Showing posts with label Gary Larson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gary Larson. Show all posts

Jan 1, 2020

Wednesday January 1, 2020 Gary Larson

 Theme:  ROSE PARADE (58. Annual New Year's Day spectacle ... and a hint to the starts of 17-, 23-, 36- and 49-Across) - The starting letters of each theme entry can follow "rose".

17. Reason for not owning a cat, say: PET ALLERGY. Rose petal.

23. Enchanted: BEDAZZLED. Rose bed.

36. Expense reducer: BUDGET CUT. Rosebud.

49. Like stereotypical old cowboys: BOWLEGGED. Rose Bowl.

Boomer here again.

Happy New Year to all.  I noticed BOWL worked its way into 49A. I tried the sport Monday but bad information and 6 inches of snow got me late to the bowling center (Please do not call it an Alley), so I only was able to bowl two games,  214 and 167.  I'm working on it.  Next week we are again at the center that was home to my previous 600 set. Go Gophers!  Row the Boat.


1. "What did I tell you?": SEE.  This clue seems like something C.C. says to me about four times a day.

4. Moves like a crab: SIDLES.  Are we talking about an animal or a grade school teacher?

10. Ladies of Sp.: SRAS.

14. Decorative garden planter: URN.  Mostly seen at cemeteries I think.

15. Clocked in: AT WORK.  I am sure that all you solvers are AT WORK on this Puzz.

16. __ contendere: court plea: NO LO.

19. Genesis twin: ESAU.  The other was Jacob.  Interesting that Jacob is still a relatively common name.  I know of no one named Esau.

20. Doled (out): PARCELED.  I heard that Amazon is now charging shipping on items PARCELED out.

21. Suckling spot: TEAT.  I think that on Halloween, cows go tick or teating.

22. Dog in the comics: ODIE.

27. Sowing machine: SEEDER.  In 2019, Minnesota was so wet that the seeders stayed in the barn until June.

30. Like a cyclops: ONE-EYED.  ONE-EYED one horned flying purple people eater.  Also known as a Green Bay Packer.

31. TV drama settings: ERS.  I have been to an ER twice in the last 16 months.  I didn't really care for either time.

32. "Star Trek: TNG" counselor __ Troi: DEANNA.

35. "Worst Cooks in America" judge Burrell: ANNE.

38. When Tony sings "Maria": ACT I.  I just met a girl named Maria.  And suddenly that name, will never be the same to me.  (West Side Story, - the high notes were tough on a bass voice).

41. Makes a connection: TIES IN.

42. "Lou Grant" production co.: MTM.  "Who can turn the world on with her smile."  I cannot tell you how many times C.C. and I took a walk on the very path along Lake of the Isles that Mary walked on one of the show's intros.

Boomer,  2017

45. Backstage guy: PROP MAN.

47. Official with a seal: NOTARY.  He can make sure it's your signature.  Don't scribble.

52. Not procrastinating: ON IT.

53. Backside, slangily: PRAT.  I am careful.  If I landed on it I am not sure I could get up.

54. Film VIP: PRODUCER. Sometimes vegetables are called produce. That makes a farmer a PRODUCER,

57. Prince William's school: ETON.

60. Religious leader in "Angels & Demons": POPE.  Not sure about Demons.  I think he lives in the Vatican. The largest single residence in the world, I am told.

61. Wind, over time: ERODER.  I wish some element could ERODE our snow. 

62. Hawaii's Mauna __: LOA.  I'll bet they don't have a snow problem there.

63. Big primates: APES.

64. Internet/cable package deal: BUNDLE.  Trust me, it is NOT a deal, at least not a good one.

65. Industrious insect: ANT.  Not here now.  I expect they'll be back in April.


1. "Just imagine ... ": SUPPOSE.  I SUPPOSE so.

2. Barnes & Noble Nook, for one: E READER.  I have never seen this. Sometimes I need to travel to Barnes & Noble to purchase a Wall Street Journal, in case there is a puzzle in the paper that someone wants to see.

3. Contest submissions: ENTRIES.  I very seldom try any of this.  I firmly believe there might be one winner bet everyone else gets on an advertising mailing list.

4. Cyber Monday event: SALE.  It seems like there is some kind of SALE every day.

5. "__ be fun!": IT'LL.

6. Nerd: DWEEB.

7. One-named singer with the #1 hit "Royals": LORDE.  The Twins played the ROYALS about 18 times last summer and I believe the Royals had more than one hit every time.

8. Joule fraction: ERG.

9. Place to fly: SKY.  Way back in the 50s, there was a TV show starring "SKY KING".  I believe he flew a Cessna.

10. Make light of: SNEEZE AT.

11. Calvin's babysitter in "Calvin and Hobbes": ROSALYN.  Add an "N" and you have former first lady Rosalynn Carter.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Carter are still alive and making news often.

12. Adolescent support group: ALATEEN.  This is sad.  I hope teens receive help. 

13. Not worth a __: SOU.  I think a SOU was a French coin, but I think the clue is not worth a nickel.

18. Zipped through: ACED.  Or hit that 8 iron 160 yards and the ball landed in the hole.

21. Chinese philosopher Mo-__: TZE.  I will let C.C. (Zhouqin) handle this one.

24. Proscriptions: DONT'S.

25. Motrin alternative: ANACIN.  I believe Anacin was one of the first headache remedies.  Also the first alphabetically until Advil came along.

