Showing posts with label Ed Sessa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ed Sessa. Show all posts

Sep 11, 2019

Wednesday, September 11, 2019, Ed Sessa

Theme: People who live in glass houses ...

Here's something I don't remember seeing before. In three theme answers, the first word is a kind of rock - but, for a little twist, add the word ROCK to the fourth theme answer to get ROCK HUDSON.

17. Psychedelic decorative light: LAVA LAMP.

24. Not even a little high: STONE SOBER.

48. Structure renamed for a president in 1947: BOULDER DAM.

35. New York waterway: HUDSON RIVER.

57. Simon & Garfunkel hit, and hint to the starts of 17-, 24-, 48- ... and 35-Across, too!: I AM A ROCK.

Melissa here. First Wednesday in a month or so with no circles. Does that make us square?


1. Braying beast: ASS.

4. "Diamonds & Rust" folk singer Joan: BAEZ.

8. Hop, skip and jump: CAVORT. Tricky. I was thinking goat parkour.

14. Where lowers lie: LEA. Lower Lea Valley. I don't know if that's the lower lea this refers to or not - but I learned lots about the location of the 2012 Olympics and it's redevelopment in preparation for the games. Facilities and infrastructure built to host the 2012 events are enjoying new life as hotels, apartments, offices and community facilities. Look.

15. Ready and willing partner: ABLE. Nice clue.

16. "Booksmart" director Wilde: OLIVIA. Released May 2019. Four stars on

19. Beaus: ROMEOS. Okay.

20. Savory taste: UMAMI.

21. Board game gadget: SPINNER.

23. University of Nevada city: RENO.

27. Set up: ENTRAP.

29. Chinese "way": TAO. Clued last Wednesday as "Eastern principle."

30. Aqua in Aquitaine: EAU. French.

31. Whoopi's Oscar role in "Ghost": ODA MAE.

34. Palm fruit: DATE.

38. Leaning: BIAS.

40. OTC antacid brand: ZANTAC.

41. Possess: OWN.

42. Notable time span: ERA.

44. EPA mandates, taken together: ECO LAW. Had not heard this phrase before, but it makes sense.

52. Arp contemporary: DALI. Salvador Dali and Jean Arp.

53. Behind: KEISTER. Oh.

54. Type, as data: KEY IN.

55. Develop a liking for: TAKE TO.

59. Gobsmacked: AMAZED. Last Wednesday it was "Bowl over" for AWE.

60. Story of life after death?: OBIT. Perfect.

61. Quaint "Tsk!": FIE. I usually think of FIE is a somewhat angry exclamation, and tsk as disapproving.

62. Zealous crusades: JIHADS.

63. Letters on Broadway-bound letters: NY, NY. New York.

64. Craze: FAD.


1. Magnetism: ALLURE. Ooh la la.

2. Ship captains, e.g.: SEAMEN.

3. Eminent scholar: SAVANT. I usually think of an autistic SAVANT, like Charlie in Rain Man, but the first definition is "a learned person, especially a distinguished scientist." Correction (thanks Husker Gary): Raymond was the autistic savant in Rain Man, not his brother Charlie. Younger Charlie could not say Raymond and so he called his older brother Rain Man.

4. Lingerie brand: BALI.

5. Justice league?: Abbr.: ABA. American Bar Association. Clever.

6. Nightmare loc. of film: ELM ST.

7. Youngest Marx brother: ZEPPO.

8. Eye part: CORNEA.

9. Mets slugger Pete who won the 2019 Home Run Derby: ALONSO. Perps to the rescue for those like me who don't follow baseball.

10. Video-sharing site: VIMEO.

11. Dominate: OVERBEAR.

12. Brazilian vacay destination: RIO.

13. Prof's helpers: TAS. Clued last Wednesday as "Some grad students."

18. Kissy-kissy: AMOROUS. That was unexpected.

22. Doctor in training: INTERN.

24. Places for scrubs and wraps: SPAS.

25. "Mangia!": EAT. Italian. As Lidia Bastianich says, "Tutti a tavola a mangiare!" (Everyone to the table to eat!)

26. Poe's "The Murders in the __ Morgue": RUE.

28. Do the math: ADD.

32. "Amadeus" subject: MOZART.

