Showing posts with label Jeff Chen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jeff Chen. Show all posts

May 29, 2020

Friday, March 29, 2020, Alan Massengill and Jeff Chen

Title: Follow the circles from end to end.

We have another new collaboration featuring regular constructor Jeff Chen and noob (newbie?) Alan Massengill who already has two solo Universal puzzles published. Jeff has about 70 puzzles in the LAT of which I think 27 are collaborations. He also has 111 NYT publications, of which 70 are joint efforts. That qualifies him as HOF mentor. This primarily a visual puzzle, which once you see one of the theme answers, fills fairly easily for a Friday. Not much in the way in new fill, E-FILED, being the only introductory word. There some sparkles in the fill like AWESOME, DESSERT (this time) LOAN OUT, PARTIAL (a CWD nono) PETALED, SWISHED, FAULKNER and  HINT HINT. I hope Jeff or Alan will stop by to tell us more about this puzzle and constructor.

On to the theme:

17A. Feeling upon being stretched thinUTTER EXHAUSTIO(15). THIN is stretched from the second letter to the last.

26A. Earth-shattering realization: THE AWFUL TRUTH (13).
EARTH is broken up.

44A. Cutting-edge fashion icon: COUTURE DESIGNE(13). Designers create their fashions by cutting up cloth.

59A. Exhibit widespread political appeal: WIN BY A LANDSLIDE (15). WI and DE = WIDE which are spread far apart.



1. OTC drug overseer: FDAFood and Drug Administration.

4. Like a honeymoon couple's bed, perhaps: PETALED. Or this...

11. It may be brown or blonde: ALEASH was my first thought. That was a seed planted by Monday's puzzle.

14. Realty unit: LOT. I like this better than "acre."

15. "Killer, dude!": AWESOME. Surfer talk.

16. Proponent's preposition: FOR. This and the next are just definitions.

20. Ill-suited: INAPT.

21. Two-time Seth MacFarlane title character: TED. Why not.

22. Browses: SURFS. The other surfer,

23. Duplicity: DECEIT. No comment, too political.

25. Charges: SETS AT.

30. Actor-for-actor movie studio exchange: LOAN OUT.  READ and discuss.

31. Closest buds, for short: BFFsBest Friends Forever. The "s" is like an appendix in the human body. Followed by...

35. Open parenthesis, in some emoticons: FROWN. ಠ╭╮ಠ is what is listed in Unicode Emoticons. Also, 6D. Row of emoji, perhaps: TEXT.

36. Spiced tea: CHAI. This is generally a blend of black tea, ginger, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon. There are variations throughout the world.

40. Cook in fat in a closed pot: BRAISE. This is to fry lightly and then stew it slowly in a closed container. Braising is used with larger or whole pieces of meat and very little liquid.

42. Cary Grant's chin dimple et al.: TRAITS. Our Charlotte has a chin dimple. Do you find them attractive or awful?

48. Zeppelin leader?: LED. Musical interlude? No Stairway today.

49. Spare tire makeup: FAT. A little deception, but men of our age do fight the battle of the bulge.

50. Hoops hanger: NET. They hang at each end of the court. Also, they make the sound in 53A. Sank perfectly, as a jump shot: SWISHED.

51. Jan. honoree: MLKMartin Luther King, Jr.

56. Top 40 song, e.g.: HIT.

62. Taiwanese tech giant: ACER.

63. Surprises in bottles: GENII. Back again.

64. Tip jar deposits: ONES. These days I see mostly quarters.

65. Tijuana Brass leader Alpert: HERB. Musical interlude. Hell yeah.

66. Fiat: EDICT. Not a car but from the Latin for "let it be done," the word fiat is a binding edict issued by a person in command. It can gain an almost Biblical aura of authority, like a movie Pharaoh saying, "So let it be written, so let it be done." Or Picard,  "make it so."

67. ASAP in the ER: STAT. It is more compelling the As Soon As Possible. It comes from the Latin and is an abbreviation of the word statim, which has the meaning "instantly/immediately."


