Showing posts with label David Poole. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Poole. Show all posts

Feb 10, 2019

Sunday February 10, 2019 David Poole

Theme: "Not Again"- RE is removed from each theme entry.

23A. Chef's directives involving sieves?: STRAINING ORDERS. Restraining orders.

34A. One splitting firewood?: CORD BREAKER. Record breaker.

43A. Chance for Obi-Wan to play?: TURN OF THE JEDI. Return of the Jedi.

69A. Therapist's technique using poetry?: VERSE PSYCHOLOGY. Reverse psychology.

101A. Social event for British tavern keepers?: PUBLICAN PARTY. Republican party.

111A. Dusting goal?: MOTE CONTROL. Remote control.

125A. License to search for the Holy Grail?: QUEST PERMISSION. Request permission.

Such an apt title from David. It summarizes up the gimmick nicely and does not give away the theme.

Very consistent approach too. Super tight entries.


1. Pen pals?: CONS. Fun clue.

5. Complexion enhancement: ROUGE. I just call it BLUSH.

10. Email subject abbr.: FWD.

13. Get to smile: AMUSE.

18. From square one: ANEW.

19. Steam up: ENRAGE.

21. John, to Paul, George and Ringo: LOO. And 22. John, Paul, George and Ringo: NAMES. Fantastic clues.

26. Travis of country: TRITT.

27. Tennis' Goolagong: EVONNE.

28. Kia HQ city: SEOUL. But HQ is asking for an abbreviated answer.

29. Widen: DILATE.

30. Old pool people: STENOS.

36. Violin stroke: UP BOW.

39. Big chamber group: OCTET.

41. Candidate's aim: SEAT. Our senator Amy Klobuchar is running.

42. Yearbook sect.: SRS.

47. Quaint oath: EGAD.

49. Bar quaff, briefly: IPA.

50. YOLO, in ancient Rome: CARPE DIEM. YOLO = You Only Living Once. This clue made me smile.

52. Actress Staunton of Harry Potter movies: IMELDA. Learning moment for me.

56. Lemony, say: CITRIC. Charlotte disagrees.

59. PC bailout key: ESC.

60. 113-Down's last words: A DAMN. And 113. "I never give anything without expecting something in return" speaker: RHETT.

62. Placed: LAID.

63. Take in or let out: ALTER.

64. Broadway's Hagen: UTA.

66. Hirsute Himalayan humanoid of myth: YETI. Triple alliteration. Agnes' forte.

68. Crossed (out): XED.

76. Compress, as a file: ZIP.

79. Resist: DEFY.

80. Pop duo __ & Him: SHE. Wiki says the duo consisting of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward.

81. Signs of shock: GASPS.

85. Currier's partner: IVES.

87. Andrea __: ill-fated ship: DORIA.

90. City, informally: URB.

92. Magoo's malady: MYOPIA.

93. Cooperstown charter member: TY COBB. And Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson.

95. Abash: EMBARRASS.

98. Prov. at one end of the Ambassador Bridge: ONT. Here is the bridge. Our constructor is a Canadian.

99. Dental image: X RAY.

104. Latin art: ARS.

107. Triangle product: AREA.

109. Tot's rebuttal: IS NOT.

110. Role for Liam: OSKAR. Oskar Schindler. He's in trouble.

115. Banded metamorphic rock: GNEISS.

117. Big Sur institute: ESALEN. Read here for details. I learned it from doing crosswords.

118. Cambodians' neighbors: THAIS. Oo!

120. Film frames: STILLS.

124. Knighted British actor Hawthorne: NIGEL. Learning moment as well.

129. "The Canterbury Tales" pilgrim: REEVE.

130. Blast cause: TNT.

131. Washington city: YAKIMA. Not TACOMA.

132. Enterprise counselor: TROI.

133. Portfolio part: ASSET.

134. Collecting Soc. Sec.: RET.

135. Enlighten: TEACH. I just send opaque things to Roman Forest. They often come back clear.

136. Virgo/Libra mo.: SEPT.


1. Project for Poirot: CASE.

2. Airing: ON TV.

3. Student of Seneca: NERO.

4. TV dinner brand: SWANSON.

5. "Xena" actress O'Connor: RENEE. Also new to me.

6. Hush-hush maritime org.: ONI. Office of Naval Intelligence.

7. Java holder: URN.

8. Witty bit: GAG.

9. Sensitive issues for directors: EGOS.

10. __-de-lis: FLEUR.

11. Wells title foes: WORLDS.  "The War of the Worlds". H. G. Wells.

12. Bobs and buns: DOS.

13. Bloody Civil War battle site: ANTIETAM. Wiki says "it was the bloodiest day in United States history, with a combined tally of 22,717 dead, wounded, or missing."

14. Actress Maples: MARLA.

15. Inuit boats: UMIAKS. This looks cold.

16. Volleyball position: SETTER.

17. Fragrant compounds: ESTERS.

20. Put up: ERECTED.

24. Bisected: IN TWO.

25. Rooster's last word?: DOO. Oh, cock-a-doodle-doo.

29. Involve with reluctantly, as a tough situation: DRAG INTO.

31. __ bene: NOTA.

32. Yellowish tone: OCHRE.

33. Answers the call: STEPS UP.

35. Pollen carrier: BEE.

36. Erie Canal city: UTICA.

37. One who has class?: PUPIL. And 112. Parisian 37-Down: ELEVE.

38. Benjamin of "Law & Order": BRATT. Here with Lannie!

40. Kicks out: EJECTS.

44. Govt. org. with a Media Bureau: FCC.

45. Calendario square: DIA.

46. Mil. roadside danger: IED.

48. 2017 Best Director Oscar winner Guillermo __ Toro: DEL. "The Shape of Water".

