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

Jul 21, 2017

Friday, July 21, 2017, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: Friday Funderdome Without Steve Harvey!

Jeffrey is back with one of his specialties - adding a three letter (or more) word to an existing phrase. In this installment he adds FUN so we all have fun. The first splits into two words, the second splits one word and the third is added to the beginning of the phrase. With the three theme plus reveal JW really crafted a very balanced grid loaded with many new things, sparkly things and well clued fill.
EAT TO LIVE and the wonderful IMMENSELY are among my favorites. A puzzle that includes no dreck, just nice fill clued well.

17A. Complain, "Don't I get anything to do around here?"? : DEMAND A FUNCTION (15).
Demand Action.

24A. Compensation for an incomplete sundae? : CHERRY REFUND (12). Cherry Red is a color, a record company, a song....

40A. When a restaurant offers its weekly mushroom specials? : FUNGAL FRIDAY (12). No idea about the resulting phrase,  but Gal Friday was very popular before we needed to choose our words to not offend, even unintentionally. 
The reveal:
51A. "It's party time!" ... or a hint to 17-, 24- and 40-Across : LET'S HAVE SOME FUN (15).


1. Asian priests : LAMAS. The one L ones.

6. Miso base : DASHI. If you appreciate Japanese cooking you need to read the LINK.

11. Zodiac critter : RAM. The symbol of the ram for Aries is based on the Chrysomallus, the flying ram that provided the Golden Fleece. (Atsma).

14. Town house, e.g. : ABODE.

15. How gourmands enjoy their food : IMMENSELY. A lovely double entendre that is not sexual.

19. Distressed sort? : DAMSEL.

20. Medium for much body art : HENNA.  These TATTOOS are very popular for people visiting Key West.

21. Crop planter : SOWER. Reap what you shall sow.

23. Slants : BIASES.

28. European luxury vehicles : AUDIS.

29. Atari release of 1972 : PONG. Control your excitement.

30. Twaddle : PAP. Two words that are not popular where I live.

33. Rock quarry unit : SLAB. You can buy them DIRECT.

34. River feeder : BROOK.

36. It may involve cold calls : POLL. I am so glad I no longer have a landline.

37. Air-conditioning sound : HUM.

38. Territory east of the Philippines : GUAM. US Territory that is.

39. Dance performed with passion : TANGO.

43. Witless sorts : MORONS. Not always un-pc WORD.

46. Water nymph : NAIAD.

47. Diarist Nin : ANAIS.

48. Heads or tails : PLURAL.  Old fashioned puzzle trickery.

56. 2003 best-selling nutritional self-help book : EAT TO LIVE.

57. Raring to go : ANTSY.

58. Furtive : SLY.

59. x, in math : TIMES.

60. Condition : STATE.


1. Any Boy Scout : LAD. Every Boy Scout.

2. Not up : ABED.

3. NYC cultural attraction : MOMAMuseum oModern Art. A wonderful place.

4. Tracy/Hepburn classic : ADAM'S RIB.

5. Burglar alarm devices : SENSORS.

6. Electronic telemarketing tool : DIALER.

7. Big initials in bowling : AMF. Brunswick and AMF, any comment Boomer?

8. Dallas campus: Abbr. : SMUSouthern Methodist University.

9. Chick magnet? : HEN. This was a cute deception.

10. Making slow progress : INCHING. Cute?

11. Jockey controls : REINS.

12. Isolated : ALONE.

13. Birds that may babble : MYNAS.

16. Stand (one) in good __: be useful to : STEAD.

18. Like a meadow in the morning : DEWY.

22. One taking things back? : REPOMAN.

23. Balderdash : BUNK.

24. Fives and tens, say : CASH. Again?

25. Netflix competitor : HULU.

26. Dutch export : EDAM.

27. Rock's __ Fighters : FOO. Very successful SUCCESSOR to Nirvana.

30. 31-Down environment : POND.

31. Bit of 30-Down life : ALGA.

32. Bit of subterfuge : PLOY.

34. Backyard cookout supply : BUNS. For Splynter I found this LINK.

35. Car wash item : RAG.

36. Leased, with "on" : PAID RENT. No idea what the "on" adds to this.

38. Crime drama sound effect : GUNSHOT. The sound alone can cause...

39. Psychological wounds : TRAUMAS.

40. Pass off (on) : FOIST.

41. Runs out : LAPSES.

42. Baklava dough : FILO.

43. Bulls and bucks : MALES. How cool to have a basketball misdirection just before...

44. Retired NBA center : O'NEAL. There are two that I know of. They were even teammates in Boston, when they were no longer stars, I think. Jermaine on the viewer's left, Shaquille on the right.

45. Like shabby old clothes : RATTY. Schmatta.

49. Mennen lotion : AFTA.

50. "... prologue to the history of __ and foul thoughts": Iago : LUST.
"Lechery, by this hand, an index and obscure prologue to the history of lust and foul thoughts." Act II, Scene 1, Othello by a regular visitor to JW puzzles.

52. Ring legend : ALI.

53. Get-up-and-go : VIM. And vigor.

54. Big night : EVE.

55. TV's "Science Guy" : NYE. My favorite SCENE.

Well it was a JW so it must be Friday; I hope you enjoyed his work and the guided tour.  Lemonade out.

Jul 7, 2017

Friday, July 7, 2017, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title:   'Ay you, let's switch.

Our Friday maven JW is back. Once again we have a letter switch puzzle, with the resulting fill clued whimsically.  We have five clues where an "A" is replaced with a "U." The initial three have the change in the first word, the remaining two in the second word. All of the new fill are witty - BUNK Robber my favorite and Exhaust FUN the most poignant.  But wait ! There is More, each word has an N after each A/U. It is hard enough to to make a letter substitution work, but to have the consistency of the AN to UN is the cherry on top. I missed it my first time through. With 61 theme squares, JW still manages to include ARTEMIS,  USED CAR, EPITHETS, FORENSIC, SNATCHING and WOOD SCREW to leave a very satisfying grid.

