Showing posts with label Fred Piscop. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fred Piscop. Show all posts

Apr 12, 2020

Sunday April 12, 2020 Fred Piscop

Theme: "UR Out!" - UR is deleted from each familiar phrase.
23. Where a displaced ex-hubby may sleep?: DIVORCE COT. Divorce court.

25. Determination as to which twin is born first?: NATAL ORDER. Natural order.

44. Poem about the letter nu?: ODE ON A GRECIAN N. Ode on a Grecian Urn.

63. Progressive Insurance icon's layoff?: SACK OF FLO. Sack of flour.

69. Dried, pulverized onions?: CRY POWDER. Curry power.

89. Three movies about skeletons?: THE BONE TRILOGY. The Bourne Trilogy.

111. Extension of an embargo?: BAN RENEWAL. Urban renewal.

114. Della's notable facial feature?: STREET CHIN. Street urchin.

Notice there are no straying UR combo in the grid at all?

Fred Piscop is a master of course. He's never one to chase after a pangram or low-word account. Smooth and clean fill is always his priority. I was very lucky to work with Fred when he was the editor for the USA Today.


1. Identifies in a Facebook photo: TAGS.

5. __ basin: TIDAL.

10. Chitchats: GABS. WeChat with my friend Carmen every day. She said most of the businesses in Guangzhou have reopened. She's still too nervous to visit the hair salon. This is a very good article about situations in China.

14. Prep for surgery: SCRUB.

19. Mil or mile: UNIT.

20. Kipling's "Lone Wolf": AKELA.

21. Release, as an odor: EMIT.

22. Reason to march: CAUSE.

27. Brunch dish: OMELET.

28. 2000 NBA MVP: O'NEAL. 100. 28-Across, for eight seasons: LAKER. The glorious days.

30. Clay-pigeon launcher: TRAP.

31. Guinness Book suffix: EST.

32. Back-to-zero button: RESET.

33. Delightful places: EDENS.

34. Closed (in): ZEROED.

36. Concerning: IN RE.

38. North Pole explorer: PEARY. Not SCOTT. Wiki says Robert Peary was buried Arlington Cemetery

40. Restaurant with skating carhops: SONIC.

50. Myriad: MANY.

51. Violinist's effect: VIBRATO. Here is Fred Piscop at the keyboard.

52. "Didn't mean it": SORRY.

53. Confession hearers: PRIESTS.

56. Lendl of tennis: IVAN.

57. Alloy containing carbon: STEEL.

58. "Any day now": SOON.

59. Body __: ART.

60. Elsinore natives: DANES.

62. Ex-White House Press Secretary Spicer: SEAN. Seems like ages ago.

66. Warning to a sinner: REPENT.

68. "__ Madness": old anti-drug movie: REEFER. Unfamiliar to me.

72. "The Swedish Nightingale" Jenny: LIND.

73. Littlest littermates: RUNTS.

77. Greek X: CHI.

78. Primatologists' subjects: APES.

79. Commonly abbreviated bit of Latin: ID EST.

81. Part of a hat trick: GOAL.

82. Hard bargain driver: HAGGLER. And 110. Flea market deal: RESALE. Guess our local flea market won't be open this year.

84. "CSI" part: SCENE.

85. African grassland: SAVANNA.

88. "Uh-huh": I SEE.

91. Clobbers with snowballs: PELTS.

93. Silents vamp Bara: THEDA.

94. Hammerhead cousin: MAKO.

95. Got ready to stop: SLOWED.

97. Needing a rinse: SOAPY. How I miss the days when Target had so many Method hand washes for me to choose.

105. "That's unfortunate": TSK.

108. Rebus animals: EWES.

109. Game akin to bingo: BEANO.

116. Poke around: SNOOP.

117. Artist who helped Hitchcock design a dream sequence for "Spellbound": DALI. Interesting trivia.

118. Colorful upholstery fabric: TOILE.

119. Gobs: A LOT.

120. Trivial: PETTY.

121. Manicure sound: SNIP.

122. Escargot: SNAIL.

123. Kitchen supplies: POTS.


1. House of Henry VIII: TUDOR.

2. "Speed Racer" genre: ANIME.

3. Helps the cause: GIVES.

4. Made off with: STOLE.

5. Negotiating asset: TACT.

6. Clanton gang leader: IKE. Ike Clanton.  O.K. Corral.

7. __ ring: encryption toy: DECODER.

8. One way to work: ALONE.

9. Grow dark: LATEN.


11. Org. with an oft-quoted journal: AMA.

12. Marsh bird: BITTERN.

13. Bright at night: STARRY.

14. Sharpshooters' aids: SCOPES.

15. Sleeping __: CAR. Very effective fill-in-the-blank clue, since there are a few three-letter candidates.

16. Far from polite: RUDE.

17. Doesn't waste: USES.

18. Muppet with a unibrow: BERT.

24. Eye part: RETINA.

26. Vientiane native: LAO. Their food is very similar to Thai food. Both love long-grained sticky rice. Short-grained sticky rice is more popular in China and Japan.

29. Set a high goal: ASPIRE.

33. Logician's word: ERGO.

34. Buffoon: ZANY.

35. Fuller's geodesic creation: DOME.

37. MLB Expo, since 2005: NAT. Who are you top three Montreal Expo players?

39. Counts' equals: EARLS.

41. __ spray: NASAL.