51. It may be held in a deli: MAYO.

53. Southern Calif. airport: LAX.  And 71. Northern Calif. airport: SFO.

54. Roller in Vegas: DIE.

55. Put in: ADD.

57. MLK's title: REV.

58. Miffed: IRED. Spell check does not like this form.

61. Voice artist Blanc: MEL.

65. Shakespearean cries: AYS.

67. Pop of punk: IGGY.

70. Snoopy's nemesis: RED BARON. Great fill.

72. Jane Rochester, née __: EYRE.

73. Uncouth types: CHURLS.

74. It's misleading when it's red: HERRING.

75. Ming most look up to: YAO. Very tall. He now owns Shanghai Sharks.

76. Spot at the prom?: ZIT. Bad pot.

77. Climbing greenery: IVY.

78. Iron pumper's pride: PEC.

82. Versatile utensil: SPORK.

83. Historic nautical trio member: PINTA.

84. Dionysus devotee: SATYR.

86. Red or White: SOX.

88. Little trickster: IMP. That's our Spitzboov!

89. "Aladdin" monkey: ABU.

91. Club component: BACON. Sandwich.

92. AOL alternative: MSN.

94. Patient's ID: BRACELET.

96. Knack: ABILITY.

97. Fill to the max: SATE.

100. Nikkei index currency: YEN.

102. Blog updates: POSTS. From our blogging team.

103. Gretzky's NHL record 1,963: ASSISTS.

104. Supreme Egyptian deity: AMEN RA.

105. Bar in TV's "M*A*S*H": ROSIE'S. Unknown to me. Never watched "M*A*S*H".

106. Play grounds?: STAGES. Nice clue.

108. Bring into harmony: ATTUNE.

114. Western treaty gp.: OAS. Organization of American States. And a blog regular.

116. NBA legend Thomas: ISIAH.

119. Little fight: SPAT.

121. Euro forerunners: LIRE.

122. Programmer's "endless" problem: LOOP.

123. Peevish state: SNIT.

125. Game div.: QTR.

126. Barely make, with "out": EKE.

127. Fjord kin: RIA.

128. CXL x XV: MMC. I dread this kind of clue.

I spoke with Dave 2 last Monday. He coughed constantly. Both he and his roommate had flu. They could not leave their room for fear that they might spread the flu to to other patients in the rehab place. He felt quite isolated.


Jan 10, 2019

Thursday January 10th 2019 David Poole

Theme: Read My Lips. As the reveal explains:

59A. Common campaign promise, and what four black squares in this puzzle create: TAX BREAK.

Four pairs of theme entries conceal a type of tax, broken up by the intervening black square:

17A Pinch pennies: SCRIMP.
18A. Strictly religious: ORTHODOX. Import tax.

23A. Toklas' life partner: STEIN.
24A Cupid cohort: COMET. Two of Santa's reindeer. I was looking for something to do with Eros at first. Income tax.

38. Lowbrow stuff: KITSCH.
40A. 58-Across type meaning "black dragon": OOLONG Learning moment regarding the tea.  School tax.

50A. Hallowed: BLEST.
52A. Starters: A-TEAM. Another little misdirection. I was trying to come up with a word for "appetizers".

It's a little easier to see the taxes looking at the grid at the foot of the blog, but there you have it.

This is one of those themes where it's extremely unlikely you're going to spot it while you're mid-solve, the challenge is to look back over the puzzle once you're done until you get the "Aha!" moment. Nicely done by David. Let's look over the fill:


1. Online shopping units: ORDERS. I get it, but "online" seems a little specific for something very generic.

7. 8 Series automaker: BMW. The base model for 2019 sets you back a cool $113,000 before you start adding upgrades. It's a good-looking car though, just a little outside my price range.

10. Comics possum: POGO. Cute little critter. I wasn't sure of the name, but the crosses quickly helped out.

14. Eagerly accept: LEAP AT.

15. Dinner table boors: REACHERS. Plain bad manners. My mom would have had a fit if any of us had tried that, along with eating off our knife, eating peas using the "shovel" technique and a myriad of other dire sins at the table.

19. __ out a living: EKE.

20. "My bad": I ADMIT IT. Difficult to parse at first.

22. "Kidding!": NOT!

28. "The Hunger Games" president Coriolanus __: SNOW. I think I should know this by now, it's pretty common in the puzzles Crosses to the rescue! Speaking of snow, did you see that Robert Frost's "Stopping by woods on a snowy evening" is now out of copyright, along with hundreds thousands of other works across the creative spectrum?

30. Flaps: ADOS.

32. "A Little Nightmare Music" composer P.D.Q. __: BACH. PDQ was my parent's version of stat! -pretty darn quick". This is an opera in one act by Peter Schickele - PDQ Bach is his pseudonym.

33. Hot under the collar: IRATE.

36. Canadian coin: LOONIE.

41. Disney's Montana: HANNAH.

42. Lamb's lament: BLEAT. I thought about Charles Lamb as my thought process's first port of call. I didn't stay there too long. "Lawyers, I suppose, were children once".

43. See 27-Down: URGE.

44. Whole lot: SCAD.

46. Hamburger's home: HAUS. The citizen, not the sandwich.

55. Durham sch.: U.N.H. University of New Hampshire. I got all confused here, jumping in with UNC, which was all kinds of wrong. Firstly, Duke is the school in Durham, NC - UNC is at nearby Chapel Hill.

56. '70s-'90s Pontiacs: SUNBIRDS. Why did I go for Sunfire? Some missteps for me today.