17A. Thief at a sleepaway camp? : BUNK ROBBER (10). The BANK robber downsized.

24A. People who wear "I'm with stupid" T-shirts? : DUNCE PARTNERS (13). Perhaps they will become DANCE Partners.

37A. Fail a jewelry class lesson? : BUNGLE BRACELETS (15). Not my favorite, BANGLE Bracelet while alliterative, just does not excite.

48A. What drives a fashionista? : CLOTHES HUNGER (13). Clothes HANGERS have not changed much in my lifetime.

59A. Run out of amusing things to do? : EXHAUST FUN (10). Every stove has an Exhaust FAN.

I hope you are not too exhausted to move on....


1. Itsy-bitsy critter : MITE. Dust mite anyone?

5. Caroler's accoutrement : SCARF. Accoutrement is such a classy word!

10. Farthest from the hole : AWAY. This is for golfers, determining who plays next.

14. Slangy "Got that?" : Y'SEE?  This contraction of 'you see' is in the dictionary now.

15. Izu Islands city : TOKYO. Major learning moment for me. LINK.

16. Soda opener? : COCA. Cola.

19. Red cap? : CORK. Red wine - nice clue.

20. Vivid dye : AZO. The  wiki-chemist says "aryl azo compounds have vivid colors, especially reds, oranges, and yellows. Therefore, they are used as dyes, and are commonly known as azo dyes."

21. Kibbutz entertainment : HORA. The dance.  There are variations.

22. End sections of some Greek poems : EPODES. Epode, a verse form composed of two lines differing in construction and often in meter, the second shorter than the first. In Greek lyric odes, an epode is the third part of the three-part structure of the poem, following the strophe and the antistrophe. The word is from the Greek epōidós, “sung” or “said after.” Sure. Britannica.

27. __ Cruces : LAS. The crosses, Spanish, is located in New Mexico.

28. It may be a lemon : USED CAR. A clear CSO.

31. Lhasa __ : APSO.
34. Range : AMBIT.

36. LP maker : RCA.

41. Bali or Hanes product : BRA. Any other three letter products?

42. Bridge call : I PASS.

43. Boo-boo : OWIE.

44. Deity with bow and arrows : ARTEMIS. The Greek goddess of the hunt, etc. She and Diana are similar but not the SAME. 56A. Superhero with a hammer : THOR. Now we have a Norse god added.

46. Bot., e.g. : SCI.

54. Go over : REHASH.

57. Natural resource : ORE.

58. Tissue box access : SLIT.

62. Forest climber : VINE.

63. Three-time 20-game winner for the '70s Red Sox : TIANT. I will never forget his WINDUP or his STORY.

64. Cried : WEPT.

65. Classifies (as) : PEGS.

66. Trig functions : SINES.

67. Fine things? : ARTS.


1. "I'm the culprit" : MY BADMea culpa before the millennials came along.

2. Brand once hawked by an eponymous "Joe" : ISUZU. He was a STAR.

3. Joinery element : TENON. Splynter? You agree joinery is the wooden components of a building, such as stairs, doors, and door and window frames, viewed collectively?

4. "I sure don't want that" : EEK. Two weeks in a row.

5. Retrieves dropped keys, say : STOOPS.

6. Hooded snake : COBRA.

7. Mogul emperor, 1556-1605 : AKBAR. Interesting MAN.

8. Bakery offering : RYE. It was rye bread that led to the Salem witch trials.

9. Like "CSI" work : FORENSIC. Which I may have learned from CSI.

10. Agreement : ACCORD.

11. Item in many an IKEA kit : WOOD SCREW.  "Wood screws are better than drywall screws for woodworking projects. Drywall screws are made of hardened, brittle steel, and the shaft will often snap during installation, especially if they're screwed into hardwoods."

12. Lot division : ACRE. There are 640 acres in a Section, but most lots are smaller than an acre.

13. Shoots the breeze : YAKS.

18. Carla portrayer on "Cheers" : RHEA.

23. Actress/author Holly Robinson __ : PEETE. Ex-Detroit Lion QB Rodney Peete's wife.
RODNEY did not have a great career, but he found a great WIFE.

25. Obstruct : CLOG.

26. Marching band section : TUBAS.

29. When "Kansas City" is sung in "Oklahoma!" : ACT I.

30. Knock down, in Nottingham : RASE. The British spelling of the word we spell raze.

31. "SOS" group : ABBA.

32. Run smoothly : PURR.

33. Pickpocket's activity : SNATCHING. Actually it seems more like stealing to me.

34. Humiliate : ABASH.

35. Union address? : MRS. Fun clue/fill.

38. Oscar night arrivals : LIMOS.

39. Peter the Great et al. : EPITHETS. They are not always nice, the Terrible, the Mad etc.

40. Butcher's offering : LOIN.

45. Brings great pleasure to : ELATES.

46. Shows anger, maybe : SHOUTS.

47. Ornery sorts : CURS.

49. Vermont patriot Allen : ETHAN. More famous for his furniture.

50. Oscar-nominated western : SHANE. Alan Ladd was 5'4" I am told.

51. Menial assistant : GOFER.

52. Blow : ERUPT.

53. Flat fees : RENTS. Pun on British word for apartment.

54. "I'll be there" message, e.g. : RSVP.

55. Author Wiesel : ELIE.

60. Number on old dials : XII.

61. BOAC competitor : TWA. They both are gone.

We are in the good old summer time; hope you all had a fun day on the 4th. It feels right to have Jeffrey back in the Friday saddle.  Thank you all for tuning in; see you next week gwatcdr.
Lemonade out.

Jun 8, 2017

Thursday, June 8 2017 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: Cervantes Shout-Out - all the theme answers are connected by the protagonist in Miguel's two-part classic novel "El ingenioso hidalgo don Quixote de la Mancha"

17A. 60-Across' noble status : KNIGHTHOOD. Possibly self-appointed though.

