY'S.  This brand of ice cream makes frequent appearances in the crossword puzzles.

65. Messy stack: HEAP.

66. Ran, as dye: BLED.


1. Speaker for low sounds: SUB-BASS.

2. Momentarily will, after "is": ABOUT TO.  As in the sentence:  Dinner is About To be served.

3. Travel with the band: GO ON TOUR.  Thank you, perps.  This is another one I tried to parse incorrectly.  I initially looked at it as Goon Tour.  Well, that fits with today's scary theme!

4. Greece neighbor: Abbr.: ALB.  As in Albania, the country to the west of Greece.

5. Gets one's feet wet: WADES.

6. Bedevil: NAG AT.

7. Sweetie, in slang: BAE.  We've had discussions of this puzzle word in the recent past.

8. Donkey: ASS.

9. graphic, for short: US MAP.  As in a Map of the United States.  If you had a map of the US without the States identified, could you place all the States in their correct location?

10. Crime film group: THE MOB.

11. Dangling jewelry: EARBOB.  I think of this as being an old-fashioned word.  I remember reading about Earbobs in Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott.

12. Mideast chieftains: SHEIKS.

14. Pooch who shared spaghetti with Lady: TRAMP.  A reference to the Disney animated movie Lady and the Tramp.

18. Crocus kin: IRIS.

22. Florida key, e.g.: ISLET.

25. Novelist Zola: ÉMILE.  Émile Zola (Apr. 2, 1940 ~ Sept. 29, 1902) is best known for his role in the Dreyfus Affair, in which Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer in the French army, was wrongfully accused of revealing military secrets solely because he was Jewish.  Zola wrote a letter that was published in the Paris newspaper accusing high ranking army officials of anti-Semitism.  Dreyfus was ultimately exonerated.  Dreyfus Affair.

26. Russo who plays Frigga in "Thor" films: RENE.  As in actress Rene Russo (née Rene Marie Russo; b. Feb. 17, 1954).  She began her career as a fashion model.
28. Uncork, say: OPEN.

32. Smidge: SKOSH.  A fun word.

33. Fenced-in area: PEN.

34. "Africa" band: TOTO.  You know you've heard this song.

36. Chowderheads: DOPES.

37. Dudes-only: STAG.

38. Spongy toy: NERF BALL.  You can get one for all sorts of sports.
41. Matte finish?: SILENT E.  Not keen on this type of cluing.

43. Way out: ESCAPE.  Another appropriate word for Halloween.  This reminded me of Harry Houdini (né Erik Weiss; Mar. 24, 1874 ~ Oct. 31, 1926), the great ESCAPE artist.  Sadly, he died on Halloween.

44. Brief TV plug: SPOT AD.

45. Kidd stuff: PIRACY.  Think of Captain Kidd, the pirate, not the USS Kidd, which is now housed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
47. Remote button: PLAY.

48. Complete, as a PDF contract: E-SIGN.

50. Gives over (to): CEDES.

51. Michelle Robinson's married name: OBAMA.  As in the former First Lady, Michelle Obama (b. Jan. 17, 1964).
52. Gen. Assembly member: UN REP.  As in a Representative in the United Nations.

58. "Lower your voice!": SHH!  Don't awaken all the Ghouls tonight!

59. Country singer David Allan __: COE.  I am not up in my country music, so was not familiar with David Allan Coe (b. Sept. 6, 1939).
60. Steal from: ROB. This puzzle was a real Treat.

Here's the Grid:

Oct 9, 2018

Tuesday, Oct 9, 2018 Bruce Haight


17. How something precarious may hang: BY A THREAD.

29. How a good comedian leaves the audience?: IN STITCHES.  A ham sandwich walks into a bar and orders a beer.  The bartender says, "Sorry, we don't serve food in here."

47. Difficult time: ROUGH PATCH.   "Just don't unpack and live there."

64. Care: GIVE A DARN.

53. Clinched, and a hint to the four longest Across answers: SEWN UP. 

Hope you didn't get a pinprick - or worse - solving Bruce's offering.   If you did, put a band-aid on it or let be.  Whatever you want.   Suture self. 


1. "Big Board" that lists GM and GE: NYSE. General Motors, General Electric, and New York Stock Exchange, respectively.

5. Strauss of jeans: LEVI.

9. Scam using spam, say: PHISH.  An excellent primer from IT professionals:  Make smarter decisions to avoid being scammed  I'm impressed.  Well worth the time.  

14. Fireworks cries: OOHS  and aahs.

15. Eye layer that includes the iris: UVEA.

16. Roman robes: TOGAE. Latin plural for toga.  Fashion in ancient Rome

19. Love, to Casanova: AMORE.

20. Soft toss: LOB.

21. "Out with it!": TELL ME.

23. List-ending abbr.: ET AL

24. Diplomatic office: EMBASSY.

26. "No more for me, thanks": I'M SET.

28. Simon __: SAYS.   A child's game and a bubblegum pop hit from 1967

33. Farm layer: HEN.

35. Lamp-to-plug line: WIRE. Linecord or simply cord in many circles.

36. Little mischief-maker: IMP.

37. Marisa of "My Cousin Vinny": TOMEI.

40. Asian New Year: TET.

41. Very unpleasant: NASTY.

43. "It's __-win situation": A NO.