58. See 40-Across: TEA.

62. Tailor's measure: INSEAM.

64. Person-to-person: ONE-ON-ONE.

65. Rather thick: OBTUSE. I see obtuse more as being "stubbornly refusing to understand" than "thick". The dictionary doesn't agree with me though.

66. See 38-Down: MARX. Another one to annoy the x-ref dislikers.  Here's the memorial in the "new" cemetery. The "old" cemetery is across the road and is a nature reserve. It's a beautiful place.

67. Frowny-faced: SAD.

68. Chicken: SCARED.


1. Mary-Kate, Ashley and Elizabeth: OLSENS.

2. S'pose: RECKON.

3. "Do I __ eat a peach?": Eliot: DARE TO.

4. Prefix with graph or gram: EPI-

5. "Groundhog Day" director Harold: RAMIS.

6. Mid-Mar. honoree: ST PAT.

7. Trite saying: BROMIDE.

8. Sheep prized for its wool: MERINO.

9. Power unit: WATT.

10. Kiosk with a camera: PHOTO BOOTH.

11. Ref. work whose 2018 Word of the Year is "toxic": OED. Toxic environment, toxic workplace, toxic masculinity all got a good workout in 2018, along with the environmental toxicities.

12. Miracle-__: GRO.

13. Mac platform: OS X.

16. In vogue: CHIC.

21. First word in titles by Arthur Miller and Agatha Christie: DEATH. Death of a Salesman, and Death on the Nile for example.

25. Flutist Herbie: MANN.

26. Vaper's need, informally: E-CIG.

27. With 43-Across, feeling often fought: THE. The urge.  This one seems a little forced to me, but here it is.

29. British courtroom fixture: WITNESS BOX. I hadn't really considered that the witness box was typically British. I guess you take the witness stand here. Here's the interior of the Old Bailey in London, more properly the Central Criminal Court, scene of some famous trials:

31. Blackthorn plum: SLOE.

34. Bloemfontein's land: Abbr.: R.S.A. Republic of South Africa.

35. Rhine whines: ACHS.

37. Ipanema greeting: OLA. Portuguese drops the "H" in "Hola!".

38. With 66-Across, German philosopher buried in London's Highgate Cemetery: KARL.

39. "Bus Stop" dramatist: INGE. William Inge, the playwright. The 1956 movie of the same name with Marilyn Monroe was only loosely based on it.

40. Not as current: OLDER.

41. Busy airport: HUB.

42. Hand-dyed with wax: BATIKED.

45. Place to put on a suit: CABANA. A bathing suit. Cute clue.

47. Filmmaker with a unique style: AUTEUR.

48. Anxiety: UNEASE.

49. Disgraced: SHAMED.

51. Go sour: TURN.

53. "Hasta mañana": ADIOS.

54. "The Beat with Ari Melber" network: MSNBC. I never watch it. Seems popular though.

57. Avant-garde sorts: NEOS.

59. Hiddleston who plays Loki in Marvel films: TOM. Thank you, crosses. I'm pretty bad with proper names in film and TV.

60. Santa __: ANA. A sure-fire way to start an argument among southern Californians is to aver that the "Santa Ana Winds" are not Santa Anas at all, but "Satanás" from the Spanish for "winds".

61. Boomer's kid: XER. Generation X.

63. RR stop: STA.

Which brings us to the grid, laid out in all its colorful glory with the tax breaks. Hasta!


Dec 26, 2018

Wednesday December 26, 2018 David Poole

Theme - It's In The Cards -- You Can Bet On It.  The final letters of the theme answers spell out the names of playing cards that, when taken together, will surely give you the winning hand.  And they are presented in ascending order  - a nice, elegant touch.

17 A. Bullied: BROW BEATEN.  Intimidated, coerced, pressured, terrorized, usually into doing something.  The card rank and hand description explanations will follow.  Vide infra.

23 A. Breakfast fare: FLAPJACK.   Here in the U.S. this is another term for the pancake, and that is the intended sense of the clue.  In the U. K. this terms refers to a tray-baked bar made of rolled oats, butter and brown sugar - which sounds like a pretty good granola bar.

29 A. "12 Years a Slave" director Steve or "Bullitt" star Steve (not the same person): MCQUEEN.  Steven Rodney McQueen [b 1969] is a British film director and screen writer.  Terence Steven McQueen [1930-1980] aka "The King of Cool" was nominated for an Oscar for his role in The Sand Pebbles.  He appeared in several block-buster films, and is probably best know for Bullit.  He lived hard and fast and passed too young at the age of 50.  This pair of QUEENs also gives us a small branch off the main theme.

43 A. Stirring up, as resentment: STOKING.  literally, to STOKE means to add fuel to a fire. So, by extension, the word also means to fire up emotions - especially those that are hot anyway, like resentment or anger.

47 A. Commoners: POPULACE.  A collective noun for the inhabitants of a region or country.  A "commoner" is an ordinary person, without rank or title.  It's a bit of a stretch to see equivalence here.

And the unifier:  54. What's hidden at the ends of 17-, 23-, 29-, 43- and 47-Across--if all are in, say, 38-Across: ROYAL FLUSH.  In poker, hands are ranked in reverse order of the probability of their occurrence. Thus, the least probable holding in any round of play will be the winner.  A STRAIGHT is any hand containing five cards in order, say 3-4-5-6-7, frex.  A higher ranking hand is a FLUSH, in which all of the cards are in the same suit. Next, in ascending order are the full house - three of a kind plus a pair; and four of a kind. Ranking above all of them is the STRAIGHT FLUSH - five cards, not only in order, but also all in the same suit.  Within a suit, cards are ranked by their numbers, with face cards above, and the the ACE highest of all [usually.]  So, a STRAIGHT FLUSH consisting of TEN, JACK, QUEEN, KING, and ACE of any suit, aka a ROYAL FLUSH, is the highest ranking example of the least likely, and therefore most powerful holding.

