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

Jun 18, 2019

Tuesday, June 18, 2019, Jeff Stillman

Something's Rotten in Puzzledom!  The last word of each theme answer can describe something that has SPOILED, or gone bad.

20-Across. *  Do something in a whole new way: BREAK THE MOLD.

While we don't want mold on our food or in our houses, Penicillin mold actually has therapeutic benefits.

34-Across.  *  Clever twists in a story: NEW WRINKLES.

41-Across *  Depressed, colorfully: IN A BLUE FUNK.

51-Across.  Movie reviewer's warning ... or what the last words of each starred answer can be?:  SPOILER ALERT.

1. Gallery event: SHOW.

George Rodrigue (Mar. 13, 1944 ~ Dec. 14, 2013)

5. 24 Hours of Le __: auto race: MANS.  The Le Mans is an auto endurance event.  The 87th race took place just this past weekend ~ Saturday, June 15 to Sunday, June 16, 2019.  Fernando Alonso's  Toyota team won for the second consecutive year.

9. Out in front: AHEAD.

14. __ Field: Mets' ballpark: CITI.

15. Frantically: AMOK.  Amok also a style of steam cooking in southeast Asia.  It is a traditional dish in Cambodia.

16. Prom queen's crown: TIARA.  Also the headgear of married royals, or maybe not.

17. Geological age: AEON.  A long, long time.

18. 10-Down princess: RANI.  //  And 10-Down: Diwali celebrant = HINDU.  Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights and is a very important celebration.

19. Chipped in a chip: ANTED.  Think of playing a game of poker.

23. Chinese-born architect I.M. __: PEI.  I.M. Pei (né Ieoh Ming Pei; Apr. 26, 1917 ~ May 16, 2019) died just last month at age 102.  He was a very innovative architect.

24. Semisoft cheeses: GOUDAs.  Gouda is a mild cheese from the Netherlands, often wrapped in red wax.

28. Accomplish: ATTAIN.

31. Fish caught in pots: EELS.

33. Mont Blanc, e.g.: ALP.  Also the brand of a very expensive, luxury pen.

36. Sched. uncertainty: TBA.  As in To Be Announced.  It could just as easily have been TBD, which stands for To Be Determined.

37. Club used for chipping: IRON.  As in a golf club, not to be confused with a Flat Iron, which could help with today's WRINKLES.

38. Narc's org.: DEA.  As in the Drug Enforcement Administration, which is housed within the United States Department of Justice.

39. "Beauty __ the eye ... ": IS IN.

40. Line of work: Abbr.: OCC.  As in an Occupation.

45. Teachers' org.: NEA.  As in the National Education Association.

46. Like dried soil: CAKY.  More often this would be spelled as Cakey, but both are acceptable.

47. Dictation takers: STENOs.  Short for Steographer.  This is probably an occupation that is pretty much obsolete now.  There are still court reporters, but even they used electronic recordings.

48. Bourbon __: STREET.  New Orleans' most infamous street.

50. Summer in Lyon: ÉTÉ.  Today's French lesson.

58. "Prince Valiant" queen: ALETA.  Prince Valiant was a comic strip created in 1937 set in the days of King Arthur's England.  Apparently, Aleta was the love interest of Prince Valiant.

61. Most burger meat: BEEF.  Non-beef burgers are becoming trendy.

62. Scottish hillside: BRAE.  Today's Scottish lesson.

63. Trig function: COSEC.  Raise your hand if you remember all the trig functions from high school geometry.  Cosec is the abbreviation for Cosecant.  It's the reciprocal of sine.  I'm sure that clears things up.

64. Slight advantage: EDGE.

65. Not supportin': AGIN'.

66. Smooth and glossy: SLEEK.

67. Shock, as a perp: TASE.
Anatomy of a Taser®.

68. Doofus: DOLT.  Anyone else remember the old Goofus and Gallant cartoons instructing children on manners?  Goofus was a Doofus.

1. Natural wound protection: SCAB.

2. Yesterday, on the French Riviera: HIER.  More of today's French lesson.  Today is aujourd'hui, and tomorrow is demain.

3. Native Nebraskan: OTOE.

4. Capture the first piece in chess, typically: WIN A PAWN.

5. Bond order: MARTINI.  Shaken, not stirred.

6. Indian nurse: AMAH.  This word used to be a crossword staple.

7. __ of the above: NONE.
8. Take off the top: SKIM.