26. WWII general: DDE.  The first president I can remember,  He came to Minneapolis once and paraded in a Cadillac with a bulletproof dome over the rear seat.  I wish President Kennedy would have learned from Eisenhower, 

28. MIT URL letters: EDU.

29. Markdown marker: RED TAG.  Another kind of sale that does not need a black Friday, Small business Saturday, or a Cyber Monday. 

33. Winery process: AGING.  Yup, That's ME, but I am not whining about the process.

34. Formerly named: NEE.

36. Aerobatics fliers: BIPLANES.  These guys have the double wings. over and under.  I have only seen pictures.  Never saw one in the air.

37. Tres menos dos: UNO.  I think there is a card game with that name.

38. BOLO cousin: APB.  Be On The Lookout for an All Points Bulletin.

39. Upper-body garment that exposes the midriff: CROP TOP.  This describes my last haircut.

40. Barge line: TOWROPE.

42. Strategy game played with stones: MANCALA.  I prefer Chess.

43. Checked for fit: TRIED ON.  I try stuff on and when I get it home it doesn't fit.  C.C. is pretty good with a needle and thread.  (Also she needles me to take my pills, every chance she gets.)

44. "It's on me": MY TREAT.

46. Ran into: MET.  National League New York player - like Polar Bear #20.

48. Open house offering: TOUR.  I might be a little more interested in the PGA tour.

50. Big name in printers: EPSON.  We have an HP.  But it prints Big Names when asked.

51. Stallone title role: DREDD.  Famous for a helmet??

55. German automaker: OPEL.  A friend of mine had a small Opel Station Wagon which he let me drive a few times.  I was not impressed.

56. Challenge: DARE.

57. AQI monitor: EPA.  Environmental Protection Agency.  They do not do a thing about the snow in our environment.

58. Hoops stat.: REB.  The reason that you need to be seven feet tall to play in the NBA.

59. Tulsa sch. named for an evangelist: ORU.  Oral Roberts was a famous evangelist.


Dec 29, 2019

Sunday December 29, 2019 Gary Larson

Theme:  "Electronic Games" - E is added to the start of each familiar phrase.

22. Unlikely getaway car alternative?: ESCAPE GOAT. Scapegoat.

24. Time left in an online auction?: EBAY WINDOW. Bay window. ORIEL.
36. Civil rights legislation?: EQUALITY CONTROL. Quality control.

52. Serengeti stampede?: ELAND RUSH. Land Rush.

67. Three-hanky films?: EMOTION PICTURES. Motion pictures.

83. Bong for special occasions?: EVENT PIPE. Vent pipe.

97. Big place to fool around in?: ESTATE OF AFFAIRS. State of affairs.

112. Eve?: EDEN MOTHER. Den mother.

115. Midnight sail?: EBON VOYAGE. Bon voyage.

It'd be cool if every theme entry is indeed a game. We've seen an E adding to the end with "E-tail" as a title.

Bold upper left/lower right design from Gary. Hard to pull off cleanly.


1. Immense: WHOPPING.

9. Spurred (on): EGGED.

14. Starts of many names: CAPS. Capital letters, right?

18. Procedure enforced locally: HOUSE RULE. Great fill.

20. Magician's cry: VOILA.

21. Certain something: AURA.

26. Utmost degree: NTH.

27. River-to-sea connection: ESTUARY.

29. Policy that includes higher menu prices: NO TIPS. Tipping is not a common practice in China and Japan.

30. Stitches: DARNS.

33. Meadow mom: DOE. EWE too.

34. Zest: GUSTO.

41. Many a Middle East native: ARAB.

44. Craved: LUSTED.

45. Bowling ball material: URETHANE. TTP and Boomer can tell you more.

47. Hood's weapon: GAT.

49. Where to get down: EIDER.

50. World view, perhaps: MAP.

55. Multidisciplinary strength-training program: CROSSFIT.

57. Guitarist Paul: LES.

60. Tell a thing or two: EDUCATE.

61. B'way need: TKT.

62. Under pressure: ON THE SPOT.

66. "The Plough and the Stars" playwright: O'CASEY.

70. Red choice: CLARET.

73. Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, e.g.: CO-ANCHORS. Hoda's name is very grid-friendly.

74. Single circuit: LAP.

77. Supremely spooky: EERIEST.

79. Bit of legal advice: SUE.

80. Promise that one will: PLEDGE TO.

86. Beast of burden: ASS.

87. Shower: AIRER.

88. Certain house mem.: SEN.

89. Emmy-winning creator of "Six Feet Under": ALAN BALL. Wiki says he also created "True Blood".

93. Solvent: AFLOAT.

94. Thames academy: ETON.

100. "Take Me Home, Country __": John Denver hit: ROADS.

102. Simple sack: COT.

103. Court figs.: ATTYS.

104. Take the heat off?: DISARM.

107. Early Yankee nickname: BAMBINO. Boomer told me he was enjoying "Babe". I said "The pig?". "What pig?". Turns out he was watching "The Babe".

109. "Rhoda" production co.: MTM.

119. Auto race signal: FLAG.

120. Pried (into): NOSED.

121. Glues: MUCILAGES. New word to me.

122. Daly of "Judging Amy": TYNE.

123. "The Teflon Don": GOTTI.

