Showing posts with label Gerry Wildenberg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gerry Wildenberg. Show all posts

Dec 18, 2018

Tuesday, December 18, 2018 Gerry Wildenberg


17. *Entrance protection from the elements: STORMDOORFirestorm and Fire door.

24. *Monopoly utility: WATER WORKS.  Firewater and Fireworks.

35. *Lotto America, since 1992: POWERBALL. Firepower and Fireball - Never heard of Lotto America, but am aware of Powerball. 

51. *Home security system: HOUSE ALARM. Firehouse and Fire Alarm

60. Warm, cozy places ... and a hint to what can precede both parts of the answers to starred clues: FIRESIDES.


1. Zsa Zsa's older sister: MAGDA.  Two of the three Gabor sisters.  The other of course was Eva.  "Between the three of them, they had 20 marriages, 19 husbands, and one child."    19 Husbands ?  Oh, Magda married one of Zsa Zsa's ex-husbands. 

6. NYC winter hours: EST.

9. Italian city known for its cheese: PARMA. We're getting our fill of PARMA lately. Husker Gary had Prosciutto di PARMA Saturday. Kraft and other dairy product makers create their own "Parmesan Cheese", but the real deal Parmesan is Parmigiano-Reggiano. Prosciutto di Parma, Parmesan, and Parmigiano-Reggiano are PDOs in Europe.

14. How French fries are fried: IN OIL.

15. Sgt., e.g.: NCO.

16. Knight's horse: STEED.

19. Moneyed group: HAVES.

20. "You're asking too much": IT'S A LOT.

21. Yankee or Oriole, for short: AL'ER. American League baseball player.

22. __-deucey: ACEY.

27. Metal fuel holder: GAS CAN.  I had to replace the gas tank on my 5 y.o. snowblower a few weeks ago.  It was leaking at the seam where the two halves are joined.  The cap on the new tank says no E-85 fuel.  Perhaps the corrosive action of the ethanol destroyed the seal.  IDK.

29. "Honestly!": I SWEAR.  Also, a pretty country song: John Michael Montgomery - I Swear

30. John at a piano: ELTON'Classically trained, but married to rock’n’roll"

31. Winter wear: COAT.  Winter coating: hoar.

34. Wall and 42nd, in NYC: STS. Streets.   Also a couple of movie titles.   42nd Street and Wall Street

39. Egyptian snake: ASP.

42. They're drawn in pubs: ALES.

43. Western law group: POSSE

47. Shallow sea areas: SHOALS.  Muscle Shoals is a city in Alabama on the Tennessee River.  Learned about it from lyrics in this song by Lynyrd Skynyrd, mentioned about 3 minutes in.

50. Trouser measure: INSEAM.

55. Furry "Star Wars" creature: EWOK.

56. Chicago daily, familiarly: TRIB une.

57. Pigged out: OVERATE.

59. Pierce, as an hors d'oeuvre: SPEAR.

63. Slowly, in music: LARGO.

64. Fla. neighbor: ALA.

65. Love, Italian-style: AMORE.  Love American Style

66. Director Welles: ORSON.

67. Light brown: TAN.

68. Cylindrical pasta with pointed ends: PENNE.   It's best with a good ragu or Bolognese and cheese.


1. Prefix with print: MIS. Misprint.

2. Hill crawler: ANT

3. Most sticky, as a sweet treat: GOOIEST.

4. Corrupt policeman: DIRTY COP.

5. Donation to the poor: ALMS.

6. WWII bomber __ Gay: ENOLA.

7. Dart: SCOOT.

8. Rich cake: TORTE.

9. Disbelieving cries: PSHAWS.

10. Having bottomed out, as prices: AT A LOW.

11. Worships: REVERES.

12. Kalahari mongoose: MEERKAT.

13. Much of the Sunday paper: ADS.

18. Rooster's wake-up time: DAWN.

22. Have more birthdays: AGE.

23. Berkeley sch.: CAL.

25. Actress Hayworth: RITA. The Love Goddess

26. H.S. grads-to-be: SRS.

28. Year, in Yucatán: ANO.

31. Disney collectible: CEL.

32. Iron source: ORE.

33. Tummy muscles: ABS.  The abdominal (and oblique) muscles. Abdominal Muscles Location and Function

36. Ice Cube's "It __ Good Day": WAS A

37. Hosp. staffer: LPNLicensed Practical Nurse

38. Get stuck in traffic, say: LOSE TIME.

39. Campfire residue: ASH.

40. Had a good day on the links: SHOT PAR.

41. Sommeliers, often: POURERS.
 A Master Sommelier Explains The Rationale Behind Each Component Of Wine Presentation

44. Attached by thread: SEWED ON.

45. __ Paulo: SAO.

46. Longtime Mass. senator's monogram: EMK. Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy

48. Italian cheese: ASIAGO.  More Italian cheese !  Asiago can range in texture from soft and creamy to dry and crumbly.  Here's a quick primer on Parmesan, Asiago and Romano.

49. James of the Lakers: LEBRON.  Arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, and still active.

50. '50s Hungarian premier Nagy: IMRE.  Perps.

52. Diet-friendly: LO-FAT.

53. Hometown of St. Teresa: ÁVILA.  - "The City of Saints and Stones"  - A UNESCO World Heritage site.  Ávila de los Caballeros.
Where it's at:

54. Showed once more: RERAN.

58. On the double, in memos: ASAP.

59. __-mo: SLO.