42. Toastmaster's opening: INTRO.

43. Dermatologist's concern: CYST.

44. "Amores" poet: OVID.

45. Operatic icon: DIVA.

46. Abba of Israel: EBAN.

47. Difficult: ORNERY. Great word.

48. Ritzy spread: ESTATE.

49. Either "Fargo" director: COEN. Pride of Minnesota.

53. Elbowed: POKED.

54. Urban sunbather's spot: ROOF.

55. Derive: INFER.

57. Orders to go: SENDS.

58. Potpourri quality: SCENT.

61. Bud protector: SEPAL. Saw buds in our neighborhood hedge yesterday.

62. Home of the Ninja Turtles: SEWER. No idea.

64. No longer in bed: ARISEN.

65. Thrifty: FRUGAL.

67. St. Peter's Square figure: POPE.

69. Climactic film scene: CHASE.

70. Bright Orion star: RIGEL.

71. Pressed through a sieve: RICED.

72. Celeb with a TV "Garage": LENO.

74. Pitcher's gem, in baseball lingo: NO NO. No hitters.

75. Brand associated with NASA missions: TANG. Also a big & prosperous Chinese dynasty.

76. Crack up: SLAY.

77. Casino disk: CHIP.

80. Lower in status: DEBASE.

83. Catches on to: GETS.

84. Slough off: SHED.

85. Stick around: STAY.

86. Torah holder: ARK.

87. Roy G. Biv hue: VIOLET.

89. Saint-Saëns work with a memorable cello solo: THE SWAN. Also unknown to me.

90. Big-box stores, e.g.: EMPORIA. Plural of "emporium".

92. Yawning, say: SLEEPY.

93. Coarse woolens: TWEEDS.

96. Part of BYOB: OWN.

98. Brewers' ovens: OASTS.

99. Playwright Chekhov: ANTON. "Three Sisters".

101. Tunesmiths' org.: ASCAP.

102. Hayek's "Frida" role: KAHLO. She nailed the role.

103. "Silas Marner" author: ELIOT.

104. Monopoly fees: RENTS.

105. 1/2 fl. oz.: TBSP.

106. Level-headed: SANE.

107. Half hitch, e.g.: KNOT.

109. Dot on a radar screen: BLIP.

110. "Riverdance" dance: REEL.

112. Hogwash: ROT.

113. Dethroner of Foreman: ALI.

115. Lilly of pharmaceuticals: ELI.

Last week I linked one of the YouTube videos by constructor Todd Gross. You can watch all of his work here. 

This 21*21  is particularly interesting. I can't imagine the amount of work that went into that grid. 


Mar 9, 2020

Monday March 9, 2020 Fred Piscop

Theme: SEWED UP (40. Fixed, like the ends of the answers to starred clues) - The last words are all wardrobe malfunctions.
17A. *Fruity ice cream treat: BANANA SPLIT

63A. *Knock one out of the park: HIT A HOME RUN

11D. *Place for rural anglers: FISHING HOLE

25D. *Won 10 in a row, say: WENT ON A TEAR

Boomer here.

When I saw SPLIT, I thought about bowling, but then when I saw HOLE of course then I was thinking of tee to green. Not sure if I mentioned but I am starting complimentary golf advice for veterans for seven weeks at the PGA Superstore in Minnesota.  When I say "complimentary" I mean that I do not have to pay.  I am sure no one will compliment my swing.  Now on to the show on our new Microsoft 5050 keyboard.  On our old one, C.C. rubbed off all the white letters with her fast fingers.


1. Seminary book: BIBLE.

6. E-cigarette output: VAPOR.  I used to smoke cigs, but I quit 19 years ago.  I never tried vaping, but it has bad reviews now.

11. Media-monitoring org.: FCC.  I suppose it monitors MSNBC more than FOX.

14. __-proof: easy to operate: IDIOT.  I hope the PGA can lend me some IDIOT- proof clubs.

15. How the cheese stands, in a kids' song: ALONE.  Hi Oh the dairy Oh

16. "__ be in touch!": I'LL.

19. Be litigious: SUE.

20. Grandstand group: FANS. Sounds like the Coronavirus might have something to say about grandstand occupants.

21. Cough syrup, e.g.: SOOTHER.  I use sugar-free drops.  Some of the syrups contain alcohol which does not cooperate well with my drugs.

23. Chad or Rob of movies: LOWE.  LOWE's is a huge competitor of Home Depot.  We have both stores all over Minneapolis and St. Paul and suburbs.

26. Practical joke: GAG.  I am a humorist, but I never play practical jokes.

28. Lacking a downside: NO RISK. Not true of the recent Dow index.

29. Immobile: INERT.

31. Chafing result: RAW SKIN.  Not the Washington Football team.

33. Smart set member: MENSAN.

35. "Great Leap Forward" Chinese leader: MAO.  I wonder how he might have handled the Corona problem.

36. Storybook fiend: OGRE.

39. Upside-down sleeper: BAT.  They claim that these guys started the coronavirus infection. 

43. Put a jinx on: HEX.

44. Messy roomie: SLOB.  Stupid liable oversized BATS!!

46. Nourished: FED.  This would maybe be your friend on April 15, or maybe not.

47. House speaker Nancy: PELOSI.  San Francisco resident. My sisters live in her district.

49. Luggage tie-on: NAME TAG.  We do not tie ours on.  Our luggage has a clear pocket for IDs.

52. Shops with slicers: DELIS.

53. Gondolier, e.g.: BOATER.  We have many many boaters in our state of 10,000 lakes.  They are all in dry dock right now, waiting for the Spring thaw.