9. Completely flummoxed: AT A LOSS.

11. Consume: EAT.

12. "We __ Marshall": 2006 football drama: ARE.  Matthew McConaughey was one of the stars in the movie.

13. Pop: DAD.

21. Actor Dullea of "2001" films: KEIR.  The name Keir Dullea (b. May 30, 1936) did not immediately come to mind, but he played the astronaut Dave Bowman in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

22. Look at creepily: OGLE.

25. Nissan brand relaunched in 2013: DATSUN.
26. One lacking pigment: ALBINO.  When I was in grade school, we learned about Snowflake, the albino gorilla.  He lived in the Barcelona zoo from the time he was a youngster until his death in 2003.  He was believed to have been about 40 years old at the time of his death.

27. Swats on the rear: SPANKS.

28. Negatively charged particles: ANIONS.

29. Half a sestet, in an Italian sonnet: TERCET.  According to Webster, a Tercet is "one of the two groups of three lines forming the sestet in an Italian sonnet".  All clear?

30. Like a good-sized garage: TWO CAR.  Is your garage attached to your house, or a stand-alone?

31. Barely manage: EKE BY.

32. Airline to Tel Aviv: EL AL.

35. Fargo's state: Abbr.: N. DAK.  As in North Dakota.  The 1996 movie, Fargo, however, actually took place in Minnesota.

39. Words of regret, perhaps: I FEEL BAD.  The opposite of how James Brown felt.

41. Treatment for swelling: ICE PACK.

42. Defense acronym: NATO.  As in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

43. Highway toll, e.g.: USER FEE.

44. Soul singer James: ETTA.  Etta and I have become good friends.  This is the third time she has been my guest when it's my turn to provide blog commentary.

49. Lauder with fragrances: ESTÉE.  Estée Lauder (née Josephine Esther Mentzer; July 1, 1906 ~ Apr. 24, 2004), was the founder of the cosmetics company that bears her name.

52. "Fat chance": I BET!

53. Mother of Castor and Pollux: LEDA.  They're all Greek to me.

54. Hosp. brain tests: EEGs.  As in the ElectroEncphaloGraphs.  These tests can detect electrical activity in the brain and are useful in diagnosing such things as brain tumors, strokes, and sleep disorders.

55. "Logically, then ... ": ERGO.

56. Train wheel guide: RAIL.

57. Camp shelter: TENT.  Roughing it in the wilderness.

58. Window cooling units, briefly: A/Cs.  As in Air Conditioners.  

59. "Gr8 joke!": LOL.  Textspeak.

60. Legal conclusion?: -ESE.  As in Legalese.

Here's the Grid:

I'll leave you with a QOD:  Every great film should seem new every time you see it.  ~ Roger Ebert (né Roger Joseph Ebert; June 18, 1942 ~ Apr. 4, 2013)

Apr 17, 2019

Wednesday, April 17, 2019, Jeff Stillman


17. Develop hives: BREAK OUT IN A RASH.

26. Part with a gesture: WAVE FAREWELL.

48. Be a second-stringer: RIDE THE BENCH.

63. 2002 Spielberg film ... and a hint to the start of 17-, 26- and 48-Across: CATCH ME IF YOU CAN.

Melissa here. After seeing BREAK, WAVE, and RIDE, I thought the theme had something to do with waves. Had to get it all filled in before I caught on.


1. Another name for hopscotch: POTSY. Was not aware of this, from Wiki: "Hopscotch was/is called Potsy in New York City. (The name probably refers to the "potsherd" that was used as a marker.)"

6. Naysayer: ANTI.

10. West Coast salmon: COHO. One of several species of Pacific salmon.

14. Curly-tailed guard dog: AKITA. Favorite of a former regular on the blog. Handsome breed.

15. Brought into being: BORN.

16. Intl. oil group: OPEC.

20. Golden years group: AARP.

21. Wedding invite request: RSVP. It is so hard to get people to respond to invitations.

22. Wedding vow word: WORSE. For better or ...

23. Tablecloth material: LACE.

25. Snake, periodically: MOLTER.

31. Red __: ALERT.

32. Inexperienced, as a recruit: RAW.

33. "I should add ... ": ALSO.

