Showing posts with label James Sajdak. Show all posts
Showing posts with label James Sajdak. Show all posts

Nov 16, 2018

Friday, November 16, 2018 James Sajdak

Title: Let’s get down with UP!

James is  back for his second Friday this year. He was more prolific back in 2011 when C.C. INTERVIEWED him . His roots are Wisconsin based but his presentation is eclectic with only a mini-theme of Oscar winning directors. The theme today should jump out to almost all, with the sweet reveal telling you UP is put at the end of the 4 themers. Swaddling, Said I do and Sheepskin are all nice long fill and words like Panacea and Veldt are cool. From there it is a fun, fairly easy Friday frolic. Lots of stuff from so many fields. Enjoy.

17A. Novice hiker's predicament?: TRAIL MIXUP (10). I am sure he had some gorp in his backpack.

23A. Relief pitcher?: DIAMOND BACKUP (13). This is a play on the name of the Arizona team - the Diamondbacks. 

38A. Flipped ... and what four puzzle answers are?: UPENDED (7).

50A. Showoff with gags?: HOTDOG STANDUP (13). My favorite, combining comedians with showing off.

62A. Tenement for one on the lam?: PERP WALKUP  (10). If you do know the term WALK UP Apartment, this could be tough.


1. "__ simple, duh!": IT'S SO. Well that is a challenge to start us off.

6. Gobi container: ASIA. Cute clue, as the Gobi is in fact in Asia (as am I).

10. Pollutants targeted in Great Lakes cleanups: PCBS. Why were they BANNED?

14. "Sorry, bro": NO WAY. José.

15. Brits' foul-weather gear: MACS. The Mackintosh or raincoat is a form of waterproof raincoat, first sold in 1824, made out of rubberised (notice the spelling) fabric. The Mackintosh is named after its Scottish inventor Charles Macintosh, although many writers added a letter k. The variant spelling of "Mackintosh" is now standard.

16. Devastated sea: ARAL. We have had this so often with illustrations, I feel like I have been there.

19. Taboo: NO NO. Nanette?

20. DUI fighting org.:  SADDStudents Against Destructive 
Decisions has become about much more than drunk driving. LINK.

21. Card game shout: UNO. I learned this game and Skip-Bo from my grandmother who always traveled with various decks of cards. She also loved cribbage.

22. Dairy prefix: LACTO. This clue has milked dry.

27. Spot for a springbok: VELDT. This is the open country, bearing grass, bushes, or shrubs, or thinly forested, characteristic of parts of southern Africa, home to these small antelopes.

29. Allay: EASE.

30. "Cats" source: ELIOT. T.S.

31. Stopped working: DIED. My 5 year old iPhone 5 just up and died causing me to upgrade to a phone I need to learn how to use.

33. Snarky retort: AS IF.

37. Cheshire can: TIN. A dual purpose CSO to Steve, Nice Cuppa etc., as well as our toastmaster.

41. Where Charlemagne reigned: Abbr.: HRE. Holy Roman Empire.

42. Extended account: SAGA.

44. Sources of some barrels: OAKS.They are the preferred wood source for aging whiskey. Today's LESSON.

45. Salty expanse: OCEAN.

47. Boone, to his buds: DAN'L. What you need to KNOW.

49. Put oil and vinegar on, say: DRESS. A salad; you would want it nekkid in public would ya?

56. Swashbuckling Flynn: ERROL. A tribute.
57. Employ: USE.

58. "¿Cómo __?": ESTA. Usted.

61. Digitize, in a way: SCAN.

65. Director Gus Van __: SANT. I hear much about this MAN but only know one movie.

66. Barb: GIBE.

67. "A Fish Called Wanda" Oscar winner: KLINE. When Jamie Lee was young and hot.

68. 3-Canada competitor: ESSO. James worked in Canada.

69. Erelong: ANON. One of my favorite words from Shakespeare. not our trolls. Though I do agree, not all anons are bad, though some should be...

70. Worked with osier: CANED.


1. Cornerback's coups, briefly: INTS. Interceptions in American football.

2. One-third of a WWII film: TORA. This is a movie which shall live in infamy.

3. Wrapping tightly: SWADDLING.

4. Got married: SAID I DO. And I am glad I did.

5. Olive __: OYL. As a small child I was overcome with the irony of Popeye and Bluto fighting for her affections, but like Shallow Hal, I am not into big feet.

6. Acid type: AMINO. The building blocks of life and the key to your health. RESEARCH.

7. Ivanhoe, e.g.: SAXON. I read this over the summer in high school.

8. Post-OR stop: ICU. First to recovery, then only if necessary to the Intensive Care Unit.

9. Nile biter: ASP. I think this is a nail biter pun.

10. Cure-all: PANACEA. Such a cool word.

11. Bunch of baloney: CROCK. Of...

12. Linguistic group that includes Zulu: BANTU. I love seeing this with 24D. Western tip of Alaska: ATTU.

13. Single-master: SLOOP.

18. Silent: MUM.

22. __ Palmas: Canary Islands city: LAS. Las Palmas is a capital of Gran Canaria, one of Spain's Canary Islands off northwestern Africa. A major cruise-ship port, the city is known for duty-free shopping and for its sandy beaches,

25. Closing documents: DEEDS. A repeat from Saturday and CSO to my work which these days is primarily real estate closings, drafting and reviewing deeds and title.

