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

Oct 7, 2019

Monday October 7, 2019 Jeff Stillman

Theme: Letter Openers - The first word in each person is also a letter spelled out.

20. Diane Keaton's role in "The Godfather" films: KAY CORLEONE.

33. "Maude" star: BEA ARTHUR.

39. Fitzgerald's "Great" title character: JAY GATSBY.

50. "Maleficent" actress: ELLE FANNING.

Boomer here.  OH GEE, I hope YOU ARE able to figure it out and have a cup of TEA. 

Up here in the Northland, we continue to set records for annual rainfall.  Sooo you know where it goes.. to a bunch of Minnesota streams and tributary rivers to the Mississippi. So If you are near Davenport Iowa or St. Louis Missouri and points further south.  Get ready, high water may be coming your way.  Worse than 1993.


1. Only president who was also chief justice: TAFT.  He was also the largest president, tipping the scales at over 330 lbs.

5. Storage structure for 30-Across: SHED. 30. Lawn cutters: MOWERS.  My family had no money for a shed.  We kept the mower in our garage.  Now our homeowners association hires a lawn service to cut the grass.  I am sure this year they are tired of the deluge of rain we have had all summer.  As for me, I can hardly get a dry day to play golf.  P.S. My golf clubs are in the garage.  We don't have a shed.

9. Hindu social division: CASTE.

14. Go back, on a PC: UNDO.  This must be a trick.  I don't see an UNDO key on our PC.

15. Arizona tribe: HOPI.

16. A, in Greece: ALPHA.

17. Match audio and video: SYNC.  If you do this in your bathroom, is it a bathroom sync?

18. Frat Pack actor Wilson: OWEN.

19. Fish stories: TALES.  Fish have tails.

23. Embitterment: IRE.

24. Raid targets: ANTS. Ants are interesting. I have never seen them in our home, but it is unbelievable how they can work right through our asphalt driveway and make a hill.

25. Gave speeches: ORATED.  We'll be hearing a lot of this up until November 2020.

27. Desert plant: CACTUS.

32. Southwestern crocks: OLLAS.

36. Boston Celtics' org.: NBA.  Notice the clue does not say "Timberwolves' org."  We have a lowly bunch of underperformers here in the Midwest.

37. Harness racing vehicle: SULKY.  We do have harness racing here after the regular season closes.  I never have been to one however.

38. Nest egg letters: IRA.  Yeah, I have an Individual Retirement Account.  But I never called it a nest egg.
42. Until now: SO FAR.

44. Jai alai ball: PELOTA.  It's a bit of a funny name, but I cannot talk.  Seems that bowling balls have funny names also.  I have a Virtual Gravity, an Asylum, a Combat Zone, A Lucid, and a Daredevil Trick.

45. Soft-hearted: GENTLE.  "Gentle On My Mind" (Glen Campbell)

46. Japanese religion: SHINTO.

48. Sheltered, at sea: ALEE.

49. Halloween headgear: WIG.  Speaking of odd names, I also have socks called WIGWAM.

56. On __: going wild: A TEAR.

58. Miniature image to click on: ICON.

59. Symphonic wind: OBOE.  "Oh Boy, Igor Stravinski, Oh Boy Bo Belinsky".  Allan Sherman.

60. Bond portrayer Roger: MOORE.  I liked Sean Connery.  The original is always the best.

61. Fitted with footwear: SHOD.  If you happen to be a horse. I don't think Thom McAn calls it that.

62. Final or midterm: TEST.

63. Private, as thoughts: INNER.

64. Stew cookers: POTS.  I don't use a pot.  I use one of those slow cookers. Works great.

65. Former spouses: EXES.  I suppose that this could be part of the theme, although it is plural.


1. Elephant tooth: TUSK.  Not sure if this is a tooth.  I thought that these were those things that protrude from the elephant's face and they are made of ivory.  It is illegal to harvest them.  They have to make piano keys out of plastic now. 

2. Author Seton: ANYA.

3. Gp. responding to Big Apple blazes: FDNY.  Many victims from 9/11.

4. Bach's "__ and Fugue in D Minor": TOCCATA.

5. 15-minute films, say: SHORTS.  What I wear to play golf.  Maybe not tomorrow though, forecast is pleasant, but a little chilly.  I am amazed that PGA players are NEVER allowed to wear shorts in tournaments.

6. Coyote cries: HOWLS.  I expect there might be some HOWLS at Target Field tonight.

7. Blunt sword: EPEE.

8. "The Flintstones" pet: DINO.  "Yabba Dabba Dooo".

9. Wedding hire: CATERER.

10. Pie-mode link: ALA.  Also sometimes it is in the path of a hurricane; or maybe not.

11. Workday with a longer-than-typical break: SPLIT SHIFT.

12. Over yonder: THERE.  Over there, Over there, Send the Word to Target Field Over there. That the Yanks are coming, The Yanks are coming !

13. Let up: EASED. " You fill my heart with gladness, take away all my sadness, EASE my troubles That's what you do."(Rod Stewart)

21. Heavy burden: ONUS.

22. "You gotta be kidding!": NO WAY.

