Showing posts with label Bruce Venzke and Gail Grabowski. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bruce Venzke and Gail Grabowski. Show all posts

Apr 30, 2019

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 Bruce Venzke and Gail Grabowski


18. Performances by Chippendales dancers: STRIP SHOWS.

23. Jubilation: HIGH SPIRITS.

38. Slam-dancing area: MOSH PIT.

50. Right now: AT THIS POINT.

61. Sea disasters, and a hint to what's literally hidden in 18-, 23-, 38- and 50-Across: SHIPWRECKS.

Ship gets jumbled, or wrecked, so to speak, in this latest offering from Bruce and Gail. 


1. Campaign donation orgs.: PACS. Political Action Committees

5. Actor's nickname heard in the song "Key Largo": BOGIE. The lyric is,  "We had it all.  Just like Bogie and Bacall."    "Here's looking at you, kid."

10. Be in sync (with): JIBE.

14. Airline that doesn't fly on Shabbat: EL AL.  "El Al is the only commercial airline to equip its planes with missile defense systems to protect its planes against surface to air missiles, and is considered one of the world's most secure airlines, thanks to its stringent security procedures, both on the ground and on board its aircraft." - Wikipedia

15. Diarist Nin: ANAIS.   "We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are." – Anais Nin. 

16. Spoken: ORAL.

17. "The Beverly Hillbillies" daughter __ May: ELLY.    Jed's daughter.   A tomboy and an animal lover, here shown with one of her "critters."

20. Sidekick: PAL.  Batman and Robin, Wyatt and Doc, Snoopy and Woodstock

21. McJob worker: PEON.

22. Le frère d'un père: ONCLE.  French.  The brother of a father: Uncle.  That's according to Google Translate.   Perps solved it for me.  Wilbur would have known it.

27. Beach shade: TAN.  You might end up paying for all of that free UV exposure.

28. Nods off: SNOOZES.

32. Squash underfoot: STEP ON.   Someone posted a picture of a stink bug on Nextdoor, asking what it was.  74 responses came in with similar advice:   Don't (squish, squash, step on, stomp on, crush, smash) them.  Some recommended vacuuming, while others advocated spraying them with everything from Lysol to peppermint spray.   One guy said he swallowed one that was in his coffee.

35. "Law & Order: __": SVU.   Special Victims Unit.  The long running NBC series was recently renewed for a 21st year.  Corner favorite is # 1.

36. Snack: NOSH.

37. Dallas hoopster, briefly: MAV.   Dallas basketball player, unabbreviated: Maverick.

41. Kilt wearer's "no": NAE

42. Like thrift shop items: USED.

44. Pitchfork target: HAY.   You need the right tool for the job.   Pitchforks are excellent for spreading hay,  turning over the mulch pile, cleaning out the horse stall and more.  When paired with torches and an angry mob, pitchforks are effective at cornering a monster in an old mill, and then burning it down.

45. Began, as a hobby: TOOK UP.

47. Phil Collins' longtime band: GENESIS.  Live from Wembley.

49. Serious fwy. violation: DUI.  Driving Under the Influence.  Other acronyms ?  DUIL, DWI, OWI, OUI...   

55. Digging tool: SPADE.  

58. Art community NNE of Santa Fe: TAOS.   In New Mexicos's high desert.  View or order the visitor's guide here.

59. Pinup's leg: GAM.  The internet tells me that gam comes from Middle English gamb leg, which came from Old French gambe, which came from Late Latin gamba, meaning leg of an animal.   I'd wager that James Holzhauer knew that.     The History Of Pin-Up Girls

64. Top-drawer: A ONE.

65. Shameful symbol in a Hawthorne novel: RED A.   Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic, The Scarlet Letter, set in Puritanical Massachusetts.   About social shaming and and stigmatizing a few centuries ago.   Now there are plenty of social media apps for people that feel the need to publicly focus their attention on others.  

66. E-cigarette's lack: ASHES.   They still have nicotine, an addicting drug.

67. Novelist Victor: HUGOLes Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.

68. Ballet title bird: SWAN.    2 hours for your listening and viewing pleasure.

69. "Family Ties" mom: ELYSE.  Portrayed by Meredith Baxter.   Baxter Birney at the time.

70. Store securely: STOW.


1. Sound from a nest: PEEP.

2. Quran deity: ALLAH.

3. Declare all debts resolved: CALL IT EVEN.

4. Devious: SLY.

5. Wrigley Field corners: BASES.   First and third base are called the corners (of the infield). Technically, since the bases form a square, second base and home plate are also corners.  They're just not called corners in baseball.  Third base is called the "hot corner" so if you ever see that as a clue and the answer is five letters, enter THIRD.

6. Winning: ON TOP.  The St Louis Cardinals are on top of the National League Central Division and are currently projected to have a 6% chance of winning the World Series.