37. Easter beginning?: NOR. Sneaky clue with Easter coming up. What is a nor'easter?

38. Glittery bit on a dress: SPANGLE.

42. Uber info: ETA. Estimated Time of Arrival.

43. Like Tommy, in the rock opera: DEAF.

45. "That hurt!" cries: OWS.

46. Swell up: BLOAT.

52. Eucharist plates: PATENS. A small plate, used for communion during Mass. There are many designs.

55. Hops-drying oven: OAST.

56. Protestant denom.: EPISC. Another tricky one - did not know there was an abbreviated form.

57. Close buds: BROS.

59. Spanish hors d'oeuvre: TAPA.

66. Cuatro times dos: OCHO. Spanish.

67. Red Sox star Big __: PAPI. David Ortiz. Also played for Minnesota Twins.

68. Phased-out Apple messaging tool: ICHAT.

69. Takes in: SEES.

70. Vane spinner: GUST.

71. Lecherous looks: LEERS.


1. Bygone sunscreen ingredient: PABA. Para-aminobenzoic acid was introduced into sunscreens in the 1970s because of its natural ability to absorb UV rays—the ones that cause sunburn. Most sunscreens today, however, don't use PABA. Like oxybenzone, it was found to increase sensitivity to allergic reactions. You can buy it as a supplement though, it is said to stimulate hair growth and reduce greying of hair.

2. Fried side with a po'boy: OKRA.

3. Organization chart level: TIER.

4. Fastening gadget: STAPLER.

5. Chatter: YAK.

6. One taking advantage of privilege: ABUSER. Some of that in the news lately.

7. Rule during homework time, perhaps: NO TV.

8. Word with road or side: TRIP.

9. Traveler's rest: INN.

10. Toyota compact: COROLLA.

11. Dizzying pictures: OP ART. Short for optical art.

12. State bordering Bavaria: HESSE. Germany.

13. Orangy-yellow: OCHER. Most of us learned this color from a box of crayons. The Definitive History of the Colors of Crayola.

18. Seal predator: ORCA.

19. Object of a mil. search: AWOL. Absent Without Leave.

24. Siesta hrs.: AFTS.

25. Cry weakly: MEWL.

26. Beauxbatons Academy coat of arms symbol, in Harry Potter: WAND. According to Harry Potter Wiki, "the school's coat of arms consists of two golden wands crossed over one another, each shooting three stars."

27. With 28-Down, hand lotion ingredient: ALOE.

28. See 27-Down: VERA.

29. Dadaist Max: ERNST. Dadaism is an artistic movement in modern art that started around World War I. Its purpose was to ridicule the meaninglessness of the modern world. Its peak was 1916 to 1922, and it influenced surrealism, pop art, and punk rock. It favored going against the standards of society. See some of his art here.

30. Bit of a tail flip: WAG. Wag more, bark less.

34. Boxer Spinks: LEON.

35. Legato's opposite, in mus.: STAC.

36. Hand-on-the-Bible promise: OATH.

39. Vanilla containers: PODS.

40. Leave dumbstruck: AWE.

41. Drops off: EBBS.

44. Paintings on wet plaster: FRESCOS. I wonder if any were destroyed in the Notre Dame Cathedral.

 47. Salad green: LETTUCE.

49. Go very slowly: INCH

50. Go on foot: HOOF IT.

51. "Slow down!": EASY.

52. Rio Grande tributary: PECOS.

53. On the double: APACE.

54. 10% donation: TITHE.

57. Steady guy: BEAU.

58. Places for patches: RIPS.

60. Yoga aftereffect, perhaps: ACHE.

61. Carson predecessor: PAAR. The Tonight Show.

62. Little scurriers: ANTS.

64. Rd. efficiency stat: MPG.

65. Engine need: OIL.

Apr 10, 2019

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 Jeff Stillman

Theme: URBAN RENEWAL.  Steps in an aspect of property improvement are presented in their logical order.

18 A. Controversial excavation method: STRIP MINING.  Instead of digging tunnels, the top layers of soil are STRIPPED away, revealing an open pit from which ore or coal can be removed.  Forests, top soil, other plant life, and even entire mountain tops are removed.  This is a very environmentally hostile technique.  In theme context, we will STRIP off the old paint - or, perhaps, wall paper - to reveal a fresh surface for redecoration

20 A. Beach house?: SAND CASTLE.  Not a class home or rental on what 38A suggests, but an ephemeral bit of perhaps artistic handiwork near the shore line.  Check these out.  I couldn't pick one.  On a somewhat less grandiose scale here are some of my grandchildren filling the moat on their construction at Coldwater Lake in 2006.

