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

Dec 17, 2018

Monday December 17, 2018 Gail Grabowski & Bruce Venzke

Theme: Let's Get Going - Sequential order in each answer.

20. Well-to-do: SITTING PRETTY.

25. Instruction to a bank to make periodic payments: STANDING ORDER.
45. Pink slip: WALKING PAPERS.

51. Ship's required nighttime illuminators: RUNNING LIGHTS.

Boomer here.

Hello everyone. I saw the doctor last Wednesday. I have been through many treatments but it seems that everything did what was expected. I just need a few blood draws over the next three months and then return to see the doctor in March. Best news - I am cleared to resume bowling! I assume I am also cleared for golf,  but it's tough to find a course open when it's twenty degrees.  I'm happy to settle for bowling now.  I'll check in and let you know how I did.  Hard to predict after 8-10 weeks on the bench.


1. Hindu royals: RAJAS.

6. Tool with jaws: VISE. Is this considered a tool?  I thought it was a clamp to hold something you want to whack at.

10. Mixer with Scotch: SODA. Mud in your eye, baby do I feel high oh me oh my!

14. Lightweight vacuum first sold to hotels: ORECK.

15. Pianist Gilels: EMIL. Mr. Skoda in "Law and Order" played by J.K. Simmons

16. Eve's second son: ABEL.  Adam and Eve were ABLE to raise CAIN!

17. Peppy-sounding cracker brand: ZESTA. - I prefer RITZ - Everything tastes better when it sits on a Ritz. Thank you, Agnes, for your delicious seed crackers, mixed nuts and other tasty goodies.

18. El __: ocean current: NINO. A phenomenon occurring in the 90s and beyond.  The Storm company named a bowling ball after it.  I had one but I donated it to my pro shop dealer. 

19. Completely occupy, as an arena: FILL.  Something I do to my gas tank weekly.  I saw $2.19 per gallon today.  What's going on at your part of the country??
23. Above, to poets: O'ER. The land of the free, and the home of the brave!!

24. Drinks with crumpets: TEAS.  There is a tea expert in our home.  It's not me, I am the coffee expert.

31. Loving squeezes: HUGS.

32. Beer whose logo suggests a prize winner, initially: PBR.  I have been to MILLER park in Milwaukee.  I wonder if they sell PBR there.

33. Chopping down: AXING.

36. Ocean east of N.C.: ATL.  I've seen the Atlantic and the Pacific but the Pacific isn't terrific and the Atlantic isn't what it's cracked up to be. Sorry, that's a Navy Ballad, I was in the Army.

37. Central Illinois city: DECATUR.

40. Funny Tina: FEY.  She did a great Sarah Palin on SNL.

41. Rep's sales target: QUOTA.

43. + or - particle: ION.

44. Criticize sternly: SLAM.  If this is grand, it's a four-run home run.  Here's an oddity.  I have been to the only two Twins games where a player hit three triples. (Lyman Bostock and Denard Span).
However, I have only witnessed one major league grand slam (Dan Gladden) in person.

49. Picnicker's worry: RAIN.  James Taylor saw this and Fire.

50. Spanish "that": ESA.

57. __ B'rith: BNAI. I coach the bowling team of the Catholic high school from which I graduated.  (More years ago than I want to admit).  There is a synagogue now, next to the school and they sometimes have combined religious services held by a priest and a rabbi in the HS gym.  I tell this story because I am proud to be associated with this merge of religions.

58. "Paula's Home Cooking" host: DEEN.

59. Extremist sects: CULTS.  This word always reminds me of Jonestown in Guyana. Ugly times.

62. Puts frosting on: ICES.  I know this is about cake, but you ought to see my driveway in January.

63. Tall and skinny: LANK.

64. Audibly: ALOUD. What ?

65. Pageant body band: SASH.

66. Greek Cupid: EROS.  No runs, no hits, no EROS, and nobody left on base.

67. Body areas that may be irritated by shirt tags: NAPES. I agree, I hate shirt tags.


1. "Frasier" role: ROZ.

2. "All bets __ off": ARE. Please ! a few more bucks on the pass line.  I need to get even.

3. Zooey's "New Girl" role: JESS.

4. They "speak louder than words": ACTIONS. This is an odd clue for a crossword puzzle.  Makes me think I should tear it up and stomp out of the room. 

5. Did figure eights, say: SKATED.  Great winter fun in Minnesota.  We have a huge rink less than a mile away, but I am too old.

6. Start of Caesar's boast: VENI. He came, he saw, he conquered.  They named a salad after him, (And a Las Vegas hotel).  

7. "Sign me up!": I'M IN.

8. Woo with a tune: SING TO. "Don't worry if it's not good enough, for anyone else to hear."

9. One who gets hitched in a hurry: ELOPER. This could be a shortened title of an elevator operator.

10. Sensitive high school health lesson: SAFE SEX.

11. Last bio: OBIT.

12. Shoulder muscle, briefly: DELT. I have had a deltoid muscle pulled in my right shoulder.  It really wrecked my bowling for awhile. 

13. Partner in war: ALLY.

21. Poppycock: TRIPE. Edible stomachs from cows and sheep.  No thank you, I'll stick to brats.

22. Storm-tracking device: RADAR.  Better known as a speed tracking device. 

25. Former NBA big man, familiarly: SHAQ.  Still a big man. I see him four times a week on commercials.  (I watch too much TV.)

26. Ballet skirt: TUTU.

27. Beaming: AGLOW.

28. "SNL" network: NBC. Some of the "too much TV" is MSNBC,  Their spinoff news channel.  Chris Mathews hollers way too much.

29. Not enough salt to taste, perhaps: GRAIN. What does this clue mean? I don't get it.

30. Hunter's weapon: RIFLE.  I agree although I am not a hunter.  However, why is it still legal to own an AR-15 in the U.S.?