124. Climbing plant features: TENDRILS.


1. Word spoken during pouring: WHEN.

2. Throng: HOST.

3. Bad pun response: OUCH.

4. Ad about being green, briefly: PSA.

5. Zip: PEP.

6. Wrath: IRE.

7. "Cat Scratch Fever" musician: NUGENT (Ted). Not familiar with the song.

8. Shiny print: GLOSSY.

9. Boston suburb: EVERETT. What's it famous for?

10. Elapse: GO BY.

11. Supermodel Carangi: GIA.

12. Nevada copper town: ELY. Also new to me.

13. "The light __!": DAWNS.

14. Synagogue singer: CANTOR.

15. Quattro maker: AUDI.

16. Support, with "up": PROP.

17. Words of wisdom: SAWS.

19. Down: EAT.

23. 16th-century English architectural style: TUDOR.

25. Whit: IOTA.

28. Top of the line: A ONE.

30. Takes out: DATES.

31. A and O, but not E, I or U: ALERS. American Leaguers. A's and O's. We also have 40. MLB scoreboard letters: RHE. Runs, Hits, Errors.

32. Relieve (of): RID.

34. Soccer game highlight: GOAL.

35. Long bones: ULNAE.

36. Campaign sign word: ELECT.

37. Idiosyncrasy: QUIRK.

38. FAA overseer: USDOT. US Department of Transportation.

39. Stanley of the NHL?: CUP.

42. Mexican waters: AGUAS.

43. Sew with temporary stitches: BASTE.

46. Sign on the back: ENDORSE.

48. Nonbinary gender pronoun: THEY.

50. Perfect, as a collectible coin: MINT.

51. Web site: ATTIC.

53. Il __: Mussolini: DUCE.

54. Some appliances: RCAS.

56. Place to soothe the sole?: FOOT SPA. Very popular in China.

57. Horne and Dunham: LENAS.

58. "College Football Live" channel: ESPNU.

59. Item on a rack: SPICE.

63. Sob syllable: HOO.

64. Scot's "Crikey!": OCH.

65. Features of some 'Vettes: T-TOPS.

67. 2000 title role for Julia: ERIN.

68. Happen upon: MEET.

69. Results of Googling: URLS.

70. Cuckoo clock quartet: CEES.Cuckoo clock.

71. Bank construction: LEVEE.

72. Ain't like it oughta be?: AREN'T.

74. "Vive __!": LE ROI.

75. "I did not think to shed __": "Henry VIII": A TEAR.

76. Freighters' destinations: PORTS.

78. Like some floors: TILED.

81. "Portrayer" of Duck Dodgers: DAFFY. Read more here. First time I heard of  Duck Dodgers.

82. Southwestern lizards: GILAS.

84. Screen or bomb: PASS.

85. Rhinitis-treating MD: ENT.

86. South American greeting: ALO. Have yet to see NI HAO in a LAT puzzle.

90. Owner of Grey Goose and Dewar's: BACARDI.

91. Speck: ATOM.

92. Leave alone: LET BE.

93. Time in a personal ad: AFT. Afternoon.

95. Anaheim's county: ORANGE.

96. Result that's expected: NORM.

98. Spread apart, as police during a search: FAN OUT.

99. Hospital stat?: AT ONCE.

101. Surrounded by: AMONG.

104. Slick: DEFT.

105. Without serious thought: IDLY.

106. Penn name: SEAN. Sean Penn.

107. Root often pickled: BEET. So good. I have a weakness for pickled food. 

108. Tech giant based in Armonk, N.Y.: IBM.

109. Star followers: MAGI.

110. Neutrogena shampoo brand: T GEL. Many YouTubers have raved about this shampoo.

111. Jumble: MESS.

113. Excessively: TOO.

114. V-J Day president: HST.

116. Beaujolais, par exemple: VIN.

117. From the past, as a story: OLD.

118. Pirate's cry: YAR.


Dec 19, 2019

Thursday December 19th 2019 Gary Larson

Theme B-ing - punning on the B-present participle riff:

18A. Flashy accessories for a vagabond?: BUM BLING

37A. Barn extension where pack animals sleep?: BURRO WING. This was the one that set me on the theme path.

61A. Heckle musician Gordon Sumner?: BOO STING. A lot of musical references from my youth today. Sting was a substitute teacher before the Police broke, my sister worked with him at a comprehensive school in South London.

3D. Owner of the most pubs in town?: BAR KING

45D. Warning at a spelling contest?: BEE PING. That reminds me, I must change the batteries in my smoke detectors.

When I collected the theme entries together, I just wanted a "BI-" to complete the vowel set, but it was not to be. Understandable, the only candidate I could find was replacing "BUMBLING" with "BIASSING" and I'm not sure how to clue that one. So fair enough, Gary, a good puzzle with a nice theme.

Let's tread the boards:


1. Troubleshoots, as programs: DEBUGS. Been there, done that. Back in the day, it was also known as "dump cracking" which involved going though a two-foot pile of fan-fold paper with a highlighter and a ruler looking through the memory dump of the mainframe. I got pretty good at it. Probably because I was pretty good at putting the bugs in there in the first place. The very first program I wrote had an infinite loop, but I still managed to make a career out of IT. I laughed when I first went to present at Apple HQ, their address was "One Infinite Loop", I felt they'd named the campus for me.

