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

Jun 21, 2019

Friday, June 21, 2019 Bruce Venzke & Gail Grabowski


17. That's a wrap: GIFT BOX COVERING.

27. That's a wrap: TERRY CLOTH ROBE.

44. That's a wrap: ROLLED SANDWICH.

60. "That's a wrap!": END OF A FILM SHOOT.

Bruce and Gail tossed us a softball today, wrapped in a tight little package.    That's ok by me.  


1. It's sold in bars: SOAP

5. D-Day invasion city: ST LO.   Saint-Lô

9. Live: DWELL.

14. Willing follower?: ABLE.   Often preceded by Ready.

15. Forked over: PAID.  Remitted.

16. Certain Ivy Leaguer: YALIE.

20. Make more flavorful: SEASON.    There's a right way, and a wrong way.   Too little and too much are subjective.   I tend to be a little heavy handed with seasoning.   When things go wrong,  the fine folks at Cook Country offer the following suggestions:
  • If your food is too salty, add an acid or sweetener such as vinegar; lemon or lime juice; canned, unsalted tomatoes; sugar, honey, or maple syrup.
  • If your food is too sweet, add an acid or seasonings such as vinegar or citrus juice; chopped fresh herb; dash of cayenne; or, for sweet dishes, a bit of liqueur or espresso powder.
  • If your food is too spicy or acidic, add a fat or sweetener such as butter, cream, sour cream, cheese, or olive oil; sugar, honey, or maple syrup.
21. Poet's preposition: ERE.
Ere I salted, I brined.
What was I thinking ?
My blood pressure was up,
Was I out of my mind ?

(I'd better leave the verse to Owen).

22. Fascinated by: INTO.

23. Opposite of hence: AGO.

25. Gym shorts go-with: TEE.   We always played shirts and skins in gym class.  That was before co-ed.

Speaking of high school, I read the other day that my high school recognized five valedictorians in the graduating class.  I understand that having more than one valedictorian would be a school decision.  But is it common now to have more than one ?  Doesn't five seem excessive ?

35. Bushy-tailed canines: FOXES.  A neighbor posted this picture of this fox family on her deck.  She captured them at just the right moment.  Mama knows exactly where to look.

36. Eat-on-the-street places: CAFES.  Dining Al Fresco.  The Filling Station in St Charles, IL.

37. What an amateur may turn: PRO.

38. Like some audiobooks: ON CD.

39. Goes from site to site: SURFS.  Web surfer.  Hand up.

40. School for a prince: ETON.  Prince William and Prince Harry are but two of the many famous Etonians.

41. Beehive State athlete: UTE.  Utah Ute.   In honor of the American Indian tribe.

42. Start a court contest: SERVE.    It took a moment on Saturday to realize that Craig Stowe's answer ACERS for the clue "Great service providers" was in the context of tennis.   I agreed with Jerome's observation in the comments,  "... willing to bet that no tennis player has ever used the word."

43. Radiates: EMITS.   "Who glows ?  Just say ____ "

47. Ike's WWII arena: ETO.   European Theater of Operations.

48. Italian god: DIO.   Ronnie James Dio was a New Hampshire born guitarist and vocalist that became the lead singer of Black Sabbath after they fired Ozzy Osbourne.   Prior to that, he and Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple fame formed the heavy metal band Rainbow.

49. Made it up: LIED.  Prevaricated.

52. Find fault to a fault: NAG.

55. Evades: SKIRTS

63. Frequent genre for composer John Williams: SCI-FI.   Science Fiction.   I paused after filling the answer.   I knew Schifrin (Lalo) from doing crosswords.  But I had never heard of a composer named Scifi.    Then I read the clue again and saw "genre for" instead of "frequent composer for John Williams."