61. Suffix with west: ERN.   You might have got a hint to this answer with the clue at 43A.

62. Set eyes on: SEE.

Jun 29, 2017

Thursday June 29 2017 Gerry Wildenberg

Theme: Mohr, Mohr, Mohr! On a scale of one to hard ...

35A. Gritty ... and a description of this puzzle, which is also a hint to completing eight answers : HARD-EDGED

1A. Angry Orchard product : [HARD] CIDER

6A. Bony part of the roof of the mouth : [HARD] PALATE

66A. Contacts option : [HARD] LENSES

67A. Punishing work : [HARD] LABOR

12D. Hockey puck material : [HARD] RUBBER

15D. Stubborn : [HARD] HEADED

38D. Real estate, gold, silver, etc. : [HARD] ASSETS

45D. Gotten with considerable effort : [HARD] EARNED

Fun puzzle! The penny finally dropped with the theme when I got to 15D.

I was grumpily thinking that "HEADED" is not a term I'd ever heard for being stubborn and then it all clicked. I try to avoid solving the reveal clue ahead of completing the rest of the grid; I like to try to figure the theme out as I go. Lots of goodies in the fill, so nice job all around by Gerry.

Let's have Roxy Music's cover of Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall" as the soundtrack for the rest of the commentary.


12. 1988 Schwarzenegger cop film : RED HEAT. I started off entering ROBOCOP but stopped short. Can't have "cop" in the answer if it's in the clue.

14. Put an end to : ABOLISH

16. Clears a stoppage from : UNCLOGS

17. Entertainer nicknamed "The Schnoz" : DURANTE. Jimmy had a strikingly large nose.

18. "Be Prepared" org. : BSA. Boy Scouts of America.

19. Party hearty : CAROUSE

21. Monterrey Mrs. : SRA. Señora in Mexico.

22. Outlying area, briefly : 'BURB

24. Whitman of TV's "Parenthood" : MAE. Thank you crosses.

25. Slightly : A TAD

26. Earth along the Elbe : ERDE. German. Per Wikipedia "Die Erde ist der dichteste, fünftgrößte und der Sonne drittnächste Planet des Sonnensystems."

27. Lyric tribute : ODE

29. French course : SALADE. Food! Fun.

31. Score silence : REST

32. Guideline : RULE

34. Spot for wheels? : CAR AD. Nice clue/answer combo.

38. "... __ lovely as ... ": Kilmer : A POEM

41. European volcano : ETNA

42. Seis doubled : DOCE. Español. I took my first Spanish language class last week. I can speak menu Spanish, but I thought it would be nice to be able to actually converse beyond "buenos dias", "adiosbb " and "uno mas cerveza, por favor."

46. Beat the bushes : SEARCH

48. Note site : PAD

49. Exploring Griffith Park, say : IN LA. Griffith Park is my go-to local hiking spot. I took this picture of what is known locally as "The Wishing Tree" last Sunday at the top of the Cahuenga Pass in the park. It's about a 1,000 ft hike/scramble to get up there.

50. Sushi bar drink : SAKE. I had sake on Tuesday with my sushi. I keep a bottle in the refrigerator.

51. __-Locka, Florida : OPA. This reminds me of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" when I see this word. Opa!

53. Not e'en once : NE'ER

54. Terrestrial newt : EFT. I tried ERT first, for no good reason whatsoever.

55. Hammer at an angle : TOENAIL. This is a new expression for me. Here's toenailing in action:

59. Sun shade : TAN

60. Destructive storm : TORNADO

62. Agenda opener : ITEM ONE

64. Administer an oath to : SWEAR IN

65. Made do : MANAGED


1. Official rebuke : CENSURE

2. Security issues? : ID CARDS. I just got a new one for NBC Universal, one of my clients. I was hoping it would get me into the theme park; sadly it just gets me access to the lot and a bunch of office buildings. Boo.

3. FedEx alternative : DHL. Could have been UPS. Wasn't.

4. Anti-discrimination org. : E.E.O.C.

5. Musical style of Anoushka Shankar's 2015 album "Home" : RAGA. They play this all the time in the Indian market that I shop at. She's a very talented sitar player.

6. City near Venice : PADUA

7. Mistreats : ABUSES

8. Traditional accounts : LORE

9. Chef's phrase : A LA. Here is Sushi A La Steve which I made earlier this week. I popped into the Japanese market in downtown LA for a couple of things, then saw they had some super-good-looking yellowtail and hamachi, so Sushi Tuesday it was.

10. Sheriff's badge : TIN STAR

11. "CHiPs" actor : ESTRADA. I heard that the recent movie remake was absolutely dreadful.

13. Original Dungeons & Dragons co. : T.S.R. Really? How absolutely fascinating. Next.

20. Breakfast cookware : OMELET PAN. Not me, my breakfast cookware is a coffee machine.

23. "Don't forget our date" : BE THERE

25. "Arabian Nights" character : ALADDIN. I must remember that he is not spelled "ALLADIN". It looks wrong across the page, I didn't catch the mistake as it's running vertically downwards.

27. Hockey immortal : ORR

28. Guy : DUDE

30. Breeze through : ACE

33. Author Ferber : EDNA

36. "Better Call Saul" network : AMC

37. Wander : GAD

39. Pheasant kin : PEAFOWL. Noisy, too. Steve Jobs got a small flock as a gift when he lived next door to Larry Ellison. Ellison pleaded with him to find them a new home, they were ruining his Zen moments.

40. Yellow ribbon holder of song : OAK TREE. You can go and find the song yourself if you need a reminder of how sappy it is. Maybe it was only an irritant in the UK.

43. "Almost finished!" : ONE TO GO!