24A. 60-Across' home : LA MANCHA. "Somewhere in La Mancha in a place I do not care to remember ..."

49A. 60-Across' beloved : DULCINEA. "... her neck alabaster, her bosom marble, her hands ivory ..."

60A. Classic character whose exploits inspired the phrase in this puzzle's circles : DON QUIXOTE

Here he is doing that very thing:

Buenos dias! Jeffrey takes us on a literary tour with his theme, and nicely done. Four solid theme entries and a 15-letter diagonal grid-spanner gives the puzzle a nice structure. Two pairs of 9's in the downs underpin a really nice construction. I basically solved this in an anti-clockwise direction finishing up with HANES.

In a fun coincidence, Terry Gilliam, the ex-Monty Python actor and noted film director, announced on Tuesday that he had finally finished his Don Quixote movie, which was 17 years in the making and was such a disastrous production that the attempts to make it were themselves the subject of a documentary. Here's the full tale, courtesy of The Guardian newspaper.


1. Sting, essentially : TRAP.

5. Wingding : BASH. Or one of the symbols in the Wingdings font in Microsoft Word.

9. Word often improperly punctuated : ITS. Drives me nuts. It's, its. Use the mnemonic "It's an apostrophe" if you're not sure.

12. Small stream : RILL

13. Satellite radio giant : SIRIUS. It's actually SiriusXM. Not sure I like the clue.

15. "__ lied" : SO I

16. Jackie Robinson Stadium sch. team : UCLA. You can see the field from the 405 freeway in Westwood.

19. "Bother someone else!" : SCAT!

20. Footnote term : IDEM. "The same" to reference a previously-cited source.

21. Collagist's supply : PASTE. This didn't come easily. Pasting collage materials onto the work.

22. Musical impediment : TIN EAR

26. Well-suited : APT

27. "O god of battles! __ my soldiers' hearts": Henry V : STEEL. I tried STILL first, and then realized that's probably not what Henry would want to happen to his army.

28. Be obstreperous : ACT UP

31. White House section : WING

34. Bunch : SLEW

36. See 42-Down : D'OR. Just to annoy the cross-reference dislikers even more, this two-parter even comes out of order. I've never heard of the opera, but high school French lessons rendered the translation without any great effort.

37. Bringers of great relief : SAVIORS

40. Spanish pronoun : ESO

41. ESPN's Hershiser : OREL

43. Johnny who was the last pitcher to face Babe Ruth : SAIN. The Boston Braves didn't have much depth in pitching, hence "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain".

First we'll use Spahn
then we'll use Sain
Then an off day
followed by rain
Back will come Spahn
followed by Sain
And followed
we hope
by two days of rain.

44. Catcher on the ranch : LASSO

46. Thinks : DEEMS

48. Racket : DIN

52. "Turn up the thermostat!" : I'M COLD!

56. Hunter on high : ORION. One of the more recognizable constellations.

57. Wolverine, for one : X-MAN

59. Hipbone prefix : ILIO-

62. Some annexes : ELLS

63. Santana's "__ Como Va" : OYE. First recorded by Tito Puente back in 1963. Carlos' version is the best known.

64. Hurries : SCOOTS

65. Khartoum waterway : NILE

66. Sautéing sound : SSS

67. Top 500? : INDY. Nice clue. King of the 500-lap races, the Indianapolis 500.

68. Hole starters : TEES


1. Many a charitable organization : TRUST

2. "The Addams Family" film actress : RICCI. Christina Ricci played Wednesday Addams.

3. Macabre fiction middle name : ALLAN. Edgar Poe.

4. Almost all of Tibet : PLATEAU. The bit of Tibet that isn't on the plateau is decidedly hilly. Or Himalayan, if you prefer.

5. Tight spot : BIND

6. Disney mermaid : ARIEL. I always hesitate deciding between an E and an A.

7. Summation symbol in math : SIGMA

8. "Come again?" : HUH?

9. Like some triangles : ISOSCELES. Took me a couple of cracks to spell this correctly.

10. Ineffective : TOOTHLESS. Dentist visit today. I hope I don't come back in this condition.

11. Record half : SIDE A

13. Part of a Girl Scout uniform : SKIRT. Really? Can't they wear shorts?

14. Mar. honoree : ST. PAT. St. Patrick more formally. NEVER St. Patty.

18. Playtex sister brand : HANES. News to me.

23. They run on cells : APPS. Cellphones. Tricky little clue.

25. Catholic title: Abbr. : MSGR. Monsignor. Big cheeses, but not as big cheeses as the cardinals or the Pope.

28. Fuss : ADO

29. Pants with texture : CORDUROYS. It's not from "Corde du Roi", contrary to popular opinion.

30. Natural boundaries : TREELINES

31. One of two states formed during the U.S. Civil War : W. VA. I didn't need crosses for this. Yay me!

32. Sundial marking : III. I never understand why VIII is allowed on clocks and sundials, because it breaks the roman numeral rules. It should be IIX.

33. Payment beginning? : NON-

35. Try to win : WOO

38. Gp. with common interests : ASSN.

39. Long, as odds : SLIM

42. With 36-Across, French title of a Rimsky-Korsakov opera that translates to "The Golden Rooster" : LE COQ. Here's a bottle of pineau, an aperitif  from the Cognac region of France.

45. __ history : ANCIENT

47. Without : MINUS

48. Eats well : DINES

49. Extinct birds : DODOS

50. Half a 1999 gas merger : EXXON. Merged with Mobil. The deal was announced in 1998, but closed in 1999.

51. In __: sullen : A MOOD. What if you're in a good mood? Can't you be "in a mood" and happy?

53. Stan's partner : OLLIE

54. De Gaulle's birthplace : LILLE. Nice place, close to the Belgian border.

55. Prescription indications : DOSES

58. DOJ employee : ATTY.

61. Here, in Le Havre : ICI. Quite a bit of French today.

Fin. C'est tout, mes amis!