7. Bouquet __: herb bundle: GARNI.  More French.  Garnished bouquet.  Google Translate not needed.

8. Square root of IX: III.  Math with roman numerals.

9. Seer's "gift": ESP.  Extra Sensory Perception.  A hallmark of psychic charlatans.

10. Either "J" in J&J: JOHNSON.

11. Camaro __-Z: IROC.   A well written article from a dealership in Albany, NY about the legendary Chevrolet Camaro. 

12. Turn on the waterworks: BAWL.  Blubber. 

13. Apart from this: ELSE.  Meaning different in this sense.

19. __ speak: SO TO.   "You use so to speak to draw attention to the fact that you are describing or referring to something in a way that may be amusing or unusual rather than completely accurate." - Collins Dictionary.    Speaking metaphorically.   As in the ships in this puzzle are wrecked, so to speak. 

21. __ Penh: PHNOM.  Cambodia's capital.

24. Lack of continuity: GAP.  Turning the switch to the off position creates a lack of continuity in a simple electrical light circuit.  Those free electrons can't jump from valence shell to valence shell to complete the path when the switch is open. 

25. Answer the invite, initially: RSVP.   Repondez S'il Vous Plait.   LMOA;  Left a Message On your Answering machine.

26. Alaskan native: INUIT.

29. Nodding off: ZONKING OUT.

30. Jacob's twin: ESAU

31. Herding dog name: SHEP.   Apropos. 

32. Too sure of oneself: SMUG.

33. Subdue with a zap: TASE.

34. Like an extremely well-pitched game: NO HIT.

35. Short, moneywise: SHY.  You wouldn't get the moneywise helper on a Friday or Saturday LA Times puzzle.

39. Window framework: SASH.  An obi for glass.

40. Disturbances: TO DOs.

43. Like many a successful poker player: DEADPAN.  Expressionless, or of a singular expression.

46. "Certainement!": OUI.   More French.  More Google Translate.  More perp help.  It means certainly.   Makes sense.

48. Crock-Pot dinner: STEW.  The crackpot chef tried to roast prime rib in the crock-pot.  It resulted in a stew, but no one complained.

51. Like wool, for many: ITCHY.   Abejo, has the poison ivy cleared up ?    And BTW,  belated Happy Anniversary !

52. "For goodness __!": SAKES.  I thought it was for Pete.  Either way, it's a euphemism used as an expression of frustration , exasperation or annoyance, but in the case of goodness, also for surprise. The speaker's tone inflection and body language will tell you more.  

53. Rustler-chasing group: POSSE.  I think of The Ox-Bow Incident, starring Henry Fonda.

54. Dance that "takes two": TANGO.  The last one was in Paris.  Did you see it ?  It was rated X when it came out in '72, recut and rereleased and rated R in '81, and then rerated NC-17 in '97.   I've never seen it, but I remember there was a controversy about it when it came out.

55. The Baltics, once: Abbr.: SSRS.  Soviet Socialist Republics

56. "Close call!": PHEW

57. Verdi opera: AIDA.  Set in Egypt.

60. Catty utterance?: MEOW.

62. Grammy winner Corinne Bailey __: RAE.  No idea.

63. Bilingual subj.: ESL. English as a Second Language

64. Massage reactions: AHs.

Notes from C.C.:

To those who can't post on the blog with their iPhone, Blogger Forum mentions that "This issue might be related to high privacy settings on your browser.

Go to your Safari -> Settings -> Privacy -> uncheck "Prevent cross-site tracking."

Please let me know if that works for you. 

As for Android phone users, please email me if you have problem posting on the blog.

Jan 7, 2019

Monday Jan 7, 2019 Bruce Venzke & Gail Grabowski

Theme: WINDBREAKER (50. Lightweight jacket, and a hint to 21-, 26- and 44-Across) - WIND is broken up in 3 different ways.

21. Sommelier: WINE STEWARD.

26. Court spot for giving testimony: WITNESS STAND.

44. One constantly fretting: WORRYING KIND.

Boomer here.

I witnessed the WIND on the PGA tour in Hawaii, but no WIN for my friend Desper-otto's a bit unLUCKy Houston Texans, (who I identified as Oilers by mistake a few weeks ago.)  The same fate the Vikings handed me last week. Congrats to the LA Chargers, who took care of the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

Bowling - last Monday 525, Thursday 522. Feeling a little better about my game.  We'll see what happens this week.


1. "Forever" mail attachment: STAMP. Forever stamps price is going up to .55 on January 27.  Stock up because whatever forever stamps you own will be worth 5 cents more on the 27th.  Probably a better increase than the stocks you might own.

6. Time travel destination: PAST. Add an A if you are hungry.

10. __ and chips: FISH. Fishing is a year-round hobby for many in Minnesota. C.C. and I have drowned a few worms in the past. 

14. Deed holder: OWNER.

15. Drink with a polar bear mascot: ICEE. Drink it fast and your forehead will feel it.

16. "The __ Ranger": LONE. Who was that masked man? I wanted to thank him.  Clayton Moore.  There was a bowling center in St. Paul, West Side Lanes, which had many autographed 8 X 10s in their banquet room.  Clayton Moore was on that wall.

17. Specialized vocab: LINGO.

18. Workers with antennae: ANTS. Don't let them get in your pants!

19. Had bills to pay: OWED.  I owe, I owe, so off to work I go.

20. Psych 101 subject: EGO. Lego my Ego. (spelled it wrong on purpose to see if anyone complains.)

24. Range above tenor: ALTO. Okay but as I have complained before, I always knew Alto as a Female voice, and tenor - Male

25. '60s pop singer __ Lee: BRENDA.  I liked Skeeter Davis' rendition of "The End of the World", but Brenda Lee was okay too.

