Showing posts with label Jeffrey Wechsler. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jeffrey Wechsler. Show all posts

May 17, 2018

Thursday, May 17 2018 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: Triple Play. Not a baseball theme, but you can sing along with a Latin "cha cha cha" dance track.

19A. Trousers in the Liberace Museum?: CHI-CHI CHINOS. Probably covered in rhinestones and other sparkly stuff.

32A. Less colorful African carpet?: DRABBER BERBER. The Berber people are indigenous to North Africa. This traditional carpet definitely isn't drab:

39A. Surfeit of sweets?: BONBON BONANZA. Bonbons originated from the French in the 17th century, meaning "good-good".

53A. Made-to-order drum?: CUSTOM TOM-TOM. Officially, a cylindrical drum without snares.

Another nice puzzle from Jeffrey. The names in the long downs could have caused some conniptions, but that's what makes for skilled construction and editing - it's all about the crosses if the proper name is unknown to you, Claire Danes in my case. Throw in some crunch and some Thursday-level cluing and you've got yourself an enjoyable romp into Cruciverb-land.

What else have we got? Let's go and look:


1. Selfies, e.g.: PICS

5. Consumer protection org.: B.B.B. Better Business Bureau.

8. Grey Poupon variety: DIJON. Mustard. Grey Poupon is one of the better-known brand names.

13. "I must be cruel, __ to be kind": Hamlet: ONLY

14. Bar mixer: COLA. Coke and Pepsi are the cola heavyweights. Some think that Coke tried to trademark the word "cola" - not so, they trademarked Coca-Cola, the script of the name and the design of the bottle.

15. Slip away from: EVADE

16. __ all-time low: AT AN. David Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes" just popped into my head:

"Ashes to ashes, funk to funky
We know Major Tom's a junkie
Strung out in heaven's high
Hitting an all-time low"

17. "Beat it!": SCAT!

18. Bit of Blake: VERSE. The most well-known Blake is William:

"To see the world in a grain of sand, and to see heaven in a wild flower, 
hold infinity in the palm of your hands, and eternity in an hour."

22. Guffaw syllable: HAR. Har.

23. Estadio cheer: OLÉ

24. Hardware item: NUT.

25. Overalls part: BIB. The part covering the chest.

28. Aquarium fish: TETRA

30. Title for Maggie Smith: DAME. British actress of renown. Played the redoubtable Dowager in "Downton Abbey"

 "I couldn't have electricity in the house, I wouldn't sleep a wink. All those vapors floating about."

31. "Mr. Robot" TV network: USA. I'll take your word for it, I haven't seen the show

35. Morales of Netflix's "Ozark": ESAI. There's actress Natalie also.

37. Father of octuplets on "The Simpsons": APU. Must be a while since I've seen the show, I didn't realize he had any kids, let alone eight.

38. Not yet up: ABED

"And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day."

Henry V, Act IV sc iii

44. Many a craft beer: ALE

45. Folk singer Axton: HOYT. Thank you, crosses. Not my genre.

46. Scenic highway offerings: VIEWS. There are some fabulous ones in my part of the world, particularly from the Pacific Coast Highway.

48. "Absolutely": YES

49. Hose users: Abbr.: FDS. I had to think about this one for a second - Fire Departments

50. Holm of "The Hobbit": IAN

51. GI address: APO. Army Post Office

56. Cold dish: SALAD

59. Island off Tuscany: ELBA. "Able was I, ere I saw Elba".

60. Whodunit canine: ASTA. "The Thin Man" was the movie.

61. Interspersed with: AMONG

62. Nectar flavor: PEAR

63. User of black lipstick, perhaps: GOTH. There is an unofficial "Bat's Day" for Goths at Disneyland each year. It's quite an odd sight, all these supposedly gloomy folk riding "It's a Small World".

64. Gumption: MOXIE

65. Nursery purchase: SOD

66. "Orinoco Flow" singer: ENYA. Let's have a little New Age backing track.


1. Cook in hot milk, say: POACH

2. Since: IN THAT. In the causative sense - "I like a Riesling since it pairs well with spicy food"/"I like a Riesling in that it pairs well with spicy food". Food!

3. "Homeland" Emmy winner: CLAIRE DANES. Thank you, crosses.

4. Harmonized, with "in": SYNC

5. Lawn game: BOCCE. Most cultures seem to have a derivative of lawn bowls, be it crown bowls, bocce, boules, pétanque, even curling.

6. Vanilla: BLAH. "Meh" in modern lingo.

7. Drive someone home?: BAT IN A RUN


9. Composer Charles: IVES

10. 8-Across holder: JAR. I like the cross-references when the entries themselves cross. I've got a jar in my fridge, it goes into my home-made mayonnaise when I whip up a batch. Yum!

11. Goes overboard (on): OD'S

12. Wedding notice word: NÉE

14. Forensics facility, briefly: CSI LAB. I wanted DNA LAB first, but resisted the urge.

20. Circle dance: HORA

21. Unfeeling: NUMB

25. Masters champ in 2012 and 2014: BUBBA WATSON. A lefty, he hit an incredible hook shot out of the trees onto the 10th green in a playoff with Louis Oosthuizen to secure his first major.

26. "That's clear": I SEE

27. Meter writer: BARD. He of "Henry V" fame, above.

29. Twin Cities daily, familiarly: TRIB. The Star Tribune.

30. Home __: DEPOT

33. Slow-but-steady progress: BABY STEPS

34. Demolish: RAZE

35. Former Skype owner: EBAY. I didn't know that. We use Skype for Business, it saves a ton of money when you have a lot of international conference calling and presentations.