33. Actress Gasteyer: ANA. Best known for her time as a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1996 to 2002. 

34. Unscrambling device: DECODER.

35. Jewish Festival of Lights: HANUKKAH.

36. Checkout counter unit: ITEM.

37. Shark or Dyson, briefly: VAC.

38. Short cut: BOB. Ohhhhh .... hair.

39. __ Jima: IWO.

42. Worked on text: EDITED.

43. Repairs, as infield grass: RESODS.

45. Fire: LAY OFF. Ohhhhh .... that kind of fire.

46. Pianist de Larrocha: ALICIA. I didn't know her name before. Beautiful.

47. Signaled slyly: WINKED.

49. Gibbons of TV talk: LEEZA.

50. __ Sanders, only athlete to play in both the Super Bowl and World Series: DEION.

51. Sheikdom of song: ARABY. The Beatles.

55. __ Mahal: TAJ.

56. Mate, across the Channel: AMI. French for friend.

58. 60 secs.: MIN.

Notes from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to dear Husker Gary, author behind this fantastic Crossword Corner map. Email him if you want to be included in the map. On and off the blog, Gary has always been a caring friend and trusted sounding board for me. He has helped me numerous times with his super creative clues.

Aug 29, 2019

Thursday, August 29th 2019 Ed Sessa

Theme: Goodbye Hello Goodbye - Help! I'm stuck in here! As the reveal explains:

58A. It comes full circle as you work your way through 20-, 36-, 43- and 58-Across: REVOLVING DOOR

20A. Cookie with a whimsical name: SNICKERDOODLE. I've never had one. I resolve to try one, I'll report back. I had an Orange Julius for the first time last week and thoroughly enjoyed it, I need to start visiting the oddly delicious menu items more often. Popeye's just launched a chicken sandwich that made the culture section of the UK newspaper I read online. Truly these are great times.

Read about it here

36A. The grapevine: WORD OF MOUTH. The Grapevine is the climb out of LA on I-5 to San Francisco or Fresno. Closed in winter sometimes, we do get snow down here, contrary to popular opinion. You can still surf though!

43A. Custom: MADE TO ORDER. French fashion introduced "Prêt-à-Porter", literally "Ready to Wear" as a reaction against bespoke, expensive tailoring. A genius sandwich chain which launched in England called their stores "Prêt-à-Manger" - "Ready to Eat". Branches have arrived in New York, I'm waiting for them to make the 3,000 mile trip across the country when they open one in LA. I'll be first in line.

Nice job by Mr. Sessa - notice how the "DOOR" revolves a letter-shift at a time through RDOO, ORDO, OORD to end at DOOR. First class construction. Note the 10- and 9- letter entries in the fill too, Ed is a craftsman, without doubt. Let's see what else jumps out:


1. Respond to "Let's give it up for ... ": CLAP

5. Moves like Tinker Bell: FLITS

10. "... thou damned whale!" speaker: AHAB. Of "Moby Dick" fame, or infamy, depending on your viewpoint.

14. Gad about: ROVE

15. Like some whiskey barrels: OAKEN. Irish whiskey is my favorite, curiously most Irish whiskey (note the "e") is aged in ex-Bourbon oak barrels from the US.

16. Lawless character: XENA. Nice clue. New Zealander Lucy Lawless portrayed the title character in "Xena: Warrior Princess".

17. Turkmenistan neighbor: IRAN. IRA_ and wait for the cross.

18. Huge herbivore: RHINOCEROS. Isn't it interesting all the big African animals - the rhinos, the hippos, the elephants are all herbivores?

22. Biden's 2008 debate opponent: PALIN. In UK politics, in 1978 one debatee described being attacked by the other as "like being savaged by a dead sheep". I'll leave it at that.

23. "Fresh Air" airer: NPR

24. Although: YET

27. Led Zeppelin's "Whole __ Love": LOTTA

31. Critical layer: OZONE

33. Torch-wielding group in "Frankenstein": MOB. Pitchforks too, if it's a proper mob. You can't storm a castle without a good turnout of pitchforks.

39. From the beginning: ANEW

41. LED component: DIODE. Light-Emitting Diode. I have a few of them lighting the interiors some of the buildings on my model railway.