55. Deviate from a course, at sea: YAW.

57. MASH shelter: TENT.   "The game of life is hard to play, you're going to lose it anyway."  I really liked the movie, not so much the TV show, mainly because the reruns are on about 6 hours every day and I think I've seen them all at least five times.

58. Declares to be true: ATTESTS.  "The whole truth and nothing but the truth".

60. Carpentry wedge: SHIM.

62. Nautical pronoun: SHE.  I thought it was just a female pronoun.

68. Afternoon social: TEA.  C.C. is the TEA expert in our house.  I drink that other brown stuff that keeps you awake.

69. Chopin piece: ETUDE.

70. Marble mineral: AGATE.  I had a leather bag and it held aggies, peeries, and steelies.

71. Write "mispell," say: ERR.  Spring training is with us ERRS are spelled ERRORS.

72. "Jurassic Park" critters, briefly: DINOS.

73. Well-known: NOTED.


1. Highchair wear: BIB.

2. Wash. neighbor: IDA.  "IDA, sweet as apple cider".

3. TSA checkpoint container: BIN.  We did not have a lot of fun with the TSA on our recent trip.

4. Shoes sans laces: LOAFERS.  When I was a kid, we used to slide shiny pennies in them.

5. Sicilian volcano: ETNA.

6. Seven Sisters college: VASSAR.

7. Tyrolean peak: ALP.

8. C-SPAN figures, informally: POLS.  I usually watch MSNBC.

9. French crockful with a cheesy crust: ONION SOUP.  I never saw it with a cheesy crust.  In fact we used to take an envelope of onion soup, mix it with sour cream and make chip dip.

10. Captured back: RETOOK.

12. Crossword hints: CLUES.  Interesting to find that clue and answer in a crossword puzzle.  Thank you, Fred!!
Fred Piscop

13. Checkout worker: CLERK.

18. "Life of Pi" director Lee: ANG.

22. Common jazz combo: TRIO.  Not fond of Jazz.  My favorites,  as you probably know, are Chad Mitchell and Kingston.

23. Tree branches: LIMBS.  We have quite a few lying in the snow in our backyard.  Winter takes its toll on trees.

24. Shaq of NBA fame: O'NEAL.  He was something else, for sure.

27. 2/2/20, for Super Bowl LIV: GAME DAY.  I did not watch the halftime show.

30. Many coll. lab instructors: TAS.  Teaching Assistants.

32. Roll of bills: WAD.  No, I have a collection of money clips.  I do not need them often but I never have a WAD.

34. Egyptian queen in Tut's time: NEFERTITI.  Sounds like a question on "Jeopardy".

37. Amber, for one: RESIN.  The stuff they rub into baseballs is ROSIN. And it's not amber.

38. Be: EXIST.

41. Like fresh nail polish: WET.  Like our roads and sidewalks in yesterday's 62 degree weather.

42. __ XING: crosswalk sign: PED.

45. Restrain, as one's breath: BATE.

48. Captive's plea: LET ME GO.  We may hear this from a relief pitcher also.

50. Worked together perfectly: MESHED.

51. Serious cuts: GASHES.

53. Keep moist, as turkey: BASTE.  We only have turkey on Thanksgiving.  Too much of a hassle.  On Christmas it's ham.

54. [none of the above]: OTHER.  "Love and Marriage - you can't have one without the other".

56. Grinch victim: WHO.  "Horton Hears a Who".  I met Dr. Suess when I was two years old.  Of course I don't remember but he gave me two books that I kept on the shelf for some time.  "If I ran the Zoo" and "Bartholomew and the Oobleck"

59. Zap with a Taser: STUN.

61. Somali-born model: IMAN.

64. Pointless bother: ADO.  Much ADO about nothing.

65. Squeal on the mob: RAT.  I don't think James Cagney ever said "You Dirty RAT" but people think he said it.

66. Rugged vehicle, for short: UTE.  Someone from Salt Late City ??

67. "Game of Thrones" patriarch Stark: NED.


Jan 24, 2016

Sunday Jan 24, 2016 Fred Piscop

Theme:  "Fare Play" - Theme entries are all two-word food items. The first words, all in the pattern of *ED, are humorously re-interpreted in a non-food context.

23A. Fare after successful medical treatment? : CURED PORK. Pork was rationed in my childhood. We only had it during Spring Festival. My grandma always salt-cured the precious pork. 

25A. Angry fare? : STEAMED MILK

45A. Illegally taken fare? : POACHED SALMON. I prefer honey & soy sauce glazed salmon.
86A. Fare constantly questioned? : GRILLED CHEESE

110A. Soundly defeated fare? : CREAMED CORN. Let's call it a veggie, since we have carb below.

112A. Inebriated fare? : FRIED RICE.  Leftover rice is a must. And green onions.
37D. Excessively pampered fare? : CODDLED EGGS

41D. Fare at the Friars Club? : ROASTED NUTS. Super excited to have found fresh shelled walnuts at our local Cub Foods two weeks ago.

This puzzle is tailor-made for our blog. So many foodies here.