Plus, we get a nice, centrally-located theme extra -- 38 A. See 54-Across: CLUBS.  These are cards in one of the four suits in which a ROYAL FLUSH might occur; the others being diamonds, hearts and spades.

In each of the major theme clues, the hidden card name has a completely different meaning than it does in the context of the unifier - another nice touch.  So - a really well constructed puzzle.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here wishing you all a happy Kwanza, Boxing Day and/or feast of St. Steven.  Let's see what other gifts this puzzle offers.


1. Campus VIP: DEAN.  the head of faculty in a department

5. __ East, Chicago-based pizza chain: GINOS.  Started in 1966 by two taxi drivers.

10. Remove politely, as one's hat: DOFF. Late Middle English contraction of "do off."  Contrast "don," as, frex, gay apparel.

14. Entreat: URGE.  Attempt to convince someone without resorting to actual BROWBEATING.

15. "__ Mio": O SOLE. A Neapolitan song written in 1989 by Giovanni Capurro, Eduardo di Capua and Alfredo Mazzucchi, and usually sing in the original Neapolitan language.  The title translates as "My Sunshine."

16. Malevolence: EVIL.

19. Word processor command: SAVE.

20. World Golf Hall of Famer Aoki: ISAO.  [b 1942] He was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2004.

21. Used TurboTax, perhaps: E-FILED.  Submitted your tax return electronically.

27. Actor Mineo: SAL.  Salvatore Mineo, Jr. [1939-1976] was an American singer and actor nominated for Acadamy Awards for best supporting actor in Rebel without a Cause and Exodus.

28. Take to a new planter: REROOT.  Plant in a new pot?  To reroot means to generate a new, identical plant from a stem cutting.  Not the same thing at all.

33. Farewell that is bid: ADIEU.  Buh-bye.

34. Pumps and platforms: SHOES.  Different shoe styles.

36. Sorbonne article: UNE.  I suppose it means "The."

37. Black-plumed pond swimmer: COOT.  Coots are small water birds that are members of the rail family, Rallidae. They constitute the genus Fulica, the name being the Latin for "coot".  Coots have predominantly black plumage, and—unlike many rails—they are usually easy to see, often swimming in open water. They are close relatives of the moorhen. [Wikipedia]

39. "__ glad to!": I'D BE. Expressing eager willingness to do something - without being BROW BEATEN.

40. Hung. neighbor: AUS.  Hungary and Austria, two Eastern European Countries.

41. Gives the heave-ho: BOOTS.  Kicks out of something

42. Rebuke: SCOLD.  Harsh verbal criticism - could also involve BROW BEATING.

45. Solid alcohol: STEROL.  A complex organic alcohol, C17H22O, found in plants and animals.  It is the eponym for a class of chemical compounds with related molecular structures.  Cholesterol is one example.

46. Circle segment: ARC.

49. Like Dagwood's wife: BLONDE.

52. Ottawa-based flying gp.: RCAF. Royal Canadian Air Force.

53. Material flaws: RIPS.  Tears and/or holes.

60. "Fantastic Beasts" actor Miller: EZRA.  [b 1992] Portraying Credence Barebone.

61. Twitter troublemaker: TROLL.  One who invades comment sections for the purpose of disrupting conversations and causing general mayhem.  Also found on FaceBook and Blogs.

62. "Off the Court" autobiographer Arthur: ASHE.  Arthur Robert Ashe Jr. [1943-1993] was an American professional tennis player who won three Grand Slam titles.

63. __ and means: WAYS.  The methods and resources at someone's disposal for achieving something.  Also the name of the chief tax writing committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.

64. Gumbo pods: OKRAS.  The edible seed pods of a flowering plant of the mallow family.

65. Cameo stone: ONYX.  A variety of the silicate mineral chalcedony having parallel bands of various colors.


1. Name: DUB.  Provide an unofficial or nickname to someone or something.  Traces back via late Old English, meaning to make someone a knight, to Old French adober - to provide with armor.

2. Throw wildly, say: ERR.  In baseball, any mishandling of a batted ball by a fielder is considered to be an error.

3. Fourth word in the "Star Wars" intro: AGO.  "A long time  .  .  . "

4. Part of four state names: NEW.  - Hampshire, -Mexico, -Jersey, and -York.

5. Attacks: GOES AT.  A physical or verbal attack.  May involve BROW BEATING or actual BEATING about the head and shoulders.

6. Fashion designer Mizrahi: ISAAC.  [b 1961] An American fashion designer, TV presenter, and eponym for a line of clothing since 1987.

7. Unacceptable: NOT OK.  Incorrect, inappropriate, inadmissible, or simply not good enough.

8. World Cup cry: OLE.  Among Spanish-speaking fans.

9. Grows old: SENESCES.  Not just that, but deteriorates with age.  As old as I am [and to be honest, that's pretty old] I don't believe I have ever encountered this word before, and had to rely completely on perps.

10. Arnaz-Ball production company: DESILU.  Founded by the husband and wife team of Desi and Lucy, best known for the TV shows I Love Lucy, Star Trek and The Untouchables.