36. Dover fish: SOLE

40. "Dang!": OH FUDGE!

41. Some assents: NODS

42. Video game figure: AVATAR

43. Spanish lad: NIÑO. Now, here's a thing - the letter Ñ in Spanish is a completely different letter, it's not just an accented "N". Which leads the pedant in me to suggest that you should not cross it with a regular "N" as is here - Ian Holmes does not spell his name i-a-eñe.

47. Inconsistent: SPOTTY

50. Boast in a 1987 Michael Jackson hit: I'M BAD

52. Lincoln neighbor: OMAHA. Nebraskans, both.

53. "__ help you?": CAN I

54. Muffin spread: OLEO

55. Sorcerer in fantasy games: MAGE

56. "Grace and Frankie" actor Waterston: SAM. More crossing help. Thanks!

57. Latin trio word: AMO, Amas, Amat

58. Cured salmon: LOX. Lox is salt-cured. The stuff most people call "lox" nowadays is actually "nova" and is a smoke-cure. Whatever the debate, it's Food!

And with a drum roll on the tom-tom and a pic of the grid, and with a very cool explanation of lox, nova, smoked salmon and gravlax, that's all from me!


May 3, 2018

Thursday, May 3rd 2018 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: Dessert Mix - can't explain it better than the reveal:

59A. Ice cream features found, in a way, in this puzzle's circles: CHOCOLATE SWIRLS

Scrambled "CHOCOLATE" highlighted by the circles in the theme entries:

16A. Natural analog of sonar: BAT ECHOLOCATION. That's why they can flit around in bat caves and not smack into the walls in the dark. Truly, Nature is a wonderful thing. I walk into walls in hotels in the middle of the night going to the bathroom. I need a bat assistant.

32A. Ones who have class?: SCHOOL TEACHERS. The unsung heroes of our world. Let's have a "Buy Our Teachers Chocolate Swirl Day". BOTCWD. Aghh, need a better acronym!

36A. Old General Motors model: CHEVROLET COACH. From 1931 - I felt bad when I didn't know this, but thank you crosses! A quite lovely automobile. It looks a lot like a 30's Rolls-Royce.

This was a puzzle masterclass - thank you, Jeffrey. Wonderful theme, grid-spanners, 14's, and look at those blocks of 3x7's in the NE and SW.  Awesome.


1. Liberty __: BELL. Shoddy merchandise. Cracked on delivery. I'd have sent it back, free returns with Amazon Prime. When you order a Liberty Bell, you expect the best.

5. Troublesome types: IMPS

9. Cleaning tool: SWAB. Surgery tool too. Count 'em in, count 'em out!

13. Any number: ONE OR MORE. Is zero a number? If so, if not .... clue accuracy. Your essays are due next Thursday.

15. River through Florence: ARNO

18. Toyota RAV4, e.g.: UTE. Shorthand for "Sports Utility Vehicle".

19. The best policy, so it's said: HONESTY. Good advice.

35. Developing, biologically: IN UTERO. I had IN VITRO first. Then thought about that.

43. Literary award with a spaceship logo: HUGO. I *think* I knew this. Look up Hugo Gernsback on Wikipedia.

44. Head for the hills: RUN

45. Nothing new: OLD HAT

47. Billiards concern: ANGLE

49. Phantasy Star game maker: SEGA. I didn't know this, but SEGA seemed a good stab with the "S" in place

50. Big name in ATMs: NCR. I tried IBM first, because I had "EDAMAME" confidently in place at 38D. I love great construction and cluing when I get sent up a blind alley. This was a classic case. It was only when nothing would work around that section that I had to rethink everything in the area.

51. Egret habitats: MARSHES

58. Braggart's abundance: EGO.

62. Hard to control: EELY.Slipperly too.

63. Harley-Davidson Museum city: MILWAUKEE. Home of the knucklehead, the flathead and all other great innovations.

64. Cholesterol nos.: LDLS. I think my levels are OK. LDL is the "bad" cholesterol level. Pay attention.

65. Presently: ANON. This is one of those words I love, and I'm determined to keep "in the language". I have people who I work with, or I have worked with, who enjoy using it, just for the curiously factor.

66. Scrip items: MEDS. Where are you, HeartRX?


1. Hats like Maurice Chevalier's: BOATERS. I tried to find a musical link worthy of the blog, but failed. Here's the signature hat though:

2. Intestinal: ENTERIC.Crosses all the way. I will learn this.

3. Director with three Oscars: LEE. Ang Lee. Amazing talent. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain and The Life of Pi.

4. Welsh : llyn :: Scots : __: LOCH. I'm not sure I knew this. It made sense when I filled it in though.

5. "__ your side": I'M ON

6. "The Wind in the Willows" figure: MOLE. I loved this book as a small child. I remember falling in love with the illustrations of E.H. Shepard. Then came Winnie the Pooh. What a wonderful man.

7. They know the ropes: PROS

8. Schism group: SECT

9. Wasn't used: SAT, Sat down, rode the pine. watched from the bench. Tough.

10. Squirm: WRIGGLE

11. "And __ thing ... ": ANOTHER

12. Fish that sound good in Spanish: BONITOS? Not sure about the plural here. Fish singular - Fish plural.

14. Density symbol, in physics: RHO. Tough stuff.

16. Like bodybuilders: BUFF

17. Right at sea?: AYE! Right? Aye, sir to starboard! Yes, maybe, but right? Not sure.

22. Book before Esth.: NEH. The Old Testament. Learn your three-letter abbreviations of the Bible books if you want to solve crosswords.