Notes from C.C.: 
The Sixth Minnesota Crossword Tournament will be held at the beautiful Landmark Center in Saint Paul on Sunday, June 11, 2017. 

Constructors include our puzzle master Jeffrey Jeffrey Wechsler, Christopher Adams, George Barany, Victor Barocas (also our editor), David Hanson, Andy Kravis, Mark McClain, Andrea Carla Michaels, David Liben-Nowell, Tom Pepper and Andrew J. Ries.

Jeffrey is  flying to St. Paul again this year to help the tournament. Thank you so much, Jeffrey, you're the best!

May 19, 2017

Friday, May 19, 2017, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: Bart is a brat!

An ambitious Friday from JW that is the second step in my returning to my post as Friday sherpa. It took solving a couple of the theme fill that made the theme obvious. The first word of a known expression becomes an anagram to provide a different and witty definition. All begin with a four letter word with the central AR reversed into RA to create a new phrase. It is most impressive that JW found 5 sets where the first word is a four letter word that works with his theme; they are:

17A. Aging hero Jones, in his latest film? : GRAY (GARY) INDIANA (11). Poor Harrison Ford, killed in Star Wars, dissed in Supergirl by his wife, Calista Flockhart and then he crashes a plane.

24A. Pitt portraying Shakespeare? : BRAD (BARD) OF AVON. (10). I can't picture this.

33A. Skill displayed at the gift counter? : WRAP (WARP) SPEED (9). A fun substitution.

45A. Times when hokey humor prevailed? : ERAS (EARS) OF CORN (10). Or when C. Moe appeared.

54A. Early stage of muffin production? : BRAN (BARN) RAISING (11). My favorite of the theme fill, but I grew up in New England farm country and know barn raising.


Let us see where else we went.


1. 1987 Michael Jackson album : BAD. his eventual follow up ALBUM to Thriller.

4. Road where Mozart was born : STRASSE. Street in German and probably Austrian. Research reveals Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on 27 January 1756 to Leopold Mozart (1719–1787) and Anna Maria, née Pertl (1720–1778), at 9 Getreidegasse in Salzburg. Clecho: 43A. Where Mozart was born : AUSTRIA.

11. Recurrent behavior : TIC. Hard for me because tics are involuntary.

14. Henri's here : ICI.    Just French.

15. Identify : POINT AT. Dramatic at a trial, but silly if the defendant is sitting at a table with his/her attorney.

16. "Bambi" doe : ENA. Auntie to Bambi.

19. Sci-fi setting : LAB.

20. "... let __ put asunder": Matthew : NO MAN.

21. Send out : EMIT.

22. Island band The __ Men : BAHA. The Baha Men are a Bahamian band playing a modernized style of Bahamian music called junkanoo. They are best remembered for their Grammy Award-winning hit song Who Let the Dogs Out? wiki.

23. Shakespeare's jet? : EBON. Both jet and ebon are fancy ways to say black.

26. Acquires through cunning : WANGLES. I love this word because it does not sound real.

28. Undefeated Ali : LAILA. Cute; his daughter was undefeated as a boxer.

29. Norm: Abbr. : STD. Standard.

30. His, to Henri : A LUI. More French.

32. "John Wick" star : REEVESKEANU not GEORGE.

35. Fish-eating raptor : OSPREY. These BIRDS OF PREY are the logical descendant of the dinosaurs.

38. Sassy : PERT. And if you become too sassy, you will be a....

39. Boorish sort : CAD.

42. Sound : VALID. Argument.

49. Loosen (up) : WARM. Is this from muscles or people?

50. Storm : RANT.

51. Settled on a branch : ALIT.

52. Beatle ending : MANIA.

53. Cakes go-with : ALE. Oh how many recall this from a recent JW puzzle?

56. Decide not to stop : LET.

57. Off one's rocker : BONKERS.

58. Vital statistic : AGE.

59. Paul with guitars : LES. He built the first successful electric guitars and his name leads into....

60. Landlord's customers : LESSEES.

61. Ergotamine derivative popular in the '60s : LSD. More of LES. It is my excuse for being crazy. LINK.


1. Front page material : BIG NEWS.

2. One seen in a ring : ACROBAT. Pretty vague for me, but I understand the clecho.

3. One seen in a ring : DIAMOND. This made it easier.

4. Short drive : SPIN. Never understood this expression, spinning is not what I have in mind when I drive.

5. Lading measure : TON. We all remember our lesson on bills of lading.

6. Kentucky Derby call : RIDERS UP.  LINK.

7. Jungian concept : ANIMA. He had to have his own words, not Freud's  ego, super-ego and id.

8. Solemn : STAID.

9. Introduction to Domingo? : SANTO. Well done, geography.

10. Greek letter : ETA.

11. Mediterranean metropolis : TEL AVIV.

12. Saddled with debt : IN A HOLE.

13. Seaside resort array : CABANASVIEW.

18. Half a philosophical duality : YANG. Where is YIN?

22. Called from the field : BAAED. So cute, lamby pie.

24. Fasten, at sea : BELAY. Cute also because of the two definitions. verb
1.(a running rope) around a cleat, pin, rock, or other object, to secure it.
2. nautical slang: stop; enough! "“Belay that, mister. Man your post.”"

25. Groups at sea : FLEETS. More at sea.

27. City on the Rio Grande : LAREDO.  LISTEN. or READ.

31. Net neutrality beneficiary: Abbr. : ISP.

32. Any "Twilight Zone" episode, now : RERUN.

33. Omega holder : WRIST. The watch.

34. Part of a traditional holiday gift : PEAR TREE.

35. From one extreme to the other : OVERALL.

36. Frozen dessert brand : SARA LEE. Nobody does not love Sara Lee.

37. Seven-movement Holst work that omits Earth, with "The" : PLANETS.

39. Like the olfactory nerve, e.g. : CRANIAL.

40. Television fare : AIRINGS.

41. Flawed : DAMAGED.

44. "__ brillig ... " : TWAS. `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
                                               Did gyre and gimble in the wabe
I had a roommate who was a C student, but could recite the entire poem as well as PI to the 50th place. A little bird told me JW also can recite this poem.