You SAND the surface using SAND paper, to remove foreign material and provide a smooth substrate for the next steps.

38 A. Beachfront property, often: PRIME REAL ESTATE.  It's always pricey along the water.  At this point I was confused about the theme.  What did STRIP MINING have to do with expensive beach front property?  But the theme uses a different sense of the word PRIME.  To get a good, smooth finish, you often need to PRIME the surface. This seals pores in the material, provides better adhesion for the top coat, increases durability and provides more robust protection for the painted surface.

57 A. Breed of Tonto's Scout: PAINT HORSE.  This is a registered breed that developed from spotted horses with thoroughbred and quarter horse blood lines.  There are a few images on this Wikipedia page.  All of the preceding was preliminary to the finishing step, which is to PAINT the item that has received all this care and effort.

59. Handyman's work suggested by the starts of 18-, 20-, 38- and 57-Across: RESTORATION.  Returning something to its prior or original condition, or - in this case - making over and improving a property or item.  A new PAINT job can be a part of that freshening process.

Hi, Gang.  It's JazzBumpa here to supervise the job. We outsource this sort of work. It relieves me of a burden, and helps keep the economy moving. And to be honest, it gets done better.  Let us keep moving and see what we can uncover in the rest of the project.  


1. Punk rock subgenre: EMO.  More complex and emotionally driven than punk rock in general.

4. Catches red-handed: NABS.  Capturing the miscreant in flegrante delicto.  By analogy to catching  murderer with blood on his hands.

8. Medieval stringed instruments: REBECS.  As you can see here, there are two ways to hold it.

14. GoPro product, briefly: CAMera for taking action movies..

15. Many a homecoming attendee: ALUMnus/na.  A graduate of an educational institution.

16. Covent Garden offerings: OPERAS.  This place is London's main theater and entertainment district, and home to the Royal Opera House.

17. All-Star pitcher: ACE. the best starting pitcher on a baseball team, and generally the first in the rotation.

22. Little biter: GNAT. Any of many small two-winged flying insect that often form large swarms.  There are biting and non-biting varieties.

23. Bible book between Daniel and Joel: HOSEA.  The same 8th century B.C. Old Testament prophet of doom who appeared in my last blogging effort here.  Due to failing eyesight in his later years, he was often asked, "Hosea, can you see?"

24. Biblical pronoun: THY.  Wrinkle not THY nose at my attempts at Biblical humor.

25. Nursery cry: MAMA.  Baby talk.

26. Form 1040 agcy.: IRSInfernal Revenue Service, as they used to say on HeeHaw.  Or so I've been told by people who actually watched it,

28. Permanent sites?: SALONS.  Hair dos.

30. Sounds of contentment: AAHS.  Spa noises.

33. __ Fables: AESOP'S. He was an old Greek story teller.

37. Criticize harshly: RIP.  A figurative, not literal, rending.

41. Org. for netmen: ATPAssociation of Tennis Professionals.  They have an objective, merit-based system for determining entry qualifications and seeding in tournaments.

42. "Barney Miller" star Hal: LINDEN.  Harold Lipshitz [b 1931] began his career as a big band singer in the '50's.  The Barney Miller series, named for the character he portrayed, ran from 1975 to 1982.

43. Linear: ONE-D.  One dimensional.

44. Biathlon weapons: RIFLES.  This is hybrid sport that combines shooting for accuracy and cross country skiing for speed.

46. __ Bund: Swiss newspaper: DER.  Meaning THE Union, this publication has fallen on hard times in recent decades.

48. Skelton's Kadiddlehopper: CLEM.  A country bumpkin character who was slow witted and kind hearted.

49. Merit badge org.: BSA. Boy Scouts of America.

52. Tut-tutted: TSKED.  A tongue-clicking sign of disapproval.

56. Scottish family: CLAN.  A kinship group having a sense of shared identity.

61. Shortest surname in Cooperstown: OTT. Mel [1909-1958] played right field for the New York Giants from 1926 to 1947.  A 12-time star, he finished his career with a .304 bating average, 488 doubles and1860 RBIs.  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1951.