34. Within shouting distance: NEAR.

35. Places with elliptical trainers: GYMS.  We have many fitness centers in Minneapolis and suburbs.  I don't go - have no reason to pay for pain.

37. __ Lama: DALAI.

38. Get dolled (up): TOG.

39. Remove a fastener from: UNPEG.  15 two, 15 four, a pair is six and nobs is 7.  Count it.

42. Become discolored, as silverware: TARNISH.  Careful by the table.  Don't tarnish the varnish.

44. Diner flipper: SPATULA.  I worked for a Perkins long ago, and the head cook called it a spat.  Sounded funny to me.

46. Amazon e-reader: KINDLE.

47. Out of neutral: INGEAR.  Do NOT rev the engine while taking it out of neutral.

48. Trash holder: ASHCAN.  This is kind of an old word for garbage can.  When I was age 1-4, I lived in a home heated by coal.  We had an ashcan out back.

51. Sluggers' stats: RBIS.  Sometimes known as Ribbies.

52. Donald Duck, to his nephews: UNCA.

53. Glasgow denials: NAES.

54. Jay with a TV "Garage": LENO. Always enjoyed his "Tonight Show" opening stand up routine. 

55. Tattoo artist's supplies: INKS. Also enjoyed Jimmy Durante's "Inka Dinka Do".

56. Sty fare: SLOP.  This is also when you barely hit the head pin, get a strike and leave four or five pins on the lane.

60. Election Day day: Abbr.: TUE.  Not every Tuesday, just once every two years.  Except in North Carolina.

61. Militant '60s campus org.: SDS.  Students for a Democratic Society.  Protested the war in the 60s.  I was not in favor of the war, but I don't like these militant complainers.


Note from C.C.:

Here is a picture of Boomer and me at the Annual Graybar Retiree Christmas Luncheon last Thursday.  Do you like his tie?
Boomer and C.C., December 13, 2018

Oct 8, 2018

Monday Oct 8, 2018 Gail Grabowski & Bruce Venzke

Theme: Momentarily




Boomer here.

Football season is in full swing and I like the NFL as well as college games.  Of course I focus on the Big 10, (Which has become the bigger 14).  I wonder how some of these border battle trophies originated.  Minnesota battles Michigan for the Little Brown Jug, and takes on Wisconsin for Paul Bunyan's Axe.  This week was a battle with Iowa for "Floyd of Rosedale".  Floyd is a 98 pound statue of a bronze pig.  It is back in Iowa this year, but wait 'til next year.  You never know. 


1. Stand watch for, say: ABET. Put a few dollars on the Pass Line

5. Oompah instrument: TUBA.  What do two sheep say?

9. Think-on-your-feet tests: ORALS.

14. Greiner of "Shark Tank": LORI.  I have watched a couple of episodes of "Shark Tank".  That was enough.

15. Sister of Osiris: ISIS.

16. Fabled wish granter: GENIE.  Sometimes she appears in your dream, with light brown hair.   Barbara Eden will do,

17. Time-consuming: LONG.

18. With "of" and 71-Across, Steinbeck classic: EAST. 71. See 18-Across: EDEN.

19. Swim cap material: LATEX.  George Costanza is their salesman.

23. Hulu service: NET TV.  Basketball station ??

24. __ about: roughly: ON OR.

25. Eyelid bump: STYE.  Floyd of Rosedale's home?

29. Onetime Leno announcer Hall: EDD.

31. Prefix with mount or charge: SUR.  A big beach in California

33. Head-butting beast: RAM.  LA football player

34. Scoop in a cone: ICE CREAM.  I scream, you scream, we all scream for Ice cream.

39. Katmandu native: NEPALI.

43. Make an error: SLIP UP.

44. Pedals on antique sewing machines: TREADLES.   We had an old Singer when I was young.  I never knew what that pedal was called.

45. Right-angled piece: ELL.

46. Gp. with Vikings: NFC. And Packers and Lions and Bears, Oh My!

48. Bearded beast: GNU.

49. Fraction of a min.: NSEC. Nanosecond.

51. Hindu princess: RANI.

53. Andean pack animal: LLAMA.  If you bought a toy one, would it be called a "Dolly Llama" ?

61. Pentagon, for one: SHAPE.  Five-sided where all the military honchos hang out.

64. Med. readouts: EKGS.

65. Molecule part: ATOM. If not a Dick or Harry, is he a Tom ?

66. Usual bus. address for sending in payments: PO BOX.

67. Cheer (for): ROOT. "If they don't win it's a shame."

68. Vaccine fluids: SERA.

69. Hollywood go-between: AGENT.

70. Actress Gunn of "Breaking Bad": ANNA.


1. Dead tired: ALL IN.  See 1-Across.  Make a bet all in.

2. Trailblazer Daniel: BOONE. Incredible!  This guy lived to be 85 when the average lifespan was less than 40.

3. Surrealist Max: ERNST.  Another 85 year old !

4. Tied snugly: TIGHT.  Once there was a little girl, whose mother tied her braids so TIGHT that when she cried, the tears ran down her back.  They called her Bacteria.

5. Wedding cake layer: TIER.  Do people still take the top tier and freeze it, then thaw to eat on anniversary #1 ??

6. Gannett's flagship newspaper: USA TODAY.

7. Badlands bovine: BISON.  North Dakota State football team.

8. Texas team that won the 2017 World Series: ASTROS.  Now fighting Cleveland to see if they will have a chance to repeat.  Verlander is amazing!