11. Racecourse shape: OVAL.

12. Dave Brubeck classic "Take __": FIVE.  In the unusual time signature of 5/4, it was originally released on the 1959 album TIME OUT, which featured other songs in odd or mixed meters, and is the only song on the album written by Paul Desmond.  Two years later, it became a hit, and is the biggest-selling jazz single ever.  According to Desmond, "It was never supposed to be a hit. It was supposed to be a Joe Morello drum solo." Yes, I have played this song -- improvised using the 4th mode of the harmonic minor scale.  Might not have been your choice.   It worked OK.

Pretty aggressive tempo in this live performance

13. Took off: FLED.  Or FLEW.  Needed perp help.

18. Exquisite trinket: BIJOU.  Something small and elegant,  French - from Breton bizou, finger ring, from biz, finger.

22. Web help pgs.: FAQSFrequently Asked QuestionS.

23. Skirmish: FRACAS. A noisy disturbance, brawl or quarrel, from Italian fracassare, to make an uproar.

24. Escorted to the exit: LED OUT. Or SAW OUT, needed even more perps.  Does LED OUT suggest the exit might not be voluntary?

25. Melodic passage: ARIOSO.  A solo instrumental or vocal piece occurring in an opera or oratorio.

From Cantata No, 156 by J.S. Bach

26. Auden, Blake or Coleridge: POET.  Versifiers.

29. Tough crowds: MOBS.  An large, unruly, disorganized crowd, that might be prone to causing trouble, mayhem or violence.

30. "Why I Live at the P.O." author Welty: EUDORA.  Eudora Alice Welty [1909 - 2001] was an American short story writer and novelist who wrote about the American South. Her novel The Optimist's Daughter won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973. Welty received numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Order of the South. [Wikipedia]

31. As a whole: EN BLOC.  Doing something all together, or separately, but at the same time.  More French.

32. Acupuncture tool: NEEDLE.  Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine in which thin needles are inserted into the body. It is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine. The theories and practices of TCM are not based upon scientific knowledge, and acupuncture is a pseudoscience. [Wikipedia]

34. Tough going: SLOG.  Like a trek, but worse.

35. Crude shelter: HUT.  A small, roughly constructed structure serving as poor-quality lodging.   Alternatively, a place to get pizza.

38. Any one of Bach's Brandenburgs: CONCERTO.  The Brandenburg Concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach are a collection of six instrumental works presented by Bach to Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt, in 1721. [Wikipedia]  It is unlikely that the Margrave would have had the complement of musicians necessary to perform these works, so they sat unused for a long period.

There's no such thing as too much Bach
39. Most sparsely populated Eur. country: ICELand.  I have a little difficulty considering this remote island nation to actually be a part of Europe.

41. Owl or osprey: BIRD.  Raptors, to be more specific.

42. Odds and ends: STUFF.  This and that.  Things.

44. "Dust in the Wind" band: KANSAS.

Bach did NOT write this in 1977

45. Stone chips: SPALLS.  We also use that word for chips and flakes off of glass or ceramics.  Anyway, potato chips might be less crunchy, but they taste better.

47. Richard who played "The Wiz" in 1978: PRYOR.  [1940-2005] American stand-up comedian, actor, and social critic.

48. City west of Daytona Beach: OCALA.  'Cuz "De Leon Springs" doesn't fit.

49. Make, as beer: BREW.  Via a process of soaking, boiling and fermentation.

50. Oscar winner Minnelli: LIZA. [b 1946]  Judy Garland's daughter.  The oscar is for her performance in the 1972 movie Cabaret.

51. Nashville venue: OPRY.  The Grand Ole Opry is a weekly country music stage concert in Nashville, Tennessee founded on November 28, 1925, by George D. Hay as a one-hour radio "barn dance" on WSM.

55. Mork's planet: ORK.  Mork was exiled to Earth from ORK, where humor is not permitted.

56. Vientiane language: LAO.  Lao is the language of Laos.  Vientiane is it's capital and largest city.

57. Org. with admirals: USNUnited States Navy.

58. Far from forward: SHY.  Reserved, timid or nervous in the company of other people.

59. Jinx: HEX.  A jinx is a curse or spell cast on someone to cause bad luck.  A Hex is more general, and not necessarily negative, but potentially much more severe.

I had some nits wit the cluing, but overall, a fine puzzle and a fun, rather challenging solve.  Hope you didn't think it was NOT OK.

Cool regards!

Jul 31, 2018

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 David Poole


21. *LeBron's sport: BASKETBALL.  Breadbasket (or bread basket), and butterball

32. *Insect used in genetic research: FRUITFLY. Breadfruit and butterfly

56. *Glazed morning snack: DOUGHNUT. Bread dough and butternut.

66. *Form a queue: LINE UP. Breadline and butter up

42. Primary source of income ... and words that can precede the two parts, respectively, of the answers to starred clues: BREAD AND BUTTER.


1. Muslim veil: HIJAB.

6. Behind us: PAST

10. Fashion's de la Renta: OSCAR.

15. Self-__: personally mindful: AWARE. I find it joyous to watch babies become self-aware.

16. Trade show: EXPO.  Dash-T is going to a couple.  Continuing education in the security trade.  He's stoked.  

17. Eclipse shadow: UMBRA.

18. Synagogue scroll: TORAH.

19. Paella morsel: CLAM.

20. In poor taste: TACKY.

24. Cereal mix: MUESLI.

27. NASDAQ locale: WALL ST. The NASDAQ Composite Index is up over 12% this year.

31. Play a part: ACT.   Paraprosdokian: "We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public."    Old Man Keith could teach aspirants a thing or two about how to play a part.  