26. Expressed, as farewell: BADE. Fondly, I hope.

27. Checks out: VETS.

28. Oscar-winning director Kazan: ELIA. Two Oscar winning directors in one puzzle?

31. Gives a hand: DEALS. Not helping or clapping.

32. Press: INK.

34. Grad's award: SHEEPSKIN. Such nice letters in  9 letter fill.

35. Nest egg choices: IRAS. Individual Retirement Accounts.

36. Bogs: FENS.

39. Early Atari offering: PONG.

40. __-Frank: 2010 financial reform bill: DODD. This BILL also is a form of CSO as I was also doing loan closings in the 2000s and saw the absurdity of lending practices which were based solely on making money for lenders and mortgage brokers with values inflated by the need to keep selling. While I was growing up, CHRIS DODD's father, Tom, was one of the senators from Connecticut.

43. Enlarge, as a house: ADD ON TO. My father built an addition to our house in 1959 to expand the kitchen and buy a pool table. Good choice.

46. First name in Disney villains: CRUELLA.

48. Verizon subsidiary: AOL.

50. "Siddhartha" author: HESSE.

51. Black-and-white cetaceans: ORCAS.

52. Mission opening?: TRANS. Transmission next to...

53. Supercharger: TURBO.

54. Steamboat Springs alternative: ASPEN. More likely Keystone, or Winter Park.

55. Fresh: NEW.

59. Piece of music: TUNE.

60. Impersonated: APED.

62. Woods gp.: PGA. Tiger, who is half-Thai.

63. Strauss' "__ Heldenleben": EIN.

64. Pedigree-tracking org.: AKC. American Kennel Club.

Some pics from Thailand:
Oo's son- before

Another puzzle in the record books and my sweet Oo had another birthday in Thailan. I hope you enjoyed sharing today's do venture with me. Thank you James and all who responded these words. Lemonade out.

Apr 6, 2018

Friday, April 6, 2018, James Sajdak

Title: Let me have the exact change.

James is back on Friday for the first time in a couple of years. I first blogged him in 2011 the same day C.C. posted the INTERVIEW she did with him. This is his 30th LAT publication and he has no consistent style, either in themes or themeless. Like last week we are dealing with puns and humor. While this theme was not as much fun, the rest of the puzzle was wonderful. We have a few spectacular words, GIBRALTAR, SASQUATCH, AFICIONADO and TOM FOOLERY. We also have so much information and wit, I am going to move on the the write up.

20A. Salute in an old orbiter?: MIR FORMALITY (12). Mere formality.

35A. Stadium scene after a big win?: TIERS OF JOY (10). Tears of joy.

42A. Fishing parties?: PIER GROUPS (10). Peer group.

57A. Edward Scissorhands' syndrome?: SHEAR MADNESS (12). Sheer madness.


1. Disagreement: SPAT.

5. Her first speaking role was in MGM's "Anna Christie": GARBO. 88 years ago.

10. Unlikely: SLIM. My chances were slim and none.

14. Fashion designer Rabanne: PACO.  This is not his real NAME.

15. Cold shoulder or hot corner: IDIOM. This was fun misdirection, as both are idiomatic.

16. Elizabeth of "Jacob's Ladder": PENA.

17. Wee bit: ATOM.

18. It might be uncured: BACON. Not my area of expertise.

19. Plant with hips: ROSE. I used to drink the tea.

23. Arizona neighbor: SONORA.

24. Former SETI funder: NASA.

25. Pokémon Go finder: Abbr.: GPS. I have watched these crazies running around 'capturing' the various Pokémon. My boys were more Dragonball Z, but they did have some Pocket Monsters.

28. Spa supplies: OILS. Massage or painting?

30. African megalopolis: CAIRO.

32. Nonstick kitchen product: T-FAL. I have never owned any from this COMPANY.

39. Normandy river: ORNE. Not one of the 12 common crossword rivers but a big deal nonetheless. LINK.

40. Foil firm: ALCOA. Will always be tinfoil in my mind even though I know it is aluminum.

41. It borders both the Missouri and the Mississippi rivers: IOWA. More rivers.

44. Early Disney productions: CELS. Cartoons.

45. __ del Carmen, Mexico: PLAYA. Beach

46. Distant beginning?: EQUI.

48. Photog's choice: SLR.  Single-Lens Reflex camera.

49. Org. offering shelter for some homeless: SPCA.

53. It merged with Chevron in 2005: UNOCAL.

59. Chain part: ISLE.

62. 1975 Pulitzer winner for criticism: EBERT. 1975: Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, "for his film criticism during 1974"

63. Old film dog: ASTA. Back again; do you remember the actor?

64. Catty reply: MEOW. and the clecho 67A. Cat catchers: PAWS.

65. __ attack: PANIC.