9. Look like a wolf?: OGLE.

10. Brings up, as kids: REARS.  Rearing kids includes occasional bops to the rear.

11. Industrious insect: ANT.

12. Tell it like it isn't: LIE.  The Washington Post keeps track.

13. "__ sells": ad biz mantra: SEX

21. Exceed, as a budget: OVERRUN.

22. Like an intoxicated spree: DRUNKEN. Supreme Court welcoming party ?

26. Fish with a net: TRAWL.  Minnesota has over 10,000 lakes and many more fisherman.  No way to fish with a net.  Give the floppers a fighting chance.

27. New Haven Ivy Leaguer: YALIE. See 22-Down.

28. Radiates: EMITS.

30. Cook, as onion rings: DEEP-FRY.  Makes my mouth water.

32. Le Car maker: RENAULT.

34. "Peer Gynt" playwright: IBSEN.

35. Honeycomb units: CELLS.  Homes for criminals. 

36. Paperless tax return option: E-FILE.  I am old school.  Fill out the 1040 and send it in.

37. "Blue Bloods" extra: COP.

38. Bon __: witticism: MOT.

40. Pea container: POD.

42. Encouraging: URGING ON.  College football fans

47. Picture taker: CAMERA.  Smile if you are on a Candid one.

50. Roasting bird: CAPON.  Ballplayers must have their Cap on when they take the field

52. 47-Down brand: NIKON.  "I've got a Nikon Camera, gonna take a photograph, Mama don't take my Kodachrome away".  Simon & Garfunkel

54. Tenant's contract: LEASE.

55. Tossed in a chip: ANTED.  I don't think this is a word.

56. Bond portrayer Roger: MOORE.  There were 7 James Bond.  I think Sean Connery was the best.  After he quit, I did not go to 007 movies any more.

57. "Seriously, bro!": AW MAN.

59. "I'm __!": "My turn!": NEXT.  Barber shop lingo.

60. Davis Cup org.: USTA. Tennis anyone ?

61. Place for a mud bath: SPA.

62. Biker's wheels: HOG.  I wonder if Harley Davidson minds that people call his bikes, hogs.  Maybe one could be a Minnesota/Iowa football game trophy.

63. Springfield presidential library nickname: ABE.


Notes from C.C.:

Happy 77 birthday to dear Jayce, who's been with our blog since 2009. Often Jayce explains Chinese language quirks better than I do. He's just super observant. Here is Jayce with his beautiful bride, who speaks Cantonese.

Wedding Day
June 2013, Santa Barbara

Jul 19, 2018

Thursday, July 19th 2018 Gail Grabowski and Bruce Venzke

Theme: On/Off Switch - replacing one with the other in the theme entries, to whit:

17A. Exhale over scalding coffee?: BLOW ON STEAM. I can't get started without a nice cup of hot Joe. I cracked my (glass) french press this morning ignoring the instructions not to stir the grounds with a metal spoon. I just ordered a stainless steel replacement. That solves one problem.

27A. Discontinue slanted material in articles?: CUT OFF THE BIAS. To cut on the bias is a tailoring term, cutting on a diagonal across the weave.

45A. Visit some animal shelter residents?: CALL ON THE DOGS. My brother and his wife vacation each year on Skiathos, one of the Greek islands. The local animal shelter lets registered visitors take a dog out for a walk, for a fee - a kind of "Rent-a-Dog" service.

61A. Delay passing a congressional bill?: PUT OFF AN ACT. Which is what a filibuster is for. Great word, by the way.

When you see Gail and Bruce on a by-line, you know that you're in for a smooth experience. These two are pros at the constructing game. This one is no exception (although I do have one Yuk! moment, more on that shortly). A nice theme, nothing contrived.

I do question the central PODIUMS entry being clued in the same way as the theme entries (the ..? convention) - it bugged me that it had nothing to do with the theme, but was front and center as if it did. Unless I missed something, entirely possible!

Without further ado, let's go and see what jumps out.


1. New England sch.: UMASS. Didn't even blink! University of Massachusetts.

6. Dominant: ALPHA

11. Chest protector: BIB

14. Up: RISEN

15. Stunt cyclist, e.g.: DARER. This is my "yuk!" moment. Technically correct, but "in the language?" Not so much, IMHO.

16. Valuable extraction: ORE

19. Bit of muesli: OAT

20. Mariners' home, familiarly: SAFECO. Safeco Field, home of Seattle Mariners baseball. It's on the waterfront next door to the football and soccer stadium. Great locations, both.

21. Bilingual subj.: E.S.L. English as a Second Language.

22. July 4th events, briefly: BBQS

23. Five-O cop: DANO. The one with the book.

25. James or Jones of jazz: ETTA

32. Letters of urgency: ASAP. It seems to go without saying in my business world. Everyone wants everything yesterday, and mainly for free.

34. Long of "In Too Deep": NIA. Thank you crosses. Here she is:

35. Broad neckwear: ASCOT. I got tripped up a little here as I had "BARB" for Ms. Streisand before I came back to this one.

36. One in an airport queue: CAB

37. Talking points?: PODIUMS

40. Memorable 1969 bride: ONO

41. Harry's Hogwarts nemesis: DRACO. Potter, meet your nemesis, Malfoy. I think that's right. He's pretty slick at the old "occlumency" thing, apparently.

43. Letters in an unfilled sched. slot: TBA. Could have been TBD, my first thought. Wasn't.

44. From the top: ANEW

49. Classroom "I know! I know!": OH! OH!

50. First name in country: REBA. McEntire.

51. Did a number: SANG. Reba's probably done one or two in her time.

54. Small application: DAB

56. Ear inflammation: OTITIS. I swear it was OTOSIS, so that was a bump in the road for a moment.

60. Fire: AXE. Not a fire axe? No, not a fire axe, The pink slip kind of axe.

63. General Mills cereal: KIX

64. Metal giant: ALCOA. Aluminium. Heh heh - that's cool, no objection from Spellcheck.

65. Debate topic: ISSUE

66. Id follower?: EST

67. Conductor Zubin: MEHTA. Here he is leading the LA Phil through Mozart's Bassoon Concerto K.191.

68. Arms treaty subj.: N-TEST


1. Cities, informally: URBS. I like this - if the suburbs are a distance from the city, the city must be the urb. Awesome.