I thought of Jayce and his objections to "crossword clues and answers that are not English or commonly known to speakers of English (eg, corrido)" after I read Fred's interview. I bet Jayce and many of you had a much faster time than you spent on last Sunday's grid.

It takes skills, hard work and enormous discipline to produce a smooth puzzle like we have today.

1. Skier's mecca : ALPS. Not VAIL.

5. South-of-the-border currency : PESO

9. Hillside home attraction : VISTA

14. Lucky break : FLUKE

19. "Dizzy Red Riding Hood" (1931) cartoon star : BOOP (Betty)

20. Domingo delivery : ARIA. Still waiting to see the casino reference. It's just spectacular day or night.

21. Prefix with face or faith : INTER

22. Of the ear : AURAL

27. Took charge of : STEERED

28. Skyline standouts : SPIRES

30. Crispy Crunchy candy bar maker : REESE'S

31. Tool used on pineapples : CORER. I just use my knife. Wish there's an easy way to open a green coconut.

33. School attended by 007 : ETON

34. Take a load off : REST

35. Far from wimpy : MACHO

38. Pasture portion : ACRE

40. Colombian city of two million : CALI. Chickie and her husband lived there for a few years.

41. Piston connector : ROD

44. "__ y Plata" : ORO

50. Word on a Susan B. Anthony coin : ONE

51. Newsman Koppel : TED

52. Works at steadily : PLIES

53. Fuss over oneself : PREEN. The big mirror in our computer room is very flattering. Everybody looks slimmer.

54. Step into character : ACT

55. Unaffiliated: Abbr. : IND (Independent)

56. Certain track contestant : MILER

57. Write parts for : ARRANGE.  This refers to music arrangement, right? Fred is a musician.

59. Drag to court : SUE

60. Raptor trainer : FALCONER

62. Wilson of the Beach Boys : BRIAN

63. Gunga Din's burden : WATER

65. Wolfed down : EATEN. We also have 17D. Vitamin K-rich green : KALE. And 34D. Budget noodle dish : RAMEN. Looks delicious. I want.
66. Like bogs : PEATY

67. Pointer's cry : THERE

69. Core group : CADRE

71. Entrance supports : JAMBS

72. Tried hard to recognize : PEERED AT

75. Soccer stadium cry : OLE

76. Wild outings : SAFARIS. I figure it wouldn't be our Minnesota Wild.

79. Makes fun of : JAPES

80. Codebreaking org. : NSA

81. Show __ : DOG

82. Classical name of Troy : ILION. And 66. Given orally, in law : PAROL. I put in A in the O spot.

83. Did a cobbler's job : SOLED

84. __ Ronald Reagan : USS

85. ESL part: Abbr. : ENG

89. Vietnamese holiday : TET. Same day as Chinese Spring Festival. Feb 8 this year.

90. __ Plaines, Illinois : DES

91. Pitchers with heads : ALES

92. Cyclotron bits : IONS
93. Stroke made vertically : MASSE. Billiard.

95. Recipe direction : STIR

96. Turned rapidly : SPUN

98. Points for Poseidon : TINES. The answer filled in itself.

101. Like some treasure : SUNKEN. Thought of BURIED first.

104. Word on an LP : STEREO

106. Chief : CENTRAL

114. Banded marble : AGATE

115. City at the foot of the Ozarks : TULSA. Got via crosses.

116. Pet store supply : FEED

117. Fossey subjects : APES
118. Put back in the sty : RE-PEN

119. Girder material : STEEL

120. Light on one's feet : SPRY. Got four pairs of these Kirkland socks for Boomer, who's a diabetic. Alas, the Amazon quality is different from the one we got at Costco's a while ago. Same large size (8-12), but much tighter and harder for him to put on. Boomer is adamant about not becoming a Costco member again due to the high annual fee. We only visited there a few times while a member.

Amazon Socks

Costco's socks
121. Little shavers : LADS


1. Kid stuff : ABCS

2. Oaf : LOUT

3. Sponge opening : PORE

4. Shout to an awardee : SPEECH. I had to ask Boomer why.

5. Commuter's reading : PAPER

6. Diminish over time : ERODE

7. McCartney title : SIR

8. Homes for squirrels : OAKS

9. Called on : VISITED

10. 101 title word : INTRO

11. "Card Players Quarreling" artist : STEEN (Jan)

12. Black or green drinks : TEAS. I stray from time to time, but Jasmine tea is always my true love.

13. Usher's offering : ARM

14. Appears gradually : FADES IN

15. "Serpico" director : LUMET (Sidney)

16. "QB VII" author : URIS

18. Benevolent order : ELKS

24. Give in to gravity : DROOP

26. In the near future, poetically : ERELONG

29. 1994 co-Nobelist with Rabin and Arafat : PERES (Shimon)

32. More risqué : RACIER

35. Recurring melody : MOTIF

36. Sacramento's Sleep Train __ : ARENA. Home of the Kings.

39. "Moonstruck" Oscar winner : CHER. Water! Such a generous soul.