31. "The Gift of the Magi" author: O HENRY.  William Porter.  I think he invented a candy bar.

32. Years and years: EONS.

33. Litter cry: MEW.

36. Organic smoke detector: NOSE. A nose by any other name, still smells the same.

37. Uppercut target: JAW. Add an "S" and you might need a bigger boat.

38. Bavaria-based automaker: AUDI.

39. Adorns with Angel Soft, briefly: TPS.

40. Sandler of "Hotel Transylvania" films: ADAM. Happy Gilmore! A Hockey player joins the PGA.  (I won't tell you how it ends.)

42. Bit of corn: KERNEL.  There's a whole kernel of wheat, in every Wheaties flake. I drive by General Mills HQ 1-2 times every week.

46. Major road: ARTERY.

49. Strips of developed film, briefly: NEGS.

53. Proofs of age, for short: IDS.  We have an IDS Tower in Minneapolis. Built for Investor's Diversified Services.  (Now known as Ameriprise Financial.)  The tower was built in 1972 and is the height of about 910 feet.  It was behemoth at the time, and although many tall buildings have been added to the city, none are as tall as the IDS, I believe out of respect.

56. Hyped-up: AGOG.

57. Hard-to-resist feeling: URGE.

58. Harriet's TV hubby: OZZIE. Sitcom of the fifties.  Younger son Ricky Nelson, became a famous crooner who turned girls into swooners.  He competed quite well opposing stars like Elvis Presley and Pat Boone from 1957 - 1964.  His career hit a snag called the Beatles in 1964, yeah, yeah, yeah.  Ricky died in a plane crash in Texas in 1985.  RIP.  

60. Like kitten videos: CUTE.

61. Dark movie genre: NOIR.

62. Africa's Sierra __: LEONE. A relatively small country on the West Coast of Africa.

63. Risked a ticket: SPED.  I have had three or four lifetime speeding tickets, most when I was young and stupid and the fine was about $10.00. However, I got one when I was old and stupid and paid about $150.00.

64. Boys, to men: SONS.

65. Gave false hope to: LED ON.


1. Fish served "amandine": SOLE.  A member of the flounder family.  In our fishing expedition with C.C. in Minnesota, the goal was walleye or northern pike, however the result was usually sunfish.

2. Bit of kindling: TWIG. There once was a British model named after a Twig.

3. Part of A.D.: ANNO. The other half is Domini - Year of our Lord.  Told you I took four years of Latin.

4. "Little Women" woman: MEG.  Three letters, could have been Amy. Jo and Beth would not fit.

5. Cat, or cat burglar: PROWLER.

6. Upright and grand: PIANOS. I wish I would have learned to play the piano. But I was too busy bowling and playing golf.  Sigh.

7. Clearasil target: ACNE.

8. Tennis match segments: SETS. Or a set can be a complete run of Topps Heritage Chrome baseball cards.

9. Nuclear restraint topic: TEST BAN.  We don't hear much about test ban treaties anymore.  Unless you live near North Korea. 

10. Moved like water: FLOWED.

11. Hawkeye State resident: IOWAN. Just south of me, I've been there many times. Elizabeth Warren was there this weekend.  I hope she likes corn.

12. McCarthy's friend Mortimer: SNERD. We don't see ventriloquists on TV anymore. Where is Ed Sullivan when you need him ?

13. Ibsen's "__ Gabler": HEDDA.  Never heard of her, but I have heard of Ms. Hopper.

22. __-bitsy: ITSY. Teenie Weenie yellow polka dot bikini.  That she wore for the first time today.

23. Sea eagles: ERNS.

24. "Worst Cooks in America" judge Burrell: ANNE.

26. "This __ take long": WON'T. I hope you are not talking about a crossword puzzle. It usually takes me an hour to get about one third, then I give up.

27. Breakfast chain: IHOP.  Pumpkin Spice pancakes for Halloween. Now they have green pancakes to honor the Grinch. Ted Geisel was Dr. Seuss who wrote about the Grinch. I don't remember because I was 2 years old but I met Dr. Seuss in a San Diego library. My Mom purchased a copy of "If I Ran the Zoo", and Dr. Seuss autographed it.  I wish I still had it. 

28. Thomas Hardy heroine: TESS.

29. Disreputable: SEAMY.

30. Stranded driver's need: TOW.  Tow, Tow, Tow your car, Gently down the street.

33. City bond, informally: MUNI.  Tax free dividends.  You may wish you had these in a couple of months.

34. Garden locale in a Sistine Chapel mural: EDEN.

35. Like animals in the Serengeti: WILD.  Also a Minnesota NHL Hockey player.

37. Cookie container: JAR.  When is a door not a door?  When it's ajar.

38. Torah holders: ARKS. Noah's used boat lot.

40. Choice of two: A OR B. This choice occurs on "The Chase".  I cannot stand the shouting Brook Burns, and the Beast is no treat either.