1. Word with gender or lighter: FLUID. I knew lighter fluid but had not run across gender fluid which is a gender identity. A gender fluid person may feel male on some days, female on others, both male and female, or neither. A gender fluid person might also identify as genderqueer.

2. ISP suffix: DOT NET. Many of these mixed answer spelling out punctuation.

3. Stick on: ATTACH.

4. Not all there: PARTIAL. The dreaded crossword faux pas.

5. Farm female: EWE. Only you...

7. ESPY Courage Award namesake: ASHE. Arthur has had a great career in puzzles. His hair was neither ash brown nor blonde.

8. Unit to be washed: LOAD. Sunday was a wash day for us.

9. Layer of dark green eggs: EMU. An Emu egg is the equivalent of approximately 10 chicken eggs. The shell has a beautiful teal color (sometimes darker in color) and is prized as a decorative piece. We recommend using a chisel and hammer or dremel-type tool to get into the egg. Emu eggs make an incredible omelet or frittata. Also, irritating commercials if you ask some.

10. Napoléon, for one: DESSERT. This was not a tribute dessert but the cake initially named mille-feuille (which means a "thousand layers" in French) was brought to Russia in the early 19th century and was widely cooked during the festivities after the victory against the French army of Napoléon Bonaparte in 1812.

11. Something never done before: A FIRST. This collaboration for example.

12. Exfoliating sponge: LOOFAH. Loofahs — sometimes spelled luffas — are popular shower accessories used for cleaning and exfoliating your skin. No relation to sea sponges;  natural loofahs are made from a gourd in the cucumber family.

13. Bond villain Blofeld: ERNST. He has appeared, played by many actors, in SEVEN Bond films. Can you name them?

18. Dueling sword: EPEE.

19. Fantasia hippo's outfit: TUTU.


25. Evel doings?: STUNTS. Knievel- take that Robbie.

27. Not even close: FAR. Literal again and in a logical place.

28. Card game whose name is spoken during play: UNO. My maternal grandmother, may she rest in peace, traveled with a deck in her purse.

29. Dirty: LOW. Down rat!

31. English channel: BBC.

32. To and __: FRO.

33. Only Mississippi-born Literature Nobelist: FAULKNER.

34. Browsing target: SITE.

36. Animal house: CAGE.

37. Comment with a wink and an elbow: HINT HINT.

38. Consumed: ATE.

39. Med. country: ISRael.

41. Like bubble baths: SUDSY. And generally covering bouncy boobies. Unlike...

43. Cantaloupe coverings: RINDSNutrition but then boobies can be melons.

45. Submitted returns online: E-FILED.

46. Water brand: DASANI. For some reason, my least favorite of the bottle brands.

47. Cultural, as cuisine: ETHNIC.

51. [Blown kiss]: MWAH.

52. Causes of some head-scratching: LICE. Very literal.

54. Minimum __: WAGE. The new reality.

55. Revise: EDIT.

57. A light bulb may symbolize one: IDEA.

58. Sample: TEST.

60. "Hang on a sec," in texts: BRBBRight Back.

61. __ Alamos, NM: LOS. We finish with Los Alamos and its  National Laboratory (LANL) is probably the most famous federal government laboratory. Synonymous with both clandestine and well-known paradigm-shifting research, it is most recognized as serving as the birthplace of the atomic bomb.

I am outta here after another week having fun and with a new twist on an old concept. Thank you, Alan and Jeff,

May 12, 2020

Tuesday, May 12, 2020 Seth Geltman and Jeff Chen

Animal Crackers.  You'll crack up when you find the animals in each IDIOM (56-Across).

18-Across. Animal kingdom predator: FOX IN THE HENHOUSE.

29-Across. Animal kingdom traitor: SNAKE IN THE GRASS.

49-Across. Animal kingdom eccentricity: BATS INTHE BELFRY.

62-Across. Animal kingdom complication: FLY IN THE OINTMENT.

And two related theme clues:

56-Across. Figure of speech: IDIOM.

2-Down. Fanatic love of animals: ZOOMANIA.