64. Bay, play or gray follower: AREA.

65. Kurylenko of "Quantum of Solace": OLGA.  Starred opposite of Daniel Craig in the movie.

66. Identity __: THEFT.  Reduce your risk with these tips.

67. Provoke: ROIL.

68. Mulching material: PEAT.


1. Loses elasticity: SAGS.   Physics. 

2. "Hamilton" award: OBIE.    Off Broadway awards.  The 2015 Obie Award for Best New American Theatre Work

3. Opposite of Zulu?: ALFA.  The opposite ends of the phonetic alphabet.

4. They're often adopted: PETS

5. Like angel food cake: SPONGY.   Light and airy.

6. Strain: TAX.  Burden.

7. Bothersome bugs: LICE.  

8. Reason to use Febreze: ODOR.  The science behind why it works, according to the manufacturer.

9. Salon supply: DYE.

10. Not as trusting: WARIER.

11. Author Hilderbrand: ELIN.    Romance novelist.
 You can read about her at her website.

12. Dust bunny component: LINT.   Dust bunny is such a pleasant name.   Makes you not want to vacuum. 

13. Danish brick: LEGO.  Clever clue for a favorite toy across the world wide.   In case you too  thought Bruce and Gail were looking for the Danish word for a brick, and then wondered what is was, it's mursten.

18. Male razorbacks: BOARS.  I can't help but think about the University of Arkansas when I see Razorbacks.  It's the mascot of their sports teams.

19. Iconic Chevys: VETTES.   The debut model was in 1953 and had 150 horsepower.  The only options were an AM radio and a heater.    The new eighth-generation Corvette was seen in camouflage in April in Times Square.    Formal announcement is next month on July 19th.
   Here's a recent slideshow of the iconic car through the years:

24. Goes down, so to speak: OCCURS.

26. Reactions to missing things: EHs.   In the US, eh is sometimes vocalized when you would like something repeated, as in # 6 in the chart below.

In Canada, eh is a versatile interjection added to the ends of sentences and "... is a distinctive part of Canadian English":

Canadian Eh, that looks like a pretty good summation,  eh?

27. 2013 role for Johnny Depp: TONTO.   Controversy ensued.

28. Get all A's: EXCEL

29. Common hummingbird feeder color: RED.    The birds are attracted to the bright color.

30. Cocoon dweller: LARVA.

31. Cause resentment: OFFEND.

32. __ disc: eye part: OPTIC.  

33. Stock: BROTH.

34. Quite a stretch: EONS.

35. Common par: FOUR.  Because on the typical 18 hole golf course, there are 4 par 3s,  4 par 5's, and the other 10 holes are par 4s.

39. Resort near Flagstaff: SEDONA.

40. Former Radiohead label: EMI.    Electric and Musical Industries until 1971.   Radiohead is an English rock band   

42. Financially secure: SET.

43. "Star Wars" critters: EWOKS.

45. Started: LED OFF.  On June 13th,  leadoff hitter Kyle Schwarber led off the game against the Los Angeles Dodger's ace Clayton Kershaw with a first pitch home run.

46. Dreary: DISMAL

49. Out of concern that: LEST.

50. Rainfall measure: INCH.

51. Singer Brickell: EDIE. Notably of Edie Brickell & New Bohemians. She is the spouse of Paul Simon.

53. Miles away: AFAR.

54. Copter's forerunner: GIRO.

56. 2007 Applebee's acquirer: IHOP.

57. Part: ROLE. Fred VanVleet played his part superbly in the Toronto Raptors NBA Championship run, and hit a clutch 3 pointer in the waning minutes of their game 6 championship clinching victory. Fred is from nearby Rockford, IL, and, as PK noted Tuesday,  played four years of college ball for the Shockers of Wichita State.  He was a basketball force in his college days, leading the Shockers to an undefeated season and deep into the NCAAs, but remained undrafted.  Toronto took a chance on him.  Wise move.

58. Costume made from a sheet: TOGA.  "Was it over when Dean Wormer put the Deltas on probation ?"  TOGA, TOGA !

59. Sports page entry: STAT.

61. Require no alteration: FIT.

62. Honolulu Airport wreath: LEI.

 That's a wrap:  END OF REVIEW.  

Jun 10, 2019

Monday, Jun 10, 2019 Bruce Venzke & Gail Grabowski

Theme: MOVIE TRAILERS (49. "Coming attractions" offerings, and a hint to the starts of the answers to starred clues)

20. *Opening night Hollywood event: PREMIERE PARTY. Movie premiere.