40. Like a frisked suspect, at times : CLEAN. Also got via crosses.
42. At the proper moment : ON CUE

43. Put a damper on : DETER

46. Pipe up : OPINE

47. 2000-'01 NBA MVP Iverson : ALLEN

48. Sail spars : SPRITS. New word to me. I wonder how Esprit got their name.

49. Deck out : ARRAY

56. Eye irritants : MOTES

57. Many OPEC ministers : ARABS. Not EMIRS.

58. Decorative jugs : EWERS

61. Common rental : CAR

62. Valentine candy message : BE MINE. I never heard of Valentine's Day until 1996.

64. "__ we there yet?" : ARE

67. Skins-and-poles home, traditionally : TEPEE

68. Takes note of : HEEDS

69. Needing decryption : CODED
70. Without peers : ALONE

71. Locks up : JAILS

72. Most ashen : PALEST

73. Long-eared equines : ASSES

74. Philistine's lack : TASTE

77. Delta, for one : AIRLINE. And 78. Store handout : FLIER

79. Tommy __, ex-pitcher for whom a surgical procedure is named : JOHN. I smiled when I read TTP's "But do they know who Al Rosen is?" comment and was confused by a few subsequent responses.
83. Starbucks snack : SCONE

86. Entry-level jobs? : GATEMEN. Fantastic clue.

87. Active during the daytime : DIURNAL

88. Touch up : EMEND

94. Starlike : ASTRAL

95. Stingray relative : SKATE

96. Made off with : STOLE

97. In itself : PER SE. Also a hot restaurant in New York. Steve might have visited this one. He's in Paris right now.

99. Not so genial : ICIER

100. Poor : NEEDY

101. Emotional mark : SCAR

102. The munchies, e.g. : URGE

103. Tide type : NEAP

104. Bunny's tail : SCUT. Learned from doing crosswords.

105. Rubs out : OFFS

107. Kelly of talk TV : RIPA

108. Sailed through : ACED

109. Reduced : LESS

111. Rehab shakes : DTS

113. Public image, for short : REP. Representative? I was picturing those avatars bloggers use. (Added later: Reputation. Thanks Anonymous at 6:47am and D-Otto.)


Sep 8, 2015

Tuesday, September 8, 2015 Fred Piscop

Theme: We Three - Me, Myself And I.

17A. "Am I supposed to take this seriously?" : "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?"

39A. "Oops, thought you wouldn't hear that" : "TALKING TO MYSELF"

62A. Nursery rhyme plum finder's boast : "WHAT A GOOD BOY AM I!"

Argyle here. A simple theme delivered by three grid spanning answers. A minor annoyance, not having the AND but ok. All three are in the form of a spoken phrase which keeps things tight. A lot fewer proper names than Monday and some interesting words to boot should keep most solvers happy.


1. Ponzi scheme, e.g. : SCAM

5. Diplomat's specialty : TACT

9. Tire pattern : TREAD

14. Word of amore : CARA

15. Worker protection org. : OSHA. (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)

16. Wheel spokes, geometrically : RADII

20. Catholic sacrament of confession and forgiveness : PENANCE

21. Least healthy : SICKEST

22. LAX posting : ETA

23. British peer : EARL

25. "Alice" diner owner : MEL. TV series(1976–1985). I haven't seen any reruns of it in my area.

26. Cloistered sister : NUN

27. Four-song discs, briefly : EPs. (extended play)

29. Cut with acid : ETCH

33. Post-spill carpet spot : STAIN

36. Clean vigorously : SCRUB. To get the spot out?

38. Weed chopper : HOE. Much easier than breaking up sod.

42. Pound sound : [ARF!]

43. Lugged : TOTED

44. Bill's attorney general : JANET Reno

45. __ estate : REAL

47. Estonia or Ukr., once : SSR. (Soviet Socialist Republic)

48. Ten, in Toulouse : DIX

49. Tuna in a sushi bar : AHI

51. Shortest-shadows time : NOON

53. "Liquor not provided" letters : BYO. (Bring Your Own) I live in a 'dry' town.

56. Starts to melt : SOFTENS

60. Aged at the brewery : LAGERED. I didn't know LAGER could be used as a verb but I'm probably in the minority with all the brew meisters around.

64. Started the pot : ANTED

65. Shipping option : RAIL

66. Nights of anticipatory revelry : EVES

67. Like poorly drained rock gardens : MOSSY

68. Family map : TREE

69. Word of admonition : DON'T


1. Suffix with land or sea : SCAPE. Landscape / Seascape

2. Insertion mark : CARET

3. Sports venue : ARENA

4. Early Yucatán settler : MAYA

5. Bird on a Froot Loops box : TOUCAN Sam.

6. "Jeopardy!" contestant : ASKER

7. Windy City station, on Amtrak skeds : CHIcago

8. Little boys : TADS

9. Split second : TRICE

10. Rub the wrong way : RANKLE

11. Slight advantage : EDGE

12. Gets in one's sights, with "at" : AIMS

13. Cola request from a calorie watcher : DIET

18. Blood bank quantity : ONE UNIT

19. Chinese appetizer : DIM SUM. We usually get some comments about the best DIM SUM. I only question should the clue have been appetizers?

24. Speaker's stand : LECTERN

26. Suffix with no-good : NIK

28. Cattle poker : PROD

30. In those days : THEN

31. Old King or Nat King : COLE

32. Test the weight of : HEFT

33. Marquee name : STAR

34. Button on a deli scale : TARE. To account for the weight of the container.

35. __ Romeo: sports car : ALFA. I expect an update from Anon T.

36. Superiors of cpls. : SGTS.

37. "Heavens to Betsy!" : "BY JINGO!". Quaint.