1. HIV-treating drug: AZT.  Short for Azidothymidine.

4. Word with contracts or contractions: LABOR.  As in Labor Contracts and Labor Contractions.

9. More brooding: MOPIER.

15. Mauna __: LOA.  Mauna Loa is a Hawaiian volcano that last erupted in April 1984.

16. Frugal way to wed: ELOPE.  Fun new clue for this crossword staple.

17. Big blood vessels: AORTAE.  Plural of Aorta.  You should only have one.

21. Car radio letters: AM/FM.

22. Genius 8000 toothbrushes, e.g.: ORAL-Bs.
23. Flanders of Springfield: NED.  Homer Simpson's neighbor.

24. Bakery draw: AROMA.
27. Most populous continent: ASIA.

28. Road Runner stills, e.g.: CELS.

32. Lucy of "Elementary": LIU.  Lucy Liu (b. Dec. 2, 1968) played Joan Watson on the television crime series Elementary, which ran from 2012 ~ 2019.

33. Bark holder: TREE.

34. Absorb, with "up": SOP.

35. Speeder's undoing: RADAR.

37. Igor, to Dr. Frankenstein: ASS'T.  Igor was Dr. Frankenstein's assistant.  Dr. Frankenstein created the monster.  Does the clue indicate to you that the answer is an abbreviation?

40. Like Redbox films: ON DVD.

44. __ a plea: COP.

46. One removed by a wine lover: CORK.

48. Musical knack: EAR.
54. Enticement: LURE.

55. Space: ROOM.

57. Nonprofit URL ending: ORG.

58. Sheena who collaborated with Prince: EASTON.  Sheena Easton (née Sheena Shirley Orr; b. Apr.  27, 1959) and Prince (né Prince Roger Nelson; June 7, 1958 ~ Apr. 21, 2016) first met in 1984 and collaborated on several hit songs.

60. It can end on a high note: ARIA.

66. 1927 movie innovation: TALKIE.  It was also a Walkie.

67. Turkic language: UZBEK.

68. The Bosporus, e.g.: Abbr.: STR.  As in the Borporus Strait.  It is part of the continental boundary between Europe and Asia.  It connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara.  It is also known as the Strait of Istanbul.  In May 1766, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the Bosporus.

69. Zooms: SPEEDS.

70. Sauce made with pine nuts: PESTO.  Yummers!  I am growing some basil in my garden this year so hopefully I will be able to make some pesto later this summer.

71. PreCheck org.: TSA.  As in the Transportation Security Administration.  I am always happy when  I get the PreCheck mark on my plane ticket.  I have no immediate plans for flying now or in the near future, though.

1. Two before Charlie: ALFA.

3. It may involve cooking the books: TAX FRAUD.

4. Super Bowl IV MVP Dawson: LEN.  Len Dawson (né Leonard Ray Dawson; b. June 20, 1935) played in one of the early Super Bowl games.  The game was played in Tulane Stadium in New Orleans.  The Kansas City Chiefs (an AFL team) trounced the Minnesota Vikings (an NFL team) in a score of 23 - 7.

5. PC shortcut key: ALT.

6. __-chic: hippie-influenced fashion style: BOHO.  BoHo apparently stands for Bohemian Homeless.    Who knew?

7. Performs surgery: OPERATES.

8. Go over again: REHASH.

9. Guys' attaché alternatives: MAN BAGS.  Mmmm ... No.

10. Fireworks cries: OOHS!

11. Golf expert: PRO.

12. Apple music app: iTUNES.  I used to get my podcasts from iTunes, but the operating system changed.

13. Stands for oils: EASELS.

14. Clarinets, e.g.: REEDS.

19. "It's just a flesh wound": I'M OK.  I just ran amok.

20. Nobelist Wiesel: ELIE.  Elie Wiesel (Sept. 30, 1928 ~ July 2, 2016) was born in Sighet, Transylvania (now a part of Romania).  During World War II, he and his family were deported to Auschwitz.  His mother and sister were immediately killed, but Elie and his father were selected for labor.  They were later transported to Buchenwald.  His father died in Buchenwald, but Elie survived.  He went on to write over 50 book, several of which were about his experience in the concentration camps.  Probably his most famous book is Night, which was originally written and published in French.  In 1986, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian works.  When I was in college, I was fortunate to meet him.