44. Clinton's veep: GORE.

46. Fifth scale note: SOLSolmization

50. Queries: ASKS

54. Schlepped: TOTED.

55. Eats a little: HAS SOME.

57. "Verrrry funny": HA HA.  Ha Ha Clinton-Dix plays free safety for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League.  His first name is really Ha'Sean.  His grandmother gave him the nickname when he was an infant.  "Verrry funny, grandma !"   Truth be told, he likes his nickname. 

59. Stem (from): DERIVE.  Clinton-Dix's nickname stems from the fact that family friends and some family members couldn't properly pronounce his birth name.

61. Opposite of "yep": NAW.  Not nope today.

62. Overplay the part: EMOTE.

66. Career employee: LIFER.  I first learned this definition in the Army to describe a career soldier.

67. New __: modern spiritualist: AGER.

68. Rebuke from Caesar: ETTU.

69. Put off: DEFER.

70. Gridiron throw: PASS.  American and Canadian rules football.  A throw on the football field.  Most often by a quarterback, but occasionally by another player, such as on this trick play Sunday:

Updated Oct 9 at 7:20 AM, to provide a video of Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints throwing the 62 yard pass to set the NFL record for Most Career Passing Yards

71. Stinging insect: WASP.   I've been stung by wasps, bees and fire ants.   And an almost by a scorpion. 


1. Aristocrats: NOBLESThey play polo and love guns, horses and hounds.

2. Grammy-winning cellist: YOYO MA.

3. "Not too __!": "Good work!": SHABBY.

4. "To the max" suffix: EST. The superlative suffix.

5. Slyly attracts: LURES IN.  Entices.  Baits.  On the internet, it's called clickbait when a title or image entices you to satisfy your curiosity gap.   Especially nefarious with clickbait that promises one thing and the accompanying link delivers something else, like malware.    I also find it annoying on this blog when a troll makes inflammatory or specious comments trying to lure regulars into a war of words.   Please don't feed the trolls.

6. "Brideshead Revisited" novelist Waugh: EVELYN.  Never read the book saw the movie, but learned that Evelyn Waugh was a man, and that his first wife was also named Evelyn. 

7. Wiener schnitzel meat: VEAL.

8. Words of confession: I ADMIT IT.

9. School fundraising gp.: PTA. "Founded in 1897 as the National Congress of Mothers by Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst, National PTA is a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education."

10. Household skills class, for short: HOME EC

11. "Let me handle it": I GOT THIS.

12. __ Lee desserts: SARA.

13. Canine command: HEEL.

18. Elevs.: HTS.  Elevations / Heights

22. Mideast chieftain: EMIR.

25. Arthur of tennis: ASHE.

27. Dictation pro: STENO. Professional / Stenographer.  How Much Do Stenographers Make?

30. Like dessert wines: SWEET.

31. Ambulance pro: EMT.  Emergency Medical Technician

32. 007, e.g.: SPY. In Ian Flemming's novels, an MI6 agent granted the 00 designation has a "license to kill".   James Bond is the 7th agent that received the 00 designation, thus he is code-named 007.

34. Figure skating figure: EIGHT.

37. Sticky subject?: TAR.   Should be sealing the cracks in my asphalt driveway before Old Man Winter wreaks havoc with his freeze thaw cycles.  Got a quote of over $400 to have ~ 200' ft. hot-sealed.   I'll spend a few hours and fill them myself. 

38. Musical Yoko: ONO.

39. Get sassy with someone: MOUTH OFF.

40. Import-export imbalance: TRADE GAP.

42. "Sadly ... ": ALAS.

45. Newspaper opinion page: OP ED.

46. Norelco products: SHAVERS. One of these might be useful to perfect the look of your...

48. Pointed beard: GOATEE.

49. Baked potato topping paired with sour cream: CHIVES. They're still doing well in our garden.  Time to snip and freeze them before Mother Nature does.

51. Piano piece: SONATA. 8 hours of Mozart linked for your listening pleasure:

52. Some big box stores: KMARTS.  "Attention Kmart shoppers" and "Blue Light Specials" are blasts from the past that you may recall.  .

56. "... and two if by __": SEAEvents of April 18, 1775

57. __ up: robbed: HELD.

58. Parisian gal pal: AMIE.

60. Latvian capital: RIGA.

63. Blow it: ERR.

65. "Do the __": soft-drink slogan: DEW.   "Do the DEW is more than just an advertising slogan for Mountain Dew – it represents the attitude of a community that really seeks to live life authentically," said Simon Lowden, Chief Marketing Officer, Pepsi Beverages North America.   The commercials are primarily aimed at millennials and "are designed to thrive in the mobile environment".  They're onto something.  Mountain Dew is a billion dollar brand for Pepsi Co.