40. Snooping (around) : NOSING

41. Jazz band instrument : SAX

46. Foam-topped coffeehouse drinks : LATTEs

48. Not impossible : DOABLE. A word heard often here on the corner.

50. Intoxicating, as wine : HEADY

52. Any Everly Brothers tune, now : OLDIE

53. Curtain call cry : "BRAVO!". Also "Brava!".

54. Red Sea country : YEMEN

55. Pindar, notably : ODIST. An Ancient Greek.

56. Did pool laps : SWAM

57. "It can't be!" : "OH, NO!"

58. "Minnesota" pool legend : FATS. Fictional pool hustler. Rudolf Wanderone changed his nickname to Minnesota Fats to cash in on the fame of the name thus proving his ability to hustle.

59. Place in order : SORT

61. Gave the once-over : EYED

63. Rowboat mover : OAR

One last song. "We Three" by the Ink Spots.


Note from C.C.:

Funny, Anon-T (Tony) just sent me this picture last night. His '86 Alpa Romeo Spider. Tony mentioned on the blog a few times about the troubles he went through to get the car from Florida to Texas.

Anon T (Tony)

Dec 17, 2014

Wednesday, December 17th 2014 Fred Piscop

Theme: Kangaroo Commands.

17A. *Source of chips and 6-Across : IDAHO POTATO. Ah, the humble spud. I read somewhere that the rich Idaho loam which nurtures these delicious tubers came from Yosemite when the caldera exploded c. 55,000 years ago. Apparently this happens about once every 50,000 years, so the potato farmers should be expecting another gazillion tons of topsoil coming their way sometime soon.

51A. *Cervantes creation : SANCHO PANZA. Equerry to the chivalry-reviving, windmill-tilting Don Quixote, and a Picasso subject.

11D. *Wide-legged fashion : GAUCHO PANTS. Not gauche pants, those would be sequined disco-trousers from the 70's. According to Target's fashion page, gaucho pants are "flowy and fab". Just the thing for Don Q. and Sancho.

25D. *Rory McIlroy won it in 2014 : BRITISH OPEN. The oldest of golf's four majors, and properly called "The Open Championship".

37A. Words to a hitchhiker, and a literal hint to what spans both words of the answers to starred clues : HOP IN

Buenos dias, muchachos y muchachas. Steve here hitching a ride with Fred's latest. The theme ended on little bit of a flat note for me - the fourth theme entry had the odd-man-out feel with Idaho/Sancho/Gaucho tripping rhymily off the tongue, then "British" coming in as something of a clanger. Wedded to the fact that the tournament isn't actually called that, it all just seemed a little clumsy. Maybe I should go and change out of my grumpy pants.

That aside, I enjoyed this one - a few missteps left me with a couple of head-scratchers and that's always a good thing. Let's check out the rest.


1. Crockpot concoctions : STEWS. Food! I'm happy, right off the bat.

6. Bar snack made from 17-Acrosses : SKINS. Let's see - fried potato, bacon, cheese, sour cream and salt. I'm not sure your cardiologist would call this a snack, more a heart attack on a plate.

11. USO show attendees : GIs. Here are some very happy ones:

14. Purity measure : KARAT. Karat vs. Carat. Discuss.

15. Card for a seer : TAROT

16. Hibachi residue : ASH

19. Draw upon : USE

20. Two-thumbs-up review : RAVE

21. When directed : ON CUE

23. Drop in the ocean : EBB TIDE. Starting out with LOW TIDE had me looking at some odd downs later.

27. Certain female grouse : SAGE HEN. They taste great with sage stuffing, how apt.

29. Round numbers : ZEROES

30. Lake Erie port : TOLEDO. Home of the AAA Mud Hens. They don't sound as tasty as 27A's.

31. Like Wrigley Field's walls : IVIED. It's a ground-rule double if a ball gets lost in it.

32. Baby spoilers, perhaps : NANAS

33. Play with, cat-style : PAW

36. Brings home : NETS

38. Anti-art movement : DADA

39. One of football's Mannings : ELI. Your other options are Archie or Peyton, neither of which fit.

40. Like 101 courses : BASIC

41. Not as loopy : SANER

42. "Heathers" actor Christian : SLATER. Fortunately for my lack of knowledge of actors and movies, there are not many "Christians" in the business. I've never heard of the movie. Did it garner 20A reviews?

44. Terrarium pet : TURTLE

45. Siri speaks on them : iPHONES. Pretty much the only thing she says on mine is "I'm sorry, I didn't get that". I don't think she speaks British English.

47. Idiomatic trendsetters : JONESES

48. Trembled : SHOOK

49. They're usually loaded : SOTS

50. Cut back : LOP

58. Wolfed down : ATE

59. Poseidon's realm : OCEAN

60. Hunter of myth : ORION

61. Jamaican "mister" : MON

62. Grown-up efts : NEWTS

63. Wyoming's __ Range : TETON. I read somewhere that the French explorer who first encountered the Grand Tetons named them for a couple of the physical attributes belonging to his wife back home. I can't comment on that.


1. Schuss, say : SKI. Straight downhill. The first and easiest skiing maneuver you learn. Then you discover you need to stop or turn, when all your problems start. I once had a T-shirt that read "To turn is to admit defeat". I might get some of those made again.