25. Some undergrounds: METROs.  Think of the subway system in Paris.

26. It can be fresh but not insulting: AIR.  Fun clue and answer!

28. Crunch's rank: CAP'N.

29. 35mm camera type: SLR.  As in Single Lens Reflex camera.  We see this a lot in the puzzles, but what does it really mean?  Find out here.

30. Cultural funding gp.: NEA.  As in the National Endowment for the Arts.

31. Swindled: ROOKED.

36. Entr'__: ACTE.  Today's French lesson.  It literally means "between the acts".

38. Work a crowd: SCHMOOZE.

39. Digit for water testing?: TOE.

41. Clear-cut, as for lumber: DEFOREST.

42. Pesky critters: VARMINTS.

43. Parched: DRY.

45. Pittsburgh team: PIRATES.

47. Stat for the 45-Down: RBI.  As in Runs Batted In.  I think Hank Aaron (b. Feb. 5, 1834) still leads with the most runs with 2,297 RBIs.

49. Gunny sack fabric: BURLAP.
Burlap Tote ~ It's BOHO Chic.

50. Socks pattern: ARGYLE.  Why Argyle is a pattern for socks and not suits.

51. Enjoy a bagel, say: NOSH.  I had the plural of this word last week.  It comes from the Yiddish word נאַשן, meaning "to nibble on".

52. Add: TOTE UP.

53. Actor Neeson: LIAM.  Liam William Neeson (b. June 7, 1952) was married to Natasha Richardson.  He played Oskar Schindler in the movie Schindler's List.

54. Artists' pads: LOFTS.

58. City west of Tulsa: ENID.  Enid make frequent appearances in the crossword puzzles.  It is the 9th largest city in Oklahoma.  Can you name the 8 largest cities in Oklahoma?

59. Pen points: NIBS.

61. First razor with a pivoting head: ATRA.

63. Pres. after Harry: IKE.  As is Dwight David Eisenhower (Oct. 14, 1890 ~ Mar. 28, 1969), who was President immediately after Harry S Truman (May 8, 1884 ~ Dec. 26, 1972).

64. Site-seeing place, with "the": NET.  As in the Internet.

65. Ring ref's decision: TKO.  As in Technical Knock Out.

Here's the Grid:

QOD:  If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be.  ~  Yogi Berra (né Lawrence Peter Berra; May 12, 1925 ~ Sept. 22, 2015), American baseball player and coach

Jul 18, 2019

Thursday, July 18th 2019 John-Clark Levin & Jeff Chen

Theme: Could I get the scam on the side? As the diner said to the huckster.

The reveal tells us what to look for:

54. Freelance for extra income ... and a hint to the answers to starred clues: SIDE HUSTLE. The first or last word is the hustle, depending on which side of the grid the entry is placed.

16A. *Goof off: FOOL AROUND

24A. *Mecca for sci-fi and superhero fans: COMIC CON. A lot of the attendees take it pretty "seriously", quite the colorful crew:

29A. *Trace-amount precipitation: SNOW FLURRIES. Thankfully rare in Los Angeles. I did my share of cold back in the old country. I'd not heard of "snow" in the context of a hustle before.

39A. *Object of Jason's quest: GOLDEN FLEECE. I always think of the skeleton-fighting scene from the movie "Jason and the Argonauts". Not bad special effects for 1963.

46A. *Make flashy modifications to: TRICK OUT. There's a whole culture of auto trick-outery here in Southern California.

This looks to be the second LAT collaboration between John-Clark and Jeff, the first was just back in May, and very enjoyable this was too. Entertaining theme, fun fill and some nice cluing and misdirection. Let's see what jumps out:


1. Like challah bread: EGGY

5. Obligations: DEBTS

10. Pistons' org.: N.B.A.

13. Broadway seductress: LOLA. From the musical "Kinky Boots". The Broadway production went dark this April after more than 2,500 performances. The impressarios got their money back on that one!