66. Flit: DART.

68. Seriously reduce: SLASH. Like prices, not to be confused with 43D. Wicked slice: GASH. Not Tiger's driving at the Masters but a long deep slash, cut, or wound.

69. Prizes in los Juegos Olímpicos: OROS. Gold medals.


1. Bombards with e-junk: SPAMS.

2. Deck alternative: PATIO.

3. Nut with a cap: ACORN.

4. Nonsense: TOMFOOLERY. Another great fill that has such a great LINK.

5. Iberian peninsula territory: GIBRALTAR. You could LEARN more.

6. Economist Smith: ADAM. The FATHER of economics.

7. Puerto __: RICAN.

8. Half an Ivy cheer: BOOLA. The Cheer from 1901.
Boola boola, boola boola
Boola boola, boola boola
When we rough house poor old hahvahd
They will holler, “Boola boo”
Oh Yale, Eli Yale!  Oh Yale, Eli Yale!
Oh Yale, Eli Yale!  Oh Yale, Eli Yale!

9. Dodges of old: OMNIS.

10. Agile: SPRY

11. Uncle on "Seinfeld": LEO

12. Advantages for job seekers: INS

13. Novelist Rita __ Brown: MAE. A writer for CED and our other cat lovers, her mysteries are solved by cats. But she is so much more, and a Florida Gator as well. WIKI.

21. "He's mine, __ am his":"Coriolanus": OR I. A Friday Shakespeare - Scene X, page 218.

22. Stand snack: TACO

25. Boy toy?: GI JOE.  A great fun clue.

26. Lurk: PROWL.

27. Milk sources: SOYAS. My bride like soymilk.

29. Prairie skyline feature: SILO.

31. Buff: AFICIONADO.  It was a mid 19th century (denoting a devotee of bullfighting): from Spanish, ‘amateur,’ past participle of aficioner ‘become fond of’ used as a noun, based on Latin affectio(n-) ‘(favorable) disposition toward’ (see affection).

32. Name on collectible cards: TOPPS. They made some headlines a few years ago. NASTY.

33. Bell or whistle?: FRILL. Something added on.

34. At hand, poetically: ANEAR. I wish this afar.

36. Old French coin: ECU. Not the sou.

37. It's often skipped: ROPE. really cute.

38. Cryptozoologist's quarry: SASQUATCH. And any other of the CRYPTIDS.

47. Conjunction in a German article: UND. An article in a newspaper article. Witty.

50. Buds, slangily: PEEPS. Almost timely. Try THESE.

51. Band of intrigants: CABAL. The intigrants (those who makes secret plans to do something illicit or detrimental to someone else) get together and form a cabal - a secret political clique or faction.

52. Concert setting: ARENA

54. Romero who played The Joker: CESAR. With Adam West. LINK.

55. Dog in Orbit City: ASTRO.

56. Exams for future attys.: LSATS. Actually, it is only a test for future law students.

57. Susie-shirts tongue-twister link: SEWS.  60D. Sells-shells tongue-twister link: SEA. Suzi sells seashells by the seashore. Maybe. LINK.

58. Hosp. tests: MRIS.

59. Little demon: IMP.

61. Bit of cowspeak: LOW. I am not familiar with the term, but I got the idea.

That was a loaded baked potato of a puzzle and I had so much trouble with getting it ready, so forgive me if I just say, thank you, James, all who come to the Corner and phew! Lemonade out.

Jun 11, 2017

Sunday June 11, 2017 James Sajdak

Theme:  "Getting Old" - AGE is added to each familiar phrase.

23A. "Reduce, reuse, recycle"? : MESSAGE OF GREENS. Mess of greens. New term to me. Looks like just collard greens. Notice GREENS changes meaning also.

32A. Harm caused by some lodge builders? : BEAVER DAMAGE. Beaver Dam. Beaver remains the same.

47A. Black Friday scene? : ENTRY RAMPAGE. Vivid picture. Entry ramp.. Entry remains the same, in a way.

64A. Shredder fodder? : CLERICAL GARBAGE. Clerical garb. Clerical changes also.

82A. Inventory alert at the highway sign supplier? : STOP SHORTAGE. Stop short. Not much change.

98A. Aromatic oils? : MASSAGE MEDIA. Mass media. Media changes also.

111A. Saw you can't discuss publicly? : CLASSIFIED ADAGE. Classified ad. Classified changes meaning.

Two AGEs are attached to ends of the first words, five the second words. Consistent. No odd man out. I like when the non-key word change meanings also.

So nice to have James Sajdak back again. He is one of those very few constructors who're good at both themed and themeless grids.