33. *Recognizable face associated with a cause: POSTER CHILD. Movie poster.

40. *Photographer's concern: CAMERA ANGLE. Movie camera.

Boomer here. 

Hi everyone. I am looking forward to the first day of summer coming soon. In our daily routines, C.C. eats mostly healthy food while I prefer junk food like pizza and brats. But there is one sign of summer that we both crave. The pallets of seedless watermelon invading the produce department of the grocery stores. They are not grown in Minnesota. The farmers thought about growing seedless watermelon, but they did not know what to plant.


1. Noisy blue birds: JAYS.  Toronto's baseball team.  Needs a little help this season.

5. What a wizard may cast: SPELL. I suppose you read about the spelling bee which became an eight way tie when they ran out of words.  Each of the contestants received $50,000.

10. Magic charm: MOJO.

14. Stand watch for, say: ABET.  Now that James is gone from Jeopardy. I suppose he is back home making a bet.

15. Shire of "Rocky": TALIA.

16. State firmly: AVOW.

17. Lugosi of "Dracula" fame: BELA.

18. MLB app for watching live baseball games: AT BAT. Sorry I watch them on TV.  I do not like the computer version.

19. Farmer's place, in a kids' song: DELL.  Hi-Ho the dairy O.

23. VIP vehicle: LIMO.  I remember going to the 1987 World Series at the Metrodome. I found a place to park about half a mile away.  When we approached the parking lot of the dome, there were at least 50 limos there.  Spoiled brat baseball players!!

24. Smash into: RAM.  Play football in L.A.

25. Current unit: AMPERE.  I am not sure about this.  I believe a current unit is a volt.  An ampere is the load.

28. Practice in the ring: SPAR.  Move that "S" to the rear of the word and give me some on the golf course.

30. Mil. bravery medal: DSC.  Distinguished Service Cross.  Must be pretty special because I have never seen one.  Closest I came was a Vietnam vet came into my unit with a Silver Star.

35. Brew ordered by its initials: IPA.

36. Periods often named for music genres: ERAS.  Also mentioned in pitchers stats.

37. __-Ida Tater Tots: ORE.  I suppose this references Oregon and Idaho, but I know most potatoes are grown in Idaho.  Not sure what happens in Oregon.

38. Colored eye part: IRIS. See also 61. Eye parts with 38-Acrosses: UVEAS.

39. Double-crosser: RAT.  Cannot help thinking of James Cagney when I see this.

44. Part of CBS: Abbr.: SYS.  Columbia Broadcasting is the other part.

45. Run __: go wild: AMOK.

46. Number of feet between baseball bases: NINETY.

47. Times two, a Gabor: ZSA. "She had twenty husbands, five of them hers.  What kind of life is that?"  I think Chad Mitchell Trio sang that about Liz Taylor.  Zsa Zsa lived to the ripe old age of 99.  Wow!!

48. Work with freight: LADE.

55. "Right away!" letters: ASAP. Maple trees have this. We still miss Argyle who would send us a bottle of homemade maple syrup.

56. Well in advance: EARLY.  MLB Hall of Fame Pitcher Mr. Wynn  Began his career with Washington and if he had stayed he may have become a Minnesota Twin.  But he left the Senators for Cleveland and finished his career with the White Sox. (then back to Cleveland for a cup of coffee and win #300.)

57. Life partner: MATE.

60. Bit of lingerie: SLIP.  Did you ever walk in Minnesota in the winter?

62. Most of the time: A LOT.

63. Fit for sainthood: HOLY.

64. Respond: REACT.  Think about those Broadway plays.  Those folks have to re act every performance

65. Verne sea captain: NEMO.  Played by Michael Caine and Omar Sharif.  I always thought he was a real person that lived before my time.