7. Sharp humor: WIT

10. Rain protection: TARP

14. Marked by twinkling: STARRY

15. Brian of ambient music: ENO. U2 producer of note, and elevator music king. He was a founder member of Roxy Music, here playing synth in spangly gloves with a youthful Bryan Ferry. Talented chap.

16. Diaper cream ingredient: ALOE

17. Like nickels, to dimes: LARGER. Yes, why is that? I want my currency to get heftier the more valuable it is.

20. Swedish retail giant: IKEA. I went to my local IKEA a couple of weeks ago. It's legendary that the store is impossible to find your way out of, but on the way back to my car a lady asked me how to get out of the parking lot. I tried to explain, but realized I had no idea either. I did help her figure out which of her stop lights was out though, so something good came of it.

21. Runs of luck: STREAKS. Good or bad.

22. "Moonlight" Oscar winner Mahershala: ALI. Thank you, crosses.

23. Most smooth: SUAVEST. Nice word.

25. Put to use: TAP. As "tap into".

28. Most likely to snap: TENSEST. Two "mostests" within a couple of entries.

30. One-named singer with 15 Grammys: ADELE. She helped fix my ALL-STAR/A-LISTER mess at 11D

32. "By that logic ... ": ERGO ...

33. Wrongdoing: SINS

36. Ventricular outlet: AORTA

40. Martin Van __: BUREN

43. "Heavens to Murgatroyd!": EGAD!

44. Trails off: EBBS

48. Astrologer to the rich and famous: O'MARR. Known to me only from crosswords.

49. Tasty bites: MORSELS

51. Boston's Back __: BAY

52. French chef's "Ta-da!": ET VOILA!

56. Years on end: EON

57. Potato gadgets: MASHERS. I use a ricer, a little more effort but a lot smoother result. If I want chunky mash I use the old fork technique.

59. Crunch at breakfast: CAP'N

63. Sex therapy subject: LIBIDO. Rich is getting racier in his editing.

65. Mom's sister: AUNT

66. Greek letter: ETA

67. Close soccer score: ONE NIL To the Arsenal. Last week's "Man. U." rivals reappear. If you want to know what Arsenal, One-Nil, the USSR and the Pet Shop Boys have in common, then you either have too much time on your hands, or you will Google "One-Nil to the Arsenal" as I did.

I'm usually judicious with my links, but this week there's too much good music, or weirdly awesome music, to ignore.

Producer: What effects do you want in this video?
Pet Shop Boys: Yes!

68. Calf-length skirt: MIDI

69. French film ending word: FIN

70. Packed (in): WEDGED


1. Broadband initials: DSL. Digital Subscriber Line. It seems a little old-fashioned, but I still have DSL broadband.

2. Online seller: E-TAILER

4. Impel: URGE

5. Musical set at Rydell High: GREASE. Los Angeles does have some wonderful Art Deco public buildings, this is Venice High School, one of the locations used in the movie to represent Rydell High.

This is my local power distribution station built in 1949 on Cahuenga Avenue in North Hollywood. We don't build 'em like that any more, more's the pity. I admire it every time I drive past.

6. Turk. neighbor: SYR, Syria, to Turkey.

7. Streaming services, e.g.: WEB TV

8. Accustom (to): INURE

9. Some library volumes: TOMES

10. Chitchat: TALK

11. Big-time celeb: A-LISTER. I went with "ALL STAR" first, then gradually backed off as it slowly didn't work with anything else.

12. Youngest Weasley brother: RON. I didn't know he had brothers. Not a problem, I doubt any of the siblings are well-known enough to make the crossword.

13. Mastermind game piece: PEG

19. WWII Philippine battleground: BATAAN

21. Genre with bite: SATIRE

22. Had a bite: ATE

24. KGB country: USSR. "Go West! (with the Pet Shop Boys), Go West!"

26. Bottom-row PC key: ALT

27. Samosa veggie: PEA

29. Like a designated driver: SOBER

31. Venetian magistrates of yore: DOGES. Nice living quarters, too.

34. Holiday quaff: NOG

35. Hindu masters: SWAMIS

38. Turmoil: UNREST

39. Show that launched Clay Aiken's singing career, familiarly: IDOL. The "American Idol" talent show. I'm sure that I must have heard some of Mr. Aiken's output, but I couldn't name a song from him if my life depended on it.

40. Move up and down: BOB

41. Actress Thurman: UMA. One of those entries you might as well just print in the grid and have done with it.

42. Novelist Chandler: RAYMOND

46. Deborah Harry's band: BLONDIE. I saw Blondie live at Hammersmith Odeon in 1978. I was quite taken with Ms. Harry. I think it's OK to confess at this temporal distance that I was smoking weed before the gig which might have something to do with me thinking they were the best band I'd ever seen. I was distressed to discover later that she was dating the guitarist. Oh, the innocence of youth.

47. Tax form ID: SSN

50. Wisconsin city north of Chicago: RACINE. Aren't all Wisconsin cities north of Chicago? Just wondering ... I suppose north and north-west.

53. Fence supplier: THIEF. Nice clue. A fence traffics stolen goods, hence "thief".

54. Starbucks size: VENTI. I always forget the sizes in Starbucks, or maybe never bothered to remember them. "Small", "Medium" and "Large" work just fine.

55. "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" instrument: ORGAN.

Producer: How many solos do you want on the track? 
Iron Butterfly: Yes!