44. Pledge, e.g. : CLEANER. Nice misdirection.

47. Identity-concealing garb, perhaps : HOODIE

52. Lowly workers : PEONS

55. Completes a street : TARS. Still not quite complete. You need to paint the road markings.

56. Purpose : AIM

57. Tilted type: Abbr. : ITAL.

58. "Not That Kind of Girl" memoirist Dunham : LENA

61. Indian bread : NAN. I gave up trying to make these at home. You need a tandoor or an oven that gets up to around 800F.

63. Shakespeare's fairy queen : MAB

"O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone

On the fore-finger of an alderman ...." 

So says Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet.

And so says Steve - here's the grid!


Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to Barry G, who used to post on our blog faithfully when he worked at home. How are you doing, Barry? We miss you!

July 2, 2016

Feb 7, 2017

Tuesday, February 7 2017, Gerry Wildenberg

Theme: Big Deal. Two word phrases beginning with the letters B and D.

17. Zero or one : BINARY DIGIT. Bit is short for binary digit, the smallest unit of data in a computer. As Alan Watts said, “is you is, or is you ain’t?”

52. July 14, in France : BASTILLE DAY. French National Day formally called la Fête Nationale, commemorating the storming of the Bastille in 1789 during the French Revolution. Dickens writes about it in his masterpiece A Tale of Two Cities

11. Thirteen : BAKER'S DOZEN. Why?

25. Performer who shimmies and uses finger cymbals : BELLY DANCER.

29. Like little, glittering eyes ... and a phonetic hint to this puzzle's four longest answers : BEADY

Get it? Bee-Dee. Nice.

Melissa here. Only two complete unknowns for me, and lots of fun and interesting fill.


1. Gownlike Roman garment : TUNIC

6. Like teary eyes : MOIST. The Science Behind Why People Hate the Word 'Moist.'

11. Sculpted physique, briefly : BOD

14. Sky blue : AZURE

15. Asteroids game company : ATARI

16. Actor Vigoda : ABE. Another talented person the world lost in 2016.

 19. Japanese carp : KOI

20. Trunk of the body : TORSO

21. Orchard rows : TREES

23. Internet destination : WEBPAGE

27. Good Housekeeping publisher since 1911 : HEARST

28. Pilot Earhart : AMELIA

29. Leaning-on-the-horn sounds : BLARES

31. Hawk's claw : TALON

32. Wintry temps : TEENS

33. NYG rival in the NFC East : DAL. Dallas Cowboys.

36. Pinball excess : TILT

37. Mountain bleaters : GOATS

38. Ball-and-mallet game : POLO

39. Foxy : SLY

40. Business convention handouts : CARDS

41. Clods : BOZOS. Haha.

42. __ Wilson, who played Sam in "Casablanca" : DOOLEY

44. Peaceful : SERENE

45. Sports venues : STADIA

47. Original star of "Star Trek" : SHATNER. William.

48. Bedding : LINEN

49. Promised : VOWED

51. __ de Triomphe : ARC. View.

58. Golf ball holder : TEE

59. Hodgepodges : OLIOS

60. Eat away at : ERODE

61. Lith. or Est., once : SSR

62. Graphs' horizontal reference lines : X-AXES. Horizontal line on a graph.

63. "Billions & Billions" author Carl : SAGAN. Pale blue dot.


1. Indent key : TAB

2. Submachine gun named for its designer : UZI

3. Religious school teacher, perhaps : NUN

4. Lyricist Gershwin : IRA

5. Free from doubt : CERTAIN

6. Madrid mother : MADRE

7. Bluesman Redding : OTIS

8. "Othello" schemer : IAGO

9. __ Lanka : SRI

10. Giggles : TITTERS

12. Thin woodwinds : OBOES

13. Jefferson, religiously : DEIST. Thomas Jefferson’s religious beliefs.

18. Lotus position discipline : YOGA

22. "The Facts of Life" actress Charlotte : RAE

23. Light bulb units : WATTS

24. Online letters : EMAIL

26. "The __ thickens!" : PLOT

27. Brinker on skates : HANS. Unknown for me, a novel first published in 1865 by Mary Mapes Dodge. Also, the name of a budget hotel in Amsterdam, with a hilarious website. “The hotel that couldn’t care less, but we will try.”

30. "I'm game" : LET'S

32. Ripped : TORE

34. Without assistance : ALONE

35. Hard luck case : LOSER

37. Big party : GALA

38. Shipping route terminus : PORT

40. Vending machine feature : COIN BOX

41. Subordinate church officials : BEADLES. “Official of a church or synagogue." New to me.

43. Poem of praise : ODE

44. "Where the Sidewalk Ends" poet Silverstein : SHEL

45. Blind strips : SLATS

46. Goodyear products : TIRES

47. Ham go-with : SWISS

49. Powerful engine : V-SIX

50. Oklahoma native : OTOE

53. In the style of : ALA

54. Historical period : ERA

55. Pooch : DOG

56. Oral health org. : ADA. American Dental Association.

57. Japanese currency : YEN

Jan 3, 2017

Tuesday, January 3, 2017, Gerry Wildenberg

Theme: See The Light

18. Damning evidence : SMOKING GUN. SUNLIGHT

23. Angler's end-of-line item : FISHING LURE. FIRELIGHT

34. Birchbark mover : CANOE PADDLE. CANDLELIGHT

51. Underground violent-weather refuge : STORM CELLAR. STARLIGHT

57. Bits of extra information ... and a hint to this puzzle's circles : SIDELIGHTS

Melissa here. Clever theme - the circled letters (above in red) on the outsides of the theme answers spell out kinds of LIGHT.  WOW this was beyond a Tuesday level for me and it took me forever to get traction. The first word I felt certain of was 16A EAGLE and then 3D AMNESIAC. I hobbled along from there. Is it wrong that I got all the alcohol references immediately? ROSSI, ALES, GIN.