1. Elbow poke: JAB.

2. Mount Rushmore prez next to Teddy: ABE.  Shame on me.  I have driven through Rapid City, SD many times and even once stopped at the casino in Deadwood.  But I never drove the extra miles to see this fabulous carving in a mountain.  It should be one of the seven wonders of the world.  Let's at least give it number 8.

3. Shrill bark: YELP.

4. Hollywood hopefuls, back in the day: STARLETS.  The Sun is our biggest star.  I suppose we could call the little ones starlets.

5. Speak haltingly: STAMMER.  My uncle Howie had a terrible one.  Difficult to understand.

6. Outdoor party area: PATIO.  A lot of patios have now been replaced by decks on multi-story homes.

7. Hamburg's river: ELBE.  The Elbe flows through Northern Germany.  I was farther south, near Frankfurt.

8. False witness: LIAR.  Pants on fire.

9. Like sideways gridiron passes: LATERAL.  We don't see these in the NFL too much anymore.

10. "__ Secretary": TV drama: MADAM.

11. No longer hung up on: OVER.  I know they did not spell it this way, but I cannot help but think of Peter Graves in "Airplane."

12. Rude awakening: JOLT.  I don't know if it is still on the market, but I remember a high caffeine soft drink by this name.

13. Big-eyed: OWLY.  Stan -" I brought you some hard boiled eggs and nuts"

21. Celt's land: EIRE. Rory McIlroy's homeland.  Speaking of whom - What a great performance in the RBC Canadian Open this weekend.

22. Western chum: PARD.

25. Imitators: APERS.

26. Tropical eel: MORAY.

27. Exams for sophs and jrs.: PSATS.  I don't remember these as underclassmen.  I think I took SATs as a senior.

28. Filmdom ogre: SHREK.

29. Spot to fish from: PIER.  In Minnesota we fish from docks. Lot of lakes, not too many piers.

30. Somber song: DIRGE. I wonder why a Batman villain never got this name.

31. Like milk on the floor: SPILT.

32. "Mighty" Mudville dud: CASEY.  Absolutely my favorite classic poem of all time.  I rewrote it once and changed it to the "Twinville nine".  I also rewrote a bowling version where "Striking out" is a good thing.

34. Crooner Perry: COMO.  My sister Barbara's all time favorite.  Her son, my nephew visited from San Francisco just last week. 

38. Source of a masculine sense of self: INNER MAN.  Or a floatation device  Inner Tube.

40. 12 bottles of wine: CASE.  I wouldn't know.  I never liked wine much. Never enough to buy a case.

41. Nonprofessional: AMATEUR.  That's me. Amateur bowler, golfer, and speller.  C.C. is a pro blogger.

42. Investment firm figure: ANALYST.  I have never found an investment firm that fit me.

43. Classroom helper: AIDE.  Not a classroom, but there are many of these, mostly volunteers, at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis.

47. Lively: ZIPPY.  We don't have a Zippy's restaurant up North.  I hear they are in Hawaii.

48. Pastel purple: LILAC.  "Each lilac of green turns to one that is blue.  Love like the Lilacs can change colors too."  Chad Mitchell Trio.

49. Prepare, as potatoes: MASH.  "The game of life is hard to play" (M.A.S.H. theme song)

50. Capital on a fjord: OSLO.  I believe this was the home of Ole and Sven.

51. Rockies ski resort: VAIL.  Mile High, I think they have year round snow.

52. "Must-see" review: RAVE.

53. Polygon measure: AREA.  Polygons are fairly assorted and complex.  I think you would need a laser to calculate the area of some.

54. It may result in a commission: SALE.  Red Sox pitcher Chris is having a tough year.

58. Patriots' Brady: TOM.  Was not one of the "Brady Bunch", but now I think the Patriots are.

59. DDE's WWII command: ETO.  European Theater of Operations.  I was too young to remember, but of course Eisenhower was president in 1954 on the ten year remembrance of D-Day.  (June 6th).  He did not participate in the remembrance because it was too emotional for him. A number of the veterans who stormed the beach that day were on hand for the 75th remembrance last week.  Of course they are in their nineties now.  God bless them.


Note from C.C.:

Boomer had one more Zometa infusion last Wednesday. Here he is looking cheerful, ready to deal with the drug and its awful side effects.