41. Practice exercises: DRY RUNS.

42. Replaceable joint: KNEE.  The quarterback might take one or two with a lead at the end of the game.

43. Chinese appetizer: EGG ROLL.  I'll check with C.C.  A lot of American Chinese food is fake.

44. Squeezed (in): WEDGED.  Should have used a nine iron.

45. Comic book artists: INKERS.  I was a flyboy at a newspaper, but we had inkers too. They did not have comic books to read, or print though.

46. Spy plane acronym: AWACS. Airborne Warning and Control System.

47. Construct haphazardly: RIG UP. "Fry up another batch of bullheads, Muriel, I smell another election coming." Words of famous Minnesotan, Hubert Humphrey. Although the elections were NOT rigged up.

48. Govt. security: T NOTE.

51. Suffix with sock: EROO.  I think this started with the Kangaroo, but now we see the suffix every where.

52. Not fer: AGIN.  Someone has been watching too many "Beverly Hillbillies".

53. Longtime seller of Lacoste shirts: IZOD.

54. "The Flintstones" pet: DINO.  Remember the "Sinclair" gas stations ?

55. Observed: SEEN.

59. Middle of Arizona?: ZEE.  Arizona, Take off your rainbow shades, Arizona, hey won'tcha
go my way.


Sep 24, 2018

Monday September 24, 2018 Bruce Venzke & Gail Grabowski

Theme: Unless I miss something, it's just a set of "What To What" answers.

17. How canvassers usually work: DOOR TO DOOR.

27. How page-turners are often read: COVER TO COVER.

48. How apartment leases sometimes run: MONTH TO MONTH.

62. How pistol duelers typically stand: BACK TO BACK.

Boomer here.  

My feel good story of the week.  I help coach the varsity and JV bowling teams of my alma mater high school.  We have four members who are on student visas from China, so I asked C.C. if she could give me a "Nice shot" or "Way to go" in Chinese language.  C.C. gave me a short phrase that sounds like "hen hoa" and I used it a few times and you should see the smiles I lit on the young folks faces. (They also won their first match on Friday).

1. Answer with attitude: SASS.

5. Female WWII gp.: WAAC.  This is the Women's Army corps.  They dropped the A for Auxillary sometime after WWII. 

9. Ink cartridge color: CYAN. A fancy name for Turquoise.

13. " ... calm, __ bright": "Silent Night": ALL IS.  If you had trouble with this clue, you have no mistletoe in your home.

15. Stone of "La La Land": EMMA.

16. Revolutionary spy Nathan: HALE. He was hanged by the British during the Revolutionary War.

19. Correct a script, say: EDIT.

20. Satisfied sounds: AHS.  The sound you may hear when new Vikings kicker Dan Bailey kicks a field goal.

21. Golf's "Big Easy" Ernie: ELS.  High trains in Chicago.

22. Raised-baton strokes, in music: UPBEATS.  I would much rather have upbeats than be beat up.

24. Sauce with falafel: TAHINI.

26. Desk tray words: IN OUT.  Yes and no matter what, "IN" always has a higher pile.

32. Prop for Chaplin: CANE. "Ain't no more cane on the Brazos, we done ground it all in molasses, Oh, Oh, Oh."

35. Lodge logo animal: ELK.  A brotherhood organizations that advances organized youth activities, And a good place to buy pull tabs.

36. Total failures: LOSERS.  Those who bought pull tabs at the Elks Lodge.

37. Novelist Tolstoy: LEO.  Not to be confused with Sven's buddy "Ole".

38. Tallahassee sch.: FSU.

40. Thanksgiving mo.: NOV.  Sometimes Monday clues are easy,  Oops, I said that last week.

41. Blows volcano-style: ERUPTS.

45. "Double Fantasy" collaborator Yoko: ONO.  Oh No, Why is her surname not Lennon.

47. At the peak of: ATOP.  Old Smokey was covered with snow.

51. Prepare (oneself), as for a jolt: BRACE.

52. Hebrew greeting: SHALOM.  Sometimes good by or Peace.

56. "Definitely!": NO DOUBT.

59. "__ the ramparts ... ": OER. "Were so gallantly streaming."

60. Org. that publishes the newsletter GoGreen!: EPA.  Had some problems this year.  Director Pruitt considered the US Treasury his personal bank account.

61. Fictional estate near Atlanta: TARA.

65. Close tightly: SHUT.

66. At any time: EVER.

67. Count who composed "One O'Clock Jump": BASIE.

68. Depresses, with "out": BUMS.  Mindful of the old Brooklyn Dodgers.

69. Boxer Oscar __ Hoya: DELA.  I never was a boxing fan, but I have heard of Oscar.

70. Catches on to: GETS.


1. 1978 Egyptian co-Nobelist Anwar: SADAT.

2. "Welcome to Maui!": ALOHA. In Hawaii, I believe this greeting is similar to "Shalom".