46. Denmark's __ Islands : FAROE. I had no idea. LINK.

47. Highland groups : CLANS.

48. Sounds from pens : OINKS. This little piggy...

52. Pine for : MISS.

54. OPEC unit : BBL. Barrel.

55. "... such stuff / As dreams __ made on": Prospero : ARE. JW squeezes his Friday Shakespeare in at the end.

Well I have stumbled to the finish line once again, hopefully having managed to unravel all of JW's tricks. Great fun...hope you had a good time, Lemonade out.

Apr 18, 2017

Tuesday, April 18 2017, Jeffrey Wechler

Theme: Size Matters

17. Mom-and-pop stores : SMALL BUSINESSES
29. Alfalfa, Darla and friends, with "the" : LITTLE RASCALS
39. "God bless us, every one!" Dickens character : TINY TIM
47. Game with windmills, ramps and such : MINIATURE GOLF

62. Waterspout climber of song : ITSY BITSY SPIDER

Melissa here. This was probably the fastest Tuesday solve I can remember. I held back on a few guesses waiting for perps to be certain. Only one word I wasn't sure of - FILIAL, and one misspell. Theme was simple and obvious - and still a fun solve. The first two theme answers are plural and the rest are singular - but still a tight theme.


1. Valuable stone : GEM
4. Hamilton and Burr, notably : FOES

8. Find incredibly funny : ROAR AT

14. Word for a Latin lover : AMO

15. Cookbook author Rombauer : IRMA
. Not ERMA.
16. Not certain : UNSURE

20. Vietnam's capital : HANOI

21. Part of MST: Abbr. : STD
. Waited for this one to fill in, since it could have been anything.
22. FDR's successor : HST

23. Serpent's tooth : FANG
. At first I misread this as Serpent's tongue - and wondered why there weren't enough letters for FORKED.
26. Irreverence : IMPIETY

33. Biblical verb ending : ETH
34. Quick hellos : HI'S

35. Curbs, with "in" : REINS
. This was my mispell, my fingers wanted to type REIGNS and the G got entered before I could stop them.
38. Blackjack half : ACE

42. Wedding notice word : NEE

43. What hares and mares do : RHYME
. Sneaky.
45. Long, long time : EON

46. La Brea __ Pits : TAR

52. Coiffures : HAIRDOS
. Those are both great words.

54. Move, in real estate lingo : RELO
. Relocate.
55. Part of MST : ESS
. Also sneaky (and clever), especially after 21A.
56. Tango maneuver : DIP

58. Higher than : ABOVE

67. California's San __: Hearst Castle locale : SIMEON

68. Filming locales : SETS

69. 401(k) kin : IRA

70. Six times cinq : TRENTE

71. VCR insert : TAPE

72. Gov. Cuomo's domain : NYS

1. Deep cut : GASH

2. 2016 Best Actress Stone of "La La Land" : EMMA

3. Pained sound : MOAN

4. Like a child's love for a parent : FILIAL
. "Of or due from a son or daughter."
5. Heavenly sphere : ORB

6. Grounded bird : EMU

7. Fresh talk : SASS

8. Pioneering hip-hop trio from Queens : RUN DMC

9. Single : ONE

10. Beast of burden : ASS

11. Does without much thought : RUSHES INTO

12. "Give it __!" : A REST

13. Cantankerous : TESTY

18. Barn storage space : LOFT

19. "How sweet __!" : IT IS

24. Classic grape soda : NEHI

25. Smile that may be silly : GRIN

27. Eggplant __: Italian entrée, briefly : PARM

28. L'eau land? : ILE

29. Shakespearean king with three daughters : LEAR

30. Nagging desire : ITCH

31. College freshman's comment about why his parents call so often :  THEY MISS ME
. Aw.
32. Until now : AS YET

36. Patricia of "Hud" : NEAL

37. Medieval laborer : SERF

39. Take care of : TEND

40. Vacation option : TOUR

41. Memo heading : IN RE

44. Defunct Soviet space station : MIR

48. First-aid fluid : IODINE

49. "__ happens ... " : AS IT

50. Pass, as time : ELAPSE

51. Mongolian desert : GOBI

52. Bank holdup : HEIST

53. No longer sleeping : ASTIR

57. "Hey, get a load of this" : PSST

59. Chief Norse god : ODIN

60. Quite : VERY

61. Significant periods : ERAS

63. Kyoto cash : YEN

64. Droid : BOT

65. Positive vote : YEA

66. Gas additive brand : STP

Apr 7, 2017

Friday, April 7, 2017, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: JW picked this one as title and reveal- OY VEY.

In this puzzle, the exasperation that causes people to use this expression comes from the placement of OY in various known clauses -- and each groan-inducing result.

The themers are a bit inconsistent, with TOMBOY oddly clued and OYSTER breaking the second word. However that one is also my favorite image.  JW has a wonderful knack for making the puzzles challenging and interesting. Here we have the array of fill from all over the language. PHOTON, MANILA,  YODELS,  NUBILE, TWO DAYS,  BUG EYED, GO TO CHURCH, and LOCAL PRIDE are the showpieces. 

17A. Young Pharaoh's mischievous playmate? : TOMBOY OF KING TUT (15). In my world tomboys are young lady tweens or teens who prefer roughhousing to cotillions.

25A. Overly sweet fruit? : CLOYING  PEACHES (14). Never had one.

43A. Useless metallurgical product? : ALLOY FOR NAUGHT (14). Really fun.

56A. Small shellfish of high quality? : PRIME MINI-OYSTER (15). As I said the one I thought was best presentation of the theme. And the reveal-

35A. Apt cry in reaction to four puzzle answers? : OY VEY.