42. Brute: OGRE

46. "__ Como Va": Santana hit: OYE. Carlos Santana had some genius moments of collaboration - here's Rob Thomas, lead singer of Matchbox Twenty with Santana, the hit that that pretty much took over the radio in 1999/2000

47. Penny pincher: MISER

48. Composition: ESSAY

50. Dalí contemporary: ARP. Jean on a French day, Hans on a German day.


51. Summer in la ville: ÉTÉ

54. One to the manor born: NOBLE

63. It's stressful to live in it: CRISIS MODE. Stressful? That's an understatement.

65. Counterclockwise arrow function: UNDO

66. Countless years: EONS

67. Monastery wear: COWLS

68. Monopoly card: DEED. The most expensive property on the UK version is "Mayfair", which actually is isn't a street in London, it's a ritzy district off Park Lane, the second-most expensive property.

69. Name on a box of bricks: LEGO

70. Useful thing: ASSET

71. Gaelic language: ERSE


1. Like pretzel rods: CRISP

2. Doone of Exmoor: LORNA. Set in the fictional Doone Valley in the west of England

3. Be of service to: AVAIL

4. Eyeliner applicator: PENCIL

5. Driver's warning: FORE! Golf. A word often employed by yours truly.

6. "The Wizard of Oz" actor: LAHR

7. "Just messin' around": I KID!

8. Mortise insert: TENON. One of these!

9. Nose (around): SNOOP

10. Salchow kin: AXEL. Ice skating jumps.

11. "Take it": HERE YOU GO!

12. Smart game-show vowel purchase for "D _ _ M AND GL _ _ M": AN "O"

13. English lit degrees: BA'S. Two graduates of English Lit would be Bachelors of Art, but the two degrees are BA's. English is a peculiar language.

19. Data disk: CD-ROM

21. Recognize: KNOW

25. Sweepstakes submission: ENTRY

26. Titter: TEHEE. This is one of those words that crossword constructors can spell a number of different ways to suit their needs.

28. Stir: TO-DO

29. The Chipmunks, e.g.: TRIO. "The Chipmunks", pronounced "Annoying as hell".

30. Go gaga over: ADORE

32. Herpetologist's employer: ZOO. A specialist in reptiles and amphibians. From the Greek "herpeton" - "creeping animal".

33. Famiglia nickname: MAMMA

34. Being broadcast: ON AIR

35. Support for a king?: BEDSPRING. One word or two? The interwebs are divided.

37. Chances: ODDS

38. Tuition add-ons: FEES

40. Rather small: WEE

44. Fountain near the Spanish Steps: TREVI. The Rome police have introduced fines for tourists sitting on the Spanish Steps. It seems a little harsh. The fines are not "Trevi-al" either - around $280.

45. Chimed: RANG

49. Slangy greeting: YO! DUDE!

52. Puccini opera: TOSCA

53. "__ World": "Sesame Street" segment: ELMO'S

55. Dumb move: BONER

56. High-yield deposits: LODES

57. Wear away: ERODE

59. Petro-Canada competitor: ESSO

60. Swearing in a monastery?: VOWS. Those cowl-clad denizens of 67A. Nice clue.

61. Not working: IDLE

62. House in a bush: NEST

63. Bit of animation: CEL

64. Anonym in a landmark case: ROE vs. Wade.

I think that about does it for me. Just time to add the grid and I'm outta here!


Aug 24, 2019

Saturday, August 24, 2019, Ed Sessa

Saturday Themeless by Dr. Ed Sessa

A breakfast favorite takes center stage today as we celebrate National Waffle Day. A beautiful waffle covered with maple syrup and and some strips of bacon? Yum, yum!

Of course this prompts the story of the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair when an ice cream vendor ran out of little dishes in his booth but Ernest A. Hamwi, a Syrian concessionaire in the booth next door, saw the solution. Using his waffle-like pastry - zalabias, he formed a cone, put the ice cream in it and, voila, a new treat was born - The Waffle Cone!