Sep 11, 2018

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 Bruce Haight and Natalie Murphy


11. Cease and desist order?: CUT (it out) and don't do it again !

18. Court order?: ALL RISE.  Out of respect for the judge.   NYY fans adopted that order.

27. Reverse order?: ABOUT-FACE.  A military turn to face the opposite direction.

45. Money order?: STICK 'EM UP.  A robber's command, usually at gunpoint.

58. Work order?: GET BUSY.  i.e.,  Quit dilly dallying.  I'll leave it at that.

65. Gag order?: SHH.  Heard that at the library, the movies, and on the quiet car of the commuter train.

5. Restraining order?: STOP IT

46. Pecking order?: KISS ME.

Eating humble pie here.  The theme eluded me.  Stared at the grid looking for commonalities.  Nothing.  Then,  assuming that ophthalmologist Bruce was leading this duet with Natalie,   I zeroed in on EYE TEST and tried to make some connections.  Nope.  Finally gave up and emailed C.C.  for help.   I should have looked at the clues.  Thanks again C.C. !

Please note the symmetry of the theme answers.  Beautifully constructed.

1. Setting for smooth sailing: CALM SEA.

8. Aptly, it rhymes with "ahh": SPA.

14. Stuffed oneself: ATE A TON.

15. Pursue romantically: WOO.

16. Valuable metal: ORE.

17. "NCIS: Los Angeles" actress: NIA LONG.

20. Remove varnish from: STRIP.

21. NBC weekend fixture, briefly: SNL.

22. Distinctive flair: ELAN.

23. Modern renewable fuel: BIODIESEL.

30. Assures the sad fate of: DOOMS.

34. Easy throw: LOB.

35. "Angie Tribeca" TV network: TBS.    Angie Tribeca  is an American comedy television series, created by Steve and Nancy Carel, starring Rashida Jones, that airs on TBS.    (Just seeing if I can write a sentence in the style of Wikipedia.)

36. "Help me out, will ya?": BE A PAL.

37. Facilitates: ENABLES.

40. Bergen of "Murphy Brown": CANDICE.      Candice Bergen played tough TV reporter Murphy
Brown in the sitcom of the same name.  The program is scheduled to return to prime time on CBS for the 2018/2019 season, starting Thursday Sept 27th.

Saw a commercial for it while watching football.

41. Stay behind: REMAIN.

42. Drunkard: SOT.

43. Dubai's fed.: UAE.  Last Tuesday we had "Abu Dhabi's federation: Abbr.:" as the clue.   United Arab Emirates.

44. Former Russian rulers: TSARs.

48. Words said with an extended fork: TASTE THIS.

50. Continent explored by Marco Polo: ASIA.

53. Talk on and on: YAP.

54. Scalawag: SCAMP.

60. Shoe cushions: INSOLEs.

62. Abbr. used to save space: ETC.

63. Not worth a __: SOU.

64. Muzzle-loading gadgets: RAMRODs.

66. Kindle download: APP.

67. Chart-reading exam: EYE TEST.

Happy Birthday to Husker Gary !


1. Some recyclables: CANS.

2. Going __: fighting: AT IT.

3. Shakespearean king with three daughters: LEAR.

4. Beach city near Hollywood: MALIBU.

6. Quite some time: EON.

7. Taiwan-born director Lee: ANG.

8. River in a Stephen Foster song: SWANEESaluting a Songwriter Far From Home

9. Voting sites: POLLS.

10. Pioneering ISP: AOL.

11. Wind up like a snake: COIL.

12. Celestial bear: URSA.

13. High-schooler, typically: TEEN.

19. Put another roll of film in: RELOAD.

21. Incites to attack, with "on": SICS.

24. More than occasionally: OFTEN.

25. Blots gently: DABS.

26. Biblical garden: EDEN.

27. Warning: ALERT.

28. Scraps for Fido: BONES.

29. President between Bush and Trump: OBAMA.

31. Poppy product: OPIUM.

32. Gambling mecca near Hong Kong: MACAU.

33. Catch some z's: SLEEP.

36. Cookie recipe yield: BATCH.

38. Bill for drinks: BAR TAB.

39. Bart Simpson's sister: LISA.

40. San Francisco's __ Tower: COIT.   View from Lombard Street:

42. Dance move: STEP.

45. Postpone one's bedtime: STAY UP.

47. Go along with: ESCORT.

49. Online admin: SYSOP.

50. Quite some time: AGES.

51. "Family Guy" creator MacFarlane: SETH.

He knew what he wanted to do from a very young age.

" an American actor, animator, voice actor, filmmaker, and singer, working primarily in animation and comedy, as well as live-action and other genres.  Wikipedia article.

52. Nagging desire: ITCH.

55. Sunburn reliever: ALOE.

56. Rx items: MEDs.

57. Sibilant summons: PSST.

59. NATO founding member: USA.

60. Fury: IRE.

61. "Aye? Not!": NAY.


Notes from C.C.:

1) How do you remember, TTP? That's an image EYE TEST!

Happy Birthday to dear Husker Gary, the creator of this wonderful Crossword Corner map, our trusted Saturday guide and caring friend. I'm so lucky to have met with Gary and his incredible wife Joann. Wish you guys could hear his voice.

2) Owen's Jumble site is listed under Crossword Links on the blog front page.