26. Humanities major: ART.  Mr. Garfunkel

27. "Nor" or "or," in a dict.: CONJ. Conjunction.

28. "Sin City" actress Jessica: ALBA.

29. Trapshooter's target: CLAY PIGEON.  Interesting, these are round and I guess some are clay, but they look nothing like a pigeon.

30. Word before toast or after peach: MELBA.  I have heard of melba toast but never Peach Melba. Should I know her? Is she a folk singer?

31. Like wines aged in certain barrels: OAKY. From Muskogee.

33. Head-and-shoulders sculpture: BUST.  22 at the black jack table.

34. Eurasian border river: URAL.

35. Red in the middle, as steak: RARE.  21 at the black jack table.

37. Seat at the bar: STOOL.  I like these at bowling centers.  The last one I visited was a "Bowlero", the seating was about 18 inches from the floor.  Tough on an old guy but the kids didn't seem to mind.

40. Pentagon VIP: GEN.

41. Editor or tailor, e.g.: ALTERER.  I get it but I think it's a "Made up" word.

42. Perceived: SEEN.

43. Lacking variety, musically: ONE NOTE. "SKOL, SKOL".

45. Pituitary and thyroid: GLANDS.

46. Hindu guru: SWAMI.  This guy makes the Liberty Mutual commercial a candidate for worst ad of the decade.

47. Discover, as a solution: HIT ON.  Romeo to a pretty girl in a bar.

48. In progress, as Sherlock's "game": AFOOT.  12 inches.

51. Speech problem: LISP.

52. Repeat: ECHO.  A bit of a flop for Toyota, I don't think they have made them for 10 or more years.

53. Curly-horned goat: IBEX.

54. Sniffer: NOSE.  Your NOSE Knows.

55. Acquires: GETS.

57. "How __ you doing?": ARE.

Note from C.C.:

Boomer finally got his Twins Homer Hanky yesterday. He said "No Hanky Panky here. Twins need to sweep the Hanky Yankees."

Oct 3, 2019

Thursday, October 3rd 2019 Jeff Stillman

Theme: Black Thursday - today's puzzle features some deep-discount bargains:

17A. Feature of an American flag purchased with 58-Across?: TWENTY-FIVE STARS. The Stars and Stripes as it would have appeared today if Arkansas was the last state to join the union back in 1836.

29A. Sidney Lumet film purchased with 58-Across?: SIX ANGRY MEN. If there were only six angry men, the verdict would have been "Guilty" - Henry Fonda, who cast the initial 'not guilty" vote was Juror #8. A great movie.

44A. Freight vehicle purchased with 58-Across?: NINE-WHEELER. That would make things a little lop-sided. An eighteen-wheeler actually has ten wheels, but eighteen rims and tires, just to keep things interesting. Here's two wheels, but four rims and tires:

and the unifier:

58A. Sales incentive: FIFTY PERCENT OFF. Here's a patriotic sign with 13 stars - let's call it the "Rhode Island" sales event:
Fun theme from Jeff, I got the themers before the reveal, so that's always nice. Good, solid fill too. Let's see what pops out:


1. Collect: AMASS. I've amassed quite a collection of cooking equipment over the years. I do follow the advice of Alton Brown and avoid any "single use" gadget, they take up too much space for their one function. Do you really need a garlic press, something to chop herbs with that isn't a knife or a melon baller when you already have measuring spoon the same size?

6. Stag: HART. Many pubs in England are called "The White Hart". The most common pub name in the UK is "The Red Lion". I've been to this "White Hart" in Overton, Hampshire:

10. Diminished gradually, with "off": WORE

14. Lake between the Silver State and Golden State: TAHOE. Gambling on the east side, weed on the west side. Pick your poison.

15. Promise, for one: OLEO. This confused me for a few moments, but remembered "Promise" is a brand of margarine.

16. Operation Solomon airline: EL AL. I didn't know the back story, but not hard to guess.

20. Raina Telgemeier graphic novel about a girl with braces: SMILE. Stab in the dark here, but when a couple of letters were provided by crosses, it wasn't hard to fill in the blanks.

21. Breeder's income source: STUD FEE

22. Names as a source: CITES. It's nice to receive a citation as a source, less pleasant to receive one for a traffic violation (or so I hear, I've never had one myself .... he lied).

25. Fizzy prefix: AER-

26. Decryption org.: N.S.A. National Security Agency, I always want to call it the National Spy Agency, but the CIA has dibs on that one.

34. Regatta racer: YACHT. I'm not sure when it was when I stopped trying to spell "yacht" with a "g' in there somewhere, but it was a happy day.

36. Paint store selections: HUES. I need to check out the hues at my local hardware store, I need to repaint my "hobby" room, I managed to overspray weathering paint onto the walls, not smart. They need a refresh anyway, so a good time.

37. Ristorante bottle: VINO. "In vino, veritas" according to the Romans. "In wine, truth". A poetic way to describe drunk texting, which rarely has a positive outcome.