2. Kunis of "Black Swan": MILA

3. Starting on: AS OF

4. Clinched: SEWED UP. Vive d'equipe de France! Allez Les Bleus! France clinched the World Cup last Sunday with a win over less-fancied Croatia. Formidable! They day after Bastille Day too.

5. Treaded winter vehicle: SNO-CAT

6. Wikipedia lacks them: ADS. I thought of EDS first, in spite of knowing full well that there are editors. I'll give these folks a plug - when they have their next fundraiser, consider contributing. No amount too small.

7. Untimely?: LATE

8. Like alarm clocks: PRE-SET. 

9. Part of HMO: HEALTH. Maintenance Organization.

10. Half of a very high price?: ARM. Add the leg and you're emptying your wallet. Can you pay a leg for a moderately high-priced item?

11. Schmo: BOOB

12. Green Zone country: IRAQ

13. Action at the track: BETS

18. "That's all wrong!": NO! NO! NO!

22. Streisand, in fanzines: BABS. Not BARB. My bad.

24. "The Wizard __": OF ID. Trap well and truly fallen into. Not Oz. I love the strip:

26. They usually end up in hot water: TEAS. Teabags was my first thought, I wasn't a million miles off.

27. Plotting group: CABAL

28. Hill of country: FAITH. More country singers. She should do a duet with Reba. Actually, I just found that she did. You can go look for it if you like, it's on YouTube.

29. iPhone array: ICONS. I used to create icons as a programmer back in the day when you had a canvas of only 16x16 dots and 255 colors. I think I spent too much time messing around with Paintbrush, and not enough time testing my code, in hindsight.

30. Top-drawer: A-ONE

31. Stash: STOW

32. Adapter letters: AC/DC

33. "Waitress" Tony nominee Bareilles: SARA. More gratitude to the cross-Gods from me. I should send 'em a thank-you gift.

37. "Hunny" lover: POOH. Tiggers don't like it though, as wonderfully drawn by E.H. Shepard.

38. Lyft alternative: UBER

39. Fashioned from: MADE OF

42. Heavy shoe: CLOG

44. Saying nay to: AGAINST

46. Plant root growth: NODULE

47. Pastoral roofing: THATCH. I lived in a thatched cottage before I moved to the US. It's been extended and refurbished since I lived there, but still very much recognizable. Thanks to Google Spy - I mean Maps - for the update.

48. Get one's hands on: OBTAIN

51. Sushi go-with: SAKE. I've got a nice selection in the pantry and the fridge for when the sushi moment strikes.

52. Allies' enemy: AXIS. Germany, Italy and Japan in WWII, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey in WWI.

53. Coming right up: NEXT

55. One in an UGG box: BOOT. Apparently you can't buy new, genuine Uggs from an eBay store It's against the retailer agreement to sell them on auction sites. So now you know.

57. Shock, in a way: TASE

58. Post-op areas: ICU'S

59. "Leave it in" mark: STET. When pundits, recently, were calling for Dele Alli to be dropped from the England World Cup soccer team, I started calling him "Stet" Alli. I thought it was funny. Apparently I was in a minority of one.

61. Bobby's wife on "Dallas": PAM. She had the permanently-surprised look and acted with her eyebrows. Linda Gray, who portrayed JR's wife, emoted primarily with her chin.

62. Pilot-licensing org.: F.A.A. Federal Aviation Authority.

And - here's the grid.

This blog now complete, errors and omissions excepted. Just need to post my new disclaimer:

Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information provided on the Thursday Blog, whether disseminated via browser, social media sites and/or mobile applications, Blogger Steve makes no express or implied warranty as to the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information. Blogger Steve provides this information via all online services and platforms on an "as is" basis. While there may be changes to information on topics covered on the Thursday Blog, these changes may or may not be made available electronically on the main page.

There, that should cover my ass this week. Here's the grid!


Jul 9, 2018

Monday July 9, 2018 Gail Grabowski & Bruce Venzke

Theme: FROM TIME TO TIME (48. On occasion ... and how 20-, 25- and 43-Across go?) - Both words can follow "Time".

20A. Self-inking device for check endorsements: SIGNATURE STAMP. Time signature. Time stamp.

25A. Coins-for-bills device: CHANGE MACHINE. Time change. Time machine.

43A. Interval before late fees apply: PAYMENT PERIOD. Time payment. Time period.

Boomer here. 

I hope you all took the time to celebrate Independence Day.  There were a few people in our neighborhood with illegal noisy fireworks keeping us awake, and scaring animals and babies. We displayed our flag from Spitzboov for the morning, but had to pull it in when a big storm hit. Happy 242nd birthday USA.

C.C. August 16, 2010

1. Driver with a meter: CABBY.  Most are great people, but once in a while you may get a crabby cabby.

6. Ships, to captains: SHES.

10. Fraternal letters seen under antlers: BPOE.  Elks Lodge members. Great for cheap cocktails and pull tabs.  (Always for charities).

14. City near Orlando: OCALA.

15. Mani mate: PEDI. For those who need a cure for something.

16. Classify in order of importance: RANK. Many ranks in the military, but sometimes rank can mean a bitter taste or smell.