24. Hessian pronoun: ICH. This was nice. Hermann Hesse, German novelist. "Ich" = "I".

26. Crime movie genre: NOIR. Watch LA Confidential for a great example.

27. Name on a museum wall: DONOR

28. When some news shows begin: AT TEN

29. Sugar source: BEET

30. Half of a call-and-response game: MARCO. Polo. One of the most annoying games in the annals of child-watching. Enough said.

33. Whopper: LULU. A BIIGGGG one!

34. "Very nice!": COOL

36. Area around the altar: CHANCEL. This took me way to long. The SW corner was tough for me.

37. Bent (over): HUNCHED

38. Asian appetizer: EGG ROLL. Yeah, I see your EGG ROLL and raise you EDAMAME - and then I lose.

39. Remote control abbr.: VOL. I just looked at mine. Indeed, it has VOL right there.

40. Cause of a paper weight increase: ADS. Think your Sunday print edition of your local newspaper. If mine delivered just the sports section, the literary review and the crossword, I'd save the trees, the delivery guys and my recycle

41. Brightened: CHEERED

42. Tries for a better price: HAGGLES

46. New Mexico county bordering Colorado: TAOS

48. Punk rock subgenre: EMO. Always. Three-letter rock genre - fill it in and move on

52. Diva Gluck: ALMA. Thank you crosses, Jeffrey is always fair.

53. Dust Bowl deficiency: RAIN

54. WWII invasion city: ST LÔ. If you have a chance to read any of the various narratives about this city in 1944, I'd encourage you to do so.

55. Cut: HEWN

56. Spanish "that": ESA

57. Like many laps: SWUM. I'd love to count my lifetime laps in the pool. It's been a lot. I love the "zen" times when you can only hear the water while you pull through each lap.

60. Pitcher Young and painter Twombly: CYS

61. Presidential nickname: IKE. I had the "E". Went went with "ABE", was wrong.

Like all of us, I am very sad about Argyle's decision to shuffle off the mortal coil. He was a wonderful man and gave great pleasure to many, many people. I would like us all to look in his mirror and feel that when our time comes we can hope everyone says that about all of us. The world would be a very better place.

And ... the grid!


Notes from C.C.:

1) OK, a real time "Happy Birthday" to Dave (D4E4H), who turned 74 today. I misunderstood an email he forwarded to me last Sunday. Hope you get in time the birthday gifts you boldly asked from my siblings.

Here is a clearer picture of Dave and Mr. Romeo. He said "I am helping him with his social media "Muzzle book" because he is all paws. He has 4,000 "licks.""

Dave (D4E4H)
2) Please click here to view Santa's obituary. Thanks for the information, Spitzboov!

Apr 8, 2018

Sunday April 8, 2018 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme:  "Low Flow" - L is changed into FL in each theme entry. (Thanks for the extra L observation, Lemonade.)
22A. Interfaith service attendees? : COMBINATION FLOCK. Combination lock.

28A. Arsonist's alibi? : FLAME EXCUSE. Lame excuse.

56A. Cause of business failure? : CORPORATE FLAW. Corporate law.

62A. Distinguished screwballs? : GREAT FLAKES. Great Lakes.

72A. Uproar over a controversial win? : VICTORY FLAP. Victory lap.

80A. Niche market for airport bookstores? : FLIGHT READING. Light reading.
106A. Dumpster hoverers? : PACK OF FLIES. Pack of lies.

117A. Hygiene product for very big teeth? : SUBSTANTIAL FLOSS. Substantial loss.

Five F's are added to the start of last words, three to the first. Quite consistent, key to this type of letter addition/deletion/substitution puzzles.

Jeffrey also gives us a 140-word grid. LAT Sundays are normally 144. Look at the top/bottom edges, they're usually divided into 4 parts. Jeffrey the Master only uses 3. He also places six solid non-theme 9's, two of them are paralleled.


1. Humanities degs. : BAs
4. Dangerous thing to fall in with : BAD CROWD. Great debut fill.

12. Enhances : ADDS TO

18. Exiled, with "away" : SENT

19. Nonconforming : IRREGULAR

20. Kitchen gadget : PEELER. Here is my favorite. I got it from our local Asian store.

21. Eponymous reader : UTNE. Reader.

24. Conquered after being lost, as territory : RETAKEN

26. Part of it is on L.I. : NYC. We also have 127. Manhattan region : EAST SIDE And 4. Bombers' home? : BRONX

27. __ food : HEALTH

32. __ resources : HUMAN

34. Ornamental shrub : YEW

35. Gurus' retreats : ASHRAMS. So many people are seeking enlightenment, but Buddha achieved his only after he left his wife and kid.

37. Ill-gotten gains : GRIFT

42. Sheep group : FOLD

44. Pre-adulthood stages : PUPAE

46. Venerable retailer : SEARS

49. Even once : EVER

50. Reliable sort : TROUPER. Always thought it's TROOPER.

52. Glitzy rock genre : GLAM

54. Goliath, to David : FOE

55. Levelheaded : SANE. You just can't rattle D-Otto. Last winter when he discovered he had permanent retina damage, he dealt it with humor, carrying on his Meals on Wheels work as usual. Always cool. Always a do-er.