1. Actually existing : IN ESSE

7. Bottle in a playpen? : BABA Just baby talk.

11. [Not my mistake] : SIC

14. Six-time NBA All-Star Stoudemire : AMAR'E. Can never remember his name.

19. Beethoven's "Appassionata," e.g. : SONATA

20. Designer Cassini : OLEG

21. Anguish : WOE

22. Meet competitor : MILER

26. "__ Mio" : O SOLE,  "My sunshine."

27. Involving a lot of tossing, perhaps : SLEEPLESS. Motrin PM helps Boomer.

28. Go wrong : ERR

29. Stunt setting : AIR SHOW

31. About six weeks on the liturgical calendar : LENT

34. Cod and others : CAPES
37. Ups : RAISES

38. Tap output : ALES

39. Mantilla material : LACE. Mantilla is a new word to me.

40. Teach improperly? : LEARN. I don't get this clue.

42. Pejorative : SLUR

44. Half a score, or a perfect one : TEN. Nice clue.

51. On topic : GERMANE

54. Gets going : INITIATES

55. First name in Solidarity : LECH (Walesa)

58. It may be set in stages : OATER

59. Certain dancer's accessory : FAN. Fan dance. We also have 65. Half a dance : CAN

60. In any way : EVER

61. Michelangelo work : PIETA. In St. Peter's Basilica

63. Unborn, after "in" : UTERO

68. "Heavens!" : OH GOD!

71. Tasteless : TACKY

72. Swear words : OATH

73. Got an __: aced : A ON.  Filled in AN A. Not reading the clue.

76. Gold standard : KARAT. Also 80. Good as gold, e.g. : ANALOGY

77. Went under : SANK

78. Means more than : OUTWEIGHS

85. NFL advances : YDs

86. Actor Morales : ESAI

89. They come from têtes : IDEES. Followed by 90. Sans opposite : AVEC

91. Season, in a way : SALT

94. Got into the market : TRADED

96. Gay song locale : PAREE. Gay Paree. Cheerful Paris.

101. Pelts : FURS

103. Problem when using a well? : INK SPOT. Inkwell! Not the well problem of TTP's neighbor.

104. Sheltered side : LEE

105. 1898 Dewey victory site : MANILA BAY. Learning moment for me. George Dewey. I only know Dewey in Dewey Defeats Truman guy.

110. Airheads : TWITS

114. Late, in Los Cabos : TARDE. Probably same root as our TARDY.

115. Farm layer : HEN
116. River to the Caspian : URAL

117. Evasive tactic : END RUN

118. Guatemala girls: Abbr. : SRTAs

119. "Go on ... " : AND

120. Hand off : PASS

121. Boundary marks : STAKES


1. Beliefs : ISMS

2. Coward often quoted : NOEL. Noel Coward.

3. Massachusetts motto opener : ENSE. "Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem". Mouthful. OK, it means "By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty."

4. Freelancer's enc. : SASE

5. Gun insert : STAPLE. Staple gun.

6. "Tequila Sunrise" group : EAGLES

7. Lift : BOOST

8. UFO pilots : ALFs. ALF stands for Alien Life Form. Got via crosses.

9. Request a pardon? : BEG

10. Seeing eye to eye : AGREEING

11. Changes course suddenly : SWERVES

12. It's charged : ION

13. Activist Chavez : CESAR

14. Seeing no evil? : AMORAL. Nice clue also.

15. Long-distance lover's question : MISS ME?

16. Nickname based on a salutation : ALOHA STATE. Also 70. Island entertainment symbol : GRASS SKIRT. These ladies seem to have fun.

17. Enter again : RE-LOG

18. "Maid of Athens, __ part": Byron : ERE WE

24. Bard's nightfall : EEN

25. Significant times : ERAS

30. "__ you to try it!" : I DARE

32. Vamp Theda : BARA. Our old friend is back.

33. Community coll. class : ESL

34. Tropical plant with large foliage : CANNA. Another learning moment for me.

35. Join the cast of : ACT IN

36. Sassy : PERT

37. Gavel sounds : RAPs

39. Adventurer Ericson : LEIF. Second son of  Erik the Red.

40. More recent : LATER

41. Professor __ : EMERITA

43. "Gross!" : UGH

45. Cabinet dept. formed under Carter : ENER. Slight clue dupe with 64. Energy source : COAL

46. Lyre-playing emperor : NERO

48. Retreat in the face of : YIELD TO. Look, this big tree yielded to my kick.

49. Wild party : RAVE

50. Formal lament : ELEGY

52. Less polished : ROUGHER

53. Game-ending call : MATE. Oh, checkmate.

56. Pilot's announcement: Abbr. : ETA

57. Do some serious bar-hopping : CAROUSE. Good old days.

61. Scout carriers : PACKS

62. Type : ILK

66. Realty ad count : BATHS

67. Lawrence Welk's upbeat : A TWO

68. Approve : OKAY

69. Set of cards : HAND

73. Mescal source : AGAVE

74. "Wow!" : OH GEE.  I shouted "oh, wow" a few times after D-Otto showed me some mad programming skill. Boomer asked me "So, what's Tom's bowling average?"