3. Wade noisily: SLOSH.

4. Round Table title: SIR.  "To Sir with Love", Sidney Poitier grossed over $42 Million.

5. Ties the knot: WEDS.

6. Latin "I love": AMO.  I think that was the first Latin I ever learned, but I did not love it.

7. Invoice figure: AMOUNT.

8. Use the HOV lane: CARPOOL.

9. Frito-Lay snacks with a speedy cat mascot: CHEETOS.  The punch line in a lot of "turned orange" jokes.

10. When said thrice, "and so on": YADA.  Did "Seinfeld" start this or just make it popular??

11. Touched down: ALIT.  So if Tom Brady completes a pass in the end zone, is it alit?

12. Hockey targets: NETS.  Also basketballs, soccer balls, and butterflies.

14. Courtroom transcript pro: STENO.

18. Antipasto morsel: OLIVE. Ms. Oyl, Popeye's girlfriend.

23. Osso __: veal dish: BUCO.

25. Cooler cubes: ICE.  Sheets for Zamboni to repair every 20 minutes.

26. Annoying: IRKSOME.

28. Keebler sprite: ELF. A good old Santa helper.

29. Blow off steam: VENT.

30. Suffix with switch: EROO

31. Answer the invite, briefly: RSVP.  French acronym for "Are you coming or not?"

32. Skelton's Kadiddlehopper: CLEM.  I miss "Ol Red.  He was a classic entertainer.

33. Prefix with dynamic: AERO.

34. Grammar, grammatically, e.g.: NOUN. Knock, Knock, "Who's there? … No Un.

39. Crazy Eights cousin: UNO.

42. WWII vessels: PT BOATS. Most famous was JFK's PT109

43. No __ traffic: THRU.  Turn around.

44. Pierced with a fork: STABBED.  Met her on a mountain, there I took here life.  Hang down your head Tom Dooley.

46. Initial stage: ONSET.

47. "Eureka!": AHA.

49. E to E, in music: OCTAVE.  So an Octave is eight notes, and an octagon has eight sides.  So why is October the tenth month?

50. Pulsate: THROB.  Be still my heart.

53. Car dealer's offering: LEASE.  Sometimes this will fit your budget better than a purchase, but it usually better for the dealer than the consumer.

54. Ref. to a prior ref.: OP CIT.

55. Manufactures: MAKES.  Sometimes I manufacture a mess.

56. Govt. accident investigator: NTSB.

57. Island near Maui: OAHU. Island location of Pearl Harbor.  I lived through the assassination of JFK, and 9/11/2001.  I was not yet born on December 7, 1941, and happy to say.

58. Percussion instrument: DRUM.  Come they told him pa rum pa pum pum.

59. Pod in gumbo: OKRA.

63. "Snow White" collectible: CEL.

64. Grocery sack: BAG.  Paper or plastic?  Some cities are now prohibiting plastic bags. All Right!  Back to the fifties!!


Aug 8, 2018

Wednesday, August 8 2018, Bruce Venzke & Gail Grabowski

Theme: GAG ORDER. Ipecac, anyone?

19. Kontinental Hockey League trophy named for an astronaut: GAGARIN CUP. The KHL was created to further the development of hockey throughout Russia and other nations across Europe and Asia. Gagarin Cup.

26. Airport area with carousels: BAGGAGE CLAIM.

38. Planning to wed: ENGAGED. This GAG is perfectly centered in the grid.

46. One arranging gigs: BOOKING AGENT.

54. Joke used repeatedly ... and aptly found in 19-, 26-, 38-, 46- and 54-Across: RUNNING GAG. Running gags in Seinfeld.

Great progressive, or "running" placement of this clever GAG, see?


1. Game fish: BASS. First thought of the card game, Go Fish.

5. Body wrap spot: SPA. First thought was an injury. Nope.

8. Clams up, with "down": PIPES.

13. Jaunty tune: LILT. Merriam Webster defines it exactly so: "a spirited and usually cheerful song or tune," but I usually think of google dictionary's definition "a characteristic rising and falling of the voice when speaking."

14. Like a dotted note, in mus.: STAC. “Staccato” is an Italian word that means “sharply detached or separated from the other notes.” The symbol to indicate that a note or chord is to be played with a staccato articulation is a dot above or below the note (or chord).

15. Overflowing (with): AWASH.

16. Sign of spoilage: ODOR.

17. Ending with Wal: MART.

18. High-calorie cake: TORTE. Not SHORT. Could be almost anything - not many low-calorie cakes, are there?

22. Wrangler maker: JEEP.

23. Homer's neighbor: NED. The Simpson's - Ned Flanders.

24. Have grand plans: ASPIRE.

31. Pulitzer-winning author James: AGEE. For A Death in the Family. “God doesn't believe in the easy way.”

32. One of a clashing pair, perhaps: EGO. Cute.

33. Gobbled up: EATEN.

37. Moral misstep: SIN.

41. Glorifying homage: ODE.

42. Do a bakery job: KNEAD.

44. Part of pewter: TIN. Pewter contained lead as a hardener until it became widely known that lead can be toxic. It is now typically made of tin, copper, antimony, and bismuth.

45. Olympian warmonger: ARES.

50. 1965 Yardbirds hit: I'M A MAN. Not to be confused with Chicago's tune with the same name.

52. Corrosive substance: LYE.

53. Fruity beverages: ADES.

60. "The Kiss" sculptor: RODIN.

62. Old Royale 8's: REOS.

63. Jessica of "Dark Angel": ALBA.

64. "Ready Player One" novelist Ernest: CLINE.