59. State requiring "Stat!" : URGENCY

61. Enterprise bridge figure : SULU

64. More than not : MOST

67. Unrefined : RAW

70. "The Goldbergs" airer : ABC

71. "House" actor Epps : OMAR
76. Eponymous salad creator : COBB. Never had it. Some food just don't appeal to me. 

79. "That is my intention" : I MEAN TO

87. Emulate a condor : SOAR

88. Spherical organ : EYE

90. "Star Wars" saga fixture : LEIA. Boomer would have commented on the three vowels.

91. Equanimity : BALANCE

92. First word of "Send in the Clowns" : ISN'T. "Isn't it rich?".

93. WWI battle river : SOMME

95. Stop on the briny : AVAST

97. S.F. commuting system : BART

98. 16th-century Sorrento-born poet : TASSO. We had him before. And 125. 98-Across' lang. : ITAL

100. Cape user : MATADOR

102. SALT subject : ABM

103. Barely bested, with "out" : NOSED

111. Like Stephen King's Pennywise : CREEPY

114. Medium power? : ESP. Nice clue.

116. Golden quality? : SILENCE. No. 1 requirement for being a Ninja.
122. Yawn-inducing : DULL

123. One changing lines, perhaps : EDITOR. That's Rich.

124. End of an ultimatum : OR LEAVE IT. Feels like partial-ish to me. YMMV.

126. Yes : ASSENT
128. Sardine catcher : NET. Dried sardines are important in Korean cooking. Base of broth.


1. Stimulating nut : BETEL

2. Women's fashion chain : ANN TAYLOR. For career women.

3. Really angry : STEAMED UP

5. Radius location : ARM

6. Young socialite : DEB

7. Pixar output, briefly : CGI

8. Track competitor : RUNNER

9. Brand including Regenerist products : OLAY.  I still like the Olay original.

10. Defiant reply to a dare : WATCH ME

11. Soft & __: deodorant : DRI

12. Sleep disorder : APNEA

13. Make less dangerous, as a snake : DEFANG. You can find live snakes in many restaurants in Guangzhou. Live fish too.

14. Acer rival : DELL. Also 16. Acer employee : TECH. My screen is Acer.

15. Vending machine opening : SLOT
17. TV planet : ORK. Mork & Mindy.

18. Banzai Pipeline feature : SURF. Also  57. Grounds crew concern : TURF

19. Frozen drink brand : ICEE

23. Omega, to a physicist : OHM

25. London's __ Gardens : KEW

29. Ruth wore one : CAP. Baby Ruth. (Correction: I meant Babe Ruth.)

30. What kilowatt hours measure : USAGE

31. Knickknack perch : SHELF

33. Its Space Command has HQ in Colorado : USAF. Hi Bob, are you still reading our blog?

36. Capital of Eritrea : ASMARA

38. Alter, as a tailor might : RE-SEAM

39. First Family name : IVANKA Her kids speak Chinese.

40. Dueling party : FENCER

41. Low cards : TREYS

42. Consumer protection org. : FTC

43. Conquistador's treasure : ORO

44. Pacific Rim nation : PERU

45. Eurasian border river : URAL

47. Opposite of a squeaker : ROUT

48. Lowly worker : SERF

51. Tom of "Newhart" : POSTON. Boomer met him at a charity golf tournament once.

53. Math subj. : ALG

58. Information source, with "the" : WEB

60. All over the world : GLOBAL

63. Bookkeeping no. : ACCT

64. Champagne cocktail : MIMOSA. Do you guys like Kombucha?

65. Hurricanes form over them : OCEANS

66. Embarks : STARTS

68. Furry TV ET : ALF

69. License holder? : WALLET. No hesitation from me.

72. Stop by : VISIT. Tablet will take Argyle a bit longer to figure out. In the meantime, please continue sending cards to below address. He enjoys our cards.

D. Scott Nichols
Room #219
Wesley Health Care Center
131 Lawrence St.
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

73. GPS data : RTES

74. Foolish one : YO-YO

75. Food in a humility metaphor : PIE

77. Spheres : ORBS

78. Vanquish : BEAT

81. Hall of Fame chef De Laurentiis : GIADA. Know her of course. I did not know there's a Culinary Hall of Fame though.

82. Wreaked state : HAVOC

83. Tinkered with : DABBLED IN. Thought of TTP, who will probably still enjoy tinkering with things in his 90s. DIY takes curiosity and talents. 

84. "Soon" : IN A MINUTE

85. ATM giant : NCR

86. Procure : GET

89. Full-figured model born Melissa Miller : EMME. I did not know her original name. That's quite close to Marisa Miller the model below.

94. Archipelago with an eponymous wine : MADEIRA

96. Storied vessel : ARK

99. Big weight : ONE TON

101. Java creation : APPLET

102. Workers' org. formed in 1886 : AFL

104. Vasarely's genre : OP-ART

105. Word for word?: Abbr. : SYN. Another great clue.

107. Actor Davis : OSSIE

108. Raised symbol of resistance : FIST

109. Brilliant display : ECLAT

110. Market : SELL

111. They're chewed in pastures : CUDS. I'm glad I'm not a cow. I can't imagine eating the same food day after day.

112. Wrigley Field stats : RBIs

113. Sunrise dirección : ESTE

115. "Do the Right Thing" pizzeria : SAL'S

117. "Many fresh streams meet in one salt __": Shakespeare : SEA

118. Little piggy : TOE

119. Sol preceders : FAs

120. CXII halved : LVI. 56.

121. 20-volume ref. : OED

Splynter said "Hi". He is now working as an AutoCAD drafter for Westhampton Architectural Glass. I'm happy that he left that winery. I was afraid they would sabotage his hard work with AA.