75. Infinitesimal span, for short : NSEC

77. PBS part: Abbr. : SYS. Error, right? PBS has no System. Public Broadcasting Service.

78. Piece of one's mind? : OP-ED

79. __-Tass : ITAR

81. Start : GET GO

83. Prepares for guests : TIDIES UP. Our house is quite messy.

84. Classical theaters : ODEA. Also learned from doing crosswords.

87. Bill passer? : ATM. Great clue.

88. Swift's birthplace : IRELAND. Jonathan Swift. Not Taylor.

92. Legal drama fig. : ASST DA

93. Lost moments : LAPSES

95. Citrus drinks : ADEs

96. Serengeti families : PRIDES. Lions.

97. Not upright : ASLANT

98. Diamond equipment : MITTS. By the way, TTP was right last week. This catcher is A. J.

99. Co-Nobelist with Menachem : ANWAR

100. __ Sketch : ETCH A

101. Some are epic : FAILS

102. Article in Le Monde? : UNE. DES/LES too.

105. Curators' credentials, on a C.V. : MFAs

106. "__ dash of ... ": recipe words : ADD A

107. Request for Alpo? : BARK

108. Feverish feeling : AGUE

109. Itches : YENS

112. Quarterback Dawson : LEN. Hall of Famer.

113. Novelist Levin : IRA

Looking forward to seeing some of you at the Sixth Minnesota Crossword Tournament this afternoon. 


Jun 17, 2016

Friday, June 17, 2016 James Sajdak

Title:  STAND  what's going on?
           DO YOU

Remember those Wacky Wordies we all have solved over the years like:

Well James has done a masterful job weaving this device into a Friday puzzle. Using the adverb "Literally", he places the first part of an in-the-language phrase literally beneath the second part to induce the preposition UNDER which completes a theme phrase using the same number of letters in both as you can see in the grid below. 

And, oh yeah, having the first word in the phrase appear later in the puzzle and the last word requiring a cross reference adds to the BOTTOMS UP amusement/torment. Fiendish - Today thy name is Sajdak! Very cool! 

Husker Gary here pinch-hitting for Lemon and I give this puzzle  
Now let's see what else is hidden in our puzzle and not

Theme Entries: 


15. See 18-Across : FOOT

18. Literally, forms an obstruction : GETS

Yes, he "Literally" can!!


19. See 23-Across : THE BUS

23. Literally, sacrifices to save one's own neck : THROWS


With Photoshop, you can do this figuratively, uh, not "Literally"! 


56. See 61-Across : ARREST

61. Literally, books : PLACES

The most famous in moviedom?

Didn't Dirty Harry also


62. See 66-Across : OATH

66. Literally, commits perjury : LIES

You ain't foolin' her!

...and the reveal:

36. Toaster's words, and a hint to solving eight puzzle answers : BOTTOMS UP - Meryl probably got an Academy Award Nomination for this line!

1. Liner : SHIP - Some captains don't like it when they are called boats. Spitz?

5. Hope __ : CHEST

10. Shred of evidence? : DNA

13. A, to Bach : EINE - Even a cultural philistine such as I knows EINE kleine Nachtmusik 

14. "I wanna do it" : LEMME

16. Turkish warlord : AGHA

17. Physicist's proposed particle : AXION - Count me as physics teacher who has never heard of this word

21. Camps : ROUGHS IT - Holiday Inn Express is ROUGHING IT for us

24. Pod opener : TRI

25. RV chain : KOA

26. Chou En-__ : LAI

27. Like adobe : EARTHEN

30. Publicity : INK - "Say whatever you want, just spell my name right!"

31. Sundance's love : ETTA - The real ETTA Place and Sundance Kid (Harry Longabaugh)

33. Blackguard : CUR

34. Touch, for example : SENSE - My iMacPro can SENSE how many fingers are on the TOUCHpad

40. Fills : SATES

43. __ grass : OAT

44. World Golf Hall of Famer Aoki : ISAO - He's got a lovely bunch of vowels!

48. Soul seller : KIA - When visiting South Korea, the Pope chose a modest, made-in Korea KIA Soul and admonished clergy who drive big, expensive vehicles

49. 1972 Olympics city : SAPPORO - The last Olympics where wooden skis were used to win a gold medal

53. Beantown landmark, with "the" : PRU - The 52-story PRUdential building's parking is much cheaper, a 20 min. walk to Fenway and easy to find after the game