65. Eye protector: LASH.

66. Clout: PULL.

67. Missouri River tributary: OSAGE.

68. Seeker of intel: SPY.

69. Eye woe: STYE.


1. Paperless journal: BLOG.

2. "Radames' Letter" musical: AIDA.

3. Trudge (through): SLOG.

4. Off-the-wall: STRANGE.

5. Getz of jazz: STAN. One of the greatest saxophonists of all time. Soul Eyes.

6. Pique-nique place: PARC. Not sure why google translate didn't translate parc to park on the English side.

7. Bona fide: ACTUAL. Latin = in good faith.

8. One way to stand: PAT. Interesting.

9. WWII flag-raising island: IWO JIMA.

10. Peeling gadget: PARER.

11. Big name in makeup: ESTEE.

12. Smith of Fox News: SHEP.

14. Wee bit: SMIDGEN.

20. Stephen of "Counterpart": REA. Spy thriller, on Starz.

21. "Don't text and drive" ad, e.g.: PSA. Public Service Announcement.

25. Mottled: PIED. In the case of the Pied Piper, he wore multi-colored clothing.

26. Enjoy the sun: BASK.

27. Feudin' with: AGIN. Hillbilly glossary.

28. Heredity unit: GENE.

29. Albumen container: EGG.

30. Tropical raccoon relative: COATI.

34. Zoomed: TORE.

35. Garden in a Sistine Chapel mural: EDEN.

36. Source of some tweets: NEST.

38. Genesis kingdom: EDOM.

39. Gimlet liquor: GIN. Gin, lime, and soda.

40. World's third-most spoken language: ENGLISH.

43. Belittling: ABASING.

45. Inevitable generational differences: AGE GAPS.

47. Dinghy implement: OAR.

48. Small knobs: KNURLS.

49. "We the Living" writer Rand: AYN.

50. Megastars: IDOLS.

51. __ blitz: MEDIA.

53. West Coast gas brand: ARCO.

55. Twice-monthly tide: NEAP.

56. Prone to prying: NOSY.

57. Market surplus: GLUT.

58. With skill: ABLY.

59. Powerful wind: GALE.

61. Name change indicator: NEE.

Mar 19, 2018

Monday March 19, 2018 Bruce Venzke & Gail Grabowski

Theme: DOUBLE DATES (61. Two-couple outings ... and what the answers to starred clues are?) - Both words in each theme entry can precede "date".

 20A. *Begin preparing an evening meal : START DINNER. Start date. Dinner date.

 11D. *Downpour : HEAVY RAIN. Heavy date. Rain date.

 35D. *Steaming morning mugful : HOT COFFEE. Hot date. Coffee date.

Boomer here.

Good morning or afternoon (as the case may be) and a shout out to our normal Monday morning quarterback, Argyle, under care in the hospital.  Best wishes and I am sure the crossword enthusiasts that frequent this blog hope you are back soon, so they won't have to put up with me.
1. Bird's crop : CRAW

5. Pols with a donkey symbol : DEMS - I cannot imagine two more questionable logos than a donkey and an elephant but it is what it is.  I think Seinfeld jokes about it.

9. Specialized, committee-wise : AD HOC - I believe this is Latin for something.  But Latin is a dead language, as dead as dead can be.  First it killed the Romans, and now it's killing me.  (From my high school days).

14. Operate with a beam : LASE 

15. Natural burn soother : ALOE - Of course.  What would a crossword puzzle be without a four- letter word with three vowels ?

16. Set of beliefs : CREDO - more Latin

17. "__ That a Shame" : AIN'T - I think Fats Domino said it first.  Is Fats his real first name?

18. "Hold your horses!" : WHOA

19. Cybercommerce : E-TAIL - a clever spin word (not really a word) selling things on the internet (Like maybe on eBay which is not really a word either)

23. Nov. 11 honoree : VET - Yes I am and thankful for all the freebies offered on that day.

24. Capital of Minn. : ST PAUL - We Minnesotans had no trouble with this clue.

25. Taxi driver : CABBY

27. Many a '50s pompadour sporter : GREASER - I don't know.  A pompadour is more like a Bryce Harper do while a greaser is more of a Fonz'.

30. Catastrophic 2017 hurricane : IRMA

33. "The fresh air is delightful!" : AAH - Or the first part of a sneeze.

36. Suffix with Jumbo : TRON - Seen now at most Ballparks

37. Spreads apart, as one's fingers : SPLAYS

39. Hunt like a cat : PROWL

41. Internet connectivity delay : LAG - Or Tiger Woods laying up on a par five.

43. "The Waste Land" poet T.S. : ELIOT

44. Tennis great Gibson : ALTHEA. Ann Marie Johnson's role In the Heat of the Night.

46. Starlet's goal : FAME

48. Org. with Bulls and Bucks : NBA - Chicago/Milwaukee connection.

49. Bonkers : LOCO

50. Tart plant stalk diced for pie filling : RHUBARB - A conversation between Earl Weaver and Ron Luciano.  (May they rest in peace)

53. A : Z :: alpha : __ : OMEGA - We just returned from an OMEGA reunion in Las Vegas.  It stands for Older More Energetic Graybar Associates.