14. Threepio's pal: ARTOO. Star Wars droids, as we all know.

15. Take the show on the road: TOUR

18. Stunt legend Knievel: EVEL. His son, Robbie, continues the family tradition.

19. Suit parts: VESTS. Could be COATS or PANTS so wait for some help from the crosses.

20. Gross sales, on an income statement: TOP LINE

22. Juices up: FUELS

25. Jessica of the "Fantastic Four" films: ALBA

26. Mysterious power: ESP.

28. Votes against: NOES

33. Burden: TAX. Don't get me started.

34. Co-star/co-creator Issa __ of HBO's "Insecure": RAE. No clue, thank you crosses. I used to get HBO as a "bonus" when I switched providers, but I never watched anything on there, so I cancelled when my free trial was done.

35. Prefix with -gram: ANA. I find it disappointing you can't make an anagram out of anagram. I'm going to start a company called "Garmana" just so there is one.

36. Quick drink: NIP

42. Oil cartel: OPEC

44. Commotion: ADO

45. __ Stefani, returning coach on "The Voice": GWEN. She's great, I loved the third No Doubt album "Tragic Kingdom". Here's the breakout single.

49. Puts on Facebook: POSTS

50. Alerts on the road: HONKS AT. Generally not an alert, more a frustration-reliever.

51. Often-dystopian conflict: WW III

53. "Er, I'd rather not": UM, NO

58. Start of D-Day?: DEES. Two "D"s begin "D-Day". Nice clue.

59. Like Navy SEALs: ELITE

60. Run like heck: TEAR

61. Nursery roll: SOD

62. Intuit: SENSE

63. Watson who played Hermione in Harry Potter films: EMMA


1. Sprite: ELF

2. Muck: GOO

3. Car storage spot: GLOVE BOX. Very nice, took me a while to see the misdirection here.

4. Sonia Sotomayor's alma mater: YALE LAW

5. Pub flier: DART

6. Greek Cupid: EROS. No more Eros lessons, I think you've all got it now. Class dismissed.

7. Approx. 1,055 joules: B.T.U. British Thermal Units. Rule Britannia!

8. Depp's "Lone Ranger" role: TONTO

9. Genesis city of sin: SODOM

10. Beginner: NOVICE

11. __ Aires: BUENOS. A city on my bucket list to visit. I've worked for companies with an office there, but never managed to swing a trip.

12. "Over the Rainbow" composer: ARLEN. Harold Arlen was a musical machine - he wrote the melodies for many, many songs. "Over the Rainbow" was voted the 20th Century's No. 1 song by RIAA and the National Endowment for the Arts.

15. AT&T and Verizon: TELCOS. I think AT&T might be considered a little more than a telco with the acquisition of DirecTV and the takeover of Time Warner.

17. Pack animal: ASS

21. __ gland: organ that secretes melatonin: PINEAL

22. Extreme diet: FAST

23. Forearm bone: ULNA

24. Life-saving proc.: C.P.R. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Long desscription for something you need in a hurry. Thank you, abbreviations.

26. Mideast airline: EL AL

27. Took to court: SUED

30. Monastic garments: FROCKS. I call 'em cassocks, but what do I know?

31. South African capital: RAND

32. Recon target: INFO

36. One may trend on Twitter: NEWS ITEM

37. "Law & Order: SVU" actor: ICE T. The NYPD's Special Victim's Unit is the basis for this version of the franchise.

38. Pilot products: PENS. I've got one next to my laptop as we speak. I love the thin stylus and free-flowing ink.

39. Sticky-toed lizards: GECKOS

40. Wear (away): EAT

41. Chanel fragrance for men: EGOISTE. Seems to be missing a "T" and adding an "E", but that's what you get with product names. I suppose "EGOTIST" doesn't send many positive connotations.

42. Words that begin the line before "Deny thy father and refuse thy name": O ROMEO!

43. Determined precisely, with "down": PINNED

46. Dull sounds: THUDS

47. Caravan stops: OASES

48. Functional: UTILE

49. More, on a score: PIU. Learning moment for me, I think. I know I'm going to forget about it in about 30 seconds time, but at least I've seen it now.