Boomer, June 5, 2019

May 27, 2019

Monday May 27, 2019 Bruce Venzke & Gail Grabowski

Theme: CAUGHT IN THE RAIN (52A. Surprised by a shower ... and a hint involving certain outer letters of 20-, 32- and 40-Across) - RAIN is broken up in three different ways.

20. Olive Garden, e.g.: RESTAURANT CHAIN.

32. Winning big: RAKING IT IN.

40. Breakfast cereal with dried grapes: RAISIN BRAN.

Boomer here. 

Greetings from the land of the Minnesota Twins!  They are off to a great start of the season.  We'll see how they do against better teams coming up.  Brewers, Rays, and Indians.  So the puzzle theme is RAIN.  We have had plenty of that recently up North, but I am not complaining.  

The devastating tornadoes in Missouri breaks my heart.  I cannot imagine if my home was destroyed by weather. In church yesterday, we offered a prayer for those in the Show Me State that were affected.  

1. Boxing contest: MATCH.  Smokey the Bear says "Only you can prevent forest fires."

6. Covered with frosting: ICED. Iced tea is a great summer drink

10. Morticia Addams, to Gomez: TISH. Itt's true.  You rang?  My sister used to call me Lurch.

14. Beef recall cause: E. COLI.  Twins pitcher Kyle Gibson battled this in the off season.
Kyle Gibson

15. __ Scotia: NOVA.

16. "Sounds good": OKAY.

17. Pulsate: THROB.  Could invade your legs with too much golf.

18. Long, hard trip: TREK.  Star Trek - Gateway to the final frontier.

19. Curly salon job: PERM.  If this hairdo is a permanent, why do you need one every six months?  Yeah, I know... You grew different hair.

23. Tokyo, formerly: EDO.  Do Japanese husbands and wives say this at the altar?

24. USN NCO: CPO.  Remember CPO Sharkey Don Rickles.  I don't, I never liked Mr. Rickles.

25. Enlightened cry: AHA.

26. HBO rival, briefly: SHO.  I bought Showtime for awhile in the 1980s.  I never missed "Bizarre" hosted by John Byner .  Live from Toronto Canada. I never paid for HBO.

27. Cologne squirts: SPRITZES.

35. "Did __ something wrong?": I DO.  I know Americans say this at the altar.

36. Suspicious (of): WARY.

37. Pelican State sch.: LSU.  One of the many sports teams with a nickname of the Tigers.

38. Strings at luaus: UKES.  National music maker of Hawaii.  (Tiny Bubbles)

39. Adam's mate: EVE.  I don't think they ever had to say I DO.

44. "Ask Ann Landers" sister column: DEAR ABBY.  Dear Abby is a celebrity grandmother of Dean Phillips who happens to be our third district congressman from the state of Minnesota.

46. Feel poorly: AIL. "Ail, Ail, the gang's all here".

47. Mex. neighbor: USA.  Wishing all a solace Memorial Day.  "God Bless America."

48. Former JFK lander: SST.  I believe the Super Sonic Transports are now all grounded.

49. Govt.-issued aid: SSI.  I have one.  Never put it on line or give it to a junk phone caller.

58. Gorbachev's land: Abbr.: USSR.

59. "What a great __!": IDEA.

60. No longer squeaking: OILED.  I have also heard of this to be an adjective of one who may have over imbibed.

61. Mets' old stadium: SHEA.  Shea Stadium replaced the old Polo Grounds where Willie Mays got his start, and Bobby Thompson hit "The shot heard 'round the world". (Both in 1951).

62. Expected result: NORM.

63. Wind instrument commonly played horizontally: FLUTE.  We have a musician in the choir at church who plays the flute.

64. Sassy: PERT.

65. Yucky stuff: GLOP.  I believe this is what cost Maximum Security big time in the "Most exciting two minutes in sports".

66. UPS competitor: FEDEX.  I little more sophisticated than UPS.  I think they fly (almost) everything to Memphis in the first hours, then sort it by destination and send it by plane to the addressee the next morning.