Our constructor, Dr. Ed Sessa featured a triple 13-stack in the middle like our Postlandia constructor Evan Kalish did two weeks ago. Now let's see what else Dr. Sessa has prescribed for us. A spoonful of sugar (gettable long fills) made this go down very nicely. 


1. Karate match exchanges: BOWS.

5. Nickname for Chicago's Ernie Banks: MR CUB - Ernie is always listed as one of the greatest (and nicest) players to have never been to a world series with his then hapless Cubs.

10. Gradually decrease: WANE.

14. Chamber phenomenon: ECHO.

15. Campaign suspensions: CEASE FIRES - Neither a CEASE FIRE, a truce or an armistice  is a peace treaty.

17. Biting: ACID.

18. Gadgets with small rotary blades: CAN OPENERS - A lost art?

19. Pub nibbles: NUTS.

20. Corrida shout: OLE - The barbarity of bull fighting repulses me

21. Christmas hymn start: ADESTE - Former students at big box stores tell me the Christmas stuff is filling up their storage areas. (ADESTE shoppers - O Come All Ye Shoppers)

22. Vent opening?: PRE -L
ate Middle English (in the sense ‘act in anticipation of’): from Latin praevent- ‘preceded, hindered’, from the verb praevenire, from prae ‘before’ + venire ‘come’. (

23. One in a gun show?: GYM RAT 

25. Ax wielder, at times: BOSS - Well, he/she is the BOSS...

26. Lover of Euridice, in a Gluck opera: ORFEO (Italian for Orpheus) If you must know

28. Anaheim stadium nickname: BIG A.

30. 1843 story narrated by a murderer, with "The": TELL TALE HEART - Poe's short story of a guilty conscience that became a 56.
Heavy burdens: MILLSTONES around the murderer's neck

35. Finger in the dike, so to speak: DAMAGE CONTROL - What my [insert candidate] meant to say...

37. Out until tomorrow: GONE FOR THE DAY - A NASA guy might be "Out To Launch"

39. Essential nutrient: SALT.

40. Split for a union: ELOPE - This cluing flummoxed me

41. Gush: SPEW.

44. Meteorological line: ISOBAR - ISOBARS connect points of the same pressure. It was a windy day in Delaware below

48. Units for many staples: Abbr.: LBS 

49. Blowup sound: KABOOM.

51. Bumped into: MET.

52. Didn't make it through committee, as a bill: DIED - Bills to legalize casino gambling have DIED year after year in our unicameral 

53. Beyond reason: INORDINATE - This summer's INORDINATE number of butterflies are very welcome

55. Land in a lake: ISLE.

57. Wonder Woman gal pal __ Candy: ETTA.

58. Pompano kin: SCAD.

POMPANO                                 SCAD

59. Black-necked shorebird: STILT - Like SCAD, this is wildlife out of my ken 

Black Necked Stilt
60. World power initials until 1991: USSR.


1. Slow cooker associated with Boston: BEAN POT - My friend said Bostonians hate "Beantown" as much as San Franciscans hate "Frisco"

2. Went down, in a way: OCCURRED.

3. Yield sign?: WHITE FLAG - One sports writer called a bad relief pitcher a "human WHITE FLAG"

4. Puts down roots: SODS.

5. "I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer" doctor: MCCOY.

6. King's domain: REALM.

7. Worker with rattan: CANER - We had this in a daily puzzle recently

8. "For the Boys" org.: USO.

9. Advice for the itchy: BE PATIENT - Nebraskans are itchy for the start of football season

10. Port vessel: WINE BARREL - BARRELS full of Cockburn's Port WINE near Porto, Portugal 

11. "You __ lucky!": ARE SO.

12. "Fiddlesticks!": NERTS.

13. Pair of shoes?: ESSES - Yes, ShoeS has two ESSES

16. Ness, for one: FED - FED accountants did more to put Al Capone away than FED (g-man) Elliot Ness

23. Was a whiz on a quiz: GOT AN A - Curve wrecker!

24. Can't stand: ABHOR.

27. "Sesame Street" segment: ELMO'S WORLD.