54. Rile : IRK

55. End of August? : INE

58. Blocks : PREVENTS

63. Tin Pan Alley gp. : ASCAP

65. Mr. Bean's car : MINI - Mr. Bean, his MINI and Teddy!

67. Onetime NPR host Hansen : LIANE

68. Settled : PAID

69. "The Conspiracy Against Childhood" author LeShan : EDA

70. Itzhak Perlman choice : STRAD

71. Tart fruit : SLOE


1. City named for a Duwamish chief : SEATTLE - Wise words from Chief SEATTLE 

2. Snub : HIGH HAT

3. Come into : INHERIT He that troubles his own house shall INHERIT the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart. Proverbs 11:9

4. R&B singer Bryson : PEABO Definitely worth a "google"

5. One to admire : CLASS ACT - C.C. is the embodiment of this sentiment 

6. Spell : HEX

7. Mideast monarch : EMIR

8. Like some operators : SMOOTH

9. Academic status : TENURE - A teacher with TENURE is hard to fire

10. Supple leather : DOESKIN

11. Whims : NOTIONS "The Witt Store." Your place for notions, sundries, gewgaws and baubles Columbus, GA, c. 1953 . Who's says no one ever uses the word gewgaws?

12. On the line : AT STAKE

15. String next to E? : FGH - String of letters in the first song for many of us. I had the fill correct but struggled before I understood it!

20. Former NHL defenseman Krupp : UWE - UWE Von Schamann was a Sooner field goal kicker that never failed against the Huskers

22. Infomercial cutlery brand : GINSU - I never liked that shoe!

28. It's frustrating to be in one : RUT

29. Scout group : TROOP

32. Actor Vigoda : ABE Barney Miller's Phil Fish and The Godfather's Salvatore Tessio

35. Center opening : EPI

37. Davis of "Do the Right Thing" : OSSIE

38. Tiananmen Square honoree : MAO - Translation of the writings?

39. Lacking, with "for" : STRAPPED

40. Stick on a slope : SKI POLE

41. Blitz : AIR RAID

42. Break on "Downton Abbey" : TAKE TEA - What?? TEA TIME is not right?

45. Reduced-price offering : SPECIAL

46. Hall of "Coming to America" : ARSENIO - 69% on Rotten Tomatoes

47. Unlikely, as a chance : OUTSIDE - or a variation using the theme

50. Historical records : ANNALS

51. Watch a friend's dog, say : PET SIT

52. The NBA's Magic : ORL

57. Cloverleaf branches : RAMPS - The Pregerson Interchange in L.A.

59. Old tape type : VHS

60. Bad mark? : SCAR

64. Santa __, California : ANA

Now it's time for others to comment, so they shouldn't delay and get (yes this is addictive)

Feb 26, 2016

Friday, February 26, 2016, James Sajdak

Theme: Your punishment is in the pun.

After seeing Todd Gross and SJSJ return after lengthy absences, we have today James Sajdak who did 24 puzzles by 2012 then one in 2013, one in 2014 and none last year. He was the subject of this INTERVIEW . His puzzles were all different and today he does sound a-like for humor. As with any puzzle crafted on humor, it is in the eyes of the beholder. I really liked the theme and all of the wonderful fill like SHADOW, MOHAIR, EQUITY, PALLID, RAW EGG, I'M GLAD, NED KELLY, TITICACA, IRONICALLY, INTAGLIOED some which had me buffaloed. The cluing also had some really stellar moments. Well on with the show.

20A. Québec quiche, e.g.? : CANADIAN BAKING (14). Canadian Bacon is our shout out to our Canadian readers. WHY is it called that? I like the double "QU."

26A. Saying "It wasn't me" when, in fact, it was? : COWARDLY LYING (13). The Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz, is replaced by a liar.

46A. "Wish we had built a bigger pyramid," e.g.? : EGYPTIAN RUING (13). The word RUIN is not related to the verb "to rue", but this still seems odd. I think it is because the other three phrases are words where an ending "ON" changed to ending in "ING" along with spelling changes.

56A. Greeting from a faithful friend? : WELCOME WAGGING (14). Welcome Wagon is a great service and they are all over Florida. Some hang out around Tinbeni. I was in Ybor City last weekend.

1. Publishing tasks : EDITS. I found Mark McClain's comment on Rich's changes very interesting.

6. Jack letters : MIC. The place you plug in your microphone.

9. "Hotel Imperial" (1927) star : NEGRI. Pola was a star.
14. Best New Artist Grammy winner after Alicia : NORAH.  Ravi Shankar's little girl. Which may have led to 61A. Sitar accompaniment : TABLA. I could not find one with Ravi, so here is a LINK.

15. Tesoro de la Sierra Madre : ORO. There's gold in them there Spanish hills.

16. Horse play : EQUUS. Another Friday clue/fill but I remember Richard Burton was in both the PLAY and the movie. Also Daniel Radcliffe-Harry Potter's first big role was in a revival of the play.

17. Kitchen drawer? : AROMA. Wonderful smells draw you into the kitchen. Awesome clue even if has been used before.

18. It can be cured : HAM. Again, what cluing.

19. "Beats me" : DUNNO.