55. Originate (from) : DERIVE

59. Arctic toymaker : ELF - I thought Santa made the toys, The elves just helped.  But I have never been to the North Pole.  But I live in Minnesota - weather is the same.

64. Civilian attire : MUFTI

66. Wordsmith Webster : NOAH - I think it was clued this way because no one knows if that other Noah had a surname.

67. Hertz fleet : CARS

68. Spring for a meal : TREAT

69. Fish in some cat food : TUNA - Cat Food ????  I don't like the clue.  I grew up on tuna sandwiches, tuna casserole, and tuna salad, and I never meowed once.  So there.

70. Otherwise : ELSE

71. Oozes : SEEPS

72. "Don't go" : STAY

73. Actress Cannon : DYAN - Was married to Cary Grant but it only lasted about 3 years.


1. Yearbook section : CLASS - "And the class of all of us was just part of history".

2. Grammy winner Bonnie : RAITT. She loves Minnesota and will be here for a concert this June.

3. "It's __": "No problem" : A SNAP - Sounds like an insurance company with a duck spokesman.

4. Counter-wiping aid : WET RAG - I guess two three letter words are okay.

5. Procrastinator : DAWDLER

6. Pre-college, briefly : EL-HI - Short for Elementary and High School, but I have never heard it.

7. Cow's hurdle, in rhyme : MOON - Where Alan Shepard played golf.

8. Mystical gathering : SEANCE

9. Severe, as criticism : ACERB

10. "__ & the Women": 2000 Gere film : DR T

12. "Garfield" dog : ODIE - Good old crossword Odie, another four letter word with three vowels

13. Future stallion : COLT - OR an Indianapolis football player.

21. Slowpoke in a shell : TURTLE

22. Body parts that may be pierced : EARS - I am so old that I remember when ears were the ONLY thing that people had pierced.  Just two extra holes in the head.

26. List of charges : BILL - OR a Buffalo football player

28. Big name in ISPs : AOL - An acronym for "America on Line".  Internet pioneers for sure.

29. Chaotic mess : SNAFU - I am sure every high school graduating class had a fellow with this nickname, and I don't think he liked it.

31. "Butt out," for short : MYOB. Mind Your Own Business. True, but I like Ben Franklin's motto "Mind your Business" which was used on a coin.

32. Dog in old whodunits : ASTA - From "The Thin Man" Movie.  I am not old enough to remember the movie, but I seem to remember a TV series of the same name, with a dog of the same name also.

33. "C'mon, be __!": "Little help, please!" : A PAL

34. Woody's son : ARLO - Take the "City of New Orleans" train to "Alice's Restaurant" and get anything you want.

38. Looked closely : PEERED - OUCH - for a moment I thought this was another two- three letter word answer.

40. "To __ it may concern" : WHOM

42. Yak it up : GAB

45. 2012 Affleck thriller : ARGO. I did not see the movie, but I have corn starch of the same name in my cupboard.

47. Seized the opportunity : MADE HAY - and speed it up will ya'

51. Favorite hangouts : HAUNTS

52. Prepared (oneself), as for a jolt : BRACED - You may leave he orthodontist this way.

54. Does film splicing, say : EDITS

56. Lombardy's land : ITALY. Change the Y in the clue to an I and you have Green Bay Wisconsin.

57. Vice __ : VERSA

58. German steel town : ESSEN - I never visited this town,  I was further North in a small town called Hardheim.

59. Rescue squad VIPs : EMTS - I keep posting that EMT is Electrical Metallic Tubing but nobody listens.

60. Light, to a moth : LURE - NO, NO, This an implement used to catch fish (not tuna) in Minnesota !!

62. Match in a ring : BOUT - I remember when these were on free TV every Friday night.  I think it was sponsored by Gillette.

63. Singer Del Rey : LANA

65. Bojangles' dance genre : TAP - Nope, Mr. Bojangles did a soft shoe dance.


Notes from C.C.:

I still have not been able to talk to Argyle. The phone is still off the hook. But Jennifer, Argyle's friend, told me that he is getting clearer and stronger. He even asked about me yesterday. So it's all good and comforting. She said they don't know how long he'll be in the hospital, but the next step is a rehab facility.

Sorry I don't have more information. I"ll let you know the exact surgery once I get Argyle's OK.

Dear Santa

Jul 19, 2017

Wednesday, July 19, 2017, Bruce Venzke and Gail Grabowski

TITLE: Sometimes you feel like a nut...

Bruce and Gail have given us a fun and straightforward Wednesday exercise with five theme fills and no reveal necessary. As the title indicates their five themers were two-word phrases where the first syllable of the first word began with an N and a T for the third letter, In between Bruce and Gail have inserted the vowels in sequential order. Pretty cool!

Theme Answers

17. Innate talent : NATURAL APTITUDE - I'm gonna say Samuel Rashevsky had this when he played and beat these masters at eight-years-old in 1920

22. Broadcaster's transmission to affiliated stations : NETWORK FEED - Fewer and fewer people are taking the NETWORK FEED and are watching over the, uh,  NET

39. Sharp-smelling air pollutant : NITROGEN DIOXIDE - NO2 is a big contributor to this smog over Mexico City

49. Hardly any time at all : NOTHING FLAT - He was there quickly but Arriba means Hooray, so he must have gotten great joy in running. BTW, this is not a slogan for a plastic surgeon.