37. Hither partner: YON.  Hither and Yon.  Here and there (and everywhere).  Scattered.

38. Plural medical suffix: OSES.

40. NYC gallery district: SOHOSouth of Howstun.  Huestun is in Texas.

41. Lewd material: SMUT.  None here please.

47. Part of town, in slang: NABE. Neighborhood

48. Street: ROAD.

49. Branch of mechanics concerned with forces in equilibrium: STATICS.  Balanced forces.

52. Loving: ADORING

55. Frying liquid: OIL.

59. Watery expanse: SEA.

60. Fracas: MELEE.

62. Hammer head: PEEN.  The round part of a machinist's hammer, which is also commonly known as a "ball peen hammer."   Ball peen hammers are harder than carpenter hammers, and are used in metalworking, versus the claw hammers that are used in carpentry and woodworking. 

63. Blender selection: SPEED.  Was thinking of a setting, e.g. mince.

65. Diva's delivery: ARIA.

68. Teen anti-DWI gp.: SADD.   Students Against Destructive Decisions

69. Didn't stay: LEFT.

70. Of a battery terminal: ANODALUnderstanding Anodal and Cathodal Stimulation

71. Small ocean landmass: ISLE.

72. Mid-month date: IDES.

73. Pathetically tiny, as a sum of money: MEASLY. Paltry.  A pittance.  Meager.  Like today's review.  Sorry folks, exhaustion and fatigue plagued me this week.  Should have called for a sub.

74. Tourney ranking: SEED.  Used in some sports tournaments that use playoff brackets, such as tennis and basketball.  Teams or players are first ranked (seeded) and then placed in the brackets. The NCAA's "March Madness" basketball tournament would be a prime example.


1. Boater or bowler: HAT.

2. "Letters From __ Jima": 2006 film: IWO.

3. Pickle container: JAR.   In baseball parlance, a pickle is when a base runner is caught between bases in a rundown, and most likely will be tagged out.

4. Many Yemenis: ARABs.

5. On __ of: for: BEHALF.

6. Quarter of a bushel: PECK. Picked plenty of pecks in the strawberry fields back home with other 13 and 14 year olds.  Think we either got a nickle or a dime for each peck picked. 

7. Wheel connection: AXLE.

8. Squabble: SPAT.

9. Mausoleum: TOMB.

10. Expenditure: OUTLAY.

11. Word before fry or potatoes: SMALL.  Small fry and small potatoes.  Both phrases have the same idiomatic meaning: insignificant.

12. Network with its HQ in Ottawa: CBC.   Hello to Canadian Eh and OAS !  CBC stands for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

13. 18-Across holder: ARK.

14. Bit of sunlight: RAY.

22. Title of respect: SIR.  A few other examples:  Herr in German,  señor in Spanish,  Pan in Polish,  Vážený pane in Czech,  Gospod in Slovenian, and also Sir in Slovak.   Thank you Google Translate.

23. Hole-making tool: AWL.

24. Chinese chairman: MAO.  Saddened when Chairman Moe said he would be leaving the blog for a while. 

25. State school near L.A.: UCSB.  University of California, Santa Barbara.  I believe Picard knows this area and school very well. 

26. Immortality: ETERNAL LIFE

28. Tick-borne illness named for a Connecticut town: LYME DISEASE.  A fellow 'shroomer got this really bad.  Ended up in the hospital and then couldn't work for over a year.   Since then, I make sure to blouse my pants and douse myself with Deet when traipsing through the woods chasing the elusive morels.

29. Mouth-puckering: SOUR.

30. Explosive for Wile E. Coyote: TNT.

33. Springsteen's "Born in the __": USA.

34. Physicist's particle: ION.

35. Divinity sch. degree: THD.  Doctor of Theology.

36. Watch chain: FOB.

39. Senate position: SEAT.

41. Lead actress: STAR.

43. Put up with: ABIDE.

44. Art style seen in Miami's South Beach: DECO.

45. Pakistani language: URDU.

46. Friendly horn sounds: TOOTS.

49. Horn of Africa native: SOMALI.

50. Like big wedding cakes: TIERED.

51. Flat on one's back: SUPINE.  A good starting point for lower back exercises.

52. Once-a-year flower: ANNUAL

53. Pine dropping: NEEDLE.

54. Wandered (about): GADDED.  Gadded makes me think old-timey,  of rich Victorians, or the Roaring Twenties, Great Gatsby-like.  

57. Italian salami city: GENOA.

58. Obeys: HEEDS.

61. Diner grub: EATS.

64. Three-pronged Greek letters: PSIs.

66. Beat a hasty retreat: LAM.  As a verb, in the sense of escape.

67. Tissue layer: PLY.

May 24, 2018

Thursday May 24 2018 David Poole

Theme: Fleet of Funnies -  Aquatic vessels clued unexpectedly:

17A. High-end eye makeup?: LUXURY LINER. I got this one right off the bat, I had a couple of crosses in place with the downs, and LUXURY pretty much filled itself in. LINER came naturally, then I was off to the races.

27A. One sterilizing Ping-Pong equipment?: PADDLE STEAMER. Proud Mary? Let's rock ...

48A. Squad car for soprano Kathleen?: BATTLE CRUISER. I chuckled at this one. Plus-sized divas in UK slang might be described as "having a bit of the battleship about her". Kathleen Battle, however, does not fit the description. Here with Wynton Marsalis:

64A. Worthless stuff from Beijing?: CHINESE JUNK. I saw many junks running local deliveries in Hong Kong harbor. Still highly practical.

Fun theme, some nice long downs, crisp fill, nice puzzle!