23. Start of a weekly cry : TGI Friday.

24. "Either thou, __ ... must go with him": Romeo : OR I. I do love me our Friday dose of Shakespeare.

25. Ran into : MET.

33. Digitize, in a way : SCAN.

35. Squawk : YELL.

36. Greenwich Village sch. : NYUNew York University.

37. Set apart, as funds : ALLOT.

39. Layer : PLY. Mostly seen in TP ads these days.

40. Eastwood's "Rawhide" role : YATES. He was Rowdy.
42. Ref. book : VOLume.

43. Retail giant with stores in 23 U.S. states : IKEA. I get this often on Friday.

45. Bit of power : WATT.

51. Feel poorly : AIL.

52. Source of bills : ATM. Not the ones you pay, but the one you spend.

53. Stretcher, to Huck Finn : LIE. I do not recall the book that well.

62. Citrus cooler : ADE. Yay me.

63. Sarge's superior : LOOIE.

64. "Hamlet" courtier : OSRIC. He is the courtier sent by Claudius to invite Hamlet to participate in the duel with Laertes. A double dose.

65. Fix : RIG. Our crime corner.

66. Supports illegally : ABETS.

67. Mary's upstairs neighbor : RHODA. Valerie is hanging in there..
68. Cooper creation : KEG. That is where the name comes from, barrel or keg makers.

69. Performed, in the Bible : DIDS'T. Thou did too.


1. Pass : ENACT.

2. Modern kerchief cousin : DO RAG. Taken over by bikers and women.

3. How many O. Henry stories end : IRONICALLY. Which is more famous, Gift of the Magi or Ransom of Red Chief?

4. Writer Janowitz : TAMA. Luckily this was all filled because I never heard of HER or any of the brat pack of authors.

5. Sunny day phenomenon : SHADOW. Cute misdirection.

6. Angora fabric : MOHAIR.

7. Republic since 1979 : IRAN.

8. Search high and low : COMB. Fine tooth anyone?

9. Legendary Australian outlaw : NED KELLY. This man was truly ROWDY.  We will have to ask Kazie how his legend is now in Oz.

10. Fairness : EQUITY.

11. "Treasure Island" castaway Ben : GUNN. All from the mind of RLS.

12. Step up? : RUNG. Literal.

13. Prefix with bar : ISO.

21. George's lyrical brother : IRA. He wrote the words.

22. __ alcohol: fusel oil component : AMYL.

27. Bed-in for Peace participant : ONO.

28. "Blowin' in the Wind" songwriter : DYLAN. Still an anthem of my generation.
29. Early spaceflight proponent Willy __ : LEY. This was a very interesting MAN.

30. Like petroglyphs : INTAGLIOED. First you need to know petroglyphs, but the perps were fair.

31. Nikita's no : NYET. Did the shoe come off?

32. Sudden blow : GUST.

33. Word processing command : SAVE.

34. Blockage : CLOG. Did you have trouble sinking of the answer.

38. Bolivian border lake : TITICACA. Geography 1. READ.

39. Shade of green : PEA.

41. Botanical beard : AWN. Botany STUDY.

44. Smuggler's unit : KILO. Drugs....

47. Wan : PALLID.

48. Caesar salad dressing ingredient : RAW EGG. Very few do the CLASSIC with the egg yolks.

49. Acting guru Hagen : UTA.

50. "Good for you" : I'M GLAD.

54. OK components : INITS. Initials.

55. Throw out : EGEST. In goes in; E goes out.

56. Load in a basket : WASH.

57. River of Spain : EBROLESSON 2 time.

58. Con man's target : MARK.

59. Falco of "Nurse Jackie" : EDIE. Also Mrs. Soprano.

60. Silk Road desert : GOBI. Lesson 3. We need to study our GEOGRAPHY.

61. 2015 A.L. East champ : TORonto Blue Jays.

Well that was a fun work out; welcome back James and hope you all had fun. My Oscar prediction: Chris Rock will be funny. Lemonade out. Yo Adrian!

May 15, 2014

Thursday, May 15, 2014, James Sajdak

Theme: "Dog-gone good!"

20. Loser's hoped-for path : COMEBACK TRAIL. I wonder if Rory will find his path soon?

28. Significant dry spell? : SPEAKEASY ERA. (Apologies to Tinbeni.)

45. Disruptive occupation : SIT-IN PROTEST. Anyone run into the "Occupy" tents yet?  They seem to disappear in the winter here up north...

55. Telecommuter, perhaps : STAY-AT-HOME DAD. I think of STAY-AT-HOME DADs as non-working. But telecommuting works, too, I guess!

38. A good one follows the starts of the four longest puzzle answers : DOG. But a smart one can do all these things, too. (Thanks for the fun video from Tuesday, Argyle - it was just too good not to use on this puzzle!)