2. Tiny bit : TAD

3. Procter & Gamble detergent : ERA. I don't recall seeing this in my local market.

4. Sob syllable : WAH

5. Legendary : STORIED. Is a legendary high-rise many-storied?

6. Housewarming buy? : STOVE

7. Designer Spade : KATE

8. Tax-deferred plan, for short : IRA. Individual Retirement Account, for long.

9. "__ funny!" : NOT

10. Trio in funny shorts : STOOGES

12. Campaign topic : ISSUE

13. Gold lamé quality : SHEEN. I had SHEER first which made SAGE HER an odd-looking bird.

18. Inflates, as an expense account : PADS

22. Writer Buntline : NED. Who? Perps all the way.

23. Newsstand app download : E-ZINE

24. Slanted edge : BEVEL

26. Little piggies : TOES.

27. __ boom : SONIC. We used to hear them occasionally in Los Angeles when the Space Shuttle went over en route to touchdown. The first one I heard was back in England when the Concorde was being test-flown - it caused much consternation.

28. Arkin of "Argo" : ALAN

30. Fleshy-snouted beast : TAPIR

32. Snouts : NOSES. Fun proximity to the anteater above.

34. Singer with the albums "19" and "21" : ADELE. Named for her age when the albums were recorded. Quite a talent.

35. Stuff to hawk : WARES

37. Can't stomach : HATE

38. Chance it : DARE

40. Trusts : BANKS ON

41. Solar event caused by magnetic activity : SUNSPOT

43. London lav : LOO

44. Oz visitor : TOTO

45. Major religion of Indonesia : ISLAM

46. ID component : PHOTO

47. "Flag" artist Jasper : JOHNS. I'm ashamed to say I'd never heard of him. He's a Presidential Medal of Freedom winner too.

49. Ella's style : SCAT

52. Complete perfectly : ACE

53. Improved partner? : NEW

54. "__ you serious?" : ARE

55. Minor objection : NIT

56. Bronx tourist attraction : ZOO

57. New England cape : ANN. I learned this from crosswords. I think I should make a bucket list of "cruci-places" to visit - Cape Ann, the Aral Sea, Mt. Etna, Laos, the River Yser, the Soo locks - there's quite a world tour!

Here's the grid - see you all next time!


Note from C.C.:

I've been missing posts from Yellowrocks (Kathy), who is going to have knee surgery on January 12, 2015.  Then she can dance to her heart's content. Below is a picture of Kathy from their church's Cookies and Creches event. She also told me:

"This month I am deep in the clutches of the medical system, working on pre-surgery and preparation for Alan's stay at respite while I am in the hospital in January. The govt. regs are time consuming.. Also my weak knees are slowing me down quite a bit. 

On the bright side, I am beginning to see the "light at the end of the tunnel" (thanks, Argyle). Only two more appointments,  today and Thursday. Also, I am miraculously on track with my Christmas preparations."

Yellowrocks (Kathy)

Jul 20, 2014

Sunday July 20, 2014 Fred Piscop

Theme:  "Frat Pack" - Greek letters span across each theme entry.

 23A. *Hit that just clears the infield : BLOOP SINGLE

 25A. *Recyclable metal : SCRAP IRON. Quite a few candidates to embed PI, PSI, RHO, MU, ETA & NU.

 42A. *Clara, to Tabitha, on "Bewitched" : GREAT AUNT. The TAU is limited.

 55A. *Legislation of 2001 : PATRIOT ACT. Very very limited choices for this one and 86A, given the letter length.

 76A. *Hippo : RIVER HORSE

 86A. *Half a team's schedule : HOME GAMES

 107A. *Typical Western : SHOOT 'EM UP

 37D. *Delayed reaction : DOUBLE TAKE

 45D. *Run into : HAPPEN UPON

Reveal entry:

109A. One spans two words in each answer to a starred clue : GREEK LETTER

I'm so glad there's a reveal entry. I would not have guessed the gimmick with the "Frat Party" title alone, unless those Greek letters are circled. But Rich can't use circles on Sundays due to technical issues.

Fred Piscop is a veteran constructor and his puzzles are always super smooth and clean. I love his bio at Stan's Newsday:"...  When he’s not puzzling, he plays keyboards in a rock band, samples microbrews, and collects spelling errors in comic strips."

Fred Piscop, David Kahn, Liz Gorsk, ACPT 2011

1. Rad relative : NEATO

6. Take second : PLACE. Win, Place & Show.

11. Downloaded 'zine : EMAG

15. Most minigolf pars : TWOS

19. "Good Eats" host Brown : ALTON. Goofy guy. We also have 28. "Order up!" shouter : COOK

20. Party hearty : REVEL. Only heard of "Party hardy".

21. Matching __ : PAIR

22. Smooth-talking : OILY

27. City on I-5 : SANTA ANA. Know the city, not I-5 though.

30. Pequod co-owner : PELEG. "Moby-Dick".

31. Plunk (down) : PUT.  And 44. Stopped operating, with "down" : SHUT

32. It's a fact : DATUM. So is 5-letter TRUTH.

34. Inferior, in slang : CHEESY

35. eBay users, at times : BIDDERS

39. Car loan figs. : APRs. Annual Percentage Rate.

40. Ell or tee : JOINT

41. Romantic affair : AMOUR

48. Source of fries : SPUD. This is how I cook potatoes. Ignore the Szechuan peppercorn. Too hot.

49. Elisabeth of "Gracie" : SHUE

51. Silas Marner, e.g. : MISER

53. Words on an initial reference volume : A TO (A to Z, e.g.)

54. Johnny __ : REB

59. Quaker in the forest : ASPEN

61. Players in a July contest : ALL-STARS. I mentioned that the ticket was too high for me. The price for Super Bowl 2018 is at least twice ridiculous.