51. Dampens: WETS

52. Roller coaster cry: WHEE! Not me, the only coaster that doesn't scare me to death is the one I put my cocktail on.

55. Racket: DIN

56. Quick flight: LAM. Nice misdirection, I was on the "short HOP" track at first.

57. Eventful chapter: ERA. The penny dropped, I was thinking of novels at first.

Here's the grid in all its "edgy" detail, and I think I'm out of blog.


Jul 2, 2019

Tuesday, July 2, 2019; Emily Ludoph & Jeff Chen

Oh, Say Can You See ...   
Invisible Tape

18-Across. Invisible impediment in the workplace: GLASS CEILING.  A Glass Ceiling is an unofficial barrier to advancement in a profession.  This especially impacts women and minorities.

58-Across. Invisible impediment in the sky: SOUND BARRIER.  Here is an explanation and some  photographs of jets smashing the Sound Barrier.

12-Down. Invisible impediment in the theater: FOURTH WALL.  The Fourth Wall is the conceptual barrier between the actors and the audience.  The audience can see "through" the wall, but the actors are oblivious to the wall.  The television sit-com show, The Office, would allow the actors to break through the fourth wall and speak directly to the audience.

29-Down. Invisible impediment in science fiction: FORCE FIELD.

1. Former NFL running back Jennings who won "Dancing With the Stars" in 2017: RASHAD.  I didn't get off to a good start with today's puzzle, as I am not familiar with RASHAD Jennings (né Rashad Andre Jennings; b. Mar. 26, 1985).  In 2009, he was drafted by the Jackson Jaguars.  He later played for the Oakland Raiders and the New York Giants.  In 2017, he was on Dancing with the Stars.  The following year, he joined the show as a judge.

7. Cuban dance: RUMBA.  Origins of the Rumba:

12. Govt. Rx watchdog: FDA.  As in the Food and Drug Administration, which is housed within the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

15. Give in (to): ACCEDE.

16. Thorny plant: BRIAR.

17. Belonging to us: OUR.  This Blog is OUR Happy Place.
20. The Pac-12's Trojans: USC.  As in the University of Southern California.

21. Solar phenomena: SUN SPOTS.  Sun Sports are the darker areas that appear in the sun's surface. They are the "cooler" areas on the sun.  You can learn more from The National Weather Service.

22. Kooky traits: QUIRKS.
One of these birds has a quirk.

24. Flub it: ERR.

25. Able to speak easily, as a language: FLUENT.  How many languages can you speak?

27. Badly mistaken: OFF BASE.

31. Average schlub: JOE SCHMO.  I think of a Joe Schmo as being a bit of a jerk.

34. 53-Down noise: CROAK.  //  And 53-Down:  Pond critter:  FROG.
35. Not worth debating: MOOT.  //  And 11-Down. Participates in a debate: ARGUES.

36. Is in the red: OWES.

37. Civil suit cause: TORT.  A tort is just a civil wrong.  Not to be confused with the dessert, which is spelled with an "e".

Sacher Torte.

38. Predators in pool halls: SHARKS.

40. Designer Jacobs: MARC.  Marc Jacobs (b. Apr. 9. 1963) is probably best known for his line of handbags.  They are a tad out of my price range.

41. Set in stone, say: ETCH.

42. Benevolent: KIND.

43. Hägar's wife: HELGA.  A reference to the comic strip Hägar the Horrible.
44. Paul Newman caper film: THE STING.

46. Comedian Elayne: BOOSLER.

Elayne Boosler (b. Aug. 18, 1952)

48. Full of moxie: FEISTY.

49. Theater segment: ACT.  Tricky.  I initially thought we were looking for a section of seating in the theater.

50. "Reservoir Dogs" co-star Harvey: KEITEL.  Harvey Keitel (b. May 13, 1939) has starred in a number of films.  He usually portrays a tough-guy.  I never saw Reservoir Dogs, but it is known for its violence.

52. Find at a dig: ARTIFACT.  Here is an artifact recently discovered from an excavation in the City of David in Jerusalem.