1. "C'mon, be __" : A PAL. Tried REAL first.

5. Flightless South American bird : RHEA

9. Clay pigeon hurlers : TRAPS. Trapshooting.

14. Cookbook author Rombauer : IRMA. Not ERMA.

15. Brand at Petco : IAMS

16. Highest-ranking Boy Scout : EAGLE

17. Flutist Herbie or novelist Thomas : MANN

20. Heavy hammer : SLEDGE. Peter Gabriel’s music video for Sledgehammer still holds the record for most awards a single video has won, at nine.

22. Gives holy orders to : ORDAINS

26. Scratch (out) : EKE. Misdirection, made me think of crossing out a word on paper.

27. Burger topper : ONION

28. Currently popular : HOT

29. Martini's partner in vermouth : ROSSI

31. "The Crying Game" actor Stephen : REA

32. Sign between Cancer and Virgo : LEO

33. Sunday bench : PEW

39. "That's amazing!" : WOW

40. Wyo. neighbor : IDA

41. Musician's deg. : MFA. Master of Fine Arts.

44. Big strings in the orchestra : CELLI. Not HARPS.

47. TV's Arthur : BEA

48. "24" superagent Jack : BAUER

50. Half a patriotic cheer : USA

54. Garb for the slopes : SKI WEAR

56. "__ Fideles": Christmas carol : ADESTE

60. Aptly named pope : PIUS

61. Chihuahua lady friend : AMIGA

62. Conception : IDEA

63. Coastal city : PORT

64. So far : TO NOW.  Not AS YET.

65. Brewpub pours : ALES

66. Snack machine inserts : ONES


1. Focuses on, as a goal : AIMS FOR

2. Nutty confection : PRALINE

3. Many a soap opera character, after a blow to the head : AMNESIAC. Funny.

4. Lookout's cry : LAND HO. I was thinking along the lines of aiding and abetting, not ships.

5. Awake and about : RISEN

6. Virginia __ : HAM

7. Expressive rock genre : EMO

8. Invite to a movie, perhaps : ASK OUT

9. Offered in payment : TENDERED

10. Sitar music : RAGA

11. Texas A&M team : AGGIES

12. Plops (down) : PLUNKS

13. Martial arts instructor : SENSEI

19. Like some outlet store mdse. : IRR. Irregular.

21. Bombay Sapphire, e.g. : GIN

24. Clarified butter : GHEE. So good.

25. More eccentric : LOOPIER. Not LOONIER.

30. Big-eyed bird : OWL

32. Feeling blue : LOW. Not SAD.

33. High-tech appt. book : PDA

35. Hole-making tool : AWL

36. Legal deterrent to loud neighbors : NOISE LAW

37. Podcast comic Carolla : ADAM

38. Liquid-in-liquid suspension : EMULSION

42. Main movie : FEATURE

43. Puts the cuffs on : ARRESTS

44. Verbally abuse, informally : CUSS AT. Not FUSS AT.

45. __ Pie: ice cream treat : ESKIMO

46. Stocked for future use : LAID IN

47. Noble Italian house that produced two popes : BORGIA. House of Borgia.

48. Sleeping spot : BED

49. Embattled Syrian city : ALEPPO. So sad.

52. Mai __ : TAI

53. Spanish homes : CASAS

55. "And away __!" : WE GO

58. Good cholesterol, for short : HDL. High-density lipoprotein.

59. Three-way intersection : TEE

Apr 21, 2016

Thursday, April 21st, 2016 Gerry Wildenberg

Theme: Fruit B-olio. Scrambles begin the theme entries:

18A. *Unit in a bowl : LUMP OF SUGAR. Plum. It's the UK's Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday today. She takes two lumps of sugar in her tea.

39A. *Website for do-it-yourselfers : WIKIHOW. Kiwi. For a while in the 90's, you couldn't order an entrée in a restaurant without it arriving with a kiwi fruit garnish, or compôte, or drizzle, or glaze, or something. Sanity finally prevailed.

61A. *Fast pace : MILE A MINUTE. Lime. I've got one in my drink as we speak. I just took delivery of a new car, and was startled to discover that it can do rather more than a mile a minute - the top speed is listed as 155 MPH. Yikes.

3D. *Skinflint : CHEAPSKATE. Peach. Seeing the word "peach" always triggers my memory of "Each Peach Pear Plum - Here Comes Tom Thumb" - a book I used to read to my daughter when she was little.

31D. Tasty mélange ... and a literal hint to the starts of the answers to starred clues : MIXED FRUIT. Olio.

Suitably crunchy Thursday from Gerry - I had quite a few blank areas after the first pass, and the theme reveal wasn't helping, but then a couple of missteps corrected (PELTS/PEELS and MOHR/MORA) and things fell into place. I'm always impressed by how constructors come up with the puzzle themes, and how to make the theme work, and this one is a great example of across-and-down organization. Good stuff. Let's see what else we've got.


1. "Grey's Anatomy" airer : ABC

4. Skins to remove : PEELS

9. Non-shaving razor name? : OCCAM. I always have to look up what Occam's Razor actually states. I can never remember it. Repeat after me: "Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected."