64. Radium co-discoverer : CURIE

65. Curt : SNIPPY

66. Silk-stocking : ELITE

67. Many mottoes are written in it : LATIN. MN has a French motto: L'Étoile du Nord.

68. Diagonal line, on some score sheets : SPARE. Bowling.

69. On key : IN TUNE

71. Toaster opening : HERE'S

72. Gin cocktails : MARTINIS. Hey, Bond again, Splynter!

75. Mary __: ill-fated ship : DEARE

78. Prefix with sex : UNI

79. Cartoon shriek : EEK

80. One of Mexico's 31 : STATE. Estado.

82. Like Solomon : WISE

83. Top : APEX

84. Calculus calculation : AREA

90. Skip the festivities, in a way : ELOPE

91. "King of the Bullwhip" star : LARUE. Lash LaRue.

93. Logician Turing : ALAN. Got a royal pardon last year.

94. Brings up : PARENTS

96. Author Allende : ISABEL. She does not like being compared to Gabriel García Márquez.

98. Loses crispness : WILTS

99. Baseball's Steroid __ : ERA.  And 40D. Steroids, slangily : JUICE. Can't stand this guy.

100. Successor to Bess : MAMIE

101. Bris, e.g. : RITE

102. Put forward again, as a claim : RE-ASSERT

112. Back : HIND

113. Used up : GONE

114. Boston College athlete : EAGLE. Gimme for Marti/Barry G/Dudley.

115. Name meaning "born again" : RENEE. Re-Nee.

116. Sport scored electronically : EPEE. Look, new clue for EPEE.

117. Sees : GETS

118. Put up with : STOOD

119. Marshy lowland : SWALE

1. Collars : NABS

2. Raines of old movies : ELLA. Not familiar with this lady.

3. Zillions : A TON. And 92. Not much : A BIT

4. Traffic sound : TOOT

5. "Well, it looked good __" : ON PAPER

6. Dusting may reveal them : PRINTS. Nice clue.

7. Olin of "Chocolat" : LENA

8. ERA part: Abbr. : AVG

9. "Snow White" frame : CEL

10. Sophocles tragedy : ELECTRA. Sister of  Orestes.

11. Derby town : EPSOM

12. Vehicle brand with a bulldog in its logo : MACK
13. Pump output : AIR

14. Golf club shaft material : GRAPHITE

15. Rest stop features : TOILETS

16. What spies may wear : WIRES

17. Curriculum suffix : OLOGY

18. One-word def. : SYN. Oh, I see, like how dictionary defines "Sexy" as "Glamorous".

24. Reptilian tail? : SAUR. OK, like Dinosaur.

26. Hammer end : PEEN

29. Drum out : OUST

32. Risk taker : DARER. Phil Mickelson, who has GUTS (42D. Nerve).

33. Make fun of : APE

34. Occasionally amended doc. : CONST. No idea. Constitution?

35. City of southeastern Iraq : BASRA

36. Urge forward : IMPEL

38. Flop : DUD

43. At full throttle : AMAIN

46. Lone Star State sch. : UT EP. University of Texas at El Paso.

47. "West Side Story" hero : TONY. Maria's boyfriend. We have Hmong gangs here in MN.

49. Dramatic outpouring : SPATE

50. Hound's prey : HARE

52. Charged : RAN AT

56. Empathetic words : I CARE

57. Word with ear or wear : OUTER

58. McEvoy of cosmetics : TRISH. High-priced.

60. Voice of the iPhone : SIRI

62. Talk like a lush : SLUR

63. Points at the table? : TINES. Great clue.

65. Shopping __ : SPREE. Come visit Mall of America, Gary!

67. New Orleans protector : LEVEE

68. Get wise with : SASS

69. "That's the general __" : IDEA

70. Not e'en once : NE'ER

71. Blackjack request : HIT ME

72. Sports doc's pics : MRIs

73. Klutzy : INEPT

74. Boxcars, for high rollers : SIXES. No idea. I'm not even a low roller.

76. The Phantom's rival : RAOUL

77. Berlin Olympics star : OWENS

81. Like some omelets : THREE-EGG. What's your typical breakfast, D-Otto?

83. It's drawn in bars : ALE

85. Dessert menu phrase : A LA MODE

87. Pace : GAIT

88. Asserts without proof : ALLEGES

89. Yoga class need : MAT

90. Mistake-fixing tools : ERASERS

94. Snuck a look : PEEKED

95. Sea divided by shrinkage : ARAL. What does "divided by shrinkage" mean? The Russians say Aral Sea has stopping shrinking.

96. Beatnik's "Got it!" : I'M HIP

97. River to the Rhone : SAONE

98. Cleaning cloths : WIPES

101. Pipsqueak : RUNT

102. Move, to a Realtor : RELO

103. Gumbo, for example : STEW

104. Mount near Catania : ETNA

105. Irish dance : REEL

106. One with rings : TREE. Tree rings.

107. __-crab soup : SHE. Never had it. How strange, she-crab.

108. Bossy Stooge : MOE. Here there, Chairman Moe!

110. Informer : RAT

111. It may be massive : EGO