58. Spot of wine?: ASTI. Nice clue for an old crossword staple.

60. Under the covers: A-BED. Best use of the word comes in the eponymous monologue in Shakespeare's "Henry V"

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

61. Collision sound: BAM

62. Arles assent: OUI

63. Almost empty: LOW

64. Ancient: OLD

And with that, I think I'll disappear down the YouTube rabbit hole for a while and re-live the 70's and 80's.

Here's the grid! Et Fin


Nov 20, 2019

Wednesday, November 20, 2019, Gary Larson

17. *Spot for a seaside stroll: BOARDWALK. Keyboard.

25. *Caller ID, maybe: RINGTONE. Keyring.

54. *Small computer: NOTEBOOK. Keynote.

66. *Center stage: LIMELIGHT. Key lime.

39. Hemingway's 1930s Florida home, and a hint to the answers to starred clues: KEY WEST.

Theme is self-explanatory, but tricky to get without the reveal - which was clever. The word KEY can be inserted to the left, or WEST, of each theme answer to form a new word or phrase. This felt more like a Thursday to me due to a few unknown and obscure words.


1. "Oh dear!": ALAS.

5. Instant: JIFF.

9. Harry's Hogwarts nemesis: DRACO. Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy.

14. Hay storage site: LOFT.

15. Puccini piece: ARIA.

16. Prepare for a bodybuilding competition: OIL UP. Bodybuilders use oil to accentuate their muscle definitions and the 'cuts' in their bodies when flexing under heavy stage lighting.

19. Tax audit docs.: RCPTS. Receipts.

20. Jag: SPREE.

21. Wisconsin city on Lake Winnebago: NEENAH. From Wikipedia: "Named by Governor James Duane Doty from the Hoocąk word for "water" or "running water." It was the site of a Ho-Chunk village in the late 18th century. It is Nįįňą in the Hoocąk language."

23. Actor Vigoda: ABE.

29. __ onion: BERMUDA.

33. Brigham Young's Utah settlement: DESERET. When the Mormons first came to the territory, they named the area The State of Deseret, a reference to the honeybee in The Book of Mormon. This was the official name of the colony from 1849 to 1850. The nickname, "The Deseret State," is in reference to Utah's original name. See here.

34. Corrida cheer: OLE. Corrida = bullfight. (Nice crossing with 30D, Corrida snorter.)

35. Prime-time time: NINE. The term prime time is often defined in terms of a fixed time period – for example (in the United States), from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. (Eastern and Central Time) or 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (Mountain and Pacific Time). In India and other Middle East countries, prime time consists of the programs that are aired on TV between 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. local time.

37. Hardly prudent: RASH.

38. Overseas business abbr.: LTD. The abbreviation "Ltd." stands for "limited," and a company carrying this abbreviation has the same limited liability feature as an LLC. Partners and owners in the company are protected from personal responsibility for debts and lawsuits.

43. UPS Store item: CTN. My best guess is that this is an abbreviation for carton, or container. Anyone?

44. Broadway barber: TODD. Sweeny Todd.

46. Leave rolling in the aisles: SLAY.

47. Summer sign: LEO. Astrological sign.

48. Sets right: ORIENTS.

52. Title role for Gary Cooper and Adam Sandler: MR. DEEDS. The original is a 1936 Frank Capra film Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. The remake received poor reviews.

56. Tummy muscles: ABS.

57. Like most customers: PAYING.

59. Opinion pieces: OPEDS.

63. Charter: LEASE. As a verb, reserve (an aircraft, boat, or bus) for private use.

68. Respected figure: ELDER.

69. Document sent online: E-FAX. Interesting distinction, I guess you send an E-FAX from your computer, and a FAX from a fax machine.

70. Hungarian wine region: EGER. The 61D crossing makes this tough for people who don't follow baseball.

71. 7UP and Sprite: SODAS.

72. Comfy hangouts: DENS.

73. Extinct bird: DODO.


1. Clerical vestments: ALBS.

2. Stunt flier's stunt: LOOP.

3. Not nigh: AFAR.

4. Water under the bridge, maybe: STREAM. Nice.

5. Shoot the breeze: JAW.

6. OPEC member: IRAN.

7. Manicurist or secretary, at times: FILER.

8. Minor document?: FAKE ID. Great clue.

9. Hip-hop tops: DO-RAGS.

10. Seismologist with a scale: RICHTER. Charles Francis Richter; April 26, 1900 – September 30, 1985 was an American seismologist and physicist. Richter is most famous as the creator of the Richter magnitude scale, which, until the development of the moment magnitude scale in 1979, quantified the size of earthquakes.

11. European peak: ALP.

12. Shorten, as hair: CUT.

13. Covert doings: OPS. A shortened version of operations and considered a word by itself. Others in today's puzzle are ABS and OPEDS.

18. Prove false: DEBUNK.

22. 22.5 deg.: NNE.

24. Singer Brickell: EDIE. Married to Paul Simon since 1992.

26. Software giant: ORACLE.

27. Settled in: NESTED.

28. Group with a common culture: ETHNOS.

29. Crooner Michael: BOLTON.

30. Corrida snorter: EL TORO. (Nice crossing of 34D, Corrida cheer.)

31. Social website with "AMA" sessions: REDDIT. Ask Me Anything.

32. "__ takers?": ANY.