1. Outdated: PASSÉ

6. Calf-length dresses: MIDIS

11. Streaming alternative: DVD

14. Let up: ABATE

15. Hacienda material: ADOBE. I always want ADOBO - it's those smoked chipotle chilis in adobo sauce. Food!

16. Crew's control?: OAR. Some crew just use the oar for power, and leave it to the cox at the back to steer. I think the coxless four is probably the finest example of oarsmanship, power and control. Try to watch some events at the next Summer Olympic games.

19. Hollywood SFX: CGI. Movie Special Effects - SFX - Computer Generated Imagery - CGI.

20. Part of a process: STEP

21. "Pomp and Circumstance" composer: ELGAR. Edward. I thought he might get a quick cameo performance at last weekend's nuptuals.

22. Concert souvenir: STUB. Quick, where are my U2 stubs from last year? I swear just saw them.

23. First words of "Green Eggs and Ham": I AM. I'm at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas this week. It's my last chance to approach the Dr. Seuss booth with a witty sales pitch. Any ideas?

25. Creeps: TIPTOES. Ah, those find of creeps! I love noun/verb clue-play

32. Supermarket chain with a m ostly red oval logo: IGA. When I saw this and the crossing 28D I was already holding up my hands in a (personal) Natick defeat. But finally, the Ghosts of Puzzles Past bailed me out of a hole.

33. Con man?: ANTI. Pro - Con. Fer - Anti. Opposite sides of the voting spectrum.

34. Switches: SWAPS

37. Adorkable one: NERD. Clue of the day. I love it. Didn't take a second to latch on, but awesome world play.

39. Emcee duty: INTRO

42. Flute or reed, on an organ: STOP. Always wanted to have a crack at one of those huge church organs.

43. Tibetan legends: YETIS

45. Fireside stack: LOGS

47. Org. concerned with emissions: E.P.A.

52. Sign of fall: SCORPIO. Nice clue for this Zodiac sign. October 23rd - November 22nd.

54. Fish-eating eagle: ERN

55. Romp: PLAY

56. Old autocrats: TSARS

59. Historic times: AGES. The Age of .... Enlightenment/Aquarius/etc.

63. Place for a bud: EAR

66. It may be financial or legal: AID

67. Skin dye used in some wedding celebrations: HENNA. I henna'd my hair in my teens. Here is me, playing one of Winchester's "disaffected youth" occupying the historical Buttercross. Just like we did every weekend, it wasn't "Che" revolutionary, we just needed somewhere to sit when we were kicked out of the coffee shop above for not actually buying anything. I hemmed the jeans myself on my mom's Singer sewing machine

68. Overdue: TARDY

69. Measures for long-distance runners: Abbr.: KMS. One kilometer isn't even a warm-up for these folks. Coast-to-Coast - aim for 42 days to beat the record, and expect to run around 4,800 km give or take a few bathroom breaks or wrong turns.

70. Mystery award: EDGAR. Mr. Edgar Allan, and how apt it that?

71. Entertain: AMUSE


1. More than casual acquaintances: PALS

2. Touch on: ABUT

3. __-Coburg: former Bavarian duchy: SAXE

4. Idiotic: STUPID

5. "If __ I loved her, all that love is gone": Shakespeare: E'ER. Demetrius telling Lysander he's welcome to Hermia:

Lysander, keep thy Hermia. I will none.
If e'er I loved her, all that love is gone.
My heart to her but as guest-wise sojourned,
And now to Helen is it home returned,
There to remain.

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act III sc. ii

6. __ of America: MALL

7. "Got it, man": I DIG! Probably not been heard since the 60's, but I could be wrong.

8. Give: DONATE

9. Gibraltar's peninsula: IBERIA. Shared with Spain and Portugal. Maybe a slice of Andorra too.

10. Sun. delivery: SER. mon. The sermon at last weekend's "royal" wedding caused a little bit of a stir.

11. High degrees: DOCTORATES

12. Ill-defined: VAGUE

13. Small amounts: DRIBS

18. Aden native: YEMENI

22. Simmers: STEWS

24. Fashioned after: À LA

26. Canadian VIPs: PM'S. Prime Ministers.

27. Like some Christmas candles: PINY

28. Tommie of the Amazin' Mets: AGEE

29. They're stuck in pubs: DARTBOARDS. At some point in dim and distant history, the numbering sequence became accepted. I understand 1-20-5, risk/reward, but I've hit 17 aiming for 19. I won my first competitive darts match by hitting double-17. Happy days.

30. RR depot: STN. 

31. IMDb search category: TITLE

35. Bishop of Rome: POPE

36. Sail support: SPAR

38. Private account: DIARY

40. Mythical bird: ROC

41. Fiona, after Shrek's kiss: OGRESS

44. Auto additive with a mostly red oval logo: STP

46. __ La Table: Williams-Sonoma rival: SUR. Ignore all these guys, find a restaurant supply store near you and get everything you need at one-tenth of the price.

49. Gave religiously: TITHED

50. Dieting successfully: LOSING

51. Stuck: IN A JAM

52. Command to Fido: SPEAK

53. GEICO submission: CLAIM

57. "Mom" co-star Faris: ANNA

58. Stern: REAR. Aft, Abaft, so many nautical terms for the blunt end.

60. Wise adviser: GURU. It's an honorific of respect in India. I've been addressed as "Steve Guru", which made me awkwardly uncomfortable until I realized it was a show of manners, and one I could embrace. I love Indian culture.

61. Objectives: ENDS

62. Inner Hebrides isle: SKYE.

"Speed, bonnie boat, like a bird on the wing,
Onward! the sailors cry;
Carry the lad that's born to be King
Over the sea to Skye."

64. "The Motorcycle Diaries" revolutionary: CHE. One of my friends named her cat after the motorcycle - Fuser. Who knew that Marxists were so fond of their bikes that they gave them a name?