17. Former TWA rival: PAN AM.  This is an amazing story.  Pan American Airlines began in 1927.  I am not sure if there were even airports then.  But they ceased operations in 1991.  That was a tough era for airlines and many 747s hit the used plane lots.

18. Hulk's emotion: RAGE.

19. Sommer of Hollywood: ELKE.  Elke called Zsa Zsa a fat butt, so Zsz Zsa called Elke a broke has been.  Where was the World Wrestling Entertainment Vince McMahon for this feud?

23. Stubble spot: CHIN.  Open the door and let me in, Not by the hair of my Chinny Chin Chin.  Then I'll huff and I'll puff and blow your house in.

24. Ankle pic: TAT.  I see these on ankles, arms and other body parts.  Okay for some, not for me.

31. Most loyal: TRUEST.

33. Poet Ogden: NASH. Who can forget American motors Nash Rambler?  My folks had one in the fifties.  I had a Rambler's offspring, an AMC Pacer in the seventies.

34. Put coins in, as a parking meter: FED.  Neat word "Put".  Can be past, present or future tense.

35. Goes public with: AIRS.  CNN and MSNBC do this.  Others just Tweet.

36. Say further: ADD.

37. Not timid: BOLD.

38. "Are You the One?" network: MTV.  I have about 120 channels (or more).  Never need to watch MTV.  I am too old.

39. In __: as originally placed: SITU.  I was not familiar with this word.  I always just used "Where it's at".

41. Entirely: WHOLLY.

46. Western treaty gp.: OAS.

47. What some eyeglasses lack: RIMS.  Okay, I have heard the term, but I object.  Even the lenses have rims.

55. Airline known for tight security: EL AL.  I have not seen an EL AL plane at MSP.  I suppose if you need to travel to Tel Aviv you need to change planes in New York.

56. Saint Laurent of fashion: YVES.

57. Kidney-related: RENAL.

58. Sonic Dash game publisher: SEGA.  I may have been addicted to Nintendo in the late eighties and early nineties, however I never got into Sega.

59. "__ we forget": LEST.

60. Ernie Banks' nickname: MR CUB.  Number 14 - played shortstop for many years then they moved him to first base when older. Even though the Cubs were losers most years, they had a great tradition.  A ballpark with no lighted field, Wrigley gum available at the concession stand and also already been chewed gum available under most of the ballpark seats.

1955 Topps Doubleheader

61. Tens and twenties: CASH.  Ones, Fives, Fifties and Hundreds are also cash.  My clue would have been "A Boy Named Sue" singer.

62. Biblical twin: ESAU.

63. Etsy transaction, e.g.: E-SALE.  I have never heard of Etsy.  Maybe Ebay would be too easy of a clue, but what the heck, it is Monday.


1. Body cam-wearing law enforcers: COPS.

2. Berry promoted as a superfood: ACAI. Some kind of berry from a palm tree. Sounds like something I cannot afford and would not like anyway. This is why we have a forum - anyone who has eaten Acai, let's hear about it !

3. Explosion sound: BANG.  Heard quite a bit too many last Wednesday.

4. Scalds briefly in water, as tomatoes: BLANCHES.  Wow, I have never blanched tomatoes, maybe potatoes though.

5. Steinway competitors: YAMAHAS.  I always equate Steinway with expensive pianos, and Yamaha with keyboard organs.  However I think they are more well known for Motorcycles and ATV's.

6. Got out of jail: SPRUNG.  Spring has sprung, the grass has riz' -- etc.

7. Catch wind of: HEAR.

8. Slight advantage: EDGE. A Ford SUV that most can afford.

9. Midday snoozes: SIESTAS. I think this is a Spanish word that every person in the world adopted when they needed a nap.

10. A mint may freshen it: BREATH. Kind of a Tic Tac clue.

11. Front of the hand: PALM.  Also a tree with ACAI berries.

12. Like a GI doing dishes: ON KP.  Been there, done that.

13. Barely manage, with "out": EKE.

21. Sunroof coloring: TINT.  Automakers think of everything.  I have never had a vehicle with a sun roof.

22. Dash gauge: TACH.

25. Like winding roads: CURVY.  Also like Elke Sommer.

26. Turn out to be: END UP.

27. Steamed up: MAD.  Reminds me of a goofy magazine in the 60s. Alfred E. Neuman was featured in every issue.  I just remember a parody of Richard Nixon sung to the tune of "Tit Willow" regarding the TV debates of 1960.

"In a house by the Ocean Dick Nixon rang out, singing TV, damn TV, damn TV.
And I said to him Dickie boy, why do you shout, singing TV, damn TV, damn TV.
Is it westerns you hate so immensely I cried, Do those private eye shows hurt you deep down inside?
None of those it's those lousy debates he replied, TV, damn TV, damn TV.

28. "Too rich for my blood": I FOLD. When you have a full house or better,  don't go crazy.  Keep the bets within reason until the end and keep more players (and their money) in the game.

29. "Little" Dickens girl: NELL. Hang on the bell Nellie. Hang on the bell.  Your poor Daddy's locked in a cold prison cell.  (Chad Mitchell Trio)

30. Drain phenomenon: EDDY.

31. Pipe tobacco packer: TAMP.  I smoked a pipe for a short time about 20 years ago.  If you stuffed the tobacco too tightly, it did not burn right.

32. Grammy winner Coolidge: RITA.

36. Public defender, for one: Abbr.: ATT.  Probably the largest communications company in the world.

37. Ardent fans: BOOSTERS. Rah, Rah, Rah for Sky U Mah.

39. Line on Levi's: SEAM.

40. Fashionable: IN STYLE.  "In Style" is a magazine full of beauty tips.  You can find it in many waiting rooms and salons.  You do not need to subscribe if you are already beautiful.