1. Chanel product : SCENT. I spent way too much time trying to think of a five letter perfume.

6. Father of Hector : PRIAM. Back again with the trouble making son. 55D. Paris' realm : TROY.

11. Interruption : GAP.

14. Give the green light : ALLOW.

15. "The Flintstones" co-creator : HANNA.  Part of the dynamo team HANNA-BARBERA that dominated cartoon production for many years.

16. Martial arts accessory : OBI. Sash. 

20. It's on display while boasting : EGO. Love the clue.

21. Eccentric : DOTTY. I love the old words.

22. Stephen Colbert forte : IRONY.

23. Papuan food staple : SAGO.

24. Solar prod. : ELECtricity.

31. Features of a Los Angeles aerial view : POOLS.

32. Charged thing : ION. Simply wonderful.

33. Chekov colleague : SULU. Do I need to mention Star Trek? 6D. Laser particle : PHOTON. Yes they are used in future torpedoes.

34. Line on a globe : ARC. latitude, longitude.

37. One in a cage : RIB. More fun cluing of 3 letter fill.

38. Carson predecessor : PAAR. I get Jack often; I wonder when he will be forgotten.

40. "Norma __" : RAE. Sally Field got her first Oscar.

41. Salad garnish brand : BACOS.

47. Coll. employee : PROFessor.

48. Motivate : URGE.

49. Helped create, in a way : SIRED. Does this count for humans?

51. Hold for another time : TABLE.

53. "Law & Order: SVU" rank : SGT.

59. Succor : AID.

60. Parking garage component : LEVEL.

61. Keats' Muse : ERATO. Not exclusively.

62. Montpelier-to-Providence dir. : SSE. An interesting mini-clecho.

63. Ski resort near Montpelier : STOWE. The closest nice resort when I was a youngster.

64. In la-la land : DITZY. One of the all time best....LINK.


1. Opposite of starve : SATE.

2. Obstruct : CLOG.  Like a toilet.

3. Saint Erasmus of Formia, familiarly : ELMO. Think fire. LINK.

4. San Francisco's __ Hill : NOB.

5. Weekend, usually : TWO DAYS. Duh! Almost fooled me.

7. Large quantity : RAFT. I guess less than a boatload?

8. Black : INKY.

9. "Wheel of Fortune" purchase : AN I.

10. Capital south of Taipei : MANILA. Seems to be due south. I have friend who is getting married in Taipei - sadly I must miss the ceremony.

11. Seek a higher authority? : GO TO CHURCH. Fun deception.

12. Have __ in the oven : A BUN. typical of 50's euphemisms.

13. "How unfortunate" : PITY. Tis a pity.

18. Hindu ascetic : YOGI. Berra?

19. Athenians, to Parisians : GRECS. French for Greeks.

23. Four after do : SOL. Re, mi, fa, sol....

24. Selection word : EENY.  meeny.

25. Foundation of many islets : CORALLINK.

26. What a homecoming parade generates : LOCAL PRIDE. Only four hours long.

27. Alms provider : GIVER. For the poor....

28. "Hop-Frog" author : POE. You might like it as we enter the literary corner. LINK.

29. Literature Nobelist of 1948 : ELIOT. From Cats to prizes for T.S. The year I was born.

30. Fills in : SUBS. CSO to HG, and I'll have a veggie.

31. Literary sobriquet : PAPA. When I had the beard some called me PAPA. I think C.C. has some pics.

35. "Carmina Burana" composer : ORFF. Music continues our high brow journey. LINK.

36. Former Rocket Ming : YAO. My wife is Thongyao - in Thai yao means young.

39. "Air Music" composer : ROREM. Our friend Ned.

41. Obviously astonished : BUGEYED. Cartoonish.

42. Vital statistic : AGE.

44. Some Alpine entertainment : YODELS.

45. Like Victoria's Secret models : NUBILE. Nubile historically meant of marriage age.

46. Woody offshoot? : ARLO. Cute way to clue the Guthries.

49. Getaway options : SPAS.

50. Camera lens feature : IRIS. She comes with every camera and cleans the lenses.

51. Blessing for a couch potato : TIVO. Did you KNOW?

52. One way to start : ANEW.

53. ER shout : STAT.

54. Stan with a sax : GETZ. Oddly Dancing with the Stars began on Monday with BASSO NOVA.

57. Exchanged handshakes : MET.

58. Indian honorific : SRI. Sanskrit śrī, literally, beauty, majesty

Our Friday regular, JW delivers a fun challenge with some compelling word pictures. He has so many variations on the add letter(s) puzzles that is the type  I look for first in blogging his work. Wish me luck. Lemonade out.

 Okay I found one....

Mar 10, 2017

Friday, March 10, 2017, Jeffrey Wechsler


This is another variation on the one clue fits all. There are four very different variations of the letter A. Two are presented with an apostrophe, two with a following s. All lead to grid-spanning fill, which is awesome. To me, the phrasing of OAKLAND BALL CLUB is the only one I see as bit of a stretch as it sounds so outdated, but still the puzzle is really nicely put together. Jeffrey really packs the puzzle with sparkly fill  SNORKEL,  YES DEAR,  PAPYRUS,  PODCAST,  EDUCATE, ENROLLS,  SLUICED, CLOSEST,  OF ONE SIZE and  SWEET DEAL.  Less than thirty-five 3/4 letter fill! What fun.  Okay, off we go- theme:

17A. As : SYMBOL OF ARSENIC (15). Important to know if reading about murder is your thing.

32A. A's : EXCELLENT GRADES. (15). Important to know if you want to read.

41A. As : TO THE SAME DEGREE (15).  Important to know if you want to read what he reads.

60A. A's : OAKLAND BALL CLUB (15). Important to know if baseball is your thing.

The rest...