14. Scrooge word : BAH. Humbug.

15. Brilliance : ÉCLAT. Is a stroke of brilliance a coup d'éclat? *drops mic*

16. San Antonio landmark : ALAMO. The car rental lot at the airport. No?

17. Roger Clemens, for one : ACE

20. Layered rock : SHALE

22. "Sorry, we're full" sign : SRO. Not quite full if there's still Standing Room Only.

23. Test release : BETA. Pre-release phase for software. When I was coding we called the pre-beta a "smoke test" - you'd see if the program caught fire when you ran it.

24. Glimpse : ESPY. If you catch sight of a sports award you might espy an ESPY.

25. Make fun of : JEER AT

27. Sportscast staple : SLO-MO

30. Set boundaries : DELIMIT. This took a while to parse "set" as a verb rather than a noun.

34. Tour de France, e.g. : BIKE RACE

37. Nikon competitor : LEICA

38. LAX datum : ETA. My ETA at LAX on Friday is 10:05PM - end of a long week.

42. Gen-__ : X-ER. "ED" didn't fit, "SCI" was a class I took in England and doesn't exist here (third period on Monday morning, I can still remember the timetable). X-ER finally dawned on me.

43. Don't bother : LET BE. Close enough for a quick link to Sir Paul.

45. Exercise result, all too often : SORENESS

47. Rose support : TRELLIS

50. Made the last move, in a way : MATED. Here's the "Fool's Mate" moves on the chessboard. Checkmate in two moves:

1. f3 e5
2. g4? Qh4#


51. Later years : OLD AGE

53. Degs. for writers : MFAS. Masters of Fine Arts.

56. Weakness : FLAW

59. Look over : EYE

60. Sherlock Holmes enemy Colonel Sebastian __ : MORAN. I really wanted MORIARTY but I ran out of squares.

65. One in Paris : UNE

66. Tart : ACERB. Like the lime in my drink.

67. David's role on "Frasier" : NILES. Great character played by David Hyde Pierce.

68. Chemical ending : -IDE

69. Eponymous trailblazer Chisholm : JESSE. The Texas-to-Kansas cattle trail.

70. Davis of "A League of Their Own" : GEENA

71. Thrice, in Rx's : TER. I never remember these. Marti would have eaten this clue for breakfast. I miss her (hugs) on a Thursday.


1. Belittle : ABASE

2. Family with several notable composers : BACHS

4. Athlete nicknamed "O Rei do Futebol" : PELÉ. "The King of Football" in Portuguese. The Brazilian great. I love the story of the Scottish team (Partick Thistle) coach, who, upon learning that his striker was concussed and "didn't know who his was", responded "Tell him he's Pelé and put him back on".

5. Old French coin : ECU

6. Name of more than 5,000 U.S. streets : ELM. Plenty of Nightmares.

7. Sign of forgetfulness : LAPSE

8. Kept in reserve : STORED

9. Western defense gp. : O.A.S. The Organization of American States. I didn't know this was a thing.

10. Neckwear denoting affiliation : CLUB TIE. Here are three members of the MCC (the founding body of English cricket) at Lord's ground in London, proving that an august organization doesn't necessarily exhibit the best judgment in color coordination. The tie is nicknamed "the scrambled egg".

11. Zoo sight : CAGE

12. Latin 101 word : AMAT. AMA- and wait for the cross.

13. UCLA Bruins coach Jim : MORA

19. A conspicuous position, with "the" : FORE

21. Singer Lovett : LYLE. Could have been golfer Sandy, prone to yelling 19D, and also being Scottish, AKA a ...

25. College athlete : JOCK

26. Completely incorrect : ALL WET. A new one for me. I'd never heard this phrase before.

28. "Big Brother" creator : ORWELL. The wonderful novel "1984", not the execrable reality series.

29. Le cinquième mois : MAI. Portuguese and French today. The fifth month. Janvier, Février, Mars, Avril, MAI. Thank you, high school French classes.

32. Secures, as a victory : ICES

33. Sailors : TARS

34. Corn __ : BELT

35. Road to the Forum : ITER. Seems to be familiar, it's cropped up a few times lately.

36. Mixgetränk cube : EIS. Oh, add German to the language mix today. Mixed Drink. Which is what my lime is in.

40. Strikes may cross it : HOME. C.C. undoubtedly nailed this one. Home Plate. Strike Zone. Baseball. STRIKE THREE! I love dramatic umpires.

41. Man-mouse connector : OR A. Are you?

44. Fall noisemakers : BLOWERS. Fall? Not here in LA - year-round.

46. Verne captain : NEMO.

48. As above, in a footnote : IDEM. Compare and contrast with ibid. Your essays are due by Friday, please.

49. Saw : SAYING

52. Lamp output, if you're lucky : GENIE. "And ix-nay on wishing for more wishes".

54. "Intervention" channel : A AND E

55. Expression for Ozymandias : SNEER. I love this poem. Shelley's masterwork:

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said—"Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . .Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

56. Key of the first two Brandenburg Concertos: Abbr. : F MAJ - -M-- and wait for the crosses!

57. Bothersome bugs : LICE. Eew.

58. Pub quaffs : ALES

60. Southwestern sight : MESA

62. Fiver : ABE. Mr. Lincoln gets the $5 bill.

63. Suffix with glob : -ULE

64. Half a score : TEN. Or two Abes.

And ..... here's the grid.


Nov 5, 2015

Thursday, November 5th 2015 Gerry Wildenberg

Theme: Instrumentals - three four-letter music-makers hidden in the theme entries

17A. What a party crasher may get : CHILLY RECEPTION. You get frozen out of conversations and given the cold shoulder.

27A. 19th-/20th-century South African conflicts : ANGLO-BOER WARS. I knew the Boer Wars, I didn't realize the official name included the Anglo bit.