41. Habeas corpus, e.g.: WRIT.

42. Boyfriend's ultimatum: HIM OR ME. - Sounds like a social problem.

44. Dough in a wallet: MOOLAH. Ones, fives, tens, twenties, fifties. Hundreds if you're Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, or an NBA player.

45. 1974 hit with a Spanish title meaning "You are": ERES TU.

48. Cause of a dog's excessive scratching: FLEA. We used to do flea markets, but fleas were not sold there.

49. Tattered cloths: RAGS.  You may have gone from rags to riches, if you are Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, or an NBA player

50. Currier's colleague: IVES.  Just hear those sleigh bells ring a ling,,,

51. Walled land formation: MESA.

52. Machu Picchu dweller: INCA. Jimmie Durante - Inca Dinka Doo.

53. Treat roughly: MAUL.

54. Hamburg's river: ELBE.  My post was in Hardheim, Germany.  Not very close to Hamburg and the Elbe River.

55. PC "Oops!" key: ESC.


Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to dear Anon-T (Tony), who labored many hours to write a program for our blogging team. We're so grateful, Tony (and TTP)! Thanks for being so caring and kind to everyone on our blog.

At Wit's End near Carmel on Father's Day 2017

May 23, 2018

Wednesday May 23, 2018 Gail Grabowski and Bruce Venzke

Theme:  LIGHT-HEADED (60. Feeling woozy ... and a hint to the first words of the answers to starred clues)- Synonym theme. 

17A. *Precarious position: SHAKY GROUND.

38A. *1979 boxing sequel: ROCKY II.
11D. *Hall of Fame pitcher with the 1930s Cardinals: DIZZY DEAN.

31D. *Very small chance: FAINT HOPE.

C.C. here, filling in a Wednesday blogging gap.

From the byline, we can see that this puzzle's idea was Gail's. Constructor who dreams up the theme normally has her/his name come up first in byline order. So, this is a GAB puzzle (Gail and Bruce). If Bruce's name comes up first, then we'll have BAG (Bruce and Gail) puzzle. That's their code.

Some of you know I have low blood pressure. When the numbers get too low, I feel DIZZY. I don't use ROCKY to describe light-headedness though. I'm a happy person if I can make 92/65. Tough job! Very odd problem for someone who loves all kinds of pickled stuff. 


1. Italian fashion label: PRADA. Two more five-letter candidates: FENDI & GUCCI.

6. Invasive Asian vine: KUDZU.

11. CSI lab sample: DNA.

14. "Cosmos" host: SAGAN (Carl).

15. Symphonic winds: OBOES.

16. + or - particle: ION.

19. Zoo opening in Britain: ZED. Just the opening letter: Zoo

20. Long-lasting needlework?: TATTOO. Cute clue.

21. Hero of Uris' "Exodus": ARI.

22. Business magnate: CZAR.

23. Lowest in fat: LEANEST. We also have 28. Most coquettish: COYEST Also .46. Not as clear: HAZIER.

25. "And __ off!": THEY'RE.

27. Take it easy: REST. So glad you're now "clean as a whistle", dear Spitzboov!

Spitzboov, Betty & Argyle 
28. Grade-schooler: CHILD.

29. Fido's poodle amie: FIFI.

32. Classification prefix meaning "arrangement": TAXO. Learning moment for me.

34. What candidates "press" a lot of: FLESH.

37. Time division: ERA. FYI, Dave 2, "Lucy Baines" is a song by Chad Mitchell Trio. D-Otto burned a special CD for Boomer, who's been blasting those songs.

40. Wanted poster letters: AKA.

41. Do an airport maintenance job: DE-ICE.

43. Eager about, with "on": KEEN.

44. Foul mood: SNIT.

45. __ Ark: NOAH'S.

47. "Get outta there!": SCAT.

49. Bronchial woe: ASTHMA.

51. Totally puzzled: AT A LOSS. For words.

54. Journalist Paula: ZAHN. Have not watched anything by her after her CNN days.

55. It has a dozen signs: Abbr.: ZOD. OK. Zodiac.

57. Low clouds: STRATI.

59. "Evil Woman" band, briefly: ELO.

62. Knock: RAP.

63. Former Houston hockey team: AEROS. Houston Aeros (1994–2013). Wiki said they were the "AHL affiliate of the NHL's Minnesota Wild. The team is now the Iowa Wild." I forgot. I don't follow the Wild.

64. Tequila plant: AGAVE.

65. Citrus suffix: ADE.

66. __-Roman wrestling: GRECO.

67. Doled (out): METED. 


1. Subtle summons: PSST.

2. 1986 Indy 500 champ Bobby: RAHAL. Not UNSER.

3. Colorful quartz: AGATE.

4. '60s TV show whose title means "doctor" in Swahili: DAKTARI. Unknown to me.

5. "Do I have a volunteer?": ANYONE? Anyone?

6. "MASH" setting: Abbr.: KOR. Korea.

7. WWII sub: U BOAT. Sometimes it's E-BOAT.

8. Gloomy: DOUR.

9. Apex: ZENITH.

10. Amer. money: USD.

12. Lack of musical skill: NO EAR.

13. Agassi of tennis: ANDRE.

18. Heads for: GOES TO.

22. Honeycomb unit: CELL. I'm loving Aldi's raw honey lately.

24. Puts into piles: STACKS.

26. LP player: HI FI.

29. Gave grub to: FED. Here is a typical kitchen in Guangzhou. My friend Carmen's home. One light soy sauce, one dark soy sauce, olive oil, peanut oil, white pepper, salt and sugar. Oh, Jayce, I just learned yesterday that 胡椒粉 and 花椒粉 are different. Carmen, you and Boomer use 胡椒粉. But my brother uses 花椒粉  (Sichuan peppercorns powder).
30. Anger: IRE.