62. Kin of jujitsu: AIKIDO.  a Japanese form of self-defense and martial art that uses locks, holds, throws, and the opponent's own movements.  "The name Aikido is composed of three Japanese words: ai, meaning harmony; ki, spirit or energy; and do, the path, system or way. Aikido is the way of the spirit of harmony. Martial arts are studied for self-defense and self-improvement but Aikido is different from other martial arts in that practitioners seek to defend themselves without causing injury to their attackers."

63. Yours, to Yves: ATOI. French

64. Once known as: NEE.  Referring to a married woman's maiden name.  Also French

65. Planted a red herring, say: MISLED.  Figuratively sending someone in a wrong direction.

66. Poolroom powder: TALC.  It's used to reduce moisture and friction in the pool players hand that is used as a bridge for the cue stick.

67. Drop the ball: ERR. A defensive mistake in baseball.


1. Cybermoney: E-CASH.

2. Chinese gambling mecca: MACAO. A former Portuguese colony that was returned to China in 1999.  It has a separate system of government from the rest of mainland China.

3. Forebodings: OMENS.  Events presumed to foretell ensuing good or evil.

4. Sprint Cup org.: NASCAR.  The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is headquartered in Daytona, Fla.

5. Utah ski resort: ALTA.

6. Break open: BURST.

7. Word for word?: SMITH. A wordSmith is a skilled user of words, but the sense of this clue escapes me.

8. Tiber River capital: ROME.  In Italy.

9. Center starter: EPI-.  Prefix for loanwords from Greek, meaning upon, over, at or near.  Center comes to us from Greek, via Latin.

10. Cincinnati player: BENGAL. Professional football.

11. "Happy Days" actress: ERIN MORAN.  [1960-2017] She played Joanie Cunningham.

12. Inhabitant of ancient Palestine: CANAANITE.  Any member of several ethnic groups who occupied parts of modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan during the bronze age and earlier.

13. NCO rank: SSGT.  A Staff Sergeant is a Non-commissioned officer.

19. Work at, as a trade: PLY. Related to "apply," meaning to work steadily at one's business or trade.

21. Reason-based faith: DEISM.  Belief in the existence of a creator as "first cause" that rejects notions of miracles, revelations, or a God that interacts with humans

25. Easter liturgy: MASS.  The liturgical service of the Christian Catholic church.  Masses are certainly held on Easter - as well as every other day of the year.  This is a very poor clue.

27. One-piece dresses: SARIS.  The SARI, or saree, is traditional garb from India.

28. Go through: SPEND.  Use up one's funds.

29. Floored it: SPED.  Pushing the gas pedal to the floor boards.

30. On __ with: A PAR.  Equivalent or similar.

31. Constitution section that creates the executive branch: ARTICLE II.  Article I creates the legislative branch.  Article III creates the judicial branch.

32. On-the-sly alcohol containers: HIP FLASKS. A container that can be slipped into a pocket.

34. Poetic time: E'EN. Evening.

35. Downcast: SAD.  Unhappy or depressed.

36. Bullfight cheer: OLE. From Spanish-speaking countries.

39. K thru 6: ELEMentary school grades.

40. Upper body: TORSO.  The trunk of the body, exclusive of the head and limbs.

45. Soup legume: LENTIL. A small, round, lens-shaped bean.  As a food crop, the majority comes from India, Canada and Australia.

47. Cultural, as cuisine: ETHNIC.  Relating to a population subgroup with a common national or cultural tradition.

49. Sheep's cry: BAA. Or MAA.  You never know.

50. Occupy, as a desk: SIT AT.

51. Santa __ racetrack: ANITA.  The Santa ANITA park is located in Arcadia, CA.

53. Scandinavian coin: KRONE.  Currently equal to about  $0.12.

54. Fragrant compound: ESTER. They occur in many natural products and provide the aromas of most fresh fruits.

55. Discourage: DETER. Block, impede, hamper.

56. Pull an all-nighter: CRAM.  Last minute studying for a big test.  Probably not a very good ides.

57. Urge: PROD.  Poke, jab, nudge.

58. Item in a kit: TOOL. A device or implement - in this case hand held - used to carry out a particular function

60. "__ to My Right Knee": Rita Dove poem: ODE.  A lyric poem in elevated style addressing a particular object.  This one is not exactly an homage.