65. In-flight update: ETA. Did you know that an on-time departure mean that as long you push back from the gate on the appointed minute, regardless of whether you spend two hours on the tarmac fixing the fuel pump, waiting for the lightning to clear or holding in line behind 30 other planes? Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics!


Apr 4, 2018

Wednesday, April 4 2018, David Poole

Theme: BOXED IN- Four different scrambles of AMEN is placed in each corner.

1. Whirlpool brand : AMANA

10. Italian smoker : ETNA

63. __ Domini : ANNO

65. 2014 film set in Alabama : SELMA

52. Exciting section of 37-Across, familiarly ... and a configuration found in four apt places in this puzzle : AMEN CORNER

Melissa here. The theme was subtle (each corner square contains the letter A), and I had to solve the whole puzzle before it clicked. Kept looking for something more obvious, like the word AMEN hidden in each answer, or something about golf because of  two golf-themed long answers. I'm guessing David Poole is a sports fan, and possibly French Canadian. Note: I was right!

(Thanks for the correction, Brian!)


6. "M*A*S*H" actor Jamie : FARR. He played Sergeant Maxwell Q. Klinger. More here.

14. Saint Kitts neighbor : NEVIS. Complete unknown to me.

15. Drink with a polar bear mascot : ICEE

16. Overflow (with) : TEEM

17. Civil rights org. : NAACP

18. Alum : GRAD

19. End of a Basque ball game? : ALAI

20. She walked into Rick's gin joint : ILSA

21. Tournament that awards a green jacket : THE MASTERS. Ten facts about the green jacket. And one more.

23. Springsteen's __ Band : E STREET

25. Speech therapy subject : LISP

26. Museum collection : ART

27. Show of strength? : FLEX

29. Montreal Canadien, to hockey fans : HAB. I had questions! Never noted that spelling of Canadien before - it is the French spelling. According to Wikipedia: "The "H" stands for "hockey", not "Habitants," a popular misconception. According to, the first man to refer to the team as "the Habs" was American Tex Rickard, owner of the Madison Square Garden, in 1924. Rickard apparently told a reporter that the "H" on the Canadiens' sweaters was for "Habitants."

32. Wolfgang Puck restaurant chain : SPAGO

35. Litigant : SUER

36. Golfer's target : HOLE

37. Home of 21-Across : AUGUSTA NATIONAL. Anyone's guess this year.

40. Real estate measure : AREA

41. Quizzes : ASKS. Verb, not noun.

42. Colgate rival : CREST

43. "Full Frontal" host Samantha : BEE

44. Website with a "Craft Supplies & Tools" section : ETSY

45. Fenway team: Abbr. : BOS. Boston Red Sox.

46. Totally at sea : LOST

48. Actress Redgrave : VANESSA

56. Rating unit : STAR

57. Tennis score : LOVE. This sounds right, from Quora: "The word Love (for zero score) comes from French word l'oeuf - which means egg which is the shape of zero. The word Tennis itself originated from the French word tenez - which means to receive."

58. Granola grain : OATS

59. Skinny South American country : CHILE

60. Swimming event : MEET

61. Formerly, formerly : ERST

62. Songwriter Leonard : COHEN. Trivia - You Want It Darker came out days before Cohen died when he was in ill health. His son Adam brought recording equipment into his house and recorded his voice right into a laptop.

64. Ball belles : DEBS


1. Miss Hannigan's charge : ANNIE

2. Board, in "room and board" : MEALS

3. Sailor's "Halt!" : AVAST

4. Central American nation : NICARAGUA

5. Egyptian viper : ASP

6. Argue : FIGHT

7. Farm field unit : ACRE

8. Paper order : REAM

9. Emergency status : RED ALERT

10. Les __-Unis : ETATS. More French, "The United States."

11. Whispering party game : TELEPHONE

12. Warm, in a game : NEAR

13. French friends : AMIS. Encore une fois avec français!

21. Asian New Year : TET

22. Joe Torre's retired Yankee uniform number : SIX

24. God with a bow : EROS

27. Musty-smelling : FUNKY

28. Grazing grounds : LEAS

30. "What a shame!" : ALAS

31. Karate skill award : BELT

32. Swedish auto : SAAB

33. Unadulterated : PURE

34. Anna Paquin won her Oscar for "The Piano" at it : AGE ELEVEN. So tricky.

35. Insolence : SASS

36. Good luck symbol : HORSESHOE

38. Drew on? : TATTOOED

39. Tapped symbol : ICON

44. PC bailout key : ESC

45. "Cheers" setting : BAR

47. "You're __ talk!" : ONE TO. Meaning, 'You're not one to talk!'

48. Three-piece pieces : VESTS

49. Chain saw brand : STIHL

50. Western state capital : SALEM. Oregon.

51. Toronto's Rogers Centre, for one : ARENA

52. __ mater : ALMA

53. Faucet brand : MOEN

54. Few and far between : RARE

55. Accident investigation agcy. : NTSB

59. Dosage amts. : CCS

Notes from C.C.:

The Saratoga Hospital turned out to be a cold place. They returned Agnes' card to Argyle due to lack of room number. We also cannot locate a package D-Otto sent. If any of you lives in that area, can you email me (Edited later: No need. Package was found. Thank you,  Spitzboov, for giving me the crucial contact person!)

I suspect some of you might have received bounced mail also. Argyle is now in a new place. The address is below. He'll be here for quite some time. He's doing OK. He has a phone and a tablet. Let's hope he can be on line soon.

D. Scott Nichols

Room #219
Wesley Health Care Center
131 Lawrence St.
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866