33. Jaguar model: XKE.

35. Hit the slopes: SKI.

36. Fez, e.g.: HAT. Hi, Abejo!

38. Scold, with "out": REAM.

39. One way to pay: IN CASH.

42. "Walking in Memphis" singer Marc: COHN.

44. Attic function: STORAGE. Gotta 50's baseball cards there?

48. Chi. White Sox or Bos. Red Sox: AL TEAM.

49. Hyundai sedan: AZERA.

50. Tossed __: SALAD.

51. For a special purpose: AD HOC.

52. '70s-'80s Egyptian president: SADAT.

53. Actor Carell: STEVE. Or [L.A. Times Crossword Corner blogger Marron]. Such a cool picture!

56. Folklore brute: OGRE.

58. Carded at a club, briefly: ID'ED.

60. Fall behind: LAG.

61. Chinese menu surname: TSO.


Apr 25, 2018

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 Gail Grabowski and Bruce Venzke

Theme:  Whatever moves you.   The second word of each 2 or 3 word theme entry indicates a descriptor for being highly motivated.  I wouldn't say they are quite synonyms, by they do have a common feel.  These are the characteristics of ambition and, with along with some luck, skill, and tenacity, success - in business, sports, music or any meaningful endeavor.

17 A. Solar power, e.g. : RENEWABLE ENERGY.  Five types are recognized: solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and hydroelectric. Personally, ENERGY is what gets you out of bed to face the challenges of the day.

26 A. Soul mate : KINDRED SPIRIT.  Those with similar interests and attitudes are KINDRED SPIRITS.  Soul mates are bound together more tightly than that, IMHO.  Many years ago, I wrote a sonnet about them [see below].    Personally, SPIRIT is the enthusiasm that keeps you going.


There are those whose lives are meant to be entwined,
Lovers thrust together by the force of destiny,
When choice and fate converge, that they may be
Connected at the soul, the heart, the mind.

Within their closed circumference one can find
Two curves in perfect fit -- his yang, her yin,
That in each cycle once again begin
To cluster into love's sweet spiral bind.

But consider -- if in the vast span of infinity
One of them becomes displaced in small degree;
Is born a decade late, perhaps is sent
To the farthest corner of the continent --

The distant echo of an unfelt touch, an unseen face.
Who will be the one who comes to take his place?

48 A. Heavy military barrage : ARTILLERY FIRE.  An assault using cannons, mortars, and other weaponry with greater range fire power than rifles and hand guns.  Personally, FIRE [as, in the belly] is powerful ambition and determination.

63 A. Common transmission feature : FRONT WHEEL DRIVE.  Unsurprisingly, this is a tranny system that provides power to the front wheels of a vehicle.  Personally, DRIVE is the urge, sometimes innate, to achieve a goal or satisfy a need. 

This theme is at once simple, but also possibly a bit elusive.  And there's plenty of it, with 2 grid-spanning entries and 2 more at 13 letters each.  The trade-off is more words of shorter length than is typical for a Wednesday.  The lack of a unifier mid-week is also a little strange.

Hi, gang, JazzBumpa here, somehow feeling motivated.  How about you?  Lets FIRE it up, get the SPIRIT moving, and use that ENERGY to DRIVE through today's puzzle.


1. Dull : HO-HUM.  What - bored already?  C'mon, let's keep it moving - at least as far as 20A.

6. "Stronger than dirt" cleanser : AJAX.  This is how I remember it.  [Yes, I am THAT old!]

10. PCs' "brains" : CPUSCentral Processing Units.

14. Backspace over : ERASE.  On a computer, not a typewriter.

15. Try to throw, at a rodeo : BUCK.  The highly motivated action of an unwillingly mounted animal.

16. Tall concert instrument : HARP.  One harp player I've worked with transports hers in a repurposed hearse.

20. Animal that sounds dull : BOAR.  Male hog.  Here's an insect that sounds even duller.
21. Those opposed : NAYS.  Used in voice votes.

22. Simplifies : EASES.

23. Charged particle : ION.  Formed by the transfer of an electron from one atom or molecule to another.

25. Gender problem : GAP.  The discrepancy between men and women in opportunities, status, attitudes, etc.

33. Humiliate : ABASE.  Disrespect.

34. Grand-scale poetry : EPOS.  EPIC also fits, and giving it up gave me fits.

35. It's right on the map : EAST.  Clever clue.  I like it.

38. Slo-mo reviewer : REF.  Baseball, football and hockey all have slo-motion replay reviews for close calls.

39. Inning with a stretch : SEVENTHThis tradition, however, remains unique to baseball.  

42. "Michael Collins" actor Stephen : REA.

43. Any of three 10th-century Holy Roman Emperors : OTTOThe HRE started with Charlemagne in 800 A. D. and ended with Francis II in 1806.  For several decades it was run on Otto-pilot.

Otto I [The Great] 962-973
Otto II 973-983
Otto III 996-1002

45. Jazzman Jackson : MILT.   Vibraphonist Milton "Bags" Jackson [1923-1999] was a founder of the Modern Jazz Quartet. Here is a slightly different line up.

46. Caravan stops : OASES.   Fertile desert spots, with water.

51. Exact revenge on : GET.   As in GET even.

52. Big lug : OAF.  Lout, churl.

53. Letters after thetas : IOTAS.  Not fond of this at all.  The Greek alphabet is a unique thing, as are each of the letters in it. Sure, some word could have multiple IOTAS in it, but that is not the sense of this clue. 