1. Early Welsh : CELTS. Not Red Auerbach.

6. Subpar performance ... or not : BOGEY. A very wonderful clue, my nomination for Clue of the month. Subpar means less than average, except in golf where below par (subpar) means you did well.

11. School sweater letters : NUS. 13th letter of the Greek alphabet.

14. Wedding, e.g. : UNION.

15. All small, say : OF ONE SIZE. Fits all....

19. Ancient communication medium : PAPYRUS. love the pairing of clues/fill.

20. Modern communication medium : PODCAST.

21. Parts to put together : KIT. When I was young there many of these to help you build a RADIO.

22. Memphis-to-Nashville dir. : ENE. From Graceland to the Grand Old Opry!

23. Washington portraitist : PEALE. George W, both before and after he was president,  was the SUBJECT for this ARTIST.

27. Bocelli album that includes "Bésame Mucho" : AMORE.

38. __ work: menial labor : SCUT.

39. Venerate : ADORE. So close to amore.

40. 1992 opponent of Bill and George : ROSS. H. Ross Perot. Still the butt of jokes.

44. What a bump may affect : SPEED. My neighborhood is surrounded by speed bumps- they still speed using our street as a shortcut.

45. Sources of peeps : NESTS. Easter is coming.

46. Nation with a pyramid on its currency: Abbr. : USA.
49. Title for actor Gielgud : SIR. He was great in drama or comedy.

51. Channeled, as water : SLUICED.

55. Most trusted : CLOSEST.

62. Real bargain : SWEET DEAL.

63. Quarters in the wild : LAIRS.

64. CIA predecessor : OSS.

65. __ bird : EARLY.

66. Not worth it, perhaps : STEEP.


1. Point of imminence : CUSP. On the cusp of war.

2. Musician from County Donegal : ENYA. Is it raining there?

3. Sagging : LIMP. Two weeks in a row.

4. Keith of country : TOBY. Urban did not fit. Do you all watch The Voice?

5. Underwater aid : SNORKEL. Sergeant? Why not, we grew up together.

6. Leg up : BOOST.

7. On vacation : OFF.

8. Lose it : GO APE.

9. "The Smartest Guys in the Room" subject : ENRON. It was an interesting BOOK and Documentary.

10. Sighed agreement : YES DEAR. Time for the chore jar.

11. 1493 Lisbon arrival : NINA. The SHIP had a great history.

12. Israeli weapons : UZIS.

13. Mennonites, e.g. : SECT. 16A. "Just a __!" : SEC.

18. Heathrow : his :: Orly : à __ : LUI. French gift for Splynter.

23. Vermin : PESTS.

24. Serpico, for one : EX-COP. And so much MORE.

25. Severe : ACUTE. Chronic is the other choice.

26. River in Hades : LETHE. Their beliefs were FUN.

28. Toon with a blue do : MARGE. More Simpsons.

29. Trails for bloodhounds : ODORS

30. Go back to zero : RESET.

31. Swiss borders? : ESSES. SwiSS.

33. __ Palmas: Gran Canaria capital : LAS. In the Canary Islands.

34. Author LeShan : EDA.

35. __ de famille : NOM. The long way to refer to someone's last name. Lesson two for Splynter.

36. Otto minus cinque : TRE. 8-5 in Italian.

37. H.S. equivalency test : GED.

42. Inform : EDUCATE.

43. RegistersENROLLS. These three all fit together.

47. "Never __ boy to ... " : SEND A.

48. Dangerous biter : ADDER. Loved Black Adder.

49. Like 48-Down : SCALY.

50. Unlikely to be chipper : ILL.

51. Acceptable : SO SO.

52. They're often broken : LAWS.

53. Luau entertainment : UKES. This took me much longer than it should have.

54. Suffix with percent : ILE.

56. "Get lost!" : SCAT.

57. Nobelist Wiesel : ELIE. He is so popular these days.
Washington Post Sunday Magazine - March 5, 2017
Sheffer - March 1, 2017
USA Today - Feb. 28, 2017
Washington Post - Feb. 14, 2017
LA Times - Feb. 10, 2017
Sheffer - Feb. 4, 2017
Sheffer - Jan. 17, 2017
Washington Post Sunday Magazine - Jan. 8, 2017
Chronicle of Higher Education - Jan. 6, 2017

58. "Glad to help" : SURE.

59. Kitchen meas. : TBSP. Do not know why but I did not hesitate with this fill.

61. Acct. entry : BALance.

Well on balance I got 'er done which is good. I think Jeffrey has plugged into my subconscious because many of my 'guesses' are spot on. I liked the variety of the fill and I am really now very familiar with the repeating clue puzzle. Quite a bit of French and no Shakespeare, what is the world coming to? Thank JW, see you all next time. Lemonade out. Would any regulars like the filled grid printed in a larger font?

Note from C.C.:

The 40th American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (March 24-26, 2017) will be held at the Stamford Marriott in Stamford, Connecticut. For those who attend, I hope you won't miss the Cru Dinner organized by the great Mike Alpern. Lots of fun pictures and FAQ's in that link. 

The Cru Dinner officially kicks off the tournament and is a great opportunity to meet with constructors and fellow solvers. And as a newbie, you'll always get a welcome gift! The space is limited, so be sure to contact with Mike ( as soon as possible. 

Mike just told me that "we've got 65 of the 80 or so slots filled (yes, it's been busy), mostly with veterans. I'd like to encourage rookies to sign up while there's still room". 

I bet our own Jeffrey will be a judge again this year at the ACPT.  Kevin Christian also. Minnesota's Tom Pepper & Marcia will attend the Cru dinner. George Barany might be there also.

Feb 24, 2017

Friday, February 24, 2017, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: G, where shall you go? Of course, to the beginning!