Yeah, PK, try Dave's suggestion. Google Gmail. You should get your account back.


Mar 28, 2018

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: What happened to the Pope?   Let's start with the unifier.  It will make all clear.

54. Minister or imam, say ... and, in two ways, a hint to words hidden in 17-, 29- and 38-Across : RELIGIOUS LEADER.  The titles of RELIGIOUSly ministerial people are indicated at the beginning of each theme answer - thus LEADing the way in.  Let's see how that works.

17. Secondhand wave of excitement : VICARIOUS THRILL.  This is an imagined experience based on the actions or feelings of someone else.  The position of VICAR varies among different Christian denominations, but always involves some level of LEADERship responibiity.

29. Place to get delivery instructions? : LAMAZE CLASS.  This teaches a method of preparation for natural childbirth.  A LAMA is a teacher of the Dhamma, a principle of cosmic order, in Tibetan Buddhism.

38. Hare care site : RABBIT HUTCH.  Clever clue for a place where bunnies are nurtured [not the Playboy Mansion.]   In the Jewish faith, A RABBI is a teacher in Jewish law who also provides pastoral counseling and represents the community.

With two grid-spanners and two more entries of 11 letters each, this is quite rich for a 4-part theme.  Also, I found this to be a bit on the tough side for a Wednesday.  But, it's Jeffery, who we usually see on Fridays, so that might explain it.  In fact, word count, length and freshness are all in the Thursday- Friday range.

Hi, gang, JazzBumpa here to guide you on this pilgrimage.  Remember, religion is off-topic here, so we'll make our excursion secular and apolitical.


1. Touch, e.g. : SENSE.  Along with sight, smell, taste, taste and hearing, the typical 5 SENSES.    Modern thinking identifies a longer list.

6. Model in a bottle : SHIP.

10. SALT weaponry : ABMS.  Strategic Arms Limitation Talks/Treaties concerned Ballistic Missiles and Anti Ballistic Missiles [ground to air] designed to defend against them.

14. "Ta-ta, mon ami" : ADIEU.  French word of departure.

15. Students' lunchroom : CAFETERIA.

19. Surprised cries : EEKS.  Responses to rodent sightings.

20. Court plea, briefly : NOLO contendere, in full.  A plea that neither admits guilt nor claims innocence.

21. Bridal path : AISLE.  Not a horse trail, but the route a bride takes to the altar.

22. "Uh-uh--however ... " : NO BUT.  Always, an objection.

24. They may be raised in casinos : STAKES.  Betting levels.  Are you in or out?

25. Saudi neighbors : OMANISMiddle-eastern geography.

27. Google Apps component : G-MAIL.  21st century communication device.

31. Pro bono TV ad : Public Service Announcement.

34. "Hamilton" climax : DUEL.  I'm not familiar with the ending of the musical - but this event ended Alexander Hamilton's life.  After missing with his first shot, Hamilton was struck by Burr's shot, and died the following day from the wound.

35. 27-Across alternative : AOL.  An internet service provider.

36. Has second thoughts about : RUES.  This rather understates what would be better defined as "bitter regret."

37. Member of the fam : SIS.  I have one.  No bro, though.

42. Thick : DENSE.  Figuratively speaking, a not particularly bright person can be called dense.  In more physical terms, these words refer to a linear dimension and relative heaviness, respectively.

43. Off the beaten path : REMOTE. Or, alternatively, far away.

44. Arcade activity : GAMING.  Generally of video or pin ball varieties.

47. Welcome words to a hitchhiker : HOP IN.  Feel free to enter the vehicle.

48. Kicking partner? : ALIVE.  Words that go together in a vernacular phrase.

49. Ancient France : GAUL. A vast region of Western Europe north of Iberia inhabited by Celtic peoples, that includes parts of several other modern countries.

51. St. Petersburg's river : NEVA. In Russia, not Florida, therefore remote.

57. Jaguar's jaguar, e.g. : TRADEMARK.  A word, phrase or symbol that is registered or established by use to represent a company or product.

58. Clarence Odbody in "It's a Wonderful Life," e.g. : ANGEL.  Specifically, a 2nd class angel, who after 200 years, had still not earned his wings.  Sad.

59. Give a finer edge to : HONE.  Sharpen on a whetstone, or figuratively, refine one's skills.

60. Word with bill or ball : PLAY.  "PLAY ball" announces the start of a baseball game.  A PLAYbill is a poster announcing a theatrical performance.  Here is my lovely wife, Gloria,  admiring a recent PLAYbill featuring granddaughter Amanda.

1. In __: unborn : UTERO.  Still in the uterus.


1. Hockey announcer's cry : SAVE.  The average NHL goalie's save percentage has been .913 to .915 for the last 5 seasons.

2. Actress Falco : EDIE.  Nurse Jackie, and before that Carmela Soprano.

3. The Sultan of Swat and The Splendid Splinter : NICKNAMES.  I've had a few.  Didn't like most of them.  The ones listed here refer to baseball legends George Herman "Babe" Ruth and Ted Williams, respectively.

4. Like produce at farm-to-table restaurants : SEASONAL.  Fresh and locally produced, unlike strawberries in Michigan in March.