60. With "The," Tchaikovsky work that ends with "Waltz of the Flowers" : NUTCRACKER SUITE - So that's NUTCRACKER when it is danced in Milan

NAT asked, "Am I a NUT or will this fun puzzle NET NOT one NITHere is the balance of this just right Bruce and Gail puzzle.


1. Lower in price : LESS - Are you really shopping for the lowest price for this?

5. Try : TASTE

10. Nutmeg spice : MACE - Different parts of the same seed (not a nut)

14. Actor La Salle : ERIQ

15. Crams, with "up" : BONES

16. Sea of __: Black Sea arm : AZOV

20. "Wicked Game" singer Chris : ISAAK

21. Shuttle flight phase : REENTRY - Phase when the Columbia disaster occurred

25. "My gal" of song : SAL

26. Carpentry joints : MITERS

31. Barbecue accessory : SPIT - Ya couldn't think of a better name? 

35. "I Put a Spell on You" singer Simone : NINA

38. Full range : GAMUT - Bruce and Gail ran the GAMUT of vowels (okay, not Y but...)

42. Writer of tales with talking animals : AESOP 

43. Dental alternatives to pastes : GELS - Even for our 4-legged friends -->

44. Angers : IRES

45. Fireplace inserts : GRATES

47. Springfield presidential library nickname : ABE - Honestly!

56. Legendary Rhine siren : LORELEI - I have cruised on the Rhine but did not hear the Siren Song

59. Cruller coating : GLAZE

63. Physics particle : ATOM

64. French term of endearment : CHERE - Mon CHÈRE, 
passons à la suite de Casse-Noisette (My dear, let's go to the (same as in Italian above) Suite?

65. List component : ITEM

66. Tiny sound : PEEP

67. County near London : ESSEX - Home to Southend-on-Sea, Colchester and Chipping Ongar

68. Mil. medals : DSCS - 70 years later the country presented the Distinguished Service Cross posthumously to Lt. Donald Schwab of Hooper, NE. His son Dr. Terry Schwab accepted. 


1. Russian Revolution leader : LENIN - "I'll take Russian Leaders for $2,000, Alex." "The answer is, 'Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov was referring to this when he chose Lenin as a pseudonym.'"  "What is the Lena River?" "Correct!"

2. Backspace, perhaps : ERASE

3. Occupy, as a desk : SIT AT - What I could never do when I taught.

4. __ Valley, Calif.: 1960 Winter Olympics site : SQUAW - At this Olympics, Jean Vuarnet became to first person to win gold on metal skis instead of traditional wood

5. Sched. uncertainty : TBA

6. Big name in ISPs : AOL - Didn't everyone in America get at least one of these free disks in the 90's?

7. Wolf (down) : SNARF

8. Conical shelter : TEPEE - I had a geography prof who had women in our class put up a TEPEE as was done by many Native-American cultures as seen in this depiction of Blackfeet. BTW, that wouldn't fly at this house 

9. Regard highly : ESTEEM

10. Damon of "We Bought a Zoo" : MATT

11. Blue sky color, in Calais : AZUR

12. Showman Buffalo Bill : CODY - He built a great house in North Platte, Nebraska called Scout's Rest Ranch

13. Morn's counterpart : EVE

18. Bygone theaters : RKOS - Can you find the RKO symbol on this poster for what is called "America's greatest movie"?

19. Spectrum shade : INDIGO - ROY G BIV

23. Jingled : RANG

24. __ light: filming tool : KLIEG

27. Roll along the runway : TAXI - Returning to the gate after TAXIING is disheartening 

28. Qatari ruler : EMIR

29. Far from polite : RUDE

30. Some Fr. martyrs : STES - Women should be eligible to be priests, cardinals and popes not just STES (Saints)

31. Unexpected obstacle : SNAG

32. Harbor sight : PIER

33. "__ deal!" : IT'S A

34. Run leisurely : TROT

36. Storm direction: Abbr. : NNE - Nor'easter!

37. Dwight's opponent : ADLAI - I loved when ADLAI, as JFK's U.N. Ambassador, told the Russians he was willing to wait "until hell freezes over" for their answer on misses in Cuba.

40. Swiss army knife tool : OPENER - Wait a minute, oh, there it is!

41. Copyright pg. ID : ISBN - The International Standard Book Number for this book by our talented editor Rich Norris is 1402775806

46. Comfort in grief : SOLACE

48. Flan ingredients : EGGS

50. Computer repair experts : TECHS - Remember those guys you made fun of in school? 

51. Backpacking activities : HIKES

52. Transmission lubricant : FLUID

53. Milks, in Marseilles : LAITS - Quatre grandes bouteilles de LAIT (Four large bottles of milk)

54. Tenochtitlán native : AZTEC

55. Abounds (with) : TEEMS

56. Minstrel's instrument : LUTE

57. Plains native : OTOE

58. Law gp. that now only uses horses for ceremonial events : RCMP - RCMP member Dudley Do-Right's horse was named, uh, Horse

60. Go out for a bit? : NAP

61. Ode preposition : ERE

62. "Toy Story" dinosaur : REX

The Grid:

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