JW returns with a simple add a letter to the start of a phrase to create a new one, with a humorous definition. As with any puzzle based on humor, YMMV. I was Greatly impressed at the inclusion of 2 grid-spanning fill that worked. I would guess one of the 15 letter fill popped in his head, and this puzzle followed. He also included some very sparkly fill: ROADSIDES,  I'LL GO NEXT,  RADIO DIAL and ONION DOME a term which I did not recall. I found a hidden treasure but that might just be a product of the pain killers. We will now examine all the evidence....

17A. Domestic shamelessness? : GALL IN THE FAMILY (15). The ground breaking TV SERIES (0:56) gets re-purposed with a an impudent definition clue.

26A. Near giveaway at the liquor store? : GIN FOR A PENNY (12). In for a pound...they do sell many of the airline size bottles at my local liquor store but no GIN and not for a penny.

41A. Fort Knox? : GOLD DOMINION (12). I doubt if Jeffrey had this BREWERY in mind when he chose Old Dominion as his seed phrase but I like the juxtaposition.

53A. Result of way too many leaves in the eaves? : GUTTER CONFUSION (15). This is my favorite themer, both the rhyme and the picture painted by the clue/fill. Maybe he started here?

Okay on to the rest...


1. Test in which contrasts are helpful, briefly : MRI. As this test  (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) has played an important part in my current disability, this was easy. I am allergic to the contrast dye.

4. __ stiff : SCARED. When words are derived from the sound we call it onomotapoeia. What should we call it when an  expression gives a great mental picture like this phrase?

10. Minor set-to : TIFF.

14. Huffington Post owner : AOL. This is true - since 2011 - but AOL was bought by Verizon in 2015 which last year bought Yahoo, also

15. Wedding offering : CANAPE. From the French word for SOFA.

16. Defunct food coating : ALAR. It was sprayed on apple trees to control the growth and color of the apples. Much debate about the 1989 scare.

20. Boundary : EDGE.

21. Legal tender with a torch : DIME, On the obverse? Reverse?

22. Dealer's offering : LEASE. Car dealer, not HIT ME for card dealer.

23. __ voce : SOTTO.

25. Body shop supply : SOLDER.

30. 2016 Billboard Top Artist : ADELE. She swept the Grammys as well.
31. Besides Linus, the only Nobel laureate in two fields : MARIE. Pauling: Curie. LINK.

32. Take badly? : ROB. Robbing requires use or threat of force. Nicely deceptive clue.

35. Alluring : SEXY.

36. Postgame staple : RECAP.

37. Candy __ : CANE.    


38. Feb. setting in Spokane : PST.

39. Artist at Giverny : MONET. This is where the ARTIST painted his most successful works. This is a very Friday type clue. I will always have a Monet/Manet block in my mind.

40. Opposite of 56-Across : NADIR. 56A Opposite of 40-Across : ACME.

13. Philosophers' group : SCHOOL. Similar to fish, but not as good for you.

46. "Cutthroat Kitchen" host Brown : ALTON.

47. Second name, perhaps : ALIAS.

48. "Zounds!" : EGAD. Two wonderful old words.

51. They're often tough to beat : ODDS. 45D. Request to a dealer : HIT ME. 50D. Forced bet : ANTE
57. Album contents : PHOTOS.

58. ENT's group : AMA.

59. Arcade trademark word : SKEE.

60. Part of many art museum names : MODERN.

61. Table support : LEG.


1. Ancient spell caster : MAGE.

2. Produce stand sites : ROADSIDES. We have a bunch in the Redlands is SW Miami-Dade, but all the ones in Broward are gone. Now they gather at farmers' markets.

3. "My turn" : I'LL GO NEXT.

4. Part of NSF: Abbr. : SCIence.

5. Telling it like it is : CANDOR.

6. Opposition leader? : ANTI. And later ANTE.

7. First name in Chicago politics : RAHM. Interesting - he was elected as Chicago's 44th mayor, while his mentor Mr. Obama was the 44th POTUS. LINK.

8. It's thrust in competition : EPEE. Love the soupçon of naughtiness in this clue. 

9. Phone button letters : DEF. Glue, I would prefer Mos.

10. Without aggression : TAMELY.

11. Zeus remains largely neutral during its narrative : ILIAD. A really odd way to get to these puzzle friendly letters.

12. "A dagger of the mind, a __ creation ... ": Macbeth : FALSE. Back with Macbeth for our Friday Shakespeare lesson.

13. Potatoes may be cooked in one : FRYER.  Pommes frites for Splynter.

18. Unloose : LET FLY. Quiz: Who said, "unloose the dogs of war?"

19. How stand-up comics usually work : ALONE. True but there have some great duos. I loved the Smothers Brothers.

24. Ring site : TOE.

25. Salon sound : SNIP,

26. [I'm shocked!] : GASP.

27. Enhance through change : AMEND. Big word in the law.

28. Showed impatience, in a way : PACED.

29. Poetry Muse : ERATO. You know all of the muses yet?

32. One moving with frequency? : RADIO DIAL. Another really fun clue, with the frequency pun.

33. Russian Orthodox church feature : ONION DOME. LINK. For our Cornerites.

34. City on the Aare : BERN.

36. Kaiser, for one : ROLL. Misdirection here is placement of the clue/fill.

37. Songs of Seville : CANTOS.

39. Maine road sign image : MOOSE.

40. Nothing : NIL.

41. Buffalo Bill feature : GOATEE. Oh yes!

42. Really loving : MAD FOR. My mental picture. LINK.

43. Generational tales : SAGAS.

44. Barnyard sound : CLUCK.

48. Verify the story of : ECHO. No idea what this clue/fill means.

49. Above the crossbar and between the uprights : GOOD. Not wide RIGHT!

52. Obstruction : SNAG. "Damn, our reno hit a snag!"  Do you watch Property Brothers.

54. Tach stat : RPM. Revolutions Per Minute.

55. SEAL's org. : USN. United States Navy.

Well we made it through another JW Friday and I had so much fun finding the never intended but exciting Buffalo mini theme. Call me crazy but call me. Thanks Jeffrey. Lemonade out.