38. Mandolin kin: LUTES

39. Loved, with "up": ATE

40. Dasani product: WATER. Dasani makes water? I doubt it. I think they bottle and sell it.

41. Carbon monoxide's lack: ODOR

42. Iditarod racer: SLED. Not for much longer if the planet keeps warming. It'll be a water-skier pulled by knee-deep huskies before too long.

43. Capital of Ghana: ACCRA

47. Coal scuttle: HOD. I'm more familiar with a hod being used to carry bricks to a bricklayer during construction of a wall. Same concept though.

48. "I have an idea!": AHA! It better be a good one.

49. Silas of the Continental Congress: DEANE. A little obscure, this one. The representatives of the original thirteen colonies (with the exception of Georgia) during the Revolutionary War formed the Continental Congress. Deane was one of the representatives from Connecticut, and is the only Silas I've heard of other than the Silas Marner of literature.

51. Deals with freebies: TWO-FERS. Same as 50% off! My local Ralph's market, part of the Kroger empire, have regular BOGO offers (Buy One, Get One) in the meat and seafood department. I can never resist those deals.

55. Museo Leonardiano city: VINCI. It would be odd if Vinci had a museum dedicated to any other Italian.

62. Everyone, in Essen: ALLE.

63. Mideast bigwig: EMIR

64. Mill input: GRIST. Grist for the mill - flour comes out, the chaff is blown away. I think.

65. "All in the Family" producer Norman: LEAR. If you say so, thank you, crosses.

66. Donnybrook: RIOT. From the Donnybrook Fair, first held 1204 in Dublin. It is sometimes described as "notoriously disorderly", but we're talking Irish, beer and fourteen days of festivities. It's small wonder that things occasionally got a little out of hand. I'm of Irish descent, so I can say that. The phrase "I went to a fight, but a wake broke out" is not spoken without a certain basis in fact. Donnybrook Fair can sound quite pleasant, according to an 18th century poem penned by that bard of prolific output, "Anon".

To Donnybrook steer, all you sons of Parnassus
Poor painters, poor poets, poor newsmen, poor knaves
To see what the fun is that all fun surpasses
The sorrow and sadness of green Erin's slaves
O Donnybrook, jewel, full of mirth is your quiver
Where all flock from Dublin to gape and to stare
At two elegant bridges, without e'er a river
So success to the humours of Donnybrook Fair

67. Church council: SYNOD


1. QB's stat: ATT. Pass attempts in American Football.

2. Big mouths: MAWS

3. Word of disapproval: AHEM

4. Sega's hedgehog: SONIC. Video game character of legend.

5. Band concert guides: SET LISTS. People collect them. Here's a "Joshua Tree" tour set list from U2 when I saw them at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena:

6. Cooperstown inst.: H.O.F. Hall Of Fame. Baseball, in Cooperstown's case.

7. "Rope-a-dope" boxer: ALI. He was "roping" Joe Frazier.

8. Races: REVS as in one's engine.


10. Multi-use workshop tool: WET-DRY VAC. I'm not sure it's "multi-use" - it's a vacuum, it just vacuums a lot of different stuff.

11. Elsa and Anna's snowman pal: OLAF. From the "Frozen" movie, I never saw it, but I hear it's good.

12. Medium __: RARE. The "gold standard" for steak done-ness.

13. Besides that: ELSE

18. Mysterious Himalayan: YETI

19. Litigious type: SUER. Is that a word?

23. Yoga instruction: EXHALE

24. Cooked in a skillet: SAUTÉED

26. Guitar string option: NYLON. Steel guitar strings for me. Don't nylon ones go out of tune all the time?

27. King Salman, for one: SAUDI. Thank you, crosses.

28. Do something in response to: ACT ON

30. Tease: NEEDLE

31. Deadpan comic Hedberg: MITCH. More crosses.

32. Summer month in South America: ENERO. January

33. Annual Santa tracker: NORAD. North American Aerospace Defense Command. Super nice folks at Christmas.

35. From now on: HEREAFTER. I tried EVER AFTER, but that obviously didn't work out too well.

40. Alarms: WARNINGS

42. More on the ball: SHARPER

45. Miss Muffet fare: WHEY. I prefer curds, myself.

46. Outer wall protector: EAVE

50. Vestibule, e.g.: ENTRY

51. Nonstick kitchen brand: T-FAL

52. Sly trick: WILE

53. "Man __ Mancha": OF LA

54. Frozen Four game: SEMI. Final Four too, and every other sport in a knockout format.

56. Invent, in a way: COIN. To coin a phrase ...

57. "That being the case ... ": IF SO ...

59. Brazilian hot spot: RIO. I've been lucky enough to have had a few trips to Rio, a city of contrasts and some quite wonderful sights, sounds and food!

60. Old PC monitor: CRT. The old Cathode Ray Tube. Poor Cathode and Ray, they were the darlings of the tech business for so long, now long consigned to recycle (hopefully) or landfull (less pleasant).

61. Co. with a bouquet in its logo: FTD. "Florists's Transworld Delivery" to be posh. The UK branding was "Interflora". Same logo though.

And with the winged feet of Eros [edit - sorry, Mercury] and a bunch of flowers, I'll leave you with the grid.


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)