36. Grossed-out sounds: EWS.

40. Blight-stricken tree: ELM. Dutch elm disease, widespread fungoid killer of elms and certain other trees, first described in the Netherlands. Spread by bark beetles, the disease has decimated elm populations throughout much of Europe and North America.
The leaves on one or more branches of a stricken tree suddenly wilt, turn dull green to yellow or brown, curl, and may drop early.

 41. "Water for Elephants" novelist Gruen: SARA.

42. Bathroom brand: TY-D-BOL. Tricky if you're not familiar with the brand spelling.

45. Like some diving: DEEP SEA.

49. Cavs and Mavs: NBA-ERS.

50. Cracker Jack bonus: TOY. Collector's items.

51. Dirty: SOILED.

53. Saw: ESPIED.

55. Roast carver: KNIFE.

58. Guy with the FBI: G-MAN. Short for "government man" is an American slang term for agents of the United States Government. It is especially used as a term for an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

60. Waffle made without an iron: EGGO.

61. Batted but didn't field, in MLB lingo: DHED. From the MLB glossary - A designated hitter is a player who bats in place of the pitcher. The pitcher still handles his regular duties when his team is on defense, so the designated hitter does not play in the field.

62. Texas MLBer: STRO. Houston Astro.

63. Guitar great Paul: LES.

64. "Evil Woman" gp.: ELO.

65. Put in: ADD.

67. Strait's "All My __ Live in Texas": EXS. Unexpected spelling, but it's what all the lyrics show.

Nov 13, 2019

Wednesday, November 13, 2019 Gary Larson

Theme: The Gang's AL there.  Specified places AL contain the letter sequence A-L.  Near as I can tell, that's AL there is to it.

17 A. *Place for an eruption in Hawaii: MAUNA LOA.  This is our beleaguered planet's largest active volcanoe, and among the most active, having erupted 33 times since 1843.  It's summit is about 17 km above its deeply submerged base, which had depressed the ocean floor by 8 km. [source]

19 A. *Place for memorabilia about the 44th President: OBAMA LIBRARY.  On the south side of Chicago in Jackson Park, this is the first Presidential Library to be fully digitized.

54. *Place on "Desperate Housewives": WISTERIA LANE.  This fictional setting is a real street inside Universal Studios, Hollywood.  It has also been used for the original Leave It to Beaver series, Gremlins, The 'Burbs, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

59. *Place for a space cadet: LALA LAND.   Originally, this was - and still is - a term meaning a location for someone out of touch with reality.  Since about 1980 it's also been a disparaging nick-name for Los Angeles, for a variety of reasons. It's also the name of a 2016 movie I never watched that gets 4 1/2 stars from RottonTomatoes

36. Money ... and, in three parts, a hint to the answers to starred clues: WHEREWITHAL.  The ability - usually based on available funding - to accomplish a stated goal.  Here, we have specified locations - real or fictional - providing the WHERE, that also have the letter duo A-L prominently located within. I'm not delighted with the theme, but having each two-word combination split the A-L across the two words adds a touch of elegance.  Alas, this is somewhat offset by having a scatter of vagrant A's, and in once case L's in the theme fill.

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa here, perhaps being a bit too critical.  You may draw your own conclusions.  Let's AL move on and see what else we can locate.


1. Big name in wax museums: TUSSAUD.  Anna Maria [Marie] TUSSAUD [1761-1850] learned the art of wax modeling as a child.

8. Surpasses: TRUMPS.  A term derived from card games where one suit is TRUMP and can win a trick irrespective of face value, under stated circumstances.

14. Worldwide law enforcement group: INTERPOL.

16. Eradicate: RUBOUT.  By analogy to a rubber eraser.

18. Supreme Egyptian god: AMEN-RA.  Shhh - no religion.

21. Eight British kings: HENRYS.  Or this.

24. Disney doe: ENA. Bambi's mother-in-law, if we may ascribe such human relationships to forest animals.

25. Middling mark: CEE. In scholastic grading systems.  I would give no higher mark to a spelt-out letter.

26. Cries of pain: OWS.  Often accompanied by other, more colorful, word choices.

27. Lab work: TESTS.

30. Sondheim's "Sweeney __": TODD.  The daemon barber of Fleet Street who first appeared in the Victorian era penny dreadful novel series The String of Pearls.

31. "Robinson Crusoe" novelist: DEFOE.  Daniel DEFOE [1660 - 1731] also wrote several other novels, and was a prolific writer on many other subjects, including politics, which earned him some time in prison.  So - no politics either!

34. Shooting star: METEOR.  A chunk of space detritus that gets heated to a glow by friction as it races through the earth's atmosphere

39. Like some dress shirts: NO IRON.  I wouldn't have any other kind.

40. Digital video files: MPEGS.  An international standard for encoding and compressing video files.

43. Part of P.R.: RICO.  The other part is Puerto.  Together they mean Rich Port.

46. Dix plus dix: VINGT.  Twenty in French.

48. Agua, across the Pyrenees: EAU.  Across from Spain.  More French.  Water they talking about?

49. Smart-whip link: AS A.

50. Saigon New Year: TET.

51. Badger at the comedy club: HECKLE.  Derisive and aggressive interruptions from the audience.

58. Put in a pyramid: ENTOMB.

63. Treeless tract: STEPPE.  A flat, unforested grassland in eastern Europe or Asia.

64. Monty Python member: ERIC IDLE. [b. 1943] A British comedian, actor, author and musician.

65. Like many a salad: TOSSED. Mixed lightly until the ingredients are combined.

66. Record collection?: DATA SET.  Not sound recordings, but rather a listing of recorded data.


1. Allen of TV's "Last Man Standing": TIM.  [b. 1953]  I was not even aware of this show's existence.  I was astounded to learn that the Home improvement series ended 20 years ago.