29. Round up: GATHER.

31. Certain eligibility rules: AGE LIMITS Alcohol AGE LIMITS for every country (scroll down below map)

32. Ali hooks, at times: LEFTS - Ali was not only good at throwing LEFT hooks he was incredible at avoiding them

33. "The Name of the Rose" author: ECO If you must know

34. Work plans: TO DO LISTS - Mine grew from one to four last week due to my cell phone availability 

36. Safety features that have evolved since their inception: LAP BELTS - Neither mom nor baby seem safe here in these early models

38. Spousal consent: YES DEAR - "A soft answer turneth away wrath"

41. Works on pools: SKIMS.

42. __ attack: PANIC - Tony Soprano's Achilles Heel. The ducks he had bonded with flying away triggered this one

43. Target of a new vaccine: EBOLA.

45. Spender of rials: OMANI - This bucket would cost an OMANI 3.8 OMR (OMani Rials) or $9.78

46. Stimulating nut: BETEL - Chewing this nut can have horrible consequences. Google at your own peril

47. '50s headline event: A-TEST - The first A (bomb) -TEST was conducted in 1945 at Alamogordo, New Mexico as a successful conclusion of the Manhattan Project

50. Takes in too much, for short: ODS - See BETEL nut above

52. Spirit of Notre-Dame: DIEU - Que DIEU bénisse Notre Dame (May God bless Notre Dame)

54. "__ my problem": NOT - A mantra for some of us at this popsicle stand

Now don't waffle (you had to see that coming), we'd love to read your comments:


Aug 5, 2019

Monday, Aug 5, 2019 Ed Sessa

Theme: THE WHOLE SHEBANG (60. What the ends of 17-, 29- and 46-Across figuratively comprise) - Lock, stock and barrel end the three theme answers.

17. Wall safe access: COMBINATION LOCK.

29. Base for many soups: CHICKEN STOCK.
46. Classic country store container: PICKLE BARREL.

Boomer here.

And Happy August to all.  Coming soon to Minnesota is "The great Minnesota get together" where a fried dill pickle is sold $9 each.  Also known as the State Fair.  C.C. and I attended it each year until two years ago when parking was all messed up, and we skipped last year when my back was all screwed up. It's a pretty good fair though.


1. Tea service carrier: CART.  It also carries two senior citizen golfers.

5. Club in a Manilow title: COPA.  I think Ricky Ricardo sang there.

9. Shirk work: DOG IT.  Is this spelling missing an "sh" ?

14. Isaac's eldest son: ESAU.  Twin brother of Jacob.  Neither was a Minnesota Twin.

15. Tel __: AVIV.

16. Berlin Olympics star Jesse: OWENS.  Jesse broke world records as often as most people break bread.

20. Not yet bug-free, as software: IN BETA.

21. Smelling __: SALTS.

22. Lion in the sky: LEO.  Leo is Latin for lion, but the constellation order of stars looks more like a swan.

23. Grand __: wine label words: CRU.  I used to occasionally drink wine in Germany because it cost 2 marks (about 50 cents) a bottle back then.

25. Tijuana aunt: TIA.

26. Part of 24-Down: LOS. 24. Home to the NCAA Bruins: UCLA.  Famous for John Wooden's efforts at winning NCAA final four tournaments.  Thanks to Lew Alcindor, Bill Walton, Reggie Miller and others.

32. PC fixer: TECH.

35. Yale student: ELI.

36. Country divided in 1945: KOREA.

37. French friend: AMIE.

38. Part of a French toast: SANTE.  I have French toast for breakfast now and then, but I don't remember the SANTE.  Is that syrup?
41. Opposite of sloppy: NEAT.

42. Pool game call before "Polo!": MARCO.  Or a GEICO commercial.  (With a llama in it, I think.)

44. __ number on: confound: DO A.

45. Hathaway of "Ocean's 8": ANNE.  How many "Oceans" were there ??  

50. Tavern offering: ALE.  "Away, Away with rum by gum - The song of the temperance union"

51. Musical pair: DUO. DUET did not fit in the squares.

52. Paving material: TAR.  This is going on all over the place.  C.C. and I drove over to the Dam on the Mississippi the other day and we needed to walk a half mile just to get to the river.  They were repaving the parking lot.

53. __ Baba: ALI.

56. Doc's order to a pharmacist: SCRIP.  I had a conversation with my pharmacist last week.  I think he prefers the word prescription.