49A. Horror movie characters : LAB ASSISTANTS. Drinking green fuming solutions or stitching together stolen body parts. Cheerful characters, generally.

65A. Film score component, and a hint to words hidden in 17-, 27- and 49-Across : INCIDENTAL MUSIC. Horror movie lab assistants often get a healthy dose of this.

Cue music "Dah dah DAH!"

Morning! Simple enough theme (and a bit of a horror movie mini-theme) today. I'm not sure if I missed something terribly subtle and clever with this puzzle; if I did it went way over my head. A couple of grid spanners, two 13's and a lot of shorter stuff gives us this 78-worder. Let's see what else pops out.


1. Luxurious : POSH. Hmm. Not sure about this definition of posh. Dressy, upper-class, hoity-toity social circles say "posh" to me.

5. Decorative bedroom item : SHAM. Do Hormel make throws? Spam shams?

9. As such : PER SE. When Thomas Keller, chef and owner of The French Laundry in the Napa Valley was opening his new restaurant in New York, he didn't have a name for it until he realized he kept saying that "it wasn't going to be like The French Laundy, per se". So he called it Per Se.

14. Morales of "Jericho" : ESAI

15. Improbable : TALL. Like a tale or a story.

16. Without stopping : ON END

20. French room : SALLE. I tried SALON first which needed correcting later on.

21. Signifies : MEANS

22. Nuggets' org. : N.B.A. Denver's pro basketball team.

23. Air traveler's concern, briefly : E.T.A. Usually at least half-an-hour later than scheduled in my experience.

25. Mil. group that "teaches you to lead" : R.O.T.C.

33. "Stupid me!" : DOH! Homer Simpson's favorite exclamation.

34. Unlikely prom king : NERD

35. Chocolate-covered caramel treats : ROLOS

38. Starting from : AS OF

40. Event with arguments : TRIAL

43. Habit : WONT

44. NFL's winningest coach : SHULA. Don Shula had 347 victories, 71 with the Baltimore Colts and the remainder with the Miami Dolphins. He also coached the Dolphins to the NFL's only perfect season in 1972 with a 17-0-0 record.

"This isn't one of our plays. In fact I've no idea what it means, either"

46. In the way indicated : THUS

48. Support : AID

53. Jog : TROT

54. Petty with hits : TOM. His band, the Heartbreakers, helped a little too.

55. Shindigs : DOS

58. Occupied : IN USE

61. Shows of crowd approval : ROARS

68. "Sweeney __ the Nightingales": Eliot poem : AMONG. Crosses for me. A happy tale of murder and deceit, apparently.

Apeneck Sweeney spread his knees
Letting his arms hang down to laugh,
The zebra stripes along his jaw
Swelling to maculate giraffe.

69. Newbie : TYRO

70. Italian meat sauce : RAGÙ. Food! Ragù alla bolognese is a well-known variety.

Mmmmm - Spam-free

71. Do not disturb : LET BE

72. Promote : SELL

73. Inbox clogger : SPAM. Food? Named for the Monty Python sketch where a diner featured Spam, usually unwanted, in every dish.


1. Lats relatives : PECS. Your back muscles, the latissimus dorsi, and your chest muscles, the pectoralis major. Anatomy class dismissed.

2. Workplace welfare agcy. : O.S.H.A. I've stopped thinking of this an an abbreviation. Occupational Health and Safety Administration to give it it's official name.

3. Caravel mover : SAIL. Does the sail move the ship or does the wind do it? Discuss.

4. Jewish campus organization : HILLEL. No clue, but the Beth Hillel Temple is just down the street from me which gave me a hint as to what this might be.

5. Mess of a place : STY

6. Hurt : HARM

7. Out of the wind : ALEE. See what good your sails do you when you're out of the wind.

8. Celtics coach before Rick Pitino : M.L. CARR. Complete unknown for me. Boston's NBA coach from 1995-1997. He made a bit of a hash of the last year, leading the Celtics to their all-time worst season record of 15-67. Oops.

9. Lady Gaga, for one : POP STAR. And quite the diva. I love her music and theatrics. She's a great talent.

10. Tolkien forest creature : ENT. The good three-letter Lord of the Rings thing. The bad LOTR three-letter thing is an orc.

11. Trigger guide : REIN. Fun clue. Trigger was stuffed and used to be on display at a museum in Missouri. When the museum closed, Trigger fetched over $250,000 at auction.

"Don't worry, I'm eating my bedding. Makes me cheaper to stuff when the time comes"

12. Uppity type : SNOB

13. "Giant" author Ferber : EDNA

18. Give away : LET ON

19. Sufficient, to Shakespeare : ENOW

"If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men the greater share of honour." 

-  King Henry V. 

24. Provide the bank layout to, say : ABET

26. Brag : CROW

27. Court figs. : A.D.A.S Assistant District Attorney(s)

28. Snack : NOSH

29. Horror movie character : GHOUL. More incidental music fodder. Wooo eeee oooo ooooooo ...

30. Hockey legend : ORR

31. Polishes in publishing : EDITS

32. Memorial __ Kettering: NYC hospital : SLOAN

36. Sleep __ : ON IT

37. EPA issuances : STDS. The Environmental Protection Agency publishes standards for clean air, water and what-not.

39. Uninspired : FLAT

41. Tuna type : AHI

42. Unbridled desire : LUST. Or what happens to Trigger when you take his reins off?

45. Shorten : ABRIDGE

47. Assault : STORM. No horror movie is complete without villagers, pitchforks, torches and a good old-fashioned evil house-storming.