2. Spanish "a": UNA.  Or one.

3. Name spelled with an alphabet sequence: STU.

4. Tijuana title: SENOR.  An honorific for a gentleman.

5. Sheikdom of song: ARABY.

6. Batting ninth: UP LAST.  Final batter in a baseball line up.

7. Ruination: DOOM. A grim or calamitous fate.

8. Compact cars?: TRAIN SET.  Presumably HO gauge.

9. Latin dance: RUMBA.  Or Samba.  Needs perps.

10. Car service app: UBER.  They lost an amazing $5.2 billion in the 3rd quarter.  The vast majority of this was paper losses; but I wonder if their business model is sustainable. Through June and July their stock was trading in the low 40's.  It's now around $27.

11. Mediterranean gambling mecca: MONACO.  Speaking of gambling - this the world's second smallest country, after The Vatican, bordered on 3 sides by France, and with a Mediterranean coast line.  It is also a tax haven.

12. Sounded content: PURRED.  Like a kitten.

13. Hung around: STAYED.

15. A.L. West team, on scoreboards: LAA.  Los Angeles Angels.  They were 72-90 this year.

20. Allowing: LETTING. permitting.

21. Mortar carrier: HOD.  A V-shaped open trough on a pole.  Best keep your balance.

22. Wool coat wearer: EWE.  She said, sheepishly.

23. Brief warning accompanying a link: NSFWNot Safe For Work, generally indicating some sort of obscene content.

28. Academic retirees: EMERITI.  From Latin, meaning those who have earned their position in retirement through service.

29. Stitch into place: SEW ON.  Attach with needle and thread.

30. Mouth, in slang: TRAP.  As in, "Shut yer TRAP!"

32. Cry of woe: OH NO.  Alas.

33. Fair-hiring abbr.: EEOEqual Employment Opportunity.

35. Omega, to an electrician: OHM.  Resistance measurment.

37. Area between banks: RIVER BED.  The bottom of the river, probably not full of money.

38. Vichyssoise veggie: LEEK.  A plant related to the onion with an elongated cylindrical bulb.  Also the national symbol of Wales.  I have no idea why. Vichyssoise is a creamy potato soup, generally served cold.

41. "Wonder Woman" actress Gadot: GAL. [b 1985] Model, actress, and Miss Israel in 2004.

42. Seek damages: SUE.  Institute legal proceedings to seek redress.

43. Least refined: RAWEST. Most crude

44. Has a passion for: IS INTO.  Indulges in.

45. Social strata: CASTES.  Classes of society.  The crudest people have no class.

47. Name shared by a Grace and a Muse: THALIA. The goddess [or muse] of comedy and idyllic poetry.  The Three Graces are THALIA,  Aglaea and Euphrosyne, goddesses of order and good conduct.  In either case, the name Thalia indicated flourishing and abundance.

50. Phoenix neighbor: TEMPE.  Cities in Arizona.

52. Put on the books: ENACT.  Make into law.

53. Salsa singer Cruz: CELIA. Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso (1925 – 2003) was a Cuban singer and one of the most popular Latin artists of the 20th century.

55. Surpasses: TOPS.  Does better than.

56. Smithwick's brew: ALE.  An Irish Red Ale brewed in Kilkenny.

57. Fat used in baking: LARD.  Comes from a pig, is free of trans-fats.

60. Free-app interrupters: ADSADvertisments.  Small videos that shill for some product or service that you almost certainly do not need.

61. Div. won by the Braves in 2019: NLE.  National League East.  But after a dismal start, the 2nd place Washington Nationals, whose line up is stacked with aging veterans [notably some former Tigers,] went on to win the World Series

62. City of Lions and Tigers: Abbr.: DETroit.  Speaking of sports - this is the city of perpetual sports disappointment.  These cats have neither teeth nor claws.

That's a sad note to end on, yet here we AL are.  The Kitty City is blanketed with snow, and the temperatures are too small to be worth mentioning.  Stay safe out there peeps.  In the press of other things, I'm taking December off from blogging.  See you all in the new year.

Cool regards,

Notes from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to Big Easy, husband of Louisiana Tennis Hall of Famer Diane Simpson. What's the plan today, George?

Nov 6, 2019

Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019 Gary Larson

Homonym Swap

17. Financial support at Kitty Hawk?: WRIGHT AID.
43. Siblings sharing a ceremony?: RITE BROTHERS.

Swap Wright and Rite:
   Rite Aid - The drugstore chain.
   Wright Brothers - Wilbur and Orville.

29. Remove italics from text?: RIGHT LETTERS.
59. Contact a fictional pirate?: WRITE HOOK.

Swap Right and Write
  Write letters.
  Right hook. 

How clever was that ?   Swap the homonyms for humorous effect.   Not puns.   Not malaprops.   Not juxtapositions.   What is the word I am looking for ?   Is there one ?   The best term I could come up with was homonym swap.   Does that sound wright rite write right ?   OK, maybe puns of a sort.