56. Until next time, in texts : TTYLTalk To You Later.

59. Slanted page? : OP-ED. Located Opposite to the Editorial Page.  Viewpoints are only slanted if you disagree.

66. Sportswear brand : IZOD.  Ordinary clothing adorned with an expensive alligator.

67. Lawman played by Russell and Costner : EARP.  Wyatt, of OK Corral fame.

68. Ill-fated Ford : EDSEL.  Manufactured from 1958-60.  Now a collectors item.

69. Lady Gaga's "Cheek to Cheek" duettist Bennett : TONY.  These kids are having way too much fun.

70. Helpful hints : TIPS.  Pro-tip: see if you can land a gig with Lady Gaga.

71. Virtual transaction : E-SALE.   On-line commerce.


1. Chef's flavoring : HERB.  Tasty and/or aromatic plant leaves.

2. Double Delight cookie : OREO.

3. Tennis great Mandlikova : HANA.

4. Password partners : USER IDS.  Protection for your on-line activities.

5. Litter cry : MEW.  It's the cat's meow.

6. "SOS" band : ABBA.

7. Month with fireworks : JULY.  This is what makes the 4th of July my least favorite holiday.

8. Blackjack components : ACES. Along with face cards or 10s.  Blackjack is the name of the game, but also a 2-card holding consisting of an ace, counting 11 points, along with one of the other mentioned cards, counting 10.  Other spot cards have the count of their pips.  Winner is the player who comes closest to 21 without going over, regardless of the number of cards held.

9. Vintage Jag : XKE.   Jaguar car.

10. Inexpensive brand : CHEAPIE.  Probably won't last.

11. Golf targets : PARS.  In the abstract.  PINS, the physical targets, also fits.

12. Try to convince : URGE.  In another sense, could have echoed the theme.

13. 1974 Gould/Sutherland CIA spoof : SPYS.

18. "Worst Cooks in America" judge Burrell : ANNE.  This is a thing?!?

19. Within walking distance : NEAR.  Close

24. Mine extractions : ORES.  Pay dirt.

25. Main idea : GIST.  The heart of the matter.

26. Syrup brand since 1902 : KARO. Corn syrup.  Not the same as high fructose corn syrup, which is highly processed.

27. Skeptical words : I BET.  

28. Tripartite commerce pact : NAFTA. North American Free Trade Agreement.

29. Underworld boss? : DEVIL.  No typical crime syndicate don, instead the master of Hades.

30. Be in a bee : SPELL.  Participate in a spelling contest.  I would lose.

31. Florence's __ Vecchio : PONTE.  A closed bridge over the Arno, dating to some uncertain time before the 1400's.  

32. Foot bones : TARSI.  A cluster of 7 articulating bones at the back of the foot.  Five of them connect to the metatarsals - the long bones of the foot.

36. Lifeline reader : SEER.  Fortune teller, mystic.

37. Overpower with a shock : TASE.  Use a Taser, an elecroshock gun, on someone.

40. Give off : EMIT. As light, heat, or an odor.

41. Boxer Oscar De La __ : HOYA. [b 1973] He holds dual American and Mexican citizenship.  Representing the U. S., he won an olympic gold medal in 1992.

44. Fine cotton fabric : ORGANDY. A translucent fabric that is usually stiffened and used in women's clothing.

47. Provides with, as an opportunity : AFFORDS.  From an Old English root meaning "go forth."

49. Trial : TEST.

50. Hot streak : ROLL.  Experience a prolonged spell of success or good luck.

53. "__ ain't broke ... " : IF IT.  Don't fix it.

54. Minestrone pasta : ORZO. Noodles the approximate size and shape of rice grains.

55. Snagglepuss, e.g. : TOON. Created in 1959, he was featured in a series of shorts, then became a semi-regular on the Yogi Bear Show, and also appeared in other Hanna-Barbera series.
56. Bangkok native : THAI.  From the Kingdom of Thailand. The country has always been called Mueang Thai by its citizens.  Until 1949 it was called Siam by outsiders.

57. Maryland athlete, for short : TERP.  Terrapin, for long.

58. Slangy affirmatives : YEPS.

60. Tuscan tower site : PISA. Home of the leaning tower, in Italy.

61. First name in stunts : EVEL.  Mr. Knievel [b 1938, d 2007.] Contrary to rumor, he never jumped the Grand Canyon.  His Snake River Canyon jump was a bust, both as a stunt and financially.  

62. Proofreader's "drop this" : DELE.  Delete.

64. Just out of the pool : WET.  Untoweled

65. Dead end? : DEE.  Spelt out terminal letter.  Rather a sad way to end a puzzle.

That wraps up another Wednesday. With only a couple of nits, my enthusiasm remains undampened.  Don't lose that passion, peeps!

Cool regards!

Notes from C.C.:

1) Happy Birthday to Kazie (Kay), who has been with our blog since the summer of 2008. Kay used to frequent our blog and was our authority on any French and German matter. Last time when she emailed me, she was readying for a German trip to visit her old son and family. She was also very happy that her young son was engaged.

2) Women of Letters puzzle packet is ready! All the 18 puzzles were constructed and edit by women. The constructors include: Tracy Bennett, Laura Braunstein, C.C. Burnikel, Amanda Chung, Debbie Ellerin, Gail Grabowski (today's co-constructor) Tracy Gray, Mary Lou Guizzo, Angela Olson Halsted (PuzzleGirl), Pam Amick Klawitter, Sarah Keller, Lynn Lempel, Donna S. Levin, Ruth Bloomfield Margolin, Andrea Carla Michaels, Robin Stears, and Robyn Weintraub. The editors are our own Patti Varol and Amy Reyhaldo. Deb Amlen of Wordplay initiated this project in early 2017.

To get the puzzles, please donate $10 or more to any of the charities listed in the website. Then send a copy of your receipt as proof of donation to You'll get a beautifully designed puzzle pack with all the great puzzles, answer grids and all the constructor bios.