58. Use, as a scratching post: CLAW AT..

64. "West Side Story" heroine: MARIA.  "And suddenly that name, will never seem the same to me.  Say it loud and there's music playing, say it soft and it's almost like praying." 

65. New York canal: ERIE.

66. "In __ of gifts ... ": LIEU.

67. Titleholder: CHAMP.  See UCLA Basketball.  They have taken a step back since John Wooden.

68. Confers knighthood on: DUBS.  Hey, How did some of my golf hits get into this puzzle ?

69. Website for crafty people?: ETSY.


1. Director DeMille: CECIL.

2. All together: AS ONE.

3. Role for Stallone: RAMBO.  A bit of a Rocky role.

4. London underground: TUBE.  Used to have some lake fun on these.  Now the lakes have e coli!

5. Yellow songbirds: CANARIES.  They have some islands named after them off the east coast of Africa.

6. Egg cells: OVA.

7. Cherry discards: PITS.  Reminds me of Mr. Pitt in Seinfeld.  Had to have new socks right away.

8. Fly a plane: AVIATE.  I often wonder how Mr. Lindbergh felt as he aviated the Atlantic.

9. "Let's not talk about that": DON'T ASK.  "Don't tell"

10. Barn hooters: OWLS. Went to sea with pussycats.

11. Old Metro automaker: GEO.

12. End of many co. names: INC.  They need to incorporate to include this in your title.  Many corporations have red INK on their bottom line.

13. Cluck of disapproval: TSK. I thought this came in pairs.

18. Thing to scratch: ITCH.  "And suddenly the hinges started to unhitch. Just then, the witch, to satisfy an itch, went flying on her broomstick, thumbing for a hitch.  And Oooh what happened then was rich !"

19. Lena of "The Reader": OLIN.

26. Oscar winner Sophia: LOREN.  Best Actress twice in the 60s.

27. Atlantic or Pacific: OCEAN.

28. It can have wheels or blades: SKATE.  I used to have a pair of ice skates but I haven't used them for years.  I thought they were somewhere in the garage, but maybe I gave them away.

29. Cash alternative: CHECK. I still use the checkbook for some bills, but most of my bills are settled with ACH.  Saves a stamp. 

30. In a way, slangily: KINDA.

31. Having a key, in music: TONAL.

32. City on Florida's Gulf Coast: TAMPA.  I played golf at Grenelefe, went to Disney World, and got down to Tampa to visit Graybar.  Great City!

33. Computer message: EMAIL.  Another one of those new words that was created in the 90s.  "do you remember then?"

34. Homeric temptress: CIRCE.

39. Civil wrong: TORT.  I guess so.  I thought it was a lemon pastry, that must be a TART.

40. Divers' maladies: EARACHES.  What?

43. Addressee of many a Brit's "I say": OLD CHAP.

47. Current Italian currency: EURO.  When they first were approved and minted, I bought a bunch to sell at the flea market.  I think I made 75 cents,  I'm not sure.

48. Heated to bubbling: BOILED.

49. Author Gardner with many plots: ERLE.  His middle name was Stanley.  Not sure what Perry Mason's middle name was, but I thought Ham Burger was a clever name for the D.A.

53. Anticipate: AWAIT.

54. Highway divisions: LANES.  NO, NO!  These are synthetic boards made to look like wood that you roll a 15 pound ball at 10 pins and maybe knock down nine of them.

55. PC fixer: IT GUY.

56. Do pool laps, say: SWIM. I remember these at the high school pool.  Had to do 20 laps and get a life saver badge

57. Country where "Raiders of the Lost Ark" begins: PERU.

59. Blessed with the necessary skills: ABLE.

60. SHO sister channel: TMC.  Sorry, I don't pay for either one.  My TV bill is high enough and now DirecTV won't show CBS so I cannot watch the rest of the PGA tournament.

61. "I knew it!": HAH.

62. Significant period: ERA.  This is a significant pitcher's stat.  Twins just traded for Sam Dyson of the Giants, and he already laid two eggs.  I think his ERA for the Twins is about 19.00. 

63. Sis, to her sis: SIB.


Notes from C.C.:

Here is a little clip of our corner blogging team.