1. Zippo: NADA.    Notta lot you can do with this answer... Perhaps, "You are welcome" (Spanish): de ____,   or "Blue Book Org.":

5. State of irritation: HUFF

9. Produce carrier: CRATE.   Liquids carrier: Barrel. 

14. Historic British school: ETON.   For the elite.

15. Plains native: OTOE.

16. Indy participant: RACER

19. Skybox setting: ARENA.

20. Up to, casually: 'TIL.   Until

21. Sticky: ADHESIVE.   Adhesive as an adjective rather than as a noun.. 

23. Tie the knot: SAY I DO.  Wed.

25. Runs like mad: DASHES.    Very few trick-or-treaters last Thursday.  Just 16 or so children.   Returned a 250 count bag of snack sized candy bars.  Have just under half of the 90 count bag left.   

33. "All __ Jazz": THAT.    Roy Scheider and Jessica Lange starred.  Bob Fosse directed the semi auto-biographical work.   Dr. Nina wanted Fosse last Friday for the musical revue clue.

35. Zones: AREAs

36. "The A-Team" actor: MR T.   Mr. T as Sergeant Bosco Albert "B.A." (Bad Attitude) Baracus. 

37. Bread served with tandoori chicken: NAAN.

38. Met highlights: ARIAs

39. Spelling contests: BEEs.

40. Some iTunes downloads, briefly: EPsEP in Music

41. Cal. entries: APPTs.   Abbr in the clue. Abbr in the answer.

42. Have an inclination: TEND.

46. "... because you don't want to cross me": OR ELSE.

47. Up-to-the-minute: LATEST.

51. In seventh heaven: ECSTATIC.     Downy Wrinkle and Static Remover spray will make your garments ecstatic.

55. Women's rights activist Nellie: BLYNellie Bly: Rabblerouser and Pioneer in Investigative Journalism

56. Battleship barrage: SALVO.

61. Fuss over feathers: PREEN.

62. Stare at creepily: OGLE.

63. Balm ingredient: ALOE.

64. Change, as a will: AMEND.

65. They're often loaded: SOTs.    WC Fields persona.

66. Continuity problems: GAPs


1. Semiaquatic salamanders: NEWTs.

2. Skylit courts: ATRIA.   And here I thought they were heart chambers.

3. Lacy place mat: DOILY.   Let's check ETSY to see if any are available.  

4. With 58-Down, "Life of Pi" director: ANG. and 58. See 4-Down: LEE.   Ang Lee.  Roger Ebert's Review

5. Ballpark treat: HOT DOG.   Show off.

6. State that celebrates Pioneer Day: UTAH.  July 24th.  New to me.

7. Pâté base: FOIE.   French for liver. 

8. Govt. agents: FEDs.

9. Fancy scarves: CRAVATs.

10. Hardest to come by: RAREST.

11. Whiz: ACE.

12. Notable Downing Street address: TEN.  

13. Important span: ERA.  Or, abbr for Earned Run Average in baseball stats.   I already miss watching and listening to MLB games. 

18. Seen enough: HAD IT.    I'm done.

22. Think tank products: IDEAs.

24. Tehran's land: IRAN.

26. Dudes with fab abs: HE MEN.   Stepping on He Man and Battle Cat in your stocking feet is no pleasure. 

27. Slipped up: ERRED.

28. Fast Atl. crossers, once: SSTs.   Super Sonic Transports.   BOAC and Air France.

30. Horn-honking Marx: HARPO.

31. Country singer Travis: TRITT.   Long haired country boy.   Hard to pick from so many great songs.

32. Chow line?: LEASH.  Loved this clue.

33. Piglike forest dweller: TAPIR8 fascinating facts you should know about tapirs

34. Swiftness: HASTE

37. Successor to Claudius: NERO.  It's all Roman to me.

38. __-ski: APRES.    After ski.  Perhaps spritzers or Glühwein in the chalet.

39. Second to none: BEST.

41. Hurry off and hide: ABSCOND.

42. Hunt down the source of: TRACE.

44. Gridiron complement: ELEVEN.  Football.   American rules football.   Eleven players on the offensive side of the ball.  Eleven on the defensive side. 

45. High society types: ELITEs.   The A-list.

48. Deadly African virus: EBOLA.

49. Single-master: SLOOP.

50. Small fry: TYKES.   "Fry” may have been derived from the Middle English, Anglo-French frie, which means “to spawn.” Eventually ”frie” became “fry,” the term and denoted offspring, young animals, or members of a group." - Disappearing Idioms .com on "Small fry."

52. What Noah counted by: TWOs.

53. Constellation named for a mythological ship: ARGO.   Now I get it.

54. List: TILT.   Misdirection.  In this case, list means to lean to one side.    Simple yet effective one-word clue to potentially lead you astray for a moment.

56. Place for a retreat: SPA.

57. Usher's offering: ARM.   Offer your right arm, holding it at 90 degrees, to the eldest woman in the group.  If you aren't sure which one is the eldest, don't ask.

60. Folklore crone: HAG.

Check your answers against this grid:

Note from C.C.:

Here is a picture of little Agnes with her brother Bill on her left and brother Jack on her right. She said they were standing in front of a WWII Memorial. We can't get a clearer picture, but you can still see her cute dress, shoes and flowers.