1. 39.37 inches, in Liverpool: METRE.  How many METRES are required for a first down ?

2. Felt the pain: ACHED.  A round of golf will make your body ache, but nothing is worse than a bad tooth.

3. Trunk of the body: TORSO.

4. Solidify: CLOT.  Great to stop the bleeding, but not good in your lung.

5. Small charcoal grill: HIBACHI.  These were popular when tailgating was a great picnic before a sports game.  Now a lot of the parking is in ramps, or tailgating is prohibited.

6. "101" course title word: INTRO.

7. Former "Iron Chef America" chef Cat __: CORA.

8. Tied, scorewise: EVEN.  OR Making a par on every hole, or balancing birdies with bogies.

9. '60s TV show whose title means "doctor" in Swahili: DAKTARI.

10. Astaire headwear: TOP HAT.  I am not old enough for Fred Astaire, but I remember seeing many pictures of past Presidents wearing Top Hats in inaugural parades.

11. Swedish retailer: IKEA. We have one near Mall of America.  I went there once but was not impressed.  I would be interested in your comments, because the brand seems successful.

12. Delhi dress: SARI.

13. Choir number: HYMN. In church yesterday, the choir ended with "America the Beautiful" in honor of Memorial Day.

21. "... wish __ a star": UPON.  Thank you Jiminy Cricket, and Walt Disney.

22. Spot for stubble: CHIN.  Double this and get the name my sister Connie calls C.C.  

C.C. & Connie, Feb 2019
 26. Wild blue yonder: SKY.  "Off we go".

27. Spacek of "Bloodline": SISSY.

28. Spitting sound: PTUI.  This is pretty gross.  I do not see it often nor do I do it.

29. Viral concern at the Rio Olympics: ZIKA.  I have heard that mosquitoes carry this virus.  We have plenty of mosquitoes in Minnesota, but I have heard of no virus.

30. Garden of __: EDEN.  Many cities have borrowed this name.  We have Eden Prairie, a Western suburb of Minneapolis.  A nice place to visit but I can't afford to live there. 

31. Maritime emergency letters: SOS. … --- … Save our ship

32. Enthusiastic review: RAVE.

33. Room size calculation: AREA. They used to use measuring tape.  Now it is done by laser technology.

34. Smooth-talking: GLIB.  Go Lie In Bed

36. Abandon bachelorhood: WED.  When people say I DO

38. Website ID: URL.  I used to know what this meant, but now I am so tired of three letter acronyms, I just don't care any more.  LOL

40. Foolhardy: RASH.  There is a PBA Bowler named Sean Rash.  He is not a favorite among competitors and they gave him the nickname of "Diaper". 

41. Letting up: ABATING.

42. Bandmate of Crosby and Stills: NASH.  "You, who are on the road, must have a code, that you can live by."

43. Attempt "more than one can chew," in an idiom: BITE OFF.  This would be a good name for a remedy that would ease the itch of mosquito bites.

45. Nickelodeon toon tot: RUGRAT.

48. "Forever" post office purchase: STAMP.  It's really a great idea for the USPO.  I bought a hundred when they were still 50 cents, and now I save a nickel every time I use one.

49. José's "L'chaim!": SALUD.

50. Seven, in Spain: SIETE.  Sieben in German but I'm not sure if I spelled it right.

51. Handy list in the back: INDEX.

52. Zodiac transition point: CUSP.

53. Tennis legend Arthur: ASHE.  A tragic story.  Ashe was a great tennis champion and a revered black athlete when there were not so many. Mr. Ashe had a heart problem and was given a transfusion of bad blood, which ended up causing his death at age 49.

54. Icon tapper: USER.

55. Talent show for 17 seasons, briefly: IDOL.  A so called talent show where some winners advanced to fame, while others proved they had no talent.

56. Fictional sleuth Wolfe: NERO.

57. Stir to anger: RILE.  I know it has no reference, but the answer reminded me of an old TV show with William Bendix called "The Life of Riley".  Something every man pursued in the 1950's.


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!!