Pretty straightforward for a Thursday, don't you think? The clues seemed so as well. But I'll do my best to shed light on anything that might have tripped you up.


1. Quiets : CALMS. -

6. Fund-raising target : GOAL. -

10. Combat group : UNIT. -

14. Muslim deity : ALLAH. -

15. Tom Joad, e.g. : OKIE. -

16. Gp. for leather loathers : PETA. -

17. Quench : SLAKE. -

18. Moderate, with "down" : TONE. -

19. Piece of land : PLOT. -

23. __ standstill : AT A. -

24. __Kosh B'Gosh : OSH. -

25. Comical routine : SHTICK. - (Love that word!)

31. Drift, as on the breeze : WAFT. -

34. Himalayan legend : YETI. -

35. Take a turn in the box : BAT. -Ah! Here's one that might have made you scratch your head.  All I could think of was my cats. But not just domestic cats. As it turns out, ALL cats just love a box! 2:47

36. Where surfers shop : E-MALL. Ack.

39. "Affliction" actor : NOLTE. Nick. 1997 film set in NH. Anyone see it?

41. Ex-Saudi ruler __ Saud : IBN. King Abdulaziz, first monarch of Saudi Arabia 1932-1953.

42. Such-is link : AS IT. - "Such as it is."

44. Pro votes : AYES.

50. Poem part : STANZA.

51. "Rumble in the Jungle" winner : ALI.

52. Botanist Gray : ASA.

59. "Lovely" girl of song : RITA. The Beatles' meter maid. 2:42

61. "Am __ late?" : I TOO.

62. Numbered hymn : PSALM.

63. Actor Estrada : ERIK. My only hesitation was having to remember if it was spelled with a "c" or a "K."

64. Zero : NONE.

65. Cocoon dweller : LARVA.

66. Watch part : FACE.

67. Tour stops : GIGS.

68. Whitehorse's territory : YUKONMap.


1. Brutus co-conspirator : CASCA.

2. Deal out : ALLOT.

3. South American carrier : LLAMA. Anyone else looking for an airline?

4. Rake in : MAKE.

5. Cyndi Lauper hit : SHEBOP. I already used my music link.

6. "Check" : GOTCHA.

7. "All right already" : OK OK. I said, "GOTCHA!!"

8. English class no-no : AIN'T.

9. Eyes rudely : LEERS AT.

10. Snobbish : UPPITY.

11. "Ten Days in a Mad-House" journalist, 1887 : NELLIE BLY. Pen name of Elizabeth Jane Cochrane. She faked insanity in order to report on mad-house conditions from within.

12. Judge in 1995 news : ITO. Lance ITO of the O.J. Simpson trial fame.

13. Art in a parlor : TAT.

21. Enzyme ending : ASE.

22. Twain/Harte play : AH SIN. "Ah Sin" is the name of the Chinese character in the play. No complete manuscript of this play survived. Its content can be derived from reviews of the time. The play ultimately failed, and the enmity between Harte and Twain began. (From C.C.: "Ah" is very common in Cantonese nicknames. It's often put in front the given name of a family member or close friend. For example, we can call Marti "Ah Marti". You can't use it for a stranger or your boss though. See here. Remember, Chinese put surnames first, hence his Ah-po nickname.)

26. Slatted box : CRATE.

27. Middleton and Spade : KATES.

28. Arch home: Abbr. : ST. L.ouis

29. Japan's second-oldest university : KYOTO.

30. Diagnostic test for epilepsy, for short : EEGElectroencephalogram.

31. Houdini's family name : WEISS.

32. Boundary : AMBIT.

33. Extraordinary : FANTASTIC.

37. Tenor who portrayed Caruso : LANZA. Mario is worthy of a second music link. 3:02

38. Ang Lee, e.g.: Abbr. : DIR.ector and Academy Award winner for "Brokeback Mountain" and "Life of Pi."

40. Healthy grain : OAT.

43. Fixing, in a way : SPAYING. (Shhh! Don't mention this one to the 38-Across!)

46. __ manifold: engine part : INTAKE.

47. Chevy SUVs : TAHOES.

48. "Strange Magic" gp. : ELO. Electric Light Orchestra.

49. Without complication : SIMPLY.

52. "... __ and stormy ..." : A DARK.

53. Series of shots : SALVO.

54. Marketing pro : AD MAN.

56. Yours, to Yvette : A TOI.

57. Half a bar tool : TONG. Ack!

58. Genesis brother : ESAU.

59. Flag thrower : REF.

60. Portfolio element : IRA. Individual Retirement Account. Nary a hint of abbr., so have IRAs become one of those acronyms that are now accepted as words in and of themselves?

So, how did you do?


Note from C.C.:

Misty commented yesterday: " Las Vegas "snow-covered"? Really? Not when I've been there."

JD emailed me with a few photos. She said "here is LV covered in snow (09) with the "asses". Click here for 2 more pictures.