5. The Danube's cont. : EUR. The continent of Europe.  Note abrv. in cl. & ans.

6. "Run along now" : SCOOT.  Get a move on.

7. Pull with effort : HAUL.  Schlep.

8. "Assuming it's true ... " : IF SO.  Conditional.

9. Guinea pig, e.g. : PET.  A domestic or tamed animal kept for companionship or amusement.

10. Taken from above, as photos : AERIAL.  Formerly from a plane, now probably from a drone.

11. Invigorating : BRISK.  Like a cool breeze or cup of hot tea.

12. Jacque's thousand : MILLE.  French number.

13. Cyber Monday events : SALES.  Along with Black Friday, President's Day, the 4th of July and Boxing Day.  All designed to separate you from your money.

16. "To clarify ... " : THAT IS.  What I meant to say  .  .  .

18. Operating : IN USE. Verb form used as a modifier.  Some grammarian help me with the vocabulary.

23. Show __ : BIZ.  There's no BIZ like it.

24. Copenhagen carrier : SAS.  Scandinavian Airlines.

25. Former GM division : OLDS.  It WAS your father's Oldsmobile.

26. Haleakala National Park locale : MAUI.  Oahu would have been my 2nd guess.  It includes both mountainous and coastal regions.

27. Round Earth map : GLOBE.

28. Landlocked African nation : MALI.  South of Algeria, west of Niger.  Chad also fits - it is east of Niger and south of Libya.

30. Airport lineup : CABS.  Taxis.  Alternate definition: red wine line up.

31. Made tense : PUT ON EDGE.  What puts you on edge?

32. Doctrinal faction : SECT.  Another tilt in the direction of religion.  I was going to join my carpenter friend's church, until I found out it was a splinter group.

33. Tennis great Arthur : ASHE.  In the early 80's Ashe is believed to have contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion he received during heart surgery.  He died at age 49 in 1993.

36. Cud-chewing mammal : RUMINANT.  A hoofed animal with a rumen - an extra stomach where plant matter is digested with the aid of bacteria.   Includes cattle, sheep, antelopes, deer and giraffes.

38. Go back (on) : RENEGE.  Fail to honor a promise or contract.

39. Director Lee : ANG.  [b 1953] Also screenwriter and producer whose often emotionally charged works explore cultural and personal conflicts.

40. Disruptive forum visitor : TROLL.  One whose comments serve to cause dissension and conflict for its own sake rather than move the conversation along in a rational manner.

41. With it, once : HEP.  What once was HEP became hip, then rad.  I don't what it is now.

42. Cut into parts : DIVIDE.

44. Brooks with two Grammys : GARTH.  Counrty singer

45. Last 25-Down model : ALERO.  It was built in Lansing, MI from 1998 until 2004.

46. Italian fashion city : MILAN.  The capital of Lombardy and 2nd most populous city in Italy.  It is also a leader in the arts, commerce, education, research and tourism.

47. Iditarod runner : HUSKY.   Sled dog.

49. Hockey announcer's cry : GOAL.  Average number of goals against this year is 2.77, up from 2.59 last year and 2.51 the year before.  Average shots against per game have been 31.8, 30.1 and 29.6, respectively.  More shooting --> more scoring.

50. Pervasive glow : AURA.

52. Turn sharply : VEER.  Suddenly change direction.

53. Guthrie who sang about Alice : ARLO.  Here, for you listening enjoyment, if you have 18 spare minutes.

55. Little trickster : IMP.

56. Seine filler : EAU.  Water in a French river.  A purse seine filler would be poisson, on a good day.

Eau que, that wraps things up for another Wednesday.  Hope you enjoyed the journey.

Cool regards!

Mar 7, 2018

Wednesday, March 7, 2018, Jeffrey Wechsler


4. Sunday dinner side dish : ROASTED POTATOES

6. Driving : AT THE WHEEL
10. Summer Olympics event since 1996 : BEACH VOLLEYBALL
31. Gravy thickener : CORNSTARCH

61. Body part whose parts are aptly found at the bottom of this puzzle's four longest answers : FOOT

Melissa here. Not only are the theme answers all down, but also all except one are positioned at the very bottom of the grid. Nice.


1. Drone sound : WHIR. Not BUZZ.

5. Spicy dip : SALSA

10. French flag couleur : BLEU

14. Parade celebrity : HERO

15. Cotton swabs : Q-TIPS. Appropriately, right next to ...

16. Pair on a Disneyland hat : EARS

17. Verdi highlight : ARIA

18. It's prohibited on many highways : U-TURN

19. Vast landmass : ASIA

20. Musical Christmas staple : MESSIAH. Handel.

22. Culinary student's assent : YES CHEF

24. Native American symbol : TOTEM

26. Bit of cheer? : RAH

27. 22% of the U.S. Senate : WOMEN. Appropriately right next to ...

30. WWII female : WAC.
Women's Army Corps was the women's branch of the United States Army.

32. Program breaks : TV ADS

36. Enthusiastic : AVID

37. "Good Lord!" : OH GOD. That's what he said.

39. Miscellany : OLIO

40. [Uh-oh!] : GULP

41. Big name in threshers : DEERE

42. In __ of: replacing : LIEU

43. City ENE of Reno : ELKO. Perped.

44. One of pop music's Papas : DENNY. Dennis Doherty was a founding member of the 1960s musical group The Mamas & the Papas.