"Let us in! We want to see Igor!"

50. First-rate : A-ONE

51. Double exposures? : STUNTS

52. Affairs of the heart : AMOURS

55. Dashboard feature : DIAL

56. "I'll pay" : ON ME

57. 2013 Wimbledon champ Andy Murray, e.g. : SCOT. Aye. Rumor has it he keeps his balls in a sporran.

59. Eye problem : STYE

60. Title outranking viscount : EARL. Outranked in turn by a Marquess. Someone's always one-upping you in the peerage stakes unless you happen to be King.

62. Memo letters : ASAP. Everyone's always in a hurry.

63. Capital west of Moscow : RIGA. Capital of Latvia on the Baltic Sea. Nice looking place. Google Maps tells me it's 573 miles from Moscow and it takes about 11 hours to drive.

That's one lovely railway station.

64. Bathtub buildup : SCUM. Eww.

66. Bach's "Mass __ Minor" : IN B. He wrote a bunch of masses in all sorts of keys (F major, A major, G major, G minor) but they were short masses. The B Minor mass was the only full-length one.

67. Texter's "What a riot!" : LOL. Laughing Out Loud.

Have a great Thursday. Happy Guy Fawkes' Day to Nice Cuppa and any other Brits on the blog - "Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpowder treason and plot".


Oh, and here's the grid:

Sep 23, 2015

Wednesday, September 23, 2015, Jerry Wildenberg

Theme: Vowel progression.  The theme words have A, E, I, O, U, and even Y as their respective second letters, in each case surrounded by the letters L and N.

18. Aggressive property seizure : LAND GRAB.  Usually on a large scale, by a government, rich developer or trans-national corporation.

23. Red Square shrine : LENIN'S TOMB.  His embalmed body has been on display there since shortly after his death in 1924.

32. Pet hair picker-upper : LINT ROLLER.  A spindle-mounted roll of one-side adhesive paper used to pick up fibrous materials.

42. Green Hornet's great-uncle, with "The" : LONE RANGER.  Britt Reid, aka the Green Hornet, is the son of the LONE RANGER's orphaned nephew Dan Reid.  He's a newspaper publisher by day, and an incognito crime fighter by night.  Both characters originated at Detroit radio station WXYZ during the 30's.

52. Stretch between new moons : LUNAR MONTH.   Equal to 29.53059 days.

61. Sharp-sighted : LYNX EYED.  Similar to eagle-eyed or hawk eyed.  I was not at all familiar with this phrase, but it is legit.

Hi gang, It's Jazzbumpa, your progressive host for today's linguistic excursion.  This simple theme is elegantly executed.  Let's see what else we can find.


1. Radiated joy : BEAMED.  With a smile that brightens your whole day.

7. "Hi and Lois" pooch : DAWG.

11. Fair grade : CEE.   Assuming the teacher grades fairly.

14. Smithy fixtures : ANVILS.  An ANVIL is a flat topped iron or steel block upon which metal objects can be hammered and formed.

15. Literary pen name : ELIA.   Charles Lamb first used this pseudonym for an essay on the South Sea House, where he had once worked.  He borrowed the name from an Italian coworker.

16. Half of a steep price? : ARM.   The other half is a leg.

17. Refused : SAID NO.

20. Video game pioneer : ATARI.

21. Unit to plow : ACRE.  Down on the farm.

22. Church section near the altar : APSE.   Oh-oh: religion. 

25. Suffix with church : GOER.   I thought it was two words, but the clue is correct.

26. Disdainful chorus : BOOS.  Sometimes accompanied by hisses.

27. Golden Fleece ship : ARGO.   Mythical ship named for it's builder, Argus.  In it, Jason and his crew, known as the Argonauts, sailed from Iolcos in search of the golden fleece. 

29. Campaign funding org. : PAC.  Political Action Committee.  Of which we may not speak.

37. Cope with change : ADAPT.  Don't get left behind.

40. Long-jawed fish : GAR.   Several species inhabit the waters of eastern North America, Central America and the Caribbean Islands.

41. Farm machinery giant : DEERE.  Nothing runs like a Deere.

45. Hit hard : RAM.

46. First-year law student : ONE L.   Also a novel about one at the Harvard Law School.

47. Word on some doors : PUSH.

50. Ship leader: Abbr. : CAPT.   I wanted CAP'N!

58. Away from port : ASEA.   Sailing, like Jason and the Argonauts.

59. Lots : A TON.   After the LAND GRAB, the developer was able to sell A TON of lots.

60. "Gone With the Wind" family name : O'HARA.  Gerald and Ellen and their daughters Katie Scarlett, Susan Elinor [Suellen,] Caroline Irene [Carreen] and three younger brothers who died as infants.

63. '80s-'90s Mets pitcher nicknamed "Dr. K" : GOODEN.   Dwight Eugene Gooden also played for the Yankees, then Cleveland, Houston and Tampa. The nickname comes from analogy to basketball's Dr. J. - Julius Irving, and the letter K, the standard baseball symbol for a strike out.   He led the National League in K's in as a rookie in 1984 and again in 1985. His later career was marred by drug and legal problems. He retired before the 2001 season with a record of 194-112.

64. Stan of Marvel Comics : LEE.   Stanley Martin Lieber [b Dec. 28, 1922] is an American writer and publisher of comic books, actor and television host.  He co-created Spiderman, The Hulk, and many other characters. 