57. Blackjack eleven: ACE.

61. Twitter guffaw: LOL.  Textspeak for Laughing Out Loud.  Jimmy received the following text from his mother:  "Your professor called to say you failed your math exam.  LOL.  Mom".  He called his mother and said, "What's with the LOL?"  She replied, " I just wanted to sent you Lots of Love, because I knew how disappointed you would be with failing the test."

62. Chose (to): OPTED.

63. Bit of ramen: NOODLE.  Several years ago, Blue Iris, one of our Blog members, provided a recipe for a Bird Seed Salad that uses Raman Noodles.  I make this salad on occasion when I need to bring something to a potluck dinner.
64. Football lineman: END.

65. Prerequisites: NEEDS.

66. "Communist Manifesto" co-author with Marx: ENGELS.  Karl Marx (May 5, 1818 ~ Mar. 14, 1883) and Friedrich Engels (Nov. 28, 1820 ~ Aug. 5, 1895) wrote the Communist Manifesto in 1848.  Engels died of laryngeal cancer at age 74.

Engels and Marx

1. Garb for many a Dickens waif: RAGS.

2. Rights-defending org.: ACLU.  As in the American Civil Liberties Union.

3. Read quickly: SCAN.

4. Gas brand with toy trucks: HESS.  I initially tried Esso, but that didn't fit well with the perps.

5. Marketing jargon: AD SPEAK.

6. Interior designs: DECORS.

Star Wars Living Room Decor

7. Grand slam quartet, in baseball shorthand: RBIs.  As in Runs Batted In.

8. Internet address letters: URL.  The Uniform Resource Locator makes frequent appearances in the puzzles.

9. 1002, in old Rome: MII.  Roman Numerals.

10. Regal meals: BANQUETS.

13. Nightfall: DUSK.  Dusk technically applies to that period between the darkest twilight and complete darkness.

14. Curved sections: ARCS.

19. French "to be": ÊTRE.  Here it the verb conjugated in the present tense:

           Je suis  //  Nous sommes
           Tu es  //  Vous êtes
           Ils / Elles est  //  Ils / Elles sont 

23. Workers' earnings: INCOMES.

25. Scandinavian cruise sight: FJORD.  Some beautiful sights of Norway.

26. "Please understand ... ": LOOK.

27. Eight-member ensemble: OCTET.  A String Octet typically consists of 4 violins, 2 violas and 2 cellos, but I will give you an example of an octet for wind instruments.

28. Suds: FROTH.  I had _ROTH, and all I could thing of was Broth, but that didn't make sense.  Then the lightbulb went on.

30. Packaged buy including shower curtain, towels, etc.: BATH SET.

32. Join the flow of traffic: MERGE.  In the ideal world ...

33. Basketball Hall of Famer Robertson: OSCAR.  Oscar Palmer Robertson (b. Nov. 24, 1938) had a long career in the NBA, first playing for the Cincinnati Royals, then the Milwaukee Bucks.  He was also the plaintiff in the 1970 anti-trust lawsuit, Robertson v. National Basketball Association.  The lawsuit settled in 1976 and resulted in today's current free agency rules.

35. Like some stray mutts: MANGY.

38. Slalom setting: SKI SLOPE.

39. Clue: HINT.

43. Producer of curls: HOT IRON.  My hair is just wash and wear.

45. Attaches with rope: TIES ON.

46. Cutting remark: BARB.

47. Number on a pump: OCTANE.  Think gasoline.

50. Curly leafy green: KALE.  Hubby is not a fan.  I could take it or leave it.

51. Micro or macro subj.: ECON.  As in Micoreconomics or Macroeconomics.

52. Tacks on: ADDS.

54. Staff helper: AIDE.

55. Phone in a pocket: CELL.

56. "__ chic!": TRÈS.  More of today's French lesson.

59. Sporty truck, briefly: UTE.

60. Nancy Drew's beau: NED.  Ned Nickerson was Nancy Drew's beau.  They used to get around in a roadster.  I loved this mystery stories when I was a in grade school.  The stories were so exotic to this 4th grader.

Here's the Grid:

I'll leave you with a QOD:  Prohibition didn’t work in the Garden of Eden.  Adam ate the apple.  ~  Vincente Fox (b. July 2, 1942), President of Mexico