That completes this project.  Hope the results are pleasing.

Cool regards!

Dec 12, 2018

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 Jeff Stillman

Theme - TEA SET 

-- OR --

JUST TEASING.  Several TEA varieties cross each other in this well brewed array.

17 A. Indian town in the Himalayas: DARJEELING. Once a summer resort for the British Raj elite, with Mt. Kanchenjunga in the background.  It is famous for the distinctive black tea grown on plantations that dot its surrounding slopes.

3 D. Like some shampoos: HERBAL.  These shampoos are infused with HERBS, based on traditional holistic medicine concepts, to cleanse the hair and maintain a balance among body, mind and spirit.  HERBAL TEAS are made from HERBS, spices and other plant materials, generally not including traditional tea, nor containing caffeine.

37A. There's always a hole in one: GREEN.  On a golf course, the GREEN is the target area, and the goal is to sink your ball into the hole in the fewest number of strokes.  Best, of course, is a hole in one.  GREEN TEA is made from the leaves and buds of Camellia Sinensis plants, like ordinary oolong and black TEA, but without the withering and oxidizing processes.

11 D. Massage therapy oil type: LAVENDER.   The distillate of this small, aromatic evergreen shrub of the mint family is used perfumes and to promote relaxation and healing.

LAVENDER TEA is made from the purple flower buds. It is purported to be relaxing, promote sleep, reduce inflammation and promote healing

68 A. Treated, as a sprain: ICED.  This can help to minimize swelling, reduce bleeding and reduce muscle spasms and pain.  ICED TEA can be any variety of tea served over ice.  Might I recommend LAVENDER when you have a sprain?

40 D. William IV's prime minister: EARL GREY.   Charles, 2nd Earl Grey, was a prominent Whig politician and served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1830 to 1834, which tenure saw the passing of the Great Reform Act of 1832 and the abolition of slavery in the British Empire in 1833. In 1808, he also succeeded his uncle as third Baronet, of Howick. [Wikipedia]

The so-named TEA is flavored with oil of bergamot, a variety of orange grown in France and Italy.  It is my afternoon TEA of choice.

And the unifier: 66 A. Pay attention to detail ... and, homophonically, what three pairs of puzzle answers do: CROSS THE TS.  Along with cross -- I mean dot -- the eyes, to make everythign complete and tidy. Here the three pairs of TEAs cross, so the double meaning is clear.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here, and not yet in my cups. So, armed with this bracing set of brews, let us venture forth, T's dotted and I's crossed, to solve this puzzle's remaining mysteries.


1. Israel Philharmonic music director Zubin: MEHTA. [b 1936] He also founded the Bombay Symphony.

6. Hook-shaped ski lift: J-BAR.  Pushes you uphill by the butt.

10. Calculator button: PLUS.  Addition function

14. Common Era starting date: ONE AD.  One C. E. I would think.  YMMV.

15. Hebrides language: ERSE.  A Gaelic tongue.

16. Low-tech leaf-blower alternative: RAKE.

19. "Best Song __": One Direction hit: EVER.

Watching this is optional - 6+ minutes

20. Flow's partner: EBB.  As of tides, frex.

21. The "P" of rock's ELP: PALMER. Along with Emerson and Lake.

Because Karn Evil 9 takes a half hour

22. Badlands landform: MESA. Table land -  an isolated flat-topped hill with steep sides.  MESA is the Spanish word for table.

23. Angles: SLANTS.  I have mine.  What's yours?

25. Spring singer: ROBIN.  This bird is traditionally the harbinger of Spring.

27. Prefix with graph: TELE-.  The long-distance transmission of textual or symbolic (as opposed to verbal or audio) messages without the physical exchange of an object bearing the message. Thus semaphore is a method of telegraphy, whereas pigeon post is not.

28. Glass of public radio: IRA. [b 1959] Ira Jeffrey Glass is an American public radio personality and the host and producer of the radio and television show This American Life.

31. Dug up dandelions, say: WEEDED.  Removed weeds from the lawn or garden

34. Scout's discovery: TALENT.  Some person with performing ability.

38. Hot state: IRE.  Hot under the collar.

41. Spy film poison: CYANIDE.  Polonium TEA would be more topical.

43. Record label for Pink: RCA.

Probably not Ira

44. Facebook option: SHARE.  Copy a post to your own page.

46. Surfer's gadget: REMOTE.  Channel surfing, not in the English Channel -- Traditional tool for couch potatoes, and now also everyone, since modern TVs don't have any dials.