45. Permits : LETS

46. Takes a load off : RESTS

48. Mil. officers : LTS.

49. High-IQ group : MENSA

50. Perilous hisser : ASP

52. In check : AT BAY

54. Succeeding like nobody's business : ON A TEAR. Wictionary definition:
Engaged in a continuous, fast-paced procession of actions or events, especially with favorable results.

58. Like most kosher frankfurters : ALL BEEF

62. Water sport : POLO

63. Only inanimate zodiac sign : LIBRA

65. Iams alternative : ALPO

66. "Quite so" : TRUE

67. Historical period : EPOCH

68. Slimming procedure, briefly : LIPO

69. Shopping club : SAMS

70. Swearing-in rituals : OATHS

71. For fear that : LEST


1. "Careless Whisper" pop group : WHAM

2. "__ comes trouble!" : HERE

3. Eye part : IRIS

5. Weightlifting maneuver : SQUAT

7. "Elementary" co-star Lucy : LIU

8. Nimble : SPRY

9. Ed with seven Emmys : ASNER.
The first actor to win an Emmy award in both comedy and drama genres for the same role (for the character Lou Grant in both The Mary Tyler Moore show and Lou Grant). List of awards and nominations received by Ed Asner.

11. Word with back or whip : LASH

12. Historic canal : ERIE

13. "Aim High ... Fly-Fight-Win" military org. : USAF

21. Non-neutral atom : ION

23. Took a load off : SAT

25. Purplish hue : MAGENTA

27. Ante, e.g. : WAGER. Ohhh ... I was thinking the prefix.

28. Small egg : OVULE

29. Takes full advantage of : MILK. EXPLOIT didn't fit.

33. From far away (perhaps very far) : ALIEN

34. See 51-Down : DIETS

and 51. With 34-Down, really retro eating programs : PALEO

35. "The March King" : SOUSA. John Philip Sousa composed 136 marches, including Semper Fidelis (1888), which became the official march of the U.S. Marine Corps. You may recognize The Liberty Bell as the theme song for Monty Python's Flying Circus. "And now for something completely different:"

37. Unexpected : ODD

38. Susan of "L.A. Law" : DEY

47. Ottawa-to-NYC dir. : SSE

49. Prefix with ware : MAL

53. Vague discomfort, with "the" : BLAHS

54. Makes a choice : OPTS

55. Romance writer Roberts : NORA

56. Grad : ALUM

57. Longtime "Live!" host : RIPA

59. Author Wiesel : ELIE. "
We must not see any person as an abstraction. Instead, we must see in every person a universe with its own secrets, with its own treasures, with its own sources of anguish, and with some measure of triumph."

60. Omar of "Shooter" : EPPS. Never heard of this USA Network series. 
It originated as a film in 2007, where the role of Bob Lee Swagger was played by Mark Wahlberg. That film is actually based on the book Point of Impact by Stephen Hunter, which is inspired by a real Vietnam sniper. More here.

64. Plant sci. : BOT. Short for botany.

Feb 25, 2018

Sunday Feb 25, 2018 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: "Kinda Sorta" - ISH is added to each theme entry.

23A. Snow in southwest England? : CORNISH FLAKES. Corn flakes.

36A. Golf-loving priest's dream? : PARISH FOR THE COURSE. Par for the course.

48A. Pastry with a metallic taste? : STEELY DANISH. Steely Dan.

66A. Result of certain radar screens conking out? : WEATHER VANISHES. Weather vanes.
86A. Media outlet in Pennsylvania Dutch country? : AMISH FM RADIO. AM/FM radio.

94A. General-use gesture? : ALL-PURPOSE FLOURISH. All-purpose flour.

112A. Cause of an origami flaw? : FOLDING MISHAP. Folding map.

Three first word changes. Four second word changes. No odd man out.

The new words and the old words share no root. Jeffrey is truly the master of letter addition theme.

1. JFK's 109 : PT BOAT

7. Gives in : BENDS

12. Egg white protein : ALBUMIN

19. Ronzoni rival : BARILLA. Here in Minnesota, Creamette is very popular.

20. Open, as an aspirin bottle : UNCAP

21. Quarters and halves : COINAGE

22. It's often written in stone : EPITAPH. Headstone.

25. Snack : EAT. Verb.

26. Hayseeds : HICKS

28. Salad bar container : CRUET

29. EKGs may be done in them : ERs. Also 83. CPR provider : EMT. Also 99. Source of brain research data: Abbr. : EEG

30. Nice : PLEASANT. Like our regulars on the blog. You guys are the best!

33. Waikiki wreaths : LEIS

34. Rte. finder : GPS

43. Cal. locale of the Latino Walk of Fame : EAST LA. Guessable.

46. Bottom-row key : ALT

47. Fixed : IMMOBILE 

52. Steamed : MAD

53. Boodles, for one : GIN. Learning moment for me.

54. Renaissance painter della Francesca : PIERO. Forgot. We had him before.

55. Auto body problem : RUST

56. Eye layer : UVEA

59. "Gracious!" : OH MY

60. Since Jan. 1, in accounting : YTD

61. Start of many a riddle : WHAT

63. Ben Gurion carrier : EL AL. Don't know how Steve puts up with the constant flying hassles.

64. Freight unit : CRATE

70. Ski resort aids : T-BARS

72. Mishmash : OLIO

73. "M*A*S*H" roller : JEEP. Here is a Chinese military jeep.