65. Only : MERE.

66. Ancient Chinese divination text : I CHING.   Read all about it.

67. Violinists' sect. : STR.   Strings.

68. Binding vows : I DO's.    Marriage.

69. Summer wear : SHORTS.  Short pants.

1. __ reader: grade school text : BASAL.   Highly organized texts containing short stories, excerpts and original material, designed to improve reading skills.   The metabolism series only uses a minimal amount of energy.  [Full disclosure: I just made that up.]

2. Related maternally : ENATE.  A Latin-derived word.  Paternally related is AGNATE.

3. Birdlike : AVIAN.   Also from the Latin.  Any bird-brained relative is AVIATE.

4. Central vein of a leaf : MID RIB.  AKA primary venation.

5. Weather-affecting phenomenon : EL NINO.   This year's looks to be pretty large.  Expect warmer and drier winter conditions in the northern U.S. as far east as the Great Lakes basin; and cooler, wetter conditions for most of the South and up the East Coast almost to New England.

6. Brit. military decoration : DSO.   Distinguished Service Order, awarded for meritorious service, especially during combat.

7. Big name in auto parts : DELCO.  Originally Dayton Electrical Engineering Laboratories Co., founded by Charles Kettering and Edward Deeds in 1909.

8. Apprehension : ALARM.   The dreads.

9. Place to get a Cab : WINE BAR.   Cabernet Sauvignon. And after an evening there, take a taxi home.

10. Wander (about) : GAD.  Traveling in search of pleasure rather than a destination.

11. One sharing a ride : CAR POOLER.  Usually to and from school or work.

12. Rub off : ERASE.

13. Dying fire bit : EMBER.  Only you can prevent forest fires.

19. Honkers on the ground : GAGGLE.   A flock of five or more geese, not in flight.  In the air, they are a skein.

21. Punctuation in email addresses : AT SIGN.  This thing: @.  Technically, it is called "the commercial at."  It also has several nicknames, including snail and whirlpool.

24. Costa del __ : SOL.  The sun coast, comprising the towns and communities along the southern Spanish coast in the province of Malaga.

28. "The Twilight Zone" creator Serling : ROD.

29. Buddy : PAL.

30. Brouhaha : ADO.  It can be about nothing.

31. Kitchen gadget with a magnet : CAN OPENER.

33. Pester : NAG.

34. Rock-boring drill : TREPAN.  Used for sinking a shaft into the ground.  The term also refers to drilling holes in the cranium for medical purposes - a practice that goes back to neolithic times.

35. Historical period : ERA.  The ERA of TREPANATION continues.

36. Dream letters : REM.   Rapid Eye Movement.

38. Binoculars brand : PENTAX.

39. Otto minus cinque : TRE.   Italian numbers.  Also, 8, 5 and 3 are Fibonacci numbers.  Fibonacci was Italian.  Coincidence?  I think not!

43. Ameliorated : ALLAYED.  Improved something that is bad, as compared to relieved suspicion, fear or worry.  Near miss on the correspondence. 

44. Play about robots : RUR.   By the Czech writer Karel Čapek. R.U.R. stands for Rossumovi Univerzální Roboti (Rossum’s Universal Robots).  The play premiered in 1921, and introduced the word robot to the world.   Rossum's robots were artificial people made from synthetic organic material, capable of independent thought.  In the end, they revolt and destroy humanity.  I doubt that the phrase "I'll be back" was spoken.

48. Kiss : SMOOCH.

49. Sounds of seasonal joy : HO-HO-HO.   Santa calling.

50. Phones : CALLS.   Santa doesn't usually do it this way.

51. Up to this moment : AS YET.

53. Unborn, after "in" : UTERO.   Within the uterus.

54. Points of connection : NODES.

55. Apex antonym : NADIR.   High and low points, respectively.

56. Lott from Mississippi : TRENT.  Career politician from 1968 through 2007; since then a professional lobbyist, and a near-clecho with 59A.   This month, I am plagued by politics.

57. Puts on a hook : HANGS.

62. Brit. recording giant : EMI.

63. Enlistees, briefly : GI's.   Initialism for Government Issue, referring to army soldiers and air force airmen, and occasionally marines and sailors when the yare not ASEA.  Originally, the reference was to Galvanized Iron in the military inventory and supply records for such metal equipment as trash cans.

Well, that wraps it up.  We were able to progress all the way to the end. Hope you enjoyed the journey.

Cool Regards!



Gerry sent me a note to include with the write up, which I forgot to add. Here it is.

I began composing about three years ago.  I'm not especially creative and finding themes is still tough for me.  I like vowel shift themes -- they're kind of standard and unexciting but still I like them -- there's no accounting for tastes.  An earlier one I submitted used the themers: SAMSCHOICE, SEMINUDE, SIMOLEON, SOMERSET, SUMTOTAL, and SYMPATHIZE.  The rejection note -- richly deserved since there are several duds in that list -- mentioned that Rich doesn't much like one word themers.  I listened and learned.  The next time I tried a vowel shift I looked for two word or compound word entries.  As I wanted an AEIOUY vowel shift, this puzzle began when I found  LYNXEYED.  An early attempt used LUNCHMONEY instead of LUNARMONTH but somehow the fill was easier with the latter.

In my past I've played Chess, Backgammon, and Bridge competitively.  Composing crosswords is far more gratifying.  When a puzzle is published, I feel that I've brought some fun into the lives of millions.  Hope you enjoyed this one.
Gerry Wildenberg

Note from C.C.:
Let's send positive thoughts and prayers to dear Irish Miss (Agnes) for a smooth & successful hand surgery today. Still remember her beautiful rings? I think she wears more than 12 rings now.

Agnes (right)  and her sister Eileen