48. Gourmet mushrooms: MORELS.  Morchella, the true morels, is a genus of edible sac fungi closely related to anatomically simpler cup fungi in the order Pezizales. These distinctive fungi have a honeycomb appearance due to the network of ridges with pits composing their cap. Morels are prized by gourmet cooks, particularly in French cuisine. [Wikipedia]

50. D.C. bigwig: SENator.

51. "Unique everything" website: ETSY.  Where people sell their craft items.

55. Peruvian pack animal: LLAMA.  South American camel analog.

57. Not quite spherical: OBLATE. Flattened at the poles.  Which one could also say of a candidate who loses in a landslide.  Wow - that election was really OBLATE!

59. Hence: ERGO.  Logically following.

61. Divination: AUGURY.  The interpretation of omens or signs to predict the future.  I interpret a red octagonal sign to mean I will be stopping soon.

64. Med. centers for former soldiers: VA'SVeteran's Administration facilities.

65. Actress Sorvino: MIRA. [b 1967] She won the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Woody Allen's Mighty Aphrodite.

69. Some jewelry stores, informally: KAY'S.  AKA Kay Jewelers

70. Chill-causing: EERIE. weird, spooky and frightening.

71. Small dogs: TOYS.

72. Lightly burn: SEAR.

73. Brings into harmony: SYNCS.  From SYNCHRONIZES.


1. Disinclined to brag: MODEST.  Unassuming or moderate in the estimation of one's abilities or achievements.

2. Provide power to: ENABLE. Grant or concede the authority or means to do something.

4. __ Mahal: TAJ.  Monument in Agra.

5. Highly skilled: ADEPT.  Proficient at some activity.

6. Take shape: JELL.  Firm up

7. Fedora feature: BRIM.  The protecting edge at the bottom of a hat.

8. Ed with Emmys: ASNER.  In categories of Lead Actor,  Supporting Actor, Guest Actor, and Outstanding Single Performance.

9. Sprout anew: REGROW.  Like hair or fngernails.

10. English football's __ League: PREMIER.  We call it soccer.

12. Luau strings: UKES.

13. Blood bank fluids: SERA.   Plural from of the clear liquid that can be separated from clotted blood.  The term "serum" also is used to designate any normal or pathological fluid that resembles serum as, for example, the fluid in a blister.

18. How a cinch is done: EASILY.

24. After-tax amount: NET.

26. Give rise to: BEGET.

29. Stern: REAR.  Back end of a boat.

30. Two of Henry VIII's wives: ANNES.  ANNE of Cleves and ANNE Boleyn.  Also, three Catherines and a Jane.

32. Common Market initials: EECEuropean Economic Community.

33. Genetic matter: DNA.

35. Big name in fast trains: ACELA.  Amtrak service along the North-East corridor.

36. Umpire's cry: TIME.   Granting a brief time out to either the batter or the pitcher.  Not the cry one would think of first.

38. Dogma: ISM. Suffix that has become an informal stand-alone.

39. Greek consonant: RHO.  Strangely, "your boat" in Greek - το σκάφος σας -  has no RHO.

42. Certain angels: DONORS.  Patrons.

45. Winds new film into: RELOADS.  As a movie reel.

47. Ribbonlike fish: EEL.   Slippery, too.

49. Slaps sharply: SMACKS.  Not SPANKS.

52. Bar: TAVERN.  Place to get a drink that is probably not ICED TEA.  [Except, perhaps, for Long island]

53. Harsh criticism: STATIC.  Angry or critical talk.

54. Toadies' answers: YESSES.  Sycophants' fawning agreements.

56. Subtle glows: AURAE.

58. Hard-drive units: BYTES.  Memory units

59. Put forth: EMIT. Let out, produce or discharge something.

60. P.R. part: RICO.  The other part is PUERTO.

62. "La maja desnuda" painter: GOYA.

63. Cold War letters: USSR.  Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, aka, the 20th Century Russian Empire

67. "Hold it!": HEY.  Just stop right there.  Because we're done!

There you have it.  That wraps up another Wednesday.  Hope all your letters were in order.  Now - anyone for a nice cuppa?

Cool regards!