74. Dec. setting in Denver : MST

77. Lea sounds : BAAS

78. Rum-and-water drink : GROG

79. Tusker hunted as game : BOAR

81. Hostile calls : HOOTS
84. Brazilian map word : SAO

89. '90s golf club-making innovation : TITANIUM. Boomer bought a Big Bertha at the 2nd Swing a few years ago. I don't remember the LOFT (13. It's measured in degrees for golf clubs).

92. Coughing, perhaps : ILL. Try Robitussin cough drop. It worked for me. Such a tough flu.

93. Provides fare for : CATERS

100. Unresponsive (to) : DEAF

101. Like delicate fabric : FINE-SPUN. My childhood clothes were all made from the cloths my grandma wove. Rough fiber.

105. The Jungfrau, e.g. : ALP

107. Makeup malfunction : SMEAR

109. Take as one's own : CO-OPT

111. Binary code basic : ONE
116. "Just like us!" : SO ARE WE

119. Genteel café relative : TEA ROOM. Now I'm like Abejo. I bring my own loose jasmine tea with me.

120. Conclude : CEASE

121. Feeling guilty : ASHAMED

122. Charming small-town street array : AWNINGS

123. Old lab heaters : ETNAs

124. Became less hostile : THAWED


1. Like decrees from Francis : PAPAL

2. Overused : TRITE

3. It might come from the horse's mouth : BIT

4. Portuguese hi : OLA. No suffix today.

5. Nuclear decay emission : ALPHA RAY. Got via crosses.

6. Sesame seed paste : TAHINI. You can get it at Trade Joe's.

7. Rudolph's dad, e.g. : BUCK. Oh, the reindeer.

8. Baseball Hall of Famer Slaughter : ENOS

9. ATM maker : NCR

10. See 51-Down : DANCER. And 51. With 10-Down, Waikiki entertainer : HULA

11. Scrooge visitor : SPIRIT

12. Flu symptom : ACHE
14. Fed. budget unit : BIL. We also have 79D. Tell what's due : BILL and 27D. Small change: Abbr. : CTS

15. Merkel of "Destry Rides Again" : UNA

16. Fixes : MAKES RIGHT. Sparkling fill.

17. Eisner's successor at Disney : IGER

18. Fabled loch : NESS

19. Attraction for a cartoon coyote : BEEP

24. Dish using seaweed : SUSHI. I'll tackle the eel roll first.

31. More to the point : APTER

32. Less healthy-looking : SALLOWER

33. Auction array : LOTS

34. "I approve" : GOOD

35. Stout server : PUB

37. Pediatrician Asperger : HANS. I did not know his given name.

38. Move like a moth : FLIT

39. Poet Lazarus : EMMA

40. Entertainer of the Year org. : CMA. Garth Brooks is a multiple winner.

41. Muck : SLIME

42. Child's counting word : EENY

43. Notice : ESPY

44. Feuding : AT IT

45. Acorn, functionally : SEED

49. "Phooey!" : DRAT

50. Name on a spine : AUTHOR. Book spine.
57. Mayflower roller : VAN

58. Prophet associated with Passover : ELIJAH

59. Western alliance: Abbr. : OAS (Organization of American States)

62. Is down with : HAS

63. Bolivian president Morales : EVO. Since 2006. Wiki says he is "widely regarded as the country's first president to come from the indigenous population".

64. Role in "Evita" : CHE

65. Put another way : REPHRASE

66. Existed : WAS

67. Symphonic rock gp. : ELO

68. European capital on its own gulf : RIGA. Also 80. European capital : OSLO
69. Feudal peasant : SERF

70. Sri Lankan people : TAMIL

71. Armed forces strategy : BATTLE PLAN. Another great fill.
74. Manner : MODE

75. Commotion : STIR

76. General __ chicken : TSO'S

77. Head of Byzantium? : BETA. Just the first letter.

78. Rise : GO UP

82. Court declarations : OATHS
84. Warm and comfy : SNUG
85. "The __ bites shrewdly; it is very cold": Hamlet : AIR

87. Annoy : MIFF

88. Eponymous apple grower : MCINTOSH
90. Mimic : APE

91. Web surfing tool : MODEM
95. North Atlantic navigation worry : SEA ICE

96. Part of a telemarketer's gear : EAR SET. I just call it earphone.

97. "The X-Files" sighting : UFO
98. Attacks, as a wrapped gift : RIPS AT

102. Vichy verse : POEME. Also a Lancome fragrance.

103. Matchless? : UNWED. Ha ha.

104. Requirement : NEED

105. Aqua Velva alternative : AFTA
106. Movie mogul Marcus : LOEW. See also 108. Theaters associated with 106-Down: MGMS

107. Neck, in Nottingham : SNOG

109. Acapulco abode : CASA

110. Unlocks, in verse : OPES

113. Wash'n __ towelettes : DRI

114. Charged thing : ION

115. Dynasty after the Qin : HAN. Zhou, Qin, Han, Tang are four dynasties whose capital was Xi'an. Most of you know how I got my Mandarin name Zhouqin.

117. "Eureka!" : AHA

118. Cold and rainy : RAW

The 41st American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (March 23-25, 2018) will be held at the Stamford Marriott in Stamford, Connecticut. For those who attend, don't miss the Cru Dinner organized by the great Mike Alpern.

The Cru Dinner officially kicks off the tournament and is a great opportunity to meet with constructors and fellow solvers. Our own Jeffrey Wechsler stopped by there last year. He's been ACPT judge for a few years.

The space is limited, so be sure to contact with Mike ( as soon as possible.